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PhotobucketYesterday a friend of mine posted on her blog about how she made reusable bandages for when she donates blood. As much as the thought of needles and blood make me feel sick, this is the most creative way of going green that I have heard of.  And they are probably more comfortable as well.

Another neat story is of A Texas Christian college that used recyclable materials to make steel buildings to turn into dorm rooms that will house 50 students.

I used to be really good at recycling but I think I’ve been away from British Columbia too long and sometimes I don’t really think about all the things I throw in the garbage can that can be recycled.

So first I need to get a recycling bin, it is only $5 a month here so our garbage/recycling would still be a lot cheaper than what we paid for both in Washington state. Another thing that I think would be really cool to do is create our own energy. I heard of one method (I can’t remember where I saw it!) where you put solar panels on your roof and small airplane looking windmill in the yard. It is supposedly inexpensive and all the materials can be bought at a local hardware store. If anyone has heard of someone who has done this let me know. Imagine the money we could save!

If you like to get paid to buy groceries then this is a great week for you!

This morning I went to Smiths and Albertsons where I got paid to buy all these groceries!!!!

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This was a really great way for me to stock up on food storage items and even if you don’t buy processed foods this would be a good sale to buy items for the food bank or give to someone who could use it.

Smiths has a really great Kelloggs sale going on. I bought 8 boxes of cereal and two boxes of Eggos. With $5 off in coupons I paid $7.60 and I sent in a mail in rebate where if you buy 10 participating Kelloggs items you get $10 back so free groceries plus an extra $2.40!

At Albertson’s I bought 4 boxes of Jell-O,  2 boxes of crackerfuls (these are really good!), 2 packages of cheese slices, 2 blocks of 8 oz cheese, a block of Velveeta and two tubs of cream cheese. I paid $14.44 and I recieved $5 off my next shopping order plus a rebate form to get $20 back! So free groceries, $5 of free groceries the next time I’m at Albertsons plus an extra $5.56! Find out if a store near you is participating in this sale.

It took me a little longer to shop this morning than usual because I just quickly wrote down what I wanted by looking at the PinchingYourPennies list last night without giving any details on size and how good of a deal each item was, netbooks would be a good thing to have during situations like that.

We are almost finished with putting together our kitchen. As you can see from the picture below we just have to put up two more cupboard doors and add an extra piece to the counter top.

My dad and husband have done such a great job on this. They said that Ikea makes it really easy to put it together but unfortunately we haven’t had very good experiences with Ikea’s customer service.

First 4 doors were missing and we were given a few extra things, these were not items from the store order where they make you check off every item to make sure you have everything but from their warehouse. We finally got our 4 doors 2 weeks ago to find that 2 of them were broken and they have still not called us about replacements.

When we went to return the extra items the returns employee made it very difficult for us so I asked for a manager and the manager was very rude to us. There was a couple next to us returning an item because they were given the wrong colour and the employees were being very difficult with them as well. It is normal to have nice employees and rude employees working in a store but when there is a rude management it just gives me a very bad impression of the store.

However, I am happy with the way the kitchen looks it looks so much nicer than what we had before. JJ wants to put a splashback from the countertops to the cabinets. JJ talks about taking a tiling class but I think metal tiles would be an easier way to go.

Here is our before and after picture:

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PhotobucketI wonder if the reason Albertsons was giving out all those reciepts where if you did a survery you got a code for $2 off your next shopping order to give Associated Foods an idea of how to run the Albertsons stores they are buying? Associated Foods (They own the Western Family brand) is buying all but 7 Utah Albertsons and the current owners -supervalue inc is looking to sell a few more to other buyers.

I just love Albertsons coupon deals, it is only the Supervalue stores who have sales like this Kraft Sale. So this leaves me wondering if I will be able to get as much out of my family’s $150 grocery budget as I currently am. Now Albertson’s being bought out is not going to cause us to become cross country movers so we can move to an area that have grocery stores owned by Supervalue inc.

Associated foods own a lot of Utah’s grocery stores Maceys, Reams and they also supply food for Harmon’s and Buy Lows. I think it is funny that people are confused that Associated Foods will buy Albertson’s when they already own grocery stores on the same street – That is exactly what companies want – two of their stores competing against each other.

I will wait and see what happens this fall with the new store before I let my self be disappointed by the move. Associated Foods is a local company and with LDS owners many of their stores are closed on sundays which have some people who shop on Sundays worried but it is something I’m sure the employee’s appreciate.

One group of people I really admire are people who have disabilities and want to work hard to provide for themselves. I have a good friend with a developmental disability and one time while at Baskin Robins with a group of friends he insisted that he pay for my sister’s ice cream, she told him that she would pay for herslef but he said “I have a job, I can pay for it!”. So she let him pay for her ice cream and then invited him over for pizza another night.

He just seemed really happy that he earned his own money. I have met many others with disabilities just like this guy. Programs like subsidized housing and disability insurance are really valuable resources for those with disabilities but I think that an adult with Downs Syndrome who earns his own money can really inspire this growing attitude in our society of trying to get as much assistance with as little work as possible.

I’m not against Financial aid – I lived in subsidized housing for 4 months and medicaid paid the $5000 we owed for Rebekah’s appendicitis treatments and surgery. People go through hard times and it is good for people to have options where they can get temporary help.

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PhotobucketLife would be boring if we were all forced to drive the same cars and we couldn’t choose between copper sinks or stainless steel sinks to install in our own homes.

But what about when it comes to our health? Is it best that we are told by health officials or even government what we can and can’t put into our bodies. Today we hear so much about if food products such as trans fats, red #40 and aspartame should be banned. Scientists are not really sure what trans fats do and some think they just stay in the body not doing anything so many people want to stay away from that. While some people have sensitivities to food dyes and aspartame.

Since being an avid coupon/sales consumer we have been buying a lot more variety and I have been pleased to notice that I can buy a lot of natural food products for almost nothing. Last week I bought boxes of fruit bars for 50 cents each and reading the food labels I noticed that instead of red 40 the company uses beet juice as food colouring. This week I bought jars of natural peanut butter for 75 cents each and today I got a loaf of Earth Grains bread for free! The food is still ‘processed’ but the ingredients are all natural food products that I can recognize and pronounce!

Both the food industry and coupons follow food trends so why do we need government restrictions on food products? In fact those restrictions could hurt those companies who are giving the people natural choices. Say if some one goes to the grocery store wanting to buy popsicles. They look at all the different popsicles and think about buying the cheapest kind but then notice that there are 100 % natural popsicles for only 50 cents more and justify paying more because they belive it is healthier for them. If all companies were required to have 100 percent natural ingredients that competive edge would be gone and who knows if the majority of consumers only buy natural food products, it just might end up that way without any government intervention.

Do you think the government should ban trans fats, red #40 and aspartame, stay out of those decisions or play some other role?

A couple of years ago I watched Oprah’s bed bug episode. It really grossed me out and ever since, I have been washing our beddings every week. While everyone probably has bedbugs in their bedrooms to some degree I don’t think we ever had a real problem as none of us have bug bites (besides bites from the evil mosquitos).

Many people who do face bed bug infestations usually bring them home from vacation. Even 5 star hotels have been found to have a lot of bed bugs.

PhotobucketOne product people can use to prevent bringing bed bugs home with them or control a bed bug infestation is BugZip which is a bed bug encasement for luggage and clothing. There are sizes which fit into drawers and over suitcases so this product would make living through the treatment process much easier. They should work well for a lice infestation treatment period as well.

I was given several different sizes of this product to review. I was impressed with is how nicely they fold out into boxes and how strong the material is.

The zipper is a little stiff the first time you zip the bags up and you need to use both hands and go slowly around the corners. The product is designed only for use in only one area. You can use them in the same room of your house for as long as you like but you are supposed to dispose of them before leaving your hotel room. I know this is probably to protect the company but I wonder if washing the outside of the bag and zipper areas would prevent bed bugs from spreading? I would hate to spend so much on a product (the range from $9.99 – $19.99) to only use once. You can however find a place to recycle these bags through Earth911 .

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About us!


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JJ and Melissa have been married for 7 years. JJ is from Tennessee and he is currently in his (hopefully!) last year of grad school at BYU for a doctorates in BioChemistry. Melissa is from Canada and spends her days with four beautiful children homeschooling, changing cloth diapers, cooking and cleaning! Contact me at jj.melissa.lee@gmail.com

Sariah

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Sariah is 6 and in grade 1 and reads at a 3rd grade level. She loves to wear dresses and skirts. Her name means Princess of the Lord and she sure does live up to that.

Rebekah

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Rebekah is 5 and in Kindergarten. She is still at that stage where she is excited every time she gets to do school work. She is my little mommy always wanting to do things for her younger siblings. She is high energy, loves to climb trees, run and practice walking on her hands.

Miriam

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Miriam was my first child born at home and it was a wonderful experience. From day one Miriam has been so sweet. She's not a typical temper tantrum throwing toddler but boy does she keep us all on our toes with her curiosity.

Joshua

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Joshua was also born at home. We nick name him "muscle boy" he is a big sturdy boy but still as sweet as can be. His sisters love to make him laugh.

Baby #5

Lydia was born on November 30th!
  • Want to contact me? email me at jj.melissa.lee@gmail.com