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We’ve Moved!

1 Mar

Dish Dash Dime has moved to it’s very own website. I’m so excited to bring you a website that will continually evolve to bring you the best recipes, deals, freebies, giveaways and more. So what are you waiting for? Go to DishDashDime.com right now.

SOPA and Blogging

18 Jan

Now, I’m not one to explicitly shove my opinion down someone’s throat in hopes that they’ll take my side and then act on it as well. Its rare you’ll find posts on this blog unrelated to food, deals, and the like. But I’m also not one to ignore a problem or to pretend like it won’t impact me. So that is why I want to bring your attention to SOPA and PIPA. Before you stop reading, thinking that this is a political or social statement, I just want you to watch this video.

On the Tuesday 24th January 2012, the US Senate will vote on the internet censorship bill.

Its your choice what you do with this information – I just want to keep you informed of what could happen if this bill were to pass next week. Here is a great article I found on 1stwebdesigner.com that really explains what the bill is and how it will affect you as internet users and me as a blog writer:

As stated prior in what PIPA and SOPA are and what will they enable U.S. government agencies and private companies to do, the internet will become a hunt for any little bit of possible copyright violation. Of course the government loves blogs and bloggers, so it is only natural to think that they will receive a lot of special attention. These acts make it the blog owners responsibility for everything that is displayed on their site, including the comments of visitors.

So say an article is published one day featuring a logo, or trademark, of corporation and that corporation doesn’t like that it is being put on display on the site. Now the author of this article could have used it as a teaching method, critique, praising good design, or anything you can think of, it doesn’t matter. With these acts being only direct enough to give an area for attack, and vague enough to manipulate and twist seemingly any possible way, any type of accusation can be made and found true.

Please consider the impact this type of decision could have on America and the Internet. Yes, certain file sharing and piracy sites do need legal action, but something this vague could be more powerful and more abusive than we can even realize. If you agree, then choose to do something about it and join the petition at http://americancensorship.org/. I wish I had a better solution to help control and take down sites where creative content and intellectual property are shared with no exchange of payment, but for now, I know that SOPA and PIPA are not the answer.

$aving on Groceries – Part 1

7 Jan

I’m not a crazy coupon lady. Mostly because I don’t have time. But oh, I have so much respect for the women and men that are so incredible at it – the ones who save 95% on these big $500-1200 grocery trips. But if you’re wondering how a wife like me, who works full-time and volunteers in youth ministry, is able to save us over 50% average last year on groceries and drug store items – well I can help you out.

I’m often asked by my friends how I save money and why I put so much time and effort into the process. The answer is usually, “Well I just like to coupon and save money…” But the long answer is so much more involved. It’s a rocky road to becoming a true money-saving, coupon-sorting, stockpiling diva. And let’s be honest, I’m no where close to those women on TV. I’m a reasonable couponer. I coupon because I know I can save money. I can’t stand paying retail if I know I can get it on sale somewhere. And I’m only couponing for two people, so that someday when there might be more of us, I can coupon at least part-time and still be satisfied.

But don’t fear, couponing isn’t a scary thing to learn. It just involves time and baby steps. So I decided to write this guide for people who are short on time and overwhelmed by collecting inserts, clipping loads of coupons, and taking on a part-time job to save their family money. This guide is written for the busy mom/wife who would like to know simple way to do it…in small, manageable, easy to handle, baby steps.

1. You have to commit to doing couponing for at least two months before you give up. If you commit for a week, or just one trip; and it doesn’t go as planned, don’t give up.

2. Don’t stress yourself out if you don’t save 75% or even 50% – if you were saving 0% before and now you’re saving 20% – that is a great job! Figure it this way – if you used to spend $500/month on groceries and now you spend $400, that’s an extra $1200 in your pocket each year.

3. Only buy items that you and your family eat or use. Or if you happen to know someone personally that would eat or use the item. Now, I love donating my extra food and supplies to organizations and food drives, etc. But when you are just getting started, focus small. If you happen to come across 10 boxes of diapers on a crazy discount, but have no babies, I’m sure someone would love to have them!  In other words, I don’t see the point in buying 25 boxes of the flavor of crackers your family detests in hope that you’ll host enough parties to “get rid” of them. While I only bought a couple, I have been guilty of buying things we never eat.

4. Focus on a couple of stores. If you try an learn the ins and outs of coupon polices and the way sales work at every single one of your local grocery and drugstores, and then add in a Target or a Wal-Mart too – well you’ll drive yourself bonkers! So pick the store you frequent the most, make sure you have a store club card. And grab a copy of their coupon policy. Stick to this store and their sales while you learn. This will help you out so much.

5. Do what works for you. Choose the couponing method that works best for you and your family. Would you rather carry around a big binder in your cart, a bunch of clipped coupons, or maybe the whole coupon inserts? Do you want to clip out every coupon, or just keep each insert? How much time will you spend on couponing and how will you make time for it? I can’t tell you what will and will not work for you. But I will share my discoveries, shortfalls, failures, and successes as I’ve been couponing for over a year now.

I look forward to sharing my stories with you all. I hope you can learn something, and apply it to your current couponing lifestyle, or your brand new beginning coupon experiences too!

New Coupon Terminology

CouponingVerb. The act of collecting, organizing and clipping coupons and then matching them with weekly sales to get the best discount on food and drugstore items you need for your family.

75% off Clearance at Walmart

5 Jan

My local Walmart has 75% off Christmas clearance. I know what you are thinking…its all picked over. Not my store! There was at least 3 complete aisles of decor, stockings, lights, tree skirts, ornaments, etc. There were also a bunch of “gifts” marked down to – including massaging slippers for $2.86.

They even had 6.5 foot trees marked down to $5. I picked up 4 packs of HD icicle lights for $2.99 each. Also, there were some other aisles with gift baskets, candy canes, and other gift-like items marked down 50% off. Better Homes and Gardens makes bars that melt in Scentsy warmers for $2. So I picked up one to try out for $1 on sale. The scent is called, “Ginger Spice Cake.” It smells so good.

Our cashier told us that another lady had come in earlier that day and bought 40 boxes of lights for $0.67/each!

So, if you have time tonight or tomorrow, visit a non-centrally located WalMart and hope the shelves are still stocked. Or even better, call that friend who lives out in the middle of nowhere and tell them about the deal!

My CVS Trip: 12/30

30 Dec

Since a lot of my coupons expire tomorrow, and tomorrow is filled with activities, I just HAD to go to the store today. Its like the coupons were yelling, “USE ME” before we expire please! So off to the store I went.

I got these items:
(2) ThermaFlu Warming Capulets, 24 ct $4.77
(4) Head & Shoulders 2 in 1 Shampoo/Conditioner $3.15 (50% off clearance)
Pantene Restore Frizz Shampoo (50% off clearance)
Pantene Restore Breakage Shampoo $1.57 (75% off clearance)
Replenish Shampoo $1.84 (75% off clearance)
Replenish Conditioner $1.84 (75% off clearance)
Covergirl Last Blast $9.39
Covergirl Last Exact Mascara $4.49 (CoverGirl Eye B1G1 50% off)
CVS Airshield (hubby not feeling so great, not pictured, not on sale) $6.29

Coupons that I used:
$21 in previous ECB (Extra Care Bucks)
$5/$25 coupon from CVS, loaded to my card
(2) $1/2 Head & Shoulders products
$3/2 Pantene products
$4/2 Theraflu
(2) $1/1 CoverGirl products

Total OOP (out-of-pocket) – $14.94
CVS Sales Savings – $37.36
Coupon Savings – 37.00
Total Savings – $74.36, That is 80%!
PLUS, I earned an extra $9 in ECBs for my next trip!

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