Welcome FUSION readers!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Prepping for a New Year

I just tallied up my 2010 spending and was thrilled with my savings for the 2nd year in a row. Now I'm getting ready to move into 2011 and I need to get organized for the year ahead.

The first Sunday of the year always has tons of coupons. They are new printables, and 4 or 5 inserts in the newspaper. In order to handle that many coupons and get off to a fresh start, I have to have an system that is cleaned out and ready to go. I use a binder to organize my coupons.

Most coupons tend to expire at the end of a month but a ton of them expire on the last day of the year. After I've made my last shopping trip of the year, I go through my binder and pull out all my expired coupons. Then, I prepare them for shipment to an overseas military base.

Now I have a clean slate and I'm ready to clip, print and load in my new coupons. Bring on the savings in 2011!

If you are new to couponing, please start with my Frugal 101 series for more tips and tricks!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Savings

I finished up my last shopping trip of 2010 and sat down to do the math. I kept track of my totals with this spreadsheet from Couponing 101.

In the end, my totals looked like this.

Total Spent: $2587
Total Saved: $6582
Percentage: 71%
Weekly Average: $49.74

My budget last year was $60 per week. I set a goal to reduce my weekly spending to $50 and I did it!!! If you include that extra $10 per week in my savings then it is safe to say that I saved my family over $7000 this year. Whoo Hoo!! I still say that couponing is the best part-time job I've ever had. :)

A further breakdown shows how much I saved at each store:

Publix: $2035
Walgreens: $1628
Kroger: $1569
CVS: $685

I tracked these totals with my own spreadsheet. I also had savings from Food Lion not reported. Since my store closed half-way through the year the number would have been really skewed in comparison.

Overall, I am again thrilled with my totals and especially my savings! I love looking back at the end of a year and tracking my spending trends. I was really surprised to see that I had more savings at Walgreens than Kroger. I, however, was not surprised to see Publix at the top. :)

How did you do this year?


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from me to you!


Thursday, December 16, 2010


Today Cellfire is back with another promotion where you can win a $-off coupon. In this promo, EVERYONE will win a coupon for either $0.50, $1.00, $2.00 or even $5.00!!

Login to your account today (Dec 16th) between Noon-4 pm CST to see which coupon you have won. While there, you can also clip some of their newest E-coupons that were loaded this week.

Stop back by and let us know which coupon you received. *Fingers crossed for the big FIVE!*


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

75 FREE Prints from Snapfish - TODAY ONLY!

Here's another awesome photo deal!

Use code ISTOCK75 at Snapfish to get yourself 75 FREE 4x6 prints!! This deal is valid TODAY ONLY.

If you are an Ebates member, shop through them to get 11.5% back.

Note: Shipping is $4.42 making this about $0.05 per print. Still an awesome deal!



CVS Gift Card Promo

The $5 gift card promotion is back from CVS this year.

When you buy a $25 gift card online, you will also get a $5 gift card FREE! You can personalize it for a friend or just get it for yourself. :)

If you ask me, that's an easy way to get five bucks!



20% off at CVS & 15% off at Walgreens - ENTIRE purchase!

Both drug stores have put out some pretty impressive coupons.

The CVS coupon is available on their Facebook page and it will be emailed to you. It is valid 11/29-12/3.

The Walgreens coupon is valid tomorrow only (12/1) and can be found here.

CVS is also promising a 30% off coupon available this weekend on 12/4 and 12/5.

These coupons will certainly help to sweeten the deals!


FREE Christmas Cards

Have you ordered your Christmas cards yet? I ordered ours last night complete with our picture in front of Cinderella's beautiful castle - squee!!!

If you still need cards this is a pretty cool deal. You can get 25 FREE 4x8 cards from by signing up at SeeHere.com and using code 25cards.

Note: Shipping is only $2.49 when you order 24 cards or $4.99 if you order 25+.

If you shop through Ebates you will also get 12% back. Plus, new members get $5 just for signing up.

Note: Ebates rewards you on your pre-coupon price! :)



Friday, November 19, 2010

Where have you been? You are going WHERE?

{Me and my girl - Halloween 2010}

I've been a little bit absent over here on the blog. Maybe you've noticed. We are gearing up for the holidays and this year is no different. Actually, this year our schedule is beyond crazy. I've been in major preparation mode.

Side note: Make sure you are a fan of the Coupon Queen Diaries FB page. I tend to post quick little tid bits over there when I don't have time to write a full-out blog post.

The biggest thing we have been preparing for is our upcoming trip to DISNEY!!! That's right! We leave in just 2 days for the "happiest place on earth." We are spending the entire Thanksgiving week with my husband's family in Disney. There are 14 of us total. Yes, I am fully aware that this is a potential logistical nightmare but we are just going to overlook that part and have an amazing time. We've been planning this trip for almost a year and have been saving for almost 2, so I am beyond thrilled that our vacation has finally come.

Black Friday will come and go while we are visiting Mickey and I'm really bummed about all the good deals that I'm gonna miss. I haven't missed a Black Friday in .... goodness, maybe never. I love it! I hate the cold but I love the thrill of getting awesome deals. I also love that Starbucks opens REALLY early in honor of the special day. Smart thinking!

To get a head start on Black Friday you can check out sneak peeks of the Black Friday ads here and here.

Since I'm missing out, I hope to live vicariously through all of you. Stop by the Facebook page and let me know about the stores you are planning to shop and the deals you find.

Ok, back to my to-do list. It's pretty long at the moment. Look out Mickey, here we come!

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving (a little early)!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Get $1, $5 or $10 from Cellfire - TODAY!

Starting today (11/18) at Noon PST, Cellfire is giving away 10,000 coupons until Friday (11/19) at Noon PST.

Simply login here and Kroger Plus Card members will randomly be awarded a $1, $5 or even a $10 E-coupon that you can use on your next purchase.

While you are there, you might as well load your card with the new E-coupons that were released this week. My favorites are all the Pillsbury coupons!

Fingers crossed for $10! Report back and let us know what you won.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Found 2 New Coupon Booklets at Publix

While shopping today I came across a holiday display with 2 new booklets. They both have recipes in the front and manufacturer's coupons on the last page.

Deliciously Simple Holiday Recipes - all exp. 03/31/11
$1.25 WYB 3 Kraft Dessert Brands (Baker's Bars, Jell-O Pudding or Gelatin, Nilla Wafers or Philadelphia Cream Cheese)
$1.50 WYB 2 Ziploc Holiday Containers
$1.00 WYB 2 Ziploc Holiday Bags
$1.00 WYB 3 Dole Canned Fruits

Nabisco Holiday Fun Guide - all exp. 01/02/11
$1.00 WYB 2 packages of Maxwell House
$1.00 WYB 2 packages of Maxwell House International Cafe
$1.00 WYB 2 Nabisco Crackers

I was SO happy to find the first booklet. That $1.25 coupon will make for some great deals! The Ziploc coupons will also be great for holiday clearance because they don't expire until March.

Let us know if you find this in your store and which location.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Cellfire Coupons Released Today (11/2)

There were 26 new Cellfire coupons were released today. These coupons are available until Nov. 15th and will expire on Nov. 29th. If you are new to couponing, check out this post on E-Coupons.

Go load your E-coupons onto your shopper's card!


Monday, November 1, 2010

FREEBIE: 2011 Calendar from Betty Crocker

Go sign up to receive a FREE 2011 Betty Crocker calendar. Can't beat free!



2 new Pampers Codes

Here are two new Pampers Gift to Grow codes. Both are worth 10 points each.
What have you redeemed your points for? Are you saving up for something special?


Merry Christmas... from Disney!

It's November which technically means it's okay to start talking about Christmas cards, though I have been thinking about our 2010 card for a while now. See, I have it all pictured in my mind as to how it will look.

We are going to spend our Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World and you know I want a family shot in front of Cinderella's big, beautiful castle! Of course I'm gonna slap that photo on the front of our 2010 Christmas card.

Have you seen the new holiday card collection from Shutterfly? Their new Christmas cards are so awesome! They have tons of different styles and sizes.

My favorite part of the selection process is that Shutterfly gives you options for colors, # of photos, designer, price, ect. By simply using the checkboxes, it narrowed down the choices to reveal the perfect card for us! It's called Paper Snowflakes. It's a simple design with a little blue outline which I think will tie in perfectly with the infamous blue castle. :)

Are you hosting a Christmas party? You might want to check out their invitations as well. They have trendy and traditional and just plain cute designs.

I can hardly wait to send out this year's Christmas card. This trip to Disney is really a dream come true and I'm dying to share this special memory with our family and friends.

*I was compensated by Shutterfly to write a post promoting their new holiday designs. However, all opinions are my own. Are you a blogger? You can also sign up to earn 50 free photo cards.


FREEBIE: $3 Amazon MP3 Credit

Use code STUDENT3 to get $3.00 in Amazon MP3 credit. Since most songs are $0.99 this will get you 3 tracks. You can also use this credit toward the purchase of an album. This promo code ends tonight (Nov.1) at midnight.

I saw several Christmas albums for $5 and the new Taylor Swift album is only $3.99. You will need to enter the code in your account and then Go here to start shopping.



Beautiful Roses - $5.00 a dozen

Sue sent me this picture of these beautiful roses. She found them at Whole Foods for only $5.00 a dozen. This sale is going on through November 9th.

What an inexpensive way to bring a little color and fragrance into your home. Thanks Sue!



Save 50% on Sunday-Only Tennessean Subscription

If you hate running out to get a paper every Sunday, you are in luck. Today's Groupon is for 50% off a 6-month subscription to the Tennessean newspaper and it includes Sunday-only delivery!

1. If you are new to Groupon, sign up here.
2. If you are already a Groupon member, login here.
3. Search for Nashville and purchase.

*This deal is valid for new subscribers only.



Saturday, October 30, 2010

End of the month PRINT reminder

The last day of the month is here. That means that printable coupon sites will update their list of available coupons. One of three things can happen.

1. A coupon will reset. In this case, if you reached your print limit (2) in the previous month, you are now eligible to print that coupon again.
2. A coupon will disappear. This is a bummer if it was a coupon you really liked.
3. A new coupon will show up. Hopefully this will make up for #2.

Be sure to print any coupons you like now today. Remember, most coupons can be printed 2 times!

Some of my favorites printable sites are:


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cooking Ahead: Preparing for the Holidays

We have a lot on our plates in the next 8-10 weeks. For us, it all starts will a trip to DISNEY (whoo hoo) over Thanksgiving. The next week my bestie is coming for a visit, then it's my birthday, and Christmas parties, and Christmas itself. Then my parents are visiting before New Years and then my baby girl turns 4. Whew! I'm tired already.

I'm trying to get ahead of the game. I really need to, obviously! Over these next few weeks I am going to try to prepare as much food as possible in advance. We are going to be rushing from here to there but eating out can get pricey and I want to avoid that.

Right now at Publix some of the Hefty EZ-Foil pans are on sale for $0.99. When you combine this sale with the $1.00 WYB 2 printable, you get a pack for only $0.49. Plus, because they are all the same size, they should stack rather nicely in my fridge.

Also, the Hefty One Zip bags are BOGO this week. Combine with this $1.00 WYB 2 printable to get freezer bags for $0.65. I can use them for muffins, pancakes, ect.

Here are some of the things I am planning to prepare in advance. I hope to share some of these recipes with you as I go along and keep you up to date on my progress.

Cook and Freeze
Banana Bread
Pumpkin Muffins
Zucchini Bread
Corn Casserole
Buffalo Chicken Soup
Potato Soup
Southwestern Eggrolls
PB & J sandwiches
Monkey Bread

Dry Mixes
Brownie Mix
Cookie Dough
Pizza Dough
Oatmeal Packets

I've already prepared and frozen twice-baked potatoes and french fries and I hope to post soon about how that went. This is my first time to attempt such a large amount so I am all ears for suggestions and recipes that have worked for you.



Save 65% - Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

Radio City Christmas Spectacular
November 19-December 24
Grand Old Opry House

For the locals or those planning to visit Nashville, there is a 24-hour sale going on right now where you can get tickets for any seat/any show for only $24. Main floor level seats are $66 so this is a big discount!

This sale is TODAY only and ends at midnight.

Go here to order your tickets and use code RCCS24. This is limited to 14 tickets per person.

We went a few years ago and the show was fantastic. You will love it!



Frugal 101: Coupon Matchups

Coupons can save money no matter how or when you use them. However, it is ideal to use them when an item is already on sale. Basically there are 3 different price points for any given item.

Full Price >>>>>>>>> Sale Price >>>>>>>>>> Sale w/Coupon(s)

Naturally, I want to pay as little as possible for my groceries so the trick is doing coupon matchups. Doing coupon matchups is super easy, especially when you utilize a coupon database.
  1. You start by looking through the weekly ad. All of these items are on sale so you are already off to a great start.
  2. Circle the items you would like to purchase.
  3. Type them into a Coupon Database to see if there is a coupon available for that product.
  4. Now all you have to do is clip, click or print that coupon and you are on your way to more savings and deep discounts!
There are also websites out there that will do the weekly matchups for you. Check back tomorrow and I will give you my favorite websites for coupon matchups.

In the meantime, you might also enjoy this post on how I went from a casual couponer to a professional "coupon queen."

If you are just joining us, go here to catch up on previous Frugal 101 topics. Don't miss future installments: Subscribe via RSS or get Email updates.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Favorite Matchup Blogs

Using a Coupon Database is a great way to do matchups on your own. There are also some great bloggers out there who post weekly matchups. Some of them post the entire ad while others post only the best deals. Some even have sneak peeks. Here are my favorites.




It is important to remember that the sales ad can vary by region, so it's sometimes helpful to find a local blogger so that the items and sale prices are accurate.

This is just a list of my favorite matchup blogs for the stores that I shop but there are several other frugal blogs that I follow. Maybe one day I'll do a post on those too!

What are some of your favorite matchup blogs?


$6 in baking coupons found at Kroger

Yesterday I came across this display at my Kroger (Donelson, TN). There were several tearpads attached to it totaling $6.00 in coupons. I also saw a few recipe cards too.

Simply Delicious Holiday - All expire 3/31/11
$1.00 WYB 3 Nestle Toll House Morsels
$1.00 WYB 2 Glad Food Storage
$1.00 WYB 2 Diamond of California Nuts (8+ 0z.)

Save from Baker's, Kraft & Jell-O - All expire 2/7/11
$1.00 WYB 2 Baker's Chocolate or Coconut
$1.00 WYB 2 Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
$0.60 WYB 3 Jell-O Pudding or Gelatin Boxes

Fleischmann's - Expires 12/31/10
$0.40 WYB any 3-strip yeast

Has anyone else seen this display? Which location?



Get $200 in Murad Products for only $10!

Murad just released their new book The Water Secret. With the online purchase of this book they will send you a gift bag with up to $200 in FREE products.
  1. Purchase the book on Amazon for $10.42.**
  2. Then, simply forward your email confirmation to TheWaterSecretGift@murad.com.
**Don't forget to sign up for Amazon Mom so that you get FREE 2-day shipping.
**I also used Amazon Gift Cards that I earned from Swagbucks!


Cashbaq Vs. Ebates

I do a lot of shopping online, especially at Christmas time. Online shopping is even better when you get rewarded for it. Today I want to give you some information regarding Ebates and Cashbaq. Both companies will reward you by giving you back (in CASH) a percentage of your purchase amount when you shop through their site.

  • You get a $5 credit just for signing up.
  • Choose from over 2900 stores to shop at.
  • Payout is on the 20th of each month via PayPal or Check.
  • You can receive a payout when your account reaches $10.
  • Your transactions may remain in a "pending" status for up to 3 months.
  • Percentage values range from 1%-50% back.

  • You get a $5 credit just for signing up.
  • Choose from over 1200 stores to shop at.
  • Payouts are given quarterly via PayPay, Check or Donation to Charity of your choice.
  • You can receive a payout when your account reaches $5.01.
  • Transactions are posted within 48 hours.
  • Percentage values range from 1%-25% back.
Tips and Tricks:
I have both companies bookmarked in my browser. I simply visit their site to link to the store I want to shop at. Get into this habit right away. With almost 3000 stores to choose from, it is almost guaranteed that they are affiliated with the online store you plan to shop at. It's not just for retail merchandise either. Think travel, magazine subscriptions, gift cards and more! Basically, if are going to be buying it online, you should be getting rewarded for it. I do!

Don't miss another chance to be rewarded for shopping online. Sign up for Cashbaq and Ebates. Happy Shopping!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

RECIPE: Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies EVER!

I don't remember where I came across this recipe forever ago but these really are the easiest cookies.

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Yep, that's it. One portion each of 3 simple ingredients. I bet you have these in your house right now!

Simply mix them together and roll out into one inch balls. Press down with a fork (criss-cross pattern). Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes.

Easy, easy, easy!

This recipe works with both creamy and chunky peanut butter. Optionally, you can add 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. (I do!)


Monday, October 25, 2010

Frugal 101: Buying a Family Pack of Meat

Sometimes in order to get a good price on meat you have to buy it in a "family pack." Basically that is just a larger portion of meat but at a lower price per pound. I bought this pack from Food Lion at 50% off the regular price. That large package can look daunting at first and may deter you from buying. Today I'm going to show you how to split up a family pack of meat into more manageable portions, which you can freeze and use later.

1. Make sure that your hands and work surface are clean.
2. Score the meat into equal portions. This package was almost 4 pounds so I divided it into 4 sections.
3. Separate the meat. I just round mine into a nice ball.
4. Place into a freezer bag. The Ziploc Vacuum Seal Bags are my favorite.
5. Prepare the bag for freezing.
Notes: On this occasion I only had gallon-size bags. I simply put each of my four sections inside and made sure they were not touching. When I need a pound of meat, I simply reach in and remove one ball and allow it to thaw. If you have the quart-size bags, you can press the meat flat after your bag is sealed. This will allow you to stack the bags on top of one another for more freezer space. You can use this method for any type of family pack of meat. I often do this with ground beef (as above), chicken breasts and pork chops. It doesn't take too long and you've saved yourself money. Plus, the extra meat won't go to waste.

Anyone have any other tips for dividing up large portions of meat?

If you are just joining us, go here to catch up on previous Frugal 101 topics. Don't miss future installments: Subscribe via RSS or get Email updates.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

7 ways to encourage your favorite blogger

Blogging is fun but sometimes it can be tough. Here are seven simple things you can do to encourage me to keep at it.

Subscribe. I know that I shouldn't measure things in numbers but subscriptions help me to know that there are indeed people out there who want to know what I'm up to. It's easy to subscribe. You can subscribe via RSS and have my posts delivered immediately to your reader or you can get daily email updates. It's up to you.

Read. There's nothing like having someone come up to me and ask me if I know about a deal when I just posted about the same deal yesterday. I smile politely and nod but it kinda leaves me scratching my head. Coupon Queen Diaries is also filled with lots of Frugal 101 plus some Staci humor thrown in for good measure. Don't miss out on a single thing: Subscribe (see above)!

Comment. After I've worked hard on a post and hit the send button, I sometimes think I hear crickets. That's what it's like if no one comments. If you've read a post and found it helpful, please let me know. If you tried a deal and had success or failure, comment with that too. It's a little known secret but bloggers live for comments. They are like little rays of sunshine in our day. I'm totally cool with blog lurkers (I used to be one) but I'd prefer if you'd at least let me know you are out there every once in a while. Besides, your comments could help out another reader. Comments are like the gift that keeps on giving.

Like me (on Facebook). Not only do I give extra little tidbits of info on Facebook but my readers share things too. You can find all sorts of good deals and local activities on my wall. If you see something you like, you can show it to your FB friends by clicking "share" under that post. Another thing that brings delight to my day is when you "Suggest To Friends." Feel free to comment away on Facebook too. It makes a girl feel good and it let's me know that you do indeed "like" me.

ReTweet. Twitter anyone? It took me a minute to jump on the Twitter bandwagon but it's pretty cool. It's a great way to get info on deals and it's really a no muss no fuss kind of thing. If you see something you like you simply put a little RT in front of it and share it with all your followers (friends). Seeing my info behind those two little letters is definitely encouraging because it means that you enjoyed something so much that you felt the need to share.

Contact me. Have questions? Did you spot a really good deal? Did you totally rock it at Publix today? I wanna hear about it. There are several ways to get in touch with me. The best ways to contact me have already been mentioned (Comments, Facebook, Twitter) but you can also email me at couponqueendiaries@gmail.com.

Click the links. Blogging as a business has certain costs associated with it. Therefore, I am an affiliate for several companies. When I promote their products, I get a teensy bit of compensation. The way they "measure" my advertising methods is through web clicks. If you see a deal you like be sure to click through with the links provided. If you happen to think about it, before printing coupons from popular sites like Coupons.com, SmartSource and RedPlum, stop by my site and use the sidebars or bookmark the links for future printing. You can also click on any of the icons down the side of my webpage. I am forever grateful for those readers who help me "pay the bills."

I can't thank you enough for being a reader of Coupon Queen Diaries. It's because of you that I continue to blog. I appreciate your encouragement for me to keep at it.


Living Social Bucks - 50% off

Living Social is a 1-deal-a-day site similar to Groupon. Today, they are offering $20 Deal Bucks for only $10. Purchase today and they will be active in your account tomorrow. You have plenty of time to use them since they don't expire until 2015!

Go here to get this deal.

If you are new to Living Social, sign up here and then search for the Dayton area. Best of all, new members get $5 deal bucks to start with. That means you should be able to get this deal for only $5 out of pocket. Sweet!!!

I love all the entertainment deals they have. This is how I have been funding our date nights on the cheap. I just wish they had one for babysitting! :)

I also love how you can get their deals for FREE when 3 friends also purchase the same deal.



FREEBIE: John Frieda Luxurious Volume

Kroger is offering free samples of John Frieda Luxurious Volume. Head over here to get yours. Kroger Plus Card # is optional, so this one is open to everybody.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

26 New Cellfire Coupons Available

New Cellfire coupons were released today. These coupons are available until Nov. 1 and will expire on Nov. 15th. If you are new to couponing, check out this post on E-Coupons.

  • $0.50 WYB 2 Betty Crocker Boxed Potatoes
  • $0.40 off Betty Crocker Cookie Mix
  • $0.50 off Betty Crocker Cake Mix AND Frosting
  • $0.50 off Bisquick or Bisquick Heart Smart Baking Mix
  • B1G1 Budweiser BBQ Sauce
  • $0.50 off Chex Mix or Chex 100 Calorie Snack
  • $0.55 off Dessert Toppers
  • $0.50 off Betty Crocker or Fiber One Box Muffin Mix
  • $0.55 off Cheerios Original Cereal
  • $0.55 off Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal
  • $0.40 off Green Giant Frozen Bagged Vegetables
  • $0.60 WYB 3 Green Giant Frozen Boxed Vegetables
  • $0.50 WYB 2 Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers
  • $0.50 off Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters
  • $0.50 WYB 2 Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls
  • $0.75 WYB 2 Pillsbury Frozen Grands! Biscuits
  • $0.40 WYB 2 Pillsbury Italian Meal Bread
  • $1.00 WYB 2 Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough
  • $0.30 WYB 2 Pillsbury Refrigerated Grands! Biscuits
  • $1.00 WYB 2 Pillsbury Refrigerated Holiday Cookies
  • $1.00 WYB 2 Pillsbury Savorings Product
  • $1.00 off Pillsbury Sweet Moments Refrigerated Dessert
  • $0.40 WYB 2 Pillsbury Sweet Rolls or Grands! Sweet Rolls
  • $0.50 WYB 2 Progresso Soup
  • $0.75 off Select Total Cereals
  • $0.40 WYB 6 Yoplait Yogurt Cups
Go here to clip (click) your coupons.