Thursday, June 30, 2011

My skype date.......

My favorite 1 year old in the entire world is Ava Isabella Steis. She has been my little buddy ever since she was born. Hamilton and I first met her when she was 3 weeks old. We flew out to Wyoming to meet the little monkey. I fell in love INSTANTLY!! I love all of my nieces so much and they are just as adorable and loved by me the same (which is THIS MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) But I wasn't there through most of their babyhood... I kinda feel like I missed Madison & Makinzie growing up. It's kinda sad but at least I have witnessed Ava growing! Here are some pictures from when we visited- my little monkey!

We got to skype with her tonight and she danced for us and sang with us and it was so fun and very sad that she lives 4 days away!! Here are some snapshots:

this one makes me laugh b/c melissa's hands look like a creeper's hands going to snatch ava....

Yearly Savings....

So I have officially been couponing for a year!!! I keep every receipt and put it into a spreadsheet every month to keep up with my savings, and I am very happy with the results!! In one year I have bought around $4,176.40 worth of groceries and only spent $1,263.57 on them!! I saved $2,912.83 which is about 70% savings!! Now tell me that ain't awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!

On a side note, Hamilton made this amazing pizza from scratch and I would like to share it with you. It's a baked potato pizza.

Great week!

Okay so this week at Publix was awesome! I spent $48.18 and saved $125.16!! I got tons of awesome stuff like milk, bacon, asprin, soap, strawberries, potatoes, chinese dinners (AMAZING!!), bandaids, etc...

 check out this receipt!!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pre-Baby Bucket List

I'm not going to lie.... I have a bad case of baby fever. But I also have a bad case of BROKE! So, with that being said... don't get your hopes up because it will still be a while before we plan on having a baby. But I decided to make a list of things I would like to get accomplished before we have a baby...
  1. Pay off part 1 of the Ed Financial Loan
  2. Buy a house 
  3. Hamilton get a new job or promotion
  4. Take at least one more vacation to somewhere cool, like Universal Studios or Disney World (May 2012 hopefully!!!)
  5. Buy a video camera & maybe even a new digital camera
  6. Save up $$$ for a new (used) car
  7. Eat healthier (and in the process lose the 10 lbs I gained since I've been married...)
  8. Print all of my wedding pictures, put them in a picture book & in frames 
  9. Savor every minute of my time without a child by doing things like this: sleep in, more date nights, mini-vacations, cleaning with harsh chemicals, etc....

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Super Savings!!

    So the Publix run today wasn't the best in the world, but  my trip to Walmart sure was! At publix I got $70.87 worth of stuff for $23.80... so I saved about $47.07. It doesn't look like I got too much but I got 4 things of Lysol wipes and those things are normally like $5.00 a pop. So I'm pretty excited. Check it:

    • Doritos
    • Chex Mix
    • 3 cream cheese
    • 4 Lysol wipes
    • 2 Nutri-grain cereal bars
    • 1 crystal lite container
    • planter peanuts
    • 2 frozen meals
    • cat food (it was overage.... i dont even have a cat!)
    • betty crocker potatoes
    Then we went to Walmart and bought $57.86 worth of groceries for $5.86.... which means we saved like $52.00!!! That is my best ever at Walmart. In fact, it was so good that it locked up the register and required a manager to override it! Wahooo!!

    • 2 Nivea shave gel
    • 8 advils
    • 4 dial soap
    • 2 KY jelly
    • 2 playtex panty liners
    • 4 packs of razors
    • ajax cleaner
    • homestyle bake
    • 1 nivea after shave gel
    • 3 packs of gum
    • benadryl itch stick

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Debt Snowball!

    I want to shout from a mountain how awesome it feels to be getting out of debt.... but I don't have a mountain, I have a blog.... a blog that maybe 5 people read... but still..... it feels amazing to pay off debt!!

    If you know about Dave Ramsey then you know that he calls people "weird" who are getting out of debt or who are debt free. I don't understand how people can think that someone is weird for trying to get out of debt. But I do see how it is normal to have debt. Most people have student loans, car loans, and credit card debt and that is just normal for our society. Well, I guess I am not normal because Hamilton and I have NO credit card debt, NO car payments and we are THROWING money at our student loans to get that stress off of our family! I have already experienced what it is like to have people call me weird and tell me that I should just enjoy life and not worry so much about money. But those people aren't thinking about their future... they are only satisfying their current desire to get what they want. These people don't know how to be content, patient and work hard for what they want. They are like a 3 year old in a store shouting " I WANT IT NOW!!!" and so they get it with DEBT!

    When Hamilton and I first got married we took a look at our student loan payments and we about had a heart attack. We called and got them lowered as much as we could in order to just survive, and that still made them a MINIMUM of $400 a month! (Oh but that is "good" debt...right!? STUPID!) So we realized we had to do something or else we would be stuck with $400 student loan payments for 30 years!! So I got into Dave Ramsey and we set aside our $1,000 for our emergency fund and we began our debt snowball!! After that, we really tweaked our budget to perfection. We had every single dollar going somewhere and we controlled our money.... it didn't control us.  Then we got all of our loans organized and we listed them from smallest to largest and just began throwing money at them. Money seemed to come out of nowhere once we really stuck to our budget .Then, we decided to quit our jobs and move to Georgia so we threw all of our money into our savings to prepare for the move. That really set us back in our debt snowball but it was worth it! Once we moved to Georgia we were able to pay off Sallie Mae which was $2,625. It was the best feeling EVER!! I did the math, and we only ended up paying $18.00 in interest. Which saved us $544 in interest over the 5 year loan span.

    Our current loan is an Ed Financial loan that was originally $2625 and is now $690.97! We expect that loan to be paid off by the end of July... or maybe even sooner!!! Once that loan is gone, we have another one that WAS $4,500 but the interest has made it $5,277 (that includes our payments every month...crazy!) So those are our goals for the immediate future. We have plenty more loans and they only get higher and higher.... trust me.... very very high.

    I made a spreadsheet of the loans and calculated how much interest we would pay on all of our loans if we paid them off on their expected dates: $48,887.99 .... in INTEREST!!! So who the crap said that student loan debt is good debt?? Think about if we invest that money! How much could we have in our retirement? Not only could we save, but we could actually enjoy life a lot better. We could go on debt free vacations (which by the way our cruise was paid in cash) and we could have a peaceful future knowing that we don't owe anyone anything.

    In conclusion.... I work for a hospital in the Business Office and I help patients out with financial assistance when they can't afford to pay their bills. It is so sad to see these people come in and make a lot of money every month, but yet they still have no money at the end of the month because their car payment is $600 and their house payment is $1,500 and their credit cards are $900... it's ridiculous! On the flip side, there are old people that come in daily seeking assistance because they were not wise with their money and didn't plan for retirement... and living off of social security is a joke! So.... with that being said.... you might think that you need to finance a car or keep your student loan around, but every single cent that you spend on that debt is taking away from you saving for your future and keeping your family from having financial peace. Even if nobody is inspired by this blog, I at least hope it gets people off my back when it comes to my financial decisions. We may not go out to eat when people ask us to, we may not go to the movies, or go on shopping sprees. But we are so happy with the decision to make our future better and we are happy to be called "penny pinchers"

    Article on why student loan debt isnt GOOD DEBT

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011


    Hamilton and I have learned to become very patient these last few months. Almost everything in our life right now is just "pending". We are just sitting back and waiting for things to change. At this point, everything is basically out of our control and in God's hands. We are waiting for a house to come along .... and that could take months! We are also waiting on Hamilton to get a better job.....that could also take months!! Also, we are waiting to pay off our loans. We are doing great so far but I hate these times where we are waiting for the end of the month to throw more money at the loans. We are also waiting for the right time to have kids because we need a house and he needs a better job.... So right now all we can do is WAIT and it's killing me!!

    Pray that we will be patient and please pray that we will find a house sometime soon and that Hamilton will get a better job!! Because all of our plans basically revolve around that!!

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    2 movie tickets for only $9.00!!

    GO HERE to get 2 movie tickets for only $9.00. I just got 4 tickets and it only cost me $18 as opposed to like $45 if I paid for it normally. For all of you who like Harry Potter, you should totally buy your tickets from this website and save yourself some money!

    House Hunting

    I don't normally have anything to talk about on here besides couponing. But now I do....Hamilton and I have began house hunting. It's super scary to think that we are going to own a home some day... and that day seems to be closer than we thought. We were going to wait until Jan to begin looking for a house (our lease ends in March) but we realized that the city we are house hunting in is a really competitive market. We are looking for a house in Bremen, GA so that we can send our kids to one of the best schools in the area (in my opinion).  And they will be there with their cousins Madison & Makinzie... well they might be in High School by that time. Ha ha. Not only do we want to live in Bremen, but we HAVE to have a basement... ... I can't compromise on that b/c of how terribly afraid I am of storms. I gotta have my little nook in the basement full of water, flashlights, etc...  Also, we are looking in a very popular price point and everyone is looking to get into the city limits b/c of the schools. So, we decided we'd go ahead and begin looking b/c we know it will be a long process and we'd rather start sooner than later. We are very excited about this and also scared to death! I can't believe we could even own a house. It's a huge responsibility and I am freaking out!! We have already fallen in love with one house and wouldnt you know it, it's now off the market and under contract. We were too slow. This house hunting stuff is really frustrating already!!

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Weekend full of savings!

    So I started couponing exactly a year ago this month. I can't imagine my life without it now. I use to just buy things when I needed them (and paid full price!) but now I only buy things when they are on sale and I have created a stockpile so I never have to just run out to the store to buy things I'm out of. Sales go on cycles so the sale will always come again. Anyways, I started coupoining in Montgomery where most of the citizens are really really rich or really really poor. So couponing wasn't really a competitive sport there. Well, that's not the case for Carrollton! There is only 1 Publix in this town (5 in Montgomery) and if you don't get there the day the sale starts then you are going to be leaving with a lot of rain checks. So, I decided that I would do a little couponing while in Montgomery this weekend. And man I hit the JACK POT!! Lots of things that give you overage (which means the coupon value is more than the item, so the remaining amount goes towards your purchase) were already out of stock in Carrollton, but not in Montgomery! Check it out! Our first stop was Walmart (which is usually not a good place to coupon b/c they don't double coupons) but anyways, we hit the mother load. We walked in there and literally everything in our buggy was F-R-E-E... we only paid tax (which is 10% in Montgomery... just another reason to hate that city). See picture below:

    I got 4 things of floss, 5 boxes of bandaids, 4 packs of nozema bikini razors & 4 fly swatters all for FREE.
    Total before coupons: $20.33
    Total after coupons: -.68 cents ($1.36 after tax)
    Total Saved- $21.00
     Total %- 103%

    Our next stop was Target, I had to print off some photos so we stopped by the photo center and I got 41 photos for .11 cents. We also got some groceries:

    4 bottles of KC Masterpeice BBQ sauce
    2 Zantac medicine

    Total before coupons: $22.55
    Total after coupons-  $4.55
    Total saved- $18.00
    % saved-79%

    Alright, now this is my favorite thing ever! We had a gift card for Publix in the amount of $20.00 so if someone didnt have the gift card then their total would be + $20.00....

    2 boxes of Ritz crackers
    2 boxes of combat ant killer
    4 boxes of lipton tea
    1 morton season salt
    2 boxes of cheerios
    4 bottles of 150 oz purex detergent

    Total Before Coupons: $83.81
    Total after coupons and $20 gift card- $1.00
    Savings- $82.81
    % saved- 98%

    **** Warning: My math is HORRIBLE. I caught one of my mistakes that claimed I saved 167% on something that was really like 80% savings. So, please excuse me if you catch any of my mistakes.....*******

    Last Week....

    I completely forgot to post my couponing deals from last week! I had tons of frozen stuff and hurried and got them in the freezer and didn't take a picture. But I will list my receipt! Here is what I got.......

    1 Doritos Chips
    1 Frosted Flakes
    1 Peroxide
    1 Angie Mama Pancake Mix
    2 Imitation crab meat
    1 Swiffer Wet Jet replacement cleaner
    2 Digiorno Pizza
    4 cans of tomato sauce
    6 boxes of pasta
    2 Maybelline mascara
    6 tubs of butter
    4 boxes of homestyle mac n cheese
    1 bacon
    4 boxes of perdue chicken

    Total before Coupons: $108.86
    Total after Coupons: $39.82
    Total Savings: $69.04
    Percentage Saved: 64%