Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Free Gas

The sign today reads gas is $4.21 per gallon. GASP!  I know that most of us are in a whirlwind about that. We have places to GO!  Not just trivial places but important places like work, school, appointments. Emotions are flying. Should I be angry? Storm the White House? Protest? Wear some color of solidarity on Friday? 

I feel the pain at the pump and yet it awakens me to consider how much of this is my fault.  If the product pricing is based on supply and demand, wouldn’t my seeming demand warrant a higher cost? How far and how high a price am I willing to go to meet my demand?

The high cost has truly caused me introspection. My CONSUMEr mentality has been broken a bit.  If I choose not to consume so much, won’t my overall cost go down?  These costs have forced me in a way to reflect and to decide what is most important.  Do I have to take that extra trip to the grocery store or can I wait? Do I have to drive my car to church when I have a perfectly good bike in the garage? What if I invited a friend over for a cup of tea rather than driving out to that coffee shop?  If I consume less in the things that I do not really need, it may just provide for those things that I really do need.

Yes, I see the sign that reads $4.21…oops! It just changed to $4.23. Part of me wants to scream but another part of me hears that still small voice saying open your arms to the breath of opportunity!  I AM is here and I want to show you how to live with less that you might live FREE!

Friday, April 15, 2011

An Outdoor Freebie

Do you have a national park close by?  If so you'll love this freebie! 
FREE Admission to National Parks     April 16-24, 2011
I just might have to treat my guy to a day trip.... What park is closest to you?

Finding Freebies,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


This week I chose to get some household/beauty supplies. This couponing thing is really working. I watched carefully the sale ads and then purchased just what I would use...nothing else. I was tempted, but at each store I walked out with just what I had on my list (and coupons for). 

A few things I got:
6 rolls of Scott paper towels   Sale Price $5.00   Paid: $1.50
Xtra Laundry Soap (28 loads) This is really a great laundry detergent!  Sale Price $1.49  Paid $1.00  
Chinet Paper Plates (10) Price $2.99 Sale: Buy One Get One Free  Paid $1.00  
Cover Girl Eye Shadow 3 pack & Eyelash Curler Was $5.49 & $4.99 Sale:    Paid $7.99    It would have been $5.49 but I realized my coupon for $2.50 did not get applied...
Total savings in this trip over $11!

Learned a little lesson though. Calculate your purchases as you shop, deducting your coupons. That way you'll know that the total the clerk gives you is correct. Twice the clerk has taken my coupon but not applied it to my purchase.  Don't be in a hurry!

Many of you have emailed or commented that you're watching Extreme Couponing on television and reading blogs about saving money. Have you been motivated to clip coupons? What are some ways that your family is stretching the budget?

Finding Freebies,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Extreme Coupons

Coupons Save Money....Especially when your items are FREE!

Yesterday I went to Target armed with my coupons. In my basket were Target store coupons and manufacturers coupons.
This is what I got:
Degree men's deodorant    1.97
2 Renuzit Air Fresheners    1.84
2 Bags of Skittles              1.38
My total cost:  67 Cents!
The young man at the Target register said, "Wow! Coupons really save money!" And my guy is pretty excited too. We didn't even spend our weekly grocery budget!

There used to be a stigma with couponing. If you were using coupons at the grocery store you were probably "having a rough time".  But, did you know that the average income for those who use coupons is $97,000 annually? In our Financial Peace class with Dave Ramsey, he says that if you want to have like those who have money, you have to do what people with money do. No stigma for me!

These are some things I've learned this past couple of weeks and wanted to share with you.
  • Buy what is on sale and for what you have coupons for. Since some items are FREE, we're experimenting with using other brands. The deodorant is a good example. Ray always uses one particular brand but this might work just as well. At least I hope it does!
  • Make your weekly food menu from those items you found on sale.  That Thursday night meatloaf you've always had might be alot more expensive than the chicken breasts on sale with the FREE potatoes and broccoli.
  • Look on the web and print off coupons. Make sure to set your printer to black and white ink to save on your print cartridge as most of the coupons print in color.
  • Sign up for on-line coupons. Create a new email just for your subscriptions. I wish I would have done this because you get a lot of extra mail. Don't open anything that you didn't subscribe to and open yourself up to a virus.
  • Stock up! A couple of extra and might I add FREE packs of toilet paper or bottles of ketchup might save you an emergency trip to the grocery store where you have to pay full price...GASP! 
  • Be generous. Since God has provided for you, share with someone in need. We're in this together.
These are some sites that can help you stock up your coupons
http://www.krazycouponlady.com/ (As seen on TLC's Extreme Couponing)
Also, the Sunday paper, Tuesday mailer and your local grocery store ads have some awesome deals!

Tip of the week: When a store offers an item as buy one/get one free, most stores will let you use a manufacturers coupon for BOTH items! Example: Your favorite soup is B1G1 FREE, coupon talk for Buy1 Get 1 FREE.  Cost is $1.98 or .99 each.  You have 2 manufacturerers coupons for $1.00 each.  Not only are both your soups FREE but you made .02!  You can check a store's coupon policy on line.

Finding Freebies,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Coupon Day 3

So today was my first day at attempting to "stack" coupons at the grocery store.  For some items I did really well again. Like the Bic Soliel 3 pack razors. They were $4.79. I had a $3.00 manufacturer's coupon and a $1.50 store coupon...my total: $.29!  And dill relish .79 and with my 50 cent off coupon, $.29!   I especially loved that I got Berry Cherrios for $1.25 a box and when you bought four, the coupon gave $3.00 off milk...With my $1.00 off of 2 boxes of cereal...the grand total was $1.84 for four boxes of cereal and a gallon of milk!  AMAZING!

Needless to say my overall grocery bill was $90 but with all my coupons, it came to $49.00.  I'm sure I'll get better as I'm starting to save coupons. There is a lot of work to do before you can be like the pros who can get $600 worth of stuff for like $30!  It was fun walking away from items that I didn't have coupons for celebrating when I got an item for FREE! In fact one lady got so excited that I got a Deluxe Duncan Hines Carrot Cake Mix for FREE that she went up to the front of the store and grabbed a coupon book!  It certainly takes some work, time and planning but it's worth it! I spent about 3 hours searching, clipping and going to the stores but my savings has been over $75.00 this week.  It's like I got paid over $25.00 an hour...that's not bad for a part-time job!

Next week I'll share some of the tips I've found. One of the best ones I found so far was to make sure and be generous and share as God provides...I'm hoping that we will be able stockpile enough to surprise some families with a bag of groceries as well as increase giving to the local food pantry. There are a lot of hurting people out there right now and I'm thanking God for His creativity in revealing ways to partner with Him in providing for His children.

Finding Freebies,

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Couponing Day 2

Last night I spent some time organizing the small little coupon stash I have and set off on my lunch hour armed with coupons and prayer to seeing what bargains I could get. I'm far from the Coupon Mom or Krazy Coupon Lady but I did REALLY well for my first time out! My FREE items consisted of:

Revlon Tweezers
Sudafed (Walgreen's Brand) - 18 Capsules
Kraft Mozzarella Cheese
Renuzit Air Freshener

Straw Easter Basket (because I was watching them ring it up so closely, I noticed it rang up incorrectly...guess what? Walmart gives it FREE if it rings up wrong.) It was kind of amusing when the cashier said, that will be 2 cents....well I just had to give him my 2 cents!!! 

Then I got another Kraft Mozzarella Cheese, Slow Cooker Liners, a book for grandson Carter, 24 plastic eggs for church, 3 American Greeting Cards for Easter and another box of Sudafed (Walgreens Brand) for $12.62!  For once, I'm actually looking forward to telling Ray how much I spent at the store!

That's right! Everything above for $12.62! A savings of $23.82.  Thank you Jesus for stretching those dollars and for helping me to shop on purpose! I was tempted to add things to my cart but I stayed on target (even at Target - my favorite store) and only got the things on my list. I still have a lot to learn....do you know there is even a lingo and a new tv show. 

Finding Freebies,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Extreme Coupons

In my quest for domestication and for financial peace (Ray and I are attending Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University...wwww.daveramsey.com/fpu, I've decided to try extreme couponing. I'm scouring websites on my breaks and furiously cutting coupons. Seems like it's not only a money saver but a great hobby as well.

Today's lesson was on "stacking" coupons. I decided to give it a try. I had a manufacturer's coupon for $1.50 off Colgate toothpaste. Target had a $1.00 store coupon making the savings $2.50. The actual cost was $2.24! Not only was it FREE but I had a few cents left over toward the purchase of my girls night out chips...on sale for $3.00 and with a $1.00 off coupon made my total purchase $1.74!

I know there are some of you coupon professionals and I'd like to hear your secrets. Or if you're not into couponing....feel FREE to send your coupons my way!

Finding Freebies,