Friday, August 28, 2009

You know your a mom when.......

My little country mouse keeps her bug friend living on our kitchen counter. He has been here a week and the poor thing keeps on ticking. She tells me "he's my friend mama" in her sweetest three year old voice. What's a mama to with the bug. It makes her happy and that makes me happy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday shopping day!

Today was an extremely good deal day. I spent 69.00 oop at Publix and Winn Dixie. My total savings at both stores was 174.00. That's a really good day! The super deal was at WD Hormel pork loins 9.99 bogo -3.00mq on each one. I paid 2.00 for each, I bought six. These are normally 10.00 each. WoW!!

Best deals going today at Publix are eight fiber one yogurt with bogo rebate at 2.50-1.00/1 for each at .25 each.
Four A-1 sauces at .09 ea, six Mccormick grinder seasonings free, four Hilshire turkey meat at 1.45ea, Lipton tea at .25 each, revlon clipper free plus 1.60 overage, Lysol neutra air at .27ea x 4, kens marinade .40 ea. I used 5.00 off 20.00 meat FLIP, and 5.00 off 25.00 walgreens coupon. To match up these items to coupons checkout,
As you can see I had many other coupon matchups but I am in a hurry. We are packing for an spontaneous getaway weekend to Sea World this Friday.

Please pray for us as we travel this weekend. Also, how did you score on deals this week?
Many Blessings, Brandi

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School Days

That day has come again, the first day of school. Not for our family, for us school is year round. Sure, I give them a break from structured learning periodically. We did take off the month of June for a summer vacation and a cousin visiting for a few weeks. We have been hard at work ever since. Well.... not really! We practice a very relaxed homeschool environment. I want my children to enjoy and love our learning routine. I use a private schools curriculum but do not abide by thier work schedule. A few hours of book work four days a week and the rest we make up as we go. We do ALOT of arts and crafts. I'm lucky my children and I share the love of any and all things hand made. Oh, by the way, my son moved up a grade in the middle of the year last year. He will continue to move up grades at a faster pace than public schoolers. Why is that a good thing? For one thing, if he is ready, why not? Also, in the state of Florida, he is still eligible for all programs, scholarships, and grants that public schoolers can get. That includes the dual enrollment program. He can have two years of paid for college under his belt before other kids his age have even graduated. Does anyone know a young man by the name Tim Tebow. That's right, a Christian homeschooled boy, that finished high school and college early.

I just couldn't imagine taking them to school at 8am and not seeing them for seven or eight hours five day a week. Not knowing what thier hearts are feeling. God only knows what they might be learning. I have seen what children learn in government schools both in the classroom and from thier peers. NO thank you! Not for my children. I have started them early down a different path.
So in the morning when all those little sunbeams are grumbly waking up with the sun, we will still be snoozing. When the rush rush is taking place in homes across the country, we will be sitting down to breakfast together. As all the other children are lining up for the lunch room, we will be closing our books and heading outside to play. I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Homemade goodness....Cinnamon rolls
wait for it.....

I can't tell you how good these smell. I wish I could bottle it for later. Yummy!!

Saying Goodbye to Summer Days

nothing says summertime like watermelon juice dripping down your tummy

cool handsome fella

A few more weeks of sweltering heat and then my favorite season. I love fall. The cool breeze in the air, sweaters, pumkins and leafy projects. Not to mention soups, chili, and warm fires. I can't wait!!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I love being a at home mom. My favorite place in the world has always been my home. Even, as a young girl, I would drive around looking at homes. I dreamed of living in a nice cozy home with a family of my own. Three years ago my husband and I built our home. Well, we didn't buld it, we chose the plan and all the details. We had it built on the land we bought the same year we were married. We had a vision of one day what we would build together.

Some ladies will say that they could never stay home raising children all day. I have such a difficult time understanding this way of thinking. (No, i'm not back on the soap box) i'm just speaking about me from my heart. I can't imagine my life any other way.

I never get bored at home. Of course there is always work. I work hard everyday. I encourage my children to have a strong work ethic. I have them do daily chores. I do allow them some cartoons in the morning while i'm having my coffee and Bible time. See, that's the kind of pace of life I love. When , I was a working woman, everything was rush rush. Now, I awake when my little girl comes pulling my toes. We giggle and cuddle with daddy, then we go out so he can sleep a little later (he works nights). We make cereal and chocolate milk for her and coffee for me. She watches Little Bear and I read my Bible for about an hour. By then the house is up and the day begins.

On a typical day, I start some laundry, vacume, then settle my son for his lessons. We homeschool through a Christian academy. This is new because I created the lesson plans for kindergarten and first grade. The curriculum is good for him. He has six subjects but I add a little more to make it interesting. Everything is a learning opportunity. We garden in the spring, bake fresh bread and pastries, can our own blackberry jam. I cultivate his interest as well. He likes to take the camcorder and make movies. He writes, illustrates, and binds his own books. There are always new ideas coming from him. A child strapped to a desk for eight hours five days a week is not able to explore the day the way a homeschooler can. Learning is not a one size fits all. Children need to move and wiggle. Oh, thats probably why so many children get labeled hyper active or ADHD and loaded up with meds. So, so sad! When, I see that he's had enough, we drop our work and go for a swim. We eat lunch together as a family. Then, I either sew, or we paint on the front porch. Sometimes, we just glue noodles on paper plates or make stuffed paper fish. It does not take a genius to create fun for children. But, all the while I am creating memories with my children. They know that mom is always with them. They never have to go with people they don't know or feel uncomfortable with. I have never had to endure the dreaded day care drop off. I just could never do it.

Some of the mom's I used to work with couldn't wait to drop thier newborn babies at the daycare. Some only a few weeks old. Those babies are always very sick. Hospital stay sick. I'm talking several times a year. Some moms just don't seem to get it.

I know, I went there again...Oops.

Shopping Day

Shopping Day!! Foodlion 17.54 oop spent Farm rich product bogo at 3.50ea.-2.00cp=1.50ea
wipes 1.62-1.50flip=.12
tomatoes 1.38-flip=.38
bread 1.43
Batteries 4.59
soap 1.67-1.00=.67
Blue Bunny bogo 2.50ea-1.00=1.50ea (stock up price)
lil' Debbie 1.25

Publix 42.39 oop spent 102.36 saved
Everything here I used coupons on but I will list the best freebies.
Shout x4 free, plus 1.10 overage
Smithfield bacon free
banana's .50
glade candle x2 free
kotex x2 bogo = .15/2
yoplait yogurt x2 bogo= .50/2
Uncle Ben's rice x4 bogo=free
purina beggin strips x2 bogo=free plus .50 overage
Dove BW 1.50
cheerios x4 bogo=1.00ea + 2 free publix bags (peelie cp)
cheez its x2 bogo =.75ea
Lysol cleaners bogo x2= .49 ea
6lbs. red del. apples =3.00
assorted froz. veg x3

Anyone reading this is probably thinking, how do you make a meal out of icecream and snacks. I shop each week for the best deals and I stock the pantry. From a over flowing pantry and deep freezer I menu plan for the week. This week was obviously a stock up week on ice cream. We probably will have ice cream for a month. We only need vegetables and produce this week. I spent the rest of this weeks budget grocery money on a new Paula Deen rolling pin, bucket of crayola clay for my children, and a ceramic pizza cooking stone. I have so much fun shopping with coupons. Yes, i'm plain and simple. That's me!!

Any couponers out there, how did you do this week?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Great Giveaway

The young lady at is giving away a really awesome dvd. The Art of Bread Making, from Franklin Springs entertainment. Four Christian, Southern, talented ladies teach the art of bread making. I was just checking out this dvd series today at If anybody is out there, go sign up.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Struck a nerve!

I'm gonna step on my soap box for a moment. Recently, I joined one of those social networking sites. At first, it was fun catching up with people I have known from a lifetime ago. The more I added people to my friends list the more comments of others I began to read. I am taken a back by all the negative mothering out there. No one type of mother (stay at home or working mom) is excluded. One mom that works as a teacher and has been off for the summer with her baby boy, constantly comments of her frustration with baby boy. How sad for her, that she is unable to allow herself the enjoyment of her baby if only for two months.

Then, recently I met a young mother and within minutes of our meeting she blurted out "oh I could never be a SAHM, for my own sanity." I was appauld by her negativeness. She also stated she does not allow her daughter to color at home because she may mess up the walls. Honey, I have permanent marker on my bedroom wall for six months now. All I need to do is touch up paint over it but I just can't bring myself to wipe it away yet. This same young mother is constantly posting comments and pictures of herself at concerts and bars with a group of other twenty somethings. So, she works fulltime all week away from her three year old little girl. Then, come Friday she's planning her get away from that pesky toddler. Why did she even become a mom?

I know that mothering is not always an easy job but it's the most important job/blessing a woman can have. I used to be a working mom. I loved working. My career was rewarding and fulfilling. I had patients I helped rehabilitate from strokes, joint replacements, broken bones, etc. I ran a rehab clinic by myself and made great money. The entire time I was away from my children there was an aching from within. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. God put woman on this earth to mother. To nurture, protect, teach, and guide. For woman to have the attitude of "I can't be bothered by these little snot heads all the time" or my favorite I need "ME TIME." What? Me time. Yeah, you had me time before you became a mother. This is your me time now. Enjoy it, love it, embrace it!!!! And for those stay at home mom's, stop whining so much about being with your child/children all day. Do you know how blessed you are to be able to do this? Thank your husband everyday for providing you the opportunity to be able to make this choice. Don't let the world make you feel less because you play, color, love, and nuture all day. Just fifty years ago, women embraced making a home and caring for thier families. Now, so many girls are brain washed by feminism in gonvernment run scholls. You must have your cake and eat it too. Women can do it all statements. Yeah, you might be able to work all day, pick up the kids, rush a dinner, and wisk them off to bed then repeat. Something huge is missing in your children's lives. YOU!!!!!!! Just dwelling together is not enough, they need your attention. They need calm relaxed mama who wants to listen and laugh with them. To know thier hearts. Not stressed out, frazzled, you get the few minutes I have left before I pass out exhausted mom.

I realize i'm stepping on toes here but oh well. Sometimes we need our toes smashed before we can open our eyes to what really matters.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Turning over a new leaf.....

I set the alarm for 7:30 a.m. and rolled myself out of my extremely comfy latex bed. For some, 7:30 is like sleeping in but not for me. I usually sleep until 8:30 or whenever Grace pulls at my toes. Not this day! I was up, coffee alarm set and made, swimsuit on and out I went. First, I sat by the pool for a few minutes just taking in the cool morning air, listening to the earth and its inhabitants. A few quiet moments with the Lord.

Then, I dove in. The water temp. is at its best this time of year. I swam 50 laps, followed by thirty minutes of pilates. I don't know why I haven't been doing this all summer. I feel just great. The exercise has given me so much energy to go through the day. I hope I keep this up. I just know how good it is for my health and self esteem. I will continue to make progress reports.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"Be still, and know that I am God"

Sometimes, I feel God speaking into my spirit. I know that He is calling for me to take a moment and calm myself. "Wait! Listen for Me," He says. I find, that the more I seek His presence in my life, the better I get at discerning His voice over my own. Sometimes, I awake with this scripture in my head (Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you). I know He wants me to begin my day focused on Him. Oh, what a day I will have when I devote a few quiet moments to Him. I love those mornings seeking His presence and finding Him there.

When I want to be in His presence, I either get on my knees in prayer or drink in His Word. Last month, I decided that I wanted to read the entire Bible. I have read alot of it before but not all. I want to read it from beginning to end. No jumping around like when I do a study of a topic. I want to cover it all, in the order it was written. Some people say it is hard to read the Bible but I think it all depends on the attitude you have about it. I am eager to find moments to read the Bible. I thirst for His Word. I love to read books, but this is really the most interesting book I have read. The stories and the history of the world have a hold of me. I can't get enough! And thats only Genesis. Today, I begin the book of Exodus. It is amazing to me how strong my Faith has become just devoting this time to the Lord. I feel Him working in the lives and hearts of my family.... Praise be to Thy name.....

Friday, August 7, 2009

How blessed I am!

"Mom"!! Yes, I reply. "Your a good mom." He says this unprompted all through the day. He is the kind of boy you just know is growing up to be a good man. I know how blessed I am to be thier mother. When I tuck them in, He asks for butterfly kisses. Oh, how I wish these moments could last forever.
He will rough house with her, but let her skin her knee and he will carry her home. She fell once from the slide. He come barrelling through the back door with her, blood dripping from her head, him screaming to call 911. He was so upset. She was totally calm. Boo boos all cleaned up and he is still trembling. So afraid she's seriously hurt. The protector, her hero, Bubba.
I was born to be thier mother.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Drugstore game cont...Walgreens

Walgreens is different than CVS. No customer card needed. Each week certain items have Register Rewards back or free after RR back. If the ad states free after RR, then you pay for the item minus any coupons you might have and then the register spits out a RR coupon for the full amout of the item. Then you can use this RR as Walgreens money to buy other things. Just don't turn around and buy the same item and pay with the same RR. The register will not give you the additional RR if paid with the same RR. Each RR has on it the item it was for. An example, if I buy Crest TP for 2.99 -1.00mf. cp= I pay $1.99 oop(out of pocket). Then, I get back a $2.99 RR. I can't go buy another Crest and pay with that $2.99 RR because the register will not print a new RR. I could pay with a different RR or do that same deal again and still get additional RRs. I accumulate RR and stock up on house items of soda 12 packs.

One additional tip, always hand over manf. coupons before RR to cashier. Always have equal/more items than coupons, so not to make register beep on you. Example, if I have 5 coupons I need to have at least five items or more. Through in candy or pencils for cheap fillers.

O.K. get planning, clip your coupons, and go get those deals!! Link your deals back here. Or at least comment on your success. Start with small transactions at CVS and Walgreens until you get the hang of it. Best of Luck!!

For additional explanations go to and click on CVS'ing 101.
Also, every Saturday and has the coming Sunday's drugstore deals with coupon match ups and scenarios for saving.

Today's Bounty!!

O.K. this is what $200.24 in groceries and household items looks like, and I actually paid $83.13 total. I hit three stores today Walmart, Food Lion, and of course Club Pub. For a breakdown of the coupons used checkout,, and for the Foodlion printable store coupons (if Foodlion is a local competitor store for you).

Publix total $54.65
not pictured 14lb. bag kingsford charcoal for 1.99 plus free pork chops
with charcoal purchase coupon .

Walmart total 16.71
Electrosal (price match Dollar general ad for $4.00-2.50 maf.cp. x5=1.50ea.

price match 10lb. potatoes $1.89 local produce market ad.
4 candy bars .50ea-1/2cp=freex2
1.50 strawberry, 1.50 blueberrys (mmmmm blueberry
pancakes for breakfast)

Food Lion total 11.77
.12 baby wipes, bogo Lysol wipes -1.00mf.cpx2
free plums with FLIP, 1.00 Hi-c, hand soap and plastic wrap
less than a dollar using home 360 flip and HA flip,
and 1.79lb. grd. beef at 4lb.s-1.00 flip.

How did you do this week? Don't forget Sunday's paper this week.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The drugstore game.......

Welcome class, today we will be learning the art of! Next to Publix, CVS is my favorite store. Like Publix, CVS is a little pricey unless you know how to make it work in your favor.

Every Sunday the new sales ad comes in the paper. In that CVS ad are items that are labeled free after Extra Care Bucks (ecb for short) and many items that you buy get ecb's back. Let me back up a minute, first thing to do is sign up for the Extra Care card at any CVS. If the applications are not by the door, ask a cashier. O.K. so now you have your extra care card. Register your card online with your e-mail for additional ecb coupons.

In the sale ad are items that you get free after ecb's or nearly free after ecb's & coupons. An example, in this weeks ad are a tone of school supplies for free. I went in Sunday morning to get: transaction #1 compass $.99 get .99 ecb back

scissors 2.99 get 2.99 ecb back

notebook.99 get .99 ecb back

I paid with last weeks roll over ECB of $5.00 + .35tax=.35 out of pocket. I got back one .99ecb+2.99ecb+.99ecb=about 5.00 in extra care bucks to spend. I split my transactions up depending on how many extra care bucks I began with. This way I spend as little out of pocket as possible.

transaction #2 venus razor 8.99 -3.00 paid with previous 5.00ecb and 1.00 cash oop and I got back 3.00ecb as in add. I could go on listing different deal scenarios. Each week is different freebies after extra care bucks. Matching coupons with the sales and the extra care bucks gets some very cheap items. I have managed to stock pile shampoo, bodywash, school supplies, toilet paper, Dunkin Donuts coffee (my favorite), and even wine.

The goal is to roll your ECB's over each week. Use your bucks to buy things that get bucks back. Always match coupons to items for extra savings and scan your card at the store price scanner for additional coupon savings. Yes, the scanner prints coupons. You want to keep track of the running total of your transactions because there is no change back when paying with ECBs. Through in a piece of candy to put you a little over. Sometimes I go "all in" and spend them all on whatever, usually coffee and wine. LOL!! a girl has to have her treats.

Comment below if you have questions. It's a little tricky at first, but you will catch on in no time. Go get um CVS shoppers!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

This is what stockpiling looks like.

Most of what you see here I purchased for pennies on the dollar. I NEVER pay full price for anything and I always have what I need on hand. The best part is, I am able to bless others by giving. I donate to food banks, shelters, and at Christmas shoebox blessings.

Coupon Shopping 101

Several ladies have asked me lately "how do you save so much on your grocery shopping?" Well i'll happily tell anyone who will listen. There are several classes going on out there that teach the "coupon game" but I offer up the 411 for free.

First off, gathering a hefty stash of coupons. The most obvious place to start is the Sunday newspaper. There are usually three inserts in the Sunday paper. They are the Smart Source, Red Plum, and Procter and Gamble. I usually purchase several copies because I like to stock up on certain items therefore I need several of the same coupons. Perhaps you know someone who gets the paper delivered and they don't use the coupons. Maybe they would be your coupon fairy and give you their unused coupons. Either way get at least two copies each Sunday. Then their are printable coupons;,,, All of these sites allow you to print coupons for free. At the site you can print Target coupons that can be used at Target or Publix as a competitor coupon (more about Publix coupon policy later). Also, at the grocery store their are blinkies . These are the little black boxes that hang onto the shelves. I always grab at least four of whatever coupon is hanging out (if we would use the item). Last, the store usually offers monthly flyers, booklets, peelies (stickers on the packages), and somtimes in the sale ad are coupons. Publix has a kiosk at the front of the store and there are always some type of booklet with coupons. You will become a bloodhound for diplays offering coupons. Always grab more than one. I never take a stack of coupons or clear a shelf of an item and I usually leave coupons on the shelf for free items that we do not use (like cat food or litter). So, start being on the look out for those coupons.

Second, You have to get organized.
You will need to figure out a system that will work for you. Some people like to cut out and file coupons by category in a shoebox type of container, or keep the coupon ad intact, dated, in a notebook. I combine these methods. I have a file box for coupons that I have cut out or picked off blinkies. I have a notebook for Sunday flyers. I date them and put them in clear inserts by category. Check out click on her link for coupon organizing system.

O.K. now we have our coupons and they are organized. Next thing to do is plan the shopping trip. I love sites like because she gets the following weeks sales up about four days early. She also tells you were to go to get the right coupon. Forexample, if Kellog's are buy one get one, she will say smart source 6/28/09 1.00 coupon. Then I will go to my notebook, flip to SS dated 6/28 and find the coupon.

Now, different stores have different coupon policy's. Publix (my favorite) the have the best coupon policy. At Publix, they allow one manufacturer coupon combined with one store coupon per item. They also accept competitor store coupons. If you have a Target, Foodlion, or Harvey's (all these stores put out weekly coupons on their websites) nearby then these are competitors for Publix. Even if you purchase buy one get one (bogo), you can still use coupons on the free item. Combining manf. coupons and store (or competitor coupons) with bogo sales often make for free or nearly free items. Sometimes, I end up with overages by combining coupons. This is extra money that comes off the total balance. An example, this week Publix has Degree deoderant for 2.00. I had a 1.25 manf. coupon and I printed a 2.00 Target coupon. The Degree was free plus I made 1.25 for taking it out of the store. I usually have several free plus overage items each week. When buying bogo items always use a coupon on each item. Forexample, lets say Kellog's cereal is 4.00 per box and on sale buy one get one free. I buy two boxes even though one is free and I use my $1.00/1 coupon on each box. I get cereal at $1.00 per box, that is a stockup price. My family likes cereal!!
I also shop using the stockup stockpile method. What that means is, I have a target price that I know is the lowest price an item will go. When it is at it's lowest price and I have matching coupons, I buy several of the item. I also meal plan according to what meats I have or are going to be on sale this week. I like the bags of Publix chicken tenderloins that are 6.99 a bag normally, but once every two months they will be on sale at 4.99 a bag. I buy them up then 6 or 7 bags at a time. Then I freeze them for later, for months even. I do the same thing for hamburger, lunchmeat, steaks, and pork chops, shredded cheese. The past two weeks have been stockup weeks for paper towels and toilet paper. Foodlion has ran some awesome sales on sparkle, brawny, and quilted northern tp. combined with coupons. I have tp and p.towels stacked floor to ceiling in my laundry room.
Not all stores accept coupons like Publix stores do, that is why Publix is the BEST. Foodlion accepts only one store cp. or one manf.cp per item. They also have very good meat prices each week. You have to sign up for there customer loyalty card.

That is coupon shopping in a nutshell. I usually spend about two hours per week planning and organizing. I actually enjoy seeing how much I can get for so little. I want to tell the little old lady scraping by, or the family with the Dad laid off, that there is a way to eat well and healthy without breaking the bank.

Next post, making CVS and Walgreens work for you.

Here are some additional blog sites that organize deals with coupons on a weekly basis.,,, and

Happy Couponing Ladies! Please contact me if you have questions.