Current Projects

  • Couponing like crazy!
  • Turning Junk into Treasure!
  • Saving Plastic Bottles from Landfills!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yesterday's Dumpster Haul!

School diving season is in full swing, friends! I put a movie on in the van and away we went! We took a few breaks at different playgrounds throughout the day, which definitely helped! We were able to hit Spanish Fork, Salem and Payson.
Here are some of the treasures:

 All of these cases are full of Honey Graham crackers. Found at the Salem High School.
 All of these items below, are from Larsen Elementary.

 These ones are BRAND NEW!!! I am still furious over it! Can you believe it??? I need to get the word out about how much pointless waste comes out of our public schools every summer! So not cool!
I will be listing a lot of this stuff online but I will also be doing my first yard sale of the year in a few weeks. I'll let you all know when!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Today's Produce

I got busted for the first time today! It was kind of exciting. :) I was grabbing some produce out of the  Good Earth dumpster. Luckily I had already gotten all that I wanted and had it in the van. The employee was pleasant and so was I. No biggie. You know I'll be back! ;)
I got lots of great produce there and at the Provost Elementary school. We won't need to buy any produce this week! In fact, all we've bought is milk, tortilla chips and toilet paper. It's a pretty neat feeling. James still doesn't like that I get food out of the dumpsters but I'm hoping he'll come around and see it from my perspective. The food I grab is clean, not marinating in the yuck. And of course I clean it thoroughly.
Our grocery bills are at an all time low! Between my coupons and dumpsters, we are saving a lot of money. All that saved money can go toward paying off the house or toward our Disneyland fund.
Not only that, we are saving this perfectly good food from the landfills. That is important to me and I'm not ashamed of what I do.
I understand that most people don't see it my way or wouldn't be willing to do what I do. I'm okay with that. :)  When I am hugging Mickey Mouse, it will all have been worth it!
I didn't check any other schools in Provo because a rain storm hit. Not only that, their schools aren't out for the summer yet so it makes sense to wait till next week to go hunting.
Tomorrow I will hit the Nebo School District schools. Super excited!!!
P.S. Those antique photos I found at Dixon are selling very nicely on ebay. 


Rancho Market has all varieties of 1 gallon milk for $1.99 this week! Remember that they do not take coupons. If you have milk coupons, I suggest you ad-match at Walmart. Rancho also has lots of great produce deals this week, (certain days only), so be sure to check out their ad!

Rancho Market Ad

Ps. If you don't have a milk coupon, I highly recommend that you go to Rancho Market instead of ad-matching all their great deals.
Remember that if we don't support our local independents, they will go out of business and Walmart will be free to charge whatever it wants! :)

High Value Coupon!! Don't miss it!

Thank you for this great heads up!!!
crest toothpaste couponP&G has a great CREST TOOTHPASTE COUPON available! You will need to fill out your information to request a $2 off Crest Toothpaste coupon.
The coupon will make toothpaste FREE if you wait for a sale! It could even make for a potential money maker deal at a drug store.
This is a very rare HIGH VALUE COUPON, so be sure to request it now. I am not sure how long it will be available.
There is a limit of one per household. The COUPON will be mailed to you.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Today's Treasures

I got the following great deals today:

1 lb Strawberries .99

12 oz Whipped Topping $1.59

Rancho Market:
Mangoes 2/.99
Watermelon .19/lb
Bagged salad .99
Avacado .59 ea
Cantaloupe 3 lb/.99
Iceberg Lettuce 2/.99

I also hit a couple of dumpsters at stores and schools and got these:

 Fruits and Veggies at Good Earth.
 2 Cases of (sealed) Cookies and Crackers @ Franklin Elementary
 Stencil Rulers and unopened, unused Planners and Calendars @ Dixon middle scool
A huge stack of vintage photographs also @ Dixon (People really buy these on ebay!)

I showed a teacher friend of mine the things I have salvaged just this week from local schools and she was outraged. I suppose there are a few who aren't as wasteful. If only they could teach the others....
Until then, my Disneyland account will continue to grow from their wastefulness. 

Friday, May 24, 2013


I love saving money! We all know this. When there is a great deal, I want to jump on it and usually do. Right now I am faced with a dilemma though and am going to attempt to sort it out logically and with a focus on the bottom line.
There are so many great deals right now on highly processed snack foods. I love all that crap and so does my family. Unfortunately, our waistlines and overall health do not love it  all so much.
I tell myself that those foods are going to save us money later. I.E. When we are invited to parties and BBQ's. We'll have food to bring and not have to run to the store and pay full price.
It is a great plan in theory. Where I am an emotional eater however, in the midst of personal, family and friends' crises, the plan falls through a lot! And as a result, I spend money on diet aids and new clothes. My children's health will eventually suffer, as we continue this regimen of eating junk because it's available, and that will cost money.
So, if we look at this from a purely financial perspective, those 'great deals' are just not really so great. Instead, perhaps that money should be spent on fruit, vegetables, and other healthy snacks. They might not have quite as low a sticker price as my crackers and chips, but in the long term, they are certainly the better deal!
We could spend the junk food money on family activities, new bike helmets, a bike for me so that I can ride with my family. Trips to any one of Utah's fabulous State and Federal Parks where we can enjoy the great outdoors!
Will my stockpile look as impressive without the bags and boxes of great deals? Hmm... maybe not. But at the end of the day, the idea is to save money and to make life better for myself and my family; not to have the most amazing stockpile.
So, just writing this has helped me to solve my own dilemma. There are awesome deals on fruit and vegetables this week. My fridge and fruit bowl are going to be filled and I am going to use my usual deal-hunting energy to make sure these foods are worked into my family's diets so they don't go to waste.
And maybe.... I think I will schedule a few fun, inexpensive family outings.... :)

Wonderland Progress

I did some more work on Wonderland this week. I planted two of the new plants I got at a steep discount at Shopko. I did more digging on the new path. I used the tiller on the location of my new focal point. I laid down more landscape fabric left over from a couple of years ago.
I also started building the focal point. I used the FREE rocks I got on KSL from that nice guy in Payson. To move the big rocks, I used the dolly I found last year in the dumpster at Provo high! I just love my FREEBIE-loaded life!

 I still need to do the top layer and fill in the cracks, but we're getting there! I will fill it with soil next week and plant my new Dwarf Alberta Spruce which I will eventually shape into a spiral topiary.
It is definitely slower than hiring a crew to come in and tear it up in a day, but I am also saving myself from a hefty price tag and building a few muscles at the same time. :) Plus there's a way lot of pride that comes with each step I finish. :)
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dumpster Bounty & Sad News

First the sad news: There will be no coupon inserts this Sunday because of Memorial Day. There are, however, lots of great printables online right now. So get your ink replaced and start printing!

I went diving today at 2 dollar stores and several schools. I am finding, that with enough digging, there is a lot to be had at the dollar stores. I've hit Provo and Spanish Fork and did well at both.

The schools are ripe for the pickings right now! Kindergarten is out at most schools, so their classes are being emptied. I found so many decorations and learning supplies. Lots of them unopened! Plus blocks, shapes, and yarn.

Local residents are also getting around to their spring cleaning and taking advantage of their local school dumpsters to drop off their things. It is just a total crap shoot. You don't know what you might find; the variety is all over the map!
Get in there and see what you can find! And then tell me about it!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

More Great Deals!

I ran down to Payson today to hit Walmart and Smith's. I did great at both, though Walmart didn't have a couple of the things I was looking for. Sometimes that's just the way it is. :/

Here's Smith's:

 (2) 1/2 gal Milk $.89 ea (clearance)

Vlasic Relish $1.00
-$1/1 Vlasic product online print

(4) Hidden Valley Sandwich Spread & Dip $.99 ea (clearance)
-.75/1 Hidden Valley Sandwich Spread & Dip

Schick Hydro Razor $10.49
-Try Me FREE mail coupon (see my earlier posts for the link to get yours!!)

(2) Kroger Bread $.88 ea
Total: $3.33!!!!

And here's Walmart:
La Victoria Flour Burrito Tortillas $1.78
-$1/1 La Victoria Tortilla

(4) Sunbelt Granola bars $2.25
-.55/1 Sunbelt (doubled)= $1.25 ea

(4) Colgate 4.6 oz toothpaste $.96 each (in a dump bin)
-$.50/1 any Colgate 4oz+ (doubled) = +.06 ea!!!

Almond Accents with cranberries $2.98
-.50/1 Almond Accents (doubled)= $1.98

(2) McCormick Taco Seasoning $.58 ea
-$.50/2 McCormick Taco Seasoning online print (doubled)= .08 ea

Slim Fast Bars $4.97
-$1/1 Slim fast bars

(2) Joy Ice Cream Cups $1.45 ea
-$.50/1 Joy cups online print (doubled)= $.45 ea

(8) Suave 1.7 oz deodorant $.96 ea
-$.50/1 Suave deodorant (doubled)= +.04 ea!!!
Total Spent: $11.98

Tomorrow I will be hunting! Stay tuned for the run down of my discovered treasures!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Don't Miss Out!!!

Thank you for this awesome deal!

free razor
Be sure to take advantage of this offer to get a free razor! Text SCHICK to 24444to get a Free Schick Hydro Silk Razor. Click on the link that is sent back to you after you text, then fill out your mailing info.
Razors can get expensive, especially the cartridges, so you don’t want to pass up this offer! This razor is $7 on Amazon right now, so this a great deal!
The deal may not last long, so grab it now if you want it.
Saving Tip: The best place to buy razors is at drug stores. It is usually cheaper to buy a new razor since it comes with the cartridge than to buy just the cartridges.

A Day For Discounts And FREEBIES!!!

Great shopping today!! So many discounts and FREEBIES!!

First, Fresh Market:

4 lb Strawberries $4.99 (Payson Market has them for $4.98.)
(5) Jennie-O Ground Turkey $1 each (clearance meat section)
-$1/1 any Jennie-O ground turkey product= FREE!!!!
I got mine in Spanish Fork and there were quite a few available. I recommend getting in there early for best selection.

Next, Shopko!

Potting Soil
3 Trees
1 Orbit Gum
-$10/$20 purchase. I get this coupon with every 10 prescriptions I fill. 
I paid just $11.25 for all of it!
It helped that everything was on sale.
I was annoyed that there wasn't anyone working in the garden area. I had to take it all inside to check out. Then the cashier was pretty much horrible. I usually can roll with pretty much anything when it comes to cashiers, but her total lack of respect and courtesy. I was actually tempted to speak to her manager.. The service has to be pretty bad for me to do that.
I decided not to; my good deed for the day. I will give them one more chance but that's it. If I have another similar experience, I just can't keep my mouth shut, for the sake of other shoppers. :)
The funny thing, is that my pharmacy people are always so wonderful. And my regular cashiers are usually at least willing to do their jobs without making me feel like a burden. What is happening with this younger generation???
Anywho, I got some good deals, so this day was a success. Going to hit Walmart and Smith's tomorrow!
Stay tuned!

Deal of the Day!

Today's deal is at Smith's (Kroger):

This is a great deal. Stock up! Green Giant Canned Vegetables, 14-15.25 oz, 50¢
(good through 5/25)
Buy 4, get $2 off your next purchase

(makes it FREE)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Yesterday's Hunt!

I took my sister hunting with me yesterday. She wanted coupons and I told her the price was to come hunting with me!
I've decided she is my good luck charm! We hit a honey hole of coupon inserts. They were today's coupon inserts! Tons of them! So many freebies in these inserts. We'll use a lot of them and then sell the rest.
I planned to mostly get coupons and other paper goods. Instead, we got loads of great merchandise! I wasn't expecting to have good dumpster hauls for at least another week, but it has already begun!
Someone took advantage of a school dumpster to dump off what I am guessing was Grandma's stuff. I see this often. Someone dies and their stuff gets dumped. It's pretty tragic but I try not to think of it that way.
My sister was disgusted, as any normal person would be, that anyone could throw out stuff like this. There are starving people all around, people in need of basic necessities, and here we were finding all of those things. Not donated, but thrown away!
I told her that she will continue to be amazed the more she comes with me but that eventually the thrill of the hunt will take over and she will start enjoying the adrenaline high instead of focusing on the travesty of our spoiled, consumerism society!

 So much canned food!  :(  Cleaning supplies, brand new platters. School and cleaning supplies.
 Gifts, unopened, unused.
 LOTS of after-Christmas clearance purchases. (I always keep the Christmas stuff. It doesn't usually sell well, plus I am a Christmas freak!!) Plus other holiday decor. Halloween, Easter, Valentines.
 This lovely track suit, like new! And a whole bag of high end ladies clothing!!
This lovely bedspread that just happens to be the right size and perfect colors for my bedroom!!!

This was an amazing hunting expedition! On top of it all, my sister went shopping last night with her coupons and brought home a great haul and tons of savings!!
The time is now, fellow deal hunters! Hit your local school dumpsters with your collecting tools in hand!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rocks for Wonderland

I just love KSL and good people! Generous people. My faith in humanity has been restored! I only hope I can pay it forward.
I found an ad on KSL for FREE landscape rocks for my backyard project. These were just about the nicest people I ever care to meet.
I picked up the first load in the van, with the kids in tow. That evening, James and I came back and loaded more in the van and this sweet man helped us load his truck full of rocks too! Then he followed us home and he and James unloaded them.
This guy had no idea what was going on in my life or how much that kindness meant to me. He wouldn't even let us pay him for gas. There really are still people like that out there....  :)

I plan to get busy arranging them this weekend! So much to do! :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Deal of the Day!

Today's deals are at Smith's (Kroger) stores:

Vlasic Relish, 10 oz, $1
(good through 7/06)
Manufacturer Coupon-$1 off Farmer’s Garden or Vlasic pickle product PRINTABLE
(makes it FREE)

Dove Bar Soap, 1 ct., $1
(good through 5/25)
Manufacturer Coupon-$1 off Dove body wash or beauty bar (excl trial/travel size), Kroger ECOUPON
(makes it FREE)

I just hit the Payson Smith's and grabbed these items. Gotta love FREE!!!

They also have Bananas for $.25/lb!! You'll have to sort through to find the less ripe ones, but they're in there!

Also, some great stock ups for your gifting box:
Clearance endcap- Hot Wheels $.69 each.

And for your flower beds, look in the back of the produce section for Clearance flowers! Nice, big flowers for just $.99!! Great quality!

Ps. I found a Tablet there, including case and keyboard for just $80.00. Not sure yet about the brand's quality. I'll do some research and touch on that again.
If you're interested, they are on a front end cap, along with some really inexpensive flat screen tv's.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Creating Wonderland... On a budget

I have a large yard. It is one of the main reasons we bought this home, which is quite small. We have plenty of room to build on someday and lots of room for the kids to roam. Also.... lots of room for my green thumb to run wild! (didn't know thumbs could run, did ya??)
We have worked on several areas already and created fun new beds and gardens. Our far backyard however, has been mostly neglected. We planted fruit trees and berry bushes, but the whole area is overgrown with weeds.
I was inspired in my mom's gorgeous, magical backyard the other day and am feeling ready to create my own Wonderland!
I have laid out the garden path and have started prepping future beds. My generous mother has told me that I am free to come and dig up some of the baby plants popping up from her huge variety of mature beauties. I will do that this coming week and can hardly wait!!!
Before I can do that, I need to prep the ground. Something I am realizing as I make plans... There are lots of areas of this plan that will cost nothing but elbow grease. Other parts have the potential to be very expensive. I will have to dig into the well of financial creativity to make this happen!
So, this is the first of what will be several posts documenting the creation of my Wonderland On A Budget project!
I know it looks rough right now, but hang in there folks! We'll get there!!


 (Above) That metal fence back there is the back end of our property. Notice our lovely fruit trees. :)
 South side of the far backyard. I had started laying out the new garden path.
Garden path that soon will be! Oh, and next to my little apple tree is that heinous beast of a weed tree that will be DEAD before next winter!!!

The path leading to my future rose garden.

Me using a lawn mower for the very FIRST time EVER!! I used a rototiller after that too!!! I have a lot I want to get done back there and I can't dump all the work on James. It is my dream after all. :)

 After mowing down the weeds.
The future rose garden!! Tilled, raked, covered with weed barrier! This fall it will be rose central!

See that dirt there? That is the area I have cleared (with James' help!) for my future shade garden!!
Left of that peach tree, I'm planting lilacs, snowball bushes and a dwarf spruce. Most of them I will hopefully be getting from friends, family and neighbors! Remember, mature plants send up shoots! Find someone that shares your passion and needs to thin theirs out anyway! You'll save bunches of money and learn from a master just how to raise that particular plant the right way!

Stay tuned for the process! I plan to at least have the land prepped and my Wonderland laid out by winter with the major trees and large shrubs in place.
** These kinds of projects require money, but even more than that, they require effort! You might not have the money to complete an entire project right away, but what prep work can you do while you're saving up?? **

Saturday, May 11, 2013

When you're a pro..

Here are a few things to look forward to as you develop your couponing talents; you will never have to pay for these items again!


Think about it. How much do you normally spend on these necessities? Not just for you, but the whole family?? It really adds up! So take that same amount and decide where that money could be better spent. For me, I like to put that money toward home improvement projects, gardening, and family activities.
This summer, I will be devoting a post each week to these items and how you can get one or more of them for FREE! Stock up!! You will save so much money over time!


@ Walgreen's Starting tomorrow!

$5 RR WYB (2) Oral B 3D White Vivid or Pro-Health Clinical Toothbrush, Crest 3D White or Pro-Health Clinical Toothpaste, or Mouthwash, 4-5.8 oz or 8 oz, 2 for $7
Manufacturer Coupon-.50/1 Crest toothpaste, 4 oz+ or liquid gel PRINTABLE
Manufacturer Coupon-$1 off Oral-B Pulsar, 3D White, Pro-Health or Complete or (2) Indicator or Cavity Defense toothbrushes, excl trial size, PG 4/28
Manufacturer Coupon-.50/1 Crest toothpaste, 4 oz +, excl Cavity, Tartar Control, Baking Soda and trial size PRINTABLE
(buy (2) toothbrushes, use (2) $1 off, makes both FREE)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Grocery Deals!

Here are this week's great deals at Associated Foods!


Western Family Cake Mix $.88

Ghirardelli chocolate chips  3/$5
wyb 3, w/on-item coupon

Barilla pasta $.99

Shur Saving 4 qt Reduced Fat Ice Cream $3.99

WF 1 doz large Eggs $.99

Shur Saving 8 oz Whipped Topping $.89

WF Sour Cream 16 oz  $.99

Cucumbers 3/$1

WF 32 oz Yogurt $1.50

Fresh Market has most of the same items on sale, either equally priced or a little bit more or less expensive. Here's one of their exclusive deals:
Jon Donaire 40 oz Cheese Cake  $6.99


Smith's is on fire lately!! So many great deals to bring us in!

These begin tomorrow:

Gold Pineapple whole $.99 ea!!!

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $1.59/lb super value pack

1 gal Milk (does not include Whole Milk) $1.99
-.25/1 online print

Kroger 32 oz Shredded or Block cheese $4.99
-.25/1 online print

Barilla pasta $1.00

1 lb baby carrots $.99

Leaf lettuce $.99 ea

Old Spice Deodorant $1.29 ea wyb 4
-$1/2 coupon= $.79 ea

Pantene Pro-V 12.6 oz Shampoo or Conditioner $2.79 ea wyb 4
-$3/2 coupon= $1.29 each

Febreze Air effects products $1.99 ea wyb 4
-$1/1 coupon= $.99 ea

Luvs Diapers jumbo pack $5.99 wyb 4
-$1/1 coupon (coupon packet for newborns, came in the mail)

Nature Made supplements B1G1 FREE
-$1/1 online print

So excited for all the great deals this week! A wonderful time to be stocking up!

Deals and Diving!

I've had a productive morning! I grabbed some great deals at Walmart and Smith's, and then got some great diving done!

At Walmart:
Bounty Basic Paper Towel $.97
-.25/1 (doubled)= $.47 each!

Almond Accents $2.97
-.50/1 (doubled)= $1.97 each

Colgate 4.6 oz (in a dump bin near Cosmetics) $.97
-.50/1 (doubled)= +.03!! each

Duncan Hines Frosting Creations  $.87 
-$1/1 coupon= + $.13 each!!!!

Seed packets $.20 each (display near Hardware)

Eco Tools small loofa $.87
-$1/1 online print= +$.13 each!!!

Spectracide Bug Killers $7.88 & $4.84
-$2/1 online print on each
-$5/2 mail in rebate= $3.72 for both!

Then, at Smith's:
Ronzoni noodles 10/$10
-$1/2 coupon= $.50 each
Power Bar energy fruit pouches $.99
 ea (clearance end cap)
-$1.50/2 (tear pad at Smith's a few weeks ago)= $.24 each!!

And then I was going to look at a few dumpsters behind some of Payson's small businesses. I had this feeling though, very strong, that I should hit the dumpster at the park. The Lord was certainly guiding me! I found a lot of great stuff! There was a hope chest in pretty sad shape. I broke it open and found lots of great clothes, jackets, blankets, kids' clothes, great shoes, etc! Plus several other items in the dumpster.
How cute are these little cowboy boots?! And this bed tray will make a great shelf divider in my bedroom closet!
Check out this nice winter coat for my son to use next winter! Perfect condition!!!

Men's dress shoes and cowboy boots. A silverware tray, more coats for adults and kids, snow hats, garage sale stickers, wrapping paper and more! Such a great find!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Today's Adventure

I brought along a newbie with me today. It was a bummer for awhile as the pickings were really slim. Finally though, we hit a honey hole! A newspaper delivery dump spot. Tons of copies of last week's inserts! We were both super excited. Good times! I have a new convert!
After I dropped her off, I hit a couple of the dumpsters at stores in Provo. I struck out at most of them but did well behind the dollar store and Good Earth.

This is the load of paper product from the dollar store. Lots of banners, scrapbooking and school supplies.

I got a lot of great produce at Good Earth. Definitely gonna hit these ones again!


I have had the most fabulous WOW moment this morning! I was checking my ebay sales and found that this simple 8 oz bottle of conditioner that I picked up at Smith's for just $.25 was bidding up to $8.50 with lots of time still to go. So I looked it up... And it retails for $24!!! And to think I almost didn't get it because it was a brand I'd never heard of and it cost a whole $.25. :)
I am obviously not living the high life in the hair care department... But I am totally okay with that! This silly little bottle will pay for several of the drawer pulls in my kitchen!