Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weekend Shopping (and savings!)

I’ve been finding lately that my favorite thing to do on Sunday mornings is to get my shopping done early. My weeks are busy with school, tutoring, and other activities so it is hard to find the time during the week unless it’s a quick stop after school. Here’s where I went and what I bought!


5 – Honest Tea (assorted flavors) on sale 5/$5
1 – Nivea lip balm, on clearance for $0.75
3 – Eucerin hand & body lotions (assorted) @ $5.49 each
1 – Oral-B toothbrush, on sale for $1.99
1 – Oral-B brush head refills for electric toothbrush (orig. $46.99 – on sale for $29.99)
1 – Bic Soliel Shimmer razor, $6.99 on sale

Coupons used:
4 - $1/1 Honest Tea product
1 - $1/1 Nivea lip product
3 - $1.50/1 Eucerin lotion
1 - $1.50/1 Oral-B toothbrush (certain types)
1 - $3/1 Bic razor

Total before tax: $37.70
Total saved: $49.18
Received $31.00 in Extra Care Bucks (you can use these on almost any products in the store – they are good for a month!)

I didn’t plan on spending so much money there, and I could have saved more out of pocket by doing multiple transactions. I was just so excited that the brush heads were the right ones for my toothbrush, and I wasn’t thinking clearly about it. I got $20.00 in ECB just from that item alone. You will never find those brush heads for $9.99. I also see it this way – yes I spent $40.00, but I will get to put the $31 toward all of my upcoming purchases there. I may not have to spend more than pennies there for the rest of the month! Which makes me very happy!


4 – Degree deodorant (4/$15)
2 – Right Guard deodorant (both with free trial size body wash attached!)
1 – Ritz Crackerfuls on sale for $2.00
1 – Aquafresh Kid’s toothpaste
2 – Caramels from the register…sooo delicious (and cheap!)

Coupons used:
2 – B1G1 free Degree deodorant
1 – B1G1 free Right Guard product
1 - $1/1 Ritz Crackerfuls
1 – in ad coupon for Aquafresh @ $0.99
1 - $0.50/1 Aquafresh kids toothpaste
$3.50 in Register Rewards

Total paid: $6.19
Total saved: $28.63
Received $7 in Register Rewards to use on my next purchase 

I was excited about all of the B1G1 free coupons that I could use this week to make my deals even better. The Degree products were 4/$15, plus you got $5 in Register Rewards. The Right Guard deodorants were already B1G1 free, and with the coupon, both were free! I also got the Ritz Crackerfuls for $1 out of pocket and got $2 in RR back on those, making them free as well.

I read on a blog that they are in great need for product donations at the Salvation Army of Monroe County. I gathered a large bag full of some of the products I don’t need at the moment and will be taking them to the site this week sometime. This is why I got the Right Guard deodorants and the kids toothpaste – both were either free or just pocket change to buy and someone that really needs these items will get them. It feels good to be able to make a small difference in the world by spending very little money. I donate money as much as I can, but donating products is a bit easier when you don’t make a ton of money.

Rite Aid

This was my smallest (and cheapest!) haul of the day. I went in basically because my UP+ rewards were going to expire this week, and I needed to use them!

1- RenPure Organics conditioner (@ $4.99)
1- Lady Speed Stick deodorant, on sale for $2.99
1 – Revlon Just Bitten lip stain (Reg. $8.99, on sale for 40% off)
1 -  Ms. Pedicure Foot Scrub (clearance @ $0.99)
1 – Spic and Span dish brush (clearance @ $0.25)
1 – 3 Muskateers candy bar (for the boyfriend) @ $0.50

(as you can tell, I was struggling for items at the end to make it to $15 total so I could use my $3 off coupon!)

Coupons used:
1 - $3 off $15 purchase
1 - $1 off a non-prescription purchase
1 - $2/1 Revlon beauty product
1 - $0.50/1 Speed Stick deodorant
$7 in UP+ rewards

Total Paid: $1.61
Total Saved: $13.50
Received $6.99 in UP+ rewards to use on my next purchase

Not a ton of coupons to use, but my total was really small! Not a bad weekend aside from all of that money spent at CVS!

I also got a really great pair of shoes this weekend! I got a gift card to Betsey Johnson for my birthday, and I already had an incredible pair of shoes picked out to spend it on! Check out these awesome shoes....

All mine!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Guilty pleasures in action

This morning - while I was eating my McDonald's breakfast in a Meijer parking lot - I realized the true scale of my guilty pleasures. Don't ask....just take a look.

Exhibit A: My car radio. I had the four choices above...and I LOVE 30 Seconds to Mars and also Silversun Pickups. Yet I chose to listen to N.K.O.T.B.S.B....I even teenied a little bit when the song came on because I haven't heard it yet on the radio. Then I proceeded to turn it up and finish my egg and cheese biscuit, all while the family in the van parked in front of me gave me disapproving looks.

Now I am going to watch The Real Housewives of Orange County until bedtime!

Friday, May 13, 2011

8 Guilty Pleasures

#8 – Betsey Johnson

This may sound funny, but yes, loving Betsey Johnson is a guilty pleasure! It's literally every girly-girl's dream come true. Not that I am embarrassed about it, it’s just that I have a hard time spending so much money on one thing. Her stuff is expensive! I love it just the same…and if I ever get rich one day, you will find me wearing Betsey dresses every day! I am lucky enough to own 1 dress and a few shirts, plus tons of purses, socks, and jewelry. LOVE IT!

#7 – Tiny Chef

This is embarrassing to admit, but I am kind of addicted to the app Tiny Chef. You have a restaurant and you cook food and design it. Then you start expanding and buying more restaurants and yeah…you get the idea. (And to be even dorkier, those are actually screen shots of 2 of my restaurants! NERDxCORE)

#6 – Gourmet cupcakes

Every area has their own cupcake places – my favorite around here happens to be Just Baked cupcakes. Their red velvet cheesecake cupcakes are TO DIE FOR. I mean it. I literally die when I’m eating them. (Well afterwards, when I’m trying to work off the extra pounds from devouring a large cupcake in about 5 seconds.) I have no self control when it comes to cupcakes!

#5 – iCarly

Another embarrassing fact to admit...I like watching iCarly. I can’t help it. Carly’s brother Spencer is HILARIOUS. And have you SEEN the ostrich episode? (See pic above) So funny!!  I like to watch on weekends when I’m not doing anything. Sam and Carly can be pretty annoying, but it’s worth sitting through for the parts with Spencer. Don’t judge.

#4 -  Music from Glee

Yes – I love watching Glee. And yes – I download a lot of the music from the show as well. I can’t help it. A lot of times they are singing songs that I don’t always like, but the way the song is arranged makes it so much better. They also put modern twists on some older songs. I love their version of “Somebody to Love” by Queen (even though no one will compare to Queen – one of my top 5 favorite bands ever!) and also their rendition of “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga. And whoever creates the mash-ups (where they mix 2 songs together) on that show is a freakin’ GENIUS. The mash-ups are incredible! Come on – “Start Me Up” and “Livin’ on a Prayer”??? SO AMAZING. Plus it’s the girls singing it!

#3 – Vanilla ice cream cones with sprinkles

I tried really hard not to make my entire guilty pleasures list consist of food, although I could have easily done it! I love that you can go to different ice cream places and the ice cream and sprinkles taste just a little bit different at each place. My current favorite happens to be Dairy Queen. Their vanilla is very tasty and MAN – they have the best sprinkles! I try not to go more than once a week, although sometimes it’s hard!

#2 – Driving

I know this one doesn’t sound like a guilty pleasure, but in my case it kind of is. I included it because sometimes I feel guilty doing it. Driving isn’t good for the environment and gas prices are out of control, yet I continue to drive when it isn’t necessary. The problem is that I really love to drive! I love listening to music and just driving. Not a single day goes by where I don’t get in my car and go somewhere. Or 10 somewheres.

#1 – Bad (but sooooo good!) Pop Songs

Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved pop music. I grew up listening to the Beach Boys and Wilson Philips. When I was in middle school, I used to listen to the Top 8 at 8 on our local radio station and keep track of the songs every single night. I love and was obsessed with Hanson and the Moffatts. And boy bands…you name it, I loved them! You can still catch me jamming out to N’SYNC and BSB in my car!

Horrible pop songs that I am currently listening to:
Avril Lavigne – “What the Hell”
NKOTBSB – “Don’t Turn Out the Lights”
Glee cast – “Friday” (cover of Rebecca Black)
NLT – “Do It Like I Love It”
Charice – “Pyramid”

I know right….it’s BAD. But I love!

What are YOUR guilty pleasures???

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In my past life....

...I was chubby and had a sick perm...

...I lived in pools as much as I possibly could...

...I had the biggest (and best!) family ever!...

...I was in love with 2 different Scotts...
 (real first boyfriend Scott)

(pretend famous crush Scott)

...I had blonde hair...

 ...and pink hair...

...I spent a lot of time at concerts...

...and hung out at concerts with this guy a lot (oh HEY Deon)...

...I helped coach a very successful Varsity competitive cheer team...

...and that was a pretty great life.
I don't know about you, but I feel like once big changes happen, the things I leave behind don't belong to me anymore. It's sad in a way. I miss a lot of those things. I'm glad that there are pictures so I don't completely forget my past life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weekend Savings

I know y'all might be getting tired of hearing about my shopping trips...but saving so much money just doesn't seem to get old! I didn’t have much time to shop this weekend, but the couple of stops that I made were pretty good ones! Here are my weekend deals from Meijer, Walmart, and Walgreens!

On Saturday I had some time to shop at WalMart and Meijer with my sister. I was glad that I had my coupons with me because I found some great unadvertised deals!

1 – Crest Pro-Clinical Daily Whitening Toothpaste (Orig. $4.75 – on clearance for $1.50)
1 – John Frieda Brilliant Brunette shampoo (Orig. $4.97 – on clearance for $1.00!)
1 – Dial NutriSkin lotion ($1.97)
1 – Sally Hansen nail clippers ($3.97)
1 - $0.75/1 Crest toothpaste
1 - $1/1 John Frieda product
1 - $1/1 any Dial lotion
1 - $2/1 Sally Hansen product

Total before savings & tax: $15.66
Total after (w/tax): $4.20
Saved: $11.46
Note: I was so bummed that they only had one John Frieda shampoo in the clearance section, because I actually use that shampoo - and I also had more $1 off coupons! I was so grateful to find that one, though.

2 – Ivory soap 4-pack - not pictured ($1.19)
1 – Dial NutriSkin lotion ($1.99)
1 – John Frieda Root Awakening Shampoo ($6.49)
1 – John Frieda Root Awakening Conditioner ($6.49)
2 - $1/1 Ivory soap or body wash
1 - $1.50/2 John Frieda product (Meijer coupon)
2 - $3/1 John Frieda Root Awakening product
(also – John Frieda products were buy 1/get 1 50% off over the weekend!)

Total before savings & tax: $17.35
Total after (w/tax): $4.83
Saved: $12.52

I only had a little bit of time after church on Sunday to run to Walgreens. Last week I waited until Sunday afternoon to hit the stores, and they were already out of a lot of the sale items I wanted. So I went at 9:45, and had no problems this week!

2 – Peeps bunny 4-pack (75% off! Only $0.18 each)
1 – Wylers Light singles to go ($1.00)
1 – Carefree liners (on sale for $0.99)
1 – Caress Silk soap bar (Orig. $.1.99)
1 – Dove bath bar (Orig. $1.99)
2 – Kleenex tissue box (Orig. $1.39)
2 – Lysol toiler cleaner 16oz. (on sale for BOGO Free @ $2.99)
1 - $1/1 Carefree item
1 - $1/2 Lysol toilet cleaner
1 – Walgreens coupon for Kleenex @ $0.89 each (limit 3)
1 – Walgreens coupon for Dove/Caress soap @ $0.99 each (limit 3)
1 – $5 Register Rewards from last week

Total before savings & tax: $16.83
Total after w/tax: $2.57
Saved: $14.72

77% savings!

Not a bad weekend at all! I am loving making short shopping trips when it is convenient. I am also loving the fact that I haven’t felt the need to go to the mall in 2 weeks! THANK YOU to LRWC and KCL for helping me save so much money – I can’t wait to see how much money I can save this year! (To hopefully put towards a house next year!)

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Life As Liz

So I don't know if any of you have ever heard of this fabulous show called "My Life As Liz". It's on mtv and just finished its second season. It's so great! I just got really into it more recently. I love all of the characters (especially Liz and her best friend Sulley), and love how it is filmed more like real life than a show. AND...Liz is from Texas! I loooove me some Texans. And Texas. And also New York where she moved. AND you will have to excuse my excitement...I may be delirious from 45 minutes of cardio-kickboxing. Anyways...

Here's Liz and Sulley:
This picture just completely sums up my love for these two.

Sulley is completely in love with Liz. It's blatantly obvious. Liz loves Sulley too, but in the "friend" way. Liz actually looooves Louis. Or Bryson. Or Louson...I don't know and she doesn't really either.



Who would YOU pick?? At first I liked Bryson, even though he did some douchy things to Liz. He was just so cute. I wasn't too sure about this Louis character because he is a MUSICIAN. And you can believe that most musicians cannot be trusted. I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE...of friends! Haha. That picture really does him no justice. But then....

The season 2 finale happened and I changed my mind. Bryson kind of blew it. I don't want to ruin it for y'all if you haven't seen it.

Does anyone else love this show? (Besides me and Tabs?) What are your thoughts?

Friday, May 6, 2011

I WON something! Shocker!!

This is probably the most incredible news that I've gotten all week...A. because I never win ANYTHING, and B. it's been a pretty crappy week in the news department. AKA - not sure if I will have a job next year. I know you can get worse news, but that really is not fun news to hear. The GOOD thing is, I won something! The awesomeness that is Busy Bee Lauren (of course she's even more awesome because she shares my name with me!) had a giveaway for a photo session with Inner Circle photography, which is run by a lovely local girl named Miranda. From her website, you can see that she takes INCREDIBLE pictures...they are so artistic and soooo my taste! Which is why I am so excited! Not only do I get a free photo session, but I ALSO get a $100 printing credit toward my pictures! How cool is that? Once I get more details I will let you know! Maybe you can help me decide what I want my photo session to include?!

You can see Miranda's work HERE!

Check out Lauren's post on Inner Circle photography HERE!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Shopping trip (5/3/2011)

Since I am still so new to using coupons to get things for rock bottom prices, I have been doing little bits of shopping at a time. I had about an hour to kill after work on Tuesday before heading to Nick’s. I wanted to hit up Walgreens and Meijer, and maybe Target if there was some time left. Here is a wrap-up of my trip:

Stop #1: Walgreens
1 – Tylenol Precise Pain Relieving Heat Patches 3 pk. - $7.99
2 – Right Guard Body Wash – BOGO Free ($4.49 each)
4 – Easter Pencils - $0.25 each
1 – Arizona Green Tea can – on sale for $0.49

Coupons used:
BOGO Free Right Guard Products
$5 off Tylenol Precise product (www.precisepainrelief.com)
$3 off Tylenol Precise product (Walgreens May Savings booklet)
$1 Register Rewards

TOTAL COST (w/ tax) = $1.30

Stop #2: Value City Furniture
(Ok…so I had a coupon for a free stuffed animal (Kare Bear) from VC Furniture. I wasn’t going to go, but I thought I’d just pop in and check the place out anyway since I was right there. I’m kind of glad I did. Although I don’t have much use for the Kare Bear, I can donate it. It was a $7.99 bear, so it was worth it.)

TOTAL COST = Completely FREE

Stop #3: Meijer
I went in to check out the prices at Meijer, because I had a lot of MFT’s coupons that matched up with the Meijer Beauty coupons from their website. (Go here for some great savings:  http://meijer.shoplocal.com/meijer/default.aspx?action=entryflash&storeref=70)
Needless to say, it wasn’t a very worthwhile trip. Since the coupons are good until June, I might wait this one out a few weeks. I did however find L’Oreal eye shadow for $4.79 – and with two $2 off coupons, it was a good buy!

So I bought: 1 – L’Oreal eye shadow (@$4.79)
Used: $2 off one L’Oreal eye product (Meijer Beauty book)
$2 off one L’Oreal eye products (MFT coupon)

TOTAL COST (w/ tax): $0.96

TOTAL MONEY SPENT (out of pocket): $2.26

This experiment is turning into an awesome thing for me…you see I have this shopping problem, where I have to go to the store at least once a week. I usually hit up Target and spend $20-$40 on different things I find there, whether I need them or not. I’ve spent less than $20 this whole week – and I’ve gotten about 4x the stuff I could have in a Target trip. I’m starting to realize how much money I am actually wasting. So, I have been satisfying my need to shop (and I actually haven’t even wanted to go to the mall!) while saving lots of money. I hope to keep getting better at it, and eventually working my way into using food coupons (yikes!). It’s a scary thought!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Here are some things that I’ve gotten for FREE either by mail or in-store over the past few weeks!

1-    Aveda Hand Relief travel size lotion ($7 value)
1-    Full-size hand sanitizer from CVS ($3.99 value)
1-    CoverGirl NatureLuxe foundation – full size ($11 value)
2-    Reach dental floss ($2 value)
1-    Sample of Dream Angels “Forever” perfume
2-    Lever 2000 cleansing wipes

1-    Beyaz pill holder (free with new prescription)
1-    True Blue shea butter hand lotion ($5 value)
1-   Sample size Secret deodorant
1-   Taster’s Choice instant coffee samples
3-   Tampax tampons
4-   Always pads and liners

Some of these things I will use, but the others will be added to my collection of freebies that will be going to my aunt at the end of the year! I love that I can help out without spending money!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My pictures from the Heidelberg

Another great deal...just in time for Mother's Day!

If you are looking for a cheap but great Mother's Day gift - check this one out!

80% Off at Restaurant.com

You can save 80% with the  new Restaurant.com coupon code to get a $25 certificate for only $3. Just use coupon code: MOM at checkout.  Deal is good through 5/8/11.
I wasn't sure if this would actually work, so I tried it! Make sure you look up the restaurants in your area that accept the gift card. There were a couple of my favorites on there, so I bought one! You can't go wring with $25 worth of food for $3!
Let me know if you go for this deal!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Deals of the Week

I know it’s only Monday, but I want people to be able to get this deal if they can! I am hoping to post deals of the week every Sunday or Monday to come. Since I don’t buy many groceries, I will focus my deals on things I use the most. Here are this week’s best deals:


Ivory Soap – on sale for $1
Use $1 off Ivory product (found in 5/1 insert) and get it for FREE!

Colgate toothpaste - $2.77
Buy one, get $2.77 ExtraCare bucks – like getting it for FREE!
Can also use $.75 off 1 Colgate product coupon, then you make money.

Scotch Tape – coupon in ad for $.39 tape (originally $1.29)

Noxema Disposable razors - $3.99
Get $3 Register Rewards (money off next purchase) which makes them $.99
Use $2 off Noxema razors coupon (5/1 insert), you MAKE $1.00.
(You can only do this once per transaction – so go back another day if you have more coupons!)

Have you found any good deals for the week?