Sunday, May 30, 2010

Not related to yarn but still cool

Since I got laid off in March I have been trying to figure out ways to strech a buck and for the most part I think I've been doing a pretty good job. A friend of mine introduced me to the wonderful world of Couponing. Please understand, I have always used coupons but there is a big difference between "using coupons" and "Couponing" - much like the difference between knitting and Knitting!
I borrowed a book from the library called "Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half" by Stephanie Nelson. This has really opened my eyes to the things you can do and the stuff that stores GIVE you when you are smart about combing sales and coupons together! The highlights of what I have learned:

~ a BOGO sale from the store means you can use 2 manufacturer coupons for the 2 items you are getting.
~ usually you can use BOTH a manufacturer coupon AND a store coupon for the SAME item!
~ Free stuff is COOL and a great way to give to those less fortunate than ourselves.
~ Get a baseball card binder to organize your coupons either alphabetically by brand (which I had originally had) or by aisle of the supermarket (which I just switched to). It is much easier to see what you have to work with than with the old accordian type I used to use.
~ if you have a UPromise account (or other stores not in my area like Kroger) you can do "electronic coupons" where you go to their website and add coupons to your Rewards Cards. For Upromise, the amount doesnt come off my bill but goes directly into the boys' college accounts.

Today before Church I went through my favorite ads - CVS and Walgreens - and wrote down all the cool things I found that would be cheap/free when I combined them with coupons that I already have. Then after Church we went to Walgreens to pick up a few of the deals - for me and to give.

As an aside, my lifegroup is working on a project next week that will have us stuffing 60 (the goal) gallon size zipper bags with travel size essentials for the folks that eat at a local place called "I Am Hope Cafe". It provides hot meals 4 nights a week to whoever needs them, and it is "manned" by volunteers from a different local Church each night. We have Tuesdays. So... I am trying to stock up on essentials that I can donate to this cause but because I am unemployed, it has to be REALLY cheap or Free! Onward.

I purchased 2 Reach toothbrushes, 2 packages of Reach floss, a 10 pk of OxiClean Max Force Stain Releaser and a 60 ct Walgreens brand A-Z vitamins. The total before savings was $18.13 for those 6 items. Advertised sales saved me $8.69 (Reach items for $.99 each, OxiClean for $2.99 and vitamins for $2), I had coupons worth $7 ($3 off 3 Reach items, $1 off 1 reach item, $2 off Oxi Clean Max Force, and $1 off my order from last week's certificate), so I paid $2.44. I got a $2 certificate for my next purchase which made it like paying $.44. For $18.13 of items.

This. Rocks.

Melodie (the gal that checked me out) said "You guys always amaze me with that!"

Yes Melodie, sometimes I amaze even myself.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


So I've been pretty riddled with family emergencies and being sick and cranky and stuff and all, and I've been ignoring you. I'm sorry. Unfortunatly there's not really anything to update yarn-wise. Lets see...

I mailed off my eye mask to the mag today (with 5 days to spare thankyouverymuch)(procrastinate much?)(See above.) and I am glad it's out of my house. I hope that it gets some good project numbers, it really is cute and quick and easy and cheap to make since it takes so little yarn.

I have not heard anything about the little black dress, but I hope I do. I really want to get the yarn support in so I can finish making it. I have gotten thisfar in knitting it (the proposal was crocheted) because I just haven't had any desire to work on it with everything else going on.

On the upside, I am all signed up for school and I am SO looking forward to it. I am excited about my classes, but nervous since I've never been... and not been inside a classroom in 17 years! I'm watching lectures online and reading library books on things like algebra and anatomy!

Also, I've been working on my Mom's birthday sweater. It's a lacy tie around cardi that is coming out pretty cute, and I'm making it from on-sale sock yarn so that's always a plus.

And I have been learning the ropes of "couponing" from a friend's wife. It's SO cool when stores pay you to take stuff! Of course, I'm not exactly sure what I'm gonna do with 3 men's razor systems but they were free or less than free (if it's on sale for $4.50 plus I have a coupon for $3 and they give you $4.50 in register rewards to use next time I made $3 on the deal!)

And finally I am (in theory if I can get my arse off the couch!) going to get the house into shape before I start school so that maintaining is easy instead of a pain and can be done by the whole family. That way when I'm studying and unavailable then everyone can pitch in and it won't be embarassing when my 8 yr old has a little friend come over to play a video game.

That's it for me for now, I promise to not let it go so long next time.

Saturday, May 08, 2010


It's been a heck of a couple weeks, and I think that it's starting to get back to pseudo-normal. We're still getting ready for the memorial service next weekend and I am looking forward to seeing family that I haven't seen in a while, but it's been very trying. While we are all grateful that it's over, like I said it's been a LONG battle and agonizing to watch, it's still hard and the oddest things tear me up. I remember when I was little and I had a sleight addiction to Cabbage Patch Kids (I had 5!) and Grandma crocheted me little dresses for them. I thought they were so cool because they were frilly and old-fashioned and I loved them!

In other news, I finally got all signed up for Fall Semester at our local Community College. I'll be taking 3 classes - Math, English and Anatomy & Physiology (that one has a lab too!). That is 10 credit hours out of the 75 in total that I'll take to get my RN. I am so nervous about not doing well that I've checked out a book from the library called Anatomy DeMystified.... just so I can get a head start! If I do ok with this one I'll get Physiology DeMystified and go through that one too. They are setup like text books with chapter quizes, section tests and a final exam. I just finished the first section of 3 chapters and my quizzes got either 90 or 100% (each have 10 questions) and my test I missed 4 out of 25 which is better than passing so I'm happy. In a couple weeks I go meet with the financial aid folks to see how much money I qualify for.

Last night we had crochet group and I worked on another new design based roughly on my little black dress. I figured out what I don't like on it so that is a small step in the right direction. Also on the lbd, I started swatching out the knit version and I really like it. I have not heard back yet from the mag I sent the original to but maybe soon!

That's really it from me. To all the Mom's out there, have a great tomorrow!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Family stuff

I have been out of commission - my grandmother passed away this past week after a long LONG battle with MS and COPD. I've been emmersed with family stuff and the memorial service which will be on 5/15.
I finished up the submission for After Hours (the little black dress) and sent it off. I love how it looks in my head and how the swatches look. Now I am going to do something similar in knit, and I am looking forward to browsing through the stitch dictionary to find some good options!
In other news, I have decided to go to school to be a nurse. I am really excited about this prospect since I have never been to college before. Of course I am worried, and I'm sure that it will interfere with my yarn-play time but I do believe it will be worth it.
That's it from me for right now. I hope you are all doing well!