Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Hope your Christmas was everything you wanted!!! 

Mine was very nice, however very strange.  This is the first Christmas without my father.  We spent extra effort to spend quality time with my mother.  It was fun, but yet something nagged us all... the empty chair my father left behind.  The weather was not helping us out.  The forecast said big snowstorm coming, my brother who lives 2 hours away made it impossible for him to stay.  Wednesday night it started sleeting.  So we woke up Christamas eve with ice.  My brother (his wife was working) came early and spent time with our mother.  While I readied the food and house for our celebration.  Well I thought when my brother dropped off mom and since he couldn't stay I would make him a plate of cookies and candy to take back with him.  My lovely 13 year old daughter helped with everything..  This year she made the caramels, her first attempt.  She did good.  Anyway my husband said put the caramels in the garage to get them cold, because they are easier to cut.  Which most of the time that is true, however this pan of caramels was very firm and didn't need it.  Which I found out.  After spending a few hours in the cold garage I tried cutting them for my take along plate for my brother.  So I had my daughter hold the pan while I cut.   Well the knife slipped and yes I cut my daughters finger.  It was a bad cut.  I knew it she knew it.  I'm not good with injuries when they first happen.  I'm not a person that should ever be the first at an accident scene.  I would end up being someone the EMT's would have to treat. LOL!!  I called my mom to have them come early and decide what to do.  It's Christmas Eve..  How to deal with it??  She needed stitches.  So I called our family clinic and yes it's early, they were still open.  But come now because they are closing soon.  So my brother drove my daughter and I to the clinic.  I thought this place is going to be packed because they will be closed for 4 days..  people are going to try to get all their medical needs done before the long weekend.   But we pulled up to the clinic and there was only 1 vehicle in the lot.  So that was good.  My daughter was in and out of there with her 4 stitches in an hour.  The clinic locked the doors behind us!!!!  Boy did I feel bad and very guilty.  My daughter could have asked for a car and got it on the spot.  But she was great.  No tears.  She wasn't freaked out at all.  I'm the one, shaking and near tears.  The horror and guilt...  Up until now neither of my kids ever had stitches or broken bones.  My son is 19.  I've always managed to keep them safe.  Anyway back home...  my brother stayed for a few minutes and left to go back home.  The weather was ok then.  No sleet or snow at that point, so he thought he better get going.  My daughter and son went shopping...  yes she just had 4 stitches and she went shopping.  In the afternoon we played domino's.  It was a wonderful night.  We had Tenderloin on the grill, it was great!!  My mom bought the kids a Wii, we hooked it up and played that the rest of the night.  Great time!!  When everyone left I tried to watch It's a Wonderful Life.  But couldn't finish it I was tired and needed to sleep.  Christmas Day we spent with my mom.  My husband made this plant holder for my dad's stone..

I put the flowers together.  So we took this out to the cemetery.   My dad would have loved this. Can you believe it rained all morning on Christmas Day.  It didn't start snowing until dark.  The forecast was so wrong.  But all worked out alright anyway.  After the cemetery we ate again!!! This time we had a very tender Pork Roast..  Then we played Wii again most of the afternoon.  By this time my mom was tired and wanted to go home for a nap.  So we took her home and then went to my husbands parents, who live next door to us.  We were there for a short time.  We celebrate the holiday with them earlier in the month.  So everyone drops by whenever on Christmas Day.  When the house starts to get full we leave.  My husbands family is huge (55 or so people) verses my side has 8 people!!!!  So then my husband and son went to clean out my mom's driveway of all the frozen sleet.  My daughter and I played Wii for a while until they came home and I went to bedroom to finish It's a Wonderful Life and guess what...  yup fell asleep!!  I'm now caught up on my sleep. 

Hope everyone had a safe and Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Huge Kelloggs Savings

Today was my shopping day.  Last week had a huge snow storm so I didn't get to Pick n Save for double coupon day (Wednesday only).  But I made it today!!!  Boy did I do well...  I saved $125 dollars!!!  I spent $28!!!!!!!  I got 20 boxes of Kelloggs cereal for $1 for all!!!  Thats not $1 each, thats $1 for all 20 boxes.  I had one $5 off 4 boxes, several $1/1 or $.75/1 and the rest were $1/2.  Pick n Save buy 8 boxes and get them $.99 each!!!  So I made a haul.  12 boxes of the cereal was donated.  There is no way my daughter or I can eat that much cereal before it expires.  Sadly we are the only 2 in the house that eats cereal...  Allso included in the Kelloggs deal were Keebler crackers or cookies.  I only had 2 $1/2 coupons for crackers.  So I only bought 4 boxes of crackers.  Which was ok because I have been stocking up on crackers and really couldn't use any more.  Cereal is a better item to donate then crackers.  This sale ends tomorrow.  Pick n Save has Maxwell House coffee on sale with in store coupons for $3.87 Limit 1 and milk for $1.49 Limit 2.  They have Phil. cream cheese for $.77 each and I had $1/3 coupons!!!  I bought 9 bricks.  I had to make 3 trips into the store for all these deals but it was well worth it. 

Another great day at Walgreens.  I saved  $46 dollars and spent $13 received $8 in Register Rewards for next time.  Plus I will get $5.99 in Olay Quench rebate back in the mail.  I used a The B1G1F was buy one Body Wash get the Lotion free, this coupon was in the Sunday inserts over Thanksgiving weekend. This hobby is so much fun.  I love saving money.  I also made a trip to Walmart and price matched some items from Festival Foods.  Didn't save as much there but I still got a few good deals there too!!! 

While I was checking out at PnS the woman behind me was watching and couldn't believe my 4 bags of groceries cost less then $6.  She was shocked and started asking me about how I did it.  She will be emailing for some of the printable grocery coupons links so she can get in on some of these deals too!!  It felt good to able to tell her about this hobby and help!! 

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Items Added to Different Things

I just added a bunch of new things are Different Things.  Some Wilton items, Starbucks travel mug,
American Girl Craft Kit and more...  Check it out!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ebay Buyers That Don't Pay

Some time ago Ebay changed their rules on sellers leaving feedback for buyers.  We as sellers can not leave a buyer a negative.  This is not a big deal until a seller gets a buyer that refuses to pay for their auction that they won.  To me this is a binding contract, no one made them bid and win an auction.  Buyers expect the seller to describe the items correctly, answer endless questions that are many times answered in the listing (if only they would read the entire thing), wait for payment with some unbelievable reasons why we should wait or ship even tho it's a holiday or Sunday.  And the biggest one have it to them in a speed of light.  The buyer can leave a negative and ding away your stars, for reasons that are not the fault of the seller.  Additionally the buyer never even contacts the seller for a solution to their problem.  However the seller can only leave a positive.  I have a buyer right now that has not paid even tho I've sent a invoice, a friendly reminder email asking for them to contact me when I should expect payment.  I'm a reasonable patient person, talk to me and I will work things out.  Well after 8 days of waiting and no reply to my requests for communication or payment.  I filed a non payment against the buyer.  This action will have ebay contact the buyer and ask them in the nicest way to pay.  The buyer still has not paid and no communication.  Now I can close the case and at least get my seller fees back.  However I do not get the listing fee or the time it sat on the shelf waiting for the buyer to pay.  And the biggest one I can't leave a negative for the buyer so others can see this person bids and win but doesn't pay.  So the buyer can move on with her 100% feedback as if this person is a valued buyer.  This is wrong.  Why didn't  this person contact me and ask me to cancel??  I would have.  Can't beat a dead horse.  Plus I would have been able to relist this item right away instead of waiting 2 weeks to move on....  I value my customers and work hard to get items out throughout the day.  Even when I have something going on in my family.  I take the time to ship the item asap.    Here is a wonderful email that was sent to me just yesterday...

Wow! Thank you for the quick service! After ~10 years of shopping on eBay, I've gradually slowed down because of the declining service and quality of the eBay experience. Boy, did you break the mold with your quick service. It warms my heart that you're from WI; I grew up in IA. There's something about the Midwest work ethic ... . :-)

It's one the nicest emails from a buyer that I have received.   Here are another..

Hi Toni
I have just received the pattern by this morning's post. It arived in good order and beautifully wrapped! Thankyou very much for all your effort, it would be lovely to deal with you again.
Must go now, can't wait to get cutting out!
All the best

Here's another memorable email...  great, friendly lady!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I just got off the phone with you and as soon as I hung up I called my mother. She was SO EXCITED when I told her that you were going to scan the recipe for the brownies and send it via email in advance of getting the cookbook in the mail. Her first words were "We can make them for New Years! How exciting!" For just a moment I felt like I was a 9 year old little girl again talking to my mom.

It sounds utterly crazy I know, but that brownie recipe holds so many memories for my family. Whenever we had a family "celebration" be it a school achievement, any kind of "award", the first day of summer vacation, the first day of school and even my parents wedding anniversary, those brownies where made. 

I can't wait to get the cookbook!  Have a very Happy New Year! 
And another

Toni, Thanks alot for the quick ship on the MOPAR can/cloth. I have listed you as a favorite for future use. Keep me in mind if you get any more MOPAR or PLYMOUTH items. I am going to use the can as a prop with my MOPAR cars at carshows. I see your email has mustang in it. I also have a classic '70 Stang. Thought you might enjoy a couple of pics. Take care.

This above buyer actually sent me pictures of his car.  I loved it.  Over all most buyers are wonderful people and solidify the reason I sell online. However today I'm more disappointed in ebay then the buyer, all I wanted was to tell others this buyer doesn't pay for items they won.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Received My HP Wireless Printer

I received my printer.  I love it!!  It has a touch screen!!  I had some trouble with the software.  On the main desk top (which is mine) I had to download the software twice before it worked.  Then I worked with the laptop.  Man, it didn't go well at all.  It was a challenge and it took a good part of the day.  The laptop should have been the easiest because it has built in WiFi, but nope.  I had to hook up the printer to the laptop before it would pick up the printer.  The software had to be loaded several times before it loaded properly.   I was a very happy person when it printed the first job!!!  My daughter thought I was crazy!!  Then I tried it on my daughters desk top.  I had to load the software twice on there too before it worked.  But when it worked, it did everything by itself.  It picked up the router/printer signal so fast.  You should have seen the computer screen... boxes and pops flying around so fast.   I thought oh no what just happened here.  Then it settled down and the page said ready to print!!  Oh my, it's done already.  Very cool.  I was home alone and no one to celebrate with!!   My daughter has a wireless adapter on her computer and it picked everything up all on it's own.  Nice!!  The printer works great, now on all the computers.  I have the old printer on Craigslist for sale, but no one is interested so far.  It's a great printer, nothing wrong with it.  I just wanted wireless, so when the other computers have something to printer they didn't have to put the jobs on a jump drive and move over to my computer where the printer was.  With the old printer I couldn't get it to work on my network because my computer is an XP and the others are Vista.  The printer software was for XP.  I tried to download the updated Vista software from Canon and it wouldn't failed every time.  So to have a printer on the my network I had to buy a different printer or different computer.   We'll see if the old printer sells.  If no one is interested I will sell in next summer at the Rummage Sale.

Merry Christmas

This our Christmas Card for this year!!
I got 50 free photo cards from SeeHere.  It was only charged for shipping, which was $3.20!!  They are nice, came quickly and w/evelopes.  However their website is NOT user friendly.  It took a few hours to create.  I wasn't to fussy on what I chose, so it wasn't me that took that long.  It was the site, hard to figure out and a bit of a guessing game if it would come out right. 

That's Henry.  He is such a ham!!  He didn't like it that I had the xmas balls and lights sitting around him.  He knows he's not suppose to touch them.  So he got lots of treats to put up with the props.  He poses great tho.  Just about every photo I took is the same pose...  like here...

and here...

These are all different photos..  I had to switch from color to sepia to black and white and he didn't move and and it's the exact same facial expression!!
I swear he was a model before he came to live with us!!

If you are looking for a small dog... look for a Havanese...  they are great dogs!!


SwagBucks is really easy!!  So far I have earned 2  $5 gift cards for Amazon.  That's not bad considering I haven't been doing it for very long.  Maybe a month if that.  My daughter is also doing it.  She hasn't earned anything yet.  She isn't online very much because of being in school.  But she is more then half way to her first gift card.  On Fridays there is a chance for bigger buck values....  Anything from 3 to 100 bucks.  So every Friday until the first of year remember to do a few searches!!

Buying Christmas Gifts Online

It's very interesting when I think about it.  I sell so many things online, however I rarely ever buy anything online.  However this year for Christmas I have changed my thinking.  I bought 90% of my gifts online.  I have a Best Buy Credit which doubles as My Rewards Card.  So I get points with every purchase and double the points when buying from Best Buy.  Plus I'm a Premier Silver Card holder because I purchase more then $2,500 every 2 years from Best Buy.  So then I get free shipping on all online purchases from Best Buy.  (there are some other Best Buy benefits too) AND if I go through Mypoints I get 4 points per dollar.  So I have been racking up points at Mypoints and Best Buy.  I went through Mypoints to buy an Entertainment book, got free shipping, a discount and points.  Mypoints give points for Ebay purchases too.  So I have bought what I could off of Ebay.  If your interested in joining Mypoints I can send you a invitation.  I need your first last and email address.  I get rewards if you sign up from me.  Mypoints is really easy.  And they are associated with many online companies.  You can earn points by click on links through emails, purchases and other ways.  The rewards are in a form of Gift Cards.  They mail them quickly.  I usually get Gift Cards for Walmart or Target.

Open by Andre Agassi

I'm reading Open by Andre Agassi.  It's not as interesting as I had hoped.  I'm not quite half way so there is still a chance it will get more interesting.  Have you read it??  What are your thoughts?

Help Animal Rescues With Just a Couple Clicks

This is pretty  simple...

The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting  enough people to click on it daily so they can meet their quota of  getting FREE FOOD donated every day to abused and neglected animals.  It takes less than a minute (about 15 seconds) to go to their site  and click on the purple box 'fund food for animals for free'. This  doesn't cost you a thing. 

The Animal Rescue Site 

Olay Quench Body Lotion Free After Rebate

Here is the link to print Olay Quench Body Lotion Rebate Form it will be free after rebate Olay Quench Form   You can make a profit if you purchase the item with a coupon.  Circle the before coupon price on the cash register receipt.  There are usually at least a $1 off coupons all the time in the Sunday inserts.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

HP Printer Update

Well I was excited, last night when I came home I saw an email from Best Buy that a shipment was on the way.   Well after I read the email... talk about letting the wind out of the sails.. it was the ink.  So far nothing more on the printer.  Still keeping my figures crossed that BB will be sending it.  That would be about right, that I have the reasonable priced ink and no printer!!  LOL!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday HP Printer

When I got up this morning at 3:30, I checked the Best Buy website and the printer was the BF price so I bought it online.  I have a Premier Silver card so I get free shipping on everything.  So I went ahead and bought it online and I bought the ink.  If you bought the printer and the ink you received $10 off the ink.  I thought I would be taking a chance if I waited to buy it at the store, plus the lines at Best Buy are the worst.  Anyway we did do all our other shopping and we decided to stop at BB anyway because they had movies and TV seasons on sale.  Well they still had the printer at 8:30!!!  I bet they had 20 or so.  Man I hope my online order doesn't get canceled...  I will be one mad BB shopper!!

Anywho I didn't buy a whole lot besides Walgreen's.  I bought a couple movies (St Nick gifts), yeah even in their teens St Nick still comes!  I also got the micro mini card at Target.  Which has 50 free music downloads.  The downloads are at emusic, I'll let you know how that goes!!  I also bought the 3 piece rug set at Menard's.  The big rug is a giant 5'x7' and a 20"x60" and 20"x20", all 3 are bundled together for $19.99.  Menard's had 30 pk batteries for $1.99 a pk after Menards rebate!!!  Limit of 2, so I got 2!!!

That's about it.  Not a huge trip, but I got what I wanted...  keeping my figures crossed on the printer!!   And saved some money...  that's what it's all about!!

Black Friday Walgreens Deals

Walgreens deal..  This is what I bought.  Infusium was $4.99 but free after Register Rewards.  I used a $2 coupon and so I made $2!!!  I stopped at 2 different stores so I ended up with 2 free bottles and $4!  Then Dove Deodorant was $3.99, free after Register Rewards and I had $2 coupon for that, again I made $2 and I bought 2!!  I also Johnson and Johnson body wash for $5.99, free after Register Rewards.  I had $1 off coupon, so I made a dollar.  I only bought 1 of those.  Also bought M&M which were 2/$3 and I used the in store coupon for $.50 off each.  So I got those for a $1 each.  No limit!  Great deal for full size M&M's.  I bought 4/12 packs of Dr Pepper, which were 4/$10.  I needed a filler to use up my Register Rewards from 2 weeks ago.  The RR were about to expire.  $2.50 a 12 packs is a good price and my daughter likes Dr. Pepper.  And finally a bought my favorite candy Lindt Truffles!!!  They were 2/$5 and they had $1 in store coupons.  Plus I had printed off 2-$1/1 coupons!!  So they were $1 each, that is a a fabulous price!!  Rarely do you see them cheaper then that!!

So now I have $20.00 in RR to spend next week!!  Of that $10 came from coupons!!!  Nice!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Keeping Track of Gifts from Year to Year

Have you ever wished you knew what you spent last year when gift giving or wondered if you have already given something to someone already?  For Christmas I keep a notebook for all gifts.  I keep track of what the item is, who received it and the cost.  Each occasion gets a page or two.  I don't have one page for all Christmas's.  For example Christmas 2088, then next page is Easter 2008, next page is my daughters 13th birthday, then Summer vacation and so on.  I use it for all parties I give.  I write down everything, food, gifts, decor and the guest list.  I also use this same one for vacations.  I list where we are going, if I'm bringing food-what and how much, list of clothes (shorts and coats, etc).  Everything gets listed.  As I pack it I cross it off the list.  Then I don't forget, plus it makes it easy to look back and see what I should bring if we go again.  As for the party lists.  After the party I write down how many people actually came, how much food I used, what didn't go over so that next time I don't make that same item again.  If it went well then I know to make it again.  If a food item went fast then I know to increase how  much I should make.  I also collect recipes from friends, newspapers etc and stick them in the notebook.  So if I decide to try that recipe I have it right there in my notebook.  I'm on my second notebook.  It's great to look back on all the parties and gifts I gave.  I know exactly what each of my kids got from me for every birthday and every Christmas!  As for keeping track of money gifts I give.  I keep a running list of what I gave for every wedding and birthday.  However I don't keep that list in the notebook.  I keep this list in my greeting card box.  I have a simple large shoe box where I put all new greeting cards.  So when I see a card I like or if there is a sale on cards I stock up.  I put them in a the shoebox and when I have a occasion that I need a  card, I pull out the box.  Find a card and my list is right there.   I know what I have given for each graduation, funeral, wedding, birthday and anniversary.  So I can better decide what is appropriate.  I don't generally give $ according to what they might have given me. 


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Amazon MP3 Download Code

Here is a code to enter at Amazon to get $3.00 in your account to download music......
This link will take you where you have to enter the code.  It will then show you have $3 to spend on any digital music download..... Amazon $3  You must use the $3 by Nov 30 or it will disappear!  Love it when they do this!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Help ID this Brown & Bigelow Advertising Glasses Samples Kit

Can anyone help me with these?  I have 7 glasses in a display box.  All the glasses are different.  I believe these glasses are Samples from Brown & Bigelow Remembrance Advertising.  Is this a kit for a salesmen?  I have a price list from some sort of binder.  The page is dated April 1, 1963.   If anyone can give more details that would be great.  Here are some photos...
Sorry this last one is blurry.  It's a glass from a Corvette Club.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Blind Side

Yesterday Gwen and I went to see The Blind Side.  Great movie, it's the best movie I  have seen in a long time.  If you have the chance go to see this movie!!  Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw are great together.  Tim McGraw doesn't look like himself without the cowboy hat!!  Tim did a good job, hope to see him more in the movies.  Sandra is at her best in this movie!!  While Gwen and I were at The Blind Side, my daughter and her friend saw New Moon.  They liked New Moon too!  Very good day at the movies!

Walmart Black Friday Deals

Walmart Black Friday Deals are now posted at  Walmart .  Not much for me, just the $2 DVD's.  Probably will make this our last stop.  I think my best friend, Gwen will be going together again this year.  I have to work later in the day, because I forgot to request off.  So it won't be a full day of shopping for us.  Oh well, there really isn't too many things I really want.  Just the wireless printer, is the must have.  Always long lines are Best Buy, that is the store that takes the longest to get into and get of out.  Wish they would open more registers!! 

Black Friday Plan

I have several lists going here on all the deals I'm going to try to do on Black Friday.  Walgreens is really pushing the good deals.  Best Buy and Target also have my attention.  Why Walmart won't publish their ad is really leaving them out of my plan. 

Best Buy I want the wireless printer.  It's an HP I have checked the ink is reasonable so all is good there.
Selected CD's are $4.99 and $6.99
Selected TV Seasons are $9.99 and $14.99

Target has a 4GB Micro SD card that I need to go with a secret gift that I bought for my daughter.
Selected TV Seasons $8.99
CD's $6.50

My list is huge for Walgreens, however they are open on Thanksgiving Day so I think I might make my trip that day...  I will be much less mobbed that day.  I know I can sneak off for an hour to do my shopping.

If you want to see what other stores will have on their Black Friday Sale  Black Friday Ad's  Have fun!!

Ebay Search Service Not Working

RANT...Ebay searching function wasn't working yesterday.  I'm not happy about this! I have 30 things listed on ebay.  I need as many people looking, buying and adding my items to their watched list as I can.  Yesterday many people were xmas shopping online.  I wanted to be found.  However eBay's search function wasn't working during the entire day yesterday.  This is very upsetting.  E bay is saying "sorry".  Well this eBay glitch kept 30 of my items that are up for sale and auction hidden from potential buyers for 12 hours.  That's like Walmart closing the doors for 12 hours during the day.  Walmart would never let that happen, heads would roll.  But from eBay the sellers and buyers get "sorry".    I understand technical issue, however eBay tried to hide the fact that the search function was not working.  As a seller I expect eBay to notify me of technical issues, but they didn't contact me.  E bay has all my contact numbers and email.  Why did they try to hide the fact that this happened?  I can't stand it when a company acts like they can't reach you when you have given them all your contact numbers!!  You can't sign up for anything without giving our phone numbers and email address's however they only use things when they are selling something.  Not when there is a problem.  Hiding a problem rarely ever works!!  I'm done ranting...  Since all is working over at ebay I'm going to move on...  but it still stings!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oprah May Retire

I hope she does what is best herself.  I know there are many that depend on her for a living.  I just hope for her she retires to relax.  This doesn't mean she has to disappear from the public's eye.  What I would enjoy from her is a living blog that becomes a weekly evening show.  I would love to see her day filmed, I don't need to see what see looks like the moment she gets up and know what she has for breakfast.  I'm interested in the personal contact she has with every day people.  How she deals with their issues off stage.  Also how she can put together all her charitable work and how she decides whats next in her life.  I wonder what really makes her laugh and what make her happy.  If she doe retire, I hope she can relax and enjoy her life as her own.  The funny thing is when I think of Oprah the first thing I think of is her weight control.  I don't think of her present weight but that she has always had weight issues.  I think these issues has been more hers then the what the public is thinking of her.   This is a sad thing because Opah has been so involved in charitable causes, I wish that would be the first thing I would think of when I think of her.  I will always believe in Oprah and cheer her on in everything she does.  I wish her the best of luck in her next adventure.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Today's Coupon Savings

These are the free items from today's shopping trip.
This is whats in the picture, 4 packages of Small Steps Napkins and 3 packages of Texas Toast Croutons.  These were free!!  The napkins were 2/$4 and I had 4 coupons for $2 off so free!! And the croutons were on sale for $1 each, I had $.50 coupons that were doubled.... free!!  My overall savings today with coupons was $102.89 and I spent out of pocket $64.11.  I'm also working on the Nabisco $10 rebate too, so I will be getting a $10 rebate back too.   The $64 total had Walmart added in it, so there were items besides grocery items.  Not bad!

One of the deals I wanted to talk about a little  was the Chef Michael's dog food.  I bought the small bags priced at $3.99 a bag and I had $3 off one bag coupons.  That really helped at the double coupon store.  My total added up quickly with the $3.99 and then when they took off the $3 coupons it brought the total down fast.  At my double coupon store I have to spend $25 before coupons to that I can double my 5 coupons up to $1.  So this really helps get to the $25!!  I made 3 separate trips to this store so that I double more coupons.  But all is worth it!!  In the end I got 6 bags of dog food for $.99 each!!  Henry and Shelby both love Chef Michael's so I mix it with their better dog food. 

I can't wait for more deals next week.

How to put together a Coupon Binder

I promised a few days ago to explain the Coupons Binder so here it is. First things you going to need, a zipper binder, trading card plastic pages (each page hold 9 cards) and coupons.  You might even have some of these laying around the house from your child's baseball card collection.  My binder is made of fabric and holds about 150 pages, it has zipper pockets on the outside and inside to hold my calculator, pens, small scissor and misc items.  There is a accordion file style pocket also on the outside, there I put ad's I want to price match and coupons for eating out.  I have also inserted along spine of the binder a strap.  This strap came from one of my old purses.  It has a clip on each end.  So I fished it through the spine of the binder and clipped the 2 clips together, so now I have a shoulder strap.  I take my binder everywhere.  It stays in the car, except when I'm filing coupons and take it into the store.  Remember to put your name and phone number on it somewhere.  So if you forget in a shopping cart it that you "might" get it back.  Believe me it happens.

Now for organizing the binder.  First decide how you want the coupons, in alphabetical order, by brands, by categories or by how your favorite store aisles are set up.  I organized by how my favorite store aisles are set up.  I then have several pages per categories, which is separated by a divider.  I made the divider out of a file folder (these are heavier then what you can buy for dividers).  I cut it in half and used the half that has the tab.  I then punched 3 holes for the binder rings.  In side each category I labeled each page with marker on the edge near the holes, the product type.  Such as one category is Health and Beauty Aids which is written on the tab on the divider, then the different pages are labeled Make Up, Medicines, Hair, Teeth, Deodorant, Razors, Soap and Lotion.  Some of these items have 3 or 4 pages.  The next category is Cleaning and the pages inside that category are air fresheners (candles included), dish soap, dusting, bathroom, laundry soap, dryer sheets, plastic, toilet paper, paper towels and tissues.  Next category is snacks, then freezer and so on and so on.   You will sometimes have to add pages to your binder when you have a ton of different coupons and other times when coupons are few you can remove some of the pages.  You will find what works best for you.

Now for actually adding the coupons to the trading card pages.  First put all a like coupons together, then you will need to fold some of the coupons.  I fold them so I can see the expiration date and the dollar amount is facing me. Then slide them in.  I know some like to insert a piece of paper to divide the pocket so you can use the front and back for different coupons.  I don't do this, because the pockets are to small and I rip the pocket trying to get the coupons in and out.  But if this works for you... great.   For me I use a pocket for each item.  Like Pillsbury Grands has it's own pocket.  You will collect a lot of these coupons and they will have varying expiration dates.  I put the soonest to expire in the front, so I use them first.  Same with Pillsbury crescents, they have their own pocket and the ones that are soon to expire are in the front.  You must go through your binder at least once a month and toss expired coupons.  That keeps the binder well organized.

Since I switched over from 2 of the those coupon envelopes, I rarely can't find a coupon.  I use a lot of coupons every week and I can find them quickly.  Filing is also very easy, however I will admit it takes time to cut and sort them and then file them.  However the pay off is big!!  Give it a try, I'm not saying how I do it is the only way.  But it works well for me for the last 10 years. Try it and tweak so it works for you.  If you find a great new idea to improve on this idea please comment here.  I would love to hear it.
This the inside cover of my binder.  See the coupons that are paper clipped, I know I will use these this week.  The papers you see are refunds I'm working on, store coupons that I will use and my shopping list for this week.

This is the same shot of the inside cover of the binder, but this is what hidden behind my lists in the last shot..

This is one of my laundry pages. See how some of them are folded so they fit.
Well any questions, need more pictures.. Let me know!!  Love to help.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

6 Martha Stewart Books in my store

I just listed 6 Martha Steward books in my store as a lot.  They are: The Best of Martha Stewart Holidays,  The Best of Martha Stewart Good Things, The Best of Martha Steward What to Have for Dinner, Christmas with Martha Stewart Crafts and Keepsakes for the Holidays, Christmas with Martha Stewart Parties and Projects for the Holidays and Martha Steward Living Annual Recipes 2002.  Great collection of Martha Books!!

Just Added to Different Things

I just added a few new things to my store.  This pattern has free shipping!   Check them out...



So Cute!!!

New Swagbucks Search Bar That Earns GC

This is a new search bar that earns you points that you can turn into Gift Cards!!  I'm giving it a try!!
Use this link so I get your referral credit  Swagbucks referral link  I will let you know how it's going!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I belong to Refund Cents

I belong to the greatest money saving site, without it I wouldn't save money like I do.  The site now has a blog.  All the deals of the day come right to your email box.  I can't be sure if this is a public blog or if you have to subscribe.  The subscription isn't free, but it's well worth it.  You earn back the subscription fee in no time, through coupons, rebates and the know how to find good prices on things you need and want.

Refund Cent Subscription

My story starts back 16 years ago when my son was 3.  I would see ladies on the news buying a weeks worth of groceries for penny's and wanted to know how do they do that.  Well without even trying I found Refundcents.  I bought one of those coupon wallets and inside there was a mini version of Refundcents.  I read it through and thought wow I can do this.  So I ordered the monthly magazine.  The pay off was quick and I was hooked.  I found 2 double coupon stores and the thrill of the hunt kicked in.  So I collected every coupon I could find.  I saved all the upcs off of every item I bought.  Traded for every refund form I could.  And I mailed in refunds like mad.  I would pulled in $2,000 a year in using coupons and refund forms, thats in each!!  Not to mention the premiums that came along too.  I still have the 24 inch Energizer bunny and the Pillsbury Doughboy talking cookie jar.  I also got a color Gameboy for my son through Kool Aid.  It was the glory days of refunding.  Now refund forms are harder to find and more difficult to do....  dated receipts makes it harder.  But coupons have come front and center.  There are coupons out there for just about everything you buy (excluding fresh fruits, vegetables and meat... not impossible to find but close).  Double coupon stores are around, you just have to ask around, you might have one closer then you think and didn't know it.  It all starts on Sunday.  Sit down with the ads from your local Sunday paper.  Make a list of all the sale items you would like to buy for the week.  I have 5 or 6 stores I hit every week for deals.  Then find the coupon inserts from the paper.  Cut all the coupons for all the items you buy.  Don't be brand loyal, for example frozen pizza, however don't buy a brand no one will eat.  Brand loyalty will make this harder.  Cut all coupons for frozen pizza...  check the sales and match up the coupon with the sale.  The best of all worlds would be the store that has double coupons has that brand pizza on sale.  However if they don't maybe next week they will.  So file your coupons, I use the binder method.  Examination of my binder will come soon. Any how, your saying but I need frozen pizza this week.  Well buy just what you need, until the pizza is on sale...  then stock up.  That is the magic words.  You need to buy as many as either have coupons for or will use until the next sale.  Items go on sale in rotation.  Most items go on sale every 4 to 6 weeks.  Start a price book, write everything down and the price for about 2 or 3 months, until you see the cycle each store uses.  Then you know exactly how many coupons you will need to collect for each item.  Your asking how do I get coupons.  Ask family and friends to save them for you.  Most people just recycle the Sunday inserts with the rest of the newspaper.  That leads to if you have a local recycling center that takes newspaper.  Ask the person in charge if it would be ok to go through the stacks to remove the inserts.  Most will say yes, but keep it neat.  Also you can buy extra papers just for the coupons.  Some weeks have free coupons (latest one that comes to mind, was a few months ago for the Glade 2oz soy candle) then it's well worth buying the extra papers.  Remember you will get the free coupon and all the others for that week in every paper you buy!!  The week or so before a big holiday... like Thanksgiving there will be coupons for all the baking items and holiday cooking foods.  Make sure you get many coupons and stock up!!!  Also another source of coupons is eBay.  You can get up to 20 alike coupons for a small fee and shipping cost.  You will need a Paypal account for that.  Back to stocking up on holiday foods.  Thanksgiving and Christmas many of the same items will be greatly discounted... stock up during this period on sugar, flour, chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, crackers, etc..  Because they won't be deeply discounted again until Easter.  And between Easter and Thanksgiving is a long wait.  I have a chest and a upright freezers to store many of these items.  Collect all coupons for items that you use.  It doesn't mean you have to use every single coupon that you file.  But knowing they are there when you stumble upon a great unadvertised deal or clearance you will be ready for the even better deal.  Learn where your stores keep their clearance items and check it every time you shop, you never know what you will find.  But the biggest rule is even if it is a good deal..  don't buy it unless your family will use it, or if you can donate it.  Over buying more then your ever going to use and you throw it away, it's not a good deal.  Remember prepackaged items can be donated at your local shelters.  They also take unused health and beauty aids.  You will find good deals from shampoo to razors.  I can stock up on these things like this where if I lived to be 100 I would never see it all used.  So I donate and sell whatever I can't or won't use.   Give over stock to friends and family that save their coupon inserts for you.  It's an incentive for them to keep up with saving them for you.  Oh I almost forgot you can print coupons at many sites like this one  there is a 2 coupon limit on each coupon.  These coupon sites can get you started now.  The goal with stocking up is, not to buy the same item every week, when it's not on sale.  You want to stock up with the free or very cheap items until the item goes back on sale and you have coupons to go along with the sale.  Some times my cart will only have toilet paper, cereal, canned soup and some fresh fruit or vegetable for the week.  But I will buy 6 toilet paper and 5 cereals, 12 cans of soup and whatever fruits or vegetable is in season and on sale, but only have paid $10 for all of it.   That week we'll eat off of our stock pile of food in the freezer and cupboards.  The next week might be #2.5 bags of frozen chicken breasts so I will buy as many as I can depending on store limits and freezer space.  Usually there won't be a coupon for frozen chicken breasts, but when they are on sale for $3.99 a bag, which is rock bottom for this area.  I will buy many bags and put them in the freezer.   So I never buy them because I don't have any in the freezer and the bags are regular price at $7.99 or more.  I wouldn't even consider a #2.5 bag of frozen chicken breasts at that price. 

Refund Cent Subscription

I will try to remember when I cut and file my coupons this week to take pictures of my coupon binder.  I will also explain other ways to file your coupons.  You will have to try a few different ways to find the best way for you.  Take care until next time!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kelloggs/Keebler Deal at Piggly Wiggly

This week The Piggly Wiggly has buy 8 Keebler, Sunshine or Kelloggs products they are $1.29 each.  So I bought: 4 Kelloggs Cereals, 2 Townhouse Crackers and 2 PopTarts 12ct.  Used 5 $1 off coupons, which means I only spent $5 for all 8 items.  I could have done better if I had more coupons.  I didn't have any coupons for the Townhouse Crackers and a couple of the coupons I used were $1 off 2 products.  However I only paid about 60¢ each, which is great for these pricey grocery items.  I already donated 2 boxes of the cereal.  Hopefully I can find a few more coupons before the sale ends Nov 18. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Free Shipping

Glad to announce that shipping is free on all media items (books, cd's dvd's vhs) in my store!! Please take a look around there are other items with free shipping too!! More improvements and new items to come!!

Glade Candle Deal

Today I made money on Glade Soy Candles 2oz. Here's how to do it. You will need Glade Soy Candles coupons $1/2 candles, expires on November 21 2009. Take them to Menard's they have these candles $.99 each after Menard's rebate. I bought 3 at $2.49 each, used one of the coupons. My total was 6.49 + tax after coupon. Then I will send in the Menard's rebate for $3.00 and then SC Johnson Wax has a $5 rebate when you buy 3 SC Johnson products Glade is one of the products. You can print the SC Johnson's rebate off their site. So I got the 3 candles for free, plus I will get a $1.50 cash back after the rebates. The white candle's scent is Sheer White Cotton, it smells wonderful. Remember Soy Candles don't give off black smoke when they burn, so your walls don't get dingy from the candle smoke! That was my best deal of the day. Today at Pick N Save I saved 50% with the sales and coupons. Not my best but a good day!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oh Henry

The photo on the blog is now of our dog Henry. Henry came to live with us 2 years ago. He is precious! He was almost a year old when he came to us. He was fully train and boy is he trained. He knows exactly how to get whatever he wants. He is the best beggar ever. His breed is called Havanese. I don't know if he is a pure bred, but it doesn't matter!! He just loves everyone, especially other dogs and kids. Well we have a bunch of both here. My kids have many friends that come to visit (being that I'm home during the day and weeknights.. we have lots of kids in and out) and with Shelby (our other 80 lb outside dog) and my mom's dog Ford, visits often. He has lots of fun!!! Here is a picture of Henry and Ford

So Ok Henry is on the left and Ford is on the right... Do you see it.. Henry Ford!! And yes Henry came with that name!! My parents had Ford for 9 years... So just so you know...I didn't do it!!! But very cute for a family that only drives and collects Ford vehicles. Oh and you are probably asking what breed is Ford. Well he's a toy Pomeranian with a hair cut. Henry had just got a cut too!

Remember to stop back to read about Henry, Ford and Shelby's antic's... you never know what those three might do next!!

Extremely Long Absence

So much that has happened since I was last here.

I have continued to go to many rummage sales and yard sales searching for great deals. I've continued to sell on Ebay, and my store different things at ecrater. I'm also swapping CD's DVD's and books at Swapacd, Swapadvd and paperbackswap. Having a great time and I'm still using coupons and getting the deals. However I've been doing alot of catch up on all my hobbies. In the spring of 2008 my father was diagnosed with Kidney cancer. It's one of the worse cancers around because by the time it's found it has spread somewhere else.

My fathers cancer story. He was complaining that his arm hurt for about a week in mid May of 2008. Then one day he was pushing a piece of equipment and his arm broke. The doctors said that the break was caused by the kidney cancer that moved into the arm. The outlook was grim. He was told 3 months. Well the work began to find a way out of this. First move was to go to UW Madison to see a specialist. They removed the 2 inches of bone that was affected by the cancer. The doctors and nurses at UW Madison are the greatest caring people. I have a special thank you for them!! As far as they were concerned the cancer in the arm was gone. Relief. However 2 1/2 weeks later he had the cancerous kidney removed. That surgery was more painful and hard on him then the arm surgery. However the surgery went great and there too the cancer was gone. However with kidney cancer once the cancer spreads from the kidney cells could be anywhere. Traditional Chemo is not effective on Renal cancer. So he wasn't out of the woods yet. But they said there wasn't anymore detectable cancer anywhere. So go and heal and enjoy life. Well his kidney removable healed perfectly and the arm healing took longer. By the 6 month check up for more cancer, his arm was useful to about 75% and the cancer tests came back clear. We all thought things were good and the Chemo alternative (Sutent) was working. However not more then a month after the 6 month check up he was having pain in the chest. More tests couldn't seem to find the problem. After 2 months of tests and hoping it wasn't cancer returning it was. Renal cancer of the lungs. This is the worst of the worst. Nothing they could do. The Doctors said 10 months well it was less then 2 months and my father passed away. So now we all who depended on my father for everything is now gone. Everything has changed. When something happens that is exciting (like an extremely great deal, he always loved a deal) or worrisome I want to pick up that phone and call him. Tell him about it and have him tell me how to deal with it or hear his joy about that great thing. My whole life has a hole in it, miss him endlessly. Every vacation and carshow we as a family would attend was with my parents. We still go to carshows and try to enjoy it, however there is something very missing in all of it.... and that's dad. My mom is doing well, but her days are filled with that same feeling of missing him. Her world revolved around dad and his cars. Now that's over and she has to find away to fill her days. I try to spend of time with her, but again when we were together it was spent around dad and his love of cars. She is doing as well as can be expected. Thinking back when we first found out about the cancer we were told 3 months and we had a year, I guess we were lucky. But I'm greedy and wanted more. My father was not ready for this to happen, he had so much more to do!!

This is the memorial bench we had made for my father at The Iola Carshow in July 2009

This was my dads favorite carshow.

I will try to keep up with this blog more often and not let it sit for a year or more. So check back on all my deals and interesting finds!!