Buying and selling.

So I've picked up my couponing again with CouponMom.com. Thanks to this site, I'm no longer a coupon clipper (just because I have them); I am now a strategic couponer. I use this site to look up how much I can save at stores in my area. My goal is to save 50-100% off retail prices (per item) when I grocery shop and stockpile items (for later consumption). In addition to that, I price match competitor store flyers at Walmart to get deals on items I would usually be forced to pay full retail, like fruit, produce, bread, eggs, cheese, etc.

After finding out about this site from a swell friend, I did a bit of digging on and watched the Coupon Mom YouTube video which shows you how to use her system. On Saturday morning (8/10), I picked up an early edition newspaper with coupons, labeled them with the date and put them in a shoe box along with my other unclipped coupons from previous weeks (7/27, 8/3). Then I logged into my account (which is totally free) on CouponMom.com, and I browsed through deals at Dollar Tree (did you know they accept coupons up to $1.00), Kroger, Walmart, and Walgreens.  While I prefer to shop at CVS over Walgreens since their recent switch to a loyalty card program, I still chose Walgreens because they had the better deals this week with my coupons.

Using the Texas spreadsheets on CouponMom.com for each store, I clicked on the items for which I had coupons. Then I created a list on the side of what items I was planning to buy at each store and what items I was going to price match at Walmart to stack with coupons for amazing savings.

My goal right now is to not only feed my family this month, but to also build a stockpile of free and cheap goods, so I can shop within my house rather than shop retail at the store when I need more shampoo, conditioner, body soap, etc.

This weekend my goal was to spend about $95 including tax.

I ended up spending $115. With coupons and price matching I saved $87. So essentially, I paid $115 for $202 worth of groceries, so although I went over my initial budget of $95, I still feel like I made out like a bandit.

You might be wondering what led to the overage, $10 can be big on a tight budget. Well, I didn't take into consideration that some of the prices would be a bit higher at some of my local stores, and my Walmart stopped price matching some of the ads I had (namely, Sprouts, grr). Additionally, I bought a couple of items that we needed and I didn't have coupons or price matches for like white popcorn kernels, etc.
I got all this and more for $115.

Including these 15lb bags of dog food.

This little guys helped mama with groceries.

Let me break down what I got on Saturday; it's a lot, so skip if you're not interested in reading all this:

** - Matched competitor price
# - Used a coupon
^ - Ultra low sale price

#**Sparkle paper towels,
#Quilted Northern toilet paper,
#Hefty sandwich sliders (2)
^Papermate pens
**Grapes
Potatoes (unable to price match)
^Cheetos
#^ Cinnamon Toast Crunch
#^Lucky Charms
#**Apple Jacks
#**Frosted Flakes
#^Capri Sun (2)
Hunts sauce (2)
^Hand soap (3)
^Coke
#Suave Kid's Shampoo
#^ Herbal Essences shampoo/conditioner (2)
#^Panteen shampoo/conditioner (2)
#^Dial body soap (2)
#**Purex Oxi Active
#Hershey's Spreads
#Pure Moist
^Maxwell House coffee
#^Right Guard deodorant (4)
Healing ointment
#Mitchum deodorant
#**Snack Pack pudding
Popcorn kernels (2)
#Crest toothpaste
**Goldfish
#^Tampax Pearl
Pop tarts (unplanned purchase)
**Whole milk gallon (2)
18ct. eggs
Sliced deli meat (unable to price match)
#^Eggo waffles (2)
Bread
#**Pedigree dog food (2)
Cucumber (unable to price match)
Bell pepper (unable to price match)
5-Hour energy (unplanned purchase)

56 items = $115, that's roughly $2.05 per item.

All in all, I thought these were good buys. It is all stuff that we will use either now or in the future.

So my couponing plan is to:
  • Sit down to review Texas store deals
  • Clip coupons needed for specific deals
  • Spend about $20 per week to stay within my monthly budget as well as stockpile items
With regards to selling. I've been selling off my house and home practically through yard sale groups on Facebook and via Craigslist.  I'm trying to declutter, and we have a lot of stuff that we don't need to keep. Clutter takes up space in your home and life, and I'm all for living a bit more simply. Because we're growing boys and girls, I started with the stack of clothing and shoes that no one can wear in my house.  A lot of it sold, and quick.  Then I moved on to selling some toys.

I'm very honest and direct in my approach to selling. I don't sugar coat, and I don't say, "Asking price is $20 because it retails for $40." I hate when I see that crap. As a buyer, I don't care how much you spent on that item, I am more concerned with how much it currently is, is this something I need, and do I have cash/what's my budget for this item. My key to selling is to price items low. I think about what I would pay for this same item at a garage sale in the condition that it is in. This week alone I've earned $65 that I didn't have by selling a couple toys, kids clothing and shoes, and baby gear.  This weekend more stuff will be going out the door with cash in hand, and that is a good, good feeling.

Just a few items that are still for sale; if you're interested in anything shoot me an email: tinyscrapper at yahoo dot com.

Missoni girls coat 2T/3T - EUC ($15), Loving Family Manor w/ family - EUC ($15)

Sandals, size 5T - GRTC ($3), Sneakers, size 6T - GDC ($3)

Have a lovely night folks, and save and make some extra money this week!!








Playroom Pin-spiration.

Well you've all seen the mess that was the playroom. After relocating all toys, furnishings and random stuff (headless Barbie dolls), GG and I decided that it was time to seriously sort through, purge, and reorganize the kid's stuff.

Honestly, I said I would never be that parent; you know the spoiling kind, but oh, it's so easy to overspoil you kids. You don't even know you're doing it. Gifts for holidays, special occasions, and random things bought on clearance or at the Dollar Tree throughout the years REALLY adds up. Then YOU (actually I), have a huge, overwhelming mess on our hands.

Pictures of our playroom show that everything had a place and a space.  It was a functional room for the kids, but it was kind of always an eye sore for me. Not my favorite room in the house. It desperately needed paint on the walls, ceiling, a new light fixture, and oh that carpet, yeah stains ALL over it. It's' an old house; what else can I say?

Since the big mess that fell from the heavens (or the ceiling), we've been granted the money to actually update this space in a big way.

So I did what every other digital woman does... I pinned. I have finally found  a color scheme, a vision for organization, and all the little details in between, that I believe will make this room, my most favorite room in the house. All I need now is a lot of storage options, seating, a place for the TV and DVD player, a new rug, a functional play table and a new home for the kid's play kitchen.

It all started with the inspiration room that I found on Pinterest designed by Jen of I Heart Organizing.  I'm sure you've seen it as well.

Inspiration Room (I Heart Organizing)
I love everything about this space. The storage/seating area is perfect for small rooms like our 11.5' x 11.5' playroom. We have a great hand-me-down Pottery Barn Farmhouse table and chairs. I plan to paint the top with chalkboard paint as well, such a clever idea. The colors of this room really speak to me as well, but I wanted to go with softer shades. I've decided on aqua, yellow, grey with pops of dark teal. Before actually choosing room colors, we first picked out our new flooring. We went the cheap route and got North Perry Pine (vinyl wood plank) from Lumber Liquidators. It was marked down to $0.79/sq ft. I used an additional 20% off coupon and got 2520 sq ft (my house is 2506 sq ft) for $1725 (after discount and taxes). Yeah my husband and I saved a ton by choosing a much more resilient flooring than traditional wood or laminate. AND we got enough of it to cover the ENTIRE house. There will be a lot of weekends of tearing up old carpet, prepping floors, and laying down our new tile, but it will be worth it come next year when all of our flooring is installed.
Floor (Lumber Liquidators), Fan (Amazon), Bins (Walmart)
Our new ceiling fans (bought 5 of these beauties...) will go in all of the bedrooms (including playroom) and the scrap room. Hunter is a wonderful brand, and these were discounted at Amazon to $69.95 each, yes another awesome steal! The grey design bins will go in our new cube storage from Walmart (just like Ikea, just cheaper with great reviews).
 
Soft Mint (Benjamin Moore), Galvanized Bin (Walmart)
 This beautiful paint was the inspiration for the walls in the playroom. I went super cheap though and bought a gallon of "oops" paint at Home Depot. It is Glidden and the name is chipped off, so I can't figure the name. It is very similar to the above color, perhaps more aqua with more blue in it. Still VERY close and for only $9.00 I couldn't pass it up. Also I love the BHG Galvanized bin for taller toys like the Stars Wars light sabers and swords that we have.
Lamp (Target), Toss Pillow (Target)
 Of course no room is complete without a beautiful, cheap lamp ($25), and love decor. I love, love this yellow pillow.
Toss Pillow (Target), Rug (Target)
 And I have plans to sell off our freshly, professionally cleaned green shag rug and replace it with this yellow gem. The Target toss pillow really inspired me to change my color scheme to include only aqua, dark teal, grey, and yellow, so, stinkin' cute.
Playroom Closet, Bookshelf (Walmart, Ikea)
In our playroom, which is a bedroom (technically), we will have storage in our closet similar to this. We have shelving almost identical now, but we plan to move the shelves and make space for the play kitchen to have a home.  Additionally, we plan to buy one of these BHG 8-Cube Organizer (like Ikea, but cheaper alternative), to hold books, bins, TV and lamp.
Floting Shelvesa, Art Supply Storage
Last but not least, we have a cheap bookshelf that I plan to repurpose as art supply storage with plastic shoe boxes and these wonderful hanging galvanized tins (I own all this already), just going to pretty it up a bit. I'm thinking a beautiful dark teal on the white bookshelf. It could use some prettying up.

Well that's the plan. Our room will take a different shape, VERY similar to the inspiration room. The cube storage will come from Walmart and fit perfectly in the space. I have it all measured out.

I can't wait to start slapping paint on the walls. Tonight we are going to texture the ceiling. Once that's done, we'll remove the current light fixture and get to town painting that sucker. I LOVE white ceilings. Makes low (8ft) ceilings like ours seem more open and taller.

On another note, I've been spending a lot of time organizing in my head.... putting toys in their various baskets. I plan to make some pretty little labels to make it easy to keep clean too (just like the inspiration room). I mean we will have 16 storage cubes to fill (the other 4 will hold books) - so this is how I plan to organize them:



1. Cars
2. Large Legos/Duplos
3. Blocks
4. Barbie
5. Little people
6. Disney figurines
7. Dora play set
8. Loving family
9. Action figures
10. Dinosaurs
11. Animals
12. Puzzles
13. Foam blocks
14. Wooden toys
15. Educational toys
16.

 Under the Farmhouse table will be a large bin that holds train stuff.

The bottom floor of the closet will have the kitchen and our 3 tiered rolling cart next to it. I plan to house kitchen food/plates, baby dolls/accessories, and misc. dress up items (keys, wallets, money, cards, jewelry) in those bins. If there is enough room, I'd like to place hooks on the side to hang dress up clothes.

The second shelf in the closet will hold our Little People playsets, doll houses, and small lego bin.

The third shelf in the room will have stuff animals that we refuse to get rid of - all the Disney stuff pretty much. WE love Disney at our house.

The small bookshelf will be repainted and house markers/pencils, crayons, scissors/glue/paintbrushes, and chalk in little hanging pails. Coloring books, drawing pads and paper will be housed in magazine holders, and clear shoe boxes will hold stamps, paints, craft supplies, and art supplies.

That's all folks. Our playroom pin-spiration. I hope you feel just as inspired to organize and update rooms in your house on a thin budget. I plan to post more pictures of the room in progress as well. Just need to get my camera hooked up to the ipad. Forgot to do that today.


Frugal finds at Amazon, Tanga and Target.

So you all know that I am all about saving a buck, and I like to share these savings with my friends and family.

Amazon has daily deals. Most of you see them pop up in my Facebook feed. Today only, certain Fossil handbags, wallets, and other accessories are 50% off. Super cute stuff folks. Not kidding.

Fossil Keyper Travel Tote ($49) - Amazon



Last week my friend introduced me to Tanga. It is a flash steal site similar to Woot!, GroopDealz, and Zulilly. Today was my first experience buying from them. I bought a beautiful Stainless Steel Ring with Brushed Finish and Beveled Edges for $4.99 (reg. price $99.95). Good deal, right? I bought two, just to be on the safe side with sizing. I am SO glad I heard about this site. I am fortunate that my husband has his original wedding band, but this wedding band is just so much more masculine and fits his personality more, so I wanted him to have it. Would you believe we are about to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary? Yep, in just a few short weeks. Love you mister!
Total spent: $8.98 + free shipping

And, last night I hit up our local Target. I heard from a little birdie that they introduced their up to 70% off clearance on toys.  Although our local Target was pretty much cleaned out by 6:00 pm, I found a few steals, and they honored a local promotion of "All Toys Buy One, Get One 40%" - so awesome!! I picked up just a few things.


Barbie style head, Belle swimg doll, Nerf girls gun and goggles, Star Wards puzzle, Superman playset, and 2 dollar section finds.

I didn't pay anything close to regular price.
Total: $21.90
I used my Target debit card to shave off an additional 5% off the already super low prices, and I ended getting all of these splendid future Christmas gifts for $21.90Seriously!! STEAL of the century and probably one of the best deals I've received in a long time. Like, seriously. The Superman Playset alone was regularly priced $27.99. Right? These were great finds. And, yes, I had to hunt the kids toys for about an hour to find all of these amazing deals, but my kids were happy, and I was too. I did have to tell Harper that all these toys are for her cousins (little white lie). She'll be so surprised on Christmas morning, and I also have gifts for upcoming birthday parties.

I just wanted to share my wonderfully frugal finds from this week. I've also picked up my couponing again, so hopefully this weekend I'll get a good deal or two on groceries. Of course, I'll share my deals with everyone.

Looking forward to some free fun tonight at our local Barnes & Noble. They are having Olaf story and craft time. This should be so AWESOME. Some folks are worth melting for... like my babies.

Hugs all!! Enjoy the weekend!