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January 22, 2008

The Grocery Game

I have to admit I love playing games and what better game to play than one that affects your real life financial bottom line.  My younger sister told me about The Grocery Game.  The general gist is that you are out to stock your shelves with items you would use for a price less than what the store would normally like you to pay.  For those of you who are raising an eyebrow regarding this, yes it’s 100% legal.

You might ask how I can play this game. The game is based partly on coupons you cut out from your Sunday paper and online coupons you print and clip.  Every Sunday the lists of items that are on sale in your selected stores are posted on The Grocery Game website.  The lists will tell you what items it recommends that you stock up on.  Everything you can buy in the store is subject to be on the list, provided it’s on sale.  Each list is color coded.  Green items = Free Items, Blue Items = Best deal you’ll find on this item, Black Items = On sale but only buy as you need them.  You’ll read through the list and see where you can use your coupons to obtain the best deals.

I’ve learned a few things: 1. if you live in a state that double coupons for you, they only double the first coupon, so if you want all your coupons doubled you need to make more than one trip. 2. If you have a coupon worth more than one dollar, it will be doubled only to an additional dollar off. 3. Clip every coupon in the Sunday paper, things you think you’d never use, when they are ‘free’ you might just want to try them. 4. Its worth the money saved to take the time and shop this way.

I’ve been keeping a spread sheet with running totals showing me just how much money I’m saving on every trip and every month.  I figure, I’ll track my grocery spending for the year and see just how much I save.  So far I’m saving on average 61% off each of my grocery bills.

Hopefully you too will try out the game and see that it’s worth the money saved.  As I have asked my friends, if every time you go to the grocery store and save upwards of 70 dollars out of 100 spent, isn’t that worth the time you spend playing this game? I think its worth every penny!

Happy Shopping!

Kat and the kids.

Filed under: Fun Stuff,Life,Money Matters by Kat at 10:55 pm

December 24, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Last night we as a family were off and running doing one of our favorite Christmas traditions that make the holiday season truly Christmas for us.

Yes it was time for the Annual Trek to see Santa.

Our trip started with a trip to the Seattle Center, where they have a wonderful Christmas train display. My nephew, who is into trains, was nearly beside himself with joy just watching the trains and over the top with excitement getting to drive one, with a $5 donation he also received one mighty cool mini train whistle. Uncle Nate, Michele’s husband, came up with the most ingenious way of getting Andrew to leave the trains by enticing him with a ride on the Monorail. Riding in the front of the car he was able to watch the driver guide us along the downtown corridor to the heart of Downtown Seattle.

Off we went to our appointment to see Santa. My sister Michele surprised both Becky and I by hopping right onto his lap. Most years she fusses but not this year, she climbed aboard his knee and had quite the conversation with him. My mom officially has 40 Santa pictures of her daughters. Starting with me at 4 months old and going through this year.

This is one of the traditions that never seem to die. Several years ago my mom decided we could stop going if we chose, however, we girls planned the trip right around her. It’s taken on a life of its own. No matter where anyone of us girls has resided in or out of state we always manage to make it to see Santa and sit upon his knee.

After our trip downtown we all head down to a local favorite, the Old Spaghetti factory. Down on the Seattle waterfront across from Pier 70, it’s an old warehouse converted to be a warm welcoming restaurant. Anyone who’s ever been inside of one knows they are filled to the brim with antiques, have beds for tables and serve some of the best spaghetti this side of Italy.

It’s Christmas Eve now and tonight we’ll head down to Church for the Christmas Eve Vigil. As always our family enjoys a wonderful program then heads home for a holiday Ham and visiting. After which we all snuggle down in our beds and wait for Santa to arrive.

Tomorrow morning the whole family will descend upon the house bringing Christmas cheer and laugher to our day. Andrew and Megan will be agog at the presents under the tree, baby dolls, trucks and other fun things are waiting in their bright colored packages to be opened and played with. After which we will share a Christmas turkey and all its fixings and more fun times.

Here is wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years.

From our house to yours!!!

Kat and the kids

Filed under: Life,Love,Pursuit of Happiness by Kat at 9:37 am

December 6, 2007

The holidays are upon us.

Silly Deer

There is nothing more exciting than knowing that the holidays are upon us.  I am sitting here typing to you while listening to KOST 103.5, Southern California’s soft rock station.  Through the holidays they play continual Christmas music, and I must say listening to both traditional and obscure holiday tunes songs that I grew up on is most comforting.  I’m sure all three of the kids are wondering why I’m listening to Christmas music, they will understand when they check their stockings and see that Santa has left them all catnip treats, crinkle balls and fun mice to play with.

Norad Tracks Santa

I’m pleased to announce that NORAD has begun its official 2007 Santa tracking!  You too can follow along by visiting their site.  There are lots of things to explore in the North Pole and on Christmas Eve following Santa’s flight, just make sure you dive into bed before Santa lands on your roof top.  *Note: You can click the Norad banner above and be whisked away to the North Pole to check out the going ons up there this time of year.*

I am headed home to Seattle for the holidays and am looking forward to the trip.  My nephew Andrew is such a darling.  The other day I called and spoke with him.  He asked me “Auntie Kat… when is your birfday?” I told him “It’s in August baby.”  Then he asked the one of those questions that men should never ask a lady. “Auntie Kat how old will you be?” When I replied “40”, he stated “I’m four”.  He knows that Christmas means we exchange gifts and he has a little trouble with remembering the difference between birthdays and the holidays.  Then the imp asked me.  “Auntie Kat what would you like for your birfday?”  when I said “Well, I’m not sure.”  he stated with great certainty, “You need a new car because your car has a flat tire.”  I had to smile, the things this little man remembers, I mentioned during the thanksgiving holiday that my car had a flat tire and darn if he didn’t remember that.

During my trip home we girls will be embarking upon one of our family traditions of sitting on Santa’s lap.  My mother can chronicle our lives by those photos.  This year she will have her 40th photo of me on Santa’s lap.  She loves to pull them out and we all enjoy looking at them and remembering when.Â

In the beginning it’s just me, then as the years slowly tick by you see the addition of my two sisters.  There are years my mom swears she wonders if we girls had a mother, due to impart the current styles in the late 70s and 80s and into the 90s.  Then we have those years where one of us looked stunning and the other two, well not so much, and on the odd year when all three of us beauties looked just that simply gorgeous.Â

I suppose if I ever bring home a fellow for the family to meet, instead of whipping out the obligatory Kat, as a baby naked on the bed, she will show them our life story in the holiday pictures.

I received a wonderful card from my moms God daughter Cheryl.  She and I have been pen pals since I was in 3rd grade and begged my mom for someone to write to.  She is the woman I shared all my hopes and dreams with throughout the last 30+ years.  She’s shared the trials and tribulations of my life and I hers.  She knew every time I had a boyfriend, a crush, or just needed to vent about life in general.  There is nothing like having a confidant like she was for me.  Since she lived on the east coast and I live out on the west coast, it was to expensive to call however at the time it cost nearly nothing to send a letter in the mail.  I used to wait for her letters and read them over and over.  To this day I have every childhood letter she sent me, they fill an entire box!  I remember the first time I talked to her on the phone, it was right before I married at the ripe old age of 19 and she called me to confirm that my wedding dress was indeed white due to her dream that I was getting married in an ORANGE dress.Â

In her note she sent along a picture, her three babies are no longer so little, her oldest is now 17, her middle is 15 and her baby is now 12, its amazing how time flies.  I’ve watched all three grow up through pictures, letters and heard about life on the occasional phone call we have now and again.  She to this day remains the one friend I’ve had the longest, with the one exception of my sister Becky.  I’d like to send her family warm wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years. *note: I’ll be sending a card snail mail too*

On that note it’s now 11:06pm and I’ve been sitting here singing songs along with KOST’s holiday songs and it’s time for me to retire to bed.

Here is wishing you and yours a very Happy, Safe and Wonderful Holiday Season!

Love Kat and the kids.

Jolly Holly
Filed under: Life,Love,Pursuit of Happiness by Kat at 12:24 am
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