Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eat Your Veggies

I prefer to eat my veggies seasonally the way nature intended.  This is why candy CORN is eaten in the Fall and jelly BEANS are eaten in the Spring.
Here are a few facts about Autumn's favorite Veggie:

  • October 30th is National Candy Corn Day (You only have today and tomorrow to get prepared for this celebration!  Hurry!)
  • One serving of candy corn contains only about 140 calories (See HEALTHY!)
  • Candy corn has 3.57 calories per kernel (But who could eat just one?)
  • More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces -- enough to circle the moon nearly four times if laid end-to-end. (Don't be shy, there's plenty for everyone)
  • Halloween accounts for 75% of the annual candy corn production (As it should be)
  • A cup of candy corn has fewer calories than a cup of raisins. (See again, HEALTHY! Why eat raisins when you can have CORN?)
  • Candy Corn has 0 Fat. (Hurray!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Couponing Part 2

This week's grocery totals: 73 items bought with a retail value of $226.57 
Paid: $74.95 Saved: $151.62 that is a 67% savings. I am most proud of my Walgreens purchases. $46 worth of stuff needed for $4.50.  My receipt is on the left.  The cashier was quite surprised and began to wonder if he would get in trouble for my savings.  I promise it was all on the up and up!  

Since reporting my savings over on Facebook I've had a lot of questions. How'd you do that?!?!?  I covered some of the basics in a blog post down below. Click HERE to see it. 
 I just have a couple more tips to add.  

The #1 tip I can give is this:  This takes patience and commitment!  The payoff is BIG though.  Slowly learn all you can about savings.  I research different blogs all the time.  There are SO many blogs out there who have taken most of the work out of this.  I listed some of my favorites on the earlier post. You don't have to scan the papers for the best sales.  I guarantee there is a blogger out there who has already done it for you.  A new one that I just discovered is  If there is a great deal or freebie from Target, this blogger will know about it.  I have found that friending or liking these blogs on facebook keeps me in the up to the minute loop.  

Coupons:  The Sunday paper is NOT the only source for great coupons. and has their own section on their websites and they are HUGE.  Don't forget that if you get a Target (or any store) coupon you can stack it with a manufacturers coupon for the same item.  Today I bought Lysol at Target and used a Target Q along with a Manufacturer's Q which allowed me to buy it for 25 cents.  Happy me!
     You can also find printable coupons at,,  Most stores like Publix have coupon booklets that they publish each month. Usually these booklets are at the front door.  Walgreens has a monthly book at the front door crammed with savings.  CVS has a little machine just inside the front door where you scan your CVS Care Card and it prints out coupons on the spot.  Keep your eyes open for tear off pads/Qs and peelies on products throughout the store.  Proctor and Gamble is constantly offering savings booklets that you can usually find in the store but you have to look for them.  I rely on my blogging friends to clue me in when they see one in a particular store. 

If you've never really considered shopping for daily needs at the pharmacy stores, think again.  Both Walgreens and CVS have rewards programs and run great sales.  Here's how they work: For CVS you have to join their Extra Care Club and get a member card which you can do for free right inside the store.  Weekly they publish sales that allow you to buy certain items that will get you money back to use on your next purchase.  Your first trip or two will cost you a little but after that your trips can easily resemble my receipt on the left.  The money back is called Extra Care Bucks or ECBs at CVS and Register Rewards or RRs at Walgreens.
An Example: This Week at Walgreens you can earn $5 RRs when you buy $20 worth of the following products (before coupons):
Oreos 2/$6
Pringles 2/$3
Dixie paper products 2/$5 
Fridge Pack Coca Cola  Products 3/$10
Solo Cups $5

So I could go in and buy:
2 Pkgs of Oreos- Use 2 $1 off Qs
3 Fridge Packs of Coke - Use a $1 off Q
2 Pkgs Dixie Plates - Use 2 $1 off Qs
Before Coupons= $21
After Coupons= $16
When I check out, the machine will print out 5 Register Rewards for my next purchase.  Now I have 5 Bucks to use on next weeks sales.You can easily see how this would add up to savings quickly.  If I had had 5 RRs to apply to the above purchase my total would have been $11 instead of $16 and I would still get my 5 for next week.  
It works the same way at CVS but you must have your card with you there.  Like I said, it takes a little time to build up to having RRs and ECBs.  I've been at it for about 2 months and I generally walk in every week now with an average of $12 worth of free money.  
One more thing to think about couponing.  What is on sale at any given moment may not be the items that you need right then.  BUT if they are items that you use often, buy them while you can get them at 50% or more savings.  Over time your stockpile will add up.  For me it's an awesome feeling when one of my girls says "Mom, we're out of toothpaste or shampoo" and I can reply "no we're not, look under your sink!"  
If you have any more specific questions for me, I'd be happy to TRY to answer them.  Send them this way!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Funny

Lee wishes he could practice this technique in his counseling sessions!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010


Before we get into that details of couponing I wanted to say a few things on the subject.
First, I am pretty new to all of this. I've only been at it for about 3 months. I think I have a good bit more to learn. So if you're reading this and have suggestions for me, I'm all ears! Even though I'm a newbie, I have been able to save us a large amount of money AND we have a surplus of supplies on hand which is something I've never been able to do before. That's enough incentive for me to continue.
It's a little bit of work and it involves some commitment but the payoff is GREAT.

Secondly, I've heard a lot of people saying that they do not use coupons because they are mostly for junk/processed food or items that they don't buy. In response to that idea I ask: Does your family use toilet paper, cleaning supplies, shampoo, laundry detergent etc...? If you could save 50%-75% off of these items alone couponing would be more than worth the effort. Most families buy these items with their groceries. The money saved can easily then be applied to items like fresh produce and meats. Truth be told though, if you look, coupons and deals on dairy, meat and produce CAN be found but you MUST look for them.

Lastly, You have to think about this in terms of investing. Buy in numbers when you can get it at a fraction of the cost. Learn to live on and plan your meals around what's on hand.

The first thing you must do to save money is find the coupons. We subscribe to the Sunday paper. If you can possibly get your hands on more than one copy each Sunday, DO IT. I'll tell you why later. Thankfully I have grandparents who bring me their 2 papers each Sunday. That gives me 3 copies of each coupon insert.
When I get my paper(s) I pull out the coupon inserts and mark them on the front with that days date. The next thing I do is file them away by month. That way I can easily put my hands on them again.

At this point the work begins. I go to my new favorite website
On this site you can subscribe to the stores that you shop in regularly. The site keeps track of the store's sales, even the unadvertised ones. It will list the item and what the sale price is, and where you can find the coupons for that item. The trick to BIG savings is combining a store sale with a store coupon and a manufacturers coupon.
Publix has Right Guard Antiperspirant on sale buy one get one free.
Regular price: $2.79 B1G1 means that each one is $1.40
With a coupon of $1.50 off of 2
(found in the August 15th Red Plum insert)
that brings the total to $.65 each.
A 77% savings!
At that price you can get 4 for less than the price of 1 at the original price with no sale or coupon.

Three hints here:
1. When an item is on sale Buy 1 Get 1, technically you are buying 2 items, so you can use a coupon for EACH item. This is why more than one paper on Sunday comes in handy.
2. When you see items for a certain number for a certain amount, 3/$6 for example. You do not have to buy all three items to get the sale price. You can buy 1 for $2. Combine that sale with your coupon and you've got yourself a deal.
3. If the store has a coupon for an item you can combine it with a manufacturers coupon for double saving. PLUS lots of stores accept competitors store coupons as their own. YAY! does charge for a subscription fee but it is fairly nominal. The first 4 weeks are a free trial so go try it out and see what you think.

There are other free sites that I use often:
All of these have great information about your favorite stores.
Couponing to Disney for example keeps a running list of items from Target and WalMart that can be bought for $1 or less.
SouthernSavers has a links for CVS and WalGreens which both have amazing awards programs.

Alrighty, I'm tired now.
I gotta go look at the coupons that came yesterday.
More later.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cupcake Queen

 My busy, high-tech baker in the kitchen making mocha cupcakes.
 She got the recipe online for the cake part.
 The frosting on the other hand was a made up, this sounds good, add a little of that and throw in some strong coffee concoction.  
It turned out to be a delicious mocha hazelnut coffee buttercream.
I can tell you that Nutella was involved.
 The finished product with a few coffee grounds sprinkled on top.  
Three days later she was at it again making Margarita Lime cupcakes for my birthday.
The Cupcake Queen can reign in my kitchen any day of the week.