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Friday, December 31, 2010


I have been slacking off in posting lately, and have instead have been doing a lot of reading.  Mostly reading other blogs, my favorite topics being couponing and decor (thrifty decor to be more specific).  The family and I have been hanging out at home, playing with new toys, sleeping in and enjoying each other.  In this down time of sorts I have been reflecting, both on the past year and the one that lays before us.  I love a new year or even a new month, it's a fresh start, sure any day can be a fresh start, but I think you know what I mean.

2011 is truly a year of  new things for our family.  The hubs has been laid off, and is looking for new employment, I am looking to change up my business (more on that later), this year our middle son will be starting school and our oldest will start middle school.  With all these big changes, I find myself wanting to hold on to every moment, the boys are growing up so fast our 'baby' is 3!) and time seems to fly by. 

The buzz word for so many New Year resolutions this year seems to be 'Simplify'.  Hubs and I both want to do a lot of that in our lives this year, not just to clear the clutter, but to focus in on really living the lives we want, doing what we are passionate about.  For me, and this blog, it will be a journey, I will not have it all figured out on January 1st.  I enjoy so many different things, and want to share it all, but I know I need more focus.  So hang in there with me, it might be a bit rough at 1st but, I have great things to come. 

Stay tuned, as later I will write about what I am planning to share with you in the new year, be it how to save money, make a new craft, or the humor of parenthood.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Buying in Bulk doesn't always equal big savings

We went to Costco for the 1st time in over 3 months last night, and boy was it an eye opener.  In the past, our family of 5 would go to Costco at least once a month, and routinely spend between $300 and $400.  When we went last night, I had planned on buying meat, lasagna, butter, and a few other items.  However, in looking at the price per pound, or oz, I quickly noticed I could spend less on the same item at the grocery store with a coupon.  So we left, with only a few things. 

So the lesson of this little story, is don't assume you are getting a great deal when you buy in bulk at warehouse stores, you can probably save more if you shop sales and use coupons at your regular grocery store.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Sharing the Free Love

I love the high that comes from doing a good deed. The joy in helping someone if truly a gift in it's self.

While at Albertsons today, doing a quick run to get a few things we were out of, I ran across pasta marked down in a cart in the middle of the freezer aisle. There was 1 cart full of Barilla Plus pasta, marked down to $1, and another cart with Rozoni pasta marked down to 50 cents. I quick look into my trusty coupon binder and I found I had the perfect coupons, and a lot of them.

I used
75 cents/1 for the Barilla x2
buy one get one free for the Barilla x2
so I got 4 boxes of Barilla for 50 cents!

for the Razoni (marked down to 50 cents each)
 I used
Blinkie coupons I had for $1/2 and a twice the Value coupon
so I got 4 boxes of Razoni for FREE!!

Now I could have cleared out the cart of the Razoni, because I had a bunch of coupons.   But instead, I looked around me, and offered them to the people around me.  One lady, who was 70 years old, couldn't believe I was giving her this 'gift'.  She was in awe that an item at the store would be allowed to be free, and that she would be allowed to use these coupons on the sale priced pasta.  I ended up giving her a quick lesson, and she was so grateful and eager to learn more that she mentioned she wanted my phone number.  She doesn't use a computer.  I was happy to help, especially in this season of giving when I don't have alot of $$ to give.  It got me thinking, there are probably tons of  people, especially older people, that don't use computers but need to save money.  So I will be looking into setting up some classes (free of course)- right now I am thinking of contacting local churches, to see if there is an interest and/or need.  If you are local and know of a group that you like to learn more about saving money at the grocery store- let me know.  I am not super expert, but I know how to save alot.

Take care, and do a good deed today, it will pay you back 10 fold with joyous feelings!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Goal and a Giveaway

One of the many , many reasons I LOVE supporting small business, is knowing that it directly impacts people (the owners and employees if any) right now.  And because I also believe in giving back..  I bring you-

A Goal and a Giveaway from Mama 

The Goal:  Mama Monkey needs to make $64 a day for the next 7 days (or a total of $450)
The Giveaway:  If the goal is met, Mama will give 1 winner $64 cash! 

the details:  
the Giveaway/ Goal will run from 12/7 to 12/14
if the goal is met, a random winner will be announced on 12/15
the prize of $64 will be awarded via Paypal 

How to Enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post
2. Become a follower of this blog and a leave a comment here that you have done so
3. become a fan of Mama Monkey on facebook and leave a comment here that you have done so (or already are)
4. Make a purchase from Mama Monkey here, here or here, and leave a comment here that you did.
5.  mention this giveaway on your blog and leave a link to your post on the comments here.
6. Post about this giveaway on Facebook, with a link to this post, and let us know you did in the comments here.

So you can enter up to 6 times!  (no purchase necessary to win)


Monday, December 6, 2010

Safeway Run 12/6/10

I have been slacking of in the grocery shopping department for a couple of weeks (I had to take a break after November's many trips to the store). So, needless to say, with 4 males in my house, there were gaping holes in my pantry stock.  I searched all my favorite blogs for coupon match ups, but didn't find the normal wealth of knowledge.  Seems everyone is either taking a break, or focusing more on gift deals than food ones.  This mama had to d all her own leg work, and I think I did a pretty good job.  Look below and guess how much this all cost me.  There are 87 items in the pic (I forgot to take a picture of the party sized lasagna).  bringing my total items purchased to 88.  

Drum roll please......
Total out of pocket = $118.79
Amount saved = $109.23
Recieved a total of $13 in catalinas (good on my next shopping trip)
AND 1 free movie ticket ($12 value)
all said, we brought home  $228.02 worth of food for $105.79 and after I go back for more cereal (which triggered the free movie ticket) Hubby and I will be going on a free date to the movies!! (the last one we saw in the theater was Avatar)

So what I would like to know, is do you like hearing about these deals?  And would you like me to do deal/ coupon match ups in the future so you can save big too?  Let me know in the comments, and mention your favorite grocery store too.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Mantel 2010

I was up waaaay too late last night looking thru all the beautiful mantels over on Layla's Mantel Party, that I woke up this morning with the resolve that I would finish mine and share it with you.  So without further ado, I will let the pictures do the talking (with my over explaining comments of course).
Here it is in all it's Blue, white and silver glory.  Complete with a coffee filter wreath and three.  And if you are wondering why it looks like I have a giant present behind my wreath, I'll let you in on a little secret... it's a huge piece of cardboard that I wrapped in paper, to fill the 'tv niche' that is the bane of my decorating attempts.  Anyone else have one of these (made for an older tube tv) and can tell me what they did to 'fix' it?
A closer (un photo shopped) picture will show you the other thorne in my side, the cable running from the back of the niche to where the tv really sits, to the left of this picture.

Back to the lovely mantel...  I filled my dollar store hurricanes with blue ornaments that i bought at Walmart last year. The rock candy garland came lit.  It is from Nordstrom, I used it my wedding decorations, almost 7 years ago.  Which brings me to another tangent- getting married in the winter is the smartest ever! I bought after Christmas clearance decorations, and had a snowflake themed wedding, and I get to use my wedding decorations year after year!  LOVE it!
 I bought the mercury glass hurricane this year at Fred Meyer ($7) you can't see in the picture, but it has snowflakes etched on it.  I am so sappy for snowflakes. 
And finally a little shot of the coffee filter tree I made today.  It's a little odd shaped I know, but aren't we all? I used a triangular shaped box from the post office I found in my garage for the base, just cut the top into points and taped together, then went to town hot gluing the filters on.  And I didn't burn myself this time! 

This is my 1st year doing this color scheme, but I did it with mostly items I had- How about you, do you change your color scheme from year to year?