Saturday, August 23, 2008

Free Stuff at the Body Shop

As you have probably figured out, my daughter and I love free stuff from the mall. If its free smelly stuff like soaps, bubbles, and candles, it's even better. So you can imagine how excited we got when we received a coupon for $10 off any item at the Body Shop. You get it when you sign up for their mailing list. It expires 9/15.

The store has all sorts of fun stuff that is natural. We were able to pick up a wonderful cocoa butter body butter (I'll try anything to make those stretch marks go away.), Coconut Body Scrub, and a Pink Grapefruit Body Butter (Makes me hungry). Each item was $10 so we did not have to even pay tax. It was all free. They had lots of other items in the $10 price range. It's definitely worth the trip. It's a great way to stock up on stocking stuffers, teacher's gifts, and baby shower gifts for moms to be.

Publix for 8/21 - 8/27

This week wasn't a big shopping week. Because of Tropical Storm Fay hanging around, we hung out at the house most of the week except for doctor appointments. The rain finally let up for awhile yesterday so I snuck out to Publix. With this being the last day of the Kraft - JCPenny promotion, I needed to finish up my purchasing. I needed 5 products and $16 to reach the 3 card limit. So that was my main goal. Plus, with baby working on making an appearance soon, I needed some items for my boyfriend to cook when I was recuperating.

I didn't really do a lot of coupon research. I might go back after I put more coupons together later in the sale. I used 2 copies of the free Kraft products from the All You Magazine.

Here are some of the highlights of the shopping trip:

Free Products from All You:
2 Kraft Dressings (for JCP Promo)
2 Kraft Singles (for JCP Promo)
2 Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs (for JCP Promo)
2 Nabisco Wheat Thins
2 Crystal Light

Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs - BOGO -$3.99
- 2 All You Freebies
= 4 free packages (2 count towards the three products for the All You Promotion)

Juicy Juice 64 oz - BOGO -$3.49 (This is in Central Florida.)
- 2 $1 printable coupons
= 2 bottles for $1.49 or .75 each

Ritz Crackers BOGO - $3.69 (Counts towards the three products for the All You Promotion)
= 2 Crackers for $3.69 or $1.85 each

Seapack Seafood - 6 various types - BOGO - $7.29
- 3 $1 printable coupons + 3 $1 peelies found on boxes
= 6 boxes for $15.87 or about $5.29 a box

I used the Ritz Crackers, extra hot dogs, and Kool-Aid packets to qualify for the All You coupons.

I also bought $15 worth of produce for $9.00 using 3 $2 off $5 (and here) of produce from Food Lion.

I tried to use the $5 off $20 from Walgreens but the cashier wouldn't allow it. My other store would have, but I was already at this store, so I let it go. This coupon expires 8/23 so use it quick. There is also a $2 off $10 from CVS. It's good till 9/28. It's on page 30.

The Publix Brand Challenge is about this week. The dogs out there will be very happy. When you purchase the brand, you will receive Publix brand for free.

The products are:
Purina Bacon Flavor Beggin Strips
Milk Bone Medium Dog Biscuits
Pedigree Choice Cuts 22oz can

I also found several new Publix coupon booklets that I had never seen before:
Heinz Toss For Cash (Has $12 in store coupons) (Has $20 in store coupons)
Be Prepared (Has $11 in manufacturers coupons)
Smart Summertime Savings (Has $75 in store and manufacturers coupons)

So hopefully this will help you find some deals at Publix. I ended up saving $93.45 and used 21 coupons. I was able to fulfill the JCP requirements. Remember, it needs to be received by 9/5 so get it in the mail soon.

Monday Coupon Challenge Winners

I am sorry to have kept you in suspense for so long waiting for me to announce the winner of the last Monday Coupon Challenge. Life has been a little crazy with the storm that won't go away and a baby that won't come. I have decided to award all of the entries with the prize of 100 grocery coupons.

Frugality in the Making has some great posts about shopping scenarios for Stop and Shop and CVS. She saved $88.20 and increased her stockpile. Way to go!!!

My Precious Pennies blogs about how she completed her errands of $95.48 for only $10.15 Out of pocket. Great savings! Check it out to she how she did it.

Kimberly left a post in the comments on how she received all sort of free stuff using coupons at Wal-Mart. A girl after my own heart! I love getting groceries for free with the use of coupons.

Congratulations! All of you have 100 grocery coupons coming your way. Please email me at with contact information so I may send these coupons on their way.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fay, Fay Go Away

Tropical Storm Fay has decided she likes Central Florida. It has been raining for 3 days and she doesn't seem to want to go away. Our neighbors to the South have had terrible floods. They have received over 30 inches of rain. We have been getting heavy rains for about 24 hours now, but our town has not flooded yet. They are predicting rain to fall till next week sometime.

Our power flickers off and on. We lost it for about two hours last night at bedtime. So the kids and I crashed in my bed with candles and quiet time. Luckily, the 2 year old was tired and went right to sleep. Thank God for small miracles. We woke up this morning to more rain but the power was on. Yeah!!! We are rushing around trying to get things done just in case we lose power again. Hot shower here I come!!!

Our little miracle has decided to not grace us yet. We are still patiently waiting! Maybe like us, she is waiting for the rain to stop too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Hi everybody!!! I haven't forgotten about ya. Life has been extremely hectic this week. I don't know where to begin. My princess started school on Monday. We have been racing around trying to get her ready. She loved her first day. Because of the weather, she is now stuck at home for Tuesday and Wednesday.

To add to the craziness, we live in Central Florida. If you have been watching the news, you have probably heard we are getting a tropical storm/hurricane today and tomorrow. It hasn't hit us yet but its about 100 miles away. So its coming!!! I hope all of my Florida friends are safe and enjoying their unexpected day off.

As if I needed more excitement, I went to the doctor yesterday. She says baby is on the way. I am in the first stages of labor. This will make her about 5 weeks early. She doesn't think this is a problem since she is about 6 pounds from what she can tell. I am a small person so a big baby is a very scary thought. To make things more interesting, drops in pressure that come with hurricanes, bring babies. I thought this was an old wise tale, but the doctor confirmed it. So I might have this baby by the time the storm is finished. Will it be a hurricane baby? Only time will tell. We can't wait. We are very ready to hold and love her. If you have had any experience with hurricane babies, post a comment and let me know. I would love to hear your stories.

My plans are to get caught up with the blog today into tonight assuming the electric will cooperate. I will be announcing the Monday Coupon Challenge and last week's winner later today. I will also be posting the "Planning for the Holidays" segment and the "Pay it Forward" plans for this week. I also had a great Sunday of mall shopping and a profitable trip to Publix, so I am excited to tell you all about that. Of course, as soon as I have the baby, I will let you know too. If you haven't subscribed yet, go for it. That way you won't miss a thing.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Trip to CVS Today

Well, I have been putting off going to CVS this week, because I am just unsure of what we really need. I hate buying stuff we really don't need, even if it is on sale. So I think I am finally ready.

I need to get some candy to donate to the cheerleaders. They use it to make spirit sticks to throw into the stands and gift bags for the football players. We also need more diapers. We always need diapers. So I will take advantage of the $25 baby deals too.

Here's what it looks like:
Transaction #1: Candy for the Cheerleaders
2 bags of candy for $10 (It can't be chocolate or I would be buying the Hershey's Bliss.)
- $2 off $10 coupon (This coupon is on page 30)
-$5 ECB's
= $3 oop

Transaction #2: Baby Stuff
3 packs of Huggies $8.99 x2 = $26.97
- $2 off $10 coupon (see link above)
- $2.00 x 3 = $6.00 (From different baby magazines and mailers)
- $10 ECB's
= $8.97 oop + $5 ECB's + $3 in Caregiver Rebates = .97 total cash
This is a higher oop than I want but I am still getting 3 packs of diapers for close to the price of one.I think I am going to make one package an infant size for the new little one. Her due date is getting close.

Can you make these deals any better? Leave me a comment and let me know. Don't forget to join the Monday Coupon Challenge to win a potluck of 100 grocery coupons.

Win 100 Coupons! Deadline is Today

Could you use an assortment of 100 grocery coupons? If you haven't entered the Monday Coupon Challenge yet, don't delay. The deadline is tonight at midnight. Enter your link or post your deals in the comment box. Let us know what you came up with this week. Any store and products will work.

Good Luck,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Run to Right At Home is offering a new Ziplock Gift Pack to the first 10,000 visitors who register. Existing members may sign up again. If you aren't familiar with this program yet, check it out. It's a great promotion by SC Johnson. They will send you an e-newsletter, coupons, and best of all, samples of their new products.

This gift pack comes with these items:

  • free Ziploc® samples
  • $3 off Glade® Scented Oil Candles
  • $2 off two Glade® Jar Candles
  • $1 off Pledge®
  • $1 off Ziploc® Bags/Containers

Hurry over there and sign up. Good Luck!!!

Penny Power at Office Max

Office Max is continuing their Back to School sales this week with more penny items. This week, you need to show a coupon to get 2 of their penny items.

Sharpie Mini Permanent Markers and Mini Highlighters are .01 each, with the coupon. The limit is 3 per customer. The coupon expires 8/21/08.

Check out these specials:
2 pocket folders - .01 - Limit 10
Wooden Rulers - .01 - Limit 3
Office Max Filler Paper - .15 - Limit 4
1" and 1.5" Poly Binders - .30 - Limit 10

They have lots of other buy one get one for a penny specials. Check them out here. This sale ends 8/16/08. Bring extra family members with you if you want expand the customer limit. It's a great way to teach small children a lessen in money.

Have you filled your back to school list? Consider using these items to Pay It Forward.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Deals in My Favorite Stores

I love to go to the mall and go shopping. I grew up as a mall brat and my daughter is definitely a mall brat now. Our favorite thing to do is go to the mall and cash in on the deals and free stuff. We usually find all types of great finds to excite us.

Fiddledeedee's Blog gave me the idea to write this. Sarah has a post every Tuesday that discusses a favorite thing. Well, I got thinking about it and I couldn't come up with one store that was my favorite. So, I put together this list of a few of my favorite stores with ways to save money this week. Let me know what you think.

Bath and Body Works has a great coupon circulating for a free pair of the "sweetest, softest, socks on Earth" when you make a $15 purchase. The coupon expires September 2, 2008. I have been wanting a pair of these for my upcoming hospital visit, when our newest princess makes her debut. There is also a printable coupon for a free 2oz Signature Body Lotion with any purchase. I usually pair this up with another small purchase like a gift bag or travel size item. This coupon expires August 27, 2008. They also have a new scent, Black Amethyst. Has anyone tried it, yet?

Wet Seal has a coupon in the September issue of Seventeen on page 18. They are giving away a free ribbed tank top to the first 10,000 people. When we did this with the coupon from the August issue, we did not have any problems getting a tank top.

Victoria Secret is giving away the new scent, Secret Garden Berry Kiss with any $15 beauty purchase. This coupon expires August 24, 2008. Cosmo Girl has a coupon inside for a free Pink Makeup Bag with any Pink purchase. This coupon expires August 31, 2008. Each store is also giving away free limited edition Pink totes with any Pink purchase.

Yankee Candle is giving away a free room spray when you purchase a 22oz Housewarmer Jar Candles. This coupon expires August 24, 2008. It can also be used online. They have a haunting Halloween collection available.

Build a Bear is getting into the back to school spirit. This weekend, August 16th and 17th, they are giving away a free messenger bag with any $15 purchase. They are also giving away free stuff till September 1. No purchase is necessary. Rumor has it, the items are things like bear hair ribbons and bows and cardboard wardrobes for animal clothes.

These specials are a great way to get a start with holiday shopping. Many of these items could make great stocking stuffers or gift bag items. Check out this Sunday's Feature, Planning for the Holidays, when we will talk working towards a stress free holiday.

Does your blog have any mall deals? What have you found while back to school shopping? Leave a link or a comment and let us all know about it.

Free Flower Bouquets

Do you know someone who would like a free bouquet of flowers? How about decorating your table or night stand with something pretty? This is a perfect way to Pay It Forward.

FTD Florists are giving away free bouquets of flowers on September 3, 2008 to celebrate Good Neighbor Day. All you have to do is walk into a participating florist and ask for the bouquet.

"FTD florists have celebrated FTD® Good Neighbor Day® since 1994, encouraging all neighbors to help create a friendlier, more caring and compassionate world through the gift of flowers. That's why customers are encouraged to keep one flower for themselves and give the others away — brightening the day of many other people."

Check out the list of participating florists. There is a limited amount of places that are participating. I am going to call our local florist the day of the event to check to see if they are participating even though they aren't on the list. Who knows, maybe they will still give me a bouquets.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Free McDonalds Chicken Sandwiches Again!!

McDonalds is doing it again. They are offering a free Southern Style Chicken Biscuit or a Southern Style Chicken Sandwich when you purchase a medium or large drink. On Friday, August 15, you can visit McDonald's new interative website, to download an e-coupon. The coupon will be valid August 15-September 1, 2008. is getting into the Olympic Spirit. Visitors can download their picture in an Olympic video.

I love this sandwich. I hope we can print multiple coupons.

Our Lucky Yard Sale Day

Last Sunday, while driving home from shopping at Publix and Wal-Mart, I saw this tiny 4 family yard sale sign. At the last minute, I made the boyfriend turn the car around and drive by. It was late almost 4pm, so I wasn't even sure if they would still be out. I figured it couldn't hurt to just drive by.

We have been shopping yard sales since we moved and found out I was pregnant. We really needed a crib and a dresser for the new little one. I was planning on going to Target with the next paycheck to buy it. Yes, I know not very frugal, but I was frustrated from looking all over and not finding anything, plus the little one is due in less then 6 weeks.

So much to our fabulous luck, they were still set up. They had this bed frame taken apart and leaning against the house. I made him turn around again. He is very patient with me. We got out and looked at it. It was a 3 in 1 crib. The exact kind I was going to buy next weekend. They wanted $45 but it was the end of the day so they took $30. It needs some bolts and a good cleaning. I called the manufacturer and they are sending me a new hardware kit for free.

Next, I really decided to push my luck. As we pulled into our neighborhood, we saw another garage sale sign. So for kicks we decided to drive by. They had an antique dresser that matched my bedroom set perfectly. They only wanted $25. They also had a couch that looked brand new. That was $10. Can you believe it, a couch for $10? They were nice enough to help us move it since neither piece would fit in our small car.

All I can say is God provides when you least expect it. It all started with a chance drive-by. We had searched entire days looking for a crib and dresser and never came up with anything. Sunday was just our lucky day.

What have you found while yard sale shopping? Leave a comment and let us know. We would love to hear from you.

Pay It Forward Tuesday

It's Pay It Forward Tuesday time again. This is when we come together to challenge each other to do something nice for someone else. It's a way to give a little back to our world each week. With the hopes that we will make someone else's life a little sweeter.

How did you do last week? Did you donate food or school supplies? If you did, fantastic. If you didn't, its never to late to get started.

These week's challenge was inspired by an Internet friend. Kristy, if you are reading this, this is for you. One day last week, I was having a particularly bad day. Now you must understand, I am very pregnant, 34 weeks to be exact. We are in the home stretch. I was tired. I had been at the doctors all day. I had just found out that I would have to be on antibiotics for the rest of the pregnancy to fight an infection that won't go away until I am not pregnant anymore. I was pretty much feeling sorry for myself.

I decided to waddle, at this point that's all I do is waddle, myself out to the mailbox to get the mail. I found a mysterious package waiting for me. Since I always order lots of free samples, it is not too unusual to find a package in the mail. The intriguing part was that this mysterious envelope was from a coupon buddy and it was much bigger than a coupon envelope should be. I quickly waddled back to the house to open this surprise. My friend had sent me three beautiful baby outfits for the new little one. All I could do was sit there and smile. It turned my day completely around. I forgot about the yucky day I had. Insteadmy thoughts turned to how lucky I was to be pregnant and almost finished. Kristy's sweet gesture and thoughts meant more than she could realize.

Isn't this what Pay It Forward is all about? Doing something small to make someone else's day brighter? What can you do to make someone's day a little happier? Bring coffee or a danish to a co-worker who isn't expecting it. Take your mom's shopping list off her frig and go shopping for her. Leave a bouquet of flowers at your neighbor's door. Leave a pretty pen on your child's teacher's desk to find after everyone has gone home. Bake some cookies and leave them in the break room for everyone to find while they are relaxing. Put a small note in your husband's lunch bag or car seat letting him know how much you love him. Take your kids to the park for some playtime.

The possibilities are endless. Your goal is to make someone smile with an unexpected gesture. That can't be too hard. Right?

Leave a comment letting me know what you did and how it turned out. If you prefer to blog about it, post your link so we can visit ya!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Win a 100 Coupons!!!

Welcome to Monday's Coupon Challenge. How many coupons can you use and how much can you save in one shopping trip?

This should be an easy week. There are a lot of great coupons circulating for free products and items that become almost free when you match them with a good sale.

The Rules: There aren't too many.

  • Use any store you want on any products you want.
  • Post your scenario on your blog and add your link to the bottom of this blog. If you don't have a blog, leave your scenario in the comments section below.
  • Be sure to include where you found your coupon in your scenario. If you printed the coupon, please include a link so all the readers can use it.
  • I need to know your total dollar amount of the sale, total number of coupons used, and percentage you saved.
  • You can enter multiple stores.

The Prize: Let's make this fun!!! I will mail a potluck of 100 current grocery coupons to the reader who uses the most coupons and saves the most for this challenge. If you have a wishlist posted somewhere, I will try to choose coupons from it. The deadline for this challenge is Saturday 8-16-2008 at midnight. I will announce the winner Sunday.

Here's a few coupon tips that I use:

On BOGO sales - You should be able to use 2 coupons. In many instances, this could make the product free.

Store Coupons - You should be able to stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons. Notice I said, you should be able to stack. Sometimes stores have different policies, even if they are the same chain.

Competitor Coupons - Check with your store to see if they will accept competitor coupons. Our Publix has a big banner hanging in their entrance stating they will accept manufacturer coupons for non-pharmacy items. Target and Food Lion are a couple competitors that print some valuable coupons occassionally. I am going to try Walgreens and CVS coupons this week to see if they will accept them. Has anyone had any luck with these?

Printable Coupons - When printing coupons on the computer, print the first coupon, hit your back button a few times and you should be able to print multiples. The limit is usually two but sometimes it's higher. As always, if you use the link on this site, you will be supporting this blog. Thanks!!!

Trial sizes - I love using coupons on travel sizes. Many times I end up getting the product for free. Wal-Mart and Target have a great selection of travel sizes. They are great for traveling, purses, diaper bags, gym bags, and sending with kids on their overnights. I also stock the kids bathroom with travel sizes so if they accidently spill the bottle, they won't spill a full size amount. Plus travel sizes are nice in those emergency situations when you can't get to the store to buy more immediately.

Stores get paid for accepting the coupons you turn in. Sometimes they forget this and need to be gently reminded. They are not giving you the discount, the manufacturer is. They are simply the middle man. The manufacturer reimburses the store.

Know your store's coupon policy. Check out your store's policy on their website. If it's not posted, call the customer service. They should be able to answer your questions.

So what can you do with your coupons this week? We want to hear from you!!!

This Week At Publix 8-10

As I mentioned in the previous Wal-Mart blog, my goal was to find out how much I could get with as many coupons as possible and as little cash as possible.

I have been working on getting the receipts for the Publix-JCPenney Gift Card promotion so my next stop after Wal-Mart was to head over to Publix. I had my latest copy of All You in hand. This is the issue that has the coupons for the 5 free Kraft products with the purchase of any 3 Kraft, Nabisco, or Oscar Mayer items.

This is what I did:
Total Bill: $45.55
Total Coupon Savings: $33.41
Total Advertised Specials: $7.78
Total Cash out of Pocket:$4.36
Total # of Coupons: 11
Total Savings %:.90

My goal was to pick up the 12 products I need to earn 3 JCPenney gift cards, but I didn't want to spend any cash. So this is what I came up with:

4 Boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches - BOGO $3.89
- 2 free box coupons from the latest coupon mail in = Free
(Qualifies as a Post Cereal for the Promo)

I bought the following products using the coupons from the All You Magazine. I needed to buy 3 products for each coupon.

2 Oscar Mayer Beef Hot Dogs - $3.99 x 2 (Qualifies for Promo)
2 Kraft Dressings - $3.19 x 2 (Qualifies for Promo)
1 Kraft American Singles - $3.19 (Qualifies for Promo)
1 Nabisco Wheat Thins - $3.29
1 Crystal Light - $3.99

I bought 24 packets of Kool-Aid and used 2 tearpad coupons to get 4 free.

I now have 9 products towards my 12 product goal. The only drawback to not spending the cash, is I still need to spend the $150 towards my grocery goal for the promotion. By not having to spend cash on the Kraft products, I can take that money and put it towards other items we need like produce, meat, and dairy.

Have you heard about our Monday Coupon Challenge? You win 100 grocery coupons for telling us about your best shopping scenario using the most coupons you can this week. Feel free to use these deals if you want. Do you want to find more Publix deals, check out my friends over at Fiddledeedee! She has a great list over there. The deadline for this challenge is Saturday, August 16 so don't wait. Link up today.

Wal-Mart This Week 8-10-2008

Yesterday, I took a trip to Wal-Mart. This is something I usually avoid on a Sunday, but I had some time to kill so I decided to challenge myself. I wanted to see how many coupons I could use and spend as little cash as possible. My coupons were starting to stack up so I need to use some up.

My Totals:
Total Bill: $45.15
Total Savings: $38.95
Total Cash out of Pocket: $6.20
# of coupons: 27
Total Savings %: .86

Here's what I did:
3 Huggies Baby Wipes (Travel Size) .98 = $2.94
- 3 $1 coupons from inserts = +.06 overage

1 Playtex Cleansing Cloths (Travel Size) $1.97
- $1 coupon from inserts = .97

10 Huggies Clean Team Wipes $1.64 = $16.40
- 5 $3 off 2 coupons from inserts = $1.40

1 Pond's Clean Wipes (Travel Size) .97
- 1 $1.50 off coupon from inserts = +.53 overage

2 Kotex Pantyliners $1.00 =$2.00
- 2 $1.00 off coupons from All You = Free

1 Adidas Deodorant $2.96
- 1 free coupon from All You (Issue 5) or insert = Free

5 Meow Mix wet cans .48 = $2.40
- 5 free coupons from inserts = Free

2 Bic Pens .88 = $1.76
- 1 $1.00 off 2 coupon from
Use link on side of blog = .76

1 Cascade Rinse = $2.47
- 1 free coupon from P&G Home Mailer = Free

7 Powerade 32 oz bottles .60 = $4.20
- 3 $1 off 2 coupons plus 1 $1 off 1 = +.20 overage
Coupons are from inserts.

1 Uncle Ben's Rice $1.62
- 1 free coupon received in mail = Free

1 Harvest Selections Microwavable Dinner $1.94
- 1 $1 coupon from inserts = .94

I found a couple of other deals that I did not take advantage of:

V8 Fusion $2.98 - $1 insert coupon = $1.98
Cascade 20 ct Action Pacs $3.50 - $1coupon from P&G Home Mailing = $2.50
100 Calorie Snacks $1.66 - .60 coupon from or various inserts = $1.06
Electrosol Pacs $3.67 - $2.25 insert coupon = $1.42

Check out the Monday's Coupon Challenge to see how you can win 100 coupons for posting your scenarios. What did you find this week? Leave a link and let us know.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Welcome to our new Sunday feature - Planning for the Holidays. This is where we come together every Sunday to plan for the future holidays. Holidays should be fun for everyone including Mom. If you are anything like me, I get all stressed out trying to make it perfect and forget to enjoy them. So this year, I have set up a series of challenges to make holiday planning easier on the budget and our schedule. Each Sunday, I will bring you a challenge that can easily be accomplished in a small amount of time, but will save a lot of stress later.


11 weeks till Halloween

15 weeks till Thanksgiving

19 weeks till Christmas

This week's challenge: Organize your shopping food list.

I came up with this week's challenge while I was looking for the spices to make Baked Oatmeal this morning. As I was looking at my spice cabinet, I was noticing that my pumpkin pie spices were looking low. I hate buying spices because they are always expensive and I don't use them that often. On the other hand, you can't make pumpkin pie without cinnamon and nutmeg. My family would shoot me.

Think about all of your family's traditional foods and favorites that you make between Fall and New Years. Dig out your recipes for your favorite cookies, pies, dinner dishes, and desserts. Find all of the recipes that you make every year.

Next, get a small notebook. Something that will fit in your handbag. You will want to bring this with you every time you shop. You will add to this every week till New Years.

This week you are going to start a food list in your notebook. Make a list of foods that you will need for holiday cooking. You can add to this list as you find new recipes. For now, stick with the all time favorites. Check your spices. Did you know that if you have a McCormick spice (except black pepper) in a tin, it's over 15 years old? Old spices loose their flavor. Are you running low on the popular items like vanilla, cinnamon, and all-spice? Add them to your list. Will you need extra sugar, brown sugar, condensed milk, flour, corn meal, marshmallows, or chocolate chips? Add them to the list. How about canned items like green beans, french fried onions, red beets, or pickles? Our goal is to come up with a list of nonperishable items to put in our pantries till it comes time to cook holiday meals.

When you go grocery shopping, try to pick up a few items on your list each week. Remember to look for sale items and coupon deals. By starting this early, we don't need to buy it unless its a good deal. If you are using the free food Kraft coupons in this month's All You issue, marshmallows are .88 at Wal-Mart and qualify as a particpating Kraft product. Boxes of Jell-O also qualify. If you are working on the Publix-JCPenney Gift Card promotion, consider picking up extra jars of mayo and salad dressings to put aside. displays lots of yummy holiday recipes that use their products.

Our ulitmate goal is to have our pantries fully stocked when the holiday comes around. Instead of having to spend $200 on Thanksgiving dinner the week before, we should be able to buy a few perishable items and be finished with no stress.

Just a quick note for Halloween: CVS has a deal on bags of candy this week. Spend $10 and get $5 in ECB's back. If you will need candy for parties or trick or treating, this might be a good time to pick some up. If your home is like mine, you might want to hide it so it's still around at Halloween.

Leave me a post or a comment and let me know how you did on your challenge. Did you find any good deals?

Do you like Oatmeal?

Do you and your family like oatmeal? I have found a baked oatmeal recipe at the moneysavingmom blog that takes 5 minutes to mix and everyone will love it.

I am 8 months pregnant and the cravings for strange things have definitely kicked in. Today it was oatmeal cookies. I made this recipe and it satisfied the craving. The great thing was I had everything on hand. It didn't take an additional trip to the grocery store.

I added raisins but you can add any type of fruit. I can't wait to try pumpkin puree during the fall when pumpkins are in season. Diabetics can substitute a sugar substitute for the sugar.

Oatmeal is good for you. Science claims that it will lower cholesterol, fight cancer, and control sharp sugar rises in diabetics. Plus its a good source of iron and protein, which us pregnant mommies need lots of.

When you try it, leave me a comment and let me know what you think of it. Did you change it or add something new? I am always looking for new ideas.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Another Publix - Kraft Promotion

Publix and Kraft have teamed up to give you $30 in JCPenney gift cards. This is very similar to the Exxon promotion we just finished. I think this one is easier to do. There are some great free product coupons in the August 29, 2008 issue that you can use with this promo. Check out "Free Food In the Latest Issue of All You" to find the latest free food coupons in the magazine. It is definitely worth the $1.97.

To receive a $10 JCPenney gift card, you need to buy $50 in groceries and 4 different Kraft products from the list. You can earn up to 3 cards. The promotion expires 8/22/08. You can download a copy of the rebate form from the website.

Use these coupons, get the products for free, and qualify for the gift cards:
12 oz Kraft Singles
16 oz Kraft Dressing
Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs

You will still need to buy one more Kraft item to qualify for the gift cards. Don't forget, you can buy Kool-Aid to qualify for the free items with coupons.

You will still have to spend $50 on groceries, but using these coupons will get you the Kraft products you need to qualify.

Here's some more coupon match-ups for the qualifying products:
Honey Just Bunches of Oats - $2 coupon and here.
Digiorno Pizza - $1 coupon
Jell-O Pudding Snacks - $1 off coupon in the Publix "Smart Summertime Savings" booklet.
Lunchables Fun Packs - .75 off 2 coupon in the Publix "Smart Summertime Savings" booklet.
Post Cereals - Free boxes of cereal coupons when you mail in any 5 cereal coupons.
Polly-O String Cheese - $1 off coupon in the Publix "Smart Summertime Savings" booklet.

Check out the FiddleDeeDeeblog on Publix sales and coupon match-ups for more items.

What shopping scenarios did you come up with? Leave a comment letting us all know what you did.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Free Food With the Latest Issue of All You

Have you read "All You"? This magazine has become one of my favorite reads each month. I have only seen it on sale at Wal-Mart. It's full of helpful mom tips about everything. The August 29, 2008 issue has 38 coupons that total $35.35 in savings. You can receive two free issues by registering fror it at

Kraft has done it again. On page 159 of All You, there is 5 coupons for free Kraft products when you buy any 3 Kraft, Nabisco, or Oscar Mayer products. The coupons expire 9/30/2008.

The free products are:

  • Nabisco Wheat Thins,
  • 16 oz Kraft Dressing,
  • Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs,
  • Crystal Light,
  • 12 oz package or Kraft Singles.

The cheapest product to buy is Kool-Aid packets. Since each packet makes a pitcher of Kool-Aid, it is not a single serve product. They are less then .20 each, so for less then .60 each, you can get each one of these listed products for free. That's a great deal.

If your family doesn't use one of these free products, consider buying it anyway, and donating it to your local food bank. They can use it. Check out the previous post on the latest Pay It Forward Grocery Challenge.

Before you run to Wal-Mart to use your coupons, stay tuned for my next blog to find out how you can use these coupons to get $30 in JCPenney gift cards.

Auction for Gift Cards

It seems like companies are coming up with ways to make their products more appealing by offering extra bonuses. Hershey's Chocolate, Ponds Face Cream,, Pampers Rewards, and are just a few products that offer perks for buying their products.

Have you heard of the Stouffer's Dinner Club Auction? You collect points from the single serve meals and register them on their website. You use those points to bid on gift cards from different companies like American Express, Wal-Mart, Target, BP, and Amazon.

When you sign up and complete the profile, you will receive 210 points. You get 20 points for each dinner you register.

I think I am going to use this to feed the boyfriend at work and start earning holiday spending money at the same time. Now all we need are the coupons to make the dinners cheaper.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pay It Forward Grocery Challenge

How did you spend your $5 for the Charity Grocery Challenge? In my previous blog, I explained that one of this week's Pay It Forward Challenges was to try and spend $5 on as many groceries as possible and donate them to a local food bank.

I used some of the Wal-Mart Deals to make the most of my $5.

Here's what I did:

2 boxes of Live Active Cereal - $2.98 each - 2 $3 coupons = Free
2 boxes of Kashi Cereal - $1.98 each - 2 $2 coupons = Free
7 cans of Muri Glen Diced Tomatoes - $1.22 - 7 $1 coupons = $1.54
2 jars of Bertolli Premium Sauce - $1.78 - 2 $1 coupons = $1.56
3 boxes of GV spaghetti - .65 = 1.95

Total Out of Pocket Cash: $5.05

If you need a place to donate the food, you can always call a local church and ask them where to take it. They usually have a list of where to send church goers that are in need.

So what did you find? Let us know!!!

Pay It Foward for Students

The new Pay It Forward Challenge is for the disadvantaged students. How many school supplies can you get for $1, $2, or $5 and donate to your local elementary school?

Here's what I came up with, while shopping with my daughter:
20 2 pocket folders - Free with instant rebate
12 1 subject notebook in 6 packs - .30 x 2 = .60

Office Depot
10 Tug Pencil Sharpeners - .1 x 10 =.10
10 Office Depot Slider Pencil Boxes - .1 x 10 = .10
10 12" Wood Rulers - .1 x 10 = .10
10 16 pack Scholastic Crayons - .5 x 10 = .50
2 10 pack Papermate Pens - .25 x 2 =.50

Elmer's 2 pack glue sticks - .22 x 5 = 1.10

For $3.00, I will be donating 10 packages of school supplies to the local elementary school. What have you found? Post your deals and scenerios in the comments and inspire other shoppers to do the same.

Pay It Forward Tuesdays

Welcome to Pay It Forward Tuesdays. Every Tuesday, I will post a challenge for you to complete during the week. This will be our way of giving back, helping others, and just being nice. Whatever you call it, I hope it will inspire you to do something nice for someone. We all live in this crazy world together. If everybody tried to make it easier for just one person, imagine what a difference it would make.

Money is tight for everyone, so I will try to make these challenges as frugal as possible. This way everyone can participate no matter what their money situation is.

I have two challenges to get us started this week. The first is courtesy of Every week they have a grocery challenge. This week they are challenging everyone to see how much they can get for $5 and donate the food to your local foodbank. Stop back to see how I spent my $5.

Our second challenge is for the kids. With all the kids getting ready to go back to school, the need for supplies is strong. There are some kids that will start without anything new. Here's are chance to help them. Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart have back to school supplies cheap. How much can you get for $1, $2, or even $5? Take the supplies to your local elementary school and they will find someone to use them. Get your kids involved in shopping. They will feel great knowing they helped a fellow student.

After you complete your challenge, return back here and let us know what you did. Maybe your idea will inspire someone else to Pay It Forward.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

All About Me

Welcome to Finding Freebies in the Sand! I am a SAHM with an eight year old daughter, a two year old son, and a little miracle due on September 22. We live in Central Florida, the land of sunshine days, fun beaches, and more places to shop than any one person could ever hope to visit.

I am all about saving money. These are times when money is tight and creative budgets are a necessity. I believe in living frugally if it doesn't cost me extra time. With two busy kids, who has extra time. Taking the time to shop creatively is always worth the extra time.

Coupons, rebates, freebies, and sales make my budget work. I hope to bring you all of my finds to help you tweak your budget to fit your family and lifestyle.