Thursday, December 31, 2009

Eat From the Pantry Challenge

I too am joining the "Eat from the Pantry Challenge" for the month of January. (Guess I had better stock up today, while I can, huh?) :)

I will allow myself the following: chicken, dairy, produce, FREE items, or items that cost under $1 (after cpns and sale). I will also purchase laundry, cleaning, and paper products as needed.

I am hoping to pocket the extra cash that I save towards our 2010 Disney vacation!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Life in Return-Land

Well, after this year's holiday returns, I have learned a few things...

1. I will faithfully shop at Kohl's. When they say, "no hassle returns," they mean it - and I like it! If only they didn't have a returns line...

2. Toys R Us can be tricky. We needed to return a Loving Family dollhouse piece that we had duplicates of. I had a gift receipt. Apparently, my MIL had scored the piece on a BOGO deal. Toys R Us claimed that it was the "free" one and gave me a really hard time exchanging it. (We did not want $$ back - just a new toy.) So glad that my 3 year old started to cry, because then FINALLY something got done. I will be careful with them next year - and I will be careful with gift receipts too; in this case it didn't help me one bit to have one.

3. Internet shopping is great, but make sure you don't have to return it. By the time I repackage, go to the post office, pay postage, and WAIT, I don't even want it anymore.

4. Target will not return or exchange without a receipt, period. The only exception is if you have the card that it was bought on and they can "look up" the item. Good thing I had my hubby on speed dial to recite his debit card number, or those too-small pj's would have haunted me forever!

5. TSC (Tractor Supply Company) = easy, breezy returns. No line, friendly, down-home people. It must be the farm thing, right? I loved the ease of this return (and the cute pjs I got on clearance today.)

How did your returning go?

Monday, December 28, 2009

No Taco Packet? No Worries...

I realized last night as I was making tacos for dinner that I had no taco seasoning packets. I quickly googled "taco seasoning recipe" and adapted a recipe from to the following:

Taco Seasoning
(for 2 lbs of ground beef)

Combine in bowl:
2 T chili powder
4 t onion powder
2 t cumin
2 t garlic powder
2 t paprika
2 t sugar
2 t oregano flakes
1 1/2 t salt
2 t cornstarch

Add this mix to 2 lbs of browned, drained beef with 3/4 c water. Simmer until thickened. (Add more cornstarch if you like your mixture really think.)

This made the BEST tacos that we have ever had! No more packets for me!

Freezer Cooking

Winter is a great time to do freezer cooking. The nice hot oven heats up the house too!

I am planning a freezer cooking day soon. I have a friend who is having surgery and could use some meals. I figure that I can do the shopping and put away a few extra things for her family.

I will be planning a ground beef day. That will include: shepherd's pie, tator tot casserole, beef enchilada casserole, sloppy joe casserole, meatloaf, and a few new recipes to try.

Why not plan a day and put away 8-10 meals for hectic nights and feed your family well?

Get Motivated Monday

Don't know about you all, but my challenge this week is TOY ORGANIZATION! We need some more containers to hold all of this new little stuff. I saw that Target had a sale this week on organizational stuff, but I'll probably hit Dollar Tree first AFTER I know what I need.

We have one more Christmas this week, so my tree will stay up for a few more days... I may start to take down some of the "little pretties" though.

Returns = Needs, Not Wants

Good Morning, friends! It's good to be back!!!

I don't know about you, but we have some returns to do at our house this year. So, I have made an executive decision. I am not returning toys for even more toys this year (you should see how many they got; truly ridiculous). We are returning toys for: white socks, undershirts, 2 sizes too big snowboots - next year, and maybe a pair of tennis shoes for me.

I figure, why not use the cash from duplicate toy returns to purchase what we really need? I think that it is a good plan, but I'm sure that I'll have to do it kid-less :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you, my friends and followers! I will be taking my Christmas break until next Sunday (12/27). I am "breaking" to enjoy time with my family, experience the wonder of Christmas, and focus on worshipping my Savior. I pray that you have a peaceful Christmas, full of joy, and memory-making and...God bless us, everyone!

***Oh, and did I forget to mention, that I will be rejoicing because we had a debt-free, cash-only Christmas! :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Customers at Snapfish Get A LOT FREE Today

If you sign up to be at new customer at Snapfish (or your spouse does), today you get:

  • 50 FREE prints
  • a set of 6 FREEphoto coasters
  • a set of FREE photo stickers
  • a FREE 4X6 photo flip book

You can also get FREE upgraded 2-day shipping on the coasters and the flip book, so you CAN get them in time for Christmas!

I just did this order and paid 14.95 for shipping, tax, and 5 extra pages in my photo book. What a great deal!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

7 Freebies at CVS this Week

Here are the FREE or MONEYMAKING items at CVS this week:

Revlon Super Lustrous or Moon Drops Lipstick $6.99
Get $5 ECB
Use $2/1 from 12/13 SS
Final Price: FREE (limit 3)

Listerine Mouthwash or Pocket Packs $3.99
Get $3 ECB
Use $1/1 from 12/6 SS
Final Price: FREE

Crest Pro Health Toothpaste/Rinse or Oral B Floss $2.88
Get $2 ECB
Use $1/1 from 12/6 SS Crest Toothpaste
Use $1/1 from 11/29 P&G oral B Floss
Final Price: .88 moneymaker

Nivea Body Wash $5.99
Get $5 ECB
Use $2/1 HERE
Final Price: $1 moneymaker

Thermacare Wraps 1 ct $2.49
Get $2.49 ECB
Final Price: FREE

Alteril Sleep Aid $1.99
Get $1.99 ECB
Final Price: FREE

And, if you have a little one in the home, here is a great deal on diapers!

Pampers $8.88
Use $2/1 from 11/29 P&G
Final Price: $6.88

Thanks, My Frugal Adventures, for the heads up!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cereal, Milk, and Cheese for a Song!

Kudos to Megan of Daily Essentials and Deals! She got 10 boxes of cereal, 2 gallons of milk and 4 bags of cheese for $7.96! This is a deal too good to not mention. Go HERE to see how she did it...great job, friend!

*Central OH friends: we have Meijer and you too can do this deal today or tomorrow. Hurry in!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I {Heart} ELF Cosmetics

I ADORE ELF makeup. I love their "coffee" eyeliner, their wind-up lip gloss, their crème eye shadow, their cover-up, their nail polishes... I really like their eye makeup brushes and I LOVE the prices that I pay for these items - $1 each!!!
Go HERE to see how you can get ELF makeup with free shipping using this code: ELFCMO. You could buy ten new, fun things for just $10!
Thanks, My Frugal Adventures. for this great find!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Recycled Dinner - Goolosh

What is a recycled dinner, you ask? When you take items leftover from your fridge or freezer, add no more than 3 ingredients and make a NEW, RECYCLED meal (at little or no cost to you!)

Today's meal was goolosh. I used leftover cooked macaroni (maybe 2 cups), browned ground beef (about a half pound), and half of a bag of frozen mixed veggies from the freezer (all recycled foods). To that I added: beef broth, a can of tomatoes, and a bay leaf. Combined all in crockpot and cooked on low for 3 hours. Served with sprinkled cheddar (so the kids would eat it) and it was sooooo gooooood!

I estimate that the cost of this meal was under $3.00 and it fed our family of 4 for lunch and will again for dinner. That's what I'm talking about... :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Movie Nights?

2 new Redbox codes:



Thanks, Couponing to Disney!

Monday, December 14, 2009

CVS Finds - Includes Christmas Supplies

This week at CVS, I bought...

2 tissue papers - FREE

2 bows - FREE

2 stick on tags - FREE

1 Soleil razors - EARNED $1 after $2 MQ and $4 ECBs!!!

3 Suave body washes @3/$6

used .75/2 MQ and .25/1 MQ

earned $2 ECB

paid $1 each - 3/$3!

It was a good week at CVS.

$2 DVDs at WalMart

Watch for Curious George A Very Monkey Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas priced at around $5 at Walmart. Use the cpns found in Sunday's paper to score these DVDs for around $2 each!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2 Crafts that are Going on my 2010 Make-It List!

Go HERE to see 2 really cute crafts that will be made by be for out 2010 Christmas (and may become gifts for some of you...) I absolutely {heart} the wooden presents!

Thanks, UCreate!!! (I love her site - so many ideas, so little time...)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Top Ten Practical Gifts for a Mother with Small Children

Here is my list of the Top Ten Practical Gifts for a Mother with Small Children (like me...)

10. Batteries, all shapes and sizes
9. A secret stash of chocolate for stressful days
8. A gift certificate for a massage or a new hair cut
7. A just-for-fun book (not on parenting, organizing, cooking, or cleaning!)
6. Babysitter a gift card for a date night
5. Freezer meals
4. Bath products - fancy ones that we would never buy ourselves
3. Magazine subscriptions (All You contains coupons!)
2. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (they do wonders for crayon on the wall/floor)
1. A night away (a women's retreat ticket, classical concert/ballet, scrapping weekend, etc.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Having an Issue

Well, if you are wondering why I haven't been posting a lot of my great's because a LOT of my subscribers I am related to and then they will know what they are getting for Christmas (or worse yet, what I paid for it)! I am still committeed to bringing you the best deals, freebies, and frugal tips...just going light this December to not ruin suprises. Don't hold it against me, ok?

And, I have officially had my first ever completely CASH-ONLY Christmas! This included shopping for my immediate family (3 + me), my extended family (9), close friends (2 families), teachers (5 at preschool, many at church), neighbors (2), and giving toys to a local charity (we bought 5!) Woot-Woot and Thank You, Lord!

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Redbox Code

Use this code for a FREE movie! GANTS9

Friday, December 4, 2009

CVS is HOT This Week!

Here's what I will be looking for at CVS this week!

3 Day Sale
Prices only good Sunday - Tuesday
Merry Brite Santa Hat -- $3.99
ECB: $3.99 wyb 1 (limit 2)
Total: Free!
Merry Brite Mini Ornaments 12 ct -- $1.99
ECB: $1.99 wyb 1 (limit 2)
Total: Free!
Essence of Beauty Bath and Body -- $4.99
ECB: $4 wyb 1 (limit 2)
Total: .99!

Week Long Sale prices good Sun – Sat

Emergen-C Immune Booster 2 pk -- $3.99
ECB: $3.99 wyb 1 (limit 1)
Total: Free!
Neosporin Lip Product -- $4.99
Coupon: $2.50 automatically taken off at the register and $3 printable
Total: Free!
Gillette Fushion, Mach 3, Series or Stain Care Shave Gel -- $1.99
Coupon: $1 from 11/29 P&G
Total: .99!

Kid Essentials -- $11.99
Buy 2 and get $10 ECB
Total: $1 ea!

Also, all toys are buy 2, get 1 free. (excludes Zhu Zhu pets!)
For even more deals, check out Couponing to Disney!

Fab Five on Friday!!! (Lots of FREEbies!)

Follow these links to find some really great deals today!

1) Get a subscription to BabyTalk magazine for FREE!

2.) FREE phone call from Santa courtesy of Kroger!

3) A good giftable idea: Creamy Chai Tea Mix!

4) FREE coffee creamer courtesy of International Delights (by becoming a fan on Facebook)!

4.5) FREE crafts at Michael’s for kids on Saturday from 10-1!

5) FREE photo with Santa at WalMart, Saturday and Sunday, 10-2!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Old Navy Weekly Updates Today (and Everyday During December)

Just a reminder that Old Navy Weekly updates today. In December, they are doing a special promotion where they are updating and offering coupons EVERY DAY. I have yet to find a coupon, as quantities are limited, but I will keep trying. Go HERE to see if you can find yours!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

30-Day Giving Challenge Complete - Or is It?

This month has been both challenging and liberating for me. I have done (at times) more than I thought I was physically and emotionally able. I have done simple, little things that I would have never thought of before.

I have grieved. I have loved. I have taken on new projects. I have given up old things. I have left coupons at the store for the next person to find. I have worked hard for little earthly reward. I have given little love gifts to my spouse (that I'm not sure he even noticed were gifts...) I have celebrated. I have prayed harder and for more than myself and my family. I have talked to my kids about giving. I have tipped more than normal. I have thanked more than normal. I have given. I have received. I have LIVED WELL this November.

I am thankful for this opportunity to intentionally focus on giving. Those of you who know me, know that giving is an essential part of what makes "me." After all, I am the lady who took her kids to work at the food pantry every month when they were 2 and 3! :) What I liked about this month was the opportunity to think outside of the box for new practical ways to give.

I hope you enjoyed the challenge as much as I did. I'd love to hear some of the ways that you gave this month. Feel free to comment below.

One last thing: I found it fitting as my kids and I were hitting Kroger yesterday (Nov 30th), that there was a Salvation Army bell ringer at the store. As I emptied out my change for the kids to give, we saw a soldier in full uniform. I simply said, "Thank you for your service." As my eyes welled up with tears, my son repeated me and added, "and have a Merry Christmas." As we stood there, our eyes locked and that moment was worth it all! I pray that my children remember to be thankful and always praise the One who is the Giver of all good gifts...God with us.

Have a blessed December and as Grant says, "have a Merry Christmas!"

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Luke 6:38 NIV

"Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."
Luke 6:38 The Message

Movie Night?

Use this code SPNSV9 to get a free Redbox movie rental thru 12/2. In Newark, we have these kiosks at both Meijer and about a FREE Christmas movie night?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Still Recovering

I am still recovering from Black Friday shopping...Here is the low-down:

Kohls @ 4 AM: left without buying anything b/c the line to check out was a 3 hour wait!
Target: went to score the 19.99 DVD player for the in-laws as their's wasn't working on Thanksgiving day
Toys R Us: they were out of the Princess baby that I wanted, but I did score a science kit, moon sand, and a VSmile 3 workbooks that were NOT on my list :)
Fashion Bug: went in for the 6.99 doorbuster sweaters and bought a LOT; in fact I am taking 2 things back on Thursday.
Elder Beerman: a HUGE surprise for my hubs (who s a subscriber) and a set of towels for my aunt
John Deere Store at the Mall: new hat and 2 pr socks for my JD boy! (not oin sale eiether)
CVS: robe for my mom-in-law
Meijer: couple cheapies for my hubs - most everything I had my eye on was gone by the time we got there.

Then on Saturday, I went back to Kohls, to Tractor Supply, and to WalMart. Paid a little bit more for what I needed, but it was worth it! (And, did I mentioned that I paid with CASH?) :)

I think that I am almost done with Christmas shopping. Hoping that wrapping goes as easily!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FREE item (up to $13) at Bath & Body Works

Go HERE to print a coupon for a FREE item at Bath & Body Works with a $10 purchase.

Thanks, Saving and Stewardship!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A question...

How are you cutting back this holiday season? What are you giving up? What are you changing?

Let's encourage each other with tips.

Veggie Tales DVS for FREE (Pay $2.99 to Ship)

I highly recommend this deal. We previously did this and ordered "The Ballad of Little Joe." Today, we did it again, and bought "Abe and the Amazing Promise." You pay $2.99 in shipping. The newsletter is actually informational; telling release dates and the like. The DVD's come directly to your home in about a week. It's really a great idea and I applaud Big Idea for getting God's Word out there into homes!

Go HERE to see all of the nitty-gritties...and enjoy some veggies for Christmas!

Thanks, Moms by Heart, for this reminder.

$9 Glasses!!!

Please go HERE to visit my friend, John's, site and see how he purchased perscription glasses for only $9!

His site @ Johnopolis encourages DIY projects, budgeting, and great finance tips. John and his family are currently working through Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. They reside in Haskins, OH.

Thanks, John, for allowing me to share your site and your savings!

Homemade Cranberry Orange Relish

This is a recipe that I received from my Grandma Stewart. Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without this relish. My in-laws always request it, and I oblidge because it is SO SIMPLE!

Combine in food processor:

1 bag FRESH cranberries
1 large seedless navel orange - peel and all
1 c. sugar (I use 3/4 c., see note)

Process until combined. Transfer to bowl and let flavors combine for 24 hours. Serve cold with Thanksgiving turkey.

(NOTE: I have tried this using Splenda - my husband's father is diabetic - and it does not come out the same. I would recommend cutting the actual sugar instead.)

I always make a double batch of this as it goes over well due to its fresh taste. We love the leftovers on toast with cream cheese for breakfast the next morning.

You can also freeze a batch to save for Christmas dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Top Ten - Thanksgiving Style

I am thankful for...

10. A place to call home
9. My church and its mission
8. Unlimited long distance
7. In-laws that I actually like
6. Finances that allow me to stay home with my children
5. Freedom - both political and spititual
4. Friends who have become family
3. A patient, unwavering, faithful spouse
2. Answers to prayer: Grant and Reagan Grace
1. "God with us," who delights in me, and has no beginning and no end!

Get Motivated Monday

In honor of Thanksgiving, there will be no "official" challenge this week. I would; however, advise you to compile a list of the Top Ten things that you are thankful for and share it with your fellow readers.

Oh, and how are you doing with the 30 day giving challenge?

"How can I thank You? There is just no way. How can I thank You? Lord, how can I repay? For Your kindness, for Your tenderness, for Your constant presence here with me..."
-----------------------------------------from "You Have Been So Good To Me" by Sara Groves

Saturday, November 21, 2009

FREE Christmas Cards

I just ordered 100 FREE Christmas photo cards through the website

I used a promo code of "newbaby" to get the first 50 5x7 cards free.

Then, I placed a second order with the promo code "freebies4mom-1109" to get 50 more 4x6 cards free.

According to my receipts, the order will be delivered in 3 days via FedEx!

This offer expires today. It is well worth your time. I didn't even pay shipping or tax and my order was $65 worth of merchandise!

Thanks to My Frugal Adventures for the heads-up on this deal!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fab Five on Friday

Fab Five on Friday

1. The day after Thanksgiving, Old Navy is having a sale on adult jeans $15; kids jeans $10!

2. Keebler’s is offering a $10 toy voucher (check) when you purchase 5 boxes of their specially marked Christmas cookies. Go HERE for details.

3. All You magazine is offering a 2 year subscription for $29 through!!! For those of you who are not aware, each issue contains well over that amount of coupons alone!

4. I found a new blog this week that I LOVE! Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge feeds her family of 6 for $60/week – that’s what I’m talking about!

5. From the gals at UCreate, a potential Grandma gift at our home. Check out the magnetic recipe holder here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The BEST Sugar Cookie Recipe EVER

Do you know those sugar cookies in the store with frosting and sprinkles? The really soft ones? Well, this recipe is the closest that I've found...and boy, they are YUMMY!

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Cream together in large mixer:
1 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar

Then add (mixing well):
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. lemon juice

Add the following dry ingredients, mixing well:
4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda

Add to dough:
4-6 T. milk

Roll out dough on a floured surface (1/2" to 3/4" thickness) and cut in desired shapes.
Bake at 375-400 for 8-10 minutes.

Ice with your favorite frosting and sprinkles!

Freezer Cooking with a Turkey

With the great turkey sales right now, why not buy an extra turkey and freezer cook with it? By doing this you can cut your budget and have ready-made meals for the hectic holiday season.

Here are a couple of ideas to get you thinking...

Turkey Noodle Casserole
Turkey Enchiladas
Turkey Rice Soup
Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Turkey Stuffing Casserole

Why not take the time to cook a turkey and make some meals for your family this month?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Christmas Challenge

Are you having trouble making ends meet this year? Is the Christmas budget lean? Are you overwhelmed at the thought of "being Santa?"

Never fear, my friends, I have a challenge for you...

Can you...Would you...Could you...

*live off of your stockpile in December and use your grocery budget for gifts?

*have two meatless meals a week in December and use the leftover cash for stuffing stockings?

*make a monthly meal plan that utilizes staples from your pantry (things you already have) and slash your grocery bill?

*freezer cook in advance (this month) using items on sale in November (turkey, baking products, etc) to have ready-made meals in December?

If you are up to the challenge, think about how wonderful it will feel to have a cash-only Christmas!!!

Stay tuned to see some of the ways that I am slashing the budget for the holiday season.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Movie Night?

Is the night right for a movie?

You can get a free rental from Redbox today through 11/19/09 at Meijer only using this code: 7CMEJR9

Don't forget the popcorn!

A Look at the Why Behind the Journey

I think that today may be a good day to remind myself why I am couponing and saving...

1. I want to honor God with my finances by tithing and GIVING on top of my tithe.
2. I want to be able to stay-at-home with my children and provide them as much of me as possible.
3. I want to pay down/off debt. Specifically, 1 credit card, 2 small auto loans, and HUGE student loans.
4. I want to be able to finance my children's education. I want to have options other than our local public schools.
5. I want to finance a family vacation. We have not traveled out of the tri-state area in over 6 years and it is time for an adventure!

Because of these goals; therefore, I will...

1. Add NO debt, period, by living a cash-only lifestyle.
2. Learn patience and the blessing of waiting.
3. Coupon, rebate, shop sales only for our groceries/toiletries.
4. NOT be brand or store loyal.
5. Garage sale, consignment shop, accept hand-me-downs greatfully.
6. Trust that God will provide for my needs and be content with what He provides.

***Why are you on this journey? Let's encourage each other today...

I close with a song that's been on my heart lately. It is by Sara Groves. Listen to it if you get a chance.

He's Always Been Faithful

Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God's hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed,
in awe of the mystery of his perfect ways

All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me

I can't remember a trial or a pain
he did not recycle to bring me gain.
I can't remember one single regret
in serving God only and trusting his hand


This is my anthem, this is my song,
the theme of the stories I've heard for so long.
God has been faithful, he will be again.
His loving compassion, it knows no end.



Monday, November 16, 2009

Get Motivated Monday

OK, I have a confession. I am not motivated to do anything this week! There, it's out...

However, regardless of what I feel like doing, I will get motivated because THANKSGIVING IS NEXT WEEK!!!!! UGH!!!!

Here is my list: get laundry caught up for travels, get house cleaned for company, get menu organized, and start Black Friday list...

How will you get ready for Thanksgiving this week?

2 FREE Card Games at KROGER with Cpn

Go here to see how you can get 2 FREE card games for Christmas at Kroger this week. Thanks, Saving and Giving!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Start Working on that Stockpile!

Here are some great deals on staples from Target this week. If you have the extra cash in your budget, this would be a great week to work on your pantry stockpile!

Betty Crocker Potatoes .79
Use $1/2 from 10/4 SS
Final Price: .29

Heinz Gravy .79
Use $1/2 from 11/1 SS
Final Price: .29

Del Monte Canned Veggies .45
Use $1/8 from 11/15 RP
Final Price: .32 each!

Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese $1.19
Use $1/3 from 11/15 RP
Final Price: .86 each

Swanson Chicken Broth 14oz cans .49
Use $1/6 from 11/8 SS
Final Price: .32 each

Campbell’s Soups .49
Use $1/8 from 11/8 SS
Final Price: .24 each

CVS Hot Deals!

Here's what I will be looking for at CVS this week!

Suave Body Wash or Hair Care 3/$6

Use .50/1 MQ (3 times)

Get $2 ECB

Final Price: $2.50 for all 3

Scope Outlast Mouthwash or Crest Scope with Whitening Toothpaste $3.49

Get $2 ECB

Use $1/1 MQ

Final price: .49

Buy Cover Girl Simply Ageless Foundation and Blush and get $10 ECB

Use Buy a Foundation, Get a Face Product free MQ

Also, use $1/1 MQ

Ageless Foundation $13 + Ageless Blush $10 = $23

Use $4/20 CVS coupon

Get $10 ECB

Final Price: $2 OVERAGE!

Duracell 4pk $2.99

Get $1 ECB

Use $1/1 MQ

Final Price: .99

Spend $12 in Glade Products and get $4 ECB back.

Includes:Sense and Spray $6- use $4/1 MQ

Lasting Impressions $6

Sense and Spray Refill $3- use $1/1 MQ

Plug Ins Refill $3

Glade Essential Oils Candle $3

Scented Oil Candles or Refill $3- use free refill when you buy candle MQ, and use Buy 2 refills, get 1 free MQ

{Deal idea}Buy 2 Sense and Spray at $6 each

Use (2) $4/1 coupons

Pay $4 and get $4 ECB back = FREE!

Trident Layers Gum $1

Use Buy One Get One Free MQ

Pay .50/each

My Little Pony Deal - Cash Only Christmas

Go HERE to see how you can combine the My LIttle Pony coupon with a Toys R Us sale of Buy 2, Get 1 free to get a great deal on ponies for Christmas!

Thanks, Couponing to Disney!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Update on the 30 Day Giving Challnege

You may have noticed that I have been absent this week. I apologize for not being here - but I am greatful that I could be "there" for a dear friend who lost her mother Monday evening. Please know my heart and that by sharing this that I am not boasting, but acknowledging God's work through me and my willingness to be His hands this week.

I spent most of Monday evening/Tuesday early morning at the hospital with my friend and her family hoping for a miracle and then, grieving a terrible loss. For those of you who are familiar with Strengths Finder, my number 1 strength is empathy; therefore, I too felt the loss right long with them, and I felt it hard. It brought back a lot of memories of loss in my own life...but I am so glad that I was there!

Tuesday I spent the day making calls for meal plans to provide the family with meals for the next three weeks. The responses were overwhelming - so many people offered to help!

Wednesday I started work on the funeral meal, had church, and a little time with the kids...

Thursday was the shopping extravaganza for my son's 5th birthday party... Yes, my baby is 5! Our family also went to the funeral home for calling hours.

Friday was the funeral dinner until about 3 and Grant's party started at 6! Our pastor dressed up as Woody from Toy Story and our worship leader and his weife were Buzz and Jessie! It was priceless... Our church is truly a community of family.

Today, I am still in my jammies at 3:18 pm, enjoyed a movie with the family, and am going to a Thanksgiving meal with friends tonight.

I'm really tired, but thankful for my life and my friends who are my family...I am blesssed!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Applebee's Supports our Veterans

On Veteran's Day 11/11, Applebees will be giving free entrées to all active duty military and veterans! You will need to show proof of service for this offer.

This is just one more reason that I love Applebee's!!!

Abbreviations - Shmebreviations!

For all of your who need a little help with the abbreviations in coupon land:

BOGO or B1G1 = Buy 1 Get 1 Free
B2G2 = Buy 2 Get 2 Free
Catalina = coupon that prints from the register with your receipt
ECB = Extra Care Bucks (CVS)
FAR = Free after Rebate
MIR = Mail in Rebate
MQ = Manufacturer's Coupon
OOP = Out of Pocket
P&G = Proctor & Gamble coupon insert in Sunday's Newspaper
RR = Register Reward (Walgreens)
RP = Red Plum coupon insert in Sunday's Newspaper
SS = Smart Source coupon insert in Sunday's Newspaper
TQ = Target Coupon

Hope this helps you on your journey!

Lunch for $2!

Did you know that this month is Customer Appreciation Month at Subway? To appreciate us, Subway is offering either cold cut combo or meatball 6" subs for only $2 until 11/30! Call your local franchise to see if they are particiating first and then enjoy a sub for lunch or dinner!

Are you Game?

Go HERE to see how you can get 7 games for under $4! A great idea for toy drives, family gifts, or for Santa to bring! Thanks, Moms by Heart for this great deal!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week 1 Update - 30 Day Giving Challenge

Week 1 of the 30-Day Giving Challenge is over. How have you stretched yourself this week to give to others in creative ways?

Some of the things that we did this week (while living the hotel-life) were: gave a really generous tip at a restaurant, opted to not have our room serviced (to give the maids a break one day), and had friends over to swim in the hotel pool.

I felt extremely challenged in my giving this week as we were out of the norm. I did; however, give an exceptional amount of TIME to my kids (playing games, reading books, working on spelling, etc) and my spouse (having a private lunch date, trying to be less demanding about his schedule this week, etc)

I received multiple blessings in phone calls from friends, laundry help from my mother-in-law while we were away (she did all the curtains and our leftover laundry), and a dear friend packed my kids lunches for school since we didn't have much space in the hotel fridge (thanks, Meliss!)

I personally plan on upping my giving this week in creative ways. Will you join me?

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galations 6:9

Friday, November 6, 2009

We're Home

We are home and after I get the curtains rehung and the dust dusted up, I will update you with some great deals and my first week of the 30 day giving challenge!

Expect a LARGE grocery bill from me tomorrow - I may just go over budget! :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Well, we have progress on the house and I am stealing a couple of seconds on hubby's laptop to write... The windows are in. The doors are done. Garage doors tomorrow... Hopefully we will be home by Friday afternoon. If we are, I promise you will hear from me. If not, we'll see if I can steal away another couple of seconds! Love to all my readers - thanks for being patient with me!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Get out Your Binders and Let's Go Krogering

This is GREAT week to go Krogering. Here are my top 5 deals:

5. Cheese-Its .99 each (use 1.50/2 MQ and pay .24/each!)

4. Nestle Toll House Morsels 1.99 (use .50 MQ and pay .99!)

3. Hormel Chili .79 each (use 2.00/3 MQ and pay .12/each!)

2. Bumble Bee Tuna .49 (use .55 MQ {doubles} and get 2 for FREE!)

1. Carnation Evaporated Milk .50 (use .50/2 MQ and get BOTH FOR FREE!)

*Also Coke 2 liters are .79 this week...a good price for our caffiene lovers! :)

How to Send Your Coupons to the Troops

Check out this post on sending your expired coupons overseas to m military families (where they can use them up to 6 months past the expiration date...)

Thanks, Saving and Giving, for reminding me of this great opportunity!

November's Meal Plan

Since we will be out of the house for a week this month, my 20 days may be overshooting it a bit, but here goes...

1. Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
2. Corn Chowder w/Ham and Homemade Bread
3. Homemade Chicken Fingers, Fries, and Corn
4. Pasta with Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad
5. Crockpot Pork Chops, Broccoli Cheese Rice, and Froz. Broccoli Medley
6. Chili and Cornbread Cake
7. Pancakes and Turkey Sausage
8. Taco Night with Queso Dip and Chips
9. Shredded Chicken Sandwiches, Church Potatoes, Dirt Pudding
10. Swiss Steak, Mashed Potatoes, and Corn
11. Chicken Alfredo Pasta, Bread, Caesar Salad
12. Sloppy Joes, Chips, and Jello Salad
13. Fish Sticks, Fries, and Applesauce
14. Homemade Pizzas (Cheese and BBQ Chicken or Hawaiian)
15. Turkey and all the Trimmings - Happy Thanksgiving!
16. Leftovers, Duh!
17. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
18. Idaho Tacos (Using Leftover Taco Meat)
19. Hamburger Helper and Green Beans
20. Pizza Pasta Bake, Breadsticks, Brownies

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Challenge Begins...

Don't forget that tomorrow starts the 30-Day Giving Challenge...

What do I have to give?

Going, Going, Gone (Temporarily)

Wanted to give you, faithful readers, a quick heads-up:

Our family is having some extensive work done on our home over the next week. Due to the fact that there is a LOT of lead in our home, we have to evacuate to have this work done. We will be living in a hotel for the next week-10 days.

Because of this, my posts may be sporadic at best. Please bear with me. I am commited to posting the BEST DEALS that I see while I am gone. I also will have two guest posts...

Never fear, I am still here. I will be back. (And, we will have new windows, doors, and garage doors when we return!)

Got Cereal?

Check out this post on how to get 4 boxes of cereal for 1.98 total at Target this week!

Thanks to My Frugal Adventures!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

$4 a week for 6 people!?!?!

Seriously, ya'll need to watch the clip from Good Morning America about this lady. I am in awe!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My New FAVORITE Place to Buy Birthday Supplies

Hi Friends! Wanted to share with you the horrible time and customer service that I've had trying to find Toy Story party supplies for my son's 5th birthday party... Let's just say our local stores were less than helpful.

Then, a light shined down from Heaven (ok, so I am exaggerating a little) and I found the BEST website ever!!! I ordered everything we needed from Birthday Direct and will receive it in 1-3 business days with only a $6 shipping charge. (If my order would have been over $65, shipping would have been free!) Ordering was fast, easy, and I was pleased with the selection.

I highly recommend Birthday Direct when buying party supplies in the future. So thankful for this site today after running around for hours with a crying 4 year old who "just wants a Buzz party!"

Lots of FREE food for Halloween!

Thanks to Queen of Free for a great list of freebies for festive trick or treaters! Go HERE to see here complete list which includes Taco Bell, Chipolte, and Texas Roadhouse (among others).

(And, by the way, I am loving the human burrito idea...)


I have accepted the 30-Day Giving Challenge at!!!
Please prayerfully consider how you can join us in this challenge for the month of November. Make this a family project and have a month that you will never forget...
Ideas for ways to give: cookies to a neighbor, crafts/cards to a nursing home, donuts to the firemen, toys to a toy drive, invite someone unexpected over for a meal, leave change at the car wash for the next person, give to the Salvation Army, donate to Goodwill, clean up a park, buy the next person's fast food in line behind you at the drive thru, teach someone something new, give a coupon to someone in the grocery store, volunteer your time at a food pantry, rake your neighbor's leaves, etc...
The ideas are limitless - what can you do for someone else?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Top Ten Homemade Gifts

In the spirit of Christmas, I give you my personal Top Ten Homemade Gifts! Hopefully this will inspire you to create something for someone you love this year...

10. Coupon Booklets (I have done a pizza of the month book, a baked good of the month book, babysitting, housecleaning, backrub books, etc.)

9. Soup in a Jar/Coffee in a Jar (Many forms of dried beans can be layered in mason jars for a nice gift as well as gourmet coffee mixes.)

8. Embroidered Tea Towels or Bread Cloths (Does anyone realize how much TIME goes into cross-stitching? If that doesn't say love, I don't know what does!)

7. Personalized Notecards/Notepads (Using computer or stamping skills you can make adorable gifts for friends and family to enjoy.)

6. Homemade Ornaments (Go beyond pasta angels and let your creativity flow using paper products to create masterpieces that will be treasured for years - need inspiration - hit the library!)

5. Fresh Baked Bread (Wrapped in a tea towel and tied with a bow, fresh bread makes a thoughtful and useful gift!)

4. Felt Food for Kids Kitchens (Use felt to create: fried eggs, pancakes with butter, sandwiches, etc. for your little friends play time.)

3. Scrapbooked Calendars (Everyone needs a calendar; why not one filled with photos of great memories?)

2. Hairbows/Headbands for Little Princesses (These are the rage right now and can be super easy to make and enjoy.)

1. Heartfelt Words (Absolutely NOTHING beats a well-written letter or poem about how much or why you love/admire/respect someone. Need to get a little classier? Have it printed on parchment paper and framed for a gift. I received this for my birthday and it beat out anything bought in a store.)

Have yourself a merry little the ones you've been blessed with well...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Get Motivated Monday

This week your challenge is two-fold:

1. Clean out your expired coupons to get ready for a new month. (Did you know that the troops can use expired coupons at their commisaries?)

2. Make a meal plan for the upcoming month. Check back later this week to see our family's November meal plan!

Have a fun week!!!


Today only: get a piece of KFC's grilled chicken for free all day.

On 10/31: get a Black Jack Taco from Taco Bell between 6pm-midnight!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Coupons for Candy!

Just an FYI that has $2 off coupons for both Nestle and Wonka candy. This should make for some cheap treats for your trick or treaters!

Friday, October 23, 2009

October Budget Updates

This week my budget was $55 (like always).

Week 3 (last week): I made 2 Trips. 39.66 at WalMart and 15.45 at Meijer.
Total $55.11 or $.11 over proposed budget.

Week 4 (this week): I made 2 trips. 3.64 at Aldi and 11.74 at Kroger.
Total $15.38 or $39.62 UNDER proposed budget.

Week 1 $55, spent $61.23, $6.23 OVER
Week 2 $55, spent $41.58, $13.42 UNDER
Week 3 $55, spent $55.11, $0.11 OVER
Week 4 $55, spent $15.38, $39.62 UNDER

Extra Week (use leftover money of $46.70 or less)

Total for October $220

The Word

Psalm 19: 7-10 (The Message)

The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes.
God's reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.

God's Word is better than a diamond, better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You'll like it better than strawberries in spring, better than red, ripe strawberries.

What is God's Word teaching you today?

Loving my Husband Friday

Go here to see three new ways to love your husband this week!
Thanks, to Megan, from Daily Essentials and Deals for offering this every week...
How do you love your husband?

Send in Your Old Baby Einstein DVDs for a Refund

Go HERE to see how you can send in up to 4 Baby Einstein DVDs for refunds of 15.99 each. So sorry to hear that this company is having some publicity problems but glad to get a rebate offer.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Old Navy Weekly Updates Today

Don't forget that tonight's the night for Old Navy Weekly to update. Hope you get a good coupon!

Today's Target Shopping

Here is an itemized list for what I was paid to purchase at Target today!

2 Skippy Peanut Butters 1.99/each
*used 2 $1 off cpns = .99/each

Travel Game: Hungry Hungry Hippos 4.99
*used $4 off cpn = .99

Travel Game: Connect Four 4.99
*used $4 off cpn = .99

4 Chex Mix .99/each
*used 4 $1 off cpns = FREE

3 Glade candles 2.50/each
*used 3 $1.50 off cpns found in tin = $1/each
2 Glade refills 2.50/each
*used 2 FREE cpns from internet = FREE
EARNED $5.00 Target Gift Card!!!

Subtotal $6.96
Tax $1.22
Total $8.18 (paid with a gift card)

EARNED $5 gift card
NET $3.18

PLUS, I am submitting SC Johnson rebate to earn back $5.00


Per my receipt I saved $28.46.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Let's Go Krogering!

Here is what I will be buying at Kroger this week.

Post Cereals, Nature Valley Granola Bars, FiberOne Bars - 4 for $10
Get $4.00 off at checkout when you buy 4.
Use $.40 off FiberOne coupon from 10/4 SmartSource insert (doubles to $.80 off)
Use $.40 off FiberOne coupon from 9/13 General Mills insert (doubles to $.80 off)
Use $.40 off Nature Valley coupon from 9/13 General Mills insert (doubles to $.80 off)
Final Price: as low as $.70 per box or $2.80 total for all 4

10 for $10 Sale
You can get as many or as few of these items as you would like for $1 each. But if you buy 10 of the 10 for $10 items, you get the 11th one FREE!

Kroger Brand Milk or Orange Juice, includes chocolate
Kroger Brand Cottage Cheese
Kroger Brand Buns, Bread
Armour LunchMakers
Dole Canned Mandarin Oranges
Pepsi Soft Drink 2-Liters
Kroger Corn Puff Poppers
Caramel or Candy Apples

Also, if you have a little one: Gerber Graduates are also on the 10/$10 sale.

Enjoy this sale!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Not sure if you realize this, but I've hit my 100th post this week! Da-Da-Da-Da!

I'd like to thank: the Lord for filling my mind with things to write about, my hubby for attemptting to help me become a "techie," my kids for watching movies on busy blogging days, my friends who call when they don't see a new post and encorage me to keep on keeping on, and YOU for being my loyal readers and faithful friends! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Please invite your friends and family to subscribe to this site. As we reach 50 followers, we can start more GIVEAWAYS where you can WIN prizes. That, my friends, will be OUR next milestone...and we can do it together!

God bless you as you journey with me to "living like no one else*!"

*Read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover if you are questioning this reference...

Free Movie, Anyone?

Get a free redbox now through 10/22 at Meijer with this code: CMEJR22
Popcorn, here we come!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Make Money on Holiday Gifts!

Read Kristen's GREAT post on how you can make money buying candles for holiday shopping! These candles are not only great to enhance your holiday season, but use them for gifts for friends, coworkers, teachers, etc. I wish I could run to Target now....

New CVS Info - Get More Coupons Today

See Charlene's post on the coupon scanners at CVS. My CVS doesn't have one yet, but you'd better believe I will be asking about it! :)

Get Motivated Monday

So, did you catalog all of your Christmas gifts last week? I did and Santa has an issue over here. 11 gifts for the son and 4 for the princess. What to do? Shop, of course! :)

This week's challenge is your LINEN closet... Go through it. Organize it. Pitch yucky towels. Make it look pretty. Get your linens ready for the holidays - find your Grandma's tablecover and your extra guest sheets.

This seems like a simple challenge. Maybe it is for you. But for us hoarders it is a good time to clean out and re-evaluate.

An extra note - if you find blankets to get rid of, consider a homeless shelter. As the cold seeps in, there are many folks who would love that old orange afghan that Aunt Sally made. Pass along the blessing and teach your children to give!

Let me know how it goes, ok?

Free Calendars for Christmas

Just ordered FREE 2010 Calendars titles "God is in the Details" for my in-laws and aunt for Christmas. Go HERE to see how you can get yours also! Thanks, Moms by Heart!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

CVS Deals this Week - Meds and Gift

Its always a good idea to stock up on meds this time of year. And I think I may be giving the diffuser to my mon-in-law for Christmas! :)

Trans 1

Glade candle/diffuser $6.99

Earn 6.99 ECB = FREE

If you have the $3 MQ, this is a moneymaker!

Trans 2

2 Dimetapp $5.50/ea

2 Advil PM $4.50/ea

Subtotal is $20

Earn $10 ECBs when you spend $20 in these meds

Use 2/$2 off dimetapp and 2/$2 off advil MQ's (printed online)

OOP pay $12, but earn $10 ECBs = $2 for all medicine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Total OOP $2.00 for $26.99 worth of items!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Five Fab Finds on Friday

1. Go HERE to see how you can get a free subscription to Baseball Digest. Shhh…don’t tell my hubby that I ordered it for him – it’s a surprise love gift! Thanks, Savings and Stewardship!

2. Go HERE to get a list of Target deals from Kristen at Couponing to Disney! There are 17 FREE items on this list! You rock, Kristen!

3. I have this Red Gold tote bag and I love it! Register HERE to get a free reusable tote and hook your CVS bag tag to it for an even better deal! Thanks, Saving and Giving!

4. I just love to read “Loving Our Husbands” every week sponsored by Megan at Daily Essentials and Deals. Go HERE to read 3 new ways to love your hubs today!

5. It’s Friday! It’s Friday! I will be doing a small dose of freezer cooking tomorrow and maybe hitting a pumpkin patch with the kiddos! I just ADORE FALL!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2 Quick Things

1. Old Navy Weekly resets tonight!

2. How are you doing on this week's challenge? Personally, I am waiting until Saturday AM to hide the toys in the attic and actually see what I have (I'm making the hubby take the kids out for a donut to give me some time :)

Not a lot of great happenings in blog world today. Hoping for more fun stuff tomorrow. Maybe the blog fairies knew I needed a day to get stuff done around here ;)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Top Ten Easy Items That Freeze Well for Beginning Freezer Cookers

Is anyone thinking about trying freezer cooking? Here is a list of my favorite easy things that can be frozen without a lot of hassle.

A great way to get started is to simply double your recipe when you cook. Ex: If you are making lasagna for dinner, double your recipe and freeze the 2nd for later. This is easy to do on a regular basis and really saves on your drive-thru trips for busy nights.

Top Ten Easy Items That Freeze Well for Beginning Freezer Cookers

10. Pancakes - make the whole box of mix at once and freeze leftovers in individual portions for quick breakfasts.
9. Chunked Chicken Breasts - crockpot, boil, or grill extra chicken and cut it up into quart freezer bags to be used for chicken alfredo, BBQ chicken pizza, chicken helper, or in salads.
8. Lasagna - make 2 instead of 1 and freeze the 2nd for an easy, satisfying dinner later in the month.
7. Cooked Ground Beef - cook extra and freeze in quart freezer bags to get a jumpstart on pasta sauce, tacos, or hamburger helper on a busy night.
6. Chili - make a huge pot and freeze the leftovers for quick lunches or a simple supper.
5. Muffins and Quick Breads - when you bake, make an extra batch or two for the freezer. Simply wrap in foil (breads) or put in freezer bags (muffins) for quick breakfasts on the go or to serve with coffee hour.
4. Tator Tot Casserole - ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, frozen veggies, tots, and cheese make a comforting supper. Make 2 - 1 for dinner and one for the freezer and have NO prep work next time around!
3. Twice Baked Potatoes - think about this, if you can buy it in the freezer case at Kroger, you can make it yourself and freeze it for later. Its healthier and cheaper this way too!
2. Meatloaf - when mixing meatloaf for tonight's dinner, mix a 2nd for later in the month. Put it in a loaf pan and freeze uncooked to save you time, next time.
1. Baked Ziti - my favorite recipe for baked ziti makes a TON. I fill a 9x13 for today's meal and freeze the rest in gallon sized Ziplocs for later. All I have to do is: thaw, dump, and add cheese for an easy family-favorite!

Hope this inspires you to put something away for a rainy day...or a hectic day...or an "I don't feel well" day...or a "company's coming" day...or a "help someone in need by providing a meal" day.

God bless you as you feed your families!

FREE Frog Bath Toy from Johnson & Johnson

Thanks, Kristen, at Couponing to Disney for THIS great idea on how to get a frog bath toy for free from Johnson & Johnson!

I'm thinking Christmas 2009...yet another way to lower our Christmas cost!

CVS New Program - Bag Tag

Buy a new bag tag at CVS for .99, attach it to your favorite reusable bag, and earn ECB's! Have your bag tag scanned every time you shop at CVS and for every 4th visit you will ean $1 ECB. That's $12/year if you shop weekly! If you shop twice a week, that's $24/year!

The catch: you have to remember to bring and use your reusable bag and scan your bag tag...

I think this is a great way to promote CVS, acquire less waste, and earn money at the same time. Way to go, CVS, for joining the "green team!"

(You should be able to find your tags at the register; shaped like a green leaf.)

NEW Printable Coupons for CHEESE

Follow this like to print $1.00 off coupons for Kraft cheese. Did you know that you can freeze shredded cheese when it goes on a good sale to add to your stockpile? Never buy cheese at full-price again! Thanks, Saving and Giving :)

My Guest Post Posted

Follow this link to see my 2nd guest post and get an idea for weekend fun. *

*This is a similar post to one I have done before with a few adaptations...

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm Earning FREE Cash for Christmas

Now is the time to cash in your "points" to earn FREE cash for Christmas. Help your budget stretch without breaking the bank!

I cashed in points through Pampers Gifts to Grow program for $10 to Barnes & Noble Bookstores.

I also cashed in points through our National City debit card to get $10 to Old Navy, $10 to Target, and $10 to CVS!

Today, I earned $40 by cashing in my points - Santa is comin' to town, folks! ;)

Saving = Giving More

One of the many reasons I love to save, is that it enables my family to be able to use our resources to give more freely. I love filling the food pantry basket at church with freebies or nearly-frees and helping out our local community. I also like to be able to use the money that we save to give to families in crisis that we know. There is nothing more rewarding than leaving an anonymous gift of cash, gift cards, or a sack of groceries on a friends porch!

This year, one of the ways that I plan on including my children in giving this Christmas season is through Operation Christmas Child. I think that they will have fun filling their boxes for little boys and girls just like them... I like to use these moments as "teaching moments" for my kids, to foster life-long giving, self-sacrifice, and appreciation for what we have been blessed with. Following is the link for how you can help fill a box for a child in need and spread a little Chritsmas cheer around the world! Will you join us?

Get Motovated Monday

I just read that Christmas is 74 days away! Can you believe it?

If you are like me, you have little gifts hiding around your home already. (Check the closets and garage here...)

This week, make a list of people you need to buy for. Plan a proposed budget. Then, log any gifts that you already have on hand and PUT THEM ALL IN ONE PLACE (like your attic...)

I like to use the Holiday Planner from Cynthia Ewer found at Organized Christmas. I made mine with her printable pages and use a 3 ring binder to keep it all together. I have used this system for the past 3 Christmases and I love it. It keeps everything nice and tidy and helps me stay sane in a busy season.

Let me know how you do with this. You mau be surprised at how many gifts you already have!

Planning a Pregnancy?

Here's a great freebie for those of you who are planning to have a new tax deduction...

FREE pregnancy tests and ovulation kits HERE!!!

Thanks, Queen of Free for this great tip!

Stacking Coupons Tutorial

Follow this link to read a GREAT article on stacking coupons from my friend, Megan at Daily Essentials and Deals. This is one of the best articles I've ever read on this topic - great for beginners!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Budget Update - October, Week 2

This week my budget was $55 (like always).

I made 3 trips.

Meijer $22.04, Aldi $10.79, and Target $8.75 (for the Mott's juice deal; earning $5 gift card back.)

Total $41.58 or $13.42 under proposed budget. It was a good week!

Week 1 $55, spent $61.23, $6.23 OVER
Week 2 $55, spent $41.58, $13.42 UNDER
Week 3 $55
Week 4 $55
Total for October $220

What is your motivating factor?

After seeing this blog called Couponing to Disney, which I love, I wondered what is your motivation for couponing? Mine could be Couponing to a Debt-Free Life, or Couponing to Give More, or Couponing to a College Eduction for my Kids, or Couponing to a Camper! :)

Why do you coupon? Write it down. Look at it. When you don't feel like clipping, there is your motivation...

Remember, "I can do all things (even coupon) through Christ who strengthens me."

WalMart Deals

For my friends out there who are WalMarter's... Here is a link to $1 or less deals at your store. Hope this helps! Thanks, Couponing to Disney!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Good Old Days - Bartering

In early America, settlers bartered with each other and the Native Americans for everything that they needed to survive. It's an old practice that is renewing popularity again. In this economy, its important to save what we can, use what we have, and give openly. Bartering is a great way to do all of these things.

I am currently in a bartering relationship with my dear friend, Kelly. She cleans for me twice a month (doing the things that I can never get done, like my floors and my fridge) and I clip, sort, and organize coupons for her to make her shopping trips better. I also am planning on giving her some freezer meals too, but shhhh, don't tell (anyone who scrapes out my fridge with a butter knife is worth a few meals, don't you think? ;)

I wanted to share some ideas for potential barters with you below:

Do you/Can you:
Cut Hair?
Sew or Mend?
Run Errands?
Paint Walls or a Mural?
Throw a Yard Sale?
Give Mani/Pedis?
Cut Grass?
Clip Coupons?
Give Music Lessons?

Now, what do you need done? Find someone that can do what you need and BARTER, BABY!

Set a few ground rules: be clear of each others expectations, set a trial period, have a timeline, respect each others space and privacy, etc.

If both parties don't enjoy the barter, stop. There is no written contract here. Just take a break. Find a new person to barter with. You will be surprised how many people want to barter, but are afraid to ask.

As for me, I have the best of both worlds. I don't have to scrub my floors and I get to play with coupons all day Monday! :) Love you, Kelly! Here's to a great bartering future...

Target Deal of the Week - Stock Up Mamas and Dadas

Have you taken advantage of the Mott's Target deal this week? Here's how it goes:

Buy (5) Motts Apple Juices @ 1.75/each = 8.75 OOP
Earn 5.00 gift card

Each apple juice ends up costing .75/each or 3.75 total!!!

This is a GREAT time to stock up on juice for the winter...I'm just sayin'...

Surprise Deal at CVS Today

Imagine my surprise when I found this deal at CVS today.

Dr Pepper 2 liters 2/$3.
Earn $1 ECB when you buy 2.
Peelie coupon for save $1 NOW when you buy 2.

That makes a total of 2 Dr Peppers for $1.00!!! Fantsatic savings on soda!


The Best of my Box Today

Here are 5 things that I see today that are worth your time and mouse clicks:

Go here to see how you can get a FREE subscription to Town and Country magazine! Thanks, Moms by Heart!

Print a coupon here for a BOGO Sunday brunch at Ruby Tuesday’s. Thanks, Savings and Stewardship!

Go here to get a FREE subscription to Business Weekly! Thanks, Saving and Giving!

Stop over here for your chance to win Little Debbie’s chocolate cupcakes. Sounds like a win-win situation to me! Thanks, Moms by Heart!

Old Navy Weekly updates today. Head over for a 50/100 coupon :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Don't fall off the Wagon - Keep Clipping

A note of encouagement to all of you out there who are discouraged about couponing...Keep clipping!

  • You don't have to save 70% on your trips right away; shoot for an attainable goal of 25%.

  • You don't have to have the most organized coupon stash; an envelope system works just fine for many.

  • You don't have to go to 3 stores every week; pick your favorite that doubles coupons and shop their sales to save.

  • You don't have to buy 10 papers; use the coupons from yours and ask a neighbor for the ones that they won't use.

  • You don't have to change brands; use the coupons available for the brands that you love.

Do you get my point: YOU DON'T HAVE TO! But, you WANT to: save money, pay off debt, shop smarter, purchase a home, stay at home with your kids, etc. We all have choices. You don't have to be SuperWoman. Just pick up the scissors and KEEP CLIPPING!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beautiful Fall Decor/Treats

See Thrifty Decor Chic's fabulous outdoor décor for some fall inspiration.
I just love her mums/pumpkin flower box!

Also, see Bakerella's ADORABLE cookies here.
Who would ever guess to do something so cute with cereal?!?!?! Bakerella, that's who!

Hot cider anyone? I feel a crafty fall coming on...

Welcome, New Friends!

A HUGE WELCOME to all of our new friends from the Daily Essentials and Deals blog! We are so glad to have you here... Feel free to browse around and see what I am all about.

Also, this weeks Get Motivated Monday challenge is your guest closet. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you organized yours!

Again, WELCOME, here's to hoping that you love Hope-Filled Home as much as I do!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Guest Blogging this Week

Be watching for my guest posts on Daily Essentials and Deals this week! I am excited to welcome Megan's readers to our blog.

Get Motivated Mondays Challenge - Week 3

This week's challenge is (da - da - da - DA!):

Clean out your guest/coat closet. Hunt for gloves that match. Pitch odd-balls or recycle them into a craft project. Organize whatever is in there (in ours there are: coats, purses, gloves, hats, scarves, games, craft stuff...) Give away what you don't need. Inventory what you have so you don't re-buy.

Use rubbermaid boxes, over-the-door units, hanging storage or bags to organize. Get creative with your storage solutions. Enlist help from your kids.

Above all, have fun!

We Have a Winner!

Our winner of the Goodwill contest is KELSEY with 10 bags!!!

Watch your mail, KELSEY, for a sweet treat from me!

Redbox Code - Monday ONLY

Free #RedBox movie rental, good today only. Use code: QNGJ7KD.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Contest ends tomorrow

Just a reminder that the "garbage bag" contest ends tomorrow (see the original post on this weeks Get Motivated Monday if you don't know what I am talking about). I am at 4. Kelsey is at 10. Anyone want to try to beat her? There is a sweet surprise offered to the winner. Leave a comment by Sunday at midnight to win!

Thanks for helping others while getting ready for fall!



These deals start Sunday, so, run to CVS! (I'm thinking nail polish for Christmas stockings and to make "play" makeup for my 2 year old...)

Colgate Total 2.99
Earn 2.00 ECB
Use 1.00 MQ
Revlon Nail Polish 3.99 (limit 6)
Earn 3.00 ECB
Use 1.00 MQ
Pantene 4.99
Earn 2.00 ECB
Use 1.00 MQ
Pay 1.99
Combine with your $5/$25 purchase from taking the flu iq for an even sweeter deal!