Top 10 Reasons You Are Wasting Money NOT Using Coupons



Everyone should be using coupons. If you aren’t, you are wasting money. It’s that simple.

A few years back, we fell on hard times. I bought a paper thinking coupons would save us some money. All I found were coupons for junk food and paper products. I quickly gave up the idea of saving money by using coupons.

Years later, I was surfing the web, looking for nothing in particular. I stumbled upon a forum post by a woman who spent $5 for $75 worth of groceries. Always up for a challenge, I craved to learn more.

I am now one of those crazy coupon ladies. I am finally convinced of the power of the almighty coupon.

Now I will convince you.
1. Coupons are cash. Plain and simple. Coupons are an actual legitimate form of currency. Not using them is throwing money away. Who throws money away?
2. Not only are coupons cash, but sometimes they are worth more than their face value. This makes coupons even better than cash. Find a grocery store in your area that doubles and triples coupons. Watch your savings multiply. You wouldn’t see that happen with cash.
3. Coupons aren’t just for junk food. Yes, there are a LOT of coupons for junk food. There are also a lot of coupons for paper products, make up, beverages, frozen vegetables, etc. Pretty much the only products you cannot easily find coupons for are meat and fresh produce. Buy those on sale. I know your grocery bill is compromised of more than meat and fresh produce.
4. Coupons are everywhere. Print them online. Cut them out of the paper. Grab them from the entrance of the grocery store. You can even load coupons electronically onto store loyalty cards. It’s ridiculously easy to find coupons nowadays.
5. Coupons allow you to use brand name items. Now, I am not a generic snob. If the generic is cheaper, I always buy generic. With coupons, I don’t have to. Generally when I combine a coupon with a sale, the brand name item is cheaper. Using coupons, I am buying brands I have never been able to afford!
6. Using coupons strategically you can easily save 50-75% off your grocery bill every single week.
7. The biggest savings come when you hold onto your coupons. Find a way to organize your coupons. Wait to use them until you can combine them with a really great sale. This is how the pros shop.
8. Think about how many coupons go unclaimed? Thousands of dollars right back into the advertisers pockets! Stake your claim! They are giving you money!
9. The more money you save on your groceries by using coupons, the more you can give back. Find a great deal and buy extra. Donate it. Coupons help you do good deeds.
10. Finally, in this economy who can afford not to use coupons? Everyone is pinching pennies. Can you afford not to use free money?
Learn how to strategically combine your coupons with sales for the best bang for your buck. Don’t walk into a store blindly and act shocked when the total is higher than you expect. Go in with a plan. Don’t forgot your cash, and never forget your coupons!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

My garden this year started off fantastic. Everything was flourishing and gorgeous and I was so excited to have a summer full of fresh veggies straight from the garden.

It went downhill pretty quickly.

I’m going to try again next year, but between now and than I’m going to read read read! I signed up for the Home Depot Garden Club so I can get tips and coupons delivered straight to my inbox!
If you are interested in signing up as well, just use this link!




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How To Save Money Traveling

Travel can be really expensive. After you fly to your destination, rent your car and check into your hotel…it almost seems like there is no money left to actually have fun with!

Some tricks to traveling cheaply:

  1. Driving is NOT always the cheapest option. Sometimes it is though. See if it’s worth it to drive. If so, maybe renting a car is even more economical because it reduces wear and tear on your own car, and you have a car when you get to your destination. Sit down and write out a pros and cons list to driving your own car, renting a car or flying. There is no hard and fast rule that says one is always cheaper than the others.
  2. Book in advance. You can get last minute deals, but booking in advance is always the smarter option. You don’t want to be stuck last minute and realize that a good deal just isn’t going to come your way!
  3. Go through a service like Hotwire.com, Expedia or Priceline rather than directly through the airline, hotel or car rental business. They often have much cheaper options! Even cheaper when you combine services into a package deal.
We typically go through Hotwire.com for all of our travel needs. They consistently seem to give us the best prices, and if we book far enough in advance…travel is much more reasonably priced.

If you have travel needs during the upcoming holiday season, check out Hotwire.com!

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it. A win for you and a win for me! Have a GREAT day!

Free DIY Tips From Home Depot

Sign up for a free newsletter from Home Depot with great DIY tips. Just click the box above!

I love this newsletter. I love anything DIY though!


This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it. A win for you and a win for me! Have a GREAT day!

Family Fun in Houston! Other Cities Too!

These events are for Houston TX…but Parents Connect shows Family Friendly Events for most major cities!


Saturday




It’s festival season here in Texas! The 39th annual Bayou City Art Festival Downtown features a juried fine art competition, food booths, dance performances, live music, and a kids’ Creative Zone full of hands-on art projects. The festival is located along the streets of Walker, Bagby, and McKinney; in the plaza outside the Central Library; around Hermann Square in front of City Hall; and at adjacent Sam Houston Park.

Sat 10-8
Sun 10-6
Adults $10
Children 12 and under free






The 17th annual pumpkin patch includes hundreds of pumpkins for sale, as well as horse-drawn wagon rides around the neighborhood, food booths, face painting, a rock climbing wall, an obstacle course, carnival games, crafts, and more.

Admission is free; food, games, and activities require tickets.


Sat 11-4
Sun 11-4



Sunday




The whole family can take part in hands-on art activities meant to inspire creativity and enjoy family-oriented tours of the exhibitions. All activities are free and art supplies are provided.





The park’s Sunday afternoon concert series continues with a performance by Zydeco Lady “D.”

The series continues each Sun afternoon through Nov 14 on the Anheuser-Busch Stage.



3-5pm Discovery Green


Click here for more information and directions to these events or to find cities other than Houston TX




   

5 Question Friday: A Peak Into My Soul

Today is 5 Question Friday over at My Little Life. If you want to participate, just click the button and head on over!



1. What do you listen to while driving?

Well we generally have music playing…although I rarely listen to an entire song which drives my entire family crazy (I have NO attention span). 

2. What is your least favorite thing about Fall?


Hmmm, here in Texas I think it’s just the unpredictability. It makes everyone sick and it’s impossible to pick a Halloween costume. One year you’ll buy a warm one for the kids and it will be way too cold, so the next year you buy one for cold weather and it will be 90 degrees


3. What does your dream house look like, inside and out?


I could go on for days! It would be colorful, warm and inviting. The walls would be painted really pretty warm colors with pictures of my kids as artwork. It would look lived in, but picked up. Preferably a one story, with 4 bedrooms. A big backyard with lots of grass and a huge swingset. There would (of course) be a huge wraparound porch with wooden rocking chairs. And there would be a maid. 


4. Would you ever own a minivan?


um yeah. I want one now.

5. Do you wash new clothes before wearing them?


no, not always, not generally. I’m impatient. I rarely get new clothes and when I do it’s usually because I NEED it, so I wear it as soon as possible! I do wash the kids clothes though, and of course underwear.

The Flawed Dress: Advice For the Do-It-Yourself-ers…and for me

So there’s been some buzz on my blog lately about me teaching myself how to sew.

I hear from people A LOT that they tried to learn, but just got so frustrated that they put their project away and never went back to it.

Let me just say, I can empathize with you there.

Right now I am posting on my blog because a harmless little Halloween dress I was making for my daughter got the best of me. It’s pretty much done, but it’s flawed.

My friend Katie would tell me that no one would ever catch the flaw. She’s been one of my biggest cheerleaders with this sewing thing and she’ll tell random people in the hall at work (we work for a church) that I make clothes.
My first instinct is always to add a disclaimer whenever she does “oh I do, but I’m not that good” or “Oh I just mainly make clothes for my daughter”. I get nervous that if I’m hyped up to much, people will inevitably be disappointed in me. It’s a confidence thing. Wait…it’s a LACK of confidence thing.

As I sit here GLARING at the cute fabric covered in dogs dressed up as ghosts and pumpkins and witches…I fully realize how ridiculous I am.

I have a talent, so many (I know because they tell me) would LOVE to have. Am I perfect? No! I’m pretty good though.

So I was thinking, thinking about everything I’ve ever given up on because it wasn’t perfect and a few thoughts came to me. They apply not just to sewing…they apply to ANYTHING you do yourself.

  1. Something that is homemade will not be perfect. It will be flawed. It’s not made in a factory by a person that sews the same straight line or paints the same wheel of the toy 8 hours 5 days a week. It’s made by a mom, a daughter, a husband, a dad who needs to get dinner on the table. Needs to run to soccer practice. Needs to wipe a messy face. It’s made by a human being who has a world full of other tasks demanding their attention (please please keep this in mind when you balk at the price of homemade goods as well. You are compensating not just for supplies, but for time away from children, families, life)
  2. The flaws present are part of the charm. The little thing that catches your eye and makes you stop and say “wow, that’s homemade!”. It’s the flaw that draws your attention, and the rarity nowadays of something being homemade that makes you feel impressed AND inspired. If that flaw wasn’t present would you even notice? What would set it apart? Probably nothing.
  3. Most things that are inspiring are hard to achieve. Making something from scratch, whether it’s clothing, dolls, a banister for the stairway, etc….is hard. It isn’t something you can go into blindly and succeed on your first shot. Stick with it, your failures that turn into success is what sets you apart from the rest.
  4. Give yourself grace. Step away when you need to and accept that maybe now is not your time. That doesn’t mean you need to wait years, but maybe you need to wait for a less stressful time in your life. Goodness knows why I got the sewing bug when I had two children 2 and under. I mean, it worked out…but it probably wouldn’t have been as stressful if it had happened when they were older or before they were born!
  5. On the same note, sometimes you need to just walk away for a short time and get some distance. I am a completionist. I like things to get done. If I can only partially do something, I wonder why bother starting? This is not the best mentality to have when learning something new. Be willing to walk away when the going gets tough and promise yourself you will be persistent about it later.
I like to work in groups of 5’s when I make lists…but if there was a #6 on this list it would be not setting ridiculous deadlines. I’ve been known to decide Thursday afternoon that I want Lizzie to wear something brand new made from scratch on Friday. I can do it, I’m pretty fast…but at what cost?
So here we are…I started writing this post during nap time and the kids are now up and eating their snacks. The offending dress has been tried on and for some reason is enormously big and made Lizzie cry when I put it on her. All I can do is laugh. Give myself grace (#4), time (#5), accept that the dress is not a success (#2)…yet! (#1) and press on and turn my failure into a success (#3).
Later. Now I’m going to go play outside with my kids.

Family Fun: The Zoo and the Beach!

We took advantage of this gorgeous weekend and went to two of our favorite places! The Houston Zoo and Galveston Beach.

Saturday we loaded up the kids after nap and ran around on the beach for a bit. Since Colin and I first started dating, going to the beach has been really special to us. Something about the ocean air. Our kids love it too…oddly we don’t swim. We don’t actually enjoy going INTO the ocean. Just running around alongside of it!

Today we used our long neglected Zoo membership passes. We came home after church and I made us a picnic lunch to bring! My son has been asking to go on a picnic for a few days now, so he was VERY excited.

The zoo was PACKED today. It’s the first really nice, somewhat cool weekend we’ve had so far so everyone else had the same idea. It was a ton of fun though. Colin figured out that the Houston Zoo has an IPhone app that is totally interactive. It even has GPS so it can tell you how to get from Point A to Point B and has a list of all the shows going on throughout the day so you can plan your day. In addition you can also find detailed descriptions of all the animals. Best of all, the app is FREE!


We have been wanting to go see the Dinosaur exhibit they had there for quite some time, so today we did that. We had to pay extra for that on top of our admission…and if Noah hadn’t had so much fun, I would have said it wasn’t worth it. It scared Lizzie! She also didn’t have much fun on the carousel, but Noah finally enjoys it!

He introduced himself to this dinosaur! “Hi, I’m Noah!”


What did you do this weekend! Post it in the comments! I love to hear about everyone’s weekend fun!

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