Monday, March 26, 2012

Shopping the Sales

I have been a couponer for awhile, but lately, the coupons have been smaller than normal since it seems that everyone as taken up couponing. I feel that overuse, and abuse, of coupons, has spoiled it for most other couponers. I still do cut coupons but only use them for items that I already purchase or was planning to purchase.

What I do instead now, is to shop the sales. This isn't a new concept- this is a concept that has been used by our mothers and grandmothers for generations to save money for their families. However, thanks to modern technology, it's so much easier now!  Above you'll see all the grocery shopping I did today for only $65. I went to two stores and I did about an hour's worth of research before I went, and it was so worth it.

I'm going to share with you a few tips to learn how to shop sales- and once you start, it will be hard to stop!

#1. Do Your Research.
 In my town, I primarily shop at Wal-Mart, and a local Country Mart. Wal-Mart's prices usually are low, and you can price match to other stores in the area. While I was preparing my shopping list, I looked at the other stores in the area for what was on sale.

I found that Aldi had strawberries for 1.29/lb. I don't usually shop at Aldi, but I pricematched to Wal-Mart for that, and got the strawberries that they usually have for 1.98/lb!

You can do this with any store within 50 miles around your town (We dont have a Target or a Hyvee, but you can price match to them) and you can see these deals in the Sunday paper, but also check out the store's websites- this will show you their weekly ad and their midweek ad.

Oh yes. This, is probably the best tip I will give you. Most stores have midweek ads and 2 day sales that have super low prices- and since you can price match, that may be the best way to snag your super great deal!

My CountryMart usually starts their sales on Wednesday, and they are very good about keeping their sales stocked. This week, the ad had frozen vegetables on sale for .98 apeice- so I got four bags of different veggies. They also had fresh Dole salads for 2 for $5, so I picked up 2, as well as fresh vegetables such as broccoli for .98/lb.

#2: Clip your coupons!
If you're a couponer, the best way to do it is to use coupon websites for weekly matchups, and then make your grocery list from that. For fresh food, couponing is not a great way to get the deal- there are rarely coupons for produce. But for things such as cheese, refrigerated or packaged foods to supplement your fresh food, keep an eye out for coupons!

#3: Make your List! I make my list in an Excel spreadsheet so that I can see how much is going to cost me, and keep everything organized with what I need to purchase from each store and what's on sale.

This is what my list looked like for Country Mart this week:

ProductPriceStoreDate Expire
Fresh Green Beans.98/lbBi-Lo 27-Mar 
Broccoli Crowns.98/lbBi-Lo 27-Mar 
Dole Salad Blends 9-12 oz2/$5Bi-Lo 27-Mar
YoPlait Greek Yogurt 6 oz0.98Bi-Lo 27-Mar
Kraft Dressing0.98Bi-Lo 27-Mar
PictSweet Vegetables 10-16 oz0.98Bi-Lo 27-Mar

By knowing what is on sale in the store before I walk in, I won't miss any of the sales, and I can ensure that I get the best deal!

#4: Keep your eyes out for unadvertised deals!
I picked up several items that were on sale today that I had not accounted for:
Wal-Mart had cantaloupes on sale for 1.00 apiece, so I got 2. Also- clementines for 3.75!
Country Mart had asparagus for $1.97 a bunch, so I picked some up...

And my favorite way to save is in the meat department. Country Mart marks down their meat every week, so I picked up some "Managers Special chicken" which was tenderloins on sale for 2.54. Last week I did this with pork steaks that were on sale- 4 steaks for 4.96!

Wal-Mart doesn't have meat sales like that, so it's better to shop locally when you can.

Altogether: I got the following items for $65.00:
2 lbs chicken--3 crowns broccoli --Sara Lee 100% Whole wheat --Yukon potatoes --
2 packages of Jello* --Cheddar snacks--2 cantaloupes--Fresh asparagus -Creamy ranch dip
Smoked turkey sausages --2 lb baby carrots --3 pink lady apples --Garlic salt --Strawberries
I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter*--Mild Salsa--6 Whiskas*--4 frozen PictSweet veggie bags
WholeWheat linguine--WholeWheat rotini--Milk Bite Granola Bars*--2 bags romaine
1 bag of cuties--Fresh Takes*  --3 greek yogurts--1 dozen eggs --bananas
The items marked with an asterisk (*), I used a coupon when I purchased it.

As you can see, with a little bit of research from the comfort of your couch, you can save a lot of money!

Useful websites:
The Krazy Coupon Lady
My Country Mart
Price Chopper

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Life & Facebook Fast

I really love this quote! Lately I've been so bogged down by the people that have betrayed me.
This has come to be such a horrible shock to me because as naive as it sounds, I haven't been treated like this before. I've had friendships that have ended but not under
circumstances like these, but I've never lost a job.
And even though I've been treated in some pretty horrible ways, what hurts is the relationships I've lost- it makes me very sick to my stomach.

But when I saw this quote I realized that these things are going to happen in my life, even though it's taken me 25 years to feel this betrayal for the first time, it won't be the last.
So I've decided not to dwell, not to hate, not to think about these people or these wrongs. What I'd rather focus on is my life, how I'm improving it, and what things I will do to make myself a better person.

We went to St. Louis this week for a mini spring break getaway, and I deactivated my Facebook account while we were there. I've done this before and felt such a panic, anxiety from deleting it- as if I couldn't handle not being informed of everything going on in everyone's life. 

But this time, it was different. I had been dealing with such anxiety and drama lately in my own life, that I just needed a break. And once I deactivated it, I just had such a wonderful peace. And once I logged in again- I realized there just wasn't much I was missing.

So here I am, and I don't know if it's going to last, but I want to make an honest effort to change my life and steer myself in a better direction- and the first part of that is spending a whole lot less time on Facebook. But I will continue blogging, about positive topics, so I suggest that you follow me here, or you can email me at

I love you all, and I think this is a really good step to making my life whole again.

(Blog post about St. Louis coming soon!)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Smart, Energetic, Innovative, and Self-Starting Lady looking for work!!

Hey blog readers! I'm averaging about 100 hits per blog post, and since I have nearly 600 Facebook friends, I thought that maybe I'd send out some feelers and network to help me find gainful employment. I generally stick to nonprofits, but I am willing to venture into new territory now.

I am an experienced event planner, planning many events with various budgets and populations;
I have done all sorts of community outreach programs, including fairs, home shows, and one-on-one recruitment.
I have designed and implemented new programs to reach underserved populations.
I have designed outreach materials and I wrote and recorded 10+ commercials for my last agency
I am skilled in live radio; I did 24 live, on-air interviews. 

Ability to prioritize and multitask projects to meet deadlines  ·      Experience working in high stress situations and environments ·     Goal-driven leader that works well with little supervision  ·        Proficient in presentational speaking, Microsoft Office, and various social media outlets ·    Creative problem-solver who can apply efficient solutions and resolve complaints

Tell me about yourself.
I have worked full time since I was 17 and have always been a hard worker. I'm the kind of person that puts my entire heart into whatever industry I'm in and I am a sponge that soaks up information and lives and breathes my career.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths- I can develop quick rapport with strangers and I have a naturally friendly personality. I am organized and big-picture oriented (meaning I probably wouldn't be great at a teller job that I'd have to balance to the penny), but I have planned many events for 100+ people and can problem-solve and think on my feet, finding solutions by thinking out of the box. I am also not a procrastinator, and I'd rather finish reports accurately and quickly than rushing to finish them right before a board meeting.

Weaknesses- I tend to take on too many projects at once! My mind is always working on new and improved strategies, programs and ideas that I sometimes have to scale back by making a priority to-do list.

What was the last project you headed up, and what was its outcome? In December 2011, I was planning an agency's holiday party. What was usually an event with 75 people blossomed into about 200 people. I was so excited everyone wanted to come to the party, but I knew it was going to be crazy. So I thought about what could make it go smoother. First, I called in reinforcements. I brought in volunteers from the local high school to serve food and assist with the event. Then, I called my caterer. I ordered food for 50 more people than I expected, in case I had some extra hungry guests or things went quicker than usual.

Then I looked at my event space. We'd easily accomodated 75 people before, so I came up with plans to move activities to different areas to allow for more tables. I moved our Photo Station with Santa to the back of the room with not much activity. This cut down on congestion and helped everything run smoother.

Overall, we served 175 people that day and it was amazing- I had truly planned for everything. It was my proudest moment!

If I were your supervisor and asked you to do something that you disagreed with, what would you do?
I strive to have a good relationship with my supervisors, and if my supervisor and I disagreed about something, I would tell her/him that I respectfully disagreed, and explain why. I feel that emotions have no place in the workplace and that we should all be focused on doing the best for the agency. I'd explain logical points for my decisions, and how I came to those results. If she/he still disagreed, i would respect her/his decision as my supervisor.

I live in Warrensburg, Missouri, which is an hour away from Kansas City, Missouri. I am willing to explore job options in suburbs of Kansas City, including Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, Kingsville, etc, as well as Sedalia and Clinton, Missouri.

If the right opportunity presents itself, I would be willing to commute to Kansas City, Missouri.

As friends and loyal readers of my blog, please keep your eyes and ears out for me!
Simply contact me with application information and I will take it from there.

Thank you all for your continued love and support!