Tuesday, November 29, 2011

If You're Skinny

The title of this post is "If You're Skinny"...which I'm not.  Sucks though, because I found this website with some great deals on some darling clothes.  But an XL being equal to a size 8-10, whatever.  Maybe by the end of next year that will be close to fitting, but for now, I'll stick to my baggy sweaters thanks.


Tulle has sweet seperates, and also sells "collections" several times a year that are an extra sweet steal.  If you're skinny, have fun shopping.  I'll be busy browsing the accessory section...

Family Dollar...who knew?

Yesterday was the first time I've ever ventured into Family Dollar.  Don't get me wrong, I love stores like that...I frequent the Dollar Tree probably once a month.  Dollar General maybe a few times a year, but it's a little out of the way.  But Family Dollar has been neglected, I think mostly due to the fact that it isn't in the nicest part of town. 
I would have to give it an enthusiastic 1 1/2 thumbs up!  Not quite two, but more than one.  Their general merchandise was pretty reasonably priced, some lower than Target and Walmart, and you can still use your coupons there. 
We specifically went in for this little gem:
Just Like Home My Very Own Kitchen
My Very Own Kitchen!  Except ours is green instead of blue, perfect for a little lady!  And the best part?  $20!  This exact same item was selling on Target.com for $35 and on JCPenny for $39.  What a steal huh? 

Moreover, I love stores like this because you never know what goodies you'll find.  I LOVE Christmas, it's positively my favorite holiday and decorating is the cats pajamas!  And lucky me, I found a new trinket to add to my collection:
Gisela Graham Wooden We Wish You A Merry Christmas Tree Ornament
The one I got is actually red, and you can't tell from the picture, but its sparkly!  YEAH!

Don't be ashamed, go out there and give those bargain stores a look, you never know what goodies you'll find!

Monday, November 28, 2011

My New Favorite Shopping Site!

So a while ago I found this amazing website Fab.com  doesn't the name just say it all?
Fab.com design for all is their motto.  And really, it's true, they have a bit of everything under the sun! 
Awesome stuff to decorate your home and work space.  Hip tee shirts for everyone in the family and so much more.  It's just nice to see such fun and unique items for babies especially and not the generic pepto pink gear. 
Recently I've ordered this awesome shirt and not only is it totally cool, but really soft and has a great fit. 

Also, this morning I used the extra credits I had on my account to get this super cute Melissa & Doug Cutting Food set.  Zoe's is getting a play kitchen for Christmas, so this will be the perfect addition to that...and free to boot!
Melissa and Doug Cutting Food Box Play Set

Since I love ya'll, here is the link to their website.  I don't really understand why you have to "apply" to be a member, obviously since they let me in, they must have pretty low standards ;)
But check it out, I'm sure ANYONE could find something fun snooping around all their wares!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black Friday Low Down

If you really are going to head out the door on Black Friday, I suggest you check out these two sites to plan your trips wisely:

this is my go to site for week to week shopping and day to day awesome deals!  I would be totally lost without Collin's sage advice!

And check out http://www.afullcup.com/ their site is not the most user friendly, but it will certainly help navigate you thru the barrage of advertising and deals for this busy shopping day!

Thanksgiving Perspective

What am I thankful for this time of year...my two beautiful kids who make each day an adventure.  My husband, who torments me into loving him ;) my family who always lets me know I'm loved, my job for keeping me sane and making me feel appreciated. 

I'm also thankful that over this past year I've figured out how so slowly but surely change my life thru wiser spending habits.  Its not just couponing or deal hunting.  It's about learning to save, spending money on things that matter and teaching my children the value of a dollar.  Or 5 cents for that matter. 

I'm thankful that for the first time in years we have money in savings.  And not just for 2 months following our tax returns, I mean money we've actually SAVED! 

I'm thankful that there is a whole closet of food, snacks, paper products and health and beauty products in my basement.  And I'm even more thankful that I'll be able to donate some of it to the womens and childrens shelter this year. 

I'm thankful that I have almost all of my holiday shopping complete and I don't have to leave my home on Black Friday.

And I'm incredibly thankful for you!  Thanks for stopping by.  Whether you are a faithful follower or  you just happened to stumble onto this humble little blog, thanks! 

Now enjoy your turkey tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, and the day after that!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cereal, the bain of my shopping existence...

If you have any young kids at home you know how much cereal you can go thru.  Also, that they tend to desire the most expensive and unhealthy cereals known to man.

What type of lucky charms do you have? Image
I'm looking at you Lucky!

So of course when Halloween rolled around and Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry hit the shelves, Elliott was drawn like a moth to a flame.  I will not under any circumstances pay more than $1.50 for a box of cereal...so every time we saw those cereals for 6 weeks there was a shit fit and a long winded explanation.  Let me tell you, I practially got down on my knees and thanked my lucky stars when we stopped at Super Target yesterday and found Boo Berry on clearance for $1.33 a box!  Even better was that I had a $1.50/3 coupon, making 1 box totally free! 

Also, we hit the jackpot at HyVee with the Chex cereals...I've been dying to make some good old fashioned chex mix since it got cold out.  HyVee had their Chex on sale 3/$5 and I had a $1 off coupon!  $4 for 3 boxes of cereal, get out of town!  Now I just need to get all the other goodies and we'll have one serious cool weather snack!

Fisher Price Little People Zoo Talkers - $10 off!!!

Holy coupons batman!  If this is on your Christmas wish list, pounce on this while you can! 
At Target this week they have their Little People Zoo Talker priced at $34.99
Fisher-Price Little People Zoo Talkers Animal Sounds Zoo Playset  - Fisher-Price 1001124 -  Towns, Cities & Villages - FAO Schwarz®
In this week's Target ad there was a $5 off Target store coupon, and if you go to this link:
you can print off a $5 off Fisher-Price coupon. 
$25 for Santa to visit our house for Zoe-bear this year, hip hip hooray!

Smokin' hot sweater deal @ Target

Right now http://www.target.com/ has a printable coupon for $4 off any womens sweater.  Unlike lots of their clothing coupon, there is no minimum price.  Lucky for us, because this week they have some great Mossimo sweaters on sale for $9.99! 
I went and picked up a nice grey v-neck sweater and a fall-ish mustard orange scoop neck sweater and another Merona clearance long sleeve tee. 
Even luckier for me, I had a $2 off Merona purchase coupon that printed at the register recently...
This brought my grand total for 3 new tops to approximately $17 after tax. 
Not too bad, especially with the holiday season up us and dinners to go to!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rockin Kimberly Clark and Cars 2 Promotion at Target

Well this was a deal in the making, it's a little convuluted to explain, but here it goes...
Target's deal:
Cottonelle 30 double roll pack of TP $15.99
Get a FREE Kleenex Hand Towel Pack
also bought Pampers Diapers $9.49
Used a $0.50 MQ for the Cottonelle, $0.75 MQ for the Kleenex and a $3 MQ on the diapers.

Total cost for all three items: $21.33
**Best Of All!!!!  a $5 Target Gift Card for buying more than $25 in Kimberly Clark products**
That brings the new total to $16.33

But it gets better, if I save my receipt, and buy Cars 2 on Blue Ray Combo Pack (which I am), and send in the rebate found at this link https://www.kcc.cr.kimberly-clark.com/downloads/rebate.pdf  then I can get another $10 rebate!  Excluding the cost of the movie, that would bring my paper products haul in at a scant $6.33. 

Unbelieveable!  There are lots of other deals to be planned combining existing coupons, sales at Target on Kimberly Clark products and the upcoming Black Friday sale.  Good luck and good deals!

Free Shaving Cream @ CVS

This week CVS has a deal for $2 Extra Care Bucks on Gillette Fusion Shaving Cream.  Lucky for us it includes the trial size! 
The regular price is $2.37, after the ECB $0.37.  But what makes this deal even better is that there was a $1 coupon with no size restrictions in the paper 3 weeks ago.  So actually you are making $0.63 buying this!  That's what I like to hear! 
The only bad thing is that there is a 1 deal per Extra Care Card, so I can only get this deal once, even though I have 4 coupons...poop.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

An Amazing Afternoon!

Today my brother was kind enough to watch the kiddos for me so I could put a few extra hours in at work.  After I got home he needed a ride downtown, and the day just got better from there! 

The kids and I stopped again at St. Louise's thrift shop and scored BIG TIME!  While I admit that I'm on a hunt for a dresser or bookcase for Zoe and came up empty handed, what we left with was totally worth the stop.  How much did you spend on your last pair of jeans from Banana Republic.  In the folly of my youth, I used to spend upwards of $75 a pair.  (That makes me throw up in my mouth a little thinking that $75 is enough for a week's worth of groceries now!)  Well today friends, I lucked out.  2 pairs of brand new Banana Republic jeans, in my size, albeit a little long for me for...Drumroll please....$4.50 each.  That's right, no sale in the world could touch that!

Also, we picked up a new pair of sunglasses for Elliott and 4 books.  I will readily admit that books are not on the top of the list of "Stuff I Need", but I love to read, Elliott loves to be read to and he is really getting the nack of his letters and spelling; needless to say I'll splurge!  We got a hardback copy of "Where the Wild Things Are", a family favorite.  "Strega Nona", I remember this was one of my brother and sister's favorite books when they were kids.  Also an "I Spy" and a Superman encyclopedia. 
For all of these wonderful goodies we spent $13.86.  I was simply thrilled!

Then when we got home there were a few suprises in the mailbox.  First, not one, but 3 packes of Emergen-C for kids.  Considering we are headed into cold and flu season, the more I have in my "Feel Better Arsenal" the better.  But best of all was a $5 gift card to Star Bucks from my awesome insurance company Copple Insurance.  They are local, kind, efficient and just plain awesome.  I filled out an on-line survey and voila, coffee for me! 

Last but not least was dinner; Chicken & Rice Casserole.  This is literally one of my favorite things on Earth.  I made one fatal error though, not checking the recipe before I started.  Whoops.  I didn't have the mayo or chicken broth I needed to make it.  Instead I substituted a little bit of this and and little bit of that and honestly you couldn't tell the difference.  I'm so glad I didn't go running to the store up the street and overspend on those non necessities.  Best of all is the leftovers.  We have 3/4 of a small casserole dish to eat this weekend and another small dish in the freezer just waiting for a lazy day.  In hindsight I probably should have frozen 2 small dishes and baked considerably less, but live and learn right. 

So all in all it was a pretty good night.  Our phones should arrive Thursday morning and since I'm not working any extra hours I can cozy up and scour the grocery store ads to prepare for my afternoon shopping excursion.  And best of all, Thursday is leftover night; no real cooking required.  There are Enchiladas, Sloppy Joes, pork loin and potatoes just waiting to be gobbled up and I get to take it easy. 
Hooray for Thursday!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sometimes it pays to get angry

Somewhere in the distance a chorus of angels is singing Hallelujah!  Josh and I have finally stepped into the 21st century and purchased smart phones!  This exciting purchase was not without a fair deal of drama, frustration and even a few curse words.

From this...

To this!!!

First of all, let me say that we have not fallen victim to the smart phone fad.  I see people getting the newest and greatest phone every 6 months to a year, and really it's just flushing your money down the toilet.  We've had the same phones for over 4 years now.  They work (for the most part), and have done their job.  And  to me, a phone's job is to make phone calls and send text messages...playing games all day or updating your facebook status is a perk, not a requirement. 
But...there are so many things a smart phone is good for that I cannot wait to take advantage of.  Smart phone, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways....
*CellFire: these are coupons that load to your cell phone that provide you with savings in addition to the manufacturers and store coupons
*GPS: I get panicky when we travel on the interstate, so having that peace of mind would be amazing
*Videos: there is nothing worse than an impatient child...oh wait there is.  Two impatient children.  Nothing like some cartoons to take the edge off.
*Facebook: need I say more?
*Camera: the camera I just bought stinks.  It only takes decent pictures in the sunlight and it is so thick you can't get it in your pocket.  You've been replaced Vivitar!

So now for the story on how it pays to get upset...we have a friend that works at Sprint that told us we had $150 credits for both of our lines toward new phones when we renewed our contract.  Josh called to double check that the new iPhone advertised at $200 was included in the promotion and to CONFIRM that after the $150 credit the phones would be $50 each.  We were told that would be the price and also that as Sprint Premier members we'd receive 25% off accessories as well.  So later that evening we stroll into Sprint, sure of what we want, willing to pay more per month and were gobsmacked and flabbergasted when we were told that the $200 price is after the $150 is applied, and that there is also a $50 rebate included in that fee.  So to walk out of the store with 2 new iPhones would have cost us $500.  For some of you that's totally reasonable, to Josh and I it's insanity. 
Insanity I tell ya!

Needless to say we walked out the door and ranted and raved the whole drive home.  Josh decided to take matters into his own hands, call Sprint back, raise hell and either get us a decent deal or switch us to another company.  These are the rare moment's I'm glad my husband is an asshole; this was one of them.  He fervently recanted his conversation with the first lady from Sprint customer service and made the point several times about how cold it was and that we had our two small kids with us.  Most of all he kept telling whoever he was talking to "I don't like being made to look like a fool".  (Evidnetly the last 7 months of using a two tone half busted Frankenstien of a phone escaped his memory).  After 45 minutes and 3 employees harassed later he hung up the phone and gave me a thumbs up from across the living room. 

His incessant bitching resulted in us getting 2 Android Evo 4 phones overnighted to us.  They sell for $200 (after the $150 discount).  He got them for a total of $200 with $100 back in rebates!  Thats a grand total of $50 per phone!  OMG!!! 

So welcome to the digital age Nightengale House!  I can't wait to get the mail this afternoon!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Zoe's Christmas Present - Half Price & Shipped for Free!

I am so excited, I bought the first big present for Zoe for Christmas today.  So far I have socked away:
Tangled DVD - I got this thru Disney Movie Rewards, earning points toward other gifts & got a half price movie in addition to buying this one.
Bead Maze - This was 100% free!  Cashed in my Huggies Rewards for this little darling she's sure to enjoy!

Also, I had $12.75 credit on my Amazon account from cashing in my Swagbucks for Amazon giftcards.  I had already purchased a Disney Pixar Scene It game for Elliott and now to get something for the little lady.  Behold the glory of the Fairy Toadstool Cottage...do I hear collective awwws? 
Early Learning Center: Fairy Toadstool Cottage
Zoe has been playing with Elliott's BatCastle a lot lately, so I knew a dollhouse was the way to go...  The pieces are just her size, the toadstool theme totally goes with her darling little room and honestly, it reminds me of the shows of my youth. 

Hopefully before Christmas gets here I'll have a few more Swagbucks to use and get the little fairy car to go along with it. 

So this just goes to show any doubters, collecting those codes, using Swagbucks instead of google to search and taking your time hunting down the best deal can really pay off.  And come December 25th I'll have one happy little girl and one sweet dollhouse!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Free Toothpaste!!!

First of all, I'll come out with it...I'm a complete and total freak about brushing my teeth.  I probably brush an average of 5 times a day.  It's the only thing that truly wakes me up in the morning and there are some meals when just a piece of gum doesn't cut it. 
Needless to say, that I go thru a lot of toothpaste.  And I'm willing to try anything to keep these chompers pearly white.  I don't care what it tastes like, if it's gel or paste or if it foams.  Just keep them clean!
So whenever there's a drugstore deal for free toothpaste or toothbrush I'm all over it.  This week, Walgreens has their Crest Pro Health on sale as pictured below and there are various $1 coupons for Crest out there.  So after you use those two coupons and get your Register Rewards, VOILA, free toothpaste! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Lament

I was awfully proud of myself last week for making an excellent candy haul between Walgreens & CVS to prepare for All Hallows Eve.  I didn't pick up all of our favorites, but I did indulge in a bag of Heath for myself and a bag of Snickers for Josh.  The rest of the candy was just a "whatever the coupons will cover" mentality. 

Last year Josh spent over $40 on candy, including crap that no one actually wants like candy cigarettes.  So with my $10 spent on candy and the big orange bowl full to the brim we made our Trick Or Treating plans:
-Thursday: Fright Night at Morrill Hall.  This was a total bust. $5 to get in and we left with Elliott in tears over a spooky room and less than a whole handful of candy.  Worst of all it was crowded and unorganized, two things I cannot tolerate. 
-Friday: Boo at the Zoo. An excellent time for everyone!  I felt a little evil buying a candy bag for Zoe and then keeping all the treats for myself, but hey, I paid for the bag, what I do with it is my perogative right?  Elliott had a blast and I left with some kick ass coupons.   By the time we left we had 10 coupons for free kids meals from DaVincis, Dairy Queen & Arbys.  Plus discount coupons for a variety of other things to do and buy.  I think that the $6 I paid for admission was easily equaled by those freebies!
-Monday: THE BIG DAY!  After school we went to HyVee for a trick or treat around the store.  It's so nice to go someplace where you can trust it when they give you fresh fruit in your bucket!  Then after a quick bite to eat we walked the neighborhood streets...for 2 hours!  Honestly, we were out for so long we didn't get to hand out any candy to the other kids in our neighborhood. 

So now here we are with over 2 huge bowls of candy and me with a sweet tooth.  But I'm telling you, I'm bound and determined not to go overboard.  I've almost cracked another baby weight milestone, so I don't want to sabotage myself, especially with the holiday season upon us.  Now the big question is...what the hell to do with all that candy?!?

Well my first thought is that Elliott's birthday is coming up and those will make some good treat bags.  Also, I'm going to check on-line to see if there are any good dessert recipes that include some of our favorite left over goodies.  I'm thinking Almond Joy brownies right?  RIGHT!

Another Halloween has come and gone...Another year closer to not seeing my little boy get excited about dressing up as his favorite super hero of the moment.  Another year closer to seeing my little girl want to dress up like a Disney princess.  But best of all...one day closer to being able to decorate for Christmas!