SOCDIRECTOR   63,891
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SOCDIRECTOR's Recent Blog Entries

How I Save 45-55% Off Our Grocery Bill

Monday, October 08, 2012

It really isn't a secret that the grocery stores and manufacturers want us to use coupons when purchasing their products. By doing so, it's a three-way win, which also includes the shopper in that mix.

Even without coupon clipping, you can save a great deal on your family meals each week with a little planning and by using the sales flyers from your local grocer. But I take it a step further and, with the help of bloggers and other proven resources, match the current manufacturer coupons with the weekly sales flyer. A third component, if you choose, is to add printable coupons that can be downloaded from various internet resources.

Last week I saved 51% off my grocery bill -- the best so far since I began tracking and logging my savings in July.

With these savings in mind, for me it is worth it to take a couple hours on a weeknight while watching TV to scan the CouponMom.com website and weekly ads (both print and online) for my local grocery deals. Then I clip only those coupons that match the sale promotions for my trip to the grocery store, as identified on the CouponMom.com website. Following her lists, I clip my coupons from those stored in an upright hanging file folder system I sequenced by date, a trick I learned from Jill Cataldo, the Super Couponing queen. It is so simple! Then I only clip the coupons for the current week when that item goes on sale.

Sweetening the deal for us here in St. Louis, one of our three regional grocers, Shop 'n Save, periodically has a $10 off $50 purchase "No Coupon" promotion on Thursdays. That just happens to be this week! When I stack on the additional Shop 'n Save deal from our regional Entertainment Coupon Book ($5 off $50 coupon), that is a total of $15 off $50 just by walking in the door!!

More cost-savings: I created my shopping list using the online list generator and emailed it to myself to eliminate wasting toner and copy paper. It's also on my smartphone with the stores handy app. Isn't technology wonderful?

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So, here I am tonight with my grocery lists ready, coupons clipped and eagerly anticipating the Thursday shopping frenzy. It's kind of an adrenalin rush for me to see the subtotal decrease at checkout when my many coupons are scanned. Guess I am considered an extreme coupon shopper by some people's standards. Heck, if it saves my family 45-55% off our grocery bill, then so be it!

If you are just getting started with th Coupon Game, Google both of these sources I mentioned -- CouponMom (aka Stephanie Nelson) and Jill Cataldo. Read up on their tips or watch their stories absolutely FREE, then find your own way of super or extreme couponing like I did. Caution: Don't pay for lists or advice initially and never pay to get your local grocer deals online. Seek out all the FREE information you can gather first. After you start saving a significant amount on your shopping trips, consider researching other pay options. Good Luck!

Spark on...
~ Lynn

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILIKETOZUMBA 10/10/2012 9:35AM

    Wow, this is REALLY good information. Thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely do some googling now!

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LYNNIERN 10/10/2012 7:50AM

    We don't shop there much any more, but I LOVED those Shop N Save Thursdays! I took one cart, DH took one cart to maximize our $10 off. Thanks for sharing those other great ideas and how sweet was that, to get 51% off your bill!
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ANGELONE11 10/9/2012 9:27AM

    Thanks for the information as I already clip coupons and use printable coupons as well! The more information that I get definitely will help with lowering my grocery bills as well!

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ANDYINBC 10/9/2012 9:21AM

    Sounds like a new Coupon Queen, long live the Queen!

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GAYLLYNNE 10/9/2012 6:44AM

    My local grocery store sends it's weekly coupons in an email. If you register your discount card online, click on the coupon you want, it's automatically loaded on your card. When they scan the card before checkout, it's automatically deducted from your total. A great convenience! I will check out your site too!

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MINANCY 10/9/2012 5:27AM

    Thanks for the information and inspiration!
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KMICHA 10/9/2012 5:25AM

    I'm a fan of that too!

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MEDDYPEDDY 10/9/2012 1:32AM

    Hmm, I donīt think we have the same opportunities in Sweden although we do have coupons and we do have flyers every week – I also get very "personal" coupons on frequent things I shop. I loved the idea and might look into it - 50 % saved sounds tempting!


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IMREITE 10/9/2012 12:33AM

    My store has their ad online so i can check it before making my list.

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JANTWO 10/9/2012 12:28AM

    Thank you for the information!!!!

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KAYE454 10/8/2012 11:41PM

  great blog

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50 is the New 30

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Today is my 50th Birthday and I feel good! Having accomplished so many milestones much later in life than my peers has allowed me to cling to my youth much longer than most of my friends.

Recently, when I admitted my age, I was told that I'm "well preserved." Taken as a compliment, I briefly thought of the alternative "well done" or finished. My life if far from complete!

As I pass this half-century milestone, it's just another day in my life like any other. Following my new healthy lifestyle routines--thanks to SparkPeople--I walked to Church and back, logging 2 miles of fitness. Then my usual Sunday routine involves some sort of heavy housework, so I logged that as well. Because of this, and other accomplishments today, I feel good both inside and out.

Now that I am in this new age demographic, let's face the fact is we're living much longer and our careers are becoming more flexible. It's pretty clear that in most every cultural respect, fifty year olds are living, acting and looking more like thirty year olds every day. This is GOOD NEWS for those of us in the prime of our lives!

As I look to tomorrow and day one of the second half-century of my life, I welcome the happy and healthy years ahead. You won't find me dwelling on my age but oozing my youthful attitude!
emoticon to (the new) ME!

Spark on...
~ Lynn

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNIERN 10/10/2012 7:46AM

    Happy Belated Birthday!! emoticon

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SUNSET09 10/8/2012 6:59AM

  The best is yet to come and it's all in what you make it and how you feel! A friend told me one day, when she retired was now, she can do what she want instead of having to do. Embrace your day and make it better, everyday! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GAYLLYNNE 10/8/2012 6:55AM

    Happy Birthday!!!! I remember when I turned 50. It wasn't nearly as bad as 30 LOL - hang on, you're still in for a wild ride!! Enjoy your special day!

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JANTWO 10/8/2012 12:28AM

    Happy Birthday!!!! I turned 50 in June!!!! emoticon

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HEYITSLISA 10/7/2012 11:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon hope you had a great day!

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GIRLIE603 10/7/2012 11:35PM

    Happy 50th!

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DEEJON123 10/7/2012 11:31PM

    emoticon

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CAT609 10/7/2012 11:29PM

    Happy Birthday! I turned 50 this year, too! I agree with you about 50 being the new 30. I feel better now than I did 10 years ago! I hope you enjoyed your day! emoticon

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HOTPINKCAMARO49 10/7/2012 11:28PM

  Happy Birthday! emoticon

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KAYE454 10/7/2012 11:28PM

  50 is great

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Today is Techie's Day - Thank You, SparkGuy!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

No other day do you have an excuse to give your favorite techie a big virtual hug and kiss. So, go ahead! Take advantage of this perfect opportunity to pay tribute to those who work behind the scenes, and that are always there to fix your computer. This is the day to show love to the person who is always there when your computer crashes, or you go "Oops! What did I just do?"

We are all techies in our own right. In my opinion, computer users also qualify as there are millions around the world who haven't ever even seen a computer. So, pat yourself on the back, too. You figured out how to earn the most daily sparks, use the SparkPeople system to your advantage, and keep coming back for more fun in this virtual world each day.

Afterall, we are one because of SparkGuy and this common computer ground we know as SparkPeople.com. So lift your hand in the air and give a virtual high-five to SparkGuy, Coach Nicole, Chef Meg and all those at SparkPeople central who keep up with all these dynamic web pages. They make it possible for us to track nutrition, video blog, develop friendships across the globe, shrink into a new skin and evolve into a healthy new lifestyle.
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Spark on, everyone!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNSET09 10/5/2012 7:10AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon We don't appreciate these behind the scenes jobs until we need them, janitors, sweepers, waste management, so forth and so on! Thank you for keeping everything running smoothly so I can do my job more effectively! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LYNNIERN 10/4/2012 9:50PM

    Excellent blog. emoticon

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HEYITSLISA 10/4/2012 9:42AM

    Well said! emoticon

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NANCYRUBIO 10/3/2012 11:38PM

    emoticon They have done everything possible to shed our weight.

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Today is Chewing Gum Day

Sunday, September 30, 2012

For some people chewing gum can equal bad manners, but I believe it's better than having bad breath!

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Chewing gum tends to keep me from putting junk food into my mouth late in the afternoon at work and then again at home when I'm preparing dinner. It also keeps me from sampling while preparing the family meal.

Do you use chewing gum as a part of your daily SparkPeople nutritional intake?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANTWO 10/4/2012 12:48AM

    I chew sugarless gum!!!! I did not know is was gum chewing day!!!!

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AGK3112 10/2/2012 3:27AM

    one of the incidence in my life made me not to ea tgum my entire life. I still laugh about that incidence (which was my stupidity) whatever happend 20-25 yrs ago and then never ever had gum in my life.

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SUNSET09 9/30/2012 11:56PM

  emoticon Not for me and it' a pet peeve of mine when people like to share their uninvited gum popping with others. It's been told it combats bad breath as well as helps fight cavities when you are unable to brush! Nothing against it, just when it's abused!

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WETPTARMIGAN 9/30/2012 11:47AM

    I'm totally OK with freshening breath with gum. One of my pet peeves as an exercise instructor, though, is people who come to my class chewing gum. I view this as a choking hazard. Think about it--how easy would it be to suck it into your throat when you're breathing hard? And when you're in the water you're in even more trouble! I'm a bit of a nut about this issue--once I even made a school board member spit out his gum! emoticon

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HEYITSLISA 9/30/2012 11:20AM

    I definitely use sugarless gum and mints for when my mouth gets "bored" and I need to keep it busy with something besides food!

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LYNNIERN 9/30/2012 10:44AM

    Happy National Chewing Gum day, I'll think I'll have some Doublemint to celebrate. I have just recently started using gum to help prevent overeating as part of my SP plan.


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NKOUAMI26 9/30/2012 9:15AM

    I don't usually chew gum except I don't have a bottle of water close by. I will have a sip if I feel I am having bad breath and it clears it away. Alternatively, if I am home, I use a mouth rinse emoticon

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GAYLLYNNE 9/30/2012 7:59AM

    I agree. I always have gum in my pocketbook because I don't want bad breath!! Glad to know it has it's own day!!

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MRE1956 9/30/2012 3:49AM

    Can't stand that stuff myself - an occasional low-calorie mint will take care of any breath issues (and fortunately, that's very, *very* rare) - and good ol' H2O has been known to cut down cravings nicely!

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Today WAS National Coffee Day -- I missed it!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I really need to read these unusual holiday sources earlier in the day. Today is National Coffee Day and I went the ENTIRE day without one drop of coffee!! Shame on me!!
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So, NO, I did not have a cup to start off my day first thing in the morning. Maybe you did! If so, I trust you stopped at 10 cups and did not go overboard with your celebration. Otherwise you might still be bouncing off the walls.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEYITSLISA 9/30/2012 11:23AM

    Two cups with almond milk every morning! I wouldn't miss celebrating this day! emoticon

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LYNNIERN 9/30/2012 10:40AM

    I don't drink coffee so I couldn't have a cup for you, but I do feel your pain. It would have been devastating for me if I would have missed National Diet Soda day and hadn't had the chance to celebrate!
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GAYLLYNNE 9/30/2012 7:55AM

    I always have a morning cup of coffee and that's it but I never miss it!!!!

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LADYPIXEL 9/30/2012 1:10AM

    I had my morning cuppa, and later, I had a quad espresso. So if Swan47 hadn't had your coffee intake covered, I suspect some of my espresso could count for you, too. :)

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SOCDIRECTOR 9/30/2012 12:53AM

    Thanks SWAN47 for tipping a cup of java back for me, too!

Yes, JANTWO, decaf does count in more ways than one. It's a water on SparkPoints and you officially observed National Coffee Day! Win/Win!

My observance of these many unusual holidays started about 4-5 years ago. I ordered items from Oriental Trading for my son's birthday party in January. They sent me their current 12-month calendar along with my purchases. Most of the dates show a reason to party or celebrate to observe not only the traditional but also lesser-known unusual holiday.

Not every day on their calendar has a fun or interesting observance so I went looking
on the internet. You won't believe how many sources there are for such holidays! Google it yourself to see all the links to numerous lists. Have fun!!

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JANTWO 9/30/2012 12:39AM

    I did not know it either!!!! I drink decaff though....does that count? LOL

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SWAN47 9/30/2012 12:37AM

    I drank your coffee for you. I had a leisurely morning with several cups of coffee. emoticon .....one for you and one for me! Where did they come up with all these days to celebrate emoticon

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