Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I did it...

I dropped off what was left of my daughter's old baby stuff at the resale shop this morning. It was hard to give it all up, but I know it will go to another family and help to take care of another sweet little baby. I donated: booster seat, bottle warmer, wipe warmer, diaper/wipe caddy, diaper bag, baby gate, blankets, LOTS of clothes, womb sounds teddy bear from her crib... The only thing left is her changing table, which was too big to fit in the car. I've already sold a lot of her clothes at a yard sale last spring with her bassinet/bedding set/her first toys and other big items, and it just doesn't get any easier! On the plus side we get another tax deduction!! We had to get rid of old stuff to make room for the over-haul of new stuff she got for Christmas, and it'll probably be just as hard to get rid of all that when the time comes for that to.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Try This!

This site is responsible for my New Years Resolution:Home Organization
If you are going to start using the $1 off Rayovac Coupons they could start piling up. This lady is beyond organized, but this is a WONDERFUL tip that I've tried myself and glad I did. Just take the batteries out of their packages!! Make sure you check out her blog (I take 0 credit), she is AMAZING!

January All You Magazine

I picked up my All You magazine today while at Walmart. It's actually a great magazine, but the bonus is all the extra coupons that you get inside. I bought the December All You magazine and used a coupon from that as well as another manufacturer coupon to receive a free $10 razor for my husband. It's worth looking into! Visit STL Mommy's blog to see the coupons for January.


I wasn't going to post this because I did end up spending nearly $27 at Walgreens but I did save almost $25/50%! So here ya go:
3/$7.00 General Mills Cereal (we can't have enough in this house)
-$1.00 coupon
-$.55 coupon

2x Aussie styling products
sale: $2.99 each
-$2.00/2 coupon

Herbal Essences Conditioner
sale: $2.99
-$1.00 coupon

Sun Laundry Detergent ( 75 LOADS!)
sale: $3.99

Downy Softener
sale: $3.99
-1.00 coupon

2x Glade Oil Scented Candles
Sale: $3.99
- Buy one get one free coupon
*Bonus $1 easy saver deal of the month (Jan.)

2x Angel Soft Bathroom Tissue
Sale: $1.29 each

Subtotal: $49.21
-Walgreens Coupons: $4.20
-Walgreen Advertised savings: $10.90
-Manufacturer Coupons: $9.14

GRAND TOTAL: $24.97 + $1.76 tax
Total Saved: $24.24

December CVS Savings

I don't plan to make it back to CVS again before the new year so here'smy saving for December (my very first 3 weeks of playing the CVS game):
Saved: $59.75
ECB's earned: $38.16
ECB's used: $25.16
ECB's for next month: $13.00

In a nut shell, that's nearly $75.00 worth of stuff for only $15.00!!

Walmart Trip

I dropped off a whole load of my daughter's old things at the resale shop today and thought I'd run into Walmart since I was close. I got a few freebie items:
-2x Rayovac Batteries
*You can print the coupons HERE and then purchase the $.96 packs - the coupons say Alkaline but I haven't had a problem with them yet. You can also find these in the dollar bins at Target
-13 oz. bottle of Country Bob's Sauce
*You can get your free coupon HERE and it will come in the mail

They also had their Christmas 50% off so I stocked up on Christmas wrap and boxes for next year.12 Pillow Boxes
21 Gift Boxes
1 Roll Wrapping Paper
1 Roll Clear Cello Wrap
12 Sheets Wrapping Paper

Total: $8.62

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I've decided that this year's New Year's resolution is going to be getting organized. At this point it's looking bleak. After taking down every last bit of Christmas decor my house is a wreck. Once you start cleaning one area it floods into the next area and then everything just snowballs. It will all get put back eventually and a lot will be donated or given away, but we have A LOT of stuff!! That may be the 2nd part of my resolution is to simplify. I've begun to stockpile which is really the opposite, but I'm finally letting go of my daughter's baby stuff. She is two and a half now and we do NOT have plans to have a second. Time is all I need to get it all finished!

CVS Week #3

Dawn Buy One Get One Free $1.99
-.50 coupon
-.50 coupon
$.99 for 2

Bodi Heat $3.99
-$1.00 peelie
-3.00 ECB
FREE + .01 overage

Excedrin Spend $20 Get $10 ECBs

2 x Extra Stength @ $5.49 = $10.98
-$2.00 printable coupon
-$2.00 printable coupon

Excedrin Back and Body $4.79
-$2.00 insert coupon

Excedrin Migraine $5.29
-$2.00 printable coupon

Subtotal: $25.05
-$4 off $20 CVS coupon
-$10.00 coupons
-$11.16 ECB's
Total OOP: $2.02
SAVED: $27.15
Earned ECB's: $13.00

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I posted yesterday the freebies I got in the mail and I got a few more today! It's always fun getting free stuff delivered right to your front door. Today I got UnderJams (for my daughter of course), $10 coupon book from Pilsbury, FisherPrice DVD, and Feline Greenies cat treats (for my sister). I also added the Benefiber drink powder, Country Bob's coupon for free 13 oz bottle, and Glad Force Flex Trashbag from yesterday to the photo. I didn't add the women's items just because they were put up, but that's a lot of stuff in just two days!

Friday, December 26, 2008

First Try

I've heard of people buying coupons off ebay and started checking it out - I'm not about to miss out on a money saving opportunity! Schnuck's has had the Bird's Eye Frozen Veggies on sale for 2 weeks in a row now for $1 each! Already a great deal right?? Now let's throw in some coupons. I searched ebay for "Bird's Eye Coupons" and up pops a bunch! I paid $1.68 with shipping for 10 coupons which were good for $1 off 2 bags of Bird's Eye Veggies! I got the coupons the very next day in the mail (plus a cupple of extra coupons!) and realized the lady that mailed them lives very close to me so I will be a repeat customer. Today I went to the store, scooped me up 20 bags of veggies for $10 and now we are fully stocked for a good few months. I'd suggest checking your local grocers circular the day is comes out and if you see a good deal search ebay for the coupons and order asap, some sellers may not ship quite as fast as the one I baught from.

Free Stuff!

This week I got a few FREE items in the mail and thought I'd share. I go to www.stlmommy.com and she puts all the safe free sample offers up on her site each day. I've set up a separate e-mail address specifically to register for these items because you will end up getting a lot of spam and newsletters.
-Glad Force Flex Trashbag
-Benefiber powder drink mix
-13 oz. bottle of Country Bob's Sauce
-3 Tampax Pearl Tampons
-2 Kotex Tampons
-2 Kotex Pads

Here's a couple of the curent offers from today posted by www.StLMommy.com
Sundance Tea
Being Girl Sample Pack
Greenies Dog Sample

*Make sure to open a seprate e-mail address before registering - never type in your phone # when asked - never enter in a credit card number!*

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa Came!

Merry Christmas! I'm very happy with the way the holiday's went this year, minus a few bouts of bad news. When you have family, that's all we really need right?! I had fun bargain hunting for gifts, but I'm actually glad it's all about over. I'll forever remember these days as my daughter enjoys the the "magic" of Christmas, knowing that it only will last for so long. She got so much stuff this year. The two things that the whole family will enjoy most of all are, the tickets to see Elmo's Green Thumb at Scott Trade Center and the membership with the Magic House (a kids interactive museum). The things me and my husband will enjoy the most are the 2 sets of tickets we got to see the St. Louis Blues play at Scott Trade Center and a few autographed items by Blue's players. That really is only a few of the wonderful items we received, we are grateful for everything. We still have another Christmas family gathering Saturday that we are looking forward to and glad that it's a casual affair. Tomorrow my husband turns a whole 25 years old. We aren't doing much to celebrate this year, he had a big surprise party last year. Who would want their birthday the day after Christmas?? I will try to get out to do a little bit of after Christmas sale shopping tomorrow. I always get my wrapping paper and boxes when they go 60%-70% off and just save them for the next year. The dollar store turned out to be a great place for wrapping paper for my daughter this year. They had Dora/Princess/Tinker Bell. We told her we'd send the paper to Santa Claus in the North Pole to wrap her gifts with since she was along when we bought it. Hope everyone had a great Christmas this year and have a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Gift

I forgot I also got this other great deal from Amazon till last night when me and my husband were puting it together. As a child I always got a "big gift" from Santa and we've held that tradtion in our own family since our daughter was born. This will be her 3rd Christmas and probably the first one where she really understand the concept of Santa Claus and presents. We are so excited to see her face tomorrow morning (Christmas Day).
Now back to the DEAL:
Melissa & Doud Easel:
Reg: $59.99
Paid: $34.99
I have to be honest I got this deal probably 6 weeks ago and was just thrilled - now they have this same easel for $10 cheaper... but I still am happy with the $25 savings with free shipping and no tax. I saw this same easel at a few different toy store for regular price so I shouldn't complain. We also got her a bunch of art supplies to go with the easel as well. Not a bad deal.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Amazon Steals!

This is the second year I've bought my daughter birthday gifts from Amazon during the Christmas toy discounts Amazon offers. Her birthday isn't till the end of May but I just hide the gifts in boxes and then come May I don't have to spend a dime of her presents and can concentrate of her party (one of my other favorite past times - party planning). These are the deals I just couldn't pass up:
Rose Petal Cottage
Reg: $79.99
Paid $29.95

Rose Petal Cottage Chair
Reg: $24.99
Paid: $9.99

Rose Petal Nursery:
Paid: $15.99

Candy Land Castle Game
Reg: $24.99
Paid: $7.99

Total Paid: $63.92
Total Saved: $106.04 !!!!!
**Plus FREE shipping & NO tax**
(Extra savings there)

No Such Luck

Walgreens was having these hairdryers half price for $10 and then you go $10 register rewards (prints out after your purchase) to use on your next trip to the store - so basically it was FREE. I got to the store at about 8:40am (Monday only deal) and they were already sold out. Bummer! It would have been nice to have a new hairdryer and also the $10 RR to use on the toilet paper they have on sale for 2/$7 this week. I'll just have to get up extra early next time there is a big deal like that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

CVS Week #2

Our CVS is small, BUT they are opening a new one this spring that is supposed to be bigger. So with a small store comes small quantity. My store had every one of the 2 day sale items at the front of the store behind the registers. It totally messed up my shopping list because they were limiting how many of each item they would give away.... with that said it at least kept me from going crazy (like some of the poeple there). Here's what I got:

Arm & Hammer Essentials
Therma Care Heat Pad
Excedrin Express Gels
AdvantEDGE Bar

OOP: $0.22
ECB's used: $7.00
ECB's earned: $11.16
Saved: $12.00 (ish) with coupons/sales/ECB's

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Name Brands

I wasn't sure at first how this whole couponing business would work. I researched A LOT and many people said that they are able to get name brand items for penny's and didn't have to settle for the off brands by planning their shopping trips. After only a month, I am slowly seeing my cabinets and drawers filling with name brand items. It works, just gotta find the time sit down and plan it out. Yes time = money; however, time is actually saving me money.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Binder Crazy

I've crossed into the dark side of couponing... I now have.... a.... COUPON BINDER. Saw it on a blog, thought I'd try it sometime - couldn't help myself - had to try it NOW. I've just read that there are no coupons in the next two weeks of newspapers so I'll have a good two week to get it under control before I start adding more to it.
Want to see what a true couponer's coupon binder looks like?? Check this out and be amazed: here.

Have yourself a Merry Little EXPENSE Christmas

I really appreciate all the work that Alyssa's teachers do at the daycare she attends 3 days a week. I definitely wanted to show my gratitude, but without breaking my budget. I made 5 of these little gift sets for only $5.45 TOTAL!
Well I do have to say I had a few things on hand that weren't out of pocket expenses because I didn't have to shop for them. I had the wrapping paper/bows/tags/ as well as the white ceramic loaf dishes. HOWEVER, I did get the dishes at a steal .50 a piece after Christmas sale a couple years back and knew I'd use them eventually. The sets include: wrapped box of turles and cinnamon bread.
Turtles: $3.45 (.99x5=$4.95 - $1.50 coupon)
Bread mix: $2.00
They were very well received! I'll be looking for more after Christmas deals this year to use for her teachers next year again - Alyssa will be starting pre-school!!

CVS Week #1

Here's a picture of my goodies from my first 2 visits EVER to CVS. I did it all in 3 transactions (2 trips). I had no ECB's to start out so that way my OOP is a little more then most peoples, but hey - you gotta start somewhere.

2x Pantene BIG 2 in 1 shampoos
2x Colgate total advanced toothpaste
1x Crest Spinbrush
1x 3pk BodiHeat
2x Right Guard deoderant

Paid OOP: $13.15
Saved: $32.60
Total ECB's earned: $19.00
Total ECB's used: $12.00
ECB's left to roll: $7.00


Well nearly free. I got this big pile of stuff for only $.78! Everything here I got sent in the mail as a free sample or got a coupon for a free item up to a certain price. The two boxes of kleenex's are the only things I bought. I got 2 - $.50 off coupons after writing to the manufacturer and waited for a sale (.89 - .50= .39 x 2 boxes: = .78) Everything in this photo includes:
Betty Crocker Warm delights, 2 x Kleenex boxes, Ziplock steamer bags, Dunkin' Donuts coffee, Chex cereal bar, sugar crystal sample, Listerine mouth wash, scrubbing bubbles, Betty Crocket potatoes, Pantene shampoo and conditioner, 2 coupon books, $1.00 off coupon for more listerine mouth wash.
Not bad for $0.78!! That's all the items I could think of that were free (or nearly free). There may be a few here and there that I forgot, but I LOVE getting these packages in the mail!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Inexpensive Christmas Cards This Year!

I'm also trying to cut corners for the holidays. Costco just cut their price per photo print to 13 cents! So I used my photo editing program and my FREE digital scrapbooking kits I downloaded off the internet to create these adorable and unique Christmas cards:

Total Cost for 60 prints: $7.80! I found envelopes at Walmart that fit for $2.50! Can NOT beat that for custom one-of-a-kind Christmas cards. I also only mailed out 20 cards this year and hand delivered the rest that a $16+ savings on stamps.
Who says you have to cut things out? Just find a cheaper way around it without being cheap!

Savings at Schnucks

I thought I'd add anther recepts to show more of my deals. If you haven't read my first post scroll down and read that one first.

3x Betty Crocker Potatoes @.99 = $2.97
Blue Berry Muffins= .99 (no coupon but on sale)
Streusel Mix: $2.00 (no coupon but on sale)
Crescent Rolls = $1.69
Green Beans = $1.49
2x Frozen Veggies @ $1.00 = $2.00

Total: $7.45 (with tax)
Saved: $10.62 total /$4.80 in coupons
(and I only had $2.90 in coupons - but they double!) - (minus one $1.00 coupon that doesn't double)

Proud to be a Beginner Couponer

Here are just a few of my recent transactions. On these 4 transactions alone I spent $18.95 out of pocket, but got $76.56 worth of merchandise.

Walgreens #1:

Schick Quattro Razor: (sale) $6.99
-$3.00 coupon (All You Magazine coupon)
-$4.00 coupon
= FREE +.01

3M 3 pack Gift Wrap Tape: (sale) 2/$2.00
-$1.00 coupon
= $1.00

Subtotal: .99
Total: $1.55

SAVED: $15.98 (Man. Coupons & Walgreens sales)
BONUS: The tape is in the monthly easy saver catalog - I enter my receipt on their website and the tape gets me a $2.00 credit and they put it on a monthly gift card or send you a check! (get a 10% bonus if you get it on a gift card). So that's $2.20 I'll get on a gift card to use on my next purchase at Walgreens once I get the card - FREE!

KMart Double Coupons Sale:

Toothpase: $3.49
Gillette Body Wash: $3.99
2x Pledge @ $3.50 = $7.00 (sale price)
2x Glade Fabric Freshner @ $3.50 = $7.00 (sale price)
Ivory Soap: $1.29 (only item I did NOT have a coupon for)

Total: $5.26
After double coupons and tax

Saved: $20.43 (sales/coupons)
*Would have done a lot better but I waited till Friday and 2/3 of the items I wanted were already goneCVS#1: This was my very first trip so I had to start with more out of pocket (OOP) just so I could get Earned Care Bucks (ECS's) to roll over to my next transaction. After this transacation I'll be spending very little OOP.
2x Pantene Shampoo @ $5.99 = $11.98
-$2.00 coupon
-$2.00 coupon
Total OOP: $7.98 (+.75 tax)
Earned Care Bucks to roll: $4.00
(Still saved $8.00 with sale and 2-$2.00 coupons)

CVS #2:
1x Rightguard Deoderant: $2.99
-.50 coupon
1x Crest Spinbrush: $4.99
-2.00 coupon
1x Colgate toothpaste: $2.99
-$1.50 coupon

Subtotal: $6.97
-$4.00 ECB's from #1 transaction

Total: $2.97 (+ .44 tax)
(Saved $13.20)

$6.00 ECB's earned to roll on my next transaction

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Joy of the Season

Yeah, I'm really bad about this blogging thing! The worst part is, I'm a blog addict! I visit about 5/6 blogs daily and here I can't even keep up on my own.

Before, in short detail, I introduced my online store:

I still have not posted any photos or cute logos or new deals/items.... but as of right now I'm taking a quick break from it all to enJOY the holiday season with my family.

Currently I'm also a couponing beginner. I've used coupons before, if I had them, and if I sat down to take the time to clip them... boy was I doing it ALL wrong! There is a whole world out there that I had no idea existed! I just sat down this weekend to figure up I'd spent $116 on about $275 worth of items! YAHOO!! I'm the type that goes to buy things when they run out and am trying to train my brain to buy 2 of an item when it's on sale or FREE (with sales and coupons) to just STOCK PILE! I follow these blogs for all the steals and deals:
You heard me right, I check these sites DAILY - sometime a few times a day. I subscribe to a few and get all the previous days entries in an e-mail each morning. They have all the coupon match ups for drug stores and grocery store, freebies, rebates, and internet/store sales. The savings really adds up if you take the time to organize.

Oh "organize"; here's another site I visit daily to: http://www.orgjunkie.com/
This lady has got me organizing my whole house! I seriously spent 4 hours the other night cleaning out the cabinets and medicine cabinets in BOTH my bathrooms! It needed it anyway, seeing as how we've lived in our home for 3 years now and it's never been done. But also it needed it so I could make room for my STOCK PILING!

Through all of this I feel like since I'm paying attention to our family spending I'm also doing a better job taking care of our health. With a slashed grocery budget, I've noticed we are actually eating better. I find healthy recipes that are under $5 (to feed the 3(4) of us (my husbands counts for two really), and we are having healthy hearty meals while still staying on budget. As of now we are allowing $50-$60 a week for all groceries (breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks/drinks). We've pretty well stayed right now. There are also some great blogs out there for these $5 meals.

Save is the name of the game. Amazon has been my best friend to for finding deals. Alyssa has a BIG birthday gift coming this May. Figured I'd save 60%/free shipping/no tax GET IT NOW! That's one less thing I'll have to worry about come spring.

Now's the time to worry about the holidays and that's going to be a busy one. We are pretty well packed everyday from now on through about the 4th of January. That's the reason behind taking a break from my online store. Orders can still be placed, but custom orders will just have to wait.

So with ALL that said, I'm going to ENJOY the Season and my family. Happy Holiday's to everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Bumble Bee Bowtique

So it's been a LONG time since I posted in this blog, but with GOOD reason. As stated in my orginal post I jumped right into the Bows and Tutus. I opened my online store: www.TheBumbleBeeBowtique.com the beginning of August and couldn't believe how fast things took off. It's pretty well taken up all my free time when I'm not working or taking care of my sweet girl (the inspiration). I did open a special MySpace account to promote my store: www.MySpace.com/thebumblebeebowtique and that's where a lot of my customers come from. It's an awesome place to spread the word and advertise for FREE. Halloween was super busy. I would guess I made over a dozen costumes ranging from ladybugs (most popular), peacock, penguin, poodle skirts, witches, and bows to match. In November I did 3 different craft shows that took a lot of prep work. The first two weren't so great but the third ended up paying off. I had 3 very interested customers that all of which I've heard from again since the craft show and given me repeat business. It's nice to have local customers as well as national customers. I still have a display at Candy Bouquet, it's just much larger in scale now. I offer other items besides just the bows an tutus. I have pacifier clips, kufi hats, flower clips, infant clips, bow holders, and I hope to just keep expanding. May of my customers have sent me photos to use for advertising with their adorable daughters wearing the items purchased from my store. That just makes my heart swell everytime I see someone who is a happy customer and proud their daughter is wearing something that I created. I am now in the midst of Christmas and making outfits for everyones holiday photos. I love working with everyone to create custome, one-of-a-kind items that they can feel is special and just for their daughter(s). I have so much fun creating and making things for my own daughter.