just another day in parent-dise…

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Filed under: Chris the hubby,family,life,random — Kaela Green @ 9:13 am
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Happy New Year to you!  I hope that your 2009 is great! 

I’m so excited about everything that’s going to happen this year.  Ryan will be going off to Kindergarten.   AJ will hopefully be potty trained.  🙂  Carson will be walking and talking.  We will be going on our first official family vacation.  I will hopefully be doing more photography.  And Chris is looking forward to what’s in store for him at Northern Hills.  What an amazing year it’s going to be!  And what a great start to all of it when gas is $1.34/gal!  Did you ever think we’d see it that low again?   I sure didn’t!!!

Many of us make resolutions at this time of year.  Lose weight or take better care of our bodies, call home more often, be better parents, take up a new hobby…  I’ve never been much of a resolution making type of gal because when I fail (usually within the first week) I feel nothing but guilty.  I do, however, reflect over the last year and think and pray about the changes I can make to be more like the woman that God is designing me to be.  I think this year I’ll be focusing on using my time better.  With 3 boys, working online, and teaching Jazzercise, I think that’ll be key to keeping me on the sane side of life. 

I think another “biggy” when it comes to resolutions is spending money more wisely.  Which leads me to coupons…I’ve been a HUGE advocate of coupons for about two years now.  I started playing the Grocery Game in the summer of ’06 (I think).  When I was keeping track, I think that first year I saved over $1000 using coupons.  And recently I found another website that helps assist in keeping the grocery bills lower:  Coupon Mom.  We typically don’t spend over $200 in groceries per month and coupons play a huge part in that.  I also shop the quick sale items for meat, milk, and bread.  The deep-freeze is my best friend when it comes to stretching that dollar.  So just to give you an example of what our shopping bill looks like I’ll tell you what I saved and spent today.  This was only average when compared to how I usually do…

Today at King Soopers I spent $35.11 and this is what it bought me:

2 boxes of Betty Crocker potatoes

2 boxes of Life cereal

Jiffy corn muffins

A loaf of whole wheat bread-quick sale rack for $1.50

18 count lg eggs

1 package of turkey brats-quick sale for $1.29

1 package of turkey drumsticks-quick sale for $2.13

1 package of 16 chicken drumsticks-quick sale for $3.91

Dishwasher detergent

2 coffemate creamers

Laundry detergent

Bananas

1 pineapple

1 package of Jumbo hotdogs-terrible for us, I know, but the kids love ’em!

24 count Aleve

Skippy natural PB

2 boxes of mac ‘n cheese

6 individual servings of applesauce-quick sale for $.14/each

I brought my own bags and saved$.25.  I also saved $10.80 with my King Soopers card and I saved $8.80 using coupons.  So I saved a total of $19.60.  Usually I save closer to 50-75% of what I spend.  Today it was only 37%, but still not bad!

The biggest thing with coupons (imhp) is that you can’t be brand specific and just because you have a coupon for something does NOT mean you have to use it.  When I first started, I pretty much bought everything that was 75% off or more.  That included all the c-rap that is good to eat, but maybe not the healthiest of options.  I still tend to buy those things every now and again when they are $.50 or less, but I’m much picker than I have been in my earlier days as a couponer.  Happy shopping!

Coupons and Salvation  a devotional by Chris Green  bathtime5
     Recently my wife has gotten into the rather surprisingly in-depth world of couponing.  She plans, organizes, and watches weekly for “the list”.  It’s really something to see.  The art of clipping, comparing, counting, cutting cost, and combining them in a cute little coupon cache is comparable to a crazy artist with his canvas!  She redeems these coupons for items at a reduced cost, sometimes even for free!  Great for the budget!
     As she dives into this endeavor, it made me think of the word redeem.  It made me think about how God has chosen to redeem us through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  The Oxford Dictionary defines the word redeem like this:  Redeem: -to buy back;  -to recover by effort and/ or payment;  -make a single payment to discharge;  -to save from;  -purchase the freedom of;  -to save or rescue.  Look at the last two definitions in particular.  The words freedom, save, and rescue ring loud.  We need rescuing from our sin.  Like those coupons, we need to be redeemed.  The apostle Paul makes this very clear in his letter to the Roman church that this is just what Jesus has done for us.  “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all  have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:22-24 emphasis mine). 
     The cost to redeem our lives was high.  So high, in fact, that the only worthy payment was God sacrificing Himself as Jesus Christ, taking our sin and dying in our place, for us, so that we might be bought back.  And in so doing, receiving freedom and forgiveness from the sin that rules our lives.  Ephesians 1:7-8 says, “In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”  Christ has redeemed us!  You didn’t have a choice when you came into this world.  You were born a sinner.  But God’s greatness prevails over the dead-end that sin brings us to if we give our lives to Him.  “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”  (1 Peter 1:18-19). 
     If you’ve never given your life to Jesus … stopped living for yourself and started living for Him … turned from your way to His way … been redeemed by His blood, then I invite you to do that today.  Right now.  You just need to talk with the Savior.  Maybe you say something like this:  God, I know I messed up.  I confess my sin to you and I’m sorry that I’ve sinned against you.  I believe that you sent your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me, and that he was resurrected to sit at your right hand.  I turn from my sin to you, Lord.  Amen.
     So, as you look at the ads in the paper or stroll down the grocery aisle and see those coupons, think about redemption.  When you redeem that coupon, remember that Jesus redeemed you from an eternity of separation from Him and don’t wait another day to share this news of salvation with others.   Amen.
 
Chris Green

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