Thursday, September 16, 2010

Where I go to SAVE to support being a modern SAHM (Stay at Home Mom)!

Since I have neglected my blog all summer long, and life just gets busier (sorry blog!) I thought I'd whip together and share some of the resources I use to SAVE our family money and buy ORGANIC whenever possible (although I do admit that I will "buy" something non-organic/non-all-natural, like Crest toothpaste if it turns out to be free after coupons, which is especially easy at RiteAid) so we can afford for me to stay home with the kiddos, but still be able to buy things when we want to!

After compiling all of my receipts, I average only $0.57 cents per item I purchase! That includes regular groceries such as fresh produce, organic food, non-organic food, toiletries & diapers... all this with using coupons and maximizing my savings at places like Rite Aid where, on many occasion, purchases actually "make" me money in the end! This is all name-brand stuff here, people! No random dollar-store, straight-from-China crap here!

When it is a really good deal on something that has a long shelf life, I like to STOCK UP, so that I have it when I need it instead of worrying about making a run to the store for things like pasta, TP, band aids and toothpaste (you should see my Leaning Tower of Toothpaste!). I went crazy a couple months ago when Seventh Generation products were all 50% off at Fred Meyer + my coupons = natural cleaning products for only $0.50 - $1 each (reg. $2.99 - $3.99)! Plus, when I have a stockpile, I am always prepared in case of an emergency. My worst fear is actually going to the store because I ran out of something - sad, I know. (Don't worry, all of what I buy fits into closets and pantry... I'm not a candidate for a TV special about Hoarders!)

I also like to PLAN AHEAD, like if there is a good deal on diapers (The average I pay for a Huggies Pure and Natural Jumbo pack is only $2.58/pack - the reg. price is $9.99 - $11.99), I'll buy in my baby's current size, and then one or two in the next size up too if I have enough coupons. Same with clothes - if it's an unbelievable deal on something organic, I'll buy next year's size too! I keep a coupon binder chock full of my coupons, all organized by product category or aisle/section in the store where the item can be found, stored in baseball card holders so I can see every one of them with a flip of the page. Sometimes I bring the whole binder with me, other times I just pull out the coupons I know I want to use.

Soooooo, here goes:


Online Shopping (saves a mom time and stress, although I would rather support local companies, sometimes convenience wins out with such little kids who can be unpredictable at the store) --- many of these places will feature organic goods for 50% off and sometimes even up to 90% off! It's so hard to find a good deal on organic clothes! The sales rotate daily or weekly or are while they last. They require signing up, and if the site asks, please leave my email address as the referral, (some sites require an "invite" to join and others give you a referral bonus - cool!) --

One Kings Lane - Home Decor, Home Goods and Furniture. New signups will get a free $15 credit! When I first signed up, I got a baking dish for free with my $15 credit! ((They had bamboo bowls & cutting boards, and organic sheet sets a while back!)) . Click here to go to their site!

EverSave - New signups will get a $5 credit! It's kinda like Groupon, but with more deals you can redeem online through hip and cool small online retailers than local services (they do have some local stuff too sometimes). I just bought a $26 gift voucher for only $13 to Greeno Bambino through Eversave the other day - that's half off! Now, I'm waiting for a big sale at Greeno Bambino to spend my voucher - I want to get some more stainless steel travel cups for the kids! Click here to go to their site!

Jasmere - sorta like Groupon, but they offer deals you can redeem online through hip and cool online retailers. They just had an Organic store deal a few days back, but I missed it - boooooo! Click here to go to their site!

Zulily - Kids, Baby, Mom, Maternity clothes and accessories, gear, gifts, etc. They frequently have organic kids/baby clothes and maternity, as well as accessories and other fun stuff ((Today is the last day of their Kate Quinn Organics sale!)) Click here to go to their site!

Totsy - Almost everything they feature is green or organic.... they'll even plant a tree whenever you make a purchase! They feature Kids, Baby, Mom clothes and accessories, Nursery Furniture, Gear, Gifts, Maternity clothes etc. They frequently have organic and designer stuff! Click here to go to their site!

Green Baby Bargains - Awesome deals on various items for babies and baby care products that are green or organic! Click here to go to their site

The Mini Social - A TON of organic clothes sales, stylish and different and super cool kid toys, etc. They had BPA-free lunch kits a few days back! Click here to go to their site

Beyond the Rack - Designer clothes and accessories for men and women! ((It's like Ross or TJ Maxx online, only better bc they are all designer brands! Sometimes they'll have something organic, but not as often as the others)) Click here to go to their site!

Haute Look - Clothes and accessories (men, women, kids, babies and sometimes organic options) and many of them are "designer", as well as sometimes furniture, toys (I bought some wood Hape and Plan Toys from them!), organic/natural cosmetics and lotions, bedding, towels, home decor and even food - a few days back they had organic gourmet popcorn! ((It's like Ross or TJ Maxx online, only better because you don't have to look through all the aisles to find one organic/natural item!)) Click here to go to their site!

ebates is a website that gives you cash back to shop online when you click through their site to get to another site like, etc. How it works is that Target (for example) pays ebates a commission for sending you to their site, and in turn, ebates gives you a cut of the commission they got, like 6% back. So, if you bought $100 at target, you'd get $6 back from ebates... only if you went through ebates first! Doesn't sound like much, but it can add up!! Why not get free money??!! Today, Gap is 15% cash back at ebates! E-bay is even on their extensive list of stores! Plus, you'll get a $5 bonus just for signing up! Click here to go to their site! frequently has sales on random items like toys and vacuums and furniture, etc. but they specialize in toiletries, beauty and vitamins/drugs, etc. and they have a HUGE selection of organic and natural products!  You can get $5 off your first $25 purchase when you sign up here!  I just got some natural hand sanitizer to gear up for the winter sickie season, and also some natural sanitizing kids hand wipes for only $1.49 (reg $5.99 ea)!   Click here to go to their site.

I have a phobia about paying retail now!


In-store Shopping:

Rite Aid - I get free toothpaste, toothbrushes, diapers and other toiletries here all the time. They have so many ways to save on your shopping trip by letting you use a manufacturer coupon on top of their RiteAid coupons (both in-ad coupons as well as their "Video Value" coupons you can earn for watching commercials on their website), and you may also use their $5/$25 purchase coupon also in the same shopping trip... then, on top of that, they offer cash rebates (Single Check Rebates) and earn gift cards on certain items, and also something they just started are these great good-as-cash coupons (Up+ Rewards) that print at the register when you buy certain items... so, at the end of the shopping trip, you have the potential to end up getting a ton of items for free when you factor in all the savings! You can see some examples of older deals I've scored in my "Right On, Rite Aid" label on the left. This is my favorite place to buy Huggies Pure and Natural Diapers, and in fact, next week will be a GREAT example of CHEAP or FREE huggies at Rite Aid! Click HERE for info on the deal. I used to be the go-to for these deals, but please visit the blogs I list below for more details on how to spend pennies on the dollar at Rite Aid!

Safeway - you can load digital coupons to your Safeway Club Card and also use a clipped manufacturer paper coupon, plus a Safeway in-ad coupon on the same item, doubling or tripling your savings power! Plus, they have doubler coupons in their ads where you can double 4 of your manufacturer coupons up to $0.50 each. Plus, when there is a Catalina promo going on, you can sometimes snag "free" food when you factor in all the savings! A Catalina is the long/skinny paper coupon that prints out at the register with your receipt. Some companies offer catalina specials like if you buy 3 Nature Valley granola bars, you can get a $2 catalina coupon at the end, which is good towards ANY future purchase, just like cash! (that was a random example, there is not a $2 catalina right now). I recently got 6 FREE boxes of Fruit Roll-Ups Simply version (made with more real fruit than the traditional) and 8 FREE boxes of Fiber One bars, and 3 FREE bags of Nature Valley Nut Clusters, all from working the sales, e-coupons, clipped coupons and catalinas at Safeway! Yes, a bunch of "snacks", and not "real food"... but they were FREE, and a lot more healthy than Dorritos or some other snack like that! See the blogs I list below for more details on how to rock Safeway!

Albertsons - on some Sundays, they have their Doubler coupons, which will double 3 of your manufacturer coupons up to a dollar each! So, that's $3 free for you! It is easy to get free items this way too when you have a $1 coupon to spend on something that's on sale for $2 ($1 manufacturer coupon + Albertsons doubler = $2 off!). Plus, when there is a Catalina promo going on, you can snag "free" food when you factor in all the savings! A Catalina is the long/skinny paper coupon that prints out at the register with your receipt. Some companies offer catalina specials like if you buy 3 Nature Valley granola bars, you can get a $2 catalina coupon at the end, which is good towards ANY future purchase, just like cash! (that was a random example, there is not a $2 catalina right now). I recently got 10 FREE bags of shredded all-natural cheese working the sales, coupons and catalinas at Albertsons! You can freeze shredded cheese just fine, so I stocked up! See the blogs I list below for more details on how to work it at Albertsons!

Walmart - what? yes! I did type Walmart! They actually have a selection of ORGANIC clothes for under $10 for adults and kids! Look for the Faded Glory brand, as many of those are now 100% Organic cotton, or 96% Organic cotton/4% spandex blends. Walmart also carries Seventh Generation, Meyer's, Burt's Bees, and a ton of organic foods, all at the traditionally low Walmart price! The dress I pictured here is only $8 - holy schnikies!

Local to the Oregonians out there:
Standard TV & Appliance - if you are local to Oregon, they will meet or beat any price from the big box stores like Sears or Best Buy, but offer a more local experience with service! Shop local when you can! ((A side-not about Sears - did you know that the Kenmore brand is actually made by other national brands like Maytag and Whirlpool?!! S0, that Kenmore model is actually pretty much the same appliance with a different label.)). Standard TV & Appliance has every type of energy-efficient appliance imaginable and TVs and mattresses too, including the all-natural latex memory foam! You can also make purchases online PLUS, they have a HUGE outlet center in their Portland store where you can get pro-style appliances for just about half off!
and then, if you need your new TV or surround sound system installed, no matter who you bought it from, check out:
Oregon Install Co. - they are cheaper than GeekSquad to mount a flat screen on the wall with the hidden wires! and they offer 5% off all online install orders! Shop local!


Coupon sites:

Also, check out your favorite brand's website or Facebook page - many brands now have printable coupons from their website, or have offers on their Facebook page!


Blogs I follow to help me weed out the deals + coupon matchups
I used to do it all on my own, but that took time, precious TIME! Now, I just go to these blogs that compile the deals for me, and also share coupon matchups and where to find each coupon ((they basically get their lists from places like SlickDeals and other savings forums and coupon match-up services and then just copy and paste onto their blogs)). It is very helpful to read the comments people leave about a deal you are interested in because they may have some additional insights and ideas or problems with the deal that the blogger didn't know about (mostly because they are copying and pasting info they found from elsewhere and they may not have tried the deal for themselves, or because there is some store computer/register glitch that needs to be worked out) BEFORE you go to the store to avoid problems or wasted time when you get there...

Local Portland-area deals:

Safeway and Albertsons deals + other store deals: , ,

RiteAid deals: , , ,

Walgreens deals: ,

Target deals: ,

Organic and natural deals:

Pretty much everything: ,,

This site compiles some great printable store coupons for places like JoAnn Fabrics & Michaels and stores you'd find at the mall like Banana Republic, etc.:


Favorite resource websites for being self-sufficient/self-made: - everything about being self-sufficient! - creative do-it-yourself home decor ideas usually on the cheap - everything you need to know about having chickens! - living healthy and with less chemicals like BPA - she is the cutest story teller! Her adventures in being a city girl who married a cowboy and now lives the country life (beware, her recipes are REALLY hearty - the kind of food you'd expect to eat on the ranch = yum... in moderation!) - this one is geared more for the man in your life... but he has all sorts of info about cooking on Cast Iron (we bought a few antique cast iron pans recently and stainless steel pans to get rid of our Teflon-coated pans... husband kept his favorite pan, even though I refer to it as The Cancer Pan.)


The End!

p.s. I do also grow a garden, have chickens for eggs and make a lot of things by hand like reusable shopping bags, non-toxic cleaners using vinegar, clothes and fun for the kids, reuse/repurpose a ton of objects and more to save money and resources... this long post was meant to share savings that can be had when you are buying outside the home (or on the internet), which can actually cost less time in most cases, and less money in some cases than making your own - I chose not to touch on anything home-created or recycled/upcycled here because that is another adventure that is too long to whip up in one post!  But, I can point you towards a great blog: and she has a ton of great info there!


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