Tuesday, December 11, 2012
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
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
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
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Friday, April 6, 2012
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.
I'm behind on posts, but I'm happy to report I am making progress with the Real Food Challenge! Starting April 1, local blogger Erica Keil of Child Organics encouraged several other green minded bloggers to join her in her journey to eat more "REAL FOOD." Go here to see all of the rules, and go here to read my slow start out of the gate. It wasn't as easy as I'd thought.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Finding time to post about Knoxville's Ten Days of Real Food Challenge may be as challenging as finding the right foods, but I'll do the best I can. I can already tell I won't be as exemplary as my good friend Gabe (check out her updates on day 1 and day 2 of this challenge), but hopefully my honesty will inspire those intimidated by a challenge like this.
Monday, April 2, 2012
When local blogger Erica Keil, founder off Child Organics, emailed me to ask if I would participate in a ten day challenge to eat REAL foods, I figured, "Why not?!" I love a challenge, 10 days is reasonable, and who doesn't prefer REAL foods over processed? My initial feeling was that it shouldn't be too hard because we've made a number of changes already, and every few months I take another step in the right direction with a few pet projects.
- buying half a grass-fed cow from a local farmer (lasts us a year)
- picking and freezing enough strawberries and blueberries in Maryville and Norris to last us the year
- buying eggs from the farmer down the street for only $2 a dozen (the kids love that some of them are green--perfect for Dr. Seuss week)
- planting a garden of tomatoes, herbs, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, sweet potatoes, sugar snap peas, and onions as well as bushes yielding a few blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
- making our own wet dog food and liver treats from the less desirable parts of the cow we buy
- avoiding the "dirty dozen" and buying organic apples and potatoes at either Earthfare or farmers markets
- consuming only local honey I pick up at the farmer's market to help with allergies and to use more often as a sweetener. I love the taste of Raw Mountain Honey.
- Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
- Lots of fruits and vegetables(we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
- Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
- 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread and check theUnderstanding Grains post for more info)
- Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
- Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation)
- Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetenedcoffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
- Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
- All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
- Also check out the Recipes & Resources page for a more detailed list of meal options including links to recipes
What you CANNOT eat:
- No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
- No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
- Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
- No deep fried foods
- No “fast foods”
- eating only locally grown meats (with the exception of our beef, nothing is local)
- finding pre-packaged foods that have fewer than six ingredients. Even pasta has 6 or 7 ingredients and this excludes all cereals to my knowledge. Other than fruit, almost all our kid snacks fail this criteria.
- flavoring my coffee with something other than sugar and 1% milk. I've tried almond milk and honey but don't like it as much.
- It's also Easter (my kids have 4 egg hunts) and most of those eggs are filled with processed sugar. Hey, I'm guilty too. I love those little chocolate eggs, and I admit to eating a few sweets every day. I'm not looking forward to giving those up, but I will for the challenge.
- no fried foods. I don't mind giving this up, but my kids do like chicken nuggets, fried shrimp, cheese sticks, and fish sticks. They don't get them often, but I do usually have them on hand.
Friday, March 9, 2012
****Update 3/11/12: Having just gone to CVS, I am proof that couponing is full of surprises. Even after years of shopping at pharmacies, I learned something new today: Not all CVS stores carry the same items, even those advertised. I figured if they advertised a product, they all carried it, right? No.
- Pampers deal: Spend $30, get $10ECB; limit 1.
- Buy 3 packs of diapers for $9.50 each (the little boy we're supporting is currently in size 5) and 1 box of wipes (60-64 count) for $3. Use 2 $1.50 printables, 1 $2 coupon from home mailer, and 1 $.75 printable on wipes. If you don't have the $2MC, you could buy 1 smaller size and use a different $1.50 printable for Swaddlers or use a $1 coupon from the most recent P&G insert. Diaper Love is always accepting donations.
- Total OOP: $25.75, get back $10ECB, makes all four items $3.94 each.
- Hersheys / Kraft deal: Spend $15, get $5ECB; limit 1.
- Buy 3 packs of Hershey's miniatures at $3 each. Use $2/3MC.
- Buy 2 Planters peanuts 16oz at $3 each. Use $1.50/2MC.
- Makes all 5 items: $1.30 each.
- Use $10ECB from diapers transaction.
- Total OOP: $1.50, get back $5ECB;
- Donate the chocolates and keep the peanuts for snacks.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
I'm happy that it's Tuesday morning and I have all my shopping done for the week. It's not a great week, but I managed to save some $.
- 2 Honey Nut Cheerios (17oz): $2.24, used 2 $.50 printables = $1.24 each. Since you can only use two printables per product each day and I had 3 coupons (all expiring that day), I gave one to a man in the cereal aisle. His comment: "Are you some kinda coupon angel?" ;-)
- 6 Chex mix: $1.50 each, get $3 catalina when you buy 5. Used 2 $.50 printables and 2 $.40/2MC. All doubled to give me $3.60 in savings. After catalina, each bag was $.40.
- 6 Fiber One: $2.49 each, get $3 catalina when you buy 5. Used 2 $.40 printables and 2 $.50/2MC. All doubled to give me $3.60 in savings. After catalina, each box was $1.39.
- 2 Larabars: $.99 each. Used B1G1 e-saver from Kroger.com to make them $.50 each.
- 3 Silk almond milk: $2.99, used 2 $.75 printables = $2.24. I had also loaded an e-saver that should have taken $.55 off the third, but it didn't.
- Seapack popcorn shrimp (a treat): $3.99 (half off), used $.75 MC = $3.24.
- 1 Colgate Total 4oz ($3, get $3RR, used $.75MC = $.75MM)
- 1 Walgreen's nasal mist 4.25 oz ($5, get $5RR=FREE)
- Used $3RR from Tr#1
- 1 Colgate Total (same as above)
- 2 Lysol tub sprays (2/$5, get $1RR, used 2 $1MC expiring 3/6/12=$1 each)
- filler item from clearance wrack: $.05
- Used $5RR from Tr#2
- 1 Walgreen's nasal spray (same as above)
- 1 lollipop made in the USA (filler, couldn't find any more $.05 deals): $.59
- Used $1, $3RRs from Tr#3
- 2 Star Wars figures (raincheck price: $11.49, B1G1, used B1G1 printable = $.75 each)
- 2 Lysol all purpose cleaners (2/$5, get $1RR, used $1/2 MC = $1.50 each; coupons expire TODAY)
- 1 travel size Gold Bond lotion filler: $.50
- 1 Gold Emblem jelly beans ($.99, get $.99ECB=FREE); limit 1
- 2 Softsoap bar soaps 4pack (2/$7, get $5ECB, use 2 $1.50MC=$1MM); limit 1. The shelves were cleared but I got a raincheck. Hopefully they'll restock before my coupons expire on Sunday.
- Used $1ECB from previous trip (she rang it up as $.99)
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
It's not a great week for deals IMO but I still managed a few deals. Here are my favorites.
- 1 Zarbees childrens cough syrup (I even like this stuff): $6, get $6ECB=FREE; limit 1.
- 1 M&Ms medium size: $2.50, used $1MC from All You = $1.50.
- 2 Hershey's bliss 9.6oz: $6, get $2ECB, used $1 MC from All You and $1 CVS coupon printed at kiosk = $1 each. We're planning to put these on valentines.
- Used $6ECB from previous week
- 3 kids aquafresh: $.99 each with ad coupon; limit 3. (It pains me to buy toothpaste, but this is the kids' favorite and they're running low.)
- Star Wars action figures: Of course they were out of this deal, but I got a rain check. Surely they will restock within the next month. I plan to buy 4 and put them in easter baskets. Deal: B1G1 at $11.49 each. Use 2 B1G1 printables (max value of $9.99 each). Get 4 action figures for just $2.98!
- 3 Zatarains rice mixes: $1 each, used $.50/3 printable that doubled. Got $.75 catalina = $.41 each.
- 4 Knorr rice sides: $1 each, used 2 $.50/2 MC that doubled. Got $1 catalina = $.25 each.
- 1 Duncan hines cake mix: $1.25, used $.35 MC that doubled = $.55.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
After two snoozer weeks of pharmacy deals, I was finally excited to get back to Walgreen's and CVS this week. Most of these deals are good through 2/4, but some coupons expire 1/31--TODAY. For those who find the process confusing, I'll lay out what I bought. Note: I let several customers go before me between these transactions. Always be courteous when doing multiple transactions.
- 1 Blink eye drops: $8, get $8RR, used $1.50 printable = $1.50 MM
- 4 Pringles: 4 for $6, get $2RR, used $1/4 MC expiring 1/31 = $.75 each.
- 2 Breyers: B1G1 at $6.49 = $3.25 each
- Used $8RR from Tr. #1
- 1 Blink eye drops: $8, get $8RR, used $1.50 printable = $1.50 MM
- 3 Campbells soups: $.79 with ad coupon; limit 3, used $.40/3 MC = $.66 each.
- Used $2RR from Tr. #2.
- 2 Breyers: B1G1 at $6.49 = $3.25 each
- 3 Old El Paso taco shells: $.99 each--no coupon required, used $.60/3 printable = $.79 each.
- Used $8RR from Tr. #3.
- 2 Speed Stick deodorants: $1.99 each, used B1G1 coupon in 1/29 paper. Note: The coupon rang up for a savings of $3.98. I brought this error to their attention (should have been $1.99) but she said that's how the computer scanned it and there's nothing she could do.
- 2 Colgate Total toothpaste: $2.74 each, used $1 and $.50 MC and 2 $1 CVS coupons found in the Reinventing Beauty magazine. Tip: They did not have any magazines left, but they did have a stack of coupons from them on the front counter. I asked if I could have two and they said fine.
- 1 Irish Spring body wash: $3, used $1 MC from 1/29 paper. Because these five participating products were more than $12 before coupons, I qualified for $6ECB, making all five products FREE after coupons.
- 1 Hershey's Reese's egg: $.87, get $.87. This ECB did not print. So she had to manually print one for $1. This deal may be good only through today.
- 3 American Greeting card: $.99 each, buy 3, get $3ECB=FREE.
- Used $5.75 in ECBs from previous trips.
- 6 Puffs Plus with lotion 68ct: $88. each, used 2 $.25/3 MC; one expired 1/31; one expired 2/28 = $.80 each
- Used $4 ECB from Transaction #1.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I finally made it to Staples this morning to cash in on some deals. You have through Saturday to do the same. Pretty happy about my results. Here's what I bought:
- 1 Avery 8160 inkjet mailing labels: $9.99, get $9.99 in easy rebate = FREE. Limit 1.
- 2 HP photo paper 8.5 x 11, 50 count: $9.99, get $8.99 in easy rebate = $1 each. Limit 2. I use these for marketing.
- 2 Staples legal envelopes, 500 pack: $3 each. Limit 2.
- 1 Hammermill copy paper: $6, get $4 in easy rebate = $2.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
- Fresh Express Garden Salad, 12oz: $.88 (if enrolled in Ingles Advantage promotions)
- Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls: $1, use $.50 MC = FREE. I'm aiming to get 5 for free.
- Pillsbury Grands biscuits: $1, use $1/2 MC = $.50 each.
- Sargento shredded cheese, 5-9oz: $1.79, use $1/2 MC = $1.29 each.
- Hershey's 6ct bars: $1, use $1 printable = FREE.
- Kleenex, 100ct: $1, use $.50 MC (if included) = FREE.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Yes, I'm late to posting this week, but hopefully this will help some of those procrastinating couponers. Usually if the good deals are still there by Tuesday (when I went), you're in luck through Saturday. For my needs, I found Walgreen's has the best deals this week. I got more than $80 of goods for $34 and used all my register rewards in one trip. I do my best NOT to hang onto RRs, since you never know if good deals are on the horizon.
- 1 Tylenol Precise heat patches (3 ct): $5.99, get $3RR, used $3 printable = FREE.
- 1 Reach floss: $2.99, get $2RR, used $1 printable=FREE. Tip: Make sure you print two of these coupons for free floss at some point. Kroger, Target, and Walmart will probably have the standard floss on sale for $1, but the Walgreen's sale is for the Total Care plus Whitening kind--love that.
- 2 Colgate Total 4oz: $3 each, get $4RR, used 1 $1 MC and 1 $.75 MC = $.25 for both.
- 50 photographs when they had the 25 free prints promotion (1 set for me, 1 for my church): $0
- 3 Delsym: Spend $20, get $6RR. $8.99 each. Used 1 $1 MC and 2 $1 printables = $5.99 each. Tip: These are usually $10 at Kroger and they seem to work the best for our family's coughs.
- 3 Essential kneehis: $.29 each with ad coupon. This was my filler item to use RRs from previous transaction. Plus, they make good donations.
- Used $3, 2, and 4 RRs from Tr.#1.
- 1 Tylenol heat patch (see above)
- 1 Reach floss (see above)
- 1 protein bar: $1.89, get $2RR = $.11 MM
- Used $6RR from Tr. #2.
- 4 Purell 8oz, bonus 2oz travel size attached (woo hoo!): $3.99, B1G1 Free, Used 2 $1 MC and 2 $1 printables = $.99 each. Hand sanitizer is a frequent request by teachers and those seeking donations. Even the generic brand is rarely less than $1.99; so this is a great deal.
- 2 Dove minis, 10.5 oz bags: $3 each, used $1/2 from Walgreen's January coupon book and $1/2 MC = $2 each. This will be fun to tape onto valentines.
- 3 Essentials knee-his (as above for filler).
- Used RRs from Tr.#3: $3, 2, 2