Last night I stayed up until 12 midnight helping Brent fix his vehicle. I am not particularly excited about how I stayed up, or the fact that the car didn't end up fixed, but I am proud of the fact that I looked at the skematics for his pullys and said "hey, this is the way I think it should go" and helped him decide the way that was right, and then I -- dun dun da dun -- got my hands oily and nasty and gross because I actually had my hands down in the engine right along with him pulling the belt around the pullys and tugging and shifting things. When we got in the shower after the fact we had to use dishsoap and a bristle brush (my dishes brush actually) scrub and scrub and scrub and get the grease off. My hands are still that stained mechanic look, and theres some gunk on the sides of my nails that I can't get off. Maybe that's gross, but I am incredibly proud of the fact that I stayed up late and got my hands dirty right along with my hubby.
We didn't get it all back together right, because we couldn't physically pull it hard enough to get the belt around the last pully -- its supposed to be incredibly tight and so obviously it's hard to get it there. But, we sure tried and man I'm tired today because I had gotten up at 7:30 to go to my OB appt (baby's about 4 lbs now and will be along in 6 weeks or less) and then I worked and then went to cell group and then came home and worked on Brent's car till midnight, and then got up at 5:45 am because we are sharing a car right now and Brent worked at 7am so I had to take him and then come back home, get dressed, get the kids dressed and fed, and then back out the door to the sitters and then to work and got here right exactly on time and now I'm ready to fall asleep on my desk!
Oh, Reason numbero dos that I am super proud of myself is the amount of money I saved this weekend. I went shopping with my friend Tamara who has become a huge cupon clipper and she uses this website to stack her cupons with sales and gets stuff cheap/free. Let me list all the things that I got this weekend with her for a total of $22.
1) An 8 lb spiral ham -- origonally cost $25 and was marked down at the store a few weeks ago (i might've mentioned this before?) and Tamara called me and asked if I was interested and I paid about $5 for it (well she bought it and I paid her back)
2)5 (8oz) blocks of Kraft cheddar cheese -- FREE after cupons and the sale
3)Men's 3-in-1 shampoo/conditioner/body wash by Perts -- FREE after cupons and sale
4)2 cans of comet powder -- 15c each after cupons and sale
5)2 sticks of some brand of chapstick -- free after cupons and sale
6)10 cans of Hunts tomato sauce/paste -- 50c each after sale and register rewards
7)5lbs of medium quality hamburger -- $8 (that's about $1.60/lb)
and a few various other goodies that were just for fun and not on sale or anything. So I guess I actually spent $18 on amazing priced items and $4 on normal stuff. Anyway, I'm super excited about how all this works and Tamara is too so we're getting a bunch of stuff free. How does this work you may ask? Let me explain.
This week, Walmart's 8oz Cheese Nips boxes are $1 each. On the website above, there's a link to a manufacture's cupon for $2 off when you buy 2. So you buy 2 Cheese Nips in the 8oz size at the sale price and get the $2 off and you pay nothing! (well taxes on $2 but that's unavoidable really). Or, at Rite Aid this week, the Ganier Fructis Hair Care is on sale for $2.50. There's a $1 off any one bottle from the paper that was published on the tenth. And, there's a printable cupon on the manufacture's website. Stack the cupons and you just bought a bottle of $4 shampoo for 50c. Then there's the "Register Rewards" that alot of places are doing right now to get you to shop there more. Walgreens, for instance, had one particular flavor of chapstick on sale for $2.99 a stick. You got $2 in RR when you purchased it, making the Walgreens ad claim it was $1 (you actually pay the cash and get a $2 off voucher back, but Tamera has been doing it for a while so she already had a bunch of vouchers so we didn't go out of pocket because we paid with a $2 voucher). We got online and printed off a $1 off cupon and voila -- free chapstick.
It's definitely something you have to be into for a while before you save alot because you have to match cupons with the right sales to save the most. Sometimes, it's just being observant -- the comet was 2/$1 at Walgreens and we had a cupon from that weeks paper for 35c off each can you purchased. So we used 2 cupons because it was 2 cans, and it was already on sale for 2/$1 and that made it 30c total, 15c a can. And that stuff is usually $1.29 a can. Here's the plan though -- if I can buy 2 cans of comet at 15c a can, next time I need it I won't be paying $1.29 for a can, I've already spent my 15c and it's in my cabinet. I may not need that shampoo stuff for Brent yet because he still has stuff from Christmas, but when he's out of that, we have a $5 bottle waiting for him that was FREE. If I stock up when it's free or basically free, I won't have to spend the money later. And that's good because later I'll be on maternity leave and I am only getting a little over $900 for an entire 6 weeks of leave and that SUCKS.
I am going to go apply for foodstamps during that time when I have no income and we'll get em for a few months at least. The medicaid lady actually suggested it - I thought it'd be cheating the system but she said that if I was on leave - even for just 6 weeks - then we only had 1 income and that income is low enough to qualify us for foodstamps. And if we qualify, then GET THEM. She said they usually re-evaluate every 6 months, but even if it's only for a month or two, it'll be better than nothing.
So I looked up online and the foodstamp benefit for a family of 5 is $763 a month! What kind of family of 5 needs $763 a month?!?!?! But that's what the gov thinks I need and if I don't use it it's just lost to no-where. So my plan is to stock up on non-perishables and things that I can freeze during that $763/month and that will help us in future. It's like what I was doing buying 10 cans of tomato sauce. Do I need 10 cans right now? No. Will I use 10 cans over a course of time? Yes. Would I pay ALOT more by buying them one at a time? Yes. Same concept with the hamburger. 5lbs of hamburger is ALOT. But, I cooked it all that night and seperated it into bags the size of meals and froze most of it. That stuff stays good forever. And I only saved about 20c a lb but I got a nicer quality meat and I actually put it all away so it's not what usually happens where I cook a lb, use half, and leave the other half sitting on the counter till I realize it the next morning and have to feed it to Oden. And, it's the same concept with that ham -- can my family eat that much ham? No! But if I cook it, devide it and freeze it, we won't be buying meats for quite some time. And meat is the most expensive stuff we buy. Between meat and the stuff I can backstock during foodstamps and WIC, I really won't have to spend much in groceries. And if this cuponing thing keeps up, I don't have to spend alot of money on shampoos and toothpaste and stuff like that.
Anyways, thats what's up in my life right now. I gotta start thinking about our trip to SC because its in 3 days and I should really at least decide what time we're traveling!!!