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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Things You Should Never Buy...If You Coupon!

If you coupon…
There are MANY things you should never pay even one red cent for!  Below is a list of things, in my years of experience in couponing, that I have determined there is absolutely NO reason in your ENTIRE life that you should EVER have to pay cash for.  Keep reading, because I've also enclosed a pretty extensive list of things you shouldn't pay more than $1.00 for as well =) 

1. Razors. 
There are ALWAYS coupons to get you free razors…sometimes they are even moneymakers!  They aren’t the world’s best, award-winning razors, but they work to shave the stubble!  In my stockpile right now have three blades…not too bad for free!

2. Toothpaste.
Seriously, do not EVER pay for toothpaste!  If you live in an area where stores double coupons, it is COMPLETELY unnecessary for you to EVER pay for toothpaste.  Colgate and Crest alike issue $0.50/1 coupons that double to $1.00/1, on a regular basis.  Stores like Kroger and Meijer often put Colgate and Crest on sale for 10/$10.00, making them free.

3. Tooth Brushes.
Unless you are a stickler for $10.00 toothbrushes, or will only use the motorized kind, there’s no reason in the world you will ever need to pay for toothbrushes with anything other than a coupon.  The situation is similar to toothbrushes, but includes the Oral-B brand.

4. Protein Bars.
I’m not a huge fan of protein bars, but my husband is near the size of a stick figure and eats them when I have them.  Again, I live in an area where Kroger doubles coupons, and there are a LOT of coupons for $0.50/1 protein bar coupons that double.  Every once in a while, if you’re lucky and keep a watchful eye,  you will find a printable coupon for $1.00/1 Pure Protein products, which include their protein bars, which are often $1.00 each at many major retailers.

5. Pantiliners.
That seems to be the ONE thing that ALL couponers have an abundance of.  Hmm…maybe we should all start donating some to some local charities?  There are very often coupon for $1.00/1 pantiliners for more than one brand.  Keep an eye out, and you’ll have a neverending supply!

6. Denture Cream.
Especially as of late, there are an overabundance of coupons that will get you name-brand denture adhesive cream for free, or will even give you overage!  I, personally, have all my teeth intact, but I donate to a family locally who is able to really benefit from my couponing!

7. Air Fresheners.
Especially the gel, solid kind!  OFTEN, Glade puts out coupons that work for any of their products and the general price for the gel solids is as low as $0.97!

8. Aspirin.
Or, most other general pain relievers.  Generally, you have to buy these in “trial” or “pocket” sized increments, but they last a LONG time if you get enough!

9. Allergy Medicine.
I can’t TELL you how many piles of Zyrtec, Advil Allergy, Allegra and whatever else I’ve come home with for free.  They often issue high dollar coupons that include a small count side, making them free after the coupon!

10. Tums.
Tums, Tums, Tums, TUMS!  Yep.  Free!  It’s often the 12 count little rolls that are free, and most of the time are a printable coupon.  BUT THEY’RE FREE!

11. Eyeliner.
NEVER pay for the stuff.  I don’t even wear it and know I can get a ton for free to donate every year.  DO NOT PAY FOR IT…with cash that is ;)

12. Nail Accessories.
Like nail files, buffers…and all other nail-like things.  There are always sales and coupons that coincide to get these items free.  Watch out for them and then stock up!  They make great additions to gifts!

13. Gum.
Packs of gum make it EASY to score free with coupons.  Keep an eye out and stock up when you can.  Make sure and store in a cook, dry place.  It can turn out to be a sticky situation if you don’t…yea I know…that was punny ;)

Now that we have gotten past all of the things you SHOULDN”T pay for, we will now move on to things that are acceptable for you to pay for…with $1.00 bill or LESS.  Below is a list of things you should stock up on when you can get them for less than $1.00 and shouldn’t pay more than that for them.

1. Paper Towels.
A lot of times you can get these for free, but they’re in this category because the chance to get them for free has been few and far between as of late.

2. Juice.
Whether bottled, or concentrated, NEVER pay more than $1.00 a bottle! Old Orchard is a great brand to get for this price on a regular basis.

3. Energy Drinks.
A great place to get coupons is the gas station.  Snag some for your favorite energy drink and wait for a sale.  Stock up and then NEVER pay more than $1.00 for them!

4. Candy Bars.  
I was gonna do a, “Never pay more than $0.50” category, but I just moved on to this one.  So pretend that this is in that category, and NEVER pay that for them!  In fact, sometimes they are on sale, and when combined with a coupon can be free, very often!

5. Nail polish.
I just scored a lifetime supply for free, but if you’re not so lucky, at LEAST don’t pay more than $1.00.

6. Deodorant.
Anything over $1.00 is a waste of money.  Even for fancy clinical kinds.  Just don’t do it.

7. Body Wash.
This is free a LOT of times, but easier to find for less than $1.00.  So I gave you a break.  Just don’t spend more than $1.00 and we’ll call it even.

8. Sliced or Shredded Cheese.
I know it’s big savings, but it’s totally doable and freezes well, so it’s easy to stockpile.

9. Peanut Butter.
For whatever reason, February and March are the months to get it near this price!  Keep your eyes open…it’s worth it!

10. Shampoo and Conditioner.
Even name brands like Pantene and Tresemme are easy to get for less than $1.00 and even at major retailers like Target or Walmart.  Wait it out, and get a great price!  It’s worth it!

11. Cereal.
It is SO incredibly easy to get them at this price, you hardly have to try.  So exert a little effort and don’t pay over $1.00!

12. Granola Bars.
Yep.  Easy-peasy! Easy to stockpile too.  Wait for a good sale and use those $0.75/1 coupons…so good.

13. Condiments.
Ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, salad dressings, mayo or miracle whip, hot sauces…all of the above.  NEVER pay more than $1.00 for each of these! 

14. Pet Treats.
Unless you have a pet rhino or something…

15. Cake mixes and frostings.  
So easy to get name brand for less than $1.00.  And totally worth it!

16. Plastic Baggies.
Even name brands like Hefty and Ziploc often issue coupons for these to make them less than $1.00!

There are a lot more that I haven’t mentioned, but this should give you a pretty solid base to start from.  Hope this helps!  Soon we will be issuing another blog post on things that are or ARE NOT beneficial for you to make on your own.  Pinterest can inspire us all to begin making things we use on a regular basis, but there are just some things you should stick to buying or couponing for yourself!

Now...if you aren't couponing...why aren't you?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Top 5 Android and Apple Apps to Save Money and Get Free Stuff!

I know it's been a while since I have blogged.  Life is crazy, what can I say.  Either way, I realized upon searching the internet today on this very topic, that my search lacked substance.  I work for a coupon company (that's right, I work for for those of you who didn't know...) and I was looking for ways to save money digitally.  We all want easier ways to save money.  My Coupon Resolution for 2013 was to save more money using the tiny computer I carry around and sometimes make calls on (see: smartphone).  So, there are some apps I have been utilizing and have been saving TONS of money on.  Even getting things for free (mostly free stuff...) and not just stuff I don't need or silly samples.'s my top 5 MUST have list of apps for the money savvy person with an Android or Apple Smart Phone.  Some of these aren't available on Apple...I'll mention it if they are.

5. Ibotta Android and Apple Compatible
     Ibotta is an app that essentially has digital coupons.  You choose the amount you want to save by how much effort you put into it.  For example: You can save $0.25 by answering a one-question poll.  You can save another $0.25 if you read a one line fact about the product or app.  You can save another $0.50 by watching a 30 second video on the product.  Total you have the opportunity to save $1.00 on said product if you put forth the effort.  Then when it's all said and done, you take a picture of your receipt AFTER you've purchased the product you wanted to save money on, from a supported retailer (the list is extensive) and then scan the barcode of the product you were supposed to have bought.  When they verify that you actually bought the product by checking your receipt, AND that the product you scanned matches what's on your receipt, they will deposit the $1.00 (or whatever the amount you were supposed to save was) into your paypal account.

Pros: More green friendly than coupons.  Easy to save.  You can use a manufacturer coupon when you buy the product AND then get the money back for the product.  Example: There's a Tresemme rebate on Ibotta right now where if you buy a 32 oz (specified type) of Tresseme you get a $1.50 back.  You can also use a $1.00/1 Tresseme coupon when you buy it in stores.  So if you bought it from Walmart for about $3.34, you can use the $1.00/1 Tresseme coupon so you pay $2.34 in store.  Submit your receipt to Ibotta and get back $1.50 on top of that, making the final price: $0.84.  Not bad!  Also, the Paypal transfer is fast.

Cons: Scanning of the barcode can be tricky on Android devices.  They're working on it, though.  And it's a little time consuming to watch videos and answer polls.  Product list is still kind of small as well.  Again, it's new, so this will only improve.

4. Hotel Tonight Android and Apple Compatible
     This app helps save money when you need to book a hotel in a hurry.  We all know we can save money by booking in advance, or catching a special.  This app specifically woks for you to book, well like it says, a Hotel Tonight.  Currently only supports most major US cities.  You automatically get a credit of anywhere from $25-$35 when you sign up to be used when you book your first hotel stay in their app.  You can sort by hotel star rating or from price lowest to highest.  They get their deals by booking last minute deals with the hotels.  Hotels would rather book cheaper rooms than to have a room empty for the night anyway!

Pros: Great for last minute. App is easy to use.  No coupons required.  Extra bonus credit for sign up can make your hotel as cheap as $50!

Cons:  Only currently supports major US cities.  Can't book ahead of time.  Literally only for TONIGHT.

3. The Coupons App Android Compatible
     This app will give you stores, restaurants and online shopping codes that are available.  I use this app most often to get free Redbox DVD rentals.  I've also used it in clothing stores just to check if there's a coupon I didn't know about.  Easy to access.  Random deals on fast food restaurants and websites too.  Great to use on the go!

Pros: Easy to use.  Quick to scroll through.  Wide variety of selections.

Cons: Selections tend to be limited.  Mostly good for clothing stores and online shopping codes.

2. Wrapp Android and Apple Compatible
     Wrapp is a fantastic app where you can give gift cards via cell phone.  The best part?  Half of them are FREE to give!  Good ones too!  Like $5 gift card to Toys R Us and Office Depot.  My favorite gift card?  $10 to  I had never used this website before.  I activated the gift card on, but didn't really see anything I had to have.  I let the gift card sit in my account dormant for 24 hrs, and the website itself sent me ANOTHER $10 gift card.  So now I have $20 to use on the website.  I ended up getting stuff I was REALLY excited about and only had to pay $4.95 shipping!  When the package came in the mail, it had another $5 gift card in it and the box was awesome!  I know that sounds strange, but it really was neat =)  So, I gave my husband the $10 gift card through Wrapp.  Then he waited 24 hrs and also received ANOTHER $10 gift certificate from in ADDITION to the $5 gift card I got in my package from the first order.  So this time I got $25 worth of stuff from their website for only $4.95 shipping!  Woohoo!  Anyway, so these gift cards are awesome.  Love them.  THey will randomly have deals like send someone a $15 card to Game stop (that one you have to pay for) and receive one free for yourself!  Woohoo!  And the ones you can use in store like Toys R Us or Office Depot are literally gift cards.  You can use them on generally anything in store.  We got cleaning supplies at Office Depot and sponges, because we needed them.  And they were free.  Sweet deal!  Also great for if you forgot someone's birthday or don't want to take time to go to the store, you can send them a gift card you pay for (THAT list is huge...Toys R Us, Game Stop, Build-A-Bear, Sephora, Levi's Gap, Old Navy and more!).

Pros: FREE GIFT CARDS.  Doesn't get better than that.  Great for spouses.  Send a gift card to your spouse and your spouse can send one to you.  Double the gift cards for free!   Great for last minute gifts so you don't even have to go to the store.

Cons: List of free gift cards is small and for small amounts.  You have to install the app to use the gift cards, so for people you send the gift card to, they may think it's spam because it's too good to be true.

And Here is THE number 1 app for free stuff and saving money in my book:

1. Shopkick Android and Apple Compatible

     Shopkick gets you points (called "kicks") for literally walking into a store.  Not for buying anything, just for walking in.  You can also get kicks for scanning products in-store.  Not for buying and THEN scanning, JUST for scanning.  You use these "kicks" to earn gift cards or products in-app.  Gift cards like Target, Best Buy, Starbucks, Macy's and more.  It doesn't take a lot of kicks to earn a gift card either.  500 kicks gets you a $2 gift card to Target.  My husband downloaded (see: I took his phone and downloaded it for him) the shopkick app when we walked into Target the other day.  He got 50 kicks for signing up under me.  He got 200 kicks for walking into Target.  He scanned (see: I scanned for him) the products you could scan for points in Target.  By the time we left after shopping at Target, he had already earned more than enough kicks to get a $2 gift card.  The gift cards aren't sent to you in the mail and you don't have to print anything off, you "purchase" one in-app, and they just appear in your "rewards" section.  You click the gift card and the barcode pops up for the cashier to scan.  Viola!  Easy as pie!  Not only do you get kicks, but the lookbooks you can look through have specific coupons that are only found in Shopkick.  Pretty great!  I've been shopkicking for 2 months and have already earned well over $16 in gift cards for just walking into stores I already go in the first place.

Tip: When you see a blue star in the corner of a lookbook (you'll know what that is after downloading the app) that means there's a "surprise" inside that will hold extra kicks or bonuses =)

Pros: SUPER easy to use.  Easy to collect kicks.  Use kicks for gift cards and things I actually want!  Who doesn't want a Starbucks gift card??  I can even get Target gift cards to buy groceries.  I can coupon for my groceries to make my gift cards last longer, too.  Great selection.

Cons: Sometimes when you walk into the store it can be buggy (see: Macy's and Best Buy) and not recognize you're in the store right away.  Tip: Go near the store's speakers, that's where the Shopkick signal is projected from.  VERY rarely it will be picky on the product you scan for points.  Make sure you pay attention to the details.

I hope you enjoyed my post on how to save money and free things.  Feel free to comment with other apps and ways you use YOUR smartphone to save money and to get free stuff!  We're only 16 days into 2013 and I've already received almost $100 in things I ACTUALLY wanted or needed for FREE thanks to my cell phone.  Not bad for 16 days ;)  Click here to get it:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bandana Dress for Toddlers!

Bandana Dress for Toddlers!

I like to sew, but don't have the patience for big projects.  I also don't have a sewing machine, so I sew every project by hand (which can make even the most simple projects a tedious task!).  This project was so simple and took only about an hour and a half to sew by hand (and that was with my adorable two-year old assisting me with the thread).  

The first step is easy, or it can be difficult if it's hard for your to make decisions, and that's choosing which bandanas you want to use.  Bandanas are sold at Walmart and Hobby Lobby for just $1 a piece and come in a plethora of colors.  I chose a pretty lemon-lime green.  I resisted the urge to get pink and decided to expand my daughter's color scheme-haha!  So...pick two bandanas, either that match or two that would complement each other (keep in mind one pattern will be on one side of the dress and the other pattern will be on the other side of the dress.  

Do not cut or trim your bandana unless you are making it for a very small child.  My daughter wears size 18 months and it fits her ok.  It also is big enough to fit her probably until she wears a 3T-4T as well without any alterations.  After you have the two bandanas, line them up to where their sides match almost exactly.  Then only sew the left and right sides together leaving about 4" unsewn at the top of each side.  After the left and right sides ONLY are sewn together with the flaps left open at the top, you are then ready to begin the second and last sewing step.  (Again, if you have a sewing machine, this project would literally take less than 5 minutes).  Take the top sections of the bandana that are left open, and fold over about an 1 1/2" and sew a loop to run the drawstring through.  Only sew ONE bandana at a time, making two separate sides.  Like so:

After you have sewn both of the sides of each bandana, you will run a ribbon, that is about 3" longer on each side of the dress, through each loops on both bandanas.  Then slip the dress over your little girl's head and tie each sides of the drawstrings together and tie them into bows.  And viola!  You've made a dress for about $2.50 and minimal work!  

Hope you have fun with this project like I did!   =)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Summer Fresh Deals for 02/07/12

Summer Fresh Deals and coupon match-ups for the week of 02/07/12

  • Bananas are on sale for $0.99 for 2 lbs.  That's just $0.49 per lb!
  • Best choice white sliced bread is on sale for $0.88 a loaf.
  • LOWEST milk prices in town!  They've lowered all their Prairie Farms milk prices!  $3.38 for whole milk, $3.22, 1% $2.99 and Skim $2.99!!
  • Hiland Cottage Cheese is on sale for $1.79.  Pair it with the $0.40/1 that will double and get it for just $0.99 each!  This is a .pdf coupon so you can print as many as you can use.  Time to stalk up!
  • Halls cough drops on sale for $1.29 each.  Pair it with the $1/2 coupon and get them for just $0.79 each when you buy two!
  • Hunt's ketchup is on sale for $1- best time to stock up!
  • Healthy Choice soups are on sale for $1.25 each.  Pair it with this $1/3 coupon and get them for just $0.95 a can when you buy three!
  • Manwich is on sale for just $1 a can.  I don't know how much Sara Lee buns are on sale for, but use this $/One can of Manwich AND Sara Lee Soft and Smooth Whole Grain or Wheat Buns coupon and you get a can of Manwich for $1 and get $1 off the Sara Lee buns!
  • My FAVORITE deal of the week is the Hiland orange juice that's on sale for $1.88 for half a gallon.  Pair it with this $0.30/1 coupon that will double, and get it for just $1.28 a half gallon.  This is also a .pdf coupon so you can print as many as you need.  If you do the math, that's just $2.56 a gallon!!  Yahoo!
Don't forget about the $5 off coupon when you spend $40 at Summer Fresh this month to add to your savings!  Happy Shopping!

Mason jars for the bathroom?

I am currently re-doing my bathroom in shabby-chic style and have come up with some clever, well at least I think so, ways to make it look genuine and unique!  For a look at how I used an old chair as a towel hanger, just in case you missed it earlier, you can find that blog here.

My first idea to help change the style of my bathroom, was to change the light fixture.  I am running on a tight budget and wanted to do this cheaply.  My existing light fixture was neat in color, but the light globes were tacky and traditional at best.  Mason jars hold TONS of character, and I wanted to find a way to mount them in place of the light shades, and below if the result.  I LOVE IT!

Lights off:

Lights on:

I wanted a clever storage area to hold common bathroom items, in this case q-tips and cotton balls.  using a piece of wood I had left over from my chair-towel rack, I mounted two smaller mason jars on the wood and hung it on the wall next to my sink.  here is a picture, just before it was mounted on the wall.  You can't tell it by the picture, but these jars are off set, and one sits about 3" taller than the other on the piece of wood to give it symmetry.

My final Mason jar project for the bathroom (for now) was my hand soap dispenser. This was probably the easiest to make and one of the cutest to look at!  While I wanted to use one of the older style, blue-tinted mason jars, I opted for the clear glass so as not to clash with the green/brown theme.

Next week I will post a complete tour of my bathroom when I finish the town rack and hanging of the last decor items.  Thanks for reading guys, hope this inspires you some.  Now that I'm done with the bathroom, I'm excited to tackle the laundry room!  Keep your eyes open for updates on that project!  Blessings!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Things you should NEVER throw away!

I have compiled a small list of things you should NEVER throw away, for your own good!  You're gonna kick yourself when you realize what you've been taking out with the trash each week!

  • Dryer Sheets.  Used dryer sheets!  After you have done the laundry and remove the dryer sheet (if you find it and it isn't hiding in the sleeve of someone's shirt) save it, DON"T throw it away!  Dryer sheets make THE best shower/tub/toilet/sink cleaner I have EVER used!  Confession time!   I had a ring in my toilet, that had been there for months.  This ring came with a baby, when I was afraid to flush the toilet after she fell asleep for fear of waking her up.  gross I know, but it's true!  ANYWAY!  I had tried EVERYTHING to get rid of this ring.  I tried Scrubbing Bubbles foaming bathroom spray, Clorox toilet Wand cleaner system, Lysol toilet Cleaner, good old elbow grease, but NOTHING worked!  So, I tried a used dryer sheet.  No cleaner, no elbow grease, and it came right off.  I was so happy with the result, I cleaned me toilet, show, sink and then the guest bathroom toilet, shower and sink!  I've also heard this makes an excellent dish scrubber too, and I'd believe it!
  • Ever buy those cheese balls from Walmart, Target (my favorite), or your other favorite store?  We do about once a month and my daughter loves them!  When you finish eating all of their cheesy goodness ( I promise I let Isadora eat some ;) , SAVE THE CONTAINER!  Do NOT throw it away!  We use them to store toys currently (blocks, legos and smaller toys) , but I'm going to use them as a terrarium this Spring!  The clear plastic provides the perfect warm, moist environment for small plants to start them inside and away from that ever elusive "last frost".  You could also use them to store flour, sugar or other chips and pretzels!  You oculd also use it as a general snack tub and store fruit snacks, granola bars and other quick, individually packaged snacks!
  • Ever notice how cheap it is when you buy 2 1/2 dozen eggs in an egg flat, all at once?  It tends to be almost $0.50 cheaper PER dozen that way, but who has room in the fridge for a 2 1/2 dozen egg flat in their fridge?  Not me!  Save your egg cartons, just a few, and go ahead and buy the 2 1/2 dozen flat, and put them in the one dozen containers when you get home.  Easier fridge storage, AND you'll save about $1.25!  That would buy an entire other dozen eggs!
  • You know you've done it.  Dropped your eyeshadow, blush or foundation powder compact and cracked into a cracked, powdered mess.  DO NOT THROW IT AWAY!  There are quite a few variations on this one, some more complicated than others, but adding a few drops (3-5, depending on the size of the compact or pan) of rubbing alcohol to a cracked pan of eyeshadow and pressing with a spoon or a coin can make a broken powder product look like new again.  How simple, right? 
Have some more ideas?  Add them to the comments below! 
Hope your day is blessed!


Price Cutter Deals for the Week of 02/01/12

Price Cutter deals and coupon match-ups for week of 02.01/12!
  • SATURDAY ONLY!  Pace Picante Salsa is on sale for $0.99 each.  Pair it with this $0.50/2 coupon (remember it will double) and score jars of salsa for just $0.49 each when you buy two!
  • SATURDAY ONLY! 3 lb. bags of Boneless, skinless chicken breast (Best choice brand) for just $3.99!  That's just $1.33 a lb!
  • SATURDAY ONLY!  Kraft BBQ sauce for $0.49 each!  No coupon required!
  • SATURDAY ONLY!  Hiland Family Pak ice cream squares on sale for $1.50 each.  Pair it with this $0.45/1 coupon (that will double) and score ice cream for just $0.60 each!!!
  • Knorr Pasta sides on sale for $1 each.  Pair it with this $0.50/2 coupon, that will double, and get them for just $0.50 each when you buy two!
  • Red Gold tomatoes with green chilies on sale for $0.59 each.  Pair it with this $0.75/1 coupon (yes I said $0.75/1) and get it for free!  Or do what I'm going to do, price match this sale at Walmart, and get $0.16 cash back for each can you buy!
Happy Shopping!  Check out my blog this week for things you should never throw away!