Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Whats In My Mailbox 1/30/12

Guess what suprised me in the mailbox yesterday?  A free Swiffer 360 - complete with telescopic rod!  I was just lamenting that I had run out of swiffers and now I've got the hook up on the "latest and greatest". 

Plus my Proctor & Gamble Super Saver coupon book showed up as well.  This is put out every 3 months or so, and has great deals on everything from Swiffer to Mr Clean to Febreeze; really high value coupons.  I'll make sure to post the sign up link next time. 

So now I've got the new Swiffer and a coupon to buy my refills at a kick ass price...what more can you ask for in the mail. 
Maybe all of my tax forms so we can file and get it over with...

CVS Diaper Deals 1/30/12

If you have a little one in diapers read up!  It's hard to get a good deal on diapers and there's just no getting around the fact that they are a necessity.  It blows my mind to think how much money I used to spend on diapees and wipees before I really knew that couponing wasn't just using a $1 coupon ever now and then.

So here's the run down for CVS.  Pampers are 2/$19, but if you spend $30 on Pampers products you get $10 Extra Care Bucks back!  I had a few other things to pick up, and for maximum effectiveness I did 2 transactions.  Here's how it broke down:

Transaction #1:
Cadbury Mini Eggs Mini Bag $0.87
     Get $0.87 Extra Care Bucks (ECB) back
2 Right Guard Deoderant on clearance for $1.14
     Used $1/2 Manufacturers Coupon (MQ)
     Buy 2 Right Guard get $2 ECB back (I'm sure they didn't intend this sale for clearance items, but it did
     not exclude them either)
2 Pretzel M & Ms on sale for 2/$5
     Used 2 $1 MQ
     Get Back $1 ECB

Total Out of Pocket: $5.84
Got Back $3.87 Extra Care Bucks

Transaction #2:
3 bags of Pampers Diapers $28.50
     Used 3 $1.50 MQ
1 box of Pampers Wipes $3
     Used $0.50 MQ

Total: $31.50
     Minus $5 MQ
     Minus $3 CVS Coupon (Spend $15 get $3 off)
     Minus $4.87 Extra Care Bucks
Total Out Of Pocket: $20.99
Got Back: $10 Extra Care Bucks

Out Of Pocket Total:  $26.83
Grand Total: $16.83
     (Even if you only factor in the diapers, that's just $5.61 per diaper bag - what a steal!)

Sometimes it takes a little extra work to get the deals of the week figured out.  Sometimes you have to ask your neighbors for their unused coupons and sometimes you have to buy an extra newspaper.  But in the end, isn't saving $4 on each pack of diapers worth it when they go thru a pack or more a week?  That's $240 a year saved!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Walgreens Deals!

I made two trips to Walgreens this weekend and all in all was pretty pleased with what I brought home.

Saturday 1/28:
Tic Tacs on clearance for $0.50
Oral B Electric Toothbrush Replacement Heads on clearance for $3
Used $3 Manufacturers Coupon(MQ)
Eggs $1.79

Total:$2.29 + tax
Paid with $2.50 Register Rewards from a previous visit
Out Of Pocket $0.20

Sunday 1/29:
2 Bottles Softsoap Body Wash
1 Pack Softsoap Bar Soap
1 Bottle Irish Spring Body Wash
The deal is for 4/$12 with $4 Register Rewards(RR) back
Used $1 MQ for each item making them 4/$8 with $4RR back so $1 each!

2 bottles of Emerald Nuts Almonds
On sale for 2/$6
Used $1 Walgreens In Store Coupon
Used 2 $0.75 MQ
Total: $3.50 for 2 big bottles of almonds!

Gillette Fusion Razor (1 razor and 2 cartridges)
On Sale for $9.99 with $4 Register Rewards back
Used $1 MQ
Total: $4.99 after RR
**Also, there are Gillette Fusion Packs that have only 1 razor but also come with Thermal Face Scrub (my favorite), lotion and shave cream for the same price**

Total after coupons: $20.49 + tax
Paid with $5 Register Reward from a previous visit
Out of Pocket: $17.79
Plus I earned $8 Register Rewards toward a future visit making my net spending $9.79!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I often fill out sweepstakes and giveaways, just because you never know. I've won a Glade candle and thats about it. But today, I did win; and a good one too! Courtesey of Purex Detergent I won a years subscription to Better Homes & Gardens!

So don't just pass by those rebates, sweepstakes or giveaways, you never know when you'll be a winner!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Postings!

Hey everyone, I just want to let you know about a new posting I'm going to try, but I want to give you the skinny first!

It will be called "Deals On The Run", these will just be random things I spot while out running errands that I think you all should know about. Like yesterday's deal @ Hy Vee with the coffee creamer. A super steal!

I'm not sure how many of my readers live outside of Lincoln, NE; so to you folks, these deals probably won't apply to you. I'll do my best to make sure I let you know what store I'm at and post the deal (and hopefully a photo) right away. You never know if the sale at the Williamsburg Hy Vee will hold true for the O Street location, so be wary, what you're looking for may not be there.

But as always, I'll do my best to share the finest deals I find with all of you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baileys Coffee Creamer Deal @ Hy Vee

If you LOVE coffee, especially with yummy creamer, make a stop at the Williamsburg Huge Vee tonight! The have these bottles on sale for $0.75! That's half the price of Coffee-Mate the same size! Now go get your caffeine on!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Walgeens Deals 1/22/12

2 packs of Huggies $9.49 each
Huggies Wipes $5.99
Used 2 $2 MQ for the diapers and $0.50 MQ for the wipes
Got $5 Register Rewards back
$15.50 for all 3!

Bic Hybrid Razors $5.99 x 2
Used Buy one get one free coupon
Got $2 Register Rewards back
$4 for 2 razors & 12 cartridges

Gallon Milk $3.49 - keeping it real, I wouldn't normally pay this much, but we were all out & I didn't want to make 2 stops.

Total after coupons : $29.95
Paid with $8 in previous Register Rewards
Total out of pocket: $24.54
Got back $8
Grand total: $16.64

Even better I got a printed coupon at the register for a free Natural Instincts hair dye!

Not a bad trip to Wags if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Super deal on Aleve @ Walgreens!

Right now Walgreens has a great thing going! Buy 4 bottles of Aleve (50 count) on sale for $3.99.
Use 2 $5/2 manufacturers coupons (or 4 $2 would be a good desk too, both were in the paper last month)
Total: $5.97
Get back $5 Register Rewards toward your next visit
Grand Total: $0.28 each!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CVS & Walgreens Deals & Steals 1/15/12

So this Sunday I made a serious haul at CVS and Walgreens and walked away with an outstanding amount of stuff for free after you take into account my Register Rewards (RR) and Extra Care Bucks (ECB). 
**Note to Walgreens customers: you can only use as many manufacturers coupons (MQs) as you have items.  And since Register Rewards count as MQs, you really have to plan your check out wisely.  Unfortunately for me, this would have worked out perfectly if Elliott had not messed around with the packs of gum I had on the check out stand.  But as luck would have it, he shuffled everything around and I did have to pay out of pocket.  At least I know that the next time I go back I'll have credit with the RRs.

I'll start first with Walgreens.  I did 2 transactions to ensure I'd get all the rewards:
Transaction #1:
Extra Dessert Delights Gum 2/$1 x 2
Total: $2

Thermacare Wrap $2.49
$2.49 RR
Total: Free

Southbeach Diet Snack Bar $5.99
Minus $1MQ
$6.00 RR
Total: Made $1.01!

Lysol Wipes 2 pack $3
Minus $1 MQ
Total: $2

Paid with $11 in previous Register Rewards & Coupons for a total out of pocket of: $0.86!
**I also got a printed coupon for $2.00 off my next Thermcare purchase...these things are MAGICAL!**

Transaction #2:
Lysol Wipes 2 pack $3
Minus $1 MQ
Total: $2

Southbeach Diet Meal Bar $5.99
Minus $1MQ
$6.00 RR
Total: Made $1.01!

Lady Speedstick 2/$3
Minus 2 $1MQs
Total: $1

Mentos 15 count Gum Bottle $0.99 x 2
Minus 2 $0.55MQs
Total: $0.88

Total Out of Pocket: $12.47
**Here's where my note about the number of coupons comes into play.  If I would have put the Extra gum from Transaction #1 on this transaction, I could have used the Register Rewards from Transaction #1 to pay for Transaction #1 making it free.**
Walgreens Final Total: $13.33
Register Rewards Total $16.50
Grand Total: I made $3.17!

CVS Deals:
Huggies Diapers 2/$19
Minus 2 $2MQ
Minus $3 CVS Coupon
$1 ECB Earned
Total: $11

Almay Eyeshadow Trio (On Clearance) $2.25
Minus $3 CVS Coupon
Total: Made $0.75

Total After Coupons: 12.74
Paid with $10 CVS Cash Card from one of my previous visits
Total Out of Pocket: $2.74
Earned $1 Extra Care Buck
Grand total: $1.74

This would be what I consider to be my greatest couponing success to date!  All useful items purchased in such a fashion that you get the most bang for your coupons and reward bucks.  And trying to get thru this week with a little cash in our pockets was the name of the game, hopefully this trip will make that a little bit easier...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Smokin' Hot Walmart Clearance 1/11/12

I don't often shop at Walmart anymore, frankly it's out of the way and a hassle.  I don't think they are very organized, and for the most part, everywhere else I go has comparable prices.  But I had to make a trip out yesterday to exchange a shoe rack. 
I decided to stroll around the entire store and I'm so very glad I did!  The Walmart at 87th & Hwy 2 has the seasonal area at the back of the store FULL of deals.  75% or more off Christmas clearance plus tons of home goods including bedspreads, medication & camoflage.  We found a display of kids pajamas that I literally tore apart.  Unfortunately none to be found for Elliott.  They had big girl sized from 6-11 and boys in the 2T-4T range.  I did find 3 pairs for Zoe that were marked to $4.24.  My price point for kids clothes is $5 or less, and she's growing so fast, so I figured I might as well. 
Much to my suprise at check out they ran up for 75% off the Clearance price, making them $1.12 each!  That's a garage sale price for some brand new Disney jammies! 

Also, a note for you frequent Walmart shoppers: Not only will Walmart price match but they also apply a coupon overage to your total.  For example, if you have a $5 coupon and the item is on sale for $3, you get the remaining $2 applied to your total bill! 

And keep your eyes out for clearanced toys too, not a bad idea to stash a few cheap items in the back of your closet to be ready for birthdays and stocking stuffers! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anti Frugal

I'll admit, I've been the very opposite of frugal lately, but it's all because I've scrimped, saved and stashed away that we were able to do it.
So here's what we've been up to these last few weeks:
I've made a few trips out shopping, nothing to really write about.
One trip to Walgreens that garnered 4 boxes of cereal, 4 boxes of granola thins, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 3 bottles of face wash and I don't remember what else...Spent $32, but got back $15 in Register Rewards. I was actually kind of embarassed about this trip at the time, but in retrospect, that brings the total for the breakfast items alone to $2.12 each, not including the other items I purchased.
Also, a trip to Russ's for some free Livesaver mints and 10/$4 Dannon yogurt(my personal favorite!). Also, I picked up 2 4-packs of Slimfast with a Buy One Get One Free coupon.   We'll see how that goes.

Josh has had most of last week and all of this week off, so we are cramming all of the home improvements into these 2 weeks that have basically waited all year to be done.  We are redoing Elliott's room, so in this time off he has repaired and painted the walls, removed and purchased carpet (it will be installed today!), bought a bunk bed and some new wall decor.  I'll post some pictures when it's all finished, trust me, its intense.  He also repainted our stairwell and we are getting carpet there as well.  So there's all the expense of painting, it adds up fast, with the paint and supplies.  Then the bed, mattress, new sheets, decorations, dresser etc...  So all I can say is it's a damn good thing we socked so much into savings, because by the time this week is over we will have used it all. 

It may not seem prudent to spend all of your savings, and truly its not.  But now that we are past the holidays and past the house reno work we will have so much more per paycheck to put away.  Plus we have tax returns coming up (are all of our collective fingers crossed?!?).

So sorry if I've dropped off the map, but trust me, it's all been worth it.  I've been going thru my Sunday paper and getting ready for this weeks shopping, so fear not dear readers, you'll be getting all the deals reported to you soon!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Target Deals 1/6/12

Great quick pit stop tonight - 90% off Christmas stuff too!
3 bottles of Flintstones vitamins. $18
Minus 3 $2 Target coupons and 3 $2 MQ
Paid : $6
Got back $5 Target gift card
Total $1!

2 Christmas garland craft kits $0.20
Total: $0.40

N shaped Christmas ornament $0.30

Yo Gabba Gabba underwear 3 pack on clearance for 2.98

2 Betty Crocker Gingerbread cookie mix on clearance for $0.87
Minus 2 $0.40 MQ
Total: $0.94

Total out of pocket: $11.34
$5 Gift card back
Grand Total: $6.34

Yippee for savings!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ten cent kids meals @ Hy Vee

Williamsburg Hy Vee in Lincoln
On clearance for 10/$1
5 flavors
Come & get it!

Target Deals 1/4/12

Stopped at Super Target and got some super good deals, even better were the catalina coupons that printed following my purchase, one for Buy One Get One Free on Yoplait!  Since yogurt is now my only dessert (sniffle and tear), I'm going thru a ton of it!

Febreeze Air Effects on clearance for $2.28     Used $2 MQ     Total: $0.28
Market Pantry Mac & Cheese (velveeta style knock off) $1.77     Used $1 Target Q     Total: $0.77
Pillsbury Frosting with sprinkles (christmas colors) on clearance for $0.50
Bananas $0.54/lb     Total: $1.37
Market Pantry 2% Milk $3.09  **This is not a good deal, but the kids and I were tired and I didn't want to stop anywhere else**  Today HyVee starts their 2 day sale and they have half gallons for $0.99!
Yoplait Yogurt  *These were "instant substitutes" for another yogurt that was on sale and sold out.  So I got these for $0.47 per cup!  Total: $1.43
Yoplait Yogurt with Granola 2 pack $2.29    Used $0.75MQ and $0.75 Target Q     Total: $0.79
Bounty Basic Single Roll $0.99     Used $1 MQ     Total: Free
Green Giant Steamers on sale for $1.52     Used $0.75/3 Target Coupon and $0.50/2 MQ     Total: $3.31
Mentos Up 2 U gum  $1.29     Used $1MQ
Total after coupons: $11.95

I'll be heading back tomorrow as they have a great deal on Flitstones vitamins.  Buy 3 get $5 Target Gift Card.  If you go to the Target website you can print $2 Target coupons and there was a $2MQ in this weekends papers and a $1MQ on the actual vitamins website.  Using all your coupons and taking the gift card into account these vitamins work out to be $1.88 a bottle!  Shazam!

CVS = Winning 1/4/12

Yesterday was the first time I've ever asked to have my purchase broken up into 2 seperate transactions, but it paid off in spades! 

Transaction #1:
4 Nivea Lip Balms
On sale for 2/$5
Used 4 $1 MQ
Used $1 ECB
Paid $5.82
Received $5 ECB

Transaction #2:
Always Pads  On sale 2/$6                                         Used 1 $1 MQ and 1 $2 MQ
CVS Cotton Balls on clearance for $0.49
Dawn Diswashing Soap on sale for $0.99                    Used $0.50 MQ
Charmin Basic 9 roll on sale for $5.49                         Used $0.25 MQ
Pampers Baby Dry Box on sale for $18.99                  Used $1 MQ
Used $10 ECB from my Excedrin deal last week
Used $5 ECB from my Nivea lip balm purchase
Used $1 ECB from my green bag tag
Paid: $12.18
**But that's not the best part!  The items I purchased were part of CVS' weekly Spend $30 on participating products get a $10 CVS gift card promotion! 

So in the end I spent $18 out of pocket and got $10 back! 
Now seriously folks, for anyone who thinks couponing is stupid, think about the fact that a bag of diapers (which is less than half of the diapers in the box I bought) costs $9.49 on average.  Pretty darn amazing!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Eating Healthy vs My Budget & The Light at the End of the Tunnel

So just like every other person in America, my New Years Resolution is to loose weight.  You would think that this meant that my monthly grocery bill would go down since I'm not eating as much right?  WRONG!

Unfortunately, my kids are still young enough that some things are just a moot point when getting breakfast, lunch and dinner mapped out.  Zoe cannot eat raw veggies or salad.  Elliott refuses to eat any veggie other than carrots and won't touch salad with a 10 foot pole.  Hummus, forget about it.  Even though its sooo good, and packed with protein, no way. 

All those fresh items that I am now buying every 5 days or so don't come with coupons or discounts, so I really am going to be ultra fastedious about how I plan my shopping trips.  We are going thru the following in 1 week:
7 apples
10-14 bananas
1 bag of salad
1 bag baby carrots
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
2 bell peppers
1 tub of hummus
7-10 cups of yogurt

I'm just REALLY glad today is Wednesday and I can get my paper out and figure out my plan of attack for the week.  I've held off on any shopping since Friday last week (which is killing me), but we aren't hurting for anything.  But I've hit the end of my fresh food and it's time to restock.  My budget groans.

Now for the second part of my post, the proverbial Light at the End of the Tunnel!  There are so many things that are beginning to have their loose ends tied up around our house I can hardly contain myself! 
-Home improvements: Zoe's room is finished, and we are in the home stretch with Elliott's room.  We have to buy paint, carpet & new furniture; but due to excellent savings and planning on my part, we're right on track.
-Milk: The kids have been drinking whole milk for the last 7 months now, and as you know, that stuff is EXPENSIVE!  I do my best to average a price of $3 a gallon, and I stock up and freeze it whenever I can.  But the time has come to downgrade to 2% and save myself some cash-ola!  Zoe has gained weight like a champ, Elliott's only real milk intake is cereal, so that hardly matters, and if I'm eating more cereal, I cannot bear the thought of whole milk.  Blarg.
-Diapers: Oh, I may be jumping the gun here, but I'm getting prepped to start potty training Zoe.  She's started to tell you when she needs her diaper changed.  She can get them out of her dresser and will bring it to you and say "dia-purrr".  It's so damn cute!!!  But that's the first step is them recognizing that they are dirty and need changed.  So I'm getting the potty seat out of storage today and we'll just see what happens.  I'm not banking on being done with diapers for another year, but it's on the horizon.
-Bankrupcy: Dear 8 pound 7 ounce baby Jesus, I'm so glad this is almost finished.  I'm not shy about telling anyone this is what we've gone thru, because I think that knowing that we've lived off of only the money in the bank for the last 5 years is pretty darn impressive.  No loans other than our mortgage, no credit cards or store cards, no pay check advances.  And finally come November we're free!  We pay approximately $600 a month toward our bankrupcy...imagine how much more wealthy you'd feel with $6816 in your savings account at the end of the year.  Yup, that's how much it is.  Crikey! 

I guess in the end it all evens out.  I save money on pretty much everything else so we can spend it on fresh produce, carpet and a bunk bed.  And when it's all said and done, we're better budgeters for it.  Lets hope...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

CVS Note

So my last stop at CVS garnered a small savings but an important tip both for myself and for you!

Really keep an eye out for their 50% and 75% off stickers. They are small, just the same size as you'd use for tagging at a garage sale. And often the same reduced price product is mixed in with the same full price product. Sneaky.

For some reason I'd just thought that they were on the items that were included in the Buy One Get One 50% Off weekly deals, but nope.

There are items out there that rarely go on sale. Household staples that you just accpet the price of and move on. Cotton balls are one of them. I found some bags marked at 75% off, and rang up as $0.49! Granted, this is not a huge savings, nothing to write home about, but in the end all of these little things add up to big savings.