Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Friendly Wednesdays/Blog Hop

It's been awhile since I have particpated! So today I am joining in Feeding Fours blog hop. If you are interested in joining, you can find it here at Feeding Four.

I always follow back so please let me know that you were here and I will come and visit you!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Spring time in So. California is a lot like the fall and winter...and summer. (: The temps don't fluctuate a whole lot and we have plenty of blue skies.

However, now that our clocks have sprung ahead, the days are longer...it makes me want to relax and enjoy.

But like any good red blooded American, I feel the need to do a big clean. To lighten things up and get ready for summer.

I was so excited to get this box of goodies courtesy of SC Johnson and Bzzz Agent.

While I don't think I will ever enjoy cleaning these products are making it a bit more fun.

What are some of your favorite cleaning products?! Do you like to do a big spring clean?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

Did I say 48 hours for the giveaway? Uhm yeah whatever!!

Congrats to Nicole! Connor picked your number. (:

I still have a ton of giveaways coming up so keep entering!

Friday, March 25, 2011


(yes potato chips!)

Here are the facts:

1. I read about a new flavor of Ben & Jerry's and KNEW I had to try it.
2.) I went to Vons, where they had B & J's on sale.
3) I made Harmony help me look for the new flavor. Neither of us found it.
4.) I checked Ralphs. They didn't have it either.
5) Was at Vons, one morning (why yes, yes I am there a lot) and what do my eyes behold...there it was!
6)It was not on sale.
7)I did not have a coupon.
8)I paid full price.
9) What you couldn't read that last one?
**sigh** I PAID FULL PRICE. gulp. It goes against every fiber of my being, but I did it.

.....And it was sooooo good!
 What about you, what are you willing to pay full price for?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

only half?

I have never claimed to be a coupon QUEEN. Why? Because I am not that good yet (: Royalty maybe, queen? Hmmm, not quite.

When people tell me of their coupon victories, they usually add something along the lines of, " well I only saved x amount of dollars" or " I know others do better, but I was happy with my savings".

Watching shows like Extreme Couponer or blogs of actual QUEENS can sometimes leave us feeling like if we pay more than  $1 for our groceries we aren't as good. Always comparing ourselves to others right?

I say any savings is a good savings.

Last night, I headed to Vons. They had a lot of deals but I only had coupons for SOME of the items. Most were in store coupons. My total before coupons and card was $312.10. My eyes bulged. I was scared. I didn't think it would go under $200.

My final total was $165.xx Was it the score of the century? No. Will it make the news? no. Will my kids appreciate having food on the table? You bet. In all I saved "just" 51%. But you know what, any savings is a good savings!

Oh and guess what?! Last night I had a dream that "my Vons" closed down and put in a no-name grocery store. What the heck, who dreams about their favorite store? Must be a crazy couponer! (:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Party time!!

Have you seen the new Philly Cooking Creme?

I was excited to be chosen to host a Philadelphia Cooking Creme house party! I got a box full of note pads, wooden spoons, magnets, hot pad, a nonstick pan and of course... COUPONS.

I have to be honest and say that I have only tried one of the flavors...so far! I tried the garlic and herb and LOVED it.

I love that not only can you cook with this, but because of it's texture, it is easy to spread. Making it a great addition to wraps, crackers, bagels...

Would you like to try this yummy "cream cheese"?

I have 2 free item coupons to give away! So in order to be entered you need to do the following:

**leave me a comment letting me know you want to be entered**

How hard is that? Not very right? So comment away. Tonight is busy for me so I am giving 48 hours to enter!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

sniff sniff

sorry for the upside down picture!

Pass the tissues please, you are about to see some water works!!

What would you do if someone gave you $40? Spend it, put it in the bank...but you wouldn't THROW it away right?

Coupons are money, plain and simple. Ok, ok they are not change or bills but...when you use a coupon, say for $1 off, it is like having someone give you a dollar to use on your grocery bill.

I have been feeling off of my game for awhile. Maybe because I have a table piled high with coupons waiting to be filed. But anyway, I have an accordian style coupon file for my catalinas, register rewards etc. It has been hanging out in my car for awhile. Knowing I had some rewards that needed to be used, I went to get it.

$40 worth of Walgreens rewards...EXPIRED. Ugh, it was like a punch in the stomach. The tears haven't fallen yet but I am on the verge. So take this as a word of caution, DON'T LET YOUR REWARDS  EXPIRE! IT IS LITERALLY THROWING MONEY AWAY!

Whew glad I got that out. Now I have to work on getting some more...

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Uhm, Mom..."

This cute girl asked me,"Uhm Mom, when are you going grocery shopping again? There isn't anything good to eat."

What the heck? Every single corner of our house is filled with some sort of food. From cans of soup to crackers to spaghetti sauce. Boxes of cereal, granola bars, ice cream...need I go on?

Well the fact is, my kids are used to having new things in the house every other day!! So the fact that I haven't grocery shopped for 2 weeks is like torture to them! I have a big list for Vons this week, so I am sure they will love me again. (:

Seriously, one of the perks of couponing, especially for kids, is being able to try new things. What is your favorite perk about couponing?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patricks Day

Top O' the Mornin' to you!

Apparently we can't have a picture without bunnyrs

OK, so this post is not actually coupon related (: but whatever!

My kids started out the day with a bowl of LUCKY CHARMS. My 6 yr old knew that they had worked when he found a dime shortly after eating them!

I then put together a "Lucky Leprachan" lunch of green items...a green fruit roll, green jello w/pineapple, green juice box, sour cream & onion chips (kind of a stretch but they did have some green flecks)a shamrock shaped sandwich, green grapes, green apples w/caramel. I also put a green shamrock napkin and a green bag of "gold" inside.

Dinner is still up in the air because I have no idea what I am going to do! (: I have never made corned beef and cabbage so...I am going to have to just stick with the color green.
What about you? Any fun Irish traditions around your house?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh my!!

 It is amazing how life can get in the way of your best intentions right? Whew, it has been a busy few days for me and so my blog hasn't been updated. Forgiveness please.

Can I tell you a secret? I can't remember the last time I went grocery shopping....I guess it would have been my last Vons trip.

But can I tell you, that is one of the best parts about couponing and building up a stockpile...you don't NEED to go grocery shopping. I only do it when I want too.

I can easily go to my pantries, freezers and grab something for a quick meal.

I will be busy organizing my coupons and trips and will get back to regular posting. I have a review, House Party stuff to share, my favorite money savin' books & web sites... so stay tuned!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Did I mention...

that Vons is like my 2nd home? I know the cashiers, what shifts they work, they know my son, they know me as the Coupon lady.

What can I say, I am there a lot. This week I snuck into CVS before Vons. My total before coupons was OUTRAGEOUS. Not lying, it was over $100. After she took off coupons, ECB's and everything else I paid $46. Then I recieved $16 in ECB's back. It was a great trip and I was really happy.

Then one last trip to Vons for their killer freezer sales.

(Ivan insisted on getting in the picture also!)

Connor (one of my 9 yr olds and no I don't have twins lol) volunteered to make my grocery tower. As you can well see, his are much more complex than mine!

Friday, March 11, 2011

How does your garden grow?

When I was a freshman in high school, I needed to take an elective. My Mom signed me up for horticulture.
My first question was of course...

     What the heck is horticulture?!

Well I can now tell you that it is the study of plants. So while I wasn't the only girl in the class, I was one of the only ones willing to get my hands dirty.

However, whatever I learned in that class has officially flown out the window. Luckily for me, every year my husband sets up a garden, plants seeds and maintains it. I just got to enjoy the fruits of HIS labors.

With him being gone this year...it all falls to me. Yikes. But I really, really want to try. Living in So. Cal our climate is perfect for growing. Hopefully, my thumb will be green again! Do you garden to stretch your budget? Any ideas or tips for me?

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Have you ever watched that show on Food Network? Where they put two companies, who have similar products, and pit them against each other? Like Dominos vs. Pizza Hut, General Mills vs. Kelloggs, Nestle vs Hershey...etc

Well, today we are going to have our own version.


As I was leaving my second home,Vons one day they had 2 carts at the front of the store. Each was filled with a variety of different prodcuts. However, one was full of their store brand products and the other was filled with name brand. The claim was that you could save over $100 by buying their store brand.

Here is my problem with that:

Were those name brand products on sale?
Were they bought with a coupon?
Was it just the first product they saw? For example, there is not just one name brand of spaghetti sauce. There is Ragu, Prego, Barilla, Francesco Rinaldo, Newmans Own...

Store brand items:
**usually taste very similar, if not the same as their name brand counterparts
**yes they are usually cheaper BUT

**they rarely go on sale, and they rarely have coupons

Here is an example for you
a store brand canned pasta was on sale 10/$10
a name brand was on sale for the same price but, there were .50/2 coupons available. 5 coupons times 1.00 (because this store doubles = 10 cans for $5 or half off.

Now is there a home for store brands on a Coupon Queens' pantry shelves? I say...YES.

**If there is an item that you NEED and there are no coupons out for it.

**If the generic is truly cheaper after a coupon & sale have been factored in.

The point is to save money right?! What about you, do you buy store brands? Why or why not?


Yesterday I did something that I don't normally do...

I went to the store and didn't use a coupon. Not.one.single.coupon. Yikes.

However all I got was

4 lbs. of strawberries these were on sale 2/$3 (Have I ever mentioned I love living in CA?! Awesome produce prices)
 1 bunch of bananas
2 gallons of milk...
and ok I admit it, 2 doughnuts.

Tonight  is my first couponing class. I am totally excited and yet nervous. I hope I do ok.

All those who go, get a special little somethin' somethin' so I am excited!!! If I have any left, maybe I will have to do a few giveaway envelopes!

So even though I didn't use a single coupon the other day, my friend Leslie did!! This is a picture of her groceries and her cute kids who are wondering why they are getting their picture taken with groceries. LOL
Before coupons her total was $166.18 and after $62.67!! That is more than a $100 savings! You are awesome! Not sure why it is fuzzy, sorry!!!

***Do you want to be featured as a Sweet Success Story (or SSS?) take a picture of your shopping trip, email it to me, or let me steal it off of facebook (: telling me your before and after. You can do it as many times as you would like. In my *humble* opinion any trip is a good trip and we all like to see others good deals! ***

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

sweet success

(Sorry about the picture rotation problem!)
I heart hearing other peoples success stories. It makes my couponing heart so happy!

When a friend of mine posted some pictures of a recent shopping trip (thanking me for tips lol) I stole her pictures so that I could publish a success story!! Don't worry she gave me permission!

Her total before was $150 and afterward was $60! Way to go, what an awesome trip!

Even though you may feel kind of goofy, take a picture of your great shopping trips. Post 'em on Facebook, or email them to me. Tell me your before coupon price and your after price. I would love to have a ton of success stories posted. It is inspiring to me and to others!

Monday, March 7, 2011

pasta night

Pasta is such a quick and easy dinner isn't it? It is one of the major staples in our home for dinner. Why?

1. It's cheap
2. It's good
3. It makes a lot
4. Our whole family likes it

When pasta sauce is on sale, I not only like to get spaghetti sauce. We like to get cheese and alfredo sauce also. 

So I always try to have a variety of flavors in my pantry/stockpile. Last night when one child wanted to have spaghetti and another wanted alfredo...I simply made a box of pasta and let them put their own sauce on. It is all about choices at our house!


Yesterday, I woke up at 8:00. Seriously, my kids let me sleep and didn't bug me once.

I love having kids that are old enough to pour themselves a bowl of cereal and watch tv while I sleep in a bit. Ok that was more than a bit, I was shocked when I saw the clock.

From there, I stayed in my pj's...and never got out. It was just a lazy day and we all needed it. We watched the Indiana Jones marathon and I...clipped, sorted, and filed.

I have no idea how long it took me to finish, and I am not even quite done. However I am close. (:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Vons trip 2

My 2nd trip I was a %1000 times more organized!! Made life a lot easier.

I had my list.

I had my envelope of coupons.

I had a GREAT trip! Seriously being organized is the best way to get great deals.

Here is just a little run down of what I was looking for:

Pillsbury cresants were on sale 2/$4. I had 4 coupons that were .75/1. This doubled to a dollar. Then there was a sign that when you bought 4 products you got $4 off. Here is the math on this....

4 cresants @ $2 each = $8
subtract 4 $1 coupons = $4
subtract the in store promo of $4 off and you have...FREE!

I only had 4 of those .75/1 coupons. But I did have (and have some more) of .50/2. Obviously that isn't as good but still a good deal!

Next was Quaker Oatmeal.

There was a store coupon to make them $1.77 (limit of 4)

So $1.77 x 4= $7.08
subtract four $1/1 coupons= $3.08 (not bad for 4 boxes of oatmeal huh?)
But when you purchase 4 items from Quaker you get a coupon for $2 off your next order.
So subtract that $2 and it comes out to $1.08 for 4 boxes! I got 4 boxesfor less than what one was on sale for. Considering Mason eats 2 packets of oatmeal a day...total stock up price!

Next is my kids favorite: Betty Crocker fruit snacks were on sale for .99 each.
 For every 5 that you buy, you get a coupon for $3 off your next order. Here is the math:
6 boxes x .99 each = $ 5.94
Minus 3 .50/2 coupons that were doubled to $1 =2.94
Minus the $3 on the next offer and they basically paid me .06 cents to take these out of the store

I am not even done with this store yet. I plan to do some more major damage! (; My before total was $305 and afterward was $100 .80. I also got $6.50 back to use on my next order. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE COUPONS!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Vons trip 1

I love Vons!!!

Besides the absolutely fabulous coupon book they put out...they have been offering a $5 off coupon when you buy certain frozen food items.

Add in the insanely cheap fruit snacks, Quaker instant oatmeal, Pillsbury cresants, GM cereals...need I go on? All I can say is that I loved this store before, but love it even more now. (:

Trip #1
I was very dissapointed in myself. I normally, put all the coupons I KNOW I will be using in an envelope before I go. If I have store coupons I put those in there also (including all ONYO).

So first dissapointment, I forgot my list. I normally write down how many of each item I want and do it in aisle order. It totally throws me off when I have to hop back & forth between aisles.

As I am walking, I kept pulling out coupons but couldn't find the store coupon for it. I ended up leaving a lot there. Later I got home and realized that I had never cut them out!! Aghhh!

My first trip was $205 before savings card and coupons...afterward $85! Connor was in HEAVEN when he saw the sausage crumbles! These pictures do not include 4 12 packs of soda!

 As you can see, I was able to get a lot for $85!! I hear a lot of people say that they don't use coupons because they can never find coupons for things that they buy. I have to disagree on that. If you look in my pictures you will see salsa, salad dressing, meat, yogurt, cleaning products...you name it, you can find it! I love my coupons!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Awww thanks

My friend Jessica over at Book Loving Mommy, gave me an award! Thanks dear! (:

So the rules are: post 7 random things about you and award it to other bloggers.

1. I am an early riser.

2. I like to sleep with the fan on, but buried under blankets.

3. My husband has been gone for 4 months now, and I haven't murdered my children yet. Close, but not quite (;

4.I love to bake and cook, but of course wish I had someone else to clean it all up.

5.I love Murder She Wrote and Matlock.

6. I just signed back up to be a Tupperware consultant ( I did it 11 years ago!!). I just had my first party and have 2 more lined up.

7. I think it is really hard to come up with 7 things about me that are interesting. I am boring, what can I say?!

So I am awarding this to:

Feeding Four
The American Homemaker
A-Z Moms Like Me
Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Hey, it has been 24 hours and we have a winner!

Congrats to Heidi! (: I will get your coupons out in the mail tomorrow.

If you didn't win, don't worry! Hopefully I will have many, many more. I love reviewing products so watch out!!

March Madness

...and no I am not referring to college basketball. Sorry Beth!

March has something much more exciting to offer than basketball...it is NATIONAL FROZEN FOOD MONTH!

Now I don't know about your kids, but nothing makes mine happier like seeing a freezer full of Eggo's, Toaster Strudels, Kid Cusines, Hot pockets...Is it necessary for me to go on?

Vons/Safeway/Dominicks/Pavillions whatever it is to you, has an awesome coupon book in their stores right now. At the least pick up 2 of these bad boys! Great coupons with a long expiration date! What could be better?!

If you don't have one of these stores in your area, see what your stores are offering.

I know I will be cleaning out and rearranging my freezers today!

Want to contact me?

Feel free to contact me at hecimommy@gmail.com