If you are expecting this site to show a person whose house is spotless, with homemade meals and desert made from scratch on the table every night, the laundry always caught up, my kid always acting perfect and handmade gifts given for every holiday, then you’ve landed on the wrong site.

If you are NOT like the person mentioned above and you want to come hang out with someone who isn’t a Supermom either, then you’ve come to the right place.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Use (or misuse) of Shavings in Stalls

Wood shavings are the choice of most horse owners. They are more absorbent than straw; cheaper and easier to use as well. Most barns order them in bulk and have them delivered on a regular basis. Lately, the price of shavings has gone up as well as demand. Not sure why since due to this economy there are less people who can afford horses. Maybe it’s because people are wasting more lately. I’ll tell you what I mean.

I am surprised at how many horse owners have no clue on how to clean a stall and utilize shavings effectively. The amount of good shavings being wasted is shocking to me. There have been times that I have noticed large amounts of good shavings in the manure pile and I think,”What a waste.” The only times shavings should hit the wheel barrow is if they are soiled from manure or wet from urine. Due to the horse walking around in his stall, good, dry shavings will not hold their lily white appearance for long. But that does not mean the shavings aren’t good.

Manure forks are designed as to pick up the piles and to shake loose the good dry shavings. Most people seem to use them as shovels though instead, throwing good, dry shavings out with the manure. They also fail to rake back the dry shavings over the wet areas. You need to pull back the good, dry shavings before you scoop up the wet, urine soaked bedding.

It’s amazing how many people think they would be harming their horse’s health if they don’t strip out their stall, taking everything with it every three days! Not only is this a waste of materials, but it is more labor intensive.

We had a boarder who just left that the manager was going to fine because she refused to head the warnings of her using too many shavings when there was a shortage. Many horses were going without much bedding at all while her horse was standing ankle deep in them. Contrary to popular belief, bedding your horse deep is not healthy, but you do need some! She was hoarding while many of us were using old hay as bedding or buying our own in bags.

When I was asked by the manager for suggestions on how to solve the shavings misuse dilemma, I suggested that everyone have to buy their own for a while to teach them the art of conservation. I told her I would much rather pay less in board and have to buy my own shavings than have the price of board raised just because there are some people here who don’t know how to clean stalls. I know that many may disagree with me, but unless people realize how expensive bedding can be they won’t learn to conserve.

Happy mucking!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

De-cluttering your life – Starting with the house

This is the first of several installments on de-cluttering your life.

Clutter of all kinds is never good. It shows a life that is disorganized and chaotic. I know because I am still dealing with clutter in our own home. Clutter happens. I know that it does in most everyone’s life. So at the risk of sounding hypocritical, I’ve decided to share some ways on how to de-clutter your life. I need to do more de-cluttering in our own home so at least we can do it together. :)

It's hard to get excited about cleaning. I know that I don't lay awake at night, so excited for the day to come so I clean out a closet. I rather lay awake at night and........you know, I don't want anything to make me lay awake at night except maybe how to spend lottery winnings.
House cleaning is a job that no one notices unless you don't do it.

One rule of thumb is, if you don’t use it in six to twelve months – you don’t need it. Period. Always keep that rule in mind when trying to decide to keep an item or not. If you aren’t using it in that time, you don’t need it and selling it or giving it away to someone who does is a much better use for it.
This includes holiday and seasonal decorations. Trust me, you don't need those huge Christmas lights that are as old as you are anymore. You know the ones that your dad used on the tree when you were five and were told not to touch because they were so hot.

Remember to start small. As with any big task, breaking it down into smaller steps is key to not getting overwhelmed. If you try and de-clutter the whole house at once, you will get overwhelmed and burn out fast. Try picking just one room at a time or even break it down further to just a closet in one room. Start easy so you can feel the satisfaction of getting one thing done and build from there. I recommend only one de-cluttering task a week or even a month to avoid burnout.

Let’s start with a linen closet.

Pull everything out and lay it on the bed. (It's easier if you make the bed first. I know you are thinking, "Two tasks?!") Go through the towels and pull out towels that are raggedy. These are the ones that have strings hanging from them that are long enough to choke an elephant.

Put these old towels that are ragged in a garbage bag and use them as rags for drying off cars after washing; sopping up a spill on the floor that you don’t want to use a good towel for; for wiping dirty hands on while gardening; cut up into smaller rags for dusting and cleaning; drying the dog after a bath, choking an elephant, etc.

Then re-fold the towels you are going to keep and if you can, buy some new ones as a nice reward to yourself for accomplishing this task. I love big, fluffy, soft towels and I feel a good towel is worth the money as they last for years longer than cheap towels and they feel so much nicer. Just remember to look for sales!

Then attack the sheets. Keep only the sheets and pillow cases that make a set. If you have a top sheet that has no fitted sheet or pillow cases anymore, then put that in the bag for rags as well. You’ll get more use out of it as a sheet to throw on the ground at picnics or as a paint drop cloth. I usually will however, keep pillow cases even if I don’t have the sheet set anymore. Most of us have a few extra pillows on hand for company or when someone needs an extra pillow. These tend to rip first and I don’t care that all my pillow cases don’t match. Or you can just throw all your extra pillows and pillow cases away. That way if people want to come and stay and you don't want them to, you can always say you have no extra pillows for them to use.

Now, what’s left? Find proper homes for anything that doesn’t belong in the linen closet. Some things that do not belong in the linen closet, but you will find there occasionally:
toys (hey, that's where that missing toy went to); shoes; dog leashes; carburetors (who put that in there?!)

Here are a few things in my linen closet that normally don’t go, but I find it’s more convenient to store these items there:
Toilet paper – since I buy when it’s on sale, with a coupon of course, I tend to have a stock pile. I keep a few roles under the sink for refill emergencies. Though I seem to be the only one who remembers to re-fill the emergency stash under the sink when pulling the last roll out. Hmmm, I wonder why that is? The rest is in the nearby linen closet. Why? The many packs I have won’t fit in our cabinet in the bathroom.

I used to keep my stockpile of shampoo, shaving cream, soap, etc in there, but now that the munchkin is mobile and very nosy I have had to find alternative hiding places for it. If you don’t have little ones though, it’s a great place to have that stuff especially if you have limited cabinet space in the bathroom.

Some bathrooms have an extra closet in the bathroom, ahhh, that sounds nice. Maybe I’ll have one someday. Just remember, if you are starting to stockpile like I taught in other posts about money saving, then you need to rotate your stock by putting the latest items bought behind the older items. That way you make sure to use the oldest up first and you can see what you are running low on. Your stockpile of toiletries will also be a great topic of conversation with any nosy houseguests who ended up coming anyway and brought their own pillows. They will want to know where you got all that. Just say you have a toothpaste fetish. Don’t forget to fill up the medicine cabinet with marbles to catch the nosy guest.

Another item stored in the linen closet - light bulbs. Weird I know, but that’s where my husband stored them before we got together and the location works for us. There is a shelf we don’t use much for now and so that is where we store them. I may find a better place later as I de-clutter more myself. I may move them just to tick my husband off when I run out of other reasons.

On the floor of our closet is where I store the extra twelve packs of pop that I stockpile up on. Our linen closet is in the hallway right off of the kitchen so that works for us. It may not for you though depending on the layout of your house. I can see the closet floor now, so I guess it’s time stock up again on pop. You could store your rags for cleaning on the floor making it easy to grab for a spill so you don’t use those nice new towels you just bought. Especially when someone drops a can of pop while pulling it out of the linen closet and makes the messy mistake of opening it up right then and there. Sigh.

You may now have items you don’t want anymore, but are still good. Start some piles in the basement, garage, or wherever – one for selling at a yard sale or online, one for giving away to charity (keep your receipts for tax write offs) and one for garbage. Just remember to put the items not belonging in the linen closet away in their proper places to avoid shuffling piles around to different areas. Moving piles around from room to room does not count as de-cluttering.

There, you’re done! Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? A nice easy way to start and you get the satisfaction of accomplishing a task which is a great feeling that will carry over to the next time you are ready to tackle clutter. Open and close the linen closet door a few times and enjoy the neatness while you can. Make a rule that anyone who puts anything that does belong there, will be punished by helping to clean out the next closet.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So You Want To Drag Race

Since I have been helping out at our local track, I’ve noticed that every week there have been a few people who come in and want to try their hand at drag racing their daily driven street car for the first time. I will always encourage a new person to give it a try, especially a young person. Drag racing tracks were invented to get young people off of the streets where racing is dangerous and onto the strip where it can be controlled and is much safer. But anyone at any age that has a driver’s license can race! So get out there! It is a lot of fun!

If you want to race your street car here is some advice to get you started.

The really neat thing about drag racing that other forms of motorsports can’t say as easily is that anyone with a driver’s license can race. And you can race on the very same tracks that the pro’s race on! The concept of racing your car is basically the same as racing the professional’s car. The main difference is speed.

I first recommend you attend some races at your local track to just watch. Don’t just sit in the stands though. A spectator entry gets you access to the pits, too. Walk around and look at the other cars. Observe the other drivers and crews. Pick a car or two you are interested in and watch them throughout the night to get an idea of their routine and how they do things. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most racers are very happy to help and if you happen to get someone who isn’t helpful, ask someone else.

Then I would talk to the track personnel, either the guys who check the cars over before racing, called tech or at the front gate. Ask for a list of rules and if they have any notes they can give you for new people who want to learn to race. Tell them you want to bring your car down and try it and are looking for advice. Most track personnel are happy to help and have literature that you can take and read.

At local tracks they usually have two days or nights per week they are open with the occasional third day for a special race. One day will be for what is called test and tune. Test and tune is not a race day, it is where anyone can bring any car to test it and see how it will run. Usually everyone pays the same flat fee and you are allowed to make multiple runs within the time that the track is open. I recommend you come first on these test and tune days to get some practice before trying out on a race day.

When you arrive at the track you will pay your test and tune fee at the gate. They will then give you what is called a tech card. Take your car and the tech card to “tech” where the track personnel will look over your car and make sure it is safe to race. Ask the front gate where tech is if you are not sure.

Once you arrive at tech, fill out your card and hand it to one of tech guys. Once your car has been approved they will hand you back a slip that was attached to your tech card that has your car number assigned to you. Keep this piece of paper with the car at all times as you cannot make any runs without it. Tech will write your car number on the windshield and on the right front window of your car with a special shoe polish like marker so the tower personnel can read it. Leave this number on the car throughout the night. Then find a place to “pit”. A pit space is where race cars park. Just be sure not to block entry to someone else’s pit space and you cannot park in the staging lanes.

The track will usually have a schedule of what kind of car runs when. They will separate street tire vehicles from the race cars that have slicks. Slicks are the rear tires of race cars that do not have tread. Racing slicks cannot be driven on the street and are designed to help the tire grip the track on takeoff, hopefully reducing tire spin.

Though the basics are the same, since you will start out racing your street car you won’t have as much prep work to do before or during the race as other faster cars do. You will however want to make sure the tire pressure in your tires are the correct amounts, that the oil and coolant levels are good and do not run down the track with your air conditioning on. Running with the A/C on not only slows you down, it drips water on the track making it slippery and dangerous for the faster cars. Do not run if your car is leaking any type of fluid for safety’s sake.

Then you want to listen to the track announcer call for street tire vehicles to the lanes. Some tracks have radio station frequencies you can tune your radio to hear the announcer. When he calls street tires to the lanes he will state what lane numbers they want you in. The lanes are numbered and one lane will lead you up to the right side of the track and the lane next to it to the other side of the track. Find out which numbered lane takes you to what side and pick whatever lane you want to try first. The street cars will all line up in the lanes and when ready the track will start pulling them out two by two. Move up as the car in front of you moves up. When you get up closer to the top of the lane get ready to hand your run ticket that tech gave you to a track official who will punch it with a hole punch signifying this is your first run of the evening. Then wait for him to wave you forward. Your card will be punched everytime you make a run.

You will then pull into what is called the water box. This is where race cars do their burnouts. A burnout is designed to not only clean off any rocks or debris from the rear tires, it is also designed to heat them up to help them “stick” better upon takeoff. Learning to do a good burnout is crucial to racing a car and can take coaching and practice. But since you are driving a street car that is most probably a front wheel drive car you will not be doing a burnout. If you tried doing a burnout with your front wheel drive street car, you could end up causing damage to your car and engine. So I would recommend you drive around the water if you can. Then line yourself up straight with your rear tires on the outside edge of the water.

If you have a rear wheel drive street car and you want to try a small burnout then ask the guy in the water box to tell you when to stop after pulling through the water. If you are doing a burnout you want to be on the edge of the water not in it. The idea of the water is to get the tires a little wet so they will spin. Watch the starter, the guy who sets the Christmas Tree (the starting lights) he will motion for your burnouts to start. You want to hit the throttle fast while holding the brake, but do not over rev the engine. This is where help and practice comes in. Do a burnout to about ¾ of the way up to the line. If you are not doing a burnout, accelerate hard up to the line to heat the tires up. Just be sure not to overheat your brakes or over rev your engine. Be prepared to not do it right the first several tries and ask for help and advice from other racers. Stop when you are ¾ of the way to the starting line.

Now you want to slowly approach the first stripe on the track. If you have been watching other cars run then you know there are two stages – pre-staged and fully staged. The first stripe is the pre-stage. When your wheel hits the pre-stage beam it will light the very top bulbs on your side of the Tree. When these top bulbs light up on your side, stop and wait for the other car to light his if he hasn’t already done so. When the other car’s top bulbs are lit you are both Pre-Staged. Then you want to ever so slowly creep about six inches till the second set of yellow bulbs are lit on your side. When the other car’s second set of bulbs are lit you both are now Fully Staged. At this point the starter will flip a switch to start the tree. The next bulbs to light are the three yellow bulbs from top to bottom. When you see the last yellow bulb flash on, stomp hard on the accelerator. You’re off!

I recommend leaving at an idle the first couple of times till you get comfortable leaving the line. Then you can do what is called footbraking where you have your left foot on the brake and you rev your engine up to usually no more than 3000 rpm depending on your engine, which will allow you leave harder and faster.

Once going down track you want to obviously keep in your lane. Oh and by the way, you must be wearing your seat belt. You should know where the finish line is. At least I hope you scoped that out before you started. Once you pass the finish line, de-accelerate slowly and find the turn off. There are rules to turning off. Usually whoever is on the same side of the turn off or gets to the turn off first turns off the track first. Keep this simple rule in mind as you do not want to turn in front of another car as you may very well be t-boned in the side. Always be aware of where that other car is for safety’s sake.

Be sure to get off the track fast. You don’t want to linger as the next pair of cars are waiting their turn to run. When you turn off the track and start to come back up the return road you will want to stop off at the time slip booth to get your time slip. This piece of paper will show you both your car’s run and the other car. Find your car number and look at that column of numbers. It will give you your reaction time (expect that to be bad your first time out) and the other times and mph increments down the track. You will want to keep this time slip and compare it to the other runs you will be making to see how you are improving. Once you have your time slip, go back to your pit space and wait for the next session of street tires to be called to the lanes.

That’s it. Feel the adrenaline rush? It’s a neat feeling isn’t it. And it only gets more fun from there as you get more comfortable with what you have to do and as you get better. Expect mistakes and don’t be embarrassed when you make them. Everyone makes them, even seasoned professionals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and strike up conversations with other racers. You’ll make some great friends at the track.

I’ll cover more details of learning to race later. Till then, keep the most important rule in mind – have fun!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Car Numbers & Dial Ins

Over the weekend I was asked to help out in the drag strip’s tower as one of the workers had a relative who was seriously ill. They helped me try and learn the system with a crash course in it. Being in the tower gave me a new perspective of racing and made me appreciate more the hard job they have up there, especially working with the computer system they have.

One thing I noticed that is a big problem, is being able to read the car numbers and dial in’s. They sit approximately 80 feet from the line I’m guessing and trying to read shoe polish and people’s writing from that distance is a real challenge even with binoculars! Most regular racers do a good job, but there are some that are so bad, we have to ask the starter to tell us and that can hold up the race.

For those who do not race often, please understand how important it is that the tower be able to read your car number and dial in. It needs to be written on the top right side of your windshield and on the right side of your car, on the window if it’s a door car. They need to be written on the right side of a dragster and bike as well, not just on the windshield. The numbers need to be big enough, dark enough and legible. Some just slap on one coat of shoe polish for the night and it can’t be read from that distance. Please go over your numbers a few times with the polish and make sure it’s dark enough and written big enough. Using white or bright yellow or green polish is preferred over red and blue, especially at night. If you are using led lights, make sure they are turned up during the day and turned down a little at night.

If the numbers are put on the side of a dragster or bike they should be a contrasting color to the paint. Having numbers matching the color scheme of the car or written in script look real pretty, but they are extremely hard to see from the tower especially at night. Metallic numbers also are hard to read at night with the glare of the track lights.

Another issue are cars that have more than one car number on them. This is where a car may have more than one driver who has a permanent number. Make sure that the number(s) not being used are clearly marked out. You cannot see one swipe of shoe polish from the tower. Use a piece of black electrical tape or something that draws a line clearly through the number not being used so the tower knows which car number you want to use.

I have learned how important being able to read those numbers are and realize I need to make my car’s number bigger. Keep in mind, that if the people in the tower cannot read the numbers, they have to ask the starter to read it to them and that holds the cars up on the line as they have to enter the info then or re-enter incorrect info. That all takes time causing the hold up. So be considerate of those in the tower doing their best to get numbers right and remember to always check your dial in before you stage.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday Grocery Savings

I wanted to share with you my yesterday’s grocery trips amounts and what special sales and discounts I managed to get. I won’t bore you with everything I bought, just the items I bought with special savings. I have been using The Grocery Game website like I mentioned in a previous post, but since then I have found Coupon Mom. A great website for free that tells you the sales and it has a coupon database that helps you locate the coupon for that particular item. I may end up canceling my subscription to the The Grocery Game as I am getting better at learning how to do this. I still recommend it thought for new people just starting out.

I didn’t buy much this week as the sales weren’t that great and I have been stockpiling so I didn’t need a whole lot. When the sales on name brand items are slim picking like they are this week it helps to have your stockpile of items so you don’t have to pay full price on things you use every week. I also buy store brand at Kroger unless I can get the name brand cheaper by combining coupons with the sale price.

At Walgreens I was able to combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons along with the sale price to get a good savings. (sorry that I can't get the numbers to line up under the name in columns. I can't figure out how to get it come through on the blog)

Name, Price, Sale Price, Coupon, Total Cost (ea.)
Huggies Swimmers, 8.49, 6.99, 1.00, 5.99
Excedrin Migrane(4), 2.50, 2.39, 1.00, 1.39
Mitchum Deodorant(2), 4.99, 1.00, .75, .25
Skintimate Shave Cream, 2.49, 1.99, 1.75, .24
Total, 18.47, 12.37, 4.50, 7.87
Walgreens was my best savings trip this week at a savings of over 50%! Notice I was able to buy four Excedrines and two Mitchums. It helps to have family save coupons for you or buy an extra paper or two allowing you to get more than one of the item at the special price.

When I went to Kroger’s I bought mainly Kroger brand items that were on sale. They had several 10 for $10 items, but here are the two name brand items I did get with coupons.

Name, Price, Sale Price, Coupon, Total Cost
Mrs. Dash, 3.69, 2.49, 1.00, 1.49
Propel (free coupon), 1.19, 1.00, free one, 0.00
Total(name brand items), 4.88, 3.49, 2.00, 1.49
Though there are only two name brand items bought, you can see how waiting to combine the coupon with the sale price pays off with the Mrs. Dash. The key is learning to do that with all your items.

WalMart – There are certain things I get from WalMart that I try not to buy anywhere else if I don’t have to because they have the best prices.

One is skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Perdue makes a natural chicken breast that WalMart sells for $1.78!! That is a huge savings since Kroger usually sells them for around $5-$6. The problem is getting them. They tend to run out fast and I have yet to find out when they stock it. I usually will season it and cook it all up, usually on the grill then I freeze it. That way it’s ready to defrost, heat and serve in whatever dish you want, saving a lot of time.

Second is ground beef. They sell 2.25 lbs of regular ground beef for $4.23. Another big savings. I then often times will make patties to freeze or will cook it up as hamburger then freeze to use later in spaghetti, tacos or whatever saving time.
Organic eggs, diapers, Chef Boardee and V8 Fusion I also buy there because of the huge savings.

Here’s a breakdown of just the items I had coupons for and the savings I earned from WalMart –

Name, Price, Sale Price, Coupon, Total Cost,
Kraft Ranch Dressing (2), 1.58, 1.58, 1.50, .08
Bandaids, 1.88, 1.88, 1.00, .88
Suave Deodorant, .97, .97, .50, .47
Ragu Sauce, 1.94, 1.94, 1.00, .94
Crest Rinse, 5.22, 5.22, 2.00, 3.22
V8 Fusion (3), 2.98, 2.98, 1.00, 1.98
Diaper Rash Cream, 1.62, 1.62, .60, 1.02
Total(name brand items), 16.19, 16.19, 7.60, 8.59
I saved almost 50%!! Now that does not include the chicken or ground beef I bought either.

WalMart does not have sales per say, but they are competitively priced. If they ever decided to do double coupons, they could give Kroger and Meier a run for their money. You have to compare their regular price to the grocery store price and see if the process of a double coupon is cheaper at the grocery store. Typically since stores only double coupons up to $1.00, if Walmart has the item cheaper and I have a coupon that is around a dollar I can get more savings at WalMart. You just have to comparison shop is all and do the math.

I am stocked up now for the year + on deodorant for both my husband and myself. I am also stocked up on toothpaste for over a year and around three months on toilet paper and paper towels. I buy non perishable foods as I get coupons and they go on sale allowing me to stockpile for when those items are not on sale. Since items go on sale at different times of the month and year, stockpiling allows you the freedom of being able to wait when it is at its lowest price. Add coupons to it and that is how you are able to save 50% or more off of your grocery bill every week. Just remember to save your coupon for when that item goes on sale thereby maximizing your savings.

More Couponing Tricks

Want to save 50% or more off of your grocery bill? Think you don’t have the time? Think again. It really isn’t all that hard and once you get the hang of it, it will take approximately an hour to make up your grocery lists based on what’s on sale at your favorite stores that week and get the coupons that are available for those particular sale items.

First thing you need to do is get a subscription or two to the local Sunday paper that has coupons from Red Plum (RP) and Smart Source (SS). Ask friends, family, neighbors if they use all their coupons and if not, would they be willing to save them for you. Then collect them every week. Then you want to write the date at the top of the front page of the coupons and file them in an accordion type file with each week in a different slot.

Also check out coupon sites like
TheCouponMom. They have the easiest using site and it’s free. They are able to tell you the sales going on at your store depending on where you live and a database that allows you to look up a particular name brand item and see if there is a coupon out there for it and where and when it was issued. They will tell you for example, if the coupon came out in RP (Red Plum) which is in the Sunday paper and the date it came out. All you have to do is look for items that are on sale you want, look up when a coupon may have been issued for that item and when it came out, go to your folder, pull out that date and cut the coupon. It’s that easy.

How I do it is, let’s say I want to see what Walgreens has on sale. I get their sale flyer in the Sunday paper, so I’ll browse through it quickly making a mental note of things I like that are on sale. I then go to
TheCouponMom website. I put in my area that I live and click on the Walgreens link. A list of sale items pops up that gives you the regular price, sale price, what coupon may be available and the percentage saved. You can sort the list anyway you like. I like to sort my list with the most percentage saved listed first and then the percentage saved in descending order. I am only interested in items that are going to save me 50% or more. I check off the items I’m interested in by clicking the box. When I’m done selecting, I hit show selected items and my list pops up. I print that list, write Walgreens at the top. I go and cut out any store coupons I need out of the Walgreens flyer. I then go and cut my coupons out of the week listed for the manufacturer coupons. I will then go back to the Internet, go to the TheCouponMom main page and click on coupon database. I will enter the name brand item in the search box and look for any other coupons that might have been issued for that item. They will tell me where and when if one was issued. This gives me more coupons for the item I want allowing me to buy more of that item at that special price.

Sometimes you can get extra coupons from the Internet and send them directly to your printer as well. This allows you to get more than one of the item, allowing you to stockpile. This means you won’t run out and have to resort to paying full price for that item saving you more money. See how that works?

Now I often times will go ahead and cut the coupons out for items I know I will use and I have a smaller accordion file I take to the store with me just in case something is on sale at the store that I may have missed during my initial search on the Internet. Here’s nothing much worse than being at the store and seeing something on sale at a great price and knowing you have a coupon for it, but it’s at home.

There are other great sites out there as well as wonderful blogs that help you do the same thing. Check them out for advice and how to’s. Some are listed on the right side of this blog.

Does this sound too confusing, or just too much to do? It’s really not. It just takes practice.
Start with just one store and use this method there. I would start with a grocery store first as opposed to CVS or Walgreens, because they have things like Register Rewards and other programs that help you save by giving you money back which can be confusing to new couponer just starting out.

Once you get the hang of saving and stockpiling from one store, then try your hand at a second store and do some comparison shopping. After a while you’ll get the hang of it. It may take about three months to feel comfortable doing it and to build your stockpile before you start to see significant savings. Keep a spreadsheet or log of how much you’re saving to help you stay on track and to motivate you to not give up. Once your savings take off after about three months, you’ll be hooked and will never go back to your old way of shopping again.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Shaklee Baby Products!

Shaklee’s new baby products are worth shouting about!
Just don’t wake the baby!

They make great gifts for the new mom!
See below on how to get these products plus vitamins for mom at an incredible discount!!

(Have a child over the age of 4? Then Shaklee has the same great deal on Shakleekids! – See below)

Shakleebaby -
ShakleeBaby Multivitamin & Multimineral Powder - Shakleebaby Multivitamin & Multimineral Powder delivers 23 essential nutrients that your baby may not be getting from foods. In addition to providing a healthful serving of vitamins A, C, and all eight B vitamins to support proper growth, this powdered mix is formulated with a unique blend of clinically proven prebiotics - nutrients that encourage the growth of friendly microflora in the digestive tract to help support a strong immune system.* Plus, it’s got 400 IU of vitamin D to support strong bones and teeth.
  • With 23 essential nutrients, it is the best infant and toddler multivitamin and multimineral supplement available
  • Provides a unique blend of clinically tested prebiotics to help support strong immunity*
  • Each serving meets the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommended daily intake of 400 IU of vitamin D for strong bones and teeth
  • Can be used as an added source of nutrients during the transition phase from breast milk or formula to solid foods to ensure your little ones get nutrients they need
  • Pleasant-tasting powder mixes easily with water, juice, and food for added nutrition

ShakleeBaby Gentle Wash – Clean, fresh baby. This extra gentle wash is naturally formulated to get your baby pip-squeaky clean from head to toe. Made with organic chamomile and lavender, it is PH balanced and sensitivity tested to shower even the most tender skin with love.
  • 99% natural
  • 76% organic ingredients
  • Pediatrician tested
  • Organic aloe base with oat extract and olive oil for mild lather
  • Organic lavender to soothe
  • Organic chamomile to calm and relax
  • pH balanced
  • Sensitivity tested
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No parabens or SLS
  • No artificial colors or fragrances
  • No 1,4-dioxane or formaldehyde

ShakleeBaby Soothing Lotion – So soft. Keep sweet cheeks soft and tiny tootsies moisturized with this naturally gentle lotion. Organic sunflower seed oil and shea butter moisturize, and organic lavender and chamomile soothe. It's a bottle full of even more reasons to cuddle.
  • 99% natural
  • 87% certified organic ingredients
  • Pediatrician Tested
  • Organic aloe, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and coconut oil to replenish skin nutrients
  • Organic lavender, chamomile, rosemary and vanilla oils to calm and relax
  • Sensitivity tested
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No parabens or SLS
  • No artificial color or fragrance
  • No 1,4-dioxane or formaldehyde

ShakleeBaby Diaper Rash Cream – Naturally soothing. A natural healing cream worthy of your baby's britches. Zinc oxide protects baby's delicate skin from wetness, keeping skin healthy and dry. Organic and natural oils keep skin hydrated and smooth while chamomile, aloe and calendula extracts soothe. Goes on quickly. Wipes off easily.
  • 99% natural
  • 78% certified organic ingredients
  • Pediatrician tested
  • Zinc oxide to help heal and keep wetness out
  • Aloe, chamomile and calendula extracts to soothe
  • Organic oils to keep skin hydrated
  • Sensitivity tested
  • No parabens or SLS
  • No artificial color or fragrance
  • No 1,4- dioxane or formaldehyde

ShakleeBaby Massage Oil – Loving touch. This ever-so-gentle blend of organic oils is perfect for massaging your baby or moisturizing after bath. With organic sunflower oil, lavender, and chamomile to moisturize and soothe.
  • 99% natural
  • 99% certified organic ingredients
  • Pediatrician Tested
  • Special blend of organic oils to moisturize skin
  • Organic lavender and chamomile to soothe
  • Sensitivity tested
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No parabens or SLS
  • No artificial color or fragrance
  • No 1,4-dioxane or formaldehyde

Shakleebaby™ 70 PV New Member and Distributor Pack - Available 5/1

Starting May 1, 2009*, when a new Member or Distributor submits their Shaklee application and places their first order, if the order contains a complete pack of Shakleebaby, they can also receive one Vitalizer w/Iron for only $10, and get an extra 20.94 PV for a total of 70 PV! Products include: Gentle Wash, Massage Oil, Soothing Lotion, Diaper Cream, Multivitamin Powder; Vitalizer w/iron.

What this means is for purchasing the ShakleeBaby New Member Pack which includes the products all the listed above, you can receive the Vitalizer + Iron for Mom that has all the best vitamins she needs (with the multi, vitaminE, Omega 3, B, C, Cartomax, prebiotics & more) for only $10 more – a savings of almost $70! Plus you save an additional 15% off your order and every order from now on! WOW!

Please be sure to use item #53911 for your discount!

For kids over 4 years of age check out Shakleekids! Same deal!

Shakleekids™ 50 PV New Member and Distributor Pack - Available 5/1

Starting May 1, 2009, when a new Member or Distributor submits their Shaklee application and places their first order, if the order contains a complete pack of Shakleekids, they can also receive one Vitalizer w/Iron for only $10, and get an extra 12.30 PV for a total of 50 PV! Products include: Mighty Smart, Incredivites, Vitalizer w/Iron

Please be sure to use item #59219 for your discount!
*Each New Member and Distributor Pack (#53911 and #59219) is orderable one time only, while supplies last. They are only available to newly sponsored Members and Distributors who were sponsored between May 1, 2009 and July 31, 2009. The offer number must added to the new Member or Distributor's first order.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


This post may anger some, in fact I’m almost sure it will, but it is not my intention to anger anyone. I just want to state an observation.

I usually follow a few message boards, but lately I have had to stop because of all the arguing on them was driving me crazy. And over stupid stuff, too. Some women seem so bent on making the other person feel bad that a war of words ensue. Nothing productive ever comes of it.

Since becoming a mom one of the things that I thought was true that turns out isn't true, is the "Women are the peacekeepers of the world" fallacy. That couldn't be further from the truth.

How did women get associated with being the peacekeepers? We fight so much between ourselves that we couldn't possibly speak about world peace without sounding hypocritical.

By now some women are reading this and saying, "Not I!" I agree, not all women are like this, but come on. All you have to do is read any message board that deals with kids and parenting issues. There are more "vs." between women than all the boxing matches. For example:

Breastfeeding vs. formula
Cry it out vs. not letting them cry it out
Cloth diapers vs. disposable
Co sleeping vs. crib sleeping
One child vs. large family
Spanking vs. non spanking
Vaccinate vs. not to vaccinate
Stay at home moms vs. working moms
Then of course within the working moms group is the part timers vs. the full timers
Home school vs. off to school
Public school vs. private school

It just goes on and on. Women argue over everything! No one can make a comment on these message boards without someone getting offended. It boggles the mind on how women disagree so much yet all have one main thing in common....they love their kids and want the best for them.

Of course, the differing of opinions is what makes us unique and everyone's point is valid, but with the age of instant communication have we have taken our need to be right too far? I mean, that is why people argue. We feel the need to announce we are right, the other person is wrong and we have to drive that point home. We argue to justify our position and feel the need to convert anyone against us over to our way of thinking. It is a fruitless endeavor that only brings friction, anger, hurt feelings and ultimately isolation.

We need to stop looking for reasons to be offended and celebrate in the one thing we have in common - our children who are watching us and learning from us how to interact with others. Boy, that's a scary thought isn't it? Our kids are watching us! Maybe I should start acting the way I want my child to see me acting.

How do you want your kids to see you acting?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Reusing Pringles Cans

I picked up several cans of Pringles because of a special sale where I was able to use coupons for about .50 a can.
I hated to throw out the cans so I asked for some suggestions on reusing Pringles cans. Here are some of the suggestions I received:
· Storing Leggos
· Storing Barbies and their pieces
· Storing nuts, bolts
· Noise maker for kids
· Storing pasta
· Cut a slit in the lid and use it for spare change – the kids could decorate them
· Marble painting – line the inside with white paper and drop a marble in with a little paint on it. Have the kids shake them all around or roll them to each other and you have a neat design. Adding several colors is cool too.
What are some of your ideas?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Separating Paints

To keep paints separated and to prevent them from drying out, try a multi-day pill box.
The compartments are big enough for regular brushes kids use and it helps kids keep the colors separated.
When done, just close the lids to help keep the paint from drying out therefore saving money.
Plastic egg cartons also work well for bigger brushes. A great way to recycle them.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Shaklee Newsletter

May is all about moms. But you don’t have to be just a mom to be a special woman. That is why May is about all women not just moms. It’s about grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, cousins and friends. Think about all the women in your life and how they have shaped your life.

This month we would like to highlight women’s health. Women take care of so many people, but often times they get so overbooked taking care of others, they never seem to have time to take care of their selves. Help the women in your life (and help yourself, too) by making sure they take care of themselves.
Here are a few guidelines that we all know, but may need a reminder:

1 - Kick the Stress
Most of us experience stress every day. Daily stress and anxiety wreak havoc with our sense of well-being and the impact of prolonged stress can have severe consequences on our health.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control estimates 75-90% of all visits to the doctor's office are stress related. One key to good health is to keep levels of stress in check.

Get started by:

Identifying Your Stressors — Whether it's money issues, traffic or the piles of laundry, the first step to managing stress is knowing what's causing the most stress in your life. Once identified, you can begin to figure out how to overcome stress or manage it better. So what’s bugging you?

Setting Priorities — Take stock to determine what's really important and learn to say "no". This can be one of the biggest favors you can do for yourself. You can’t do it all, so choose what is most important to you and learn to let the rest go.

Delegating Responsibilities — You don't have to be "supermom", learn to ask for help and assign tasks to other family members. The best “managers” are those who know how to delegate. Teaching kids about responsibilities is also good for them, not just to help you out. You are not helping them any by doing everything for them.

Relaxing and Meditating – Research has shown that taking time out of each day to relax and meditate can help reduce stress. This is so true. Taking just a few minutes a day to just sit and relax; breathe deep and empty your overcrowded brain can do wonders for your mood. Even if it means locking yourself in the bathroom with earplugs.

Exercise – Don’t forget the benefits of exercise. See our tip on exercise below.

Try Shaklee’s Stress Relief Complex*, a botanical combination which includes a powerful stress reliever from green tea to help promote relaxation, alertness and concentration, and help relieve everyday stress in as little as 30 minutes.* This stuff works great.

2 - Get Enough Sleep
Emerging scientific evidence indicates that insufficient sleep can be harmful to our health.
Sleep Well and Re-energize. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule; establish a relaxing bedtime routine; and try not to eat a meal, drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages or exercise within a few hours of bedtime. There is nothing like a good night’s rest to help with your day. It can be hard though when there are so many things on your mind. Try meditation, reading and hey, here’s an idea! - talking with your spouse! Just keep the talks light, nothing stressful.

To contend with occasional sleeplessness and to help you get a good night's rest, try Shaklee Gentle Sleep Complex* which uses natural botanicals to promote a calm and restful sleep.

3 - Eat Right
Good nutrition is essential to health and poor food choices contribute to health challenges including weight gain. Start by improving your diet by eating a variety of foods, choosing whole grains, beans and legumes and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Don't forget to include some lean protein from fish, chicken, soy and nonfat dairy and select heart-healthy omega-3 fats from fish, avocado and nuts.
It’s hard to eat right everyday and who has time to cook a big meal every day? So to help fill in the gaps don’t forget your multivitamin. Shaklee has one for all ages and a good solid foundation is what you want to start with.

For women of child bearing years and teens – Vita-Lea with Iron
For men or postmenopausal women – Vita-Lea without Iron
For men and women over 50 – Vita-Lea Gold with vitamin K and Vita-Lea Gold without vitamin K
For kids – Vita-Lea Chewable for kids ages 4-12
For Infants – Vita-Lea Infant Mix for children ages 6 months to 4 years

4 - Exercise
No brainer here. We all know that exercise is a healthy habit and it's never too late to start. You don’t have to train for a marathon to feel good. Just a 30 minute workout can boost your mood and you can literally kick stress out of the way. Walking is a great activity for everyone, too. Start with a 10 or 15-minute walk, especially if you haven't been exercising regularly. Then do your best to be active every day. Exercise helps lower stress, lose weight and increase strength which helps our stress level too.

Shaklee can help with your exercise program with their sports nutrition products. You don’t have to be just an Olympic athlete to reap the benefits from:

Stay hydrated with Performance Maximum Endurance Sports Drink
Build muscle and recover faster with Physique

5 - Take a "Timeout" with Friends
A landmark UCLA study suggests that hanging out with friends can actually counteract the kind of stress most women experience on a daily basis. When women engage in this 'tending or befriending' with children and other women, studies suggest that the hormone oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a calming effect.We always knew that friends made us feel good and now there is actual evidence that they are good for our health!
So the next time you need a lift-me-up or simply want to relax, call up your closest group of girlfriends for a fun gathering.

Take care of yourself so you can continue to take care of those you love.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Want to learn more about how Shaklee helps to keep you healthy?
Visit our website http://www.shaklee.net/tobehealthy

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Cool Idea

With summer just around the corner Popsicles are a favorite treat amongst kids and adults.
But the melting and the resulting stickiness all over little hands, arms, floors and clothes is no fun.

Here is a good idea though and it won't cost any money.

Save your plastic lids from containers like cottage cheese, dips, etc. Cut a small hole in the center and poke the end of the Popsicle stick through the hole. The lid catches all the drips. You can then wash them and reuse.

It's going green and saving green not to mention saving on clean up time.

Teach a slow eater to periodically tip his lid outside or in the sink to keep from spilling the juice if it builds up or better yet he can pour it into a cup and drink it. Just maybe have him do it outside. ;)


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