Author: Cheryl
•10:57 AM

My dryer is getting fixed as we speak. Belt was shot and needed new ball bearings, which was exactly what went wrong with my mom's dryer, and we have the same model. We have both had our dryers for years, so they are well beyond warranty. Total cost for repairs and labor $160.00 which is still cheaper than a new dryer. And I had set that money aside in our budget with our last paycheck, so we didn't have to touch the emergency fund.

I have to admit. I cannot live without the dryer. Yes, we have dramatically cut down our use of it in the past 6 months, but to go at least two to three weeks without it at all was not fun. For towels, it is a must. My towels came out like rocks hanging on the line down the basement, even with fabric softener added to the rinse water. I cannot hang a clothesline outside for many reasons. My mom actually washed and dried our towels twice for us. Thanks mom.

This past weekend our toilet overflowed sending water all over the bathroom floor and then seeping some into the basement. We had to use every sweet smelling towel my poor mom just cleaned for us to sop up the water. I didn't want to make her wash all these wet towels again, so I did washed them myself and hung them all on the line. It took days for them to dry and when done we had fabric bricks.

As for the regular clothes, we only throw them in the dryer for 5 minutes when they first come out of the washer to get the wrinkles out, and then I throw them in another 5 minutes when they are all line dry the next day just to soften them up. And believe me I noticed a difference these last few weeks in not getting to do it. They felt much harder, had more wrinkles.

We are still living without a dishwasher. And that hasn't been too bad at all. The dishes still come out clean by hand. But my dryer, I need it. Case closed. Welcome back friend.

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Author: Cheryl
•11:00 AM

Being the owner of 7 pets and a former animal rescuer and shelter volunteer, it is well known amongst most of my friends and colleagues that I like my furry creatures.However that doesn't stop some of them from doing things about animals or saying things about animals that makes me lose my mind, pull out my hair, or bite my tongue until it bleeds.Let me give you some examples. This might give you a clue on what not to say to an animal lover.

What you shouldn't do

1.) A picture of a dead deer that someone hunted hanging over their desk is not awesome to me. A picture of a dead deer that your sister sent you with a funny sign over it is still not funny.

2.) Telling me how you are getting your cat declawed even though I gave you 800 other options to do instead is not a wise move. If you are going to do it anyway, just don’t tell me you did it. And don’t tell me not to judge you if you do it anyway. You tell me, I will judge.

3.) #2 also applies to buying from a pet store or add in the paper instead of a shelter, getting your dogs ears or tail cropped, giving it up to a shelter cause it peed on your rug, or putting it to sleep because you don’t want to spend the money to get it medical attention. If you don’t want to hear a peep out of me, never tell me it happened.

4.) Start off a sentence with “I know you love animals, but…” is never a good again. Again “Silence is Golden”.

5.) Don’t come to me or send me info on an animal you found that you need to find a home for and threaten me with “if I don’t find a home for it in 5 days, I am taking it to the shelter”. Emotional blackmail does not make you my friend.

6.) Don’t tell me animal horror stories, or a bad report you saw on the news. I see plenty of them myself. In that case, misery doesn’t want any more company.

What you should do

1.) Treat my love of pets with respect. You don’t have to feel the same way or understand why I do. But respect my opinion.

2.) Feel free to come to me for suggestions on helping you with finding a pet in a shelter or rescue.

3.) Ask me advice on dealing with pets behavior. I’m not an expert, but with 7 cats I got a pretty good handle on what they do. If I don’t know the answer, I will find it out from someone for you.

4.) Know that getting a pet is a responsibility you should honor for the rest of its life. It is not a “starter child”

5.) Adopting one from a shelter or rescue does require some paperwork, some money and some checking into your background. Don’t expect the shelter or rescue to bend over backwards for you and just give you a pet if you say Boo and hand them money. They want to find the best home for the animal they have been taking care of for weeks or months. You have to prove you are a good owner and have a good home. If you are not approve, don't bad mouth shelters and rescues in general. You may have just not been the right fit for that dog, that shelter or that rescue. There are others.

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Author: Cheryl
•12:19 PM

Since we last talked there has been some progress with my headaches. Once I got my new glasses they have started going down, but are not gone. They don't come with as much intensity anymore, and the sides of my head and eyes don't burn anymore. But I still get tightness in my scalp and the back of my head and my ears hurt alot when I get them. I also have had almost 3/4's of a day or two without any pain. So having the decrease has really helped in me dealing with them every day and has really helped with being at work. So maybe its getting better on its on, but its still awfully slow. Its been over a month.

I go today for an MRI. Its just a precautionary thing my neurologist wants to start off with. Oh yes I went to a neurologist. So we will see what he thinks.

The medications my general practice doctor gave me two weeks ago for the headaches so messed up my system. I will never take that stuff again.

My husband swears I am going to fall asleep in the MRI machine. I can sleep pretty easily. But I don't think that will be happening with all of the banging noises and technician talking to me.

Keep you updated.
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Author: Cheryl
•2:39 PM

I do have a bone to pick with CVS. This week Band Aid bandages were on sale. The ad says Band Aids on sale starting at $1.00.

So lots of people I know went to CVS today with their $1.00 q's in hand looking for free Band Aids. No one, not even one person I have seen on the internet has found a package of Band Aids at CVS cheaper than $3.49, not even the trial sizes.

Now I know it says starting at $1.00, but that should at least mean at least something does actually start at that price. Its misleading, annoying and in my opinion a little bit of a trick to get you in the store to get them anyway. It has happened with other products before and I'm sure it will again.

So I was skeptical of this Band Aid and Neosporin prices advertised. The Neosporin was no where near the prices it said it would start at either. So I came up with two deals this week. One with those products included and one without. And of course I didn't do the one with them. I was very glad I had a backup, even though it didn't earn me alot of ECB's.

1 Garnier hair spray $2.99
(I am so overloaded with shampoos right now, gonna stick with the stylers for a while)

1 Schick Intuition razor $8.99 (big fan of these, if you read my earlier review)

Total $11.98

(1) $1.00 off any Garnier
(1) $4.00 off any Schick

ECB's used $5.00
Total oop $2.47
ECB's earned $6.00

So I earned a dollar, whoopee, and I spent a little more oop than my old under a dollar average. But it was good to have a backup, cause the deals don't always pan out the way you see them in the ad.
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Author: Cheryl
•8:36 AM

Back in the saddle again kids and you can't get a better week than this. I paid zero for groceries, yes zero for everything you see on this page. Wednesday was Administrative Professional's day. And yes, I am an administrative professional, or whatever they are calling me this year. My company always does nice things for us for this day and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were still doing it this year, even with the economy.

They gave us flowers, actually African Violets in a basket, a $50.00 Amex gift card and they took us out to lunch.

So I decided to use my gift card for my groceries this week, for a zero out of pocked total. Awesome.

I decided to go to ShopRite Friday night to pick up some of the sales I missed last weekend when we were out celebrating out anniversary. I knew that some of my deals may not pan out, since I was going 5 days after they started and they might be out of some stuff by then. I also made a boo boo in two items that cost me a few dollars.

ShopRite Trip #1

1 bag of Combo's FREE (won this coupon on their website contest)
1 bag of Marcal napkins $1.49 - $1.00 q = .49
1 8th Continent Soymilk $2.99 - $1.00 q = $1.99
1 box of Eggo Waffles $1.33 - .75q (I only had one left) = .33
1 Edy's ice cream $2.74
4 Great Lakes cheese .88 each
8 Breyers YoCrunch yogurts .50 each -.50 off four q's = .25 each
2 Reynolds aluminum foil $2.99 - .50 q's = $1.99
1 bag of Tyson chicken strips $3.99 (not pictured, they were out of rotisserie chickens by the time I got there and the dog needed chicken in her food, so I was forced to get them)
2 Ortega box of tacos $3.00 - .75 off two q's = $1.00 each
3 Suave shampoos .66 each - $1.75 off three q's = .07 each !!!
1 bottle of olive oil $2.99

2 bags of Dole blueberries $4.99 each - .75 q's = $3.99 - this is the part I messed up. I grabbed the wrong bags. The 16 oz bags were supposed to be $2.99 each - .75 q's= would have been only $1.99 each and you got a $2.00 catalina back on your next order. I still got the catalina cause I still bought Dole fruit, but I spent more on the fruit than I should have. You live and learn.

Total put on Amex GC $30.87

$19.13 left to spend and a $2.00 catalina to use.

Back to ShopRite on Sunday for their new weekly deals and to use up what is left of my gift card.

ShopRite Trip #2

2 gallons of OJ $1.99 each
1 Breyers $1.99 (customer appreciation coupon)
2 Poppy's pierogies .99 each
2 Melitta coffees $1.99 - $1.00 q's = .99 each
2 Friendship sour creams $1.29 - $1.00 off 2 q's = .79 each
2 Bagelfuls $2.39 - $1.00 q's = $1.39
1 pack of Mission burrito shells

Total put on Amex gift card $15.62

So technically my budget was $46.49. But I spent NOTHING!

Gayle, who has a great website call The Grocery Cart Challenge, was the original inspiration to me to try a budget with my grocery shopping. Please check out her site, to see how she does it and how some others who also have decided to try her challenge.

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Author: Cheryl
•8:20 AM

I explain the picture in # 4. Well its supposed to be in the 80's today and absolutely gorgeous. My husband has to work at 11am and then he has to cover the Flyer's playoff game at 3pm. So its just me and my day. I really don't have to clean the house, as we did that Thursday night because of the TV crew coming over.

1.) I dropped the dog off at the groomer's at 7:30am. She should be done and smelling good by 9:30am.

2.) There is a craft show/car show in the town over starting at 9am. I could buzz my dad and see if he wants to go. He loves to walk around those things.

3.) I do have to exercise at some point and should probably do that before it gets hot. Yes, in the 80's is hot for me.

4.) I need to change some light bulbs outside. Seems they all decided to blow at exactly the same time and going in my yard at night has become a "Who can see in the dark" sport. The light near my back door, as you can see in the picture above, has become a home for a bird to have her babies. I have noticed this happening over the past week and she has built quite a nest. I haven't actually seen the bird or any babies yet. She seems to do her best work while I am at work. I really need this light to see down my back stairs but I don't have the heart to tear down her work just for that. So I will just change the other bulbs for now.

5.) I should probably clean off my patio and give the patio furniture and grill a good scrubbing. I do have a love for hosing things off. I could play outside all day with a power washer if I had one. I love them. I once borrowed my dad's old washer and I must have been out there for hours. Its a great way to clean things without using any elbow grease.

6.) I put aside some money to get my dryer fixed. I really need to have it back. My towels come out like rocks without it and I feel bad dragging them over my mom's house to dry for me. I will call the repair man today and see when he can come out.

I wish I had audio on here, so you could hear the snoring contest between my husband and my one persian cat. She is giving him a good run for his money.

So we shall see where the day takes us. I love days like this.
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Author: Cheryl
•7:59 AM

A local TV news crew is coming to my house today to interview my parents and brother for a health story. My brother asked to borrow my house as I have a nice big room for the interview and my house is, shall I say, less crowded and little neater than my parents house.

I have spent the evening cleaning, and made sure everything is in its place. Please don't let my husband or pets muck it up before they come. I told my mom to give it a once over when she gets there. The picture above is how it looked about 5 years ago, we have painted over my beloved checkered wall since (long story) but its not too far off in the same design.

I told my dad before I left. "Don't embarrass the family." Oh boy.

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Author: Cheryl
•3:34 PM

With using a portion of our emergency fund, putting some money aside for our little anniversary excursion (which was fun) and all the doctors stuff with my head in this past few weeks, I feel off track with our whole financial budget world and I don't like it.

I am looking forward to getting back on track. However I do have a couple of extra things I have to add to our budget in the next few weeks. I have a pet that needs to go to the vet, a dog that needs to be groomed, a dryer that desperately needs to be repaired and my husband is going back to school so a portion of that needs to be paid.

I want to get our emergency fund back up to where it was and above. I want to keep up on the credit card snowballs as much as I can with putting more into the emergency fund. I want to get back to my normal grocery shopping and our normal budget amounts without all the extras. I want to get back to making weekly menus and building back up my ECB's with CVS.

Hopefully when I get paid this Friday it seems a little more like old times.

Patience my child. Patience.
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Author: Cheryl
•5:16 PM

Now I didn't do any grocery shopping today, but I did hit CVS. I had no coupons to take with me for this deal, as there wasn't one for the shaving cream and the only one out there for the Pantene was a printable and I don't have a printer at home. But I did hear later that even people that did print it out had trouble with it.

So I did use up a bit of ECB's but I really wanted the Tresemme shampoo. They are huge bottles. Soon I will have to build back up my ECB's. There was also a great deal on Bayer crystals, but they were no where to be found at my local store.

3 bottles of Tresemme $10.00
1 edge shaving cream $2.89

No coupons used.

ECB's used $12.48
Total oop .41
ECB's earned $7.89
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Author: Cheryl
•8:19 PM
We spent a lovely day and a half in Philly for our anniversary. So I decided to skip our grocery shopping this week and use that money for our little trip. We had plenty in our stockpile that we will be just fine until next week.

A few quick pictures of our great time in a city we both love and are lucky to live 5 minutes from.

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Author: Cheryl
•8:51 AM

Years ago, I fell in love with one of my closest friends. He was cute, loyal, intelligent, and the most insanely funny person I had ever met. We hung out all the time and got along famously. We tried to go on one date and it was just so unbelievably awkward, mostly due to my shyness. So I had resigned that we were better off being friends. I watched him date other women and kept supporting him through anything he wanted to do or pursue. All the more falling more in love with him every day.

I knew one day being his friend would result in the hardest day of my life. Having to watch him marry the woman of his dreams. I had no clue how I would ever be able to handle it but I knew I would have to because I was his friend.

10 years ago today on April 17th, he did go to a church and marry who I hope is the woman of his dreams. But it wasn’t a hard day at all for me. Little would I have known when we were first friends, that the woman he would marry one day would be me.

You see I got over my shyness, and eventually went after that cute, and insanely funny guy. And I don’t regret that decision for one moment.

Today we have been married for 10 years and together for 14. He is still my absolute best friend, partner, husband and the greatest guy in my life since my father. I still get excited when he walks in the door after a game. I still brush my hair and check my makeup before I come in the house after work to see him.

Through him I have a beautiful and amazing mother in law, and memories of the sweetest father in law, that I adored more than life. He has given me confidence, a much wittier sense of humor, and knocked an extremely huge amount of shyness out of me. He makes me feel beautiful, loved, listened to, and understood.

So enough sappiness, we have a day to celebrate here, and that is what we plan to do.

Happy 10th Anniversary to the love of my life and best friend.
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Author: Cheryl
•9:20 AM

As you may have read on here previously, I have been having headaches. I have been getting kinda bummed about them lately and writing about them is therapeutic. Maybe some of you might even have some suggestions for me.

They started on March 29th, a Sunday evening. Just thought I had a regular headache. Went to bed. About an hour after waking up on Monday it came back. Took some generic medicine but it was still on an off all day. The next day woke up feeling awful, stuffy, sore throat, and eventually the headache. Stayed home from work. Also stayed home on Wednesday but the stuffy and throat part were getting better. Went to my primary doctor on Thursday where he said I had a slight fever and figured I had allergies. Gave me Clarinex and told me to take Excedrin for the headache. I took both for 3 days and the headache stayed. The cold part eventually went away on its own.

I am now on day 18 of this.

Here is what it is like:

I feel great when I sleep and when I first get up. They start about an hour and a half to two hours after I get up.

It is a tightening on my scalp and around my head. And sometimes it moves around to my forehead, or down the back of my neck. Sometimes my eyes burn and it wears me out and my head feels hot.

Its not an agonizing pain, like a migraine, more like an annoying grating thing on and off all day.

It feels better when I chew gum, eat food, take a nap or use cold compresses.

I have tried every kind of Excedrin (extra strength, Migraine, Tension). I have taken two Fiorcet a day for 3 days, nothing.

I went to my eye doctors last week as I had problems with headaches while wearing contact lenses about a year ago. Those headaches also didn't go away with medicine, only when I took the contacts out. Since then I have worn glasses and for months had no problems with them. My eye doctor isn't sure its my eyes but he is giving me a lesser strength prescription and added glare protection to the glasses. I am currently waiting for the new glasses to come in and am stuck until then wearing the old ones. I can barely see a thing without glasses so I can't go a whole day without wearing them to see if that is the cause.

I am waiting to hear back from my thyroid doctor to see how my levels are. I do have hypothyroidism (I sound like an old lady, don't I). But have not taken any meds for it, as I have never had symptoms. But both my primary and eye doctor suggested I get checked with him again.

I also have an appt with a neurologist on the 22nd, just in case we don't find out what it is before then. Which is good cause I called 7 other neurologists and the soonest they could get me in was May.

So on we go. I'm trying to be a tough girl about it, but it just gets annoying. My husband is a doll in dealing with me with these headaches. But I would just like to be normal again for both me and him.
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Author: Cheryl
•4:26 PM

I'm so glad you got to see it. We will miss you Harry.

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Author: Cheryl
•9:52 AM

As I mentioned in my grocery shopping post, I have been having headaches. I've had a tension headache now for 14 days. We are pretty much convinced it is eye strain, as me and my eyes have never been too friendly. And the headache gets better when I sleep and when my glasses are off my head. So after seeing my regular doctor and medicine not working, I made an appointment with my eye doctor.

He is an awesome doctor and checks every inch of my eyes and runs every test. And he recommended lowering my prescription and putting some glare protection on my lens. And that meant new glasses. I already used my eye insurance allowance for the year, so all I had left was our vision discount plan under our medical. And under that plan it was cheaper for me to get a whole new set of frames and lenses than replace the lens I have. Plus I would be without glasses if I had to get the ones I had replaced.

So we ordered new ones and of course it cost a little bit of money. So we had to use a little of our emergency fund. Right before I paid I must have stared at my wallet for 10 minutes trying to figure out some way not to use the emergency fund. That is when my husband said "Hey, this is what we have the fund for. Your eyes and head are killing you. It is okay for you to use the fund for this.".

So the fund dipped down a little bit. It is just a hair under $1000 and we still are putting money in it every check. So we will get it back up there soon.

The next day my dryer started making a horrible noise. They say when it rains it pours. My mom has the same dryer model and when her's made the same noise a year ago, she needed new ball bearings in it. We have an awesome little repair guy that will come and do it. But with the dryer I can last a little while without it. I do have to get it fixed sooner than the dishwasher, cause our towels are coming out like rocks when we line dry them. So we are going to wait until our next paycheck and budget in the money for that repair and not touch the EF for this. Once is enough for me for now.

So I can't say enough about having an emergency fund. If you don't have one, please start it now. You won't regret it.

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Author: Cheryl
•4:01 PM

Been a long rough two weeks. I've had a tension headache for days. Been to the doctor, taking medicine. Husband has forbid me from watching tv or going on the computer today since we think it is eye strain. So I snuck on here after he left for the Flyers game to post my deals. I wasn't even going to go shopping this morning, but I asked my husband to take me since I am not wearing my glasses to give my eyes a break. We hit two different stores.

4 Eggo's .99 each - .75 q's = Free plus overage
1 box Barilla piccollini pasta .89 - .50 q's = Free with overage
2 pks of seasoned chicken breasts $2.93 and $3.98
1 pk of hot Italian sausage $3.62
1 pork tenderloin $5.83
1 big package of chicken breasts $7.32

Total $21.53

Over to ShopRite. I usually get there around 8am. But today didn't get there until 11:30. And I couldn't believe how empty it was. Guess everyone was out celebrating Easter. Since the man was with me I let him pick out the fruit and the bagels. I didn't want to drag him over to the produce market. He was nice enough to drag my blind butt around.

2 Turkey Hill ice creams $1.79 - $1.00 q's = .79 each!!
12 Breyers yogurts 3 for .99 - .50 off 4 q = .96 for 12!!!
2 Tropicana OJ's $2.47 - $1.00 q's = $1.47 each
4 Ziploc bags 2 for $3.00 - .55 q's = .50 each
2 Kotex tampons 2 for $5.00 - .75 q's = $1.50 each
1 Perdue flavor bites $2.99 - $1.00 q = $1.99
1 bag of oranges $2.99
1 bag of grapes $4.38
1 loaf of white bread .99
1 loaf of wheat bread $1.49
1 bag of bagels $2.50

Total $26.20

Total spent $47.53. Under budget and still got lots of great stuff. Now time to get off the computer, grab my cold compress, take my meds and take a nap. Pray for better head feelings this week. Its an important week.

Gayle, who has a great website call The Grocery Cart Challenge, was the original inspiration to me to try a budget with my grocery shopping. Please check out her site, to see how she does it and how some others who also have decided to try her challenge

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Author: Cheryl
•11:44 AM

I know, another stinkin razor review. Its one of the few things in my stockpile of things I get cheaply that seem to stand out in my mind when I use a new kind. So I feel the urge to review it. Maybe I'm obsessed with getting a good shave on my legs. Who knows.

In all my stockpile of razors, I always avoided using the Intuition, as they looked so awesome, I wanted to save them for last. I finally decided a few weeks ago to break one open and give it a try.

The Intuition has 3 blades and has a skin conditioning solid that surrounds the blade. When you get the solid wet it lathers up a little so you don't need shaving cream or a moisturizer. What an awesome concept.

So what did I think about it? I absolutely loved it for its innovation, and handiness. It did leave my legs silky smooth, didn't knick or cut them. Yet I had two problems with it. With the conditioning solid around the razor I found it a little bulky to get it into the small corners of your body for a close shave. But the funniest problem I had with it is because of my eyes.

I have horrendous eyesight and wear glasses every day. Of course I can't wear them in the shower, although I have left them on a few times and realized shortly after the water hits my face. Brilliant huh? So when I put shaving cream on my legs and shaved, I could see what part of my legs I completed shaving by where the cream had been removed. Well with the Intuition, you don't use shaving cream so it doesn't really leave a marker for me to tell me where I have completed. So I had to improvise and just run my hand on my leg to see where I still need to complete and where I may haven't done it well enough. I know weird problem, its fun being almost blind. That isn't Schick's fault.

But overall I really love the Intuition and will definitely use it and buy it again. Its just a fantastic idea for traveling too, because you don't need to pack a bulky can of shaving cream.
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Author: Cheryl
•8:29 PM

I didn't even know what to call this post, as I have so much going on in my head right now.

I had been so torn since hearing Suzie Orman's recent advice that if you don't have a sufficient emergency fund that you should work on that first before paying down credit card debt. I knew she was right considering the current conditions. But it just saddened me to put my debt marathon on hold for a while after doing so well on it in these last few months. It has taken me a few days to swallow my pride and go along with the advice.

So I came home from work with a new yet slightly sad attitude of lets work more on the emergency fund first and then back to the debit snowball. My husband agreed.

Then I opened the mail...............

I'm gonna try to keep this post PG rated. But if this South Jersey girl could curse freely right now, your ears would be ablaze. What I feared would happen did. Bank of America, card #7 and the biggest balance and last of my debt snowball is raising my APR by 8%.


I had worried this would happen. That is my biggest balance and is going to make my monthly payment bigger. I had heard the horror stories, kept my fingers crossed. But our luck finally ran out. I so would love to cancel the card, but I only have two cards and don't want to completely kill my credit score. I've even thought about getting a side job to pay this down. But then most people can't find one job let alone, me thinking I can have two.

So, how do I feel.....

I am angry at myself for ever have accumulated credit card debt. What an idiot.

I am starting to regret that I didn't pay BOA of first and instead went for the smaller balanced cards.

I am angry at BOA for knocking people down further when they are just trying to get up.

I am annoyed that I have stop my debt snowball to build my emergency fund faster, although I know its the right move.

I am tired, feeling very defeated and my head still hurts.

I need a few days to regroup, pick my self up, dust myself off and get back on the horse again.
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Author: Cheryl
•11:47 AM

Its been a while since I did well at CVS. And some weeks I have skipped in entirely. But this week I decided to come back with a vengeance. The shaving cream actually inspired me to go as I never find too many great deals on it. And I love any spray that makes my house smell good.

2 Glade Infusions $1.50 each
2 Excedrin Migraines $1.99 each
2 Skintimate shaving cream $3.49
1 Colgate Max White $2.99

(2) $1.00 off any Glade odor eliminator
(2) $2.00 off any Excedrin Migraine
(1) .50 off any Colgate

Total ECB's used $6.98
Total oop .17
Total ECB's earned $5.49 +.50 from my winter total spending = $5.99 ECB's
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Author: Cheryl
•8:49 PM

I hit SuperFresh on Saturday as I read up there was cheap to free pasta, almost free salad dressing and a sale on ground meat, which we were completely out of.

4 boxes Barilla Piccolini .89 - .50 q's = .11 overage on each one!!
4 boxes Barilla whole grain pasta .89 - $1.00 off 2 = .39 each
3 Kraft salad dressings 3 for $5.00 - (3) $1.50 q's = .16 each
A little over 6 lbs of ground meat = $11.60

Total = $13.22

1 Kashi entree = FREE with coupon I got in mail
4 Ban deodorants .99 each - .75 q's = FREE
5 Vitamin waters $1.00 each - $1.00 q's = FREE
2 Breyers ice creams $1.99 each
2 Land O'Lakes butters $1.88 each - .55 q's = .88 each
2 pks of strawberries $1.49 each
2 Pretzelfils $1.84 - .75 q's = .84 each
2 Pepperidge Farm granola cookies $1.79 - $1.00 q's = .79 each
1 Spot Shot carpet cleaner $2.49 - $2.00 q = .49
1 18 inch pizza $5.99 and you get a free Canada dry 2 liter with it
4 Hefty one zips $1.88 each - $1.00 off 2 q's = $1.38 each
1 soy sauce $2.69

Total $27.09

Vercchio's Produce Market
1 bag of oranges
1 bag of spinach
1 bag of green peppers
2 heads of lettuce
1 bag of tomatoes

Total $8.75

Total spent for week $49.06. Finally, back under budget. Now I'm off to wash my car.

Gayle, who has a great website call The Grocery Cart Challenge, was the original inspiration to me to try a budget with my grocery shopping. Please check out her site, to see how she does it and how some others who also have decided to try her challenge
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Author: Cheryl
•11:46 AM
I finally tried Walgreens last Sunday. Unfortunately I was sick for a few days this week so I haven't gotten a chance to post about it until now. I really don't know if I am ready to get into the rebates and register rewards. And then I heard a rumor that they might not continue soon anyway. So I just went to get a few things that were a good deal with coupons.

2 Reynold's wrap Free after Walgreen and manufacturer coupons
1 Glade candle FREE after Wag and MC coupons
3 cans of chicken brother (we were out of them)

The total I paid was $3.00. So it wasn't bad for that. I will keep my eye out if they have anything good each week. But I think I will stick with CVS. I just don't have alot of free time to learn the ins and out of both places at once.
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Author: Cheryl
•11:46 AM
I have been a big follower of Suzie Orman for quite a while. I have read some of her books, watch the show on Saturday night. But I have to say I don't do everything she says.

Yesterday, Suzie was on Oprah with her new advice with the recession. She completely reversed her decision on paying off your debt to building your savings first instead and just giving the minimum to all cards until that is done. I don't think I can completely go along with this. I understand her urgency to get people to build their savings. I just increased again our amount going to savings as we definitely are a long way from our fully funded emergency fund, but I am just not ready to give up on our credit card debt reduction.

I have come so far, and we have both worked hard to get it down. I am loving the results and still feel this is a good part of the process. I still feel we can do both. So as of today, I increase our savings but continue building the snowball.

How did her advice sit with you?
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Author: Cheryl
•11:04 AM

I have been home from work for two days sick. I have an awful headache and other things on my head hurt. I hope I don't have a sinus infection. If its not gone by tomorrow off to the doctors I go. Fun, fun, fun. It does bother me just to stare at a computer, so I will make our financial update for April short.

1.) Pay off credit cards # 4 and 5. #4 has been gone for a little bit. Already sent our first snowball payment to #5. We have paid over a 1/3 of our total credit card debt off in 6 months, which is not too bad.

2.) Have emergency fund at $1500 by end of year. We are now up to $1212.75. Right on track to meet the $1500 goal by the end of the year, probably sooner.

3.) Buy chest freezer and stock with deals for dinners at home. Been done and keeping it full.

4.) Stop buying certain pre-made products and make them from scratch at home.

Laundry Detergent - Just a few bottles left and then we will start making it from scratch.

Fabric Softener - Still got quite a few of them left. I cut them in half, so they last me pretty long.

Household cleaners - Still have alot of those. I wouldn't be surprised if they last me until the end of the year.

Syrup - Still making it from scratch. Would like to get some flavorings to try different syrups flavors.

5.) Clean out the garage and sell unnecessary things. Still trying to sell a tv we have. We put it on CraigsList but have gotten no bites yet. Lots of people selling things on there right now, so its hard to stand out. We may need to have a yard sale when spring kicks in.
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