Saturday, April 30, 2011

Did Anyone Miss Me?

So it's been a couple weeks since I last posted. I have just been taking some time off to think about things and where my life is headed.

I have yet to hear from school about nursing or respiratory therapy. I did find out the letters for nursing would be mailed out next week. We were supposed to hear mid-April. One day I will learn to not believe in deadlines.

I took Friday off work to take a career readiness test that is required to complete a degree at community college. I thought it started at 9 a.m. but thank goodness I checked online before leaving the house. The test was supposed to start at 9:30 and last until 12:30. But too many people had signed up to take the test and the room was not large enough. Then we had to wait until 10 to get into a bigger room. And if anyone remembers taking the SAT and filling in all of those bubbles, that took about 30 more minutes. A lot of people didn't finish the whole test because they had to go to work or whatever they had planned. There were three sections and each was 45 minutes. Just before the test started, the instructor informed us that we would get a grade on the test. But the grade would be a level 3-7, bronze up to platinum level, and the grade didn't matter. We just had to take the test. But we didn't have to score well on the test. So basically I took a test for 3 hours that didn't matter at all. So much fun!

Matthew got hired on at his job. It was a temp to hire job, but after the manager was fired and a new person came in, it was kind of up in the air as to what would happen. So as of tomorrow, Matthew is officially employed by the company and not the temp agency!

Hopefully next week will bring more good and exciting news! Plus my birthday is in 7 days!

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 14, 16, and 17 Shopping Trips!

(12) Diet Coke 2 Liters $1.33 each
          $1 ECB wyb 3 (limit of 4 ECB) = $12, or $1 each
(1) Gold Coin Candy $1
(2) Coke 20 oz. $1.69 each
          (1) CVS coupon Get an individual drink free up to $2 (and it took off $2)
          (1) $1/2 coupon = $.38, or $.19 each
$4/$20 purchase
$12.50 ECB
Total: $1.99
Savings: $25.94 and I earned a $4 ECB to use next time. And I still have $8.99 ECB left from last time.

Rite Aid
(1) AMO Complete Multipurpose Solution $7.99
          $1/1 coupon on product
          $7.99 SCR = Free, plus a $1.01 moneymaker!
(2) Gillette Body Wash $2.99 each
          (1) Buy one Get one Free coupon = $2.99, or $1.50 each
(2) Stayfree $2.50 each
          (1) $2/2 coupon = $3, or $1.50 each
          $2 +Up Reward wyb 2 = $1, or $.50 each
$12 +Up Rewards
Total: $2.45
Savings: $27.47 and I earned a $2 +Up Reward. I should have also earned $4 +Up Rewards for the Gillette body wash, but they did not print. I may or may not have cried. I'm too cheap to pay $1.50 for body wash haha! I still have $21.98 in +Up Rewards from last time.

(2) Heinz Vinegar 32 oz. $.99 each with in-ad coupon
          (2) $.50/1 coupons = $.49 each
(1) Carefree pantiliners $.99
          $1 RR = Free!
(2) M&Ms $3 each
          (1) $1/2 Walgreens coupon
          (1) $2/2 April All You = $3, or $1.50 each
(1) Reese's $.89
(1) Caramel $.33
$6 RR
Total: $.87
Savings: $13.88 and I earned the $1 RR. I still have a $3 RR left from last week.

Lowe's Foods
(2) Elbow Macaroni $.60 each
(6) Green Giant canned vegetables $.33 each
(2) Krunchers chips $2.50 each
          (2) $.75/1 coupon = $1 each
(10) Diet Caffeine Free Sundrop $1 each (Raincheck from last week)
Total: $16.24
Savings: $18.28

Harris Teeter
Transaction #1:
(1) Caprisun $1.47 (e-vic)
(2) Tony's Pizzas $1.17 each
          (1) $.50/2 = $1.34, or $.67 each
(1) Sorrento Ricotta Cheese $3.99
          (1) $1/1 = $2.99
(2) Yoplait Greek yogurt $1 each
          (1) $.60/2 = $.80, or $.40 each
(1) Sorrento Mozzarella $3.99
          (1) $1/1 = $2.99
(2) Fruit2Days $1 each
          (2) $.45/1 = $.10 each
(1) Softsoap $.99
          (1) $.35/1 = $.29
(1) McCormick ground mustard $2.95
          (1) $1/1 = $1.95
(1) Yakisoba Noodles $1
          (1) $.50/1 = Free!
(1) Wacky Mac $1
          (1) $.40/1 = $.20
(3) Stove Top Stuffing $1.25 each
          (3) $.50/1 = $.25 each
(1) French's Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce $1.69
          (1) $.75/1 = $.19
(1) French's Dijon Mustard $1.99
          (1) $1/1 = $.99
Total: $14.75
Savings: $27.04

Transaction #2:
(1) McCormick black peppercorns $2.49
          (1) $1/1 = $1.49
(2) Stove Top Stuffing $1.25 each
          (2) $.50/1 = $.25 each
Total: $2.07
Savings: $4.50

Menu Plan Monday 4/18-4/24

Monday: Steak Bites with Macaroni and Cheese (I will make it this week!)
Tuesday: Spaghetti and salad
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken with roasted carrots and potatoes
Thursday: Pepper Steak with brown rice
Friday: Leftovers maybe? Or Pizza.
Saturday: Hopefully someone will feed us haha
Sunday: Easter!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Do You Ever Feel Like You Have No Control?

I've been feeling like this a lot lately. I am a planner. I like to schedule my activities (work, eating, sleep, events, etc.). I like to look at my planner and know that on May 7, I will be celebrating my birthday. I like to know that on April 29, I will be taking a career readiness test in order to complete my medical transcription diploma. I like to know that these things are planned and written down well in advance of when they will happen. Perhaps it's a comfort thing. It makes me feel secure having my schedule written somewhere. I don't like change. And maybe I think that if it's written down on paper, that things won't change.

But my entire life as I know it is pretty much in limbo right now. I'm still waiting to hear if I have been accepted into the nursing program or the respiratory therapy program. This wait has been stressful! I think about it every single day!

What if I get into the program, can't work as much, and Matthew loses his job? Or what if I get in, can't work as much, and we can't afford to pay our bills? What if I have to get my own insurance? What if I can't find a part time job to do while I'm going to school? What if I don't get into the program? What if I can't find a job with my medical transcription diploma? What if we can't keep saving money? What if our ac unit goes out? How will we pay for anything major?

These thoughts race through my head day and night. I have been waking up at night with my mind racing and my heart beating so fast, I'm pretty sure it's going to come right out of my chest! I have no control over this situation. Until I have that piece of paper in my hand telling me that I got into the program or that I didn't get into the program, I will not feel comfortable with my life. I just want to know yes or no so that I can go from there and make decisions that need to be made. I am not a last minute person and I feel like at the last minute I'm going to be deciding what to do with my life! I know that I shouldn't let all the what ifs bother me.

If you know anything about me, you know that I don't like to be wrong... ever. I'll admit, it's not a good way to be. But I come by it honestly! I feel like if I make a decision to go into a full time program at school that will not allow me to work as much, that I will be placing a financial burden on Matthew. Personally, I have a problem with Matthew being the sole provider. I know it works for some people, but it would not work for us. I am the one who pays the bills and budgets the money. If he was the one making all the money, I can see how an argument would start if I told him what to do with his money. And I feel that if I am making the decision to bring that financial burden into our lives, then I need to do something to help alleviate the financial pressure. I don't want to pull from savings. I want that money to stay where it is and to never leave!

I just want a definite yes or no. Maybe then I will feel like I've regained some control. I really have no control at all, I just want to feel that I do. I really hope those letters are being sent out soon, before I have a panic attack!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 4/11-4/17

Monday: Baked Tilapia, corn, butterbeans, and salad
Tuesday: Baked Chicken with Macaroni & Cheese
Wednesday: Steak Bites, Potatoes and onions, and salad
Thursday: Hamburger Helper (with turkey)
Friday: Pizza and salad
Saturday: Pepper Steak with brown rice
Sunday: Leftovers

Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Kitchen Redo!

Have you ever seen my kitchen? Want to know why? Because it's so ugly! I love the size of my kitchen and that it is fairly open to the living room. I do not love the color of my kitchen. It's just gross! It's just white... white walls, white trim, white door, white counters, white cabinets, white appliances... well you get the point. There are a few places where you can see red. Perhaps the previous owners had a red kitchen. I don't know what happened, but I have been dreaming of changing it since I first looked at the house. We have put down new vinyl tiles in the kitchen area. They look like slate and are way better than what was there! The dining area has a hardwood floor, but it needs to be refinished because it has a lot of stains and scratches. Now I'm just excited to get it all finished!

This is the paint color I have picked out. I wanted a gray color with a hint of blue. I picked up almost 10 paint cards at Lowe's, and this is the only color I liked. The vision is in my head! And in case you can't visualize it, I came across this blog a couple days ago. They painted their sitting room in the color I picked out (it's the 18th picture down). I also want to get all of my cabinets and trim painted a brighter white. Right now they are kind of dingy looking, so they definitely need freshening up! We've even picked out tile to make a backsplash behind all the counters. And it just so happens that the same people who used the same paint color also used the same tile (the 12th picture down). After seeing what they did, I am even more ready to get this kitchen done!

You may remember me posting about this Craigslist find! We got it in Durham at some cute little shop. It was a deal, and it is the perfect pop of color!
This is in the dining area and right next to the big doorway that opens into the living room.
And I got these for Christmas from my parents! We had added them to our Crate and Barrel wedding registry and I dreamed about them every single day since then. I was so excited to get them and my dad hung them all up for me! I can't wait to see how they look against a painted wall instead of the white!

These are hung up directly behind the dining table. Love them!
My sister bought us this rug as a wedding gift. It has all the colors in it and matches the pictures amazingly well!
 I'm hoping all of this painting can be done soon, maybe by the time my birthday gets here!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 5 Shopping Trip!

Food Lion
(1) Lean Beef Bits (a little over 1 pound) $3.44
(1) Beef Stir Fry (a little over 1 pound) $4.59
          (1) $3/$8 Meat Purchase = $5.03
(1 lb.) Provolone Cheese $3.88
(1 lb.) Oven Roasted Turkey $4.93
Total: $14.12
Savings: $5.23

(4) Pepsi 2 Liters $.99 each
(1) Complete Multii-purpose Contact Solution $8.99
          $8.99 ECB = Free!
(1) Crest Pro-Health Rinse $3.49
          (1) $1/1 coupon = $2.49
          $2.50 ECB = Free!
(1) Right Guard Total Defense Body Wash $3.88
          $3 ECB = $.88
(2) Gumeez Flossers $2 each
          (2) $2 ECB = 2 Free!
(1) Gold Bond Body Wash $5.88
          (1) $2/1 coupon = $3.88
          $3 ECB = $.88
(2) Suave Shampoo $1.77 each
$5/$40 coupon
Total: $27.97
Savings: $20.00, and I'm left with $21.49 in Extra Care Bucks for next time!

Lowe's Foods
(1) 3 pound bag Yellow Onions $1.49
(1) 10 pound bag Potatoes $2.88
(1) Archway Dutch Chocolate Cookies $2.50
          (1) $.45/1 coupon = $1.60
(2) Palermo Supreme Pizzas $6.99 each
          Buy one Get one Free sale
          (1) $1/2 coupon = $5.99, or $3 each
Total: $12.22
Savings: $13.88

Rite Aid
(2) Gillette Fusion Proglide Power Razor $9.99 each
          (2) $3/1 coupons = $6.99 each
          (2) $5 +Up Reward = $1.99 each
(2) Hershey Snapsy Snap Apart Bunny $1.99 each
          (1) $1/2 coupon = $1.49 each
(2) Cadbury Eggs $.88 each
          (1) $.50/2 Rite Aid Video Values coupon = $.63 each
(6) Reese Peanut Butter Eggs $2.44 each
          (1) $1/3 coupon =  $13.64, or $2.27 each
          $10 +Up Reward wyb $20 in candy
          (3) $1 +Up Reward wyb 2 Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs = $.64, or $.10 each
(1) Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish Stick $7.99
(1) Burt's Bees Deep Cleansing Cream $7.99
          (1) $1.50/1 Rite Aid Video Values coupon = $6.49
(1) Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm $6.99
          (1) $1/1 Rite Aid Video Values coupon = $5.99
          (1) $2/$10 Rite Aid Video Values coupon
          $5 +Up Reward wyb $15 in Burt's Bees products
          $5 Rite Aid Gift Card wyb $20 in Burt's Bees products = $8.46, or $2.82 each
(2) Gillette Deodorants $4 each
          (2) $1/1 coupons = $3 each
          $2 +Up Reward wyb 2 = $2 each
(2) Gillette Body Wash $4.99 each
          (2) Buy one deodorant Get one body wash free coupons = 2 Free!
(2) Scunci Elastic hairbands 18 count $1.99 each
          (2) $1.99 +Up Reward = 2 Free!
(1) Tena Serenity Ultra Thin Pads $9.99
          (1) $2.50/1 coupon = $7.49
          $9.99 single check rebate = Free + $2.50 moneymaker!
Total: $68.19
Savings: $59.75, and I have $28.98 in +Up Rewards to use next time! I also will be submitting for my single check rebate and gift card totaling $14.99!

(2) Kotex Ultra Thin 18 count $3.50 each
          (2) $1/1 coupons = $2.50 each
          $3 Register Reward wyb 2 = $1 each
(1) Colgate 6 oz. $2.99
          (1) $.75/1 coupon = $2.24
          $3 Register Reward = Free + $.76 moneymaker!
(1) Almay Mascara $7.99
          40% Sale = $4.79
          (1) $2/1 coupon = $2.79
          (1) $2/1 Walgreens coupon = $.79
(4) Pepsi 12 packs $3.25 each
          $3 Register Reward wyb 4 = $10, or $2.50 each
Total: $15.18
Savings: $27.79 because I used $8 in Register Rewards, and I am left with $9 in Register Rewards for next time!

Harris Teeter
(6) Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts 13.02 lbs. @ $1.66 lb. = $21.61
(1) HT Garden Salad $2.47
(2) Pepperidge Farm Layer Cakes $2.32 each
          (2) $.55/1 coupons = $1.22 each
Total: $27.09
Savings: $51.24

I spent a total of $164.77 on this trip, but if you include all of the rewards I received, I really would have only spent $90.31. Nearly $22 of that was chicken, $14.12 for beef and deli products, and another $14 was soft drinks! That leaves $40.19 for everything else!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 4/4-4/10

Monday: Thai Chicken Wraps with Peanut Sauce (never made it last week)
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Hamburger Helper (with turkey) and broccoli
Thursday: Ravioli with garlic bread and salad
Friday: Baked Fish with corn and salad
Saturday: Baked Chicken with Macaroni & Cheese
Sunday: Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas, stewed okra and rotel tomatoes, and brown rice

30 Days of Truth - Day 29

Something I hope to change about myself and why...

Hmm... I want to continue to lose weight and be healthier overall and that of course comes with learning to cook healthier and exercising more regularly. Or just exercising in general.

Friday, April 1, 2011

March 31 Shopping Trip!

Rite Aid
(1) Neutrogena Original Transparent Facial Bar $2.99
(2) Neutrogena Acne Prone Transparent Facial Bar $3.19 each
          Buy one Get one Half off Sale
          $5 +Up Reward wyb 3 = $2.77, or $.92 each
(2) Stayfree 16 count $2.49 each
          (2) $1/1 coupons = $1.49 each
          $1.49 +Up Reward wyb 2 = $1.49, or $.75 each
Total: $3.74
Savings: $14.60, an 80% savings! I used $8 in +Up Rewards, and I am left with $6.49 in +Up Rewards for next time!

Walgreens had a coupon for 15% off your total purchase, but it could only be used yesterday. The 15% was applied before any products were scanned, so the prices I have are not the list price, but the price after that 15% discount.
(3) Skintimate Shave Gel $1.70 each
          (3) $.55/1 coupons = $3.35, or $1.15 each
(1) Edge Shave Gel $1.70
          (1) $.55/1 coupon = $1.15
          (2) $2 Register Reward wyb 2 Skintimate or Edge Shave Gel = $.60, or $.15 each
(4) Geisha Mushrooms 4 oz. $.50 each with in-ad coupon, after 15% they were $.42 each
(2) Colgate Toothpaste 4 oz. $2.55 each
          (1) $1.50/1 coupon
          (1) $1/1 coupon = $2.60, or $1.30 each
          $4 Register Reward wyb 2 Colgate Toothpastes = 2 Free + $1.40 moneymaker
(2) Domino Light Brown Sugar 1 lb. $.79 each with in-ad coupon, but somehow they rang up at $.54 each
          (1) $.75/2 coupon = $.33, or $.17 each
Total: $10.19
Savings: $17.77, a 64% savings, but I am left with $8 in Register Rewards to use next time!