Thursday, March 22, 2012


Here is a little freebie for you. My friend, Marji, passed this exhaustive list onto me many years ago (it used to include things like diapers, bottles and baby paraphernalia) but I have edited it to fit our needs now.  This is THE BEST THING because there is little I have to "try to remember" as I am packing.

Here is why it works:
1. I don't have to remember things while I will (inevitably) get distracted about a dozen times while trying to pack up our family of five.
2. I don't forget anything.  This list is TRIED AND TRUE.  I have used it for years and I have found it fool proof. In other words--we never forget stuff! (And I really mean never!) 

I recently found a similar list from the Container Store for $11.  What?  Yes. Really.  After Marji and I pined after all the money we could have made from her list, we decided to share (as she did with me several years, and kids, ago) for FREE.

So here you go: in case you are traveling this Spring Break or over the summer or sometime in the future (which I hope you will be!)  Print out a new copy whenever you need it.

Marji wanted to leave you one last tip for using the list: 
"Write the weather/temperature of the place you are traveling on the list so you can pack accordingly. And cross off anything you don't need for that particular trip prior to packing."

And big thank you to Marji for the helpful list!!
I hope it makes your packing a lot easier too!!

Download here:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Finding Your Couponing Groove

Now that I have been "scaling back" my blogging and couponing (which, by the way, I'm sure you're GLAD now that I don't blow up your newsfeed throughout the day) I only check "coupon stuff" about once a day. (GASP!)

 Sometimes it's mornings, and sometimes it's in the afternoons or evenings. In doing so, I inevitably miss a few deals (and some that I would have really liked to have gotten!).  But this is just a reminder that ANY SAVINGS IS BETTER THAN NONE and (say it with me) EVERYTHING GOES ON SALE AGAIN EVENTUALLY. 

I love to save, but sometimes it isn't possible.  Like today--I NEEDED toilet paper and the request from the husband was to "quit buying the scratchy kind you always get on sale."  So there I was, paying full price for some nice soft Charmin today at Publix.  

I just wanted to share that because couponing doesn't have to be like another job that takes lots of time.....IT SO DOES NOT!  It's a way of life, just like eating healthy or working out.  It's a conscious decision to do WHAT you can to make sure you are saving as MUCH as you can with the time you have.  It's shopping CONSCIOUSLY.  EDUCATING yourself on grocery sales cycles and pricing. Making a commitment to a self-awareness about what is going in your cart. ORGANIZING your shopping trips and not just walking into a store without a plan.

I have been couponing for the last seven years.  SEVEN.  I have found what works for me after many, many trials and errors. So if you are new and just dipping your toes in this pool of couponing, keep in mind that developing what works for you takes time, practice and patience.

If you come to one of my coupon classes, you will hear me say that saving any money is better than you were doing before coming to my class. I mean it.  If saving 20% on $100 grocery bill each  week makes you happy (which it should!) then you are saving $80 a month!  Eighty-dollars: Just from making some small changes after coming to a class. 
Try not to compare your trips to the ones you see online where people have saved 80% or 90%.  That is rare (and to be applauded) but it's not the norm.  

And, by all means, if you have been going at it and are getting burned out--do what I have done--SCALE BACK!  TAKE A BREAK!  LET SOME DEALS GO!  I promise you will settle into what works for you.

This Spring I will be starting a series where I address some frequently asked coupon questions! I think it will really help clarify many confusing issues for you!
I would love to have you weigh-in on your most perplexing coupon issues!