Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why I have more than TEN bottles of shampoo and other goodies in my house....

So a lot of people ask how I save so much money with my coupons and still give a ton of goodies away...well because God is good, of course! It started with my sister-in-law, Missy attending a bible study that talked about money management and how to use coupons. She taught me and I taught modern day disciples... just kidding! Anyway, this may not cover all of the tips I've learned, but this should get you started and I'm always an email away!

First of all, here are some tips:

* It's alot of work so what you put into is what you will get in return.

* Buy one Sunday paper each week per adult and one per every two kiddos minimum. I typically buy four from Dollar Tree ( Waco, across from HEB on Wooded Acres) because they already have them Sunday and they are $1. Clip ALL the coupons!

* Because you clip all the coupons, you need to be willing to try new brands. If you really want your budget to stretch, be willing to try brands you wouldn't typically use. Plus you clip ALL the coupons, because you never know what coupon can make an item FREE!

* Have an organizational system for your coupons. I have a zippered binder (think, Trapper Keeper from Jr. High) and slide my coupons into baseball card holders that are filed by type (example: paper/plastic). While odd at first, this makes it SO much easier to thumb through in the grocery store.

* Subscribe to online coupon sites and blogs with tips. (See below)

*Plan your trips with the weekly adds...some sites (mentioned above), actually will tell you what 'deals' are available with what coupons that are available.

* Know store coupon policies. Such as Target & CVS take manufacture coupons with store coupons, even if this makes the product free.

* Apply and keep on hand all store discount cards that are free, such as HEB point club, CVS care card, etc.

* Be on the look out for coupons! They are in stores randomly: tear pads, stickers on product (as long as they don't say 'on this product' you can tear them off to use another time), in fliers, in magazines, etc.

* Search the sites of your favorite brands, restaurants, and retailers. You will find most have discount programs, birthday clubs, and/or special promotions to sign up for. Once you sign up, most will email you with new promotions or coupons.

Sites I frequent:

(the following sites allow you to sign up for email notification of daily posts)

Coupon Sites:

So, a tad overwhelming I know. Again, it's all what you put into it. The savings can be HUGE, but the effort has to be HUGE too! I actually make a once a month trip to McKinney to visit my sister-in-law, Missy because Kroger and Albertson's double and triple their coupons. Now that is commitment! Anyway, CVS can be pretty daunting so, check out this post from Cent sible Sawyer, as it's pretty accurate. Let me know if you have any questions, I'm all ears!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Year and counting Review....

Wow, I stink at this blog thing. So friends settle in this will be a long one.

Around, my last post I was going to several doctors to pin point some health issues I had and finally on September 11th., 2007, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Terrified, I spent the afternoon making calls...large family results in ALOT of calls, not fun. We also poured and cried over the information on what to do next and what medicine to choose. We finally settled on a drug that worked really well for me. The great news for those of you who are hearing this for the first time is that I feel awesome. The best news is that in October of 2008 at our church's annual Women's Conference I received a word from the Lord that I was healed. Now, I know some of those are rejoicing with us (thank you) and some are scratching your head curious about this 'word from the Lord'. My faith rests in Jesus. When I was diagnosed he sustained us in our darkest hour and greatest need. We pursued every step with MS, by pursuing Him. I have not medically confirmed my healing, nor am I currently 'under Dr's care'. This wasn't exactly a choice, just where I'm at. We are walking out this healing in full faith that it has happened, yet with the full understanding that I still have to pay attention to my health...close attention. Randy loving told me, he believes God healed me to have a new opportunity to take care of my temple. Those of you who know me, pre baby I have some weight to lose. And those of you who know Randy, know he also very much believes in vitamins. So, while we are in February, I am really starting to understand what Randy means and I would love for you to pray for stamina to get busy on working out and taking all those vitamins.

I probably will skip to the highlights as to not lose your attention completely.

So, five days after hearing from God I was healed I was canned. Eight years with Manpower came to an end and it was a bittersweet victory. We were aware due to issues that I had been dealing with that the end was in sight, but financially we weren't quite prepared. I truly feel at the end of it all, my termination was truly God's way of 'showing me to the door'. Basically, he couldn't open that 'other day' in my life until I let him shut the Manpower door. So while, I dug in my heels, he just showed me his Daddy strength and gave me a push. To be honest in only the way God can was peaceful. I was ready to go, my boss was ready for me to go, and life for the Carlisle's is really taking shape in the way it's supposed to be.

Slight back up...

So, prior to 2007, we lived with Randy's parents and while living there Randy befriended our sweet elder neighbor, Ms. Dale. He started mowing her yard, then he would visit and it eventually formed a sweet friendship where he was able to pray for the cancer that plagued her weak body. After moving to a rental we heard of her death, yet rejoiced that she new Jesus and went home to rest without pain. Shortly, after her funeral her children approached us to purchase her home. Trying to buy for many years, we declined 'knowing' we weren't ready. Her children were persistent and we accepted to look into it. Low and behold, even in our doubt the Father showed mercy and we bought our first home in March 2008. The very same neighborhood Randy and I lived in when we met in High School, is now ours to raise our kiddos. So, Randy's Mom and Step Dad live next door and my parents live around the corner. How COOL is that! We LOVE our home and our neighbors! God is amazing...even when we almost miss it!

Ohhhh Ohhhh Ohhhhh here's some good stuff too...

So, back to being healed and being fired...that same week my nephew Carter comes home! My nephew Carter who is incredible has lived his life pretty much in a hospital bed. He was born premature and had several organ transplants...I can't do his story justice, so please check out his website: So, after a much anticipated arrival home to Texas, Carter came home that same week! You can see why me losing my job was hardly something to give pause to when God was blessing my family back to back in a week!!!! I'm telling you God knocks my socks off!

Life unemployed...

Not so bad, actually. First time I have ever been a stay-at-home Mom. The kiddos are still in school for the remainder of the year, but our plans are to Home School this Fall. We have really had this on our hearts for a LONG time, but I'm finally not working to be able to it. The kids are excited, we are nervous. But again, we pursue God and know he will work it out for his glory!

Speaking of kiddos...

They are amazing! Caleb is nine and Isabella is seven and they both will finish second grade this year. Caleb really seems to be coming into his own with Reading and still loves Science and Socail Studies. He finished his second year of Upward Soccer with Bella and started his first year of Basketball with Upward right after Christmas. His sister, not at all interested in Basketball choose Upward Cheerleading and cheers for all his games with her squad. We are set to start our first year of Little League Baseball and Softball and April and we are excited and tired! I'm so glad they take after Randy and want to stay active (and fit!).


is FINALLY on days!!!! Wooo Hooo! I cried, I laughed, I danced, and I thanked Jesus! We have had a tough six years with Daddy working nights and got the best news ever with a call about his schedule change on New Year's Eve. He is enjoying being home more, as are we! His schedule will actually change in April, which he will work 24 hours on and off....stinks a little. All in all, we are so THANKFUL for him to be home during 'normal' hours and for our family time together!

I'm sure some details I've left out will come I got a new tattoo and my nose pierced in that, but until then: "I'm baaaack!"