Couponing My Way To The Islands!

Monday, February 28, 2011

~How Works~

Several people have asked me how works recently, so I thought I would do a post to try to explain it.

How does it work?
Super easy! You put in your zip code and it will list the restaurants available in that zip code. Select the certificate you wish to purchase and then enter the promo code at checkout. You will pay on the site and then print the certificate yourself. This is really great because you can print it and then go and use it a few minutes later!
Also, if you are taking a vacation this summer be sure to check out the gift certificates offered in that zip code!

At the restaurant...
Tell the waiter that you have a gift certificate so they know and don't have to re-do your ticket at the end.

Read the restrictions...
Example: Usually, you have to spend $35 in order to use a $25 gift certificate. However, some restaurants have a higher amount. It is clearly stated on the site. Just wanted to remind you.

Honestly, we LOVE these certificates at our house. We go to a local Mexican restaurant once a month and use a certificate (usually you can only use 1 per month at the same restaurant). We end up getting $35 worth of food for around $16 with tip and everything. It is really a great deal!

Hope this helps clear up how this works. I only put deals that I have done or would be willing to do on this site. I don't believe there is any reason to list every deal known to man if I wouldn't even try it myself. Please let me know if you need anymore assistance with this and hopefully I can help.

Ready to give it a try? Today is the final day for the 80% off. Be sure to use code DINE at checkout to get $25 certificates for only $2!

Be blessed~

Friday, February 25, 2011

~2 Coupon Inserts Scheduled~

There are 2 coupon inserts scheduled for the Sunday paper:

*1 SmartSource
*1 Proctor & Gamble

Happy Clipping!


Thursday, February 24, 2011 80% Off!~

Enter Promo Code: DINE

Offer ends Monday, February 28th

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

~Menu Wednesday!~

We had a fun & busy weekend, so I have been sort of making my menu up as I go. Luckily, I have plenty of stuff on hand to choose from. Here is what we have on the menu this week:

Subway Sandwiches (not home)
Stuffed Pitas (ground beef, grilled chicken, pinto beans, mushrooms, spinach & cheese)
Beef Stroganoff w/ mushrooms & green beans
Pita Pizza (needed to finish up the pitas) w/ spinach salad
Chicken sandwich on bun

I try to plan my menu around the fresh items and the items about to expire. This week I planned 2 meals off fresh mushrooms and the pitas that are expiring this week. Luckily, there is a lot that can be done with both so we are not eating the same meals over and over.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

~Life Without a Cell Phone or Facebook!~

My life without a cell phone or facebook account.

Often (every time someone realizes I don't have either) people will GASP and then ask "HOW DO YOU LIVE WITHOUT A CELL PHONE OR FACEBOOK account?!"

My answer is "BEAUTIFULLY"! I have a really great life that is not full of craziness or the overwhelming feeling of having to be in everyone's business 24/7. It is great! When someone tells me something face to face I have a genuine reaction since I have not read it before. I feel really important if I get an email or call before they post on facebook ;)

Life without a cell phone did a take a little adjusting to, but not too long. Honestly, cell phones are sort of a peeve of mine now. I get very annoyed at people who talk on them while driving, text while driving (my hubs was in a wreck recently due to a girl texting while driving...grrrrr) and the most annoying is when people talk on the phone when checking out. Let me just say that if you are using coupons, that is NOT the way to gain favor from a checker! Okay, enough about that!

My point is that you can live without a cell phone. It is such an easy thing to cut out of your budget. Most people pay $80+ per month for service. Imagine if you put that money into your debt snowball??? Or what if you saved $80 per month for 1 year and went on a vacation? You would have saved $960.00 in 12 months for a very small sacrifice. You can do it!

A quick note about why we are not involved with social networking sites...Simple...I don't have time and am not willing to make the time. Nothing against those who do, it is just not for us. I'm doing my best to limit all media in our lives. I'm so much more productive and less stressed when it is limited. I will also add that every person that I speak with about struggling with time to clip coupons has a facebook account. Most people don't even realize how much valuable time is spent (wasted) each day on social networking sites when they could be finding ways to better budget their time & money. I want encourage you to limit your time on those sites and use that time to better your financial future.

Anytime I think I want to add something into the budget, I think about all of the traveling that we like to do and how much that will impact our ability to continue going on trips and vacations each year. It just isn't worth it for us.

Now that I have SHOCKED all my Sassy Savers, I'm going to log off :)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 21, 2011

~How to Save Money~Part 6

How to save money in 2011: Insurance & Prescriptions

Medical Insurance:
*We raised our medical deductible (kept same coverage) on our daughter and that lowered our monthly payment over $80!

Life Insurance:
*My hubs lost some weight and we were able to change his life insurance over to a "premium" category. Simply by losing 10 lbs, he is in a better category and will save us $90 annually!
*We went through a life insurance broker (some of you have asked).

Home & Auto Insurance:
*Check on your premiums annually to see if there is a better deal out there. We use a broker that represents multiple companies. It is nice to make only 1 call and get several quotes. He gives us the best 3 out of his search. By using a broker we have saved hundreds of dollars!

*We switched all of our prescription meds over to the Kroger generic $4 list after our insurance deductible went sky high. This took me calling the pharmacy to see what generic would be comparable to what I was taking already (if it didn't have a generic). Then I called my Dr. office and explained that I wanted to switch and why. I had recently been into the Dr., so they didn't need me to come in. Even if I did have to have an office visit of $25-$35 co-pay, it would have been worth it. They were very nice and sent over the new prescription without any problems. This saves us hundreds annually!
*There were 2 antibiotics that were not available on the Kroger list and that cost us about $50 each. I just wanted to add that so you didn't get frustrated if everything you need is not on the list.

I hope this helps someone today. I have LOVED hearing back from some of you on how much this series is helping and that you are learning something new. That blesses me!

Happy Monday Sassy Savers!

Friday, February 18, 2011

~1 Coupon Insert!~

There is 1 coupon insert scheduled for the Sunday paper:


Happy Clipping!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

~100 Prints $5 at Snapfish!~

Get 100 prints from Snapfish for only $5 shipped by using code

Offer good through February 20, 2011.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

~Pantry Challenge Update!~

Pantry Challenge

We did it! We managed to not get any groceries for 13 days!!! We could have made it 14, but didn't want to waste my Sunday afternoon shopping. It felt good to have a plan and to not run to the store for anything. Plus, my budget thanked me ;)

It was not too terribly hard. However, we had many things that sounded good that we would be missing one ingredient for. Normally, we would have just picked it up at the store. My hubby LOVED not having to pick anything up on his way home ;) It took getting a little creative and really going through my recipes to see what we could put together. It all worked out in the end.

I know some of you have already taken the challenge and I'm excited for you! If you haven't, I encourage you to get a plan and get creative. You will save 100% by not spending anything! He he (I thought that was funny!)

Speaking of funny...

Sunday evening mini-me was telling us what she had learned at church. She demonstrated how Jesus walked on water with her little water papers (see pic). She then said "Mommy, Jesus walked on water. Can you?"
"Ummmm No" said this mommy.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

~My Kroger Trip~

reg $2.19
sale .98
-$1 q

Potatoes $1.89
Cantaloupe $1
Grapes $1.48 per lb
Spinach $2.29
Bananas .46 per lb
Milk $1.99 each

Reg. $2.39
Sale $2

Simply Avocado
Reg. $1.99
-.50 q (doubled)
*I freeze these and pull them out as needed when I make tuna wraps or grilled avocados. They are super easy and ready to go!

2 Campbell's soup
-.40/2 q (doubled)
=.36 each

2 Campbell's soup
-.50/2 q (doubled)
=$1 each

2 Knorr sides
-.50/2 q (doubled)
=.50 each

4 Buddig Lunch meat
Reg. .95
sale .59
-.50/4 q (doubled)
=.34 each

Kellogg's Cereal
Reg. $3.99
sale $2.50
-$1 q
*This is a new cereal and my hubs really likes it!

I paid $21.27 for everything in the photo. It was not a huge savings week, but I still managed to keep my bill under my budgeted amount and scored some FREE toothpaste again. Taking a list in and sticking to it is key to keeping your grocery bill within your budget.


Monday, February 14, 2011

~How to Save Money~Part 5~

How to save money in 2011: Part 5

Today I'm writing about taxes. Such a dirty little word to so many people. It is not my favorite word as we just wrote 2 checks for our property taxes. Here in Texas, property taxes are a small fortune!
Moving taxes are not the point today. :)

Many people ask if I do my own taxes. The answer is that I can and I have, but I don't. It is worth the price to send it to an accountant. He always knows all of the new laws (which change EVERY year) and has always gotten us more back than if I would have done them. His fee pays for itself with the return.

Tax time tips:
Keep your receipts! If you purchase ANYTHING medical related, always keep your receipts. Keep your doctor visit receipts, pharmacy receipts, etc. This will be a huge help at tax time!

Keep up with everything! I keep a 3 ring binder with tabs and separate folders to house the receipts throughout the year. That way I can just go back and tally each category up. Receipts can easily get out of hand if you don't have a system in place!

Add it up! So many people assume they don't have enough to itemize. However, they don't take the time to do the leg work. Honestly, I spend HOURS just getting our stuff ready for the tax guy. If I don't produce the numbers (and proof), then he has no idea that we spent $1000k on dr. visits or $893 on pharmacy items, etc. Don't forget to include if you pay out-of-pocket for health insurance. For us, this is a HUGE expense. It made me sick when I read the actual number for 2010. I'm now in the process of trying to find new insurance again. More on that to come!

Adjust Tax With Holdings
*We changed my husband's with holdings so that we would get more money each month and not a large income tax refund. Why would we want to give the Federal Government an interest free loan when we could be accumulating interest? Put that extra money directly into savings. So many people play around with their income tax money as if it were "FREE MONEY". It is NOT free money, you earned it and it should be respected just as the other money should. This is a great time to give your savings a little boost!

Hope this helps as tax time is here! At the very least, you can be ready and organized for 2011. One last thing, tithing is a big incentive at tax time! We have always tithed and have always been able to itemize our taxes. Plus we've always gotten a tax return. I want to be very clear here...We don't tithe specifically for tax purposes. We tithe because we want to honor God and put him first in our lives and our finances. We also want 100% of our money to be blessed by God and to be obeying His word. I'm just simply stating that it is also a tax incentive. Truly, you can't out give God.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011 80% Off!~

Enter Promo Code: LOVE

*Offer ends Monday, February 14th*

Happy V-Day Weekend!


Friday, February 11, 2011

~Beauty Favorites!~

These are a few beauty products that I LOVE!

Loreal Color Vive shampoo & conditioner are the best for colored or highlighted hair. I've tried pretty much every brand offered for highlighted hair, and this is my favorite. I've been using this stuff for years! It does not strip my hair or dry it out. It leaves it soft and shiny. Plus, it helps maintain my highlight longer :)

Oil of Olay Toner
I use this stuff after I take my make-up off and LOVE it! It leaves my skin feeling fresh & clean, but doesn't dry it out.

All of these items can be purchased at any drugstore, grocery store, Wal-mart, etc. for around $4 or less. Plus, there are regular coupons & sales offered making them even cheaper!

Happy Friday!

~3 Coupon Inserts Scheduled~

This Sunday there should be 3 coupon inserts in the:

*1 RedPlum
*2 SmartSource

Happy Clipping!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

~Menu Wednesday!~

This week I'm doing the pantry challenge. I'll also be making another chicken dish of some sort. So far, this is what I've come up with:

Chicken noodle & veggie soup

Chili ( just sounds like a good thing to eat when it is snowing!)

Chicken & home style mac & cheese w/ steamed broccoli

Beef pasta dish

Homemade pizza & spinach salad


Are any of you doing the pantry challenge this week? If so, what's cookin' at your house?

Wednesday Blessings~

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

~Question of the Day~

Q: How do you know what to use a coupon on?

A: I only purchase what I will actually use. UNLESS it is FREE and can be donated! My rule of using coupons is that the coupon must make the item cheaper than the store brand. Before couponing, I bought mainly all store brand (generic) products. Now, my pantry rarely has any store brand items in it. If you will wait for an item to go on sale and combine it with a coupon, it is almost always cheaper than the store brand.
Many of you ask this question often, so I hope this helps someone!


Monday, February 7, 2011

~2 Years of Parenting Magazine for $2!~

Go HERE to get a 2 year subscription to Parenting magazine for only $2 by using promo code TOUCHDOWN!

This would make a great gift for someone!

Happy Monday~

Saturday, February 5, 2011

~AcneFree at CVS!~

We had a membership to ProActiv for years, until we tried AcneFree! It works just as good and at a fraction of the cost. Just wanted to let you all know about this product in case you have not tried it yet. This is the deal I got on it this week at CVS:

Buy 1 Get 1 50% off
-$3 q
-$3 q
-$4 email coupon (over $20 purchase)
=$19.23 total

*This is $17.69 (I believe) at Wal-mart. After the sale and coupons, I basically got one FREE!

Happy Weekend!

Friday, February 4, 2011

~2 Coupon Inserts Scheduled~

There should be 2 coupon inserts in the Sunday newspaper:

*1 RedPlum
*1 SmartSource

Happy Clipping!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

~FREE Brownie Sundae at Chili's!~

Go HERE to print a coupon for a FREE Brownie Sundae at Chili's!
This makes me wish I wasn't fasting sugar! Yummo :)

*Offer expires February 10th!


~How to Save Money~Part 4~

Today I am writing about how to save money on utilities. Hope this information blesses you all on this very cold day. Enjoy!

*We changed our phone to the bare minimum and saved $50 per month instantly! This is savings of $600 annually!
*We use a MagicJack for our long distance calls. I wish I could give it an awesome review, but I can't. Honestly, there are many days that I would like to throw it out the window! However, I remember just how much money it is saving us and I regain my patience with it.

Cell Phone:
I don't have a cell phone! That is a savings of around $960.00 annually (if the average cell phone bill is $80 per month). My husband does have a tracfone that he carries (required for coaching in case of emergency) and we add the minimum amount of minutes every 3 months and it only costs us around $80-$100 annually. Now, this takes extreme commitment to not give this number out and to not use it unless he really needs to. We keep the phone off the majority of the time and forget we even have it! Honestly, we LOVE being disconnected from the world. It is nice to be able to leave the house and not worry about interruptions.
*We also switched our satellite provider and were able to save $15-$30 per month (sorry I can't remember exactly, my hubs took care of it). Be sure to ask them for a "promotional rate" when you call. They usually always have some deal running. This is a savings of at least $180 (or more) annually!
*Several of our friends have cancelled their satellite and only watch tv shows & movies on on the internet. Also, you can go to ABC.COM and the other major networks and watch your favorite shows from their site for FREE! It is not as convenient, but at least you still get to watch. If you cancelled your cable/satellite and it was $50 per month, that would save you $600 annually!

*We keep our heater on 64-65 degrees day & night during the winter months. Yes, it can be a bit brisk! Anytime we all leave during the day, I turn it down to 62 so that it doesn't kick on while we are gone. We just wear a sweatshirt and are fine. My electric bill is on average $100-$200 cheaper per month than 2 of my neighbors with the exact same floor plans. A little chill, saves a lot of money annually!
*Unplug it! If an item is not in use, unplug it. Especially if it is a charger or something else that is using electricity without even being used!
*We switched almost all of our light bulbs to energy efficient ones.
*Do an energy audit of your house. Go around to each room and see what is plugged in that doesn't need to be. You will need to get everyone in your household on board with your plan here for it to make a difference.
By doing all this, we are able to save around $1,000-$2,400 annually!

Some of you may think this is a bit EXTREME and I totally agree :) However, how else are you going to save big? If you keep doing exactly what are have been doing, then how can you expect any change? We went for it and it PAID off! Think about these little (some extreme) changes and then think about saving 35% of your annual income. It makes these things not seem so extreme after all. I promise, you can do it!

Thursday Blessings~

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

~Menu Wednesday!~

Hope everyone is staying warm! This is my menu for the week:

Taco Soup w/ tortilla chips
*I finally got my Taco Soup right! I've tried several different recipes, but it was missing something. So, yesterday I combined 3 different recipes and it was a hit! We like our food spicy and with a little kick in it ;)
Now, if I can only remember exactly what I did!

Lasagna w/ green beans & spinach salad

Loaded Nachos

Sandwiches w/ french onion dip

Chili w/ double beans

Church Social (taking appetizer)

Super Bowl Party (taking beef & bean queso)

What's cookin' at your house?

Wednesday Blessings~


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

~My Kroger Trip~

Ran into Kroger this weekend for the Mega Event Sale (buy 10 participating items, get $5 off). I always love these types of sales! Not everything is in the photo, just a few deals. Enjoy:

Red Baron Pizza (part of the mega event)
Reg. $3.28
Sale $2.78
-$1 q

French's Sauce
Reg. $1.79
Sale $1.69
-.50 q (doubled)

Delmonte Veggies (part of the mega event)
Reg. .76
Sale .26 each!

2 Planter's Peanuts (part of the mega event)
Reg. $3.49
Sale $1.49
-$1 q
=.49 each!

Chex Mix (part of the mega event)
Reg. $2.69
Sale $1.49
-.50 q (doubled)
-.50 e coupon

*Pretend the Gardettos are not in the pic :) My little helper threw those on the island before I realized it! They are part of the sale, but I didn't have a coupon for them.

Plus, I got a bonus .50 taken off from Cellfire!

Retail: $25.03
Spent: $5.55!


~My Tom Thumb Trip!~

2 Nature Valley Bars
$1.77 (in-ad coupon)
=$1.40 per box

Fresh Express Spinach
Reg. $3.99
Sale $2.99
-.50 q (doubled)

2 Betty Crocker fruit snacks
Reg. $2.69
Sale $.99
-.50/2 q (doubled)
=.49 per box!
*(plus it printed out a $1.50 catalina coupon for my next purchase!)

2 Rosarita beans
Sale $1
-.50/2 q (doubled)
=.50 each

2 Campbell's Soups
Reg. $2.49
Sale .99
-.50/2 q (doubled)
=.49 per can

4 Kellogg's cereal
Reg. $3.59
Sale $1.99
-$1/3 q
=$1.74 per box
*I had to purchase 4 to get them for $1.99 each

Braeburn Apples
Reg. $3.77 lb
Sale .68 per lb!!!
*These apples are sooooo good!!! Honestly, I made the trip to Tom Thumb specifically for these :)

Sorry this didn't get posted yesterday. We had guests at our house the entire day.
Life happens :)

Hope you all have a very blessed Tuesday!