Thursday, March 31, 2011

COUPONS AT WALGREENS TODAY ONLY!!!!

Go to WALGREENS website right now and print off your EXTRA SPECIAL COUPONS!

Recieve 15% off of your WALGREENS total purchase today in store or online AND there is a coupon for 20% off Walgreens or W brand.

This is THE best time to save even MORE! :)

HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My stock pile

Okay folks... it's time to tell you what my stock pile consists of....


8 tubes of toothpaste
5 bottles of shampoo
QUITE a bit of TP :)
6 bottles of detergent
3 bottles of fabric softener
3 boxes of tampons
2 boxes of pads
3 boxes of panty liners
2 toothbrushes
1 box of fabric softner sheets
3 bottles of mens shaving cream(for the hubs of course)
2 bottles of mens deo
2 bottles of womens deo
3 bottles of body wash
2 packages of razors

Okay so I KNOW it sounds like a lot. BUT... it's all fitting on a shelf above the washer and dryer. It all fits up there so NO... i won't be on HOARDERS next month :)

I'm done for now... I have one more coupon for face wash that saves me about $4 dollars off of what I typically pay and then I am done for 2 months.

DID YOU HEAR ME? I am done for 2 months. I'm not couponing and saving money at the Grocery store but my "household/beauty" stock pile is now complete. For now... I've had to realize that there will ALWAYS be good deals. I never want to pass up a good deal. No one does. But i've got stocked up the items that I always dreaded spending money on.

I've said it before but i'll say it again. I used to run to the store to pick up some shampoo, facewash, some tp--and leave spending $20 bucks. Thats more than I have invested in my "stock pile" currently!!! I made a lot of mistakes... but I don't want to make the mistake of having TOO much.

I do believe that you should NOT stock up, then use it all up, then stock up, then use it up... you should always have about the same amount of items on hand. BUT...you also shouldn't buy them faster than you can use them. (to an extent...obviously a stock pile is used for saving up so that you don't run out)

So ladies and gentlemen... tomorrow is the LAST day of the month which means that tomorrow is the LAST day that I will work on my stock pile for 2 months. And at the end of the 2 months I will still have plenty.

You have to pace yourself. I jumped in head first!! I wanted to save money, wanted to get some good deals and I DID! I have saved all of my reciepts and I JUST discovered that i have managed to obtain quite a few months (I'm guessing 5) of a stock pile of household/beauty items and I have spent less thean $20 dollars out of pocket.

WAY TO GO ME! :)

What about you? how are YOU doing?

BIC coupon

"LIKE" BIC SOLEIL on facebook and instanly print a $3.00 off coupon.

This week at Walgreens BIC SOLEIL Razors are B1G1 50% off... so... use the $2.00 off coupon from this past Sunday's paper PLUS the one you print off of Facebook and spend next to nothing on 2 packages of really nice razors.

ENJOY :)

5 things you need to do to start living frugally

There are lots of things that you can do to begin your journey to frugal living... But here are the 5 that i recommend :)

#1- Make a budget
This is so hard to do yet SO important. The reason its hard to make a budget is because no one wants to take a HARD look at how much they ACTUALLY spend every month. It's hard to look through your checkbook and add things up because it makes you aware of your bad habits. *SIGH*--we allll have them. But this is the FIRST step to living frugally. you can't save money or give things up if you don't know where to start!

#2- Clip coupons
It sounds simple. I know I thought it was. And one day it WILL be... it took about a week to get the hang of it. This is so vital if you want to save money and live frugally! You have to be able to clip coupons and take the time to look through ads, search for deals online... it's all part of the living frugal process. If you need help, i'm here to help! :) But this is HUGE

#3- Go to the LIBRARY
Every town(I assume EVERY) is equipped with a great little building called the library. I live in a town of around 50,000 people which is huge to me and probably small to you, but ours is GREAT! You can check out laptops, Ipods, movies, books, PS3 games... the list goes on. My daughter and I spent about 5 hours there last week. She enjoys the toys, books and movies to check out of course, the free movies they play on the big screen, the people, the atmosphere, and she enjoys helping me pick out magazines to read while she plays. This is a GREAT way to keep your kids actively reading! It's also a great way to avoid the movie store or redbox but still come home with a movie. And heck, you probably will come home with 10 movies that were FREE! (Just remember to take them back...). I don't buy magazines anymore. I got to cancel my subscriptions  because the library has EVERY magazine and then some right there for me to read.


#4- Get rid of it
Yes, I said those words. GET RID OF IT! How many times do you sit on your couch, or chair and look around and think "oh my gosh--look at all this stuff!" ??? I'm betting you do that a lot. You sit down at your coffee table and wonder why you have 13 decorative items on it..why you decided to save all your old magazines and use them as displays?? Yep-I stepped on your toes b/c you know EXACTLY what I mean. Hey-i'm just as guilty. Thats a work in progress for me. (Read more about living minimally HERE, HERE and HERE) Sell items on ebay, have a yard sale, give items to charity and get a tax receipt before you leave! Have your kids help. I have my daughter pick out 3 things usually on a monthly basis that she wants to get rid of. She's gotten to where she will come to me BEFORE it's time to de-clutter her room and say "I don't play with this... this can go in the pile." :) Why are you hanging onto certain things? I know my super GUILTY clutter habit is this... I don't get rid of handwritten notes from family or close friends. One summer years ago I did that to help de-clutter my teenage mess of a room, and then 3 weeks later my best friend was killed... I only had saved like 3 handwritten notes of hers which I still carry around with me in my car TODAY. How I WISH I hadn't gotten rid of those... I say that to say its OK if you have certain things you keep--you just can't keep it all! (Unless you want to be on HOARDERS)

#5- PLAN AHEAD!
This is not super easy til you get the hang of it--but you WILL get the hang of it :)
By planning meals ahead you will save money and time at the grocery store. I try to plan 3 weeks out which means that when I go to the store I am working on a 3 week basis. I may spend more time up front planning my grocery trip and couponing, but in the long run I have saved SOOOO much time.
Plan your outfits ahead. My friends laugh at me for doing this but it keeps my mornings from being insane! I lay out my clothes and my daughters clothes the night before and I even now sorta have the husband on board. He does it sometimes. :) This eliminates mornings of throwing clothes all across the room b/c nothing looks right or you can't find your shoes--plan ahead!
Think about Christmas in February! START shopping then! Winter items are on sale at this time so stock up for next year. Write out a list of who all you have to buy for...shop early!! PLAN AHEAD!
Plan ahead for those "Suprises" that sneak up on us. Oil changes-set money aside for those. Friends birthdays-set money aside. Know you will need a sitter over summer?-start saving for it before Christmas! Every time you earn a little extra money from selling on ebay, or having a yard sale, or have a great bonus at work--set it aside. EVERY DOLLAR YOU HAVE SHOULD HAVE A NAME ON IT! You should know where everything is going before it gets there.

There ya go. Not rocket science but it sure took me a while to get the hang of it. :) I hope this is helpful. Feel free to comment and add to it :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What about you?

so... what about you lately? Have you been thinking of your plan? your financial plan? your plan to save money?

I posted yesterday what was going on with ME lately and the choices I have made. It hasn't been easy... but I am loving seeing the progress.

Keep up the good work!

Interesting article...

My friend shared this great link with me. I thought my readers would find it interesting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/business/29shrink.html?_r=3&ref=todayspaper&pagewanted=all

Let me know what you think after you read it :)

Almost to April

Alrighty well we almost made it to APRIL! My month of spending $100 at the grocery store is almost over and I'm still just a TINY bit over that. Hey-it was a goal, so its okay that I only sorta made it.

This month I have:

*3 weeks worth of meals planned and bought for-SUCCESS!
*Continued on my small little stock pile
*Begun the envelope system and i'm nearly at my goal for CHRISTMAS $$$$$$ 
*Sold over $300 bucks worth of stuff on Ebay :)
*Have worked on de-cluttering which is going well.

It's all about the small steps... but i'm working on it! I am seeing progress each and every day and as long as I KEEP MY GOAL in mind... I feel confident I will do JUST fine :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Free AVEENO shampoo sample!

Alright ladies--check THIS out! Get your free AVEENO shampoo sample and YOU get to pick which one you want based on YOUR hair! This will go quick!

ENNNJOY :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Walgreens Success March 27th

I did GREAT today at Walgreens!!! The paper was FULL of excellent coupons PLUS Walgreens had some really good sales!

I bought:

2 Clean and Clear Body Washes
1 Clean and Clear face Wash
1 Lady Speed Stick deo
1 package of 8 10x13 envelopes
1 package of Scooby Doo toothbrushes
1 ring pop :)
2 tubes of toothpaste
2 toothbrushes
1 bottle of Gain dish detergent
2 packages of BIC Soleil razors for women
2 bottles of mens EDGE shaving cream

OUT of POCKET SPENT: $24 dollars
RR rewards earned: 15

I'd say all in all it was a VERY successful trip :)

The ring pop and Scooby Doo toothbrushes weren't on sale or on the list...but how can you resist those big blue eyes??? :)

RAZORS were an awesome deal. Used the $2.00 coupon from the paper(and of course I got two papers so I had 2 coupons), the Edge shaving cream was an awesome deal and I had the coupon from LAST weeks paper saved for that. The clean and clear body wash was GREAT b/c it was on sale at Walgreens PLUS I had a b1g1 coupon from todays paper... and my best deal of the day in my opinion was the Clean and Clear facewash. I ALWAYS buy this, I have used this for about 9 years now and its NEVER on sale. SO to pay right at 3 bucks for it made me feel awesome!!

We needed new toothbrushes and to get them for $1 out of pocket was fantastic! The envelopes were a GREAT deal b/c I sell a TON of stuff on ebay. The only way to truly make money on ebay is to price things right, save on shipping by not promising things super fast AND to buy your packing supplies when they are SUPER DUPER cheap!

How did YOU do today??

Friday, March 25, 2011

FREEBIE!

This freebie is not for everyone I reckon. :)

TMI--but I keep this stuff on tap! Every since I had surgery 6 years ago now, well, I just keep it handy.

At Walgreens this coming week there is a $5 off coupon for ANY Dulcolax product. LAST week on Coupons.com I printed off a $4.00 off any Dulcolax product. Since its a Walgreens coupon you CAN use an outsiders manufactures coupon as well. So this is not only a freebie...but around a $3.50 money maker.

So if you like to keep products like this around for those unpleasant stomach issues that we ALL get... well, you'd better go get it for FREE!

Simplifying Finances

I love reading articles about finances. For a while it was b/c I was trying to get started and figure my way through everything but NOW I read the articles b/c they help keep me on track! It's a good feeling to read an article and think "Duh" after you read it. :) That means you know your stuff.

I read an article today while I was at the library. I don't remember which magazine so I can't quote it word for word. So here's my rendition of what I read. :)

1. Create a budget
2. Set a date of the week/month to pay bills, balance your book.
3. Make payments a Quick event so you don't dread it (online, billpay)
4. GET READY FOR THE ROADBLOCKS! (tire blows out, insurance dedcutible, emergencies in general)
5. Keep your goal in mind at all times!

START SMALL SAVINGS! A lot of people freak out when they think about saving. I have said this before... "How can I put money back when theres none extra?" Well...you have to MAKE there be extra. It takes time to get finances in order. It takes time to get to the point of putting lots of money back in savings. Put back $5 bucks...you  HAVE $5 bucks. But keep in mind that it took me about 8 months from the moment I said I want to start saving BIG before I could actually do it. I had other stuff to get in order in the mean time. I wanted to get current on all my bills. (Yes, there was a time when I was behind). I wanted to get my budget figured out. Decide where to cut back, what I could live without... it DOES take time. So start small and know that it DOES make a difference.

***SAVING TIP****
This is silly, but this works for me. EVERY MONTH I pay my bills first (some would say save first-I say pay bills first) and whatever is left over after i pay bills, put money aside for food, etc, I automatically transfer to savings. There are times its a nice amount, and there that I honestly laugh when I am balancing my savings book b/c it will read "Transfer .16 cents." Or "Transfer $4.87." Well... at least I put something back. So try it. That way you don't have to THINK about it.

Biggest thing is to keep the goal in mind. I know what my goals are. Wanna hear em?

1. Have 3 months worth of living expenses in savings.
2. ONLY USE CASH. (I claim the debit card to be cash at times)
3. Spend under $150 every month on food, toiletries, and anything in between. If it can be bought at Kroger or Walgreens--it falls in this category :)

I don't have any CRAZY dreams. I'm not there yet... but i'm getting there. Be realistic but be PERSISTENT.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Any goals? How are you doing on this journey so far?

Sneak peek at sunday's WALGREENS ad

Follow this link to see whats coming up this Sunday! How exciting?!?!!? :) Gives you a few more days to plan and get your coupons in order!

Let me know what products you are excited about!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March 24th-Progress for the month!

It's time for an update on the progress thus far.

I am as of RIGHT NOW $2.00 OVER my grocery budget for the month. :( I'm pretty bummed about it BUT I did have a pretty extreme goal. I wanted to only spend $100 dollars at the grocery store for the month of March and i'm a little over. I could kick myself and be all mad OR I can just relish in the fact that I did so good! :)

I'm 2 dollars over my budget, yes-it's true, BUT I still have 13 meals that I can make with all of the food that I have bought. So that's impressive, right?! I realized that my mistakes in the past when it came to the dreaded grocery store were all about lack of planning, and I am working on that for SURE! SO far its really paid off.

I had told you that I wanted a small stock pile of items like detergent, TP, toothpaste, shampoo...and I now have it :) I'm so proud of it! It's nice to not have to think about buying those things when I go to the store. That's how I can manage to spend $102 dollars at Kroger. It's because I am ONLY buying food.

I found myself getting frustrated this month b/c I feel like the coupons for grocery items are never that good. OR they are good coupons but the off brand is still cheaper. I refuse to buy an item JUST b/c I have a coupon. I don't want to get caught up buying items that I DON'T need or that I wouldn't normally buy. It's not a bargain if you didn't need it...

I have a good amount of cash in my envelopes. Oh yea, thats a new thing. I started an envelope system. My envelopes are as follows:

TUNICA(that ones for our little vacation next month)
GROCERIES
CHRISTMAS (yep, you guessed it. I have a xmas fund already)
CAR STUFF (oil changes, tires, etc)


A lot of folks that do "Enveloping" have way more envelopes but this helps me get started. I have been selling a lot of items on EBAY and when those items sell I am depositing transferring the money to my account and then going to withdraw it. It's helped me not use that money for just random stuff. It's kept me in check and allowed me to save.

Overall I feel good about where we are headed. I'm not loaded yet. I haven't figured out how to never spend a dime at the store (doubt i ever will), but I have figured out some new ways to keep me in "check".

What about you? What have you done?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

PRIDE: enough, or too much?

One of the blogs I love is "The Simple Dollar". i subscribe through email so on an almost every day basis i have a wonderful email waiting for me. :) This blog is FANTATIC!

READ THIS LINK TO HER BLOG BEFORE MOVING AHEAD:

HOW AWESOME IS THIS?!?! How TRUE is this?

Okay so now its time for MY take on pride...in the financial/family sense.

I understand that there are government programs that are out there to help those in need. I am so thankful those programs exist. BUT... shouldn't we have ENOUGH pride to not take advantage of them? I make "too much money" to get ANY sort of government help yet between bills, my child, my husband's children--we'd LOVE some help! Never gonna happen though... and let's say we COULD get the help. I have enough pride to go work 3 jobs before I would take from a program that is so often taken advantage of.

"In my opinion government programs are meant to be used for a short period of time. They are meant to help those familise in NEED... not those families where people don't want to work, or don't want to take a job that's beneath them..."

I think it's good to have pride in the way you look. Not over the top, but you should take pride in your apperance. Even if the clothes you are wearing are from the Good-will store, or a yard sale. Wash them, iron them, put a cute cheap necklace with them. Take PRIDE in how you look...without going over board. Don't be too prideful to shop at a consignment shop. You think buying your child a used outfit is appauling? Hmm... i think its less absurd then spending $40 bucks on an outfit at Dillard's that looks used and stained when they come from school. At least the outfits I buy won't make me CRY when I see them walking towards me with paint all over them. :) TAKE PRIDE!

Take pride in your home. It may be a rented house(HELLO... thats where I live), or a trailer, or a brand new mansion across town. Take PRIDE in the way it looks. Even if you are decorating with old hand me down accent pieces and used furniture. Make it your OWN! PRIDE can be a GREAT thing!

Take pride in your FINANCES. Be PROUD of the fact that you didn't go out to eat last night. Don't cry about it, or be mad at your husband over it... be PROUD of the money that you saved.

When you go into the grocery store with your notebook filled with coupons, and a calculator to make sure you stay on budget--don't be ashamed...be PROUD! Look at you saving money! I love to watch people go up and down the aisles throwing a little of this, and a little of that in their buggy. I used to BE that person. The person that sorta had a list, hoped to leave spending less than a $100 bucks but typically spent twice that. Don't mock them or tell them they are wrong... just take pride in what you are doing to help your family.

PRIDE can be a bad thing and PRIDE can be a great thing. It's all in how you use it.


Take PRIDE in your life, your look, your home and your finances. Be PROUD of the decisions you have made to help better your family and your wallet.:)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My ebay sellings :)

I'm so proud. I have made over $246 dollars this month by selling things on EBAY! Not only does this help me earn money to put into my "Envelope system" but it ALSO is helping come one step closer to living as a "Minimalist" which is my new life long dream. :) I am getting closer EVERY single day!

I have way more stuff to sell on ebay. Sometimes you just HAVE to use ebay when you know a yard sell won't bring in as much...BUT speaking of that we are having a HUGE yard sale here in the next few weeks!

Have you thought about that? Have you considered having a yard sale and de-cluttering AND making some cash flow? How easy it would be to sell things that you DONT need AND be able to add money to your grocery, Christmas, or savings envelope :)

GOOD LUCK!

March 2011-Our Journey

Jere and I have done AWESOME :) He's the best. We have managed to stick to our budget, buy all the food we need and we are STILL under $100 bucks (which was our goal for groceries during this month). We have quite a good little stock pile on the things that we decided we wanted to stock up on. We have had AWESOME meals-grilled chicken, steaks, home-made helper(as I call it since I DONT use a box)... good stuff! I'm so proud of us.

We have a budget set for Christmas and have already begun bargain shopping :) I have a grocery envelope started and money saved for NEXT month. I have been good at planning our meals ahead of time and have stuck with EXACTLY what we need at the store.

What about you? you been planning good and staying on track? Lemme hear back from you!

Monday, March 21, 2011

ALMOST Christmas??? :)

On March 25th it will be 9 months til Christmas. Have you given it any thought?... probably not. :) and thats ok....

BUT... I will say this. This is THE time of the year to RACK UP! This is the perfect time of the year to buy pajamas(b/c they are getting ready for the super summer ones), shirts and jewelry are always good this time of year and of COURSE household items(pictures frames, rugs, etc.... and i'm not sure why...they just are).

so... who is on your list? Make a list of everyone you have to buy for and be thinking ahead! This year my family drew names and I have my people already in mind when I hit the stores. How much are you setting aside this year for every person? Have you thought about that?

Last year... I went completely over board. Okay okay--I do EVERY single year. It's my favorite time of the year AND I LOVE LOVE LOVE buying for other people. It makes me so happy and its just stinkin' fun...even if I am buying their presents in June.

We drew names so me, my husband, and my daughter each have a person to buy for. I set a limit of $20 bucks a person within my family. I already have one present bought and b/c I bought it NOW I got it half price. (AGAIN--if you buy warmer clothing and items NOW they are cheaper but they will be back in season by Christmas). Two of the people on my list are under 5 so I am definitley awaiting the consignment events that travel through town this time of year.

For my husband and daugther--thats always harder. It's easier to spend more on them but I have put myself on a budget of $50 bucks for each of them. It's time to get to shopping!

So... what are your plans for Christmas? Have you thought about it yet?

What do you want?

What is your DREAM stock pile? Do you just want a little of everything or do you want it ALL?? :)

I knew what my dream was... mine was to have household stuff that we use a lot of in stock at ALL times. Toilet paper(no one wants to run out of that), shampoo, cleaning products, face wash, toothpaste. Those are the things that I HATE running to the store to buy and I ALWAYS buy way more than I need. SO... my goal was to have a nice stock pile without spending much money. So I used coupons, stayed up late at night searching for the best deals and sucessfully created a nice little stock pile.

What do you want in yours? where is your stopping point?

Rhea Lana event in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Rhea Lana is coming BACK to Hot Springs. It's always SUCH a good consignment event. I know in the past I have TOTALLY racked up :)

The dates are as follows:
April 6-10 with presale night being on the 5th! Be listening to HOT 96.7 for presale tickets!

To find out how to consign OR to find out what to expect go to:

http://www.rhealana.com/

In the past let me just tell you that I have bought Ava TONS of outfits, pj's, shoes, toys, etc and NEVER left spending more than $100!!! Good luck ladies :)

FREE leapfrog book!

Just go to THIS link, set up an account and your free LEAPFROG book is on its way. Pretty cool, huh?!

Let me know if you got yours :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Free Food Arts magazine subscription

I don't know if this magazine interests anyone BUT...if it does click on THIS link and get your subscription for FREE!

ENJOY :)

FREE personalized luggage tags!

Check this out!! I just made some super cool luggage tags for FREE!

It's through facebook so I HOPE this link works...if it doesn't please let me know!

ADOREABLE little tags AND a possible good way to make a friend a Christmas present :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wants and Needs-our journey

I was thinking today about wants and needs. And trying to decide the difference. This is something we teach our kids, or at least try to teach them, even at small age. My daughter is 5 and we talk a LOT about wants and needs. I want her to know the difference.

But as adults... it does seem like sometimes we don't know the difference!

My husband and I rent. It's a house...but its also a duplex. We are connected to a person who is an AWESOME neighbor. We are so blessed to have great people that live around us. Anyway--we'd like to buy a house. We both owned houses in our previous marriages and yes having a house seemed like nothing. It's just what we did and we took it for grantit...soooo easy to do! We'd like to buy at some point but I was thinking today about how cool it would be to buy a house again. But I also thought about this...

If i bought a house i'd still:
be out in the front yard playing with my daughter
have a grill out back with good ol' food on it
come home and clean and do laundry
gripe about wanting to remodel or redo something
sigh really deeply when I wrote out my check for it
and it would still feel like home...

for us, on this financial journey, renting is best for us. yes, one day we WILL buy and that will be a fun and exciting time for us. But for now... i'm just glad that I have my wants and needs in check.

I WANT a house...but I NEED a roof over my head
I WANT to have land to ride my 4-wheeler...but I need a safe neighborhood.
I WANT a big back yard but I just need room to run and play with Ava.
I WANT to have a cutely decorated home and thats EXACTLY what I have.

For me, where we live IS home. It's not fancy and it looks just like the "house" right next to us :) But it's home...and right now this is EXACTLY where I want to be.

I'm not knocking people that own their own homes. GREAT investment. We pay WAYYYY too much to be renting every month but it makes sense for us right now.

So... what are your wants and needs? is there some common ground in the middle?

FREE Dove Sample

If you are wanting to try the new DOVE clear deo...then head HERE to pick up your FREE SAMPLE!

ENJOY :)

FREE PEPSI Skinny cans

If you are a fan of PEPSI SKINNY CANS then here ya go... Click RIGHT HERE to get your coupon for a BOGO on Pepsi Skinny :)

And as always...enjoy :)

FREE PARENTS SUBSCRIPTION!!!!!

Go HERE and fill out the info to recieve a free subscription to PARENTS magazine!! And enjoy!

Let me know if you did it! I'm anxious to see who all does!! :)

Take a break from aftertaste with a FREE sample.

Add nothing but taste to your morning cup of coffee with a FREE pint of Breve Crème coffee creamer, brought to you by your friends at Vocalpoint.

http://gotaf.socialtwist.com/redirect?l=jype

BARGAINS BARGAINS BARGAINS!

Okay folks I found an AWESOME bargain today! i work for the radio station and I had been hearing all these promos for a remote this Friday at the new Salvation Army. I've been so busy that I forgot to ask the details. Well this morning I found out that a NEW Salvation Army opened right across the road from where I work. SO... I took off. I expected to find a few things I could craft with and just walk around...but I hit BANK on some clothes!!

LUCKILY I still had money in my "clothes" envelope.

I bought:
7 JEANS for $4 bucks
MISS ME jeans for $25 WITH tags on them
I bought Ava 3 nightgowns for summer $5 bucks total
3 shirts for Ava $6 bucks
Summer sandles for Ava in GREAT condition $3 bucks
Swimsuit for myself $4 bucks

Yep--I did GOOD! Jeans is something that I NEVER buy myself b/c they are soooo expensive but today I racked up! I'm so pumped!

Don't forget about your local consignment/good will stores. They have the good stuff just waiting to be found!!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

De-cluttering, Making money and living minimally

Alright I did it... I decided to de-clutter my house, make some money and begin on this journey of living minimally. SO... what better way to do that than with the help of Ebay. :)

I have cell phones for sell, movies, Dooney and Bourke purses AND more to come. My plan is to take the money I sell and put it in a SPECIAL savings account (before i'm done with this journey I will probably have 5 different savings accounts) and designate all the money from de-cluttering to something special. Haven't figured out just what yet. Maybe next years vacation? Maybe save towards a down payment on a house? Maybe pay off any extra debt and just simply relish in being debt free???....

Any suggestions? What would you do with an extra oh, lets say $500 bucks? Anything in particular or just simply put it back?!

Maybe its time to draw names...

At least for my family it was time....

I have 2 sisters, and as of June 11th, they BOTH have husbands and 4 kids. I have a husband, 1 child, and of course mom and dad. So...17 people are my immediate family. Thats a LOT! And it's a lot to buy everyone something but I don't want to JUST the kids stuff. I enjoy shopping for my parents, and my sisters... so I had the idea of drawing names and somehow everyone was on board. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!!? A family of 17 and we all agreed? :) (8 of those are too young to count their vote)

Okay so thats what we did. Each member, including all but 2 kids, we drew names. Or, I drew names. I did the work. I wrote down each family members name on a seperate sheet of paper and balled it up. THEN I took a notebook piece of paper and wrote everyones names down and had a friend randomly pick a name and then I drew a name. That way it wasn't just down the list.

So my family has 3 people to buy for, and then of course we will buy for each other when we celebrate Christmas at home, but all in all I feel good about this!

It's not fun growing up and making sensible decisions. It's hard to make that final decision of deciding to draw names. BUt I knew for EVERYONES financial sake someone had to step up! AND i think it's a good life lesson to take less of the focus on presents and place it on the reason that we celebrate.

So... thinking about the holidays (yes I realize how far away they are but I LOVE CHRISTMAS)... what are you going to do this holiday season to save money and NOT blow your budget? IT's just March... it's the PERFECT time to begin thinking about shopping early and setting limits for yourself.

How do you stay on track?

This is really a question blog for me. How do you stay on track? When you have so many goals ahead of you and you are trying to keep your eye on the big picture-whatever that may be for you-how do you do it?!

Whether your goal is to pay off debt, or save money, or live on a budget for the first time...how do you keep yourself from getting off track?

I get discouraged. I see myself saving money, and clipping coupons and even taking the time to write about it, but at the end of a lot of days I still feel like I could have done more. And feeling that way makes me want to throw away my FLYBOOK, throw out all my coupons and go shopping! It's like I can SEE the big picture but I feel like I won't ever get there... everytime i'm on track--BOOM! Something happens...

My husband and I are taking this seriously. We have been working VERY diligently to save money, pay our bills and THEN think about what to do with whats leftover. It's totally been a change for us because while we always paid our bills... we made SURE we had some fun money and now our fun money is going into savings. HOW NICE!

Okay so we just knew that we were going to have to pay in for taxes this year. Jere bought a business this year AND he was a rep before that so he just pretty much waits around til the end of the year to see just HOW much we have to pay. The question is never WILL we pay but HOW MUCH will we pay. I had a good year in sales but also had some time in between jobs so I wasn't quite sure how it would turn out. Well--b/c of the expenses of buying a business, having 2 kids in college, buying vehicles, etc for the business we actually GOT MONEY BACK! That was something totally not planned.

So we decided to go away for a weekend. It would be FREE, esentially, and would be a nice little getaway for us. So we got to book our little trip away AND have money left over. Part of me feels GUILTY for not putting all the money in savings, and the other part of me thinks we deserve this. (But then my thinking goes back to feeling entitled for stuff...)

It's a journey -I want to stay on track but I don't want to suck the fun out of everything. I'm trying. Having this trip planned for us is exciting and to know we aren't going in debt over it is a god thing.

I've decided that I have to have "mile stones" to look forward to and when those are reached we can reward ourselves with something. (yes, seeing a big savings account IS a reward, but come on-we're human. we need treats.) I haven't picked them ALL out yet but i'm working on it.

So.. how do YOU stay on track on this financial journey? What do you do when you get discouraged?

Free Woman's Day

It's not too late to get your 1 year subscription to Woman's Day for FREE!

Go HERE and fill out the info but hurry! they are going FAST!

Our story-the Week of FREE!

This week has been pretty stinkin' awesome! I clipped my coupons on Sunday and mapped out my plan at Walgreens. I knew exactly what I was going to get and how much I was going to spend. And I STILL have a few RR's in my pocket :) I was so pumped! It's just a good feeling when you get FREE stuff! Free stuff that you NEED!

So I decided this week since I have all of the stuff I need I was only going to go back to the stores if I could get it for free--it was my lucky week!

I FINALLY got my Coffee Mate coupons in the mail. I had filled out the form to get a free creamer and I had Jere do it too.. SO we got 2 in the mail. TA-DA! I went by Walgreens first and there smallest bottles were 2.99... I knew it was worth the trip to Walmart. I got the biggest bottles you could find for $3.14 AND the coupon covered it up to $3.99. SO we now have creamer to last us a while. Also I had printed out a coupon for a laxative... gross, I know, but anyway it was on sale and my coupon covered the sale price. Again-TA-DA! Then to make my day EVEN better Victoria's Secret had sent me a deal this week for 1 free pairs of panties... I guess they just like me there. So I had a FREE week (with the exception of spending a few out of pocket bucks at Walgreens on Monday) and I feel GREAT about it!

AND... I get these free bucks to Oaklawn(casino-horse races) a lot b/c the marketing department there ROCKS and knows that I ONLY come if I have a voucher. They sent me one that was only good for this past Tuesday. Well we couldn't go that night b/c we had plans so I went up during the day (don't worry-I don't have a gabmling problem... I don't think...lol) and cashed in my 5 bucks. I was about to leave but my machine (Devil 7's) was calling my name so I walked over and someone had left the machine when it was on HOT! What were they thinking?!!? I stuck in my 5 and tripled my money in 3 spins. I printed out my ticket, went and cashed out and felt so good about the money in my pocket.

DISCLAIMER: I don't think gambling is right unless its "Free" money-aka-a voucher that you paid nothing for OR you are using your "entertainment money" that was already budgeted.

So that's my story of the free week... there was lots of online time spent filling out stuff to get all of these coupons-but whats 10 minutes filling out stuff to get free stuff?!?!

So... how was YOUR week? How did you do?!?!?!? Keep up the good work.

Oh AND... I got a 1 year subscription to Woman's Day for FREE! Yep-thats right! FREE! I hope you don't think i'm lying when I post all this free stuff... its legit!

FREE tide stain release

Check out THIS website TODAY to get your new Tide Stain Release sample!! Not many to give away so go get it NOW!!

And enjoy....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Coupon policy

Okay gang this is important. You HAVE to know your store coupon policy!! Today at Kroger I had a checker try to tell me that I could not use a $1.00 off coupon if it was already Buy 1 Get 1... well the truth is that I CAN!

Call the stores, google it, whatever is easist for you but know your stuff. Know what days are doubles and up to what amounts.

The reason this is SO important is b/c before you go in the store have an idea of how much you should spend. Add a few bucks for the extra things that you find that you NEED. If you do this every time you should very quickly be super close to the right amount which helps you budget easier.

Anyway--thats my story. I'm sticking to it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

More success for Walgreens 3rd week of March, 2011

I did GREAT this week.

2 boxes of Fiber one granola bars
2 boxes aluminum foil
2 organic shampoos
2 AJAX
1 Aussie shampoo
1 Aussie hairspray
2 boxes panty liners
2 bottles of Clorox toilet Cleaner
1 bottle Purex detergent
3 bottles Purex new fabric softner
1 DIAL super hydrating lotion
2 Irish Spring deo's for my hubs

Out of Pocket expense: $12.50 (I had RR's to use, plus coupons, plus sale items)

AND... I walked away with $14.00 in RR to spend at Walgreens again :)

I did AWESOME! YAY! how did you do this week? Get some good stuff?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

FREE Eucerin sample

Got another free sample for you!

Go to facebook and add Eucerin as a friend, take the "pledge" to put your skin first and enter your info and ta-da! Free sample is on its way!

Yes, Its a free sample but Eucerin really is AWESOME! I have excema and so does my daughter and this stuff is great! ENJOY!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Simple Dollar

This is a great blog with very good ideas, tips, and insight into how the financial world can REALLY be tackled! Check it out!

This post was from today. IT's about dealing with the rising prices of gas and what that means for us and how to manage anyway!

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/

Thursday, March 10, 2011

FREE Spring Cleaning Kits but HURRY!

https://www.rightathome.com/Offers/Pages/default.aspx

Click on this link RIGHT NOW! :) Only the first 3,000 people recieve the free kit. I got mine-WHEW! Clenaing products are right at your finger tips for free so be sure and hurry! Let me know if you get one or not! :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Make it a REDBOX night :)

Use THIS link to rent your movie tonight. It helps me out, it earns you points and free rentals. AND your entertainment was only a dollar.

Just so ya know... we rented CONVICTION the other night. WHOA! GREAT movie-a must see for sure. Rent it tonight for $1.00 buck :)

Were you gonna rent a movie?

From today through March 17th click on THIS link and rent your movie. You are earning me a point by renting through this code. Then YOU turn around and mail YOUR code to all of your friends and family, they rent through you and you get points and free movies.

It's a win win deal... so make it a Redbox night. :) It's only a buck, its super cheap entertainment and you are earning free movies every time you do it !:)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

SUPER cheap Cottonelle wipes at WALGREENS

Go to your local Walgreens if you are in need of Cottonelle wipes. Now keep in mind this is the TRAVEL size. There are only 10 in each packet BUT if you like to keep these around just in case, or keep them in your car for messes these are PERFECT!

.99 each for Cottonelle Wet Wipes
Buy 2 and pay $1.98 BUT you get a $1.50 Register Reward which makes them a total of

$.24 each!!!

GREAT way to stock up!!

Journey so far.

Along the journey I have learned a lot. I have learned that when I heard people say on the crazy coupon show "i'll never understand people that pay full price for stuff" that one day I would feel that way too. :)

I will NEVER go buy body wash, tampons, toilet paper, paper towels and shampoo and pay more than 10 bucks out of pocket ... NEVER! I used to pay $10 bucks every few weeks for TP. Now i will never pay that unless im buying a 6 month supply :)

I have learned to stock up when its cheap, or free, but not go crazy! I haven't had to take out a storage building, so thats good :) I've learned that its only a bargain if you will USE it. It's not a bargain if you have to buy 50, and its NOT a bargain if its not cheaper than the off brand.

I have learned that its a good feeling to check my banking and see that there is STILL money in there! And that my savings is growing. I have learned that coupons take time to figure out, but that it actually is fun and makes me feel like I am helping out my family a lot!

I have learned that this is a way of life for me now. Not a crazy over the top way of life, but a save money when you can kind of life.

I'm proud of what I have learned. What has your journey taught you?!?!?

More Walgreens--I gotta stay out of there :)

So today I had to go BACK to Walgreens. Yesterday I got distracted and forgot a few things. I was so proud of what all I got yesterday and today was another success :)

2 bottles body wash
1 box pads
1 box panty liners
1 bottle Clean and Clear face wash

I had Walgreens Register Rewards to spend AND some to get back. BUT one trick at Walgreens is that to get the rewards you have to check things out separately. I will blog about that later.

Anyway...out of pocket expense: $4.72!!!!!!

I had coupons for everything, PLUS they were on sale, PLUS I had register rewards to spend. Way to go me! :)

I'm done on my stock pile for a while... I had made a list of everything that I wanted to stock up on and I did it. So no more stocking to me for quite a while. But i'm still SO pumped. There was a time in my life when I NEVER would have thought I could run to the store and buy these things I needed and spend less than $25 bucks... no i'm spending less than $5!!!!



For me, this is like a years worth of body wash! I use conditioner to shave, bar soap to clean my feet so the body wash literally is about a dime size glob to get me by. SCORE :)

Out of necessity or because its fun?

I have had several comments and emails about how this whole thing came about. So here ya go...

First of all I really enjoy writing. I have two other blogs that don't get as much of my time as this one, but I just simply enjoy writing. I journaled forever and I find it so important to do that... its such a nice release to just write about life and pain and funny stuff. I have kept them all and I enjoy reading them every now and then. It kinda reminds me of where I have been, and gives me insight into where I want to go. (sounds so cheesy-but so true).

So anyway I decided that I could blog and write and just keept the super intimate details to myself because overall-i'm an open book!

First part is I love to write. Second part is I have always been frugal. I grew up living a very frugal life and got used to it. There have been times in my life when its been a necessity for me to pinch every penny, and a few times when it hasn't really mattered. This whole thing got started for fun, but because of job situations, life, etc, it became a necessity.

My husband owns his own business(furniture store) and I sell advertising for radio. I LOVE my job, my hubs loves his but BOTH of our incomes depend heavily on the economy, and just sales in general. I will have AWESOME months. I will have months when I get my paycheck and I don't know whether to laugh, or to cry. IT's feast or famine at our house. Even with my husbands business. GREAT months, terrible months. It's hard, SOOO hard to budget for that. So I decided if we lived frugally ALL the time instead of just when we had to it would even out. It would be more balanced b/c we wouldn't feel it as much when have a bad month vs. a good month.

So thats how we got started. Because we do this EVERY month and not just the months when we want to cry while balancing our checkbooks we have already seen a huge difference! We haven't charged anything on a card in 4 months, everything is caught up, on time, more money in the bank, and a good bit in savings. It's a nice feeling.

To sum it up i live frugally and blog about it because its fun AND I live frugally and blog about it because it's the only way to survive. :) It's interesting... there was a time in my life when shopping was all it was about! (Don't get me wrong-shopping is my favorite cardio). And even though I always shopped for a bargain, I was shopping for bargains 6 days out of the week!

*REMEMBER-its not a bargain if you can't afford it or have to charge it*

But since I am no longer shopping (well, rarely shopping) I get that same rush and thrill from buying $47 bucks worth of household supplies for $8!! It's nice... I'm growing up, i'm owning up to my mistakes and my financial messy past and i'm looking forward to a bright, fruitful and frugal future. :)

My coupon search

Last night when getting ready for bed I realized that I was out of two things...almost. Face wash and vaseline. I have had a terrible cold the past few days and have been putting vaseline on my nose at night b/c my skin is peeling. :( I also use it on my arms (I have excema) so anyway I go through a lot of vaseline. ANd I'm almost out of Clean and clear daily pore cleanser which I have used every day of my life since I was 15. I went to write it on my list and thought... hmm... I wonder if I could find some coupons!

well... I did! I simply googled clean and clear coupons and it popped up to their website, I filled out my info AND I got a $2.00 off any product coupon. Same thing for vaseline.

I guess this goes to show that before I buy ANYTHING .. I need to check for a coupon first! It's actually worked out perfectly!! :)

Have you found any good deals lately just simply by googling?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Walgreens Success-First week of March, 2011

Another successful Walgreens trip!!

I bought 2 bottles of Lysol toilet cleaner, 1 bottle dawn dish soap, 2 bottles Colgate total, 1 box of Always panty liners!

out of pocket expense--$6.74 PLUS i have a $2.00 Register Reward so actualy spent $4.74!!!!

Way to go me :)

How can I do it on $100?

It's no secret that from March 7th-April 7th my goal is to spend $100 bucks at the grocery store. I have been racking my brain, making lists and then ripping them up, and considered pulling my hair out! This is going to be TOUGH! Now grantit, its not the end of the world if I can't...but i'm sure going to try!

There was a time when we spent $400 bucks a month at least at the grocery store and we have done so much better these past few months, but I really want to put us to the test!

My plan may involve some cheating. :) Not really... but I have figured out several meals we can make on what we already have. And when its all gone THEN I start out with the $100 bucks! It's kinda like teaching a kid to stretch their allowance...

My plan is to go to the store with the plan of spending $25 bucks a week. It's MUCH easier to do it that way. I learned that the hard way... making a list for a grocery run to cover EVERYTHING in one trip just made me crazy.

So... on Wednesday I will go to the store. It won't be out of necessity just yet, but it gives me one night to myself to get this done. My plan is to buy:

1 bag of chicken breasts ($8 bucks at Kroger and that gives me 4 meals)
2 cans cream of chicken soup ($1.25 with my coupons)
2 cans of vegetables ($1.00...I buy the cheap-o brand)
1 hamburger meat roll ($12.00 but thats 5 meals)
1 gallon of milk (2.50)

That is $24.75 before tax so yes I will go over a TAD bit. But the beauty of that is that I have well more than a weeks worth of meals. So next week I won't have to buy as much. Here we go! Let's see if I can do it!

2 free organize in style coupon books

Click HERE and HERE to get free booklets of coupons! Takes 4-6 weeks before they come in the mail! $35 worth of coupons in each book! Go get em'!

Free toothpaste sample

http://www.tryarmandhammer.com/

You go this website, fill out the info, and recieve a free tube of toothpaste in the mail. Keep these free samples and use them when you go on trips so that you can save room in your bag. OR use this toothpastes every day and see how many free samples you can get. Just HOW long can you surive on free samples? Make it a game! Could be fun!

Either way, enjoy it!

Clothing list

I've said before that I am a complete freak about making lists. It's annoying, but it keeps me on track :)

I posted yesterday to read the blog Grocery Shrink. Well just this morning I hopped on there to read the latest news and there it was... a list I had FORGOTTEN to make! How can that be?!?!

It goes like this... you make a CLOTHING list just like the list you make for the grocery store. Plan ahead. Make a column to list everything and then get started:

pants
shorts
shirts
dress shoes
tennis shoes

so on and so forth....

Then next colum: How many do you need?
NEXT column: How many do you have already?
NEXT: how much did you budget for?

THIS is AWESOME! How could I not think of this?!

I would think ESPECIALLY with large families this will come in handy, but even for my little family of 3 this is a live saver. I tend to run out to my consignment shop KNOWING that Ava needs some clothes but I get there, walk around, get distracted and come home and realize that I bought her 4 shirts she didn't need. She needed shorts! This is a GREAT way to keep up with what you have, what you need, and how much money you need to be setting back for clothes!

How handy is this? Are you gonna do it? If not, do you have a better system for keeping up with clothing lists and budgeting for them?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Coupons for March 6th

Did you clip your coupons? Did you go through your local ads to figure up your savings?

I want to hear YOUR success stories. Be sure and post them as a comment or email me! I'd LOVE to hear it!

FACEBOOK!

Find "The Bargain Hunting Mommy" on facebook!!!!

That way you can stay up to date with all the posts, tips, questions, etc!!!!

Fabulously Broke...

One of the blogs I love so much is "fabulously broke in the city." This girl is witty, and comical, and tells it like it is.

As a blogger... a lot of the things we have to say about finances, coupons, and saving money are going to be about the same. We all get the same coupons, we all read the same emails about how to save money, and we have ALL heard of Dave Ramsey. :) I try to put a different spin on things but don't we all!

Fabulously Broke in the City is a tell it like it is blog. I'm just back in town and catching up on all the emails from the weekend. I recieve her blog in the form of an email when she posts. Today's post was kind of about the things we feel intitled to. We work hard, so we feel like we can go to starbucks every day. We cut back on some things so we can splurge on a new pair of boots. She says "Treats are not part of a regular life and routine". How profound is that? I tend to get down on myself and think "ya know what... I deserve this!" And sometimes we MAY... but most of the time I justify spending money on things b/c I DO work hard, and I DO make a decent living, and I DO cut back so much that sometimes its easy to feel that entitlement. I have had to change the way I think.

yes, I do work hard so what I "DESERVE" is to have my bills paid for, a nice savings account, and goals for my financial future. I'm almost 27 and the time is NOW! I am way past time to think "i'll get to that retirement later". Later is now here and my future means more to be than the here and now. It IS time we change the way we think about things.

Debt is not a way of life, and we don't need to justify every little purchase with "im entitled".

I'm not saying that you don't deserve to buy yourself clothes when you need them, or a cute necklace just because. Heck-we only get one earthly life and we want to have fun and enjoy it. I don't want to talk finances to death EVERY single day, but I won't have to if I can just get my priorities in line and keep them there.

So the next time you feel like blowing $8 bucks here, and $22 bucks there... think about it. Is this REALLY something you need or is this something you can put back, smile, and know you made the right choice.

What are your goals for your financial future?

February Wrap-up and moving on to March

February was a success. We had labeled it FREE month meaning we weren't going to spend a dime on anything to entertain us... we did well.

We didn't go out to eat except one time and we had a gift card. We spent less than $5 bucks on entertainment. We watched Netflix and used Redbox codes to entertain us :)

We spent less than $200 at the grocery store. We made goals for the next month.

All in all..February was a HUGE step for us at moving forward on our financial dream life of saving money and spending less.


MARCH!

March is our poor month--GET EXCITED :) Its gonna be awesome! Honestly...it won't be that much different than last month. The difference is we can't spend a DIME on entertainment and we are out of gift cards which means... eating at home, having friends over, playing card games, going for walks... anything fun and anything thats FREE. Bills are paid, groceries are bought and money is saved!

Oh... and about the groceries... as you recall March is buy groceries for $100 bucks ONLY! SO... I have from March 7-April 7 to figure out meals on $100 bucks. I have it narrowed down for the most part but there are still a few things I haven't figured out.

There was a time when we would easily spend $400 bucks a month, if not more, at the grocery store and we STILL went out to eat 3 times a week minimum. This is called "LACK OF PLANNING"... and im onto that now. So here I go... i'll keep you updated!

Grocery Shrink

If you are looking for a helpful blog on how to save at the grocery store and reading somebody's story about how to beat insane amounts of debts...

go to http://www.thegroceryshrink.com/

This is an awesome blog with awesome insights and VERY helpful info!!! ENJOY :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Dave Ramsey Road

ONCE again I blog about Dave Ramsey. That man has made me miserable AND been helpful all at the same time. (Kinda sounds like a mother in law, huh?)

Anyway, I want you guys to take a look at this blog. The Dave Ramsey Road. This is a very well put together blog about their journey to financial freedom using "Dave Ramsey-isms" as I call them.

If you are struggling with debt, struggling to live only on cash or just simply want to hear of someones journey then you will LOVE reading this blog.

Her recent post was on the envelope system. That is something i'd LOVE to get back into but its very disciplining, and thats not always easy. We ALL desire to save money but to actually take cash out of the bank and say "BOOM-here it is"... thats hard ya know? Not having that debit card to swipe is difficult.

It's all a process...but you are obviously reading my blog to get tips on saving money and living better and checking out the DAVE RAMSEY ROAD is going to be a good step along the way.

FREE energy sample!

I had never been one for energy drinks or shots of caffeine stuff... until I started duck hunting! :) Getting up that early makes ANYBODY need a shot of something.

I've never tried this particular type before, but hey-its a free sample. Totally worth it!

 Go to worxenergy and fill in the info!! This link should take you RIGHT to the sample page!


This info was provided by Rachel Jones. She's a new blogger and has a cool site. www.thewhitetrashdiva.blogspot.com. Lots of fun stories, helpful household tips and recipes. Be sure and follow her blog! You will be glad you did.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Toilet Paper deal of the YEAR!

KROGER

You can't forget to go to KROGER and stock up CHARMIN toilet paper. You can buy 16 double rolls which is $9 bucks, on sale for $5.99 PLUS upload a $3.00 off coupon to your Kroger card. That means $2.99 for 16 rolls! WHOA!

I have 2 Kroger cards--one for Jere, one for me, and I am doing this on BOTH cards b/c it's THAT big of a deal.

DONT FORGET!


Food for family

I found an interesting blog today. Now that I am constantly blogging and recieving emails, etc from other bloggers I have somehow made my way into "that" circle. I get more tips in a day then I could even respond to or blog about myself. BUT today I was given the opportunity to hear of the blog titled "Grocery Shrink." It's a wonderful blog with lots tips.

The rule of thumb is $50 on groceries, per person, per month. WOW... that means that Jere and I should be able to spend $100 on groceries and then $50 for Ava. (shes not the point of eating what we eat yet...but one day soon I hope) :)

That's a GREAT rule of thumb. Apply that rule when you are in the grocery store next.

Along the journey there are goals

Or at least there should be :)

Jere was asking me the other night when I seemed to be a bit frustrated while looking through piles of coupons and grocery ads what my GOAL of all this was. I expressed to him that I didn't want it to be ME, I wanted it to be US. Even if I am the one that does the work I don't want to be his "crazy frugal wife". I want it to be that WE are the crazy frugal husband and wife. ya know? It's important to have that support.

Goals of coupon clipping for ME is to spend next to nothing on house hold items. I know I have said that before but its important to remind myself. I also have added tylenol, kids medicine, toothpaste, etc to that list. So far... so good.

My goal is to have a fairly good size stock pile of those items. TP, paper towels, tooth paste, detergent, floss, cleaning products, tylenol, childrens ibuprofen, etc. I want to at all time be covered for a while. Not some crazy, hoarding amounts but you know what I mean :)

I ALSO have a goal of mananging my regular "Grocery bill" with under $150 for a month. That forces me to plan meals, think ahead, look for bargains and NOT make quick trips into the store. Thats where you loose your behind. :)

And my OVERALL goal by saving this money on items using coupons, and being frugal is to have more money in savings. I believe its important to have money in savings so by saving money elsewhere--i can put money into my savings account.

Long term goal--no debt in 2 years, $10,000 in savings. If that means continuing to rent for the next few years then so be it. If that means living like a crazy coupon clipper for the next few years-then bring it! i can handle it! I have goals in mind and I am gonna stick to them!

What are your goals? Do you fear you won't meet them? What do you have to do TO meet your goals??

Fabulously fru-girl

I've mentioned this blog before but I will say it again... FOLLOW HER BLOG! I get her blog as an email every day. So inspiring. She has fabulous ideas on how to save money, live cheaper, and frankly-live BETTER!

I wish she'd be a guest blogger for me but I doubt thats gonna happen. EITHER way... shes awesome, and I want you to read her blog!

www.fabulouslyfrugirl.wordpress.com

After you read it... I ask that you come back HERE and make a comment about what you thought.

Where do you get all that!?!

I have been asked what are the safe places to go for coupons and deals.

First of all... you WILL be asked to download something. But DONT do it if its a toolbar. What you are downloading is the ability to print coupons that will ACTUALLY SCAN at the stores. You MUST download that and it does no harm to your computer.

I tried SHOPATHOME.com, had to download a toolbar and my computer friend the next day. Some people have had success with the, but its not worth saving a couple bucks if it screws up my computer.

Coupons.com is the place I get MOST of the coupons at. Kellogs.com, Campbells.com, Bettycrocker.com and other blogs are the BEST places to get them.

I have post a blog before about having help along the way. Click here to be directed to it. This blog gives you other blogs to read. Now you can read those other blogs but you can't forget about yours truly :) in all seriousness, these other blogs will connect you to more coupons and savings etc.

walgreens puts out a coupon book EVERY single month. Be sure and get yours in the store, or download it onine.

Kroger.com allows you to print coupons (which are actually from coupons.com a well) and you can upload digital coupons to your card.

You have to stay on top of it! you have to check when the ads and coupons come out and compare and figure out your game plan!!!

FREE Pediacare next week!

I hate to copy other people's stuff...but this is one of those that had to be shared. I have way too many friends with kids to NOT share this.

Here's the scoop... go to http://www.coupons.com/ and look for the Pedia Care $3.00 off coupon. For me, it was on page 5 of my coupons. The coupon is $3.00 off 2.

Evidentally next week at Walgreens this product will be on sale for $5.99. Then you use this $3.00 off 2 coupon.. THEN you will want to use the Walgreens $5.00 off coupon which will be in next week's Walgreens ad. (It comes out Sunday). That makes BOTH products free.

It's worth printing out for sure. Stuff like this is expensive so getting it free is AWESOME!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

FACEBOOK

The bargain hunting mommy NOW has a facebook. Follow me on line...

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bargain-Hunting-Mommy/182614731782545?ref=ts&sk=wall#!/pages/The-Bargain-Hunting-Mommy/182614731782545?sk=wall

this should take you there! IF NOT... search on facebook for "The bargain hunting mommy" and there I am :)

FANDANGO from me!!!

http://livingsocial.com/deals/28498?ref=email-jp&rpi=7280385

click this link. Buy 2 FANDANGO.com tickets for 9 bucks. You will be soooooo glad you did!!!!!!!!!

Cheap outfit #4--don't worry, there are more :)



Blue jean jacket :$12.50 Old Navy in the heat of the summer
Dress: HYP (local boutique) $14.50 (tiny hole in the top so I moved the flower pin to cover it)
Boots: Yea... I wouldn't ask. Hey-a girl is allowed to splurge occasionally :)
Necklace: 7 years old... Christmas present. I keep EVERYTHING thats decent.

Not a lot of money on this outfit! The dress is a tube top so it can be summer, or winter with a jacket like I have it right here. You will see this outfit again only minus the jacket and summer shoes. Thats what you HAVE to remember...buy things you can switch up. That is ALLLWAYS the key!

Oh and yes, I got bangs. And I look fat right here but its ok. I like my outfit.

Our journey-2 month update

Jere and I are reaching the 2 month mark on our "journey to financial changes". It's been fun, its been tiring, exhausting, caused a few arguments, and been such a learning time for both of us.

We went into this thing out of necessity, and out of desire just to "See" what it was all about--the coupon clippin', frugal living world-that is. :)

I don't want to be extreme. I don't want my thoughts, days, hours whatever to be consumed by coupon clipping and so far, so good. I've spent time doing my research(which had to be done) and I have spent time figuring out my goals and my 5 year plan. :)

I told Jere my goal was to be realistic. I wanted to pick a few things to focus on and thats what I have done... as I have said before...you CANT do it all. So...

I want to save on my monthly "household items". And so far, so good. I have managed to acquire about 4 months worth of laundry detergent, 2 months of toilet paper and paper towels(at least 4 months) and I have a cupboard full of the main items. I haven't quite mastered how to go to the store and buy a typical grocery bill (meat, eggs, milk, cheese, etc) on coupons and save a bundle. But that wasn't my goal.

I have a list made of items we ALWAYS need to cook our meals and I am following those items carefully to see when is the time to save and stock up. But as far as household items we have done AWESOME! I'm so proud of the progress we have made.

We went from spending about $400 approx at the grocery/walmart in one month and we are down to spending half and sometimes a little less than half of that amount. We have GREAT meals, items that we need and we are happy. We aren't going out to eat unless we have a gift certificate and/or a coupon(and we managed to make the whole month of February with eating out only once), we haven't gone to the movies, haven't spent a lot on entertainment but I can honestly say that the past few months have been 2 of the best months we have had. We are working as a team, working together to figure out where to go from here... what steps we need to take to be frugal living, coupon clippin' , money saving, debt free people...

WE ARE WELL ON OUR WAY! Thanks for following our story and for reading my tips every day. My readers are the BEST!

Did GREAT at Walgreens!

Purex laundry detergent, fabric softener sheets, 2 reeses, 2 bottles of colgate whitening toothpaste, 2 bottles of ibuprofen: $7.00. WOOT WOOT! i'm so pumped!!!!!!!

Coupons for all, Walgreens "register rewards" to spend, Buy 1 Get 1's... and coupons!

Folks--it CAN be done. And this wasn't some crazy stock pile, this is just normal everyday stuff we need and use--including the Reese's :)

Kroger trip success!!!!


On sale $2.18 PLUS my $1.00 off coupons! :)




 On sale for $5.99 PLUS my $2.00 off coupon



BEST deal of them all... $5.99 PLUS my $3.00 off coupon!!! This NEVER happens!


Kroger sale price: $1.39
Cara's final price: $.39 cents :) woop woop!!!

Overall....SUCCESS!