Latest News

Saving money when you eat out!

Posted by Felicia Saturday, December 12, 2009, under | 1 comments
We all know that it is easy to get so busy around the holidays that we just don't have time to cook every night, so what do we do instead? Eat a frozen pizza or eat out, right? Well, as you can imagine eating out even one time can be VERY expensive! So, how can we avoid those extra costs and keep saving even when we eat out? I have some tips to help you out in that area!

1. This may be the hardest, but try to plan ahead! That is the BIGGEST key to saving anywhere in your budget. Try to plan ahead the night before if you know you are just going to be too busy to cook the next day. What are you planning? Well, where you may eat of course! Make a list of some of the restaurants you may be near when you are out, what may sound good to your family and hopefully what will be more inexpensive( You don't ALWAYS have to turn to McDonald's. :) Create your list and then move to step 2.

2. After you have your list you are on to finding what!! Where can you find them you ask? Well, most of mine come in the mail. We have savings books that are sent out along with flyers. I never throw any of those coupons away, even the ones we haven't been to(unless I know we don't like the restaurant). Also, keep an eye out in your local newspapers while you are clipping your coupons. I have found several that way too. When you have found them split up the ones that you know you may use on the go, or in the car. The ones you aren't sure about, haven't planned in your trip or just have duplicates for- hang those on your refrigerator with a heavy duty magnet. If you have a better place, like a folder on a shelf, you can do that too. I just don't have the extra space and the fridge keeps them out of my way and within arms length. I will explain the ones you have set aside in a moment.

3. How about those restaurants you couldn't find anything for? Check online. Go to the official websites and see what they are offering in the "specials" or Promotions" areas. If you don't see anything there, do a quick search for the restaurant name and coupons. See what comes up. Not all restaurants offer any kind of coupon, but you will find that most do!

4. Another great way to snag a coupon is by signing up for newsletters on the official site. You will see they will send you special discounts and promos and a lot of times a "Welcome" gift, like a free appetizer. They also do free or buy one get one free deals on your birthday. Definitely come in handy!!

5. So now that you have your coupons separated, you need to find a way to keep those coupons you will need "on hand". I simply use a big envelope for mine and keep them in my glove box. If you don't have room in your glove box, try a rubber band and secure them tightly to your visor.No need to clip the individual coupons out, just fold up the page and put it in the envelope. If you have a big enough purse, you could even carry them in there. Just remember if you do that then your husband or anyone else who drives the car won't have access to them. On the other hand, if you drive multiple cars, keeping them in your purse may be a better idea.

So, you should be ready to go now! Wanna grab a sandwich? Going to Burger King? You have a coupon for that! Want some fish? Long John Silver's? You have one for there also!! Need a pizza on the go, but don't want to pay the menu prices? Woo hoo! You have a coupon right there with you to save you 5 bucks!!

I have one more tip for planning dinners out. Next time you are at your favorite sit-down restaurants, grab a to-go or take-out menu. Take it home and file it in a folder or put them on your fridge. Next time you want to go with your kids, you can ask them before you go what they want and plan your own meal. You can order much faster that way and no yelling across a noisy table. Not to mention, it may just be faster(and cheaper) to just do take-out and bring it back home.

Below are a few links of some of the restaurants to check out online for food freebies and coupons:

Link to free food for signing up for e-mails-be sure to check all the way down as there are two lists.
Link to free food on your birthday sometimes have food coupons listed here sometimes have food coupons here

How to earn a few extra bucks with surveys

Posted by Felicia Monday, October 19, 2009, under | 0 comments
This simple post is going to be on how to earn a few extra bucks over a period of time. There is no guarantee as to how much you could possibly earn, it will be up to you and your demographics.

I myself have earned a little here and there, enough to save a bit for Christmas, buy my kids some clothes and have a little left for some pleasure-type things such as DVDs, toys ect. Remember that doing surveys should be considered more of a hobby than income, as they are never guaranteed.

Getting Started:

The way I started was through SD really has to be one of my favorite sites around as they have forums for Surveys, Freebies, Hot Deals, Coupons and tons more. You can also meet others who love finding deals and saving money.

When you check it out look for the Survey section, you will see threads for all kinds of companies and some individual Focus Groups(which are usually one-time group discussions that are like an online chat room-they can pay a lot! I have earned up to $150 for a few hours before, and I know many others have earned much more) . When you see these threads you will see that they may have yellow "thumbs up" symbols on them. If they have a lot, it usually means it is a good deal or that other people know the survey site pays and is a good one to check out. If you see red "thumbs-downs" then pass them by. This usually means it is no good. You will be able to figure it out whether to give them a shot on your own as you learn.

The way I started was with There you can get paid for some of your surveys and are also sometimes eligible to do Product Tests(PTs), which means you will do a short survey, they mail you a product they want you to try and then after a little time they send a short follow up survey to see what you thought of the product. I enjoy doing PTs as I usually end up loving the products they send and sometimes they even pay me to try them.

As with any survey company you want to be sure you are getting paid for your time. Remember your time is valuable and you should be paid for helping them out, unless you are just in a volunteering mood. :) When I consider a survey on Survey Spot I check the amount they are paying, so say they are offering $3 for 20 minutes, well that is $9 an hour, so I would say that I would probably go ahead and complete it, assuming I have the time to do so. Be sure before you click on the link to do it that you save a Screen Shot(press Print Screen and paste it in your Paint program or Word), that way you have proof in case they forget to pay you.

Not all of SS's surveys pay, so unless I think it may lead to a PT I will skip it. If it doesn't pay I will open it and then close it and move on. If you get in the habit of doing the non-paying surveys then that is all you will get. You can also check the survey number in the SD thread about SS and see if anyone else has done a particular survey and if it has lead to anything. SS will occasionally do Focus Groups as well, so keep an eye out for those.

As you search through and get accustomed to SD's Survey Forum you will be able to see which companies you want to sign up with. I am signed up with numerous companies and have developed favorites. I am also signed up with some magazine and beauty companies and have been able to test out some of their great products. It is sort of trial and error as to which companies you will like. I am signed up with a few colleges as well who pay by Amazon gift cards and PayPal(which I love).

Moving On:

Be sure as you get more involved in the Survey process that you keep regular documents of your surveys, when and what you should be paid. Keeping a journal or calendar is a great idea. You may also need to watch how much you earn per year because if you earn over a certain amount it needs to be reported to the IRS.

Keep folders in your Bookmarks or Favorites and keep your Survey companies organized. I have tons of folders in my E-mail as well so that I can keep track of any e-mails I may receive from the companies. Keep organized!

Here is a short list of a few places I have had good luck with and that pay. You can find larger lists on SD and I am sure on other sites as well.

These are a couple college sites looking for help in their studies: Stanford

Here is the link to the SD page with the Surveys:

Good luck in getting started and let me know if you have any questions!

"Finding" Christmas Money

Posted by Felicia Monday, October 12, 2009, under | 0 comments
So, I was sitting here today trying to think of where I am going to get money for Christmas this year. I have found myself in a little better situation this year than in the past because I have had the opportunity to participate in some surveys to earn a little extra moo-lah and have started to save them towards the Christmas funds. Still, that isn't making much of a dent in what I know it will cost me this year.

Over the past few years our budget has grown smaller and smaller each year and with me being a Stay-At-Home mom it has REALLY made it tight. I have a rather large family though and it is really hard to skimp by. Our Christmas list consists of 2 kids,4 parents,2 grandparents,1 bro and sis in-law,2 nieces,5 aunts,5 uncles,16 cousins(including 10 young cousins) and each other. We have been skipping each other because we really don't need anything and will be celebrating our Anniversary in January anyways.

So, as you can see it is very hard to figure out where all this money is coming from. We have resorted to Christmas cards with our pictures in them for a few of the Aunts, Uncles and cousins that are older. The younger cousins we try to buy the smaller, inexpensive toys that they will still enjoy. I have an idea to make this a bit easier on ALL of our family-and yours-down below. ;) So, how can I possibly come up with all of this? Here are a few of my ideas so far:

1. For the kids: Create a swap-each set of parents either buys toys for another child, counting by however many the have. i.e. I have 2 children so I would buy 2 gifts for 2 separate children-2 gifts in all because that is how many I have. Another simpler idea is to buy small gifts for your own children, since you know what they will like, and wrap and hide them in whatever other gifts you are bringing.As long as the kids are young enough(and even if they aren't in some cases) the gifts can all be marked from Santa. Be sure to set a limit of $5 or so on each gift so that one child doesn't get a barbie doll whereas another child gets a dollhouse-you want it to be fair.

2. For the Aunts and Uncles and older cousins(and other close relatives): Bake and Create-if you love to bake, bake them some goodies and wrap them in colored cling wrap on a dollar store holiday plate, can't get easier(or cheaper) than that! Just don't go overboard like I did one year! I made WAY too much, used expensive ingredients and, well, defeated the purpose!If you are crafty or artsy, create something! You could make a pretty wooden sign for them to hang over their door to say "Live, Laugh, Love" or "Peace" and "Joy". You could really do all kinds of things, just be sure to check your craft stores for coupons to maximize your savings! I will also be considering family pictures and cards for some of my more distant relatives.

3. For my Grandparents: I am considering creating for them this year and I may combine it with baking something special. I am thinking about creating a No-Sew blanket-very easy to do and if I can find materials on sale or clearance then it will be cheap too! :) Creating and Baking will let them know I care and they will have something to treasure after the cookies are all gone!

4.For Siblings and Parents: You always want it to be meaningful and you want to give them something they will love and know you put a lot of thought into, so you are going to just have to bite the bullet and do what you think they will like. If you know they like the artsy, from the heart stuff, then maybe you can make them a blanket or sign or something of that nature, but if they would rather have a gift card or something store bought then your best bet is to watch for those awesome after Thanksgiving sales, but remember you may be able to combine something store-bought WITH something homemade, to keep that cost a bit lower.

5. For YOUR kids-keep an eye out for those MASSIVE sales and coupons on toys and electronics. You know they are coming and be sure to even check online. I know that Amazon does Black Friday and you don't even have to leave the house! :) Start watching now though, as the sales have already started and you don't want to miss anything. Remember if you buy it now and know your stores return policy, most likely if you find it cheaper somewhere else before Christmas, you will be able to return the more expensive one! Also, check around for Layaway programs if you need to. I know around here our KMart and Sears both offer Layaway and it doesn't hurt to check them out!!

One more tip for next year:
I have to say that one great thing that has helped us with money this year and last is my Points program through our bank. You should really check to see if yours offers any rewards for using your debit or credit cards and sign up. We use a Points system and I let it build up all year. We do not use our card all that often and yet this year I was able to send off for a $50 Amazon gift card and $10 Panera Bread gift card(we thought it would be nice to have a little for ourselves:) It was even more last year, $75 in Gift Cards, but since we have spent less this year we have not built up as much, but still we earned $60 for doing NOTHING!

PLEASE feel free to share your money saving tips and ideas in the comments, I would love to hear them!

My New Coupon Book

Posted by Felicia Tuesday, October 6, 2009, under | 8 comments

I have been so excited lately because I am working on a new coupon book! I have always used my coupon organizer which consisted of a small accordion-style flip over book. Well, gone are the days of fighting that small organizer! I am clipping and printing coupons like a mad-woman and I needed an upgrade as my coupon book was busting at the seams(literally!). Over the weekend I found that some other couponers use a system where the take a binder and fill it with 9 pocket baseball card protector sheets. I loved the idea! I have since went to a couple different places while I was out this weekend and checked out some prices on these sheets, I already had a binder lying around so that saved me a few bucks. The cheapest sheets I found in my area was 5 for $1, which I didn't think was TOO bad. I also saw that I could buy them on ebay for pretty cheap, but I was too anxious to wait on them. :)

So I started with a few from the local sports card store and I have been in a organizing craze! I put my HBC(Health & Beauty Care) items in the front-all alphabetized by brand names so that I can find them in a snap. Then I moved on to the grocery items behind those. Again, I alphabetized those by brand. I am loving it! It is so much easier to find what I need. My only complaint is that the pockets are a bit small. I may eventually look into some sheets with the bigger pockets, but for now these are great! I also got about 3 sheets that have 2 big pockets on each of them, to hold store-specific coupons for me. Then as I plan my trips I will have it all right there together and I can just grab my book and go. No worries about forgetting a coupon or ad, because it will all be there! I can't wait to add on, but everything in moderation, so only a few pages at time, plus I may check around the internet for some cheaper prices on sheets-never know what I may find!

Here is a link to some more ideas on coupon organizers thanks to! Click here

Harry Connick ,Jr. "Your Songs" Review

Posted by Felicia , under | 1 comments
The new Harry Connick, Jr. CD, "Your Songs" is one an album I have been REALLY looking forward to, so when I found out I was selected to review it I was bursting at the seams! I have always loved his voice in the past- so smooth and jazzy along with a great band- I couldn't believe I got to check it out first-hand!

I received it about a week ago and I can't stop listening to it. The album has the great sounds of his big band music and the soft comforting voice that Harry Connick, Jr. offers. This album is truly "comfort" music to me. After a long busy day of babysitting, errands, and housekeeping, this is a great album to wind down with.

There is quite a variety of songs available on the CD, including many favorites that everyone will recognize and a few new ones that I had never heard before.
They really take you back to simpler times, which is a thing I love and makes it so relaxing. All of his music on this cd was arranged,orchestrated and conducted by Harry Connick, Jr. himself, a fact that brings his personality even more into this album and it really comes through in his music. The songs on this CD are classic and I can't help but sing along, I love it!

"Your Songs" Album Tracklisting (Originally performed by):

All The Way (Frank Sinatra)
Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)
Can’t Help Falling In Love With You (Elvis Presley)
And I Love Her (The Beatles)
(They Long To Be) Close To You (The Carpenters)
Besame Mucho
The Way You Look Tonight
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
(Roberta Flack)
Your Song (Elton John)
Some Enchanted Evening
And I Love You So
(Don McLean)
Who Can I Turn To? (Tony Bennett)
Smile (Charlie Chaplin)
Mona Lisa (Nat King Cole)

Check out a few other Harry Connick, Jr. links here:
Behind the Scene look at ‘Making of’ the album:
Harry’s website:

Thank you so much One2One Network and Harry Connick, Jr. for providing me with the product and information and this great opportunity to share my honest review and thoughts on this new album! ~Felicia

Hello Everyone!

Posted by Felicia Tuesday, September 22, 2009, under | 0 comments
Just wanted to do a quick update to say that life has been extremely busy lately(including our refrigerator going out, us losing food & needing to find a repairman for CHEAP!), so I haven't been able to do as much on my Blog as I would like. Good things to come in the future though, so be sure to keep checking me out!! =)

Quick tidbit of info: If you have any need for appliance repair or other work around the house, be sure to check around on prices. Also, check out their websites, as you may find coupons that you just need to mention to get the discount. I found one repair business that had a free service call available on their website...all I had to do was mention it!!

Kelloggs Rice Krispies w/ 25 % Immunity *Review*

Posted by Felicia Monday, August 31, 2009, under | 0 comments

Vocalpoint is truly one of my favorite websites! They really allow you to get involved by completing surveys, participating in message boards, checking out new recipes and so much more!

Recently they sent me a coupon for a free box of Kelloggs Rice Krispies with 25 % Immunity. That's right, a great tasting cereal that will help boost my little ones immune system! I absolutely love this idea and couldn't wait to grab that free box and check it out for myself. The new box of Kelloggs Rice Krispies with 25 % Immunity tastes just as good as the original, but knowing those extra nutrients are in there made it even that much better for me and my children.

Here is the added nutrients & antioxidants list from Vocalpoint:

Vitamin A: Helps make the T-Cells in the immune system stronger, so they can fight of bad things better.

Vitamin B6: Helps produce cells that maintain and regulate the immune system.

Vitamin B12: Helps with the reproduction of cells

Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that helps protect against invading antibodies that could cause damage to the immune system.

Vitamin E: Breaks up free radicals (harmful molecules) to protect against the damage they could cause.

I have always loved Kelloggs Rice Krispies and this is just another great reason to love them! They are so versatile, you can use them in some of your favorite cooking recipes, make Rice Krispies treats or just grab a bowl and some milk. However you eat them you are going to feel even better about feeding them to your family, especially with the flu season coming up again!

Cleaning Tips & Tricks to Save

Posted by Felicia Monday, August 24, 2009, under | 0 comments
Some of the cheaper things you can do to clean are also the safest for your family. Here are some tips and tricks to save you a buck or two:

~I love using diaper cloths as my cleaning rags. They are thick, so they absorb a lot of mess, and they are soft on glass and furniture. Wash them, bleach them if you need to, they are great and last a long, long time.

~Vinegar is a wonder all in itself! It is great for cleaning just about anything and it kills most mold, bacteria, and germs due to its acidity. I always have it on hand and regularly mop my floors with hot water and a few caps of vinegar. It is a great little cleaning secret that you should share with everyone you know. Check out this page on Vinegar Tips for more great info: Click Here

~Have an old toothbrush? DON'T THROW IT AWAY! I always hang on to my old ones and use them to clean those crevice areas, such as behind faucets, in the corners of walls/floors, sliding door areas and under toilet rims-I keep one old toothbrush just for the toilet cleaning.

~ Have an old pumice stone? Use it to gently scrub away any rust marks inside your toilet. Be careful not to scrub too hard though.

~ I love using green scrubbies (as I call them) in my showers and anywhere with built up soap scum. They work great on chrome sinks and faucets as well. Be careful with them though as they can scratch.

~I use Dobie pads to clean my dishes with and when they start looking yucky or lose their yellow color I use them with my kitchen cleaners, that way I really get my money's worth out of them. No need to buy separate cleaning sponges as long as you are using products that kill bacteria and mold anyway.

~Use an old putty knife to clean other hard to reach places or spots with mold. They are very thin and sharp so you can get into any area and scrape away. Just be careful not to scrub away anything you want there! Also, wrap a diaper cloth around the edges and use it that way to get in tiny areas.

~Toothpicks are another cheap thing that most people have around there house that can clean in tiny areas. Wrap a cloth or even paper towel around the end for maximum cleaning power!

~One thing I avoid buying is paper towels. While they are a great thing to have around, just in case, I find that if I pay for them they seem to get used very fast. Whereas I could probably use a cloth or towel to do the exact same work for free-just a quick wash in the washing machine and done.

~This brings me to your washing machine habits. Be sure to only use as much detergent as you need. There may be a fill line on the cap of your detergent bottle, but chances are(at least in my case) you don't need near as much as they say you do, especially if your clothes are sudsy when they come out. So, watch and feel your clothes when they come out-smell them if you want and adjust your amount of detergent as needed. You may like it the way it is and that's fine. I prefer to use a bit less. ;)

~This works the same with your dishwasher. You may not need to fill it all the way up--especially if you are finding an excess of soap leftover in the cup or on your dishes. Also, NEVER run your dishes through a cycle unless your washer is full. That would be a waste of a lot of water and electric. Save yourself some pennies and wait or wash them by hand. You can also save a bit by not setting them to dry, but instead opening the door when they are done and letting them air dry.

~If you ever have that soap scum buildup on you dishes from your dishwasher, then try soaking them in vinegar. This works for everything I have ever tried including plastic, glass and copper bottom pans. I soak them for as long as needed to loosen the scum with a little scrub. You may want to check your manufacturer's guide, just in case there is any reason the acid in the vinegar could damage anything, but I have never had any problems.

I feel like I could go on and on, so I may add some more tips later-as I think of them! I hope this is helpful and thanks for reading! =)

Frugal Shopping-Clothing

Posted by Felicia Sunday, August 16, 2009, under | 0 comments
Frugal shopping can be applied in all areas of your life. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Buying clothing & shoes

Plan ahead! Never buy in season, as you will pay so much more that way. Always buy clothes at the end of the season, as that is when they will be on their biggest sale. Stores will clearance them out, which means HUGE savings for you. If you are buying for children, think ahead. If you have a little one that is in a 4T and you are buying clothes that are on clearance from summer, then try to think what they will be wearing by next spring/fall--most likely you will need to buy 5T. Obviously, if you are needing clothes right now for your little one, this won't work. In that case I would suggest checking out your second hand stores. You can sometimes find clothes with tags still on them for a fraction of the cost. If you are in the summer months, stock up at yard sales! A lot of clothes will be in great condition and as low as .25 cents a shirt or pant. You can also get some great play clothes that way.

If you are needing underclothing and socks then you should try to search ads online; Kohls, Sears, Wal-Mart, Meijer, Target, T.J. Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory-someone is bound to have what you need on sale. If they don't that week, wait a week if you can.

Do not pay full price for anything-even if you think you have to have it. Wait a week or two, it is very likely that it will go on sale soon. Another great tip is to check online for store coupons. Sometimes you can find 15% off coupons for doing a quick online survey or even $10 off coupons in the mail. This past week I have received coupons for $10 off a purchase of $10 or more from two different stores. That is $20 in clothing or housewares, for free!!

Remember that with children, they grow out of those novelty items very fast. Before you buy something, think of how long it is really going to last before you will need to replace it with another size. A great example is shoes. While you should most definitely buy the best shoes that work for your child's feet, to be sure they can walk ok without hurting their foot growth, you should also keep in mind that those Nike size 2 infant shoes are only going to be worn 3-6 months and probably not even walked in. Is it really worth spending $30 on them? Is that practical? Probably not. Check out your favorite superstore and you will probably be able to find some equally cute shoes for a third of the price.

Speaking of shoes, be sure to look online for coupons for your favorite shoe stores! Check your phone book for shoe outlets near you and check those first for what you need, before you hit the pricey department and specialty stores. Sign up for any free rewards programs you can and most times you will get a great coupon for your birthday. I went one time with $30 worth of coupons (1 from my b-day & another just from a mailer) around my birthday and walked out with a brand new pair of shoes for free!

Great Grocery Saving Tips

Posted by Felicia Saturday, August 15, 2009, under | 0 comments
One of my biggest ways to save money is at the grocery store. I wanted to do a post with just a few getting-started tips to show just how easy it is to save!

*ALWAYS make a list before you go! If you are shopping on Friday, start no later than Wednesday when you are writing your list. I go bi-weekly, as I seem to save even more that way.

* I also make a dinner list before writing my grocery list. I don't go so far as to decide what night we are going to eat what, but I will make a list of at least 14 meals that I need to be sure I have the ingredients to make. Spaghetti, chili, fried chicken, beans and cornbread,pizza, pork chops, tuna casserole, ect. Then I can refer to my list and check my pantry to be sure I have all items on hand.

*Before sitting down to write it, gather together all of your local store ads--hopefully they are all located near each other. I shop at Meijer, Kroger and sometimes Target so I get all of their ads together so I can see what is on sale at each store. If you don't have printed ads, check them out online! I then sit down with a couple sheets of paper with each store's name at the top.

*You should have an idea of what you will need necessity wise and what you are running low in--toilet paper, laundry detergent,milk, eggs, cheese, ect. Leave out cookies and ice cream-as they are not necessities. Also, refer to your dinner list and add anything not in your pantry to the necessity list.

* Scan your ads for who has each of these things on sale--for me this week Kroger had milk 1/2 gallons on sale and Meijer did not-so I make a note on the Kroger sheet of milk-.99 cents x 4(to equal 2 gallons for that week--milk is the one item that I will buy in-between shopping trips), Meijer has eggs for .79 cents, so I write that on the Meijer sheet. So on and so on, until I have the necessities covered. If you have a dinner that you need a lot of ingredients for and nothing is on sale, you may want to consider switching that meal with something else in your recipe box.

* Keep an eye out in your ads for exceptional deals. Once in a great while I will come across shredded cheese on sale for $1 a bag(which is awesome!), so I encourage you to stock up!! That way you will get it for $1 now, and not have to pay $3 the next time you get groceries and it isn't on sale. Only stock up on items you use a lot of.

*Remember you can freeze most items and they will be ready when you need them! I stock up when the really good breads are on sale for $1 and then I freeze them, if I buy them on August 10th and they have a best by date of August 20th and I freeze them the day I buy them, then they should be good for 10 days after I thaw it out. It is generally that way for anything-kind of like they are frozen in time. =) You can really save buy stocking up.

*Buy meats that are being clearanced out--freeze them until you need them. Stores want to sell them BEFORE they go bad on their shelves so as long as you use them right away or freeze them, they are fine!

*Buy your fruits and vegetables in season and you will pay less. Try to buy the locally grown items as they cost less because you are not paying the extra amount that it costs stores to have them shipped across the country. You should also check out your local Farmer's Market, as that is not only a great way to save, but the food may also be better for you!

*Clip those coupons! Buy the Sunday paper-if you know they will have lots of coupons inside-peak if you need to. Also, check with any friends and family and if they don't use their coupons see if they will be willing to share them with you. If they too use coupons, maybe you can start a sharing system--where you share anything you won't use and they can do the same with you. Maximize your chances for those great coupons. Also, do not forget internet coupons! I have never had any trouble with a store accepting them and you can find coupons on just about anything online with a simple search.

*Check your store's coupon policies. Both Kroger and Meijer double my coupons, so my .50 cent coupons are really worth $1.

*Keep a coupon organizer with each section broken down. In mine I have it broken down by the way my favorite store is set up. Meijer tends to be cheaper overall, so I have it set the way I go through the store-back to front. My sections include, Dairy, paper products, cleaning, baking, helpers, cereal/breakfast, crackers/cookies, chips, drinks, frozen, meat, bread and veggies. If I need a coupon, I know exactly where to look for it.

* Use them wisely. If you have a coupon for .25 cents off a loaf of bread that is normally 3.19, save it for when that bread goes on sale and buy the loaf that will be cheaper that week. Obviously if the bread is on sale for a $1 that week, hop ALL over it!! Coupons really help so much more when the item you are buying is already one sale or you just HAVE to have it(i.e. toilet paper) otherwise I say save it!

*Keep in mind brand names are really only better than store brands 9 out of 10 times for me. Store brands can really save you tons of money. If you have never purchased a store brand product before-say Meijer spaghetti sauce versus Ragu- then only buy one and just try it. If you don't like it, make a mental note and don't buy it again or just try a different variety. I really only have a few particular item I HAVE to have the name brand for and that is where those coupons will help. =)

*After I write everything I know we need to buy for those two weeks, I write down my estimated cost for each item. I buy mostly the same things each shopping trip or at least have an idea of what each thing should cost. I then add all of those prices up and write my estimated total at the top--to be sure I keep under my budget. If I am under, then I can add in the sweets and treats if I want to, or I can simply be proud of myself for saving that extra money and apply it towards something I need it for! If you decide to apply it towards something else, be sure to wait until after your grocery trip, of course. =)

* When you have your list done-stick to it no matter what! If you went prepared and wrote down everything you will need, then you should have no need for that impulse bag of chips or cookies.

Final Grocery Note

If you do not already have a budget amount in mind-create one, so you know how much you need to stay under and whether you can really afford those extras(cookies and ice cream) this week. If you can't, cut them out! For my family of 4 my budget is to stay under $140--which I always do. Most of the time when I go to Meijer I spend half of what I would have if I had bought everything at full price and no coupons. If my bill should have been $120, I should spend around $60. Obviously that fluctuates-depending on what we need and what is on sale.

And last, but not least: Have fun with it!! I LOVE walking out of their feeling like I have just saved us so much money. It is a great contribution to our family and very worth the time it takes to be prepared. The best is when you find an item in your grocery ad for that week that costs $1 and you have a .50 cent coupon that you know will double. Ta-da! Instant freebie bliss!! =)

Happy shopping!

CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain Review

Posted by Felicia , under | 0 comments

As a BzzAgent, I have recently had the great opportunity to test out the CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain thanks to By signing up with BzzAgent they allow you to complete a few surveys to qualify for BzzCampaigns, which are word-of-mouth programs that allow you to test-drive new products (sometimes before they are available in stores!). When you sign up for a campaign you will usually receive a free product in the mail to try out for yourself . Then you can talk about the product with friends and family ("spread the Bzz") and you are able to influence the companies when you report back to the hive.

My latest BzzCampaign is the CoverGirl OutlastLipstain in Everbloom Kiss. Here are a few of the features listed in my BzzGuide that was sent along with the product:

*It is non-transferable, so it won't rub off, smudge or budge

*Lightweight--in fact, it feels up to five times lighter than regular lipstick.

*Created to provide lasting color

*Made with a precision marker tip for easy and exact application

*Water-based(not alcohol-based), so it won't dry out your lips

*Contains lip conditioners, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid

*Infused with a light raspberry-vanilla scent and flavor

*Packaged and displayed for simple, accurate shade matching

*One of the first lipstains in marker form found at all mass retailers, food and drug stores

*Suggested retail 7.29 (compare that to a department store lipstain)

*Available in 10 colors-Everbloom Kiss, Bit of Blossom, Berry Smooch, Teasing Blush, Sassy Mauve, Plum Pout, Coy Coral, Wild Berry Wink, Flirty Nude, and Cinnamon Smile.

After using it numerous times--here are my thoughts on this innovative product and whether it stands up to its claims:

* It is definitely non-transferable--something my husband, kids and I appreciate-no lipstick kisses all over those cheeks. =) I have tested it and it does not transfer to anything!

*It is VERY lightweight--in fact that is my favorite feature. It feels like I am wearing nothing at all, and yet I know that I am and it makes me feel very feminine without thinking it might look "cakey"

*My only complaint-I don't feel like the name "Outlast" fits this lipstain. The color is wonderful when it goes on, but doesn't seem to last more than a few hours on me. I have been conditioning my lips before and in between, but the color just seems to fade to soon and I find myself re-applying.

*I LOVE that it is water-based! I can feel the difference in my lips when I use it and I can tell that they are more conditioned than they are with other lip products I have used.

*The smell and taste of the lipstain go hand-in-hand and I love it. I hate the crayon smell and wax taste I find with regular lipstick, so this is a pleasant surprise. It makes it fun to lick my lips. Maybe that is why it doesn't last as long on me?

*I wasn't too sure about the marker shape that it comes in. It is a bit strange, at first, to feel like you are literally drawing on your lips and coloring them. After using the lipstain a few times I was used to it and now I welcome the ease of applying it with precision. It is so easy to stay in your lip lines because of how small and perfect the tip of the marker is.

My Final thoughts:

This is a great new makeup tool that I will keep using and I can't wait to check out the other 9 colors that are available. It is very easy to apply, lightweight, tasty, and best of all kiss-proof! The only thing that I would change is making it last a bit longer, but hey it is so fun to apply that it just isn't that big of a deal. I am definitely sold on the CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain and would recommend it to anyone I know!

Review Requests, Giveaways, Advertising, Ect.

Posted by Felicia Wednesday, July 1, 2009, under | 0 comments
I am available to do product reviews and I am passionate about discovering new products and sharing my findings with my readers! I do require a sample of the item you wish to be reviewed and samples are not to be returned. In addition to my reviews I am happy to offer a giveaway for your item if you should choose. Please read my bio below and then feel free to contact me if you feel my family and I would be a good match to work with your company. I look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Me: sahmfrugalfindsandreviews AT yahoo DOT com
What I am about:
I am fairly new to blogging, but I love it so far! I think it is going to be a great new adventure in my life and I hope to share and learn along the way. My blog is about learning to be smart with your money, finding new ways to save and live with what you have. It is also important to be able to buy products that will work and do what they say they will do as well as products that are durable and will last a long while. My family is perfect to try and help decide all those features!

I really enjoy doing reviews for various sites and all types of products. It is truly a passion of mine to help others find what really works in this world of so many choices.

More about me and my family:

I am a 27 yr old Stay-At-Home mom. My husband and I have been married for almost 9 years now and we have two toddlers running around and keeping us young and busy. I am a true foodie and am constantly trying new recipes and products. I love checking out the newest appliances and when I can't afford to buy them I enjoy listening to what others think of how they work. I love being on the internet and learn something new everyday. I also like to read and watch just about anything on T.V., I try to be crafty and I love spending time playing and learning with my kids. My life is full of love and happiness and I could not ask for a more blessed life!

My son, who is 3, is working on his A,B,C's and counting and he truly enjoys learning. He is big on cars, airplanes and puzzles right now, though I think he loves just about anything that ISN'T broccoli. :)

My daughter is 18 months and is a very curious little girl. She loves to learn and play and do anything that mommy is doing. She loves her dolls, eating and playing with her brother is her favorite past-time.

My husband,27, loves sports, video games, T.V. and exercising. He is working very hard to lose weight and has done wonderfully. I admire his commitment and strength to stick with it! In all he has dropped about 60 pounds. He is a very easygoing guy, although when it comes to vegetables and certain other healthy foods, he just won't touch them.

So to wrap up, I have really enjoyed all of the reviews I have had the privilege to do in the past few years through word of mouth and I and can't wait to jump into the next one that comes along through my blog or elsewhere. I hope that whatever it may be will change the way I shop, buy and anything else it may do! :)