Monday, June 30, 2008

Cost of Living

I am a member of a local online forum made up of moms. That's one of my day jobs - I get paid to moderate this forum of 1200+ women. The topics are always interesting, funny and lively and they oftentimes get heated as you can imagine when you have this many women offering opinions, comments and suggestions.

Recently one of the moms cried out in frustration about her family's rising grocery, gas and utility bills and asked for help/suggestions on how to get through the day-to-day needs on one-income. She stated it wasn't worth it for her to go back to work with her little ones at home because if she were to go back to work the daycare costs would eat up whatever money she earned. She feels like a prisoner in her own home as she sits there day in and day out not going anywhere because she can't justify spending the money it would take on gas for her to get out for a little while.

I was curious to see what the replies to her desperate cry for help were going to be...unfortunately, there really weren't any answers or suggestions for this woman...but there were lots and lots of women who understood her and could empathize with her. There was a sisterhood. Everybody is in the same boat. Everyone is feeling the crunch whether it's at the gaspumps or at the grocery store. We are all in this together.

My family has had to adjust just like everyone else. It's not fun but we get used to it and we deal with it...
  • I sit home most every day of the week except for Saturdays and I save on gasoline. Greg drives to and from work and picks up things for me on his way home if I need it during the week.
  • I clip coupons, and buy as much as I can at CVS using their extrabucks program (that way I am using THEIR money and not mine!) I comparison shop at the grocery stores and stockpile using sales and coupons for the best savings.
  • I cook at home during the week for all 3 meals.
  • I never buy clothes, shoes, etc that isn't drastically reduced...I'm talking like more than $3.00-$5.00 a piece and I probably won't buy it because I know I can hold out and wait for the clearance sale.
What are some ways your family is coping with the gasoline/food prices? I'd love to hear how you do it.

Good Mail Day!

I had a GREAT mail day today! I received a $10.00 gift card to CVS as a reward I chose from having enough points in my Mypoints account. If you aren't signed up with this site I encourage you to check it out. There are many ways to earn points. I earn points by printing off my coupons from Mypoints and by doing things as a BzzAgent...which is another cool website and a great way to try out products/samples.

I got a sampling of teas from Yogi Tea and a .50 coupon. Mexican Sweet Chili tea anyone?!? Hmmm, that ought to be interesting.

Lastly I received a rebate check for $4.69 from a Tums Quickpak I picked up back in May from CVS. The great thing about this is the Tums was one of the May monthly ECB deals where I received $4.69 back in extracare bucks so these were FREE to begin with...then I mailed in my receipt along with the UPC code to this address (shown below) and I got my check in the mail today!

If you purchased a Tums Quickpak between 5/18/08 - 6/30/08 then you can receive a rebate also... but submission must be received before 7/15/08.

You can submit a 3x5 card with your full name and mailing address along with the upc off the package and your cash register receipt to the following address;

Tums Cash Refund Offer

P.O Box 1356

Grand Rapids MN


Sunday, June 29, 2008

CVS - Weekly Deals 6/29-7/5

I am posting the deals with printable coupons only...for all the weekly deals, please refer to the Weekly Flyer found at the front of any CVS store.

Receive $1.50 ECB when you buy any 1 Stayfree, Carefree, or O.B. ($4.49) LIMIT 1

$1.00 off any Stayfree Product. Printable
$1.50 off O.B., Printable

Receive $2.00 ECB when you buy 8 pk Viva paper towels ($6.99) LIMIT 4
$.50 off any 2 pk or larger, Printable

Additional Deals

Colgate Total ($1.77)

-$1.50 printable coupon

Frank's Red Hot Sauce, French's Mustard (2/$3.00)
-$.50 off either one of these - printables

Maxwell House Instant Coffee ($7.69) Buy One Get One Free
-$1.00 coupon (can print two of these)

Kashi Cereal or TLC Bars 2/$5.00
-$2.00 coupon if you haven't registered here previously

Chex Mix 2/$3.00
-$.65 off printable

Aveeno Sunblock Lotion $7.99
-$1.00 off coupon printable

Wal-Mart Deals 6/29-7/6

Here's sale prices from their ad this week matched with coupons I can find.....

French's Mustard $1.00
-.50 coupon here

Kingsford Charcoal 2pk (15 lb bags) $9.92
-2.00 coupon here

Blue Bunny Big Fudge Bars or Cones $3.50
-1.00 coupon here

Ball Park Beef Franks $2.00
-1.00 coupon from a Sunday paper (can't remember which one?)

Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce $2.50
-1.00 coupon from 5/11 Smartsource (exp. 6/30)

Additional Wal-Mart deals/coupons...prices may vary by region.
Live Active Cereal (reg. price varies $2.98-$3.12)
-3.00 coupon here

Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal ($1.98)
$2 off Printable
$2 off Printable
$2 off Printable

Tava 4 packs ($1.98)
$1.50 off Tava Printable
(click on "Print coupon" at the bottom of the page)

OScar Mayer Deli Subs and Wraps (reg. priced $2- $2.50)
$1 off Deli Wraps at

Zantac 8ct regularly priced at $3.98
$5.00 on Zantac Printable Page 3

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturdays are for SHOPPING!!

It seems that my Saturdays are now for shopping....but I love it! Especially when I can save money and work the deals. I did make an "extra" trip to Walgreens last night (Friday) just so I could use the $5.00/$20.00 coupon I had but I paid a visit to my dad's house to drop off something they needed and pick up something I needed so it wasn't completely a wasted trip JUST to Walgreens.

No pictures today - already put everything away - here's what I got:

Dasani 24 pk (3 @ $5.99) = 17.97
Peroxide 1.39
Gorton's Frozen Fish Filets (2/$4.00) = 4.00
BigEclipse Gum 2/5.00 = 5.00
Dentyne Ice 60 pc = 3.49
Dixie Plates 2 @ 3.79 = 7.58
Air Wick Fresh Matic = 5.99

Total before coupons: $45.42
-.40 peroxide In-ad coupon
-2.52 Eclipse In-ad coupon
-3.79 BOGOF Dixie plates In-ad coupon
-6.00 Dasani In-ad coupon
-1.00/2 Gorton's
-4.00 Air Wick Fresh Matic
-5.00/20.00 coupon good for Friday only

Subtotal $22.71

Got a coupon for $3.00 off the purchase of 2 Dixie products so turned around and bought 2 more sets of Dixie plates and paid $1.08 (after using the in-ad BOGOF coupon and the $3.00 manuf. coupon I just received!)

I will also get a $3.00 back for the Air Wick Freshmatic as part of the July Easy Saver Rebates.

Aussie - 2.99
Sobe Life Water 1.49
Sobe Life Water Free
Huggies Body/Hair Wash 2 @ 3.49 = 6.98
Brut deodorant 4.69
CVS Chapblock 1.79
Listerine Advanced 5.99

Total 23.93
-1.49 Chapblock coupon
-4.00? gave cashier Sobe coupon BOGOF...not sure what this is for
-10.00 ecb
paid 4.64 / 12.49 ecb

2nd purchase
2 charmin @ 5.99 = 11.98
1 colgate = 2.99
2 Sobe life water = 2.98
2 CVS cotton balls = 2.53
-.50 Charmin (2 coupons @ .25)
-1.49 Sobe
-1.49 Sobe
-1.50 Colgate
-9.00 ecb
paid 2.95 / got back 2.00 ecb

3rd purchase
Lysol neutra air 2/5.00
Trident gum 2/4.00
Duracell batteries 2 @ 5.29 = 10.58
Doritoes 2/3.79
Air freshener 2.99
Starbucks Frappucino 1.79
-2.50 Lysol
-2.50 Lysol
-1.00 Trident
-1.00 Trident
-5.49 ecb
paid 11.66 / got back 10.00 ecb

Old Navy
Bought 2 pair of flip flops for 1.00 each!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Freebie Friday 6/27

**My freebies this week**

American Greetings

Sun-Maid cookbook

Luvs $5 Coupons


Multigrain Cheerios

Stride Gum

TENA Serenity

Perfect 10 and Pantene Expressions

Dayspring eCards

DVD and pedometer

Moon Sparkle perfume

Dove Pro Age

Gillette Body Wash

Bio Spot Flea & Tick Control for Dogs - 3 month sample

Body Eclipse Aromatherapy Shampoo

Seed Magazine


Folgers Lively Columbian

Splenda Coffee Flavors Sweetener

Taco Bell Frutista Freeze

Hamburger Helper Singles

Teddy Grahams

YoMommy Yogurt 4-pack

Health & Beauty:

Benefiber Fiber Supplement

Health Samples from Remedy Magazine

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Scrub

Playtex Gentle Glide

VCF Contraceptive Film


Antiques Magazine

Baby Magazines

Focus on the Family Magazine

Marriage Today Magazine

Successful Living Magazine

Music Downloads from Cartier


Spring cleaning samples

Babies & Children:

Enfamil Samples

Good Start checks and coupons

Planet Heroes DVD

Playtex Drop-In Original Nurser System (BPA free)

Pull-Ups Training Pants - Be sure to choose the size you want.

Dakota's text messages

Dakota learned how to use his text messaging on his phone while he was at youth camp last week. He sees me use mine all the time but he's never really had a use for his too much. The whole week he and I sent each other text messages all throughout the day.

I even learned something new - my techno-savvy child taught me how to send a picture/voice message! He sent me this picture along with a voice message that said "I love you mommy." Awwww, isn't that sweet!?!

I had told him to text me Saturday morning to let me know when they were leaving camp so I would know what time to pick him up at the church...this is the text I received from him.
Lovely, ain't he?

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Yesterday I posted a blog about how Dakota and I were involved in a yahoo group called Postcard Kids where we exchanged postcards with other families around the world. Today I stumbled across this neat website called Postcrossing.

It is the same concept only you are not exchanging postcards with another family. It looks like you send one whenever you feel like it and you never know when you are going to receive one in your mailbox....or where it will come from. Once you send a postcard you enter in your screen name on the website and put in there that you have mailed a postcard and where you mailed it's neat watching the screen roll up as everyone is typing in what they are doing!

Walgreen's $5.00/$20.00 coupon

Good for Friday only - $5.00 off $20.00 purchase - this $20.00 is the subtotal after all other coupons, etc.

Go here for your coupon.

Such a Hard Life

This is now a familiar sight every morning in my bed. Greg wakes up around 5:30 every morning to begin getting ready for work. Our dog, Jet, sleeps in our room at the foot of our bed all night long. When Greg gets up in the morning the first thing he does is let Jet outside to wander around for a few minutes. He just leaves the door open so Jet can come back in when he is done. He feeds him breakfast and while Greg is showering, Jet wanders around the house checking to make sure everything is where it is supposed to be.

I wake up around 6:00 - after Greg gets out of the shower and while he is getting dressed we spend a few minutes talking to each other. As soon as Jet hears my voice he pops his head up at the foot of my bed and stands there waiting to be lifted up. He is too "fat" and our bed is to high for him to jump up on his own. He loves getting up in the bed and laying down next to me - in Greg's spot - and sleeping for a couple hours.

He sleeps hard during this time too! Normally he is at my feet when I walk from room to room throughout the day. But not during this nap while he is on my bed....he is in a coma and I can walk in and out of the room without him budging! You would think he was up all night.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

WFMW: Postcard Kids

A couple years ago I signed up for a yahoo group called Postcard Kids. The idea behind this is to see if you can trade postcards with somebody from every state and as many countries as you can. I pinned a large United States map and a world map up on our wall and everytime Dakota and I received a new postcard we would find the state or country it came from and put a small sticky flag on there. This helps Dakota when we study Geography during homeschooling. I always request the person mailing us the postcard to write some sort of interesting tidbit about their area on the back of the postcard.
Here's some of our collection and a few favorites...

This one shows the outdoor market in Malaysia.

St. Petersburg, Russia

New Zealand - we actually traded boxes with a family in New Zealand (not just a postcard.) They stuffed a shoebox full of neat candy, books and things from where they live and we did the same thing. It was interesting to try some of the candy they mailed us.

For more Works-For-Me-Wednesday tips, head on over to Rocks In My Dryer!

Understanding People

On my mom's side of the family there is a large family reunion every year - the first Sunday in May. This has been happening for as long as I can remember. When my great grandmother was alive I used to attend these reunions. She died a few years ago and I haven't been to one since.

My mom and grandmother still go every year because they grew up with all of those relatives and know them very well. I don't go because I really don't know anybody there and I hate going through the introductions over and over again year after year...the ones I knew were the young ones like me who no longer attend or the really old ones like my grandmother who have died.

Mom was telling me the other day that another one of our uncles had died (my great grandmother's brother -I didn't know him, or at least I don't remember him - there were lots of siblings) and that led us to talking about the reunion. She began telling me about one of the relatives who has been working on the family tree and has done a lot of research and pulled together this entire history of our family. Mom had asked this woman...not sure if she's a cousin, aunt, or what relation she is...but mom had told her she was very interested in seeing what history she had and would love to help her if she needed help.

The woman said "Well, I've put a lot of work into this and I'm not going to let just anybody see it without getting something for my efforts." EXCUSE ME??!! I looked at mom and asked her if she said what I thought she said? Was this woman...this RELATIVE wanting money for putting together the family history? Mom said yes! Hmmmph! I told mom she can do what she wants but as far as I'm concerned that woman's so proud of her work it can sit right there in her house and she can be proud of it all on her own and nobody will see what she has done. I don't think I'll ever understand what makes some people think the way they do.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Prayers and Praise

I haven't written too many personal posts lately, other than my shopping/coupon excerpts, because I've been in a funk. There are some things going on in my personal life that I can't write about on here but it's affecting my day-to-day living. Life has been rough lately. I still laugh. I still smile. But trying to sit down and write about upbeat things is not easy.

Then I came across this blog this morning and just reading her post for the day helped me to remember that I am blessed in so many ways and if nothing else I can just share my praises and a few prayers here.

I thank God for:
  • CJ was able to come to church Sunday - her first time since starting chemo and she looked beautiful! Please keep in her your prayers as she continues to go through more chemo - it makes her so sick she just doesn't feel like she is going to make it sometimes.
  • my daughter Felicia is about to graduate from massage therapy school next month! She's also pregnant with her 3rd child and after graduation she is taking a much-needed break so I'll continue praying for her and her growing baby.
  • my other daughter Tina & her family is moving much, much closer to me in August!! Praise God! I'm praying for traveling mercies for them as they go back and forth over the next 2 months looking for a home to buy and getting their stuff moved.
  • the Brazil mission team leaves this Friday headed back to Brazil. I am so excited for this group to go back and continue the work we started over there last year. I am excited my mom gets to go on her first ever mission trip. Praying that the hearts of the people are made ready to hear what our team is coming to tell them and that all the details for the trip just fall into place according to God's plan.
  • my husband. He works so hard and is under so much pressure at work these days. I thank God for my wonderful, adoring, doting husband and I pray for strength and endurance to help get him through this phase at work.

Toon-ful Tuesday

Cartoonist's Comment: In this verse, the Apostle Paul is referring to Abraham. As Abraham praised and gave glory to God, his faith was strengthened. I believe that as we give praise to the Lord, it causes our faith to soar beyond the reach of doubt and unbelief.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Menu 6/23-6/27

Went to the bread store a couple weeks ago and I still have plenty of English Muffins, bagels, flour tortillas, and wheat bread from that shopping trip. We use that stuff mostly for breakfasts and lunches.

From all my CVS/Walgreen's shopping deals over the last month or so I have plenty of cereal (more than 10 boxes in a large storage crate) for breakfasts or snacks at night (that's when Dakota likes to eat cereal.)

Since Dakota and I are the only ones eating lunch at home during the day it's pretty easy to throw together something. We'll either eat sandwiches or I'll heat up some of the frozen meals I've picked up on sale. This week we have our choice of Bertolli Ravioli Dinner, Barber's Chicken, or Hamburger Helper. Greg doesn't like any of that stuff and Dakota does so I save that stuff for lunches.

Monday - Tacos, Fiesta Rice, Salad
Tuesday - Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken
Wednesday - London Broil, new potatoes, veggies
Thursday - Rice, Jambalaya
Friday - Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf (new recipe...hubby is picky about meatloaf so we'll have to see about this one?! LOL), mashed potatoes, going to mix shredded carrots & other veggies in the meatloaf so may not serve any veggies with the meal.

Third Day's Revelation CD

Our local Lifeway Christian Bookstore had a sale going on Saturday until 10:00 pm to commemorate the "Longest Day of the Year" - they had longer store hours that day. Mom asked me to go down there with her and I was able to pick up a few great deals. One of them was this pre-order of Third Day's Revelation CD which will be available July 29th. Just for ordering this at the awesome price of $7.99, you get this FREE t-shirt (Large size only) and a $5.00 gift card that you can use after 7/29/08!! I went and looked at Lifeway's website and saw that you can pre-order these from the website too - so go here if you are interested in picking up this CD. Go here if you want to listen to the CD for free until 7/28/08.
These are a couple of books I picked up which were marked down to $5.00 a piece. This first one is by Jodie Berndt. Never read anything by this author but after just thumbing through the book and reading looks very interesting.
Max can never go wrong with Max! Can't wait to read this one. My books are piling up on me - I need to get busy on my reading!

Walgreen's Weekly Deals 6/22-6/28

I am only listing the two Deals that have printable coupons with them - you can see the rest of the deals by picking up a flyer at your local Walgreen's store.

Register Rewards : Can be used like cash on your next purchase

Cereals 3/$7, Get $2 RR.
Items are Cheerios, Fiber one, Cinnamnon toast and Lucky charm.
-$1.00 off Honey Nut Cheerios coupon at
-$.75 off Fiber One coupon at

7 day in-ad coupon for Edge shaving gel for $1.99
-$1.00 off Edge shaving gel coupon here

Planters Trail Mix ($.99 with 7 day coupon from sales flyer)
Buy 2 get .75 RR
Buy 3 get 1.00 RR
Buy 4 get 1.50 RR

Gorton's Frozen Seafood (Grilled Fillets, Shrimp Bowl, Popcorn Shrimp) 2 /$4.00
-$.75 off 2 items coupon here

CVS - Weekly Deals 6/22-2/28

I only list the deals that have printable coupons with them. You can see all the deals by picking up a weekly sales flyer from the CVS store.

Playtex Gentle Glide or Sport Tampons 36-40 ct $2 EB
($7.99) Limit 1
-$1.00 printable coupon
Go here to request a free 3 pk sample of Playtex & a $1.00 off coupon

Buy $20 of Neutrogena Skin Care get $5 EB Limit 5
-$5.00 coupon for Neutrogena, Healthy Skin Rejuvenator Printable

Buy $20 of L'Oreal Skin Care get $5 EB Limit 3
-$2.00 off for L'Oreal, Skin Genesis Printable

Buy ONE Band-Aid or Neosporin Product Listed Above Get $1 EB Limit 1
-.75 printable coupon for Neosporin

Buy $15 of Imodium, Mylanta, Pepcid AC, or Complete get $5 EB Limit 1
-$1.00 off Imodium A-D Printable
-$2 off Mylanta Ultimate Strength Printable

Buy Colgate get $2 EB ($2.99, $2.49 in the Twin Cities) Limit 5
-$1.50 off Colgate Total, Printable

Buy Listerine get $1 EB ($3.99) Limit 5
-$1.00 off Listerine printable

Buy One Get One Deals
All Nature's Bounty Vitamins or Supplements.

-$2 off Nature's Bounty Vitamins, Register, Printable

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
Maybelline, Great Lash Mascara, $1 off, Printable

ALL (the brand) Laundry Detergent (3.99)
-$1 off All, Printable

Sobe, Propel, or Gatorade
SOBE Life Water, Any Flavor 20 oz. b1g1 free printable - Print

Kellogg's Cereal (Raisin Bran Crunch, Frosted Flakes, Mini-Wheats, Smart Start 17-18.2 oz ($4.69), or Special K 12-12.8 oz
-$1 off 2, Kelloggs Healthy Start Cereal, Print bricks

Maxwell House Coffee 11.5-13 oz
-$1 off Maxwell House 11 oz or larger, Print bricks

Bayer Original 24 ct, Enteric 32 ct, or Chewables 36 ct
-$1 off Bayer 24 ct or higher, Printable

Austin, Nabisco, or Keebler (club crackers, cheez-it, ritz, wheat thins, saltines 4-5.25 oz; Nabisco cookies 5-8 oz or Austin crackers 8 pk) 5/$5
Special Promotion - see information here

Don't forget to go here and either register your email address or update your email to receive a $4.00 / $20.00 purchase coupon.

Saturday, June 21, 2008



That's where I went yesterday - and I couldn't be more pleased with my purchases!! I spent a couple hours yesterday morning going through the ads and matching coupons with the ads and looking up internet printable coupons but after all was said and done it was so worth it!

I started off at Winn-Dixie where they had a Buy One Get One Free sale AND a $5.00 off $40 purchase coupon in their weekly sales ad (can pick these up at the front of the store.)
Barber Chicken Breasts $4.99 (BOGO Free) -1.00 off (I had 3 of these coupons I had printed off from here, but I don't think they are available anymore?)

Special K cereal
$3.99 (BOGOF) had -1.00 off coupon from newspaper

Hamburger Helper
10/$10.00 (-1.00 /2 coupon) try here too

Planter's Peanuts
$3.29 (BOGOF) there were peelies on top of jars for $1.00 off so used two of those coupons. Also go here for a mail-in offer form to receive a Mr. Peanuts baseball cap.

Dole Tender Greens Bagged Salads
$3.69 (BOGOF) had -$1.00/2 coupon from newspaper

Sliced Mushrooms


Chicken Breast

London Broil

Price before coupons and FREE price items removed: $115.02
Total after reward card scanned & coupons: $43.16

Next stop was Walgreen's. (No picture of this stuff...sorry!)
I actually spent more up front here but I'll be getting rebates back so it will work out in the end.

Had 4 purchases - the 1st two were for $12.00 each and it was 2 boxes of Thermacare neck wraps 2/$12.00 - I earned $5.00 RR (RR=register rewards...can be used just like cash on your next purchase) back for each of these purchases for a total of $10.00 so I spent $24.00 cash and got back $10.00 RR to use on my next 2 purchases. By purchasing these products I also qualified for EasySaver Rebate #26 where I'll receive $10.00 back on my gift card so essentially I will end up paying only $1.00/box for these Thermacare wraps.

3rd purchase:
(2)Oscar Mayer Bacon ($5.99) BOGOF
(2)Planters Honey Roasted peanuts ($3.49) BOGOF -3.00 off coupon here
Noxzema Bikini Razors $2.99/2 pk- go here for rebate form - will be free
Nabisco Graham Crackers $3.79
***special note here - this is one of my really DUH moments that I hate when I get home and realize I've done something stupid. This -3.00 off coupon for the peanuts says you have to purchase 3 Oscar Mayer, Nabisco or Kraft items as well as one Planters peanuts to get $3.00 off. Okay, I knew that going there and I knew I was going to buy my bacon there because it was a good price but what I didn't think about was the other item. This week Walgreen's has an in-ad coupon for KRAFT Mac&Cheese for .69 a box!! I could have bought a box of that! DUH!! No, but what do I do....I go pick up a box of Nabisco graham crackers for $3.79. Sure, we'll eat it...but when I picked it up I said to myself "man, I hate to buy this here for this price" but I did it anyway! Grrrrrrr

Okay, enough of my ranting, on with the price...after coupons this purchase cost me $8.75 (and I'll get another $3.00 of that back for the bikini shavers rebate)

4th and last purchase
Hefty ziplock freezer bags BOGOF -1.00/1 coupon (cut this off a previous box I had)
Hefty ziplock gallon bags ($2.99)
(2) Windex Wipes 2/$3.79 (-1.00/1 coupon) try here too...can print two of these
(2) Pledge Furniture polish 2/$7.00 (-3.00/2 coupon) received this in a sample that came in mail

After coupons I paid $3.82

Walmart was the last stop. My total before coupons was $126.00 and after coupons it was $76.22...but $14.56 of that was a wallet for Greg and $10.00 was 2 pair of shorts for me.

Everything else pictured here was $51.66!!!
What did I get?
(4) Blue Bunny Ice Cream $2.98 (-1.00/1 coupons here)
(2) Hot Pockets $2.16
(2) Cheerios Snack Mix $2.78 (-1.00/1 coupons here and here)
(5) YoPlus Yoplait Yogurt 4 pk $2.12 (-1.00/1 coupons here and here)
(1) Juicy Juice $2.67 (-1.00/1 coupon here)
(1) V8 Fusion $2.98 (-2.00/1 coupon here)
(1) Starbucks Frappachino $5.98
(6) Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix .62 (I had 3 coupons for -1.00/2 any Old El Paso products)
(3) Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes $1.28 (-1.00/1 coupons here and here)
(3) Wal Mart Fiesta Cheese $1.98
(1) Vlassic Dill Pickles $1.88 (-1.00/1 coupons here)
(2) Vlassic Pickle Relish $1.08 (-1.00/1 coupons here)
(2) Bertolli Cheese Ravioli Dinners $5.52 (-2.50/1 coupons here)
(1) Live Active Cereal $2.92 (-3.00/1 coupon here)
(1) HP copy paper $3.97 (-3.00/1 coupon here)
(1) KY jelly $2.57 (had a -3.00/1 coupon from newspaper)
(3) Dental floss .97 (had 3 -1.00/1 coupons from newspaper)
(4) Red Zone Body Wash travel size .97 (had 4 -1.00/1 coupons from newspaper)
(2) Gold Bond Lotion travel size .97 (had 2 -1.00/1 printable coupons but they are no longer available)
(2) Wet Ones travel size .92
(2) Kotex 16 pack 1.00 (go here for -1.00/1 and there was another coupon in Walmart's All You magazine - great magazine by the way...full of coupons!!)

I want to thank The "Cent"sible Sawyer for her amazing blogging on Walmart savings!! I couldn't have found half these coupons/deals without her help - she put so much work into this!! Make sure you check out her blog for more savings information!

Freebies & Free-bates

I received LOTS of freebies this week!! Cereal, vitamins, Caress body wash, Splenda minis, perfume, Recipe book, book of coupons, and two coffee samples (not shown) but the most awesome thing that happened was last Saturday!

Mom & I ran into the Family Dollar near our house to pick up some laundry detergent. We don't normally go in there because...well, let's just say, we live out in podunk-ville and this store is not usually kept up very nice. But it's a thirty minute drive into town and with the price of gas and all we needed was laundry detergent...and ya catch my drift right? So anyway, we go in this store and lo and behold it actually was very clean and organized and NICE! We soon found out they had been closed (we didn't even know this...tells ya how much we pay attention to this store) - they had remodeled and reorganized and Saturday was their grand re-opening. We were one of their first 100 customers so we both got one of these neat little gift bags (shown in the picture.) It's a drawstring bag with a calculator, water bottle and hanging fold-up pen. But that's not the best part!! We entered a door prized drawing...didn't even know what the drawing was for - the cashier just asked us if we wanted to enter and we both said sure, why not?

WE BOTH WON! We won 20" bikes - mom picked out a girl's bike and I picked out a boy's bike! Going to make great Christmas gifts for an Angel Tree child!! Whooohoooo!!

On to the Freebies...........

Try Zout Laundry Stain Remover for Free after rebate.
Go here to get the mail in rebate form (up to $4.00)

Offer is good until October 31, 2008

Try Noxzema Bikini Razors (on sale at Walgreens for 2.99/2 packs through 6/21) and mail in this rebate form to get up to $3.00 back

Free subscription to Woman's Day magazine here

Get $1.00 off coupon for Wendy's Fast Food restaurants by signing up to receive special offers.

Free Hardees Strawberry Biscuits with the purchase of a breakfast combo.

Perfect 10 hair color and Pantene Pro-V Expressions

Free Song download: Tickle Me Pink - The Time is Wrong

BOGOFree Sub from Subway - thanks to rrc06 on Slickdeals

2 Free Energy Saving Lightbulbs

Burt's Bees is giving away FREE wildflower seeds to plant to help save bees

Playtex Personal Cleansing Cloth

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I pray that this does not turn out sounding like a self-edifying post as that is not my intent at all. My intent is to express my doubts and fears and how stepping out of my comfort zone is so hard to do but so worth it sometimes!

Last night around 10:30 Dakota called me and asked me if I had heard the news about Lil Bit (*not her real name.) Lil Bit is a fellow 11-yr-old in the youth dept with Dakota. They are close. She is a precious girl. Dakota says he loves her like a sister because she is so sweet.

I love Jimmy & Elaine - her parents. This is me & Elaine at a Christmas party last year. Jimmy is behind us in the orange shirt.

Because Dakota is at Youth Camp with our youth pastor, Jesse, he heard the news when Jesse received a phone call from Lil Bit's older brother. Jesse called all the kids together and had them pray for Lil Bit first and then allowed them to call their parents. Dakota told me that Lil Bit was in the bathtub and had a seizure and Jimmy & Elaine had called an ambulance to come pick her up. Dakota knows that I send out the email prayer requests and update info to all the church members so he asked me if I would send out an email to everybody to start praying for Lil Bit. I assured him I would and before I knew what I was saying I told him I would go up to the hospital too to check on her.

Dakota was very pleased to hear that. He wanted me to call him back as soon as I found out anything. When I got off the phone with him I called Elaine's cell phone to get more details before sending out a church-wide email. Their oldest son answered and told me they had just gotten to the ER and he had left a voicemail on our pastor's phone and he had talked to Jesse but other than that he hadn't talked to anybody else.

When I sat down at the computer to begin typing out the email prayer request and contemplating my next move the doubts started creeping in.

Why did I tell Dakota I would go to the hospital? That was a stupid thing to say!

Why was I going to the hospital at this time of night?

It's a 30 minute drive up there?

They only allow 2 people back there at a time and there's 3 family members up there already.

The pastor will get the voicemail and he will show up and I'll just be in the way.

Then the "self-arguments" started....

I'm going to the hospital because they are my friends and they are military and don't have any family here...we ARE their family!

It's late at night - I can be there in 20 mins!

That 2 people rule is just a guideline - we always get away with having more people back there than that. Plus if somebody has to wait in the waiting room I can keep them company.

What if the pastor is already in bed and doesn't get the voicemail and doesn't even know this is happening? What if nobody shows up? How would I feel if my child were laying up there and I was alone.

Besides I told Dakota I was going and he is waiting to hear how Lil Bit is get dressed and get going!

As I was on my way up there another friend text messaged me after getting my email and I called her and told her I was on my way up to the hospital. She said she would go with me so I swung by and picked her up along the way.

The moment we walked into the ER room and Elaine saw us she burst into tears...of worry for her child and of gratitude that we were there to share that commonality of motherhood that only moms can understand when their babies are laying on a bed in the ER not knowing what's wrong or what to expect next.

We were all there until 2:30 this morning while Lil Bit had different tests run and the doctor tried to figure out what caused her seizure. She had been running a fever yesterday and had thrown up one time so Elaine had given her a phenergan (she had been prescribed that once before) - all her tests were normal except for an elevated WBC so for now the doctor thinks it was just an adverse reaction to the phenergan and he sent her home with strict instructions to monitor her closely the next 48-72 hours, waking her up every few hours making sure she is coherent and alert.

By the time I woke up around 10:00 this morning I had already received 2 heartfelt emails from Elaine expressing gratitude for going up there to be with them last night. I'm so grateful that my self-doubt didn't win out in this situation and I was able to make a difference in a friend's life by being there for her when she needed a friend. I praise God that Lil Bit is feeling better today! I praise God that I have a sensitive son who loves and cares for others so much and he understands the importance of prayer!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

America's Got Talent

Did you watch this show Tuesday night? Love these two!!
This 4-yr-old....

and this opera singer....

Dakota and money

Dakota went to Youth Camp this week. He'll be back Saturday afternoon. On the way to church Monday to drop him off I ran by the bank to get some money for him for snacks, souvenirs, offerings at Worship time, etc. I decided to give him $40.00 for the week. May not seem like much for a week away but he has a tendency to lose money.

As we were leaving the bank I began to lecture him...
"Alright Dakota, here's $40.00 for the week. You need to hold on to this and pay attention to what you are doing with your money because if you lose it, it's gone. There's no more! A week is a long time to go without any money for snacks and stuff."

"I knoooowwww, mom. I won't."

Monday night I get a phone call around 11:00 pm..."Hey mom, had a good trip over here. I'm rooming with ***** and *****......" We talked for about 5 minutes before he was ready to get off the phone and get back to his friends.

Tuesday night I am already asleep and my phone rings around 11:00 pm - Dakota was very talkative and wanted to tell me all about his day and what they did. I tried hard to rub the sleep from my eyes and wake up enough to absorb most of what he was telling least enough that I could ask him questions so he knew I was listening to him. I really was interested and was ecstatic that he wanted to talk (because he NEVER wants to talk on the phone that much) but I was dead asleep when he called. From what I could gather he had gone out into one of the neighborhood low-income apartment complexes and done a VBS-type set up with the kids there all day. He said it was very similar to our Meet the Church projects we do.

This morning around 7:30 my phone rings.
"Hi mom! I'm on my way to breakfast and I just wanted to tell you good morning. I don't have long to talk before I head out for the day."

"Well, this is a nice surprise! Good morning Dakota! Did you get a good night's sleep?"

"Oh yeah! I was tirrrreeeddd after yesterday! It was sooooooo hot working all day outside."

"I packed you a water bottle - are you using it and refilling it?"

"Actually I bought another's cool! It's...." (went into an explanation of how this water bottle is really "cool" - but I don't remember what made it cool.)

"How much was it? Are you spending your money wisely?"

"Welllllll" Long pause here "I only have $5.00 left. I think I lost $20.00 at Taco Bell."

"When did you go to Taco Bell?"

"Ummm, Monday on the way over here."

"So you lost $20.00 two days ago and you are just now telling me? Did you look in all your stuff real good and in your pockets and luggage?"

"Yes mom! Okay, I gotta go to breakfast. I'll call you later. Love you!!"

Grrrrrr...he'll be 12 in August - praying this will get better with age!


I'm not sure if I mentioned it on my blog that I made the decision NOT to go on the Brazil mission trip this year. I actually made this decision back in March. With trying to get debt paid off I just didn't feel right about going two years in a row. This year's trip is earlier so that didn't leave me much time for fundraising.

The group leaves next Friday. I feel such a sadness coming over me because I'm not going. When I left last year, I had told these children I was going to try to come back this year and I was so eager to go back and see them. Our church works in partnership with 4 Brazilian churches planting new churches in Montes Claros and other outlying villages so we have a relationship we have formed with these church members. I keep up with a few of them via myspace and orkut (through very rough translation services on the internet.) One of the translators we worked with last year continues to give me a hard time because he wants me to learn Portuguese and I am not learning it fast enough "for him." LOL It is such a hard language!

My mom is going on this trip. She will be in charge of the Vacation Bible School every day and spreading the gospel in the schools over there. I am so excited for her! She has never been on a mission trip before so I can not wait to live vicariously through her experiences when she returns.

As hard as it is to watch that bus pull out without me I know everything happens for a reason. I praise God that I am staying here and not leaving the country right now...for 2 reasons.
1) Tina & Bryant are coming in town while the Brazil team is out of town. They are going house hunting in Albany, GA where they'll be moving in another month or so and they have asked me to babysit Bailee (my grand-daughter) overnight. Yippeee!!

2) My best friend CJ started her chemo last Monday and she is so very sick. She had to be put in the hospital this past weekend because she hasn't been able to keep any food down and she was dehydrated. Please keep her in your prayers.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

FREE - 2 packs Noxzema Bikini Shaver

These are on sale this week at Walgreen's for $2.99 with a Buy One Get One Free coupon on the front of the package.

Go here for a rebate form to mail in and receive your money back (up to $3.00) and you can get TWO FREE packages of Bikini Shavers!

Toon-ful Tuesday

Praise and thanksgiving are the entrance into the courts of God, and the booster rockets to our prayers.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Walgreen's Deals 6/15-6/21

I am only posting the deals that have printable coupons with them. You can pick up a flyer at any Walgreen's store to see all the other great deals this week.

Get $2.00 Register Rewards when you buy Kellogg's Cereals 4/$10.00 (Raisin Bran, Special K, Smart Start, Frosted Mini-Wheats)
Kelloggs Healthy Beginnings Cereals $1 off 2 Printable
Kelloggs Smart Start Cereals $3/2, Printable

Get $3 Register Rewards, when you buy Claritin Allergy Relief @ 19.99
-$3 off Claritin Printable

GET $2 RR, wyb Huggies Jumbo Pk or Training Pants AND Little Swimmers
Dry Supreme or Pull Ups $9.49
Little Swimmers $6.99
$1 off Printable

Coffee Mate 2/$3
-$1 off one, Printable

No-Nonsense B1G1 FREE
Socks, Nylons, Knee Highs
$1 off No Nonsense Perfect Tones Printable

Windex 2/$3.79
$1 off Printable

Arm and Hammer Laundry Detergent 2/$5.99
$1.00 off 1, Link
(click on the laundry basket and then the button that says click for a special offer)

Glade Scented Oil refill $1.99
$1.00 off 1 Glade Scented Oil Refill Printable

CVS - Weekly Deals 6/15-6/21

I am only listing the deals this week that have printable coupons to match them. You can pick up a flyer at any CVS store to see all the deals inside.

Sally Hansen Color Quick Nail Color Pen ($7.99) get $5.00 ECB when you buy 1
-$3.00 coupon / when you buy 2

Tylenol Arthritis, 8 hour, Extra Strength, or EZ tabs ($4.49) get $2.00 ECB when you buy 1
-$1.00 coupon off any Tylenol purchase

Alavert Allergy Meds ($6.99) buy 2 get $5.00 ECB
-$4.00 off when you buy 1 (can print 2 - just hit back button)

Energizer Max Batteries ($4.49)
-$1.00 off coupon

Flintstones Vitamins - Buy one get one 50% off
-$1.00 off coupon

Don't forget to go here to update your info and get your $4/$20 coupon!!

$10.00 Gift Certificate to Outback Steakhouse

Thanks to iMommies for this...

Mail in a request for a free $10 gift certificate.
All requests must be received by 07/05/2008.
The gift card will be good until 07/20/2008.

Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Outback Steakhouse Fathers Day Certificate Request
2202 N. West Shore Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33607.

Please only send 1 request per envelope and 1 per day.

Printable Coupons

Kellogg's Rice Krispies with Strawberries - $1.00 off coupon

Get a $4.00 off $20.00 coupon for CVS by going here and adding your email address or UPDATING your information in their system! They will email you the coupon and you can print it out!

Save $4.00 on Alavert Allergy Medicine (get ExtraCare Bucks this week at CVS!)

Dakota is off to Youth Camp today!

This happened very quickly! Yesterday to be exact! Dakota had said early on that he didn't want to go to Youth Camp this year...instead he wanted to go to Kid's Camp for one more year. Our church partners with several other churches every year for Kid's Camp and they allow the children to attend up through 6th grade so even though he is actually in the youth department at church he can attend this last year of Kid's Camp. We couldn't afford both. I was secretly pleased to hear this anyway because Youth Camp is a whole week and over $300.00 and Kid's Camp is 2 1/2 days and only 80.00.

The weekend after we returned from our Orlando vacation was the deadline to sign up and pay for Youth Camp. All of a sudden Dakota decided he wanted to go. Ummmm, sorry buddy...we just put out a bunch of money in Orlando so no can do now. No problem he said - he was fine with that and nothing else was mentioned about it until yesterday. Our youth pastor came and found me after church and said 3 girls had paid for the trip but all 3 had to back out so he wanted to invite Dakota and 2 of his middle school friends to go (for no cost - because it's been paid for!) He said the only catch is...."we leave tomorrow morning so this is kind of quick." Oh my goodness!! What a blessing!

So now I have spent all morning getting my youngest son packed up and ready to go off to his first week-long youth camp. He is extremely nervous and has tried backing out a couple of times already. This camp is a missions-based camp where they are going to be busy all day every day working in the communities - Dakota loves missions work so I have assured him he will get over there and get so involved and have a blast that the week will fly by for him. If not I'm only an hour or so away.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my dad...

to my stepdad

and to my honey-bunny...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Freebie Friday 6/13

My freebies I received this week! I just love going to the mailbox and getting samples/goodies BESIDES junk mail and bills!

Freebies for you:
Most of these are courtesy of Karen @ A Healthy Balance

DVD and pedometer

Moon Sparkle perfume

Home Management Printables

Tony Hawk Tobacco Free Poster

Dove Pro Age

Gillette Body Wash

Bio Spot Flea & Tick Control for Dogs - 3 month sample

Body Eclipse Aromatherapy Shampoo

Clorox 2 Color Safe Bleach

Seed Magazine

Folgers Lively Columbian

Crystal Light On the Go

Splenda Coffee Flavors Sweetener

Benefiber Fiber Supplement

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Scrub

Excedrin Extra Strength

Playtex Gentle Glide

VCF Contraceptive Film

Ban Antiperspirant Deodorant

Poise Extra Coverage Pantiliners

Health Samples from Remedy Magazine

John Freida hair products

Music Downloads from Cartier

Focus on the Family Magazine

Antiques Magazine

Baby Magazines

Marriage Today Magazine

Successful Living Magazine

Perfect 10 and Pantene Expressions

Car Air Freshener

These are courtesy of Amy at the Motherload

Digestive Advantage

7 Day pass to 24 hour fitness

Disney's Finding Nemo - this week's free movie

Father's Day Sampler on

The Holy Spirit by Billy Graham

Leap Treats for Dogs

Sports Academy needs coupons!

Since Greg found out he has to work Sunday (Father's Day of all things....blech!) he took the day off today and he, Dakota and I hung out. They hate going to CVS with me - and I rather like going by myself anyway because then I'm not rushed and I can think and wander the aisles slowly if I choose - but I hit paydirt when THEY decided THEY wanted to go into Sport's Academy.

"Sure honey, go ahead."

He looks at me strangely because normally I am asking why he wants to go into Sports Academy...I never agree with him so quickly. What he doesn't realize is CVS is next door to Sports Academy! Bwaahaahaahaaa

He walks out with one small, tiny bag and he tells me he has just paid $55.00 for what's inside his bag. "WHAT?! Are you kidding me?!" He bought fishing lures and fishing stuff.

I had three CVS bags and he asks me "Well, how much was ALL your stuff!?"

"I paid $4.89 cash for all mine! I have receipts to prove it."

I tell him...."you need to be looking for some coupons for Sports Academy, dude!"

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Here are some printable coupons for you to use...

Honey Nut Cheerios - $1.00 off (combine this with the deal at CVS this week)

Bandaids -.75 off (Walgreens has these on sale for .99 this week!)

Juicy Juice Harvest Surprise -$1.00 off (Walmart has this for around $1.50)

Kraft LiveActive cereal -$3.00 off (Walmart has this for around 3.00/box)

Kashi cereal -$2.00 off (Walmart has this for around 2.00/box)

Gold Bond Lotion - $1.00 off (Walmart travel size is .97 so would be free)

Kotex - $1.00 off (Walmart 18 ct is $1.00 so would be free)

Nivea Body Wash -$2.00 off (CVS deal this week Buy $10 worth get $5.00 ecbs back)

Excedrin Migraine -$2.00 off (CVS deal this week Buy 250 ct Excedrin for $9.99 get $3.00 ecbs)

Random Thoughts

We have been recycling for a little over a month now. Where I live we don't have roadside pickup or anything like that. We have two containers we sort our recyclables in:
1)cardboard, paper, newspapers
2)glass, plastic, aluminum and steel
About twice a week we have to carry our boxes to a community recycling drop-off location to empty our boxes. Everyone in our family has gotten used to throwing their trash into the correct spot now. I am amazed at how much this has reduced the trash that gets picked up by our garbage truck twice a week!! Our big blue trash can used to be overflowing both times we hauled it out to the road during the it's not even half full either day.

Even though I miss seeing my daughter and grandsons (who live in Hawaii) on a regular basis...I love the fact that I can call her at 2:30 a.m. when I can't sleep! There is a 5 hour time difference between us right now...4 hours when daylight savings time changes again because Hawaii doesn't participate in those nights when I am tossing and turning unable to sleep I go sit out on the porch, pick up the phone and call Felicia and chat with her for an hour or so. Thanks Felicia!

Just found out last night Greg is going to have to work this Sunday...Father's Day. What a bummer! He'll be off tomorrow because of having to work Sunday so guess we'll be celebrating Dad's day early.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lots going on in this household...

Sorry about not posting that much this week....lot going on in my household. I am currently working on a project and working on trying to get hired with another company (for additional work-at-home money), working at VBS at night, trying to find a place to live because we are going to be moving in about a things are a little hectic. I'll update soon.

Toon-ful Tuesday

This is a cartoon for fathers. You must watch your steps and avoid Satan's pitfalls, because your children are watching and following in those steps.

Monday, June 9, 2008

CVS Deals & Scenarios 6/8-6/14

This week is a pretty good week at CVS for the deals. If you are new to CVS shopping, then I suggest you go read this post first before reading any further or else you will be completely lost.

Here are some of the deals that will earn you ECB this week:

Coke products 12 pk cans - when you buy 4/$11 - get $3.00 ecb

General Mills Cereal, cereal bars or Folgers coffee - when you buy $20 worth - get $10.00 ecb
-.65 off Honey Nut Cheerios, Register, Printable
-.65 off 1 box of Nature Valley Granola Bars
-.55 on 1 box of Nature Valley Granola Bars, Register Printable
-.75 off General Mills cereals
-$1 off Fiber One
-$1 off Fiber One
-.75 off Fiber One Cereal, Register Printable

Candy (assorted...long list!) Buy 10.00 worth - get $5.00 ecb

Gillette Fusion razor - $9.99 - get $4.00 ecb

Schick Quattro Titanium razor - $9.49 - get $5.00 ecb

Braun FreeControl Shaver - $34.99 - get $10.00 ecb

Nivea for Men products - buy $10.00 worth - get $5.00 ecb

Be Fine Skin Care - purchase any product get $5.00 ecb

Dove Skin Care - buy $10.00 worth - get $3.00 ecb

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew or Ultra Lift - buy 2 - get $10.00 ecb
$2 Garnier Uplift Moisturizer Printable here

Biore - buy $20.00 worth - get $10.00 ecb

Neutrogena Wave Power Cleanser Kit - get $5.00 ecb
$2 printable here

Excedrin migraine or extra strength
- $9.99 - get $3.00 ecb
$ 2 OFF printable :

Pepto-Bismol - $4.99 - get $1.00 ecb

Coppertone Tan product - buy any - get $2.00 ecb

Possible Scenarios
Go here to get a $3.00 off $15.00 coupon

Cereal 3/$10.00
Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Total
Cereal Bars 3/$10.00
(2) Nature Valley, (1) Fiber One
Use these coupons
-3.00 off $15.00 purchase
-.65 Honey Nut cheerios
-.75 General Mills cereals (use 2 of these)
-.65 Nature Valley
-.55 Nature Valley
-1.00 Fiber One

Pay $12.65 Get $10.00 ECB back

Candy Deal
This is one I'm going to work in to some other deals. I like to do that when I want to get something (like this candy) but I don't have coupons specifically for the items I want to purchase. The reason I want to make this work though is because I would be buying these items husband loves Peanut M&M's and I love Orbit Gum!

If I bought just the candy on its own I would put out more money out of my pocket (and since I'm trying NOT to do that...then I had to figure a way around that.) Here's what it would look like buying just the candy:
Purchase 27 oz bag Peanut M&M's @ 5.99 (2) = 11.98
BigePak Orbit Gum 2/$4.00 (4) = 8.00
Reese's 2/$1.00 = 1.00
Total $20.98
Use coupon -$3.00/$15.00
Pay $17.98 and get $10.00 ecb back....not a bad price for basically 7.98 for all of that but I know I can do better than that.

Let's see how I do if I combine these items with other purchases using coupons:
Purchase #1 -
Gillette Fusion Razor - 9.99
Peanut M&M's - 5.99
Total = 15.98
-3.00 coupon
-4.00 razor coupon (from a Sunday circular)
pay 8.98 cash; get back $4.00 ecb

Purchase #2
Listerine Smart Rinse (2) @ 3.49 = 6.98
Orbit BigePak Gum (4) - 8.00
Reese's PB Cup (1) @ .50
Total = 15.48
-3.00 coupon
-(2) 1.00 Listerine coupons
-4.00 ecb (from purchase #1)
pay 6.48 cash; get $11.98 ecb back(from Listerine - 6.98 and candy - 5.00)

Purchase #3
Excedrin Migraine - 9.99
Peanut M&M's - 5.99
Dasani Water - 1.00
Total = 16.98
-3.00 coupon
-2.00 Excedrin coupon
-6.98 ecb from purchase #2
-5.00 ecb from purchase #2
pay zero cash; get $8.00 ecb back (from Excedrin - 3.00 and candy - 5.00)

As you can see...for less out of pocket cash I would be able to get more for my money and I would still have ecb left over.