Saturday, February 20, 2010

In the Grocery Game

Tonight (as in Friday because as I write, it's after midnight), I successfully completed my first strategic shopping trip armed with coupons and a list. 

For a grand total of $65.14 (including tax), I brought home:


Bubby is going to be pumped when he gets this for his 3rd birthday next weekend, but I'm not sure if he'll be as excited as I was when I paid only $19.99 for it!  I cannot attribute this amazing deal to coupons or bargain tips, but only to Jesus because it was basically a fluke that I even looked at the bikes while I was in Meijer.  "Every good gift comes from above" right?  :-)

My total savings for this trip was $51.05!!  

Many thanks go to Crystal, the Money Saving Mom for listing the Meijer deals of the week!  Reading her blog has really inspired me to put in the time and effort to save money at the grocery.  If you want to know how to get in the "grocery game," I highly recommend you check out this economommy.  I know that's not a word but I really like the sound of it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Zip List Love

Have you ever taken the time to write out a grocery list and then left it at home.  When that happens to me, I never realize it until I've taken the kids out of the car and gotten them situated in a shopping cart with snacks and entertainment.  As frustrating as it is that I carefully took inventory of my cupboards, fridge, and freezer only to forget what we actually need, there is no way I'm disturbing my babies (who are currently acting like angels) to run back to the house and start over.  The end result is that our pantry ends up being filled with fruit snacks, oatmeal, and chips and the freezer is overflowing with 15lbs. of ground beef because I keep buying more always thinking that I'm almost out.  A waste of time and money.

Thankfully, I came upon an awesome online service called ZipList.  Did I mention it's FREE??  Head over to and see for yourself how wonderfully fun and efficient it is!  If you're wondering why you should take some of your precious time (if you're reading this you're probably a mom, which means that every minute of every day is valuable) to check out this service then here are the top 10 reasons why I love ZipList:
  1. You can access the list by the web, mobile web, email, text, or IM.
  2. An online recipe box is included with your membership that allows you to add the ingredients directly to your shopping list.
  3. As you add items to your list, they are automatically organized by category (i.e. produce, breakfast, meats).
  4. There is a store database with an aisle map of each store which will organize your list in order of the aisles.
  5. You can enter coupon info for each item (never forget to save money again).
  6. The site is very easy to navigate, super user-friendly.
  7. It's free!
  8. Meal planning is so much easier with all of these tools rolled into one.
  9. If you take advantage of all ZipList has to offer you will save time and money when you shop.
  10. ZipList has already released an iPhone app which doesn't really do much for me, but I asked if there were plans for an Android app and they said that if there is enough interest then they will develop one.  Woohoo! 

As if all this weren't awesome enough...head over to and check out her ZipList Gift Pack giveaway.  While you're there, check out all of the money and time saving info this brilliant blogging mommy has to offer.  In the short time I've been following, I've learned lots of tips and tricks that have made my life as Mom so much easier.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Commitment Phobia

I'm having blog commitment issues.  This marks attempt #3 at blogging and the first two were obvious fails.  Part of the problem is that it's just not as fun without any followers.  Noticing that I had gained one more reader gave me the oomph I needed to even write this post!  Alas, I feel I am a mere blip in the blogging world.  I am resolving to press on though, and work at making this a blog worth reading.  I don't want to go down in internet infamy as the girl who never finished a blog.  From this day forward you can call me committed!  Now if I could just decide if I want to change my title...

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Blizzard of 2010?

Mass hysteria seems to have erupted here in Ohio as people prepare for the winter storm that the weather man keeps telling us is coming.  I was so excited to go grocery shopping today without my children.  I love my kids but I cannot stand taking them on a long grocery trip.  They whine, they get bored, they get hungry, they get tired, and then the whole trip falls apart in utter chaos.  If you have children under 3, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

So today I had my babysitter come over while I went out to all the local supermarkets to supply us for the month.  I did my menu planning, checked the sale ads, and cut coupons, marking out which store had the best deals for the items I needed.  I figured it was worth it to go to 4 different locations if I was able to stock up for the month on less than $400.  Besides quick trips to replenish things that we go through faster than the Duggars, like bread and milk, I was happy knowing that I could avoid going to the store with children in tow later.

Little did I know that people would be at Giant Eagle trying to stock their pantries in case we all get snowed in Friday.  People were acting very similarly to the way they did in anticipation of Y2K...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Woes of Rotavirus **Warning: contains some yuckiness**

Someone should write a job description for motherhood and include a strong stomach as one of the qualifications.  When I used to play house as a little girl, I never pretended my dolls were struck by an illness which would require me to clean up things that emitted odors that no one should have to inhale.  There are some things in life that no one thinks to prepare you for.  You might think I'm being dramatic, but in the almost 3 years that I have been a mother, I have never experienced anything as revolting as Rotavirus. 

No decent mother enjoys seeing her child sick.  It's especially disheartening to force an ill child out of the comfort of their home and into the doctor's office only to hear that "it's a virus and all you can do is let it run it's course."  This virus' course has been full hills, sharp turns, and rocky terrain!

It all started on Saturday when Bubby spiked a fever of almost 102 after his nap.  Despite the objections of some family and friends, I fully believe in allowing a fever to serve it's purpose without being quelled by medication.  My son didn't complain of any discomfort but was very lethargic so I supplied him with as much water as he would drink and put him in bed with a movie (yes, I am that mom who allows her preschooler to have a tv in his room).  I ended up giving him one dose of Tylenol before bed to help him through the night and expected the fever to be gone by morning.  Hubby and I decided to go to separate church services so that the kids could stay home, even though Bubby's fever had almost dissipated by Sunday morning.

I no more than checked my son's sickness off of my prayer list then he threw up in bed early Monday morning.  As a morning person, there are many things that I enjoy waking up to...a child bewildered by and covered in puke is not one of them.  Bubby has never thrown up before so the poor kid had no clue what was going on.  Likewise, Mommy had never dealt with another person's vomit.  I was stumbling around in his bedroom, which was lit by only a single night light, half asleep and without glasses trying to calm him, clean him, and keep down dinner.  It was at this point that I asked the Lord why He had not roused my husband from sleep, who does not have a serious aversion to putrid smells.  I made a mental note that this was the most disgusting thing I had ever encountered in parenting.

Alas, the virus that I was unaware Bubby had is a showy thing and decided to outdo itself the next day!  Hubby (who I now suspect is secretly as squeamish as I am), woke me just before 7 a.m. to ask me what the smell was coming from our son's room.  This time I armed myself with glasses so that I could see what I was getting myself into.  I half wish I would have went in blind because the smell and the sight together were almost more than I could handle.  My little angel was sleeping peacefully, covered in diarrhea!  I don't know how he could breathe in his room, let alone be asleep right on the midst of the mess.  I quickly bumped last night's encounter with bodily fluids down a spot on the most disgusting list.

After forcing Bubby into his car seat screaming and crying, literally carrying both him and Sissy into the doctor's office, listening to him assert to anyone who so much as looked at him that, "I am not sick," the doctor finally arrived to heal my child.  Of course, as soon as she told me how "well-mannered and friendly" my child is, he began screaming and kicking because "she was trying to hurt him" when she checked his stomach.  Thinking this would all be worth it to have my healthy and happy preschooler back, I'm told to give him plenty of fluids, wash hands, disinfect toys, and wait for the end of Rotavirus.

Viruses are the worst because you really can't make them better, no matter how much they ask you to.  So I spent the day holding my almost 3 year old and trying to be attentive to my 18 month old while trying to prevent them from swapping germs.  Good times.  :)  I'm praying this thing is over soon and that it doesn't begin to cycle between my two children...