Saturday, April 23, 2011

$$$ in the Mail....

On top of all the savings, freebies, and great coupons this month, I've found ways to make a little money! So far this month, I have $9.00 in checks, plus I got 10 in cash, for $19.00 total! I'm expecting about another $26 as well, because I have 2 more $3.00 surveys and another $10 from another survey that payment should be coming for as well as a 9.99 single check rebate from RiteAid. Here's what I've gotten so far...

$10 in cash from a survey in snail mail
$1 check from Miller High Life
$2 check from RiteAid (SCR)
$3 check for a survey from Pinecone Research
$3 check for a survey from Pinecone Research

And if I get all the others this month, I should have made $45 dollars just from surveys and such! Not too bad...I also have $10 at Crowdtap, but I don't want to cash it out till I get around $30.Pin It

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This is as "Extreme" as it gets...

Okay, I know a lot of you are watching it...Extreme Couponing on TLC. I have not and probably will not. The reason why is very simple- IT IS NOT REAL. Just like most of tv, this show is not really realistic. Stores bend their coupon policies to allow these people come in and show a crazy amount of coupons to be used. Sometimes they even allow coupons to be used for items that are not the correct items...Coupon FRAUD! And you want to know why they do it? Because it is free publicity for their store! It really is a mess...Not to mention, I can't name a single store where you can go in and buy 100 of anything...It simply is not going to be in stock like that! Most stores also have limits (mostly because of this stupid show). It is ruining it for the real couponers. And it makes us all look like crazy insane freaks. LOL

This aggravates me mostly because I don't normally buy obscene amounts of anything, but Shannon chews gum like crazy for his medical condition. And he ONLY likes Mentos Pure Fresh in Fresh Mint. I spend tons of money to keep him supplied...he uses it to keep his fluids down therefore keeping his heart from working too hard. In other words, if he drinks to much fluid, he can have severe heart issues from it. Well, the big packs were on sale this week at Publix BOGOF for 3.29, making each pack 1.64 and with the coupons I have for 1.00 off 1 pack, it makes each pack 64 CENTS! Awesome deal. So, I bought 30 coupons on eBay for this sale. And when I got to the store, they have a 5 BOGOF limit, meaning I can only buy 10 packs. I was disappointed, but I understood...Until I realized they only had 5 packs total of his kind. Very disappointed now, but at least the guy at customer service was extremely helpful and let me get a raincheck for 10. So, I'm hoping to hit them up again this weekend to grab 10 more packs and then again after the sale ends to use my raincheck before my coupons expire on 4/30/11.

But, enough on "extreme couponing"...Here is the REAL thing!
(Ha, I didn't realize my cat was in the pic till just now!)
 This is a combination of Publix and BiLo like usual...I even got 2 free reusable shopping bags this week!
Publix: Subtotal $145.94 - Savings/Coupons $102.63 = TOOP $43.31
BiLo: Subtotal $39.41 - Savings/Coupons $29.14 = TOOP $10.27
Totals: Subtotal $185.35 - Savings/Coupons $131.77= TOOP $53.58
Total Savings: $131.77/$185.35 = 71%

So, I bought groceries, dog food, and even light bulbs this week for my family for less than $60 dollars this week! IS that extreme enough for you? I think this is more realistic than anything you gonna see on TLC! I wish they would show REAL stories...Stories of how families manage to feed and buy their family's necessities for a fraction of a family that doesn't coupon. That's the real extreme couponing!
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Monday, April 18, 2011

BzzAgent: Covergirl NatureLuxe Review with Before/After Pics

Okay, a few days ago, I posted about a website BzzAgent where you get to voice your opinions and try products from campaigns. Here is the original post. I received this product this weekend in the mail, but haven't had the time to try it out till today. Here is my initial review....with my lovely before and after pics...BzzAgent and Covergirl, you should be pleased, because I hate taking pics and I hate even more putting them where other people can see them! :D

Before Pic
After Pic
 I thought this color would be way off for me, but actually I found it to be just right! I was pleasantly surprised at this! Also, I haven't worn actual liquid foundation in quite a few years, but I expected it to be heavy and thick . Instead, I found it to be light and creamy. Also, after putting it on, it had a soft texture, not dewy or tacky. I think I could get used to wearing it! The coverage was great...I have a lot of blemishes and red tones in my face, and it did very well to cover that up, which is probably the biggest selling point for me. It also did not make my face have a "burning" sensation that I sometimes get after applying some face products and so far I have not had any new breakout areas. As for the gloss, I'm not really a lip gloss or lipstick kinda gal, but I liked the texture of it well enough. I can't say anything special about it other than its not thick or grimy feeling. I will say that the color is way too pink for me...I like a very light pink or a dark mauve color and this was not either of those. It's a pretty color, but not especially a favorite of mine. Also, I prefer more shimmer and this was more like a matte finish. After seeing the pics though, I can't say that it was a bad color on actually looks quite natural. All in all, pretty impressed with Covergirl and their new lineup of products!

I plan on sharing this with some friends and family, so you might see some more updates on this product soon! Also, I've already had some friends tell me they currently use the NatureLuxe products and they love them! And, to make this even more fun, I got some great coupons to share! So, friends and family, let me know if you want to try it out in a comment or on Facebook!

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Weekend Drugstore Trip

CVS, Walgreens, RiteAid
I didn't do as well as I wanted this weekend due to a coupon that was possibly counterfeit, but in reality, someone had photocopied a ton of them and then sold them online. My particular coupon was printed at home directly from the manufacturer's website, but due to the scammer...any of these coupons cause an abnormal beeping noise and the cashier to look at you like you did something wrong.Needless to say, I just bought the items in question without the coupon (grrr!) and it cost me $4.00 extra this week at RiteAid. It was the $2/2 Carefree coupon. I think what aggravated me the most is that I had another coupon for 50 cents off 1 pack that I had 4 of that I could've used to at least make it only a 2.00 difference, but they were in the car and there was a line behind me.  But, anyway, here's the totals for the week...

 Subtotal (with tax) 105.44 - Savings/Coupons 87.57= Total out of Pocket (TOOP with tax) 17.87
 Savings of 83%
3 bottles of Aveeno body wash (6.49 each)
1 tub of Aveeno Facial Cleanser (6.49)
1 Head & Shoulders Shampoo (5.89)
1 Head & Shoulders Conditioner (4.99)
1 Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer (4.19)
1 (20 oz) Cherry Coke Zero (1.69)
1 Easter grass (0.99)
1 PAAS Easter Egg Dying Kit (1.99)

Coupons Used....
(1) B2G1F Aveeno body wash (6.49 value)
(3) 2.00 off any Aveeno product
(1) 2.00 off Head & Shoulders
(1) Buy Head & Shoulders shampoo, get conditioner free (4.99 value)
(1) 2.00 coupon for any candy or drink purchase at CVS
(1) Free hand sanitizer up to 3.99 at CVS
3.00, 3.00, 5.00, 2.00 and 1.98 ECB used from stash

Subtotal 51.40-Savings/Coupons 49.15= 2.25 + Tax 2.14 = 4.39 TOOP and ECB Total 12.98

2 packs of Always Pads (3.00 each)
2 REACH toothbrushes (2.99 each)
1 Goody Ouchless hair clips (3.00)
2 Colgate Total toothpaste (3.00 each)
5 Easter plastic tumblers (filler items) (0.39 each)

Coupons Used...
(2) 1.00 off Always Pads
(2) 1.00 off Reach toothbrushes
(2) 1.00 off Colgate Total 
in ad coupon for the tumblers to make them 17 cents each
3.00, 3.00, 2.00, 3.00, 1.00 Register Rewards used from stash

Subtotal 29.81-Savings/Coupons 25.98= 3.83 + Tax 1.53 = 5.36 TOOP and RR Total 15.00

4 packs of Carefree Pantiliners (1.25 each)
1 bottle of PediCare (4.99)
1 bottle got2Be Gloss (5.99)

Coupons used...
(1) 2.00 off RiteAid got2Be
(1) 2.00 off any got2Be styler
(1) 1.00 off PediCare
1.99 & 1.99 UP+ used from stash

Subtotal 19.44-Savings/Coupons 12.44= 7.00 + Tax 1.12 = 8.12 TOOP and UP+ Total 6.00
*This is the transaction that was supposed to be better than this had the legitimate 2.00 coupons been able to be used. My TOOP should have been 4.12.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

BzzAgent: Children's Claritin Chewables

WOW! I was invited to participate in yet another free campaign from BzzAgent! This one is for Children's Claritin Chewables and I'm pretty excited about this one because all 3 of the kids have allergies...So it will be awesome to get to try these out for free and give my opinions on how well they work. And you guys know, here in SC, allergies are a way of life for the next month! I just got over a bad bout of it myself, so I know what it is like to be miserable feeling with watery eyes, itchy throat, and incessant sneezing! If these work, my kids will function so much better in school and on the soccer field...It never fails, being out on those fields always makes us ALL have allergy problems! And you can get a coupon if you go "Like" Claritin on Facebook. Also, this link takes you to some really cool info and hints on allergies as well as the possibility of a coupon. Here is some information on the product till I get my box in to try:

4 out of 10 school children are affected by allergies
So it's really no surprise that, every year, 2 million school days are missed due to not only seasonal allergies, but indoor allergies such as dust, mold and pet dander, as well. But what may surprise you is that the effects of allergies can be much more significant than a lost day of school:
  • Symptoms during the day can impede focus and result in learning problems
  • Symptoms at night can cause sleep loss and lead to daytime drowsiness, making it more difficult for your child to function well during the school day
Fortunately, non-drowsy anti-histamines like Children's Claritin® Grape Chewables can help provide all-day relief from runny noses, itchy, watery eyes and other allergy symptoms.

Powerful all-day relief
Children's Claritin® is the only over-the-counter children's brand that provides powerful 24 hour relief for a child's worst seasonal and indoor allergy symptoms, without making them jittery or drowsy. Your kids work hard all day — their allergy medicine should, too!

Just the Facts!
When children gain relief from allergies, they can turn their focus to school, sports, friends, games, hobbies and other "kid stuff" all day long. Here are a few other reasons why Children's Claritin® products are a great choice for all-day relief:
  • Only Children's Claritin® provides powerful 24 hour relief for a child's worst seasonal and indoor allergy symptoms without making them jittery or drowsy1
  • Indoor allergens include dust, mold and pet dander and can result in the same symptoms as seasonal allergens
  • Children's Claritin® is the #1 Pediatrician Recommended Non-Drowsy Allergy Brand — an important fact to note when choosing medicine for your children
  • 24 hour allergy relief – One dose lasts the whole day
  • Claritin® has a variety of forms for children:
Claritin® Products for Children For Kids Ages... Available Flavor(s) Available sizes
Chewables 2 and up Grape 10 and 20 count boxes
Syrup 2 and up Grape 2 oz bottles and 4 oz bottles
RediTabs, in 12- and 24-hour (no water needed, dissolves in seconds)2 6 and up (No aftertaste) 10 and 20 count boxes
1Among leading OTC brands
2Speed of dissolution does not imply speed of relief

Tips for managing kids' allergies
Even mild seasonal and indoor allergies can influence children's sleep, resulting in daytime fatigue and reduced school performance. So how can you help your kids stop focusing on allergies, and start focusing on school, and all the other things they love to do? In addition to choosing Children's Claritin®:
  • Keep windows closed — because most pollen is carried by the wind, it's in the air everywhere
  • Keep your house smoke-free — irritants like tobacco smoke can intensify allergy symptoms
  • Change or clean air filters regularly — help furnace and air conditioning filters keep out more allergens by cleaning them once a month
  • Keep your pet away from carpeted rooms, sleeping areas, upholstered furniture and other places where it becomes difficult or impossible to remove dander
  • Have your child shower and change clothes after playing outdoors — outside allergens and pollen can collect on the skin, hair and clothing
  • Inform others about your child's allergies — discuss your child's condition with the school nurse, teachers, coaches and any other people with whom your child has regular contact
Is it a cold, or allergy?
Allergy symptoms can look like a common cold. To help decide if it's an allergy or a cold, watch out for these symptoms:
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BzzAgent: Covergirl NatureLuxe

Alright, I know I posted about all the "freebie" sites and places to earn money, but there were a few that I wasn't sure exactly how they work. BzzAgent was one of those sites. And I have to say that so far, I've been pretty happy with it! Now, that being said, I don't actually have product in hand yet. But, I couldn't wait to share about it...So, hopefully I will be updating soon with the actual product information!

The first thing I want to share is that BzzAgent is not a "freebie" site. It is a site where you get to earn status and try out new products in order to provide feedback. If you are just looking to score freebies, this probably is not the best site for you. I know just to be included in the Campaigns, you have to do a ton of surveys about yourself (they are quick, but there were like 25 of them!) and then submit product reviews and such voicing your opinion on everything from Walmart (boo!) to your favorite books/authors! And of course, you are supposed to link up your Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs to update and review and share your opinions! But, I love voicing my opinion, so this is no problem for me! All in all, I've been pretty impressed with the website and hope to continue to have Campaigns to participate in.

Secondly, I was picked for the Covergirl NatureLuxe campaign. I am going to receive the NatureLuxe Silk Foundation and NatureLuxe Gloss Lip Balm. Now, anyone that knows me well, knows I am a Bare Minerals girl...I can't say enough good things about Bare and it doesn't irritate my skin or cause me to break out. So, just that by itself is going to hard to beat...I don't have high expectations for it taking the place of my current makeup at all. But, I'm keeping an open mind, it might be nice to switch it up occasionally if I like it. I'm not real sure about the color they are sending me, there were very few options available for the skin tone and after taking the ColorMatch quiz (<--Really cool actually!) from Covergirl, I'm thinking its probably going to be way to dark for me. But, we shall see! I love lip gloss, so I am very excited about that product! All in all, its worth trying out and giving my opinion and I know even if its not my color, I have friends and family that would love to try it out too! And of course the fact that it has a lot of support in the professional world makes it worth trying out! Anyway, be sure to come back to check out my update on how the product actually feels and works and here's some details on the product:

Silk Foundation
  • Provides a smooth, silky feel
  • Contains refreshing cucumber water to help balance the creaminess on application
  • Made with hints of jojoba and rosehip extracts
  • Available in 14 shades ranging from light to dark tones
  • Oil-free, SPF 10 and dermatologically tested
  • Suggested to retail for $11.99
Gloss Balm
  • Combines the sheer color and shine of a gloss with the soft moisturization of a balm
  • Available in 16 versatile, beautiful shades
  • Formulated with SPF 15 for added protection
  • Suggested to retail for $6.49
Professional Opinions
  • 3 out of 4 professional make-up artists would recommend the NatureLuxe Collection to their clients-COVERGIRL's new luxury line exchanges select heavy synthetics for carefully-chosen natural ingredients. For a polished make-up look with a lightweight feel, every time, it's what COVERGIRL likes to call “luxury touched by nature”.
  • This smooth silk foundation trades in a heavier emollient for a touch of cucumber water and a hint of natural jojoba and rosehip extracts. It provides a flawless coverage and a silky lightweight feel. In fact, 8 out of 10 professional make-up artists agree it provides a luxurious skin finish and light, luxurious feel!
  • But the NatureLuxe love doesn't end there — new COVERGIRL NatureLuxe Gloss Balm contains a lightweight blend of mango, shea and other natural butters that 9 out of 10 make-up artists would recommend to clients for a sheer color with a non-sticky, lightweight feel.
  • As Global Creative Design Director at COVERGIRL and a creative force behind the new COVERGIRL NatureLuxe Collection, world-renowned make-up artist Pat McGrath knows a thing or two about what looks good. And when she's not creating avant-garde make-up looks for the shows of Dolce & Gabanna and Christian Dior or travelling the world creating the next new look, she's helping to bring these looks to you. So what does Pat have to say about the lightweight luxury of this new collection? silk foundation: "In make-up, we're seeing Luxe-Simplicity influence a light, fresh yet flawless look which is both luxurious and radiant; I call this the 'naturally polished' look. Think of a beautiful and radiant glow as if you've just been to a spa and have been pampering your skin. This is not a 'no make-up' look; this is full coverage yet naturally polished, a light yet confident look."
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Busy little bee!

Okay, I've been super busy here lately. I don't know if I've told you, but I'm back in school for nursing. This is my 3rd semester and I will have graduated the Pre-Nursing program at MTC. Then, comes the fun part! (sarcasm here) Apparently, they have such a great program, there is a wait list a mile and half long. So, I don't know when I actually get to start those classes. I am trying to keep my grades at all A's for a program called Merit where I potentially can start in Jan 2012 if accepted through that program. So crossing my fingers! But, my reason for telling you all of that is that my last few weeks of this semester are right now so its crunch time for all of my teachers. Therefore, I have no time left over really for things like taking pics and blogging about my life and coupons. :( Boo! So, my posts will probably be sporadic and few and far between over the next couple of weeks. I have one deal I want to share with you...

This past weekend were going to be out of town for a wedding and I had a 5 and a 4 dollar RR at Walgreens that would be expiring. So, I basically wanted to spend the least amount of money but get the most back for my RR that I could- an exchange out, if you will. So, I sat down and tried to come up with some scenarios. Last week was not a great week, so I actually had a hard time with it. Finally, I decided I would get 1 tube of Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste (hubby's fav) and use the $1 coupon I had that came pre-newspaper in my mailbox (on Wed, I get a SS insert in my mail for the Sunday that is upcoming usually). Then, I bought the 2 bags of jellybeans (kids easter baskets are almost done now! yay!). This came to right at 5.00 (I used the 5.00 RR) without tax and gave me back a 3 and a 1 dollar RR. Not too bad. Then, I went ahead and bought another tube of Colgate Maxfresh and 2 bags of Cadbury mini eggs, making that total right at 4.00 (I used the 4.00 RR) without tax and gave me back a 3 RR. So, I essentially paid nothing but tax, got 2 tubes of toothpaste, 2 bags of jellybeans, and 2 bags of Cadbury mini eggs and came out with 7 more dollars in RR. Not too bad!

On to something else...My kids have Spring Break next week, and while I know I'm going to be very busy with school and tests and yet another wedding, I want to do some fun things with them. I just got my first copy of Disney's Family Fun (which by the way is on sale RIGHT NOW for 2.99!) and I was really excited about a few of the crafts...

 They both are kinda Earth Day (which is April 22nd, right in the middle of their Spring Break, yay!) themed with recycling ...But, they both are kinda girly. I need to find something for Gavin to do, too. Hmmmmm. Well, I guess this is it for today. I will let you know how it goes when we make these!
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