Sunday, May 25, 2008

We love the zoo!

This year we made a smart decision by joining the NC Zoological society with an annual membership. It only cost $59 for our family of 5 for the entire year! The zoo is around a 2 hour drive for us, but we try to go once every 4-6 weeks or so. There are picnic areas, so we bring a lunch and enjoy our paid-for day!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Free/Cheap Magazine Subscriptions

I'd guess that I receive around a dozen or so magazines every month that I have aquired for FREE or very, very CHEAP. Here are the ones I can think of off the top of my head:

KRAFT Food & Family. This magazine is chock full of easy to prepare recipes, coupons, and new product information. I have been receiving it for the past 3 years and have kept EVERY issue, it's that good.

Field & Stream (for DH :)

HOME Magazine

Babytalk Magazine

Parents Magazine

Hallmark Magazine

I also earned a few free subscriptions (SELF, Oprah, Womans Day, Good Housekeeping, Better Home & Gardens) through the My Coke Rewards program.

Lastly, I recently purchased a 1 year subscription to US WEEKLY (my ultimate indulgence) that also included a 3 year subscription to SHAPE as well. US WEEKLY sells for $3.99 an issue at the stores and usually you can find "great deals" such as 52 issues/1 yr for around $39.99. I paid only.....drumroll please....$6.25 on ebay and I have already received my first issue!!

My Monster...err...Boy

Take a good look at that face, because he may not make it until his next birthday LOL. He is such a stinker, but I love him. I think the caption on his shirt says it ALL.



Great mail day today! With all of the freebies I've signed up for, I just love getting the mail each day. Here's what came today:


American Baby Magazine - FREE subscription HERE This issue has a BONUS!! Inside there is a peelie mystery coupon off any Gymboree purchase, you may get 15%, 20%, 30%, or even 50%!! Mine was 20%. Not too shabby, since it is even valid on sale prices.

Samples of On-the Go drink mixes (Country Time lemonade, Koolaid, and Crystal Light) from Wal-Mart. Get yours HERE. Wal-Mart samples are the BEST, they arrive very quickly and often have coupons enclosed, as this one did!

Generous sized sample of Starbucks ground coffee, this is about twice as big as other samples I've received. Click HERE to get yours!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

David Cook ROCKS!!

I just have to say that I am so glad David Cook is the new American Idol!! He was our pick from the start and he is so talented (not to mention quite easy on the eyes LOL). I love how he can take *any* song and make it sound current. He has the perfect style and voice for today. I predict a bright future for him (ala Chris Daughtry and Carrie Underwood). Congrats, David!!!

$5 off $20 purchase at Walgreens - FRI May 23rd ONLY!

I received this coupon in my inbox this morning from Walgreens. Take $5 off a $20 purchase, Friday May 23rd ONLY. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Splenda No Calorie Sweetener Sample!

I use this product and really like it, so HERE's a link to get 2 FREE packets of Spenda No Calorie Sweetener (French Vanilla flavored) for your coffee. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

FREE Playtex Gentle Glide Sample

Not the most glamorous of freebies, but sure is practical! Click HERE for your free sample of Playtex Gentle Glide tampons from Walmart.

Monday, May 19, 2008


My oldest daughter (age 10) came home from school today and informed me that at recess she had found a $20 bill that was blowing around the playground on this very windy day. As my corrupted mind is thinking, "Oh cool, a $20!!!" she tells me that she gave it to her teacher so they could figure out who lost it. That's my girl!

FREE Ice Cream Day May 20th at Dippin' Dots!

Dippin' Dots is celebrating their 2oth anniversary! Stop by your local store (we have these in our local malls around here) on Tuesday, May 20th after 4:00 pm for your FREE cup of your favorite flavor. Get all the details HERE.

My FREE Target Shopping Spree!

I got all this today at Target for FREE (I only paid the $1.12 in tax :)

Here's how:

Cascade Crystal Clear Rinse Aid $3.14 (Used free item coupon from Home Made Simple)

Kashi TLC Dark Chocolate Chip cookies $2.97 (Used free item coupon I recieved in the mail after I emailed them to tell them how great their cookies are LOL!)

3 Johnson's Buddy Bars Soap $0.94 X 3 = $2.82 (Used 3 X $1 manuf. Johnsons coupons)

Budreax's Butt Paste (LOVE this stuff!) trial size $0.97 (Used $1 printable coupon)

2 (1.8 lb. each) Iams Healthy Naturals Cat food $2.50 X 2 = $5 (Used 2 $3 manuf. coupons)

1 lb. Healthful Life Cat Food $1.99 (Used free item manuf. coupon)

2 Meow Mix Market Select cat food cups $0.47 X 2 = $0.94 (Used 2 free item manuf. coupons)

2 Lays Cracker Crisps $2.50 X 2 = $5 (Used 2 $1 manuf. coupons AND 2 $1 Target coupons)

My total was actually in the negative by about $0.22 before tax, so they had to adjust the last coupon down for me LOL. Value of items: $22.83 + tax. Grand total spent today: The $1.12 sales tax!!

Homemade Croutons

Sometimes the simplest of recipes turns out the best! I started making homemade croutons a few months ago and could never go back to store bought again. They are so simple and so yummy! I start with bread that is past date. I cut it into cubes and toss with olive oil and liberal amounts of garlic powder and italian blend seasoning (both seen in the pic, from ALDI, my fave spot to buy staple goods!)
You just can't use too much seasoning IMHO. When you think you have plenty, add a bit more LOL! Spread the cubes onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 20 min. or until nice golden brown.


Cool and store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I received my Yogi Tea Free Samples in the mail today. They sent 3 different kinds: Berry Anti-Oxidant, Meditative Time, and Mexican Sweet Chili. Plus, a coupon to boot! I can't wait to try these!


FREE Product Samples

A few new ones this week:


PULL-UPS Interactive Potty Training Success DVD kit

4 Issues of OK Magazine for taking a short survey

Full Sized bag of Senseo Gourmet Coffee Pods I LOVE my Senseo!!

YoMommy Yogurt 4 pack

I LOVE Wal-Mart FREE Samples!!

The WAL-MART website offers tons of FREE samples you can send for. Click HERE for the current offers. The samples always arrive very quickly and are always fun to receive in the mail! Just yesterday I received a trial sized tube of Aquafresh toothpaste (which my 6 year old has already claimed), a trial sized Dove cucumber & green tea deoderant (which my 10 year old and 8 year old fought over LOL)and a trial sized bottle of Caress Exotic Infusions Body Wash (all mine!). Samples change often so check back in periodically to see what's new!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

FREE Iced Coffee at Dunkin Donuts!

This one is totally FREE! Tomorrow May 15th, just stop by any Dunkin Donuts between 10 a.m and 10 p.m. for your FREE 16 oz. iced coffee! One per person, per visit :)

CHEAP eats at McDonald's tomorrow

Tomorrow May 15th, when you purchase any medium or large drink at McDonald's, you will receive a FREE Southern Style Chicken Biscuit or Southern Style Chicken Sandwich. So not a total freebie, but a cheap lunch nonetheless!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

FREE Cinnabon cinnamon roll for nurses! May 5-11

Thanks to Mom Is Broke for the heads-up on this great freebie! "Calling all Nurses...In appreciation of the extraordinary service you provide on a daily basis, and in partnership with the Daisy Foundation, all participating Cinnabon bakeries are offering one free Cinnabon Classic Roll to each nurse who shows his or her healthcare ID during National Nurses Week, May 5 - 11, 2008."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

POLL: What will you do with YOUR Economic Stimulus Check?

Just curious how everyone plans to spend (or not spend) their Economic Stimulus Check. Ours is slated to arrive on May 9th (YIPPEE!!) and that bad boy couldn't come at a better time.

A few months ago, we started following Dave Ramsey's baby steps ( and are well into our debt snowball (baby step #2). Part of the check will go to pay off the balance on our fence, which we financed last year. After that is paid, the only debt we have left to pay off is our minivan (and of course our mortgage). Our goal is to be debt-free, except for the house, in 24 months.

The balance of the stimulus check will pay for our summer vacaction, although we have no idea where we are going yet. Probably to visit family in either MA (mine) or FL (his) so not a true vacation, but travel nonetheless :)

Coupon for $3 off Post Live Active cereal

Click HERE to get a coupon for $3 off any variety of new Live Active cereal.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Make $25 in 60 seconds!

Have you heard about the new Revolution Money Exchange? It is like PayPal, but even better because there are NO fees. This is an easy, secure, and reliable way to send and receive money online between account holders for FREE.

*FREE to register for an account
*FREE to add money from your bank account
*FREE to send money
*FREE to receive money
*FREE to request money
*FREE to transfer money directly to your bank account

If you sign up this week (it takes about 60 seconds!) you will receive $25 !! Just for signing up. As an eBay seller, I know many people who are using this service and love it. Heck, even if you don't need the service, the FREE $25 is worth it! You can transfer it right into your bank account! Please use the link on the right or click here to sign up today!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Walgreens PAID me to shop today!

Walgreens is having a weekly special on various Proctor & Gamble products. If you buy any 3 featured items, you get $4 in Register Rewards (RR) back, to use on your next purchase. Buy 4 items, get $6, buy 5-8 items, get $10, and the BEST deal: buy 9 or more items, get $20 in RR. You can do this as many times as you wish, limit of one per transaction. Here is my haul for 2 transactions.


The first time, I purchased 9 Crest Pro-Health toothpastes, for $2.50 each. I used a Walgreens coupon found in their May EasySaver Catalog (available in store) which takes $3 off each set of 2 (plus $1.50 off the 9th odd one!) I also had $1.50 in manufacturers coupons, bringing my total to $7.50 plus tax and I got $20 in RR back!!

My second transaction was all of the cleaning stuff. I purchased 2 Swiffer Wet refills, 2 Febreze Air Effects, 2 bags of Cascade gel pacs, 1 pack of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, 1 Mr. Clean liquid cleaner refill, and 1 pack of Mr. Clean disinfectant wipes. Each is on sale for $2.50. I had various manufacturers coupons, bringing my total to $17.50 plus tax and I got another $20 RR back!!

So, after tax, I *made* $11 today at Walgreens :) My total out of pocket was $29 and I have $40 to use on my next visit. Cool beans!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The little things....

Isn't this Foxglove flower just gorgeous! We purchased it at Lowe's a few weeks ago because we needed something with height to put in this large container on our back deck. As soon as we planted it, it bloomed. The planter is visible out the back door and every time I walk by I can't help but stop and look at it. It gets prettier every day!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ways to earn extra CASH each month

I have been trying out various ways to make a little extra cash each month and would like to share a couple of "tried and true" methods I have discovered. I will never recommend a site that I have not looked into thoroughly and personally tried with SUCCESS.

First off, my newest one, Wellness 360, which bills itself as "the only website that provides great wellness tools such as:- Diet and fitness tracking,- Personal health record,- Emergency medical record,- Medical and wellness library,- Free Genetic Testing, and- CASH! CASH! CASH!Thats right: pays its members CASH just for using it! There is nothing to buy, no catch or gimmicks! Absolutely no tricks, just cash for its members."

I have researched this one completely and it is legit and soooo simple to use! Just by simply filling out your information and cruising around the site, you start to earn cash immediately. I average about $3 a day just by perusing articles of interest to me on the site, it could not be any easier. Here is a link if you want to check it out yourself:

Let me know what you think!

My favorite money maker is Ebates. We all shop online and when you go through ebates, you automatically earn cash back on every purchase from all of your favorite online stores such as Gap, The Childrens Place, Old Navy, and hundreds more! It doesn't take long to earn some serious cash rewards here! Please use the link below to check it out:

Have any recommendations for me? Drop me a line by clicking on "comments" :)

It PAYS to shop at CVS!

Here's the goods from my CVS trip today; utilizing coupons and the May monthly Extra Care Bucks (ecb's) deals I *MADE* over $1! Here is how it breaks down:

Russell Stover chocolates $7.99 (on sale BOGO)
Adidas deoderant $3.99 (earns $3.99 in ecb's)
Aquafresh toothpaste $2.99 (each earns $2.99 in ecb's)
Tums Quik Pak $4.69 (each earns $4.69 in ecb's)
Colgate 360 toothbrushes $2.99 (each earns $2.99 in ecb's)
I used $8 in manuf. coupons and a $3 off $15 purchase CVS coupon. I paid with $30 in ecb's from last week and earned $31.39 ecb's back...a $1.39 profit! One box of chocolates will be part of my mom's Mothers Day gift, the second box is for me :)



Welcome to my brand new endeavor! Since I am forever online reading everyone else's blogs, I figured I'd give it a shot myself. This one promises to be a mixed bag. I'd love it to be a place to brag, vent, share about my 3 children and I'd also like to share my frugal shopping habits with you as well. As a family of 5, we have learned to budget wisely, shop with coupons, and just plain shop smart. I always enjoy the thrill of the hunt and love to get a DEAL!