Saturday, January 30, 2010

Excellent deals

The purchases above were made at Walgreens today. The Pert Plus was on sale for 2/$5 plus a $2 Register Reward to be used on a future purchase. I also had a coupon for $1 off so it was like getting them for $1 each. The Sure was on sale for 2/$5 also. Then there was a Walgreens coupon bringing it down to 2/$3 and I had two coupons totaling $2.50 so I got both of those for $0.50.

My total before coupons was $13.98 and after coupons I spent $4.90. Plus the $2 Register Rewards I got all that for $2.90!!

CVS wasn't quite as good, but still not bad. I had a BOGO coupon for the Always (buy the larger one, get the smaller for free) and the Safeguard soap was on clearance and I had a coupon. My total before coupons was $14.80 then I saved $3.89 on the Always and $2.64 on the soap. I ended up spending $8.27 and the soap was only $0.64!

It looks like Walgreens has some great deals coming up this week. I follow the blog Common Sense With Money and it is so helpful in planning shopping trips. In my opinion to make it work, you need to know prices and you need to be willing to use brands on certain things that you might not normally. For instance, we've never used the Pert, Sure or Safeguard that I bought today...but we're willing to try for the price!

Since I started doing this (January 14th) I have saved $169.30 (shopping at Walgreens, CVS and Shaw's) by matching sales fliers to coupons. Awesome.

(You may notice (as I just did) that my math doesn't add up perfectly. That's a lovely thing called sales tax - 5% here in Maine).

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's been a year!

A year ago today we put in the offer on our house. It was accepted two days later (the 27th) and we closed a month after that (February 27th). I can't believe it's been a whole year already, it feels like yesterday! I remember how long it took until the house actually felt like ours. I think that had to do with the fact we didn't change anything (paint, flooring etc). It was perfect and still us. Every week for this entire year we have commented on how much we love our house!

This weekend we really blew some of the money I've been saving grocery shopping. Saturday we bought blinds for the study and one bedroom upstairs (although we found them at Big Lots and they were more than 50% cheaper than Lowes). We also bought a table for the laundry room and a dvd tower. But we did have a 20% off coupon for everything!!

Sunday we went to brunch with Pat's parents at this wonderful breakfast buffet at The Red Fox and it was wonderful! Then we went shopping at the outlets in North Conway because we were both in need of some new clothes. We both hate clothes shopping so much, but sometimes it's necessary.

There is ONE thing I didn't mind shopping for though. A new purse! Coach opened an outlet this summer there and we hadn't been in. Probably a good thing since I found this beauty I needed!

0124002130.jpg picture by jaimebeth9

It had been years since I had a new purse and it was high time. I love it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Awesome savings!

Last night at Walgreens my total was $73.00 before I handed over my coupons. After the coupons my total was $39.20, plus $5 in register rewards and a $15 rebate. Net total of $19.20, or a savings of $53.80! That is insane and it is all stuff we'll use (toothpaste, dishwasher detergent, cereal etc).

I did just find out that the rebate on the facial cleanser is not valid in Maine (what the heck?), so I'll be returning those items.

Then we went grocery shopping at Shaw's and had a ton of savings as well. Our pre-sale total was $131.22 (which WAS a normal shopping trip for us). After the sales and coupons the total was down to $83.28. That's a savings of $47.94!

I am really, really, really getting in to all this shopping and saving. We even used a coupon at dinner last night!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Customized Chocolates

Although I'm excited about the prospect of making chocolates for people, there is something holding me back. I think mostly I'm scared that just because I think they're great, nobody else will. I'm afraid of the failure, or the less than stellar reviews.

I still haven't thought of a catchy, fun, cute name for the business. I know that seems minor, but I feel hung up on it. I want a cute name and a cute logo. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Here are a few pictures of the cake balls for reminders. I started out making them like the little cupcakes below (which are super cute), but lately I've just been dipping them and drizzling on them, which I think looks great. I don't have any pictures uploaded of the newer ones (these were from last summer).

I think I need a jump start. I need a name and I need to set pricing. I intend to sell customized cake balls, chocolate covered oreos and possibly homemade mini peanut butter cups. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Grocery Shopping

As a fairly budget/money conscious person I have been frustrated at the amount of money we waste spend on food each month. I get especially mad when it seems like we never have any food in the house.

As I do when any problems face me, I turn to the brilliant people of the web. Do you know how much money people are saving (and blogging about) at the grocery stores just by clipping coupons and shopping sales? It's insane.

So I took our last two Sunday papers that were still sitting around and clipped all the coupons. Then I matched it up with the sales fliers. Last night, Pat and I tackled the store.

I realized a few things. First, I need a system to organize the coupons. Second, it's best to do this type of shopping when the store is empty (we were there around 8:30). Third, we have been wasting SO MUCH MONEY!!!

Last night we shopped smart. We did not buy one thing that wasn't on sale. In addition, I had coupons for a lot of those items. Score!

We walked out of there spending $62.90. We SAVED $51.39 between sales and coupons. Awesome.

In addition, we shop at Shaw's which gives us a gas reward of $0.10 of per gallon on our next fill up and we use our Discover card for the 5% cash back.

So, being the anal accountant that I am, I set up a spreadsheet to track all this saving I plan to do this year. I can't wait to see what I'm able to do once I set my mind to it!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Endeavor

For quite some time now I've been kicking around the idea of selling the chocolates that I love to make so much. After some pushing encouragement from my coworkers, family and friends I've decided to give it a try.

Starting for Valentine's Day I will be willing to ship my homemade customized cake balls, chocolate covered oreos and peanut butter cups. That's provided that I get any orders, of course.

Over the next week I am going to work on getting pricing put together and thinking of a cute name (any suggestions?) as well as packaging and shipping methods.

While I am starting for Valentine's Day, I intend to have my chocolates available year round. I will be testing the proper shipping methods out in the warmer months where melting chocolate could be problematic.

If anyone is interested in learning more about them now, please feel free to leave a comment here and I'll be sure to get back to you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Decorations

We had a wonderful holiday season in our new home, complete with three different parties. It was a ton of fun, but I'm also glad all the entertaining is over! Here are some pictures of some of my decorations.

Houses on top of the TV. Also our new decoration for on the wall also.

On the stove, complete with cookies baking inside.

I took some extra boughs from our tree and put them in some beaded garland.

Kitchen wall:

Snowflakes on our slider:

Our tree that we cut down at the tree farm:

I hope you all had wonderful holidays.

One of my resolutions for 2010 is to blog once a week so hopefully you'll be seeing more of me!