Monday, December 27, 2010

Free Cup of Yoplait Yogurt

Yoplait is offering a coupon for a free cup of yogurt!  Visit this link to order a coupon!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vistaprint - 10 Free Items available (just pay shipping)

I just ordered these postcards (set of 100) to write thank you notes for the holidays and just in general!

Shipping for these postcards was around 6.50.

Vistaprint has 10 free items here.

If you sign up for Vistaprint through this link, you can get an offer for 80% off other items in addition to the free ones!

Disclosure: The sign up link above is my personal referral link. I will receive Vistaprint credit if you sign up using this link. You will receive special offers, and in turn be able to refer people. We both win!

Free Goosebury Patch Recipe eBooks for Kindle has three new free eBooks available for the Kindle!

These Free e-books can be read on a Kindle, Blackberry, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or your PC or Mac!

I use the free Kindle for PC app to read these.  
Get these now, because they may not be free soon!

Special Subscription Deal for Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Visit Old Schoolhouse Magazine to see the new offers that they have available!

They have 3 ordering options available, but for only 7.95 you can receive 12 issues. Any 7.95 purchase will result in a free planner for you!

Giveaway: MasterCard MarketPlace $100 Giveaway

lotus AKA Sarcasticmom has a giveaway on her site... the post has a review of MasterCard MarketPlace, and a $100 giveaway! 

You can enter this giveaway twice - once by commenting on her post, and again by tweeting or blogging about it!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When Enough is Enough

I read this post today from Coupon Teacher and it got me thinking.  Her post is about having "enough".

I am guilty of this.  Lately in my quest to become more frugal, I have been frequenting the savings blogs.  Blogs that are full of special deals, coupons, sales, and more.  I get excited over the possibility of bringing home bags of stuff for next to nothing!  But then I have to tell myself, how much is enough!

Is it enough that my pantry is full?  Yes. I hope in the new year to use my frugal-ness to donate to others in need. It made me feel good this year when a friend needed a little extra, and I was able to give her a bag of stuff and she accepted.

What I am hoping for in the new year, with our goal of not to spend, and paying down our debt, is to find that what we have is enough.  A roof over our heads, food on the table, health, family, friends.

** Note, CouponTeacher is one of my favorite savings blogs! I will be doing a blog post or a link page in the near future of my favorites, but... add her site to your feed reader!!

One of my favorite sites - Eversave

Have you seen all of the daily deal sites out there?  One of my favorites is Eversave.  They are currently my favorite because, for all current members, they credited our accounts with $10! (This happened today, and I'm still full of the awesome)  *note, "Full of the awesome" is an Aunt-Becky-ism... for those of you not familiar with Aunt Becky, check out her blog sometime for some great entertainment!

So, back to Eversave.  They have some great daily deals, you can sign up for your city, or there are also some nationwide deals.

This is how it works: You receive e-mails from Eversave about their daily deals. If you like the deal, you can purchase it.  One of the recent deals I used was $12 for $25 (or so) worth of magazines from Blue Dolphin.  Those of you who know me personally know that I love magazines!  So I used the voucher to buy All You magazine (which has tons of coupons!!) and Redbook, to spend the difference.

Another way to make Eversave work for you is referrals.  Once you are a member, each member you refer that makes a purchase means a $12 credit in your account. 

Also, as a new member, you receive a $5 credit just for joining!  This means that you can get an extra $5 off of any deal!  I used mine to purchase the magazine voucher for only $7! (An All You subscription costs over $20 normally)

Also, to sweeten the deal, members that join TODAY or TOMORROW (12/22) can use the coupon code FIRSTBUY to get an extra $5 off of any deal purchased today or tomorrow!

Happy Shopping!!

Disclosure: The link to Eversave above is my referral link, and if you make a purchase, I will get a credit to my account in addition to the benefits you will receive!

Blogs.... argh!

Don't you hate it when you are writing a post and you lose it?  Argh!  The darn internets tonight is driving me crazy.

How I Make Extra Money Online - MyPoints

MyPoints is another site that lets you earn points for things you already do online.  I have been a member of MyPoints for at least 7 years, and I have cashed out multiple times for restaurant gift cards, Target gift cards, etc.

You get points for shopping at your favorite sites, but I prefer to use Ebates for this purpose.

Once you sign up for MyPoints, you will receive special offer e-mails, most of them are a "click" offer that you earn 5 points just for reading/clicking.  5 points doesn't seem like much, but if you read a couple emails a day, just for a few seconds of work, over a few months you'll have enough to cash out to get a gift card to one of your favorite stores.  Some of the offers are 5 points to click, and 25 if you sign up for the site's mailing list, etc. More points if you make a purchase, but you have to go through their site to get to the site you want to purchase from.

They also send out surveys that you can do for 50 points or so, or 10 points if you don't qualify.  I usually ignore the surveys since I do surveys for so many different companies, but, you can do this if you like.

You also get a small amount of points for referring new members, so if you are interested in trying out the site, let me know and I will get you a referral sent to your email!

Thanks for reading!

One of my favorite sites - RetailMeNot

Have you heard of RetailMeNot? No? It's one of my favorite sites! It has coupon codes available for over 65,000 stores!

One of my best saving money trick for shopping online (besides using Ebates for every purchase, if possible) is going to Google and typing *store you are shopping at* and coupon code.  At least 90% of the time, I find an offer that I can use for my purchase, and most of the time, the coupon code is on RetailMeNot.  You can use these coupon codes to save extra money, in addition to the cash back in your Ebates account!

Another fun thing about RetailMeNot (well, I'm an online dork) is sharing the codes.  If you sign up on the site, you can track codes shared and money saved using the site.  I like to submit any coupon codes I can find, and since I've been using the site for almost a year now, I've submitted 257 codes and according to the site, saved others $33,066!  When you use a coupon code to make a purchase, if you check "it worked for you" it will ask you approximately how much you've saved.

So, next time you make a purchase online, I suggest checking out RetailMeNot!

They also have printable coupons, and shopping tips for your favorite stores!

Week 2 Spending Update

Today's Spending....

So in a moment of weekness, I went with a friend to the Pens Store at the Consol Energy Center today. Another friend had given us a coupon for 30% off this week, but it can't be used on game days so today was the day.

When she mentioned she was going, I already had in mind that I was going to buy a Winter Classic T-Shirt. Don't even ask which player I got :)   So, I went to the store.  I resisted temptation to buy something way more expensive.  I bought my T-Shirt, which is regularly $26, for somewhere around $18.

On the way back, I fell into the temptation of Au Bon Pain's macaroni and cheese.  Another $5.00... but... yum!  (And within my budget for the week).  I am only working one more day this week so chances of doing that again are slim to none.

This evening... got gas (expensive!!)  and was supposed to get an oil change... but I pulled in there and they were closed.  So, money saved, but I will spend eventually.

I would be disappointed in myself about buying the t-shirt if I didn't like it so much!  I've been kicking myself for not buying the Malkin St Patrick's Day Penguin shirt back in March, so I know I would regret this later if I didn't buy it.   And, I only have *one* Winter Classic shirt, so....

How I Make Extra Money Online - SurveySavvy

I spend a lot of time online.  I like to fill out surveys.  I like to try new products free!  For these reasons, I belong to several (well, a lot) of survey companies online.

SurveySavvy is one of them.  I have been a member of SurveySavvy for a while now, and have received checks from them in the past.  (See below for my history)

The surveys did not take a long time to take, and some of them were even interesting.  It is nice to be able to request a check every few months and have some "extra" money!

Also, if you refer your friends, you also receive a small incentive when they complete surveys.

Sign up today! 

Disclosure:  I included my referral link in this post, so when you sign up, you will be signing up through my account.  Once you are signed up, you can refer your friends and family to help increase your earnings.

    Account Balance for Christen 
Surveys Completed

      My Surveys 3 $26.50       

      Referrals' Surveys 3 $3.00       

      Their Referrals' Surveys 0 $0.00       

      Miscellaneous Incentives   $1.00       

      Lifetime Account Total   $30.50       

      Total Payments Requested   $29.50       

      Amount Remaining in Account   $1.00       

Aveeno Printable Coupon

Aveeno is offering a $1 printable coupon for an Aveeno Baby product!  Print it here!

Since it is a "bricks" coupon, you can print it twice!  Just press the back button on your browser and "resend" if prompted, and it should print a second copy!

I could not print it because I must have printed it before.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Week 1 - Lost my allowance

Last week my husband and I were talking about how much "allowance" we would get each week - to get lunch out, to spend on whatever, to save for a larger purchase, etc.  We decided to take an amount of money out to see how it went, since we will be doing the plan starting the first of the year.

I took my allowance out on Monday.  I thought I was doing pretty well because on Thursday I still had a considerable amount of money left. I decided that since I had a handful of good coupons for the mall, I would go and spend a little money.

First purchase was at Sears, I had a $10 off $20 coupon and I have had my eye on a new wallet for some time. Since I will start carrying cash, I needed a wallet that had room for that.  I also got some slipper socks to complete a Christmas gift (not in the allowance money) so I spent $11, part from the allowance.

Next stop was Hallmark, where I had a $5 off of a $5 purchase. Their wrapping paper was 4.99 and the second roll was .99 so I got two rolls of wrapping paper for around 1.30.  So this will help me wrap my gifts!

I had a $10 Build a Bear voucher, so I decided to go and buy the little "motorcycle" jacket that Braden had been eyeing up last time we were there.... which only was $2.50 with the voucher... somewhere around $3.

After that was to go and spend my $10 Victoria's Secret "birthday" coupon.  I chose my favorite perfume/body spray from there in a trial size....  so there was the $10.

I ended the night by using a Free Annie's pretzel coupon that was on the front of my Scholastic Parent & Child magazine.

After the mall, I visited Walgreen's to use my Jingle Cash and Register Rewards ($19!)

So ... when I got home I was so proud of the purchases that I made,.spending basically under $10 of my own money for all of those things.  Then I realized that I only had $3 left, where I should have had at least $17-20 left.   I felt so irresponsible... carrying money around is such a difference if you're used to the debit card way of things.

I showed my husband all of my purchases, and I was proud of myself for not spending much and coming back with so much.  Then I explained to him that I lost the rest of my allowance, and the next day I would have to pack lunch instead of going out for the treat on Friday like my work group always does.  He said to me, "Go anyway! Enjoy yourself!"  Well, my #1 rule for the "allowance" was ... no excuses!  If you run out of money, no excuses!  So I included myself in that rule when I lost the money.

Fortunately at work on Friday I didn't miss not going to lunch because I had a work "crisis" and had to work through lunch anyway, and I stayed at my one office, where none of my work friends were working that day anyway. We had a food day the day before so I even got to eat free food that day!

So my lessons from week 1 learned:
1.  Be careful with cash!  Watch what you are doing at the checkout to make sure that you have everything in your hand before you step away.
2.  Stick to the plan!  Paying down our debt will only come as a result of one thing - sacrifice.  If we keep buying whatever we want all the time, or "treating ourselves", or being weak, we will never get out of this situation.

Sign Up for a Free Meal on your Birthday at Ihop!

Sign up to receive offers for Ihop, including a free meal on your birthday!

Free Sample of Vaseline Lotion

Free Sample of Vaseline Intensive Rescue Lotion from Walmart!

Sign up here!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

OVER NOW: Coupon Geek is giving away All Three Toy Story Movies!

One of my favorite sites, Coupon Geek, is giving away all three Toy Story Movies on Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack!  The giveaway will end at 11:59 CST on Friday, December 17th!

Use this link to enter!

Kraft First Taste Program

Sign up for Kraft's First Taste program.  You get the opportunity to try new products and get special coupons and offers.  Through this program I got a free Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese, and several coupons.

If you're currently a member, login to your account to see if you received an offer.  Some members received a Free Athenos Greek Yogurt ... I didn't have this offer.

Thanks Coupon Katarina!

Don't Forget - Amazon's 25 Downloads of Christmas

Don't forget that Amazon is offering 25 free downloads of Christmas music this month!

Today's is "In the Bleak Midwinter" by Dan Fogelberg

Use this link to catch up on all of the free music!

Free Music from Amazon - Away in a Manger

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Plan

So I am currently working on organizing our finances.  I'm trying to get a good idea of what we are spending and on what. I have been using Microsoft Money for quite some time now, so I have a good tracking of expenses for the past several years.

However - what I've found is the largest part of our spending is unavoidable at this time.  The mortgage, which I will work on paying off once I've paid off other "consumer debt" and student loans, and daycare. I wish our daycare situation could be different - but right now we are paying a big amount of money for the quality care that our son is getting while we are working.  It is not feasible for me to stay home, since I have the benefits, etc, and my husband is not a stay-at-home kind of guy. I have come to terms with paying the daycare - but that is why we have held off on having a second child for so long.... two in daycare would just kill us.

So right now, I'm working on getting our financial paperwork in order and organizing things around the house. To me, getting the house organized is part of my financial plan because it will help us spend less. I'd like for us as a family to appreciate the things we have instead of chasing that next big thing. We have so much here for entertainment, such as board games, books, and movies, but we are usually renting or buying something new.  Also being organized will keep us from buying duplicates of something, or buying something that I've already had stockpiled.

Those of you who know me personally know that I have "Giant Eagle" in my basement. I've stockpiled various food, household and beauty products, etc.  When I was growing up we had a small stock in the basement, as my mom was a smart shopper and taught me her couponing ways.

The big debate we're having is how much "allowance" we will be allowed to have.  I'm afraid that being too stringent on ourselves will cause us to binge, much like when you diet and don't allow yourself any treats.  I am good at packing my lunches for work, but I go out on Fridays for the social aspect of it, to see my work friends and leave the office for a short time.  I would like to continue to do this, and have a little bit of money to save for something for myself, or whatever. 

CVS - Signup for $4 off of $20 coupon

First time CVS e-mail subscribers can sign up here to receive e-mails from CVS and a $4 off a $20 purchase coupon.

According to the site you need to have a CVS extra care card, and they cannot have your e-mail address on file already.

12 Free Ebooks of Christmas

I love these e-books!  They have had some great ideas.  There are 12 available to download, they are all in PDF format.

7 Christmas Dessert Recipes

5 Free Christmas Crochet Patterns

5 Knit Christmas Stocking Patterns

Mr Food Hassle Free Holidays Cookbook

6 Wonderful Christmas Dinner Menu Ideas

6 Sew Easy to Make Christmas Ornaments

50 Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes

Mason Jar Recipes: 34 Holiday Ideas for Gifts in a Jar

Quick and Easy Christmas Crafts

Angel Crafts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide

Santa's Guide for Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids

Join the Pittsburgh Penguins Kids Club

Join the Pittsburgh Penguins Kids Club!

It's free and the benefits include:
  • Membership Card with lanyard
  • Fleury Photo
  • Monthly contests
  • Monthly e-newsletters
  • Discounts to Pens Gear & T.G.I. Friday’s
  • Receive exclusive downloadable wallpapers
  • Attend Iceburgh’s Big Bash Party
  • And much, much more…

Saturday, December 11, 2010

More Free Amazon Music - Sargent House Sampler is offering the Sargent House Sampler album for free!

The first track of this album is by my favorite band Good Old War! I've seen them about 4 times live and they are awesome!

Also there are currently 2,079 free songs available on Amazon!  And 161 free albums!

More Amazon Free Music

Amazon is offering a lot of free music right now!

Request the X5 Free Sampler - A Classical Holiday album!

Free Sample of Good Nites

Look for the Banner Ad for Good Nites on and you can sign up for a free sample!

Free Sample of Ester-C Gummies

"Like" Ester-C on Facebook and on their promotions tab there is a free sample of their Gummies available.

Thanks Couponing to Disney!

Free Gummie Vitamins from Natural Dynamix

Natural Dynamix is offering a sample of their Gummie Cuties Multi-Vitamin or their Gummie Fiber Vitamin.
Sign up here.

Amazon 25 Days of Free MP3 Downloads!

For the 25 days of Christmas, is offering 1 free MP3 Christmas song each day.

Check back each day to see what they are offering!

Today's free download is "Angels We Have Heard on High" by Chanticleer.

Check out all available downloads here!

Free Music from Sara Groves

Sara Groves is offering her "O Holy Night tour - Live the Prison Show" for free download on her website.

Check it out here!

Thanks The Frugal Girls!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Free E-Book - Santa's Guide to Easy Christmas Crafts

Go here to get your free e-book of Easy Christmas Crafts!

You do not have to sign up for the e-newsletter on the pop-up box - you can close it and then download the e-book.

How I Make Extra Money - Ebates

Ebates is a great site that gives you cash back for shopping you already do on the internet!

I found a great post explaining all about ebates on

If you are a new member you will get a $5 bonus on top of the cash back!
Sign up here!

Each purchase you make, check ebates first, login to ebates and find the site through their search.  This will track your purchase and you will receive cash back to your ebates account.  I believe they pay out every 3 months.

I received a check for $8.54 in October, and now between holiday shopping and a new laptop purchase, I've accumulated 49.85 for my next check.

Buy Duplo Blocks for $29, get $20 eGift Card! has the LEGO DUPLO Bricks and More Bricks box for $29.

You will receive a $20 e-gift card sent to your email, and this card can be used at or

Select "Site to Store" Shipping to ship to your local Walmart for free!

Also use to get 2% cash back!  I will explain ebates in a post very soon!

Thanks Couponing to Disney!

Giant Eagle Deals of the Week 12/09/2010 - 12/15/2010

Coupon Allies has done a great job matching this week's Giant Eagle sales with the coupons!

Thanks Coupon Allies!

Great Deal on Toy Story on Amazon

Stop by for the Toy Story Two-Disc Special Edition Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack for only 11.99! There is free super-saver shipping available with orders of $25+.

Or free shipping with Prime!

You can get free trial of Amazon Prime for 3 months with Amazon Mom!

According to - here are the details for the Amazon Mom program:
Amazon Mom is a free membership program created especially for parents and caretakers of small children. Amazon Mom members receive benefits such as three months of FREE Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime (with the potential to earn up to one year of free Amazon Prime shipping benefits), 30% off diapers and wipes which are auto-delivered to your doorstep with Subscribe & Save and other promotions geared toward parents. Current Amazon Prime members can also join the program.

Even better deal: Pair this with the Toy Story 3 Combo Pack 23.99

There is a $10 promotion taken off at the checkout if you purchase Toy Story 3 and any eligible Pixar title listed.
Buy Toy Story 3 Combo Pack, $23.99
Buy Toy Story, $11.99
-$10 promotion (taken off at checkout)
Pay $25.98 for both Combo Packs

50 Free Photo Cards from SeeHere!

There is a great deal on photo cards going on at SeeHere

They are offering 50 free 4x8 cards (just pay shipping of around $5).  If you order 60 cards, you can upgrade to Free Overnight Shipping, and it will only cost $4.80!

Here's how to take advantage of this offer:
Go to SeeHere and make your cards.
Order 60 cards in total.
Use promotion code 50cards at the checkout.
Select Free Overnight Shipping!

If you already did your Holiday cards (like me) you can make cards for the next few holidays, you can make thank you cards, or you can even make a card to give out your child's latest picture.

Thanks My Frugal Adventures!

Rewards Program - Huggies Enjoy the Ride Rewards

Huggies has a rewards program called Enjoy the Ride Rewards.  You can find codes inside Huggies and Pull ups packages, but they also offer free promotional codes. You can earn points by taking short polls/surveys and watching videos.

The points are mainly redeemable for contest entries or donations. 

If you wish to donate, for 16 points you can diaper a baby for a day.  The points go to Huggies program called "Every Little Bottom".  The site says that 1 in 20 moms struggle with diaper needs and have actually cleaned out and reused wet or soiled diapers.  I cannot imagine not having the diapers I need for my child, so if a few minutes of your time can help diaper a child, please consider donating points!

Here is a free code to get started:

Coupon Geek has many codes available on her blog.  This is one of my favorite blogs, and one of the blogs that inspired me to start my own!

New printable coupons

There are new printable coupons available on !

$1 off Gorton's Shrimp Item
$1/2 Spic and Span
$.50/2 Plum Organics Baby or Tots Items

and many more!

Remember - you can print each coupon twice, and new coupons are available often, so check back!

Free Subscription to Lego Club Magazine

Apply here for a subscription to Lego Club magazine!  We receive this already and it is a nice magazine that also comes with a Lego comic book inside.  Although I think they give it out for free to entice the kids to ask for more expensive Lego sets!

Free Sample - Prilosec

Apply here for a free sample of Prilosec OTC!  When filling out the form, the sample is only available to those with "frequent" heartburn.

Free Whole Living Magazine

Apply now for a free "Whole Living" Magazine subscription. You will never receive a bill!  This is through "Rewards Gold" - they offer several magazine subscriptions and sometimes require a short survey to get the subscription.

After filling out this form you can apply for a free subscription to Forbes and Ebony.

Friday, November 26, 2010

How I Make Extra Money - MyCokeRewards

My Coke Rewards is a website that you can use to enter points from Coca-Cola products. The points are available on many products, for example, a 20-ounce bottle has a 3-point code on the cap, and a 12-pack of cans has a 10-point code inside the box.

I have been saving Coke reward points for several years now and I have redeemed for some great prizes. A couple years back I redeemed a bunch of codes for 2 photo books, prints, and photo posters from Snapfish, and most recently, I redeemed points for a $25 Home Depot gift card.

The rewards change frequently, so if you don't see any rewards you are interested now, they will change soon.

I think it's worth it to save these points if you buy or drink Coca-Cola products. We don't buy these frequently, but over time you save a lot of points.

A few examples of other rewards:
There are several magazine subscriptions available for 200 points or under.
30 prints from Snapfish - 50 points
$5 Chili's Gift Card - 150 points

So as you can see, these points can add up. We buy Coke products for holiday parties, the occasional drink I purchase at work, and then I enter the points on the site. You can get some great stuff!

The Beginning

Welcome! I decided to start this blog because my husband and I are working to become debt-free. Well, at least for the consumer debt that we have - credit cards, auto loans, etc.

My plan is for next year to be called "No Spend Year". This is where we will not spend on things that are not necessary. We will use the extra money to pay down our debt. I believe that my husband and I will give ourselves a small allowance to spend however we please. He likes to go out with his fire department friends once a week, and I do like my once a week lunch out since I pack most days.

In this blog, I will talk about our journey since I believe it will be a tough one. I like to shop. I like great deals. But on the other hand, I like to be frugal. I cut coupons. I sign up for free samples. I will share some of this on my blog, along with ways that I make extra money online. Not much extra money, but a few minutes here and there add up to a few extra dollars.

I will be sharing our journey here because I think it will hold myself more accountable. Plus I would like to share some of the things I've learned to save money or make the most of what you have.

I will be importing some of my former blog posts on my old blog here shortly. This will include some of my money saving tips.