How I organize my couponing stash.

Welcome!  Today is Organizing Wednesday here at  MidlifeMomMusings.  Every Wednesday I will organize some portion of my life…work, home, play or anywhere in between. 

Won’t you join me?


This week’s project was organizing my couponing stash.  I needed to clean out certain areas of my home where I keep my extra products that I get when I go CVS’ing, Targeting, etc.

My laundry detergents, paper towels and extra toilet paper are stored in our garage, just outside our laundry room. I am running low on paper towels, so I will put that on my list next time I see a sale.  Not too much organization needs to be done out there.

(I now have 18 bottles of detergent.  I think I’m set for a bit.)


My personal care products are kept in our master bathroom, and unfortunately, they do need some kind of organizational system in place so I can see what I have.

Here it is in it’s present state.


Not too bad, but I have items in wrong bins, and things need to be straightened out.

If you can’t tell from this picture, I have separate bins for the following categories:

  1. Oral Care
  2. Hair Products
  3. Soaps and body washes
  4. Deodorant and Shaving Products
  5. Feminine Products

IMG_1627 IMG_1626 IMG_1617The feminine products are on the very top shelf, along with extra cotton balls and q-tips. (not pictured).  The second to the last shelf is for misc. items, and travel pouches.  I also keep toilet paper and bathroom cleaning products on the bottom floor of the closet.

To start organizing, I took all of the bins out and took out all of its contents.  This helped me to see what I have enough of, and what I need to get.  I got rid of things that expired, or I would not use and put back everything by category.

Note to self:  Needed: Razors, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

Because I use the bins, it was very easy to put back into place.

The finished linen closet:


It really doesn’t look too much different than before, but now I have a handle on what I have and what I need.

How do you organize your personal care products?

A surprise phone call from my grandson….

IMG_1629 IMG_1630

…equals a HUGE and exciting 2015!!!

My CVS Haul. Finally.

{{Let me preface this by saying I actually did a VLOG on this haul, but I’m still having trouble editing and getting the video to come out clear…..I’m hoping I figure it out soon, but I must say, hats off to all Vloggers.  Vlogging is hard to do and editing and uploading is even harder !}}

Finally!  Some great sales, coupons and extracare bucks all at the same time!  I needed to use $5 of Extracare bucks before they expired and was so glad I could use them this week.DSCN5644Lots of good stuff:  laundry detergent, face wash, soap, conditioner and toothpaste…all my specific name brand products that I use and love!

This CVS haul was done in 5 transactions to the chagrin of the cashier…(no worries, there was no one waiting in line behind me!)  My mantra today was to just keep rolling those Extracare bucks….

Here are the transactions:

  1. Two Nexxus Conditioners:  Original price $10.99 each  Less $3 CVS coupon, and $5.00 Extra Care Bucks:  Total Price: $15.00  PLUS $10.00 Extracare bucks going forward….
  2. (4) Tide detergents @ $5.94 each Less $10.00 Extracare Bucks and $7.00 in Manufacturer Coupons = $8.19 with $5.00 Extracare bucks going forward…
  3. (2) 6 pack Dove soaps, (1) Dove shower gel Buy 1, Get 1′s Less $2.00 CVS coupon, $2.00 MC, $5.00 Extracare bucks = $11.11 w/$5.00 Extracare bucks going forward….
  4. (2) Simple face washes, (2) Simple Face Wipes @ Buy 1 get 1 50%, plus B1G1 Manufacturer coupons, less $5.00 Extracare bucks = $4.75 w/$5.00 Extracare bucks going forward….
  5. (2) Crest SensiRelief toothpastes @ $4.79 each, less $2.00 Manufacturer coupons, less $5.00 Extracare bucks = $3.25 with $4.00 Extracare bucks for next week!

Total price without sales: $118.48

Total out of pocket: $42.60 

Total Savings: $75.88!!!

There are three other large Tide detergents in the picture that I actually purchased at the Giant (our local grocery store).  With their sales and my coupons, they ended up being $6.00 each. (Original price: $14.99 each).

All in all not a bad day for couponing.

Have you scored any deals this week?


My checkbook is saying July should be over now.

Maxine Checkbook CoverWhy is there more month than money? It seems every summer it’s the same thing.  I fall behind from the spending frenzy called Spring and Summer.

I thought this year would be a bit different.  Since we haven’t traveled or vacationed, dined out or purchased frivolously, I thought I would be in the black easily.  However, my checkbook is telling a different story.

This really bothered me, so I studied my spending diaries starting in May through this month to get a clue as to why this happened.  It soon became very clear why I don’t have as much as I thought I did.

  • End of school year expenses and graduation.  I spent a lot of money for the graduation party and entertaining out of town guests.  (However, it was worth every penny :) )
  • Groceries.  Good grief!  I spent on food over the past 3 months.  I truly have to get this in check.
  • And, along the same line, I thought we didn’t eat out much. Ahem.  I guess all those bagel stops added up. :(
  • Okay, so we did purchase a new washer and dryer.  That took a HUGE chunk out of our checkbook.  (I took what I would normally send to the educational savings account and applied it to this bill).  I would still have only $49 in my checkbook if we didn’t purchase them because I would have sent it to the ESA.  Now I’m a bit behind on my ESA savings, which I’ll have to make up in August.
  • Clothing.  I made some clothing purchases this month for myself as well as the kids.  Bathing suits, shorts, running shoes…they certainly added up quickly.  It really didn’t feel like major purchases when you buy things separately, but the total in the clothing category proved differently….

I did have other expenses these past couple of months, but I had saved for them so they wouldn’t have contributed to the empty checkbook. (i.e. taxes, insurance, summer camp, etc.)

I think what happens is that I tend to spend more freely in the summer time because everything is so relaxed.   When the warm weather hits, I feel better, so I spend more.  Hmmm, maybe a retirement down south may not be such a good idea?? I’m also not following my ‘cash only’ mantra this summer and I suppose that’s contributing to the shortage as well.  Time to break out the cash again and catch up.  Hopefully, I’ll even be able to add something to savings too!

How is your checkbook looking with one week of July left?




Organizing Wednesday: A Kitchen Cabinet Revisit.

Welcome!  Today is Organizing Wednesday here at  MidlifeMomMusings.  Every Wednesday I will organize some portion of my life…work, home, play or anywhere in between. 

Won’t you join me?

This post was supposed to be about organizing my bedside table but I wasn’t feeling very well on Monday (when I planned to do it) and it didn’t get done.  Instead, I thought I would dig into my archives and pull out another organizational project that I had already completed and shared.

This was my favorite organizing project, but I actually have to reorganize a couple of my kitchen cabinets this summer, so this is a good time to share what they presently look like. 

{{original posting date: August, 2012}}

While our kitchen was being done and the house was turned upside down, I was busy organizing closets, drawers, cupboards, etc.  I got rid of over 300 items to goodwill and disposed of 10 bags of trash.  Yikes!

I still have some organizing projects to do, but here are a few pics of the results of my labor:

My junk drawer…now I can find something to write with!
I decided to put my spices in a drawer.  I used this organizer from the Container Store.
Chalkboard labels and an 11″ lazy susan help me stay organized in this cupboard.
I purchased a shelf  to help separate some dishes and make more room.


I was a wee bit obsessed with my chalkboard labels…but it’s so much fun! (And organized, right?)
During the clean out I found my tea cups!  Now they are prominently displayed in my glass cupboard!
A simple organizing tool, but so effective!


This 16″ lazy susan helps find the ‘spirits’ I need want without taking out all of the bottles!


How do you organize your kitchen cabinets?

Product review: Ceramic coated fry pan. PLUS this week’s menu plan.

indexI have been having a hard time finding a good non-stick fry pan.  I’ve used high quality (Emeril) teflon pans in the past, but they haven’t seemed to last.  On several occasions I’ve had to throw out food when chemicals leeched from the pan.  (If a teflon pan gets too hot, it emits poisonous chemicals fumes (PFOA) which can poison both the air and food).  Although stainless steel fry pans are completely nontoxic, the frustration from food sticking had prompted me to find a better non-stick choice.  While out shopping on Saturday, I came across a new non-stick fry pan made out of ceramic and free of PFOA.  The new Simply Calphalon 12″ Ceramic Omelet pan was the perfect size, and I thought I would give this one a try.

Last night I used the pan to saute some chicken cutlets.  This pan was quick to heat up and evenly cooked all of my cutlets.  Best of all?  A breeze to clean.  We’ll see how it lasts over time, but I’m happy to say I believe ceramic is a good alternative to Teflon if you want a nonstick pan.

I thought I would plan my menu utilizing my new pan this week and have created some dinners (highlighted in red) that will put it to good use.

On the menu for this week:

  • Enchiladas, Brown rice
  • Chicken Picata, Angel Hair Pasta, Spinach salad
  • Spaghetti & Meatballs, Tossed Salad
  • Chicken Pad Thai
  • Club Sandwiches (Turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato)
  • Beef Cubes on the Grill, Roasted Veggies, Corn on the Cob

Have you ever tried the ceramic nonstick fry pans?



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