Sep 28, 2014

Saving in East Texas!

We all like to save money. and in these times it is imperative that we all stretch our dollars to the max.  I have always had a limited budget,  plus I think it is just my nature to try to save as much as possible.  This seems even more important today.

Last month we saved a lot at Dollar General Store by using coupons and taking advantage of sales and promotions.  I'm no super couponer, but I use coupons if it is something we use, and try to combine coupons with sales for even bigger savings.

Each week Dollar General Store offers a coupon for $5 off on a $25 purchase. Sometimes I print it off from their on-line coupons, or if we pickup an item from Dollar General during the week we have a -$5 coupon on that receipt.  We use this for paper plates, drinks, dish wash soap.and other household items that we use. We use other coupons in conjunction with the $5 off one for further savings.  This time, the All laundry detergent that we use was on sale for $3.50 instead of the usual $5, and I had a coupon for $1 off on two cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew. (There is a good Crockpot meal that is quick and easy using Dinty Moore Beef Stew to make a stroganaf)That made for a savings of $7.50 ($5 off the order, a $1 coupon and the $1.50 sale savings) plus we saved by getting some DG brand products.  The only way I might have done better would have been to have had a cents off coupon for the All in addition to the sale--next time!  As it is I got $28.64 in product for $21.14 tax included.  That's pretty close to 25% savings the way I figure it.

This week, Dollar General sent me a deal for digital coupons.  I signed up for this as it offered $2 off on a purchase of $2.01 or more.  There are other advantages to the digital format including one which is particularly good for me, that of making a list on-line.  I'm sure there will be other perks, too.

Brookshire Brothers is also changing the format for their free and reduced price coupons.  I can't wait to see what goodies they will offer and how to get them.  We have often bought $10 worth of sale items at BB to get the freebies in the past.  We have gotten many free items this way.

We have also learned that Bluebell ice cream lovers can get 2 coupons/month for $1 off on a half gallon of Bluebell.  This is at their website  We usually take advantage of the sales at Brookshire Brothers and with the sale price and the coupon we get a full half gallon of Bluebell ice cream for $3.00.  That sure beats going to the local DQ or Sonic for treats.

Happy Savings!

Sep 25, 2014

International Ataxia Awareness Day--September 25

Today, September 25, is International Ataxia Awareness Day.  I am sharing a blurb that I wrote a while back and sent along with a presss release to some of th local press.  I think it describes ataxia and my plight pretty well so thought I would share it with you via this blog.  I hope some of you will see fit to share it to increase awareness of ataxia.

Hello, my name is Hazel Freeman.  I am a 71 year old grandmother.  I have lived in Silsbee since 2003.  My husband, Paul, grew up here and. as he says, “graduated from Silsbee High 
School in the dark ages.  His parents were TC and Minta Freeman.  

I expected to be one that climbed on the roof at age 90, I was so healthy for my age.  Now, thanks to a neurological disorder called Ataxia, I can’t even walk across the room without help today. 

I  first noticed the effects of Ataxia 3 years ago, in 2011. I tripped easily and just kept going when I bent over.  Corners were difficult.   By January, 2012, it had gotten worse and I took some 
bad falls.  I then went to the doctor.  I was diagnosed that summer after MRIs, blood tests, and seeing an ENT to rule out ear problems and other problems.  I went from using a cane to walk to using a rollator(walker) that fall.  Now it looks like a wheel chair is in my future.

. Paul says I am drunk all the time--even though I do Not drink alcohol.  Ataxia affects the cerebellum which is the part of the  brain affected by alcohol when someone drinks.    It causes staggering gait, slurred speech, bladder incontinence, and peripheral neuropathy, among other things.  One concern about Ataxia is that one can choke on water or one’s own spit.  I understand that some times a thickener is added to water and other liquids to keep people with Ataxia from  choking.  So far, this hasn’t been a problem for me.

 Also, until recently, my speech wasn’t slurred too bad except when I was tired.  It is getting harder and harder to talk, and, especially, to be understood .  Probably, the thing that frustrates me
most is not being able to write or print.  Apparently, this is common to Ataxia.   I like to take notes and make lists--now I can’t do either.  

Depression is usual among people who have Ataxia.  As my small motor skills have been affected and the disorder progresses, I have been somewhat depressed over not being able to do things I have always done.  For instance, I love to cook and recently, we decided that Paul needed to  do most of the cooking for us.  It’s fortunate that he can.

It is also fortunate for me that he is such a patient caregiver and cares so much,  There  is no cure or treatment for Ataxia.  It is something to be endured, and therapy and life adjustments can 
help you cope.  Someone on the Living with Ataxia site recently described it as walking on a boat that is going over waves.  It makes you tired just to do ordinary things because it requires extra 
effort just to keep from falling over.

Ataxia, while it is a rare disease ,affecting 150,000 Americans, or less, is often a hereditary disease affecting young people and children.  It can be caused by a stroke or head injury, or be a gluten reaction.  Or, as in my case, the cause may be unknown.

Be aware of Ataxia, and remember some people are dealing with it day by day and minute by minute.  Do what you can to help researchers find a cure or treatment for this condition!Pin It