What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Amazon and Toys Rs are having a great sale. They do it once a year and you can really stock up on a lot of great deals. Whn my son was smaller, I ordered toys to have on hand for birthday parties and for him. Now that he is a bit older, I order most of the toys for Toys For Tots for Christmas. We like to order toys for girls snice we don't have a girl and (most importantly) my son won't want to keep everything that arrives.

I got three huge boxes, a dirty look and a snide remark from the UPS man yesterday. I have mentioned before that the UPS man hates me. He always makes comments about how many packages I get. If he only knew that most of it is freebies, things I have won or really, really cheap deals! I got three huge "My Scene" dolls complete with DVD's and lots of accessories. They are on sale for $5.29 each, buy two get one free and free shipping. So, a total of $11.39 for three huge nice dolls. I also got threee miniature vehicle sets (one of which my son confinscated - I told you so!). The day before I recieved a Shorties pop apart doll for $5.29 and 3BRATZ dolls for a total of $11.9. The my Scene Dolls were $29.99 each - so that was a great deal. Last year we donated so much to the toy drive that we filled up the entire donation box at the TV station. They were very impressed. We are not a rich family or a family that makes a lot of money. But, we try to help out in ways that we can. I can donate 12 brand new nice toys or I can donate say, $25.00 ,which wouldn't buy much retail at Christmas prices.

Hint of the day: Checkout www.dealhunting.com for a list of the best deals ont he internet each day. Also, checkout www.refundcents.com for FREE for the next two days to get all the coupon and deal news you could ever use!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Yesterday I rounded up my coupons (I am dreadfully behind on cutting them out!) and went to Dillon's. They were having a 10/$10.00 on a lot of great items. When I checked out my total was $58.00. They scanned my shopper card and my coupons and the total dropped to $18.00. Over $5.00 of that was taxes which I hate - but what am I going to do about it??? This particular store is overpriced on most items, but if you watch the ads and use coupons along with the shoppers card - you can score some great deals.

(Off Topic rant: DH is out mowing today. Probably for the last time this year. Yet, he is whining that he has to do it. Sit on his butt and ride around the yard. Oh, how hard. I don't have a dishwasher and I can't ride the vacuum. GET OVER IT!)

I'm cleaning out the gargae today - I plan on making a FREE pile in the driveway and donating a lot to the Salvation Army.

Hint for the day: Coupons, coupons, coupons.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I stayed home yesterday even though it was a Saturday and I am sure there were a ton of yard sales. So, I stayed home and could not have possibly scored a deal, right? Not so fast! In the mail I received another envelope full of Soup Labels for my son. The lady also sent him a nice iron on patch of the USA flag int he envelope. I thought that was really nice.

Later in the day, my neighbor's daughter called from her Grandpa's house asking me to check on her Mom since the phone was off the hook. (I could write a book about the stories form this house!) When I went over there her yard was full of stuff that she was throwing out the door doomed for the trash. She told me to "take anything". I took a nice heavy wooden shelf meant for CD's and tapes - but should hold Beanie Babies very well.

Hint of the Day: Look at your neighbor's trash as you drive by - we make a habit of placing things out by the curb for free. We get quite the kick out of wathcingpeole take stuff. And, if I am tossing it - it is trash. Trsut me!


Friday, September 23, 2005

I've had a good run on deals the last few days. I went to a thrift store on Wednesday and got a handmade quilt dated 1962 with Disney's "Lady & the Tramp" on it. I paid $5.00 - but should get that in return tenfold. Thursday I went to a different thrift store and spent $8.50 on four big sacks. Mostly things for resell, a few things for my son and a couple things to keep. Today I went to several yard sales and got about the same - things for resell, things to keep (a cast iron rooster for my flock, some new T-shirts for my son, a concrete pig for the flower garden) and a few other miscellaneous things. I also went to the SA (Salvation Army) where I bought a 4 gallon metal barrel shaped Skotch Kooler for $10.00. (It's a 1950's ice chest) I also got two of the damnest cutest lawnchairs. They are the old metal ones with the mesh webbing from the 1960's - but they are itty bitty for tiny little kids. I bought them for resell - but lord, they are cute. $1.00 each.

After school I went to Wal-Mart for a few things. We decided to have turkey sandwiches for dinner and I had almost everything we needed. I just needed to pick up some turkey, bread, tomato,chips and dip. ha. Anyway, I had cut out some coupons last night for $30.00 off a blood glucose monitor. I wondered how much they must cost in order for them to offer a $30.00 coupon so I checked it out. I was surprised to see that they were only $28.88. I had two coupons, so I got two of the monitors completely free. I will donate these to the Hurricane Relief. My checker and the CSM were both very happy to see that I was getting them for free and that I was donating them.

Check back next week to see how my 1st Free Spree Fun Day goes. My son is out of school and I have free gift certificates, free T-shirt coupons, free food coupons and a lot of free surprises up my sleeve. It should be fun!

Hint for the Day: Cut out any coupon that interests you - you never know what sort of a deal you might get!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I thought I would take a mintue and write about how I collect and turn in thousands of Cambell's Soup lables, Tyson's A+ Panels and Boxtops For Education to my son's school.

I belong to an online site for couponing and refunding. I pay $12.00 for that membership (can you believe I PAY for something?!). There is also a print magazine that is available for an additional amount. I do not subscribe to the magazine - however I do get it every month. How do I do that? There are "rewards" for writing articles for that magazine. I write an article about a deal or a bargain that I have gotten recently every few months or so. I get rewarded with three free issues for each article I submit. So, I have a free subscription that comes each and every month and will continue for a long time. In addition to the free issues - every once in awhile the editor will send out an email offering a free ad if you submit it within thirty minutes or so. I quickly write up an ad asking for donations of labels, boxtops and panels. I offer a "goodie" envelope for donations over a certain amount of labels (20), BTFE (10) or Panels (10). The first time I did it, I thought I might receive a few envelopes. I ended up receiving about 50 envelopes of items for the school.

In my goodie envelopes I send rebate forms that I find in stores, extra coupon inserts (I have a box in the Volunteer Center at school and parents drop off their unused Sunday Coupon Inserts for me to use) and stickers. Stickers are a great goodie envie stuffer because people like them for their kids, contest entries and to add to their own goodie envelopes. I have been fortunate twice to stumble on to stacks of stickers for very little money. The first time I was at Toys R us and they were having 90% off all green tag clearnace items. I found 42 packs of stickers marked down to 19¢ each - so I paid 1.9¢ each for a total of about 80¢. Each pack of stickers had 4 sheets per pack, so I had 168 sheets of stickers and I normally cut each sheet in half to even double that number. I also found a clearance sale at Dillon's where they had Hallmark stickers marked down to 10¢ a package- I got 38 packs of those and each package had 4 sheets as well. So, I send out all these stickers and coupons which basically cost me pennies and I get all these valuable boxtops and panels in return.

One I get all the lables accumulated, I bundle them into groups that are required by the diferent companies. About a year ago Campbell's had awesome bonus forms out in the stores and in ad flyers. If you stapled five actual soup labels to the form, it would be worth 100 lables. Shazam! I put out a trader notice sayiing I needed LOTS of these. I had a great response. I was able to turn 1,400 actual labels into 14,000 actual and bonus labels for the school.

When the school has a "Label Drive" the class with the most donatied labels, wins a party or a special event. I donate all mine at once. My son is deemed "cool" when he walks in with a file paper box full of labels and everyone else has a sandwich bag full. For five straight years my son's clss has won a pizza party or a movie party or an extra recess party - sometihng fun for his class only. It sounds like I spend a lot of time on this - but the envelopes just come in and I fill goodie envelopes once a week. I haven't had an ad in the magazine for two months, but I still recieve envies about three times a week. I got two yesterday alone! I guess my "goodie envies" are good!

Hint of the Day: Save labels and boxtops for your child's school. Don't have a child? Donate them to the school up the street anyway. They can use them to buy new playground equipment, laminators, etc. Or, heck, mail them to me @ 100 N. Hunter St. Farmington, AR 72730. Mention my BLOG and I will sned you one FAT envie full of stickers and goodies!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

There was a big church sale in town yesterday. It started at 6:30 am. Even on a school day I could never be there and ready for THAT time! Since it is such a big church - all the members donate to the sale - there is a ton of merchandise.

My son and I got there about noon to see what was left. It was still packed with stuff! I only had $10.00, so we had to look it over and select wisely. The people looking at clothes were givien Wal-Mart plastic bags and told to fill them for $3.00. I see this a lot at sales. I rarely buy clothes at yard sales, so I was only half listening to them. A bit later another lady walked by and had a small file sized box and offered it to someone for $3.00 - fill it up with anything under the tent. "Anything?" they asked. "Anything at all," the lady replied. Well, that got me excited- becauce there was plenty of resellable items, things I wanted, things my son wanted and some useable things too. Finally a lady walked by and offered up a HUGE Toilet Tissue case - $5.00 to fill it up. "ME!" I yelled. I think they had met their match on filling a box! I got so much stuff it was unreal. I found a piece of matte white Haegar Pottery that would sell for about $50.00 alone, but I am going to keep it as I have quite a collection of vintage matte white pottery. I found a wonderful handmade Rooster Girl doll for my flock. My son got two of the Tiger Electroic robotic pets - a bird and a cat - they were priced at $5.00 each at the sale. I got several prints to resell - one is a hand drawn pencil rendition of a war airplane priced at $10.00 at the sale. I bought a bag of precut quilt pieces, an awesome vintage sewing basket full of vintage sewing items, boxes of staionery that I will use, new boxes of envelopes and computer paper, a few little toys for the boy, a new with tag "It's a Girl" bear for a famly member's upcoming baby shower, a MWT Beanie Baby Lizard, lots of craft items, sewing items, computer games, office supplies, christmas and halloween items, etc. My son and I couldn't even budge the box it was so full and heavy. We unloaded it and it filled up the entire back of my VUE. It took me several hours to get it in the house, sort it and decide what goes where.

Oh yes, I ended up giving them $10.00 for it since I got so much in it and it was for charity too. I still got a good deal even at $10.00!!!

Friday I received the Gatorade cooler I won in a call-in contest. It is huge - 60 qts. and came with a T-Shirt and a 8 pack of Gatorade. We have several coolers of different sizes. But, this one is the best and the biggest and it was....FREE!

My UPS man hates me.

Hint of the Day: Going to sales early is great - but sometimes it pays to go late and see what is left over. Deals are out there! Have you found your's yet???

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I went grocery shopping at the Wal-mart SuperCenter yesterday. I get a lot of deals and do a lot of stockpiling at the other smaller grocery stores in my area. But, for the bulk of my actual shopping (You can't live on puddin'). I shop at Wal-Mart. The checker scanned and bagged my groceries and told me my total. When I handed her my stack of coupons I heard this big breath of air behind me in line. The couple behind me was not happy that I was using coupons. "Up your's" I thought to myself. Anyway, my total before coupons was $112.00 and $77.50 after coupons. So, I saved $35.50. Not my best, but a good deal at that.
I finally have a few items on ebay this week after not having sold this summer. I have bids on about hialf my items with several days left on each item. One thing I have up is a Hallmark ornament. I learned to go through boxes of Christmas decorations at yard sale and thrift stores looking for Hallmark Ornmaments. In the original box is the best, but harder to find. Out of the box is okay too - I just make sure it's not broken or damaged. It seems almost any Hallmark ornament will sell for at least $8.50. If I only pay 25¢-50¢ for it - that's a good profit. This is a Series Ornament from 1980 - new in the box with all the inserts and packaging. I paid $1.00 for it. (Which is high for me to pay!) I had a bid on it 20 minutes after listing it. It is up to $27.75 today with 3 1/2 days left to go on it. There is only one other one listed and it has a "Buy It Now" price of $150.00. Kind of fun to see what it will end at! A nice surprise to get me back into the ebay mood!
I have learned what to sell on ebay by reading Kove's Price Guide and other price guides. Not that the pricing informaitn is always correct. But, I have lerned about all the different types of pottery - Haegar, Hull, McCoy, Shawnee - types of glass - carnival, slag glass, vasoline, depression,etc. I know about vintage toys and old advertising items and even new collectilbes like PEZ dispensers and Beanie Babies. The most important thing I ever found out is that "Everyone collects something and everything is collected by someone."
I watch the Antiques Roadshow a lot. I don't have priceless heirloms like those people shlep in - but I have learned a lot by watching it. One man brought in two big shiny black pots. Together they were worth $55,000.00. They were made by a Native American woman and simply signed, "Maria" on the bottom. Well, the shiny pots looked familiar to me and that "Maria" signature looked even more familar. (I better go back and mention that I have many, many collections. Treasures I have found one of, then another, then another and wah-lah, a collection has been formed. One of these such collections is a basket full of miniature pieces of pottery that I have picked up here and there - all small vases, pots, vessels, etc. It all started when I found ten of them at one sale (at the shop of an antiques dealer I call Ms. Snot Britches - that "knows her stuff" and sells off the rejects inexpensively) for 10¢ each.) Anyway, b ack to the $55,00.00 pot story - So,I dug out the basket full of pots and searched through them. There at the bottom was a small shiny black pot - I turned it over -"Maria" it said. Now, I knew this wasn't going to be a $55,000.00 pot. But, it was worth researching and listing on ebay. I did a lot of research on the internet about Maria and learned even more about her pottery. I listed it with a beginning bid of $9.99 and it sold for $367.00. (This was one of the pots I had bought from Ms. Snot Britches for 10¢!) This pot was about as big as a golf ball, so it was certainly not worth $55,000.00 - but a $367.40 profit was alright by me. And, I enjoy this story a lot more than I ever enjoyed that little black shiny pot.
Hint of the Day: Read and learn all you can about everything - there are treasures out there just waiting for you to find.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I have racked my brain thinking and thinking, but I do not think that I have found a bargain in several days. Saturday was the big birthday bash for my son. Twelve kids came. I had enough goodies for 24 kids, so I have plenty left over. That night we went out for Chinese at a different resturant than our usual since it was closed. Sunday we stayed home and put up all the stuff I drug to the park for the party. Oooo - I remember a deal! Saturday when we went to the park to set upI saw some money laying in the street. My son grabbed it - it was three $1.00 bills. Sunday night when I took the recycling to the curb, there was a dollar bill laying on the curb. I only live about 500 yards from the park so I am convinced there is money everywhere. Probably not.

Monday I picked up my deposit check form renting the shelter house at the park. I also went to the grocery store where I waited inline behind a lady that had her food stamp voucher declined. She yelled and hollared and made a fuss. I felt bad for her, until she threw the fit. Anyway, then I picked up my son and one of his friends and we took her home. No deals to report - how sad.Off Topic - How long is Martha going to talk about her days in prison on her new show? She acts like she was at summer camp!!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Puddin', Puddin', Puddin. Today's deal is all about the puddin'. Kraft Handi-Snack Pudding was on sale at Dillon's yesterday for 99¢ each. I had coupons for $2.00 off 3 Handi-Snacks. That made them 3/99¢. I used five coupons so I got 15 4 pks. for $5.00. That is 60 individual puddings at a cost of about 8¢ a piece. DS takes on almost every day with his lunch - so that was a good deal for our family.

Also, in the mail yesterday I received a coupon for a FREE Home Cafe Coffee maker. I had signed up on a webiste to recieve a free coupon for the apliance - but I thought it meant the coupon was "Free" and it would be for $5.00 off or something. I was shocked to see it was for a FREE Coffeemaker. These are the ones that use the pods and cost about $50.00. Not sure if I will keep it as a reserve Christmas Gift or donate it or sell it or ???? Not bad for free any way you look at it.

I also won three coupons for Keebler Fudge Shoppe cookies on an online sweepstakes. I like Fudge Shoppe coookies just fine. But, I saw on my coupon trading board that some people were getting Chips Deluxe coupons and some were getting Sandies coupons and some were wishing they had gotten another kind. Pecan Sandies are my favorite and are more expensive so I never buy them. I took a chance to see if anyone wanted to swap their Pecan Sandies for my Fudge Shoppe cookies. A lady wrote me and we worked it out. Her trade arrived yesterday. So, even though they were free and good, I made it an even better deal for my famly.

Today is thrift store day. DH had to work today because of the holiday schedule this week. So, I get to venture out alone and take my time without him breathing down my neck. Actually, he has gotten into looking around and has found a few things for himself lately. You never know what you can find if you just look around!

Hint of the Day: You can always sweeten a deal by trading free coupons or using multiple coupons for multiple deals.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

We had an early bithday celebration dinnerfor DS today. We went to our favorite small town Chinese resturant. The owner there is very nice. He has been going through some rough times and has been closed some days lately. We used to eat there occassionally when we wanted to go out to eat - but when he was closed we ate there when we saw he was open. Anyway, things seem to be going better for himnow. He saw that DS opening presents and told him lunch was on him. So, DS got a free meal out of the deal. A deal and I wasn't ven deal hunting! Woo-hoo! The food is awesome and paying for it would have been okay by me. The Queen of Cheap willing to pay! Whoda thunk it?

Went grocery shopping for my Grandmother too. She is the opposite of a deal hunter and cheapness. She likes to pay a LOT for items. If you get her a present and you got it on sale or at a deal - oh, you had better let her think it cost a frickin' fortune or she will be totally P.O'ed at you. She thinks the gift doesn't count as much if you got it on sale. Well, hell-oooo, she wouldn't get much from me if I bought her things at full price! I have her one Christmas gift already. It ws $29.99 - I happened to get it for $1.99. But that's for me to know and her NOT to find out!

Hint of the Day: Make friends with the local business owners - it might pay off unexpectedly!

Friday, September 02, 2005

I went yard saling this morning. Found lots of stuff for resell and a couple of quirky gifts for people. I spent $13.75 total and I know one item will resell on ebay for nearly $50.00 and I got TWO of those!

I'm ordering from Swiss Colony. I order the Petit Fours from the Postage paid section and gte a $28.00 box of Truffles for free. My son thinks getting cholocoate in the mail is the "bomb". Since it is almost 100 degrees every day, they might be "the soup" when they arrive.

Hint of the Day: Look for FREE with purchase codes and FREE shipping codes and combine to gets stuff for free or really cheap.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Yesterday I had a feeling that I should go to my favortie thrift store. Actually, I always go on Wednesday but that's beside the point. I know all the ladies that volunteer in there. It opens at noon, but they let me come in at 11:30. So, I get the best pickin's! Just so happens they were putting out a cart full of like new clothes for 50¢ each. I bought $10.00 worth so that is 20 items. One was a Colorado Rockies jersey that I will put on ebay. My husband picked out a couple t-shirts. I got my son a t-shirt from MY high school and one from Hawaii. The other 15 were for me. Three of the shirts "weren't me" after I tried them on at home. Still, a great deal on everything.

Even better, I found my son a Pixter that seemed to work, even though I didn't know what it was. I went to Wal-Mart and looked at them. They cost $31.01 at Wal-Mart and I paid $1.00 for it at the thrift store. He loves it and has hardly put it down. It's an electronic drawing pad and illustrator. Aa awesome deal at $1.00.

Gas just hit $3.12 in town. I haven't ever figured out how to get a "deal" on gas. I wish I could. Thee is a telephone locally today raising money for Hurricane Katrina. I'll be calling in later. Son has alredy pledged his allowance.

Hint of the Day: Hit those thrfit stores. You never know what you might find.

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