Monday, June 29, 2009

Natural Valley Granola Nut Clusters

I love when you get the mail and find a great surprise. On Friday I opened the door to find a little box from Nature Valley with four full size samples of their new Granola Nut Clusters.

The new granola nut clusters come in four flavors; nut lovers, roasted almond, roasted cashew, and honey roasted peanut (amazing). Matt and I ate a full bag this weekend and they were great. I plan to take the rest of them to work and let others share the wealth.

I’ll definitely be looking for coupons to purchase some more – they’d be a great snack during a road trip.

Have you had the chance to try them yet? What did you think?

Another Guest Post at Frugal in Virginia

There's another guest post over on Frugal in Virgina from

It's a previous post about how to save with your water heater.

Check it out Here

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Movie Review

Matt and I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on Friday and I must admit it was better than I thought it would be.

A little long maybe – about two hours in and I’d had enough robots for the day. I find it hard to keep all the Decepticons separate, they all look the same to me.

They really over use the theme song as well. The first hour I was enjoying it, but once again two hours later and I couldn’t take it anymore.

Really though, besides those two gripes it was a good movie, much funnier than the first as well. Of course I wouldn’t take any small children before seeing it yourself first.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Good Reads:

Lots of good stuff around the internet this week.

Get Rich Slowly answers the First three steps to financial freedom - It's good to know we're working on all three steps
He also posted a great guest post titled The Wisdom of my Father

At Wise Bread you can read up on The 47 ways to waste money plus Getting by on less money - 3 ways it's easier than you think and information about the new Cash for Clunkers bill


Craftzine has directions on how to make Pantyhose Petals - These are so cute, but where can I find blue pantyhose?

Also at Craftzine - how to make a mini lantern and a wedding veil

How About Orange has directions on how to make recycled magazine coasters - I so have to find time to make a few of these this weekend along with this recycled newspaper basket

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Are you there vodka, it’s me Chelsea - Book Review

Are you there vodka, it’s me Chelsea-
Ok this book is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long while. I love Chelsea’s style of writing and what stories she chooses to share with us the reader.

The book is a collection of tales from the life of Chelsea Handler. Everything from boyfriends to family travels. Honestly if it were possible I think Chels and I could be good friends. My life often takes dramatic turns – usually for the worse – I’ve learned it's best to just go with the flow when it does, something she seems to be amazingly capable of.

While the book was good I saw there were people waiting for it on - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free. so I went a head and listed it for a quick credit. Granted it was a hilarious book but no War and Peace.

Books Read in 2009: 21
Books to read in 2009: 29

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Time Travelers Wife – Book review

Just finished the Time Traveler’s Wife - actually it was last week but I'm behind on book reviews so go with me on this one. I was disappointed honestly. It’s not the worse book I’ve ready by far but it’s not on my top 100 list either.

The book chronicles the lives of Clare and her CDP husband Henry. The main problem I had while reading it is Audrey Niffenegger never changes her writing style even when switching between characters. The sequence of events is kind of choppy as well; although it could be much worse with all the time jumping I suppose.

Basically the book is just boring. You read about their lives, nothing altruistic or over overly exciting; well except the time travel stuff, which isn’t as exhilarating as you’d expect time travel to be. The Time Traveler’s Wife is more of a twisted love story over anything sci-fi.

My copy has already been listed and swapped with - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free. hopefully the next reader enjoys it more than I did.

Books Read: 21
Books To Read: 29

The Just One Philosophy...

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately. I haven’t sorted coupons or even done any shopping – basically you could say, I’ve been trying to just keep my head above water. When I do have any free time I tend to zone out rather than accomplish any blog or house projects.

I realized after spending Memorial Day weekend away from the computer and reading that I really miss having time to just sit and do the things I enjoy. I’m not 100% sure how to get the balance back in my life. I have 100 things to do but when I do have free time I’m exhausted and end up doing nothing because it’s all rather overwhelming. To try and conquer this I’m starting a new philosophy, the Just One philosophy.

The Just One philosophy is allowing myself just that… one… of anything. Something, anything, can get out of control when it takes over your life. Having two rooms of your basement used for a messy stock pile, shopping seven days a week, buying nothing unless it’s on some kind of sale, or combing through blogs (on any topic) all afternoon – It’s bound in a way to take over all your thoughts and life style.

So I’ve decided I’ll be applying the just one philosophy to many aspect of my life – especially those parts I feel aren’t directly effecting my happiness or have taken up a little too much of my time.

For example – I have one area of my house I use to stock pile bathroom supplies. Within this stock pile I’m going to have just one container of something. I have a tendency to buy hand lotion in abundance – before it can continue to take over my home I’m going to limit myself to one small drawer of lotion – just one. Ok so not just one hand lotion (I’m not to that point yet) but believe me getting it down to one drawer and not buying any more is an accomplishment for me. I even skipped this years semi annual sale at Bath and Body Works (truly a miracle)

It’s so easy to let yourself get carried away and before you even realize it you’ve got toothpaste hiding out in a kitchen cabinet. Yet, I’m not going to just use this on stuff I’m also going to use it to manage my time better. Often I come home from work wanting to do ten things and not actually accomplishing half of them; then the guilt sinks in, mainly because I didn’t finish my list and I’m even more wore out because I had no “me” time. I shouldn’t feel guilty for taking an hour of me time once a day – and I’m not going to anymore.

This blog is a great example – and you should take this post as a warning – things are going to probably change a little bit. I started blogging because I wanted to share our successes and keep us on track for our savings goals, but lately I feel like the blog has become work. So for now on I’m going to post about a wide source of topics. Don’t worry there will still be lots of green living, money saving, and thrift shopping experiences (those are things I still love) but if I don’t make it to CVS every weekend I hope you won’t mind.

I’ve got to get back on track with doing the things that I enjoy and are important to me, but I hope you’ll stick around for the duration.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

CVS - 6/21

So, after not being to CVS is weeks I finally made it today. They had some good deals running and I figured it was time to get back in on the action.

4 Soy Joy Bars (1 each) $4
- Used (2) B1G1 Free coupons
4 Sobe Life (1.59 each) $6.36
- Used 1 B1G1 I was only allowed to use the one coupon even though I should have been able to use both. I didn’t feel like arguing at the time
2 Thermacare Neck wraps (2.49 each) $4.98
- Used (2) $1 off any Thermacare

Total Before Coupons: $12.16
Total After Coupons: $6.57
ECB’s Used: $2
OOP: $4.75 (including tax)
ECB’s Earned: $8.98 (4 Soy Joy, 4.98 Thermacare)

In total I received $16.50 in merchandise for $4.75 of my own money and $8.98 in ECB’s. It feels good to be back in the game.

The dental floss was from Wal-mart we stopped in to buy dog food and I saw the floss marked down from $1 to $.10! You can't not pick it up at that price, everyone needs floss. I figure I'll keep a few and stick the rest in our donation pile.

Message in a bottle - Book Review

I like Nicholas Sparks as an author – I find his style of writing to be really easy and enjoyable, but I just can’t handle the endings. Granted I’ve only read a few of his books but do they ever have a happy ending? If there weren’t already tons of copies on PBS I’d list my copy of Message in a bottle for a swap. Good thing I only paid pennies for it at our last book sale.

Books read in 2009: 20
Books to read in 2009: 30

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Illustrated Guide to Religions - Review

I received a copy of Nelson’s Illustrated Guide to Religions: A comprehensive Introduction to the Religions of the World by James A. Beverley.
The book archives over 200 world religions every thing from Buddhism to Witchcraft. Each section chronicles the history, beliefs, and current topics from each religion making it very easy to use read. I particularly liked the question and answer sections found at the end of most chapters. That’s where I ended up learning the most.

I am however disappointed that Beverley was quite opinioned on many religions he obviously didn’t agree with. Riddled through the book are statements such as “While not every aspect of Mormonism is wrong, the basic and central message of Mormonism is false…” Now I’m not a Mormon, nor do I know much about their religious beliefs but I would think a book claiming to be an “introduction to religions of the world” would tend to be more fact based.

And it’s not just Mormon’s Beverley has a problem with; almost every chapter has at least a section where he chronicles how the religion has gone wrong. I’m sure the material would have been more helpful if Beverley could have kept his personal biases out of it and just given us the facts regardless of his religious preferences.

Guest post at Frugal in Virgina

Did you see.. OnOurWay was a guest poster at Frugal in Virgina last week?

If you stop by you can read my article "9 Tips to Saving money at the Movies"

I love knowing that other people find things I write about to be helpful to themselves and their readers as well... so hopefully lots of people will think differently about their movie experiences this summer.

While you're visiting her blog make sure to leave a congratulations note about their new addition to the family

Michigan Summers....

So I’m pretty sure it’s officially summer here in Michigan. I can’t be positive since we never had a spring… at least I don’t think we did, I don’t remember any spring like days. One afternoon it was 50 degrees the next was 80 and muggy.

At least we haven’t turned on our AC yet, a fact I’m very proud of. We have had to turn on the furnace fan just to help a little bit with the heat but the fan uses much less energy than the AC, at least that’s what I imagine, I haven’t actually done any research on the matter.

I’d like to leave the AC off until at least July 1st. Humidity doesn’t normally bother me like it does others, I like it a nice 80-85 degrees with a little perspiration in the atmosphere, but once my lungs start swimming in water heavy air I need a little relief. Once that day hits we’ll have to turn on the AC – just at least to take the edge off.

Monday, June 15, 2009

FREE swagbucks!

Search & Win

Don't forget the ONOURWAYCODE for swagbucks which will earn you an extra 3 bucks on top of the 3 for signing up, so 6 bucks total - just for signing up!

Just click on the image above to sign up but do it soon because the code expires tomorrow.

The Shack - Book Review

I broke my own rule again, looks like I’m braking all kinds of rules lately. The Shack by P.Young is one of those popular books, but this time it paid off. I was pursuing PBS for a good find when I saw The Shack was #1 on the Top 50 Requested list. I decided to give it a shot and it was a decent book.

The Shack is the story of a father (Mack) and his amazing journey with God to develop their relationship and move past a recent tragedy.

If you already have a religious foundation, this book isn’t going to make you have any revelations, but it does allow you think differently on certain topics and gives you time to think through the implications.

I can however see how reading the book may help someone who is going through a loss of their own or struggling with their own religious beliefs.

My copy is back on - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free., it was ok the first time but not something I'll re-read.

Books Read in 2009: 19
Books to read in 2009: 31

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Facts from the world of HR

Each month I receive a free subscription to Human Resource Executive which helps keep me up to date all things HR. At the end of every edition they have a full page of “Factoids from the Workplace and Beyond” I thought a few of them were really interesting this month (May 2009) and wanted to share them with you.

- 49.1% of the nation’s jobs are now held by woman, a record high number due partly to the recession, which has been disproportionately harder on men’s jobs than women. Eighty-two percent of job losses in the past 12 months have befallen men.

- 69% decline in United Auto Workers union from its peak in 1979.

- 10.6% unemployment rate in Michigan (my lucky residence), the state with the highest level of unemployment. At the other end of the scale Wyoming, with a 3.4% unemployment rate.

- 108 the number of different occupations that Barbie has held during her 50-year run. Tickets to July’s National Barbie Doll Collector’s Convention sold out within two days.

- $17.94 the average hourly wage for rank and file workers in the Unites States as of May 2008.

The facts each month are slightly random but they always get me thinking. I wish my hourly wage was closer to the national average, anyone else?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Good Reads

Have you stopped by to check out all their new updates yet? Still haven't signed up, get caught up to date HERE

Until then I wanted to share a few great things waiting in my Google reader.

Frugal in Virginia has the scoop on how to score a one year FREE subscription to Forbes.

Coupon Cravings will let you know how to get a Free tote for spending $10 at World Market and how to get FREE admission to 300+ national parks.

Money Saving Mom has the scoop on how to get a $3 off $6 coupon for Boston Market. And she has the link for how you can get your free package of M&M's - remember every Friday the coupons are available and you can get four coupons per household.

Money wise moms has a great post up on where to find grocery coupons.

Do you have a great post up this week you want to share or know of one we should be reading? Feel free to leave it in the comments section, I'm always looking for great new finds.
Wise Bread has a listing of 40 travel websites to save you money

I will Teach You to be Rich has a guest post - Travel for less than $14K per year.

Frugal Dad has a great list of "12 things our grandparents lived without and the top 50 Frugal Blogs to save you money.

Looking for another $3.50 off Purina coupon? You can find the link HERE

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Search & Win

Do you swag? If so there are some really interesting things happening at swagbucks this week. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then you need to check out THIS post to learn all the joys of swagbucks.

If you’re new to swagbucks keep reading because if you sign up using my special code (ONOURWAYCODE ) before midnight, June 16th you’ll receive an extra 3 bucks – so 6 bucks total! It’s a great time to make the leap if you’ve been thinking about it. Just follow this link to swagbucks and enter (ONOURWAYCODE ) in the appropriate box during sign up – easy. With 6 bucks you’re already 13% of the way to your first FREE $5 Amazon gift card and that’s before your first search.

But what’s so super exciting about swagbucks this week? Each day they are launching a new feature designed to make you love them even more than we already do.


Video Game Section Expansion: We will be adding 1000's of new and used titles to the video game section of the Swag Store, and offering a special sale on many of these titles!


Shop&Earn Favorites: This great new feature gives you the ability to choose your 'Favorite' stores in our shop&earn mall, and receive updates on new coupons that originate from these retailers. So not only will you get Swag Bucks for your purchases, you will be notified immediately when a great deals becomes available!

Thursday: 2.5 Launch: 2.5 is the next evolution of the Swag Bucks homepage. It will feature a new cleaner look, with easier navigation & quick links and a few new special elements - we think its pretty snazzy :)

Swag Bucks Widget: The ultimate referral / promotional tool. The widget will be 300px by 301px, and will feature a search box, prize images, swag code alerts, and a referral tab The widget allows you to generate referrals through the registration tab, and through those who do a search & win through the widget on your page. The widget is simple html code that you copy and paste on your blog or social network profile! If you ever wanted a search box that generates referrals on your blog, this is how you get it!

And all week long they will be running special promos where you can earn even more free bucks. Make sure you’re checking them out on Twitter, facebook and their blog for all the opportunities. I’ve gotten a ton of free codes from using these sites over the last few months.

So what are you waiting for? Get signed up and join in on the week of fun. I’m really excited for the release of the new search feature, look for it on OnOurWay soon!

I normally use my swagbucks to buy $5 Amazon gift cards for any necessary shopping (and Christmas). If you’re already a swagger what have you cashed in on? Or if you just signed up today for the first time, leave us a comment with what you plan to spend your free swag on. I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is frugal always the best way....

I don’t gamble – and that’s a good thing because I have a tendency to become slightly obsessed with things once I get going. When I decide to do something I often just jump right in. There is no time to test the waters for temperature because I’m already in the middle, so to say.

Then once the initial shock of whatever I’m doing wears off I’ll slowly tone it down a bit and find a happy medium; a balance if you will, and that’s basically where I am now…. trying to find a balance in life.

When Matt and I made the decision to pay off our credit cards and start becoming financially responsible I dove right in. I read every money saving blog I could find, went crazing on couponing and created a huge stock pile. A year later – I’m a little tired and am starting to feel myself slip more and more (As our food budget for the last two months shows).

Don’t get me wrong I want to save money, feel financially at ease and of course retire early, but I also don’t want to feel guilty about spending $5 on something I’m going to enjoy. Matt and I need to pad our savings in preparation for a few things to come, but I don’t want to feel totally deprived either.

Here’s a recent example: I use - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free. to get most of my books for free. My “To Read” pile is so large if it takes me a while to request and get a book it’s no big deal. Of course there are always exceptions; lets say I’m halfway through reading the Twilight series and absolutely need book three. There is a long waiting list at the library and paperbackswap, but the hard cover is on sale for $13, what is a perpetual frugal gal to do?

Well I bought it. And you know what it felt great – ok I did feel a little guilty. That’s what got me on this train of thought in the first place. I shouldn’t feel guilty for spending $13 on something I love…a book, especially after trying all other avenues – and I’m not going to anymore.

I think as long as fun spending doesn’t get out of hand and other cheaper possibilities are tried then it’s ok. So that’s where I am now – trying to find a good balance between the frugal and spendthrift Megan.

Has anyone else gone through something similar? How did you handle it? Did you ever find your balance?

Monday, June 8, 2009

This Side of Paradise - Book Review

This Side of Paradise

I’ll be honest I did not love the book, This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s similar to Catcher in the Rye as you follow a young man (Amory Blaine) as he goes through his formative years, college, and slowly adjusting to life.

The book isn’t thrilling, you don’t get to know any of the characters deeply – even Amory. This Side of Paradise tells you a few events that happen to him over time and the ideals he forms, but you never really read what he’s feeling or thinking in any kind of detail.

I’ve re-listed my copy on PBS – so at least I can get another book out of it right? Am I the only one that didn't find this book all that appealing? What did you think of it?

Books Read in 2009: 18
Books to read in 2009: 32

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Financial Update: May 2009

So another month has passed which means it’s that time again, time to go over the month of May’s finances.

If you didn’t notice my lack of posting this month, I’ve kind of been in a blah mood lately and that shows with our finances as well. We still have 100 things going on but we’ve got to get back in order during the month of June.

Here’s our savings numbers for last month (April):

Car: $4315.91
Emergency: $1005.08
Dream Fund: $1005.08

Fast Food: $331

And for the month of May:

Car: $4503.88
Emergency: $3611.10 (72% towards goal of $5000)
Dream Fund: $1025.11

Fast Food: $280 +

So we didn’t do great in the fast food category but it was been than the month before so I can’t complain too much, it is our biggest weakness after all.

I hope that we can finish off the Emergency fun during the month of June, but I've had a short week at work (which means a small check) and Matt has two unpaid furlough days (thanks to our wonderful Governor). We're going to give it our best shot either way.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Clean + Green Pet Cleaner Giveaway Winner!

Commenter #4 was the lucky winner of our Clean +Green Pet Cleaner giveaway.

piferrobin said

We have a very dirty dog... so the carpet & upholstery would be a great help and we love that it's green to boot. Thanks for offering this.

Make sure to check your email to claim your prize.