Practical applications

April 28, 2011

So this morning I started to get that awful tingly feeling that signals the start of a cold sore. Yuck!! Not too much of a surprise considering the stress of the last couple of weeks…..a long hellish 5 busy days of work with a relief coworker followed by 3 LONG days of attempting to help Ash with packing for her move to California (boo!!!) It was exhausting mentally and physically with little sleep, bad eating, more drinking than normal, not getting anything done for myself, and tons of stress. So no shock that it all manifests as a cold sore! But lousy timing as I have a BUNCH of stuff to work on and get caught up on this next week.

So I was going to bed and then thought, NO I must get some Abreva on this. Found an old tube that had lost its cap and was completely dried out. Didn’t have one in the stockpile that I thought I did. Considered my options and decided that even though it was a pain to go to the store now and I just wanted to go to sleep, it would be a much bigger pain to wake up tonight with a huge blister on my face.

So I did what any self-respecting couponer would do:

1. I went to and searched the coupon database for Abreva. Bingo! 2 coupons, and they could stack! One from an RP insert, on for a the new May rite aid video values.
2. I searched my inserts, yes!! 6 copies of that one, and good til 9/15/11. Good thing! Clipped one $3/1 coupon
3. Went to and after signing on, watched the Abreva video to receive a $3/1 coupon. while there also watched a Rite Aid RX video to get a $1/1 any purchase coupon.
4. Looked through my riteaid receipts and discovered I had 2 $3 off $15 purchase survey coupons from last week. Went to and took the surveys and printed off (2) $3/15 purchase coupons.
5. Looked at what UPs I had from previous weeks. I had (2) $5, (1) $10 and (1) $1. Hmmmm……
6. I also have a 10% discount on non-sale items with my RA Wellness account and Abreva is not on sale this week.

So in order to maximize my savings and out of pocket costs, I quickly put together this short trip. Mind you,  I haven’t put together my “official” Rite Aid shopping list for this week, this was just an insta-trip to get Abreva.

(1) Abreva – $17.99
-10% discount $1.80
-$3/1 insert coupon
-$3/1 VV coupon
-$3/$15 survey coupon
-$1/1 Rx VV coupon
= $6.19

(3) Haribo gummi raspberries – $1 each
-(3) 0.30/1 printables
= $2.10

+ $1.88 in 50% Easter candy

For a grand total of: $10.17 before tax + 1.54 tax on Abreva
I used my $10 UPs
To end up paying: $1.71 for an Abreva, 3 gummies, a bag of robin’s eggs, and 2 reeses eggs

Not too bad! And this is how you take 5 minutes and make couponing work for you, even in spur of the moment situations!!!

Now let’s all cross our fingers that this early intervention banishes this cold sore just as quickly 🙂


What a week!

April 20, 2011

I know I haven’t put up a coupon post in awhile. But take heart! I HAVE been couponing! Obnoxiously. Constantly. Obsessive-compulsively. But with all the time I am putting IN to couponing, it’s just been too much effort to post about it. I am happy to get the deals, but I don’t feel the need to document them with photos and brags on here. And let’s face it, the rest of my life has been very busy and not going to get any better for the next 4 months or so!

Quick run-down:
~I found a home for Tristan. Phew! I am soo much happier now, and I really think (and hope) that he is too! My life is much calmer with just Emmy and the cats. It’s a huge stress relief.
~I am putting together a study group to study for my VECCS exam which is one the 2nd week of September. This is going to be HUGELY helpful but obviously a lot of work (and studying, haha)
~Ashley & Dave are moving to California in a week. I have just next Sun-Wed to spend time with them. This is a huge bummer.
~Because of the above, I have to take Ashley off of Pets At Home. I meet with a business lawyer on Monday to draw up the paperwork to have her sign over her interest in the business. Then I get to file change of ownership paperwork…..
~I have a lot of work to do with the business to get things all rearranged and finalized and settled so that in September (after my VECCS exam) I can start really doing promotion.

Ok, back to couponing. Just had a breakthrough!! I’ve been combing the recycle bin at the apartment complex for newspaper inserts to varying success and annoyance. Finally a couple months ago I started buying 5 copies of the paper from the Dollar Tree (cost $1 each) which netted my the P&G and SS inserts. But that paper didn’t carry the RP inserts. I would get one with my grocery flyers and was still halfheartedly checking the recycle bin. But I was definitely losing out on a bunch of deals. However, I just discovered that the Everett Herald has all 3 inserts in it so I called them about subscriptions. They have a special couponers deal of one 7-day subscription with 5 Sunday papers for just $99/6mo. Which ends up being $16.50/mo!! Considering that I was spending $20/mo for the other paper and missing out on the RP, this is a HUGE deal! And delivered right to my house, no muss no fuss. Love it!

Blabbity blabbity. Anyways! Down to the meat of it. No pics as really its just too much a pain in the ass to arrange that and whatnot. Instead here’s my shopping list for the week, I REALLY scored!

Rite Aid
(4) Nivea body wash – 3.99ea
(2) Splenda w/ fiber 80ct. – $2.65ea
(2) Glade scented oil candle refills – $2.50ea
(2) Glade scented candles – $2.50ea
(1) Febreze noticeables warmer – $2.49
(2) Lysol disinfecting wipes – $2.50ea
(1) Windex multi-surface cleaner – $2.50
(1) Windex glass cleaner – $2.50
(1) Pledge multisurface furniture cleaner – $2.99
(1) Spot Shot carpet cleaner – $2.50
(2) Arm & hammer baking soda – $0.59ea
Grand total paid (after UPR): $1.52
$2.50 MIR pending for Febreze so will total: 0.98 moneymaker!!
(how awesome is that!! best part is, this is ALL stuff I will use and that I am not fully stocked on!)

ok, this was a bit more annoying as they were out of some of the stuff. But here’s what the run-down is so far. I’m going to try going to a different store and doing my original plan all over again as I have enough coupons to do so!

(3) Scotch tape – 1.99ea
(3) Jell-O – $.50ea
(2) dozen eggs – 1.29ea
Total paid: $3.17 + got 2 free redbox codes! so really like it was $0.97!
(My original plan calls for 3 separate transactions:
#1 (3) Splenda w/ Fiber (0.97OOP)
#2 (4) Taster’s Choice + (2) Starburst Jelly Beans (free)
#3 (3) Scotch tape, (2) dozen eggs, (3) jello, $1 in filler (0.19)
for a total OOP of: $1.16! + 2 redbox codes! )

(3) baby carrots – $1ea
(4) mangos – $0.50ea
(3) bags baby spinach – $0.50ea
(1.5lb) broccoli crowns – $1/lb
Total: $8

Top Foods
(2) bags iceberg lettuce – 0.17ea
(1) 5lb bag russet potatoes – 0.69ea
(2.5lb) Fuji apples – 0.59/lb
Total: $2.50

had doublers going on…and what a week…..

(6) Jell-O Temptations, 3pk – $1.99ea
(4) Stove Top Stuffing – 0.99ea
(1) McCormick GrillMates Spices – $1
(1) Bisquick baking mix – $1.50
(4) American Beauty Pasta – $1ea
(8) Healthy Choice Soup – $1.34ea
(4) Classico Pasta Sauce – $2ea
(1) Gallon Milk – free catalina
Grand total paid: $3.18

So for ALL of the above items, a very good week’s haul, I paid a total of:

How do you like that?!?!?!

“I feel as though I’m never going to see you again.”

You laughed, and tossed your hair back as you smiled at me. “Of course you will! We’ll see each other in a couple of weeks, a month at most.”

Logically I knew this was true, I mean, we already had it all planned out. I’d come back up in a couple of weeks, a pattern we’d repeat throughout the summer. But all the same, something inside of me wrenched as I tore myself away and got in my car. It was a four hour drive back home. I was about three hours in before I no longer had to forcibly stop myself from turning around and driving straight back to you.

I never saw you again.

I don’t ignore those kinds of feelings anymore. I never drove back up, you never came back down. The invisible, impenetrable wall separates us. I still look for you in every crowd I see, search for your face in every stranger’s I meet. But never, ever do I find you.

It’s ten years later. I have a life, well-rounded, busy, fulfilling. A job I love, a home of my own that I’ve spent the years filling with trinkets and memories and pets. I have a small circle of close friends, and a larger circle of others. I’ve had plenty of relationships, some more serious than others, I almost got married once. But it’s not complete, it can’t be….because I’m still looking for you. Walking down a street, I still stop in my tracks when I catch a glimpse of silken brown hair done up in just that way with a head held in just such a position. Still, I turn, trying to see the face, see if it matches up with yours. Still, I feel the small catch of disappointment within my chest when it does not.

It’s not rational, it simply is. So many years have passed by and I have come to the realization that I may live for the rest of my life looking for you. I will be happy, I will work and play and love….but I will not be whole. Because you have a piece of my soul that I left behind when I drove away from you that late spring morning.

And just as you are, it is lost forever to me.


I wrote this letter to M on March 9, 2004. Nearly 3 years after the day that will remain forever imprinted upon my mind, the day my world changed forever, the best day of my life thus far. And this was written 7 years ago. How can it be that despite the time, the distance, the changes,  and the healing since that time, that it still rings so perfectly true, 7 years later?

This spring has weighed upon my mind. Somehow through this month my mind has made special note of particular anniversaries, much more so than in other years past. April 1st I remembered that it was 10 years since I left Nebraska. April 5th I recalled in amazement that it was 10 years exactly since I arrived in Washington, a state I love so dearly and devotedly now. And this morning I was looking at the timeclock at work and noted with a quiet jolt that it was April 14th. The day that I first met M. The day that remains in my memory with sharp, hyper-real edges and black & white precision with hints of tones and breaths of sensation. A day that seems too well remembered and too heartbreakingly bittersweet to possibly be real, and yet cannot be anything but that of the deepest truth. A day whose simple sweetness and newness and even awkwardness and wonder would remain forever within my heart, despite the shattering of my illusions. A day too pure to be anything but honest inside of itself.

A day where love and hope and friendship and passion and discovery reigned above all else.

And just as these long-ago words attest, it was both the start of something beautiful and the beginning of the end of everything I thought I knew. It was a day when I was the truest to myself, and a day where I began to grow up. I just had no idea where and through what that journey would take me.

I’ve grown up now. I know myself better. I can see the unlikelihood of that relationship’s survival, the impracticalities and impossiblities and naivety. And while it has been a long long journey to a place of peace with myself and it’s ending, I am there. I will always feel the presence and comfort of my friendship with M, no matter how long it has been since I’ve spoken to her. She is a part of me, she has a part of me. One that is young, idealistic, honest, loyal, content, and so full of love that it is simply not possible for her to not feel it shimmering beside her. Just like I can feel her shimmering beside me.

I love you, M. From 2001 until eternity you are loved. 10 years and counting….
Take Care