Thursday, 10 April 2014 much as I love shopping, and even marathon shopping, today's trip to get groceries and supplies for this weekend's Cub Scout Campout has me wiped out!! I left the house at 9:15 and didn't return until 4:15. The excursion was made more enjoyable by my friend Anna and Starbucks...though not necessarily in that order. ;-) Don't worry, as much as she enjoys my company, I think the Starbucks may be the highlight for her, too. There is only 1 Starbucks in our county at the moment which is the opposite direction from our meeting point, so crossing into the next county is always cause for celebration as it takes us out of the backwoods and into civilization.

I'm happy to have found awesome bargains and used coupons to keep our total low while still having enough to feed 17 or so hungry Cub Scouts and 8-10 parents. Purchased the makings for S'mores for tomorrow night's campfire, breakfast (pancakes/fruit/juice), lunch (hot dogs/snack mix), dinner (hamburger/potato/carrot foil packet dinners) and snack (apple or cherry hobo pies) for Saturday and breakfast on Sunday (cereal/milk/fruit/juice) as well as paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap, cleaning wipes, hand wipes and charcoal. I'm donating dish soap and sponges from my little stockpile (I had 5 or 6 bottles).

In addition, I am putting together a popcorn themed basket for the basket raffle to be held at our region's Pinewood Derby finals next weekend, so even with all of the food and supplies as well as the makings for this $20 basket, I kept the total cost to only $215.00!!I love being able to provide for a large group on a small budget and use my couponing and bargain hunting skills for the greater good.

To combine my couponing and cereal addictions...Target had GM Cereals on sale 4/$10 with a free box for purchasing 4. I had two $1.00 off coupons ($1 off 2, $1 off 3), so I got 5 boxes of brand name cereal for a total of $8.00 (net $1.60 each). I can't even buy store brands that cheap! Just to make room for the next big cereal sale, I will be bringing a couple boxes from my own cereal stash...just in case the adults do not want Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Lucky Charms (but what adult wouldn't?!).

Here's to (hopefully) surviving my first Cub Scout Campout...


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

One of my favorite things to do is write, but being a somewhat new (5 months) stay at home mom with 12 and 8 year old boys can sometimes make that difficult. I've always been one to express my feelings better in writing as emotions tend to get the best of me when speaking out loud about something I'm passionate about. Even if this blog does nothing but give me an outlet to write, I'm happy to have somewhere to get those feelings out. Picking a name was made more difficult as there are so many excellent blogs out there, but I liked the alliteration with the Cs in Coupons, Crafts and Cereal Addictions...and yes, I really am a cereal addict. My record count is 65 boxes, although, that was right before taking a dozen or so to the local food pantry.

Staying at home with my boys when they were babies was not a financial possibility. I had more earning potential than my hubby, so I put in the 50-60-70 hour work weeks for a long time. I was occasionally resentful that he got to be the one to stay home when our second son was born, but was glad that at least one of us was able to. My shift at work typically was from 10:00am-6:30pm, so while it allowed me to get the kids off to school and save on childcare expenses, hubby had to pick them up and take care of dinner. I rarely got to eat with the family on weekdays and felt as if I was completely missing out on their childhoods. I left my job in November of 2013 after being pushed to the breaking point for way too long by managers who disregarded my repeated cries for help with the workload over a period of several months. My sanity and the needs of my family finally had to come first and while it wasn't an easy decision, it was definitely the right one.

Since being home, I was able to enjoy our first Christmas where we weren't frantically shopping and wrapping presents on Christmas Eve. I was able to enjoy snuggles with the kids (well, the pre-teen thinks he's too cool for snuggles most of the time) during their winter break from school and I started being better about planning meals to save money. I started cooking from what we had in the pantry and looking for ways to stretch our one income.

I had always been a couponer, but have become more dedicated (though I don't consider myself extreme...yet) and have even started attending a monthly coupon group. I want to help others to do the same--it's so much nicer to allow the manufacturers to pay you to use their product!

We need to find better, cheaper ways to live on one income, manage debt, save for the future and still enjoy life. I plan to use this blog as a way to share what I learn with you!

Thanks for  reading!