Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm SO Sorry

I've deleted Google AdSense. I don't come here that often, and when I saw that the banner across the top was an ad for finding the best bikini photos online... that's not something I would EVER allow on my site. I'll be contacting them later as well.

Again, my sincerest apologies!

Crayola Glow Dome Giveaway

Mel over at Our Blessed Arrows is doing a giveaway for a Crayola Color Explosion Glow Dome. She also has reviews of a couple other of the brand new products that Crayola has out this Christmas (including the Color Me A Song - which I think is an awesome concept!)

Head on over HERE for your chance to win. And while you're at it - just sign up for her RSS feed. Not only will that earn you an extra entry into the drawing, but she and her family are just a joy to read about!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Very inexpensive Christmas cards is running a deal right now for 100 free postcards. If you're happy with their designs and just want to add your own text, your entire order will be about $6-7 (shipping to arrive in about 3 weeks).

If you want to upload your own image, that's an additional $2.49. (Tip from someone who learned the hard way - if you want to do more than one image, make a composite of your own images in photoshop or gimp or paint first - one uploaded composite image is $2.50 instead of $2.50 for EACH image. I corrected it - but it took a lot of extra time.)

You can leave the back blank, fill half of it and leave room for mailing addresses and a stamp, for fill it up all the way. If you do any of the above in black and white - it's free.

If you're sending it as a postcard, you're done. Check out and pay for shipping.

If you'd rather send it as a card, you can add 100 envelopes to your order for about $3.50 (you can get the fancy ones for $30, but that wouldn't be a budget tip from me, now would it?)

Our total for 100 postcards (7 photos on the front, our Christmas letter on the back) and envelopes - plus slow shipping: under $14.

These added to the 30 that I got through Kodak's Million Thanks $15 credit (I paid about $5 with overage and shipping) will completely cover our Christmas mailing list.

And if you're smarter than I am, you can do all this through Ebates and save just a little bit more with 6% cash back! I forgot about that until I was done loading the card... for the second time... and decided my time was worth it to skip the deal this time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Opportunity to win a $200 Best Buy gift card

MckMama reviewed an awesome Samsung fridge over here on her blog. Go read the review and find out how you can enter for a chance to win a $200 Best Buy gift card.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Continuing the Nestle discussion from elsewhere

To answer a question, I did not know there were questions about the companies behind Healthy Choice, Starbucks or Coke (how far back did you have to dig to find something about Coke - because we haven't purchased any in months...), but you can bet I'll do the research on that now - thank you for pointing it out to me.

However, you knew there was plenty of bad to be dug up about Nestle - you just chose to ignore it.

This isn't about the fact that you didn't breastfeed - I didn't know that, and that doesn't really play into anything here because you are blessed to live in a country with plenty of clean water and medical care. I'm glad your children are healthy.

And the article wasn't a personal attack against you - it was an open letter to you and the other bloggers attending. Since you won't post the link, I will in the hopes that others are wondering what this discussion is about.

An Open Letter To The Attendees Of The Nestle Family Blogger Event

Really, I'm not a blogger for the money - I make NOTHING on this site... it's just a hobby. If this turns into a bunch of your readers leaving nasty comments because I dared to speak up, I'll just shut down the blog and it won't effect anyone one way or the other. I'm not trying to start an e-war... just trying to get the word out about what a nasty company Nestle is on an international level.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Great Safeway trip

We went to Safeway tonight to get in on the last day of their sale on Healthy Choice Dinners. We do NOT get frozen dinners normally - even on sale they're way to expensive for our budget. But they were running a sale for $2.99 each - buy 5 and save $5 (or $1.99 each). Healthy Choice also has been running a $2 off one meal coupon on their website - printable twice per computer. We have three coupon-printable computers... 6, $2 off one coupons. (They also have coupons for their fresh mixers there, which Geof picked up at Wal-Mart the other day for $2.74 or $.74 each after coupon - but that's another story because even that didn't work out "normally"). We had some issue with three of the dinners not ringing up at the right price and having to go back in to talk to my fave cashier to get it straightened out. But in the end, this was our grocery receipt:

5 Healthy Choice dinners ($2.99 ea) $14.95
2 Budget Frozen dinners ($.99 ea) $1.98 <--kid's dinner tonight - they were thrilled! They've never had a frozen meal before
1 Smithfield bacon $5.49
Total: $22.42

Safeway card savings -$5.90 ($5 for the 5 dinners, $.20 off each kiddo dinner, $.50 off the bacon)
Total: $16.52

Coupons: -$13.00 (5@$2/1 for the dinners, 1@$3 off the bacon)

TOTAL: $3.52! That's an 85.5% savings! YAY!!!

Learning Beauty: Winner of Giveaway #1

Learning Beauty: Winner of Giveaway #1

This was what I posted about the other day! Thanks again, Lisa!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do you shop in the Sears Junior's section?

THIS COUPON is good for $10 off any Junior's apparel at Sears - no minimum purchase. It's a .pdf, so you can print as many copies as you want (can only use one per purchase - but you can bring multiple shoppers or make multiple trips), and it's good until November 14th.

If you can make a purchase right at $10, it will be free. Slightly over, and it will be rather inexpensive. It would be great for things like Angel Tree if you have one in your community - they're always looking for things like warm socks, underwear, hats, gloves - or use it toward Christmas gift purchases you plan to make. Or refill your kids' sock drawers =)


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Holy Cow!

A couple weeks ago, Money Saving Mom had a link to someone's Avon store that had a bunch of lip glosses and deodorants on sale for $.99 or under plus free shipping. I LOVE Avon - I was an Avon addict in high school, as one of my really good friend's mom had an Avon business. I haven't ordered from them since then so, what, 14 years? So I spent $2.97 that I probably shouldn't have and got two chapsticks and a deodorant. It came really quickly, came with a catalog that I drooled over one night on the couch while sitting next to Geof. I kept showing him the cute little girl's outifits and stuff... he kept rolling his eyes. Typical encounter for us ;)

We kept checking for the mail to come today because, normally, it's here much earlier on Saturday. Geof had just checked, nothing, sat back down. The doorbell rang (usually means the postman/lady is bringing a package). I asked him if he was expecting something - no. He got it and looked at me and said, "Are you?" No. He hands it to me and says, "Avon calling!"

I panicked.

I said, "I swear, I spent $3 on that one order - I even threw out the catalog before I finished going through it - I didn't order anything else!" I looked at the return address... sure enough, the same lady through whom I placed my last order. So I figured it was just a mix-up - she sent someone else's order to me. It was a BIG box - like 6x8x12". I saw my name on the paper and looked under it to see a big bottle of bubble bath - and I got REALLY scared because that was one of the things I had looked at. So now I'm really freaking out that I accidentally placed an order I shouldn't have. I read the paper inside:

Congratulations! You were randomly chosen as the winner of my monthly giveaway! Everyone who purchased an item from my online Avon store was entered in a drawing to win this grab bag of different Avon goodies--- and you're the winner!
M blog is and my online Avon store is
I've also enclosed some catalogs and samples for you! Feel free to tell your family and friends to visit my online store, I will be having more samples and giveaways in the future.
Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy the products you purchased.


I was shocked! I didn't even know there was a giveaway going on - I just wanted some cheap, shipping-less Avon goodies (and I *do* enjoy them - I opened the vanilla lip balm last night - is SO good! And Avon deodorant is wonderful - cheap and it really works well, the smell isn't over-powering, and it lasts a full 24 hours.)

In my box there was:
A HUGE bottle of French lilac bubble bath (24oz!)
Avon Naturals refreshing peach antibacterial hand gel (this is the other "flavor" of lip balm I bought - and now I'll fight swine flu and smell good in the process!)
a purse-size bottle of Skin So Soft signature silk ultra moisturizing body lotion
an 8-in-1 lip palette (I wanna go play!)
Avon Naturals (green) Apple and Honeysuckle refreshing shower gel (5 oz - and I love that Avon's shower gel bottles are "hooked" at the top to hand on the showerhead)
Avon Moisture Therapy Intensive Extra Strength Cream (5.3 oz)
Skin So Soft soft&sensual roll-on anti-perspirant deodorant (did I mention how much I love Avon deodorant!)
Avon Foot Works foot moisture cream (2.5 oz)
Planet Spa Greek Seas condition seaweed hair mask
Avon SpectraColor lipstick in the nudes(I don't know how to describe this - it's like a mix your own color in the tube thing - here's a link - but it looks fun!)
Avon Moisture Therapy Lip Moisturizer SPF 15
Avon Care Deeply Lip Balm with aloe (I *almost* ordered this one. It's very plain, but it's one that my mom loved. But I told myself I didn't need to spend $1 for the memory. I was so happy to see this one)
Avon Sweet Delicious Lip Balm (It's purple! The outside it purple with pink hearts all over the place, so I'm thinking it's meant for kids)
Avon Wash-off Waterproof mascara (black)
Anew Clinical Professional Stretch Mark Smoother (This made me giggle)

Those were all the full-size things. Then there are samples of:
Lipstick in bordeaux (have you seen Avon's lipstick samples? They're adorable tiny lipstick tubes! My Busia used to keep them in her purse)
Lipstick in bronze (it's shiny!)
liiv botanicals vital day cream with SPF 20
mark matte chance mattifying lotion in sugar cane/pumpkin seed
mark eyeshadows in cake and corset
u by ungaro (perfume)
Anew Clinical Thermafirm face lifting cream
planet spa African shea butter brown sugar body scrub
mark sassy (perfume)
Anew alternative photo radiance treatment
liiv botanicals vital night mositurizer
[ ] - Patrick Dempsey 2 (perfume, and yes, "[ ]" is the name)
Avon 60's Pop (perfume)
mark see things clearly brightening moisturizer lemon & orange/lotus flower
Anew Rejuvenate Day Revitalizing Cream SPF 25

I'm just in shock! Have I mentioned how much I love Avon? My little perfume collection (admittedly, mostly for the bottles) is mostly Avon. I can't wait to start messing with this stuff!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

GF Pasta give away

5 Dollar Dinners is having a give away for 3 boxes of DiPalo Selects GF Pasta.

Head on over to enter!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Free pastry at Starbucks

Starbucks is having a free pastry with any drink purchase from open until 10:30 AM on Tuesday, July 21st. I'm excited because it includes their gluten free Orange Valencia cake!

Click HERE for the printable invitation.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kids' book giveaway

One of my favorite bloggers, Mel at Our Blessed Arrows, is giving away some children's books from Cheerios. We are a big reading family, so this is an exciting giveaway to enter for me! Go on over to this post to learn more and enter for your family!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You, too, can host a carnival with a MckLinky!

There’s a great new “linky” service available and I wanted to let you know about it. It’s called MckLinky – After realizing the need for a new, reliable linky capability, Brent Riggs and MckMama got together to create a free, easy to use linky service for all their blog friends.

MckLinky is a free link list feature that allows you to do include lists of other blog links like MckMama does on Not Me! Monday. You can use MckLinky any time you want your blog readers to leave a list of links on your blog. It’s simple, reliable, free...and loads of MckFun!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Great deal on Kraft Singles

Safeway has their Kraft Singles (16 oz, 24 slice packs) on sale for $1.99 - regular price $4.99. Right in the dairy section, there are free "Add Dairy to your backyard adventure" booklets with coupons on the back... including one for $.50 off Kraft singles. Since Safeway doubles coupons up to $.50 (use the little coupon in the add) - you can get these for $.99.

We've been getting 2 each time we go. We usually get the 72 slice boxes at Winco for between $6-7. At this price, 72 slices are $2.97!

I don't know if these other stores double their coupons like Safeway, but Safeway's sister stores are: Vons, Dominick's, Genuardi's, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Pavillions, and Carrs|Safeway. According to the coupon booklet, it is available at all these stores. There are also coupons for $.50 off Kraft Natural Shredded Cheese, $.55 off Daisy sour cream and $.50 off 2 1.75 liter Simply Orange Juice. All but the sour cream are elligiible for doubling.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

WIC and Awesome Wags trip

(This is a repost from my other blog - pardon the explanations of what RRs are as I know that has been covered here in the past)
I had to get the kiddos fed and down for naps by 2 (we did 1:30 since they were obviously tired). I wanted to be at the WIC office by 2:45 to be in the first batch of Farmer's Market checks. I was under the impression that we would get $20 to spend at the market - any farmer's market in Oregon, and they gave us a newspaper listing every one and what they have and their hours... really neat. I was charmed by the babies there, and then shocked to learn that EACH of my kids got $20 in vouchers. I asked the lady handing out the vouchers if it was less expensive to go to the bigger cities for their markets rather than the one here in town. She said the bigger ones would have more variety, but she wasn't sure about the prices being lower. However, the lady that helped us Tuesday with our WIC recertification came behind her and started nodding emphatically. So, we'll look at the list and make a trip to one of the markets in Salem (where we do our big shopping) or Albany (where we go to church) sometime soon. We have until October to use them.

Then I went to Walgreens. Last week, my calcium supplement was on sale for $8.99 (regular price $11.99). That was great as it was! But they were also running a deal where you bought the supplement for the $8.99 price and you got a $9 register reward (basically a coupon that works as cash at Walgreens - you can buy just about anything with it other than dairy, phone cards, gift cards, tobacco, lottery or prescriptions). I did that deal twice, so I had $18 in register rewards to spend by the 9th - and next week's ad wasn't that promising. So I figured I'd do my best to get some staples, as well as our Father's Day cards, and see where it took me. I have to post this list - I haven't done that here in a long time.

I found some surprise sales - like Swanson Chicken Broth that is usually about $1.30 a can on sale for $.50 a can. I also found some fun and useful clearance items (50 paper lunch bags - we use those when we fry or cook bacon - and a white board calendar that's magnetic to go on our to-the-garage door for appointments.)

$3.09 Father's Day Card
$1.99 Father's Day Card
$0.99 Father's Day Card
$0.99 Father's Day Card
$2.59 Dry Erase Calendar
$0.45 Lunch Bags
$3.49 5lb bag of sugar
$1.50 bag of Dum-Dums for the kiddos
$4.00 8 cans of chicken broth
$0.19 hair elastic (I needed a filler to reach $18.00)
-$1.20 Walgreens coupon for the sugar
-$9.00 register reward
-$9.00 register reward

That's right EIGHT CENTS!!!! That was stinkin' cool =)

Monday, May 11, 2009

New phone means new ringtones

While we were at a family wedding, my phone and a spritzer of hand sanitizer were in my pocket together from the hotel room to the car. In that time the cap unscrewed from the hand sanitizer and saturated my phone.

R.I.P. my beloved pink razr

Anyway, I got a new phone. A really cool phone. A phone I wasn't going to be able to get since it was still going to be $50 after rebate and 2 year credits - and that's a lot. But we were at the mall checking out phones and our sale's guy was great - but his partner was a real jerk. I had enough of him rolling his eyes at me when I was correcting them on things like how and where you can use rebate visa cards (come on - I *know* my rebates, people!), how well certain phones cameras worked as far as delays from click to actually saving the picture (we did some phone testing while still on vacation... over an hour in another Verizon store). Anyway, I said, "That's it - we're done here" and took my kids' hands and walked off. As I was walking away, my husband heard the nice guy say, "I'll take $25 off the price!"

I thought about it, went back (without the kids and husband) and said, (to my guy) My husband said you'll take $25 off the price? [yes] And (to jerk) you'll stop talking and acting like I haven't been researching phones for the last week? [yes, ma'am] Okay, we're going to think about it and we'll stop back on our way out."

So, I got a phone that retails for over $250 for $25 after rebate ($75 out of pocket). And it's nice. I got the enV2 - in maroon - with a qwerty keyboard and the ability to have tons of cool ringtones. Now I just have to make them.

My husband found Ventones. He made a few for his new (free... good man) cool phone. Well, now I want to make specific ring tones for each of my contacts. Because I'm crazy. And what's better than that kind of fun? That kind of fun... for FREE!

So - give it a try! We're enjoying it!

Free Ringtones from Ventones

Thursday, April 2, 2009

6 Free Downloadable Kiddo CDs

You can download all of them - for free! Each CD has about 21 songs. Click HERE.

Also, they have 5 of those CDs available in French. There's a link at the bottom of the English ones (or you can click HERE as well)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Great Wags deals this week

If you got a raincheck on the Wags diapers when they were 2/$9, this is the week to cash that in! Since Walgreens is selling their brand diapers this week BOGO 1/2 off, you will actually get your first pack for $4.50 and your second for $2.25! I found this out completely by accident!

Today the BOG a coupon for one free in your next purchase of Softsoap body wash has been rolling. What that means is when you buy your first bottle (at $3.99) you get a coupon for your next bottle free. When you buy that next bottle with the coupon... you get a coupon for your next bottle free. Lather, rinse, repeat as many times as you want and your Wags will allow (pun very much intended).

My favorite cashier was working tonight, so she let me do 5 small transactions. I was telling her about this deal and encouraged her to buy hers today as I expected that the company would probably find out about this mistake and correct it tomorrow - ending this endless freebie. She wasn't able to purchase the first one that night, so I "bought" two of them for her... and I still have one more freebie to redeem by the 12th!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Another great trip at Wags

We were out of garbage bags and I had a raincheck for diapers, so I headed to Wags Wednesday. They were unloading from the truck and it was mass confusion... and the two things I needed just weren't out yet. No prob - I'll come back tomorrow.

So when I went today, I did GREAT!!!
Size 4 Wags diapers - $4.50
Size 4 Wags diapers - $4.50
TUF 36 count drawstring trash bags $3.50
TUF 36 count drawstring trash bags $3.50
Sambucol $11.99
Sambucol $11.99

-$10 IVC Sambucol
-$10 IVC Sambucol
-$4 internet Sambucol
-$4 internet Sambucol
$10 RR from the Dove deal

$1.98 oop

ESR $3(.30) when you buy 2 TUF trash bags.

net -$1.32 =)

I need to print out a few more coupons for Sambucol and go back and get the other 2 packs of diaper for which I still have the raincheck. WOO HOO!!!

Frugality starts at home

I've read a few friends' posts about making their own laundry detergent. I was thinking of getting in on the BOGO Arm & Hammer detergent at Wags this week, so I decided that if I wanted to try making my own, I needed to do that before the sale ended (to see if it was any good).

Well, I did it. I went out and got the borax and washing soda required for this recipe. I looked at the Fels Naptha, but when the label said prolonged exposure and contact with skin should be avoided because it could cause irritation... I passed on that. Besides, I already had 8 bars of Ivory at home (I planned let my kids carve boats with plastic spoons like we did in kindergarten).

Here's my breakdown:
74 ounce box of 20 Mule Team Borax - $2.98
~60 ounce box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda - $2.70
1 bar Ivory soap - free because I had it on hand.

There's enough Borax for 18.5 batches and washing soda for 15. Since I have 8 bars of Ivory and 8 of Dove - and a few random others - we're set for 30 gallons of laundry detergent for $5.68. That's $.31 less than I would have paid for 2, 32 load bottles of Arm & Hammer this week with sale and coupon. This is HUGE!

(If I'm being honest, I also had to purchase a 5 gallon bucket and lid for $4.88 and $1.79 respectively. I only had a lid-less 1.25 gallon ice cream bucket, but this will be reused for a *really* long time).

I followed her recipe (please click on the link - she requests that no part be reprinted) until we got to the gallon and 6 cups of water. She said that the final consistency would be something like egg drop soup, and I didn't have a bucket big enough for all that volume. So I figured I'd just add the 6 cups of water and use 1/4 cup of the detergent in the laundry instead of the 1/2 cup of diluted detergent.

So what I'm learning is that frugality comes through trial and error =) It formed something between crisco and jello-jigglers =) Then I figured that I'd just use one of our repurposed spaghetti sauce jars with a few cups of boiling water and shake the heck out of that 1/4 cup of soap and dump it into the machine. But as well as saving money, my time is valuable and should be saved as well (it took a LONG time to dissolve like that). So I bought the bigger bucket and lid, plopped the detergent jell-o mold in the bottom, broke it up and added a gallon of boiling water in 2 cup batches. And I stirred. And stirred. And stirred. It took what seemed forever, but was probably at least 30 minutes, and I got most of the clumps dissolved well enough to call it good.

And the best parts- the Ivory smell (not my favorite) is totally gone from the clothes when the wash cycle is over. Even better? IT WORKS!!!! It works and it works really, really well. Totally worth it!

So if you're interested in trying it, give it a shot. You really can use any bar of soap that you have around (or collect a few as you travel for free!) and spend about NINETEEN CENTS PER GALLON!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not a money-saving post

This little guy could use your prayers.

I started reading here when Stellan was still in utero. He wasn't expected to live past birth because of his VERY rapid heart rate. But he was born, he was FINE and life was grand.

Following an albuterol treatment for some breathing issues last night, his heart rate went up to about 300 - and they're still having a really hard time bringing it down to normal 24 hours later. His mama tells the story much better and with much more detail. Go read back a few entries and keep little Mck Muffin in your prayers.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A great Wags trip

Today I went to Wags to cash in my $40 in RRs from the Huggies deal last week. I was at Walgreens so much last week that I didn't even open my ad until today! But I was still able to get an awesome deal - and only spent $1.29 oop.

8 Dove Bath Bars @ $1.04 ($8.32) (I'm kicking myself because I had a rain check for 4@$.99)
1 Walgreens Extra Strength Headache 20 ct capsules @ $2.99
1 Iceland Memory Formula @ $19.99
1 Sony Hi8 8mm 2 pack of tapes @ $9.99

Total $41.29

- 4 $10 RRs

$1.29 oop


The 8 Dove at $8.32 got me a $10 RR, the Memory formula is a FAR (and the last one on the shelf - they've been out for awhile) - $21.99, and the Wags Excedrine stuff was also FAR - $3.29.

So I paid $1.29 and got a $10 RR and submitted rebates for $25.28. Not bad!

I had a great trip at Walmart yesterday, too... I'll have to get that up here in the next day or so.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

4 orders and organization

That's how many separate receipts I had at Wags today. The Huggies deal was just TOO good to pass up, and I had to do separate trips for the Garnier, anyway. I don't have my receipts in front of me, so bear with me, please...

I was planning to do 3 size 4 Huggies Natural Fits, but they only had 2 (there have GOT to be a TON of babies in this town that are M's size - no matter what brand of diapers they are, the size 4s are almost always gone on day one of a sale at Walgreens or Rite Aid here!) So I got 2 4's and a pack of pull-ups. Here's the whole order:

Size 4 $10
Size 4 $10
Pull-ups $10
GF Curl shaping spray $2.99
Colgate Total TP $3.49
Dry Idea Unscented Gel Deodorant $1.69

Huggies Naturals -$3.00
HN -$3.00
Pull-ups -$2.00
GF -$1.00
Colgate -$1.50

$27.67 (I'm thinking that I paid $30.67... I'm wondering if one of my HN Qs didn't go through...)

$2 RR for the Dry Idea
$10 RR for Huggies over $25

Did you notice anything? Yeah, I was chatting away with my favorite cashier and we both forgot the ESR IVC coupons. She called the manager over, though, we returned a couple things and added them onto my next order where they took the coupons off... see below.

Huggies Supreme Newborn diapers $10.00
HS size 1 diapers $10.00
HS size 2 diapers $10.00
clearance highlighter (ch) $.10
ch $.10
ch $.10

HS -$5.00
HS -$5.00
HS -$5.00
Garnier IVC -$2.00
Colgate IVC -$2.50
RR -$2.00
RR -$2.00
RR -$2.00


$10 RR for Huggies over $25

I brought those out to the car. Then I went back in and did:

HS Newborn diapers $10.00
HS size 1 diapers $10.00
HS size 2 diapers $10.00
Garnier Hydra-Curls shampoo $2.99

HS -$5.00
HS -$5.00
HS -$5.00
GF -$1.00
Garnier IVC -$2.00


$10 RR

I fully intended that to be my last trip to Walgreens. I brought my things out to the car and walked over to redbox for free-movie Monday. I already knew what I wanted, and it was a good thing. It was COLD for us today, and I was standing in line behind a guy who must have read every. single. summary. there was in that box. I picked up my movies, punched in the freebie code for the guy behind me... and went back to Walgreens. I know... I know...

HS size 1 diapers $10.00
HS size 2 diapers $10.00
HS size 2 diapers $10.00
Garnier Hydra-Curls shampoo $2.99

HS -$5.00
HS -$5.00
HS -$5.00
GF -$1.00
Garnier IVC -$2.00


$10 RR

So, I now have $40 is Wags-bucks to spend in the next 2 weeks. That won't be a problem. I have a rain check for M's Wags diapers that will eat up $18 of that. I can also pick up the rest of the FARs for this month... and maybe something fun for the kids. I figure it's REALLY rare to find Huggies for $5 a bag (or even $7 for M's current size), so it was worth it to me.

As far as organization - I decided that we needed to do something to keep track of the free things and great deals we've purchased this year. We have them stored and stashed all over the house, and often my husband will ask where something is and we have to try a few spots to find it - or he'll ask if we have something and I just don't know.

So I put together a workbook of spreadsheets for us. I've divided the worksheets into:
Toothpaste (and brushes)
Bath, shower & smell good
Family planning & feminine
Medications & pain relief
(I plan to add a kids worksheet and household cleaners worksheet, too)

Then I went though our different storage places, emptied them, sorted them, and put them in the database. I've put it on our family file-share so that my husband and I have the information at our fingertips whenever we need it. I still have to go through our medication shelf and the things in our garage pantry and laundry room cabinets. But the majority of our "stash" has now been taken care of. I'm SUPER excited about this. It will be helpful in preventing us from buying things we already have, as well as being able to locate things we need MUCH quicker than in the past. It is my hope to eventually do this with our food pantry as well - to know at all times what we have on stock and how much - so that we know what we can use for recipes and what needs to be restocked on our next big shopping trip. I think that's totally doable, too.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sambucol and This week at Wags

I have been having an awesome time shopping Walgreens last week - and this week appears to be the same way... but better!

Last week, I went after the Sambucol deal. It didn't appear that anyone else in town had been doing it. The first time I picked up two of them along with diapers and a few things on clearance. My Walgreens had it on sale for $11.99 - so after both coupons, I received a $2.01 overage.

The next time I went back later in the week, I got 4 boxes of Sambucol (there were 5 left after my first trip - so I still left one on the shelf), a 6 pack of Ensure (on sale for $6.99, I had a $3/1 coupon, and a "try me free" full-price rebate), and a bottle of the Axe shampoo that's in this month's ESRs as a FAR deal. I paid $1.76 (I think - from memory, but I know under $2) and I'm getting $13.58 in rebates. I was hoping to hit the Dove RR deal, but they were out of the soap. I did pick up a rain check as this is a deal all month.

However, after getting home I realized that I forgot to pick up a rain check for the Walgreen's diapers. So after the kids were in bed, I headed back and picked up the last box of Sambucol and 4 boxes of the plastic storage bags that were on sale for $.99... for one more hour. I paid $1.95.

The best part... the Sambucol deal is on ALL MONTH LONG. Though, if I know my Wags, they will change the rules on that one, too, like they did the freebies this week...

Today started the great week of freebies at Walgreens. Garnier Fructis shampoo is on sale for $2.99. There's a $2/1 ESR coupon, and there have been an abundance of $1/1 coupons lately. Combine them - and a filler - and you have some free shampoo! There's also Colgate Total toothpaste on sale for $3.49, $2.50 ESR, and $1/1 and $1.50/1 internet coupons abound (the $1.50/1 are .pdf coupons that can be printed as often as you'd like - like the Sambucol coupon).

I had 5 coupons for shampoo and 2 for styling products. I had all 7 (different kinds) in my cart - the shelves were still VERY full. I also had 3 boxes of Total and a Dry Idea deodorant (more later). One of my friendly cashiers saw me and told me to go put it back before I got up to the register - they had been told to refuse to sell more than one Garnier or toothpaste per person per trip - not just transaction - because "that's what the coupon says." But, that's not what the coupon says. The coupon says limit one item per coupon. So I should be able to collect 5 booklets with 5 (total) coupons and buy 5 bottles of shampoo... but no dice. This store has been big on changing coupon rules lately (which is why I think the Sambucol deal will be going down). So another one of my friendly cashiers let me do 2 transactions... and I promised to be back many times this week. Here's what I got:

GF Shampoo $2.99
Colgate TP $3.49
Dry Idea Gel deodorant $1.69 (on clearance)

IVCs (that's the coupons in the ESR catalog):
GF -$2.00
Colgate -$2.50

GF -$1.00
Colgate -$1.50

Paid $1.17 off my gift card

Received $2 RR for the Dry Idea. There's a $2 register reward when you buy the Dry Idea and (I think) Rite Guard deodorants this week at $2.99 - but these were on clearance. There was still one left, so I'll do that again tomorrow if it's still there).

Lather, rinse, repeat for a second order (this time with GF smoothing milk instead of the shampoo) =)

$0 oop and $4 in RR!

There's also a GREAT deal going on Huggies diapers and wipes this week, but only in the smaller sizes. I have pregnant friends, so I may get in on that deal as well. More info on that is available HERE with thanks to Money Saving Mom.

I have a few other surprising deals from last week to share, but I'll have to do that another night as my body is screaming for sleep. I wanted to get these up here now, though, as these sales are still going. So if they're helpful to you... have at it!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Free Sambucol

This isn't something that I've used, but I know that a friend highly recommends it. This week you can get it free at Walgreens.

It's priced around $12.99 at Walgreens.
There's a $10/1 coupon in the front of the easy saver catalog at your store.
There's a $4/1 coupon HERE.

Now's the time to stock up for those springtime colds!

Thanks Money Saving Mom

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

3 free meals tomorrow

I was joking with my husband about this, but the fact is that you really could eat three free meals tomorrow (Tuesday, February 23). He asked if I really wanted to go to the city for this tomorrow... and I had to remind him that I have celiac disease and couldn't eat any of it.

However, to all you normal people...

Tomorrow is National Free Pancake Day - so everyone can get a free short stack of pancakes at IHOP from 7 AM to 10 PM. A donation to Children's Miracle Network is requested, but not required.

Then there's Two Free Tacos at Jack in the Box for their (I'm sorry... exceedingly lame) campaign. Click HERE for that coupon.

And Quiznos is giving away a free sub to the first 1,000,000 people to sign up. It appears that you can sign up each adult in your household. I just signed up for me and for my husband, and they're only up to the mid one hundred thousands... and we did get our coupons already.

So, head on over HERE and sign up for a free sandwich!

Fill a big jug with water and grab a few cups - and go have a day on the town with your family. Bring some fruit and/or veggies along with you, too. Antacids might be a nice dessert =)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Great deal on some great products!

This week, Walgreens has all Yes To Carrots products on sale 25% off. Yes To Carrots is an AWESOME line of beauty products, from skin care to hair care an assorted others. Here's a little blurb from their website:

All of our Yes To products combine the fresh, unadulterated goodness of organic fruits and vegetables with the purifying and moisturizing properties of 26 minerals harvested from the ancient world's most renowned spa- the Dead Sea.

I first tried their products back after Thanksgiving when Walgreens had the body butters on sale for $1.99 and I had a few BOGO coupons. I now use the Yes To Carrots body butter on my 2 year old daughter after every bath and shower. She has extremely sensitive skin and this not only agrees with her, but it leaves her skin so soft without a perfume-overload smell.

Well, Walgreens is at it again! All Y2C products are 25% off this week. This is a great time to take advantage of the BOGO coupons you get when you sign up for the carrot club (free of charge).

While we're at the Y2C website, how about some free lip balm this week? On the main page you'll notice a link for a $2 off coupon. Go ahead and print that! Then go over to Walgreens' site and print the coupon for $1 off the lip balms. Your mileage may vary (YMMV) with this one, as the coupon is marked something like "not in conjunction with any other offer" - but it was accepted for me. The lip balm is on sale this week for $2.76. After those two coupons, you have free lip balm and $.24 overage (reminder that Wags will not pay you overage - so go find something for a quarter in their clearance section - all Valentine's Day stuff is currently 50%, too =) ).

I got, of course, the carrot =) I like it a lot!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I DID IT!!!!

I just won my 220th swagbuck! I'm about to cash out toward a $20 Target gift card - just from searching the internet for things I needed to look up anyway!

Interested? It's free. Click here to sign up or ask me more...

Search & Win

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I just won $20!

Safeway has their Kellogg's fruit snacks on sale this week for $1. I had 3 $1/2 coupons. So the kids and I hit the store today to get treats. Only, the shelves were bare except for Yogos Sours.

Thankfully, they like these and they fit the coupon - so we picked up 6 boxes for $3. I had heard that some boxes were marked with a chance to win a gift card inside - $5, $10, $20 or $100. Odds varied by denomination, but the overall odds of winning were 1:50.

First box had nothing. Second box had nothing. Third box had a $10 gift card! Fourth had nothing. Fifth and sixth each had $5 gift cards! They're Discover gift cards, so they're usable anywhere that accepts Discover Card!

My husband and I were joking that we should go back for the last 2 on the shelf and pay the whole $1 for them... since OUR odds of winning were 1:2 =)

Cheap Triaminic

Walgreens had the Triaminic Thin Strips on sale 2 for $10. I printed out some $1.50 off each coupons, bringing the total for those down to $7.00. There's a rebate this month for $6 off two Triminic or Theraflu products ($6.60 with 10% gift card bonus).

I just got two box of Triminic thin strips for $.40 =)

How I saved $239.97 and earned $10

I wish I would have seen this earlier than 2 hours ago because I would have posted it for others. The Bayer Contour Blood Sugar Monitors were on sale at Rite Aid for $14.99. I had 3 coupons from a few weeks back for up to $30 off each monitor, limit one per person per transaction... so I brought my kids with me for the other purchases (though she let me use all three). Then Rite Aid has a rebate this month where you purchase 3 of any of a handful of heart-protecting products and you get a $10 Rite Aid gift card in the mail. You got it - this monitor was on the list.

So, the monitors retail for $79.99 each ($239.97). They were on sale under the coupon limit - so I paid nothing out of pocket. And I'm submitting my receipt for the $10 gift card.

To make the deal sweeter, I'll be donating these monitors to some organization that needs them - a homeless shelter, woman's shelter, food pantry, etc - which will be a tax break for us next year =)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Playing catch-up... again

In today's outgoing mail:
$15 in coupons form and UPCs to Pepsi/Frito Lay
Request for 4, 2 cookie samples from Pamela's Products when you buy and 3 Pamela's products... and they're gluten free!
(and finally) $5 rebate for Sleeping Beauty/Minute Maid
$5 rebate for Tinker Bell/Minute Maid

Here's where I play catch-up with these receipts from the past few weeks.
Store sales $2.50
Store coupons $9.55

Store coupon $3.60

Store discount $.92
Gift certificate for total of $200 purchases thus far - $10.00

Store coupon $3.60

Safeway bottle refund $1.35

Store clearance sales $15.33
Coupon $5.99

Old Navy
Store clearance sales $18.75

Store card savings $28.51
Coupons $10.00

Burger King
Coupon $2.48

Store card savings $.67

Fred Meyer
Store sale $5.98
Store coupon $1.00

JoAnn 1
Store coupon $1.32

JoAnn 2
Store coupon $5.18

Store coupon $1.32

Store card savings $23.79
coupon $2.67

Store card savings $13.30
coupons $5.22 (I found a $2 off your order coupon when entering the store!)
bag credit $.03

Safeway 1
Store Card savings $50.81
Coupons $26.12
Bag credits: $.09

Safeway 2
Store Card savings $22.26
Coupons $10.62
Bag credits: $.06

Rite Aid
Store clearance $4.20
Coupons $1.05

Fred Meyer
Store Coupons $6.42
Bag Credit $.05

Store sale/clearance $16.50

Store sale $13.00

Fred Meyer
(find IC regular price - on sale 2@2/$5)
Bag credit $.05

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Coke Rewards

Boy oh boy, am I behind or what? I know it - but life gets in the way. Anyway...

Do you collect the points like I do? We've gotten TONS of great things from there - so far all Coke products, but why not use them for what we like best? For as long as we've been part of the program, they had a 10-codes-per-day entry limit. Really, that's 100 points (if you're cashing in 12 pack codes), so that's not shabby. But if you're like me, that gets put off until you have a HUGE stack of them to enter... then you enter them like mad for a few days. Sitting in this room with me right now is about 450 points worth of codes to enter. No, we don't drink that much Coke. I pick through the boxes that are left out at Safeway by the can deposit return and get a LOT of codes that way.

But they're changing things up starting February 16th. On the surface it sounds great - no more daily code limits! But when you keep reading, its not so great for those of us with the 12 or 24 pack (20 point) codes. They've taken away the daily limit - but put a weekly limit of 120 points. Read that again - 120 points per WEEK. That's great if all your points are from 2L bottles and 20 oz bottles (each worth only 3 points). You can knock 40 out in one sitting if they've been stacking up. But my main points come from 12 packs, and they just knocked me down from 700 points a week to 120.

So, if you've got a lot of codes sitting around to enter, start doing it now. I have enough to keep me busy for another 3 days - maybe more after my next trip to Safeway.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Incoming mail

RA Jan - 16.98
Chevron $5 gas card
G - $50 unclaimed assets from MO
free kidvantage (boost for kids) coupon
3 coupons from kraft (free Planters nuts, free cheese and free Nabisco crackers)
2 coupon books
sample soyjoy apple bar (and coupon)
sample quaker natural granola bar
sample bare naked granola
Touch of Gray $8
Amazon/Coinstar $10
Baby Orajel - $1.5
Sucrets - $2

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do you use Bank of America?

I, personally, don't have Bank of America because I've heard too many of my friends complain about how bad they suck. However, if you do, keep reading... I saw this on Live Journal, today.

Bank of America has settled a class action lawsuit over its dirty overdraft tricks—things like approving transactions that generate overdraft fees, for example, or clearing transactions in high-to-low order to increase the number of overdrafts. If you're a former customer of BoA, Fleet, La Salle Bank or United Trust Company, you can claim your part of the settlement fund.

Qualifying peeps are entitled to a settlement of "up to $78". i was young and irresponsible during the time i was banking there so i, personally, have accumulated way more than my fair share of fees.

here's a link to the article on the consumerist

and here's a link directly to the lawsuit website where you can register

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Safeway: Store Sale $2.47

Target: Store Sale (clearance and repackage) $8.45

Winco: Coupons $4.84
Bag Discount $.09

Perfect Look: Coupon $1.50

Grocery Outlet: Store Sale $7.00

Safeway: Bottle Deposit Return $4.25
Coupon $2.85 *free tall Starbucks tea beverage coupons - in store ad through 1/20!

Joann: Store Sale $5.10
Coupons $8.00

Rite Aid: Store Sale $6.00
Coupons $29.00 (!!!)

(Rite Aid has a sale on Huggies diapers right now. Coupled with wipes, coupons from Sunday and additional rebates and coupons, you end up with 2 packs of diaper and 2 tubs of wipes for $3.96! More details HERE - but my wipes were $3.49, not $3.69)

Monday, January 12, 2009

In today's (e)mail

*Hunts Money Back Offer $2.85
*Lipton To Go Rebate $5.00
*Lipton To Go Rebate $5.00
*Lipton To Go Rebate $5.00+

+ These are the super secret rebates I posted about awhile back - not sure if I should even mention it online per their rules. It was buy 3 Lipton To Go packs, get $5 back. Target had a bunch on clearance for $1.85 each, plus they had $1.00 off any Lipton product coupons. So I spent about $8.00 and got $15.00 back (limit 3 rebates). Plus the little packets really are pretty tasty!

Giveaway for a crafty girlie

Money Saving Mom is at it again! This time, she's giving away 5 craft kits from My Handwork Studio. These kits are really neat. This is only a 24 hour giveaway, so quickly go here and enter for your chance to win.
Wal-Mart (1/8): Coupons $1.50

Fred Meyer (1/8):Bag Credit $.05
Store Sale: (2 $1 lettuce bags - find receipt for regular price)

Rite Aid (1/9): Store Sale $8.90
Coupons $3.00
(OOP $2 with $5 ECR!)

Safeway (1/10): Bag credit $.03

Target (1/10): Store Sale $22.19
Coupons: $7.50

Wal-Mart (1/10): Store Sale $1.20

Walgreens (1/10): Store Sale $3.00

Safeway (1/11) Store Sale: $8.72
Bag Credit $.03
Coupons $2.00

Walgreens (1/11)
(Check regular price on Mt. Dew 12 pk - sale 7x$3.00=$21 plus $4.20 deposit)
[received $10 RR exp 1/23]

Thursday, January 8, 2009

In today's (e)mail

*Set of straps for my daughter's booster seat. Her's were accidentally buried in the bottom of the hamper and got mold spotty, so I emailed them and they sent a new set free of charge! I was so thankful - way to go Learning Curve!

*Single Check Rebate submission to Rite Aid for December (I thought I had already submitted it?) for $16.98
*Wall-E/Minute Maid rebate for $5.00
*Zantac Guarantee $5.00 rebate
*Orajel Overnight Cold Sore Patch rebate for $8.00 (see note)
*Circuit City digital photo caribeaner for $10.00... I paid $9.99.

Note - the Orajel rebate is a great money maker this month. Both the 8 ct overnight patches and the cold sore brush are FAR at Walgreens this month. Add to it the $8.00 Orajel mail in rebate (and the $1.00 off coupon that was next to it - but I used it for my kids' toothpaste), and you've got a GREAT deal!
-$1.00 coupon
$7.49 out of pocket
-$8.49 ESR
-$.85 10% gift card bonus
-$8.00 MIR

$9.85 PROFIT! ($8.85 in my case, but I'm still happy with it!)

If you're interested in the MIR details:
To receive up to an $8.00 cash refund, send:
1. Your name, address, city, state, and zip code
2. The UPC code proof of purchase from the Orajel Overnight Cold Sore Patch, or Orajel Cold Sore Brush [the following are good for this rebate, but NOT Walgreens, or Orajel Plaque Revealing Rinse, or Orajel Plaque Revealing Pre-Brush Gel].
3. Dated cash register receipt with the Orajel product's item price circled. The refund will not exceed the purchase price. Receipt must be dated after 10/26/08. Postmark must be before 1/31/09.

Mail to: Orajel October 2008 $8.00 Rebate Offer, c/o Best Marketing Inc., P.O. Box 189779, Casselberry, FL 32718

Limit one refund per name, family, address, group, or organization. Offer void where taxed, restricted, or prohibited by law. Offer good only in the USA, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. No facsimiles accepted. EXPIRES 1/31/09.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Daily report

Maybe back with details later. I think I'm going to start adding sale-savings, too.

Bi-Mart: store sale $3

Safeway: store card $18.42
Clearance meat (regular price $3.59; 6x$1.79 = $10.80 savings!)
Bag credit $.09
Coupon $1.00
Can Deposits $10.35 ($2.80 of that came from abandoned cans I've picked up)

Walgreens: store sale $19.39
Coupons $33.63

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Coupons used

1/2/09 - Walgreens: $16.05

1/3/09 - Safeway: $1.00
- Jo-Ann: $9.50

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 in review

Since I just started this new lifestyle in August, I didn't do as well as I had hoped. My goal was one rent payment... and I fell about $20 short of that. Here's the breakdown that used to be on the side:

Money Back in My Pocket in 2008

* Walgreens (110%) - $391.60
* Rite Aid - $176.15
* Staples - $232.99
* Manufacturer's Rebates - $172.72
* Gift cards (Rx, points, etc) - $91.00
* TOTAL - $1075.42

As stated in the last post, I can't promise that I'll be able to update as much as I'd like. But I'm going to try and keep a running total not only on rebates in 2009, but also on how much I've saved using coupons. I haven't figured out if I'm going to do this on some paper in the coupon box or keep a running text message draft, but we'll see what I can do - and I'll update as time allows. I know that $1075 is impressive - but I also know that I probably saved about 2-3 times that in coupons last year as well. This year, I want to see it in print - something to keep me going when it all gets a bit overwhelming.

Also, speaking of coupons, one source (that I can't recall... looking for it now, actually) said that there could be up to FIVE coupon inserts in this Sunday's paper. That's HUGE! If the coupons appear to be good ones for our family, I may end up buying an extra paper (I always purchase 2 if there are coupons inside, and a family from church gives me theirs as well). What a great way to rebuild the stash (since most expired on 12/31)!

Cheap Fleece, Wags 01/09 and blog "maintenance"

Any sew-ers (unhyphenated just looked funny) reading? As you most likely have gleaned, we're trying to really limit the amount of money leaving our hands lately. I made fleece PJs for the whole family for Christmas, and the pants pattern that I followed ended up looking a lot like sweats rather than pajamas. So while all the 50% off sales were going on an Jo-Ann, I got enough elastic to make a couple more pairs of pants for each of my kids... I was just waiting for a good deal on the fleece. Didn't get elastic at 50% off - no worries, it's pretty cheap anyway, and by the yard is a lot cheaper than a package of it.

This week at Walgreens you can get their fleece blankets for $1.99 each with the coupon on page 9 of their flier. The limit is 4, but I had a hard time deciding on some colors and went ahead and got 5 without issue - there were TONS of them in at least 3 locations in my store. It's not the same high-quality stuff from Jo-Ann's - this wouldn't cut it as outer wear in Chicago or South Dakota right now, I'm afraid. But for where we live, it will make some nice light-weight fleece pants that the kids can wear out and about. The blankets are 50"x60", so I'm almost positive that I can get 2 pairs of pants out of each blanket - if not, I'll make a crazy serged patchwork quilt out of the leftover fleece to keep in the car. And, really, if you're looking for an emergency blanket or two to keep in the car, these are great. We already have one in there that my mom gave us a few years back, and M has one as one of her 7 or 8 blankets on her bed =)

One of this month's rebates at Wags is $1 off select Glade products - up to 4 rebates. One of them is the glass scents things. The Hawaiian breeze scent is on clearance at my Wags for $1.69. I had a $1/1 manufacturer's coupon, bringing my OOP to $.69 (out of last month's rebate money). I'll be getting $1.10 back in 110% gc rebates, for a total of a $.41 cent profit!

As for blog maintenance: When I started this, I had it in mind to keep updating this at least 2-3 times a week with the deals I was finding and how you could do the same. It is my hope that eventually I will get back to that as well. But for the time being, I'm focusing more on getting my health back together, getting our family set financially for what's becoming a much longer dry-spell than anticipated, and just trying to get our house together and weed out a bunch of extra "stuff" that we held onto when we moved and accumulated when my mom died (it was supposed to be used for her when she moved out to a nursing home here - then she died right (13 days) after we moved out here. The computer in general has taken a backseat to real life... a good thing, I know.

So if you're interested in the super bargains when I find them, hand around for infrequent updates. Otherwise, thanks for your interest in the blog!