Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Off to a good start...

Even though today is March 31st, I'm counting it as my first official day of couponing/saving my way to spending $400 or less per month on groceries, toiletries and household items. Sprouts in Coppell is now my new favorite place to buy produce! Their weekly specials are amazing!!

Here is what I purchased today for a grand total of $7.17...

Blackberries $0.88
3 Apples $0.92
4 Kiwi $1.00
2 Oranges $1.48
2 Bunches of Strawberries $1.98
Choc. Covered Almonds $0.84 (a girl needs her chocolate!)

Is this unbelievable or what?! These items would have cost at least $15 at Tom Thumb. I was so pumped!! Now I'm working on organizing my list and coupons for my first big grocery run this weekend. I'll let you know how that goes....

OK, for all of your coupon queens out there, I have a couple of questions that I need your help with...

1) How exactly to double and triple coupons work? Is a double coupon when you have a store coupon and manufacturer coupon? Or do stores actually double and triple coupons on certain days? I'm most interested in Kroger, Albertsons and Walmart. Do they double/triple all coupons or just their store coupons?

2) Josh and I do not have a Costco membership, but we are considering getting one especially for items like toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, etc. (items that we use around the house all of the time). Is the bulk price worth the Costco membership, or is it better to coupon clip for these items and purchase at Walmart or Target?

Happy Saving!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Josh and I had a "budget meeting" the other night to update our monthly budget and to set some new spending/saving goals for 2010. To be quite honest, I dread these "meetings", but it was really good for us to take a little time out of our normal evening routine and really get on the same page regarding the money that is coming in and going out! The biggest line item in our budget that we tend to blow each month is on food/toiletries/household items....we group all of these items together because we usually purchase them at the same time at the grocery store, Target or Walmart. So, our new budget for these items is $400/month. Since I'm usually the one purchasing these items, it's now my job to make sure that we stick to this proposed budget. I'm not a coupon girl....BUT I'M ABOUT TO BECOME ONE! I posted a "request for coupon help" on my Facebook status earlier this week and I got some great comments! Beginning April 1st, it's all about coupons baby in the Rives household! I'll keep you posted on how it goes. I'm really hoping that I can finish the month under $400. Is that realistic? I hope so! Here is my game plan thus far....

1) Follow the Krazy Coupon Lady's amazing! I've been browsing it a little each day and I'm really loving it so far. I think it will be very helpful.

2) Purchase the Sunday paper and start clipping!

3) Purchase a mini file folder and get organized with my coupons and shopping lists.

4) Pray that I don't drive myself crazy.

If you have any advice/suggestions, please leave a comment. I need all the help I can get!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Family Legacy Update...

Josh has started sending monthly email updates to our family and friends....I will share them on my blog as well, so you are all up to date on Josh's role at Family Legacy! Happy Friday...Happy Weekend!!

Dear family and friends,

In order to keep you up to date on the ministry of Family Legacy Missions International and my role there, I have decided to start sending out monthly emails to our family and friends. I promise to keep them short and sweet and only send them once a month.

First of all, I want to thank you so much for supporting Mindy and I (prayerfully and/or financially) over the past year and a half a s I have worked full time at Family Legacy. The Lord is changing the lives of the children in Zambia and I am so thankful that He has allowed us (and you, our faithful supporters) to be a part of it!

Mindy and I are getting very excited as we creep closer to our departure date. We leave for Zambia on May 15 and get back about 8 weeks later on July 9. Last month we made a trip to Walmart to purchase most everything we'll need during our time in Zambia. Things like bedding, towels, toiletries, kitchen utensils, non-perishables like cereal, soup, pasta and most importantly salsa (no Mexican food for 8 weeks)! We have the ability to buy many of these things in Zambia, but we'll pay about 3-5 times more for it in Zambia than in the States. A box of Fruity Pebbles is not worth $15! All of the items we purchased are currently on a crate being shipped over to Zambia via ocean liner. Please pray that everything arrives safe and sound.

In addition to all of the work that I (and the rest of the Family Legacy staff) have been doing over the past few months to prepare for Camp LIFE this summer, I've also been working on gathering stories of some of the children who we have taken under our care in Zambia. One girl named Norah lived with her abusive mother who was dying of AIDS. One night Norah's mother forced her to leave the house in the middle of the night to go to the market to buy something. On the way to the market, Norah was brutally raped. Norah use to seek shelter and care at one of our Community Resource Centers nearly every day to escape the abuse she was receiving at home. Norah now lives at the Tree of Life Children's Village and she is so thankful to God for rescuing her! Norah is one of the 64 children who live full time at the Tree of Life Children's Village. Now, she is a thriving 11 year old who finds her worth and hope in her savior, Jesus Christ! Check out this video to watch Norah tell her story. I can't wait for Mindy to finally to get to meet Agness (aka Aggie), the little girl we sponsor monthly to live at the Tree of Life Children's Village....I know they will become quick friends!

As we prepare to leave for Zambia in May, here are a few of our prayer requests...
  1. That our financial needs will be met while we're in Zambia and for the rest of 2010. You can support us financially with a monthly or one-time gift at

  2. Peace for Mindy as she prepares to leave her job for 2 months.

  3. That Mindy and I would grow closer together and to the Lord during this process.

  4. That God's glory would increase as we serve Him and the children of Zambia this summer.
We are so grateful for your prayers! Thank you being part of our journey!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I need to buy a piece of green clothing for St. Patrick's Day 2011. I don't even have a pair of green panties.

We found a new Thai restaurant near our house that has great food. Our dishes were a bit spicy, but delicious.

Counting down the days until glee is back {April 13th}!

Still so excited that The Rectors are official residences of Coppell....their new house is a mile away from ours!

Went to see Dear John last week with my book club girls....I can actually say that I enjoyed the book and the movie.

I'm really loving cereal right now.

My husband (who is anti-social networking) has caved and is now Twittering.

We leave for Zambia in 64 days!

Thankful that the Lord has provided the perfect situation for our home and pups while we're gone.

Josh is shocked that I have absolutely no desire to join him on April 11th at 7:30am to watch the implosion of Texas Stadium.

Still amazed that Jake actually picked Vienna. Sad that we'll be in Zambia during Alli's reign as the bachelorette.

I've almost finished my second bag of Hershey's Eggs of the favorite Easter candy.

Really not that impressed with American Idol's Top 12.

Busy blogging at work....check out our new blog! A little reason why PB&PT has been lacking lately. Sorry.

Ashamed that this is my 3rd blog post in a row with no not like me.

Mailed in our census form today.

Looking forward to trying this quick bread recipe soon.

Extremely grateful for the blessings in our lives.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Deep thoughts from Kalie and Cole Popelka...

This email from my sister-in-law totally made my day yesterday....
Just left the bedside of your precious, amazing and fun niece and nephew.
Kalie – wise beyond her 7 years – told us that when she’s 15 she plans to find a boyfriend that loves the Longhorns. Really hilarious…how she works your brother and me.
Cole – who is as sweet as he looks – told me that he does not know how to choose a girlfriend. I told him that all the beautiful girls will love him, but what is important is to find one that loves Jesus. He said “Mom, how do I find a girl who loves Jesus the most?”
After a long day, I needed a back up. I was about to fail as a mother without a good response to a very deep, serious question!!
My response: “Aunt Mi Mi knows the answer to that question, Cole.” He said “I’ll ask Mi Mi.”
Did you know that when your brother had children it would be such a big responsibility for YOU?
I think my heart just might melt! Now on to figuring out my response to Cole's oh so important question!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blog Neglect...

I know it's time to update my poor, neglected blog when I start receiving emails from my family members asking if I'm sick or something! Thanks for checking on me cousin Paula....this post is for you!

All is well in our neck of the is really picking up for me with all of our Spring and Summer weddings on the horizon. Josh is busy with work as well getting ready for Camp LIFE this summer. I can't believe we leave for Zambia on May 15th!! We're are getting so excited and I think it's starting to really sink in that we are leaving in 2 months and we'll be gone for 8 weeks!! Yikes!!

Other than that, not much else to report. Sorry! I guess I'm boring right now.

I'm going to see Dear John tonight with my book club girls....we read the book last month. I hear that the movie is very different from the book, so I'm anxious to see it!

Have a great day!!