Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Save with Coupons, part one

Coupons are kind of popular nowadays. When TLC’s Extreme Couponing first premiered, many people wanted to learn how to use coupons to save money like the people on the show. These people may not have ever used a coupon in their life (gasp!). Before you learn how to be “extreme” with coupons, you should learn some basics. So let’s start at the beginning.

Coupons are available for use in grocery stores, as well as fast food restaurants and retail stores. If you can learn how to cut down on your grocery bills by using coupons, it is like found money.

There are different types of coupons available to be used. There are manufacturer coupons that can be used on the specified product at any store. These can come from a Sunday paper coupon insert, from a company’s website, or they can even be found at a store on a display. Let’s learn some of the different types of coupons and different ways to get coupons.

A store coupon is a coupon that is redeemable only at a certain store. They will normally say “only redeemable at…” There are some instances when these coupons can be used at other stores, but that is for another article.

A Catalina is a type of coupon that prints at the store, usually at the time of purchase. These Catalinas are redeemed at the store from which they were printed. These coupons might print at the end of your purchase and they often come in a few varieties. These include:

* money off coupons for your next order (like save $1 off of your next purchase)

* register rewards (these come from Walgreens and are a reward for purchasing a specific product)

* coupons for a specific product (for example, save $2 off your next purchase of Excedrine Migraine)

Similar to Catalinas are Extracare bucks. These are exclusive to CVS and are store coupons that can only be used at CVS. Learn more about CVS and Extracare bucks here.

An Internet coupon is one that is you print from off of the Internet. Companies may do promotions where they offer a high-value coupon for a “like” on Facebook, or even as a thank you to customers. These coupons are printed from your own printer. Often, these can be printed two times by simply pressing the back button after the first print. These coupons are usually limited to two per computer., Redplum, and Smartsource are some places where you can get started printing coupons.

An eCoupon is a coupon that is loaded onto a store card. I’ve never had the chance to use one of these yet as the stores that I shop at don’t offer them. But some stores offer coupons that you load right onto a store card and once you take them to the grocery store and purchase the items, the money comes right off of your order once you scan your card.

Another way to get coupons is to call or email companies to ask to be put on the company coupon mailing list. These coupons are sometimes high value coupons so it may be worth your time to make a point of emailing companies whose products you use frequently.

Yet another way of getting coupons is with free samples. I LOVE me some free samples. More often than not, when you get a free sample a company will include a coupon in with the sample so you can purchase the full sized product at a discount. These are sometimes great coupons with high values!

Sometimes people don’t want to start couponing because they think it is too difficult or too time consuming. While it is true that it takes time to clip the coupons and organize them, it might not take as much time as you would think. If you are not interested in extreme couponing, you don’t have to spend nearly as much time as the people on the show. And once you get used to using coupons, it is not difficult at all to remember to take coupons with you when you shop. We don’t leave the house without coupons in our family! Even if we are going to retail store, we use coupons.

If you want to start using coupons right away, you will need to start collecting them. Most couponers buy a Sunday paper (or two, or ten). These newspapers have coupons on all Sundays, except for on Holidays. Once you get your flyers, you can look at the coupons available to determine the best deals. Next week we will learn more coupon basics so stay tuned!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dove Go Sleeveless Sample

Click here to go check out a free sample of Dove Go Sleeveless. Sample deodorants make great freshen-uppers for your purse!

Take $10 off of a $10 purchase in Aerie stores

When you "like" Aerie on Facebook, you can print a $10 off of $10 purchase. You might be able to grab some great free stuff! Check it out here. Me likee free stuff :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Winner of Lennox giveaway

The winner of the Lennox tea light set is Audrey! I am sending you an email to get shipping information. Thanks for all the entries everyone! I hope to keep having more great giveaways for my awesome readers so stay tuned!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

CVS Matchups

My friend Melissa from Melissa's bargains has great CVS match-ups and sceneraios for those of you who are new to shopping CVS and may not have ECB's yet.


Buy Blink Tears (.5 oz) or Gel Tears (.34 oz) – $7.99, get a $7.99 ECB (limit 1 per household)
$1/1 Blink Tears – 4-3 SS
Final Price = $6.99 after coupon
NOTE: Some boxes reportedly have $4/1 peelie coupons, which would make the deal even better!

Buy Dove Men + Care deodorant – $.99 (limit 5)
$1/1 Dove Men + Care – 3-27 RP
$.75/1 Dove Men + Care deodorant printable
Final Price = as low as free after coupon


Buy 7 Up, Canada Dry, Sunkist or A&W – 3/$10, get a $3 ECB (limit 1 per household)
Final Price = 3/$7 after ECBs

Spend $15 on Clean & Clear, get a $5 ECB (limit 1 per household) – PSA $5.49
BOGO free Clean & Clear body wash – 3-27 SS
$1/1 Clean & Clear – 3-27 SS
$2/1 Clean & Clear printable

Buy 3 Clean & Clear products – $5.49/each

Use 3 $2/1 printables

Spend $10.47 OOP, get a $5 ECB
Final Price = $5.47 after coupons/ECBs ($1.83/each)

Click here for more of Melissa's match-ups! I suggest you check these out if you are new to CVS shopping, she really breaks it down with scenarios and everything so you know exactly what to do.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Free toothbrushes!

Grab this $2/2 Reach toothbrush coupon and get free toothbrushes at CVS and other stores. Print now before the limit is reached!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review of Olive Oil Desserts: Delicious and Healthy Heart Smart Baking

Have you tried olive oil for baking? Until I had the chance to review this book, I had never heard of such a thing! We are food network die-hard fans and I had never heard of baking with olive oil before.

I had the chance to review Micki Sannar's book, Olive Oil Desserts: Delicious and Healthy Heart Smart Baking. I looked through the entire book and picked out several recipes that I wanted to try. Then my husband looked through the ones that I had chosen, and after several minutes of going back and forth, we decided to try the Oatmeal Peanut Butter cookies.

Now, I know what you're thinking, E.V.O.O in cookies? Actually, you use a pure olive oil of your choice. If you are an olive oil user than you can choose one whose flavor you enjoy. If you are not a regular olive oil user, Micki's book offers suggestions.

So we tried the recipe and the cookies turned out really good. It made a lot of cookies and we ended up putting part of it in the freezer. We haven't thawed them out yet, but I love putting cookies in the freezer and being able to take them out later to have fresh baked cookies.

Monday, April 18, 2011

TheraBreath winner

The winners of the TheraBreath giveaway for a tube of toothpaste and a bottle of mouthwash, are Samantha and Mary. I will email both of you to get your mailing address to send off to the sponsor. If you didn't win this time, please stick around. This sponsor is sending me a new kit to try out soon and I'll be posting another giveaway. Thanks for the entries!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

WalMart Match-ups

Similac Sensitive $3.84

-$5 from 4/3 SS = FREE plus $1.16 Overage

Neutrogena makeup remover wipes (in the travel section) $1.97

- $3/1 Q (From April "All You") = FREE plus $1.03 overage
Purex 3 in 1 Sheets $0.97

-$1 from 3/13 RP = FREE plus $0.03 Overage

Reach Waxed Floss - $0.97

$1/1 Reach Floss, Floss or Toothbrush, exp. 4-30-11 (RP 10/10/10) = Free + $0.03 Overage
Head & Shoulders shampoo travel size $.97

- $2/1 Q (From P&G Bright Ideas home mailer) = FREE plus $1.03 overage

McCormick $0.54

-$1 from 3/06 SS = FREE plus $0.46 Overage

-$0.75 from 3/13 RP = FREE plus $0.20 Overage

Revlon Tweezers $1.87

$2.00 off Revlon Coupon = FREE + $.13 overage
Thanks to Coupon Keri for the matchups! Click here for the complete list.

CVS Matchup

Thanks to Adventures of a Couponista for the match-ups!

Coke Products (2L) – $.99

-Use $1/1 Coca-Cola coupon (Recycle Bank)

Final Price = FREE

Colgate Toothpaste – $1

-Use $1/1 Colgate Toothpaste coupon (SS 4/10)

Final Price = FREE

Cottonelle Bathroom Tissue (18pk) – $8.99

-Use $.50/1 Cottonelle printable coupon (or SS 3/13)

-Get $2 ECBs (Limit 1)

Final Price = $6.49

Green Bag Tag – $.99

-Get $.99 ECBs (Limit 2)

Final Price = FREE

Nivea Body Wash – $3.88

-Use $3/1 Nivea for Men coupon (RP 4/17)

-Get $3 ECBs (Limit 1)

Final Price = FREE ($2 possible overage)

Click here for a complete listing.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Save Money around the Home

This month I have been posting articles that have hopefully given you some ideas about ways to save money. The first article gave some general tips on saving money. Last week’s article was dedicated to cutting food bills (fast food and groceries). This article is about how you can save money around the home by doing your own yard maintenance and by trying your own dog grooming.

Save money around the house tip: DIY

That’s right, save money by doing things yourself. Do you have services that you normally pay someone to do that you may be able to do yourself? I don’t mean retiling a floor, but what about yard maintenance? If you normally spend money to have someone take care of your yard, you can be paying yourself to do it instead.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lenox Tealight Review and Giveaway

This time of year with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming up, many people often think about their mothers and fathers. Now that I am a mother, I appreciate all of the hard work that both of my parents put in to raise my sister and I. I’m sure it wasn’t always easy. Both parents had to make sacrifices in their lives to make sure that we had the things that we wanted and needed. I hope that I can be as good of a parent.

Recently I had the chance to review a set of tea light holders from Lenox. I was so thrilled to get the chance to review these because I’ve been wanting some for awhile now.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Save Money on Your Monthly Food Bill

Food is a necessity. It is not something that you can eliminate! Some people might not think it will pay off to save a few dollars on food, or they may not know how. Some might think it is way too complicated to even start. There are some ways, however, that you can save money on your food. And, it’s not really all that difficult to save a significant amount of money on your food each month.

What is significant? What about making an effort to save at least 20% on food? That is an amount that is a realistic starting point. If you are a family of four who spends 400-500 dollars a month on food, could you possibly reduce your bill? Okay, that is a lot of question marks. So, if a family of four can make a reduction in their food bill of just twenty percent, that would mean that a five hundred dollar a month food bill would be reduced to four hundred. They would then have an extra one hundred dollars per month, or twelve hundred dollars per year to save.

Now, if four or five hundred dollars seems like a lot to spend on food keep in mind that includes groceries and eating out. With a family of four, you can spend fifty dollars easily when you go out to eat. If you only eat out twice a month, that’s one hundred dollars right there. And fifty dollars is for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant. Surely, every now and then families eat out at more expensive restaurants as treats.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chance to win $10 Amazon code

Hi everyone, I need a favor. I am working on a project idea and I need your help. If you can fill out this short survey for me, I will enter you in a contest to win one of 2 $10 Amazon gift codes. It should literally only take you about 5 minutes to do.

It may be a silly idea, I don't know. So I need your opinions. Here is the link to the survey. I'm looking for 100 responses so when I get those I'll do a drawing for the gift certificates. Thanks so much!

$10 Cash giveaway for April

The form is ready for the $10 April cash giveaway! All you have to do is put in the email address that you are subscribed with. At the end of the month, on April 30th, I'll use to pick a winner who will win $10 Paypal cash! Thanks for being a reader.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cash giveaway winner

Without further ado, the winner of the cash giveaway for February/March is mpeggrl3. Congratulations! And thanks for the entries everyone! I will be contacting the winner via email and will need to hear back from her within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen. If you didn't win this time, stay tuned. I have news coming up as soon as I can get a post ready on how you can win one of two $10 Amazon gift cards for April. Thanks sooooo much for being a reader!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Simple Tips on How to Add Money to Your Savings Account

If you are like most people, you want to have some kind of savings for emergencies. With the economy the way it is right now, it is difficult to do that. However, it’s not impossible! With some discipline and a little sacrifice, you can start or add to your savings account. This series gives ideas of ways that you can save money to add to your savings account. Following are some car related tips that you can use to help increase the amount of cash that you have in your savings account.

Reduce or eliminate car debt


CashNet Sweepstakes