Friday, April 22, 2011

(not so) extreme couponing.

Check out this picture of our amazing grocery stockpile!


Okay, so obviously that situation isn't currently happening in our one bedroom apartment, but the Krueger family has officially joined the couponing club. We've been using coupons and focussing on shopping sales since the first of the month and it is already making a HUGE impact on our monthly grocery budget. So far this month, we have saved over 40% and I feel like that number will easily grow next month.

A few disclaimers, I am not an expert. I'm definitely new to the game and am still learning the ropes. Also, I have no intentions of hoarding groceries in our closets. My only goal is to shave a little bit of money off our grocery bill. My goal is not to have 95 bottles of salad dressing!

I have had some friends asking for tips on what we are doing so thought I would share some tips and highlight some of the things I have learned so far.

Almost everything I have learned is courtesy of This website is absolutely incredible for walking you through the process of learning to coupon WISELY! There is no need to have enough toilet paper to last 40 years (ahem, Extreme Couponers!) but you can shop smart and see a great difference in your budget. Here's a little breakdown of the tips that I think are most important:
  1. Don't just shop with coupons, also shop the sales. Buy 1, Get 1 sales are a great place to start. B1G1 deals combined with using coupons are an even better place to start. 
  2. If you are willing to be flexible with brands, you'll find more sales available to you.
  3. That being said, be a smart shopper. Don't spend the money if you know no one in your house will use it (unless it is an incredible deal... then you should take advantage and donate it!)
A big question with couponing is where to find the coupons. These are the places where I find most of my coupons:
  1. Newspaper inserts-I have a Sunday-only subscription to our paper (I bought the subscription on Groupon!)
  2. Printable coupon websites-a few common ones are, and
  3. Shopping lists on
  4. Facebook-lots of companies will post deals on Facebook, all you have to do is 'Like' their page to have access. 
And to break up a few misconceptions that I think keep people from couponing...
  1. You don't have to buy junk food to be able to use coupons. Think about all of the things you regularly buy in addition to food-paper products, cleaning supplies, toiletries... there are coupons for all of that! There are also great coupons and sales on good foods. I promise, Kyle and I don't sit around eating potato chips and frozen pizzas every day. We save that for Fridays...kidding...maybe :)
  2. Couponing doesn't have to take up all of your free time. I have spent VERY little time cutting coupons. That is because does all of the work for me. I don't even clip the coupons from my newspaper inserts, I stash them away until I see them listed on her weekly shopping lists. 
  3. You do not need a bomb shelter to hold your stockpile. I know I've already mentioned that but it's so true. I may have a few extra rolls of paper towels stashed in our laundry room, but only enough to tide us over until the next great sale. 
  4. You won't need to have eight shopping carts at the store and ten friends to help you navigate the checkout lanes. (see number 3 above)
That's probably plenty of information to overwhelm all of you for now! I have a few more posts scheduled that should help, one on my favorite things about (have I mentioned yet that I love this website?!) and one on a few other money saving tricks I've recently discovered. I should have those posted in the next few days. 

Feel free to leave questions in the comments section. This is probably my third attempt at couponing, the first attempts lasted about five minutes when I quickly realized that saving $2.00 was not worth 2 hours of my time. What is worth my time is spending about one hour a month to save over $200. Those are numbers I can stand behind. After all, I have a sweet little baby on the way and need to be able to shower it with presents!

Monday, April 18, 2011

week 12.

I promise I'll start trying to add more pictures to my updates. Every time I would remember to take one, I was either already in comfy clothes or feeling not quite cute enough to document the moment. I wrote the post last Thursday and was waiting to publish until I had a picture but it just never happened. 

Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along: 12 weeks! (on Thursday)
Size of baby: Baby is the size of a plum, just over TWO inches long!
Maternity Clothes: Only my beloved maternity jeans. I can still fit into my regular jeans (I think, I honestly haven't touched them in about a week!) but the comfort cannot even compare to how wonderful my maternity jeans are. 
Gender: We set the date to find out, May 24! One day after our second anniversary we will find out what this little baby is!
Movement: Not yet but I can't wait until there is.
Sleep: Not quite as great as usual. I am trying to start sleeping on my side and not my stomach, although my doctor said not to stress over that just yet. Either way, I wake up a million times a night to switch sides. If I'm on one side for too long, my arm falls asleep and I wake up. And let's not forget middle of the night potty breaks. I am less than thrilled that I can expect those to get more frequent...
What I miss: Same as last meat, just lunchmeat sandwiches. I used to eat them for lunch every day so now I feel like I cannot come up with anything to eat when lunchtime rolls around. I just whipped up a big batch of chicken salad and hopefully that will help. I'm a little sick of chicken noodle soup for lunch!
Cravings: Nothing terribly specific. The general trend has been that if it isn't in our apartment, that is what I'm going to want for dinner. Even when the pantry is fully stocked, it is somehow never filled with exactly what I want. High maintenance, much??
Symptoms: My exhaustion is getting a little better. Some days are better than others. I had been having some really bad stomach aches in the evenings, but that ended about a week ago THANK GOODNESS!
Best Moment this week: We opted to do the first trimester screening which is basically an extra ultrasound to help determine your baby's risk for genetic disorders. We were happy to leave the appointment with a great report and loved getting to see our little nugget! He/she was wiggling around like crazy and we got a great view of the sweetest little baby profile. The baby was being a little stubborn with the ultrasound tech and although we were seeing a great profile image, baby wouldn't stretch out its little neck so the tech could get the exact image she needed. I was more than okay with getting to watch our baby on the monitor for a little bit longer!

And although I don't have a bump picture for you, how about a picture of our little peanut last week? I was 11 weeks, 5 days when these were taken.

It looks like the baby is sucking its thumb in this one, but we have a shot from another angle that makes us think his or her little hand was just relaxing up by that sweet face. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

the birthday girl.

If you have ever talked to me for more than ten minutes, you have likely heard me mention my sister. 

It just so happens that today is this wonderful girl's birthday! 

As much as I wish I could be, I'm not spending this birthday with her. But mark my words, I'll be packing up little Baby Krueger next April and making the trip to DC to celebrate my favorite girl! 

So happy, happy, happy birthday to the greatest sister I could ever ask for. The most beautiful, honest, caring, supportive, loving sister who has always been on my side. 

Happy birthday to my favorite shopping buddy, sleepover pal, and all-around best girlfriend.

I could not imagine a more wonderful sister. My life is truly blessed to have this wonderful girl in it. There are few people who can brighten my day as quickly as she can and I think God every day for the gift of a sister as wonderful as her. 

Happy birthday, Jenni-lou!

ps-have you ever seen a more beautiful bride?!

Monday, April 11, 2011

busy bee.

If my lack of posting hasn't made it clear by now, I've been a busy little lady lately!

Last week I was busy with making lots of crafts for a bridal shower, plus schoolwork and feeling under the weather thanks to my little nugget. 

Over the weekend I had a jam-packed trip to Texas to help host the bridal shower, more schoolwork and time with my parents. 

This week I am trying to get caught up on additional schoolwork (are you noticing this end-of-semester trend??), housework and hopefully squeezing in some time to blog. 

I'm crossing my fingers that I will be caught up on life by Thursday so I can get back on track with weekly updates about Baby K. I should have lots to share because we have a big ultrasound tomorrow. 

I just wanted to pop in and let you all know that we're doing great, just trying to stay on top of everything. Most of the things I've been swamped with (party planning, finding a place to live, traveling to Texas) are wonderful things to be busy with, so I'm taking it all in stride! A few days of focus should have me feeling caught up and hopefully I'll have some extra time to chat with all of you. 

In the meantime, we would love some extra prayers for tomorrow's appointment! We cannot wait to see our little one again but more than anything want a good report on a healthy baby!

Friday, April 1, 2011

week 10.

I am going to do my very best to do a weekly pregnancy update (along with every other pregnant girl in blogland!). I actually really enjoy reading them (and have stalked them religiously over the last few weeks) and know that a lot of our relatives are probably interested in keeping up with how Baby Krueger is growing. Mostly though, I want a record to look back on. It's the same standard pregnancy questionnaire as is on almost every pregnant gal's blog.

I turned 10 weeks yesterday so I'll try to do my updates on Thursdays from here on out. I had estimated my due date one day later than it actually is so I'm used to counting my weeks each Friday, not Thursday. 

Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along: 10 weeks yesterday!
Size of baby: According to, nugget is the size of a kumquat. Translation: just over 1 inch long!
Maternity Clothes: None so far but I can tell that my regular clothes are getting more and more uncomfortable
Gender: Don't know yet but yes, we will be finding out!
Movement: Not yet but I can't wait until there is.
Sleep: I've been sleeping really well (anyone who knows me at all is not surprised by this) but wake up at least once a night to go to the bathroom. I was pretty sure that isn't supposed to start happening until much later but I've been enjoying a 3 am wake-up for the last few weeks.
What I miss: I've been really wanting sushi lately. Other than that, just lunchmeat sandwiches. I never realized how much I loved them until I was afraid to eat them for fear of food poisoning.
Cravings: Chick-fil-A. I could eat it for every meal of every day (but I promise I haven't!)
Symptoms: oh my goodness gracious, EXHAUSTION! I am tired all the time. And at 2:00 every day, it is all I can do to keep from crawling back into bed.
Best Moment this week: Seeing our baby for the first time! I cannot get over what an amazing experience that was. This was also my first time to meet my doctor at all and that was a great moment as well. I absolutely love her and am so thankful that a friend recommended her to me! I was very concerned about finding a doctor here that I like so she was a big answer to that prayer!

And since this is my first big update, I thought I'd share a little more information. Baby Krueger is due October 27. I have felt really well throughout the entire pregnancy so far! The exhaustion has been around the whole time and I am ready to bid it adieu! Other than that, any stomach ache I have had has usually been because I have gone too long without eating. I have learned my lesson and do my best to have a snack in my purse if I know it will be a while between meals. I have had no nausea so far and am VERY thankful for that!

We get to see our little nugget again in just under two weeks and I am counting down the days!

Thank you so, so much for all of the kind words and prayers for our little one! It means the world to us to have our wonderful friends and family sharing in our excitement!