Friday, May 13, 2011


Today's post will hopefully be motivating for those of you still hesitating to hop on the coupon train. Yesterday I found some CVS Extrabucks (money to spend at CVS printed at the bottom of your receipt) that were due to expire today, but I wasn't about to let them go to waste! I hopped on Southern Savers and saw that Jenny described this week's CVS ad as disappointing, and she was right it was definitely as "bad" as it gets. I spent five minutes making my list and another five minutes looking through my coupons. In the end, we left CVS with this in our bag...

and paid only $0.80 while saving $50.70! And that was with only one coupon! I'm psyched about the digital ear thermometer!

I've included a picture of my receipt below so you can see how I did it. The very bottom numbers circled are my year to date savings and spending. So far this year I've spent $62.85 (actually it's less since I had a few rebates) and SAVED $415.18!!!

PS-For anyone who just started following my blog, I'm not an extreme couponer, I refer to myself as a lazy couponer. I don't spend hours clipping and organizing coupons because I don't have time. So when I say it took me ten minutes to save $50, I mean it! (If you want to know how, please refer back to my January posts on the couponing steps)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our Medicine Cabinet Is Like A Bus Station

Medicine can be so expensive, and while I love getting over-the-counter medicines for free (or close to free) with coupons, I don't love how they expire so soon, usually right when I need them. It seems like as soon as I unload a new bag of medicines, the old ones are expired. Did you know that 90% of OTC medicines are still effective after 15 years? No, I won't be hanging onto my Tylenol that long, but I also won't toss it out as soon as the "expiration date" passes, turning my medicine cabinet into a virtual bus station. Here's a great article in the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide that explains it well and should save you some money in the long run.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Save the Cookies!

I learned this one from my mother, so a day late but in honor of Mother's Day, here it is. If your cookies (or other baked goods) are getting too hard just add a slice of bread to the container and they will soften in no time. This also works well if you're shipping cookies, just lay a slice of bread on top and tell the recipient to remove it when they arrive. It is just so wrong to throw cookies away, so please do your part and save the cookies.

Friday, May 6, 2011

What is this Swagbucks thing???

Several people have asked recently so hopefully this will answer any questions you may have. Swagbucks is a site that pays you to use their search engine when you're looking for information by giving you points. You can redeem the points for tons of prizes, everything from gift cards to sweepstakes entries. I'm an Amazon junkie so I save my points for their gift cards, 450 points = $5!

You can earn points twice a day, it usually takes 2-3 searches before a window pops up and says "You've Won 8 Swagbucks" or however many you're won--it's randomly chosen. The good news is that every Friday is double points day, I had one Friday where a search won me 50 points! The points are automatically added to your total and you can redeem whenever you like. If you tell someone about Swagbucks and they sign up through your link, you will also earn any points they do so it can really add up quickly! So let's say you're winning an average of 15 pts/day six day a week, and 20 points on Friday, that adds up to 110 points a week just for searching for info, and if you spread the word you can earn even more! So please follow my link so you can get some awesome prizes too!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baby Steps

Often when we think about saving money big purchases come to mind: new cars, houses, vacations, etc. but there's a lot to be said for saving money on small items. I recently found this handsoap at the dollar store, it smells great and is twice the size of the Softsoap bottles I used to purchase for $1.50. We go through a lot of soap around here, especially now that I'm working at home, about two small bottles or one this size every week. Each of these bottles saves me $2 compared to what I was previously paying, and when you multiply that by 52 weeks a year we're saving $104 each year just on soap! The added bonus, no coupons and I don't have to wait for it to go on sale. So let's say you make ten similar changes in your purchasing habits, you've just saved your family $1,000 a year!!!

Do I prefer Bath & Body Works foaming soaps in all the best fragrances? Of course. Would I trade being there during my kids' childhood to get them? Not on your life!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Don't Underestimate The Coin Jar

With the price of everything going up, it seems like coins aren't worth our time anymore. Not to mention many people use plastic and rarely pay with cash. But it is still surprising how much those coins can add up to over the course of a year, and keeping them all in one spot really isn't that much work.

I keep meaning to start saving for a specific purchase, and I have finally done just that-books! Books are the one thing I will always continue to buy more of no matter how many we own. Our county holds an annual book sale where prices range from $0.10 - $1.00 per book, but most are $0.25. I looked forward to it all year and spent a full two hours selecting new books (new to me) yesterday, what a treat! I was excited to find history and atlas reference books with price tags of $80+ for only $1, these will be perfect for when our kids start school! After loading three large boxes with over 60 books, my grand total was only $30!!! Sure we can find $30 in our budget and it's not going to break the bank, but now I'll look at those quarters so differently and be more vigilant about getting them to the coin jar--after all each one is a new book and learning opportunity for me and my kids!