The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

A couponer chuckles about this year’s gift exchange September 15, 2009

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Every year now for almost ten years, our group of friends has a Christmas gift exchange. Traditionally the spending limit has been around twenty dollars, and it’s not unusual for hubby and I to complemplate this year’s gift choices months in advance.

In that spirit, just now I got a chuckle thinking about what kind of gift package I could put together for a twenty dollars out-of-pocket limit. How about forty boxes of cereal? Or forty boxes of granola bars? Sixty boxes of brand-name baby wipes?

Over the last several months I have begun using coupons, sales, etc., to stockpile household necessities for rock-bottom prices (sometimes, free). Never did I imagine I would want forty boxes of cereal in my basement… but then again, I never realized I could get good, healthy, yummy, brand-name cereal for 50 cents per box (give or take). Or “fancy” Secret deodorant for 29 cents each….or men’s shampoo or body wash (brand-name) for 50 cents each or even free.

Often I run into people who are amazed at the deals that I get, but these same people are resistant to the idea of stockpiling. Now, I’m not saying that someone new to couponing needs to run out and buy forty boxes of cereal ASAP. But for me at least, if I am going to put the time and effort into deal-shopping, I want to be able to buy five or ten of a given item when I find a screamin’ deal, not just ONE item.

 It does take a bit of effort to find a good way to store the extras, but to me it is well worth it. Not one dime will come out of our household budget for peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, razors, bodywash, baby wash, baby wipes, flushable wipes, or toothbrushes… or even, perhaps, for a gift exchange gift …. for many months to come.


It’s all about the sleep January 21, 2009

Yesterday was pretty miserable around here with regard to naps. Adam (3 1/2 yrs) did not take a nap for some reason. I was surprised, because for the past week or so he has fallen asleep shortly after I’ve put him down around 1:00 p.m. Either he has paid off his sleep debt, or he was determined not to nap, or both.

The real problem was with Mark. His rhythm got disrupted in the morning, due to taking Adam to and from preschool. For the entire day, post-preschool, I kept thinking I was doing the right things at the right times…. only to find that we had one failed nap attempt after another. By 7 p.m. I just didn’t know if I could handle, mentally or physically, yet another trip up and down the stairs (Mark’s room is on the second floor).

Fortunately, my dearest, dearest husband let me escape from the house at that point. I went to Walgreen’s and got some great deals, with the help of coupon & sale info over at It was only my second real coupon outing, and I was wondering what the checkout guy would think of my cart full (okay, not exactly FULL) of microwave popcorn and my stack of coupons. He didn’t seem to mind, though.

I am pretty worn out today, which confirms that I need to move my bedtime to more like 9 p.m. instead of 10:30 p.m. I recently dropped one pump from my 6x/day routine, but I still pump in the middle of the night because it’s so important for my milk supply. It takes about 30 minutes to pump and, realistically, about that long to fall asleep afterwards. No wonder I’m tired!