And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Monday, May 30, 2011

Interview with Julie from DINC

I recently had the privilege of doing an interview with Julie from Dual Incomes Need Coupons. If you haven't checked out her blog, you are missing out! Julie always has GREAT coupon tips and she's done some fantastic giveaways! You can also find her on Facebook here. And if you check our her blog, you might see an interview with someone you know....... (shameless self promotion! ;)




1. When & why did you begin to coupon?






I really didn't get started couponing until last Sept (2010). My hubby and I just got to a point where we were fed up with not having anything to show for what we make. We knew we spent too much but we weren't keeping track of where it was going. We finally sat down and put together a budget, in doing so we had to cut out dining out expenses (we were doing it way too much) but we didn't want to increase what we were spending on groceries either (as that also seemed like a lot). It was a big incentive to start shopping sales and using coupons. I'd attempted in the past - years ago - but never really taken it seriously. This time jumped in head first and we haven't looked back.









2. What prompted you to blog about it? What is your favorite thing about the blogging community?





I love blogging. I already had a personal blog as well as a blog about Fibromyalgia. I just enjoy writing about life and sharing the information I find. I just end up hoping someone else reads it and enjoys what I share. Blogging about my experiences with couponing just made sense.









3. Where is your favorite place to use your coupons?



Definitely Publix. I love that they double and that they take competitor coupons. I used to think they were terribly expensive, and really didn't shop there at all before I started couponing. Then I started actually comparing prices and found out how wrong I was, and that where I'd been shopping was much more expensive than I thought.

Side Note: I shopped at a Publix on our recent vacation & it was FABULOUS! Really wish we had one here!





4. How do you organize your coupons?



I have a coupon box that I found at Hobby Lobby (in the photo organization section). It's cute and small and light. It has about 13 sections and I do wish it had more, but it works for me.







5. Where do you find your favorite/ best coupons?



Everywhere! LOL. I love printable coupons, but I also make sure I get the paper each week. Coupons change so much that you really have to look everywhere for them and not limit yourself to just one source.







6. Which items do you purchase the most often with coupons? Are there any items that you always have to pay full price for?





ALL OF THEM! Seriously, if I have a coupon for it I will use it, and I HATE paying full price now. Meat and produce are really the only things we will buy and pay full price for (mostly produce). Meat we at least make sure we get on sale.







7. How does your husband feel about couponing? Does he help you or stay out of your way?



He loves it but he doesn't "get" it. He's perfectly happy for me to do it but even the concept of BOGO completely eludes him. So he's happy that I do all the shopping now.





8. Have you been able to meet any large goals or purchase any special items because of couponing?



We've been able to complete our Emergency Fund not just thanks to couponing but thanks to budgeting. Before we started this process it was pretty close to empty, and now it's fully funded, plus we have money set aside to pay cash for the big vacation we plan to take next year for our anniversary.





9. How do you feel about the show Extreme Couponing? What do you think its affect will be on?



I enjoyed the first episode that aired last year. However, when I tuned in to it again this year as it began the series run I just couldn't get into it. I realize that it's a tv show and not reality. Real couponers (even the ones on that show) don't shop like that on a regular basis. To be honest, I haven't watched it since the season premiere. As for the effect it will have on couponing. I think it's encouraged a lot of people to give it a try, and that's great. Unfortunately, I also think that we've seen a decrease in the value and quantity of good coupons because of the increase in couponers. I figure it's kind of like working out, some will stick with it, others will find it to be too hard. Eventually, the fad will die down and we'll start seeing the great coupons return again.





10. What is your best advice for all the coupon newbies out there?



Understand that what you see on TV isn't real. Take the time to match up your local grocery store sale ads with coupons and shop not for this week but for what you will use eventually. Stocking up saves a lot more than just shopping an ad. When you can match the sale ad to the coupons you have, you'll save even more. Remember, that any savings is still good. Don't get discouraged if you aren't seeing 90% or more on a regular basis (none of us do).



The Blog: http://www.dualincomeneedcoupons.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoneySavingModeFB

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mailbox Mania!

This week in that mail I received:



Seattle's Best Coffee sample with coupon

Folgers Coffee sample

Coupon for FREE Cottonelle Fresh Wipes (get fresh with a friend campaign!)

Daily List magnet from Florida Orange Juice

Coupon for FREE bottle of Country Bob's sauce (from their website)

Gillette Proglide Razor (from the FB proglide challenge)

Did you get anything great in the mail this week?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tidbits

I know my posts have been few & far between, so sorry! We are steadily working to get our house a little more organized (putting Apple & Speedy in separate rooms, making another room the homeschool room, getting ready for a yard sale, etc) and trying to find a rhythm for our summer months!

I began working on homeschool with Speedy the week before vacation. I must say (head tucked) that I haven't worked with him much until now. Ahem...... so we began with simple letter recognition and number recognition. He is really into time & clocks so I have added that as well. Basically we have a HUGE white board (THANKS MIKA!!) that we were using for Apple's weekly schedule for homeschool that has now become Speedy's learning board. I have our address & phone number at the top and then 2 big squares on the left side. In one square I put an upper & lower case letter (ie Aa) and in the other goes a number (1) and a shape (1 star). Next to that is a clock with the hands pointing to our number & 12 so 1:00. On the right side of the board is the alphabet and his name, Apple's name, Daddy's phone number & Emergency 911. Each day we go over the info on the board and then do a couple of worksheets to correspond with the letter, tracing, & cutting & gluing. He also has a devotional book that we are going to try to do 2 times a week. It started out rocky this week (I don't waaaaaaaaannnnnnaaaaa do homeschool) but got a little easier as the week went on. I'm hoping this is a trend! Tonight at dinner he was very proud to show Daddy his newest letter & number & name them!

Here is a great post over at Raising Homemakers that I think you will enjoy! It corresponds with some of my previous posts on modesty. Having recently been at the beach I know all too well what the author is feeling! How do you handle modesty? Especially with boys? Does your family have a "Duggar-esque" code word or have you found a different method? So far Speedy hasn't seemed to notice but I have a feeling it won't be long!

Another interesting piece this week. Did you see this article? A Canadian couple raising their child "genderless." Honestly is just makes me really sad for this child. And for the parents..... well are they clueless? By 18- 24 months children are learning about and establishing gender connections themselves. Do they really belief that even if they don't say she or he, this child won't realize it is a girl or a boy? Aside from just the practicality of it (girls or boys restroom, girls or boys clothing department, etc), God Himself gave this child a gender and nothing the parents do will change that. Rather than giving this child self confidence and freedom in who they are, they are imprisoning them into an abnormality. They need prayer and lots of it!

Don't forget no inserts in the paper this Sunday due to the holiday! Enjoy your long weekend and REMEMBER our armed forces and how many lay down their lives for our freedoms!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: Living Literature Grammer and Language Arts Packets



I am so EXCITED about this curriculum! Cindy West with Shining Dawn Books has put together a terrific plan to incorporate Literature, Grammer, and Language Arts all in one study. The guide covers 15 books and is recommended for 3rd- 4th grades. I plan to use this in the fall with my daughter. She is quite an advanced reader and although she is only 6 she has already completed some 2nd grade work. I think this is going to be a great fit for her! Because there are several books covered the material stays exciting! Cindy includes some great information to help you get started and plan out your homeschool goals. Vocabulary, spelling, sentence structure, reading comprehension, cursive practice, Living Literature Grammer and Language Arts Packets covers it all! All the information you need such as books, authors, and supplies needed (minimal) are included. This is a budget friendly item that is versatile and because it's in ebook format you can print the pages as you need them! I highly recommend this study for children that are good readers and interested in variety in their curriculums!

To order go here. You can also find more great items and information by following their Facebook Page at Shining Dawn Books LLC.

Monday, May 23, 2011

5 Kid Friendly Summer Getaways

Alamo wants to know about five summer getaways every kid should experience. We are of course a budget friendly family so I will share 5 places I think all kids will love without breaking the bank!

1. Camping..... we love to camp! We've only gotten to go once since the kids have been born but they had the BEST time! Camping is cheap, family friendly, and usually doesn't require long travel time. Once you acquire the basics (tent, sleeping bags, cooler, lantern, etc) then you can enjoy camping over and over! Kids will be able to experience things like a campfire, animals and plants in nature, and fresh air! They also get tons of exercise while camping and it's really fun if you go with other families! Many state parks have inexpensive but fully equipped campsites! Try checking your state's website for more information!




2. Zoo..... it doesn't matter which zoo you take your kids to, most kids LOVE animals! Mine are thrilled over and over again and it seems that they notice something new each time we go! Many zoos allow you to take in sack lunches or a cooler so your cost will be limited to gas and admission price. If you live near St Louis, their zoo is FREE to the public! All you pay is a small parking fee and they do allow you to bring in food & drink! Many zoos like this one have a water play area and a big playground giving you all day fun for a low price! This is also a great educational field trip and the kids won't even realize they're learning! If you aren't close to a free zoo, consider a family membership to your closest zoo. Most of the time these cost about the same as 2 trips to the zoo for your family. Many zoos participate in a program where you get free or discounted admission to other zoos in the same network.


3. Park playdate.... my kids enjoy getting together with all their church friends at the local park and even our church playground. We pack a sack lunch or pick up an inexpensive meal on the way and then spend a few hours playing. The kids are able to socialize and get all their energy out while us parents have the chance to chat and catch up. This is a FREE summer activity and one that we take advantage of many times throughout the year.

4. Movie theater... my kids really enjoy a nice afternoon movie. The summer is a great time as many new children's movies are released and we are free from homeschool to go and enjoy. Cars 2 will be released next month and my kids are already planning a trip! It is a splurge for us but if you take in a matinee and split a big soda and popcorn, it can be squeezed into the budget. This is often a summer reward for good behavior for my kiddos and no matter what we see, they talk about it for months afterwards!

5. Summer camps..... Apple has participated in a basketball camp the last few years and this year Speedy will get to join her! Camps are often available for a variety of interests and prices throughout the summer from swim lessons, to art classes, to sports camps you are sure to find one that your child will love! Summer camps are a great way to introduce your child to new activities and see if they are interested enough to participate in a regular season of it. We also consider VBS a Bible camp of sorts! Our church doesn't offer one but this will be the second year that our kids will participate at another church with their friends. VBS are free and typically include a variety of arts, crafts, and music with some fun Bible theme guiding them through the week!






I hope this helps you to find some great summer getaways for your family! Just spending quality time together, trying new things, will often create memories your children won't soon forget!





“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Alamo blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

BEACH!

We had a fantastic family vacation at the beach last week! The weather was beautiful! Not a drop of rain in 7 days! (Of course after getting home last night, I woke up 3 different times because of storms...ahh.. tornado alley...) The kids LOVED every moment!

Speedy is totally unafraid of the water. We could hardly keep him out of the ocean! He really found his setting! When he wasn't chasing waves, he was chasing birds! We decided that for next year, sand toys aren't really necessary. All our kids wanted were nets, buckets, and water guns!


Apple loved it too! She preferred the pool over the ocean most days. Towards the end of the trip she made friends with a boy staying in the same condo we were in. He taught her to "jump" waves and she decided the ocean wasn't so bad after that! She also enjoyed getting a tan and all the great places we ate! Of course we can't go to the beach without getting her hair wrap done!


Daddy found a great nature center to take the kids to. He spent a little time separately with each of them to go to the center and walk on the trail. Didn't hurt to go to separate times since admission was only $1! He & Speedy even found a turtle shell that the center added to their display case!



Papaw and Nonna went with us again this year! They stole the big bedroom but made up for it by giving hubby & I two date nights! It also keeps costs lower to all split the condo! We used some great coupons at the Publix there and were able to eat almost all our breakfast and lunch meals in the condo!



All in all the beach is still my favorite vacation spot! I really needed the time to relax and bask in the sun & Son for a week! I even got to hit the $1 flip flop sale at the Old Navy there. I also got to eat at my favorite restaurant twice and get a new tshirt from their gift shop! Because we stayed a whole week this time we didn't feel as pressured to rush around and do everything! I think that's also because that was our 4th trip to that particular beach. We arrived home yesterday a little travel weary but thankful for the blessing!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: REJOICE Women of Faith Worship CD

Looking for a great worship CD? One to sing along to in the car and listen to during your private worship time? Find this CD! Women of Faith run an excellent ministry through radio, CDS, books, and conferences. Now they have compiled some favorites into a worship CD! I have listened all the way through over and over all ready! My favorites on this disc are Hosanna and Glory to God. It's impossible not to sing along (even for one so tone challenged as myself)! You will know the songs and the words and you will feel drawn to the Lord. Music brings us into worship to Him with such ease. The songs are sung by female voices making it easy to blend in and worship right along. My kids have also enjoyed the songs riding in the car as they know the words to most of them already.

So for a terrific CD thats versatile and fun, check out REJOICE!


Included songs:

1.Beautiful Redeemer


2.So Good

3.Forever Reign

4.Come As You Are

5.Hosanna

6.Our God

7.Glory To God

8.You Brought the Sunshine

9.Greatness of Our God

10.Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: Lilies in Moonlight


Allison Pittman brings us the story of Lilly Margolis, a flapper in limbo in life, religion, and personality. Lilly has walked away from her mother's home and her mother's hellfire and brimstone philosophies. She has embraced a lifestyle of short hair, short dresses, and short relationships. If you could even call them relationships, usually she just flirts with men to see what she can get out of them. Her job as a door to door saleslady isn't going so well until she meets Betty Ruth. Her brief encounter with Betty Ruth changes her direction and when she is found literally down on her luck Betty Ruth rescues her. Well actually Betty Ruth's son Cullen rescues her but not without hesitation. Cullen could use a little rescuing himself. Although once he played major league baseball, now he lives with severe burns all over half of his body from serving in the war. He runs his deceased father's business although he prefers to stay behind the scenes as much as possible.

This unlikely group of people living in one house leads to some tense and some funny situations. Betty Ruth is lovable and full of God's love but is suffering from dementia. Cullen is rude and lacking in relationship skills because of his outward appearance. Lilly isn't sure how to handle either of them but since she doesn't have any other place to go, she is hanging on to her spot in the house as hard as she can. Eugenie the maid doesn't hide her disdain for Lilly's "modern woman" ways.

Lilies in Moonlight will keep you holding your breath to the end. You will alternately love and dislike every character in the book. The end is a surprise to the very end! Each time you thing you've figured it out, the storyline changes! It's a fun fiction read and a step back into time. Allison Pittman has done a spectacular job!



I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of this review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: Desert Gift


Sally John brings us the story of Jack and Jill...... nope not the nursery rhyme couple but a middle age couple going through marital difficulty. That sounds blah but the zinger is that Jill is a marital relationship guru... she hosts a radio show and has written a book on keeping your marriage together. Now when Jack drops the bomb that he wants a divorce, Jill is lost. What happens to her marriage, her home, her work?

Jill travels this shakey new road with trips to see her best friend, her sister, her parents, and even her grown son. God meets her in her travels and even sends new friends to help her along. Although the stress of life doesn't stop just because Jill is having problems (isn't that the TRUTH!) she wades her way through the trials and begins to really see what the important things are. God also works on Jack and we are able to read his side of the story and his journey as well.

Desert Gift will take you along with Jill on her emotional roller coaster. You will feel her emotion, find reasons to dislike her, and discover reasons to love her. Most of all you will identify with her and you will hear God's whispers to her heart. It is a great fiction read just to be read. It is also a wonderful book to pick up to encourage you in your own marriage and your own walk with God.


Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by the author or publisher.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mailbox Mania!!!

I got some terrific things in the mail last week:

Clean & Clear Bodywash Sample
Tampax & Head & Shoulders Sample from P&G
Kotex U Sample Pack
John Freida Foam Color FREE coupon



But the BEST was from Vocalpoint. Vocalpoint is a place to learn about new products, find information on products, and share your opinion on them! Since joining just a couple of months ago, I have been nothing but pleased! This time I received a cute disposable coffee cup with information about new International Delight Breve Creme. The Breve comes in three flavors: Vanilla Caramel Cream, Dark Chocolate Cream, and Hazelnut Cream. Vocalpoint sent me a coupon for a free pint as well as some nice .55 off coupons for my friends! It also had a funny little paper clock in it (think be right back clock).
I liked that the packaging was original and that it was FREE! Interested in trying Vocalpoint yourself? Just click Vocalpoint.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Walgreens Sneak Peak 5/8- 5/14

This is a sneak peek at items that will be in tomorrow's Walgreens ad. Prices are based on ad OR on online prices!

RR- Register Reward
Q- coupon



Pepsi 12 packs 5/ $13




Colgate tb or tp 2/ $6- $4 RR- $1 Q- $1 Q= 2/ FREE



Lysol Toliet Cleaner 2/ $2.99- $1/2 Q= 2/ $1.99



Arm & Hammer Detergent 2/ $6.99- $1/2 Q= 2/ $5.99





Wags Honey $1.99



Glade Scented Oil Candles or Plugin Refills 2/ $5- $1 RR- $1 Q- $1 Q= 2/$2



OR



Glade Sense & Spray Refills 2/ $5- $1 RR- $1/2 Q- 2/$3



Banana Boat B1G1 50% About $10 + $5- $1 Q -$1 Q= 2/ $13



Sunburnt Gel $3.99- $3.99 REBATE= FREE



Clean & Clear Bodywash B1G1 Free- B1G1 Q= 2/ FREE



Tresemme Sham & Cond (if Climate Control is included in sale) 4/$15- $5 RR- $1 Q- $1 Q- $1 Q- $1 Q= 4/ $6



Gillette Proglide Razor $9.89- $5 RR- $4 Q= .89



Pantene 2/$7- $1 RR- $3/2 Q= 2/ $3



Schick Hydro Shave gel 2/ $3.99- .75 Q- .75 Q= 2/ $2.50



Schick Hydro 3 Razor Refill 2/ $8.99- $2 Q- $2 Q= 2/ 4.99



Schick Hydro 5 Razor Refill 2/ $11.99- $2 Q- $2 Q= 2/ $7.99



Carefree Liners .99- $1 Q= FREE



Nexcare Bandages $2.99- $2.99 REBATE- .55 Q= +.55

Friday, May 6, 2011

Homeschool Planning.....

So we have almost completed our first "official" year of homeschooling! Apple will have completed 1st grade Science, 1st grade Math, What Your First Grader Needs to Know, Hooked on Spelling, and 2nd grade Phonics in a couple of weeks. Not too shabby for Kindergarten! :)

As excited as I am (REALLY looking forward to Summer break!), I've already began to look at curriculum for the Fall semester. I want to purchase Hooked on Phonics PreK for Speedy. That should be the only purchase I need for him as we have lots of curriculum that we used for PreK with Apple. For her our biggest need is an actual math curriculum for this year. We are considering Math Mammoth or Math U See. They both come with lots of recommendations! She needs a strong curriculum that is NOT spiraling or review oriented. Those types of programs just don't work well for Apple. She wants to learn, master, and move on. I've already ordered the Little House on the Prairie books for her. I'd like to get The Prairie Primer for her, but its so expensive for one book. I'm also going to be looking for a Social Studies or Geography curriculum for her and a writing or word tools curriculum. We already have a 2nd Grade Science textbook for her.

Now that was all I was planning to plan.....Haha. I should know better! My summer goal was going to be to work with Speedy. He needs a little work on the basics. He hasn't showed a lot of interest in learning so far (*he's not quite 4 yet) and so we haven't pushed him. I'm still not planning to push him but I do want to start introducing him to some things, and I'd like to spend more time "learning" with him so I can get a better read on his learning style. I am still going to do all of this. I sat down tonight with a planner and laid out some times for letters, numbers, review shapes & colors, etc.

The change has come with Apple..... I thought she would be super excited about break especially sense the last week has been VERY difficult during school time. Well my mom pointed out that she might be anxious about not doing school. It makes sense with her. She is not a big advocate of change, she loves structure very much, and we have been doing "school" for about a year and a half non stop. We did have summer break last year but we had a loose learning schedule throughout. Also for her jealousy of little brother happens often and I think she is feeling some anxiety about "losing" her special school time to him. So.......

Tonight when I sat down and did the planning for Speedy, I also wrote in some ideas for Apple for the summer. I really need a break from her intense style of table learning and she is already SO far ahead, it would be a disservice to both of us to try that route for the summer. Instead I came up with 4 topics to cover with her this summer. All Home Ec based: cleaning, scheduling, cooking, and shopping. Those seem like strange topics for a 6 year old but hear me out. We homeschool to train our kids not only in school work but also character training. We spend a good amount of time on Bible studies and this will just be a hands on extension of that. It's important to me to train our daughter in homemaking. There won't be any Cinderella stories here. Instead our cleaning will be learning to clean. That isn't a trait that comes naturally to most people. So I sat down and made a list of some tasks we could work on together. She already has a couple of small things she helps with around the house but this will be a chance to teach her some new tasks. She LOVES to help in the kitchen. My patience level doesn't always allow for her to help beyond cracking eggs and stirring. I'm hoping that by putting it on the schedule as a learning task, I won't be as rushed and will be better prepared to teach her certain cooking skills. Also cooking is a great place to teach fractions and measurement! Scheduling will be laying things out on a calendar. This will reinforce knowledge of the calendar, days, months, time, etc. All mathmatical skills that she can use extra practice on. Last but not least is shopping. I don't mean at the mall! I want to have her help me with shopping lists and coupons. Even if it's just writing a list I dictate or helping me check the cabinents for needs and helping to cut coupons, those are good life skills. Things she needs to begin to develop so that later in life they will be second nature.

I thrive on being purposeful in things, so just having it written down (*btw these are very loosely written, basically 3 goals a week for Speedy and 3 goals a week for Apple) will prod me to work on them. Plus I hope this will still give Apple that one on one time she craves while giving Speedy the opportunity to learn as well.

Are you purposeful about teaching your child life skills? Do you homeschool through the summer or are you looking forward to a summer break? Do you have suggestions on curriculum or one of my wants for sale? I love comments so type away!

Kroger Deals




SCPN- Sunday Paper Coupon

DCPN- Doubled Coupon (Here Kroger doubles coupons with a face value of .60 or less)
ECPN- Digital Coupon

ICPN- Internet Coupon

KCPN- Kroger Coupon received by mail
 
This week is a Mega Event at Kroger! These sales are always a great time to stockpile some family favorites! When you buy 10 select items, you receive $5 off! This is an extra .50 per item! You don't have to buy 10 of the same item, you can mix and match and this is good for multiples of 10! For example, buy 20, get $10 off! So here is what I purchased today:
 
Ronzoni Pasta    $.99- .50 Mega= .49 x 2= .98- $1 ICPN here= FREE (Print the Smart Taste & Garden Delight to get 4 FREE!)
 
CapN Crunch $2.49- .50 Mega= $1.99- .50 SCPN- .50 DCPN= .99
 
Kraft BBQ Sauce .99- .50 Mega= .49 x 2= .98- $1/2 KCPN= FREE
 
Chips Ahoy $2.29- .50 Mega= $1.79
 
Ozark BIG Bottles of Water .99-.50 Mega= .49
 
CapriSun Roaring Waters $1.99-.50 Mega= 1.49
 
NON MEGA EVENT ITEMS:
 
Kroger Cereal Bars 2.20-.40 KCPN= $1.80 + 1 FREE w/ additional KCPN
 
Aquafresh Kids Pump $1.50- $1 SCPN= .50
 
Pretzel Crisps 2/ $4- B1G1 CPN from FB page= 2/ $2
 
Kroger Bread $1
 
Large Roast $9.30- $1.50 KCPN= $7.80
 
So drumroll please..........
 
Total Savings
Mfg CPN $9.49
Double CPN $1.50
Kroger Plus $30.51
 
TOTAL SAVED $41.50
 
Out of Pocket $28.64
 
Total Percentage SAVED 61%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Just for fun...... Kroger card savings since Jan $688.71! I can't wait to see what it will be at the end of the year. :)
 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Couponing Tips #3

You can find Couponing Tips #1 here and Couponing Tips #2 here and an intro to Couponing message here.

So for Couponing Tips #3, I want to talk with you about lingo. All these couponing terms that you will see here at Carter Chaos and also on other couponing blogs or on couponing shows or discussions. This is by far not everything, but should help you get started! I love questions and comments so don't hesitate to post! If there is a term I don't mention here, be sure to ask and I will give a definition if I can!


Stockpiling- Stockpiling does NOT mean hoarding but stockpiling can become hoarding. Stockpiling simply means purchasing items in a quantity to "stock" up for your family. A sensible stockpile should be 3-4 months worth of product for your family. For example you might have 4-6 deodorants on hand or for a family of four you might keep 8 toothbrushes on hand. These are just example numbers. Your personal stockpile should be based on items you and your family will use that you have PROPER space to store them. I DO NOT advocate 60 boxes of cereal under your bed (heard of mice & bugs??) or 90 bottles of salad dressing (that stuff goes bad!). I do stockpile though. I pick up multiples of things when there is a good sale on them and/ or I get a good coupon for them. 3-4 months is the basis because that is how often sales usually cycle.

Shelf Clearing- Shelf Clearing means purchasing every one of an item available in a store. I DO NOT advocate shelf clearing. You do not need to buy 20 of the same item. Period. Leave some for everyone else. Especially now that more & more people are getting into couponing, we are going to all be looking for the same items. Be generous to your neighbors. Buy 2-3 of an item. If you need more, ask a store employee if there are more in the back or when they will be restocked and come back. If you do want a massive amount of an item, call the store manager and ask for a special order of 50 deodorants (or whatever.) They will usually be happy to accomodate you. Obviously if there are only 1 or 2 items left in a store, then you can/ will take them. That's okay. Don't buy out everyone though if they just restocked the shelf. That's rude.

Stacking- Some store policies allow you to stack coupons. That usually means using a store coupon AND a manufacturer's coupon on the same item. For instance this month Walgreens has a store coupon in the May coupon booklet for Tylenol Precise cream. I also have a manufacturers coupon for Tylenol Precise cream. I can stack the store coupon with the manufacturer's coupon for 1 tube of cream. Always check your store policies! There is a tab at the top of the blog with some store policies and links to other policies. Speaking of store policies.....

Store Coupon Policies- All stores have a policy about how they accept coupons. For some companies, like Walmart and Target, that policy is a Corporate policy meaning every one of their stores follows the same policy. Other stores like Kroger have a regional policy. Those policies can vary from region to region, state to state, and sometimes even store to store. You are always allowed to ask the particular store its policy. You can call ahead, email, or walk up to the service desk when you arrive at the store. Policies change often so make sure you periodically check for changes and if available print a copy and carry in your binder for reference.

Cashier Profiling- Let's just be honest, some cashiers are much easier to get along with than others. Some cashiers act as though every coupon you use takes a $1 out of their pocket, some act as though coupons are a hassle and you are a poor beggar if you use them. Avoid those cashiers. Find cashiers who are pleasant and customer service oriented. Try to avoid Coupon Nazis. They are out there and they don't want you to save a buck! If more than one cashier is available in your store, choose one that seems to be more coupon friendly. It will make your transaction much more pleasant. Men tend to be more coupon friendly and younger seems to be friendlier than older when it comes to coupon transactions. It seems very unkind to say but it makes a difference! Also your best defense is to come to know cashiers at the store's you frequent. Be polite and kind to cashiers, managers, stockers. If they are your friends you will walk away happier after every visit!

Coupon Binder- a 2 inch- 3 inch zippered binder with baseball card holders and dividers to hold and organize your binder. You can also use an accordian file folder. You really need to have a large storage and organization system if you are going to be "serious" about couponing. Otherwise you will quickly get overwhelmed with the number of coupons you have. Soon I will post some pics and info about my binder!


So not an extensive list but maybe enough to get started!

Walgreens Deals

Things are moving slow around here this week! Sorry for the late in the week deals post. We are finishing up homeschool for this semester (WOO HOO!) and getting things ready to start the summer! Posts may run a little late or sporadic over the next couple of weeks. Stick with me though!

So as I was running late here are a couple of deals I wanted to get this week but was unable to find at the two local Wags stores I visited:

Right Guard Bodywash Buy 1 Get 1 Free- Buy 1 Get 1 Free SCPN= 2 FREE

Schick Hybrid Advance $5.99- $2 RR- $3 SCPN= .99

Tylenol Precise Pain Relief Cream $7.99- $3 instore CPN- $5 ICPN (check the Tylenol Precise website)= FREE    {This is a month long deal so keep looking!}

Here's what I did get:

Transaction #1

Pantene Sham/ Cond 2/ $7- $1 RR- $3/2 SCPN= 2/ $3

Gillette Proglide Razor $9.89- $5 RR- $4 SCPN= .89

Puffs Plus .99 w/ adCPN- .50 SCPN= .49

Almond Joy (filler) .49

Used 1 $3 RR from previous visit

Total $9.66 - got back $6 in RR

WAG COUPON SAVINGS .80
WAG ADVERTISED SAVINGS $6.48
MFG COUPON SAVINGS $10.50

TOTAL SAVINGS $17.78

Transaction #2

GUM Flossers $2- $2 RR= FREE

Glade Automatic Sprayer $8.99- $4 ICPN (printed from the widget on the sidebar!!!)- $3 RR= $1.99

Cottonelle Tissue 12 roll pack $5 each x 2= $10- $1 instoreCPN- $1 instoreCPN- $3 RR= 2/ $5

Used $6 RR from Trans #1 PLUS $1 RR from previous visit

TOTAL $10.04- got back $8 in RR

WAG ADVERTISED SAVINGS $4.99
MFG COUPON SAVINGS $13.00

TOTAL SAVINGS $17.99

RR= Register Reward
SCPN= Sunday Paper Coupon
ICPN= Internet Printed Coupom
inad CPN= Coupon in weekly ad
instore CPN- Coupon found in monthly booklet available inside store


A special thanks to Walgreens for donating door prizes to our recent Coupon Night! 2 lucky ladies went home with the beginnings to some great coupon binders! I love that Walgreens ENCOURAGES coupon use from their shoppers!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: Marvels of Creation Breathtaking Birds

We recently received Marvels of Creation Breathtaking Birds by Buddy & Kay Davis. Both Speedy and Apple were immediately drawn to the beautiful picture on the cover. They were thrilled to find more beautiful pictures of birds on almost every page! I'm excited because this kind of book teaches so much information without the kids even realizing that it's "school."

If you or your children are at all interested in birds, I would highly recommend this book for your home. All 78 pages are full of information from the types of bird beaks, to very specific information on many different birds, to feather design. I love that the authors talk about the evolution of birds over time but mentiion God's design and the hand of God over and over. It is so important to find these books that go with the Bible's teachings. Any science book that has God's creation first gets an A around here!

You can purchase Marvels of Creation Breathtaking Birds here. It will make a welcome piece of your homeschool curriculum or just a valuable resource for your younger children to thumb through. This is one we will be perusing throughout the summer as an indepth look at an important part of our world.



I received this book from New Leaf Publishing Group for the purpose of review. All opinions are entirely my own.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Coupons



There are some great new coupons available from coupons.com! These can be printed directly from this blog with the widget on the left sidebar! Check out new ones from Expo markers, Glade Auto Spray (on sale at Walgreens this week!), Larabar, and more! Every coupon you print from Carter Chaos helps to support the blog!