Monday, December 29, 2008

I never thought I would.....

Since I started couponing, I've become a whole new person. I been brought to things I never thought possible for myself. I've always been a passionate person (some would say mouthy; I prefer passionate), and I believe that's only been intensified since beginning this new lifestyle. Here are a few of my favorite couponing moments of 2008:

1. Standing in line dumping 5 boxes of Dove ice cream bars into Kroger bags so that I could retrieve the coupons from within the box.

2. Buying 25 Starbucks candy bars from Target (which gave me $14 in overage), only to be reprimanded by another woman who emailed me and said "while I have no doubt you'll eat all those candy bars, save some for the other frugal moms next time."

3. Going to CVS at midnight to get ECB deals and having to race another couple to the Benefiber, only to loose because of a squeaky-wheeled grocery cart.

4. Actually screaming with my sister when the CVS coupon scanner printed out a $4/20 for the first time.

5. The day I realized the CVS employees actually knew my name.

6. Threatening Omaha Steaks that I would never buy there product again if they didn't give me the free hamburgers I ordered (as if I would pay for it anyway).

7. Sitting on the computer at 11pm helping 7 people at once try and get their free Christopher and Banks shirts, realizing that "no I do NOT get paid for this!"

8. My sister and I printing and using all of the Vryl Mkt. coupons, getting $200 worth of products for free, only to find out they were all illegal! (we were new to this and totally innocent)

9. Hiding behind a Christmas display in CVS when the non-ECBers were becoming aggressive towards the ECBers.

10. Giving a CVS training seminar to my entire family in a hotel lobby, only to have the hotel clerk sit in and start taking notes!

How about you? I would love to hear about some of your favorite couponing moments. I need a good laugh.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Everyone Needs a Cream Puff

I love cream puffs! I make them whenever I want to impress someone, but want to be sure not to screw it up. They are so easy, but look like they should be very complicated. Here's my recipe:

1 cup of water

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)

1 cup of flour

4 eggs

Heat water and butter to rolling boil. Stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs one at a time (I use a mixer). Continue beating until smooth. Drop by 1/8 cup spoonfuls (2 Tbs.). 3" apart on a cookie sheet. Don't make them pretty - they are prettier if the less round they are. Bake for 35-40 minutes @ 350 degrees. Cool. Cut off tops and pull out any dough inside. Fill with vanilla or chocolate pudding and replace tops. Finish by dusting them with powdered sugar and/or drizzling with chocolate. Great Christmas treat! Makes about 16 puffs.

**Note: You will probably want to eat these the day they are made as they tend to get soggy with filling sitting in them.**

Why I Will Never Go to CVS at Midnight Again....

I won't bore you will all my CVS know what they all were, and if you're not an avid CVSer you may not understand this story, so sorry beforehand.

I had a friend email this today:
Whoa! I was WAY out of my league...but I kept up a brave front for Katie's sake! Intense. Hard core. I guess I'm more of a Monday afternoon 'rain check please' girl! Teach me, o wise one. : )

It got me thinking that I should be upfront with my readers....I think I may have been out of my league, too. Here's what happened:

My sister and I ventured out on Saturday night around 11:30pm with our four transactions perfectly planned out and separated into individual envelopes. We were very hopeful and excited about the deals we were going to get. As we pulled into the parking lot we could tell by the abnormal number of cars that it might be a little busy. When we walked in it was apparent by the four other shoppers who had their weekly circulars out that we were in for an interesting round of CVS. We each quickly grabbed a cart and headed for the Right guard. Just as we suspected they did not have enough for us to get the limit amount. Normally this wouldn't be that big of an issue, but we had just spent the last hour and half figuring our transactions out to the penny. We didn't get too discouraged - we kept moving. We got our Loreal and Sally Hansen, but on our way to the Benefiber we noticed a couple who apparently each had a Extra Care card because they had two of everything! They saw us; we saw them and we all knew that there couldn't possible be enough to go around. --- I really think I would have won the race that night in isle 17, had I not had a dysfunctional cart that squeaked and wobbled as I ran. It really slowed me down and cost me my Benefiber, which in the end actually cost me $2 (being that it was a moneymaker)! If losing the Benefiber wasn't enough, I was counting on it for my first transaction so I was really messed up! We were finally able to rework our scenarios and still have very little OOP. As we walked up to the cash register we noticed quite a few people -as we got closer we realized it was more like a 15 people deep line! At one point a man yelled from the back of the line "Aw, come on! I've got a nine month pregnant wife at home with heart burn!", unfortunately not all CVSers know the edict of allowing customers with very few items the luxury of going ahead, so it got kind of ugly as the nonECBers went up against the ECBers. I decided to hide myself and my coupons behind a Christmas display and remain low key. Several things surprised me about myself that night: 1) that I would actually go to CVS at midnight 2)that I would purposely purchase Benefiber 3) that I would actually race another human being to a box of Benefiber, and 4) that losing the Benefiber would actually cause me grief. It's funny what an ECB will do to a person.....Merry Christmas and happy CVSing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Great Deal @ New York and Company!

New York and Company is having a great online sale - hurry if you want it for Christmas because today is the last day to get it before the 25th! Everything is 50% off, plus if you use the code 5751 you can get $25 off of a $50 purchase. In essence you are getting $100 worth of stuff for $25. Have fun! Let me know what you get! Go HERE to start shopping.

This is Worth Repeating...

Once again if you have not joined Vocalpoint, maybe this will spur you on...

Today in the mail I received 6 $2/1 coupons for Kashi cereal bars, and one FREE box coupon (these are like $4 a box!), plus I also got a free sample! Many store will put these on sale for $2 a box and Walmart always sells them for less than $3 so this will be a really great deal. Sign up with them today! Go HERE to join.

If you want to learn more about these programs go HERE for my previous post.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Won a $50 Walmart Gift Card!

I entered BeCentsable's Giveaway last week and I won! I never win anything so I'm pretty excited. Maybe I'll start entering more.... :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 18th is Free Shipping Day!

Don't forget that Thursday is Free Shipping Day! You can see a list of over 200 merchants participating HERE. I have come to love free shipping! You get to shop from your couch and feel no guilt over the cost of shipping - pair it with an online coupon code and get an even better deal!

Kids Yogurt 6 for a little more than a $1

Yoplait recently contacted me and offered my readers this coupon HERE for $1.50/1 6 pack of kids yogurt. It is priced around $2.79 so that would give you 6 yogurts for $1.29 - Not bad!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Deals to Meals

Deal: Ham - FREE @ Target HERE
Eggs - .99 @ Kroger
Pillsbury Pie crusts: $1 each @ Target w/ $1/2 coupon HERE
(store coupon)

also use $1/2 peelie coupon right on package (Manufacture Q)

Meal: Ham and Egg Pie

Pastry for pie crust
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. diced cooked ham
1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 c. milk
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1/2 of cheese on pie shell. Top with 1/2 of ham. Repeat layers. In bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, and milk. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Pour over pie. Bake 55-65 minutes.

Great for Breakfast, Lunch or dinner! Cheap and so delicious!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

CVS - Slow week - but FREE Coffee!

It was kind of a slow week at CVS this week, but it's okay because next week looks fantastic! Here's what I got:

2 Colgate Total: $2.99
use 2 $1.50/1 coupons HERE (it's on page 4, so only print that page)
CVS CRT $1/1 (it actually printed from the scanner today)
ECB's earned: $2 each
Total: FREE with $2.02 overage!

Folgers Coffee (we were out today): $4.99
use .25/1 from recent insert
ECB's earned: $2
Total: $2.49, but with toothpaste overage it was free so I didn't loose any ECB's

This was a good example of using the sales, coupons, and your ECB's to actually get something you need. Hope it helps!

"My Show Daddy"

After I finished painting my, almost two-year-old, daughter's nails this morning she immediately said, "My show Daddy". This is the first comment after every new outfit, new hair style, or a game of dress-up. It never fails; I am the one that spends all the time helping her, making her feel pretty, and in the end she wants to show her Daddy. Why is that? The answer is that there is something inside of every little girl that wants to please her Daddy. Not only does she want to please him, but she wants him to find pleasure in her. And, of course, her Daddy is genuinely taken aback by her every time. Why? Not because she is beautiful, but because she is his. The reason this is found in every girl is because it is a desire God has placed in each of us. Yes, we want to please our earthly fathers, but that desire comes out of our innate desire to please our Heavenly Father. Not only do we want to please Him, but oh, how we want Him to find pleasure in us as well. During this Christmas season, I challenge you to present yourself before your Heavenly Father and say "My show Daddy". He will find pleasure in what he sees, not because of your beauty, but because you are HIS.

Two of my Favorite Offers!

I thought I would run these offers just once more before Christmas because they are such great, inexpensive gifts. I love both of these products and you can get them for next to nothing!

You can get this E.L.F make-up for $1 but with the coupon code CAROLINA you can get if for .50!

The Silver Jewelry Club is so confident that you'll love their products that they'll give them to you for FREE! I've seen them and they are beautiful, but I'll warn you it can become addicting as they change their products often!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I swear, I didn't teach this to him....

As I was preparing for our Christmas party last night, my three-year-old son walked out of my closet with one of my bras wrapped around his chest. He said, "Look, Mommy! I have oboe's! " Where in the world, do kids come up with this stuff!?!?

Free Samples and Cool Offers!

Here's a sampling of samples!

Some more FREE samples...

Free sample from Huggies:


Got someone in a gift exchange that you have no idea what to get for them?
This is a great gift to give, plus you get $10 off with FREE shipping:

I've mentioned this before but this is a great way to earn yourself some great gift cards. You can get them to places like Target, Starbucks, Barnes and Nobles, GAP, and even airlines - almost anywhere! All you have to do is use this sight for your search engine and it works just as well as google. I am currently using it and have made over 200 points in just a week and a half! I have enough for a Target gift card, but I'm holding out for GAP - I need some new jeans. It really is worth a try:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Free Samples and Coupons!

I have joined a few clubs lately that send lots of free samples, coupons, and coupons for free samples. They don't send lots of emails or bother you very much at all, other than to give you free stuff. Give them a try; I have really enjoyed them.

Vocalpoint: Things I've gotten recently are: free Crest toothpaste and Delmote fruit naturals. I also received coupons for these products to give to friends plus I've gotten high value coupons for Venus razors and Kashi cereal bars.

SheSpeaks: Recently, I receive a cute little box with five Ghiradelli chocolate peanut butter squares with five coupons to go with it. They were delicious

Kraft First Tastes: Just joined so I'll have to let you know!

Psst...: I received high value coupons for Progress soup, Yoplait yogurt, Macaroni Grill Dinner kits, and free Pillsbury frozen cinnamon rolls.

Head's Up CVSers!

Christmas week there are deals to be had at CVS. Go HERE to see the deals for 12/21 and 12/22! If you haven't gotten into the CVS game this is the time to do so! There are 37 items (if you include the limits for each item) that you can get for free. I will try and come up with some scenarios for those of you that haven't started yet. Check back as time gets closer. Not quite as good as Black Friday but pretty darn close! Have fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Little Girls Dream House

If you have a little girl in your life, this is a great deal. I was able to snag one last night and get free shipping (not sure if that's still available). The Rose Petal Cottage is a play house for little girls and usually runs about $79.99, but you can get it on amazon HERE for $33.99! I got this for my daughter, whose birthday is in January and I've asked family members to get the accessories that go along with it to make it a really special gift. Hurry, I don't think it will last long.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Little Freebie at CVS

Maybelline lip products are BOGO @ $7.99 each
use 2 $4/1 coupons from recent insert and you've got yourself some free lipgloss

If you got a $5/15 coupon that printed off your receipt this week than you've got yourself more than $4 bucks to spend however you like since the 2 lipglosses add up to $15.98!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Great Christmas Gift for Toddlers

My children adore Veggietales! Here's some great deals on these halairous movies:

VeggieTales DVD & CD Sale $3.99-$9.95

CVS Week of 12/7

This was a great week for diapers, especially since I had a few more extra care bucks from Thanksgiving:

Huggies diapers 36ct. $10.00

use $2/1 printable HERE

Huggies pull-ups $10.00

use $2/1 recent insert

Huggies wipes 2 for $5.00

use .75/1 recent insert

ECB's earned for $20 in Huggies products: $5

Use $5/25 CVS coupon

Total: $10.25

used my ECB's and paid .48 OOP!

This is the best deal this week, in my opinion.

Oh wait! You can also get Rolaids this month:$2.89

use $1/1 coupon from recent insert

ECB's earned: $2

Total: FREE with .11 overage!

(great filler to get yourself up to $25 if you need it)

Fox Urgent News: ECB Rates Cut!

I received this email today and it cracked me up! To my fellow CVSers you will appreciate this:

Dear lizzy,
I am one of your new students and am entirely grateful for all of your saving tips. In fact, since Thanksgiving I have been in a CVS store almost every day looking for deals. Imagine my horror this past week when I turned on FOX news and saw the Urgent news headline... "Recession looming...ECB rates must be cut! After a few breathing exercises to calm myself down I searched the internet to find that ECB not only means Extra Care Bucks but for the small minded and uninformed it stands for European Central Bank! The bad news is the worth of the euro is dropping. The good news is our extra care bucks are safe for now! I hope this calms any fears of my fellow shoppers!

May your ECBs increase and your OOPs decrease in life!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Note to Self: Milkshakes Are a Great Idea

Last night I was watching my friend's boys for her. They are 2 and 4 years old, which sandwiches my son who is three. He was estactic that his friends were coming over. I made sure I made a dinner that I knew boys would like (which they all gobbled up), and then later we had our nightly party (read about this tradition in my previous post HERE). I made strawberry milkshakes for all the kids, and they loved them. After they finished, my son came over to me and kind of whispered to me, "Mom, the milkshakes were a great idea." He was obviously happy that we had impressed his friends. If only adults were able to read people as well as this three-year-old.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Free Ham, Batteries, and .06 coffee at Target!

Okay, so my family is definitely gonna get sick of some ham unless I come up with some creative ways to serve it. So, say tuned for a "Deals to Meals" segment. :)

Use this coupon HERE (you will need to sign up at Hot Coupon World, but it takes only a second) for $2 off Archer Farms ham at Target. Most of their individual ham steaks are less than $2 so you will get them all for free (***note you will not get overage***).

Rayovac batteries are at the dollar spot in Target and with this $1/1 coupon HERE you get them for free! This is a great deal, especially with Christmas coming up.

You can still use the $1/1 coupon HERE for .06 coffee (it's the little coffee bags). I've been putting these in little gift bags for Christmas.

I also used $1/1 coupon for any Starbucks chocolate with the $1.29 chocolate truffles by the register. I got these from a tearpad at Kroger, but I've seen them recently at CVS as well. All in all, I got all of this for less than $2 OOP! Good deal.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mint and Chocolate - My Favorite Combo!

I love mint and chocolate together which is why I could not resist this offer! Join HERE at Arby's extras and they will send you a coupon for a FREE mint chocolate milkshake! I just got mine today.

A Few More Good Offers....

Fast, easy way to make a dollar - by taking these surveys you can earn a few bucks day, several bucks a week, lots of bucks a get the idea. Try it out. Let me know how you do!

I've mentioned this before but this is a great way to earn yourself some great gift cards. You can get them to places like Target, Starbucks, Barnes and Nobles - almost anywhere! All you have to do is use this sight for your search engine and it works just as well as google. I am currently using it and have made over 100 points in just a week! It really is worth a try:

Here are some holiday offers from Betty Crocker and Pillsbury - great recipes and coupons!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Free Shirt from Christopher & Banks!

***I think this code is now dead - if you are able to get it to work; please let me know***
I ordered myself a free shirt from Christopher & Banks. Go HERE and choose a shirt under $10, add it to your cart and use the promo code 81015. Shipping is free today so it should bring your total to zero. No need to enter credit card info. just click send in the order. Great deal!
Leave me a comment if you are able to get this deal!

To My CVS Students...

Over the Thanksgiving holiday my sister and I trained about 10 of our female family members on the CVS game. It was hilarious! I think we may have created some monsters. I thought I would create a post as a tribute and help to them - hopefully you are reading. Here's some pointers:


OOP: out of pocket

WYB: when you buy

ECB: extra care buck

CRT: coupon from receipt

$/$$: $4 off of 20; $5 off of 25, etc.

BOGO: buy one get one

MQ: manufacture coupon

RP: Red Plum (coupon insert in Sunday Paper)

SS: Smart Source (coupon insert in Sunday Paper)

PG: Proctor & Gamble (coupon insert in Sunday Paper on the 1st Sunday of the month)

Remember:There are very few deals for the next couple of weeks because of the Black Friday deals. Also, you will actually make money if you use coupons with the items at CVS that give you ECB's. This is crucial! Along with weekly ECB deals there are monthly ones as well that are usually a limit of 5. Here are the best December deals:

Rolaids Soft Chews 12-42 ct. or 3 Roll Pk 2.19-2.99 (varies)
use $1/1 from recent coupon inserts (to my students: you won't have these yet, but this is still a pretty good deal)
ECB's earned: $2
Total: FREE, plus overage!

Pro Max Bars Buy 3 (3/$5)
use $1/1 from recent coupon insert
ECB's earned:$5
Total: FREE, plus $3 overage (if you have three coupons)

Complete Eye Solution $8.99 Earn 8.99 ECBs (limit 1)
use $2/1 Printable HERE-(to my students: great deal for you!)
ECB's earned: $8.99
Total: Free, plus $2 overage!

Better days are ahead, I promise! Have fun, and don't lose the passion!

End the Day with a Party

We have a daily tradition in our home. After dinner is through (and all the food has been eaten; this is a requirement) and baths have been had, my kids get to choose one sweet snack to eat at the table. They refer to this as their "party." This started last year when my husband and I found ourselves having to live with my parents for a period of time. My children would sit at the kitchen table, after their baths and have a "party" with Grammy. They would talk about their days, my sister's up coming wedding, the garden outside, and anything else a three year old mind can come up with. Since we moved out, we have continued this tradition in our home. We have a family meal together everyday, but I have found at this stage in life dinner is a bit stressful to try and have a conversation with little kids. So much of the time is spent trying to get them to eat, cleaning up spills, telling them to stop drumming on the table get the idea. At our "party", they are enjoying what their eating, and seem to be very willing to converse and talk about what's on their mind. What I have also found is that my son (he is three) has learned how to have a conversation. He actually asks me about my day, and often asks me what I would like to talk about at the "party". I encourage you to try this. My kids love it; and it's a great incentive to get them to eat their dinner!