Saturday, September 3, 2011

sister has got to simplify.

One time Amanda was told that she was 'simple' and to go back to her "little old life" amongst a few other hateful things.

That hurt Amanda's feelings for a long time.
[Partially for the hateful words... but also because no one else in the history of ever has wanted to be mean to Amanda.  And that's a fact].

One day, Lance was reading his daily devotional and ran across a scripture that said it perfectly.
He told me to bookmark it and show it to Amanda.

A pretentious, showy life is an empty life;
a plain and simple life is a full life.
Proverbs 13:7  The Message

From that day forward, we didn't care that a mean-girl thought that Amanda was simple...
because in our book, now, simple means awesome!

With that said,
I was feeling far-from-simple with my new schedule.

A friend of mine told me she had written almost 70 papers for this English class I signed up for.
All of the assignments... and forums... and reading-- oh my geeze it was the worst stuff ever to try and comprehend.

Every time I would think about that class, my mouth would go dry and my hands would start to tingle.
I am serious y'all.
Every time Maddox asked if he could go to the park tomorrow, (and by every time, we all understand the class started a week ago-- he may have asked twice) my heart would palpate.
Call me drama,
but this class was making me crazy,
and honestly, I just wanted to go back to my "little old life".

Around 1:00am Wednesday night I made up my mind...
I was going to get out of it.
Thursday morning I marched myself into the college and quit.
Just like that.
Lost $100.
Didn't care.
Never done anything like that in my life.

I walked out of the college, feeling all kinds of emotions, and Lance was gone.
Moved the car.
For no reason whatsoever.

At that point, a huge emotion took over and I found myself crying on the doorsteps of a college on the phone with my mom feeling alone and pathetic.
There; amongst cute, young, careless people who could take my one class plus 4 others and still have time to party... without bills... kids... responsibilities... or the fear of failure.

In an instant I realized I wasn't cute.
Nor smart.
Nor dedicated.
I was simply pitiful.
A loser.

I had just made my days simpler.
And I was A-okay with that.

We left the college,
had lunch,
and then ran to WalMart for a few groceries.

A few isles in, Lance spots a lady with a grocery cart full to the brim.
If the 10 rolls of tin foil...
the 15 bags of sugar...
and about 30 cans of pork and beans....
didn't tell us that she was a crazy-couponer--
the four plastic [shoebox size] tubs of clipped coupons and eco-friendly bags tied to the front and back of her cart [for extra groceries], did.

Lance knows better than to point this out to me.
In 27 years I have not met a stranger...
and today was no different.

I told her I was intrigued and asked some of her best tricks.

She told me that her name was Celeste.
She was a mother to 6,
and grandmother to 20.
[nine people live in her house]
She has been couponing for over 20 years,
and I think she has it down to a science.

She spends 3 hours each week going to separate grocery stores and getting a bundle of their flyers.
She brings them home, separates them on her bed
and gives a packet to each of her friends.

She takes her handy-dandy notebook and goes through each sales-ad and writes down the things she needs and who has them at the lowest price.
She then takes her list and digs through her coupon boxes and finds the coupon that matches things already on sale.

She doesn't do Kroger or the other places that double or triple.
She doesn't buy 800 boxes of cat food when she doesn't even have a cat-- like the women on the show do...
she doesn't even print coupons from online.
But she saves.
Last week, she told me, her bill was $517 and she paid just over $7.

I ran in to her again a few isles over and she pointed to these:

She asked if my little boy would eat them,
and honestly I'm not sure, but I said, "maybe?"
(you know how I feel about ground beef-- and beef in a can..... that ups the ante a bit)

She broke it down.
"These are $0.97 here.  Diamond has them on sale for $0.49.  I have a coupon for $0.30 off of 3, making them $0.39 each.  Almost a 3/1 value."
She quickly scanned my cart and said, "your sugar is on sale for $1.49, pudding $0.49, and ranch style beans $0.39, let them know at the register."

I know I will not make near the dent in my pocket book that Celeste has in hers,
but some simple planning,
I could save a significant amount of money.

And sister has got to simplify.

Speaking of simplify,
I am still working on my monthly meal-planning.

Candace and I had our recipe swap.
Pinterest, Allrecepies, and pulling out our hand written stuff that we have made for years came to the table.

You know how I roll!

We were also able to pull up Face Book and grab some fun, new crockpot ideas from my friend's new page:
crock pot girls.

Here's the story there:
A year or so ago, Jenna, and her friends (including myself) would share crockpot recipes and somewhere along the line, it was catch-phrased into 'crockpot Mondays'.

2 weeks ago, Jenna posted that she was about to start back up the CPM, and wanted to know who was in.
We all start throwing up our 'aye's {or is it 'I'?} and one of her friends, thought that a FB page would be the easiest way to share amongst a group and created a simple little link.

That simple link went viral.

If you are not one of the million fans of crock pot girls on face book, you should be.

We can only laugh at this post that Jenna sent me a few days back
because it may just end up becoming the truth.

I am still working on my favorite crockpot picks, casseroles, and meals worth freezing for nights I am at work.

I realize these thing aren't always the most healthy...
or fall into the category of  devine dining...
But they do help me keep it simple.

And simple means awesome.
Even God thinks so!


  1. I'm glad your dropped your class...I think you're smart and cute, so there! You will have plenty of time to take that class sometime in the future.
    I have been cutting coupons lately and trying to make a difference in our grocery bill. Coupons sure do help...but I still wish I could figure out how those people get so much FREE stuff! It's amazing! It seems to take me forever to decide what coupons I will use w/ what sales...and I only go to one store!
    I have been seeing a lot of my friends on fb talk about the crock pot girls! Pretty cool!
    Hope you're enjoying a simple weekend...I know we are!

  2. Holly she is the one that got my dad into doing coupons if I am thinking of the same lady. After starting the nursing program I wish that my life was simple. I never though of it that way before until now, but I know it will all pay off in the end.