Jun 30, 2011

Summer Break

Hi Everyone - so sorry for the slowness of this blog recently! Summer activities have kind of snowballed on me and I just haven't been keeping up very well. I promise that after this holiday weekend I will do better at keeping you up to date with all things savings related! Thanks for your patience!!!

Jun 21, 2011

Atherton Mill Farmer's Market

This is Charlotte specific, kind of. I've been going to the Farmer's Market at Kings and East Moorehead for years. The prices are good, the produce is fresh, and the people are very friendly. However, the only complaint I've ever had about it is that it isn't a real Farmer's Market. There are stickers on the produce, sometimes the strawberries are from California, and they always have avocados (which I LOVE) - but nobody in NC grows avocados! Where the heck did they come from? I make my checks out to Simpson's Produce - which means they're a produce company and not farmers. That doesn't make them evil, just not what I was hoping for. Well, just recently I stumbled across Atherton Mill Farmer's Market - in Southend (close to the intersection of South and East Blvd). It is a true Farmer's Market - with actual farmers selling their goods. And there is everything from fresh milk, eggs, cheese, and yogurt, to free range chickens and beef, to regular garden veggies, pickles, homemade breads, and even fresh roasted coffee! It's super cool - but kind of pricy. But even though I paid a whopping $2 for this organically grown cilantro (and I could probably buy my own cilantro plant for that amount), it's totally worth it because I bought it from the woman who grew it and she looked me in the eye and proudly told me that she used no pesticides or chemicals - 100% organic! AND she wrapped the bunch in an adorable bit of twine (I'm such a sucker for pretty packaging)! So yes, things are a good bit more expensive - but how can we blame them? The local farmers cannot compete with the mass food chains that can negotiate for enormous bulk discounts. They cannot afford to sell their tomatoes for $1.29/lb - because these are just local small farmers that only have about 100 lbs of tomatoes total for the entire year (totally pulling that number out of my head - but it is for dramatic emphasis). If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a super saver. I hate to spend more money on anything that I think that I can get cheaper elsewhere. However, there are some things that are worth the money. No matter where you buy Colgate toothpaste - it is the same toothpaste; it doesn't really matter. But it does matter where you buy your fresh produce. It does matter how they grow it, and what they put on it. So consider this your local service announcement: buy local whenever possible. Use your coupons to buy your toiletries and things you cannot buy locally - and then use your savings to support your neighbors! Look at what I made with my purchases from the Farmer's Market:
It's a 7 layer dip...that we ate with forks! Ok, I admit - not everything in this dip is from the Farmer's Market...but the key ingredients I got there made it possible. Homemade re-friend beans (just pinto beans, garlic and onion - super easy), sour cream, ground beef with seasoning, shredded cheese, avocado, tomato, and cilantro. So incredibly yummy and so insanely fresh! So if you live in Charlotte, check out the Atherton Mill Farmer's Market. If you don't live here - check your community to see if you can support the farmers that live in your area!!!! You may not save money in the short term - but you'll be healthier and it's so much more fun! And who knows, maybe it'll save you on your medical bills later! :D

Jun 17, 2011

The Clymb

Ok outdoors and dog-loving friends, finally a deal for you! There is a site called The Clymb that offers high quality sporting goods, at about 70% off! This is the description from their site: The Clymb is the industry-leading venue for connecting premium outdoor and sport brands with dedicated outdoor enthusiasts, athletes and professionals. Exclusive arrangements with our partner brands allow members access to pricing as low as 70% below retail on apparel, footwear and equipment from an elite group of premium manufacturers.

Right now, when you sign up through this link, you can get an immediate $10 credit for your account (all you have to have is an email address to sign up). The shipping is a flat rate of $7.98 and your credit does not go toward your shipping - so no matter what, it's going to cost you at least $7.98 to get something. But here are some ideas:

Nathan Event: 700mL Tritan Frosted Bottle BPA Free - (MSRP $13) - $6.98 (will still have a $3.02 credit)
Ruffwear Event: Stow'n Go Dog Leash - (MSRP $30) -  $9.98 (will have a $.02 credit left)

You could even get both of these items and it will only cost you a total of  $14.94! There are running holsters, sports watches, athletic shoes, and fancy/unique doggy items. So take a look around and see if there is something you like, or if you want - sign up now and save your credit for a later date! This is one of those sites that has rotating sale events. If you don't find something now, there will be different vendors featured later!

Jun 10, 2011

Charmin Toilet Paper Coupons

I've posted a toilet paper deal that I've gotten a couple of times at Target - so I thought that maybe I'd show y'all exactly what I'm talking about. So, the picture here is of the pack that has the super awesome coupons in it! It is the 18-count Big Rolls of the Charmin Sensitive. You can see in the upper right-hand corner where it says "Save $30". That's what you're looking for. Personally, this happens to be my favorite variety of Charmin TP - so it's perfect! Now, here is where the wheelin' and dealin' comes in. The $30 in coupons inside would be enough of an incentive to buy this particular package of coupons. My Target usually sells it for $11.79/package, but regularly puts it on sale for $9.99/package. But what to look out for is the super sale that Target does once a quarter (at least that's my experience) where not only do they mark it down to $9.99, but they'll give you a $5 Gift Card when you buy two packages! So, if you have to have toilet paper now, go ahead and buy this package (in fact, buy two). There are always small coupons for Charmin that will help a little, but what you're primarily after are the coupons inside. So if you've got to buy TP (which let's face it - everyone does) - buy this package! Here are the coupons you'll find inside:

Venus Razor - $2.00
Tide Stain Release - $3.00
Charmin Freshmates - $1.00
Tide Free and Clear Detergent - $3.00
Gillette Clinical Deodorant - $2.00
Secret Clinical Deodorant - $1.00
Gillette Body Wash - $2.00
Prilosec - $2.00
Charmin Sensitive - $2.00
Pampers Swaddlers - $2.00
Bounce Free and Sensitive - $1.00
Olay Facial Moisturizer - $2.00
Align - $5.00
Metamucil - $1.00
Puffs (3 count) - $1.00
Head and Shoulders - $1.00

The key ones to take note of (for the purpose of this post) are the Charmin ones! There is a $2/1 Sensitive pack of TP and there is a $1/1 Charmin Freshmates.
So, the next time Target puts this on sale with the gift card promotion, I can do the following (if I've bought two packages and have 2 sets of coupons...which I do):

Buy 2 packages @ $9.99 each = $19.98
Buy 2 Freshmates Packages @ $2.74 each =  $5.48
Total: $24.96
Use 2 Target Coupons for $2.50 off 6-pack or larger Charmin AND Freshmates (these were in the paper a while back - so you may not have these; even if you don't - it's still a great deal)
Use 2 MF Coupons (from previous package of TP) for $2.00 off Sensitive TP
Use 2 MF Coupons (from previous package of TP) for $1.00 off Freshmates
Total after coupons: $13.96
And you'll get a $5.00 Target Gift Card
Total Net: $8.96 
for two 18-packs of TP AND two Freshmates packages!!!

*If you don't have the Target Coupons, then you'll do this: 
Buy two packages of the TP = $19.98, 
Use 2 $2/1 Charmin Sensitive Coupons = $15.98 + tax. 
Then you'll get the $5 GC back - so net spent will be $10.98 + tax!
Considering that when the TP is NOT on sale the cost is $11.97 + tax, 
it's still a great deal to get two packages for $10.98!

Once you've done this - then you'll have 2 more sets of coupons and be ready for the next time the TP goes on super-sale. Plus you'll have all of the other great coupons in the pack!

Two Movie Tickets - only $9 Total!!!!

Living Social is doing the amazing movie ticket deal again! You can get two movie tickets for a total of $9! We bought this deal about 3 months ago and used them to go see The King's Speech - so I know it works! All you do is buy the deal and within 48 hours they will email you a code to use on Fandango.com to get your movie tickets free. You don't have to use the code immediately - you have until September 9th! If you're not signed up for livingsocial.com yet - I think you'll get a $5 credit when you sign up through this link! So, you could potentially get 2 movie tickets for only $4! So, click here now! The deal ends at midnight tonight (this is being posted on Friday at 1:30 pm).

*Before you buy, make sure that your movie theater accepts printed internet tickets through fandango.com! There is a limit to one deal per customer - so you can't stock up! :( It's not valid on Imax or 3D movies.

Jun 8, 2011

Some of my Favorite Summer Recipes!

I'd like to start a little recipe exchange, but haven't quite figured out how I want to do it - so more on that later. To go ahead and kind of get things rolling, I wanted to share with you 3 of some of my favorite and simplest recipes - that are fantastic for summer!

Vegetable Soup
I know what you're thinking - vegetable soup is normally a wintery type of food. There is something wonderful about a hearty soup when it is cold and dreary outside. But, what about those summer days where the rain is pouring down, and the air conditioning is cranked up (because it is hot) - but you almost have a sense of being cold! This is the perfect time for a summer vegetable soup. Benefits: 1) It is all cooked on the stove and doesn't require you to heat up the oven (ie house). 2) You can use fresh vegetables from your garden (if you're lucky enough to have one)! 3) It's cheap and feeds a lot of people - that's good any time of the year! :) So, how do I make this vegetable soup? Well, it's my Mom's recipe, which is actually her Mom's recipe, and now my recipe...with a little bit of tweaking. So here it is: 
Stew Meat - 1 lb 
Frozen Mixed Vegetables - 4 cups 
Diced Tomatoes - 2 cans 
Water - 2 cans

Heat a thin layer of oil in the bottom of a stock pot; add stew meat and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper (I just eye-ball it). Once the outer layer has browned, cover the pot and let it cook until it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot - almost like the grease in the bottom is caramelizing. You're going to think it is burning, but it's not. This is one of the most important steps in the process and gives the soup the best flavor: you've got to brown the meat really well! Then dump in all the rest of the ingredients and add more salt and garlic to taste. Let it simmer on the stove for several hours to really pull out all the flavors. This will give you about 8 hearty servings for a total of about $8! I made this soup about a month ago and gave some to a friend who had been sick a while; she said it was the best soup she had ever tasted and that I should sell it! :) So simple, yet so easy! To make it even cheaper, I buy diced tomatoes and mixed veggies at Sam's Club. I can get 8 cans of the tomatoes for about $4.00 (so only 50¢ a can) and 5 lb (80 oz) of the vegetables for about $5. Large bags of veggies used to be 16 oz, but a lot of them are now only 12 oz. - so just watch out for that when you buy them at your store and are doing your price comparisons!  So that's it! Super easy! Super yummy! Super cheap!

Corn-Avocado-Tomato Salad
This is my absolute favorite thing to eat in the summer. It's originally a Paula Dean recipe, but I think the version I have has been altered here and there. It is so easy and fresh. May not be the cheapest thing ever if you're having to buy your veggies (like me) - but very worth it in my opinion!
2 cups cooked corn, fresh or frozen
1 avocado, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion. In a large glass bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients in a glass bowl. Pour over the salad and toss gently to mix.
Yield: 4-6 servings; Prep time: 10 minutes; Ease of preparation: easy
PD and Friends, pg. 114

 So, for my notes on this recipe: I normally skip the onion. It's not because I don't like the taste of onion, I just can't seem to chop an onion (whether it is with a knife, Tupperware chopper, or food processor) without blubbering like my dog just died! I've tried all the old-wives tales from putting matches in my mouth, to keeping the onions in the refrigerator, to wearing sunglasses; nothing works! It's awful - so I rarely cook with anything other than onion flakes. I always add more lime juice than called for - as in about 3-4 times the amount!
Use a not-so-ripe avocado and add it last, or else it gets really mushy in the salad. I've added black beans to this to make it more protein-rich and more of a complete meal; very tasty. The original recipe calls for an entire pint of tomatoes, which I think is just too many for the normal salad. However, I do add more tomato sometimes and dice them in quarters - and use this as a dip with pita chips!
I don't have a zester, so I just use the small grate part of my cheese grater and it works really well. Just make sure to zest the lime before you cut it; much easier!
I just did some quick calculations and without calculating for things like the olive oil, salt, pepper, and cilantro - this recipe costs about $5.50 to make. More than I'd normally spend for something that is not the main dish - but like I said, you can spend another 50¢ and add a can of black beans and make it a complete meal (nutrition-wise).

Bell-Pepper Bake
I keep thinking that I made up this recipe (at least the version that I use), but in the back of my mind - I'm thinking that someone gave it to me; just not sure who. If you're that person - please feel free to take credit! :) This is a great item for newly-weds, or people like us - who have small babies that are not eating the same things that the adults are yet. I'm not sure how cost-effective it would be if trying to make it for a large group. 
1 large bell pepper 
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 packet of taco seasoning
grated cheese
This is just about the quickest, easiest, and fairly healthy thing I make for us on a regular basis. Cut the bell pepper in half and de-seed (I normally use green peppers because they are the cheapest, but you could use any color). Place in a small baking dish (one that could fit in your toaster oven) - like the one pictured below: 
Brown the meat (can be whatever grade of meat you prefer) and add taco seasoning. If you're not into seasoning packets, just use cumin, cayenne, garlic, salt, and pepper to season. Stuff the bell pepper halves with the cooked meat: 
 Cover with foil and bake for one hour on 400 degrees (if cooking in your toaster oven). If you're baking this in the oven, then I would bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Make sure to cover with foil, otherwise it will dry out. Add however much cheese you like (we obviously like cheese)! 
 Let it bake, uncovered, just long enough to let the cheese melt. If you leave it in too long, the cheese will just melt into the meat and you can't really taste it very well (especially if you use something other than a sharp cheese). 
That's it! Sometimes I'll make rice or a salad to go along with it - but it is really pretty filling, so sometimes we eat it by itself! To make this recipe for just the two of us it cost about $2.50. When you bake it in the toaster oven, it doesn't heat up the house. Also, it only takes about 10 minutes to put this together! The only thing that gets me sometimes is that it takes a while to bake! Super yummy! 

Now I want some of your favorite, simple, cheap summer meals! 
Please email them to me at: savesimplyblog@gmail.com and I'll post them for everyone to share!

Jun 7, 2011

Sometimes Off-Brand is Just as Good!

There are some items that I just DON'T buy the off brand! Hershey's chocolate syrup is a must - the others just don't taste as good (in my opinion). Hidden Valley Ranch is the best. I used to be a Blue-Plate Mayo only girl, but they don't sell it up here - so Duke's is a close 2nd - but no store brand! There are some things when you really can tell a difference. I do understand that in a lot of cases, it is a matter of preference - but in some cases it is an issue of quality. Well, just recently I decided to really scrub my tile floors. I mop frequently, but it just doesn't get the grout clean. So, I decided to try the Magic Eraser since I had recently gotten several for free through various deals - but I wanted a cleaner that had some bleach in it. So, I looked through my stock-pile and the only cleaner that I had with bleach in it - was the Up and Up All-Purpose Cleaner with Bleach; in case you're not aware - this is the Target brand. I generally don't buy off-brand anymore because I typically get brand name items for cheaper - with sales and coupons. But, I bought it several months ago when Target had a coupon on their site for $1 off any of their cleaners. I think I got this bottle for about 35¢ (so normally around $1.35 - I think) - but I just hadn't used it because I was skeptical as to whether it would really work well! Well, the Magic Eraser is a great cleaning tool, but not so great on grout; it just shreds. But the Up and Up cleaner worked amazingly well! Cleaning grout is not a fun job - no matter what cleaner you use, but this one was certainly helpful! I then decided to use it on my bathroom shower curtain. Mildew on the shower curtain liner is something that drives me absolutely nuts; it's just so gross. I normally just throw the liner in the washing machine about every other month and that takes care of it. Well much to my dismay, only 2 weeks after washing it I started noticing mildew spots! I'm not sure if it's because the weather is getting warmer and there is so much more humidity, or what. So, I just sprayed down the liner with the All-purpose cleaner (with bleach) after taking a shower, didn't scrub it one bit, and the next time I got in the shower it was ALL GONE! $1.35 isn't a bad price for cleaner, but if you're like me - buying anything without a coupon feels just wasteful! So, next time you see a coupon for cleaner at Target, give this one a try!

Jun 6, 2011

Coupon Clippers, Target Gift Cards, and CVS Deals

So, yesterday was a really busy day for me. Yesterday afternoon I attended my very first Coupon Clippers Meeting - and it was so much fun! It was relatively small yesterday (with only 4 of us), but I think that was perfect! It's so simple, yet so smart! We all brought the un-clipped coupon inserts that we didn't want/need. Everyone brought their own scissors and we just visited and clipped coupons - passing on each pile when we were finished. I was able to get 3 extra John Freida Shampoo/Conditioner coupons - that helped me to score an amazing deal at Target today (I'll tell you all about that later). I was also able to get an extra Gillette Fusion Proglide Razor coupon that I'll use tomorrow at Walgreen's! One lady was looking for Iambs Pet Coupons, and another lady wanted Smart Balance Milk and everyone knew I had a baby, so they gave me all the diaper/wipe coupons!We all just worked together and looked out for the coupons that we knew each other needed! So fun!

So, armed with multiples of my favorite coupons, I was able to go to CVS last night and get the following:
1 L'Oreal Revitalize Moisturizer on sale for $11.99 (normally $17.89)
1 Huggies Snug and Dry Jumbo Pack - $8.99
1 Huggies Nature Care Wipes - $3.29
1 Colgate 360 Toothbrush - $2.79
1 Colgate MaxFresh Toothpaste - $2.79
2 Ivory Soap 3-packs - $.99 each
2 Schick Hydro 5 Razors - $9.99
Total: $54.60 (after tax)
*Total Out of Pocket Expense: $4.14
*After B1G1 sale, CVS coupons, MF Coupons, and ECB's

Target is having quite a few good sales this week that give you $5 Gift Cards when you meet their minimum purchase requirements. One of them is for John Freida shampoo/conditioner. When you buy 3 products, you get a $5 GC. So, I did two transactions, with all the shampoo/conditioner in the first so I could use the gift cards on the rest of my items.
Here is what I got:
4 John Freida Root Awakening Shampoo/Condition - $4.99 each
2 John Freida Full Repair Shampoo/Conditioner - $5.99 each
Nivea Body Wash - $3.04
Sally Hansen Foot File - $4.99
2 Nexcare Children's Bandages - $1.70 each
3 Penn Tennis Balls - $2.19 each**
2 Morningstar Veggie Burgers - $2.99 each
Total: $58.97 (with tax)
*Total Out of Pocket Expense: $14.26
*After sales, Target Coupons, MF Coupons, and Gift Cards
** The tennis balls were not on sale & I had no coupons - I just needed them. If you take them out of the equation, I would have spent about $7.26 on all the other stuff!!!

Between CVS and Target I got $113.57 worth of products for a total out of pocket expense of $18.40! It was a little work, but because I had all of my coupons organized in my handy-dandy binder, it really only took me about 15 minutes to get everything from my shopping list to my coupons pulled together and put in an envelope and ready to walk out the door! Organization is  HUGE time-saver! Happy Shopping everyone!!!

Jun 4, 2011

REI; Too good to be true? Apparently NOT!!!!

The REI store is relatively new to me. We didn't have it in Louisiana where I grew up, but it is certainly a well-known out-doors store here in Charlotte...and now I know why! One of the things that makes REI unique is that it is a co-op and gives its members a 10% *dividend on their purchases each March! If you want to spend it as soon as you get it, you'll have to spend it in-store. But, if you hang on to it until July, you can cash it in for CASH! You may be thinking: "Yeah, but what does it take to be a member?" Well - according to their website, all you have to do is pay a $20 Lifetime Membership fee and you're in! So, it's not an annual fee! In order to get the dividend each year you do have to stay "active" - and that means you have to purchase at least $10 worth of products annually. So, that's pretty cool in and of itself. For being a member, they also send you coupons on products, give you special discounts (like right now you can get free shipping online for any purchase more than $25; normally it is a $75 minimum), and they also have gear rental equipment (skis, kayaks, etc) and shop services that they give member discounts on.

*Excludes a few things like sale/clearance items, gift cards, rental equipment, etc. You'll need to read the fine print to make sure you understand it fully!
According to member/reader Jean, they are an industry leader in customer service. Jean has been member at REI for years and just recently told me about an amazing experience she had there! Several years ago she bought a pair of sports sunglasses, but over the years through general wear and tear, the nose pieces dry-rotted. Since she didn't still have her receipt, she took them in and asked the customer service rep if they would help her contact the manufacturer to see if they would replace the nose pieces. Much to her surprise, the customer service rep informed her that she could pick out ANY pair of sunglasses they had in stock to replace the ones she brought in! The new sunglasses Jean got retailed for $139; hers absolutely free! They have a Lifetime Warranty on everything in the store when you buy through your membership - and you can bring them back no matter what, no questions asked - if you are in any way, whatsoever, dissatisfied! She said there was another person in line with a broken, beaten up, old-ragged back-pack; turned it in and picked out a brand new one! REI wants their customers to be so confident in their purchases that they won't look anywhere else when in need of an outdoor item - so they've structured their return policies to support their claim that they have the highest quality available!

So, invest the $20 for the membership, look forward to the annual 10% dividend return, and be confident knowing that if anything you ever buy there breaks or becomes less than what you want/expected - you can return it and pick something else out! Pretty cool, in my opinion!

Friday Freebie: And the winner is...

Hollie A.

Congratulations to Hollie A. - winner of the June Friday Freebie! Thanks so much for entering the drawing and subscribing to this blog! Hollie, your mystery prize is an... iSlice! It should be arriving at your house in 2-5 business days! Here is a description of what you'll be getting:

iSlice is the most useful tool you'll ever own! Safely clip, cut and open thousands of items. The ergonomically shaped iSlice features a built-in magnet and recessed high tech zirconium-oxide ceramic blade that resists wear and never rusts or dulls.
Easy to use!
  • Built-in magnet for easy storage
  • Cuts coupons & recipes
  • Opens difficult plastic packages and clamshells
  • Great for scrapbooking
  • Opens new CD packaging
  • The uses are limitless!
Hold your iSlice between thumb and index finger. Drag along length of item being cut, making sure iSlice is PARALLEL to surface. The iSlice will not work if it is held at an angle.
When cutting on a hard surface, such as a countertop of table, always use a protective barrier to avoid scratching surfaces.
iSlice is magnetic so it can be easily stored on metal surfaces such as refrigerators and filing cabinets.
Thousands of Uses:
  • CLIPS: Recipes, coupons, photos, stamping, scrap booking, newspaper & magazine articles
  • OPENS: Shrink-wrap, CDs, videos, DVDs, plastic bags, snack bags, cereal bags, safety seals, vacuum packed food
  • Cuts: Single sheets of paper, art projects, gift wrap paper, masking tape, cellophane tape and much, much more! 
 The Friday Freebie for July will be posted sometime next week - so check back soon so you can get in on the drawing!!!!

Jun 3, 2011

Another new deal site = $10 credit just for signing up!

I think this has to be the easiest it has ever been to get a $10 credit to a deal site! Click on this link to SaveMore.com and enter in your email address and zip code for a $10 credit! Today's deal (on the right-hand side of the page) is only $8 for $20 worth of re-usable shopping bags. So, it'll cost you only $3.95 to get $20 worth of bags (because the shipping is not included), and you'll still have $2 credit left over! Pretty cool!

Jun 2, 2011

Last Chance to Enter the Drawing for Friday Freebie!!!

In case you've forgotten, I'll be drawing for the Friday Freebie tomorrow (June 3rd) and there is still time to get in! Speaking of time, it will only take about 2-3 minutes and you'll get the following: 
1) Subscription to this blog (how awesome is that????)! :) 
2) Deals from at least one of the amazing sites that I've featured (and if you sign up for Modnique, they're offering a free $5 credit!!!). You can certainly sign up for more than one, but one is all it takes to qualify you for entry in the Friday Freebie drawing! 
3) A chance to win June's mystery prize!!!

So...sign up now!!! 

Here's a link to the original post so you can see all the different choices you have on amazing FREE deal sites to sign up for! And I added a few more on this post!

Every site I featured is 100% free to sign-up, and several of them give credits for free merchandise when you sign up.

Good luck!

Coupon Clippers Club

A few weeks ago while I was shopping at Harris Teeter, a lady and I happened to both be looking at the same thing. Normally I just keep my head down and focus on what I'm doing...because I'm in a rush, or don't want to get distracted, or whatever. But I noticed that we both had the same coupons in our hands and had that "searching" look. You can tell a fellow serious couponer when you see one - and I just knew. Having just converted to a new method of organization, I was curious to see what she was using - and happened to notice that she had the same print out from Southern Savers that I did! So we struck up a conversation and in the end she invited me to come to her Coupon Clippers meeting! I was intrigued - what was this? Something about couponing that I was completely unaware of? Going on in my own city??? Well, she and some other ladies meet on the first Sunday afternoon of the month at a local restaurant and exchange coupons! How cool is that? She sends out an email early the week before to remind everyone and to start a wish-list exchange. That way, when you get to the meeting, you'll already have the coupons pulled that you know the others are looking for! Plus, from the sounds of this group - they are varied in ages and interests - so not everyone is looking for Huggies Diapers or Contact Lens Solution! This Sunday will be my first meeting and I'm SO excited! I think it is such a brilliant idea. I have a friend from where I grew up who hosts a coupon swap online (she has a page on Facebook called Coupon Exchange - anyone can join), so I do that. But I think it is such a neat idea to meet with people in your community and help each other out in this way! It's so simple, yet so brilliant! And we all know how much I love simple! :)

I'll post back on Monday and let you all know how it went! In the meantime - organize one of your own! It couldn't get much easier than this to get the coupons you want/need. No ordering, no waiting for them to come through the mail, no having to pay for them! Have fun!