Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Busting at the Seams

After 4 years of hard work my binder will need to retire.  As you can see it's busting at the seams and measures a whooping 11" high and no longer zips together. :(

I love this binder.  I have such happy memories with this thing.  It goes with me everywhere and held up fabulously through hundreds of shopping trips, being moved or thrown here or there.  I thought about throwing a belt around it but that would look ridiculous.   I already get enough stares during my many shopping trips.  "I see you have quite a lot of coupons in there"  "Wow, you are so organized!"  "Are you one of those extreme coupon people?" and my favorite "Is it really worth it to clip and use coupons?"  to which I promptly reply YES!!!!!

So what do I do now???  Honestly, I have no idea.  I have spent the better part of my morning searching high and low for a solution but have seen only one option that MAY work so far.

It looks like it will hold all my coupons.   I have some feelers out to see if any couponers have or are currently using this method.  I'll have to keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Homemade Household Cleaners

Floor Cleaners 

Wood Floor Cleaner 
½ cup vinegar
1 gallon water 
The most important thing to keep in mind while cleaning wood floors is that they can not get overly wet.  When you use the above mixture, dip your sponge mop into the solution and squeeze until almost dry.  Then mop.  Never put the cleaner directly on the floor. Dry any streaked or wet area with a clean towel as you go along the floor. 

All Purpose Cleaners 
I like to make a large batch of my favorite household cleaner.  I make this in a gallon size container and fill spray bottles as I need it.  
My Homemade Cleaner
Crystal Miller 
In a clean, empty gallon milk jug put: 
2 Tablespoons ammonia
1 teaspoon dish detergent
1 pint (2 cups) rubbing alcohol
4 drops food coloring – optional
a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a nice fresh scent, I use Orange 
Fill the rest of the gallon jug with hot water.  Pour into spray container to use.

Here is a cleaner you make right in your spray bottle: 
All-Purpose Cleaner 
2T vinegar
1 t Borax
Hot water
a few drops of a mild dish detergent
10 drops of essential oil, optional 
In a 16 spray bottle put vinegar, borax and  hot water.  Swish around until borax has dissolved.  Add the drops of dish detergent and fill the rest of the bottle with water.  Add the essential oil (I like using orange or lavender). 

Glass Cleaner (and I use newspaper to wipe off – it eliminates streaks)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 to 2 drops of essential oil (optional)
Homemade Febreeze

The recipe is as follows:

1/2 to 1 cup liquid laundry softener (I love Apple Mango Tango)
1 cup vinegar
2 to 3 cups water

Mix in a spray bottle, and spray as you would Febreze. Works wonders on couches, beds and sheets, carpets, dog beds, car seats, etc.

Basic cleaning ingredients

Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda). This mild alkali powder can be used for a variety of household cleaning purposes, such as removing stains from tile, glass, oven doors, and china; cleaning the inside of refrigerators; helping to absorb odors; and removing baked-on food from pans. It also acts as a stain remover for fruit juices and other mild acids.

Borax. A powder or crystalline salt sold in most grocery stores, borax is a water softener and sanitizer. It makes an excellent freshener when added to laundry and is an all-around deodorizer.

Castile soap. A mild soap available in liquid or bar form that can be used for general-purpose cleaning. It was once made from olive oil, but now may include other vegetable oils as well.

Cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate). This common baking ingredient is a mild acid that can be used as a sink and bathtub stain remover. It can also be used to remove spots from aluminum cookware.

Hydrogen peroxide. A mild alternative to chlorine bleach that can be used for stain removal and mild bleaching and killing germs. Available in drug stores and supermarkets.

Lemon juice. This familiar ingredient can be used to lighten stains and cut grease. It can also be used to remove tarnish can be used on brass, copper, bronze and aluminum (not to be used on silver).

Washing soda (carbonate of soda). A stronger alternative to baking soda, washing soda can be used as a water softener in conjunction with laundry detergents (gloves are recommended as it may irritate skin; not to be used with silks, woolens or vinyl).

White vinegar. Good for a variety of household cleaning tasks, vinegar may be used to help kill germs and deodorize, remove some carpet stains, and clean coffeemakers, chrome, cookware, and countertops. It can also be used to unclog drains. Note that while white vinegar has a slight scent while wet, when dry, it leaves no odor. However, don’t use it on acetate fabrics, such as in some tablecloths, because it can dissolve the fibers.

Homemade recipes

You can make your own cleaners from the ingredients listed above. The recipes below are adapted from Recipes for Safer Cleaners, published by the nonprofit group, Healthy Child Healthy World. (Please note that Consumer Reports has not tested these recipes.)


Countertops. For a "soft scrub," mix baking soda and liquid soap until you get a consistency you like. The amounts don’t have to be perfect. Make only as much as you need, as it dries up quickly.

Ovens. To clean extra-greasy ovens, mix together 1 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of washing soda, then add enough water to make a paste; apply the paste to oven surfaces and let soak overnight. The next morning, lift off soda mixture and grime; rinse surfaces well (gloves are recommended as washing soda may irritate skin).

Microwave ovens. These can be cleaned with a paste made from 3 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda mixed with water. Scrub on with a sponge and rinse.

Cutting boards. Sanitize them by spraying with vinegar and then with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Keep the liquids in separate spray bottles and use them one at a time. It doesn’t matter which one you use first, but both together are much more effective than either one alone.


Tub and tile cleaner. Mix 1 2/3 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid soap, and 1/2 cup water. Then, as the last step, add 2 tablespoons vinegar (if you add the vinegar too early it will react with the baking soda). Immediately apply, wipe, and scrub.

A good all-purpose sanitizer. 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar, and 3 to 4 cups hot water in a spray bottle. For extra cleaning power, add 1/4 teaspoon liquid soap to the mixture.

Toilet bowl. Pour 1 cup of borax into the toilet before going to bed. In the morning, scrub and flush. For an extra-strength cleaner, add 1/4 cup vinegar to the borax.


Furniture polish. Mix olive oil and vinegar in a one-to-one ratio and polish with a soft cloth. Or look in a health-food store for food-grade linseed oil, often called omega-3 or flaxseed oil, rather than the type found in hardware stores to finish furniture. Linseed oil sold for furniture use often contains dangerous petroleum distillates to speed evaporation.

Windows. Put 3 tablespoons vinegar per 1 quart water in a spray bottle. Some recommend using half vinegar and half water. For extra-dirty windows try this: 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap, 3 tablespoons vinegar, and 2 cups of water. Shake well. The best way to get streak-free windows--use newspaper instead of paper towels to wipe them.

Metal polish:

Brass, copper, bronze and aluminum. To remove tarnish, rub metal with sliced lemons. For tough jobs, sprinkle baking soda on the lemon, then rub.

Sterling silver. Put a sheet of aluminum foil into a plastic or glass bowl. Sprinkle the foil with salt and baking soda, then fill the bowl with warm water. Soak your silver in the bowl, and the tarnish will migrate to the aluminum foil. Rinse and dry the silver, then buff it with a soft cloth.

Air freshener:

•A simple recipe of 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vinegar (or lemon juice), and 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle can be sprayed in the air to remove odors.

Floors and carpets:

Linoleum. For extra grease-cutting, try this formula: 1/4 cup washing soda with 1 tablespoon of liquid soap, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 2 gallons hot water. Put the washing soda in the bucket first and add the liquid ingredients; that way the soda won’t splash out. Caution: Do not use this formula on waxed floors.

Sanitize floors. Add 2 gallons of hot water to 1/2 cup of borax. Put the borax in the bucket first, then add water slowly to avoid splashing.

Wood floors. Add 1 cup of vinegar per pail of hot water.

Carpeting and rugs. To soak up and eliminate odors, sprinkle baking soda over the surface of the carpet and let it stand for 15 to 30 minutes before vacuuming.


Laundry brightener. Add 1/2 cup of strained lemon juice during the rinse cycle.

Fabric rinse. Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar during the washing machine’s rinse cycle to remove detergent completely from clothes, eliminating that scratchy feel. (Note: This will not leave your clothes smelling like vinegar.)

Detergent booster. To reduce the amount of laundry detergent you need to use (especially if you have hard water), add baking soda or washing soda. These minerals soften the water, which increases the detergent’s power. For liquid detergent, add 1/2 cup of soda at the beginning of the wash. For powdered detergent, add 1/2 cup of soda during the rinse cycle.

Bleach. Use hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine bleach.

Dry cleaning. Many delicate "dry clean only" items can be washed at home by hand. In general, it’s best to use cool water and a mild liquid soap. Squeeze or wring gently and lay flat to dry.


•Use a stiff brush, a non-ammonia detergent, and hot water to scrub mold off nonporous surfaces. Use a stiff-bristle toothbrush to get between tiles. You can also use a paste of baking soda and water. Don’t rinse. And remember to wear gloves and a protective mask, since mold spores can be inhaled.

****A word of caution on making homemade cleaners: never mix bleach with ammonia or vinegar.  It will cause toxic fumes that are very dangerous.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thanks Dad!!!

This week I put my dad on a mission to get these diabetes packs from their local pharmacies.  I scored BIG time.   Just want to say "thank you"  to my dad.  He worked overtime this week & he loves a mission. He rounded up 12 packets!  I am so excited!  Now I will be able to make even more $$$ at Rite Aid.

Let's face it.  Times are tough and any extra $$ in our pockets is a great thing.  I don't know what I would do without coupons.  They allow me to help my family get things they need and some of the things they would like to have or try very cheap or free.

"If it's FREE it's for me" has been my motto lately.

Here is a picture of all those boxes!

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Best Ever Trip to Rite Aid

Started the shopping trip with $6 in RA Bucks from last week.  This is what I did:

Transaction #1:

BOGO 50% off
(1) Foster Grant glasses for $9.99
(1) Foster Grant glasses for $4.99

Q's Used 
(2) $5/1 Rite Aid Diabetes FG Coupons
(2) $2 Rite Aid +Ups

Total OOP $.98

and I also got $15 +Up for buying 2

Transactions  #2:


(4) Thermacare 2 ct.
Thermacare 2 ct 2/$12 + $4 +UP for 2
(1) Colgate Opti White @ 2.99

Q's Used 

(4) $3/1  Printable Thermacare Q's from their website
(1) .35/1 Colgate Q from 2/12 SS
(1) $15 +up from 1st Transaction

Total OOP $0.64

Got back 8 +ups from Thermacare $1.75 +Up from Colgate and $10 for spending 25 Advil/Thermacare Deal

There is also a MIR for this get $10 when you buy any (3) participating products.

Transaction #3 


(1) Airborne on sale @ $5.99
(1) CFL Light Bulb  @ $3.99
(4) M&M's (lrg bags) @ 2/$5 (4/$10)
(4) Ludens Cought Drops @ $.97
(1) Got 2 Be Styler @ $3.99

Q's Used 

(1) $2/1 VV Airborne Q from riteaid.com
(1) $2/1 Airborne MANU Q
(1) $3/1 GE Light Bulb from current RA Flyer
(1) $1/1 GE Light Bulb from 2/12 SS
(2) $1.50/2 M&M MANU from 2/12 SS
(2) $1/2 Ludens
(1) $3/1 Got @ Be Styler from 2/12 RP
(1) $10 +Up from Transaction #2

Total OOP $1.10

Got Back $1+up from Airborne, $1+up from Hershey

Transaction #4

(2) Stride Rite Gum on sale 3/$3

Q's Used

$1 +Up

Total OOP = $0.98

Got back $1 +Up for buying 3 Stride gum and $20+Up from Winter rewards and I still have $2+Up from last week left.

So $4.42 OOP and earned $33.75 in Rite Aid +Up rewards to use in future and $10 from the Mail in Rebate (MIR)

I did the HAPPY DANCE!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

How to Shop at Aldi and is it Worth it?

First off I want to thanks WeUseCoupons.com for this Great article on Aldi's.
If you do not subscribe to their news letter yet.  You should!!
Here is a link to WeUseCoupons.com

They mentioned a few great tips before you begin shopping at their store and it's a short, very helpful post.

You will find the best prices on the following items (and there are more listed)

  • Apple sauce
  • Broth most times cheaper
  • Candy
  • Canned mandarin oranges/pineapple
  • Canned mushrooms
  • Cereal
  • Cheese products
  • Condiments cheap
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Flour, vinegar, salt,………fill those cupboards cheap if you move into a new place!
  • Frozen crispy chicken strips
  • Frozen fruit
  • Frozen juice or drinks
  • Frozen meat
  • Frozen potato products
  • Ice cream
  • Mayo light is really good
  • Namebrands are there as well (might be the same as sales prices)
Shop on!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Coups for Troops!!

Do you have expired coupons?  Don't throw them away send them to our troops instead.  Miliatary families are permitted to use expired coupons on their bases.
Please send your expired and non-expired coupons to the address below. 
We would love to include your coupons in our next mailing.

Coups For Troops: The Carolinas

Coups For Troops
PO Box 147
Winnabow NC 28479

Here is the information on their Fact Page

What types of coupons should I send?
-All manufacturer coupons
-Coupons specific to stores cannot be used (ie Target, Publix, CVS).
-Printed internet coupons can be used by our recipients.
-Because of the time it takes packages to get to our recipients, send coupons that have expired in the last month or two.  Commissaries will accept coupons that are up to six months expired.
What do I need to do before I mail them?
We only ask that you cut out the coupons before sending them to us.  This way you can fit more coupons in a smaller package.  You can save money by using priority mail.  
Do I have to sort them, too?
As of June 6 2011, we are no longer concerned with separating the coupons into food and non-food.   
Do overseas commissaries and PXs really accept expired coupons?
It's true.  Commissaries overseas will accept expired coupons up to 6 months past their expiration date.  Read their expired coupons policy here.  Those stationed in Alaska or Hawaii, although considered an "overseas move" by the US military, cannot use expired coupons. 

I don't live in North Carolina.  Can I still send you my coupons?
Absolutely! Our military families don't care where the coupons come from. They just appreciate your support.  

Who will receive and benefit from these coupons?
We strive to help all that stand the line, regardless of branch.
We send one hundred percent of the donated coupons to our recipients all over the globe.  The expired coupon policy only applies to commissaries overseas.  Families serving outside of The US are unable to find coupons like we can here.  View our mapto see where we send our coupons, where our recipients are serving. 

Can US troops use expired Canadian coupons?  Where can I send them?
Unfortunately, US commissaries will not accept Canadian coupons.  There is also no program acknowledged by the Canadian Forces that accepts expired coupons.

How did this group get started?
We searched for a group to send our own expired coupons to. The groups we found were closed or required a monetary donation along with the coupons.  We started CFT to get the word out and help our hard working military families save a few dollars. 

Mott's for Tot's

Click here for savings and samples: