Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Little Bit About the Qponz.

I've only posted a couple of times about the couponing that I do. But I've got a couple of friends who are trying to get started, so I thought I'd share my trips this week.
I think I said this before, but it took me several months to get a feel for what I was doing, to become familiar with coupon wording and policies and feel like the time I was investing was going to be worth it.
One of the biggest things for me was that I stopped clipping all those inserts! When I first started I bought a binder, clipped everything and filed them all in baseball card sleeves. But when Jonathan was born, I fell weeks behind in clipping and then had a light-bulb moment so this is what I do.
A crate with hanging file folders.
I simply write the date on the insert and file them by month, newest in front, oldest in back. There are SO many blogs and websites that do all the matchups for you. So for example when I'm planning my trip and iheartpublix tells me the yogurt coupon is in Jan 2nds SmartSource, I pull that insert and clip that coupon. This has saved me tons of time. Do I occasionally miss a deal i hadn't planned for because I see something in the store and don't have all my coupons with me? Maybe. But if it's that good, I'll make a note of it and pull my coupons later to go back. And that very rarely happens anyway.

So, on to the savings.My first stop was at Publix:
Gorton's Butterfly Shimp
Gorton's Fish Fillets
(2) Marie Callender Meals
(2 boxes) Jimmy Dean Delight Specialty Breakfast Biscuits
(4 cans) Chunky Campbells Soup
A1 Sauce
Kraft BBQ Sauce
(2) Nabisco Fig Newtons
(2 bags) Totinos Pizza Rolls
1 Bag of Baby Potatoes
5lb Sugar
1 Dozen Eggs

If I had of walked into Publix on any random day and bought these items it would have cost me $68 plus tax. I have to say that seems a bit ridiculous looking at what I bought, but that's Publix regular retail price. But because I paired their weekly sale with coupons I paid $19.12 plus tax for everything in this picture. And I discovered the cashier missed a .50 coupon after the fact, so my total should have been $18.62
Now, the majority of this stuff is not stuff we would typically buy. For example: Those Jimmy Dean specialty biscuits are $5.87 for a box of four.
Way too rich for my blood.

But sale plus coupon, I paid 44 cents. That's 11 cents a biscuit! And the Marie Calender meals are $2.69, but sale plus coupon and I paid 35 cents each.
So for me, that's one of the really fun things about couponing. You get to try and become familiar with all sorts of different products for literally pennies!
And one other thing to note: for this particular trip I used all printable coupons. So sometimes you don't even need that Sunday paper.

Now on to Kroger. I looked ahead at their ad, and saw that I was going to want to stock up on an item or two. So I ordered extra coupons. I don't do this a lot, but in this case it makes more sense to pay a clipping service 80 cents for 10 of the same coupon than to buy 10 papers which would cost $15! I was planning to stock up on Hunts tomato sauce which is 16cents a can with coupon this week. As luck would have it my Kroger was already out, so I'll have to make a trip back there when their truck comes in. So pretend there are 24 cans of Hunts tomato sauce in this picture which will add $3.84 to my total.
So here's what I got:

(2) 24 pack Deer Park Water
(2) Sister Schubert Yeast Rolls
(6) Hunts Stewed Tomatoes
(2) Del Monte Veggies
(4) Hormel Chili
(4) Rotel
(4) Philadelphia Cream Cheese
(2) Kraft Cheese Singles
1 Box Kellogg's Cinnabon Cereal
(4) Balance Energy Bars

My total was $64 before sale and coupons. Again this seems crazy to me but I'm going by Kroger's regular retail prices. They have a Mega sale going on right now, so if you mix and match qualifying items in increments of 10, you automatically get $5 off. I had 30 items, so $15 came right off the top before I even gave my coupons. My total expense was $16.17
So..both trips were $132 worth and I paid $35.29. And you thought store brands were cheaper.. :)

I planned both of these trips by using the match ups on:
The links to the printable coupons and info on what coupons to clip that I used are right there on their websites. I also use quite frequently too. I will usually check out her Publix and Kroger posts just to make sure I know of all the available coupons. Occasionally one might be listed at one site and not the other.

It does take a bit of time to plan your trip but these days I spend a lot of time on the couch sustaining the life of my youngest (also known as nursing).
So while I'm doing that I read those blogs along with a lot of others.
I've even typed up this post while feeding him! Maybe more than you wanted to know, but my point being I have to utilize my time as best I can!

I haven't even hit the drug stores this week, which is where I get personal care and health and beauty items for pretty much just tax. If you're interested in seeing that, leave me a comment and I'll do a similar post at the end of the week.
You'll also notice there wasn't anything like milk, bread, or meat. For this week I didn't need those things. I have them on hand. Typically for those type of staple items I end up paying regular price. So some weeks are better than others.
I do have a couple of other posts here on the blog about couponing. If you want to read those you can click on the label at the very bottom of this post that says "Couponing" and it will bring up those posts.
Questions? Just ask. I'm all about helping anybody save money.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January Blizzard

8"-10" of snow?? Almost unheard of for us. This kind of fun? I'll take any day of the week!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Favorites of 2010

What follows are some of my favorite pictures from 2010. I did this last year, and I said then, like I'm going to say now. With the quantity of pics I take, it is SO hard to just pick one a month. So for some months I did pick more than one, as hard as I tried to just narrow it down I couldn't!
So here goes:


It goes without saying that this was the biggest surprise of our lives. January 10th 2010 will go down as one of my most memorable days. I remember pretty much every second of it. I had been praying about whether or not to try for a third child. There was a bit of risk and we weren't sure what to do. Having had to have fertility meds to get pregnant with both the girls, this was just simply an answer to prayer. If you're so inclined you can read more about that day HERE.

I also have to include this one for January. Natalie wrote her name all by herself for the first time at 3 yrs 3 months old.

I had a bit of a mini shoot with the girls right before Valentine's Day trying to get some good pictures to give John. This one I love. Abby in a headlock and all. :)
We had several bouts of snow in March. That's just the way it happens in Alabama. Love this one of the girls and gotta include our "leaf" man.

This is also a favorite of mine from John's birthday celebration. John HATES being in pictures, so it's a bonus when he embraces it. :)

Another one of the dear hubby, entertaining the girls one spring day.


So here's the story behind this one. I had signed the kids up for free bowling. Several of the bowling alleys offered free bowling every day of the summer! Couldn't beat that! And our G-paw loves to bowl, so we took him with us. This was in May and it was the only trip we made the entire year!

June was busy for us. G-Paw retired, we went on a last minute trip to Gulf Shores and Abigail turned two. Lots of picture taking this month. But here are two from Abby's birthday.
The girl watches her mama:)

I have quite a few from July but this one stands out to me.
Another month with lots of pictures since this is the month we welcomed Jonathan into our lives. The kids didn't get to see him until he came home from the hospital since he had to be in NICU. This was their first time holding him.

Pa-Pa with his two youngest grandkids.

Our first family photo.

My cousin has 3 kids of her own all right about the same age as mine. We tried more than once to get some group pictures for the great grandparents. Lets just say it was an adventure. :)

Another one of those months with an abundance of photos. In fact I still have some from our white Christmas to share here. But anyway.. this one takes the cake from Christmas morning.

Something to note after doing this post and looking back at last years. I need to take more photos of the Grands and the extended family. I get lots and lots of pictures of the kids, but when they are grown and older I would imagine they'd like to have more pictures of their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. So as 2011 begins, add that to my list of things to accomplish this year!