Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Garden Progress

We got a late start in planting our garden, but we're finally starting to think we may get to harvest some vegetables before it freezes up here. The peas are doing great, beans are starting to grow tiny beans, lots of blossoms on the cucumbers. The carrots are still growing, also. The pumpkins have blossoms, so hopefully we'll have some by Halloween! We have Lilliput zinnias blooming, and cosmos that are getting tiny buds.

Peas growing up the fence.

Pumpkin blossoms.

Our square foot gardens.

Extra Coupons

The Sunday Star Tribune has the best coupon inserts up here, but they also sell out quickly, so I missed out last weekend. Barry was traveling home from Indiana, so when I talked to him in the morning I asked him to pick up a paper or two from his stops along the way. He bought 5 for me, so I have lots of coupons from the inserts. What a guy--he knows me well!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Eight Months

Ollie is eight months old today! He's just started crawling in the last week or so. For some reason, he likes to crawl to the kitchen. I would think ceramic tile would be hard on his hands and knees, but it doesn't seem to bother him. I've also seen him lying down on his belly licking the floor--gross! But kinda funny. He can also pull himself to standing if there's something low and sturdy enough he can grab onto.
He still only has two bottom teeth, but I think more will be poking through soon. I also had to get out size 12 months pants as his belly was just too big for smaller sizes. The other kids usually move up in shirt size before pants, but not this roly poly!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Arts and Crafts

With Barry and Jackson gone last week, I had a chance to do some arts and crafts projects with Raina. Although I am by no means an artist, I do enjoy the artistic process, even if I'm not totally satisfied with the end result.
First we made paper bag puppets: Mabel and Emily

Next we painted with Piet Mondrian as our inspiration. Remy joined in with his own painting.

Then we made abstract art colorings.

Last we made flowers out of caps from milk and orange juice jugs and water bottle covers.

The artist with her work:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Backyard Water Park

Barry and Jackson filled the backyard with every possible kiddie pool/sprinkler/water toy on Saturday for our very own backyard water park.

Only 29%

I only saved 29% ($44.60) at Super One last week, but when I get a $20 rebate from Kraft, it will be like I saved 57%. Kraft had a buy $20, get back a $20 rebate last week, so I bought all this for $21.82, used $3.74 in coupons, so paid $17.68 total and will get back $20, making $2.32 on this deal.

Klement's beef sticks: 2/$6-$2 coupon=$1

Drano: Used FREE coupon, saving $4.29, and it printed a "save $1 on your next order" catalina coupon. I wanted to use this coupon before it expired at the end of the month.
Milk: $1.77 each (usually around $3)
Also adding to the lower savings rate was buying coffee, charcoal and razors.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Walgreens gets its own post as I took advantage of some Register Reward deals. I paid in four transactions to maximize the Register Rewards (RR):
#1: Bought 3 Reach toothbrush 2-packs at $3 each, used $1 coupon and buy one get one free coupon=$5 plus tax, got $6 RR back.
#2: Bought 2 boxes of Band Aids at $2.99 each, used 2-$0.50 coupons=$4.98
Coffee filters, 200 pack for $0.99
Two backpacks at 2/$9.99
Used $6 RR from #1, paid $9.96 plus tax, got $4 RR back for the Band Aids
#3: Bought Colgate Total at $2.99, used $0.75 coupon=$2.24
Filler paper for $0.49
6 folders at $0.19 each
Glue at 2/$1
Used $4 RR from #2, paid $0.87 plus tax, used part of a remaining balance on a $5 cash card from a box of cereal, got $2.99 RR from Colgate
#4: Bought 2 Lysol toilet cleaner at 2/$3, used $0.50 coupon on each=$1 each
2 Huggies wipes at $3.29-$2 Walgreens coupon on each-$0.75 mfg. coupon on each=$0.54 each
6 Mini notebooks at $0.19 each
2-96 ct. packs of construction paper at 2/$1.99
Used $2.99 RR from #3, paid $3.21 plus tax from my PayPal account that had a few dollars in it

In all, I paid $22.22 and saved $59.61, or about 73%. Considering I would/could have paid $22.22 just for one backpack, not to mention everything else, I think that's a pretty good savings rate!

School Shopping

The whole family went school shopping on Wednesday. We're shopping for two kids now, since Raina will be in kindergarten. We always stock up on fun stuff this time of year.
Office Max has $0.01 notebooks, with a limit of 3 per customer, so Raina, Jackson and I each got 3. Can't beat 9 notebooks for $0.09!
Shopko had folders for $0.10 each, notebooks for $0.19 each, markers for $0.99 or $1.29, crayons for $0.20, glue for $0.20. They also had Scotch glue stick 2 packs for $0.59 each, I used a $0.50/2 coupon, making each 2-pack $0.34. And Bic pens were $0.89 each. I bought 4 packs and used 2 $1/2 coupons, making each pack $0.39.
At Target (which was way busier than Shopko) we got lunch boxes for both kids (Raina picked one with princesses on it, Jackson's is blue with a water bottle included), 2 boxes of 64 crayons at $1.70 each, 3 little calculators at $1 each, and more crayons and markers.
We also stocked up on socks and underwear for the family--even Diego and Sesame Street for Remy. I plan to work on potty training once school starts. $50 on socks/underwear doesn't sound like a great deal, but it was 5 packs of underwear total and 4 packs of socks.
Some non-school deals:
Cover Girl blush was $3.79-$1 Target coupon-$1 mfg. coupon=$1.79.
Kotex Lightdays were $2.70-$2 Target coupon-$1 mfg. coupon=$0.05 money maker.
Twix/Snickers/3 Musketeers candy bars are $0.52 each; I bought 6=$3.12-buy one get one free Target coupon=$2.60-3 $1/2 mfg. coupons=$0.40 money maker.
We also got some clothes and shoes for the kids. Raina likes sparkly, stars, butterflies on her clothes. Jackson likes jeans and tees.
Overall, not exactly a bargain shopping day, but there were some bargains here and there. They're mostly ready now, except I need to figure out where to get a nap mat for Raina (who hasn't napped since she was 2 years old, but I guess she'll be able to use the down time in the middle of a long day at school.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Science Week

Last week was Science Week in our house.
Monday: We did a couple of baking soda and vinegar experiments. First the kids poured a spoonful of vinegar into baking soda and watched it bubble. Then they did the "dancing raisin" experiment--water, raisin, baking soda and vinegar. The raisin forms bubbles around it, the bubbles make the raisin more buoyant, it floats to the top, the bubbles pop, the raisin sinks, and the process repeats. Remy hasn't learned how to follow directions yet. He grabbed a handful of raisins for his jar, tried to eat them, and dumped the jar out.

Waiting for the raisins to dance.

Tuesday: Jackson was at the office with Barry and Remy was napping, so Raina and I did a "Sink or Float" experiment. We gathered 20 objects around the house, filled a big bowl with water, and tested them. Raina kept track, and we had 13 float and 7 sink.

A rock sinks.

My little scientist.

Raina tallies the results.

Wednesday: We made oobleck. Mix 1 1/2 cups cornstarch and 1 cup water. Food coloring is optional. This makes a substance that is both liquid and solid. You could feel in the bottom of the bowl like it was wet sand, but when you pick it up in your hand it does not hold shape, but acts like a liquid. The kids had fun playing with it and made quite a mess!

Mixing up the oobleck.

Remy squishes it in his hands.

Jackson is not sure he wants to touch it.

Thursday: We went grocery shopping and did not do any science.
Friday: I was babysitting a little girl for the day, so we did not do any science.
Saturday: We were doing other things around the house and at the office, so we did not do any science.
Sunday: We did the Mentos/Diet Coke experiement. I threaded a small pack of Mentos onto a large paper clip and Jackson dropped it into the Diet Coke. We all watched it fountain out of the bottle! I'll try get the video posted soon.

Monday: Finishing science with a nature walk this morning, then the kids will make an art project with the things they find on our walk, transitioning us into Art Week!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cereal and More

Kellogg's had some good coupons out in last weekend's inserts, and Super One had them on sale 10/$15 this week (after $10 store coupon). Along with the coupons was a $10 rebate on 10 items, so after the rebate I'll have 10 items for $1.
Other deals:Lynden Farms fries: $0.99
Wanchai Ferry frozen dinners: $7.97, buy one get one free store coupon, used 2-$2 coupons, making each package $1.99
Cole's mini toast: $0.99
Westfield Farms cheese: $2.39, buy one get one free store coupon=$1.20 each (also bought two blocks of cheese for this price)
Reddi Wip: 2/$4, used $1 and $0.50 coupons=$1.25 each, and got a FREE Hunt's Snack Pack pudding

Hunt's Snack Pack puddings: 10/$10 (bought 5), 1 FREE for buying Reddi Wip, used 2 $1/2 coupons=$0.40/pack
Blueberries: $0.97
Schweigert summer sausage: 2/$4, used $1 coupon=$1
Anatina pasta: FREE when you bought 5 Hunt's tomatoes
Suave shampoo/conditioner: $0.88, used $1/2 and 2 $0.50 coupons=$0.38 each
Renuzit air fresheners: 10/$10 (bought 3), used buy 2 get 1 free coupon, $0.67 each
Hunt's tomatoes: 10/$10 (bought 5), used buy 1 get 1 free coupon=$0.80 each
Hunt's spaghetti sauce: 10/$10 (bought 2), used buy 1 get 1 free coupon=$0.50 each
Chef Boyardee: 10/$10 (bought 2), used buy 1 get 1 free coupon=$0.50 each. I personally don't eat this stuff, but Barry will eat it for lunch sometime
Bumblebee tuna: $0.67-$0.25 coupon=$0.42

I saved $124.95 shopping sales and using coupons--44%. This was even with buying 2 big packages of pork chops, a family pack of hamburger, big pack of boneless/skinless chicken breasts and big pack of boneless/skinless chicken thighs, plus shrimp, breakfast sausage, and summer sausage (about $40 in meat). I used so many coupons, the cashier got confused when it said coupon limit reached, called the manager (she just had to scan her card), and the manager said, "She just knows what she's doing!"

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kids Play

It's funny sometimes how kids play. Like Remy loves to play with Jackson's mini wrestlers, and make them ride Diego's sled dog and ride in Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s car.