Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rainy days, won't keep the Kesler Crew indoors!

It has been pretty rainy and overcast for the last couple of days. I believe it's suppose to be like this for the rest of the week/weekend. When there are breaks in the rain, we try to get the boys outside to run off some of their energy. While we were outside on this afternoon it started to sprinkle, I don't even think our little guys noticed. They were too busy "working" outside. Here are some photos of them working in our flower beds. Soon after this, they were running around our garage with brooms. They are so funny!

Clay and Paul, playing with the water hose in the mud. Where is Seth? Oh, he's way over in the back sitting in their swimming pool/water park. Don't worry, his Dad is back there with him!

Paul and Seth, clearing the rocks out of the bucket.

Chester is always near. Here he is watching Clay to make sure he moves the bucket with the rocks just right.

Super deals and cooking

Walmart Deals

Some of my super deals were:

2 cans Chef Boyardee mini ravioli ~ $.24 overage (They paid me!)
3 cans Pork&Beans ~ $.40 each
French's mustard ~ $.50
Travel size Dove deodorant ~ $.03 overage
2 Travel size skintimate shave gel ~ $.50 each
3 pkgs Kotex ~ FREE
2 bx Crayola crayons ~ $.25 each
Dawn dish washing detergent ~ $.50
Cascade Rinse Agent ~ FREE (A $3.47 value)

Every item that I purchased was on sale. This trip cost me out of pocket $21.42 for 27 items. I was able to save an additional $14.82 with my coupons. I would like to add that the cashier that was checking me out was not very pleased that I was using coupons. She kept mumbling stuff about how they get written up if the coupons are wrong, blah blah blah. I assured her that my coupons were correct - I'm OCD like that. I also explained to her that coupons were part of my income and that I needed to use them. She let me use them, but complained the entire time I was checking out. It will make me think more about taking my business to Walmart. Unfortunately, I do not live in a big city so I really don't have much choice on some things.

If you have any specific questions about these deals, please feel free to leave a comment or email me. I am happy to share my deal scenarios.


I happened across this SUPER deal while I was walking by a clearance cart. I was able to pick up a bottle of this Aveno shampoo and conditioner for ONLY $.99 each! How? These normally sell for $6.99 each and my local Kroger had them marked down to $1.99 each. I also had 2 coupons for this particular brand of Aveno shampoo/conditioner for $1.00 off. I'm so glad that I thought to look in the bin! I was able to get 2 products worth $13.98 for only $1.98 - that's what I call sweet!

I usually go to our Kroger for my diapers, milk, and produce because I can get a better deal on them rather than at Walmart. Not only did I find a SUPER deal on shampoo/conditioner, but I needed to pick up some more canning jars. For some reason, I thought that I was going to have to take a trip to Walmart and get some because I just knew the jars would be cheaper there. I am proud to say that I was WRONG! I was able to pick up 12, 8 oz BALL canning jars for only $6.50! These normally run somewhere between $7.50 - $9.00. So, this was a super great deal day for me!

I wanted to share some of our other "food savings". When I'm not taking care of 3 busy toddlers and searching out good shopping deals, I really enjoy cooking - especially with veggies from our garden. Most of the time I have more veggies than I can cook at once, so I've been searching out different ways to save them for a later time. Here is a picture of our 2 different types of squash that we have growing in our garden.

This is squash that I have sliced and layed out on a cooking sheet pan that is lined with wax paper. This sliced squash is ready to "flash freeze". Flash freezing is a really easy technique in freezing certain fruits and veggies. It doesn't take long and the food should last for a while in the freezer. Isn't this a neat photo?

Doesn't this look good? This is an easy Greek White Bread. Why Greek you ask? Well, I've tried my hand at cooking Greek food before and it was really fun. My 2 prior Greek cooking lessons were not easy, but I made it through and have been dubbed an Honorary Greek by the Gianakos Family. I wish I could remember the names of everything we made... (K, help me out.) Anyway, when I found this "easy" recipe on line, I figured I had to give it a try. As it turned out, it was really easy and tastes just as good as it looks!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Daddy's boys

The boys have been busy today! Here are some pictures from this morning. The amazing part is that I got these photos in this order. Clay, Paul, and Seth remind me so much of their Dad. Each of them are VERY different, but they each share some of their Dad's same characteristics...They like to work on their cars, they enjoy staying busy around the house, and they LOVE to be outside!
Clay flipped the 4-wheeler over and decided to work on the tire.
Clay working on the front tire, while Paul supervises.
Paul working on the front tire.
Seth had to work on the front.
After they were all done, Clay was ready to go!
Seth fixing the bug.
Seth, Clay, & Paul watching the humming birds fly around the feeder out front.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another SUPER savings week!!!

This was a really great shopping week at our local Kroger. I'll still have to go out and get diapers and a few more items for canning, but the grocery shopping was awesome!

I have had several people ask me how long it takes to get my shopping list together each week. Well, this week I decided to try and keep track of how long it took me to find/cut/sort coupons, then match them with deals. I would say it took about 3 hours of my time. In my opinion, it was time well spent considering my savings this week! Check it out.

EVERYTHING that I bought was ON SALE at Kroger this week. I had a coupon for about 92% of my items. Some of my super finds were:

6 boxes of Kleenex: $.66 each (normally $2.39 each)
2 boxes of Mini-wheat cereal: $1.74 each
1 box of Electrasol dishwasher tabs: $1.90
2 boxes of Zatarain's mix: $.62 each
2 jars of pickles: $.89 each
3 blocks of Kroger brand cheese: $1.66 each
1 Snickers bar: FREE
8 jars of Santa Cruz Organic juice: $.50 each (normally $3.25 each!!)
2 half-gallon SOY milk: $1.99 each
2 Box pizza: $1.50 each
2 pkg Bryan hotdog: $1.50 each

After all was said and done I got 39 items worth $109.33. I only paid $42.40 (before taxes and after a $1.00 Catalina). That's a savings of: $66.93!!!!

I would say my 3 hours spent working to get this deal together was very much worth it, wouldn't you? It's like I paid myself right at $22.00/hour! Maybe I could start my own business doing other peoples grocery shopping for them. Oh yeah, wait I have 3 toddlers to take care of - that's why I'm sharing it with you on line! If you do have a question about any of the specific items, please feel free to comment or email me. I would be happy to share any specific deals.

I've also been working a LOT on freezing/preserving items from our garden. Here are some tomatoes that I put up on Wednesday. I had to boil the tomatoes, remove the skins, seeds, and bad spots. Then I had to remove most of their juices and vacume seal the bags (which is kind of hard to do when you don't have vacume sealer). It took forever, so let's hope it was worth the time and effort. I hope to try my hand at canning some tomatoes this weekend. As always, I welcome your suggestions!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Containing the chaos

We always tell people that it is easier to watch the boys at our house because we have "proofed" it so that the boys can pretty much roam all around without the temptation to get into trouble. Well, we were proven WRONG at the end of last week! I thought we were going to go crazy chasing the boys around the house and off of the stairs. We have had a barrier that did well at keeping them contained for quite a while, but these smart little guys figured out how to get through that barrier. We even duct taped the joints of the barrier together and they STILL figured out how to get through. Shane has had an idea of what he wanted to do so that the boys could go up a portion of our stairs and look out the windows. He was able to complete his idea and project this past Sunday. I am so proud of what he did. The boys have a much larger area to play in now and I have no fear that they will go tumbling down our steep stairs.

The stair barrier that my handy husband built!

See how high our stairs go up?

The boys playing on the stairs, safely!

My very first batch of pepper jelly; made from a variety of green peppers from our garden. I have to say I was a little hesitant to make this jelly, but it really wasn't hard to do at all. The only downfall is that our house now smells like a bunch of peppers. I also baked some fresh bread earlier in the morning and the smell was delicious. I am happy to report that it tastes just as yummy as it smelled! I do think that next time that I will reverse my cooking order and make the bread in the afternoon. You know, to cut down on the strong pepper smell.

I have plans to preserve my squash and some tomatoes (Roma and Big Boy). I hope to share more information on that later in the week. Again, I welcome any suggestions? Speaking of, does anyone out there have a recipe for squash relish?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our garden

I've had a lot of people ask, so I thought I would show you... On rare occasions when I take the boys shopping with me, this is what we look like. I wonder why so many people look at us? :)

A recent photo of our corn, after a terrible thunder storm.

The boys helping us work in the garden.

Our first pick of purple hull peas.

The "fruits" of our labor - yummy! Now, to figure out a way to use all this stuff. Any ideas?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Super Savings - Walmart

I had another great shopping week this week! I am pretty fortunate that my freezer is stocked with various meats and frozen veggies. We have also started harvesting some great produce from our garden. So far, we have been able to pick: bell pepper, Roma tomatoes, squash, and other various peppers. Our poor corn is struggling to survive. This will probably be the only year we try corn in this particular area of our yard. We have had to plant it twice this year because we received so much rain at beginning of summer. Our second batch of corn was doing alright until earlier this week when we had another BIG storm come in and blow it all down. It kind of looks like a tornado ran through our corn, but it wasn't. There was just a lot of rain and wind. I will try to post of picture of it later this week.

Back to my super savings....

I had some great finds at Walmart this week! I was able to get several items for FREE!!!
  • Reach floss
  • 2, 6-packs of Nestle Water
  • Digiorno Flat Bread Melt
  • Vaseline travel lotion - $.03 OVERAGE
  • Toothpaste - Thanks to my Mom for this :)

Some of my other great deals include:
  • 2 boxes of Eggo Muffin tops - $.94 each
  • Kashi Frozen Waffles - $1.04
  • 2 Travel size Renu contact solution - $.47 each
  • Coffee Mate creamer - $.82

I was able to purchase 19 items worth $33.76 (before tax and coupons) for $20.76! That's a savings of $13.00!!! All said, it worked out to be approximately $1.09 per item.

I also had to make another quick trip back for diapers and soy milk. I was able to use a $2.00 OFF coupon for the diapers and I had a coupon for a FREE half-gallon of soy milk - which saved me $2.73 just on the soy milk!

Friday, July 10, 2009

As promised...

The Kesler Crew took a quick trip to see Shane's Grandmother, Aunt, Uncle, and cousins in FL. This trip was long overdue! We were very excited to introduce our little guys to Shane's family and about taking the boys to ocean for the first time. We were just thrilled to be there and able to visit with family and vacation at the same time. Shane's Aunt cooked us some GOOD food, my mouth still waters when I think about it! We had such a great time seeing everyone, but were super excited to introduce the boys to their Great-grandmother.

Shane and the boys walking around Shane's Aunt and Uncle's property. Our boys fell in LOVE with their dog. I wanted to bring him home with me, but we couldn't find the extra room. Maybe on our next trip? :)

Mom and the boys sitting by the pond.
Shane's cousin-in-law and 2nd cousin helped us out getting to the beach. That's all the guys in the photo. It was this perfect little spot that Shane's cousin told us about. The water was shallow enough for the boys to play in and the water from this area ran off in to the ocean. The boys had a blast playing in the water and the sand.

The boys playing in this great shallow area that Shane's cousin told us about. It was the perfect size for us. It ran right in to the ocean and so did Clay! Shane had to keep chasing after him. He LOVED the ocean and had no fear of just running in to it. It was hularious and scary all at once!

Dad and Clay

Seth and Paul having such a good time!

We were WORN OUT when it was time to leave the beach. We did have some help getting to the beach, but it was just us (the Kesler Crew) playing and then leaving. IT WAS SO HARD!!! We will definately have an extra set or sets of hands the next time we take the boys to the beach. It was so fun watching them play, they were really having a good time.

Our silly guys at Shane's Aunt and Uncle's house. The boys LOVED being outside and roaming around at their beautiful home. This photo was taken the night that we actually left to come back home to MS. Shane's family cooked out for us and it was YUMMY!

We found this great playground not very far from where we were staying. This was probably the first time that the boys have been to a real playground and played. They had such a good time running around, but it was SO HOT! They were NOT happy when we had to load up.

Sweet P, what else can I say?

Silly Seth, he just makes us laugh. He's always acting so goofy!

Curious Clay, he's not afraid of anything. He loves to look around and discover new things.

Back at home....Here are the boys with their Dad playing in their very own water park at our house. This toy is awesome! It's too bad that Seth was more interested in running around the yard, Clay was more interested in playing with the water hose, Paul really the only one that "played" at the water park.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Super Savings - 2 weeks worth

All of the items in the photos below were items purchased last week before we went on our vacation. I decided to go ahead and stock up on some things so that we would not have to buy much while on vacation and so that we would not have to buy much when we got back home. So far, so good. The only shopping that I have had to do so far this week was for fresh fruit and milk.

Pictured above was my BIG spending shopping trip at Kroger, but I got some really great deals.
All of the meats that I purchased were on sale.
Cheese B1G1 - still on sale this week.
Ketchup - paid $1.00.
TP - paid $.50 each.
Kraft BBQ - paid $.25.
There were also some great 10 items for $10 deals.
I purchased a total of 53 items worth $80.49.
Total money that I spent: $44.21!!!
This photo includes some great deals that I got at Walmart.
My sweetest deals were the items that I got for FREE:
4 ice cream sandwiches
snickers bar
travel size lotion
travel size contact solution
Reach dental floss
1 pack of TP
My other great deals from this trip include:
2 Eggo bake shop apple twists for $.94 each
Bandages for $.50
Another 4 pack of TP for $.50
Toothpaste for $.25
Soy milk for $1.73
That's just a list of my SUPER sweet deals. Everything that I purchased was on sale, plus I had a coupon for something additional off of each item. All together I purchased a total of 27 items that were worth $34.96.
Total money that I spent: $13.96!!!
Ok, this was my FAVORITE shopping trip. I had a TON of coupons for this trip and I knew that I was going to be a little hassled. So, I went to Walmart later at night and tried to let people in front of me. Let me tell you about these sweet deals.
All of the juice pictured was purchased from Kroger, I got 8 jars of organic juice for $.50 each.
Everything else you see what purchased from Walmart.
MY GREATEST DEAL THUS FAR has to be the 40 blue bunny ice cream sandwiches that I got for FREE with my coupons. IT WAS AWESOME! I also got the snickers bar for FREE with a coupon! So, if you're heading to my house any time soon, come prepared to eat a yummy ice cream sandwich! :)
My other great deals from this trip include:
2 Eggo bake shop muffin tops for $.94 each
3 bx of HH for $.96 each
Bag of Tyson Chicken Nuggest for $4.75
All said and done, I purchased 57 items worth $105.33.
Total money that I spent: $15.33!!!!
THAT'S A GRAND TOTAL SAVINGS OF $147.28 ~ pretty awesome huh? :)
I would also like to make note of a GREAT savings that I happened upon at Walgreens this week. Our boys have pretty sensitive skin, inherited from your's truly I'm sure. Anyway, we have to use Cetaphil lotion on them which is usually pretty expensive. It normally costs $13.49/jar. Walgreens is running a great sale on this Cetaphil lotions this week and you can get it for $7.99 - what a great sale price. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL - There are some of that jars of lotion that are packaged with the bar soap, which is great, but it normally sells for $4.79/bar. Because of this deal I was able to get the lotion and the soap, which are normally valued at $18.28 combined, for ONLY $7.99!
I will be posting pictures from our recent vacation soon. In the meantime, tell me about some great deals that you've come across recently.