Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's Christmas Time Already!

Where oh where has the time gone blog world? I am so sorry I have neglected you! The past four months have been a blur in my household. I began my Masters Degree in Education, was the FRG Leader for our deployed Army Unit, co planned a very large homecoming celebration, my ONLY (sniff sniff) daughter got married, my husband came home from a year long deployment in October and then we have been traveling for the past four weeks.

Man, if that isn't enough to stave off the frustration, sorry. I am pooped. :) However, I am back and I am back with a vengeance. I have alot of new ideas that I am going to continue with here at Fort Bragg to help fellow couponers learn how to do this trade and let our dollars stretch as far as we can get them to. My theory in life is everyone needs to stretch a dollar and everyone wants to save.

There are a few changes that I have done to Bragg About Savings. One of the largest changes you will see is that I no longer charge for classes. I have been doing this for a long time. I have taught on and off for about four years. I have taught large church groups, in schools, to individuals, in a home setting and via the internet on Skype. However, something hit me about six months ago that I really struggled with. I felt like that I was supposed to " be a blessing" and teach this skill and not profit from it. I never made money really because it does cost to travel and to use my paper and make copies. However, I have found ways around that now that I am comfortable with. Now, that being said, I will not travel outside of Fort Bragg without being compensated a flat fee for gas depending on where it is; however I do not charge for the class. I can always get a meeting space here on Fort Bragg and if you would want to come here there would not be a charge ever for the class itself.

Anyway, about the Christmas season. Man, alive! There are deals to be had. Just today I spent only $21.00 on NINE high end cosmetic foundations, five French's fried onions, two mascaras and an eyeshadow for stocking stuffers. I also got a $5.00 coupon off $30.00 PRE COUPON for next week at Walgreens. Then I got online and got a free $10.00 gift card from Victoria's Secret (WHO DOESN"T LOVE FREE!!!) Next, I went to Target and ended up walking out of there with two $5 coupons off my next $50.00 purchase.

The key to all of this is watching the ads and the blogs. Keep up on clipping because during Christmas you will get bogged down with all of the goods and if you let it go a few days you will not be able to recover and miss a great deal because of it. Even if it is something you may not use who is to say that you do not want to use it and put it in a basket for someone else at Christmas time or say even Valentines Day (yes I am always thinking ahead!) Also, this is the time of the year when Food Banks are asking for the most donations because of the need to feed so many families during the holiday season. So, just because you cannot or do not want to use a product if it is FREE pass it on to someone that can.

That is all for now, but tomorrow there will be more. And the next day and the next day :)

Be A Blessing and Happy Shopping!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Been gone too long!

I am so sorry for the non existent blog in the past thirty days. I have been extremely busy teaching classes and doing FRG preparations for my soldier's homecoming later this fall. I am an FRG Leader and I committed to that first so I have to take it on as it comes to me :) However, I have been spending this weekend gettting caught up on so many deals and I have to tell you: SHOPPING AND SAVING SEASON IS HERE!!! I have said from day one in my classes that the fall is my FAVORITE time to stockpile. And you can do it for nearly free with all of the great qs that are out and about right now. I am so excited and later this afternoon when I return home I will be sharing with you several great deals that I have found this weekend. Let me just say, it has been worth the wait. I have also done a complete Commissary Match ups and AAFES match ups so please return this evening to see what is happening with Bragg About Savings.

Be a Blessing and Happy Shopping :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Let's Go Shopping

Okay girls and guys! We are nearing the 1st of the month, have you started gathering your coupons? If not, you have two days to really get a move on it. The month of July is going to be fun I think so we will try a few different things this month that I've never tried before and we are gonna rock with it. One of the ideas that I am going to do is I am NOT going to eat out like I do now. It's hard! I am on the go constantly but my stockpile needs to be used. Seriously. This week I made two large meals and they lasted me several days. With just my daughter and I being here, we can do this. We both have different savings goals for July (hers for a trip and car stuff and mine for a cushion after deployment money is gone) so I am on a mission!!! Military wives, you know what it's like when your spouse gets back and all of the money is gone that you are used to on deployment. It sucks, so I refuse to not have a huge cushion when he gets home so it's not like we miss a beat. Being prepared is half of the battle. So, I am going to take sandwiches if I have to eat out a lunch or I am going to take some of these nummy snacks I have 20 of and use them~ it doesn't matter if they are Mario Brothers Fruit Snacks, I am using them up.

The second thing I am going to do for July is get really good and stockpiled on my meat again. I am buying a deep freezer this weekend and I am going to get re stocked on my meat supplies. I always say "with meat all things are possible" because seriously if you have a good stock of meat who cares what the side is (EXAMPLE FREE RICE FOREVER!!!). Get creative.

The third thing I am doing is more organizational than anything and I highly encourage you to do it too. Make your menu for the month based off of your shopping trip. It will help you stay on task. Something I saw recently at my sister's house was an 8 by 10 plastic flat photo frame magnet on her refrigerator with "DINNER IDEAS" in it. She had just typed out 25 or 30 dinner ideas that her family enjoys and she put them in this flat frame and put it on a magnet on her fridge. That is a great way to stay on task and get creative when you have that "blank mind" after you get back from your big grocery trip for the two weeks pay military pay day shopping.

Now, I understand hiccups happen, and I know for a fact there will be at least four days I will be eating out in July because I have a work trip planned to teach military wives how to coupon in Alabama and Georgia. I cannot always cook while on these trips so I have to eat out. Because of that I will be packing my own snacks and drinks in order to save on those items. I know it sounds super frugal but I am going to start taking cans of soda with me if I want one, into restaurants in my purse and just ask for a glass of ice. Think about that, every time you want a Coke, it's $2.39 or more at restaurants. Think in that four days I can save minimum of $20.00 doing this!!! I am gonna try it and see how it works for me.

Until Next Time! Happy Shopping!!! Tammy

Friday, June 17, 2011

Our Ft. Stewart Weekend

We, Tiffany and I , got the pleasure of teaching some classes in the state of Georgia last weekend. I am not sure how to express to anyone the fun we had teaching these groups of ladies. Friday ight we were in a small town on the Georgia/Alabama line. Even though we ended up being very late because of unschedule horrible road construction and we had to go through the boon docks, it was a great class. It was in the middle of nowhere however it was in gorgeous location. It was held at someone's home however on the back porch (bigger than my house I believe) of the home. I was in heaven because it was in Primitive Style and even the light fixtures were period. On the property were five 1855 Log Cabins that the couple rent out on a daily/ weekly basis. I plan to visit this property again when Mike gets home. They are simply breathtaking and I feel blessed to have visited and met these ladies. Their ideas and large families kept us challenged and intrigued and I pray that we were able to meet these ladies needs for couponing.

Late that night we went to the world's smallest Chili's . It was the size of a large convenience store and we were one of the only people in there. It was yummy food after a long day of driving. Then with our luck that day it was bound to happen. We went to the wrong motel to check in. It was humorous and what do you say? We said the right thing by "please give us directions to the right one". After he looked for fifteen minutes for the right room. Ha! Sorry man at Motel 6!!!

The next morning we awoke and went to Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Couponing is not big in Ft. Stewart it seems but I think it's catching on. After the class Tiffany and I went and ate at my beloved Taco Johns (do you see that Missouri people!!!) and then we went into the PX. Okay, sorry Ft. Stewart girls we so raided your PX. They had Aussie shampoo on clearance for 1.60 and we had a few qs for 1.00 off any Aussie product. :) I would have cleared all that they had (I normally do not ever do that) however they were stocked well. I just didn't have enough qs with me. We also were able to buy Pringles for .50 a large can (nine each).

After the Stewart class we headed to Savannah, Georgia. I love that place. I would love to settle there some day or at least near there. We were at Hunter Air Field and we were just exploring. We did a Commissary trip and Tiffany and I loaded up. The tearpads at the Commissary there were unbelievable! One of our amazing deals was Cheerio Chex Mix marked for 1.09 and having .75 cent tear pads for each one we could purchase. There were many goodies there for great prices with qs that we had. I enjoyed the Ft. Leonardwood like atmosphere, meaning all the tear pads. We don't have a ton of them at Fort Bragg. I will say this though, they were VERY thorough at Hunter so if by some chance ya all are near there and want to coupon, you better not try to get over on them, they won't have it :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let's do 3 A Day !!!!

Recently I had the opportunity to write to a company about an event we were doing here at Fort Bragg called Fill Your Binder Event. It is where ladies come together and cut and swap coupons for a few hours a day. We had drawings, snacks, drinks, and smaller classes on topics such as the pharmacies. It was a great success for the first month.

About a week before the event I remembered something a PR person told me on a website months back about if we ever needed them at Fort Bragg to let them know. So, I sat down at my computer and began to spill our stories of our coupon group and our upcoming event. Wholly Guacamole graciously sent out a freezer pack of items for this event for our wives to sample as well as a ton of 2.00 coupons for everyone to try their products. All I had to do was sit down and write a five minute letter. Honestly it took less than that. I will advertise for them forever because not only are they absolutely giving their stuff is amazing as well. I loved it as did everyone else!

My goal is to write three companies a week, maybe not a day, as I can barely sit and write a blog these days with my busy life, however a goal of three a week will form a great habit. When you coupon you are always trying new products because that is what alot of coupons are for; new products. Do this and tell me what you are getting. Go to my facebook page BraggAbout Savings and telll me what you are getting for free or cheap. Tell me about your coupons! I am excited for this new adventure, will you come along with me?

New Commissary Shopping Trip

So, ladies and gents, I went on a small grocery trip yesterday to the North Post Commissary on Fort Bragg. For it being a middle of the payday trip, there were TONS of people there. I think others are catching on pay day is not the time to go there at all. I had a list of things I was going to get and my goal in this trip was NO overages other than one that I used. Listed below is my haul and what I paid.
Slim Jim Beef Jerky
3 Duncan Hines Cake Mix
2 Large Bags of David Sunflower Seeds
1 Marinade Mix
3 Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Packets
1 Toliet Paper
2 Nutro Dog Food
3 Arm and Hammer Dryer Sheets (THIS IS THE MISTAKE I FOUND AFTER***)
1 Aluminum Foil 37.5 Feet
1 Glad Febreeze Trash Bags
3 Lunchables w/ Fruit
1 Lunchable Sub
2 Tylenol Precise Patches
1 Kandoo Wipes
1 Ivory 3 pack bar soap
1 Philadelphia Cream Cheese Mixer
I got all of this for $23.92 after my qs. I received alot of free or almost free items and everything I bought had a coupon except for the toliet paper. I have a mission for the month of July to start stocking up on paper goods with my overages because of the fact that I need certain items more than others. Toliet paper happens to be one of those :) I was looking over my receipt just now posting this and realized that the Commissary made a mistake on my receipt. I was charged for three Arm and Hammer Laundry items instead of two. I am going to take it back up there today to see if they will adjust it because I know for sure my coupon said 1.00 off any two Arm and Hammer Items. I could have bought the Baking Soda and only paid .12 but this is one of those instances when nearly free didn't work for me, I needed Dryer Sheets. I believe that you need to buy what you have coupons for because you NEED an item. The dryer sheets were 1.69 each so I bought two making it 3.38 minus the 1.00 q making it 2.38 which breaks down into 1.19 each. It's not free as I said but they were the larger ones with over 100 sheets each so I will pay a little over a penny for each in order for my clothes not to be static filled. This was another trip that I am doing in order to prove that you do not have to use overages only at the Commissary. It is fun to go in there with a 20.00 bill for example and see what you can get. I believe I am going to do a series on what will 10.00 buy??? Wouldn't that be a fun topic!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Past Trips with Pictures

(This is for the picture below this text. My synopsis starts there. The top picture is just an overhaul haul one day.) 89.oo worth of goods for 38.00 from the PX. This is before I found out about a thing called a coupon database :) Now I stack, stack, stack!!!!
Total OOP (Out of pocket) 60.83 KEEP IN MIND I SPENT 15.00 ON MEAT PRODUCTS. Only two items here did not have a coupon. Brit's Cream Cheese and Brit's Cran Grape Juice She loves! I got 110 items.
I spent OOP 7.76 for all of this. The razor alone was supposed to be over 4.00 however it was in the clearance aisle for 1.87 and I had a 2.00 q for it :). Two of the hairsprays were free and the body wash cost me 2.95 however I had a 2.00 q. YOU CAN STACK AT PX.
Receipt for 99% Savings :) Very Happy Day!
Commissary Trip 66% Saved on This Trip
3.99 for three bags of cereal and 26 dog treats. Second trip 9.02 for 10 dog treats, 2 boxes of Rice krispies, 2 cake mixes, 4 bags of Valentines Candy (the GOOD stuff), free marshmellows for ...buying the Rice Krispies, total for both 12.03. First trip 97% percent savigns, second trip 74% b/c I splurged on that 1.00 candy to send to my hubby. BIG bags of m and ms, hershey kisses, sweetarts. etc. I heart my commissary.

I wanted to post some pictures from some of my trips to the Commissary, Walgreens and the AAFES PX. Also, posted are a couple of pics of receipts for these transactions.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Commissary Trip Report 5/25/11

I went to the Commissary today on a mission but I had someone with me that normally is not here so needless to say I was sidetracked. I had all of my qs separated as to what I wanted/needed so I didn't stray. Yeah, well, great plan huh? Wished it had worked as planned. If everything I had worked the way I planned I would have paid for my crab meat with my overages and not spent except 11.00 or around there out of pocket. HOWEVER, someone else had other plans :)

Here is what I got today:

20 Large Bags of the individual fun sized M and M's
9 Rice =

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It can be DONE!!! :)

Couponing can sometimes be frustrating and make you want to give up because you do not see the large totals that you strive for and dream about. Sometimes if you do not have 39 of one item in your cart, you might just not coupon anymore huh? Well, I have been hearing people in my classes state to me that the only way to save money at the Commissary is with overages. I got an email today and as you know, I love a good challenge. I love being right. I am sometimes a right fighter, I'll admit it :) I am one of those people that in school if you try to prove me wrong and I KNOW I am right about something, I will research the subject like a project and bring you the answer the next day, long after it was forgotten about. I almost get obsessed on it. However, that being said, no fear, if I am wrong, I bow graciously and admit I am wrong. (Okay, the gracious part was a stretch!)

Today, I visited the Fort Bragg North Commissary. I happen to be one of the late Sunday afternoon patrons that love shopping then. The crowds are gone, people think they still close at 1800 and I get to dance in the aisles if I wanna. You will NOT catch me there after noon on a pay day and you will also not catch me there on a Saturday. But Sunday around 1730, heck ya!

So, I loaded my binder with a few qs, I made a short list of some "have to get or they will expire qs" and I was on my way. I bought the following items:

6 Starburst Gummies
1 Pancake Mix
4 Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
2 10 pack of Fun size Snickers bars
4 bags of rice
3 Valasic Relish
1 Marcal Napkins
1 Nutro Dog food
1 Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 2 pack
1 Milk bone
1 Canine Carry Outs
2 Pillsbury Biscuits
1 Country Crock box of stick butter
1 Edwards Butterfinger Pie (*individual pies)
1 bag of Ore Ida French Fries
2 Oscar Mayer Turkey Franks
1 Oscar Mayer Beef and Cheddar Franks
2 Hebrew National Franks
1 Oscar Mayer Lunchable
1 Playtex Feminine
2 Playtex Sippy Cups (the good kind mind you)
4 Oral B Toothbrushes
1 Package of Big 3 Comfort Razors
1 Satincare Shave Lotion


Saturday, January 15, 2011

It is time.........that we learn.

I have decided that it is time that we learn how to teach others about this infectious way of life. No I am not talking about the Army, although I will at the drop of a hat. I am talking about my addiction to couponing. I began couponing in 2006 with a coupon site that I paid for. I was getting toothpaste for free, shampoo for pennies and stockpiling like a hoarder. I began loving to get things for free and became addicted. Understanding that couponing is an art form is what I would like for everyone to know.

Being an Army/military wife it is important to realize that you have to budget and stay on a budget in order to have a succesful life wherever you may be stationed. At many of the posts there are surrounding areas that are just waiting for an adventure and if you do not have the money to pursue that adventure then what good is life? Myrtle Beach is only two and a half hours away from us and going to the beach is a summer pastime at least twice a month for my family. If I could not afford to do that because I have spent 40% of my paycheck on groceries, I would be ill. So, I am going to teach you and show you the tricks of the trade over the next few posts. Then, I am going to recommend other sites such as coupon clipping sites that I use and other bloggers that are a wonderful commodity in the couponing world. It is all about networking and resourcing to help each other out.

I am going to truly focus on the Fort Bragg area (HENCE THE NAME BRAGG ABOUT SAVINGS) and focus on the savings you may get at the Commissary on post to maximize your savings. I will also focus on local favorites of mine such as CVS, and Walgreens. The PX is a great place to find steals but you have to be thrifty in order to do so.

So, let's get this journey started. If you have questions, feel free to always inbox me at tammy_hodges@yahoo.com I will answer you daily! HOOAH!!!