Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 2010 freebies and refunds

February was a good month for freebies. Almost all of my refunds sent for during Jan have come back but I have 3 outstanding.
Taste of Home bi-monthly magazine
$5 Amazon gc from swagbucks
$3 survey check from Pinecone Research
Kroger coupons - including a free bag of mini carrots
2 Free Double stuff Oreo's package - coupon
BOGO dozen eggs
$1.78 refund check from Progresso
$7 Bud refund check
$10 Amazon gc from
$10 SC Johnson refund checks (2 - $5 checks)
$5 Amazon gc from swagbucks
Free Excederin (up to $5.99)
Kroger mailer coupons (Mexican cooking highlight no freebies)
$3 Pinecone survey check
free sample Kashi cereal & free box coupon
Special Kroger coupon
Kroger coupon mailer (no freebies)
$5.44 Nyquil MBG
$3 Pinecone survey check

Blessings and happy freebies for March.

Friday, February 26, 2010


In 1985 My former husband & I, son and other family members moved to Florida. We moved to help my Grandpa Harry open a Genealogy business. (BTW the business never took off for various reasons that will remain under the carpet). But Grandpa Harry did spark that little flame in me to know more about my family history.

Grandpa Harry took care of the Teems part of my family - my mothers paternal side. I remember growing up that someone had done my Fathers maternal side. So that leaves my Mothers Maternal side – Siewerts and my dad’s Fraternal side – the Logan’s.

I started with my mom’s family. This is a confusing but loving story. My mother was born to Eileen and Harry. They split up and Harry lived in Florida while Eileen stayed here in Ohio. Harry took one child – the oldest, James. Eileen kept my mom, Nelleta. Grandma Eileen got sick with Tuberculosis and was placed in a care facility. Her Dad (Grandpa Rudy) and his second wife (Grandma Kate) took in mom and when she was 2 she developed Rheumatic Fever. In order to provide for her, they adopted her but failed to tell my mom until she was a teenager. So the people I grew up with as grandparents were my Great Grandparents and my aunt was my Grandma.

Well sometime ago I created a small family notebook. It has the forms I printed and started and some notes that I have found. Well when I loved into this home 2 years ago of course everything got packed up and stuffed in closets. Well I decided to clean out a box that was in the bottom of our linen closet. Guess what I found – the original notebook!! (The black one in the picture) So now I have 2 notebooks (I’ll combine them tonight during TV time) and even some old family pictures.

Well then I found this packet in the box also. It is papers from one of my Great Great Great and possibly Great Grandfathers, Robert. He was in the German military. Now I can’t read these (gee never thought to learn German instead of Spanish) but what a find. I’ll check around here to see if I can find someone to translate them for me.

So what I know is that the family immigrated from Germany around 1863. I thought they came into Wisconsin but I can’t find any ports there. At one time I had a copy of the ships manifest but it appears that I lost it. I know they were one of the founding families that created my former church. And many members are buried in the same cemetery as my mom.

I’m lucky the main branch of our local library system has a very good Genealogy Department so next week I’ll be dragging my notebook down for some investigation.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

You know your in trouble when . . . .

Its 2:23 AM and even the cat is sound asleep and won't bother you. The bird is asleep, the husband is asleep but I am awake!!!

I'm hungry
I'm thirsty
The trailer is dark
I can hear voices - probably the neighbors
I am awake

Good sleeps everyone :) Maybe I'll empty this box sitting next to me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

So last night I was doing my usual Sunday night activity – cutting coupons. First I cut out the weekly coupons and then go thru the ads for goodies.

I went thru the Rite Aid ad – just a couple deals I’m interested in and the Kroger ad really sad this coming week. And then I opened the Walgreen’s ad – ah delight.

To start I have the following register rewards (RR) from 2 weeks ago that I must use by Thursday end of day: a $6, 3 - $5 and 2 - $1.50. So I broke the list down by each RR.

$6 RR
Gillette Fusion razor $8.99 - $4 coupon = $4.99
3 cans (8 oz) cans of Hunt’s tomato sauce = $1.17
Total out of pocket (oop) = 16 cents give or take I’ll have tax on the razor
I will receive another $4 RR for the razor. In turn I can sell the razor for $5 at my yard sales this summer.

$3 RR #1
Excederin female formula $2.50 - $2.00 coupon = 50 cents
Excederin another formula $2.50 - $1.00 coupon = $1.50
2 rolls Big Bath tissue $1.00
Total OOP approx 7 cents (tax on tissue)
I will receive $2 RR for female Excederin

$3 RR #2
Excederin female $2.50 - $2 coupon = 50 cents
Goody hair scrunchies $2.99
Total OOP $3.50
I’ll get back another $2 RR for the Excederin and another one for the hair things.
I can either sell the hair things at the yard sales or put them in the donation box.

$3 RR #3
Excederin female $2.50 - $2 coupon = 50 cents
Can of Maxwell House coffee $2.50
OOP tax approx 7 cents
I’ll get the $2 RR for the Excederin

$1.50 RR #1
Can of Salmon (about the only fish I will eat) $1.49
Orbit multipack $1.09 (reported price I’m not positive) - $1.00 coupon = 9 cents
No tax all considered food oop under 15 cents

That is where I gave up last night. I still have 1 - $1.50 RR, another Excederin $2 coupon, and I think 2 $1.00 Excederin coupons. Then late last night I discovered another deal.

In yesterday’s paper we received a $3 off Neosporin AND Band Aids coupon. I also have the Walgreen’s Activity book with coupons for Neosporin & Band Aids character band aids. So I posted on Refund Cents asking if they could all be used and the verdict is yes!!! They can be used and my OOP will be about $1.50. I’ll keep the Neosporin but can sell the Band Aids at the yard sales. I think they will sell well we have lots of kids in the park and if they are cheap the parents will buy them.

Then to make the morning even better I received a coupon for free Excederin (up to $5.99) . Better believe I will be buying the biggest bottle of ANY kind of Excederin to use it even if I have to pass up the $2 rr. Beautiful time for pain killer to go on sale/special deal I was down to 2 small bottles in the cabinet.

I'm sure someone is wondering why buy all the Excederin seperate. The RR will only print for 1 bottle per order. Doing the orders in this manner means I will maximize my savings, my future RR and keep my OOP low. Also my store gets a stocking shipment in on Thursday - so if something is low I can go back Thursday late afternoon and finish up.

Happy savings, happy shopping and many blessings, Laura

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wal mart shopping

One of our neighbors offered us a ride to Walmart today. I jumped at the chance instead of riding the bus. Yeah yeah I know not using the public transit but it wasn’t just for me the neighbor was going anyways. I really needed to get out of the house I was getting stir crazy.

So I did find a few good deals:
Stacy Pita chips finally found them to use my free coupon. I got the plain with a hint of salt I liked them Greg does not care for them. $2.68
6 packets of Star Kist tuna $1 each and I used 3 $1 off 2 coupons = 50 cents each.
6 Progresso High Fiber soup $1.50 each and I used $1.10 off coupons = 40 cents each. I bought the Tomato Basil thinking I will use it for cooking. 2 Smart something macaroni $1.28 - .75 cents off coupons = 53 cents each. And the reciept is not help its just says Elbows and honestly I am to tired to go into the other room, dig them out and find out what brand they are. Besides that would require that I walk past Simba who is playful today and keeps attacking my feet (and anything else that strikes his fancy).
1 Cat chow cat food $3.27 – 1.00 = $2.27
1 Tide single load packet .97 - .35 cents coupon = 62 cents

Sub total $28.54
After coupons $13.83
Saved $14.71

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gifts given and received

The Baby Bears brought over surprise Valentine's Day gifts. Unfortunately I was not home. They gave me another yellow ducky - he has a shamrock on his front and is on a bead chain. When he lights up pretty blue, yellow and green lights.

They also gave me a pretty white dish and boxes of candy.
Now for the giving of gifts. 3 weeks ago I lost my wedding ring - in the span of 3 hours it slipped off my finger. I was heartbroken. Well last week my dear friends B & J pulled me into a private room at church and gave me a replacement ring. Trust me this bad boy is not coming off!!! So along with saying thank you about a million times I made them a goodie basket. I filled a basket with a jar of homemade strawberry jam, a loaf of white bread, a loaf of banana bread and a loaf of Lemon Walnut bread. Then to be cute I left it on J's car seat so she couldn't get into her van after church.
I got an email this morning saying thank you for the treats.
Remember giving a homemade gift says I love you from the heart and means much more than just a gift you buy with money.

Monday, February 15, 2010

This weeks menu plan

Sunday (OK so I am a bit late) was blade steak, mashed potatoes, carrots cooked in beef broth and Grand Biscuits

Monday - chili in homemade bread bowls
Look how cute are they??? And just imagine how they tasted all that yummy yeast.

Tuesday - I have a meeting and will eat at my Dad's. Greg is having fend for yourself. With my luck it will be greens, ham hocks and beans. And since it is winter and with the house is shut up, it will stink for days.

Wednesday - I have church potluck and am taking chicken and noodles (at Greg's request). And I will leave Greg's share here for him.

Thursday - hot dogs and Greek salad (at Greg's request)

Friday - pizza night (meaty thin crust). Again another Greg request you know I think he got a little vocal about the menu this week. Hey it took some of the burden off me.

Saturday - Burgers with avocado mayo (new recipe)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm not one for flowers or candy all I want is something real simple to mark the holiday.

Greg gave me the big brown bear - you can tell how nice he is to cuddle with. The candy heart came with him.

I gave Greg the smaller litle brown bear and he sings. Sugar Pie honey bunch you know I love you etc etc etc. His cheeks light up to real cute but his singing upsets the bird.

Happy Valentines' Day and may you be blessed with much love.

Blessings from me to you

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Some great shopping and this months' food pantry donation

Our Krogers was/is doing triple coupons this weekend. I didn't have many coupons that would triple (50 cents and lower)- honestly I wish they would super double (double all from 55 cents to $1.00).

I surprised myself I didn't just whilley nilley toss everything into my cart I thought and judged by what I would use.

Some of my good deals are:

6 Pillsbury grands biscuits with coupons and the Daytona $1.80 for buying 10 items special I paid $3.54 for all 6 BUT then a $4.00 on your next shopping order coupon came out.

I used my BOGO egg coupon

2 Free packages of Golden oreo cookies

2 Betty Crocker boxed potato mixes - 59 cents each and will get donated.

1 Betty Crocker pouch of potatoes - 9 cents and donated

1 can of Rotel tomatoes with chilis - 2 cents keeping them I'm about out of homegrown tomatoes. Don't worry over the past 3 weeks they have been on sale I have about 10 cans stashed away.

2 French's whorchester (sorry about the spelling) sauce - 49 cents and will donate 1.

2 Franks hot sauce - 9 cents each and I will donate both.

I also picked up the oat bran I was looking for and a package of wheat flour. That opens up different types of bread that I can make. I'm doing real well with the white bread - time to move on.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow pictures

We didn't get as much as those on the Eastern Coastline but we got a nice amount. The National Weather service said 12.2 inches and the local tv station (within a mile of us) said 10 inches. I trust the TV station more than the Weather service.
These pictures were all taken about 3:30 pm after snowing and blowing for about 7 hours.
This is the snow bank in front of our shed.
An overall picture of both fields behind our place. You can see the fence line that seperates them.
The front of the mobile home but under the pine tree.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The house guard is fired!!

By guard I mean Simba. I mean really what good is he, lots of love, trying to trip you by saying good morning while wrapping around your feet. Hogging the heat in the living room and letting people use their keys to enter our house.

Greg & I were out & I heard my phone beep that I had missed a call. So I check and Baby Bear AJ called me (YIPPEE YIPPIE JOY JOY). So when I call back he said we left you some things on your cabinet. I asked what and he told me. I asked what would you guys like in return - nothing just post it on your blog (Yes Kelly Bear is a faithful follower).

We get home and sure enough the stuff is here and the cat is covering the heat vent (No he didn't bother getting up). I called AJ real quick and asked if the guard cat had at least moved when they came in. Yes he did get up and was talking to them.
So here it is on my blog and I guess I'll keep the cat but he is no longer the guard cat. I think I need a tiger for that!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Recipe review

Chop Suey Veggies and Chicken

3 cups cooked cubed chicken
2 (10 oz) cans of cream of chicken soup
2 (14 oz) can chop suey vegetables, Drained but save liquid
1 (8 oz) can of sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 (16 oz) bag of frozen seasoning blend onions and bell peppers
½ tsp each of hot sauce and curry powder
2 cups chow mein noodles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl combine all ingredients but chow mein noodles. Spoon into greased 13 x 9 pan. Sprinkle chow mein noodles over top and bake uncovered for 30 minutes

Results: great meal with a few twists.

First I only used 1 can of cream of chicken soup. I only had 1 can and honestly it looked so gross I couldn’t do 2 cans. So instead I use 1 can of the liquid from chop suey vegetables. If you chose to follow the recipe either save the liquid in your vegetable broth can or drain down the sink drain.

Second I had some leftover green pepper and onion so I also added them. And the package that I found also had celery so that is what I used. I also sliced up a few baby carrots that I had.

I also did not have curry powder but this meal tasted great without it.

Then cause I stopped reading the directions I did not bake the mix, just cooked it on the stovetop.

I served over rice and use the noodles for crunchy topping.

This came from 1001 Fast Easy Recipes

Printed 2007 and 2008

Gift from Stepmom

Monday, February 8, 2010

She is enabling me!!! Blame Kelly Bear

Kelly Bear called me the other day to let me know that she was mailing me something.
She said I saw something that I had to buy for you. I'm putting it in the mail right now. Well she did and it came today - rubber duck stickers!!! Aren't these the cutest?!

Thank you baby bears, Momma loves them.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lazy day

Didn't do much today - no way am I venturing out into that wind. We did not lose power last night - of course I was prepared for it. Greg thought I was nuts but we have lost power 4 times since last July. But I did bundle up and take one for the team (you guys) to get a couple pictures of the event last night. I had to stand in front of the mobile home or the wind would have about knocked me down.
This one is from my front steps - under the awning.

This one is from the front of the mobile home under the Pine tree. I was trying to show how the wind was blowing the snow in pretty designs on the driveway.

So after my internet time today I spent the afternoon scrapbooking. I did 4 pages of Christmas 2008. This first one I decided to save the cards - some I cut down just to keep the picture. The bear one is from my Baby bears.

This one is for Living Nativity at church you can see my brother Tom is the blue, Greg is in white/red and the picture of the 3 Wisemen includes both of them with my Dad (in the middle).

And you know all those little scraps of paper - some of which make fun little noises? Yeah (sign) right after I dumped the trash bowl on the floor I had help. Simba reached in and kept taking the wrappings from the glue dots out and chewing them.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lovely day

We are having problems with our electric so I just wanted to post real quick.

I had a very fruitful day. I had to pay a couple bills (yuck but necessary). So while I had address labels and envelopes out I mailed in some rebates.

Then I added up the great week I had:
I received a $5 Amazon gift certificate from Swag Bucks.
I turned in points from for another $10 Amazon gift certificate
Not to mention my freebies from Walgreen's and Rite Aid on Monday.
Received $3 for a Pinecone survey (that is in my savings account - $10 saved for a home improvement project this summer)
Mailed $15.48 in rebates today
Received the following coupons:
2 free packages of Golden Double stuff Oreo's
free bag of Kroger mini carrots
Also received coupons from ConAgra and more Kroger store coupons.
Oh and I sold a can of air freshener and put that dollar towards buying for my next yard sale. (Tentatively scheduled for June 1st)

Finished my day by making 2 loaves of bread and turning the old loaf into bread crumbs and croutons.

Blessings and thank you for reading, Laura

Thursday, February 4, 2010

$16 a month meat challenge - Month 2

Honestly I was getting worried what would the "meat" of the month be? Well when we got the Sav-A-Lot ad this week that question was answered. Nothing to original just ground beef. So I arranged a ride over to this new store to take a look around. I've also read that they offer store coupons and accept (at face value only) manufacturer coupons. So I checked the website and did print some coupons that could come in handy.

Now just a bit about this chain. They are very similar to Aldi's, low cost no frill grocey store. Not to mention that Aldi's is Kelly Bear's employer. No frills means grab a box to carry your goodies out of the store. They do not stock the shelve more like open the box and let the folks get the stuff themselves. The produce looks good; I bought bananas 3 lbs for $1 (49 cents a pound at Kroger) & tomatoes 3 for 99 cents. I checked out the frozen foods - nice selection. The meat looks good I found the ground beef I was after in 2 different package selections. The first was a huge tube of meat and then the regular family size packs. I chose the family size packs since it was nicer looking than the huge tube.

I also checked out the baking aisle (to use the coupons I printed) flour was $1.49 for a 5 pound bag used a 50 cent coupon (cheapest is $1.70 at Kroger) and a 48oz bottle of vegetable oil was $1.49 with a $1 coupon.

Very interesting store that I most likely will visit again once it gets warmer and I won't mind waiting for the bus to come back around.

Back to the challenge I got 14.12 pounds of 73% ground beef for a total of $16.66. When I came home and broke it down I packaged 17 packets of meat for the freezer. (I do really need to get a kitchen scale). I haven't made plans for it its just sitting in the freezer.

Thank you for reading and blessings, Laura

Monday, February 1, 2010

Our shopping day

1 Blink tears $7.99 used a $2.00 manufacturer coupon = profit of $2 after the register rewards
1 Vitamin lip balm $1.99 FREE after the register rewards
2 Keebler Club crackers 2/$5 used 2 - $1.00 manufacturer coupons after the register rewards 2 for $1.00
3 Glade sprays 99 cents with Walgreen’s coupon. They also sell well at my yard sales.
2 Character Band Aids rain check 2/$2 used Walgreen’s coupon $2 (We got SpongeBob and Princess & the Frog)
1 Flashlight (Lost power last Friday/Saturday night and had to scramble to find the one flashlight we have) $2.00

Paid with $13.00 in register rewards and $5.04 cash. After paying we got the following register rewards: $8.00 for the Blink, $2.00 for the Club crackers, and $2.00 for the lip blam. I will also send in the final of 3 SC Johnson buy 3 items get $5.00 back refunds (the Glade Spray). The lip balm and one box of Band Aids will be put in my soldier/Christmas child/whoever needs it donation box.

Rite Aid
Blink gel tears $7.99 used a $2.00 manufacturer coupon again profit after the rebate. Blink is one of 2 brands of eye drops that I use on my very sensitive eyes.
Colgate toothpaste $2.99 - $1.00 manufacturer coupon = $1.99
Maxwell House coffee $2.50
Aero 3 insoles 3/$15 used the following coupons from the packages $2, another $2 and a $1.50 = 3/$9.50
Cottonelle toilet paper $6.49 (cheaper than the grocery store by 50 cents)
Tube of Cocoa Butter for the man of the house $1.99

I’ll submit on-line for the following rebates: Blink $7.99, Colgate $2.00, Insoles $10. I paid with my Holiday savings certificate $10, a refund check for $7.49, used the last of a gift card 46 cents and $12.16 cash. Since I found 3 other tubes of toothpaste in the basket 2 of these will be added to the donation box.