Wednesday

Rebates!

I thought I would let you all know of another way that I am making the most of our money. Mail in rebates! Just in the last couple weeks I have gotten back 5 rebates. And those total $44.99!

And to top it off, for most of them, the out of pocket was far less than what I got back in rebates. I still have several others that I am still waiting to get back and I just sent in 2 more yesterday.
And the Olay cleansers I got yesterday are part of a mail in rebate as well. They are on sale this week at Walgreens for 20%off. So they were 5.83 each and I had 2 $3.00 off one coupons. So I paid $5.66 for both of them and I will be submitting the recipt for a $15.00 dollars back from Olay for purchasing both at one time! Oh and I technically did not pay anything out of pocket for them because I used Walgreens Register Rewards to pay for them. So really nothing out of pocket to get a $15.00 check in the mail! And free face wash! The Ivory bar soap was free after a coupon at CVS this week. It is on sale for .99 and I had a 1.00 off coupon from last weeks Sunday paper.


I know that you may be thinking that it is not much to get a $5.00 check in the mail. But if you are already going to buy the product or you can get it for free why not do the rebate. You can put that money back into your grocery budget or set it aside and save it for something special. Or even cash it and use it right away for a coffee treat! It really will add up if you just keep sending them in! And it is so awesome to get the checks in the mail!
So, always be on the look out for rebates and make sure to follow through and send them out!

Savings!

Since I did not have a photo to go with yesterdays post, I thought I would post todays savings! I went to publix today and I did not have a ton to get but we needed bread and I had a few money making coupons to use that were going to expire in the next couple days so I thought I would get a few things.
For these groceries it would have cost $66.48 and I only paid $8.46 for it!
Here is all I got!

The money making coupons that I got were for the Sundown Vitamin D. They were 2.99 each and I used a store coupon for $6.00 off of 2 and a Manufactures coupon for $3.00 off of 2. So that was a 3 dollar overage.
And then the Rachel Ray Magazine was the other. It was 3.99 and I used a store coupon for $3.75 off the Magazine if I bought 2 Sorento cheeses. And a manufactures coupons for exactly the same. So that made for a $3.51 overage! And for the Sorento cheese that I had to buy to use those coupons, They were on sale for 2.50 each and I used a store coupon for $1.00 off 1 and a manufactures coupon for $1.00 off 1. So for 2Lbs of mozzarella cheese for $1.00!
The Ritz crackers and the wheat thin crackers will finish out what I needed for a $10.00 mail in rebate. And for all that I needed for that I spent well under the 10.00. SO that is a money maker too!
Here is a list of all that I got...
2- 1 gallon of Iced tea, Al's favorite!
1- Box Wheat Thin crackers
1- box of triscuts
2- Boxes Ritz crackers
1- Infusium shampoo
1- Infusium Conditioner
2- Loaves of Wheat bread
2- Yakisoba noodles
2- packs of Pillsbury crescent rolls
2- 8oz packages of Kraft shredded cheese
1- Rachel Ray Magazine
2- 1lb Sorrento Mozzarella cheese
2- 100 count Vitamin D caps

That is 21 items for only $8.46!!
WAHOO!!
Thanks for letting me share,
Chris

Monday

More deals!

It has been a while since I posted any deals. But no worries there have been lots more that I have gotten. So I thought that I would share one today that all can do!
Target has a couple of things on sale this week. Pepsi product 12 packs are on sale for 4 for $11.00. And Swiss Miss hot chocolate 10 pk box is on sale for .97. The Hot chocolate was marked 1.52 at my store so I scanned it at one of the price check scanners and confirmed that is was on sale for .97 cents.
Now before you just head out to the store, go to the Target website and on the home page scroll down to the bottom and click on the link for Grocery coupons. There you will find lots of coupons but the ones you are looking for are the ones for the 2 products listed above. There is a 1.00 off Pepsi products 12 pack and a 1.00 off Swiss Miss hot cocoa. So with the sales and the coupons the hot cocoa will be free!! and the Pepsi 12 packs will be 1.75 each!!
You can print each of these coupons 2 times. I printed 2 from both our laptop, desk top and Al printed our 2 more from his work. So I was able to get 6 boxes of hot Chocolate for free!! And 6 12 packs of Pepsi ( 3 Pepsi and 3 Mt. Dew) for $10.50. That is .14 cents a can!! And I was able to get enough to last us a very long time!
And now we have free Hot Chocolate for the 2 cold days a year here in Florida!
So go out and get yourself some great deals!!
Merry Christmas!
Chris

Wednesday

Interesting Money Management Ideas

Due to various financial issues, we have found ourselves living much more meagerly lately. Thankfully Chris has wholeheartedly stumbled upon the couponing idea to help us save money on our groceries.

Essentially we are out of debt, other than our house. However, we find ourselves still using credit cards all of the time for various purchases. And it always feels like we are just one step away from ... (who knows what).

Do you ever have that feeling?

I saw this article and was intrigued by a couple ideas presented in it.

Most importantly were these 2:

1. Opening ING Direct savings accounts that automatically withdraw money from your checking account into an interest bearing savings account that you can use later.
Essentially, he is proposing creating different savings accounts for different goals you have - vacations, electronic gear, new vehicles, etc - so you can slowly save up and pay for them.

2. Using prepaid credit cards - instead of traditional credit cards (which rack on fees and interest rate hikes, etc).
This idea says you will use these prepaid cards to maintain any ongoing accounts, online orders, hotel booking, etc. - instead of using traditional credit cards.


Both of these seem like very interesting ideas to help people move out of dependency on credit cards and banks who think of us as money instead of people anyhow.

I just thought I would share, and see what you think about the idea.
I'm not sure I'm ready to go this route yet. But it is a very intriguing way to battle back against the insanity of the current economic environment we face.

Merry Christmas!
Al

Saturday

Toilet paper for .45cents!!


Today I was able to get this package of toilet paper for .45cents! Here is how!
I went to Publix this morning and purchased everything with store and Manufactures coupons and got this.
The Benevia juice was on sale for $6.99, I used a store coupon for $3.00 off and a manufactures coupon for $5.00 off. So that gave me an overage of $1.01.
The Vitamin D Caps were $2.99 each. I got 2 and used a store coupon for $6.00 of the purchase of 2 Sundown Vitamins coupon. And I also used 2 manufactures coupons for $1.00 off one bottle. So that gave me a $2.00 overage!!
and the Revlon nail clippers were $1.49 and I used a store coupon for $2.50 off one Revlon tool and a manufactures coupon for $1.00 off. That is an overage of $2.01!
The toilet paper was on sale for $6.49, I used a manufactures coupon for $1.00 off.
The overage from the other coupons was $5.04 so I ended up paying .45 cents for the toilet paper and all the rest!
I could have used the overage and bought anything. We were needing toilet paper and I think that is one of the most overpriced things in the store so I chose to use it for that.
And I have enough coupons to do it one more time!

Wednesday

Deals

So yesterday I did a little shopping. We went to 3 stores. Publix (grocery), Target and CVS. Here is everything that I got.
The total spent for all of this was $1.68!
First stop was Target where I got all of the Crackers. They were on sale and I used coupons for them all. I had 4/$1.50 off of the Wheatables and All brann crackers. And I used 2/$1.00 Target store coupons and 2/$1.00 Manufactures coupons for the pepperidge farms pretzel thins. The total was $2.96 and I paid for it with the free $5.00 gift card that I got from last week.
Then next stop was Publix where I got 6 bags of Fisher Trail mix. It was on sale BOGO which made it .89 a bag. I used 6/$1.00 off manufactures coupons to get them free with an .11 overage for each bag! So I got the Apple sauce on sale BOGO making them $1.16 each. I used 2/.75 of manufactures coupons and the overage from the trail mix coupons and the total came to .20 cents!! That is right .20cents!
Next stop was CVS. They had the shampoo and conditioner on clearance for .99 each. I got 8 bottles and I used 4/.55off 2 manufactures coupons. Also when I got there I scanned my CVS card and got a coupon for $5.00 off a $15.00 purchase. That is before coupons! So I also got the Revlon lipstick. It was on sale BOGO and I had 2/$2.00 manufactures coupons. The total for purchases at CVS was 1.48! And I have $4.00 in CVS credit to spen next time I go in!
Not too bad for a little shopping trip. Thankfully all the stores are close together and basically just down the road from us. So I do not spend much in gas going to 3 different stores. I actually made another stop at Winn Dixie to use a rain check that I have but they still do not have what I wanted back in stock. So that would have been added too but I guess it will have to wait till next time.
I have started my weekly Publix list and it looks like it will be a good one with lots of free and money maker things! The new sale start on Thursday here. So that is when I plan my shopping trip for the week. I usually don't go twice in a sale but I was able to get more coupons for the trail mix so why not go and get something that you enjoy for free?!

Saturday

Dolphin Video from Our Visit to Big Bend Power Plant

Hello,

I thought I would share this 3 minute video with you guys.
We recently visited this Big Bend power plant for the first time, here in Florida. Amazingly it is a free attraction. I guess it's a way for them to educate the public on care and safety for manatees - so they provide this park as a free service to the public.

Anyhow, we visited there in October, but it was still too warm for the manatees to be swimming in the water by the plant. So as we took the short walk down the pier, we stumbled upon these dolphin playing in the water. So I grabbed this short video.

While you might think seeing dolphin can get old ... you'd be wrong. We have only seen a handful of sightings of dolphins since we've been here. Every time I see one I am amazed.

I hope you enjoy.



Al

Wednesday

Damaged Goods

It was a foggy morning. A little foggier than normal. Visibility was still a couple hundred feet, but it was hard to tell how clearly drivers could see me on the road.

So, wanting to be a good, safe cyclist I was pedaling as close to the edge of the pavement as I could. The shoulder of the road is about 3 feet wide (in general), and I normally cruise right down the center of the shoulder.

But, last Tuesday was anything but a normal bike ride for me.

Only about a mile from work, my tire slid of the paved road and into the dirt along the side. I evened out the bike and steered the bike back onto the street. As I did, the front tire started sliding out from under me. I could feel I was going to go down, and I knew there was a potential I could down in a bad spot. Because I was riding right along the highway, I rolled myself to the right so I would avoid falling out into the line of traffic. I couldn't tell if anyone was coming, but I didn't want to take the chances that there might be a car.

So, I rolled right and hit the ground. At one point, I found myself gliding along the pavement thinking ... 'man I've been sliding a long way'. And wondering how I could slide so far when I'm only going, like, 20 mph.

Never-the-less I finally stopped sliding along the roadway, so I grabbed my bike and drug myself off the road so I could be out of the line of traffic if any cars were coming my way.

My shoulder was killing me, I was bleeding all over the place, and it took me several seconds to be able to get a good breath. My entire body felt like it was shaking uncontrollably.

At first I started walking my bike along the road headed towards work. But then I realized it would take me forever to walk the rest of the way, so I sat on my bike and pedaled the rest of the way to work, steering with only my left arm.

It took me a long to get myself ready for work that day. I tried to clean all my wounds and make myself presentable. I ended up working all day that day. The next day I still felt terrible, so Christy took me into the doctor's office.

They took x-rays and told me that it wouldn't have to be amputated.

So ... that was good. Christy told me that with pets they often amputate as a first step. So, I felt like I was going to come out ahead.

I finally made it into the specialist on Monday.

Here's the final verdict at this point.

I separated my AC shoulder joint. Essentially, I destroyed the ligaments that hold my collar bone to my shoulder bone. These can be repaired with surgery, but for middle of the road case like mine, they only advise that if the patient is in a lot of pain over time. My arm should return to basically full function. However, I will always have a funny bump on my shoulder where my collar bone no longer is attached ... it just kinda floats freely up there. Right now, it seems pretty pronounced, and that could be because I'm still getting used to it.

Here's a link of what this is like - in medical terms:
Shoulder separation
And here is a picture of what happened. Mine is a 'Grade 3' separation.


Anyhow ... that's the run down of what happened.

I was finally able to sleep in bed for the first time last night. That's one week after the traumatic event. And I'm slowly getting better every day. Nothing like a lively crash to help you feel like you're still alive!


Thanks for everyone's prayers and well wishes!
I truly appreciate it. And thanks for everyone who was asking about me. I may be 'damaged goods' now, but I'm still happy to chat and say hi anytime you get the chance.

Here's a couple pictures of my own personal damages:




The black charred hole in the shirt is about the spot where my collar bone and shoulder met while I was dragging along the side of the road.

I am really glad I was wearing the helmet, or else those big pot holes up the side of the helmet would have been my head. YAY!




This shoulder shot is after about 5 days of a fairly rapid, but feels OHHH so slow, healing process.

Al

Monday

Target deals!

So I had some Target store coupons that I was holding on to for a good deal and today was the day for me to cash them in! For all the things below I paid $1.57 out of pocket! And not only that but I got a $5.00 gift card for my next purchase!


Here is the receipt to prove my totals! You can click the photo to make it bigger.
Not too bad to get paid to take home cleaning products and contact solution!

Thursday

This weeks grocery shopping

When we first moved here I so remember going to the grocery store the first few times. Everything was so much more expensive than it had been in Oregon. Everytime that I went grocery shopping it would cost over $50.00 and it hardly filled 3 bags. I was so depressed and I thought that there was no way we could ever afford to live here. Compare that to now and I am so excited to go grocery shopping. I love seeing the total go down and down. It is quite a rush! I love it! Keeley is getting really into it as well. When it reaches the point that the savings is more than the total she always points it out to me now. And then again at the end she compares the total saved to teh total spent. Our grocery recipts have never been longer! Todays recipt is atleast 2 feet long and I only spent $29.83. (including tax)

So here are the totals for todays grocery trip.
Total before sales and coupons- $144.83
Total savings from store sales- $49.78
Total savings from coupons- $63.29
Total for the groceries out of pocket- $29.83
I feel so blessed that this is working for our family and I am able to stretch our budget so far. Our pantry, fridge and freezer have never been fuller. God is Good!!


If you care to know how far 30 dollars will go I'll tell you!
1- 5lb bag of potatoes
2- Boxes of Ritz Crackers
4- Bags of Craisins(dried cranberries)
2- Boxes of Tissues
2- Rachel Ray Magazines
2- Jars of dill pickles
2- Boxes of Triscuts crackers
2- Bags of Hostess mini donuts
4- cans of Dole Pineapple
2- 2 liters of Publix brand soda
2- gallons of Sweet Tea
2- Boxes of Pilsburry pie crusts
6.65lbs of Granny Smith Apples
1 Fresh Dole Pineapple
2- Packages of Ziplok reusable containers
2- Coffee Mate Creamers
4- tubs of Coolwhip
5- Bags of Birds Eye Frozen Veggies
2- Bottles Glass Plus Cleaner
4- Tubs Sorrento Ricotta Cheese
2- Tubs Sour Cream
1- can Reddi Whipp
2- Pillsburry Cresent rolls
1- lb Bacon
1- jar Palmer Blackberry Jam
---------------------------------
55 items total. An average of .55 cents an item!
And I will be sending in for a rebate of $10.00 from Nabisco. The 2 boxes of Ritz complete what I need for that rebate.
There were several Item that I actually got for free. And some of thoes freebies came with overages!! For instance the Ritz Crackers were buy one get one at $3.69 a box. So that is $1.84 for each box. I used 2 Target store coupons for $1.00 off of each box. (publix will allow you to use a competor store coupon at thier store!) and I stacked it with a 2 Manufactures coupons for $1.00 off each box. (Publix will also allow stacking store coupons with manufacture coupons for greater savings!!)
So the total saving from the coupons was $4.00. That is an overage of .31 cents. I know that it does not sound like much but don't forget That I got the 2 boxes of crackers for free also!!
And then the big one was the Ricatta Chesse and Rachel Ray Magazines!! I was able to buy all 4 Ricotta cheeses and 2 Rachel Ray Magazines for free with a 2.05 overage!
Not all stores will allow overages, so you may just end up getting the things for free. And free is a very good price.
I also had a Winn Dixie coupon that I used today. It was for $10.00 off of $50.00 or more. And that is before coupons!!

Saturday

The Girls in Costume

Well, I am finally able to grab a couple of free minutes and share these pics of the girls.

For Halloween, the girls were able to dress up as the people they want to be in the future - at least this is what they want to be right now.

Kait - a Scuba diver
Keeley - a Veterinarian

Keeley's outfit was pretty easy, a nice cheap setup from from a local store. Kait's ended up being a homemade suit. The part that I am most pleased about is the homemade version of the scuba tanks. I almost couldn't figure out how to accomplish it ... but in the end we came up with something that worked perfectly. And ... I think Kait even liked it too. Which is nice!

I hope you enjoy.







Al

Thursday

Todays savings!


Total for todays groceries before sales and coupons $106.07. What I paid for these same groceries, $22.49! Oh Yeah!
The best deals 2 packs of chinett napkins, Free
1 package of Always pads, Free
1/2 lb of deli honey ham, Free
4 boxes of Rice Krispies, .48cents. Yes for all 4 boxes! That is .12cents each!
4 cans of Progresso soup, .18cents. That is .04cents each!

And here are the totals:
Store sales savings: $42.99
Store coupons:$9.00
Manufactures coupons: $31.59
Total Savings of $83.58
Total paid out of pocket: $22.49 for 51 items!

Monday

Just had to share!

So I just got back from the grocery store and I wanted to share my latest deals. It seems to be getting better and better for me the more that I learn about couponing. I am so excited to feel like I am making a difference with our budget even tho at this time I am not contributing monetarily. This has made a HUGE difference for us and I am so thankful that God has let me find this out when we really needed it most. God IS good!!
Last month I was able to buy lots more groceries than in previous months and I still had money left over. That has never happened before! God is Very Good!
I was able to get all this for $3.77 including tax! Total savings of $48.87! Now who in their right mind would pay $52.64 for this?? I find myself thinking that more and more these days.
Anyone can save this much on their groceries. Anyone! The key is to know your stores policy on coupons. The store that I seem to be shopping at the most lately is Publix.
I went to the customer service counter and asked what the store policy was. I have found that even the 2 Publix stores closes to me have different policies so you need to ask and see what one will work best for you. Unfortunately there is no store in Florida that doubles coupons but if your store does you can get even better deals! SO ask! Here is what I found out. Publix will take competitor store coupons. They will also allow you to stack a store coupon, (their store or competitor store) with a manufactures coupon for the same item. Also If they have a sale of buy one get one free you can use coupons for both items. So for instance I had a Publix store coupon for the Dove deodorant that was buy one get one free. I used that and I also had 2 manufactures coupons for 2.00 off of one. SO I was able to get both the deodorants for free. And for the Graham crackers they were on sale for buy one get one free, I had 2 Target store coupons for 1.00 off of 2 boxes, and 4 manufactures coupons for 1.00 off of each. So after the coupons I paid .49 for each box. The Tylenol was on sale for 3.99. I used a Publix store coupon for 3.00 off of one nad a manufactures coupon for 1.00 off one. So this too was free! Today I also had a competitor store coupon for a local store called Save-a-lot, it was for $5.00 off of a $20.00 total. Now that is before coupons! Do you see how the savings can add up! This really works!! And another bonus is that the Graham crackers are part of a Nabisco rebate offer where if you buy 10 nabisco products in a 2 month time slot you get $10.00 dollars back. They do not have to all be purchased at the same time. So I will combine these 4 boxes with the 2 that I got earlier and the 4 boxes of Ritz that I got a couple weeks ago and I will get back $10.00. I will actually be making money on this deal because I bought them all on sale and with coupons. Combined with the rebate and I will have more for the grocery budget next month!
Now will this feed my family for a week? No, but combine it with all the other things that I have gotten for so little (and there have been lots more than I have shared here) and it will make a huge difference in what I spend! So far the only thing that I have not gotten a coupon for has been meat. I have even used coupons for fresh fruit and veggies! They are out there you just have to look. I buy meat when it goes on sale. I buy lots and repackage it up and put it in the freezer so that I do not have to buy it when it is not on sale. Now that hurricane season is coming to an end am better able to stock up my freezer and not worry about loosing due to the power going out. There is no reason to have that worry in the northwest, or many other places. If the power goes out for any length of time there it is in the winter and your stuff will stay frozen lots longer that here, So go stock up!
Before I started couponing and watching sales, more closely, I spent most of my grocery budget at Walmart. They seemed so much cheaper than my other options. But now I see that the every day low prices that they are always talking about are not the best prices that I can get. If I need something "right now" and can't wait till it goes on sale most likely the best price will be at Walmart. But thankfully there are getting to be fewer and fewer things that I need "right now" and I can save so much more this way!

I highly recommend that you read the book Shop Smart Save More by Teri Gault. Now that being said, I would not reccomend the site. Here is what I have found about that. I joined the Grocery Game site for the free trial. In fact I am still in that time. But I was also looking for other sites and blogs that give me the same info. I have found much better free information that what the Grocery game site gives me. The site that I look at the most is www.southernsavers.com and www.iheartpublix.com. They have better coupon match ups than the grocery game and they get the information to me much faster than the grocery game site. So look around and see what you can find for your area. You may find like I have that I don't have to pay to get the best information or maybe not. It is so worth looking!
If you have questions I would love to help, Just ask!!

Here is a run down of what I got today!

4 boxes of Nabisco Graham Crackers
2 packages of Cream Cheese
2 Ragu Pasta Sauce
2 Maxwell House Coffee
2 cans of Campbels Healthy Harvest Soups
2 Dove Deodorants
1 Tylenol Extra Strength 50ct bottle

Here is how the totals break down.
Advertised store sales savings $17.38
Store coupons (publix and competor) $14.49
Manufactures coupons $17.00
---------------------------------------------
Total Savings $48.87
Tax .63
Total Spent out of pocket $3.77

Friday

More great deals!


So I stopped by one of my favorite stores this afternoon and just had to tell you all about the great deals!
The Halloween candy is now at 75% off. That in it's self makes for some good deals. But when you match them up with the Target store coupons printed from thier site it makes for some FANTASTIC deals! Here is what I got. I got 2 bags of milk chocolate M&Ms 12.6oz each and 2 bags of Peanut M&Ms also 12.6oz each. They are the halloween bags. The clearance price is .74 each but I used the Target store coupon for 1.00 off 2 bags and got each bag for .24 cents each! Yes you read that right 24 cents for a 12.6 oz bag of M&Ms! You can not buy a small bag for that little!
I also got 2 bags of Mars fun sized candy bars. They are 52 count bags. The clearance price is 1.74 for each bag. But I used 2 of the Target coupons for 1.00 off of each bag and got them for .74 cents each.
And there is also a 90 piese bag of Skittles and starburst. The clearace price is 1.74 and I also used a printable coupon for Target for 1.00 off one bag. So that makes them .74 cents each also.
Now I can stick these bags of candy in the freezer and have great treats all year long for a Super Great Price.
There are a few more coupns on the TArget site that you can get. Also you may have to look a bit for the specifc bags that go with the coupons but it really is worth it. It was not hard for me to make the match ups at all. I even had mor coupons printed that I was not going to use so I gave them to another lady that was in the candy isle with me so that she could get the same Super deals.
Now go snag some Great Deals!

Wednesday

Bicycle / Elliptical Trainer Idea

Bummer !


A few months ago I was inspired by a new idea. It struck me while I watched the girls exercising on an elliptical trainer.

I thought of crossing an elliptical with a bicycle.
There was no way on this earth that I could build it alone, so I was trying to find someone I knew who could build it.

The bummer part is - we saw my idea on TV last night. It was on a Biggest Loser commercial. So, to all of you who I asked for help ... here's what my idea kinda looked like.

We'll have to capitalize on the next wave. I'm sure there'll be more, since new ideas are coming around everyday.

In fact, my buddy here at work said ... "looks like so far no one has beaten me to my idea ... crossing a craftmatic bed with a unicycle." So ... you see, new ideas are flying around all the time. We just gotta be able to catch one.


My biggest question is ... how to actually accomplish the finished product once you have the idea.


Here is a link to check it out:
Biggest Loser ad
Street Strider Homepage

And here's what this guy's version looks like:




To be honest - his idea looks like it would have been a lot better than mine. However, the price tag is a bit steeper than I was expecting.


Al

Deals for all!

So I thought that I would post the deals that I got today. And these are some that even those of you in Oregon can get!
So the first deal is the Ocean Spray juice. It is on sale this week at Target for $1.98 for a 64oz. bottle. If you go to Target.com there is a Target coupon for $1.00 off of one bottle. So that makes it .98 for each bottle! Targets coupon policy will allow you to use 5 coupons at a time. And if you happen to have a manufactures coupon for the same thing you can stack them with the store coupon. (I was not able to find any manufactures coupons for this.)SO for all 4 bottles I paid $3.92. Great deal for Juice. I also got some of these last week so we have been enjoying the juice here at home.
The other deal is for the Campbell's soup. This week at CVS they are on sale for 2/$1.00. There is a coupon that you can print here (http://promotion.familytime.com/cscc/default.asp) and it is for $1.00 off 2. SO when you use the coupon with the sale at CVS I got them for free! I was able to print out 2 coupons from my printer at home. So I walked in to CVS and got 4 cans of chicken noodle soup for FREE! Not a penny spent! I think that before the week is up I will have Al print me 2 more coupons from his work so that I can get 4 more!
So all in all I got 4 bottles of juice and 4 cans of soup for 3.92. Not bad!
Let me know if you decide to do any of these deals I would love to know!
Have fun!
Chris
Also here is a great tip for you! You can print the Target store coupons right at your Target store! That is what I did today. You can do it right from the computers at the front of the store, the same ones where you can look up the wedding and gift registries. There is a link to Target.com on the first starting page. click that and then go down to the bottom of the page and there is a link that says grocery coupons. Click that and a screen will pop up with all the Target store coupons that are on the site. Just click the ones that you want and the printer will print them out for you! You can do this even if you Target store is not a super Target. They all have a small amount of groceries in every store. And so far all the store coupons are for things that are at the Target closes to me. None of them are Super Targets with full grocery stores in them.

Tuesday

Crazy, Crazy Women ... I'm surrounded by them

I just pulled a bunch of pictures off of Kait's camera, and there were a few photos that caught my eye.

These shots were taken in the car on our drive down to the Florida Keys.

The strangest part about these ... is that I finally realized where my girls get their freakish personalities from.

You'll see what I mean as you get toward the bottom. In fact, the last shot is pretty interesting, and I'm not sure how long I'll be able to leave it up, without incurring some sort of wrath from the subject of the picture. So - take a look now while you can.












Al

Sunday

I have done it again, HUGE savings!

So This time I had even better success then last time. I am so super excited!! This is what I am hoping for every time I go the the grocery store!! This time I went to Publix and I the total that I spent was $16.29 and the total savings was $40.09!!!! Here is a photo of everything that I got.
Also I have been asked how I have done it and so I will tell you after I show you a breakdown of the purchases!

Here is what I got and how I got it...

8-Healthy Harvest whole wheat pasta- publix sale of buy one get one free, making them .89 each. Then I had a coupon that I got from online that was $1.00 off of 2 boxes bring the cost down to .39 each.

2- 8 O clock coffees- Publix sale buy one get one making them 4.99 each. I had a coupon, from their web site for 2.00 off one package making the cost 1.49 each.

3- Coffee Mate Creamers- Publix sale 4 for 6.00 making them 1.50 each. I had 2 coupons, one from nestle site and one from coffeemate site, 1.50 off of 2 and .55 off of 1. SO by only buying 3 and using both coupons the cost was .81 each.

4- Old Elpaso Taco seasoning mixes, Publix sale buy one get one making them 1.19each. I had a coupon for .60 off of 2 making the cost .29 each.

2- Pillsbury toaster strudels, Publix sale 3 for 5.00, I had 2 coupons for 1.00 off each box making the cost .67 each. ( I have never bought these before but the will be good as a treat and that is a good price I'd say!)

2- Arm and Hammer toothpaste, Publix sale Buy one get one making them $2.99 each, I had a coupon from the arm and hammer site for 1.00 a box of tooth past making the cost 1.00 each.

4- Peter pan peanut butters, Publix sale of buy one get one making them 2.59 each. Then there was an in store coupon, right on the shelf for 1.00 2 making the cost $.79 each.

So 25 items for $16.29!! With a savings of $40.09!! Can you believe it?? I am so very, very excited!

A couple months back I got this book from the library called Shop Smart Save More by Teri Gault. She has a web site called the grocery game and I liked the idea that she has but I was not sure that I really wanted to pay somebody to match up the sales ans coupons for me. SO I went looking for other blogs and sites that would give me the same information for free. (because I an cheap that way!) And Thankfully I found them! Now I have to look at a couple to get all store that are local to me. (publix, Winn-dixie, Sweet bay) but I am o.k. with that because I don't have to pay anybody for that information and it really does not take me long. I also know that there are sites and blogs like this for the grocery stores in the Northwest like Safeway, Albertsons and Winco. So look around and see what you can find!
Today most of the coupons I used where from online places, Couponsource.com, Red Plumb or directly from the manufactures sites. The great thing about the sites that match the sales and coupons up they will also tell you how find and print or clip the coupons that go with them. Many with clickable links right there with the listing of the sale items.
I am still new to this so for now I have only done the grocery stores weekly sales and I have not ventured over to places like CVS or Walgreens. But I will be looking them up and seeing how they can help me out as well. I have used some Target store coupons and manufacture coupons for some big savings but only a couple of times because out Targets around here do not have much in the way of grocery items.
Really the key is combining grocery sales and coupons with manufactures coupons to get the lowest prices. I know that there is a lot I have left out SO if you want more info just ask and I will do my best to fill you in! Plus I will be updating on all the deals and shopping that I do because really it is just too fun for me and I would love to help you all out and save big too!
Thanks for sharing in my excitement!!
Christy

Friday

Winn Dixie Winners!

I've finally done it.


What, you ask?

In an attempt to increase (or maybe a better way to say it is 'expand') our shrinking grocery budget, I've been tracking coupons and sales for the last couple months. My ideal goal is to walk out of the grocery store with $100 worth of groceries that I've only spent $10 on.

However, today I made a pretty sweet step in the right direction of achieving this goal ...

When all was said and done, I saved more money than I spent. How cool is that?

Savings - $21.71
Spending - $17.97

Step in the right direction - Priceless


Anyhow, I was pretty excited when the lady at the store read me the total savings, and I had to tell Al when I got home.

It was a great success!

Tuesday

Ridiculous New FTC rules for websites

Well, I was surprised to see this new interpretation by the FTC for website owners.

Honestly, I thought people just assumed that website owners had some kind of financial stake in the material they published. But obviously people can't even figure out that publishers are trying to make money with their websites.

Some people are just stupid!

Anyhow - here is some of the FTC guidelines on their new rule.

The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.


Basically, it looks like, if I promote someone else's product with the words I say on a website then I have to tell people reading it that I will make money if they buy the product.

Uh ...

Duh ...

Why else in the world would I be paying money to run a website and put content out into the world? Because I want to use all my time to give back to my community? Right! Because my community gives so much back to me.


Whatever!


Anyhow, I just thought I'd let you know, since some of you who know me might also have similar situations.

Read more about the idiocy of the FTC here.

To be honest, some of the ideas they propose in their law are pretty helpful for consumers. But, I'm not sure exactly how this one, in particular, is going to be that helpful - because I pretty much assume anyone saying something good about someone else is going to be getting paid for saying such a thing online.


Oh - and by the way - I don't get paid one single cent to tell you all of that. My, aren't you lucky.



Al

Cool Question

Every morning, I ride my bike past the same intersection. In Florida, some intersections have traffic cops who patrol particular lights to protect the pedestrians walking by, because they are right beside public schools.

So, I see this same officer almost every day of the week. Most days we just pass by and say hi.

This morning, he says ... "Hey, do you ride your bike all day? I saw you riding around last night too."

It shocked me a little bit.
Of course, I ride to work, and then back home again at the end of the day.


Anyhow, I told him ... "Nope, just riding home from work. But ..." I added "that would a GREAT job."


Mostly - I thought it was one of the coolest questions anyone has ever asked me before. I was thrilled to be asked. Not to shabby!


It's given me a new mission to pursue ... how to ride my bike and make money at it. I probably won't let you know how it goes, though ... because I don't figure it'll be happening anytime soon.

Al

The great Vanilla experment

So today I(Chris)started an experiment. I have read about making your own vanilla extract and how much better it tastes than the stuff that you buy in the store. So, today I took the plunge and started soaking some vanilla beans in vodka. Thankfully I had a bottle of vodka on hand when the beans came in the mail today. I also put a bean in some sugar to make Vanilla infused sugar! Can't wait to try that. Yummy!
Here are the beautiful beans!
And here is day one of the soaking.
The unfortunate thing is that it takes 8 weeks until it is usable. But then it will last for a very long time and I can just keep topping it off with vodka and letting it soak for an unlimited amount of vanilla. And it costs a ton less than the stuff that you can buy in the store. Really pennies a bottle! Can't beat that.
How this all started was a couple of years ago we were given a big bottle of vanilla extract that came from Mexico. It was so wonderful! Such a wonderful taste and smell. It has made all of my baking even better tasting. It is unlike anything that you can buy here and I just used the last of it a couple weeks ago So after much crying about not having any more of the good stuff I started looking into making my own. I am hopeful that it will taste as good as the stuff from Mexico. From what I have read it is really really good!
I got the vanilla beans from this site. http://www.organic-vanilla.com/servlet/StoreFront
Looking at the site there is nothing in stock but I e-mailed them and they had some packs that were not listed on the site yet. Also she told me that they will have lots more listed in a week or two! I think that they are priced great! They are a wonderful quality and she was so great to work with. Excellent customer service! I highly recommend them! I got 10 7inch beans for $8.10. So a good deal. Now I have heard that there are some good deals on ebay for vanilla beans as well. But I wanted to go with this place because looking at the site there was a lot that I liked about it.
I will keep you updated on the process! I can't wait!

Saturday

More on the Cargo Bike Redo

I just posted about this bike a couple minutes ago, and then I found this article with more pictures ... so I HAD to post these up.

I'll keep it short and sweet.
clipped from bikehugger.com

The Bullitt: Danish Cargo Bike

Bullitt little boy.jpg
What sets this bike apart from many other long-wheelbase cargo bikes is the use of aluminium in large diameter tubes as opposed to steel. Much as I like the ride of a good steel bike, a cargo bike is a great opportunity to allow aluminium to shine, especially when a manufacturer can really engineer the shapes and diameters of tubing.
BullittTNTGear.jpg
A lot of cargo bikes are begging for some extra rigidity. The Bullitt comes in 13 versions, with disc brakes and choice of internally geared rear hubs or derailleurs. The lightest version weighs 48lbs. As far as I can tell, there might be only one frame size, but I so want one.
BullittTNT.jpg

Grocery Bike Redo

I was talking about bikes that you can use to gather up grocery supplies when you go shopping.

And then I saw this new bike concept ... designed to let you carry stuff on the front end. It's a pretty cool idea. It has what looks like a skate board deck mounted on the front frame of the bike. Apparently wide enough to hold a bag of groceries.
clipped from dvice.com
Bullitt bike puts cargo space on two wheels
Bullitt bike puts cargo space on two wheels
there's basically no storage room on a bike. It's very difficult to go to the grocery store on your bike, for example. That's not the case with the Bullitt.

Bullitt is a bike, sure, but it doesn't look much like any bike I've seen before. In front it's got a huge cargo space, enough to hold all sorts of groceries if you so desired. Sure, it's probably difficult to store and not as maneuverable as a normal bike, but what are your priorities?

Wednesday

Here's a Cutting Edge Electric Bike

Here's another example of the direction that electric bicycles are going. This one is a space aged example of the future.

It reminds me of something you might see from an old Star Wars show, or something like that.

I thought it was intriguing. I hope you like it.

OF course, rather than buy the $5000 bike, I think I'd rather pick up a scooter ... like a Vespa or something like that. Maybe even a motorcycle.
I guess you wouldn't have to pay for licensing on something like this though.
clipped from www.trendhunter.com

Electric Mini-Two Wheelers

Edit

Electric Mini-Two Wheelers - The Yike Bike is the Solution to Urban Congestion (GALLERY)

The question of urban mobility has always been “how am I going to get from reasonably close point A to reasonably close point B?” The solution is the Yike Bike.

The strange looking Yike Bike is a foldable, electric powered, and carbon frame high seated mini two wheeler. Weighing in at 22 lbs., the Yike Bike is easily maneuvered, and features electric brakes with an anti-skid system. Aside from looking thoroughly silly on one, the only other draw back is the hefty price tag of $4,900. And you can’t even pop a wheelie on it.

clipped from www.trendhunter.com
clipped from www.trendhunter.com
clipped from www.trendhunter.com

Sunday

Loyce Harpe Park, Lake to Lake Bike Race in Lakeland, Florida

You know I've been thinking about doing this off and on for quite awhile. And I almost decided not to check out the Lake to Lake bike race, in Lakeland today.

But, I knew, if I didn't ... I would kick myself later.

And I'm so glad I did.

There weren't a whole lot of spectators. But it was great to see a large collection of avid bikers from around the area gathered together. And I was BLOWN away with the quality and caliber of bikers and bikes that were there.


Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch the whole race, nor was I able to get any video ... since I left my video cam at work. But, I did snag a few shots of pre-race preparation, and some scenes from the first corner of the race. In fact, I almost got run over, I was so close to the action (check out my camera angle, and the angle of the tire on the very last picture - I had to move pretty quickly to get out of the way).

Anyhow, I was totally happy with my short visit there. I would love to check out more races just like this. It was great to see, and be a part of ... even if I was just a happy enthusiast.


I even shared a few words with the local newspaper photographer. Super nice guy! He asked who I was covering the race for ... ha ... I only wish! I know I was sweating in that heat. I'm sure he, and the riders, were nice and toasty before it was all over.


Oh ... and one last comment before I cut out. A few posts ago I talked about new bike ideas that I had never seen before. In particular, there's a new front fork for mountain bikes, called a 'leftie'. You'll find a picture of what I'm talking about just below (see the 2nd photo). I couldn't afford it at this point, but I love the idea. Very cool!







And even a few kids got in on the bike racing action. Why didn't I ever have bike races around town when I was a kid? I could have been a contender back then.












Happy Trails!

Al