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My new addiction: Coupons!

9 Jan

Saving money for 2011

Last week I watched a show on TLC called Extreme Couponing and I was completely mesmerized. The show features people from across the country who have developed unique, even outrageous, strategies for saving money by using coupons at the grocery store.

One man, Nathan Engels, of Villa Hills, KY, purchased $5,743 worth of cereal, hand soap and toothbrushes. After  utilizing coupons he only spent $241. He and his wife were able to get out of debt based on smart spending.

While Nathan and others stock piled tons of products inside their garage (Nathan has  10,000 items in his garage) I was most impressed by Joyce House, of Philadelphia, PA.

Joyce  didn’t have thousands of items stocked up in her home, but instead she was a regular shopper, like me, who realized coupons were free money. Through using coupons Joyce has not  purchased a toothbrush, toothpaste or deodorant in 34 years! On the show her purchases originally cost $230.38, but after utilizing her coupons, Joyce only paid $6.32.

What I like most about Joyce on the show is her drive to teach others her secret for saving money. On the show, she stopping other shoppers to ask them if they were using coupons and if not, she provided coupons for items in their cart that was on sale – A woman after my own heart!

While I don’t see myself stock piling 10,000 items (I can’t believe anybody does that), I do, however, realize I’m wasting money by not having items I use regularly available at home. Whenever I run out of something I immediately go to the store. I have no strategy! If its on sale great, if not, I pay the posted price or seek a cheaper item.   I need to be more strategic in my shopping .

According to the extreme couponers on the TLC show, strategic shopping is about taking the buying power back from the stores and putting it back into your hands. One of my goals for 2011 is to be a good steward over my money. The biblical principle of  being “the lender and not the borrower”  is not a myth. I truly believe it’s God’s desire that I prosper and be in good health, even as my soul prospers. Afterall, it says so in 3 John 1:2 (check it out!). I’m happy to know that I serve a God who cares about all aspects of my life, even my wallet!

I just registered for  CouponMom.com – check it out! CouponMom.com is a wonderful website, created by Stephanie Nelson, that not only provides printable coupons, but it also complies sales papers from retail and grocery stores in your area and matches their sales with the coupons from the Sunday paper and those online. You can even print off your grocery list based on the sales you select. Talk about time-saving!

I look forward to shopping this week. Harris Teeter is having their Super Double Coupons event from Jan 5 – Jan 11. They will double all coupons up to 1.98 (max 20 coupons per day). I’m itching to see what I can get for free.

Happy Shopping!

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Top 5 Things I Look Forward to in 2011

30 Dec

 Every year I find myself saying the same thing – I can’t believe its the end of the year! I’m excited about 2011. I have alot to look forward to and here’s my top 5:

1. Learning: I’m planning to challenge myself and learn a variety of new things like swimming, rollerskating, cooking, Zumbaa and how to create and keep a financial budget. This year I’m soaking up knowledge and storing up for the future.

2. Traveling – This June I’m boarding my first Carnival cruise from Miami to the Bahamas. I look forward to seeing two beautiful beaches and soaking up the warm weather. I’m budgeting this year so I probably do alot of staycations and travel local.

3. Volunteering – I will be giving up a few hours of my time on Saturday’s to deliver food for the Food & Friends, an organization that provides meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to people living with life-challenging illnesses such as AIDS and cancer. Anyone who knows about my father (he passed away in 1999 after suffering for years with an illness) knows this organization really speaks to me. I learned about the Food & Friends through my adopted church, New Macedonia Baptist Church in Southeast DC and it really spoke to my heart. In 2011, I also look forward to using my skills in other capacities.

4. Healthy Living – I’m planning to stop wasting money on my Weight Watchers membership and actually follow the plan. I look forward to taking fitness classes that interest me like Zumba and Latin Dance. I also look forward to saying good-bye to fattening fast-food meals and hello to better eating. I’m also going to take some cooking classes to learn how to use fresh ingredients.

5. Watching OWN – 2011 is all about the Oprah Winfrey Network! I love Oprah and I’m so happy to see her branch out from network TV and tackle cable television. While I’m sad to see her daily talkshow call it quits after 25 seasons, I’m also so excited to see what the next 25 years have in store for her career. I will be watching! Wondering where OWN airs in your area? Find out by clicking here: Find OWN

What are you looking forward to in 2011?

Advice Contest Rules

20 Dec

Thank you for submitting your advice for the Go Get IT Girl readers!

What is your advice for goal-setters seeking to go after their dreams in 2010?

Contest Rules:

  1. Posts must make sense. Please give advice that the average person will comprehend. If I read it and can’t understand then more than likely others won’t either.
  2. Please only one post per person, so make your one post good!
  3. All advice must be  posted in the comments section by Dec. 23rd. Responses must go on the “What are you going after in 2010?” blog. Any responses posted to the rules section will be disqualified.
  4. Winner will be randomly selected.  Names in a hat… you know the odds.
  5. Winner will be announced on Dec. 24th. Winner must respond with their contact information by Jan. 5th.

What are you going after in 2010?

20 Dec

Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Post your advice on going after goals for the opportunity to win a $25 gift card from Target! Here are the contest rules.

For me, the days after Christmas are spent doing alot of writing and thinking.

My routine has been the same since I was a teenager:  I’d sit and write out everything I want to do for the year. Then I would post them around my room to stare at for the rest of the year. Only problem is these goals never came with steps, deadlines (if required) or milestone markers. Often the first time I wrote them would be the last time I even considered what my goals were. Even though they were right on my wall. I realize 365 days is a long time, but it goes by quickly.  Seems like every year around this time I think ‘where did the year go?’

I want to do something different for 2010. I don’t know about you but I’m just tired of same ol’ resolution thing with no results!  I love the quote “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  It’s time to plan!

I look at 2009 and I’m excited about all of my accomplishments (relocating to DC, new job, new car, starting this blog…) One thing I realized is I need to go after more in 2010. Maybe you have goals you’d like to achieve but you don’t know how.

Knowing your goals is great, but what are the steps to achieving them? I look forward to receiving your advice (and announcing the winner) on ways to go after your dreams in 2010. Look for results on Dec. 24th!

By the way,  hope you like the new design!

Happy Holidays,

Maria


Updates!

8 Nov

Wow has it really been July since I last made a post to my wonderful blog? Sheesh where has the time gone. Well, I apologize for the delay, but I do have great things to share:

  • My internship with Edelman ended in October 9th and I was hired full-time as a Account Coordinator with Equals Three Communications the same day!
  • I moved from a basement room in Upper Marlboro into a house in Washington, DC just last week.

My head is still spining from all the changes, but they’re much needed changes for my growth. Over the weekend I finally unpacked my boxes from the move and now my bedroom actually resembles a place of solitude and peace rather than a storage facility.

So life is good!

Can you believe its almost 2010?  What are your goals for the next year? E-mail me your goals at mariajamespr@gmail.com or leave your comments here. I’d love to feature them on Wednesday!

Blessings,

Maria