Saturday, August 2, 2008

CVS Gift Card Giveaway

Please head on over to Centsible Savings to enter her giveaway for a $5 CVS card.

Coupon Giveaway

July 31 was a potentially sad day in our coupon life. We pulled all the coupons that expired that day. I had them sitting in a container for a day. It was going to be hard to just pitch them. Then--happy day!--I found a site that had information about sending military families expired coupons. Evidently they can be used for up to 3 months after the expiration date in the commissaries. So off they will go (Monday).

One requirement was to sort them into food and non-food groups and put on the baggie how many dollars worth of coupons there were so they could be distributed by value.

I am having a giveaway. I will send $50 in coupons (non-expired, of course) to whoever guesses the closest to the actual dollar amount in the above box. It is about 8" square and 3 inches deep. FWIW, the coupons in the baggie are the food ones, and the loose ones are non-food. One guess per person, please! I was personally astounded by the number, so guess high!!

You can leave comments up until Monday at noon. That's when I will announce the winner.

Leave a comment and put my blog link on your blog to enter. If you don't have a blog, no problem. You can still leave a guess if you want to participate.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

The OTHER Weigh-In

The top picture is how much my two coupon totes weigh together...17 pounds. That's after we removed a huge pan of coupons that had expired today. It always amazes me how HEAVY something is that really doesn't weigh that much. I was thinking that when I reach 17 pounds of weight loss, it would be like setting these totes down after carrying them all the time.

The bottom picture's color is off. This is one of the tote bags I use for hauling my Q books around. The background is black and the names are bright pink. I had "bee" #8 in utero when this bag was given to me, so he was nameless at the time!


How to Organize Those Coupons

What's really funny to me is that the above is what I purchased to hold all my coupons when I first started the Grocery Game. Little did I know! My Qs from the first WEEK barely fit in there. We now use 4 large binders for storage. The above is what I always have with me when I go out. Nearly every errand takes me near one of my target stores. Let me explain.

We cut every coupon from the Sunday papers. We get extra supplements here and there (thank you, Marti, Margaret, and anonymous donators!). There are also tear pads at some stores, hang tags on purchased products, etc. You get the picture. The coupons are filed by category. Our 4 binders are for food, household stuff (cleaners, storage bags, paper goods, etc.), toiletries (shampoo, shaving supplies, toothpaste, lotion, etc.), and pets/medicine. They are further subdivided into numerous categories (for example food is canned, frozen, refrigerated, snacks, mixes, etc.). Each binder is 3-4" wide on the spine. I think I'll have Susanna weigh all 4 total today. It is no longer feasible to carry them all into a store.

My Q wallet has dividers that I have put all the store names on alphabetically. While I'm at home, I use a small piece of scrap paper to makes lists for each store I shop at (BiLo, CVS [I store my ECBs in there, too], Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Ingles, Lowes, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and WalMart). I regularly check for deals on a few web sites. As soon as I read them, I jot them down on the appropriate paper. If it is a deal that will expire on a certain date, I make sure to visit that store in the appropriate time frame. I stick the list and the coupons that I will need in the store's section (see pic above). That way I can forget about it until it's time to shop. I usually have my binders in the car. I have on occasion gone out to the car and retrieved a coupon for a deal that I found spontaneously (as in, I didn't know about it before I went in the store). But that's only happened 3 or 4 times in the months I've been doing this.

I have a different color wallet that's a similar style for triple coupon days. For example, Harris Teeter and Ingles recently tripled coupons. Since I have so many for a shop like that, I divide them up into categories (freezer, health and beauty, canned goods, beverages, etc.) to make them easier to find in the store. Many times the store is out of stock for an item. The large colorful paper clips in the wallet above are used to corral the Qs I will actually use at checkout. As I put an item in the cart, I pull the Q out of the wallet and put it into a paper clip I keep in my hand. Before I go through the checkout line, I double check to make sure I have the right Qs and amounts.

Food Lion has great printable Qs. I print some of these ahead and have them clipped in sets within my FL section. I pass FLs all the time. If I have a few minutes, I run in and at least get the free items, paying just a few cents each time.

Alyssa over at Keeping the Kingdom First is having a give-away for those who show their coupon binders. My large ones are set up almost exactly like hers (see her great video about it). I've never seen anyone use the smaller Q wallets like I do, so I thought that might make it easier for those of you who are taking small children in the store (hi, Renee) or just don't want to tote that binder all over creation.

Off to the races...


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First Official Curves Weigh-In

What is a good post w/o a picture? The above is from

Good news! Since I started going to Curves 2 weeks ago, I've lost between 4-5 pounds. It is so hard for me to go and do the workout, but my DH and children have been very helpful in helping me get there.

Just wanted to share the good news.

Like my dad once said (about himself) though, "At my size, that's like blowing dust off a piano". Every little bit helps, however, and is very encouraging.

~Joan, who just had a Hershey kiss with marshmallow center a few days ago for the first time...yum yum!