Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where Less Will Be More

This past week has been very difficult.  I think I've been pretty difficult to be around too!  A lot of my stress is coming from my job.  Part of me thinks my job is such a blessing and I can't imagine working anywhere else.  On the other hand, the stress that comes along with it is so overwhelming at times that I can't always focus on what is REALLY important.  So I am at a crossroads.  I've been praying for months and months about whether or not to change jobs, and I believe God is telling me to stick it out.  Yet His voice is not always easy to determine......

I LOVE my life.  I have incredible children.  An amazing family and extended family.  Wonderful friends.  And so many Internet friends who bring such joy, wisdom, and community into my life.  Right now it's just the job that overshadows everything. 

So ........  my hours were cut, yet again.  I will make just enough to survive on, barely.  And I am ok with that.  There are people all over the world that quantify the word "enough" with a temporary structure for a home, one change of clothing, water they have to walk a mile for and boil before drinking, and a burlap sack of rice.  My "enough" is a kingdom compared to this.  And I try never, ever to forget that.

Anyway - so why am I complaining on my blog?  LOL!!!  I just want to do an about-face and make this blog more about how to do more with less.  How to make people and situations more important and "things" less important.

I also intend to really utilize those drug store bargains and grocery coupon near-freebies work for me in a tangible way.  I am going to pick and choose those that will give my family the most bang for my buck!

This week the only thing I'm doing is the Rite Aid Pantene deal.  2/7 and there is a 2 dollar +up reward making them 2/5 and there was a coupon in Sunday's paper for 3 dollars off - which will make Pantene 1 dollar per bottle.  I have +up rewards from last week to pay for the 2 bucks. 

I spent most of my life being in the throng of shoppers on Black Friday.  The past ten years or so whipping out my credit card on Cyber Monday.  Was it hard not to do it this year?  I won't lie - yeah - a little bit.  But not enough to matter :)



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank You

This has been a big year of changes in my life.  Not all of them were especially positive, but I have faith that God has a plan for each shift.  I lean on Him, knowing that His ways are the only ways for me :)

I moved twice last year.  I am very happy and content in my current home.  It suits us just perfectly.  Not too big, not too small.  Just enough.

"Enough" has become my mantra over the past few months.  Every time I have looked at something and wanted to buy it, I have to tell myself that I already have "enough", and to be thankful for all that I have.  As long as I have enough to pay my rent, utilities, have gas in the car, and food in my kitchen - then I am above blessed.  

My hours have been cut at work recently, and I know that Christmas morning my family won't see as many presents under the tree as they did the past few years.  But for each gift that is left on the store shelf, I plan to exchange with a few traditions.  Baking together.  Making Christmas ornaments.  Reading aloud of "A Christmas Carol". 

The special man in my life (Mr. Military) is in Afghanistan right now, and will be for the next year.  Knowing that technology enables me to hear from him more frequently than women did in the past who were privy to only letters also makes me thankful.  Knowing that he is thinking of me and that I can give him any source of comfort in his current situation, makes me humble.

My children are all remarkable human beings.  Jennah has a brilliant mind and a compassionate heart.  Jacob is full of humor and mischief, yet finds simple ways to show me his love.  Emily is steadfast and true, dependable and gentle. 

My family is crazy and dysfunctional (in the best way!) but loyal and loving.  When it comes down to it, there is nothing we would not do for one another.  I'm proud to be a part of it.

My friends are hard-working, respectful, dependable confidants.  They bring me laughter, love, and a further sense of stability in life. 

I have no place in my life to complain, not even for one bitter, thoughtless moment.  I am blessed beyond measure and God has seen fit to give me this life.

Psalm 136:1  1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Drugstore Plans

I am very, very short on funds this Christmas - so I need to make do with the little I have!!!  Here is my plan for Thanksgiving shopping at Rite Aid and Walgreen this year!  Going to do 2 trips to each store.

Rite Aid - 1st Trip

1 pair of ear buds (asked for by my daughter)  5 dollars (receive 5 dollars back in +up rewards)
2 bottles of Revlon Top Speed nail polish (for myself!)  6 dollars (receive 4 back in +up)
2 Dove deoderants (a necessity with 3 girls) 4 dollars (receive 2 back in +up)
2 Wet N Wild 9-piece Little Luxuries nail polish (Christmas gifts) 6 dollars (receive 4 +up)

1st trip:  Out of pocket cost:  $21 dollars - receive back in +up $17.50

Rite Aid - 2nd Trip

1.99 for 18-pack of Scunci bands (Stocking stuffers) (get 1.99 in +up)
1.50 for 2 Hot Wheels (stocking stuffer for my nephew) (get .50 +up)
5.00 for 2 Secret deoderant (get 3 in +up)
Fuzzy socks 4/2 (stocking stuffers)
2/3 throws (always need more blankets!)
3/2 VO5 shampoo & conditioner (get 1 +up)

Out of pocket  -  ZERO (pay with +ups) and receive back 6.50 +ups for next week

Walgreen - 1st Trip

2 Secret Body Splashes (ss for girls) 7.50 (get 550 back)
Revlon lip gloss (for me!) 4.99 (get 4 back)
Covergirl Wetslicks (ss for girl) 3.99 (get 2)

Out of pocket cost:  16.50 & get 11.50 back in rewards

Walgreen - 2nd Trip

Walgreen pain reliever PM .99 cents w/ coupon x2 = 1.98  (I use these)
32-count eyeshadow kid (Gift for daughter) 2.99
Tuf paper towels x2 w/ coupon = .78 cents
Oral B toothbrush 1.50 (get 1.50 back)
Cottonell bath tissue 12-pack 3.24 (with WG coupon & .75 manu q)
2/3 Scunci hair bands (more ss) (get 3 in rewards)

Out of pocket 75 cents!  Rewards for next week $4.50

So for $37.50 I will have:

6 small Christmas gifts
12 stocking stuffers
2 bottles of nail polish and a Revlon lip gloss for myself
4 sticks of deoderant
2 papertowels
12 rolls of toilet paper
1 toothbrush
2 bottles of pain reliever PM
3 bottles of shampoo/conditioner

and another 11 in rewards to spend next week :) 

I know I am not the best shopper and definitely not a coupon queen - I am sure that many others will show better deals and spend nearly nothing -  but I am happy with what I can do with what I have!!