Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Friday Success!!

Well, I was pretty proud of my Black Friday deals.  I actually did go out to the mall to get a new (much-needed) wallet.  The best part of this wallet is the integrated coupon organizer (awesome!)...oh, and the price.  =D  Here's what I got at JC Penney:

'Big Spender' tab clutch $13.99 (60% off)

-$10/10+ purchase JC Penney coupon (mailed a month ago)

Total: $4.23

Saved: $33.93, or 89%!!

Of course, I had to go to CVS because there were so many great ExtraBuck deals!  I used the money makers to pay for peanuts, Advil, and a few small gifts.  I'll be spending the rest of my "profit" this week on super cheap necessities.  I went Friday afternoon and it wasn't too busy at all (I guess most people went Thursday).  I got most of what I wanted and picked up rain checks for the rest of the items on my list (so I'll have  few freebies later!).  Here's what I got:

Transaction #1:

(2) M&M packages $1.50 (I haven't bought baking chips in a year--I just use free candy =D)
(1) Zantac 30 tab $8.99
-$5/1 Zantac manu. q, -$5/1 Zantac CVS q (both registered at face value)
(2) Colgate Toothpaste $5.74
-(2) $1/1 Colgate manu. q's, -(1) $1/1 CVS q
(1) Pepto Bismol $2.99
(1) Kleenex Cool Touch $1.50
-$0.40/1 Kleenex cool touch
(1) Finish Quantum $2.99
-$1/1 Finish
(1) Breathe Right Strips $5.99
-$1.50/1 Manu. q, -$1.50/1 CVS q
(1) Cepacol losenge $4.99
-$1/1 Cepacol
(2) CVS Ibuprofen $2.99 (BOGO)
(1) Carmex lip balm $1
-$0.30/1 Carmex
-$6/$30 Health care purchase
-$5/25 purchase (the computer didn't like this...oops)
-9 ECBs (from last week)

Total: $0.61 (negative subtotal)

ECBs received: 1 (greenbag tag), 1.50, 2, 5.94, 2.99, 1.50, 2.99, 5.99, 4.99, 1 (28.90 total)

Transaction #2:
(2) Planter's Peanuts $6
(2) Listerine Pocket Paks $5.98
(1) Irish Spring Deodorant $2.77
-$1/1 Irish Spring
(3) Revlon nail polish $14.97
-(3) $1/1 Revlon nail polish
(1) CVS flosser package $1.99
(2) GUM 2 pk. toothbrushes $5.98
(-$1/2 into my saving star account)
(1) York king size bar $0.99
-$5/25 coupon
-28.90 in ECBs

Total: $1.66 (all tax)

ECBs received: 3, 5.98, 2, 12, 1.99, 5.98, 0.99 (31.94 total)

Transaction #3:
(2) M&Ms $1.50
(1) CVS AAA batteries $3.65
(1) Essence of Beauty Spa set $9.88
(3) Revlon nail polish $14.97
-(3) $1/1 Revlon
(1) York King size $0.99
(1) Matchbox car $0.50
-28.94 in ECBs

Total: $2.29 ($0.35)

ECBs received: 1.50, 3.99, 5, 12, 0.99

So I started with 9 extrabucks, got $150 in products, and ended with 26.48 in extrabucks!  Including the $5 I spent in tax, I made 12.92!  That's a savings of 109%!!  Woohoo!  All told, I earned $8.69 getting nearly $200 of products on Black Friday!  Very nice.  How did y'all make out this weekend?

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Lunch: Stove Top Mac-N-Cheese

If you feel like you're betraying your inner food snob when you eat Velveeta, try this recipe from my all-time favorite TV chef: AB's stove top mac-n-cheese.  The egg makes it sticky--definitely more like Velveeta than your blue-box mac.  Your inner child will be happy and you can still show your face at the country club.  =D

Friday, November 11, 2011

My First Coupon Teaching Trip

People often say they want to shop with me sometime.  Seeing as no one actually has shopped with me, I figured they were just saying that.  Well today, one of my MOPS friends and her husband actually went to CVS with me!  I was so excited because they had a number of things they needed that were actually a good sale this week!  They got 2 bottles of laundry detergent, a large package of toilet paper, and a large package of paper towels for $16 (retail value $36!).  Saving 56% on paper products your first time out is great, guys!  Way to go!  As a bonus, I was able to make some money with my purchases!  Here's what I got:

Transaction #1:

(2) Aveeno trail size lotions $1.49 ea.
(2) Smucker's preserves $2.50 ea.

-$1/2 Smucker's preserves
-7 ECBs

Total: $0.18 (only tax!)
ECBs received: 7 (for Aveeno--raincheck), 3 (for Smucker's)

Transaction #2:

(1) Holloween glowsticks $0.49 (Jesse likes to keep these in the car)
(3) Hallmark cards $0.99 ea.

-3 ECBs

Total: $0.67 (I used the rest of my giftcard)
ECBs recieved: 3 (for Hallmark)

Transaction #3 (now I know why I usually keep it to 2 transactions...)

(2) Schick Quattro 3 ct. $10.99 ea.

-BOGO Schick disposable razor ($10.99)
-10 ECBs

Total: $1.89
ECBs recieved: 10

Alright!  I paid $2.05 in cash and have 3 more bucks to spend next week--it's like they paid me $1 to take $40 in merchandise off their hands!!  Sounds like a good deal to me!

Oh, and I MUST brag about my shoe purchase today!  I wear a size 12, so finding any shoes--much less a deal--is a miracle. is having an 11eleven11 sale for the day and had thousands of pairs marked down to $11 each with free shipping!  They even had a solid 2 dozen pairs that were my size!!! So, I got a new pair of dress shoes and a pair of "eco" sneakers for $22 shipped!!  I was EXstatic for a good two hours over this deal!  I do have to pay for return shipping if they don't fit.  Since that would probably cost $11+, they're basically non-refundable.  But for that price, I'll take the chance for shoes I really love!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I got a little carried away...

I went to Weis last week to get a great deal on Charmin--$10 on your next order when you buy 3-18 ct. packages at $10.99 each.  Combining that deal with the $10 mail in rebate when you spend $35, I could get 3 pkgs. of toilet paper for $4 each.  Unfortunately, they didn't have the 18 ct. size (we think it was a special promotion size), so I got a raincheck.  I asked about the catalina coupon when I got the raincheck, and the associate said that they would just give me a gift card. 

After MOPS yesterday, I went to redeem my raincheck, but they said I wasn't supposed to get any $10 giftcard.  Since they had promised it, they honored the promotion  "just this once."  Good to know that I never want rainchecks from Weis in the future.  So, here's what I got:

(1) Charmin Ultra Soft 18 ct. double rolls $10.99
(2) Charmin Ultra Strong 16 ct. double rolls (they still didn't have 18 cts. and figured they wouldn't get more, so this worked for me) $10.99 ea.
(1) Pampers wipe $2.79
-$1/2 Charmin, -$0.50/1 Pampers wipe (doubled)
Total: $35.91
$10 giftcard for my next order
$10 mail in rebate when you buy $35 in P&G products
Total after rebates: $15.91 (70% off paper products!!)

Well, I got a little carried away with all the saving and maybe got too many boxes of cake mix (9...for the 2 of us).  Hey, we all make mistakes...

Here's what I got (final price listed):
1 gal milk $3.49
(2) Mott's apple sauce $2 ea.
(2) ToBe Healthy Pasta sauce $0.30 ea.
(6) Delverde Pasta $0.50 ea. (just the sale!)
(1) Eggland's Best eggs $0.89
(2) Sargento cheese $0.90 ea.
(2) Land'O'Lakes butter $3.50 ea.
(3) Beech-Nut baby cereal $0.59 ea.
(2) Ocean Spray cranberry juice $2 ea.
(2) Tyson chicken strips $2.49 ea.
(6) Orville R. popcorn 3 pks. $1.03 ea.

(and here's where I flubbed...they gave me $0.30 off gas if I bought 10 items...)

(1) Smucker's Preserves $1
(2) Pillsbury brownie mixes $0.55 ea.
(7) Pillsbury cake mixes $1 ea.

Total retail value: $161.95
Spent: $82.72
Got: $20 in rebates, $0.50 off per gallon of gas

After rebates, it's like I spent $62.72, or 61% off retail!  Yay!!  Now I have to figure out what to do with all this cake mix...I'd feel wierd donating it because of the whole Marie Antionette thing...I just pushed them up above my cupboard beside my emergency water supply...maybe I'll forget about them...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Back on Track!

Ahh!  I'm back on track with a 55% savings at Food Lion yesterday (which is no small feat for that store).  They almost rejected my high value Schick coupons (printable).  This is why couponers don't shop at Food Lion...they aren't at all "coupon friendly."  I hope to go back to my new flame--Martin's--soon.  They never even blink at my coupon stack.  =D  I didn't get a pic of my trip, but I did get a pic of my awesome CVS trips!  Here's what I got:

(2) Jif Peanut Butter $1.67 ea.
(1) Thermacare 1 ct. (rain check) $3.69
(1) Schick Quattro Women's refill $8.99

-$5/1 Schick razor/refill
-(2) $0.55/1 Jif printable
-4.99 Extrabucks

Total: $5.57 (on gift card)
ECBs: 4 (for Thermacare), 1 (green bag tag), 4 (for Schick)

Trip #2:

(2) Thermacare 2 ct. $5.99 ea.
(1) Listerine $3.99
-$2/1 Listerine
-$2/1 Thermacare (peelie--an extra from a while back)
-$1/1 Thermacare (inside an old package)
-9 ECBs
Total: $2.14 (on gift card)
ECBs: 5 (for Thermacare), 2 (for Listerine)

All told, I paid $0 out of pocket for $45.64 in products!  I only have $0.64 left on my gift card, so I'm gonna have to pay cash next week =(  Oh well, time to contribute to society, I guess.  =)  Have a great weekend, y'all!

Monday, October 31, 2011

I had a small meltdown in the parking lot...

I went to Weis Markets to get a great deal on paper products, but they were all out.  So, what was gonna be a "super savin' maven" trip turned essentially into a milk run...a really expensive milk run...  You remember that milk and cereal deal I did 2 weeks ago?  The one where I got 8 boxes of cereal for super-cheap?  Yeah, all that cereal is gone.  Two people went through 8+ boxes in 2 weeks!  So, I had that dreaded four-letter word on my hands (N-E-E-D) on more than one front.  Here's what I got:

(2) Tostitos BOGO @ $4.99
(3) Eggo waffles @ 3/$5 (trying to cut our cereal addiction)
(2) GM cereal $2.50 ea. (:O)
-$0.75/1 Cinn. Toast Crunch (doubles to $1.50)
(2) O.S. cranberry juice with calcium $1.79 (clearance!)
(1) Pillidelphia cooking cream $2
-$1/1 cooking cream
(1) A&W Root Beer 2 Liter (Coke prices were sooo high, so I subbed root beer) $1
(1) dozen eggs $1.89
Clementines $3.99
(1) gal. milk $3.29
(2) Freschetta pizzas $5.50 ea.
-$1/1 Freschetta pizza
(1) Newspaper $2

Total: $42.41

Aaaaand here's where I nearly cried.  Look at my cart again.  It looks like nothing to me--a few pizzas, some chips...  I was a little encouraged to see on my receipt that I had saved 35% ($23.60), but I still had to call my sister for some talk therapy.  She told me about her latest trip where she spent $150 and saved 8%.  I felt a little better.  She also commented, "I've created a monster!," and it is so true.  I'm pretty sure I'm "addicted to saving;" hopefully, I'll get over that soon (dad did say not to take up gambling).  In the meantime, I'll focus on the CVS run I did on Saturday.  I was pretty excited.  Here's what I got:

(2) Fun-sized bags M&M's $2.50 ea.
-(2) $1.50/1 Mars candy (9oz.+) coupons
(2) Fun-Sized bags Hershey's milk chocolate bars $2.50 ea.
-(2) $1/1 Hershey's candy (any, 9 oz. +) coupons
-4 ECBs

Total: $1.60 (on CVS gift card)
ECBs received: 3
Credit in Savings Star account: $1 (for buying M&Ms)

It's like I paid $1.60 for 4 bags of candy!!!  I saved 90% off retail price ($4 ea.)!!  I was purdy excited!!  See, I AM a "super savin' maven"!

Friday, October 28, 2011

One last grocery trip this week...

I noticed a lack of meat from my shopping trip on Sunday, so I planned another trip to Martin's.  Their pork tenderloins were BOGO (orig. $6.29/lb.?  Who pays these prices??) and I had two coupons, so it made them about $2/lb. (muuch better).  My sister-in-law is right: Martin's really is the best for coupons.  I've been through their U-Scan 4 times in the past few weeks, often doing 2 transactions and no one even bats an eye at my stack of coupons.  One more week of getting spoiled like this, and I'll be hard-pressed to return to Weis or Food Lion.  I'm not usually in the Martin's areas, so I decided to go on Tuesday after MOPS.  Oh how I love grocery shopping at night!  No crowds, no lines!  It's so peaceful just to stroll up and down the aisles all alone.  It's like a long walk on the beach in my corner market.  Aannyyway, I felt I did well, especially for a second trip (my savings quotient goes way down on second trips).  Here's what I got:

(2) Loaves bread (BOGO) $3.29
(2) Pork Filets (BOGO) $10.00
-(2) $2/1 coupons
(1) Applesauce $2
(4) Bird's Eye vegetables $1 ea.
-(2) $1/2 coupons
(2) small Freezer packs (clearance) $0.25 ea.
(1) medium freezer pack (clearance) $0.37ea.
(4) Gerber baby food jar (clearance) $0.37 ea.
-$1/4 Gerber baby food ANY ctalina (makes it $0.12 ea!)
(1) Gerber organic brown rice cereal (clearance) $1.74
-$1/1 Gerber organic cereal catalina
(1) Beech-Nut Oatmeal $1.99
-$0.60/1 Beech-Nut cereal (doubled to $1.20)
(2) Bertolli marinara sauce $2 ea.
-$0.75/2 Bertolli sauce (doubles to $1.50)
(1) Almond breeze shelf stable $2
-$0.55/1 (doubles to $1.10)
(2) Welch's juice drink $2 ea. (I was thirsty--this was my splurge item)
-$1/2 Welch's juice drink

(I was reeeaaalllyy tempted to get $1 ice cream, but I resisted and my waistline thanks me)

Total before savings: $58.87
Total savings: $36.30
Total paid: $22.63 (incl. tax)
Catalina: $1 oyno (from buying pasta sauce)

After catalina, I saved 63%!! 2/3 savings is unheard-of--even for me!  I was really excited to see so much baby food on clearance (well, 30% off isn't really clearance in my book, but...) so I got to use some awesome baby food coupons.  Yeah!

Coupons paid for my lunch!

I wanted to make a quick stop by Martin's on my way home from church, but Jesse and I were both getting pretty hungry.  Since I had been doing so well with my budget, I suggested we get subs at Martin's and use "grocery" money.  Since Jesse ate his sub in the car, that meant I could take a little longer shopping, no?  =D I decided to make this my weekly grocery trip and add in almond milk and produce.  Here's what I got:

Transaction #1:

(4) Bertolli Alfredo Sauce $2 ea.
(1) Country Crock spread $1.99 (good thing this was on sale w/ a coupon--Jesse had just asked for it)
(1) Almond Breeze shelf stable $2 (I haven't been able to finish the half gallons lately)
(1) Gallon milk $3.39
(2) Newspapers $2 ea.
(1) Powerade $0.77 (for my lunch)
Bananas $1.12

-(2) $0.75/2 Bertolli sauce printable (both doubled to $1.50)
-FREE Powerade (my coke rewards--I keep these on hand in case I get thirsty while shopping)
-$0.55/1 Almond Breeze (doubled to $1.10)
-FREE milk catalina ($4.50)
-$1/1 Country Crock

Total before savings: $24.99
Total savings: $14.09
Total paid: $11.19 (incl. tax)
Catalina: $3.75 (for buying 4 Bertolli sauces--made it $0.33 ea.!)

Transaction #2:
My lunch (not pictured)
(1) Newspaper $2 (I hadn't planned on getting 3 papers, but I had to get something quickly to make my total >$3.75)

-$3.75 catalina

Total before savings: $4.69
Total savings: $3.75
Total paid: $1.23 (incl. tax)

So, I saved $17.84, or 59%!!!  I think I'm finally starting to get tired of bananas.  =D  So, we'll see what sort of produce I'm "in the mood for" next week.

Sir Screams-A-Lot

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More grocery shoppping at CVS this week

Though I hadn't planned on it, I did the gift card deal again this week. It included Gatorade and paper towels (we were out of both), so it was a perfect sale for me.  Here's what I got:


(4) Starburst stick $0.50 ea.
(2) Scott Mega Paper Towels $6 ea.
(2) Bumble Bee tuna $0.77 ea.
(4) Cheez-it $1.99 ea.
(10) Gatorade $1 ea.
(1) Candy Corn $0.99
(20) Kodak prints $0.29 ea. (not pictured)

-(2) $1/1 Scott paper towel
-(2) BOGO starburst manu. q's ($0.50)
-BOGO starburst CVS q ($1.19) (I had only planned on using 2 BOGO q's total, but my cashier and I had a miscommunication)
-$1/2 BumbleBee tuna (recyclebank)
- 20 FREE Kodak prints (facebook)
-9 ECBs, $10 gift card (from last week)

Subtotal: $10.25
Total: $11.17
ECBs: 1 (starburst), 0.99 (candy corn), $10 gift card (for buying $30 in select merchandise)
Total saved: $53.48
Considering the ExtraBucks I burned on the transaction, I spent $18.17 on $64.65 in groceries!  I saved 72%!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Can I get one more post in before the weekend?

I have no more than 1/2 hour... let's see...

After a cleaning day marathon on Tuesday, I took a day off with the other Trelindas (Becky and Laurie).  Yesterday, I got back in the grocery game.  I actually split my grocery shopping between Wal-Mart and CVS (I DID use ExtraBucks to buy groceries this week!).  Between the two trips, I saved 59%.  Which seems a little low for me, but I didn't "save" anything at Wal-Mart (it was probably 40% off grocery store prices).  I had to go to the dreaded 'mart to get some pharmaceuticals.  I did the math and their "everyday" prices on generic meds were lower than CVS's sale price this week.  So I picked up some other things we were out of: brown sugar, bread (we can't fit a 2 months supply of bread in the freezer), Pam (with free-bate), and bananas (we're on a banana kick lately) for $8.32 (with a rebate for $2.86).  We didn't need any milk or eggs (also things I can't fit in my stockpile) because of the great deals last week, so here's all I got:

All of the rest of the items, I got from CVS.  I had to go to 2 stores because the first store was out of Freshmates (no rain checks on the gift card deal).  Here's what I got:

Store #1


(6) Puffs + lotion (these are bigger boxes) $1.50 ea.
(2) Goldfish crackers $1.50 ea.
(1) Wisk HE 50 oz $4.99 (orig. $8.99??)
(1) Almay eyeshadow $5.99 (I just wanted this and I figured for <$1, I was worth it ;D)
(1) Pamper's jumbo pack $8.99 (for new baby niece coming!)
-22 ECBs
-$1/1 Pamper's
-$2/1 Pamper's CVS q
-$1/1 Almay
-$2/1 Wisk
-$1/6 Puffs (stupid low value coupon...)

Subtotal: $2.97
Tax: $1.64
Total: $4.61
ECBs: 4

Store #2
(They had the freshmates that I wanted here, and also the eyeliner I was hoping to exchange from earlier in the week)


(2) Charmin Freshmates $2.50 ea.
(1) Almay eyeliner $5.99 (exchange)
-(2) $1/1 Charmin
-$6.35 (exchange)

Subtotal: $2.64
Tax: $0.66
Total: $3.30
ECBs: 4 (from the Almay exchange--this was actually a duplicate since it was an exchange.  I explained that to the cashier, though, and she said to keep it--Yay!!), $10 CVS gift card (now I won't have to pay tax!)

So, all total, I spent $7.91 at CVS for $49.68 in products.  I used 22 ECBs, got back 8 ECB and a $10 gift card.  So, I saved 81% for groceries!!  So far this week, I have spent $20.93 from my grocery budget!  I love staying under budget!!

I was wondering what to do with the unused freshmate containers and had an awesome idea: turn them into Cheerio dispensers!  This is Timothy's new favorite thing!  He can even push the button to open it (Jesse taught him that ;D)!

Oh yeah...and I missed my deadline =D

Lesson Learned...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Milk and Cereal. Cereal and Milk. Cereal and Milk.

I've been trying out new grocery stores to get out of my couponing comfort zone.  Martin's has a great milk and cereal deal this week that I had to jump on (twice!).  I saw a similar deal two months ago and Weis had it shortly thereafter, but we're hurting for cereal right now (I splurged and paid $2.50 a box at K-Mart!), so I didn't want to wait for it.  I hope to "get up the guts" to try Rite-Aid again, but not this week--I'm out of cash.  Since I did the milk and cereal deal twice, I did 2 transactions.  I'll walk you through the first transaction:

Transaction #1:

(1) Reese's Puffs (my favorite and doesn't seem to cause migraines--yet) $3.35
(1) Lucky charms $2.50
(1) Kix $2.79
(1) Cocoa Puffs $2.79

-$4 off instantly wyb 4
-$1/2 GM cereal
-$0.85/1 Kix cereal (doubled to $1.70)
-$0.50/1 Lucky Charms cereal (doubled to $1)

Total: $3.73
Received: $4.50 off next purchase with milk (says "no cash back" but took $4.50 off the next transaction when I bought milk for $2.99)

It's like I got a gallon of milk and 4 boxes of cereal for $2.22!!  Since that's about what I'd have paid for a 1/2 gallon of milk alone, I'd say I did pretty well!  Unless I had a specific coupon, I bought the cereals I WANTED, not the ones that were cheapest (a few were on sale for $2.50 ea.).  Even if you didn't have coupons and bought 4 boxes of cereal at $2.50 each you could get a gallon of milk and 4 boxes of cereal for $4.50 ($6 up front with $4.50 off a $3 gallon of milk)!  That's a great deal and you didn't even need to clip coupons!! 

I did this transaction again and bought the rest of my groceries (including $1.99/lb. boneless/skinless chicken breast and Lysol wipes $0.15 after rebate) and here's my total for the second transaction:

Total: $56.80
Total value purchased: $99.10
Rebates: $4.50 (milk Catalina coupon--I'll redeem it later), $5 (for Lysol wipes)

Between both transactions and the rebates, it's like I spent $54.72 for $115.88 worth of groceries!  That's a 53% savings!! 

Since Wednesday, I've spent $84.50 (minus $14.50 in rebates) on $221.74 of groceries (and baby food and make-up)!!!  That's a 68% savings!!!  Go me!!!   Alas, I did go $10 over budget out of pocket, so it looks like I'll be buying groceries with extrabucks next week!  =D

LOVE this eyeliner!

Yesterday, I forewent a big shopping trip to CVS.  I did stop in and make some money on eyeliner, but I'm saving my "big trip" for after Wednesday (b/c I figured I'd be out of money in my envelope--I was right).  Here's what I got:

I bought:

(1) Intense I-color liquid eyeliner Purple (for brown eyes) $5.99
(1) Intense I-color liquid eyeliner Raisin (pictured) (for green eyes) $5.99

-$3/$10 make-up purchase CVS coupon
This printed from the coupon machine on Saturday (when I stopped in to make $4 on haircolor!) and it expired Sunday, hence the Sunday make-up run.
-(2) $1/1 Almay product manu. coupon
-7 ECBs from last week (I don't even know when I got these anymore--I've got 27 to my name right now...)

Subtotal: $0.00
Total: $0.30 (on my rebate card)
ECBs received: 8 (from Almay), 1 (green bag tag)

I tried the "Raisin" and loved LOVED it so much, I'm not going to even try the purple.  I'm actually planning on exchanging the purple for another raisin for my sister.  Even though CVS has a no questions asked guarantee on make-up, I don't usually like returning make-up that was free (just doesn't seem right...).  I'm okay making an exception in this case because it's unopened and CVS can still sell the purple eyeliner.

Just the Essentials at K-Mart

I've been trying to branch out from my usual stores lately.  On Friday (I think it was Friday...), I went to K-Mart for groceries.  They really didn't have good sales this week, but I had some great high-value coupons, so I still saved like a maven.  I only really "did" one deal, but for a trip that was basically "just the essentials," I thought I did very well.

Total Value Purchased:  $75.18 (including $25.74 in "free" blush)
Total Spent: $22.79
Total Coupon value: $35

This was the exception to the rule that you save more with coupons than sales.  K-Mart was running a deal that you get $10 on your next order (which I used immediately) when you spend $35 on P&G items.  Since I had $24 in coupons for the blush, it basically covered the cost of the make-up, plus the other P&G items I needed (like mouthwash and cascade).

*Special Alert:* Every lady who comes to my house for the next month will get a blush "favor" just for visiting.  And if you act now, I'll even throw in some lipstick ;P

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Coupon Story

Jenny at Southern Savers prompted us to share why we use coupons and I thought it would be nice to post here also.

My husband and I used to fight about money all the time. He set a budget based on how much money we had left after bills, savings, etc. I felt like it was waay too low ($50 for 2 people for a week), so I would just go and get what we needed and let him deal with "making it work." It sounds horrible now, but the way I felt was that we NEEDED food, but the other things, like saving for retirement, were not as important for a pair of twenty-somethings. I would always look at the circular and set up my menu around the sales and I would almost always buy generic. I thought I was a savvy shopper and if I couldn't make $50 a week work, then it must be impossible. I would regularly spend $100-$150 dollars per week and it would inevitably lead to a fight.  While I was complaining to my sister one day, she told me..again…to try couponing.  She had been following Jenny’s blog for a while, but I thought it was too complicated for me.  Finally, I decided to try CVS/pharmacy.  I watched all the tutorials and read all the “getting started” information and then I waited for a week that Jenny was excited about to try my hand at it.  It only took 2 weeks of free stuff for me to get hooked on using coupons.  Now, a year later, we have added a baby and I have a comfortable grocery budget of $75 per week.  For that, we get all the essentials and even have money left for non-essentials, like body wash and ice cream.  I really feel like I’m “living the life” and I feel that coupons make our lifestyle comfortable.  It’s funny because I live better “in this recession” than I ever did before.  I have more in my pantry and more in my wallet than I had a year or two ago; I feel like a complete coupon success story.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I took the week off (yeah right...)

I really wasn't going to go to CVS this week.  really.  They didn't have any interesting sales.  Well, they did have Q-tips at their 6 week low price...okay, I'll just go for Q-tips...gah!  They got me in the door and look at me now?!? 

When I walked in, my very favorite manager was on duty.  I commented on how they got their new Reinventing Beauty magazine in (it costs a dollar, but has lots of great coupons) and she was like, "oh, I have something you may want."  She then went to the back and brought me the insert with all the magazine's coupons!  She says something like, "Yeah, they send these for the employees with the magazines I thought maybe you could use them..."  Are you kidding me?!?  Coupons!!  There was a $5 off a $10 Glaxo-Smith-Kline purchase in there, which I stacked with 2 printable coupons and a sale to make $1.50 on sensitive toothpaste!  My sister asked me to pick these up for her when deals come along and I was happy to oblige.  Free toothpaste is the cornerstone of the coupon game: you should never pay for toothpaste.  Actually, I have to pay ~$1 for toothpaste because I can only have cinnamon flavor, but if you don't mind mint, you're golden. 

So, here's what I got on my week off:

(3) Hallmark cards $0.99 ea.
(2) Softsoap foaming hand soap $3 ea. (rain check)
(1) Q-tip 300 ct $1.99
(1) Sensodyne Pronamel $4.49
(1) Sensodyne Iso-Active $5.99

-$0.60/1 Q-tip (recyclebank)
-(2) $0.70/1 Softsoap
-(1) $1/1 Pronamel
-$1/1 Iso-Active
-$5/10 GSK oral care purchase
-12 ECBs (from last week)

Subtotal: $0.44
Tax: $1.29
Total: $1.73
ECBs received: 3 (Hallmark), 4 (Softsoap--rain check), 5 (Sensodyne)

So, I went in for $1.50 Q-tips and walked out with nearly $30 in products for the same much for my week off... =D

ETA: I realized since this post that I prabably was not supposed to use the $5/10 coupon and the two $1/1 coupons because they were all labeled "manufacturer coupon." (I thought the reinventing beauty magazine coupon was different)  It just goes to show, I sitll have stuff to learn...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lotsa Diapers!

Timothy grabbed one of the packs and pushed it all around the living room. It's his new favorite toy.  =D

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

I wanted to catch a few more deals this week, so I went to CVS and Food Lion yesterday.  Diapers aren't going to be on sale for the next few weeks, so I went to CVS to get a couple of packs to last me.  With my small stock, I should be good for 3 weeks.  We also needed wipes and, this time, the full priced CVS brand was the cheapest (at 2.3 cents ea), so they diluted my "savings."  Here's what I got:

Here's how I did it:

(1) CVS napkin $1.49 (75% off clearance)
(2) CVS double packs of wipes (these are between Target and Huggies in quality, my manager mentioned CVS brand is 100% guaranteed, so you can take them back if you don't like them)
(2) Huggies jumbo $8.99 (the extrabucks are limited to one, but they were still at my "buy price" after coupons)

-$5/$25 total purchase
-$3/1 Slip-On Diapers
-$2/1 Little Movers Diapers
-(2) $1/1 Huggies jumbo pk (from the magic coupon machine)

Subtotal: $13.45
Total: $14.69
Saved: $22.50 (61%)

Wouldn't ya know?!  After I went and splurged on diapers at CVS, there was an unbeatable sale at Food Lion!  I'm not complaining too much because I always need diapers.  =D I actually stopped in for some shredded cheese and popcorn on BOGO and here's what I got:

Here's how I did it:

BOGO Items

(2) Kraft BBQ sauce $0.79 ea
(1) Country Time Lemonade $1.89 (FL doesn't require that you get 2)
-$2 off Peelie on BBQ sauce for 2 sauces and 1 drink mix
(2) O.R. popcorn bowls $2.49 ea.
(4) Kraft cheese $1.61 ea.
(2) Fisher Price diapers $3.14 ea.

Other Items
(1) 1/2 gal. milk $2.23 (?!?)
(1) Apple Sauce to-go $1.69 (we needed portable baby food)
(1) Idahoan box potatoes $1.09
-FREE Idahoan potatoes in All You Magazine
Overripe bananas $0.45
Bananas $0.90 (we like bananas =D)

Total $24.82
Saved: $24.97 (50%)

Note that I only used 2 coupons (and one was a peelie) so all of that savings came from shopping the sales.  "Extreme Couponing" is really a misnomer because coupons are just the icing on the cake. You really save money with sales, not coupons.

Since I got a number of rebates in the mail this week, it was fairly easy to stay on budget.  Including my earlier trips, my total grocery spending was $47.50 (plus $20 in rebate cards, I think, but they have already been paid for).  That means I have officially "caught up" on my grocery budget! 

I also spent $22 this week for 5 jumbo packs of diapers and 4 pkgs. of wipes!  I've been using the Fisger Price diapers and I'm really impressed with them.  I'm planning on going back today or tomorrow to get more.  =D  I may take a "week off" couponing this coming week and just get the necessities (partly because I'm not seeing any exciting sales).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's a Chreeetmas Meeeracle!

When things go decidedly against "Murphey's Law," I tend to get excited.  As I thank God, I usually exclaim, it's a "Chreeestmas Meeeracle!"  I don't know why.  I probably got it from a sibling who got it from some movie....    Anyway, I had two "Christmas Miracles" when I went to CVS this week.  On Sunday, I went to CVS and spent far less than I was expecting (which was the only reason I stayed on-budget this week).  As it turns out, I had been the benefactor of a ($9) cashier error.  When I used my BOGO coupons, I got credit for the full price of each item instead of their sale price.  I had to add a candy bar and take away 7 ECBs to get my total back in the positive (50 cents!!).  Here's what I got:

(3) Dove Shampoo $3 ea.
(3) Dove conditioner $3 ea. (I needed to get that many for the sale)
(1) Edge gel $1.99
(1) Schick Hydro 5 razor $8.29
(1) Huggies Jumbo Pk. $8.99
(1) Sinus medicine $5.99 (*gasp* retail!)
(1) Reese's Pieces $1.19 (see above)

-$8.50 quarterly ECBs
-$2 ECBs (b/c I promised not to trash my ECBs)    =D
-FREE Huggies jumbo pk. (store coupon for buying 6) ($11.99 <-- the full price)
-(3) BOGO dove haircare coupons (3x$4.89 <-- full price)
-$5/1 Schick Hydro
-$0.75/1 Edge shave gel
-(2)$1/1 Dove hair care (ymmv on using $$ off coupons with BOGO coupons)
-(1)$0.75/1 Dove hair care (I actually had another $1/1 Dove in the car, but I decided it was worth exactly 25 cents of trouble to get it, seeing as I had everything ready to go)    =D

Subtotal:  -$1.21
Tax:         $1.77 (gasp!)
Total:       $0.56
ECBs:      5 (Dove), 3 (Schick), 1 (Huggies), 1 (Green Bag Tag)

When I got home and saw why my total had been so low, I honestly wasn't going to do anything about it.  Every time I've pointed out a mistake made in my favor before, the manager says to just keep the difference.  I told Jesse about it and he suggested I just try to make it right and see what they say.  That worked because I had forgotten 2 coupons for free toothbrushes and wanted to go back out on Monday.  I didn't really have the cash in my budget to pay the difference if they took me up on the offer, though.  As I was evaluating paying with extrabucks (awkward!) against going further over budget this week, I opened a letter containing a $10 rebate!  Since I had "paid" for that rebate weeks ago, it didn't come out of my already depleted grocery envelope.  When I got to CVS, the store manager gratefully accepted my offer of repayment.  Since I was there, I got these:

(2) 2-pack Reach toothbrushes $3.99 ea.

-(2) $2/1 Reach toothbrush
-4 ECBs (from Sunday)

Subtotal: -$0.02
Tax:        $0.48
Total:      $0.46
ECBs:     4 (2 each)

So all told, I spent $10.22 for $87.65 worth of necesities, which is a savings of 88%!!  As a bonus, I have 17 ECBs for next week!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Finals--Fail!!

Lately, I've been trying to whip my grocery budget into shape and make $50 stretch for each week (normally, I have $75 to play with).  With that in mind, I'm pretty frustrated by my grocery shopping trip yesterday.  It didn't help that I did a veritable marathon of shopping: 3 hours of Martin's and ...Wal-Mart.  I had a deceptively successful trip at Martin's: $13.35 for $38.54 of meal-completers (e.g., taco seasoning, stuffing) that my pantry desperately needed.  I didn't get anything at Martin's that wasn't on sale and/or had a coupon because Wal-Mart's prices are lower than retail prices at the grocery store.  I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some deals with my high-value coupons, but they were all out of everything that I went for (except baby food).  So I got $38.33 of stuff we needed, including decongestant, Gatorade powder, and baby food.  Wal-Mart took more time, energy and cash than I had to give...but, at least it cost less than the grocery store?  I spent a total of $51.68 last night, which is "close enough" to $50 for me, but leaves no cash for newspapers on Sunday.  By the way, if you're thinking about buying newspapers for their coupons, this week is the time to start--there's going to be a meeellion coupons in there. 

Thankfully, last week (i.e., before Wednesday) was better. I went to CVS and got all this stuff:

Here's how I did it:

Transaction #1:

(1) Schick Quattro Trim Style $8.99
(2) Rimmel mascara $4.19 ea.
(1) Rimmel eyeliner $4.49

-$5/1 Schick Quattro razor or refill
-(3) $1/1 Rimmel cosmetic (manu. q)
-$3/2 Rimmel cosmetic (store q)
-10 ECBs (from last week)

Paid: $2.18 (mostly tax)

Got back: 3 (Rimmel), 4 (Schick) ECBs

Transaction #2:

(1) Renu contact lens solution $8.99
(1) Ajax dish detergent $0.88 (I needed something to cover the $0.01 overage--CVS must be cracking down!)

-7 ECBs
-$2/1 Renu
-$0.50/1 Ajax (from All You magazine)

Paid: $0.43

Got Back: 7 ECBs (Renu)

So, I ended up paying $2.61 for $40.72 in products, or 94% off!  Yay!!  I really didn't like the trimmer attachment to the razor, though.  I wish I had opted for the free refills, as the Quattro is my favorite razor.  Oh well, I was still excited I got to try it for free!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FREE Movies!

I never pay for movie rentals.  ever.  Now, I do pay overdue fees if I don't return a movie on time, but I never pay for the first night.  I wanted to share with you all how it works, so I'm gonna try my hand at a tutorial.  Hopefully, you'll be able to get free movies from Blockbuster Express tonight. :D   Let me know if you "get it."

1. Head over to and see if there are codes for free movies available.  They're always available and I've never run out of codes (but I have run out of movies!).  You're gonna click on "free blockbuster express codes" under the "free stuff tab."  Like this:

There will be a number of codes when you click on that link.  Make sure to note the expiration dates and special exclusions (usually related to location or something).  If you're not very tech-savvy, stop here.  Write down or print out the codes (write more than one in case one doesn't work) and toodle yourself over to the nearest BBX kiosk, pick your movie, and submit your code during checkout.  VIOLA!  Free movie rental.  If you're computer literate, continue to Step 2 to reserve your movie online.

2. Open a new tab (or window) and go to Select your kiosk to see what movies are available at your location.  Like this:

3. Choose your movie.  You can get any movie that doesn't have the "Hot List" flame symbol on it.  The flame symbol denotes new releases and the codes almost never work for those, so I just wait until they're no longer "new."  Also, let me recommend to check the content of your movies regarding violence, sex, etc.  We find it far more helpful than MPAA ratings (who's rating these movies now days anyway?). 

4.  Checkout.  You will need to set up an account using a credit card (so they can charge you $1 per day late fee if you're lax about returning it).  Note: I have used both prepaid debit cards (from a rebate) and my debit card to complete my rentals and both work fine.  If you're a no credit card kind of family, have no fear!  During checkout, there is a box for promo codes.  Copy and paste one code from to get your movie super free!  This is how it will look:

5.  Go get your free movie!  Bring the card you registered with and touch "pick up" to get your movie for free!  Now, you have to return your movie by the next night at 9pm or else you'll be charged $1 on your card, so make sure to return them on time!  You will get 3 emails receipts: one when you reserve the movie, one when you pick it up, and one when you return the movie.  They will note a charge to your card of $0.00.  Have a fun movie night, y'all!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's Still Monday!

Well, this week was quite different than usual.  I did almost no planning and ran in to CVS on a whim (I was planning on going tomorrow).  As I was waiting for a prescription, I went ahead and did my deals for this week.  I ended up balancing an unexpected *need* for wipes (where'd they all go?) with a deal for candy (okay, maybe not balanced, but fun).  Here's what I got:

Here's how I did it:

Transaction #1

(4) bags of Mars fun sized candy $10
(1) Huggies Snug and Dry $9
-$1/1 huggies jumbo pack CVS coupon
-$1.50/1 Huggies jumbo pack manufacturer's coupon
-$1/1 Snickers PB squared--I had a second coupon and I think I tossed it :(
-$1.50/2 Mars candy
-FREE (up to $2) ANY drink or candy purchase (CVS facebook coupon--avail. through 9/22!)
-12 ECBs

Total due:
just tax ($0.31)

ECBs received: 4 (for buying the candy), $9 toward baby deal

Transaction #2

(1) Huggies Little Movers Slip-On Diapers $9
(1) Huggies wipe refill 3 pack $6
(1) Similac Ready to Feed formula $5
-$5/1 any Similac product (from my pediatrician's office)
-$0.40/1 Huggies wipes
-$3/1 Huggies Slip-On manu. coupon
-$2.50/1 Huggies Slip-On CVS coupon (home mailer)
-4 ECBs from transaction #1

Total due:

ECBs received: 10 (for buying $25 in select baby products, which includes the diapers from transaction #1)

Total cost out of pocket: $6.21 for $56.53 in products, or 89%!

I didn't hit the sweet 95% that I usually like at CVS, but I got diapers and wipes so I'm really happy.  I'm really excited about all the great candy deals lately!  I tell myself no candy unless they're <$1 or free.  These work out to $0.38 per bag, so I "splurged."  This from the girl who can't eat chocolate...  But, I'll stock my little candy dish (such a treat) and if there's any left at Halloween, I'll turn my porch light on!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Lunch--Chicken Noodle Soup

Summer is almost over and it's starting to get cold.  I had a hard time finding anything warm enough for us this morning!  Thankfully, there was one outfit's worth of clothes for Timothy to wear. 

I got the bug to cook something wonderful this afternoon.  Chicken noodle soup sounded puuurfect.  ...and it was.  I used a sweet potato ice cube to cool my bowl down and it turned the broth a beautiful shade of yellow.

Now, before you go thinking I'm superwoman, I did take some shortcuts that really turned out well:  I used canned chicken (which is surprisingly good in soup) and a frozen "chicken noodle soup mix."  I had to use my own spices and chicken base ("Better Than Bullion"--most awesome ingredient since hot sauce) because the seasoning packet had MSG in it.  Even though I couldn't use the seasoing, I really liked the product and would buy it again (on sale, of course).  This was as good as any real homemade soup that I've had!

Now I'm off to have leftover birthday cake for dessert.  What?  It was Jesse's birthday on wednesday and we can't let perfectly good cake go bad.  Doesn't everyone eat "lunch dessert"?

Monday, September 12, 2011

What I love about Sundays!

We interrupt this program to bring you an important announcement:  My big sister (and best friend and coupon mentor) had a baby boy!

Welcome, Isaac Brady Lanoue!

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

I've decided: Sundays are better with savings.  For the past two weeks I've been over budget on groceries and I need to get back into financial shape.  So, I told myself I'd only spend $25 this week and guess what?  I spent $24.31!  First, I went to Weis because I needed the coupons from this Sunday's paper (though now I can't remember why...).  Since I've been getting a lot of meat deals lately, I didn't need a whole lot of the expensive staples.  I did, however, need baby food (still haven't gotten "ahead" on that front) and cake for Jesse's birthday on Wednesday.  Here's what I got:

Highlights include $0.50 Cheerios, free cake mix, and BOGO bread.  All total, I spent $22.21 and saved $16.82, or 43%. 

"How", you may ask, could I have spent $22 at Weis and only $24 total?  That, my friend, is the magic of CVS.  I'm pretty dern excited about my trip (can you tell?).  Here's what I got:

Here's how I did it:

Transaction #1
(1) Newton's thins $2.50
(1) Softsoap body wash $2.99
(1) Huggies jumbo pack diapers $8.99
(1) CVS allergy medicine 5 ct. $3.69
(1) Rephresh Brilliant pH balancing (...weird...beggars can't be choosers...) tampons $6.79
(2) Summer's eve wipes (16 ct. BOGO @$2.69)


-8 ECBs (from last week)
-$5/$25 CVS coupon
-FREE Huggies jumbo pk. (CVS coupon center machine from buying 6--8.99)
-FREE Newton’s thins (CVS magic coupon machine coupon--go scan your card!--$2.50)
-$0.75/1 Softsoap body wash
-$1/1 Rephresh (money maker on tampons!)
-$2/2 Summer’s Eve products

Total: $0.11 (negative subtotal)

ECBs received: 2 (body wash), 1 (diapers), 3.69 (allergy), 6.79 (rephresh)

Transaction #2

(4) Coke 12 pks.


-9.79 ECBs (I should have used the 6.79 and 3.69 since this week's goal was to minimize "out of pocket" expense but oh well...)
-(2) $1/1 Coke product (recyclebank coupon)

Total: $1.99 ($1.21 subtotal)

ECBs received: 3

So, I spent $2.10 out of pocket for $61.27 in products. I started with 8 ExtraBucks and ended up with 6.69--it's like I paid $3.41 a.k.a. 6% of the "shelf price."  Between Weis and CVS, I got $102.40 worth of groceries for $24.31 or a savings of 76%!! I don't think I've ever had such a productive job/hobby. :D

Friday, September 9, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Super Savin' Momma!

I had an exceptionally good day of savings yesterday.  At CVS, I managed to get $33.51 in products for $1.26 (ONLY TAX!).  At Weis, I got over $200 of groceries and paper products (TP) for $95.32 after rebates.  There were some great deals at Weis, including free cereal and 70% off produce, but I was MOST excited about 60% off Charmin (the only brand that will do)! 

Here's how that deal worked:
(3) Charmin big packs/sale: 12.99 ea.
-(1) $1/2 Charmin in the P&G insert

Total: $37.97

Get back: $10 catalina on your next order when you buy (3) specified P&G products
Submit for $10 P&G rebate wyb $30 in P&G products (any)

Makes for a total of $17.97 or $5.99 each!

It's really difficult to find a great TP sale, especially if you have brand loyalties, so I'm still doing a happy dance over that deal!

I went to CVS yesterday and got a B1G1 coupon for Starburst candy.  Combined with a sale and 2 manu. q's, it made money for me (though, I don't know what to do with them--Starburst cookies, anyone?)

Here's what I got:

(2) Panete $6.97
(2) Starburst Candy sacks $6
(2) Cascade $7.98
(1) St. Joe's aspirin $2

-(2) FREE Pantene (bonus from Facebook offer)
-5 ECBs (from last week)
-(2) $1/1 Starburst, Lifesavers, or Skittles
-B1G1 Starburst, Lifesavers, or Skittles CVS coupon ($4.29 off) (red coupon machine)
-$2/2 ANY shampoo or conditioner CVS coupon (red coupon machine)
-(2) $1/1 Cascade (P&G)
-$1/1 St. Joseph's Aspirin

Total: (negative subtotal) $1.26

ECBs earned: 2 (St. Joe's), 1 (Pantene), 1 (Green Bag Tag 4th scan)

I was really happy with these sales/deals because hubby said the dreaded "While you're out, can you get..." for the Cascade.  I had already planned on using the other money earned from this transaction to pay for detergent ;0)Plus, I was low on shampoo (and by "low" I mean I only had 3/4 of ONE bottle of shampoo :D)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saving at CVS

If there are four-letter words in the coupon world, "need" is definitely one of them.  If you need something, you no longer have the luxury to name your own price for an item: you have to pay whatever the retailer wants to charge you that day.  I NEEDED two things this weekend: Q-Tips (how did I miss that?) and Mucinex (I've been taking it every four hours with Motrin and I'm just starting to feel better).  Thankfully, the coupon machine at CVS printed out a $2/$10 contact, eye, or ear care purchase.  Since I had a raincheck for free after extrabucks contact lens solution, I was able to add the smallest box of Q-Tips (we must have the name brand) and get it all basically for free. 

Here's what I got (yes, this is my best pic :P):

Here's how:

Transaction #1
(2) Honest Teas $2 (I thought I'd be getting ExtraBucks for this, but I had already done this deal this MONTH, so I couldn't)
-$1/1 Honest Tea (Recyclebank)
(2) Powerades $2
-Free Powerade (My Coke Rewards)
1 Carmello candy bar $1.19
-Free Carmello candy bar (Red coupon machine)
(2) Revlon Topspeed Nail Polish
-(2) $1/1 Revlon color cosmetic (SS 8/14)
1 G-Fit flavored water
1 Revlon Crazyshine nail buffer $0.99 (75% off clearance)
- $1/1 Revlon tool (printable)
1 Renu contact lens solution (redeemed a raincheck) $7.89
-$2/1 Renu solution (printable)
1 Q-Tips 170 ct. $2.77
-$2/10 contact, eye, or ear care purchase (red coupon machine)
1 CVS bandages $4.19
-FREE 20 CVS brand fabric bandages (red coupon machine)
1 Poise liners 44ct. $6.49 (don't knock it if it's free ;D)
-FREE Poise product up to $6 (catalina from Weis)
1 Vanilla Body wash (CVS brand) $2.27
-FREE body wash  up to $2.27 (but it takes off $3 when scanned...not sure...) (from Facebook when you "like" CVS's MinuteClinic)
-$5/$40 purchase (as you can see, I exhausted all of my FREE coupons to get to $40)
-6 ECBs from last week

Total Due: $4.99
Got Back: 12 ECBs (3 for each nail polish and 6 for the contact lens solution)

Transation #2:
(4) G-fit flavored water $4.00
(1) CVS brand Mucinex $12.49 (tarnations to NEED)
-12 ECBs

Total Due: $4.65
Got Back: 5 ECBs

So, I spent $9.64 total and saved $63.18, or 87%.  I'll take it--but only because I'm sick.  :D

I also stopped by Staples this afternoon to get more office supplies.  Here's what I got:

Here's how I did it:
1 Z-grips mechanical pencil 7 ct. $3.99
-$3.99 Easy Rebate
2 Sharpie Markers 2 ct. $0.50
1 Staples pencil sharpener $0.50
2 Hammermill Copy Paper $9.98
-$8.98 Easy Rebates

Total: $15.87
Rebates: $12.97

So, it's like I got $29.95 in office supplies for $2.90, or 90% off!  This paper is gonna come in handy with all the coupons I'm printing!

Note: CVS has a great deal running right now for Huggies diapers in their gas promo!  You could get a small supply for super cheap!  Here's how:


(4) Huggies Slip-On Diaper Jumbo Packs $8.99 ea.
-(1) $2/1 Huggies slip on diapers (store coupon) (it limits "one per visit" but if you had the time, you could go four separate times and still get the gas card with your final purchase)
-(4) $3/1 Huggies slip-on diapers (SS 8/14)
Total due:  $20.96
Get Back: $10 gas gift card
It's like paying $2.74 per pack!

Note: I had to get a rain check for this deal because they didn't have any Huggies Slip-Ons yet (but said they should be getting some in their shipment tomorrow), but I almost prefer it in this case.. (see how I used my rain check today to get free Q-tips?)  Happy Couponing everybody!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Because you need my two cents

Sorry I've been slacking lately, but I have a great excuse: I've had a sinus infection for a month.  I'm on my third (and hopefully last) round of antibiotics now. 

I learned something today:

When you eat baby food, don't use a baby spoon.  Otherwise, you'll feel really infantile.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Mom Taylor sure knows the way to this girl's heart: coupons!  She had 3 quarterly ECBs and gave 'em to me!  Aw, shucks.  Thanks a bunch!

Well, I dashed into CVS this afternoon and ended up spending an hour there.  I had wanted to get myself one of those cotton robes that have been hanging out at CVS since Mother's Day, but when I got there, they had all disappeared.  Oh well... I scanned her card and got a $2 off coupon for chips, popcorn, or cheese curls, which retail for $2.50, so I picked up a bag of tortilla chips for hubby.  There were also a lot of cough/cold medicines on clearance for 75% off.  They didn't expire until late 2012/early 2013, so I picked up a few things we're gonna want come November.  In all, I paid $0.08 for $12.91 worth of stuff!  Here's what I got with her coupons:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Money Monday

I had the luxury of going to multiple stores yesterday (thank you, Jesse!).  I wouldn't recommend it.  All that shopping is catching up with me.  I went to Food Lion right after church and got 2 newspapers because there were supposed to be some great coupons this week.  Sadly, they didn't have the Baltimore or Washington papers (they have more coupons), but I picked up a Frederick News-Post and a Herald Mail (which actually should have had the exact same coupons in them).  Come to find out 3/4 of the Frederick newspaper's coupons were gone.  Oh well, you save more shopping the sales than using the coupons, but still a bummer. 

I stopped by Martin's quickly (I hadn't planned on going Sunday) and got 10 boxes of Kellogg's cereal for a promotion that gives you $5 off your order instantly when you buy 10 Kellogg's or Keebler products.  There's some great Kellogg's coupons for $1.50 off fruit wyb 2 boxes of cereal and $1 off 3 boxes that would have been great to use, but I didn't have my large binder--just the little folio in my purse.  I did have the awesome printable coupon that was available a while back for $5/5 boxes of any Kellogg's cereal, so I just used that (and I actually used the self checkout for the first time in a long time!). 
Here's what I got:
(8) boxes ass't Kellogg's cereal $2 ea.
(2) boxes Kellogg's mini wheats $2.50 ea.

$21.00-$5 instant savings-$5/5 coupon=$11.00 oop

Six of the boxes were marked for Cars Cash, so I'll be getting $7.50 in rebates, so it's like I paid $0.35 for cereal that originally cost $3.50 each!

After dinner, I decided to take advantage of Jesse and do my grocery shopping without Timothy.  First, I went to CVS.  With the newspaper issues, I didn't get all the deals I wanted, but I was still pretty happy with my trip.  Here's what I got:

(2) Revlon nail polish $5.79 ea
(2) CVS pantyliners $2/0.99 (50% off)
(1) Revlon crazyshine nail buffer $0.63 (clearance 75% off)

$3/$10 cosmetic purchase (printing at the coupon printer/price checker in store)
(2) $1/1 Revlon color cosmetic
Note: This coupon beeps on many Revlon nail polishes, but my cashier overrode it for me--it is a legitimate use of the coupon (past coupons with the exact same wording have had a picture of Revlon nail polish), but there is some issue with the coding.  If you're a noob or don't really know your cashier, you may just want to get some Revlon lipstick, which is the same deal--I just wanted nail polish for my little niece.
$1/1 Revlon tool printable (this coupon has a Walmart logo on it, but it is redeemable ANYWHERE)
-6 ExtraCare Bucks

Total due:
$2.11 (incl. tax)

Got Back:
6 ExtraCare Bucks


Finally, I did my weekly grocery shopping at Weis.  I spent $65.99 oop, saved $52.82 and submitted for a $10 rebate, so it's like I paid $55.99 for $118.81 worth of groceries!  That's a savings of 53%!
The most impressive part of this trip was the P&G deal.  You get a $10 prepaid Visa card by mail when you spend $30 BEFORE coupons (this is a lot like ExtraBuck deals).  I had some unusually awesome coupons and needed some paper towels. 

I bought:
(1) Bounty Extra Soft 8 Ct. $9.29 (shelf price)
(2) Pantene Beautiful lengths shampoo, conditioner $5.19 ea (shelf price)
(2) Head and Shoulders shampoo $4.50 ea.
(1) Pampers wipes $2.99 (shelf price)

I used:
BOGO Head and shoulders (exp. 7/31) ($5.19)
(2) Free Pantene Facebook coupon (max. value $4.99 ea)
$1/1 Bounty 6 ct. +
$1/1 Pampers thick care wipes (home mailer) (exp. 7/31–I had forgotten about that one!)

Total: $14.49-$10 mail-in rebate
That makes it $0.75 each!!!  When $4 is a stock price for the paper towels alone, that's an awesome deal!  So, including cost of the two papers yesterday I got $176.61 worth of groceries for $64.82--that's a savings of 63%!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's a Lifestyle.

Sometimes, "hidden savings" mean more than the ones printed on your receipt. For instance, you may pay $20 ("full price") when buying a haircutting system, but you'll save $15 every other month when hubby doesn't have to visit the barber.

Or you may pay a premium when buying "organic" produce, but when you use it to make your own baby food, you've saved tons of money!

Of course, the best deals are the ones that "stack" hidden savings with the more visible type, e.g., you may get a great deal on all-natural applesauce and feed it to your baby (if it only consists of apples and maybe Vitamin C) instead of buying "baby" applesauce in jars. 

I made my own baby food last week and I'm pretty proud of myself. Yes, I paid full price for organic apples (one of the "dirty dozen"), but I saved a bunch by avoiding those cute little jars (and it tasted purdy awesome!).

I took a short cut with the carrots and used the "baby-style" ones (not "organic"), so all I had to do was dump them into a pan with some water and let 'em go!

Honestly, peeling 3 pounds of apples wasn't really worth my time. Next time, I'm just going to go "label shopping" and get the adult applesauce with just apples in it.

A friend mentioned that frozen vegetables whirred in the blender makes great baby food. I definitely plan on trying that!

By the way, yesterday, I cut hubby's hair for the first time.  I think I did a pretty good job! What's your best "hidden savings" tip? I'd love to hear it!