Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Support Second Harvest: Win a new bag

Here's a win / win for you this holiday season: enter to win a dark red Cicily Tote from Maggie Bags and you'll be supporting Second Harvest Food Bank. For every online entry, they will donate $1 (up to $2000) to Second Harvest. Every dollar Second Harvest receives enables them to provide three meals to someone in need in our community. You are eligible for multiple entries through Rafflecopter (a great new service), and it only takes a few seconds. You'll never win if you don't enter! Contest ends 12/18.

Green Christmas

Since I hadn't blogged for awhile, it has taken a few weeks to get the wheels turning again. However, I'm happy to say my passion for the green philosophy and sustainable living has been reignited. If you're looking for ways to make your Christmas a little more green this year, please check out my following posts for Maggie Bags.

Most recently, I shared ideas for how to reduce, reuse, and recycle Christmas cards. Did you know Americans send 2 billion cards every year, wiping out 300,000 trees?! But hey, I still send them and will receive at least 50 in the next few weeks. Take heart: I have lots of great ideas with the 3R's.

Next week begins my gift giving to teachers, neighbors, the mailman, etc. I choose to give some sort of locally preserved food: strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, apples, etc. My mom always called these homemade holiday happies. This year I'm giving jars of salsa; yum.

There are also so many wonderful causes to support this time of year, and I've been pleased to donate a lot of goods from my couponing stockpile. No, I do not have a crazy stash like extreme couponers--just enough to spread good coupon karma. Here's a link to all the Black Friday freebies I scored; rest assured there are freebies every week so that you can "give green."

Finally, I am really enjoying my new "green" printer I picked up on Black Friday. It's fast, uses less ink, and the I haven't had a single issue with coupons scanning. Here I shared lots of other ways to make your printing more green.

If any of my posts resonate with you, I appreciate you leaving a comment. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Maggie Bags: seatbelts to handbags

After a long hiatus from blogging, I'm back! Miss me?

A few weeks ago, a friend told me about a local company with a green initiative making a very creative product: Maggie Bags. They take genuine automotive seat belt webbing and turn them into variety of fashionable bags. Due to high government standards, millions of yards of seat belt webbing are rejected by automakers each year. Maggie Bags rescues that from landfill and uses it to make purses, backpacks, and totes. Isn't that cool?!

I point this out because I've joined Maggie Bags to blog about green ideas. They're not looking for me to gush about how great their products are; they sell themselves. They just want to share more green ideas with their customers. So I will be a guest blogger for them twice a month.

My first post was last week (yes, I'm behind): "Fall leaves: Shred 'em and Spread 'em." It's one of the best ways you can dispose of a nuisance and provide nutrients to your yard or garden--for FREE. Plus, there's a cute picture of my daughter using her pint sized rake. I hope you check it out.

If you have green ideas you'd like me to explore, please leave a comment. Thanks! 

I have been compensated for my guest blogs but my opinions in my posts are 100% my own and are not influenced in any way. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Canned Goods Deals 7/15-21

This week The Church of the Good Samaritan (an Episcopal church I attend) is hosting Vacation Bible School. For the mission project, we are gathering canned goods to donate to the FISH pantry. While you're at it, you should pick up some free toothpaste to donate to John Muir Kamp 4 Kids. Though I tend to find the best deals in my own pantry ;-), I thought I would put together a short post on the best deals this week. 

  • Campbells Soup or Del Monte Fruit cans: $.99 when you buy 10 participating Mega Event items. This does not mean you have to buy 10 cans of soup; look for the tags.
  • Kroger beans--black or kidney, a great source of protein: $.69
  • Kroger peanut butter: $2.50
  • Colgate toothpaste 6.4oz: $.99 as a Mega Event item. Use $.50 coupon which doubles and it's FREE.

Food City:
  • Chicken of the Sea Chunk White Tuna 5oz: 4/$5 or $1.25 each
  • Peter Pan peanut butter: $2.50

  • Laura Lynn canned tomatoes: 5/$3 or $.60 each
  • Laura Lynn peanut butter: $2.50

  • Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna 5oz: $.88, limit 10. If you participate with Recycle Bank, you could print coupons for $1/2, making them $.38 each.
  • Colgate MaxFresh 4oz: 2/$5, get $3 ECB. Use 2 $1 coupons or 2 $.75 coupons and they are $.25 each or FREE.
Tip: If you find other deals you need at CVS totaling $20 before coupons, you can save an additional $4 with a coupon printing at the kiosk through Wednesday. You must have a CVS card.

And if you're in Walmart or Target picking up back to school deals, check their canned goods section. Generic canned goods are usually less than a dollar each.

If all this is confusing to you, leave a comment or email me. I'm happy to help.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Best Deals of 4/22-28

In preparation for my couponing chat tomorrow night at the Volunteer Ministry Center, I compiled this list of what I think are the best deals this week. I don't normally tout Ingles as a great place to save but this week their deals beat out Kroger hands down. Here are my favorites. For all the match-ups and links to printables, go to Southern Savers or Coupon Katie.

Ingles: (It’s a great B1G1 sale but you do NOT have to buy 2 to get the listed ind. price).

  • Jennie O turkey franks 12oz: $.84
  • Del Monte canned vegetables 14.5 – 15.25oz: $.67
  • Honey Maid graham crackers: $2.15. Use $1/2 printable = $1.65
  • Sarah Lee honey wheat bread 20oz: $1.48. Use $.55 from 4/14SS = $.93.
  • Laura Lynn old fashioned oats (great for homemade granola or granola bars) 18oz: $.88
  • Nissin Big Cup Noodles: 2.82oz: $.29. Use $1/3 from 3/18SS=FREE
  • Annie’s organic mac n cheese: $.99. Buy 2 and submit for free year’s prescription to Organic Gardening magazine. See Coupon Katie for details.
  • McCormick seasonings: $.44. Use $1/2 or $.75 = FREE. They may have to type in $.44 if coupon beeps.
  • Weber marinades: $.56. Use $1/2 = $.06.
  • Ragu sauce: $1. Use $.50 = FREE. Ingles doubles 3 under $.50 coupons for every $10 you spend.
  • Kellogg’s Corn Flakes: $2.09. Use $.50 printable = $1.09.


  • Dawn 9oz (smallest size): $1. Buy the hand renewal variety, use $.50 coupon from 4/1PG = FREE.
  • Free Kroger reusable bag: Go to Kroger.com and login. Enter the “Design a Reusable Bag” contest and create your own. You can then load a free grocery bag to your Kroger card (may take 24 hours) and pick it up on your next shopping trip.


  • Buy 3 Hallmark Cards (excludes boxed cards and clearance items), get $3ECB. Buy 3 cards priced at $1.49 each and use $3/3 CVS printable = $1.53MM. Limit 1.
  • Blink Tears (.5oz) or Gel Tears (.34oz): $8.99, Get $8.99ECB, Use $1 printable = $1MM. Limit 1.
  • Dream Water Snoozeberry Dietary Supplement (2pk): $5.79, get 5.79ECB = FREE. Limit 1.


· I-Cool + D Menopause Relief tablets (45ct): $10, get $10RR. Use $2 coupon from 2/19RP = $2MM.

· U by Kotex sleek tampons (18pk): $3.99, get $3RR. Use $1 coupon from 3/25SS or printable = FREE.

· Psoriasin Psoriasis Relief (.75oz): $5, get $5RR = FREE.


  • Ortega seasoning mixes single packs: $.65. Use $1/2 printable = $.15 each
  • Ortega taco shells (10-12ct): $1.35. Use $1/2 printable = $.85 each.
  • OxiClean laundry stain remover trigger spray: $2.79. Use $1.50 Target printable coupon AND $.50 coupon from 4/22SS = $.29! or buy the gel stick for $2.99, use both coupons and pay just $.49.
  • Market Pantry pasta and sauce: $1 each. Use $1/2 pasta and sauce Target printable = $.50 each.
  • Mossimo scoop neck or V-neck pocket tee: $6. Use $3 Mossimo Target printable = $3.
  • Starbucks coffee (11oz): $7.99. Use $2 Target coupon and $1.50 manufacturer’s printable = $4.49 each.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Best Deals of 4/15-21

Next week I will be giving a couponing workshop to some fabulous ladies--some participants in the Volunteer Ministry Center program and some mentors from the Church of the Good Samaritan where I attend. I hope to not only "give them fish" (some of my good deals acquired through couponing) but "teach them to fish" (give them the knowledge to do this themselves.) To me, the concept of couponing doesn't get more rewarding than this. Some of this post will be directed to them (hoping they will score a few deals as well), but I hope all will glean something of value. Here are my favorite deals this week: April 15 - 21.

For all the match-ups, go to Southern Savers.
For a pared down list, go to Coupon Katie.
  • 1 NatuRelief chewable natural pain medicine, 30 count: $8.49, get $8.49 ECB, use $1 MC = $1MM; limit 1.
  • 2 Colgate Total: $2.99, get $2ECB, use 2 $1 printables = 2 FREE; limit 2.
  • 1 Depend Silhouette 3 count: $3.99, $2ECB, $2 printable and $2 CVS printable = $2 MM; limit 1. Tip: If you've already used some of these coupons, the kiosk will probably kick out a $1.50 savings as well.
  • 2 Act total care sensitive mouthwash 18 oz: $3.99 each, get $1ECB, use $2 MC from today's paper = $.99 each; limit 2.
  • You can also get 25 free photo prints; details here.
For all the match-ups, go to Southern Savers.
For a pared down list, go to Coupon Katie.
Here's how I got lots of freebies and used the rewards to pay for an ink refill for my printer. Gotta print more coupons!

Transaction #1:
  • 1 Similasan nasal allergy spray (all natural): $6, get $6RR, used $1.50 MC = $1.50MM.
  • 2 Nivea face wash for men: $7 total, get $2RR wyb 2, used 2 $2 MC from Sunday's paper = $.50 each.
  • 3 Aquafresh for kids (my boys' favorite): $2 each, used 3 $1MC from Sunday's paper and $1 from April Walgreen's coupon book (automatically took off $3) = 3 for FREE. Tip: To do this, I needed only one extra filler item.
  • 1 hand sanitizer: $.14 found in clearance bin
  • 1 Charlie Brown eraser found in clearance bin: $.10
  • Used $1.50 RR from last week
Total Spent: $8.02
Total Saved: $25.33
RRs Earned: $6, $2

Transaction #2:
  • 1 Similasan nasal allergy spray (all natural): $6, get $6RR, used $1.50 MC = $1.50MM.
  • 2 Purex 18 count ultra packs: B1G1 at $5.99, used 2 $1MC = $1.99 each. Tip: This form of detergent might be more convenient for those at the VMC.
  • 1 Charlie Brown filler: $.10
  • Used $2RR from Tr.#1
Total Spent: $7.71
Total Saved: $15.37
RRs Earned: $6

Transaction #3:
  • 1 HP ink refill: $12.99 Tip: I always buy the XL cartridge because the cost of the refill is the same and you get three times the ink. You can refill them multiple times.
  • 1 Charlie Brown filler item: $.10
  • Used 2 $6 RRs from previous transactions.
Total Spent: $2.30
Total Saved: $13.89

So for a little more than I would have paid for the ink refill (what I really needed), I got 2 allergy sprays, 2 face washes, 3 tubes of toothpaste, 1 hand sanitizer, and detergent for 36 loads. Not bad!

For all the match-ups, go to Southern Savers.
For a pared down list, go to Coupon Katie.
I'm hoping to pick up deals on tank tops, coffee, shampoo, and tweezers (should be free!).

For all the match-ups, go to Southern Savers.
For a pared down list, go to Coupon Katie.
It's a leaner week for deals; I'll just be picking up the essentials for my family.

I hope you are able to find deals for yourself and for others. If you have questions, leave a comment or email me. Spread the good coupon karma!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Why I believe in REAL FOOD

As I began my post about days 3 & 4 for the Real Food Challenge, I began digressing into where I've seen the benefits of certain choices. It was turning into a tangent; so I decided to make it a separate post. If you have any doubts that your food choices can influence your health, I encourage you to read this. I share this as a concerned mom and have no affiliation with any of the products mentioned here.

Last month I decided to prepare at least one dinner vegetarian and to cut down on our meat consumption by half (same dishes but using less meat.) Why? If you haven't seen the documentary Forks Over Knives, I recommend it. I saw it for free on Netflix. They do a good job of laying out the science of why a plant-based diet is better for you and the price we are paying as a society for eating so much meat and dairy. The concept was nothing new to me but seeing the radical change in people's health based on their food choices was. And it didn't matter if someone had eaten poorly for decades; they could still turn it around with a few choices.

Now I admit I love meat: chicken, beef, pork, lamb, fish, you name it. And I don't plan to become a vegetarian any time soon. But I do believe there are benefits to returning to a more traditional diet higher in grains, fruits, and vegetables and lower in meat and dairy. That's where I am on my food journey.

My first experience in seeing the connection of food to health came out of trying to fix some issues with our kids. Last spring our son Bobby was having daily stomach aches and our daughter Brooke was having severe ear infections. After ruling out gluten as an offender, we switched from cow's milk to almond milk.

I was initially nervous about this switch because my family was consuming 3-4 gallons of milk a week! Yes, you read that correctly. Since almond and soy milk is about twice as expensive, I was reticent. But taking that leap of faith paid off tremendously and it hasn't impacted my budget. Here's why. Though everyone in the family except Devin likes almond milk, we don't drink nearly as much of it as cow's milk (about half). So between coupons, sales, and less consumption, we are paying the same.

Now the benefits. Bobby's stomach aches disappeared within days and never returned. Brooke hasn't had an ear infection in a year. Other than well visits, we didn't visit the doctor's office once this winter; not once! She had a few runny noses, but a scoop of local honey or saline nasal mists seemed to help. And Bobby at 7, nearly 8 years old, was still wetting the bed at night. After switching to almond milk, he never wet the bed again. They still get ice cream, cheese, and yogurt, but I'm a believer we should all be consuming less dairy milk.

If we can see that much improvement with one food change, I'm looking forward to how we'll feel with less meat and more homemade bread in our diet. My wheat arrives next week! Baby steps.

How have you seen food change your health?