Sunday, December 13, 2009

FREE T-SHIRT giveaway every day in December

Sorry for just posting this now, I had heard briefly about it a few days ago but just got the specifics on it today.

Every day this month TEETSY.COM will be giving away a t-shirt. Just go on the page, click on today's shirt and leave a comment. The comment can be totally random, a comment on the shirt being offered for the day or a another shirt you see on the website. Leave your name and email address (so they can get in touch with you if you win) and DONESKI!!

Sorry I haven't posted in a long time. I just finally started posting on my other blog and blogging a bit about my pregnancy. This baby has kept me busy. It was an expected thing so now I'm hurrying doing all the stuff that women do before they get pregnant like researching EVERYTHING you put in your mouth, put on your body, etc. Fun times!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009



Don't believe it, umm because I didn't!! It wasn't planned at all, but my hubby and I have been married 11 years and we're excited!! check out the baby.. 7 weeks. I'm due June 20th!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


*******NEVER MIND*** I just googled and this is a scam!! do not order!!

Okay.. this was stolen from my AWESOME home birthing cousin Heather. Thanks girl!! :)

Okay.. here's the low down. UDDERCOVERS.COM is giving away free $32 nursing covers. You must pay shipping. Use code CRANBERRY2

Thursday, September 24, 2009



Thursday, September 3, 2009


Susan G. Koman Pictures, Images and Photos

Spend $35 for a 50 minute massage on September 15th, and $10 will go to Susan G. Koman.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

FREE GYRO DAY FOR CHICAGO/BURBS!! to print your coupon!!


Friday, August 21, 2009

those dang Joneses....

One of the blogs I read pretty often had a post called OUTSAVING THE JONESES and it's basically about how I've been feeling about hounding since I went back to work.

When I was unemployed, it was basically a full time job for me. I was able to get baby diapers to give as gifts to friends for very cheap, that came in handy. I was able to buy name brand food, school supplies, even clothes and backpacks for much less because of what I learned hounding.

Hounding did benefit me and still does, however now that I'm working I just don't have the time for it. If I see a good deal that I can pull easily, I'll go run it on my way home from work but it has to be for something REALLY worth it and something I actually need.

This week I hounded 7 tombstone pizza's and was paid $9 to take them out of the store. On the flip side, now I have to figure out where to store 7 pizza's in my freezer which is already jam packed.

I still have many items including tons of cleaning products even after Christmas when I filled reuseable grocery bags with such items. I even put toilet bowl cleaner in them. Hey, I was unemployed for a majority of the year, I had just paid off $30,000 in debt, and wasn't about to go back into debt over Christmas. People got goodie bags and actually, I got a ton of positive feedback about it. They were all items we use every day in our homes, why not! :)

Anyway.. go check out her post about Outsaving those Joneses!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I need help finding 2 home items!!

Can you help me find the best deal on both these type items. First off, my husband decided to bake a Calzone in our toaster oven a few nights ago. This morning I made some pop tarts and it started a grease fire. We needed a new toaster anyway, BUT now that I'm looking at toaster ovens on line I seriously have no clue where to start. I want one that is large enough to put a pizza in and is easy to clean.

The second item is a cable modem. Our cable modem is older than 6 years old. It's finally on the fritz. The one we have right now we basically got for free from Radio Shack. They were doing a deal where you buy the modem for $39 and you got a $50 gift card back in the mail.

Okay. I use ebates, mypoints, mrrebates, and cashbaq so if you can find a deal that would be even sweeter using one of those or another rebate site have at it!

Thanks in advance.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meal Preparation Stores

okay.. here goes. I have a confession. This is NOT something I would normally condone as "saving" money. I know that if I set my mind to it, got organized and cooked these meals at home myself that I would probably be able to do it for less than half the cost.... here goes.

I'm addicted to a meal preparation service.

It started quite innocent actually. My sister works 12 hour shifts and wanted to make sure her kids were eating healthy when she wasn't home early enough to cook for them. She wanted something that she could take out the day before to thaw and that her older son could make for his little brother without burning down the house. She then found meal preparation services!! Since then she has changed the company she goes to, however, the idea is the same and she walks out with 12 family sized meals each with 6 portions.. so 72 meals in all. Each serving comes out roughly to 2.78, I know we super couponers can get most of the ingredients to make these type meals for less.. I am sure of it.

As you may have noticed I haven't been posting my hounds recently. I just don't have the time or energy to hound much and when I do, I have no time to blog them. Instead I've sorta changed my blog.

anyhooo.. last week I finally broke down (after deciding to have the same meal I've cooked 4 times already this month) and checked out the website for the store my sister goes to. After reviewing their site and a few sites for other stores in my area, I found that this store has the best deal. One set price AND they give you sides for free. They are included. Other places they were not.
SIMPLY HOMEMADE My husband decided to go with me at the last minute and it was actually like a date! It was really cool. Since we went together, the 2 hour window in which it normally takes to make all 12 meals took only 45 minutes. It was so much fun. Each of our 12 meals is actually 6 portions so really we got 72 meals put together in under 45 minutes. No chopping, no cutting, no dirty dishes. Everything in Ziplock bags and in my freezer in an hour.

Here is how it basically works (at this store anyway). You walk in, wash your hands, put your hair up, get a drink if you would like, get an apron then go from station to station building your meals. Each station has a full letter size recipe cards that have dummy proof instructions such as: open lower refrigerator and get small ziplock bag of grapes. Umm yeah I can do this. Any seasoning or ingredient has the correct measuring cup/spoon already sitting IN IT, ready waiting for you. All you have to do is follow the directions!! The best part is you can choose how much onion or pepper to put in your meal. Great recipes too.

Since I went I've been researching other stores in my area, I've found MINDFUL MEALS that even allows you to upgrade to Organic meats. I really like this store because you can order as little as 6 meals but everything is individually priced. Also the prices are a little higher per meal than Simply Homemade and it's a farther drive from my house. On the flip side, on their home page they advertise "Grab and Go"meals that are lower priced. That would be great when you are on your way home from work and just don't feel like cooking. Instead of pizza, it would be a healthy meal.

I think DINNER BY DESIGN is the most popular in our area, it was the only one I had heard before I went myself. They offer coupons in the Entertainment book and are located in other areas/states other than the greater Chicagoland area. I did meet a lady at Simply Homemade who was preparing her meals at a station next to me. She told me she started going to Dinner by Design years ago, but she had switched simply because Simply Homemade gives the sides for free. Less to think about and more food for the same price. Makes sense to me.

This store GOURMET IN A DAY only has 1 store in the Chicago area, however, they are offering free preparation this month. Meaning you can stop in and pick up your meals already prepared. I really like preparing mine, but hey.. to each their own summer is a busy time of year.

Some of these stores offer free desserts, delivery, free extras if you host a party there.. a party? yeah a party.. almost like a tupperware party or a tastefully simple party only your guests sign up for their meals and pay before the party. You show up with drinks and music and prepare meals together. Sounds fun to me.

Check out a few of the stores in your area HERE

Okay so as I said, I don't think this is super cost effective versus when I am hounding and eating out of my stockpile for super cheap and free... BUT my husband and I went out for dinner a few weekends ago and got burritos. Our bill? $52 for 2 people!! yes, between drinks, dessert, and tip we spent $52. Total insanity. So paying $204 for 72 meals is cheap in comparison. In telling other people about this they figure that I will save on time with grocery shopping and dishes, money on wasted food I'll never eat, and peace of mind that we are eating healthier.

Let me know what you think, have you tried one of these stores in your area? Any tips?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Food Clubs ~N~ such

OKAY.. what is your HONEST opinion of food clubs? Seriously here peeps? I had a Sam's club card YEARS ago and could not walk out of that place WITHOUT spending a minimum of $100. Normally that was just for the 4-5 things on my list. Yes, I was buying in bulk and normally what I was buying I would have enough of for month.. so was my 3 trips per year worth the club price. I didn't think so and cancelled. There are other food type clubs out there... I thought I'd give a shout out to a few of them.

Looking for free food? Who isn't? Schwans is hosting a Free Food giveaway promotion starts 8/1/2009. Complete details regarding this offer will be available on on 8/1.

Schwans is awesome, and comes to your home!

LMHS GFS Graphic Pictures, Images and Photos

website here I stumbled upon this club purely by accident. I drive past one in my home town from time to time and finally stopped in. I don't think they deliver to your home, they do to businesses. Their stores are small the size of maybe an Aldi, but no "club" membership is needed.

Angel Food Ministries Pictures, Images and Photos
this is great because they come once per month and offer great packages. It's really great in the summer because they offer grill packages filled with different meats. You do have to purchase a basic package to buy the "extra" packages but it's worth it. I did blog about it here last year.

sams club Pictures, Images and Photos
SAMS CLUB website here
I was a huge huge huge fan of Sam's when my son was first born. His father was running his own business and we bought a majority of the cleaning products from Sams as well as diapers and food. That was 15 years ago. Since I did get another membership for maybe 2 years and found I just wasn't saving all that much.

Costco Pictures, Images and Photos

website here I've never had a Costco membership, but I have thought about getting one. I noticed that their gas is always cheaper although it's sort of out of my way just to go for gas. I know plenty of people who have "food club memberships" and it seems a majority of them have Costco over Sams.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


yummy Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Radio Shopping Show

RADIO SHOPPING SHOW If you live in the Chicago area check out this site. They have some AMAZING deals on everything from dinners out to Golf and everything in between.. car washes, oil changes, mini golf, and it changes from week to week. I always forget about this show but then this week a friend got a great deal so she could take her kids up to Wisconsin Dells for 4 days for under $100!! Some of these deals can't be beat! *if you don't live in the Chicago area I suggest searching the net for another radio shopping show.. I saw on google it popped up Vegas amongst other places.

I had written this post back in February outlining Smart Circle.

Also, I really love RESTAURANT.COM they do deals from time to time where they sell their certificates for 80% off. Be careful to read all the fine print as you don't want this WARNING situation to happen to you. Basically I didn't see it was a dine in only coupon and of course they wouldn't honor it even though the pizza was made when I got there. I offered to sit down and eat a piece and then have the rest wrapped to go.. no go.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009



Scottish games are in Oakbrook this weekend! I have a great $2 off an adult admission coupon but am having issues posting it. I have it saved as a PDF and can't figure out how to post. for details and to buy tickets on line without coupon.

I'm seeing that if you use the the fee is $15 per ticket but I'm being told that there is a way you can get Saturday tickets for $13 adult.


scot2 scot2 Melissa scottish games coupon

Monday, June 15, 2009

free/cheap stuff to do with your kids/furbabies in the Chicago burbs

Events that involve pets, animals and plants, such as pet washes, adoption days, nature walks, microchipping, nature photography exhibits, nature tours, bird walks, calls for volunteers for nature-related work days, etc. Deadline is two weeks before event date.

June 13

Save-A-Pet fundraiser: 7-10 p.m. Saturday, June 13, Brunswick Zone, 1100 W. Lake St., Roselle. Fundraiser for abused and neglected animals includes live music, raffles, silent auction, prizes, more. $25 at the door includes pizza and soda (630) 351-2100.

Birds 'n Berries: 9 a.m. Saturday, June 13, Knupper Nursery, 1801 N. Rand Road, Palatine. Free seminar about the vast array of trees, shrubs and other plants that can be planted in your garden to provide a seasonal buffet for our feathered friends. (847) 359-1080.

June 14

Doggy wash: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday, June 14, Wizard of Pawz, 2306 Hassell Road, Hoffman Estates. Dog baths $10-$18, other services available sponsored by Wizard of Paws to benefit Chicagoland Dog Rescue. Also includes baked goods, BBQ, raffles, vendors. For information,

AKC All-breed dog show: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, June 14, Chain O'Lakes Kennel Club, Lake County Fairgrounds expo hall, Peterson and Midlothian roads, Grayslake. Talk to breeders, get information about different AKC and miscellaneous breeds. No admission, parking $10 per car, Visit.

Sunday morning bird walks: 8 a.m. Sunday, June 14, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Mark Spreyer will lead a morning bird walk for ages 10 and over. Binoculars and field guides are a must. If you don't have any, don't worry, Stillman does. If it's raining, the activity will be canceled. Free. Call (847) 428-6957 to register.

Celebrate Dad's: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 14, Crabtree Nature Center, on Palatine Road, one mile west of Barrington Road in Barrington. What is the father's role in nature? Take a look at some of natures dads and make a fish print in honor of fathers. Free, call to register.(847) 381-6592.

June 15

Earth-Friendly Sculpture Contest: Begins Monday, June 15, Rolling Meadows Library, 3110 Martin Lane. Show your creativity and turn junk into a work of art. Use recycled bits and pieces from home or come to the Ask Me Desk for a bag of rubbish and make something "out of this world." When you bring in your creation a photograph of your sculpture will be taken and you will receive a certificate of completion. The photos will be on display in Youth Services and winners will be notified in August. Deadline for entry is July 24. For information, call (847) 259-6050

June 16

Arlington Anglers: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, Dick's Sports Store, on Martingale Road, Schaumburg. Professional Walleye Tour fisherman, Larry Conn shares his techniques. Come find out more about the club, its activities, and outings. Tom, (847) 639-7858 or Bob, (630) 688-0995. Visit

Zoonotic Diseases: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, Hoffman Estates Animal Hospital, 1056 W. Golf Road, Hoffman Estates. Dr. Megan Williams discusses, "Zoonotic Diseases: Why You May be Sharing More Than Just Your Home with Your Pet." Free education seminar, open to the public. To register, (847) 310-8668.

June 17

Parker in the Park: 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday, June 17, Indian Trails Public Library District, 355 S. Schoenbeck Road, Wheeling. Grades 1-6 can explore the role each person plays in protecting the environment and share new ideas for conserving energy. To register, (847) 459-4100 or

Dog Train and Play class: Eight week sessions begin Wednesday, June 17 or Saturday, June 20, River Trails Park District, 550 Business Trail Drive, Mount Prospect. Basic commands, problem solving and manners are taught. Open to dogs ages 3 months and up. (847) 255-1200.

Fishing Camp: 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday June 17 and Thursday, June 18, Crabtree Nature Center, on Palatine Road, one mile west of Barrington Road, Barrington. Take a closer look at native fish through fun activities, demonstrations and fishing. Ages 8-12. Free, register at (847) 381-6592.

June 18

Once Upon a Bird: 10 a.m. Thursdays, June 18, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Hear bird stories and visit a live bird or work on a simple craft. Come dressed to be outside. The program will be done in less than an hour. If it is raining, this activity will be canceled. For ages 4-9. $2/child, adults are free. (847) 428-6957 or

Prairie Woods Audubon: 7 p.m. Thursday, June 18, Spring Valley Nature Center, Schaumburg. Lonnie Morris, chairman for the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, presents, "Cool Cities." Free.

June 19

Yappy Hour: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, June 19, Meineke Park, 220 E. Weathersfield Way, Schaumburg. Activities for adults, kids and dogs including a DJ, dog agility course, craft area for kids, special dog events and wine samples for adults. $12-$18 for adults; $3-$5 for children 3-17. Dogs free, but owners must have a copy of shot records at the event. To register, (847) 985-2143.

Night Hike: 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 19; Crabtree Nature Center, on Palatine Road, one mile west of Barrington Road, Barrington. Join a naturalist in the evening to explore what natural wonders are abroad after the sun goes down. Free, register at (847) 381-6592.

June 20

Picnic at the Prairie: Noon-3 p.m. June 20, picnic shelter at Margreth Riemer Reservoir, Quentin and Palatine roads, Palatine. Prairie Woods Audubon Society is hosting their annual Picnic On The Prairie event to thank volunteers and the community for its support, dedication and hard work on the prairie and for the environment. Free hot dogs, chips, and lemonade; kids' prizes; free tours; tips on native plants.

Bike Path Kickoff: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, June 20 at Crabtree Nature Center, on Palatine Road, one mile west of Barrington Road, Barrington. Pedal by ponds and through woods as you try out the new 10-mile bike path. Whole Foods has a fueling station; REI has a Bike Safety Rodeo for kids a basic bike safety check for adults. (847) 381-6592.

Adventure in Nature series: 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 20, Citizens for Conservation office, 459 W. Route 22, Barrington. Topic, Senses: Children will use their senses to explore Flint Creek Savanna. Dress comfortably to sit in the prairie grass. For children kindergarten and older; adults encouraged to come. $3-$5 per child. Free for adults. Register one week before class at (847) 382 7283.

June 21

Kayak Demo Days: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, June 21, Lake Arlington. Join REI staff on the water to test paddle a variety of canoes and kayaks from Old Town, Wilderness System, Mad River, Perception, Necky, and Ocean Kayak. Come see how design and materials affect performance and decide which boat best meets your needs. Be prepared to get your feet and seat wet.

Sunday morning bird walks: 8 a.m. Sunday, June 21, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Mark Spreyer will lead a morning bird walk for all ages. Binoculars and field guides are a must. If you don't have any, don't worry, Stillman does. If it's raining, the activity will be canceled. Free. To register, (847) 428-6957 or

June 22

Green Tips 101: 7-8:15 p.m. Monday, June 22, Indian Trails Public Library District, 355 S. Schoenbeck Road, Wheeling. Board Members of Go Green Wilmette will share information about easy, high impact changes to reduce one's carbon footprint and help the environment. Learn which changes have the highest payback. Registration required; call (847) 459-4100 or visit

June 24

Farmers market: Our Lady of the Brook Catholic Community will be the site of a weekly farmers market in Northbrook this summer. The market will kick off on Wednesday, June 24, and will be held every Wednesday through Oct. 14 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. The market will feature dozens of vendors, selling the freshest produce, flowers, organic foods, artisan cheeses, baked goods and much more. There is plenty of free parking, and samples will be available. Our Lady of the Brook is located at 3700 Dundee in Northbrook, and can be contacted at (847) 272-5686 or at

June 27

Adventure in Nature series: 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 27, Citizens for Conservation office, 459 W. Route 22, Barrington. Sky: Children will watch the skies to see what weather is coming. We will see what shapes the clouds are taking. For children kindergarten and older; adults are encouraged to come. $3-$5 per child. No fees for adults. Register one week before class at (847) 382 7283.

June 28

Rolling Meadows Garden Club Garden Walk: noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 28. Tickets on sale at the Community Center, 3705 Pheasant Dr., Rolling Meadows or at $10 in advance; $15 day of the event. For information, call Carol, (847) 818-3200 ext. 230, or e-mail

Park Ridge Garden Club Garden Walk: 2-6 p.m. Sunday, June 28, 408 S. Lincoln, Park Ridge. Featuring six gardens plus a raffle and light refreshments. $15. (847) 208-7269.

Wheeling Garden Walk: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, June 28. Seven homes in Wheeling will open their gardens to the public. $7. Tickets and maps available at the first garden, 126 Mayer Ave., Wheeling. Refreshments and door prizes at the last home. For information, call Jan, (847) 909-0335.

Rolling Meadows Garden Walk: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 28. The Rolling Meadows Garden Club will hold its annual Garden Walk. Tickets are available at the Community Center, 3705 Pheasant Drive, Rolling Meadows, or at Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 the day of the event. For information, call Carol, at (847) 818-3200, ext. 230, or e-mail

Wheeling Garden Club Garden Walk: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, June 28. Seven homes in Wheeling will open their gardens to the public. Donation $7. Tickets and maps available at the first garden, 126 Mayer Ave., Wheeling. Refreshments and door prizes at the last house. Call Jan Schmid, (847) 909-0335.

July 5

Bird Banding: 9 a.m.-noon Sunday, July 5, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Watch Mark Spreyer, a licensed bird bander, measure, weigh and record data about resident and migratory birds. Birds are not caught in a predictable manner, so come prepared to hike the trails. Free. (847) 428-6957 or

July 10

The Northwest Suburban Astronomers: 7:30 p.m. Friday July 10, Willow Recreation Center, 3600 Lexington Drive, Hoffman Estates. Programs cover various aspects of amateur astronomy, for program details and club information visit

July 16

Once Upon a Bird: 10 a.m. Thursdays, July 16, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Hear bird stories and visit a live bird or work on a simple craft. Come dressed to be outside. The program will be done in less than an hour. If it is raining, this activity will be canceled. For ages 4-9. $2/child, adults are free. (847) 428-6957 or

July 19

Arlington Heights Garden Club Garden Walk and Unique Boutique: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, July 19. View six residential gardens of varying styles. $10, benefits scholarships and conservation programs. Free admission to the Unique Boutique, which features distinctive garden ornaments, crafts and perennials at the Arlington Heights Historical Museum, 110 W Fremont, Arlington Heights. Kathy, (847) 259-5273 or

Prairie Ramble: 10 a.m. Sunday, July 19, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Our volunteers, under the leadership of Daria Sapp, have been working hard to get prairie plants growing in Stillman's "south forty." This is your chance to join Daria on a tour of this colorful site. Free. To register, (847) 428-6957 or

July 25

Adventure in Nature series: 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 25, Citizens for Conservation office, 459 W. Route 22, Barrington. Topic, Trees: Children will study some of the trees found on the Savanna and look at the different parts of the trees and the variety of shapes. For children kindergarten and older; adults encouraged to attend. $3-$5 per child. Free for adults. Register one week before class at (847) 382 7283.

Aug. 2

Bird Banding: 9 a.m.-noon Sunday, Aug. 2, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Watch Mark Spreyer, a licensed bird bander, measure, weigh and record data about resident and migratory birds. Birds are not caught in a predictable manner, so come prepared to hike the trails. Free. (847) 428-6957 or

Aug. 3

Chicagoland Shih Tzu Club: 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3, Arlington Heights Public Library, 500 N. Dunton Ave., Arlington Heights.

Aug. 7

The Northwest Suburban Astronomers: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, Willow Recreation Center, 3600 Lexington Drive, Hoffman Estates. Programs cover various aspects of amateur astronomy, for program details and club information visit

Aug. 20

Once Upon a Bird: 10 a.m. Thursdays, Aug. 20, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Hear bird stories and visit a live bird or work on a simple craft. Come dressed to be outside. The program will be done in less than an hour. If it is raining, the activity will be canceled. For ages 4-9. $2/child, adults free. To register, (847) 428-6957 or

Aug. 23

Sunday morning bird walks: 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 23, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Mark Spreyer will lead a morning bird walk for ages 10 and over. Binoculars and field guides are a must. If you don't have any, don't worry, Stillman does. If it's raining, the activity will be canceled. Free. To register, (847) 428-6957 or

Aug. 30

Bird Banding: 9 a.m.-noon Sunday, Aug. 30, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Watch Mark Spreyer, a licensed bird bander, measure, weigh and record data about resident and migratory birds. Birds are not caught in a predictable manner, so come prepared to hike the trails. Free. To register, (847) 428-6957 or

Sept. 4

The Northwest Suburban Astronomers: 7:30 p.m. Friday Sept. 4, Willow Recreation Center, 3600 Lexington Drive, Hoffman Estates. Programs cover various aspects of amateur astronomy, for program details and club information visit

Sept. 18

Prairie Woods Audubon Society: 5:30 p.m. bird walk; 7 p.m. meeting/presentation Thursday, Sept. 18, Spring Valley Nature Center, Schaumburg. Pat Winkelman, president of the Vehe Farm Foundation will speak about the farm in Deer Park.

Sept. 21.

Prairie Woods Audubon Society field trip: 3-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21, Illinois Beach State Park, Zion. Meet at the North Unit parking lot or at 2 p.m. at the Bank of Palatine, Northwest Highway and Plum Grove Road, to carpool. Cyndi, (847) 776-8713.

Sept. 26

South Barrington Park District Pet Fair: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, Arboretum Mall, routes 72 and 59 in South Barrington. Various pet businesses, local pet shops, veterinarians, animal communicator, animal massage therapy, adoption agencies, contests, training demonstrations, photos, prizes, more. For event information or to participate as a vendor, call (847) 381-7515.

Oct. 2

The Northwest Suburban Astronomers: 7:30 p.m. Friday Oct. 2, Willow Recreation Center, 3600 Lexington Drive, Hoffman Estates. Programs cover various aspects of amateur astronomy, for program details and club information visit

Oct. 11

Prairie Woods Audubon Society: 3 p.m.-dusk, Sunday, Oct. 11, Stillman Nature Center, South Barrington. "The Big Sit." Bring a folding chair, munchies and beverage and sit and count the bird species. Meet at the dock/picnic area. Cyndi, (847) 776-8713.

Nov. 6

The Northwest Suburban Astronomers: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, Willow Recreation Center, 3600 Lexington Drive, Hoffman Estates. Programs cover various aspects of amateur astronomy, for program details and club information visit

Dec. 4

The Northwest Suburban Astronomers: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, Willow Recreation Center, 3600 Lexington Drive, Hoffman Estates. Programs cover various aspects of amateur astronomy, for program details and club information visit

Midwest Bass Busters: Bass fishing club is looking for new members at any experience level. No boat is necessary. Monthly meetings are held at The Where Else Lounge, Higgins Road and Lively Blvd., in Elk Grove Village. The club fishes one weekend a month from April-October. Call Len (847) 870-7070.

Garden Club of Inverness scholarships: Students who live in the area serviced by District 211 and Barrington High School and who plan to major in horticulture or environmentally related studies in college are invited to apply. Applications available at the guidance officers in District 211 and Barrington High School.

Plant a garden: Garden Plots are available free to residents interested in doing a little gardening. The plots are located in the rear of Congregational United Church of Christ, 1001 W. Kirchoff, Arlington Heights. Space is limited. To determine availability, call (847) 392-6650 for information.

Nippersink Garden Club: A new garden club is forming to serve northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Members of the Nippersink Garden Club are coming together because of the love of gardening and the love of the Nippersink Creek area and waterways. Membership is open to all interested men, women and their children. Membership will be free and 2009 meetings are yet to be determined. Visit or contact Stacy at (262) 279-5992 for details.

Stillman Nature Center: Volunteers are being sought to help in a variety of areas including, landscape maintenance, birds of prey and more. (847) 428-6957 or

Be Citizens for Conservation volunteer: Citizens for Conservation restoration volunteers work from 9-11 a.m. every Thursday and Saturday. Jobs include: sowing legume seed, cutting brush, rescuing native plants and planting sedges. Meet at 459 West Highway 22 in Lake Barrington. Look for the white farmhouse with a silo across from Good Shepherd Hospital. Bring work gloves, dress for the weather, tools provided. For information, call (847) 382-7283.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

1 year 15 days DEBT FREE!!

I was so focused on my nephews “golden birthday” I totally skipped it.. a very important day in my life. It was the first anniversary of being debt free for my husband and I.. May 17th 2009 marked that day. I just can not believe it took me until today June 2nd to realize this. But I'm looking back and realizing that the way I view money, the way I treat money, the way I spend money has really evolved.

Today I am still debt free, I do use my ONE credit card with the maximum limit of $1500 once per month for ONE item. Usually this item is a more pricey item from $600-$1200. One month we bought a new bed mattress and box spring, the next we bought an expensive nice bike for my husband. Next month we are finally moving into THIS century and getting a lap top computer. My son has had a lap top for almost 2 years but it's time that we leave the old clunky desk top turned off and move up in the world. Each month I pay this credit card off in full, some months even paying off what would be due the following payment period. We feel this is our way of contributing back to the economy.

What has shocked me was one specific amount of money. I am leaving on a womens retreat this weekend. A friend I have known for around 5 years has invited me every time this retreat comes back to our area. It happens twice per year. Each year I say it's “too much money for a weekend” this year I actually looked at the price and thought “wow they lowered the price, probably because of the economy and NOW I CAN AFFORD IT, I'M GOING” I talked with my husband about it and he was very supportive.

I wrote out the check, mailed it, got my confirmation of receipt and made my plans to take Friday off so I can get there on time. This week I went walking with the friend who has invited me over and over and I had some specific questions for her. I asked her “how much was it in past years?” and she said “yikes they raised the price this retreat!” and here was me “WHHHHAATTT REALLY??” I seriously couldn't believe it.. I actually was walking next to her silent thinking “how did I miss that?” The answer is quite obvious. This year I am not unemployed and I am not in debt. The amount is affordable to me. Plain. Simple.

I have found that my husband and I are much “looser” with spending. I'm not couponing hardly at all.. I do shop at Woodmans and Aldi the two cheapest stores in my area, however, he'll run to pick up beer and snacks for poker games and just run to Jewel and spend whatever. We eat out a ton more than we were and if my son calls needing money I don't hesitate to slap $20-$40 on his debit card without even asking too much detail why he needs it. As I write this, I'm realizing I need to pull those reigns back in and control our outward/unnecessary spending before it becomes an issue once again.

I am so glad I found the groups I did and moved in a positive cash flow direction. My life is easier, the stress levels are considerably lower in my life and my husbands. Our marriage is stronger, however, my husband still has yet to take over the finances as he promised he would in past years. “once everything is paid off then I'll do it” he said that time and time again. Here we are but the difference is, I enjoy paying the bills and looking at our balances from month to month. Paying my property taxes was actually exciting because the money has been there, waiting in a savings account for me to transfer it, write a check, mail it and be done. Now, I think I would miss doing our bills. I would miss the happiness I feel now versus the depression I once felt every time I opened up our checking account on line. It seemed hopeless.

If you missed them, I wrote two segments explaining how we paid off our debt. I didn't give exact amounts but it was the jist of the story. You can read them
part one here and part two here. Enjoy

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

FREE ICE CREAM & HOT DOGS + great organic valley & slim fast coupons

HOT DOGS thanks to MIDGET MOMMA for this link!

BLUE BUNNY ICE CREAM thanks to my very own yahoo email for that! lol! ;)


Surving the stores has great instructions to get

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

fyi on my last post re: vacation deals

Okay.. something came to mind after Katie posted a comment about the tricks to getting great vacation/airfare deals.

To answer Katie's question, We stayed at the Grand Oasis Punta Cana. Come check it out HERE.

OKAYYYYYY BUTTTTTTTT this is one of my biggest pet peeves in life.. seriously.. not sure why this rubs me the wrong way, grates on me, gets under my skin... *sigh* and I've heard it on SEVERAL occasions from several separate couples.

Couples go to resorts and come back and immediately book at that exact resort again for the next year... AND WORSE try to push that THIS EXACT RESORT IS THE BEST EVER! There will never be another resort that beats this one they've been to.. yeah well I've got NEWS PEOPLE.... they are all DEAD wrong!

My husband and I have found that between ourselves, relatives, and friends each resort as long as it has a good rating (Apple vacations this would be a 4 red apple or above) are pretty much the same. The one thing we do look for is a resort that has a buffet, a grill on the beach, an Italian restaurant, on other specific restaurant, and room service. Other than that we do look for resorts that offer a few bars plus a swim up bar. Those are just our specs.

We do "google" the resort before booking just to make sure the place didn't get super bad reviews, or that it's under construction, or there is just something that would make our stay terribly horrible. From the reviews on line we've gotten ideas on where to book our rooms, what to upgrade to, what not to upgrade to, what extras to bring for example beach towels {the ones there smelled like mildew} OTC meds/sunblock {the ones there were super expensive} etc.

So really, maybe we aren't that picky of people and me being as frugal as I've been my entire life may make this easier on us... but really.. if you want a vacation, if you just want to get away, lay on a beach, read a book, get drunk, dance, have a hot guy serve you drinks at the beach all day.. a majority of these resorts are fine and dandy!

Whew I feel better! lol! Hope this little rant helps in your next vacation search!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

great airline/vacation deals!!

Okay.. for some reason people are constantly asking me for my tricks to getting great airfares and cheap vacation deals.. so here they are typed out for everyone!!

This is fresh on my mind because I just got my dad a $108 round trip ticket from Chicago to Phoenix (or Rockford to Mesa but both towns closer to said bigger cities to our homes). Long story short, my family owns a retirement home in Mesa AZ and there is an issue with our watering system for our fruit trees there. My dad just left at the end of March and has to go back to fix the system.

allegiant air Pictures, Images and PhotosJust a few months ago while attending a baby shower luncheon, a woman I met there told me that she's been getting great deals with Alligant Air.check airfares here for $29 EACH WAY to Mesa. I guess her best friend lives there. She said the trick is to go on each day and just check and even move forward through a few months to get the great deals.

I went on yesterday and was able to get my dad $29 one way and $79 coming back. Total $108 round trip. With taxes/fees the total just $140! My second airfare trick, which I'll show you next, cheapest rate was $240!! I saved $100!! :)
yahoo Pictures, Images and Photos
yes shocker but my second trick is YAHOO. This used to be my first trick until a few months ago. Okay.. this is how it works. go to YAHOOO then click on the left hand side TRAVEL. or go here directly. Type in the cities you wish to fly from/to. The box opens a bit more to include the number of flyer's and you should see a "use flexible dates" box. check that baby!! You may not be able to find the exact dates you want, but if you can be flexible enough, you'll save a ton on airfare!

Okay. My sister does a ton of travel back and forth to Europe because that is where her fiancee lives. Her fiance taught us this trick. KAYAK.COM again this website lets you use flexible dates to see the best fair.

Okay.. my vacation deals are limited HOWEVER if you (again) flexible you can get a great deal.

APPLE VACATIONS Go to the site, click on "SPECIALS" "last minute deals" "seasonal deals" If you poke around enough on the site eventually you'll find some great deals on that site. Just a few weeks ago I found 8 days 7 nights all inclusive flight included for $419 to Mexico. YES $419. a year ago my husband and I went to Punta Cana (again 8 days 7 nights all inclusive including air fare) for $520. We upgraded to a bigger room with a jacuzzi tub in the room for $75. Very well worth it. So for UNDER $1200 we had a full vacation for a week.

Monday, April 27, 2009


GET OUT THERE! I didn't realize their website has coupons on it too! nice!! sign up for them!

Monday, April 13, 2009

FREE Printable Kitchen Ingredient Substitution Chart

Over at LIVING EASY she posted this printable chart that could really come in handy. Funny I was just discussing ingredient substitutes with a friend of mine who has an 16 month old with allergies. go check it out here

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter trumps hounding

yeah.. so I had a full day of lunching with girlfriends, wedding planning/shopping (for my girlfriends wedding), then a tastefully simple party.. so I figured after the TS party I would run out to CVS and do a few shops. I actually NEEDED a few things that were good deals this week. Unfortunately I wasn't prepared so I came home from the TS party and quickly put together my coupons and wrote up my "plan of attack". My son who just started driving needed some "night driving" time so I grabbed him and off we went.. and off we went.. and off we went.. and off we went. Yes we stopped at 4 yes count them 4 CVS's all were closed. Super Target was closed and every pizza place was closed (I had promised my husbands poker buddies some pizza on my return) it seems that not only does Easter shut down every CVS early (even the locations that used to be 24 hour locations which have now changed?) but also you can not order pizza and have it delivered to your car which is 10 feet from the pizza places front door. Apparently they have to deliver to an address, "yes can I give you my address, you make the pizzas, and then the delivery guy can walk to my car and deliver them?" NO.. hmmm what recession?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

more freebie Denny's meals!

dennys Pictures, Images and Photos is at it again. Wednesday April 8th, bring in a friend, buy a Grand Slam for yourself and your friends Grand Slam meal is FREE!!

Most of my friends and I would just split the bill down the middle for a super cheap meal. Either way, it's a great way to get together with a friend you haven't seen in awhile to chat and have a cheap or free meal!


Thursday, April 2, 2009


For my birthday I posted this exact blog.. detailing out all the freebies I had found. My birthday was 6 months ago TODAY, but TODAY is an even better day... my half birthday is also MY SON'S BIRTHDAY! Today is his 15th birthday! In honor of my awesome son check out all the goodies I have found.

Just by chance MONEY SAVING MOM was also having a birthday the week of my birthday. She listed out a ton of great places that offer birthday freebies for all ages! Check those out.

I then ran into this site MR CHEAP STUFF and they also have a great list of other YUMMY places that offer birthday goodies! nice!

I got a free meal email, all I have to do is print the email and go! yummo!

Texas De Brazil I get hungry just going on the site and hearing the music they play.. seriously.. if you have not been to a brazilian steak house, getting a free meal (with the purchase of a full priced meal) on your birthday is the way to go!

I have to explain how these places work, because if you haven't been there WELL YOU ARE MISSING OUT but you'll be a bit confused without a little direction. Of course your server will be happy to explain as well.

Okay, you go in, get seated, and then the server comes to ask you for your drink orders (pretty expensive.. like a small little 8oz bottle of coke is $3-4 each) I normally just order water. They will of course ask if you have been there before. They direct you first to the salad bar which is amazing. I believe it has over 80 items including Lobster Bisque soup, sushi, along with other expensive yummies like prochuttio and grilled provolone. ohhh so yummy.. so of course you fill up on the salad bar which is never a good idea.

Next they give you (as pictured above) a little disc. On one side is green meaning GO and the other RED meaning stop. The guacho's or brazilian cowboys once seeing your GREEN GO card turned up will start stopping by your table each with a different meat! It's amazing. They are normally serving 12-15 meats during a normal meal so once you figure out your favorite then you can keep an eye out for that guacho.

I live in the Chicago area and a full price dinner is $42, so with the coupon for both of you it's roughly $65. But it's all you can eat and you can stay as long as you want.

Old Country Buffet also known as Hometown Buffet in other areas sent me a birthday coupon good for a free meal.

Sweet Tomatoes also called Souplanation in other areas sent me an email for a free meal as well!

Okay.. those are my favorites (all you can eat is popular with me, can you tell?

Well to everyone with a birthday in APRIL, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Enjoy the freebies!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Hey guys.. sorry I've been MIA again. I *just* heard Edy's is doing their "why my neighborhood rocks" block party contest again this year. I won 2 years ago and also convinced a few of my neighbors to enter. My neighborhood was lucky enough that we had 2 winners, myself and one other neighborhood so we got double the ice cream and products.

Basically to enter, write a story about your neighborhood and enter it to EDY'S ICE CREAM BLOCK PARTY. It's easy to enter and surprisingly I won.

About 4 days before my party I recieved a box filled with dry ice and I believe 12 different selections of Edy's slow churned ice cream.
me and the other winner in our neighborhood Erika


It's worth it to write up something about your neighborhood and at least try.. plus it's a good excuse to get people out of their houses to eat some yummy free ice cream! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

grocery shopping + helping a 5 yo w/ a brain tumor = win/win

ok... here goes. deep breath. I have this life.. this life of less than 6 degrees of separation. Somehow, in the strangest of circumstances I find other people who know each other and every time I tell these stories it seems that people think it's the funniest thing how these situations play out.. yesterday, while proving to be an interesting situation, it weighed heavy on my heart leaving me with this gut feeling that there may be a reason my day played out the way it did. A reason I became involved.

The day started out very normal. I got to work and had a short conversation with my boss asking each other about our weekends. She told me about a bunco game in her neighborhood that was being held in honor of a 5 yo boy who had a brain tumor. At the end of the night instead of splitting the pot so the winner could take the winnings and the other half given to the family of this little boy it was decided that all the money thrown it would go to this family. Her husband is a fireman and her family has roots in our community so it's not uncommon for her to be pitching in to help another family.

After work I got home and my neighbor next door rang my bell to BRING ME COUPONS! Okay how good do I have it that people BRING THEM TO ME! So we started talking and she started telling me how she's been spending her days. She was recently laid off so she was explaining to me that a friend of hers who I know has a son that is very ill. She started explaining that her 5 yo son has a brian tumor and that the family needed help and has a huge calendar on line where you can go on and sign up to help the family. She told me about a few fundraisers that were being planned and I couldn't believe I had missed all this considering I am a FACEBOOK friend with the mom of this little boy. At this point I had totally forgotten the conversation with my boss early the SAME MORNING.

So another neighbor comes over and we had a few errands we were running together, so my first neighbor left to go finish making dinner. I ran my errands, came home, and while out I saw a Porsche that was a few years younger than mine... so that reminded me IT HAD BEEN WEEKS since I had been on my European Car club website. I log on and immediately there are people talking about a meetup they are trying to plan. Along with them was a member I had never talked to before so we started talking and she informed me of a fundraiser she was trying combine in with a meetup for our club. As soon as she mentioned the name of the bar I knew this was the same little boy my neighbor had just talked about just 2 hours earlier to me. When I asked if it was "Cin's little boy" the girl was shocked (I've never met this girl from my car club before because she had left for awhile and I just joined).

So as things worked, we took over the entire conversation on the car club website so I asked if we could move over to a private area. So I asked if she had yahoo IM, AIM, Myspace IM, skype, or Facebook. Of course, she has FB. After she gave me her name and I sent her a friend request, I realized we had a little more in common. Facebook shows you in common friends.. well automatically I see "Cin" and then the girl across the street from me!!! What. Not the girl who brought me coupons but another girl! So I ask, "how do you know her?" winds up they work together! So I tell her the girl who lives next door is how I know Cin & her family so how is it that she is friends with the girl who lives across the street but not the girl next door. She doesn't know the girl next door at all because she went to high school with Cin! Weird huh?

Anyway.. because of the girl from my car club I wound up being able to get links to all the websites and calendars for this little man's battle plan.


Okay here is how you can help!!! If you are in the Chicago area and shop at Jewel, on his site are links to the coupons that can be used for Shop and Share days. These are days in which if you bring these little coupons Jewel will donate 5% of your purchase towards the family for medical expenses.

MAY 18-20
JUNE 29, 30TH & JULY 1ST

So as you can see, for some reason throughout my day yesterday everyone was telling me about Carter. I very honestly believe that everything happens for a reason, and maybe I don't yet know what the reason is.. but I can start by passing the message about Carter and way that you can do something HUGE for him without really having to do much more than print out a piece of paper and hand it to the cashier when you pay for some groceries. Sounds like a win/win situation to me!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"diet" friendly food deals!

hungry girl ad Pictures, Images and Photos
Over at HUNGRY GIRL she has cooked up some deals on diet friendly foods including a 50% off deal with the HEAVENLY DIET STORE for simply using the code hungrygirl. The only stip is that your order must be over $30 which is easy to do ordering anything off the HG approved section on their site.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What do you bring for POT LUCKS?

Okay.. everyone out there has their "signature dish" that they bring to pot lucks, pig out days, fat days, whatever you wanna call them.. depending on where this is being held, work, a families house for a special occasion, at church, or at a club meeting. There is one dish that you *always* make either because you love it or because you aren't allowed to come without it. I have a few and they've changed over the years. Not sure why but I do try to mix them up. Here are a few I've done over the years.

7 layer salad
1 1/2 heads lettuce shredded
8-10 green onion's chopped
3 carrot's shredded
4 hard boiled eggs sliced
small bag frozen peas (just dump in)
1lb cooked & crumbled bacon
8 oz shredded cheese cheese
dressing - mix 2 cups of mayo with 2-3 T lemon juice and dillweed.
put the dressing on top, spread around. add a little shredded cheese and a few green onions on top for garnish. Right before digging in mix the dressing into the salad otherwise you got wise guys eating just the dressing/top and a bunch of lettuce at the bottom.

you can do this one with other flavors like raspberry as well.

okay I learned this one from an old Italian mama type from New York. It turns out super yummy and it's easy.
cube up tomatoes (I use PLUM tomatoes)
fresh garlic
olive oil

this is all by sight. I fill a bowl with the tomatoes then drizzle around some olive oil. next I put about 2 teaspoons of garlic in and add in the salt/pepper/basil last. It's all about how you like it.
I get french bread and slice it up and then toast it. I like to make this at least 8hours before servings so the flavors blend. Super garlic but ooh so yummy!

layered taco dip
in a 9x13 pan
large can refried beans
1 container guacamole
1 container sour cream
1 container salsa
8 oz shredded cheese
tomatoes, green onions, olives sprinkled on top.
easy, yummy, gone

I don't make this as neat as this picture looks. I normally just chop the veggies up very fine and throw them on top. I usually do carrot, green pepper, white onion, broccoli and then I put shredded cheese on top.

If missed my MASHED POTATO BAR post go back and check it out. This is one I learned from a neighbor of mine. Super great, super easy, super yummy, super crowd pleaser.

I use sausage sliced up in chunks or the little cocktail wieners. throw it all in the crock pot with equal amounts of grape jelly and chili sauce. Let it "cook" through on low maybe 1-2 hours depends on how done you want them. Put a ladle out and toothpicks with little plate. Easy.

Okay.. so what are your signature dishes? What do you bring? What is easy and cheap? What do we have in our stockpiles that we could bring?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


redbox Pictures, Images and Photos


Giving out free codes on Wednesdays as well as Monday's in March! Today's code is


I didn't get a text for this, did anyone else? or do you get your REDBOX info from INSIDE REDBOX

Luckily I have great sources like FRUGAL DR MOM to keep me informed!! Thanks Dr Mom!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

CiCi's is lowering their buffet price to $3.99 per person

cicis pizza Pictures, Images and Photos

not sure if this is nationwide, statewide, or even regionwide but the one by my house will start their new price next Wednesday!! Check out if you have one in your area. CiCi's

Thursday, February 26, 2009

you are now in the SMART CIRCLE!!

The Smart Circle Pictures, Images and Photos

okay there it is... another place we can find AWESOME deals. I was introduced to this marketing company about 18 months ago when a sales guy came into my office and offered me 4 oil changes for $30 at NTB! Plus, the punch cards had other offers like 20% off other services such as new struts, brakes, etc and free tire repair. The cards just expired at the end of January, I had over a year to use these cards. I bought one for each car plus bought some for family/friends for Christmas.


Monday, February 23, 2009



click on the free subs, fill in your name, email, birthdate, sex etc

get an email with a link for a free sub. Happy free sub day!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Meijer buy 10 get the 11th free sale

OH yeah.. Meijer.. every once in awhile they blow my socks off (or on) with great deals. That great half off cleaners sale or when they have the Hanes deals where you buy 3 products and get $10 off. I've gotten 3 bags of 6 pairs of socks, so that's 18 pairs of socks for $5.xx!! But this buy 10 get the 11th free gets me every time.

So today I spent the day getting my trusty coupons together trying to make the best of their sales this week. Here is what I came up with.

1 Kraft BBQ sauce *filler/no coups*
2 Banquet frozen breakfast sausage *fillers/no coups* (my hubbie's fav)
4 Old Orchard frozen juice $1/4 IP coup
5 stove top stuffing used B4G1F coupon (I found this on shelf around t-day)
6 Whiskas cat treats $1/2
8 Green Giant veggies 4 50/2 coups
9 Chef Boyardee 3 35/3 coups (how was that worth it?)
9 Tortino pizza rolls 9 35/1 coups
44 items. got 4 free from the sale

5/$10 Kelloggs Cereal +++ GET FREE MILK
3 boxes frosted mini wheats
2 boxes apple jacks
$1 IP Kelloggs frosted mini wheat coup and 2 $1.50/2 Kelloggs cereal manus

10/$4 Lite n fit yogart used $1/10 manu

1 Trident gum 99 cents used 75 cent manu

1 Electrosol dishwasher tabs $3 used EXPIRED $2.50 manu 50 cents

$5/$60 CAT from my last trip
my total $35.43 with tax

The Meijer receipt at the top says:

so I roughly saved 74%!!! amazing!
**sorry no pics, hubbie was ready when I got home to put everything away**

remember that HORMEL coupon?

ummm yeah.. on Monday I went to Dominicks to grab another pork tenderloin for $4.99 or $3.99 with the $1 Hormel coupon HOWEVER I realized when I got there I forgot the coupon BUT THEN after getting home found the coupon in my purse... yeah.. not so good... so today I went to Dominicks to grab 4 99cent Ragu's (I know a few weeks ago WAGS had a super deal on them and I didn't jump on it) so I decided to check out their clearance meat and GUESS WHAT WAS THERE? The HORMEL pork tenderloins for $3.99!! ha ha ha and I still had that trusty $1 coupon with me. I got a pork tenderloin for $2.99!! whoo hoo

Thursday, February 19, 2009

no more pasta?

what? I was buying pasta 10-12 boxes at a time for less than 50 cents a box or even free some weeks during the summer. I grabbed the last box tonight! I can not believe I've blown through all that pasta. To make matters worse I held onto SEVERAL great coupons for pasta waiting for the next big sale and they expired! *sigh*

anyone got any good pasta deals I could get in on?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


sorry ladies..

COUPONING 101 was the site I found this deal on and she's got all the links!

FREE Kashi granola bars at TARGET

I got this idea from another site, don't remember which but then tried it this morning and it worked fabulous. Sorry I'm at work so I can't find the link but there is an IP out there. Just wanted to get this idea out there.

Sale 2/$5 or $2.50
use $2 IP
or $2 manus that were sent out I think through Bzzagent and others
$1 Target coupon (you can print at the store or on their site)

FREE PLUS OVERAGE or if your store just enters them down.

I got 10 boxes for 33 cents. We have to pay tax here in Illinois.

sorry no pics either.

Also, fish crackers are on sale for $1.66. Grab the $1 Target coupon and get them for 66 cents!

Monday, February 16, 2009

free day means SHOPPING

Okay ladies.. I'll admit I've been missing hounding something fierce especially after having to go to Woodmans the other night and spent $96. Yeah it was $96 of darn good deals, but having to shell out that kind of cash.. yeah well.. you guys understand. I haven't spent $96 in an entire month on groceries. oh well

Okay I only put together a few deals and it took me long enough to do these.. so bear with me.

3 cans of black beans 69 cents each used $1/3 coupon
2 clearance sausage $1.15 each
1 clearance bacon 99 cents
6 v-day clearance cupcakes $1.50
1 can sardines for my cat 99 cents
total $6.96

I got there and *thought* I had forgotten a HORMEL coupon so I didn't do the same pork tenderloin deal as I had done on Sat night. Then, when I got home I realized I did have one with me.. grr
4 boxes cereal 4/$10 store coupon $4 off (makes them $4/6) then used two $1.50 off 2 manus = 4/$3 or 75 cents each
1 bag chips $1.99 store coupon $1 off 99 cents
1 head of lettuce $1.49
total $5.63

4 boxes of Pop Tarts $2 each used $1/2 manus $6
1 CVS soap $1.69
2 CVS allergy $1.79 each (clearance)
2 boxes CVS cheese crackers $1.97 each
1 CVS 10ct Ibuprofen $1.99 FREEBIE with a coupon I got from the scanner!!
2 cans Campbells Healthy Request soup BOGO used FREE COUPON BOTH FREE
$2/$10 cvs coup, $7.50 in ECBS spent $5.xx OOP and got back $2 ECB for the crackers
total OOP $5.90 *gasp

2 sour cream $1.29 each used $1/2 Meijer coup and 2 55 cent manus
2 coffee mate $2.99 each used $1/2 Meijer coup and $1 IP manus
1 bag of cat food $3.76 FREEBIE with manu coup
total $3.86 left the cashier scratching her head!! for real!

I also went to Petco but really only got my cat a few things. Not much. I wanted to go to Woodmans again and Jewel but seriously ran out of energy.. sick huh.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


If you haven't seen this IT'S TIME YOU DO!! dedicated to all the moms out there!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


happy valentine\'s day Pictures, Images and Photos
Hey everyone.. I finally did the unimaginable.. I didn't take any work home for this 3 DAY WEEKEND! I started the weekend off with a bang by staying home with my son and making smoothies for the two of us. We watched freebie stand up comedy video's through the XBOX 360 and Netflix. It was fun.

I finally came up with a place I wanted my hubbie to take me for good old Valentine's Day. He said I could pick, anywhere I wanted to go.
Ponderosa Steakhouse of Rutland Pictures, Images and Photos
Here is the catch. About oh 15 years ago they closed the one and only Ponderosa Steakhouse in our area. Since then, my sister had moved to Cincinnati for 3 years so if we were out there we went to Ponderosa and other than that we could drive an hour to get to one. So in our entire 13 year relationship we've been there probably 10 times or less and it's a place both of us love.

My son swears he's never been to one, I'm thinking he just didn't remember going in Ohio.. but that was years ago. So we drove the hour today and it was yummy. Not as good as I remembered.. but yummy.

I also did some shopping today!! Amazing!! Those $1 coupons came in (and are burning a hole in my pocket) for the Almond Breeze so since I just opened the last of the last batch I bought a few weeks ago and I am totally out of the sugar free syrup I needed a shopping fix. **someone asked what Almond Breeze is!! It's a 54 calorie per 8oz serving no dairy beverage. In the Weight Watcher world this can be used for a ton of things and only being 54 calories we find MANY ways to use products that cost us the least amount of points. Check out
Almond Breeze website.

I had seen on line other people talking about Dominicks having a great deal on cereal. My son LOVES the Blueberry Muffin mini wheats and that was part of the deal. Basically they were on sale for 4/$10 but then with an in ad coupon they were 4/$6. Then I had all those IP coupons still from over a month ago for Kellogg's cereals and they were all for another $1 off. So I got 4 boxes of my son's favorite cereal for $2.

When I was searching for this in ad coupon I came across Hormel pork tenderloin on sale for $4.99 with an in ad coupon. I found $1 Hormel pork tenderloin coupons from an insert and got a nice size pork tenderloin for $3.99. Not too shabby.

Also they had another coupon for 99 cent Mission tortilla chips. I was glad to find they had 3 different varieties to choose from.

All of these coupons had a little note on them saying "with a $10 purchase" so I sorta walked around the store looking for something we NEEDED. I found cheese 8 oz packages on sale for $1.49 and it's the Lucerine brand which is hormone free. Nice!

My total was $11.68 for everything mentioned above after coupons! I was dang happy to walk out with 4 boxes of NAME BRAND cereal, 3 8oz packages of shredded cheese, a bag of tortilla chips, a Hormel pork tenderloin, oh and a bottle of Dr Pepper I had a free coupon for. Not bad.

Then came WOODMANS.... ohhhhh my hubbie decided he wanted to come with just so he could pick out something for lunches... *sigh* $96 later we walked out with nothing but carp... oh well. We did get..
10 Almond Breeze 99 cents after coupons (on line they retail for $2.41 without shipping.. so I'm saving myself at least $2 each!!)
2 750ml bottles of Torani syrups for $5.29 each (I've seen them on line for $8.50 each and that's without shipping charges)
5lb bag of tator tots for $5 (my hubbies fav)
5 pizza's for $10
50 small variety pack bags for $11 (hubbie wanted them for lunches)

so right there is $45 ish dollars worth and we got a ton more than just that. I was pretty happy with our trip even though my shopping trips have cost me WAY more than before when I wasn't working. I guess that is my luxury now.. *sigh*

sorry no pics. My hubbie and son helped me put all the groceries away as soon as we got home.

Anyway.. hope everyone had a bang up Valentine's Day!!

KissLipsCow Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, February 12, 2009


OKayyyyyyy.. so Congara foods and Jewel were doing another bang up deal. Last week I went in just for the tomatoes.. I posted about that. Then last night I found out about a Healthy Choice soup deal. Now *most* of these deals work off of SHELF PRICE, but then combine these great deals with SALE PRICES and of course coupons and deals such as this work out even better. For example, THIS soup deal would work like this.

Buy $25 worth of product get $10 ONYO catalina

Heathy Choice soup Shelf price $2.80
so you must buy 10 to get this deal 10x2.80 = $28
sale price is $1 each.. even sweeter $10
add in coupons.. whatever you've got
pay less than $10 and get $10 back

what was even better about this deal is that there were blinkies RIGHT IN FRONT of the soup for 45 cents off 2. Not awesome coupons but enough to bring your total under $8 MONEY MAKER AND FREEBIE SOUP!

So on my lunch hour (yes I actually got one of those today) I ran over to the mall to get my eyebrows threaded and on my way back to work I stopped to run this deal. *sigh* things never work in my favor it seems. I found another couponer/hounder in the same isle working the same deal. So I just confirmed with her that I had to buy 10 to make the deal work. I told her about my hunts tomato deal last week. She didn't know about it and quick back tracked to the canned tomato section.

I grab my blinkie coupons and soup and get to the register. get my total BELOW $10 and I'm standing there with my $10 ONYO from last week. hand it to her and she says it's not going to work DOH I didn't even think about overage. I had grabbed some banana's but not enough! oops.. so I grab some gum, she puts it through and and and and and NO FREAKIN ONYO CAT!

roll eyes! so the customer service lady tells me to come up, she returns my items and walks me to a self check to "try again" this time she paid with cash out of the self check machine! amazing what these customer service girls will do to help make a deal work. No ONYO CAT this time either! *sigh* She explained that sometimes halfway through these deals the companies decide to change it up and make it off the sale price.

I left there and quickly signed onto only to find out the deal is dead now until the 26th.. I guess they are reworking it and then rerolling out this program. *sigh* so much for my deals... looks like my area is very over saturated with people doing the same deals I've been doing.

In the end I walked out of Jewel today with 10 cans of soup, a pack of gum, and what I thought was a large bunch of bananas all for 78 cents.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Loving Jewel!

Just got back from a Jewel run. I found out over at that Jewel was running a Conagra deal that wasn't advertised except on Catalinas. They had $1 HUNTS diced tomatoes and one of the deals was pretty easy. Buy 14 cans, use as many coupons as possible, spent at most $14 OOP and get $10 back. Hey $4 WITHOUT COUPONS for 14 cans of diced tomatoes.. I'm there! I printed a couple on line $1/3 coupons and digged for a few manus from the paper and went. Of course the printer jammed and didn't print my $10 CAT but the ladies at Jewel know better than to argue with me and just ask me what the deal is. They just rerang it up at the service desk and my CAT printed! Nice!
Almond Breeze Unsweetened Pictures, Images and Photos
Also, while rummaging through my mess of coupons last night I found out I had a few 75 cent off Almond Breeze coupons!! and they are manus which means I can use them at Woodmans because Woodmans does not take IP's!! whooo hoo!

Okay ***just*** googled Almond Breeze coupons and realized there are really great coupons out there! This meaning I can get Almond breeze for under $1 each!! HOLY COW! *sigh* couponing is great even if it means having to figure my own deals out! lol!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

one hound this week

I had one $3 register reward or Catalina whatever you want to call it from Walgreens. It was expiring on the 5th SO on the night of the 5th I stopped at Walgreens on my way home from work got a gallon of milk and a package of skittles. I paid 44 cents with my gift card.

Thats it.. BUT then.. my husband decided we needed mass quantities of beer and wine coolers AND of course money to play poker or bunco this weekend (neither of which happened) so he spent $50 on beer, mikes hard lemonade's, crackers, and cash! geez.

Yeah then he starts telling me how proud I would be of him for buying 3 packages of crackers for $6 AND THEN REALIZES there is $1 peelies on EACH of the boxes DOH!

You guys.. I hate to say this, but I just don't have the time and/or energy to hound anymore. I've been trying to get through stockpile which is actually working to my advantage. Our freezer is actually looking empty for the first time in months. The worst thing is that I have no idea what coupons I have, what ECB's I have, or what rebates I have coming back to me. It's pretty nuts. I have about 2 feet of inserts (2 large stacks) and have no idea which ones are even still good or what. *sigh* someday I know I'll need them and I'll be glad I have them.

Okay and if you were following my last post about being sick over my car.. yeah my OLD car which has no problems other than the key being stuck in the ignition IS WORKING PERFECTLY FINE NOW! *DOUBLE SIGH* sooooo frustrating!! Today it was 51 degrees here in Chicago so I decided to clean out our garage and make space for my new car. I had to push my old car out onto the driveway to jump it and just to get out of the garage so we could clean. I got it out there and my husband's truck wouldn't jump it. I was SUPER worried, but then realized each time I had tried to jump it the key turned right back into position and came right out. So strange.

I finally called my dad and explained what was going on and he said he thought I just wasn't getting a good connection to Tim's battery or not making a complete circuit (maybe the negatives weren't getting a ground) So I moved Tim's truck out and moved my new car over and jumped my old car NO PROBLEM. Then I let it sit and run for like 30 minutes, drove it around the subdivision and came home. Backed it into the garage really close to the wall (that was scary) went to turn it off KEY CAME RIGHT OUT! sigh.. I just went out and spent thousands and it's working again!! not good!

My sister thought maybe with the warm up it might work again, but it was happening at the end of August, in September, and October. I finally tried to get it fixed in November and drove it all of December. So temperature did make it worse (the time became longer) but my nephew drove it on the worst day possible I think it was negative 5 that day and the key came out with no issues. He had to take the key out twice that day to drive it. So really.. no, it doesn't matter. *sigh*

I'm gonna give it one last ditch effort and let my cousins cousin (yes that's right my cousin has a cousin that's a mechanic) look at it and see if he can't fix it. We'll see. Also, my husbands truck needs new belts, new brakes, a new battery, and there is something wrong with his power steering pump! Great huh?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

wanna be sick?

my keys came out of the ignition today.. each and every time I started it... sick

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I saved another $500 on my new car!

Okay here it is.. I'm laying it out there. Everyone from Dave Ramsey to Suzie Orman would be screaming their head off at me for buying a brand new car. I agree with their reasoning on WHY to buy used cars, I know it's true that the minute you drive a new car off the lot it's value decreases immediately. My personal reasons for buying a new car are mainly the fact that I hate buying other people's problems. I know that other people do not maintain their cars as I would and in fact without most people would have no clue how many times their pre-owned vehicles had been bought/sold/auctioned, in accidents, in floods, had major work done to them etc.

When my husband started badgering me YEARS ago that as soon as his car was paid off that I was buying a new car. I just didn't see the reasoning in going back into debt to buy another car when we just got out of debt. So I started scrimping and saving as much as I could to buy a new car. Unfortunately, my car didn't make the cut and I bought a car a few months shy of having the full payment which is fine because I have a home equity loan that I've kept open. I figured I would just borrow the remaining balance and pay it back in the next couple months as fast as possible. This is a win/win situation because borrowing against this home equity line helps my credit because we've closed all of our credit cards except one, and the one we kept we lowered our balance on. Many people do not know that closing accounts HURTS your credit. Also, creditors want to see that you have between 3-5 active revolving accounts. Other than my mortgage we have used nothing for months. I finally broke down and started using our one credit card for small purchases that could be paid off each month.

Okay so as soon as my husband started searching Carmax over and over and over looking for a car that I would like, was reasonably new with low miles I knew that if I didn't take some control he would wind up trying to persuade me just to buy a car so the deed was over with. (sorry but he thinks his truck is going to die any day now and me being in line for the next car was hindering his dreams of buying a Dodge Challenger in the next few years HA). Friday during the day and then Friday night I realized my key issue had gone from bad to worse. It was now taking between 4-8 hours to get that darn key out of the ignition.

My son and I started surfing a few more sites and as soon as I realized that the Avenger was going for only a couple thousand dollars more BRAND NEW versus the used cars that my husband was looking at.. I started actually warming up to the idea. Then I saw that Dodge had a new LIFETIME power train warranty and I started reading and realized UNLESS you are the first owner of the vehicle this warranty is null and void. I buy my cars to drive them into the ground. I buy new so I can get every mile I paid for and drive them into the ground so I can get penny I spent. This is just my personal thinking. Then, I saw that Dodge had employee pricing plus a local dealer added on a few other rebates.

We went in, got the car on Saturday and came home and then I realized I never got a rebate I had seen advertised on my Credit Unions website. I had mentioned it to my sales guy and he said he would look into it for me because I couldn't remember the exact details. After spending 6 hours there, driving multiple cars, deciding on what to do that $500 actually left my brain. I called dealership on Monday and talked to the Sales Manager and he told me I had to get a loan through my credit union. He said he would still allow the deal and not put my paperwork through if I could get this done in the next couple days.

I called my credit union early this morning and actually was able to get it done before noon today. I asked to leave work at 4pm, drove home got my husband and drove out to the credit union to sign docs and get our check. Then we drove out to the dealership, signed new docs, got a free car wash (yes my car was already dirty, stupid Chicago winters), and got home within 2 hours. Not bad.

So.. this is how I got the $500 (and you can get) or even $1,000 on a brand new Chysler or GM car has joined up with credit unions around the country and this deal lasts until June 30th 2009. If you happen to be in the market for a new car, check it out.. or pass it on. Okay Okay.. and before you get too jumpy YES I did have to get a loan for my car through my credit union to get this $500 bonus rebate, HOWEVER, I fully intend on paying it off as quickly as possible. If I can continue to keep our spending down we'll have it paid off in 4 months so I'm not too concerned.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

a cartoon, my own cake wrecks, and super SPENDING Saturday.

well.. I got this cartoon from Jackie over at Mommy on a Debt Free Mission she also has a story about having to fight for her coupon rights... *sigh* so very frustration to me to read that other people have the same issues.. actually now that I think about it I'm not sure if that is a comfort to me to know that I'm not alone in that and the actual frustrating scenario is how so many glide through the SAME transactions I've tried with no issues what so ever.

Anyway.. go check out her page.

Also in the spirit of "cake wrecks" I have a few pics.. let me start with a bit of background. I live close to the small town of Woodstock Illinois where they filmed the movie "Groundhog Day". This town gets a little "into" the actual holiday because of that movie.

So last night after dinner my mom, my son, my husband and I all went to Super Wal-Mart. My son and husband needed jeans (really bad) and this is what we found (of course in addition to jeans, t-shirts, some thingy for my car to plug in my sons IPOD to, and some benadryl.

yeah not quite sure exactly what they were getting at here, and whom is going to buy these AND eat them.. but Punxsutawney Phil never looked so... soooo.. errrr.. welll ummm for lack of better words poopie!!

and on to the best news of all...

I broke down and got a new car! amazing huh? I found out Dodge was doing Employee pricing, plus all sorts of rebates, sooo out we went late Friday night exactly 15 minutes before they closed and looked at a few cars. We went back yesterday morning and drove and drove and drove and lunched and talked and played devils advocate, and fought and talked, and laughed and made shadow animals and finally after 6 hours I drove away in this....

2009 Dodge Avenger SXT
of course as always I don't feel I got the best deal I could have (that happens every time I buy a car). The very worst part is that I miss my old car already. I have been driving a 2000 Dodge Stratus. It has 106,000 miles on it and I've never had a single problem with that car until the key issue. Little stuff here and there, but always easily fixable and things that cost $300 or less to fix. That car was always dependable, never had it not start on me (except the other morning). So I kept that car which is now sitting in my garage and my new car has to sit outside. I'm trying to decide what to do with my old car. I guess I'll wait for my dad to come back from his snow bird southwest sun ranch and help me figure this thing out.