Fun Offers and Coupons:Chevy’s, Walgreens, and free LeapFrog book.

Chevy’s Fresh Mex- $5 off $20 Couponchevys-coupon

Go HERE to find a coupon that is good for $5 off your total purchase of $20 of more.  Coupon good through 8-22-09

Chevy’s is one of our favorite restaurants and I am really excited about this coupon.

Thanks Money Saving Mom!

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15% off Coupon for WALGREENS.  Good on July 31st.

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Go HERE for a great one day coupon for Walgreens good for 15% off of eligible  items and 20% off Walgreens and W brand products. It looks like they would like you to take your purchases the the photo or cosmetics counters (I always choose the cosmetics counter).

Thanks Mojo Savings!

Here are a few links with some good match-ups and deals for Walgreens right now.

Money Saving Mom-Walgreens Deals good from July 26th-Aug 1st.

Mommy Snacks-Walgreens Snack: Sale week of July 26th.

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Free Book Offer From LeapFrog

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You can get a FREE “ABC Animal Orchestra” book by signing up HERE if you own a LeapFrog toy.  This looks like a really fun freebie.  I signed up and it only took me a couple minutes.

Thanks Money Saving Mom!

Did you take advantage of any of these great offers?

Where I splurge and where I save with COSMETICS.

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I am pretty sure I was always a grown up at heart.  I remember spending much of my babysitting money at the Clinique counter.  I knew all the new shadow colors, which had been discontinued, and what foundation I thought I might like to try next.   I have always been pretty frugal, but at that time the only person I had to care for was myself.  I did not buy many snacks, drinks, or movie tickets, but I did buy hand bags, clothes, shoes, and makeup. Always on sale of course!

During my many years of cosmetics use and some changes in the way I choose to spend money, I now shop for them differently.  Overtime I have learned which products I like to get at the counter and which I can buy from a drug store, or big box store (like Target).  I am currently using a combination of Clinique, MAC, and cheaper brands.

Here is a break down of what I get from who, and why.

Items I SPLURGE on

Moisturizer-Clinique- Dramatically Different Moisturizing lotion

Why? Because It has the perfect moisture content for my skin.

I like to use good moisturizer because so much of it gets absorbed into my skin (that’s the point right?).

It also lasts me a long time.

Foundation-Clinique-Superbalanced Makeup

Why? After trying many different versions of foundation from Clinique, I have stuck with this one.  Not to greasy and not too think or thin.

Blush-Clinique Soft Pressed Powder Blusher in Mocha Pink

Why? Because I think I is very important to find a good color for blush and it lasts me a LONG time.  Worth the money.

Eye Shadow– MAC or Clinique

Why? Because they last for a long time.

It is great to have help picking out colors that work well for you.

Sometimes better quality shadows are less prone to getting that greasy impermeable layer on the top.

Items I SAVE on

Creamy Eye Shadow Base.  I am currently using Neutrogena Shimmer Sheers in “Spellbound.”

Why? I tried a couple more expensive brands and never found one I loved.

I wear just a touch under my shadow to KEEP my shaddow on and be able to use less of it during application.  I prefer the kind in the tube rather than the kind in the little pot or pan because it lasts longer, does not dry out, and stays cleaner.   Make sure you pick a nice neutral color just a touch darker than your skin tone.

Powder-Cover Girl (green compact)

Why? Although I don’t use much of it, it seems to run out of it the fastest.  I cant stomach spending $16+ every couple months on powder.

Mascara-I am not too specific on what kind I use.  I love it when I have nice mascara samples from my bonus buys, but if not, my fall back is Maybelline Great Lash. You know? The pink and green one.

Why? Because it is also one of the things I go through faster and should be replaced fairly often.

Eyeliner-Currently using Revlon Color Stay (when I wear liner).  It twists up and seems fairly soft.  After I run out of that one I have a similar Covergirl one to try.

Why? It is a fairly basic product that I don’t want to spend much on.  (Unless Clinique wants to bring back their Water Resistant Eyeliner in the pan with the little brush……don’t even get me started on that;)

Counter Tips– Always try to make your purchase when they are offering a “gift with purchase”  if available with your brand.  Make sure they test the colors on you before you buy one.  If they aren’t busy get a make-over.  Purchase the products you love, and remember what types of colors they used on the things you think you might want to “save” on.

Drug Store Tips– Try to ALWAYS use coupons on makeup you purchase.   When you pair your coupons with a sale you can get stellar deals.  Purchase from a place that has a great return policy so that you can take it back if it is not working for you.

What products to you LOVE? What do you splurge or save on?

* I would like to eventually try and switch to products that don’t contain harmful ingredients and are all natural, but I have not settled on any type yet.

Way Back When-esday

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Cheryl at Twinfatuation asks, “What memories make your mid-week wonderful?”

As I was looking through my older pictures I found these gems from the babies first trip to the beach (age 6ish mo).  It was on this trip we discovered our favorite beach access.  It has a little nicely paved driveway and you can drive your car right on to the beach.  As new parents we were thrilled that we could get out of our car and be ON the beach.  No hiking down necessary.  When the kids are done you just wipe off your feet,  get in the car, and drive away.  When the kids were little we also loved to be able to put them back in their car seats when they were needing a familiar cozy place.  We would leave their doors open and let them enjoy the view while we sat in the front seat in quiet and stared at the ocean.

Other reasons I love these pictures…..

  • It was their first time wearing their little hats from papa that we LOVED.  I just actually packed them away last week.
  • It was also their first time wearing their Hanna Anderson outfits I had been anxious to get them into.
  • (I also remember thinking that the hats did not match with their outfits, but that did not stop me.)

Go check out Cheryl’s site to see other people who are getting in on the fun today!

Free lately. I think my mailman hates me.

I gave my mailman some homemade chocolate covered pretzels for Christmas. Do you think that makes up for all this stuff he has to lug around for me? No, I didn’t think so either.

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Here are a couple pictures of some of the things I have received lately (some more recently than others). I received most of the items in the mail after filling out forms online for free products or coupons for free products.  As you can see, some of the samples even come with high-dollar coupons.  Although not all samples come with coupons, many do.  Because of this, I always sign up for samples for the products I know that we like in hopes they send a coupon or two my way with the little sample.  It’s so fun to go to my mail box every day and see what is waiting for me.  As you can see, I also receive many magazine subscriptions or free single issues in the mail.  Since taking the picture I have even received a copy of “Traditional Home.”

A few tips regarding freebies:

Get an email address to use for when you sign up for freebies, offers, clubs, word of mouth programs, etc.  Decide what information you feel comfortable giving out and what you don’t.  On a few occasions I was not comfortable with the amount of information they were wanting or I did not feel that the site looked very reputable and I passed on their offer.

Try to only sign up for samples that your family or a close friend could use.  Many of these samples have limits so I refrain from signing up for them if I am not very interested in them (in order to save them for someone else).  Also, because of their packaging, they can create some waste.  Always be sure to recycle the packaging and get the sample to someone who can use it.

This is also true with magazines.  I have passed up a few free magazine subscriptions because I knew that I would not be interested enough in the magazine to justify the waste they create.

Have you gotten anything free lately?  I want to hear about it!

Also, let me know if you have any questions at all!

Order your FREE book from “Read It First”

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Here is a fun offer for a free book.  You can follow THIS link to to select your book.  This offer is from Random House and is apart of their “Read It First” program. They want to get these new books into readers hands and encourage you to pass it on after you are finished with it.

The titles to choose from are:

  • SOMETHING MISSING by Matthew Dicks
  • THE CRYING TREE by Naseem Rakha
  • WHERE THE RIVER ENDS by Charles Martin

Thanks “Deal”icious Mom!

Were you able to sign up for this offer?  Which one did you pick?

Take it from me. You should ALWAYS carry your coupons.

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Part of the view from our room

I have been fairly absent lately.  Sorry.  Absent for good reasons though!  After a wonderful weekend celebrating the 4th of July and a few days of preparations, my husband (of 5 years) took me to Seattle for our anniversary.  We stayed at the Westin on the 45th floor and had an amazing view.  We could see the Space Needle, the lake, and the down town area.  We had a great time exploring many parts of Seattle.

After a couple mini trips and one big trip road trip with our twinners to Disneyland I was SO excited about the simplicity of just packing for the two of us.  So easy, so simple, so fast.  The previous trips we literally packed EVERYTHING.  I tell myself that the best part about driving is that you can take almost everything the kiddos need. And we did! We took dish soap and a washing bin, hand towels, prepared meals and ingredients for other meals, utensils, a skillet, 2 coolers, toys, blankets, 2 portable high chairs, 2 pack ‘n plays, a folding table, in addition to all the normal stuff like luggage, diaper bag, etc.  We joked that we would never have to go home if we did not want to. It took days (okay, maybe weeks) to prepare and we did not forget a thing.

This trip was to be different.  My carefree attitude must have carried over to when we loaded the car.  Half way to Seattle a mental picture of my toiletry bag sitting next to my sink popped into my head.  “Hum,” I thought.  Did I possibly pack it perfectly only to leave it at home? After a call to my mom confirmed it, we had to figure what to do.  We made a call to a pharmacy near our hotel to replace one of my prescriptions and looked up the nearest upcoming Target.  I was thrilled to find that all my coupons were in my coupon bag I tossed in the van “just in case.”  This included the “Proctor and Gamble Saver,” which saved my buns and took the sting out of replacing some of the things I could not do without.  It felt so great to not have to pay full price even though I needed the stuff pretty badly (especially since not a single item I needed at Target was on sale.)

Lesson: Don’t ever get too cocky about your packing skills and ALWAYS carry your coupons.  You never know when you might need them.

Free Right@Home Gift Pack-Ziploc

Its time for another Right@Home gift pack!  They are giving 10,000 away (which might go quickly). This time it contains one box of sandwich bags and one Twist N’ Lock container.  To be eligible you must not have received one of their gift packs within the past 180 days and also must be a member of Right@Home.

You can find out a little more information about this fun offer at Freebies 4 Mom. She has a great blog that I have been reading for quite some time.

Couponing 101 Part 1: How to Build Your Stash

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I have been asked quite a few times where I get my coupons from. Having a good stash of coupons is half the battle when it comes to saving your family money. There are a few different types of coupons and many places to get them. I will outline the main ways I get my coupons and include links to some of my favorites.

Inserts– These are the little multi-page fliers that come in the Sunday paper with all sorts of coupons (and some really tacky ads) in them.

Some of the main ones are:

  • Red Plum
  • Smart Saver
  • P&G Saver –Contains coupons for Procter and Gamble products only (Tide, Pampers, Pantene, Cover Girl, Herbal Essence, Charmin, Crest, etc.)

Internet Printables-These are the coupons that you can find and print out from the internet. This is the category of coupons that has been gaining the most popularity. Companies have seen the success and consumers love the convenience of printing out the coupons they know they can use from their own home.  Many stores accept printable coupons, but before you plan a big trip, be sure to call the store first.

Some of the main sources of coupons are sites like:

  • You can also many times fine coupons on specific companies sites. These are usually temporary and I often find out about these by looking at blogs that notify their readers. When I find great coupons like these I will post about them like I did in THIS post.

Coupon Books sent out in the mail– Some companies send coupon books containing coupons for their brands (the coupons in these would be considered manufacturer coupons). Some stores also send out coupon books with coupons that can only be used at their store (the coupons in these would be considered store coupons). These are sometimes a little harder to get ahold of. Many times you have to sign up for the coupon books for the specific companies. Whenever I see an offer online to submit a request for a coupon book, I jump on it. Many times these have higher value coupons than the insert coupons for the same brands, and some booklets even have coupons for free products.

  • Example of company coupon book-Home Made Simple <- SIGN-UP! CURRENTLY AVAILABLE!  (also for P&G brands)
  • Example of store coupon book-*Target

*Target (they send out two types of booklets; a regular one and a baby one)- These coveted little coupon books have left people wondering why some people get them and some don’t. Some theories are that people get them from registries, ordering online, after talking to customer service on the phone, etc. After some research and reading many people’s experiences, I eventually came to the conclusion that they are mainly triggered by in-store purchases (possibly within certain categories) made on your credit card. This was somewhat confirmed after THIS trip to Target with a friend who tried using her credit card as her form of payment and got their next (and her first) coupon book soon after. (Remember to always pay off your credit cards every month and don’t use this form of payment if it tends to get you in trouble.)

Word of mouth programs- There are many programs available online and they are a GREAT source of coupons.

Freebies- Often when I receive samples in the mail that I signed up for, they come with a coupon for the same or similar product.  These are often fairly good coupons.  I always sign up for samples of products we regularly use hoping that I will also get a coupon bonus out of the deal.

Blinkies- Those little red boxes that you can sometimes find in the aisles that spit out coupons.

Catalinas- The coupons or vouchers for money off your future purchases (often based upon what you purchased on that trip) that print off with your receipt.

Peelies- The coupons that are stuck to the front of the packaging of some products.  Easy to use and fun to find!

Magazines- Don’t forget to look through your magazines for coupons! I am not sure I have ever paid for a subscription.  All of the current magazines I receive are through free subscriptions or free issue offers that I have signed up for online.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Red White and Blue……Old and New

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Last 4th of July 5 mo.
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Playing like big kids!
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Still so cute, but almost imposible to capture in a picture together. Exactly 17 mo.

It is so fun to be able to compare what they looked like at the same time last year during different holidays.  We went to the beach for the day on the 3rd, went to a BBQ with friends on the 4th, and a quick trip to Portland on the 5th.  We hung out with family, and had lots of special play times together just as our little family. We had a perfect holiday weekend (with the exception of one 30 min screaming session on the way home from the beach at 11:30….but who could blame her) and hope yours was wonderful too!

Free Veggie Tales DVD (with 2.99 shipping)

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Do your kiddos like Veggie Tales (better known as “Beggie Tales” in many families)?  Here is a really great offer to get one of the three  DVD’s listed below for free, when you pay $2.99 shipping after signing up for their newsletter.  We don’t buy many DVD’s for our kiddos so I am really excited to add something fun to our small stash for a great price.

Looks like your choices are….

  • Larry-Boy & the Fib from Outer Space
  • Where’s God when I’m S-scared
  • The Ballad of Little Joe

Go HERE to sign up!

Here is what their site says:

*$2.99 Shipping applies. Offer valid while supplies last. One free DVD per customer with valid account and newsletter sign-up.

Thanks Kindom First Mom!

Did you try this deal? Leave me a comment to let us know!