Since most of my readers are women I feel comfortable asking this question. I have been trying to find a homeopathic or natural alternative to ibuprofen or stronger medication to control my cramps every month. I also tend to have terrible PMS. I am not sure how my family is able stand me some months. 

My cramps have been so bad in the past that I have been in the ER for a demerol shot. My Dr. has tried birth control, but I refuse to take it for several reasons. The only things that seems to work are ibuprofen, moist heating pads, and if I am too out of control Lortab. I hate to continue to take these medications. They make me sick for several days after my cylce not to mention what they are doing to my body. At one point I had severe heartburn and reflux due to the ibuprofen. 

Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated. I went to Green Acres yesterday and they suggested either cramp bark, Vytex, or one other thing that they were out of. I think I will have to just start trying some things to see what works. 

Have a great Saturday. I am headed to an out of town baby shower and will be back later this afternoon. 
Glade is running a new catalina deal until December 28. I have not had a chance to check out the prices of some of these items yet, but with all the Glade coupons around right now there has to be some way to make this a good deal. Note this does not start until next Friday, but that should give me some time to come up with a good deal.

Buy any Glade Plugins Air Freshener or Glade Candle product bewteen 12/5-12/28 get...

Buy 3 get $2 catalina
Buy 4 get $3 catalina
Buy 5 get $4 catalina

My game plan so far is to buy the Angel Whispers scented oil candle holder regularly priced at my Dillons for $4.99. I will use 2 BOGO coupons and 2 $2/1 blinkie coupons. 

Hopefully it will look like this...
4 candle holders $4.99 x 4= $19.96
-2 $2/1
Total $5.98 for 4 candle holders
-$3 catalina 
Final cost with catalina $2.98 or $.75 each!

Sorry I have been playing hookie this week. My husband has been off since Wednesday and we have had 3 family gatherings. I plan to get back to my regular posting schedule this next week. Thanks for hanging in there.

I was in Walmart yesterday and snagged some really great Black Friday deals, but they paid me to take a few items. Here is the scoop...

Arm and Hammer baking soda is $.46 each
Use $1/2 Here
Final $-.08 for 2

Goodie Ouchless Poneytail holders regular price $1.42
Use $2/1 here
Final $-.58 each!

I noticed today that Dave Ramsey has a Thanksgiving special running on many of his books and cds for $10 each. That is a great deal. I think I may get a couple of books to give as Christmas gifts. I have to say that after reading Total Money Makeover my ideas about money and how I handle it changed drastically. I would highly recommend you look into this investment.

Psalm 100:4-5

"Enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise is name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

It is the time of year when we should remember all the things we are thankful for. Here is my list of things that I am thankful for in the last year...

I have an incredible family

We have plenty of food

My husband is employed

We have a beautiful house

We discovered how to pay off debt and we have actually paid off some things!

I am free to worship the Lord and go to church (I am reading Tortured For Christ)

Both of my parents are in good health

My grandfather accepted Christ before his passing in January

I have a Father in heaven who is watching over me and taking care of all my needs

Praise the Lord for his continued faithfulness in our live. Verse 5 says that his faithfulness continues through the generations. This is why I believe it is so important to be at home training our children. They are the next generation. They will be teaching the next generation, our grandchildren. I don't know about you,but I want to be sure that my children are teaching my grandchildren about the Bible and all that the Lord has done for us.

If you would like to make a list of the things you are thankful for this year feel free to leave your name and link to your post below. Have a blessed Sunday.

Lindsay has a great article posted today on how to be content despite our circumstances. She always has such great words of wisdom. I would highly recommend you read this article.

Next week I plan to get back on track with the Transition To Home Series and Work at Home Job ideas. I feel like I have gotten a little off track in the last week or so. Since this will be a holiday week I can not say how much I will be around, but I will do my best to answer questions.
Happy Thanksgiving.
I decided to do a little coupon shopping without the kids on Friday. I came home with a ton of veggies. My cabinets and freezer are full! I am determined to only get bare essentials the next 2 weeks. All of this came from Dillons (Kroger) and Walmart.


1 Idahoan potato $1.00
-$.40 coupon
Total $.20

14 Boxes Green Giant Veggies
I used various printable and insert coupons
Stacked with 1 ecoupon
Total I am not sure

2 bags Birds Eye Veggies $2.00
- two $.35/1
Total $.60 for both

2 bags Birds Eye Veggies $2.00
Total $1.00 for both

Colgate Toothpaste $2.06
-$.75/1 coupon
-$1/1 Cellfire coupon
Total $.06

Baking Soda $.65

Betty Crocker Frosting $1.69
-$.50/1 coupon
-$.55 ecoupon
Total $.14

No Yolk Noodles $1.55
Total $.55

Total around $9 (I had a few items on my receipt that I bought for my mother)


2 Boxes Kashi Bars $2.97
- two $2/1 coupons
Total $2

2 bags Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour $2.76
- two $1/1 coupons
Total $3.52

1 Kotex Liners $1
Total FREE

2 Goodie Ouchless Ponytail Holders $1.46
- two $2/1 coupons
Total $1.08 OVERAGE!

3 bags Green Giant Steamer $1
- three $1/1 coupons
Total FREE

Total Spent around $4.30

Total for the day about $14!

Total saved with coupons and sales around $52
It appears that Dr Pepper will have coupons on its website for 24 hours this Sunday for a FREE 20 oz Dr Pepper. Go here to check it out.
Apparently this deal is not working. I have heard from at least 2 people that the ES coupon is for the $14.99 spinbrush that is not on sale. Sorry about the confusion.

Crest Spinbrush is on sale this week for $4.99. You can use the December Easy Saver coupons from Walgreens this weekend. There is $3 off coupon for Crest Spinbrush. When you stack it with this $2 coupon here it will be FREE.
Today is Recipe Thursday. I think I am in a fall recipe mood. Everything seems to have pumpkin in it. Today I am planning to make pumpkin pie with my daughter. I have found one of the easiest recipes for pie crust that I have ever tried. To make it even simpler to do I make it in my food processor. It is a matter of adding the ingredients and turning it on. What could be easier? I often make several of these and freeze them for quiche or something else later.

Easy Pie Crust-Makes 2 crusts

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/2 cup cold water

Put everything in a food processor and blend until a ball forms. Roll out and place in a pie pan. Fill with desired filling. Cook as directed for your particular pie.

The original recipe can be found here.

If you would like to participate in Recipe Thursday please leave your name and a short description of your recipe with a direct link to your recipe in your blog below. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.

Thanks to Money Saving Mom for letting us know about this great deal. From November 21-23 you can use this coupon here to get a free pastry with any 20 oz drink purchase. I plan to buy an Italian soda. They are one of my favorite drinks and they are much cheaper then coffee. I think we may have to have a family night at the book store this weekend.
The deals are not as great as they have been the last 2 weeks, but there are a few. I think they are trying to push the frozen veggies.

Birdseye Steamfresh Frozen Veggies $1.00
-$.35 from 10/12
Final $.30

Green Giant Boxed Veggies $1.00
-$.50/2 ecoupon
-$.60/2 here
Final $.25 each when you buy 2

Kroger Frozen Vegetables $1.00

Betty Crocker Frosting $1.50
-$.50 from 11/16 insert
-$.55 ecoupon
Final FREE

Wheat Thins $1.98
-$1/2 Here
Final $1.50 each when you buy 2

Kroger Cheese 3/$5
-$.45 Ecoupon
Final $1.22

Ritz 2/$5
-$1/2 here
Final $2 each when you buy 2

Kraft Cheese 2/$5
-$1/2 from 11/16 RP
Final $2 each when you buy 2

Tennessee Pride Roll, Cooked Link, Patty 2/$6
-$1/1 from 11/16 RP
Final $2 each

Pillsbury Crescents $1.77
-$.35 here same as in my side bar
-$.50 ecoupon
Final $.07

Sweet Rolls $1.77
-$1/1 here or $1.25/1 here
Final $.77 or $.52

Pillsbury Grands Biscuits $1.77
-$.50/1 here
Final $.77

Philadelphia Cream Cheese 4/$5
-$.50/2 from 11/2 SS
Final $.75 each when you buy 2

Pillsbury Dinner Rolls $1.99
-$.50/1 Here or Here
Final $.99

Rhoades Rolls $3.49
-$.50/1 from 11/9 SS
Final $2.49

Heinz Gravy 10/$10
-$1/3 Here
Final $.67 each when you buy 3

Uncle Ben's Rice $1.77
-$1/1 from 11/16 RP
Final $.77

McCormick Grinders 10/$10
-$.25 from 11/16 inert
Final $.50

Cucumbers and Green Onions $.69 each

Sweet Potatoes $.44 lb

Celery $.88 each

Kroger Potatoes 5 lb bags BOGO

Kroger Canned Vegetables 2/$1

I had something print out on my receipt the other day that told me about another catalina deal. I am assuming this would be at all Kroger/Dillons stores. I have not had a chance to figure out a good deal for this yet. Let me know if you come up with anything.

This deal is good for any Crest or Oral B product.

Buy 2 or more totaling $10 get $2 catalina
Buy 2 or more totaling $20 get $4 catalina

This deal is good from 11/2/08-1/03/09

I love organics, can you tell. Earthbound Farms will give you $1.75 in coupons and a free guide to buying organic when you take their short quiz. It took me just a couple of minutes and I actually learned some things.

Do you have a giveaway going on your blog? Well that is the topic of todays carnival. If you would like to list your giveaway here I would love to have you join in. Unfortunalty I do not have anything this week, but maybe next week.

Grains Pictures, Images and Photos

I have had several readers asking why I would mention soaking flour before cooking muffins. I guess maybe I should clarify why I believe in soaking your grains before you cook with them. One very good book that explains this in more detail is Nourishing Traditions by Sallon Fallon.

Basically by soaking your flour, oatmeal, or any other grain you are breaking down the phytates and making it more digestible as well as helping your body to use the nutrients in the grain better. Most grains need to be soaked overnight using either buttermilk, kefir, yogurt, or lemon juice. Grains should be soaked at room temperature on the counter. It takes a little more effort to remember to do this ahead of time, but it is so much better for you nutrition wise.

If you are interested in a really great article that explains soaking grains better then I can I would encourage you to visit Passionate Homemaking. Lindsay does an excellent job of giving you the why and how to soaking grains. Her site is full of frugal ways to live a more natural life.
Jack had a runny nose and was trying to blow it by himself
Well, I realize it is rather late to be posting this, but I figure we can continue it tomorrow. I finally got Mr Linky to work. YEAH!

If you would like to participate in Mommy Tip Tuesday leave a link to your site with your mommy tip of the week.

Here is mine...
To help our 3 year old start to grasp the idea of save, spend, give with her money we decided to use 3 Pringles cans. (Guess who ate most of the chips?) We let her decorate 3 pieces of construction paper and then I labeled them Save, Spend, Give (tithe). We then put the pieces of paper on each can.

Each week she is given $.50 and we help her put her money in the correct can. She loves it and really looks forward to getting her money out of her tithe can to take to church. She also cleaned out her spending money one day when she wanted to buy some bubblegum.

So far it seems to be working.

What is your mommy tip?

This is an excellent bread that I make whenever I don't have time to make a bread that I have to knead. Especially since I dropped my bread maker and shattered the glass dome.

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups warm water
2 cups all purpose bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
I often add oats, millet, or any other seeds I have around

Combine the yeast, sugar, water, and salt and let set 10 minutes.
Add in the flours and stir until well mixed.
Place dough in a well greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Shape into 2 loaves and place on a cookie sheet.
Cook 375 for 30 minutes

I was thinking about posting my recipes from the things I baked today. Since I had a reader request them, I think I will go ahead and do that tonight.

Banana, Apple, Carrot Muffins

This is a recipe that I found and tweaked to make it a bit healthier. One of these day I am going to remember to soak the flour before hand. These are a great way to get some fruits and veggie down picky eaters. My daughter loves them and actually asks for carrot muffins to take for preschool snack.

If you are interested in the original recipe you can find it here.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1-2 Tablespoons ground flax seed

3/4 cup of sugar (I use half this amount. I hate to use it at all. I think I will try honey)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

2 eggs

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup millet

Mix the above ingredients together and spoon into muffin pan.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes

Quick and easy

Cranberry Pumpkin Scones
These did not turn out nearly as pretty as they usually do since I ran out of baking soda.

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour (Just to help make them softer)

1/4 cup sugar or honey

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 cup butter (no substitutes) cut up

1/2 cup pumpkin

1/2 cup applesauce

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (I leave these out)

1/3 cup dried cranberries (Today I used fresh chopped up)

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1.) Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

2.) Cut in the butter until it resembles fine crumbs.

3.) Add pumpkin, applesauce, nuts, and cranberries, stir just until moistened.

4.) Transfer dough to a greased cookie sheet and pat down into an 8 inch circle.

5.) Use a knife to cut dough into 8 wedges, do NOT separate wedges.

6.) Sprinkle with brown sugar

7.) Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes

Tomorrow I think I may post my recipe for peasant bread. It is a no knead yeast bread that is so good. Not to mention that it is really easy to make. I really miss my bread maker.

I promised I would do a post on today's grocery trip. I went to Aldi's and Dillons. I had not planned to buy quite so much, but some of the prices were so good, I decided to stock up for the next several months. You should see my pantry, fridge, and both freezers. I think I need to start buying only basics the next several weeks.


New York Croutons $1.89
-.50 coupon
Total $.89

Gold Medal Flour $1.99
-$1 coupon
Total $.99

Cage Free Eggs $2.69 (I splurge on good eggs)

Daisy Sour Cream $1
-$.50 coupon

Light Bulbs $.89

Garlic $.40

Bananas $1.32

Pinto Beans $1

Kidney Beans $1

2 bags of rice $2

Local Wheat Flour $2.65

2 King's Hawaiian Rolls $.99 each
- two $1 coupons
Total FREE

Total before coupons and sales $24.37
Total after $14.88


3lb Granny Smith Apples $1.99

4 Grapefruit $1.56

2 lb Grapes $2.68

Celery $.59

9 lbs onions $2.97

3 Acorn Squash $2.97

2 lbs Cranberries $1.98

12lb Sweet Potatoes $3.96

Total $19.88

I sold some of the sweet potatoes and onions to my mom. I am planning to go back and buy some cheese at Dillons that I forgot to buy. Madison asked for some this evening and reminded me.

Well putting your days goals up for everyone to see sure does keep one motivated. I managed to get to everything except the kids craft cabinet. I hope to have the laundry washed by tonight so I can fold it tomorrow. I decided to have Madison watch Veggie Tales while I slept on the couch instead of finishing. Needless to say I will now have to redo my general pickup of the house. Oh well such is the life of a mother. At least she let me nap.

Jack and Maddie helping

Finished apple, banana, carrot muffins and pumpkin cranberry scones

I guess I will add this to tomorrow's list.

Well I am not nearly as far down my list as I had planned to be. So far I have groceries and the laundry half way washed and dried. I went shopping at Aldi's and Dillons. I spent around $35. I will do a post of the specifics a little later, but I will tell you I got 12 lbs of sweet potatoes, 3 lbs of apple, 9 lbs of onions, 3 squash, and 10 lbs of flour. Plus a lot more. Here are some pictures.

Mt. Laundry. This includes all sheets, towels, and clothes for the week. Hopefully I can have an after picture by the end of the day.

to do list Pictures, Images and Photos

I am still not able to get a Mr Linky into my posts. I spent about an hour trying yesterday with no luck, but I would still like to do my week of Mr Linky. If you would like to join me for now you can leave a comment with a link to your post and I will make sure to get it posted quickly. If anyone has any ideas to help me get a Mr Linky in my post please feel free to leave a suggestion.

For today I would like to have everyone share their 6 most important things to do list. I know that Mondays can be very crazy around here and I try to do too many things at once and end up feeling overwhelmed. I have found that if I list only 6 things and no more that I get more accomplished and don't feel like nothing is getting done. I am a list maker by nature, just ask my husband.

I will try to take pictures of my progress today, but with the entire family down with colds I am not too sure how much will get done. I just put my 1 year old down for a morning nap at 8:15 and my 3 year old is still sleeping. They must feel bad to sleep that much.

My 6 most important things to do list...

3.)General pick up of house
4.)Make scones
5.)Make banana bread
6.)Clean out the kids craft cabinet.

Maybe a little ambitious for a day like today, but we will see. I think that posting my list will hopefully help keep me accountable to getting things done and not slacking off. Hopefully it will do the same for you.

I am planning to keep things simple this week with lots of healthy, kid friendly meals. I do not need many groceries this week due to some of the great sales Kroger has been having the last couple of weeks. I will post my shopping trip later this afternoon after I go shopping.
Breakfast-Blueberries, yogurt, toast
Lunch-Roast turkey breast, green beans, and apple
Dinner-PB & J, peas, fruit (Daddy works late)
Breakfast-Crock pot oatmeal, raisins, bananas
Lunch-Couscous, boiled eggs, veggie
Dinner-Meat loaf, mashed potatoes (with cauliflower & zucchini), green beans
Breakfast-Eggs, with potatoes and fruit
Lunch-Homemade chicken nuggets breaded with squash, fruit, and rolls
Dinner-Potato soup, rolls, fruit
Breakfast-Pumpkin pancakes
Lunch-Bean and cheese quesadillas, carrots,oranges
Dinner-Crock pot chicken and rice with veggies
Breakfast-Yogurt, homemade granola, fruit
Lunch- Mac and cheese with sweet potatoes snuck in and steamed veggies
Dinner-Stir fry with rice and veggies
Breakfast-Egg fritata, fruit
Lunch-Mini pizzas with veggies in the sauce and homemade crust
Dinner-Apple chicken wraps with mixed veggies
Breakfast-Toast and eggs with fruit
Lunch-Family lunch

I always thought I did a pretty fair job at saving money and using what I had on hand. After reading the post I found at Simple, Natural, Nourishing I am not so sure. Shannon has decided to embark on 2 months of no spending above the absolute necessities. She is not even buying food for awhile. I was very impressed with her for giving this a try. I mentioned it to my husband and he thought it would be an interesting thing to try at the first of the year. This would sure give us a great kick start to paying down our debt in 2009.
Psalm 37:8a
"Do not fret, it leads only to evil."

How many mothers can say that they have never worried or fretted about something? I would say very few if any. As women we naturally tend to worry about anything and everything. This verse is a little bit of a continuation of a scripture from a couple of weeks ago. We need to let go of our situation and le God do the worrying for us.

I am having some trouble getting Mr. Linky into my post. If you would like to participate in Scripture Sunday please feel free to leave a comment below with a link to your post.

These baby shoes are just too cute. They are also only half the price of regular soft sole leather baby shoes. They are only $18 each! The best part is that Passionate Homemaking is hosting a Bugaloo Kids giveaway right now. So head on over and check them out. I am planning to order several pairs for my little guy. If you order 3 or more you can get free shipping.

You have until November 21st to enter. You can also get a second chance entry for posting about it on your blog.

If you are thinking that you might want to order some of these shoes and would also like to help support this blog please click the picture above to get to the Bugaloo web site. I would really appreciate it. Thanks

Take the time to plan for your child's future.

I found out that Upromise is now offering e-coupons. I am not sure how I managed to miss this up until now.

If you are not familiar with Upromise you can go here to read up on it a bit. Basically Upromise is a company that has a huge database of places that will give you a rebate towards a college savings account or paying down your student loans. They are definitely worth checking out.

These ecoupons are still loaded to your shoppers card the same way shortcuts and P&G are, but there is a difference in the way you get the money. It is not deducted immediately from your grocery bill, but put into your Upromise account for later use. You still get the money back, it just takes a little while. If you had planned to by the item anyway you might as well get a little incentive on the side, for example Huggies. I also noticed that a lot of the Upromise ecoupons matched up with some of the paper coupons that can be printed right now as well as some of the P&G and shortcuts coupons.

Here is how you load them...

1.)Go to Upromise and log in if you are already a member. If not you will need to create an account.

2.) You then go to manage my account. From there you can activate coupons or enter your shoppers card #.

3.)At the top of the page you will select Earn Rewards and then select ecoupons.

4.)Select the coupons for your card, but remember that Kroger only allows a max of 45 coupons per card from all the sites.

5.)Click activate coupons. That is it. It is really pretty easy.

Every little bit helps when you are saving for college or paying down student loans. This could really begin to add up after awhile.
Help support this site by clicking on the banner above or to the side of this post to sign up for Upromise.
Thanks to Andrea at Mommy Snacks for this info.

I saw a post about Everyday Minerals about a month ago, but I thought it was worth mentioning again. I LOVE the makeup and it is worth every penny. Especially if you prefer to wear mineral makeup. I think it is comparable to Bare Minerals at a fraction of the price.

If you go to Everyday Minerals site here you can order a sample custom kit that contains 5 items. You get 3 foundations, 1 blush, and 1 concealer for FREE! All you pay is the shipping which is around $3. I ordered this about a month ago and I am still not finished with even 1 of the foundations yet. I will definitely be ordering from them again. They have a ton of colors to chose from.

Has anyone else tried makeup from this company? What did you think?
Please join me on my new facebook group. Anyone is welcome to join. I am hoping that this will be a place where everyone can join in and help each other on our journeys as wives, mothers, and keepers of the home. Please feel free to post any homemaking ideas you have, great coupon deals, or any other topics that you would like to discuss. I do ask that we keep the discussions family friendly. Hope to see you there.

Oh, and I would love to have you as a friend on my personal facebook page. Feel free to add me as one of your friends. You can never have too many friends.

Chain Links (Web) Pictures, Images and Photos

I don't know about you, but I love to join in when I see a Mr Linky posted. It is so fun for me to see what other bloggers are up to as well as getting some inspiration for my life or blog.

So starting this Sunday I am going to start a week long marathon of Mr. Linky with a different topic pertaining to homemaking, parenting, or anything else I find interesting. I am hoping that some of them will become permanent fixtures to my blog. We will just have to see how things go. Here is my proposed list. This may change some throughout the week. Please feel free to leave any suggestions for Mr Linkys that you would like to see. I may consider changing my line up. I will give a better description of what each one is about on each day of the week.

Scripture Sunday
List It Monday
Mommy Tip Tuesday
Hot Deal Wednesday
Recipe Thursday
Giveaway Friday
Save It Saturday
I Timothy 6:8
"But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."

Do you ever find yourself struggling with being content with what you have and not wishing you had what everyone else seems to have? I know that this is something that I must daily ask the Lord to help me with.
I will often find myself looking at what some of my friends or neighbors have and wondering if there is some way that I could possibly afford it or maybe even barrow the money for it. That is when I have to stop myself and thank the Lord for all the wonderful blessings that he has already given me. I have a beautiful home, food on the table, clothes, and a family that loves me. What more could I need?
The one thing that I have been struggling with the most lately is my the unfinished renovations in my house. We bought our house last January and had to redo nearly every surface before we could move in. Luckily we were living with my parents rent free at the time. We had the money to do the things we needed to do to make the house livable. Then we were introduced to Dave Ramsey. We knew that we needed to get out of debt, but just figured it was something we would eventually get to.

As of April we decided to put the major renovations that we had left on hold so we could concentrate on getting every penny of our debt paid off. As of today we have been able to pay off all credit cards, medical bills, and have put a huge dent in our car loan, but to be able to do that we have not worked on the house except for things we can do for free such as clean up or things that cost very little.
This is where my contentment issue comes in. I want to feel like my house is finished. I can clean all day and still not feel like my house looks clean. We have no threshold between the dining room and living room, which means my 1 year old is eating pieces of grout. I have no quarter round in the living room and hall. We still have yet to get a new dishwasher and range hood. The biggest thing that is bugging me is that the master bath has been untouched and now has a leaky toilet that is leaking dirty water all over the nasty, original linoleum floor, and I have plastic tiles falling off of the wall. I would also like to finish the basement someday.
I am really struggling with not taking some of our debt money and finishing some projects. We would have enough equity in the house to possibly sell it and pay off our debts completely. The only problem is where would we live?
All of that said I am truly learning a lesson in contentment. I feel this is a way the Lord is teaching me a lesson I will never forget. I look around me and see a mess, but there are others in this world who would see a palace. There are some who have so little and barely a house that is standing. Who am I to complain? Thank you Lord for all the things I have been blessed with. I pray that I will always be thankful.
I thought you might be interested in seeing the progress we have made on our house since January. So here are some pictures.
The old dining room with blue carpet. We attempted to take down the wallpaper, but opted to spray knock down texture.

The living room with blue carpet. Who would put that over original hard wood?

Pre renovation kithen

The old kitchen

MMMM, grout. One of Jack's favorite snacks.

The basement. Thanfully the previous owners had the anchors put in the walls to fix the foundation issue. Don't you love the smoke stained orange walls and linoleum floor. I can pick all the tiles up and move them.

These are all current pictures of the master bath

Master bath

Another view of the current master bath

The living room

The dining room now.

A view from the kithen into the dining room. I love my new oven. The old one I had to go to the basement and flip the fuse box to turn it one and off. Plus it was BROWN.

Praise the Lord for my almost finished house.

Emily from Violet's College Fund wrote an article about cutting things from your budget so that you can afford to quit your job the same day I wrote my post on the exact same subject. She made a lot of great points that I did not touch on. Go here to read it.
question mark Pictures, Images and Photos
I had a reader ask me if it is ok to print your internet coupons with black and white ink to save money or will the stores only accept color copies?

I thought this was a great question and I am sure that there are others who have wondered the same thing. I am happy to say that YES you can use black and white ink. I have never had a problem with a store not taking one of my coupons because it was not in color. I have had them reject them for other reasons though.

You do need to make sure that you have a good quality copy otherwise the bar code may not scan.

Don't forget that on most bricks coupons you can often print 2 copies. Once you see the thank you for printing our coupon page don't close that window. Wait until your first copy is finished then you should be able to hit your back button a couple of times and get a second copy. The bricks system will not allow more then that.

To gain access to more of the same coupons you can always see if someone will let you use their computer and printer. This is worth it if the coupon is a high dollar one.

Dillons has decided to extend the 10 Item Mega Event for one more week! The deals are the same so rather then re listing them all again you can go here to see my post on all the great deals for this event.

There are several other items on sale this week

Jennie-O Whole Frozen Turkey $.77/lb

Dillons eggs 3/$4

Kroger Cheese $1.68

Ground Chuck $2.19/lb

Grapes $1.19/lb

Squash $.99/lb

Big Bags of Fruit $2.99 each

Select General Mills Cereal $2.99

-$.55/1 here or $1/1 here
Final $1.99

Tide $5.99

-$.50/1 from 11/2 PG
Final $4.99

Hormel Chunk Chicken or Ham 10/$10
-$.35/1 from 9/20 SS
Final $.30

Hormel Chili with beans
-$1/1 from 11/2 SS
Final FREE

Libby's Pumpkin 10/$10

-$1/2 here
Final 2/$1

Martha White Muffin Mix

-$.55/2 from RP or $1/3 from 11/9 RP
Final Varies

Pillsbury Frozen Rolls or Baked Goods $1.99

-$.50/1 here and here. There are also several inserts
Final $1

Gold Medal Flour $1.99
-$1/1 here
Final $1

Here is a link to print a coupon for $1/1 Horizon organic butter.
I have been playing with the idea lately of starting a new recipe blog. I am thinking of calling it Meals For Mom: Healthy Whole Foods Your Kids Will Actually Eat. I would like to center it around posting recipes and help for moms with picky eaters, myself included. I struggle with getting my own child to eat her fruits and vegetables. Of course there would also be plenty of other types or recipes and kitchen help. What do you think?
I had a reader mention recently that she was about $500 short per month from being able to balance the budget and stay home. I hope that this post will somehow help others see that you can make this work.

How much are you willing to sacrifice to stay home with your children? This is a question that I often have to ask woman when they ask me how I manage to be a SAHM on my husband's teaching salary. The other statement that I often get from people is "Oh, you are so lucky to be able to stay home with your children. Your husband must have a good job." I have to make sure that I am polite and say thank you I know I am lucky, but what I want to say to them is luck has nothing to do with it. I stay home by choice and I make choices daily that keep me there.

What are some of the luxuries or so called "needs" that you may have to sacrifice to stay home? I have decided to put together a list of things that my family felt we did not need and truly have not really missed. I realize that some of these things we may be able to have again in the future, but for this season of our lives they are not necessities.

I am going to put an approximate dollar amount to the things on this list so you can see how quickly you can "find" that extra $500 in the budget. It may not seem that you will have any material comforts left at first, but I think you will soon realize, just how little you really need to be happy. The Lord said that he will make sure that we have food to eat, clothes on our back, and a roof over our head. This is the ultimate picture of true contentment. To be happy with the simple things in life. I will not say that I am not still struggling daily with contentment, but I am trying.

  • Cable tv Total we saved $100/month going with minimal cable, phone and internet.
  • High speed internet (We do have DSL, but a slower version)
  • Call waiting
  • Caller ID (Ok this one I miss)
  • Long distance telephone service
  • Cut Blow money $50/month
  • NO eating out except special occasions $50-$100/month
  • Gym membership $50/month
  • OnStar $15/month
  • Budget groceries Depending on your family $100-$200/month
  • Try to get your electric and gas on an average payment plan For us this saved about $50/ month
  • Use less water, shower every other day. $5-10/month
  • Eliminate trash bill (A little radical, but it can be done.) $30/month
  • Cut back on your driving to save on gas (If you don't work this should be easier) $50-$100
  • Cut family clothing budget. Try garage sales and thrift stores. $25-50/month
  • Coupon shop or make your own cleaning supplies $10-15/month
  • Put a $5 limit on gifts. This can force you to be creative. With coupons I still am able to come up with some nice gifts. $25-$50/month
  • Cancel magazine subscriptions. $10/month
  • Come up with free or cheap entertainment. Keep an eye out for coupons or free events, or try having a family night at home. $25/month
  • Possibly sell one car $300/month
  • Before quitting your job eliminate debt. $100-$300/month
As you can see these numbers can very quickly add up.

Realize that some of these changes will not be permanent. They are just some things you may have to sacrifice for a season to make your dreams come true. You can eventually start adding some small things back in. See Crystal's post here about living on a very bare bones budget of $1000 a month. It is amazing.

Think of saving money as your new "job." You are not technically being paid for it, but you are sort of making money. Remember all the expenses you will no longer have by not working out of the home. The average mom only makes a couple of dollars an hour after all the expense are paid so she can work, unless you have a very high paying job. That hardly seems worth it to me.
  • Work Clothes $25-50/month
  • Dry Cleaning $25/month
  • Work Lunches $50/month
  • Daycare! $400-500 per child per month
  • Gas $100/month
Things you will gain as a SAHM...
  • Seeing all your child's firsts and not hearing about it from the sitter
  • Being able to go to all school events and field trips
  • Showing your children by example how to live a Godly life
  • Seeing those beautiful smiles first thing in the morning and knowing you will not have to leave them with someone else.
  • Being able to stay home with a sick child and not miss work
  • Home cooked meals
  • A happier family because mom is not stressed out
  • Time to plan a menu, shop, and save money
  • Quality time with your husband
  • This list could go on forever. You can add some of your own perks.
I would love to hear from you to find out if posts like this one are helpful or not. I have been getting the feeling lately that most of my readers prefer to just see coupon, deals, and grocery store post.

Cellfire has some new coupons to load to your grocery store card. A couple of them are repeats of the last ones. If you have already redeemed your coupon for FREE oatmeal you can reload it to get more. I also noticed that the Goldfish and Cottonelle coupons are back.

You can also load coupons for $1.50 off of Colgate Maxfresh and Colgate Total toothpaste. If you combine this with the $1/1 for both kinds of toothpaste from the 11/2 Smart Source these should be FREE.

I also thought that I should give an update on possibly tripling these coupons. I have come to find out that the information I first received was false. You cannot use both Cellfire, Shortcuts, and paper coupons. You can use either Cellfire or Shortcuts combined with the paper coupon, but not all 3. At least you can still double your coupons. That is still not a bad deal. I am sorry for any confusion this may have caused.
Thanks to Marcy at Stretching a Buck for posting about this.
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