Super Bowl Savings

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Today is a quick post to tell you about an app that can earn you money on the things you already purchase at the grocery store.  The app is called Checkout 51 and is available in the Google Play Store for free.  All that’s needed is some simple sign up information and then you can view what offers are included in that week’s lineup.  New offers are loaded each Thursday.  First, check the app to see what items are listed.  When you purchase the items, upload your receipt by taking a photo of the receipt.  If you have a long sales slip you can add sections as you go.  Then you claim the offers that are on your receipt.  Once you have earned $20, you can request a check.  I must admit that I haven’t requested a check yet, but I am at $11.81 and it did not take me long at all.  I once had an issue with an item not being recognized, and it was a very simple process to contact customer service.  They rectified the issue immediately.  I typically see my receipts approved within a few hours.  
So if you are planning any grocery store runs soon, make sure you download Checkout 51 and earn some spare change!
TIP:  Don’t discard your receipts right away, just in case you have to prove that you indeed purchase an item that the system does not recognize.

Mini Coupon Haul

Photo credit Skrewtape  Foter  CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Skrewtape / Foter / CC BY-SA

Lately I’ve been trying to really get rid of a bunch of stuff.  I’m prepping for a move soon, and really don’t want to move a ton of food and toiletry items.  But I still look at the coupons that come in the mail, and if I find a really good deal, I’ll get it.  One of the things that I loved learning about on my frugal life journey is couponing.
I think, as with most people, it all started with that popular show on TLC.  I was intrigued about how people could get hundreds of dollars of groceries, and in some cases the store paid them to take it home!
Well unfortunately, a lot of the coupon and store policies have changed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get amazing deals.  Since this site is about learning to save money, no matter how big or small, using a coupon on even a full priced item will still save you a bit of money.
Of course, as any coupon site will tell you, the largest savings will always come from combining your coupons with your store deals.  I hope to soon get into perusing the weekly store flyers and matching my coupons to sales once I get to where I’m going, but until then The Dollar Tree, where every item is only $1, is a nice place to do some light couponing.
There are certain coupons in the flyers that always match up to items in my Dollar Tree.  These smaller coupon trips, limited to a specific store, are a great way to get your feet wet in the couponing world.  It can get daunting, but it’s easier if you learn the rules to only the stores that you will shop.  Dollar Tree couponing is very straight forward.  You can use the coupon if the EXACT ITEM is in store.  I got excited when I spotted these in the recent coupon insert:
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These items are always at the Dollar Tree, so I decided on my way home from work, I’d stop to get some cheap items.  I ended up getting this mini haul, and only paid a little more than a dollar.
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Lance Toastchee crackers:  FREE.  Had $1.00 off coupon
Crest Toothpaste: 50 cents.  Had 50 cent off coupon
Colgate Toothpaste:  25 cents.  Had 75 cent off coupon
Colgate Toothbrush:  50 cents.  Had 50 cent off coupon.
There was a little snafu where the cashier thought she rang one coupon, and she had missed it, but the manager was very nice and they remedied the issue.  Luckily, I’ve yet to experience any rude cashiers or customers on my couponing trips, though I know they are out there.  I try to kill them with kindness, and always offer other customers to go ahead of me if I am using coupons, so that they aren’t put off by me!  
Then I ran over to Rite Aid because I was in desperate need of some hair conditioner.  And I lucked out finding some clearance beauty items that had me pretty excited!

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Impress Nails:  Regularly $7.99, Clearance Price $1.99
Nail Art Sequin Kit:  Regularly $7.99, Clearance Price $1.99
LA Girl Nail Colors:  Regularly $2.99, Clearance Price $1.49
Sinful Nail Colors:  Regularly $1.99. On sale Buy One Get One Half Off.
And the best deal here:  Wet N Wild Lipstick color that started it all:  Originally 99 cents, on sale 40% off, plus I used a 50 cent off coupon, which brings the item to 9 cents!  
This was the icing on the cake of my weekend.  One day to find treasures, and one day to find deals!!

Pink is a State of Mind

Photo credit  Max ☢  Foter  CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit Max ☢ Foter CC BY-NC-ND

The other day I wrote about how my discovery of a pink lipstick shade prompted me to take a step out of my comfort zone.  This blog is my stepping out of sorts.  I know it’s a little funny to be transcendental about a pink lipstick, but hey, whatever works for you right?  I’ve always loved pink.  It’s always been my favorite color.  I remember when I was little I tried NOT to like pink because I thought that playing sports and being a tomboy was cooler, but alas, I am who I am and I cannot change my affinity for pink and girly.
Lately more and more things I own are pink.  It’s a bit funny that sometimes the color is associated with baby or little girls, but the older I get the more I embrace the power of the shade.  I think that the shade is perfectly suited for me, as some days I feel strong and powerful, (hot pink), while other days I am more mellow and laid back, (pale pink).
Everyone is on a colorful journey.  I think of my life as a beautiful pathway, and I can change the color anytime I want!

Saturday’s Estate Sale Finds

Saturday morning I woke up to this:
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So I went back to bed.
Then when I got up a bit later, I ventured out on the hunt.
The first sale was a bit of a wash.  It was about only two rooms of stuff, and everything was really expensive.  I managed to find one item that I was pretty excited about though…. Voila.
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It’s a 50’s era Hostess Diner Napkin holder.  I paid $8 for this bad boy right here.  My dad said it’s all banged up (it’s seen perhaps a little fall off a table in its day) but I think it has character.
I spoke briefly with a nice woman in the driveway.  She bought a souvenir spoon, and asked me what I purchased.  We talked about our love of vintage, and I mentioned that I like the aesthetic of the 50’s, to which she said, “well yeah because that’s your generation.”  And I asked, “Wait a minute… how old do you think I am!?!!”  We both laughed, and she explained since I was so much younger, that I most likely was drawn to that era, and not her “primitive style era.”  We both had a chuckle and braved the slick conditions to our cars and wished each other a good weekend.
Now, I had caught the bug, and with only one treasure found, I decided to go off to another sale I had scoped out online the previous night.  So off I went….
And fortunately I did because I scored the most beautiful color of shiny brites that I have ever seen!  Are you seeing what I’m seeing?!
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There they were… squirreled away in a dark basement just awaiting my rescue.  I’ve found you oh my beautiful pink shiny brites!
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And just look at the precious graphics on those boxes.  So swoon worthy….
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I milled around, half guarding my finds and half browsing.  I scooped up the small ones and put them in my canvas bag that I always take with me.  But I had my eye on these beautiful foot lockers/ trunks, and wanted to wait 45 minutes until noon when everything would go to HALF OFF!  (By the way, I tried those hats on using the hover method of trying on a hat.  They looked ridiculous on me.)
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I also managed to place this mamma jamma in my canvas bag, along with all those shiny brites.
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And this corningware teapot, with (I believe the pattern is called) blue cornflowers on it.  I have one in the spice o life pattern, but am going to consign that one as I’m focusing on this blue pattern now.  In my early days I picked up anything vintage for cheap, but now I’m narrowing my collections to a more “distinct” and “discernible” taste.  This pattern was the one my gramma had, so it has special meaning to me.  PLUS, it goes oh so wonderfully with my 50’s style wedding gifts of an aqua kitchenaid mixer, and (you guessed it) pink coffee maker and blender.  🙂  (This is not THE exact teapot because mine still needs a good bath.)

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I also got some not so exciting items, like light bulbs, brand new golf balls for the hubby, and cutting mats for craft projects.  I was actually pretty excited about the mats, because the one is pretty humongous and I just know it will come in handy down the road.
Overall I made it to the half off, and no one wanted the stuff I wanted because I got the footlockers too!
The haul concluded with:
2 foot lockers:  $20 ea
1 old clothing trunk:  $25
2 cutting mats: $1.50
All the shiny brites:  $2.50
Corningware teapot: $1
Candlebra: $1
Hostess Napkin Holder: $8
And a good day was had by all!
If anyone has any information on these items that they would like to share, I would just love learning about their history.  If you have any nostalgic memories to share, please comment below!

One Person’s Treasure is Another Person’s Treasure

estate sale paper image

The free local paper comes every Thursday, and though it is a sparse time of year for estate sales, I always check the classifieds.  There it is.  A listing with potential.  So now I am waiting like a child for Christmas morning.  What kinds of treasures await?  Will I find that perfect little trinket?
 
While I don’t attend them often, estate sales can be a little different than just a trip to the thrift store.  A lot of times while shopping estate sales, you can get a better sense of the history behind the person’s collection.  I absolutely love exploring these time capsules, and learning their history.  At times they can be a bit sad, as the reality of estate sales is that most happen when there is a death in the family.  But so many times I have connected with the family or the group handling the estate, and they have told me how great they feel that a younger person like myself is honoring their well loved, and long collected possession.
 
So on Saturday morning I will be perhaps braving a snow storm to visit an estate sale.  I’ll be sure to post any noteworthy finds!

Throwback Thursday: Dunkaroo Deliciousness

Photo credit taylorhatmaker  Foter  CC BY

Photo credit taylorhatmaker Foter CC BY

Today is throwback Thursday!  This one is straight from the 90’s and conjures up memories of my school lunchbox.  Sadly it would be nearly impossible to find the good ole Dunkaroos on store shelves now, (at least in the USA).  Cue the lyrics to “don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”  😦   But have no fear because here is a recipe that I love for a few reasons.
1.  It is very similar to that sweet dunkaroo deliciousness.
2.  It’s super easy and quick to whip together.
3.  It travels well.
4.  It is lower in fat than most delectable treats so you won’t have the guilt factor.

eat yourself skinny kelly

image from Eat Yourself Skinny

This recipe comes from Eat Yourself Skinny and that website is full of wonderful and tasty recipes!  I recently made this to take to a holiday gathering, but adjusted the recipe a bit.  It’s amazing as is, but here were my adjustments:
Dunkaroo Copycat Recipe
1 (18.9 oz) box Funfetti cake mix
2 cups of fat free vanilla yogurt
1 container of lite cool whip
1 tsp imitation vanilla
Combine all ingredients until incorporated well, and garnish with more sprinkles if desired.  Cover and chill for about 4 hours before serving.  I used animal cookies, and graham crackers as the dippers, but feel free to add whatever you wish.  

*Note:  I do not know if these adjustments change the WW points/ calories, so please do not hold me to that info.  If that is completely vital to you, please follow Kelly’s recipe.

** Frugal Tip **   If you won’t use a large (I believe they are 32 oz size) tub of yogurt, check to see if a brand of the smaller single serve cups are on sale instead.

Enjoy your trip back to the 90’s!

A Little Makeup Lesson

Photo credit libertygrace0  Foter  CC BY

Photo credit libertygrace0 Foter CC BY

It all started with a 50 cent wet n wild fuchsia lipstick purchased at the drugstore.  I bought it after a revelation just before my 30th birthday.  A colleague had told me she liked my mild pink lipstick, and that she could never pull it off.  I gave her the advice I had given many of my makeup clients in the past, and that was, to just try it.  Often times we have a certain idea of what we should look like based on what we have always looked like.  When I would put a brighter or bolder lip color on my clients, they would always coo at the mirror in amazement exclaiming how they may have never chosen that color but now they must purchase a similar shade.  I watched how they had a renewed sense of confidence, just from a tube of lipstick.
It’s why I love the art of makeup.  But I must admit, that I was making the same judgments about myself.  I would try a brighter shade, and promptly wipe it off, thinking that people would surely think I had lost my mind.  That conversation with that colleague, however, gave me an aha moment when I spoke some words that stuck with me for weeks.  When she had commented on how she could not wear that shade, I had told her I was working up to gradually wearing more daring shades.
But later I wondered why I thought I had to wait.  In the months leading up to my 30th birthday, I realized how finally contented I was in my ability to stand up and be proud of who I was.  So I got in my car, and went to that drugstore, where it was as if the universe was calling out to me because there just so happened to be a sale on one of my favorite brands; Wet n Wild.  $1.00 later, I walked out with a garnet shade, and a bright barbie pink fuchsia.  I tried the garnet shade.  It wasn’t bad.  I tried the fuchsia.  I hated it.  I hated it the next day too.  Then one random day, I put it on to test it out with my group of dance students.  I held my breath and waited to be judged.
To my surprise, everyone that commented on the shade, had only positive things to say.  I started looking forward to finishing off my makeup routine with that bright lipstick.  I continue to wear that color, and other shades in the same family, and I learned a valuable lesson.
20140818_011114-1You could be holding back, and talking yourself out of something completely awesome, all because of a fear of trying and ultimately failing.  I still struggle with this notion at times, hampered by the idea that failing will absolutely crush me.  But then I am reminded by my little tube of pink lipstick, and its lesson while it quietly waited for me upon a drugstore makeup shelf.