soap aff Brand Banner

Friday, December 31, 2010


I have been slacking off in posting lately, and have instead have been doing a lot of reading.  Mostly reading other blogs, my favorite topics being couponing and decor (thrifty decor to be more specific).  The family and I have been hanging out at home, playing with new toys, sleeping in and enjoying each other.  In this down time of sorts I have been reflecting, both on the past year and the one that lays before us.  I love a new year or even a new month, it's a fresh start, sure any day can be a fresh start, but I think you know what I mean.

2011 is truly a year of  new things for our family.  The hubs has been laid off, and is looking for new employment, I am looking to change up my business (more on that later), this year our middle son will be starting school and our oldest will start middle school.  With all these big changes, I find myself wanting to hold on to every moment, the boys are growing up so fast our 'baby' is 3!) and time seems to fly by. 

The buzz word for so many New Year resolutions this year seems to be 'Simplify'.  Hubs and I both want to do a lot of that in our lives this year, not just to clear the clutter, but to focus in on really living the lives we want, doing what we are passionate about.  For me, and this blog, it will be a journey, I will not have it all figured out on January 1st.  I enjoy so many different things, and want to share it all, but I know I need more focus.  So hang in there with me, it might be a bit rough at 1st but, I have great things to come. 

Stay tuned, as later I will write about what I am planning to share with you in the new year, be it how to save money, make a new craft, or the humor of parenthood.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Buying in Bulk doesn't always equal big savings

We went to Costco for the 1st time in over 3 months last night, and boy was it an eye opener.  In the past, our family of 5 would go to Costco at least once a month, and routinely spend between $300 and $400.  When we went last night, I had planned on buying meat, lasagna, butter, and a few other items.  However, in looking at the price per pound, or oz, I quickly noticed I could spend less on the same item at the grocery store with a coupon.  So we left, with only a few things. 

So the lesson of this little story, is don't assume you are getting a great deal when you buy in bulk at warehouse stores, you can probably save more if you shop sales and use coupons at your regular grocery store.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Sharing the Free Love

I love the high that comes from doing a good deed. The joy in helping someone if truly a gift in it's self.

While at Albertsons today, doing a quick run to get a few things we were out of, I ran across pasta marked down in a cart in the middle of the freezer aisle. There was 1 cart full of Barilla Plus pasta, marked down to $1, and another cart with Rozoni pasta marked down to 50 cents. I quick look into my trusty coupon binder and I found I had the perfect coupons, and a lot of them.

I used
75 cents/1 for the Barilla x2
buy one get one free for the Barilla x2
so I got 4 boxes of Barilla for 50 cents!

for the Razoni (marked down to 50 cents each)
 I used
Blinkie coupons I had for $1/2 and a twice the Value coupon
so I got 4 boxes of Razoni for FREE!!

Now I could have cleared out the cart of the Razoni, because I had a bunch of coupons.   But instead, I looked around me, and offered them to the people around me.  One lady, who was 70 years old, couldn't believe I was giving her this 'gift'.  She was in awe that an item at the store would be allowed to be free, and that she would be allowed to use these coupons on the sale priced pasta.  I ended up giving her a quick lesson, and she was so grateful and eager to learn more that she mentioned she wanted my phone number.  She doesn't use a computer.  I was happy to help, especially in this season of giving when I don't have alot of $$ to give.  It got me thinking, there are probably tons of  people, especially older people, that don't use computers but need to save money.  So I will be looking into setting up some classes (free of course)- right now I am thinking of contacting local churches, to see if there is an interest and/or need.  If you are local and know of a group that you like to learn more about saving money at the grocery store- let me know.  I am not super expert, but I know how to save alot.

Take care, and do a good deed today, it will pay you back 10 fold with joyous feelings!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Goal and a Giveaway

One of the many , many reasons I LOVE supporting small business, is knowing that it directly impacts people (the owners and employees if any) right now.  And because I also believe in giving back..  I bring you-

A Goal and a Giveaway from Mama 

The Goal:  Mama Monkey needs to make $64 a day for the next 7 days (or a total of $450)
The Giveaway:  If the goal is met, Mama will give 1 winner $64 cash! 

the details:  
the Giveaway/ Goal will run from 12/7 to 12/14
if the goal is met, a random winner will be announced on 12/15
the prize of $64 will be awarded via Paypal 

How to Enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post
2. Become a follower of this blog and a leave a comment here that you have done so
3. become a fan of Mama Monkey on facebook and leave a comment here that you have done so (or already are)
4. Make a purchase from Mama Monkey here, here or here, and leave a comment here that you did.
5.  mention this giveaway on your blog and leave a link to your post on the comments here.
6. Post about this giveaway on Facebook, with a link to this post, and let us know you did in the comments here.

So you can enter up to 6 times!  (no purchase necessary to win)


Monday, December 6, 2010

Safeway Run 12/6/10

I have been slacking of in the grocery shopping department for a couple of weeks (I had to take a break after November's many trips to the store). So, needless to say, with 4 males in my house, there were gaping holes in my pantry stock.  I searched all my favorite blogs for coupon match ups, but didn't find the normal wealth of knowledge.  Seems everyone is either taking a break, or focusing more on gift deals than food ones.  This mama had to d all her own leg work, and I think I did a pretty good job.  Look below and guess how much this all cost me.  There are 87 items in the pic (I forgot to take a picture of the party sized lasagna).  bringing my total items purchased to 88.  

Drum roll please......
Total out of pocket = $118.79
Amount saved = $109.23
Recieved a total of $13 in catalinas (good on my next shopping trip)
AND 1 free movie ticket ($12 value)
all said, we brought home  $228.02 worth of food for $105.79 and after I go back for more cereal (which triggered the free movie ticket) Hubby and I will be going on a free date to the movies!! (the last one we saw in the theater was Avatar)

So what I would like to know, is do you like hearing about these deals?  And would you like me to do deal/ coupon match ups in the future so you can save big too?  Let me know in the comments, and mention your favorite grocery store too.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Mantel 2010

I was up waaaay too late last night looking thru all the beautiful mantels over on Layla's Mantel Party, that I woke up this morning with the resolve that I would finish mine and share it with you.  So without further ado, I will let the pictures do the talking (with my over explaining comments of course).
Here it is in all it's Blue, white and silver glory.  Complete with a coffee filter wreath and three.  And if you are wondering why it looks like I have a giant present behind my wreath, I'll let you in on a little secret... it's a huge piece of cardboard that I wrapped in paper, to fill the 'tv niche' that is the bane of my decorating attempts.  Anyone else have one of these (made for an older tube tv) and can tell me what they did to 'fix' it?
A closer (un photo shopped) picture will show you the other thorne in my side, the cable running from the back of the niche to where the tv really sits, to the left of this picture.

Back to the lovely mantel...  I filled my dollar store hurricanes with blue ornaments that i bought at Walmart last year. The rock candy garland came lit.  It is from Nordstrom, I used it my wedding decorations, almost 7 years ago.  Which brings me to another tangent- getting married in the winter is the smartest ever! I bought after Christmas clearance decorations, and had a snowflake themed wedding, and I get to use my wedding decorations year after year!  LOVE it!
 I bought the mercury glass hurricane this year at Fred Meyer ($7) you can't see in the picture, but it has snowflakes etched on it.  I am so sappy for snowflakes. 
And finally a little shot of the coffee filter tree I made today.  It's a little odd shaped I know, but aren't we all? I used a triangular shaped box from the post office I found in my garage for the base, just cut the top into points and taped together, then went to town hot gluing the filters on.  And I didn't burn myself this time! 

This is my 1st year doing this color scheme, but I did it with mostly items I had- How about you, do you change your color scheme from year to year?


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mama got a new Shark Steam mop

Happy Black Friday to me!  We went out more for fun than real deal shopping. (We didn't hit the stores till the crazies went home)  and we ran across this baby for $49 at Target.  Now 3/4 of my downstairs is hardwood, plus tile in all the bathrooms, and I have tied several different tools to make the job of cleaning them easier, to no avail.  Enter in the Shark Steam mop, I took it out of the box as soon as dinner was done tonight, and quickly cleaned all the wood floors.  ( I hosted Thanksgiving yesterday with 6 little boys running around with food, it needed to be cleaned.) Let me tell you I am in love!  This baby is amazing!  It is easy to use, quick, and it really gets the job done.  It even got paint I spilled on the floor over a month ago, not to mention all the sticky what have yous from under the chair where my 3 year old eats.

  I am one happy mama. I love the fact that all it takes to clean the floor is steam, no chemicals or special things to buy, just fill it with water and you are set.  Also it comes with 4 reusable pads.  That is plenty to clean all the floors in my house and still have one or two to use if the others are in the wash.  It also came with with an attachment glider that makes it so you can steam your carpet.  Now I wouldn't say that it takes place of steam cleaning your carpets with your bissel or anything, but it is nice for a quick refreshing of the carpet.

I think I am becoming a huge fan of Shark products- don't even get me started on how much I love my Shark Navigator vacuum  that I bought this summer...  that's a whole other post...

What is your favorite cleaning tool?


** Disclaimer, I was not compensated for my purchase or my review of this product (though that would be cool)- I just really really love it and wanted to share it with you.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Going to the mall? Warm up your Printer first!

We headed out for a day of shopping today- but before we left the house, I spent about 20-30 minuets searching online for coupons to use in some of the retail stores I knew we would go to.  I found a bunch, just using Google, like ones for Childrens Place, Old Navy, Aeropostale, Bath and Body Works, Kohls, Toys r Us, just to name a few. 

We started out with a trip to the Mega Brand warehouse sale in Fife.  We have been going to this salefor about 5 years, it is incredible, they have Mega Bloks and Rose Art products, and a few other brands, for well below retail prices.  If you missed it, don't fret, they will be having another sale Dec 8th- 11th, and new this year they are collecting toys for Toys for Tots, and matching each donation.  They will also have Santa there for pictures (free with donation) on Dec 11th.  Anyways, we scored a bunch of deals, and plan to go back in December to shop for our oldest son (who is too old to trick, so we can't shop in front of him like we do his brothers).

Then it was on to the mall  (well the Super Mall in Auburn, so more like 1/2 mall 1/2 outlets)  Where I was able to pick up gifts for some of the harder to shop for teens and tweens on my list, shopping clearance and using my printed out coupons I scored big.  For instant, I got my son a shirt at Aeropostale, normally $29.99, on sale for $3.99, then I had a 30% off coupon.  Craziness I tell you, and since he is in Junior High Next year, name brands are becoming important. 

All this is to say, coupons are not just for groceries  people.  There are a ton of deals out there- so before you headout to the stores, print out some coupons to match with in store sales.  Tis the season for giving and saving.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dear Santa, can you bring me a Freezer this Year?

Because mine is full.  I have been a good girl, and saving my family alot of money and feeding them well.  Tonight I even emptied the whole freezer, cleaned it all out, and loaded back up with the packing skills I learned from an eagle scout.  There is not an inch of room left in there folks.  And I have to cook one of the turkeys  I bought this week because there was no room in the freezer for it.  It's ok though, I did buy it to practice with, as I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the 1st time this year.  Anyone want to come over for a pre- thanksgiving turkey?  I won't have room to freeze leftovers, so come hungry. 
Of of the keys to couponing success is to stock up on items when they are at the lowest price, so that you don't have to buy more until they are on sale again.  It just so happened that the eggos my kids love to eat were free or as little as 25 cents (which is cheaper than what I can make them for) and hubby's entrees he has for lunch at work were the lowest I have seen them in the nearly 3 months since I started couponing.  Add to that the great price on turkey (I have bought 2)- and well my already semi full freezer is now really full.

So if anyone sees a coupon for a freezer let me know.  :)

I hope everyone has a great start to their week, and may your freezers and wallets be full.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shopping while the shelves are still stocked.

I went to Albertsons tonight for 3 reasons.  The first being I needed butter, the second, after running into my cousin Jess today, I was inspired by her recent brownie mix deal (that I apparently inspired in her after posting about the Safeway book) Don't you love how we all help each other!  LOVE. And the last reason was I knew that by the time I get up and ready for the store tomorrow (read- I am not an early riser) the shelves will be picked over, as the deals are THAT great.  So I only paid for what I needed in this case.  That being the butter ($2.29) part of the buy 10 save $5.  The cheese, $4.99 with in ad coupon and the frozen entrees my hubby eats for lunch at work (*they were 50 cents each!)  Aside from the in ad coupon of the cheese, all the other coupons I used were from the Safeway Thanksgiving book. 
$1/1 Sierra Mist
$1/2 Brownie Mix
$1/1 Swiss Miss
$1/2 cookie mix
 my out of pocket was $13.56 and I saved $53.24!

My 3 year old was so excited about all the brownie mix :)


Friday, November 12, 2010

Coffee Filter Wreath

Ever get so inspired by something you see online, you know you just HAVE to try it?  I do, all the time!  Normally, I convince myself that I can't find the materials, or mine won't turn out as well...  etc.  But this time, with a list of materials as easy as coffee filters, a dollar store wreath form and hot glue.. Thank you Nesting Place for sharing and inspiring!  I HAD to do it. I headed out to the dollar store yesterday with all 3 kids in tow.  When hubby came home from work I went and hid in my craft studio.  Check it out!

 I ran out of coffee filters (I used 320!) so I added the little orange tulle bow to cover the gap until I get more (it is just pinned in place)

 Showing you the scale here- this thing is huge, I hung it above my 3 person bench in my entry way for now.

LOVE it!  I am Thrilled with how it turned out. An I only burned myself 6 times with the hot glue gun.

I'll be linking this up at the Nesting Place as well

What have you been inspired by in blogland lately?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

She's got Legs!

And she knows how to use them.  I present to you, Maggie, the sock monkey.    I have challenged myself to make something everyday this month.  So far, most of those things have been sock monkeys.  I am behind in posting them though, so tonight I am playing catch up.  Maggie is my current favorite.  In fact, if she doesn't sell quickly, I may just decide to keep her.  She is so colorful, and her cute face makes me smile.

Hope you enjoyed meeting her, I have a feeling she will go quick.


linking to Just a Girl, 
fireflies and jellybeans
somewhat simple

Monday, November 8, 2010

Albertsons Doubler Run 11/8

Did a little quick shopping today.  I had to run to Safeway to get their Thanksgiving coupon book.  I made my trip worth it buy stocking up on Pillsbury Biscuits while I was there.  Then it was on to Albertsons, where I scored this deal.
Buy 3
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa on sale $1
Use $1/1 coupon from Safeway Coupon booklet x3
3 FREE after coupon
Kelloggs Pop Tarts $2.50
Buy 6, Receive a $4.00 Catalina
$1.00/3 – Kellogg’s Pop Tarts, 8ct or larger – ( x2
Pay $1.83 each after coupons, Receive $4 Catalina
    Buy 6 Heinz Gravy$1.29/$0.79
    $1.00/3 – Heinz Homestyle Gravy – (

    Buy 4 Eggo Waffles $1.49/$0.99
    $1.00/2 – Kellogg’s Eggo Products, 5.3 oz or larger – (

    Save $5.00 instantly when you buy 10 items
    Use all manufacturer coupons and 3 Twice the Value coupons
    Final price: $1.70 for 10 items or $0.17 each!!

Total Spent out of pocket = $13.70, saved $46.71 and got $9 in catalinas back. (not sure what triggered the $5 catalina, but it is good off my next purchase of $50 or more)


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Loving Lola- the Sock Monkey

We had a wonderful evening last night at my in-law's house.  Great food, good company and lots of little boys! (between my family and my hubby's brother's, we have 6 boys, 5 of which are under 5 years old!).  Knowing that I am much more relaxed when my hands are busy, I brought along some socks to whip into a monkey.  I named her Lola..  after my father in-law.  No, his name is not Lola, but the poor sweet man has no one named after him since his name is Durwood.  So i took his middle name. Lowell, and girlied it up to Lola.  Love you Dad!

And since I am behind on my thankful posts...

yesterday I was thankful for family get togethers and yummy food.

Today I am thankful for lazy Sundays and hot coffee!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A thankful November

The theme for the month in both the blog world and Facebook seems to be thankfulness.  I posted yesterday on facebook that I am thankful for my family and my home.  I also posted that I plan to take this thankfulness one step further and purposefully show my thanks each day by way of actions.  I hope that you will follow me this month, as I share the ways I come up with to give thanks, be inspired and give thanks too.

So, what are you thankful for?


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shopping Clearance at Target

I scored some great deals at Target yesterday by shopping the clearance sections.  One of my favorite things to do at Target is to shop all the inside end caps (the ones NOT on the main aisle).  I have scored some great deals doing this and yesterday was no exception. 
I got Olay Body wash (value twin packs x 3 for a total of 6 bottles) priced at $2.48
I had $1.50/1 coupon x 3
total= 2.94 or 49 cents a bottle!

Garnier conditioner with free shampoo priced at $1.48
I used a $1/1 coupon
total= 48 cents!

I also picked up a hot outfit for myself in the clearance racks- I will show you that tomorrow (I am working on a post, that will hopefully become a series)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Count Monkula the Sock Monkey

Well, Jack found a new home with my hubby's coworker and Jack 2.0 went to his boss, so I made a new monkey today.  Meet Count Monkula, he is full of Halloween spirit, and he is a little batty.  (really, look at the back of his head).  Like Jack, the Count has little fangs, but as long as we share our candy with him he promises not to bite.

If you find yourself longing for a little Monkula to share your candy with, let me know and I can see about whipping one up for you.



Friday, October 22, 2010

Target Run 10/22

2 Hershey Kisses @ $2.69 each
2 Ronzoni Whole wheat pasta @ $1.13 each
1 4 pack GE light bulbs @ $2.44
4 Reach Dental Floss @ $.97 each
1 Market Pantry Bread @ $.99
1 Scrubby thing (for hubby to use with his free Nivea Body Wash) @ $1.37
1 Market Pantry Milk (not pictured) @ $1.99

 Total  = $17.32

Coupons used
$1/1 off Hershey Kisses Target printable x 2
$1/1 off Hershey Kisses SS 10/ 17 x 2
$1/1 Ronzoni Past Target printable x 2
$.50 bread Target printable
$1 off GE lightbulbs from PG I think?
$1.5 off GE lightbulbs Target Printable
$1 off Reach printable x 4
Coupon total = $13

so $4.32 before tax + $.89 tax Paid with $5 Target Gift Card (from previous Curel deal)
Total out of Pocket = $.21 !!! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meet Jack, the Halloween Sock Monkey

I promise I do more than shop (and save).  And to prove it to you, I shall introduce you to Jack -

I ran across these cool orange socks at Target and knew I had to make them into a Halloween Monkey.
I wasn't really intending to sell him, I just thought he would be a great addition to our Halloween decor and monkey collection.  However, as it turns out, Hubby mentioned Jack during a  meeting at work (he works with all ladies) and a gal asked to buy him sight unseen, and then his boss asked for one too.  So I guess I will be making more, and going back to Target for more socks (I only thought to pick up 2 pair, so I will need more to make one for us to keep). 
I don't mind making more - in fact, I really love making monkeys.  Truth be told, I have like 15 more monkeys I haven't listed for sale, because I like making them more than I like taking pictures of them (you know, good, quality pictures, something I have not mastered in the least). 

Speaking of Haloween, are your decorations for Halloween spooky or cute?

And remember-
I am a monkey maker, not a picture taker.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Jack.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ohh La la Rue La La- how I love a great deal!

I just came across this site, Rue La La - it is similar to Haute Look- and they are offering new members a $20 credit!  I signed up, and I have my eye on this little tank.
It is made to slim your tummy! And at $35 + my $20 credit I could have it for $15!  How sweet is that?  You can sing up too, though it is by invitation only so click below to grab an invite- and either use the $20 right away or hang on to it till something catches your eye (new items are added daily!)


Sunday, October 17, 2010

How I MADE $6.08 at Alberstons Today

Woo hoo!  call me a coupon nerd, but I am so excited about the deal I just did at Albertsons today.
 I got all this and 8 cents back in cash + $6 in catalinas!

Here's what I did:
(4) Betty Crocker Cake Mix
(4) Betty Crocker Frosting
(5) Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks
- (3) .75 off both cake + frosting coupons from 10/3 GM insert
-(1) .50 off both cake + frosting coupon
-(1) $.50/2 fruit snacks from 9/12 SS or 10/3 GM
-(1)  $1.00/3 fruit snacks
- $5.00 Instant Savings Promo
(2) Instant Oatmeal
-(1) $2/1 off Oatmeal  printable
-(1)  $1/1 off Oatmeal (from insert, forget which one)
1.41 lbs for Bananas 59 cents per lbs
-(1) off produce coupon (tear off pad in front of Oatmeal, buy 2 oatmeal, get $1 off produce)
(1) Iceberg Fresh Express salad 88 cents with in ad coupon
-(1) $1 off Fresh Express printable coupon
3 doublers
paid with $10 catalina from last week, got 8 cents cash back, + (2) $3 catalinas for buying Betty Crocker
 Total saved $46.86!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

ConAgra Promo at Albertsons

Well after trying 3 Albertsons in the past week, I finally found one I could do the ConAgra promo at as one of my favorite blogs has been describing.  I went to the Albertsons in Woodinville WA.  I had semi success- as I was able to use my $10 catalina from a previous trip, buy $25 worth of ConAgra products (pre- sale prices) and score another $10.  I then took my groceries to the car and headed back in to roll the deal again.  This time I bought another $25 worth of ConAgra products (pre-sale price) and paid with my $10.00 catalina- with an out of pocket of $1.01- but the catalina did not print again.  I went over to customer service and explained what happened, and the gal said it has been an issue alot so she just wrote me up a rain check for $10 off my next order.  I decided not to push my luck, and called it a day.  I will use my rain check later on a different deal.  All in all I spent $47.52 out of pocket and still have $11.50 in catalinas and I went home with $128.50 worth of groceries.  ( I have to get some items not included in the deal, as I am new to couponing and thus don't have my needs all stockpiled yet).  Not included in the picture, that I also purchased = 12 rolls of Angel Soft  Toilet paper and a loaf of garlic bread.
Have you had any luck with the ConAgra deal?  I know alot of the stores are on the older system and you have to purchase $25 worth of product post-sale price for the Cat to print.  I am thinking of trying the Bonney Lake store tomorrow.  I would love to hear your experiences.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Virgin RiteAid run 10/07

So today all 3 boys had dentist appointments, that just so happened to be right next to a RiteAid.  After their appointments we popped in to see if we could score a few deals.  I have never shopped in a RiteAid before, so this was a 1st for me.  I joined the Wellness program about 2 weeks ago online, and have been watching the Video Values to earn valuable coupons.  So hear is what I did:

Crest Outlast +Scope toothpaste  2.69
Get 2.69 back in +Up Rewards
.50 coupon from 9/26 P&G insert
Final Price = FREE + .50 overage w/ Crest

Suave Kids Shampoo @ 2/$4
-$2/2 Value Video Printable (Oct)
= Total OOP: $1.00 each
Get back $1.00 UP Reward wyb 2 making these $0.50 each!

TRESemme’ Travel Size @ $0.99 each
-$5/3 Value Video Printable (Oct)
= Total OOP: $2.03 overage!

Buy Five Kellogg’s Cereal $10.00
use (2) $1.50/2 Kellogg’s Kids Cereal printable
and use $1/2 Select Kellogg’s Cereals or FiberPlus Chewy Bars RA printable
Pay $6.00
Get Back $2.00 UPR (mine didn't print)
$.80 each after coupon

Coffee filters 2.06

Used $5 off 25 coupon

the total rang up at $25.76 at the store, but adding up my reciept at home I am getting $22.92?  I am so confused..  in any case my total OOP was $8.92 and I got back $2.69 in up rewards for buying the toothpaste.

I would love to hear about your RiteAid scores this week, and any feedback from more seasoned RiteAid shoppers.

Monday, October 4, 2010

September Savings Summary

I just finished adding up my grocery receipts for September, and I have to say I am quite pleased.  September was my 1st month really using coupons more than the casual clip here and there.  All in all I spent $237.20 in groceries and saved $437.33!  Which means, without coupons and a little effort, I would have spent $674.53!

I never would have thought I could have fed my family of 5 for under $250 a month, we even hosted 2 birthday parties during that time! Even more crazy, is that I didn't step foot in a Costco the whole month.  Can't remember the lst time I have gone so long with out a $200-$400 Costco run. 

I think for October I am going to shoot for a budget of $190 for groceries.  even though we have another 2 birthday parties to host this month, I think I can do it.

What is your grocery budget for this month?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saved 90% at Safeway today 10/3

Today was a nice lazy Sunday- started the day with 3 copies of the newspaper and doughnuts (to celebrate our baby's birthday).   I saw too many great deals to pass up, so we headed out to the store to score some great buys, and get some pizza (the birthday's boy's choice for dinner).

All this cost me $3.87 out of pocket and I received $2 off my next shopping trip!  I saved $35.52.

Here is what I did:

Hamburger Helper buy 4 at $1.99 each
- $4 off instant discount
- $0.75/3 cellfire ecoupon
- $0.75/3 shortcuts ecoupon
- $0.75/3 printable coupon
= $1.71, and get back $2 Catalina for your next meat purchase, like getting paid $0.29!

Betty Crocker Potatoes buy 2 at $1.99 each
Progresso Soup buy 2 at $1.99 each
-$4 Instant savings
-$0.50/2 Potatoes cellfire ecoupon x2
-$0.50/2 Potatoes Shortcuts ecoupon x2
- $0.50 Potato printable coupon
-$0.50/2 Progesso cellfire ecoupon x2
-$0.50/2 Progresso Shortcuts ecoupon x2

Betty Crocker Cake Mix $0.89 buy 1
Betty Crocker Frosting $1.49 buy 1
 - in ad coupon for cake mix (requires minimum purchase of $10 before coupons)
-$0.50/2 cellfire ecoupon x2
-$0.50/2 shortcuts ecoupon x2
= $0.38

Pillsbury Toaster Strudels $1.88 each, buy 2
Use in ad coupon
Use $1/2 from Safeway $70 coupon book (found in stores)
-$0.50/2 cellfire ecoupon
-$0.50/2 Shortcuts ecoupon
= $o.88 each when you buy 2

Nature Valley Bars $1.79 buy 1
use in ad coupon
-$0.50/1 printable coupon
-$0.50/1 cellfire ecoupon
-$0.50/1 Shortcuts ecoupon
= $.29

bought hamburger for $5.07 and a Safeway Pizza for $3.99

Paid with $11 in catalinas from  my last Safeway trip, $3.87 out of pocket and got $2 catalina for next trip

I would love to see the deals you get at Safeway this week!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Coffee as a cleaner?

Anyone can carry a reusable bag to the store, recycle their newspaper or turn a Capri Sun pouch into a purse, but I like to come up with ways to reuse or recycle things you wouldn't normally think of- plus, the frugal side of me like to find multiple uses for one thing.  What does this have to do with coffee you ask?  Well, grab your cup, and I will tell you a little story.

I was painting my son's room tonight, and being the messy painter that I am, I got paint all over my hands and arms.  Now normally I would wash my hands with a little sugar to scrub the paint off, but hubby was upstairs, the kids were asleep and I didn't want to put my messy hands in my sugar jar.  So, I thought for a second and it came to me, the coffee grinds in the coffee maker from this morning.  (you know you don't clean yours out till the next morning either).  So I scooped out some used grounds, scrubbed up to my elbows (told you I was messy) and it worked like a charm.  Then, a sparkle caught my eye..  what in the world?  I have seen a sparkle like that in years...  it was my wedding ring!  I haven't taken my ring in to be cleaned at the jewelers since my 2nd child was born (about 5 years ago)- so needless to saw, it wasn't real clean.  Something about the coffee really made it shine though- I even made my hubby come look to confirm- even he was amazed.  I am not sure how 'safe' this is, I Googled it, but found nothing on the subject (it worked so well that I was sure someone had to have discovered this before me... )  In any case, my ring now looks Wonderful- and my hands, they are paint free and oh so soft.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

83% saved at Safeway today

So I think I am getting a little better st this couponing thing.  I only started seriously using coupons at the beginning of this month, so I am still a newbie- and hope to do better each time.  Today I followed this deal from the Coupon Posse .  Now, I didn't have every coupon she had, and I did buy 3 more cans of soup than she did- so I ended up paying $9.92 out of pocket and saving $50.17.  AND I got $3 back in catalinas- so it was like paying $6.92  for $60.09 in food. My favorite part, is that both the cashier and the lady behind me were amazed and congratulated me :)  And since it is a cold rainy day here, I think we will enjoy the Tomato Bisque and some biscuits for dinner.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saved 70% at Safeway

I decided to do a very late night run to Safeway, so I could go all alone (no kids) and really look at prices and see what kind of deals I could put together on my own.  I did take a list from some of the blogs I follow, so I had a starting point.  As it turned out though, so of the best deals I had printed out, were not the same at my store, so I was happy to have the time to make some of my own.  This isn't my 'best' shopping trip, but I still think it is a good one.  Here is what I got :
All this would have cost  $87.78, but I got out of the store with paying $27.96 out of pocket.  A 70% savings.  The best deal I did was the Mac and Cheese/ CapriSun- and I didn't have to bring any coupons with me for it
Buy 5 participating products get $5 off, so I bought 5 5packs of Mac and Cheese
Eash pack of mac and cheese had a peelie coupon for a free box of CapriSun, no this ended up to be a money maker because the regular price for the CapriSun was $2.49 so that what the couons took off my bill, but when you buy 4 CapriSun you get $5 off so, I ended up MAKING $1 on each box- LOVE it!

Also, the Sweet Moments had an unexpected blinkie so with my coupons both in hand and on my Safeway card, I ended up get 1 free and MAKING $1 on the other!

oh, and the eggs were marked 50% off, another unexpected deal.  All and all, not a bad trip to the store - plus I got some 'alone' time :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Watch your mail box for a Winco ad

I know some areas have already gotten theirs, but our Winco ad just came yesterday- maybe yours did too.  Now we don't normally shop at Winco (I haven't been in years).  but a new one opened up in Sumner on my husband's way home from work.  So he too the ad and on his way home picked up the featured items from the ad.  I wish I had taken a picture of it for you all, but I forgot.  Anyways, it was a simple one page ad, with FREE coupons!  So hubs went to the store and cashed them all in- he got:

1 gallon of milk
64 oz of Apple juice
1 box of Honey nut Cheerios
1 loaf of bread
 Total = FREE

worth a look in your mail box and a 5 min stop I would say.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Alberstons 9/13 part 2

So the hubs and I decided to try out a different Albies tonight.  It was a completely different layout than the one I normally go to, so it took a little longer, but I would say it was worth the trip.  This was hubby's 1st time shopping with me since I started super couponing a few weeks ago. I think he was impressed.  In 2 transactions, we were able to buy $31.52 worth of groceries and come out 1 cent ahead!  We paid $4.99 out of pocket and came away with $5 in catalinas to use in our next shopping trip.  Here is a look at what we got-
(my middle son really wanted to be in the picture)
I can't wait for the end of the month to see how much we saved overall- and maybe- just maybe, be able to live within our means this month (which would be a 1st since hubs lost his better job over a year ago).

Albertsons Savings for 9/13... so far

I went to Albertsons today and saved a ton.  This should have cost me $78.41 and I only spent essentially $12.05!  Now my out of pocket was $22.05, but I got 5 in Catalinas, $2 off my next cereal purchase and a free 12 pack of soda (up to $3).  All and all I think it was a good run.  Plus, thanks to the newspaper fairy, I have 3 more sets of doublers I can use tonight or tomorrow!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The 100% off sale.

When my husband and I were dating and in our early marriage (6.5 years ago).  I was the spender and he was the saver.  I was used to being single and broke, and to me -10 was the same  as 0, so why not buy that thing I wanted.  I was working in the fashion industry and everyone around me had the latest trends.  So being a single mom, I certainly used 'retail therapy' as a pick me up.  When I got married, I loved to show my new hubby my new clothes- and he would always ask how much it cost, to which I cheerfully declared- "it was on SALE!".  That is untul he asked me if I heard of the 100% off sale...  you know, when you don't buy that think you want but don't need.  That used to dive me crazy.

Not anymore.  I love the 100% off sale, I love saving my money and  being more creative with what I have.  Today I have 2 examples of that to save you some more and use your creativity.

This morning I ran out of both face wash and eye makeup remover.  Now I am going to the store today, and I am sure I could have found some coupons for the face wash, but it would it have cost me like $4 and it didn't solve my need for it now.  So I made my own.

I normally buy an exfoliating wash, so I headed down to the kitchen and  whipped this up.
 Face wash-
2 tablespoons of sugar, 1-2 drops of peppermint extract (to smell nice and wake me up)  and enough olive oil to make it moist but not drippy.  I put it in a tiny plastic container and headed up to shower- it worked great!  just enough scrub to exfoliate and oil to make my face feel soft. 

As for the eye makeup remover- I normally buy the Target brand and it is like $4-5 as well and never has coupons- and I needed some now...  I just happened to read in a Womens Day Magazine yesterday that you can use Vaseline.  So I went and raided my toddler's room, tried it and it worked!  Not only that, but it worked better than the eye makeup remover, I used less product and it was really gentle, even with removing waterproof mascara.

So there you have it- 2 items most all women need, with out having to buy anything.  Gotta love the 100% off sale.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I LOVE saving!

Just a quick post before I head out to an early birthday dinner :) 

I went to Albertsons today and  scored groceries for $19.70, saved $50.32 and came home with $6 in catalinas!  I am doing the happy dance!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It pays to ask....

You have probably been there, you go to the store to buy something advertised on sale, only to find they are sold out when you get there.  This happened to me today, and I was soo bummed.  Normally I would leave it at that, probably buy something else I hadn't intended to and gone home.  But not today, after waking up early and trying 2 stores, I just didn't want to believe that is awesome deal had escaped me.  Thanks to Frugal Chic Living I had gone to Fred Meyer to get DC action figures for $.75 each, normally $12.99!  Of course they had only stocked like 12 of them and some guy came in when the doors opened and bought them all.  Bu then I noticed that there were similar figures that weren't on the sale and I thought... why not ask if they will substitute?  So I went and picked up an ad at the counter to check, and sure enough it doesn't say "limited to stock on hand" or "no rainchecks"  so I asked and since I pointed out the lack of fine print, I was granted my substitution!  I later heard that another store plastered signs in the tuy department that there was an error in the ad and that it was a limited sale- lucky for me, they had not posted such signs in my store.  So now, I will have 2 very happy boys next month on their birthdays.  Since the item I used as a substitute were dual backs, both boys will be getting 6 action figures.  Cost $4.5, Total saved buy asking $43.44!!  Lesson learned, look for fine print and don't be afraid to ask.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thank you Eldridge Gravy I am finally inspired

When decorating my home, I like to fill the room with things the people in it will love.  For instance, my middle son LOVES cars- the Blue WRX STI is his favorite- so I found a car bed on Craigslistand had hubby spray it out in Rally Sport Blue...  my oldest son loves animals, esp African ones  so I did his room in an understated safari theme.  Bet I have never decorated my baby's room (ok, so he is almost 3)  because I was never able to figure out the best design for him.  He loves music, listening, dancing, playing, singing- he can't get enough.  Sounds easy enough, but I was stuck thinking music = black and white, maybe with some red...  but that
didn't seem like my Finn.  His colors tend to be more vintage inspired- think orange, green, brown.  Today I finally hit on the perfect design- and it is all thanks to Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme.  I have been loving on there music lately (the Front man is a friend of mine from high school).  Anyways, in listening to their music I was inspired, it is so colorful!  Then I started looking at their website for a more visual inspiration and I found it in clicking on a link to Bumbershoot.  Their vintage inspired posters are Perfect!  I can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wedding Dress For sale

Anyone need a Beautiful size 10 wedding dress?  i happen to have one for sale along with a huge underskirt to make it a dress Cinderella would be jealous of.  Enjoy the pics and contact me if interested.  $300 obo