Monday, December 27, 2010

Great Deals on GROUPON Orlando

Hey friends! Hope your Christmas was great and you got a good deal or two under the tree. :) I would LOVE to hear what the best deal was you found this Christmas season.

I wanted to highlight some great deals I came across today on Groupon. I haven't used Groupon much, but I have friends who are nuts about Groupon. These deals might be too good to pass up.

Today on Groupon Orlando you can get one, two or all three of these great deals:

1. Bill's Car Wash (our fave in Orlando): 3 Express Car Washes (a standard car wash) for $10. We usually pay $10 for just one car wash, so it's like getting 2 for free! They are good until June, so you have a long time to use them.

2. Shutterfly (my fave photo company) - Get 2 photo calendars for $20. That's a great deal too! I made my mother in law a Shutterfly photo calendar for Christmas, and they always turn out great. You can make one for yourself and have an extra for a gift. Wahoo!

3. Orlando Rep Theater - I have been thinking about taking the kids to a show. Well, Groupon has adult tickets for $10 (a $17 value) or kids tickets for $5 (an $11 value).

Anyway, the deals on Groupon can sometimes be random and somewhat impractical, but these three are actually really good. All you have to do is sign up here, choose Orlando as your preferred city, and start shopping! Once you buy your "Groupon," you will be sent a link to print a coupon for your deal. Print and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Help me win an IPAD for Donny!!!

Shameless request for help here - Donny's been asking for an IPAD, and I always laugh it off. BUT...If I can get 400 people to sign up to receive emails (no purchase necessary) through my referral link from No More Rack, I can win an apple IPAD. PLUS...if you sign up with my referral link, I think you get a $10 credit to the site (not totally sure). I have to have 400 people by noon on Thursday (just 48 hours!!!) to win the IPAD. It's not a drawing...I win if get 400 people to sign up! How cool is that?

Sounds impossible. Let's see if we can make it happen.

Would you consider banning together with me to make this happen by posting my referral link on your Facebook or blog or Twitter? Leave a comment if you do. If we make it to 400 (still sounds impossible to me), I'll giveaway something cool. Nothing huge...but something cool.

Thanks so much for reading Maven on a Mission!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Friederichsen 2010 Christmas Card

Peppermint Pink Christmas Card
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Black Friday!

And welcome to one of my favorite weekends of the year. I am sitting this one out this year (except for my price adjustment trip to Target that I wrote about here and a trip to Walgreens and CVS to get a few good "free" or "moneymaking" deals on stuff I actually need).

Anyway, I am shocked with how many Black friday deals are also happening online. Many of the major retailers put their deals both online and in the stores, so if you are staying in like me, you might enjoy taking a few minutes searching some deals online.

I am spending the day at the beach with my family, so I won't be posting anything. BUT...I wanted to recommend one web site today (and through Monday) if you want to get the latest deals. Sheri over at Swaggrabber seems to be updating the most frequently. I have a few other blogs that I like better on a day to day basis, but for Black Friday and Cyber Monday I would go here for the best and most up to date deals.

Have a great day, happy shopping, and bring on the Christmas music and decor!!!

Merry Christmas (29 Days early)!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Little People Nativity Set - $13.99 this week at Target!

One Target deal I forgot to put in my post yesterday is the Little People Nativity set is on sale this week at 50% off for $13.99. I looked around a little, and most of those sets retail close to $30. Target's regular price of $27.99 is the next best price I could find. I think I paid $19.99 for our set a few years ago.

Anyway, if you have little ones, this set is a wonderful way to get them interested in talking about the birth of Jesus. We put it under our Christmas tree. Even as my kids are getting a little older, they still like playing with it. A fun thing we do with it - we don't put the baby Jesus out until Christmas morning. Now that they are older, they ask where Jesus is, and it's fun to tell them that we have to wait until he comes as a baby on Christmas morning. When Jesus arrives on Christmas morning, they are reminded of why we really celebrate Christmas. So there's my plug for this product.

At this price, you could even get some as gifts! What a fun gift this holiday season.

You can look at the product here and even search to see if a store near you has it in stock (although that is not a guarantee it will be there...but it's always good to check).

By the way...have a Happy Thanksgiving (and Merry Christmas...34 days early!).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting Black Friday deals at Target without waking up at Black Friday hours.

Welcome to Black Friday week. What are you looking for this Christmas? We are not looking for much. A downsize in home and baby on the way has led us to seek as much of a "stuff-less" Christmas as we can. BUT...I'm always looking for a good, sensible deal.

I am going to list a few things I have seen that would be worth the trip to the store...BUT, I will not be going at 4 a.m. on Friday. From what I have read on cincy savers, Target is the place to do the best Black Friday deals. Why? Because I can get my deals without actually going into the store on Black Friday. Target has a price adjustment policy which says the following:

  • If Target advertises a lower price either the same week or the week following your purchase, bring in your original sales receipt to Guest Services for an adjustment.
  • Exclusions: Price adjustments are not made for clearance prices or prices.
Soooo...I am heading to Target on Monday to get Hunter some Leapster games (shhhhh, don't tell). I will use my $5 off coupon found here. I have no idea how much I'll pay out of pocket...probably $22-$25 retail and $15-$20 after my coupon. THEN...this Friday or Saturday I will go into customer service (which I've heard isn't too crowded on Black Friday), take in my receipt, my items, and my Black Friday ad that lists Leapster games on sale for $15, and I will get cash back for the difference of what I paid (retail) and the $15 sale price. After the Black Friday price adjustment, I will pay (with my coupon applied) $10 per game. Not too shabby considering these retail $20 or more.

Have I done this before? No. Is it worth a try? Of course. I have already printed my price adjustment policy from the Target web site, and I plan on having it in hand in case there is a problem. In my understanding, it is a corporate policy, and they should follow it.

I will also be doing the same thing with pajamas that will be on sale on Black Friday and maybe some fashion scarves.

I have read on cincy savers that Target will not price adjust for items labeled as "doorbusters," but I can't find that in their policy. Just a heads up in case that is true. Again, I've never tried this before. BUT...if they won't price adjust something for you, you can always ask if you can return it and repurchase it right there at the Black Friday price. I have never had a customer service rep. tell me "no" before to that request, but you never know. I actually called the Casselberry Target tonight and asked a question about price adjustment (not Black Friday related), and she said if it didn't automatically adjust that we could just do a return and repurchase at the lower price.

Would you like to check out the Target Black Friday ad to see if there is anything you want to buy ahead and try to price adjust on Friday or Saturday? You can view a scan of the ad here.

While you're out getting your Black Friday deals ahead of time at Target, the deals for this week from Sunday-Wednesday at Target are pretty good too. Check them out here. The two best deals I see are the following:

Leap Frog Tag books are buy one, get one free with a sale price of $9.99. There is a coupon for $5 off 1 Tag book here. You have to watch a 45 second video and then sign up for something related to Chevrolet. I just checked "no" on all the options about being contacted for future offers, and then I printed my $5 Tag coupon. I was able to click the back arrow and then click "resend," and it let me print a second copy of the coupon. In my conversation with the Casselberry Target today, Shiela Marie in customer service told me that I could use one coupon on the "buy one" and one coupon on the "get one free." I do that all the time at Publix, but I wasn't sure if Target would do that as well. I told her that my $5 coupons would cause me to go over an extra penny, because the sale price is $9.99, and my coupons would give me a $10 discount. She said the cashier could adjust the coupon down by the penny. Guess what that means???!!! FREE TAG books!!! I have read that even if you don't own the Tag system, they are great hardback books for the kids.

Also, I will be getting "Beauty and the Beast" on DVD/Blu Ray combo. Millie is totally into this movie, and it has always been my fave. You can read more about this deal here, but basically, there is a $10 off manufacturer's coupon available through Disney and a $5 off Target store coupon in the Target ad tomorrow that you can stack for $15 off the $24.99 sale price. The coupons alone make the movie $9.99 (which is a great price), but there are two rebates floating out there for $5 each that will make the movie FREE if you do both rebates...and all you'll pay for after rebates are three cans of Campbell's soup and two packs of bagels. Again, Hip2Save has written about the coupons and rebates here.

There is also a Fisher Price Loving Family dollhouse on sale for $19.99 down from $39.99 starting tomorrow. I don't know which one it is, but I thought I would mention it. I was in the market for a dollhouse this time last year, so I might have jumped on that. Again, the ad scan for tomorrow's deals at Target can be found here.

Sooo...great deals to be had at Target this week. What will you be getting? What other stores are you going to shop this Black Friday? Personally, I may be more of a Cyber Monday girl this year.

Merry Christmas (35 days early)!

Hallmark Store $10 off $10 purchase coupon for moms or expectant moms!

Wow! This is a great deal. Register to receive emails from Hallmark stores here, and you will get a coupon to print for $10 off a $10 or more purchase. Many Hallmark stores carry popular gift items like Willow Tree figurines, Vera Bradley, jewelry, etc. Not to mention you could score free Christmas cards, wrapping paper, or an ornament for your tree. The coupon states that you can use it on sale items too.

By the way, I want to mention again that if you are signing up for email lists like these, I recommend you create an email specifically for receiving coupons and deals. That way your normal email won't be bombarded with emails from theses stores, but you can still get the great coupons and deals when you sign up for them.

I already signed up and printed the coupon out. It expires 12/24/10. Yay! I will definitely put this in my coupon holder for my next trip to the mall.

Thanks to moneysavingmom for the heads up on this great coupon.

Merry Christmas (35 days early)!

Help me get closer to a new camera!

Good morning, folks! I am going to try to post a deal or two later today, but this post is somewhat self-seeking. If I can get 15 friends to sign up under my referral link below for this web site hosting a contest, I will get a $25 Amazon gift card. I have been saving up my Amazon gift cards earned through Swagbucks to hopefully put towards a nice camera before this baby comes in February. So...cha ching! An extra $25 gift card in the pot would be awesome. If you don't mind, would you sign up under my link here?

The site is a community site where subscribers can post their creative gift ideas. It's actually a pretty neat site, but, let's be honest, I'm in it for the perks. Once you sign up, you can turn around and try to get 15 referrals yourself. Need a free Christmas gift, anyone? This Amazon gift card would be perfect. Just FYI...if you try to get 15 referrals, I want to let you know that the site has been clear that they will limit the promotion to 400 free gift cards. So...if more than 400 people qualify, they will randomly select the winners of the gift cards. So it's not a sure thing...but we all know 15 people, so it's worth a try!

Thanks again for reading my blog. I'll have some Black Friday ideas up before the end of the weekend. Have a great Saturday!

Thanks also to moneysavingmom and Hip2Save for the heads up on this offer.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Creative and afforable Christmas wreath

I am sure there are lots of "how tos" out there on making your own Christmas wreath, but I saw this post this morning on moneysavingmom, and I fell in love. If you like boutique looking things without spending a lot of money (or too much time) this is for you.

Please read this post here from Dittle Dattle for instructions on making this monogram Christmas wreath.

Although her blog post involves power tools and wood (which I'm sure are great), here's my plan:
  • Get free tree trimmings from Lowe's when we go buy our Christmas tree. They will usually let you gather any trimmings that fall from the trees as they cut the stumps off. So take a bag with you if you want to keep needles from getting all over your car.
  • Use cardboard or some other heavy board that I can find, cut an "F" with Donny's box cutter, and have at it with the trimmings and some wire.
  • Dig through my Christmas decor and see if I have any spare ribbon to hang it. I think I do, but if I don't, I'll take a 40% off coupon to a craft store and buy just what I need (which shouldn't cost much more than $1). BUT...I bet most of us could find some ribbon around somewhere (or hang it some other way...think out of the box!).
Now, for those of you who know where I live, you can check in a few weeks to see if I actually did it. I really do love this idea, and I need a new wreath. Check out my door on Dec. 1 and see if I followed through.

I would love to hear from you. What are your favorite frugal holiday tips? Feel free to comment on this post. Really, I would love to hear.

Merry Christmas! (38 days early)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A plug for Shutterfly...and a way to get free holiday cards

I love Shutterfly more than Snapfish. There, I said it. I have enjoyed Shutterfly's photo quality in their photo cards and calendars so much more. I also think their styles are amazing. You can use 1 picture or multiple pics in your photo card. I love those options. Check out their holiday photo cards here.

My favorite Shutterfly Christmas card was from two years ago (2008) when Hunter was 4 and Millie was 1 1/2. I was able to put three of my favorite pics on it - one of our family with Santa, one of the kids together, and one more formal family pic. That's what is so great about getting to choose multiple can put just about whatever you want on your card. I also loved the fun colors the card offered. The green on it was more of a lime green which matched well with some of the bright colors my kids were wearing. It was still red and green for Christmas...with a fun twist. I also love Shutterfly, because there are always coupon codes out there to get discounted cards. You can read about Shutterfly's current special offers here.

I also used Shutterfly to do Millie's birth announcement. I think I put 8 or 9 pics on it. Again, I LOVE the option of multiple photos. Take a look at their birth announcements here.

A favorite gift for Christmas is a photo calendar. I think someone in our family will be getting one this year, and I plan to go here to do it. Shutterfly really has a lot of options to make a calendar your own.

This year I am excited to get our Christmas card going...although I have no idea yet what picture I am going to use. Right now all we have are Halloween I guess I need to get that camera out. We'll see. At 29 weeks pregnant, I'm not too inspired for a photo shoot...but I know I need to get it done.

I honestly do prefer much so that I am blogging about them to get some free holiday cards. If you have a blog, you can get 50 free cards too! Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… learn more:

Ah ha! Now you know why I really wrote this stuff. If you blog, you should do the same...and send one to me!

Merry Christmas (39 days early!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Christmas Thoughts, Michaels, and Inexpensive Personalized Ornaments

I asked Donny the other day if I could turn on some Christmas music, and he promptly replied: "No. It's too early." Not too early for me, though. :) I get flutters every time I think about Christmas approaching...for many reasons. I love the lights, the decorations, the music...the spectacle. I know that many would blame all the spectacle on the commercialization of Christmas, but it still stirs my heart. Thankfully, it stirs my heart to worship Jesus, the babe and Savior of the world who was born on Christmas. He didn't get a lot of earthly spectacle when he was born. The heavenly Anyway, I figure if the earthly spectacle of Christmas stirs my heart to the Lord, then BRING IT ON!!!

Honestly, one of the other things that stirs my heart is a good deal...and there are plenty to be found this time of year. I am going to try to post more over the next few months (before my own babe comes) to keep you up with what I think the best deals are. This pregnancy has made me more picky about what a good deal is, so when I post you can know that it is a good deal...cause I just don't have the time and energy to post everything that comes along the way these days.

Anyway...back to why I am posting this morning. I LOVE personalized ornaments. My mom got my sister and I one every year from when we were three through our elementary school years. As a kid I loved hanging "my ornaments" up every year and finding just the right spot for them. Mom passed them on to me after I got married. Most of the ornaments have the year on them, but they are all different. Most of them have our names on them (except for the one that has our picture on it). BTW, remember that I am a twin, so I rarely talk about anything in my childhood (especially holidays) without referring to "us" or "our," because we did everything together.

Can you tell my kids are playing well together this morning? That's why I have the time to go all over the place in this post.

Back to the point...I have continued the ornament tradition with my kids. With each year that we had a new baby, I got a new family ornament at the mall personalized to show our new family with our new addition. I also did a personalized ornament at the mall one year for Hunter. When I went to pick it up, there was a mistake on it. I asked them to redo it. The lady asked me to wait for just a minute. I watched her scrape off the mistake and take a sharpie to fix it. "What???!!! You mean you just write the name on there with a sharpie? That's all???!!!" I don't know what I thought I was getting, but for $7-$10 per ornament, I thought it was something more than a lady with a Sharpie. If you have 2 or more kids that you are getting an ornament for, it becomes a very expensive endeavor to have them personalized.

After my "all you need is a Sharpie or a paint pen" realization, my ornament strategy changed. The next year, I went to Target and bought a Cars ornament for Hunter (age 3) and a Princess ornament for Millie (age 8 months), bought a white paint pen at Michaels, and I personalized their own little ornaments just how I wanted them. When I made a mistake guess what I did? I scraped it off and started over. my kids have a personalized ornament in Mommy's handwriting. I like that.

The next year I bought an ornament in which I could put a recent picture of them. I still took a Sharpie and put the year on the ornament. Last year, we bought ornaments for them at Disney, because it was our last year to have annual passes. So no personalization last year, but they each got an ornament, and I will always remember those ornaments from our last Disney year (2009).

Well, this year I haven't quite decided what I am going to do, but I saw something in Michaels yesterday that totally sparked my interest. They had "ready to personalize" ornaments that are just like the ones at the mall for $1.99!!! could totally use one of the 40% off coupons that comes in the paper or email (You can sign up for coupons on

Random - Did you know you can also use Joann's or AC Moore coupons at Michaels too? Michaels and Joann's will take one of each type of coupon in a single transaction, so in one transaction you could use:
  • one Michaels newspaper coupon
  • one Joann's newspaper coupon
  • one Michaels email/printable coupon
  • one Joann's email/printable coupon
  • any other different form of coupon (receipts sometimes print coupons or if you have a coupon from AC Moore, etc).
It's another way to make your dollar stretch further at those stores. Sometimes those stores sell Crayola sets or Melissa and Doug, Thomas the train, or other things that are expensive at most toy or book stores. Check at your local craft store and see if you can use your 40% off coupon on those items. Remember that those coupons often have exclusions and are almost always on regular price items only.

Soooo...if you bought one of those $1.99 ready-to-personalize ornaments with a 40% off coupons, you could get an ornament for your child for $1.20! All you would need is a paint pen or Sharpie. Let me confess - I don't have good handwriting, and I am a perfectionist when it comes to stuff like this, but I still like doing it for them.

One other idea - Michaels also had nice 2"x3" photo frame ornaments that have "2010" on them for $3.99 (regular price). These ornaments with a family photo or a photo of all the kids in it would be a great way to do a personalized family ornament for your own family or for grandparents or other family members.

Wow...I wrote a lot longer than I thought...and my kids are getting restless. I was inspired yesterday by the ornaments at Michaels and wanted to pass along the idea.

Merry Christmas!!! (42 days early)

Friday, November 12, 2010

$50 of Coldwater Creek merchandise for $25! Today on Groupon!

Wow! If you are looking for a fun Christmas gift for that mom, sister, or other special woman in your life (or if you are just a Coldwater Creek fan), then the Phoenix Groupon deal today is just right for you!

I am still new to Groupon, but here's how it works:

1. Sign up for Groupon HERE.
2. Look for "Visit more cities" on the top of the page, and search under "Phoenix" deals. (It's ok to buy Groupons out of your city if they are national deals...which this one is.)
3. Click on "Buy" or "Buy for a friend" depending on what you want to do.
4. Once you have purchased the Groupon, it will appear in your account under "My Stuff" under "My Groupons" in a few days.
5. Print and enjoy!

This deal is active today, Friday, November 12 and tomorrow, Saturday, November 13. How fun to get something checked off the Christmas list!

Fine print: Expires Feb 14, 2011. Limit 1 per person. Valid in-store and online. Valid toward merchandise only. Not valid toward previous purchases. Value of the purchase must be greater than or equal to the value of the Groupon. Must use in 1 visit. Not valid with other offers.

Even if you are not interested in Coldwater Creek, Groupon still offers some neat daily deals at deep discounts. Go ahead and sign-up and request the daily Groupon for your city, and you will get an email with what is being offered locally. If you read any bigger money saving blogs, they will periodically post national deals like this that you can buy anywhere.

Thanks to Hip2Save for the heads up on this deal.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Things I've seen

Went to Aldi (Altamonte Springs) today for a massive trip to stock up on nearly everything I need for meals for November (with the exception of Thanksgiving).

I was amazed to find the following deals that you might want to be aware of:

Milk - $1.99 per gallon - What in the world?!!! I haven't seen it under $2.19 in a really long time.

Potatoes - $1.69 for a 10 lb. bag - Ok, this pregnant gal has not cooked potatoes in years (really, is there much nutritional value at all?)...until I tried this recipe from moneysavingmom. It is really good (and I add garlic to make it better). Let's just say that my favorite lunch last week was a PB & J with a side of mashed potatoes...YUM!

Nothing else that exciting...but those two things were exciting to me. There will be more deals as Thanksgiving approaches, but I still hold that Aldi is the best if you just want to get most of your groceries at one place and still get a competitive price even without coupons. Aldi's prices do vary sometimes by store, but it's worth a try if you have one close and need to pick up a gallon of milk!

Now to Publix...that was my other grocery stop today. The best thing going at Publix right now is Target printable coupons. Ask your customer service rep (even call ahead and ask) if they will take Target coupons. When I talked to a rep. at our Publix (Hollieanna), he said that Publix managers across Orlando were told to start taking any coupons they could. My Oviedo Publix never took Target coupons, but my new one does...and it is awesome.

Check out these Target printable coupons.
Here are my favorites:
$1 off any produce item
$1 off any bakery item
$1 off Market Pantry ice cream (don't think this one is available anymore)
$1 off two Kraft cheese
$1 off two Nabisco crackers

Paired with a BOGO and a manufacturer's coupon, the Kraft and Nabisco coupons should make for a good deal. The produce and bakery item coupons are great to get free or really cheap products. If you are trying to find ways to eat organic, use these produce coupons to cut down on the price of organic. You can usually print 2 coupons per computer. Target usually reloads their coupons 2-3 times/month, so check it out periodically.

Ok, that's what I saw at the stores today. Let me know if you see anything interesting or worth noting. I'll try to post more frequently as the holiday deals get better and better. Happy shopping and holiday planning!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Swagbucks "Get a Referral Day" is today!

Do you search the web? If so, you could be earning valuable gift cards and other things for doing your normal, everyday searches. I know I have posted about Swagbucks before, but today is Swagbucks "Get a Referral Day," so I wanted to let you know that there are some extra swagbucks to be earned if you join TODAY.

Do you see the little Swagbucks square to the right? That's called a "swidget." If you click on the "Swag Codes" button and check for a code you'll find a special sign-up code that'll get you a bonus 20 Swag Bucks when you sign up (by clicking on the "Sign Up" button on the swidget or by clicking here, which they can also do from the Swidget (through your referral link, of course). This code is for people to use while signing up, NOT for people who are already members. When you sign up, there will be a line that says "Swagcode" on it. Just enter the code you get from my swidget...and you get extra bucks!

450 Swagbucks gets you a $5 Amazon gift card. We have paid for many of Donny's seminary books using Amazon gift cards through Swagbucks. Now I am saving up to buy myself something fun before the baby comes...either a new camera or a flip camera. I probably won't have enough to buy the whole thing, but I'll have close to $100 in gift cards by the time Thanksgiving/Christmas sales roll around. Yahoo!

Here are different ways you can earn swagbucks:

  1. Online searches (I just search as I normally do...nothing extra)
  2. Checking the Facebook page for special codes (Be sure to “Like” it)
  3. Checking the Swagbucks blog for special codes
  4. Downloading the Swagbucks toolbar on your computer. I get a couple swagbucks every week just for having the toolbar.

There are more ways to earn, but those are the most popular.

BONUS!!! If 5 or more people sign up on Swagbucks today through my referral link, I will give away a $5 Amazon gift card to one of my new referrals. Sound a little "pyramid schemish"? It is a little, but having referrals helps me grow this blog through being able to do giveaways like this. Hopefully you enjoy the giveaways enough to sign up and promote my blog to your friends.

Have a great day! And don't forget to sign up today to start earning and to be entered in my $5 Amazon gift card giveaway (if 5+ people sign up by 11:59 p.m. today)!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

So it's been a while...

Yes, it's been a while, and I'm not really back. I'm not sure I'll ever be back to where I was a year or two ago...but I'm back for now, and I'll tell you a few things that have changed:

1. I'm pregnant - 22 weeks along and due on Feb. 7
2. I'm homeschooling for the first time.
3. Over the summer I moved across town. Closer to church but not as convenient to some of my favorite I am making friends with new stores.

Now...let me make a few confessions:

1. I clipped and sorted coupons on Thursday night (during Grey's)...for the first time since MAY. That's four months of not keeping up with my coupons.
2. I am almost out of ECBs (from CVS). I have $7 of ECBs. I used to freak when I got below $30 in ECBs. I am almost ready to spend them all so I don't have to keep up with them. Twice over the past few months I have let two ECBs expire...but the cashiers were kind enough to take them anyway. My point: I'm not CVSing like I used to.
3. I have almost completely stopped doing Walgreen's.
4. My food stockpile is depleted. I actually am having to buy some staples when I need them rather than "shop" for them out of my pantry from getting them at rock bottom prices.
5. Overall...I'm just not the same money-saving guru I was this time last year.

Why do I share all of this? Well, I am learning that in different stages of life, there are different things I am (and am not) capable of juggling. This time last year, Hunter was in Pre-K four mornings/week, and Millie and I had two mornings with no commitments. There was lots of time to piddle and deal hunt. Not so much anymore. My mornings are full of school, and my afternoons are full of fatigue from the little one growing within.

While my life has changed quite a bit in the last four months, there are a few things that we have stuck with that have helped our finances not go south even though my couponing (to a degree) has:

1. Still paying with cash. My monthly grocery budget has not changed, but I do cut it a lot closer every month. I used to always end the month under budget. Confession: Over the summer, I went over on my grocery budget more than once. I have been determined to stay in budget, though, so I have been reducing the next month's budget by what I went over during the previous month. Make sense? Sorry if it doesn't. I am hoping to be back on track by the end of October (since I still went over by about $30 in September). When I pay with cash, however, I quickly see that I am close or am not going to make it, and I can plan to get back on track much easier.

2. Still menu planning. It's hard. My October menu is only halfway done, but it is on my coffee table beckoning for me to finish it. I am not cooking ahead as much as I have in the past. Our kitchen is smaller (which isn't a good excuse), but my energy is lower, so I am good to get a hot meal on the table. By sticking to my menu, I have been able to do that (for the most part).

I guess this time in my life has been teaching me the value of my time vs. the value of my money. Both have value, and I want to steward them wisely. I guess I also have to weigh the cost of my energy. There is only so much to go around these days, and I am willing to spend a little more money to get my shopping done at one store than go carting my kids (and my pregnant body) across Orlando searching for the best deals. I used to do that, and I might find that fun and worth it again someday...but for now I need that energy for my kids, their schooling, and the one growing within.

Just some things I have been pondering since I went silent for the summer. This maven is still on a mission. I still love a good deal. I am still frugal, and I still strive to steward well our finances. BUT...I am realizing that our money is not the only thing I am a steward over. I am a steward of my children, my marriage, my body, my home, my time, my energy, my ministry, and more. I want to care well for all that God has entrusted to me.

I'll be back with more deals...especially as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach. It's a great time to get back on board with playing the money saving game. All in moderation, though. I can't do it all...and neither can you. So we'll do it (and not do it) together.

Until I'm back again...go save or spend something wisely...your money, energy, or your time...because they are ALL of great value.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ecotrin Moneymaker at Walgreens

Sorry this post is a little late, but there is a great moneymaker at Walgreens this week that is great for someone who would like to try out Walgreens' Register Rewards program.

Here's how it works:
Buy one bottle (45 ct) of Ecotrin for $2.
Use a $2/1 coupon from the 5/16 Red Plum insert or print one here. Actually, you can print two per computer. I printed four (from our two laptops).
Pay $0 or tax (depending on your FL you pay nothing) and get back a $2 Register Reward.

A $2 moneymaker! I did this a few times this week. You have to do it in separate transactions, so try to wait until the line is small, and be willing to step out of line if you hold things up doing multiple transactions.

Hopefully you can find it at your store. Before you go, you can always do a search on Search for Ecotrin and look for the 45 count. Then click "Find in store" to see if it is in stock at a store near you. There's no way to guarantee it will be there when you get there (unless you call ahead and get a kind cashier to pull some for you), but I like to check before I go.

If you want to know how to turn around and use those Register Rewards, take a look at this article from Money Saving Mom. I used some of mine this week to buy sunscreen. Woo Hoo for summer!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

And the winner is...

Erin - Comment generated by

Thanks to all who entered. It was fun having a giveaway, and I hope to have more in the future! Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

$5 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway tomorrow!

This is a friendly reminder that my $5 Amazon Gift Card giveaway ends tomorrow (Friday) at 5:00 p.m.! If you'll see from the comments on the giveaway, you'll realize that you will have a pretty good chance of winning. Hope you take the time to enter. I am so looking forward to blessing someone with this gift card!

You can enter my giveaway here. I will notify the winner over the weekend. Hopefully, it will add to what will be a wonderful Memorial Day weekend for you!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vocalpoint - Join today for FREE samples and coupons.

Have you heard of Vocal Point? Join, and you will get GREAT sample and coupon offers in the mail and online. Here's a link for some samples of Crystal Light with no artificial sweeteners.

From Vocalpoint:
Taste for yourself how easy it is to turn good 'ole water into a naturally sweetened, low-calorie drink with FREE samples of Crystal light Pure Fitness flavor packets, exclusively from Vocalpoint.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My First Giveaway!!!

Search & Win

I have been wanting to do this for a while, and the time has come (drum roll, please)…my FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!

If you haven’t gotten on the Swagbucks bandwagon, today is the day! I am giving away a $5 Amazon gift card on Friday to one lucky winner.

A little about Swagbucks - is a search engine similar to Google or Yahoo….except it “pays” you to search the internet. When you do your internet searches through, you will win “swagbucks” that accumulate in your account. Once you have accumulated enough swagbucks in your account, you can cash them in for fun prizes and gift cards. The most popular gift card (in my opinion) is the $5 Amazon gift card you can get for 450 swagbucks. I earn at least one every month.

Here are different ways you can earn swagbucks:

  1. Online searches (I just search as I normally do...nothing extra)
  2. Checking the Facebook page for special codes (Be sure to “Like” it)
  3. Checking the Swagbucks blog for special codes
  4. Downloading the Swagbucks toolbar on your computer. I get a couple swagbucks every week just for having the toolbar.

There are more ways to earn, but those are the most popular.

Here’s where my giveaway comes in. In honor of Swagbucks and their great offers, I am giving away a $5 Amazon Gift card (my favorite thing to "buy" with my swagbucks).

Here’s how to enter. You can enter four times in four different ways:

  1. For those new to Swagbucks, sign up for using this link, and then leave a comment telling me you did so. You get 30 swagbucks just for signing up! If you already have a swagbucks account, leave a comment sharing your favorite thing about swagbucks.
  1. Whether you are a new or old swagbucks user, do an online search through swagbucks this week until you win some bucks, and leave a comment telling what you searched for and how many swagbucks you won.

  1. Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment telling me you did so (or comment if you have already subscribed).
  2. Promote this giveaway somewhere (email some friends, post on Facebook, post on your blog, etc., and leave a comment where you promoted it...and thanks for promoting it...I am so excited to start doing things like this!).

Comments/Entries will close at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and I will notify the winner over the weekend. I will use to choose the winner.

Whether you win this giveaway or not, hopefully the things you do to enter the giveaway will put you on the road to winning your own $5 gift card through Swagbucks!

Happy Swag Hunting!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Great Printables Available on

Target has posted some great coupons on their web site. Most of these coupons are store coupons which can be paired with manufacturer coupons for great savings. There is even a coupon for $3 off footwear...which will make for some cheap flip flops or other summer shoes.

I am most excited about a $1.50/3 Special K cereal coupon and $1/2 Special K Bars coupon. The great thing about those coupons is that they don't expire until August. Most of the rest of the coupons expire in June. Target always does a gift card deal on Special K at least once/quarter, so I am going to hold on to those coupons, hope for some high value manufacturer coupons, and wait for a gift card deal ($5 gift card when you buy 5...or something like that). It will make for some cheap cereal or snack items.

There are also some great coupons for Kraft products. They are mostly for a FREE product when you buy 2-3 other of the same product. You can also use manufacturer coupons on these items (even the FREE one), so you could get some good deals on cheese, salad dressing, b-b-q sauce, etc. If you got the Sunday paper today, there were some good Kraft manufacturer coupons in it that could be paired with the store coupons at Target...or there are some good printables on Most of the manufacturer coupons are for $1/2 products. I am probably going to hold off and see if some $1/1 coupons pop up before June 5 (when those Kraft Target coupons expire).

Of other note...there is a $5/$30 Cherokee Kids clothes purchase. It's a great coupon if you need to get the kids some clothes.

There are also some good band-aid and light bulb coupons that pair well with recent manufacturer coupons.

So...what I am saying is this: Go here and print off the coupons that interest you. Sometimes these good Target coupons go quickly. I printed two sets off. One on my computer and one on Donny's. I'll be clipping lots tonight as I watch the Survivor Finale.

If I see any great match-ups with these, I'll post them, but I wanted to get the word out that they are worth printing.

If you ever want the latest scoop on Target deals, I like Totally Target.

Happy Couponing this week!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

HOT deal on Entertainment Coupon Books - Today Only!

If you have been waiting (like I do) to get an Entertainment Coupon Book at a reduced price, today might be your day! has their books on sale for $12 today only. Most of the coupons expire either October 31 or December 31. If you use the movie coupons in there, the money you will save going to the movies nearly covers the cost of the entire book.

The price of the book gets even lower when you buy your book by shopping through When you shop through a web site like, you get a rebate back on your online purchases. I hardly ever shop online now without going through a site like It always produces money back on my online purchases.

Anyway, back to the Entertainment Books. offers a $7 rebate on the purchase of any Entertainment coupon book. So you pay $12 today and you will get $7 back from's like getting it for $5 once you get your rebate. does get better. If you haven't shopped through before, you get an additional $5 cash back bonus for signing up. Guess what that means? If you are a first time shopathome customer, you will pay $12 for your Entertainment book and get back $12 in rebates. Woo Hoo!!! Free coupons!

Here's how it works:

Sign up for by clicking here or by clicking on the ShopatHome banner in the right toolbar.

Once you have signed up, start shopping by searching for in the search engine at the top of the page. You will be redirected to the web site. Put in your Zip Code, and buy your book for $12 with FREE shipping. By purchasing through, you will receive a rebate of $7 for purchasing the coupon book. You will also receive $5 for signing up, so you will pay $12 for the book and get back $12 in rebates for going through (if you are a first time shopathome customer).

Disclaimer: does not cut rebate checks until you have $20 of rebates. I was a shopathome customer for a few months before I ever got a check. So you have to wait, but it is worth it when the check comes. If you're willing to pay $12 for the book today, you might as well sign up and get the rebate someday later once you have built up to $20. You're going to shop online, right? Might as well get something back for it (even if you have to wait).

There are other online shopping web sites that I recommend that offer cash back for your online purchases. Their banners are in my right hand toolbar as well. Some of them have lower minimums to get your first check cut, but for today's deal, has the best rebate ($7) for the coupon book. I have accounts with,,, and If I make an online purchase, I just check out those web sites first and see who is offering the biggest rebate for the store from which I am making a purchase.

Happy Shopping! Here's to never shopping online without getting cash back again!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

It's a GREAT week at CVS - Many Moneymaker Scenarios!!!

Wow, I really can't believe the moneymaker scenarios at CVS this week. If you have ever wanted to try CVS or want to grow your ECBs, this is the week to do it. I have been spending more ECBs than I have been saving lately, so a week like this came at a perfect time for me. Hopefully you have some of the coupons needed to do some of these deals. There are a few deals with printable coupons, so all of us should be able to "make" a little money this week at CVS.

I am posting Hip2Save's CVS match-ups for the week here. She has highlighted the best deals in red and posted the coupons that match-up with the deals.

Here is what I am planning on doing:

Bayer Glucose Meter - $5 moneymaker
Right Guard Deodorant - $2 moneymaker
U by Kotex - $2 moneymaker
Crest Toothpaste - $0.75 moneymaker (I actually have a coupon from the mail to make it a $1 moneymaker...woo hoo!)

That's $10 in moneymakers this week for me! The great thing is that most of these items are things we actually use! Yay!

What about you? Do you have a CVS (or other store) plan for this week? Read the blog post above on Hip2Save to see what scenarios you can come up with for yourself. I would love to hear any comments about your CVSing or other bargain hunting this week.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Noteworthy CVS deals this week

I just got back from a pretty good trip to CVS. Since I am an old customer there, I don't get a lot of those magical $4/$20 or $5/$30 purchase coupons anymore from the coupon scanner or in my email. When I went into CVS last week, however, I got a little gift...a $5 off a $40 purchase coupon. Not a great one...but it still saves you some if you have that much to buy. Really...I think those coupons are the best ever. You should ask Donny how I respond when I get coupons like that for CVS or Publix...I squeal in excitement. It's pretty pathetic.

Anyway, I had some rainchecks to cash in, and I needed make-up. I have been scraping the bottom of my blush for weeks now. The little crumbs of blush haven't been producing much, so it was time to suck it up and buy some make-up. With the make-up I needed, some deals going on this week, and two rainchecks I had to use, I thought I could work up a good way to total $40 and use my $5 off $40 coupon and come out pretty well...and I did. Mind you...I had no intention of actually spendind $40 today. My $5 off $40 coupon can be applied first before any manufacturer's coupons, so I had to total $40, but I did not actually pay $40. I actually only paid about $13 once I handed the cashier the rest of my coupons.

Here are some noteworthy deals:

1. CVS Sunscreen - This week you can buy 2 CVS brand sunscreens and get a $5 ECB. There are 2 oz. bottles of sunscreen that are priced anywhere from $1.99-$2.39. Mine were $2.19. Well, those little gems qualify for the ECB deal (although they do not have a sign under them). Soooo...I bought 2 of them for $2.19 each, paid $4.38 and got back a $5 ECB. Not too shabby...and a great way to roll my ECBS and make a little ($0.62) along the way. coupons needed!!!

2. Crest Advantage toothbrushes - Buy one at $2.99, get $1 ECB - This deal has a limit of 2. There was a Buy One, get One Free for these toothbrushes in the 3/7 Proctor and Gamble insert, and a $2 off 1 in the 4/4 P&G insert. Sooooo...I bought two, used the $2 off coupon for the one I was buying, and I used the BOGO for the second one to get it free. I paid $0.99 and got back $2 ECBs for buying 2 of them. Some cashiers may give you funny looks for using both coupons, but it should work. You are buying one and getting one free...and you are getting $2 off the one you are buying with the other coupon. It's a $1.01 moneymaker as well.

3. Fig Newtons - The small boxes are on sale for $1 each - There is a $1/1 coupon available here through Facebook. There is no size limit on this, so you can get Fig Newtons for free. I printed two coupons on my computer and two on Donny's computer and got 4 free boxes today.

I got some other things for free (Diet Coke, Reese's Cup, Vitamin Water, Thermacare, Colgate, Body Wash), but they were from either coupons I had from a while ago or rainchecks. I used my overage and my $5/$40 to cover the purchase of a tube of Revlon lipstick and much needed blush. Overall, I spent $15 in ECBS, paid just under $2 in tax (on a gift card), and got back $17 ECBs. I didn't make much...but I got my much needed make-up and a ton of other stuff we will use. So fun when coupons and deals work out for things you actually need. It's also nice to have an agreeable three-year-old with you as well.

Happy CVSing!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tearpad Alert!! Cheap Cheez-Its at Publix this week!

My favorite way to find great coupons is to keep an eye out for blinkies or tearpads in stores. Tearpad coupons are free, and they are often for a high value. Tonight at Publix, I found a tearpad on a Cheez-It crackers display at the front of my store for $2.00 off 2 packages of Cheez-Its. Guess what goes BOGO tomorrow??? Yep, Cheez-Its. My store has Cheez-Its priced at $2.63. Guess what my kids are going to be eating at lunch as their "chip" for a while? If you can find this tearpad, it is time to stock up!!!

My Publix is across the street from a Wal-Mart, and I am convinced that its prices are lower on a lot of items compared to other Publix stores. BUT for all you commoners who have normal Publix prices...this week's ad says "Save up to $4.09." That seems really high to me per box, but even if they are $4.09, you would still get two boxes for just over a dollar each with that coupon. I am guessing that most stores will hit in the $3.50-$3.99 range...which makes your boxes less than a dollar each with that coupon. I am looking forward to $0.32 each at my store.

Suggestion if you are really interested in finding this coupon/tearpad: Go early (tomorrow or Friday), because the coupons will get snatched up by other savvy shoppers like us. :)

I hope some of you can find this deal as well. I would love to know if you do. Please leave a comment if you find the tearpads in your store...even if you find an empty tearpad...because it lets me know if these coupons are broadly offered...which lets me know if tearpad/blinkie alerts are helpful to post on this blog. If they are only at my store, then that doesn't help most of you. BTW, my store is in Oviedo at the corner of Alafaya and McCullough across from the Wal Mart Neighborhood Market.

I was running out of snack crackers. I was planning on stocking up on Cheez-Its this week anyway. Yay for great tearpads!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Orlando CVS Milk and Cereal Deal (no coupons needed)

I like to post deals like this, because it's hard to get a good deal on milk.

So here we go...time to put on your thinking cap if you're still fairly new to CVS.

In the Orlando CVS ad today there is a promotion that combines a milk and cereal purchase for a really good deal. No coupons needed (but if you have coupons it gets even better). Remember, you do have to get a CVS card to make this work. Just ask for one at the counter. Here's how it works:

Buy 2 of the following Kellogg's products for $5:
Raisin Bran Crunch, Frosted Flakes, Mini-Wheats, All-Bran, Special K Cereal, Special K Bars, or Nutri-Grain Bars

Buy 1 Gallon of Milk (I think in most Orlando stores the deal is for T. G. Lee milk) for $3.19.

Pay $8.19 out of pocket
Get back an Extra Care Buck (ECB) for $3.
Total cost (if you remember to use your ECB for a later purchase): $5.19 for milk and two boxes of cereal/bars. can turn around and use your ECB to do the deal again, because the deal can be done twice.

Deal #2
Buy two more boxes of the cereal for $5.
Buy milk for $3.19.
Use your $3 ECB from your first purchase.
Pay $5.19 out of pocket.
Get back another $3 ECB.

If you do the deal twice and have no coupons, you get 4 boxes of cereal/bars and 2 gallons of milk by paying $13.38 out of pocket and still have a $3 ECB for another purchase. It's like getting it all for $10.38 after ECBS...that's $1.73/item...not too shabby when two of those items are gallons of milk.

Here's where the deal can get even sweeter. There are a few coupons out there that can make your out of pocket expense even lower.

Sign up here to print 2 $1/1 coupons for T.G. Lee Milk.
Click here for $1.50/2 packages of All-Bran, Mini-Wheats or Raisin Bran (I have had this accepted for Raisin Bran Crunch before...I would ask your cashier first just to keep things on the up and up). I think you should be able to print those twice as well.

Newspaper Inserts
$1/2 Kellogg's All-Bran, Crispix, Rice Krispies Smart Start, Raisin Bran and/or Corn Flakes Cereals (11.4 oz +, any flavor, mix or match) any (2) - 04-11-10 Red Plum insert
$1.50/2 Kellogg's Rice Krispies, Crispix, All-Bran, and/or Corn Flakes Cereals, any (2) 10 oz+ - 03/21/10 or 03-28-10 Red Plum

Sooooo...let's say you print the $1/1 milk coupons and the $1.50/2 cereal coupons. Here's how it would work:

Purchase #1
2 Boxes of cereal (All Bran, Mini-Wheats or Raisin Bran Crunch): $5
1 Gallons of milk: $3.19
Use your 2 coupons to get $2.50 off
Pay $5.69 out of pocket
Get back a $3 ECB

Purchase #2
2 Boxes of cereal (All Bran, Mini-Wheats or Raisin Bran Crunch): $5
1 Gallons of milk: $3.19
Use your 2 coupons (because you printed them twice) to get $2.50 off
Use your $3 ECB from purchase #1
Pay $2.69 out of pocket
Get back a $3 ECB

Total cash spent: $8.38
AND you walk out with e $3 ECB for a future purchase

Total for 2 gallons of milk and 4 boxes of cereal (if you can print the coupons): $8.38 ($5.38 after ECBs). Pretty good.

Feel free to post in the comment section any questions, comments and any other coupons you know about that fit this deal. I just got milk at Aldi yesterday, so I will be waiting until the end of the week to do this deal. Remember, if they are out of the milk or cereal you like, you can always ask for a raincheck. Most stores will give one for a deal like this (although I have had one before tell me they couldn't do a raincheck for milk deals...which I thought was silly...but I didn't press it that time).

For more CVS deals this week (there are quite a few good ones), check out Hip2Save.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why I had a Salad for Lunch

Last Thursday around 2:00 p.m., the kids were down for a nap, and I had an hour and a half to myself. I was rummaging through my fridge trying to find just the right thing to meet that craving I was having for lunch. What did I end up making? A salad. I didn't really want a salad that day. I would have rather sat down with a bag of chips or a Cadbury Creme Egg...but I made a salad.

While I understand that a salad is a healthy option and a good choice for lunch in many respects, there is only one reason I made a salad that day: the lettuce was on the verge of browning. How many times do you find something in your fridge or pantry that you forgot you had or just didn't get around to eating before it spoiled? What would you find if you checked your shelves right now? One of the best ways to save money and steward what God has given you without ever clipping a coupon or reading a sales ad is to use what you have in a timely manner...even when you're not in the mood. Did you read that? Even when you're not in the mood.

So I had a salad. It was yummy (complete with leftover boiled eggs from Easter that needed to be used), healthy, and very frugal.

The fountain beverage, however, is a different story. Confession: I have a current addiction to fountain beverages (3/4 Diet Coke and 1/4 Regular Coke). It is the least frugal habit I think I have ever had...but you have to make choices, right?

Next time you are making a meal...check your fridge, freezer, or pantry. What could you use that needs to be used? You might just save yourself a few bucks...and, over time, that's enough to nurture your fountain beverage habit (or whatever your current addiction is). Have a great afternoon. I'm going to go finish my Diet Coke.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Blinky Alert for Kraft Cheese!!!

Ok, this is where savvy shopping gets me excited (and where I can seem a little nutty at the same time...because it does get me so excited). Tonight I went to Publix to take advantage of their 50% off all Kellogg's cereal deal. I had some coupons that were expiring this week, and we are out of cereal. Otherwise, I might not have gone, because 50% is just like BOGO...but the coupons I had made it worth the late night trip. And the hubs is happy now, because our cereal stockpile is back up to normal.

Because I went after the kids were asleep, I had some extra time to wander the aisles of Publix (which I like to do every once in a while). I knew that Kraft Shredded and Block Cheese was on sale this week, but I didn't really need cheese...but I still went to check out the sale. Lo and behold, like a beacon in the night there was a blinky machine that was spitting out coupons for $2 off 2 packs of Kraft cheese. For a coupon crazy one like me, this was like hitting the jackpot! With cheese on sale for $1.67/pack, that coupon made the cheese $0.67/pack if I bought two! That's rock-bottom for sure, so I grabbed a couple of blinkies and got some cheese that I'll use next month in my menu...looks like Donny might get Mac and Cheese for his birthday after all!!!

If you have no idea what I am talking about, a "blinky" is a coupon you get from one of those small box machines that is hanging on the shelf of the item. It usually has a red blinking light. You pull the coupon out, and another one spits out for the next person (or for you if you are getting more than one...which is what I did tonight).

Another note of clarification...what's with the ghost? Well, Donny reminded me after I shared my excitement about the blinky I found that one of the ghosts from Ms. Pac Man (my favorite video game ever...which I am pretty sure I could school anyone in) is named "Blinky." So...if I ever post any excitement over blinkies in the future, you'll see this little guy to let you know what to look out for.

Here's where YMMV (Your mileage may vary). There is no way to know if your store will have such an amazing blinky near the Kraft Cheese. There are usually blinkies for Kraft cheese, but they are normally $1 off 2 packs (which is still a good price if paired with this week's sale). So don't make a special trip to look for this little gem...but if you are in Publix this week, check the cheese section. A little blinky might be right there waiting for you to come get some really inexpensive cheese.

Monday, March 1, 2010

RecycleBank - 15 Points Today Only!

Today, March 1st, you can use the code "RECYCLEYOURMAGS" to earn 15 recyclebank points. Read my post here if you don't know about RecycleBank. It's a free way to earn points to use toward the "purchase" of valuable coupons. I think I might use my points to "buy" a $5 off $30 purchase coupon at Winn-Dixie (which Publix and WalMart will accept). It's like earning $5 just for clicking a few buttons!

To enter your code "RECYCLEYOURMAGS" to earn 15 points, go to RecycleBank here.

Thanks, Hip2Save!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Free Kashi Cereal (and other helpful products) through RecycleBank

Wanna take a few minutes today to get something useful for free?

Sign up for RecycleBank and get 40 points for signing up. You can also get 50 points for joining the Ebay Green Team (which, from what I can tell, doesn't commit you to anything). With those 90 points, you can search through their rewards to "buy" coupons with your points. Today, they have a coupon available for a free box of Kashi Cereal for 50 points. Pair that with a BOGO at Publix, and you have yourself two boxes of free Kashi Cereal! As I was perusing the rewards, they also have some good Huggies coupons and some free Seventh Generation products (including free baby wipes and dishwashing soap). They've even got a great men's deodorant coupon for 50 points, which would probably make for free or "moneymaker" deodorant at CVS or Walgreen's sometime soon. I think most of these coupons will be mailed to you rather than ones you would print.

Other than the 90 points I suggested above, I am not sure how to earn many more points, but I will post more points if more easy points become available.

From what I have read, RecycleBank exists to reward people for living more "green" lives. I really like the coupon offers they have. They are for more natural products that can be harder to find good deals on. Check it out, and come away with something free!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Join Swagbucks Today - Get 60 swagbucks!

Hey friends,

I mentioned "Swagbucks" at the seminar Saturday. It is an online search engine that will give you "bucks" just for doing your normal searches. I use it periodically, and in the last few months, I have earned enough "Swagbucks" to get 3-4 $5 Amazon gift cards. People who do a lot more searching than I do earn more. Anyway, it's a nice way for us to have a little extra online spending money without a whole lot of effort.

Today is Swagbucks' Second Birthday. You would usually get 30 swagbucks for signing up, but TODAY ONLY you get 60. Pretty good, huh? It costs 450 for a $5 amazon gift card. It may seem like a lot, but it really doesn't take long to get there if you search the internet at all.

Here's the link where you can join: Swagbucks...Sign up today for 60 free "bucks"!

Or you can click on the "Swagbucks" link in my righthand toolbar.

Happy Searching...and Swagbuck earning!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Whys and Hows of Google Reader

So I spent a lot of time yesterday talking about my "Google Reader." By far, it is the tool I use the most to find the best deals and coupons. I rarely just go on the internet searching for deals and coupons. I have a few money saving blogs on my Google Reader, and I receive new blog posts in my Google reader inbox (similar to receiving a new email in my email inbox). This way, I don't waste time looking up blogs and coupon sites only to find there is nothing new Google Reader will let me know if anything new has been posted. One of the reasons I love my Google Reader the most is keeping up with friends' blogs. BUT...the money saving blogs are great too.

Here is a great "How To" on setting up a Google Reader. I really can't recommend it enough for both personal blog reading and money-saving blog reading:

How to Set Up a Google Reader

Thanks to Molly Piper for sharing this blog post.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Welcome to Maven on a Mission!

Thanks for joining us today for the Savvy Shopping and Saving Seminar. I hope this blog will help point you to the things that most interested you during our time together. I have a passion to know and inform others of information that is accessible to all but often known by few. That is why I have named this blog "Maven on a Mission." My husband gave me the name "maven" a few years ago, and I found it rather endearing (mainly because my man knows me so well). According to "Wictionary," a maven is "a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. I desire to be resourced and to resource others...and that is my mission with this blog. I will probably not be the primary blog you will consult for savings information...but I will do my best to pass along what I learn as I learn it...because that's what a maven does.

Feel free to email or comment on this blog with any follow-up tips or questions as you embark on your own adventure in savvy shopping and saving. I will post more in the coming weeks. Feel free to add me to your Google Reader (or whatever blog feed you choose to use). I will post when I can, but I recommend you add the blogs below to your blog feed to get the most up-to-date deals and coupons.

My Favorite Money Saving Blogs:

Money Saving Mom


Fiddledeedee (I mainly read her Wednesday Publix match-ups, but she also does "Organic Fridays" that are helpful as well)

Helpful articles about today's topics:

Staying on Budget using a Cash System

Making the Most of the "Buy Ahead" Principle

Calendars that Work (for monthly menu planning)

Where to find the El Sentinel

Best Deal I Found so Far on Orlando Sentinel (New subscribers...but you may want to wait and ask what the person selling them in the grocery or drug store is selling them for. Shoot for $1.00 or less per week for Wednesday-Sunday subscriptions.)

Couponing 101

Getting started at CVS

Making CVS work for You

Getting started at Walgreens

Coupon Terminology and Target Basics

SC Johnson $5 Rebate (can be done up to three times)

Great sites for ad previews:



iheartpublix (usually posted on Mondays)


Have fun exploring...and go do a deal this week. Start small. Learn one system...the one that motivates or intrigues you the most. Once you learn one system well, you can pick up others more easily. And feel free to email with any questions. I'm a maven. This is what I love.