Ok, I know! This blog is turning into an ode to coupons. Roll your eyes if you want. Someday I’m sure I’ll have something more “important” to discuss.

Like the fact that I am finding a home for one of my dogs. The short story is that as a true and real Husky, he has not adapted to living in an apartment and I was never really the right kind of owner for him in the first place. He is starting “sleepaway camp” next week and will stay at “camp” during my workweek until he gets adopted. Which for his sake, will hopefully be soon. As a result, I will be working an extra 2 shifts/month to pay for camp. *sigh*

Guess it’s a good thing that I am saving money with couponing! Hah, how’s that for a sedgeway? I just had an AWESOME shop at Rite Aid and at Albertson’s that I want to share with you (I know I know you’ve heard that before). At Rite Aid I think I ended up actually making a few dollars and at Albertson’s I spent only a few dollars and got TONS of free items. It was almost as exciting as the before Xmas doublers extravaganza. I always think I have gotten used to the coupon deals and then another amazing and different deal comes along.  Starting this year, I have resolved to be back on South Beach diet so I am focusing my couponing and shopping on those healthy foods unless it is basically free items to donate.

So here is my official list of How Couponing Has Changed My Life:

  •  I never have to worry about food, I have everything I want at any time because I stockpile
  • If I have any loss of income, I don’t have to worry about food or toiletries for 3-6+months
  • I am able to donate food to my co-workers, my friends, and local shelters/food banks
  • I am saving HUGE amounts of money!
  • I am interacting with a huge community of positive people
  • I really and truly ENJOY the coupon game! 🙂 It is the best combination of saving money while getting to do lots of shopping in a treasure hunt-type format.
  • I love amazing people with the stories of exciting shops

I currently have a stockpile of 3-6months of nonperishable foods and 6-12 months of toiletry items. This stockpile in the event of a total income loss would allow my current general emergency fund to extend from 2months to 3-4months. I regularly bring bags of food into work for a few coworkers to go through, bring food into work to put in the cupboards for everyone, have my friend over to the “store of melissa”, and then whatever is left I take to the food back/church toiletry drives. 10 boxes of fruit snacks at $0.09 each have made my coworkers VERY happy! I haven’t officially calculated my grocery savings, but I know it is only 1/3 to 1/2 of what I was spending, if that!

I have a tendency to jump into things and not sustain my interest. But couponing is so self-affirming and has such instant gratification that I do not see my interest waning anytime soon! And since I enjoy the whole process, I think I’ll just keep on going with this great new hobby. I hope you start too! You might be surprised at how little effort can be involved to make such a difference.

See these sites for great info and help:
www.forthemommas.com
www.thekrazycouponlady.com

Happy Couponing!
~Lissa

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Yeah so I suck at blogging. I have been busy umm…… doing my VECCS application? Working? Holiday-ing?

I however do not suck at couponing. I have kept it up, but not done much in the last couple weeks since the pre-Christmas extravaganza sales. I picked up a bunch of stuff at 50-75% off clearance Xmas at RiteAid, including a set of TV tables for $10! YAYAYAY! I saw those in the Christmas section back in December and held out hoping that they would be part of the clearance sales. My patience was rewarded. 😀

Well, my munching and binge-eating that had been exacerbated by my heavy drinking and complete lack of exercise has come to an end. I decided to stop all of that stuff come the New Year, but I wasn’t sure how I’d go about it. I ended up making the choice to go back to the South Beach diet. I did it last summer and it went pretty well. I was a bit of a cheater, especially with alcohol, so I wanted to do better this time. The exercise is harder since it is January and freezing cold/rainy out and I don’t want to go outside to do walks. Instead, I am going to focus on the exercises from the book and do intervals in the halls/stairwells of the apartment complex. I also want to try and go ice skating once a week and get back in square dancing one or twice a month (maybe more, who knows!).

The funny thing is, I haven’t had ANY trouble doing Phase one this time. In Phase one you cut out all starches, sugar, alcohol, and fruit. The purpose is to regulate your blood glucose and eliminate cravings. I remember from last time that I was AMAZED when it worked! However, last time I only made it one week before I started transitioning to Phase two. Part of that was that it was summer and there was such awesome fruit around, part of it was that my birthday fell at the end of week one and I splurged with Olive garden gluttony and didn’t want to go back to the strictness of Phase one, and part of it was that i had a really hard time with finding enough acceptable food choices and getting enough veggies in. I did ok, but only lasted 6 weeks on phase two (with plenty of phase 3 (and more) cheats before I pretty much gave up shortly after the 4th of July. I haven’t reverted to eating HORRIBLY, but I stopped trying as much to eat WW pasta/rice, starting eating more processed snack crackers/chips, ate lots less veggies, much bigger portions, and got REALLY bad with drinking. And oh yeah….there was Christmas. And cookies and fudge. OMG sooooo yummy.

I knew for at least the last couple weeks of December that I was going to get back on track come the new year. So I ate whatever I wanted and savored it. By the time Jan 3rd rolled around, I didn’t even want to drink any of the rum I have left, or eat another cookie/candy. So that was helpful!

For some reason, i am having a much easier time staying on track this time around and finding tasty meals and eating all my veggies and other stuff appropriately. Maybe because I already looked into all this last time? Maybe I’m growing as a person….ha ha.

I don’t want to chronicle all of my dieting exploits here, as I am putting them into my diet journal at http://www.southbeach-diet-plan.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=99628 and double blogging is DEFINITELY way too much work! If you’d like to follow my progress and daily meal reports, check in there. 🙂 I’d be happy to hear from you!  Please note, I am NOT doing this as a diet. Do I have weight to lose? I have fat to lose, but that will come with exercise, not weight loss dieting. My weight has been right about 115lbs for several years now. It crept up and hovered for some time to 120 last summer which is why I went on SB then. I essentially lost an average of 5lbs and have stayed at 115 since then, which I think is my “normal” so I am happy with my results from the summer.

I would love to be a size 5 jeans again, but that is all about my butt/thighs, which need cardio and strength training to slim down! I expect that whatever fat weight I lose would be made up in gained muscle weight, which would be fine by me. When I say “diet” in reference to SB, I mean that in a what I eat way of living diet, not a weight loss diet. I want to have more energy, more endurance, more strength, more flexibility, and less binge-i-ness!

So here’s to 2011! I know resolutions can be super-optimistic and shortlived, most of mine for 2010 were. Here’s the run-down for 2011:

1. Stick to SB diet, Phase 2 for at least 3 months, then if ok, Phase 3 indefinitely
2. Outside of SB, new drinking rules: no drinking between work shifts during workweek, only drinking when in a good mood, no more than 2 glasses of wine or one mixed drink when home alone, ok to drink more if with friends
3. Exercise! Stick with it! SB exercises EOD-q3days, yoga 2x weekly, walking/intervals EOD-q3days, ice-skating 2-4x monthly, dancing 1-2x monthly.
4. Get Pets At Home up and running. While income is majorly variable depending on level of busyness/employee numbers, aim for my income to be minimum $500/mo ($700-$3400 gross income depending on if I’m taking the jobs vs. employees)(35hr/mo-170hr/mo)
5. Get accepted to take VECCS exam (March), study daily SOMETHING, take test at VECCS (Sept), pass and get VTS (ECC) in November!
6. Date!

Well I think that is enough noble and valiant goals for one month. I’ll check in next year to give you the full rundown on how it went. And of course, you’ll here tidbits about them all here and there in the weeks to come!

Maybe next time I’ll give you a coupon post…..do you feel lucky? I have big plans for Rite Aid this weekend……

Take Care,
Lissa