Friday, March 11, 2011

Neighborhood Basket

With Spring just around the corner, many of us are starting our spring cleaning. I ran across an idea that got me thinking and I came up with the Neighborhood Friendship Basket. Copy the text below if you want to start your own in your area. (You will need to get a decent sized basket to start with.) I am going to attach the saying to the basket on cardstock so it will be sturdy and last for awhile.

Neighborhood Friendship Basket

Here's a little basket of goodies for you.
Take it all or maybe just one or two.
Search through your house
for crafts, toys, or maybe a blouse.
Then fill up the basket with those things you don't use
And pass it on to whomever you choose!
(Keep at least five items in the basket and pass on within three days. Draw a smiley face and place it in your window so others know you have already had the basket. If most of the homes in your area have a smiley face, take it to a different neighborhood so they can join in the fun!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I emailed a friend the following. Maybe it will help some of you out there.

I never know how to approach this because there is lots of little things to cover, but let me throw out the main ideas and then ask questions.

1. Sunday papers are a must to really save.

Call your local paper and see if they have a couponing deal. Usually this is around 15-20 dollars a month. You will get multiple Sunday papers and maybe some through the week. Sunday papers contain your coupon inserts. RP = Red Plum SS= Smart Source PG = Proctor and Gamble. On occassion you will get others like General Mills. Clip whatever you will use and accept for free. So I don't keep coffee, pet food, and some meds. Also check for other coupons to print and clip. Start stalking up. It will take a month or so for you to get a decent coupon base.

2. Get organized.

My sisters and I use an accordian file (envelope size) to organize our coupons. This is what we take with us to the store. My file has about thirteen slots. Each of these has a main heading - Baby, Baking, Snacks/Drinks etc. And then I have a few envelopes under those as sub categories. Baby - Diapers and Misc. Baking - Staples and Desserts. Snacks/Drinks each of their own envelope.

Here are my categories/sub categories. Feel free to use these and to customize it to your family.

You know baby, baking, S/D

Dairy/Meat - one envelope for each. You will receive a lot of yogurt coupons so you may want an envelope just for this.

Cleaning/Paper - Laundry/Misc., Dish/Bath, Paper Products

Canned Goods- Soups, Veg/Fruits

Frozen- Pizza, Dessert, Meals/Veggies

Pharmacy- Meds/Contacts, Hair/Oral/Lotions, Feminine/Shaving/Soaps

Misc.- Home (air fresh. Battery), Crafts/Restraunts

Store Coupons - sometimes you will get walgreens/target/grocery coupons.

I think that's it for that. You get the idea anyways.

3. Lingo- MF/MC= Manufacture Coupon - this is what you will cut out out of the newspaper/online. SC= store coupon - the store sometimes has a coupon to go with a product. Walgreens has these a lot. Catalina- the little paper that prints out at the register. Usually has a coupon on it and sometimes a money value. These are like cash if there is a money value.

4. Websites-

You will need to find a local website, but some really good ones to check out are , , I suggest hopping on A thrifty mom and fabulessly frugal and checking out their explanations of store policies. They will tell you better than I can. Grocery Smarts is a webpage that prices out your stores deals with what coupon to use. I use this a lot.
So those websites that I sent to you will be a good help in getting going. They list what the deals are and go over FAQS and such.
Is couponing cheaper than Walmart? My answer is yes. The goal is to stack MFC with SC with Deals and if you are lucky Catalinas. You can't do that at Walmart.
Let me give you an example. Awhile ago Smiths had a deal where you bought ten items and got five bucks off instantly at the register. One of their participating products was the philadelphia cream cheese. They were on sale for $1/ea. I also had a coupon for $5/5 participating cheese products - cream cheese qualified. So I bought ten cream cheeses, got five bucks of instantly, and paid the rest with my $5 coupon. Free. :o) And incase you didn't know, cream cheese freezes just fine. So now i have a little storage. This is the concept with everything. Most stores run their deals every 12 weeks or so. So you stalk up on the products you need at their lowest price for twelve weeks/ish. Another example - B/S chicken breasts are best to stalk up on when they are around 1.89ish a lb. Really under $2/LB is a good deal, but it goes lower. At albertsons the meat department will even season and wrap your meat. So all you have to do is throw it in the freezer or cook/freeze. Albertsons is a couponers friend. We don't have them here in UT and I miss them! They have doublers which make for a great deal. Doublers double the value of your coupon up to a dollar. So .25 to .50 and 1.00 to 2.00. Nothing over a dollar though. On occassion Smiths will roll it up to a dollar. .25 to 1.00 .75 to 1.00. Make sense? These are the deals and promotions that Walmart doesn't follow. Yes they will price match, but they don't give you the instant five bucks off, catalinas, promos, doublers, etc. If I were to shop w/o coupons, then yeah, walmart usually wins out.

Let me give you another shopping example. Hopefully I explain it well. It's not that confusing, but I may make it that way.
The other day I went to Walgreens. They had a coupon in their flyer for Mento's Gum .99. Another coupon for Kleenex for .99. They were also running a deal where if you bought Crest toothpaste (3.49) you would recieve a 3.49 Register Reward (RR, Walgreens name for catalina). So that would make if free right? Well, just so happens that I had six $1 off coupons for Mento's Gum and a few $1 off coupons for the toothpaste and .35/3 for kleenex. Walgreens does their couponing/RR funny. In a nutshell you have to have equal amounts of products to coupons. You can't buy two things that print RR and recieve two RR...only one. And you can't use a RR to buy the same product and recieve another RR. So I bought six mento's (used their SC + 6 MFC) which would equal 7 coupons to six products...doesn't work. That's where you grab a filler item (pencil, something cheap, or something you need) to make the ratio equal. I had the three boxes of Kleenex with only two kleenex coupons so the third box was my filler. Also I bought two tubes of toothpaste, but I wanted both RR so I had to buy them seperately. Then I needed some milk and $5 bag of halloween candy (had a two dollar coupon). So at the check out I bought all of my gum, kleenex, and one tube of toothpaste in one transaction. Got 3.49 RR. Bought one toothpaste. Got another 3.49 RR. Then bought my milk and candy with my candy coupon and RRs. A grand total of just over ten bucks. Saved $25. So it does save to coupon.



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