Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jodi Picoult - Never Disappoints

Happy Saturday everyone!  If you haven't already, please check out my Scrappy Garage Sale and see if there's anything you'd like.  I still have a ton of stuff left so tell your friends as well!

I just finished reading Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult.  As always, it was great!  Jodi really never disappoints me.  She always walks that fine line between morality and legality.  This book was no different.  It's about a woman who finds out that her father kidnapped her and took her away from her mother when she was 4 years old.  She has no recollection of it and her father told her that her mother had died.  He changed their identities and they had a happy life.  In the wake of finding out about what happened - and a trial for her father who was arrested for it - she learns a lot about her family and her childhood before the abduction.  It's such a great read!

Now I'm on to yet another series.  It's a series about Navy Seals and that's pretty much all I know about it.  My sister is reading it and raving about it, so it's time to see what all the fuss is about.  The first book is called The Unsung Hero and it's by Suzanne Brockmann.  I have a book club meeting on Monday where the next book is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  One of my favorite of all time and I'm so excited to read it again.  I've been wanting to read it again before the movie comes out in May.  Yay!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Sampler

Hi there!  I completed my first page using The Sampler's February Kit.  Because the site just underwent some construction, I'm unable to post this page to The Crop Spot blog, therefore I'm posting here.  This kit is beautiful!  The papers are gorgeous and it has some great embellishments to complement it.  I didn't use much of my stash on this one, it's mostly the kit!  The most fun thing I did was use the Tattered Angels Mistables.  Oh my gosh!  Isn't that rose gorgeous?  To create the box for my daughter's hair, I used a piece of packaging from a previous scrap supply I bought.  I literally ripped the plastic holder off the container.  Then I cut two slips in some cardstock where I could pull the ribbon through the back to tie the hair so it wouldn't slide around.  I then backed it with the cardstock and secured it with brads to keep it all together and on the page without moving.  I love the detail it adds!

Be sure to get the Sampler's February kit.  You won't be disappointed!

Adventures in Couponing - Bargain Hunter

Hi friends!  Don't forget to check out my Scrappy Garage Sale for some great deals on scrapping stuff!

Today, I went out in search of good deals and found some!  I got a great tip from The Krazy Coupon Lady that you can get Dentyne gum at Target for $0.04!!!  Seriously!  That's worth a trip.  I found a few other deals to take advantage of and I'll share them with you.

First, I hit Target to get the gum.  The deal was a 3-pack of Dentyne Pure gum that's on sale in the store for $1.79.  I double checked to be sure the price was correct and it was!  Not all Targets have the same sales, so always double check!  I had a store coupon for $0.75 off a 3-pack of Dentyne Pure, which dropped the price to $1.04.  Then I had a manufacturer coupon for $1.00 off any 3-pack of Dentyne gum.  Final Price: $0.04!!!  And that's all I bought.  I went into Target and spent less than a nickel.  That has NEVER happened!  Pretty proud of myself.

My next stop was Walgreens.  I use Dove deodorant and I'm on my last stick, so I was looking for a deal.  There was a coupon in this week's circular for Dove deodorant for $1.99.  I also had a coupon for $2.00 off any stick of Dove deodorant.  So I tried to use both, however, it wouldn't work.  Using both should have made it free, and even have them owe me a penny.  I think the problem was that I didn't buy anything else and the register won't let you check out with a negative balance.  So, I ended up just using the $2.00 off coupon, which made the final price on the deodorant $1.81.  Which is still a good price for it, but next time I'll be sure to get something else for less than a dollar so I can get the deodorant for free.  In fact, I'm going to try to find another $2.00 off coupon online and see if I can get the deal this week. 
*Lesson Learned: Always be sure you have a positive balance at the register to be able to use all of your coupons!

Last stop was Safeway.  This deal ended today so I'm glad I studied the circular this morning!  With your Club Card, if you buy 2 12-packs of Coke products, you get 2 free....AND you get two free boxes of Nabisco snack crackers.  REALLY?!?!?!  One 12-pack alone is $5.99.  I jumped on it.  So I got all of them for a final price of $11.98!  I saved $18.96!  61% savings.  That's fantastic! 

That's the first time I saved more than I spent and I did it at all three stores!  And it's all on stuff we're running low on and that we use.  Go me!

Got all this today for a total of $13.83!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sarah's Scrappy Garage Sale!

It's finally here!  All of my stuff is organized for you to "rummage" through.  I have four Goody Boxes for sale, along with some paper packs full of patterned paper, tools, stamps and other goodies.  This is on a first come, first serve basis so don't wait long to reply!  If you want to purchase an item (or more), please leave me a comment on what you're interested in or you can email me at  I will reply promptly and answer any questions you have.  I have included an estimated shipping amount with each item as well.  If you buy a goody box along other items, they will all be shipped together for the shipping price of the goody box.  I prefer PayPal payments, but will also accept sent money through the mail.  However, I will not ship any item until money is received.  Happy shopping!

Goody Boxes
I tried my hardest to get everything represented in these boxes.  Each comes with approximately 54 sheets of patterned paper, 25 pieces of cardstock, a bag of ribbon, stickers, embellishments, alpha sheets and rub-ons.  Some of the items have been gently used so there are stickers or letters missing from the sheets.  There was no rhyme or reason to packing them, I literally split everything up by 4's and stuffed them!

Each box is $20.00 $10.00 (plus $2.00 for shipping)

Goody Box #1 (minus the Maya Road chipboard - has been sold by special request)

Goody Box #2 (minus the Maya Road chipboard - has been sold by special request)
Goody Box #3
Goody Box #4

Paper Packs
I priced the paper packs at roughly 10 cents per piece of paper that's in the pack.  Shipping for each will be $1.00.

Die Cuts with a View The Stack 6 - 12x12  $6.00 $3.00

Provo Craft Slab XI - 12x12  $15.00 $7.00

Me & My Big Ideas Paper Pad #1 - 12x12  $15.00 $7.00

Me & My Big Ideas Paper Pad #2 - 12x12  $15.00 $7.00

Die Cuts with a View Travel Stack - 8x8  $2.50 (priced at 5 cents per page)

Die Cuts with a View Ultimate Christmas Stack - 12x12  $12.00 $6.00
I priced the stamps based on usage, style (wood, acrylic) and size.  Shipping for each stamp is 50 cents.

Inkadinkado Tree Wood-Mounted Stamp - never used  $2.00

Hero Arts Vine Wood-Mounted Stamp - never used  $2.00

Delta Viney Square Wood-Mounted Stamp - used  $1.00

Vacation Themed Wood-Mounted Stamp purchased at Michael's - used once  $1.00
Heidi Swapp Date Stamp (year dates 1998-2009 only) - a few dates used  $1.00

Martha Stewart Spooky Letters Acrylic Stamps - a few letters used  $2.00

Kaiser Crafts Mini Flower Acrylic Stamp - never used  $2.00

Shipping for tools is 50 cents each.

Eyelet Setter (4 sizes) and bag of eyelets  $3.00 $1.50

Quilling Tool and Baby Themed Quilling pattern set $5.00 $3.50


Martha Stewart Ribbon Organizer, Light Teal - $6.00  $3.00 ($2.00 for shipping)

Inside of Ribbon Organizer

Decorating Chalk - hardly used  $2.00 $1.00
If you have any questions, please contact me and I will answer them promptly.  Thanks so much and happy shopping!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Purging is Done!

And it feels so good!  I feel much lighter when I go into my scrap room now and I'm enjoying being in there more instead of feeling overwhelmed.  I have things set aside that I'm going to put up for sale tomorrow.  Today, I'm getting it organized and priced and the pictures taken.  I can't wait to show you what I have!

And now I have a few pages to do in order to catch up on some assignments because I need to start making a quilt for my daughter's...wait for it...Big Girl Bed.  Yes, that's right.  We're getting her a Big Girl Bed for her birthday, which is coming up in about 2 weeks.  She's turning 3 and she's ready.  More ready than I am!  But with the new baby coming and her being ready, it's time. 

And being that today is Sunday, I will be heading to the store for a newspaper and my beloved coupons.  I don't have much I NEED to buy this week, but I'll still be on the lookout for good deals.

As for the rest of my day - we're spoiling our dogs.  We're heading to the dog park for a while, then home for baths and teeth brushing.  Followed by treats and lots of cuddling.  I love my puppies!

I hope everyone has a great 3-day weekend, if you have one.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Nesting and Purging Continues...

I'm on day 4 of my huge scrap room purge and organization project.  My original idea was do to giveaway boxes full of stuff for my readers.  Upon seeing what I'm already getting rid of (and I'm still not done yet), I feel it would be better if I instead sold the boxes of goodies.  I'm literally getting rid of almost half my stash.  A lot of money went into it, so I feel it would be best if I got a little of that back.  I will be using this weekend to finish going through everything and then putting together boxes.  I'll also have individual items for sale including some tools and paper packs.  I'll be including pictures of all the products and the box contents that I'll be selling.  Thanks for understanding my situation and have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nesting and Purging and Organizing and Nesting

The nesting phase has most definitely hit.  I got the urge to start going through things and getting rid of stuff and organizing.  Luckily, I've been saving a big project for when I started my nesting.  My scrap room.  I have a lot of stuff!  Most of it is already organized, I just need to purge.  So that's my project this week.  I started today on patterned paper.  Oh boy.  I have a lot of paper.  A. Lot.  I went through it for almost two hours today and I'm not even done yet.  My back needed a break!  This week I will tackle a few items a day and start purging.  This weekend I will get some gift packs together full of random paper and embellishments that I've decided to pass on.  As soon as everything is put together, I will do a giveaway and choose winners to receive the boxes completely free!  So stay tuned.  It will either happen this weekend or early next week. 

For all those mothers and preggos: Did you have an intense nesting phase?  What did you tackle?  With my daughter, I cleaned out our back shed and purged and cleaned it.  My husband was amazed when he got home and found me knee deep in our shed containers!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Adventures in Couponing - My First Time

Hi friends!  Today was my first couponing experience.  I learned a few lesssons.  I did pretty good, but I definitely learned a few things.  After saying a little prayer outside each store, here's my breakdown:

Things at CVS didn't go quite as I expected it to.  First, the circular that I had was out of date.  Lesson: ALWAYS CHECK THE DATES ON THE CIRCULARS!  Therefore, there were some deals I was planning on getting that didn't happen.  So I adjusted, picked up the current circular there in the store and flipped through it to see what I could get.  First, I stopped at the coupon scanner and scanned my Extra Care card.  I got a couple of coupons for candy, which I didn't want to get, so that didn't help me.  After studying the circular, I found a few deals on things I was planning on buying today.  A couple of things even gave me Extra Care Bucks (ECB) back.  ECB's are dollars that you recieve for buying a certain item.  It's advertised in the circular and on the item at the store.  When you buy the item, you get your ECB's printed on the bottom of your receipt and you can use them like credit on your next purchase.  I learned a little trick in using these.  If you do separate transactions, you can use your ECB's on the same items you're buying that same day.  You'll see in my breakdown how I did it.  Here's what I bought and how I got the discounts:

I had 3 transactions at CVS - and I warned the cashier that I would be a bit of a pain.  She laughed and said, "No problem sweetie."

1) Bought:  2 packages of Pull-Ups: when you buy 2 for 17.98, you received $4.00 in ECB's.  I also had a $2.00 off coupon that I used.
Total came to: $17.62 (including tax)
*Lesson: I had a second $2.00 off coupon that I forgot to use on the second pack.  Dum-Dum.

2) Bought: Gillette Venus Razor Cartridges: when you buy one, you get $2.00 ECG's back.  When I paid for it, I ripped off the $4.00 in ECB's from my previous transaction and applied it to the total.  I also had a $3.00 off coupon.
Total came to: $15.90 (including tax) Saved $7 on them!
*Lesson: I had a second coupon for $3.00 off the razors.  If I was smart I would've bought 2 of them and gotten $4.00 ECB's instead of just 2.  Dum-Dum.

3) Bought: Tide HE Detergent and 2 packages of M&Ms for my daughter.  I used the $2.00 in ECB's from the previous purchase and I had a $5.00 off coupon for the Tide. 
Total came to: $5.81 (including tax)
*The Tide alone with no discount was $8.99, so that was a great deal!

Total Spent at CVS: $39.33
TOTAL SAVED AT CVS: $21.38 (35%) with sales, coupons and ECB's

Didn't get too much here today.  They had Lysol wipes that were Buy One, Get One Free, so I grabbed a couple of those.  I paid $3.99 for two.  $4.24 including tax.

I didn't save quite a much as I was hoping here today.  Everything I bought was on sale and I had two coupons to use.  I did get some good deals, so I can't really complain. 

Total spent at Safeway: $62.23
Total saved at Safeway: $22.27 (27%) with coupons and savings card prices

I did well at Fry's tonight.  I had quite a few coupons that I used and just about everything we got was on sale.  Not everything, but most everything.  I was also lucky that Fry's had mailed me some coupons for free items, such as a pack of lunch meat and bacon.  They also had the bottom round roast that were Buy One, Get One Free...and those were about $15.00 each so I jumped on those! 

Total spent at Fry's: $104. 19
Total saved at Fry's: $78.99 (43%) with sales, coupons and savings card.
The only thing about Fry's is that on the circular this week, it says that all manufacturer's coupons are worth $1.00.  On my receipt, we didn't get that deal.  My coupons were worth their face value and we had quite a bit that were less than $1.00.  So I'm going to call the store tomorrow and speak to a manager to see if that deal has expired and if not, I will see if I can bring in my receipt and get that money back.  It will be a difference of $3.50, but if I should have gotten the extra discount, I'd like to get it!

So......overall today, here's how it breaks down:
Total Spent:  $209.99
TOTAL SAVED: 126.53 (about 38%)

Not too shabby for my first time huh?  Now I know to check the dates on the circulars!  And to really utilize my coupons to my best advantage.  We now have groceries for at least one week and we might be able to stretch it through the next two weeks (fingers crossed).  Can't wait to do it again!

Have you tried couponing yet?  What's the most you've saved in one trip?

CVS Couponing Tips

I found these videos on YouTube from the show The Drs and the "Coupon Mom" has great tips for shopping and saving at CVS drug stores.  And, let's face it, I wanted to see the hottie doctor again.  I may or may not have wished for a slow-motion feature.

I'll be back later tonight with my first coupon shopping experience results!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Adventures in Couponing - Preparing the Shopping List

Tonight I got my shopping list all ready.  This took a little while for me to do because I'm new at this and still trying to get the hang of it.  This was my process:

I started by getting a copy of the Sunday paper this morning.  In the paper, there were two coupon inserts (SmartSource and a General Mills - I got Red Plum in the mail earlier this week) and the weekly circulars for the stores I plan on shopping at (CVS, Walgreens, Safeway and Fry's).
I went through my stores circulars to check out sales and specials.  I used my pen and circled the sales I was interested in.
Then I went through all the coupon inserts and clipped all the coupons I was interested in using at any time.  I also kept the inserts just in case something popped up and I can use a coupon I wasn't originally going to if there's a good deal.
Then I started comparing the sales with the coupons.  I matched up coupons to see where the item is the cheapest so I can get the best deal.
*TIP: Don't forget to check CVS and Walgreens for food items.  I'm getting a few great deals on food items at CVS!
I started basing my meals this week on things I have on hand and what's on sale at the store.  For example, at Fry's this week, bottom round roast is on sale Buy One Get One Free.  Awesome!  So we're having pot roast one day this week and I'll keep the other one on hand for future use.   It was hard for me to plan only one week of meals because we normally only shop for two weeks with smaller trips in between for more necessities, but I decided to start shopping once a week to help track sales.

One of the hard things for me was to not use coupons if the item wasn't on sale already.  For a few things I did, because this week at Fry's, all coupons are worth $1.00.  So, I have a coupon for 25 cents off Bounce dryer sheets (which we're running low on), but this week I can use that coupon and I will get $1.00 off.  That's a good deal!  I also have a coupon for 50 cents off Colgate toothpaste, which is on sale at Fry's for 98 cents...and my coupon will be worth $1.00 so I'm getting toothpaste for free.  Score!  I also wanted to use a couple of coupons that are about to expire.  They're on items I need and will use and since the discount is going away before a new sale starts, I'm going to go ahead and use them.

So my shopping lists are ready and I'm hitting 4 stores tomorrow!  I'm going to CVS, Walgreens and Safeway by myself while my husband is at work, and then we'll do Fry's together because that will be a bigger trip.  Oh, and I'll make a little detour to Michael's and JoAnn's (with some coupons) for some scrapping items.  I will share my savings tomorrow and break it down for you from each store.  I'm excited to see how I do!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Adventures in Couponing - Organization (part 2)

*Please read the previous post and view video before reading and viewing this one!

And here is the video for my binder.  No disclaimers on this one, it's pretty good.

When I tried to put the video directly into the post, Blogger informed me that I didn't have enough space to post it.  I guess it's because the video is so long.  Therefore, I've uploaded it to YouTube so everyone can view it and I'll leave my intro video just for my awesome blog readers.  So, here's the link for my binder video:

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is that I also like the binder idea because I can take it to the store with me easily.  That way, I have all my coupons and if something pops up on sale or clearance that wasn't in the weekly add, I can use a coupon I have and it's all there for me.  We'll see how it goes when taking my daughter by myself to the store.  It will probably be a process and I'll probably be fighting others for those carts with the plastic cars on front so I can go through my binder easily if needed.  I'll just hit them with my coupon binder...double duty!

Next week, I will post my first coupon grocery shopping experience.  I have some great deals lined up so I'll share how I used the coupons and how much I ended up saving overall.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Adventures in Couponing - Organization

Hi friends!  I recorded a little video of my organizational system that I put together for my couponing adventures.  Of course, my little preggo brain forgot to mention a few things, so I'll add notes after the videos.  I do want to include a couple of disclaimers before you watch them.  You have been warned!

1.  I apologize for sounding out of breath.  I am pregnant, therefore out of breath all.the.time.  It sounds like I have a lisp...I don't.  I was just out of breath.
2.  I apologize for some of the background noise.  My dogs always choose to act up and play very loudly while I'm recording a video or on the phone.  Never fails.
3.  I apologize for the lighting, especially on my face.  I only have one window in that room so there's a little bit of a shadow, but the binder looks great!
4.  I apologize for pulling a Michele Bachmann and not looking into the camera.  I was totally watching my image on the iphone and not looking into the camera piece.  Lesson learned.

Now, if you still want to watch and are prepared to overlook these little discrepancies, here you go!

Ok, so this is the first time posting videos and I don't have enough space to post both of them, so my binder will be in the next post, which will be above this one.  Again, I apologize...I promise I'll get better at this!

YouTube links for organizational systems: (based mine on this one)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beginner Couponer on Board

Ok, let's first start out with a moment of silence for my Steelers..........thank you.

And now, for my next big project.  I have decided that I'm determined to become a couponing queen!  My husband will deploy at the end of March and I'm going to use that time to become a great coupon shopper.  I've tried this once before.  But I didn't do it right.  I wasn't using the coupons while items were on sale and I was buying things I didn't need just because I had a coupon.  So, I'm trying again and I want to do it right this time.  I've been doing a lot of research and I feel like I'm ready to start.  I know that it will take me some time to get really good at it, so I'm not expecting huge savings right away, but I'm excited to get started.  I literally spent all day organizing my coupon binder, going through coupons I already have and studying this week's circulars for two stores near my house.  And let me tell you, I already found a couple of great deals.  I will be blogging about this experience and hopefully some of you have tips for me or will learn from some of my adventures.  Scissors ready....and....clip!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Book Review: Sarah's Key

Last night, I finished Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.  Wow.  What a great book!  It had been sitting on my Kindle for a while and I finally got a push to read it when my book club chose it as the next selection.  Thank God they did, because I LOVED it!  It's a very heavy subject being about the Holocaust and what happened in Paris in 1942.  But the way she wrote it made it easy to read and digest.  I didn't have to really figure anything out.  The first part of the book goes back and forth between a little Jewish girl who was affected by the Holocaust and the present woman who's doing research on it for a magazine story.  Then it starts showing how the two lives are linked.  It's such a great and really sad story.  I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it to anyone!

Now I'm going to read Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica.  I've been wanting to read it and a friend of mine just let me borrow it, so I'm excited to get started.  I've never been a server, but I have worked in a restaurant as a hostess, so I'm interested to see what it says about the industry.  I hope everyone has a great weekend. 

Let me just end by saying that we're hosting a Superbowl party on Sunday...and....GO STEELERS!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hello February...Goodbye December

I finally did it!  I finally finished my December Daily!  I carved out some time for myself today to get it finished.  I'm so happy with the way it turned out.  I'm sure I'll do it again next year.  We'll have to see how it goes with the new baby and all, but if I prepare enough, I can do it!  Here's the finished album:

Thanks for sticking with me through all the pictures!  Did you do a December Daily?  If so, did you finish it?