Monday, April 30, 2012

Grocery Store Savings

CVS's ad is just okay this week.  There's an opportunity to make $1.50 on a tube of toothpaste and I'll probably pick that up at my leisure, but otherwise, it's a boring ad.  So, I concentrated some more of my efforts on saving at the grocery store and I thought I did pretty well.  Here's what I got:

I went to Food Lion and Martin's and got just the essentials and the best deals.  At Food Lion, I got $1.50 Tostitos and BOGO bagels (and a $1.50 tube of toothpaste--darn my cinnamon obsession...).  I spent $20.07 and saved $16.20 (I always have a lower savings quotient at Food Lion).  I had lots of fun at Martin's with $0.70 Q-tips (I even surprised myself with these), $1.40 containers of wipes and $1 Bottles of Ocean Spray juice.  There, I saved $23.33 and spent $25.97.  I was also really excited because they had little cilantro plants on sale.  I'm hoping to start growing my own cilantro and making "Chipotle" food even cheaper!  So my totals for the day were $39.53 in savings on $85.57 worth of food, or 46%!  That's close enough to my goal of 50% savings to make me a happy couponer!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Made more money at CVS!

This week, I was focused on minimizing my total cost--not my out of pocket expense.  So, I ended up spending a little more cash, but with the reimbursement from rebates, I'll have made money in the end!  Here's what I did:

Transaction #1

(1) Physician's Formula mascara $10.49
-$1/1 Manu. q
-$3/1 CVS q
-$2.10 20% off purchase q
(2) Head & Shoulder's large bottles $15.98 total
-$7.99 BOGO q
-$3.20 20% off purchase q
(1) Reinventing Beauty magazine $0.99
-$0.20 20% of purchase q

ECBs received: 7 (Physician's Formula)

Transaction #2

(4) Head & Shoulder's small bottles $18.67
-(2) BOGO manu. q's ($9.34)
(1) Skintimate shave gel $2.50
-$2/1 peelie (!)
(1) Blink tears $8.99
-$1/1 manu. q
(4) Hallmark cards $6.99
-$3/3 coupon
-B3G1 coupon ($0.99)
-19.49 ECBs

ECBs received: 4 (H&S), 8.99 (Blink), 3 (cards)

So, I spent $13.68 out of pocket, but ended up with 8 more Extracare Bucks than I had started with (including BeautyBucks) and I'll be getting $7.50 back (for all those H&S shampoos) in a rebate, so it's like I made $1.82 on over $75 worth of stuff!!

Free Spree at Kohl's!

Every quarter or so, Kohl's sends out a coupon-card for $10 off any purchase.  This is probably my favorite coupon of all because I can get a couple small things, like this outfit for my nephew for cheap or FREE!  I usually shop the clearance rack, but I was unimpressed by the selection there, so I saw their "Jumping Beans" clothes were on sale for $5 each.  After much ado about WHICH cute outfit to get my nephew, I settled on this one.  I got exactly what I wanted and ended up paying $0.00!!!  This outfit was originally $28, but no one pays that, right?  It's gotta be like the sticker price on a car... =) 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Making money at CVS!

Jenny from Southern Savers (my favorite coupon-matching blog) once asked if there was anything we wouldn't buy to make a profit (she had posted about a money making deal on personal lubricant).  The answer from us couponers was a resounding "no."  My rule when buying stuff is that it has to be a good deal AND I need it OR I can make money on it.  Also, I like to know where things are "going" if I don't want them.  Today, I got some herbal pain reliever that I won't use myself (I don't trust herbals at all), but I've got a friend who's into that stuff.  I also made $1.50 on Depend's men's underwear which I plan on donating to a nursing home.  Now, this stuff does sometimes accumulate in my house between "buying" and "donating," but hubby's pretty good about policing "coupon clutter," even when I'm not.  =D  So, I ended up making a few cents at CVS today!  Here's how:

Transaction #1

(1) Depend men's underwear $3.99
-$2/1 CVS q
-$1.50/1 manu. q
(2) Right Guard body wash $6
-$2/2 manu. q
(1) ACT sensitive mouthwash $3.99
-$2/1 ACT sensitive
(1) Naturelief pain reliever $8.49
-$1/1 naturelief
-13.99 in ECBs

ECBs received: 2, 2, 1, 8.49 (plus an extra 1)

Transaction #2

(2) Colgate Total toothpaste $5.98
-(2) $1/1 Colgate total
-4 ECBs

ECBs received: 4

If you account for 10% back in beauty bucks, I got $37.77 in products for -$0.41!  And that, my friends, is why I don't feel bad buying Depend's.  =)

"Chipotle" on the cheap

Since I'm pregnant, I'm craving Chipotle all.the.time!  It's killing my budget, though.  So I went searching on the web for Chipotle recipes.  I found this website, and it was a great starting point for some awesome food!  I used Rayma's recipe there for Cilantro Lime rice and it has turned out perfectly 2 out of 3 times.  I was trying to get a more fluffy rice one time, and ended up with rice that was a little bit don't be shy with your heat--I haven't had a batch get even close to burning yet.  Considering I got the rice for free, I only paid about $0.50 for 5 servings of cilantro-lime rice (yay!).  I actually pick through the corn salsa at Chipotle because I don't like raw onions or the jalapenos.  So, starting with their Chipotle Corn Salsa recipe, I crafted my own salsa with the ingredients I like.  So, here goes:

Chipotle Corn Salsa (Mild Version)
1 poblano pepper (~$1)
1 lb. bag of corn, thawed (10/$10)
1/2 vidalia onion (~$1)
2 T. cilantro paste (in the produce aisle--$0.50 per tablespoon {$3.50 per tube})
1 T. lime juice (I used the one in the plastic bottle *gasp* and that's $0.19 per tablespoon)
salt to taste

Slice the onion into 1/2 in. slices.  Roast onion and pepper in 400 degree oven until onion is soft and slightly browned--about 30 minutes (I've also done this on the stove top and it worked fine.  You can roast your corn too, but I like the taste of "fresh" corn.).  Put pepper in a brown paper bag for a few minutes to steam off the skin (it should already be bubbly) while you finish chopping onion into "corn-sized" pieces.  Peel skin off of poblano and chop.  Combine cilantro paste (or fresh minced cilantro--2 T.) and lime juice in medium bowl, add pepper, onion, and corn, mix well.  Refrigerate salsa until chilled (an hour is plenty).  Serves 6 ($0.70/serving)

I also doctored up a can of black beans ($0.75) with 2 t. of chili powder, 1 c. of water (since I drained the liquid off) and 3 T. minced onion.  I let that simmer while my rice was cooking and it tasted really good.  Between the rice, corn salsa and black beans, my "Chipotle" meal costs $0.90/serving, which is great!  If you're a "meatatarian" or like sour cream and cheese (I've learned that I can't taste them) with your dish, you could be looking up toward $1.50/serving (these are coupon prices, mind you), which is still a great deal, considering it's $8 in the store (plus, I like mine better ;D).  What's your favorite way to eat Chipotle?  Do you go for a chicken burrito or a steak salad?  Do you ever make your own take out?