Thursday, July 30, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Highs and Lows

I have neglected this blog in the past few weeks... however, the other one has taken priority lately (and has been much more interesting). Here are some of the highs and lows of the month so far:

High - Meeting all of the new FUSD teachers, and spending time with them at New Teacher Academy (as well as reuniting with returning teachers!)

Low - My insanely busy schedule the past two weeks due to teacher trainings, submission due to the Dept. of Ed., and preparation for the first day of school (which is today)

High - Surviving the past two weeks :)

Low - Replacing all four tires on one car (after a blow-out), then to have one of the automatic windows break on the other car (in the "down" position in 115 degree heat), and then to have the main belt break (I mean shred) while driving the car that the tires were just replaced on. Oh, and did I mention this all costs money? Yikes!

High - Wonderful neighbors who help us out when our cars break down :)

Low - Finding out that we were turned down for one of the adoption grants we applied for... bummer :(

High - Receiving a court date in the federal high court of Ethiopia for our adoption case!

Low - Finding out our court date is postponed, and we aren't sure when it will be rescheduled

High - We heard a rumor that we "might" find out tomorrow when our new court date will be

Low - Learning that the Embassy in Ethiopia did not receive our "Visa Approval" for our daughter, which prevents us from traveling until they confirm receipt of it

High - Working with USCIS and the National Visa Center I BELIEVE the Embassy now has our necessary paperwork... this will be verified by our agency next week

Low - It's really hot outside these days, I feel like I live inside an oven... even after living in the Phoenix area for 20+ years, I am still amazed each summer at how hot it gets and ask myself "why do we live here?" But then I remember the 9 months of beautiful weather we have each year :)

High - I have a beautiful son and daughter :) Now if I could just get them under the same roof.... even in the same country would be acceptable.

I think I could go on and on but this is probably getting quite boring! Oh well, at least I can go to sleep tonight knowing I have not neglected my poor blog any longer. Look for news tomorrow on our adoption blog regarding our court date... hopefully we'll have a new date to post! Woo hoo!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Coupon Sense

In an effort to save some additional money towards our adoption, I decided to try out "Coupon Sense" to save some $$ on my grocery bills. I have heard about this program before, but figured I would see if it actually works for us. In case you've never heard of it, the entire premise of the program is that you utilize an alphanumeric filing system to organize the coupons you receive in your weekly newspaper (primarily the Sunday paper), and then Coupon Sense lets you know when the best time is to use each coupon in order to get the cheapest price on an item (ie - when the item is already on sale!).

We didn't have a newspaper subscription prior to this, but we signed up for a Wed/Sat/Sun subscription, and paid $2 extra so that we can get 3 Sunday newspapers for 3 times the amount of coupons. Coupon Sense itself also charges a monthly membership fee. So... I am taking both of these fees out of our monthly grocery budget, and will see how much money I save on top of this, in order to decide if it's worth it. I've realized that you have to give it some time in order to let your coupon stash grow a bit, so that you actually have the coupons you need when items are on sale.

The wonderful thing about Coupon Sense is that it incorporates all of the weekly store ads, promotions, and coupons into one database. You can then see what combinations you can put together (Sales + Coupons) in order to get a great price - many items you can get for FREE! You can even print an "Ad Match" sheet if you shop at WalMart, so that you can get the best possible advertised sales from other stores.

The downside for us is living where we do, because we aren't really close to a lot of different stores. Fortunately, since Micah now works more "in town," I can send him with a list and coupons to the stores near his work :) The other day I sent him to Albertsons and he walked out with a total bill of $2.96, and a savings total of $38.25! 93% savings! He is more frugal than I am when it comes to shopping, so he was quite excited about this.

I plan to keep it up for at least three months and then really take a look at how much we're saving over time. I'll post again and let you know in case anyone is interested in trying it out for yourself!!