Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bringing Fall to Florida

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It's that time of year. The time where I get incredibly homesick for where I grew up. Maine. September is such a beauty up north (and June, July, and August), and I always find myself beaten down by the heat and humidity of the Florida tropics.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love living here. But there is something about the fall that hits me with nostalgia and memories of high school football games, leaves raining from the trees, cozying up in sweatshirt blankets next to camp fires on the beach, and apple picking on bright sunny days.

I have decided that instead of moping about living in a tropical climate, that I would bring a little "fall" to Florida. So if you live in the south, or just need some inspiration on ideas to fully embrace the autumn season, much of my September blogs will be dedicated to getting cozy this fall wherever you live.
I like to think of it as "project autumn" where I will be pulling ideas for fun fall crafts and activities with the kids, new & old recipes (pumpkin anyone?), and d├ęcor that properly welcomes the season.

I will be kicking off September 1st with a few simple ideas to get the Autumn season stirring in your home. If you're on instagram, I will be hashtag"ing" these photos #bringingfalltoflorida - so if you feel inspired, please join me.
See you in September!

I couldn't resist getting a jump start on "Project Autumn"

Publix Shopping Trip 8/29 $99 Worth in Groceries for $5 Bucks! 95% Savings!

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All for $5 bucks!

This week's Publix shopping trip turned out better than I expected (don't you just love it, when that happens!). I found a few Fruttare Fruit Bar manufacturer coupons at a blinkie in front of the freezer doors and saved even more than planned on that deal. 
As if we needed anymore razors or shaving cream, I picked up a few more free and close to free this week. Those type of things can get pretty expensive when you have to pay full price. I notice the Schick Hydro razor was also on ibotta, so I got to redeem an additional offer saving even more! Remember that with couponing, you want to stock up on some items so you never have to pay full price. That's where you really start to see the benefits of your hard work with those savings. 

As we are nearing the end of the month, remember to print out the coupons you think you will use ahead of time. September will bring a new sweep of printable coupons and you'll want to save the ones that will no longer be in print from August for upcoming sales or deals.

ALSO - I have a new weekly "Print Them! Tuesdays" which has the you don't wanna miss coupons to print! Making saving money a little bit easier! Most recent Tuesday

If you have a smart phone and haven't looked more closely at the money making app ibotta, see my blog post "What is ibotta" to learn more about how it works. They recently added exclusive offers for Costco deals, as well as Target, Walmart, Whole Foods and of course, your regular offers that you can redeem from any grocery store.

Here's the breakdown:

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Honest Favorites: Reviewing My Newest Additions

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My shipment has arrived!

I am trying out a few new of The Honest Company products that were out-of-stock for quite awhile (I figured they MUST be good then, right?). If you have never heard of Honest, you definitely should check them out. They are a fairly new company, started by Jessica Alba. Her products are non-toxic and safe to use. So here's my Honest review! I will keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

Here's what I ordered:

Laundry detergent
Dishwasher PODS
Suds Up - Dish with scrub brush
Organic cotton dish towels (2)
Conditioning Mist

Lets start with my favorite.

FREE Publix Haul $66 Worth in Products and was PAID $3!!!

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This deal was too good to pass up! I wanted to use up more of the Gillette coupons that I had, so I went back to Publix this morning and got twelve more cans of shave cream and another package of Bic Soleil Twilight razors. Publix paid me $1.97 for it all! Days like these remind me of how great it is to coupon. The shave cream is regular price so you most likely can get them free at most stores!

Remember we are nearing the end of the month - so PRINT THOSE COUPONS before they are replaced by new ones! See my "Printable Coupons" page above.

Oh- and if you haven't signed up to get these deals and other useful posts sent to you yet- add your email to "Follow me" found on the side bar. Happy couponing everyone :)

Here's the breakdown for today's transaction and then the summary of my two transactions:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How I Became a Stay-at-Home-Mom

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Baby #1 on the way

Being a stay-at-home mom nowadays is rather tricky business. Our society is definitely set up to serve dual-income families. Things are just so gosh darn expensive (I'm getting good at "gosh darns" with little kids around!). Even if the economy was booming it would still be hard to just wave bye-bye to half your income and blow a kiss to your previous career to stay at home with the babies.

I can't believe we were able to do it.

Here's my story. It is a very honest one and I hope if you desire to be a stay-at-home-mom and you're thinking it's impossible, that this gives you the hope you need to see that it can be possible for you. I understand everyone's circumstances are different, but if it moves you closer to your goal than I'm glad you found my little blog to help you take those steps forward.

Publix PAID ME $1.38!! FREE Gillette Shave Cream and Free Bic Razors

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This was a very exciting Publix shopping trip for me. A true money maker. I decided to run back to Publix to get more of the Gillette Shave cream with coupons to stock up for my husband.  For the first time Publix paid me cash to haul out three bags full of products! I was so excited I called my husband while walking to my car in the parking lot to tell him about my purchases. I have always managed good savings while grocery shopping, but never had I purchased items and paid nothing, plus received cash! So awesome!! I'm guessing this deal could be done at Walmart or Target. Depending on the price on the razors and shave cream at these stores (and competitor coupons they allow). But it's worth looking into!

ibotta has also had some great offers available this week! I'll be using those in my shopping trip for new deals this coming week! If you're unfamiliar with ibotta, see my blogpost about it here. 

REMEMBER! We are nearing the end of the month - print your coupons before they refresh the sites with new ones! Some of the best deals use printable coupons that are no longer in print (a little couponing trick to remember). See my "Printable Coupons" page to take you to the most popular site to print them while you can! Also, some coupons only have a limited supply available to print. So if you see a product you use, print it, and save it for later!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Publix Shopping Trip 8/22 $62 Worth in Groceries for $11 and New Target Coupon Book

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This week has felt like it has gone on for-EV-er. Somehow, my sweet boy came down with a stomach bug and I had my first experience as a mom handling my child puking. I honestly didn't know what to do. I could paint you a very horrific picture of my first encounter, but since I will be discussing food from my Publix shopping trip today, I will spare you. We made it through and he is much better. There is nothing that breaks a mother's heart quite like seeing her little one not feeling well. I'd take my rambunctious, wild and crazy toddler over that any day.

My loves
The sales this week, I hate to say, were just not exciting for me. However, I did manage to put together some great deals for you and also some that my family would appreciate. I'm crossing my fingers for some better cereal deals that my husband would enjoy for next weeks ad. I have noticed that although we have four or five different kinds of cereal to choose from, he still manages to eat the kids Cheerios that I like to make last. I grabbed the container of Cheerios this morning and saw it was practically empty and wanted to bang my head against the wall. Oh the silly things that trouble my life. How different my problems are now than they used to be when I was independent and a career woman.
Humor aside, I am excited to post a few things this week that I think you will enjoy. Coming up will be a post on how I was able to become a stay-at-home mom (tips for preparing to live on one salary), a recipe for my go-to morning smoothie (I share these with my kids- it's crazy delicious AND good for you), and finally my review on my new products from Honest Company (they should be arriving any day now - can't wait!!).

Target Coupon Savings Book (found in stores)
If you've been in Target lately, maybe for back-to-school shopping or just for fun, I have noticed they have been handing out coupon books for various products. One coupon book that I'd like to mention is called, "Look Sharp. Save Smart. Target Has it All." and it's FULL of target food and household products. These will be great to pair with manufacturer coupons either at Target or at your Publix if they take Target coupons as a competitor.

All for $10 bucks!

Remember, now is a great time to print out your coupons as we are nearing the end of the month! See my "Printable Coupons" page to grab them now! The coupons that you notice may not be available any longer were ones that were printed and saved to pair with an upcoming sale. At the beginning of each month a lot of companies put out a whole new set of coupons to print, even though the ones on there currently won't expire for weeks! It's a little coupon trick to keep in your back pocket and GREAT way to save even more when manufacturers take those coupons off from being printables.

So here's today's breakdown... 8/22/13 (if your new to couponing, you may want to peek at my "Coupon Key" page to learn the lingo and get the run down on abbreviations and sources used)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Firehouse Favorite Recipe: Big Frankie's

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Big Frankie's

I tried the most delicious recipe tonight, courtesy of my husband (and the guys from the fire station). I love it when my husband gets excited to try out a new recipe from a previous shift at the firehouse. Not only do I get a break from cooking dinner, but we get to add some new, delicious recipes to our family cookbook to enjoy.

It takes absolutely NO TIME to prepare and is definitely a hit in this household. If you're looking for something different to try, give this toasted, sweet sandwich a try!

Here's the recipe:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Publix Shopping Trip 8/15 $141 Worth in Groceries for $12! 91% Savings!!

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Who says you can't save money couponing in Florida? The land of no-doubling coupons! Here's proof it can be done, no matter where you live! However, I still hope that some day they change the policy so we can save EVEN MORE!

All for $12!

My early risers were shopping at Publix in pjs with me this morning to get some of the best deals! I didn't want to miss out on items in fear that they would be gone, since many items this week were a steal of a deal. Plus I was just too darn excited to pull off another week of great savings to share with you all! Some of you have taken the time to write me lately, expressing how my shopping breakdowns have been helpful - I never get tired of reading your emails! It keeps my blog going! Thank you for sharing and passing along my little blog to your friends. I appreciate YOU and hearing how it's making your life easier! That's why I share and do what I do.

One thing I get asked is if this is my only shopping at Publix that I do for the week. The answer is: not usually. Although, if I do make a second trip I usually end up with at least 50% savings. I also shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I like to buy organic and those stores typically beat out Publix Greenwise prices...depending on what I'm buying. The majority of my shopping is done at our local Farmer's market. I appreciate couponing and how it has given us more room in our grocery budget to spend on fresh produce. We make fruit/veggie smoothies almost daily. The majority of my daughter's baby food is made at home with fresh produce, or frozen organic produce. I'm also a big salad person and try to eat as plant-based as possible (although I have a ways to go when it comes to being as strict as I want to be with my diet). If you are interested in breakdowns from either of those stores, comment below and let me know what would be a helpful addition.

UPDATE 8/17: I noticed there is a new orange juice printable coupon out! I try to snag these whenever they come out because our family goes through OJ every few days. I love the Simply brand and they have a new .75/1 coupon. This will be great to pair with a 2 for $6 sale that Publix tends to run in its sale rotation to save more $$$.
$0.75 off one carafe of Simply Orange, any variety

If you're still in the dark about the ibotta app couponers have been blabbing about, see my blog post: What is Ibotta? and then begin your own extra stream of savings in addition to your coupons.

Also - new this week! - is the LINK UP below so you can share your totals from YOUR blog! I enjoy our couponing community and love how we all help each other! You can find the link up at the very end of the blog, below the receipt image!

Alright already! I never like to keep you waiting for the breakdown.

For the week of 8/15/13, here's how I did it:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Four Easy Money-Saving Tips for New Stay-at-Home Moms (or All Moms and Dads)

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Aaaahhh so you took the plunge into stay-at-home momville? Some mommas will find this transition easy and without financial hassles (oh to be you), but many of us will find that cutting down to one salary has stripped us into a life of penny-pinching nightmares.

Well it's time to wake up from those nightmares.

I definitely consider myself lucky to be able to be home with my kids. I know many moms would love to be a stay-at-home mom if the bills would still get paid (If you're one of those working mommas looking to become a stay-at-home mom, hang in there, I will be posting on how we were able to take the plunge soon!). This post will hopefully be of some help to all moms alike. We are in this together.

I remember shaking my head that that'll never be me when my mom told me I'd have to sacrifice my monthly Mani/Pedi's once I left my job to care for my kids. Or sipping my Starbucks lattes thinking someone who would have to be out of their mind thinking I'd ever give up my beloved weekly (sometimes daily) White Chocolate Mocha (guilty confession, I still splurge occasionally).

So if you need your budget belt loosened a little, for sanity's sake, take a look at these four easy tips to keep some cash in your pocket (for the lattes, Children's Place sales, pedicures, or savings accounts).

Lets get down to it:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Publix Shopping Trip 8/8 $55 Worth in Groceries for $9!

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My little boy pretty excited about his "new" Publix big rig truck I got him from Goodwill

Hello Thursday! Here we are again! I feel like this week came and went and I was left piecing together a few good deals from the Publix ad during the kids naptimes. I must say, I loved the freebies this week, especially the money maker deal on Honey Bunches of Oats. I've read a lot of conflicting blogs suggesting that you can't do this deal with the coupons. So I called over to my Publix to ask and they confirmed the coupon would work with no problems. I had them put aside a few boxes for me and I didn't have any issues at check out.

Here's the breakdown for 8/8...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pampers Deal at Publix for August

Diapers are essentials when you have little ones running around. If you are a grandparent, or going to a baby shower, they are a blessing to any new mom and mom-to-be! Their are always coupons to be found for diapers, but the best way to save is to pair up diaper coupons with store coupons to save EVEN MORE!

Here's a quick diaper scenario for you or someone you know who could use them:

Buy (2) Boxes of Pampers diapers: (Approx.) $25.99 = $51.98 for two.

Use (1) Save $10 when you spend $50 Publix coupon from Sunday paper 8/4/2013 (valid for a week, once this expires, you can use a $5/$30 Winn Dixie -not as good of a deal, but still great savings)

Use (1) $10 off (2) Boxes of Pampers diapers Publix coupon - from Stocking Spree booklet

Use (2) $1.50 off ONE Pampers Baby Dry Diapers or $1.50/1 manufacturer from P&G August insert

Total = $28.98 (not including tax) for two boxes!

$14.48 per box of Pampers!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Publix Shopping Trip 8/1 $130 Worth in Groceries for $18!! 86% Savings!

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I had my little helpers along with me today and I must say, for 10 months and 2 1/2 years old, these too were angels in the store. They had fun in the kid car turning the wheel as I turned corners and we zoomed down aisles making grocery shopping a little more fun.

Alivia & Will shopping with momma

I enjoy shopping early in the morning when possible. The smell of fresh baked bread and quiet checkout lines is a perfect time to be able to focus on getting everything on my list.

My cashier was so patient with all my coupons as well as the people behind me in line. Thankfully, mornings are quieter, so I don't feel like I'm slowing down the flow too much with my coupon show. I did, however, feel a little sorry for the man who was buying a single paper. He stood behind me and I explained I had a "few" coupons and it could be a minute. He said, "Well, a lady is buying over a hundred lotto tickets at customer service, so this is my better option." "And here you are behind a girl with a hundred coupons," I said jokingly. Poor guy. Didn't look like he was in a laughing mood. We've all been there. It always happens when you're in a hurry. God's way of teaching us all patience I guess.

All in all it was a good week! 86% savings I will take it! Stocking up on laundry detergent, pasta sides, razors, and mechanical pencils this week.

Publix Shopping: All for $18 bucks!

Here's the breakdown of my shopping haul for the week of 8/1/13:

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