Friday, November 30, 2012

Making Hard Decisions

As most of you know, The Princess went off to school in August. From the day she moved in, she started regretting her choice of schools. That regret became stronger as the semester has moved along. It finally reached the tipping point during Thanksgiving break. The Princess was home among all of her old friends --- most of whom were saying how much they LOVED their school, how much fun they were having and all the Princess could say was "My classes are fine, but I really don't like it."

That resulted in us having to make some hard decisions. Almost $3500 in room and board PER SEMESTER is a LOT of money for me to pay for the Princess to be miserable. So, we made the decision for her to move home at the end of the semester and enroll (for now) at the local community college. She will take only basic core curriculum for the spring semester and we will regroup and figure out where to go from here. The cost savings will be substantial and I think in the long run she will be happier.

I hope so.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grocery Shopping For A Gas Card

Once again this week, Publix offered the $10 off gas gift card with $50 in groceries. That is always a good deal and I HATE to pass up 20% off of gasoline, so I scoured the ad to see what I could come up with to make it a workable deal. The biggest problem was that it was NOT what I considered a stellar week for sales, but there were some deals to be had. I was also lucky enough to have 2 free product coupons for Purex Laundry Detergent that I had won from other blog giveaways. I also had a free product coupon for Green Giant Seasoned Steamer veggies. These helped get my total up to $50 in a week where I really needed the help.

So, here is what I got:

1 Stouffer Family Size Entree
1 Mrs. Paul's Fish Sticks
1 Friendship Sour Cream
2 Heluva Good French Onion Dip
9 International Delight Coffee Creamer (yes, I have issues, no, these won't last a month)
2 Hormel Chili
2 Yakisoba Noodles
1 GasX
2 Purex with Oxi Laundry Detergent
2 Kettle Sea Salt Chips
1/2 Dozen Eggs

Total Spent: $30.43
Total Saved: $47.96 or 61%

PLUS I got a $50 gas gift card for just $40!!!!!

A good day indeed!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Time and Family Marches On

I can't believe how quickly time marches on. I swear, it was just the beginning of November a few days ago!!!!! I hope you all had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. Mine was very nice, despite the very quick nature of the trip I took.

This year was the Princess's year with her Dad, so she wasn't with me. Every year, we head South to do Thanksgiving with my Nana (my Mom's side of the family). It was Nana's favorite holiday because it meant pretty much her whole family was gathered together in one place at one time (or most of us, at least). Believe me, with 6 children, 17 grandchildren, 18 great children and 3 great-greats --- that is a HUGE feat in and of itself. Add in spouses and significant others --- and we are LEGION.

Since we lost Nana in October, there was definitely some concern as to whether or not Thanksgiving would go on as usual. It was talked about not doing it since so many had just made the trip down south for the funeral. But ultimately we decided to go ahead with it. We had less than half of the normal crowd, but that was understandable.

I decided to make the trip and got very lucky with my travel arrangements. Usually it costs me $80 in gas, plus another $100 in boarding the pups for 2 nights and fast food, etc, to make the trip. This time I rode down and back in the same day with my Mom's boyfriend. He wouldn't let me pay for any gas, and bought breakfast on the way down. The only thing I paid for was a Peppermint Mocha and a Diet Coke during a brief stop!

The trip was tiring, but was incredibly worth it both emotionally and financially. Family is important. I'm glad I made the trip and gave thanks for our family and the woman who made it possible.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lights Cost HOW Much?

The Princess and I pulled out all of the Christmas decorations over the weekend. I think she got a little nervous when I was saying "Maybe I won't put up _____ this year" so therefore decided to move all the boxes from the basement to the main part of the house for me. Very sweet of her, however, since the house wasn't "ready" for them, I have a big huge mess of boxes that I am currently tripping over.

Anyway, after de-lighting the pre-lit tree, I got out my "other" Christmas lights to put them on the tree. That would have been terrific. Except every strand only half worked. So, I sent the Princess to Target to get more lights. I had looked at them when I was out there and decided that I might just bite the bullet and get LED lights. Burn less electricity, supposedly last longer and they now come in "warm white".... yada yada yada. So, she called me when she got there to talk about it. The prices were STEEP. After all was said and done, that was $50 on lights. For my previously pre-lit tree. To say I was a smidge bit stunned is putting it mildly, to say the least. I'm still reeling -- especially since I'd spent $27 on the big bulbed accent lights a few days before. That was $77 total. On lights. I'm still kind of going "What was I thinking?".

I've saved the packages the lights came in, something I've never done before, because after shelling out that kind of money, if even one bulb burns out --- I'll be taking them back.At that kind of price, I want them to last several years. Here's hoping.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I Do Not Like Pre-Lit Trees.....

Actually I do like them.... until the lights burn out. Do you have any IDEA how hard it is to get the strings of burned out lights OFF of one of those things? Yikes....

Every year I think to myself "I'm going to get a REAL tree!". And then every year, I think "Sheesh, that $100 is NOT in the budget." So, every year I drag out the fake tree. Up until about 6 years ago, I'd had the same artificial tree for about roughly 16 years. That tree was starting to look rather Charlie Brownish! And then lo and behold, my Mom moved and her 2 year old huge pre-lit tree would not fit in her new home. So, she handed it down to me. And I've loved it. It has this great combination of big lights and little lights. Well, up until last year when all of the lights started to go. I supplemented with additional light strings, but knew that I'd have to remove the old ones this year.

THAT has been a chore. I've worked on a section a night for this entire week, each section taking me about 1 1/2 hours to complete. My hands are scraped and raw. This has NOT been fun. And I still get to add new lights to the tree! JOY!!!!!

And just so y'all all don't think I'm completely crazy.... yes we are putting up the tree this Sunday night. Yes, I'm aware it is before Thanksgiving --- and while I am normally against doing that I have a couple of reasons that make it "Okay" with me. First, we travel for Thanksgiving, every year, without fail -- so there will be NO Christmas tree standing there while I'm carving up the turkey. Second, and really most important... the Princess and I love decorating the tree together. It is one of our favorite things about the holidays. We figured out that between Thanksgiving, the Iron Bowl, the SEC Championship game and finally, exams...well it would be mid-December before we could do it together if we didn't do it together now. Frankly, that tree is WAY TOO MUCH WORK to only enjoy it for about 10 days! I want to enjoy it the whole month of December!!! So, this weekend it is!

Now to just the blankety blank blank lights on it!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

RIP to My Slippers

I love slippers. They are some of my favorite things. Since I keep the house ridiculously cold, they keep my toes happy once the thermometer drops. I'm very picky about them too. I prefer water proof or resistant soles so that getting the paper on a rainy morning or a sloshed water bowl doesn't result in soaked feet. However, sometimes that still happens, so I keep two pairs around.

Yesterday, I said goodbye to one of my pairs. It was very sad. The cushioning complelely came out of the bottom and the sole had degenerated to the point that it felt like I was walking on rocks. So, I'm down to one pair. One little measly pair.

I need to replace the trashed pair soon and I need to get another pair soon after for the ones that are nearing the end of the life span. I'm think that maybe I can get a pair at one of the Black Friday sales since I usually see slippers at 50% off there, and then maybe ask for a pair for Christmas? All I know is that the slippers help me keep the toes toasty when the house isn't ---- so $10 or so on good slippers saves TONS on the gas bill. So new slippers it will be.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Today, each and every American needs to take advantage of the rights and freedoms bestowed upon us and head to their polling place and cast their vote for who they feel is best qualified to lead this country for the next four years.
Even if you THINK your state is a "done deal" in the Presidential election -- imagine if EVERYONE thought that way!!! And there are many state and local elections that are important too. I know in Alabama there are a huge number of local issues to be decided.
It is wet and cold here --- but still, I'm going to go stand in line and cast my vote. People fought, sacrificed and died so that I could. I'm going to make it worth their time.