Meet Mavis…


It’s me Mavis.

I’m your typical Seattle area housewife living in high maintenance suburbia. Only instead of hanging out at the wine bar or nail salon in the latest pair of 7 jeans… you’ll find me at the grocery store… with my coupon binder… high on coupon crack. My goal in 2011 is simple… Try and stay within a budget of only $100 dollars a month for all my family’s grocery and toiletry needs. (This includes take out and dine in restaurant meals as well) Can I do it??? Will I fail? Well… so far so good. This year I’ve only spent $277.58!  So if you’re interested in how I’m able to keep my refrigerator stocked like the typical American family…

But at a fraction of the cost…tune in to my weekly “Monday’s with Mavis” post right here on… Until then…

Stay Frugal,



  • Jilinda

    I can’t wait to see your Seattlite posts! Groceries are so much more expensive here than in the Boise area. I am ready to see where you’re getting your great deals!

  • KD

    Wow, you’re so cute! I’m so impressed that you have a budget of $100/month! I want to be you! How many kids are you feeding on that?

  • myssssss

    They don’t double coupons in seattle proper and if living in the burbs you are able to only spend that amount money you must be rebating and getting coupons on e-bay which costs postage to get them..we love Seattle but living there in the city is to me no bargain, unless you shop grocery stores that are considered alternative and one must drive or hop on many buses to get to them so the amount you spend you must shop, shop and hoard tons of stuff, which to me for most working people doesn’t work..a persons time is worth something and working a full time job I don’t think I could save that much and how many people live in your home anyways, with small children what do you feed them??????????????hmmmmm!?!?!?!

    • monica

      Sorry Mavis. Remember when we mentioned you might get some rude comments? Let it roll of your back. Oh and if you want us to delete said rude comments just say the word! We are so excited to have you!

      • MissLobo

        I am sorry too Mavis! I am excited to see how you do it on $100 a month!! Don’t let Myssssss discourage you in anyway. There are many of us out there that try to do the best we can and love to get encouragement from others on how they do it. Thanks for taking the time to share!

        • Karri

          I’m new to couponing and blogs. We have 5 in our family and have cut or budget down to $500 per month. I can’t wait to see what you are going to do! I will be reading “Monday’s With Mavis” every week and telling all my friends to read it!!!! Thanks so much for all the GREAT info!!!!

    • Erica

      Welcome Mavis! I’m so excited to read your post! I’ve read comments from you on here before and you seem to have such a fun personality! Thank you for letting all of us that REALLY want to save money and who DO have time know just how you do it!! Good luck with your budget!! Maybe I’ll make that my goal someday!!

      P.S. I wonder why Myssssss is on here anyway?!

    • Sophie


      I don’t quite understand if time is so precious to you, why do you waste it reading a blog about couponing that you don’t even seem to like? Based on your comments on previous posts, you don’t actually seem like you coupon, you seem like you are just here to find fault with everything that is posted.


    • Lena

      my*ssss for a person who says is a busy working person, you sure have a lot of time on your hands to write negative rambling comments. So, don’t you have something else better to do with your time? Maybe volunteer at a crisis counseling center or help with abandoned animals? Really.

    • mavis

      @ Myssssss… WOW… You crack me up. What do I feed my kids? I feed them food… Why? What do you feed your kids? For starters… Yes, I do rebate every once in a while… In fact the last rebate I did was for the L’Oreal Youth Code… I had planed to give it away this Christmas as a gift… perhaps I should send it to you… maybe it would help put a smile on your face 🙂 To answer your other questions… I’ve never bought a coupon off ebay… or any other coupon clipping service… I guess you’ll just have to tune into my posts to see how I get my coupons for FREE… Also… every single store I shop at is within 2 miles of my house… so gas really isn’t an issue… In fact I could walk to the stores if I really wanted too. And as for your comment ” They don’t do coupons proper in Seattle”… Huh? I’m thrilled with the coupons I’m able to redeem each and every week. Hopefully we can all learn from each other with the great tips on this blog and help one another to be the best couponers we can be.

      • Pamela

        What a wonderful and gracious reply. Can’t wait to hear more from you. Looking forward to Monday!

      • Ann

        You’re too kind to take the time to respond to “Myssss Negativity”; she certainly rubbed everyone the wrong way 😉
        Like most of us, I am super excited to start reading your post since what you’re doing sounds super impressive. Thank you for your willingness to share and enlighten us! All the best to you and your family.

      • Dawn

        I believe what Mysssss was asking is about what you feed you kids because a $100 a month would not pay for milk and fresh fruit and veggies in my home.

        I have a family of 6 and a home daycare (9 daycare children at the moment)

        I average 16 gallons of milk a month. Sam’s club usually has the best price in my area and I just paid $3.04 a gallon (price just went up) That is about $48 in just milk, now lets add fruit and veggies which costs (I tried to fix the typo) me about $15 a week which is $60 a month, Now let’s throw in eggs at about $12 a month (I pay $1.98 for 18 eggs). I will leave bread out for now.

        Milk $48
        Fresh Fruit and Veggies $60 (I also hit up neighbors for the Fruit growing on their trees which I get for FREE — It is orange season now)
        eggs $12
        That is $120 a month just for these things.

        There are no doubles in my area at ALL!!!!

        And I don’t know about you but I think these are pretty good prices (except for the milk but what can I do – Sam’s Club is MOST always the cheapest) these things are necessities for my household and rarely go on sale for better prices and usually no coupons (there is something wrong on this site the c and o keep doing that) for these items.

        Buying a cow is not an option –LOL — Have you ever milked a cow? So NOT fun — grew up on a ranch been there done that and you have to milk twice a day NO MATTER WHAT = no vacations (not even long day trips) My area is not zoned for it anyway. Milk goats way easier but again you have to milk twice a day at the same time each day NO MATTER WHAT.

        Suggestions anyone?????

  • Shannon

    I am excited to read your posts, Mavis. I think its amazing that you save so much, and I’m sure we’ll all learn a lot from you!

  • Katie in DC

    It’s nice to meet you Mavis. I like you already.

  • MH

    Mavis rocks! She makes me laugh every day.

    • mavis

      Is that you Mrs. H? I had no idea you were my biggest fan… I’m flattered… unless of course you’re channeling Kathy Bates from the movie Misery… then… that would be a problem 🙂 Hahaha…

  • Lena

    Mavis – you could be my new hero. ;0)

  • Lisa

    You bloggers are great! I love that the manager at Safeway now sees me with my binder and tells the cashier, “Just do whatever she says!” Keep up the good work!

  • mel

    Wahoo!!! Can’t wait for Monday!!!

    Btw… I feed my kids food too! lol!! You crack me up!!

  • Rachel

    I’m so excited about this – Love this site it is so helpful and Love that U will have a Seattle counterpart as well.

  • I love Mavis!! And I can’t wait to read here, too.

  • Helen in Meridian

    Mavis, you look so pretty. Your hair looks so pretty like someone who has lots of free good quality hair care products. I look forward to your Monday posts too. Boise hasn’t always had occasional double coupons. It has just been a little over a year that we have gotten double coupons once a month at Albertsons. We all can learn a lot from you , even miss myasssss. Hope she opens her heart to learn a new skill that will help her whole family.

  • Lisa G

    First time commenter- I love Fabulessly Frugal!! And to me it just got 100% better. I am thrilled to read a Seattle coupon perspective and I am truly blown away by $100.00 a month! Teach me your ways, Mavis!

  • robin cabrini

    Wow- can’t wait to see how you do it. I spend way too much money right now and need to cut back! I do try to do as much organic as possible which really cuts into the budget, my milk is $5.97 a gallon (I know, gasp) but I think organic is so important for our health right now. Can’t wait to see what you do and how you do it!

    • mavis

      $5.97 a gallon for milk? You need to buy your own cow…. Let’s say the cost of the dairy cow is $1,500… you will have it paid for after only 251 gallons… Just keep it in the backyard… I’m sure the kids would love it 🙂 And if the neighbors complain… let them milk the thing…

    • Karma

      Robin – are you in Boise or Sun Valley area? My parents own an organic dairy and sell their milk for $4.99 – $5.49 gallon. It’s Organic Acres brand and it’s sold at the Boise coop and several stores in the Hailey/Ketchum/Sun Valley area. If you’re in this area email me at and I’ll find the closest store to you! A dollar a gallon could save at least some $.

    • Julie

      I don’t know what brand of milk you buy, but Organic Valley puts out some great coupons. Get on their mailing list. They send dairy-oriented activities for kids sometimes, and those come with nice coupons. At Fred Meyer, I have found Organic Valley milk on half-price clearance many times, and I use the coupons on top of the clearance price and freeze the milk. Horizon organic puts out coupons sometimes, too, but Organic Valley seems to offer them more often.

  • Amanda A.

    I’m new to couponing and just used my first coupons at Walmart (and I didn’t take the coupon policy with me) and it didn’t quite work out how I wanted it to. But i’ve got the coupon policy printed and ready to take with me next time! Is it right that different walmarts can have different coupon policies? Anyway, SO excited to start reading your posts each week! We need to save every penny we can now that we have twins and only one income – I’m SO glad i’m getting to stay at home!

  • Meridian Mama

    Impressed already! Looking forward to Mondays!!!

  • I want that T-shirt!! Got a coupon for it?? 🙂

  • Tonya

    I am SUPER impressed with your $100 a month goal! I would LOVE to be able to do that. I have cut WAY back an am getting better at couponing I think, but want to learn your ways and grow my skills. can’t wait to read you posts 🙂

  • Sarah Bearah

    I can’t wait to learn from you!

  • Heather

    How exciting…another Seattle-ite! Yeah! I am in the subs too, but have only recently started the whole coupon thing and am loving it! Already saving money, but with following your frugal ways on local places I am sure that I am bound to save even more! Bring it!

    PS. Food! You feed your kids food! Get out! 🙂 I about fell out of my chair laughing…you know that laugh that makes you cry!?! Thanks for that!

  • myssssss

    Listen it is great what you save, but where do you go out to eat, Dick’s drive in for their burgers and cheeseburgers, eating out in the seattle area even in the burbs is really exorbitant and I am a penny pincher..the comments on what I wrote were pretty rude, I think the people who read this blog have no idea how expensive it is to live in and around the largest city in the state of if your are talking about eastern washington yeah and more yeah if you can get used to many inches of snow, but they have neat markets that you can buy locally grown food year round for little money and the weather is drier, but Seattle you pay to play and eat up there, I have only read of one woman profiled by the seattle times and the seattle pi who could accomplish something near to Mavis, but she ran all over to many independent markets and bought only veggies, some meat, poulty and fish and got her other goods at an albys when they were accepting their triple coupons, which they have since stopped when it was purchased by Super Value…so I have no idea what mavis feeds her family and children but good luck to her, since living up in the Seattle area is the most expensive in the state of washington, but she doesn’t live in Seattle proper where about 2 million people do, the burbs are different all the way around and don’t think I am a person who breaks others bubbles, I have couponed since 1971 in california and got fresh and local foods where ever I lived there and lived on little money (college student) part time 80 degree weather and I biked or took buses all over..don’t delete my comments, one has to tell the truth and I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • myssssss

    I re-read Mavis’s comments on L’Oreal, I have more than enough of their products free except for the tax here and I do volunteer so much of my time to hunger here and womens domestic violence that I only work at a non-profit and actually don’t make much at all, the nerve, you don’t know me, yes I do feed children, the children of people who are in the 15% of unemployed here and I listen to people who are in d/v situations, I give all I can and still have time to read this early before I go to my many places of work which is volunterring for the hungry poor and people who are abused..maybe if some of the people who are buying all this food and haba products could help those who are not working our state would be a better place and friendly to those who have lost their jobs..think about that when you shop shop and shop some those who have nothing, it is soaring in this county and all parts of Washington state!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hmmm. and I am a super positive person, you just don’t know me at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Carolyne

      Mssss….Why do you immediately take the assumption that we don’t?! I know that to the extent we are blessed we should be a blessing, this is means donating and serving but without boasting or condemnation like you. Just because you live in Seattle and can’t figure out how to coupon effectively enough to reduce your budget that far – doesn’t mean others can’t. I’m pretty sure Mavis is not making a dime posting her story and tips on here – so she in fact serving her community by equipping them with the tools to help their family. In fact, in addition to giving fish she is teaching people HOW to fish – which will her community MORE in the longterm. Thank you Mavis for your time, talent, and treasure!

  • Alicia

    Super excited to follow your Shopping Mavis 🙂
    I “try to stick to a budget for food, but I have 2 small kiddos and 2 more (twins) on the way. Somehow we always go over a little bit. We have doubles here, rite aid, wags, target.

    Love that you fridge loooks a lot like mine – same stuff – even coffee creamer! I can’t survive without my coffee 🙂

    Thanks for letting us all share in your experience!

  • Desi

    Here’s a tip for all those who use budgets, use cash on your groceries, it helps a ton to be able to count how much money is left in your purse, at the end of the month when it starts to get low buy the essentials and be very careful with what you are considering deals. Then when the money is gone your done no matter what comes on sale. Remember it will come on sale again and your not missing that much, but by staying on track with your budget over the long run you will save a lot!

    • Vanessa

      I also once heard Susie Orman say always use cash and never spend the change. She said bring it home, put it in a bank, box or jar. Once it is full put it in a “special account” at the bank for whatever you are hoping and wishing for. Wether its a pair of gorgeous new shoes or a vacation with your family. We have started this in our house and have started putting all the change in our daughter’s piggy bank for her future college fund. She is only 15 months old so hopefully we are on track to one day double, triple and grow her college fund.

  • Rachel

    @myssssss – I am so tired of u coming on here and talking bad about those of us who stockpile – I personally feed 3 family’s on under $600 a month. I do this in Seattle area – and I donate regular to a homeless shelter and have handed out food to homeless on street instead of giving them $. You act as if your poo don’t stink and u don’t use coupons and U say you do. I special order and do not clear shelves or hoard as u have complained about in past posts. I do buy makeup and also give a portion of that to shelters and use a bit myself. So basically what i’m saying is you don’t know what we all do – how we care for our family’s and others so please stop being a negative Nellie –

  • lacey

    Welcome Mavis. I know I am late but I am super excited and hey where can I get that shirt. So that I can openly confess my love for coupons. All the very best. It so good to see some one from WA at this Fab blog which is my fav.

  • Michele

    Go Mavis – Go Mavis – Go Mavis!!!!!!!!

    You are an inspiration!!! And totally hilarious to boot~

    Sooo looking forward to reading your hilarious dialog – oh ya…and how you saved bundles too!

  • Mavis I love you already!
    Ur my hero! what an inspiration. No wonder you’re on team Fab!
    & can we get team shirts like yours?
    SO loving it!

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