Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pop and Gram's visit

Way back in July, my mom and dad came out for a visit. They arrived on a Wednesday night. Danny and Soohee came along to the airport to pick them up, then the 6 of us went out to dinner. After dinner, we dropped off Danny and Soohee at a friends house for the rest of their stay in MI. On Thursday morning, all of us, minus Darin, packed up and headed out to Canada. My dad is the only one of his family who left our neighbor to the north, so it was time to go visit the Van Schepens.

We were in Canada until Sunday afternoon. We had a great time. We stayed with my Aunt Chris, the kids ran outside for hours, my dad got sick (not so great), but was better in time for the family reunion on Saturday. It was fun seeing so many cousins, aunts and uncles that I hadn't seen since Tyson was a baby.

Tyson and Jori loved being out in the barn.
Jori and her new buddy Alex had fun dressing up AND bossing people aroundMe and Uncle Don
Me, Kendra, Michelle, Kathy and baby Owen
My dad and his sisters and brothers.Cousins
Kids of cousins

We got back to Michigan on Sunday night. The next morning my dad headed to GR for a week of classes, and Gram stayed back with us. We had a lot of fun. We did some garage saling (my first all year!), she taught me how to do rebates at Rite Aid, Tyson and Jori went on lots of walks with Gram, she painted Jori's toenails and fingernails, and just a lot of other fun stuff. My dad came for dinner on Wednesday and we were all so glad to see him. Then he was back for good a little after noon on Friday. That's when the real fun began for the kids (no offense mom, but we both know he's the man!!)

First my dad spent about 2-3 hours building Tyson a "spy scope" like he had seen on Curious George. Here it is:

It's like a periscope that you can use to spy on people without having them see you. Very cool and totally not something I would have been able to do as it required math skills. (This project was made even more difficult because my mom took me out for my birthday while my dad watched the two kids!)

They also took a lot of walks down the path and caught tons of frogs and toads. I think they came back with 15 one time and 10 another. Here's Papa pretending to eat a frog:

No thanks, we'll stick to our popsiclesTyson's turn to kiss the frog.Pucker up baby!
Snuggling with Gram
My parents flew out on Tuesday just before noon. We were SO SAD to see them go. Tyson said "When will they come back here" and I told him I didn't know. He said "At least we will see them in heaven". Amen little buddy.

Rite Aid Savings and some other ways to save

Today I ventured out to Rite Aid again. I never feel quite so scatterbrained as I do when I am shopping with coupons. Seriously, I am like a chicken with my head cut off. I WILL press on and one day this will be second nature to me. Or not.

So today at Rite Aid, after walking around like a crazy person for quite some time, I found some good deals. Here they are:

Why yes, that IS more cereal. 9 boxes to be exact. I had to promise Darin that unless I can get cereal for under 50 cents, I will not buy any more until we are down to 5 boxes in our pantry. Anyways, back to the savings. In addition to the cereal, I bought 2 3 packs of Ziploc containers, 2 Colgate Total toothpastes, 2 3 packs of invisible tape, 2 fun Scotch tape products, an Airwick air freshener kit, and 2 energy efficient light bulbs.

My checker today, Sharon, was like super meticulous with checking all my coupons and wouldn't let me use the $5 off $25 until AFTER everything had been rung up AND the coupons had been rung up. That lessened any chance I had to try and make a couple dollars, but it is what it is. (Note to self, avoid Sharon's lane). I ended up spending $26.31 oop for all of these items and will be receiving $15.49 back in rebates, for a total of $10.82 being spent after rebates. Not as exciting as my last shopping trip, but it was still fun.

I only paid $1 for the Airwick thing, the cereal was $1.99 and I had coupons for a total of $4 off, The Scotch tapes were better than free, the light bulbs will end up being $1.50 after rebate, The toothpaste will end up being 25 cents for both thanks to coupons and a rebate and the cereal and Ziploc containers earned me a $5 rebate! See, I am learning, it just takes me a very long time and kind of makes my brain hurt.

In other news, we tried to avoid the grocery store this week. I think Darin ran out for milk (free!), some bread, and fruit, and yogurt, but that was it. We needed those items because we had Arts Camp at our church (like VBS) and I had to pack lunches for the kids and myself. Other than that, we ate what we had on hand. We had frozen pizza (a couple times), meatballs that my mom had frozen when she was here, spaghetti sauce that my brother Danny had made when he was visiting, quesadillas, fish sticks for the kids, and sandwiches or a bowl of cereal as filler. I am so glad we stuck to it and ate some stuff that has just been sitting around for a few weeks instead of going out and buying more.

We also had a little harvest from our garden. Check this out.

I did say a "little" harvest and that is exactly what we've had. We've picked 4 beans off of our tiny plants and last night I cut some teeny tiny lettuce leaves to make a salad. Our carrots are still way too tiny to pick. We are not sure if they will ever actually grow. Thankfully we have friends with an abundance of garden goodness. I'm still looking for more tomatoes if any of you Michiganders have some!

One last thing, there is a great deal going on in most parts of the country through Kraft. Go to for the details. Sadly I cannot participate because there isn't a store in our area that has partnered with Kraft. Save-a-lot DID, but then it fell through. So sad. Seriously, it's a great deal, so check it out!

I promise to write about some more family stuff soon and lay off the couponing for a while!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rite Aid-on my own

Today I went to Rite Aid all alone. It took me a little over an hour to get "prepared" to go, but I am glad that I took the time to check out my coupons, the rebate book, the ad and Sarah's blog. Right when I got to the store I asked if they would let me make multiple transactions during ONE shopping trip and use the $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon on each transaction. They told me I could, so away I went.

Here is transaction #1

2 Listerine Smart Rinse, 1 pack of GE light bulbs, and a Wart removal kit. I did not actually NEED any of these things, but I had been wanting to have the kids try the Smart Rinse and I can donate the other items to Love Inc. I paid 17.48 oop (out of pocket) and will be receiving a rebate for the full price of the wart remover and light bulbs and I also had a bogo coupon (buy one get one) for the smart rinse and a $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon., which means I spent $0.49 for all 4 of these items!

Here is transaction #2

2 pack ReNu saline solution, 2 Clean and Clear moisturizers and Zantac. I spent 11.42 oop and will get back the full amount on the ReNu and Zantac and a three dollar rebate on the Clean and Clear. I also had 2 $2 off coupons for the Clean and Clear and a mail in rebate for $5 on the Zantac and another $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupons. So I will be getting PAID $11.56 for buying these items!

Transaction #3

Crest Pro-Health, Venus razor, Fructis shampoo, Secret clinical and Gillette clinical deodorant. I spent 14.37 oop and will get rebates on the toothpaste and shampoo and a partial rebate on the razor. I had coupons on the other items and a $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon. I spent $4.58 for these items.

Then I came home and made my dear husband go back for one last purchase. Here is what he bought for transaction #4

It is hard to see, but there are 10 boxes of Frosted Flakes, a thing of packing tape and a package of Werther's candies. He paid $18.47 oop. We will be getting back the full amount of the packing tape and candies through rebates. Darin also had a $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon and 1 coupon on the cereal. We will also be getting back a $10 rebate through Kellogg's Fuel for School. After rebates, we will have paid $3.99 and we will also be receiving a $5 Kellogg's coupon as part of a Rite Aid rebate!!

Here is everything we bought today:

Total SALE price for everything together was just over $100. In the end we will be getting PAID $2.50 AND the $5 cereal coupon for buying all of these things!! Crazy, I know. It took about 3 hours of my day (I am so not good with the math part of couponing) and it would have taken a lot longer without Sarah's blog! Seriously, check it out.