Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking ahead to 2012....

In case you missed my story on how my money saving journey began you can catch up here. In a nutshell through using coupons, price matching, diligently watching the flyers and stocking up on sale items, meal planning, learning about customer loyalty programs and joining Swagbucks I saved over $1000 in just 10 months. It was probably more than that since I lost track of the numbers a few times after my little one was born and when we moved into our new home but it was during those times that I put every trick and tip I had learned to the ultimate test.  

So now what?

Not only have I entirely changed my approach both to shopping and how we live but my hubby has even turned the corner! Now there is no way we can ever go back. Our goal for 2012 is to save $5000 through the use of coupons, stockpiling, customer loyalty programs and sites like Swagbucks. This will include not just savings on groceries, toiletries, and baby items but also items that we need for the house and all gifts (birthday, Christmas, etc) throughout the year. You will notice that I have added my countdown bar to the side of the blog so you can follow along in my savings quest. Additionally I have challenged myself to introduce to our lifestyle 1 new tip per month (12 total over the course of the year). Some will be just a one time thing (see February, although I hope to find a few projects over the year) and some things will become a part of the daily, weekly, monthly routine. Most of them are common sense but I think making the conscious effort to incorporate them into our routine will make a difference.This of course does not mean that we can't occasionally indulge, it just means that when we do its even sweeter! Here's my list of 12 tips for the year (the months might change a bit but this is the plan for now)

  • January: Learn to batch cook
  • February: Find new purpose for something around the house (ie. Redo a piece of furniture)
  • March: Destash, destash, destash. I have a TON of things to sort through and want to be able to destash AT LEAST 5 items a week.
  • April: Learn to BAKE something from scratch
  • May: WALK. Yes, I know, makes sense and we do actually do quite a bit of walking but at least once a week I want to challenge myself to walk when I would have normally driven.
  • June: Grow something edible (I think I'll try a couple tomato plants to start and see if they survive. Master Gardener I am not. Master Plant Killer I most certainly am.
  • July: Hang my laundry out to dry AT LEAST once a week (yes I know I should already do this every time but since I don't I am going to try to start with baby steps)
  • August: Learn to preserve something (jam ideally but maybe pickles or salsa too)
  • September: My oldest will be heading off to Kindergarten (yikes...picture crying mommy on Day 1) so I would like to add AT LEAST one meal a week done in the slow cooker to cut down on the chaos after we get home and so we can enjoy our time together instead of having to cook.
  • October: Spend no more than $30/week on groceries (hopefully my stockpile is A++ by then)
  • November: Have a minimalist day at least once a week (so after my oldest goes to school, no tv, lights, computer, stove, etc for the whole day)
  • December: To not spend ANY money out of pocket on Christmas gifts this month (using only Shopper's Optimum redemptions, other customer loyalty rewards, Swagbucks gift cards, handmade gifts and items previously budgeted and paid for throughout the year)

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Coupons Found at Food Basics

I found the following new coupons at my local Food Basics the other day. Keep your eyes peeled for plenty of coupons after New Years in all of your favourite shopping spots. Here are what the above coupons are:
  • Buy 2 SAVE $1.00 on Sun-Maid Raisin bread (Expires Jan.2012)
  • Save 50cents on the purchase of any pack of Oikos or Oikos organic (Expires March 31st, 2012)
  • Save 50cents on any Dempsters Rye product (Expires July 31st, 2012)
  • Save $1.00 when you buy 1 box of NEW Folgers Gourmet Selections K-Cup Portion Packs-12count (Expires June 30th,2012)
  • The following 3 coupons were found together as a booklet in the bread aisle:
  • Save 50cents When you purchase 1 Maple Leaf Ready Crisp Bacon (Expires April 30,2012)
  • Save 50cents on any Dempster's BodyWise products (Expires Mach 31, 2012)
  • Buy 2 loaves Save $1.00 on any Dempster's 100% Whole Weat Bread, Dempster's WholeGrains breads and Dempster's Country Originals breads (Expires March 31, 2012)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Zellers Facebook Coupon Update

Apparently as of this morning you will find the following Correction Notice at Zellers: "The offer shown online is incorrect. It should state: only regular priced items instead of "CAN be combined with our great flyer deals!"
Limit 1 coupon per customer.
That still leaves plenty of great items that you can use your coupon for though including baby formula, tassimo discs, and more. I'm going there this afternoon so I'll let you know how it goes. If you are looking to print the coupon click here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

With the dry winter air now upon us we could all stand to have some extra goodies for our hair! Keep an eye on Alberto European's Facebook Page every Wednesday from 8am-8pm for the "now on" alert and the first 50 people to enter their info will receive a $10 gift pack!

Like Alberto European on Facebook

Heartsy: Great Deals on Handmade Items

If you are a lover of handmade and unique items then Heartsy is a place you will want to visit! Each day a new group of vouchers becomes available to online shops at a fraction of the retail price, for example get a $20 voucher to a shop for just $9 out of pocket. It's a great way to discover new handmade artisans, pick up some unusual gifts AND save some money! Watch for me to highlight some of my favourite Heartsy deals each week!

Heartsy - Exclusive deals on fabulous handmade designer items at members-only prices.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Deal Alert: 50% Off One Item with Printable Coupon at Zellers

I have definately been enjoying the Facebook coupons from Zellers Facebook Fan Page but this one is simply OUTSTANDING! Print this coupon and present it at Zellers along with the codeword "cucumber" and save 50% Off of One Item (December 26th-December31st). Some conditions apply.

After Christmas Inventory Blowout SALE at Kawartha Beads

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy holiday season!

In case Santa didn't bring you everything you asked for I am having an After Christmas Inventory Blowout SALE at Kawartha Beads! Save 30% Off your entire purchase with coupon code THANKYOU30 at checkout. Sale runs from December 26th-January1st.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Would You Like to See?

I will be taking the next few days off to enjoy the holiday season with my family but have OODLES of great things planned for after the holidays. If you haven't already stopped by the Getting Started with Canadian Coupons post be sure to get signed up for those sites and get your coupons on the way!

New segments to come after the break include more shopping trip posts, daily coupons/freebies and deals, recipes, frugal living tips, making money online tips and more. I plan to introduce 12 new money saving/frugal living tips to my own life (adding one per month over the course of the next year) in addition to everything I have learned in 2011. Check back in the new year to see what those are. Is there anything you would like to specifically know more about from Kawartha Bargains? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season! See you on Boxing Day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Addicted to Swagbucks!

I was going to save this post until after Christmas but there is a great introductory bonus code for new signups at  Swagbucks today so I thought I would give a short intro. I'll post again with some tips for maximizing your SB (Swagbucks) earnings in the new year. So how does it work? Sign up for an account at Swagbucks then earn points (or Swagbucks) by using their toolbar to search the web, complete daily polls, watch videos, and more! Then redeem your points for lots of great prizes including cash (through paypal) or gift cards. Sounds easy doesn't it? And it is! And TONS of fun too. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Search & Win

If you sign up today make sure to use code HOLIDAYSWAG when you are registering to get your points.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Canadian Coupon Alert: $2 Off Van Houtte Coffee

It's BAAAAACKKKKK!!!! Head over to GoCoupons to snag your save $2 off the purchase of Van Houtte ground or whole bean coffee 280g and up (sorry not valid on k-cups).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Freebie Alert:: Timothy's K-Cup Samples

Coffee lover's this one is for you! Receive 2 free Timothy’s K-Cup coffee packs to those that sign up at Timothy's World Coffee!  The flavours you’ll receive are Timothy’s Perfectly Pumpkin and Timothy’s Decaf Colombian. Offer ends December 31, 2011, or while quantities last.

Canadian Coupon Alert: Buy 2 Glade Jar Candles, Get 1 FREE

There is a new coupon from Right@Home for Glade Jar Candles. Buy 2, get 1 free!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Zellers Canada: Free $10 Gift Card With $40+ Purchase (Dec. 16-22, 2011)

Woo-hoo! I was planning on heading to Zellers tonight for their midnight madness sale so I was thrilled for this awesome coupon.  Spend $40 or more (before taxes) and receive a $10 gift card. Limit of 1, some exceptions apply. Do note that it mentions right on the coupon that "Offer CAN be combined with our great flyer DEALS!" Happy shopping everyone!

Click here to print your coupon!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Free Sample: Dove Nourishing Oil Care

Stop by Dove's Facebook Page to sign up for your free sample!

Freebie Alert via Facebook:

A perfect way to finish off the year, with something both yummy and healthy! Here's what Asana yogurt posted on their Facebook wall:
"Send us your address at and tell us in one word why you like Asana and get a coupon redeemable for a FREE Yoplait Asana 650g tub (flavour of your choice). Hurry up, the offer expires on December 31st 2011 and you have until noon, tomorrow to send us your address!"

See what others are saying on the Asana Facebook page.

Royale's Boxing Month Event!

If you aren't already a member of the Royale Kittens Facebook community now is a great time to join! Every Thursday in January they will be unlocking 20,000 fabulous coupons with a different offer each Thursday. A great one to watch out for! Looks like the first coupon will be for facial tissues and will be unlocked at 6PM on Thursday January 5, 2012. Good luck on snagging yours!

Deal Alert: Things Engraved Canada BOGO on ALL Christmas Ornaments& Keepsakes-Dec15th Only

If you still need to finish off your holiday shopping list (or get started on it) here's a great deal. Today only, Thursday Dec.15th stop by your local Things Engraved Canada location to take advantage of this Buy One Get One Free sale on all Christmas ornaments and keepsakes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Organize Your Coupons

Hopefully by now you have started to grow your coupon collection. Still thinking about how to get started? Be sure to stop by this post. Now its time to get organized! There are several methods for organizing coupons so use what you think would work best for you.
Envelopes: Great for beginners and inexpensive. Just organize your coupons into a series of white envelopes according to whatever categories work for you. Write the category on the front and you are ready to go!
Coupon Organizer: You can purchase a plastic accordian style organizer from most dollar stores or school supply shops or a fabulous handmade organizer such as the one pictured above (thanks to my pal Sylvia at Delmart Creations). I personally love these organizers. They keep all of my coupons in one place and I can organize them with labelled cards into categories. I also found when I started couponing that I might be a little shy about pulling out my organizer in a store (I have long since got over that) and this stylish organizer helped me feel a little less conspicuous. 
Coupon Binder: For the super-couponer. Take a 3 ring binder and fill it with baseball card inserts. The inserts will serve as spots to hold your coupons and you can insert dividers to organize into categories of your liking. I think I may soon need to upgrade to a binder myself.

Category Examples for organizing your coupons:
  • Dry Goods (could be broken down further into baking supplies, pasta, canned goods, etc)
  • Frozen Foods
  • Fruits/Vegetables
  • Meats/Proteins
  • Dairy
  • Beverages
  • Snacks
  • Toiletries
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Paper Products (such as facial tissues, toilet paper and paper towels)
  • Baby supplies
  • Misc.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Canadian Coupon Alert: $1 off 2dozen Eggs

Here's an exciting new coupon that you don't see very often! Thanks to the Egg Farmers of Canada for this save $1.00 off the purchase of 2 dozen eggs coupon through websaver!

Freebie Alert:15 Favorite Holiday Cookies from Family Circle (Facebook Offer)

Just in time for all of your holiday baking!!! My little guy has recently developed a love for baking (we've always enjoyed the eating part) so I can't wait to dive into some of these recipes. Stop by and like Family Circle on Facebook to gain access to this awesome download. Which recipe are you going to try first?

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Shoppers Drugmart Trip

Last week I shared my shopping list with you for Shoppers Drugmart, including the sales I planned to hit and coupons I planned to use. Now its time to see how I did! I admit I did have some last minute changes and went over budget a bit but I'm pretty happy about my haul. Here's how it breaks down:
  • Duracell Mini Charger SALE $6.99-$5 coupon from here
  • Royale Bathroom Tissue SALE $4.79-$1 coupon from here
  • Breton Crackers SALE $1.99-$1 coupon (sorry can't remember from where)
  • 2xTostitos Chips $6.00
  • Tostitos Salsa $3.00-$3.00 (FREE when you buy 2 tostitos chips)
  • Playtex Bottle Liners $7.99 (not part of the original list)
  • 3xNutrigrain bars SALE $1.99each (buy two boxes get a third free from here, coupon no longer available)
  • Kelloggs Eggos $1.99-75cent coupon from Smuckers booklet (got a raincheck for more since this was the last box)
  • Pot of Gold Chocolates SALE $3.99-75cent coupon from here (coupon no longer available)
  • 2xUncle Ben's Rice SALE 99cents each
  • Milupa Baby Cereal SALE $2.99 (not on the original list)
  • 2XListerine White SALE $4.99-2x$5 coupons from tearpads (or you could print one from here)
Total paid out of pocket including taxes: $39.08
Total Saved: $48.27
Optimum points earned: 520

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Canadian Freebie Alert:: FREE Sample of Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner from (avail.Dec13th)

I don't know about you but I cannot live without some sort of lip conditioner in the winter. Here's the perfect chance to try out Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner with a FREE SAMPLE from There are 10,000 samples to be given away on December 13th. If you've been waiting to sign up for an account now is the perfect chance!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Let's Go Shopping: Shoppers Drug Mart

Each Friday (maybe Saturday morning if we've been busy) I will post one of my shopping lists for the week. Tip #1: Always shop with a list AND a budget! It takes some practice but definately cuts down on impulse purchases. That is not to say that I'm not flexible since things like Manager's Specials aren't typically advertised in flyers and there are often great clearance deals and other unadvertised items. I work with two lists my need this week list, comprised of items from the flyer matched with my available coupons and my will need sometime soon list (so if I see a great deal on that item I know to grab it). Eventually I would like to "take you shopping" with me for my entire grocery/household list but for now we will start small, with one store and this week it is Shoppers Drug Mart where I will be shopping either Sunday or Monday since I'm after some of the two day only items. Here's what my list looks like (please note it does include some Christmas gift items):
  • Eggos - On SALE for $1.99-75cent coupon from Smuckers Coupon booklet
  • Pot of Gold Chocolates- On SALE Sun/Mon for $3.99-75cent coupon from websaver (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)
  • Royale Toilet Paper 24 rolls- On SALE Sun/Mon for $4.79-$1 coupon from here
  • 2xDuracell Mini Chargers- On SALE Sun/Mon for $6.99each-2x$5.00 coupon from here
  • 3xNutrigrain Bars- $1.99each (Use coupon for FREE box when you buy 2 Coupon No Longer Available)
  • 2xTostitos Chips- $6.00
  • Tostitos Salsa-FREE when you buy 2 Tostitos
  • Breton Crackers- On SALE for $1.99-$1 coupon (not sure where I found this one, sorry)
I expect to spend AFTER coupons  $23.22+tax. Check back next week to see how I did! What's on your list this week?

CANADIAN FREEBIE ALERT: FREE box of Triscuit Thin Crisps

A favourite in our house! Stop by and LIKE  Triscuits Facebook fan page to receive your FREE box of Triscuit Thin Crips Crackers. YUM!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Canadian Coupon Alert: $1.50 off Oreo Frozen Desserts

I thought I would start everyone off with a yummy coupon alert. Every day I will post new coupons, freebies and deals so be sure to check back often and supplies are often limited so don't delay in ordering yours. To maximize your savings combine your coupon with a store sale (yes you can use coupons on sale items).

Click here to get your coupon for $1.50 off any Oreo frozen dessert product. Your coupon should arrive in the mail in approx. 4 weeks.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Getting Started with Canadian Coupons

It may seem that a 50cent coupon isn't worth your time but combine those coupons with a great sale and then you start to save some major coin (and who doesn't want to have more money in their pocket!) Plus there are lots of great coupons for more than 50cents on everything from yogurt, cheese, soup, household cleaners, bathroom and toiletry items, baby products and more! So where the heck do you start? I never realized just how many places there were to get coupons until I started looking for them. You can find them just about anywhere you look.

Next time you are at your local grocery or drugstore look for coupons hanging in front of the shelves. These are called tearpads and start collecting a few off of each one you see. It is not proper coupon etiquette to take the entire tearpad, please leave some for the other coupon users out there. Not sure if you are going to use the coupon? That's ok too. Grab one or two because you never know (and often these coupons are valid for a couple of months) plus you can always trade these coupons for ones that you need (I'll get more into that at a later post).When I find new coupons I will try and post a picture so you know what to look for as well as where I found them.

There are several coupon inserts (Smart Source, Redplum and P&G Brandsaver) that you can watch for in your local newspapers (if you live in Lindsay it is the Friday edition of The Post or in Peterborough the Examiner). These inserts do not arrive in every Friday edition, I'll post when to watch for them. Also there are many magazines that include coupons in them such as Canadian Living.

There are also some fabulous coupons sites online where you order coupons and they mail them directly to your home. These coupons are widely accepted at retailers and are super easy to order. Be sure to stop by frequently as they add new coupons often (or of course you can always stop by Kawartha Bargains, I'll post new coupons as they become available). You'll need to create an account but these services are completely free! Stop by Websaver,,  and Go Coupons to get yours on the way. Many companies also use these sites when they are offering special promotional coupons. You can also get some additional coupons at Right at Home and Life Made Delicious.

The world of printable coupons is still fairly new to me but I have recently begun to incorporate them into my shopping trips. Printable coupons are not as widely accepted as the other types but I have had no troubles at Shopper's Drugmart or Walmart with them. Be sure to check your stores coupon policy to see what types of coupons they accept. A couple of great sites for printable coupons include Living Well  and Smart Source but there are plenty more.

Last but not least there are coupons on product packaging (some great ones on Hamburger Helper, Old El Paso Taco Kits, and Cereal Boxes), through email mailing lists, newsletters and so much more! Hope this will help to get you started! Welcome to the wonderful world of couponing!

Monday, December 5, 2011

How it all began...

I have always been a bit of a deal hunter. I guess its just in my blood. While pregnant with my second child in February of 2011 my fiesty little fella decided to move and sit on a nerve in my back. Working one day, no more working the next. I could barely sit let alone walk so I resounded myself to the fact that I was now on an early maternity leave (baby #2 arrived April 14th so I had a ways to go). I wouldn't say that I began to panic, but having always contributed to the household income and now with my pre-maternity leave planning being thrown for a curve ball I thought "what can I do that will yield immediate results?" I figured if I wasn't making any money than I could at least try and SAVE some by shaving a few dollars off of the grocery bill, hey, even if it was only $5 a week its still something. Thanks to a couple of awesome couponing friends and some online research I was on my way. I am proud to say that I just recently achieved my goal of saving $1000 this year! Not bad for a beginner. Once I started learning about all of the great coupons, free samples, loyalty reward programs and other great offers that are out there I was hooked and started sharing my finds and tips on my craft blog Kawartha Beads. There has been such a fabulous response that I decided to start Kawartha Bargains so that all of this wonderful information had a home of its own and so that you could join me in my goal for save $5000! This amount will include not just groceries, toiletries, household items and baby care but also gifts (birthdays, Christmas, etc) and some of the household items that arise (towels, cooking items, etc). To further my savings I also plan to expand my cooking skills (menu planning has been a fantastic side benefit of shopping with coupons/flyers) such as learning more batch and freezer cooking skills and other tips for stretching those dollars. Does that mean that we have to go without? Not a chance! By stretching those dollars further if we want to go and treat ourselves to a beautiful steak right from the butcher or dinner out at a restaurant then no problem! And best of all, it means I can stay home with my kids and THAT is absolutely priceless!!!! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Welcome to Kawartha Bargains!

Welcome to Kawartha Bargains! Whether you are looking to save a couple of bucks or a whole pile of money I hope to bring you useful tools and resources to accomplish your goal.

What you can expect to find at Kawartha Bargains:
  • Canadian coupon information
  • freebie finds
  • daily deals
  • ways to make money online
  • information about loyalty reward programs
  • frugal living and other money saving ideas
I am still learning new things every day and am by no means an expert yet, but I hope you will join me on my journey in stretching those hard earned dollars!