Friday, September 30, 2011

The Best Things in Life

Today has been, in my opinion, a slow day for deals. Here instead, are snapshots of priceless moments from my Friday. (Nolan turned five months last week - Momma was a little behind with the photo shoot.)

Playing in his bouncer

My BIG Boy!

I like this better on my belly!

Kisses from Cooper :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Money Saving Idea - Rebates

Rebates are a great way to try new products and save money at the same time! You will most often find the mail-in variety, which means you first purchase the product, then submit a form, along with a store receipt and possibly a UPC code, for your money back (usually takes 4-6 weeks). This is typically via the mail, though some allow you to submit online. Companies will often offer rebates for the full purchase price when they are rolling out a new product. This entices the shopper to try it and hopefully hooks them on the product, which most will buy at full price the next time.

I have already posted about the Lysol Dual Action rebate, which I actually submitted yesterday, but I wanted to give you a heads up about some more money saving rebate offers. Below you will find a list of rebates that are currently available. I have included links to rebate forms as well as deadline info.

Rebate Deals (listed in order of submission deadline)

Prevacid 24 Hour (up to $22, link includes a $4 coupon, in case your store sells for more than $22)
  • Purchase between 9/18/11 and 11/18/11
  • Submit by mail no later than 4/15/12
  • Will need original cash register receipt AND UPC code
Lysol Dual Action Wipes Try Me Free Rebate (35 ct. or 80 ct., up to $5.00)
  • Purchase between 9/1/11 and 11/30/11
  • Submit by mail no later than 12/31/11
  • Will need original cash register receipt
Carmex Moisture Plus (up to $2.99, MUST PURCHASE AT CVS)
  • Purchase between 9/1/11 and 12/15/11
  • Submit by mail no later than 1/15/12
  • Will need original cash register receipt AND UPC code
The pitcher is on sale at many stores for less than $10. Here is a $5 coupon, that will help lower the price if you find an item selling for more than $10.  
  • Purchase before 3/31/12
  • Submit by mail no later than 3/31/12
  • Will need original cash register receipt AND UPC code
  • Purchase between 9/1/11 and 4/1/12
  • Submit by mail no later than 4/15/12
  • Will need original cash register receipt AND UPC code

Reader Response: Have you found any great rebate deals not listed here? Please share!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Freebie Find - $2 EB at CVS

CVS is taking action to educate their shoppers about Extra Bucks rewards, which print at the bottom of your receipt after certain purchases. Many people throw this free money away, not realizing that it's CVS currency, and can be used on any future purchase.

Visit the CVS website and take a pledge to not throw away your Extra Bucks, and you will earn a free and easy $2 EB!

Go now, as it's limited to the first 500,000 pledges.

*Thanks to Krazy Coupon Lady for the heads up!

Be a Follower

Do you read my blog regularly? Consider following Allison's Durham Deals! (see the little icon toward the bottom right of the page) You might also consider passing the blog on to family or friends, who are interested in money saving ideas and deals.

My goal is to grow this site, and I would love to attract blog sponsors, which would enable me to start reader giveaways (think things like gift cards and free products). Though I am SO pleased by the page views over the past few weeks, I don't think I can secure sponsors or giveaways without followers.

Thank you so much for reading! And...thanks to many of you for the kind words and support as I've taken on this new project! 

Freebie Find - Get Out and About! (9/30-10/2)

The weather is cooling, and the rain is heading away. It looks like this coming weekend will be perfect for getting out of the house! Here are my top picks for free and inexpensive weekend activities and events, in and around Durham!

Friday, September 30

Fridays on the Front Porch (one of my Friday favorites, if it doesn't rain)

Head to the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill to enjoy some bluegrass music on their large, shaded lawn. Drinks and a full southern BBQ are served for a fee, but the music is free!

5:00-8:00 pm
211 Pittsboro St Chapel Hill

I am super excited about this one! A bluegrass band called Chatham County Line is playing this Friday at The American Tobacco District. I had the chance to see them at Motorco last fall, during the Troika Music Festival, which is unfortunately called off for 2011. My friends and I only caught part of their set, but I'm anxious for more.

Throughout the summer and early fall, WUNC radio sponsors FREE concerts on the lawn of the complex. If you're looking for an inexpensive night out, bring a picnic. Otherwise, area restaurants, like Tyler's, will be serving food and drinks.

Free Admission
6-8 pm
318 Blackwell St. Durham

Last Fridays - Hillsborough

So many fun events...too bad they're all on Friday!! I've noticed Last Fridays in Hillsborough advertised over the past few years, but I have never been. It sounds like a great time, though, especially if you live out that direction.

Every final Friday of the summer months, through September 30, downtown Hillsborough celebrates. A free concert begins at 6:30 pm on the courthouse lawn. There are craft and food vendors, featuring Hillsborough BBQ company. The local museums and historical sites stay open late, and many art galleries participate in art walk receptions. Check this map for art walk locations.

Various locations
Downtown Hillsborough

Saturday, October 1

Browse local produce, baked goods, and art as you wander through Durham's Central Park. For a spending free morning, bring a cup of coffee from home and spend some time visiting different vendors and people watching. Bring a camera along and try your hand at capturing the sights of one of my favorite Durham scenes.

If you're like me, though, it will be hard to resist buying something! Bring a reusable bag, and support local farmers by purchasing your produce for the week at the market, rather than the grocery store. Be sure to bring small bills - this makes things easier when lines are long.

8:00 am - Noon
Durham Central Park - 501 Foster St.

Sunday, October 2

Dog lovers unite! Woofstock is a FREE event, just for you and your beloved pets (canine only), happening in Durham Central Park. There will be doggy vendors, competitions, adoption groups, as well as music and food. 

If you have a well behaved dog, this sounds like it has potential to make for an interesting afternoon. Cooper (my dog), would probably have a panic attack, so we'll probably steer clear. 

2:00-5:00 pm
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Update: Money Maker - Plum District

Update: From what people have been telling me, the $10 credit mentioned below is no longer working. The 30% off promo code is still working, and by following my links, you should still be able to get a $5 credit, making the deal $16 instead of $11. If you are interested in purchasing the deal and the $5 does not credit, let me know, and I will work to get you a working link. 

Plum District is a daily deal site, like Groupon and Living Social. Today's deal is $60 at for $30. Ecomom is a site that sells eco-friendly baby and kid gear, including toys, clothing, diapers, etc. Right now, they are offering free shipping on all orders.

$60 for $30 is a decent deal, but it gets better!

New Plum District members receive a $10 credit (you'll see it when you click to purchase the deal), which brings your total to $60 for $20.

BUT, the deal keeps getting better! Use the code PLUMLOVE and receive 30% off, which brings your grand total to...$60 at ecomom for $11!!

*Just a heads up - you will need to use the entire value of the voucher in one visit - it won't deduct and keep a balance!

Freebie Find - Blockbuster Express

More freebie codes from Blockbuster Express. This set is good through 9/30, on $1 rentals.
* Thanks to Southern Savers for the codes.


Money Maker - Swag Bucks Video Game Trade In

During the nine years I've been with my husband, we accumulated a PSP, Wii, and an X Box.  Each time a new video game system is purchased, the old is immediately forgotten, taking its new place as an unused, and quite expensive, decoration on our entertainment center. The games are boxed and banished to a life of dust collection in a storage closet.

I was doing some cleaning this summer, when I came across a shelf lined with abandoned friends - Mario, Zelda, John Madden. "This is ridiculous!" I thought. There had to be something we could do with these games.

In walked Swag Bucks.   (If you haven't heard about Swag Bucks, look here to read my previous post.)

Under the EARN tab on the Swag Bucks site, is a Trade In option. This site allows you to look up video games and systems you would like to trade in to earn Swag Bucks, which can in turn be redeemed for prizes, including gift cards. The number of Swag Bucks awarded will depend on the title of the game and the operating system. After entering your games, print a postage paid shipping label, box the games, and send them on their way. In a few weeks, your Swag Bucks compensation will show up in your account.

I sent four video games in August and just received enough Swag Bucks to get four $5 Amazon gift cards, so $20, which I'm told is much more than we would have gotten for trade in at a video game store.

So....join Swag Bucks, and try this free and easy money maker!

Monday, September 26, 2011

How To Coupon: Walmart

After a recent conversation with my Whole Foods buddy, about price matching at Walmart, I thought it might be a good time to give you the basics on couponing at that big box chain. (Disclaimer - I don't shop Walmart very often, but I do know the general policies.)

By now, you're probably quite familiar with Walmart's price match guarantee. The commercials are everywhere....."Match it!" "Match it!" "Match it!" They're enough to make me want to avoid the store, out of objection to the pure obnoxiousness.

To be honest, I've never attempted to price match, but the basic idea is that Walmart will give you a lower price on an item, if it is advertised by a competitor. For example, you might find toothpaste at Walmart for $1.75, but Walgreens is advertising the same product for $1.50. Walmart will adjust the price down to $1.50, to lure you away from Walgreens and any money you would have saved by shopping there. The ad match commercials say you don't need to bring the ad to the store, but I would suggest doing so anyway. My Whole Foods friend said he brings in the ad with the item and price circled or highlighted. This way, the price match can not be disputed.

A few other things to note -

Walmart allows one manufacturer coupon per item. They do not double, like Kroger, and they do not have store coupons to stack (manufacturer coupon + store coupon) like Target.

Walmart DOES allow something called overage. If the value of your items is less than the value of your coupons, Walmart will actually give you money back. For example, I had coupons for $1.00 off Cascade dish washer tablets (look for these next Sunday in the Procter & Gamble insert) The price of the small pack was $0.97, which meant an overage of $0.03 per pack. I used this extra money to pay for other items, but I've heard that you can actually be handed money to pay you for the overage.

In the few times I've shopped Walmart with coupons, I haven't run into problems. I've heard stories, though, of people having trouble with cashiers questioning their coupons. You might want to print a copy of the store's coupon policy and bring it with you, just in case.

I wanted to end this post by saying something witty....instead, I leave you with this link, because it's often said, a picture is worth a thousand words. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Freebie Find - Better Than Bouillion

Soup season will be here before we know it. Stock your pantry with a free jar of Better Than Bouillion. Like their Facebook page, and a jar will be on its way to your mailbox! Choose between chicken and vegetable varieties.

*Thanks to Couponing to Disney

I Feel Like Chicken

It's Sunday, and in the South, that means you need to get your chicken fix somewhere other than my beloved Chick-fil-A. I think this is the appropriate time, then, to share with you one of my most frequently used grocery coupons.

I came across this gem a few months ago, and I've been using it nearly every week since. Here is a link for $2.00 off Tyson Rotisserie Chicken, which is the brand many grocery stores sell. I know for certain that it can be used at Kroger. Most weeks, this will get you a chicken at Kroger for $2.99. During sale weeks, using the coupon, I've gotten them for as little as $0.99! If you find a good price, think about buying more than one, taking the meat off the bone, and freezing it. The meat freezes and thaws very well!

The coupon is a PDF file, which means you can print it as many times as you'd like. I capture the image, insert it into a word document, and print a page of four coupons.

As a little extra, here are some of my favorite uses for rotisserie chicken, along with a money saving recipe tip or two.

Fajitas - Buy bell peppers when they are cheap ($1 or less). Cut them and freeze for future recipes.

Cajun Chicken Pasta - Introduced by a wonderful friend and cook after Nolan was born. You can substitute rotis. chicken to save time. Use peppers you have stocked in the freezer for another time saver! Sometimes, we'll leave out the mushrooms or green onions, if I don't have them on hand. Still yummy!

Chicken Quesadillas  

Stir Fry - Add a cup or so of chicken, after you have cooked the veggies. It will just take a minute to  warm the meat. Don't have stir fry sauce? Check your fridge and cabinets for ingredients like soy sauce, hot sauce, brown sugar, and garlic. You can easily whip up your own sauce using ingredients you keep stocked at home. I usually throw a few ingredients together, taste, and tweak.

Panini Sandwiches - Experiment with varieties! I enjoy chicken, pesto, mozzarella, and tomato. We make them quickly using our trusty Foreman Grill.  :)

Salads - Throw a few pieces onto a salad to add some protein to lunch or a light dinner.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Freebie Find - Lysol Wipes

I don't like to overdo it with the number of deals I post, but I do like to share the ones I personally plan to snag. Here's one I found this morning.

Buy Lysol Dual Action Wipes (35 ct. or 80 ct.) and send in for a rebate from Lysol, up to $5.00, which should make these FREE!

Freebie Find: Drugstore Deals for Week of 9/25

Saturday morning: sitting with a cup of coffee, listening to the rain, catching up on celebrity gossip with my issues of People and US Weekly....scoping the best deals for the coming week.

Let's meet the The Big 3 of the drugstore world: CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. Each store's reward system is slightly different, some more complicated than others (Walgreens, I'm looking at you).

We've already covered shopping at CVS (buy products that earn Extra Bucks, roll those Extra Bucks to buy other items for little or no money. Reread this post for a review.

Rite Aid
Rite Aid operates pretty much like CVS. Use your store card to get sale prices, look for items that earn Up Rewards, use Up Rewards to buy almost any other product in the store. I haven't shopped Rite Aid deals yet, mostly because I started at CVS and built up Extra Bucks. With only two people actually using products in our house, there really isn't a need to stock pile and go crazy buying sales at multiple stores. Rite Aid seems pretty easy to shop, though, so below you'll find this week's best deals, just in case you see something you like and want to give it a try!

Oh, Walgreens, I want to like you, I do. You seem to have good deals, but honestly, I find you to be a pain in the butt. Walgreens operates a money back program, called Register Rewards, that doesn't use a store loyalty card. There are complicated rules about how you earn these rewards and what they can be used on in the future. If you already know how to operate this system, you've likely found next week's deals on another site by now. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, sorry, today IS NOT going to be the day I get into it. Remember, it's Saturday, time for coffee and Kardashian sleaze.

So, here are next week's FREE drugstore finds (after rewards), listed by store, along with coupon match-ups.


Schick Quattro for Women - $8.99
Get $4 EBs (limit 1 per card)
$5/1 printble (no longer available - hope you printed it!)
$4/1 Schick Quattro Razor or Refill (SS 9/25) (Prince would be $1 with this Q)
Pay $3.99, get back $4 EB = $0.01 money maker

ThermaCare Lower Back and Hip Heat Wrap - $3.79
Get $3.79 EBs (limit 1 per card)
Pay $3.79, get back $3.79 EB = Free

Bausch and Lomb Re-Nu Sensitive (12 oz) - $8.99
Get $7 EBs (limit 1 per card)
$2/1 printable
Pay $6.99, get back $7 EB = $0.01 money maker

Excederin Extra Strength, PM or Migraine - $0.99
Get $0.99 EBs (limit 2 per card)
Pay $0.99, get back $0.99 EB = Free

Rite Aid

Similasan Computer Eye Drops and Dry Eye Relief - $6.99
$1.75/1 (9/11 SS insert)
$1/1 printable (price $0.01)
Pay $5.24, get back $6 Up Rewards = $0.74 money maker 

The Doctor's Nightguard or G-U-M PerioBalance - $24.99
$20 Up Reward when you buy 1 (limit 1 per card)
$5/1 printable
Pay $19.99, get $20 Up Reward = $0.01 money maker

I don't feel like typing them up. There are 8 potentially free deals. Check them out here, thanks to Couponing to Disney.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Go Crew!

This has nothing to do with saving money, or Durham, but....

GO BREWERS!!! Officially NL Central Champs!!

Birds of a Feather

I decided to make a stop at Whole Foods today, Living Social voucher and coupons in hand. Nolan and I were browsing the meat cooler, when a middle aged man parked his cart beside us. "Coupons, huh?" he asked. "I haven't seen anyone use those here."

I fully assumed that he was thinking something to the effect of, "What is she doing shopping here if she can't afford it?" when he continued, "Yeah, I used my coupons yesterday at Walmart. Man, I saved $300! I got this razor..."

Our conversation continued on for at least 15 minutes, and I learned all about his money saving ventures - how he price matches at Walmart every week and special orders coupons from Florida because they're higher value (he was particularly proud of $1 off bread coupons) and have later expiration dates (because old people take longer to get to the store, he claimed).

He was excited to learn about my Whole Foods printable coupons, and how I planned to stack them with manufacturer coupons to reduce prices.

I guess (couponing) birds of a feather really do flock together, even in the most unlikely of places! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Freebie Find - Get Out and About! (9/23-9/25)

The weekend forecast for the Durham area is looking a little rainy, but in between storms, you might be looking for something to get you off the couch and out of the house.

Here are some of my top picks for free or inexpensive happenings for the coming weekend.

Friday, September 23

Coffee Cuppings at Joe Van Gogh

Visit this local coffee shop for a free blind taste testing of their own Joe Van Gogh coffees.

4 pm
Joe Van Gogh
1104-B Broad St. Durham

Fridays on the Front Porch (one of my Friday favorites, if it doesn't rain)

Head to the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill to enjoy some bluegrass music on their large, shaded lawn. Drinks and a full southern BBQ are served for a fee, but the music is free!

Friday on the Front Porch concerts begin in late April and run each Friday evening through mid October. I
discovered this freebie gem because my former assistant principal is a member of a band that frequently plays these Friday concerts (though they won't be playing this week.) Check out The Gravy Boys - you won't be disappointed!

5:00-8:00 pm
211 Pittsboro St Chapel Hill

Saturday, September 24

Browse local produce, baked goods, and art as you wander through Durham's Central Park. For a spending free morning, bring a cup of coffee from home and spend some time visiting different vendors and people watching. Bring a camera along and try your hand at capturing the sights of one of my favorite Durham scenes.

If you're like me, though, it will be hard to resist buying something! Bring a reusable bag, and support local farmers by purchasing your produce for the week at the market, rather than the grocery store. Be sure to bring small bills - this makes things easier when lines are long.

8:00 am - Noon
Durham Central Park - 501 Foster St.

Motorco Music Hall Anniversary Party

Motorco is a great music venue located in downtown Durham, conveniently situated near Fullsteam Brewery and the farmers market. After visiting the farmers market, you should check out this free event. Motorco is celebrating their anniversary with FREE music, ticket give-aways, and drink specials. Some of the best local food trucks will also be parked outside, in case you get hungry (unfortunately, not free).

12:00-8:00 pm
Motorco Music Hall
723 Rigsbee Ave. Durham

Read Response: Have you heard of any free or inexpensive events happening in and around Durham this weekend? Feel free to promote them here! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Freebie Find - Blockbuster Express (Again)

Honestly, I'm having a little trouble figuring out how Blockbuster is making any money with all of the free rental codes they put out. Just today, I received another one by e-mail. It was a message telling me that I deserved a free rental. Really? Do they not have a system that sees that all of my recent rentals have been free??

Anyway, I'll gratefully, if confusedly, take it.

Here are more codes for free $1 rentals. These are good through 9/26. Again, not all codes are guaranteed to work, so bring the list along to the kiosk.


CVS - EB Preview (Week of 9/25)

It's only Wednesday morning, but I've already been checking out the CVS deals that will be starting next Sunday. Sad, I know.

Moving on, though, I am happy to say I've found some potentially great deals!

Starting on Sunday, 9/25, Renu Sensitive Contact Solution will be on sale for $8.99. There is a $2.00 printable coupon that will lower the price to $6.99. You will earn $7 EB making a profit of $0.01.

Schick Quatro Women's Razors will also be on sale for $8.99. There is a $5.00 printable coupon that will lower the price to $3.99. You will earn $4 EB, again making a profit of $0.01. (While you're at it, you might want to print all of the $5 razor coupons you find at You won't see razor coupons that high in value very often, and they don't expire until 11/20!)

My preliminary plan for next week: Buy Renu Solution and Schick Razors

Total after coupons = $10.98 + tax
- $11 EB from previous weeks
Earn 11 EB

If you are new to CVS shopping, you could buy just one of these items to lower your out of pocket expense, and then use the EB's earned on another purchase. *See this post on rolling EB's.

These deals are great for anyone with bad eyes or hairy legs, so they're likely to go quickly! Don't forget, CVS offers rain checks for sale prices and EB deals.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meet Allison, Krazy Coupon Lady Contributor!

Earlier this week, I saw a post on Krazy Coupon Lady, seeking submissions for paid site contributors. I'm excited to tell you, that my submission was ACCEPTED!! No word yet as to when my article will be featured on the site, but you can be sure I'll fill you in when I know more! AHHHHHH!

Update: Freebie Find - Blockbuster Express + Pizza

Update: The Domino's promotion I mentioned earlier today (see below) had some major issues. When the giveaway went live, their site crashed, and it seems that no one received their pizzas. If you shoot customer service a quick e-mail, they should respond shortly with a promo code for a free pizza. Just mention that you tried the promo, reached the final submission page, but it never loaded with the code. Good luck!

Keep 'em coming, Blockbuster!

These codes for free $1 rentals are good through 9/23. As always, bring the entire list with you when renting - not all codes will work.

Add to that a free pizza from Domino's, and you've got yourself a nice night in!



CVS, Work Your Baby Magic!

New parents, listen up, this one's for you! Anyone have those great $5 checks from Similac?? Look in the boxes of formula you brought home from the hospital. They also might have shown up in your mailbox.

CVS is running a deal this week where you earn $10 EB for spending $25 (pre coupons) on select baby products. Similac Ready to Feed Formula is on sale for $5 a bottle and is included in this promo. Buy five bottles, and pay with five $5 Similac checks, and you will walk away with $10 EB, only paying sales tax. (In NC this comes out to $0.50.)

Your baby isn't a formula drinker? (Nolan isn't either) Donate the formula or give it to a friend, as I plan to do!

CVS store out of Similac? Ask for a rain check for the $5 price, as well as for the Extra Bucks promo.

Use your $10 profit on other baby items or household needs....OR....hold onto those extra bucks for another day, where you can keep the freebies rolling!

Need Similac checks? I found four more in a previously unopened gift pack from the hospital. Local ladies, they can be yours. Let me know if you're interested!  ALREADY CLAIMED!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

HT Challenge x2

I like saving money, don't get me wrong, but I think the biggest reason I enjoy couponing as much as I do, is the mental challenge it presents. I love planning out deal scenarios, calculating prices and figuring out combinations to lower my out of pocket total. Staying home with Nolan and not working, it's a way to keep my brain working. 

After visiting Harris Teeter over the weekend, I had a second challenge in mind. Here's how I managed to get all of the things pictured for just $0.31. 

I knew that I could get the Kashi entree and Peak Tea free using triple coupons. *See this previous post for printable coupons. I also noticed that there was an e-vic coupon (link to store card through HT website) for $3 off one Febreze warmer. I also had a $3 paper coupon for the same item. The warmer was on sale for $3.49. This would mean that Harris Teeter would PAY ME $2.51 to buy it! I would have that money to use toward other items. (This works on any item you have an e-vic and paper coupon for, where the total coupon value is greater than the item price!)

You could use this extra money toward anything you want to buy, but I had a few ideas in mind that would use more triple coupons.

With my $2.51 overage I bought:

1 carton Egglands Best Eggs - on sale for $2.50
- $0.35 Q x 3 = $1.45

1 Fiber One Brownies - on sale for $2.50
- $0.75 Q x 3 = $0.25

2 cans Harris Teeter Tomato Sauce - $0.37 each (needed for a dinner recipe)
$0.37 x 2 = $0.74

Total = $2.44 

This left me with $0.07 overage, which was applied to my sales tax, leaving me to pay $0.31 in tax. Not bad for $20 worth of products. 

Challenge = met!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Money Maker - Kroger Pharmacy

Have a prescription you regularly refill? Here's a way to make $25 in groceries, just by filling it!

Check today's paper for a special insert from Kroger. You'll find a small coupon that is good for $25 in groceries if you transfer and fill a prescription with their pharmacy. This promo is only allowing one coupon per family, so I would wait to transfer any additional prescriptions until the next time this promo rolls around...which it seems to every few months.

Bring your prescription info and coupon into any Kroger Pharmacy, and they will handle the transfer and automatically add the $25 credit to your store card! Big time money maker!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Target has always been a featured budget buster in our house. In the month or so after Nolan was born, I found myself at Target just about every other day, aimlessly wandering the aisles, filling a cart, just to get myself out of the house.

Target isn't a money making place to shop, like CVS, but I have learned that on certain weeks, you can score great deals at this big box store!

Using coupons at Target is pretty simple. They will accept one manufacturer's coupon per item. They will also accept any matching Target coupons on top of your manufacturer coupons. For example, I could use a $0.75 newspaper coupon for granola bars AND a $0.50 Target printable for the same product and deduct $1.25 from the price. You can find and print Target coupons on their website.

I typically wait to print Target coupons until I see a sale that matches well with them, which saves a little ink. The exception to this is high value apparel coupons, which are worth printing and bringing with you when you shop, just in case you find a good sale. For example, a few weeks ago, I printed one Target coupon for $5 off any Merona bottom. When I got to the store later that morning, the entire woman's department was on super clearance, and all Merona summer bottoms, including shorts, skirts, and capris, were on sale for $5 or less. I used my one coupon and was able to get a free skirt. I went home, hoping to print more, but the coupon was off the site. Next time I see a similar coupon, I'll know to print a few right away.

To see full lists of coupon match ups for weekly Target ads, be sure to check out The Krazy Coupon Lady. I will periodically post Target deals that I plan to personally buy.

HT Challenge

Nolan and I were running errands this morning, and I decided to drop into Harris Teeter for the triple coupon event, with the goal of only picking up items that I could get completely free by using coupons.

Here's what I got for $0.14 (sales tax) as well as how I did it.

2 Nature Valley Granola Thins - on sale for $2.50 each
- 2/$0.75 x3 (smart source)
- 1/$0.50 e-vic coupon, linked to my store card through HT website
= Both Free

Kashi Frozen Entree - on sale BOGO, rings up at half price
- $0.75x3 printable coupon 
= Free

Gold Peak Tea  - on sale for $2.00
= Free

Gain Dish Soap - on sale for $0.99
-$0.50 x3 (Red Plum 8/14)
= Free

You are allowed to print two of the same internet coupon per computer. This means you would be able to print more than one coupon for the Kashi and Tea and get them free. Don't forget, Harris Teeter only allows 20 coupons to triple per day, as well as three of the same coupon per day.

Read Response: Did you visit Harris Teeter for triple coupons? What was your best deal?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Money Maker (well, kind of) - Recyclebank

My Money Maker posts are just that, posts that highlight opportunities to make a little extra cash. Sometimes, like today, that opportunity will earn you virtual money that can be redeemed for rewards.
Recyclebank is a website that is a quite appropriately named. It's a site focused on recycling education, and it allows you to "bank" virtual dollars, which can be redeemed for various prizes. After visiting the site and signing up, you can earn points by completing tasks like watching very brief recycling videos and taking short quizzes, which are sponsored by different companies, all wanting to show off their latest green initiatives.

Honestly, some of the info I've gained from the website has left an impact I actually switched to using powdered laundry detergent after reading how its production and use have a much smaller carbon footprint than that of liquid detergents.

Now, the prizes you can earn through Recyclebank aren't huge, but they are a nice incentive, given the little time it requires. You could hold onto your points and earn store gift cards, but I'm much too impatient for that! I've used my points toward a magazine subscription, Kashi coupons, produce coupons, free Happy Family baby food products, and free smoothie coupons. I've been able to do this by creating an account for me, Alex, and Nolan. The site does not limit the number of accounts per family.

Check it out....unless you just don't care about the earth! ;)

The Best Things in Life

Some say the best things in life are free. While I certainly love me a free product, this series of posts is going to focus on the BEST free things in life...moments with my boys.

Here are some recent "Best Things."

- Cuddling on the couch with Alex and Nolan during last night's storm and having a terrified Cooper, dripping with panicky drool, sneak onto the couch and squeeze himself in-between us - true family time.

- Watching Nolan reach for Cooper's face as Cooper tried to lick him and knowing that my baby and my first baby are becoming friends.

- Realizing that I have a mover on my hands after watching Nolan scoot himself backwards across the entire length of my bedroom floor. Smiling as he cried because he couldn't figure out how he had gotten there.

- Feeding Nolan his first ever bites of rice cereal this morning and watching the absolute confusion in his eyes as the thick foreign substance entered his mouth.

The best things in life sure ARE free. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Freebie Find - Some Pampering From Aveda

A girl needs some pampering, even if you're trying to save money! A while back, I signed up to receive e-mails from Aveda, and I've been really surprised with the number of e-mails I've received with coupons for free products. I just got one today for a set of travel size shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatment. On your birthday, you'll also receive a free full size product! I went in on my last birthday, and I picked bath salts, which I was able to customize with my choice of scents and oils.  Durham area ladies, you can pick up your freebies at the Aveda store in South Point Mall.

This may seem like a small thing, but sometimes, when your focus is so much on others, like family or students, a little pampering can go a long way!

Check it out!

Freebie Find - Get Out and About!

Being on this extended maternity leave, my internal calendar has been thrown completely off. I typically have no idea of the date, and sometimes, I even have to second guess what day it is, but...I do know that the weekend is quickly approaching! Each week, I hope to highlight weekend events that are free, or inexpensive, things to get you out of the house and maybe trying something new.

Now, I know that some readers avoid Durham like the plague. Reconsider...seriously, reconsider. Durham is a thriving, exciting city. Downtown has experienced a revitalization in recent years, and you WILL be safe.

Here are my top picks for this weekend, all located in and around Durham.

Friday, September 16

Music On The Lawn - American Tobacco District - Durham

The American Tobacco District is a unique mixed use complex in Durham, in the site of the former Lucky Strike Factory. It's the perfect example of urban renewal. Throughout the summer and early fall, WUNC radio sponsors FREE concerts on the lawn of the complex. Enjoy some music, most weeks blue grass, and bring a picnic, if you want to keep things cheap. If not, area restaurants and Whole Foods will be serving food and drinks.

Free Admission
6-8 pm
318 Blackwell St. Durham

Third Friday - Durham

On the third Friday of every month, the art galleries and music venues of downtown Durham keep their doors open late for this special event. Hop between locations and enjoy artwork, music, movies, and even yoga! Keep an eye out for Durham's favorite food trucks (not free, but well worth it)! Check out the site linked above to view participating venues.

Free Admission
6-11 pm (though some events begin earlier, like 4:00 pm yoga)
Various locations throughout downtown

Saturday, September 17

Durham Farmers Market and Craft Market

Browse local produce, baked goods, and art as you wander through Durham's Central Park. For a spending free morning, bring a cup of coffee from home and spend some time visiting different vendors and people watching. Bring a camera along and try your hand at capturing the sights of one of my favorite Durham scenes.

If you're like me, though, it will be hard to resist buying something! Bring a reusable bag, and support local farmers by purchasing your produce for the week at the market, rather than the grocery store. Be sure to bring small bills - this makes things easier when lines are long.

8:00 am - Noon
Durham Central Park - 501 Foster St.

Grand Opening of the The Retreat - Brightleaf - Durham

I've heard buzz about this spa opening in downtown, and I'm anxious to check it out! Join them on Saturday for their grand opening. Enjoy complimentary massages, Fullsteam beer, and food from local restaurants and food carts!

1:00-6:00 pm
815 West Morgan St. Durham

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Freebie Find - New Blockbuster Codes

Oh, Blockbuster, you just keep the freebies flowing!

These codes will get you through the weekend, good until 9/19.


Why I Blog

OK, so I've only been keeping a blog for about five days now, so I don't really know if I qualify as a "blogger" yet, but for the sake of this post, let's say I do.

Why did I want to become a blogger? Do I really have enough money saving wisdom, that the world will be a better place by me sharing my knowledge, via the inter web? Completely unlikely.

Then why do I keep a blog?

Honest answer, I MISS teaching writing. Some days, I just miss teaching in general, but I REALLY miss teaching writing. Over the past three years, teaching at Morris Grove, I have come to love this subject more than any other.

I miss showing students how to play with language, teaching them that although our language does have rules, an author has limitless freedom. Freedom to create a style that expresses their unique voice as an author. It's perfectly acceptable to change the STYLE of your text - to play with punctuation - to begin sentences in unconventional ways. You're the author. You have that freedom.

I miss modeling my own writing and sharing personal stories with the kids. I miss hearing theirs. I miss showing them how to hook a reader, using an interesting and unexpected beginning. I miss sitting in my purple teacher chair with a stack of favorite books, excitedly flipping pages to share a section where the author's language paints such a vivid picture, that the words come to life inside your mind. I miss seeing the excitement of the kids as they use the techniques learned from our favorite authors.

Gosh, I miss teaching writing. That's why I blog.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Freebie Find - Pet Food

Hey, pet owners, I've found a great chance to score free dog or cat food! Every day until September 24, Purina is giving away coupons for FREE products. Because these giveaways are for product coupons, not samples, I would expect that you'll be able to get a full sized item! A different dog and cat product is featured each day. You are allowed to enter for one of each, dog and cat, every day. Yesterday, I scored a coupon for cans of Alpo dog food, and today I got one for Beneful dog food. Purina One dog food is the give away on Friday. Cooper usually eats that brand, so I'm going to be sure to try for that one as well!

Check it out! Daily giveaways begin at 11 EST!

Money Makers - Swagbucks

I'd been trying to save money for a few weeks, when I came across an easy and legit way to MAKE money on the internet. Now, I'm not talking big cash, like full-time employment here, just a nice little supplement, for very little time and effort.

Swagbucks is a search engine website that rewards users for doing tasks they would be doing anyway, like searching the web, watching videos, and playing games.

Swagbucks are virtual currency, that can be exchanged for prizes in the swagbucks store. The store has loads of prizes, like Starbucks and Barnes and Noble cards, but I have found the best deal to be a $5 Amazon card for 450 swagbucks. If you'd prefer, you can hold onto you points and earn larger prizes, like $300 Apple gift cards or $100 Southwest Airlines cards.

How can you earn swagbucks? Well, there are lots of ways!
  • Sign up - you'll earn 30 swagbucks for doing so!
  • Use to do your internet searches. They run through Google, so the search engine is actually pretty good. You'll randomly be awarded swagbucks as you search!
  • Download the swagbucks toolbar. You'll earn 1 swagbuck every day for opening your browser.
  • Visit the No Obligation Special Offers (NOSO) - click skip on all offers and earn 2 swagbucks for just a little clicking.
  • Play free games! You'll earn 2 swagbucks for every 2 games you play.
  • Watch videos clips (like youtube) - for every 10 you watch (or let play while you do other things - SHHH!) you'll earn 3 swagbucks
  • Take consumer surveys and earn anywhere from 50-250 swagbucks for your participation. If you have the time, these help you quickly rack up points. I try to do a few every day.

So, does this actually work?? YES!! I joined Swagbucks in mid-August, and I've earned $45 in Amazon cards. These have already been credited to my Amazon account, and I've used some of the money, so I am positive about the legitimacy.

Interested?? Visit Swagbucks and sign-up! :)

Daily Deals - Whole Foods

I'm always on the look out for healthy deals. If you have a Whole Foods near you, this would be a great buy! Today, the national deal on Living Social is 50% off at Whole Foods. Pay $10 and get a $20 voucher to spend on a future shopping trip. The fine print says that the voucher expires on 12/13/11, but I doubt you'd have a problem dropping $20 at Whole Foods before then! There's a limit of 1 per person, but no mention of 1 per family, so if you shop this grocery store often, sign up the husband, kids, dog...ok, maybe leave out the pets, that's probably considered fraud....but you get the picture! :)

I bought mine this morning. Follow this link to buy yours!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Freebie Find - Blockbuster Express

It may not be as pretty or easy to use as a Redbox, but when Blockbuster Express movies are free, I can set aesthetics aside. It seems like Blockbuster is putting out codes for free $1 movies left and right. Could it have something to do with their struggling business?? Whatever the reason, I say, "Thank you!"

Here's a batch that will be good until this Friday, 9/16. I used a few different codes last weekend and was able to get free rentals, so I know this works! You can reserve online or pick up at the box. Just a note, not all codes are guaranteed to work, so if you rent at the box, you might want to take the entire list with you.

Thanks to Southern Savers for the codes!