Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Favorite Things--Ways to Save

I have personally used these methods in helping my family save money and get great deals. If you have questions, I would love to answer them!

I'm currently a Bzz Agent. Checkout the website, its a pretty awesome concept. In essence there are agents all over the country to "bzz" (or talk about) different products they are trying or get for free to try out. I have tried nearly a dozen different products and love getting feedback from the structured forum (you submit two "reports" and someone reviews the reports and gives you a honeycomb....the more honeycombs the more products you get to try!)

I was just picked to participate in the Covergirl NatureLuxe product. While I haven't received me free product and bzz kit (coupons and sometimes product to SHARE!) I did receive a free sample from the company. I tried the NatureLuxe silk foundation sample for four days, and I really do love it. My face felt HYDRATED and covered without feeling bulky or thick. I will update you once I get my other samples from being a BzzAgent and try the product for two full weeks! Interested in sharing your opinion as a Bzz Agent (you don't need a blog! Word of mouth is bzz too!) Check out the FAQs here

All You Reality Checker is a panel and a fun way to learn about new products and to share your opinion on products you like. They also give you free products to try and offer great coupons and incentives.

We often rent movies through RedBox because they are cheap, located in many places and have movies we like. If you have never rented through and you go through this link, you can get a FREE one-night rental! As I increase the blog posts, I will post additional FREE codes to rent movies for free.

In addition to AllYou Reality Checker, I also subscribe to the AllYou Magazine. It has TONS of great coupons and I can usually pair the All You Manufacturer coupons with STORE Coupons (like Target or Walgreens) to get double savings!

A link below to checkout the magazine on Amazon.

This bring me to my FAVORITE online shopping WHY do I like Amazon so much?
  1. Well, first you can get FREE shipping on everything through the Amazon Prime account. There are several ways to get a FREE Amazon Prime account like Amazon Mom or if anyone in your household is a student with an .edu address, you can join Amazon Student here
  2. I earn FREE Amazon giftcards through SwagBucks, the search and win program
  3. Amazon often has coupon books you can use like the ones here. It is SUPER easy to apply an Amazon coupon to your order and just watch your order total go down! I love that.
  4. And finally, I do find great deals and prices on In fact, I even have an app on my phone for Amazon checkout. Its pretty awesome. I will post additional periodic deals and steals on Amazon because I love it and get so many great prices on diapers, wipes, Charmin Toilet Paper, Bounty Paper Towels, wedding gifts, shower gifts and even SHOES!

Monday, April 11, 2011

More God and more deals!

Its Monday night and I couldn't leave my 18 NEW followers hanging. I just left my small group and felt lots of encouragement from good, Christian friends. I was especially encouraged tonight by Psalm 19:14 "May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." We talked a lot about accountability, mentors and our marriages. I was once again encouraged and want this blog to continue to be about saving and deals for you, your family and those you care about.

On with the deals:

I would love to win this amazing BOB Stroller--how about you? Sign up on Classy Mommy's blog here!

Like Coca-Cola products. Get a $1/2 coupon for Coke! YUM

How about a FREE beauty product from CVS? LIKE them on Facebook and you get a free full-sized Essence of Beauty product!

I like printing coupons from Swagbucks, too. Did you know you can do that? Print coupons through Swagbucks and EARN free Swagbucks! Its my favorite search and win site....with real prizes! (I posted recently about it here)!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Follow Me Friday!

In an effort to increase my followers, I am participating in a (new) Follow Me Friday!

Just like you have "followed" me on this blog, checkout these other blogs, or links to blogs and see if you would like to "follow" them.

Learn new things, find new resources and relate to more people! After you have "followed" a blog, post in their comment section that you found them through Follow Me Friday! Simple, fun and a cool way to share the blog love!


Stalk Hop Friday

Swagbucks Reminder!

A quick reminder for those interested in Swagbucks if you want to earn 80 bucks FREE, you need to sign up quickly! (See my post about Swagbucks here to learn more). To earn the extras by FRIDAY at 1pm CT, go here and create a new account. (They ask for name, email, birthday, zip and you create a password).

THEN, enter HELPJAPAN under the sign up code to earn 50 additional Swagbucks. Then, start using Swagbucks as your search engine and start winning!

You can earn Paypal Cash, Amazon credit, and TONS of other things. If you want my opinion on what is worth your time, review this blog from earlier this week. I love all the things you can do to earn Swagbucks, but I don't have time for them all. I JUST SEARCH!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Deals to share: Recycle Bank and Coffee

Ok, lots of typing going on, but not too many deals in the last posts. First, I would like to ENCOURAGE YOU to "follow" my blog (see the left side to FOLLOW me). I'm really excited to SHARE a FREEBIE with my followers. When I get to 25 followers, I will mail a $10 Cold Stone Creamery gift card your way! I would love to reach 50 followers before May 1. If I reach 50 by May, I will do another gift card giveaway!

First and foremost, the QUICK freebie. Just LIKE Joe Ragan's coffee on Facebook and they will take your mailing info and you can pick Light or Dark Roast! Friends, there are FEW things in life that can take the place of my love of coffee. Any size, any amount that is FREE--I'm there. If you don't like coffee, think about donating it to the Affton Food Pantry (if you are a local near me!), give it to a friend with a "thinking of you card," save it for a coffee-themed birthday gift or Christmas present or...spread the coffee love somehow! It doesn't take too much time, and I have had a lot of luck with the Facebook Freebies.

Now, on to the Recyclebank fun. First, I will preface this post with the fact that this website DOES take time to play games, answer questions and earn points. However, I am hearing AMAZING things about the website. Users earn for referring (my referral link is included in this post. If you don't want to go through me, no worries. Find another friend or referral). Pair the awesome coupons you can earn through this site with sales, store coupons (learn more about store coupons below), and clearance items to get FREE high value stuff from Aveeno, Coca-Cola and Friskies.

The run down of Recyclebank: visit the site and register through this link
I plan to use some of my points for some Coca-Cola , Back To Nature Cookies, NAKED Juice, and Cascade coupons. They have "earth month" specials with lowered points for better coupons.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How I Save Money--Part Duex!

Part 2 here on How I Save Money--and a few lessons learned.

HUGE lesson I am living everyday: FILL up with GOD FIRST, then the other things.

Food was a big struggle for me. I would feel weird or nauseous when I didn't get to eat on schedule. Then, this turned into wanting to eat MORE so I wouldn't feel weird. That resulted in years of overeating and extra pounds. The year before Eph was born, I lost over 40lbs and felt amazing. I had lots of tools, time and energy for healthy eating and cooking. After E was born, I struggled with WHO to take care of first. Nearly 100% of the time, it was him. Now, I'm working myself back into the equation. I'm also reading a great book Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. She share stories and gives great scriptures to show how God intended food to be in our lives.

Before Eph was born, I had a ton of time to COUPON too. I filled my life with FIVE trips per day to Walgreens (this was before STL had a CVS close to me). I did deals on vitamins I would never use, deodorant, baby wipes, candles and tons of other household items that I hardly used. I filled all my time with organizing, printing and reading about other people's huge deals. While I did learn a lot during this period of time, I also didn't grow much closer to God. I mean, I would take lots of time out to get organized for shopping trip everyday, but I wouldn't spend 10 minutes a day in God's word.

Luckily, I have an amazing husband who can so easily analyze a situation and share it with me. He pointed out that: #1 my time is worth MORE than the very small free sample I just filled out a long application or survey for #2 My time spent driving, searching, parking and looking for good deals is better spent on cleaning our home (he was gentle! don't worry) and #3 Many of the items I was getting wouldn't help our family --oh and #4 I'm spending WAY too much money every week!

Combine all those factors and a new baby and my coupon days came to a HUGE HALT. Funny thing, I didn't need diapers, toilet paper, toothpaste, tooth brushes, candles, shampoo or conditioner or deodorant until AFTER Ephraim's first birthday! Plus, I was able to share all my good deals with the Affton Food Pantry and Rooftop friends and small groupies.

I also figured out really quickly that I wasn't any good at FOOD deals, sales or coupons. I spent too much time cutting and sorting for unhealthy foods that I would never buy. I also had to toss a lot of food to learn that I shouldn't buy 12 boxes of cereal and KEEP them all. (Especially because I don't like milk or cereal!)

I learned a lot about scams, waste of time websites and found a few things that I "keep" in my savings options for Stephanie folder.

One of my favorite things that I use everyday is SwagBucks. You earn 80 free SwagBucks just for signing up today. I will admit that the search engine isn't amazing, but I still search 5-15 times per day on the site to earn an average of 10 swag bucks per day. Then, for those bucks you can cash in for FREE Amazon or other gift cards. There are TONS of ways to earn more SwagBucks, but I don't play games, do surveys, hunt for them on random pages or anything else. I typically JUST SEARCH and I win lots of prizes. To date, I have redeemed 14, Five Dollar Amazon gift cards! (As I stated before, I am a saver. I still have a lot of SwagBucks to redeem for prizes, I just haven't yet!) That is over $70 FREE for just SEARCHING. I love it. If you think you are interested, I do earn referral SwagBucks if you sign up. Then, you can earn SwagBucks and also earn referral credits for sharing it!

Until the next post....(Wednesday or Thursday!?)

Monday, April 4, 2011

How I Save Money....and the lessons I've learned (Part 1)

(This is us...the reason I want to save money and be a good steward of the money God has given us....this was a year ago at Easter. At the end of this series, I'll put an updated photo)

I need to get blogging again. This topic and a fresh iPhoto full of sweet photos of my little man are motivation to blog a few times per week. I hope this blog finds you happy, healthy and filled with God's love. Here we go....

I want to share coupon-ing with EVERYONE I know, but some people are really turned off by saving, cutting, organizing and printing coupons. I have some pretty good ideas about saving money, but its awesome when I share it with someone else and their LIFE changes. God has blessed me with the gift of gab--so sharing this topic is not hard for me.

I will preface the post with a few items...
First and foremost, I am a Christian and my views and opinions are to praise and glorify God. He is amazing and done awesome things in my life, but I am a sinner saved by HIS grace. I hope my savings reflections help you spend more time with God and your family. I'm also just a busy woman, mom, professional trying to make sense of this life God has given me.

Second, I started with coupons about three years ago. I am NOT an expert, but have lived the life of a coupon-er who spent too much money. I hope to share the details of those experiences in a series of upcoming blogs.

Another note: I am a SAVER. I save silly things and TONS of them (like the first gum wrapper Jerret, my husband, gave me nearly 11 years ago silly). I am joining couponing/saving with still being helpful for my family (do I REALLY need to spend time getting "FREE" glucose meters at WAGs when I don't know anyone who is diabetic? My So, there is a line for me....saving and sinning (worrying/hording/keeping too much). That struggle of mine will be reflected in what deals to "do" and what deals to leave for others!

And, finally, my family. My family is the most important thing to me (after checking the mail to see what coupons I got! just kidding) and I love sharing my time with family, friends, neighbors and the needy. I don't "entertain" because there are too many rules (HOW clean my home is, how my kiddo acts, what I wear, the furnishings in my home, and how well the food is cooked). I err on the side of Christian HOSPITALITY: sometimes my home will be cleaned, sometimes it won't. Sometimes I will make a great dish....sometimes I won't. Usually, I'm wearing jeans and slippers, and our home is for us, not for others. BUT, with hospitality WILL come love, friendships, grace, mentoring, faith and BLESSINGS.

I pray you are blessed by this blog series. Until tomorrow...

James 1:2-4 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.