Tag Archives: Shopaholic Savers Deals

The Financial Decisions That Have Saved Us $54,000 in the Past Two Years

Almost two years ago my boyfriend and I moved in together. We are currently choosing to live on less income so that we both can go back to school for graduate degrees. I decided to compile a list of the financial decisions we have made in the past two years that have saved us the most money. After writing this list I have to say that I’m really proud of us!


1. Buying Our Cars With Cash– I drive a Chevy Cavalier that I bought for $2,000 and B drives a Nissan Sentra that he bought for $5,000 we could have easily spent at least $25,000 for these cars USED and that doesn’t even include interest on a car loan (See Our Experience as a One Car Household) Savings- $25,000

2. Renting a House in Our Original Target Price Range– When we were looking for a house to rent we originally decided we could spend $700 to $900 a month but quickly found that it would be very, very difficult to find a very nice home in that price range but we ended up picking out the house we are living in at $900 a month over houses in the $1200 price range Savings- $300 a month or $3,600 a Year

3. Renting a House With Free Water/Sewer/Trash Bill– We have a  water well  so we don’t pay for water but my sister and her fiancé used to pay $60 a month at their house (see Having a Water Well) Savings- $60 a Month or $720 a year

4. Working Jobs Close to Home– When I worked full time I commuted an hour each way to work. At one point I paid $100 a month just in tolls and I paid about $200 a month in gas Savings- $250 a month or $3,000 a year

5. Working Jobs Where We Don’t Have To Wear Dress Clothes– Dress clothes are expensive, there is nothing else to say! Savings- $50 a month or $600 a Year

6. Negotiating With the Cable/Internet Company- Our current rate would be $130 a month for a smaller package but instead we negotiated to $85 a month for a DVR/HD Channels/Internet/More Channels (See- How One Phone Call Saved Us $343) Savings $45 a month or $540 a year


7. Buying My Treadmill for $30– I had budgeted to spend $200 on a used treadmill but none came along then I got lucky and got mine for $30 (see How I Got a Treadmill for $30) Saved- $670

8. Buying Our 46 in Flatscreen TV for $150– We wanted a nice TV after we moved into our new house so we were able to price shop and use gift cards (See How We got a 46in TV for $150) Saved- $400


9. Getting Our Furniture Secondhand– Almost all of our furniture is high quality but second hand. We could have spent thousands on new furniture but we bought used and saved and our house still looks great. Saved- $3,000

10. Having a $200 a Month Grocery Budget– We try to eat healthy so we can easily spend a huge amount of money on groceries. I’m going to conservatively say that we save at least $200 a month by sticking to our budget. (See More About Our Grocery BudgetSaved- $200 a Month or $2,400 a year

coupon mat

11. Buying Groceries and Household Items with Coupons– We save thousands of dollars by using coupons so I’m going to conservatively say that we saved a couple of thousand dollars in the past two years.  (See More About Our Couponing) Saved- $4,000

TOTAL- $54,000 We Saved Ourselves in 2 Years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was really surprised when I calculated that total! The best part of this is that NONE of these are crazy things. These are regular every day things that with a little bit of extra time and effort saved us a substantial amount of money!

Doing My Taxes for Free

taxesSo this year for the first time ever, I thought I might owe money on my taxes. This was because of a stream of income from last year that had no taxes taken out of it and in addition I am no longer a student so I can’t claim that as a deduction. I tried asking various people what percentage of someone’s income goes towards taxes and I received various different answers that led me to the conclusion that it’s not that simple.

So for the first time ever, I decided to run my tax information through two different free tax services. Turbo Tax and HR Block. This took me less than an hour to do and to my relief, while I do owe money on my taxes, I owe less than $100 and both programs told me that I owe the exact same amount. While it is a little disappointing not to get a check back from filing my taxes for the first time, it is also a huge relief that I won’t have to take money out of my savings to pay my taxes either. Next year I will be back in school and I will likely qualify for a tax refund again so I can’t be too disappointed.

Note- I am in no way associated with any tax program. This article is simply meant to share my own personal experiences.

Why I Don’t Pay For Underwear and How I Get Free Underwear at Victoria’s Secret

How To Get Free Underwear at Victoria's Secret

That’s right, you read that title correctly, I generally get all of my underwear for free at Victoria’s Secret! If you join Victoria’s Secret’s Mailing lists and e-mail lists they will send you coupons for free pairs of underwear no purchase necessary (like the ones in the picture above) and they send them out fairly frequently.

imageA couple of years ago I lived behind an outside shopping mall that had a Victoria’s Secret Store and I developed a system.  I signed up for all of the Victoria’s Secret Mailing Lists and would collect all of the coupons I could for free underwear and other items. When I received a coupon for free underwear (no purchase necessary) I would go and pick it up. You won’t pay a cent and they are really nice about it. This was easier to do when I lived behind one of their stores but I still live close enough to our mall that I’m usually able to swing by the store to get my free items before the coupons expire. I do have a Victoria Secret Credit Card which will earn you more free offers but that isn’t necessary to get free stuff. I have also received free gift cards (like the one in the picture above), free perfume, and free $10 at the store. Their underwear really is high quality and lasts a long time.

I often think that frugal living is about figuring out how to get the things you need or want for free and this is a great and easy way to do that if you live near a Victoria’s Secret Store. You can also do this with their other store Bath & Body Works to get free candles, lotions, and hand sanitizers. Remember that this is a marketing strategy designed to get you into their stores in the hopes that you will pick up your free item and also buy something but it isn’t required. I do occasionally buy stuff from their stores when I find great deals.


If you follow the links below and sign up for their mailing lists you will start receiving communication from them about sales and events and also FREE items. Note- I do get a certain amount of e-mail and snail mail from them that doesn’t contain free offers but I find it worth sorting through.

Click HERE to join PINK Nation

Click HERE to join Victoria’s Secret E-mail List

Click HERE to join Victoria’s Secret Store Offers And Events E-mail List

Click HERE to join Victoria’s Secret Mailing List

Note- The information provided is meant to be helpful. These aren’t affiliate links, I am in no way affiliated with Victoria’s Secret and receive no compensation for mentioning them

You can check out my Victoria’s Secret category HERE were I only post about deals from them. Check back often to see when I receive Free Victoria’s Secret coupons. 

I also post when I receive free coupons in the mail and e-mail as well as other things I get for free in my Free In The Mail category and you can find the link HERE.  

Why I Have A College Degree and Choose to Be a Server

Waitress movie image Keri Russell and Andy Griffith

To make this article more interesting here are some things that you should know about me-

I graduated college in 2010 with a double major bachelor’s degree and a 4.0 GPA. And I did this with zero debt!

Part of how I accomplished this was by being very frugal and also by being a server in a restaurant.  Most of my pay (servers make less than minimum wage hourly) was in tips which can vary but I’ve always had more good nights than bad so the pay isn’t really that inconsistent. After graduating from college I was hired for a full time job. I could write a book about how horrible that job was but for the sake of time I’ll just say that they wanted us to work a huge amount of unpaid overtime and also there were safety concerns including gun violence and arson. In addition, I felt suffocated by commuting an hour each way to work and working around 50 hours a week.

Making the decision to return to serving wasn’t an easy one.

Americans are taught that we should always be progressing and moving forward. Going back to serving after receiving my college degree felt like going backwards. However, for many reasons I was very unhappy working 9 to 5 which was really more like 8 to 7.

I started really considering what I wanted out of a job. This should be a requirement before choosing a college major but I assure you it is not.

Here are the things I decided I wanted in a job right now-

– A job that I could enjoy

–  A job with a flexible schedule

– A job where I made at least enough money to pay my bills and save a little

– A job where I make a maximum amount of money in a minimum of time

– A job where I could take off if I was sick

– A job where I got to interact with people

– A job with a reasonable commute

Here are the things I want in a job in the future-

– All of the above things I want in a job now

– A job where I make a lot more money

– A job where I will use my education

– A job where I can help people

– A job where I am challenged intellectually

– A job where I am treated with respect


Even for an educated person the job market isn’t great right now. In our area, many full time jobs pay less than I make serving. I realized that going back to serving would meet the requirements on my wish list of things I wanted in a job right now.  Yes, there are disadvantages to serving including being treated badly by customers, slightly inconsistent pay, and it can be a high stress job (People want their food and people want it now!) but I feel that the advantages outweigh them. In addition, serving allows me the flexibility to go back to school for my Master’s degree which will qualify me to teach at college level which is what I really want to do for a career.

However, when I made the decision to go back to waiting tables I hadn’t yet decided to go back for my M.A. I decided that I would rather have a job with a flexible schedule that I actually like (at least most of the time) rather than a full time job that paid a little more (in the area we live in it’s really not that much) even if I was miserable. In addition, I  would rather work less and spend my time doing things that save me money rather than spend all of my time working. For now, the advantages of serving far outweigh the disadvantages and I’m really happy with my decisions.

What reasons do you have for choosing your current profession?

70% Off Boots at Target


My sister and I were at Target today and we stumbled onto 70% off boots! We were especially excited because we are going on Vacation to visit our Aunt next week and she just told us they are expecting 3 inches of snow! So we each got a pair of boots for around $10 a pair. In the picture below, we turned around and realized we had both tried on the same pair of boots!


January $200 Grocery and Household Item Budget Review


I know that I am a little late posting this but I ended up getting sick at the end of the month and it took me a little while to get back in fighting shape. However, it did make me happy that we did so well on our grocery budget last month. I don’t usually post about our grocery budget but I’m going to try to do a monthly review every month this year in 2013.

Our goal for January was our usual grocery budget of $200. We put our receipts in a reused junk mail envelope so that we can total them up periodically to check our progress. This budget is for two adults and yes we do eat three meals a day at home. We only ate out 2-3 times the entire month. I mention that not because we include what we spent eating out in the grocery budget but to show that we really do eat almost all of our meals at home. This also includes all household items such as toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, etc. Here is the breakdown-

January Monthly Grocery and Household Item Budget- $200

Number of People in Our Household- 2

Number of Meals a Month- 85-90

People I know who don’t coupon think that this is an extremely low number. People who do coupon tend to think that this is a high number. I like to think that it is in the middle.

Why $200 a month?

Things that make our costs a little higher-

– We try to eat healthy with as little junk food as possible- This means more fresh vegetables and fruits that aren’t that cheap in where we live. Also healthy foods have fewer coupons than junk food.

– We really do eat at home all the time- This means our grocery budget is a little higher but our eating out budget is a lot lower.

– This budget isn’t just food- It’s also all household items we may need like soap.

Things that help keep our food costs low-

– Couponing, couponing, couponing- While there are less coupons for healthy food that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, it just takes a little more work

– Shopping Loss Leader Sales- Buying items at the lowest possible prices

– Shopping at Aldi a Discount Grocery Store- Food staples are simply lower at Aldi. Although Aldi doesn’t take coupons, most of the items we buy there aren’t items that usually have coupons anyways like flour and sugar.

– Shopping at Dollar Tree- Everything is $1. We can get regular sized laundry detergent for $1 and it works the same as name brand. We buy things there that are just plain cheaper than anywhere else even accounting for size and quality

– Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do or Do Without- We try not to waste food and we also try to make our meals around the items that we get deals.

– Stockpiling household items- We buy them at the lowest possible price to save $ in the long run

So how did we do this month?

We Spent- $192.33

We Saved $ 197.52 (this doesn’t even count stores like dollar tree that don’t show what you save over other stores)

So we actually came in under budget which is always good. Also, $20 of what we spent was on the last day of January on groceries that we were generally buying for next month, but as I said I was sick and didn’t think I would make it back to the store for a while and I didn’t.

Tune in at the end of Febuary to see how we do with our $200 grocery budget for next month.

How I got a Bread Maker for FREE


I have been looking for a Bread Maker at different thrift shops for a while now but I was hesitant to buy one because I wasn’t sure how many pieces they came with or if they were going to work. I was inspecting a used one at one of my favorite thrift shops when a woman came up to me and told me that it wasn’t a very nice one. We started a small conversation and before the end of it she told me that she had an almost new, really nice bread maker with the instruction book that she wanted to get rid of. I was a little hesitant but she drove home and got it to give to me. I offered to pay her for it but she didn’t want anything for it. And that’s how I ended up with this fabulous Bread Maker for free. It was spotlessly clean and didn’t look like it had ever been used, even though she told me she used to use it a lot. That very night I used it to knead the dough for the pizza we made in the picture below. I can’t wait to try making a loaf of bread in it. I will write an update once I have tried it for a while to let everyone know if it actually saves me money or not, but I know that homemade bread is fantastic.


11-26-2012 Publix Shopping Trip

imageI got some great deals today at Publix! There were a couple of slight moneymakers and some other great deals.

Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt 3 OZ, on sale $0.75
Use $0.55/1 Diamond Crystal Salt Sense or Kosher Salt 3-13 oz Publix coupons, Yellow Advantage Flyer
and use $0.40/1 Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt printable manufacturer’s coupon PRINTABLE
Cost After Coupons- Free + $0.40 Overage
Note- These coupons also make the larger size a great deal but the smaller one is a moneymaker.

B1G1 Yakisoba Noodles $0.99 ($.49)
Used six $0.50/1 Yakisoba coupons, 10/14 SS newspaper insert
Cost After Coupons- Free

Buy 2 Vivarin $3.14 each
Use the $5/2 Vivarin Publix Q inside the Green Advantage Flyer
and Use $1/1 Vivarin PDF Printable MQ
Cost After Coupons-
Free + $.72 Overage WYB 2

B1G1 Smart Balance Spread, 13-15 oz, 2 pk., 7.5 oz Tub or 8 oz Spray, at $3.59 ($1.79)
-$1/2 Smart Balance products printable
-.75/1 Smart Balance spreadable butter or Better Butter sticks, (zip 90210) PRINTABLE
-.50/1 Smart Balance spreadable butter or blended butter sticks, SS 11/18
Cost After Coupons- $1.04

B1G1 Campbell’s 100% Natural Soup, 18.6-18.8 oz, at $2.49 ($1.24)
-.50/2 Campbell’s 100% natural soups, SS 10/14
Cost After Coupons- 74¢

B1G1 Krusteaz Bakery Style Cookie Mix, 15.5-18 oz, at $2.39 ($1.19)
-$1 off Krusteaz bakery style cookie mix printable
Cost After Coupons- 19¢

Bailey’s Coffee Creamer, 16 oz, $1.50
-$1 off Baileys coffee creamer, SS 11/18 or blinkie
Cost After Coupons- 50¢ each

International Delight Coffee Creamer
– .55 off International Delight Coffee Creamer PRINTABLE
– $1.50 off 2 International Delight Coffee Creamers Target Coupon
Cost After Coupons- 36¢ each

Shopaholic Savers Deal- Possible CoverGirl Eyeshadow Moneymaker Deal at Publix – A Deal for the P&G Pink Cookware Set


There is a really great possible moneymaker on Covergirl eyeshadows at Publix. Some of the eyeshadows (including the ones in the picture above) are only ringing up at $1.99 when they are regularly $2.99. I’m not sure why this is but I was able to take advantage of this deal HERE to use for my free P&G cookware set. I don’t know if this is only happening at my store or if it is at others as well so you will definitely want to pricecheck these before you checkout.

The Colors That Are Ringing Up at $1.99 at my store are-
– Sapphire Sparkle
– Kaboom Kelly
– Turquoise Tempest
Note- There may be more, these are just the ones I know about

The Deal is-
Buy 2 Cover Girl Eyeshadow  $1.99 each (Special Price) Regularly $2.99
– Use 2 $1 off Covergirl Publix Coupon from the Publix Green Advantage Flyer
– And 1 $3 off of 2 Covergirl Items Coupons PG 9/30
– Or 1 $4 off of 2 Covergirl Eye Item from a magazine
Cost After Coupons- Free + Overage

Even at Regular Price this is still a great deal for the P&G Pink Cookware Set and these will make great stocking stuffers for Christmas.

*Shopaholic Savers Deals* are unique deals that we personally come up with and that we have not seen on other sites. Other Bloggers are welcome to repost these deals as long as they also post a link back to us. To see more Shopaholic Savers Unique Deals click the category in the column on the right.

My $2.47 Publix Deal for the Free P&G Cook Set


I posted recently (HERE) that the free P&G cookware set is back. You must purchase $30 in P&G products before coupons to qualify for the set. These are really nice sets and really high quality. I have done this for the past two years (HERE) and I use the items every day in my kitchen. This year there weren’t as many really fantastic deals available for the set as there have been in the past so I was really surprised when the Covergirl eye shadows rang up at $1.99 instead of $2.99 and I was able to revise my scenario for very little out of pocket. I also did not have a $5 off of a purchase coupon which also would have helped to lower my total but if you have one you should use it.

This is what I did-

Bought 1 Herbal Essence Shampoo and 1 Conditioner $3.19 each
– Used B1G1 Free Herbal Essence Coupon 09/16/2012 SS
– And $1.00/2 Herbal Essence Winn Dixie Coupon from the WD Early Detection Coupon Flyer found in store
Cost After Coupons- $2.19 for 2

Bought 2 Crest Complete Toothpaste $3.13 each (Note- there was one Crest toothpaste cheaper about $2.50 but we like this one better and I needed to get over $30)
– Used 2 .50/1 Crest toothpaste, 4 oz+, or liquid gel, excl trial size, PG 9/30 (exp 10/31)
– And used 1 $1.00/2 Crest Coupon from the WD Early Detection Coupon Flyer found in store
Cost After Coupons- $4.26 for 2

Bought 10 Cover Girl Eyeshadow  $1.99 each
– Used 10 $1 off Covergirl Coupon from the Publix Green Advantage Flyer
– And 4 $3 off of 2 Covergirl Items Coupons PG 9/30
– And 1 $4 off of 2 Covergirl Eye Item from a magazine
Cost After Coupons- Free + $6.10 Overage


Total Before Coupons- $32.54
Total After Coupons- .35 Cents
Total After Tax- $2.47 and the Free Pink Cook Set ($50 Value)

For more information on the Cookware Deal Click HERE

MyCouponExpert.com did an excellent job of putting together other deals that you can do to earn this set. Click here to visit their post.

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