Monthly Archives: October 2011

updates on charm city life

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Let me start by saying a lot has changed since I last wrote about my life in Baltimore.  I will try and update you on everything that’s been going on.   Where should I begin?

I think I will start by sharing the fantastic news that my brother was officially released from the care of the fine doctors at Johns Hopkins at the end of September.  He is completely independent, feeling great and has left Baltimore city in the dust to get on with his life.

I’m not sure I can put into words how excited I am that he is okay.  I remember being unbelievably scared from the day he was diagnosed until his numbers started to rebound.  I think the most unnerving part was not knowing what to expect at any point.  I’m so glad it’s over.  As scared as I was in the beginning is how relieved I am now.

I expressed how much I wanted to stay in Baltimore the last time I ruminated about my life, as it were.  After talking to my brother and my dad and getting their support, I started looking for a place to live.  I figured if I found a place that I could afford that had everything I needed, it was meant to be.  If not, then it wasn’t.  Well, guess what? I found the perfect place for what I need.

It’s a little English basement efficiency in Fell’s Point (5 min. walk to work), month to month, fully furnished with a full kitchen.  I really couldn’t have asked for anything more,  especially since I don’t have to deal with stranger roommates or anything.  So I’m standing in the hallway taking this picture.  That’s the front door, futon, etc.

If you were to look left from where I’m standing n the last picture, you would see the TV, etc.

In the middle of the hallway is the bathroom, then at the other end is the kitchen.

I couldn’t really ask for a better setup for the short ten weeks that I’ll be here.  I’m in love with it, except it’s a basement so at first I had to deal with a lot of spiders…which, if you know me you KNOW I cannot handle.  After copious amounts of bug spray and lots of screaming, I think the problem is finally under control.  Now, I say that…and watch there will be a daddy longlegs waiting for me when I open my closet door.

I am happy to be here though, it’s a really nice change.  Fall is a beautiful season in Maryland with weather I don’t normally get to experience more than seven days out of the year.   I’ve been able to meet lots of new people and I am having a lot of fun.

Even though I’m happy to be here,  there is still an ache in my heart.  I miss my mom a ridiculous amount.  I always want to call her and tell her about everything that’s going on and what I’m experiencing.  I miss her comfort, if that makes any sense. It just seems like my world is so different without her, it’s hard trying to get used to it.  It’s been six months and it still hurts the same.

On a more cheerful note, Halloween is nearly upon us.  What are YOU going to be?  I had so much fun being Weezy last year that I wanted to do it again.  Especially because this year he isn’t in jail and I could have had a little more fun with it.  However, it was brought to my attention that my friends had the idea of going as the Spice Girls and all four of them were depending on me to be Scary Spice, otherwise none of them could do it. Sooo Scary Spice it is.  My outfit is outrageously leopardy. That’s all I’ll say.

What else…I flew back to Dallas for my ten year high school reunion a few weeks ago.  It was a blast, I had so much fun! I got to see nearly all of the people I was closest to in middle school and high school.  I’m so glad I went, that was definitely one of the highlights of this year.

While I was visiting Dallas for the reunion, I also went to the fair.  It was super fun as well.   I always love riding the ferris wheel once it gets dark.  You can see the entire fair and so many city lights.  Having lived in Dallas for so long, there aren’t many sights there that amaze me,  but the top of the ferris wheel always does.

In coming weeks, I’m definitely going to try and explore more of Baltimore.  I want to get out and about and learn more about it while I’m here.  I also wonder if I can pull off a trip to NYC before I go.  If you have any suggestions or ideas on things to see in this neck of the woods, feel free to pass them along.

I guess that’s all for now, hope I didn’t ramble on too long.  Til next time!

couponing with kaseface part 4

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First, I have to apologize for the tardiness of this post. I will blog about what has been keeping me so busy next, but for now let’s get into some more couponing!

So we are finally going to talk a little bit about Target.  Target is such an easy place to coupon, in part because they allow you to “stack” (use one manufacture’s coupon and one store coupon per item).  You can use coupons on clearance items as well, making them even cheaper and sometimes even free!

In case you are wondering where to find Target store coupons, they can be found straight from Target’s website.  I have also had some luck finding Target coupons in Sunday inserts and in products sold at Target, such as toothpaste.

To prepare for my trip, I make a list of what the best deals are.  How do I find the best deals?  Remember that weekly ad we set aside?  Thumbing through the weekly ad with my binder handy can give me an idea of what is on sale and what can be made even  cheaper by the coupons that I have on hand.

In addition, there is an awesome website called Totally Target.  This website always has the latest price cuts and they even keep a rolling list of  the cheapest finds in the store.  I usually check out the cheap finds, then look at the best deals of the week.  This list also includes the gift card deals.

From there, I start building my shopping list.  My list is organized by transaction number and section of the store (if I’m feeling fancy that day).   Below I will show you an example of my list, as well as include which coupons I used to get the deal, and how much I ended up paying.

Transaction #1

(4) Colgate Action Pacs Trial Size  (@$0.97)

Used (4) $1.00/1 Cascade Complete,   P&G exp. 9/30/11 (Limit 4 coupons per transaction)

FREE

(2) Schick Hyro Razor (@$6.49)

Used (2) $2.00/1 Schik Hydo Razor exp 9/18/11

Paid 8.98 Received $5 gift card wyb 2 Schick Razors

(1) Sally Jensen Nail Color (@$1.27)

Used (1)  $1.00/1 Sally Jensen Nail Color Target Web Coupon (Limit 1 coupon per transaction)

Paid: $0.27

Once I got to the store, I found Sally Jensen nail color on clearance for $1.27. We will talk about where to find the clearance items in a bit.

(1) Colgate Optic White Toothpaste (@$2.99)

Used (1) $1.00/1 Colgate Optic White Target Web Coupon and

(1) $1.50/1 Colgate Optic White manufacture’s coupon

Paid $0.49

My total out of pocket for this transaction was $9.62 and I received a $5 gift card toward Transaction #2.

Transaction #2:

(4) Colgate Action Pacs Trial Size  (@$0.97)

Used (4) $1.00/1 Cascade Complete,   P&G exp. 9/30/11 (Limit 4 coupons/transaction)

FREE

(8) Trial Size Degree Women’s Deodorant (@$0.97)

Used (8) $1.00/1 Degree Antiperspirant, no size restrictions 

FREE

(1) Colgate Optic White Toothpaste (@$2.99)

Used (1) $1.00/1 Colgate Optic White Target Web Coupon and

(1) $1.50/1 Colgate Optic White manufacture’s coupon

Paid $0.49

(1) Sally Jensen Nail Color (@$1.27)

Used (1)  $1.00/1 Sally Jensen Nail Color Target Web Coupon

Paid: $0.27

(2) Bounty Basic Paper Towel Singles (@$1.02)

Used (1) $1.00/2 Bounty Towels P&G exp 9/30/11

Paid: $1.04

(2) Tide Singles, Trial Section (@$0.97)

Used (2) $1.00/1 Tide Detergent exp. 12/31/11

FREE

In the clearance section, I also found a really awesome Venus Embrace razor set that included 1 Venus Emrace razor, one refill razor, and one travel size shave gel all for only $4.98.

(2) Venus Embrace razor sets (@$4.98)

Used (2) $2.00/1 Venus Embrace Razor P&G exp. 9/30/11

Paid: 5.96

Total for this transaction was $8.23, using the $5 gift card it turned out to be just $3.23.

The deals I got on the nail polish and the Venus Razors are definitely why I like to have my coupon binder with me as opposed to just pulling the coupons I need ahead of time.  I got the last two razor sets. and those were a great deal with the refill and the shave gel for barely $3 each.

I suggest that you go to the Krazy Coupon Lady’s website and click on the section “Target 101” and read it thoroughly.  She offers up some great tips for success at Target, it really helped me.

You will notice that she mentions the famous orange clearance stickers.  They are pretty amazing.  In order to find the clearance items at Target this is what you need to do.  When you walk in, look at the red lines on the floor.  Now get away from them.  All the clearance items are going to be found away from those red lines on the back end caps in the various sections of the store.  I usually just head straight to the back of the aisles to check out the end caps and that’s how I find awesome deals like  the nail polish and the Venus Razors.  Easy enough, right?

Now, you will notice some of the items on my list turned out to be free after the coupons.  These items are now things that I stock up on every time I go to Target.  Colgate trial size action pacs, Degree deodorant, and Tide detergent singles are all items that are free at least once a month when the coupon comes out. The cheapest I have found paper towels is at Target, for around $0.50/roll. It also seems silly to pay more than $0.50 for toothpaste.   The Colgate dish detergent, Tide, and Bounty coupons are all in the P&G Brandsaver that comes the last Sunday of every month.  I always stock up with at least eight.

I also  want to mention that coupon denominations vary by region. I have noticed in Texas the coupons are generally for $0.50 less than in Baltimore.  However, if you have a store near you that doubles coupons under $0.99, I would hit up the travel section and see if you have any coupons with no size restrictions for what that store is offering.

I hope this helped you see how I am able to save money at Target, and why I have so much fun when I go.  I’ve found the best thing I can do for myself before I go coupon shopping is to be prepared!  Being frazzled at the register isn’t that fun.  Feel free to share how you do on your shopping trip! I want to see your savings too.

Next time I am going to share what I do with all my expired coupons and coupons that I clip but don’t plan to use.  It turned out to be a really great experience for me and I can’t wait to share it with you. Til next time (which I promise will be sooner than this time)!