Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend recap

Well, as promised, here is my weekend shopping re-cap. It was a lot of fun gathering deals and since the weather was rainy and cold a good day to do so.

After church Sunday we took the kids to the Children's Museum - we have an annual membership, so no cost to us, but what we didn't know is that it was a free public day - wow was it busy - I've never seen it that crowded. We stayed for a few hours and then couldn't stand the crowds. Saved $4 on the carousel ride with our membership, but nothing on admission since it would have been free regardless.

We dropped off food for my grandparents and then ran into Trader Joe's for peanut butter (I'm working on cleaning up our eating and their peanut butter has two ingredients - peanuts and salt versus the many unpronounceable ingredients in the national brands). Spent $1.79 per jar, so more expensive than the grocery with coupons, but a lot less than other natural peanut butters.

Then hit Penzey's for my free spice from the catalog - saved $3.99 on Northwood Seasoning - sounds like a fun one for grilling this summer!

Next was lunch at Don Pablo's - we had a $10 Anniversary credit from our Habenero's card, so with splitting one meal and one kid's meal, our bill came to $4.35. We left a $10 since the waiter did such a great job - so saved about $10 total.

Now came the really fun part. We stopped first at Aeropostale and I picked up a cami and panty for $.91. My husband helped my daughter pick out two necklaces and paid a total of $2.14. The coupon stated one per customer versus one per household, so we felt okay about each using one.

Next stop, Kohl's. I picked up a pair of workout pants (Fila) on sale for 60% off for $14.40. After my $10 coupon and 15% off coupon, I paid $4.02.

A quick stop into Victoria's Secret netted me two pairs of panties (one free with coupon and one with my $10 mystery card) for $3.38

Last stop on the spree was JCPenney - here my husband picked up two pairs of boxers for $1.97.

All in all, we spent $26 out of pocket for everything (including museum stop, lunch for all four of us amd items purchased), and our savings was: $67.99!!! Plus, we had a blast!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Weekend for coupons!

Wow, the free coupons keep rolling in! So far, I've collected $10 off $10 for JCPenney and $10 off $10 for Kohl's - both in the mail. I have a mystery card for Victoria's Secret worth at least $10. Then I saw a post for $10 off $10 at


So - if I can keep myself from purchasing more at each store, I should have a fun weekend shopping spree - I'll post an upate next week.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No TV week!

My daughter's school is having a no TV week this week. What a terrific program for kids! The school has planned activities some nights (a hike with an I-Spy list, a bike ride, and tonight is dinner at Culver's with the teachers as servers), and also gave us a list of ideas for the other nights.

I admit I let my kids watch way more TV than I think is appropriate. And I find that the more I let them watch, the more they end up watching the next week, etc. It's a slippery slope.

But, this week has been a ton of fun and I've decided to implement a few new "rules" around our TV watching:

1. No TV in the morning - sometimes I let them turn on a cartoon to watch while I get ready. Not having the TV on has made our mornings go so much smoother! They actually get ready themselves (or color, read a book, etc.) and don't zone out in front of the TV which ends up making us all late.

2. At least one night a week will be TV free night. I think it will be Thursday night as that is free of all activities and we can plan something fun each week.

I think this is a start and I definitely plan on easing out more TV - having gone cold turkey for a week (and with the warmer weather) I think this will be easy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Don't drive yourself crazy chasing deals!

It is so easy to get caught up in the deal chasing madness! I know, I've been there. A few years ago, I was running to CVS or Walgreens almost every day. Finally, after I realized I had almost 20 bottles of body wash, I decided it had to stop. So, I set myself up a schedule and now I make 1 trip to each store each week.

My schedule:
Saturday night after the kids go to bed, I run through a short list of blogs (3-4)to find the best deals at CVS and Walgreens. I write out my list, gather my coupons and set my bag by the door. After church we stop at both stores on the way home. This works well for me - it's not out of the way, I spend maybe 30 minutes shopping and the deals are typically still in the stores.

Yes, I miss out on some deals people discover later in the week, but unless it's on something we need, I just let that deal go - there will always be another. We still have enough body wash to last us all year (and have some to donate), but I'm spending less overall, still having the fun of the bargain find, yet not spending too much time preparing for deals and shopping.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Garage Sale Season is Approaching

With the recent warm and beautiful weather we are having, along with gardening, getting the yard ready and enjoying the sunshine, we are starting to prepare for our first garage sale of the season.

A quick little tip - I keep a rubbermaid container in my office and as I find things throughout the year, I put a price on the item and add it to the container. When the container is full, it goes to the garage and a new one is brought into the office. This makes my garage sales SOOOO easy. All I do is pull out and organize my stuff - it's already gathered and priced. Plus it gives clutter a place to go year round so I can stay on top the house!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What a difference a year makes!

Wow - interesting to go back and read my posts. Like last year, we did a valentine's party at school, I just de-cluttered my pantry, have done my weekly CVS and Walgreens deals and we took our annual (inexpensive) ski trip! Funny how things go in cycles, isn't it?

This year we are in kindergarten (for my daughter), my son is talking and running, and we took a last minute (inexpensive of course) trip for spring break.

It's been a while, but I have a bit more time now, so I think I'll pick this back up and try to post on a regular basis - so keep your eyes open for money saving, travel and family, organizing and fun posts in the near future!