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Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Cash Envelope Savings System

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February 21, 2010

Hi Friends,

Today, I'm going to share with you a savings system that I have been reading about called the "cash envelope saving system". I first read about this in one my magazines a couple of years ago, and have seen random articles about it since. I decided to do a little research about this savings system and have decided to give it a try!

Evidently, according to the internet research that I've done on this, the cash envelope system goes back to your grandma's time, to when money was put in an envelope or envelopes to budget out the cash from payday to payday. That is how our grandmas kept enough money going from one pay period to the next. I can actually remember my grandma keeping an envelope of money in her purse. The philosophy of the envelope system is that if you are actually using "cash" and not a plastic bank card or credit card, that you are more apt to spend less. Evidently seeing the actual cash leaving your hands helps you save rather than using plastic, in which you don't see your hard earned cash leaving your hands.

With this system you are to label envelopes with each of your monthly bill titles, putting the amount of cash in each envelope with which to pay each bill. There are various ways to do this, and in just a minute I will be giving you some websites that I have researched that explain this system more in depth. For my use, instead of using envelopes, I went to the Dollar Tree at the mall and purchased a coupon organzier for a dollar. I'm going to label my cash categories with the titles "groceries/household", "eating out", "entertainment", "gifts",and "clothing" as well as a few other categories. If I put a few bucks into the clothing envelope each payday, then I've saved a bit of cash for new clothes for my family, instead of reaching for the plastic card each time we see something we like. If I set aside X amount of dollars each week for eating out, this will help me to keep track of the "eating out" budget. Each week, I will put an allotted amount of cash into each category. Once the money is gone from that particular envelope (or in my case the file inside the coupon organizer), my budget has been reached and I cannot spend more in that category for that week. I will continue to pay my regular bills online, but for everyday purchases where I normally reach for my bank card, I will use this cash system. I'm going to give it a try and hopefully, I will save by realizing I am using my cash, (not plastic), and seeing that, "Hey, I only have $20 or whatever left in this category to spend and I've got to be cautious and prioritize what I spend."

In order to do this blog entry justice, let me list some websites below, which you can visit to learn more in depth about this money management system. These websites will give you different scenarios on how to budget out your cash envelopes depending upon how you get paid, whether weekly, biweekly, or monthly. The websites will also give you suggestions of category lists and scenarios. You can copy and paste any of the following sites for additonal information:

http://www.daveramsey.com/article/dave-ramseys-envelope- system/lifeandmoney_budgeting/




I hope that this entry has been beneficial. And whether you coupon or not, if you have a cash category for groceries, you know that you HAVE to stay within your budget by allotting a certain amount of cash a week for groceries. And if you eat out weekly, if you predetermine that you don't want to go over X amount of dollars in eating out, put that amount of cash into your "eating out" budget envelope. And with the "gift" envelope category, if you put a few bucks in that envelope weekly, then when it comes to family birthdays or birthday parties that your children attend, you have a little stash waiting for you in your "gifts" cash envelope. You could even create a Christmas gift envelope to occaisionally put a few bucks in each time you get paid.

Good luck! Hopefully I will have some luck with my budgeting envelopes and you will too!

Iva Jean
P.S. Refer to my other blog entry titles, in case there is an entry that you missed reading.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Free Kindle Apps

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February 16, 2011

Boy, am I ever excited!!! My brother D started telling me over a week ago about free Kindle apps that you could get from Amazon. I put the free Kindle app link in the sidebar of this page, but am just now getting around to using it. He told me that you could download the Kindle app to your cellphone that has Android, as well as free Kindle books from Amazon. Well, I am just tickled pink!

First, I went to the Market icon on my cellphone. Then I typed in Kindle and easily downloaded the free Kindle app from Amazon, which included three free Kindle books. Next, I clicked on the Free Kindle App link from the sidebar on my blog page, which took me directly to Amazon. There I have already downloaded two other free books, one of which is Little Women, a classic of all time and a favorite of mine. The first time that I ever read the book was in seventh grade as a reading assignment. Loving history and anything about Abraham Lincoln, I downloaded a free book about Abraham.

Now, whenever I am waiting in the parking lot at school to pick up my daughter, I have instant reading material. Now, whenever I am waiting in the doctor's office or anywhere else, I have reading material.

Be sure to download your free Kindle app, as well as free Kindle books, by clicking on the link in my sidebar. Being that I don't own a Kindle or other specifically labeled, electronic reading device, this is great for me! Whenever you get to the Amazon free Kindle app page, it lists other devices that you can download the Kindle apps to, such as your PC.

Have fun getting in on these freebies from Amazon!

Iva Jean

Food Pantry Challenge

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February 16, 2011

Get ready for this money saving pantry challenge! Go through your pantry and organize your items, tossing out items that are expired. Do the same with your refrigerator. Being organized with your pantry and refrigerator will allow you to save more, by using food items that you already have on hand. Too many times, we waste and throw away food that we have forgotten that we have, because it is hidden in the clutter and then boom! IT HAS EXPIRED OR IS SPOILED. Try to plan a week's worth of meals with what you already have on hand! Any leftovers from your week's menu plan that are freezer eligible can be saved for next week's meals, or used to plan for one of this week's meals. Good luck with this challenge! If you are able to do a week's worth of meals or even a few days worth of meals with this challenge, THEN you are on your way to saving!


Day 1- Tuna Noodle Casserole
Day 2-Crock pot steaks, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn
DAY 4-Baked chicken drummies, potato wedges, veggies
DAY 5-Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies



Iva Jean

Sorry if there are any typos. I am having problems with my keyboard, especially the caps/lowercase shift key, as well as the symbols/punctuation keys. Time for a new laptop!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Links

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February 15, 2011

Hi Friends,

I have added a section to my blog that lists my favorite links. This should make it easier to find some of my fave spots to learn about couponing, find deals and print out coupons. I will be gradually updating the link section with some of my favorite links.

Some upcoming blog entries that I will be working on include budgeting with the envelope system, creating a monthly meal plan for grocery savings, creating a master shopping list, doing a pantry inventory, ways to organize coupons, shopping without coupons and more!!!!

Come back soon!!
Iva Jean

P.S. I apologize for any typographical errors. I believe that I need a new computer. My keyboard buttons, including shift keys are giving me trouble on typing symbols, such as punctuation marks, and is not wanting to allow me capitalize. I've been having to PUNCH, PUNCH, PUNCH my keyboard letters at times and correct errors! FRUSTARATION PREVAILS AT THE KEYBOARD! Time to form a plan for buying a computer!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Freebies/Savings at CVS, Today 2/14/11

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Feb. 14, 2010


Today's trip to CVS was a great shopping trip! My two transactions were as follows:

-Got two of the Colgate toothpastes which were $3.79 each, used $1.25 in Colgate coupons, got back $7.58 in ecb's on the toothpaste. (Although, I used coupons, I still got the full value of the ecb's back, so this was a $1.25 money maker and is like getting both tubes of toothpaste for free!)

-Got the Reach toothbrush two pack on sale at $3.99, used a $1.00 coupon, got back $2.00 in ecb's, which in essence means almost free toothbrushes.

- Purchased Oil of Olay Body Wash, got a free Oil of Olay facial moisturinzing lotion that was reg. price of $8.99, used a coupon for the freebie. I am out of moisturizer so I needed this item for use now.

-Bought an Herbal Essence shampoo (had a facebook coupon for free bottle, bought Herbal Essence conditoner,used $1.00 off coupon, got back $2.00 in ecb's for purchasing two Herbal Essence products, even though I used a coupon for a free one, and a $1.00 off coupon on the other.

Since the shampoo, conditioner and the two Oil of Olay products totaled $20.00 before coupons, I got to use my $4.00 off of $20 beauty club certificate that was emailed to me today, which was for use on beauty products. So for my entire first transaction, I used a total of $19.25 in coupons, which brought my subtotal to $14.29THE BEFORE COUPONS and BEFORE SALE PRICES SUBTOTAL WAS AROUND $40.00.

To sum it up:
Before coupons and sale prices=$40.00 subtotal
After coupons and sale prices=$14.29 subtotal
Total Savings=$26.74
Total ecb's earned from first transaction=$11.58

Transaction 2

I used the $11.58 in ecb's to put on the purchase of the following;

Whitman's Candy Sampler, BOGO, which means buy one, get one free. Plus I used a $1.00coupon on Whitmas's. If I had two coupons, I could have used both. The boxes of candy were Valentine's Day gifts.

Two boxes of POST cereal, BOGO....I brought the wrong cereal coupon, or I would have also got a dollar off of this also.

1 can of Skintimate shaving gel was $1.99, used a coupon for $1.50 off.

Bought 2 American Greetings Valentine's cards, used Facebook printable of $2 off of 2A.G. cards. I could have got these at a less expensive elswhere, but to save time I got them at CVS.

Bought a gallon of milk @ $2.69,which is about the least expensive you can get milk around here. Got a small pack of NABISCO cookies @ $1.00 off with the pruchase of the milk.

I realize that this entry was a little long, but I wanted to demonstrate how you can put items that earn ecb's on one transaction, then turn around and use the ecb's on another transaction. I also wanted to demonstrate how that my before coupon total on the beauty items allowed me to use the $4.00 off of $20.00 beauty club coupon. I used the beauty club coupon BEFORE using my Oil of Olay and Herbal Essence coupons. And remember that I had a coupon for FREE shampoo and FREE Oil of OLAY moisturizer

Even if you don't need toothpaste right now, it's like getting it free with the ecb's. And you are allowed to purchase two with the ecb deal. Just check out your CVS circular and see what kind of deals you can whip up!!!!

Hopefully this info will help you when shopping at CVS. If you have any questions about how any of the above deals work, just message me.

For tomorrow, I am planning a blog entry about saving with groceries.

Thanks for visiting!
Iva Jean

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Summary of First Week's Blog Entries

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Feb. 13, 2010

During this writing, I wanted to express my appreciation to those of you have viewed my blog this week. I have been very excited about the visits to my blog site. I hope that the information has been beneficial.

I have had some email messages from a few viewers who have said that they have tried to post comments, but that the comments didn't show up. I believe that when you make a comment that you will need to click on the tab that says Google, sign in with your home email, then create a password for the google website. Much like you would set up an account with any site that you visit, you usually sign in with your personal email and create a password to the site. If that doesn't work, message me or send a comment to my Facebook and I'll see if I can help you with your post.

I wanted to sum up my first week's entries with reminding you of some of my favorite websites, which can be of help in assisting you to find deals on your purchases.

www.southernsavers.com lists various grocery stores and drug stores to help you in matching up sales and coupons.The site is also good at posting newly released printable coupons.

www.iheartcvs.com is also a great site for CVS shoppers. You can also obtain info on upcoming sales.

www.iheartthemart.com is a great site for Walmart shoppers. On the right side of the iheartthemart page is a section that shows you deals that you can get for under a dollar.

For the shopper who doesn't have time to coupon, visit the www.soap.com website. There is a button to the right of my page, which will take you directly to the site. You can scroll down on the first page of SOAP to the savings section. Click on that area and it shows you hundreds of products that you can apply ecoupons to. This site is also great for sending care packages to family members. You can also obtain free shipping as long as your "BEFORE" dicount total is $25.00. The after discount total does not have to be $25 for free shipping, or so it was in my experiences with ordering.

I have blogged about my favorite magazine from which to obtain coupons, which is the All You magazine. I received my March issue of All You in the mail yesterday. It contains $80 plus dollars of coupons in the March issue. There is also a coupon for ten dollars off of a twenty five dollar purchase at Fashion Bug. The magazine is available at the register area at Walmart, you can order directly from the company, or you can order the magazine from Amazon. Amazon currently has a magazine special going where you can order $20 worth of magazines and receive a ten dollar credit to use at Amazon. You can click on the Amazon carousel at the top of my post to go directly to Amazon.

Ebates gives you a rebate back from purchases made through their site. Currently, if you go through their magazine store, they are giving around a 26% rebate. Check the site for details as to how this works..the ebates button is to the right of this page. I have an ebates account, which is free. I have already earned around ten dollars in my account, by just going there to order via their site. There are stores such as American Eagle, FTD, Harry and David, photo shops, and numerous other shops, listed through ebates.

Well, I hope that everyone has saved a little this week!!! I'm working on my shopping and savings plan for this week! Be sure to get your free Colgate toothpaste at CVS. Toothpaste is free after ecb's. Check the front page of the CVS ad to see what Colgate toothpaste to purchase in order to get back ecb's for the total purchase amount of the Colgate. I will have to recheck my ad, but I think that you can do this deal twice. If it does allow you a limit of two, purchase the first Colgate toothpaste, get the ecbs back, then purchase the second Colgate with the ecb's you just received. You can even use coupons on the toothpaste to make the deal even better. There are several Colgate $1.00 coupons out there. I've saved them from previous Sunday papers and I know that I have one in one of my All You magazines. Message me or make a comment to any good deals that you find!!!

And, as I go, I will leave you with a new website to explore, which is www.couponmom.com. The coupon mom has been on televised shows, explaining her expertise. She has also written books on couponing. Click on the coupon data base on her site, to search for coupons that you are needing.

Have a great week shopping and saving! Just remember to have a plan. Hope to hear from you!

Iva Jean

Friday, February 11, 2011

Shopping at Soap

Hi Friends,

You may be asking, "What does it mean to shop at Soap"? Well through my internet searches on saving, several times I have run across blogs that included how to save by shopping at Soap. I thought to myself, "How could anyone shop for shampoo, detergent, toilet paper, etc. and come out ahead with the shipping. So, I did not immediately check out the site. Well, I have shopped at Soap twice during the last month and did great on my savings and ended up with free shipping both times!!! (See link to Soap on the right of this page.) Let me define my shopping experiences with the following info:

1) With my first shopping experience, all Ziplock products were half price, which made the items less expensive than shopping at the store with coupons. I decided to order the large Ziplock storage bags, which are used for storing clothing, sheets, blankets, etc. The size is approximately 24" x 30" as a guess. I thought these would be great to store my big collection of afgans, out of season clothes or anything else that would fit in the bags to store in the attic. Seeing that I have to reach boxes to my husband to put in the attic, while he is on the attic ladder, I figured these large see through, storage bags would be much easier to reach to him than boxes. They also fit nicely in a closet. I ordered four boxes, which contained three HUGE 20 gallon bags each. As I write this, I went to get one of my boxes to look at to obtain info. Pictures on the box include storage of Christmas wrap paper, sports equipment, toiletries, and basic "clutter'. Actually the bags are great to use in the trunk of your car to organize clutter that accumulates there. Well to sum it up, my order was somewhere around $25 before the discount, which gave me FREE SHIPPING! After the discount, my order came to around $15.00. Great deal for me! Ten dollars off and free shipping, and now I have a total of twelve humongous, sturdy, see through, Ziplock storage bags to help organize my household items.

2) My second order before discounts was around $26.00, which means free shipping. After discounts and ecoupons were applied, the order was around fourteen dollars. I decided I needed to purchase some items for my husband. All of the men's AXE products were half price. I purchased for him the Axe shampoo, Axe body spray, and Axe shower gel. I also ordered the large bag of Tide Stain Release Boost packs to add to the washload, and believe it or not I ordered a four pack, double roll of Charmin. I received a $12.00 total discount, received free shipping, and thus another great deal! I checked at a local store that same day and the same products would have costs me around $25 to $26 total.

If you are new to www.soap.com, do the following:
1. Click on the SOAP link on the right of this page, just to explore what products are available, even if you don't plan to purchase right now.
2. When you get to the website, on the home page, scroll down the page to where it says, "Find Hundreds of Products on Sale in the Savings Department". This is where you will find products that have ecoupons. You don't have to actually cut out coupons. There are ecoupons (internet coupons) available on hundreds of products. I have checked some of these products against products available at local stores and was surprised at the savings on some of them, because you can actually apply ecoupons to your purchase online. So, if you don't have coupons at home for products that you use, or you don't have time to look for coupons and cut them out, you could do an order on here, have it to come to $25 before the coupons in order to get the free shipping, but end up paying less than $25 because of the ecoupons! I was amazed! If you don't have the time to coupon at home, it is so easy and affordable to use this site to get good deals. A person could actually do a once a month order and get everyday items that you use at a really good price! Both of my orders were made on Monday by 6:00 PM and I received them on Wednesday of the same week. I believe they were delivered by Fed Ex.

The positives to shopping at www.soap.com
****You can apply ecoupons that are already on the site. After you click on the item that you want to add to the cart, you will need to check a little tiny box that appears in order to add the ecoupon.
****You can get free shipping if the total before discounts is $25.00. (Do not submit the order until you are SURE that your discounts were applied.
****Shipping is two day, if you order before 6:00 EST. I have never received shipped items from anywhere so quickly!!!
****This is a great way to send yourself a care package, send a care package to a college student, to a parent or to anyone!!!!!

Please read all of the details on the Soap website, in case any of the information that I have provided has changed. Before writing this, I did a practice order to see if the after discount total would still give me free shipping, and it did. (So be sure to check your totals and go for the free shipping!)

Compare ounces in the product you are looking for, because often the products may come in smaller or larger sizes.

Have fun scouting around at Soap. Click on the Soap button on the right side of this page. When you get to the Soap page, it will give you details on the 15% discount on your first order.

Although, I had thought the above was the end of my entry, I decided to do some price checking of some items on Soap.
-They have a 12 pk. of Charmin Ultra, the mega roll size, which is 4x a regular roll size, which is like getting 48 rolls of regualr roll tissue. The price is $15.39, with a .25 cent ecoupon. That is a pretty good deal, when you consider how much toilet paper you are getting! And you don't have to change the rolls out as much, when it is a mega roll! They have a good deal on Old Spice deoderant, with a $1.00 ecoupon, a good deal on Ajax cleanser with an ecoupon, and Head and Shoulders with ecoupon of $1.00. And as I said earlier, if you don't have time to clip coupons (or even get in on the local CVS deals), I'd say this is the next best thing!!!!

Thanks for visiting me today!
Iva Jean

P.S. If you haven't read my blog on the All You magazine, which is loaded with coupons, please do so. I received my March issue in the mail today, and it has $80 plus dollars worth of coupons in it, including one for $10 off of $25 at Fashion Bug!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's Day Discounts

Hello Friends,

It is nearing the end of the week and Valentine's Day is Monday! I just wanted to share some quick Valentine's Day deals with you!


*CVS currently has BOGO (buy one get one free) on the Whitman's Sampler and Russel Stover's Chocolates (Check your ad for the particular variety).

*CVS also has some deals on other Valentine's Day candy, which if paired with coupons or ecb's makes a good deal.

*At the time of this writing, Ebates (see clickable Ebates button on the right side of this page to access Ebates)
is giving a 20% rebate to your account when ordering by Teleflora through them. Flowers which are ordered through them are hand delivered by local florists. A 20% rebate is a good deal if you are ordering flowers for somemone for Valentine's Day. You will have to check on their website for details of this offer.

*When shopping in our local Food City the other day, I noticed that in the back of the store, was a display near the cheese aisle, that had a brand of cake mix/frosting with a coupon tear pad. I don't recall the brand. The coupon was for buy two frostings and get the cake mix free. What was on display at the time was Valentine's day themed mixes/frostings.

*At the time of this writing, if you click "like" on Facebook, you can print out a coupon for $2.00 off of two American Greetings Valentine's cards.

*Amazon is offering $2.00 off of MP3 gifts now through Valentine's Day. Click on the Amazon carousel above, which will take you to Amazon. When you get to the Amazon page,in the upper right hand corner, it will say, "Send MP3 Valentines to Friends". The discount code is VDAYMP3S
With some MP3 albums only $5.00, using the $2.00 discount makes some albums only $3.00. In some instances, using the code will allow you to download two songs for free. There are also other free downloadable songs on Amazon.

*Click on the Amazon carousel above. On the Amazon page, type in books in the search box. Click go. When books are listed, underneath the paperback version you will see the Kindle version. Scroll through looking for the free versions of Kindle books.

Locally, the dollar stores usually have good deals on cards. Reeds at the mall and Food City have everyday percentages off of many cards.

Hope that these Valentine's Day discounts are helpful!

Thanks for visiting!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Iva Jean

All You Magazine (Lots of Coupons) and Ten Dollars Credit at Amazon

February 11, 2010

Hi Friends,

Today I want to write about a magazine that I subscribe to that is always loaded with coupons. The magazine, called All You is available at Walmart in the magazine sections near the registers. I believe that Walmart may be the only store that carries the magazine. It sells for around $2.42 an issue. Besides grocery coupons, it usually has cosmetic coupons and several times a year, I have seen Fashion Bug and Katherine coupons. Because it has several coupons, I have sometimes found it worthwhile to buy an extra copy if it has coupons that I will use. Of the magazines that I have read and subscribed to, I have found it to have the most coupons.

Other Places to Find the ALL You Magazine:

You can find the All You magazine directly at All You or you can purchase it at Amazon for around $1.66 per copy when subscribing. I have found that through Amazon to be the least exspensive way to purchase, so my subscritption for All You magazine is through Amazon. I have had my subscription for a year or two. There is a link to the All You magazine in the Amazon picture carousel above.

Currently, a six month subscription to All You is $10.00 on Amazon, and that includes free shipping. They do have 1 year and 2 year subscriptions available also. You can click on the above link in the picture carousel and when you get to the Amazon website, just type in All You magazine in the search box, if the magazine pic for some reason doesn't show up instantly.

Currently Amazon has a deal going this month. If you purchase $20.00 in the magazine store you will get a $10.00 promotion code to use on anything on Amazon. You will have to go to Amazon to read all of the details and see if there are any type of exclusions. After you get to the magazine that you are looking for, scroll down the page and you will see how this promotion works and what restrictions there are. You can also renew subscriptions to other magazines that you have, but you will have to read the details on that. I believe that if you currently have a magazine subscription, even if it is not through Amazon, that Amazon arranges with the publisher to have the magazine delivered after your current subscription expires. But, PLEASE read on the Amazon site as to how this works.

The All You magazine is a woman's magazine that contains intersting reading, including articles on saving.

Subscribing to the All You magazine is just another way that I have found to find good coupons, in additon to the Sunday paper, coupons found on Facebook, subscribing to a particular brand's mailing list for mailable coupons, and finding printable internet coupons.

Have fun finding your coupons and remember to not get discouraged! It takes time to gradually learn how to coupon successfully.

In future blog entries, I will be writing about how to organize your coupons, making a meal plan for the month, and making a master shopping list all in order to help you to be more organized with saving.

Thanks for visiting my blog and remember to click on the Amazon link above to check prices of the All You magazine, as well as to read about the Amazon promotion on purchasing $20 in the magazine store to get a $10 credit.

Iva Jean

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Today's Great CVS Shopping Trip!

February 9, 2010

I realize that I have already had a couple of entries today, but after my "small" shopping trip to CVS today, I felt like that I needed to share my savings. I like to do that so that I can encourage you all that you can do the same thing.

As soon as I entered the store, I scanned my card at the red machine. What printed out were:
*$5.00 in ECB's (I earned these ECB's from the Beauty Club that I mentioned in yesterday's entry.)
*$1.00 CVS coupon to use on body wash. (I'm saving this to pair up with a manufacturer's coupon. You can stack one store coupon with a manufacturer's coupon.
* $3.00 off $10.00 CVS coupon to use on makeup. (I'll save this to pair up with a manufacturer's makeup coupon(s). (If I can get a good deal on something that Taylor or I will use.) There are always manufacturers coupons for makeup! I know that I have a $3.00 manufacturer's coupon on Neutrogena.
*$2.00 CVS coupon to use on 2 bags of Hall's Cough Drops (I'll pair this up with a manufacturer's coupon, because I know that I have a Hall's coupon.)Then I'll give the cough drops to my dad. He uses them often.

Here are my shopping scenarios:

Scenario 1:
-I purchased two boxes of Quaker granola bars. The sale price was 2/$5.00.
-I paid for the granola bars with the $5.00 ecb's, which equals FREE!!!!
-I got back $2.00 ecbs on the purchase of the granola bars. (That was the posted deal). Wow I've just earned $2.00 in ECB's on the purchase of the granola bars and I didn't even use real money on this purchase!
-I paid zero dollars at the register.
-During this same transaction I also received a $1.00 ecb that I earned because of my green tag uses.
-Now I have a total of $3.00 in ecb's to use on another purchase.

Scenario 2:
-I purchase a gallon of milk (Which was $2.69. I always buy milk at CVS....$2.69 is the cheapest price around here on milk.)
-I purchase a pkg. of toilet paper that is on sale.
-I pay with the $3.00 ECB's that I just received in the first transaction, plus I pay around $5.00 cash.

I end up leaving the store with two boxes of FREE Quaker Granola Bars, a FREE gallon of milk, and around .31 cents of the ecb's went on the toilet paper that was on sale!

That is how you shop CVS!!!

I would love to hear about any of your deals that you snatch at CVS or anywhere. Don't get discouraged starting out...it has taken me a while to learn how to do this!

Be sure to read yesterday's blog about CVS Part 1, so that you will have a little more preparation on shopping CVS.

Thanks for visiting me! Hope the info was helpful!
Iva Jean


February 9, 2010

I joined Ebates a couple of years ago, but really didn't start using it until right before Christmas. I wished I had used it earlier! I have already earned around $10.00cash back into my account.

Right now Ebates is offering a $5.00 cash bonus for those who join. I didn't get that when I joined! Click on the Ebates button on my page (to the right), and it will direct you to the site for details.

Whenever you are going to make an online order, you go to Ebates first, search to see if the store you want to order from is there, click on the link, and it takes you to your online store. Ebates then puts a cash percent back into your Ebates account, depending upon your purchase amount and the deal. I have made online orders to photo shops, clothing stores such as Charlotte Russe, Harry and David, Soap.com etc. and have already earned money in my account.

FTD was offering a 20% rebate through Ebates, which to me would be less expensive than ordering FTD directly through florists. For those ordering for Valentine's Day, this would be a good deal.

Click on the Ebates button on my page, in order to join for free. As mentioned above, they are currently giving a $5.00 bonus. I don't know how long the offer is good for. You don't have to give any credit card info.

Anytime that I make an online order now, I go to Ebates first to see if the store has a link there.

Happy shopping and earning back through ebates.
Iva Jean

Shopping at Walmart

February 9, 2010

Good Morning Friends!

I have found this wonderful website, www.iheartthemart.com, which shows you how to save at Walmart. The site gives you scenarios on how to match coupons to products at Walmart, and also has links to printable coupons that you can print out to use with items at Walmart. On the right side of the webpage, you can click on "Everything Under a Dollar", and there is a listing of how to get items under a dollar with your coupons.

While at Walmart, pick up a copy of the All You magazine. It is always loaded with coupons. The All You Magazine is located in the magazine section near the registers. As far as I know, Walmart is the only store around here that sells the magazine. Sometimes there are also bigger value coupons, such as to Fashion Bug or Katherine's. Glance through the magazine at the registers to see if it is something that would help you.

Some savings I've received at Walmart:

-Free floss (Walmart usually has Reach floss for .97, and you can print out a $1.00 coupon on Reach Floss.)
-Oil of Olay soap ( Reg. price $2.47, used a $2.00 coupon, final price was .47.)
-Free Athenos Greek Yogurt with $2.00 off 2 yogurts.
-Colgate toothpaste was .25 with coupon. (You can usually find tubes of toothpaste for $1.00 on the upper and lower shelves.)

Hope that the website www.iheartthemart.com helps you save when at Walmart.

Oh, by the way, I have had a few problems with some of my coupons not scanning at Walmart, and have had to ask the cashier to enter the coupon numbers if a coupon doesn't scan. Just wanted to give you a heads up, in case you have a problem with any of your coupons there.

Hope this info helps you when shopping at Walmart!
Iva Jean

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shopping at CVS (Part 1)

February 8, 2010

This has been a busy day for me...taking my parents to have tests run, then on to attend the monthly meeting of the Belfry Homemaker's Club. Today I got to present the monthly lesson at Homemaker's entitled Couponing 101. That just happened to be the lesson that all of the Homemaker's clubs in the county were presenting. Anna Trout, a member, knew that I couponed, so she asked me if I would present the lesson. The materials were given to me last week so that I could prepare the lesson for today. Since the materials were very beneficial, I will share with you info from the lesson in a future blog. Now on to the next item on my day's agenda which was picking my daughter up from school, and finally a stop to have her nails done. She had her nails done at VIP Nails and we were surprised when she got a $5.00 discount for being a student. Yay! Seems like to day has been all about savings!

Well, on to the topic of the day, which is shopping at CVS. I find so many deals there and save SO much money with CVS. Listed are some things to keep in mind in order to save at CVS.

1) If you don't already have a CVS savings card, sign up for one.

2) You get 2% back on your purchases per quarter, which print out as ecb's at the end of each quarter. (Read info on the CVS website to see what items qualify and how this percentage works.)

3) You can get a beauty club coupon from one of the tear pads in the store, have it scanned at the register, and then when you purchase a total of $50.00 over a period of time, you will receive $5.00 ecb's (extra care bucks). To clarify this, in order to get these particular ecb's you would need to purchase items in the beauty care line, such as make up, nail polish, as well as other products that apply to the beauty club. Just check the scannable coupon from the tear pad in the store to see what items qualify.

4) Purchase a green tag. These are located near the registers. The green tag is a leaf shaped tag, that you can tie to your reusable shopping bag or attach to a key chain. I actually have my green tag and CVS card together on a key chain. After the green tag has been scanned each fourth time, it allows you to earn an ecb. It can only be scanned once per day. You are supposed to bring in a reusable shopping bag in order to have your green tag scanned. I have forgotten to do this at times, but the cashiers have been kind enough to scan it for me anyway. Getting the extra care buck for this is kind of like receiving a reward for going "green" and helping the environment.

5) If you are not on the CVS email list, go to their website and sign up. That is how you will receive emails with valuable coupons. I am guessing that I receive one at least once a month. Coupons that I have received have included $3 off of a $15 purchase, $4 off of a $20 purchase and $5 off of a $30 purchase.

6) Each week, study your CVS sales circular. See what sale items there are for which you have coupons. That is how you get rock bottom deals. (I use a lot of Proctor and Gamble coupons at CVS.

7) Take care of any ecb's that you receive. They are just like cash at CVS. I usually put mine in my wallet since they are like money. Sometimes just tossing them into your purse can cause you to lose them and that has definitely happened to me before.

8) Sometimes I do two transactions in one visit. For example, if I am going to buy $15 worth of coke and know that I will get $5 back in ecb's, I will take that $5 in ecb's and go ahead and buy two more cartons of coke or whatever it is that I need. Or, sometimes I save the ecb's and roll them over to next week's deal that gives ecb's.

9)Scan your CVS card with the red machine located near the front of the store. Do this as soon as you go into CVS. You will receive CVS store coupons from the machine. Since the coupons that are printed from the red machine are CVS coupons, you may stack a manufacturer's coupon with it. For example, if the CVS coupon that prints out says $3.00 off of a $10.00 purchase of makeup, you can pair up your Revlon (or whatever brand of makeup) manufacturer's coupon with the store coupon. BIGGER SAVINGS!!!

In summing up, remember that you'll save more at CVS with the following:

*Your Extra Care Card (They will take your telephone number if you forget your card.)
*Your green tag (And bring your reusable shopping bag, but it doesn't have to be a CVS bag shopping bag.)
*Enrollment in the Beauty Club
*Sign up on the CVS website for emails
*Study the circular and match up coupons to the sale items.
*Use your extra care bucks...they are just like cash at CVS
*Scan your CVS card with the red machine to receive store coupons that can be paired with manufacturer's coupons.

Be sure to always read the fine print on anything...your ecb's printout, the ad, etc. to be sure whether or not there are exclusions on anything. And BE sure to visit the CVS website to learn more, as well as print out coupons there.

And here's something to make everyone's Valentine's Day a little happier. Go ahead today and like CVS on your Facebook. Then you will be able to receive a saving's pass that will be emailed to you on Valentine's Day.

Be sure to read any fine print or material on the website, circulars, printouts, etc. just in case anything may have changed from the info that I have included above.

Have a great day shopping at my favorite savings place!!!!

There will be a Part 2 added to my blog on shopping at CVS.

Yesterday I shared with you the website www.southernsavers.com.
Today I will share with you the website www.iheartcvs.com, where you will learn even more about shopping at CVS!

Upcoming blog posts in the near future: Shopping at CVS Part 2, Shopping at Walmart, Favorite Websites for Deals, Freebies online and more!!!! Be sure to come back and visit my blog, follow my blog or make it a favorite so that I can share with you what I have learned!!!!

Thanks for visiting!!
Iva Jean

P.S. You can follow my blog, by clicking on the indicated area to the right.
You can also email the blog to friends who may be interested, by clicking the M button.

Monday, February 7, 2011

P&G Solutions (Free Coupon Book, $100 in savings)

Dear Friends,

Proctor and Gamble is giving away a coupon savings brochure with $100.00 worth of savings in it. There are probably a limited number left. On Facebook, you need to like P&G Solutions, and sign up with your address. I believe that it states that you will receive it in 5 to 10 days. I always find great deals using the coupons from Proctor and Gamble.

Good luck getting your savings booklet.
Iva Jean

A Couponer's Dream, southernsavers.com

Feb. 7, 2011

Good Morning!

When couponing, it is sometimes hard to know what store to visit to find a good deal with your coupons. I learn a lot about couponing from reading other blogs. I want to share with you a blog that I visit daily that will be a great help to you in learning to coupon.

If you visit www.southernsavers.com, there is a ton of info there about couponing. You click on the name of the store that you want to visit. Then click on the sales ad for the current week. There you will find sales items listed with the coupon needed. It will tell you where to find the coupon (which is why you need to save your flyers each week). If it is a printble coupon that is needed (which is where I find some good ones sometimes) usually you just click the link there beside the product's name to get the printable coupon. The store names that I click on are local to my area such as CVS, and then under the tab of "other", I find the store names Food City and Walmart, which are also in my local area. But, there are many other stores the site refers to, including Rite Aid, Kroger and more. Be sure to visit this website, because it is one of the best in helping you learn to coupon, by matching up coupons to store sales. The best way to save is to use the coupon when the item is on sale. That is how you score big savings.

Before I go, I'll share some more recent savings with you.

*I used a coupon for $1.00 off two of a men's deoderant brand, which was already on sale.
*Then I used a coupon to get a free body wash when purchasing the deoderant.
*Added to that deal, I used a BOGO (buy one get one free) of the men's body spray product.

The coupons for the above products were grouped together in the coupon insert. I cut them all out and used them at CVS and ended up with a free body spray, a free body wash, and $1.00 off the deoderant that was already on sale.

Be sure to visit www.southernsavers.com. That is probably the one website that I have visited that has helped me the most in learning to coupon.

My next blog entry will be about how to save at CVS. Be sure to come back and visit my blog. If you have a friend, whom you would think would be interested in reading my blog, there should be a button at the bottom where you can email a link.

Thanks again for visiting and remember to come back to learn about CVS couponing. And remember to take baby steps with couponing. It takes time to learn to be a productive couponer, and I am still continually learning.

Iva Jean

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Good Coupons Available Online

I just received an email from a site that I subscribe to, mentioning printable coupons available. Go to www.freecoupons.com
to print available coupons. Sometimes printable coupons have a print limit and if so, when that limit is reached, no more are availble. Check the site to see if there are any you want to print out for now or future use.

I will blog tomorrow about a very beneficial site that will help you with couponing.

Just take baby steps when learning how to do this. Even little saves on cents can be gratifying. I am by no means an expert and am learning as I go along.

If you did get a Sunday paper today, save the coupons that you don't use this week for future use.

Have a good night!
Iva Jean

Introduction (Part 2)

Hi There! Glad you're back!

In Part I of my introduction, I gave a generalization of saving on purchases. There will be more details in following posts on how to do this, whether shopping online or in your brick and mortar stores. But my blog will be about more than just couponing, so stay tuned!If couponing is not for you, then hopefully in my other posts you will be able to carry away with you, something helpful.

With this blog, I also want to share how that there are so many other ways to save cents in our everyday lives. Be it using energy efficient light bulbs (Important right now with power bills so high!), decorating, or searching for the right cell phone plan. I say, "Why give all your hard earned money away, when you can save some here and there for splurging with later on a vacation (Sunny, warm beaches sure sound good right now!), or when you are saving for your daughter's "have to have" list (prom dressses, new boots, or the "I have nothing to wear" list. Don't get me wrong...I'm not on the frugal end, penny pinching....I just try to save a little here and there with everyday purchases or other finance related matters. Actually, if you drove by my house at night, you would see that we need to turn some of the lights off! lol That is another matter that we will have to work on here at home, as well as another blog post! And I am one of the guilty ones who leaves the lights on. Remember that I said, "One of the guilty ones....all of us here at home need to work on the light problem. If it weren't for using mostly CFL bulbs, we would sure be hurting more on our electric bill.

I am having so much fun working on this first blog of mine! I hope that you enjoy it and that you will come back to visit often! I'm still under construction on getting my layout done. There will be more pics soon. Please visit and leave a comment for me.

Thanks for visiting!
Iva Jean

Coupon Sunday

Feb. 6, 2011


Well, today is the day that the Sunday papers hit the stands, which means coupon inserts should be tucked inside of most papers. Tips on obtaining coupons from the newspapers:
  • When purchasing a newspaper from the newspaper stand, inspect it to be sure that the coupon inserts are inside of the paper. Sometimes coupon inserts may accidently NOT be inserted into the paper OR as much as I hate to say this, sometimes they disappear!! So, be sure the coupon insert is in the newspaper.
  • Coupon inserts can vary by region. Locally, where I live, I find that the Lexington newspaper sometimes has more coupons than others available here. I also like to buy the weekend edition of our Pikeville paper just to keep up on local news, as well as to get coupons. If the newspaper has some REALLY good coupons that I know that I will use, then I'll buy an extra copy, especially when the Proctor and Gamble inserts are in the paper. You can get some really good deals with the Proctor and Gamble coupons, when paired up with sales from a local drug store in my area, that gives certain types of "bucks" on the register receipt for future purchases. Let's see, seems like the drug store has three letters in it's first name. Any takers on the store's name???? Well, let's just say that I snag a lot of deals at this store, usually at least 50% off, and on up, up, up in the percentage off, depending upon the sale, the coupons, and the Extra Care Bucks (ecb's).
  • If you get a newspaper today, save the coupon inserts and date the outside cover of the insert with today' date. You may need to refer to that particular copy in the future for finding coupons for products on sale.
  • Come back and visit my blog, as I will be letting you know if and what coupons I will be using from today's paper.

Before you go, let me fill you in on some more savings that I have received recently:

At a local supercenter:

  • 3 containers of Reach floss, coupons made them FREE.
  • 2 Scotch Brite sponges, coupons made them FREE.
  • 2 Athenos Greek Yogurt, coupons made them FREE.
  • 2 Athenos Greek Yogurt, coupons made them half price.
  • Colgate toothpaste, coupon made it .25.
  • Marie Callender's HomeBake (Reg. 4.49), coupon made it $2.49 (and it was delicious!)

Please come back and visit me soon! I want to share my savings and help my friends to save, too!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Introduction from Iva Jean (Part 1)

February 5, 2010


Welcome to my blog! I've always tried to save a few cents here and there. But, I do not have a garage full of 1000 boxes of cereal or 100 jars of peanut butter! To assist my friends and others by sharing tricks on how to save on daily purchases and other items, I've created this blog. I hope that you enjoy reading this.

I've always saved money on internet store purchases, as well as purchases from the brick and mortar stores, but have learned to save a little more through research.

Since my retirement from teaching last year, I've taken advantage of my free time by couponing more. I've always used various coupons throughout the years, but not on a regular basis. Since I have more free time now, I REALLY try to research other savings blogs and form a plan for my purchases. I have really had a lot of fun with this. You have to have a plan to really SAVE big. Through blog posts to follow, I will be sharing some of the strategies that I have used.

To start with I will share some savings that I obtained today from a local store.

* Tide Stain Release Spray, Reg. price: $4.99, Sale price: $3.99, Coupon $3.00, Final price: .99
*Tide Stain Release Liquid, Reg. price: $ 4.99, Sale price: $3.99, Coupon $3.00, Final price: .99
*Hershey Candy Chocolate Reg. price: $1.69, Sale price: .99 , Coupon BOGO, Final price .50ea. for two candies.
*Excedrin , Regular price $4.99, Sale price: $1.99, Coupon for free Excedrin (up to $4.99 value),
Final price: FREE

Total price of these items before discounts: $18.35
Total price of these items after discounts: $$2.97

These are just a few of the deals that I made today.

Thanks for reading my first post! I will be back with more details on more of my savings, as well as tricks to getting a good deal.

Talk to you later!
Iva Jean