Tuesday, September 28, 2010

All and Starburst GummiBurst at Kroger

Right now All Detergent is marked down to $2.99.  Pair it with a $1 coupon from this past week's paper and it's $1.99!

coupons.com is hosting a BOGO coupon for Starburst GummiBursts.  Print it and you get them for $.39 each!

So how did I do?
1 All Detergent - $1.99
4 Starburst GummiBursts - $1.58
- $2 OYNO coupon
- $1 OYNO coupon
= $0.94 OOP

Monday, September 27, 2010

Race for the Cure

This past Saturday, I did something I never thought I would do.  I actually participated in a 5K.  The back story is quite interesting, so please bear with me for a moment.

Late Spring 2010
My friend Ryan asked me to join her in the Race for the Cure 5K in September.  Knowing that I needed to get in shape, I agreed.  She even had a code to allow me $5 off of the registration fee.  I began to do some initial planning for how to train, as I am not a runner.  Those plans were put on hold as I spent every waking minute of free time working on my graduate thesis.

Early Summer 2010
I found a 6 week program that seemed to work well for the training.  It was a combination of walking, running, and other exercise.  I decided to extend it out to be a 10 week program, allowing myself a few skip days, as I was still working on my thesis.  So there I started - 100 degree temperatures and I was running my heart out.  After my first attempt at running 1/2 mile straight (no breaks), I thought I was going to die and took a few days off.  Gradually I worked my way up to running a mile straight without feeling like total death.  (It still didn't feel great - I don't believe the people who get a runner's high).

Mid Summer 2010
I met up with Ryan to do a little shopping for the BFFs daughter.  She was telling me about her progress in losing her baby weight, and I mentioned that I can now run a mile without feeling like death.  My goal was to be able to run 2 miles by the end of the month (August) so I would be prepared.  Ryan asked why I was killing myself trying to run such a long distance.  I replied "for the 5K.  This isn't fun!"  Imagine how I felt as Ryan started laughing hysterically.  She informed me that she was running to work off baby weight, and that we had joined a group with a bunch of older women who couldn't run due to health issues.  WE WERE WALKING!  After the initial shock, I laughed too and decided that I have come this far, may as well keep up the running for my health.

Late Summer 2010
In the few weeks leading up to the race, I began to walk instead of run.  The weather was taking a toll on my allergies and horrible immune system, so walking became my new hobby.  I think my dog liked our extended walks as well.

Race Day - September 25, 2010
I woke up at 5:45am.  That was not fun.  I got ready in a zombie-like state, said good-bye to the husband and dog, and off I went.  Ryan and I got downtown early and walked around.  The buzz in the air was something I am not sure I can explain, but I'll try.  Thousands (I'm talking 18,000+) of men, women, children, and dogs were there, anxiously awaiting the festivities.  Booths began to appear with apparel, free samples, and trivia.  The survivors wore a distinct shirt and thanked the folks who were walking or running to show support.  Ryan and I walked around, taking it all in, and then it was time to walk.  Our goal was to walk the 5K in an hour.  We really wanted to do it in 45 minutes, but we weren't sure how crowded the bridges would be, and well, I am TERRIFIED of heights.  Our first mile was 22 minutes.  Lots of hills, and the crowd was still very thick through the first mile.  We stopped to play in the bubble machine and then kept trucking.  Our second mile was about 19 minutes, so we were improving.  Then, the fun really started.  At the second mile marker there was a rowboat, some water, and a small snack.  We stopped, and I showed Ryan the window to my office.  Then we realized we were losing a lot of time (about 15 minutes in stops so far).  We hadn't made it another 1/4 mile when we had to stop again.  An animal rescue group had a snake and turtle set up to hold/pet on the start of the final bridge.  Of course we had to stop and hold the snake and pet the gazillion pound turtle.  There went another 5 minutes.  We finally crossed the finish line at 1:15:06.  Not too bad considering we had about 20 minutes of goofing off along the way.  So, in reality, our walk took less than an hour, and we felt great!

Over $1,000,000 was raised just in Cincinnati alone for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  Ryan and I are already planning our team for next year, and can't wait to participate again!  What a great way to give back and enjoy some exercise with friends!

**Disclosure:  Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure did not endorse or sponsor this post.  The views in the post are those of the blogger.**

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Most Delightful or Most Depressing Time of the Year

The holidays can bring out one of two emotions - delight or depression.  If you have a loving home and people to share the holidays with, it can be a wonderful adventure full of hot chocolate, gifts, and family/friend time.  If you are alone, the holidays can reinforce the fact that you have no one.  I personally would like to challenge everyone this year to take some time this holiday season to make sure the needs of the folks in your area are taken care of.

Here are some examples of how you can positively impact the lives of those around you this holiday season:

1)  Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
2)  Offer your gift-wrapping services to friends and family.
3)  Buy some of those $1 meal tickets from McDonald's or Frisch's and carry them with you.  Pass them out to the homeless.
4)  Donate hats, scarves, and gloves to local shelters.
5)  Visit local nursing home residents.
6)  Send your local law enforcement officers a handwritten thank you letter.
7)  Seek out a family in need and adopt them for the holidays.
8)  Open your kitchen to folks who are down and out this Thanksgiving.
9)  Buy a coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks.

I could go on and on.  This time of year can make or break a person's soul.  Instead of spending hours in traffic to get the one toy your child wants, spend some time seeking out the less fortunate and brightening their day.  Bring your kids - they will learn the true meaning of Christmas.

If you are in the NKY/Cincinnati area and you are looking to get involved - please email me.  I would love to make you a part of 30 Days of Service.  Many more posts to come on this wonderful mission.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chutes and Ladders - Super Cheap!

Stock up on Christmas gifts now folks!  Kroger has a lot of their board games marked down, but I found one that was such a good deal I had to post.

Through Sunday (in Cincinnati area), Chutes and Ladders is marked down to $3.99 (from $8.99).  I purchased two and used three $2 OYNO coupons, making my Chutes and Ladders come to only $1.05 each WITH TAX! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Frugal Weight Loss

Diets can be expensive.  Gym memberships are expensive and require you to drive and use fuel.  So are there ways to change your diet and exercise to lose weight while being frugal? 


I have tried many things, including some of the fad diets that came and went.  I found they were great for quick short-term results, but began to drain my money and my energy.  Finally, in an effort to lose 10 pounds by December 19 (my second wedding anniversary), I found a few ways to help me lose without spending an insane amount of money.

Visually Leave Food Behind
Plan your normal dinner meal and dish out your typical portion.  Then, as you eat, leave 1/4 - 1/3 of each item on your plate.  The visual of food being left on your plate allows your mind to wrap around the idea that you don't need an entire plate of food to fill up.  Wrap up your left overs and take them for lunch the next day.  This allows you to only plan for one meal a day, saving you loads of money at the grocery store, and allowing your waistline to benefit as well.

Deprivation No More
I have a sweet tooth problem.  Well, more like a snacking problem, but mainly with sweets.  I have tried cutting my snacking out completely, but this made me cranky and eventually led to the demise of my progress.  Now, I let myself have snacks, but in moderation and after some careful thought.  It's about eating one small piece of chocolate instead of a candy bar or using Crystal Light to flavor water instead of drinking a soda.  All small changes that over time will help your wallet and your waistline.

Less Soda, Not Soda Less
I tried giving up soda.  Let's say it went over as well as a Ford sitting in a Range Rover lot.  I was cranky, suffering from caffeine headaches, and just plain miserable.  I did notice a change in my energy level, so as I thought about what works with my lifestyle, I compromised with my goal of being sodaless, and focused on less soda.  I used to drink two sodas per day, and now I am about four per week.  I refrain from drinking soda at home, which cuts back on my insomnia as well as my budget.  Having a soda while out to dinner or at work keeps me from going stir crazy and let's me feel like I am treating myself.  I have replaced my morning soda with flavored water and still get that wonderful taste without all the calories and sugar.

Wii Workout
We have a Wii Fit at home.  I used to be hardcore at using it at least five times per week.  Lately, it's lucky to see anything but the back of the couch more than once a month.  But, my goal is to get it out three times per week and walk the dog at least two miles twice per week.  No need to pay for a gym with a 75 pound dog and a Wii Fit.

So there are my helpful hints for frugal weight loss.  What tips do you have?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kroger Deals

I found some great deals this week at Kroger.  What deals did you find?

Schick Hydro Razor - $7.19
- $5.00 e-coupon
- $4.00 coupon
= $1.81 cash back!!!!!

2 Old Spice Body Wash - $6.66
- BOGO coupon
-$1 coupon
= 1.17 each

Febreze Fabric Refresher - $3.99
- $1 e-coupon
- $1 coupon
= $1.99

Febreze Air Effects - $2.49
- $1 e-coupon
- $1 coupon
= $.49

Dove Dark Chocolate - $2.99
- $1 coupon
= $1.99

I saved a total of $45.66 and got two catalina coupons for $3 OYNO!  Not too shabby!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rachael Ray Magazine Subscription

Tanga is a great site offering various deals on magazines, t-shirts, games, and more.  Daily deals keep the site from looking stale and there is a ton of stuff to look through, so make sure you have more than just a minute.

Today only, you can purchase a year's subscription to Everyday with Rachael Ray for only $3.99!  That's it! 

Go to http://www.tanga.com/, create an account, and use the coupon code EVERYDAY when checking out.  You can even purchase 4 years worth of magazines for $3.99 per year.  Don't let this deal slip away!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spider Invasion

Just a quick rant today - this weekend I got in a fight with a spider - and lost.  Sadly, I didn't even know we were fighting.

You see, I was sleeping and sometime between 7:30 and 9:30am, a spider bit my neck - 29 TIMES!  I woke up itchy and cranky, and then went to see the pharmacist who said spider bites.  Just in case it wasn't spider bites, I made an appointment with my doctor today and he confirmed.  Ew ew ew.

Then, he had better news - our area is seeing an influx of spiders due to the super dry summer.  This means lots of spiders coming in each crack of your house - doors, windows, etc.  So beware - and be warned!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gilt and Care.com Sweepstakes

Hey everyone - Rachel from Gilt Groupe contacted me about a great sweepstakes they are running in conjunction with Care.com.  It ends on 9/15 - so you better check it out soon!

Gilt Groupe is an invite-only website featuring sales of up to 70% discounts on designer brands (meaning you can save a lot of money).  Gilt Groupe has partnered with Care.com, a company that reviews family assistane professionals, and they have put together a sweepstakes that is truly awesome.  By entering the sweepstakes, moms get the chance to win the most invaluable reward there is - time and relaxation.  Gilt and Care.com will be giving away $15,000 worth of services ranging from babysitting, dog walking, and housekeeping. 

Additionally, they will be giving away five $500 gift certificates for Gilt Children (which features everything from children's bedding to apparel to furniture, all at a huge discount) and fifty premium memberships to Care.com. A premium membership includes access to Care.com's extensive network of caregivers, free background checks and detailed caregiver profiles, expert advice and more.

No purchase is necessary to enter the sweepstakes, which starts today and goes through September 15th. Details can be found here: http://bit.ly/deAxms.

You can follow Gilt on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/giltchildren) to keep up with the greatest deals out there for you and your kids.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Confession.  Just the word alone brings goosebumps to my arms.  And I'm not talking about a religious confession.  I'm talking about being brutally honest and confessing your true feelings - whether it is to yourself or to others. 

I'm working on fixing a few relationships that have gone sour because of things left unsaid.  The first step is figuring out what I really felt and didn't say (self-confession).  The next, approaching the person and confessing to them.  Oddly enough, the self-confession is the hardest part.  Allowing myself to understand that it is okay that I once felt betrayed (no matter how petty the issue) or that I didn't speak my mind (and now regret it) is a hard thing to do.  Probably because I am super stubborn and set in my ways.  But, it is a very gratifying feeling once it is all said and done.  The conversation seems to flow much easier once I have come to terms with my own feelings.  Often, it starts with "I know this is how I acted.  I'm sorry.  I was feeling..." and ends with "I'm sorry I wasn't upfront with you to begin with.  I wasn't being 100% honest with myself either". 

Sometimes I think that we shield ourselves from our true feelings in fear of getting hurt, being judged, or making the wrong choices.  But hey, we are human and need to be true to ourselves. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Vicks Products - Up to 99% Off at Kroger

Up to 99% off?!  It's true!  I took a peek at my local Kroger store's clearance rack and found some Vicks DayQuil and Vicks NyQuil LiquiCaps on special.  The expiration isn't for another year, so I figured it was worth $1.05 and $1.25 respectively. 

Well, thanks to the Digital Coupon Center on http://www.kroger.com/, I had a $1 coupon for NyQuil products and a $1 coupon for DayQuil products.  So how much did I spend?  How much did I save?

Vicks DayQuil LiquiCaps:
$4.24 regular price
$1.05 manager's special price
-$1.00 e-coupon
= $0.05 OOP
99% savings

Vicks NyQuil LiquiCaps:
$5.01 regular price
$1.25 manager's special price
-$1.00 e-coupon
= $0.25 OOP
95% savings

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Outlet Store Heaven

A few weeks ago, I received a wonderful surprise in the mail. A 20% off coupon for the Coach Factory Stores. The merchandise in these stores is already marked down, and then 20% off?! You can't beat that. Coach purses are my weakness too. So my sister and I plan a shopping trip. We hop in the car, and off we go. We spent a large chunk of the drive figuring out how to use the one coupon on both of our orders. (Did I mention Coach purses are her weakness too)? We arrived and just hoped they would use it twice.

We walk into this heaven-like store, and we are greeted at the door. The salesgirl hands us each another 20% off coupon! It's like Christmas morning. We are so excited and begin looking at all of the purses and wallets. Of course we both gravitate to the Clearance Rack. The sign says "ADDITIONAL 50% OFF". I think to myself, 'too good to be true'. AND IT'S NOT! 50% off of the lowest marked price PLUS we can use the 20% off coupon. I swear I heard angels sing.

We take our time and look through each purse, inspecting it thoroughly, making sure it's what we really want. At one point I had upwards of six purses on my arm. After about an hour of walking around and doing some quick math, I decide one purse is all I will let myself splurge on. As I stand there contemplating which purse I would get the most use out of, my sister becomes impatient because she found her purse within the first ten minutes of looking. I narrowed it down to four, then two, then finally one. I saved 66% at the Coach Factory store today. I couldn't believe my luck.

So, what things do you let yourself splurge on once in a while?