Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weight watcher week 4 review: EPIC fail--gains

Jason and I blew it this week.  Blew it right out of the water!  I gained 4.3 lbs (more than I have lost--but my special circumstances from being a female also came into play here) and Jason gained 1.8 on top of the 3 lb gain last week.  The issue?
WE ATE OUT 4 out of 5 weeknights.
Monday: Jonny Carinos (girls night for me)
Tuesday: Red Lobster (out with pastor and wife)
Wednesday: ate chicken salad wraps at home
Thursday: Brazos River Steak House (just didnt want to cook)
Friday: take out Pizza (had company coming and didnt want to clean up)
Sat: Texas Roadhouse (with Robert and Carol)


Yeah, so we completely had a lapse in Judgement this week.  But we are not discouraged.  Back to counting points next week.  This Weight Watchers thing works--just got to stay motivated!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Program to make your expired coupons count: Help military families!!!

I purge my coupons twice a month before both my monthly trips.  I always feel sad throwing away the unused expired coupons. It kinda feels like tossing money.  A friend of mine, and fellow couponer, Jennifer Prissock came across this information about sending your expired coupons for military families overseas.  WHAT A GREAT IDEA!  Now I can let my coupons work for someone even after they have expired.  I love this and I will definitely be mailing mine!
Here is the info:
Did you know that overseas military members and their families can use expired coupons up to six months past their expiration? Families living in a far away country are often living on one income and money may be scarce. Let’s support our military by showing them some coupon love! KCL’s, we want to come together and pool our expired coupons to send to US military families in Japan!

Eligible Coupons:
■COUPONS MUST BE CLIPPED AND SORTED, AS EXPLAINED BELOW.

■Do NOT send coupons that are over 30 days expired.

■Do NOT send store coupons.

■ALL manufacturer coupons are eligible: printable, blinkies, peelies (if that’s the way you roll), tear pads in addition to newspaper coupons–

■They must be Manufacturer Coupons.

How do I send the Coupons?



Separate your clipped coupons into two categories: Food and Non-Food
Most bases have 2 stores. One is called the “Commissary” which is a grocery store and the other is the PX or BX which is a department store. We therefore ask you to sort the coupons into “food” and “non-food” bundles so that they can more easily be placed in the correct venue once they arrive at the base.



Label the Bundles
Try to use a baggie to separate your coupons instead of paper clips or rubber bands.



What’s Food & Non-Food?

Here’s the rule of thumb: It’s food if it can be eaten by humans, is usually eaten by humans, and is normally eaten to provide calories. For example, dog & cat food would be “Non-Food,” but Ensure or Slim-Fast would be “Food.” Vitamins would be non-food. Chewing Gum and Mints are food.



Is there a minimum donation?
No! Please send any coupons you may have. We only ask that you mail them only once a month. It will just be easier business this way!



NEW ADDRESS FOR MAILING COUPONS:



KCL Overseas Coupon Program
Carly Romano
11357 Visby Ave
Port Charlotte, FL 33981
Packages received with insufficient postage will be returned to sender

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weight Watchers Week 3 review--3.4 lbs lost

Week three was definitely challenging and a learning experience.  Jason was GONE this week to Dallas for training and I was here with the kiddos---CRAZY week!  I was wanted to emotional eat Sunday night because Jason was gone.  I made the decision to use my 49 weekly points in one day.  Not wise.  It definitely made the rest of the week more difficult and rigid, but doable.  I ate out Friday night when Jason returned home and had TWO margaritas--I earned them this week.  I also enjoyed pizza 3 times this week (in moderation of course) and I still managed to lose 1 lb.  This is a 3.4 lb total loss thus far.  I am pleased with that and I look forward to getting back into walking with Jason in the evening and having a more set meal plan with him back home.

Jason had a hard week too...

Week 3 was HORRIBLE. I was out of town all week on training so I ate out for every meal.  I tried to be as good as possible but I wasn't overly successful.  I ate things like pizza, bbq, sandwiches, beer, Mexican food and I wasn't able to exercise all week.  I gained 2.2 lbs this week.  My goal for week 4 is to get back on track!!!!
So far so good, nothing that can't be corrected.  We can do this thing!  Only 97 lbs left to go for me!

HEB coupon trip 7/24/2011--$70.73 saved

I actually got to go with  hubs to HEB this week.  Since he was out of town last week we didn't manage to go on our normal day, Friday.  So we chose to go after church on  Sunday.  This 2 weeks take was a pretty good one.  I got 2 Tylenol precise heating pad packs that retails for $6 each (for my arthritis), bird seed,  24 hr allergy meds for my girls, yoplait gogurt, pringles stacks, 5 smart ones meals (we are on weight watcher and while expensive these prepared meals are low points and yummy), 5 smart ones desserts, granola bars, chips, salsa, soda, toothpaste, tons of fresh fruit, lunchables, fruit rolls ups (3 boxes), yoplait yogurts, weight watcher brand yogurts, popcorn, 5 boxes of cereal, 2 gallons of milk, hair accessories for girls (bogo with instore coupon), and tons of other great items.
I have been asked recently if I save so much by spending allot.  The answer to that is yes and no.  We have a set monthly grocery budget (now when i say grocery--I mean all consumer good for the month, not just food) of $500.  I could spend less each month but I like having this level of food and snack quality.  My girls eat 3-5 snacks a day each, we eat 3 good meals a day as a family and I do not go without good lotions,  soaps and shampoos etc.  I cut my grocery bill from $640 a month to $500 a month simply by planning well and using coupons.  I am very pleased with that. 
Of course there are ALWAYS ways to cut back even more.  For instance if I wanted to decrease this weeks order I could have skipped the tylenol precise, gotten 1 box of gogurt and not 2, skipped the chips, dip and salsa deal, and prepared my lunches for the week rather than buying the prepackaged smart ones...but those are not things I want to change at the time being.
I purchased a total of $132 items and used 51 coupons.
My favorite deals from the week were:
Colgate on sale for 99 cents in store purchased 2 and used one 75 cent off and one 55 cent off coupon--I got 2 tubes of toothpaste for less than 75 cents
Tostinos chips, tostinos, salsa and Pepsi 2L: there was a coupon in the paper for $1 off this combo.  I used 2 of the deals and found a $1 off 2 tostinos chips coupon in store.  My husband loves salsa and chips so that was a good find for us.
They also had a great deal on lunchables: $1 each, buy 5 and get 6th free...YOU BET I got that!
Another nice surprise was a in store kiosk from AXE with baggies of free samples and 2 coupons.  Jason and I both got a baggie. You also got to enter a drawing for $3500 give away.  Nice surprise and 4 free coupons! YAY!  :0)
Trip Breakdown:
Items purchased:132
Coupons used: 51
Store brand savings:$7.18
Coupon/Free savings: $63.55
Total spent out of pocket after savings: $257

Not a bad transaction!
Keep up the great work ladies and happy couponing!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review for "Why Do Our Loved Ones Die, Aunt Lou?"

"Why Do Our Loved Ones Die, Aunt Lou" is a beautiful encouragement to parents and children who are struggling with the loss of a loved one. It uses scriptures to teach God's truth about the brevity of earthly life. Although I don't look forward to the occasion of having to read this book to my sweet daughter, I am thankful that I now have this tool to make that occasion easier to explain to her.
-Tiffany Bishop

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weight watchers week 2 review

Week two was really good.  Managed to walk a few evenings as a family and I even rode my stationary bike a few times.  My goal this next week is to increased that activity level even more.  We ate out at chili's one night--I enjoyed chicken fajitas and Jason had a MONSTROUS chicken salad.  I did not feel deprived at all.  Total loss thus far is 2.4 lbs in 2 weeks.  I am happy with that.  I am going to try to make even better choices this next week and be more active. So far so good!
A aforementioned...men lose more than women and with much more ease. I also just discovered that Jason is not using his 49 weekly flex points and I am!  I am using them ALL!   ;0) With that in mind, here is Jason:

I found week 2 to be a lot harder than week one.I think week one was easier because it was new and exciting.  And during week two all I could hear was my tummy growl.  I did exercise more but kinda trailed off toward the end of the week.  I had my first big test by going out to a restaurant and still did better than i normally would--but I think I could have done even better.  I lost 3.2 lbs this week for a total of 7.6.  My goal for week 3 is to exercise more and just continue eating better.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Free Book Giveaway Drawing

I am giving away a free copy of "Why Do Our Loved Ones Die, Aunt Lou?".  Visit THIS webpage for directions on how to enter.  The drawing will be held August 10!

Examiner.com Article series about Homeschooling

Here are links to a series of informative articles/interviews I have written about homeschooling.  Go check them out!
Parent's perspective:
http://www.examiner.com/child-care-in-waco/homeschooling-a-parent-s-view-with-becky-weatherly

http://www.examiner.com/child-care-in-waco/homeschooling-a-parent-s-view-with-stephanie-howell

http://www.examiner.com/child-care-in-waco/homeschooling-a-parent-s-experience-with-annie-eskeldson

Student's perspective:
http://www.examiner.com/child-care-in-waco/homeschooling-a-student-s-perspective-with-amy-schultz

http://www.examiner.com/child-care-in-waco/homeschooling-interview-1-a-personal-approach

Weight Watcher week one review

So this whole weight watchers thing ROCKS!  I wont divulge my points per week because you could extrapolate my monstrous weight from it, but I will say that it is completely generous and I wasn't hungry even once this week.  Now I realize that my values will change as my weight decreases--but so will my appetite.  This is the beauty of the program.  I used all my weekly points of most of my daily points each day.  I ate Mexican food at La fiesta (smarter decisions of course), had a margarita, ate dessert nearly every day, enjoyed 3 meals a day, as much coffee as I wanted and still managed to lose at least .4 lb and probably more.  I did make the mistake to guess my weight rather than actually weigh at the beginning of the week--if I base my new weight on what I weighed at the Doctors office this week then I lost 3.4 lbs.  Either way a loss is a loss and I can live with that.  The program proved itself to me.  I am excited to say that I am 100% motivated to stick with it. 

My husband also did great this week. Of course, as we ALL know, men lose faster than women, so he totally blew me out of the water this week--I find it encouraging not defeating.  Here is his account of this week:
"My first week of weight watchers--from a guy's standpoint.  I really enjoyed starting a structured program that seems to work.  Since I was soooo overweight, my daily points allowed were very high, which was nice.  My goal for the first week was to not use all those daily points, because I felt like if I did then I would still be eating too much.  Even though you can eat what you want n weight watchers, I still tried to make better choices than I normally do.  My results for week one was 4.4 lbs lost!!!!  And I was VERY excited and motivated for week two.  My goal for week two is to exercise more, and continue my strategy from week 1."
Great encouragement and testimony to the lifestyle this program fosters.  I think we have decided our dog Sadie needs to be on weight watchers--she is stealing all of our other dog, Peyton's, food!!!  And growling about it!

Silly Sadie
My favorite weight watcher finds this week: Smart ones cookie sundae dessert, Weight watcher dark chocolate dulce de leche ice cream bars...ummmmmmmmmmmmm

Saturday, July 9, 2011

HEB Coupon trip 7/8/2011

As a couponer it is very important to remember that many things can throw a wrench into your trip.  I planned for hours this week for a coupon trip that I thought would be my new record--over $107.  Well that wasn't the case.  I saved quite a bit--a respectable $77.08 but did not reach the level that I expected.  There were several reasons.  Some items were not available in-store....Jason got a clerk who didn't understand the HEB coupon policy and refused to let him use some of the coupons (Jason was so exhausted he didn't fight the battle) and we failed to communicate the size of some items required for the coupon use.  My rule is always by the smallest item that the coupon will allow for the maximum savings--and I made the assumption that Jason could read my mind and know that as well.
So the moral of this story is clear communication, and understanding of coupon policy and the willingness to speak up if a clerk does not clearly understand (ie.  the clerk didn't allow coupon stacking which I have NEVER had an issue with at HEB before).
Savings break down:
Store brand savings: $7.46
Coupon savings: $69.62

Favorite deals: 
TONS of ww smart ones and WW desserts for $1 off 4 to $1 off six.  Yes these items are expensive BUT help immensely with lunches etc while on WW

$2 off head and shoulders and then buy one get one free head and shoulders...(did get to stack these coupons, the clerk wasn't allowing Jason to stack in store coupons with manufacturer coupons...grrrrr)

Happy couponing

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Weight watchers day 2

Working on day 2 of weight watchers.  WW definately has faaaaar more freedom in food options than HCG.  While I still believe there is a place for the HCG diet, it was not a long-term sustainable diet for me.  If you are looking for a big quick loss that lasts for a short time (reunion, wedding etc) then this diet is doable...but long term loss FORGET ABOUT IT.  At least for me.  I like my breads, fruits and veggies too much! Fruits and many veggies are FREE foods with WW.  Right up my alley. 
Another good thing about this change in diet for me--the hubs is doing it with me.  It is always easier to stick to something with a little help of loved-ones. We both would like to lose 100 lbs for our 10 year vow renewal in May of next year.
I am excited about the weekly flex point and the fact that if I want an icecream sandwich that I dont have to feel like a failure--I just have to count the points!  YAY for that! Any diet that lets me eat a cookie every now and then is my friend.
I will update at least weekly with loss and activity levels.
Ready for change!!!

Important couponing chore

Most couponers know the importance of keeping plenty of coupons.  Alot of couponers even realize the value in having your coupons stored in an organized manner...some newby couponers, however, are not aware of the work and time it take to achieve and maintain this goal. Just as it is important to clip and store coupons it is also important to purge.  Depending on how you shop:  be it once a week, twice a month or once a month, your purging scheduel will vary.  I shop twice a month--once every two weeks.  The day of, or the day before I make my list, I sit down with my coupon binder and the sole task of getting rid of expired coupons. 

I look only at expiration dates and get rid of those that have passed or will pass before my next trip.  It is important to get these expired coupons out of your stash before you make your newest shopping plan.  They can very easily become distractions and even mess up a shopping trip.  If they are in your binder, you make your list with them in mind, and then get to the store only to find out that they are expired, it can truly mess up you savings.
Each time I purge I am reminded of the importance of a coupon swap.  I just emptied my binder of expired coupons and found that I had hundreds of dollars in unused deals.  It is important to have many coupons on hand but it seems wasteful to not pass the coupon love along to my fellow coupon divas.
Happy purging and remember to share the love!!!