{Little Learners Preschool}

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm in Preschool Heaven!!!

This must be game week! I saw these deals at Toys R Us and I got soooooo excited b/c I am trying to get everything for my preschool (which is an extensive list) and most of these games I will be able to use! The rest of the stuff I will use for gifts! I was so excited about these deals, I didn't want to wait until Brandon got home to take the kids, so I just took them. They did pretty good, but I spent $1 on the rides at the front of the store to keep them happy! Here's what I got:
Connect 4
Hi Ho Cherry O
Sorry Sliders
Chutes and Ladders
Bop It
Hungry Hungry Hippos
Gator Golf
Monopoly Deal
2 My Little Pony's
3 Elefun & Friends stuffed animals

Most of the games have rebates and Toys R Us has a deal going on where you get a $5 gift card with every $20 game purchase you make (before coupons) I got $20 in gift cards! With the rebates ($31) and the gift cards, I spent.... $23.88! That's $1.40 per item! WooHoo! (And, when I put my gift cards in my wallet, I saw a $5 Target gift card I had forgotten about!)
I Heart Shopping!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Couponing is not just for cheap groceries...

I am amazed at the different deals I have been able to get from couponing that have nothing to do with groceries. At Target I got a pillow (who can't use a new extra pillow!?) and the Battleship game for $3.04!
At Toys R Us, I got Toy Story and Toy Story 2 DVD & BluRay combo pack for.... $13.98! Plus, each DVD has a free movie ticket for Toy Story 3 valued at $8.99 each!
6 jumbo packs diapers, 2 tubes toothpaste, 2 Almay mascara's, & 4 Snickers from Walgreens all for $23.56! (I'm so excited b/c I think I have enough diapers now to get Hudson through the potty training process! I LOVE having stock piles!)
I've been wanting to get Porter and Hudson each a lawn mower so they can help Daddy when he mows the lawn. Toys R Us was having a Buy One Get One Free Little Tikes sale, so I got both of these for $24.99. I didn't use coupons for this deal, but it was something I was going to buy anyways, so I was super excited! The Easter Bunny is going to give these cute lawn mowers to my little guys for Easter:)
So, I know you are still wondering how I get these deals. Honestly, it would take me a looooong time to explain everything myself. I will tell you what I did to learn. I started following local blogs and websites that find the deals for you. The ones I follow are on my side bar. Seriously, they find all the deals for the different stores, they tell you exactly what coupons to use and from where, and they give you scenarios on how to do the transaction/s correctly. That doesn't mean I never make mistakes. I do, but you can always take the items back! For you locals, I also went to a couponing class taught by one of the gals from Frugal Living NW. She holds classes all over the Portland Metro area (your only payment is to bring 5 cans of food). On most of the couponing websites, they have "just beginning" links you can click on. I read all of these, which helped, also. I started very small, just choosing one store and only doing one deal. As I caught on and became more confident, I started going to more stores and doing many more deals! Hope this helps! Seriously, I could break down every single item I purchased and tell you how I did it, but these websites have it done already, so check them out!
*If you are still confused after looking at these sites, and want me to explain in more detail what exactly I do, let me know.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oh, Porter.

Well.... it's that time of year when Brandon goes on his "man trip" with my dad to the National Wrestling Tourney. He left this morning: destination Omaha, NE. He's only gone for 5 days, but those 5 days are long enough for me! I can't wait for Sunday night! We miss you already, Daddy!

Anyways, for these 5 days, I wanted to plan some fun things to do to help pass the time, and keep us all happy. Today, we had a FULL house of boys! 6 to be exact! My two, a little guy I just started watching, and 3 other little ones from my ward. That means 6 boys 4 1/2 yrs and under, including a 4 mo. old baby!!! It was a crazy time, but so fun for my boys to have so many friends to play with! We made shamrock cookies to celebrate St. Patty's Day, which they all loved!

When everyone went home and the house was quiet, I decided to take Porter & Hudson to Baja Fresh for dinner. They were giving Facebook Fans a free burrito today if you were wearing green. I thought about getting the food to-go, but decided to just eat it there. It was something to help pass the time. I am normally not that excited to take the boys out to eat.... especially by myself... because they have a hard time sitting still long enough to eat, let alone to let me eat. I knew my risks, but decided to go for it. Besides, if they are ever going to learn restaurant manners, I have to give them the opportunities to practice.

Things were going well, almost too well, I remember thinking. I was able to eat what I wanted (I was not too impressed with the food), and Porter and Hudson were eating, too! There was a little bit of rice on the floor b/c Hudson insisted on feeding himself, but if that was all I had to deal with, I thought that wasn't too bad considering I was the only adult with 2 toddlers at a restaurant. We had been there about 45 min. and we were wrapping up eating.

*Side note about Porter: those of you that know him, know that he is a wiggle worm and doesn't like to sit still.

Porter had been wiggling on his chair the whole time he was eating, but I didn't say anything, because a) he was eating his food, and b) he was staying on the chair instead of wanting to get down and run around. The next thing I know, in slow motion, I see Porter going down. He was falling in between 2 chairs, and as he is falling, his arms are trying desperately to find something to hang on to, to save his fall.... Unfortunately, the only things he found are the two food trays.

Once again, in slow motion, I see food flying through the air. Chips and apple sauce, and ranch dressing, and salsa, and rice..... and that's when I wanted to be invisible. But of course I couldn't, because the incident totally scared Porter (and made him feel really bad. He tells me later: "I'm sorry, mom. I didn't mean to.") AND it freaked Hudson out, too, so they were BOTH crying.

So, what do I do? The only thing I could do. Without making eye contact with anyone (and secretly praying that the flying applesauce and ranch didn't land on the people sitting right next to us), I clean up the best I can with what napkins I had ( I was not about to cross the entire room to get more), wipe up ourselves as best as possible (we were all covered in applesauce and ranch), and get out of there as fast as possible! It was a good thing that I wasn't very impressed with the food, b/c we will NOT be going to that Baja Fresh for a LONG TIME!

*I want to add that I love my little guys so much and would not trade these "incidents" for anything, as mortifying as they can be! They're character-building, right?

**AND I promise I'm not ignoring those of you that have asked me how I coupon. I really am planning on doing a post on it (not that I am an expert in any sense of the word), but I am too tired and just want to veg right now, so it's going to have to wait 'till another day. Maybe I'll get it done tomorrow if I have a better day than today. Let's all hope for that! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More and More Deals!

Albertsons had an AWESOME deal on fruit snacks last week. And since they are a staple in our house, I got 30 boxes! I also got 10 cans of juice and I spent..... $12.40!!! That's 31 cents per item! Amazing! I was supposed to get a $10 Catalina for buying the juice, which would have made this an even more amazing deal, but I bought the wrong kinds:( But I was still very happy with this deal!
At Safeway I bought 20 SmartOnes and with two $10 Catalinas, I got all 20 for $11.88! These are great to have on hand for my lunches. They are regularly around $2.50 each.
I was tired the night I went to Albertsons to do a frozen food deal, so I didn't get a picture, but this is what I got: 2 cartons Dreyers ice cream, 4 boxes Bagel Bites, 1 box Bagelfuls, 2 Steam n' Mash Potato pouches, 1 box Dreyers Fruit Bars. With a $10 Catalina I got for buying 10 frozen food items, I only spent $6.90!

I have to tell you that at Christmas this year, my family came to visit us and my mom went to get something out of my deep freeze. She made a comment about how much room there was in it. I laughed and jokingly said it takes money to fill up a freezer. Well, guess what? 2 months later, my freezer is FULL and I have spent LESS on my groceries!!! It doesn't take money to fill up a freezer or fridge or shelves, it takes COUPONING!

I got these HUGE packages of tp and paper towel at Safeway. With the $10 Catalina I only paid $3.48!
Here is our food storage shelves. We have had the # 10 cans, but pretty much everything else I have purchased since I started couponing the end of January. I look at what I have accumulated in 1 1/2 months and get excited to think what my food storage will look like in a year! I will need 10 more of these shelve units!
When I was putting together our RS newsletter this month, I found this quote that I really liked from Ezra Taft Benson: "The revelation to store food may be as essential to our temporal salvation today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah. We encourage families to have on hand this year's supply; and we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scriptures of the Lord where He says, 'Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
I am going to make more of an effort to make it to the cannery more often AND to use the food storage that I have. I thought I would start simple and start making our bread instead of buying it. I LOVE that I can grind my grains in my vita-mix. It is soooo convenient and easy!
I am in search of my favorite whole wheat bread recipe, so I am going to try a bunch until I find The One. This was the first one I tried. I like it because it has the whole wheat flour AND rolled oats, which I get out of my food storage. If anyone has a whole wheat bread recipe that they LOVE, let me know! I would love to try it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fun Day :)

Brandon took the day off and we decided to go have some fun today! We took our little monkey's to NW Kid's Club to release some of their bottled-up energy. They had so much fun and Brandon and I had so much fun watching them!