Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mission Impossible?

At least it seemed impossible when I first started learning about how to live like an extreme couponer. Granted, you will never see me on Extreme Couponing, but I do want to incorporate as many of their principles as possible. My loftiest goal would be to cut our $650 average monthly grocery/household total in half! I am slowly getting there...

First thing was to research...and research some more. I found hundreds of 'frugal' blogs that post deals, coupons, and advice. I watched dozens of online tutorials too.
My progression:
1. Learn!
2. Start saving past newspaper coupon inserts
3. Sign up for daily/weekly blog emails listing deals
4. Try to follow some advertised deals-get free stuff.
5. Use deals w/ coupons to get more free stuff and make extra money from it.

1. Copied a deal posted on a blog and got 20 free pens!
2. Followed another deal and got a razor w/ 4 refill blades for $0.88.
3. Had samples and coupons for free products send to me. (Blogs tell you when companies are having promotional events via their website)
4. Yesterday's buy:
Total cost at CVS: $1.87 (I guess I didn't need to spend $1.07 of that on MMS) :)
5. Today's buy:
Total cost at Walmart: -$1.19 (would have been even more but had a cranky cashier and 2 hungry kids so I didn't mess with some other coupon deals that she was fighting with me about)

I started off using but found it to be a little hard to navigate and loaded with ads. Also, Oklahoma is not listed under the local deals section so you can only use it for Target, Walmart, and some drugstores. My favorite site so far is I love it! Great content for learning about couponing, new content weekly, daily/weekly emails featuring deals and coupons. I love the coupon database where you can search by brand or product and her site will pull up any known coupons, listing where you can find them and when they expire. It's been a huge help to me. I also get daily emails from (They also have store deals listed and a coupon database, but blog mainly about product and online specific deals.) There are too many frugal sites to even start counting, but those are the ones I've found and have used the most.

So are you couponing? What are your goals? How do you save money on groceries?
Where are you in your journey of becoming a Proverbs 31 momma? Here's to always learning and growing! *clinks invisible glasses*

Friday, August 12, 2011

Family Frame...done!

I am finally done cutting out letters for our family beliefs frame! Here are some pics from the whole process...

Frame primed and awaiting some paint...

Hubby fastening the old fence slats together...

Wood slats in frame...

 Name letters and sentences adhered...
All done! If you can't read it, they sayings are:

Our differences fill the gaps
Be present in all things
We fight satan, not each other
Live intentionally, think eternal
Thank, pray, abide, love...always

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Free Food...Yes Please!

One of my absolute favorite things to do is to go out to eat...sit down at a restaurant and spending time talking and eating with friends. It's even better when the food, or part of it, is free!
June is a wonderful month because Zios sends me my birthday email a week before my birthday for a FREE entree (not BOGO)...and I can print off the coupon as many times as I want for the next 30 days. (As you can guess, the manager and staff there know us by name now) :) I've even used it to order food to-go and grabbed free dinner for the fam.

So my tip for you is to sign up with every restaurant or fast food place you like and see if they have an email club that will send you coupons and freebies. Rylan just got an email from Chuck E Cheese saying Happy Half Birthday with 20 free tokens. :)

Another great summer treat is Dairy Queen and Orange Julius. They both have email clubs you can sign up for and get BOGO deals. Ry and I love to go play at the play area at the mall and grab a treat at DQ/OJ right next door.

Some other places that have email clubs that I've used:

 MAZZIOS, COLD STONE CREAMERY (went out of business in Tulsa), STARBUCKS, WENDYS, RED ROBIN, OLIVE GARDEN, JASON'S DELI, auntie annes, CHICK-FIL-A (signed up in person at store's birthday club for Ry).              

Some other places I believe send out email deals but I have not signed up with:

     dunkin donuts, steak 'n shake, Waffle house, fuddruckers, quiznos, buffalo wild wings, Denny's, chili's, ihop, KFC, red lobster, t.g.i friday's (with their 'Stripes' Card club), Pizza Hut, Papa Murphy's, Menchie's, Arby's, Baskin-Robbins, the list goes on...
(You can check out a longer list at

Most chain restaurants have email lists. Hopefully you won't mind sorting through the emails you sign up for, b/c not all of them will include a coupon. But very few places send emails more than twice a month.
Some places also send you a different coupon every year you're an email insider as an anniversary present. :)  Olive Garden rarely sends out coupons I will actually use, but maybe you would. The Cheesecake Factory has yet to send me a good coupon via email; its mainly just news...boring! Subway is the same way.

So what restaurants have you found that send out good deals??

Monday, August 1, 2011

A weekend of blessings

First thing this weekend, my dad's cat had 4 kittens! I had never seen baby animals before so I was pretty excited...and its weird to me since dad just got this cat as a kitten herself last fall!
Ry was loving holding them! How fun it will be to watch them grow into bouncy little kittens.

Also this weekend, I had the privilege of hosting a baby shower for a dear friend of mine. She has been such a support to me the last couple years. (we met when we were both pregnant with our first and now this is her second baby) She was the one who taught me to pray about every little thing that concerns me. And now I find that I get to minister that same message to her during this time in her life.
I did a 'little lady' lady bug theme...
The invitations: (Obviously I don't have a good camera, sorry)

Beautiful name: Elizabeth Kate
Diaper Cake:

Lady Bug Cake:

The main purpose of the shower was to make the momma feel so loved and BLESSED! I wanted to pour out blessings upon this new baby girl and her family. I made a "Blessing Blanket" (My first time ever trying to make something like this so it's not perfect).
Blessing Blanket and matching burp cloth:

 I made a Velcro opening so that we could fill the bottom section with 'blessings'...this is what makes it a 'blessing' blanket...I had scraps of fabric and had everyone write blessings on them.  The momma read them all out loud then we had the author place their blessing inside the blanket. Elizabeth can snuggle up with her blessing blanket and know that so many people loved her and took the time to pray blessings into her life and the life of her family. When she gets older, she can pull the blessings out and read what people wrote to her while she was in the womb. Of course, I started crying while explaining the blessing craft to everyone. :)

We also read traditional blessings from other cultures; Jewish, Irish, Apache, etc. I so enjoyed reading them and speaking them over Elizabeth.
After the blessing, we prayed over the momma and spoke more blessings into her life and the approaching delivery...again, more tears. :)

I had the best time ever and am so glad I got to do this for her. The response from the guests were incredible and I was almost shocked to hear how God was moving in people's hearts through this little shower. He really can use anything and anyone! Thank you God for loving us, loving through us, and always providing!