Archive for October, 2010

the candy in a pillowcase weekend…

It’s been a little over a week since I hit wordpress, and around 2 weeks-ish or so since I started this blog.

By the way,  the word blog sounds kind of gross. Like I’m sick and I have a blog.

My dad and mom used to use 2 phrases when we were sick that I still love.

Mom used to say, “Awww, baby, you’ve got the creepin’ crud.” And Dad would say, “OH! You must have the pulsipatin’ hippie dippies.”

Either way, the word blog has something weird going on. Blog. Blog. Blog.

Yeah, I still hate the word.

Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for visiting here.

You have been really great to check in.

And I have surprises up my sleeve.

I’ll tell you later.

I hope you are getting lots of free stuff and coupons and more free stuff.

You people sure love free stuff.

Have a great trick or treat weekend.

See ya on Monday.

Cause there’s a whole lot of not couponing going on this weekend.

If I could hug you, I would….

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James

I. Love. James.

Something happened at Target today that changed my life.

But first, I have to tell you that I stopped at Walmart to get the facebook Sunbelt buy one get one free goodies. They were on sale for $2, so I got 2 boxes of granola bars and 2 boxes of fruit snacks for $4. And now my kids are happy, because I never buy fruit snacks anymore. You want a fruit snack? Here’s an apple. But I buckled under the pressure. Sometimes the coupons dictate my life.

Pit stop. I had to go to Chick Fil A and Sonic, because it was happy hour and also, I’ve learned to never ever ever ever go to the grocery store hungry. Unless it’s Costco. Then I graze.

Okay, now we’re at Target.

I had so many coupons today, I was almost hyperventilating, so I had to get the big ones out of the way.

Free gift card when you buy 2 marked Schick products. They were on sale for $6.49, and I had $3 off Schick refills, $3 Schick Extreme razor from the P&G booklet I got in the mail. (If you haven’t ordered one yet, you have no idea what you’re missing.) This brought the total to 6.98, and with the $5 Target card, $1.98.

Target web coupon Airwick Plug in scented oil unit with purchase of scented oil refill. Target web coupon had $1 off of any one scented oil refill pack, as well as the Sunday insert. The scented refills are $2.99, so the total for both the unit and the oil was $1.99.

General Mills cereal – on sale $3.49. Buy 2, get a multi pack of kids’ Yoplait yogurt free. I also had a coupon for $1/3 General Mills cereals, and a .65 off of Reeses Puffs. I bought the 3 boxes of cereal, and took a chance at checkout, and they all went through. This made 3 huge boxes of cereal and a yogurt pack around $6.50.

Digiornio Pizza –  On sale for $4.50, buy 2 get one single serve pizza free. I bought 2, and then 2 California Pizza Kitchen pizzas. Coupons.com had a $1 one California Pizza Kitchen pizza, and I found $1 Digiornio coupons at smartsource.com. So, 4 nice pizzas for $8.This one was awesome. We have lots of kids coming in and out this weekend, so we need quick food. Way less expensive than ordering even 1 pizza.

More pizza. I had an Archer Farms print out from a previous visit for a buy one and get one free, and $1 off target web coupon. So, 2 more pizzas for 1.99.

Smart Ones – $5 gift card for buying 10, $4 off of 10. Most of them are $1.88 each. Total was 9.80, so that makes them less than $1 a piece. Brad’s leaving town next week, so I hid some of them from the kids, and lets be honest, from Brad so I can take it easy while he’s gone.

Baked Lays – on sale for 2.79, $1 Target web coupon, $1.79. Gotta have some chips for all that salsa.

Nabisco crackers – $1/2, Target web coupon

$2 off Quaker oats, on sale for $2.34, so .34

Ground Beef – 4 pounds at $1.99 a pound, used 4 .50 off coupons, $6 for 4 pounds. Lots of options this week.

Old El Paso – .50 off coupons.com, so .19 cents.

Green bell peppers- .69 cents

Free Avocado

Carving Board Turkey – $1 Target web coupon, .75 coupons.com

Market Pantry bread – .50 Target web coupon, so .49 cents

Kraft cheese – on sale for $2.00, $1.50 printout at register from a previous visit, so 2 for $2.50. You can find a kraft cheese coupon at smartsource.com or coupons.com

Beggin Strips – $1 Sunday Insert, $1 Target Web, so .49. And there was a coupon on the bag, so free in my book.

And last but not least, use this with this sale on Wholly Guacamole, and it will be $2, which is almost unheard of. (sale ends Oct.30)

Those were the best deals today. At least I thought they were, until I met James.

James was my check out boy. I warned him right up front that there were going to be a lot of coupons I was going to hand him. He didn’t even wince. God bless James.

Poor James. I talked and talked and talked to him about each deal I was getting and did he want to see the pictures I took on my phone? And yes, I bought 3, do you want me to find it in the bag?

And then James said something to me I’ll never forget.

James asked me if I wanted a Target card to save 5%. And I was only hearing the word card and I said, oh no, thank you very much, credit cards are bad for me. And this is the part where he changes my life. He says to me, no, I mean a Target debit card. We’ve only had it about 2 weeks. It takes your cash directly from your account when you pay, and you save 5% each time you use it.

And this is the part where I turned into one part tornado and one part whirling dervish. Literally. Something took over me and I spun around and then grabbed my hair and said way too loudly, ARE YOU KIDDING ME! James! You just changed my life!

Poor James turned super red. I asked all the right questions. And bam. I have a Target debit card that I can use anytime I want.  ( And your local school of choice benefits. Ridiculous.)

Thank you James.

He saved me even.more.money.

See?

And don’t forget I got 2 $5 gift cards.  This is what I have to show for it.

God Bless America.

P.S. lots of freebies this week on Gypsy Jules. Don’t miss out!

new fun free stuff

Free Samples:

Be sure to click on the links… it’ll take you straight there.

His and Hers deodorant samples. How convenient!
Dove Go Fresh Deodorant *out of samples
Axe Deodorant

(Don’t worry about membership numbers. They aren’t required.)

Free sample of Thomas Coffee

Great Reynolds Coupons

Touch up and Go gift pack – this one looks promising. Maybe I’ll give it to the kids.

Free appetizer at TGI Fridays

Join Papa Murphy’s e-club, get a free cookie dough on you birthday. I did this last year and didn’t even bother making the cookies. Just went after it with a big ole spoon.

Free cheese quesadilla at Denny’s with a minimum purchase of $2.50.

Free meal for kids at IHOP and all you can eat pancakes start at $4.99

And I just want to share what came in the mail yesterday.

My bowl is here. I feel different already. See the color? It’s cilantro colored. Kind of. Makes me feel silly inside.
And she was free at One Kings Lane.

See the sample of Shout stain catcher? I’m not sure if I’m ready to take the plunge with that guy. Someone throw some reds and whites together and let me know how it goes.

See the crackers? They are going to be yummy with the olive tapenade I’m making later.

See the lotion? I no longer look like I live in the desert.

And there’s one more thing I can’t show you. There is a giant Chiefs player living in my closet. He came from Fathead.com and he was on clearance for $5.99. He is 6 and half feet tall and 4 and a half feet wide, and he will live on my boys’ wall and watch over them. And probably scare them mindless in the middle of the night until they get used to him. Can’t wait.

Don’t forget you can get updates on the Gypsy Jules facebook page. I’ll just bring it to you as I get it.

college boy

Last night, my little girl Taylor went grocery shopping for herself for the very first time. She’s experimenting with living on her own this week, and since I’m all into couponing and whatnot, I went along to show her the ropes. She gathered up the coupons she wanted like a pro and I’m happy to report that she got a week’s worth of food for $21, and saved $15. It was a thing of beauty. And she got hit on by the deli guy. Fabulous.

In other news, however, I had to go back to the store after she did her shopping (long story. it involves a lot of driving, my brain malfunctioning and having a million kids.) and I witnessed a sad sad scene. College boy.

College boy was checking out in front of me. College boy had a lot of groceries. College boy had exactly $71 dollars to spend. So College boy had to keep taking things out of his bags to deduct the price down to his pocket change. Bye Bye Corn Pops and green beans and Digiornio pizza (which made things worse because they were only on sale if you bought 3, so the price went back up and this confused the checkout lady who couldn’t seem to keep up with any of this) and Trident Gum.

My heart was being ripped into a million pieces.

I couldn’t stand by and watch this happen.

So here’s how it went down.

ME: Hey. Are you in college?
COL: (short for check out lady) Oh yeah, he is.
ME: I feel sad for you. You have to put so much back! And you need to eat!
COL: Happens every day.
ME: (in my head) Hey COL. Shhhhhhh. I’m trying to talk to College Boy.
CB: Yeah, I only have $71. I just sold my truck, but I need to stick to this budget.
ME: Hey, College Boy. If I had a class or something on this subject, would you come to it? Because I would love to help you save money.
COL: I would!
ME: (in my head) Seriously. Shhhhh.
CB: Maybe.
COL: You really should. It would save me a lot of trouble.
ME: (in my head) Lady, you need to go to etiquette class.
CB: If was short and easy and only took a little while.
ME: Gotcha.
COL: How do you save so much money?
ME: Lots of internet stuff, and paper coupons.
COL: Oh. I don’t use the internet.
ME: Wait! I have a coupon for that!
CB: Awesome! Thanks!
COL: Hold on. Now I need to figure this out.
ME: (in my head) seriously. seriously?
CB: Thanks. See ya later.
ME: Later, College boy.
COL: Here’s your receipt, sir. You saved $11.54. I think. Hey, I betcha the people across the street here at the old folks home would like it if you came over there and showed them how to do it!

The End

So, my wheels are turning. Thoughts?

Here. Have a free avocado.

And, no, I’m not worried about COL reading this. She doesn’t use the internet.

bossy

Come to mama.

Before we get started on the best deals I’ve found so far this week, I just want to empower you a little bit.

I want you to know that you are the boss of your coupons. They are here to serve you. You decide their fate.

I’ve been learning a lot over the last year, and I want to share some of the main things with you.

1. Organization is incredibly important. Otherwise you end up with coupons out the wazoo and they are stuffed in every available crevice of your backpack, purse and car. I’m learning to organize them as I go. For example, on Sunday, I lay out all the manufacturer’s coupons I’m interested in, and I put them in categories like meat, dairy, toiletries, paper goods, frozen, etc. Then I go through the online store ads and paper inserts. I cut out or print the correlating store coupon, and I lay it on top of the manufacturer’s. Now I know which products will be the most worth it this week.

Then I choose the ones I will definitely use, and then the maybes and the rest go into a folder. If I print off new ones through the week, I just add them in right away. I take them to the store in a little pouch and take them out of one section of the pouch into another as I find each item. I know there are some pouches that hang on your cart, and other people use flip books. Maybe when I grow up, I’ll get a real one. All I know is, don’t use paper clips to hold them together. That just adds years to the process.

Oh, and I keep the pouch in my bag at all times. That way if I need one while I’m out, especially fast food coupons, there they are.

2. Be sure to go through your coupons once every two weeks and get rid of the expired ones. Saves a lot of space and occasionally, embarrassment.

3. For me, simple is everything. Anyone who knows me knows that this whole organization thing is a forced habit. I’ve had to learn to discipline myself. One of the things I do is try to do most or all of my shopping at one place. I used to go to 4 different stores to get all of the best deals, but it literally took all day. What works for me right now is Target. The prices are always consistent, and when I’m looking through coupons I already have a general idea of the price, so I can tell if it’s a great deal. And when things go on sale, it’s like a bonus round. Other places change their prices constantly, so it’s like a game each week to figure out what’s on sale and what isn’t. The only real thing I go to those stores for are soft drinks and olives. Have I mentioned that I love olives and would go to the ends of the earth for them? Good thing they have them at Safeway.

3. The organization extends itself to the kitchen. I clean out my fridge and pantry once a week. I need everything to be waiting for me where I put it. I like it to look like a little food army waiting for their orders. I get slightly spastic if the avocado is in the deli drawer. It does not belong in the deli drawer. It belongs in the veggie drawer. Even though it’s a fruit. Leave me alone.

I do this because I need to see what I have to work with, and what needs to be used up and what can wait.

And because I’m pretty sure my life depends on it.

4. Last thought on this for today. One of the things I found was busting our food budget in the past was asking Brad to stop and grab a few things for me on the way home. Poor Brad. He hates the grocery store with a blue passion. I just made that phrase up. Do you like it?

Anyway, he used to work in a grocery store in high school. He was the keeper of the milk. He’s still very bitter. This means he gets in there and he gets out of there. Grab whatever. Oh, look, Funyuns. I should get some because I’m here and I kinda like those. Oh look, Hot Tamales. I neeed those. Where are the Fig Newtons?
I rest my case.

So, get your list together and do everything in your power to have it all in your possession before you leave that place. You will not be sorry.

Sermon over.

Now, here’s what I found for this week:

Fast Food:

KFC – They have inserts in the Sunday paper in the Parade and US Weekly for a free doublicious sandwich with purchase of a drink. I found 3 of them, one in the Daily Camera and 2 in the Denver Post.

A&W – Free $3 meal with purchase of a drink. Like them on facebook for this coupon. I also joined their mailing list and got $1 off any combo.

Subway – Customer appreciation month through October. $2 6 inch meatball or cold cut sub.

(By the way, I don’t eat these. I give them to the bottomless pits I call my children.)

Just plain free:
Free Hass Avocado

.50 Old El Paso, coupons.com, so free taco seasoning packet

Target:
Baked Lays – $1 Target web coupon, on sale for $2.79, so $1.79
$2 Quaker Oats, on sale for 2.50
Ground Beef – $1.99 a pound, go here to get another .50 cents off. Click on the free code at the bottom, and type in the store where you will be using them. Print as many as you like, but you can only play once. They expire in Dec.
Airwick Plug in scented oil unit with purchase of scented oil refill (Target web coupon), $1 any one scented oil refill pack (Sunday insert) . I’ll let you know the final price. Hopefully, they’re on sale.
Free $5 Target gift card with purchase of Viva paper towels (Sunday insert)
$1 off Reach toothbrush – coupons.com
$1 off Colgate toothbrush – coupons.com (I get these free because they have toothbrushes for .97)
$5 Schick Extreme razors, 8 count
$3 Schick Extreme razors, 4 count
Digiorno Pizza- on sale for $4.50, buy 2 get one single serve pizza free, $1 coupons.com, $8 total
General Mills cereal – on sale $3.49. buy 2 get a multi pack of kid’s Yoplait yogurt free, $1/2 coupons.com
Merona women’s socks – on sale for $5 3 pk crew or 2 pk boot, $2 target web coupon, so $3
Hillshire Farm Deli Select – .50 Target web coupon, .55 Sunday insert
$1 any 2 single packs of Trident Layers gum (stocking stuffer)
Buy one, get one Free Axe shower gel

And one more. "Join Aveda’s Birthday Program today and get a free, full-size product on your birthday!“> And once you sign up, you get a little gift to redeem at your local Aveda salon.

Those are the best for this week. I’ll let you know which deals are craziest after I do the actual shopping.

You can keep up with some of the deals I find daily on my Gypsy Jules facebook page. And you can post the things you find as well.

By the way, I’d love to hear from you. What are some of the ways you’ve been making changes to save money?

Saturday

On Saturdays, I don’t do anything of consequence.
Because I can.
And because most coupons take that day off. They’re getting all rested up for Sunday.

Today, Avery the dog woke me up way too early. I said some things to her I’m not proud of. And then I got dressed in 47 seconds and then I fell down the first flight of my stairs.

I let Brad sleep. He needs sleep. You should see him.

Of course, when we got in the car, Avery fell back to sleep. Seriously, she’s like a toddler.

And this is where we went.

And these guys were there.

And then I fell down the hill and dropped my phone twice trying to get a picture of these guys.

Luckily, I live in Boulder.

It’s, like, ridiculous.

Well, hello there.

Notice anything different?

It’s my blog. It’s new. And it’s very shiny. And it was free. You can get one too at wordpress.com.

Moving on.

Today there are insane amounts of treats. Most of them free. Some of them not. But close. And it’s barely even 9 a.m.

It’s gonna be like taking a shower in freebies.

I’m just gonna list them. You just click on the links:

Free Sample of Rachel Rae’s Nutrish Dog Food : Just click on Switch to Nutrish. I’ve gotten this sample before and it was delicious. Oh, wait. Anyway, it will give you the choice to wait for it in the mail, or print a $3.50 coupon.

Like Island Stretch on facebook: This is a buy one get one free, while supplies last.

Free Sample of Garnier moisturizer

Free 7 day Sample of Lancome
*Looks like this one went fast.

Send a box of Kleenex to a friend : This is adorable. I got one for Torrie for her stocking. Torrie cries a lot. I just want her to feel the love.

Wholly Guacamole: $1.50 off. At Kroger, this means free salsa.

Marzetti Caramel Dip: $1 off

RueLaLa: O.M.G. I could not be more excited about this one. Here’s the deal. You sign up by invitation only, which I have all ready for you, and you will get $20 credit. It could take up to 48 hours for it to show up in your account. This offer is good until 10/25 and the credit is good until 12/31. After you sign up, you can invite friends. If they make a purchase, you get a $10 credit. For real this time. Jen. Jen? For real this time.
*Just checked and my credit was there. Yay!
I also browsed around and found some great deals. You can look at the prices lowest to highest in each boutique. Saves me time and envy.

Free sample of U by Kotex

Free sample of Crest Pro -Health

And last but not least…

Babylegs: You get 60% off at checkout. This makes the little leggings less expensive, I believe. Math is hard.

I gotta go now before I pass out.

Also, are there any wordpress pros out there? Because I can’t figure out why everything is double spaced, and frankly, it’s making me crazy.

Oh, and how to share these blogs on facebook with a link.

Please?