Extreme Couponing Minnesota Housewife Style

Yesterday I had some time on my hands so I decided to take extreme couponing into my hands again. I’ve found a really great site for finding the best deals out there at any given time. It’s CouponMom.com – you’ll have to set up an account (so worth it) and she will send you a daily email of today’s hot deals. It’s seriously my favorite.

Now once you’ve created an account and signed in, visit the stores by state page. There you’ll be able to pick your store of choice and it will give you a big breakdown of the current specials and coupons that are out there to make items a low, low price. This is so awesome because you can scroll through the page and see what is on sale, and also what coupons to use to make the prices even lower. On top of that, she also tells you where to find those coupons to get that lowest price. Are you in love yet? You should be. This is amazing.

So, once I found all the coupons and discounts that I needed, I hit the road. I got all my items (more or less, some were out of stock, people beat me to the punch!) and hit the checkout lane. When all was said and done, I saved $35 on my whole trip! Which meant I only spent $75. It would have been lower but DH called with a couple things we needed that I didn’t have coupons for (dangit!) Not bad though, right?

Anyways, I ended up with lots of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, Ragu sauces, Covergirl makeup, Suave hair products, laundry detergent, toilet paper, pop, some Halloween candy, a kids Bingo game, a furnace filter, reading glasses, diapers for a friend, apples, candles and a new desk calendar. Not. Too. Shabby!

One more extreme couponing tip that I have picked up (because I spent this shopping trip at Target) is this: When shopping at a retailer, pair your store coupons with your manufacturer coupons. I know this might seem basic, but it’s the best way to get lots of discounts on one product and some people don’t realize you can do it! I had a Target $0.50 off a Suave product and I had a manufacturer coupon of buy 2 Suave products and get $1.00 off (if I remember right). So with the two coupons, I got two products and $1.50 off them. I believe the items I got were $1.84 so I got two products for $2.18. It’s not a whole lot but it’s almost like getting one for free. Imagine doing this trick with high value coupons – you can save a lot!

If you have any couponing tricks to share, please do! I’m all about learning some new tricks 🙂

Hearts,
Ruby

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This, That and The Other – Minnesota Living

I had no idea what to call this post, so the title ‘this, that and the other’ came to me. I’ve been having a busy, crazy week so far so there’s lots to pack into this post. Whew! So here goes.

Image by lostinmiami on Flickr

Couponing has been a strong effort lately! After watching ‘Extreme Couponing’ episodes over and over, I’ve picked up on some good tips. Maybe you already know them, but for me it was brand new so I had a lot to pick up.

A) Shop on double-coupon days. Your couples will double and some items can even end up to be free!
B) Keep an eye on your local specials. The key is to pair local store discounts with the manufacturer coupons to get the best price.
C) Make a filing system of your coupon inserts. For me, this meant getting file folders and hanging folders to keep my coupons organized. Every Sunday, label a file folder with the date and put your inserts for that week in there. That way, if a store has a special that you can use an older coupon on, you’ll be able to find it. You can find these specials when you use coupon blog sites like TheKrazyCouponLady.com or Fantabulously Frugal. Follow them on Twitter or Facebook to get instant updates.

As I keep learning more, I’ll share. But if you have tips too, leave them in the comments. I definitely want to hear them!

On top of other things, my husband surprised me with a pink bow and arrow for our anniversary. It is really cute! And I’m pretty good at it too 🙂 Minus breaking one arrow, I’ve hit the target almost every time. But don’t give me too much credit, I’ve been standing relatively close – about 15 yards close. We’re going to practice some more this weekend too, I’m excited to get better at it! It takes a lot of arm strength so that is my biggest hurdle right now. I’ve got to build up some arm strength before I get really good at it. Which is good, because my arms need shaping up anyways 🙂

In more fun news, we bought a new car. Did I mention that yet? I don’t think I have. We bought a new Volkswagen 🙂 DH loves it, and it’s pretty good on gas mileage too. It’s been perfect for us, and we got a great deal on it! Win-win!

Alrighty, well this girl is plum-tuckered out. So happy tomorrow is Friday! I am also counting down the days until Black Friday, by the way. My favorite holiday of the year!!

Hearts,
Ruby

My Memories Suite: Review & Giveaway

I’m always looking for fun new ways to store my photos. Growing up, I always got pictures from my camera printed and stored them in a photo album. The problem is, the photo albums take up a lot of space and just don’t get all that much use. Another option is scrap booking! I love the idea of doing scrapbooks. They make pictures so fun to look at and make it super fun to tell a story that you can relive over and over again! PERFECT, right? Welll…after I made my first scrapbook, I realized how incredibly expensive it can be! Plus, it didn’t solve my space issue.

Enter My Memories Suite! I knew I hit the jackpot when I found this website! It provides software to make your very own custom online photo scrapbooks. They have so many FREE backgrounds and templates for you to use!

Some of my favorite tools available through My Memories Suite:
1. You can add music from your iTunes play list to your scrapbook
2. Custom Calendars
3. The selection of backgrounds
4. Selection of embelishments

There are so many other great things about My Memories – you just HAVE to check it out for yourself! It’s not even just online scrapbooks, you can make photo books, cards, videos, calendars, etc… They sky is the limit! I can spend hours on their website (and have on occasion) creating wonderful ways to use pictures I have to create memories that will last and last.

Now, I do have one problem with it (it can’t be perfect, right??)… The website is a little hard to navigate at first, but once I got the hang of it, I was a creating maniac 🙂

Sooooooo…. More good news!!!! As a special for all of you, we have the opportunity to share a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store – $20 value!) Code: STMMMS84594

One of my favorites from My Memories!

Want more good news??

We are doing a great giveaway!!!! You can get the #1-rated scrapbooking software for FREE!!! All you have to do is go to My Memories Suite and pick out your favorite digital paper pack or layout and comment on this post letting us know which is your fave!!! Simple as that! One lucky winner will be randomly chosen 1 week from today!!!! Feel free to comment as many times as you wish – I know I can’t pick just one favorite!

So, Browse Browse Browse, Comment, Comment, Comment!!!!

Love,
M

P.S. Don’t forget! As a special for all of you, we have the opportunity to share a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store – $20 value!) Code: STMMMS84594

*Disclaimer: My Memories Suite gave us My Memories Suite software to try. The opinions written here are our own and we were not paid to write this post.

Childcare Woes

Moving is stressful. Everything about moving is stressful. Packing up your stuff. Deciding what to keep, and what to throw away. Finding enough boxes to fit all your stuff. Finding a way to move all your stuff. Finding the man-power to move your stuff. Figuring out how to pay for all the moving expenses. The list goes on and on and onnnnnnn…. DH and I have done this four times in the last four years, so we have gotten pretty used to it.

What we aren’t used to is finding child care!!!!Right now, we are blessed enough to have my MIL watch Bean for free every other day. Not only is she completely amazing, but you just can’t beat free! The other half of the time, we take Bean to a nanny that is a SAHM with two other kids. She is also absolutely amazing! We love her! She charges us $30/day. In my opinion, that is a completely reasonable price. Especially when you are staying at home with your kids and just adding one more kid to the repertoire. Turns out, this is absolutely out of the norm!

I have been searching Care.com to find a full-time nanny. Ideally, I would have a situation like I have with our nanny now, where she would be a SAHM and I would take Bean to her house every day. The problem is, I have yet to find someone charging less than $8.00/hour, which means about $80/day –> $400/week –> $1,600/month. Ummmmmm yikes!!!! That is more than my mortgage! That is just not right!Luckily there are a couple daycare centers close by that charge about $250/week. This isn’t the ideal setting in my opinion, but if it is going to save me $200/month, what choice do I have!?!?!Any tips from you ladies on finding affordable child care?

Love,
Macy

P.S. STAY TUNED!!!! Scrapbook GIVEAWAY coming soooooooon!!!!!

The Job of a Woman is Never Done

Image by peapodsquadmom on Flickr

Boy oh boy have I been busy beyond belief lately. Do you ever have those weeks where you have things going on almost every night? That’s been DH and I for probably the last month now. Between buying a car and trying to sell our old car, plus a couple birthdays in the family, plus helping our families with things they needed done, plus all the other hulla baloo that is going on every day – we have been exhausted come night time! I’m not complaining though. It’s been nice to be active (since I haven’t been working out as much as I should – shhh). But it wears a girl out.

I went on a little bit of nesting syndrome last week. When I realized it was fall, I all of a sudden went into a decorating fit. I rearranged our living room furniture, set out some Halloween decor and cleaned like a crazy woman. DH decided to clean out the garage. That was really nice, until I realized he was probably just trying to get out of the house – aka out of my craziness. Does anyone else do that as a new season rolls in? It’s like I get the instant urge to adapt the rest of our living space to suit the calendar. Is that weird?

Hubby and I also went to volunteer at Feed my Starving Children last night. It is always such a great time to pack meals for these kids who, if they’re lucky, get a meal a day. Last night we packed over 20,000 meals in 40 minutes with other volunteers. Can you imagine? In 40 minutes, we fed 57 children for a year. If you haven’t tried packing meals – I would strongly encourage it. Bring the kids and make a night of it. It feels SO great to make a difference in someone’s life. It also makes you realize what we take for granted every single day.

Share your talents!

Til next time, hearts –

Ruby

Awesome Yet Thrifty Halloween Costumes at Goodwill

Halloween is only 21 days away and time is ticking! So this sent Macy and I on an intense mission last weekend. We set out to find Halloween costumes for cheap! Which isn’t easy, because with all the different details you have to put into a costume, it usually adds up pretty quickly. Lucky for me, it’s just me and my husband I had to outfit. Macy had her husband and her little diva to shop for… but we were determined to make it work.

We met at Goodwill in Maple Grove to see what we could dig up. My husband wanted to be the Allstate ‘Mayhem’ guy and I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to be. Macy was completely open for her family so we went in and hoped we’d find some good stuff to work with. Boy were we pleasantly surprised! Not only is Goodwill one of our go-to thrift stores of all time, but they had loads and loads of Halloween stuff. Not only for Halloween costumes but for home décor, yard décor and everything else you could ever need for the holiday. One of their employees told us they save up ALL year long for this and they get really excited about finally pulling it all out for the public.

First thing we found was the baby costumes. Naturally they were cutest things we have ever seen as far as costumes go. They had a little tiny Dorothy dress, a little ducky costume, a little puppy, tweedle-dee, little crayons, teletubbies, buzz light year, basically any animal or anything you could think of. Macy found the most adorable giraffe costume that had never even been opened. I was wishing I had a little one to outfit for Halloween because that would have been the place to be! I didn’t know it until we got there, but Goodwill also buys from discount Halloween vendors just like other retail stores but they sell their costumes for even cheaper which made it soooo nice to shop there! We got some super nice costumes (some brand new) for way good prices.

When it came time to shop for adult costumes we had an even greater selection. There were so many ways to throw costumes together that a little creativity went a long way. Rummaging through the racks I found a true Ruby costume. It was a full-size ‘Glinda’ dress – the good witch from Wizard of Oz. It was pink, bulky and beautiful – and for $8.99 I had to have it. Paired with a $1.99 princess wand, my costume was complete. Until I dug further into the rack and found a glamorous Cleopatra dress with all the accessories. Neither costume had ever been worn and I was picturing both of them on me. A final decision needed to be made but I couldn’t make up my mind so I grabbed both.

Walking another half-lap around the store, I found a Caesar costume that would match Cleopatra way too well to let it go. Here’s the kicker, it was $9.99. Our couples Halloween costumes cost all of $25 together. Isn’t that amazing? I was so pumped, that I decided I should get the Glinda costume too, and my hubby’s Mayhem black blazer. With all of it together cost about $45 for two years’ worth of awesome Halloween costumes for both of us. We are SET 🙂

Macy decided on a men’s Navy outfit, a women’s sailor dress with accessories, and of course the giraffe baby costume. Her costume all together for her whole family was $45! Thrift stores prevail!!

I brought the costumes home and had DH try his on. He loved the Caesar costume so much he decided that he wanted to be Caesar instead of the Allstate guy. Or maybe he really liked my Cleopatra costume. Either way, we’re going to look very stylish this year in our very cost-friendly Halloween costumes! Woop woop!

Now when I said they had cute Halloween home decor, they really do. Plus, they had oodles and oodles of Trick or Treat pails for cheap! There were so many things to browse over, it was amazing.

Stay posted for how the costumes look on Halloween. I think you will just ADORE the pictures! Mostly because of Macy’s little one. You won’t want to miss it!

Hearts,

Ruby

*Disclaimer: Goodwill gave us one set of costumes per family to sample their Halloween costume selection. The opinions written here are our own and we were not paid to write this post.

iPhone 4S – Amazing Siri Feature

First off, I have to say rest in peace, Steve Jobs. He is truly a genius and has to be the most influential man in our generation. When you think of everything he’s brought to our everyday lives, it’s insane. Life is so much different today than it was ten years ago and it’s sad to hear the bad news about someone of such innovation. He will truly be missed.

With that being said, I want to talk about his piece of work he launched yesterday with Apple. The iPhone 4. Now I don’t know too much about it, especially not the technical details but I was completely impressed by the Siri app. How crazy is this thing! It is seriously cutting edge. Here’s what I mean:

Now I’m not Mrs. Technicality or anything so I’m not going to go into the details and all the specs of the phone. But I do know one thing, it’s amazing.

I have serious envy, because… did I mention, I’m a droid user? DOH!

Hearts,

Ruby