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Savvy Shopper and Freelance Writer for The Lubbock Avalanche Journal

Monday, September 26, 2011

IN THE MAIL TODAY - $60 IN COUPONS & A FREE DOWNY SAMPLE

Huggies Coupons and Downy Sample from Manufacturers website giveaways.


     Today in my mailbox I received two Huggies coupons, a Downy sample and a ton of coupons... from eBay!

     I'm an eBay addict. I admit it. It is so cool finding something you like, bidding on it, then fighting for it at the last minute, and maybe, just maybe, winning it. It's hunting and gathering in the 21st Century. This is what's so cool about buying coupons on eBay. First of all, you have the thrill of the chase. You can't get that on a coupon clipper site. Secondly, you can bid on a huge quantity of coupons for a fraction of what you'd pay elsewhere. And, finally, you get feedback on eBay, so you're a lot less likely to get scammed.

     Granted, it's maybe a little more time consuming, but who eBay's when they don't have time to spare??? But, the best part is... scoring high dollar rare or hard to find coupons. I received around $60 in coupons in the mail today. I paid approximately $6 for all of them.

     Yes, I know, 30 packages of Charmin is a little bit EXTREME. I'll give you that. But, I probably won't use them all for myself. I'll stock up, then I'll use the rest to trade online, share with family and close friends, and the rest I'll either use in giveaways or I'll leave on the shelf while I'm being the Coupon Fairy. ;)  In all, I think it's a great investment to bless so many folks with just a couple of dollars and stock up for your family at the same time. That's my idea of Extreme Couponing!

     To get started couponing on eBay, you need an eBay id. If you already have one, great! You are ready to go. If not, you'll want to set up an account and be sure to set up a PayPal account as well so you'll be able to pay for whatever you purchase.

     Once you're a member, search for your favorite brands or hard to find coupons. Sometimes you'll get swamped with tons of listings, sometimes there's nothing. It's sort of hit and miss. Again, it's eBay. It's the thrill of the chase. Once you've located listings for the coupons you are interested in, view them all before you start bidding.

     You'll want to see where the sellers are located, their seller scores/feedback ratings, the shipping costs, turnaround time, and the expiration date on the coupons. The expiration date is probably the #1 most important piece of information you are looking for. If the coupon expires within a week, you probably want to skip it unless you can communicate with the seller to arrange for a speedy delivery.

     Secure your coupons through the "Buy It Now" feature, or bid as high as you are willing to go. Don't forget! eBay will automatically bid for you up to the highest amount you are willing to pay. Take advantage of this feature and you will win more auctions. Be sure to check your email the day the auction ends. eBay will email you if you are outbid. Most experienced bidders will wait until the last 60 seconds to snatch a deal away from you by submitting a higher bid. If the item is important to you, monitor the countdown and be prepared to up your bid to win.

Happy Bidding!
xoxo,
Rachel

Sunday, September 25, 2011

BEST OF THE LUBBOCK AJ 9/25/11 - LOCAL & NATIONAL DEALS

     This Sunday in the Lubbock AJ was a new installment of the Red Plum and Smart Source inserts. There are a few coupons that caught my eye, and I plan on trading, buying, and diving for more of them. These are the "shelf stockers" you'll want to get in bulk and take advantage of before they expire. There are also quite a few local/national stores with great deals for hunters, families, moms, tailgaters, and Race For The Cure participants.

     RED PLUM & SMART SOURCE COUPON INSERTS
  1. 50¢/1 Tide Detergent (no size restrictions), exp 10/31 RP
  2. $3/2 Pantene (no trial), exp 10/31 RP
  3. $1/1 Secret Twin Pack, exp 10/31 RP
  4. 55¢/1 State Fair Product, exp 11/30 RP
  5. 55¢/1 Gandy's Tru Moo, exp 10/22 SS
  6. 55¢/1 Glade Premium Room Spray 9.7oz., exp 11/5 SS
  7. $1/1 Windex Multi Surface Product, exp 11/5 SS
  8. $2/1 Theraflu with Lipton, exp 12/3 SS
  9. $1/3 Variety Snack Size Chocolate (Reeses, KitKat, Mounds, etc.), exp 10/15 SS*


TARGET DEALS
     ▪ $1/1 4oz. Junior Mints OR 8oz. Mini Oreo Snak-Sak
     ▪ $1/1 4.15-4.5oz. Lunchables
     ▪ 4/$5 Annie's Homegrown Macaroni & Cheese
     ▪ $1/1 Aquafresh 6.4oz. Cavity Protection OR Extra Fresh OR 4.6oz. Kids (Coupons Available!)
     ▪ $2/1 Huggies OR Pampers 64/72ct wipes. (Coupons Available!)
     ▪ $3/1 RE Standard/Queen Plush Pillown(Coupons Available!)
     ▪ $8/1 RE TV Tray Black OR Natural (Coupons Available!)
     ▪ $4/1 Chefmate Nonstick Bakeware
     ▪ $9/1 Wilson OR Spalding Volleyball, Basketball, or Football


K-MART DEALS
     ▪ $3.99/1 Joe Boxer Pillows
     ▪ $24 Craftsman 2.5gal. Wet/Dry Vac
     ▪ $2/8pk. Juicy Juice
     ▪ $9.99 Black & Decker 3qt. Crock Pot


TOYS 'R US DEALS
     ▪ Variety Snack Size Chocolates 1.99 ea. Use SS $1/3* and get 3 bags for $4.97/$1.66ea. (Great Halloween candy deal!)
     ▪ Lalaloopsy Peppy Pom Poms Cheerleader 25% off, only $18.74
     ▪ Lalaloopsy Mini Doll 8-Pack 25% off, only $29.99
     ▪ BOGO 50% off FAO Schwarz Toys
     ▪ FREE Halo Mini-Figure w/purchase of $20 or more
     ▪ Huge BOGO sale, lots of items!


ACADEMY SPORTS & OUTDOORS DEALS 
     ▪ Men's Game Winner Camo T-Shirts $7.99ea.
     ▪ Remington Shurshot Heavy Dove Loads (12 or 20 ga.) $6.39ea.
     ▪ Wildlife Research Center Premium Masking Scents $4.99ea.
     ▪ Timber Creek 5-LED Cap Lights $4.99ea.
     ▪ Igloo 48qt. Cooler $16.79ea.
     ▪ Wrangler Pink For The Cure T-Shirts (men & women) $6.99ea.
     ▪ Sabre Breast Cancer Awareness Keyring & Pepper Spray $7.99ea.
     ▪ Wilson Hope For The Cure Pink Tennis Balls $2.99/3pk.
     ▪ BCG Pink For The Cure Yoga Mat $9.99ea.
     ▪ Wilson Youth Pink For The Cure Havoc Basketball $9.99ea.


HASTINGS DEALS
     ▪ Vinci VV20 Violin $69.99ea.
     ▪ Spectrum AIL38K Student Acoustic or AIL39Y Acoustic Classical Guitar $59.99ea
     ▪ Transformers DOTM $15.99ea.


MICHAEL'S DEALS
     ▪ 40%/1 Regularly Priced Item (web/paper coupon)
     ▪ Open Stock Scrapbook Paper 5/$1
     ▪ Ashland Fall Potted Arrangements $4.99ea.
     ▪ Celebrate It Harvest Scarecrows $6.99ea.
     ▪ Americana Acrylic Paint 2oz. 77¢ea.
     ▪ Impeccable, Charisma, Vanna's Choice Yarn $2.99ea.
     ▪ Fall Chargers 2/$3
     ▪ T-Shirts $2.99ea.


BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS
     ▪ 20%/1 Regularly Priced Item (paper coupon)
     ▪ 10x25 Porro Prism Pink Binoculars OR 10-Power Monocular $7.99ea.
     ▪ Texas Tech Mossy Oak Camo $5.99ea. 
     ▪ Winchester (12 or 20ga.) Target Shells $5.99ea.
     ▪ Denali 'Herron' Lo Hiking Shoe $16.99ea.


LOCAL FREEBIES
     ▪ FREE Massage - Kothmann Chiropractic and Rehab 5407 4th St., Ste F. 806-791-3399
     ▪ FREE Coupon Class - Garden & Arts Center 4215 University Ave. 6-8:30pm
     ▪ FREE In-Home Try On - Vision Mart Express 806-794-4775


xoxo,
Rachel



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

FREE BABY WIPES AT WALMART!

     I just ordered my FREE BOX OF PARENT'S CHOICE 400 CT. BABY WIPES from Walmart.com. I can pick them up at my local store in 4 hours! All I had to do was transfer a prescription to their pharmacy for home delivery and I received a FREE $10 e-gift card. I used the e-card to order baby wipes and I discovered that I could pick them up myself in a few hours at my local store! I don't know how long this promotion will last, but it's a great one, so hurry! It will take a day or two for the e-gift card to arrive once you've completed the online RX transfer and make the co-pay required prior to shipping your meds. And, if you select an item that can't be picked up in your local store, you will probably have to pay shipping if "Site To Store" shipping option isn't available and your item total is more than the $10 credit.

xoxo,
Rachel



WHY BOTHER?


Image Courtesy: Country Saving Mommy

     Today was the dumpster diving day that couponers' dreams are made of. All the newspaper recycle bins in my area were overflowing with newspapers and, wait for it... coupons! Lots of coupons!!! I collected about 30 inserts (as in a complete insert, not one page), and my sweet husband brought home a handful from his day in the Texas Panhandle. Ah, true love.  :)

     While I was at my local recycle bin, I met a lady who lives in my area and she asked me if I was "dumpster diving". I said, "YES! Are you a dumpster diver too?" She said no, but that she wanted to get more into couponing and she is taking a class at the city Recreation Center. I wasn't aware that my local community center was offering these classes, and I'm so glad they are. Check your local Parks and Recreation websites and see if one is being offered in your area. It's a great way to meet other couponers in your area and hopefully you'll be able to set up a coupon trading community local to you. How great would it be to drive a few blocks and pick up all the coupons you need clipped nicely in exchange for ones you don't need?!

     Back to my story... I was so excited to share with her all that I have been learning so I gave her my blog address. She asked me to excuse the directness of her next question, "This is great and all, but what's in it for you?" I knew the answer I wanted to give her but I hesitated, because it never occurred to me that someone would ask that question about sharing savings and deals. I guess that's the small town showing in me. I told her the same thing I'm going to tell you...

     I'm in this for my family. I need to help my family. I need to help my husband by stretching the dollars he works so hard for. I need to help my children understand the value of a dollar and the importance of frugality. I need to help my community, my church. I want to help other moms make their dollars stretch and thereby relieving some of the stress and strain that financial hardships can put upon a family, a marriage. Lastly, I want to be a go-between. I want to help manufacturers know what we moms think of their products and services. I want to help improve the way they produce for us. I want to help moms... parents... women speak and be heard by the big corporations. That being said, I have chosen to participate in affiliate programs with a few of the vendors whose links are on my website. I do receive some benefit from the click throughs and purchases that happen as a result of those click throughs. But, I believe it's a good trade off, you receive helpful honest information, the corporations recieve useful feedback and a ground zero voice reaching out to the community, and I am able to make a few dollars here and there to help my family with our finances.

     That does not mean, the content provided on my blog is driven by manufacturers or special interest groups. I am completely honest with you about all my personal opinions and I disclose any benefit these businesses bestow upon me for sharing my experiences (coupons, free trials, samples, etc.). So, have no fear, I am just like you, a mom, a wife, a woman; blogging, sharing, living life and reporting back to you.  :)

xoxo,
Rachel

 


Friday, September 16, 2011

HPC IS SENDING OUT COUPON LOVE TO THE U.S. MARINES!




     I finally was able to locate and sign up to adopt a U.S. Marine base overseas! Woot! So now I have an official address to mail my (2 months or less) expired coupons to. If you would like to participate by sending coupons you don't need to me for the U.S. Marines, please email me at: hotpinknchocolate@ymail.com and we'll get you a PO Box to mail them to stateside. I'll be mailing one or two times a month depending on the quantity I have.


     I'm so excited to start this new program and I am so eager to join with you to help our men and women in uniform save some money! Yeehaw!



XOXO (Lots of love from Texas, Marines!),
Rachel






Thursday, September 15, 2011

WHY I TRADED MY HP TOUCHPAD FOR A SONY VAIO LAPTOP


How much are we willing pay for pieces of a laptop?
  

I scored an HP Touchpad! Yes, I did! I found it on Craigslist and I bought it. And then... I sold it. "For a profit?" you may ask. Well, a tiny one, but that's Ebay's fault. I actually wanted to keep it when I bought it. That's why I got it in the first place. And oh, I was so very excited to be "that girl" who scored a Touchpad. People stared at me as I walked around with it. I felt special. I felt elitist. I felt "in." And then, about 2 days later, I felt sorry.

     Well, let's just get one thing straight... I love technology. Gadgets are awesome, and the thinner, smaller, and lighter, the better. Right? Well, not so much. See, I'm a blogger (hence this blog), and I'm a tweeter, and a forum groupie. But the Touchpad is great for all that high-techy stuff. Right? Well, maybe. Actually, not really at all in my opinion. And yes, I know. Droid is a'comin' blah-dy blah. I don't care. Why?

     I'm a right clicker. A wha? A right c-l-i-c-k-e-r. I'm addicted to the right click. I can't be a Mac girl because there's no right click.(Let's be clear, there IS a right click, but the Mac OS functionality of that right click is so very limited and meager compared to the Windows' right click, it's not worth even acknowledging) Everything is backwards, upside down, and inside out in Mac world (comparatively speaking). I don't like it. Try as I might, not even a bit (aside from the rockin' graphics, I mean). But I digress, the biggest thing that the Touchpad taught me was as a result of something it couldn't do. Right click. And, yes, the whole blogging on an unanchored keyboard is a nightmare for a blogger, but what's the value of typing in a hen-pecking world? Everyone is convinced we'd all like to chicken peck our messages or take 4x more time to email, blog, chat, tweet, what have you. Why? Because "they" said we like it more. See the smiling faces on the ├╝ber savvy peeps in the Touchpad/Ipad commercials? They are all so happy to be reduced to one handed pecking motions.

     Ok, I know, there are those of us out there who are SO excited to FINALLY own a tablet like Dr. Beverly Crusher (Star Trek reference, sorry). But, it's true. The tablet is history made in my lifetime. Star Trek technology right here in my messenger bag. But then the shiny wears off and I'm left hen-pecking this fabulously over exaggerated iPod.

     So, I faced my fear of buyer's-turned-seller's remorse and I sold it. Yep, put it up on Ebay and let the free market decide what it is worth. I'll not be telling you what the free market says that is... I'm not a fan of hate-mail. But, I'll say this, it afforded me a nice little budget for a used Sony Vaio T7100. With a DVD/ROM. And WiFi. Also, it rocks. Did I say that? And my favorite part? Yep, you guessed it, right-clicking!

Clickity click click...


xoxo
Rachel
All opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone. I have not been paid by Sony to sell laptop propaganda in a tablet world. Also, thanks Shopper.net for the Sony pics. The Touchpad image source is unknown.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WHERE, 'O WHERE, ARE YOU TONIGHT?


     "WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME HERE ALL ALONE?" Well, here I am... in Dallas! I'm taking a little mom-cation. A much needed mommy vacation. When you go from happy to out done in 5 minutes or less, it's time to go!

     This is my very first time away from my entire family for more than 2 days straight. I was really scared to leave town... at first. But, when I rolled the windows down and let the cool air in, cranked up the radio to my favorite band, Spoken. Well, I was ready to get!   :)

     So, here I am, two days into this experiment and I'm feeling good. I've slept till 3:30 for two days in a row now. I have no idea why I wake up at 3:30 P.M. every day. Very weird, but whatevs. The sleep is much needed and solid. It's been a looooooong time since I slept solid through the night. Wow, I totally forgot what it was like.

     Also, I'm sorta overwhelmed at the possibilities for what I might do with all this free time. I don't get free time to myself at such large intervals, so I'm sorta flummoxed. LOL. I'm overwhelmed with the possibilities! But, it's a good overwhelmed.

     And now, I must give a very much earned and deserved shout out to my so very sweet and probably part crazy by now husband, the J-man, for offering to watch our children and even borderline demanding that I go. Wow, what an incredible blessing he is. It's like day after day of amazingly beautiful self sacrifice. I'm so deeply appreciative and falling deeper in love with him as the time apart grows.

     K, sorry about the sappy stuff, but you know how it is when you are away from your sweetie. :)

xoxo,
Rachel

Friday, September 9, 2011

QUILTS FOR KIDS







     Quilters Unite! I just discovered this awesome charity that makes quilts for sick and hospitalized children. Their website is so awesome. They even provide you with quilt patterns and the materials if you need them. Anyone out there making quilts and don't know what to do with them? Donate them to Quilts For Kids. You'll be making someone feel very special and very comforted. Find a local chapter and join.


     Know a special kid who could use a quilt? Just visit this page and fill out the necessary information and you'll be connected with people who can help you.

     This past year our youngest was hospitalized for a few days for failure to thrive. It was such a scary time for me as a mom. I couldn't hold her like I wanted to. I just had to sit there and watch her lay in her special crib. Thankfully, University Medical Center in Lubbock has an amazing Children's area and they were able to provide her with toys to entertain her and make her feel more at home. It was because of those toys and the wonderful doctors and nurses that my husband and I were able to remain positive in such a heart wrenching situation. You can be that support and comfort for a family in need. Just use the skills, talent, and passion that God gave you to create something more than just a blanket.

xoxo,
Rachel


Thursday, September 8, 2011

WORLD'S BIGGEST CHILDREN'S CONSIGNMENT EVENT... WELL, NOT REALLY, BUT CLOSE!


     THE BIGGEST children's consignment event in West Texas is happening this weekend at Highland Baptist Family Life Center in Lubbock, Texas. It's called Cradles 2 Crayons. If you've never heard of it before, brace yourself... For days prior to the event, moms log in their items and print high-tech bar code scanny tags for their items. Clothes are washed and pressed, and toys are cleaned. Then, the day of the sale, all volunteers get to shop first, then consigners, then it's open to the public through Saturday evening. The best part for me (aside from my consignment check) is finding treasures at half price on Saturday. I {L.O.V.E.} me some Gymboree, Children's Place, or Baby Gap for $1.50! Woot! That's actually where I was most of last night and today... either working on prepping my consignment stuff or shopping the early sale for consigners. I scored two gallon Zip-Loc bags of brand new looking Gymboree socks for just $2.00/bag! I also found a sweet little music box with sterling silver birth certificate holder, first tooth and first lock holders for $2.00! And, of course, I had to come away with something Hello Kitty, so I found a super cute tulle orange & pink sparkly skirt for my 2yo for $3.50. I almost forgot! I found a brand new-with-tags pair of Gymboree pink polka dot pants and two super cute Gymboree winter themed socks for only $2.00/ea. as well! Quite a nice little haul for less than $14 if I do say so myself!



     There's still time to go if you haven't already, so get ready to shop 'till you drop! Shopping hours are 9a-12a tonight, 10a-8p on Friday, and the "Most Things Half Off" sale is Saturday from 8a-1p. Bring an empty stroller or your own re-useable bags to shop with. But do hurry, because it's a gamble... if you see something you like, it may be there till the half off sale, or someone might be a one time shopper and snatch it up! So, don't waste any time and go tonight if at all possible.

xoxo,
Rachel


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

PRINTABLE GLADE, ZIPLOC, & SCRUBBING BUBBLES COUPONS



     If you haven't already joined the SC Johnson - Right @ Home site, you need to do it today. On their Special Offers page, you can print $1 Glade, Ziploc and Scrubbing Bubbles coupons. Usually you can print one set per computer. These high dollar coupons won't last long, so get them while they are still available.




     And, while you are there, sign up to receive a FREE Scrubbing Bubbles Gift Pack! Hurry! They are only giving out 3,000!

xoxo,
Rachel

FIND IT IN THE COUPON DATABASE!

     I've been a busy little bee while you all were sleeping! I now have a portal to the Coupon Database on my menu bar above. My goal is to make this blog a one stop shop for all you super busy SAHM/WAHM's. Please give it a try and let me know what you think!

     Also, while you're here, you'll want to click on over to the Coupon Trading Forum as well. There are some great traders working together to support each other. Let your fellow Frugalista help you find the coupons you are in need of in exchange for the coupons they are searching for. Easy!

xoxo,
Rachel


Monday, September 5, 2011

GIVEAWAY ! - 10 FREE ENVELOPES OF HIGH VALUE COUPONS!




     To celebrate my new Grocery Coupon Trading Community Forum, I'm giving away 10 Envelopes with high-value coupons to the first 10 posters on the forum! It's super easy to win this one... just post a "WTT (Want To Trade)" or an "ISO (In Search Of)" then come back here and leave a comment letting me know you did! That's it!!!

     The winners will receive High Value Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Con Agra coupons, and more. Every envelope is guaranteed to contain one or more coupons for FREE items!

Get to postin'!  :)

xoxo,
Rachel


Sunday, September 4, 2011

ENJOY YOUR LABOR DAY!


     I hope you all enjoy your Labor Day holiday with your friends and family! I'll see you tomorrow!

xoxo,
Rachel