Friday, March 25, 2011


One of my goals for this year was to get organized.  I know some of you are probably thinking how much more can you do.  I always have plans on getting even better at organization.  It is probably the only way I am able to do as much as I do in a week's time.  It is so nice to have things exactly where they go and ready whenever I need it. 

Well this week was Spring Break for our school system and Kevin was busy working, so we were not able to do anything together so my week mainly consisted of Spring Cleaning.  Although I am not completely done cleaning, I took on a challenge that I have been dreading since I moved in this house.  As most of you know, I bought my house to remodel it.  Here are some pictures if you missed out on that: (These are about a year old so some things have changed as we are constantly doing things to improve the house.)

Well, Kevin came back in the picture after the house was pretty much finished.  (It's a joke that he planned it that way, but that's not the truth.)  The hall closet/coat closet/whatever you want to call it had been the storage for all the tools and such as we worked on the house.  Well when Kevin and I got married, we pretty much let the closet go.  We never really cleaned it up from the mess that was in there from the remodeling.  We straightened it up every so often in order to store our coats and such in it, but nothing as to what it needed.  It was that closet that you hope no one ever opens the door to, because it is embarrasing.  It had nails, paint, tools, etc all in it.  Well I decided to tackle this nightmare over Spring Break.  I was determined to get it organized for once.  Here is what the closet looked like before:

I told you it was bad!  This closet so did not reflect me.  I know some of you are thinking it is just a closet, but if you know my personality this has driven me crazy since I moved in.  I would do the best I can to straighten it up in short amounts of time, but it needed a whole day devoted to cleaning, going through, and organizing the stuff.  Really it was stuff!  Well I have to say I am pretty proud of my new closet, and I will not be embarrased for anyone to open the door to this closet again.  Here is the finished product:

One step closer to better organization and accomplishing another goal from "When I Was 25"!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


A lot of people have asked me to explain what I do to be successful at couponing.  First of all let me say a few things. I am no means a pro at this like some others. (If you have seen the show Extreme Couponing, you know what I mean.)  As most of you know, I do not have a lot of extra time so I try to make my couponing experience as hassle free as can be.  I also do not have a stockpile room or a pantry to say the least so we only buy what we need.  (Hopefully, one day I will have a pantry and maybe a freezer!) I only coupon in order to save money for something else down the road.  Plus it feels great to know you did it!  So here are things I did to get started: (I'll write more later about more things you can do.  Let's just get started.)

1)  Coupon Organizer - I guess you could say I am an organizing freak so it was vital that I have something to store my coupons before I get them.  I bought an organizer from a dollar store that works well for me and that will fit right into my purse.  I know my sister-in-law uses a big photo album so she can see all her coupons.  It is really whatever works for you.  I like easy access and the fact the coupons are organized.  My grocery coupons are organized into sections - New (for any coupons I have not had time to file), About to Expire (for those coupons that I see are about to expire but I don't want to use at that current time), Breakfast, Cooking, Snacks, Condiments, Fridge, Freezer, Bathroom, Cleaning, Around the House, Outdoors.  I, also, keep a small pair of scissors in this one so I always have some.

Recently, I have outgrown my coupon organizer due to other store coupons.  I bought a new coupon organizer (almost the same as the other).  In this organizer, I am keeping other store coupons.  I did have all my coupons and store rewards cards all in my first coupon organizer.  Here are the sections for that organizer - Kroger, Walgreens, Discount Stores, Local Diners, Fast Food, Restaurants, Local Stores, Clothing Stores, Houseware Stores, Hobby Stores, Other.  I am keeping any coupons, gift cards, and reward cards in here.

2) Finding the Coupons - Once you have a place for your coupons, it is time to start couponing.  Newspapers are a great place to find coupons.  I have a weekly subscription to the States Graphic where you can sometimes find coupons.  I,also, buy the Commercial Appeal every Sunday.  I take the coupons out and then give it to my dad to read.  (I only buy one, because that is efficient for the amount of coupons for Kevin and I, but I know some places say buy more than one.  I just don't see the need in this unless you have a huge family.)

There are many coupons blogs, websites, etc out there.  You have to find the one you like the most if you want to follow one.  (I would highly recommend having a separate e-mail account if you follow some.)  However, I do well not actually following one.  Here is where I find my coupons.  First of all I joined a point community called Mypoints.  Go here  Here you receive points for printing coupons which can be used for future gift cards. (I'll make another post soon about shopping online. :))  On Mypoints, I go to the post Deals - Grocery Coupons.  Here they have coupons from the sites,, and  Instead of going to each of these sites, I can just go to Mypoints, log on to my account, and get all my coupons here.  If you don't want to sign up for Mypoints, definitely go to these websites.  Cellfire loads coupons to your Kroger card which is becoming more popular. 

Another site that I sometimes check is Redplum.  I have found that coupons overlap from one site to another so make sure you aren't printing the same ones over and over.  If you do to choose to go to Kroger (check previous post), make sure to go to, register your Kroger card, and upload online coupons from their site as well. 

If you set up another e-mail, a great e-mail I get frequently is Free Coupon Alerts.  This e-mail keeps me up-to-date with new coupons that have come out.  You can sign up for it at

3) Understanding Coupons - Most coupons you print online especially from any of the online coupon databases expire within a month from printing.  At the end of the month, coupon databases typically change coupons up so I try to print what I need before the 1st of each month.  Most stores accept coupons that say Manufacturer's Coupon. Some stores double coupons all the time, some at certain times, and some not at all, make sure you know so you can save the most (I'll try to write more later about this.)  Make sure to give your coupons to the cashier before checking out.  There are many ways to find coupons, you just have to have the time. 

I hope this gets you started.  I have some more helpful insights into couponing if you would like to hear, but I really need to get back to Spring Cleaning (another goal of mine for being 25).  Remember my couponing experience all started with a goal.  It is where you take your goal in order to be successful. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Living a More Frugal Life

One of my goals each month to see if I can save more money that the previous month.  The only thing is the money cannot come directly out of a paycheck, bank account, or so forth. (Though that is great to do!)  The money I save has to be something that I have done to work for in order to make my life more frugal.  Oh what a challenge this has been, but I think I am finally getting the hang of it.

Well March has arrived.  Tonight I sat down to see how much I saved in February.  I saved my highest amount of money so far!!! Almost $150!!! ($147.15 to be exact)  You may ask how do I do this?  It is done in many different ways, but let me tell you what was almost over half of my savings - savings on groceries!  Yes I have fallen a victim of extreme couponing.  Let me tell you it takes time which as most of you may know I don't have a lot of, but somehow I have fit it in my schedule.  However, that's not all that has helped me with my grocery shopping.  Here is what I have started to do:

1) I made a plan back in January to only go to the grocery store twice a month.  I was going once a week, and I dreaded it each and every time.  Now, I have started going around the 1st and 3rd weekends of each month. 

2) Before I take out for that not so fun trip, I sit down and plan enough meals for a two week time span.  I make sure to plan for some easy meals, crock pot meals, desserts, and so forth.  I try to make sure that some of the things that I plan to cook will have enough for leftovers, because that allows Kevin and I to use it as lunch for the next day. 

3) Once I have my meals, I create a list of all the things I need for the meals I have planned for, everyday necessities, and other wants.  Everything from the ingredient list for a recipe goes down, because I do not want to get ready to cook the meal and not have it.  I go through our refrigerator and cabinets in order to mark things off the list that I may already have. (I wish we had a stockpile room, pantry, or something, but I will have to live with my few cabinets for now.)  With my list I know how many eggs I need, how many cups of flour I will need, and so forth.  I can easily mark things off my list that I have enough of already in my kitchen.

4)  With my final list, I sit down and go through my coupons.  (I will have to write down all my couponing tips later, but I carry a small organizer in my purse that I sort my coupons in.)  I pull out the coupons that I know I will use or think I may use.  I make sure that if I have more than one coupon for the same item that I pull the one that has the closest expiration date to my shopping trip. 

5) After I have my coupons ready, I head out to the grocery store.  Here is where my most life changing event has taken place.  I have always bought groceries in Brownsville at Wal-Mart, but I realized a few months back that I can save so much more by going to Kroger.  So, I typically travel to Covington to there Kroger.  (I would love to support my hometown, but this has been my best choice for myself.)  Kroger not only doubles coupons, but they also allow you to save lots of money by using your Kroger Savings Card.  I, also, can concentrate more on my grocery shopping, because I am not constantly seeing people I know.  (I am Queen of spending more time talking to other people than shopping when going to the local Wal-Mart. Joys of being in a small town.)

6) While at Kroger, I almost 100% stick to my list.  I try not to stray from the list.  I took a lot of time to prepare that list, and I know that I will have everything I need if I go by it.  A big mistake is if you go to the store and think something is a good deal and buy it just because.  Don't buy it unless you have a plan for it!

This is how I have saved $100 this past month just in grocery shopping alone.  I cannot wait to see how much I can save next month.


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