Saturday, May 31, 2008

We're here!

After about 19 hours of driving, 4 meals stops, 7 hours at a hotel, and 8 restroom stops (one of those being in the great outdoors) we are finally here!! We were astonished when we walked into our new "home" to find it quite roomy and beautiful. It has more than met our expectations. It is a breath of fresh air for me to walk into a beautiful home as this and not have to think about my normal routine and managing our "stuff".

Want a tour?

The front room is very spacious and inviting. Two couches and a recliner.

Looking into the kitchen from the bar. Behind the kitchen is a dining room that seats eight.

The boy's room.

The big girls' room

The loft with bunk beds and a pull out couch and a sleepy Rebekah.


I love the small details and decorations about this place. Very Florida and very classy.

The loft also has a place to play games. Love the Disney sketches on the wall here.

And just steps away is the big, blue Atlantic Ocean.

My favorite room of all? The jacuzzi tub:) A nice addition to the master suite.

Sean headed off with the older five kids to Kennedy Space Center for the day. They will have lunch with an astronaut and will be experiencing the Space Shuttle Launch.

I've had a relaxing time here with John and Rebekah. We went for a walk around the neighborhood, ate lunch, blew bubbles, took naps and played Polly Pockets and Memory. It's been a long time since I've had a day alone with two preschoolers. I often miss (or don't take) these kind of opportunities to be with them. It's been fun for this mommy. Later we will get on the swim gear and walk down to the beach to watch the Space Shuttle launch and build our Polly Pockets a sandcastle.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Packing a family of nine for one month is no small feat, I say. Eighteen pairs of shoes, swim shoes, sports equipment, beach towels, pillows.... all take up awkward space. These items usually get shoved under seats and then are strewn all over the van.

No more. Meet the mammoth Ziploc bags. These had to have been invented by a mother. This is so working for me.

There are many more ideas over at Works for me Wednesday today. Take a look!

Joseph with his packing list drawn like hieroglyphics. He made a list of what Rebekah, Elizabeth and he have packed in their backpacks. I love "R"'s line of blank paper.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stuffed Up

I don't know if it's seasonal allergies or what, but people at this house can not breathe or hear. Poor Miriam has "a lot" of fluid in her right ear according to the doctor. It is like trying to communicate with an old man hard of hearing. I'm learning very quickly not to raise my voice to get her to hear because then she melts into a puddle of tears.

"Miriam, pass the peas."

"No, I'm not going to sneeze."

"Miriam, honey, pass the peas down to your brother."

"Why did you say I was going to sneeze on my brother?"

"Never mind."

"What did you say?" Blank stare. "Huh?"

Meanwhile, Betsy with her mop of bed head curls came up to me late in the night (as I was reading blogs) and explained. "A strange thing is happening. When I lay down on my pillow I can not breathe and my mouth is too dry. Then I came to see you, but when I got on the stairs my nose opened up. So I went back to bed and it happened again. Now I came here and I can breathe. How am I ever going to get any sleep if I have to keep going up and down the stairs all night?"

A few days later I heard Elizabeth instructing Joseph as they were cleaning up. "Joseph put all the stuffed up animals up here."

Kids are hilarious. Read more over at Mary's or share your own stories.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Meet my man

Do you want to meet my most favorite person in this whole wide world? Get a glimpse into the mind and days of the man who leads me, inspires me and walks with me every day. Yep, he's blogging now and chronicling our summer adventure as we explore Cape Canaveral, Florida and the wildlife of the Space Coast. If you are a homeschooler your kids might find his posts of interest in the coming days. We'll be at the Space Shuttle Launch Saturday. He's a math and physics teacher so you could count it as school;) Pay him a visit and leave him a comment.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


In all my planning and running around I think I'm beginning to loose my mind. We are at six days and counting.

Today I ran over our cordless phone. We actually have two, but I've somehow misplaced the other one and the battery has run down so it won't beep at me to find it. I put this phone on the bumper of the car this afternoon when I was working in the yard. I was expecting a call. Later, when I pulled out into the street I heard it drop to the ground. In my attempts to get out of the middle of the road I drove our 15 passenger van over it. It actually faired pretty well but will never work again.

When I told Sean about it he was howling. This is typical me and I'm glad he appreciates it. If not I'd be walking on pins and needles.

Did I ever tell you about the time I drove around town with the cordless phone on top of the car? Or about the time I dropped an entire box of 100 crayons down the dryer vent?

How about you? What's "typical" in your world?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lasagna Garden

Three years ago Sean bought some railroad ties from Menards and put down these two raised beds on the sunny side of the house. We bought ALOT of dirt to fill them in and had a pretty descent garden. Last year, however was a different story. The ground was pretty well packed and weeds had found a home there. The peppers, cucumbers and squash were a wash.

Well, this year I'm determined to do better and with some encouragement from Alaina and her beautiful vegetable garden I decided to try something new. A Lasagna garden. No, this is not growing ingredients to make lasagna. It is a way to layer the garden in order to cut back on weeds and fortify the soil. There are tons of methods for lasagna gardening online. We just went the simple route. We could have done another layer, but this is what we accomplished for this year.

Before. It looks like a desert. How could anything grow here?

First we laid down cardboard (newspaper would work as well). This suffocates any weeds and decomposes quickly. I made the kids lay down on it because it was so windy. Do you like the shield cut out there in the middle?

Next, we watered the cardboard well.

A thick layer of Organic Peat came next.

Then some manure was put down. I probably should have had more than this.

Finally a nice layer of mulch to top it off.

I let this garden be for about two weeks before planting. No weeds as of yet. I was amazed at how soft and rich the soil had become in that short time! We've planted tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, beets and watermelon so far in this bed. The other one will have spaghetti squash, yellow squash, cucumber and zucchini. I read in several places that the plants in raised beds do better when they are placed closer together.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary

What a happy and holy fashion it is that those who love one another
should rest on the same pillow.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne


It is unbelievable to me that thirteen years of marriage have already passed. It seems that as each year passes and we walk together through the dailiness of life I see you in a whole new light. I find you fascinating and amusing all at the same time. It is my greatest joy to be your wife, to watch you love our children, to hear your thoughts and to be loved by you.

Thank you for being faithful to our marriage covenant and for thirteen incredible years. I'm forever yours.

Your Beloved,

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fallen Birds

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Matthew 10:29

Last night was one of those defining parental moments for me. A bird fell from the nest still inside its egg and began to hatch. There were thirteen children standing over it in amazement and asking with eyes wide open, "What do we do now?"

Some began digging for worms. Some came up with boxes lined with blankets. Some brought out a desk lamp hoping to provide warmth. One even found an abandoned nest. The little robin was hatched into this world looking naked and helpless. It began to open its mouth for food.

My neighbor, Sandy, called a Wildlife rescue number to get some instructions about what to do. The policy is not to give instructions regarding protected animals, but to provide a certified rescuer to house and raise the bird for release instead.

At this point, Sandy and I exchanged glances as the children looked on. We were at a parental crossroads here. We both know that birds fall from trees everyday and do not survive. This is the way of life and there was a lesson to be learned here. We also knew that this was an opportunity to step up and take responsibility for a need. The baby bird could do nothing to help itself, but there was something that we could do.

It was late. The kids were dirty. Both of our husbands were gone. Normal bedtime was past. And the eyes were still on us. But which was the more important lesson to be learned on this night?

Sandy carefully warmed and packaged the bird for travel and provided the directions. I drove with children to the animal rescue house. The kids were completely silent in the car not wanting the small creature to be frightened. My aspiring vet, Lydia, was in front seat holding the container mouthing the words, "I love you, Mommy. Thank you SO MUCH."

On the way home we had more of a chance to talk. We do not have pets in our home so we don't really discuss animals often. What do I want my children to understand about this night? This is what we discussed:

1) God provides us opportunities to serve others in need. God knew that the egg would fall and He knew that we would find it. He provides us opportunities to help and when we can, we should.

2) Animals die everyday. Birds fall from trees, dogs get hit by cars, cats get leukemia and they all die. That is sad, but it is to expected.

3) Animals do not have souls. God made them wonderfully, but they do not go to heaven. They are temporal, made for this world. God has given us dominion over them and a responsibility to care for them. People are made in God's image and always more important than animals.

4) No life, no matter how small, is insignificant.

5) What if there was no way for us to help the bird? What then? It would be kind and right to let the bird die with respect.

I'm realizing that my children will not likely grow up in a society that protects or values the cause of the helpless and dying. It may be that this is not just an underlying mentality, but actually legislated in the near future. I pray that is not so. There are not many leaders or role models who step up and go the extra mile for the cause of the oppressed. When I heard of this, I was shocked and sickened.

We are raising future leaders and we must be their role models. So while they are watching with wide open eyes and asking, "What do we do now?" we must respond.

Will the baby robin survive? God only knows. Hopefully we will return to the house and see it released in six weeks or so. Regardless, I pray that this lesson survives in the hearts and minds of our children.

Getting Ready

Sean has been called away with the school's Rocket Team to the TARC national finals this weekend in Washington D.C. And I am here, staying up way too late pondering all that needs to get done for our upcoming adventure in Florida. It's kind of like "nesting" in reverse.

I can not fathom what it will be like to be somewhere for the sole purpose of relaxing. Wow. This has never happened in the life of our family. Normally our vacations involve reunions and a whirlwind of activity. Then we are back to work in five days like nothing ever happened.

This is going to be 26 days of resting with a short activity every other day or so. Wow.

So, I'm needing your help here with two things:

First, what idea/suggestions can you give this used-to-being-busy mother of seven to make my work load simpler while we are away? We all know that "family vacation" doesn't always include the mother who plans and implements and then cleans up all the fun.

Second, what book recommendations do you have? I normally read non-fiction books. I have difficulty getting lost in a book that has no connection to real life. I don't know why, that's just me. But I'll take any suggestions you may have. Then, if you are a real-life friend and own the book, could I PLEASE borrow it? We'll be gone too long to check out any library books and I certainly don't plan on buying any.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Teacher let the monkeys out

"School's out. School's out. Teacher let the monkeys out."

Well these monkeys are officially free. WE FINISHED SCHOOL!!!!!!

Our girls have worked hard this year and learned a lot, as have I. One hundred and eighty days is a lot of times to "get your books out" and find a pencil. It is a lot of pep talks and drying tears. It is a lot of accomplishments and assignments. It is a lot of doing the same thing again and again. This teacher is ready for a break.

I am so proud of each of my students. Hannah has proven herself to be an independent learner this year. With her schedule in hand she worked diligently at least four hours a day completing all her assignments. Her math facts seemed to have settled in her fifth grade brain so that recall is quick and she was able to move ahead easily. She's spent hours researching and writing in her history timeline notebook. It's been a joy to teach her (watch her teach herself). I feel now the years going too quickly and soon she will be off to school with her dad. It's hard to believe.

Lydia has been a shining star this school year. Her attitude has been delightful as she has worked hard and matured. When things have gotten difficult instead of shutting down, she has stepped up. That is my Lydia!! This year she read more books on her own than ever before and read some of her favorites (books about beagles and vets) multiple times. She's a winner at math coming up with her own methods to remember facts. I don't quite understand them, but she has it all figured out. She's taught herself to type with great accuracy and continues to come up with creative ways to decorate all of her school work. I love this girl!

Miriam has been the early bird. She has taken second grade by storm waking up early and oftentimes completing her work before I've even had breakfast! "No problem, Mom!" We've had so much fun cuddling on the couch and reading aloud to one another. And since she's become a fluent reader she has begun to take piano lessons and loves to practice.

Elizabeth will tell anyone that she doesn't "do" school. Every first grade workbook I have handed to her she completes without difficulty and asks for more. "Is this all?" she'll ask. She is constantly copying text, sounding out words and creating something in the dramatic vein. She has learned to count money, add and subtract and play the piano just from watching. Betsy is a sponge. I'm beginning to finally see the benefits of homeschooling at different levels. Though I haven't intentionally taught her many of these things, she has learned. I look forward to some lazy summer afternoons where we can sit in the shade and read through some books together.

It's been the best year of homeschooling yet. Thanks kids!!

Now this teacher has turned her attention to janitorial issues. I've opened up a few closets and moved a few beds that have been neglected since ? It's not pretty. But I'm determined to get it together before we leave in 14 DAYS!!!

The Gardener

Gardening has been woven into the fabric of my life. When I was two my parents moved to the country and built a home. A few years later the garage was converted into an apartment for my grandparents.

Each spring a local farmer would come and till up about a half acre of that land. My dad would gas up the rototiller and start making rows. Cindy and I would follow behind with handfuls of seeds or small plants and milk jugs full of water. The little girls would ride back and forth on the cart pulled by the lawn mower to fill up the jugs at the house.

We planted corn, peas, carrots, beans, squash, cucumber, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, watermelon, cantaloupe... if it could grow in Indiana it was in our garden. When my Grandpa died he had just planted some fruit trees and began a grape arbor. I've often wondered what those trees must be producing today.

Starting in early May, every Saturday involved several hours of garden work until the last potato was dug on Labor Day. There was always work to be done because the garden was always changing. But the fruits of all of those hours was amazing.

Mom would send us out with a big, yellow Tupperware bowl for a salad. We would pick the vegetables right out of the ground and in fifteen minutes they were on the table. Our favorite was choosing strawberries for desert. To this day I've never tasted anything as pure and sweet as those berries. Better yet was the taste of sweet corn and pickled beets in the middle of winter. The garden continued to bless us every month of the year.

Now that I have my own family and home to manage I am astounded at the enormity of this garden. I can not imagine how I could ever fit something of this scale into my life. It worked for us then because we did it as a family. Also, my grandpa took it on as his daily work. Many an early morning we would wake to find Grandpa and Mom out hoeing in the garden as the sun rose. My mom says this is when she talked to God.

Through the years the gardener in me has come to the forefront. I have dreams of growing sustainable food, but for now I'm finding joy in perennial flowers, particularly those native to Indiana. Most of my plants came from my mom and sisters' gardens. A few were moved from our first home. Others I have had since they were just a single plant.

There is something very satisfying in watching the cycle of life. I love opening the front door and seeing the changing landscape. Getting my hands dirty is work that I enjoy. More than that, it gives me a quiet place to pray and ponder. Tending my little flower garden is good for my soul.

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." John 15:1

Monday, May 12, 2008

Step Counter

I'm using a step counter. Part of me is just curious as to how much exercise I get each day from just normal life. I plan on taking it to Florida and walking as much as possible up and down those sandy beaches.

Here's how the day broke down:

7:30 kids awake- 986 steps already taken

9:45 house work done (mostly)- 3355 steps taken

11:30 Finished working in the garden and noticed that the thing had reset itself- 335 steps taken

Took the step counter off until about 2:00 because it was bothering me.

Went to the bank, CVS, made dinner, had guests over, walked baby John up and down the side walk- 3004 steps taken.

8:00-9:00 Went to water aerobics.

According to my calculations I exceeded the recommended 10,000 steps, walked over 2 miles and burned something like 200 calories. I should be a waif if it weren't for those Mother's Day desserts.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


A few months ago I heard a conversation between some moms that went something like this:

"Did you watch American Idol last night?"

"Yeah, I think I voted like 25 times. I have to vote for my favorite or they might get kicked off!"

The conversation continued between two of them about who was the best, who was the most annoying, who should still be on....

After a while their other friend chimed in, "If I find out that either one of you doesn't vote in May then I'm going to come over to your house and run over your phone with my car."

I think she might have been serious.

This is neither about politics nor American Idol, but about a wonderful family who is a finalist in a contest that could result in a $20,000 makeover of their home. I have known Phil since childhood and on through college. He and his wife, Lisa, have a long and wonderful story that was already explained beautifully by my friend, Cindy. I'll leave it to you to hop over there and read.

THEY NEED YOUR VOTES!! They have a vibrant ministry, a family full of little kids and a house in need of repair. So, go to, register to vote and then click on the picture with the diaper pail. Voting is open until June 7th and you can cast one vote per day per email address. Yes, your vote could make a difference in the life of this family.

This would be a blessing unlike any other to Phil and his family. In his own words, "Please understand how important this is to me personally—while winning a cruise was wonderful, a home makeover of this proportion would virtually eliminate the need for me to ever do any work around our home. Thank you!!!"

Crazy Kids

I haven't exactly been the most loving, patient, adoring mother these days. But in seeing these pictures I'm reminded of what a full and fun life I do have with these crazy kids of mine. So what if I have to answer the same question 21 times a day and spend all of my energy resolving conflicts about shoes and chores and sweatshirts and bike accidents and Webkinz. That's what moms do. I just hope these children don't end up with a crazy mom when it's all said and done.

Our backyard is a literal playground and always full of friends.

Somehow Lydia managed to get herself wrapped up in the seatbelt.

Joseph with his favorite invention, The Memory Scanner.

Life from my rear view mirror. Miriam seems to be sprouting horns.

Betsy's illustrated story about a girl who never learns to read because her mother did not teach her how to read the signs to get to school. Entirely fictional, I'm sure.

Rebekah and her yellow dandelion mouth.

John left a little too long unattended in his high chair with spaghetti.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


We have a van in for some major repairs this week. So instead of some dental work, homeschool materials, and a nice cushion in the savings account, we are getting a new-to-us transmission. Oh boy.

Both of our social security numbers end in digits less than 20, we filed our taxes electronically in March so according to everything I'm reading we should have the check in the bank. But it is not. I'm obsessively checking and it just isn't there.

I'm afraid that the IRS has decided that somehow we just aren't qualified or something. They wouldn't do that, right? Tell me that wouldn't do that.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Going Home

I've been feeling kind of restless. I've been feeling out of place. I can hear a distant singing, a song that I can't write, but it echoes in what I'm always trying to say. There's a feeling I can't capture. It's always just a prayer away. I want to know the ending, things hoped for but not seen, but I guess that's the point in hoping anyway... Going home, I'll meet you at the table. Going home, I'll meet you in the air. You are never too young to think about it. Oh, I cannot wait to be home . I'm confined by my senses to really know what you are like. You are more than I can fathom, more than I can guess, and more than I can see with human sight. But I have felt you with my spirit. I have felt you fill this room. This is just an invitation, a sample of the whole, and I cannot wait to be going home. (From the song Going Home by Sarah Groves)

My sister Barbara with her name's sake.

I was blessed to spend some time this afternoon with my mom, sisters, Sean and my dad at the bedside of a dear saint. Barbara was one of the first Christians to reach out to my mom when she was a young mother. Their relationship has spanned decades.

Births. Job Changes. Moves. Graduations. Weddings. Grandchildren. Games. Productions. Decisions. Deaths. Illnesses. Answered prayers. Growth. Challenges. Victories.

In almost every picture of a major event in our family's life there in the background is Barbara and her beloved husband, Nelson, cheering our family on in practical ways. More than that are the many hours of conversation and prayer between Mom and Barbara that God has used to His glory.

Barbara and Nelson have always served in the role of pastoral ministry. For years they have visited the sick, shut in, elderly and hurting. Their comforting words and patience to listen is a clear reflection of Christ's love reaching into the suffering of other's lives. Amazing.

Barbara is dying from a nervous system disease. Today as we sat with her she struggled to communicate even single words. It is painful to see the deterioration of a body and mind that is so beautiful. We sang for her hymns of the faith. "In the Garden", "Great is Thy Faithfulness", "Wonderful Grace of Jesus". We cried openly. And we said goodbye.

I'll never forget my Mom's parting words, "Barbara, thank you for sharing your life. You are a witness for Christ and you have helped me in so many ways. God blessed me when He gave me you. Thank you for being my dear friend. I love you. I will see you again in the arms of Jesus."

May it be so of me 40 years from now that I would have a faithful witness of Christ to those younger women God has placed in my path.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." Titus 2:3-5

Friday, May 2, 2008

The colors of our life

Mary is hosting the Design Time Carnival and looking for inspiration in decorating her new home. Won't you join in and share something inspiring in your home?

When we bought our home four years ago it was a new construction/foreclosure. It really was God's providence that we move here. That is a story for another day, however.

What we had on our hands was a huge house with white walls. Those of you who know us can testify that Sean and I are anything but neutral type people. We LOVE color. We wanted to use color to make the vast open floor plan become more intimate. At the same time we wanted colors that we would not get tired of quickly and seemed natural instead of trendy.

The tricky part is that all the walls and windows on the first floor are visible at the same time. It really is quite open. Coordination was key.

My sister, Vanessa, has an art degree and had a little interior painting business when we moved here. Her advise, "Choose colors that are deeper and brighter than you think you initially are drawn to." We also painted everything in semi gloss which allows us to wipe off just about anything.

Introducing.... our lower level.

Our front room is smaller. We chose this brownish green(can't remember the name) to give the room some interest and depth. It's a color you either love or hate.

This color extends up into the entryway and meets this Khaki color which is our "neutral".

The khaki continues around the outside walls of the living room.

The Khaki wall ends in the corner of the kitchen where it meets a brighter yellow, Applesauce. I saw this light fixture in Southern Living catalog. Snatched it off ebay for a great price. Don't love the arrangement yet, but I'm working on it.

Here's the contrast. It's more subtle at at night.

Our home would not be complete without red walls. The interior walls of the living room are Brick Red.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

CVS shopping made easy

Yes, shopping CVS does require planning. Yes, it does involve clipping coupons. And yes it will require going to the store more than once in a week.

But, it doesn't have to take over your life. It's taken me a few months, but I've finally found a system that makes sense to me and requires little effort.

I plan my trips 5 times a month. Every Monday morning I scan my favorite frugal blogs to get updated on the week's sales. I print off a copy and highlight items of interest to me. At the beginning of each month an huge list of CVS monthly sales is published. These are helpful to add to the weekly shopping lists and earn more Extra Care Bucks (ECB).

Later I spend about 10 minutes locating coupons to be clipped or printing them off the links provided on my favorite frugal blogs. I normally only need to go to CVS twice a week. Thankfully there are two within a mile of our home so it's easy to pop in quickly here and there.

Right now my goal is to spend as close to $15 as possible. Why? Because there is a $3/15 coupon that is good until the end of June that I will be using. I put this coupon in my wallet and pretend it's money.

Next, I collect my ECB. These come in different amounts, so I'm going to be looking for some combination of $12-15 of ECB to put in my wallet and pretend it's money. Now I have $15-18 in my wallet to spend.

Now, I'm going to look at my list of possible items to purchase and figure out which ones add up to roughly $15. Normally the prices are listed, if they are not I just give it my best guess.

Once I've decided on my items I take any coupons that I have for these and put them in my wallet and pretend those are money, too. Now I might have something like $21 in my wallet.

When I go to CVS I don't have to think. I have my list. I have my $21 and I shop. This is how I am able to pick up diapers, wipes, diet coke, or products that will earn more ECB for very little out of pocket. I try to earn back at least half of my ECB with each trip I make.

Aren't I buying things I won't need? Well, yes and no. It depends on how you look at it. I don't buy things simply to store them. Each item will be used, sold at the garage sale or given away.

The only tricky part comes when one of the items on my list is not in stock. This happens all the time. But, since I've already planned out my other shopping scenarios there is likely an item on my other list that is about the same price and I could substitute. I just need to exchange out coupons and recount what is in my wallet. Or there is a monthly free item that I can pick up in its place.

Confused? Here's what I did this week.

I purchase these items for $4.43, earned $10.49 in ECB and have an $8 rebate on the way.

My list of things I needed:
Dish Soap
Laundry Detergent

Deals that looked profitable:
Beauty Products
Hair Coloring

Trip #1

2 dish soaps (buy one get one free)
2 laundry soaps (buy one get one free)
Diapers $10.99 sale
2 Beauty Products (buy one get one 50% off)

In my wallet about $22
$3 off $15
$.40 dish soap coupon
$1.00 All coupon
$.50 All coupon
$17 ECB

Spent $3.63 Out of Pocket Earned $5 Extra Care Bucks from Beauty Products

Trip # 2

Wipes $4.00 Clearance
Razor $5.99
Hair Coloring $7.99

In my wallet:
$3/15 coupon
$2 Razor coupon
$2 hair coloring coupon
$10.49 ECB

Spent $.80 out of pocket Earned $10.99 in ECB

(I know the men' hair coloring kit may seem strange, but there is a $8.00 mail in rebate and I know that some old man will pick it up for $2 at a garage sale next fall. Couldn't pass it up.)

I did both of my trips in about 20 minutes at two different CVS stores on my way to exercise Monday night.

Does this sound like more than you're able to do right now? Every month CVS has items that are free after Extra Care Bucks with a limit of five. In May toothpaste, toothbrushes, Tums, allergy medication, and antiperspirant are on the list for FREE! Pick up what you need now and pay the upfront cost. There are several coupons out available which would save you. Return later in the month with your ECBs before they expires to restock or buy something else you might need. Then you'll have ECB for June to pick up different Free items.

If you were able to save $25 a month just by using Monthly ECB deals, you would be putting $300 a year back into your budget. Think about all the gas you could by with that amount. Okay, don't answer that.

That's how it works. Clear as mud, right? Please feel free to leave a comment with any questions or tips you may have.