Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another Girly Girl

We've got another girly girl on our hands. It has started. She carries her dolls and purses around just like her big sister. She doesn't really care what doll she has...but, she does particularly like this old, beat-up doll of Lily's. It is just about the only doll that Lily lets her use without fighting us on it. 
Charlie with her doll...that goes everywhere with her.

Monday, September 12, 2011

August Savings

I'm one month into couponing. I have clipped and collected coupons the following Sundays: 8/7, 8/14, 8/21, 8/28, and 9/11. This is what I have learned.

  1. Couponing = lots of organization and planning.
  2. Spreadsheets and shopping lists are a must.
  3. Shop off your list - ONLY!
  4. Collect/buy more than 1 coupon insert.
  5. Save all coupons - you never know when something will pretty much be free...and who doesn't want free stuff?
  6. To maximize your savings, you MUST plan your meals and shopping lists based on what is on SALE, not on what you want to eat.
  7. Carry the coupon policies for each store with you.
  8. Cashiers (and other customers) like it when you organize your items on the register conveyor belt ahead of time. 
  9. Get to know your "favorite" cashiers.
  10. A LOT of people coupon. And, typically when there is a REALLY good sale, it can be hard to find those items in stock. You might have to make several trips...or get rain checks.
  11. When there is a Buy 10, Save 5...or something like that - it often MUST be in groups of 10. 
  12. It's okay to do separate orders...but, please see #8, have the items organized at the register.
  13. Check your receipts for errors. I have found 3 errors since I began and each time very easily got my money back by talking with Customer Service at the store. 
  14. You will often find yourself buying 6+ of one item. So, yes...I'm pretty much becoming an organized hoarder.

This is my typical couponing process as a very new couponer.

  1. Sunday - get 3 Sunday papers from the Dollar Tree within .5 miles of my house. Then, Bryan gets 3 newspapers. (there is a maximum limit of 3 - and yes, they're $1.00)
  2. Sunday - Saturday: I am constantly monitoring my favorite coupon site for news, printable coupons, weekly grocery store ads and deals, and scenario examples. 
  3. Sunday - Wednesday: Any free time I get I clip and organize my coupons from the previous Sunday.
  4. Wednesday - Friday: During free time on these days, I will make a list of what I am getting at each store. I use my favorite site as a reference to help me plan my list using the best deals and coupons. 
  5. Friday - Monday: I estimate I shop about 3 hours per week total for all stores. Yes, I shop at multiple stores. But, hey - I don't live in the boonies. I have 2 Fry's within 1.2 miles. I have a Safeway .3 miles away. The Bashas' is 2.5 miles and the Albertson's is 3 miles away. And's about 2 miles.

So far - I can say I've saved A LOOOOOT of money. But...I've also spent A LOOOOOT of money. I'm slowly building a pretty good stock of food. My pantry has filled up. My two freezers and fridge are stocked and our mini fridge is full of drinks. Our linen closet is beginning to bust at the seams with toothpaste and toilet paper and deodorant. I'm hoping that by the end of September, my "food storage" will be complete and I can begin just buying the necessary items, along with the really good, almost free items. This is when I anticipate my monthly food bill going down to about $200. 

So how much have I saved? Well...let's see....

For the month of August I bought $909.99 worth of food and spent just below $400. It's hard to say how much I normally spend (because I never really kept track before) but, if I go back to my July bank statement and add up all my random grocery debits - I spent $351.42 in groceries. This does NOT include any of our restaurant meals, which I'm embarrassed to say in July was a lot. AND - before, I shopped just to get us through the week. There was no food storage. I had NO extra deodorants or toilet paper. And now...sheesh - I'm probably good for about 6 months, at least. 

One thing I've found - is that it is hard NOT to buy 6 (or how ever many coupons you have) items even if you don't NEED 6. For example - I bought the hottie 6 body washes. They are normally $4.99. They were at Fry's for $1.99. I had a coupon for $.50 off of 2. Fry's will increase the coupon to $1. So - $1 off of 2. With the coupons, I paid $1.49 each ($8.94 total) and got 3 deodorants for FREE. The deodorants themselves (Old Spice) are $5.99 each that alone is a savings of $38.97. Holy cow! Did we need 6 body washes and 3 free deodorants? No. But, will we use them? YES. 

This last month, I've stocked us up for awhile on soaps, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, toilet paper, deodorant, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, chicken nuggets, cereal, grilled chicken, boneless/skinless chicken, and lean ground beef. I estimate I've probably bought enough of that stuff to last for months. And - all pretty much for one "normal" month of grocery bills. So far this couponing is panning out very well for us. Let's hope I can start just "replenishing" vs. stocking and my grocery bill will go down even more!

p.s. - for August - I saved the most at Safeway (70.95%). 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Thing To Remember

One thing I want to remember right now is this...

We clean with music. The music is REALLY loud. We dance while we clean. The cuties get in on this big time. Even Charlie dances. She'll sway back and forth and spin in circles. Brady will bust out is hip hop/break dancing moves (not kidding) and Lily...she'll just jump around, swing, spin and stand up on her toes like a ballerina. We really get into it. 

I remember dancing with my family like this and it really is so special. I love these moments. 

But, what makes it even cuter is this...

I'll be cleaning off in one room, singing away (in my terrible voice) and dancing here and there and all of a sudden a new song will come on and I will hear Lily or Brady's our favorite song!!!!! Then, they all run in the living room and sing and dance around like kids. Just like they should be doing. I love it. They've got a list of songs they all love and anytime one of those comes out. The Campbell Cuties dancers come out big time!

Friday, September 2, 2011


2011 is turning out to be a TERRIBLE blogging year for me. I don't know why. Every single day I think about blogging. I rack my brain for a topic. I go to my list of topics on my phone that I have compiled of things I want to say. And then...I don't blog.

Oh well. 

August was a busy month. Time really does fly with each year that I age. Summer absolutely FLEW by. I can't even believe I have a 2nd grader and a Pre-K kid...and of course a one year old.

Let's see what we've been up to this last month:

1. School started on August 10. With school comes lots and lots of shopping. Clothes. Supplies. You name it. When it comes to the cuties - I don't care what it costs. It is soooo much easier to spend money on them than it is on myself. I'll blame it on mother's guilt. It's funny because the hottie doesn't seem to feel this same way. I'm not saying that he goes out and spends tons on himself - because he SOOO does NOT, but...he doesn't get buyer's remorse like I do when I do spend money on me. 

2. Curriculum nights - We met with each of the kids' teachers and went over what we should expect for this year. It's hard to say what we think considering it's only been a few weeks - but, at least both of the teachers seem very organized. I do love that Brady's teacher is an older 2nd grade teacher. He's probably been teacher for over 30 years. There is just something about those older, strict, totally old school teacher that I like. I bank on them helping me keep my kids in line :) Lily AKA Lillian's teacher is super young and cute. Let's hope its not all fun and games and that she actually learns something. Yes - I know it's only Pre-K and I do want her to have fun...but, let's learn something, too!

3. Swim parties - Brady attended his first birthday party of the year. It was a swim party and boy oh boy - is that good because it's got to be like a gazillion degrees right now. Unfortunately, while at the party he fell onto a piece of PVC pipe sticking out of the cool decking and sliced his foot. He has been limping/stumbling/hopping around for the last two weeks trying to get it to heal.

4. Aubrey's birthday - Last weekend, the cuties and I picked up Ashley, Rylee, and Jake and road tripped it to Goodyear for their cousin Aubrey's first birthday. My cousin Kristen (Aubrey's mom) did such a FABULOUS job with the Sweet Shoppe themed party. The highlight of the party was our dad's challenging all of the kids to pixy stick shot contests. I'm guessing each of our dad's ate about 30 pixy sticks. It was like Man vs. Food...but really Uncles vs. Kids. Too funny!

5. Bryan's Vegas Trip - Bryan has this group of friends from high school/grade school. You know those friends...the ones that you may not see that often, but when you's like you can just pick up where you left off. The best kind of friends. Best, lifelong friends. Well, anyway - one of those BFF's is getting married next year and he wanted to do a Vegas trip a few months ahead while people can still afford it. So, they headed out for a boys weekend in Vegas at the MGM. I've heard they had an awesome time. And considering I know that some one of them (and NOT Bryan) passed out by 8pm...I am sure they had a blast!

6. Photoshop Class - This last month, I attended a photoshop class held by my wedding photographer (and friend) Marnee Marriott. She is so stinkin' awesome - I just love her photos. I learned bits of photoshop and really learned that I need a full on class about photoshop. Maybe one day.

7. Photography with old friends - I already wrote that I had the privilege of taking pictures of one of my oldest friend's newest little one. What a blast that was. Then - after the photo shoot, we headed back out there for a meet and greet with their family. It is so fun to catch up with friends that you have not seen in so very long!

8. Visit from the in-laws - My father in law and Marie were in town for a short, short visit. They actually were coming to AZ to hike the canyon. heard that right, hike the canyon. In August. Yes, they've been to AZ in the summer before. Yes, they know it's hot. got to hike when you can get a, needless to say, August it was. They had one day before they had to meet their friends at the Canyon, so luckily we got to spend it with them. We always love visits with them and the cuties had a ton of fun, even if it was for just the day. In case you're wondering...the trip to the Canyon was a success. It was super (understatement) difficult. And, they are just waiting for the day when they can look back on it and laugh. Luckily they had a few days to relax in Sedona before they had to make the trek home.

9. Couponing - I'm totally on the couponing bandwagon. 

That about wraps up August. I can hardly believe that it is already September. Before you know it, I'll be Black Friday shopping! Yay!! We've got a lot going on with Brady starting up baseball this week, some work travel I'll be doing, baby Carsyn's pending birth (yay