Friday, October 29, 2010

Remke Double Coupons - One Day Only!

I am normally a pretty loyal Kroger shopper, however, this is one deal that is too good to pass up.  Today only, the Remke bigg's in Mason, Ohio is doubling even $1 coupons.  So means that all coupons for $1 off turn to $2 off, $.50 coupons turn to $1 coupons, etc. 

The sale is too good to be true - and Little Miss Know It All has found a way to get 200 items for under $10!  You read that right.  See her magic here:

So, go shopping!  Stock up, and let us know how you did!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Love a Pet and Busam Subaru

Do you ever want to buy a product because of a commercial?  How about a goodwill gesture?  Or just because of the other organizations one company affiliates themselves with?  Yeah - me too, and I'm in the public relations/marketing/advertising world!

So let me tell you how Busam Subaru may have just gained themselves a new customer (in a year or two when my car dies).

A while back, I found this random PR practitioner on Twitter, @Andrew_ShipPR.  Turns out he works for Busam Subaru (also on Twitter - @Busam_Subaru).  And November is Love a Pet Adoption Month at Busam Subaru.  (Insert warm, mushy feelings here).  Busam Subaru will donate $100 for each vehicle sold in November to one of four participating organizations:  The Cincinnati SPCA, The Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue, The League for Animal Welfare and Ohio Pug Rescue.

Busam Subaru is also letting folks like you and me help out in this worthy cause.  Busam has a pet name tag engraver on hand, letting you custom-make name tags for your pet for only $1!  That is so much cheaper than the $4 or $5 at other pet shops.  Want a preview of how easy this is?

Okay - so Busam Subaru is already promoting the adoption of pets through the efforts above, but it gets better!  If you test drive one of their vehicles during the Love a Pet Adoption Kick-Off Celebration on Sunday, November 7th, Busam Subaru will donate $1 to the participating organizations I mentioned above.  I say let's make it a priority to get our butts up to Busam Subaru next weekend.  The Cincinnati SPCA, The Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue, The League for Animal Welfare and Ohio Pug Rescue will all be on hand to answer any questions you may have about pet adoption. 

We are coming into the coldest times of the year (we think), and these pets need a warm, loving home.  Won't you stop by Busam Subaru and help?  You can also promote the event on Twitter with the hashtag #LoveAPet and Tweet about the great things Busam Subaru is doing to help the wonderful animals out there who can't help themselves. 

(Disclosure - I am receiving a name tag for my dog, but not in exchange for this blog post.  I wrote this post because of how awesome it is that Andrew Ship and Busam Subaru are taking some time to help wonderful animals).

Buddy - the reason I think everyone should adopt a pet!
Busam Subaru is located at 6195 Dixie Highway (Route 4) Fairfield, OH 45014.

New Month, New Bills, New Budget

Accessed from
 Student Loans.  Ugh.  The pitfall of my ambition and the last gazillion years of my life.  No, really.  I am 25 years old, and have been in school for 21 years.  At some point, shouldn't the educational system be paying me? 

I digress.  Back to the point of this post, I have been prolonging the inevitable for about 3 years now.  You see, you can defer your student loans as long as you are still in school.  I took advantage of this (and the fact that I am having to pay back virtually NO interest until I make the first payment) and for the past 3 years I have sent in my paperwork with a transcript and class schedule, proving I am still a student.  Apparently you need to be a full-time student, so guess what?! My loans are due.  In two weeks.  Nice of them to give me a ton of warning, right?!

So, the hubs and I decided to rework our budget to see if we have the money to pay these little buggers.  We do.  PHEW!  But, that means some rework of the budget and being extra careful not to spend money on things we really don't need.  We came up with a plan of attack which still allows us to have some spending money.  But now, my spending money each week has to cover my hair cut/color (boo), lunch (if I choose to go out), anything I want to buy, fun stuff, etc.  So, can I do it?  We agreed to $40 per week (most weeks I don't spend nearly this much), but my goal is $25 per week, using the extra $15 to save up some extra cash.

Wish me luck - this is my budget for the next gazillion years of my life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rant and Rave

My temper is one thing that my DH does not enjoy about me.  He thinks it's funny that the smallest things can get me worked up, but he is also quick to point out that I have a bad habit of being vindictive in my thoughts and sometimes my words.  This is something that I am working on, and quite honestly, I have made a vast improvement.  Until today.

For the past three years I have been working relentlessly on my Master's Degree.  Our program requires 30 hours of classes, then I added a Teaching Certificate, which requires another 6 hours.  I am well above my 36 hours needed, and in the home stretch.  In May 2009, I began work on my thesis, examining the impact of negative political campaigns and advertisements on young, first-time voters.  After a ton of struggles along the way (another post, another time), I am in the final weeks of the whole nightmare process.

Or, so I thought.  One of the perks of grad school, and particularly, the thesis capstone process, is having to defend your work to a panel of professors and peers.  We are closing in on the end of the semester and I have yet to set a defense date.  Well, to clarify, I have had three defense dates set and then, canceled for one reason or another.  I'm to the point where I actually don't care if I graduate or not (okay, I really do care), whether my defense goes well or not (again, I do care), and whether I get honors or not (I would love to, but honestly, I really don't care about that any longer).  I just want the whole thing done. 

I am having nightmares - professors chasing me with pitchforks because my work is not 100% final - peers throwing my paper in a fire - and the best one, showing up to my defense and learning that my committee decided I'm not worthy of a degree and automatically failing me.  These are not pleasant dreams, and nightmares can't even begin to describe them.   I mean, you are supposed to wake up from a nightmare, realize it was a dream and move on, right?  Not suffer from panic attacks, anxiety attacks, and be on the verge of tears 24/7! 

So, if you are reading this, please send some prayers my way.  Send some support.  And please, help me realize that this is just another hurdle.  Because right now, quitting seems like a real choice.  Just sayin'.

Monday, October 25, 2010

30 Days of Service - How to Give Back

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am leading an outreach initiative at our church called 30 Days of Service.  Last year we performed 30 services in 30 days and that lead to extreme burnout for those involved.  This year, I came up with the brilliant idea to spread our 30 services over about 53 days.  Brilliant, right?!

So, what is 30 Days of Service?  It's an outreach program designed to allow our church members impact our immediate community.  So what are we doing?  Below is a list of all of our different initiatives.  If you are interested in learning more - or donating prayer, time, money, items, etc - please feel free to shoot me a message or leave me a comment.

Labor of Love and The Walking Word:  These two different activities are connected, which is why I grouped them together.  With Labor of Love, church members will gather and stuff bags with information about 30 Days, an invitation to our Thanksgiving Dinner, and information on our church.  Two days later, during The Walking Word, we will distribute these bags to four neighborhoods within a mile of our church who may be able to take advantage of some of our efforts during 30 Days.

Faith Feeds:  This is one of my favorites (okay, I have a lot of favorites in this project).  Faith Feeds will be a weekly event on Tuesdays.  One church member will deliver breakfast, lunch, or dinner to the local fire departments, sheriff's departments, doctor's offices, and front office staff at the elementary schools in the area.

Free Paper Day:  Every Sunday for 8 weeks a church member will drive up to our local United Dairy Farmers and purchase 50 newspapers.  Those 50 papers will be stickered, stating that the paper is a free gift from Sand Run.  These papers go fast and we typically get some visitors who wanted to thank us in person.  It's a great way to get some new folks into the church!

Take Aways:  The Ronald McDonald House is one recipient of our efforts.  They provide lunch bags full of snacks to the children and families they touch, so we will be stuffing bags of snacks for those folks.

Good Samaritan Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Drive:  Okay, another favorite!  This is our third year participating.  For about $15 - $20 you can fill up a shoebox to be sent to children overseas.  These kids live in extreme poverty conditions and most write back and become pen pals!

Blankets for Bottoms:  This is a new activity for us.  We will gather and make crib size fleece blankets to take to our local Care Net agency.  Care Net will distribute these blankets to expectant mothers who cannot afford basic essentials for their baby. 

Crafty Christmas Cards:  Showing love to our troops is important to us.  This Christmas, we will send Christmas Cards overseas to our troops and also to inmates who have little hope.  Our goal is to spread Jesus' love around the world!

Journey Group Drive:  Each of our Journey Group's (Sunday School classes) are receiving some funds to carry out their own mission as a group.  The only stipulations for receiving the funds is that the mission must be a group effort and not just turning the funds over to another organization.  This is getting a lot of buzz and some examples are creating hygeine baskets for the Women's Crisis Center, making snack sacks for nursing homes, and letting the younger kids shop for our adopted families.

Thanksgiving Dinner:  The recession hit our area hard, and many folks in our church and in the surrounding communities don't have the means to provide a home-cooked meal for their family.  We are going to have a four hour window for anyone and everyone to come enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal - turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies, rolls, and more!

Cast Out the Cold:  Homelessness is a huge problem this year, and we found a local organization - Scarf it Up for Those in Need.  They knit hats, gloves, and scarves and distribute to the needy and homeless in the area.  We are going to take a small group and help them pack boxes full of winter gear so it is ready for distribution.

RedsFest:  Not your typical volunteer opportunity, RedsFest is a celebration of The Cincinnati Reds!  All proceeds from RedsFest go to the Reds Community Fund.  Our church will send about 20 people to volunteer in various aspects for RedFest and the stipend we receive will go towards our adopted families.  20 people x $20 a person = $400 for our families!

Give Thanks:  Service men and women receive little thanks for their efforts.  We will be sending handwritten letters to our police officers, fire fighters, and emergency service personnel, thanking them for their time, effort, and dedication.

Stress-Free Shopping Extravaganza:  We will open the doors of our church to host a vendor bazaar this holiday season.  25+ vendors will have the oppotunity to make last minute Christmas sales without having to pay a booth or table fee.  The doors will be open to all who want to shop for 31, BeautiControl, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Creative Memories, and more!  A one-stop shop complete with door prizes every half hour.

Christmas Caroling:  "The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear."  Thank you Buddy the Elf!  We will spread some cheer to nursing home residents this season with some heartfelt and off key Christmas carols.

Crayons to Computers:  This school supply drive will benefit inner-city children and teachers who cannot afford the most basic of school supplies.

Adopted Families:  6 families from our area (2 from our church and 4 from local elementary schools) will get a Christmas morning this year, despite what seemed to be the outlook just a month ago.  Our congregation graciously elected to adopt 6 families with small children (well, the 17 total kids range from 2 years old to 17 years old) and we will be shopping the sales to provide all of the family members with a Christmas morning.  These families need help - so any outside effort helps just as much as our efforts.

As you can see, there is a lot of momentum at our small church to spread the Word.  I recommend that everyone find some way to give back this holiday season.  If you need ideas - let me know.  I am full of them!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kroger Candy Sale - How I Made Out!

Earlier today I posted on the awesome deals to be had at the one day Kroger Candy Sale.  I went over lunch and check out the loot:
So that being said, there are 17 total items for a grand total of $12.75!  How did I do it? 

Transaction One:
2 Bags of Nerds
2 Bags of Laffy Taffy
= $6.32
- $1/2 manufacturer coupon
- $1/2 manufacturer coupon
- $1 OYNO coupon
- $1 OYNO coupon
= $2.70 with tax
*Received a $3 OYNO Catalina

Transaction Two:
1 Bag of Kit Kats
2 Bags of Reeses Cups
2 Bags of Snickers
1 Bag of Peanut M&Ms
2 Bags of Butter Fingers
2 Bags of Baby Ruths
= $16.80
- $3 OYNO coupon
- $1 manufacturer coupon
- $1 manufacturer coupon
- $1 manufacturer coupon
- $1 manufacturer coupon
- $1 e-coupon for Hershey's Products
= $9.71 with tax
*Received a $3 OYNO Catalina

Transaction Three:
1 bag of Almond Joys
1 bag of Chocolate Covered Peanuts
1 small bag of Pretzel M&Ms
= $3.18
-$3 OYNO coupon
= $0.34 with tax

How did you make out on the Candy Sale?

Kroger Candy Sale - One Day Only!

HUGE Candy Savings at Kroger TODAY ONLY! 

That's right.  Today only in Kroger (Cincinnati area), you can save big on your Halloween Candy.

Reese's, Snickers, Kit Kats, M&Ms, Butterfingers and Baby Ruth are marked at $1.68. 
Nerds, Laffy Taffy, and Pixy Stix are marked at $1.58.

You can pair your $1/3 bags of M&Ms or Snickers coupon from the paper a few weeks back to get those products for $1.35 each! That's not bad.
Plus, Wonka products (Nerd, Laffy Taffy, Pixy Stix) have a great Catalina program running:
Buy 2 - get $1 off your next order
Buy 3 - get $2 off your next order
Buy 4 - get $3 off your next order

For even more coupon match-ups and savings, visit The New Frugal Mom at

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to Not Lose it During the Holidays!

"That shirt would look fabulous on Mary Sue!"  "Little Timmy will absolutely love that remote-controlled train set!"  "How can I pass up a deal like this?  I'll find someone who could use this!"  Do these exclamations come out of your mouth when holiday shopping?  I'm guilty as charged.  I am a sucker for a great deal, and often find myself struggling to pass up a deal, therefore, I end up with a ton of stuff that is useless.  Not this year.  This year I am going to defeat the monster that lies behind the thrill of holiday spending.  Here's my plan of attack:

1)  Make 3 Lists for Recipients.  That's right - 3.  My first list contains the people who will get a present from the husband and I, no matter what.  Our parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews are on this list.  My second list is who I would like to buy for.  This list contains the names of friends and their children.  I refer to this list if we agree to do an exchange.  Otherwise, I don't buy for the adults, just the kids.  This list is kept separately so that I don't buy for them in my first round of shopping.  The final list is a bit more difficult.  This is my list of who not to gift.  I only make this list because I find myself shopping and thinking "Gina's mom would love this cookbook" or "The boy in the nursery at church would love this stuffed animal."  This list doesn't contain names, but groups of people (kids at church, friend's parents, etc).  This list is a reminder that a Christmas card can be sent to these folks and a gift is not necessary.

2)  Get Ideas - and Write Them Down!  In my notebook, I have my three lists of recipients (or non-recipients in some cases), then a list of ideas for each person on my first list.  I try to write things down throughout the year as they are mentioned, that way I can spread my spending (see bullet #4).  I also won't find myself in panic mode trying to locate the one item that served as "gift ideaS". 

3)  Write Down What You Buy.  I'm sensing a theme here.  Write everything down.  In addition to my first two lists - I keep a running list of what I purchase and who it is intended for.  This allows me to keep my shopping focused and I won't accidentally purchase more than I need or duplicates.

4)  Spread the Spending!  Instead of waiting until all of the hot toys of the season come out, start shopping as early as possible.  I start my Christmas shopping the day after Christmas.  That's right.  I made my first Christmas 2010 purchase on December 26, 2009.  There are great deals to be had if you can shop in advance.  Granted, I knew my sister-in-law was pregnant and the baby would be about 6 months at Christmas, so it was easy to snag some cute winter clothes.  Watch for sales and opportunities to use e-bates!  This will save you a lot of stress and anxiety when spreading $500 over 20 people.

5)  Budget.  I struggled with putting budget after spreading the spend, but I wanted to make a point.  The earlier you shop, the easier it is to stay on budget.  Each year, the husband and I determine the appropriate amount to spend per person on Christmas.  This may lead to my mom getting one big gift and my dad getting three smaller gifts, but each person receives the same "value" in actual spend.  Starting next year (you know, 12/26/10), we plan to set aside cash at every paycheck so I shop only with cash (or credit card for online purchases).

6)  Compare Online and In-Store!  I am a Nervous Nelly when it comes to online shopping for two reasons.  One - I very easily get carried away when not having to lug items through a store physically.  Two - I am terrified of having my identity stolen yet again.  So, here is what I plan to do while finishing up my holiday shopping:  look online for the actual gifts, compare the price online to the price in-store, go with the better deal.  A lot of companies will now waive the shipping fee if you have it delivered to one of their locations.  This is a great way to take advantage of a lower online price and not have to pay for shipping.  If the deal is better in the store, I'll head that way.  If not, go online baby!

So there is my plan.  What is your holiday shopping plan?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kroger Deals

I won't be doing my shopping until a little later this week, but there are some awesome deals to be had this week at Kroger's Mega Event:

Save $5 when you buy 10 participating items:

  • Coke - $3.29 per 12 pack, $0.79 per 2 liter
  • DiGiorno Pizza - $3.99
  • Hot Pockets - $1.49
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese - $0.99
  • Doritos - $2.25
  • Kraft Macaroni and Cheese - $0.49
  • Easy Mac - $0.49
  • Kroger Barbecue Sause - $0.49 (can you say perfect timing for my pulled pork this weekend)
  • Vitamin Water - $0.50
  • Poptarts - $1.40
  • Lean Cuisine - $1.68
  • Gold Star Chili - $1.69

There is so much more on this sale - check out for more.  Once I do my shopping, I'll make sure to share all of my great finds!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Review: Life as We Know It

Thanks to gofobo, my sister and I went to a screening of Life as We Know It this past Monday night.  I had really wanted to see this movie prior to getting the screening tickets, so I was very excited.  The whole experience was interesting.  Unlike the Flipped screening, this time we were asked to take cellphone with video capabilities to the car and then were wanded down. 

The actual movie was great.  I really enjoyed it and would give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.  The plot was predictable, yet still fresh.  The acting was great, not too forced.  Let's be honest - Josh Duhamel was shirtless for parts of the movie, making it super appealing to a female audience.

I did feel like there were a lot of low points (in terms of sad moments) in the movie.  Granted, the movie is about a couple who dies and leaves their 1 year old daughter, Sophie, with their best friends (and known enemies), Holly and Messer.  There are bound to be teary moments, however, I felt like a large part of the movie included "downer" scenes (hence the 4 1/2 stars). 

There were a lot of funny moments and uplifting moments as well.  Who would have thought the case worker would be so emotionally tied into Holly and Messer as a couple?  Her impeccable bad timing led to great laughs.  The fact that the whole neighborhood (men and women) were obsessed with Messer led to funny side notes and laughter.  The tension between Holly and Messer also led to moments of guilty pleasure. 

Overall, the movie was great, and I want to go see it again.  It really made you think about the important things in life.  Not many romantic comedies make you do that, so kudos!

Friday, October 1, 2010 - 90% OFF!

Today only, is having a blowout 90% off sale!  Enter the coupon code WOW at checkout and shop away!

Giveaway Round-Up

It's the beginning of the month, which means there are plenty of fresh giveaways to enter.  Below are just a few that I have come across.  Feel free to leave more in the comments section! - is giving away free scarves with the launch of their site.

Skyline Chili - Skyline Chili is giving away 10 $20 gift cards each day in the month of October!

Great American Cookies - FREE COOKIE today only from 10am - 2pm in honor of National Cookie Month.

Family Dollar - Family Dollar is giving away 500 $50 gift cards!

Those are just a few I came across this morning. What giveaways are you finding?