Savings with Style!

Start Saving with Style with Southern Coupon Belle! I'm now COUPONING IN CoMo!
What happens when a Coupon Expert in one region of the USA moves to another area of the country? I have started over learning new stores, coupon policies and building a reasonable stock pile and savings routine from scratch since October 1, 2011. I was an expert in Atlanta and the South but now happily reside in Columbia, Missouri!

I've searched other blogs and sites but I can't find someone else in my shoes so hopefully reading how I started over can help you! Whether you are a seasoned couponer in a new area OR a beginner- I know I can help walk you through what to do and help you start saving big! Starting over has made me realize how newbies to coupons feel and made me walk a grocery store aisle or two in a beginner's shoes again! Email me at and let me know how I can help! Thanks for reading and taking this journey with me!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coupon 101: Never hurts to ask, ask, ask!

I read a post on a saving site that I checkout everyday. I read a great story that reminded me that during this "interesting" time in our economy- never forget to ask if you can get creative to save money.

Long story short but this poster was doing a movie party at AMC. Taking advantage of their AM Cinema program- you can get discounted tickets for seeing a movie on Friday, Saturday or Sunday before noon. The only time available for the movie- Monsters vs. Aliens was IMAX at 11am. Price for IMAX before noon is $11 each ticket.

She remembered that Costco sells the 2 Gold Pass AMC tickets for $15.99. She called her theater and they will accept the Costco bundle for IMAX.

I've never bought these bundles at Costco but inside her bundles were Free Large Drink coupons. She didn't want the kids to drink soda so she called the theater again and they were willing to exchange the soda coupons for popcorn. The coupons had an expiration date but this AMC theater said that these coupons do not expire. She came home, did a google search for AMC coupons and found a .pdf coupon for a free large popcorn with the purchase of any IMAX ticket. She verified with the theater that it was legit and it was. She also signed up for the AMC customer points card twice for her husband and herself.

By asking and doing a little bit of homework on her own- she took what would have been a $284 party and paid $104! She supplemented the party with candy on sale and waters for the kids that she got on sale. She also has points and coupons to use on future date nights.

I was impressed and that's why I wanted to share. People want your business and let's face it- going to see a movie is a luxury these days. Don't let your pride get in the way and not ask how to make an event or even just a family movie night better.

NOTE: I don't know where this person is and of course- I'm sure the policies can vary by theater. Check with your local theater and find out what they are willing to do.

HOT Deals this week!

Here's a short list of deals I'm interested in this week:

Walmart: (Walmart prices can vary a little from the Coupon Mom lists)
Visine AC Eye Drops
Coupon: 3/15RP Sale Price: $3.62 Final Price: .62 or 83% off
Suave Hair Care
Coupon: 3/29RP Sale Price: .93 Final Price: .43 or 54% off
Halls Cough Drops
Coupon: 3/29S Sale Price: $1.18 Final Price: FREE or 100% off
No Nonsense Panty Hose
Coupon: 3/29S Sale Price: $1.00 Final Price: FREE or 100% off
Kraft Salad Dressing
Coupon: 3/29S Sale Price: $1.58 Final Price: .08 or 95% off
Oust Air Sanitizer
Coupon: 3/29S Sale Price: $2.50 Final Price: .50 or 80% off

Ready Pac Garden Salad
$1.00 or 57% off
Yellow or Zucchini Squash per lb.
$1.00 or 41% off
Febreze Candles (Price is after P&G Mix and Match Promo- buy 3 and get $3 off)
Coupon is for Free Air Effects with purchase. Coupon expires 3/31 3/01 PG
Final price: $2.50 or 62% off
Sargento Finishers
Coupon: 3/15S Sale Price: $2.00 Final Price: $1.00 or 65 % off
Pillsbury Grand Biscuits 8 count
Coupon: 3/15S Sale Price: $1.25 Must buy 2 Final Price: .95 or 59% off
Land O Lakes Butter 16oz.
Coupon: 3/29S Sale Price: $2.00 Final Price: $1.00 or 74% off
Dole Pineapple 20 oz.
Coupon: 3/29S Sale Price: $1.00 Final Price: .73 or 62% off

Rite Aid:
Magnum Razor 5 Blade
Free after $4.99 rebate or 100% off
Benefiber Kiwi Single Packets 16 count
Coupon: 2/22S Sale Price: $2.99 Final Price: .99 or 80% off
Starburst Jelly Beans BOGO
Coupon: 3/1RP Sale Price: $1.50 Must buy 2 Final Price: $1.00 or 67% off
Schick Intuition Plus Razor or 3 count refill BOGO
Coupon: 3/22S Assumes you have 2 coupons Sale Price: $5.00 Final Price: $1.00 or 90% off

Happy Shopping this week!

Coupon 101: How to find more coupons

We learned a little trick today- you may have more coupons for items on your lists each week from Coupon Mom!

Coupon Mom only shows the most recent date where a coupon is located in the inserts. If it's a great deal you want to really take advantage of- go to the Coupon Database and search to see if there are coupons from previous weeks available.

We found coupons from January inserts that were still valid for items we want to buy this week.
So it never hurts to double check- you may have more coupons than you think!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Coupon 101: Free crackers taste better!

I've talked before about teaching your child now how to save money and live responsible. I have a cute story to share.

Madi got home from school and we were enjoying a snack with Mackenzie of Wheat Thins and Sargento cheese. Mackenzie is 2 1/2 and said, "Daddy bought these with a coupon!" Madi says, "Yeah, he did Mac- Mom, what did you pay for these?" I said "Free." She laughed and said, "Free crackers taste better than ones you pay for!" I got tickled and then she asked how much we paid for the cheese. I said .65 cents and she asked if that was for the entire package or the slices we were using. When she understood, she sat there thinking then said, "Our snack cost like less than a dime!"

Even a toddler will pay attention to what you are doing. And my girls seem to appreciate it already! And you will never get tired of your children thinking you are a Super Mom!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coupon 101: Getting coupons for your favorite products

Hey everyone! Thanks again for all the great emails and added readership every day! I have a site meter so I can see where everyone is logging in from and it's amazing!

I did a "round table" tonight for some friends in the neighborhood and I got a great question.

"When you find a product you love, how to do you save on it and get it at the best price possible?"
Thanks Jennifer O. for your question by the way!

Here's my answer:
1. Start watching price and sales ad. Check CouponMom when the lists come out each week and see if it's on sale. It might take the 12 week sales cycle but if you know it's a product you love and will only use- that's long term and with multiple coupons, when it does hit its rock bottom price... stock up and then you can wait the next sales cycle out.
2. Check the company websites. I commented tonight that if you really pay attention to commercials right now- several offer coupons to print by going to their website.
3. Call or email the company. Tell them how much you love their product, tell all your friends how great it is and ASK for coupons. Most will send you tons of coupons for being a loyal customer. I can't guarantee you will get coupons but it certainly can't hurt to ask!

And like I said tonight- there are items that you aren't going to maximize your savings on but when you save so much on other items you can use- you can splurge!

Again- comment or email your questions. Great questions like this one can help everyone!

HOT HOT Deals at Publix this week!

Here's what I found interesting at Publix this week!

Taco Bell Dinners- BOGO
Sale Price- $1.35 or 50 % off

Goodlife Recipe Food for Cat- BOGO
Sale Price- $2.25 Combine with coupon from 3/8RP for $2/1 Final Price: .25 or 94% off

Dial Bar Soap or Coast- BOGO
Sale Price- $1.04 Combine with coupon from 3/8S for .35/1 Final Price: .34 or 84% off

Lysol All Purpose Cleaner- BOGO
Sale Price- $1.60 Combine with coupon from 3/15S for $1/1 Final Price: .60 or 81% off

Glass Plus Glass & Multi Purpose Cleaner- BOGO
Sale Price- $1.25 Combine with coupon from 3/22S for $1/1 Final Price: .25 or 90% off

If I bought all these items- I'd spend $2.79 and save over 81% off this week!
It's a weird shopping list but if you stockpile, save using the 12 week sales cycle, use multiple coupons to get what you need for the next 12 weeks- you are saving a ton and stocking up!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

70% off

Use the code: SAVE and get a $25 gift certificates for only $3!

Offer ends March 31st.

Happy Dining!

Come Meet Southern Coupon Belle!

I think I've shared about all the great seminars I've been doing the past months. I'm very booked the next 2 months with more opportunities arriving every day via email. It is so exciting, I love speaking and feel like I am sharing the wealth and believe in this ministry that has pretty much created itself. I feel so blessed that I am helping others with the economy today.

April 15th- Hamilton Mill UMC MOPS Super Savings Coupon Seminar:
6:30-8:15 pm Childcare is provided and it's a $10 donation to attend. Reserve your space now! Seating is limited. Email me at and I will send you the reservation form.

I'm teaming up with Jessica Northcutt- who I now believe is my long lost sister in this savings game! She is going to talk about saving money on your monthly bills, family activities and eating out for next to nothing! She is also a guru at saving big and I'm going to follow her with the way to save big at the grocery stores and drug stores. You will also receive a valuable coupon book of savings for attending plus my Coupon and Store Resource Guide on how each store handles coupons and how to maximize their weekly/monthly specials plus the rebate/ECB programs.

This event is going to be huge in the Hamilton Mill area- come see me speak in person and meet
Jessica. We have decided we are a Saving Money Super Force and can help you get into the game and save big like we do!

Even if you can't attend or it's too far away- email me and I'll send you the form. Forward to your friends in the area because you never know who really needs to hear this and get started.

And why I ask that? Jessica sent an email to her friends in her old neighborhood and one of my best sorority sisters was on that email. Shannon has started saving and so excited following the blog. You just don't ever know who you know, where they are and who can attend.

I have a Women's Conference on 4/25 in Cumming so if you are in that area- email and I'll find out if it's open to the public. It's Parkway Presbyterian off 141 and you can choose from 4 different 30 minute sessions to attend. Of course my saving money session, a great discussion about insurance, a Master Gardener and a professional organizer.

I'm also doing Concert for a Cure on May 2nd at Hobgood Park Amphitheater. It's going to be a great event from 2-6:30. I'm doing my Uppercase Living business- and another table for Southern Coupon Belle.

And- if you have a small group and you really want to learn this "game"- email me and I'm willing to work with anyone.

Just promise me one thing- don't think I wouldn't come talk or teach because it's a small group. Tell me what you want and I'll see what I can do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Maximizing the Penny Items at Publix

I know Publix is regional so just skip this post if you don't have Publix. I hate it for you because the penny item each week is great and the BOGO deals with coupons rock!

In case you don't know- Publix on Sunday and Monday offer a "Mystery Penny Item." If you spend $10 then you qualify for the penny item. You used to have to bring in the coupon to receive it but not anymore. It's suppose to be a surprise but great people on the Web have tracked the penny item since 2006 and the item each week repeats about 90% of the time.

What you may not realize is you can break your shop up at Publix and get more than one penny item. It takes a couple of shops but if you go by more than one Publix or you don't mind just putting your shop in the car and going back in- you can take advantage of the great products they offer each week. And be prepared- sometimes it is different than what you are expecting. And they seem to only offer so many of an item then change it. Some weeks are better than others so just decide if it's worth your time and effort to do multiple shops. It is also usually the Publix brand.

Here's the "rumored" penny items for the next couple of weeks: (it appears it's a week ahead so just see what your store is doing)
3/29- Supposed to be paper towels but most people reported Paper Towels this week
4/5- Bread
4/12- Toilet Paper
4/19- Water
4/26- 1/2 gallon Publix Iced Tea
5/3- Potato Chips
5/10- Glass Cleaner
5/17- Pasta Sauce
5/24- Mac and Cheese
5/31- American cheese slices

Couple of Hot Deals This Week

Okay- I'm back. Been a super busy week since last Wednesday. Sick child (the lovely stomach bug- spent my birthday last Wednesday night catching vomit, which I'm pretty good at I found out) finishing the PTA newsletter, my daughter's big party on Saturday etc. etc. Mac is still sick so keep your fingers crossed this slow stomach bug will finally leave my house!

I think it's a pretty slow week deal wise but here's what I found interesting:

Visine AC Eye Drops
$3.62 and in the 3/15RP there is a $3.00 coupon. Final price: .62 or 83% off

Wrigley Gum Packs
$1.09 everyday and in the 3/15S there is a Free up to $1.19 coupon so FREE!
You can also get this deal at Kroger this week.
Yoplait 4 packs yogurt
Sale price $1.25 or BOGO and in 2/8GM there is a $1.00/1 so final price is .25 cents or 90% off
Spray N Wash
BOGO or $1.50 each and in 3/8S there is a $1/1 so final price is .50 or 83% off.
Tropicana OJ
BOGO or $1.90 each and in 3/15RP is a $1/1 so final price is .90 or 76% off

Crest Pro Health Toothpaste or Rinse
Limit 1- Free after $3.49 ECB and .50 overage with the coupon from 3/15PG Saving: 100%+
Schick Quattro for Women with 2 Cartidges or Intuition Plus Shaver
Limit 1- $1.99 after $3.00 ECB and 3/22S coupon for $4/1 Savings: 78%

I still haven't pulled Walgreens or Rite Aid so I'll post those in another post.

Happy Shopping this week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Living Smart 101: "Dirt Washes Off, But the Money Sticks"

I mentioned my good friend, Prohomemaker and there was a quote on his blog that has stuck in my head the past couple of days. It was his mom's saying and he obviously learned from some pretty super smart parents.

"Dirt Washes Off, But the Money Sticks"

I love it and it explains so much about how people need to plan ahead, work hard now to appreciate the fruit of your labor down the road. I know so many people trying to keep up with the Jones or at least they did until about the last 12 months and paying the price for it now. For example, we live in a very conservative house for what we could have bought, cashed in the huge return on our old house and our realtor was pushing really hard 3 years ago to buy much higher than we did. We have a very nice home, fits our needs at this stage in our family's life perfectly because I kept saying I didn't want to be "house poor." I didn't want a huge mortgage that I couldn't go to the Premium Outlets when I wanted, do the things we wanted and prepare for our future. This was also a new area for us, I was pregnant with our 2nd child and I knew what a toddler plus a baby would do to a house. Baby gates, fingerprints up the staircase, spills in the carpet etc. We decided to buy this house, get through the messy child stage and then consider this house an investment property down the road. Of course, the area housing market has tanked so we'll be here a little longer than planned. Not a problem- we have wonderful schools, great friends and we enjoy where we live. Our next plan is to build our perfect "last" home and we'll be able to do that because of the patience we are showing now. And don't get me wrong- we have a 5 bedroom, 3 full bath house. We aren't living in a shack. :)

Back to the quote- I define "Dirt" as the effort it takes to get the savings and make these great savings sytems work for you. Roll up your sleeves, dig in and spend a little bit of time each week to reap the benefits. I've said it before and I'll say it again- people can criticize your frugal efforts and give their opinions but who pays your bills each month? You do!

I like this quote because it makes you realize you have to look at the big picture. I have 2 very smart little girls. Spending about 30 minutes a day now finding the deals, pulling lists from Coupon Mom and saving as much as possible each week will pay off one day. I will be so proud when the girls want to apply to college and I say- "Go where you want." And not strap my child with a ton of financial aid that they have to pay back for years after they graduate. Mike jokes and refers to having 2 daughters as "Two Wedding Bills." I hope that when my girls find THE ONE that we can fulfill their wedding dreams and that's coming probably right off paying for college.

And "When the Money Sticks"- I can imagine Mike and I enjoying our retirement years, loving our wonderful grandchildren and laughing about those crazy times when we bought toothpaste for nothing, scored all the deals and how we are now enjoying the money that stuck! And I can't imagine us still not working the deals as long as we can drive! HAHA

The last thought was how ProHomemaker learned from his parents. I hope and it's already evident that Madison is becoming a quick study to our efforts to maximize our savings. If my girls learn from us that saving money is crucial and credit/living beyond their means is not the way to go... then I know my efforts are not only rewarding now but for the future of our great family.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Living Smart 101: Children's Birthday Parties

I've decided to create a new Label: Living Smart 101.
I'll place posts there that take the saving money beyond the grocery/drug store and making a rich life without spending a lot of money.

My daughter's birthday is Saturday and we are having her party here. We're doing a Red Carpet Premiere Party and converting our garage into a Movie Theater. It's a fun party (we did it for her 4 year old party and she wanted to do it again) and we've got 20 kids coming. I got a lot of compliments 2 years ago about what a fun party it was!

Parties at bowling alleys, Chuck E Cheese etc. can get expensive quick!! With a little creativity and thinking simple- you can throw a fun party for a fraction of the cost.

Here's some tips:
1. Think outside the box. A home party will trump going to the bowling alley AGAIN when it's fun and different. We will have a red carpet outside with a bubble machine and paparazzi taking the kids' picture as they walk the carpet.
2. Design your own invitations. I have my own "company" and I do invitations for friends and family but you can design a cute invitation for the cost of ink, card stock and the right size envelopes. You can find envelopes cheap at Walmart to fit a 1/2 page invitation. If you have any type of scrapbooking software (or even Word) and cute graphics- it's super easy, looks like you went to one of those fancy paper stores to do your invitations and you'll save a ton of money!
3. Keep the food simple. I'm doing food you can get at a movie theater- so the menu is hot dogs, nachos, Capri Suns, tea/water for the adults, movie boxes of candy, popcorn and snow cones. We aren't doing a cake because one of Madi's good friends has a food allergy. Madi made that decision all on her own and she wants to blow out her candle in her hot dog. She is such a sweet, considerate child!
4. Plan your menu early. I knew my menu months ago so I could watch the lists each week at Coupon Mom and would get items I knew I needed ahead of time at their rock bottom price plus be able to use a coupon. We scored on the tortilla chips about 3 weeks ago because Publix had their chips as their penny item! Of course, I'll need to pick up perishables but I've gotten most of my menu for pennies on the dollar by planning ahead.
5. Keep the party simple- with so many kids and they are only 6 years old... you don't have to have a ton of activities and feel like you have to entertain them every minute of the party. Trust me- they will entertain themselves!
6. Keep party favors cheap. Again, this is a 6 yr old party so you can give them just about anything and they are going to be thrilled. Hit the $ Store and just give each child 2-3 things. We're doing Celebrity Gift Bags so they will be a little more elaborate. Also- remember the Birthday Favor Golden Rule- don't give anything to your guests that you wouldn't want your child to receive at a party.
7. Plan ahead what needs to be done so you don't get stressed out. I think that's one of the main reasons people just pay to have these parties away from the house. I realize that there are people out there that don't like people in their homes or the thought of getting ready for company can become overwhelming. Use one of my favorite websites: ProHomemaker and my great friend will guide you through the easiest way to clean thoroughly but quickly. Plus great tips on getting ready for company quick so your guests will think you are a Pro Homemaker!
8. Don't be afraid to call when you don't get an RSVP. I'm from Charleston, SC so RSVPing is one of the Commandments of Southern Manners. However, people get busy, have a million things on their plates and while your party is a priority to you- people just forget. Calling and asking in a nice way allows you to get a final head count so you aren't buying extra stuff trying to cover everyone and/or not having enough food or goodies for the guests.
9. Brainstorm easy but super creative little details. I'm laminating signs to put all over the neighborhood on the way to the house saying "Stars This Way to the Premiere." I got paint sticks for free at the home improvement store and I already have the supplies here. The kids got so excited last time when they saw the signs. Super easy and just a little detail that gets noticed. I'm also making VIP badges for the kids for "VIP access" to the party. Again, will cost next to nothing- I bought badge protectors at Walmart for about $3.00.
10. Make sure to thank your guests for their presents. Take a picture of your child with each guest and send a Thank You. Again- my Charleston Manners coming out but with these trying times and people struggling- buying birthday presents could be hard on a budget. Especially when you have a class of 17! If you spent $10 each- that's $170! Have your child show their appreciation and not only thank each guest for their gift but the time spent for attending the party. Parents have to juggle the weekends especially this time of year with soccer, baseball and softball etc.

I'm doing this party for under $50. Everyone is excited and I know Madi is going to have a blast with her friends. Granted we already have the DVD projector and the decorations from the last party but with some creativity and smart thinking- you create a birthday memory for your child that is priceless!

And it's 12:00am so Southern Coupon Belle is now one year older!

Good Deals if you can find them!

We found 2 deals this afternoon on bottled water and Right Guard Extreme Deodorant.

Publix has a coupon taped on 24 packs of Deer Park for a $1/2 6 packs of Deer Park or larger.
Kroger has the 24 pack with 4 bonus on sale this week for $3.99. Use this coupon at Kroger and get 56 bottles of Deer Park for right around $7.48.

CVS has Right Guard Extreme Deodorants for $2.99. It generates a $2.00 ECB. Some have .50 cent coupons on them so if you can find it- deodorant for .49 cents after your ECB.

If you are out and about- you may want to check these deals out.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

2nd Rant from SCB... Don't abuse the "system."

I'm headed to bed but here's what I am the most upset about.

I teach people every week about how to save money. I teach the theory to stockpile on the 12 week sale cycle. Get as many coupons as you can but buy what you need of an item to get you through the 12 week sale cycle.

I read the post last night about no more Cottonelle 4 packs of TP. I cash in my 1 or 2 coupons a month. I have 3 full baths and we don't run out of TP.

There are "Crazy People" out there- I saw on the same post that the TP was done that they have 200+ packs of TP!!

Okay... exactly how many times a day/month can you use TP? You only wipe your you know what so often.

I understand when people get excited... you buy a lot but DO NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE. You ruin it for all of us.

I get lots of an item but it's over a 3 month period. We respect the stores and use our coupons wisely.

Don't overload the system or the companies will change things and it won't be in our advantage.

Before the 2nd Rant.... a story that brought SCB to tears.

I'm mad at myself that I'm up so late upset but after I just posted the 1st Rant- I took a deep breath and thought about the story Mike told me today. I get teary every time I think about it.

Those of you in Georgia know that it has been raining cats and dogs for almost 2 days now. We did a garage sale Friday and it was freezing. If you don't know anything about Georgia... it literally was almost 80 degrees earlier this week and then freezing with rain approaching on Friday. It has rained non stop since. It's pouring now and it's very late.

We did great on Friday and Mike had wanted to work on the shelving in the garage so he got up this morning and opened the sale back up. He worked, the girls played and I was working on the PTA newsletter.

Mike thought about closing up shop and a woman showed up. She saw all the new items we had priced at rock bottom prices from deals I do to help show how to do the coupons and prove it can work. We had several bags of cat and dog IAMS food for $2.00 each. We don't have pets!

She looked at Mike and started crying. It threw Mike and she asked him if he really was selling the pet food for that price. Mike said yes and he would cut her a deal. She told Mike that she debated coming into our neighborhood because she didn't know if she could make it home in her car. And if Mike thought she was legit and true... I believe she was. She really started crying and said she just went to the grocery store, was trying to figure out how to feed her 3 kids and she made the decision at the store that she couldn't feed their pets. She had $20 left for the next week if she didn't get any other work this next week.

I love my husband to death but he isn't a sucker for sob stories like I am. But she touched him and he gave her the pet food plus food from our pantry and cleaning supplies since she cleans houses. She offered to pay the $20 and insisted Mike take $10 for everything.

People can call us crazy and we did good again doing the garage sale. This is just one more reason that this is a ministry and we are blessed to be able to help people really in need.

While my heart feels good about this encounter and feeling we made a difference... it's just such a sad example of how so many people are hurting right now.

The 1st Official "Rant" from SCB

It's very late here in Atlanta but I couldn't sleep after reading a post thread on a site I checked out before going to bed tonight.

I posted on the site and on Facebook that the Cottonelle 4 pack coupon refreshed this time last week and you can get toilet paper for free using these coupons at Kroger or their family stores.

I printed my ONE allowed coupon and Mike added to our Kroger list last week. He stopped at a couple of stores this past week and commented that the Cottonelle 4 packs were gone. We first thought maybe it was a stocking issue but I got the final answer tonight.

GASP/SOB/Madder than a hornet... there will no longer be free TP at Kroger.

First of all- I'm very confused at the reasoning after reading some comments from a Kimberly Clarke employee on this thread. She claims that KC is losing money on the coupon and the price at Kroger. Kroger priced the TP 4 pack at .99 cents and they chose to double the .50 cent coupon. Kroger only gets the face value plus 8 cents so I'm confused where she claims KC's demise is from the 4 pack Cottonelle. It is now gone and they have an Angel Soft 4 pack for $1.29.

I'm sorry but the Cottonelle 4 pack isn't "premium" TP. It isn't sandpaper but it's not quilted and not double rolls. But I've appreciated the freebie and in return... I try to make other deals on Kimberly Clarke products. I've bought Huggies over Pampers when I can get good deals because I appreciate the deals they offer.

I've only done the deal a couple of times when I get coupons for the freebie... my 2nd Rant will follow in minutes.

I also saw a comment that Kroger was "eating" the difference... I'm sure they are but I have never walked in a Kroger and only bought TP using this coupon. And as much as we are in Krogers each week looking for deals... we see plenty of people buying the same 4 pack at .99 cents with no coupon.

I'm just mad at different levels and I can certainly pay for TP. Read my next post and you will understand while I'm so hot.

Unfortunately, there is now no free TP!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Join and get 50 free prints

If you are new to the online photo company, Snapfish, join today and get 50 free prints for registering. Prints are just 9 cents after that.

I've used this company several times and never had an issue. Great quality prints and quick turnaround.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Drum Roll Please.... New Blog from Southern Coupon Belle

Hey Everyone! Readership is climbing by leaps and bounds everyday! People are learning quick using Coupon 101 posts and the emails I receive about how much money people are saving are awesome!

I also love sharing freebies and deals for everyone. I don't want to get new readers confused with too much information so I've created a new blog: Freebies from Southern Coupon Belle.

Check it out and when I post great finds- I'll mention here so you remember to go check!
It's fun to get a mailbox full of freebies.

Thanks again for making this so much fun for me!
Happy Freebies!

Product Review: Quaker Quakes

Quaker Quakes are rice snacks and before you stop reading- these are awesome. And I have never been a fan of rice cakes. But I'm hooked on these now! So are the girls.

They come in 7 flavors: Cheddar Cheese, Caramel Corn, Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate, Ranch, Sour Cream and Onion, BBQ plus Nacho Cheese. We've tried the Cheddar Cheese, BBQ and Apple Cinnamon. All 3 are wonderful. My girls ate almost an entire bag this afternoon.

0 Trans Fat, low Sugar and Fat so I'm pleased the girls like them so much.

Now the price this week makes them even tastier. At Kroger this week- Quakes are $10/10 and in the 1/18 RP insert is a coupon for $1.00/1. FREE QUAKES!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Coupon 101: Two ways to save money

I was talking this afternoon during Daisy Scouts with my great friends, Pam and Jennifer. Our families are doing okay (knocking on wood) during this trying time but sharing stories about people we know who have lost jobs and discussing the upcoming budget cuts in our school system are just downright depressing. Every time I hear more doom and gloom, it makes me want to try to figure out where else I can save and cut back just in case.

Here are 2 areas that I have found to make a huge difference lately:

1. I've unplugged everything that we don't use regularly. The coffee pot, the Kitchen Aid mixer, lamps in rooms we don't frequent etc. etc. Anything plugged in still pulls electricity. I saw a woman on Oprah that really cut her electric bill by a ton but she literally unplugs everything in her house. I did it this past month and my bill did cut by about $40 only unplugging things upstairs.

2. School lunches. Our lunch is $1.75 a day. Do you realize how many lunches you can make each week with all the deals each week? We let our oldest choose a couple of times a month or once a week what school lunch she would like to buy but the rest- she is brown bagging it. Not really- in a nice Pottery Barn Kids lunch box that I got at the outlet. LOL I know it's easy to pay online and not worry about preparing a lunch each night but the savings really adds up. Plus you know what your child is eating. Mine eats a better lunch when I make it and eats a good dinner to boot! We get great deals including the Manager's Specials at Kroger each week so she has great lunches for next to nothing.

Just always look for ways to save. Things are so crazy right now that none of us don't know that our current status can be turned upside down in a heartbeat!

80% off at

Use code: MENU to get a $25 gift certificate for $2! Offer good through March 15th!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Coupon 101: Thinking outside the box

Actually- I think you should think inside the box... a garden box that is!

Now is the time to start getting ready for a garden. Nothing easier will cut your grocery bill to next to nothing if you can supplement your grocery bill each week with fresh veggies.

And you don't have to have a plow and a huge plot of land. Our HOA restricts garden plots. We created a couple of garden boxes around the house in the backyard. I did herbs, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and a few tomatoes last year. I'm going to expand it a little more this year and I'm adding onions this year.

The best thing about doing a small garden is including your kids. My girls loved it last summer to go out each night, water and check to see how big the veggies were growing each day. My oldest loved taking the herb scissors and getting fresh herbs for dinner when I needed it. This is a great free lesson in how to grow something from seed or a small plant and my girls certainly enjoyed the fruit of our labor each night!

The other idea we had last summer was to add to Mike's parents' and grandparents' garden plots allowed in their neighborhoods. We purchased additional tomato plants and placed in their gardens. Mike helped make tomato cages and when everything really started coming in- would just stop on his way home for work and get tons of produce. We did squash, cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes at his parents' house. We actually had so much that we couldn't eat it all in time. Which made the neighbors happy- several stopped by all the time to get produce.

Spending a little time and money on a garden box will definitely pay off. Fresh, awesome tasting produce without spending for inferior produce at horrible prices is worth the effort. Getting creative and finding ways "outside the box" to save more at the stores makes the "fruits of your labor" even more rewarding. Sharing priceless moments with your kids and seeing their excitement- learning about goals, utilizing our planet and appreciating the reward of their work only sweetens the garden even more!

Hot deals at Kroger this week! $5 off 10 items is back.

Using CouponMom to target the best prices with coupons and using the $5 off certain items when you buy 10 can yield huge savings this week! You don't have to buy 10 of one item and you can do up to 3 of these deals per shopping visit.

Here's a short version of what I found to be great deals:
Prices are after the $5/10 deal

Quaker Quakes: Free after 1/18RP coupon
Shedd's Country Crock: Calcium Plus D variety: Free after 1/18RP coupon
Dixie Napkins 200 count: .49 cents after 1/18RP coupon
Land O Lakes Margarine: Free after 1/25S coupon
Colgate Toothpaste: .25 cents after 2/22S coupon
Colgate Toothbrush: .25 cents after 2/22S coupon
Scotch Brite Sponges: Free after 3/8RP coupon

Easy to do! Go to CM, print the list highlighting these items. If you have multiple coupons- you are saving 97% if you can max out these deals.

Coupon 101: Using Coupons to try new products

I've mentioned before that critics will comment that they don't buy things they don't use. I agree on some levels but when you can get new products at rock bottom prices using a coupon- why not try a new product?

For example, I have totally dropped my love of Clinique and department store facial cleaners and moisturizers. I love the Loreal Skin Genesis line and the Olay Regenerist line now. Got them for almost free after rebates and ECBs at the drugstores. I would have never bought Olay at almost $20 but these products are now my favorite and I see results from them.

My wonderful friend, Kelly, wrote me this week and wanted to know if I had extra Ocean Spray coupons. She did the free grapefruit deal at Publix and she now loves the Ruby Red juice.

It's fun to try new things and feels good when your family likes something new you got a deal on.

And there may be times you try something new and it doesn't work or your family doesn't like it. You bought it dirt cheap and now you know better. No big loss!

$3 Anniversary Barbie at Target

Here's a great deal for Barbie collectors this week. The 50th anniversary Barbie is on sale at it's 1959 price at Target this week for $3.00.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, March 7, 2009 Sale- 50% off through 3/9 has started the discount codes early this month! Get a $25 gift certificate for only $5! Use the code: CHEF at checkout. Good through March 9, 2009.

You know the discounts get better as the month flies by but if you have a favorite that sells out before the 60-80% codes- this is the time to buy!

Happy Dining!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Coupon 101: Department Store Credit Card Discount- Run Away from the Light!

My once little sleepy country suburb has gotten just downright fancy this week! Just down the road they have opened a massive shopping center with Lowes, Best Buy, Petsmart, Kohls, TJ Maxx and the now largest Super Target in Georgia. And those are just a few of the stores- more to come and tons of restaurants to boot!

We checked out Kohls tonight because they sent us a free $10 gift card. We didn't have 2 feet in the store before we were approached to open a Kohls account. Actually, we walked the entire store and were asked a total of 4 times to open an account. I know this is what they do but don't get sucked in!

They try to suck you in with an instant discount on your purchase. Great...take 20% off but charge me an interest rate that's probably over 20%! You apply because of the cloud the discount created in your frugal mindset and vow you will never use it but to get discounts, pay it off each month and never let the balance climb.

You may do that and stick to your guns- I know plenty of people that do. But... what if you don't? You just put another item on your credit report and that may be the difference between qualifying for a major, important purchase.

These credit cards have this magical way of talking to you when you are in the store. Let's say you go to Kohls to buy your child a pair of shoes. You budget that you will spend $50.00. All of a sudden- there's a huge sale and your child likes 2 pairs, you see some cute finds for yourself and a great pair on clearance for your better half. You calculate in your head and you are well over $120.00. That little piece of plastic in your wallet starts giggling in your head- "Use ME! You can save all the next month and pay it off no problem." That sounds like a plan and I bet if you went to Customer Service, they would give you a 15% coupon for your purchase. Now it's settled- you are using the card and paying it off when the bill arrives.

Before I go further- don't get me wrong. I'm not assuming everyone who reads the blog is living month to month or irresponsible. We certainly aren't but life happens and the best intentions can be thrown to the wind before you know it.

You wear your new, cute sandals and your child thanks you over and over for their awesome 2 pairs of sneakers. Husband is impressed at your find for him and you are on Cloud 9! Before you know it- your child is sick and you're sitting at CVS paying for a $75 antibiotic that you never saw coming. The next day, you get your HOA statement for your yearly dues and the pool is opening in a month. Your low tire pressure light suddenly comes on. The travel agent emails that another payment on your Disney vacation 9 months away is up. When it rains- it pours.

Now you have to start creative bookkeeping. And I'm saying that not because you don't have money but assuming you don't want to charge anything else. Which bill is the easiest to not pay in full and give yourself "just one more month" to pay it off? DING DING DING! The Kohls bill.

By this point, you've accumulated interest on your purchase. You are a good customer to Kohls! What do they do next? Keep baiting you in the store to purchase more. Your daughter needs new jeans- so you think "Let's go to Kohls- they are having a great sale!" To get the discount- you have to use the card. The process repeats itself. You are making more than the minimum payment and it's going to be paid off in no time. You get the mail a couple of months later and before you open it- you play the "balance game" in your head. "I bet it's about $200." Open it up and it's pushing $400. And you sit there trying to figure out how. That's why Kohls is so nice to list all your purchases for you.

This may never happen to you but it can before you realize it. Stores wouldn't offer credit cards if they didn't know exactly what they were doing and how to bait the average consumer into running up a balance. Just be careful and use wisely if you choose to get a card.

I still get the discounts at Kohls- I take my in-laws with me (and on Senior Discount day to boot for an additional discount) and they charge for me. They always pay the balance off each and every month so they don't mind. I pay them cash when we leave and we are all happy!

I didn't like this Kohls anyway- it's brand new and no clearance sections yet!

Free 25 copies of your resume from FedEx March 10, 2009

Read about it here.

Check your local locations for times and more information. FedEx Offices are also called Kinko's.

30% Off Coupon for Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic 3/12-3/15

Click here and print a coupon for 30% March 12-15.

Get 30% off during our Friends & Family event. We're calling it Give & Get because for every purchase you make, we give 5% of the amount you spend to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; and in thanks, you get a 30% discount on your total purchase.

Aveda Birthday Freebie!

Join the Aveda Birthday Program and you will receive post card for a free product, worth up to $25, for your next birthday.

Go here to sign up and you'll also get a coupon for a free sample of a new product.

$5 off $25 at Rite Aid Coupon

Go here and print a $5 off $25 coupon for Rite Aid good today and tomorrow only.
Combine this with your CouponMom Rite Aid list and manufacturer's coupons to save even more money this week at Rite Aid!

Wear your PJs to Bruster's tomorrow!

I'm not crazy but Bruster's have what they call PJ Weekend. It's this weekend at participating locations. It's called PJ Weekend but where I found the offer says it good tomorrow, March 8th, only.

Show up in your PJs and get a free single waffle cone.

Call your location and verify if they are honoring the deal before you go. One per person per day.

Baskin- Robbins- Coupon for B1G1 Sundae

Offer is good through March 28, 2009.

Click here to print the coupon.


Free Roast Burger at Arby's this Sunday!

I got an email today that this is true and at participating locations.

Go to Arby's on March 8th and purchase a drink. Tell the cashier to "Change My Burger" and you can get a free Arby's Roast Burger!

I also signed up for their club and they asked if I want to do surveys for them. I'll let you know what I receive via email.

I'm just loving all these freebies these days!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Get Extra Care Bucks from CVS for filling out surveys!

Go to and sign up to be on their Advisory Panel. You'll earn ECBs for filling out surveys when you qualify.

I'm signing up tonight so I don't know the frequency or how much. I did just see a post on another site that people just did a survey that generated a $10 ECB!

I think it's worth the time to register. Free money to spend at CVS and when you combine with the deals you find at CouponMom for CVS- you can get a lot of great stuff for free or close to it and generate more ECBS!!

1 year Glamour magazine subscription for $1.50!

Go to and look for the 70th Birthday Pricing Special in the top right hand corner. They are honoring their prices from 1939 and it's $1.50 for a year!!

Offer is good until the 15th so hurry, hurry, hurry!!!

Happy Reading!

Freebies at Ted's Montana Grill

Go here and submit an entry about how much you like Ted's burgers and you will receive a certificate for a free burger!

Click here and sign up for Ted's email newsletter and you will get coupons for a free dessert on your birthday and anniversary.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Get a Gorton's Fisherman Calendar with $15 in coupons

Click here to print the form to mail in for a free calendar when you purchase 3 Gorton's items.
The calendars are good from July 2009 to December 2010 and contain recipes plus $15 dollars in coupons.

Go here for the details and above the calendar offer is a place to click for a coupon for a $1/3 items coupon.

Great deal if you buy these products! And since it's starts in July- save the coupon and watch CouponMom for the best deal on these products and get the rock bottom price to combine with the $1 off coupon. Offer is goods until 12/31/09 or while supplies last.

If you do this deal, there's a place to share where you heard about the offer. Please put the blog in- when companies find out you've got a good following- they will send other coupons and even prizes to share with readers. That would be fun to do with all of you!

Great Freebie from the Gorton's Fisherman!

Happy Birthday to Me...Free TP!

It's the first of the month so it's time for free toilet paper!

I just learned a new trick. The Cottonelle coupon regenerates the first of the month so you can go print more coupons.

You can print one per address a month. The coupon is for .50 off 1 4 pack or larger and it's always .99 cents at Kroger. So- you get it for free!

If you have multiple email addresses and you might need a different computer- you can print multiple copies of the coupon. Just don't over abuse the system. Play nice and give everyone a chance to take advantage. Sites don't do things like this when they get overloaded.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cool website for Birthday Freebies

I just found this website and it's cute and very informative.

I selected my state and a long list of freebies, mostly restaurants, popped up.
There is a section for adults and kids.

Check it out!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Coupon 101: Dealing with "Coupon Critics"

I have finally decided that there are just certain people in the world that get the idea of saving money and the majority of the rest will never embrace it or even try to. And the most unfortunate thing is when you get excited, start saving big- you will get the negative comments from what I label- Coupon Critics.

I compare Coupon Critics to those pesky people that decide when you are pregnant that they can tell you their opinions, advice and horror stories. I don't understand either group of folks but when you are excited, saving money- you will need to get very thick skin and quick.

Why? First of all, you will want to start shouting from the rooftop about your savings. Because you get it, realize how much you can save and want to share and help others- you will become a Chatty Cathy about how well you are shopping and how full your pantry is getting. You are on the Coupon Game High, you've mastered the system and then you get the "comments."

And I hate to inform you but even after 8+ years of doing this- I still get the "comments." Even in this trying time in our economy- the Coupon Critics are out in full force.

The one that grinds me the most is "I don't buy things I don't use." I don't buy things I don't use- I get them for free. Or as close to it as I can. I get to try new things, roll the savings into other shops and we donate or sell at rock bottom prices to help those people that can't get this coupon system down in our community or are really struggling.

Another great one- "I'd rather be caught dead than use a coupon." First of all- why would you not save this kind of money despite your income level? I found a coupon fact that the larger the household income, the higher the education level- the more coupons are being used by that household. The mega rich (or they appear to be) use coupons. I don't have to do this- I did coupons when I worked 70 hours a week as an IT recruiter making a killing during the whole Y2K saga. But if things did change for us- we can handle it, deal with it and create a new game plan.

Just don't let people knock you down. My biggest critics are related to me and that's tough but I pay my bills- no one else does and I can't count on anyone but Mike and I to run our family.

And in case you wonder- we do splurge. But with patience and not using credit. Madi has wanted a Wii forever. We were worried about buying one because we knew Mackenzie would want to play and she's too little. We figured by the time she was ready- there would be a bigger and better version. I commend Madi for her patience and understanding. We also did not have a TV that would be worth playing a Wii on. We have nice TVs but hadn't invested in a large flat screen. Mike gets a bonus this month and we did discuss buying a better TV so she could have a Wii for her birthday and mine this month. We waited and it paid off!! Mike's grandparents gave us a 52 inch Flat Screen for almost free this weekend because they bought better TVs. We went out and bought the Wii this weekend and we have had so much fun. My arm is sore from bowling. It was a big purchase but this is wonderful family fun at home. And that saves money in the long run. Plus the savings at the stores plus the almost free TV- it was the perfect time to buy the Wii.

Just don't listen to the Coupon Critics. Have fun, help your home and be a good financial steward for your family. It will always pay off in the end- just learn to not debate those that will never get it and I feel so sorry for the Coupon Critics- they could have as much fun as we do!

Great deals at Kroger today! 90% off!

We did a killer shop at Kroger that netted 12 items including dinner for $4.53! 90% or $35.46 savings.

First of all- pay attention to any mailers you receive from Kroger. We got 3 this past week. Two were booklets with coupons and the last was a letter about the Kroger Baby Club. They are ending the program so they sent us a $10 off $10 purchase for participating for so long. We're potty training our youngest so we're about done with the Baby Club so the timing was perfect!

We matched the best deals at CouponMom for Kroger this week with manufacturer coupons, used several coupons from Kroger on their brands and the $10/$10 coupon.

We got:
2 Pillsbury Toaster Scramble and Strudel
A bag of Kroger pretzels- Kroger coupon for $1.00 and they were on sale $1.24
A Private Selection Pizza- Manager's Special for $4.49 and I had a $1.50 off Kroger coupon
1 pack of diapers
3 packages of wipes
4 Quaker Instant Oatmeal

We used a Kroger $5 off 3 Wipes that were $1.99, $3 off 1 package of diapers, the other Kroger coupons plus the ones we clipped from the inserts along with the $10/$10.

We got these great coupons because Kroger has repackaged their diaper/baby line.

A great shop- items we need and use (I'll post about that in a minute- I hear that one all the time) and we got dinner for under $5!!

Free Kashi Frozen Entree Coupon

Go to and get a coupon mailed in a few weeks for a free frozen entree.

Happy Monday!