Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Money Saving Tips!

Recently Hubby and I decided to discontinue our cable service due to the fact that we hardly ever watched tv anyway! It was a bit scary for us regardless because in our 10 years of marriage we've always had cable tv. But, we thought to ourselves, "Lets just give it a try for a few months and see how it goes..." We laughed at ourselves the first day our cable was disconnected because we felt a bit lost, which is indeed funny because we were only going about our usual day and activities. Just not having that option was quite weird. We knew we had made the right decision a few weeks later when we were on vacation and staying in a hotel that had full service cable. We had been hanging out for a few hours waiting for some family to arrive and I looked over at Hubby and said, "you know... look at us, we even HAVE the option to watch tv and we're not!!"

Tip #1: Cutting the cable!
Now granted, there ARE some shows that we enjoy watching... and can you believe it??! We haven't missed one episode of anything! Come to find out, you can pretty much watch ANYTHING you want via the internet! Sites such as hulu.com, justin.tv, channelsurfing.net (for you sports fans!) and even YouTube are great sources!! With a few cables and some great speakers, we hook our laptop up to the tv and voila! I challenge you! Cut the cable bill!!

Tip #2: Check your local library!
I made a trip to the library yesterday to borrow some books I've been wanting to read. Skip back a few days: I'd been scouring ebay for some good deals on these particular books. I had been telling myself "No more than $5/book!" when a lightbulb went off in my head! "DUH! Check the library!! Hello... free!" Not only did I walk away with some of my "must reads!" but I also walked away with several Baby Einstein DVD's for my daughter to watch! They also had a huge assortment of DVD's that Hubby and I can go back and check out!!

Tip #3: Check your local library!
I know, I know... I said this already! But speaking of my local library! I discovered a great Fall Baby Storytime class for Baby Girl and I! I've been looking into getting into some Mommy and Me classes, but they don't offer them for free! And not always cheap either! We will be attending our FREE Storytime tomorrow morning! Excited!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Freebie Friday!!

-Honey Nut Cheerios, sample plus coupon
-Always Thin Flexi-Style liners
-Nestle Abuelita Granulado
-Slim-Fast 100-calorie Peanut Butter Crunch Time Snack Bar
-Curel Itch Defense Lotion
-free ebook, 25 Quick and Thrifty Crochet Patterns

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Name Brand versus Generic!!

First, let me start off with this thought that I've been pondering as of late...

Just because something is cheaper
doesn't mean that it is the best deal!

I've been putting this thought into my purchases lately. Lets talk about vacation, for example... hotels! Just because Hotel A is cheaper per night doesn't mean that you will get the most for your money staying there. Hotel B might be $20 more per night, but Hotel B has more comfortable beds, better soundproofed rooms, a great complimentary breakfast buffet, etc. Don't you think that Hotel B is a better value?? To me, if you spend your money on Hotel A, you are actually kind of wasting it. Just something for you to think about...

With this thought in mind... my friend gave me a great idea to start reviewing brand name products with its generic counterpart. I have to admit that I'm a brand name snob when it comes to certain items... it's so hard for me to try the generic when I'm so in-love with the brand name!! However, with my husband as my shopping partner this weekend, I stepped out in faith and allowed him to choose the ever so horrible... I can hardly say it... generic COFFEE!!

Now, the ONLY reason I went with it was because the generic coffee was labeled with this statement:

"Roasted by Starbucks Coffee Co."

I have to admit, I was skeptical!! My husband, of all people, should know better than to try generic coffee!! He's been lured by the price tag before, and it got us nothing but a trip to the trash can!

The Generic was $5.00/pound,
and Starbucks coffee was $8.00/pound.

As soon as I walked outside, I opened the bag to give it the smell test. It smelled pretty good, but I wasn't sold yet. However, after sitting in the car for a while with an open bag of fresh coffee beans, I began salivating and craving a nice, hot cup of joe. I'd say it definitely passed the smell test!

Aaaaannnnddd... I had my first cup of it this morning and I have to say, it is QUITE DELISH!! I really cannot say that I notice a difference in flavor!! I am fully a happy camper!!

So, where can you find a bag of this cheaper "roasted by Starbucks" coffee??

At Costco!! Kirkland Signature is Costco's brand name. I definitely recommend it!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Cool Site!!

Are you a surfer mommy? I am... at anyway... Here's a website, WhiskeyMilitia, that sells surf/skate brand clothing and gear for a fraction of the price! It's a really cool site, selling only one item at a time, on a timer. When the time runs out, a new item is put up for sale! I haven't purchased anything yet, but I've got my eyes on this site! Remember... Christmas is rolling around the corner!! No need to be cheap, but definitely FRUGAL!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Lady's Got To Do What A Lady's Got To DO!!

I really need a vacation from vacation, but my to-do list is overwhelming me!! Here is my list of priorities before I can even think about blogging again!!

-baby girl
-baby girl
-clean my house
-baby girl
-rework my budget for September
-baby girl
-menu plan
-baby girl
-grocery list
-baby girl
-coupon organization
-baby girl
-actually EAT something!!
-baby girl
-report to you

It really shouldn't take too long... :o)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Free Chick-Fil-A!

I just went to Chick-Fil-A today and am so excited about this deal that I HAD to come home and write about it!! At my Chick-Fil-A, there was a sign that said text CFA118 to 411427 to receive freebies and specials! I did it and got a FREE Chick-Fil-A Sandwich!! Now, this text was specifically for my store and I can't find anywhere online that talks about this promotion. But, I would imagine that your stores have this offer as well. So next time you are in your neighborhood CFA, look for this deal!!

September 1st!

I'm so sorry, to those who follow, how uninvolved I've been with this blog as of late. I have been really busy with out-of-town friends and family for the last three weeks!! September 1st is a new start though... company will be gone, Hubby goes back to work and I will be back in action... and back in "sweet" routine!!


Vacation is Oh, So Fun! But there is nothing like getting back to the good ol' routine!! Right?? So, please don't give up on me!! Check back September 1st!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back AND Behind

I'm back from vacation, sort of, and SOOO behind on things (as you can imagine), so it will probably take me a while to really get back into the swing of things (including my daily blog post). Plus, my brother is coming to visit for a few days, and I consider that vacation for me still! :o) However...

I have a few things on my mind that I wanted to share...

I recently decided that I need a shopping cart liner. It's been so great to have Hubby around this summer because he has been able to watch Baby Girl while I go grocery shopping. But now the summer is coming to an end, and back to work he goes... I have to readjust my grocery shopping game plan. She is a 7 month old big girl, and can now sit in a shopping cart all by herself. I didn't really want to spend a lot of money on one and always think to myself "geez, that's a lot of money for some material and elastic." So voila! I'm gonna make one. I purchased a McCall's pattern from ebay for $6.00 and have some cute material already on hand... am hoping to get started on it this week (my last week to shop by myself)!

Speaking of ebay... it's my new recent RE-discovered fav!! Really... there are so many ebay stores these days, you should NEVER pay full price for baby toys and such ever again!! You can find everything brand new and cheap!

I recently bought this playmat for Baby Girl!! It has been a Godsend. It is easy to pull apart and store and so easy to keep clean... and with our hardwood floors, Baby Girl can crawl and tumble all she wants without hurting herself!! I'm thinking about adding this to my list of Favorite Things!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

.::On Vacation::.

For those who follow... I just wanted to let you know that I've been on vacation!! Woo Hoo!! I'll be back on Monday!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Freebie Friday!

Once again, it was pretty skimpy this week in Freebie Land, but here's what I found... Enjoy!

-Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solution, it's finally working!!
-Somersault Snacks
-John Frieda Brilliant Brunette
-Kiwi Splash To-Go
-Nestle Calendar with $20+ in coupons

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things.

Expecting a baby?

Know someone who is? I have had this really deep desire to totally pamper an expecting friend with a baby gift basket of everything that I believe to be awesome!! If I could afford it, I would totally do it! Maybe one day...

Anyway... so I thought that rather than rummaging through my pockets and washing machine and all of my unsuspecting friend's pockets and washing machines AND picking up every street penny I see AND... (okay, you get the point)... to buy these awesome things, why not just share my knowledge and love of these favorite things!!

Here are four top-priority products that I absolutely love and had to share with you!!

Amy Coe Receiving Blankets
These blankets (bottom left corner of pic) are the best!! I received a lot of different kinds of receiving blankets when I was pregnant, but as I was sorting through my baby stuff, all others went into the giveaway pile, while these stayed in my KEEP FOREVER pile!! These blankets are made with super soft, vibrantly colored material and rather than the traditional square shape, they are rectangular and extra large. They make swaddling even a large baby, a cinch!!

GAP Jammies
I go crazy every time I see these jammies!! They are so stinkin' cute!! GAP has so many varieties of these PJ's, it really makes it hard to choose which pair to get!! (As you can see by my pic, I found yet another pair I HAVE to purchase!!) They are made with a very light 100% cotton material. And are made to fit snug (that's the best part)!! When you see these cuties on your cutie, you will go crazy!! The way they form to their little body is ADORABLE!! I bought my daughter three pairs of 6-12 months in long sleeve/long bottoms and two pairs 6-12 months in short sleeve/short bottoms and she has been wearing them since she was 4months old!!

pssst... I got them on sale $6 each at the GAP Outlet!!

Sleep Sack
At first when I received these, I thought they were kind of strange and well, kind of a waste of money?? I actually let them sit in my daughter's dresser for about a month before I even thought to use one!! My daughter was born in the middle of the winter so when I finally came to my senses to pull one out and put it to use, you can imagine what a life-saver it was!! They are great! I could dress her in more comfortable, lightweight jammies with no socks (they never stayed on her feet anyway), snuggle her in her comfy womfy sleep sack... and sleep peacefully because not only did they keep her warm AND asleep, but I didn't have to worry about her being smothered by her real blanket!

Begin Smart Baby Books
It's funny the things you blow off as not important before you have your first child. I would have never imagined that I'd be a fan of these basic shape and object books before I had my little girl. "What Does Baby See?" by Begin Smart was my daughters first favorite toy!! At only a few weeks old, she would stare at the different red, black and white animals forever!! At 6 months old, she really enjoyed "Baby Faces". That's all it is... baby faces! And she loves it! Another honorable mention is Baby Einstein's sound books. The sound effects coinciding with the story makes for great entertainment!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hot Albertson's Deal!!

Did you scan through your Albertsons sales ad today??

I don't usually shop at Albertsons but I like to look through the sales ad anyway just to see if their are any great deals that I want to take advantage of. Turns out that this week there IS a deal and it's HOT, HOT, HOT!!

Buy $25 of participating items and get $5 off your next purchase AND a $20 mail-in rebate!! This deal is good through August 18!! It so happens that Starbucks coffee is on sale for $6.99/12oz. bag!! So, you can buy 4 bags at $28 initially, receive a $5.00 catalina for your next purchase and get a $20 rebate check in the mail!! When it's all said and done, you are getting 4 bags of deliciously yummy coffee for $0.75/bag!!

To see other participating products, check out Albertsons weekly ad here. The "Free Groceries" deal is on page 9.

Here are two other Albertsons deals that caught my interest from this week's ad:

Kellogg's Cereal
Qpon in weekly ad for $1.88/box (Limit 3)
Less $1/2 Qpon from August 2 RedPlum insert
**don't forget about the Kellogg's Mail in Rebate Form for a $10 rebate check and a $70 coupon code from Dell for purchasing 10 participating Kellogg's or Keebler items!! Download "Fuel for School" Rebate form here. "$80 in Savings." Bottom right corner.**

Jello-O Gelatin or Pudding Mix
On sale 10/$10
Less $0.50/2 Printable Qpon

Don't have an Albertsons in your neighborhood??
Read comment by
Mark... thanks Mark!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In case you were wondering...

I always enjoy seeing fellow blogger's chaos of coupons scattered across tables, floors, chairs... kids. :o)

So, I thought I would take a picture of my chaos and share with you what my workspace looks like... Here it is... Right now, my workspace is on my dining room table. I'm gonna have to change that soon. It's kind of an eye sore and when people come over I have to hide everything!! Hahaha...

This is my coupon notebook. I keep a ton of loose coupons in here... this is the book I take with me EVERYWHERE! So, if I see a coupon that I'm pretty interested in or that I'm pretty sure I'll use, I go ahead and clip it and throw it in this book!! I have notebook paper in the back that I use to jot grocery lists and such on. I keep ALL baby coupon's in a sleeve in this book and also ALL Target coupon's and any manufacturer's coupon's that match up with the Target coupon's. Oh... and any restaurant coupons too!! I hate it when I'm out with friends or my husband and we are like "Hey, let's get icecream!" (or whatever) and I don't have "that darn coupon" with me!

And last, BUT certainly NOT least... CUZ THIS IS THE MOTHERLOAD!! This is my accordian file of coupons!! I keep all of my Sunday inserts in here, separated by month. Of course, I use my handy dandy Sharpie to note the date and brand of each insert. I also keep the current week's sales ads in the front pocket. I know it looks crazy, but it works for me!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Making It Up... for the most part!

Favorite meal last week!? Veggie Fajitas! They were awesome!! I stir-fried my bell pepper strips with some olive oil, garlic and red onion. Once the veggies were softened, I added a can of pinto beans, tabasco sauce and salt & pepper! That's all folks!! I served it on a corn tortilla with cheese and sour cream... they were SOOO tasty!! I had some Fajita Seasoning in my pantry that I meant to use, but totally forgot about it. Turns out, I didn't even need it!! Easy Breezy!

Here is my menu for this week:
Spaghetti. Not very exciting, but hey, you gotta have one of those every now and again!! Plus, you can never go wrong with spaghetti!! I'll serve it with some leftover Texas Toast that I have from my Bacon, Tomato and Cheese Toasts!

...A thought... I'll make it exciting by using some leftover Penne pasta I just found in my pantry!!

Twice Baked Potato. I'm going to go off the top of my head on this one! I'll bake my potatoes (extra baking potatoes leftover from last weeks Cheddar Topped Shepherd's Pie) in the oven. I'll scoop out the "meat" of the potato, mash them up with sour cream, cheddar cheese, butter, salt and pepper, throw in some broccoli florets (so we get our veggies), top it off with some more cheddar cheese and finally throw it back in the oven to melt and brown the cheese topping. Sounds good to me!! I'll be sure to add a side of fruit salad to this one!!

BBQ Chicken. Um... let's call this "Making It Up Week". I have 4 bottles of BBQ sauce in my pantry!! And I scored Chicken Leg Quarters for $0.77/lb. a few weeks ago!! So why not throw my Chicken in the Crock Pot with some BBQ sauce and let it cook for a few hours!!? Sounds great! Asparagus baked in the oven with olive oil and salt/pepper and some dinner rolls sound like a great side!!

Hot Dogs. Another TOO easy meal! They were BOGO at Von's and I had a Qpon on top of that. Would you like Sweet Potato Fries with that?

Stuffed Red Peppers. Paula Deen anyone? This recipe is one of our favorites!! It is so yummy and I can't wait to have it!! Note: I substitute the pork with extra beef.

As Paula says, "Best Dishes to You!!"

CVS Deals: August 10

Update: Sweeten your CVS deal using this coupon!!

My coupon database is ALMOST completely done!! I just have a few clipped coupons to input and I'm ready to go!! Already, it is soooo much easier to figure out the good deals using my system!! I'm heading to CVS right away this morning to snag these great deals!!

Playtex Sport Tampons
On sale for $4.99
Less $4.00 ECB's (Extra Care Buck)
Less $1.00 Qpon from June 7 SS insert

Sharpie Accent Highlighters
On sale for $0.99
Less $1.00 Qpon from here.

Herbal Essence Hair Care
On sale for $2.99
Less $2.99 ECB's
PLUS I have a BOGO coupon from July 26 RP insert
(2) for FREE!!

Coffee Mate Creamer
On sale for $2.99
Less $1.00 Qpon from Ralphs Catalina
$1.99 TOTAL

Huggies Diapers
On sale 2/$18.00
Less $4.00 ECB's
Less $1.50 Huggies Mailer Qpon
Less $1.50 Huggies Mailer Qpon
2/$11.00 TOTAL... that's $5.50/pack!!

I also have a $1.50 ECB that I haven't used... so I will actually walk away having spent $20.50 OOP, BUT with $11.00 in ECB's to use next week!! I figure to get my "CVS" on, I have to start with a little investment. And 20BUX fits into my budget. That's the price of diapers!!

Another deal I considered, but backed out on because "hey!... even though it's cheap, I'm still on a budget!!" Maybe you can enjoy this deal!
Lipton Tea Bags
On sale 2/$6.00
Less $1/2 Qpon from June 28 RP
2/$5.00 TOTAL

Ragu Sauce
On sale 2/$4.00
Less $1/2 Qpon from August 2 RP
2/$3.00 TOTAL

Skippy Peanut Butter
On sale 2/$4.00
Less $1/2 Qpon from August 2 RP
2/$3.00 TOTAL

Receive $3.00 ECB's from purchasing these items!! So, you just got these six items for ~$1.33/each!! Not bad!!

FREE Burt's Bees!!

Update: This link isn't working yet, I'll keep you posted on when it does!

Dont forget to head on over to
Burt's Bees to get your free sample!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday Savings Report

First and foremost... I did GREAT on groceries this week! It was one of the few weeks that all I bought was veggies, fruits and meats, milk and bread, and my one exception, a can of beans! I only spent $58.17 for a weeks worth of groceries! I did this at my usual three stores (Trader Joe's, Ralphs and Vons). I used only a handful of coupons at Vons and only used coupons for freebies:
-Starbucks icecream (pint) - Free Coupon from Facebook promo.
-Starbucks icecream (single serve) - these were on sale $10/10 so I used the $1/1 from the 6/21 SuperSaver insert.
-PopTarts - Vons had a coupon in their weekly ad that marked them down to $0.99 and I used this printable MC which doubled to make this item free.

Target wasn't as exciting this week. My particular store didn't have a lot of items that I could get for cheap or free. Regardless, I didn't leave empty handed! That would've been terrible!! I bought some Irish Spring Bodywash and a can of Venom, Black Mamba Energy Drink.

Total spent at Target = $0.14!

Most of my deals are coming from Rite Aid this weekend. Check out Coupon Cravings Blog to see some of the deals I'm planning on taking advantage of!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Freebie Friday!!

Freebie Land was a bit stingy on us this week. This is what I have so far, but check back later for any updates! I promise, I'm going to go to the ends of the earth to find more freebie goodness! No, freebie greatness!!

-Burt's Bees, ON MONDAY!!
-Nutland Crunch
-Honey Nut Cheerios, sample and coupon!
-Chiquita Bites, single
-Pregnancy Planner
-Passport to Your Health Organizer
-Sarah Jessica Parker Perfume
-Vita-Spelt Pasta, free 4 oz. sample from Purity Foods when you call 1-800-997-7358, ext. 210. It's an automated call and you'll just need to leave your name and address.
-Scope Outlast Sample Kit
-Kotex Overnight
-Glade, Fall Into Fragrance Gift Pack

Free After Coupon:
-Use this coupon to score Sharpie Accent Highlighters for free at Target or CVS (they are on sale for $0.99).
-Everyone's talking about it! Target has Pepperidge Farm cookies in the Dollar Spot. Use this coupon to enjoy free cookies! You should be able to print two!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What I've Been Up To.

I have been a busy, busy momma bee... let me tell you! This week I have had so much motivation and energy, I don't know what's gotten into me! You'd think I was in my 2nd trimester! (...and I'm NOT EVEN PREGNANT!!) ...or am I? Just kidding... definitely not! My sweet almost 7-month baby girl is enough to keep me entertained for years!

So what HAVE I been doing, you ask??

Remember I mentioned that I wanted to start making baby food with any leftover produce that I had in my fridge?? Well, I followed through with last week's produce leftovers and made carrots, bananas and mangoes. I was SO excited at how easy it was, I decided to incorporate fresh veggies and fruits in my grocery list. (Speaking of groceries... I did AWESOME this week! ...WAY under-budget, but I'll talk more about that in my Saturday Savings Report). I've been making baby food ALL week!! Well, at least one fruit or veggie everyday. I don't have enough baby food jars to make everything at one time. Any ideas on where to get some baby food jars? I've made squash, carrots, pears and peaches and I have sweet potatoes sitting on my counter for later this week. I've been referring to Wholesome Baby Food (dot) com for basic purees... and they have some fancier recipes too!

Second, I've been creating my own coupon database. There are some really great databases out there, such as Coupon Mom and the Krazy Coupon Lady, but there's nothing like your own database, right?? With my own DB, I can input any mailer coupons I receive or any local store ads or local business coupons. This will be helpful for any of you Southern California couponers out there... anyone?

Third... been chasing around my sweet baby girl! Phew!

One final project I'm in the process of is organizing Baby Girl's clothes! She has a whole lot of clothes that she has outgrown!! :o( I need to finish organizing that... store what I want to keep, and giveaway what I don't want, etc. etc. etc.

That's what I've been up to... how about you?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Did you know... ??

Recently I discovered that you could cut a green onion down to the bulb and if placed and kept in water, the greens would regrow!! Over and over again!! I tried it and have had green onions since! I am especially excited about this because green onions are like herbs... you buy a bunch at one time and always use just a little bit, throwing away most of what you bought! Never buy green onions again!! Grow your own!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Light My Fire Fragrance Oils & Warmer

Nicole's Nickels is giving away to one lucky winner three fragrance oils of their choice!! I'm in!! To enter, you MUST go to the Light My Fire Candles website and leave a comment on Nicole's Nickels blog telling her which three (3) fragrance oils you'd choose (from the over 160 scents available!) if you won. Make sure to leave your email address!! Good luck!!

Deal Alert!!

-Living As Mom posted... Free eBook!! Download Colum McCann's new novel, Let the Great World Spin. This opportunity is only available until 10:59 a.m. ET Wednesday, August 5, 2009!!

-$0.01 Sharpie pens at Office Max!!
Only through August 8!! 3 per customer.
Print coupon here.

-Read this article from All You Magazine (written by one of my favorite bloggers, Coupon Cravings!!) to find out how you can score a ton of free school supplies. Hurry!! Some deals are only good through TODAY!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Menu Monday

Today is the first day implementing my Envelope System budget! I actually only allotted myself $90/week for the month. That's $10 short of my previous budget. I can usually make it on $80/week, but then again, don't usually include any baby food in that number. I think I should be right on Target.

My menu last week was amazing!! Everything was scrumptious!! My favorite dinner being the Skillet Lasagna! Delish! I didn't make the Veggie Fajitas because I had so much leftover chicken from the Sticky Chicken, that I decided to go ahead and make the fantastic Fajita Soup that Makes and Takes recommended. I even fried my own tortilla strips! Thanks again Makes and Takes!

Here is my menu for this week:
Veggie Fajitas. Beautiful Red, Yellow, Orange and Green Peppers that I bought last week. I cut them into strips already and stored them in the freezer. Makes for a quick fix! I'll also throw in some onions, garlic and pinto beans.

Pan Roasted Chicken. This is a recipe that I got from Martha Stewart. It is one of my favorite chicken recipes! I tried to find it on Martha's site but to no avail. It's basically grape tomatoes, capers and olives cooked in olive oil in a large skillet and later roasted in the oven. The way these flavors unite is amazing!! If you'd like details on the recipe, feel free to shoot me an email!

Cheddar-Topped Shepherd's Pie. Another great recipe from Martha Stewart!

BLT's. Yep, I said it. Good old fashioned Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches. Scrumptious!

Mini Pizza's. I have plenty of leftover ingredients from last week, making these PLUS they are so fast and easy to make after grocery shopping. Yes, this will do!

Off to the grocery store! Bon Appetit!!