Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Budget Report

My budget for November was $480. My total spent was $463.28. I can't believe I came in under my budget this month. I'm so happy about that. Although I didn't quite make up for the overage of October, I made up a little, which is good. I also included the groceries we bought on our trip in Hawaii, which I totally thought would put me over. Phew!

December's budget will be $460. (I'm trying to get it down to $400.) Anything I buy for Christmas comes out of our Christmas budget (which would include ingredients to make treats for friends, etc.), so I'm comfortable with this number for the holidays. Although we will be spending Christmas at home this year, we will be taking a little trip with family right after Christmas, so I need to make an allowance for that.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday Report

My sister and I only hit Target and Michael's early Friday morning. Although I picked up a few things for my girls, nothing I bought was a Black Friday deal.

But, I got my great deals last night through Ebates. Because yesterday was a double cash back day, I quickly ordered everything I had already planned to get online:
  • Two Eddie Bauer sweaters for Husband (shh! don't tell!) that were marked down 50%. I used coupon code "PERFECT" for 30% off and free shipping. And I earned 7% back through Ebates.
  • Old Navy jeans for the girls were $8.25/pair. I got them a pair of the size they are in now and one to grow into. Turtlenecks were $5 each! I also ordered them the next size up in the adorable yoga pants that I got them...on sale for $7.50. I got free shipping with my GapCard and 9% cash back through Ebates.
  • Super Deal: I've been wanting a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens for awhile now, but never really justified the cost (I have a few other magazine subscriptions!). I got an email yesterday for a $10 giftcard from I placed my order for BH&G using the giftcard...and will get 47% cash back through Ebates, making my subscription basically free!

I love being able to shop online, especially with free shipping and the deals yesterday were not to be missed! Now if only I could find a good deal on those Christmas cards...

Don't forget to come back on Monday for the first of my week of giveaways!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday: Ebates

Okay, if you still haven't joined Ebates yet, today is a GREAT day to get started. You get DOUBLE cash back today only. Gap: 9% cash back. Barnes and Noble: 12% cash back. The list goes on and on.

It's free to join (actually they will pay you to join!). Right now they are offering double the incentive to join when a friend refers you (that friend is me). So, click through here to earn your $10 sign-up bonus (instead of $5) and get your holiday shopping done in one fell swoop!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Don't throw that away!

I got the Val-pack coupon mailer in the mail today. I always sort through the stack of coupons, though I rarely find one to use. Imagine my surprise when I saw one for Rite Aid! Yes, there are 8 coupons:
  • Save $1 when you buy 2 any size Dixie or Dixie Ultra Plates or Bowls
  • Buy any Entemann's Candle (9oz. or 20oz.), get one free
  • $2 off Energizer Batteries AA/AAA 4 or 8 pack
  • Zippo Candle Lighters $0.50 off
  • Revitalizing Jewelry Cleaner $0.50 off
  • $1 off Hyland's Calm Forte & Hyland's Leg Cramps with Quinine
  • $2 off Kinoki Foot pads

...and the best one:

$5 off any $25 purchase! Woohoo! All coupons are valid until January 31, 2009. So go fish that blue Val-Pack envelope out of the recycle bin and grab that coupon!

Don't forget to save all your Rite Aid receipts between now and Christmas. You can earn a $20 Rite Aid gift card when you spend $100. Check out IheartRiteAid for more info.

Ready for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I'm getting started today. I did my shopping on Monday and Tuesday so that I don't have to go back out into the crowded stores (unless I want to, of course!). We are having Thanksgiving at my parents' house, and it's potluck, so I'm bringing a Sweet Potato Casserole and homemade rolls. (I bought two turkeys, though, so Husband and I will have a mini-Thanksgiving dinner later in the month...with lots of leftovers!)

My first giveaway didn't go over so well. That's alright. Never fear. Starting next week, I'll have more giveaways, so come on back after your Thanksgiving feast has settled for some Christmas treats!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What's in your fridge?

I was reading $5Dinners last night, looking for a few recipes, when I came across this one, in which Erin shared a way to keep that celery from going bad in your fridge. She chops it up and portions it out into baggies, then freezes it. When she needs to add some for soup, she just throws it in the pot frozen! Genius! Celery is one of those things that always seems to go bad at my house. I bought some celery yesterday and this morning, I chopped it all up and it's in the freezer right now. I set some aside and sliced that into celery sticks for Husband to put in his lunch.

While I was on a roll, I grabbed the five pound bag of carrots that was languishing in our fridge and sliced those babies up, too. Some were chopped to be added to soups, some were chopped to be eaten as a side dish, and the rest were sliced into sticks to join their celery brothers in Husband's lunch.

On tomorrow's agenda: chopping up some onions for freezing and making sweet potato french fries (to freeze) with the Garnet yams I bought at Safeway this week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Making up...

I missed out this past week. I missed out on Walgreen's $5 off $20 coupon...because I went to the store on Thursday and didn't find out about the coupon until Friday. Bummer.

I went to Target on Friday to get the sleepers for my girls (so cute!) and the Land O'Lakes butter...forgot to use my coupons. Bummer.

But, I'm back in the game this week. I've got my coupons clipped and attached to my list, so there's no chance that I'll forget them this time! Here's what I'm getting at Walgreen's this week:

Venus Embrace Razor, $9.49 - $4 VocalPoint coupon (earn $6 Register Rewards)
Skintimate Shave Gel $1.99 (earn $1 RR's)
Sure Deodorant $1.99 - $1.50 easy saver coupon - $1 mfr. coupon
Hefty One Zip bags: buy one, get one free ($3.29). There were $0.55 off coupons in 09/28 paper, but I can't find them. : (
Hunt's tomato sauce, 8oz.: $0.29 each with in-ad coupon (limit 3) - $1.00 off 2 printable coupon
Children's Foam book or pop-up book: buy one, get one free ($1.59) (Think stockings!)
Printworks printer paper is 2/$6. It seems I'm running out of printer paper a lot more often lately. Maybe it's those internet coupons? : )

I have a few money-makers this week, so that's a nice change. Maybe it will make up for last week. : )

PS: Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $4 Venus Embrace coupon! Hurry! The giveaway ends tonight at 7pm (pacific time).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Venus Embrace Coupon!

This week at Walgreen's, the Venus Embrace razor is on sale for $9.49. You get $6 in Register Rewards when you purchase one razor, which is a sweet deal, but I'd like to make it a little sweeter for you...

I received some coupons for $4 off the Venus Embrace razor...and I'm going to give two of these coupons away! Now because time is of the essence here, I'm only going to have this giveaway open until 7pm (CA time) on Monday, November 24. I'll draw two winners' names and contact them via email. Please respond ASAP so I can get your prize in the mail for you to use by this Saturday. (If you don't get it by Saturday, the coupon is good through January 31, 2009, so chances are you'll have a great opportunity to use it again.)

How to enter: Leave your comment on this post (one per person please). For an extra entry, mention my giveaway on your blog and let me know about the link. I'll announce the winners Monday night.

Good luck and happy shaving! ; )

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving on a budget

Thanksgiving Day is less than a week away. Are you ready?!!

If you're still working on your menu, go visit Money Saving Mom. Together with Erin, from $5 Dinners, and Monica, from the HomeSpun Heart, you'll find series called Thanksgiving on a Budget. They share a menu and recipes for a delicious, budget-friendly holiday meal.

While you're visiting blogs, go to $5 Dinners to see what other money-saving meals Erin's whipped up. She manages to make an entire dinner for her family of 4...for $5 or less. She's inspired me to get my dinner costs down...I'm still working on that! : )

Baby, it's cold outside

Even though it's been beautiful during the day (I love living in Northern California!), it has been quite chilly these past few nights. For some reason, it seems my babies are always in need of pajamas, too. Never fear, Target is here!

This week at Target, infants' and toddlers' 2 pack blanket sleepers are $11.99 (Just One Year brand). I already have one set of these and I love them. Not only are they adorable (and adorably priced), but they hold up pretty well. Normally it's $14.99 for the 2 pack, so this is a good time to stock up for Christmas presents.

Also on sale are Just One Year thermal pajamas for infants and toddlers. These packaged sets are 2 for $9.

If you have older kids, Cherokee blanket sleepers are $9.99 each for sizes 4-16. (Whether you really want to get the blanket sleeper in a size 16 is up to you...)

There are a few other great deals at Target this week if you have some grocery shopping to do as well:
  • Land O'Lakes Butter (1 lb. sticks) is on sale for $2.25. Combine that with $0.55 printable coupon to get them for $1.70 each.

  • Stove Top Stuffing, 6oz.: $0.79 each

  • Heinz gravy, 12oz.: $0.79 each

  • Betty Crocker potatoes, 4.5 to 7.2oz.: $0.79 each. Combine with $0.40 printable coupon to get them for $0.39 each. (Coupon excludes Potato Buds.)
  • Del Monte canned vegetables (Cut or French-style green beans, whole kernel corn, or sweet peas): $0.50 each

  • Luvs Family pack diapers (92 count for size 3): $14.99 each (that's 16.3 cents per diaper)

I know these deals are a little late this week. I'm still getting back in the swing of things after my trip! Prices are good through Saturday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Change is Coming

While on my Hawaiian vacation, I read an article in the paper that piqued my interest. CVS purchased Long's Drug Stores in 4 states, including California. Over the next year, CVS plans to convert all the Long's stores over to CVS' brand and name. This is exciting because I've been reading on other money saving blogs about what great deals CVS always has...and I'm always left out because we don't have any in the bay area. I've got several Long's stores nearby...and soon they will be CVS! Yahoo!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Could have been a spoiled trip

Husband has always been a saver. Lucky for me, because when I met him, I was your typical spender. Of course, I'm reformed now (mostly), and often grateful for Husband's ways.

One of the things that is important to him is buying a car with cash. Instead of making a car payment (at outrageous interest rates), he makes the car payment "to himself". He would take $300 a month and put it into a special savings account just for his car. That way, when the time came to buy a new car, he already had the money saved. This account has come into play not only as we have purchased our last two cars with cash, but also when a big car repair cost rolls in. We don't have to dip into our emergency savings to cover the bill.

I'm particularly grateful for that now as Husband's car sits in our driveway with a gas leak. We found it the night before we left for our trip, just after returning home from dropping off our babies at my parents' house. We quickly made arrangements for a shuttle service to take us to the airport and plan on taking care of the car trouble when we return home.

Had we not had that car account, I might have worried about it our whole trip. I'm grateful to say that I didn't have to worry about that one bit.

I'll be back tomorrow and can't wait to share my trip with you!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Welcome to Mommy-Nomics!

Come on in and make yourself comfortable! I'm glad to have you over here! Savvy Star Baby is making the transition to Bay Area Mommy-Nomics over the next two weeks, so I'll have posts on both blogs until the transition is complete.

I'll also have some giveaways in the upcoming weeks, so that's something fun to look forward to.

I appreciate all your comments and love hearing from you. I'm excited to see what lies in store for Bay Area Mommy-Nomics!