Tuesday, August 31, 2010

100 free business cards (including free shipping) from Zazzle - good until 9/1/10

I just read on Common Sense with Money that you can get 100 free business cards with free shipping until September 1, 2010. Rock on - I did it and it worked perfectly. In fact, I was able to use my own files for the front and back, so I made 100 more of the cards I use for my Etsy shop/pinback button business.

All of the info is over at Common Sense with Money, so clickity click (Barba-trick?) and get to ordering quickly!

I saved 41% at Kroger (and drove there!)

Woohoo 41% savings at Kroger.
Well, I took a deep breath, turned on the GPS, and drove myself to my local Kroger for the very first time. And it was fine. Of course, it's always easier when there are no cars on the road because it's mid-morning on a weekday, but that's just how I roll. Seriously, this is a huge step for me and I'm really proud of myself for managing it.

As you can see from the scan above, I saved 41%. Now, this was an unusual trip because I had coupons that Kroger had mailed me - targeted, obviously, by my purchases using my Kroger Plus Card. And that's fine with me - I have no problem being sent coupons I'll actually use. Also, it worked to get me in the store - I prefer to shop at Publix because I find that they have lower everyday prices and they accept competitor's coupons, but I figured I'd grab the freebies and maybe a few other things.

What did I get? Read more after the jump.

Smoothie of the Day (and babble) - August 31, 2010

Simple and sweet - strawberries and banana
I didn't feel like getting too complicated with my smoothie today. I feel like I'm in a rut and I just wanted to get it made and move on. Almond milk, cold banana, fresh and frozen strawberries, frozen spinach, chia seeds, and a splash of agave. It was smooth and delicious, but I probably will need to eat something else later or I'll be starving. My typical mid-morning snack is a 100-calorie roll and two Laughing Cow wedges, yum.

So. The rut. I have an important phone call to make, but I don't want to do it because it will be annoying. I have ponytail holders to make, but I can't really get that done while my husband is working (too noisy). I should take a deep breath and drive to Kroger (I have a lot of issues with driving and when I do drive, it's to a very small list of very, very close places) so I can use my freebie coupons and grab some mayo (how exciting). I have a ton of books to catch up on. Mostly I want to just sit on the couch and stare at the computer and/or TV, which is unhealthy, boring, and unsatisfying.

Motivate me! Comment on this blog post (not on any feeds, please come directly to the blog page or I'll miss it) and give me a pep talk for this Tuesday.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Smoothie of the Day (plus a case of the Mondays) - August 30, 2010

Too small a smoothie.
As you can see, I underestimated the ingredients in today's smoothie: almond milk, chia seeds, cold half a banana, frozen strawberries, fresh raspberries, frozen spinach, and a few splashes of chocolate syrup.

I definitely have a case of the Mondays today. My daughter did not - she was thrilled to be going to school and pretty much ignored us as we left her classroom. But on the way we witnessed a minor-yet-scary car accident that shook me up. Also we had to drive through a movie shoot - yep, Cartoon Network is filming something (apparently not a cartoon) nearby - that slowed everything down.

So instead of doing the 30-Day Shred or anything productive. I'm going to watch the Tivoed Emmy's and last night's Drop Dead Diva second-season finale. Then I'll probably take a walk to drop off buttons and maybe gawk at the movie set a bit. Hopefully that will snap me out of it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

One-Inch Buttons Galore aka What I Did Saturday Night

Look at all those one-inch buttons! Love it!

Last night I hung out at home while my husband took our daughter out to practice walking at the mall. Yeah, the mall - think about it, it has open spaces, lots to look at, and very flat and smooth floors. Ideal for a little kid who is learning to use a walker. I spent my time watching a movie and making 40 one-inch buttons (more to come!) for my favorite local independent children's bookstore to sell during the Decatur Book Festival. Alice in Wonderland! Book love! Grammar love! Random adorable birds! I think I'll throw in some cupcake one-inch buttons later. And of course, all of these designs are either already available in my Etsy store (go to http://www.buttonbabeboutique.com to find it any time) or can be custom made for you.

While I punched and stamped my buttons, I watched The Invention of Lying, which was not earth-shattering but was definitely entertaining. It was filmed near where I grew up, although I didn't recognize any landmarks. I really thought it wasted the opportunity to make some really strong statements on religion and what religion really means - it danced around it but never went for the jugular there. Still, if you're looking for a light movie for an evening in, it's worth renting or getting out of the library. I do love Ricky Gervais a lot - he makes the movie for sure.

Earlier yesterday we made an epic run through Trader Joe's. Thrifty shopping what? I mean, yes, you can absolutely use Trader Joe's as a part of your frugal living. There are many great deals on basics (I got whole wheat flour for $2.99, which is a great everyday price, I think - cupcakes ahoy! And organic frozen fruit is the cheapest I've found.) but did I really truly need six individual packs of kettle corn? (I did! They're portion controlled! It totally wouldn't be cheaper to make my own from scratch...oh...yeah...) Did I really need green-tea mints? Gorditas? Ah well. It's all delicious and at least it doesn't have things like HFCS in it.

Oh, no smoothie this morning - it's been a lazy sleep-in type of Sunday, so I just made some hard-boiled eggs and a cup of coffee. If you haven't already guessed, I like my coffee full of milk and sugar and flavorings. And caffeine! Yum.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fall Consignment Season in Georgia Has Begun!

I honestly don't know if it's like this in other states, but here in Georgia there are two big children's consignment sale seasons (spring and fall) - for a few months in late winter and late summer, there are eleventy-thousand consignment sales. Big sales, small sales, sales at campgrounds, sales at churches, sales at schools. And the setup is usually the same as well - Friday (when the stay-at-home-moms swoop in) is full-price day with a better selection and higher prices; Saturday (when everyone's home from work) is half-price day, with bargains to be had but possibly a picked-over selection.

Yesterday I hit my first Georgia consignment sale of the season with a friend, while today I hit my second by myself. I was overwhelmed at how much was available for purchase at the first sale, but clothes and toys were mostly priced too high for what I'm willing to pay. Maybe I'm cheap (OK, I'm definitely cheap), but I won't pay more than $3-$4 for almost any item of used children's clothing. I'd pay more for a higher-end non-mall-store brand (like Tea Collection or Baby Lulu) but only in spotless, nearly new condition. It seems as the years have gone on that people are pricing their items higher, possibly to offset the second-day markdown. I buy lots of stuff for my daughter at thrift stores too, and so I try to compare prices in my head - would I find XYZ at Goodwill or Value Village for a better price? Would it be in better shape? If not, and if I love it, then I'll grab it.

More (including pictures) after the jump!

Smoothie of the Day - August 28, 2010

Carrots and strawberries and spinach, oh my!
Today I copied my husband's smoothie from yesterday - almond milk, a carrot (not completely scraped), some fresh strawberries (green still on), flax seeds, frozen spinach, and frozen blueberries. It's OK, but a bit flat. I think it needed more strawberries. But hey, healthy!

An important feature of this blog, by the way (which you may not see if you read my feed, so hop on over to my actual page!) is the blog roll on the left. I'll constantly be adding new blogs there that I like and think others would like as well. Check it out every once in a while to find a great new read - everything from crafty blogs to bento blogs to personal blogs! Blog blog blog. I'm sick of that word now.

Not many big plans for this weekend - a consignment sale and the BPAL Will Call. Next weekend is the Decatur Book Festival, though, and I'm looking forward to that. I'll try to come up with something more fascinating to say in my next post.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Smoothie of the Day (plus the usual ramble) - August 27, 2010

Extra-icy coffee smoothie with flax and spinach hidden inside

As you've probably figured out by now, the smoothie of the day is an exercise that I use to force myself to write in this blog every day. It's a jumping off point, and I figure every day at least I can entertain you (or perhaps just entertain myself?) with a delicious cold and somewhat-healthy beverage before I jump into the rambling part. Today's another coffee smoothie day - almond milk, flax seeds, frozen spinach, instant coffee, agave nectar, chocolate syrup, a splash of vanilla extract, and far too much ice (sadly). As you can see, I needed a straw today. And I don't know how filling this will be, but I'm going to a consignment sale with a friend this morning (and skipping the 30-Day Shred, oops) so I wanted the energy. I'll grab a banana or some Laughing Cow cheese and crackers before I head out.

First, I was super-dorky-excited to discover that I can now make free phone calls to actual phones through my Gmail account. I already chat all the time through it (I tend to use iChat for my video calls) and this is even better. I tested it with my own cell phone and it worked just fine, so now I can save my minutes while I'm at home and just sit at my computer while I make any calls I need to. Of course that's assuming a) my Internet doesn't go out and b) my wireless router doesn't go out. Because those two things never happen, right? Anyway, free phone calls! Hooray! (And I did read the Gizmodo article telling me Google is listening to my conversations to better their voice algorithms - and I believe Google when they say they're not, which is at the end of the article. Anyway, my phone conversations are pretty mundane, so I just am not that concerned at this stage.)

Yesterday's neurologist appointment for my daughter was all good. Well, she wasn't behaving and took everything out of the diaper bag multiple times, but everything else was great. All positive news about her amazing progress. I actually credit her chiropractor helping her make a lot of the progress - at minimum, it hasn't hurt her, and at best it's helped her be stronger and more stable and more able to do certain things. The prognosis that everyone seems to agree on is that my daughter will walk unassisted by age four (she's three right now) and pretty much do everything everyone else can do within a few years. I'm beyond proud of her.

I can't believe it's the weekend. I can't believe my kid has been in preschool for a month. Wow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Smoothie of the Day (plus more America's Got Talent ramble and chia seeds) - August 26, 2010

Isn't this smoothie pretty?
I'm not doing things in the order I usually do this morning. I had to stop watching America's Got Talent last night to take care of something, so I missed the final decision on the final person. I couldn't wait, so I made my smoothie and just finished watching. I'll do the 30-Day Shred in a minute. (Day four!) The smoothie is almond milk, chia seeds (more on them in a second), fresh strawberries, lots of frozen berries, and a big handful of fresh kale. It's OK - a bit tart - but look at that gorgeous color!

Chia seeds are weird! Yesterday I experimented with them a bit. I ate them plain - fine, crunchy, no major flavor. Then I put a large spoonful in a glass of water and let it sit. I knew they developed a gel from absorbing liquid, but I didn't realize exactly how that would manifest itself. The glass was full of suspended seeds - it looked really cool but I didn't get a chance to take a picture. Maybe I'll recreate it in the future. I couldn't manage to drink it though - a few sips were all I could take before the texture got to me. So I'm going to stick with putting them in smoothies and perhaps working my way up to a smaller amount in juice.

And as for America's Got Talent, I'm really disappointed in the results from last night. Confession: I didn't vote. But I suspect that in this case, my votes wouldn't have changed much. I was rooting for Anna and Patryk and Prince Poppycock, as you know. But I am not happy with the other three finalists - people voted with their hearts, which is lovely and beautiful (and I am a big sap, don't get me wrong!) but the acts that I thought had the most potential to put on a great show were the ones who got cut. I just can't see someone paying big bucks to see any of the singers that got through. And next week I like about seven of the finalists. Seriously, I love this show because, as Howie Mandel said last night, it's a true variety show. And also I'm a dork.

Finally, this morning, my daughter not only didn't cry when we dropped her off at preschool, but she actually smiled, said "Yeah! Yeah!" a few times, and waved bye bye to us. Yes! This afternoon we have a six-month follow-up appointment with the neurologist; I doubt we'll learn anything new, but it is good to have people keeping an eye on her progress, I suppose.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Let me tell you about: More half-price coupon/deal sites! Plum District and Tippr

I just scored a $10 Trader Joe's gift card for $5 (alas, only one per person and this deal is for Atlanta only) through Plum District. A few weeks ago I got a $20 Target gift card for $15. This half-price (or better) offer site appears to be new (at least new to Atlanta) but clearly they have some great deals geared towards families and moms (and "savvy women" - their phrasing, not mine) - check them out, they have deals for many major cities. They'll email you when new deals are available; you don't have do anything unless you want to buy.

And Tippr is another one that's up and coming. Their current deal is a $50 speaker (well, sort of - it's a "portable vibration speaker device from OrigAudio" that you should see for yourself, it's really cool and I want one) for $25. Totally worth it. Same as with Plum District (and other similar sites), you'll get emails about new deals, but you don't have to act on them unless you want to.

Tippr and Plum District links above are referral links. When you use them, however, you'll get $5 in credit for either site when you make your first purchase.

Smoothie of the Day (plus button plans and the Decatur Book Festival; gushing about America's Got Talent) - August 25, 2010

Lots of frozen fruit before...
Delicious smoothie after!
Day three of the 30-Day Shred and I still can't quite do the whole thing. But at least I'm up and moving around every morning, no? So while I really wanted to make a coffee smoothie, I instead made a healthy one. Almond milk, fresh banana half, chia seeds (interesting), fresh kale, frozen grapes, frozen strawberries, frozen mango, frozen blueberries. It's delicious.

As I type this, I'm watching last night's America's Got Talent. I'm happy to say that I don't know who will make it through tonight - or at least I can't narrow it down to my personal favorite five. I do hope that people voted on the best acts, not the most sentimental. [Correction: As I watch more, it seems like my top five are pretty obvious after all.] [ETA: PRINCE POPPYCOCK I ADORE YOU! My top five: Prince Poppycock, Anna and Patryk, Antonio Restivo, ArcAttack, and I still love AscenDance even though the judges weren't jazzed. I felt SO bad for the singer who got three Xs and wanted to give her a hug. Still looking forward to Haspop, Debra Romer, and the other two magicians.]

Today I feel like I have so much to do and not enough time to do it. I have errands to run and buttons to make - I'm planning on stocking my favorite local independent children's bookstore (that also has the most amazing selection of grownup books ever) Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, GA, with tons and tons of book-love buttons to sell during the upcoming Decatur Book Festival. Which means I need to get started...now.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

As-vegan-as-you-wanna-be hot chocolate

It would've been vegan hot chocolate, but I got lazy...
This is a really delicious snack that I've been making myself in the evenings. It's easy and it's vegan - except when I get lazy and use non-vegan stuff in it...like tonight. But that just shows how versatile the recipe is! I got the original recipe/concept from a random message board post I found via Google, and I've been tweaking it (and still am tweaking it).

1 mug boiling water (I microwave the mug - lazy!)
1 handful or so of raw cashews
1 splash of vanilla extract
1 squeeze of agave nectar (or another sweetener)
- This is all vegan and all delicious. You could just stop here, whoosh it in your Vitamix (or other blender ;) ), and drink. Yum. I suspect you could also use any temperature water if you have a Vitamix and let the blender heat it up.

The non-vegan part was that tonight I used Trader Joe's Midnight Moo syrup and a spoonful of Ovaltine, both of which contain milk ingredients. I also could've used vegan chocolate chips (I've done that before but we're out of them) or vegan cocoa powder (I didn't want to open the container that I have, since I'm saving it for vegan cupcakes first - mmmm, vegan cupcakes). That all gets throw in and blended too.

The result is rich and creamy and warm and delicious. I love using cashews to make a cream or faux-cheese sauce now.

Time for America's Got Talent semi-finals! Woohoo!

Smoothie of the Day (plus 30-Day Shred and my anniversary!) - August 24, 2010

What a delicious smoothie...er...
Yes, that above was my smoothie of the day, also known as a lovely glass of water. Why? Well, I needed to drink something since I did day two of the 30-Day Shred, but I didn't want to fill up on fruit and milk and all that other stuff. Today is my seventh wedding anniversary (wow - and we've been together for almost 15 years) and we're supposed to go out to brunch (using a CoupAll half-price coupon) after my husband finishes his voiceover session this morning. I may run out and hang at a local coffee shop first, since I have other errands to run anyway (including dropping off my new rings at a local boutique and dropping off my glasses at the eye doctor so I can get my new lower-power lenses put in - exciting!).

For my anniversary, you could give me one of two presents if you wanted to:
1. Check out my Examiner articles about saving money in Atlanta and around the country. I get paid per click - and your clicks will also inspire me to get writing over there again.
2. Tell a friend about my blog, since I'm still in the early stages of figuring out its direction and trying to gain new readers.


PS Mockingjay comes out today! I am so excited to read it, but I'm behaving myself and waiting for my name to come up at the library...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Coupons aren't everything! (A savings post)

Om nom nom YDFM pile
I'm a big coupon user, and I love to save money, but coupons can also be a huge pain in the ass. Seriously. So look what I got without any coupons at YDFM - tons of fresh produce (mostly organic), including kale, broccoli, carrots, lemons, oranges, apples, bananas, red plums; mineral water; pomegranate juice; chia seeds (I'm going to try them in my smoothies); organic coconut oil; almond milk; cheese; and more, all for under $50. To me, smart shopping means making sure you get the most for your money, rather than spending the least amount possible. I tend to spread out shopping between YDFM, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods (and Harry's), Publix, and Kroger, with the occasional trip to a specialty market like Cherians or Super H-Mart. It just depends on the week, the fridge, the sales, the coupons, and what I have time for.

Oooh the bread! The bread!
Just look at this gorgeous bread. Look at it! Click the picture if you want to read the ingredients. It's not the cheapest bread I've ever bought, but it's absolutely the most delicious. Nom. I also have a weakness for their Italian bread, sourdough bread, baguettes...

Smoothie of the Day (and 30-Day Shred and more savings) - August 23, 2010

Sunflower seed butter smoothie
Today's smoothie had a little extra protein oomph because I'm back to doing the 30-Day Shred. The smoothie of the day is a half a frozen banana, some cow milk, some flax seeds, some fresh strawberries, a scoop of sunflower seed butter (Trader Joe's brand), and some ice. It was sweet and yummy.

Ah, the Shred. Everyone I know is doing it (or at least it seems that way) and I'm on board with an exercise program that only takes about 30 minutes out of my short mornings. But as I mentioned in a previous post, I also have a bad knee and took a break. My knee feels better, so I started back up this morning, at least in a modified way. I'll see what I can do about sticking to it this time around.

Last night we went back to Publix and for the first time in a long time, if not ever, I saved more than I spent. I got four more boxes of Barilla whole wheat pasta, two more bags of New England Coffee, and a free jug of Arm & Hammer Power Gel thanks to a coupon my friend Jen (of Saving Cents in the City) scored me at the BlogHer convention (she actually got me three coupons, because she's fabulous, but I wanted to try it before I got three jugs). Those plus a coupon for cat treats and a Publix coupon for organic milk added up to big savings, even when we threw in other stuff like yogurt and cheese. I saved over $25 and spent less than $25.

Today I'm off to...how do I describe Your Dekalb Farmers Market (YDFM)?...the farmers market, the local giant health food store, the grocery store with every vegetable under the sun, the amazing store near me. I'm going to get chia seeds and coconut oil and kale and...a lot of yummy stuff. They don't take coupons, but their prices are amazing, and they have fresh bread made with organic flour and they grind their own coffee and and and...yeah. Love it.

Happy Monday!

PS I've also been making milkshakes in the Vitamix. Yeah, totally great for the diet, but I'm using low-fat Publix brand vanilla ice cream, a bit of 2% cow milk, and a frozen Vitatop. Yes, really. It's sooo good and it's lower calories/higher fiber than a milkshake from a restaurant, so that's something, right?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Free newspaper and greeting card - a savings post (CVS)

I headed to CVS this morning because I had a $2.99 ECB expiring this week. There was nothing particularly exciting in the CVS sales flyer (and nothing we needed). The AJC's double paper* is $3, and while I've lately been buying the paper from the-guy-who-stands-near-Kroger for $1 (so two papers for $2, best deal I've found), I figured I'd spend the $2.99 on the double paper to make my life easier.

When I walked in, an AJC rep was standing right there, and he gave me a free paper. He thought it was amusing that I was almost disappointed by this - it threw off my entire plan! He also offered me some sort of subscription deal (he talked very fast and I'm tired, but it had something to do with a three-month trial and some free CVS gift cards if I signed up RIGHT THERE RIGHT NOW). I laughingly explained that buying the paper with ECBs is a better deal than any subscription, and that I was simply taking advantage of a different offer. (But for the record, the offer did seem pretty good, and if I wasn't such a crazy couponer I might have gone for it.)

I hate figuring out deals like this on the fly, but I did my best. I could've just continued with my plan to buy the double paper, but yesterday I got the SmartSource coupon flyer in the mail for the first time (a smaller set of coupons than is in the paper, but still, free and pretty comprehensive - I hope this continues to happen!) and I hate all the excess paper that I wind up having in my house that I wind up recycling (for the record, I do read the print edition of the newspaper before I recycle it).

So in the end I bought another single paper ($2) and a greeting card (99 cents). I paid 21 cents out of pocket. The manager rang me up - he knows me, I've been going regularly to that CVS for almost two years, but this time he said he wasn't sure if I could use ECBs on the newspaper, something I've also been doing regularly for years. I read the "you cannot use this on that" list aloud to him and he said it was fine. Not sure why today of all days he was concerned about this, but it worked out just fine.

*You can click the link to learn more about the double paper, but basically it's a bundle of the early and late editions of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) for a lower price than buying two papers. It definitely is targeted toward those of us who buy the paper for the coupons inside.

Smoothie of the Day (and Happy Birthday Tori Amos) - August 22, 2010

Banana-coffee smoothie experiment
Sundays are great for experimenting, no? I tried making a fruit smoothie WITH coffee. The results were acceptable, though I probably won't make it again this way. For the record, it was cow milk, instant coffee, frozen spinach, a splash of vanilla extract, a whole banana, a squoosh of chocolate syrup, a spoonful of sugar, and a whole bunch of ice. If I do delve into this sort of thing again, I'll use a smaller amount of coffee for sure.

And a happy, happy birthday to my favorite musician ever (even if I haven't absolutely loved her last few studio albums, I will always love her live), Tori Amos. I've been a fan since late 1991 and have seen her in concert (and at a few radio performances, two discussions with Ann Powers, and one book signing) about 40 times over the years. Not much else in my life has been quite that consistent.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ribbon cutting and opening day at The Ice, featuring Atlanta Thrashers prospects Cormier and Burmistrov

Patrice Cormier, Don Waddell, and a raccoon
We did manage to make it to the opening of the new skating rink in Georgia, The Ice. In attendance were, among others, Don Waddell - president of the Atlanta Thrashers (and SUPER nice guy who talked to us for a bit), and Atlanta Thrashers prospects Patrice Cormier (above) and Alex Burmistrov (below). My daughter scored autographs from both guys, as well as a hug from the Gwinnett Gladiators mascot, Maximus.

Alex Burmistrov, who never looked directly at my camera, plus Dan Kamal and Darren Eliot
Maximus and as-yet-unnamed raccoon cut ribbon; Cormier and Waddell stand by
So...Patrice is a rather attractive young man, eh? I mean, uh, there's controversy surrounding him. That's totally what should be discussed. Yep. That's it.

 (All photos by me. Don't steal 'em; attribute them to this blog if you do repost somewhere. Thx.)

Smoothie of the Day - August 21, 2010

More coffee smoothie!
We're going to be running around all day today, so I made another coffee smoothie to get me through. This time I was out of chocolate chips (I may or may not have eaten them all), so I tried using Ovaltine instead. I also used cow milk, instant coffee, vanilla extract, frozen spinach (LOVE IT), and ice. But the resulting drink was bitter. Sigh. So I threw it all back in the Vitamix with a spoonful of sugar and more milk - much better. (I also made a breakfast burrito with Trader Joe's eggs, Morningstar Farms fake-bacon, Trader Joe's peach salsa, and a Laughing Cow lite swiss wedge on a Smart & Delicious tortilla. Yum.)

We're going to try to make the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new ice rink today in Forsyth County. (Sadly, the name of the town in which the rink resides is also slang for something somewhat obscene, and at the moment that's not the kind of traffic I want to encourage for this blog...)

Then hopefully we'll visit with a friend of mine who lives near the rink, and later we're going to the library - I'm picking up RuPaul's book as well as Lynn Peril's book College Girls: Bluestockings, sex kittens, and coeds, then and now. Speaking of books, I'm about 3/4 of the way through Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a public librarian by Scott Douglas. It's enjoyable, but it's a bit slow in spots, and I preferred Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert. I've also started poking at Sunshine by Robin McKinley, which one friend gave me and another insisted I read. And I also have (from the library) Every Day in Tuscany by Frances Mayes, The Butcher and the Vegetarian by Tara Austen Weaver, and a few others that I can't think of off the top of my head...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pasta for 15 cents, coffee for $2 - a savings post (Publix)

So if I'm fully throwing myself into this blog, I need to phase out my old savings blog. Which means I need to start making my savings posts here!

We went to Publix tonight. I scored four boxes of Barilla whole grain pasta for 15 cents each (on BOGO sale for 65 cents each, and I had two printable $1/2 coupons), four packages of Laughing Cow cheese for $1 each (on sale for $2 each, and I had two printable BOGO coupons that are no longer available) (I LOVE LAUGHING COW CHEESE - I got French Onion, Garlic & Herb, and Original Swiss, but I'm still annoyed that my local Publix briefly carried the new flavors - I fell in total love with the Chipotle Queso - and then hasn't restocked them. I got two packages in Massachusetts that I'm sort of hoarding. But I digress, as I tend to do...), and two packages of New England Coffee for $1.90 each (on BOGO sale for $2.90 each, and I had two printable coupons for 50 cents off each, and those doubled to $1 off each) (and if we use them in time, I'll submit the UPCs for a really cute free tumbler). I also used two coupons that Kroger sent me (for Cascade and Morningstar Farms); I keep meaning to ask my Publix which other stores it considers a competitor so I can use even more non-Publix coupons there.

Then I bought, well, a bunch of other stuff that wasn't on sale. Vitatops (I'm a big fan of the chocolate flavor and the banana nut flavor, and Publix has them at the best price of all the stores near me) and Publix-brand low-fat vanilla ice cream (to use in milkshakes in the Vitamix) and some other odds and ends. A successful trip for sure, even if it wasn't my most frugal. (I wound up saving 25% off my total.)

The sale prices and deals in this post are good in the Atlanta area until Wednesday, August 25, 2010. (Well, actually, the Laughing Cow may be on sale a bit longer, as it was an unadvertised deal in the store.) Tip of the hat to I Heart Publix and Coupon Mom for giving me info about sales and deals.

Half-Price Coupon Roundup (I love lists)

I realized yesterday that I have a ton of coupons/tickets/gift cards that I need to spend/use. And I love lists. So...here's what I actively have on hand. (Note that none of these deals are still available. But these sites ALWAYS do have great deals!)

Half Off Depot:
1 $50 gift certificate to Bhojanic - paid $21.99
2 tickets to the children's museum - paid $13.40
2 tickets to the zoo - paid $20.50
1 $10 gift certificate to SunO - paid $4.50 (I bought two but I've used one)

By the way, you can use coupon code "iloveatlanta" and save 10% off your order with Half Off Depot; deal expires 8/22, I have nothing to gain from it, it was posted on the HOD Facebook page.

1 $25 gift certificate to Greene's Fine Foods - cost $10 but I got it free with $10 Groupon credit
1 $50 gift certificate to the Gap - cost $25 but I got it for $15 with $10 Groupon credit

1 $15 gift certificate to Thumbs Up Diner - paid $7.50 [used on my anniversary]

1 $20 gift card to Target - paid $15
1 $10 Trader Joe's gift card - paid $5

Plus I've emailed myself a ton of Scoutmob deals (those are free). Offhand, I know I could get half-price tickets to Dialog in the Dark, half off at Twain's brewery/restaurant, half off at SunO, and half off at Isabella's Cafe. Scoutmob is my favorite because I don't have to commit to anything - I can send myself the deal and if I use it, great, and if I don't, I've lost nothing.

Yep, there are some referral links in this post - Groupon and PlumDistrict. If you prefer, you can just go directly to the websites to learn more. Thanks!

Learn more about all these half-off coupon sites - plus a few more - in an article I wrote for Examiner.com.

Smoothie of the Day (plus new rings on Etsy and sick day) - August 20, 2010

A quick smoothie to get me through the morning.
Today's smoothie was put together really quickly. Half a frozen banana, cow milk, flax seeds, fresh and frozen strawberries, berries from Trader Joe's Cherry Berry frozen blend, frozen spinach, and some Ovaltine.

The kid is running a low fever, so she's home from preschool today. No bento, quick smoothie, and a different routine just when we'd finally gotten into a new routine after starting preschool three weeks ago.

I listed three adorable rings in my Etsy store last night:

Antiquey owl ring

Two cartoony owls in love
A little white bird on a brown background