Friday, June 14, 2013


Today I did my weekly shopping trip to my local King Soopers and walked out filled with emotion.

My first emotion was happiness and excitement. My total cost this week was $59.78 with a savings of $156.40. And just so you can see what just under $60 worth of groceries and personal care items look like in my house here it is...

Yes, this is my entire trip...all the way down to my gallon of milk (I usually buy 2 but we had a little extra left from having house guests last week). Quite a few of the items were a part of the sales going on this week but some of things I picked up weren't hot items...just things I needed to buy. So this isn't full on "extreme" couponing because, well, I live in the real world where buying 40 bottles of mustard just won't cut it for the week.

Ok...I'm digressing.

The point is, shortly after my elation, my mood shifted. I felt tears forming in my eyes and I started crying. What I realized is how blessed I feel. It is just unbelievable that I can do so much for my family with just a little effort. It really is SO easy! That's what I kept telling my daughter as we were leaving the store (ya know, because I have conversations with my 10 month old while she's in the cart and then it doesn't look like I'm just talking to myself)'s just too easy! 60 bucks!! All of this...a trunk load of items...for 60 bucks!

I don't mean this to come off as bragging. I'm not. I wish I could really explain to you how fortunate I feel that I found the resources online to help me save what I do. I can't imagine my life without coupons and (I know I've said it before but...) I will never go back to shopping without them...ever! As long as those crazy little scraps of paper are being printed (or I can print them myself) I will use them.

I know I point to Bargain Blessings frequently as where I turn to find my deals and I'll do it again. Jennie and her team are fabulous and I owe a lot of my success to them. Jennie has said that one of the best ways we (as readers) can thank her is by spreading the word about the site, so that's exactly what I'm doing.
If you live in the Denver area, she is one of the best resources for local savings. Even if you don't, she posts about online deals that anyone can get in on. If you haven't done it yet, PLEASE go to her site and check it out. You can also follow her on Facebook so make sure to do that as well.

If you want to try and save money to help your family, or just yourself (man I WISH I knew about what I could be capable of by using coupons when I was single and struggling) please reach out and find the resources you need to be successful. There is SO much out there and I am willing to help as well. Want to get some friends together for a couponing class? I'm happy to! I'm no professional, so I would never charge money to do it, I just want to get out there and help other people make that change in their lives. I want YOU to know how it feels to walk out of a store with items for FREE and save $156 off your bill. It's a-MAY-zing!

My cup overflows. Have your filled yours. :)

Love and greatfullness,


It's Time To Get Busy

I'm happy to say that my kids do a darn good job of entertaining themselves. With that said, I definitely need to help feed their creativity some times. I broke down and finally got my act together and made some Busy Bags. The main reason I thought to make them now was because we recently purchased an RV (more on that later) and I wanted to have some things for the kids to do while we are traveling instead of just wanting to watch DVD's.
So I took some inspritation from Pinterest and made some Busy Bags and put together a few other activities. All of these ideas can be found on my Pinterest board "Activities With The Kids" so you can hop over there if you want to learn more, or to find some other ideas of your own.

First off, I found a plastic storage bin that most of these bags will fit in so it should be great for traveling. Just grab the box and go!

The first bad is really simple. Large colored paperclips. Threading them together helps with motor skills and you can do activities like matching colors, putting together patterns, etc. I found a box of 80 at the Dollar Tree and there are probably 25 in the bag (5 of each color).

The next set were actually a gift Nora received a couple years ago. She didn't play with them very well then so they ended up stashed away. I was happy to find them and I think they are perfect for her now. "Carrie" is one of 3 little magnetic dress up dolls and the kids should have fun playing with those.

I received the clothespin letters as a part of an activity exchange I did with a couple other gals last year. The strips of paper are lamenated so, with dry erase markers, the kids can practice their writing and they can also use the clothespins to match the letters and spell out the words.

Bead stringing is just basic motor skills. I had some pony beads with my craft stuff so I grabbed a couple handfuls along with some different colored pipe cleaners and they can have fun mixing and matching those together.

The animal stringing came about when I found these plastic animal beads stashed away. I put them away so I wouldn't have to worry about my (now) 10 month old getting a hold of them. But I went ahead and grabbed them back out and the kids can just play with the animals or string them onto some embrodery floss I found.

My oldest daughter has been asking if she could make some bracelets with beads so I grabbed the rest of my pony beads and some odd embrodery floss I had stuffed away and she can have at it.

I found these two card sets at the Dollar Tree so I stuck them in the box.

The next playset was from Pinterest...using toy cars and a print out of a city picture so the child can just drive the car around. Cars were, again, from Dollar Tree (the set of 3) and I just did a Google image search, found a picture I liked, lamenated it and voila!
These next 3 sets came from that same inspiration. I found these little plastic animals stashed away (are you noticing a theme...I have a lot of stashes thanks to hand me downs, thrift stores and garage sales), I seperated them by type of animal, did the Google image search, lamenated and fun was made! My kids found these 3 sets before I could get them put away and they have played with them multiple times over the last couple days.

This last one I just made yesterday. It was my most time consuming but worth it. The kids saw it while I was cutting out the pieces and they loved it! I mean, seriously, who doesn't love to build your own cupcake?? The website I found had all the templates you need and I had different colors of felt in my craft room so I used what I had and Build a Cupcake was born!
I mean, really? Look at those smiling faces!

I had one more thing I made up for the kids for our trip(s) and I show you that in another post. :)
I have had a lot of fun putting these together and I already have plans for more, when I have a little more time. I'm not in a rush though. I think it would be better to introduce some of these gradually instead of all at once. 
I hope you have been inspired to put together some activity bags for your kids. As you can see, some of mine were SUPER simple to throw together. So get your brain a working and see what you can have fun with!
Love and busy bodies,

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Garage Sale-ing 101

It's that time of year again and I'm so excited! I love garage sales as much, if not more, than thrift stores. Mainly because the prices are cheaper but also because there is just something about the thrill of the hunt. I love meeting the people who I'm buying the used item from and knowing that I did the leg work to find it.

If you aren't up to speed on the art of garage sales then I'll share with you a little bit of my experience.

#1. Where do I find them? - Of course you could just drive around and look for signs but if you really want to plan our your journey then it's best to try a few resources first. Out in my small town area we have a local paper and people post some in the you can check the newspaper. I like to do a search on Craigslist as well so see who posted there. There are also websites like Garage Sale Tracker and Yard Sale Search which can help you find sales close to you. I LOVE Community/Neighborhood sales so always keep an eye/ear out for those. It's an easy way to cover a lot of houses without a lot of driving.

#2 - When are they held? - Most garage sales happen on Fridays and Saturdays which an occassional roll over into Sunday. Believe it or not Friday garage sales are pretty common and can be busy so, if you don't work during the week, don't shrug off Friday as a day to go hunting. It can be one of the best days of the week!

#3 - Is there a best time of day to go? - That depends. If you are looking for anything specific you want to get out there as soon as they open. A lot of sales start at 8am, sometimes 9am. Bargain hunters are out early so don't miss out on finding that perfect item because you slept in. If you are just out to browse and find a few bargains then head out whenever your heart desires. A lot of sales will close up in the early afternoon (2-3pm seems to be fairly standard) so watch the weather (they may close up early if it starts raining) and hop on out after lunch. Close to closing time people are more apt to make a deal (they don't want to box their things back up) so you can haggle a price down more later in the day, if you so desire.

#4 - What can I really find? - A LOT! My husband jokes with me, when I mention hitting garage sales, and asks me "What? Are we low on junk?" Ok, yes, it's can find a lot of junk out there. It really is amazing the stuff that some people put out, thinking someone else will buy it. One man's trash is another man's treasure....but sometimes one man's trash is just trash. That being said, I have found some amazing items at garage sales. Some items are like new (some brand new) that people just don't need anymore! In fact, the high back, swivel, wood bar stool I'm sitting on right now is a part of a pair that I picked up at a sale a few years back. They are perfect and I only paid $25 for the 2 of them! Garage sales are an amazing place to find baby/kid items so if you are in the market head out and stock up!

Here are just a few of the items, in varying categories, I've picked up in the last couple weeks (some just this morning!)

Arts and Craft Supplies! - If you are a crafter, and/or do them with your kids, it's a great place to find supplies. I bundled these items together and picked them up for $2. The Portfolio folders are new in plastic and are even on my daughter's school supply list.

A staple gun has been on my "I really want to buy" list for a while. I found this one (with a half package of staples) for only $3. Also, a few weeks ago, I found a glue gun for $1. Mine broke just a few days earlier so I was really excited. The lady running the sale plugged it in for me (so I knew that it worked) and I was on my way!

Clothing! - On the whole, adult clothing doesn't sell quite as well as kids clothing but it's out there and I always take a peek. Even when it's really hot outside, I try to open my mind and look at the coats and sweaters.
I found this Gap shirt for only .25!

 And this sundress for .50!

Holiday items - you can ALWAYS find holiday items at sales. You may not be thinking about Christmas or Halloween when it's 90 degrees out but you should. Last Christmas I realized that I didn't have any festive paper napkins on hand and I refused to pay $5 on some at a store. I found this large (there's probably 30 in there at least), brand new package for only .50! I just stashed them away with my Christmas items and I'm all set when December rolls around.

Kitchen and household items - Another common group of items are household items. Dishes, plastic containers, utensils, candles, knick name it! If you are just starting out and need to set up an apartment this is definitely the way to go! I found these like new springform pans for only .50 each (I see cheesecake in my future) and the loaf pan for $1. These are all things that I've been wanting to add to my kitchen so I'm thrilled!
I also purchased 46 wide mouth mason jars for only $2! You can easily spend $15 on a dozen of them so this was a huge score. They did not have lids so I will have to purchase those but I'm really happy with them. I see some Pinterest ideas take shape right now, lol.

Storage Items - It makes sense...people are selling there things, so they don't need as many containers to store their stuff in! These are my treasures! I paid $5 for all the drawers below.

And I paid only $2 a piece for these 96 gallon Rubbermaid, snap top storage bins. You could easily pay $15 or more for the same bins at a store so this was a heck of a deal! Always check to make sure there are no cracks and that the lids close.

And how can you resist this guy?!? Only $1 for a 13" tall Godzilla! Seriously! He's awesome!

Of course, there is so much more out there so have fun hunting! Honestly, if you haven't been out garage sale-ing before, now is the time to start!
Love and the thrill of the hunt,

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What to do with those freebies!?

I can't even fathom a time when I didn't like picking up something for free. Whether it was a free sample, free product, free gift with purchase (you have to watch out for those tricksters)....I love them all. Today I grabbed some great freebies at King Soopers.


The Pampers wipes are a part of the Buy 5 get $5 off Mega Event that started this week. On sale for .99 (when you buy 5 participating items) and then just hop over to and print out the .50 off coupon (which will double to $1) and that makes FREE!
Bic Razors - regular price of $2.79 and then I used the $3 off coupon from the 3/17 Sunday paper and those were FREE!
There was a coupon for FREE Duncan Hines Frosting Creations (no stings attached!) also in the 3/17 so that was a no brainer.
And lastly the Clif Mojo bars are free using the .50 off coupon (that will, again, double to $1) with their regular price being $1 everyday!
So, you ask, do I use all these items...nope, I don't. The wipes, OH YES! I have an 8 month old! The bars? Yep I plan to try one. And the frosting...well, those look like fun. The razors? Those go straight to donation. You see, that's the great thing about freebies...even if you don't use them yourself, think about other people you can help. Do you know a friend or family member who you could pass them onto? If not, take them to a local church or food bank. I know they will be thankful.
Another note: if you didn't know, fuel points at King Soopers (and possibly Safeway as well but don't quote me on that) are added to your account based on your total BEFORE coupons! So that means anything you purchase, that will later end up being free, will give you fuel points! That's a win/win situation in my book!
Sharing the love with freebies!


Monday, April 8, 2013

High End Clothing In MY Budget??

Today I popped into ARC thrift store to return a couple items and did a bit of looking. It is amazing what you can find at a thrift store!! If you take just a little time to look there will be treasures right under your nose.
Like what, you ask? Like 7 For All Mankind jeans! I've never understood paying $180 for a pair of jeans, so I don't. But I'll pay $9!

I also found American Eagle skinny jeans! I looked on their website and similar jeans go for about $40...mine were $9.
For tops, I picked up a Banana Republic blouse for $4 (regular price of similar ones were about $70) and I almost fell over when I found a Marc by Marc Jacobs t-shirt for only $3 (I looked online and found other t-shirts from his line for sale at Nordstrom for $80!!)

With those gems, along with a couple other finds in my cart, I went to the register with a $10 off of $30 purchase coupon (thanks to a sweepstakes they have going on right now) and got some amazing items for next to nothing.

If you've never gone thrifting before, I think you would be pleasantly surprised at what you will find. Just a tip...if you go to ARC, make sure to go on a Saturday because most items will be 50% off!

Love and the ultimate recycling,


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Under $1 this week!

 I haven't been the best at updating but I do think about posting here frequently. This week was pretty fun at King Soopers so I just wanted to show you some of the best find in my grocery trip.

Here's the breakdown...

Skintimate Shave Cream - .50 each
Palmolive dish soap - .59 each
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter - $1 each (I've picked them up for less in the past but I grabbed a couple anyway)
Steamfresh frozen vegetables - .50 each
Mariani Banana Chips - .49 each
Dial liquid hand soap - .30 each
Mountain High Yogurt - FREE!
Yoplait GoGurt Twisted - FREE!
Yoplait GoGurt (regular) - .50 each
Coke 12 pack - FREE! (I used points from my My Coke Rewards account to get a coupon for a free 12 pack)
Betty Crocker potatoes - .50 each
Duncan Hines Red Velvet cake mix - .25 each

I won't go through all the matchups for the deals...I'll let the professionals do that. As I've mentioned before, I use Bargain Blessings to prep myself for my shopping trips. Jennie, and her team, do an amazing job with letting you know how to find the best deals in the ad. And I always check the comments for unadvertised deals that other followers find.

My total for all the items pictured above was $16.83. My total for the week was $77.20 which included a spiral cut ham (which is going in the freezer), beef from the meat dept, Pull Ups for my son, cereal, milk and a few other odds and ends. My savings were $132.85 which is 64%!!

Between this week and last, we are stocked up on yogurt for a while. I made sure to check the expiration dates and get the oldest items I could. Some can go in the freezer and I'm going to use some to bake with but, even if it just stays in the refrigerator, most of what I bought is good through mid-late May!

I was super excited about the Palmolive deal because I was nearly out of dish soap in my stock pile. I had been hoping a good deal would pop up and I don't think it can get too much better than .50 for those huge bottles!!

I hope you are having success with your shopping trips. If not, let me know and we can get together for a chat!

Love and buying things with just some change,


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Honoring the Presidents with Savings!

As you know my frugality stretches far past just coupons at the grocery store. I like to think I live an all around frugal lifestyle. I try to reuse, repurpose and upcycle as much as I can and I'm always looking for a discount or a good deal. I shudder at paying full price for anything. And I LOVE thrift stores and garage sales!

Monday I drove over to ARC Thrift Store to take advantage of a sale day. Usually, every Saturday ARC has 50% most items (not on sale is the newest color sale tag) but with it being a holiday weekend they had a 50% off sale on Monday! Here's what I scored!

I LOVE finding organizational items second hand. Obviously you have to make sure there aren't any cracks or broken pieces but once you check them over, toss those babies in your cart! As you can see from the picture above I found some metal racks/shelves (I love these!) and a few plastic bins for the kids' toys (MUCH sturdier than dollar store bins and I only paid $1.50 each for them). The 2 canisters seal tight and are perfect for pantry storage and I picked up a little glass jar that I'm using to put my makeup brushes in (thank you Pinterest for that idea...just add those cheap glass marbles and your brushes stand right up!). I found some various wrapping paper and a kids educational product (brand new!!) and a little wooden sign with the Irish Blessing on it.
One of my big scores was the metal drawer you see in the upper left. My Keurig coffee maker sits on top the storage drawer holds the k-cups! These run about $25 on Amazon but I got mine for $3.50!!

I had a time limit that day so I couldn't do all the clothes shopping I wanted but I did a quick run through of the long sleeved shirts and did a peek for a couple kids items I needed. Here's what I picked up...

I needed one more warm sleeper for Leona and I also found a pair of "slippery pants" for Nora (that's what she calls those slick track pants and she loves wearing them). For me, I picked out 10 shirts. Hey, I just recently lost all my baby weight (although I'm still trying to tone up), I deserve some new clothes!! A couple of the tops are lightweight cardigans and the rest are just cotton tops. The dark colored one on the bottom, in the middle, is from Banana Republic so, yes, you can find some quality items if you do a little looking. The total cost of all 12 items pictured above came to just under $27!

My biggest item of the day was this glass punch bowl set.

This set matches a set of antique dishes that I have called "Star of David". My mother and grandmother both have these and I've starting adding pieces to my own collection. The punch bowl with 13 cups (and one odd little bowl that was also inside) came to a grand total of $6.50! WOW!! I was so excited to find this and add it to my collection.
My grand total of my shopping spree came to $64, after rounding up my change for the ARC Angels. I had so much fun and found some really great pieces.
My advice for the day. Don't let thrift stores scare you. Some of them are disorganized and dirty but when you find the clean, organized ones frequent them often and do some treasure hunting of your own!
Love and "new" treasures,