Sunday, October 14, 2012


I spent 45 minutes in Albertsons today, though I (mostly) followed the list I had prepared. Here's some of what I got...

2 containers Dreyer's ice cream. Regularly $6.99. Bonus Buy for $1.99 each. =D
10 Smart Ones lunches. Regularly $3.89 each. I paid $1.30 each after a sale, quantity discount, and coupon.
4 Packs Hormel Turkey Pepperoni. Regularly $4.69 each. I paid $1.60 each after a sale and quantity discount.
2 packs of free gum thanks to  B1G1F coupons.
Halloween candy. I bought 6 bags, regularly 3.59-3.99 each. They were on sale for $2.50 each, and I had coupons. Ended up paying $10 total after sale and coupons. That's way better than the$20-$24 it would have been.
To get one of those Halloween Candy coupons,  I had to buy 2 Tombstone pizzas. They were on sale, but were still $5.79 each. It will be nice to have them in the freezer, though, when we need dinner in a pinch.

Total spent... $49.90. That's down from $104.50 when I originally rang up. Saved 56%!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Couponing and ADHD

I don't think couponing is a very wise thing for someone with ADHD to do. And yet, here I find myself doing it again. What is the draw? What makes me want to clip coupons and plan out shopping trips? I'm not looking to be an extreme couponer, but I seem to tend towards extremes in my shopping. Where is the balance??

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Systematizing my Home

I am in the process of systematizing my home. I have a long way to go for sure, but what I've done so far is working well! It all started back in April when I organized the pantry... again. Only this time I put bins and labels in the pantry. And you know what? I haven't had to reorganize it since. I also haven't put any effort into keeping it organized. What changed is that I found a system intuitive enough to my subconscious that I don't have to think to keep it that way. Better yet, my family is able to maintain it as well. The same is true for our hall closet that houses games, extra paper products, Eliana's craft item, etc. It was chaotic, but then I went crazy with the clear shoe bins and my labeler and... it has been organized and tidy since! And we use that closet a lot! So... with these two places disproving my self-inflicted theory that I can never keep things organized, I am working on finding systems for my entire home that work for me and my family!

I want my home to have a (labeled) place for everything so that everything can go in its place!

I started out writing this post with a specific goal in mind, but now I can't remember what I was going to say. This is pretty common for me... Which is why I'm so excited that I'm finding systems that work... even with my ADD!!

My biggest challenge by far is PAPER CLUTTER. I love paper. Not just craft paper, it turns out, but anything paper. I love printables. I'm afraid I won't be able to find them on my computer (because I have NO organization for my virtual files!), so I print out the ones I love. And then I have a stack of paper to deal with, but I don't want to deal with it right then, because I just exhausted myself going through all the printables to find the ones I liked. So I leave the pile for later. Only later never really comes and my pile gets bigger until I can't figure out what to do with all the papers. It's an overwhelming, exhausting process. So... I'd like to get my paper clutter under control. In fact, there are lots of areas of my life and home I'd like to get under control, so here's the list I want to work through...

Home paper clutter
MK office paper clutter
Craft room paper clutter
Craft room clutter in general
Overflowing bento supplies
Color coded file system
Dinner planning
MK office systems to keep my desk clear
Laundry system
Keeping volunteer projects separate and organized
Maintaining a clean and organized bedroom
Systems for keeping Eliana's room organized and clean
Master closet organization
Guest room systems
Shopping systems to regulate spending
Custom planner systems

Friday, August 10, 2012

Trying Something New...

I am trying something new to help keep Eliana on track in the morning before school. School hasn't started yet, but once it does I will need to get myself ready and have her get ready in order to be out the door on time. If this works, I'm thinking of making one for myself! Here's what I'm trying...
From on the FLY
I bought a $3.97 clock from Walmart and colored each of the sections in with a sharpie, then labeled what she should be doing during that time. It should keep her on task and out the door in an hour. It probably won't take her 15 minutes to get dressed in the morning, but I want to allow for distractions, as she has MANY! Hopefully she will have plenty of time using this clock to stay on track in the mornings and we will be out the door by 8!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Closet Love

Yesterday I set about doing something I have wanted to do for a very long time. I made hanging clothing dividers for my closet and for Eliana's closet. I have organized my clothes this way for a long time, but it is difficult for others to put things away, or it's too easy for me to be too lazy to put them away correctly. Now, though, there is order! Hooray! Here's what I made...

From on the FLY

This is my closet. I like to hang my shirts based on sleeve length first, color second. So my dividers are as follows... *strapless *strappy tank tops *tank tops *sleeveless *short sleeve *3/4 sleeve *long sleeve *vests *cardigans *jackets Then in each section I hang clothes in the following color order... *white *natural *brown *yellow *orange *pink *red *purple *blue *green *gray *black It sounds complicated, but it makes it super easy to find what you're looking for! And it's really not that complicated once you get the hang of it. Especially now that I have dividers!! The other side of my closet is considerably simpler, since I just have skirts, pants, and capris over there.
From on the FLY
In Eliana's room, we did the same thing, only it's much less complicated. She told me what categories of clothes she needed dividers for, and she just puts them in there willy-nilly. Her categories are... *Short Sleeve Shirts *Long Sleeve Shirts *Pants *Skirts *Play Dresses *Church Dresses
From on the FLY
From on the FLY
I color coordinated the dividers based on the rooms, of course. And I also created dividers for Eliana's school uniforms. We already had M-S dividers that we've been using for a couple years. Those are sort of what inspired these! They were a free download a couple years ago, and now can be purchased on Etsy. Of course, now I can't find the link, but I'll keep looking for it. I looked at all sorts of clothing dividers on Etsy, thinking I would just buy some, but for the number of dividers we needed, I didn't want to spend $60!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Traveling Light...

This summer I am taking a trip to Texas for our Mary Kay Seminar. I am checking one piece of luggage (which is shared with my daughter), but I wanted to pack as much as I could into my carry-on to avoid having to check a second bag, and to make sure that I had all my essentials, in case my baggage got lost. What I found is that I could fit much more than I expected into my little carry-on bag!!

Here is my bag, in the seat of a small recliner, with a remote added for scale. Not a large carry-on at all!
From Travel Tips
Here's what it looks like when you open it up...
From Travel Tips
Under the folded jacket, you see what REALLY makes up the inside of the suitcase...
From Travel Tips
Under the jeans I have several pairs of shoes packed tightly, with the spaces between them stuffed with underwear.
From Travel Tips
For the first time ever, I utilized the Travel Space Bags I have. I used two in this suitcase. They are nice because you don't need a vacuum to remove the air; you just roll them up to press out all the air and when you unroll them they are vacuum packed. It's pretty amazing!
From Travel Tips
Even more amazing is how much I was able to fit in each Space Bag. I rolled my clothes first, then put them into the Space Bag to maximize space and minimize wrinkles. It worked surprisingly well!
From Travel Tips
The first bag included a sweater and long skirt...
From Travel Tips
Knee length dress and two slips...
From Travel Tips
Skinny jeans and black yoga pants...
From Travel Tips
And 6 tops...
From Travel Tips
Here's what the bag looked like after I removed the first Space Bag:
From Travel Tips
The second Space Bag included several more items of clothing...
From Travel Tips
An after 5 dress...
From Travel Tips
A beaded after 5 dress along with a velvet bolero jacket...
From Travel Tips
A long formal gown...
From Travel Tips
Two business skirts...
From Travel Tips
3 tops...
From Travel Tips
A cardigan sweater and a swimsuit...
From Travel Tips
There was also a pair of shorts stuffed along the side of the Space Bags, that I tucked in as an afterthought. Here is what the carry-on looked like without the clothing items:
From Travel Tips
After going through security, I also tucked my ziplock of liquids into the top of the bag, so I had shampoo and conditioner, lipstick, mascara, mascara primer, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, and a couple finger nail polishes with me as well.
From Travel Tips
As for my shoes, I managed to pack 4 pairs of shoes in my carry-on as well. If my luggage got lost, I could survive with these 4 pair (plus the pair I was wearing) without too many problems. There's a pair of black walking flats, black business wedges, navy sandals, and gold dress wedges. Remember, I'm headed to a business conference with 3 semi-formal events and lots of walking, so I had to be judicious about what were in my "essentials" list!
From Travel Tips
I also had some accessories tucked away in my carry-on. I had 2 belts (one narrow, one wide), a flat iron, and a bag that could double as a clutch if needed.
From Travel Tips
Then there was my jewelry... Some people just have a couple accessories that will do for them, but I love my bling!! Here's my jewelry case and headband...
From Travel Tips
Now, I'm sure I could have packed my jewelry in a smaller space if I'd been willing to, but I like my jewelry organizer, even if it is a bit on the bulky side. It has clear zippered "pages" that flip so I can see everything and organize it however I want for the trip. No worries of jewelry getting tangled!
From Travel Tips
From Travel Tips
So... It turns out I can fit a LOT into my little suitcase!! I have enough clothing for 2 weeks, and even when my checked bag didn't come out with the rest of our flight's luggage, I wasn't worried. Thankfully, the reason it didn't come out with the rest is because it arrived on an earlier flight, but still... it felt great to be prepared!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Monday Routine

Events to schedule around.... 

Eliana has school from 8:30 to 3:30
I have Mary Kay from 6-9

Areas of Focus...


(6:15) Wake up (5 min)
(6:20) Read Bible (15 min)
(6:25) Check Email (5 min)
(6:30) Shoes on, ready to exercise (5 min)
(6:45) Exercise (45 min)
(7am) Wake Eliana up (5 min)
(7:05) Take a Shower (15 min)
(7:20) Get Dressed (5 min)
(7:25) Do Eliana's Hair (10 min)
(7:35) Get Eliana Breakfast (5 min)
(7:40) Do My Hair and Makeup (15 min)
(7:55) Help Eliana get out the door - Lunch, Shoes, etc. (5 min)
(8am) Take Eliana to School (15 min)
(8:15) Strip Beds and Wash Sheets (5 min)
(8:20) Drink Breakfast and Write notes to customers (10 min)
(8:30) Submit WAS (5 min)
(8:35) Enter Profile Cards and Sales Slips (20 min)
(8:55) Prepare for Appointments / Calls (5 min)
(9am) Appointments / Calls (2 Hours)
(11am) Lunch (30 minutes)
(11:30) Move Sheets to Dryer (5 min)
(11:35) Household Time - Pick Up Bedrooms (25 min)
(12pm) Office / Prep Time (1 hour)
(1pm) Appoinments / Calls (2 Hours)
(3pm) Make Beds (15 min)
(3:15) Prepare Eliana's Snack (10 min)
(3:25) Pick Eliana up from school (20 min)
(3:45) Unload Eliana's backpack (5 min)
(3:50) Review Eliana's spelling words with her (10 min)
(4pm) Empty / Load the dishwasher with Eliana (15 min)
(4:15) Quiet Time / Reading / Watching TV (45 min)
(5pm) Make Dinner (15 min)
(5:15) Dinner (30 min)
(5:45) Drive to Mary Kay
(6pm) Mary Kay (3 Hours)
(9pm) Drive Home (15 min)
(9:15) Unload MK Stuff and put away (15 min)
(9:30) Wash face and brush teeth (10 min)
(9:40) Lay out clothes for tomorrow (5 min)
(9:45) Change clothes and put in hamper (5 min)
(9:50) Read / Journal (10 min)
(10pm) Bedtime

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dinner Tonight...

We're having friends over for dinner tonight and I had a hard time figuring out what we were going to eat. Thankfully, I had a few options to choose from out of my freezer, so with a little prep and some finesse, here's what's for dinner...

Eggrolls (already made and frozen, just need to be heated through!)
Jasmine Rice (already made and frozen, just needs to be defrosted)
Coconut Lime Chicken (frozen chicken breast cooked in coconut milk and lime juice)
Green Curry (already made and frozen, just needs to be heated through!)
Asian Plum Sauce (already made and frozen, just needs to be heated through!)
Edamame (we keep this in the freezer, just needs to be steamed right before the meal!)

The best part is that ALL OF IT is homemade. That makes me so happy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Once again, I got sucked into the computer...

... while clipping coupons on a Sunday night. It really wasn't my aim to get sucked into the computer, but here I am. Sigh.

The couponing is still going. I have been learning things that have been making it go better...

1. The Billings paper has better coupons. The Bozeman paper is hit and miss.
2. I can get both papers at Albertsons, and check to see if they have coupons before I buy them.
3. Some places have good sales - like Albertsons. I just have to be willing to watch the sales and match my coupons to them.
4. Kmart frequently has double coupon days. You just have to be willing to read the fine print and follow the  (sometimes insane) rules for it to be worth it.
5. Albertsons occasionally does coupon sales where all coupons up to $1 are worth $1. That is an awesome day to shop!

I am making my lists. I am matching my coupons. I am not dreading the process, and it is not eating up all of my time. I feel like I am finding a happy balance in coupon land. Woot!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Feeling Gypped

Today I got a newspaper, knowing that there should be a smartsource insert with coupons in it. It didn't. I don't know if the Bozeman paper just doesn't carry smartsource or if I just got a fluke, but I feel gypped!

Another Week of Couponing

Another week of couponing is about to begin, and I have done a few things to prepare for it...

1. I have started making my "Price Book" - the place where I track what prices are and what the best sale prices I've had are for the items that we use most. I'm using a spreadsheet so it's easy for me to alphabetize as it grows.

2. I have started organizing my manufacturers coupons in my household binder alphabetically by brand. That way I can easily find them when I want to use them for a specific store.

3. I have entered all of my manufacturers coupons into a Google task list by expiration date so I can easily see which coupons are expiring soon.

4. I have made plans with Kristiina to go through the ads tomorrow and make my shopping lists.

5. I have been utilizing to see what free or nearly free deals I might be missing simply because I've overlooked them or they are things I wouldn't normally think of. These free items are great for collecting toward my guest supply, future gifts, or Operation Christmas Child boxes!

We will see how this week improves over last week! I am amazed at how much quicker and cheaper I can shop when I have a list to follow... I don't wander up and down every aisle, trying to remember what I need, and therefore I don't have the impulse buys that I am so often prey to! I'm excited to start streamlining my process so I can be efficient with my time and money each week.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weekly Review

Well, my first week of couponing is just about over, and I'm pretty pleased with how it went. Here's a general overview...

Kmart = $27.89 - $7.98 in savings because of coupons. Would have been more if I'd been more assiduous and gotten my $5 off for the Slimfast. Doh!
Slimfast - bought 5 @ $5 ea, used $3.60 in coupons = $4.28 per 4pack I was supposed to get a coupon for $5 off my order for this, but I don't think it printed out, or if it did, distracto girl who was checking me out didn't give it to me. I should pay more attention at Kmart, I think. 
Nice 'n Easy - bought 1 @ $4.99, used $1 in coupons = $3.99
Oreos - bought 1 @ 2.50 I used a super coupon for this, so it should have been $2.38, but I don't think she counted it. She was distracted and I should have paid more attention when she entered it. Note to self for the future.
Cupcake Mix - $1 - not on sale, just needed.
Distracto girl I think scanned one of my coupons twice so I got an extra dollar off. It's the only way the math makes sense, and there are two coupons on my receipt with exactly the same number. 

Walmart = $34.38
Bush's Beans (various) - bought 18 @ $0.92 ea. These are normally around $1 ea, and are something we use. I got the varieties I can't get at Costco. 
Rotel Tomatoes - bought 4 @ $0.88 ea. These are normally closer to $1, and something we use.
Lysol Motion Sensor Soap - bought 2 @ $3.47. Not on sale, something we needed for the guest bathroom. We were completely out of these. 
Hormel Turkey Pepperoni - bought 1 @ $3.28. Not on sale, just needed for dinner tonight!
Hormel Canadian Bacon - bought 1 @ $2.12. Not on sale, just needed for dinner tonight!

Staples = $20.16 Would have been $50.59 if I'd paid full price for everything. Mind you, I wouldn't have paid $6+ for scissors, so that's not a realistic number, but I was pleased with how this purchase went! I read the ad, chose what we needed, and calculated as I went so that I could make the most of the trip! I did need the pens, driving log, and scissors, so that would have made the trip anyway!
Goals Notepad - bought 1 @ $4, reg. $7
Scissors - bought 3 @ $1 ea, reg. $6.29 ea
Driving Log - bought 1 @ $3
BIC Mark It Pens - bought 3 @ $1.29 ea.
Glue Stick 4 Pack - bought 1 @ $1, reg. $1.99
Rainbow Pens - bought 1 pack @ $4.79
Tamper Resistant Envelopes - bought 2 @ $1, reg. $3.29 ea.
Zipper envelope - bought 2 @ $1
Business card holder - bought 1 @ $1, reg. $1.99
Lollipop - bought 1 @ $0.50 - for Eliana, to get over $25 and use coupon
$5 off $25 order coupon

Rosauers = $12.31
Provalone slices - bought 2 @ 2.50 ea This is the one thing that wasn't on my list, but is something I wanted and it was a good price!
Cucumbers - bought 3 @ 3/$1
Green Lettuce - bought 1 @ $0.89
Green Bell Peppers - bought 3 @ 3/$1
Grapefruit - bought 1 bag @ $2.50 (7 grapefruit @ $0.36 ea)
Grape Tomatoes - bought 1 container @ $1.99

Costco = $101.80
Fage Yogurt - $12.49 ($1.05 ea.)
Canned Chicken - $9.99
Craisins - $7.49
Chicken Chimichangas - $13.49
Bananas - 2 @ $1.39
Dried Coconut - $8.99
Shredded Mozzarella - $11.99
Feta - $7.45
Tillamook Cheddar Slices - $8.49
Walnuts - $14.99
Eggs - $3.65

Target = $87.84 My total was well over $100 before they started entering all the coupons, so it was really fun to see the number go down, down, and down! I scored some really good deals on this trip to Target, including the Lean Cuisine deal, and the Fiber One deal! Woot!! Those will make lunch time and snack time easier when I want a quick fix and am tempted to eat something that won't help me lose weight!
Pantene Detangler - bought 1 for $3.99, used $1 coupon
Nice 'n Easy - bought 1 for $6.99, used $1 coupon
Nice 'n Easy Foam - bought 1 for $7.99, used $3 coupon
Pantene 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner - bought 1 for $5.84, used $2 coupon, and $3 coupon
Ziplock snack bags - bought 2 @ $2.50 ea.
Wet Ones Travel - bought 2 @ $1.29 ea, used 2 $0.75 coupons ($0.54 ea.)
Expanding File / Notepad - $5.99
Dollar Spot Notecards - bought 5 @ $1 ea.
Always Wipes - bought 1 @ $3.29, used $1 coupon
Always Pantiliners - bought 1 @ $2.99, used $0.50 coupon, plus $1 coupon for both
Fiber One Bars - bought 4 @ $2.75 ea, used 2 $0.40 coupons, plus got one box free Woohooo!
Lean Cuisine - bought 10 @ $2, used $5 coupon, received $5 gift card for future Woohoo!
Venus Razor - bought 1 @ $8, reg. $9.49
Venus Blades - bought 1 @ $20.99, used $5 coupon, received $5 gift card for future
Colgate Toothpaste - bought 1 for $2.99, received coupons for future, plus free travel size

I got stuff at CVS as well, but I don't remember where my receipt is. But anyway... that at least gives an idea of how my couponing went this week! I hope to get better and better at it as the weeks go by!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Coupons confuse me. I hear about people that save oooooodles of money by using coupons, and I know it is possible. But I seem to be struggling with how to keep everything straight. I thought I was doing pretty well, but somehow my piles of coupons have confused me again and I can't even make a decent list of what we need and where we should get it. There are obviously TONS of coupons for things we don't need, so I suppose I could start by weeding those things out....

Here's one of the confusing things, for example... Slim Fast Shakes. Turns out, if you heat them up they taste like hot chocolate, only are high protein, low carb. According to Safeway, a 4 pack is $5, and they are "Buy One Get One Free with Manufacturer Coupon from Sunday Paper". The only problem is that I couldn't find any manufacturer coupon in the Sunday paper that made them B1G1. Did I miss it? I do have a couple other Slim Fast coupons, so I should use those. Kmart has Slim Fast at 2 for $10, plus you get $5 off when you spend $25 on Slim Fast. Since my existing coupons are for $1.60 off 2, and $2 off 3, that would be $25 of Slim Fast, minus the $5, minus the $2, minus the $1.60, for a total savings of $8.60, according to my calculations. So, really it's only $16.40 for 20 bottles of Slim Fast, making them 82 cents each. Now, CVS has them for 2 for $9, so for 5 it would be $22.50, minus my coupons, making them $18.90 for 20 bottles. Turns out, Kmart has the best deal. Huh. Is it just me, or is that a lot of thinking for Slim Fast? BUT, it is something I have on my list, and I will be going to Kmart for hair dye anyway.

Okay... Here's another one. Target has Lean Cuisine meals on sale for $2, plus you get a $5 gift card when you purchase 10 of them. That's $20, but you get a $5 gift card back. I also have a random $5 off Frozen Food Puchase of $20 or more Target coupon, so that would technically be $15 for 10, plus $5 to spend later. makes it somewhat easier to get good deals, but only for national chains like Walmart, Target, etc. My local grocery stores like Town&Country and Rosauers aren't in that list, so it takes just a bit of extra work for that, too. Sometimes it is definitely worth looking at the local grocery ads, too. Just last night I sent Leif to Town&Country for a few items. They have the best price on the special yogurt our daughter eats, and they also had onions on sale. They also had a GREAT deal on Yoplait yogurt, which is normally around 60 cents a container. They had Yoplait for 5/$1, PLUS I had coupons for 50 cents off 8 and 40 cents off 6. Leif ended up getting 20 containers of yummy flavored Yoplait yogurt for less than $3!! Not bad at all! I'm glad I looked at their ad this week or I'd never have known!