Drive Free- Retire Rich!

I love our new life without a car payment! We are only in our first month of being car-debt free but it's awesome!

Here's a great reason to "drive free" for anyone who is new to the concept!

From Dave Ramsey:
Drive Free: Retire Rich!

Healthy Chocolate

I love chocolate.

When I crave a piece of chocolate, I go to my cabinet for one of two flavors:

Calcium or Multivitamin. :)

I love chocolate vitamins. They taste like tootsie rolls, and they fulfill my chocolate craving. I take one or two calcium- tootsie- roll chews, and one multi-vitamin every day and eat them slowly like a piece of candy. I can usually get them on sale at CVS, and you can print a coupon here. Writing this post made me remember I am out of chocolate vitamins. I think I may just have to substitute the real thing for them...

Chocolate cravings are inevitable- so why not make them really good for you! :) It works for me!

Get a Copy of Passionate Housewives for $4.14 Shipped!!

After entering (and losing :) numerous contests to win a copy of the highly acclaimed Passionate Housewives Desperate for God:Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker, I finally caved and went online to order a copy.

After doing my comparison shopping, I noticed I could use and Google Checkout to get a copy shipped to me for only $4.14! Regular price is $14.14 shipped, and you get $10 off for signing up for Google checkout. Such a steal!! The only condition is that you have to be a new Google checkout user. Just add it to your cart and click below on the Google Checkout icon.

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God: Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker
Get your copy of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God: Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker for $4.14 shipped!

I love this book. I was feeling quite exhausted and was losing my focus after weeks of busyness and alternating sick little ones. Reading Passionate Housewives really reminded me again of why I want to be a homemaker and stay at home mother. These ladies have been there and done that! Their book was written to encourage us in our God-given roles, and it was so refreshing to read it. Trust me, you won't regret reading this book! And at only $4, you can't afford not to pick up a copy! ;)

For more money-saving/frugal ideas check out Crystal's blog!

*Google Checkout Details:
Offer Conditions: To earn the new buyer bonus, buyers who haven't signed up for Google Checkout in the past must sign-up for Checkout on during the promotion. To redeem the new buyer bonus, buyers must make a purchase on of at least $10 before tax, shipping, and other discounts.
New Google Checkout buyers may earn and redeem a maximum of one new buyer bonus only. Google reserves the right to cancel bonuses or take other action.

Deal Shopping is Still Fun!

After I went to Barnes and Noble Tuesday night, I had a very successful bargain shopping trip- despite less than helpful cashiers at my least favorite CVS. I was in the south part of town alone and didn't want to venture to my favorite CVS store in a less safe part of town, so I went to a more popular CVS. And never will I do that again.

They refused my internet coupons because they were in black and white! And exactly how frugal would it be to print every coupon in full color? I mean really! I found it difficult to keep smiling as he told me coupon after coupon wasn't good. I am usually one to cut my losses, but after spending over 30 minutes shopping there, I didn't feel like putting everything back. Quite a few items I ended up taking off and returning after standing in line again because of their "policy." Such are the risks we CVS shoppers take. ;)

When I got in the car, I was happy again when I realized I still got several good deals.

After that, I went to Walmart, and using MoneySavingMom's Walmart deal list, I ended up with almost everything for free! The ultimate compliment to any bargain shopper is when the cashier is impressed with your deals and asks how you did that. Of course, I had to tell her about MoneySavingMom!

All this for $23.36!

I only used one $3 off $15 coupon at CVS. I'm sure if I had tried to use more they would have rejected those too! ;) The majority of the savings here was from doing multiple transactions and rolling my ECB's, as well as internet coupons and some newspaper coupons.

Here's what I bought:

3 Packages Charmin 9 Roll
1 8pk Bounty
2 Pampers size 3 40 pack
2 Pampers wipes
2 Boxes of Kashi cereal
1 box Honey Bunches of Oats
1 box Live Active Cereal
2 Listerine Smart Rinses
2 Packages candy necklaces
2 boxes bandaids
1 tube CVS brand A & D diaper cream
4 Johnson's buddies soaps
1 Zantac 150
3 Limeades
2 med. Zucchini
2 jars Vlasic relish
1 4 pack Yoplait yogurt

Just buying these things at the sale price would be $89 plus tax. I saved more than $62, and on things we use! So very fun. And not even grumpy CVS cashiers can take that away! :)

Life and Barnes and Noble

Last night I went bargain shopping all alone! My husband was so sweet to give me a break. He has been working so hard on everything for about six weeks straight- his job, the house and projects. He is totally my hero. As hard as I try, I can't keep up with his amazing effort. I am ready to fall asleep every night and he is still going strong.

Yesterday, Isabella was really cranky- I am not sure if she was a little sick, has an allergy or was teething, but she would scream at random times and then go back to playing. She wanted to be held most of the day too, so I was quite exhausted after cooking dinner. My husband offered to give me a break and let me go to Barnes and Noble and shop by myself.

I stopped in at Barnes and Noble, had an IBC root beer and a Rice Krispy treat and planned out more of my trip. I had already printed my coupons and made my list, so I was just looking over it.

As I sat there at my little corner cafe table, I could hear other conversations going on around me. One table over was a young couple looking over their engagement pictures. They were adorable- energetic, in love with each other and with life. Being only three feet away from them, I couldn't help but overhear their banter. It reminded me of my husband and myself about eight years ago. We still have the banter these days, but it's heavier somehow. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think it has to be either age, tiredness, or responsibility that hovers over our conversations. We are still like them, only with less energy.

At another table on the other side, I heard two young girls, likely right out of high school or in their first year of college. They talked about people in their lives and the decisions they were making about school as if the rest of their lives were to be determined by their conversation.

They talked about their relationships with parents and old boyfriends and how those people would be affected by their choice to get a two year degree instead of a four. So very much drama about things that, from an outsider's perspective, seem so insignificant in the course of their lives. I see so much of myself in those girls too. Living for the excitement of the moment, hanging on every decision as if the rest of my life depended on it. I still do that now- analyze, dramatize, and discuss each decision being made- as if my focus on it will somehow determine the outcome.

I remember how exciting it was to be that young, carefree girl with the world ahead of me. But in reality, I much prefer the older version of me- the one that comprehends that she can't do it all on her own.

We have so much life ahead of us, but in eight years we've realized that life really isn't in our hands to decide. We have so much more purpose now- so much more time to see God's plan at work. We've learned more about trusting in Him. We've seen His hand move in our lives.

But really, it's a linear progression. In eight more years, I will look back at the 25-year-old me and see that she didn't know much at all. She had only an inkling of what life was really like.

And for the first time in my adult life, I am actually excited to grow older.