The Blooms have faded- but now is the time to buy!

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Buy Distressed flowers for a gorgeous spring garden at a fraction of the price!

Summer flowers have passed their peaks and if you look in the home stores and nurseries you see a lot of plants that are past their prime this year.  But this is actually the time I best like to buy flowers!

When you go into a nursery and find a beautiful, flowering bush or other plant- the look so pretty so many people buy them and plant them at home.  A few weeks later- all the blooms are gone and they barely had a chance to enjoy them in their garden.  Instead- buy plants that are past their bloom in the fall and plant for a gorgeous garden NEXT year!

Many times I check the “distressed” plant areas in my local Lowe’s and Home Depots and even Walmarts. These plants may look as little wilted or brown but a little bit of TLC, and a fraction of the price, and next year you will see a beautiful plant!

A few tips:

  • Check that there is at least 50% of the plant still green.  Depending on the plant you can often prune off the dead parts, feed it and love on it (fertilize, water, etc) and it will bounce back.
  • Be sure to get the ride shade/sun plants for your area or the outcome will NOT be successful.
  • Don’t buy annuals.  They may be cheaper but you will have to replace them each year.  Perennials are the best bet- they come back year after year.
  • Think plants that you can stretch- plants that propagate themselves and grow bigger- think ground covers that spread out or Hostas. Plants that can be divided or grown from cuttings are great ways to stretch the budget.
  • Start small- try one or two this year and if successful buy more next year.
  • Don’t go overboard- be sure you have the room before bringing 25 plants home!


The same goes for houseplants!  I’ve bought SO many “distressed” plants that have taken off once given a little TLC!

Be On the Look Out

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Be On the Look OUt


One thing I do every time I am out is check the grocery store for beer rebates.  In North Carolina, and other states, beer companies cannot put rebates or coupons on their alcoholic beverages.  Instead they put rebates on meat, ice, produce and other items with their products on them.  So many people mistakenly think that to use the rebate (or coupon) they must buy the beer- but in many states that is not true!

Here are rebates I found today in the store:

$4 MIR wyb $4+ Fresh or Frozen Seafood or Meat (Beck’s)
$4 MIR wyb $4+ Ice (Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita)
$4 MIRS wyb Fresh Fruit or Produce $4+ (Shock Top)
$1 off ANY Red Baron Pizza 12 oz + (Bud Light)
$3 off Select Items (inlcudes $1/3 Old El Paso, $2 off Tyson Wings, $1/2 Pretzel Crisps) (Corona)


See my rebate tips here.

FREE Coupon Workshop: Winston-Salem, NC

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Coupon School

We’ve scheduled our last Coupon Workshop of the year!  Did I mention it’s FREE?

You can sign up for this class here. This class will be a back to back workshop with Coupons 101 (focuses on grocery stores) and Coupons 102 (drug store shopping).

The class begins at 10 am on 11/1 at the First Alliance Church in Winston-Salem, NC.  Here is the schedule:

10 am -12 pm: Coupons 101 (getting started, Grocery Stores)

This class is free however space IS limited so if you register please attend.  Not showing up takes seats for those who do wish to come.  However, I do understand that emergencies arise and some things are unavoidable.

I hope to see you there!

Tuesday Totals 10/7

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I write this post each week to keep myself accountable to my $55 a week budget.  I had $127.77  left over from previous weeks’ budgets plus I got $25 in rebates  so I am starting with a total of $207.77 in my grocery fund. You can find the grocery deals this week here.

I have been mostly living off my stockpile the last few weeks because I felt overwhelmed with the amount in my pantry and freezers.

Total Value: $27.68
OOP: $14.97
Submitted for $21 in rebates
Final Cost: $6.03 Money Maker
Roll over to next week: $192.80

*I count rebates, etc when I redeem them so until they come in I take the $14.97 out of my budget

Harris Teeter:

10 pks Huggies Wipes $2
Used (3) $1/2 Huggies Wipes printables
se (3) .50/1 Huggies Wipes
1 Loaf Bread .97

Total Value: $27.68
OOP: $14.97
Submitted for $21 in rebates (no longer available)
Final Cost: $6.03 Money Maker

Saving at the County Fair

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save money at the fair

My local fair is in town and boy it’s EXPENSIVE – especially for a family of 6! Here are some ideas to spend a little less on a day out!


  • Look for discounted advance tickets. Usually you can save a few dollars buying tickets before the fair opens.
  • Look for Food Drive Days.  Our local fair offers free admission on a single day during the fair week if 5 canned items are donated to a food drive.  We can pick up canned items as low as 50¢ each so $2.50 in canned items is a much better deal than $9 a ticket.
  • Many fairs run senior and student days.  Take advantage of your age and get a discount!

[Read more...]

Genius Idea to Organize Printable Coupons

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organizing printable coupons

Heather is a super smart woman in our Facebook group.  She shared this idea with us and as a whole insert couponer I LOVE it and in fact will be spending some time today putting mine together!

It’s a super simple idea- simply 3 hole punch the pages of your printable coupons and insert into a 3 ring binder.  This allows you to flip through them quickly without having a loose stack of coupons or having to clip and file 300 coupons.  I think that this is genius as I have been struggling to find a way to keep my stack of printable coupons under control!  You could use full sheet page protectors  to keep the pages nicer but I think if I am careful the simple hole punches will work just fine!

Heather who shared this amazing idea lives in Gloucester, VA and has been couponing only about 9 months- she coupons for her 12 year old, 10 month old and her boyfriend. She loves to shop at Harris Teeter and Farm Fresh.

I think that this is a super smart idea & can’t wait to try it out myself!  Do you have an inventive way of organizing your coupons?  Share it with me at and we may feature it here on!


DIY: Frozen Veggies

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This post was previously posted in 2012 but this thrifty tip is timeless~

Frozen vegetables are something we can often get pretty cheap using coupons.  But what if there is a cheaper way?

Hence: DIY Frozen Veggies

I did 3 vegetables but there are MANY more you can do!

I did bell peppers- I purchased 3 pks of Peppers for $3.27.

I washed and sliced each pepper to my personal preferences.


Then I stuck them in a freezer bag, labeled, dated and rolled all the air out.  Put it into the freezer. Voila- done.

Total Cost: $3.27 for the vegetables and .10 for the freezer bag= $3.37 for 3 lb 6 oz worth of green peppers.  The equivalent amount of pre-packaged would cost (at stock up price) $5.25.   And they are full of preservatives and other additives!

Next up: Celery

I purchased one bunch of celery for about $1.25.  I washed and cut it up and put it in a freezer bag.  I use it to cook soups and stews so I don’t need it raw and fresh.

I ended up with over a pound of sliced celery!

Next I had 2 bags of carrots to process.  I actually got both 1 lb. bags free using coupons sent me when I wrote them and requested coupons.

I washed, peeled and cut the carrots up.

Then I placed them in a pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes.  This is “blanching” which destroys enzymes and bacteria that breaks down the food.

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Biggest mistakes I made as a new couponer

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Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 11.29.33 AM

I started couponing before it was “cool”- long before “that” show came around.  And I made (and continue too make) LOTS of mistakes.  Some cost me a little, some cost me a lot and some were just embarrassing!

Here are the biggest ones I remember:

-Being Embarrassed to use coupons: When I first started couponing it honestly wasn’t “cool”.  In fact, I felt “poor” using them.  The funny thing is that I was RICHER for using them and we WERE poor!  We were 2 kids -barely 19, married and barely making the rent that was less than most people’s car payments!  But I still felt like people were judging me.  “She can’t afford that at full price, poor thing. She has to use coupons!” As time went on and I realized that instead of spending $75-$100 a week we were spending $25-$50 a week and weren’t running to the store every other day for things I forgot- I stopped caring what people thought!  Luckily, new couponers today won’t experience it as badly as us “old-timer” did.  Today, couponing could even be considered “cool”.  Don’t ever be embarrassed to use a coupon.  My cash is multi-colored and that’s okay.

-Not checking my papers: When I first started couponing, I didn’t want to be “stuck” with a newspaper subscription so I’d run up to the grocery store and buy papers out of the vending box.   BIG MISTAKE. You put your quarters in and then realize that none of the papers have inserts or they are missing inserts.  Now I get my papers delivered and if they are missing I can call and they will credit me or redeliver the incomplete papers.  If you want to buy your papers in person each week, go into a store that carries them inside.  Then you can verify all the inserts are there before paying.  Each Wednesday we post the expected inserts so you will know what to look for.  Getting home after spending $1.50 and only getting 1/2 the expected coupons makes for a sad Sunday.  [Read more...]

Top 5 Things We Do That Annoy Cashiers

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annoy cashier

I love my cashier friends- so I asked one of them to give me the top 5 things that happen at checkout that annoy them- and we all know that making friends with our stores than making them mad!  Here are 5 things that annoy our cashiers and how we can avoid them (plus most of these make our lives a bit easier too!)

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