Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Settling In [maybe]

The home repairs seem to be subsiding a bit. The garbage disposal hasn't been addressed yet, although we have discovered since last week that the problem is much worse than the dishwasher repairman thought it was. He patched one small-ish hole in the back, but as Fiance discovered last night (after putting an entire carrot into the disposal), there are two incredibly LARGE holes in it, one on the front and one on the side. Yes, that's right,  pieces of shredded up carrot were flung all over the cabinet and its contents.
Luckily, most of the items belonging under there were still removed from when the dishwasher was being fixed. All we really had to clean up was the cabinet itself, glass vases, and some plastic bags. Stuff like that. No big deal. It was pretty funny, though. I'm still finding little orange specks hiding in the corners of the cabinet.

I've been experimenting with couponing lately, and I must say, it's incredibly addicting! I use the methods of the fine ladies at www.truecouponing.com, and for several reasons:

  1. They stand behind the ethical use of coupons (no doubling, no expired coupons, buy what you need - - not the entire shelf of mustard just because you can, etc.)
  2. They do a lot of the hard work for you. And when you're as whiny as I can be sometimes, it comes in handy. They have a huge database of non-expired coupons which they match every week with ads from different stores. Translation: if you want to go to Publix, they give you their weekly ad with matching coupons. If you like Winn-Dixie, they give you their weekly ad with matching coupons. I like to stick with my stores and save money while I'm at it. I don't like going to Wal-Mart because I believe they are the incarnation of evil (and I can only pray that Target never goes down that road!), so it helps to have a place to go and see how much money I can save while standing behind the stores I prefer. You can also search the database for coupons for specific items.
  3. Their theory is to buy the items you need when they are on sale, using as many coupons as the store's coupon policy allows (which they also have on the site for individual stores). They say stores generally have a 12-week sale cycle, so try to buy your family enough of a product to last you until it goes on sale again.
That being said, I have been following the rules as dutifully as possible. I have also been incorporating some of the ideas from Danielle at her blog. Mostly her freezer techniques. We drink a special kind of milk - - the only one I've found that is organic, lactose free, and fat free. As you might imagine, it's REALLY expensive. I'm talking $4.49 per half gallon. I know. It's ridiculous. And they only carry it at Publix, which we all know is expensive anyway. But every once in a while it will go on sale, and during the most recent sale, I found a coupon online (through truecouponing) for $1 off 2. I used that to buy two cartons, on sale for $3.50 apiece, even though we weren't yet halfway through our current carton. I took a tip from Danielle and I froze both of  the sale cartons. From what I've heard, the historical issue with freezing milk was the separation of the fat; but since our milk is fat free, we did not have this problem! Our milk is just as tasty after thawing as a fresh carton :).

After I get a good record of savings going (I'm thinking a month, which should be within a week or two), I'll be posting my total savings on here. I'll also go into more detail about my shopping routines. I think it's going to be pretty impressive!

Until then!
-Christi Lee

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