Penny Pinching Peach


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God Used Couponing to Answer My Prayers

TrustProv

You can get the link to print this at the bottom!

 

This week God used my couponing and bargain shopping skills to answer my prayers. I was literally down to my last pull-up for my 3 year old (and it was a princess one left over from my 6 year old’s potty training days) and a couple of days worth of diapers for the baby, squeezing my toothpaste tube for the last drops and about to start using my children’s, nearly out of shave gel and moving on to random substitutes, and still needed to get things like milk, bananas and such to feed my kiddos in the way they are accustomed. I was figuring on skipping the extra stuff I needed, since I can live without them, but getting everything we needed for the kids and to get the extra things we needed to cook within budget. (I’m a couponer and hubby is a hunter, so we could eat without shopping for awhile, but we needed the things we go through weekly.) Hubby makes enough money, but we have been carrying two mortgages & double electric, water, insurance for over six months now due to multiple closing delays and it is killing us. I said a prayer, put it out of my mind and went to bed trusting. That’s something that comes hard for me- to simply trust.

The morning came and I got online with my list and coupons handy. I looked up my local stores for deals on the things I really needed, browsed my coupon sites (like Swagbucks, my personal favorite place for printing coupons). I found bargains on most things we needed, with many store and manufacturer coupons I could stack.

I spent $26.94 for $104.90 worth of items at CVS, which is over 74% savings! I walked away with a bunch of things we truly needed- like three packs of Huggies diapers, a pack of pull-ups, wipes, toothpaste, shave gel, razors, canned veggies. I also scored plenty we could just enjoy, like three packs of gum, a candy bar, mentos, vitamin water, some mascara and lipstick. I also have $4 in Extra Care Bucks I can use later if something else comes up that we need, and I didn’t count that into my totals. They paid me a penny each for buying the makeup, 50 cents for buying the veggies and 99 cents for buying the packs of gum! I haven’t bought makeup for myself in a very long time, since I was unable to coupon for awhile due to bed rest and recovery. I could make do with my old makeup, but I am grateful for fresh supplies. I would share how y’all can do it, but I was only able to go shopping and verify the deals on the very last day they were available and that’s not really the point of this post.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Want to learn to shop effectively at CVS? This ebook Get Paid to Shop at CVS – Shopping Secrets Revealed is free with the Free Kindle Unlimited App!

From there I went to Winn Dixie with the goal of spending only $30 so I could qualify to get a $5 ham, and using coupons to keep it at that total, since I needed to keep it at that. I was able to get everything we needed, four packs of cream cheese & two bottles of McCormick vanilla extract for a steal to use for special treats (coupons and BOGOs), and keep the total after coupons at that $30!

If you are still reading along, bless you! I am sure you can probably appreciate the joy of a great deal when you have a very tight budget. If you can’t understand the joy of God allowing you to use your gifts and hard work to provide when it’s difficult and you’re struggling feeling helpless and anxious….well, I hope you can discover that feeling! It is both humbling and hope restoring all at once.

Moral of the story? It pays to talk to God about your needs and trust that He will provide. It also pays to use whatever skills, resources and abilities you have of your own to meet those needs. When you put His blessing together with doing your best with what you’ve already been given, amazing things can happen… even if it’s just getting everything you need with a few extras!

In the midst of the holiday shopping frenzy with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all of the high pressure advertising of specials being ran to tempt us, it can be difficult knowing that you have to pass up the bargains no matter how great they are. It can be tempting to spend money you don’t have for things you don’t need. I know I can’t do much shopping this year. I’m okay with that. I have a couple of things tucked away that I managed to get one way or another and know I can at minimum afford to go to the Dollar Tree to stuff my children’s Christmas stockings. If you’re stretched thin this year and feeling bad about it, just know that it’s okay. Adults can understand no presents. Children don’t need as much as most of us think to be happy. Take the focus off of gifts and you can make it joyful without much money!

This has been a year of change for my family. Change can be expensive, overwhelming and difficult. It can also bring about wonderful results. I’m sure a seed isn’t particularly happy about being thrown in a hole, buried under dirt and drowned by water day in and day out. After many days, when the sun shines down on the seedling now peeking through the soil, the seed can just begin to see that it was for the best that it went through that dark time. When that seedling becomes a full blown flower, it can rejoice in the miracle of that dark time turning into something so bright and beautiful! I’m hoping that is how things turn out for us! I feel like I’m in the barely peering through the dirt phase now.

Are you going through a rough time? Having trouble trusting God and calming your anxiety? You are not alone. He has not forgotten. You are not the only one who just can’t handle it all sometimes. It will be okay!

For more encouragement in this area, please read my post about struggling. You are not alone!

Please click if you want your free printable scripture verse!

http://thebrowntribe.net/2015/11/gratitude-throce-and-link-up/

 


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Who Thinks You Are Beautiful?

Being Mommy

Being Mommy

I haven’t felt beautiful in a very long time.

Four pregnancies, three births, multiple complications from those, grief, sickness, stress and the course of life has changed me. It has changed not only how I look, but how I feel about myself and the world around me. The past couple of weeks have been rough. First, I took a bad fall that left me with multiple minor injuries, including a sprained right wrist and jammed fingers. About a week later, I had a freak accident while helping my husband uncock his crossbow after hunting, causing my hand to swell up like a softball instantly. I came home from the ER with pain meds and a brace after three doctors inspected my x-rays and couldn’t find a break. They said I could still have a hidden fracture, and may need follow up x-rays if I don’t heal properly as the swelling fades. I’m currently typing this one handed, feeling far from beautiful.

My children think I am beautiful.

Today- as I was soothing my cranky teething baby girl- my oldest wanted to take my picture. When I asked why, her reply was startling- “Because you are so beautiful, Mommy!”. Since I was wearing the clothes I slept in, have green fingers peeking from an ungainly blue brace and barely combed my hair today, I was curious enough about what she was seeing that I couldn’t to tell her to go ahead. I didn’t feel like posing, so she got just what she saw…me being their mommy. I don’t see physical beauty at all in the photos she took, but when I look at it from her perspective, I see what she was looking at. My daughter saw me loving on her baby sister, and she thought it was beautiful and wanted a picture of her mommy doing what she does.

Sweet baby

Sweet baby

This was a powerful reminder of the truth in the old saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

The beauty of a person is often in how you look at her. My daughter didn’t see the tired face. lack of grooming and sloppy clothing I would have zoomed in on had I looked in the mirror. She saw love and nurturing. I see the toll life has taken. She only sees the person who gives her and her siblings love, security and care. When I look at my children, I don’t just see that they are physically adorable (which they obviously are….lol). I see my dreams come true, their giving spirits and all the love their little hearts are overflowing with. I see endless beauty.

Who thinks you are beautiful?

Mommies, I know you often feel ugly and you are hard on yourself. We all get that way now and then, especially when we are struggling like I was when I wrote the poem at that link. Maybe it would help if you saw a glimpse of yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you. It could be your daughter, husband, parents, sister, best friend or the kids you mentor. Who knows? No matter what you look like or how you feel about yourself, someone sees the beauty in you. They see who you are, and they think you- the real, unfiltered, everyday you– are truly beautiful. Let that touch your heart. Maybe it will help you look at the woman in the mirror in a gentler light.

Feeling lost in the demands and wonder of motherhood? Read my thoughts on being More Than a Mom!


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Struggling? You Are Not Alone.

Carrying my baby while I can

Carrying my baby while I can

I have been struggling. I’m struggling with handling life’s bigger problems- like finances and relationships. I’m struggling with my self image after birthing three children and having health issues. I’m struggling with my precious unruly children, teething fussy baby and a moderate dose of post partum depression. I will be okay, but this poem flowed out of all that and more. I felt that maybe someone would benefit from my transparency, although I was hesitant to share this.

♥♥♥

Baby teething, keeps on screaming,

Must have Mommy, and it’s seeming

Like she’ll never let me put her down

Or let me stop carrying her around…

But she will.

♥♥♥

Threenager yelling out so loud,

Waking baby and feeling proud.

Leaving destruction wherever he goes

Hard to imagine he’ll get better as he grows…

But he will.

♥♥♥

Six year old asking questions galore,

When I answer, she wants to know more,

Gives me attitude when she doesn’t understand,

Will she always question every command?

Probably will.

♥♥♥

My head is pounding from the chaos and noise,

My kids drive me crazy, but they’re also such joys.

They tire me out and the work’s never done

Will I miss their neediness as much as the fun?

I think I will.

♥♥♥

Some days I’m discouraged and wonder why

Do I continue to give them my best Mommy try?

Will it matter if I do my best to raise them right,

Or just let them run wild without giving a fight?

I know it will.

♥♥♥

Why am I sharing my struggles with you?

Because I’m not alone, and know this is true.

Most parents struggle and feel they’re not enough,

Does it help to admit I love my children, but it’s tough?

Maybe it will.

♥♥♥

Are you struggling today? What helps you when you are struggling? Two things that help me are writing and shifting my focus to others.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

This bracelet would be a wonderful reminder that God can bring you through anything If God Brings You To It, He Will Help You Through It Bracelet!

I wrote a series about kindness awhile back, if you are interested in some ideas on how to help others. Here’s one of the posts from that series: Share The Kindness.


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My Favorite Baby Name Sites and Books

Baby Girl

Baby Girl

When we were trying to come up with a name for our third child, I browsed a ton of baby name sites. I thought I’d share my favorites with y’all. They’re in no particular order, since there is something to love about all of them! 🙂

1. http://www.babynames.com/ I love that this site gives the meanings, similar names, popularity ranking and a ton of search options to choose from. It’s super easy to navigate, too, which is a huge plus when you’re suffering from pregnancy brain!

2. http://www.babynamewizard.com/ This site is awesome if you want particular sounds in your child’s name or want to avoid certain sounds you don’t like (i.e. wanting it to start with “Sh” and not to end with “lee” or whatever your little heart desires) or looking for a particular type of name (i.e. Biblical or Jewish or traditional or a variety of other types).

3. http://www.thinkbabynames.com/ One of the neatest features on this site is that you can actually search for names by meaning, which I find totally fascinating and unique. I don’t know about you, but it was extremely important to me that none of my children have negative meanings to their names.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

For my older children, I searched online a little, but I mostly went with the conventional baby books. Want to know a few I recommend?
Best Baby Name Book In The Whole WorldThis has a lot of different names, and helps you think of things that may inspire you in a direction for choosing your child’s name.

The Complete Book of Baby Names: The Most Names (100,001+), Most Unique Names, Most Idea-Generating Lists (600+) and the Most Help to Find the Perfect NameThis one is huuuuuuuge! You are sure to find something to tickle your fancy in a book with this many names!

The Complete Book of Baby Names: The Most Names (100,001+), Most Unique Names, Most Idea-Generating Lists (600+) and the Most Help to Find the Perfect NameThis book even has lists divided by type, so there are many options for ways to choose in here. I really like this!

What is most important to you in choosing a name for your little one?

For a creative announcement for a fall pregnancy or third baby, please look at my last pregnancy announcement here: Another Thanksgiving Blessing. It was featured on Parents.com! 🙂


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Fun ABC Activities

I was looking through my ABC activities to do them again and adapt them for my little ones this year, and decided to put them together with some other ABC themed fun projects shared with me from other bloggers. Y’all are going to love these! They are all oodles of fun on top of being educational, so how could you go wrong? 😉

ABC Fun, Find and Food

A is for Apple

A is for Apple

Alphabet Game

Alphabet Game

Alphabet Game From Mosswood Connections

Getting Artsy With D, E and F

Tracing

Tracing “D” With Pompoms

ABC Chalk Activity For Preschoolers

ABC Chalk Activity

ABC Chalk Activity From Practical Mommy

Letter Search

Sailing with Pirate C

Sailing with Pirate C

Learning to Write the Alphabet with Cotton Swab Painting

Cotton Swab Letter Painting

Cotton Swab Letter Painting From The Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide

Newspaper ABCs

Hunting and Clipping

Hunting and Clipping

Free Alphabet Printable Coloring Booklet

Free Alphabet Printable Booklet For Kids From Thrifty DIY Diva

Free Alphabet Printable Booklet For Kids From Thrifty DIY Diva

Phonics Hunt Game

Phonics Hunt

Phonics Hunt From Penny Pinching Peach

Which games and projects are you looking forward to doing with your kiddos? For some creatively frugal fun things to do with your munchkins, check out my roundup 10 Preschool Activities Using Household Items!


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Stress Cooking

Stress Cooking

Stress Cooking

Does anyone else stress cook???

Today has been an all out booger of a day.  I spent hours on the phone making frustrating phone calls to fun places like health insurance companies, doctors and human resources hither and yonder while my children ran around the house terrorizing because I couldn’t deal with them properly right then. My outdoor loving children somehow hate going outside once Mommy gets on an important phone call. They’d rather stand at my feet shouting things like “I’m hungry”, “I went potty” and “She took my toy ’cause I hit her with it”. This ended up in my three year old scattering crayons from one end of the living room through the kitchen and den, not to mention his toy trucks and legos. All sorts of other things have been going wrong and bumming me out, plus I am physically something of a wreck, but this is not meant to be a whine fest.

Chopping That Okra Into Submission

Chopping That Okra Into Submission

Any stress eaters out there?

I know we’ve all heard of stress eating. I do that some, too, but sometimes stress just triggers me into a massive cooking frenzy. I can whip my frustration in to batter, chop some veggies into submission, beat the snot out of some eggs, and bake the bad away while filling my home with a deliciousness. It’s something fairly mindless and soothing because I can control the outcome and see almost guaranteed pleasant results from my efforts. It makes also makes my family happy, even whiny little boogers who like to pester the living daylights out of their mommy when she just CAN’T. A great stress reliever for me is the simple act of cooking….ALOT!

If there are, you would love to join me at my house when I’m super duper agitated! You’ll certainly have plenty to chow down on! Today’s stress cooking fest resulted in the goodies in the photos. I threw my baby girl in our trusty Moby wrap and went to sweating out my frustrations over the stove. Dark chocolate coconut brownies to satisfy my stress induced craving for dark chocolate. Oven fried okra because I had a batch left needing cooked from okra our neighbor gave us, and can’t fry for real while the baby is on me. Two casseroles of ground deer, green beans, rice, tomatoes and other goodies- one for tonight and another for the day after tomorrow. Mexican cornbread to go with our crockpot ham and beans tomorrow. Plenty of food, y’all! 🙂

Stress Cook and Eating

Stress Cook and Eating

What do you do when you are stressed?

You know, I think my stress cooking not only is about working those frustrations out in a constructive way, but also ties into wanting comfort food, which for me is usually something homemade. Whatever it may be, my husband and children seem to enjoy this particular way I cope with frustration and aggravation! 🙂

What is comfort food for you?

Want to make one of my family favorite comfort foods, passed on for several generations? Try my recipe for Grandma’s Sunday Special Ritz Cracker Chicken!


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To Cook Or Not To Cook

Sitting Down on the Job

Sitting Down on the Job

This is an older post, but I was thinking about it the other day when I let my children have cake for breakfast. I was tired, the baby was fussy, and it smelled so good just sitting there. Don’t judge me!!! lol For more shameful confessions, keep reading…

Anyone who knows me well (or reads my blog 🙂 ) also knows that I genuinely enjoy cooking. I love baking goodies to share, decorating cupcakes with my daughter, whipping up delectable meals for my family to gobble up, and just all around fixing scrumptious vittles. What many of you don’t know is that there are times I just plain absolutely fall down on the job. I mean, I really go outside the realm of ordinary feeding of family and children. To call what I do during those times cooking would be…well….a disgrace to cooks everywhere.

Take tonight, for instance. The hubby is on duty at the fire station, and I was gone most of the day with the munchkins. To say that I didn’t want to be bothered with cooking tonight is an understatement. I could not, would not, did not even want to think about bothering with it. I wanted to exercise for a few minutes while noone big enough to know how goofy I look bouncing around like a loon was here to watch. (I’m very much sick of the extra pudge in the tummy and thighs that’s still lingering from having my little Pumpkin, after years of being on the active side of life.) Guess what we had? Microwave maruchen noodles with a handful each of shredded baby spinach and pre-julienned carrots thrown in to make me feel like it was still a healthy dinner. While it microwaved and cooled, I did some of my old exercises & stretches with Princess Peach for the 15 minutes I would’ve probably spent throwing a simple dinner together. Winner, winner, what a dinner! 😉

To delve even deeper into the dark secret slip-ups of a mommy who usually loves cooking and feeding her family heartily…brace yourself, people, ’cause this one is an even bigger doozie!

Sometimes- like, say, yesterday- when my daughter asks for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast… *whispering guiltily* I let her. I know! Mom of the year here! Don’t give me that look! I was in a hurry, okay??

As if I haven’t already revealed enough of my lovely days of throwing in the towel of attempting to be something resembling Mrs. Handy Homemaker, there are also times when I throw together a bunch of chopped fruit and yogurt, then act really excited about it, and the kids & I have a fruit salad lunch that my sweet daughter thinks is a fruit party for princesses. Hey, at least this one is a healthy cheat! You’ve gotta give a girl credit for that!

So, now that you know some of my less-than-stellar moments of cookery, what are some of the things you do (or don’t do) on those days you are just too busy, too lazy or just not in the mood to have to fix something for your family? Don’t leave me hanging here! I ‘fessed up. Now it’s your turn! 😉 Oh, and if you want to try the cake I fed my kids for breakfast the other day, here you go… Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Glaze Cake