My Couponing Adventure

Warning, I go into great detail on the savings I saved. :-)

The past 2 days I have filled my days with grocery shopping and couponing.  Finding the best deal is my goal.  I don't typicaly chart out my deals and savings, but I thought I would this week since I'm so excited about what I found.  Thanks to some amazing blogs that point me in the right direction, Money Saving Mom & Southern Savers, I have been able to print store coupons and manufacture coupons that save me lots of money.

So this was yesterday's shopping trip.  I'm gonna break it down for you.

From last week's CVS trip, I had acquired $5 in Extra Care Bucks.  So, I headed to CVS to grab a few more needed things and see what kind of deals I could get.  I knew there was another shaver deal and I had also printed a $2 manufacturer coupon to use with it.  First thing I always do when I get to CVS is scan my Extra Care card and see what store coupons I'm given.  Yesterday I got a great one, a $4 off of $20 purchase.  Combined with my previous $5 extra bucks, this was a good savings.  I also noticed that if you spent $20 in Burts Bees product, you got $5 extra bucks.  I try my best to purchase healthy products that don't have any parabens and sulfates, so I liked this deal a lot.  I found some great conditioner, lotion, and lip balm that I knew I would use a lot.  I also picked up the BIC shaver I came for.  

BIC Soleil Shaver - 6.99 get $2 ECB
Burts Bees - Spend $20 get $5 ECB

$2.99 after ECB's

BIC Soleil Shaver - $6.99
use $2 coupon (print here)
Pomegranate Conditioner - $8.99
Radiance Lotion - $7.99
SPF Lip Balm - $3.99
Used $4 off of $20 CVS coupon
Used $5 ECB
Paid $16.96
Earned $7 ECB

If you are not familiar with Extra Care Bucks, you can read about how to use them here.  They are CVS dollars that you earn by purchasing certain items.  Once you begin getting them, you can then just keep using them towards other purchases that give you back more ECB.  It's wonderful!  I have not done it in a really long time, so I'm jumping back on the CVS train. :-)

Harris Teeter
This week, at Harris Teeter, it is Super Doubles.  That means they will double any coupon up to $1.98.  I didn't need a lot of groceries and I didn't get the paper the last couple of weeks, but I quickly did a scan of the printable coupons and deals.  Coffee was definitely on my list of things to get, and there were GREAT coupons and sales on Starbucks coffee.  After printing coupons I headed out to the store as soon as I could.  The first couple of days can be hectic during coupon week.

Starbucks Flavored Coffee, on sale for $6.99
Used printed $1.50 coupon (doubled to $3)

Starbucks Coffee, on sale for $6.99
Used printed $1.00 coupon (doubled to $2)

Kashi Chicken Fettucini, on sale for $3.00
Used printed $1.00 coupon (doubled to $2)

Febreeze Pet Stain Remover, on sale for $3.99
Used $1.50 coupon from Sunday Insert (doubled to $3)

Yoplait Greek Yogurt w/ Granola, on sale for $2.50
Used .75 coupon from Sunday insert (SS 3/25)

Paid $11.97

Food Lion
TJ & I have been eating the Morningstar Spicy Black Bean burgers a lot lately.  It's our favorite.  So, I definitely wanted to stop and get some while they were on sale at Food Lion and use a $1/2 coupon.  

Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burger, on sale for $3.69
$3.19 each

After checking out, a coupon printed out at the register.  On my next purchase, if I buy 4 boxes of black bean burgers, I can get $3 towards ANY Food Lion purchase.  So, next time I will use two $1/2 coupons, and get back a coupon for $3.  This will bring the black bean burgers from $3.19 a box to $2.44.  Not bad considering its something we eat a lot.

If you have an Aldi near you, I would highly suggest it.  I buy most of my fruits and vegetables there.  Although I try to buy organic, it's not always possible due to the price.  Buying at Aldi gets you great quality fruits and veggies for a whole lot cheaper.  I also like to buy my tortilla chips and certain cereals there as well.  They do not take coupons, but their prices are good enough that it doesn't matter.

Half & Half, $1.79
Multi Color Peppers (3 pack), $1.39 (This is the BEST deal around right now)
Dried Cranberries, $1.39
Kiwi (5 pack), $1.49
Tortilla Chips, $1.19
Strawberries, $1.89 (last week I bought these for .99 each)
Deli Sliced Cheese, $1.99
Diced Tomatoes, .59
Paid $10.33

Last night I was on a cleaning high.  I scrubbed our kitchen sink, washed dishes, organized cupboards, vacuumed the living room, etc, etc, etc.  After all that I decided I would have a cup of coffee (the yummy Vanilla flavored Starbucks coffee I got at Harris Teeter).  This was a bad idea as it was 8:00pm.  Needless to say I was wide awake in bed.  So, I started browsing the coupon sites on my phone and saw all these amazing Target deals.  I was so awake and literally got so excited that I got up at 1:00am to print the coupons. LoL.  I don't think I can drink coffee in the evening anymore.  It was around 2:30am before I finally started to get sleepy. Oye!  BUT, I had my Target trip planned out for today.

Today's Target trip

What's great about Target is that you can use both a manufacturer coupon AND a store coupon on the same item.

Purina Beneful Dog Food, on sale for $24.99 (For our monster puppy)
Used printed $2.00 Target coupon

2 Purina Beneful Baked Delights dog treats, $3.89/box
Used printed .75 Target coupon
Used B1G1 free coupon from Sunday insert

2 boxes of Magnum Ice Cream Bars, on sale for $3.25
Used two printed $1.50 manufacturer coupons
Used printed $2/2 Target coupon

2 Mossimo Tank Tops, on sale for $6 each
Used printed $3 Target coupon
$3 each

Merona Tank Top, on sale for $6
Used printed $3 Target coupon

4 NUK/Gerber Baby items
2 items for $2.69
2 items for $3.00
Used two printed B1G1 Free coupons
$1.50 each

Paid $39.61

I hope this post helped you find some good websites and tips for saving money.  I would love to start doing more posts like this and letting you all know the great coupon you can find online.  I enjoy being pointed in the right direction as well.  Money Saving Mom & Southern Savers are where I find all my information.  They also have lots of other links you can check out from other people who love to save money.  It's just a matter of taking the time to look.

Have a great day!


Easter Sunday: Part 1

The reason I have Easter Sunday in 2 parts is because it was a full day!  First we began the day at church where TJ played guitar for both services.  It was awesome!  I took a good bit of photos during the second service as well.  I will be posting them in the "part 2" of Easter Sunday. ha!

Part 1 consists of fun family shots taken at my parents house later on in the day.  It has become a lot harder to arrange all of our schedules and get together as a family.  So, it's always so much fun when it actually happens!  Aside from the "Woodfin" clan, we also had my new sister Leah, and Alisha's dad, Robin.  Alisha's mom was visiting her sister, so we didn't get blessed with her presence this time.  One thing that I LOVE about siblings marrying into other families is that I too have adopted them as my family as well.  The Brinkley's (Alisha's family) have been a part of our lives for about 15 years and it's been an amazing journey to see our families become one.

For lunch we had a wonderful smorgasbord of yummy foods that each of us made.  There was ham, my wonderful mac n cheese, fruit, salad, baked beans, and i know something else is missing.  It was all so delicious.  To top to all off, Mom and Leah both made desserts!  Leah made a WONDERFUL apple cobbler and my Mom made some really good angel food cupcakes with a mocha frosting. Mmmmm!!  One of the best parts was sitting out on their deck, soaking in the warm sun, and laughing together.  We managed to get some fun family photos as well.  Most of the time we only get a good (or decent) shot at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I think they turned out really great.

And then some funny ones! :-)
Can't wait to meet Miss Selah Harbor in August!
Doesn't Mallory look great?!
I got a new dress! :-)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!


Garden Girl

I was so excited to see that our cilantro plants from last year reseeded and sprouted new cilantro plants.  They actually grew throughout the winter months and got HUGE.  Today I finally went outside, pruned it back, and harvested a TON of cilantro.  My Easter gift to friends and family will be cilantro. Ha!  I also cut some lavender to decorate our counters in the house. The purple blooms are so beautiful right now!

TJ let me have this broken "First Act" drum head to use as a planter.  I think it will be so cool to have pretty flowers blooming in this.  But, until then, it worked great to hold my cilantro. :-)

DIY Water Can
Recently I saw a great thing on Pinterest (I know, hard to believe. lol).  It was a recycled watering can from a milk jug.  Well, I decided to try it using a Polar Seltzer water bottle.  I figured this size would be perfect to water my flowers on the front porch.  I nailed quite a few hold into the bottle top and voila!, a watering bottle.  What makes it even better is that we use rain water to water our plants! 
So cool, huh?

This is my favorite time of year.  The warmth of the sun on my face, everything blooming and becoming beautiful, and feeling the breeze in the air.

Strawberry Milkshakes and Camping

For a couple months now, I have talked about wanting to set up a tent in the living room, watch movies, and eat snacks.  Yesterday, when I got home from errands, I noticed that TJ had the tent all set up. I got so excited.  I already planned on surprising TJ with homemade strawberry milkshakes too.  This weekend is actually one of our last "free" weekend before we dive into a busy Spring/Summer.  So, staying in and watching movies in a tent, with milkshakes & popcorn, was the perfect way to spend our Friday night.

First off, let me tell you how I made these yummy fresh strawberry milkshakes (not that it's super complicated, ha!)  I found the recipe from Emeril Lagasse on foodnetwork.com.   I didn't use the exact measurements that Emeril used, but rather just eyeballed the measurements.

  • Slice strawberries and add sugar and vanilla extract to a bowl and let sit for at least 20 minutes.  This gets the strawberries nice and flavorful.  I cut up about half a carton of strawberries, added 2 heaping spoonfuls of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • Add vanilla icecream to blender.  I just added what I thought would be enough for TJ and I. 
  • Pour milk into blender.  Again, I just eyeballed it.
  • Add strawberry mixture to the blender
  • Blend until you reach the consistency you like.  You may need to add more ice-cream or milk if its too thick or liquidy.
Mmmmm, it was delicious!  I've only ever made chocolate milkshakes (which I absolutely LOVE).  

Zoe slept on the couch all night. :-)
 Blurry.  But, it was yummy coffee.

Oh, and here are some cute shirts I got yesterday at Old Navy for $5 a piece.  Gotta love a good deal and fun summer shirts! And....I made some cutoffs shorts this morning from a pair of jeans I never wore.  :-)

Have a wonderful Easter weekend everyone!  


Garden State

I really just felt like titling this post "Garden State" and then including a great photo from the movie. :-)

This afternoon, after getting some work done, I decided to venture outside to pot the beautiful flowers that we purchased yesterday.  I'd been itching to pot some colorful blooms and make our front porch look pretty again this Spring.  The weather was just perfect today with the sun shining and the cool breezes.  I had so much fun getting my hands dirty.  It was even more fun to see my finished products.  I potted plenty of flowers to be able to put some in front and on the back porch. 

Love the colors!
I wonder if birds will come back and lay eggs this year?
So pretty!
I can't wait to watch them grow and bloom!
And this is what I looked like afterwards. LOL. 

Either this Fall or next Spring, I hope to make a garden bed in our front yard too.  This summer we will be very busy with photography, so we won't have much time to garden.  However I am already dreaming for later this year.  For now I will enjoy my beautiful potted plants and watch them bloom even more.  Actually, before I make you think that all we had time for this year was flowers, let me mention that TJ has had a Spring garden of lettuce.  It's wonderful to walk outside and pick your salad.  Mmmm.  I will post some photos of our lettuce garden later on.  

Have a wonderful Thursday!


Baxter Veterinary Clinic

First of all, if you haven't noticed by now, I LOVE to promote businesses and great products.  It truly makes me happy  to share great experiences with others and allow them to experience the same satisfaction and happiness.  So, when I find a great business or product, I blog about it and hope that I can be a help in bringing someone else business.

Secondly, Baxter Vet is amazing!  Dr. Baete and Dr. Doyle (husband and wife team)  have created such a fun atmosphere with their staff and their great interaction with animals.  We began bringing our dog, Zoe, about a year ago.  From the moment we stepped in the front door we knew that this was a wonderful place to bring our dog.  In the past Zoe would get really nervous being brought to other offices, but she seemed calm here.

Back in November we decided to get a puppy.  Before getting the puppy I called Baxter Vet to see what this would entail as far as office visits, etc.  They were so helpful in giving me the low down on puppy visits, costs, etc.  After we adopted our sweet puppy, Finnegan, I immediately made an appointment for him.  While on the phone, they asked me his name and then a bit about where we got him.  When I mentioned that he was half golden retriever and half lab the receptionist asked me if his mom was Bailey.  Shocked, I said "Yes".  Come to find out that the friends we had gotten Finnegan from had been bringing the puppies there all along.  So, the vet had photos of Finnegan from the very first visit.  It was very cool.

ANYWAY, long story short, Baxter Vet has been so amazing with Zoe and Finnegan.  I actually get really excited whenever we have an appointment schedule.  The staff is so fun to talk with and I've enjoyed getting to know them over the year.

Since our first appointment with them, they have actually hired us, Charlotte Photography, for portraits and a one year anniversary business celebration.

Thank you, Baxter Vet, for providing Fort Mill & Charlotte, such a wonderful service for our animals.  TJ & I wish you the very best and will continue sending people your way!

Happy Anniversary, Baxter Vet!

Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography
Photo Copyright: Charlotte Photography

To anyone who lives in the Fort Mil/ Charlotte area, I would HIGHLY recommend Baxter Veterinary Clinic for their superb service and incredible staff.  If you go, be sure to mention that I referred you and you will receive a $25 credit off your first visit!

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