Teeny Freebie #172

Hi all.

I am very excited to present this month’s Teeny Freebie. I am giving away this set of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish and Top Coat.

The rules are very easy, please read below:

  1. Visit me on twitter at  @ModestCouponer
  2. Reply or comment on my post
  3. One entry per person only (U.S.A. only)

You will have 24 hours to submit your entry. After that, I will contact the person who guessed the correct number first. If no response is received within 24 hours, the next person will be contacted and so forth…

You have until 9:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) today to submit your entry. After that, a winner will be selected and will be posted via twitter.

 

 

*** These are the two items: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Miss Wanderlust 740 and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat.

My Mother Is Full Of … Eggs!

This time, I will be sharing a bit about my mother (Maria) and the love towards her pet chickens. Although, she claims them to be pets, they are more of companions to her. She cares, protects and feeds them with such love that could be envied by some.

I admit it… I am to blame a bit. When my daughter was little we bought her a few day old chicks. We kept them as pets, well, we ate the eggs but we did not eat them. It was educational for our daughter and for us as well. We kept them for years, until we put our house up for sale. We needed to get rid of them but did not want to.  It was a hard choice to make, so then I came up with the brilliant idea to have mother “care for them” while we searched for a home.

That was two years ago… guess she’s still caring for them. She loves them so much last year she got two more, then three then four more! It seems every-time we talk… she has added more.

The chickens live a happy life. They’re fed regularly…  hourly I think. Dad built them a nicer two-story coop last year. More so for mother which  helps ease her arthritis pain. The backyard is big enough for the pets to roam free if they wish,usually they stay within the chicken hotel, I mean coop. She tends to them as if they are kids. For instance, when one became injured from a raccoon attack… She took her inside the house until the chicken’s leg healed and was able to walk again. She catered to her, cleaned her and made sure “Fluffy” felt safe. Mom had an indoor chicken for months!

She gets an average of 9 eggs a day! Yes, a day! My mother does not work so gardening, cooking and feeding the chickens are her daily activities while dad is still working full-time. Mom and dad are very generous, mother loves giving her bounty away. The neighbor’s love her. They get free eggs, veggies and fruits, she spoils them, they like it. We too  appreciate the fresh eggs we get from her regularly, the kids enjoy gathering them from the coop, admiring the different shapes, colors and sizes. We have saved at least $1.99 every two weeks on fresh eggs in the last three months, thanks to mother and her companions. 

Walgreens Shopping Trip 

Today, I went shopping at Walgreens and found some awesome deals… at least for me. I hurried to the store today since Checkout 51 came out with new rebates (as usually on Thursday’s). The first thing I did was scream of joy when I saw some deals on nail polish. I super love, love Sally Hansen products, they are awesome! Unfortunately, they do not pay me to be a huge fan of their items, bummer!

I knew Walgreens had a clearance going on for the nail polish (store near work) so adding coupons plus rebates would make it an A-W-E-S-O-M-E, COOL deal.

On this trip the following items were purchased:

  • 1 SH Miracle Gel Polish $4.99
  • 1 SH Miracle Gel Top Coat $4.99
  • 1 SH Complete Salon Manicure Polish $4.99
  • 1 SH Airbrush Sun Tanning Lotion 5.9oz $6.99
  • 2 Lightning Nuggets Fire Starters 12ct $0.49
  • 3 Oreo Milka Chocolate Candy Bars $0.69

Total before taxes was $25.01. The coupons below were used for this transaction:

  • 2 Manufacture coupons for SH Miracle Gel $1.00 on 1
  • 1 Manufacture coupon for SH Complete Salon $2.00
  • 1 Manufacture e-coupon for SH Airbrush $2.00

Total out-of-pocket paid was $19.01 (no tax included). Shortly after leaving the store, the following rebates were submitted:

  • $3.00 SH Miracle Gel  Polish – Checkout 51
  • $3.00 SH Miracle Gel Top Coat – Checkout 51
  • $2.00 SH Complete Salon Manicure – Checkout 51
  • $2.00 SH Airbrush Tanning Lotion – Checkout 51
  • $1.00 for redeeming 2 SH offers
  • $4.00 on select SH products (when you spend $15.) – SavingStar
  • $1.50 Oreo Milka Chocolate Bars ($0.50 ea) – Ibotta

Final price after rebates: $2.51! Yessss! Pretty cool right?

During check out, a little boy with his mom were behind me in line purchasing a birthday card. Very politely I leaned over to the mom and asked if it would be okay if I gave the boy one of the candy bars just paid for. She was surprised yet said yes. Before heading out I asked the boy if he had tried this new candy bar,  he shyly replied no. I gave him 2. He smiled and gave a quick “dab”. Love it!

One main reason why I quickly acted on this trip is the fact Checkout51 only limited quantities on their rebates and are available for only 1 week at a time. So, if you see a rebate you like, take advantage of it: they might run out. Also, there is no guarantee that it will be back for the next week.

I am very satisfied with this transaction: love the nail polish, tanning lotion, fire starter (great for camping) and of course the candy!

What kind of rebates did you submit today?

Un Poco Tranquila y De Vez En Cuando Impulsada

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¡Hola a todos! Me dijeron que un blog debería ser breve y directo al grano. Honestamente, eso pueda no suceder aquí, veremos con el tiempo.

Me preguntaron hace algún tiempo si consideraría compartir mis opiniones y experiencias sobre mis viajes de compras de cupón. Para pronto mi respuesta fue un NO. Hay muchos sitios y otras cosas por ahí que son mucho más útiles que lo que puedo ofrecer. Siento y veo que hay gente que está absolutamente ahorrando el 75-90 por ciento en viajes de compras. ¡Eso es impresionante! Afortunadamente estoy muy satisfecha con mis viajes de compras informales.

Mientras escribo esto, tengo que agradecer a mi esposo, ya que fue su hacer que me consiguió en tratar de ser una madre ahorradora (eso es lo que me gusta pensar en mí misma). Mi marido estaba en un viaje de compras… llegó a casa y dijo “me dieron una buena oferta y un cupón para la próxima visita”. Yo era escéptica… Leí, vi, escuché sobre el uso de cupones, eso no era para mí. Independientemente, mantuve el cupón bajo mi buzón. Varias semanas más tarde en la tienda de mascotas antes de la salida me dio un pánico “sólo tíralo, no vale la pena, ¿qué pasa si no funciona?, ¿se reirán de mí?” Ahhh. Dejé la tienda y todos los productos que tenía la intención de comprar. ¡Fui al supermercado más cercano y compré mi producto allí a precio completo! Historia verdadera; ‘Hasta este día, mi marido no ha oído mi calvario, shhhh.

Me tomó más de un mes para volver a la tienda de mascotas (juré que tenían una foto de mí corriendo) pero no era así. Uff. Ese día, entré en pánico de nuevo, pero no salí corriendo de la tienda. ¡Y, sí que usé el cupón! Los ahorros eran reales. ¡Ahorré $5.00! WOW, pensé, eso fue genial. Tan tonto como parece, fue mi comienzo: cuidadosa, tímida y esperanzada. Valga decir que me siento de la misma manera cada vez que compro excepto que soy un poco menos tímida pero ahora; ¡Soy conducida!

Stock Piles

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To stock or not to stock? What a laborious task which could take months or years to accomplish.

A couple of days ago during a small gathering in our home, someone asked me the following question; “So, how big is your stock pile”? It took me a few seconds to process the question … I wanted to give the best yet most honest answer. “First of all, I think it sounds like a dirty pick up line. Secondly, don’t assume all couponers create a “stock pile” no offense to those who do.” The answer shocked him, “You mean to tell me your garage is not full of crap, I mean stuff”. He laughed, I didn’t. We had a long conversation regarding this topic which led me to question my relatives and friends before blogging about it.

Apparently, some believe all couponers are extreme therefore we “must” all have “stocks and stocks” or “piles and piles” of mustard, toilet paper, mouthwash, laundry detergent etc… Here are some of the top thoughts or questions I gathered from some of them:

  • “Why wipe out a store’s shelf?”
  • “Why buy 15 bottles of anything?”
  • “Do you have shelves in your kid’s rooms?”
  • “How packed is your garage”

These questions lead me to wonder… Does a person who collects shoes, cards, video games, coins, stamps, instruments etc… be asked the same questions? Would you assume everyone and anyone who collects or stores certain item/s has infinite shelves of these items in their home? For an example; Would a video game collector be asked if his garage is full of crap too? Or a card collector be asked if his kids rooms are filled with shelves?

While there are different levels of couponing, there are also unique levels of re-stocking, collecting, reserving or storing. The most important factor would be how you ask the question and why you are asking the question. What about a little less sarcasm and more comprehension?

Everyone is different in their needs, mine are to pay less on my grocery purchases. I don’t need to buy three years worth of items when another sale cycle will hit every three to six months. Yes, my pantry might look a little different from others but not by much. A few more cans of pasta, canned vegetables, soups, condiments and snacks can be seen.  My hair products will be more a few than others not crazy amounts but enough to share one or two. I still leave room in my home for we are still a young family and hopefully soon another pet might be needed in the household.

Who knows… I still have my eye on a piglet.

Teeny Freebie #171

Hi All.

I am very excited to present this month’s Teeny Freebie! I am giving away “You Having A Baby” book to anyone who is expecting, knows someone who is or just had a baby.

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The rules are very easy, please read below:

  1. Visit me on twitter at @ModestCouponer
  2. Reply with one comment only
  3. One entry per person (U.S.A. only)

You have until 9:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) today to submit your entry. After that, two (2) winners will be selected and will be posted via twitter.

 

*** The book is written by Mehmet C. Oz, MD (aka Dr. Oz) and Michael F. Roizen, MD. It contains a BONUS pull-out 40 Week Planning Calendar! The book is full of advice on food choices and physical activity for every stage of the pregnancy. Also, there are some illustrations that are very informative and cute.

Hibiscus Love

My hibiscus bush is coming into full bloom and so is my excitement. These flowers are dear to my heart since they remind me of my childhood. My grandmother had a beautiful tall bush in the backyard and during blooming season it was the most gorgeous thing you could ever imagine.

Hibiscus is a bushy annual plant. Parts of the flower are used to make a popular sweet and tart drink in Mexico called “Agua de Jamaica”. It produces the most deepest burgundy red fragrant drink you can think of.

In other countries as well as Mexico; various parts of the plant are used to make spices, sauces or flavoring.  Other uses would be to add color to a drink, food or craft project. A very popular use for the Hibiscus flower is in tea or to make medicine. I love it in tea, it creates an amazing work or art in a glass that is both satisfying to see, smell and drink. The aroma is somewhat potent but subtle, strangely, it relaxes you.

Researchers state Hibiscus may also be used for colds, inflammation, stomach irritation, laxative and an aid for treating loss of appetite.

All of this may be achieved with this beautiful pinkish, red flower.  Sometimes the best things in life are right in front of our eyes… or either the front or back yard. Now that you know a bit more about this amazing flower, would you value it more?

 

**This summer I will include the recipe to make “Agua de Jamaica” which compliments any summer BBQ.

A Family Meal Under $8.65

Let me explain a bit how much I love family dinners. We are a small family yet we strive to sit together for dinner every night. To unite us after a long day of work or school. There are times when we are not able to do so and it’s usually when one of the kids has a game or practice.

My husband and I have been committed to evolve our food preparation and cooking. Sometimes it works and at others it does not. The main idea is that we TRY.

Our family likes gardening. Currently, we have some leafy greens; spinach and butter lettuce. A couple of potato plants, four tomato plants, two bell pepper plants. Three of our six broccoli plants are thriving, the other three not so much. The sugar peas did not make it this year but we are hopeful for our newly planted cucumbers.

Today, the plan for dinner is Pizza and salad with homemade ranch. For dessert we will be having spiced mango. I am paring this meal with some sun tea – we love sun tea.

I will be cooking two of the four DiGiorno (family sized) pizzas I bought last month for $2.50 each at Rite Aid. The salad will include fresh spinach, butter lettuce, green frills, broccoli florets and tomatoes – all from our garden! My husband makes homemade ranch with our daughter; they make it perfect every time.  This week I was able to purchase mango’s at Raley’s for $.77 each so, I bought six of them.  We spice up our mango with Tajin (a Mexican company that produces several varieties of condiments). We buy the “Salsa en Polvo” a seasoning powder which contains peppers, salt and dehydrated lime juice.  We add this seasoning on everything from fruit to vegetables! The main reason our kids love Tajin is, it gives it a hint of spiciness without the burning.

The total for this meal which will serve my family of four is under $8.65. An average of $2.16 per meal. Usually, we have left over pizza, so the kids have it as a snack the next day. Definitely worth the effort both in couponing and gardening! Hope your dinner is as enjoyable as ours!

**We purchased the greens at $1.25 each plant – we have had over 6 meals out of them. The homemade ranch lasts us about two weeks and averages $0.44 cents per bottle.

Moneymaker at Target!

Happy Monday all! Don’t know how you like to start the week but I like to start it off by making some money! Unfortunately that does not happen all the time but today I was able to score an awesome deal at Target. So, I decided to take a quick shopping run during my lunch break. After all, Target is just 5 minutes away from my office and I have a full hour to browse some unadvertised deals to incorporate in my shopping list for later in the week.

On this trip, the following items were purchased:

  1. 4 Bush’s Best Beans 16 oz cans ($.99 each) =$3.96
  2. 1 Whole Earth Sweetener 40 packets =$3.19
  3. and 1 Zico Coconut Water 16.9 oz bottle =$1.79

Grand total was $8.94 before tax. The following coupons were used for the transaction:

  1. 2 Manufacture coupons for the Bush’s beans at $1.00 off of 2
  2. 1 Manufacturer coupon used for the Whole Earth sweetener at $1.50
  3. 1 Manufacture coupon was used for the Zico coconut water at $1.00
  4. 30% off Whole Earth Target Cartwheel app $0.96
  5. 20% off the Zico coconut water  Target Cartwheel app $0.36

Total out-of-pocket paid was $3.12. Remember, it does not include tax. After leaving the store I quickly submitted the following rebates (or else I forget):

  1. $1.50 on the Whole Earth Sweetener – Ibotta
  2. $0.25 on Any item receipt – Ibotta
  3. $4.00 on 4 Bush’s Beans ($1.00 each) – Checkout51

I made $2.63! How cool, exciting, tedious and fun! The most rewarding for me is realizing these items will be used, very soon. In my future; I see Turkey Chili on our menu… As for the sweetener; it will be staying at work to be used with my coffee. I love coffee!

This was an awesome trip. My husband is going to love hearing me explain in detail step-by-step about my transaction (wink, wink). *Will keep you posted on his thoughts about this. Anyway, that was my start of the week. How was yours?

***P.S. or F.Y.I

Aside from the numbers shown above, I also used my Target Card which saves me 5% at checkout (-$0.15). Another 5 cents were deducted from my transaction for using a reusable bag. The 20 cents savings almost covered my taxes of 24 cents.

A Brief Friendly Chat

When I first started couponing; I made a numerous amounts of mistakes. Heck, still do but I am alright with that.  There were times when I felt uncomfortable to this new “gig” similar to when you start a new job or activity with absolutely no training or direction. Other times thinking who would I go for help or assistance. Who will be my “wing man or wing women” on shopping trips. Then realization sunk in; if I can’t do it alone then I won’t be able to do it at all! That was my push; must do it alone!

In the beginning, I did not purchase the Sunday paper. My shopping trips consisted of minimal items purchased at Safeway and Raley’s (close to home). These two stores offer digital coupons accessible through computers, tables or smart phones. These coupons may be “clipped” to your loyalty cards and are automatically calculated at the time of checkout… when you use your card! This was a super tool making it more comfortable without the need of cutting. It was an easy task for me to accomplish comparing prices at both stores while determining which one of the two had the best deals. It was low-key, very simple to follow. The #1 reason: not overwhelming! This allowed me to become familiar with the stores, coupon restrictions, store policies and location of products through-out the stores.

There are times when oversights are made; errors and miscalculations are still a part of my shopping. For instance, when coupons were left in my car leaving me to pay full price for all items, or when I handed my coupons to the cashier only to find out some had expired. Or the time when… you get my point. The feeling of embarrassment and ignorance were felt quite a few times. Oh, still remember as if it was yesterday… wait… It was yesterday when shopping at Target; forgot to show my Cartwheel app. Darn! These blunders help me understand I am not perfect but I am totally satisfied with it, gradually, mistakes are less being made.

My realization after almost a year of couponing shows one rarely will comment or talk about the flaws that come with it.  For example; a transaction gone wrong, empty shelves, forgetting coupons, being yelled “you’re taking long with your coupons, lady!” Yes, that happened! Yes, I felt stupid, mad, insulted, mortified and uncomfortable. I applaud those that “all” of their transactions are perfect but I am here to tell you that no matter how well prepared, things will come up. We live in a world where not every cashier smiles and high fives you on your savings. Not everyone is waiting patiently behind the line for you to complete your transaction. Or when your kids keep playing that loud annoying sound on their new toy or game you just purchased (making you wonder why you bought something making you so vexatious).

This gave me another decision to communicate the good, the bad, ugly and sad. A form and way to express my thoughts, troubles and tribulations. Some might see it as a form of rant. I would call it a brief friendly chat!