Thursday, June 30, 2011

Klaeyton's Conversations

Ok so you know how as an adult, people look at you funny when they catch you talking to yourself. Ok ok I do it all the time, but yeah I know it's not nearly as precious as overhearing your two-year old talking to himself. 

Klaeyton says some funny things when he's talking to us (See list below :), but yesterday, Matt and I overheard him in the playroom by himself talking to his trains. To be honest, I can't even remember what he was saying, all I remember was the feeling I had sitting there on the couch peeking in on him. It was like a punch in the stomach and a hug all at the same time. When did he get so smart that he could not only carry on conversations with me, but with himself too? And yes a toddler talking to himself is actually a good sign. It means he can invent ideas and has an imagination and sadly the culture we live in today doesn't always encourage these things. We were just so proud. 

Now that we've covered that Klaeyton can talk to himself :) I'd like to post some of our recent conversations. 

Scene: Matt and I are getting ready for bed when we find that Klaeyton has already managed to crawl into our bed and take over Matt's spot. As Matt is getting ready to put him back in his bed, he gripes about Klaeyton stealing his pillow too. I laugh. 

Klaeyton rolls over and says, "It's not funny!"...Well then...

Scene: Klaeyton is standing by the back door and I'm telling him to come into the living room to pick up his toys. 

Klaeyton turns around and says, "Mom you need to go fix the lawn mower."
Me: "Oh I do, do I?"
Klaeyton: "Right now."....Well then...

Scene: Klaeyton and I are at Target doing some shopping and I give him the play by play that we're going to Giant Eagle next. 

Klaeyton says, "Umm no mom I don't want to go to Giant Eagle"
Me: "Why not?"
Klaeyton: "Because I want to go home."...Well then...

Every day this beautiful little blessing makes me laugh. Watching his thoughts unfold into words is simply amazing...and no I won't's totally entertaining. 

Go out and have a conversation with a two-year old. I promise you'll leave smiling :)

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011


We made another zoo trip today. Matt got to go with us and Klaeyton just loved that he got to walk around with Daddy. He talked about seeing the giraffes and elephants all morning but when we got to the zoo, he really wanted to see the tigers. We've only been to the zoo twice this summer, and K has expressed interest in the animals and says they look cool, but he hasn't really lingered to keep watching any particular animal...until today...until we saw the tigers. 

Klaeyton watched the tigers in awe and I stood there smiling at him. He just thought they were so awesome. We had to tear him away and I promised him we'd go back to see them. I even told him I took some pictures we could print out. 

Now my little man is asleep on the couch, but I know when he wakes up he'll be talking about tigers. 

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

The File Folder

This was my first method of storing my coupons and in fact I think I might combine it again with my binder method (which I will post about next week...promise :) Anywho, you can pick these plastic file folders up just about anywhere. You can use small ones if you want to clip the coupons or you could even use a larger one to store whole inserts. If you store by insert, dating the sections (Last week, two weeks ago, etc) would be best. If you store by category you could use ones like these:
Once again, it all really depends on what works best for you. Obviously, if you don't have a child in diapers, you probably wouldn't have a diaper section. I don't do as much couponing for groceries as I do for household items, so my grocery categories aren't as specific. 

The thing I like best about this method is that most small to medium sized file folders will fit in your purse and you can take them anywhere. It's easy to just clip your coupons and stick them in each section. Once my coupons started accumulating, it got harder to find a specific coupon I wanted. If I was in the store with Klaeyton and saw a great deal, it took me quite a while to dig through and find the coupon I thought I had. If you don't plan on finding your own deals and only plan on getting them from websites, so that your shopping trips are pre-planned this method is great to start with. 

Remember if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. You can email me, facebook me or comment here :)

Summer Has Begun!

Summer is in full force and you know us...we're busy busy busy. The weather has been kind of crazy but we've managed to keep the summer spirit in motion :)

We went to the Lorain County Speedway for the Faster Pastor race and naturally Tan Tan (what Parker calls Klaeyton) and Parker were busy stirring up trouble.

Here's my little princess with her awesome ear buds in at the races.

This was our first zoo trip of the summer. We have passes so we plan on going a lot, hopefully tomorrow in fact. I love this picture because Klaeyton's face is so priceless.

We've had a few rainy days already and this seems to be one of the favorite inside activities. Even Jules tries to join in :)

Katie's recital was wonderful. I absolutely love watching her dance. I think I cry every year. 

How could I leave this picture out? Jules is ready for church and can tell how happy she is :)

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Coupon Box

Thank you all so much for being patient with me :)

The Coupon Box

I haven't used this method, but I do hear really nice things about it. Actually, Crystal from just posted a video about how she uses the coupon box as part of her method. You can view her video here

Basically you can use a shoe box, or a plastic box with a lid. I bet that would work better. You can use dividers and store the coupons in envelopes or you could even sort by whole insert. It all really depends on what works best for you. 

I believe the box method would have to be used with another method, such as the small file folder, because I'm sure if you have small children, you wouldn't want to lug the box into the store and have to dig through it for a coupon you think you have. I do think that it's a great idea in storing coupons at home, especially if you collect multiple of the same coupon or if you're holding onto expired ones.

Up next: The File Folder 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Welcome Baby Israyel!

My blogging plans for this week got pretty skewed. But for an awesome reason. I became an Auntie yesterday :) Lana gave birth to Israyel Alexander at 10:31 a.m. He weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces and was 20 inches long. He is absolutely beautiful. Lana was amazing. And being on the other side of childbirth was a very emotional experience for me. It's different when you're giving birth. You're so emotionally and physically exhausted by the time the baby is born (not to mention the hormonal mix your body is blending together) that it's hard to see things from the outside, to really see childbirth as the miracle it is. 

I didn't watch either of my births (I didn't use the mirror, but now I kind of wish I had) and compared to Lana's mine were pretty easy. She pushed for almost four hours and to watch her in so much pain and to see her want to give up, to be mad, sad, frustrated, so tired, yet so determined was so hard but it was amazing. Nothing short of amazing. Despite the pain of childbirth it is truly only a miracle God could create. I am so proud of Lana. And I already know she is a great mommy. 

I took tons of pictures, but this one is pretty much my favorite. There's nothing like those first moments when you truly become a mom :)

As for my couponing posts, I promise I will get back to them, it won't likely be until next week, but they will be there :) 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yes, I Taught My Toddler To Pee On The Ground

This post will probably look kinda funny because I'm not on my computer. My awesome hubby used his extra financial aid for school to get me an iPad that I've been wanting for what seems like forever. I will be posting later this week about the different methods of organization for coupons (in more detail than in the outline that I posted last week.) I'll start those posts Wednesday. Tomorrow we're heading to the zoo! I'm so excited because we have passes this year but this will be our first trip. I can't wait to see how Klaeyton does. He's been talking about animals all day.

The main reason for this post, however is to tell the story of how K learned how to pee on the ground yesterday. Let me set the scene for you... We were at softball, it was almost nine at night, the bathrooms were closed and I had a super cranky toddler who had to go to the bathroom. So I figured I would knock out two birds with one stone. I knew that something as 'cool' as peeing on the ground would not only distract him from his tantrum but it would also prevent me from carting him home in pee soaked pants. So I did it. I took him behind our car, opened the door so no one would see us and told him to pee on the ground. He looked at me like I was crazy and then once he started it was like a little excitement light bulb went off. So naturally when he was finished he ran back to the stands yelling, "Miss Heather Miss Heather I peed on the ground."

But the funniness doesn't end there... On the way home Klaeyton talked the entire time about how he peed on the ground and "Oh my gosh it was so funny"- yes that's exactly what he said. When I finally turned around and asked him who he was talking to, he looked at me like I was nuts and simply said, "Sissy." Well...that solves that.

My little blonde boy is a riot.

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Outline to Storing Coupons!

I'm excited about talking about how to store coupons because I've done a few different things and I'm confident that they work. The first thing you should know about storing coupons is that there is no right way to do it. It's all about what works best for you. I will actually be breaking this post up into a couple different ones so that you can get detailed instructions on the different methods of organization. In this post we will be giving a general outline of ways to organize your coupons. 

In each of these methods, you can sort your coupons any way you like. Examples of these include:
Expiration Date
Categories (health & beauty, household, pantry, etc)
Most Likely to Use
Store vs. Manufacture
Date Released

The Box Method: Using a shoe box and dividers, like a recipe box, you can simply snip and stack your coupons. I haven't used this method, but I think I would if I didn't want to take my coupons with me everywhere I go. 

The File Folder: You can either clip coupons or store by whole inserts. I'm talking about those plastic file folders with as little as 6 sections to as large as 12. I used this method for a while. 

The Binder: This is the method I'm using now. Each coupon is easily seen in baseball card sleeves, but it is time consuming.

Next week I'll be posting on each specific way to organize. I'll give detailed instructions and pros and cons of each method. :) 

Thank you all so much for reading! I really enjoy sharing this information with everyone. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have, as well as suggestions with things you would like to be posted :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Coupon Lingo

I've mentioned some of these before but this post is pretty much just to get you acquainted with some abbreviations that you are bound to find on other coupon/deal blogs. I can't take credit for this whole list. I found a lot of definitions on a couple other websites. Check these out for more abbreviations:
Money Saving Mom Abbreviations
Bargain Brianna Abbreviations

I only listed the ones that I have found handy and most used. :) Enjoy!

CPN coupon :)
MFR Manufacture
SS This stands for Smartsource, which is an insert you can find in the Sunday paper. 
RP Redplum. This is the insert that comes in the mail
P&G Proctor and Gamble. This is the insert that you can find the first Sunday of each month in the Sunday paper. 
PEELIE These are coupons that can be found attached to products

$1/1 etc. This is the amount you save/The number of items you have to buy
BOGO This stands for Buy One Get One free
STACKING This term is used when using a manufacture coupon and a store coupon

RR Register rewards (Walgreens uses this term)
CATALINA, CAT I don't really know where this term comes from and the only place I find it applicable is Giant Eagle. They advertise that if you purchase a certain amount or number of product you get a coupon for a certain amount back that is good on your next purchase. They call this coupon a catalina. I normally use the term register rewards for Giant Eagle as well as Walgreens. 
SCR Single check rebate (used at Rite Aid, I don't have much experience with Rite Aid yet, but if there is one close to you, you should def check it out)
UPR Up rewards (also found at Rite Aid)

Coming tomorrow- How to store coupons!

The 'Just Undies' Battle

We had the Baby-Q on Tuesday and yesterday I was playing catch up on a lot of things so I apologize that I haven't posted in two days. 

Before I get to my coupon post today, I wanted to share a story about Klaeyton. As we all know, it's summer and it gets pretty hot here in Ohio. The other day I had a good twenty minute argument with him about why he couldn't play outside in just his undies. The sad part is that when he kept insistently asking me "Why not?" I was struggling to come up with an answer that I knew would satisfy him. "Because it isn't appropriate", is an answer I knew would be pointless to tell a two-year old. He eventually gave in and let me put some shorts on him, but the argument didn't settle there. 

A day or two later, I was helping him change his undies and get ready for the day. I asked him, "Do you want to put shorts and a shirt on?" (I only asked because I knew he wasn't going to be outside for awhile, because it was raining). The response I got was of course, "No." So I asked, "Why not?"

"Because man cub wears just undies." And there you have it. Klaeyton's obsession with The Jungle Book has finally rubbed off into real life. 

I didn't argue after that. I decided that the "just undies" battle wasn't worth fighting. 

My little man cub. 

Stay tuned! Coming later today- Coupon Lingo!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Good Mornings

We have a pretty good morning routine and lately Jules is up way before Klaeyton. On this particular morning I was feeding Jules when Kaleyton came downstairs. I was refilling my coffee when he hopped up in my chair and started talking to sissy. I don't even know what he was talking about, but as you can see, they both were full of smiles :) Watching them together is amazing. I love when Klaeyton makes her laugh. 

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

How To Read A Coupon

This post may not be as informative to some as it will to others. I'm sure most will know the absolute basics about reading a coupon but there are a couple things I wanted to make sure I pointed out to make your couponing journey a little easier. 

Here is a picture of a manufacture coupon:

And here is a picture of a Target coupon (that I printed from their website):

Now here are the specifics of each coupon:
Amount: Every coupon will give you the amount that you save.  The thing you have to pay attention to is what you're saving on. With some coupons it's only one item and with others you may have to buy two. Also, make sure you read the description, Often the picture shown on a coupon is a picture of the most expensive item you could save on.

Expiration Date: All Coupons will have an expiration date. Most places don't take expired coupons so this one is crucial to pay attention to. (I have read about a program where you can send expired coupons to military families and they can be awesome!)

Type of Coupon: Normally at the top of the coupon you can find what type it is. By type I mean manufacture or store coupon. And remember a lot of stores will take a manufacture coupon and a store coupon for the same item. 

Instructions: There's always some fine print on every coupon. I suggest glancing over some of the fine print on some coupons you have, but don't feel that you have to read them all. They're all pretty similar. And once you know the jist, you'll be set. I do recommend reading the fine print on really high value coupons or ones that you think might be too good to be true.  Also, at the top of some manufacture coupons there will be a note to not double the coupon. Not all stores double coupons and those that do normally have their own limits as to what amount they will double. 

Barcode: All coupons have a barcode, sometimes two or three. You don't have to worry much about these but make sure they are in tact so the store can scan them. 

Coming tomorrow-Coupon Lingo :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Where to Find Coupons!

I used to think the only coupons I could get my hands on were the ones in the Redplum that came in the mail...turns out...that's only one of the many places that you can acquire coupons. Here is a list of where to find and clip your coupons:

Redplum Inserts that come with your "junk mail" -These are the easiest because they require no work for you :)

The Sunday Paper- I've found that if you buy the more expensive Sunday paper in your area, you'll get more coupons. Here it's the Plain Dealer and it's $2.00 on Sundays.  Sometimes I will buy more than one paper so I can have more than one of each coupon. 
You can preview Sunday coupon inserts here. This way you can decide ahead of time how many papers you want to buy. 
In the Sunday Paper you will find two types of inserts. The Smartsource insert is in there every Sunday. The P&G insert is only in the first Sunday of the month. This is a great insert that contains Proctor and Gamble product coupons. 

Store Websites- A lot of stores have their own coupons (which is awesome since most of them will let you use a store coupon and a manufacture coupon for the same item) Also, you can sign up for mailing lists and stores like Target and Walgreens will mail coupons to you.

Coupon Websites- You can print coupons from the following websites:

All You Magazine- You can find this magazine only at Walmart. It's normally about $2.50 but it is so worth it. Even if you only use a couple of the coupons, the magazine pays for itself. 

Product Websites- A lot of products' websites will offer coupons that you can print. Normally they want your email address. 
**I recommend creating an email address specifically for junk mail and newsletters. This way you aren't cluttering up your regular inbox. 

Buying Coupons- If you find a coupon in an insert and it's a really great deal that you want to stock up on you can actually buy coupons online. I haven't done this yet but I know someone who has. You have to keep in mind shipping times (most deals only last a week). Here are some websites:  you can buy whole inserts on this website. you can buy individual coupons here this is the one my friend used. She said you can buy 20 of the same coupon for $1 + shipping. A great example of where this came in handy: there was a $3 off Nivea Body Wash coupon. This body wash is normally priced right at $3 at Walmart, making it free with the coupon. So ordering 20 coupons isn't a bad idea when you end up with 20 free body washes. 

Now you have an idea of where to find coupons :) So this weekend...pick up a paper! The P&G insert is in this week's!

How to Read a Coupon and Coupon Lingo-Coming next week!

Faces of Jules

Jules will be six months here in five days. I swear it has gone by a lot quicker this time around. She has such a personality. She talks and squeals all the time. She wants to move so bad, her legs are always going and when we put her on her belly she tries to fly away. She makes some of the funniest faces though. The one above...determination. Little miss piggy ate all her cereal and half a jar of fruit. Yet, she wanted that bowl pretty bad. 

Then she realized she couldn't reach it. Say Hello to the mad face. 

Oh the joy of being an ordinary mom. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

3 Steps To Choosing Your Stores

If you do any kind of shopping you know there are a million places to choose from and every store is different. They run different sales (sometimes different weekly cycles too), they have different coupon policies, different reward/member cards, and overall different prices. 

Right now, I mainly shop at Walgreens, Target, Giant Eagle and occasionally Walmart. I used to do all my shopping at Walmart for food and Target for diapers and what not (I really didn't care for the Walmart brand). I'm most comfortable with these two stores because I have shopped there for so long. I can probably tell you the price of most of the things we use coming from these two stores. That's because even when they aren't running sales, their prices are pretty cheap. 

I started shopping at Walgreens and Giant Eagle slowly. I didn't know much about either store so I had to do my research and start small. Now I'm pretty familiar with their policies and how they run their sales and rewards.'s a good way to figure out where you want to shop. I normally "shop" more than once a week and all my stores are close to one another so managing four main stores isn't hard for me, but I do think that if you're just starting out, pick two stores that you're pretty comfortable with as it is and read up on them. Most stores have websites where you can view their coupon policies and their rewards programs. I don't recommend choosing Walmart.  Walmart keeps their original prices low because they don't have a rewards program, their coupon policy kind of stinks and they really don't have great sales. I still shop their for my food because I don't do as much couponing for food as I do for other things and their prices are normally lower than most places. And I hate to do my grocery shopping at four different stores. 

Ok so we've covered step one: Pick two stores that you're pretty comfortable with and research them.  I also recommend browsing through the store and taking note of the original prices of some things you buy/use regularly (this way you know if a "sale" is actually a good deal). Also, many blogs that you read will refer to Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid as the drug store game. I do recommend researching one of them. I've found that Walgreens is a little bit easier to understand than CVS and Rite Aid (they give register rewards and you don't need a membership card). But work with what is closest and easier for you. 

Step two:  If they have a rewards program, read how it works and sign up! (Giant Eagle gives fuel perks and we use it like crazy, plus you don't get the sale price without a GE card.)

Step three: Find where you can acquire their ads. Most stores put out a weekly ad, either in the Sunday paper or you can view it online. Become familiar with the ads and which days they run their sales (Some run Monday-Sunday where others might run Thursday-Wednesday). Also, take note to whether or not the store doubles coupons on certain days. 

You can actually take these steps with multiple stores even if you don't frequent them. This way you can at least keep your options open if you start to notice that one store gives better deals and rewards than another. 

Coming Tomorrow-Where Can I Find Coupons?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The First Step: Research!

I don't have a huge defining moment of when I experienced the epiphany that I should start couponing. That would make for a fantastic story though. I can't even really remember a 'light-bulb' moment. I do know that I used to clip the coupons that came in the Redplum insert and stash them away in a little plastic file folder and when I would go grocery shopping I would pull them out and see if I had any coupons for anything that was already on my list. The more I ask around, this seems to be how a lot of people start...and even where they stop. It's ineffective, time-consuming and isn't really worth the $.50 off the name brand when you can buy generic right?

Well I started doing some research. I goof around on the computer a lot and knew there had to be some knowledge out there, so I used my all powerful Google search and started looking through some coupon blogs. Whew...there are a lot. And it seemed really overwhelming at first. Then I came across this one: and it really is the foundation to all my coupon knowledge. What I like the most about her blog is that it isn't cluttered, it's very easy to read and navigate, and she doesn't post every single deal that's out there. She has all kinds of resources and links to other blogs if you want details on the drug store game, other deals and even homeschooling resources. 

After finding this blog, I followed it for months and began signing up for freebies in my mailbox, started scoring some online deals and began reading the coupon basics. Couponing really is a game and if you play it right you win big.  But in the beginning it does require some time. As you get more into it, it takes less time and you become more efficient. But the first thing anyone should know when wanting to start their own couponing journey is to take it slow. You won't want to go to ten stores and a coupon binder won't sprout out of nowhere. 

So...the first step: Research. Visit some of these links and do some reading:

Explore their deals. Read about different stores. Check out their Couponing 101 tabs. Then google coupons and see what you can find. There's an insane amount of knowledge, but once you sort through and find some blogs you're comfortable with, it makes the rest of the journey a lot easier. 

Next step....Choosing your stores!-Coming tomorrow! :)

Oh the joy of couponing!

The Beginning of The Coupon Journey

I've had a lot of people ask me all kinds of questions about couponing and so I figured I would start a series of blog posts dedicated to my couponing journey. I have a label right now for all the great deals I've scored (Cha-Ching), but I'm going to start another one titled The Coupon Journey. I'll start with how I got into couponing and post about current things I'm learning and working on. So stay tuned...I'll be posting the start of my journey later today :)