Friday, February 18, 2011

Extreme Couponing - Harris Teeter Update


So here is my Harris Teeter haul.


3 Gallons OJ, 2 ID Coffee Creamers, 2 Chuck Roasts, 2 Schiff Move Free 120 ct., 5 Barilla Pastas, 1 Simply Lemonade, 6 Boxes Green Giant Frozen Veggies, 8 Green Giant Steamers, 4 Grands Biscuits, 2 Grands Cinnamon Rolls, 2 Crescent Rolls, 1 Kraft Singles Cheese Slices, 2 Kleenexes, and 3 Top Ramen.

I paid $99 and saved $94 according to the receipt.  I used 15 coupons (the limit was 20) and could have been more if the items had been there.

Admittedly not the best I could do.  I grew impatient with the list and could have printed more coupons.  Also, some of the items I needed/wanted were sold out on Day 2 of the sale.  I think I will try again at the first of next week after they have had time to restock.

And finally, I wasn’t the only crazy coupon lady in the store with her notebook.  There was one younger mother with 10 x’s more coupons than me and her smaller quieter children were sitting patiently in the cart.  Mine were begging to go home before we left the driveway.  I coveted her binder of coupons!  Forgive me.  She was not the only one though.  Many frugal shoppers were in the store that day.  I am not alone.

I am still pleased with the purchases.  All of these items are things we use regularly and needed.  I am determined to do better.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Extreme Couponing–Just Beginning

In December I received the Couponizer with my Clever Container Kit (  This is a young company that does direct sales like Mary Kay, with organizing products.  It was perfect fit with my professional organizing business.


The Couponizer I had seen in magazines and wondered if it really worked so I was excited to try it out.  It does work well and I like the fold out/sorting thing.  At first I thought it was silly but it does a great job getting you organized.

I always found clipping coupons tedious and overwhelming.  I usually went impulsively to the grocery store because we were in dire straits trying to throw dinner together at the last minute or out of diapers.  Then I just walked through grabbing what we needed. I usually missed something and paid for it, literally.

A budget has motivated me to get even better and the Couponizer was just what I needed.  This year we will be Gazelle Intense!

I was finally over being that weird lady in line with 50 coupons.  Motherhood and a tight budget does that to you.

I read websites (my favorite so far is Southern Savers), printed extra coupons, picked up extra newspapers (free on post), and started clipping.


My savings didn’t seem to be paying off at first.  I thought maybe I was using more ink and paper than I was saving.  Then I found Extreme Couponing.  What?!  I am ready to be extreme.

You clip, clip, print, print, follow sales, and over time you can get stuff for almost nothing.  If you find something on special you can use multiple coupons and then stock up.  So if toothpaste is usually $2 and on sale plus a coupon it is $.35, buy as many as you can with your coupons.  The key is OVER TIME you save.  It isn’t instant.

Suddenly my Couponizer wasn’t big enough.  I switched to a notebook with clear protector sheets.  I used the same categories from the Couponizer and I still use the fold out sheet to organize them.  Some couponers don’t cut them out and keep a huge file, but I find it too confusing if I don’t.  Do what works for you.


Southern Savers does a lot of the work for you by tracking sales.  Most of these sites like Southern Savers I follow on Facebook so updates come thru my newsfeed daily.   New coupons and new sales will post first on Facebook. 

For military shoppers you can go online at and follow the links to the commissary.  There specials and prices are posted there so you can see if it is cheaper there or at your local grocery store.  They also put extra coupons buy items at the commissary and you can grab a few there.  Sometimes they are military store only, sometimes they are manufacturer coupons.  Be sure to check.

It feels like a big game of cards, deciding what to use, when to use it, and whoever saves the most or spends the least wins.  I like card games.

My last trip to the grocery store I used 45 coupons that added up to $32 in savings.  The cashier did not look happy.  The woman in front of me had almost as many coupons as I did.  I wanted to high five her but I held back.  I wasn’t ready to be that weird.


(This is me getting ready for the store)

Today I am making a list and getting my coupons together.  Harris Teeter is having double coupons for the next week.  I may be a little too excited about this.  I will let you know how I do.

P.S. I do find this quite confusing but am determined to save. Also, don’t do this the first few times with kids in tow and a huge list.  You will give up and spend more than you normally would.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Works For Me Wednesday–Canisters


Like any newlywed I had registered for all the same kitchen things.  I was so excited to get my own set of canisters in Cobalt Blue.  Little did I know they didn’t work.

My hand and the measuring cup didn’t fit in the top.  By the time I got both out half the sugar had fallen out and my measurement was wrong.  Plus some sugar had fallen on the countertop which meant cleaning it up.  I started leaving the sugar and flour in big plastic containers in the pantry, never using the pretty ones on the counter.

If you know me you know I like things to work.  I want to use them and if I don’t and it just takes up space then out it goes.  Beauty is just a bonus when something needs to get done. And sometimes the cookies just need to get done!  So I tossed them.

After I got over the guilt I finally figured out what I really wanted.  THESE!


I love them.  They work great.  They are huge and easy to use.  I can leave a 2 cup measuring scoop in each one.  I can open the latch with one hand, scoop without spilling, and close it again.  I know immediately when I am running low and each one holds at least a 4-5 lb bag or more of each item.  They even look nice on the countertop.

Check out more WFMW info over here:

Tackle It Tuesday–Filing


This is my project this week.  Take our old files and clean them out then re-file them into these new beautiful files.  I have put it off for years.  These cute little file boxes were on sale 75% off at in December, the perfect opportunity.  At least now I can look at something pretty while doing something boring.DSC00990

Our lives have changed since the first system started.  11 years, 1 house, many moves, 3 children, 6 dogs (not all at once), cars, appliances, etc. have become part of our lives.  All those things create paperwork, some to keep, shred, or recycle.


These are the files I have collected over the years.  Each one different and added at a different time for a new activity.

Files should change with you.  Many things are digital now so paper is less necessary but some things still require paper especially in the Army (marriage license, rabies vaccinations, birth certificates, power of attorney, wills, etc.).


This pile is full of old bills and receipts, past tax returns, equipment/appliance manuals available online, and paper that should go in a different location.

The first box now contains current receipts, medical records, insurance policies, dog’s health records and pedigrees, and a few hard to find manuals not online.  This will also eventually contain homeschool records required by the state in the event we need to produce them.

The second box contains quilt patterns, decorating inspirations, and craft ideas.  This changes with my mood and interests, so monthly.

The third box is room to grow.  I wanted these boxes to last awhile so I bought one extra.  Each box has room left in it so as we change our files will change with us, at least for awhile.

Your system should work with your lifestyle.  I like to put them in categories according to how I work with them.  I work on finances and important household information at the same time.  Medical information also falls into that category but we are all healthy folks with no recurring/chronic issues.  Our files are small.  If you are different you should probably have your own file box filed alphabetically with nothing else. This is especially important if you often find yourself in the ER or running out the door to multiple doctor appointments. 


This one from Buttoned Up looks useful and easy to transport.

I quilt and look at patterns at a completely separate time.  Some times I produce the box for friends to rifle through for inspiration or fun.


Homeschool is a separate activity and has its own accordion file from Buttoned Up.  This one was designed for a household of 3 children in public/private school.  Since I have 3 boys, one in 2nd grade and one almost in kindergarten I found it useful for keeping their curriculum information separate.  This is a file that will change annually with each school year.  Each child individual tab pulls out so you can write on it.  Very handy!

Testing records and legal documents for state requirements are kept with the other important documents in box 1.  They will be updated and filed away hopefully never to be used.  I occasionally send my son to retrieve documents out of the school file so it is important no irreplaceable/vital docs be kept here.

As you can see I have no files for my husband.  He is gadget guy and has TONS of documents specific to the military.  Each has a number letter combo and it confuses the heck out of me.  He carries almost all of them with him daily on his PDA.  He loves being paperless when he can.  I am

Now why boxes and not a filing cabinet?  Two reasons: we are Army and we have a small house.  We will move.  When we do I like to keep important documents with me, not locked on a truck driving across country or on a ship going overseas.  Our house has no room for a filing cabinet.  I would love one really but this is what works for us for now.

I hope you can find what works for you.

Find more project ideas at:


Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine’s Day–A Cookie Party


180 heart shaped sugar cookies +


8 batches of icing +


Sprinkles, sprinkles, & sprinkles +


18 boys and girls from 3 weeks old to 10 years old (and 5 moms)


= a fun & delicious afternoon


and a little clean up…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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