Sunday, January 29, 2012

Science Fair Time!!

Yep, it's that time of year again.  Time for science fair projects.  Austin is in middle school this year, so he doesn't have to do one, only students in the science club are doing one and he is not in the science club.  But Jaidan, she has to do one. 

This year Jaidan's project is "Which popcorn pops the most popcorn".  So for the next 3 days we'll be popping popcorn, counting out the popcorn and kernels, and then figuring out the %'s.  The 3 brands of popcorn we bought are Pop Secret, Orville Redenbacher, and Stater Brothers generic popcorn.  I picked the generic, and she picked Pop Secret.  Which one do you think will pop the most?!  She'll be adding a spot showing the numbers, for what other people thought would pop the most too.  So please, post below and share with us which one YOU think will pop the most!!

We'll post the results and the winner after all the popcorn has been popped, so look for that later this week!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How To Make Recycled Newspaper Beads

I saw this post on another blog Freetail Therapy and I loved the idea!  It sounds really easy to do.  Being a couponer, I have a LOT of extra newspaper that we recycle.  So I am going to try this out, I am sure my kids will love helping me with this project.  To see the original post go HERE.  I will do another post after we try this out, to let you know how it goes!  If you go to her site, you can also pin this to pintrest (which of course, I already did!).

Old newspapers Large pot or metal bowl Glue (Elmer’s or other liquid glue) Sandpaper A drill to make holes in the beads Whatever string or ribbon you want to string the beads with Leftover paint Varnish
1. Grab a few newspapers before they make it to the bin or recycling basket. Try a couple different papers for different colors. The Sunday comics might be interesting!
2. Rip the newspaper into small pieces in a large stock pot or metal bowl.
3. Cover the paper pieces with boiling water (easy if you have a kettle on hand).
4. Allow this mixture to sit for an hour or more, stirring occasionally.
5. Drain the water using a strainer or try to get as much water as possible out with the lid of the pot.
6. With the paper back in the pot, add enough glue so that the mixture sticks together.
7. Squeezing water out with your hands, roll the mixture into balls. You can make the balls as big or small as you like.
8. Place the balls on parchment paper or foil.
9. Roll them several times a day for several days as they dry. Roll them every 3‐4 hours for a couple days for compact beads.
10. When completely dry, use the sandpaper to sand off any rough points on the bead.
11. Drill a hole through each bead for stringing. Bigger holes can accommodate ribbons and the like.
12. You can now paint the beads with any paint you have on hand. When dry, you can varnish them with Mod Podge, clear acrylic spray, or other varnish. For a great painting and drying rack, cut small notches into a shallow cardboard box, such as a shoe box. This will catch any drips when you paint and varnish the beads. Place long needles, coffee stirrers, or sturdy wire through the beads and secure in the notches of the box.
13. When dry, string the beads. Ribbons work especially well for these chunky beads, but you can experiment with other materials.
Enjoy your recycled newspaper beads!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Updates Galore!

Hello everyone!  I have been doing a lot of updates to my blog!  I have taken some tabs away, added some new ones, and updated ones that I kept!  I hope you take the time to look around and see what is new.  For all my friends who are new to couponing, I have changed the lay out of my couponing tab to actually give some tips and pointers to help you get started, I hope they help!

I've done a post in the past about how I make money from home (and I have a tab talking about swagbucks) but I am working on a permanent tab with all that info in it, to make it easy to access at anytime.  Hope you all enjoy the new things!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rite Aid $20 Challenge

This is where I will post all my Rite-Aid deals.  This is my favorite drug store, so I am hoping I can really make that $20 stretch....BUT with how often I shop there sometimes, I don't know how good I will do HAHA.

01/09/12 ~ 2 70 count lil critter gummy vites.  $6.79 each, they were part of a BOGO sale, so that made them 2 for $6.79, then I used a $1/1 coupon, dropping the price to $5.79, then I used a $5 +UP I had, making them $.79.  After taxes I paid $.93, saved $12.79 a 93% savings.  I also walked out with another $2 +UP, so technically I got paid $1.07 to take them out of the store!

01/15/12 ~ 18oz ACT mouthwash.  On sale for $4.49, used a $1 coupon and $3 in +ups making it only $.49!  There was a $.35 tax so my total oop was $.89, saved $5.50 for a savings of 86%!  I also walked out with a $1 +up, so it was like I was paid $.11 t take it out of the store!

02/26/12 ~ 2 U by Kotex 18 ct Pantyliners.  On sale for Buy One Get One Half Off.  Used 2 $1 coupons, paid $.40, saved $2.75, a savings of 87%.

02/26/12 ~ 2 Pantene Aqua Light Conditioners.  On sale for 2/$7 and used a $3 coupon.  Paid $4, saved 5.98, a savings of 60%.  I also walked out with $4 in +ups, so it's like I got them for free!

03/04/12 ~ Revlon nail polish normally $5.99 used a $3 coupon.  Sally Hanson peel on nails on clearance for $2.44 (I forgot my $1 coupon *sniff*).  Paid $6.08 and saved $10.35, a savings of 63%

03/04/12 ~ Revlon nail polish normally $5.99 used a $3 off coupon.  Biore Pore Strips and cleansers $5.99 each, used a coupon to buy 1 pore strip get a cleanser for free!  I also used my $4 +ups I had gotten a few days before on this transaction.  Paid $4.30, saved $19.49 a savings of 82%

03/11/12 ~ Maybelline Lipstick for $8.49 and an eyeshadow for $1.79 (they had a Buy One Get one 50% off sale)  Used a $2 MQ on the lipstick and a $1 MQ on the eyeshadow, also used a $3 +Up reward.  Paid $5.08, saved $7.80 a savings of 61%.  I also got a $3 +UP reward, so it's like I paid $2.08.

 -    .93
 -    .89
 -    .40
 -  4.00
 -  6.08
 -  4.30
 -  5.08
- $01.68

CVS $20 Challenge

I don't shop at CVS too often, but when I do, this is where I will share my deals.

01/05/12 ~ 6 9oz dawn dish soaps.  Normally $1.99 each, on sale for $.88 with coupons they were $.63 each.  Spent $4.19, saved $8.16, a 66% savings.

01/06012 ~ 2 9oz dawn dish soaps, same deal as a above.  4 9oz dawn hand renewal dish soaps, normally $1.99, on sale for $.88 with coupons they were $.38 each.  Spent $3.19, saved $9.16 a savings of 74%.

01/28/12 ~ 2 kotex 18 count panty liners.  Normally $1.57, on sale for $.99, with coupons they were free, just had to pay sales tax. Spent $.13, saved $3.16, a savings of 96%!
Also got 8 free 4X6 prints (still have 82 left!).  Spent $.08, saved $3.09, a savings of 97%.

 -   4.19
 -   3.19
 -     .13
 -     .08

Monday, January 2, 2012

Walgreen's $20 Challenge

Here's my results for the $20 drug store challenge for Walgreen's.  I will update the post any time I make a purchase there.  Let's see how far I can make that $20 stretch!!

01/02/12 ~ 3 Loreal Studio Gel's, normally $4.99 each, on clearance for $1.29.  Used walgreens coupon booklet coupon for $2 off, which made all 3 free.  Living in California I had to pay sales tax on my items tho, so I spent $.30 oop and saved $14.97.

01/05/12 ~ 2 Clearasil Daily Face Wash, on sale for $3.79 each, used a walgreens $2, and a mq $1 coupon making each one $.79.  2 softsoaps, used walgreen coupons to make them $.99 each.   I spent $3.99, saved $14.60, a 79% savings.

02/08/12 ~ 4 .5oz Cortaid creams, on sale for $2.99, had coupons that made them free.  Spent $.94, saved $18.35, a savings of 95%.

02/15/12 ~ 2 6.8oz Got2B Magnetik Styling Gel (hair gel for Austin).  On sale for $5.99 and BOGO!  Had coupons that made them FREE!  Spent $.46, saved $13.85, a savings of 97%.

02/18/12 ~ I actually did 3 trips over 2 days, but since it's all the same product putting it under 1 post here.  50 FREE Chapsticks!  Normally $1.99, on sale for $.99 each and I had a $1 coupon in the Walgreens February monthly coupon book, making them all free.  I just paid sales tax.  Spent $3.91, saved $101.49 a 98$ savings!

03/23/12 ~ 3 Reach total care toothbrushes.  Normally $5.49, Walgreen's had an in ad coupon making them $.99 each, limit 3.  Also used 3 MQ's for $1 each, that they adjusted down to $.99 as per their coupon policy.  Paid $.23 (tax), saved $16.47, a savings of 99%.

03/28/12 ~ 3 reach total care toothbrushes.  Same deal as above,paid $.23, saved $16.47, a savings of 99%.

05/18/12 ~ 4 Aquafresh Kids Toothpastes. Normally $2.79, on sale for $.99 and I had $1 off coupons for each one.  Spent $.31 (sales tax only), saved $11.16 a savings of 97%

-     .30
-   3.99
-     .94
-     .46
-   3.91
-     .23
-     .23
-     .31

$20 Drug Store Challenge

Several of the blogs I follow have joined up to do a $20 Drug Store Challenge.  Not only are they hosting the challenge, but they are also participating, and sharing their deals.  I thought this would be fun to try. I may not be quite as good at saving money as they are, but I think I can do ok!  So here's all the info for it!

Here is how the challenge works:
  •  Start with $20 set aside for each drug store you shop at.
  • We will be shopping at Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS, but maybe you have another drug store you frequent, any is fine!
  • The goal of the challenge is to see how long and far you can stretch the $20. 
  • We will be maximizing our savings with Coupons, Rewards, Rebates and Sales. 
  • Each week we will share what we buy, how we saved and what we spend. 
  • You can post your trips on the linky provided each week! (or you can leave a comment about your trip)
We hope that you will join us and share how far you can stretch $20.00!

I saw several of the blogs I follow post this, but I got the info for my post from moneysavingmichelle

I will do 1 post for Walgreens to keep track of them (tho I admit, I don't shop there very often) and I'll do another post for Rite-Aid (this is where I do most of my drug store shopping) to keep them separate.

How I am doing

Walgreens ~ $9.94 left out of $20
CVS ~ $12.41 left out of $20
Rite Aid ~ -$1.68 left out of $20 ~ challenge is done

150+ Book Challenge

I am taking part in the 150+ book challenge hosted by


1. The goal is to read 150 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. Posting on GoodReads or wherever you post your reviews is good enough.

2. Allowed are: Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

What doesn't count: Individual short stories or individual books in the Bible and comic books.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st, 2012 thru December 31, 2012. Books started before the 1st do not count. You can join at anytime.

If you would like to join in click here
  1. The Mark of a Druid ~ By Rhonda Carpenter
  2. Murder Over Easy ~ By Marshall Cook
  3. Raven (The Raven Saga) ~ By Suzy Turner
  4. Unfinished Business ~ By Nora Roberts
  5. The Help ~ By Kathryn Stockett
  6. Water for Elephants ~ By Sara Gruen
  7. The Emerald Talisman (Talisman Series, book 1) ~ By Brenda Pandos
  8. Northern Exposure: Compass Brothers, book 1 ~ By Mari Carr & Jayne Rylon
  9. Always the Baker, Never the Bride ~ By Sandra D. Bricker
  10. The Da Vinchi Code ~ By Dan Brown
  11. The Celestine Prophecy ~ By James Redfield
  12. The Hunger Games ~ By Suzanne Collins
  13. Catching Fire ~ By Suzanne Collins
  14. Mockingjay ~ By Suzanne Collins
  15. Naked in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  16. Glory in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  17. Immortal in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  18. Rapture in Death ~ By. J.D. Robb
  19. Ceremony in Death ~ By. J.D. Robb
  20. The Lucky One ~ By Nicholas Sparks
  21. The Last Boyfriend ~ By Nora Roberts
  22. Vengeance in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  23. Holiday in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  24. Conspiracy in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  25. 50 Shades of Grey ~ By E.L. James
  26. 50 Shades Darker ~ By E.L. James
  27. 50 Shades Freed ~ By E.L. James
  28. Loyalty in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  29. Witness In Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  30. The Witness ~ By Nora Roberts
  31. Judgement in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  32. Betrayal in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  33. Seduction in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  34. Reunion in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  35. Purity in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  36. Portrait in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  37. Imitation in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  38. Divided in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  39. Visions in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  40. Survivor in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  41. Origin in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  42. Memory in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  43. Born in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  44. Innocent in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  45. Creation in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  46. Strangers in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  47. Salvation in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  48. Promises in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  49. Kindred in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  50. Angels & Demons ~ By Dan Drown
  51. Fantasy in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  52. Indulgence in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  53. Treachery in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  54. New York to Dallas ~ By J.D. Robb
  55. Celebrity in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  56. The Perfect Hope ~ By Nora Roberts
  57. Delusions in Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  58. Midnight Sun ~ By Stephanie Meyers
  59. Time of Death ~ By J.D. Robb
  60. Three in Death ~ By. J.D. Robb
  61. Big Jack ~ By J.D. Robb
  62. Wild Viking Princess ~ By Anna Markland
  63. Love, Janis ~ By Laura Joplin

Sunday, January 1, 2012

December Savings!!

Well, it's a new year, and December is done, so it is time for me to share my December savings!  I am quite happy with the savings, especially since I was out of town for 13 days for Christmas!  *drum roll*

December's savings were:


Heck yeah!!  That is awesome savings!  We have a 10 month supply of laundry detergent and mutli vitamins for both Josh and I that I bought in December.  My stock piles are looking beautiful, and there are several items that unless it is a smoking hot deal (or free) I have no need to buy them until the end of the year.

For me, I really think it is worth the time and effort it takes to do coupons.  That is free money in your pocket that can now be used for something else.  This month is 1 year since I started to coupon.  I am so happy I started and stuck with it.  The way I shop has evolved over the last year and I shop in a completely different way then I did a year ago.  My coupon savings have just gotten better as I changed the way I shop and I can't ever imagine shopping without coupons again.

I can't wait to see what kind of savings coupons will bring to me in 2012!  My plan is to continue to keep track of my savings each month in 2012, then at the end of 2012 do a post that has my total savings for the entire year.

Is 2012 the year you decide to save money with coupons?