Friday, February 28, 2014

Weekly Couponing Wrapup

I got some awesome deals this week and wanted to share them with all of you!

At Stop and Shop I used a SavingStar app to get money off my bananas. (Unfortunately I tossed my receipt, or I would tell you how much I saved)
In addition to saving money instantly at the register with SavingStar, I used Checkout 51 in order to get 50 cents back.
I also used Ibotta to get 50 cents back on the bread. 

Although, some people may think it's a pain, I think that these apps are totally worth it when all you have to do is take a picture of a receipt. 

My receipt was for $5.01, meaning that with the money I received back from Ibotta and Checkout 51, it was $4.01. Yes, it is possible to save on healthy foods!

I also made a trip to Target this week to try out the Target Cartwheel app!

Here's how this transaction broke down:

Method Toilet Bowl Cleaner $3.59
Method All Purpose Cleaner $2.69
Method Bathroom Cleaner $2.69
Method Wood Cleaner $3.59
Method Hand Soap $3.19
used 20% off on Cartwheel app, making it $2.55
Swimsuit Bottom $19.99
Milk $3.39
used 5% off Target Cartwheel, making it $3.22
on Checkout 51 applied for 50 cents back
on Ibotta applied for 50 cents back
making it $2.22!
Oscar Blandi Heat Protectant $16.10 (on clearance)
Small Basket $6.49
4 Gift Bags $1.75 each (on clearance)
2 Tissue Papers at 86 cents each (on clearance)
4 Notebooks at 75 cents each (on clearance)
Pencil set $1.38 (on clearance)
EOS shave gel $1
Decorative Bucket $3
4 Always Pads $4.19 each
used $3.50 in coupons
received a $5 Target gift card back 
making them just about $2 each!

Although I spent $95.93, I think I got a ton of great deals and a lot of things that I needed. I like picking up things like gift bags or tissue paper when they are on clearance because then I don't ever need to buy them at full price. When I saw the notebooks for 75 cents a piece I knew I had to have them-I love a good clearance deal! =)

Photo: CVS today $42.65 worth of products for $10.05!! day 56 #project365

Finally, at CVS I had an AMAZING shopping trip!

Physicians Formula blush $13.29
saved $5 instantly making it $8.29
used $7/1 CVS Redbox coupon, making it $1.29

Covergirl Foundation $10.49
used $1/1 Covergirl man. coupon, bringing it to $9.49
used $4/12 cosmetics coupon (able to use because of P.F product)
which made it $5.49
received $3 ECB back, making it $2.49 after savings.

2 Crest Pro Health Rinse 1L $6.79 each, $13.58 total.
used (2) $1/1 man coupons, bringing it to $11.58
used $2 off $10 dental CVS Redbox coupon, bringing it to $9.58
received $5 ECB back, making them $4.58 after savings, or $2.29 each

Windex Touchup Cleaner $5.29
used $1 CVS Redbox coupon, making it $4.29
used $1 man. coupon, making it $3.29

I also used $3.75 in ECB.
I also have $33.84 tracking towards the beauty club, so when I spend $16.16 more I will get a $5 ECB back which is great for not spending much on cosmetics!

I paid $18.05 out of pocket, and received $8 back in ECB for next time. I think that overall this was an amazing trip and I'm very proud of my progress as a couponer! I have big plans for next week =)

Did you coupon this week? What deals did you do?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Project 365: Week 8

Another week has passed, we're at the end of week 8! I can't believe how fast the days pass by and I'm ready to share a little bit of my week with you guys.

On day 50, I dropped my dad off at the airport and dropped in at BBW to grab this awesome deal. I also ran into Kayla and her family at the mall which was nice, especially when I got to see her son Brayden! =)

On day 51, I had to go into work but ended up leaving because I felt so miserable. It was back to bed for me! The tissue box and Halls cough drops became two of my best friends.

My mom decided that we needed a little treat on day 52, so we headed to McDonalds and had hot fudge sundaes! Roxy had some plain vanilla ice cream- lucky her!

I was lucky enough to spend day 53 with my college roommates Laura and Megan! Megan and I headed up to Hartford to visit Laura and went out in West Hartford for the night. I had a great time and was so happy to see both of them.

When I got home on day 54, Roxy went nuts. I was only away for one night but she must've missed me judging by al the love she gave me!

Day 55 was a boring day at work, I ended it by doing a little blogging and watching The Bachelor. (As I'm typing this up I'm watching the Tuesday night episode of The Bachelor and OMG, Andi leaving? I have so much respect for that girl!)

I headed to CVS on day 56 and completed an awesome couponing transaction- which I will be sharing tomorrow!

Finally, on day 57 I ended my day with some trivia. This is the team I play with every Wednesday, and last night we ended up in 2nd place! Well, we tied with another team and got bumped to 3rd in a tie-breaker, but we had 2nd place points- pretty sweet!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Birchbox Review!

It's that time again, time to review my birchbox. This month I was extremely pleased with my box, I definitely received some awesome products!

I'm not a huge pomegranate fan, it's never been my favorite scent. However, I absolutely love this Whish pomegranate lotion. The scent wasn't too overwhelming, but still enough to make it smell absolutely fantastic. The lotion itself was lightweight but moisturizing. Whish seems to be a great brand with awesome products- I have loved their blueberry shaving cream in the past. I would definitely use a full size of this lotion in the future, however I'm interested in some of the other scents offered. They offer; pomegranate, lemongrass, almond, lavender, coconut and blueberry. I would love to try the coconut!

I have been using this Beauty Protector protectant oil for the past week or so after washing my hair. I have been applying it to my soaking wet hair and then let it sit in my hair while it air dries. The oil is great to allow my a little extra protection and shine. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a great hair oil.

I liked this Coastal Scents palette. I received four colors which were nicely pigmented, but you can see all of the colors here. I received a light creamy color, a light brown, a darker brown, and a black. I found that they were easy to put on, but I didn't need to build them up at all. I usually like my eyeshadow to be light, no real dark colors, so I had to be really careful applying these!

I used this Paula's choice serum under my moisturizer and it was nice enough. I enjoyed trying it however I don't think it's something I need to add to my daily beauty routine. I didn't notice any major improvement in my skin from this product, so I will not be purchasing the full size product.

This Reviver clothes deodorant was interesting to try. I put it in my purse and tried it once. I will keep it  there for now because I believe it's a very smart product idea- but I haven't found much of need for it yet. I'm not often in situations where my clothes start to reek, but I will hold onto it since it's reusable!

That's it for my February Birchbox! Check back in tomorrow for my Project 365 weekly update!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Less Stuff, Less Stress- End of February Update!

Hey everyone! 

I figured today would be a great day to update you on my Less Stuff, Less Stress resolution. If you remember I started this project here.

So far I have managed to gather up quite a few items in the kitchen, and I also built up quite a bit of recycling during my file cabinet organization last week. 

I did a quick clean out of a couple areas last week. First, I took a look in my closet and I found a ton of t-shirts that I had been holding onto for sentimental reasons and knew I didn't really need anymore. I find that most of the time I hold onto items for reasons that really don't matter. Do I really need that shirt from the event I attended in 2007? The answer is always, probably not. 

In addition to those shirts, I also ditched a couple of VHS tapes I have been holding onto for sentimental reasons. One was Beauty and the Beast which has always been my favorite Disney movie, however I now have two different versions of it on DVD….so why do I need it on VHS when I can't even watch it? I have finally given it up! The second VHS is The Sound of Music. Now, this VHS used to belong to my grandma who passed away several years ago, and that made it very difficult for me to give it up. It's the movie, not the actual VHS that brings back memories of my grandma- so I will purchase The Sound of Music on DVD and donate the VHS.

Another bag out of my space!

I know there are more things secretly hiding around that are just waiting to be sent to the donation bin, and I will find them over the course of this year!

Have you managed to declutter and create a simpler life for yourself this year? Let me know how you're doing on this project!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekly Couponing Wrapup

I have been getting SO many great deals lately. Soon, I will be doing a series here on the blog on how to save money with different tips about all the couponing apps I use, as well as how to save on specific items and at specific stores. However, for now I will just share some deals that I have done in the past week.

On Tuesday I went to both Walmart and Staples. I didn't take any "haul" pictures, however here is what I picked up:

10 Rolls of double sided tape for 97 cents each (AMAZING deal!)
Baby shampoo to clean my makeup brushes @ $1.50 each
Burts Bees 4 pack @ $9.97
Loofa @ $2
Mouthwash @$3.97
Wrapping paper @ $3.97 each
Step Stool @ $16.94
Bra Washing Bag @ $1.17
Packing Tape @ $1.88
Burnable DVDs @ $15.97
DVD cases @ $6.97
Cotton rounds @ $2.04

I didn't use any coupons on this trip, however I was excited by the low prices, gotta love Walmart!

At Staples:

5 Scotch washi tapes @ $2 each
2 Martha Stewart bookplate labels @ $4.99 each
Sustainable Earth hanging files @$11.79

Not cheap, but all things I needed!

On Wednesday I stopped by Bath and Body Works to pick up a few items. 

I bought the three new lotions from the brand new Hawaii collection. They were on sale 3 for $12. I also picked up an antibacterial hand sanitizer for $1.75. My total was $13.75 plus tax.

Lucky for me, I had a couple coupons!

I used a 20% off coupon and a coupon for a free hand sanitizer! My total was $10.27 which I think was a great deal!

Later on Wednesday night I did a little couponing at Walgreens and CVS.

At Walgreens:

I picked up…
9 Sinful Nail colors at 99 cents a piece (on sale from $1.99!!!)
2 packages of Lysol wipes on sale 2/$4
and 2 Suave conditioners on sale 2/$2.99.

I used two manufacture coupons for $1.50 off each Suave conditioner, meaning that I picked up those Suave conditioners for free!

My total was $17.21, and I earned 2700 reward points! I probably could have gotten the total down lower with other coupons, but considering I will use all these items, it is a pretty good deal!

(Oh, and those nail polishes aren't for me…you'll see what they're for later in the year!)


I bought…
1 M&Ms Birthday Cake at 75 cents (earning 75 cents back in ECB…FREEBIE)
3 M&Ms Pretzels at Buy 2 get 1 free. (Making all 3 $2 total!)
7 Hallmark Cards @ $1.99 each, which totaled $13.93.

I used two CVS coupons…
The first was Buy 3 Hallmark cards, get one free. The limit on this coupon was $2.50. Despite the fact that I didn't spend $2.50 on any of the cards individually my cashier still took $2.50 off- SCORE!
The second coupon was for $1.50 off three cards.

My total for the 7 Hallmark cards ended up being $9.93, or $1.41 each. Not bad for a bunch of blank cards that I will definitely use in the future.

My total for my CVS purchase was $13.46, which wasn't bad at all!

Also this past week I placed several orders online.

I purchased 151 prints for free on Shutterfly. I used points on to get 50 prints free, and then on top of that they had a deal for 101 free prints. I placed two orders and just paid shipping on each of them.
Printing pictures is really important to me, however I don't like to shell out a ton of money which is why I always wait for one of these deals to pop up OR I use my points to buy myself free prints.

I also purchased some things on during their sale. (Including a not on sale bathing suit top….whoops). I always wait until the underwear is on sale 7 for $26.50.

On top of all those purchases, I used my points on Birchbox in order to get a free item! There was free shipping on this item as well, which I was so excited about. I'm sure you will be hearing more about this soon- I plan on doing a few product reviews soon!

Overall, I ended up saving….
$6.01 at CVS
$16.98 at Walgreens
$3.48 at Bath and Body Works
$22.65 at Shutterfly
$15 plus shipping at Birchbox
$26 at Aerie

For a grand total of: $90.12 saved!

How much did you save this week? Did you complete any coupon deals?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

New Product Review Page!

Hey everybody!

Usually I don't post on the weekends, however I am making a little exception today. I just added a new page to my blog!

If you look at the top of the page there is a new tab smack dab in the middle named "Product Reviews", under that tab you will find an alphabetical list of every product I've ever reviewed here on Balancing On My Toes. I will continue adding to the list as I do more product reviews so if you ever want to see my thoughts on a particular product you now have it at your fingertips!

Now, it's time for me to head to Hartford for the rest of the weekend- but I will talk to you all Monday morning with my weekly couponing wrap-up….See ya then!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Labels, Labels Everywhere!

On Tuesday when I stopped in Staples, I obviously had to browse the Martha Stewart section. I knew pretty much what I wanted, I had bookplate labels in mind, but I wasn't sure exactly what I would end up picking up. 

I decided to buy the cheaper, smaller labels since there is no reason to have humongous labels (double this size) in this particular project. You can find them online, here.

There are six of these bookplate labels in each package, so I purchased two.

I also, used my new washi tape to help with the label making!

What project would be complete without my handy label maker?

Now, there are several places I wanted to put these labels. I ended up being able to use them on all the places I had originally planned which turned out great. I think they look awesome as well!

I labeled all three (Yes, three! You will see the third one soon!) of my DVD bins. Remember when I put all my DVDs in these bins? Such a space saver and it has worked out wonderfully so far. These baskets are from Target and you can find them here.

I also labeled all of my closet bins that needed labels. These bins were purchased at JcPenney's from the Michael Graves collection. I couldn't find the exact colors I purchased on their website (I know they were on clearance when I bought them, so they may not be available anymore), however here is a color I like. There are several other colors and designs available on the site as well.

Now, I can glance at the label rather then having to pull bins down to see what is inside them. For a shorty, this makes a huge difference. I also love that these labels stay firmly placed on the bins, but are easy to remove. I can easily take them off and place them somewhere else if need be.

I think that these labels complete the look that I am going for in my organization system.

Have you used any products from the Martha Stewart line at Staples?

I can personally recommend Martha's notebooks, expandable files, and these labels. I hope to try out more of her products in the future!

**This is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions are my own**

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Project 365: Week 7

Hello again! Another week has flown by- we are almost done with February. I can't believe how fast the year is passing by.

On day 44 I had to head to work in some terrible driving conditions. I was wishing I could stay home and be lazy like Roxy!

Day 45 was Valentines day! My mom bought these little Sweenor's Chocolates for me! I ate them in one sitting…so good!

Day 46. Snowing again. We always have a group of turkeys in our yard and they seemed just as sick of the snow as I am!

Day 47, I spent a cozy night in wit my current favorite candle burning. 

Day 48, I took a few online quizzes that always pops up on Facebook. I thought this one was pretty amusing. I do wish I was the duchess of Cambridge though! Gotta love Princess Kate!

On Day 49 I went and did some errands in the morning. I did find some great deals on things that I needed- so you may be seeing a post coming up soon about that =)

Day 50 I posted a video that I cannot figure out how to link here…so you will just have to go to my Instagram account in order to view it! I went to a basketball game to see some of my former students dance at halftime! They did an amazing job!

How was your week?!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Organizing My File Cabinet Part 2

Today, I am sharing part 2 of my file cabinet organization!

I spent most of the morning yesterday out and about running errands. I had a pretty extensive shopping list when I left my house, however I managed to get everything on my list! 

A few of these items were used for projects- one that I will be sharing on Friday =)

I purchased 25 letter size hanging file folders and five small rolls of washi tape. I wanted to find white hanging files, but I wasn't able to find any white ones anywhere. I ended up with these, which are a brownish/tan color. It was either this or murky green, so I chose the brown. Although, I wasn't thrilled with the color choices, I am an incredibly impatient person and couldn't go from place to place searching for white hanging files, plus it was snowing and I wanted to get home…so brown it was.

Initially I planned on creating my own labels when I got back home and just using boring construction paper, or possibly making them on the computer. When I saw the washi tape stand, I did a double take. After spending a few minutes rummaging through the display, I decided that at $2 a roll I would buy 5 for my five categories.

Don't they look nice? I simply took the white label they supplied, wrapped the washi tape around it, and then created a label with my label maker. I think they look great, and I'm really excited about the way my file drawer looks now.

After organizing everything into five categories, I made sure to sort through each folder, getting rid of any papers I wouldn't need anymore.

Look at all that recycling!

Now, here's what my file drawer looks like now...

Nice huh?!

My first category is financial. I have my paycheck stubs, credit card files, tax files, budgeting files, and anything else that has to do finances.

My second category has to do with my car. I have a folder for general information, one for maintenance, and one for car insurance.

The third category is anything that has to do with work. I keep my current background checks, information for my job, and information for DMA in these files.

My green category is special events. I have files for both weddings I am participating in this year (any hotel information, registry information, etc goes in these files), and I also have files for vacations that I took last year.

My last section is my "everything else" category. I keep warranties, my writing, and medical information in this section.

Behind the hanging file folders is extra printer paper and extra notepads.

Goodbye recycling and stuff I can donate!

By the way, I *think* that I can include this bag of donations, and a bag of recycling into my Less Stuff Less Stress total! It feels so good to get rid of things I don't need, and to simplify. I don't feel overwhelmed when I open this drawer anymore- everything is simple and neat, just the way I like it!

Here's a final before and after for you:

 SOOOO much better!

Did you organize your files along with me? Share your links in the comment section, I would love to see what you've done!