Pages

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Puppies & Spring Cleaning

We have 7 new additions to our household! Last Friday, our Lab, Betsy, and our Springer Spaniel, Lars, officially became puppy parents! They are so cute and I swear there is some sort of magnets inside of them that just draw you in and keep you from wanting to leave their sight for 5 minutes. They were born under our bed and every night I wake up to hear one of the puppies crying for some reason or another. One morning, one of the puppies had started wandering around and got lost. It was just laying in the middle of my floor crying for its mama who was busy feeding the rest of the crew and couldn't move. So, I came to the rescue and put him back with the rest. Superhero in disguise... lol.
Puppies aside, I have been busy for the last 2 weeks with spring cleaning. I love going through everything and cleaning out all the junk from the house that we no longer use or appreciate. This weekend, I am taking my unwanted goods to a friend's house to sell since she is having a "barn sale." Hoping to make a few bucks to put towards our debt snowball. I think a couple hundred bucks would be great although it will probably be more like 20 bucks or maybe 50. It's still money and will pay off debt no matter how little or how much it is. A little here and there can make a huge difference in the end. Anything that doesn't sell is going straight to Loaves and Fishes, a local organization that gives the items to people that need them. I donate to thrift stores occasionally, but mostly we donate to L & F because I like the fact that people that may not necessarily have the money to buy the items at a thrift store can get the stuff they need for free. I also put a lot of stuff on Freecycle so that people who have specific needs can get what they need. I love Freecycle... we have gotten a lot of things we have needed in the past from people that no longer needed or used them. It is a great way to share your stuff with others and keep good stuff from going to landfills. Most areas have Freecycle groups, just  go to http://www.freecycle.org/ and search for groups in your city or a major city near. Our small town has one which is surprising but it is so much better to have a local list rather than having to depend on Craigslist or the Freecycle list for Colorado Springs (our closest major city). For one, the items are closer and for another, there isn't as much competition.
Hope you all are getting some spring cleaning done and taking time out to enjoy life... there is so much more to life than work ;-) 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Saving Money with Coupons

There are many different resources that I use to find deals on anything from groceries to entertainment. The number one place that I find deals is through couponmom.com. I cannot say enough about Coupon Mom. She is an amazing woman ;-) If I was to use just one resource, this would be the one. Another somewhat competitor site to this one is afullcup.com. There are deals found on this site that sometimes aren't found on coupon mom mainly because of the forums where people post their coupon match-ups and deals they find. I use both sites although in my opinion, Coupon Mom is easier to navigate and find things fast while A Full Cup is a little more time consuming.





On top of that though, I read several different blogs where I get the lowdown on great deals that would otherwise not be gotten. My top list of the blogs (in no particular order because they really are all great!) that I use for this purpose are:

And, the number one local resource that I use, which only helps those people living in the Colorado Springs or Denver area also has denverbargains.com) is: http://springsbargains.com/
If you live in a different area, search the web for savings blogs for your area. There are a ton out there and I am sure you could pretty much find one applicable to any area where you shop.

As far as printable coupons go, I am very careful to only print the coupons I will use. I have in the past printed a whole bunch of coupons only to find that the products were still too expensive for my budget or I just flat out didn't use them. I use the blogs I read and couponmom.com to track the deals that interest me and those are the ones I take advantage of. If there is a really good deal on something that our family doesn't use, I do sometimes take advantage of it and donate it to our local foodbank or give it to someone I know will use it. I love being able to give back in this way and do so whenever possible. The main printable website I use is www.coupons.com. I also use smartsource.com and redplum.com but find that they don't have nearly as many of the coupons that I actually use as coupons.com does.

I also get two newspapers, Sunday subscription only, which I got really good subscription deals but you do have to remember to break down the price and figure out whether or not the extra cost is worth it to your budget. It is much cheaper to subscribe to the Sunday delivery for us than it is to buy the Sunday paper at the newsstand each week. If you do just buy the paper weekly, there is a way to find out what coupons are going to be in that weeks paper without having to buy the paper first. Sunday coupon preview  (http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/) lets yo know what coupons will be in the paper a few days ahead of time so that you can choose whether or not you want to buy the paper or if you get a subscription, if there will be a coupon for something you are about to buy without a coupon. Oh, and don't forget, a lot of grocery stores double coupons. Both Safeway and City Market/King Soopers double coupons up to 50 cents. If the coupon is 51-99 cents off, the value is automatically changed to $1.00. Not all coupons double, such as store coupons, but most manufacturer coupons do.

Last but not least, my favorite type of coupons are e-coupons. These are the coupons that you can load automatically to your shoppers card. As a note, if you have a paper coupon, it will cancel out the loaded coupon. In other words, the paper coupon will be discounted but not the e-coupon unless you have more than one of the items (one coupon per # of items required to use the coupon). The e-coupon will not be deleted or anything until you use it or it expires, it's just that you can only use one or the other. Otherwise you would end up using 2 coupons for the same item (some stores, such as Target and Walgreens, do allow manufacturer coupons plus store coupons on one item, but this is a totally different case). Also, e-coupons do not double so if you have a paper coupon that will be a better value doubled than the e-coupon, make sure you use it instead. Or just buy multiple items so that you can use both the paper coupons and the e-coupons if there is a good sale. Our local grocery stores that have shoppers cards are Safeway and City Market/King Soopers. I visit their websites to load e-coupons first off and I also load e-coupons through http://www.cellfire.com/deals.phphttp://shortcuts.com/, and https://www.pgesaver.com/default.aspx (this one is just Proctor and Gamble products). I go through and load any coupons that I will use plus any that there is the slightest possibility I might use so that they are there just in case. I have saved money on items not even remembering that I had a coupon loaded for them, which is really nice. By going to the store sites, you can also access the sales ads for that store and create a shopping list that you can print out (on most sites anyway) by clicking the items. You can also print out a list of the coupons you have loaded on your shoppers cards at each of the sites or even have the list sent to your cell phone if you use cellfire.com.

I also get coupons and so forth from Facebook and by visiting company websites. Most of the time, at least one of the blogs I read will have a tip telling about companies that are available through these resources, but sometimes there is something that I need to buy that isn't on sale so I just have to go out on a limb and look for a coupon on my own. You can also look up coupons for certain items through both the Coupon Mom website and A Full Cup website. I love getting free samples which usually come with coupons as well, but I will talk more about that later.

Have a blessed day and remember: a penny saved is one more penny you can use to become debt free ;-)
Pam
type of vehicle insurance : igo car insurance : cheapest way to insure a second car : insurance for mercedes : sr22 south carolina : least amount of car insurance : direct general ins co : brit car insurance