Do Coupons Really Matter?

Photo Aug 13, 12 15 01 PMFor more years than I want to admit, I have been couponing on and off…. though more off then on because I would either forget it was Sunday to buy the papers, I was too lazy to cut the coupons before I went shopping or I would just forget the coupons at home when I was already in the grocery store. Also, I was doubtful that I was really saving any money because I would have to purchase 2 or 3 of a product just to get the $1 off. Well this past week taught me the lesson that I need to learn to be frugal and that there are good coupons and deals if I just pay attention!

So we all know of the extreme couponers that have a format to how they coupon and purchase like $200 worth of groceries for $20 (maybe a little extreme but not really if you watch the shows and documentaries). In my mind, those extreme couponers were a little crazy and had too much time on their hands which I didn’t have. Well now I do have the time on my hands and the financial need to cut down on our spending costs so I better start paying attention to what they are doing and copying their money-saving ways.

My lesson from last week is this…. Shoprite (our local go to grocery store for good deals) had Arm & Hammer laundry detergent on sale for $1.99 plus there was a coupon out in the world for a $1 off the detergent which means you can buy the detergent for just $.99! Well that $1 savings could go towards the fresh fruit and veggies that my family devours in a day or less. Lately, my go to couponing place (when I would remember to look) has been coupons.com because I can easily print of the coupons and why would I need to go over their limit of only printing the coupon 1 time when I don’t usually stock up on things.

Lesson learned because we go through detergent so often with a furry puppy (yes I am one of those anal, I HATE FUR people so I was things almost everyday to keep the fur in control) that I could have purchased 10 bottles easily for $1 but I only had 1 coupon for regular detergent and 1 coupon for the sensitive skin (Danyella and the new baby). So I ordered (yes I order my groceries which will be a future post) 1 bottle of regular scented detergent and 1 bottle of the senstive skin detergent and used my coupons. After putting the groceries away, I was kicking myself in the ass about the detergent situation so I waddled my ass around Shoprite to get more of the detergent without the coupons. (insert crying face emoji here haha)

Next lesson on coupons I learned…. I may never become one of those extreme couponers but this morning I got out of bed early (a rarity just ask my boyfriend) and went to Wawa to purchase 2 Sunday papers to get those coupons. As I am cutting the coupons from 2 different papers (don’t know why I decided to try 2 different papers but something told me to do it), I find out that not all papers have the same damn coupons! The one paper had more coupons than the other but the other paper had a rebate coupon that doesn’t expire until March of next year. Shit now do I buy 2 of each of those papers?

This is a bit overwhelming and a little exciting at the same time. I am trying to find other ways to save money before this baby gets here and we have to add baby stuff to the grocery list. Since this is going to be an ongoing challenge for me, I am starting a series on couponing and saving on Sundays. If you have any tips or stories of your own please feel free to comment below.

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Next 5 Months of Boredom or Discovery

 

Well it is official folks… I am on bed rest or at least out of work for the rest of my pregnancy. I had a feeling it was coming because as soon as I am on my feet my body decides that it is going to start acting up. You know the cramps and Braxton Hicks

Photo Aug 09, 9 05 02 PMcontractions that are not supposed to happen until the 3rd trimester! In order to help relieve the pain and my anxiety, my OB thinks staying off my feet as much is in mine and the baby’s best interest and I have to agree.

Now what in the hell am I going to do for the next 4-5 months? Since I had a feeling this was coming, I started to make my plan over the weekend to apply for financial aid and college. I still have a semester to finish of my theatre associates degree from the community college I attend when Danyella was in preschool so I do have some credits that will transfer over… hopefully! Since the new community college does not offer a theatre degree, I opted for a fine arts degree which between the fall and spring I should be able to finish up to transfer to a “big person’s college or university”. Yes, to me attending a 4 year school is like finally growing into an adult because you need at least a bachelors in order to a decent job now.

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I am going to be the old, pregnant mom in my classes which makes me feel soooo self conscious because I hate that I have gotten this old and haven’t finished school. On the bright side, having school and homework will keep me super busy since I will not have to work to occupy my time. I love anything to do with art so getting my associates in Fine Arts will allow me to transfer to a 4 year college to get my bachelors in Art History which I would love to take to the next level and get my Masters as well. The art classes will do me a double good because I will be working towards my degree plus releasing my stresses through my art.

Another project that I am going to try and undertake while on bed rest, is to actually start making all these patterns that I have collected over the past 10 years. So I will be going through all my patterns and making one of each to either give as a gift, keep for my family or list on my website. Some of my most popular items came from patterns that I wouldn’t have normally tried because it was either a request or went with yarn that I fell in love with and needed a fitting pattern.

Let’s hope that the next 4-5 months brings alot of self discovery and adventure instead of sleep and boredom. When I am bored it is never good for myself and really not good for the loved ones that are around me because I get very demanding and bitchy. For their sake, keeping busy is the best thing….

Benny the Bunny

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How in the hell can we adopt a bunny when we have to move? How can we adopt a bunny with a crazy puppy that loves to scare every animal that comes into yard? How can we adopt a bunny when I may end up on bed rest for the next 4-5 months? How are we going to convince a landlord to take us plus our crazy puppy plus a new baby bunny?

It is fair week so I knew that Danyella was going to become Bunny obsessed since we never held up our end of the deal… buying her a new bunny after Hannah the Havana died. Well she worked every angle she could from pouting to getting angry to begging. She tried it all and it worked.

Maybe it is the hormones that made me go soft with this decision but I did feel bad because instead of buying her a new bunny we adopted Max the crazy puppy. Don’t get me wrong, she loves Max but to her we all share Max but a bunny would be all hers like Hanna

h was all hers. I understood that somehow the non animal lover has raised a true animal lover but the timing is all wrong right now.

We need to move and find a landlord that will take us and our puppy which is hard enough but now we have to add a baby bunny to the list. Plus this just adds to yet another thing we need to move. Oh how do I end up agreeing to this craziness? I end up agreeing because I want to make her feel like she is important while I am having to take the time to take care of myself and the baby which cuts into things Danyella and I had planned for the summer. Good ole guilt trip….

Danyella had everyone riding this guilt trip until we agreed to adopt Benny the Bunny. Yes she loves to name her animals to rhyme… Benny the Bunny and Hannah the Havana (type of bunny she was) plus it was hard to find somet

hing to go with Lop (the type of bunny Benny is). I do have to say, her love for animals have made me a little softer in my years with animals and their dreaded fur!

I am sure there will be future posts and pictures about the newest member of our family so stay tuned!

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Vegetables of My Labor

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After months of starting some of these plants from just seeds and other plants from baby plants (not sure what the technically term is), it has been amazing to see the vegetables and flowers growing into beautiful creations. Don’t get me wrong, things have not been perfect with my plants but to see just some stuff be edible is an exciting accomplishment for me.

We have been able to enjoy butter lettuce for salads, cucumbers with ranch dressing which the baby is loving, red and yellow (orange) cherry tomatoes and beans. Well to be honest Danyella is the one enjoying the tomatoes and beans because I am not a real fan of eating them raw. We have so many tomatoes ready to just ripen but the cucumbers are starting to grow fewer. We are still waiting for our squash for grow bigger and the peppers to start growing bigger. Just seeing these vegetables grow and be edible has been the biggest accomplishment I have had in so long.Photo Aug 01, 2 18 20 PM

On the down side, I have had to start many of my herbs over again because I let them basically drown because I bought the cute ceramic pots from Targer. The thing with the adorable pots that I didn’t realize was they had no holes to drain which was crucial when trying not to kill your plants. So I have started the herbs over from seeds and waiting for them to sprout up. I got rid of my bok choy because it was growing faster then I could use it and honestly I just got bored with it.

It is so funny, in the past, I would never even realize people had any type of garden in their yards but now I see them everywhere. I am so inspired to plant more for the fall, which I am researching what I can plant to produce for the fall. The ideas I have for next year are already in the works too!

A Little Positivity during the Hard Times

610a73b1c546e16019980715e766eb4fBoy have I screamed…. at everyone and cried…. at everything and everywhere this week! For one good thing that has happened, it felt like 5 bad things followed in its footsteps. It has been so difficult to keep going but as a pregnant mother,  I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and keep waking up everyday.

So some updates on the hard times and the positive things that have happened…

Doctors appointments galore resulted in finding out that I have placenta previa and I am on bed rest for the next 2 weeks. First I went to the maternal fetal medicine doctor (aka high risk doc) for my bi weekly ultrasound and weekly shot. I was having horrible back pain and some cramping going into the appointment which the ultasound showed the placenta previa (I was not told this at the appointment) and they consulted with another doctor in the practice. She came in and told me that I am probaly just dehydrated without even listening to my concerns. I left very, very upset but kept my hormonal mouth in check. A few hours later I went to see my regular OB, which was the first time I had met him. He was absolutely wonderful at making sure I felt comfortable and listened to my concerns. It was my OB that told me about the placenta previa and that I need to take it easy. Well working on my feet for hours at a time makes “taking it easy” extremely hard plus add the pain I was having and we agreed bed rest for 2 weeks and then back in for a check up. I left feeling so much better about my pregnancy and my baby were in good hands.

With doctors and appointments come the dreaded insurance. Well we are still fighting with all of that. I will get to the bad then explain the good that has happened. So the company that produces the progesterone shot that I need weekly was kind enough of to send out a charity set so I could get my shots when I needed. Plus the MFM office is willing to work with me to self pay until I get the insurance straightened out. Well….. the OB’s office is not even willing to see me now until I have the insurance situated and will not let me self pay either. When I originally showed up to the OB on Wednesday, the receptionist wouldn’t even let me be seen that day. One of the other office people saw the pain I was in and told her I needed to be seen today (there are some kind people left in the world). Well the receptionist called my insurance company then called me to inform that they will not see me until I have documentation that states my insurance is active again. Then she goes on to tell me that there is some kind of charity program I can apply for with my insurance company and to call them to apply so they can see me again.

You would think that seeing a pregnant woman, especially a high risk pregnant woman with complications, would be a requirement not an option! This is what is wrong with the United States Health Care System! They make is difficult to get health insurance, pay for health insurance or be seen by doctors because it is all about the money. It scares me to raise children in a society where you have to break your back to be able to afford simple things like housing, food and health care and you see nothing in return but struggle.

So there goes another day of crying and fighting with insurance companies. So I go another round with the insurance company and come out the big fat loser! They tell me that there is no such program and that my insurance is terminated and cannot be reinstated because I purchased it through the marketplace. I feel completely defeated because they repeat over and over and over how I need to have a life change to get new insurance… well the life changes they list can’t happen or don’t apply to me EXCEPT if I move out of state (see later in the blog). So I go back to the marketplace….

Come to find out Amerihealth never even told the Marketplace that they terminated my insurance so I went through and applied for a life change due to my change of income which has significantly dropped since I originally started my insurance. I was approved for the life change and given the option to start a new policy. This time I went with a new company that my OB still accepts so I don’t have to worry about that. My next hurdle is getting Horizon to get my policy started so that I can pay my premium before Tuesday so that my insurance will start on August 1st.

Onto the moving/house situation…. The house is set for online auction starting tomorrow and we have decided that we want to move to Pennsylvania where things are a little cheaper. Rental hunting is hard enough but now we need to add a pet to the our list of things the rental needs to have/accept makes it a little harder. I am hoping and praying that we can find something in the next couple of weeks so that we can get Danyella back into public school and take one expense off our monthly list so we will see….

Yes there has been hard times, crying, fighting (especially between bf and I) but there has been positive outcomes as well. It is those positive moments that keep us going from day to day and sometimes hour to hour.

New Day Different Stress

stressAs if this pregnancy hasn’t been hard enough to deal with, but each day has brought something new to stress about which living in good ole America means…. money or lack there of. A woman going through a pregnancy is told to keep her stress level to a minimum for the health of herself and the baby but add a high risk, possible pre-term labor pregnancy and you are told do not be stressed out at all! Oh how I wish life was that easy!

Since June, the stressors have been hitting me left and right with each one having a bigger impact than the last. In June, while I was on my one and only girls trip to Las Vegas (planned nearly a year in advance and the thought of a baby was not even in existence), I receive a frantic phone call from my boyfriend that someone is trying to change the locks on our house! WTF!! After calming him down, making several pissed off phone calls to my landlord and trying not to ruin my trip, I find out that the house we have been renting was foreclosed on and my landlord never told the bank he was renting it so the bank was coming to seize the property! So my landlord had to email me a letter stating we were renting the property because he had not updated my lease which was asked multiple times since November. One crisis diverted…. onto the next one!

Jump to a couple of weeks ago when I get notice in the mail that my insurance did not cover a single one of my baby appointments because they cancelled my insurance. WTF!! Now I am hormonal and dealing with a crisis so I automatically start crying and freaking out at the same time. I call the insurance company, who first tells me that they cancelled the insurance and reactivated it to May because they didn’t receive my premium for May. Mind you they accepted my payment for June and July and never said a single word in 2 months about May until they cancelled the policy. I am frantic on the phone with them who connects me with the company that I bought my policy from and tells me just pay them and then we can reinstate it. Well this company tells me NO! When the policy is cancelled it is cancelled sorry and hangs up. So I call the insurance company back…. now I am told that I cannot receive insurance in the good ole USA until open enrollment in November or have a life changing event. The girl goes on to tell me that if I have the baby early then I can get coverage….. I am 14 weeks (at that point) I cannot have my baby for months you crazy bitch! So now I am really flipping the hell out and all my boyfriend can say is “we will figure it out”. Well now the doctor’s office is calling me about why everything is getting kicked back from my insurance including the progesterone shots that I desperately need to start next week. Thankfully the nurse called the manufacture and was able to get me a charity set of shots until I can “sort out my insurance”. Though I do need to pay for the visits which means $250 every 2 weeks for the ultrasound that the doctor needs and I am not sure what the nurse visits will cost. Well to sort out my insurance I would need to either quit my job, claim self employed under my business and pay $500 a month which I do not have OR marry my boyfriend which will never happen as he made very clear to me (another blog post for the future). So for right now I am stuck in a rut with this stressor.

Yesterday, I find out that the house we are still living in is now being auctioned by Auction.com on August 1st…. WT double F!!!! So after some research, I find out that once the house is sold through this site we will have 1 of 2 options, receive a 90 day eviction notice or have our lease changed which means an increase in rent! FML!! I can barely afford the bills that we have because I am down to working only 4 days a week and should be on bed rest. Now I am trying to figure out how we are coming up with the money to move into a new place plus find a new place and keep current on the bills that we do have.

A new Day…. A new Stessor! Now to look at the upside of things… 1.I do still have a place to live in, even if it is for 90 days 2. My baby is receiving care because of a very caring nurse. 3. I have a business that I can restart to make money while I make my game plan 4. I have a house full of stuff to sell on the Facebook yard sale groups to help raise money for my moving and medical expense. 5. I am 16 weeks today and Baby Evelynne is the size of an Avocado!!