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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Quick Haul

This is how I relax...
...I coupon...

10 jugs of tide, 3 packs of bounce, 3 packs of swiffer wet jet pads, 4 cans pumpkin, 4 lbs powdered sugar, 1 pkg peeps, 2 6pack lifesavers, 2 pez packs, 8 ghirardelli peppermint choco bars, 1 bottle excedrin migraine, 6 liquid eyeliner brushes, 4 eyeshadows, 2 lipsticks, 2 lipgloss, peeps (for mom) and a diet rockstar which i already drank - about 85 bucks and there is a $35 credit on my walmart card that I can use to spend on anything.

2 rubbermaid cups with straw, 4 cans old dutch cleanser, 7 jars no msg mrs dash, 4 jars german candy with beautiful reusable glass jars, 12 packs mint tic tacs, 1 set mens thermals, 6 salad dressing snappers, 1 pack fly paper, 3 packs shelf stable milk and ultra awesome binder - 53 bucks.

The walgreens purchase was the best yet. I even qualified for some 
free sample box of stuff which is awesome!  I can't believe I have 35 bucks on my
card that I can spend on anything I want.  The walgreens closest to my
house has the most aggressive markdowns compared to their
sister stores.  Almost all of these cosmetics will be sent
to my sister in laws family...but better cheap than full price.  The lady at 
big lots gave me the fly paper and binder free because they rang up
at the wrong price and coz she said I'm nice...

Woo Hoo

Q & A with TheSheChef and Afroprepper - last one for 2012

Video Link is Below!

This was our last Q & A session of the year.  I know it's been awhile...but it was fun.  Funny how we are always having fun no matter how busy we are!  Coming up next - is my shopping fiasco from today!

Friday, December 28, 2012

I caught my Nemesis SLEEPING!

Yup...I sure did catch my coupon nemesis sleeping on this cool and sunny Friday morning.  I've been couponing since about Mid August 2012.  Even I know that when they say the 12/30/12 proctor and gamble coupon book will be out --- that means the Friday before the 30th.  So on the way to work I hit 2 spots with free papers and scored 50 books - and then on the way home I hit a spot with free papers and scored 41 more books.  So I have a total of 91 coupon books.  I'm so excited - they expire on 1.31.12 so I'm going to have to move quickly on these - they used to have a 2 month expiration but I noticed they have shortened the expirations.  Fear of Loss tactic - but I know for sure that there are 7 super valuable coupons in there that I will be using.

I'm actually heading over to fry's right now to buy 3 racks of ribs and I'm going to ask the store manager when their proctor and gamble event will be next month.

My coupon nemesis is a tall lanky blonde lady with a silver mini van and mommy jeans that sit right below her bra.  She came to the shop and said why are these papers empty?  I said Ohhh -- the lady in the porsche convertible scans those papers why?  She was like a PORSCHE - I said yeah why?  LOL  I'm so messed up to play headgames on her...but I don't like how she drives around like she's self entitled to the coupons and I noticed she tears up displays of free papers leaving them for store employees to clean up.  She would lose her mind if she figured out I had access to another 150-200 papers. Haha.

I also have a coupon co-pilot.  My friend Monica who used to work with my brother and then I met her when I was doing systems IT stuff.  I actually gave her half my stash last week and I will give her half of these if she doesn't find any.  But we hit opposite locations on each side of town and then split the take.  it's very awesome!

Okay - I'm off to talk to some store managers!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Well...I can almost take a break - YEAH RIGHT!

...But at least I finally finished the cookie tins that are going out tomorrow!

 The usual - 5 kinds of cookies in a tin.  I was really swamped all week so I didn't have time to do the rocky road fudge...and that even makes ME sad - coz I love rocky road - rocky road ANYTHING!
I must admit I like the look of this combination of cookies this year...
 It's just a process of doing the most time consuming one first...and the most work intensive one last. 
 The dog is so spazzy on cookie days - she just jumps like crazy when ANYONE opens the door!
 These took the most work but I think taste pretty dang good - I call them my "milano's on steroids"  It's a vanilla cookie with milk chocolate frosting inside - with a light glaze and sprinkles..

Very tasty...
 Vanilla cookies with Caramel filling...
Chocolate Cookies with Caramel Filling...topped with Pecans my Aunt sent me from Georgia!

We took the kids to pizza, wings and bowling!  They are a good batch of kids.  What's funny is that they were really surprised when I said it's on the house!  Haha.  Bowling sure is a lot more expensive than it used to be.

It was boys vs girls night.  Mr. Man won it for the boys in the first round.  I won it for the girls in the second round!  Being old is cool....hahaha.  I haven't gone bowling in like 7 years.  Mr. Man is so competitive about stuff he just has this standard within himself that he strives for --- he's not just some lumpy dude that will slack through and do the bare minimum.  I was really surprised when I won the 2nd game...I asked him this morning,"Did you let me win that second one?"  He laughed and said,"I don't ""LET"" anyone won that on your own"  Hahaha....

I made another batch of holiday cakes yesterday and they sold out yesterday. I had stuff to do today so I didn't go in --- the case is probably empty at this point.  But that is good - I'd rather have it empty of the holiday theme cakes than have leftover cakes I will have to mark down to half price. Besides, I had a lot to do today --- the cookie tins, canning the ham, entertaining some people, laundry, organizing.  It's crazy but I'm glad to have this busy and full life...I really don't understand how people can live a lukewarm existence --- I think having a certain amount of pressure on yourself improves your being!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Deal of the Day...Ham On It!!!

I just LOVE the store Fresh and Easy.  Not just because they have coupons in their mailers but also because their store brand items have no high fructose, no nitrates and no nitrites.  They also have cool employees who are genuinely helpful no matter how busy they are.

I got an AD in the mail that said bone in ham 49 cents (limit 1) with any 30 dollar purchase.  I kept it in my purse so I wouldn't forget.  I had to do some purchasing today so I stopped in at Fresh n Easy because it was close to office depot (why is cash register tape and label tape so expensive - it really kind of freaked me out).  Anyway - I had 1 coupon for $3 off $30 or $10 off $50.  We really have a lot of stuff in the cupboards, pantry and freezer.  So this took me a lot longer than I expected to meet the $50 mark.  The only rule with the 49 cent ham was that the $30 minimum is pre ham purchases.  The other awesome thing today was it was no longer limit 1 - you could buy as many as you want!  Yay!

This is what I got.

39 lbs of ham...
5 lbs no additive bacon
1 lb peppered hard salami
2 lb broccolli florettes (fresh and ready to cook)
1 lb fresh green beans
1 container tofu
2 jars chinese mustard paste
2 jars pink himalayan salt
1 ready to eat garden salad
1 bag cinnamon sugar pita chips
3 large rolls 3 color metallic gift ribbon
3 christmas bags
10 lbs all purpose whole wheat flour
5 lbs c&H dark brown sugar
18 eggs
10 lbs potatoes
1 fresh pineapple

Including the ham - it rang up to 150.95 or something.  That kind of freaked me out.  So I snapped the coupon through and asked the attendant - can I repurpose these coupons?  she said sure as long as you meet the dollar amount - snap away.  I snapped the coupons through 3 times...then looked at the total - $60.44

Wow!  I'm so proud of myself!  The ham and bacon alone is worth more than what I paid.  I calculated and I paid like 20 bucks for the 3 ham.  Amazing - I'm going to do some canning tomorrow!  I might even go back on Monday and pick up their canning jars that are marked down and some of that organic bob marley brand coffee (very tasty - I like the buffalo soldier flavor)!  We will see.

I went by the shop today because they had called me to tell me that they had sold out of the Christmas cakes that I had made...I filled the case with about 9 theme cakes and 9 character cakes.  I finished 17 custom orders as well as 7 last minute orders (I rarely turn down a sale unless I dislike the person)...So I went in today and put in 4 snowmen and 1 elf cake and 4 more yulelogs.  The night person called to tell me that the snowmen and logs are already SOLD and we will still be open tomorrrow and for 4 hours on Monday.  Now I wish I would have stayed an extra hour and put out 8 extra cakes.

The reason we are opening on Monday for 4 hours is because I know that people simply do not have room in their freezer for dessert.  It is just to give them an opportunity to pick up their cake last minute.  I have to do a bit of inventory tomorrow as well as finish the schedule - so I might as well throw out 4 snowmen cakes.

I am taking the kids out to Native New Yorker tonight for Wings and Pizza and then we will go Neon bowling.  My treat - all they have to do is show up.  Some of them cannot make it so I am just making them a cookie tin or a cookie bag.  Wine bags are great for cookies coz you can stack them in there like a cylinder! 

I am still kind of freaking out that a box of register tape and a double pack of cartridges for the label maker cost me 83 bucks - and all that food cost me 60 bucks.  If anyone out there knows how to hustle Office Max with their rewards program - can you please coach me!

Have a Good Weekend Everyone - and be safe - everyone is driving crazy everywhere.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

WooHoo J A C K P O T!!!

So tonight Mr. Man and I went to get 35 gallons of water and I said,"let me pop into this store real quick and grab some onions and nectarines (i made fresh squeezed juice for his lunch)."  He said,"I will get the water and keep an eye out for you..."  I went inside and grabbed some produce and some beer and on the way out I noticed 2 full stacks of FREE newspapers.  I couldn't see Mr. Man anywhere so i browsed the paper and wouldn't you KNOW they had smart source coupons in them.

I started sorting through them while I was waiting for Mr. Man...I could not believe my luck.  The best part of it is that this version of the smart source coupon actually had more FOOD coupons versus cosmetic coupons...Unbelievable.  I am just floored at this rainfall of coupons - because this community paper puts out like 100 in front of this store.  Which means there has to be another 40-60 papers at the store 2 blocks down.  Bwa hahahhaa.  Mind you I won't be taking all the coupons all the time - I'm generally happy with 40-50 coupons...but if I catch a good coupon like the one that allowed me to get toilet paper for 27 cents  I will grab all 160 papers.  This is very fortunate indeed.

You'd think as busy as I am I wouldn't even mess with the coupons.  But as far as I'm concerned when you are given a bit of good luck - it's best to take it instead of letting it turn into bad luck.  Others may suffer in silence --- I'd rather push through my exhaustion.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

WooHoo I made it through finals and a crazy cake week!

I made it through finals - and I'm a bit disappointed in myself.  This is my first semester having full time work and the new house...I have b's  so that will further drop my 3.92 GPA - if I have time this semester I may retake the 2 classes to pump my gpa closer to a 4.0...other than that it is what it is.  We are making good money with both of us bringing in "the bacon"  and I don't really want to slow down.  We are finally in a position to pay cash for some big ticket items - we have not had to go into debt at any point - even our brand washer and dryer (front load woo hoo)  are paid, ditto for the fridge and the tv.  We really would like to go solar by summer, get some security doors, get the country living grain mill and buy an XL diesel generator.  It is what it is...I have a bit of a fever and an exhaustion cough but I don't care - I'm still makin bread today and doing laundry.

I've also committed to work so I just need to set a method in order so that the shop runs itself with a reasonable routine.  I can't wait to pull down my first bonus check.  Bonus checks are really where it's at because they are in addition to what I'm already making.

Above is a video  I recently posted because I kept getting private messages asking about couponing - and the insinuation behind the questions was an insinuation that i didn't really have that many coupons and oh I couldn't possibly have that many coupons - yeah right.  First of all --- I don't really like people enough to impress them, because no ones standards on myself could be higher than my own.  It was a bit annoying that anyone would think just because THEY can't find free coupons doesn't mean that I could not possibly find them.  That would be like saying people can't play in the NFL coz I can't, or people can't dunk coz I can't even run across a basketball court, or saying people can't pull a tank with their teeth just because I can't.  That cognitive dissonance bullshit is really getting on my nerves.

The other thing is anyone who knows me knows that I'm too frugal to pay for anything that's free.  I guess some folks will pay a clipping fee for coupons on ebay or craigslist.  I haven't had to do that at this point...but going forward if I can get a 4 pack of double ply tp for 27 cents I would certainly buy some coupons.   I can understand if other people do it but that doesn't mean that i'm weaving a tale of bullshit. LOL.  I don't know what to tell them.  My grandfather used to say when you are working and out and about you tend to be more "lucky"  because good fortune will often pass you buy if you are just sitting around or laying around.  As I get older I realize this is kind of true.  I get a lot of deals and hookups and meet a lot of nice people who in turn I also try to help in some way even if it is verbally.

I also want to discuss another facet of couponing.  I know the store gets reimbursed for the value (or doubling) of coupons plus 8 cents for a handling charge.  That means the store makes quite a bit on the coupons.  HOWEVER, this does NOT give me the right to abuse the cashiers.  I always have all my coupons good to go and check the names, weights, brands and all that before I get in line.  I am not DIGGING through my envelopes when they are ready with the total.  I also do this to make sure that the prices are ringing up correctly at time of purchase --- so I am watching the prices on the register as opposed to digging.  The cashiers do not make the rules, but if they are not capable of understanding the rules - I have coupon policies bookmarked in my phone so I can make them read it.  Not all people interpret reading correctly and they sometimes need help.  I try to be as pleasant and humble as possible because I know I'm getting this stuff damn near free --- but I am getting it because they even ACCEPT coupons, so that puts humility into perspective.  I always have gift card for ice cream or coffee in my purse and often hand them to the cashier to say thank you.  I always gift my butcher something - and the mail lady something --- because often work is a thankless job!  I also learn quickly who is the most efficient and smart cashier who will get me through as painlessly as possible with my large purchases.  Finally, when you have some form of "relationship" with people you often deal with in stores --- they are more prone to go further for you.  For example,  about a month ago I noticed they marked down the PYREX 3 quart mixing bowls to 2.49...AND each of them also had a $1 off any pyrex coupon.  Well, they rang up for 4.99 and I said that is wrong but I took all 6.  So i walked the bagger over to grab the tag off the shelf and she confirmed they were 2.49.  So the cashier laughed and said,"you know what since it was wrong I will give you 2 for free and THEN still use your 6 coupons."  So I got 6 pyrex bowls for $3.96.   Another time they had these waffle weave kitchen towels marked down to 10 cents - so I took the whole box.  Well for some reason they rang up at the register for 50 cents - so I went back in the store and grabbed the box and said look these should be a dime.  Well he gave me a refund and said - why don't you go get 6 more free just for your inconvenience.  That means that I got 31 kitchen towels for 2.50.  hahaha. 

But don't get me wrong - I had a bad experience with a cashier at a grocery store and I immediately went to the website to write a complaint and the website was down.  So I went to their sister store website and wrote a complaint.  It must have been well written because the store manager wrote me in like 30 minutes...I haven't gotten back to him since I'm relaxing today...but I'm curious to see what he will do.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


that's all - I'm just cracking up at the general nature of people.  I wish I had a little extra time to write...but I'm slammed with finals, work - work is good and profits are up compared to last year, home stuff, coupon stuff...finally we're lined up for awesome bonuses.  Finally the house is about 90% unpacked (I will do the rest after the 23rd)...

City Momma is coming from Chicago in February and my sister in Law is coming with her twins which will be super awesome.  City Momma always has a lot of EMPATHY for me because she does the same grind that I do.  Up first and asleep last. 

During break I'm going to catch up on some canning as well - I'm hoping to do 50 lbs of tomatoes, 100 lbs of ground beef, 20 lbs of ham, 40 lbs of chicken and maybe 15 lbs of bacon end pieces (I found a great place that has mostly meat at 1.88/lb).  It's also time for us to cut customized screens for the windows and start finishing the attic.

I am taking my employees for pizza and bowling because they have been working so hard and really making a super effort.  At that time I will be giving them their Christmas tins full of cookies and goodies (toblerone for the boys - nail polish for the girls)...I'm tired of sorry lames at the shop - and am very excited to be firing someone this Sunday and next Sunday.   I can only listen to excuses for so long...

I've been helping quite a few people through their hard time.  But I am now drawing the line in the sand.  I certainly don't want anyone to go hungry (however they mostly do THAT to themselves)...but I am getting a bit fed up at the ungrateful nature of people when you help them with their celebratory cake, or their children or anything in general.  I like how people think they can just be hours late from when they say they will arrive - or days late giving me materials for THEIR cake and that's just ok.  Guess what - that puts you on my shit list.  I really don't need friends - I have 5 siblings and 3 sister in laws...however - i DO have good friends.  And I would never treat my friends like shit or inconvenience them even if I've known them since grade school.  Next year will be more freebies to acquaintances --- they can pay me via my SQUARE card reader on my phone.  Simply put, their procrastination will no longer cause me any stress or inconvenience.  I don't owe anyone anything - shit, I don't even own the bank shit.

It's been a really hectic transitional year -- I'll almost be relieved when it is time for our New Years Day Anniversary party!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Today's haul...I forgot to post the weekend haul... a matter a fact - I didn't even take pics of my weekend haul.  I can't wait til the new digi cam comes in and I can just leave it on the counter.  I don't really like taking these pics with my phone...but oh well!

For the naysayers - and the "oh I can't believe that coz I can't find is my haul of 3 separate set of coupons.  Total of 43 of each type (red plum, smart source, target)...Yup I found the 43 free papers and I didn't even dumpster dive.

 First stop Safeway:  I had loaded ecoupons and special offers to my card.

The string cheese was 4.99 each and I had a precious coupon for buy one get one.  The baileys were buy one get one and I had 2 coupons for $1 off ea - so they ended up being 40 cents each.  The pineapple were 99 cents - and the pacifiers were half off for 2.49.       

I had a $5 off any huggies coupon plus a $2 off coupon. The toblerone were supposed to be 2 for $4 but there was some kind of coupon attached to my savings card - so they ended up being 75 cents each.  I got 28 bars.  The blistex ended up being free.  But they only have a 3 upgrade to $1 limit on coupons - otherwise I would have cleared the shelf.  The  crazy thing is - on these 2 separate purchases I also got an additional $3 off for being a "valued customer"  Ha haha!

This past weekend I went by Target to kill some dogfood coupons - plus they had given me a $5 off 20 purchase - so I ended up getting 19 bucks off 2 bags of dog food when I stacked the target+catalina+manufacturer coupons...and I noticed they had these wet jets for $5 bucks each...what a steal - they are normally 20 a piece --- so I bought 2.  I got a lot of stuff at Target using stacked coupons and some organizational bamboo stuff for all my little stuff...and I even had enough extra for a new grate for the fireplace.
 Walgreens - 2nd Stop:
Dye 5.99 with coupon (+ had venus shaver)
Organix hair serum - 2.99
Clippers and Tweezers - 1.59 each
Moon Candy Nail Polish 99 cents.

Supposedly this moon candy nail polish is supposed to be 8.99...they had it marked down to 4.99 with a $3 instant rebate and I had $1 off any revlon product coupons.  Crazy!!!  I dunno who would pay 9 bucks a piece for these things coz i sure wouldn't. 
Seriously who would pay 9 bucks a piece for these!