Couponing My Way To The Islands!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


There is only 1 Smartsource coupon insert in the paper today.

Happy Clipping!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

~My Kroger Trip~

My Kroger trip last week. This sale is good through Tuesday, unless they extend it another week. They have been doing that a great deal in the past 6 months of sales.

Buy 4 participating Kellogg's products for $10, get a 2 FREE milk!

2 NutriGrain bars
1 Raisin Bran
1 Special K
-$1/2 q

2 Milk=FREE! (PRETEND there are 2 milk in the picture)

Grapes-$1.49 per lb
Red Pepper-$1


2 Sara Lee Bread
-.55 q
-.55 q
=.94 per loaf!

~Dinner-Friday night~

I did it! Finally, I attempted something that I never thought I would...MEATLOAF! It is was my husbands favorite meal that his mother made. Honestly, the idea of it really grosses me out. So, I just thought it would be a meal that I would never even attempt. Well, I got brave and tried it yesterday. I'm pretty sure I didn't do it exactly as it should have been done, but my husband LOVED IT! He had 2 servings and wants to eat the rest today. He was soooooo excited when he came home last night!
No, I didn't eat it (my mom is laughing). Yes, I will make it for him again ;)

Total cost of the meatloaf was around $1.50.

~.75 Goldfish Coupon!~

Go HERE for a .75 off Pepperidge Farm Goldfish coupon!
This is a very exciting coupon for at least 90% of my readers :)

Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 26, 2010

~2 Coupon Inserts Scheduled~

Sunday, Feb.28th there are 2 coupon inserts scheduled:

Smart Source
Red Plum

Happy Clipping!

~BabiesRus & ToysRus 3 Day Coupons!~

There are some great BabiesRus and ToysRus coupons valid on Friday, Feb. 26-28th only. Go HERE to print!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

~Tip of the Day!~Beverages~

These are 3 simple tips for saving money in 2010!

1. Make your own coffee!
Try making your own coffee at home. I know it is not fancy, but it will work. Some (lots) of people spend $200+ per month and don't even realize it at the local coffee shop. Cut that out of your budget or limit it to once per week.

2. Buy your beverages!
If you love cola, then buy 2 liters when they are on sale and make a to-go cup before leaving the house. It is incredibly cheaper than stopping and paying double for one cup than an entire 2 liter.
Example: Large soda at McD $1.79 or 2 Liter on sale for .95 (that will fill up several large cups)

3. Drink filtered water!
We use a water filters on our kitchen faucet and fridge and have great tasting water. It is so much cheaper than bottled water. Anytime I leave the house I take along my handy PBA free plastic container too. Great little investment for taking water to go. That container is saving the environment from tons of plastic bottles and saving me tons of money from buying those plastic bottles!

Hope everyone has a great day!

~Walgreen's Photo Deal of the Day!~

The Walgreen's photo deal for today (Feb. 24) is 50% off Canvas (online only) & .99cent film rolls developed (in store only).

Have a blessed Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

~What's cooking at my house?~

Saturday I thawed out some steak that I purchased several months ago. It was not great quality of steak, so grilling it was out. There were a couple of ideas I had, but I decided to try something new. I marinated it, seasoned it and put it in the fridge on Saturday night. Sunday morning I added 1 cup of water and carrots and put it on the 4 hour setting in my crockpot. It was ready when we got home from church and was very tender and good. We added a salad and baked potato with it. The entire meal cost less than $3.

But the best part....I had enough steak leftover to put it in my beef stroganoff for dinner tonight!

~Walgreen's Photo Deal of the Day!~

This week Walgreen's will be having a different photo deal each day!

Today (Monday, Feb. 22) they are offering 40% off prints.

~Menu Monday!~

It's you have your menu planned for the week?
My dear friend Rebecca and I just spoke on this topic last night at a church class. We sometimes forget the importance of feeding our families well balanced foods each day.
Here is challenge...Are you up for a challenge??? Can you prepare dinner each night for one week without eating out at all (this also means no take out)? It may sound like a big task, but if you have a plan it is easier than you may think.

Best of luck! I'm looking forward to hearing from you.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

~Yesterday's Deals!~

Yesterday I had an appointment in a neighboring town that has a Tom Thumb & Albertson's. So, I did a few minutes of preparation to make my game plan and ran in. I was only going to go to Tom Thumb, but then had to run into Albertson's to return a Redbox movie anyway. Of course, I took a second to look at the circular!

Tom Thumb:
Grapes-.99 per lb
Apples-.99 per lb

Campbell's soup
Sale .50 each
-.40/2 q (doubled)
=.10 each!

5 lb Russet potatoes

Kraft cheese (24 slices!)
$1.49 (w/ ad coupon)
-.50/2 q (doubled)
=.99 each!

-.50 q (doubled)

2 sponges
Reg. $1
Sale .50 each

6 Johnson's soap
-$1 q


Fresh Express Salad
-$2 (coupon on bag)

Friday, February 19, 2010

~3 Coupon Inserts Scheduled~

There should be 3 inserts in the Sunday paper:

1 SmartSource
1 Redplum
1 Procter & Gamble

Happy Clipping!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

~How Do I?~Homemade Fabric Softener!~

Ever wondered how to make fabric softener? Well, here is a recipe if you want to give it a try! I have not made this, but I will once I run out. If you try this please let me know how you like it. This is one of my blog friends recipes. She makes this and loves it!

Homemade Liquid Fabric Softener

1 cup baking soda
6 cups distilled white vinegar
8 cups water
10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil scent. (lime, orange, or lavender are some favs)

You will need a one gallon container.
1. Add the baking soda to the container.
2. Add 1 cup of water.
3. Slowly add the vinegar to the bottle as the vinegar and baking soda will start to fizz. Don't be scared :)
4. Add the rest of the water swirling around & cover venting the top a few times.
5. Add the essential oil.

Place 1/2 cup in your final rinse cycle for each load. Be sure to shake the bottle well to stir up the essential oils (if you are using them).

Good luck!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

~Pamper's @ Walgreen's~

For those of you who swear by Pampers...Here is a deal at Walgreen's this week!

Pampers Jumbo Pack Easy Ups or Baby Dry Diapers
Earn $1 in Register Rewards
-$1.50 Coupon (2/7 P&G insert)
Pay $7.49 out of pocket
Get back $1 in RRs

Total=$6.49 after coupon and RRs

~How Do I???~Budget!~

Continuing with the "How Do I" series, today I'm writing about how I budget. Please remember that this is how I do it, not how everyone should do it. Please read my words carefully to make sure that you understand. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment or email me.

There are many ways to budget from simple paper methods to complicated spreadsheets. A few years ago I tried the paper method and it did not work for me. I'm sure it is great for some, but I needed something that I could move and play with more easily.
Currently, I'm using a spreadsheet format. It is VERY detailed! I encourage people to put categories that you actually spend money on, not what you "hope" it will look like. Example: I have a category for my hair and other salon services. It varies month to month because I don't get my hair done each month. On the months that I don't get my hair done, that money goes into another category (if needed) or it goes into the savings category. This month my electric bill was about $99 higher than I anticipated. Since I'm not getting my hair done this month, I simply moved that money over there and it almost covered the difference. Worked out beautifully. In your budget you need to be able to move some things around. Your bills (unless you are on an average) are not going to be exactly the same every month. So, you will need to plan for the cold months and, if you are a fellow Texan, those super hot summer months too.
Crown Financial has an envelope system that they promote. Again it works, however it was not my favorite. It may be the solution for you. Regardless, it is a great bible based study and you should check it out! Go HERE to learn more about Crown Financial.
The Dave Ramsey all know that I heart Dave! He is big on having a written budget. I'm pretty sure 100% of financial advisers are. He just makes it easy to understand. He also promotes a cash envelope system. Go HERE to learn about the Dave Ramsey Envelope Plan.
Can I be honest??? We don't use cash...I know SHOCK! I have this problem of losing cash. Weird, I know. You are probably thinking that I am the cheapest person and yet I can lose something like CASH! Most recently I found $900 cash that had been lost for almost 2 years. I change purses and bags so often that I just can't keep up with it.
Luckily, my hubby and I are the 1% of people who can use a credit card and NEVER have a balance. So, we use a cc and a debit card and pay the cc off every month. We use a card that pays us cash back and has no annual fee or penalty for paying it off each month. In the event that we do get penalized or they want to charge a fee, then we will stop using the credit card completely.
I'm not promoting this is a good idea for anyone who is in debt. You should stop using your credit cards, for sure! However, if you are not in debt and make up the other 1% of people then it is not such a terrible thing. I agree with Dave when he says that credit card companies are like snakes just waiting for you to slip up. I've had a credit card since I went to college at 18 and have NEVER HAD A BALANCE that I didn't pay in full each month, so I'm confident that we are okay.
Why not just use the debit card?
Last year we were able to purchase new tires for my car with the cash back money that was built up from the credit card. It works for us. Again, I am not promoting cc usage if you are in debt or carry cc balances. Please understand that.
We do abide by the "envelope system", but in a different way. My envelope comes out of each category in my budget. Example: When the budget is down to zero on the eating out column, we don't eat anymore! Same concept of when the envelope is empty, you have no more cash to spend. Am I making sense?

I hope that how I budget did not confuse any of you. Budgeting takes a few months to conquer. Don't get frustrated and quit after the first month. You can do it! It takes some moving around and being honest about the money that you spend. I encourage you to sit down with your spouse and make sure you both agree and understand how it is going to work. In our family, I am the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) because it is a gifting that I have. We have switched off this role a couple of times in our marriage. It just works out where I enjoy it and feel like God has given me the gifting to do it well. That doesn't mean that my husband doesn't know what is going on. He knows where all of the money goes because he looks at the budget too and helps me pay bills. There is nothing that comes in or goes out that he doesn't know about. We are a team and partners in this! I've found that if you are on the same page and have the same game plan that there isn't a need to argue about money. Isn't that great!

Just remember that budgets never fail us, we fail our budgets! Best of luck to you all. I can't wait to hear about your success!

In His Grace~

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

~Island Dreaming!~

I guess I must be island dreaming already! Actually, I live in a state of island dreaming :) This weekend I was craving a club know the one that I can only get at the resort in Cozumel?! I told Jeff how good it sounded. He asked where he could get me one (yes, he is that thoughtful of a husband). I told him in Cozumel! He just smiled and then offered to attempt to make one. So, he did and it was AMAZING! It was so good that I requested it again the next day!!! It was a bit time consuming, but well worth it. Have you ever noticed how good food taste when you are not having to make it???
I'm not really sure how to even tell how much the meal cost, I just know it is pretty cheap.

Bread-FREE (finally used up all of the free bread)
Turkey-less than .30
lettuce- less than .20
bacon-.50 ??(I'm not sure how much he used, but it couldn't have been much)

As you can see, it was an inexpensive meal. Thank you to my sweet husband. You are the best!

~My Walgreen's Trip~

Walgreen's is having the same sale they did a couple weeks ago. My husband swears by Dayquil and Airborne when he starts to feel bad. So, I always keep plenty on hand.

Here is the deal:

Buy $20 worth of Vicks (DayQuil or NyQuil) @ $5 each, Earn $10 in Register Rewards
Buy $15 and Earn $5 RR

Nyquil or Dayquil
Sale $5
-$2 q
=$3 each

- buy 2 Vick's products get a FREE Puff's!

*Spent $20 in Vick's products before coupons, so I got $10 RR back!

-$10 RR back
=$2 for 4 Vick's products & 2 Puff's plus! Basically, I paid .33 each for everything in the picture. Woohoo!

Oh, and the best deal in the picture is the sweet Valentine's that my daughter made for me at church :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

~How Do I???~Menu Plan!~

There are several different ways you can do this, all of which work. I will explain each way and tell you what I know about it with an example of the person that I know that uses the technique.

1.) Menu plan off what you already have...This is the technique that I use as well as many other couponers. If you are a seasoned couponer, then your fridge, freezer and pantry are all well stocked and you can operate under this method.
I love to get my husband involved in this! Since he will be eating what I prepare,I think it is nice to let him have a say in it. What I do every 2 weeks is ask him to write down 2 weeks worth of meals that sound good to him. He is happy to do it and loves the fact that I asked him!

2.) Menu plan off the sale circular each week...This is also another method used by some couponers. This method is perfect if you are new to couponing and are working on building up your stockpile. However, the down side of this method is that you will be limited to what is on sale each week. Example: Beef may be the only thing on sale that week. I don't know to many people that want to eat hamburger meat for 7 meals. That is why is best to build up your stock with a variety of chicken and beef when they go on sale so you are not stuck with just one type of meat. Variety is the key! It think this method is best for the short term. Remember, we ALWAYS shop the circular...we just don't always menu plan off of it :)

3.) Menu plan with what sounds good to you each week...This is not the most economical way of doing it, but it does work. (I know you are shocked to have just read this!) It works if you have an ironclad menu that you do not depart from at all. You go to the store one time and ONLY purchase what is needed for those meals and then you walk out. I have a friend that is not a couponer and does this method. She is able to stay within her budget by only buying her menu items. She is unlike any other person that I know and is able to stick to her menu exactly each day. I once asked her what she did if the meal she had planned for that week did not sound good on that day. She said that she just thought about it all day and made it sound good. I'm glad she can do that, but I'm not that good!
This method works if you are a VERY organized person and can truly plan and budget. The other difference between this and #1 is that you have to have a much larger budget (typically) for this method. My friend buys a lot of organic and gourmet types of food and by doing so, she spends around $800 per month on her groceries.

Well, that is the basic explanation of the three methods. I'm sure there are many other ways of menu planning, these are just the methods that I have used. I hope you can find a method that works for you!

~My CVS deal this week~

Aussie Spray
-$2 ECB
-$1 q (from 2/14 insert)

This is the quick deal I ran in for yesterday. I may do the Cover Girl deal later in the week if I have time. I'm not a fan of their make-up, so I'm not sure I will even bother.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

~Happy Valentine's Day!~

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

~Ho Do I Series!~

In the next week or so I'm going to be starting what I'm going to call a "How Do I?" series of posts. Basically, I will try to address some of the questions that I am asked frequently. I will also address the types of questions that I ask my financial mentors. Everyone has their own way of doing things. I'm a believer that if it isn't broke then don't fix it. However, we all need a tune up from time to time. I am always looking for ways to improve how I operate. If someone offers information, I listen up! I will be letting you know what is working for us. I should probably also mention the things that didn't work in the past!

As I was typing the line "If it isn't broke, then don't fix it", I was reminded of a time that I was trying to be thrifty when I was pregnant. I desperately wanted one of those expensive ($120) slings to carry my precious cargo. So, I went to all of the boutiques to try them on and to try to figure out how they were made. Simple enough, I thought. I went and bought the fabric and everything else needed for the project. The man in line behind me asked what I was making. Looking back, I'm really not sure why he even cared enough to ask??? Anyway, I told him a baby sling. He asked what pattern I would be using and I told him that I didn't need one. His response was "Do you really think you need to reinvent the wheel?" I'm cracking up as I type this because it is funny NOW....Not so funny at the time!

The pink leopard sling did not turn out exactly as planned, but it was still super cute and did the trick. I was still using it when my baby was over a year. All for less than $10! The picture was taken on a very hot day at the Texas State Fair :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

~1 Insert Scheduled~

Looks like there is only 1 Red Plum coupon insert scheduled for this Valentine's Day Weekend.

Hope you have a sweet Valentine's Weekend! We are having a white Valentine's Day here in the Dallas area.

~Dinner Totals~

Beef Stroganoff, Garlic Bread & Spinach Salad

Beef-.50 (I presort my meat before freezing and make smaller batches for meals like this that don't require much meat....less meat=less $$$)
Stroganoff noodles & other ingredients-$1
Garlic Bread-FREE (used the FREE loaf from Kroger from a couple weeks ago that I had frozen...Thawed it, put butter, garlic and heated it up)
Spinach Salad-.50

So, for around $2 we had one of my husband and daughter's favorite meals. It is one meal that they never get tired of!

Again, I'm not making fancy gourmet meals. However, we eat nice meals together that we all enjoy and don't repeat the same meals too often. I've said it before, but variety is what keeps us eating at home. When we first got married (almost 9 years ago) I'm pretty sure I made the same 5-7 meals over and over and over again. That got old quickly! Luckily, I branched out and started collecting recipes from family, friends and the internet. Now, I have a large variety to choose from and it makes cooking less of a chore.

Hope this is inspiring you to get in there and cook :)


Thursday, February 11, 2010

~Walgreen's 15% Coupon!~

Go HERE to print a 15% off coupon on your Walgreen's purchase good on Friday, February 12th only!

~Dinner Totals~

Baked Ziti, Spinach Salad w/ Sourdough bread

2 cheeses-$1
other ingredients-.25
spinach salad-.50 (probably not even that much)
bread-.25 (used a portion of the $1 sourdough bread I bought at Kroger)

The total for this meal was around $3.05 and it made enough for 2 dinners, so technically it cost me around $1.50 per dinner.

This is our favorite Italian meal!

I ended up making 2 of the ziti & bread and taking one to a friend who just had a baby. If I would have gone to an Italian restaurant and purhased 2 baked ziti meals it would cost around $20. It feels really great to be able to bless another family with a nice meal and it not cost a fortune!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

~Dinner Totals~

Baked BBQ Chicken-$1.25
Baked Potatoes- .75
Spinach Salad-.50 (spinach, lettuce, cheese, dressing & croutons for 2) is really hard to say how much salad cost due to how much comes in such a large package.
The package cost me $2.33 and we will get more than 10 salads out of it, plus will have enough to put on several sandwiches.


*This was a very filling meal that was super yummy and it only cost me $2.50 to make. Yeah!

~Aveeno FREE sample!~

This is an awesome sample because it is a FULL SIZE BOTTLE of Aveeno Stress Relief Lotion. Woohoo!
Go HERE to sign up for it!

I heart free samples :)

UPDATE: The server is overloaded at the moment, so you might want to try this later today.

~Philadelphia Cream Cheese Printable~

Print your coupon HERE for .55/2 Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

~My Groceries for the Week~

This is what my grocery trip looks like for the week. Since I have a stocked pantry, fridge and freezer, I don't have to really buy anything other than fruits & fresh veggies. The beauty is that I can choose what I want to buy and still spend less than $25 for the week.

Total for everything in photo= $15.34
($10.46 of the $15.34 came from the fresh fruit & produce section)

Here are a few of my deals:

Taco Shells
Reg. $1.99
sale $1.25
-.50 cellfire q

Blk beans
-.50 cellfire q
-.50 q (doubled)

Mexican Rice
-$1 catalina deal (when you buy 3 products)
-.50 q (doubled)

2 Suave Shampoo
Reg. $1.09
Sale $1.00
-.50 (doubled)

1 Suave Deo.
Reg. $1.19
Sale $1.00
-.50 (doubled)

Sale .88
-.35 (tripled to sale amount)

Have a blessed Tuesday!

Monday, February 8, 2010

~Denny's FREE Grand Slam!~

Tuesday (Feb.9th)stop by Denny's between 6 a.m.-2 p.m. and get a FREE Original Grand Slam! No purchase or coupon required.


Well, January has passed and February is here. Where did January go??? I hope you all were able to accomplish your January financial goals. I am happy to report that I hit my savings goal for the month! Actually, I went over it a bit even. Which is probably good since February might be a stretch due to the electric bill doubling. Yikes! I will post my results each month. It is so true that if you put your goals on paper, then there really is a purpose. God provides abundantly more than we actually need. Never before did I think that I could reach a hefty savings goal like the one that I have set, even when we were a two income family making plenty. Now, to think what I could have been doing with my salary....Well, it sort of makes me sick! Hindsight.........20/ true!

What are your financial goals for 2010? It is not too late to set goals! If you have a hard time or feel defeated, set small goals first. Start out with weekly goals. Goals such as:
Not eat at a restaurant for 7 days
Plan a menu out for 2 weeks and stick to it
Only spend $50 per week (or less) on groceries
Limit boxed (pre-packaged) foods in your home
Try 2 new recipes per week for one month
Set aside money each week for your vacation
Start selling items that you don't need on the internet
Only buy sale items at the grocery store
Make a list and stick to it!
Make fewer trips around town...saving time and gas=$$$
As you can see, you can set small attainable goals and succeed. If you have set a goal and want to share, please email me at

Also, sorry if the posts have been a bit lacking this past week. I have been sick and have had zero energy. You know you are sick when you don't feel like getting on the computer! I'm hoping to be back this week with my menu totals, since so many of you have commented on how much it inspires you. Thank you again for the kind words from my faithful friends, readers and students. I am blessed.

Friday, February 5, 2010

~The Limited Coupon!~

Go HERE to print another The Limited coupon for $15 off any purchase. Last time I posted this, I went and got a shirt for $19.50 and only had to pay $4.50 out of pocket after the coupon! I love coupons like this! The coupon is also good for $30 off of $100 and $50 off a $150. Coupon expires Feb. 10, 2010.

~4 Coupon Inserts Scheduled!~

Get your scissors ready! There are 4 coupon inserts scheduled this Sunday. Woohoo!
*2 Smart Source inserts
*1 Red Plum
*1 Procter & Gamble

Happy Clipping :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

~Bath & Body Works Coupon!~

Get a Signature Collection Body Care Item FREE (up to $12) with a $10 purchase. Go HERE to print coupon!
*These coupons for FREE items are great to use to set aside for gifts!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

~Shutterfly 3 FREE Photo Cards!~

Shutterfly is now offering 3 FREE 5×7 photo greeting cards! Use code 3FREECARDS at checkout. Shipping is .99.
This would be a nice Valentine's gift for family members!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

~Kroger Mega Event Sale~

Here are a couple of my Kroger trips this week. I could have done better, but my printer is not working. So, all of these q's were from the paper or magazine (2 came from All You).
Also, this sale is a great time to stock up on the items like cheese and canned goods. I freeze my cheese & butter, so anytime I can get a good deal on them I buy plenty. I did not photo all of my deals, these are just to show you some of the items I got. Hope this helps!

Sale .49
-1.00/4 coupon (Dec 09 All You Magazine)
=.25 each

Hunts Canned Tomatoes
Sale .65
-1.00/4 coupon (Dec 09 All You Magazine)
-.45 shortcuts
=.28 each

Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
Reg. $2.20
Sale $1.49
-.55 coupon

Kraft Cheese
Sale $1.49
-1.00/2 coupon 1/24
=.99 each

Reg. $1.99
Sale .88

Reg. $4.39
sale $2.50
-$1 q

Kellogg's cereals
Reg. $4.39
Sale $2.77
=$2.27 (family size boxes)

Velveeta Cheese
Reg. $4.99
Sale $3.99

Ground Beef
Reg. $3.37
Sale $2.34
*I found a $1.50 off coupon in the store for meat if you purchased Velveeta & 2 cans of Rotel!

Retail: $50.04
Paid: $21.33
Saved: $28.71

I Can't Believe it's Not Butter
Reg. $2.49
Sale .99 each
-.50 off q (doubled) or 1.00 off coupons 11/15

Nature Valley Nut Clusters
Reg. $3.79
Sale $2.19
-.50 off coupon 1/03
-$1.00 off Cellfire e-coupon

Reg. $4.39
sale $2.50
-$1 q

Select Kraft Cheese
Reg. $3.49
Sale $1.49
-1.00/2 coupon 1/24
=.99 each

Kellogg's cereals
Reg. $4.39
Sale $2.77
=$2.27 (family size boxes)

Maruchan Noodles
Reg. .99
Sale .89
-$1 q

Retail: $29.91
Paid: $8.21
Saved: $21.70

Monday, February 1, 2010

~CVS Deals~

This is what I picked up at CVS for this week:

Colgate MaxFresh Toothpaste
-$1 coupon (1/31 Smart Source insert)
Receive $2 ECBs

Dove Men+Care: $5.49
-$1.25 coupon (1/31 Red Plum insert)
Receive $5.49 ECBs
=FREE + $1.25 overage!

~40% off Justice Coupon!~

40% off Justice coupon HERE! Enter code 775 at checkout. You may have to click on the link twice to see the coupon.