Solutions to the Cutbacks: Husband's Help

No, getting rid of a husband doesn't really help. (Especially if he is the bread-winner. Just had a funny story to share.

On the way to preschool this morning, I ask Husband if he has an ideas on cutbacks and something that I can write about as an alternative. He looks like he is thinking really hard about it. Then, his face lights up and he says, "I've got it!"

I'm thinking he just came up with a brilliant idea. I eagerly await his idea, only to hear this: "How about to save money on food, be sure that you are friends with someone who owns a restaurant and likes you a lot?"

Ah, to see the world through his eyes. He then proceeded to "crack himself up."

On another note, Husband had wonderful customers that used to own a restaurant here in town. It was hands down our favorite restaurant. Nona called yesterday and asked Husband to come by. When he did, she handed him a TON of food. Homemade baked ziti, tortellini alfredo (that one was especially for me) and dressings for a salad.

So thanks Nona and Papi!

An Open Letter to the Man Speaking Extra Loudly at Barnes and Noble

And now, an excerpt from the “Evil In My Heart” Journal

I am sure this moment has been highly anticipated.

Dear Loud Mouth,

We can all hear you. You have made your presence known. There is no need to speak any louder. There is no need to speak and look around the café to make sure that we are looking at you. We are.

We can tell that you believe that the volume in your voice directly relates to your importance in life. Apparently, you are VERY important.

While I truly appreciate that you want to figure out this difficult “math issue” with your companion, I hope that you will be able to appreciate where I am coming from.

Tonight is my Mommy Night Out. I am here to escape little people who believe that the world only revolves around them. The only difference between you and the infant and toddler that I am spending my days with would be that they have enough sense not to use the questionable language that you are.

It is apparent that you are trying to appear “hard” or “tough” by the words coming out of your mouth, but I have news for you. You are a scrawny, older man with a receding hairline. I have no fear. In fact, if I saw you alone in an empty parking lot at night, I would worry for you more than I would worry for myself.

Don’t be offended. I can tell by the way that you are dressed this evening that you do not have anyone in your life being brutally honest with you right now. Consider this some friendly help from someone who has a serious interest in your volume reduction.


Anonymous Patron

Solutions to the Cutbacks: Manicures

Everywhere I look, people are cutting back. I have read tons of blogs recently about curtailing spending, saving more, and living a little more within our means. I love reading about this stuff because much like other people, we are doing the same.

My frustration comes from reading about many suggestions of things to cut without any alternatives offered to compensate for what is gone. As a mom, I feel like I am always the first to give something up. (I know, just let me have my pity party moment. (pause and a sigh) Okay, it’s over.) It’s hard to explain exactly what I mean, so let me give an example.

Obviously, Starbucks Chai tea is pretty important to me. Instead of giving up Chai tea completely, I have found an alternative. I can make Chai teas at home. Granted, there is some cost involved in making them at home, but I am not forced to give them up completely.

And so, I am on a mission to come up with some alternatives to things I am giving up or cutting back on. I would love your help on this one, and so any ideas that you have would be welcome!

Today’s cutback: Manicures
Today’s solution: Incoco Dry Nail Applique

Crazy name; super cool product. I found them at Walgreens and of course, there was a coupon right in front of the display. ($1.00 off) They are about 5.99, but compared to a manicure ($25-$30) they are a great deal.

How It Works:
You peel the backing off the color (or in my case, the white tip of the French manicure). It sticks to your fingernail like a sticker, but with the heat of your hand, it molds to the shape of your fingernail and looks exactly like you just polished them. Then, you put a clear coat on the top and you are set to go.

Saves Money
Can be done anytime (no more appointments)
Takes much less time
Can be paid for with Register Rewards from Walgreens

Still cost money
I was a little off on my first attempt, so I am currently walking around with a semi-crooked French manicure
Color selection (I am not ready to try the gold or silver glitter color)

For me, this is so worth it! I’m typically more of a pedicure girl, but having cute looking fingernails is nice for a change.

The Barnes and Noble Starbucks – Not a “Real” Starbucks

While this has no real bearing on life, I thought it was pretty interesting. About two weeks ago, I went into Starbucks to pick up, you guessed it; a Chai tea. The girl at the register ruins my day as she says words that I dread hearing.

Starbucks Worker: We are all out of Chai.

Me: What a national emergency! How could this happen? Who is responsible for this lack of planning? I know I have been cutting back on Chai tea, but seriously, this is an epidemic. (Just kidding, but I was thinking all of that.)

Me: (Really) No problem. I will just head to the one down the street.

As I turn to go,

Starbucks Worker: Actually, they are all out too.

Me: NOOOOOOOOO! (with much wailing and screaming) (Okay, maybe not, but can’t you just picture it?)

Me: (Really) Bummer. Do you know if the Barnes and Noble Starbucks is out of Chai as well?

Starbucks Worker: (with a serious look of disgust on her face) I have no idea. We didn’t call them. They aren’t a real Starbucks.

I wanted so badly to ask if they were just a “pretend” Starbucks, but I was fearful of having one of those moments where I am the only person laughing aloud about something that I said. You know, an “I crack myself up moment.”

Interesting isn’t it? I wasn’t really sure what to think about this interaction. I never really thought of the Starbucks at Barnes and Noble as inferior or any less that the others. How ironic, that even corporations have people with this type of attitude.

We run into people like this all the time. Here’s the irony. That night, the Barnes and Noble Starbucks received $4.08 from my checking account and the other store did not. Who was the “better” Starbucks, the “real” Starbucks?

Not trying to change the world with this one, just something interesting to think about. I guess I should have started this one out with . .

And now, Deep Thought, by ThisRealMommy.

Out of the Mouths of Strangers

I keep hearing from family and friends that I need to teach a class on saving money couponing. Each time someone asks, I think it sounds like a great idea, but I never really pursue it.

And so, Sunday, I am checking out at Walgreens and the cashier is watching all the items that I am buying and the amount that I am paying. (Lots of items – for very little money) She insists that I teach a class to show other people how to do this. I just smile. She keeps at it. She talks about all of the people that she things would benefit from it (i.e. the retirement community down the street) and talks about the economy and how important this information is. By the time she is done talking, I am inspired.

So, thank you Walgreens Beauty Counter Consultant. You have officially inspired me. I am putting together the presentation (with the help of my super cool sister who is awesome with a computer!) I am planning to take over the world, one couponing class at a time.

Back to Reality

I am back from vacation. (I know, I know, I have actually been back since Friday evening.) I love going up to the Lake. There is no cable, no internet, and cell phone service is iffy. I didn’t take my watch and we just spent all day every day dong fun things. What a vacation! We are planning to head back up there for Veteran’s Day and maybe after Thanksgiving.

Kroger (Fry's) Gift Card Giveaway

Check out Stretching A Buck ( for a giveaway of a Kroger's gift card. I really love reading about all of her deals and all of the ways that she is working to save her family money!

Sorry that I can't get the link to work. You can just cut and paste. I'll work on it when I get back.

Going on Vacation Again

I know, I haven’t been posting as much as I should. And, it gets worse; I am leaving for vacation on Monday and will not be back until the end of the week. I am headed off to a place that has probably never even heard of wireless Internet. Still, the laptop is going with me.

And so, in my guilt, I have decided to get out a few quick stories from the past two weeks. And these are not just the run of the mill stories. These are nice and embarrassing. I hope you enjoy!

Our first “up the nose” incident occurred last week. We were just leaving soccer practice and Son had some type of small cracker type snack. In the car, I glance over my shoulder and see Son picking his nose. Of course, I have to explain that “Picking our nose is very gross and there in never a reason that we need to do this.” I start looking through my purse for a tissue when Son says, “But what if there is something up there and you just want to get it to come out?”

I knew we were in trouble. I thought about it for a minute and told him I had a better idea to get it out. (By the way, Husband is driving. No need to imagine me doing all this while steering our car on the road.) I plugged up one side of his nose and asked him to blow. Sure enough, out popped a little snot-covered cracker. Moral of the story: Now that we have experienced that dreaded item “up the nose” incident, I am hopeful that maybe we will be able to avoid this in the future with Daughter. (I know, probably not!)

Sometimes, we say things around our children, even joking, that we wish they would never repeat in front of other people. I am glad to say that this one comes courtesy of Husband. Sister-In-Law came over for a play date last week. She has an adorable infant girl (we will call her Cousin.) So cousin had a dirty diaper and her mommy was changing her in the playroom on the floor. Son walked up to check out what was going on. He proceeded to announce that the baby had “dropped a deuce.” Oh yeah, you read that right. He thought it was the funniest thing ever. Meanwhile, I am standing there with a look of horror on my face. Needless to say, Husband refrains from saying that anymore!

Momstown Update

I'm sure you've noticed that we have taken a little break from Momstown. A few of you have mentioned that you are behind in the chapters and the reading. Don't worry, I am too. I still want to go through it, but I don't think it is worth it to just rush. I don't want to miss things because I am feeling obligated to keep a time schedule.

Here's what I was thinking. Let me know if this will work for the rest of you. I was thinking that we could work on the chapter about Mommy's Mind all of next week and then progress from there.

How does that sound to everyone?

The Student Has Become the Teacher

So my friend (code name: Martha Stewart) did an amazing job at Albertsons today. I have to admit, I was checking out beside her in line and it seemed like she paid less and less out of pocket each time. I am so impressed, that when she emailed me her totals for the day, I had to see if it would be okay to post them for all to see. And so, here are the deals she got today at Albies. What an amazing job!!

Her email:

Ok I went to Albertsons today. One has self check out so you can do as many transactions you want. Here is what I found out. The $5 OYNSO (on your next shopping order) is only for the items in the fold out
section of the ad. You can roll the coupon.

This was my plan
trip 1
2 boxes Multigrain Cherrios 4.00
8 Yoplait yogurts 4.00
- 2 cheerios coupons -2.00
- Yogurt coupons -1.00
- Powerade coupon -4.00
total $1
Printed $5 OYNSO

trip 2
2 Pillsbury cinnamon rolls 3.00
8 Yoplait yogurts 4.00
- Pillsbury sweetroll coupon -1.00
- Yogurt coupons -1.00
- Albertsons coupon -5.00
total $0
Printed $5 OYNSO

Trip 3
6 Veggie steamers $6.00
-3 veggie steamer Coupons -$3.00
Total $3

trip 4
2 Pillsbury cinnamon rolls 3.00
8 Yoplait yogurts 4.00
- Pillsbury sweetroll coupon -1.00
- Yogurt coupons -1.00
- Albertsons coupon -5.00
total $0
Printed $5 OYNSO

trip 5
2 Pillsbury cinnamon rolls 3.00
8 Yoplait yogurts 4.00
- Pillsbury sweetroll coupon -1.00
- Yogurt coupons -1.00
- Albertsons coupon -5.00
total $0
Printed $5 OYNSO

trip 6
2 progresso soups 2.00
8 Yoplait yogurts 4.00
1 candy bar for Bella .50
- Progresso soup coupon -.50
- Yogurt coupons -1.00
- Albertsons coupon -5.00
total $0
Printed $5 OYNSO

Trip 7
7 veggie steamer $7
-3 $1 off 2 steamer coupons -3
-1 $1 off 1 veggie steamer coupon -1
Total $3.00

Trip 8
4 boxes Multigrain Cherrios 8.00
2 Pillsbury cinnamon rolls 3.00
2 Betty crocker Muffin Mixes 4.00
2 Pillsbury cookie dough 4.00
1 5lb ground beef 3.75 (I had a rain check)
- 4 Cherrio coupons -4.00
- Pillsbury sweetroll coupon -1.00
- Betty crocker Muffin mix coupon -1.00
- cookie dough coupon 1.00
- Albertsons coupon -5.00
Total 10.75
Printed $5 OYNSO

So I spent a total of $17.75 But I have a $5 OYNSO coupon left.
I got
48 yogurts
13 Veggie steamers
10 pillsbury cinnamon rolls
6 Multigrain Cherios
2 progresso soups
2 cookie doughs
2 muffin mixes
1 candy bar
1 5lb of of Hamburger

Almost all the coupons I used were out of the pillsbury coupons to got
from albertsons a few weeks ago. The only extras I used were $1 off
veggie steamer, $1 off 2 progresso soups, $1 off 2 pillsbury cookie