Sunday, December 24, 2017

Having A Merry Little Christmas With Grafix Shrink Film

I was recently contacted by a representative from the Grafix company about an opportunity to experiment with some new products in the plastic film line. As some of you may recall, Grafix was kind enough to sponsor a previous craft project and product giveaway in which I made a lovely vintage inspired charm bracelet. So as you might imagine, I was pretty excited to give these shrink films a test run.

For those who may not recall the magic of shrink film from their youth, or never had the pleasure of playing with little bits of plastic, let me give you a quick refresher. These sheets of plastic can be printed, painted, drawn on, and cut to your heart's desire. You then bake these bad boys in the oven, or heat them using an embossing gun (my preferred method). They then harden and shrink down to 20% of their original size. It's such a simple concept, yet so much fun to execute. Being a fan of vintage photographs and ephemera, I tend to use scanned images of advertisements/snapshots/post cards/books as inspiration for jewelry and other craft projects. 

So when I received the new metallic shrink film (3 sheets of gold and 3 sheets of silver), I knew just how I was going to use them.

I wanted to utilize an 1800s children's book from my collection as an inspiration for a seasonally themed pair of earrings. I found this piece of sheet music for a song called The Winter Rose in the book. I loved the lyrics and the drawing. And while it obviously cannot be perfectly recreated with an inkjet printer and shrunken plastic, the results are pretty amazing. 

And in addition to this golden little piece of vintage sheet music, I decided to make a style upgrade to my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Two years ago, rather than shell out the money for a standard size tree we opted for a small $5 table tree that I dressed up in vintage gift box ornaments and garland. But with golden shrink film at my disposal, I decided to spruce up the little guy. (SPRUCE up! Gotta love a good tree pun). And all it took was a handful of stars and some hot glue to make it happen. Adorable! 


And so, thanks to the generosity of Grafix, I have created not one, but two fun holiday craft projects.  And if you're looking to get crafty this holiday season, here are the  supplies I used and already had in my home office:
  • a scanner and ink jet printer
  • scissors 
  • an embossing gun (or oven, if you prefer)
  • a hot glue gun
  • earring posts and backings
  • acrylic sealant spray (optional)
  • and Grafix Shrink Film, of course! 
I can't wait to dream up more craft projects using both the metallic and colored shrink film. Thank you Grafix for the opportunity for this product review. It certainly will be a merry little Christmas with this shrink film. 

I know. Again with the puns.

But in all seriousness, I'd like to wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday season. Go thrifting, get crafty, and enjoy your time with family and friends. 

XOXO Jackie Jardine

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thrift Shopping My Way Through The Holiday Season

This holiday season, I had a very particular problem--how was I going to keep our beloved rescue Beagle, Bernie, from snatching ornaments from our Christmas tree?  All of November, I wracked my brain for ideas on how to Bernie-proof the tree. I needed something functional and sturdy, without being an eyesore. And while I was thrift shopping the weekend after Thanksgiving, I found just what I needed.

I didn't expect a secondhand solution to come my way. But fortunately for me, a trip to Good Stuff Thrift of Fairless Hills, PA yielded this beautiful vintage fire screen. It guards the tree, and in my opinion, may even add a little nostalgic flair to it. 

To think that I almost passed it by. But after stepping back to let a crowd of thrifters pass, I gave it a second look and sent a picture to my Dad to see if he thought it was too big for the job. He thought it was a perfect find...and a total bargain for $10. I gave it a thorough clean and polish. And now I consider it the crowning achievement of my holiday thrift haul. 

My entryway table, which is usually a catchall for mail, keys, cups of coffee and whatever else I have my hands filled looking especially festive. And though it's not entirely secondhand, I do love the various shades of metal we have here. The worn looking galvanized metal star bucket, the mercury glass bottle, the golden bowl of fruit. 

When it comes to decorating, I love featuring a mix of colors and textures. 

Even our key bowl is spruced up with $1 golden grapes.

Maybe it was because I started early, or maybe it's because I went often. But between my crafty Christmas up-cycle featured in the last blog post, and the gorgeous fire screen...I feel that the Ghost of Christmas Past paid me a little visit...or at least the Ghost of donor's Christmas Past. 

Stay tuned for one more crafty Christmas post prior to the big day...featuring lovely pieces of ephemera and Grafix Shrink Film.  In the mean time, I'd like to know:

From decor to gift-giving, has thrift shopping helped you this holiday season?

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

How I'm Getting Crafty This Christmas...With Just $10

This piece of holiday decor just has...a little TOO MUCH Christmas going on. 

A few weeks ago I hit up a few thrift stores in hopes of finding some fun fashion, and maybe a few pieces of thriftspiration for the upcoming holiday season. And for under $20 total, I came home with a few bags of decor and more. A few of those finds are saved for upcoming posts. but this particular piece is something I can feature in all of its merry detail. 

Overall I like the shape, or what I can see of it under the heavy-handed application of faux poinsettias. The candles though...a little dated. And all's a little...much. Okay, a lot of much. It's just too much. 

But the key to thrifting for anything, whether it's fashion, furniture, or even holiday to see the item beyond its current state. 

Look at any secondhand item with an open mind. See it not just for what it is, but for what it COULD be. 

The first thing I had in mind was to swap out these dated trumpeting angels with something simpler. To me, the shiny brass of the tree is elegant enough that it doesn't need two gigantic glass candles flanking its sides. It's time to tone down the Christmas and to bring this holiday castaway into the 21st century. 

After a quick trip to Michael's Craft Store for some supplies to make my creative Christmas vision a reality, I busted out the hot glue gun. That's all it took...a hot glue gun, scissors, and just a bit of burlap. 

Simple. Modern. 

And there it is! My too-much Christmas decoration, modernized and re-imagined. Two white taper candles (cut down a few inches to not dwarf the tree) and a garland of faux pine needles from Michael's...a total of about $6. 

After cutting the candles to size, I glued them to a small square of burlap, and glued both to the candle holsters. I also used a tiny glob of hot glue to hold the ring of garland in a circle around the base of the tree. That's it! I love, love, love how the garland is light enough to not overpower the piece like the poinsettias had been. Because the base of the tree is actually very pretty. 

$4 for the Goodwill rescue piece and $6 for the supplies (with garland to spare)...this $10...and ten minute up-cycle is a Christmas miracle! 

There's so much holiday spirit at Let's Go Thrifting headquarters that I can't even squeeze it into a single blog post. So stay tuned for more ho-ho-ho-liday thrifting magic...AND for a special crafting post featuring Grafix Shrink Film! 

How are you getting crafty this Christmas?

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Going Green

Nikko, Japan. 2007.  The biggest trees I've ever seen! 

I love being green. I love the color green. I love being frugal and saving some green in my wallet. And perhaps above all else, I love making strides to creating a greener earth. Recycling to reduce waste, up-cycling to increase creativity--that's just how I roll.

So when I heard that eco-conscious furniture company, Arhaus, had struck a partnership with the American Forest Foundation, I was excited to say the least. Arhaus features skilled artisans that utilize recycled copper, reclaimed wood, and an ethical means to manufacturing to furnish homes with unique wares that don't comprise the environment. Arhaus dining tables, for example, come in various styles including traditional, modern, and industrial. And if you take a look around, you'll see that the reclaimed wood and recycled materials are put to fine use. I, for one, LOVE the barn wood!

Did you know that approximately 3.5-7 billion trees are cut down every year in the United States?* 

It's becoming crucial that as consumers, we advocate for companies and organizations that keep the environment in the forefront of their decision-making. And in addition to their transparency with their manufacturing policies, this Arhaus partnership is putting your purchasing power to work for the environment. 

Every purchase that you make from Arhaus will help plant a tree through the American Forest Foundation--an organization that promotes wildlife funding and conservation projects across the country. 

But if you're not in the market for furniture, Arhaus (with a little addition from Let's Go Thrifting) has these handy tips to make your home more eco-friendly. So in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, when you're out to spend money...spend it smart. Do your research into the companies that support the causes that matter. Look for the materials used. Look for nonprofit organizations and foundations that the companies support. Look for natural, organic, locally made goods. And don't forget to look to the thrift store!

How do you plan on going green in your home? 

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Maple Holistics Is Going To One Lucky Winner!

Dara B! 

Congratulations, Dara. You will be receiving one bottle of Tea Tree Oil Special Formula Shampoo from Maple Holistics. I will be contacting you shortly about how to claim your prize. 

And a special thank you to our sponsor, Maple Holistics, for the partnership with Let's Go Thrifting and providing the products for this review & giveaway! 

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Enchanted World: Seasonally Appropriate Reading

It's like Encyclopedia Brittanica...for ghouls. 

About a month ago, I was browsing around a small Goodwill in Bensalem looking for Fall decor when I saw an older, rather eccentric looking woman examining a set of dusty hardcovers. I usually don't pay other thrift shoppers much mind, but something about the way the woman was poring over the books just caught my attention. That's when I saw what she was holding. 

At the top of the small stack of books was a cover I had seen before...not even long before. It was the familiar burgundy cover of Wizards and Witches of The Enchanted World series. I first spotted the intriguing book at the Columbus Flea Market but the seller was asking far too much for it. And here it was again, and again it looked as if it would go to another reader interested in myth, magic, lore, and the occult. 

But in a strange, fortuitous fashion the woman who had the books in her clutches for what seemed like an eternity...just returned them to the shelf. And in a show of secondhand etiquette, I gave the indecisive shopper a solid five seconds to change her mind before snatching them for myself. 

Odd, right? But at $1 per book, you couldn't beat the price. And who knows? Maybe someday I'll luck into finding the other 18 books in The Enchanted World series. Until then, check out the artwork. 

Colorful illustrations of ghosts, vampires, witches, and more. 

The legends of black witchcraft, vampiric monsters, and ghosts across the globe are featured in colorful detail. And all-in-all, I'd say these terror-filled tales will prove to be an inspiration in the days to come. Hopefully in my anticipated days away, you'll find some special secondhand read. While my occasional absence from Let's Go Thrifting is typically due to medical issues, this time I have a different type of hiatus in mind.

I will officially be participating in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for those in the know. During the month of November I will try to conjure up a novel of no less than 50,000 words. And while I will not be ignoring my duties as a secondhand blogger extraordinaire, my focus will be mounted heavily upon a horror/thriller story that I've been weaving in my mind during many sleepless nights. 

So wish me luck. Enjoy your Halloween, your Samhain, your mountains of candy and horror movie marathons. And don't forget to enter the Maple Holistics giveaway! 

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

News and Reviews: Maple Holistics Shampoo Giveaway

Tea Tree Oil Shampoo from Maple Holistics

I was recently contacted by a representative from Maple Holistics, a company that specializes in environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free bath and wellness products, as well as health food. And lucky me, I was sent a free bottle of their top-selling Tea Tree Oil Special Formula Shampoo for the purpose of product review. 

Now those folks familiar with the health benefits of tea tree oil for topical use might be familiar with that medicinal scent. It's not entirely unlike the scent of menthol. And while I was excited to see what benefits tea tree oil may have for my scalp, I was a little concerned that the scent might overpower even my designer perfume. But aside from the initial medicinal fragrance during application, and that tingly-fresh feeling, I left the shower without smelling like a jar of Vick's Vaporub. 

And what's more? My newly dyed hair has kept its color, and is consistently shiny. It just feels healthy, which is no small task for someone whose hair has undergone major chemical changes over the years. And in sharp contrast to most commercially produced haircare products, Maple Holistics provides quality goods without the guilt. There is no animal testing. Their products are non-GMO, all natural, and are even made in the USA.

For anyone looking for a refreshing change to their hair washing regimen, I'd highly recommend giving Maple Holistics Tea Tree Oil Special Formula Shampoo a whirl. And thanks to our kind sponsor, one lucky reader will win a bottle completely free! ANNNNDDD if you check out the ways to enter, you can even score yourself a full-size product for free by signing up with the Maple Holistics sample program. So for one lucky reader, that's double prizes! 

This giveaway is open to US residents only, with valid entires through Rafflecopter that are subject to verification. The winner will be announced on November 5th. Good luck and happy shampooing! 

Let's Go Thrifting would like to thank Maple Holistics for this sponsored giveaway. 
I received this product complimentary for the purpose of product review. 

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Let's Get Frugal: How I Got This Craft Cart Entirely FREE

3-Tier Rolling Craft Cart, FREE from 

I first spotted this mint colored metal rolling craft cart in my local Michael's craft store. It was just the cutest, and so functional for someone looking to turn their second bedroom into a home office. It was also $60. Not the amount of money I was willing to spend, unfortunately. So I left it behind. 

About a month later, I got an email advertising a blowout sale on the Michaels website and decided to see if my little mint craft cart was available. It was! And for just $23.99 it could be all mine.

But the thriftiness didn't stop there. I decided to open my Ibotta app and check my balance. I had more than enough to cover the costs. So I made a withdraw and deposited  that right into my PayPal account. 

What is Ibotta? Well in short, it's free money for minimal effort. If you have a tablet or smart phone, you simply download the free app and set up an account. You search for stores you shop at the most, from electronics and home goods, to pet supply stores and supermarkets. And if you buy any of the products or offers listed, you get cash back on your account by clicking a few buttons and taking a picture of your receipt. No scams, no gimmicks. It's like virtual coupons with savings that you can bank for store gift cards or PayPal deposits. 

Don't believe me? 

Just check out my lifetime earnings thus far! I downloaded the Ibotta app in January and have already saved almost $140. Now, that may not sound like a lot to some people. But when you use those funds to buy the little extras in life, the non-necessities, if you will, that extra little income can really can be helpful. 

My advice? To really stretch those savings, use your withdraw on items that are on sale, or that you have a coupon for...or even on items that earn you money back on Ibotta!  

If you'd like to get started, you can download the free app using my referral link. Or download the app and use the referral code: "ejkusoc." You'll get a $10 welcome bonus after your first approved purchase, and I'll earn a bonus too. It's a win-win! 

The perfect FREE storage solution for my jute, burlap, brushes, and more. 

Ah, to have things neat and tidy! I actually got those tin cups from Hallmark after Valentine's Day. They were on clearance for 29 cents each---a total steal. The little jars are for homemade under-eye creams, to be featured on a future post. And since I'm a nerd...I have a label maker, naturally. 

The bottom shelf needs a bit more organization to it...but since Bernie the Beagle is constantly stealing my latex gloves and drop cloth...I might have to rethink their placement. 

Dollar store plastic bins, thrifted baskets, or small wooden crates go a long way when it comes to storing craft supplies. So if you're looking to score your own craft cart for free...and organize it for've come to the right place. 

Stay frugal, my friends.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Saying Sweet Goodbyes To Summer

Picket Fence Crate, $3 from Good Stuff Thrift

For some, spirits begin to drop as the temperature does. As that first autumnal chill in the air blows in, many mourn the loss of summer. I don't think I'm one of them, as my seasonal love is for the fall. But nonetheless, the end of the season approaches and I find myself just a little lost. Without boring all of you with the details, I'll say that I've been enduring yet another medical setback. And perhaps my gloom over the end of the summer stems from my feeling that I've done nothing this season but be poked and prodded in search of whatever is causing my abnormal blood chemistry. 

So while I have down time during a medical leave of absence from work, I decided to say my farewells to summer in hopes of greeting the fall with a positive change. I'll soon be changing over my summery fruits and florals for an autumnal color palette. But until then, here's just a little peek at this soon-to-end seasonal decor. 

Starfish from the Seashell Museum. OC Pier photograph taken on last summer's vacation.

I usually keep this photo displayed all-year-round, but for spacial issues may move it into the bedroom in favor of displaying some more seasonally appropriate items. Though I do love this shot, and can still hear the waves rolling to shore when I look at it.

Floral garland, $2 from Goodwill.

As you can see from my Instagram account, this garland was thrifted back in the spring. But I loved how it looked atop our entryway coat closet, and decided to display it through the summer. 

And what do you think of that orange blossom decorative tray? While it does have spring/summer vibe, I like the design enough to incorporate it into our permanent decor.  You'll get a better look at that $3 find in a future post. 

So as we say our sweet goodbyes to summer, let's hope that the fall brings us a welcome change we might each need in our lives. 

Coming up on future Let's Go Thrifting posts...
  • A Look At My Quirky Kitchen
  • How To Make The Most Of A Small Bathroom
  • Let's Get Frugal: How I Got A Brand New Craft Cart Entirely Free

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Exciting New Estate Sale Casting Call!

I recently was contacted by a Casting Producer regarding a brand new project that sounds just perfect for estate sale holders and Let's Go Thrifting readers alike. If you have a house full of memories and potentially valuable items you are looking to unload during an estate sale, you may be the ideal candidate for an upcoming television show! While I cannot reveal any more information, as this project is still in development, rest assured that all secondhand shoppers and vintage enthusiasts should be excited for what's to come. And Let's Go Thrifting is looking forward to staying involved in the process. If you have any questions as to whether you may be a good fit for this opportunity, please email:

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Story Of Our Secondhand Dog

Suffice it to say, these last five months have brought some big changes. As some of you may recall from previous posts, I have been battling a medical diagnosis that put me in a dark place----emotionally, mentally, physically. I thought it had drained me. I thought it had broken me. 

But I've pulled through, thanks in large part to the newest addition to our family. Growing up in a household that always included a dog or two, I had come to realize that a part of that emptiness I was feeling could be filled by a furry family member. James and I searched high and low, did research on the risks and rewards of pet adoption, and put several applications for available dogs in hopes of finding the one for us. 

Thanks to The Burlington County Animal Alliance, we found him. At the time of his rescue, this sweet-faced Beagle/Dachshund mix was known as 'Atlantis.' One look into his eyes and we just knew he was meant for us. After almost two months of uncertainty as to his availability, we got a message that would change our lives forever. And just like that, I came home from work to find James lovingly tending to a trembling, tired dog that was curled up on our living room floor. 

His eyes still carry a sadness to them, one I hope that he can forget. It breaks my heart to think that someone could harm or abandon this sweet boy. But after traveling some 300 miles, spending almost two years in transit, in shelters, and with foster caregivers, he is finally home with us. 

And something tells me he likes it here. So without further delay, I formally introduce you to our loving rescue Beagle, Bernie. He plays with his toys, takes naps in the windowsill, and a is a professional cuddle provider. 

So please, if you are able to open your heart and your home to an animal that will care for you as much as you care for them... adopt, don't shop.

We may have saved a secondhand dog, but in a lot of ways he saved us. Dogs are extremely empathetic animals. They know when you are ill, or sad. And for the record, let me just say that it's  pretty hard to be depressed when you're greeted with affection, charmed by a playful demeanor, and reminded every day how lucky you are to have found such a loyal companion. 

James and I couldn't be happier with our decision to adopt our Bernie. And I think Bernie might just feel the same. 

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book Review: What Color Is Your Parachute? (2017)

A Practical Manual For Job-Hunters and Career-Changers.  Sounds kind of drab, right? While I can't think of a single self-help or career advice book that is a riveting read, author Richard N. Bolles has compiled indispensable wisdom in a format that kept me engaged. 

Am I a job hunter? Yes. Am I "career-changer?" That's a tough question to answer. When people ask you what you do for a living, isn't the answer inevitably your job title? I work in retail. What do I do? Well I do a lot of things, creatively speaking. I'm a freelance writer, a photographer, a blogger. And maybe one day I will become a top-blogger that no longer requires another source of income. Maybe I won't. But I'll always enjoy what it is that I do. 

And in reading the 2017 edition of What Color Is Your Parachute, I've learned that a job or career doesn't always align with your dreams or your passions. But that doesn't mean that they can't. And in assessing my own self-worth as a potential employee, I've been evaluating my strengths, my weaknesses, and my own professional desires to merge more of my creative aspirations with a higher income.

With Bolles' grids, graphics, and worksheets in What Color Is Your Parachute? I've been able to better visualize what being a better blogger means to me.

In an interesting tidbit into going into business for yourself, Bolles refers to a list compiled by Dan Pink, author of Free Agent Nation

A) Make a list of five things that your good at.
B) Then make a second list of five things you love to do. 
C) Then make a third list of where the first two lists overlap.
D) Read that list. Ask yourself, "Will anyone pay me to do these things?"  

So. Will anyone pay me to be an expert thrift blogger/thrift store reviewer/professional secondhand shopper? Maybe not in the traditional sense. Not yet, anyway. But if I could translate this particular set of skills into something desirable for an employer, I could make a killing. Also, I can be funny. 

DISCLAIMER: What Color Is Your Parachute 2017: A Practical Manual For Job-Hunters and Career Changers was complimentary, courtesy of Blogging For Books for the purposes of review. The above review also contains affiliate advertising. 

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thrifting Like A Pro: The Goodwill Outlet Store

I've crossed many a Goodwill in my years of thrift shopping. And due to similar store layouts and corporate rules and regulations, they are undoubtedly organized in a uniform fashion. Color-coded stickers that determine sales, set prices for various garments of clothing, and housewares and miscellaneous items organized by color, not by category. It's a fairly ordinary thrifting experience.

This is exactly why some secondhand shoppers are wary to try the Goodwill Outlet experience.  And what is the Goodwill Outlet experience?  Take a look!

Without being properly prepared, a trip to the Goodwill Outlet could be very jarring. I'm not going to lie: It can be hectic. It can be dusty. It can be crowded and overwhelming. It can also be a total treasure hunt unlike any other thrift store you've ever encountered. 

In my last blog post about the Goodwill Outlet, I went into a little detail about how the operation worked and what you can expect. But this time I'm taking it one step further by giving you some helpful tidbits of what to bring to help your outlet expedition. 

First and foremost, if you aren't in the mood to roll up your sleeves and dig, the Goodwill Outlet shouldn't be on your itinerary. This isn't a quick trip to look around. It isn't clean and organized. But if you're game, I'm the coach.

If you're planning a trip to your local Goodwill Outlet, you'll want to bring a couple of things. A tote bag is helpful, to stuff all of your finds in until you can get to the checkout. Shopping carts tend to go quickly, and in truth--aren't easily navigated between bustling shoppers. Want your own Let's Go Thrifting tote bag? You can order one here!

Gloves are also a good choice. I've seen shoppers in dish washing gloves, latex gloves, winter gloves, even utility gloves. I've also seen shoppers dig barehanded. Either way, a small bottle of sanitizer goes a long way when it comes to dusty bins of unsorted merchandise. 

Also, be sure to keep your phone/keys/purse secured. Last time I was at a Goodwill Outlet, a woman was distraught because she lost her diaper bag somewhere in the store. No price tags, no organization---and lost personal items? That spells disaster. 

But perhaps the most important elements to bring with you are time and an open mind. Maybe you won't find anything you deem valuable. But I've seen some obvious resellers who would beg to differ. Maybe you won't even enjoy the experience. But can you call yourself a seasoned secondhand shopper if you don't give it a try?

At 99 cents a pound, and with bins and bins of opportunities...The Goodwill Outlet is a unique thrift shopping experience, one for which I hope you're now better prepared. 

What do YOU hope to find at a Goodwill Outlet? 

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Let's Get Frugal: Clipping Coupons And Getting More For Less

If there's one question that I've been asked recently and with some degree of regularity, it's "Can you teach me how to coupon?" While I'm not sure that my status as a couponer is very professorial as of yet, I suppose I do have a few tricks up my secondhand sleeves. So without delaying time or savings, welcome to my first installment of Let's Get Frugal: An Introduction to Couponing.

First things first. Forget what you've seen on Extreme Couponing. I'm not into stashing hoards of groceries or filling carts to the brim with spaghetti sauce or Gatorade. While I'm sure large families, nonprofit organizations, and others who need to feed multiple hungry mouths can benefit from large-scale's just not for me. And if you're a beginner, it's not for you either, as I'd imagine that size of a haul can be a daunting process for a novice couponer.

Next, gather all of your sales ads for the stores closest to you that you're familiar with and in which you're comfortable shopping. While it's encouraged to branch out and explore stores around you, if you're going to save money, you need to be at least somewhat familiar with the store layout...and, more importantly, the store's policies. Certain supermarkets reserve the right to limit coupon quantities...and almost no supermarket will let the total price of an item fall in the negatives. Though most chain supermarkets will double (and even triple in some special events) their manufacturer coupons.

Be sure to register with the supermarkets in which you'll be shopping for any shopper's savings cards. And download the store's mobile app, if you're able. Many stores are featuring lower-priced items via digital coupons. And some stores, such as Target, will even let you combine those savings with print coupons as well.

Now that you know the stores in which you'll be shopping, you have your shopper's discount card/mobile app, and the sales circular---it's time to get to the couponing. 

Where do I get my coupons? Well it's a combination of coupon booklets found in the Sunday paper, printed coupons from, manufacturer coupons directly from the company, and coupons sent to me in exchange for product review from such sites as BzzAgent and Influenster. But at your bare bones minimum you should find some decent savings from the Sunday inserts alone. 

Organizing your coupons helps a great deal, obvious pun intended. I use a small accordion style coupon folder with tabs marked for "Beauty, Health, Meat/Deli, Dairy, Frozen, Gluten Free, etc." And within those tabs, if I should have duplicate coupons, I'm sure to keep them organized so that I use the dates that will expire first. 

Now we're getting down to the important factor...the coupons and when to use them. Now, certain things are nonnegotiable. Meaning, when you run out you need them let's say over-the-counter medication for when you're ill, or toilet paper. Otherwise...if you want to maximize your savings...hold on to those coupons until the items are also on sale. This can get tricky, as not all supermarket chains will have the same items on sale.  This is when those store circulars come in handy. 

If you want to shop around, getting some items from Acme...other goods from ShopRite, that's completely up to you. Some say that's the best way to save. But if you value time over money, maybe you should start by seeing which of the stores has the most amount of items that you need on sale...that you can then combine with your coupons. 

Keep lists of brands/items that you use, how much they're going for at which store you'd like to shop at, and if you have a coupon. 

Read the coupon details carefully for brand, item description (including size, ounces, quantity) and of course, the date. And if you're not sure of your store's coupon policies, it never hurts to check their corporate website, or give their customer service line a quick phone call. 

Having almost 17 years of experience in the retail business, I know I have a distinct advantage when it comes to savvy shopping and couponing. But I'm going to try to pass on some of those savings to you! 

Original total before sales and coupons: $112.14     Final total:$43.50

So get those scissors ready. Because more installments of Let's Get Frugal are coming. 
Just remember: What do we want? Coupons! When do we want them? When they're combining with sale items! 

What savvy sales and coupon combos have you shopped recently? 

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