Tag Archives: Shopping

Show Me The Money

Before my life went completely crazy, I had a very useful hobby.

In 2011 I lost my job, had uterine cancer resulting in a radical hysterectomy, and then later that year surgery on my foot to remove a bone that kept breaking. Yeah sounds painful, it was. Our home went from two descent incomes to one just like that, and the second person became a financial burden with many medical bills. (My words not his.)

I felt awful and cried feeling like I was not contributing to the household. One day I remembered a blog I read once months before that talked about living on a budget and couponing. Hmmm…budget and couponing. Hmmm…couponing. I have heard of the extreme couponing, but this blogger’s method was not extreme. That is what I needed. I did not have the storage for a lot of stuff I do not need, and clearing the shelves bothers me. I hate empty shelves.

You need to know something about me. In the past if I had a nickel, I spent a dime or even worse a quarter, that equalled $35.20 in the red in my bank account. My husband is the same way. Our finances were not in the best shape, but we were doing okay with two incomes, the scraping by kind of okay.

So enter in the blog I read. I thought I can do this. If I can save us some money I will be doing something to help our finances. So I did. I loved it. It often made me laugh as I taught my Mother how to save money with coupons, because she is the queen of saving money. Over the years if we found an awesome sale we could call her and proudly proclaiming, “I found a _____sale.” The ____ is her name.

I am excited that I earned the nickname “Coupon Queen”. I knew what was on sale, where, and what coupons would matchup. I knew coupon policies better than managers of stores, and I expected them to comply. (This is the very reason I have only watched about 10 minutes of Extreme Couponing. They do not obey the policies on the show. You cannot realistically do what they do, nor do I feel like we need to. Personal opinion. Stores have even come out and said that they break their own policies for the show.)

I would do really well on our shopping trips, and yes, occasionally, if I hit a sale right, I would come out with free items, or with the store owing me a couple of dollars. But that was such a rare thing. I think my best shopping trip was at Harris Teeters $400 worth of groceries for $70. We ate on that for a while.

I miss couponing, but I do not do the shopping now. Having someone else buy with your coupons and list does not give me that save rush. Hopefully one day I feel not be afraid of going out in public again.

For Christmas my saving grace was Amazon. Amazon Prime $79 year free two-day shipping, plus you get Amazon Instant Video. What made that a sweeter deal is website that I found a few years ago.

Ebates is great. You can sign up clicking Ebates. What do I like about it? First is that it is FREE! Really free. Second, when you sign up you get a gift card of your choice, I think when I signed up I chose $10 Target. I am not sure what the cards are that you get to choose from now. Now the really awesome part. You get CASH BACK from stores that you already shop at. So my Christmas from Amazon, I was able to get 4% cash back. I think Amazon is at 1% now. Even when you renew your cell phones. CASH BACK!

Another way I have used it is for Wal-Mart. I believe it was 2% cash back at the time. Wal-Mart has site to store. I order my items through Ebates on the Wal-Mart website, and the item puts cash in my pocket, not to mention it is paid for and you have someone pick up the items for you if you cannot go yourself. I think other stores have this also.

I have received almost $100 back from Ebates. They send your “BIG FAT CHECK” quarterly.

Another way to save or even make money is Ibotta. I really like Ibotta. It is a smartphone app, IOS and Android compatible. You look at the offers and if they have an offer you like you select it, buy it, scan your receipt, and you get money. Bing Bang Boom. You can stack this easily with other coupons, because it is a cash back situation. Love it! The one thing really unique about Ibotta is that they get coupons from manufactures and items that normally do not have coupons. Like a couple of weeks ago there was an offer for $1 back on milk. They are running a special now that if you register now, yes it is free (that is all I do) but as I was saying you register now, and redeem and offer in 10 days you will automatically get $2. $2 is $2.

With today’s economy we all need all the help we can get. I will try to share more of my money-saving ideas along and along. I like helping others save money, I miss teaching others about couponing. I have thought about starting a website dedicated to it, but then things went crazy. Finances are usually a huge stresses for us, or they are to me. Maybe if I can share a few tricks of the trade that will help relieve some of your stress, I will feel better and so will you.

THIS IS NOT A CURRENT SALE...Harris Teeter Super Doubles. I was NOT going to go to this event. I had decided not to, THEN they sent me an email this morning about our favorite cereal. Reeces, for $1.97, dagnabit! I was not prepared. So I quickly got my list together. (For newbies, and old timers, I have found that the best way for me to do Super Doubles and Triples, quickly is look at my coupons, and match them up not so much by the ad, but using the Express Lane on the HT website. This gives you the aisle and if there is an Evic sale, you can also do a spreadsheet (computer nerd coming out in me) of what coupons you are matching up. So how did I do on a quick trip? How can YOU do on a quick trip? 3 Ocean Spray Blueberry Cocktail, 5 Reeces Puff Cereal, 1 Jiff Hazel Nuff Spread, 3 Nutella Hazelnut Spread, 2 KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, 1 Chicken Parmesan Viola, 3 Lean Pocket Pretzel, 1 Cocoa Puff Cereal Bars, 1 8oz Heluva Cheddar and Jalep, 3 Blue Blue Bunny ice-cream (really 5) (the bagger broke the seal when packing and they are going to replace for free because they were all over the place when I got home, but they said to eat what we could and not to worry about bringing in the boxes), 4 large bags of Doritos, and a 12 pack Snackwell. Grand Total: $32.33 PLUS .50 Cash back
THIS IS NOT A CURRENT SALE…Harris Teeter Super Doubles. I was NOT going to go to this event. I had decided not to, THEN they sent me an email this morning about our favorite cereal. Reeces, for $1.97, dagnabit! I was not prepared. So I quickly got my list together. (For newbies, and old timers, I have found that the best way for me to do Super Doubles and Triples, quickly is look at my coupons, and match them up not so much by the ad, but using the Express Lane on the HT website. This gives you the aisle and if there is an Evic sale, you can also do a spreadsheet (computer nerd coming out in me) of what coupons you are matching up. So how did I do on a quick trip? How can YOU do on a quick trip? 3 Ocean Spray Blueberry Cocktail, 5 Reeces Puff Cereal, 1 Jiff Hazel Nuff Spread, 3 Nutella Hazelnut Spread, 2 KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, 1 Chicken Parmesan Viola, 3 Lean Pocket Pretzel, 1 Cocoa Puff Cereal Bars, 1 8oz Heluva Cheddar and Jalep, 3 Blue Blue Bunny Icecream (really 5) (the bagger broke the seal when packing and they are going to replace for free because they were all over the place when I got home, but they said to eat what we could and not to worry about bringing in the boxes), 4 large bags of Doritos, and a 12 pack Snackwell. Grand Total: $32.33 PLUS .50 Cashback

Again, please do not be confused. That is not a current promotion from Harris Teeter. It was just one that I had taken a picture of.

Happy Saturday and hope you can save some money. Please use the links to sign up so I can get credit. (grovel, grovel) ~Hope

My Referer Links:
Ibotta
Ebates

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Sasquatch, Two Counties Away, Great!

So as I read the local new bulletins this morning I could not help but chuckle. I am very glad that I am not afraid of big hairy ape-like creatures wandering the woods. Yeah, just a few miles up the road, two counties over, the police received two separate 911 calls reporting Sasquatch sightings. It was extremely windy last night and every time I let my dogs out they barked at the wind and the shadows caused by the movements of the trees. Or….Has Sasquatch made it to Georgia?

Last night my dreams were filled with anxiety and frustration. I attempted going shopping, my husband pushing me around in a wheelchair. There were so many people in the store. I kept trying to find my family, but everything was different. I would see them at the end of aisles, but with so many people between us, Tracy could not navigate me to them. I started panicking. Similar to how Bill Bixby would not want the Hulk to come, I was fighting Little Hope. Yelling for Tracy to get me out of the store. We kept hitting dead ends, since the store been rearranged. I jumped and started to run. This woke me up, finding myself with my arms forward, and my legs bent to run.

I used to love to dream. Seeing and spending time with those that have passed. Having adventures in a world of my creating. Now sleep is fitful. Lately my dreams are dark and scary. Last week it was as if I was sitting in a 5D theatre all night, reliving again and again that awful day. Each of my senses involved in the nightmare. I asked my husband the next morning if I moved much the night before, and he said yes, I kept him and the dogs awake all night. I begged him to please wake me if I ever do that again.

Today, this moment, is okay. I am at my parents. Daddy sits in his chair, dozing, waking to change the channel occasionally. Mother in hers, on her Ipad, holding Lillie and Heidi their Chihuahuas. Being with them brings me some comfort, though my insides still shake. I love my family.

I did not take anything out for supper. My husband is used to that. He gets maybe one or two descent meals a week. Tonight we might have stuffed bake potatoes. Quick and easy.

One day.

Silly Saturday: Don’t Send A Man To The Grocery Store

The first time I heard this I laughed until I could not breathe. I listened to it many other times.

My husband has often grocery shopped and came home purposefully with extra item or more of what I had on my list, but this was a calculated effort on his part. I am grateful for his willingness to shop when I am having a bad day.

Now this video used to be funny, until one day after my hysterectomy I sent him to Harris Teeter with my list. I admit my list made complete sense to me in its Excel format. I had the item, the cost, the quantity, coupon to use, and the extended price. With Harris Teeter you do are only allowed to Double or Super Double or Triple 20 coupons a day. So I had a “team” assembled, a first string and a second string. If you could not get an item on the first string pick work your way down the second string. Simple right? I guess my Aspergers Husband saw here’s my list buy the items on the list and when I explain he heard, “blablablabla buy on that list blablablabla give coupons in the order blablablabla.”

He came back with so many groceries, it was hilarious.

Now my side hurts with laughter, I cannot breath, and can somewhat relate with this story. It is no more just funny it is down right HILARIOUS!