Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving @ CVS!

CVS was rocking the freebies for Thanksgiving! I did mess up my transaction by my one L'Oreal lipgloss not making it to the counter from my cart, so I didn't use all of my coupons. I had it figured to the penny (of course) so I should have known that something like that was up, but oh well. You can also see I bought the wrong candy bar (which I think a lot of people did) but the cashier printed the ECB anyway. I got to the store at 11:40 Wednesday night and two other women were already there. Good thing they had enough of the freebies for all of us!

So basically in my first transaction, everything was a free item except the Schick Quattro Titanium. I had $17 in coupons plus a $5/$30 CVS coupon.

Transaction #2 bought a L'Oreal, Soliel and Maybelline so that I would have smaller ECBs for later. The Maybelline wasn't printing either. But this guy just printed it out, no problem. Loved him! He was happy we were all there getting deals and keeping him busy for the first part of his overnight shift.

Total value: $105.21, sale price $88.62
Used $5 in CVS coupons, $59 ECBs and $24 manufacturer's coupons
Paid $2.42 on gift card.
Earned $23.84 MORE ECBs than I spent!

Then yesterday I stopped at CVS on my way home from work to pick up a second L'Oreal and a universal remote since Matt said we could use it. Paid with two $6.99 ECBs since that was the cost of those, making my total zero and getting $6.99x2 back.

Whew. Now I have to use these $80 ECBs before they expire at Christmas! Hope there are some good deals soon. Wouldn't mind blowing them on a few things. Matt does need bandaids and that's one of the few items he is picky about.

I also convinced Bezzie to go buy a few 'free' items. hehehe

Friday, November 28, 2008

At home!

Whoah. This is the first time my home computer has been connected to the Internet in 18 months.

It's only 1Mbps speed, but we shall see how it goes.

And it only took 8 people 50 minutes to connect my modem. I hate Comcast.

But now I can look up recipes when I need to make something for dinner with the ingredients on hand, I can check coupon deals, I can post photos, I can Facebook...and I can now knit on my lunch break since I have the internet at home with which to pay my bills. ahhhhh, freedom.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

100 Meme

Yeah, I don't normally do memes, but this one is vaguely intriguing. Enjoy!

Things I've Done (In Bold)
1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch (fiber arts definitely count!)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance (not fun, let me tell ya!)
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London (rather boring, actually)
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper (I still have a copy!)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (another thing, not fun. goes with the ambulance)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

Friday, November 21, 2008


I stayed home sick yesterday...ugh. Just a general weariness/yuckiness etc. I had bound off the Hemlock Ring Blanket Wednesday night. Yesterday I finished knitting the sleeve of my Dolman top, and seamed the bottom front and back on one side. Once I seam that, and the sleeve seams, I can pick up stitches for the ribbed band that connects the sleeve pieces to the bottom pieces, and also around the neckline. I can't wait to wear this! I love the fabric it is creating, even with size 3 (I think...and 1 for the ribbing!) needles.

Next up: I think I'll do the "Back to School" vest in Fitted Knits. I think I just may have enough of the yarn Ana spun for me in exchange for me knitting a shawl...might squeak by. Need to see where I can conserve yarn on it.

Also, the library got in the new MDK book, and I am definitely in love with the Daily Sweater. I may even have enough yarn to do it...I was thinking my Berella "4" that I have stashed could be perfect. We shall see! All of a sudden I'm on fire for knitting. yay!

Final Catalina deals

Last week I picked up 10 boxes of granola bars.
Chex bars: $3 each. Coupons: $1.25x1, $.60x5
Curves bars: $3 each. Coupons: $.75x4
Used $10 ConAgra Catalina.

Paid $13 and change for 10 granola bars, got back $15 (3x$5) and FREE gallon of milk (actually just a $4.50 coupon!)

Yesterday I ran out to Jewel. Unfortunately, these $5 Catalinas actually do say "one per purchase" on them, so I had to play by those rules.

Transaction #1:
Milk: $1.99
Pillsbury items: $2.50 each, buy 5 get free 1lb butter
I bought: Flaky Twists, chocolate. $1.00 x2
Crescent rolls, reduced fat. $.55 x3 from tubes!
Got free butter ($2.77 value)
Paid with $4.50 milk Catalina, $5 Catalina. $1.67 cash!!! Great deal!

Transaction #2:
Philly Cream Cheese: $.99 x4, $.50/2 x2
Simply Orange: $3, $1 Catalina I had
Used $5 Catalina, paid just $.12! That's tax only ;)

Still have one more $5 to use. This is fantastic! The cream cheese and crescent rolls are for an appetizer I will make for an ornament exchange, so getting holiday goodies for free is great.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CVS batteries!

Had to go to two stores this morning, as the first one did not have any of the $9.99 packs in stock, of which I needed four. At the second store, I had to get 4-16 packs of AA as they were out of AAA, but hey, I know peeps who can use them anyway. Just glad I was able to maximize the deal.

Transaction #1 (did on Sunday as my $3/$15 expired that day)
2-pack 9V: $5.99
4-pack 9V: $9.99
Used $6 ECB
Used $5/2
Used $3/$15
Used $.75x2
spent: $.70 on GC

Transaction #2
4-pack D: $5.99
16-pack AA: $9.99
Used $8.98 ECB
Used $5/2
Used $.75x2
spent: $.67 on GC

Transaction #3
4-pack C: $5.99
16-pack AA: $9.99
Used $8.57 ECB
Used $5/2
Used $.75x2
spent: $1.11 on GC

Transaction #4
16-pack AA: $9.99
16-pack AA: $9.99
Used $13 ECB
Used $5/2
Used $.75x2
spent: $.64 on GC

Total value of batteries: $87.42
Used $23 in store coupons
Used $6 manufacturer's coupons
Spent $3.12 on gift card
Used $36.55 ECB

Earned $45 ECB. I'm more than ready for the Thanksgiving sale! I'm also hoping a store this week will have 4 Glade glass scents in stock so I can roll a $5 ECB. If not, oh well. Getting my coupons ready tonight!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hemlock Ring - Almost Done!

All that's left is the edging...I couldn't do it last night as I wrote down the BO row incorrectly and was left with a mess so had to wait til I got to work today to check the pattern. D'oh!

Bezzie accused me of being a super fast knitter. Alas, I was not too busy this week, being able to come home after work each day but one, which meant plenty of knitting time. I sit on the couch with the cat, watching Food Network and knitting. Welcome to my life! At least I go to the gym beforehand so I am then allowed to lounge around.

Hopefully I'll finish tonight! 8 days for a baby blanket. Not too shabby!

What, momma?

Jewel ConAgra Catalina Deal

Jewel (and many other stores) had a Catalina deal this week for spend $20 on ConAgra products, get $10 on your next order. I have been wanting to try these new Healthy Choice meals, so went for it, on the basis that the $20 is on regular, non-prefered card price and NOT the sale price you are paying. It worked! Matt and I went and he was impressed as well, and gets to actually see how I work these deals.

Multiply this picture by two, and that's what I bought on the cheap this week!

Transaction #1:
5 Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers $3 on sale (non-prefered card: $3.95)
2 Orville Redenbacher popcorn $3.49 BOGO
non-sale total: $23.24
sale prices paid: $18.49
Coupons used: $1 on each item, total $7 off
Paid $11.91 cash, $10 printed out

Transaction #2 & #3:
Same items and coupons as above, but used $10 catalina each time to pay $1.91 cash each time.

Transaction #4:
Same items.
Fresh Mixers coupons: $1x9, $.75x1
Popcorn coupons: $1x3, $.40x1
paid with $10 catalina, and $2.76 cash

Subtracting the $10 catalina I still have, that's ($1.91x3)+$2.76 = $8.49 for 28 items, or $.30 EACH! Once again, this is the only way I shop Jewel! haha

CVS brand for pennies!

I had to refill my 'script anyway (with transfer coupon, of course) and knew I had a lot of CVS-brand coupons and felt I could make a good deal...

(pardon my non-skillz at photographing)
Green & Black Chocolate: $2.50 sale, $3 CRT = -$.50
CVS Facial Tissue: $1.99 BOGO (I swear the sign said that, but instead the cotton balls rang up as part of B2G1 with the facial tissue..same diff), $1/2 CRT = $.99
CVS Cotton Balls: $1.99, $2/1 essence of beauty item from Reinventing Beauty book = -$.01
Blade body spray: (store brand Axe) $4.49, $2/1 from Reinventing Beauty, earn $1 ECB = $1.49
Blade Energy drink: $1.99, $1 peelie from body spray = $.99
Used $2/$10 CVS purchase CRT
Spent: $2.16 on GC (subtract value of ECB = $1.16 for NEEDED items)
I'll pay $1.16 for things I actually need (except the drink, haha)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Planning for CVS Sunday

I got a PM on Hot Coupon World and someone was asking me if I had found any more of the CVS $5/2 Duracell battery coupons that work so well with the deal next week. I answered, no, no stores had them...still had just 1 but wish I could find 3 more. Turns out she is RAOK'ing me with 3 coupons! They are coming from Maryland and she is mailing them today. If they come Saturday it would be best, as after Sunday who know if the stores will have any batteries left. Stupid CVS and their stock issues ;)

CVS will give you $15 ECB back when you spend $20 on Duracell, with a limit of 3 deals!!! Insane.
Here is my deal planning:

Transaction #1:
One pack at $9.99, one at $5.99
Use $3/$15 coupon
Use $5/2 coupon
Use $.75x2 coupon
Spend $6 ECB
pay $.48 plus tax with GC
Duracell running total: $15.98
NO ECB's print.

Transaction #2:
One pack at $9.99, one at $5.99
Use $5/2 coupon
Use $.75x2 coupon
Spend $6.98 and $2 ECB
pay $.50 and tax with GC
Duracell running total: $31.96
$15 ECB will print

Transaction #3:
One pack at $9.99, one at $5.99
Use $5/2 coupon
Use $.75x2 coupon
Spend $6.98 and $1.59 ECB
pay $.91 and tax with GC
Duracell running total: $47.94
$15 ECB will print

Transaction #4:
Two packs at $9.99
Four Glade Glass Scents: $10
Filler for $1
Use $5/$30 coupon
Use $5/2 coupon
Use $.75x2 coupon
Use BOGO ($5 total) coupons for Glade
Spend $10 and $4 ECB
pay $.48 and tax with GC
Duracell total: $67.92
$15 and $5 ECB will print.

Way cool. I'm happy with it. Use $37.55 of ECB but earn $50! I may just earn enough to pay for all my Thanksgiving day "freebies." Whew. Saving money is hard work.

Hemlock Ring Blanket

Yay knitting!

I cast on Sunday night for this:

It's Knit Pick's Swish Superwash worsted in Sunshine..and it definitely isn't so crayon-yellow as this pic shows it. Late night, etc. Crappy, but hey, you get to see some progress for once.

(oh, the heart? Cuz I realized my coupon holder was there in the corner, with my phone number for the world to see...Photobucket has some cool editing features so I plopped a "sticker" right over it ;) )

Making Money @ CVS 11/12

Gotta love when you walk out with more ECBs than you started with, plus 3 bags full (but not of wool ;) )

Listerine Agent Cool Blue: $3.99, $1 CVS coupon, $1 IP coupon, earn $3 ECB each = -$3.03(The manager found these in the totes, made sure it was correct size, so very helpful! I'm loving this CVS)
Garnier Fructis: $2.99, $1 coupon, earn $2 ECB = -$.01
Rimmel Mascara: $6.99, $1 coupon, earn $4 ECB = $1.99
Cotton swabs ($.50) and Halloween slinky ($.13) as fillers
Best buy of the day: WellPatch. When they were free after ECBs last month, they never had them, mainly just 2 on the shelf at each store, or NONE. This month, you get $1 back, limit 5. So I used my raincheck for all five (still had 4 on the shelf!), and got $5 ECB back! That was a big part of my gain =)

Value of items: $61.59
Store coupons: $7.00
Man. coupons: $5.00
Spent $1.40 on gift card.
The real gain: used $11.27 ECB, but earned $21.59!! Ready for the battery deal on Sunday and then Thanksgiving day I will be there when they open. Woo hoo! There are about 35 FREE items (after bucks, of course) and according to the boards I read, last year it was dead on T-day and they had everything. Crazy. Wonder if this year will be any different...this is my first holiday season with them, and I'm so excited for it. Many coupons to be had for the free items, which means once again I'll earn more ECBs than I spend.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Jewel Trip 11/3

And so concludes my success at Jewel. Three stores, three transactions, and I am DONE. Frankly, I'm tired of it, I have no more coupons, and I got $46 free, so hey...good deals.

Transaction #1:
Chex cereal: 4/$10, bought 2, -$1/2
Progresso broth: 6/$10, bought 2, -$.50 x2
Macaroni Grill: 6/$10, bought 2, -$1, $1.10
Knorr Veggie Plus: 6/$10, bought 3, -$.60 x3
BC Cookies: 6/$10, bought 2, -$.75 x2
Total cash: $1.35
Used: $15 catalina from last transaction. I had to FIGHT to use them. The FE manager would only let me use 1, stating 1 per order, yadda yadda, and I pointed out the wording "May be combined with other coupon offers." Still no go. Takes off one coupon, I pay. Grab ad and go up to service desk to point out that the ad states "Save $15 on your next order". It doesn't say "Save $5, three times!" She stated the coupons said "do not double" uhhh, using more than one is not "doubling." How long have you worked at a grocery store? (I personally know she's a long timer...used to work at same store as her, but don't think she recognized me.) She got tired of arguing and took the other 2 of my coupons and gave me $10 cash. Heard her tell her assistant "I'll call once she leaves" so of course I hung out around the corner to hear her state her stupid reasons and say she was tired of me. haha. This is one reason I dislike Jewel... the customer service is generally poor.

Store #2: FE manager tells me sure I can use them all, and if I have trouble, give her name...that's why her name is on the wall. Now THAT is service!
Transaction #2:
Cheerios: 4/$10, bought 1, -$1
Skippy: 4/$10, bought 4, -$1/2 x2
BC Frosting: 6/$10, bought 2, -$.55 x2
Chex Cereal: 4/$10, bought 2, -$1/2
Cash spent: $1.29, used $15 cats
My new $15 did NOT print, told her yadda yadda, works on regular price, just did it at a different store. Bless her heart, she believed me even though she said it shouldn't work that way (duh, but that's your system...). She rescanned my order and my coupons came out...because she scanned 4 creamy PB rather than 2 creamy, 2 chunky. Assuming the chunky PB is NOT in the system. She also scanned one frosting twice, and not sure which flavor but assuming White because in my NEXT transaction, stayed away from PB but bought chocolate frosting...mistake!

Transaction #3:
Cheerios: 4/$10, bought 8, -$1 x7
BC Frosting: 6/$10, bought 1, -$.50
Celestial Seasonings tea: 2/$7. Yes, ridiculous, NO coupons...but Walgreens has not had this flavor, nor any other Jewel, and my brother loves it. So got it as his birthday gift, but worth it.
Total cash: $6.82, used $15 cats
Wasn't going to argue...going to assume the frosting was the culprit but did not want the complete hastle of having them rescan my order with a different frosting flavor...surely they would NOT understand that not all eligible items are actually in the system..I'm happy with $46 free dollars in catalina coupons, food to help out our church which is starting up a food pantry, and groceris to last me through the winter.

Grand Totals:
Value: $154.78
Sale Price: $105.98
Coupons used: $38.19
Store catalinas: $46.00
Cash: $22.25
Total of 49 items, so it's an average of $.45 EACH! Plus we will use cookies as Christmas baking and the Chex to make Muddy Buddies, YUM!

Yeah, things like this are the only reason I will set foot in that store.

This is just great!

Made me smile because I *LOVE* John Williams. heh. Gotta watch it. So worth it.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Jewel Trip 11/2

Jewel has been treating me well lately with their amazing deals, if you play them right. I'm still made because I just found out they extended their prescription program (to Jan. from Nov.) of buy 5 get a 10% coupon...uh, 10% off is NOT a deal to me because I DON'T shop there. It also means they decided not to give out GC with a transfered prescription, so they will not have our pharmacy business for many months!

Jewel was offering $15 OYNO when you spent $30, so I sat down with the ad and my coupons and made a list that happened to total exactly $30 (without me specifically trying that!). Thing is, I read my receipt afterwards and I did NOT spend $30...turns out the Progresso soup that in the ad was 6/$10, and how I planned my trip, rang up at $1 each. So I was short $1.34 and still got my coupons...still can't decide if you would get the deal on regular prices without your prefered card, or if the coupons are a 'prefered deal' and you wouldn't get them? hmmm. Too hard to figure out.

Ragu: 6/$10 (bought 4), 2-$1/2 manq
Progresso soup: $1 each (bought 2), 2-$1.10 printables
Macaroni Grill entrees: 3/$10 (bought 2), 2-$1.10 printables
Taster's Choice sticks: (not part of deal, had FREE cat) $1.29
Progresso Broth: (I LOVE this stuff!) 6/$10, bought 7 5-$1.25 manq (from Pssst...) 2-$1 manq
Knorr Veggie Sides Plus: 6/$10, $.75 manq

Value: $50.06
Coupons: $17.69
Cash spent: $12.79
Got: $16 in OYNO coupons. $1 "Holiday Buck" when you spend $25. I'll take it ;)
So they paid me $3.21 to buy all those groceries! Yummy. Need some soup recipes!!

Walgreens Trip 11/2

What a day at Walgreens! I impressed two cashiers, one who is about my age and does coupons too, and one who was quite amazed at my savings and asked where I got all those coupons.
Glade Wisp Flameless Candle: $5.99, $3 manq, earn $2.20 ESR = $.79
Schick Quattro razors: $5.99 each, 4-BOGO coupons, $3 IVC on each = -$.04 for 8
Bic Soleil Shimmer Refill: $6.99 each, 2-$3 manq, $3 IVC = $.99 each
Crest Pro-Health: $2.50, $.75 manq = $1.75
Dove bars: 2/$3, 2-$1 manq = $1 for 2
Ghost Peeps: $.25 each as fillers to use RR
Wrigley's Gum: $1.19 BOGO with ad coupon, used BOGO manq as well = 16 FREE

Value: $93.91
Manufacturer's coupons: $45.23
Store coupons: $39.52
Used $8 RR
spent $5.37 cash (basically just tax!)
Very impressed with Walgreens this week. Plus I now know some coupon-friendly cashiers at two locations. Should be a big help.

CVS Trip 11/2

Ice Breakers Ice Cubes gum: $1 each, used 5-$1/2 coupons, earn $5 ECB = 10 FREE
Hershey Bars: $.50 each, used 3 BOGO coupons = $1.50 for 6
Crest Pro-Health: $3.49 each, 3-$.75, 1-$1 coupons, earn $3.49 ECB each = -$3.25 for 4
Life Water: $1 each (because I thought I needed these to use my bucks...oh well. needed a drink anyway)
$34.61 worth of items
used $9.75 in coupons.
Spent $17.98 ECB and earned $18.96
Spent $1.53 on GC

Problem with the candy...After having bought 6 total of the green and blue, 2 rasberry and 2 kiwi strawberry gum, and 6 candy total for the "spend $10 get $5 ECB" should have been $13. However, my receipt only showed $8 and my ECB did NOT print! I returned the "red" gum and bought blue and green and the buck printed. So something between the red gum and the candy bars is not counting toward the total like it should...but I have no idea what because the math just doesn't work. And once you hit $10, and the offer limit, the receipt only says $10 for the total spending, so no idea what it really counted...oh well!