Monday, March 26, 2012

The Rest of Week 1

Yes, yes, yes... I committed myself to sharing my couponing shopping trips with you and I will. Please excuse the lack of line by line detail in this post. I have several trips to share with you as I didn't do much shopping until this weekend.

Fred Meyer
(not pictured a card I purchased for my husband to give to him while we were at Weekend to Remember this last weekend.)
Paid $3.99 (cost of overpriced greeting card, all Got2Be products were FREE!)

Rite Aid
Trans #1
Regular $7.89
after 20% discount $5.83
used $2/1 in Ad Rite Aid coupon
& $2/1 Manuf. Coupon
Paid $1.83
Received $1 +Up back

Trans #2
I used
(4) Buy 1 Olay Cleanser Get 1 Body Wash FREE
$3/2 Olay Cleansers
$2/1 Olay Bar/Body Wash
$2/1 Veet In Ad Coupon
(1) $2/1 Veet
$5 + UP
Paid $19.44 CASH
Received $10 +Up for $50 in Olay Products and $1 +Up for Veet Products
Will submit for $15 Rebate
Value before sales and coupons $84.99
SAVED 77% and paid $1.80 per item BEFORE +Up and Rebate

I was in Eugene this weekend and I got to go to Target! LOVE IT!
Sadly I’ve misplaced my receipt but I know I paid $1.42 for the crayons and the beauty tools were FREE!
I used
2 $5/2 Target Revlon Beauty Tools
1 $1/1 My First Crayola

Now, here's my confession to you all. I shopped at Costco for vitamins. I KNOW I can get these less expensive with coupons here in town. BUT for some reason I am terrible about remember to get them and my poor dear husband wants his vitamins! So I tucked my tail and stocked up for about 6+ months on them at Costco. We spent, ugh, like $60 something....

When we finally got home from our wonderful weekend, we curled up as a family to watch the Incredibles. I crawled in to my pajamas and relaxed! Only to remember I had TWO $5 off new frozen food catalinas expiring today! Back in the regular clothes and off to Safeway I went! Lo and behold I found some goodies in the clearance frozen food! I have yet to find clearance frozen food that was close to its expiration date... I was so happy to find ice cream!

Trans #1
2 Breyers Ice Cream
on sale for $3.49
1/2 off = $1.75 each!
1 Lucerne Ice Cream
on sale for $2.79
1/2 off = $1.40
4 Waffles at $2.50 each
used (2) $0.75/2
$2.13 each
Used $5 off new frozen food catalina

PAID $8.37
saved 69%
received another $5 off new frozen food catalina

Trans #2
This transaction involved some 2 rainchecks, 1 for the fruit snacks - did you know those bad boys are $3.89 a box regularly - I don’t think I had ever realized that before. I haven’t paid over $0.50 in over year! and the other for the pork sirloin chops. That does bump up my savings.
Another score in the clearance frozen food.
Birds Eye Steamfresh Rice - $2.50 regularly 1/2 off - $1.25 each.
I only had coupons for the fruit snacks and I used another $5 off new frozen food catalina.
I am not sure if there are some coupons out there for the Steamfresh, there may be- I don’t shop with a binder and there are downfalls to that.
Paid $29.11 for $95.73 in product
saved 69%
recieved another $5 off new frozen food catalina

Monday, March 19, 2012

Countdown to "Learning to Coupon"

I will be teaching a couponing class in less than two weeks. While we're counting down to that class I thought I would share my own couponing trips with you and share with you just one of the ways this family intends on being able to afford Disneyland in less than a year (oh and I so need to post where we are at towards our goal, but another time.)

I plan on sharing all my grocery shopping with you over the next two weeks, so you can see how I save with coupons. What this will not show you is what is already in my pantry/stockpile. Please know that what you see is not necessarily what we will eat this week.

Here's my first haul of the week.

I paid $14.68 for $63.42 worth of groceries.
Yes, that is SIX boxes of fruit snacks. Yes, I know they aren't the healthiest things, and no, we will not even go through one box in a week.

Here's how my transaction breaks down.
6 boxes of fruit snacks on sale $1.99, buy 4 save $4 - so $0.99 a box = $5.94
Orbit Gum on sale BOGO $1.49 = $2.98
Eggo Waffles on sale 2/$5 = $10.00

Snyders Pretzels on sale $1.69 w/in ad coupon = $3.38
Mission Tortillas on sale $1.49 w/in ad coupon = $4.47
Strawberries on sales BOGO $3.99 = $3.99
Total after sales before coupons = $30.76

Coupons used:
(6) $0.50/1 Ocean Spray Fruit Snacks = -$3.00
(2) BOGO Orbit Gum (up to $1.29) = - $2.58
(2) $0.75/2 Eggo Coupons = -$1.50
(2) $1/1 Snyders Pretzels = -$2.00
(1) $5 off New Frozen Food Catalina = -$5.00

(1) Safeway Doubl'r (doubled 4 coupons up to $0.50 more) = -$2.00
= $16.08 in coupons used

You'll notice over the next two weeks that I go to the store more than once a week. I happen to live just a few minutes from Safeway and Rite Aid and tend to shop late at night or on my home from work, so often my trips are just quick one to pick up a few deals.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

our sign

We moved into our wonderful house in July of 2010.
It took over a year for me to hang a picture on the wall.
And I still don't have much uppercase living up.
Except this...
I suppose I was waiting for just the right thing to be the first thing we put up.
We might be the only family you know with a family logo as one person remarked to us, but what is a logo for, to identify yourselves by.

We took our first real family vacation last summer (2011).

At some point on that vacation, in all our wonderful, relaxing time together, from the back seat, strapped in his car seat, our three year old said "THIS IS GOOD FAMILY"

He was right. So it is stuck to our wall, so we can remember that this, this crazy, upside down, giggles, running, toys, video games, snuggles, hugs, stories, vacations, sleepless nights, family dinners, tears, love, life, is good family.

I'll admit I have quite the love for UL, or better said for vinyl lettering, or even better said, a love for words. To have words around me. Encouragement around me. Truth around me. UL takes cares of all of that for me.

Which brings me to my sign. My countdown, that isn't currently counting down because I was just a little too ambitious to count down from 399 days.


First, I designed it in myDesign by Uppercase Living.

I purchased it during our Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale so it was a little cheaper then I am showing you know.

When it came, my husband wanted to install it.

I think I was so excited I only took this one picture. It is very easy to install. The Disney is in our glitter/sparkle specialty vinyl, I seriously love the punch it gives it! So yes it may only have a one year use (not that we won't go to Disneyland again) but I imagine I'll change the words on it to say something else...
Disney... been there. Disney... there we went.

All those fun quotes you find on Follow Me on Pinterest uppercase them!
Do you have something that you love to say, love to hear, want others to know? uppercase it!

beyond imagination...

I don't believe in the word(s) can't.
I don't believe in not possible.
I believe in a big. giant. God who can do anything He wants. to. do.
I believe we'll go to Disneyland in March of 2013.
But I also believe if we don't, we'll do something much better.

If you'd asked me when I started out on this adventure at the beginning of this year...
If you'd told me that in only 48 days...
If you'd bet me (and I can be a betting woman) that we would be able to save what we have...

Remember my goal of putting in all of our unexpected monies (including rebates) and half of what I earn from RDP and UL?

Well... I reconciled our Disney jar/account tonight... and...
We are
44% of the way to our goal of $2000!!!

We have a second goal of $3500.
But I wanted to work towards something that felt attainable first.
Plus the one I printed and went all the way to $3500 wouldn't fit on our jar.

Speaking of our jar...


I had no idea what a little effort and purposeful saving could do!

We have $886.21 saved up for Disney! What?

Oh yes. My God. Is. BIG.

We have to wait 379 days to go?

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ten Percent

Yahoo! We're 10% of the way to our goal of $2000!

Here's how we're saving: ALL UNEXPECTED MONEY goes in the Disney jar!
This includes;
monies from toys and things around the house we are selling (instead of just handing off to a thrift store & big thank you to FB local selling groups & eBay!)

half of everything I earn from photography sessions, Thirty-One & Uppercase Living

"jobs" that Brion gets paid for, this includes honorariums from weddings, and fees he receives for helping out as backstage director for the local dance company (this gig paid for the upgrades to our iPhone 4s's last year!)

REBATES I've already added some rebates from 2011 into the jar. I love rebates. And I mean I loooooooove rebates!! Normally rebates would just go right back into the grocery budget they came out of... but I am always so excited when I get them even though I was expecting them, they are like unexpected monies! I will also be making a better effort to purchase items that are for money making rebates that I might have passed up before.

Here is how we've earned our first 10%.

Yep! That's is $216.09 towards DISNEYLAND 2013! That is also $216.09 that did not come out of our budget, did not impact our lives and took just a wee bit of effort to earn. Here's to 90% more that way!

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Rite Aid you have my heart...

I am a coupon-er. Not an extreme coupon-er, not a hoarder, but a coupon-er with a decent and comfortable stockpile. I don't have cereal under my bed but only because I have killer pantry, there are currently 26 boxes of cereal out there. No, that isn't hoarding, none of them expire before October of this year and they will all get eaten and they are not all sugary sweetened up terrible cereal. It's good cereal.

I got out of the swing of coupon-ing at the end of last year. October hit and my inserts piled up and the stockpile dwindled down. When 2012 came roaring in - I knew I needed to get back in the saddle. See we want to go to Disneyland in 2013. And we want to really GO. And we also plan on taking not one but two vacations in 2012.

One of my favorite places to coupon at is Rite Aid. Our lil' ol' Rite Aid is small and I have just about a 50/50 chance that the items I am looking for will be out of stock and another 50/50 chance that my rain check will expire before the item is back in stock. But never the less, I love my little Rite Aid, 90% of the employees are absolutely wonderful.

This is how I earned my $20 Resolution Reward & the power of Rite Aid.
“Earn a $20 +UP Reward when you spend $100 on specially marked products now through January 28.”

The most magical way for me to think about manufacturer coupons is to think of them like actual tender. Cold, hard, cash. They aren’t but they are. I want to share with you my 7 Rite Aid transactions, which coupons I used, what +UPs I spent, and how much cash came out of my pocket.

Armed with my 20% Gold Wellness discount for 2012 I was wondered how easy it would be for me to get this $20 up....

January 9
Transaction 1
1 Thermacare Back 1Ct $3.00
1 Bengay Greasless ($5.99 - 20%) $4.79
1 Aleve 50CT ($7.20 - 20%) $5.83
1 Visene ($5.49 - 20%) $4.39
1 Finish Quantum Tablet $2.49
1 Finish Quantum Tablet $2.49
1 Reach Total Toothbrush $4.49
1 Reach Total Toothbrush $2.24
1 Clean & Clear Scrub $6.99
1 Clean & Clear Scrub $3.49
Subtotal $40.20
Coupons used
1 Rite Aid in-ad coupon $2/1 Aleve
1 Rite Aid in-ad coupon $2/1 Bengay
1 Rite Aid in-ad coupon $2/1 Visine
2 Rite Aid Video Value Coupon $1/1 Finish Quantum
2 Rite Aid Video Value Coupon $1/1 Reach Total Care
2 Rite Aid Video Value Coupon $1/1 Clean & Clear
1 $2/1 Bengay
1 $2/1 Visene
1 $2/1 Aleve
2 $1/1 Finish Quantum
2 $1/1 Reach Total Care Toothbrush
2 $2/1 Clean & Clear
Total $16.20
Paid with $4 +UPs & $12.20 CASH
+Ups Earned $4

Transaction 2
1 Bengay Greasless ($5.99 - 20%) $4.79
1 Aleve 50CT ($7.20 - 20%) $5.83
1 Visene ($5.49 - 20%) $4.39
Subtotal $15.01
Coupons Used
1 Rite Aid in-ad coupon $2/1 Aleve
1 Rite Aid in-ad coupon $2/1 Bengay
1 Rite Aid in-ad coupon $2/1 Visine
1 $2/1 Bengay
1 $2/1 Visene
1 $2/1 Aleve
Total $3.20
Paid with $3.30 CASH
+Ups earned $11.00

January 13
Transaction 3
7 Glucerna Hunger Smart Bars ($5.29 - 20%) $4.23
Subtotal $29.61
Coupons Used
7 $3/1 Glucerna Hunger Smart Bars
2 Rite Aid Video Value $1/1 Glucerna
Total $6.61
Paid with $6.61 CASH

January 15
Transaction 4
1 Foster Grant Sunglasses ($17.99 - 20%) $14.39
1 Mentos UP2U Gum $1.00
1 Mentos UP2U Gum $1.00
Subtotal $16.39
Coupons Used
2 $1/1 Mentos UP2U Gum
Total $14.39
Paid with $14.00 +Ups and $0.39 CASH
Earned $20 +Ups

January 16
Transaction 5
1 Foster Grant Sunglasses ($19.99 - 20%) $15.99
Subtotal $15.99
Total $15.99
Paid with $15.99 CASH
Earned $10 +Ups

January 21
Transaction 6
4 Ziploc Bags $2.50
Subtotal $10.00 (I don't really want to talk about how I didn't have any coupons for these.)
Total $10.00
Paid with $10.00 +Ups $0.00 CASH
Earned $2 Ups

January 22
Transaction 7
1 Brita Classic Pitcher $14.99
1 John Frieda Foam Hair Dye $10.79
Subtotal $25.78
Coupons used
$4/1 Brita Pitcher
Free John Frieda Foam Hair Dye up to $12.99
Total $10.99
Paid with $10.00 +Ups $0.99 CASH
Earned $22 in +Ups (my $20 Resolution UP!)

So far in January I have spent $39.08 and have $35.00 in +Ups for 30 items (I think that the fact that two of those items are brand new sunglasses is so stinking cool!). I have to admit I did not put very much effort into making sure I purchased the products I need for the resolution reward, the sunglasses counted (I think), the glucerna bars didn't (I think). I think earning that $20 Up was pretty darn easy.

I should be able to keep those $35 a rolling for awhile or maybe it will turn into a couple of boxes of diapers that I need. (I don't love diapers! Can someone say potty-trained by Disneyland '13 please!?) Some of you Rite Aid experts might notice some rebates that I haven’t mentioned. I am counting all rebates as “unexpected” cash and putting it towards Disneyland when they come, so not to worry I am claiming them and they are coming. (There’s at least $15 coming that way!) Also, if you wondering where I get an extra Video Values coupon now and then, each Rite Aid card holder can print those and each person in your house can have a Rite Aid card, so my hubby has a Video Values account and gives me his VV coupons.

My brand new, being saved for vacation, sunglasses from Rite Aid. LOVE THEM.

Next up... how we hit the 10% mark in our Disney Savings jar!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Inspired by the ways the Kristin at Couponing to Disney saves for her trips, I knew I could start saving now and start saving in very small ways! Instead of tossing some of the boys toys they weren't playing with anymore the way of thrift store donation and instead of saving them for ages in hopes of putting together a garage sale some day, I've been posting them on a local buy and sell facebook page. Well, today someone was coming to pick some up so I had them pulled out. Titus really needed to know what was going on with these toys. So I explained it to him. To my amazement, he understood! But I suppose it helped because we created our first savings jar.

Pretty simple project. I had one of these jars in my kitchen empty, and honestly it was the first thing I grabbed. Titus (and JJ) sat on my lap at the computer and we talked about all the different things we were so excited to see at Disneyland, found some images and printed them off. Grabbed some good ol' Elmers All Purpose glue and created this goodness.

For my sake on the back we have a tally that can be filled in as we save. Yes, that first goal is for $2000. And yes I said first. That's the major, have to hit one.

So it's official we've started saving. After I made the transaction of the two toys for the very first ten dollar bill towards our trip. Oh my how I should have made a video of Titus as he put that simple ten dollar bill in the savings jar. He was overjoyed!

And there you have it, we're really on this adventure now!