Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And the entertainment continues...

Aly playing soccer has become a complete comedy to watch. At least that is what I have to tell myself, or I will just cry in frustration. Let me try to describe some of the highlights of our first three games. Since the age I coach is so young, the coaches are the referees, so I am on the field with my players the whole game. At the beginning of the game, Alyson comes on the field and immediately runs to the other side of the field, where there are no players and no ball, she is just off by herself she then proceeds to run laps around the field and could care less if she is anywhere near the ball. I am yelling "Alyson! Alyson! come help your team!." No response, she just keeps running. At one point she runs right in front of our goal just as the other team shoots a goal to score, she is our last hope and I really am hoping that she will stop the ball. Instead, she kind of trips over the ball while running, gets up, and just keeps making her laps around the field. There are a handful of times that she is in the right place to stop a breakaway by the other team, and will just run right past the other player as they charge to our goal to score. As a soccer player it is hard for me to watch. As we're getting in bed that night Brooklyn asks "Did Aly do good at her race?" I respond "Aly wasn't racing she was playing soccer." Aly says "No I was racing and I was the winner."

Game #2 it is a cold game and my girls play maybe the first five minutes of the first quarter and refuse to play the rest of the game. Aly keeps running out on the field to me as the game is in progress and asking if we can go home now. the few minutes that Chloe and Alyson play they pick up the cones that mark the field and put them on their heads and run around laughing and laughing, and I have to chase them down to put the cones back and remind them we are playing soccer.

Game #3 Alyson and Chloe are on the field at the same time. I usually try to avoid doing this because we only play 4 on 4, so if both girls are on the field it is more like 4 against 2 because the girls very rarely participate. The other team is at our goal ready to score and Aly and Chloe are in the very center of the field with arms locked together spinning as fast as they can in circles and than falling to the ground laughing. At one point Aly sits down in the very center of the field and pulls up her pant leg to check out an "owie" that she got on her leg. Both teams charge past her trying not to step on her and she just acts completely oblivious to the fact that a game is going on. Later, she runs up to me "Mom I have to go to the bathroom." This is a problem because due to budget cuts our Parks and Recreation department has shut down all the bathrooms at all of the parks so we had her go before she left the house, but she insisted she did not have to go. I tell her she will have to go talk to daddy because I can't help her right now. Foote tells her she is out of luck and will have to hold it. A few minutes later he looks up to find her pants down crouching behind one of the cones that mark off the field. YIKES!! I do have to admit though that Aly did at one point in this game go after the ball. You would have thought she had scored three goals by the way Foote and I were cheering. It was probably only about one minute of participation, but its the most effort that she has put into the actual game the whole season and I was so proud.

Friday, April 2, 2010

How I Coupon

I have had several people ask me about my couponing. So I am going to give a step by step on how I use coupons. I am sure that a lot of people do it differently, but this system works form me.

STEP 1 - I get as many of the Sunday coupon inserts as I can. I prefer to get them for free if possible. This part is super simple for me because I pick up all the papers that didn't sell from companies I deliver to, so I just take the coupons from the returns. If you get the Sunday paper or have friends that get the Sunday paper and don't use the coupons ask them to save them for you. Every Sunday there is usually two separate inserts one is called Smart Source and the other is called Red Plum.

STEP 2 - NO CLIPPING! Don't clip coupons until you need them, it takes to much time and you may or may not use them. I put all the inserts in a manila folder and write the date they were printed on the folder. For example, all the coupons I got out of this Sundays papers will go in a folder and I will write the date 3-28-10 in the corner and then put them in my file box.

STEP 3 - On Wednesdays I go to couponmom.com. I like this site because it is free. I know there are other sites like the grocerygame.com, but they want you to pay for their weekly updates and I believe in doing as much as possible for free. at couponmom.com there is a link on the left side that says coupon deals by state. I click on CO. Coupon mom does the work for you, they get the local sale ads and then let you know what is on sale, if there is a coupon for it, and if there is a coupon, it will tell you the date and insert it was printed in. The websites actually lists all sale items that are in the local add and how much of a savings they are. I personally don't usually buy anything unless it is more than a 50% savings or unless it is something I really need. For example produce rarely goes on sale for 50% off, but it still is cheaper to buy at a 30% savings than full price.

This is a screen shot from Couponmom.com. The first column is where you find the date the coupon was printed if there is one, and what insert it was in S(smart source) or RP(Red Plum) or PG (Proctor and Gamble)

STEP 4 - I go through coupon moms list and click only the items I need to buy, or will buy because of the great savings. Then I go to my file box and clip only the coupons that I need for this weeks shopping list.

Even though couponmom.com does do Walmart and Target ads, I find the best savings are usually at the stores that double your coupon like Safeway or King Soopers (Kroger or City Market). So find out which stores near you double coupons.

Remember if a store doubles a coupons it means that they will only double the value up to a dollar. For example, a coupon for .40 will be doubled to .80 but a coupon for .75 will only be doubled to the dollar or for another .25

Find out if your store limits the number of coupons you can use per item. For example, the King Soopers that I shop at has a limit of only 3 of the same coupons per shopping trip.

If you come across an amazing deal, but don't have the amount of coupons you want you can sometimes buy them on ebay they are usually sold in lots of 10 or 20. That is why I always check couponmom on Wednesdays so if I decide I need to try and find more coupons I will have time to order and receive them on ebay. I can order the coupons on ebay by Thursday and I get them before the sale ends the following Tuesday. Otherwise I have to get an oversold which can kind of be a pain if the product is actually still in stock and I am just waiting for coupons. You want to just make sure what you pay for your coupons on ebay still makes the savings worth it. For example, I used this technique to get 40 coupons for Ice cream. I paid probably about $8.00, but got 40 pints of ice cream for free. Totally worth it. There is no way I could buy 40 pints of ice cream for $8.00 without coupons.

That sums it up that is all I do. buy whats on sale and buy it with coupons. Stock up on items while they are cheap. After a while you get used to knowing when things are a good price for example, I won't buy cereal unless it is less than $1.50 a box and never buy spaghetti sauce unless it is $0.50 or less for a jar. Meat rarely has coupons, but I don't buy chicken breasts unless they are $1.77 or cheaper and when they are on sale I stock up so that I won't need to buy any more for about a month because it usually goes on sale about once a month.