Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas and Barbie Dolls

Well Christmas has come and gone. It was a great one. On Saturday I went over my mom's to make the tamales we made close to 200 (some were for my brother, who was spending Christmas with his girlfriend's family). Being from a Mexican background our tradition is to have a Christmas Eve dinner of tamales (my brother says that we have tamales so we can open something, since we don't have many gifts)and pozole. Traditionally we stay until 12 midnight and put Baby Jesus in the manger and then open presents. This year we didn't stay that late my little one would not go down for a nap and was super grouchy. We open gifts a little early and went home.

On another note, we had gone to get my husband's niece a doll for Christmas. We usually give clothes or books, but my husband wanted to give her a doll. So we called my MIL to find out what she liked. She mentioned the Bratz doll. I must admit I had not really seen them (I have two boys, so we don't stroll down the girl aisle at stores). I was shocked to see what kind of dolls young girls have nowdays to play with. Most dolls had hardly any clothes on. My husband and I looked at each other and decided that we would not give her that doll or any Barbie for that matter. We opted for a Hannah Montana doll that was fully clothed, no stomach, boobs, or but showing. Then we wonder why young girls have low self-esteem, when they have such high standards placed on them. Other than that little eye opener we had fun shopping and celebrating Christmas with loved ones.

We hope everyone had a joyous Holiday.
The Perez Family

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Super Saturday Savings

After cleaning my kitchen cupboards, freezer, and refrigerator I realized that we have a lot of food. So I've decided to forgo shopping this week and just get fruit and veggies. This week Ralph's was having a sale on Cuties clementines and I had a couple of other coupons so this is what I got.

Sara Lee Apple Pie on sale for $1.99
Sargento cheese on sale 2/$5
Activia cheese $4.29
Nature Sweet tomatoes B1G1 $3.99
Cuties clementines $3.97/5lb box

Before coupons $20.90
I had a coupon for the pie $1.00
Coupon for the sargento cheese $1/2 doubled, $2 so the cheese was $1.50 each
Coupon for the Activia $4.50 doubles up to $1, $5.50 so the cheese was free plus overage!
I had $1 coupon for the tomatoes, since they double I got to small boxes for $2 (I knew waiting would pay off)
I also had a $1 coupon for the cuties doubled makes $2, so I only paid $1.97 for 5lbs. of clementines!
After all the sales, Ralph's club, and coupons I only paid $8.05.
Other than maybe $10 for some meat, vegetables, and laundry softner we are set for another week :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Desperate for Home

Like mentioned previously I have been cleaning and organizing my home. I must admit I am enjoying it very much. Many find it a tiring boring task but I am actually enjoying it. One may say "is she crazy". I must explaining why I am so happy to be doing this. You see I am a work outside the home mom who desperately wants to be a stay at home mom. Since I am a school teacher I am on vacation right now. This time has made me want to stay home even more.
Many people who knew me a couple of years ago might not believe what I am saying. Not long ago I was a college graduate who wanted to be a career woman. I graduated from one of the top universities in the country and believed my education would go to waste if I didn't do something with my career. I love to learn, teach, and children so a career in education was just the thing.
The Lord began to tug at my heart 4 years after begining my career and 10 months after my marriage. What made me start doubting my choices. I will give you a couple of clues. Duggars, Vision Forum, Joseph, and most importantly The Bible. You will have to come back for the second installment, because I am off to make some lunch before the little one wakes up from his nap. For those that are home and even those that are in the same situation as me please pray with me that one day (soon) I will be able to stay home.

Weigh In Wednsday

I know this is a bit late but I have been a bit busy with cleaning my home inside and out. Also with finishing my shopping and baking and cooking, oh glorious food. Could that be my problem and why I don't seem to lose any weight? Or could it be that I lack the energy to exercise, which is a catch-22 since exercise gives energy. Anyways, this week was tough since we had a Christmas party at work and the kids brought treats to share with the class. I have yet to exercise, I have not found the time to exercise, yes I know I am making excuses. But I am happy to say that I am eating more healthfully. I have lost one pound but since I gained one pound last week I am back to where I started. I shall not give up. Blessing to everyone who is struggling just like me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Childhood Memories

As a child I remember spending my Christmas break helping my mom give our home a thorough cleaning. We did this twice a year for the birth of Jesus and His resurrection. This year I decided to do the same.

On Saturday I went to a conference for Gifted and Talented Education. One of the seminars was a bit boring so I spent that hour planning my cleaning schedule. Yesterday was my kitchen day. I took everything out of the cupboards and refrigerator and wiped them down. I then organized all the shelves. So here are a few pics to show you how desperate my kitchen was.

I know it's a bit embarassing but that is how my kitchen looked. You can just imagine how the rest looked. I am having a bit of trouble with the other pictures. I can't seem to turn them and I am not computer savy, so this will do. Here is the after picture.

Not as great as I would want but it will have to do and it is better than the first. Well it is off to clean the bathroom.

Menu Monday

I decided to join many of you out there and post my menu. Unfortunately, yesterday was a busy one and didn't have a chance to post it. A little late but here it is.

Baked oatmeal
Cereal or

Mon.-Rolled Hot Dog and veggies
Tues.- Leftovers
Wed. Soup w/ veggies or 1/2 sandwich
Thur.- Tuna on homemade bread
Sat.-egg sandwich on homemade bread

Mon.-Spinach stuffed chicken, mint glazed carrots, buttered egg noodles, biscuits

Tues.-Ribs w/chile, Spanish rice, beans, salad
Wed.-Quesadillas on spinach tortillas, carrots
Thurs.-3 cheese lasagna, salad
Fri.-Almond chicken over white rice
Sat.-Homemade chicken soup and veggies
Sun.-Chicken enchiladas, rice, salad

apple slices w/PB
orange wedges
crackers with cream cheese

So there you have it, an idea of what our family will have this week.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Super Saturday Savings

I didn't do much this week it has been a bit overwhelming. It was the last day of school, so with rehersals and paper work I was pretty busy. At the homefront my 1yr old is getting his molars and has been very fussy.

My best deal was at Ralphs I got 4 boxes of cereal (Cheerios and Lucky Charms),
2 jars of PB,loaf of bread, 2 toothbrushes, and Philly cream cheese. I got $33.40 worth of stuff for only $4.59 after sales and coupons. The cereal was on sale 4/$10 but if you bought all 4 they deducted $6 at the register with double coupons I got them for .50 each. PB and toothbrushes were free after coupons, the bread .99 and cream cheese was $1.

I also ran into Food 4 Less and got 2dz eggs, Jennie-O gr. turkey, flour, and spinach. All for a little over $7. (I can't seem for find my receipt)

At Vons I got 2 gallons of milk and some butter (for christmas baking) for almost $10. The milk alone was $6.30 and that is the least expensive I can find.

I did not go to walgreens or CVS, I just couldn't find any deals that would benefit my family right now. Maybe next week. If you're wondering where are my fruits and veggies, that will come a little later. I found deals at another store.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Weigh-in Wednesday

Well once again I must weigh myslef *grunts*. Can you sense my excitement? Ugh, I have actually gained one pound! I can find excuses for the lack of weight loss, it's that time so I am bloated, it was parent conference week so I stayed late and didn't follow my menu plan, the list could go on and on. Or I could just accept that I am weak and I cannot do this on my own. I must confess that I am a glutton. I love food and on more than one ocassion I eat more than what i really need. Sometimes I will even get sick from all the food.

So I am calling on our Lord for contentment for what I have and strenght to refuse mor. I found a great prayer in a wonderful book called Saintly Solutions to Lives Common Problems.
Lord and Giver of every good gift,
help me truly appreciate all that You have
granted me, including the food I eat each day.
Letme not become greedy or gluttonous,
nor displease You by overindulging myself.
May the daily bread You give me be a source of energy,
health, and strength, so that I may fulfill my duties and do
my part in working for the coming of Your Kingdom.
Give me a generous spirit in responding to the needs
of the poor, and fulfill the hopes of all who trust in You.
Father, You give us the bread we need each day;
may we render unto You the glory and promise
that are Yours for all eternity. Amen.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Money Making Monday

After reading Crystal's post a while back on CashCrate, I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, I haven't had the same luck she did. I have spent a couple of minutes each day doing long surveys and only $9.95 have cleared. I have almost $16 that are pending. I only want to get .05 cents to get my $10 dollars and I will cancel my account.
But on a happier note, out of CashCrate I signed up for InboxDollars and that has been great. All I do is read their e-mails and answer short surveys and I already have a little over $8. This is alot easier for me since I have two little ones and I work outside the home(hopefully not for long, please pray with me :).

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Super Saturday Savings

Well this week I got a couple of deals. I went to CVS, Walgreens, Albertsons, and Ralphs.
At CVS I only got two things. My husband needed deodarant and razors. Luckily the Fusion Razor was on sale and I had a coupon. So here are the details.
Fusion Razor on sale $9.99-$4.00 coupon (+6ECB)
Blade Deodarant $3.34 ( I didn't have a coupon but hubby wanted to try it anything to please him :)
Total b/f coupons $13.33
minus $2/$10 CVS coupon
minus $4.00 razor coupon
minus 5.98ECB

OOP $1.79 (I was going to use a 2ECB, but they said that I couldn't, so I just paid)
The receipt said I saved $12.63.

3 cans of Mandarin Oranges $4.17
3 cans of Geisha pineapple $2.37
2 Glade candles $5.00

Total b/f coupons $11.54
minus Walgreens coupons for mandarin oranges $3
minus Walgreens coupon for pineapple $1.20
minus Glade coupons $2.00

OOP $7.38
MIR (mail in rebate) $2.00

2 gallons of milk $6.29
Yeast $2.79
Tyson Cornish Hens $9.61

Total b/f sales and coupons $18.69
Minus Ralph's Club $7
Minus Tyson Mfg. Coupon $2, Ralph's doubles up to $1, so I got and additonal $1 off.
Minus yeast Mfg. coupon .70 (.35 doubled)
OOP $7.99

Arrohead Water $2.99+CRV .10
Essencia Chocolate Chips on sale for $2
2 Albertson's Cookie Dough on sale for $4
Dried Cherries $3.50
Sunkist Pistachios $2.99 ( I had a coupon but in my rush I forgot it :(
Albertson's String Cheese $1.99
Spinach $1.69
Angus Beef Rib Eye $8.36
3 packets of French's Taco Seasoning
Tapatio Hot Sauce $2.89
2 boxes of Totinos Pizza Rolls on sale for $2.00
Foster Farms Whole Chicken on sale for .69/lb-$4.00

Total before coupons $37.51
Minus Totionos Pizza Mfg. coupons .80
Minus $6 catalina from previous purchase on the steak (that's the only reason why I got it )
OOP 30.71 (13.48 is to bake cookies that we will give as Christmas gifts to co-workers)

So my total this week was $47.87 our goal for now is $50 so we did very well.

According to my receipts I saved a total of $59.42

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Weigh-in Wednesday

Well it is Wednesday and I must do the inevitable-weigh myself. This week has not been one of the best. Both my boys have a terrible cough, the older one has actually vomited, he coughs so much. I have procrastinated and have not made my menus so we are just eating anything. My husband's cousin is going through some problems and so we are stressed as well. Well I digress on to the scale I go. 177lbs. well I did not lose any weight. I am not surprised since I did nothing to lose. This week I hope to begin excercise. I work outside the home (I am a elementary school teacher) so I think I will walk for 20 mins. during my 40 min. lunch time. Maybe after the boys go to bed I can do my pilates video (when single this video helped keep me toned). I hope to do better next week. Please pray for me and my weaknesses.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Frugal Breakfast

Crystal at asked for frugal breakfast ideas. So here are my ideas. In our household we have two favorites, baked oatmeal and chilaquiles(a mexican dish).

Baked Oatmeal(in slow cooker)
1/3 cup oil (I put a little less)
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups dry quick oats
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
Pour the oil into the slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients. Mix well and then pour into cooker. Bake on Low 2 1/2-3 hours.

12 corn tortillas, cut into small strips or triangles
small amount of oil (it's a family recipes so I don't know the exact measurements)
can of Las Palmas Enchilada sauce
shredded cheese (your choice)
Fry the tortillas in the oil until they are crispy. Pour the sauce over it a little at a time(as much or as little as desired) add about 1/2 cup of water. Cover and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Top with cheese and enjoy. Yummy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Weigh In Wednsday

Like mentioned in the previous post I want to lose weight, so I decided that I would weigh myself every Wednsday. So today was my first weigh in. The scale read 177lbs. :( So I have a lot of work to do.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Weight Battle

I was looking through some old pictures of my husband and my courtship. It was really nice to see how thin and well kept I was. Don't get me wrong I am not a mess(well not most of the time), but I did take care of myself a lot more. I am especially concerned about my weight. I have gained about 50 pounds since our courtship began and 30 since we got married. After having the boys excercise was on the bottom of my to-do list.
So, I decided to begin excercising again and become the "lovely young lady" my husband fell in love with once again. I will begin logging my progress every wednsday. I think that if I log it in I will feel more accountable and hopefully anyone else who is going through the same struggles of losing weight in the midst of children, housework, and other responsibilities can offer some words of encouragement, and maybe my journey can also offer some encouragement.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Friday

Well I experienced my first Black Friday. I had never gone shopping on that day so it was thrilling. I got up at 3:30am. and my first stop was JC Penny. I purchased some short square heeled boots, bath towels, bath rugs and undergarments. I then hit Old Navy I bought two sweaters and a shirt. Finally I went to The Children's Place (see my other post on the great savings at The Children's Place) there I bought 3 tops and a pair of pants. I spent about $160 but my sister had sent my son a $35 gift card for his birth day so I guess you can say I only spent $125.

I will add pictures later.

I then went to CVS. Here is a breakdown of my purchase (my best yet!)
1 Colgate toothpaste $2.99-$1 coupon
1 Bic razor $6.99-$2 coupon
1 Soy Joy bar(I was hungry :) $1.29
Total $11.68 minus $2/$10 CVS coupon, $3.50 MC.
Total after coupons $5.68 I used a 2ECB and a 3EC
OOP $1.68 (I could have used another ECB but I had a bad experience before, not at this CVS so I got scared. On my second transaction below, the cashier encouraged me to use them. Now I know where to go :). I used 5ECB and got 9.98ECB and a $4/$20 coupon. Not bad.

2nd transaction
2 bags of M&M's 2/$4.00-$1 coupons and $1.00 because he couldn't get a coupon to scan
2 colgate toothpaste $5.98-$1.50C-$1C
1 Johnson's & Johnson's lotion $5.69-$1C
1 Softsoap Body Wash $3.99(i had already printed the coupon for this item:(
1 pack Wrigley's gum(filler) $1.19
Total $20.85 minus coupons $4/$20 CVS coupon, $2/$10CVS coupon- $4.50 worth of MC
Total after coupons $10.35 I paid with 10ECB
OOP .35 and I got 17.66ECB

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving and multi-generational vision

This year I have many things to be thankful for. I have two wonderful boys a great husband, supportive parents, the list goes on and on. This year I've been working on accepting God's life for me. I have learned to listen to His guiding voice and be patient and wait for his blessings.

I am also thankful for all the wonderful families and ministries that have touched my life and that of my family.

This past weekend we visited my husband's uncle who had a stroke. It was a small hospital and the lobby and room was full of people who were there to see him, pray for him and his family. The nurses had never seen such a united family with so much love, devotion, and a true desire to serve. His children took turns caring for him, they stayed the night and never left his side. His wife of course never left. Their daughter's brought in food and clothes for their mother.

They were blessed with 14 children and at this trying time their love was evident. As we drove (it is about a 2hr. drive) my husband and I discussed what great vision his uncle had for his family. It was wonderful to see this great patriarch surrounded by his children and grandchild. My husband did not have a great model for a father while growing up, so having his uncle has been such a blessing not only for him but for me also.

We hope that he continues to recover as quickly as he has been.

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Money Making Monday-Melaleuca

I don't do this so I am no expert. A couple of weeks ago my aunt's niece (she is my aunt by marriage) invited me to a "party". It was actually a demonstration of Melaleuca products. According to her the products are natural/organic and safe for use in the home. From my understanding you get a percentage of what people you referred to the company buy. It sounded good but my husband is still a little aprehensive about it. We live in a small apartment and don't have much room for presentations and we don't think our family would be interested in products. You also have to buy certain number of points each month which total to about $40 a month, which would break my budget. But it may work for some of you it never hurts to look into it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Children's Place Savings

My husband and I are trying to get out of debt so we have paid off all our credit cards and canceled them. The only two that we kept are Home Depot(my husband is a roofer and does some other construction jobs) and The Children's Place. I love this store, the quality of clothes is excellent and the prices are reasonable. I've looked at consignment stores and Goodwill but I never find anything for my boys (or myself for that matter, nothing seems modest or in my size). What I love about Childrens Place is that it has a program called Place Points, they give you 10% off every time you shop, add their coupons that they send you and Birthday club coupon and you can get a pretty good deal. On Friday I went shopping for my oldest, his birthday had just passed and he had gotten money from Aunts and Uncles and Grandpa and Grandma.

I got him 3 pairs of pants, 3 tops, 1 dressy sweater, and one jacket(thick with lining, really toasty and warm). The total would have been $147.37 but with my 10% Place points 20% birthday coupon, and a 10% coupon that they sent me and after sales I paid only $80.65. But since he had gotten $70 for his birthday I only paid$10.65! Even the sales clerk was surprised.

I "pay" the card before I go shopping online so I don't carry over balances or I just pay when I return from shopping. You must have a card to get the Place points so I think it is worth it. Also since I have two boys and they are close in age the little wears the hand me downs. The quality is so good that they don't look that used. I look at it as an investment.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Super Saturday Savings

This is my first post ever. I have always enjoyed reading other people's blog so I decided to start my own. I am new to all this but I hope that others who read this will enjoy it and be encouraged.

For my first post I would like to share my savings for the week. My husband and I are trying to save as much as possible to buy our home. We could'nt believe how much we were spending each month on groceries. I found Crystal's great site, and from there I was introduced to her other site she has great tips on how to save money on groceries, I highly recommend both sites.

My trip began with CVS on Friday. This is what I got:

2 Garnier products @ 5.99 each =11.98

1Palmolive dish liquid @1.49

1CVS cotton swabs @1.99

Total 17.81(w/tax included)

My coupons:

2/$1 for Garnier products

.40 for Palmolive

$2 off for $10 spent CVS coupon

Total after coupons: 12.33

I used a 10ECB from a previous transaction

OOP $2.33

I got 13ECB back (10ECB for the Garnier products, 2ECB CVS swabs and 1ECB for the Palmolive) and I also got $4 off purchase of $20 or more coupon.

I also got the Hershey's Kisses, they were 2/$5. I used 4ECB and only paid .99 OOP. I received 3ECB for my next trip.

Now on to my other finds. I am very fortunate to have so many grocery stores so close to home so I get to shop all the sales without going out of my way. All the stores form a U shape aroung our home so I took my coupons and my list and began early in the morning( 8am, hubby stayed with our two boys :) )

Food 4 Less(Kroger owned)

Sara Lee Pies 2 @ 1.98 (Sale price other stores had them for 7.99!) $3.96

Cool Whip .98 (sale price)

Kraft dressing $1.68

2lbs. bananas $1.16

there is something else on the receipt for .98, but I can't remember what it was and the picture and receipt aren't helping job my memory.

After sales and coupons I only paid $6.06.


They had Pillsbury Grands Biscuits on sale for $1 and if you bought three they gave you 1 free. I had a .30 coupon. So I got 4 for only $2.70.

Ralph's (Kroger owned, I believe)

10lb bag of potatoes .97!

canned peaches 1.19

Last but not least


2 bags of Tostitos tortilla chips reg. price 3.49 on sale for 1.66

2 boxes of Wheat Thins reg. price 3.59 on sale for 1.66

2 gallons of milk 6.33 (the leas expensive I've seen)

Total before sales & coupons 20.49

Total after 10.55

This week we've only spent $23.60
Our pantry and freezer is full from previous weeks deals so we didn't get much this week. I did manage to keep our total to less than $25 which was my goal since last week we did spend a little more than my alloted $50 a week for groceries and household items. Oh by the way the soda, Apple Jacks, cookies, and napkins were free so I didn't bother to put a price on them.