What To Buy At Costco: Top 15 Items To Help You Save Big

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What to Buy at Costco

Curious what to buy at Costco? While I think some (many?) items can be overpriced at Costco compared to grocery store sale savings (especially after using coupons), there are some prices at Costco that you just can’t beat.

 

My rule of thumb is to stick to whole foods while shopping Sam’s and Costco – they’re pre-packaged convenience foods tend to be very over-priced from as I’ve compared them to other stores. But, their regular prices on produce, meat, and dairy products are pretty reasonable, so if you can skip them temptation to buy too much while you’re there the membership cost may be worth it. You’ll likely find lower prices on even whole foods during a good sale ad at your local grocery store, but Costco’s prices on these items are usually fairly competitive.  (And, they consistently offer good quality at those prices!)

 

Here are my top 15 deals  . . . 

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1. Milk. At $2.45 a gallon, I haven’t found another store that regularly carries milk anywhere near this price. Occasionally I’ve seen milk around that price at Aldi, but recently even Aldi’s price has been closer to $3.  If your family drinks a lot of milk each week, a trip once every two weeks might be worth the Costco membership.

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2. Bananas. At $1.39 for 3 pounds of bananas, your price comes out to 46¢ per pound. While I’ve seen prices a little lower than these at the grocery store, this is a pretty great price, and are always fresh enough to last quite awhile.

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3. Water bottles. If you absolutely have to buy water bottles (I choose to re-use them when I can!), Sam’s Club has a great price on these. These come out to 8¢ per bottle, which is so much less than you’d ever pay while you’re out!

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4. Gift cards. If you’re planning to eat out anyways, you might as well enjoy some savings, right? Both Costco and Sam’s Club offer gift card savings of up to 20% when you purchase gift cards in store. They include several great restaurants ~ PF Chang’s, Smashburger, Texas Roadhouse and more, and some stores carry entertainment gift cards like Cinemark as well! The best part is you can combine these gift cards with restaurant coupons, which can save you a bundle while eating out.

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5. Salad Mix. 
Costco’s big three pound bag of salad is just $2.79, which is a fantastic price. You can also get their Organic Spring Mix for $4.49, which beats the price that you’ll regularly find at the grocery store, and is so nice to have on hand if you have a large family who eats a lot of salad.
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6. Kirkland Brand Fabric Softener Sheets. These cost $.018 per sheet, and is the lowest price I’ve seen on fabric softener sheets without combining coupons and a sale. If you just need to stock up, this is a great price!

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7. Kirkland Frozen Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast. Kirkland’s Frozen Chicken comes out to $1.96 per pound, and while this isn’t the best price I’ve ever seen, it is a really good basic every day price. Worth stocking up while you’re there to make your life easier!

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8. BACON! This one kind of surprised me, but is so worth grabbing when you’re there. Get 4 pounds of bacon for $10.99 or $2.74 per pound ~ we bought this recently and the quality was great (not fatty), so I would definitely recommend this one. (Don’t forget you can freeze it too.)

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9. Honey. Honey at Costco comes out to 17¢ per ounce, which is a great every day low price. If your family uses a lot of honey for baking or as a natural sweetener, this one’s worth picking up.

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10. Canned veggies. Canned veggies at Costco are priced between 43¢ and 46¢ per can, which is almost my stock up price even with coupons! You’ll have a lot of veggies on hand, but you won’t need more canned vegetables for quite awhile.

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11. Sugar. Sugar is $4.39 for a 10 pound bag at Costco, which is a good price for sugar unless you watch for a great sale around the Holidays.

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12. Butter. Butter at Costco comes out to $1.99 per pound, which you may be able to find during a good sale at the grocery store, but since it’s their price every day it’s worth stocking up on while you’re there.

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13. Eggs. Eggs are priced at $1.39/lb at Costco, however they’re sold in as 7.5 dozen eggs, which is a lot of eggs! I haven’t seen those prices on eggs here in the Columbus area in quite awhile, so why I normally think it’s a little high egg prices have definitely gone up over the last few years.

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14. Rotisserie Chicken. For $4.99 you can get one of Costco’s huge Rotisserie Chickens, which is a very good price if you’re in a hurry but need an easy meal. You’ll skip paying too much for dinner out, and their rotisserie chickens are delicious. It won’t be quite as penny pinched as cooking a whole chicken yourself, but on a busy night that convenience is sometimes worth it.

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15. The Costco restaurant. 😉 Okie dokie, if you just want a chance to skip cooking, you can’t beat Costco’s $1.50 hot dog and drink. They also have pizza slices for $1.99 ~ my favorite way to easily feed my kids when we’re running errands out and about!

 

So there’s my top fifteen! What would you add to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts ~ leave a comment to share!

 

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Looking for more? See what to buy at Sam’s Club and what to buy at the Dollar Tree too!

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Crazy Morning . . . But at least dinner’s done!

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Have you ever had one of “those” mornings? Today was that day at our house I think! Woke up to no internet, found out kids were on a two-hour delay (didn’t know until after they were up ~ grrrr), and PPP’s site on the backend went down a few times this morning. (Whew!)

 

I did manage to pop dinner in the slow cooker (folks, this is the best. recipe.) and am heading out to Costco for some price checking. Hoping for smooth sailing the rest of the day ~ and lots more deals up shortly!

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My Favorite Gift (Well, One of them . . .)

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My sweet Caroline turns 12 tomorrow.

 

T.W.E.L.V.E.  

 

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Isn’t she just perfect???? 😉 (yes, I’m biased.)

 

According to the oh-so-smart-blogging-experts, I should only blog about penny pinching. Every single thing that I share here on PPP should directly reflect something about saving money, penny pinching, or using a coupon.

 

But, I figure since I own the site, I can do what I want. 😉

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This. girl.

 

She’s my gift. 

 

My perfect-even-when-not-so-perfect-and-driving-me-absolutely-crazy gift. 

 

Really.

 

The day she was born, I remember looking at this little fuzzy-brown-haired baby and knowing right there and then that she was my gift.

 

In fact, I remember whispering to her from deep down . . . “baby, you are my gift.” 

 

And then . . . um . . . life got a little hairy.

 

She was busy.

 

She climbed on every. thing.

 

She spent hours (seriously folks, HOURS, quite possibly days, I think), in time out.

 

We fought over learning to say “yes ma’am”.  We fought over spelling words. We fought over which outfit to wear.

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(We still fight over which outfit to wear.) 

 

But somewhere along the way, this girl of mine turned into this perfect girl of mine.

 

Here’s the secret the internet doesn’t tell you when your toddler is screaming.

 

(Ready for this?) 

 

That child of yours. Yes, that one. The one that’s making you crazy. The one that makes you want to pull your hair out. The one that you discipline until you feel like you’ve got no disciplining left in you.

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That one is your gift. 

 

One day they might just surprise you. One day they might be the one calling you up to their room for some unexpected quiet and time to say prayers. One day they might turn into this beautiful precious gift that you absolutely never expected.

 

Life’s crazy that way.

 

And here’s the other thing.

 

The internet tells you that watching your babies grow up is a wee bit depressing. Something that you need to fight with everything in you.

 

But I’m here to tell you that watching that gift of yours grow up is this oh-so-fun present as you see that gift unfold.  That sweet child of yours all of a sudden turns into someone who has their own thoughts, their own opinions, and if you’re willing to put in the effort in those early years, they might just become one of your favorites ever to hang out with.  And it’s exciting to look forward to who they’re turning into each day.

 

 

This gift of mine . . . she’s oh-so-different from me. She hates writing. Hates spelling. Doesn’t really love reading.  (Spending hours poring over oodles of words just isn’t her thing.)

 

But.

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She loves working. Loves organizing. Loves exercising. Likes math. Can pump out a whopping 15 pull ups without flinching. (All while I watch from the corner of my eye I wonder how on earth she’s mine ~ I mean really ~ how could I possibly have this cute thing so very different from me?)

 

And she could single-handedly run our home way better most days than I ever could. (Thankfully, some days she just takes charge and does!)

 

She’s perfect.

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Absolutely the best gift right alongside her brother and sister that I ever dreamed of.

 

So, happy birthday sweet Caroline ~ thank you for giving me one of my very best gifts twelve years ago today.

 

And mommas who are about to lose it because that child is pushing you right on over the edge today?

 

It’s worth it.

 

I promise.

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Hang in there ~ keep at it ~ don’t give up.

 

Your gift’s waiting right around the corner ~ just stick with it and enjoy every precious second because it’s the most fun gift you’ll ever get to watch unfold. 😉

 

And just to be clear, I know that 13 . . . and 14 . . . and 15 (yikes!) are just around the corner and this girl and I may feel waaayyy differently a time or two over the next few years. Um, we’ll deal with those when we get there. (Yikes!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Money doesn’t really buy happiness . . .

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It’s time to chat budgeting . . . anyone else with me? 

 

I had a huge revelation over Christmas that I kind of knew before, but this time it hit me like a ton of bricks.

 

Money can’t buy happiness.

 

(You knew that though, didn’t you?)

 

Over the last year, we’ve shelled out some serious cash in hopes of making our kids happy here after moving last Spring. And while I’m not going to lie and tell you it hasn’t softened the blow a bit, doling out cash hasn’t just magically made life easier like I’d hoped.

 

We bought a trampoline. It blew away in the first windstorm. (Totally our fault for not planning ahead of time ~ grrrrr.)

 

We bought a kayak for my son. We were able to use it a time or two, but he of course wanted a friend out there with him. You can’t buy friends, you know, but he’s working on that! 😉

 

We added extra gym classes for my daughter in hopes of helping her enjoy her new gym more. So far, she’s surviving, but it’s just not the same as home. 

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WE BOUGHT A PUPPY. :) Okay, the verdict’s still out on this one because he is just a puppy, but the kids who’ve begged for a dog for the last five years have been a little unimpressed with how much work this little guy is to manage. They’re starting to enjoy him some, but they had no idea what they were getting us into!

 

See how we’ve kind of failed at the whole penny pinching thing? 

 

Thankfully prior to moving our finances were in decent shape so we haven’t blown our budget, but it’s become the principle of the matter.

 

Ultimately? Contentment comes from the inside. 

 

No matter how much money you have, it won’t fix all your problems.

 

Money can’t take away sadness. It can’t automatically make you fit in. It doesn’t fill in the areas of your heart where friendships should be. It won’t magically make life better.

 

However, choosing contentment no matter where life takes you can be learned. I’m working on teaching it to my children, and more importantly hoping to model it myself. Hopefully they’ll see it at work in this heart of mine one day? (Folks, I am so bad at showing contentment with the ones closest to me. And everyone. Just really bad at it.)

 

A very fun-sweet-friend of mine and I were chatting yesterday (ummm, actually I was whining, and since she recently moved to another area in Ohio she’s been a great sounding board.) She offered me sage advice . . . “Sometimes you just have to fake it ’til you make it.”

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Ahem.

 

Things aren’t always easy. Financial burdens are HARD. (So. hard.) But I’ve seen first hand that while money undoubtedly makes life a little less painful, it simply won’t fix all your problems the way you think it might.

 

Be encouraged this very minute today though. Wherever you are ~ financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, contentment can be found way deep down somewhere. 

 

If your home is making you nuts because you just want some more space, take a few minutes, grab a grocery sack, and fill it up with as many things as you can so that less clutter gives you a little more freedom. 

 

If you’re dreaming of a new car but that’s not realistic right now, give the car you have a really good washing, scrub right down to the nooks and crannies, and clean that car til it shines.

 

And if you know the situation you’re in is just so much more than you can handle, take a deep breath, lavish yourself with grace, and say a quick prayer for peace to come in the midst of your day today.

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If financial issues are causing your family tremendous strain right now, I so encourage you to really really really really (did you get that? REALLY) determine to make wise financial choices today, clip coupons, skip dinner out, and don’t go to Starbucks. (Really.) After years of penny pinching it is oh-so-worth it to have financial freedom, and while it won’t make life better,  it has undoubtedly made life easier. 

 

But don’t fool yourself into thinking a lottery windfall will fix all your problems today. Instead make the absolute-very-best-oh-so-amazing-life-right-here-today where you’re at. Okay?

 

I’ll be working on it on this side of the screen too. 😉

 

 

 

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Laurie’s Kroger Trip (And How My Hourly Rate Just Went Up To $180/Hour)

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Goodness, Kroger’s Mega Sale is hopping with deals this weekYesterday my sweet husband was nice enough to drive me to Kroger as the snow started to fall (it wasn’t that bad out, but apparently he was afraid of me driving in the snow?) Anyways, it took us a solid hour to get through the store (and he was not enjoying it), but we scored some really fun deals.

 

On the way home I was looking over my receipts and realized 70% of my savings came from store sales ads, while just 30% of the discounts were because of coupons. I kind of questioned whether or not the coupons savings was worth my time.

 

Then I did the math.

 

 

In 10 minutes of clipping coupons (I used the 10 minute or less list + just a few more coupons that I quickly found HERE), I saved THIRTY DOLLARS.

 

$30 to spend on dinner out in a pinch.

 

$30 to buy my kids a cute outfit.

 

$30 to spend on absolutely anything I want to besides groceries.

 

For me that’s worth it?

 

(It actually adds up to an hourly salary of $180. Not too shabby for a stay at home momma!)

 

And did I mention I saved another $70 just by shopping the sales ads?

 

Yup, worth a few minutes to scan through the deals before heading out for sure. 😉 Here’s what I bought:

 

Transaction #1 (priced based on Mega Sale Savings, purchasing in groups of 6)

2 Hormel Pepperoni $2.49

6 Kraft Easy Mac $.49

2 Hormel Pizza Wraps $1.49

2 Lender Bagels $1.29

2 Perdue Chicken $3

2 Digiorno Pizzas $3.99

2 Goldfish $.99

1 Hormel Turkey Lunch Meat $2.99

1 Thomas Bagels $2.49

2 Pringles Chips $.99

2 Oreos $2.49

1 Smart Balance Butter $1.99

1 Aunt Jemima Syrup $2.99

2 Planters Peanuts $.99

4 2 Liters Sunkist & A&W $.75

2 Quaker Rice Cakes $.79

3 Barilla Pastas $.89

2 Pace Salsa $1.49

1 Old El Paso Tortilla $.99

1 bag Granny Smith Apples $3.99

1 Philadelphia Cream Cheese $1.49

1 Baby Spring Mix Salad $4.99

2 Planters Nuts 2.79

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Transaction #2 (priced based on Mega Sale Savings, purchasing in groups of 6)

Bought 2 Goldfish $.99

Bought 2 Carefree Pads $1 (not part of Mega Sale)

Bought 3 Kleenex $.99

Bought 2 Speedstick $2.99

Bought 2 Tide Pods $4.49

Bought 1 Listerine Floss $1.49

Bought 1 Reynolds Foil $2.99

Bought 1 Viva Paper Towels $.99

  • Used $1/3 Kleenex or $1/3 coupon from the 1/11 Smart Source insert
  • Used $1/1 Listerine Floss
  • Used (2) $2/1 Tide Pods
  • Used (2) $2/1 Speedstick (I think Lady Speedstick was on sale as well, so print those while you’re at it!)
  • Used (2) $.50/1 Carefree pads
  • Used $.50/1 Viva coupon from the 1/11 Smart Source insert
  • Used $1/1 Reynold’s Foil from 1/4 Red Plum insert
  • Used $1/1 catalina from Easy Mac purchase in first transaction
  • Paid $13.88

Now, I did buy a few things I wouldn’t normally purchase without coupons (the Hormel Rev Wraps but will be an easy meal for my son, the 2 liters of soda but I’ll either save them for a day when a bunch of kids are over or to donate to a local youth  ministry, and the Quaker chips but at 29¢ I couldn’t pass them up!) All in all I was pretty pleased with my savings, and decided it was well worth a few minutes of my time.

 

 

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Here were just a few of my favorite deals (although you need to see everything over HERE) . . . 

 

 

Planters Peanuts $.99

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Viva Paper Towels $.99

  • Use $.50/1 Viva Paper Towels coupon from the 1/11 Smart Source insert
  • $.49 after coupon

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Quaker Pop Chips $.79

  • Used $.50/1 coupon from the  1/4 Smart Source insert
  • $.29 after coupon

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Speedstick Gear Deodorant $2.99

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Listerine Floss $1.49

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Carefree Liners $1

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PineSol $1.49

  • Use $.50/1 Pine Sol or $.75/1 coupon from the 11/7 Smart Source insert
  • As low as $.75

 

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Lady Speed Stick or Mens Speed Stick $1.49 (Mega Sale Price)

 

 

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Yoplait Yogurt $1.50 (Mega Sale Price)

  • Use $0.35/1, $.75/2, $1/2 Yoplait Go-Gurt, Kids Cup, or Trix Yogurt – 1-4-15 SS
  • $1 after coupon
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Where Do You Find Your Value?

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(My daughter who hasn’t yet figured out social media and learned recently what real value was. Goodness how lucky for her!) 

 

Ready for some random rambling? Sorry, you’re in for it again this week. 😉

 

I’m working on putting a post together sharing all the things I learned this past week about how not to let Facebook take over your page (whether you’re a blogger or just a user), but am waiting to hear back from Facebook to make sure that all the images I’ve documented are correct. 

 

In the meantime, I wanted to share something that I learned ridiculously through this experience, because maybe you’ve been there too.  Even though you may not be a blogger fighting to get some Facebook following, I’m betting you (or your teen/tween-age children) have been here.

 

Saturday night, when the PPP page was completely totally gone, I literally stayed up all night just sick. 

 

I was sick because I didn’t know if all the readers were just gone. I was sick because as far as I could tell the page was completely lost. And I was just sick because I’d known for a long time that way too much of my traffic comes from Facebook, so it could literally ruin the business that I’ve worked five years to create.

 

(Y’all, if you could please sign up for emails I would really appreciate that so that I have a way to keep you up to date with the deals in case something crazy like this ever happens again, 0kay? Or, better yet, come visit PPP every day – I post deals every. single. day. ten to twenty times per day except Sundays. I’d love for you to come check them out because I promise they’ll be here. really. every. day.) 😉

 

But do you know what really sickened me? As stupid and prideful and obnoxious and ridiculous as this sounds, I literally felt a loss of my identity.

 

When people ask me what I “do” each day, I usually respond that I’m a stay at home mom. And then let them know that I run a frugal living blog. More often than not they kind of laugh it off, but then when I mention I have 190,000 Facebook fans (ahem, 200,000 Facebook fans . . . CRAZY!), all of a sudden I feel like I’m a little more valuable.

 

A little more worthy.

 

A little more important. (Don’t you think?)

 

bleck.

 

So when all 200,000 of you were just gone, I kind of questioned my identity. All of a sudden I turned into just me. Plain old Laurie, not all that special, just a silly mom who likes to clip coupons and figure out how cheaply she can make dinner each night.

 

I realized then and there that I’ve put my value into something that’s so stinkin’ temporalSomething that can (and did) go away at any moment. And something that doesn’t show my real value at all.

 

yikes.

 

At that point I really didn’t know if all those Facebook fans even existed.  It wasn’t until Monday that the hacker chose to put the page back up and start posting his or her own images that I saw the page was still there. At first, I honestly felt there was no hope to get everyone back here.

 

Do you know what I’ve so easily done? I’ve put my value into a silly online place that doesn’t have show my value at all.

 

I’ve allowed who I am to be defined by this silly computer world rather than who I am in real life.

 

It’s kind of scary how quickly your identity can be pulled away.

 

Wanna know what’s scarier?  Our children are doing the same thing every single day.

 

I’ve watched my son post a picture in his Instagram feed and three hours later feel a little bit hurt because his Instagram friends didn’t notice him as much as they noticed  another kid.

 

I’ve watched a good friend’s daughter who’s off in college think they’re awesome because 1,000 people liked their super cute picture and all of a sudden they have value for the day.

 

And I’ve watched an even-older-super-smart-crazy-talented-23-year-old question why they don’t have as many followers on as some 11-year olds.

 

Yikes.

 

But what are my kids seeing in me?

 

I’m not awesome enough to ever have real value because of who I am. The only value I’ve ever had for even a moment comes from Whose I am. And allowing my children fall for the lie that the internet determines their value is a mistake.

 

And guess what? Letting myself fall for that same lie is a mistake too.

 

For me, the business side of this mess was real – it could have impacted how PPP was run, whether or not I continued, and how we were able to give to others. So I am beyond thankful that it was fixed. (And honestly, so thankful for this crazy-internet-thing of ours even when it does make me nuts.)

 

But the identity crisis thing really scares me. Deep down all I am is just a mom who loves to penny pinch, pray with her favorites, and come up with fun ways to craft and decorate things. If everything else was gone, that just-a-mom is probably the favorite mom my kids have.

 

I encourage you . . . if you find your value online sometimes as well to really consider where your value comes from too. And just as importantly to consider where your children find their value. (Gosh, that’s so hard to do!)

 


Our value is so much more than what this ole’ world tells us right now, and I’m telling you right now in case no one else does today that you are so precious and oh-so-valuable just the way you are.

 

Be encouraged that if this mom can find her value in the wrong place and you’ve felt the same way, you’re not alone. And thank heavens God’s infinite value rests in us (’cause really, most of us are just a mess, aren’t we?) 😉

 

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your lifeAnd why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you.” Matthew 6:25-30

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Sometimes You Have No Control

 

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UPDATE: I’m afraid to say this but I think I’ve got control of the FB page back! THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your kind words and support – I’m so thankful for each one of you!!!!!

 

Guys, it’s been a long yucky last few days.

This Facebook mess has not gotten a single bit better, and we didn’t get home this morning until 1AM from Alabama after having our car repaired (no charge, thank heavens!), then woke up at 5:40 to get everyone moving for school.

 

(Despite the craziness we absolutely loved seeing so many sweet friends in Madison while visiting ~ they’ve been our family in many ways the last ten years and we’re so thankful for them!)

 

Once the kids were off to school, I decided to spend 30 minutes handling the things I can control, because clearly some things are out of my reach.

 

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I tackled our disastrous bedroom after getting home so late last night.

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Then I cleared off the mess on our kitchen counters that from the middle-of-the-night-craziness,

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And tidied up the kitchen sink, put away the suitcases, and started a load of laundry. (Sorry, pics of the laundry not included.) 😉

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I even dumped my family’s favorite dinner in Mrs. Potts, and felt like I at least had a good handle on the things I could handle in the midst of this mess. 

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Then, this ridiculous puppy came in from outside (it started snowing while he was out), and was covered in mud  from head to toe.

 

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(Seriously, what are you going to do with that face?)

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So after a quick bath he sat down for a nap while I determined to tackle this Facebook mess on PPP.

 

I handled re-submitting emails to dozens of Facebook pages again this morning, and then sure enough the hacker who has control of the PPP Facebook page started sharing just awful links on PPP. (awful. really really awful. just make-me-want-to-vomit-can’t-believe-my-image-is-right-up-there-next-to-that-awful.) I’ve sent screenshots, emails, and timelines to every person I can find at Facebook, and so far have heard nothing back.

 

 

Do you know what occurred to me?

 

I have no control.

 

I can’t control Facebook. I can’t control my kids. I can’t control my dog, my husband, or anyone else at all.

 

I can only control me (and I’m feeling a wee bit out of control right now!)

 

Y’all, I’ve been typing at this computer for over five years now, and it’s only been in the last 1-2 years that my work here has been worth the hours I put into it. I’ve sacrificed time with my family, time with my friends, time to exercise, time to read and so much more because I felt like there was a purpose here.

 

And it has been blessed in ways I never imagined.

 

But right now it’s hard. And I don’t know if it’s worth it. And I’m tired.

 

My sweet friend Staci called me right as I was completely losing it and suggested I put away my computer and just walk away for an hour. I think I’m going to take her up on it, so if anything smutty comes up on the PPP Facebook page please know that it’s not from me. And I really am doing the best I can to get it fixed (a few folks mentioned that they were afraid I wasn’t doing anything on the PPP Facebook page, but I promise I’ve done all I know to do.) I can’t begin to tell you the hours of work that have gone in to growing a page to that size, and I was so excited about celebrating with lots of fun giveaways this week on hitting 200,000 fans finally, so this just sickens me.

 

 

But really, there are just seasons when things are out of our own control, and I know this is one of many for me. I cannot begin to tell you how much your support as well of those of several wonderful bloggers has meant to me. I am so humbled by the sympathy and generosity of complete strangers, and am just amazed that people would shower kindness on this mess of a momma.

 

Now I’m off to take a nap before my kids get home from school. 😉 If you’re going through an uncontrollable season too, I’m thinking you should find a way to take a nap too sometime today. I’m so reminded that His grace is sufficient for me, so I’m handing over some control  right now and hoping you’re able to do find a way to do that too.

 

 

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

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My Wingback Chair Story + Why Patience & Budgeting Is Worth It

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My $2 chair

 

It’s time to chat budgeting . . . anyone else with me? 

 

When my husband and I were first married, we bought the cutest little ranch fixer upper. It had a pretty basic floor plan – tiny living and dining room right off the tiny foyer as you walked through the front door.

 

It was a solid three years before we could afford to do anything with those little rooms (the owners before us chose a lovely neon turquoise carpet ~ seriously ~ who puts in neon turquoise carpet?) When we finally were ready to fluff up those rooms I had big dreams in my head.

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My mom gave us our piano, and I just knew that little living room would be perfect if I could just afford two wing back chairs to sit opposite the piano (flanking either side of a tall window ~ I wish I had pictures to show you!) I would move kitchen chairs into the living room to see how they would look. I’d sit in each corner waiting for a chair and just imagine they were already there. And I stayed up at night dreaming of the perfect wingback chairs.

 

I really wanted those chairs. 😉

 

It went so far that I actually believed that if I just had those chairs, my daily prayer time would become consistent. Because clearly with those chairs I’d have just the perfect spot to sit down with my Bible and Bible Study book in, so all my excuses would just fly right out the window.

 

It finally occurred to me that Jesus didn’t exactly need wingback chairs to make way for His own quiet time. 

 

~Ahem.~ 

 

(Y’all, I kid you not, these thoughts really did go through this 23 year old’s head . . . gracious I’ve always been a mess!) 😉

 

Sure enough, one day while walking through JCPenney I saw a Buy One Get One Free LaZBoy Wingback chair sale. 

 

I needed them. 

 

I convinced my husband they were perfect (what man doesn’t get excited when you say the word LaZBoy?), and was so stinkin’ excited to finish up the room I could hardly stand it. (These were them exactly ~ bleck!)

 

Because we couldn’t afford what I really wanted (I was dreaming of something more like these back then?), I settled for those chairs, and honestly hated them in every single room we moved them to. I finally sold those suckers on Craigslist two years ago for less than $100, and was so ready to see them go.

 

And guess what?

 

They didn’t magically make me spend more time in Bible Study.

 

They didn’t automatically fix all the other flaws in our home.

 

And they didn’t just up and make me perfectly happy.

 

Buying stuff never does.

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Fast forward fifteen years.

 

I’ve learned a lot about stuff. I’ve learned that waiting for what I really want instead of settling for second best is oh-so-worth it.

 

I’ve learned that Goodwill and thrift stores have awesome bargains, and if I decide eventually to throw away that $2 chair it won’t break my heart the way never being satisfied with those $399 chairs did. (They were $399 for both after the BOGO sale – just to clarify.) 😉

 

I’ve learned that contentment doesn’t come from stuff to begin with, and you can make just about anything beautiful with a little work and determination.

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The moral of the story? 

 

Don’t fool yourself into believing that if you have just that one thing your life will all of a sudden find peace. Because while you may fill that one spot, another ten spots will pop up just waiting for some attention. (Promise. I’ve been there.)

 

Instead, determine your budget, if you can afford to frugally fix things up have at it, but don’t stress over buying something right this second that you have no business buying. Choose to make whatever space you’re in beautiful by simply tidying it up, clearing off the counters, and slapping some fresh paint on a room if you need to. (Need inexpensive paint? Try the home improvement store clearance bins!)

 

If you’re just starting out, know that one day your budget really will change, and those things you’ve dreamed of forever might just come into reachAnd, odds are your taste will really change along the way, so be patient and do things for as little money as you can while you have time to figure out what you really love.

Determine today to stick to a budget in 2015, and wait patiently for the things you really want until you can afford them. It may take some time to get there, but I promise it’s so worth the wait!

 

 

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Slowing Down?

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You may have seen over on Facebook my oldest’s warning to me on Christmas Eve. 

 

Bleck. 

 

I’m so not ready for these crazy kids of mine to grow so fast, and while I am so enjoying them as they’re getting older, it’s bittersweet as I know I don’t have forever at home with this busy bunch.

 

While I love (love love love!) my work here on PPP, over the last year I’ve become more and more and more taken over by all the deals, and sometimes have spent as many as 12-14 hours working here to keep up with everything. 

 

It’s simply been too much!

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So, you may have noticed a bit of a slow down around here the last week, and things will stay slowed down at least until next week when my kiddos are back in school. And, because I’d love to just have a life again one of these days, I’m looking at ways to continue sharing the very best deals with you every day, as well as adding in just really fun stuff that doesn’t have to be kept up with every single hour of the day.

 

(Here’s the schedule I’m thinking about keeping starting next week in addition to regular deals ~ thoughts anyone?)

  • Monday – Menu Planning (including easy ways to get it all together)
  • Tuesday – Cleaning Idea
  • Wednesday – Recipe
  • Thursday – Budgeting
  • Friday – Friday Fluff Up

 

 

I realized over the last few months that I was spending hours looking for awesome deals, when sometimes there just weren’t any so-awesome-I-can’t-hardly-stand-not-to-tell-you-about-them deals to share with you. Some days I’d just sit searching and searching and searching, and end up with eyes glazed over and only mediocre bargains to share.

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So, we’ll see how it goes ~ I’m enjoying some extra time with my favorites ~ and know you all are always so gracious to understand for now. If you have little ones at home, your days probably feel plain old hard and long sometimes, but goodness, just like everyone else has told you, they are F.L.E.E.T.I.N.G.

 

Hang in there, know those babies won’t be babies for long, and snuggle them an extra time or two just for me. What a wonderful opportunity us mommas are given each day!

 

Photos courtesy of Megan Edwards Photography

 

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What Are You Making This Christmas?

Looking for more penny pinched recipes? Here you go

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Goodness, how I love baking. 

 

I mean really, I love baking.  Or cooking.  Or mixing. All of it.

 

If it were up to me I’d wake up bright and early every day and hang out in my kitchen all day long.

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And my pantry would magically always be filled with every ingredient I needed so I’d never need to run to the store.

 

And, I wouldn’t have to head to the gym before and after a baking session to make up for sneaking a bite. Or two. Ahem 😉

 

(I’m planning to go first thing in the morning. Promise.)

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Here’s a peek at our kitchen tonight . . .

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My husband and son made their second batch of Chex Mix this year ~ they doubled the worcestershire and cayenne pepper and it really was the best it’s ever been!

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Then I made some Christmas Crack (so good, but I almost completely made a mess because the goo in the middle started to bubble over in my oven – make sure to keep a larger pan underneath your baking sheet to be sure to catch any extra goo!)

 

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A quick batch of marshmallow fudge (y’all, this is the easiest fudge recipe you’ll ever make, and my youngest informed me tonight that I needed to teach her how to make it when she grew up herself.)

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Some Oreo Truffles – I’ve never made these before, but used this super handy Black & Decker Food Chopper that I’d bought this summer when it was on sale (it was just $10 then!) I love love love this little gadget and it made mixing these up a breeze!

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A few M&M Pretzel Bites – I forgot to get the Christmas colors and we used the red and green ones to give away to other people ~ so we’re stuck with the orange and blue ones for Christmas at our house! 😉

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And for breakfast tomorrow morning I went ahead and made our favorite Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls trying out Jen from Balancing Beauty & Bedlam’s fancy Christmas Tree idea. Mine aren’t nearly as pretty as hers, but I’m pretty sure my family won’t care! 😉 I’ll try to take a picture in the morning to let you see how they fluff up.

 

So, what are you baking for Christmas? Leave a comment to share (and a link to the recipe if you’d like!) I’d love to hear!

 If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

 

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