Monday, November 26, 2007

Bob's Million Dollar Bargain

As many of you who have read my books already know, I'm a born saver who married a born spender. I was born six weeks early, on Dec 28th, just in time for my parents to get another income tax deduction. Bob was already working, pulling weeds at the age of seven, but his money never saw the inside of his pocket. Over the years, he's learned to spend less and I've learned to spend more and we've come to balance.

Bob's latest venture is saving money on the ultimate remote control airplane! He says that spending 1.3 million per airplane for jets that are destined to get blown up (without him in them) is a "real bargain" for the government. He even mentioned that I made him promise he wouldn't fly them for free when he went to the job interview four years ago! For the complete three minute news story and to see what my Beloved does in his free time, just go to:

Happy Flying!

Ellie Kay

"America's Family Financial Expert" (R)

Black Friday

Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) was a blast at our house! Bob and I wanted to "sleep in" until 4:15 AM but Bethany and Jonathan didn't want to wait that late, so they were in the Wal-mart line at 3:45 AM and we joined them at 4:30. Did you know that Wal-mart will match any store's sale ad--even on Black Friday?
Everyone had their assignment and had different items to snag when the doors opened. I had all the other stores' loss leaders ads with me and only had to go to ONE STORE to get all of our area bargains. For example, I got a 30GB Zune MP3 player that was on sale at Toys R Us for only $79 and I got it at Wal-mart by showing my Toys R Us ad. One friend, who went to Toys R Us that morning said they ran out before she could get one! I also showed ads to save $300 on a Garmin navigational system (Staples) and seasons of our fave television series, "Monk" for only $12.99 (Circuit City). Of course we took advantage of Walmart's loss leaders, too, such as an $89 Sony digital camera that is normally $250. Bob bagged a Chicken Dance Elmo (yes, it's Elmo in a chicken suit) that dances and sings and he saved $20 in the process. Bob had a diabolical gleam in his eye as he thought of our son-in-law having to put up with his sweet little boy pushing that chicken dance button over and over and over again! As Bob says, "Payback is a bummer!"
We were in the store by 5:00 AM and completely done with the bulk of the season's shopping by 7:00 AM. We spent a total of $350 and saved a total of $750 off of retail! That's saving twice as much as we spent in keeping with my Half Price Holidays theme!

Remember to de-stress this holiday by making a budget, sticking to it, and scheduling time for the things that matter most (like our annual chocolate house creation at the Kay home).
Happy Savings!
Ellie Kay
"America's Family Financial Expert"

Friday, November 16, 2007

Diapering on the Cheap

A new dad watched his eight week old daughter for the first time while his wife attended a women’s conference. When she returned, six hours later, she was eager to learn how he fared in her absence.
“How did she take her bottles?” she asked.
“Just fine, no problem, she took one every two hours for a total of three,” replied the confident father.
“How many times did you change her diaper?” she queried.
“I never changed it” he responded.
“You never changed her diaper?” she asked incredulously, “Why not?”
“Well,” he reasoned, “the diaper package said that it was good up to ten pounds and we weren’t even near the ten pound point.”


Diapers are a major expense in a family’s budget and yet there are ways to save money in this area that are fairly painless.

Coupons – Your mother may have told you “buy items on sale and use a coupon.” That’s still good advice. But where do you find coupons on your favorite diapers?
· Manufacturer’s Website – If you sign into these sites to receive their promotional offers, you can also get coupons. A few of the most popular websites for diaper manufacturers are:, , and . For a variety of baby coupons go to or .

· Toll Free Numbers – Call the diaper manufacturer’s toll free number, tell them how much you like their product, and ask them for coupon promotions. For instance, 1-800-PAMPERS or 1-800- NO LEAKS (Luvs)

Internet Diaper Sites – There are some sites that will ship diapers at a discount. It’s important to add postage and handling to the final cost and to check out the site with the Better Business Bureau found at . For example, at we discovered 192 medium diapers for $33.00 plus $6.92 shipping.

Ebay – You can find almost anything at ebay. We found 180 medium diapers for $29.99 with free postage and handling and 140 newborn diapers for $14.50 + $5.00 P&H. Be sure the diapers are in their original package and are unopened. Also, be sure to factor in shipping (if any) and choose a seller who has high feedback ratings with a reasonable number of total reviews.
Happy Diapering!
Ellie Kay
America's Family Financial Expert (R)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Talking Turkey!

It's the MOST, wonderful time of the year!! No, not Christmas--but Thanksgiving. Early November is when the Sunday paper has loads of FSIs or Free Standing Inserts, filled with tons of coupons. By following my layer-upon-layer of savings, I'm getting lots of food for pennies or free. For example, yesterday my bill before savings factors was $123.56 and I only paid $22.01 for a cart full of groceries. Look at it this way:

Duncan Hines brownie mix regular price $3.19

Sale price is $1 per box a savings of - 2.19

Manufacturer's coupon is $1 off 3 - .33 @

Double coupon store-another $1 off 3 - .33 @

Total Price I pay .34 cents per box

Here are the savings factors:

Store Cards
These are sometimes referred to as “clipless coupons.” Sign up for the card at the customer service desk and as it is scanned at the checkout, you will receive all the store’s special values for the week.

Sale Ads
The store’s weekly sale ads either come in the mail or are a part of the mid-week newspaper inserts. Match up the sale ads with some of the other savings factors listed and you’ll soon find yourself with products for pennies.

Manufacturer’s Coupons
These are traditional coupons issued and reimbursed by the manufacturer. If you
ead the fine print of the coupon, you’ll see the manufacturer’s name and mailing address. Here are a few places to find these coupons:

Double Coupons
Some stores offer “double” coupons. This is where the coupon is worth twice the face value—so a .50 coupon is now worth $1.00. There are limitations issued by the store, such as “only double up to $1.00” so check the customer service desk for details. Go to the links page at to find a link listing all the stores that double coupons in your state.

Unadvertised Sales and Clearances
Check the store aisles for sales and clearance tags. As much as 50% of the weeks’ sales are not advertised.

Web bucks

Watch for signs in the store, telling you you'll get certificates/coupons at the register for purchasing these items. The cash back certificate can be used on your next shopping trip.

Price Comps

Some grocery stores, including Wal-mart superstores will match competitor's ads. Just take in the sale ads from all your local grocers to that store and you'll get the sale prices from the ads. It saves time and money.

Happy Shopping!

--Ellie Kay

America's Family Financial Expert (R)