Better than free shampoo at Target!

IMG_4385WOOOHOOO!!

Just as my stockpile starts to dwindle, my fav shampoo and conditioner comes up free! Through Saturday night (remember, Target sales start anew on Sunday morning), when you buy 4 13 oz Garnier Fructis Shampoo and conditioners at $2.97 each, you’ll get a $5.00 Target GC. It’s all of the 13 oz varieties, I just took a photo of this one shelf tag.

Deal:

Buy 4 13 oz Garnier Fructis Shampoo and conditioners at $2.97 each= $11.88

Use 4 $2.00/1Garnier Frucits Shampoo, Conditioner or Treatment (excludes trial) – from the 3/6/16 Red Plum

Pay $3.88, get back a $5.00 Target Gift card for your next purchase. Now that’s a deal!

I bought 4 (the coupon limit on the coupon is 4 like coupons per day), but I may buy 4 more tomorrow when I go back to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription! It’s deals like this that help me re-stock my dwindling stockpile.

50% off at Schoola!

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SQUEE! It’s back! 50% off at Schoola!  Just use Coupon Code  SPRINGBRK at checkout. And in addition, if you are new to Schoola, they are offering $20 free and free shipping when you sign up here.

In addition to offering awesome gently worn kids clothes, Schoola also gives a percentage (40%) of each sale to a school. So you can feel good twice: Once while your saving $$, and again because you are helping support a school in need.

To get started, click here. And I can’t wait to see what you have scored!

6 Tips to Save Money WITHOUT Clipping Coupons!

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Trust me, it can be done! There are lots of people who ask me about saving money, but they announce that they don’t want to bother with clipping coupons. They either lose them, forget them, or are embarrassed to use them. That’s ok. There are still ways to save money!

Here are a few:

  1. Use money saving apps. My list of favs (and links) is here. I use these in addition to coupons and I save a ton. I was at Target buying shampoos and body wash the other day. After coupons and other discounts, I paid $14.86. After submitting my receipts to Ibotta and SavingStar, I got back and extra $7.99 in my paypal account!
  2. Don’t forget your loyalty card! Some stores like Vons, Ralphs, heck even Best Buy have loyalty cards. Some offer discounts on the spot, and some accrue discounts to more you shop and scan your card!
  3. Don’t forget your discount! Some stores offer discounts to military, teachers, and peace officers. And if you are a senior citizen there area plethora of discounts waiting for you!
  4. Buy what’s on sale! If you have a choice between an item that’s on sale versus an item that is full price that is comparable size….
  5. Check out the Price per Unit to see what is the best deal. Bigger isn’t always better!
  6. Reusable bags can net you some savings….In addition to helping Mother Earth, some stores (like Target and Sprouts) offer a discount of .05 per re-usable bag used. A nickel isn’t a lot of money, but over a year, they can sure add up! I use between 5-10 bags each time I shop.

 

Price Per Unit: Is Bigger Better?

random-aisle-photos 013The price per unit helps you determine if the jumbo sized drum of applesauce is a better deal than a regular sized jar. How to determine the price per ounces is easy, most of the time stores do it for you! Take a look at the shelf tag- it should give you a price per unit, usually in ounces (oz.) or pounds (lb.).

If the price per ounce/pound on the larger container is smaller, then it is a good deal. When comparing, make sure both containers are using the same unit of measurement

Here is an example of what the shelf tags can look like:

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The majority of shelf tags will list:

  • The Item
  • The size of the container (in ounces, pounds, or units)
  • The Price of the item
  • The price per unit (in ounces, pounds or units)

This is also a great strategy to see if the store brand or a brand that isn’t your usual brand is a better deal than what you normally buy.

If your store doesn’t have shelf tags that break down the price per unit, here is how you can figure it out- I recommend using a calculator.

Take the price of the item and divide it by the number of ounces/lbs/units in the package.

Let’s use for our example the Uncle Ben’s Buttery Ready Rice, pictured above on the left.

$1.93 divided by 8.8 ounces equals .219, which is 21.9¢ per ounce.

If you keep a Price Book, you might want to  include a space for unit price, you would write 21.9¢ in the Unit Price Column. You can round up, or leave it as a fraction of a cent, to get an exact price for comparison. Learn more about price books here.

My trip to Target, or how you can find savings everywhere!

Seriously, this little face loves to shop!
Seriously, this little face loves to shop!

Last night, Bitty Bird and I headed over to Target to pick up a few things. Armed with my smartphone and a fistful of coupons, we were determined to save some dollar bills!

While browsing the aisles, checking the Cartwheel app for more savings, I was stopped by two college guys (they were wearing SDSU basketball jerseys) who asked me about bacon (why was the bigger package cheaper? Answer- it was a loss leader for the week! Come in for cheap bacon, fill your cart with full price groceries). Then they asked me what I was doing scanning everything with my phone.

Thus began a quick lesson in the middle of the grocery section of Target on how to save money.

First I told them basically everything I mention here.

But really, I told them, what you need is Cartwheel. Target Cartwheel is any Target shoppers best friend. It’s the best app! With that app, I can scan products and it will tell me if there is a discount available for that item. If there is, with one quick swipe, the discount is added to your cartwheel account. At checkout, present your smartphone to the cashier, with the Cartwheel app open, the barcode is scanned, and the savings is instant!

One thing not mentioned in my previous Target post is that Target now has these awesome text coupons. There are signs all over the store so you won’t miss out if you keep your eyes open. Like this week text CARE to Target (827438) to save $5 off a $20 or more purchase on personal care items. These text coupons work just like cartwheel. Pull up the text, click the link, and present the barcode to the cashier at checkout. These coupons are stackable with store sales, manufacturer paper coupons, and cartwheel deals too.

They ended up saving about $25 between Cartwheel, the text codes they found while in the store, a couple coupons found on products (and a few I gave them), and the rebate apps I hooked them up with (you can see my favs here).

Saving money doesn’t have to involve tons of work, hours of clipping coupons, or being “that lady” (or guy, there are couponing dude too).

And for what it’s worth, after my coupons, codes and Cartwheel, I saved over thirty bucks! My bill went from $86 for $53! It’s not sorcery- It’s smart shopping. It’s your money, spend (and save) it wisely!

 

Recipe: Honey Lemon Ginger Syrup

P1050863I’m no doctor, but I do know that when we don’t feel good, nothing is more soothing than lemon and honey.

IMG_3602I recently made a very soothing syrup, and I had to share it with you. I put 1/3 cup of the syrup in the bottom of a coffee mug and pour boiling water over it. I have been drinking a mug full twice a day.

It’s quick and easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 2 C honey (real honey, none of that honey flavored syrup junk!)
  • Juice of 10-12 lemons (reserve two lemons and chop them up)
  • A Thumb sized knob of ginger, peeled and sliced

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, combine the honey, juice, and ginger.
  2. In a jar with a screw on lid, pack in reserved chopped up lemon pieces.
  3. Cook on low for about 20 minutes. Do Not boil!
  4. Pour honey mixture over lemons.
  5. Screw lid on and let sit on counter until it reaches room temperature.
  6. Store in the fridge.
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Waiting for yummy syrup!
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Hunks of ginger

If you’re looking for the science behind all of this, Lemons contain a lot of vitamin C! Honey is very soothing and coats a sore throat. Remember that honey should not be consumed by anyone under 12 months of age. And ginger contains anti-oxidants.

Gardening: Fun for the whole Family!

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watering and talking to the bell pepper plant.

Henry loves to garden. He loves planting seeds, watering, talking to the plants , and harvesting the fruits and veggies (even if he isn’t too hip on eating them all-yet!)

I think that it’s because of our heritage. My Maternal Great-Grandfather was a farmer in Minnesota.

Since we live upstairs in a condo, we don’t have 40 acres to plow and sow. So, like many urban farmers, we turn to container gardening. I have a growing Pinterest Board dedicated to container gardening, and I encourage you to join it!

Here are a few ways that we were able to start our garden on a budget:

  • I kept my eyes peeled on Craigslist free section for pots, I also put feelers out on social media for anyone getting rid of pots. That’s how we scored an awesome clay pot for our wild flowers!
  • We purchased heavy duty plastic pots at 99 Cents Only. They have a great selection of basic gardening tools, pots, planters, and tomatoes cages- all for $1.49 or less!
  • I found a great deal on seeds at Dollar Tree. I was able to pick up this box of seeds for only $1.00!  I only used part of the box, since we don’t have a lot of room for our flowers. In addition to American Seed brand, they also had some Burpee brand seeds!
  • Most gardening stores are having sales right now- check out your local shop and see what kind of plants are on sale! We picked up a huge bag of soil, organic tomatoes (complete and in a planter with a cage), Green Bell Pepper, a 6 pack of strawberries, and a lavender bush for less than $50.  We opted to purchase some plants in addition to seeds, just so Henry doesn’t lose interest in our garden (waiting for a tomato seed to grow into a bush is mind-numbing).

We are saving money on water too! Whenever it rains, we get out our rain buckets and collect as much as we can. It usually is only a few gallons, but we are able to use that water and not turn on the tap.

If you are new to gardening and aren’t sure what to plant or where to plant, check out Sunset Magazine’s Climate Guide. It will give you the ins and outs of when and what to plant. Luckily here in San Diego, it’s pretty temperate all year, so we can plant a lot of different plants.

Some of you may be wondering why we are growing wild flowers and lavender, since neither will produce any food. Well, no food for us, but food for bees! Without bees to pollinate the flowers on our fruit and veggies plants, there would be no food for us to harvest and enjoy! I try to plant flowers each year to entice the bees to visit our garden!

Our Garden Stones!
Our Garden Stones!

Last year we hand garden stakes with the names of our crops written on them. The sun faded them in no time. This year, we opted to do garden stones. I found a great project on pinterest and changed it up based on our needs.

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IMG_3957We were recently gifted with two HUGE boxes of craft supplies and they contained these really cool wooden Whirligig/spinners (kinda like these). All we had to do was paint them! We quickly painted them up and added them to our planters!

I think gardening is a wonderful project for any family. It can be as small as a tomato plant on your patio, or as big as renovating your backyard to have a mini-farm! Gardening teaches kids about the life cycle of plants, and how to care for something else. I think it’s important that everyone know where food comes from, and how hard it can be at times (especially when you are waiting for it to ripen), so that we don’t take for granted our food.

Talk Back: I’d love to see your gardens too! Please comment with a photo, or let me know what you are growing!