Sunday, August 30, 2009


I was sitting in the morning service this morning listening to our pastor bring us a sermon from the Book of John. He just started his series on John a few weeks ago so we were finishing up the first chapter. He was pointing out the part where Christ calls the first disciples (John 1:35-42) and points out the excitement these men had and how they immediately went out and started telling others that they had found the Messiah.

He gave a modern day illustration of how excited we get in our lives when we find something we think is a great. It could be a new restaurant, it could be a new product, or a sale. It hit me - I get really excited when I find a great sale. I want to let everyone know about it. I take pictures of my purchases. (Isn't that a little over the top?) Why is it that I am not as excited about Christ? I should be - He died for me. It is through him that I have eternal life (John 3:16). I became a Christian when I was a child. I was 7 years old and in the first grade. Just because it has been a "few" years since I accepted Christ as my savior doesn't mean that it is ok for me to be complacent with my walk with Him. I am going to challenge myself to be more excited for Christ in my everyday life and to be as excited talking about Him as I am when I talk about how much I saved with my sales and coupons. I hope that anyone reading this is willing to join me in this challenge.

Late Night Shopping - Saturday, August 29, 2009

We took the girls to Williamsburg for the day and went to both Water Country USA and Busch Gardens. I wanted to hit a few stores when we got back to Richmond, but the time we got back didn't allow me to hit them all. I ended up at the two closest together and to the house.

This is what I got from "the K grocery store" (it was the last day of the Mega Sale):

2- Fiber One Bars = 0.99 each (I had 2 e-coupons* added to my card and I thought it would work for 2 items but it didn't, I got one box for 0.79 and the other for 1.19)
Trix Cereal = 0.44
Cocoa Puffs = 0.24
2- Nature Valley Nut Clusters = 0.49 each (again I had 2 e-coupons* and it only took off 1, so I got one for free and the other was 0.99)
2- Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls = 1.89 each (another e-coupon* issue, and it didn't help that I picked up the more expensive item unintentionally)
Betty Crocker Warm Delights = -0.31 (MM)
Betty Crocker Cookie Mix = 0.29
Nature Valley Granola Bars = 0.79
2 - Tennessee Pride Sausage = 2.00 each (for a church function later this week)
2- Cheerios = 0.99 each (plus they had a coupon for 1.50 off Pampers on the back of the box!)
Chex Mix Bars = 0.79
SunMaid Dried Apples = 3.29 (to make Amish friendship bread Sunday)
Soy Milk = 2.50
2- Horizon's Organic Chocolate Milk Singles = 0.50 each
Green Giant Steamers = 1.19 (another e-coupon* that didn't work?!?!?)
Dora Yogurt = 1.19
Old El Paso Seasoning = Free (after buying 2 other Old El Paso items)
2- Old El Paso Tortillas = 0.69 each
2- Loreal Vive Shampoo = 0.63 each
2- Loreal Vive Conditioner = 0.63 each
2- Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mixes = 0.74 each

My total before tax = $29.51
The shelf price = $92.50
Total savings = $62.99 or 68%

* I am referring to either Shortcuts or Cellfire coupons when I use the term e-coupon.

Here is a pic of what I was able to get from Walgreens:

4- Velveeta Shells & Cheese Cups = 0.75 each (not a great deal but I needed a filler item)
3- Huggies Wipes Tubs = 0.79 each
Goody's Hair Elastics = 2.99
2- Giant Bubble Sticks= 0.99 each (a filler and a nice surprise for the girls)
2- Agent Code Blue Mouth Rinses = 1.50 each

My total before tax = $8.34
Shelf price = $25.34 (I needed $25 to redeem my $5 off a $25 purchase coupon)
Total savings = $17 = 67%

I also was able to earn $6 in Register Rewards (RR) to use on a future purchase.

My shopping motto

I have a motto when I go shopping for almost anything - "Why pay more than you have to?" I feel this way about clothes, toiletries, and groceries. I do however have a problem adhering to this philosophy when it comes to prescriptions. (I am not going to go into that right now, maybe later.)

I try to remain loyal to Ukrop's for my grocery shopping. I will debate anyone who says Ukrop's is too expensive. Yes, Ukrop's does have high prices on their prepared foods, kitchen items, and bakery items. These are convenience foods - you are paying for the convenience and the fact that you know it is going to be good because it is from Ukrop's. The salad bar isn't cheap either, but it is always fresh. It is nice to be able to just get a little bit of a recipe ingredient or to not have to cut up all of the veggies for a small salad. I don't think anyone can say that there is one store that always has the lowest prices on everything. (Not even WalMart.) You have to be aware of how much the items you buy on a regular basis cost. When the item goes on sale at a really good price stock-up and if you have coupons for it even better. This is when I have to abandon Ukrop's and shop at another grocery store. I feel so bad about "cheating on Ukrop's" I don't even like to say the name of the other store. I just call it "the K grocery store". I do my shopping there when they are having promotions like the Mega Sale. They give you a lower price for buying usually 10 items out of a list of participating items. I see these items as loss leaders for the store. I generally go in and only buy those items on sale. I have justified it in my mind by thinking that I am actually hurting them and in exchange hopefully helping Ukrop's. (I don't know if this is really true, but that is how I sleep at night. :)) When it comes to my everyday needs or my perishables I try to stick to Ukrop's. The girls are friends with almost all of the employees at my store and they get a rainbow cookie, what more could you ask for?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Our 8th Wedding Anniversary

We were fortunate enough to celebrate our 8th anniversary this past week. Here is a "Reader's Digest Version" of how we spent the day:
  • Steve went out with the girls and came back with breakfast from McDonald's. He also came home with a dozen red roses and a card. :)
  • I took a 2 hour nap.
  • We rearranged furniture and Steve cleaned the hardwood floor in the family room.
  • I was able to get a few small things taken care of around the house during nap time.
  • We arranged for a sitter (at the last minute) so that we could go out to dinner.
  • We went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. (We didn't want to get dressed up and spend 2 hours at a "fancy restaurant", and I had a b1g1 free coupon.)
  • After dinner we went to Lowe's and bought rugs for a few different areas in the house.
  • We stopped at Ukrop's on our way home to pick-up a few things.
  • We came home and with the help of the sitter put the rugs in the rooms where we wanted them.

If someone had told me before we were married that that was how we would spend our anniversary I wouldn't have believed them. The truth is that Steve and I having a day off together without other plans is a luxury. I felt like we were able to remember how nice it is to work together on a project and be productive. I told him at the end of the day that although I have enjoyed our "romantic" anniversaries in the past that it was nice to have his help with some of the things I had been trying to do around the house. If we had gone somewhere for the day those things would have still been waiting for me when we got back and having more things checked off my to-do list is a great gift.

I've decided to start a blog...

  • because I have things that happen during my day that I would like to share with other people
  • because I have thoughts in general I sometimes want to share
  • because I have become a bit obsessive about couponing

The next step after deciding that I wanted to start a blog was coming up with the name for my blog. I had a few ideas and searched to see if they were available but decided on "Ann's Crazy World" because I really do feel like I live in a crazy world.

My wonderful and sweet husband, Steve, and I have been married for 8 years. We have been blessed with 2 healthy and beautiful girls. Natalie is 3&1/2 and Megan is almost 15 months old. I work one day a week as a pharmacist for Ukrop's. We are very involved with our church and are leaders with the college ministry. It seems as if every week is crazy and we always have somewhere to go or something going on. So, sit back, relax and prepare for a glimpse into "Ann's Crazy World".