Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vials, Pens, and Cake Pops

Did you know there is now another way to get your insulin? No more need for vials, needles, or pens, there are now cake pops! My favorite baking website Bakerella had these fun cake pops featured and I think they are so fun! As a diabetic, I had to share. Go check out her site, she makes the most incredible treats and desserts!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another Busy Week

Okay, this week was another busy one for Nate and me. We started out celebrating Katie's (mother-in-law) birthday. We threw a little party for her to wish her happy birthday.

Saturday night was date night for the two of us and we loved it because we had our first snow cones of the season! Nate is a HUGE fan of snow cones. In fact I was informed that that is what he wants tomorrow night for our Family Home Evening treat.

Also on Saturday, we found out that Nate's younger brother Zak got engaged! Congratulations to Dominique and Zak!

Then of course today is Father's Day so we had dinner at the in-law's. Happy Father's day to all fathers and future fathers!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Couponing 101 Part 2

Sorry it's taken me so long to get this posted! I have bronchitis and it has made accomplishing my to-do list very difficult. Hopefully I will start feeling better soon!

Okay, I am going to be finishing up my how-to post on couponing. Last week I posted the first two steps, finding coupons and clipping coupons. In case you missed it, read that post before this one so that everything will make a little more sense.

Step 3: Organization
Once all your coupons are clipped it is time to sort. I have a big zip up binder for my coupons. I also have those dividers for each coupon category. Alisha (my cousin that taught me how to coupon) suggest getting dividers that have a pocket so that you can store rain checks and stuff that pertains to that category. Here are my categories, but some things might get broken into more specific sections.

Breads, Cereals, and Breakfast Items
Pasta and Rice
Refrigerated Case
Canned Goods
Baking Supplies, Seasonings, and Condiments
Frozen Foods
Household Supplies
Cleaning Supplies
Beauty and Hygiene

In each section I have baseball card sleeves to hold all my coupons. You can find these sleeves at Walmart by the pokemon and baseball cards or you can find them at Hobby Lobby by the models and collections. I looked forever at Walmart for them but they were always out and so I got mine at Hobby Lobby. They are $7 for a pack of thirty, and so I bought two.
Okay, so you've got your coupons cut and you are now ready to put them away. I sort mine into sections, so all my hygiene coupons are together and all my frozen food coupons are together. Then that way I only have to go through each category in the binder once. You may have to fold your coupons to get them to fit in the slots, but I try and make the product picture and price face upward so that I can easily what the coupon is for. I also separate my coupons by price. For example if you have coupons for $0.50 off a box of Cheerios and coupons for $1.00 off a box of Cheerios I put them in two different slots because even though they are for the same product it is a different value. If the coupons are identical they go together. Remember that I get four Sunday papers so that means four of each coupon and the same ones get put in the same slot. I hope that makes sense.

Step 4: Preparing a Grocery List
The goal of couponing is to combine sale prices and coupons to maximize your savings. The easiest way to find deals is to have someone do it for you! I use a site called Savvy Shopper. She pairs up sales from local stores and tells you what coupons to use to save the most money! I also like that she ranks how good the deal is so you know if you should stock up or just buy a few. If you live in Utah, like me, the best two sites I've found are Savvy Shopper and Grocery Smarts, and the best part is they're free to use! Each of those sites have more locations than just Utah but I know they aren't totally national. I know that there are some sites that do similar things but you have to pay for a subscription. I personally don't want to pay because my whole reason for couponing is to save money!
If you can't find a website that pairs sales and coupons for you, you still have options! Where I live the weekly grocery store ads come in the mail on Wednesday. You can go through the weekly ads and look for good sale items and check if you have a coupon for that same item.
Once you have a list put together you are ready to shop!

Step 5: Time to Shop!
I choose just to focus on one store. I choose Walmart because I can price-match. Price matching is when another store has an item cheaper than Walmart and then they will match that price. I like the idea of only having to go to one store. That is definitely a suggestion I have for beginners, focus on one store until you get really comfortable. Read up on the store's coupon policy, I printed out Walmart's coupon policy that I can make sure what the rules and regulations are. Often times you will come to find that you know the coupon policy better than the cashiers! Make sure you get your maximum savings! In my county Walmart doubles coupons up to $1 on Tuesdays. For example if I have a coupon for $0.25 off an item they will double it to $0.50 off.
Okay, get prepared to shop, make sure you have a detailed list of things you are going to buy. Bring your coupon binder, have a pen, etc. As I go through and put things in my cart I double check the coupon to make sure it is the right item. Also, once something is in my cart I pull out the corresponding coupons and put them in a plastic sleeve in the front of my binder then it makes checking out much easier since I can just hand the cashier the coupons instead of having to search for them.
So you've finished shopping and now you are ready to check-out. Brace yourself, checking out is going to take a lot longer now that you are couponing. I have some tips for you, choose a male or a young teenager cashier, they are a lot less likely to hassle you about your couponing and a lot more likely to let you do your process. Let the cashier know right away that you have coupons and or price-matches so they know they will need to make some adjustments. Also, it's polite to let the person in line behind you know that you'll be couponing and that you are likely going to take a while. They may want to pick another lane. I like to put like items together on the conveyer belt and place the corresponding coupons with them. For example, when the cashier gets to my four lotions I tell them the price-match price, they scan the item, and then I hand them the coupons to scan. This way when I can see the coupon take effect right away, and if for some reason you have trouble with a coupon it can be fixed immediately instead of at the end. That works best for me, you'll find what works best for you.
After checking out, celebrate! You just saved your family money! Enjoy! Once I get my haul home I like to take a picture of my items and email them to my husband while he's at work so I can brag. I also like to go through my receipt and see what my total savings is in both dollar amount and percentage.

Okay, I really hope you could all understand that. Again, please comment of email me at nksmithfamily[at]gmail[dot]com if you have any questions of you want to brag about your savings! Happy Couponing!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Free Contact Lens Solution!

Today only Walmart is giving away free contact solution! Each box of solution also comes with a contact case! All you have to do is print the offer and take it in to your local Walmart Eye Center. I printed eight copies and got eight boxes of solution! Hurry because it is today only! Here is the link for the offer -

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kim's Couponing 101

Okay, let me preface this post by saying I have a killer cold so I really hope that everything is coherent. Also, it's a long post so I am breaking it up into two sections.

I coupon to have a baby. That is the super short version of things. My husband and I will hit the 4 year mark next month of trying to get pregnant. Four years! It has felt like an eternity trying and waiting and praying for a child. I won't bore you with all the details of procedures and medicines and diagnoses, but here is where we are at now- in order for us to have a chance of getting pregnant we will have to undergo a $15,000 procedure called ICSI, and that is only if I am medically cleared with my diabetes and heart issues. So yah, that's the story in a nutshell! I want to save at a faster rate than we have been so I decided to jump into the world of couponing. My husband and I made the decision that we will not go into debt to have a baby. We want to be able to pay for everything up front. I am not condemning those who do finance their fertilty procedures, but it just wasn't the right decision for us. Saving for ICSI is my number one reason for couponing.

Both my husband and I are deeply religious. We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. One thing our church advocates is personal preparedness. It is recommended that everyone have a stockpile of food and essentials in case of natural disaster or financial struggles. Couponing helps me build up my stockpile. First I want to be able to have a 3 month supply of everything from food to toiletries to cleaning products etc. Eventually I want a full year's worth. This is my other motivation for couponing.

Okay, now that you know my life story :) I will walk you through my process. Keep in mind that I've only been couponing for a couple of weeks! I have made some mistakes but I understand the general idea and I hope that my tips help! I will try and explain the best I can but please leave a comment or send me an email if you have questions. My email is nksmithfamily[at]gmail[dot]com.

Step 1: Getting Your Hands on those Coupons!
I get my coupons from two sources, my local newspaper and online.
Each Sunday I get four newspapers delivered to me. Why four? Because that means I get four sets of coupons. If you look at my previous post you will notice that I bought four of most items, that's because I had four coupons. The common standard is that you order one newspaper per person in your household. So if you have four kids you order six papers, one for you, one for your husband, and one for each of your kids. I hope that makes sense.
I also print some coupons from the internet. The best sites for coupons are
You can print each coupon twice per computer. If there is a coupon I want I print it from my laptop, my husband's laptop, and from his home office computer, that gives me a total of six coupons. As far as the online coupons go, I only print ones that I know I'll use. For example, we don't drink coffee or have pets so I don't waste my time on those coupons.

Step 2: Cutting the Coupons
This is my least favorite part of couponing, but alas, it has to be done. For my newspaper coupons I pull apart all the coupon pages and stack the identical pages on top of each other. That way when you cut them, you are cutting all four at once. Make sure you get coupons from both sides of the pages! Once they are all stacked and ready it doesn't take too long. My husband usually will help if I bribe with some cinnamon rolls or some cookies. Just a suggestion :). As far as online coupons go I use one of those slide track cutters that are usually used for scrapbooking. I told Nate that I want to get one of those heavy duty handle cutters that can go through like 20 pages at once.

Okay folks, this cold is killing me and I've got to stop, but stay tuned tomorrow for steps 3, 4, and 5 and some pictures!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Low-Down on My Coupon Showdown

So I talked with Alisha (cousin) earlier this evening. Of course couponing came up! Alisha is the one who taught me how to coupon and I loved that she let me brag to her about the deals I got this week! So I've got another coupon post for you! Here are some of the deals I was able to get. This isn't everything. I didn't get stuff out of my fridge or freezer for the photo, I forgot. But this should still give you a pretty good idea of what I was able to get. I can't remember all the pre-sale prices, but I listed both the full price and the price I paid.

Here's the breakdown:
4 Crest Mouthwash - $3.99 to $1.99
4 All Laundry Detergent - $2.99 to $0.99
4 Ban Deodorant - $2.75? to $0.74
2 Stayfree Pads - $2.99 to $0.99
4 Snuggle Fabric Softener - $3.47? to $1.99
4 Tide Stain Release Packets - $3.97 to $0.97
4 Nivea Men's Body Wash - $3.50 to $0.50
4 Nivea Men's Shaving Cream $2.60? to $0.50
4 Fusion ProGlide 5 Blade Razors - $6.97 to $0.89
4 Bic 4 Flex Razors - $5.97 to $0.99
4 Crest Toothpastes - $2.87 to $0.25
2 Aquafresh Toothpastes - $0.97 to FREE
4 Colgate Toothpastes - $3.00 to $0.13
16 Nexcare Bandaids - $1.00 to FREE
2 Tylenol Precise Cream - $5.97 to $0.97
5 Wheat Thins Stix - $2.50? to $0.67
2 Pompeian Vinegar - $1.48 to $0.48
1 French's Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce - $2.00? to $0.37
12 Ronzoni Pasta - $1.48 to $0.50

Pre Price Match and Coupon Total: $225.52
Total Spent: $47.99
Total Savings: $177.53 or 79%

That was my week in coupons! Tomorrow I'll post my process, where I get my coupons, how I find deals, and how I stay organized.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

4 Years!

It's our 4 year anniversary today! Part of me can't believe that it's only been 4 years. I feel like I have always been with Nate, it's hard to remember what single life was like. I've learned a few things in these four years, I know that Nate is a wonderful wonderful man. He is an amazing partner, a fantastic provider, he's fun to be with, and he is truly the best friend I have ever had. I love him so much more than I ever thought possible. Thank you Nate for being my husband! I love you!