Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eagle Eyes

Susanna had fun making Eagle Eyes tonight. They are a wonderful candy treat. My aunt first made them for my family on a long-ago visit. You lay out the square "waffle" pretzels, put one Hershey kiss on them, and place them carefully in a 375-degree oven for a minute or so. Remove them and immediately push one M & M candy in the center, then let them cool. Yummy!

We were laughing insanely at this picture. To us it looked like instead of someone propping their eyes open with the proverbial toothpicks, they used pretzels.

We made these once with Hershey hugs, which were swirled milk and white chocolate. Those we dubbed "Zebra Eyeballs". We never had a name for these, but we put our heads together tonight and came up with Eagle Eyes. Now you can enjoy them, too.

Happy new year!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Basting...It's a Quilt, Not a Turkey

To give you an idea of how long it's been since I basted a quilt for hand quilting, when I hear basting I think of a turkey, not a quilt. I was thinking ahead to a trip my family is making to PA in January. Not being one to waste time, I was wondering what I could work on in the van on the 10-12 hours on the way up there. I haven't been able to successfully hand quilt in the van or car because they don't ride smooth enough (and space is at a premium with 10 of us in there).

I am over halfway finished ripping out the machine quilting and replacing it with hand quilting on this quilt. I am so happy that I dove in and started that process. It has gone very quickly. I know I'll be pleased with it when it's finished. The further ripping out will continue on our road trip. That meant I needed another hand quilting project for NOW.

In the meantime, I have rediscovered the love of hand quilting (at the beginning of this year I hand quilted this piece of history). So I decided to pull out my oldest quilt top and hand quilt it. I never machine quilted it because I thought the machine quilting would distract from the piecing, which is so interesting. I will only show a small piece at a time of the quilt, just to keep your interest. Some of you might recognize the pattern. I'll tell you this much--it's a row quilt. Two of my friends and I each made one. We all made triplicate of 2 rows and swapped them so we all had all 6 of them. I can't remember what year we made it. It was at least 3 years ago, maybe much longer. I'm going to email the other ladies to see if either of them remember. We picked one cream to use for background and the rows inbetween the pieced rows. We also used only Thimbleberries fabric so they would all coordinate. What a fun way to make a quilt with a zillion different pieces in it! This is the second one we made together.

So the picture of the day is my milliner's needle (which is about 8" long), my really bright yellow thread I baste all my quilts with, and a small portion of the quilt. I have picked out a stencil for the cream "stripes" between the rows, so I am all set to start.

My headache finally went away yesterday. Thank you to those who prayed on my behalf. I was so relieved that I slept for 3 hours!!

We had a great time fellowshipping with some friends tonight and got to meet their oldest son (who is here visiting for Christmas--he's 30). Their youngest son turned 18 today, so we had them over for a little birthday get-together. They taught us a new word game, and we loved it.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Most Thoughtful Daughter Ever!!

Look what my thoughtful, sweet, forward-thinking, lovely daughter, Elisabeth, got me for Christmas. The picture is terrible, and it needs cleaning (very dusty), but this wonderful gift is the base of an antique treadle Singer sewing machine. The table top made for it is way too modern. My DH suggested cutting off the legs of the antique table that had been sitting there and putting it on instead. Great idea (I think it was my idea, but he agreed to do know, my inspiration and his perspiration).

Hope you all have a great holiday. I've had an industrious-sized headache for 5 days now. Make it go away! I am off to bed early.


PS: an update...someone read this then wrote me to ask "what was the gift?", so I edited it some to clarify (I hope). Later that same day, my DH did indeed cut the legs off my former foyer table and attach it to the top of the sewing machine base. It looks marvelous. I'll try to post a picture soon.

More good BIL found our camera at his house and is sending it to me. It has been MIA for over a month!! Yippee!

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's a...


It rhymes with gazelle.

Making pizzelles is one of our family Christmas traditions. We get the pizzelle iron out the day we put up our Christmas tree and decorations. The traditional flavor is anise (black licorice), but we always make them with vanilla.

Below is the pizzelle iron. It is similar to a waffle iron. You put a dollop of batter on each side and clamp it shut. About 45-60 seconds later, two pizzelles are ready to cool.

Our pizzelle iron has done this since we got it...the one on the right always sticks to the lid and the one on the left always stays on the bottom. Once it's "baked", you just transfer it to a cooling rack, then stack them up. They are somewhat fragile. They don't last very long around here. Emily will be making another batch today to take to a friend's house. Mmm-mmm.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas. Remember the birth of Jesus as we celebrate this special day.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Woman Tole Painting

This is a snow woman I painted in my second of two tole painting classes. This was fun to do. It ended up that I was the only one in the class. That didn't bother me!!

Happy Holidays,

Friday, December 19, 2008

Last Year's Christmas Quilt

I still don't have a picture of this that I am happy with. I've tried some inside, some outside, etc. Here is the best I can do. This is called Cozy Christmas. It is a large throw. All red, green and cream scraps. Each tree is made of one fabric, but all the trees are different. It was finished last year, but I realized I don't have a picture of it on my Web Shots album.


New Camera, New Learning Opportunity

Do the learning opportunities ever end? This is a close-up PICTURE of the quilt I am unquilting and then hand quilting. Learning?? Learn to do it the way you want the first time to save time. Learning? Learning to use a new camera that is at one time a blessing and a curse. Our former camera went missing on our Thanksgiving holiday. I did not want to buy a replacement because I am just like that...reluctant to part with a penny if I don't need to!!

So last night, my new camera arrived via my very helpful and thoughtful daughter. I read through the manual. I know that's a stretch for some of you menfolk out there. I charged the battery for 5 hours as instructed. This morning I took some sample pictures. Aarrgghh!! Lots to learn. I will need to work on the focus and some other features.

In the picture above, the foreground is the finished way-I-want-it-to-be part. In the background you can see the machine quilting in cream of loop-de-loops. It makes the quilt stiff, and I don't like the green dots that are the bobbin thread showing. Live and learn, my friends.

Now that I have a camera, the blog posts are bound to be plentiful.

Have a great day,

~Joan, off to bake tons of cookies and breads for gift-giving

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Quilts?

Above is a quilt I pieced and mostly machine quilted last year (the spots are sun spots). I did the applique in the two end segments and hand-quilted a cross hatch around them. This is not the applique that was on the original pattern...I did not care for the original very much.

In the quilt center, I used cream thread and machine-quilted a loop pattern all over except in the red 4-piece squares on point. I hand quilted a square within a square in each of them. I used the same print for the backing as the binding...a dark green with red leaf shapes.

Just when I thought the quilt was finished, I realized that I could not be happy with the machine quilting. I could not for the life of me get the thread tension perfect so that the cream did not show from the back (on the dark green) and the dark green bobbin thread did not show on the light cream fabric on the front. Although it seems like it will take forever, I plan to unsew all the machine quilting and hand quilt diagonal lines on it. I've already done a corner. It's going faster than I would have thought it would. If I don't do it, I'll forever be plagued with a quilt with dark green "polka dots" of thread on the front and cream ones on the back. I don't care if it takes another whole year, I've made up my mind.

Above is a close-up of the border. Because I haven't seen my camera since we went to GA for Thanksgiving, I'm at the mercy of my sons. I am using their camera, and I cannot crop pictures. That means you get the view of my jumper edge and grey fleece slippers. You're welcome.

I used a holly printed cream for all the background. The green chains and the quarter-square reds are all scrappy. If you've been reading here long at all, you know that scrappy is my favorite!

Now on to the title of this post..."Why Quilts?" I've had a few adventurous readers suggest that they'd rather hear about my family that my quilt-making. They think that would be more interesting. Well, maybe it would.

I started a blog a little over a year ago. My initial reason was because Bonnie Hunter made me, LOL! I was participating in a mystery quilt she designed, and she forced me at rotary cutter point to post pictures of progress on my (then non-existent) blog. Once the mystery quilt was finished, I started sharing about the rest of my full life...children, DH, recipes, couponing, etc. I didn't want anyone to think that all I did was quilt. Because of the nature of blogs (being public and all), I didn't want to reveal too much personal information. That is the main reason that I don't post much about my children. The other is that most days I feel like I'm floundering as a wife and mother and don't want the world to know about it. But now you do.

~Off to join the masses once more...Joan

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Quilt

This is my foyer this Christmas season. I finally finished and hung the blue nativity quilt. I've had some write and ask where the pattern came from. It is a commercial pattern, but I can't find it to see what the name is or the publisher. I changed it from the original just a bit. There were supposed to be small stars down both sides and across the bottom. I just added more blue squares and the embroidered panel across the bottom to give glory to the King! I also wanted the center star to be more prominent. I'm not sure you can see it in the picture, but I quilted rays coming from the baby's head and an "X" in each of the squares. This was my first needle-turn applique project. I liked doing this a lot.

Here's a close-up. The colors aren't as bright as they look in this picture.

Focus on the real meaning of Christmas this season.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Haven't Saved $1,000,000 Yet!

We are still making shopping mistakes, believe me. I didn't post about our PPPD (per person per day) spending last month. For those who have been waiting with bated breath...

You can look back here for past months. I am learning to cut back on numerous small trips and still save money. We are still hosting record numbers of guests, which we greatly enjoy.

PPPD for October...$2.55

PPPD for November...$1.97

I'm satisfied with that.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blue Nativity Quilt Mostly Finished

Voila! I figured if anyone was showing a family member the blog world, I'd like to be known for actually finishing the quilting on this Christmas quilt. My brother-in-law astutely pointed out that I made this LAST year. Thank you, Chris. I had the embroidered panel done at a local store, and it was not finished until 12/24/07. Makes it difficult to squeeze in that last 10 hours of hand quilting and binding before hanging it in 11/07.

But, Lord, willing, I will put the binding and hanging sleeve on this and have it finished for decorating 11/08!!

Hope your holidays are filled with wonderful memory-making moments.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Still In Stitches

I have been ill since Tuesday night. I had made the comment that I didn't know what it would be like to stay home for 24 hours--it seems like I spend so much time running errands. Well, wish granted! I haven't left the house since Tuesday! I won't bore you all with the details. Nothing major, just cold symptoms in debilitating proportions.

A friend sent me this cartoon, and I thought it was hilarious.

I'm hoping to get enough strength to prepare for and go on a pre-Thanksgiving trip to GA with my DH and children. My cough is keeping me from sleeping well, and I ache all over from the forcefulness of it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Project, but Now on Hold

Here is the progress so far on the Stardust quilt top. It is the same size as my queen-sized mattress top. I want to add two more rows. That seems innocent enough, but that means LOTS more 1-1/2" squares to sew on the rectangles for the sashing. I have to set it aside for a while. Daily life is taking way too long around here.

You can see that anything--florals, stripes, tone-on-tones, plaids--goes in this pattern.
Good night,


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Someone Didn't Get The Message

"For by him were all things created..." Colossians 1:16

My daughter took this picture on a bike ride last week. God's creation is so beautiful in autumn. It has NOT been altered in any way.

When I first looked at this picture, my reaction was, "one of these trees did not get the message! Time to change colors." Notice how the one in the front left corner is still spring green. Doesn't that look odd?


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Crock Pot Love

I love crock pot cooking! My DH's grandmother gave us a crock pot when we got married, but I did not use it for y-e-a-r-s because I was always home when I was cooking. I had not experienced the perfect blending of flavors that slow cooking gives foods. We use one frequently now because of the fantastic flavors and the way it cooks meats especially...tender and tasty!

Crock pots are also great for long cooking periods w/o any stirring or meddling. Case in point...I had a few apples (about 8, I think) that were getting soft. I wanted to make applesauce, but there wasn't anyone who could stay in the kitchen and tend the pot. My crock pot volunteered! I used an apple peeler/corer/slicer and had the 8 apples in the pot within 10 minutes. I cut the pieces into small sections and sprinkled some sugar and cinnamon on top. I added about 1/4 cup water and put it on high. That is the top picture.

Three hours later it looked like it would be a long time before it was ready. The apples still had a lot of texture. I stirred it and checked again the next time I was in the kitchen, 30 minutes later. It was perfect! (Bottom picture)

This is a great side dish to make when you have company, especially families with young children. The aroma is fantastic even if (like me) one doesn't like to eat applesauce!! It makes the whole kitchen smell fantastically apple-icious!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It Is Finished...Finally

You might be looking at this cross-stitched picture and thinking, "Big she finished a cross-stitch picture!" This picture was started in February 1993. Yes, 1993.

Today I picked it up from the framer and hung it above our fireplace mantle. It's about time. I couldn't get a good picture of the picture. Just trust's beautiful. My favorite part is the lady bug on the sign. There is a second one on the bottom-most leaf on the post. So cute.

My girls have been getting on my case, er, asking me, to clean out some of the items we don't use any more for a yard sale we're having Saturday. I had a picture in this frame for years. I never hung the picture because it never matched anything in my house, but I liked the frame. I had my cross stitch mounted and reframed in the same frame, using the same glass and dark rose mat. All I had to pay for was a green mat and the labor charge. Yippee! The last picture I had custom framed cost me >$85. What was I thinking? That was 8 years ago, if memory serves me correctly (which it usually doesn't, BTW). This one was about $30.

You can read about the picture's history here.
While it's not as important as the presidential election or solving world hunger, it does make my world a happier place.

Tune in tomorrow to see what else makes my world a happier place. I'll give you a starts with crock pot.


Friday, October 31, 2008


No, this is not lunch. Today or any other day. How often do you have people besides your immediate family over for a meal? In the tiny circles in which I travel, I get odd comments about our frequent hospitality. People seem genuinely shocked that we have so many "outsiders" here for meals.

Having extra meal guests is very commonplace at our house. I am thankful that my DH doesn't mind feeding an extra mouth or two (or three...).

This week at Curves, I was introduced to a newcomer as the woman who wants to feed the world. I explained that the comment was a bit of an exaggeration! Then they asked me how many times I had fed non-family this past week or so. Well, it started with having 6 college men over for supper a week ago, then taking same group a supply of groceries (it was their fall break, and they were camping!), sent lunch for two on Sunday, then we had someone over for pizza and dessert after church Sunday night, made 4 to-go suppers for another group Wednesday night, we're having a family of four over tonight, one for breakfast tomorrow, and so on, and so on. It's been a slow week, LOL! That's not a lot...or is it??

Our frequent hospitality offers stem from our church involvement. I for one enjoy meeting new members and getting to know some who have been there for a while even better. Our house is never as perfectly decorated and maintained as I would like. I would nearly always (in retrospect) have changed the menu a little (either in amount, selection, or preparation). But it is what it is. There was a day when I would literally work in a frenzy (cooking, cleaning, wiping, fussing) until the guest knocked at the door. The visits were strained and uncomfortable. It was a wonder anyone came back.

So, how often do you open your home to others?

Curious in NC,


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stardust In My Eyes...and on My Design Wall

This is my latest scrap buster. I had made quite a few of the pieced units heretofore, and was eager to put a few rows together. This is how much I assembled last night...

The colored squares are 4" finished. The cream squares in the star centers are 2" finished. This is using up bits and pieces of some-nearly-and-some-now-gone-from-my-stash fabrics. Such a simple pattern, but so beautiful. I've made and sold some tops made from this pattern. I don't know if this one will end up living here or not.

Here is my accomplishment as of a few minutes ago. I think I'll make it twice this big, so I'm halfway there. It measures 34-1/2" by 71" now. If I double this, it will be 69" x 71". Hmmm...That's nearly square, and that won't work. Have to give that some more thought later.

Here is a close up of the top so far. I am using my favorite Thimbleberries cream for all the stars. It has a toile-like appearance. It keeps the quilt from being too scrappy.

Anything goes in this scrappy quilt! The pattern is called Stardust. I have many more pieces already cut for it and have determined about how many more I need. It's time to start couting to see how many more need to be cut. I never tire of scrap quilts.

Good night,


Friday, October 24, 2008

Goodbye, New Friend

I have just listed this quilted topper on eBay. How could I? After being initially gripped with the burning desire to make one, I did. After I sewed the binding down by hand this AM (while listening to my youngest children read me their stories for the day aloud and stopping to grade the math lessons completed for the day) I realized I didn't really have a suitable place for it. It's a little too wide to put on my kitchen table. Mutiny would ensue if I tried to put in on the kitchen island. That's a place for WORK, not beauty, I'm told.

In my non-interior-decorator's mind, I think this would be lovely on a round table (which we don't have) with a flower arrangement or candle on the center square (which, for potential bidders is a 6" square, LOL).

Back down to the sewing/school room for me, where I have more hand work awaiting as well as some school work to grade. The excitement just never ends around here.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Texas Truffle Eye Candy

This is a Texas Truffle lone star that Emily pieced for a customer. There is applique in the corner squares, but the customer is going to do that herself (yay!!). It doesn't sag in person...must be the way they're holding it.
This is 78" square. The pieced inner border really sets it off, doesn't it?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Decorations, Take 18

This is the first thing I ever tole painted. It was made in a beginner's class several years ago. A similar plaque was displayed in a vender's booth at a craft fair I frequented. There was a sign below that said "Learn How to Paint This". Being a pumpka-holic, I was hooked. I'd always wanted to learn tole painting. I only took 2 classes, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Keepin' It Real

If you read my post from last night, you know I was gripped with a burning desire to make this quilt top after supper, and stay up until it was finished. Well, I did so, but it was a challenge. Not a challenge to design it myself, but a challenge to find enough space on my cutting table to make the silly thing. It has been so long since I've sewn regularly that my cutting table was a shambles. Here is the before...

Scary--isn't it? I think so. Just keepin' it real.

On the right (in front) among other things is a stack of quilt magazines, my red scrap bin, a bolt of brown (what was that used for?). There are scraps of trimmings from I-can't-remember-what on the 18" x 24" green mat in the center. To the left is another motley crew of I-have-no-idea-where-those-came-froms. Enough to make a grown woman cry. Oh--that would be me.

But I was determined to machine quilt my little Octagonal Fall top today. In order to do that, I'd need to lie it down flat somewhere and cut backing and batting. I needed to clean up that table. But being a quilter, I could not just throw away all the scraps. They could most likely be used in a future project. So I painstakingly sorted them by color into my "scrap boxes", aka plastic shoe boxes by colors (reds, blues, greens, and all the others--4 boxes total).

Like a breath of fresh air...

That's what I am talking about. The quilt top has been quilted and the binding is sewn to the front. We have liftoff!


Fall Decorations, Take 17

It finally happened...I'm fresh out of fall quilts. Here is a picture of some wooden pumpkins I tole painted a few years ago. I gave my sister and my friend a set, too (2 Dianes). My dad cut these one year when I was visiting with him (hi, Dad!). They are on our living room mantle. They are made from 1" pine, so they stand up all by themselves.

Today was my 3-month anniversary at Curves. I need to get more serious about losing weight and getting more fit. I'm not sure how I fell off the wagon this month, but several things come to pie, mini candy bars, cinnamon rolls. I continue to amaze myself about eating things that I know I shouldn't and thinking it won't really matter this time. For crying out loud, every time is an important time. Just venting and giving myself the what for here. Hopefully next month's report will be a big improvement. I stayed the same weight (which is better than gaining) and lost only 2 more inches. All I can think is, "So many more to go!" Here's to next month...


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Steps of My Fall Octagon Quilt Top

See the previous post for the picture of the completed top. Blogger limits one post to 5 pictures. Good night!

Whew--Three Posts Today!

Voila! Behold my finished quilt top. I took over an hour off after supper before starting to work on this little gem. It measures 23-1/2" from flat side to flat side. I had all of the half square triangles already pieced in my spare parts drawer, so I just had to choose them and cut them down. I don't remember which quilt they are from. I think it might be this one. I was tempted to quilt it tonight, but the night is young and I am not. It's after 10:30 PM, and the little grey cells need time to recharge.

The next post is showing the progress of the quilt top tonight. Enjoy the process without words.


Fall Decorations, Take 16

I enjoyed looking at my b-friend, Marcie's, blog today. She has a picture of a quilt that I am going to try to piece tonight. It's the one in the upper right...the 4 Maple Leaf blocks in a Churn Dash setting. Tune in tomorrow to see if I make any progress. It's nearly 6 PM, and the night is young, even if I'm not.

The above quilt is my favorite quilt. Some of you are thinking, "Didn't she say that about another quilt, like maybe yesterday or the day before?" Pretty scary how I can hear you thinking from here, eh??

If you are a quilter, you know that quilts are sort of like just can't have a favorite. Each is the result of a certain time of life, a new technique, a new love. And loving another one doesn't mean you divide your love for your other just multiplies!! Each one is different and unique.

The above quilt was a pattern whose name I forget right this minute. The outer border is a plaid fabric that I quilted between the different colors. I hand-blanket-stitched the vines, leaves, pumpkin sections, crow, etc. The yellow button "seeds" add another dimension. I hand quilted around each shape and in each border. All in all, this is my favorite quilt. I mean it. Yes...absolutely and no doubt about it. Until I show you another one, at least.


Fall Decorations, Take 15

The above quilt is from my friend, Laura. Now that I think back, I might have bought it from her. We met online when we were both sellers on eBay. Mere months later we met in person, and shortly thereafter they moved 500 miles to live about 40 miles from me. We would get together every year or so and have a quilt show and tell. She had been selling these tops on eBay, and I bought one of them while I was visiting her house. Laura, if you're out there and reading this, please write! I haven't heard from her for about 3 years. This is called Midnight in the Pumpkin Patch. It also lives in the living room in autumn. It's small...about 14" x 16".

Here is a photo one of my husband's work acquaintances sent him. She lives in Maine and took this in her back yard. Another instance of being in the right place at the right time!

Fall is the celebration of root vegetables and mini candy bars...choose wisely!

Be careful out there!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Fall Decorations, Take 14

This is called "Autumn in New England". It has a pieced cream background and fusible applique leaves, so it goes together quickly. A pretty Benartex border finishes it off. Each set of leaves has one green one and one fall-colored one. Fast finish!

~Joan, whose baby turns 9 today! Happy birthday, Isaac.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall Decorations, Take 13

This is my favorite fall quilt. It's a Thimbleberries pattern called "Pumpkins for Sale". I made this to sell in my father/sister's store several years ago. I put it in a cold, dark box and mailed it to them in PA. Boy, was I relieved when I visited later and saw it was still there. I took it home and apologized for ever putting it up for sale. In autumn it lives in my living room now. I love the pumpkin-y outside border print. I hand quilted veins in the pumpkins and swirls of "wind" over the leaves.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Decorations, Take 12

You're likely to see mostly quilts from here on out. This is a little one. The HSTs on the leaves are 1" finished, and the flying geese are 1" x 2". The inner border is 1/2" wide finished. This is made from all Thimbleberries fabrics. It's in my bedroom right now.

Another triple Q offer is upon us. Lowes Foods in Gastonia is having triples tomorrow through Friday. Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow. I'm glad we can stock up on foods for a change (as opposed to toiletries and cleaning supplies). Susanna and I spent over an hour and a half last night compiling and perusing our list, filing and pulling Qs, then finalizing our plan. She was wiped out. Here's a picture of her stressed look...

She isn't as stressed as she looks. I took that a few days ago when we were having sandwiches and Bugles for lunch. She was trying to look scary, but with a face like that, it's pretty hard to do so.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fall Decorations, Take 11

We're still in the kitchen. I bought these 2 very large candles 3 years ago. I change the candle rings out for various seasons. I only have these and ones with red berries. The candles are vanilla scented. There are two of these on my kitchen table. I don't light them very often in the kitchen because who wants to be eating Italian food and smelling vanilla?? I occasionally have them on the mantel in the living room. The rings were bought when fall decorations were on sale one year.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. A chilly 50 degrees. Invigorating!!

I'm off to Curves in a few minutes.

We're having 2 single college guys over for supper. Much to do before the meal.


Friday, October 3, 2008

31 Cents

My total from this post was 31 cents. That includes tax. Incredible, isn't it?

Double Qs at KMart

My 3 oldest girls just got back from a phenomenal trip to our local KMart. Some of the KMarts are having double coupon days, up to a $2 Q! That's a ton of savings.

I know some items are difficult to see. Since our store is not a Super K, we got nearly all toiletries and cleaning items, with some cat food and air fresheners thrown in for variety. There are also razors, carpet cleaner, Endust, Visine, first aid non-stick pads, as well as lots of shampoo, shaving gel, and toothpaste!

I spent about 90 minutes this AM researching prices, pulling Qs and making a list. Each person could use up to 75 Qs with 4 identical items for each person.

We got all in the above picture, plus some items we just could not fit up there on top of our chest freezer ($576.44 retail value) for $57.44 ($20.99 for items plus $36.45 for tax). That's 9.9% of the original cost, the majority of it being the tax cost.

The beauty of a family that works together was that in just a few minutes we had everything brought in and sorted, then divided into items to be stored in our pantry, with others ready for selling to a local store (hi, Tammy and Vik!). I remember the day when all my children were young (and it doesn't seem that long ago) when a shopping trip of this size would have taken me most of a day to unload from the car, unpack, then put away.

What a blessing.


September Daily Spending

September was my best month yet for saving $ on daily spending. If you're just starting to read my blog, here's a quick recap. We have 10 people living in our home. My WH and I, along with our 8 children. We home school, and my WH works from home, so on most days, we are all eating here. There is the occasional exception. One of my children works during lunch every day, and another will occasionally miss lunch or supper. The daily spending includes an average for the month for food, personal toiletries, all cleaning supplies, and medicines.

My first month of serious couponing was April of this year. I didn't figure that month's expenses because I was learning the whole coupon thing. Our May average was $5.40 per person per day (PPPD). I thought THAT was tremendous. June's average was down to $3.20 PPPD...big drop! July was up to $4.53 PPPD. August was $3.92. September was $2.37 PPPD, our best month yet.

This is an ongoing adventure and challenge to me. I don't want to be obsessive about it, which would be easy for me to do. One of the Bible verses I memorized recently is Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD my strength and my redeemer." I can't let saving money direct all of my thoughts. But I do think there is a time and place for it.

I'm very grateful that my family supports this endeavor. Everyone pitches in...some shop, some clip Qs, some file them, some organize pantries, some merely consume what we bring home, LOL!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grocery Saving Extraordinaire

Is clipping coupons worth it?

I get that question over and over again...from cashiers of all people! Sorry for the fuzzy picture. I didn't realize it wasn't crystal clear until after I put everything away.

Guess how much I paid for the stuff in the picture? Here's a list of original costs (from left to right, back row first):

~Food Lion brand frozen breaded chicken breast patties ($2.99)

~64 oz. half and half ($4.29)

~Gerber nurser (baby bottle; $1.15)

~Food Lion Kid Wipes ($1.38)

~Smithfield Boneless Ham Quarter, sliced ($8.72)

~Gerber baby food peaches ($1.09)

~Nestle White chocolate morsels x 2 ($2.53 each, total $5.06)

What is the grand total I spent? I'll tell you tomorrow night. Please leave a comment and guess.

Yours for saving,