Wednesday, May 25, 2011

30 Days To Go!!

Publix Penny Item Made Me Do It!

Of course I have my full coupon binder that I normally have with me if I am intending to go near any store.  However, my book needs some work at this point since we have a lot of craziness going on.  It's probably been about a month since I updated my book so at this point it will probably be an all day project.

Today I was taking my husband to physical therapy and then meeting up with a friend.  I had no intention of hitting Publix but when I found myself trying to kill time, I decided to go into Publix.  I was intending to get a couple of ears of corn which I had seen in the sale flyer.  As I wandered through Publix, killing time and heading for the corn, I came across a stray Penny Item coupon.  If you are not familiar with the Publix Penny Item, here is the quick rundown.  On their first sale day of the week (in some areas it is Wednesday and in some it is Thursday), the local newspapers print the coupon and it is good one day only for a mystery item.  Every week it is different and the coupon itself doesn't tell you what it is.  The idea is that you find out when you get to the store.  I used to run to Publix every Wednesday with my Penny Item coupon and then they started putting out generic items and frankly I felt that in most cases it really wasnt worth it for me to buy the newspaper to get s bottle of Publix brand ketchup, for example.  In order to take advantage of the Penny Item, you must make a $10 purchase.  The $10 is before all coupons but should not include the Penny Item. 

I had intended to buy the corn but what else was I going to get without coupons?  Having commissary privileges, in many cases, without a sale and a coupon, I do better at the commissary.  I remembered that Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce was on sale BOGO.  We love that sauce and while I may buy other brands for almost nothing for use on generic cookouts, there are certain things like ribs and pulled pork that just require a better tasting sauce.  The BOGO sale, without a coupon, set the price of the sauce just below commissary cost so I went for that first.  I then came across a display for Dixie bowls on BOGO and a coupon pad attached for $2 off a box of cereal WYB 2 packs of bowls.  Normally I only use paper plates for sandwiches or paper/plastic cups.  With the coupon for the cereal, this made a good deal.  I picked up my 4 ears of corn, my Penny Item, which happened to be Publix window cleaner.  Before I go on I would also like to point out that not all store brands are good in everything but I have to say that Publix store brands have been good in everything I have purchased.  The only items I was not thrilled with were their diapers and wipes but I know many people who love them so it really is a matter of personal preference.  I went to get my cereal and looked for a box in the $2 range.  Again I grabbed the Publix brand because my husband is not picky about cereal and the box was only $1.99 which after coupon made it free with a penny overage which applied to my other groceries.  I also picked up 2 boxes of Duncan Hines brownie mix which were on BOGO at a lower price than commissary regular price.  I knew that I had a coupon at home so this purchase sort of bothered me but hey, I was getting a free bottle of window cleaner.  Finally, I picked up a can of Bush's beans which were also on BOGO for a price lower than commissary regular.  All in all I ended up spending $9.76 after all sales and coupons.  My BOGO savings was 10.09 and my coupon savings was $4.19.  My total savings for this transaction was $14.27, which gave me a savings over 50%.  Not a bad deal at all!

Military Appreciation at JoAnn's Fabric & Crafts!

In celebration of military families and Memorial Day weekend, JoAnn's is offering military members and dependents 20% off of their total purchase from Friday through Monday (27-30 May).  The discount is on all regular and sale priced merchandise with the standard exclusion (no cricut, sewing machines, etc).  This is a great opportunity to stock up on scrapbooking, sewing, or other craft supplies!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

31 Days To Go!!

Trash day is always a good day to throw things away because you can't go back and change your mind.  I took advantage and did some good purging today.  I went through all of my son's clothes and put all of the small ones in a tote.  I can't get rid of them yet as we would like to have another child, if possible plus I want my husband to look through the tote and let me know which outfits have meaning to him.  They are at least out of his drawers and closet for now.  It was really sad to realize that the newborn clothes that were too big for him only 6 months ago are waaay too small for him now.  He is wearing 6-9 month (pushing the 9 month).  I wish I had really paid attention when people told me not to waste too much money on little clothes because they blow through them quickly.  Luckily we were smart enough to buy a range of sizes so we are still covered as he outgrows things but it still makes me sad to see the clothes that he never wore or maybe wore once.  On the flip side, it really made me feel good to make progress on this job as I have been avoiding it but not being able to easily find clothes that actually fit him has been a big pain. 

I also got more laundry done and put away.  We have had so much going on since we went on leave back in April and came back to find our house flooded, that laundry is a bit behind.  As long as I do a load every day for awhile, I should be done very soon. 

We also had our final New Parent Support visit.  For those of you not familiar, it is a program for new parents (not just first child...anyone with a new baby) provided by Army Community Service (ACS).  They do home visits periodically to see how things are going.  They also provide tons of information on developmental milestones and classes and playgroups on post.  It is definitely a great program especially for younger new moms or those with anxiety.  The person who does the visit is a nurse so it is nice to have someone to tell you things are ok in between doctor's appointment.  For military folks who have no family around, it is also nice to have someone regular, like family, visiting.

I had to wait in the house for much of the day today as my carpet strip was getting repaired from the flood and then I had ladies picking up tshirts for the Toby Keith concert as I am the RSA Women's Club Volunteer Coordinator.  Tomorrow I am going to get my flat iron from a friend and picking up my sewing machine.  I am hoping to make a quick stop at the Thrift Store in order to eliminate stuff and make a little cash.

We are very quickly approaching the 30 day mark and I am still hoping that I can get everything done as I would like.  I am pretty determined so I should have no problem!  I am still trying to stay very optomistic!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Are you a USAA Total Rewards Member?

I decided to throw a quick "deal" post in tonight before I get back to work. My husband and I opened our USAA account when we first got married, going on 4 years ago. For anyone who has the military affiliation to join USAA, I highly recommend it for many reasons. One that I would like to highlight now is the Rewards Program. If you already have USAA and your debit card says "TOTAL REWARDS" across the top (it's a bright blue card), then you are enrolled in the rewards program. If you haven't done so yet, log into your online account and find the Total Rewards link (should be on the links on the right side of the page...if you can't find it do a search of their site). Basically the way the program works is, you get points for payments processed as credit (when you make a purchase at a store, hit credit instead of debit...the only time you can't do it is if you want cash back because you can't get cash back on credit). There is no additional cost on your transaction and there should be no difference on your account except for the way it may appear on your statement. It won't cost you anything and it still processes immediately. The points can be converted to gift cards, which you can request from your online account. Normally, we take something generic like Target gift cards as we know there is always something that we can use at Target. We redeem a few times a year and this most recent time, we redeemed for a $25 Target card and a $25 TGIFriday's card. This weekend my husband and I went to TGIFriday's and we each ordered their $13.99 pick 3 (appetizer, entree and dessert), I had a glass of Sangria and he had a Coke. We used our gift card and had about a $10 plus tip balance to pay. Not bad for 3 courses and an alcoholic beverage! The Total Rewards program has all kinds of store and restaurant gift cards. There is also the opportunity to translate it into airline miles, etc. There is also a similar program with the credit cards through USAA. I am pretty sure that it works the same way but haven't redeemed any yet as we just opened the credit account recently.

The Countdown Continues...32 Days To Go!!

Wow! Time flies when you're having fun! I had a 50 mile list of things to do in the house this past weekend and got pretty much none of it done but sometimes you just need to take a break from the insanity. Saturday was intended to be a day of out and about. We planned to go strawberry picking, shopping and errand running. When my logical brain kicked in, the strawberry picking got crossed off. Realistically, the last thing I needed was pounds and pounds of strawberries that I needed to find something to do with. I really don't have time to cook and if I did some canning, that's just more to pack and carry (the brain sure works different once you have been down the PCS road before). Even though the military sends packers, there are items that they won't take (any food item that is not in new, sealed packaging is one of them and home canned items are probably on the line so it would totally depend on the mover...not worth the risk). We spent the day running errands and shopping. Last summer I was pregnant so I was wearing maternity clothes so my summer clothing is very limited. We hit Bridge Street, an outdoor mall and did some shopping and enjoyed the beautiful Alabama summer weather! We hit a couple of other places and had a wonderful, much needed, relaxing day.
Sunday was supposed to be an inside day, getting stuff sorted and purged but all of a sudden we realized that we had missed some errands. We started out and by the time we were done, so was the day. Those days are very frustrating but you just have to pick yourself up and get back on track. Sunday night I did lots of laundry, sorted/purged baby clothes and cleaned out some other things. Unfortunately most of my productive time happens late at night because getting things accomplished with a 6 month old awake is next to impossible! I may have gone to bed late last night but at least I went to bed feeling like I had accomplished something.

Today was a bit less productive but I am still up and as far as I am concerned the day is not over yet. We did take care of reserving our UHaul trailer for the DITY part of our move. When we moved from Virginia to Alabama, we got a medium sized trailer but decided that this time we would go for the large. A large trailer means that we carry more stuff but that also gives us a little more money as we are paid for the weight of the load we carry. We are still researching all of the options regarding shipping our second vehicle and that is starting to give me a little anxiety as the calendar pages flip but ultimately I am sure it will all work always does.

At this point I am just trying to wrap my brain around the fact that we are quickly headed to a month from our move. My mom is making one last visit before we head south and I am hoping that having her to take care of the baby during that week will give me some much more productive time during the day. Time to get my productive time in for tonight!

Friday, May 20, 2011

35 Days To Go!

Today was a crazy day but nothing related to the move. A move in itself is nothing but when you consider that while moving, life goes on, there comes the glitch. Making it more difficult, when you get down to the wire, everything feels rushed. A few weeks ago we had some damage to our house contents due to a leak and today I talked to the claims adjuster. Apparently insurance with replacement cost doesnt replace the rest of the set and other related items. Our dining room chairs got pretty good amount of damage but our hutch got none. Now we have to hunt down appraisers and repair people as we do this PCS. I also had an Optical appointment and a Women's Club Project to work on. Anyway, the day ended very nice with dinner out for my boys and I (oh at a great price as well!)