Friday, January 25, 2013

Coupon Craziness

For those of you who don't know yet, I've decided to take up my mother's passion of couponing.  Yes, I will admit I caught the fever after watching every episode of TLC's Extreme Couponing with my jaw hanging open.  I knew I would never get to be that good, but it would still help out a ton to save even a few bucks at the grocery store every week.

Well it turns out I've become mildly obsessed and am having way too good of a time reading blogs everyday in search of the good deals.

This week I noticed some really good buys in the Smith's ad (Fred Meyer to all you Oregon folk) and decided to capitalize on them.  The two cereals that Chris and I eat, as well as the laundry detergent I most frequently use were on sale if you buy 10 participating products.  I had six cereal coupons and one coupon for two laundry detergents.  I needed two more products to get the good sale price so I opted for the Red Baron pizza as I had a coupon off two as well.

Another good deal in the Ridley's store ad (mountain states only) was $1.78 for Skintimate shave gel.  I had printed six buy one, get one (B1G1) coupons the night before so I called mama Karen for confirmation that the price of $0.89 was right.

One last deal I was going to get were $1.00 off Duncan Hines frosting creations flavor packets found here.  Our Walmart has them on rollback for $0.84 so I would actually be making money back from buying these.

I know most people dislike Walmart intensely and I don't blame them.  However, my craving to score good deals outweighs my conscience.  It is by far the most convenient and cheapest place for me to go now with my coupon craziness because I get extra perks.  They price match to pretty much every store in the area and the Springville Walmart actually double coupons up to $1.00 on Tuesdays which allows me to get many free items.  I've gotten a bunch of lotion, deodorants, floss and toothpaste this way for nothing...I actually made money taking them out of the store.  It's so fun!  I think the double couponing thing is only at Utah County Walmarts and a few select others in different states.

The last thing I needed was a bribe for Christopher to come with me.  I really didn't feel like going and doing a bunch of price matching at the register by myself.  It's always less embarrassing when someone is there to share it with you.  I found this little nugget for a free triple chocolate hot cocoa at Arby's which is conveniently in the same parking lot as Walmart.  Score!  With a promise for his free hot cocoa after the trip I had him committed.

Here is my bounty:


(12) Skintimate Shave Gels (20% More Value Size) - Reg. $2.44 ea.
Price Matched: $1.78 at Ridley's
Used: (6) B1G1 Manufacturer Coupons
Final:  $0.89 each

(2) Duncan Hines Frosting Flavor Packs - Reg. $0.84 ea.
Used: (2) $1/1 Manufacturer Coupons
Final:  FREE + $0.32 overage

(2) ALL Laundry Detergent 40oz. - Reg. $4.97 ea.
Price Matched: $2.99 at Smith's
Used: (1) $2/2 Manufacturer Coupon
Final:  $1.99 each

(4) Honey Bunches of Oats GREEK - Reg. $2.98 ea.
Price Matched: $1.88 at Smith's
Used: (4) $1/1 Manufacturer Coupons
Final:  $0.88 each

(2) Post Shredded Wheat - Reg. $2.98 ea.
Price Matched: $1.88 at Smith's
Used: (2) $1/1 Manufacturer Coupons
Final:  $0.88 each

(2) Red Baron Classic Pizza - Reg. $2.98 ea.
Price Matched: $2.49 at Smith's
Used: (1) $1/2 Manufacturer Coupon
Final:  $1.99 each

Total before coupons:  $64.74
Total after coupons and overage:  $23.60

64% Savings!

While that is not the most impressive haul I've done so far, it felt like it was good one to share as it's all things we use on a regular basis (minus my moneymaker).

The one unfortunate happening of the trip was when we went to Arby's afterward to reward Chris for his deep love and commitment to make me happy, we found out that our Arby's apparently doesn't carry hot cocoa yet.  FAIL.

This is going to make it much harder to bribe him next time...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Zipper Challenge

I have taken two sewing classes in my life.  The first one I believe was in about 2nd or 3rd grade and I made this pumpkin pin cushion along with a Santa doll and something else I can't recollect at the moment.  Perhaps mother Karen can fill in that blank?


I was so excited about this pin cushion I had my parents get me the materials so I could make more of them.   But, sadly, doing them on my own without the guidance of a professional didn't turn out so well for me.


You can clearly see which one gets more love.  I altered no pins before snapping those pictures!

Second class was in high school and I made an atrocious dress that I think I finally got rid of a few years ago.  Or it could just be lurking in the attic somewhere at my parents.

So really, I'm not that great of a sewer.  I just fake it.  All those Pug Crawl costumes I made for Kristen's pug,  Reggie?  Totally faked.  If you look close up you would be horrified.  But from far away they pass.  And so that is why I keep sewing.  I just hope no one takes a closer look.  If you've never seen these costumes of which I speak, I promise I will have another post when it gets closer to this year's event.

So with that in mind, I'll show you my latest sewing project in which I actually included a zipper.  No it's not a pretty zipper, but remember that whole "far away" thing.

First thing I did was find a good tutorial online to help guide me through this process.  A quick google search pulled up a post by Design Sponge from a few years back.  Looked easy enough so I dove in.

I originally purchased this fabric from Spoonflower to make some kitchen curtains.  Unfortunately, after I washed and the fabric, it shrank so much that I no longer had enough to make those curtains.


Doesn't the main design sorta look like a trilobite?


After debating for awhile, I figured the next best thing would be to make some large pillow covers to get good use out of it.

Mary had originally purchased a few few 24" x 24" pillows for Chris a few years ago when she realized he had bare couches.  I figured it would be smart to make the same size so I could just swap out cases rather than purchase new pillow forms.

Following the tutorial I cut four 25" x 25" squares since I was making two pillow covers.


Next up was the tricky zipper part which turned out to be not so tricky.  I really wasn't that hard to follow along.  Mine may not be the most amazingly straight seams, but they got the job done.

I used a 22" zipper which worked great.



I stitched up the remaining sides, turned it right side out, and got them nice and ironed.


Then I stuffed the pillow forms in and voila!



Dwight seemed to think I was trying to take pictures of him.



Next up is figuring out what fabric to actually use for the kitchen curtains...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Little Leah

Chris and I did something a little crazy a few weeks ago and I blame it entirely on him.

A few Saturday's back Chris' work decided to have their holiday party up in Salt Lake City at the Leonardo building.  There is currently a really cool Da Vinci exhibit there and they thought it would make for a fun family activity.  Truth be told I think the engineers had more fun with the interactive displays than the little kids did.  Especially Chris.

After touring we all grabbed lunch at the cafe there on site and got to know some of his coworkers and their families a little better.

It was still early by the time we finished up so Chris suggested on the way home we stop at the Humane Society where he got Dwight.  I knew this was a bad idea, but he simply wouldn't listen.  I warned him the whole way there that he was going to either have a new cat or a very angry wife on the way home.  See I have this small addiction called "crazy cat lady" that basically makes me want to take home every cat I see.  I've never gone to rehab for it, so I knew we'd be screwed.

Sure enough as soon as we walked in I spotted her.  The dinkiest little, fluffy calico girl.  She was so friendly and wonderful.  After we spent about an hour walking around and visiting all the others I had to go back one more time to see the calico girl.  Chris could tell that I was in love and started testing her for weaknesses.  He sat down in the chair in the room and checked to see if she was a lap cat.  Sure enough, she jumped up and started getting cozy.  We found a toy and tested her playfulness factor.  Check.  Every test she seemed to pass with flying colors.

We debated for the next half hour.

Me: "My mom is gonna be so mad."
Chris: "But, she'll love her when she meets her."
Me: "More litter boxes to clean. And how will she get along with the others?"
Chris: "They'll get over it like Dwight and Farrah did."
Me: "Our friends will think we are crazy...well yours will.  Mine will be ecstatic."
Chris: "I really don't care."
Me: "Look at her! So fluffy and cute."
Chris: "I think we should get a beer and then decide."
Me: "Great idea."

So of course we all know which way that one beer was gonna sway us.  We (and by we I mean me) just need a little boost to pull the trigger.  After an hour in the bar with the same conversation on repeat, we finally decided to go for it.

We got her all packed up and brought her home.

Introducing our third fluff, Leah!





Monday, January 21, 2013

Brrrrrrrr

Sorry for the long absence.  I will blame it on frozen fingers due to the insanely cold winter we've been having here in Utah.

Thought I would share some fun winter photos with you!

Here are my holiday decorations.  I attempted to flock the tree this year just to do something different.  It looked very pretty initially, but by the time we got home from our holiday trip to Portland, it was the saddest, crispiest tree ever.  Awful to take ornaments off and get it out of the house.  Next year no flocking.

One plus side to Springville, Utah is they come a pick up your tree for free!  Just throw it on the curb.  Thank you very much small city.



Since we have no fireplace in this house, I had to get creative on where to hang our stockings.  Good thing I'm now a pro at putty and paint.  Repairing the wall wasn't that fun.  Next year I'll have to get more creative with less labor.


I opted to make my own garland this year which turned out awesome, but I'm most likely never doing again.   That thing took hours!


And I made the wreath out of tree trimmings as well.  Didn't really turn out that pretty.  Whomp whomp.  Next year I know what I'm doing different though!  We learn from our mistakes.


Made some Engdahl family Swedish cardamon bread for the neighbors.  First year making it on my own and it actually turned out delicious!


Here is a shot of our stellar icicles.  Snow + sun + freezing temps = over 4 feet long!


Wouldn't want to be standing under one of these babies when they fall.


Our first big snowfall Chris and I were actually excited (second and third not so much), so we went out and made some snow people.


After the second big snowfall Chris decided to give Xena a mohawk when he finished shoveling the driveway.   We nicknamed her the Mercedesaurus.


Yes, I left it on there when I went to run errands.  Look how badass she is at Walmart.  I got lots of smiles out on the road.


Third snowfall Chris gave her a nose, but I failed to take a picture before it slid off the car.

And here are some fun photos from our Christmas card photo shoot courtesy Kristen when she and Eric were in town.  So funny...the cats were NOT happy!




Hope you all had an amazing holiday season!  Can't believe it's already almost Valentine's!