sprinklers Palm Springs day 3 007


Thank you for stopping by my blog, My Frugal Adventures!

I am Charlene, a proud mama of two busy little girls, one very spoiled dog and wife to a major sports nut.  I started My Frugal Adventures in February of 2009 to show that you can live on a budget and still enjoy all the wonderful things life has to offer!

You can usually find me enjoying the beautiful California sunshine, coming up with new activities and crafts to do with my kiddos, embarking on my latest home improvement project or wandering the aisles of Target looking for the hottest deals!  I try to balance healthy eating and an active lifestyle with a deep passion for all things chocolate (and an occasional Diet Coke… shhh!)

My Frugal Adventures is a fun and upbeat community that highlights coupons and deals on all the products a busy family needs.  If you are trying to stretch those hard earned dollars, you came to the right place!  You can find the best deals week after week at stores like CVS, Costco, Target, Safeway and more… You will also find coupon codes, sales and promotions for children’s products, household basics and unique and interesting splurge items just for Mom.

xmas pics

A few things that set me apart – I believe you can still eat well on a budget.  Saving money doesn’t mean compromising the health of your family!  I buy as many fresh, local and organic products as possible and try to provide the best quality foods I can for my children.  You will find recipes here- mostly I like to focus on fresh, healthy real food that can be made quickly.  I do have a serious sweet tooth so you will also find lots of treats- especially fun and whimsical things for the children.

Fresh Cilantro Lime Salsa


Some of my favorite recipes include:

Easy Blender Salsa Recipe

The Best Ever Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Homemade Almond Butter Recipe

Copycat Alice Springs Chicken Recipe 

Homemade Crock Pot Apple Butter Recipe 




Just like you, I have a lot of balls in the air so while I love a good bargain, I am always striving to find balance in my life.  In addition to coupons and deals, you will also find tips for DIY projects, children’s activities, home improvement projects and the occasional craft projects (providing I haven’t glued my fingers together.)  Oh and a few little organizational ideas here and there to try and keep it all together.

Homemade Mary Kay Satin hands- perfect for dry skin, after gardening or crafting.  Just two ingredients and makes a fantastic gift!


Here are a few of my favorite projects:

Homemade Satin Hands Scrub

Homemade Body Butter Recipe 

DIY Children’s Tent  

Homemade 3 Ingredient Mosquito Repellent 

 Sharpie Dyed Coasters 




I am a Zumba fanatic, a night owl (that desperately wishes to be a morning person) and I always have time to stop for a good cup of coffee or a Margarita.

My Frugal Adventures has been featured in Family Circle, Woman’s World, The Huffington Post, MSN as well as live segments on Good Day Sacramento and Fox News.

I have a BA in International Relations from California State University, Sacramento and originally had dreams of joining the FBI.  I stumbled into a career in the wine industry after college and fell in love with fresh, simple foods and incredible wine.  (I can swirl and spit with the best of them!)  I have an MBA from City University and started this blog after having our first child, relocating from Seattle to California and transitioning from two incomes to one…. all while digging ourselves out of debt Dave Ramsey style!  If I can do it- so can you! 

What you won’t find on My Frugal Adventures are overly styled, impossible to duplicate and ridiculously expensive perfection.  Doesn’t that make you tired after awhile?  Boo!  Not many of us hire teams to professionally style and photograph children’s birthday parties.  I don’t spend $300 every few months to update my mantle with seasonal decor.   The recipes featured are simple and (hopefully) delicious – nothing that requires hours in the kitchen.  We get messy, we make lots of mistakes and despite my best efforts the house is never immaculate and perfectly organized.  Everything you find will be projects for real people on a real budget.  While I do like to save money, I also like good quality things so hopefully with My Frugal Adventures you find that Being Frugal Doesn’t Mean Being Cheap.

I hope you consider kicking up your feet and hanging out with me!  And please don’t be shy about sending emails or leaving your comments- it isn’t nearly as fun talking to myself all day!


EMAIL: myfrugaladventures @ yahoo. com (remove spaces)
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empire mine photo

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{ 285 comments… read them below or add one }

MaryLena Anderegg January 9, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Neither of our Walmarts stock the Reach floss which is the subject of a “get it free” and we were told they never have. I do appreciate all the helps you offer. In six months of couponing, we have cut our household expenses almost in half, have had two “financial fasts” (a week spending nothing, are in our third “financial diet” (a week of spending no more than $10) for a household of two adults who eat three meals a day at home.
Couponing works! Please continue to encourage frugal living.

nicole January 9, 2012 at 7:35 PM

I just got an email for JCPenny about the Step2 table…my order was canceled, BUT they sent my an online coupon code for $50 off a purchase of $50 or more! WOW!

Nat January 11, 2012 at 6:02 AM

Good morning Charlene, just wanted to share that groupon has an offer for the LA Times right now for 52 weeks Sunday paper at $10 (0.19 cents a copy), they also have Thurs-Sun for $20. Have a great day!

Melissa January 13, 2012 at 8:18 AM

I just wanted to let you know how disappointed I was with the deals lately. I realize it is not your fault, but it is disheartening to have my JcPenney order cancelled today. I did not receive the $50 credit that a lot of others got. My email stated “We regret that we cannot be of help to you in this instance. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. “. Not exactly the great customer service the rest of you received. Then I also had my Staples order canceled for the Sharpie markers. I love the deals you present, just wish they actually happen.

Charlene January 13, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Melissa, I am sorry you feel that way. Sadly, there is no way I can know what will be cancelled and what will be filled. I am having a hard time accepting personal responsibility for companies that can’t update their inventory to reflect out of stock issues in a timely manner. I have found in over three years of blogging it is extremely rare that orders are cancelled. 99.99% of them are filled. We happen to have had bad luck with 2 deals from Toys R Us, one deal from JC Penney and 1 deal from Staples and possibly some orders from Maidenform recently. That would be a total of five or six deals that I can recall from the past several months. I probably posted up to 50 deals per day in December. So there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of deals that worked out fine. I actually take a great deal of offense to your comment that the deals I post don’t happen. I would stop blogging if the deals I posted were wrong because it is not fun for me either to get comments like this blaming me for an order being cancelled.

I guess you just have to decide if you want to focus on the very, very, very small minority of things that don’t work out or the majority of things that do. That is a decision you will have to make though and if the very small number of orders that do get cancelled are going to be really upsetting to you, perhaps it might be better to just pass on the offers so you can avoid any possibility of disappointment.

I just posted an alternate deal from Target that is still excellent for Sharpies. You will pay $.50 more plus 2 fewer pens- that is a total of $1.00 more than the Staples deal. Had my order been cancelled by Staples, I would have been disappointed for a moment and then I probably would have been happy that there was another option that was still an excellent deal for me to get. ;)

Oh and one last note, as I mentioned in the post JC Penney did cancel orders and they issued a $50 credit. The credit was in a separate email that came a few days ago. Staples did cancel a $3 order and they refunded people’s money and gave them $5 in cash direct to their bank accounts as an apology. You might check again because I bet you did get both of those and maybe just overlooked them? So if you followed the posts- there was an alternate JC penney item that worked out to be $4 LESS than the one that was cancelled AND for Staples just go to Target and you are still making a $4 profit after that extra $5 they gave as an inconvenience fee.

Tabetha January 13, 2012 at 10:43 AM

I have found some of the Huggies “santa” diapers on clearance at grocery stores. Toys R Us/ Babies R Us are still holding out on us. Giant marked the diapers down to $2.50/pack. Weis has them at 50% off, which makes them $5/ pack. Another thing is that most of the packs have a $2 off coupon inside the package. You can feel around to see if your pack has one. I have been able to neatly open around the coupon and have used the $2 coupon on the packs I’m buying on clearence. Out of all the “santa” packs I’ve seen, only one pack has not had the coupon in it. I didn’t open that pack. The stores I’ve been in haven’t given me a problem opening up one sie of the package to use the coupon. Once again you can feel the coupon flyer inside of it. Using the $2 off coupon has made the clearence price so much sweeter. Hopefully some of your readers will be able to find some great deals on these diapers. Thanks again for all your posts/blog.

Tabetha :)

christina January 16, 2012 at 9:28 AM

HI could you help me find any good deals on Conair Instant Heat Jumbo-Sized Rollers?

Steph January 23, 2012 at 12:51 PM

So…holy price of peanut butter these days!!! Have you seen any deals on peanut butter?

cara January 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Staples in my town is having a clearance of BIC mechanical pencils 5pk. for 50 cents and 5 pk of bic click pens for 50 cents. They had tons!!!! My hubby has to carry pens in his shirt pocket so can only use the clicky kind :) yay….

Sarah O. January 30, 2012 at 6:17 AM

Cardstore has free valentines again today. The promo code is 10KPEOPLE. I just did it and it worked great!

cheryl February 6, 2012 at 8:11 AM

is there a new site for the coupon database the old one is gone and i’m trying to search out a few coupons

Charlene February 6, 2012 at 8:17 AM


The coupon database has not moved. It is still a big button on the right sidebar.

cheryl February 6, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Safeway deals

steamfresh vegtables 1.99 when YB3+
chef’s favorites TILL 2/14
use $0.50/1 EXP 2/26/12 SS 01/08/12 #2

Irish Spring Bar Soap 8 Pack 2.99
TILL 2/14
use .50/1 EXP 2/18/12 SS 1/29/12

till JULY 8TH

TILL 2/14
FINAL 4.00 FOR 3



Monica February 7, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Walgreens as has a coupon for $0.99 large aquafresh toothpaste and you can pair it up with the $0.75 aquarfresh coupon from last month and get them for $0.25. I bought 3 today!

JJ February 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM

I just want to say thanks Charlene, I’ve been following your blog for about one year, and today when I got fired for a really unfair reason that I don’t even want to remember, and saw the stockpiles of cereal, soap, tothpaste, etc…when i came back home I really found some relief, not to mention that since I started couponing and following your blog incredibly I been saving for first time in my life, that will really help on the hard times coming up for us… Thank you ;)

Charlene February 15, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Shoot. :( I am so very sorry. I hope something better comes along for you soon.

Careen February 21, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Hi there, do you ever see any coupon codes for Athleta.com? Love their workout clothes but they are so expensive!

Dee February 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Hi Charlene and the rest of everyone here! Hoping you could help us out , I’m on a Relay for Life team in Brooklyn. We’re looking for donations of gift cards , gift baskets, ANYTHING possible!

Please let us know if you could help! Contact this email address : prettyinpurple2@gmail.com / every little bit helps!!

Leslie February 25, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Please unsubscribe me from your website.

Charlene February 25, 2012 at 8:49 AM


I am sorry but I am not able to do that. You would need to open any newsletter you receive and then scroll to the bottom and click the unsubscribe link. You will find that link on any newsletter that you have subscribed too and it just takes a second to do.


Elizabeth February 26, 2012 at 4:42 AM

Hello Charlene,
I did sign up for free membership with Coupons.com , but i don’y know how to cancell my subscription before 1 year is over. I checked the website and did not see any links that would let me cancell it. Any suggestions????

Cookie March 3, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Hi Charlene,

Where is that form we are supposed to fill out to try to win the Kindle?
There is never any form at the end of my newsletter – I’ve never seen one.

Charlene March 3, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Cookie, it is within the post and if you haven’t click through to the blog you won’t see it. Just a small space for a name and email.

Try clicking on this post and see if you can see it now:



Lisa C. March 4, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Hello, I too live in Northern California. Do you by any chance have a price list? I, and other fellow couponers in our area, am looking for one to use. Thank you, Lisa

Melanie March 5, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Hi Charlene,
Did something change with Coupon.com and brix? I used to be able to print these coupons without any problems and now I can’t. I have tried everything and one of my computers is at a totally seperate location and I still can’t print. This has put a damper on my couponing!

Charlene March 5, 2012 at 12:30 PM


Coupons.com has had some web site issues lately with being down for maintenance and such. I am not aware of any other issues with the bricks coupons right now though.


SavSec March 15, 2012 at 7:05 AM

I love this site! It is very clear and I am once again inspired to coupon. My goal is to get beyond the “usual” 20 – 26%” savings that I usually see on my receipt. My goal is to get to 50% savings. I’ll keep referring to your site, and adding to my coupon binder! We don’t have coupon doubling in our area either, so it can be a challenge, but I can fit maybe 1/2 hour or so per day to matching and couponing to get the best deals and meet my goal of 50% savings. Thanks again!

Jennifer Stewart March 17, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Today I have seen three of the commericials about free samples for Purex and I tried to get one of them but it seems to be out of stock when I chose one of the websites. I was wondering is there any still available that I can get a free sample from for this sample:
Free Purex Ultrapack since I have just started to see this commercial today.

Dallas March 28, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Charlene, just wanted to say thank you for all you do! I have been following you since you started blogging 3 years ago and you are by far the best! Just wanted to give you a shout out!

Now if only the deals on razors were as good as they were 3 years ago life would be grand…hehe…LOL!!! I miss the days you could regularly get them for under a buck.

Charlene March 28, 2012 at 10:40 PM

LOL thank you Dallas! Glad to know you still come hang out with me ;).

Katie April 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Do you have a smartphone friendly version of your blog? Something that is short and fast to download. Thanks

rosanna byron April 13, 2012 at 6:55 AM

hello did you get a winner for the printer yet?

Monique April 15, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Just wanted to let you and your readers know, I’ve just been to two different Walgreens in my area and they have the 23.2 oz size of Organic Similac formula on clearance for $6.99. I’m not sure if this some Walgreens or all Walgreens or what but it may be worth checking out. I’m not a huge organic fan but for that price its worth trying.

Sarah O. May 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Didn’t see it posted anywhere, but if you spend $30 at World Market/Cost Plus this week you get a one-year subscription to Martha Stewart Living. You can request the cash value of the subscription which is $14.95. I also used my 10% off coupon so I did pretty well. For some reason, two of the offers printed so I gave one to a friend. Good deal!

Angela D May 31, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Hi Charlene
You’ve saved my family a ton of money over the past year since I found your site. Thank you!!!!

Charlene May 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Oh thank you very much for taking the time to comment Angela!

Saundra Council June 12, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I would like more information on your free reading program for my son who is in the 7th grade. My name is Saundra Council.

Charlene June 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM


You can get all the info you need on the various programs here:


MaryLena Anderegg June 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM

If you have a Publix nearby, there is a great buy on Red Gold canned tomatoes. Usually these are$1.19 to $1.39 per can for both flavored and non-flavored. In the yellow advantage flyer is a coupon which combined with (a) sale price of 10/$10 and (b) a printable coupon; you can get 10 cans for only $.40 each….the lowest price I’ve seen in more than ten years. Happy Bargain shopping!

Christie Henderson June 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM

If you like Ballpark Franks onf Facebook you can get a $1.00 off of 2 coupon. I got the meat franks at Winco, this weekend for $1.48.

Lisa H July 2, 2012 at 5:53 AM

Charlene, thanks for all the work you put in here! I really appreciate all you have taught me and all the deals you share.

Charlene July 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Thank you Lisa- Happy 4th of July!

Michele July 6, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Hi Charlene,

I got another big code from pampers for everyone. If you purchase a box of pampers diapers and febreze refresher at Walgreens in one shopping trip, you will receive a code on the receipt for 400 GTG POINTS!!! Ends 7-8-2012.


cindi July 23, 2012 at 8:22 PM

I have been using coupons for many years, having raised 7 children. Now we are collecting Social Security and have many Rx (most coupons are not accepted for Medicare) co-pays etc, plus the usual monthly bills. Now I do coupon more than ever. I wish I could find more coupons on fresh meat, milk, and things like that. I guess you always want more than you have don’t you. I will be watching you blog on facebook. Thanks

ali August 13, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I havent seen this deal I got posted anywhere and maybe it was only available one day but I stopped by the red machine at CVS on Sunday (when I was getting the FREE Good & Natural bar, yay!) and it printed out a store coupon for this week for $2 off any hair color purchase. Clairol is on sale for $5.99 each and the Sunday paper had a $2 off coupon…I bought a box for $1.99. Great deal.

Charlene August 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM

That is a great deal Ali, thanks for sharing!

Diane August 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Hi there. I am new to couponing and love your website. I have spent countless hours reading and following your links, so thank you. I have a question. I purchased a few coupon inserts from eBay. They don’t have some of the coupons you mention. Do the inserts vary from city to city? I am also in Northern California. Thank you for any advice you can give me.

Charlene August 19, 2012 at 8:20 AM


Where do you live in Northern California? Or actually let me ask what papers are available in your city?

This article might help you:


I am not a fan of buying whole inserts personally for the reason you discovered. You really can’t be sure the coupons you want will be inside unless the seller specifically lists them all out for you.

sandra john August 22, 2012 at 4:20 PM

please send me more crafts ideals, i’m looking for a lot of crafts things

Mary Gagne August 23, 2012 at 4:39 AM

I recently received this from a friend regarding the Dollar Tree coupon policy.
~Mary Gagne in Fayetteville, NC

Dollar Tree Coupon Policy

Earlier this week, Dollar Tree posted on its Facebook page that its stores would be accepting manufacturer coupons beginning August 26th.

Here’s the new coupon policy:


Only original and intact manufacturers’ coupons will be accepted. Retailer-specific coupons will not be accepted.
Coupons are void if copied, scanned, or if they have been altered in any way.
Only two (2) print-at-home Internet coupons may be redeemed per transaction.
We are unable to accept coupons for “Free” items with no purchase requirements or where the amount for the product is blank.
Coupons can only be used in stores and must be presented at time of purchase. Coupons cannot be redeemed for cash at a later time.
Coupons will not be accepted without the purchase of the item specified and are subject to the terms listed (e.g. expiration date, size, limitations, quantity, etc.).
Coupons cannot be redeemed for more than the purchase price of the item.
Only one (1) manufacturer’s coupon will be accepted per item.
Management has the right to refuse any coupon or otherwise limit quantities.

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