Thursday, February 25, 2010

SUCKERPUNCHED: Debts 3, 4 & 5!

We no longer have a Best Buy credit card, Alaska Airlines Visa and a personal loan living with us.  We were not sad to say goodbye to them as they were boorish guests.  Accruing interest, paying for items we bought months ago-these are not worries any more with these debts, 'cause they're gone!

We were able to knock out these three by using our tax return.  We were obligated to set aside around $4000 more of the tax return (total return=$7200) because of the crappiest thing: the sewer is coming to our neighborhood this summer and we are determined to not borrow any more money.  We are estimating our cost will be around $7000, so we'll be adding the rest from money Mike will be making this spring from coaching.  We also set aside $500 of the $4000 for car repairs that we're anticipating.

I know it's not a good thing to be getting a large tax return (in a nutshell, the government is getting to use your money without any benefit to you-you are not gaining interest on it), but part of that is that we claim 5 children and don't have a giant income.

So now on to much bigger debts that will take longer pay off, but we are very driven and keep pressing on!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What the heck is this....?

Saturday I picked up a deal off the clearance table at Staples.  Now, my mind is not normally in the gutter, but I just couldn't help thinking this looked like something else.  That something else I'm not going to say, but I'm guessing maybe you're thinking the same thing as me?  Or maybe I'm just residing in the gutter too long:)

Ok, so I got 25 of my favorite pens in a fabulous giant, albeit stubby sized pen holder that doubles as a piggy bank for $3.  I thought $2 would have been a better price, but we were in desperate need of some pens.  My nine year old son was thrilled with all those pens and the container (now he can write his music) and save money at the same time-two of his favorite things to do!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rolling Deals

I've been thinking about my shopping and how much it has changed lately.  A lot of what I do now is buying items that will give me a coupon off my next shopping trip (known as a Catalina coupon-they print at the end of your checkout).  Albertsons and Walgreens are the two places I visit the most for those.  What's kind of funny to me is that you can buy an item and in the ad they claim it's "free" after you get the coupon, yet you had to shell out some bank.  So to me, its hard to say it's really free.  What do you think?  Here's the transaction I did today:

Nutrisse Hair Color x 2=$11.98 (yes, I color my hair-not ready to go salt-n-pepper yet!)
Fructis Conditioner $3.34
Fructis Mousse $3.33
Fructis Hairspray $3.33
Dessert Cup 39¢ (Not in picture.  This was a "filler" item, supposed to be 9¢ on clearance.  This makes all my coupons work out.  Click here to see what I'm talking about)

Then I forked over $14.00 in mfg. coupons/register rewards
Total w/tax=$20.09
Then, I got back two Register Rewards- $3 and $10 off my next trip.

This is where most people deduct the $13 in register rewards and say, "Look!  I only spent $7.09 for all that stuff!"  Did I or didn't I?  I guess it's an "all comes out in the wash" kind of thing.
Thanks Frugal Chic Living for the help with Walgreens coupons.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January Grocery Totals

This was a good month for shopping, or maybe I'm just getting the hang of this whole coupon thing!  So, for this month, the total is:

$259.69=total spent on food
$213.20=store savings
$184.63=manufacturer coupons used 

We beat last month by quite a bit.  I had so much left over ($200), I was able to knock out our two smallest debts (I also threw the money  I made from sewing and some rebates that came in last week at these debts and at debt #3 in the snowball).  I'll continue to budget $500 for food/household items for the next few months to see if I can continue this money-saving trend.  Any left over will be dumped on our debt.
(Like that naked chicken?  Something about cleaning a whole chicken always creeps me out-I  imagine that there used to be a head there!)

The Quaker Guy Is HOT!

Man, I love a good deal!  This week at Albertsons they have a Quaker promo going on: buy 5 participating items for $5.  Just so happened that there was a manufacturers coupon out there for $3 off 5 Quaker items, so that makes it $2 for 5.  After it was all said and done, I paid $15.20 for 50 Quaker items!  I had a $5 coupon that I also used.  That's 30¢ an item!  My receipt printed out that I tendered $152.10 in coupons (store and mfg.)  Woo-hoo and cha-ching!  Scary thought that my kids would eat all that sugar cereal, so we're going to share the love and donate some of it to the Mead Food Bank.