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Saturday, September 19, 2009

CVS - Week of 9/20

Jenny has the list of matchups for CVS this week HERE....

I'm with Jenny on her assessment of this week: not very exciting. SO, here's my grand-tabulous plan!

(4) Pepsi 12-packs, 4/$12

-(4) $0.25/1 Pepsi fridge pack
-$8 ECB

Total Due: $3.00
Get back: $3.00 ECB

... Yep... That's it! I'm getting my cheap Pepsi for the spouse, taking my $3 ECB, and running. It will be weird to go back to CVS with only $3 ECB. These one-stop shopping trips have spoiled me good. :-)


Return to Wally-World

It has been a WHILE since I've ventured to Walmart for anything; I've said before that it's just a little more difficult to coupon there because the prices vary so much and I have to go off of lists from areas not even remotely close to me at times. But Deal Seeking Mom posted a couple of updates this past week, so I had to go check them out. Overall, I was actually pretty successful! I usually only end up saving 30% or so there because of huge price variety.

I'll post a few of her deals found AND what I encountered at my local store just to give you an idea. Some were STILL decent deals, just different. If there's no price mod in brackets, the deal was the same!

Betty Crocker Pouch Potatoes, $0.78 [$0.84 at my store]
$0.40/1 Betty Crocker Boxed Potatoes or Pouch printable
$0.38 after coupon! (Thanks, NWA Deals!)

Edwards Pie Singles, $1.17 [$2.00 each at my store... not bad, but not AS tempting!]
$1/1 Edwards printable (IE) or printable (FF)
$1/1 Edwards Singles, (SS 8/30/09)
$0.17 after coupon!

Healthy Choice Frozen Meals, $2.50
$2/1 Healthy Choice printable
$0.50 after coupon!

McCormick Salt, Pepper, or Spices, psa $1.09 [Salt & Pepper pairs $1.07; Parsley $1.18)
$1/1 McCormick printable (regional)
$1/1 McCormick printable (IE) or printable (FF)
As low as $0.09 after coupon!

Mom’s Best Naturals Oats, $1
$0.75/1 Mom’s Best Product printable
$0.25 after coupon!

Oscar Mayer Lunchables w/ Water, $3
$1/1 Oscar Mayer Lunchables w/ Water printable$1/1 Oscar Mayer Lunchables w/ Water printable
$2 after coupon!

Pillsbury Grands Biscuits (5-ct.), $0.74 ($1.22, but with the $1/1 coup, worth it!)
$1/2 Pillsbury Grands printable
$1/1 Pillsbury Grands, Any printable (no longer avail)
$0.24 ea. after coupon!

Pringles Chips (5.75 to 6-oz.), $1 (I'm guessing these are the 1/2-size cans; I only found reg cans for $1.50)
$1/2 Pringles, (P&G 8/30/09)
$0.50 ea. after coupon!

Ronzoni Pasta, $1.18 [$1.28 at my store, but this included Healthy Harvest!]
$1/2 Ronzoni Pasta printable
$0.68 ea. after coupon!

Sara Lee Pre-Sliced Deli Meat, $3.58 [Could not find Sara Lee brand...]
$3/1 Sara Lee Pre-Sliced Deli Meat printable (no longer available)
$0.58 after coupon!

Success Rice, $1.62
$1/1 Success Rice printable
$0.62 after coupon!

Uncle Ben’s Rice, $1.82
$1/2 Uncle Ben’s Rice printable
$0.91 ea. after coupon!

Air Wick Scented Oils i-Motion Starter Kit, $5
$4/1 Air Wick Scented Oil i-Motion Starter Kit (SS #3 9/13/09)
$4/1 Air Wick Scented Oil i-Motion Starter Kit (SS 8/30/09)
$1 after coupon! (Thanks, Cha-Ching On A Shoestring!)

Sparkle Paper Towels, $2.73 [Price was same, just adding it was the 2-pk of BIG Rolls]
$1/1 Sparkle Paper Towels printable
$1/1 Sparkle Paper Towels, (RP 9/13/09)
$1.73 after coupon! (Thanks, NWA Deals!)

White Cloud Toilet Paper (4-pk.), $1.99
$1/1 White Cloud Toilet Paper printable
$0.99 after coupon!

As you can see, sometimes the price difference was a few cents, sometimes not. But for the most part it was a fun and worthwhile hunt! Thanks, Deal Seeking Mom!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Kroger Mega Sale - Week of 9/13

I took a week off from shopping just... well, just because! Because you have to. There weren't a whole lot of very exciting deals at most of my stores, although I did hit up CVS for another One-Transaction-Wonder (that won't happen again for awhile; I'm planning to burn up my last big stash of ECBs this week). And this week has been crazy so tonight was my first night to really get out to shop.

This week was another Mega Sale at Kroger (see Jenny at Southern Savers for the list!). I don't know about anyone else but after the last one I was kind of disappointed. Not a WHOLE lot of free or super-super cheap stuff. In fact I told DH that this was a "high-end" Mega Sale b/c I spent more than I ever have on a Mega Sale since I started couponing. Still, I didn't do too bad. I only grabbed 10 participating items, but I confirmed or found some other great deals, too! Here are my favorites:

* Purina ONE Cat Chow - $1.49 after sale/coupons!

* Buitoni Fresh Chicken & Prosciutto Tortellini - $1.49 after sale/coupons!

* Slim Fast Bars, multi-packs (closeouts) - $1.39 after paper coupon! Only $0.89 after Unilever e-Coupon (which I completely forgot about and wrote off weeks ago... but it worked)!

* Green Giant Boxed Frozen Veggies - $0.64 each ($1.28 for 2) after paper & e-coupons! AND... there's multiples of the $.50/2 e-coup, so buy 4 boxes and get a $2.00 OYNO catalina!

* Starkist Tuna Pouches (in water) - FREE after those $1 printables from during the last Mega Sale (when my Kroger was clean out)!

* Smithfield Bacon 50% off - $2.68 each... FREE with OVERAGE if you still have those $3.00 printables!

I also snagged several Lean Cuisines, 2 boxes of Ritz Crackers, Digiorno Pizza, Mushrooms, and some clearance Pork Chops.

Totals before sale/coupons: $66.62
Total after sale: $47.71
Total Spent: $27.04
Saved: 60%

Now, why do I feel like I've done BADLY if I walk out having spent more than $20 and NOT getting nearly $100 worth of groceries for it? :-)


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Softsoap/Irish Springs at CVS... STILL going?

A quick note... I took another look at my CVS receipt from this Sunday and saw that under my Extra Buck Offers for the week it was STILL listing the following:

Irish Spring, Buy 1 Get 2 EB
Quantity toward this Reward 3
Quantity needed to Earn this Reward 1

This is the same deal as last week with the Softsoap bodywash AND Irish Springs.... Is this a MONTH-long ECB deal, maybe? Now I did NOT check for any shelf tags while in the store because I had no idea this might still be going... But if any of you all have extra Softsoap coupons lying around, it may be worth it to go snag a bottle and see what happens...

Let me know if you get ECB again and if this deal is advertised where you are or not!


Monday, September 7, 2009

CVS - Week of 9/6.... Yup, already!

I came home from camping on Sunday only to turn myself around in the shower so I could go straight to a funeral service for one of my recent students... Frankly, I am still deeply saddened by the loss of such a promising young life... and I was having a really hard time shaking myself back to normal after the services. I thought that maybe a quick run to spend my $13.99 in ECBs at CVS would be good to get my mind focused on something else for a short while.

Jenny at Southern Savers has the BIG list for CVS and you can also view the actual ad scan here. I did not even really touch her Grand Plan (I notice I've been deviating from it a lot more... is that good?? Or is that why I've spent more out of pocket??) because I had twice as many ECBs to start, and I was missing a lot of the good coupons for things like Neutrogena and Loreal. Overall, I about broke even when you considered what I earned BACK... but I'm still trying to get AHEAD with little to nothing out of pocket in the first place! ARGH.

Like last week, I got to keep it easy with one transaction:

(1) Schick ST3 Disposable Razors, 8 ct - $6.99 ($4 ECB)
(1) Aussie Styling product - $2.99 ($2 ECB)
(1) CoverGirl Clean Liquid Foundation - $4.99 ($2 ECB)
(1) CoverGirl Line Smoothing Liquid SPF 15 - $7.99
(1) Quilted Northern Bath Tissue, 12 roll - $6.97

-$4 off Schick disposables
-$1 off any CoverGirl
-$FREE Face product wyb CoverGirl Foundation (see below)
-$1 off Quilted Northern
-$13 ECB

...... I needed the TP and had intended to use some of these ECBs for free paper goods anyway last week. The Aussie was a good deal with the ECB it spit back out (IMO) even though I didn't have a coupon for it. My total OOP SHOULD have been roughly $1.95, plus tax on ~$40 in items.

Jenny's site said you should be able to use the $1 coupon with the Get FREE wyb X coupon... but I think the CVS computers calculate those 2 coupons as covering 3 items, not 2. Basically after they scanned the $1 coupon, the FREE coupon beeped and told them there were too many items. Now, would it have worked if I'd had a little random filler item, or did I need to buy 3 CG items? I'm not sure.

So, I had them void the $1 and scan the FREE coupon instead. The FREE coupon was weird because it didn't state a max of ANY kind on it. Nothing. No direction what-so-ever. But I found out that the max is the non-sale price of the foundation ($6.19 for me). So, it worked, but in order for your Face Product to be truly FREE... it had to be less than whatever the regular foundation price was. This added almost $3 to my overall... SO:

Total OOP w/ tax: $5.75 + $2.77 = $8.52 (Saved 79%... still GRRRRRR)

Got Back: $8 ECB

Shelf Cost of everything? $40.62

I'm really going to start looking for ways to figure the tax ahead of time and see if I can get my ECB to cover that too. It's not a HUGE deal but it's messing up my projections of how much I'm supposed to spend and making me do double takes before I leave the store. Any ideas? I'm listening!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kroger - Week of 8/30... and where'd my week go?

Wow. That was fast! The rest of this past week was spent trying to ditch the crud in advance of the holiday weekend and once that started, away it went! I know this is late but I wanted to post up how I did on a last-minute run to Kroger on Friday night. My spouse had left for the mountains ahead of me to secure a good campsite b/c past experience has taught us there are NONE to be found come Saturday on Labor Day weekends. I went to dinner with friends directly after work, then decided to run to Kroger to grab Pepsis (b/c they were on their great Buy 4, Get 1 FREE deal) and a few free items.

Overall, it was not a banner trip but then it wasn't meant to be. Those darned Pepsis always tweak my totals... ;-) It's pretty funny that if I don't save at least 50%, I now get really disappointed in myself, even when I know it can't be helped!

Anyhoo, here are the quick details:

Total before sale/coupons: $53.90
Total after sale: $34.92

After coupons: $27.72 (Saved 49% overall)

I have done WAAAAAY better, I know! And I only used about $7 in coupons! ....??? The main thing is that I went in for the Pepsis, grabbed a few unplanned things, and only found a few of the freebies I wanted. FYI: The night before the first University of TN game.... things can go fast on those shelves.

(5) Pepsi 12-packs
(1) Bounty Paper Towels
(1) Hefty One-Zip bags
(1) Kroger trash bags
(1) Dial handsoap
(2) Cattleman's BBQ Sauce
(2) French's Mustard
(3) Haagan-Daz single servings (1 of these did not make it into my bags at checkout.. Grrr!)
(3) Gatorades
(2) Orange/White shakers (... for my car... and watching games) :-)

It doesn't seem like a whole lot for $27! ... Honestly? I have no idea how much the shakers were. I had to get up super early on Saturday so I came home, jotted down the big numbers and tossed my receipt. They may have been a couple bucks a piece but I really wanted some. I used to have a stash of dozens from my student gamedays but those have long since been given away, disintegrated, or become cat toys (and then disintegrated).

Sometimes you just can't go strictly by the playbook, eh? With the exception of veggies and meat, I'm going to try to stick to the rules better this week.

Oh, and GO VOLS!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

CVS - Results... Kept it simple

I was starting to feel a bug coming on late Saturday, but I knew that we had a full day ahead on Sunday and if I didn't make a quick midnight run I'd never get the stuff that was free or super cheap. So I went and made it just that: a quick single-transaction run! I had $10 ECBs to start and so I got most of the good deals I wanted with just that plus coupons... I may go back to get some paper goods free plus something to give me a few ECBs for next time. Just not sure how I want to spend what I have and don't want to waste them just to get it over with b/c I NOW have a full on case of "crud" and a nap looks better than shopping right now.

(1) Glade Fragrance Collection Reed Diffuser - $6.99 ($6.99 ECB = FREE)
(2) Bounce Dryer Bar, Singles - $3.99 - ($1 ECB each, limit 2)
(1) Softsoap Nutriserum Bodywash - $4.99 ($2 ECB, limit...??? ... see below)
(1) Aquafresh IsoActive Foaming Tooth Gel - $3.99 ($3 ECB)

-$4 off $20 CVS Readyfill coupon
-$2 off Glade Fragrance collection item IP-$2.50 off Bounce Dryer Bar (Vocalpoint)
-$1.50 off Bounce Dryer Bar (Vocalpoint)
-$2 off any Softsoap/Irish Springs IP (had ONE of these left)
-$1 off Aquafresh Foaming Tooth Gel IP
-$10 ECB

Total OOP w/ Tax: $3.89
Got back: $13.99 ECBs (made back my OOP and then some!)

SHELF Cost of everything above: $32.89

I was pretty happy the limit on the Bounce was 2 instead of 1; that definitely helped. On the Softsoap, I'm not sure WHAT the limit is... I'm out of those great $2 printables now b/c I used a couple last week on Irish Springs when the SAME deal was going at my stores in Knoxville even though it wasn't in the ad. The other weird thing is that my receipt for the Softsoap/Irish Springs says I still have an amount of "1" to earn toward this deal (I already have 3... 2 last week, 1 on this trip). But the shelf tags last week said "Limit 1" as does the ad this week. So I can go back and get at least 1 more? May be just what I do...


Monday, August 31, 2009

Are you more DIY than you were before?

With the economy taking a dive and still struggling (IMO) to revive itself, lots of people have turned to more self-sustaining or DIY methods of food prep around the house in order to try to stretch their dollars or be more accountable for what they use.

I personally have really enjoyed and been inspired by Couponing in Critical Times' blog. She does a fantastic job of routinely emphasizing and giving personal examples of things she grows, makes from scratch, or finds creative uses for rather than wasting odds and ends.

I dove into the realm of trying to grow some of our own food this summer and not only have I done pretty decently at the growing part, but it's also forced me to appreciate that food more (b/c I spent the $ on pots, dirt, etc) and use it in as many ways as I can. And THAT has lead to even more experimentation in the kitchen with MAKING things that are usually store-bought to save even more money.

*I went whole-hog in my planting by ordering all my plants as SEEDS and starting from the ground up, literally. NEVER done that before! But it was really fun! I got to give away quite a few seedlings as I thinned them out, even trading some for other people's herbs/plants.

*I grew a mix of summer lettuces and spinach so that we could have our own fresh salads instead of the bagged version (which almost always went partially bad before we could finish). I started harvesting my lettuce early so we began with baby green salads. I've since let both go to flower/seed and will try to harvest some of those for next year. I will probably also order an extra pack to start a late fall crop.

*My bell peppers didn't do well for some reason.. I made the mistake of planting them with the eggplants (which have taken over) and I think those guys just sucked the soil dry of nutrients. Lesson learned for next year.

*My italian eggplants have started coming in droves and I've been learning to blanch 'em, bread 'em, and freeze 'em for eggplant parmesans. By the time the summer is over I should have plenty to last through spring.

*One of my swapped plants was a single basil plant. Over everything else, this thing is exploding! I've used the leaves on frozen pizzas, salads, pasta, and I plan to try to make my own pesto.

*With the fresh basil and discovery of my local bakery outlet, I've bought Texas-Toast style bread and have been making my own frozen garlic toast. I keep butter, garlic powder/salt and oregano on hand, the basil is from my yard, and the loaf costs about $1.25. I get upwards of 20-25 slices whereas I was paying $2 for 8 slices of the store kind.

*Once upon a time, I'd buy a bag of potatoes and just accept the fact that 1/2 would go bad before I used them. We can only eat so many baked/mashed/roasted potatoes in a household of 2, y'know? But at the same time, I was buying frozen roasted potatoes b/c they kept far longer... Why?? B/c I didn't realize I could slow-bake a few potatoes at once, let cool completely on the counter, then slice/dice and FREEZE myself. Once frozen, I can just pour out however much I want for roasted wedges, casseroles/potpies, or frying as breakfast.

What are YOU doing to become more DIY?


Sunday, August 30, 2009

PROOF that Lists ARE a good thing

What's that phrase we always berate kids with? Do as I SAY, not as I DO? Maybe we should take a little of our own advice from time to time? ;-) Well, that's what I thinking last night.

Somehow I got myself another "protege" to try to tutor in the "Way of the Coupon." I figured this week would be excellent b/c of the Mega Sale continuing! I also got a request from my mom to pick up a few things for her from the sale (got her Kroger card and got her allll signed up on Cellfire, Shortcuts, and P&G)...

So far, I've done just fine "multitasking" and number-crunching in the store while shopping for me. Just for me...

The "problem" with the Buy 10, Get $5 off Mega Sale (basically $.50 off each item) is that you have to REALLY keep track of how many items you buy. If you buy only 9 items, you don't get the $.50 sale discount on ANY of them. The last 2 times I've shopped a Mega-Sale (last week and a couple months ago) I ALWAYS went in with a list numbered in sets of 10. Too detailed? Maybe. But it made my trip so much easier and smoother.

This time I figured I was going to snag the few items mom wanted, and focus on my coupon-tutoring subject. He did make a basic list, but he didn't know how to match it to the Mega-Sale so while he got the concept, we had to make it up and keep counting/RE-counting as we went.

Add'l NOTE to self: No matter the # of items, get my OWN basket for my stuff. We used the main part of the cart to separate my "subject's" items into Mega and NON-Mega sale items, which meant that I shoved my stuff into the top part with my binder. Yeah... doesn't work.

Here's where I suppose some karma came into play: we went to check out and my protege had 30 items. But only 2 of the $5 discounts came off. I looked at the receipt and saw the Total cereal hadn't triggered and was ringing up at non-sale price. So I asked and told them the tags were up; it was busy and normally I wouldn't be so heavily handed with coupons during the after-work rush hour, but it was when we could go. They checked really quick and pulled him over to customer service to give him his $5. I was so focused on THAT, I didn't even WATCH my receipt, not at all. I didn't do BAD; I spent about $16 and saved $33 (70%). But after we got done I realized I'd miscounted my own items and only had 19!!!! Only one $5 discount. *WHINE*

WAIT, though... we then took a look at his box of Total, wondering why it didn't trigger the discount... It was the 1-lb box instead of 10.5 oz! I didn't even THINK of that when I asked for the 3rd $5 discount; I'd even grabbed that box myself too. SO, all in all it was fair that I legitimately missed one of my discounts considering I got him one that he shouldn't have had.

But I am NEVER going shopping sans my psycho-detailed list again!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

CVS - Week of 8/30... My Plan

This week at CVS is looking "interesting" at least. There isn't an overwhelming amount of really great ECB deals, but at least the items are nicely varied so I can get some stuff that we'll really use and need. Per Jenny's advice at Southern Savers (who has the FULL list), and because I'm starting off MY week with $10 ECB, I think I AM going to use this week as a chance to get 1-2 items for the general household supply for free. Jenny's Grand Plans look great, but I just never seem to save those coupons for the glucose meter thingies that are always such moneymakers.

So my scenario is going to be a bit different. One thing's for sure: I am scaling back and NOT spending more than a couple of bucks out of pocket this week if I can help it. Last week's haul was great but I still feel like I could've done sooo much better.

Planned Trans #1
Glade Fragrance Collection Reed Diffuser ($6.99 ECB) - $6.99 ea, Limit 1
Bounce Dryer Bar ($1.00 ECB) - $3.99 ea
Softsoap Nutriserum Wash ($2.00 ECB) - $4.99 ea, Limit 1 ***
Gillette Venus Embrace Razor ($3.00 ECB) - $8.99 ea

Use $4 off $20 CVS coupon
Use $10 ECB
-$4 off any Glade Fragrance collection
-$1 off Bounce Dryer bar
-$2 off Softsoap Wash (printable -- I still have them!)
-$2 off Venus Embrace

Total OOP: $1.96
Get back $12.99 ECB

I'm wondering about that Softsoap... When they were on sale a few weeks ago AND last week (along with the Irish Springs bodywash), the tags said Limit 1 but most people had no problem snagging 2-3 and getting the ECBs... I wonder if that will be the case this week... I also need to check if my printable $2 coupons that I horded are good to 8/30! If not, I'll be using the $1 off from the paper and may rethink a couple things to keep the OOP as low as possible.

Planned Trans #2
Bausch & Lomb Renu Solution Twin Pk ($3.00 ECB) - $7.99 ea
Bausch & Lomb Renu Solution Twin Pk ($3.00 ECB) - $7.99 ea
Bounty Basic 6 Big Rolls - $5.89 ea

Use $4 off $20 (if I have 1 extra) OR $3 off $12 eyecare CVS coupon
Use $12.99 ECB
-$2 off Renu
-$2 off Renu
-$.25 off Bounty

Total OOP: $.63 OR $1.63
Get back $6 ECB


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Hidden"/Unpublished SoftSoap/Irish Spring ECB deal at CVS this week?

Does anyone remember how crazy we all went to print those $2 off any Softsoap or Irish Springs coupons from that one zip code on Coupons.com (which I can't even remember anymore)?

Well, I hope you saved a couple! I noticed on Sunday that the Softsoap Nutriserum and Irish Springs bodywashes were tagged for $4.99 with a $2 ECB. I thought it may have been an old tag or error because I don't recall seeing that in the ad matchups anywhere.

But it's current!

What's more, the tags in store say Limit 1, but I bought 2 without even thinking, used 2 coupons I had leftover, and got back $4 ECB! My receipt also says that I can buy at least one more (no "Limit Reached" message).

Oh, and see my post below about possibly FREE Shower Poufs??? I'm STILL not sure what that was about. All I know is that my cashier was chatting me up on these free chocolates and buttery-mints they had baskets of at the front (I said something about how it's not even Halloween and they're already giving out free candy), and she suddenly told me to grab a pouf from a nearby bin for free. Never look a gifthorse in the mouth!

My shopping trip report(s) on CVS had me spending way more out of pocket than normal, but I'm loving that store this week!


CVS Aveeno Deal!!! And my totals this week...

This week I probably ended up spending the most out-of-pocket at CVS than I have since starting couponing. But I think I got some great deals on stuff we use anyway.

As it turns out, the Olay Definity Cleansers I had planned to start off with were NOT part of the Olay deal; only the items that were $24.99. Some people were reporting that their CVS managers made the final call and manually printed the $12 ECBs, but I didn't want to mess with it. So I started off with this on Sunday:

Trans #1
(4) Pepsi 12-Packs ($3 ECB wyb 4 Pepsi) - 4/$12

-$4 ECB

Total OOP w/ Tax: $8.93
Get back $3 ECB

Trans #2
(2) Glade Sense & Spray Kit ($3 ECB wyb $10 in Glade) - 2/$10
(4) Kraft Mac & Cheese ($2 ECB wyb 4) - 4/$4

-(2) $4 off Glade Sense & Spray
-(1) Buy 3 Kraft Mac & Cheese, Get 1 FREE
-$3 ECB

Total OOP w/ Tax: $3.24
Get back $5 ECB

After this I was going to pretty much done for the week until I read about THIS deal on the Aveeno from Hip2Save's site! I got the Aveeno Cleansing Pads a few weeks ago and I love them. They're really great for a quick spot refresh (b/c the cleansing foam is contained to the scrubbing pad) or overall. I also found more Glade coupons, so I went back and did this today at 2 separate CVS's:

Trans #1
(3) Aveeno Positively Ageless Cleansing Pads ($10 ECB wyb $25 in Aveeno) - $8.99 ea.
(1) Shower Pouf - $2.99 on my receipt (not sure if this is a local promo but my cashier just said "Hey, grab you one of those out of that bin" and she'd give it to me FREE... um... SURE!)

-$5 off $25
-$10 off 3 Aveeno Positively Ageless IP
-$5 ECB
-$4 CVS coupon (this is what she scanned against my Shower Pouf... again, umm.. OK!)

Total OOP
w/ Tax: $7.90
Get back $10 ECB (that PAID for itself!)

NOTE: Okay - HERE I got a little messed up... See, I'd found more Glade coupons (in the Sense&Spray I bought previously) so I was planning to FIRST do the Glade deals again and use the $5 ECB I had (which would have worked out as being under a dollar), and THEN do the Aveeno with the $6 ECB from the Glade.

BUT, the first CVS I hit up was nearly CLEARED OUT of ALL Glade products. Zip, zilch, nada. They did have the Aveeno and not many, so I chose to do that deal just in case there was no hope of finding more Glade (with the $4 off coupon in the paper this week, I figured it was a lost cause). However, when I hit the 2nd CVS just for the heck of it they were completely stocked on Glade...?? But I now had a large single $10 ECB to spend and I still wanted to use my $4 off $20 coupon... The end result is that I threw in a few extra things to make sure I wasn't under.

Trans #2
(2) Glade Sense & Spray Kit - 2/$10
(2) Glade PlugIn Scent Oil Lasting Impressions Kit - 2/$10
(2) Irish Springs Body Wash ($2 ECB - Hidden Deal??) - $4.99 ea
(2) Reeses PB Cups Milk Chocolate - 2/$1
(2) Reeses PB Cups Dark Chocolate - 2/$1
(1) Nivea Lip Balm SPF 30 (Clearance) - $1.50

-$4 off $20

-(2) $3 off Sense & Spray
-(2) $3 off Scented Oil Lasting Impressions
-(2) $2 off Irish Springs or Soft Soap IP
-(2) B1G1 Reese PB Cups (new Dark or orig Milk)
-$10 ECB

Total OOP w/ tax: $5.21
Get back: $10 ECB ($6 on Glade, $4 on Irish Springs)

In retrospect, the 2nd Irish Springs put me just over where I needed to be. I didn't need the clearance Lip Balm and could've put that back. My quick (and wrong) mental math in the store somehow made me think the Reeses cups would be free but I ended up paying $1.00 for all 4 packs. But, hey, that's life.

TOTAL OOP w/ tax......... $25.28 (OUCH! ... It's okay, though! It's okay! I just keep telling myself that with the $10 ECB I got back, it's really $15.28... and on a normal grocery trip $12 of that would have been straight outta pocket for DH's beloved Pepsis)

Total merchandise PURCHASED (before sales/coups)..... $138.90

Total saved: 82%

Technically, I have done MUCH better... but overall I'm not too unhappy.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

CVS - Week of 8/23... Just keep luring me in with cheap Pepsi...

It's looking like a sort of slow week at CVS and I'd probably take the week off... but the promise of cheap Pepsi is luring me back!

As usual, Jenny at Southern Savers has the scoop on the full ad matches but this is what I think I'll be trying to do. I won't be heading over at midnight either; this scenario will force me to wait until the paper shows up tomorrow morning.

Trans # 1
Olay Definity Cleanser ($12 ECB wyb 2 participating Olay products) - $10.98
Olay Definity Cleanser ($12 ECB wyb 2 participating Olay products) - $10.98
Use $4 off $20 Facial Care CVS coupon (have to pick up a prescrip so I'll be asking about the ReadyFill program/booklet... *grin*)
Use (2) $3 off Olay coupons (THIS is what I have to wait on... grrr)
Use $4 ECB

Total due: $7.98
Get back $12 ECB

Trans #2
(4) 12-packs of Pepsi ($3 ECB wyb 4) - $12.00
Use $12 ECB

Total due: NOTHING
Get back $3 ECB

Trans #3
Glade Sense & Spray ($3 ECB wyb $10 in Glade) - $5.00
Glade Sense & Spray ($3 ECB wyb $10 in Glade) - $5.00
CVS Composition book 100 sheets ($.99 ECB) - $.99
CVS Composition book 100 sheets ($.99 ECB) - $.99
Use $3 ECB

Total due: $.98
Get back $4.98 ECB

We'll see how it goes tomorrow. My main goal is the Pepsi, and really I could just get those, use my $4 ECB, pay $8 out of pocket, and then move on to the Glade. But I admit the Olay deal is too tempting, and I like the idea of getting the Pepsi for "nothing", plus some nice facial cleansers. I'll be hitting up my 24 hour CVS b/c that's where my prescription is. Here's hoping I can get there early enough to snag what I need!


Friday, August 21, 2009

ALDIs... The only place to go for meats and other have-to-haves

We're very lucky to finally have an ALDIs discount store nearby; I honestly don't know what I did without it, much like I no longer know what I did without shopping using coupons!

ALDIs is a pretty simple bare-bones sort of store that happens to have very good products at good prices. They don't allow coupons mainly because they offer a lot of one-off brands, and because they keep their overhead and prices so low on a daily basis that really, they don't have to. Now, I have to admit that a good portion of their pantry items and some dairy doesn't compete with Kroger with the right sale and coupons. They also have their own versions of "sale" prices, and on a good week a regular grocery store will beat those prices too (i.e. chicken). BUT, if you do find you need something NOW (b/c we all forget about that jar of this or that spice getting low, etc), there's really no place else for me to shop.

After my trips to Kroger left me stocked to the hilt on Hamburger/Chicken Helper, I decided to swing by to see if I could round out my groceries for the month with some more meat purchases. There was really not a lot on sale at Kroger that appealed, and I didn't feel like doing much store hopping.

I ended up getting:

(1) Dozen Grade-A Large Eggs ($.49)
(1) Garlic Powder ($1.09)
(2) Bacon Wrapped Beef Filet ($1.99 ea - These are usually 3/$10 at Kroger)
(2) Cornish Game Hens ($1.99 ea - Often $5.50-$7 for 2 elsewhere, including Walmart)
(2) Ground Turkey 90/10, 1.2 lbs ($2.49 ea - BEEF was pricier and turkey is healthier)
(1) Tyson Chicken Drumsticks, abt 2.5 lbs ($3.43)

Total: $19.34

Consider that the above will translate into at least 7 dinners for the 2 of us when made with other pantry items (the Helpers, rice, pasta, veggies), plus a few leftover lunches for me. Not too bad.


Kroger Mega-LOVE this week... Saved 70% over two trips

Whew! I think I'm honestly in NO need to do major shopping for the rest of August, besides maybe milk.

First, great trip on Wednesday! I hadn't planned to go then, but was checking the milk for mashed potatoes for dinner, and, uh... it was juuuuust over the edge of trying to become another type of dairy product. :-) So, I figured I might as well head over before it got too late in the week. I took my list of 30 items (3 sets of 10) and then some, plus coupons, binder, and off I went.

I got everything I wanted although the pickings on certain things were SUPER slim; it seemed like I got the LAST packages of a couple things. Seriously, I've never had to climb shelves or crawl to get alllll the way to the back or hunt behind other products for so many items. There WERE 2-3 flavors of Hamburger Helper that were on closeout for $.45 with the sale according to tags; but GONE.

I did have an issue at checkout where I’d bought exactly 30 qualifying items (hence the LIST; it helps!), but only 2 of the Buy 10, Get $5 discounts came up. I asked the checker and showed him my list; he went back over my receipt, counted the 30 and said it should’ve worked; that in fact the lady before me had 30 and got 3 discounts (he thought 3 was the limit on the deal, btw... whether there IS or isn't a limit hasn't been very clear on this particular sale). Anyway, a manager happened by, and when my checker explained, he just handed me $5 cash out of his change pouch, no question.

(Note: This is probably the first time I've EVER questioned a cashier on a coupon or other price issue. I just never wanted to deal with the confrontation before but this time I figured I'd done everything right, so it couldn't hurt to ask!)

Anyway, onto my loot. I did cheat a bit and used 3 more of my FREE Lean Cuisine giveaway coupons.

(6) Hamburger/Tune/Chicken Helper
(6) Sobe Lifewater
(2) Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls
(2) Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
(2) Turkey Hill Tea 1/2 Gallons
(3) Lean Cuisine
(2) Nature Valley Nut Clusters
(2) Betty Crocker Cookie Mix Pouches
(2) Betty Crocker Warm Delights
(2) Betty Crocker Scalloped Potatoes
(1) Trix Swirl cereal
(1) Total Raisin Bran
(1) Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers
(1) Green Giant canned Corn Niblets
(1) Old El Paso Enchilada kit
(1) Old El Paso Seasoned Black Beans
(2) Yellow Corn ears
(1) Skim Milk
(1) Wheat Bread loaf, Kroger
(1) Salmon Filets (this became 4 portions which will be 2 dinners)

Total BEFORE sales & coupons? $92.14

AFTER Sale alone? $59.68

AFTER Coupons: $27.38

I have to say, I'm really very pleased! My personal goal was to get out under $30 and I did that.

I was NOT planning to go back initially... but after looking at my receipt I realized that a lot of my e-coups had primarily come from Cellfire; even the stuff I bought 2-3 of. I KNEW I had the same ones on my Shortcuts.com account so I checked, and sure enough, there were enough to warrant Trip #2 on Thursday.

Happily, someone had done some serious restocking. There were plenty of full shelves so I was a happy camper (although the climbing from Wednesday was kind of fun). Sooo, I did this...

(8) Sobe Lifewaters
(3) Hamburger/Chicken Helper (got 1 of the $.45 ones)
(2) Nature Valley Nut Clusters
(2) Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes
(2) Betty Crocker Warm Delights
(2) Quaker Quakes Tortilla Style
(1) Trix Swirl Cereal
(1) Thick-cut Pork Chops (clearance)
(1) Kroger Whole Fryer Chicken (clearance)
(1) London Broil (clearance)

Now, factoring in what the meat would have been...

Total BEFORE sales & coupons? $60.10

AFTER Sale alone? $39.30

AFTER Coupons: $17.94

Not too shabby! One weird thing that happened today and yesterday was that one of the Nut Clusters triggered the e-coupon for the Nature Valley BARS... which stinks b/c that's only a $.40 e-coup instead of $1. Oh well. Can't win 'em all.

GRAND TOTALS? I got $152.24 in groceries for $45.32. We also happen to have a friend who'll be moving into a new apartment and starting from scratch this weekend, so several of those items will be going into a jumpstart box of sorts for them.

I was on such a high from getting good deals on the meats, that I decided to hit up ALDIs on the way home to see if I could finish stocking us up on meats for the next week or so. More on that in the next post.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Calling all TEACHERS! Save on updates to your wardrobe!

I admit it; I'm a huge fan of the store NY&Co. Overall, their stuff just fits my frame well and their pieces all coordinate easily with each other, as well as lots of other items I get elsewhere. Plus they usually have great coupons available. I got this in my Inbox today and am definitely going to hit up my local store to check it out:

(Yeah, I know, it's small). Apparently, teachers get 15% in store just by showing their ID at the register! Of course, you need to check and make sure your store is participating, and if you're not a straight-up K-12 teacher, this may not apply to you. I'm an adjunct instructor at a local technical school so I plan to tote my ID to the mall and ask my store if it'll work. Good luck and happy shopping! They have a great pant special going of Buy 1, Get ANY 2nd Pant/Jean FREE!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kroger MEGA Sale this week of 8/16 (and next?)

I've really been looking forward to this week b/c Kroger is AGAIN having a great Mega Sale of Buy any 10 participating items, Get $5 off your total order. Even in my very short couponing career I've learned that these sales tend to end up very well for me. I was hoping to see more frozen veggies paired with coupons b/c we could use some, but that's okay.

Overall, there is a LOT I'm excited about! My own tips for working these sales to the maximum and keeping yourself from overspending:


* For the participating items, try to number your "sets" of 10 items. You can buy 10 of the same thing or 1 each of any of the items included in the Mega Sale, but make sure you have increments of 10! If you miss one and end up with 9.... you won't get the extra $5 off your total order for those items (works out to $.50 off per item). Bring a pen with you to the store so you can cross items off as you put them in your cart, OR mark where you've substituted an item (if they're out).

* STICK TO the list! This is just good basic shopping advice. I try to list my sale items on top, and then any/all my other items on the bottom with estimates of what my goal price is for those items (I do this especially for meats). This often keeps me from overshopping, and if an item is not on sale at all (and no coupons) I'll debate whether I really need it that week (often I can make do without). Also, I still know what the register total SHOULD be and I'm never terribly surprised by it.

* CLIP/PULL/PRINT all your coupons from the main stash beforehand. Same goes for LOADING and checking your e-coupons. It just makes the trip faster and this way you know how many multiples of items you can buy at a certain price, instead of buying 6 boxes of something and realizing at the register that you'll only get the rock-bottom price on 2 because you're short a couple coupons.

Much thanks goes to Jenny at Southern Savers, without whom I'd be spending way too much on groceries! (Click the "Weekly Ad" title to go to her FULL post)

Kroger Weekly Ad 8/16-8/22
(price listed is after .50¢ discount per item from instant savings)


SoBe Juice or Life Water 49¢ ea
-B1G1 Sobe Life Water
printable (IE) or printable(FF) to $1.59 (coupon will take off .99¢ after .50¢ discount for each makes both FREE)

Pepsi products 2 liters .79 ea
-$1/2 Pepsi products Kroger “Best Customer” home mailer

Gatorade 64oz bottle


Pillsbury Crescents Rolls 8-16.3 oz, .99¢ ea
-.50/2 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
printable or printable
-.50/2 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Shortcuts eCoupon (use with .50/2 coupon makes it .24¢ ea)

Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls 8-16.3 oz, .99¢ ea
-.40/2 Pillsbury Sweet Rolls or Grands Sweet Rolls, Any SS 8/9 or
-.40/2 Pillsbury Sweet Rolls or Grands! Sweet Rolls
Shortcuts eCoupon (use with .40/2 makes it .39¢ ea)

Yoplait Yogurts, 16-32 oz, $1.99 ea (ALL varieties below):

Delights 6pk
-$1 off Yoplait Delights

Fiber One 4pk
-$1 off Yoplait Fiber One
Cellfire eCoupon or Shortcuts eCoupon
-$1 off Yoplait Fiber One SS 8/09, 7/12 (use with eCoupon -FREE)

Yoplait Yogurt 6pk or 32oz
-.55/1 Yoplait 32 oz yogurt
Shortcuts eCoupon
-$1 off Yoplait 32 oz SS 7/12, 6/28 (use with eCoupon -.44¢)

Yo-Plus 4pk
-$1 off Yo-Plus SS 8/09 or
printable or printable


Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers, 12 oz bag, $1.29 ea

Wanchai Ferry Complete Frozen Meal Kits $5.49 ea
-$2 off Wanchai Ferry Dinner Kits SS 8/09, 7/12
-$3.50 off Wanchai Ferry Kis printable (limit reached)

Canned/Boxed Goods:

Betty Crocker Brownie Mix / Betty Crocker Cookie Mix $1.49 ea
-.40/1 Betty Crocker Cookie Mix 17.5 oz or larger
Cellfire eCoupon or Shortcuts eCoupon
-.40/1 Betty Crocker Cookie Mix 17.5oz+ SS 8/9 or
printable or printable or printable(use e coupon and paper coupon makes it .29 ea)

Betty Crocker Brownie Mix $1.49 ea
-.75/2 Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix
Cellfire eCoupon or Shortcuts eCoupon
-.75/2 Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix, SS 7/19 or
-.50/2 Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mixes
printable (use .50/2 paper coupon with e coupon makes it .61¢ ea)

Betty Crocker Warm Delights $1.39, Warm Delights Minis $1.69
-.50/1 Betty Crocker Warm Delights Bowls or Mini Bowls SS 8/9 or
-.50/1 Betty Crocker Warm Delights or Warm Delights Minis
Cellfire eCoupon or Shortcuts eCoupon (use eCoupon with paper coupon makes it .19 ea)

Betty Crocker Potatoes 4.6-6.6 oz, 99¢ ea
-.40/2 Betty Crocker Boxed Potatoes
Shortcuts eCoupon (makes it .79¢ ea)

Green Giant Vegetables, 11-15.5 oz cans, .75¢ ea

Hamburger, Chicken or Tuna Helper .89¢ ea
-.75/3 Hamburger Helper, Tuna Helper or Chicken Helper
Cellfire eCoupon or Shortcuts eCoupon
-.75/3 Hamburger Helpers
printable or printable (use eCoupon and paper coupon makes it .39¢ ea)

Old El Paso Dinner Kits $1.99
Old El Paso Tortillas $1.89
Old El Paso Taco Shells or Refried Beans .99¢ ea
-Buy (2) Old El Paso Products, get FREE Old El Paso Seasoning coupon on select products
-.60/2 Old El Paso products
-.60/2 Old El Paso products
Shortcuts eCoupon (use both together makes it .39¢ ea)

Quaker or General Mills Cereal 8.9-16 oz, $1.49 ea INCLUDING: Cap’n Crunch, Life, Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Fruity Cheerios, Golden Grahams, Total, or Trix
-$1/2 off any Cheerios SS 7/19, 8/02 or
-.55/1 Cheerios
printable or printable
-.55/1 Trix Cereal
Cellfire eCoupon or Shortcuts eCoupon
-.55/1 Trix Cereal,
printable or here or here (with eCoupon .39¢)
-$1/2 General Mills Cereal, SS 7/19, 7/12, 8/16 or August All You
-.75/1 Total Cereal
printable-.75/1 Total Cereal Shortcuts eCoupon (use with paper -FREE)

Snack Items:

Tostito’s Chips $1.88

Tostito’s Dip or Salsa $1.88
-Free Tostito’s Salsa wyb (2) Bags of Tostito’s Chips tearpad

Nature Valley Nut Clusters $1.99 ea
-$1 off Nut Clusters SS 8/09
printable or printable
-$1 off Nature Valley Clusters Cellfire eCoupon or Shortcuts eCoupon

Fiber One Chewy Bars 5-8.9 oz, $1.99 ea
-.40/1 Fiber One Chewy Bars
Cellfire eCoupon or Shortcuts eCoupon
-.40/1 Fiber One Bars SS 7/19 or
printable or printable(makes .79¢ ea)

Quaker True Delights Bars or Fiber & Omerga 3, 5ct, $1.99 ea
-$1 off Quaker True Delights RP 6/28 (exp 8/22) or

Quaker Quakes Rice Cakes, 3.03-4 oz, .49¢ ea


Tyson Fresh Split Chicken Breast .99¢ lb
-$1 off Tyson Fresh Chicken SS 6/14, 8/02

Fresh Wild Caught Silverbrite Salmon Fillets $3.99 lb


Yellow Squash or Green Beans .99¢ lb

Dry Goods:

Kroger White or Wheat Bread, 20 oz, $1 ea

Big K 12 pk Soft Drinks, 12 oz cans, $1.99 ea
-.50/1 Big K 12 packs
Shortcuts eCoupon

Household/Personal Care:

Arm & Hammer Fabric Softener, 144 ct, $2.99 ea
Arm & Hammer Liquid Laundry Detergent, $2.99 ea
-$1 off Laundry Detergent or Softener Sheets

As a SIDE note, we're still pretty crazy busy this week; we still have a houseguest who is preparing to move into their own place this weekend and will be pretty tight on funds... So, guess what they want me to teach them?


Yep! You guessed it! Couponing! I'm hoping that like before Kroger will extend this sale through 2 weeks so that I can really make their first trip with me a good one.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Coupons for FREE stuff just keep rolling in!

A little bit ago, I'd posted about winning the weekly Friday Lean Cuisine Giveaway and getting 7 coupons for a FREE Lean Cuisine (ANYthing... the paninis, pizzas, entrees). Well, the rest of this week has just continued to be a FREE coupon week...

*From All YOU magazine, I'd gotten a FREE Jack Links coupon (though it's for the really big bag which I haven't been able to find; only the 3.5 oz bags).

*The recent inserts had a coupon for a FREE Glade Soy candle (it is for the 2 oz variety, which some have said is harder to find; my Kroger doesn't have them).

*I got quite a surprise in the mail when Vocalpoint sent me a TALKING mailer. Yes. TALKS to you. LOUDLY. It scared the heck out of my cats who tend to crowd around me when I sit to open mail like every envelope is a bag of treats (that was actually funny). Anyway, in the talking mailer was a sheaf of coupons for Rice Krispies cereal; lots of $1 off any box and ONE FREE BOX of RICE KRISPIES. I see a lot of Rice Krispie treat bars in my future... :-)

*I finally received my FREE Country Bob's All Purpose sauce coupon; I'd forgotten about even registering for that. Looks like you can still request one here! (Thanks from a while ago, Coupon Mommie!)

*I sent in my form/rebate for a FREE Yoplait Yo-Plus yogurt pack after buying some Dannon Activia at Kroger. You can find the form here. (Thanks to many bloggers for posting this but I saw it on A Thrifty Mom).

Kroger has my love again... $61 in groceries for $16

I last posted about my disappointing trip to Kroger (and Ingles) and how a random and sort of FORCED (by me) trip didn't end as well as I'd have liked. Well, here are some resolutions to that...

(1) I finally put my receipt numbers into my little savings spreadsheet a couple of days ago (yep, I was so bummed and busy I was not in the mood to input them right away). It turns out that while Ingles was not that great b/c I only bought a couple of items that had coupons, Kroger was really NOT bad. I saved 68% on the trip after all ($10.40 for $32 in groceries). And that was WITH a couple of coupons not working plus some unplanned treats.

(2) I emailed PG Esaver and told them about my disappointment at how yet another haircare coupon had not worked. This time, I also sent all my pertinent info: Kroger card #, date of purchase, item, store, etc. Guess what? I got an email back the next day saying they were putting a $3 credit on my account good against the overall total of my next order. And when I went shopping this past week it worked!

(3) I had a pretty great week this week. No photo b/c I just did not have time, but I got $61 in groceries for only $16.36! I had a couple of overages that helped out like a $5/3 Reach Floss (the floss was only $1 each) and that $3 OYNO. I also used 3 of my freeeeeee Lean Cuisine certificates. I also took advantage of the Buy 4, Get $4 Off Kelloggs deal. I got 2 boxes of Cheezits, and then 2 boxes of Eggo Waffles. I THEN used a Fuel for School coupon for $2 in fresh fruit wyb 2 Eggo products, which netted me a free box of blueberries.

(The blueberries are now in a tasty cobbler in the fridge that has been calling my name all DAY... but we had sundaes at Sonic after dinner so no-go...Drat.) Here's the rundown from this Thursday; I tried to go easy and do only the best deals b/c I knew a certain super sale was coming up in the next week, while still restocking us in some staples and my lunches for work:

(2) Pillsbury Crescent rolls
(1) Yoplait Fiber One yogurt 4-pack
(1) Dannon Activia yogurt 4-pack
(3) Lean Cuisine frozen entrees
(2) Healthy Choice Fresh Mixer entrees
(1) Kroger Wheat Bread loaf
(1) Blueberries, 1 lb
(2) Chiquita Fresh Fruit Dipper snacks
(2) Eggo Nutrigrain Whole Wheat waffles
(2) Cheezits(2) Knorrs Pasta Sides
(3) Kroger Frozen Vegetables
(1) Kroger All-purpose flour
(1) Domino Granulated Sugar
(1) Kroger Whipped Topping

(You can tell that while shopping, I formulated the "Cobbler Plan", hence the flour, sugar, etc...)


CVS - Week of 8/16... The newbie chick is back!

Among all the chaos and craziness, I took a week off from CVS mostly because it just did NOT look like there were many good deals to be had. If you look at my post from the week before last, you'll see that I got a lot of great stuff and racked up $10.48 in ECB! I've never had that many before and I just... didn't want to waste them on a so-so week. There were NO free school supplies either (by the way, after letting hubby select from the fab pens and such for work, I donated my stash to a coworker who took them to her daycare and church).

Fortunately, things were looking up this week! The Pepsi deal was back and that was probably enough for me. Of course, I went to Jenny at Southern Savers to see what her scenarios were looking like, although I have to say I'm starting to be okay at planning my own trips! But I still like to check her Grand Plans to make sure I'm not missing something.

She had a LOT of different versions posted because there are several $-off-$-purchase coupons floating around. I have not snagged any yet, I confess, but I'm going to go in and ask for the Readyfill Coupon booklet this week.

Anyway, even though we have company again tonight (yep, same as from this week), I slipped out to my 24 hour store. Overall, not a lot of stuff in quantity, but a good haul.

Trans #1
(2) Papermate Write Bros Pens, 10 pk - $.99 ea ($.99 ecb)
(1) CVS Mini-Composition Book, 80 sheets - $1.99 ($1.99 ecb)
(1) Philips Earhook Headphones - $6.99 ($6.99 ecb)

-$10.48 ECB

Total OOP w/ tax: $1.22
Get back $10.96 ECB

***NOTE: The headphones are a specific one, just in case they aren't marked at your store (mine and others don't always mark all ECB items) and they were hung with several very similar looking Phillips headphones. Look for the model #SHS3201 and look specifically for the ear HOOK shape; not the "buds"! Mine were stored in a locked glass case with the Audio/Video items.

OH! And on my first transaction I'm not sure WHAT happened but the register spit out like 4 feet of tape in coupons! I got $1 off any mouthwash, and coupons for digital prints, Aveeno haircare, and $3 off $15 in Suncare products. I guess this means I'll need to start learning to stack CVS and mfr coupons with ECBs next...?

Trans #2
(1) L'oreal Skin Genesis Cleanser - $5.99 ($10 ECB wyb L'oreal Cleanser w/ Revitalift Wrinkle Repair)
(1) L'oreal Revitalift Deepset Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream - $14.99 (ECB same as above)

-$1 off L'oreal Cleanser
-$5 off L'oreal Revitalift Deepset Wrinkle Repair
-$10.96 ECB

Total OOP w/ tax: $5.96
Get back $10.00 ECB

Trans #3
(4) Pepsi 12-can Fridge Packs - 4/$12 ($4 ECB wyb 4 packs)

-$10.00 ECB

Total OOP w/ tax: $2.93
Get back $4.00 ECB

SO, my grand total OOP was $10.11 (not $8 like I quoted to my husband when I walked back in... see how even frugal girls have a tendency to underestimate and round DOWN conveniantly?). Without SALES and coupons, the items purchased would have been $68.52, so a savings of 85%. Not bad considering I got some headphones I actually NEEDED (my iPod earbuds just KILL my ears), some great facial cleanser and eye cream, plus... the coveted Pepsis that keep my spouse happy (think of Pepsi as his "coffee").


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Catch up!!!

WOW! It's been a CRAZY week! I ended up not going to CVS this week because the deals just weren't appealing and I was feeling a little burned from my last couple of grocery trips. I'm getting to the end of another quarter in my teaching job and I can't skimp on marking up final paper drafts for my students.

We've also had a couple of friends who are going through some very difficult personal issues right now and have needed a shoulder, and so my house has been acting as something of a combination late night Cheers counter and a Bed & Breakfast (often without much if any notice)... I promise to get some updates and new posts going later today!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Knowing When to Just NOT Shop

This will be quick for now, and may get updated later as it's late, and as I am suddenly DROWNING in coupons to get clipped! Between the multiple coupon inserts, getting multiple copies dropped in my lap, and all the new printables, now is one of those time my binder system is a real pain.

Against my better judgement, I think, I ventured ot Ingles and Kroger tonight to grab a few items I felt I had to snag at their current price. I didn't do as well as I'd hoped for various reasons, and it taught me a valuable lesson:

* Thou shalt not go to the store if the deals are lukewarm, unless thou really really needest something.

I'll post totals later, but here are a few of the "sins" I think I'm guilty of...

(1) I strayed from the "list." Not that this isn't EVER okay, and I really really wanted that Mayfield Banana Split icecream! But it's probably the fastest way to jack up your total without realizing it in the store.

(2) I left the binder home. Actually, this isn't SO bad b/c the other stuff I bought off-list didn't have coupons for them anyway.

(3) I went to the store during a week when the deals for both stores were just... "Eh." Now WHY did I do that? I think I lured mySELF in with the promise to just go in, get the free/cheap stuff, and get out. And that didn't happen. Of everything I bought, I think I only really NEEDED the bleach (ok, and the icecream), and even that could've waited.

Also, I had an issue AGAIN at Kroger with a P&G esaver coupon not coming off. Last time, I was supposed to get $2 off Herbal Essences. I bought 2 items using a paper "Buy any item, and get a styler FREE" and I theorized that because the paper coupon applied to BOTH products DURING a P&G promotional event (the Buy 4 / Get $4 off), the P&G promo sort of cancelled out the e-coupon.

But this time it was for Aussie hair care. And Aussie had no tags for the P&G event this week! So there should've been no problem stacking my $2/2 coupon with the $2/1 e-coup. I'm not sure why it didn't come off. Oh well...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thumbs up for McDonald's Angus Burgers - Try 'em with FREE Fries/Drink

This deal is on several sites by now, but I saw it over on Coupon Katie's blog (courtesy of Money Saving Mom). It's pretty simple and sweet!

Go to this link here, type in your name and print out your coupon for a FREE medium Fries and Drink (soda or tea) when you buy/try one of McDonald's new 1/3 lb Angus Beef burgers.

It looks almost too good to be true, but I took mine into a local McDonald's and they recognized it right away and just asked me which sandwich I wanted to try. The burger alone was about $4 with tax and I was pretty impressed! (I got the Mushroom Swiss)

AND, as I was picking up my order, the manager asked if I'd tried the new burger yet; when I said I hadn't but was going to (meaning what was in my BAG) he gave me a card for the SAME deal! So, if you'd rather not print it out, you can get these at your local McD's.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Lean Cuisine Free Lunch Giveaway - And I WON!

HOW excited was I to come home from work tonight and find not only a booklet of coupons... but an envelope from Lean Cuisine with SEVEN (7) coupons for a FREE Lean Cuisine entree each!

That's a week of free lunch! I wish I could remember the first site I saw it at, but if you go HERE on Friday you can also sign up to win a week of FREE Lean Cuisine. They select 125 winners each week and the grand prize is Lean Cuisine for a year. I've personally been trying to bring my lunches to work everyday so this really helps!

.... I still can't believe I won!!!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

CVS Results... (Note - Do not shop when in pain!)

Overall, EVERYTHING went according to plan, with a minor miss here and there. So I'm happy!

However, definitely try to avoid shopping when exhausted after a day of keeping up with two 10-12 yr old boys on trails AND when you've inadvertently pulled a back/shoulder muscle that limits your movement painfully when you least expect it (like reaching down/forward for stuff on low shelves)!

With what a good week it was, and with how well publicized a lot of the deals were, I knew that if I didn't trudge to my midnight CVS, I'd regret it today. So, here's how it went down last night...

Trans #1
(2) CVS/Caliber 3 pk Glue Stick ($.99 ecb ea) - $0.99 ea

(2) CVS/Caliber ballpoint pens 20 ct ($.99 ecb ea) - $0.99 ea
(1) Caliber/It's Academic 5" Scissors ($2.99 ecb) - $2.99 ea
(1) 2-pocket Portfolio ($.49 ecb) - $0.49 (or 2/$.99)
FREE CVS Ibuprofen!!! (Worth $3.29)

- Use $6.89 ECB

OKAY! Interruption! Here's the first miss and tweak: I got the "It's Academic" Scissors instead of the Caliber brand (which didn't seem to matter b/c I was going off the ad; remember, my 24 hr CVS waits until the wee hours to put up sale signs). No ECB printed. I politely asked the guy if he could check it, and apologized since I know they have a MILLION items genereating ECBs this week. He was nice, and manually printed me a $3 ECB. Yea! Of course, I was so focused on that, that I MISSED not getting an ECB on the portfolio folder. No biggie, it would have been a filler item anyway. So....

Total OOP w/ tax = $1.07
Get back $6.96 ECB

Trans #2
(1) Blink Tears 0.5 oz or Gel Tears 0.34 oz ($7.99 ecb) - $7.99 ea
(1) Caliber/CVS 1 subject Notebk 70-80 sheets ($.99 ecb) - $0.99 ea

-Use $1.50 off Blink Tears IP
-Use $6.96 ECB

Total OOP w/ Tax = $1.07
Get 8.98 ECB back

Trans #3
(4) Electrasol 2/$9 (Buy $20 / Get $10 ecb) - $4.50 ea
(1) Airwick Scented Oil Refill 2/$6 (Buy $20 / Get $10) - $3.00 ea

-Use (4) $2.50 off Electrasol
-Use $8.98 ECB

Okay, quick interruption here too... I needed a refill for my Airwick and thought I had a $1 coupon... except it was for 2 of the single $3 refills. So I scrapped that and just got it.

Total OOP w/ tax = $3.96 (yeah, paying the tax on the grand total kills me mathmatically)
Get $10 ECB

Trans #4
(2) Benadryl-D (Spend $10 / Get $5) - $5.00 ($.50 over the flyer I planned from)
(1) Listerine FreshMint (Spend $10 / Get $5) - $3.00
(1) Caliber/CVS Notebook 70-80 sheets ($.99 ecb) - $0.99

-Use $0.50 off Listerine
-Use (2) $1.00 off Benadryl
-Use $10.00 ECB

Total OOP w/ tax = $2.78
Get $5.99 ECB

Trans #5
(1) Softsoap Nutriserum Bodywash ($4 ecb) - $4.99
(1) Caliber/It's Academic 5" Scissors ($2.99 ecb) - $2.99
(1) 2-pocket Portfolio ($.49 ecb) - $0.49 (or 2/$.99)

-Use $2.00 off Softsoap or Irish Spring Bodywash IP
-Use $5.00 ECB

What happened here is that my initial "plan" told me I needed a cheapie filler, hence the folder, which AGAIN did not print any ECBs and AGAIN... I missed it b/c I was focused on reminding the cashier that he'd probably need to generate the ECBs for the scissors. ALSO... I was in such a bleary hurry to tear the ECBs off the previous tape, that I only tore off the $5.00. I left $.99 ECB on there and just forgot to use them.

Total OOP w/ tax = $2.26 (again, this tax on the entire total thing... ugh)
Get $7.00 ECB (plus the $.99 I forgot about)

Now, I STILL had a gift card with about $10 and change on it from my prescription transfer; I can't use it unless the purchase is over $2, which several of these were and I should've whipped it out, but again.... pain, tired, looking forward to giving those FREE ibuprofens a test-drive, etc...

But, no matter, because when I got the ad this morning I noticed something different. They had another ECB deal for (4) 12-packs of Pepsi for $12 that spit out $4 ECBs... Forwhatever reason, the ad I planned off of had them as (4) 8-packs... which is weird and really just isn't that great a deal. Hmm... the spouse is out of Pepsi. And I DO need to use that card. So I went back TODAY and did this...

Trans #6 (Sunday)
(4) 12-packs of Pepsi ($4 ecb) - 4/$12
(1) Caliber Compass ($1.50 ecb) - $1.50
(2) Caliber Stretch Book Covers ($.99 ecb ) - $.99 ea

-Use $4.99 ECB (used that $.99 that hid from me last night!)
-Use $10.59 balance on Gift Card

Total OOP w/ tax = $1.15

Get back $7.48 ECB for a grand total of $10.48 ECB for next time!

Okay, the GRAND total of everything I bought and what I saved (included sale prices, etc)?

Total WORTH of Items purchased.... $115.44

Total SPENT...................... $12.29


Saturday, August 1, 2009

CVS - Week of 8/2... and what a week!

This WILL sound lame, but I am super excited about this week at CVS. I seriously may get there at 11:30pm tomorrow night. There's a TON of ECB deals to be had, though not all of them are as fantastic as CVS would have you believe. Still, this should be a great week for way more than school supplies. Jenny has posted her Grand Plan at Southern Savers (along with fabulous matchups) but I actually created my OWN for once! I'm starting with $6.89 ECB. I will probably not score ALL the free supplies in favor of other stuff I can use. I'm also ditching the diapers that are part of her plan b/c we don't need them.

MY Grand Plan.... (we shall see how it goes)

Trans #1
CVS/Caliber 3 pk Glue Stick; 2 pk Stickys; Pencil/Ink Eraser ($.99 ecb) - $0.99
CVS/Caliber 3 pk Glue Stick; 2 pk Stickys; Pencil/Ink Eraser ($.99 ecb) - $0.99
CVS/Caliber ballpoint pens 20 ct / Pencils 10 ct ($.99 ecb) - $0.99
CVS/Caliber ballpoint pens 20 ct / Pencils 10 ct ($.99 ecb) - $0.99
Caliber/It's Academic 5" Scissors ($2.99 ecb) - $2.99
2-pocket Portfolio ($.49 ecb) $1.19 w/o card - $0.49
- Use $6.89 ECB
Get 7.44 ECB back

Total OOP = $0.55

Trans #2
Blink Tears 0.5 oz or Gel Tears 0.34 oz ($7.99 ecb) - $7.99
Caliber/CVS 1 subject Notebk 70-80 sheets ($.99 ecb) - $0.99
-Use $1.50 off Blink Tears/Gel
-Use $7.44 ECB

Get 8.98 ECB back
Total OOP = $0.04

Trans #3
Electrasol 2/$9 (Buy $20 / Get $10 ecb) - $4.50
Electrasol 2/$9 (Buy $20 / Get $10) - $4.50
Electrasol 2/$9 (Buy $20 / Get $10) - $4.50
Electrasol 2/$9 (Buy $20 / Get $10) - $4.50
Airwick Scented Oil Refill 2/$6 (Buy $20 / Get $10) - $3.00
- Use (4) $2.50 off Electrasol
- Use $1.00 off Airwick Refill
- Use $8.98 ECB

Get $10 ECB
Total OOP = $1.02

Trans #4
Benadryl-D (Spend $10 / Get $5) - $4.50
Benadryl-D (Spend $10 / Get $5) - $4.50
Listerine (Spend $10 / Get $5) - $3.00
Caliber/CVS Notebook 70-80 sheets ($.99 ecb) - $0.99
-Use $0.50 off Listerine
-Use (2) $1.00 Benadryl
-Use $10.00 ECB

Get $5.99 ECB
Total OOP = $0.49

Trans #5
Softsoap Nutriserum ($4 ecb) - $4.99
Caliber/It's Academic 5" Scissors ($2.99 ecb) - $2.99
FILLER? (Possible other ECB item?)
-Use $2.00 off Softsoap or Irish Spring Bodywash
-Use $5.99 ECB

Get $6.99 ECB
Total OOP = $0.49

Friday, July 31, 2009

FREE Wisk Detergent!

There's talk of a FREE bottle of Wisk being sent to your doorstep when you comment on THIS post here...

(Follow the link to comment on THAT post; be sure to leave all your contact info so they can get in touch with you to send it out).

Thanks to Deal Seeking Mom and Thrifty Mama who both had this posted!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kroger's P&G Promotion this week... Spent $17.71, saved 70%

If you haven't gotten to Kroger yet, get over there TODAY to take advantage of their 1-Day ONLY Kellogg's and Sunshine 50% off sale. Most all Kellogg's cereals, bars, and Sunshine crackers are 50% today only. This includes my husband's beloved Cheezits, although I only snagged one box b/c I wanted to be sure the coupon I had would work.

Also, the P&G promo is not as much of a pain as I thought. There is no rule about buying other items to get the $4 off; it just pops off so long as it's a participating item. I got 8 P&G items and got $8 off. I also had no issue with my P&G e-saver coupons except for one: I used a paper coupon for Buy 1 Herbal Essence product, Get a Styler FREE, and I was expecting to also get $1 off the 1st product (not the FREE Styler). But nothing.

There were a couple of items that were going to be free after coupon (non-P&G) that were cleared out, but no biggie. Overall, here's the highlights and how I did:

*Oil of Olay Body Wash - I found a smaller bottle that was tagged with the sale for only $2.99. With the $2 coupon this was only $.99!

*Manager's Special Meats - They must have JUST filled the bin b/c it was overfull. Lots of Bob Evan's sausage links/patties for $1.09-$1.19 WITH $.55 off peelies! Also snagged some Laura's Lean Beef and used a $1 printable toward that.

*Febreze Noticeables Refills - I had PLANNED to get one of these for the kit I got nearly free a few weeks ago as they were listed on Southern Savers at $2.75... but at my Kroger the only Febreze stuff tagged was the "Home Collection" which started at $6. No thanks! I'll wait.

Total before sale & coupons: $57.64
Total AFTER sale promos: $42.75
AFTER Coupons............ $17.71 (Saved 70%)

* * * * *

UPDATE: DH was out of Pepsi (ACK! The HORROR!).... so we trekked RIGHT back to Kroger and got 2 more boxes of cheap Cheezits! PLUS... I had heard about some sort of coupon booklet out on the blogosphere for a $10 rebate on Kelloggs/Sunshine/Keebler/Eggo products and I found 'em! They're the "Fuel for School" booklets and mine were in a display near customer service.

Not only do you get $10 back when you buy (and save receipts for!) 10 participating items listed on the booklet, but it also comes with a ton of coupons! Now, most of these are not FANTASTIC... b/c they are the "Buy 2 of these, get $1 off this other thing" kind (which, to me, leads to unnecessary spending). Still, if you can plan your purchase/sales carefully, you can make them work, b/c you can STILL use other coupons of the items you HAVE to buy.

So, for example, I used the one for $2 off 2 bottles of Sprite Zero (2-liter) WYB 2 Boxes of Cheezits. The Sprite 2-liters were on sale 4/$5 so this made them $0.25 each!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shop for a Good Cause!

Here's a great coupon to use this weekend at any GAP, Old Navy, or Banana Republic store:

Gap Give & Get - Save 30% and Donate to LLS! For 4 days, from Thursday, July 30th through Sunday, August 2nd, your Give & Get coupon will allow you to receive a 30% discount on in-store purchases at any Gap, Inc store with 5% of your purchase proceeds going to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!

For more information visit:

Where: All Gap stores in the U.S and Canada, including Gap, Gap Outlet, Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factory Stores, and Old Navy

When: Thursday, July 30th - Sunday, August 2nd

Why: Using this coupon helps support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

How: Download this
coupon to receive your 30% discount.

We have a coworker who is currently fighting a rare form of Leukemia, so I'm all for anything that trumpets that cause. Note that you cannot use it for the purchase of gift cards OR in conjunction with using a gift card (hubby has one from Christmas and I was all set to use that... but instead we'll try to keep it close to the amount of his card, pay cash and use the coupon... and then use the gift card on more stuff).

High dollar MILK coupons!

Hurry over to Coupons.com for these b/c they WILL go fast! This is a great coupon (or set of 'em) for those of you who go through a lot of milk!

*Buy a gallon of WHITE milk, Get a FREE 1/2 gallon of Chocolate! (Up to $3.75)

*FREE gallon of WHITE milk with a $100 grocery purchase! (Up to $4.00)

They are NOT state or store specific! Hip2Save has posted them on her site (thanks!) and the comments helped me figure out how to get them... The quickest method seems to be to use zip code 63090; they should be on the 1st or 2nd page. You should get 2 prints out of them.

NOTE: There are a couple of zip codes for Utah and Idaho that are generating a $0.75 milk coupon and a $1.00 cheese coupon... these are NOT the ones you want (they ARE only good in those states).

Monday, July 27, 2009

To Kroger or Not to Kroger... Week of 7/26

Jenny at Southern Savers has the full list of deals up for Kroger this week. I originally was planning to skip a week, then I decided I'd go after reading about the 50% off Cheezits and Kelloggs products AND the Buy 4/Get $ off P&G deals...

Now, after reading some of the comments I'm not sure I'll go again! Or at least, I'll only go on Thursday for cheap Cheezits (b/c we go through those about as fast as Pepsi). Not only do you have to buy $4 in NON-Proctor&Gamble products to get the discount, but there are also reports of the PG e-saver coupons not coming off of items. I'm not sure if this is the "deal" Kroger is advertising it to be.

If I DO decide to go, here's what's looking good:

Thursday July 30th Only

Kellogg’s Cereal and Bars, 50% off
-$1/2 Special K or Special K Bliss Bars RP 7/12
-.75/1 Special K Chocolatey Pretzel Bars printable
-$1 off Special K Blueberry printable
-$1/2 Nutri-grain Bars inside select boxes of Cereal
-$1 off Kellogg’s Cinnabon Bars printable
-$1 off Kellogg’s Cereal inside select boxes of cereal
-$1.50/2 Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats or Raisin Bran printable

Keebler or Sunshine Crackers & Cookies 50% off
-$1/2 Keebler Fudge Shoppe Cookies printable
-$1/2 Keebler or Sunshine 100 Calorie Right Bites printable
-.75/1 Sunshine Cheez-It’s Whole Grain printable

Eggo Waffles 50% off
-$1 off Eggo Bake Shop printable (limit reached)
-$1 off Eggo products “How do you Eggo” booklet
-$2 off Fresh Fruit wyb (2) Eggo products “Kellogg’s Fuel for School” booklet

10 for $10 (all $1 each, no matter how many you purchase)

Kroger Mini Peeled Carrots or Red Radishes, 16 oz
Kroger Frozen Vegetables, bagged 16 oz
Mangoes, each
Kroger Pasta Sauce, jarred
Barilla Pasta, entire line

Crest Toothpaste, 6.4 oz
-.75/1 off any Crest Toothpaste PG 7/05
-.50/1 off any Crest Toothpaste PG 6/07 (makes it FREE)

Chef Boyardee canned pasta
-$1 off Chef Boyardee printable (makes it FREE)
-$1/4 Chef Boyardee Cans Conagra home mailer

Listerine Pocket Packs, 24ct
-$1 off Listerine Pocket Packs SS 6/14, 4/26, 3/15
-.50/1 off Listerine Pocket Packs SS 6/14, 4/26
-$3/3 Listerine products SS 3/15
-$5/3 Listerine Products SS 3/15(all coupons make it FREE or with overage)

Mentos Gum
-$1 off Mentos Gum, (exp. 7/31) SS 5/03, 6/21 (makes it FREE)

Ivory Body Wash or Bar Soap 3ct

Right Guard Deodorant, 2.8-3 oz
-$1/2 Right Guard products SS 7/12 (makes it .50¢ ea)

Buy 4 Procter & Gamble participating items get $4 off the rest of your purchase(must have other items in your transaction than just the 4 P&G items)price shown is after $1 per item promotion discount

Cascade Dish Detergent 75oz or 20ct $2.99 ea
-$1 off Cascade PG 7/05-.50/1 Cascade PG e coupon
(use paper coupon with e coupon makes it $1.49)

Puffs Facial Tissue .69¢ ea
-.25/3 Puffs Single Packs PG e coupon (makes it .52¢ ea)

Febreze Home Collection
Refills $2.74
Candles $6.49
Starter Kits $10.24

Olay Soap 6pk or Body Wash or Lotion $4.49
-$1 off Olay Soap Pack PG 7/05, 6/07
-$2 off Olay Body Wash PG 7/05
-$1 off Olay Body Lotion PG 7/05
-.50/1 Olay Bar Pack, Body Wash, or Lotion PG e coupon
(buy Body wash use $2 off and e coupon makes it $1.99)

Aussie Hair Care $1.99 ea
-$2/2 Aussie Products RP 7/26
-$2 off any Aussie Product PG e coupon
(buy 2, use paper coupon and e coupon makes both FREE)

Herbal Essences Hair Care $1.99 ea
-$1 off Herbal Essences Hair Care PG 7/05
-Free Styler wyb any Shampoo or Conditioner RP 7/26
-$1 off Herbal Essences PG e coupon
(buy styler and other item use both paper coupons and e coupon makes both FREE)

Gillette Fusion Razor $6.99
-$4 off Gillette Fusion PG 6/07
-$2 off any Gillette Fusion Razor $120 Savings Rebate Booklet
-$1 off Gillette Fusion PG e coupon

Gillette Venus Razor $7.69
-$2 off Venus Embrace PG 7/05, 6/07
-$3 off Venus Embrace or Breeze PG 6/28
-$2 off Venus Embrace PG e coupon

Santa Cruz Juices $1.25 ea
-.75/1 Santa Cruz Juice printable

Bic Crystal Pens, 10ct .89¢ ea
-$1/2 Bic Stationary products printable

Close Out Deals
International Delight 32oz Irish or Cinnamon Creme $2.54

-$1 off International Delight printable
-$1/2 International Delight Quarts SS 6/21