Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Movie Night

pic via Rotten Tomatoes

We rarely go to the movies.  Any guesses as to why? :)  When Kevin suggested I take the older kids to see Toy Story 3 and he would keep the two babies, I so jumped on it!  (Gotta love a man who offers to babysit a 1 yr old and a 3 month old baby!)

All of the us loved the movie!  It was funny, full of adventure and action and I even shed a couple of tears at the end.  It may even be better than the other 2.  (?)  Hmmm.... Maybe a Toy Story Marathon is needed to determine that. :)

I had thought about going to the 3D version, but since I had the 3 yr old wiggle worm with me, I'm glad we didn't.  Maybe the two oldest and I can check out the new Shrek in 3D.  Kevin seemed to fair pretty well with the little ones.  It probably seemed like a relaxing evening for him.......  ;)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Couponing: Ready To Shop

*** I meant to have this out on Saturday, but life happened.  Just a little delayed.  Enjoy!:)

Well?  Have you started gathering coupons and looking at websites yet?  Are you ready for some great savings on things like food, toiletries and even toys?

Look at what some of my friends and family have been able to do when using coupons.

Heather G. was able to purchase all of the above for only $107.56.  All of this would have cost her over $664 had she not used coupons.  What a savings!

My SIL, Sara, bought all of the above for about $105.  (Not including my adorable nephew.  He's priceless!)  Plus, she is getting $77 back in rebates.  Go over to her blog, Striving To Be a Good Stewart, and get the goods on how she did it.

I posted a picture on Thursday's post showing my purchase from Walgreens the previous week.  My purchase there totaled $74.65.  Below is the receipt.  I didn't have any Register Rewards (RR) to use, but I did receive $24 in RR for my next purchase.  (Walgreens Register Rewards are Catalina coupons which print up separately from your register receipt after you purchase qualifying items. The Register Rewards can be used like cash on your next purchase.)*

In the Saint Louis area, there isn't much choice which drugstore you shop.  CVS recently came to the area, but Walgreens is the most prevalent. So, that is where I go.  :)

Now.  Here is how I get ready to shop.

First thing to do is look through the fliers.  See what's on sale.  Is it a good price?  Will you use it?  I mean, really, unless the thing is free, there's no point in spending money on something you won't use.

Next, I get on Savings Angel.  This is my favorite site for helping me with my shopping list.  It's just personal opinion.  SA allows me to move the items around on my list, delete items I've changed my mind on and even change the number of items I want to get.  Then I can print off a list that is nicely ordered and ready to go.  I can even search for what coupons might be out there for a certain item.

Get a list.  What items do you need?  Are there things on sale that would be good to go ahead and stockpile so you don't run out later?

After you compile your list, start gathering your coupons.  I buy either 3 or 4 papers each weekend.  This allows me to buy multiples of a sale item at a good price.  Example?  Ever buy Hamburger Helper at 25 cents a box?  Truly worth the price of a couple of extra papers.

Each store has different a different coupon policy.  Make sure you know the policy before going in to shop.  Walgreens will only allow as many coupons as items.  CVS will allow more, but you have to be careful the order the cashier rings them up.  Most sites, like CouponMom and SA, have all this information listed out for users and put together much better than I can do.

I thought I would go through my shopping trip to give you an idea of what I did and what I saved.

Fusion ProGlide Razor - $9.89 (sale)
3 Bayer Asprin - $2.99 each
Pampers Wipes - $2.50 (sale)
2 Tampax Pearl - $5.29 each
MidNite - $7.99 (sale)
2 Gillette Body Wash - $4.99 each
6 Old Spice Deodorant - $2.99 each
2 4-pack AA Energizer Batteries - $2.99 each (sale)
2 Nature Made Fish Oil - $10.99 each
3 John Frieda Shampoo/Conditioner - $5.00 each (sale)
Pantene Shampoo - $4.00 (sale)
Pantene Mousse - $4.00 (sale)

Total Before Coupons = $134.01

Coupons Used:
$4 ProGlide
Walgreens coupon for Bayer Asprin reducing price to $.99 each (limit 3)
3 - $1 Bayer Asprin
$ 2 Pampers
Tampax sale Buy One get One 1/2 off
$ 2 Tampax
$ 1 Tampax
$ 1 Midnite
BOGO Gillette Body Wash ($4.99 saved)
$ 2 Energizer
$ 2 Energizer
BOGO Nature Made sale ($10.99 saved)
$ 2.50 Nature Made
$ 2.50 Nature Made
$ 2 John Frieda
$ 2 John Frieda
$ 2 John Frieda
$ 1 Pantene Shampoo/Conditioner
$ 1 Pantene Style Product

Total Out of Pocket after Coupons: $69.17 + tax

Register Rewards (RR) received: $24 to use on next purchase
$2 for Midnite (buy 1)
$10 for Gillette ($25 purchase)
$5 for ProGlide (buy 1)
$2 for Pantene (buy 2)
$5 for John Frieda (buy 3)

Quite a savings!  Another way to save is to break your list up into multiple transactions.  This would allow you to use the RR from one transaction immediately on the next transaction.  Do be careful as a P&G RR cannot be used to purchase other P&G products with RR.

Okay.  Now.  Go out and do some major shopping!  I would love to hear about any of your shopping successes, too.  Either comment here or got to the Facebook page and leave a comment there.  Have fun!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Couponing: Organization

Can you guess what's in this handy little box?  All my coupons.

I've got them organized by Date, Type and Source.  No cutting required.  (I believe I'm a little OCD in some parts of my life.)

There is a Key in the lid of the box to help me keep up the system that has been started.  Too many little hands have tried to 'help' me clean out and reorganize, so this helps me to remain consistent.  :)  The colors are nothing but Post-it brand page markers (glued down to last through the previously mentioned 'help').

All the hanging files have the date inside the little tab.  I used the page markers here, as well.  That way it's super easy when changing the date.  Another benefit is the sticky keeps the label in place.  I found that the little white papers would just fall out as I was going through and getting coupons out.  Plus, after 2 uses, the white papers were done.

Within each hanging file is a labeled manila file folder.  These folders have a dark pink label (Red Plum) or orange label (Smart Source) depending on which circulars were out for that week.

In the very front of the my box are files for other types of coupons.  Here is a run down of these.

Printed. These are coupons printed off the internet.  So many sources for these!  Coupons.com, Eversave.com,  and CoolSavings.com just to name a few.  Also, check out the product's web site or Facebook page.  Many times there will be extra coupons found there.  Keep in mind when printing off the internet you are typically allowed 2 coupons per computer.  Just hit the 'back' button to print the second one.

Mailed.  I get MANY coupons through the mail.  Huggies, Pampers, Lowes, Gerber and such.  Get on some mailing lists and this will start the influx.

P&G and GM.  These are circulars that come in the Sunday paper just like the SS and RP, but not every week.  P&G (Procter and Gamble) sends out their coupons about once a month and GM (General Mills) is very irregular.  I keep them separate just because it makes sense to me.

Other possible files to have - Rebates, Store Coupons or Restaurant.

There are other ways to sort and store your coupons.  Sort by genera (groceries, toiletries, paper goods, ect.) or expiration date.  Store in an accordion envelope system, purchase a coupon sorter online, a recipe box or even a 3 ring binder with baseball card holders.  All of these methods will require you to clip the coupons before storing.

Organize in a way that make sense to you.  Otherwise, the whole process will be a huge frustration.

Tomorrow we will work on getting your coupons together and ready to shop.  Each store has its own policy when using and combining coupons and it can be a little tricky at times.

Take a look back at yesterday's post, Couponing!, by clicking here.

Remember to leave a comment either here or on the Facebook page if you have some suggestions or information that will help others.  I'm trying to cover all the bases; however, with all the distractions around here, I'm bound to forget something. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Walgreens purchase.

Couponing is something I love to do.  Well.  Not the actual clipping, hunting the internet and making out a list.  BUT, walking out of a store with bags full of items bought for half or less of their 'suggested retail price' is a great feeling!  Ever had that feeling?  I mean, seriously, who doesn't like free stuff?

ANYONE can save huge amounts on groceries, toiletries and drugstore items.  It really isn't hard, but it can be somewhat time consuming.  And overwhelming.  I thought I would try to help others with a few post dedicated to this pass time with some ideas and good sources.  Feel free to leave me comments with the same.   I am by no means an expert. :)

First, I thought I would give you all some sources.  Easiest way to find these is to just do a search on the internet.  Yeah, no-brainer, I know.  Some that I have found and liked over time?

1. Coupon Mom (free)
       This site is a great, no frills location for information.  (Hey.  It is free.)  Coupon Mom will help you locate the deals and corresponding coupons.  Provides a blog and forum for members, too.

2. The Grocery Game ($)
       A great site as well, The Grocery Game does all that Coupon Mom does and just a bit more.  There is a fee per store list for this site, but it may be worth it to an individual.

3. Savings Angel ($)
       This is like The Grocery Game in many ways.  There are a few features that set it apart from most.  There is a fee for this site, as well, but it is a flat rate and not a per store fee.

These are the three sites with which I am the most familiar.  I know there are others out there, so start searching and looking around to see what might work best for you.   Tomorrow I'll share some coupon organizing ideas with you.

Have something to help me (and others) do an even better job of saving money?  Don't be shy!  Leave a comment either here or you can hop on over to Facebook and comment there.  I love comments! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010


Amazingly, it is now 8:07 in the morning and only 2 of my kids have gotten out of bed.  Such a rare thing around here!  I didn't think the kids could sleep in like this!  I'm enjoying the quiet of everyone recovering from our long (but good) week of Vacation Bible School and my husband being on yet another business trip.

We spent the weekend catching up on all the things that had been left undone and just plain neglected while I was trying to man the fort by myself.  (SOOOOO glad there aren't any more trips for Kevin in the near future!)

In other news, my day lilies are in bloom!  Here are some pics of the ones that have opened up.  I have a few more that are just about to show their colors.  I'll get those as soon as I can.

Aren't they beautiful!  I brought all these from my parents' place, so it's a nice reminder of watching my mom working in her flower beds when I was growing up.  I was really excited I didn't kill them off after transplanting them.  (Seriously, people.  I have killed ferns!)

Here is a bud from our knock-out rose bush, too.

Hope today is a good start to everyone's week!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grade School Memories

Well, the end of the school year has finally come and now we are left to figure out a way to store all of the memories from the finished grade.  I'm always concerned that later on (several years from now) there will be regrets that certain things/projects have been unceremoniously tossed into the trash.  

What do you do with things like these, though?

Unfortunately, there just is no way I can keep everything that everyone makes each year at school.  Think about it.  13 years of school for 5 kids and unknown amounts of art to come home.  We would have to devote a whole room to such madness - not gonna happen.

The solution, at this point, is going to depend heavily on my camera and our computer.  I now plan to record all these things in picture form on our computer.  That should make the kids happy to be able to 'keep' the items.  It should also make Momma happy to get rid of the clutter around here.  Maybe we will be able to see the counter tops again soon. :)

What ideas have you all come up with to solve this kind of 'problem'?


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