Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Any Night Owls Out There?

My hubby and I are night owls so this is a sweet deal for us-this Friday you can get a free order of Orange Chicken (no purchase necessary) at Panda Express with this printable coupon.  We love it when their freebies come out :) 

Also, I got to using a groupon I got for a manicure (such smooth hands right now!) and the owner of the shop had jewelry for sale too.  I thought-how fun and what a great market.  I asked her what she thought about hand-crafted jewelry and she said she'd consider it.  I need to send her an email, thinking of including some of these pics :) 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What a day :) Couponing for gas?

I wish I got a paid holiday every Monday!  I get to snatch up some great sales!  Though I do have to say, people cleared the shelves on the Ecotrin pain reliever at all 3 local Walgreens-that made me a tad sad, but it didn't ruin my shopping.  No pictures this time (had to put things away in a hurry-busy week with a party at my place in a couple days)  I have to say though that I'm happy with Albertson's today.  We ran in to get a couple more deals and I just love their sweepstakes they have going on (we're so close on many of the prizes with the stick-on dealios) and I like that some of them are store coupons-good for stacking and long lasting.  I got a box of Pasta Roni for .25 today because of one of them and a free donut.  Also, I never use my rewards card for any grocery stores for gas rewards because I just didn't think I shopped at them enough to use it.  I saved .25/gallon at the Tesoro next to our Albertson's-not bad!!!

Anywho, once was all said and done, we went to my in-laws for a tasty and fun bbq.  I wanted to give a short shout-out to my sister-in-law who just started her own shop @ SimplyDivineByDesign .  She's making these beautiful beaded flower hair clips-she got to be quite skilled while making flowers for my wedding :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Morning Post :)

Just a little hello and good morning.  I've got today off for the holiday (yay!) but my better half did not (boo!).  We will still BBQ tonight with his family though :)  I'm about to go out and save me some money with my Monday shopping!  I also just listed a few more items in my JollyJennifer shop and Crafting4Causes shop.  I suppose unless I list them, they won't sell themselves in storage!  Also remember to enter my giveaway for some awesome jewelry/craft items and coupons! 

I wish you all a wonderful day and want to express my gratitude to those who serve and give to protect freedom and safety for us all.  Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Didn't even pay a penny...buying dog food buys us other groceries!

Apparently the secret to Walmart couponing is to go after 11:30pm the night before a coupon expires....
 I had tried to do this Beneful deal 5x and either surrounding Walmarts did not have them or they refused to follow the company policy with overage.  I read a local blogger saying that suddently the trial size bags popped up at their store so I thought I'd try my luck again.  I was so happy, and to see that they have at least 3x as many as the Walmart that denied us (we left plenty on the shelves still!)
13 bags dog food @ $1 each-used $2 off MC
2 Jerky @ $1.74-on clearance & having 50% off red tags
Pepper Mayo @ $2.98-used .55 MC
2 Torani (small bottles) @ $3.98-used $1 off MC
The mayo and torani weren't great coupons or sales, but we wanted/needed them-as well as the jerky.  I couldn't believe that it came to exactly $0.00, not having to pay a penny or getting a penny back!  (coupons covered the taxes too)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Newest Listings & Upcoming Deals!

New Listings
I got an order recently for a custom resin piece and it got me going through my inventory of resin pieces that I haven't gotten around to even listing.  Here's just a couple of the many.  They are listed in my JollyJennifer shop found here.

Upcoming Deal at Walgreen's this week: Rolling Freebies!

Look for these deals, you can buy 1 for $7, then it will print out a Register Rewards for $7.  Use it to buy the other ($7) and that will print you out a Register Reward for $7 (you can keep doing this, you just have to alternate which product your are buying, 1 per transaction and only pay tax!) 

Tecnu First Aid Gel 2 oz – $7.00
Buy 1, Get $7 Register Reward
As low as FREE

Youtheory Collagen Type 1 & 3 120 ct. – $7.00Buy 1, Get $7 Register Reward
As low as FREE

Last but not least, remember to enter my giveaway HERE.  Looking for more entries!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New option for giveaway-get entries by liking my Facebook page!


The PRIZE: $20 value of jewelry, supplies, or other handcrafted items, 50 manufacturer coupons
Runner up Prize: $5 value of jewelry, supplies, or other handcrafted items, 15 manufacturer coupons

Follow my blog (required for entry into giveaway) = 2 entries
Like my Facebook page = 2 entries
Purchase one of my blowout items = 2 entries each (maximum 5 times/10 entries per household from purchases)
Read through a few of my most recent posts on my blog and let me know what $ saving tip you found most useful = 1 entry
Look through my current shops (JollyJennifer, CustomCreativityGal, LiveItAgain, and Crafting4Causes) and tell me what your favorite item is from each shop (if less than all 4 shops are mentioned, you only get 1 entry) = 2 entries

Rules: maximum 17 entries per person/household. Winner will be selected on June 20th or once we have at least 250 entries, whichever comes later. United States participants only this time. There will be 1 grand prize winner and 1 runner up prize winner-both prizes cannot be won by the same person. Entrants must post a comment totalling up their entries and an email to contact them.

Reminiscing over a noteworthy shop and DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY!

I saw something at the store that reminded me of something unique we registered for our wedding but didn't get.  It was too pricey for me to justify buying for ourselves and I remembered someone that I've had a couple of transactions with on etsy-and thought-I bet he could do it!  And for a great price!  Still haven't approached him, but I thought I'd mention Kent-and Traci of Kent's Krafts on  Kent does some amazing wood working (which I have taken full advantage of-letter openers, hair accessories, business card holder, custom frame) and Traci has some beautiful jewelry-some wire wrapped (a personal favorite style) and chainmaille it looks like is a new addition to the shop (also fun!  We had a friend do some scalemaille flowers for our wedding reception).  If you have a chance, pop in there shop and see the awesome things I'm talking about! 

On a more personal note, remember to enter my giveaway, needing lots more entries to give away prizes!!!  Click here for details!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Using your resources-Plarn!

Name a way to be eco-friendly and combine 2 obsessions....newspaper plastic bags for couponing + scissors = plarn (plastic yarn)

We get the Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday papers (for the coupons) and they usually come wrapped in colored plastic bags.  I save these and make yarn out of them.  It's harder than regular to crochet with, but it's a fun material, free, and better for the environment than tossing them.  Here are the 2 yarn balls I'm working on now in red and orange.

Here are some photos of bags I already have made with plarn.  Check out my shop for upcycled goods :

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday's Thrifty tips

I had fun tonight at a local Girl's Night Out sponsered by a chiropractic office.  I had fun chatting and my mouth ran away with me about couponing again.  I decided to post a couple tips.

Thrift Shopping
I've noticed lately that thrift stores have been getting more expensive.  I've seen things that sell at dollar stores for over a dollar there!  I recommend enjoying some scenery and going to some yard sales this summer where prices are negotiable and people just want things gone!  Also, no tax, and some items that may be donated to second hand shops never see the sales floor-did you know most clothes are sold as industrial rags and not in the store to customers? 

Money Maker (MM) at Rite Aid (RA) this week:
This is in 1 of my pictures from yesterday-this week you can pick up an OcuFresh Eye Wash kit for $4.99 (on sale from $5.99) and you will get a $2 +UP Reward (good on your next purchase) and submit on a Single Check Rebate for $4. 
So pay out of pocket-$4.99, get back $6 worth in rebates & coupons. 

Other things to keep in mind (easy reference) don't forget to snag some free deals with vistaprint (just pay shipping) or sign up with Swagbucks (we've gotten about $50 in gift cards since January) where you get points for simple internet searches using their search engine (like you use google or bing) and printing and redeeming coupons.  Lastly don't forget to enter in my givaway!!!


I decided it was about time to do a giveaway! 

The PRIZE: $20 value of jewelry, supplies, or other handcrafted items, 50 manufacturer coupons
Runner up Prize: $5 value of jewelry, supplies, or other handcrafted items, 15 manufacturer coupons


Follow my blog (required for entry into giveaway) = 2 entries
Purchase one of my blowout items = 2 entries each (maximum 5 times/10 entries per household from purchases)
Read through a few of my most recent posts on my blog and let me know what $ saving tip you found most useful = 1 entry
Look through my current shops (JollyJennifer, CustomCreativityGal, LiveItAgain, and Crafting4Causes) and tell me what your favorite item is from each shop = 2 entries

Rules: maximum 15 entries per person/household.  Winner will be selected on June 20th or once we have at least 250 entries, whichever comes later.  United States participants only this time.  There will be 1 grand prize winner and 1 runner up prize winner-both prizes cannot be won by the same person.  Entrants must post a comment totalling up their entries and an email to contact them. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

The rest of my day off of work'

I'm taking a couple of days off of work for personal vacation and yes, I spent half of it couponing.  I even ran into one of the supervisors at the store who wondered why I was shopping during work hours, lol (he forgot I had vacation time scheduled).  Besides our shop at Albertson's, here are some other stops we made today. 


Original Product Value: 29.55

Out of Pocket: 2.55

Saved: 27.00=91%


Original Product Value: 40.96

Out of Pocket: 8.69

Saved:32.27= 79%

Register Rewards leftover for next time: (not accounted for above) $16.  Savings including RR=118% 


Original Product Value: 20.72

Out of Pocket: 6.39

Saved:14.33 = 69%

Gift Card leftover for next time: (included in saved percentage above) $5. 


Original Product Value:  7.74

Out of Pocket:  .99

Saved: 6.75=87%

Rite Aid

Original Product Value: 7.09

Out of Pocket: .52

Saved: 10.99 (considering the $4 Single Check Rebate I’m submitting)=155%

+UPs leftover for next time: (not accounted for above) $2.  Savings including +UPs=183% 

Sweetheart of a Deal! -Albertson's Shop

I was introduced to this sweetheart lady who collects a bunch of coupon inserts and helped me get some great deals today, especially at Albertson's.  Here's the goodness we got.  Not pictured: 1 bagel, 2 doughnuts, $5 in catalina for next purchase, 500 bonus points to add to our card. 
Items purchased: milk, chocolate milk, 4 bags sweet potato fries, 4 bags chips, 2 kikkoman marinade, 4 propel water, 6 olives, 6 baby foods, 1 bagel, 2 doughnuts.

Original Product Value: 61.17
Out of Pocket:  $16.22
Saved:44.95-73 %
Catalina Coupons leftover for next time: (not accounted for above) $5.  Savings including catalina=82% 
Not only will my family benefit from sweet deals with this coupon angel of mine, but we donate some of our steals to the local food bank and donate the expired coupons to our overseas military!  We did some smaller shops at other stores today too, I'll post those in a bit :)
On a side note, couponing can often be hard to do for healthy stuff, you always get coupons for candy and more processed stuff, but this was a pretty decent haul.  The chips are planning ahead for refreshments at a bachelorette party I'm throwing for a friend :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Free Business...and Just Because Stuff!

I posted on Facebook but forgot to post here about VistaPrint. If you've never signed up for them, go here.  Free sign up and tons of freebies!  When you view their products, you can see which they are offering for free (usually bumper stickers, car magnets, business cards, pens, t-shirts...).  They try to upsell you with other items or making the freebies more deluxe (not a bad price for them overall either), but I just go with the freebies and pay for shipping.  I think ahead and plan for Father's Day, Birthdays, Wedding gifts, and I also like business products for my craft shops.  Get the most freebies you can to maximize your shipping expenses. :) Give them a try, I've gotten their freebies more than once and it's always worth it!  As you can see from my checkout below-I went with more generic things like a "Thank You" stamp instead of a custom return address label-because I already have a free one from them with my address!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tracking Savings and Spending

I read on another site that one way someone keeps track of their coupon savings is to take the amount they save and put it into a separate savings account.  I thought that was brilliant.  I might do that someday.  I do get asked a lot though "How much money have you saved since you started couponing?"  I'll be honest...I can't tell you in the slightest.  A lot?  I know part of my lack in answers is 1) I started couponing shortly after getting married so I can't tell you how much we used to spend before we lived together...since  we didn't live together before marriage...and 2) I didn't keep good track of my expenses before-my goal was to just not overdraft. 

What I did:
We use a free online software to track every expense.  Go to and sign up free!  After every purchase we keep our receipts and then weekly or so we put them in the budget.  It adds it all up for you and helps you know where your money is going.  I easily put in the receipts while watching a movie.

What I will do:
Keep track of my & savings so I can tell people when the ask...I save $x.xx this month by couponing! 

The concept is the same for budgeting (for me) as dieting-if I write down what I eat, I become more aware of what I spend my hard earned $ on!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Frugal Finds-Tips for re-using items and an awesome beginner-friendly deal this week

Let's start with the beginner-friendly deal about couponing.  If you have a rite aid card, run in to your local rite aid and buy 4 travel size Jergens Ultra Healing lotions (.79 each).  With the sale they're having, you will pay $2.57 (in WA with tax) and get $6 in "+UP Rewards".  In a second transaction, you can buy $6 of whatever else you want (cereal, toothpaste, etc).  Essentially you are making over $3 from buying something!!! 
Anyway, here are some other earth-friendly and wallet-friendly ideas I wanted to share:

Re-using Bags 
I did not grow up in a family where we washed and re-used ziplock bags.  Not that there's anything wrong with those that do, but for us it was just too much hassle and they lay around while air drying.  But I realized, I could at least get 1 additional use from packaging I already get.  I have my husband pack my lunches for me (he rocks btw) and I had him pack my sandwiches once in each of these bags.  They already had grain products in them already and are perfectly clean, why not? 

Wrapping Paper
We get the Sunday paper for 2 reasons: the coupons, and the comics.  We literally just recycle all the other sections without reading.  I remember once, it was my grandma I think, wrapped a gift in the comics.  I thought that was just so cute-it's colorful and gives extra entertainment too! 

Do you have other ideas where you re-use around your house?  I know I enjoy buying less disposable plastic bags and wrapping paper! 

And lastly, because I never get around to blogging anymore, just plain too's a fun project that I was going to suggest for Mother's Day but can be used whenever (I made this and gave it to my boss for her office on her birthday).  I have had this plant since the 7th grade. It's a plant that you can cut off stems and replant and it will grow new roots-great for sharing with other people.  

 I used a pop bottle and cut small ventilation holes for water to come out the bottom. From a Gatorade bottle that was larger, I use that on the bottom for the dripping water.

Then I decoupaged some newspaper around the edge for decoration.

It's kinda fun to have the see-through container too and see the roots grow.  I actually had another lady at work ask me for one of these.  I think my husband just took out all our bottles for recycling so I'll have to wait (and I need to water my plant so it grows and produces more leaves!  It's frankly quite pathetic because I don't do much for it, but it's hardy and doesn't die!).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Ups, Downs, and In-Betweens!

Life is hectic, have you noticed that?  No time for blogging lately!  But I just have to get somewhat caught up on awesomeness from lately, I hope this post isn't too much of a book. 
Firstly, I've gotten approval at work to do a coupon exchange and I'm excited about it :)  We'll have boxes set up in the breakroom where people can deposit what they don't want/need.  We'll be shipping off expired coupons for overseas military members & their families. 

Second, I'm excited because I've been emailing my local food bank and mentioned how it would be fun to do a couponing course there (they have cooking classes) and the lady I talked to was super excited, turns out she's been wanting someone to do a class on coupons for 3 years!  

The downs...I've been very frustrated lately with accusations made with couponing.  Twice at a local Safeway, a particular cashier basically accused me of fraud because he didn't understand coupon and rebate policies.  Today at a different Safeway another cashier questioned 8 coupons I had, though her manager straightened her out.  Yesterday we were in a neighboring city so we tried their Walmart with these awesome coupons we had (from 4/29 paper-$2 off any 1 Purina Beneful bag dog food) and they had the $1 mini bags that our Walmart doesn't have.  We would have been handed back $5 cash and had free dog food to donate.  The cashier rudely said we couldn't do that.  She called over her manager (took about 15 minutes for her to get there), and she said they wouldn't do it either. 

The moral of the stories?  1-always carry a copy of store coupon policies (I now have Walmart's policy printed up where it specifically states I should have been handed back cold hard cash).  2-learn to get over frustration-harder for me to actually do.  I have to learn to pick my battles.  The hardest part is the accusation of fraud-I value my honesty and good name more than they know. 

Anyway, not to end on those slightly bitter notes...

Here are my goodies aside from the good news.  All of these items between Target, Safeway, and Walgreens.....I got paid $1 to buy these (before tax)...probably cost me less than $1 after tax.  I'm actually sad because the Hershey's milk wasn't scanned right, I didn't know until later that she didn't scan the 50% off clearance upc :(    Missing from the pictures: 2 more kids toothpaste, 1 more salad. 

Aside from coupons, I got the salads and other items in the 2nd picture for free from the awesome Safeway deal they had through today-buy $50 in participating gift cards and get a $10 credit to your Safeway card.  I got these 2 Michael's coupons which I know I will actually use on supplies for lovely projects like these:

A stamp for a girl's wedding invites.  The painting was done by her sister.  This was my first time carving on the whitish gray material, I'm not a fan :-/

This awesometastic stamp was carved by yours truly but the original artwork was done by my husband.  This is the simplified version of artwork and we gave the original art and stamp to my sister-in-law for her birthday :)

And one last pretty thing to end the day: my Mother's Day flowers from my sweetheart :)  Hope you have a great day, feel free to leave comments!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Out of Office....

Just scored a bunch of free and cheap goodies...but can't post about it!  We actually just dropped off my laptop (my only source of internet) at Staples for a couple days for their free PC tuneup promo.  Right now I'm at family's using their computer.  Hope to be back posting deals soon :)

3 deals, simplified

Here's a few deals I just did, some tips for those wanting to coupon but not sure of how to do it crazy-extreme style...

They have a deal running through Saturday-Buy 10 Sobe, get a $5 gift card.  On sale at 10/$10.  This makes them .50 each after the gift card.  The shirt was on sale from $10 to $8 and I went on and printed off a $3 off, so $5.  We actually decided to go back and get 10 more drinks, and have a $5 gift card for next time we shop there. 

2 Kikkoman marinades-on sale for $1.75 each, I printed off 2-$2 off coupons=free
2 cream cheese-BOGO Free ($2.50)
dozen has coupons you can load on your card.  They have a deal where you just click the button on their site to load a coupon for these free eggs!
4 boxes of Ocean Spray fruit snacks.  $1.49 each when you buy 4.  Used 2-$1 off coupons I printed off.  =$1 each
(Ocean spray and cheese were only good through tonight)

Walgreen's:--deals good through this Saturday

I had a $2 register reward (coupon that prints out after purchases of certain promotional items) from buying Special K granola bars and a $5 register reward from buying Lanacane.

Transaction 1: I used these 2 ($7 value) to buy one of the U products ($3.99, used a $1 off printed coupon), the witch hazel on the left ($4), and the Nice brand candy (on sale for .49-a filler-a cheap item you use so you have 1 coupon per item).  The U product printed out another $3 register reward and the Witch Hazel printed out a $4 register reward.  (used $7 in register rewards, paid .49 for the candy + tax, got $7 back in register rewards)

Transaction 2: I then used the $4 register reward from the witch hazel on another U product  ($3.99, used a $1 off printed coupon), and the fried onions (clearance for .99).  I reserved both the $3 register rewards from both transactions for next week's deals.  I also go this 2nd witch hazel, it had a Try Me Free sticker so I got it and will submit a rebate :)

Also a deal I didn't realize until they were wall sold out (you better believe I got a rain check!)  They have these Milano tasty cookies on sale at Walgreen's from $2.39 down to .99!  Then you can use this .75 off coupon (no size restrictions) from one of the last papers...I'm so behind in clipping that I'm not sure which Sunday paper.  From $2.39 down to .24, I'll take it! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

I just got paid to shop....and got lots of stuff for free....Just sayin'!

Today I got an awesome deal!  This was all free AND I made money at Rite Aid!  Very few coupons involved too!  Here goes:

4 Nursery Waters (used (2) .55 off 2 gallons printable coupons from their website)
4 crunchy snacks
11 2-pack baby foods (half of them had .50 off now coupons attached to the packaging)
--------------------------------------All Gerber items were BOGO 1/2 off.  Buy 2, get $3+UP.  4 +UPs per card, I had 2 cards (mine and hubby's). Also, because I spent more than $15 on Gerber products on my card, I will submit for a $5 Single Check Rebate with Rite Aid.

2 Stayfree products (used $1 off manufacturer coupon from this last Sunday's paper)
-------------------------------------On sale 2/$5, buy 2, get a $3+UP.  Submitting a $5 mail in rebate for purchasing 2 Stayfree products.

2 Revlon tweezer tools (used (2) $2 off Rite Aid video value/adperk coupons)
------------------------------------Regularly $3.00, 40% off sale.  Free with coupon.

1 Revlon Nail Polish (Used $1 off Rite Aid special promo coupon...think I got it through FB)
------------------------------------Normally $4.79, 40% off. 

I went in with $10 in +UPs from my camera deal on Saturday.  I paid $6.70 out of pocket cash and I ended up with $12 in +UPs at the end.  Not to mention $10 in rebates....Rite Aid just paid me $5.30 to take this inventory off their hands, and this includes taxes! 

On a less successful note, I then went to Walgreens and made a disaster of my transactions there. Poor planning on my part and I lost out on $3 of savings and held up a million people in line (how embarrassing!)  In the end though, the lady behind me and cashier both wanted my business card to check out this lovely blog :)  I also am so grateful for my awesome husband.  I apologized and felt bad, I don't want him to get frustrated or embarrassed but all he said is that he thought it was funny.  Well, as long as you save a few dozen dollars and can laugh about it, even a bad transaction is nice right? (FYI-Got free dishwasher detergent, witch hazel, contact solution, and anti-itch creme at Walgreens)

For those of you that wonder, I let other people do most of the research work for me.  Feel free to check out the blogs I watch (but please don't desert my blog, I like to share unique things they might not ;) (local gals-they taught the class that hooked me)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Today's Freebies-and a tip for making clothes last longer!

Just getting a word in while waiting for my better half to come home from a late shift at work :-/  Today was an awesome day for couponing, thought I'd share some with you.  Here is a picture of today's freebies.  Of course, this doesn't include "Buy One, Get One Free" sale items or "Buy this, get that free" sales. 

The paint and work gloves were from ACE.  The paint is a fun "just because" and "you never know when you'll want it" thing...The work gloves are nice as we're in the process of planting a garden.  We found out the men's pair is too small though for my husband's hands so I guess we can use them in a housewarming gift basket some time?  (Paint was free with a coupon/promo, gloves are free after rebate.) 

The Hot Tamales, Oreos, cameras, and Glad plugins were free from Rite Aid.  I had to use both my hubby's and my Rite Aid cards to get what we have here and I went to 2 Rite Aids.  The plugins were from a rain check I got on a deal a while ago.  I'm most proud of the cameras because I don't think it was publicly known about this awesome deal.  I follow 5 couponing blogs and on occasion, 1 has a post that the others don't and this was the case :)  Regularly $14 each, I got the cameras FREE!!! The cashier was actually shocked speechless seeing me get them for free.  I'm not sure what I will do with the cameras...something fun.  As for the plugins...add them to housewarming gift baskets? 

As I'm typing, I also remember another thing I got for free, a new Quaker oatmeal product, it'll be free after rebate.  I just remembered it because I was organizing my reciepts and rebates while I was doing laundry....thus my tip for making clothes last longer.......

Background story:  I know my boss thinks I'm crazy and I always talk about the free stuff I get, but I think she's learning how much money you can save when you put your mind to it.  She actually had a tip for me the other day that I just hadn't thought about.  She said that once a year she takes her family's black clothes and re-dyes them.  What a great way to extend the life of your clothes!!! 

I went by Walmart and picked up some Rit dye for a couple bucks and just did a load.  It can be a tad technical and messy, but it really wasn't that bad.  1 thing to note is that it is mostly recommended for cotton clothes.  Half of our batch I was considering was polyester which the dye is not recommended for so I only did the cotton bunch, which were the most faded anyway.  I'm so mad at myself that I didn't take a before picture, but it's drying right now and looks great.  I think I'll make this a yearly tradition as well-why toss out perfectly good clothes just because they're faded?