Saturday, July 31, 2010

Coupons! Coupons! Coupons! And Coupons!! :)

There are FOUR COUPON INSERTS scheduled for tomorrow's paper with over $300 in Coupons!!! Make sure to pick one up! :) (Or 2 or 3, at Dollar Tree - $1 a piece)

Disney Dreaming,

Friday, July 30, 2010

Free Droid @ Circuit City with Rebate

A Droid FREE with a Verizon plan? That's what Circuit City said both via email and website. Hubs has a Droid and he is totally enthralled with the apps.

What an amazing freebie, right?

Disney Dreaming,

BBW Free Pocket Bac

Check out Coupon Posse's site for a link to a free bath and Body Works Pocket Bac.

Disney Dreaming,

Free Disney Calls for your little ones :)

Check out this link for a free Disney character call you can personalize. Minnie is going to be waking up a certain someone tomorrow. :)

Disney Dreaming,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The ethics of saving money - version 2.0

And again, dear readers, we come upon an ethical dilemma. I love Target, I had a huge post all about couponing at Target ready to go with coupons. But what I do not accept is hatred. Target gave a $150,000 donation to Minnesota Forward, an anti-gay group supporting Republican Tom Emmer's campaign for Minnesota governor. I have 3 gay family members, lots of gay friends, and even if I didn't hatred is still NEVER acceptable.

So what will your family do? Our family has a lot of thinking to do, as this was our main bargain spot...

Does shopping at Target support hate?

Take a look...

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Coupon 102 - Lingo and Homework!'ve gathered your stash of coupons right? Now you're going through the blogs and you see Peelies and Blinkies and RR and you're saying.....HUH??????????????????

Here are the most important words in coupon lingo which should help you understand some of the coupon blogs and their matchups. I used Deal Seeking Mom and Coupon Geek's lists of lingo and tweeked them for all of you.

Q: Coupon, it sounds like qpon, if that helps you remember. :)

B1G1: Buy one, get one free. I've also seen BOGO.

B2G1 Buy two, get one free. And so on...
Blinkies: Grocery/drugstore coupon dispensers with blinking lights.

CAT/Catalina: Catalinas are the coupons that print from the machine on the register when you make a purchase at your favorite store. They are not the same as the coupons that are on the BACK of the receipt.

Closeouts: These are typically greatly reduced items that the store does not plan on re-stocking.

Coupon Policy: This is the statement that each individual store abides by, in relation to coupons. What is typically included in their policy is whether they take competitor’s coupons, take coupons past expiration dates, “double” or “triple” coupons, accept Internet Printables or if they even accept coupons. (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you take a copy of the coupon policy with you when you shop.)

Coupon Insert: These are “packets” of coupons found in Sunday papers and also sometimes in the ads mailed to you during the week. These are typically sent out by Smart Source (SS or S), Red Plum (RP) and Proctor & Gamble (PG). They are also refered to as inserts, S, SS, RP and PG.

CRT: Your receipt = Cash register tape.

Double Coupons: This is the term used when stores will double a coupon’s value. Example, if you have a $1 off coupon, they’ll take $2 off. It is EXTREMELY hard to find a doubled coupon in the Chicago suburbs. Kmart has had a few weeks where they have taken them lately, but only 5 doubled coupons, where's the fun in that?

Ea.: Each

ECBs: ExtraCare Bucks, CVS' loyalty system, they work like cash on your next order. (Some restrictions apply.)

ETS: Excludes trial size

Exp.: Expiration date

FAR: Free After Rebate

FAE: Free after Extra Care Bucks (See ECB for more)

FARR: Free After Register Rewards (See RR or Register Rewards for explanation)

GC: Gift card

IP/Internet Printable/Printable: A coupon that can be printed online.

IVC: Instant Value Coupon, Walgreens' store coupons found in ads and monthly booklet,

MIR: Mail-in rebate

OYNO: On your next order

OOP: Out of pocket

OOS: Out of stock

Peelie: Peel-off coupon found on product packaging

PSA: Prices starting at

RR: Register Rewards, Walgreens' Catalina coupons

Stacking: Using both a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon on one item

UPC: Universal product code, bar code

Tearpad: Pad of coupons attached to a display, shelf, or refrigerator door.

WAGS: The nickname that coupon blogs often assign for Walgreens

WYB: When you buy

YMMV: Your mileage (or manager) may vary, meaning some stores might give you a deal but others might not

$1/1, $1/2: One dollar off one item, one dollar off two items, etc.

2/$1, 3/$2: Two items for one dollar, three items for two dollars, etc.

There are, however, things that I have found that I haven't seen names for that I think we should name!!

1. Coupons on the back of packaging, cardboard coupons
2. Coupons INSIDE packaging. I get tons of coupons INSIDE my items.

So there's your assignment readers, come up with names for these kinds of coupons. I have tons of prizes laying around with your names on them!!


Check out my new FB site, it is far easier to share my coupon specials on there and my couponing tips and stuff on here. both! :)

My new facebook! :)

I'm seeing double and triple?

Shortcuts coupons from AOL. Is it me or do they all offer the same things as Maybe it's just me.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Having troubles??

Is it hard to comment on here? I've heard it is. Please email me at and let me know? I'm thinking of moving this to somewhere that's a little more user friendly - pending I find a place - if this is a pain for folks.


Disney Dreaming,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Contest countdown

The contest ends Monday, don't forget to comment!

Disney Dreaming,


Woohoo! I just finished earning enough money between Surveyspot and Pinecone to start a savings account! $25.01 toward Disney!!! Woohoo!! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Second contest here we go!! :)

The prize I am giving away this time is some awesome swag!! Thanks to Cardinal Fitness in Orland Park for supplying the next set of prizes. :) I have day passes so you can go check them out and these nice lanyard/keyrings. (Keyring on a lanyard type string...shoelace type material, really nice, help me with an official name?) do you enter to win? It's EASY. You don't have to leave the room! If we have enough entries I may be able to offer 2 prizes this time!

1. Comment on this entry. (+1 Entry)
2. Add a comment to another entry or five. (+1 Entry)
3. Post about this blog on your facebook. (+1 Entry)
4. Post about my blog, on your blog. (+1 Entry)
5. Post about the blog on twitter. (+1 Entry)
6. Follow me on twitter also - angellam77 (+1 Entry)
7. Bring me new followers as of today. (and prove it - 6 degrees and all) (+2 Entries)

GOOD LUCK ALL!! Many more wonderful things to come!!

Disney Dreaming,

P.S. Make sure you post on here how many things you've done so I know how many entries to award!! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Best of the Southland

I had no idea what to expect when I decided we would go check out the Best of the Southland event in Tinley Park yesterday. For one thing, it was beastly, humidly, and horribly hot. UGH. Just thinking about being out in the heat makes me want to stand by one of the vents and fan myself with AC as it pours out. However, this blogger will do just about anything for free things, and especially when those free things will benefit the blog, and in turn you readers!! :)

The event was mostly held in a giant tent where businesses could give away whatever wares they saw fit. Many had business cards or brochures. That's nice, but I was looking for DEALS, SPECIALS and SAVINGS to share with you, my wonderful readers!!! Probably the most unexpected part was that there were only one or two tables with things for sale. All of the food booths were free. There were many varieties of pizza, pancakes, frozen custard, variety plates of italian food, cookies, candy, popcorn, snocones, bottled water. My family, and when I say family I mean the little ones, REALLY enjoyed taking whatever they wanted.

I was hard at working trying to procure prizes and deals. Some business owners were skeptical or even a little unpleasant, but for the most part they were extremely kind and very helpful when I explained to them about my blog. I was able to get some nice prizes for you, dear readers. One was even given to me by Mr. Tightwad himself!

I have to say, we really enjoyed ourselves. We hit all of the booths, grabbed some great freebies, and found different ways to beat the heat. Mine was in the form of a melty grape Snocone. :)

I would highly recommend the event if they offer it again, it was definitely worth it, even in the heat.

Look at my little one's face, covered in the remnants of her freebies. I think she'd agree too.

Disney Dreaming,

Free Wiggles Tickets - Sign up ASAP!

Family Time Magazine has free Wiggles Tickets to give away on a first come first serve basis. All you have to do is leave a comment on their facebook page and share why you like their magazine. Then sign up for the newsletter here so they have your e-mail. Hurry, these tickets will be gone quickly!! :)

Woohoo! Coupon Fight!

If you have been watching the interwebs in the coupon world the last 2 days you would see the fight unfolding over the article about NOT couponing.

This article cites 8 reasons why they say you should NOT use coupons. From my perspective, most of these are for people who have a lot of money and a minimal amount of time. Couponing does take some time, but it can save you a considerable amount.

This is one of the most enjoyable rebuttals. Basically a pblllt in the face of the former article's writer.

What do you think? Is it worth it?

Disney Dreaming,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How do you organize these coupons?

Coupons are little teeny tiny itty bitty scraps of paper. Readers, I will fully admit that it is a pain in the butt to organize them. And there is no easy way. If you follow coupon blogs religiously/obsessively as I do, you'll find that they cite earlier circulars. If you can't find those circulars, you are kinda out of luck, and the amazing deals cited aren't quite so great. So, here's what I suggest. Get an accordion file OR a file box and start gathering them where they can be labeled with the kind of coupon circular and the date. Let me show you what some other folks have done and you can choose your own, best method.

Here's a wonderful step by step for newbies by Thrifty Mama. I can also do it step by step here if you like, but sincet others have already put it out there for you, I don't want to step on toes. Take a look, tell me what you think.

The coupon project blog, giving advice and asking what others have done to organize their coupons.

Nobody knows the right method for you. Each month your needs may change. I really don't think anyone needs a fancy organizer when you can go to Staples or Walmart and get all the couponing supplies you'll need. Once you start saving circulars, and getting them organized, you are on your way to more savings.

Let me know how/if these are helping you! What else can I do to help?

Disney Dreaming,


Are you in the South Suburbs??

"Hey Tightwadians, mark your calendars for tomorrow, from 4 to 8 p.m. ... come on out to the SouthtownStar's Best of Chicago's Southland Expo (in our parking lot, 6901 W. 159th St. in Tinley Park) ... 35 local vendors will be on hand giving away freebies, you can win prizes, and most importantly, Mr. T himself will be making a special appearance!

Vendors Include: Ciao Ristorante, Golf Enterprise, Jenny's Steakhouse, Nikos, Palos Hills Golf Club, C&L Electrical Supply, Orland Bowl, Salon 88, Grice Furniture, Brady's Craft Mart, Don's Hot Dogs, Georgios Banquets, Sherlock's Carpet and Tile, Sophia's House of Pancakes, Kimberly Bond Boutique, Zantes, Zorba's Gyros, Creative Cabinetry, Bobbie Noonan's Childcare, Warsaw Inn, Odyssey Fun World, Chicago Cabinet Company, Culver's, Hearts and Flowers, Cardinal Fitness, Orland Mall, Walt's Food Centers, Beggar's Pizza, Jack Gibons Gardens, Olivers, State Farm, A.J. Smith Federal Savings Bank, Bettenhausen, Lexus of Orland, Naples Bakery, the 5th Quarter and Press Room Eatery, Carlo's Restaurant and Kernel Sweetooth."

Check out the article on Mr. Tightwad's official facebook!

Disney Dreaming,

Coupons for healthier options

Sunrise Health Food Store offers coupons both on their website, and through email. The email is just a shortened list of what is available on the website. It is often not what products I would be looking for - Amy's organics or Annie's bunnies. It's usually for things like health powders or pills which I am less interested in. They have those items in their stores, the coupons just usually aren't for them.

Trader Joe's does not offer its own coupons per se, but it does accept outside manufacturer coupons. I'm not sure if these printables still work, but this is an example of the coupons that TJ's will accept, and the outside products they carry. TJ's also has a fearless flyer newsletter which contains additional sales.

While I have never been to Whole Foods, they also offer coupons. So far we've found the WF stores to be just too far for our family to travel for groceries.

Disney Dreaming,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Beginning Couponing

It seems the majority of readers I've spoken with are interested in couponing. I will start with a few recommendations each day and see how long it takes us to get through the basics. The first thing I can recommend are a couple of online sites that offer coupons. What I've noticed, however, is that often they are offering the same coupons. is generally the first site that you will come across. Most grocery stores accept the printed coupons from this site. (Make sure you check with your local store to ensure that they take them.) Also, if you want to follow a healthier lifestyle, there aren't quite as many coupons because many offered are for new products and sometimes for junk food.

Box tops for education offers some great coupons as well. Same caveat - some healthy food, some not so much.

Mypoints has a section for members to print coupons, which seem to be almost the same as You do get points for printing and points for using the coupons, which you can save and use for gift cards.

Coupon Suzy doesn't seem any different to me from, but perhaps you will have different results.

Manufacturer coupons from the stores you shop at are often different from all of these. Depending on your store you may be able to combine these with the other coupons. This is how to get items for less, little, or even free. I will discuss this more later in the week, but start checking out the stores you frequent for their coupons as well, and what their coupon policy is.

In order to save the optimal amount of money, you really have to get the newspaper also. Dollar Tree offers the Sunday paper for $1 on Sunday and you can scoop up a few to start getting your couponing going.

More tomorrow. Let me know how your journey is going! :)

Disney Dreaming,

Saturday, July 17, 2010

How EXCITING! My first contest of many I hope! :)

I'm always getting exciting free stuff, so I wanted to use contests to share these with you. I am so pleased that you all have joined me. I used a random number generator and totaled up how many things each of you has done - Follow me, twitter, etc.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2010-07-18 02:52:31 UTC

Each of you were assigned numbers and the winner was - Kristi Dorson! Congratulations!

The reason I haven't listed what the prizes are is because I have several different kinds of prizes, some are for people who are local Chicagoland folks, and some are for folks with kids, and some are for folks who like to do the cha cha. :)

Kristi won 2 free children's passes to Old Country Buffet and 2 certificates for free children's scoops at Culver's.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. And if you are a Target shopper - check out the massive end of season clearances in every aisle!

Disney Dreaming,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Woohoo! First Contest!

I'm leaving for the children's museum shortly, but I wanted to say, we hit our first 5 how EXCITING! So, it is in fact contest time! Here are how to get entries, for each thing you do an additional entry:

1. One for following me
2. One for making comments, even if you don't officially follow me
3. One for sharing my contest on FB so people KNOW to join us! :)
4. Twitter, same thing. :)

That's it for now. Leave me a comment and let me know how many of these you have done. Each one is an entry. Also, can you tell me if you are local to Chicago. One of the giveaways I have is a Chicago thing and I don't want to exclude those who aren't.

I will draw a winner on Saturday. That gives you 2 days to get the word out!

Disney Dreaming,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting started with couponing

Here is a great site to get started couponing. Take a look at the Krazy Coupon Lady's beginner course to change the way you shop. It is an excellent resource to get started. Later in the week, I will share more websites that I have used that have been extremely helpful to our family.

Right now, I'd like to get some followers and readers. SO, I'm going to be having a contest. I have a few special items that I will be giving away, but I need some readers. me do that! Share the word, refer your friends, make comments on my posts, and when I get followers/subscribers to multiples of 5, I will start the contests!!!

Disney Dreaming,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What am I doing, you say?

This post is dedicated to some of the programs I am participating in to save for the trip. I have been doing many of them for a long time already, but now I am seeking out points, surveys and other ways to utilize these programs in better ways. I hope this will help you in your own savings journey!

Pinecone Research is a great one. They pay $3 per survey, sent to your Paypal account, and you also get a sweepstakes entry. They pay almost immediately, and you can make a lot of money as long as you know that when they send you the survey they really want your participation.

Mypoints take a long time to accrue, but they are worth the effort. You can earn points through clicking ads in emails, taking surveys, online shopping, and through Bzzagent reports. They pay in points which can be redeemed for a variety of gift cards and they have a good variety of kinds of cards. The only problem is that there is a lot of inflation in the amount of points it takes to get the cards, and no raise in what you earn pointwise.

Surveyspot is a worthwhile survey company as well. You can cash out at 1000 points - $10. There are tons of surveys to take, you just have to have some free time to seek them out.

We have one rewards Visa - our Amazon rewards card, which we will be using to save points to acquire gift cards. The points are earned more when is used, but at this point we mainly use it for local purchases.

So...why don't we have a Disney Rewards Visa? UGH. The painful truth? We were denied. I have NEVER been denied a credit card before. We both have great scores, but things have changed. It is a new world where it is much harder to get a credit card! So... I just have to assume there's a reason in the universe for us not to have it. I REALLY wanted it, though. *sniff*

There are more programs I am doing, but these are the main ones. If I find others working better or if you want me to post more leave a comment. :)

Up next? Couponing. I need to stretch my fingers, that will be a long (and helpful) one.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Warning, Not safe for stomach, FOOD PORN!

I want to be where the people eat THIS stuff! OMG! Thanks to my lovely friend Sarah for sharing and getting me even more excited for next year!

Click here for more naughty delicious pictures!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The ethics of saving money

I've been a member of for a long time. Now that I'm looking to find ways to save my way to Disney World, saving mypoints is a good option. I get points when I do bzzagent reports or surveys, click on links in emails, or shop online. (The shopping I'm much less likely to do, however.)

I also have an rewards Visa. Each purchase I make builds up points which can be used for a variety of things, again including gift cards I can save for the Disney trip.

Here is the dilemma. I feel like using gift cards to purchase gas for the drive would save us a ton on the drive. HOWEVER, the choices are limited, and Both sites offer gasoline gift BP. I have been avoiding BP at all costs because of the horrible things they have done to our now it is a real ethical dilemma. Save money on gas, but purchase it at BP? Or perhaps get a Shell card and spend far more on gas, using up the cards faster, but have a cleaner conscience. What would you do?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Living out loud and how I plan to make that happen

I love Disney World, I love everything about it. I consider myself someone who is totally into the cheesy, larger than life experience, and I desperately want to take my family. However, some serious health problems have precluded me from working and I figured it was a distant unreachable dream.

In May my best friend passed away. She was 33, 2 weeks older than I, and there was no rhyme or reason to it. One day she was doing okay, the next she was in ICU, and soon after it was just...over. One of the promises I made to myself after she died was that I would live life to the fullest, that I would give our family amazing experiences, and not keep saying we can't afford things. I could probably continue my complacency and put it off, saying we just can't afford it, but instead I made the decision that we are going to Disney World in a year. We are going to live out loud on the way, and we are going to do our best to honor her memory.

So here I am...searching for the best deals, the most creative ways to save, on everything from groceries to my big trip, and fun closer to home as well. I'm planning to share with you guys, so you can avoid my pitfalls, share in my triumphs and maybe get a few ideas along the way. We will be going to Disney in a year, join me in our journey.