Do-It-Yourself Invites!

Planning a bridal shower for my sister has ignited my penny pinching flame!  It IS possible to plan a gorgeous event on a budget.  Starting with invitations!  I choke when I see prices of formal invitations!  No way I am paying that price when it’s so easy (and cheap) to do it yourself!

What is the theme for the shower?  With my sister being an English teacher with a passion for literature, we are taking books and using it as her theme.  So I am using book pages as part of her invites.  What colors are the bridal party wearing?  Use those colors for the invites as well. 

Before you do the invites you must secure a location, set a time and know where the bride & groom will be registered.  Once you know all that information you can use Microsoft Word to type up the information.  If you aren’t sure how to word the invites Google “Bridal Shower Invite Wording”.  Find a verse you like and use it, just filling in personal info as you go.  Make sure you use both the bride and groom’s full names so friends and family of both sides will realize who the shower is for.  Play with fonts and colors of the words to play up your theme/colors. 

Next gather all the supplies you need.  I used cardstock, an old book, ribbon, scissors that cut in waves, a hole punch and the Microsoft Word print outs.  I bought the cardstock, ribbon & scissors with a coupon at JoAnn Fabrics.  It was all less than $10.00. 

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I carefully tore the number of pages out of the old book that I needed.  I then used the special scissors to cut wavy borders around all of the pages, to cut out the wording typed up on Microsoft Word and the cardstock so that they would all stack on one another.

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Use the solid color cardstock for the back, so that is slightly taller and wider than the other two pieces.  Then use your middle part that will tie your theme in.  (I used the book page.  You could use some scrapbook paper that had the bride’s flower of choice on it or maybe another solid cardstock page to use both of the bride’s colors, or sheer fabric, etc).  The top piece should be the page with the invite wording.  This piece should be the shortest and thinnest piece so that when stacked you can see each piece under the pieces on top.  Once stacked the way you want them to be secured together, use a hole punch to punch two holes at the top of the card, slightly apart. 

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The final step is to use a section of the ribbon to tie all the pieces together.  Push each end of the ribbon thru the holes from the back of the back piece (cardstock).  Then tie a simple double knot in the front.  You can buy special sized envelopes at an office store like Staples or Office Depot to mail these out.  Elegant, thrifty and personal- can be used for any event!  Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Birthday Parties, etc!

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Big M Deals- 1/20/13–1/26/13

I do love Price Chopper, but I love good deals even more.  And some weeks the sales are better elsewhere.  Like this week.  So I think I am doing my grocery shopping at the Big M this week.  These sales are good at the Big M’s located in Adams, Alexandria Bay, Sandy Creek and Watertown. 

  • Pizza Dough (in bakery department) $ .99 (I like to buy several of these to freeze)
  • Kretschmar Provolone Cheese (deli)  $ 4.99/lb
  • Jennie-O Turkey Breast $ 3.99/lb
  • Ronzoni Pasta Buy One, Get One FREE
  • 1.3 lb Shady Brook Farms 93% Lean Ground Turkey Buy One, Get One FREE
  • Dole Premium Classic Salads Buy One, Get One FREE
  • Pint of Blueberries Buy One, Get One FREE
  • Boneless Top Round Roast Buy One, Get One FREE
  • Boneless Center Cut Pork Roast Buy One, Get One FREE
  • Triple M Boneless Budaball Half Ham Buy One, Get One FREE
  • Cabot Chunk Cheese 2/ $ 4.00
  • All Laundry Detergent $ 3.99

Coupon Matchups

  • Tyson Any’tizers $ 6.99 – $ 1.00 off one SS coupon = $ 5.99
  • Dannon Greek Light & Fit Yogurt 4 pack 2/ $ 7.00 – TWO $ 1.00 off one SS coupons = 2/ $ 5.00 or $ 2.50 each (either buy two newspapers or ask friends/family for their coupon)
  • Hormel Pepperoni 2/$ 7.00 – $ 1.00 off two SS coupon = 2/ $ 6.00 or $ 3.00 each

Big M In-Ad Coupon

  • Get One 5lb Bag of Fresh Grapefruit FREE when you buy TWO bottles of Ocean Spray 64 oz Grapefruit Juice

Price Chopper Coupon Matchup for Week Starting 1/20/13

If you don’t subscribe to the Watertown Daily Times already, wake up on Sunday morning and head out to buy the Sunday edition of the paper.  Not only do you get all the local and national news, but you also get the coupon inserts and the sales ads. 

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As I mentioned before, when I first started couponing I found it very frustrating that I would look at coupon matchups and they would contain deals using coupons from several weeks before.  Just getting into couponing, I didn’t have those coupons available to me so I will offer coupon matchups weekly for Price Chopper using just the coupons available in that week’s paper.  That way, whether you are a beginner or a pro, you can all take advantage of the deals I post. 

This week is not the greatest for deals but there are several making it worth the trip:

Price Chopper In Ad Coupons

  • Kellogg’s Cereal on Sale $ 1.88 (Click here for Kellogg’s coupons)
  • Corn Flakes 12 oz
  • Frosted Flakes 10.5 oz
  • Raisin Bran 18.7 oz
  • Corn Pops 9.2 oz
  • Froot Loops w/marshmallows 9.4 oz
  • Buy 4 of the cereals listed above get a gallon of Price Chopper Milk FREE with in-ad coupon!!
  • Coca-Cola 12 packs 4/ $12.00
  • Polar Seltzer or Soda 12 packs 5/ $ 12.00
  • Prilosec 42 count $ 5.00 off
  • $ 2.00 off any specialty or deli cheese purchase over $ 3.99
  • Hebrew National Franks 2/$7.00, get FREE Golden Spicy Brown Mustard with in-ad coupon!!
  • $2.00 off any three American Greetings cards
  • Pepsi 2-Liters 4/ $ 4.00

SmartSource (SS) Coupon Insert in Watertown Daily Times

  • Softsoap Elements Hand Soap 50% off…Use $ 1.00 off on two coupon in SS insert
  • Progresso Traditional Soups 2/ $ 3.00…Buy four @ $ 6.00 – $ 1.00 off 4 SS coupon = $ 5.00 or $ 1.25 each `
  • Colgate Total or Max Fresh Toothpaste 6 oz $ 2.79…Buy two @ $ 5.58 – $ 1.00 off 2 SS coupon = $ 4.58 or $ 2.29 each
  • Palmolive Dish Liquid $ 2.00…Buy two @ $ 4.00 – $ 1.00 off 2 SS coupon = $ 3.00 or $ 1.50 each
  • Softsoap Body Wash 2/ $ 7.00…Buy 2/ $ 7.00 – $ 1.00 off two SS coupon = $ 6.00 or $ 3.00 each
  • Irish Spring Body Wash 2/ $ 7.00…Buy one @ $ 3.50 – $ 1.00 off one SS coupon = $ 2.50
  • Lady Speed Stick 2/ $ 5.00…Buy one @ $ 2.50 – $ 1.00 off one SS coupon = $ 1.50 each
  • Reynolds Aluminum Foil $ 3.79…Buy two @ $ 7.58 – $ 1.00 off two SS coupon = $ 6.58 or $ 3.29 each
  • Sorrento Stringsters 2/ $ 7.00…Buy one at $ 3.50 – $ 1.00 off one SS coupon = $ 2.50 each

Grocery Store, Meet Couponing Queen

I truly believe that when I walk into a store carrying my bag of couponing tricks that entry music should be keyed and a fan should softly blow my hair.  Kind of reminiscent of the scene on Bridesmaids as they are boarding the airplane to go to Vegas. 

I have had several people ask me questions about how time consuming couponing is.  The truth is, just like anything else in life, you have to be willing to dedicate time to be successful.  I look at it like a part time job from home.  And when I get my receipt after cashing out, whatever the savings is for that trip is my paycheck.  How many people get a paycheck with no work involved?  I can clip coupons while watching TV, I can scan sales flyers while in my pajamas, I can make grocery lists while sipping on coffee.  Right now as I type this I am en route to a bridal show with my sister.  I would much rather give a few hours at home to lower my grocery bill then have to work a second job. 

I start out with checking out my food inventory.  I work with what I have already in my freezer and cupboards as well as what the upcoming sales are to make a meal plan.  I generate a meal plan (see picture below which you can buy one of these here).  Once I have the meal plan set, I write down all the ingredients I will need for those meals.  I cross off any that I already have on hand.  The remaining list goes on my grocery list as well as any breakfast or lunch items we need. 

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For household items and toiletries, I keep a running list as I am cleaning or getting ready for the day of what I need or am low on.  Those items also go on my grocery list.  The rest of my list consists of hot sales.  Each week when I shop, I try to grab a few ultra-low sale priced items to go towards the following week’s meal plan. 

Once I have looked at the new sales & coupons, made my meal plan and composed a grocery list I begin putting together coupons to use.  If an item is on sale but you don’t have a coupon, check the company’s website.  Google the name of the item with the word coupon after it. 

I usually have a target amount in mind that I want to spend.  If you get to know prices well, you can estimate the cost of each item and get an idea of what the total will be.  If you are over your target, you either need to rework your meal plan or find more coupons. 

There are certain items that I will pay more for the better alternative.  For example, I will not buy margarine although it is much cheaper than butter.  I tend to buy the milk that says no hormones on the carton even if it costs fifty cents more.  However, for a majority of the time I have no problems going with the store or generic brand.  Say I need Hershey’s Syrup.  It’s on sale for $ 2.79, I have a coupon for 50 cents off but the store brand is $ 1.50.  I will go with the store brand.  Now, grab your binder & bag and get ready to save money!!

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If you are a Price Chopper Shopper, make sure you hit up the iSave coupon machine at the entrance of the store.  Scan your AdvantEdge card and a sheet of coupons will print out.  I usually find one or two of these sheets of coupons laying around the store when people abandon them.  I snatch them up too because the coupons are different for each person! 

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Today I thought it was funny when a woman came up to me and commented on how organized I was.  This is what was in the front section of my cart..

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Stick to your list unless you come across a hot clearance item.  Keep a running total of how much the groceries will come to that are in the cart.  Double check your coupons before checking out to be sure you have every coupon you need.  If you are buying items that have coupons stuck to them, pull them off yourself as I have had too many experiences when I get home and find out the cashier never even took the coupon off the item to use. 

Today’s total before my AdvantEdge card and coupons was $ 208.45.  After card and coupons my total was $ 137.54!  Full week of breakfast, lunch & dinner for four as well as a few items for next week!  Total savings almost $ 70.00 which would have been net pay for working 10 hours at minimum wage! 

Rollbacks on Baby Items at Wal-Mart

I definitely think the Fifty Shades of Grey Baby Boom is in effect.  Right off the top of my head I can think of 10 pregnant friends.  I even have a friend who was considering naming her baby Christian but was afraid people would think her baby was Fifty Shades of Conceived.  Luckily, Wal-Mart has recently rolled back prices on quite a few baby items! 

South Shore – Savannah Changing Table and Dresser, Pure White $ 134.00 with FREE ship to store!!

South Shore - Savannah Changing Table and Dresser, Pure White

Graco Freeport 4-in-1 Convertible Crib (Your Choice of Finish) with Bonus Crib Mattress $ 139.97 shipped!!

Graco Freeport 4-in-1 Convertible Crib (Your Choice of Finish) with Bonus Crib Mattress

Garanimals 100% Cotton Receiving Blankets, Set of 4 $ 5.85 with FREE ship to store

Garanimals 100% Cotton Receiving Blankets, Set of 4

Sesame Street Book and Toy Organizer $ 30.50 with FREE ship to store!

Sesame Street Book and Toy Organizer

Garanimals Bassinet Crib Bedding Sheet, Blue, 2pk $ 5.00 with FREE ship to store!

Garanimals Bassinet Crib Bedding Sheet, Blue, 2pk

Sample Dinner Plan- Around $ 10 a Day

So now that you know the deals, here is a sample meal plan to go with this week’s sales!  New ideas for dinner!

Day # 1: Spinach Omelettes with side of fresh clementine sections (eggs $ 1.88/18; spinach $ 1.69 8 oz; your choice deli cheese-leave some for next night’s dinner- $ 1.99 w/coupon, clementines $ 4.99/5lbs) Total cost for ingredients: $ 10.55

Day # 2:  Grilled Ham Sandwiches with Tomato Soup (1/2lb Cooked Ham $ 3.00, Artisan Vienna Bread Loaf $.99, 2 cans Tomato Soup $ 1.78- use leftover deli cheese from Day 1 meal to grill with ham and bread) Total cost for ingredients: $ 5.77

Day # 3: Rotisserie Chicken with Roasted Red Potatoes and Corn (Rotisserie Chicken $ 4.99, Red Potatoes- use half the bag- $ 1.99, Bag of Frozen Corn $1.00) Total cost for ingredients $ 7.98

Day # 4: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce with Green Beans (Price Chopper Spaghetti $ 1.00,  Meyers 85% All Natural Ground Beef $ 4.99/lb, (2) jars of Prego $ 4.00, Bag of Frozen Green Beans $ 1.00) Total cost for ingredients $ 10.99

Day # 5: Crock Pot London Broil w/ Potatoes & Carrots (3 lb London Broil $ 8.97, use other 1/2 bag of red potatoes, bag of mini carrots $ 2.00, Beef Broth $ 2.50) Total cost for ingredients: $ 13.47

Day # 6: Grilled Chicken Mandarin Salad (Boneless Chicken Breasts-get out and use your grill with record high temps in NNY-3lbs $ 5.97, Dole Salad $ 1.99, fresh clementine slices from Day # 1 ingredients, Price Chopper Salad dressing $ 1.50) Total ingredients $ 9.46

Day # 7: Crock Pot Pulled Pork with French Fries (Whole Bone-In Pork Butt 4 lbs $ 7.96, 2 bottles of Price Chopper BBQ sauce $ 3.00, Bag of Price Chopper French Fries $ 2.00, Bag of Mixed Frozen Veggies $ 1.00) Total ingredients $ 13.96

Seven meals, around $10.00 per dinner…you would be able to buy the ingredients for all these dinners for less than $ 73.00 at Price Chopper this week starting 1/13/13. 

Price Chopper Coupon Matchup 1/13/13

When I first started couponing, I of course started following couponing sites.  The most frustrating thing for me was when they did the coupon matchups they would say use such and such coupon from four weeks ago to get this great deal.  When you are just starting out, you don’t have the coupons from four weeks ago.  Each week I will do the matchups for that week’s sales for Price Chopper with that week’s coupons to help out those just beginning. 

Price Chopper Coupon Matchup

Saturday- Look at the deals I post with the upcoming weekly flyer and coupons available in the Watertown Daily Times. Make a meal plan according to sales.

Sunday- Wake up early and head out to pick up the Sunday edition of the Watertown Daily Times to get your Price Chopper ad that will have exclusive Price Chopper coupons in it and coupon inserts needed to snag the sales.

Price Chopper coupons (in ad) (Remember these are store coupons that can be stacked with manufacturer’s coupons for BIG savings!!

  • Quaker Oatmeal $1.99 with coupon
  • Pepsi 6-pack 4/ $11.00 with coupon  **Stack this coupon with (2) $ 1.00 off 2 multipacks coupon on coupons.com for total price of 4/$ 9.00 ($ 2.25 per 6 pack!!!)
  • $2.00 off 1lb or 2lb Price Chopper Bagged Shrimp
  • Chex cereal 3/$ 6.00 with coupon
  • Get $3.00 off entire purchase when you buy 5 Aunt Jemima, Quaker or Captain Crunch items
  • $ 2.00 off any Cheese purchase of $ 3.99 or more from the Deli or Specialty Cheese departments
  • Ziploc Storage Containers 2/$ 4.00
  • $ 5.00 off 2 Enfamil Premium Infant Powder Formula
  • $10.00 off Rug Doctor Shampooer Rental
  • $ 2.00 off 3 American Greeting Cards

Deals Using Coupons From WDT

SS stands for SmartSource coupon insert.

  • Huggies Jumbo Diapers**Sale Price $ 8.00 – SS coupon for $ 1.00 off = Final price $ 7.00
  • Huggies Pull-Ups**Sale Price $ 8.00 – SS coupon for $ 2.00 off= Final price $ 6.00
  • Chef Boyardee Ravioli**$1.00 x 5 cans = $ 5.00 – SS coupon for $ 1.00 off of 5 = final price of $ 4.00 (80 cents each!!)
  • Dreamfields Low Carb Pasta**$ 2.29 x 2 boxes = $ 4.58 – SS coupon for $ 1.00 off of 2 = $ 3.58 ($ 1.79 each)
  • Campbell’s Tomato or Chicken Noodle Soup**$.99 x 10 cans = $ 9.90 – SS coupon for $ 1.00 off of 10 = $ 8.90 (89 cents each!!)
  • Campbell’s Chunky Soup**$1.50 x 4= $6.00 – SS coupons for $1.00 off of 4 = $ 5.00 ($ 1.25 each!!)
  • Scott Extra Soft 12 Rolls Toilet Paper **$ 6.99 – SS coupon for $1.00 off = $ 5.99
  • Cottenelle Mega 9 Roll or Double 12 Roll Toilet Paper**$ 6.99 x 2 = $13.98 – SS Coupon for $ 1.00 off of 2 = $ 12.98 ($ 6.49 each)
  • Kleenex Facial Tissues**$ 1.50 x 4 = $ 6.00 – SS coupon for $ 1.00 off of 4= $ 5.00 ($1.25 each)
  • Windex Glass Cleaner**$ 2.50 x 2 = $ 5.00 – SS coupon for $ 1.00 off of 2= $ 4.00 ($2.00 each)
  • Scrubbing Bubbles Total Kitchen Foaming Cleaner**$ 2.50 – SS coupon for $ 1.00 off = $ 1.50
  • Celestial Tea**$ 2.79 – SS Coupon for $ 1.00 off = $ 1.79
  • Dannon Activia Yogurt 4-packs**$ 2.00 x 2 = $ 4.00 – SS coupon for $ 1.00 off of 2 = $ 3.00 ($ 1.50 per pack or 38 cents per cup)
  • Scotch-Brite Scour Pads**$ 2.00 x 2 = $ 4.00 – SS coupon for $ 1.00 off of 2 = $ 3.00 ( $ 1.50 each)
  • Schick Quattro Disposable Razors**$ 6.99 – SS Coupon for $ 2.00 off = $ 4.99
  • Glade Relaxing Moments 4 oz Candle**$ 2.50 x 2 = $ 5.00 – SS coupon for $ 2.00 off of 2 = $ 3.00 ($ 1.50 each)
  • Skintimate Shave Gel**$ 2.50 – SS coupon for $ .55 off – Price Chopper Doubles Coupon $.55 = $ 1.40
  • V8 V-Fusion 46 oz bottles**$ 2.50 x 2 = $ 5.00 – SS coupon for $ 1.00 off 2 = $ 4.00 ($ 2.00 each)
  • Kotex Maxi Pads BOGO Free- Use SS coupon for $ 1.50 off of 2

Don’t forget you will need an AdvantEdge card to score all sale pricing!  It’s free & you earn money off gas for your vehicle!!

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FREE Personal Fashion Advice & 15% Off at Like Twice!!

Every Friday at 4pm EST there is a stylist waiting to answer all your fashion related questions at Like Twice!  Never heard of Like Twice?  Gently used designer clothing at affordable prices!  Wondering how to minimize hips?  Maximize great shoulders?  Just hit the great big red “have a question” button at the bottom right of the website!

Added bonus:  Ask a question and get 15% off your purchase putting their advice to good use!   

Some cute dresses on their site right now:

Gap $11.00

American Eagle $11.00

Zara Basic $ 15.00

Love to Read? Buy Used!

Do you love to read but hate to shell out the money buying or downloading books?  Buy used books and save over 60% on the price!  Sites like Amazon offer books with condition listed.  Go for books in good condition and save on the price! 

For instance this popular book Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is $ 9.86 for the Hardcover new edition.  To buy the Paperback new edition it is $5.87  but to buy a used copy it is only $ 2.98!! 

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You can also sell your used books online!  Head here to find out more about selling your used items online!