21 August 2010

A Saturday Afternoon Shopping

So I finally get a day off from work and all of my loves are either working or too busy to play - so I decided to head out shopping on my own - but thank god for smart phones with cameras cause I got to take my virtual mom with me via pic texts and share my finds and get second opinions!!

Earlier this week I got $10 Kohl's cash in the mail, so my first stop was Kohl's to see what deals I could score for almost free with my free $10. I managed to find two new tops (below) for only $1.28 after my free $10 Kohl's cash!
Afterwards I grabbed a coffee and browsed through a few stores in town, fell in love with a winter coat with a $142 price tag...but left it in the store...a purchase that large needs a little more thought. So instead of continuing exploring expensive boutiques where I can't bring myself to pay their prices I headed off to the new Impact thrift store that I've been dying to check out. These prices were much more me - I grabbed this dress for only $15.

It is a Bari Jay bridesmaid dress and it's in perfect condition. I looked it up online and found that it retails for $200+ so I'm feeling quite pleased with my $15 price tag. I have multiple weddings coming up in the next two months and this will be my dress for one. I am going to do a few alterations on it to make it my own and less bridesmaid-ish. I'm really looking forward to the final product - I'll be sure to share so stay tuned!

What I want now...

Free Dryel at Walmart

Walmart is offering a FULL VALUE rebate on Dryel starter kits and refills through August 31st. Go HERE to print a copy of the rebate form.
Also print this $2/1 coupon to stretch your dollar a little further. This could ultimately be a $4 money maker!
Purchase must be made a Walmart on or before August 31st and rebates must be postmarked by Sept. 30th.

20 August 2010

Recycle Bank Codes

There are new codes available on Recycle Bank. If you haven't sign up yet, you should! To find out more and grab two codes worth 15 points each go here to Amanda's post at SimpleSavingSavvy. Using these codes alone you can grab a free one year subscription to multiple magazine and still have some points left over - I think I'm going to sign up for MarieClaire and maybe order Esquire for the boyfriend!

CVS Trip #2 this week

So here is how I put my $5 off a $15 purchase CVS coupon (which I scored yesterday) to good use...

I bought:
2 x Purex Complete 3-in-1 20ct. Laundry sheets @ $5.99each
1 x Crest Prohealth Toothpaste @ $3.49
1 x 20ct Excedrin Extra Strength Express Gels @ $5.69 (I know not a great price, but we were completely out of all headache curing medicine)
I used:
2 x $3/1 Purex 3-in-1 coupons
2 x $1/1 Crest Toothpaste coupons
1 x $1/1 Excedrin Extra Strength Express Gels coupon
my $5/$15 coupon and $5 ECB

I paid $3.28 out of pocket, which was really just for the Excedrin (may I also add that I paid for it out of my FSA account - i love tax free money). I got $4.50 back in ECB too!

Then I had a sudden realization that there was 2 per household limit on the Crest ECB so I rolled my extra bucks and used another $1/1 coupon to get another tube of Crest Prohealth toothpaste FREE!! and I still have $4.50 in ECB!

So to my relief, we are once again stocked up on laundry detergent and I still have an abundant amount of toothpaste in my bathroom closet lol!

Free Sample of Cheetos Mighty Zingers

My boyfriend loves these - he loves anything cheese actually - so I'm happy to be able to get some for free!

Go here to sign up for a FREE sample of Cheetos Mighty Zingers (the banner at the top of the page rotates ads, so if you dont see it right away just be patient).

Thanks, ForTheMommas!

Regal Entertainment Coupons

Spend Friday night at the movies again!!

Become a Regal Entertainment fan on facebook HERE and receive weekly movie theater coupons!
This can only help considering how expensive going to the movies has become.

Free Listerine Starting 8/22

Just in time, since we are almost out of mouth wash, Listerine has posted a $2/1 coupon on their website for Listerine Zero.
Go here to print this coupon. (you will have to register)
Use this coupon next week (starting 8/22) at Walgreens, Rite Aid or CVS to get FREE Listerine!!

Thanks, ForTheMommas!

Playtex Sport Sample

Walmart is always giving away great samples. Go HERE to sign up for a free sample of Playtex Sport Tampons!

Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt Coupon

“Like” Dannon Light & Fit on Facebook and then you can grab a $1 Off a 4-pack or 6 single 6oz. cups of Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt Printable Coupon.

The four packs frequently go on sale for only $2 making them a really great deal pair with this coupon!

19 August 2010

Retail Therapy

So it had been a week since I went shopping last and I was feeling the urge to get out and take advantage of this weeks deals. So I made three stops today....it would have been four, but my favorite thrift store was closed today while they got their fall inventory organized.

1st stop: CVS
I made a quick stop at CVS today on my lunch break to grab a few freebies. Also I knew I was only one scan away from getting my $1 *green bag* reward which would help me get a better deal on the crest toothpaste tomorrow, so to CVS I went coupons in hand.

I picked up:
2 Dawn Hand Renewal dish soaps @ $.97 each
2 two packs of Pilot Easy Touch Pens @ $1 each
I used:
2 x $1/1 Dawn Hand Renewal soap coupons 
2 x $1/1 Pilot Pens coupons

TOTAL = $0.00, I got back $1 EB reward from my *green bag tag* and also scored a $5 off $15 purchase coupon that's good till the end of the week (I'll be using this tomorrow - can't wait to share with you the great deal I put together).

After work I made my way over to Rite Aid - if nothing else I was very determined to grab the AMO Contact Solution deal as I'm running very low. Here's what I walked away with...

3 x Nivea Mens Body Wash @ $.99each (I had a rain check)
1 x AMO Complete Solution @ $7.99
2 x Rolaids Softchews @ $1each
1 x Clearasil Acne Treatment
1 x $25 iTunes gift card
Coupons Used:
3 x $1/1 Nivea Body Wash for men
1 x $1/1 AMO Solution
2 x $1/1 Rolaids product
1 x $2/1 Clearasil product
1 x $3/1 Clearasil product in-ad coupon
1 x $5/1 iTunes gift card in-ad coupon
1 x $5/$25 purchase from Rite Aid Video Values coupons
$3 UpRewards

TOTAL = $19.95 , get back $7.99scr on AMO solution = $11.96 for a $25 iTunes gift card (I think I will save this for a stocking stuffer this year - shh!)

Not done yet folks....

Shortly following I found myself at Target where I scored more freebies....

I bought:
1 can Select Harvest soup @ $1.50
1 can Chef Boyardee @ $.87
4 Right Guard deodorants (travel size) @ $.97each
3 Degree deodorants (travel size) @ $.97each
2 Pantene shampoos (travel size) @ $.97each
1 Super Sticky Post-it @ $1 (only one left on the shelf and I found it hiding under other items)
Coupons Used:
1 x $1/1 Campbell's Select Harvest Soup
1 x $.50/1 Target coupon for Campbell's soup
1 x $1/1 Target Chef Boyardee product
2 x $2/2 Right Guard Product
3 x $1/1 Degree Deodorant
1 x $2/2 Pantene Shampoos
1 x $1/1 Super Sticky Post-its

TOTAL = $0.00 (yay!)

I feel like I made progress in therapy today lol!

Shopping in the pantry

As I shared previously, I'm challenging myself to a $100 monthly grocery budget, as well as every other week shopping. We are now about a week and half into the two weeks and we're running low. I had to stop and get milk yesterday, so that was another $3.46 from my budget. We're totally out of lunch meat and cheese, no crackers or granola bars and we're now down to our last box of cereal (I had a hard time leaving the Honey Nut Cheerios alone - went through two boxes in a flash!).

So now we're shopping the pantry. Trying to scrounge for snacks to pack in lunches and come up with creative meal ideas to use up what we've got before my next trip to the store. Last night I got everything together for my lunch today...left over pizza from dinner and the five strawberries that were left in the fridge plus a yogurt...I woke this morning to find they had been taken (it doesn't pay to pack lunch second). So instead I ended up with the Chef Boyardee that I got free from Target last week. At least I got to eat.

I am wondering if this challenge is going to get the best of me very quickly. I'm still feeling plenty confident about the $100 monthly budget, but every other week shopping is proving to already be an issue for certain items. Maybe I'll just need to buy more milk each trip to tide us over.

Free Sample: Dove Daily Treatment Conditioner

Sign up here to grab a free sample of Dove Daily Treatment Conditioner.

Crate and Barrel Free Shipping

Crate and Barrel is offering FREE shipping today (August 19th) only when you use promo code FREESHIP810. It is valid on orders $50+.

Since it's wedding season, if your loved one is registered at Crate and Barrel this may be a good deal to take advantage of!

Free Nexxus Sample

Sign up for a free sample of Nexxus Hair Care.
Last time I sign up for this offer it also came with a $3 off coupon!

$50 GAP Apparel for only $25

I'm loving today's deal on Groupon! Click HERE to get $50 Worth of GAP apparel for only $25. This even includes sale items people!!! With Summer styles now on sale and new Fall styles coming in, this is a great time to score some new wardrobe staples on the cheap.

If you haven't signed up for Groupon alerts yet go HERE to have them sent straight to your inbox. Each day Groupon features something cool to get or do at an unbeatable price. Some of their deals are nation wide, other are specific to a certain area. So when you sign up choose your city and find local deals specifically for you!

18 August 2010

Dove Instant Win Game

Go HERE to play the Dove Instant Win Game, where you have a chance to win a hair styling tool of your choice! You get 3 chances per day and even if you don't win you still get hooked up with some Dove coupons!

BOGO Coupon on Athenos Feta Cheese

Go to the 'coupon' tab, then 'like' athenos and you'll be able to print the BOGO coupon. Its a bricks coupon so you can use your browser back button to print this twice!

Clothing Inspiration!


Click the link above to check out one of my new favorite blogs. My mom actually found this blog and shared it with me! I'm obsessed! I find this so inspiring. I am an avid thrift store shopper and rarely pay more than $5 for any given item - but these are the ultimate in finds! Its been months since my sewing machine seized and stopping working and I have yet to get it fixed, but I think I finally found my motivation in this blog!

17 August 2010

$.75 off Nature's Own Products

Coupons.com released a $.75 Off Nature’s Own Products Printable Coupon. It can be used on Breakfast Bread, English Muffins and Bagels.

If your store doubles this could make for a free or almost free deal!

Free Lily Allen Remixed Album

You can download a FREE copy of the Lily Allen Remixed Album here. I love finding FREE music!

$25 iTunes Gift Card for $15 at Rite Aid

Here is a great senario from ForTheMommas.com to snag a $25 iTunes gift card at Rite Aid for only $15. Go HERE to see the break down.

Personally, I'm thinking this will make a great Christmas gift.

16 August 2010

Rite Aid Deals Week of 8/15

Here are the Rite Aid deals I'm excited about this week:

Buy any Nivea Body Lotion get Smooth Indulgence Hand Cream FREE
use $4/2 Nivea Body Products printable

Save $3 in-ad coupon on All Clearasil Skin Care
use with $2/1 Clearasil coupon

AMO Complete Multi Purpose Solution $7.99, get $7.99 SCR
use $1.00/1 AMO Complete from RP 8/15

Rolaids Softchews $1
use $1.00/1 Pepcid, Rolaids, Mylanta, Dramamine, Lactaid, Imodium or Tucks products, from RP 6/6

Go HERE for a complete list of this weeks Rite Aid deals.

CVS Deals Week of 8/15

Here are the CVS Deals I'm excited about this week:

Dawn $.97 (limit 5)
use $1/1 Dawn Hand Renewal, exp. 10-31-10 (Home Made Simple)

Crest Complete Rinse, Clinical Gum Protection Toothpaste, Glide Clinical Protection Floss, $3.49 (limit 2) Get $2.50 ECBs
$1/1 Crest Toothpaste or Liquid Gel, exp. 8-31-10 (P&G 08/01/10)

Lindsey Olives 5/$5
use $1/2 Lindsay Olives printable

Blink Tears $7.99 (limit 1) Get $7.99 ECB
use $1.50/1 Blink Tears Lubricating Eye Drops printable

Purex Complete $5.99 (limit 1) Get $2.00 ECB
use $3/1 Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets, excludes 2 Load “To-Go pack (RP 8/15/10)

Paper Mate or Pilot 5/$5
use $1/1 Pilot Pen printable

Right Guard or Dry Idea BOGO (prices starting at $2.69)
use $3.00/2 Right Guard Total Defense 5 printable (page 1 for me)

Go HERE for a complete list of this weeks CVS deals.

Donations: Giving Back

There are times when I make purchases that dont quite seem to make sense. I dont have children, but I bring home diapers and wipes. We aren't able to use 8 bottles of body wash or 9 tubes of toothpaste, nor do we have space in our apartment to store them. However, sometimes in order to get the best deal you have to buy some filler items. Other times the items are just flat out FREE when you pair a coupon with a store sale.

Here is an example, recently Rite Aid had Stayfree Maxi Pads on sale BOGO free. I used a BOGO free coupon making both packages FREE. Now I dont use this product but I still went ahead and grabbed 6 bonus size packs for free! I always try to take advantage of freebie sales or sign ups online. This allows me to still make donations to local organizations even though my budget doesn't really allow for it.

This past weekend I made this donations to our local women's shelter:

I have shared before that I believe we each have the responsibility to leave a positive lasting impression from our presence in the world. This is just one of the ways that I feel I am able to take my passion and hobby and give back to my community. I may not be monetarily rich, but I feel rich being able to use my money saving skills to give back and better the lives of others!

Living on a limited budget

A few years back when I was living over seas in Dublin, Ireland I quickly learned that living on a limited income doesn't leave room for much more than necessities. As a sophomore in college my mother encouraged me to take part in a study abroad program in Europe. I was of course excited to go, but less than thrilled to be leaving. I believe I have been quoted as saying "I wish I could stay home and just have the memories". Despite my hesitation and reluctance to embark on this adventure, within only weeks of arriving I was hooked and wanted to stay. When my semester ended I decided against returning home, however that meant I was on my own. I had to find a job, rent my own apartment and make it solo. Entering into "the real world" would have been a challenge in and of itself, but I was attempting to do it in the unfamiliar territory of Irish laws, euro, and work visas.

I got together with a girlfriend I had made and we rented a double room in an apartment to try and minimize our rent costs. I applied for a student visa, which allowed me to work full time during the summer months. I had to open a bank account, apply for a PPS number (the equivalent of our social security numbers) and I found a job as a full time nanny for a South African family living in Ireland at the time. I was able to eat breakfast and lunch on the job which cut back on costs, but after my rent, electricity and transportation to and from work were paid for I was left with the equivalent of about $5 a week to live on. I stressed a lot, declined many invitations to go out on the weekends and slowly but surely found ways to pinch pennies.

I made it through that summer (barely!), started back to school, moved apartments again and shortly thereafter found a new job waitressing at the Dublin Hard Rock Cafe. My income changed drastically! Between my hourly wages and my tips I was living quite comfortably, but I tried not to change my spending habits. I was determined to keep up with my frugal habits in order to save. I never wanted to spend another day stressing about money like I had that entire last summer!

Since then I have moved back home to America and now I'm back to working in dollars rather than euros but the concept is the same...save, save, save! Shortly after moving out of my parents home I began EXTREME couponing. I learned the ins and outs of coupons, started searching for the best deals, began shopping thrift stores and learned to play the drug store game!

Today trying to enter into the mental health field my income is again limited, but I make it work. Its been over a year since I've paid for shampoo, soap, toothpaste, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, taco seasoning (I ♥ tacos), salad dressing, dish soap and more. Many of my tricks I learned growing up from watching my mom, others I've learned through trial and error. I have found that it is more than possible to not only survive but still have fun and save while living on a limited budget. My hope with this blog to share not only the deals I manage to grab and my money saving journey, but also help others learn to stretch a dollar in order to make any income (no matter how big or small) work for your lifestyle!

Free Meals are always a highlight of a long weekend

Between work, making donations, shopping for groomsmen outfits, four loads of laundry, clipping and organizing my Sunday coupons, putting together this weeks deals and shopping trips and a surprise bridal shower I was exhausted by the time I got home last night. Thankfully while I was hiding in the corner at the bridal shower to avoid the wrath of the unsuspecting bride who "did not want a bridal shower", the bf went over to the garden and took care of all of the compost which was starting to take over the fridge as we had developed so much this week.

After our Saturday evening of shopping for groomsmen outfits we decided to grab dinner at UNO's Chicago Grill with the bride and groom. I, of course, was prepared with my $5 off coupon, but there was no need as our entire meal ended up being comped. My dear Jamie gracefully took one for the team when she unexpectedly chomped down on a piece of porcelain in her soup. OUCH! She was thankfully without injury and the manager took her entire meal off the bill on the spot. After our entrees had come out and the manager came back to check on us we informed him that he may also want to discard of another broken dish that the groom's meal came out in as it was missing almost half of one side. He came back to inform us that our entire meal was on the house - drinks and all!