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Monday, September 30, 2013

My Binder and How I Use It


          I LOVE my binder!  I believe I have a great system and it works very well for me.  My binder is a two-inch three ringed zippered binder, with a strap so you can carry it like a messenger bag.  Since I have been using this system; I can always find the coupons I am looking for, I always know before a coupon is going to expire and by the time I make it to the checkout; all of my coupons I am using for that store are together and very accessible.
          The front of my binder has a zipper.  This is where I keep all of my store loyalty cards.  This is also where I tend to stash my receipts for the day until I get home to file them.
          The next section is a Velcro flap that holds my pens, highlighters, dry-erase markers, and a small pair of scissors for coupon clipping on the go.  
          Inside the binder I have a zippered pencil case, sheet protectors with label tabs for each section, and of course the baseball card sleeves.
          My tabs/dividers in order are:

  • Oral Care
  • Deodorant & Shaving
  • Personal Care
  • Paper Products
  • Cleaning
  • Household
  • Health & First Aid
  • Beauty
  • Boys (Kids/Baby)
  • Pets
  • Office
  • Produce
  • Condiments & Seasonings
  • Beverages
  • Canned & Jarred 
  • Baking & Breads
  • Breakfast
  • Dairy
  • Meats
  • Frozen
  • Pasta/ Sides/ Boxed
  • Snacks/ Candy
  • Misc
  • CVS
  • Rite Aid
  • Walgreens
  • Meijer
  • Walmart
  • Kroger
  • Dollar General
  • Family Dollar
  • Dollar Tree
  • Restaurants
          Every Saturday, I go through each section of my binder and get out all my expired coupons.  This is made easier by always filing them with the soonest expiration date first.
          The next step, is clipping the new coupons and filing them in their category.  I then use my dry-erase marker to note how many of each coupon I have right on it's sleeve.
          Now it's super easy to go through and look at all my coupons while I am going through the sale ads.  When I find a match-up, I just make a "C" in the ad with my highlighter, and then use an ink pen to note how much my coupon is for.
          From my coupon match-ups I make my shopping list by store.  I also make note of how many of each coupon I will need for my transactions.  Now with my list I go through and pull the coupons I plan to use and file them under the appropriate tab in the back with the store name listed.  That way as I am going through the store I can move them to the zippered pouch for use at the checkout, and if they happen to be out of something and I get a raincheck I won't have to dig through all of them, it will just stay under that store's section for next time.
          Then it's just come home and put away all my wonderful stock additions...  And start all over again on Saturday.
          This is just my process, it works for me.  Feel free to tweak it to meet your own needs.  And you can always comment with any questions, or email me at: aturtleamouseandamonkeyohmy@gmail.com
          Have a great day!  And as always:  Happy Couponing!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

HURRY!!! Deal Alert!!! Today is the Last Day!!!

          If you go to the CVS website, you can print out CVS coupons for $3.00 off one pack of Huggies Slip On Diapers.  This can be combined with the $1.50 off any one pack of Huggies Diapers coupon that was in the paper last week.  They are on sale for $9.49, This makes them $4.99 plus tax per pack!!! And when you spend $30.00 on Huggies or Johnson's Baby you get $10.00 back in ECB's.
          Happy Couponing!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sunday Coupon Preview for September 29, 2013 via http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/

Sunday Coupon Preview
Regional coupon inserts & value differences are to be expected!
(x) before coupon = multiple of same coupon
ETS = excludes trial sizes
P&G Insert Coupons (Expire 10/31/13 unless noted) Most Coupons will be ETS.
Always $1.50/2 pads or liners
Aussie $1/2 shampoo, conditioner or styler products
Bounty $.25/1 napkins
Bounty $.25/1 towel or napkins
Cascade $.50/1 dishwasher detergent or rinse aid
Cascade $1.50/2 dishwasher detergent or rinse aid
Charmin $.25/1 product
Charmin $1/1 16ct double roll or 8 mega roll pack+
Clairol $5/2 hair color boxes
Covergirl $1.50/1 product excludes accessories
Covergirl $2/1 Clump Crusher or Blast Mascara
Covergirl $4/2 Outlast Lipcolor or Double LipShine products
Crest $.50/1 toothpaste 4oz+ excludes Cavity, Baking Soda and Tartar Control
Crest $1.50/1 Rinse 458mL+
Dawn $.25/1
Dawn $.50/1 Hand Renewal, Power Clean, Bleach Alternative or Oxi 
Downy $1/1
Duracell $.50/1 CopperTop, Quantum, Ultra Photo Lithium, Specialty batteries, rechargeable batteries, charger or 6pk+ hearing aid batteries
Duracell/Hasbro $5 off both ABC Adventure Elefun or Elefun Busy Ball Popper toy and Quantum AA or AAA 6 or CopperTop AA or AAA 8 or C or D 4 (10/27)
Duracell/Hasbro $5 off both Chasin Cheeky game and Quantum AA or AAA 6 or CopperTop AA or AAA 8 or C or D 4 (10/27)
Duracell/Hasbro $5 off both Daisy Plays-With-Me Kitty or Trixie The Skateboarding Pup and Quantum AA or AAA 6 or CopperTop AA or AAA 8 or C or D 4 (10/27)
Febreze $.75/1 candle
Febreze $.75/1 Fabric Refresher
Febreze $.75/1 Set & Refresh or Stick & Refresh
Febreze $1/1 Air Effects
Febreze $1/1 car vent clip
Febreze Buy NOTICEables refill, get NOTICEables warmer free up to $3.50
Fixodent Buy denture adhesive twin pack, get denture adhesive 2oz+ free up to $5.29
Gillette $1/1 antiperspirant/deodorant or body wash
Gillette $2/1 Fusion Shave Prep
Gillette $3/1 Fusion ProGlide razor
Gillette Buy Mach3 cartridge, get $2 off Mach3 razor
Head & Shoulders $2/1 shampoo or conditioner products excludes 1.7oz
Luvs $1/2 bags or 1 box diapers
Metamucil $1/1 product
Olay $1/1 bar, body wash, in-shower body lotion or hand & body lotion excludes 1ct
Olay $1/1 facial moisturizer or cleanser excludes Pro-X, Regenerist, Total Effects and Age Defying
Olay $2/1 Total Effects or Age Defying facial moisturizer or cleanser
Olay $3/1 Regenerist or Pro-X facial moisturizer
Old Spice $2/2 products
Oral-B $.50/1 Glide floss 35m+ or picks 30ct+
Oral-B $.50/1 Pulsar, 3D White, Pro-Health, Complete or 2 Indicator or Cavity Defense toothbrushes
Oral-B $5/1 replacement brush heads 2 or 3ct
Oral-B $5/1 Vitality electric toothbrush
Pampers $.50/1 wipes 56ct+
Pampers $2/2 bags or 1 box diapers or pants
Pantene $3/2 products
Prilosec OTC $1/1 product
Puffs $.25/3 singles or 1 3pk+
Scope $.50/1 mouthwash 750ml+
Secret $1/1 twin pack excludes .5oz
Swiffer B1G1 free Dust & Shine up to $4.99
Swiffer Buy starter kit, get refill free up to $6 excludes Bissell Steamboost
Tampax $1.50/2 tampons
Tide $2/1 detergent excludes PODS
Tide/Bounce $.50/1 Bounce, Tide washing machine cleaner or Tide boost excludes PODS
Tide/Downy $5/3 Tide detergents, Downy or Tide boost excludes PODS (10/13)
Venus $3/1 razor excludes disposables
Vicks $1/1 product excludes VapoDrops and ZzzQuil
Vicks $3/2 products excludes VapoDrops and ZzzQuil
ZzzQuil $1/1 product
9-29 RedPlum Coupon Preview
Redplum
Sunday Coupon Preview
Regional coupon inserts & value differences are to be expected!
(x) before coupon = multiple of same coupon
ETS = excludes trial sizes
Advil $2/1 film coated tables or caplets 20ct+ (11/24)
all $1/1 detergent product (11/10)
Always $1/2 12ct+ pads or 40ct+ liners (10/31) TARGET COUPON
Axe $2/1 4oz bodyspray, 2.7oz anti-perspirant and deodorant or 3oz deodorant (10/27) ETS
Charmin $.50/1 9pk+ bath tissue (10/31) TARGET COUPON
Clear $2/1 Scalp & Hair Therapy product (10/27) ETS
Degree $1/1 women dry protection product (10/27) ETS
Degree $2/2 MotionSense or 1 Clinical product (10/27) ETS
Degree Men $.50/1 MotionSense product (10/27) ETS
Degree Men $3/2 base twin packs excludes MotionSense and trial (10/27)
Del Monte $1/1 Fruit Burst Squeezers 4pk (12/29)
Dove $1.50/1 hair care product excludes trial and M+C (10/27)
Dove $1/1 beauty bar 6 bar+ excludes trial and M+C (10/27)
Dove $1/1 body wash 12oz+ excludes trial and M+C (10/27)
Dove $1/1 Original Clean, Powder, Fresh or Sensitive skin excludes trial and M+C (10/27)
Dove $2/1 Clinical Protection or 2 go sleeveless, go fresh or Clear Tone excludes trial and M+C (10/27)
Dove Men+Care $.50/1 hair product (10/27) ETS 
Dove Men+Care $1/1 antiperspirant 2.7oz or deodorant 3oz (10/27) ETS
Dove Men+Care $1/1 body wash, body and face bar or Active Clean shower tool 13.5oz+ (10/27) ETS
Dove Men+Care $1/1 face care product (10/27) ETS
Emergen-C $1.50/1 vitamin drink mix 10ct or 30ct (11/30)
Gel Perfect $2/1 product (11/15)
Icy Hot $2/1 Advanced product excludes 1ct back patch (12/31)
Icy Hot/Aspercreme/Capzasin/Sportscreme or Flexall $1/1 product excludes Icy Hot 1ct back patch (12/31)
Knorr $1/1 Homestyle Stock pack (10/27)
L’Oreal $1/1 Paris eye product (11/23)
L’Oreal $1/1 Paris eye shadow (11/23)
No-Mess Express $1/1 polish remover (11/15)
Pampers $2 off both 21ct+ diapers and 192ct+ wipes (10/31) TARGET COUPON
Renuzit $.50/1 3pk solid air freshener (10/28) TARGET COUPON
Rolaids $1/1 3-roll pack excludes single rolls (10/26)
Rolaids $1/1 liquid bottle 12oz+ (10/26)
Rolaids $1/1 tablet bottle 72ct+ (10/26)
Simple $2/1 cleanser or moisturizer excludes wipes and trial (10/27)
Snuggle $.50/1 liquid fabric softener or sheets (11/10) ETS
Sparkle $.50/1 3 roll or smaller package (10/30)
Sparkle $1/1 6 roll+ package (10/30)
Suave Professionals $1.50/1 product (10/27) ETS
Sudden Change $2/1 product (11/15)
SuperPretzel $1/1 product (10/26)
Tampax $.50/1 16ct+ tampons or 54ct+ liners (10/31) TARGET COUPON
TRESemme $2.50/1 base product excludes Keratin Smooth, Platinum Strength, Split Remedy, Naturals and trial (10/27)
TRESemme $2.50/1 Keratin Smooth, Platinum Strength, Split Remedy or Naturals item (10/27) ETS
Vaseline $.50/1 Spray & Go moisturizer 6.5floz (10/27)
Vaseline $1.50/1 lotion 20.3floz+ (10/27) ETS
9-29 Smartsource Coupon Preview

Regional coupon inserts & value differences are to be expected!
(/X) after coupon = expiration date
() before coupon = multiple of same coupon
ETS = excludes trial sizes
DND5 = coupon states Do Not Double, but barcode starts w/a 5
Ajax $.35/1 30oz+ dish liquid (10/19)
Ajax $.50/1 dishwasher dish pacs (10/19)
Barilla $.75/1 pasta sauce (11/23)
Better Than Boullion $.75/1 product (11/30)
Betty Crocker $.75/2 Ready to Spread frosting, Supreme Brownie mix, Dessert Bar mix, SuperMoist cake mix or 17.5oz+ cookie mix (11/23)
Chex Mix $.50/2 4.5oz+ (11/23)
Claritin $4/1 D 15ct+ (10/27)
Claritin $5/1 30ct+ (10/27)
Crystal Light $1/1 liquid drink mix (10/31)
Energizer $.50/1 batteries or flashlight (10/26)
Fiber One $.50/1 cereal (11/9)
Foster Farms $.75/1 fresh boneless & skinless chicken breasts (11/12) DND
Foster Farms $1/1 bake in tray chicken breasts (11/12) DND
Frigo $.55/1 Cheese Heads Premium Snacking Cheese 10ct+ (11/10)
Frigo $.55/1 cheese heads string cheese 6ct+ (11/10)
General Mills $1/3 cereals (11/9) 
General Mills Fruit Snacks $.50/2 Betty Crocker fruit shapes, Fruit by the Foot, Fruit Gushers, Fruit Roll-Ups or Ocean Spray, Mott’s or Sunkist fruit flavored snacks (11/23)
Green Mountain Coffee $1.50/1 bag (10/31)
Green Mountain Coffee $1/1 K-Cup packs (10/31)
Hasbro $3/1 Baby Alive refill (10/27)
Hasbro $3/1 Transformers Construct-Bots toy (10/27)
Hasbro $5/1 Baby Alive Real Surprises Baby doll or Baby Alive Better Now Baby doll (10/27)
Hasbro $5/1 Marvel Iron Man 3 ARC FX Mission Mask toy sku# A1714 or Marvel Iron Man 3 ARC FX Gauntlet toy sku# A1715 (10/27)
Hasbro $5/1 Optimus Prime rescue trailer toy sku# A2572 or Spider-Man Web Racing Funhouse toy sku# A0680 (10/27)
Hershey’s $1.50/3 Reese’s, Kit Kat, Hershey’s, York, Almond Joy, Mounds, Payday, Jolly Rancher, Milk Duds, Whoppers or Twizzlers snack size bags 9-22oz (10/19)
Keurig $5/1 Mini Plus, Elite, Classic, Special Edition, Signature, Platinum, V500 or V700 brewer (10/31) DND
Mentos $.75/1 gum bottle (11/29)
Nature Valley $.50/1 granola bars 5ct+, granola thins or soft-baked oatmeal squares (11/23)
Ortega $.50/2 products (12/31)
OxiClean $1/1 product excluding dishwashing booster (11/12)
OxiClean $2.50/2 products excluding dishwashing booster (11/12)
Philips Sonicare $5/1 PowerUp 3pk brush head (10/31)
Philips Sonicare $5/1 PowerUp battery toothbrush (10/31)
Pillsbury $.30/2 refrigerated Grands! biscuits (12/21)
Pillsbury $.40/2 crescent dinner rolls excludes twin pack (12/21)
Purina $1/1 Beggin 6oz+ (12/29)
Purina $1/1 Busy chew treat (12/29)
Purina $2/1 ONE beyOnd cat food 3lb+ bag (12/31)
Revlon $2 off $4+ beauty tools purchase (10/28) TARGET COUPON
SeaPak $.75/1 product (11/10)
Shore Lunch $.50/1 soup mix product (11/30)
Southeastern Mills $.50/2 gravy mix products (11/30)
Swanson $.40/2 broth 32oz+ (11/15)
Yoplait $.40/6 cups (11/23)
Yoplait $.50/8 cups (11/23)
Yoplait $1/5 Greek yogurt cups (11/23)
Zantac $5/1 24ct+ product (11/24)

Why I coupon and My Basics of Couponing

          I started couponing to save my family money, because really, I Had to.  Money was extremely tight and the ends weren't quite meeting.  So it was either figure out a way to spend less, or give up staying at home with my three Princes.  After a lot of thought, and figuring that by the time I paid for daycare and or babysitting my income would still not really be enough, I decided to give couponing a try.
          I started couponing in July 2013.  I was very overwhelmed at first.  It's a lot to take in in the beginning, but I am hoping that my blog will help you with the process.  So try to bear with me as I explain how I got started, and what I think would be the best way for you to get started.  
          So when I first started I thought " Yeah, I will buy some newspapers, clip out the coupons, put them in envelopes and go to the store and get freebies".  It soo didn't happen that way.  Yep, my dream was very quickly deflated.  Yes I did save a little money, but it was nothing like what I had expected.
          The next week, I decided I needed a better plan of action.  I needed a better way to organize my coupons so that it wouldn't take me 15 minutes to find each coupon I was looking for.  I did some research on the various ways other people organize their coupons.  I decided on a binder, although mine is much more organized than most of the ones I read about. (More on my binder, including pictures in my next post.)
          Once I had my binder together and all of my coupons organized into it, it was time to look at my local sales ads.  I got out my highlighter and put a star on everything that was on sale for a good price and then a "C" on everything I had a coupon for.  I then took an ink pen and noted in the ad how much my coupon was for: ie: $1.00/2 or $0.50/1.  
          The next step was planning out my trip for what I actually wanted to purchase.  If you're anything like me, you are going to want a very detailed plan.  I wrote out a paper for each store I was planning on going to, what I was going to purchase there, totals for each item and how much I thought my grand total was going to be.  I later found out that in Ohio, the tax is applied before coupons, so I had to adjust a little, but otherwise my plan worked well.
           I can't stress this enough:  Learn Your Local Drugstores!  I get my best deals on Baby Care, Health, Beauty,Oral and Personal Care at drugstores.  Here in Marion, we have two CVS stores, two Rite Aid stores, and two Walgreens stores.  And I visit at least two of them every week.
          We do stockpile, but I wouldn't consider myself extreme.  I do get extras if they are free or extremely cheap, but for the most part I stick to a stock of three months supply.  Most sales run on a twelve week cycle, so in about three months you will be able to get the same great prices on your items.  
          With that being said, you really need to have a plan for where you are going to put everything when you get home from the store.  There's nothing more frustrating than coming home with 20 bags full of items you got for an awesome price, and having nowhere to put it all.  You don't want grocery bags taking up every inch of floor space you have.
          My next big tip is to learn your local stores' coupon policies!  This is very important.  If at all possible it is best to carry a copy with you while you shop, for your personal reference, as well as your cashier's.  You would be shocked at how many employees do not know their own store's policy when it comes to coupons.  You can usually find them on the stores website.  If it isn't there, I would highly recommend contacting that store's manager and requesting a printed copy.
          In my first three months, I have saved my family over $600.00.  It isn't the best number, but I didn't think that was too bad for someone just starting out.  Especially with my first couple trips doing the envelope shuffle.... Oh, How I LOVE my binder system!!!
          Stay tuned for my next post:  A Detailed Description with Pictures of My Binder and how I use it!
          Have a Great Day!!! And of course:  Happy Couponing!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

About


          Hi!  My name is Brittany, and I am really glad you've found me.  I'm here to share my journey of Homemaking, Couponing, Frugality, my favorite recipes, and how my family of five lives on about $30,000.00 a year.  

          I am a happily married, modern- day housewife (although my husband Tommy sometimes wishes I was more like a 1950's style), and mother to three handsome princes, whom I have always called by animal nicknames: Turtle (aka Thomas or TJ). Did your mother ever utter the phrase "Someday I hope you have a child just like you."?  Yep, that phrase really works, that's where Prince Turtle comes in.  He's my spunky four year old who hasn't stopped talking once since he started.  He's never met a stranger and loves anyone who will just spend time chatting with him.  Next there's Mouse(aka Lexton), my wonderful almost two year old.  He's quiet and prefers to just hang out by himself and do his own things.  He's absolutely stubborn (which he gets honest from both sides) and will only do things when he wants to.  Then there's Monkey(aka Cullen) , my adorable three month old. He is the happiest baby I have ever seen.  Just look at him and smile and he smiles back and giggles.  As long as he's getting someone's attention he's in absolute heaven.  And then there's Princess Jayde; our prissy Chihuahua.  

          I share lots of tips and tricks to help save you money, including couponing tips and match ups; and will be posting deals I find each week.  

          I will share tips I have found helpful with raising boys, especially when it comes to potty training and preparing them for school.  Including fun learning activities, crafts and science experiments.  And, of course our misadventures.

          I'm sure there will be lots more as we go on this journey, and I hope you join me and take this opportunity to enjoy everything I have to share.  And if there's anything else you would like to know, feel free to ask!