Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Breakfast CroisSonic at Sonic!!

My friend Kiki over at Kiki's Korner just posted this and it looks super yummy! I love free food! Click here to get a coupon for a free CroisSonic at Sonic with the purchase of a large drink!

Mr. Rebates

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gift Cards Galore

I love Gift Cards! And in the past month, I've received quite a few, and it's not even my birthday (although my birthday is coming up in July and I'd be really thrilled if you gave me a gift card...but I digress). These gift cards were all earned from doing things I usually do anyway! During the month of April, I earned $20 in Amazon gift card for searching the web using Swagbucks! (You can read my post about using Swagbucks here).

During the month of February, I switched to a bank that had a rewards program for debit card users. Since we are striving to get out of debt, we are not using credit cards anymore! Chase offers a "Leisure Rewards" debit card which gives you points that you can redeem for gift cards or other cool stuff. I have used the points that I've earned to purchase $75 in Applebee's gift cards. They have lots of other restaurants too, but since I live in a small town that doesn't have a lot of restaurants, Applebee's gift cards make the most sense. This is a great way to splurge and go out to eat without spending any money out of your pocket!

Last, but not least, is my Walgreen's Easy Saver Rebate gift card. I hate to even bring this up since Walgreen's cancelled their Easy Saver Reward program, but I also have an $11 Walgreens gift card on the way. The best part is that I used coupons to purchase the product for which I got the rebate, so my out of pocket was only $4 and I needed the product anyway...Plus, I'll get an $11 gift card.

There are so many ways out there to make the most of your money. I encourage you to take advantage of a few of them!!!

Search & Win

Friends and Family Time at Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft

Any of you who know me well know that I love Ann Taylor Loft!!! It's a great place to find stylish clothes at a fair price. This week is Friends and Family week at Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft and from now until May 3, 2009 you can get 30% off your purchase with this coupon or use the code FRIENDS during online checkout. If you shop online, be sure to go through a cash back site like Cashbaq (3%), Mr. Rebates (3%), or Ebates (5% at Ann Taylor or 3% at Loft). These sites a are a great way to make the most of your money! Also, if you're not a member of one of these cash back sites, sign up now! Each of these sites offer a $5.oo bonus just for signing. To sign up, click on one of the above links or click on the banners below for each site! Happy Shopping!

Mr. Rebates

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Magazine Subscriptions for Pennies

Do you use Cashbaq? Right now if you sign up for Cashbaq, you get a $5 bonus. Right now, Barnes and Noble is having a super duper sale on magazines and if you go through Cashbaq, you get an additional 3% back! You can get Redbook for $.99, Country Living for $5, and other great magazines for great deals. Click here to sign up for Cashbaq and once you're signed up, go through their website to Barnes and Nobles to pick up some smoking magazine deals!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Full Size Scissors for only $.88 plus FREE SHIPPING!!!

All of you who clip coupons (or have children) know that you can never have too many scissors. At our house they are used for everything from clipping coupons to cutting tags to school projects to makeovers for dolls (and sometimes my children even cut their own hair!!!) Needless to say, this is a great deal on scissors! These scissors are from Costco and can be purchased here. Non-members will be charged a $.04 surcharge! Get a few...while they're still in stock!!! Thanks Lori!

Search & Win

Great coupon alert!!! $10 off Coupon good on any purchase at Dots!!!

Take this short survey here and you will receive a coupon good for $10 off any purchase at Dots! They have lots of items that are priced reasonably so you should be able to get something for free or very little money!!! To find a location near you, click here. Thanks Money Saving Mom!!!

Search & Win

Free Movie Monday

Today's FREE DVD rental code from Redbox is:


This code expires at midnight 4/27/09.

Mr. Rebates

Never underestimate a rummage sale!

Over the weekend, my youngest daughter had a softball tournament in a town not too far from here. While we were waiting for her tournament to start, my hubby and I drove around looking for garage sales. We happened upon a church rummage sale. I have to be honest with you, most of the stuff at the rummage sales was quite dumpy. I can't imagine dressing myself or the kids in most of what I found there, however, there were a few treasures in the midst of the trash. Plus, it was "bag day". For $1.50, you could have whatever would fit in a paper bag. I got some pants and shorts for my kids, 2 books for me, and a few soft sided lunch bags...all for $1.50. It's even a better deal when you realize that there were shorts from J. Crew, pants from The Gap and Old Navy and a few super cute shirts from The Limited. Although I usually have the best luck at rummage sales in affluent neighborhoods, you can find good deals just about anywhere if you're willing to look!

Search & Win

Free Kids Book from Barnes and Noble

Kids can earn a free book from Barnes and Noble when they read 8 books this summer! Here's the deal:

1. Kids read any eight (8) books of their own choosing.

2. Kids use the Summer Reading Journal to tell their favorite part of each book. A parent/guardian signs the journal when it's complete. You can also get a Spanish-language Reading Journal.

3. Children bring their completed Reading Journal to a Barnes & Noble store between May 26th & September 7th, 2009.

4.Barnes and Noble will give them a coupon for a FREE book! They choose from a list of exceptional paperback titles.

Search & Win

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Town Hall for Hope is Tonight!!!

I am a huge fan of Dave Ramsey and he has been incredibly helpful as my husband and I have been working on our finances. Tonight during Town Hall for Hope, Dave will be addressing the current state of our economy and taking your questions! I'm sure this will be an incredible resource! For more information or to find a location near you, click here!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Special at Walgreens! 15-20% Off

Wow! What a great deal! I know where I'll be today! Click here to head to Walgreen's site to print your coupon! Thanks Kiki!

Search & Win

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day Freebie at the Disney Store!

On April 22nd, if you bring 3 plastic bottles to the Disney store, you will receive a free gift. Rumor has it that this gift is an adorable reusable tote! Get more details here! ***I stand corrected...They are giving away a reusable water bottle. Click here to see more and to find out what else Disney is doing to celebrate!

Search & Win

Monday, April 20, 2009

Free Movie from Redbox

The following code is good for a Free One Night Movie Rental from Redbox.


This code expires 4/20/09 at Midnight CST.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Super Double Coupons at K-Mart

This week is Super Double Coupon week at K-Mart and I am excited because my local store is participating. Participating stores will double all manufacturers coupons up to and including $2.00 which means there will be lots of free goodies this week if you head to K-Mart. There are a few rules...some of which include the following:

Limit 1 coupon for each item purchased.
Only 1 coupon will be doubled per item.
You may only purchase 4 of the same item using double coupons.
Buy One, Get One offers, Kmart Savings coupons and Kmart Store coupons are excluded from this promotion.
oupons do not apply to sales tax.
Limit 25 coupons per customer per day.

Click here for the rest of the details! Also, Mercedes over at Common Sense with Money has a great list of deals available! You can check them out here!

Happy shopping!

Search & Win

Thursday, April 16, 2009

FREE CFL Bulb from Home Depot: April 19th only!!!

Home Depot is giving away 1 million CFL Bulbs in support of Earth Day 2009.  Limit one per customer and quantities may vary by store.   Find out more here!

Free Amethyst Earrings

Darcus Tori is offering a pair of FREE heart shaped amethyst earrings (Regularly $59.95).  These would make a great birthday or graduation gift.  You will have to pay shipping, but my total cost for shipping and insurance was only $7.05.  Not too shabby for a pair of amethyst earrings.  Use promo code 0801 during checkout.  Click here to order your earrings.  Thanks Money Savin' Momma at Engineer A Debt Free Life!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Free Cinnabon Bites on Tax Day

Cinnabon is offering free Cinnabon Bites on April 15th between 5 and 8 pm! Click here for more details!

Search & Win

Monday, April 13, 2009

Free Movie Monday from Redbox

It's Monday and that means it's time for another Free Movie from Redbox! This week's code is J89LA2 and expires April 13th at midnight CST! Remember, if you don't return your movie by 9 pm tomorrow, you will be charged $1!

Search & Win

Saturday, April 11, 2009

No Coupons on Easter Sunday!!!

Hey! Just wanted to give you a heads up that there are NO coupon inserts in the Easter Sunday paper. I didn't want you to take time away from your family to rush out and get a couponless paper!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Around the blogosphere...Lots of great freebies and good deals!

It's been a while since I've done an "Around the Blogosphere" post, but there are so many other bloggers out there with great stuff on their site! Here are some of my favorites! It's hard to beat FREE (and super cheap) music, food, audiobooks, and magazines!

Free Stephen Covey audiobook "Achieving Your Highest Priorities"- Thanks Freebie Blogger!

Free Chick Fil A Breakfast Sandwich through May 13th - Thanks Moms Need To Know!
(This is only good in certain parts of the country, but it's worth checking to see if you're included)

Free 2 year Subscription to Shape magazine - Thanks Moms By Heart!

Wal-mart Current Deals and Freebies - Thanks Money Saving Mom!

How To Make a Vase Out of A Coke Bottle (this is quite cool) - Thanks Thrifty Mama!

Taco Bell Instant Win Game (and More) - Thanks Hip 2 Save!

Free Rascal Flats Download: Still Feels Good - Thanks Deal Seeking Mom!

ALL YOU Magazine Special - 75 cents per issue!!! Thanks Keeping The Kingdom First!

Free Audiobook and Gavin DeGraw dowload (and other free stuff!) - Thanks Bargain Briana!

Enjoy your freebies!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Saving Money on Bread and Baked Goods

Do you have a bakery outlet by you? This is a great way to buy bread and other baked goods. There is a bakery outlet not too far from my office and I happened to stop in there on a whim a few months ago. I had no idea what a bakery outlet was like! Our bakery outlet carries bread (Aunt Millie's, Sunbeam, and others), hot dog and hamburger buns, bagels, english muffins, dessert pastry cups, and lots of other goodies!

Each Monday, our bakery does Monday Madness. Almost everything in the store is under 59 cents on that day. Today I stopped in and got 3 loaves of bread, 3 bags of bagels, 2 bags of hot dog buns, and 4 bags of mini bagels...all for a grand total of under $5! All of the items I purchased had at least 3 days left before the sell by date. I will toss everything we're not currently using into the freezer and we'll pull it out when we're ready to use it! This has saved us a ton of money! Some months I go twice a month, sometimes only once, but the money I save is totally worth it! It's a great way to save without having to use coupons!!!

Free Movie from Redbox

The following code is good for a Free One Night Movie Rental from Redbox.


This code expires 4/6/09 at Midnight CST.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Making Financial Progress and Dealing with Setbacks!

After Christmas this past year (December 2008), my husband and I decided we needed to do something about our financial situation. We had tons of debt and weren't making much progress paying it off. If anything, it seemed like we were sinking further and further into debt. On New Years Eve day, my husband picked up a copy of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book. He read the first few chapters and suggested that I read the first few chapters so we could start discussing it. I picked it up and read the whole thing cover to cover in one sitting! It was exactly what we needed! My husband read through the book the first week of January and we decided to start following Dave's babysteps. Step#1 is a "Baby Emergency Fund" or $1000 in the bank. We began to work hard at getting this money put aside. We also looked for ways to increase our income and decrease our spending. I began searching the web for sites that talked about bargain shopping and couponing. Fred began gathering stuff that we could sell on ebay. We both got serious about not spending money frivolously and we made a budget.

At the beginning of February, after nearly a month of work and trying to stick to our budget, some of our credit cards had gone up! We were shocked since we hadn't used them at all and had made the minimum payments, but we found that we had various subscription items that were automatically being deducted from these accounts. We quickly cancelled these subscription items and began looking for ways to come up with extra money for our emergency fund. We also revised our budget and started talking about Babystep 2...the Debt Snowball! In mid February, our church began Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. This has been a major help for us. By the end of February, we had a $1000 emergency fund in the bank and were chipping away at our debt snowball.

When March approached, we felt like we were starting to get the hang of things. Our budget didn't need much revising and we had made some progress on our debt. Somehow, things went haywire in mid March. To backtrack a little, on Christmas eve, a guy that has done some handyman work for us in the past (I'll call him D), showed up at our door with his wife and three kids (one of which is an infant). D told us that he had lost his apartment and didn't have anywhere to live. He asked if he could live in one of our rental properties. He told us he was starting a new job the first week of January and would be able to pay, but that he didn't have money to pay up front. He told us he would be happy to do work for us in exchange for the inital cost of moving in. Fred and I wanted to be generous and we felt bad for this family with no home on Christmas Eve. We had him sign a lease agreeing that he would begin paying rent in January and that he would pay us back for the utilites in January and put the utilities in his name in February. January came and went and D didn't pay us. We got his utility bills and they totalled $1000 for the month. We called and he promised to pay that week. The next month was more of the rent, no utility money, and lots of money out of pocket for us. When March rolled around, my husband sat down and had a talk with D. During the previous months, Fred had told D where to go to get assistance with housing and with utility costs, but D wasn't willing to put forth the effort. Fred told him that we didn't have the money to continue paying their utility bills and that we needed to get money from him or he would have to move out. D told us he totally understood if we needed to evict him. We began the eviction process (I'm not sure why D didn't just leave), but told D that if he paid us some of the back rent and utilities, we'd be happy to keep him as a tenant. He promised to get us money that week...and again it didn't happen. It was now mid March and our hearing was scheduled for the 13th.

On March 11th, I awoke at 1 am to loud sounds coming from the basement... I've blogged quite a bit about this, so by now I'm sure you now what the sounds were. Our basement was flooding! After 5 hours of baling (and the addition of 2 more sump pumps, it seemed like things were under control. At 1 pm, Fred called to tell me that our basement had flooded. In one hour, the waters rose almost 4 feet! We ended up moving into a hotel for the remainder of the week. When I finished itemizing what had been destroyed in our basement, the total cost of goods exceeded our insurance by almost $20,000.

On March 13th, (while we still staying in the hotel) Fred headed to court for eviction proceedings. D didn't show up, even though he'd been served and knew when the court hearing was and our eviction was approved. When Fred called to tell D that he needed to move out, he promised he would be out within a week and that he would leave the place spotless. He apologized profusely for not paying and told us that leaving the place spotless was the least he could do!

It's taken nearly three weeks to start feeling like things were back under control after the flood and this week Fred headed to our rental property to make sure everything was in good working order before we began looking for another tenant. What he found was completely disturbing. The house was filled with much trash that we had to rent a UHaul trailer for the weekend to haul stuff to the dump. It took multiple trips with a 5 x 8 trailer and another 10-12 lawn and leaf bags full of trash that was put on the curb. There were also tons of beer cans in the basement and it smelled like a bar down there! When all is said and done, our act of kindness will have cost us over $3,000...definitely not what you want to do when you're trying to make progress in your finances.

With all that has happened in the last month, I was scared out of my mind to sit down and revise our budget and review our finances. Amazingly enough, looking back at everything that has gone on, we still have made progress in the last 3 months. This past month, we ended up using our emergency fund in it's entirety, but it could have been soooo much worse. We are so thankful that we had principles in place to help ensure that this disaster didn't totally derail us. By the end of April, we hope to have our emergency fund back in place and be working on our debt snowball again.

I know this has been a rambling and long post, but I wanted to remind you that life will happen and that there will be things that happen to you that will set you back financially. Do not give up! Keep plugging away! You may not be able to make the progress you have been making, but if you can make it through without going further in debt, good for you! That's a huge victory! If you're struggling with your finances and you don't know where to start, I highly recommend reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book or enrolling in Financial Peace University! For more information on Dave Ramsey, click here!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Two Days Left

Just wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow (Sunday, April 5th) is the last day to use the $10 off Any Patricia Wexler M.D. Dermatology Purchase at Bath and Body Works! You could If you haven't tried a Patricia Wexler product, this is a great opportunity! These products are awesome!!! Click here to print your coupon!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lemonade Stand Award

Julie at Kingdom Klipper nominated me for this award. Julie has a great blog and I really appreciate her nomination!!!

The Rules:
1) Put the Lemonade Award logo on your blog or post
2) Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude
3) Link to your nominees within your post
4) Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5) Share the love and link to the person from who you received your award

My Nominees: (drumroll please...)
1. Nickels-N-Dimes
2. Hip 2 Save
3. Bargain Briana
4. Kiki's Korner
5. Keeping The Kingdom First
6. Moms By Heart
7. The Happy Housewife
8. Money Saving Methods
9. Deal Seeking Mom
10. Common Sense With Money
11. Get Rich Slowly

Free Movie from Redbox

Free movie code valid for a free night's rental at Redbox. MMM401 Code expires at midnight on April 1st. Keep in mind you can use this code multiple times if you have more than one credit/debit card. To find a Redbox location near you, click here!

Helping Others With Your Coupons

Today is April 1st and if you're like me, you have tons of coupons that expired on March 31, 2009. Although you can't use your expired coupons, there are lots of military families overseas who could really benefit from your expired coupons. Toni over at The Happy Housewife runs a program that helps military families overseas. This is a great opportunity to serve the families who are serving us overseas! Click here to find out more about sending your coupons to military families.

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