Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | April 20, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be 0 inserts this week

It’s a holiday weekend which means that there will be no inserts this week.

Enjoy the week off from clipping and Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | April 13, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be 3 inserts this week: a SmartSource insert and 2 Redplum inserts.

Don’t understand the terms or abbreviations that I use? Be sure to read my Coupon Lingo post!

Coupons of Note

:: SmartSource Coupons

some good coupons for cleaning products and first aid items, but otherwise, pretty boring!

:: RedPlum Coupons

Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Clothes Free: coupons for free items are always nice!

Claritin coupons: we are seeing some good sales on this now that we are in allergy season again

Kraft Mac & Cheese cups $0.50/2: these go on sale as low as $1. If your store doubles coupons, that makes them just $0.50 each!

Vidal Sasoon Shampoo or conditioner Product $2: we are still seeing plenty of sales on this – you should be able to use this coupon to pick it up for under $4

So how many copies of the paper would I buy?

If I were building a stockpile: 3 – 4

Now that I am in stockpile-maintenance mode: 2 -3

It’s a unimpressive week

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | April 6, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be 2 inserts this week: a SmartSource and a Redplum insert.

Don’t understand the terms or abbreviations that I use? Be sure to read my Coupon Lingo post!

Coupons of Note

:: SmartSource Coupons

Claritin coupons:  now that we are heading in to “allergy season”, we are seeing plenty of deals on this

Hormel Compleats Breakfast Product $1: goes on sale for $2 or less

Irish Spring gear Body Wash $1.50: the “Gear” line is still new so we are seeing a bunch of sales on this

Tom’s of Maine coupons: they don’t put out coupons that often. If you use these products, grab the coupons while you can!

:: RedPlum Coupons

Allegra & Nasacort coupons: these are kind of strange. You can save $5 on each when you buy them separately, or $12 when you buy them both at the same time, but the cashier needs to scan 3 coupons for the 2 products….which pretty much goes against everything in the way that coupons are supposed to be used and the way store registers are programmed. Expect plenty of beeping registers!

So how many copies of the paper would I buy?

If I were building a stockpile: 2 – 3

Now that I am in stockpile-maintenance mode: 2

It’s another boring week

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

What Is On Sale In April

What's On Sale The Month of April

April may bring spring showers, but it’s also a month for some great deals. If you are ready to get out of the house and get your spring on, now is the time to do it. Consider some of the great April deals presented below and finalize your shopping list accordingly. Here is what is on sale in April!

:: Drugstore and Grocery Deals in April

Produce that is in season: artichoke, asparagus, beans, beets, berries, broccoli, cabbage, chicory, chives, horseradish, leeks, lettuce, limes, morel mushrooms, oranges, rhubarb, Rocket arugula, shallots, strawberries, sweet onions, watercress

Mother’s Day Sales: Chocolate, jewelry, beauty products, perfumes, essential oils, flowers, plants

Earth Awareness, Autism Awareness, and Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Green cleaning products, eco-containers, self-defense tools, prophylactics, sensory items

Easter: baskets, Easter baskets (pre-made), eggs, egg dyes, flowers, food coloring, gardening tools, ham, jewelry, makeup, perfumes, seeds, soil

Gardening: seeds, soil, rakes, shovels, gloves, fencing, cages, trowels, outdoor deco, lights

Spring Cleaning: floor polisher, window cleaner, mops, brooms, vacuums, carpet cleaners, cleaning chemicals, dusters, light bulbs, any kind of green cleaner

:: Other April Sales

Extreme Winter Clearance: The winter items that didn’t sell in March may still be hanging around. Looks for incredible deals on all winter items: hats, gloves, coats, scarves, shovels, and snow blowers.

Electronics: Since most electronics come from Japan, and March is the end of their fiscal year, look for some great closeout sales on all electronics. At the same time, keep your eyes open for deals on new items in the way of new electronics for this fiscal year.

Houses: After basically being on hold through the winter, homeowners are eager to sell. Now is a great time to start making offers on houses, especially since property taxes are announced and homeowners are reminded that they are paying taxes on property they no longer want.

Kitchen Accessories: Since people are doing spring cleaning as well as preparing students for graduation, look for sales on items that are used in the kitchen: pots, pans, dishes, utensils, cookware and appliances

Vacation Packages: People tend to stay home and focus on cleaning up from a long winter in April. Vacation packages often go on sale because this is a slow time for them. Consider a cruise or other vacation package during this time.

Used Items: As people do their spring cleaning, they get rid of a lot of things. This means you should be looking for listing on websites, in newspapers, and perhaps even some yard sales.

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | March 30, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be xx this week:

Don’t understand the terms or abbreviations that I use? Be sure to read my Coupon Lingo post!

Coupons of Note

:: SmartSource Coupons

it’s mostly coupons for cleaning and allergy products. Not many food or beverage coupons!

:: Proctor & Gamble Coupons

the standard coupons – nothing exciting

So how many copies of the paper would I buy?

If I were building a stockpile: 2

Now that I am in stockpile-maintenance mode: 1

It’s one of those weeks where I am glad that I am ou of town and don’t have to worry about picking up extra copies of the paper!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

How to Deal With A Financial Blow

How to Deal With a Financial Blow 2

When financial stress hits, it can be all-consuming. It can cause great anxiety that makes you feel edgy, anxious and doomed. No one likes to deal with this unfortunate time in their financial life. Whether your money woes are over job loss, illness (even the illness of a pet) or another big unexpected change, there are ways you can cope with this trying time.

How to deal with a financial Blow

First, know that financial woes are usually not forever as long as you come up with a plan to conquer them. While it may seem like nothing can be done and you will stay in despair forever, this is not true. A positive attitude that this is a temporary battle you have to fight will really help you overcome a lot of hurdles. Know that even though you may not feel like it, you have a lot of power and it starts with your attitude.

Immediately start making short term fixes that make sense in your life to make sure the essentials are covered. Cut extras like cable, internet and cell phone (as long as you are not on a contract). You can always get them back when you get back on your feet.

Look for ways to “trim the fat” from your spending on things like groceries. If you have never used coupons before, now is a great time to start. Any little bit you can save will help you at this point. Find ways to re-use things so you don’t have to spend money on them as frequently. Stop using wasteful items like paper towels. Instead opt for rags.

Take things one day at a time. One way to let your money anxieties get the best of you is to worry about tomorrow, next week, next month and next year all at once. Instead, focus on today and what you can do right now.

Look for resources in your community to help you. There is no shame in asking for help. A trip to the local food banks can help ease the blow on your grocery budget. You may be able to find some clothing closets in your area that help with children’s clothing for free if you are worried about not being able to afford it right now. If you feel bad for asking, ease your mind with a promise to yourself that you will donate time or money when you are back on your feet to the organizations that helped you and know that you are the kind of people these organizations are there to help.

Find a way to make a plan. Often times, when a person is stressed by finances, it is because they throw their hands up and say, “Now, What?!” Coming up with a plan to solve your stress can help. Little things like a list of ways to get through the small hurdles can help and a plan to work on the big ones can really help you focus again.

Ask about your options. Don’t automatically assume you have none. Your mortgage lender or other lenders you owe may be able to give you a “payment holiday” for a short period of time. It doesn’t happen often, but it doesn’t hurt to try!

Treat yourself. This may seem like a strange time to treat yourself, but you can do something as simple as reading a book under a tree, take a nice walk with a friend or even go play with shelter dogs for an afternoon. It is important to take a mental break from the stress in order to get through this period.

Finally, once you are over this hurdle, pledge to have an emergency fund in place to help you through any future setbacks.  Having an emergency fund will give you an incredible peace of  mind – I promise you!

What are some of your best tips for dealing with a financial blow?

5 Tips To Spring Clean Your Kitchen Pantry!

Tips To Spring Clean Your Kitchen Pantry

Spring is officially here and with that comes the daunting task some face of Spring Cleaning. While the basics of wiping down baseboards, changing out batteries and cleaning windows may already be on your list, many people don’t think about the need to clean your kitchen pantry.

For many of us the kitchen pantry is both a place of comfort and a place of fear. Boxes and canisters shoved to the back recesses and forgotten often bring about fear in even the strongest of homemakers. This list should help you tackle this dreaded task with ease in no time.

5 Tips To Spring Clean Your Kitchen Pantry!

  • Arrange by Expiration Date: Although we all know this is the best method of storing our foods, many of us don’t follow the standard since we are often exhausted and hungry after a grocery trip and simply trying to put things away as quickly as possible. When cleaning out your pantry make sure to arrange like items with the earliest expiration date in front and the oldest in back. If something is near end date make sure to bump it to the top of your weekly meal plan so it does not go to waste.
  • Use Air-tight Containers for Opened Packages: Whether it is pasta, cereal or baking ingredients it is for your own safety that we recommend investing in quality air tight containers for storage. Not only do stale foods go to waste, but open packages lead to ants, roaches, mice and other unwanted critters roaming around in your pantry. Make sure to seal all open packages properly before storing in the pantry.
  • Throw away any open spices more than a year old: While some may balk at this directive and consider it a waste of money, it has been proven that flavors change significantly with time once air hits them. Only purchase spices in bulk if you know you will be able to either use them in a timely manner or be able to separate and store in proper air tight vacuum sealed containers. For those spices you only use a few times a year I recommend buying in small quantities at stores that carry in bulk or only getting a small jar at the grocery store rather than larger jars. This rule applies only to OPENED jars or packages. Unopened may be stored until expiration/suggested date on packaging.
  • Make a Master List: As long as you are going to be cleaning out the pantry you might as well make a master list of what you have on hand. This will help you not only know what needs to be used before it expires but also what items you may need to watch for good sales on to stock up again. The same can be done in your deep freezer. Whether you type the list up later for easy reading or leave as a handwritten note, place this note in an easy to find place to be adapted as you remove and add to your pantry (the inside of the cabinet or closet door is a great place for this list). This is a great tool to have when you are doing your monthly or weekly menu planning.
  • Place commonly used items on lower shelves and rarely used items on top shelves: If your pantry is tall, utilize the higher shelves for those overstock items or items you rarely use. Keep your often used items on the lower shelves for easy access. That way you won’t be grabbing the step ladder every day when you need a jar of pickles, box of cereal or the container of dry quick oats for making cookies.

Kitchen pantries can be one of the most daunting tasks to arrange and clean simply because of the many different sizes of products they house. When storing canned goods use the cardboard flats they come in at the store for easy stacking of bulk quantities or invest in one of the many can racks available online to help prevent them from falling over and to keep expiration dates in order.

These 5 Tips To Spring Clean Your Kitchen Pantry are simply a start to go by when working on getting your house in order this year. Implementing only a few simple things can cut back on clutter, waste and frustration in your kitchen.

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | March 23, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be 2 inserts this week: a SmartSource and a Redplum insert

Don’t understand the terms or abbreviations that I use? Be sure to read my Coupon Lingo post!

Coupons of Note

:: SmartSource Coupons

$3/1 Afrin Nasal Spray: a nice high-value coupon. Makes it just $2.9 at CVS next week!

$2/1 Infusium Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave in Treatment, excludes 1.7oz: goes on sale for $4 or less all the time, making it just $2 after coupon

:: RedPlum Coupons

Dove hair & body care coupons: these are all some pretty good coupons

$3/2 Tide Simply Clean & Fresh 40 oz, 50 oz, or 60 oz: this is a new version of Tide and is on sale pretty much everywhere now!

$2/1 Tresemme shampoo or conditioner ETS and travel: goes on sale for $4 or less all the time, making it just $2 after coupon

So how many copies of the paper would I buy?

If I were building a stockpile: 3 – 4

Now that I am in stockpile-maintenance mode: 2- 3

It’s a boring week, unless you want to stock up on Dove products (which I might). The Dove coupons alone make buying extra copies of the paper worth the cost.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | March 16, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be 2 inserts this week: a SmartSource and a Redplum insert.

Don’t understand the terms or abbreviations that I use? Be sure to read my Coupon Lingo post!

Coupons of Note

:: SmartSource Coupons

Brut $1/1 classic fragrance or antiperspirant/deodorant: goes on sale for $1.99 or less, making it under $1 after coupon

Crystal Light $.50/1 powdered tea drink mix: a sure sign of Spring – Crystal Light coupons are back!

Mucinex $5/1 allergy product: Use this coupon combined with the available $2.50 rebate to get it FREE at CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens this week!

Van de Kamp’s $1/1 product: I’m not a big fan of frozen fish, but even *I* know that they haven’t put out a lot of coupons lately!

Windex B1G1 free touch-up cleaner up to $3.99: Use this coupon to get 4 for $0.75 each at CVS this week (after ECBs)

:: RedPlum Coupons

Purex $1.50/1 no sort liquid detergent: this is going to be a great coupon – I am already aware of several deals next week that you can use with this coupon. Look for a post later today about all the great deals!

So how many copies of the paper would I buy?

If I were building a stockpile: 4 – 6

Now that I am in stockpile-maintenance mode: 4 – 6

I am loving the Purex coupon and there are enough other good coupons to justify picking up more than a few extra copies!

 

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

Sunday Coupon Insert Preview | March 9, 2014

As a reminder, the value of the coupons that you find in your newspaper may vary from the value in the provided link! In addition, all of the stores in my area double coupons up to $.99 (so a $.75 coupon has a value of $1.50). If the stores in your area don’t double or your paper is more expensive, you may not find the coupons as valuable as I do!

Check out Sunday Coupon Preview for the complete listing of coupons. There should be 2 inserts this week:  a SmartSource and a Redplum

Don’t understand the terms or abbreviations that I use? Be sure to read my Coupon Lingo post!

Coupons of Note

:: SmartSource Coupons

Claritin coupons:  we should be seeing more deals on this as we enter “allergy season”

Hansen’s $.50/1 12oz natural cane sugar or diet soda multipack: they don’t put coupons out very often. If you like/use this soda, grab this coupon while you can

Speed Stick $1/1 mens or lady 2.3oz+: use this coupon to get it for $1 or less at most stores

:: RedPlum Coupons

Suave coupons: haven’t seen any for these for a while

So how many copies of the paper would I buy?

If I were building a stockpile: 2

Now that I am in stockpile-maintenance mode: 1

It’s a boring week

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the 2014 Coupon Insert Schedule

Stockpiling is a Waste of Money and a Sign of Greed?

Why Stockpiling is Not a Waste of  Money or Being Greedy

I saw this comment on one of my friends Google+ posts the other day (make sure to add me to your Google circles!):

Stock piling is just a waste of money and a sign of greed. best way to live simply is to buy when needed and not before

I have to say, I can’t disagree with this statement more, but I can see why someone unfamiliar with responsible couponing would think that.  The media is full of “Extreme Couponing” images of people with stockpiles of 500 bottles of laundry detergent, overflowing shelves of toothpaste, etc. But that isn’t really “stockpiling” – that is hoarding!

Saying that stockpiling is just a waste of money is just ridiculous. And saying “best way to live simply is to buy when needed and not before” is simply financially irresponsible!

What is stockpiling?

Stockpiling is stocking up on those items that you will need and use when they are at their lowest possible price. This could be with or without coupons.

Responsible stockpiling is only buying enough of those items to get you through until the next time you will be able to get it at the lowest possible price. Groceries, personal care items and household items typically have “sales cycles” of 6-12 weeks….meaning that they will be at their lowest price every 6-12 weeks. In addition, certain products are cheaper certain months of the year due to national promotions such as “Frozen Food Month”, January sales on diet foods, etc.

For instance, before I started doing the bulk of my shopping at Wegmans (where boneless skinless chicken breasts are ALWAYS $1.99/lb) and Aldi, I would buy up to 20 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts whenever they were on sale at $1.99/lb at my local grocery store. I would bring them home and separate the chicken in to 1 – 1.5 lb portions, place each in a freezer bag and throw them in the freezer. This would give me 12-14 meals where I only paid $1.99/lb for the main protein in our meals.

Let’s say that I agreed with this woman and thought that I should buy what I need when I need it?

That means one week, I spend $1.99/lb for chicken for our meals for the week. For the next 10 weeks, I would be at the mercy of the grocery store prices, paying anywhere from $1.99/lb to $5.79/lb (the “regular price” for chicken breasts at many of the local stores).  I would only be really saving money on meat a few weeks a year.  Shopping that way may keep my freezer less full, but my wallet will certainly be less full as well!

The same goes for cereal, pastas, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.  I can “live simply” and only buy what I need when I need it, or I can use coupons at the grocery and drug stores and always keep a 6-week supply of the things that we use and save a ton of money!

The ONLY way that I can see this woman’s point is if I were stockpiling things that my family does NOT want or need…simply because it gives me a thrill to get great deals.  Fortunately, that is not how I shop/stockpile and certainly not what I teach on this site.

So what do you think?  Do you agree that stockpiling is sign of greed or a waste of money?

What is On Sale in March

march-calendar

March Deals

Are you getting ready for spring? As we look forward to warmer days and the flowers starting to peek through in the garden, don’t forget that that there are a ton of great deals to be found in March at the stores!

:: Grocery & Drug Store Deals in March

In-season produce: artichoke, asparagus, avocado, beets, berries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, grapefruit, grapes, lemon, lime, mushrooms, onions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries

Easter sales: ham, candy, eggs and egg dyeing kits, Easter decorations, baskets

National Frozen Food Month: frozen meals/entrees, frozen vegetables, ice cream, frozen pasta, desserts, juice concentrate and just about anything in the freezer aisles.

St. Patrick’s Day: corned beef, cabbage

March Madness: chips, dips, soda, snack crackers, frozen appetizers, “take & bake” pizzas and stromboli as well as deals on pizza delivery

Spring Cleaning: window cleaner, furniture polish, toilet, tub & tile cleaner, floor cleaners and deals on carpet cleaning rentals

:: Other March Sales

Winter clearance: snow shovels, winter coats, gloves & hats, winter sporting (skis, sleds, etc)

TV’s & digital cameras: stores are still trying to clear out old models on the heels of the Consumer Electronics show in January. Look for the best deals right before the start of the March Madness basketball tournament. March is one of the slowest months of the year for camera sales, so look for sales trying to inspire you to buy!

Luggage: as it is the time between holiday and summer travel, not many people are thinking about buying luggage…making this a time that we usually see some nice deals. Look for the best deals on patterned and “novelty color” luggage (you won’t find many deals on your basic black or navy luggage)

Spa Treatments: Nearly a thousand spas, yoga studios and fitness centers participate in Wellness Week every March. As a result, these businesses offer a number of half-off deals and $50 specials.