Saturday, March 29, 2014

COUPONING 101
























Welcome!

If you've been following me, you probably remember my first post of 2014.

So far, I have kept the resolution to be frugal.

But this: "I have signed up for a Couponing Class. Yep. I'm pretty stoked about it. Although, I really don't want to be one of those women who has to turn her garage into a pantry to store unnecessary & copious amounts of deodorant and toothpaste, but I want to start clipping & printing coupons, finding the best deals and saving as much money as possible on our grocery bill."

LIES. ALL LIES!

If you don't know already, you'll soon find out why you have unnecessary disposable razors underneath your bathroom sink.


As I try to focus on clean eating, this isn't the "cleanest" closet, lol. C'est la vie!

With that being said, let's just skip to the basics. That's why you're here, right?

I don't know about you, but I am a visual learner.

So, I'll share with you tonight's Harris Teeter trip and give you a breakdown.

Items Purchased:
(4) Barilla Pasta
(2) Deluxe Kraft Mac 'n Cheese
(2) Prego Homestyle Alfredo
(2) Dole Pineapple Chunks
(2) SO Delicious products
(1) Monkey Bread
(1) Zest Bar Soap

Items Regular Prices:
(2) Farfalle Barilla Pasta - $1.79 ea.
(2) Penne Barilla Pasta - $1.79 ea.
(2) Deluxe Kraft Mac 'n Cheese - $2.65 ea.
(2) Prego Homestyle Alfredo - $2.35 ea.
(2) Dole Pineapple Chunks - $3.19 ea.
(1) SO Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer - $2.49
(1) SO Delicious Almond Plus Milk - $3.99
(1) Monkey Bread - $4.19
(1) Zest Bar Soap - $2.79

Coupons Value:
Barilla Pasta - $1.00 off any two (I printed two copies).
Deluxe Kraft Mac 'n Cheese - $1.00 off any one (I had two copies)
Prego Homestyle Afredo - $.75 off one (I had two copies)
Dole Pineapple Chunks - $.75 off one (I had two copies)
SO Delicious - $1.00 off any one (I had two copies)
Monkey Bread - $.75 off any one
[Creamy Cocoa Butter & Shea] Zest Bar Soap - $1.00 off

Luckily, from Wednesday, March 26, 2014 through Tuesday, April 1, 2014, our Harris Teeter is currently doubling coupons up to $2.00 face value.

Meaning, all of the Coupons Value I listed above doubled.

Coupons Value (DOUBLED):
Barilla Pasta - $2.00 off any two.
Deluxe Kraft Mac 'n Cheese - $2.00 off any one.
Prego Homestyle Afredo - $1.50 off one.
Dole Pineapple Chunks - $1.50 off one.
SO Delicious - $2.00 off any one.
Monkey Bread - $1.50 off.
[Creamy Cocoa Butter & Shea] Zest Bar Soap - $2.00 off.

Items Regular Prices w/ DOUBLE COUPONS:
(2) Farfalle Barilla Pasta - $1.79 ea.
Use $1/2 coupon, doubles to $2/2, making them $1.58 total.
(2) Penne Barilla Pasta - $1.79 ea.
Use $1/2 coupon, doubles to $2/2, making them $1.58 total.
All in all, I paid $3.16 total for 4 boxes of Barilla Pasta.
(2) Deluxe Kraft Mac 'n Cheese - $2.65 ea.
Use $1/1 coupon, doubles to $2/1, making them $.65 ea.
All in all, I paid $1.30 total for 2 boxes of Deluxe Mac 'n Cheese.
(2) Prego Homestyle Alfredo - $2.35 ea.
Use $.75/1 coupon, doubles to $1.50/1, making them $.85 ea.
All in all, I paid $1.70 for 2 jars of Alfredo sauce.
(2) Dole Pineapple Chunks - $3.19 ea.
Use $.75/1 coupon, doubles to $1.50/1, making them $1.69 ea.
All in all, I paid $3.38 for 2 jars of Dole Pineapple Chunks.
(1) SO Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer - $2.49
Use $1/1 coupon, doubles to $2/1, making it $.49 total.
(1) SO Delicious Almond Plus Milk - $3.99
Use $1/1 coupon, doubles to $2/1, making it $1.99 total.
(1) Monkey Bread - $4.19
Use $.75/1 coupon, doubles to $1.50/1, making it $2.69 total.
(1) Zest Bar Soap - $2.79
Use $1/1 coupon, doubles to $2/1, making it $.79 total.

According to my calculations, I was at $15.50 pre tax.
However, I saved more money using my Harris Teeter "VIC" card, making my total $12.48.

$37+ subtotal.
$12.48 OOP (out of pocket!)

Be sure to download the Ibotta app. as you can earn even more savings!



I recently downloaded this app. and currently have $7.00 savings earned. I can cash out or redeem them for gift cards. Another app. that I use is Target's Cartwheel. I have saved over $16.00 so far using this app. and what's even better is that I save an additional 5% each transaction when I use my Target debit card. No credit check. No hassle. Just a voided check, an ID and you've got yourself a Target debit card.

I hope I didn't lose ya! I was overwhelmed at first, which is why I started off by following A LOT of frugal Bloggers.

I found out about the Barilla Pasta coupons from Free Stuff Finder.

Here is a list of other awesomely frugal women!
Double Saving Divas
$5.00 Dinners
A Frugal Chick

If you have a printer at home, you can find printable coupons on the following websites:

Coupons.com
RedPlum.com
SmartSource.com
Proctor and Gamble (PG)

Did you know that you can FREEZE Coffee Creamer?

Click here for Target coupons. They currently have a coupon for $.75 off 32-oz. Dunkin' Donuts liquid coffee creamer as well as $1.00 off with purchase of two 16- or 32-oz. Coffee-mate liquid coffee creamers.

Target will let you stack coupons, so if you have a coupon for $1.00 off two Coffee-mate creamers, you can use that on top of your Target $1.00 off coupon (mentioned above). Let's not forget about the additional 5% savings with that Target Debit card! Also, check your cartwheel app. to see what offers they have as this may be on there, too, making it more savings!

Tips:
Some stores give discounts for reusable bags. I have several The Home Depot bags from DIH Workshop classes that I use for grocery shopping! I love 'em!
Make a menu. Do inventory to see what's in your cabinets, pantry & refrigerator.
Create a Shopping List.
Pull Your Coupons. Attach them to your grocery shopping list.

If you're the type who likes to keep everything organized, like me, invest in a Binder and Couponing sleeves, like this:


This binder was purchased from Walmart for $10.97. And just like I love my car features, it comes with lots of compartments. Don't you just love compartments?!?

After a transaction, I will slide my receipt into the zipper compartment.


A compartment for pins!


A filing compartment! I printed out coupon policies from my favorite stores and added them inside. Along with my reuseable bags.


I purchased these Ultra Pro coupon sleeves from Walmart for $7.98.


As a SAHM, 99% of the time, I do my grocery shopping in the morning, which means the little one (28 months!) comes with me. I added a pouch with crayons and markers, so she can color while I shop. Otherwise, she is having a grand ol' time "driving" in an awesome kid-friendly grocery cart.


That 1% that I get to grocery shop alone, I have my headphones on and am listening to my Ipod. Just me, my coupons, my music & relaxation. It's a mini vacation!
 
If you're looking for more information on Couponing, please feel free to comment below with an inquiries and I'll answer ASAP. Also, check out my A FRUGAL BEGINNING Pinterest board for more pinspiration!

Don't say I didn't warn ya - couponing can be very addictive.

Happy STRESS-FREE shopping!
 
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Saturday, March 8, 2014

GLUTEN-FREE BANANA SPLIT BREAKFAST BOWL!
























Recently, I have been pinning so much stuff on Paleo & Gluten-Free that it was meant to be when I stumbled across this GLUTEN-FREE BIBLE book at Target. Want to know what's funny? It was nowhere near the book department. It was sitting by its lonesome as if someone changed their mind and threw it on a random shelf.

Yeah, uhm, I'll take that - Thanks!

After I finished my, ahem, Chick-Fil-A dinner, I had the nerve to want some Ice Cream for dessert. I mean, Geez, it was already bad enough that I ate some fast food (in my defense, it was a Grilled Chicken sandwich, so it's totally OK, right? Right?!), but some Rocky Road ice cream was calling my name. I had intentions on heading to the nearest 7-11 to get my fix.

But first, I started to browse through the book and then I saw it....

...the Banana Split Breakfast Bowl.

(Haaaaallelujah!)

You want to know what's even more funny? The fact that I had ALL of the ingredients for this recipe - with the exception of the vanilla yogurt. Greek Nonfat Yogurt will do, and it did..do. ;-)

You see those Dole Pineapple Chunks up there? Yeah, I'm pretty proud of those Chunks, guys. My latest hobby in Couponing got me that can of Pineapples, along with 2 other cans, for less than $1! Yuuuup.

Shortly after realizing that I had everything for this recipe, I instagrammed about it went into the kitchen to get started.

I took a picture of the recipe so that YOU can enjoy this goodness, too.

Enjoy!!

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RECIPE: LEMON-GARLIC KALE CHIPS!
























Happy Saturday, folks!

Earlier this week, I made some Kale chips & Sweet Potato chips. Recipe for Sweet Potato chips coming soon!

A week prior, I purchased a huge bag of Kale for juicing and decided I'd try my hand at Kale chips, too. I searched on Pinterest for some recipes and was inspired by these two which are included in my PALEO SNACKS board.

It took me a few days to find the perfect bottle of Coconut Oil, so I was pleased to find a 28 fl. oz. jar of Coconut Oil for $8.29 at Sam's Club. I'm definitely getting my money's worth with this purchase!

What You'll Need:
Kale
Coconut Oil
Sea Salt
Garlic Powder
Lemon

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the stems from Kale. Rinse Kale. Pat dry. Add to a bowl. In a small bowl, melt 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil. Pour onto Kale. Mix with hands. Add a pinch of Sea Salt and Garlic Powder. Squirt with lemon. Spread onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

My 2-year-old LOVED them! I asked her if she wanted a chip. She ate one and asked for more!


I sipped on a Juice that I had prepped the day prior while I snacked on some Kale chips! So delicious and nutritious.

Enjoy!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

30 Summer Bucket List Ideas for Kids!

 
Happy Thursday, everyone! 'Tis a beautiful day over here in my neck of the woods. The sun is out but this 48 degree weather, along with huge gusts of wind is a clear indicator that Winter is not quite over yet.
 
But, that hasn't stopped me from thinking of all the fun my family and I will partake in come Summertime! 
 
Luckily, I had all of these items in my craft room to put together this jar full of ideas for Summertime. $3.00 now can save you a lot of headache later because let's face it, no one really wants to hear, "Mom, I'm bored!! What are we going to do today?"
 
Maybe you do, but I don't!  
 
...make it even more fun and have them close their eyes and choose a stick!
 
30 Summer Bucket List Ideas
  1. Picnic at the park.
  2. Homemade Ice Cream.
  3. Bounce House.
  4. Dog Park (we have 2 dogs!)
  5. Playground fun.
  6. Trail walk.
  7. Bake cupcakes.
  8. Camp & roast S'mores.
  9. Ferry ride.
  10. Pick strawberries.
  11. Busch Gardens.
  12. Homemade popsicles.
  13. Children's Museum.
  14. Bike ride.
  15. Slip 'n Slide.
  16. Sidewalk chalk.
  17. Go to the beach.
  18. Sleepover.
  19. Ocean Breeze.
  20. Fingerpaint.
  21. Lemonade stand.
  22. State Park.
  23. Play dress-up.
  24. Water park.
  25. Go fishing.
  26. Go swimming.
  27. Go to the zoo.
  28. Wildlife Museum.
  29. Plant Flowers.
  30. What do YOU want to do?  

Wanna make this too?

What You'll Need:
Mason Jar ($1.00, Dollar Tree)
Colorful Popsicle sticks ($1.00, Dollar Tree)
Twine & Tags ($1.00, Michaels)
Permanent Marker

Fill up your mason jar with pocket change and extra cash so you and your family can have spending money during your Family Fun Day!

Do you have any ideas you'd like to share? Let me know!

Yes, another Pinterest success. Inspiration found here.
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Monday, February 24, 2014

DIY Rustic TV Stand, sort of.

Hiya Folks!

We are approaching the end of February and this is my first published post of the month.

To say that I have been busy this month would be quite the understatement; I've just been lazy, is all.

OK, not so much lazy - considering I have a 2-year-old. Let's just say other things have taken precedence.

Remember last month's post and my plans for 5 DIY projects? Yeah, well...So much for this DIY.


We BOUGHT our Rustic TV Console instead.

Although, technically, we my husband did-it-himself. He had to assemble it all. That counts, right?

Sure, we would've felt much satisfaction had we made the Rustic TV Console from scratch, but in the end, this purchase was more convenient, less money and certainly less time consuming for us.

After my husband was done putting it all together, we sat on the couch and stared at how beautiful it is. Then, he adds, "It would look really good on hardwood floors."

And the saga continues....

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Friday, January 31, 2014

FIVE FAVS ON FRIDAY!


My taste in home decor is forever changing.

Of course, I am always inspired by HGTV, magazines & even homes of the Bloggers I follow, but I've always had an eclectic taste when it came to decorating a home.

In March 2012, my Realtor and I walked into a 1987, 1950 sq. foot house that my family and I would just 1 month later call home.

As we approach our 2 year anniversary as Homeowners, I am thrilled to say that I have found a Decor that best suits our home and am very much looking forward to the transformation this year.

Let's take a look at some DIY projects that I hope to complete in 2014.

1. I was head over heels in love with Target's Threshold Bar Cart but certainly not willing to pay $129.99 for it, and when I heard that they were marked down to 30% off, they were gone like hot cakes by the time I got there. Let's just say that everything worked out for the better because this beauty has my name written all over it! As soon as I pinned it, I showed the picture to my Husband and asked, "Can you make me this?" Of course I'll help him (.....help him hold the tools, that is).

2. One thing that I plan to do in the New Year is brighten up our kitchen. With our black appliances, dark Chesnut cabinets and shady window treatment in the breakfast nook, our kitchen could sure lighten up a bit. The Chalkboard painted pantry door doesn't help much either! With a few minor changes in the kitchen, including an upgrade on canisters (with adorable decals!), like these, it is a surefire way to get started.

3. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders. As soon as we were given the key to our home, we hired professionals to paint the entire interior of our home. They ripped down the hideous wallpaper in the dining room much quicker than we would have, so it was nice just to pay someone else to do it so we could enjoy our new home as soon as all the paint dried. One of the projects that I want to tackle myself this year is to white-wash the exterior brick. There's not a lot of brick and certainly no need for a ladder. I want to give our home a whole new look on the outside. I was inspired by this photo here.

4. The professionals who painted our home, also re-stained all of our wood trim. Yes, our entire home is full of wood trim. UGH! I must admit, I disliked it at first but now, it is certainly growing on me, so YAY! With that being said, I am working around the trim. The trim has inspired me to spruce up my home with rustic, cottage-style Decor, including this lovely TV console. This was another one of those, "Hey, baby. Can you make this?" moments.

5. Under the Stairs storage. Ahh. Isn't it beautiful? I was looking through an interior design book that I rented from the library and came across a stairwell storage that I just have to try. What lacks in Mud Room space will be made up in Under the Stairs storage!

Do you have any Home Plans for 2014?
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

DIY: Magnetic Dinner Menu Board

If you've been following me, you're probably asking yourself, "Didn't she just make a Dinner Menu Board?"

Why, yes. Yes, I did make a Dinner Menu Board last October.

But.....

This happened.

It got a coat of Chalkboard spray paint and decked out for Christmas.

The menu board was working very well for us, but I preferred that it stay in the kitchen as opposed to in the dining room, so I had plans to replace it at a later time.

Earlier this month, I found these awesome Meal Planning printables on Pinterest. I printed several copies and added them into my Meal Planning binder.


During a trip to Michaels yesterday, I stumbled across these clothespins. The clothespins are adorable, but they are way too colorful for my taste so I kept it moving. I wanted to keep it simple and with colors that suited the kitchen decor.

The next stop was the Dollar Tree to buy a picture frame. I purchased an 8x10 for $1.00 (bad lighting, but the frame is brushed nickel).



Later that evening, I started working on a DIY felt board project for my daughter and couldn't stop thinking about the clothespins.

So, here we are today, and before my Husband got home from work, he so generously made a special stop to Michaels to buy them for me. He brought home more than expected, but no complaints here!

I had plans to hot glue the clothespins onto the side of the picture frame, like the other one I made, but instead, I took the original insert out of the picture frame and replaced it with a printable. I cut some strips of magnet and taped it onto the back of the picture frame. Glass can be used like a dry erase board, so instead of typing out my meals & cutting them into strips, I will write our meals on a weekly basis. This will be so much better and less time consuming!

My 2-3 month Dinner Menu is written out inside my Meal Planning binder. So, all I have to do is pull the binder out and write dinner for the next week, and so on and so on - until it's time to check inventory and go grocery shopping again.

I keep the Sunday-Saturday clothespins inside this $1.00 Michaels tin can, which already comes with a magnet on the bottom. If I have something planned for that particular day, I will take the 'pin(s) out, attach a note and put it on the fridge as a reminder.



What You'll Need:
Picture Frame ($1.00, Dollar Tree)
Meal Planning Printable (FREE!)
Magnetic Tape ($2.99, Michaels - they have cheaper ones too!)

If you want to accessorize....
Clothespins ($4.99, Michaels - however, if you prefer plain ones, Dollar Tree has 'em!)
Tin Can ($1.00, Michaels, in the $1-$5 section)

I'm lovin' this space already and it took all but 10 minutes!

Do you Meal Plan? If so, how do you stay organized for Meal Planning?

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