Saving money on the ordinary to enjoy the Extraordinary!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good deals anyone?

Howdy fellow couponers!

I just wanted to see if anyone had any coupon success stories that they wanted to share?

Now is your time to shine! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Extreme Giving

People always ask me why I choose to coupon. And my answers usually sound like this:
“Why pay more for stuff when I can get it for pennies?”
“I am trying to be a good steward of God's blessings.”
“I like having a hobby that saves us money, not one that costs us money.”
Well last night, I came up with a different answer.
A few days ago, it was brought to our attention that a family in our community was in need. Not the kind of need that is a result of poor choices or lack of effort. This was the kind of need that broke my heart; that humbled me to no end. This family of 4 had recently had a baby, and when asked what they needed for their newborn, their response was sincere: “Just the basics, please.” Well thank God for churches that know how to rally around their own, and help meet the need. A baby shower was immediately planned, and a list of baby items was quickly circulated throughout our church’s electronic distribution list. Undoubtedly, our church would make sure that this newborn, God’s precious gift, would be ok.
After blogging about my trip to Walmart last night, I sat at my computer, completely convicted and utterly humbled. I sat in the comfort of my own home, blogging about my cheap diaper purchase, while there were people in my own community who couldn’t even afford diapers or blankets for their newborn baby. I had 4 boxes of unopened cereal in my pantry, while other families had to skip breakfast altogether to save money. I had countless bottles of Olay body wash in my bathroom, while some families would think of that as a luxury. How did I miss this? Why had I never put the two together? It suddenly all made sense…
"Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now." ~Saint Teresa of Avila
Last night I realized one very important lesson: My desire to coupon, save money, and stockpile shouldn’t be for my benefit entirely. God wanted to use my hobby to bless others.  He wants to use me, and my coupons, to be His hands and feet! I know it sounds silly. But if God can use a talking donkey, then surely He can use my coupon hobby, right? What an amazing thought…that something as insignificant as a $0.25 coupon could help minister to someone’s need…
And that’s when it all started! I was on a mission! I was going to be the hands and feet of Christ to the family I mentioned earlier. I ran to my garage, emptied out an old Rubbermaid container, and started to fill it up with items that I had stored away in closets and pantries. 10 cans of Chef Boyardee for their two children, 4 bottles of body wash, 3 toothbrushes, cereal, Q-tips, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, deodorant, toothpaste, the list goes on and on. Over 50 items, easily totaling over $100 regularly priced, were in that box. How much did I actually pay for them? I can’t say for sure, but I would guess no more than $10. I can’t explain the joy that was in my heart as I closed the lid on that Rubbermaid container. I smiled. My heart smiled. And I’m pretty sure that even Christ Himself smiled.

While my closets and cupboards may never be as full as those extreme couponing shows on TV, I’m content with what I do have. I would rather give those items to people who actually need them; instead of taking up space going unused.
Now when people ask me why I choose to coupon, my answer is this:
"I want my coupons to be the hands and feet of Christ."
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
Luke 12:48

Monday, May 23, 2011

Walmart Success Story: Baby Shower Gift

My project after work was the following: buy baby items for an upcoming baby shower. Sounds simple enough, right? Well here's the twist. I wanted to see if I could buy only items that I had coupons for. And I did! 7 items using 7 coupons. Below is my success story! :)

Total Retail Value: $29.81

Huggies diapers: $8.97 each 
-(2) $3.00 off printable coupons

-$1.19 Walmart associate discount
New price: $5.38 each

Pampers wipes: $1.97 each
-(3) $0.50 off coupons found in Sunday newspaper (P&G Saver)
-$0.44 Walmart associate discount
New price: $1.32

Johnson & Johnson baby bath wash: $2.98
-(1) $1.00 off printable coupon
-$0.17 Walmart associate discount
New price: $1.81

Johnson & Johnson baby lotion: $2.98

-(1) $1.00 off printable coupon
-$0.17 Walmart associate discount
New price: $1.81

Retail Value: $29.81
Total Paid: $18.33
Total Savings: $11.48 (38.5%) 

HOT $5.00 off BIC Permanent Marker Coupon

If you love markers like me, then this is the coupon for you! :)

You’ll want to snag this HOT coupon quickly because it will go fast!!!

Like Bic Mark-It on Facebook and print a $5.00 off BIC Permanent Markers coupon good for 24-36 count. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Macy's and My Shoes!

Ok ladies. I wasted no time taking advantage of The Ultimate Girls Weekend sale and coupon that I mentioned in my previous post. I just had to log on to share my success with all of you! :)

Original Price: $39.00
Clearance Price: $19.50
-15% coupon from previous post
Final Price: $16.57

Original Price: $69.00
Clearance Price: $48.30
-15% coupon from previous post
Final Price: $41.05

Total Savings: $50.38 (47%)

As a side note, I had $50 in Christmas gift cards that I had been saving for a good shoe sale (like this one). So after I cashed those in, I only paid $12.37 out of pocket. Deals like this make it worth holding on to those gift cards until you find the perfect sale/coupon combo :)

If anybody has the opportunity to take advantage of this Macy's sale and coupon this weekend, I would love to hear YOUR success story!!!

Toys R Us Coupons

I came across these printable coupons today while I was shopping online for a baby shower gift. 16 coupons total=AWESOME!!!
Lots of great deals! Enjoy!!

Macy's: The Ultimte Girls Weekend!

Good afternoon folks! :)

I sure do love it when I receive emails from Macy's that contain sale information and coupons! I've been holding on to some gift cards, patiently waiting for a coupon like this to come through.

Macy's is holding their Macy's Girls Weekend Sale today-Sunday, May 22.
The Wow!Pass is good for the following:


The coupon is for an extra 25% off your purchase of $100 or more, or an extra 15% off your purchase of $99 or less. You can also use this coupon online. Just use promo code WEEKEND at checkout to receive these same savings online!

Excludes: Everyday Values (EDV), specials, super buys, watches, cosmetics, fragrances, eSpot, Tempur-pedic, Louis Vuitton, selected Licensed Depts. Not valid on: previous purchases, special orders, services, gift cards, jewelry trunk shows,macys.com, payment on credit accounts; restaurants, gourmet foods, wine. Cannot be combined with any savings pass/coupon, extra discount or credit offer, except opening a new Macy’s account. EXTRA SAVINGS % APPLIED TO REDUCED PRICES.

If you would like additional information about this sale, please click here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kirklands: EXTRA 40% Off Green Tagged Clearance (Today Only)

I love it when Kirkland's does this little sale!

Take an additional 40% off all already reduced green tag clearance items!  Today only, Wednesday, 5/18!

You can also stack it with this printable coupon to receive an additional 20% off a single item. I got the following great deals today during my lunch hour! :)

Large hanging photo collage. Regularly priced at $39.99.
Clearance price=$14.97
Price after additional 40% off= $8.98
Price after 20% off coupon from above = $7.18

Smaller hanging photo. Regularly priced at $16.99.
Clearance price=$4.97
Price after additional 40% off= $2.98

2 large hanging photos. Regularly priced at $24.99 each.
Clearance price=$14.97
Price after additional 40% off = $8.98 each.

Retail value of all 4 items: $106.96
Total paid today: $28.12
Total savings: $78.84 (74%)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

$1.00 Off McDonald's Coupon

Click here to print a $1.00 off coupon for a McDonalds McCafe drink. This $1.00 off coupon is good on any size McCafe Frozen Strawberry Lemonade, Frappe, or Real Fruit Smoothie.

$1.99 Schlotzsky's Sandwich-Today Only (College Station)

Click here to view/print the email that I received from Schlotzsky's this morning advertising this promotion. I went to Schlotzsky's today during lunch to see if this would work, and it did! I received a small Original sandwich for $1.99 before taxes. When I pulled in to the drive-thru, I asked about this special, and the lady taking my order knew exactly what I was talking about. This makes for a cheap dinner to-go, especially if you already have chips and drinks at home. Remember that this deal is for today only. Enjoy!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Walgreens Shopping Trip

You may be surprised at how much  you can save at Walgreens if you shop the right way (matching their sales with coupons).

The cool thing about Walgreens is that you don't have to have a membership card. Let me show you my "winnings"!

Total Paid: $2.24

Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner: $2.99 (current sale is Buy One, Get One Free)
You can find this sale in their weekly ad that was released today
-(1) x $1.00 off 2 Lysol products coupon that I found in a previous Sunday newspaper
Cost: $2.99 for two - $1.00 in coupons = $1.99 for two

Sally Hansen Nail Polish: on clearance for $1.09
-(1) x $1.00 off any Sally Hansen product found in previous Sunday newspaper
Cost: $0.09

Scotch Tape: $1.99 each
I used the "Buy One, Get Two Free" coupon found in today's Walgreens ad
-(2) x $1.00 off any Scotch tape coupon that I printed from 3m.com*
*these two coupons will apply to the two "free" items that you're buying
Cost: $1.99 for three - $2.00 in coupons = Three for free!

Total Spent: $2.07 + $0.17 in taxes = $2.24

Total Savings: $11.87

CVS Shopping Trip

First bit of advice...if you don't have a CVS ExtraCare card, sign up for one! It doesn't cost you anything, and you will be amazed at how much money you will save by simply having this card. You only qualify for these sales if you have a CVS ExtraCare card. When you are ready to checkout, you just hand the cashier your CVS card, they will scan it, and you will automatically receive the sale price for the items that you purchase. Let me show you what I mean...

Total Paid: $0.24

So you're probably wondering how I got all of these items for only $0.24. Here's how...

Aussie Gel & Herbal Essences Shampoo: 2 for $5.97
-(2) x $1.00 off Aussies or Herbal Essences coupons found in a previous Sunday paper
Net Cost: $5.97-$2.00 in coupons=$3.97*
*CVS is running the following sale: if you buy 2 of these brands, you will receive $2.00 in ExtraCare Bucks that you can apply to your next purchase. ExtraCare Bucks act as cash at CVS.
(You can find this sale in their weekly ad that came out today)

Degree Deoderant: on clearance for $1.20
-(1) $1.00 any Degree item coupon found in a previous Sunday paper
Cost: $0.20

Carefree Liners: on clearance for $0.45
-(1) $0.50 off any Carefree item coupon found in a previous Sunday paper
Cost: Free

Oral-B Toothbrush: on clearance for $0.50
-(1) coupon for $0.75 off any Oral-B product received in mail from Proctor & Gamble
Cost: Free

Total due before taxes: $4.17
-$4.00 in ExtraCare bucks that I earned on a previous shopping trip
Total Due at Checkout: $0.17 + $0.07 tax = $0.24 + $2.00 in ExtraCare Bucks that I will be able to use on my next CVS purchase.

Total Savings: $17.89

First Ever Blog Entry

Well I never thought that I would become one of THEM, but today I officially become a blogger. Eeeek!!!

Now I promise not to become one of those crazy extreme coupon people (although some of you already think I'm pretty nuts) AKA my brother and brother-in-law :) They like to call me frugal, and cheap, which makes me smile, because that means that I must be doing something right. Love you guys!!! :)

So back to the blog. Why did I take the plunge into this unknown world of blogging? Well, honestly, I think some of my Facebook friends are tired of seeing my money saving photos, and wish that I would just stick to status updates and checking-in instead of posting how much money I saved at CVS last week.
Ok, that's not true (at least I hope that's not true) :) The real reason for starting this blog is because I think this would be a good way of sharing my couponing victories, as well as some coupon advice for those of you who are beginning in this fun coupon journey. I have posted a few photos on Facebook, but I think this blog will serve as a better medium for giving specifics about how I plan my shopping trips and what coupons I use. And others will be able to add their comments, give their advice, and can create a community that can share information. 

I can't promise that I will update this blog every day, but I will promise that I will do my best to share my coupon experiences with you. If I find a great deal at a store, I will let you know. If I find a great coupon online, I will let you know. If I have a successful coupon-filled shopping trip, I will give you step-by-step instructions on how you can have the same success. And you are welcome to do the same. If you find a great deal out there, I encourage you to share it with the rest of the world wide web :)

Well I guess this concludes my first official blog entry. I'm not sure how many people will actually read this, but if you do, please let me know. I am always excited to meet other couponers.

To Maribel, Paige, Rachel, and Jessica: Thank you for letting me share in the coupon excitement with all of you. When you save money, it encourages me and motivates me to keep clipping those coupons. It's easy to maintain this hobby when everyone else is participating as well :)

To my amazing husband Robert: Thank you for understanding my psychotic refusal to pay full retail price on anything, unless I absolutely have to. You get me, and you always support me and my habit. You know the real reason I do this. It isn't about stuff. It isn't about being materialistic.

It's about saving money on the ordinary things in life so that we can enjoy the extraordinary.