Posted by: theprovidentwoman | August 6, 2009

Last Post

This will be the last post to this website. You can view my new & final site at

I promise this is it. I will not change my blog site ever again.

Hope to see you there. Please keep visiting the site. I plan to start giveaways soon!  YEAHH! Free stuff!

Posted by: theprovidentwoman | August 6, 2009

Grocery Game for Dummies

For years I have heard about these women who can go grocery shopping and buy $100 worth of food and only pay $15. WHAT? How do I get me some of that action?

Well, I have a friend who moved down to Texas. She met this wonderful woman who taught her how. She told me about it over the phone. I didn’t believe her. There is no one to save that much money. My friend told me she would be coming up in a couple of weeks and she would show me. And show me she did. And taught me she did.

 With her she brought a huge stack of coupons she got from Sunday’s paper. And she instructed me to cut out every, EVERY coupon in it. I thought “okaaaay. I wasn’t buying depends no matter how much I’ll save.”

 I cut out everything. She then showed me how she files everything in her coupon sorter. So we went out and bought me one. I got mine at Staples, but I know Wal-Mart has them for cheaper and I bought my sister-in-law one at Target for $2.

So here is how I sort my coupons:

1st slot: I leave open to use the coupons I know for sure I will use during my grocery trip.

2nd: Baby or child.

3rd: Any personal hygiene or makeup.

4th: All household products.

5th: Meal stuff

6th: Baking stuff

7th: Dairy

8th: Batteries (I don’t know why I give this one it’s own)

9th: Restaurants

10th: Pet stuff (I don’t even have pets)

Now if you buy a coupon holder with more slots you can separate out to more categories. Some people use 3-ring binders with picture sleeves. This is too hard core for me. I can’t tote around a 3-ring binder everywhere. I can carry around this little coupon holder in my purse all of the time.

 Now there are a few rules to go buy if you really want to save as much money as possible.

1st rule: Don’t buy anything you wouldn’t normally buy just because you have a coupon or it’s on sale.

 2nd rule: Make your weekly menu off of the sale ads and your coupons.

 3rd rule: Make a list and only buy what’s on it.

 Okay, so now you have the basic rules. Take out the weekly ads for ALL of the local grocery stores. Look through the ones for the stores that double any coupons first. If something is on sale AND you have a coupon for it, this is considered a GREAT buy. You might want to see how that will fit into your menu. If it’s something like shampoo you might want to consider switching for a bottle or two.

 If you are buying more than one of the same thing, you can use more than one coupon.

 OH, here is something I didn’t know before – look for buy one get one free adds. If you have a buy one get free coupon too, you get two for free. Just because the store has it on sale doesn’t mean you can’t use a coupon. The sale takes off the price of one at the end and so does your coupon.

 Also if you have a coupon for something you would not normally buy, but it says for a FREE _______. As long as it’s not buy one get one. GET IT. I bought a bag of dog food my first grocery trip trying this because I had get a free bag of “whatever it was” dog food. And the store had an in store coupon. The cashier rang up the item ($3.99) ran the in store coupon (-$1.00) then ran my coupon (-3.99). That’s right folks; I made $1.00 on my purchase of dog food. Now I didn’t want this to go to waste so I fed it to my kids. They didn’t know the difference between this and my cooking. (Just kidding, I gave it to a friend with a dog).

For some stores if you bring your own grocery bag they will give you money off. I know the Dillon’s here gives you a 5¢ discount for every bag you bring. I have 5 and I always bring all 5. They take off 25¢ every time I go and sometimes I don’t even have to use all of the bags. The bags only cost me $1.00 and I’ve had them over a year now. Going to the grocery store at least one if not 2-3 times a week. Think of the money I save with that. It all adds up.

 Well, the first time I tried this out I bought $120 worth of stuff (I have them ring it up first and then I give them my savings card and the coupons). I only paid $42 for all of it. Now that was my best shopping savings. But I have saved a lot over the year I have been doing this.

 I might think of some more tips later. I hope this helps. If you have anymore tips for me let me know.

Posted by: theprovidentwoman | August 5, 2009

Anniversary Part III

To catch up on our anniversary activities see Anniversary Part I and Anniversary Part II.

While walking really slow because of our incredibly full bellies, we headed to the movies. We decided to see (500) Days of Summer. This was one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. We had no idea what it was about when we chose this as our movie. I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt from 3rd Rock From the Sun and Zooey Deschanel from Elf (I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s one of my favorite movies).

Any way, I really recommend the movie. Just a heads up the very first “scene” is the funniest. But don’t worry, the rest of the movie will not disappoint. The only problem I have with going to a movie so late was my contacts getting incredibly dried out. My loving husband was such a gentleman and offered to spit in my eye for me. Thanks but no thanks. I’ll take dry eye over spit. He was really great about it, he offered many, many times telling me he would be more than happy to share his spit.

Now, remember, this was our anniversary so this will be the end of what I’m willing to share with you.

Rewinding back to before our trip to Kansas City.

The day before our anniversary my sister in law Alisha sent us a great anniversary package.

Isn’t that clever? I got a kick out of it. Thanks, Alisha!

Posted by: theprovidentwoman | August 4, 2009

Anniversary Part II

For previous anniversary activity see Anniversary Part I.

After the museum we left the Steamboat Arabia museum and headed to the Kansas City Plaza. We had some time to kill before our dinner reservations so we walked around and went in a few shops. The first stop was Pottery Barn Kids. We had them put our name on a list for a Craft Table. This list is for when they redecorate the different room scapes in the store and want to get rid of the display. They sell it for a 30% discount. Count me in.

After that we headed to Williams Sanoma where I spent too much money. In their specialty pans I found a cake pan that makes little sections of a train. TOO CUTE. I also found the cutest cookie and sandwich cutters. The cookie cutters were princess themed (had a princess, the carriage, horse, wand, etc.) The sandwich cutters came in a sandwich holder. Awesome Two for the price of one.

After spending more money than I was planning we headed to dinner at a fondue restaurant called the melting pot.

This was slipped into our menu.

Isn’t that nice?

The restaurant was awesome, here is a look at what we ate.

This is the first course, the cheese course.

Who doesn’t like cheese?


This was the broth to cook the meat.

These were the veggies that we just let float around the broth. We ate the mushrooms but not much of anything else. Too healthy.

We weren’t too sure about cooking our own meat at first. I think we overcooked everything just to make sure they were done.

Ahhh! Our chocolate fondue was on fire.

Shewwww! It was okay. MMMMM Chocolate!

Let me tell you, everything is better dipped in chocolate.

We could have licked the fondue pot when we were done if it wasn’t hot. And yes, we could barely walk because of our very, very full stomaches.

This meal is best described by Keegan Michael Key’s character Eugene Struthers on Mad TV and wih the gal from King of Queen’s

Posted by: theprovidentwoman | August 3, 2009

Anniversary Part I

For our anniversary our first goal was to rid ourselves of our children. Now I know this doesn’t sound good coming from a mom. I do love my children more than life itself, but hey, who wants kids tagging along on a romantic getaway? “Not I”, said the romantic.

My parents, being the kind, gracious, wonderful people that they are, were more than willing to take the kids and keep them overnight. As soon as we were free to do so we dropped the kids off at their house.

Clint made all of the arrangements for the activities for the day. So as soon as we were kid free we headed off to Kansas City. As per my custom, I slept most of the way there. For some reason I cannot stay awake in a car to save my life. That is one reason I don’t ever drive. About half way into the drive I will struggle to stay awake. But this time I had an excuse, I only got 4 hours of sleep. I worked the night before and had the farmer’s market in the morning. Clint was great. He didn’t mind. And hey, I had no idea the seats reclined so much. I usually have a child in the seat behind me who would never allow me to recline my seat an inch. This made for sound sleeping.

Once in Kansas City, I finally woke up and we headed straight to the Steamboat Arabia museum. This may not sound interesting to you, but we really enjoy museums. This one was a maze to find the entrance. You buy your ticket in the gift shop and then have to wait for the tour to start. We contributed greatly to their plan and bought some things while we were waiting. Christmas presents for the girls.

Meet Hannah!


She was our tour guide. We learned all about how this boat hit a tree snag in 1856 and sunk overnight in the mud under the shallow waters of the Missouri River. All contents aboard lost. In 1988 a father and his two sons figured their wives wouldn’t mind if they spent their life savings and put their jobs on the line to try to find this boat. They were able to locate it’s location in a farm field.

Now you might think, yawn, we had to watch a video. And yes, I wanted to continue my nap a little. But I somehow managed to stay awake. Making fun of one of the son’s hair helped a little. When the lights came up Hannah was gone and in front of us stood this guy.

 Bob Hawley, the dad and one of the founders. He spoke to us for a little bit about his experience. Then they set us free to roam around and take a gander at everything.

On board they found all kinds of amazing things. The things I liked the best were the buttons and kitchen stuff.


How I wish this were mine!

Clint got bored. And then….

He decided to strike poses in front of the paddle wheel.

We really felt like we were there.

Don’t you?

Posted by: theprovidentwoman | August 1, 2009

Help, This Date Won’t Stop!

I remember the first time I was asked out by the sexiest man alive. But not in person. In my mail box was a hand drawn Tarzan and Jane looking comic strip. Only I was Jane and he was Tarzan. It showed Tarzan (Clint) swinging from one tree to another doing the whole “AHHH OHHH AHHHH” thing. Then he lands on the branch next to Jane (me). The he said “Me, Clint. You, Mary. Let’s go out Friday”. On the back was his phone number. Who could resist that?

Who was this guy? Of course I wouldn’t go out with him. Yeah right. I called him right away. I’m a loser and have no coolness in me to wait even a couple of hours let alone minutes. He answered and we set up our date. We were going on a double date with a couple of mutual friends of ours. The other girl was going to meet me at my apartment and we were told we needed to be there and ready by 6:00.  But I still had no idea what we were going to do. Oops! How do I dress for a first date when I have no idea if we are going bowling or out to eat or a movie or a party. My mind was flipping.

The girl came over at 5:45 so we would be ready and it gave me enough time to see what she decided to wear and then I knew my jeans and sweater were fine. At exactly 6:00 there was a knock on the door. I was thinking, man, these guys make a good impression, they’re not late. I open the door and it is a big guy dressed in a black trench coat and wearing black sunglasses. Now it was already getting dark outside (did I mention it was winter?). So instead of being freaked out this 6 foot 5 guy wearing a trench coat is banging on my door, I’m wondering why he is wearing sunglasses in the dark. But not to fear, it was Clint’s roommate.

I ask him, very rudely because I was a surprised to see him, “hey, what are you doing here?”

He said nothing, but handed me a thick envelope and walked away. So now who is rude? Apparently in the short time I met him he has gone mute. Whatever.

I close the door and the girl and I open the envelope. Inside was a tape recording, yes, a cassette tape and a Walkman player with a post-it on it saying “Press Play”. Like we couldn’t figure that out.

So we push play and playing on it was a James Bond sounding Clint telling us our next clue was at the movies. So we think. Okay, we’re going to the movies with the guys. So we get in my car and drive to the movie theatre. No guys. So we are kind of looking around looking stupid and one of the cashiers, one of my roommates, says to come to the window. Ooookay. We go over and she hands us another envelope with another cassette tape. This time we were to the Johnny Kaw statue in the City Park. (If you never heard of Johnny Kaw, and most people who live here still haven’t, I will blog about him later). From Johnny we were sent somewhere else (yes, I admit I can’t remember where, it’s been awhile and I was on an empty stomach, that I remember). Finally at the last spot we get one that says we are to go to the lookout at the lake. Now just think about this. The Lookout. Sounds like a make-out spot doesn’t it? Well that’s what I knew it as. So now I’m wondering if I want to go, this is our first date and this guy thinks I’m going to drive around town all night and then go make out with him. He’s crazy.

Well, I thought, this guy couldn’t expect that – I did meet him a church after all. So we drive up to the lookout. There were the two guys leaning against the trunk of a car waiting for us. We park next to them and they ask “are you ready to go?” These guys are out of their mind. My car is now out of gas and I’m starving because it is now after 8:30 and I was assuming being picked up at 6:00 food would be involved at some point so of course I didn’t eat.

The girl and I both figure we’ll go one more place and then this date was over. Yes, I’m not a very good sport. I was hungry. And you don’t want to make me wait too long for my food. I do bite.

So Clint gets in the car with me and the girl gets in the other car with the other guy and I follow him to his house back in town. We get there and inside the table was set candle lit style. There were pots and pans on the stove. Poof. My bad mood instantly gone as that means food is coming.

The guys do apologize for us eating so late, they didn’t think the wild goose chase would take us so long. So now they have to make the dinner. Chicken fried steak with white gravy, rice, and some kind of veggie (who can remember the healthy stuff?). The only problem was neither one of them knew how to make gravy. One of them tried calling their mom to find out how, but she wasn’t home. So after I tried to tell them I knew how, they ignored me saying they were supposed to do this for us, they made a disgusting attempt at it. Which they immediately had to put down the sink because it smelled so bad. Finally they gave in and let me have a go at it. I, the gravy master, whipped it up as fast as I could, before my stomach could eat itself.

The dinner was great. I am not shy about the amount of food I can put away so I scarfed it down.

Next on the agenda was a movie. So the four of us move into the living room. Now it was almost midnight. Good thing we were old enough that this was not a problem. Except for me, in a way, it was. I had a 7:30 class that morning and was out late the night before. I’m getting pretty sleepy at the time. I’m determined to sit through the movie though. These guys went through a lot of effort for this date. And then sometime during the trailers….

 You guessed it, I fell asleep. And the really sad thing is, I know there was no way to hide because when I sleep sitting up I snore like crazy. The next thing I knew the movie was over and I was being shaken awake. How embarrassing. The girl and I quickly left.

I definitely thought I would never hear from this guy again. But obviously I did, since we are now married. But do you know how long he took to call me again. TWO WEEKS. Probably seeing if he could find someone else. But then realizing, I’m one of a kind.

By the way, today is our seventh wedding anniversary.

Posted by: theprovidentwoman | July 31, 2009

How to get rid of Cankles

I had originally turned off the TV too soon to see the solution. But I’m now so concerned about whether I have what’s considered cankles I had to find it on the web and see what I can do about it if I do.
You can view my tweet about it. It has the video on it. Just click on the tweet to your left. Or click below.

Basically the solutions I got out of it were. You can have lipo (not going to happen and please don’t be that concerned about cankles to ever go this extreme), squats and jump rope (do they still sell jump ropes?) and where high chunky heals with long pants and dresses. Well I’m not willing to give up my capris and flat shoes. So sorry if someone thinks I have cankles. You just need to deal with it. I’m too busy trying to will away my butt and love handles that I can’t worry what you think of my ankles.

Posted by: theprovidentwoman | July 30, 2009

Me and cavities don’t mix, they = dentist

Yesterday I had the unfortunate experience of going to the dentist and getting  a filling. Anyone enjoy that? Anyone?

You know how it goes, the dentist shoots the good stuff into the very back of you mouth. Feels like he injects it through your jaw joint. Then he wiggles it around (sorry to be so graphic). Then your face is no longer yours. Almost instantly it feels weird to touch your own skin on that side of your face. Even my ear went numb. That was weird. He kept doing whatever they do to fill a cavity, pushing so hard it would slowly turn my head. The only thing I know was the whole experience felt like fingernails on a chalk board. It even made me shiver down my spine. I was very happy when it was over.

My face was so numb, hours after I got home my son runs up to me and pops me upside the head with an extra large hotwheel. Normally, I think this would hurt, but not today. I had the good stuff. Anyway. He thought, since I didn’t have the reaction he was going for he would try it again. I did have to put a stop to it. I just got up. Then, being 16 months old, he had one of his wonderful fits. Throwing himself around the floor until he got distracted enough to forget about it.

Later, when the numbness wore off, I do believe I felt the pain of the car (and everything else). What in the world was that doctor doing to my mouth. HOLY COW!!!

Posted by: theprovidentwoman | July 30, 2009

Cankles are a hot topic

I blogged about Cankles the other day. Wow. I got a lot of hits. If you liked that, watch this video. It shows one of Matt’s lead ups to the story about cankles.

Posted by: theprovidentwoman | July 29, 2009

Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes: 6 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 cups macaroni noodles, uncooked (or shells)

1/2 a package of bacon, chopped

2 Tbsp. Flour

2 cups Milk

2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded and divided

1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Here’s how you do it:

Preheat the oven for 350°F

Cook macaroni as the package directs. Cook bacon in large saucepan. Remove bacon saving drippings in pan.

Add flour to bacon drippings. Cook and stir until it browns a bit and is bubbling. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until it starts to thicken, about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the Parmesan and 1 cup of the Cheddar. Cook and stir until melted. Mix in bacon and macaroni.

Pour into 1-1/2 qt. casserole dish and top with remaining Cheddar. Bake for 20 minutes.

Now you’re ready to eat!

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