Savings Jar – Bingo Style

Hey Lovelies!

I know you’re probably tired of hearing about my plans to save money and how I go about saving as much money as possible. Well, I’m back again to explain the savings jar – bingo style with ya’ll. It’s a fun way to save money without feeling like you’re completely broke each pay check. It’s also a great thing to start with kids because you can do it with just pennies or just change. You don’t even have to use dollar bills. Keep it simple. Keep it fun.

Above is the bingo board to print out. I prefer to print it out and attach it to a big mason jar with some painters tape (it’s what I had). Then as I put money into the jar, I simply mark off a square or two with a different colored sharpie. Again, this can be a great way to get kids onto saving money! Plus it’s helpful if you or your significant other are bad about saving money and want to plan for a trip or a big purchase.

If you know me personally, or even if you read my blog every now and then, you might have noticed that I have YET to finish a jar. Sadly, every time I start a jar, I only make it about half way before something comes up and I have to spend what money was saved. However, this time it’s different! I have a job now and can put money aside from each check without leaving us feeling completely broke. Wooo! So this time, I will be finishing this jar! 

I started this jar about two weeks ago, roughly. I haven’t really decided yet on how much I am putting away from each check every two weeks. Right now I simply put a little in at a time. This week I put $76 in. Actually it might have been a bit more because we got paid Tuesday. HAHA.

Has anyone else started doing the savings jar this way and been completely successful in finishing the board? I think the last time I tried hard, I got to about 34 before having to spend it on a bill or something. Not anymore! I’m sticking to it! 

If you’ve done the savings jar bingo before, let me know in a comment below. Tell me how far you got before you had to use the money. If you haven’t tried it, are you going to now? Let me know!

Xoxo,
Kaytee

Gotta Save Dat Money | Update

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Happy Wednesday Everyone!! I know a few weeks ago I spoke about doing the 52 week money challenge. You can find the blog post here. I was already planning ahead with it and had almost all of March saved for. Then an emergency came up and I had to take from the jar, sadly. Then I decided, why don’t I just do the bingo style that Danielle over at She Makes Cents came up with. 

Basically all you do is fill in the square with the amount of money you put in the jar. I haven’t been doing this weekly but more of a when I have money type of thing. Ha! When I went to print Danielle’s version off her blog, it was a little too light and pixel’d. I’m sure I could have emailed her and gotten a better copy of it for mine but I decided to revamp it for my own use. I made mine a little more bold and bigger letters.

Here it is if you’d like to use it!

Savings Bingo

I still kept the amounts the same as hers and hope to have this filled up by the end of the year if not sooner.

Here is the progress on my jar.

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bingo3

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I have the 52, 51 and 50 squares colored in. That means I have saved $153 so far. I want to say that at the end of it you’ll have over $1900 in your jar (if you do the bonus squares). I’m hoping that next week I will have a couple other squares marked off. My strategy is to start with the bigger dollar amounts and then work my way up to the $1 and $10 squares vs trying to do the easy ones first and saving the harder amounts for later in the year.

Have you started the challenge to save money this year? Let me know how it’s going in a comment below! I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great Wednesday

*side note: Nardi (my mini dachshund) is passed out on my desk in front of me while I’m typing this. He he.

Saving Money

Any of you ever go above and beyond to save money? Ya know, for a rainy day – aka – an emergency? 

Starting back in January, I decided to go ahead and try to save money. Yes, I am unemployed but I figured between selling crafts and photography, I could save some of that money each week or so and have a good little emergency fund.

I had heard about this 52 week money saving challenge and wanted to give it a shot. I went out and grabbed a pickle jar [still smells like pickles even after cleaning it] and then printed out the chart so I could keep track. I am now saved up till April 9th when I will have to put another $15 in for the week. I do think when it gets closer to December, that’s when I will have issues saving up a ton.

16906347306_ac48196f6b_o16744610168_8f07232e48_oToday, I ended up trading out $20 worth of quarters for a $20 bill from Dad. He has a Harley Davidson piggy bank that he puts all his spare change in, so I figured he wouldn’t mind having a bunch of quarters in there. Ha Ha. 

What are your money saving techniques? What works best for you?

 

xoxo Katie

Couponing 101: For Beginners

Quite a few of you have been asking me to teach you the ways of couponing and saving money. I’m going to go into a lot of detail on how to coupon, tips, links and how to start a stockpile. 

The first step to begin your couponing adventure is to buy the Sunday newspaper. Every weekend there will be 1-4 inserts full of coupons. The only time there are no inserts, is Holidays. There will either be a lot of inserts the Sunday before, or the Sunday after.


The Sunday paper is the best way to get a lot of really good coupons but it’s not the only way to get coupons. The following sites contain a wide range of coupons that are available for you to print straight from your computer. **Note: You are only allowed to print the coupons twice from each computer.


http://www.coupons.com

http://www.redplum.com

http://www.smartsource.com

http://coupons.target.com/

Next I’m going to go over some sites that break down shopping trips by stating the sales and which coupons to use for each item. It makes your couponing trip a lot easier when it’s all laid out for you.

  1. The first site I’m going to go over is The Krazy Coupon Lady. She posts the deals from almost every store imaginable and lists which coupons to use for the products that are the best bargain. She also has a facebook page. I highly recommend following her, here, because it makes your couponing experience so much nicer when you can see everything laid out for you.
  2. The next site I recommend following, especially if you love Target, is Totally Target. They post all of the deals specifically for Target. They also list the coupons to use with each item.
  3. The third/fourth site I’d highly recommend following is going to be I Heart CVS and I Heart Wags. (Wags=Walgreens). Yet again, these two sites will list the deals specifically for their stores as well as show which coupons to use to get that deal.
  4. The last site I’ll share with you is actually a facebook page. This will help you especially if you’re located in Houston, TX. Here is the link for Houston Coupon Moms facebook page. It’s a great page to be on to share info about deals with others and to get feedback about other deals from people in the community.

Many of you have asked me how I got into couponing. I started back in April 2011 when my mom’s friend was telling me about some great deals she got. It instantly sparked an interest in me and I slowly got into couponing. I started getting the Sunday paper every weekend and then slowly started increasing that to two Sunday papers. Currently I’ll get anywhere from 1-2 newspapers or up to 2 bundles (which is roughly 13 newspapers per bundle). It all really depends on what deals are going on and how good the coupons are going to be.

Enough about me. Let’s move into starting a stockpile!! I know most of you have seen numerous photos of my stockpile. The question you have is, “How do I get started?”. It’s really simple. Most people think you need to go out and buy a ton of stuff right off the bat. No! You’re new to the couponing world; take it slow! Only increase your couponing pace if you’re ready for it and can handle the stress. Yes, there is a lot of stress when it comes to couponing – we’ll get into that later.

This was my stockpile when I first started couponing. I didn’t rush out to fill up a whole linen closet worth of stuff right off the bat. It took a few years to finally get it complete full and organized. I actually filled it up and the shelves in my closet as well. It takes time.

Remember, start out small and eventually you’ll get to where you have a good stock of items that were cheap or free for your family.

Now…Let’s move into some more complex couponing 101.

Knowing your Stores Coupon Policy:

Finding your stores coupon policy is as easy as going onto their website, searching and clicking print. I make it a priority to carry around the stores coupon policy with me on each visit. There are occurrences when you will have a nasty, rude cashier trying to tell you that you can’t use a coupon – or something. It’s happened many times to me and it’s very frustrating. It’s always good to have the coupon policy memorized and with you just in case you get that type of cashier.

Here are a few quick tips from a few select stores coupon policies:

  1. Target has a limit of coupons you can use. You can only use 4 identical coupons per day/transaction. Walmart has no limit unless stated on the coupon.
  2. At Target you can use a Target coupon with a Manufacturer coupon on one item. Double the savings!
  3. If a BOGO sale is going on at Wags or CVS, you can use a coupon on each item (yes, the free one and the one you’re buying). (ex. B1G1 Right Guard Deodorant $4.49. Buy 2, Pay for 1. You can use (2) $2/1 coupons and only pay $0.49 for the two deodorants.)
  4. Walmart gives back money if the coupon value exceeds the price of the item. (ex. Loreal shampoo trial size is $0.97. Use $1 off coupon and get paid $0.03).
  5. Dollar Tree actually accepts coupons! I know it’s crazy! You can only use 2 printable coupons per day and 4 identical coupons per day.

Apps:

I almost forgot to mention couponing apps! There is a wide range of couponing apps available. A lot of the couponing apps can be found on the android market but there are a couple that can only be used on an Iphone. Here is a list of the apps I love using and one that I’ve heard great things about:

  1. Ibotta: Join Here. Ibotta has coupons available for you to use without even having to use them at the checkout! How it works — Browse the coupons available and when you see an item you want to purchase, simply purchase it. When you get home you click redeem and find the item you just bought. It will have you select the store you purchased it from and then you’ll be asked to take a picture of the receipt and then the item. Next, you’ll have to wait for it to be approved. Once it’s approved, boom! Money in your account! Once you hit $5 you can click paypal and it’ll send it straight to your paypal account. What I love about this app is that you can use coupons at the store and use this app to get even more savings.
    (ex. CVS had a coupon for a free bottle of Clear Shampoo. Ibotta had an offer for the same shampoo for $1.25 off. I ended up making $1.25 on something that was free.)
  2. Shopkick: This app doesn’t offer a lot of coupons but it’s more of a fun app to use to get gift cards for shopping. The app offers a wide range of stores to choose from. Depending on what store you’re going into…let’s say Target, you’ll want to click Target on the app. It’ll register you in the store as soon as you walk into the building. The thing with the app though is that you need to have the store selected before you walk into the building. If you try to select it when you’re in the store, it won’t register you and then you’ll have to walk outside and walk back in. Shopkick gives you points for scanning items, stepping into stores and for browsing their booklets. You can redeem the points on Target gift cards, gas gift cards and pretty much just gift cards for pizza and other stores. It’s actually a pretty fun app to use when you’re killing time.
  3. Viggle: This is actually not a couponing app but one that I’d recommend if you like to get gift cards free. This one takes a little more time but hardly any effort. You simply turn on your tv, watch a show, click the viggle button and it picks up on what tv show you’re watching. You click “check in” and it gives you 1 point a minute for each minute of that show you watch. Note: Once that show is over, you have to click the viggle button again for it to pick up the next show. Also this app does take awhile to get the points racked up. You need 20,000 points to get a $10 Old Navy gift card. I’ve been using it for a month now and am at 4,000 points.
  4. Receipt Hog: Unfortunately this one is not available on Android phones. This app is great because it gives you coins per receipt uploaded. You start off with 10 coins per receipt and eventually make it up to 25 coins per receipt. When you get to a certain amount you can cash out. Here’s the breakdown on the coins – cash.

    1,000 coins = $5
    1,800 coins = $10
    3,200 coins = $20
    4,500 coins = $30

    This app is good if you’re not big into couponing and want to make a little extra cash.

Now you’re ready to venture out and start couponing!! I hope you all found this post useful and packed full of information. If you have any questions, feel free to message me on facebook or email me here. Have fun saving money!

Rant Rant Rant

Seems like lately all I’ve done is rant about stuff. Ha Ha! Hopefully that is all over this weekend. I just want to make it be known that I am done helping people out. I’ve had numerous people come to me wanting me to teach them how to coupon but in reality, they just want me to do all of the work. Find the deals, get the coupons, tell them exactly what coupon to use where and for what item. It’s ridiculous and I’m just over it. I start out explaining how to do it and then the person either gets uninterested or like I said, wants me to do the work. I don’t mind going couponing for you, if you give me money to actually get the items that you want. I’m not, however, going to use my money to get the items

Money Money Money!!!! Money!

you want and give them to you free of charge. That’s crazy! I also don’t mind people coming over to buy stuff from my stock for 50% off retail. Lots of people think it’s okay to ask me numerous times for stuff that I’ve gotten, “Hey I want some of those!!” “Can I have some of these?” “Hook me up”. No! I also don’t appreciate people referring to me as a hoarder. In no ways am I even close to being a hoarder. I actually use the items I have in my house and if I’m not planning on using them, I give them to family members. For example, my bazillion razors in my linen closet, sure I won’t be using them cause I honestly hate disposables but my mother in law and father in law both use them so they will be stocked up for a long time.

Don’t try to tell me that I should donate all of my stuff. I got the stuff for a reason, I use it. Yes I have 100+ boxes of cat food but they don’t expire till next year and my cat will be able to eat most of that. If not, I’ll be feeding the homeless kitties outside. Yes, I know it’s great to donate and I do give somethings to friends and family members but if I donate all of what I have, then I  have to spend money to buy more of that item for my family. I’m on a really tight budget and that just won’t cut it. I’m not being stingy because I do give people things that I’ve gotten for free or cheap.

If you want to learn how to coupon and are SERIOUSLY interested in it and don’t plan on wasting my time, then ask. I’ve tried to help people save money who have a low income and who could actually use the help but there is only so much I can do. I’m for sure as hell not going to do all of the couponing for you to save you the money. You’re on your own. If you don’t want my help, that’s fine too. I personally love couponing because it’s an easy way for me to provide for my family. I know it’s a little time consuming because you have to get the inserts, organize and clip them before you go to the store. It does take time getting the hang of it but in the end it’s rewarding. Yes, there are some items that I get that I will never use but if the store is paying me $0.78+ for the item, then I’ll be getting it and using the overage toward items I need that I can’t always afford.

Example: The 61+ tubes of Poligrip. Yes I don’t have a need for the poligrip but my grandma, father and grandmother-in-law do. Each box gave me $0.78 overage. That’s a whopping total of $47.58 that I was able to put toward snacks, fruits, veggies, meats and other items I needed. I couldn’t pass that up!

I know a lot of people don’t want to get into couponing like I do because of a lack of space to store everything. You don’t have to buy such big quantities as to where you have no room for anything. Always research before you buy and see if a friend or family member can use that product. It’s helping you out and helping them out. If you can get an item from a store and be paid $0.50 for it and put that $0.50 toward diapers, shampoo, food…then why not? The poligrip was one of the best things I’ve been able to coupon for. Not only did I use the overage on things I really needed but now my grandma, who’s on a strict budget, will be set for quiet awhile on a product that is sorta expensive to buy when you have to buy 3 a month.

Still don’t believe the power of couponing? Ask me questions and I’ll gladly answer them. I’m here to help you out, if you need or want the help.

Saving Money: One Coupon at a Time!

How to Save Money by Couponing:

  1. Step One: Purchase a Sunday paper. They’ll have anywhere from 2-5 inserts per week (except Holidays usually).

2. Step Two: Clip Inserts and match them up with deals from Target/CVS/Walgreens and local grocery stores.

3. Step Three: Go out and score some good deals!!

Here are my most recent deals!
39 (1 not shown) Bottles of Sierra Mist Free. Here’s the breakdown:

Used $1/1 Manufacturer Coupon – $1 at Walmart = Free

Three 12pks of Coke Products and 10 Boxes of Purina One Beyond Cat Food for Free. Here’s the breakdown:

Used 3 Free 12pk Coupons for the coke = Free
Used Free up to $3.25 on Purina One Beyond Cat Food = Free

Used the same Free up to $3.25 Coupon on these and got 15 boxes for free plus made $3.90 overage!

On this deal I was able to use the $2/1 Jimmy Deans D-lights Coupon and get each box for Free. That’s a total of 20 boxes of breakfasts for free! Here’s the breakdown:

$2/1 Jimmy Deans D-lights Breakfast Coupon – $2 each at Walmart = Free!

Here is a recently updated picture of my stockpile in my linen closet. I had to reorganize everything so I could fit more cat food.

Hope you all enjoyed my post. Let me know if you have scored any amazing deals!

Hello Couponing!

It’s been a long time since I’ve couponed. Well, actually since I’ve couponed hard core. I have still been couponing but just for little things like canned cat food. The last time I was really into couponing hard core was back in June or July. I got out of it for awhile because I was dealing with relationship issues/break up and my grandpas health diminishing/passing away. Now I am slowly getting back into thanks to my best friend Emily and a few other people.

Tuesday and Wednesday I got out into the field again and did some couponing. This past Sunday had a coupon for $2/1 Jimmy deans d-light product. They’re on sale at Walmart for $2 so I could pass that up.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Sierra Mist $1 – $1 coupon = Free
  • Jimmy Deans $5.97 – $2 coupon = $3.97
  • Iams Cat Food $1 – $1 coupon = Free

I used my walmart gift card and didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket.

Wednesday I made another Walmart trip and here’s the breakdown:

  • Sierra Mist $1 – $1 coupon = Free
  • Jimmy Deans $2 – $2 coupon = Free
  • Hot Pockets $2 each – $1.25/2 = $2.75

Had $2.66 left on my Walmart card so I ended up paying just $0.09 out of pocket!!

I’m so glad I’ve gotten back into couponing. Since my fiance will be home soon I’ve been trying to stock up on groceries and free/cheap things so that way we can use our money for bills and gas to get around town. Thankfully there are a lot of great people in the couponing community and I’m able to get coupons for items I can stock up on and have on hand since I have such a tight budget. Thanks to all of the ladies who have sent me coupons! I appreciate it!