Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crazy Coupon Lady (it's worse than cats)

I've always been more of the annoyed eye roller when the little old lady pulls out a stack of 50 coupons while I'm standing behind her with a loaf of bread and milk.

And then we got pregnant and I read that we may end up spending $448,000 by the time we ship our kid off to college. Everything changed.

One day I came home to a husband who told me we were about to become Extreme Couponers. Anyone who knows my husband understands life will never get boring with him. This is one hobby I decided I could try. Our first trip happened to fall on Marsh's triple coupon week. With a little help from we spent $30 and got all of these groceries:
That's a $64 savings just by using our Marsh card and coupons during triple coupon week.

Next up: CVS. Holy CVS bucks. Why have I always ignored you? Here is how we approached CVS:

1. Get a copy of your Sunday paper
2. Check out the ad and circle anything that gives you extra care bucks or green card bucks. With green card bucks, you get $10 back for every $30 you spend.
3. Make a list of the items you actually need that get you extra care bucks or green card backs.
4. Check for additional manufacturer coupons on those items. Print off those coupons.
5. Go to CVS and only buy the items on your list. (This is the secret). Stay focused and don't stray from the  extra care bucks path.
6. Buy items, use coupons and use your CVS card.

Normally this alone would have run me $7:
But we got all of this for $7:
How did we do it?
Our original cost was $55. We had an existing $10 in extra care bucks and a 25% off all items coupon from our last trip. We used $10 worth of manufacturer coupons and got $18 back in CVS bucks. Bam. $7. Not bad!

Please keep a few things in mind:
The planning takes time. If you are an impatient person (like me), realize there is a learning curve and you do need to pre-plan your trips. Organization is also key. With the bigger grocery stores you need to divide your coupons into categories or you may lose your mind. CVS is a two-step process. The extra care bucks are key and you need to build that stash to see the real savings. 

Happy savings!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Exercise-my drug of choice

I had a moderately rough first trimester and as I rolled into my second trimester, it hit me. I had sacrificed my sacred 30-45 minute daily workout. Of course I was feeling sluggish and fat, I wasn't doing anything to help my body.
I tried a few boring prenatal yoga DVDs and the women leading the videos talked to me like I was on my death bed. One woman even had an assistant bring her a stool. I never felt challenged. My sister called me early one Saturday morning to tell me about her favorite pregnancy workout DVD: The Perfect Pregnancy Workout.
I immediately put the DVD on hold at the library and five days later it was in my possession. The minute I got home from work I put the DVD in. Karyne Steben is a world-class acrobat formerly with Cirque du Soleil. I knew instantly she wasn't going to take it easy on me. This DVD combines pilates, yoga and strength training. One minute you're doing push-ups and the next minute you're stretching and breathing deeply.
This DVD honestly saved my life. I instantly had more energy. I felt toned, strong and confident. I was no longer tired or nauseous. Moving into month 6, I'm not sure I've ever felt this strong.
I am a firm believer to achieve overall wellness we need to spend time working on our bodies every single day. It has been my drug of choice for years and when I stop taking it, I'm a different person.