Sunday, June 28, 2009

Great New Find- saves money too!

I love it when I find a great new product that ACTUALLY does what it says. Thus I am happy to tell you about the Snapp Capp.

It is plastic reuseable cap that fits on aluminum cans. How it works is you snap it onto an OPENED can and then you can put it back in the fridge to keep it cool and maintain the freshness, leave it out, or my favorite thing- I can take my can of coke outside and with the cap on it, I don't have to worry about a bee or fly getting into it! When you are done, you simply grasp the empty can and grip the cap firmly and snap it off. They say that you can squeeze the can and the cap will pop off, but I have yet to get it to work. I will also say that it is a little hard to get off if you are a weakling like me or if you have arthritus- my mom was unable to get one off a can.

Here's a link to their website and a "how to" video. It really did work. I opened a can of Coca-Cola and drank some of it and put it in the fridge and finally finished it the next evening, so it stayed as good as if I had just opened it for more then 18 hours! They are well worth the 2.99 I paid for them- I bought 6! You have to hand wash them- the dishwasher will disfigure them! I found them at a local truck stop, so am guessing that they would be found at similar places. I took one with me the other day to a VocalPoint Focus group and it proved to be a life saver- my can got knocked over and everything would have been ruined by the spilled coke, but the Snapp Capp and lid saved the day! These would be great for travelling too!

Snapp Capp Website Link

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dining out- made affordable!

With the economy being in the condition it is, many families have had to cut back on dining out or getting take-out food, but there are some ways that you can save money. Most families already know about many of the "kids eat free" deals in their communities, but when your children reach that cut off age for the free meals or the discount kids menu meals, eating out as a family can become a lot costlier. This blog entry is to share information for those who fit into that description. I have learned a few tricks in the past several years since my kids became teens.

Of course there is where you can buy gift certificates for local restaurants for typically 70-80 % off- right now they have a special- $25 gift certificates for $2 with the following code= special. The deal here is that you buy the gift certificate, you are given a link to print it out from your computer and then you use it towards a minimum purchase during the allowed dining times-some indicate dinner only, some lunch only. So typically most $25 gift certificates require a minimum purchase of $35 and they will generally indicate that a 15-18% gratuity is automatically added to the pre-discount bill.

There is another online source for discount gift certificates for locally owned original restaurants that is generally available in larger cities- for the Louisville area, it is but there are similar sites for many other major cities like Chicago:, Sarasota/Manatee:, and many more. Search your local area, ask local restaurants.

Some cities are offering Dining Club cards where you buy a card for $30 and get to use it at a number of local restaurants for a buy one get one free entree. Right now they are available in Omaha and Lincoln, NE and Long Island, NY, but is coming to Colorado Springs soon

Of course there are the Entertainment Books, and right all of them are available for $15 and free shipping and if you go through Ebates you can earn $6 back right now so it costs you only $9 and it pays for itself with 1 use!

Check out your local radio stations- many of them offer discount gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses. In the Louisville area the link is but there is a universal link where you can look up these deals in your

A couple other tips I can offer: Order take out from Chinese restaurants before their lunch menu cut off time- usually 3PM and order the combination lunch plates. You can refrigerate them and heat them up later for dinner. They usually cost 2-3 dollars less then the dinner combinations. You can follow the same advice for other restaurants, the lunch menu is usually cheaper and you can always refrigerate it and heat it up later.

Sign up for restaurant clubs- Captain D's sends wonderful coupons, Arby's is offering a free item each Wednesday with a purchase, fill out those birthday club offers- they send offers for free meals and desserts.

My last piece of advice is avoid ordering soft drinks, tea, etc., in restaurants because I have learned through experience and through friends and family who are in the restaurant business that this is where they have their largest mark-up. I have noticed that many restaurants are not including prices of drinks on the menus and then you get your check and they have charged you anywhere from $2.50-$3.00 for a soft drink- regardless of whether or not you drank 1 or 10 glasses of it! Add this up for a family of 4 and drinks could cost as much as an entree. Order water or bring in a bottle of coke or those kool aid single powder packs!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

BzzAgent-- L'Oreal Advanced Revitalift Deep Set Wrinkle Repair

I am a member of Bzz Agent, a word of mouth program that is free to anyone wishing to join and they send you products to try and then share your thoughts and experiences with the products with others, post summaries of your Bzz/sharing activities on their site and they share the information with the companies who make the products. It is fun to get to try the products, it is free- there is the occasional campaign invitation that may have a minimal cost associated, but you are free to pick and choose which campaigns you decide to participate in.

For about the last month I have been using the L'Oreal Advanced Revitalift Deep Set Wrinkle Repair creams- comes in a day formula and a night formula. I have some pretty deep set wrinkles- well to me they are, and I really did not want to do a before picture and after picture to show my wrinkled "mug" so unfortunately I have nothing to show you the results with, but.. I can say that I did see some difference- some! I still have the wrinkles, but the ones on my forehead and around my mouth appear to have changed in appearance, not as prominent and don't look as deep set as they once did. It has a nice scent, not to strong, it goes on well and is not greasy, so those are all plusses in my book. The day formula is SPF 15, which is good since they advise always wearing SPF 15 nowadays and I often forget to put it on, so this way I apply my day cream and I am done. The full size bottles have lasted quite some time, I can't see inside them to see how much is left, but I am guessing that after a little over a month, there is maybe 1/2 of a bottle left, but I am not sure. The cost is a little steep, in my book- about $20 for each , but sometimes you can find them onsale and there are often $4 off coupons available in the the Sunday paper and when you look at the multitude of products they sell in high end stores for $100's of dollars for a small bottle, this is a bargain. My advise is if you have some deep set wrinkles, try it, you are only out $40 or less with coupons and that is a lot less then Botox and department store brands of creams.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mission Possible Week of May 18-23

I am a subscriber to another great blog, A Virtuous Woman and she has a weekly activity that bloggers and others can participate in called the Mission Possible. She explains that the idea is to take the resources each of us have available including coupons, rebates, CVS Extra Care Bucks, Register Rewards from Walgreens, and the weekly ad circulars--to get the things our families need and can use, keeping the out-of-pocket costs as low as possible. I have never participated, but decided to do so this week, too bad I did not do last week's- so here goes:

I have to admit that I made several trips to Meijer this week so I could take advantage of the double coupons and great deals, but they only let you double 2 at a time of the same coupon so I always end up making several trips in there when I travel to pick up my daughter from school and drop her off.


Gallon of Milk
1 bottle Hunts Ketchup
2 bottles Kraft BBQ Sauce
Pint Horizon Whole Cream
3# Roll ground Chuck
Pint Deli Cole Slaw
6- containers 8qt Koolaid Mix
3 Cans VanDyCamp Pork and Beans

total 11.21

Meijer- going to combine totals from all visits

10 jars ragu- 4.00
5 bottles Kraft Salad Dressing .40
2 Bottles A-1 Steak Sauce- Free
2- 16 ounce container Country crock margarine- free
4 -16 ounce packages Kraft Cheese Slices-2.40
4 packages Knorr Rice and Sauce- 1.50
4 packages Ortega Taco Mix- .64
2 bags Lay chips- 3.99
10 boxes green Giant Frozen Vegetable 5.00
2 24 Pack Cokes and 1 12 pack- 11.00
3 pounds bananas- .51
2 loaves Aunt Millie's Bread- .98
5 Healthy Choice Frozen Meals 6.50
5 ears fresh corn- 1.00

Total 37.92

I really love saving money and getting the best deals!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Little Money on the Side

I see a lot of mothers asking on message boards about working from home and I hear on the news of horror stories of people being scammed out of thousands of dollars by these "work from home" scams. I will reiterate what everyone should already know- if they want you to pay them so you can make money- DON'T DO IT! If you really have the time to do something from home and want to earn some extra "fun money" then there are a few ways you can do that. I have been earning some extra spending money over the last few years doing online surveys- no not the ones that ask you to complete a thousand steps and accept bogus deals to earn a $100 gift card or an Ipod or such. There are folks who do those and come out ahead and little to no out of pocket- but I am not doing that. I have a select group of survey groups that I provide feedback for and I don't get rich by any means, but have managed to earn enough to buy some Christmas presents and some other things I wanted. I also belong to a couple programs where you earn points and you can exchange the points for giftcards- which are nice as gifts and as a means to go out for that nice dinner without ruining your budget. I am going to summarize them for you and encourage you to sign up if it sounds like something you want to do and have the time. There is never a requirement to do a set number, but seemingly the more you do, the more you get asked to do.

Opinion Outpost: They send surveys regulary and you earn 10 cents per point- so if the survey is worth 50 points, you earn 5.00. Their totals add up quickly and you only need to earn $10 before you cash out. They payout quickly. They do have a referal program so if interested, let me know and I can send you one. They do limit it to one account per household.

Synovate/Global Opinion Polls: When they send surveys, they are usually nice paying ones, $3-5 per. Again this is a referal one, so if interested, let me know. This one is limited to one per household as well, but they often send surveys for other family members if you provide the information when setting up your account.

Pinecone Research: I do love Pinecone and they generally always pay $3 per survey and staright into a Paypal account, but will send a check if you so desire. They usually do a lot of surveys for new product concepts so often you end up getting paid the $3 for the initial survey, sent a full size product to test and keep(great ones at that), and then another $ 3 for a post survey. This is a hard program to get into and it either has to be by referal or find locating one of their well hidden banners that show up on some sites. If you are interested, let me know and when they send me an email asking for referals, I can send them your email.

MySurvey: You earn points and then can exchange them for cash or gift cards when you reach 1000 points. They generally add up quickly as you even earn 25 points if you don't qualify for the survey and if you do qualify, they often are high point surveys. Again, this is a referal one, so send me an email if interested. I've gotten some really nice gift cards from here.

Word of Mouth(WOM) Programs or Focal groups: These are companies who want you to talk about their products so will send you the product to test and keep and talk about with your friends and then they send high value coupons to share. You earn points and often times free products. The points can be exchanged for gift cards.

Vocalpoint- free and they send products and GREAT coupons- often times for a free product and then extra's to share with friends. They also sometimes have in person focal groups in different cities and will email you about it and ask if interested, if so, they set up an initial interview- via phone- then schedule a time for you to show up in person for a focus group- and they pay-cash- on the spot- varies from $60-$150! Can't beat that for an hour's time! Sign up now- it is free!

BzzAgent: BzzAgent is a WOM program where the "agents" are folks like you and me and we discover and check out new products, services, books, etc., and share our honest opinions with others. You are invited to different campaigns and then they send you a product to use and then share with others your opinions along with some high value coupons and then you go back to their site and share your "Bzz activities" how you shared with others. You earn "Mypoints"(I'll tell you about this next) for each Bzz. I've received some fantastic products- Glade Sense and Spray Air Freshener, Pledge Surface Cleaner, recently- L'Oreal Advanced Revitalift Deep Set Wrinkle Repair(no comments from anyone!), Neutrogrena Cosmetics(nice kit-mascara, foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow quad), and so much more. Sign up, it's free- and you can have others in your household sign up too- my daughter qualified for a Clean and Clear Campaign.

MyPoints: Ok this one is a bit different, you sign up using an email you use most often to shop online, etc. You set up your account and indicate how many emails per day you would be interested in receiving. They send you emails for companies that advertise with them and you basically read the email, click on the link at the bottom, which takes you to a new page and your account is credited 5 points. If you shop online ever, you can go through their site to see if the merchant is listed and earn points for each dollar spent as long as you click through the Mypoints site, so let's say I am going to buy something from Target online - I would go to, login, search under Merchants- Target- and if it is one of their merchants it would pop up and tell me the deal- say 4 pts for each dollar spent. I would click on the link, which would take me to their website, as long as I completed my new transaction through that new page, my Mypoints account would be credited 4 points for each dollar I spent. Points add up fast, and the BzzAgent points help that total go higher. What I do it save all my points all year until about the end of October and then I cash them in for Gift Cards- last Christmas I had enough points for $300 in gift cards! If you are interested, I can send you a referral through a link they send me and they usually have special offers where you earn free points to start an account.

Next time I'll tell you all about my "coupon" escapades!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Target Coupon Book Again!

I have no idea to the rhyme or reason behind the Target Coupon booklets that come in the mail, but I love when I receive them! I received another one today and it has some great coupons that can be stacked with others:

Here are a couple of the ones in there:
.75 off Kelloggs Frosted Mini Wheats
$1.00 off Planters NUT-rition
$1.00 off Yoplait Yogurt
$1 off Orville Redenbacher
$1 off Crystal Light

Others ask how they can get the booklet- I wish I knew- what I can tell you is I recently completed one of the register receipt surveys from Target that asked for address, etc., so maybe that was it!


Cascade Complete Liquid: I have a 19 year old dishwasher that has seen better days, but when your husband is the son of a retired appliance repair man, you don't get new appliance often- they get fixed! My dishwasher was not doing a very good job of getting my dishes clean- and naturally I blamed the dishwasher since I was using the same detergent my mom had always used and I had always used- Electrasol tabs! The fact that I got 15 boxes of them free some time last year added to my choice to use them, but I kept hearing about Cascade Complete and decided to try it. I bought the liquid because it was all they had and was cheaper then the tabs anyway. Amazing! My dishes came out sparkling clean. My dishwasher even looked cleaner and smelled incredible when I opened it. I'm never going back to any other detergent and I may even be able to make my dishwasher last another 19 years :) Ha! (I hope I get a new one before then!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Few Great Deals

KRAFT of offering some great printable coupons and allows you to print each of them 2 times. To print them you must go to and register then click on coupons link at the top of their page to get to the coupons page. If you pair those coupons with some of the great Kraft deals going on right now, you can get some "super" bargains. I shop at Meijer and they have their Oscar Mayer hotdogs on sale this week for 1.25. I can pair the $1/2 Kraft coupon with a $1/2 printable coupon available from Meijer's Mealbox and I can get 2 packages of Oscar Mayer hotdogs for .50 cents! You can also pair the $1/1 Triscuit coupon and $1/2 Kraft chunk cheese coupons and pair with the Meijer sale this week where you buy 2 boxes of Triscuit crackers for 2.50 each, buy 3 packs -8 oz.Kraft chunk cheese, you get all for $5.

Take your printable $1/2 Oscar Mayer bologna to Kroger and get 2 packages for .98 cents!

Combine a printable Kraft Miracle Whip $1/1 coupon with a Meijer Meal box $1/1 printable coupon and get Miracle Whip free!

Use your Sunday paper coupon inserts from this past Sunday, May 10, 2009 and the 1.50 off any 1 Kraft dressing and get salad dressing at Meijer or Walmart for .08 cents


I like to use my crockpot to cook because of the simplicity and the fact that I can dump it all in, leave it and hours later, dinner is ready. I found a couple of great FREE downloadable crockpot cookbooks. Of course you have to have Acrobat Reader to open them, but who doesn't!

Crockpot Sampler

Monday, May 11, 2009

Blogs, Coupons, and Savings

I have been "couponing" for a little over 2 years now. I started couponing when I first started the Grocery Game as a trial member. I kept my membership for a little over 6 months, but I quit after I felt I had a grasp on the subject and after I found so many other wonderful FREE sites on the web that pretty much allowed you to do the same thing. I also became interested in Blogs that were available and that is one reason I set this one up, but then I kind of got involved in work and did not have the time to keep up with this blog, since I was also writing another blog and keeping a Wiki on special education resources for parents and teachers. I am going to try and do better. Some of my favorite blogs are:
A blog created by a young mother, but she includes parental insight and also information on some great bargains. A blog created by 2 moms and has wonderful information about freebies, coupons, bargains and GIVEAWAYS! I love the giveaways on their blog because you fill out a form and it keeps your information private so you don't get annoying email spam. They also reiterate the sales for the major stores in their area with coupon match-ups.
Great information on bargains and saving money, coupons, etc.

As you find blogs on couponing and frugal tips, you do start to see that many of them repeat the same information, but what I like to do it subscribe to their feed and that way I can use my reader to see what each blog is offering that is new.