Monday, April 30, 2012

Doing the HAPPY FREE STUFF Dance!

I've been feeling a little under the weather the last couple days (hoping it's just allergies and not a cold coming on) and I went home from work a couple hours early.  With a few hours of nap time, I was ready to go out couponing (which was very needed as we had no food because of our 30 day spending fast which was a pretty good success). In need of milk, bread, and other essentials, why not get free stuff too?

All the stuff you see here was FREE!  (ok, I lied.  I paid .10 before taxes...)


Beechnut Baby Cereal $1.89-used $1 off printable manufacturer coupon, used store doubler coupon.  This should be a money maker too as there is a Try Me Free Rebate attached!  (FYI-No announcements, just stocking up...lots of babyshowers in the near future, or a great donation item ;)
Old Orchard Juice x2 $1.49 each-used Free coupon (up to $1.39 value), store sale-BOGO Free.  I got the free coupon as a reward from have a fan club where you can play games, submit questions and recipes and earn points.  It's slow, but I've decided when we have kids and they want to play games, they'll play games that win points, lol!

Rite Aid:
Sucrets x8-on sale for 2/$3, plus 1 +up reward when you buy 2 (limit of 4 +up rewards per card)  Used 8 $1 off printed manufacturer coupons.
Airwick spray-on sale for .95.  Used $1 off Rite Aid Video Value (AdPerk) coupon

Ken's Salad Dressing x10-on sale for .99 each (no coupon required).  I had 10 Smart Source inserts for the 3/11 newspaper for $1 off each!  My hubby loves sauces and these will make for great donation items as I don't think we can use them all by the expiration. 

Fred Meyer
Marachan Ramen Noodles x9-on price reduction for .50 each.  Used 9 .50 off coupons from the 3/11 Smart Source inserts.

Snapware x2-1.99 each regular price. We got $2 off manufacturer coupons in this Sunday's paper.

These are just the free deals we got, we purchased other things of course like milk, bread, lunch meat, etc that weren't free, but we used coupons and got deals.  Also, we were planning on other free items like Mike & Ikes, Hot Tamales, and Oreo cookies at Rite Aid but other shoppers cleared the shelves first :(  Ultimately, they weren't good for us anyway and I'm not an early morning person so I wouldn't have rushed to the store before work to snag these deals. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Special Lady

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now...My dear sweet Grandma died last month and I finally was able to finish a slideshow with audio from an interview I did with her a few years back.  I asked her for advice, we shared some stories and laughs, it was great.  I'm glad I got this project done to share with my family as today would have been another birthday mark for her. 

I'm happy she's in a better place and with Grandpa now.  Some memories I have of her are her laugh, her unbending will to do what was right (we never got away with anything at Grandma's!), and raspberries, my favorite fruit.  On more than 1 occasion my siblings and I, and cousins would spend maybe a week at her place in the summer.  We would wake up and help Grandma pick raspberries and then fill our cereal bowls up-mostly with those raspberries, probably less than half was actual cereal-yum!!!

The biggest thing I will always remember though, is the day she shared her testimony of God's plan.  In church and reading the scriptures, we learn that the last days before Christ appears again will be rough-wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, storms, etc.  I confided in my Grandma that I was scared (I don't remember how old I was, maybe about 8 years old).  She responded so matter-of-factly that you knew she was confident in her answer: "There's nothing to be afraid of if you're doing what you should do-following the commandments."  I will never forget that.  No matter what chaos ensues around me-politically, financially, socially-I have my Rock and have no need to fear. 

I hope to someday make that kind of impact and have such a legacy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

DIY Wedding Hair Accessory

I didn't take pictures of the process but I wanted to share this cute little thing :)  My good friend is getting married in just under 1.5 months and we've been meaning to get cracking on her accessories. 

She bought the little fabric flower trio pre-made and we went from there.  We bought some feathers, crystal beads, and tulle.  A little glue, felt, and a needle and thread did the job.  And of course, a clip.

We used 3-40% off coupons at Hobby Lobby. They only allow 1 coupon per customer so we had one for myself, my friend, and my husband.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Walgreen's 11pm at night...

This took a little patience and 8 transactions...but it turned out to be a great deal at Walgreens.

1st 7 transactions:
7 pepsi next .99 each (each printed out a .99 register reward) -done in 7 sperate transactions.  =FREE
3 simalasan nasal allergy relief $6 each-used $1.50 off manufacturer coupon x3 (each printed out a $6 register reward) -done in 3 transactions.  =$4.50 money maker

8th transaction:
1 Zyrtec (40 count) 18.99 -used $7 off manufacturer coupon = $11.99
2 Neosporin ointment 4.99 each (was unprepared so I didn't have coupons ...) =$9.98
1 bandaid 39 count 2.99 (no coupons again....) =$2.99
lots of Easter Candy (2/$1, 75% off)-for fillers= .86
Total after coupons, = $25.82 (with tax: $28.07)
Used (7) .99 register rewards from pepsi
Used (3) $6 register rewards from Simalasan
= $25 in register rewards. 
Paid 3.67 in taxes

We also got a $10 register reward for our next visit because we bought $30 worth or participating zyrtec, neosporin, and bandaid products.  Later today, I also found this rebate we'll send in, getting something for free!

I know some of my math is off.....but my receipts show we paid $26.29 out of pocket.  We got $10 in register rewards back so essentially we paid $16.29. 
$62.70 worth or stuff for $16.29 = 74% savings

Savings That Couldn't Be Helped...

My sweetheart and I decided to stop by Albertson's, check out the awesome deal we did:

6 bottles of Frank's hot sauce ($1.50 each) Buy 2, get 1 free. 
.30 off Manufacturer coupons x 4 (Round up week at Albertson's made this $1 off)-Printed from site
.35 off Manufacturer coupons x 2 (Round up week at Albertson's made this $1 off)-Printed from
= 6 FREE

2 Cherry Coke ($1.50 each)
.60 off Manufacturer Coupons x 2 (Round up week at Albertson's made this $1 off)-asked for at the cash register
2 candy bars = (priced at .69 each)  Free  (buy 2 pop, get 2 candy bars free promo)
=.25 each ($1.00 total)

Haribo Gummies ($1.25)
.30 off Manufacturer coupon (Round up week at Albertson's made this $1 off)-Printed from

Hostess Donettes Bag ($1.99)-Printed from
.50 off Manufacturer coupon (Round up week at Albertson's made this $1 off)

Betty Crocker icing bag (.99)-discounted after Easter
$1 off Manufacturer coupon from recent newspaper

$2.42 with tax  (WA state does not tax most food, there was .18 tax on the pop)

This was done in 3 transactions...(not that we needed to...some of it was more impulse or not finding what we wanted...)
1st transaction was 77% savings.
2nd transaction was 100% savings.
3rd transaction was 80% savings. 

$17.79 before coupons/specials, $2.42 after coupons/specials, almost 86% savings overall :)

To add to the fun, and since it was late and customers were scarce, we asked the cashier if she had other coupons hidden up front to share.  We got a couple nice ones to add to the binder.  She also had a whole stack of expired sunchips coupons.  She was going to toss them but we told her how we donate them to overseas military as they can use them for 6 months after expiration and she gave the to us to donate :) 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Healthy, Tasty Recipe and Projects in the Pipeline.

Haven't had too much time for blogging lately, I've been so busy lately! Here are a couple projects I finished this week.

The first 2 pictures show some stamp carving I've done for someone in my CustomCreativityGal etsy shop.

The next picture is of a fuzzy dice I made for my sister-in-law's birthday. She just got her driver's license. If you look closely, you might notice that all 6 sides have the #3 on them. It's her lucky number...I figured she could use all the luck she can get being a new driver ;)

Lastly, here is a tasty recipe I tried tonight. I found a recipe online and made it my own. Healthy and simple :) We eat a lot of granola bars for snacks but alas, today we ran out of our little stockpile. We're still holding strong on our spending fast this month so I decided it was time to bake.

2.5 cups instant oats
1 cup canned pumpkin
4 mashed bananas
.5 cup cereal dust (see this post here)
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
.5 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
handful of sliced almonds

Mix pumpkin, bananas, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.

Add in oats and cereal dust.

Stir in almonds (add raisins, coconut, or chocolate chips if you want to spice things up).

Spread in a lightly greased 9x13 pan.

Bake at 375F for 25 minutes.

Number of Servings: Not Enough

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Free Hair Clips!

I just signed up for some hair clips for FREE. I can never have enough of these. I can never find them...though they are scattered in every room of our home :-/ I read about this deal on and they said it's for the 1st 500 people everyday through the end of the month. I am always the last to get these deals but I decided to try since I really wanted these-they weren't out yet today :) Go HERE to get your free hair goodies!

Who loves spring but hates bugs?

ME!!! Despite our budget challenge for this month, I think this might make for a great deal!

Rite Aid is having a sale starting tomorrow (4/15/12) where these "Hot Shot" insecticide sprays are BOGO1/2 (Buy One Get One 1/2 Off). Also, when you buy 2, you get $2 in +UP Rewards (store credit). To add to the beauty, you can print off this beautiful coupon from (hurry, might be gone soon). I also highly recommend signing up for Swagbucks if you haven't, and print from their site so you get the coupon AND credit toward free gift cards! If you haven't signed up, click here to start :)

I've seen this item listed at Walmart for $2.57 each. Assuming Rite Aid has similar prices, here's what the match may look like:

$1.29 (2nd can 1/2 off)
Use (2) $1 off of 1 Manufacturer Coupons.
Get $2 in +Up Rewards for your next purchase
=Like getting them free!!! (about $1.86 out of pocket, then you can use your $2 +Up on somethig else)

Small Writing:
For those that are starting with coupons, the writing at the bottom can be confusing. On this coupon, it states: Limit 1 coupon per purchase. I asked myself, does that mean I can only use 1?

There are limitations on how many coupons you can use of 1 type "per purchase", "per transaction", and "per customer".
Per purchase: This means 1 of these coupons per item you purchase. Since we are buying 2 in this scenario, we can use 2 of the same coupon.
Per Transaction: This means 1 of these coupons can be used per transaction. If you really want to use more and don't mind swiping your debit card multiple times-cashiers can break up you transactions to follow those rules. This would ruin this scenario though as both cans must be purchased in 1 transaction to get the 2nd can 1/2 off and to get the $2 +Up rewards.
Per Customer: This means 1 per customer, period. Technically, a cashier should not let you use this twice in the same shop.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Earth Day Sale

Now through Earth Day (April 22) I'm having a sale in my LiveItAgain etsy shop! I still have limited listings up, I'll be working through the weekend to get up my products that are photographed. Use the coupon code "EarthDay" at checkout and get 20% off your order! My LiveItAgain shop is dedicated specifically for products that I have made from recycled or "upcycled" items. Enjoy something fun and unique while saving something from a landfill!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spending Fast

My husband and I decided to challenge ourselves to a spending fast this month and we've been doing pretty good so far. Our goal is to spend a mere $12.50 maximum per week ($50 for the whole month)on groceries and toiletries. So far we've spent $2.31 in taxes on items we got for free from couponing and $4.44 for milk, cheese, and yogurt. So 1/3 into the month, $6.71/$50.00-not bad!

The beauty of learning to coupon and save means you can have a personal stash or stockpile that will last you when you need. If either of us came down sick or lost our jobs for some reason, perhaps needing to help out family-we'd be prepared! Also, it's great to be able to buy things you like at a great price and then have them when you want them-no random buying at higher prices or running out and paying full price because you've run out.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Do Turnips Bleed?

What a silly question-do turnips bleed? We've all heard the phrase squeeze blood from a turnip right? I posted HERE about taxes and coupons. I experimented and just learned that you can lower your out of pocket even below the free line by reducing the taxes you pay-all by which order the cashier rings up your coupons!

We stopped by Target tonight. I posted a couple days ago about wanting to snag up some free games and we got a Cootie game but the others were sold out. They restocked up on Candyland so we got one of those today. Here's how it goes.

Cootie game, $5 on sale
Used $3 off Manufacturer Coupon (1st)
Used #3 off Store Coupon (2nd).
Since the product was only $5, the Store Coupon value was reduced to $2 (as Target doesn't allow overage).
Paid $0.26 in tax (on $3 value-sale and after store coupon, but before manufacturer coupon)

Candyland, $5 on sale
Used #3 off Store Coupon(1st)
Used $3 off Manufacturer Coupon(2nd).
Since the product was only $5, the Manufactuer Coupon value was reduced to $2 (as Target doesn't allow overage).
Paid $0.17 in tax (on $2 value-sale and after store coupon, but before manufacturer coupon)

The exact sale price was on both games and the exact same coupons, but the order affected how much I had to pay in taxes. Yes, it was only $0.09, but why not? It's just as much effort as handing 1 to the cashier before the other ;)

Just some advanced couponing tips. I'll share it tomorrow with my friends at my first Coupon Party, should be fun :) Night all!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tax Breaks the Tasty Way

From what I've been reading, looks like we could get a full tasty meal on April 17th, Tax Day. Panda Express will be offering a free beef entree, Arby's will be offering free curly fries, and Cinnabon will have some tasty samples as well. These will all be free, no purchase required :) Kind of a fun little round if you ask me-luckily all these stores are pretty close to eachother locally. Some of these deals may require a special coupon, I'll try to post the links when they become available :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

In the Works-Needle Felt By Number!

I came up with this idea months ago-to do a felt by number craft that people could buy. I finally have a couple prototypes ready. I start by felting a small bar-shape. Then I wrap it in 100% wool felt that I bought from the craft store-gives it a nice clean outside. I felt the sheet right onto the bar. Then comes the black alpaca yarn I swapped for on Etsy (posted earlier on my blog). I make a little outline. I still need to dye most of the wool, but it will be a fun project where I will send the bar, a needle, and some pre-dyed wool. How much would you say one of these should sell for? Leave me a comment and let me know! I think these will make cute pin cushions or decorative pieces :)

Did I Say FREE? Yes, Yes I Did!

I haven't gotten there yet, but I'm really hoping to snag a couple of these games for free-CandyLand or something listed here. Unfortunately you can't snag the Target coupons anymore (they were available last week when I posted), or the manufacturer coupons :( I printed mine off when they were available but people cleared the shelves last week. Now that the sale is even better on these items, I hope they restocked. Price is $5, I have two $3 off coupons. Target doesn't do overage, so they'll round down the the coupon value to the $5 price. I will only have to pay tax on the cost after the store sale and store coupon but before the manufacturer coupon.

Also, take a look at what I got in the mail today! I mentioned that I was getting a free sample in the mail of the Pure Citrus makers since I contacted them. I got both of these full size scents from them in the mail today! I'm excited to use them-we've seen them on the shelves but haven't tried them yet!!!