Archive | May, 2011

Hope in the Midst of Devastation

27 May

Imagine playing with your children or talking on the phone and looking up to see a monster tornado barrelling down your way… that is how a good day turned sour for many people on April 27th, in Dekalb county, Alabama… and in many other areas since.
Devastation is still thick in the little town in Alabama that sits in between Fort Payne and Henager. In a county that lost 33 lives,  10 of which were in a town with no name, just known as “county”, a month of viewing horrific destruction is still wandering what is next?
When will the little corner country store, vegetable stand, churches and numerous homes be occupied again? With piles of debris, leafless trees, and power lines laying on the ground and unimaginable sights every where you look, small glimmers of hope bring back life in a tiny country town that yearns for the days of the past.
Although life will never return to those known prior to April 27th, bright smiles after a store owner answers yes to a question about rebuilding, tells you that life in this small town, will go on. Buildings will go back up, trees will be replanted, gas station pumps will be remounted… and life will go on!
Hope from people that walked away from demolished buildings that had crumbled on them. Hope from people that watched their neighbors emerge lifeless. Hope from people that buried a mother with her 6 year old daughter. They have hope…
This hope though needs assistance. Assistance in rebuilding, replanting and restablishing the life they loved prior to the day an E4 tornado devastated their lives.
Now…. what can we band together and do to assist in ensuring this hope becomes a reality?

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Starting Couponing

24 May

I am not the best, and deffenently not the most extreme, but I’m decent at it and often get asked questions regarding couponing. Below are just a few questions that I have answered to help anyone just beginning to coupon, or those who are just wandering. I hope they help…

1. What local grocery stores double coupons?
Bi-Lo, Kroger, Publix, and Food Lion.

2. How do you get all your coupons?
I get the Sunday paper and usually ask for additional coupon inserts from people that I know get the paper but may not use their coupons. I also email companies of the products that I use often every 6 months. This is where I usually get most of my higher value coupons. It is time consuming but usually worthwhile.

3. What do you do with all the coupons you do not use?
I clip all of the coupons in the Sunday paper, whether I plan on using them or not. If I know my family will not use it then I will ask my friends what products they use and mail them to them or ask some of the coupon blogs I follow if anyone on there sites are interested in extra coupons.

4. How do you store your coupons?
I have tried pretty much every method out there to store my coupons. So far, the only one that I like is the binder method. Which consists of a three ring binder that I have put dividers in and labeled. I store my clipped coupons in baseball card inserts so that I can view and remove  them easily. I really love my binder and have been known to go a little crazy if it goes missing! 🙂

5. How do you divide your coupon binder?
My binder is divided into 13 categories. These include: baking and breads, beverages, breakfast, cans and condiments, cleaning supplies, dairy, frozen foods, meats, paper products, carbs, personal (like hygiene and medicines), baby and other/snacks.

6. Where do you use your coupons most often?
I prefer to shop for groceries at either Kroger or Bi-Lo. I think that they both have decent coupon policies and usually have good sales. I also buy from CVS and Walgreens. With their ECB’s (CVS) and register rewards (Walgreens), you can usually get a lot of free items and really good buys. You just need to match the sale items with your coupons, and store coupons if possible, to maximize your savings.

7. What blogs do you follow for couponing?
Just to name a few: Mama Cheaps, Hip 2 Save, Koupon Karen, Wild for Wags, Coupon Dad, and many more.

A few more tidbits—

If I do not absolutely need a product right then and there, I will not buy it unless it is on sale. I usually try to wait to buy stuff that I use on a regular basis until I have both a coupon and its on sale. If its not on sale this week… just be patient. It will be on sale within a few weeks in one store or another.

I NEVER will go into a store and buy so many of one product that it clears out the shelf. That is ridiculous and unthoughtful!

True couponing takes time. Unless you are willing to sit down and compare prices and match them with your coupons, you probably will not be very successful. It takes time to maximize your savings and to make sure you spend as little cash as possible! But, its usually rewarding!!

I do not just coupon for myself and my family– I coupon so that I can get free, or inexpensive, items to donate… it is not only about me but about helping those less fortunate. I would only hope my readers would do the same!!

Hope this helps! Happy couponing!!!

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