Friday, February 27, 2009

I am "Blessed"

Well I'm back in the saddle. Sorry it has taken me a few days to get back to blogging. My family and I attended a youth Conference in Rochester, NY last week with the Teens of our Church. It takes me a while to get caught up after one of those events!
I came back physically exhausted but what a Spirit filled event!!!!!!!
God did some great things in our group while there, and I know many seeds were planted. In fact one of the Teen boys trusted Christ as His Saviour this past week!! God is good.

The theme of the conference was "Blessed". God did many things in my heart and it is always my prayer that God would do a work in me whenever I attend a preaching conference. I am a work in progress. I need constant molding from the Master.

I was truly humbled by the goodness of God in my life. He is so much better to me than I deserve. I am also so very grateful that my Salvation doesn't hinge on me, but the finished work of the Cross. If that doesn't make you feel blessed, I don't know what will!

I am looking forward to posting this week. I pray you all have had a blessed week and stay tuned for some frugal tips and posts! Have a great weekend!

Blessings, Michelle

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Frugal Valentine Date Night/Guest Post

Guest Post by Teya

Hello, friends! I am thrilled about this opportunity to share with you something very near and dear to my heart: making my husband feel special...on a budget! :-) It's about spending more of yourself than money!

This past year, under the sovereign discretion of our Lord, my husband and I faced what seemed to be a few more valleys than mountain tops. So, as Valentine's Day was approaching I remember thinking to myself that this would be a wonderful opportunity to spoil him, make him feel special, encourage him, and reaffirm my total love, adoration and commitment to him. My only dilemma: I had more ideas than money!

I specifically asked the Holy Spirit for wisdom to accomplish my goal on very few dollars (literally!). James 1:5-6 assures me that I can ask my heavenly Father for wisdom about anything, and when I ask in faith, He will answer. And that He did!!

The following is a list of ideas I used for Valentine's Day and how much each cost:

1. Christmas Lights - $0
I dug out of storage several strands of icicle lights and hung them around my bedroom. Our room is fairly new and knowing my husband would not appreciate staple gun holes in our drywall, I simply strung the lights over the dresser, along the curtain rods, around the bedposts, etc. What a beautiful, calming, and romantic ambiance this lighting created!

2. Poster Board Heart - $0 (See picture at top)
Awhile ago, we were given a stack of brown card boards, a bit larger than white poster board. I cut out a large heart, giving it a thick black outline all around its perimeter. I used my kids' Crayola paint to paint the heart red. When it was dry, I used white Crayola paint and a pencil eraser to put white polka dots all over it. I taped it to my bedroom wall, and it was pretty!

3. Made the room clean and clutter-free - $0
I did not have time to remove all the clutter I had gathered here and there. So, I consolidated the clutter to one area (unnoticed upon first entering the room). I made the bed look luxurious by taking decorative pillows from my couches and putting pillow cases on them to match our bedroom. When I was finished, I had 8-10 color-coordinated pillows on our bed looking ever-so-cozy!

4. Silk Rose Petals - $1.07 red ones, $1.07 white ones - dollar store.
I "sprinkled" a few of each color on our cozy, pretty bed.

5. Small Gift - $2.86
I purchased my husband's favorite chocolates at Wal*Mart and reused a red gift bag and tissue paper I already had. I placed it among the rose petals on the bed.

6. Freezer Pizza - $0
This cost zero extra dollars as it was already in the freezer from a previous grocery trip. What made our freezer pizza oh-so-special? I served it in bed on a tray covered with a pretty cloth, on fancy plates.

7. Sparkling Grape Juice (non-alcoholic) - $2.68
I did not have ultra-pretty glasses, but I served it nice and cold with a smile and a wink, and I don't think he noticed the glasses! :-)

8. Mentally Prepared - $0
I was mentally prepared, looking forward to giving to him with no agenda of receiving anything myself. I really wanted him to have a night of no pressure. I wanted him to feel as relaxed as if we had gone away to our favorite bed and breakfast. I was able to create that atmosphere with my spirit. I wanted him to feel like a king, and guess what...he treated me like his queen!

The total cost of my Valentine gift to my husband: $7.68 (all taxes included)

The closeness we shared and the benefit to our marriage: $$ PRICELESS $$

Teya is a Wife and Homeschooling Mother to 4 precious children. She is also a helpmeet to her Husband who is a Pastor in upstate NY.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Short Break

Dear Readers,
I am off to a conference with my Husband and His Youth Group for a few days. I am excited for what the Lord is going to do in my family's life and the life of the Teens who will be attending!
Check in early next week as I have a guest blogger post planned , that you won't want to miss. I pray you all have a great weekend. Will check in with you all when we return home!
Blessings, Michelle

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marked Down Produce At Price Chopper

I fell into a GREAT deal today at Price Chopper. For my local readers, the price Chopper on Dix Avenue, frequently has a marked down produce cart located somewhere in the produce section. It is usually hit or miss for me, and I am not sure what time of day it is filled, but I have gotten some great deals. I had a &5 off your next purchase coupon, from my last shopping trip, that was soon to expire. We are going out of town so I wanted to use the coupon and get the best bang for my buck so to speak. I thought of the produce cart and swung by today while I was out running errands. There happened to be another gentlemen at the cart and we were both astonished at the wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables that were available. I couldn't find any spots or bumps on anything that I purchased!

I got approx 3lbs of seedless green grapes for $1.05, a 5 pack of beautiful oranges for .92, a 6 0z container of blueberries for .26, a 3 pack of cucumbers for .52, 3 packages of all different kinds of apples for $2.13 (a total of 17 apples) a package of 6 tomatoes for .60 and I did purchase 2 peaches at regular sale price of .98cents a pound for .73 cents. The grand total was $6.49 and after my $5.00 cpn I paid $1.49 Praise the Lord!!! We should be set for fresh fruit for a while:::::)

Blessings, Michelle

Kmart Does It Again

Kmart is once again having double coupon days. That means they will double any Mfr. coupon with a face value of up to and including $2. Yippee! Kmart does not pay overage and they have limited the number of coupons you can use to 25 per day. Still a great deal. Thanks Kmart. Happy Shopping:)
Blessings, Michelle

Don't forget to get your free coffeeTomorrow

If you got this coupon in the mail last week, don't forget to get your free medium coffee tomorrow at Dunkin Donuts. Coupon is good thru Wed 3/18. Just make sure you do not give the coupon to the cashier. Just show them your coupon and then you can keep right on using it!
Blessings, Michelle

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Free Dunkin Donuts Coffee on Wed thru 3/18

I received this coupon in the mail yesterday. I hope you all did too!! It entitles you to a free medium Dunkin Donuts coffee, every Wednesday thru march 18!! I checked it out yesterday (despite the fact it states Albany, Berkshire area) and it is working here!! However, mine was not free. I had to pay .13cents for the tax. Still a great deal to me:)
For those of you who know me, you know, I love Dunkin Donuts coffee and I LOVE Free things. Unfortunately it's not in the "new" budget, the evaluate the every purchase budget. But for .78 cents, with this coupon, I can get 6 almost free medium coffees! Now that's in the Budget!!!:):):):
P.S. Make sure to cut the coupon out and place in your purse. Don't give the coupon to the server, just show it and take it back. That way you can enjoy your almost free coffee every Wed!!
Blessings, Michelle

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Free Valentine's Day Ideas e-book

This year my husband and I made some pretty lofty financial goals. We have continued to carry old credit card debit. When we decided that I was going to leave my full-time angiography nursing position 3 years ago (making a very nice income) we had a lot of debt. God has been so faithful to allow us to continue to pay down this debt despite losing thousands of dollars a year in my income!

We cut all credit cards up 5 years ago. We do not have any credit cards. I know we have been told by many friends and family, that we need at least one card for emergencies. However God has told us different. He has been and will be our provision. We have learned to put our trust in Him. I won't say that this has always been easy, but I will tell you it has always been worth it.

Each year we have seen more debt paid off and we have not acquired any new debt (with the exception of a second hand car purchase) since cutting up our credit cards. God has been good to us, but it has been a loooong hard road back to financial independence. I say financial independence because the Bible warns us in the book of Proverbs 22:7 "and the borrower is servant to the lender ."

We decided this year to get very aggressive on the last leg of this debt journey. That means tightening an already tight budget. I know that there are areas even now that I can tighten up. That means truly scrutinizing every purchase. I mean every purchase , doing without some things, and making what we have last longer. Really folks this isn't rocket science, but it is hard work!! It is hard to deny our fleshly desires. We see things and we want them. We won't ever obtain success in our spiritual or even physical life until we learn to tell our flesh NO.

This valentines day I would like to challenge you, to not spend money you don't have, on gifts you don't need. Ladies, make your husband a homemade card and tell him all that you love about him. There are many women out there today that don't have a husband and would love to be in your shoes. Make him king for a day. Cook his favorite meals, wear something that you know he loves on you. Go out of your way to show your man you love him and there's no one else in the world for you!! You know your man better than anyone else (at least you should) and the ideas are endless.

Onto the kiddos in your life. Make TIME for them. Plan ahead and free up Saturday to do something your kids love. Go for a walk as a family, read together, go to the public library and bring home a free movie. (This is only free if you return it on time!) Make their favorite breakfast or lunch. The ideas are endless here as well. The key is to love on them. No one knows what makes your children happy better than you!

Our family has some ideas planned and I will share them in an upcoming post. I got some inspiration from a site that I love She has a free e-book on cheap Valentine Day ideas. I have chose not to spend any money and improvise. Our son is 14 and he loves Valentines Day. Each year we have found a special way to shower him with love that was free or very inexpensive. His favorite was the year we made him a coupon booklet and let him redeem them at his choosing. He loves the library and we had 3 trips to the library "whenever you want to go" in his booklet. A free wrestle with Dad night(my husband is not always in the mood to wrestle after a long day at work) whenever you chose. We had several others things we knew he loved, the key is whatever works for your kids. I can tell you he still talks about that coupon book to this day. Have fun with it,the ideas are truly endless.

Make this a Valentine day that won't break the bank! Above all remember the one who loved you enough to die for you and give his life a ransom for many, The Lord Jesus Christ! MAY HE BE KING OF YOUR LIFE EVERYDAY!!

Blessings, Michelle

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Christmas Gifts!

Sorry for the poor image quality. I am still learning how to use my new digital camera! Stay tuned for the post on how God provided this camera to me!! For those of you that have followed this blog you know that I did not have a digital camera or a cell phone. When you make choices to embrace the frugal life(thus gaining freedom) you choose to for go some unnecessary luxuries. Contrary to some, we believe that cell phones and digital cameras are luxuries. We survived for a long time without either one. However, God is a much better provider than I deserve and I will be posting on how He, in His loving kindness, gave our family both.

On to the Christmas deals. While shopping in Kmart today (They have delicious Florida strawberries for $1.99, fresh fruit is a big weakness of mine!) I came across the above deal. They had a large lot of Joe Boxers holiday boxer gift packs. There are 3 pairs per box and they were originally marked $19.99. They were marked down to $1.99 which is in itself, a very big markdown. However when I got to the register they were 30% off, making them $1.39 each!!!!!!!!

They also had a single pair of holiday boxers in a Christmas ornament marked down to .99 They were original marked $9.99. These were also 30% off so I got them for .69 each!!!!!! A tremendous savings. So for $4.16 I got 4 more Christmas gifts for next year!! God is sooooooooooooooo good to me:)

These boxers are usually quite expensive. If you have a boxer loving hubby or son in your life, these will make very nice gifts!

Frugal Tip: You must find a designated place to store your gifts. I keep my deals all stashed in one location. It won't be a great deal if you can't remember were you put it. You should also keep a detailed list of what you have purchased in your purse. That way when you stumble upon deals(I believe God puts them in your path) you will know what you have all ready purchased. Aha, think of the peace and tranquility you will feel when your Christmas shopping is done by the end of summer and you have saved literally hundreds of dollars! If that doesn't motivate you into frugal living I don't know what will!!

Have a blessed day, Michelle

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hidden Deal @ CVS on Cotton Rounds

It is being reported that the CVS cotton rounds(probably found in the beauty aisle with the cotton balls) are printing ECB's when you purchase 2. They are reported as ringing up for .98 each. So you purchase 2 for $1.98 and receive $2 ECB's back .02 profit!! The upc code on this is 050428086193. Thanks to for the tip!!

Frugal Tip: Maybe you yourself don't use this type of product. However now is a great time to start your Christmas shopping for next year! Yes right now. Sit down and make a brief list of the people you wish to purchase gifts for. These would be lovely in a gift basket full of beauty supplies (found at very good prices on sale or better yet FREE!) It is not to late to start purchasing gifts for next year! I've already purchased three gifts and I haven't even spent $10.00!!!

*****Other holidays to consider are Birthdays, Valentines day or Mothers day!! Most women love receiving this type of gift:)*****

Sunday, February 8, 2009

CVS Money Maker Working

Well folks, it worked! While I was there I stopped and scanned my card and got a printout for a free 250ml CVS brand antisceptic mouth wash. That was a $2.59 value! The Mylanta was $3.75 at my store. It was behind the bottles marked $6.99(which were on sale from $7.50) I had to look for it. Also the 50% off sticker was obscured by the ECB ticket. I printed the $2.00 internet cpn so I paid $1.75 OOP and got $3 back in ECB. I paid $1.75 for what should have cost me $9.58 Praise the Lord! Michelle
P.S. Make sure it is the Ultimate Strength Cherry flavored brand. UPC CODE 1683764412

CVS Money Maker

I haven't been doing much CVS shopping lately. However it is being reported that this is a money maker at CVS right now. It is reported that the 12oz. bottles of Extra Strength Cherry are ringing up for $3.65. ( I would check this with the price scanner or cashier) Currently there is $3 ECB for Mylanta products. We stock piled this product when K-Mart was having their double cpn sale. There were $2 cpns so I think I paid $.99 for this product. My hubby loves this stuff! You can go to and print a $2/1 cpn. I am going to try this deal out and I'll let you know how it all goes!

Frugal Tip: You can use baking soda as an antacid. You would use 1/2 tsp to 4oz. warm water, Every 3-4 hours as needed.My Grandad always used this for his heartburn. However consult your physician if you have renal or heart disease. Also, antacids interfere with some medications so consult your pharmacist if you take RX drugs. I would not use this in small children. As many of you know, I am a nurse. I am however in no way giving medical advice. This is just what has worked for my family. I will be giving frugal tips like this in the future. I will not endorse any one product. If ever you have any questions regarding your physical health, you should contact your health care professional or pharmacist.
Blessings, Michelle

Thursday, February 5, 2009

After a Looooooooong Hiatus

O.K. So you've all probably figured out that I am the world's worst blogger! There, I admit it. I even have thought about not blogging at all anymore. However, I still have a few faithful readers. Thank you for you kind comments recently.
I plan to start blogging much more regularly with the same content as before. It is still my desire to help influence and inspire any women who has a desire to become a Godly "Keeper at Home."
I would like to resume my frugal tips and will be posting them at least weekly. I would like to say daily, but I know me to well.
Things have been going very well at our home. The holidays were wonderful but very busy. We try to limit outside engagements at the holidays, but with family to see on both sides, well you all know the rest of the story.
Couponing is going well. I even took several weeks off in December. Praise the Lord for my pantry:)
My family is enjoying the fruits of my canning and freezing skills that I acquired this past fall. We have enjoyed my homemade bread and butter pickles(we are down to our last jar) and the yummy peach, blueberry and raspberry jams that I made. I was even able to give some away as Christmas gifts!
We have family that have offered to let us put a garden on their property this summer. We are in the midst of planning right now. It has been fun to think of spring and has helped ward off some cabin fever (at least for me). It has been a looong snowy winter here and I am ready for SPRING!!! Our family is not very far from our home and they are right on the way to my Husband's car pool stop. We have agreed to split the proceeds of the harvest with them in exchange for the land. We have attempted a garden here 3 times very unsuccessfully. We have very little sun and lots of pine trees. At any rate we are very excited about our upcoming spring planting.
It has also become a good home school project as we have been checking out books on gardening from our local library. We have also been reading and studying life in Pioneer times. If they could do it so can we!!
I pray you all have been well and that your holidays were filled with the love of God. I hope you were able to spend precious time with loved ones and friends.
I am looking forward to getting acquainted again.
Blessings, Michelle