Saturday, January 31, 2009

Getting Started

For new followers . . . the easiest way to get started with couponing is to buy a couple papers every Sunday, (or get your coupons from friends), then sign up with the grocery game to see how to best match them up. Please use my email address, smartbusinessmommy@gmail.com when you sign up with Grocery Game. There is a small fee to use the site, but once you've seen how it works, it's totally worth the money!!! That's the main way I've been able to cut my grocery bill down to practically nothing.

I recommend following Money Saving Methods in my sidebar for much more specific money saving information. And Mommy Snacks will have details coupon matchups if you decide not to subscribe to Grocery Game.

If you have, or want to have, or know someone who has, or wants to have a small business, please forward them to my site too. I try to add content daily so this will be a good resource for anyone getting started with couponing or doing their own small business. But whether or not you have a small business, one thing we all have in common these days is that we are looking for ways to save money! I will give you tips here, along with forwarding you to sites that have wonderful information in more detail.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Grocery Shopping

See the Couponing page for details of my shopping trips today!  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Baby Swags

This is my first attempt to start separating out some of my information.  This post is more applicable to small businesses so I will post on the small business page.  I just want to let everyone know that I'm going live with the organization that I've been working so hard with on this, so please email me if you run into any problems with my links.

Free Magazine Subscriptions

I'm just starting to work on this one myself. I'll just forward you to the pro. This is an awesome blog. I'm still trying to take in all of the information. I'll forward you to specifics that I find particularly interesting.

http://www.homemakerbarbi.com/can-you-fit-97-free-magazines-in-your-mailbox/

Friday, January 23, 2009

Changes Coming Soon

Bear with me. I'm making some changes to the blog to make it easier to find information. Everything you're looking for is still on this main page. Some of the links I'm trying to add aren't working yet, but I'm still going to provide useful content while I'm working on making everything prettier at the same time.

Wow! Meijer Mistake

I went to Meijer last night innocently planning to get my boxes of Eggo Waffles for 50 cents each after coupon. There wasn't a sale tag on my favorite type (French Vanilla) so I took them to the price check thingy. They rang up at 38 cents a box. Ok, I thought, this can't be right. So I grabbed another box of the same flavor, and again, 38 cents. I grabbed a different flavor, 1.50. Ok, wrong price in the computer. I grabbed all of the French Vanilla ones they had, and three boxes of a different flavor to use my coupons with. Pretty amazing. I won't get that lucky twice.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Freezer

Yay!  I got my freezer today!!!  It's sitting in the garage in it's box right now.  I have to make a space for it.  I can't wait to get it turned on and loaded up.  I've already got several bags of things sitting in the garage.  Thank goodness it's cold enough outside to keep them cold.

Also stocking up on Pepsi products like crazy at Walgreens.  I don't know if they'll ever be on sale this low again, so I'm just going to keep right on buying them.  I don't know where I'm going to store it all, but with as much pop as we go through, it's worth it.

Kroger Trip 1-19-09


My Kroger trip was a lot of fun today.  I got 14 bags of Green Giant Steamers, a bottle of Coffee Mate Creamer, 5 containers of sour cream, 10 cans of Hormel chili, a bottle of bleach, and some paper clips to better organize my coupons.  Total . . .  $8.00 even.  It would have been $9, but one of my items rang up wrong, so I took my receipt to the customer service desk, and got it free because of their scan rite guarantee.  

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Deep Freezer

I have now saved enough money on groceries to be able to afford a deep freezer.  I also have enough groceries stocked up that I'm to the point of absolutely needing a deep freezer.  I'm thrilled to death because my husband and I really like to entertain, especially in the summer, so we won't have to worry about going out and buying food at full price.  We may need a couple extra things, but for the most part, our parties will be ready to go.  Especially if we do BYOB.  That's pretty exciting to me.

It has taken me three months to save enough to afford the deep freezer.  This is almost totally due to The Grocery Game, and Walgreens deals.  Along with buying 5 Sunday papers a week, and sometimes more if Taylortown shows me that there's a super good coupon on something that I know I will need to stock up on in the near future.

Kroger Deals Starting Monday

Kroger is having an excellent deal on Buy 10 items, get $5 off.  Matching up with coupons make these an even more excellent deal.  I don't know exactly how much I'll be getting yet, I'm working on matching coupons today.  But I'll definitely be getting a lot of Green Giant Steamer veggies, Hormel chili, and sour cream.  I'm throwing in a few extra items here and there, otherwise everything would be free after the $5 off, and that might mess up the way the transaction works.  Better safe than sorry.  I know I'll at least be doing it three times.  And my calculation shows that three times with the particular items I'll be buying, along with the coupons and $5 off means that I'll be getting 30 items for less than $5.  How's that for a grocery trip!!!  

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Walgreens Deals Starting Tomorrow

Sorry everyone.  I haven't posted in a few days.  One thing I will point out is that there is an AWESOME deal at Walgreens on soda starting tomorrow.  If you think this weeks was good, hold on tight.  Spend $20, and get a $10 register reward back.  This include 12 packs of Pepsi products that are on sale for 5 for $15, and Doritos and Tostitos are on sale 2 for $5.  That's the way I'll be setting up my deal which I will repeat multiple times.  2 liter Pepsi products and Gatorade products are also included in this deal, but it doesn't work out to an even $20, so if you want to structure your list a different way, go for it.  But between the Pepsi products and Doritos and Tostitos, it will also qualify you for the cool Pepsi coupon offer available here . . . http://www.pepsistuff.com/2009superbowl_webform.pdf

Also, at this link . . .http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=0&t=1126039 there is a list of Walgreens questions that were asked and the responses received.  It is not an official document, but has contact information for official people.  If you have problems in store with getting Walgreens to accept your coupons the way that they are presented within blog posts, it would be a good idea to whip out a print out of this list and show them, then if they still don't comply, stand there and hold up their line by calling customer service yourself on your cell phone to make sure things are done the way they're supposed to be.  This might be a huge hassle for a small dollar amount of savings, but odds are, you do it once, then hopefully that particular location won't give you problems again.  

I may be posting sporadically over the next few days or so.  Life has been hectic and there are some personal matters affecting my ability to fully research and post on a regular basis as I have been.  Hopefully these personal matters will be worked out within a week, and even then, I'll definitely be sure to post on the Meijer and Kroger super stock up deals that I'll be following.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

List PlanIt

I was skeptical about this site because I already make plenty of my own lists within spreadsheets. However, there is a good sale on a one year membership right now, so I decided to give it a go.

I'm very excited about some of the lists that I found!!! Especially the ones that are for business. They include a lot of forms that I needed to make, but haven't gotten around to yet. Now I don't have to worry about it! Truthfully, I probably won't use many of the other forms. But who knows. All I can say is that the forms that I'll use for my small business are valuable enough time savers for me that it more than makes up for the subscription fee!

http://www.listplanit.com/affiliates?refer=20090114

Book Sale - THIS WEEK ONLY

I learned something new last night.  There is a Scholastic book warehouse in West Chester.  They are open all the time, but I'm not sure what their prices are like all the time.  I happened to come across the information during a sale week!  Until Friday 1/16, all of the books available for sale in their warehouse are 50 - 80% off.  It's a real warehouse, so only certain areas are open, and I also believe that you need to sign up on their site in order to print a form to show that you're a member.  The sign up page says that you have to be a teacher or a volunteer.  I'm willing to volunteer every once in a while if it gets me cheap books!  Most are kid books.  Mostly in the grade school to middle school age range.  There are a handful of adult books.  

So sign up quickly, don't forget your $10 off of $50 coupon (I never imagined I would spend that much, but what can I say?  They have some really good deals.  And even though my baby isn't ready for them yet, he will be soon enough.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wedding Vows and Promises

We have a new small business affiliate!  These are links for local small businesses to get a little extra promotion through this blog, and through other projects that I start or take part in so we can work together and all help each other out.  I also hope to inform those of you who aren't small business owners, but come on here for money saving advice, so that you are aware of some of the small businesses that we have in our local community that have their products or services available.

Wedding Vows and Promises is a local business run by Starla Northcutt.  If you are getting married or know someone who is, see her website.  My husband and I were married by her in our back yard, and it was a very beautiful ceremony.  I highly recommend her services.  She also is available for other types of ceremonies but you should see her website and contact her directly for more information

A Tiny Reward When You Need It

First off, anyone who refuses to pay for toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, or razors ever again, you probably already have your mindset that a $5 cup of coffee at Starbucks is ridiculous.  And really, it is.  Heck, I could buy at least three days of groceries for that amount.  But a nice alternative is the cappuccino that they have in the machines at Speedway.  I think it's perfectly yummy, you get a huge cup of it, and it runs at about a dollar depending on the size you get.

Business/Gift Idea

I know I posted before about how I tend to hoard on the good sale items.  I thought of something interesting today as I was putting all of the stuff in my cart that was so much more than my family would use.  Of course, there's the donation route.  But other than that, I think I'm going to put together gift baskets.  Some things are appropriate for my business.  Other things are appropriate for presents.  The Red Hot Sauce would go great with an oven mitt and cooking utensils for someone who likes to grill.  Good present for a host/hostess gift, birthday or Christmas present for a man, etc.  The soap and lotion, along with maybe a candle and a towel would be a nice present for a woman or for a housewarming gift.  All of the free baby soap I've been getting would make a good addition to baby shower gifts.  

I have some interesting ideas for gift packs for my business too.  But you don't get the specifics on those!  But if you have your own craft business, think of some of these products that might complement your products and use your imagination!

Kroger Trip

No picture, but I stocked up on the free or low cost items.  12 bottles of free lotion, 4 bags of Ludens cough drops, 6 bottles of Red Hot sauce, and 5 3-packs of Dial soap.  I couldn't find all of my coupons this morning, but wanted to get their before they were out, so I'll be searching through my stack some more and making a second trip.  

A secret that I learnt from my mom as a kid . . . don't buy deli meat from the deli.  Well, this only works for ham, and I think bologna.  Get a big chunk of ham from the meat department, and have the meat department slice it for you.  It's much cheaper this way, (3.49 a pound today) and it's better quality, and if you go on a weekday, they usually have it marked down.  3.49 is the marked down price.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Meijer Trip


Well, the new list isn't even up at Grocery Game yet, plus I need to stock up more on a couple things.  I was running short on time.  But here's what I was able to do on my own, and from looking at the other blogs that I've previously referenced.

I spent a total of 10.19:
24 boxes of Green Giant Veggies
6 packs of large slices of Hormel Pepperoni (will go great with cream cheese on a bagel!)
4 packs of chicken patties
4 bags of Chex Mix
4 packs of English Muffins
celery
lettuce
baby carrots

It took four transactions, plus the $10 gift card for buying Rubbermaid, which I totally needed but doesn't count into the total.  I forgot a couple things, but I'll wait for the lists at Grocery Game to finish up.  However, I'm out of freezer space.  Maybe I'll pack one of my Rubbermaid containers with the snow we're supposed to get and put stuff in there and keep it in the garage!

Summary

I think I've compiled enough information in my daily posts that I should put together a summary list for anyone new that is logging on.  First off, this blog includes money saving information, and information that is also intended for people wanting to start their own business.  Personally, I make my own candles.  I will soon have a small shop in my garage, but until then, check out my website at www.lmfcandles.com.  I feel that money saving and starting a business go hand in hand, especially in the start up phase, so that's the intent of my blog.  If only the money saving parts interest you, then that's wonderful.  If only the business parts interest you, then that's wonderful.  If both parts are beneficial, yay!  Also, feel free to email me if you know of things to add or have any extra tips.

www.thegrocerygame.com is my favorite website for getting the best deals on grocerys.  It tells you what's on sale and how to match up your coupons to get the best deals.  I usually buy 5 Sunday papers a week to get a lot of coupons so I can stock up on good sale items.  I will be posting later today about my shopping experience at Meijer.  Please be sure to use my email address as a referral if you sign up.  

www.moneysavingmethods.blogspot.com is my favorite blog.  There is tons of information to help you learn how to save and make money.  

www.mommysnacks.blogspot.com is another one of my favorite blogs.  You can see all websites and blogs that I recommend on my sidebar.

I only post ads for companies that I use myself and recommend highly.  

www.swagbucks.com (see link on sidebar) is merely a search engine like google where you can earn points for doing regular web searches to redeem for prizes.  Free points for something you already do is a pretty good deal.

See Habitat for Humanity Restore and the Pease outlet, both in Hamilton for good prices on home improvement items.

See Tip Hero on sidebar for interesting tips on all sorts of things.  I'm making use of saving energy by venting my dryer heat inside rather than outside.  Improves moisture in the air too which can be important during winter months.

Walgreens and CVS will let you stack coupons, and both also have register rewards which can end up being very valuable.  There is an excellent deal on 12 packs of Pepsi products this week and next.

You can find ads for some stores in advance at www.slickdeals.net.  I don't think I've mentioned this one before, so I will post in more detail in the near future.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More extra coupons

I also have three Meijer coupons that I won't get a chance to use.  There are from the Entertainment Book.  If you spend $50 or more in the grocery dept, you get a coupon for $5 off of your next Meijer Brand grocery purchase.  

I don't think it's that great of a deal, but if you're planning to buy $50 in groceries anyway, you might as well take advantage of it.

If there are any other Entertainment Book coupons you are looking for, I'm willing to arrange a trade if it's something that I don't want, in exchange for something I do want.  

Extra Coupons - Come on Over

First off, my house is currently a mess and you just have to accept that if you want to take me up on this offer.

I have some coupons that I know I will not be able to use that may be very valuable to others.  First off, the Target ad has the $10 gift card on any new or transferred prescription.  I have 11 of them, and I won't be able to use a single one.  

There is a magazine called Real Simple (haven't looked at mine yet so I can't say if it's good or not), I have 9 of these coupons that I can give away.  

One more that I'm aware of at the moment that I won't be able to use is the Michael's percent off coupons.  I believe I have 9 available at the moment, but they always send more in the mail or the Echo, so there may be more available later.

If anyone is interested in these coupons, please let me know by email at smartbusinessmommy@gmail.com  I will either let you know when I will be home, or will put them in an envelope in a place outside.  I'll give you specific details in the email when you contact me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saving Energy

I got this info from the Tip Hero link I have posted.  This is one I wanted to try out before I recommended it.  I'm still experimenting, but have so far had pretty good results.  

If you have an electric dryer . . . vent the warm and moist air into your home during the winter instead of outside.  Read the information in Tip Hero for better details.  They have things that you should watch out for, and more detailed instructions on how to do it.  What I did was unhooked the tube thingy from the outside vent, rolled up and stuffed a towel into the hole in the wall so cold air won't get in and defeat the purpose.  Then I put an old knee high stocking over the end of the tube that would be blowing air into my home to catch the lint.  It works great.  You have to check the stocking regularly for built up lint.  I had water on my floor a couple days ago, and I think it was just time to clean out or change the stocking.  (It wasn't much water, but enough to know something was wrong.)  The other thing you have to watch out for is that if you get too much humidity, you have to worry about mold.  Tip hero tells you how to measure that.  Personally, I'm not worried about that because the air in my house is super dry throughout the entire winter.  I don't know exactly how much it's saving me.  But I hope the heat isn't kicking on as often when I do laundry.  

But all in all, I think it's a positively excellent idea.  It smells nice too.  And if I'm already using the heat to dry my clothes . . . might as well use the leftovers to heat the house, however small the savings, it's good to recycle!

Pepsi Products on Sale at Walgreens!

Now is the time to stock up on soda!!!  There's a super good deal this week, and next week on 12 packs of Pepsi products.  I'm going to be stocking up like crazy.  And I'm due for a prescription transfer before the end of the week too, so that will be some of it for free.  I'm probably just going to save all of my register rewards for another week.  I didn't see anything else that I was that interested in.  We'll see.  

Note, do not use the register reward you receive on 4 cases when you buy another 4 cases.  The coupon won't print if you do it that way.  Also, when it does come time to use your register rewards, you can only use one of the same kind at a time.  You can stack them if they were from different deals.  But you can't use two of the ones from the Pepsi deal at the same time.  But you can break up your orders in five dollar increments and use one for each order.  It all depends on what you need/want.

Grocery Game

I just want to remind everyone the Grocery Game is a wonderful resource for saving money on groceries and other household products.  You can find the website at www.thegrocerygame.com, also listed on my sidebar.  Please use the referral email of smartbusinessmommy@gmail.com if you decide to sign up.  The first month is only 99 cents.  After that, it's $5 for two months per store.  I sign up for Kroger and Meijer, so I pay $10 every other month.  After the trial, I'm positive that you will be willing to continue to pay for such valuable information.  I know I am!  For 99 cents, it's at least looking into.  I promise you will save more than that much within the month.

Blogamama

There is now a link about halfway down my page for Blogamama.  This is a valuable resource to find other blogs that may be of value to you.  When you have time, give it a click and see what you can find!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

P&G eSAVER

Kroger shoppers take note!  I wasn't sure if this would work because it sounded too good to be true.  Create an account at www.pgesaver.com.  Input your Kroger card number, then pick out the coupons you want to use.  They are automatically taken off at the register when you check out.  And the even cooler part . . . you can use a manufacturers coupon on top of it!!!  I bought a big bag of Iams dog food, a small pack of the wet food to bring my total to $25, $5 came off automatically because of the P&G deal that Kroger has right now, then the $3 automatically came off because I had the coupon loaded on my card, then I had a $3 manufacturer's coupon.  

Stockpiling vs. Hoarding

What is the difference?  First off, I think it depends on the person.  What seems like stockpiling to one person may seem like hoarding to another.  I think I tend to hoard.  However, I've only been working on a stockpile for a couple months, so I don't really know how much to get.  However, the big question is . . . is it wrong to hoard?  It keeps other people from getting the good deals for the purpose of me having more than I can ever use.  However, I intend to share.  I know some people who could probably stand to have some free things to help out.  So I'll be passing on my free items and good deals to family and friends to help them out.  Also, I think it's better for me to have the good deal than to have it sit on the store's shelf.  If people aren't aware of the deal, then I'm taking full advantage.  However, it seems that everyone is aware of the good deal on baby soap at Kroger!!!  I could stand to have some more, for myself and for family, but I went to three Kroger's today and it's sold out everywhere!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Local Small Businesses

If anyone reading is within the Fairfield Township area, and has a small business that they are wanting to promote, please send me an email at smartbusinessmommy@gmail.com. I will be happy to review your website and determine if I can list it. If you don't have a website, then it won't be as beneficial for you, but I can still put together a little post with your information.

Grocery Budget

Well, so far it's looking like the $1000 for the whole year budget is completely unrealistic. However, I'm hoping that's because my stockpile isn't complete yet. Once it is, then I could probably go shopping just two times per month. It's the alcohol and pet food that's going to mess it up the most. I might exclude pet food from the official budget because I don't have much control over that expense. My pets can't eat lower end brands or they have major problems. So if it's an uncontrollable expense, it doesn't make much sense to keep it as part of my highly controlled budget.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another Kroger Trip

Well, I needed to get dog food anyway.  I forgot it earlier.  But I also came across more coupons for the baby soap in my stash, so I got more free.  I could get six more bars for free, but I need to find a different Kroger because I bought mine out!

Kroger Trip 1/6/09


Good sales at Kroger this week.  Check out the link for Grocery Game for a complete list.  It cost 99 cents for a trial month.  I could have gotten even more items for free, but the picture shows what I was able to do with being only minimally prepared.  2 packs of Kroger brand freezer bags, necessity, not on sale, but 1.40 each.  2 boxes of after Christmas cookies, 2 boxes for $1, white vinegar on sale for 59 cents, 5 boxes of Tyson chicken or steak strips, 1.50 a box after coupons, 6 packs of pudding, 1.00 each after coupons, 5 Johnson & Johnson baby soaps, free after coupons, 30 jars of Beech nut stage 3 baby food, $10 after coupons, 6 bottles of Soft Soap hand soap, 30 cents each after coupons, after Christmas sale on teddy bear for baby, 2.75.  Grand Total for everything, 33.29.

Plus I got catalina coupons for $3 off of 3 Johnson and Johnson products (which I will go back for more free soap) and a 2.50 off my next order coupon.  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Rebates

Be very careful with claiming your rebates.  If you're only buying an item because the rebate makes it a good deal, check the dates very closely.  I missed out on a few opportunities because I wasn't organized enough.  Now as soon as I see a rebate I want to take advantage of, I make notes of purchase dates, postmark dates, when I expect to buy the product, the day I mail it in, and the date I expect to receive it.  I also scan in copies of everything just in case.  I've missed out on a couple because I missed the post mark date.  I still sent them in just in case.  But I doubt it will work.  :-(  But I figured it was at least worth the stamp to try when I had already done the hard work.  I'll be very careful not to make this mistake again.  There's a lot of money in rebates because the companies are expecting that not very many people will take the time to turn them in.

$1000 Budget

Well, I'm not off to a very good start.  But at least I have a good reason.  First off, yesterday my hubby insisted on buying beer.  Then earlier today, we were under the impression that my step kids would be over tomorrow, so we had to buy some extra meat in order to feed five instead of just two.  Come to find out, they probably won't be coming over now.  (Long story, not a happy one, but whatever.)  So I will be going over budget this week, but hopefully it will even out in the long run.  I just hope that I can keep on top of tracking it.  I swear though, when my hubby was at the grocery store picking out what he wanted, I was totally freaking out because I wasn't able to research what the best prices were first.  But I expect this month will be one of the higher ones with groceries anyway because I'm stocked up on other things, but not so much on meat.  But then tomorrow I'm going to have to buy my five newspapers, plus do my Kroger and Meijer grocery shopping after I get my weekly lists.  So this may end up being a $50 week.  That's ok.  I'll make up for it in later weeks.

Small Business Affiliates

I've added a new list to this blog.  This will include small businesses that are local to the area, or that are otherwise associated with this blog and/or assist in providing or sharing valuable information.  

Light My Fire Candles is my own personal business.  I obviously do candles, but also pretty much any type of home fragrance need you may have.

DB Short Publishing is the publisher of our neighborhood newsletter.  Be sure to check for your copy at your door or mailbox each month to see what is going on in the area.  

Friday, January 2, 2009

$1000 Grocery Budget

I will keep everyone updated on how I do with this.  $1000 for the year amounts to 19.23 each week.  I've decided on a few rules for myself.  It's ok if my totals for one week is higher so long as I make up for it in other weeks.  It's a goal for the year as a whole, not each week.  I will allow cash back that I get from rebates and gift cards from pharmacy rewards, and printed out coupons and things like that to count.  Meaning, they don't subtract from my thousand.  It's only out of pocket that counts.  The cost of buying newspapers WILL count.  It's an investment towards saving money on groceries in the long run, so I feel that it's only right that I count that too.  Oh, and any money I get from recycling cans will go back into the grocery budget for the year.  Since it's coming out of the money spent on groceries, I think it's feasible to put it back into the total for money allowed to be spent on groceries.  My subscription to The Grocery Game will also come out of my grocery budget.

One major thing that I think I can do to cut back on my grocery bill is to drink more water instead of soda.  I don't think I can convince my hubby to do the same, and he drinks more soda than I do.  

Also, we drink beer.  Not a ton.  But it's expensive.  I'm wondering if after a few weeks of saving, if there would be room in the budget to get a keg to keep in the garage during the cold weather.  It would be a ton cheaper.  My only concern is that we would become alcoholics if we had instant and continuous access to beer on tap.  So that's one I'm going to have to think about.  Is it really worth the saving the money on groceries if we have to spend it by checking into rehab?

Outlet Stores

Well, I checked out the Habitat for Humanity place.  It's like a big warehouse garage sale.  Not too pretty.  But, what do you expect?  Their prices are great.  I found a couple things I want but just can't afford right now being unemployed.  But I did get a shelf and countertop for my home based business to serve as a display unit in the garage.  Let's see, the shelf was $5, and the beautiful countertop was $12.  I consider it an excellent buy.  I need to do a little work to attach the top to the shelf, but it will be worth it.

Also, right next door is a Pease outlet store.  They sell doors, windows, cabinets, things of that nature.  Much higher end than the Habitat for Humanity place.  And I'm not real familiar with the costs of the higher end doors and such either, so I can't much say if it was a good deal or not.  But it's literally right next door, so if you're checking out one, go ahead and check out the other.  

Another Blog Tidbit

I found out about this on Justine's Grocery Brags.  I'll post a link on the sidebar later because I'm getting ready to check out the discount home improvement stores in the area right now.  But she mentions another blog, which I will also check out later.  This woman had a goal of spending only $800 on groceries for the entire year!!!  I'm going to start that goal myself, only I'm upping it to $1000.  It will be interesting to see how it goes.  

Mommy Snacks Blog

Be sure to check out the new information on the Mommy Snacks blog that I have listed in the sidebar.  She has a lot of new and wonderful information posted, and will also be hosting a class at the West Chester library next week.

Get Your Scissors Ready

I just read on the Taylortown Preview (see links on the side) that there will be 5, you read that right, 5!!!!! coupon inserts in this coming Sunday paper.  So you know what that means?  I'll be racing you to Walmart.  I'm planning to buy five papers, and will also get the coupons from my mom, mom-in-law, aunt.  And heck, I may walk around and knock on a few doors in my neighborhood and see if anyone doesn't want their coupons!  LOL.  

Cheap Building Supplies

Ok, I've not been there yet, but I called to make sure I was understanding correctly.  There is a Habitat for Humanity "Restore" that is open to the public where you can buy cheap building materials and home improvement things.  It's the kind of stuff that is leftover after they do a project, or when other contractors are doing a project and they donate things that are left over, or that are used.  I've read online that people have been able to buy $800 doors for $10.  I can't speak for the quality and their selection is going to vary.  But I'm hoping to check it out today.  I could use some shelving materials to organize my ginormous stockpile of food and toiletries!  

For out of town people reading this, you can get the details if there is a store in your area at the following link:
http://hfhi.org/cd/env/restore_detail.aspx?place=53

In Hamilton the address is 896 Fairview Ave, Hamilton, OH  45015.  There is also one in Dayton if you feel like making the drive or are in the area, and also one in Columbus if you happen to go up there for anything.  A trip to Cosi could result in the kids having to ride back a little crowded!  But that could already happen from the JC Penny outlet store up there on Brice Rd, right?!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Email List

If you are interested in signing up for my email list, please send me an email at smartbusinessmommy@gmail.com.  This will not give you the same information that I put in the blog.  This will be a more casual forum to share ideas, and I may find a better resource for it eventually too.

For small business in the Walden Ponds/Shaeffer's Run neighborhoods, please specify what your business is, what you sell, what your contact information is, and what your website is.  Please also include your phone number and address.  I have some future plans for us, but it will initially be on an "invitation only" basis.  This is mostly because I want to set up a friendly and information sharing environment and don't want to get everyone riled up and competitive.  If we do run into competitive businesses that want to be involved, then we can deal with that as it comes up.

Please also specify whether or not you work at home, or if you have a regular job in addition to your craft.

Small Home Based Business

So far I've been focusing mainly on money saving tips.  I do intend to start including a lot of small business tips in the near future too.  My schedule currently has me working more on money saving than small business.  Plus, I wanted to wait until after the holidays to be able to do more business to business things without wasting people's time during the holiday season.  

First off, I'm going to be focusing more on small arts and crafts vendors, and other types of small businesses that are wanting to get started and/or grow.  Franchise people such as Avon, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, etc are certainly welcome, but you guys have your own marketing tools and may not find my information as useful.  However, maybe the rest of us can learn from you!  

Most of my information is also going to be community based.  So again, this information will not apply to everyone.  I'm starting with my own neighborhood, and expanding outward from there.  I will also be detailing craft shows and festivals that are in the immediate area.  And by that, I mean anything within an hour drive of Fairfield.  I've found more luck in the Dayton areas.  

One last thing, a reason I've been very light on the business information is because I'm wanting to organize my blog in a more user friendly way.  I think that it should be obvious when you look at my site where the money saving info is vs. the business information.  So once I find out a better way to organize the information, you can expect to see more business information.

New Link - Tip Hero

I came across a new website today that I added to my list of money saving links.  Tip Hero.  There are many money saving ideas on here.  There are a couple of specific ones that I'm going to look into and/or try out myself before I report on whether or not I think they're good ideas.  So stay posted.  I hope to try out some of these ideas next week.  In the meantime, feel free to look at the page and get any useful information you're interested in.