$5 off Magazines at Amazon

Amazon is having a $5 off magazine promotion for some of their magazines.  Use the code MOMMAGS5 on the last page at checkout to get the $5 off any of these magazines.  Just click on the links below to get to the correct products.

Here are a couple of the promos...
Redbook (2-year) $5
Parenting Early Years (1-year auto-renewal) $4.97
Woman's Day (1-year auto-renewal) $5
Elle (1-year auto-renewal) $5
Parenting School Years (1-year auto-renewal) $4.97
Bon Appetit (1-year auto-renewal) $10
Harper's BAZAAR (1-year auto-renewal) $5
Self (1-year auto-renewal) $8
Prevention (1-year auto-renewal) $10.85

Most of these subscriptions require you to auto renewal when you make your purchase, but that is easy to cancel at Amazon.

$5 Magazines in the month of April....  Different magazine each day, so check back their daily.

Now through the end of April, just a few more days I know, you can find a different magazine subscription each day for only $5.  Find the details and magazines here.

Another deal at Amazon through April 30th...

Buy a Subscription to Real Simple or Cooking Light and get $5 to spend in Amazon Grocery.
Details here.

Amazon offers magazines at a great discount all the time 
so anytime you need a filler to get free shipping, magazines are a great option.

Walgreens Deals: May 1-7

Here are the best of the Walgreens deals for May 1-7th
Check out the freebies & moneymakers this week!

Noxema Disposable Razors $3.99
-$3 RR
-$2 coupon (5/1 RP)
=$1.01 profit

GUM Eez-thru flossers $2
Get $2 RR
-$.75 coupon
=$.75 profit

Tyenol Precise $7.99
-$3 May Walgreens coupon booklet
-$5 online coupon

Right Guard Total Body Defense Body Wash B1G1 Free
-B1G1 Free coupon (5/1 RP)
=Free wyb 2

Fixodent Cleanser $3.99
-$3 (PG 51/)
-$1 RR
Right Guard Total Defense 5 or Dry Idea Antiperspirant $2.99
Get $2 RR
-B1G1 Free (RP 5/1)
=$.50 each

Gilette Fusion ProGlide $9.89
-$5 RR
-$4 coupon

Pantene 2/$7
Get $1 RR
-$3/2 (PG 5/1)
=$1.50 each

Cottonelle 12 pk $5
Get $3 RR wyb 2
-$.50 coupon here
-$1 Walgreens coupon May booklet
=$2 each wyb 2 after coupons and RR

Thanks IHeartWalgreens & SaveWithShellie!

Great Yankee Candle Coupon!!

Just in time for Mother's Day!!  Does your mom love candles and fragrance?  
Here's your chance to do something nice for her and save yourself some money at the same time.

Here's a coupon for $10 off $25 in Yankee Candles that's good through May 22, 2011.  Combine that with the deal at Bed, Bath and Beyond this week, details at Hip2Save for even more potential savings (seems the deal works better for some than others there).

Lots of Winners: Skinny Cow Sweepstakes

I'm an ice cream lover, so this one caught my attention... That, and I've seen several sites talking about people winning.  Had to try it for myself, didn't win, but will try again.

Go to Skinny Cow for a chance to win at their sweepstakes. 

You don't have to have a code from a container to play, simply click on the "Don't have a code" link on the right side of the page to play.

5,000 people will win a coupon for a FREE Skinny Cow Ice Cream Cup!
2500 Second Prize Winners will each receive a bra ($34 value!)
10 First Prize Winners will each receive a bra collection of five bras ($170 value!).
5 grand prize Winners will receive a trip from Friday, August 26, 2011 – Sunday, August 28, 2011 to attend the Perfect Cup Event on Saturday, August 27, 2011 ($5,300 value!).

Thanks to TwoThriftySisters for the details. Good Luck!

Another Staples Freebie... Batteries!

Get your free batteries at Staples now through April 30th!
See advertisement here. Some coupons available on page too.

Limit 2 packs per customer per week of deal.  Must be a Staples reward card member (which is free & easy).  Deal available in stores only.

Free Ream of Paper @ Staples... short notice!

Get a free ream of paper at Staples after easy rebate with this coupon.
Offer expires 4/23/11... so act fast!
*Easy rebates at Staples really are easy, so don't let a little effort scare you off!

Karen Kingsbury... Divine... Free ebook!!

You can get a free ebook from my favorite authors Karen Kingsbury 
on Amazon right now!

The book is called "Divine" and reviews look good.  

I've not read the book yet, but just downloaded it to my ipod to see how the Kindle app works on it... the screens a little small probably for reading, but thought I'd give it a try.  Might be good to have something to do when I find myself waiting for something.

Check to be sure the price is still $0 before making your "purchase" since Amazon changes their prices frequently.

Amazon gives you links to be able to read their ebooks on all kinds of devices including Mac, iphone (ipod touch), Blackberry, ipad, & android.


Thredup... A Kids Clothing Swap... Free Box!

This is a new one I just came across today... Looks like a nice site.
I'm gonna have to do some browsing myself for my little guy.

It's basically a site where you can swap gently used clothes, books, toys, etc with others.  When you sign up through the link, the first box is free, from there you post things you might have available to swap with others, the company takes care of the postage when you ship a box out.  After you've claimed your first free box, additional boxes will cost you $5+ shipping.  You can earn credit for shipping out boxes to others that you can then use to get more boxes for your child(ren).

Looks like fun....  But then, it's like shopping I guess  :)

Chili's Free Queso...


Here's a chance to get a yummy freebie for a night out! 

You have to sign up for their "email club" to get this one, but once your get your coupon you can simply click on the unsubscribe link in their email and opt out of future emails if you choose, or stay signed up for future coupons that they send on occasion. 

I'm on their email list and will occasionally get a coupon or note that a certain night that week has free kids meals, etc.

Meijer... Coupons...

I was at Meijer today and picked up their "Healthy Living" booklet in the meat department 
like I often do and realized I don't recall ever mentioning the booklet here before.  

Their little healthy publication is a small quarter-size magazine that usually has a few recipes in it and often a coupon for a healthy product.  I usually flip through it to see what the coupon is before I bother taking one home because I often don't the time to read their articles, but if the coupon is something I will use it's worth the stop to check it out.

Other places to find coupons for Meijer...

mperks... eCoupons you can sign up for on their site.  Worth signing up for. (must have a cell phone to activate your account)

Meijer mealbox coupons... Print them when you find something you want because they don't keep them posted through their expiration dates.  Find them in the box on the right... click on "specials"

Always take a glance at the advertisement area when you walk into Meijer, sometimes they have a page of Meijer coupons waiting there for customers.  They will sometimes also have coupons hanging on shelves for general merchandise during certain promotions they have.  I haven't seen any by the front advertisements for awhile, but they could pop up at anytime.

Local Meijer Store... More People with Coupons

My weekly Meijer Trip....  
different today....

I went to the grocery today to make my weekly trip and hadn't paid much attention to those shopping around me the last few weeks because we were on vacation last week and I didn't want to take the time on the week before our vacation.  I noticed today more people with lists and coupons than I had in the past.  When I first started really using coupons, I felt awkward/weird because I was the only one with a big stash of coupons with me and I would rarely see someone with even an envelope of them.

Today there were two ladies hovering over the cookie dough area and I noticed they were sorting through their little coupon stash and trying to figure out the deals they could get.  I asked them if they were new to couponing and they said they were.  The new t.v. series on tlc "Extreme Couponing" had caught one of their daughters attention and she was encouraged about trying it too.  I told them it works and that I'd been doing it for years.  I saw them later in another aisle and they asked me some questions about an item they were looking at.

After my first conversation with the ladies, I realized there were many in the store with lists and a few more with envelopes.  I don't know if it's the new show or that people are trying to get through on the tough economic times or maybe a combo of the two, but it's certainly a change from the norm at my local Meijer store.  Or... maybe I just hadn't taken the time to take notice lately.

Anyone else noticed a change since the series first started? 

I hope companies take advantage of the new-found interest in coupons and ramp up the deals!  We could all benefit from the healthy competetion it could create.   Part of me is fearful though that if too many take advantage of the savings companies will pull some of their more valuable coupons...

So, please companies, take note... we love your coupons!  Keep printing them! 

Extreme Couponing Television Series/Show ... Is it for real??

I recently watched the latest Extreme Couponing show on tlc
and it got me inspired to post about it.  

I have taught couponing classes locally for my church and at my library a few years ago and was what you could call an "extreme couponer", my friends and family have coined me the "Coupon Queen".  I have saved great deals of money on all kinds of items, including meats and produce like they suggest, but at the extreme levels of 90+percent like they show is abnormal even for the pro-couponer.

Is it possible?  Absolutely.  Is it realistic?  No. 

Why? Why not?  
I will give my official response later...

Ok, so I was just flipping through when I started watching, so I don't have specific totals/numbers, but here's my take on the show.

One scenario....
On the show I noticed that there were many, many bottles of mustard purchased in one of the checkouts... something like 150.  They showed her saving 90+ percent on her purchase, when the majority of her purchase was the mustard.  Mustard costs anywhere from $1.29-$2 in most stores... say it was on sale for $1 which often happens in the spring & summer.  Give her a $.50 coupon which doubles to $1 off, which makes her mustard free and shows the $1.29-$2 savings on her receipt... more than 100% which helps with her overall savings percentage.    How many coupons will her store double??   That's a lot!... Most stores have a limit of only a few per check out unless you talk to them about it and get it cleared with them, which is often hard to do.  It is possible that the store did it for the advertising to make themselves look coupon friendly.   But....  Who needs 150 bottles of mustard? 

Another scenario....
On the show I watched, the husband and wife sorted coupons and looked through the advertisements with their kids on the kitchen table before they went shopping.  I would venture to say someone had done more research than just scanning the ad and picking out the appropriate coupons before they went shopping...  putting together the best scenario takes time.  The wife called the store to verify their coupon policy before she went shopping... stores don't change their policy often, so makes me wonder if they use that store much or if they chose that one because of the show.  I only called the stores when I was first getting started to see what the policy was for each individual store, one of my local stores didn't take internet coupons for awhile.  If you look at most advertisements, they will write out their coupon policy on them in fine print, usually on the back of the ad, that's where I check for changes.  Anyway, the store had surprisingly just changed their policy on the number of like coupons that they would double, which made them have to go through the checkout separately to maximize their savings... so they took it as a challenge to see who could save more money buying the same items with the same coupons... I didn't see the challenge if everything was the same.  Their totals should have been the same... they weren't, weird.  The challenge wouldn't really be fair unless they both had access to the same coupons in the same store and they did the shopping on thier own plan.. no preparing for the deals together like they did as a family.

The program made mention that for each box of cereal they bought they would be able to send in for a rebate.  I don't know what rebate that was because they weren't specific, but rebates are generally one per person/household.

I thought the show was interesting and wanted to see how they depicted others shopping with coupons.  I feel like this show and news specials about coupons often wait for a specific sale or coupon to become extra valuable to show even greater savings.  I realize the show is called "extreme", and that is what it depicts.

Most people will not "extreme" coupon to the point that they people on the show do.  Doing so requires lots of time in acquiring and organizing coupons, organizing deals, working with the double/triple rules for your store, and finding a store who has enough in stock to be able to use all of the coupons.

Doing some of the deals that were done.. like the mustard, most likely meant they "traded" for coupons somewhere to get that many of a specific coupon for that one deal.  It is possible to get that many coupons, but takes advanced planning and knowledge of the sale because it usually means you have to wait for them to come in the mail.  To have that many of one product on the shelf, or in the back for that matter, you would likely have to be there the first day of the sale or call the store ahead of time to request your number of that product be available for you.

Stockpiling...  What makes extreme couponing work

To be able to extreme coupon like they do and have the savings that they are showing you would have to already have established a stockpile at home.  The items that were purchased could be used for the week, but who wants to eat lunch meat and cereal all week this week, and say, hot dogs and yogurt the next?  A stockpile serves as a storage place for the items you've bought previously at rock bottom prices that is kind of like a grocery/health & beauty store at home.  When you need another tube of toothpaste, you go the the shelf to get one that you bought for free, instead of the store to spend $2-$4 on one.  When you shop every week you maintain your stockpile as the deals role around, most deals are cyclic, and buy a few necessary items that your family needs.

Ok... so you want my response??

Yes... Once you've acquired a nice stockpile and could get by for a few weeks with little more than purchasing milk, bread, or produce, and having the time to devote to sorting and organizing everything.

For most people no...  Couponing to the level they depict requires many, many multiple coupons, is very time consuming and requires lots of space as well.  Hopefully these families are donating what they aren't able to use to other families or organizations. 

You can save lots of money shopping with coupons
at the grocery and drug stores... 

Lots and lots of money!  

Save, Save, Save...
I can't tell you how many times I've walked out of CVS or Walgreens paying just pennies for $20+ of stuff, and the grocery store saving 70-85+% but that is with some decent effort put into it.  When I'm not full force organized for a grocery run and make a trip to the store, even if I need a few specific things, I usually save at least 50% just by watching for the sales and using coupons wherever I can without too much effort.  But, I do have a stockpile at home, so some don't often "need" an item enough to pay full price for it.

Using coupons takes some effort and time, but can be worth it.  Just be sure it doesn't overwhelm your life and take too much of your time.   If it overwhelms your life and you choose it over family/friend time, it can be an addiction.... Yes, it's possible to be a coupon addict!  When you first start to see some savings and how much you can save, it can reel you in and take control of your life if you're not careful.

I have some links that can help you get started with couponing, and there are many other sites online that can get you going... just do some searching.  I started shortly after my son was born because the cost of diapers was crazy and I wanted to do something to help manage that new expense in our life.  My husband thought I was nutso, and you may meet some resistance too, but now he loves that I take the effort to do some of the deals and keep a managable stockpile running.  He loves to go grab a new tube of toothpaste and choose the kind instead of asking me to buy some next time I'm at the store.

Where I've been...

I haven't posted in ages... I know.  

Life has taken some busy roads and although I am still using coupons, I haven't taken the time to post my deals here because I simply haven't had the time.  My stockpile has even lost it's steam a bit... needs some reorganizing and adding to, but still very useful and present.

Where I've been...  an explanation
Since we owned our first home, we began doing updates to it and often would get estimates for work to be done only to find out we couldn't afford it, so I would research the project, and with hubby's handyman qualities, we'd do it ourselves. 

Our little man was fixin' to go to full day Kindergarten and hubby thought I needed something to do during the day.  After trying to decide what might be practical, we were lost for ideas.  Hubby wanted me home when our little man was home from school, but able to work when he was at school... not many jobs around here are like that.   Because of our experience in home repair, and hubby's interest in doing rentals, we decided to look for inexpensive homes that could be repair and then rented or sold.  Because of hubby's work schedule, he gets about two days a week to help me work, and I work on my own the other days. 

Hubby has always had an interest in having rental properties, so we bought a duplex last spring to update and rent out.  Before the upstairs unit was done, we had a couple that wanted to rent it. 

Before the duplex was finished, we were purchasing another home that was in much need of repair... but it was everything it needed to be to work out as a possible flip, or a nice rental if no one purchased it.  It's been a long road, but the project is in it's final stages and we are excited about it.  We've had fun doing it, we did have a bad days along the way, and we learned a lot! 

The house is listed for sale here
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