Friday, September 26, 2008

Actually, you can still shop at the grocery store

I just don't shop at the major/national grocery stores as they are just too expensive. I find Dominick's to be absolutely ridiculous, and Jewel less so. But when I read about the $10 Catalina when you buy $25 of GM/BC foods, I was intrigued...then I saw online that buying three boxes of BC fruit snacks gave you a $1.50 Catalina on top of the $10! Then I realized that the "Meal Deal," which isn't usually that great, WAS because I had a coupon on the items! (Granted today they have $2 off the Stouffer's on my Avenu, the stinkers)

Transaction #1

Progresso x6
BC Brownie
BC Cake mix
BC Cookie Mix
Fruit Snacks x3
Fiber One Toaster Pastries
Cheerios x2
Those got me my coupons for my next order
Also go the Mac n Cheese and V05 with their "Super Coupons" when you spend $20.

Used $5.20 manufacturer's coupons. Spent $20.72 cash and earned $11.50 in coupons for my next order.

Transaction #2

Found a display of Glade Scented Oil Refills that had coupons on them proclaiming "FREE" and the sale price matched the coupon max for once! Bought four of those to go with the holders I got at Walgreens this month...
Two of the new V8 soup since it sounds delish (Sweet Red Pepper and a Southwest Corn): 2/$5 used 2 $1 manq

The Meal Deal:
Buy Stouffers, Bread, and Salad and get Dressing and Nuts free ($6 value)
Stouffers: $8.99 -$1
Bread: $2 -$2 FREE coupon from a survey on a reciept
Salad: $2.99 -$.75
Dressing: $2.99 -$1
Almonds: $2.99 - $.55 (coupon on package! Great since it was the only item I didn't have one for)
-$6 Meal Deal Coupon
Total for Meal Deal: $8.66 which is GREAT!
Total for this transaction: $2.87 cash, $8 store coupons, $25.26 manq, $11.50 Catalina

Jewel Total: Spent $23.59 for items valued at $103.77

Thanks, Jewel. I called my mom when I got in the car and just laughed when she answered. "What now?" "I just robbed Jewel"


New Clothes

I actually found a good deal on clothes:

Sears had some great clearance items a couple weeks back.
Retail value: $126
Paid: $14.96 plus $7.50 shipping
That's about 89% off the retail price (who pays full price for clothing at any store? c'mon!). Even with shipping, it's an average of $5.60 per piece. Not too shabby since I can always use a few new shirts.

Yay for Target!

Sometimes you really luck out at Target. Always be sure to browse the clearance end caps! I know where each one is located, generally a couple in each department. This time I got a steal in health/beauty.

I did go for cat litter, which we needed, the rest was for deals!

Tidy Cat $11.59 $1 manq
Totinos $1.44x4 $1 manq x4 = $1.76 for 4
Buitoni $1.77x2 $1manq x2 $1 storeq x2 = -$.46 for 2
Garnier Fructis $1.48 x3 $1 manq x3 = $1.44 for 6 or $.24 for each!
Green Giant Steamers $1.88 x2 $1 manq x2 $1/2 storeq = $.76 for 2
Totals: Used a gift card we got as an actual gift for $8.93, paid $7.70 cash
Used $12 manq $3 storeq
So that picture cost me $5.14 with tax. Craziness.

Slow week at CVS

Wasn't feelin' it this week, I guess. Just bought the 'free' things:

Nivea $4.99 $1 manq earn $4.99 ECB
Adidas $4.99 $1 manq earn $4 ECB
Colgate $2.99x2 $.75 manq x2 earn $2 ECB x2
Q tips as a filler item
Totals: $1.29 gift card. Spent $12 ECB and earned $12.99

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CVS Last Week

CVS e-mailed me a $5/$30 coupon, which I have been waiting for! I buy the travel size Schick razors to donate, because they are $.99 and I can use the $2 coupon to buy 2 packs at a time for free (just tax). So those buffered my total, but I bought enough stuff anyway. This is one of my biggest orders yet! Also, I was able to scan my card 4 times for a total of 10 CRTs!

Purex $2.99 $.50 manq on each, earn $1 ECB on each = $2.49 each (Not bad, considering SALE at the grocery store is $4.79!!)
Aleve Sinus $3.99 $1.00 manq earn $3 ECB
Excedrin $3.99 $1.00 CRT earn $3.99 ECB
Revlon nail polish $4.79 BOGO, $2 manq x2 = $.79 for both
Peppercorns $.88 since I needed them
Johnson's Buddies $1.19 each $3/3 manq = $.57 for 3 (not the best, but going to Target tomorrow for cheaper ones)
Hershey's Bars $.99 each, buy 2 get $1 ECB
13 packs of razors at $.99, $12 in coupons, $.87 for all

Totals: $1.08 on gift card, used $14.99 ECB and earned $11.99 ECB. Had $6 in CVS coupons and $21.50 in manufacturer's coupons.
Value of items: $63.85

Tell me, what other store lets you leave with $63.85 worth of goods for $1.08?? Yeah.

That was Friday. Going today for some of this week's "free" after bucks things, along with my coupons to recoup. Love this place!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Knitting...with actual photos!

Yes, it is true. I would have updated yesterday except, silly me, first time using a USB cable with a camera...thought I could bypass the whole transferring pics from SD to flash at home so I can upload here at work. But I plugged it in, and realized that duh...the photos are on the SD card so trying to read the internal memory doesn't do a lick of good. So here we are...

Yeah, about 2 more inches were done last night before choir practice. Lots o free time on Wednesdays! This is the back of the Dolman Top from Knit So Fine.

Close up of the pretty colors. Except the concentration of black dye in the yarn means the stripes on my fingers from where I wrap the yarn is par for the course. Alas.

And this is what makes knitting completely worth it. Joy on children's faces. Happy 2nd Birthday!

Deals of the Week

Yay for Walgreens! This month has been quite exceptional. Granted, I've been spending cash, but that counts as groceries, and I then turn around and buy more things we need with the gift card, so it all evens out.

Transaction #1:
Softsoap $2.99 $2.00 in-ad coupon x2 = $.99 each
Colgate $2.99 $2.00 in-ad coupon $1 manq x2 = -$.01 each
Trident $1.49 $.50 store coupon $.75 manq = $.24
Lypsol lib balm Honeyberry $1.99 FAR this month = -$.20 after rebate

Transaction #2:
Glade Plug-ins $1.99 x4 BOGO manq x2 $1 rebate on each = -$.42 after rebate
Reese's on clearance for $.40

Totals: Used $8.50 in store coupons, $6.73 in manufacturer's coupons, spent $6 RR. Paid $4.18 cash to earn $6.59 on rebates

Softsoap was bought to even out # of items with # of coupons (a pain at Walgreens) and Reese's bought on a miscalculation. Still good deals. If I had had the Glade coupons on me during the 1st trans, could have bought it all at once and NOT bought the Softsoap, which we don't need, but will use.

Monthly Totals: $52.55 in total coupons used, $26 of RR, spent $14.70 on my gift card, and $17.89 cash to earn $52.28 back on my rebates.

Looking forward to a CVS trip tomorrow. They sent me a $5/$30 today, which may not sound good, but when I use things that are free with manq to bulk up to $30, it helps out. Yay!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Knitting Update

Today I am home sick, so I will take a bit of time to knit on my Lace Leaf Pullover (all Ravelry links). I'm posting from the library at the moment (yes, home sick means I can run to the grocery store and the library. We need veggies) and I checked my account and Knit So Fine is ready to be picked up, which means I can get ready to knit my next project, but not until I finish Lace Leaf. I'm going to knit the Dolman Top which is the only project that jumped out of the book and said I needed to make it. I bought yarn at Stitches and am all set, Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Seduction in Obsidian. Very exciting to knit a "higher end" top...since the yarn was so costly and Matt was like, "how much???" "but it was half off! and I have been so good using yarn from my stash!" "okay..."

I need to plan a baby project for a baby coming in December to a couple who have had such difficulty getting to this stage. I don't think they're finding out ahead, so I'm thinking blanket as I don't think I have any yarn to make a unisex sweater.

Pics soon, promise! The pics of Lace Leaf WIP is not flattering due to the construction. heh.

Weekly Trips, Part 2

Yesterday I stopped at 4 Walgreens in total, making three purchases, and one totally failed attempt that made me think sometimes it is more trouble than it is worth. But in the end, I had a really nice cashier who was impressed by my shopping.

I printed $3/1 coupons for Robitussin. Went to the store, bought three bottles for $3.99 each, earned a $10 coupon on my next order. Did that a second time at another store. Turned around and used my $10 to buy Crest toothpaste ($3.79) and a water pitcher filter ($6.99) both of which are FAR this month, so I paid with a coupon to get money back on the rebate ($11.86).
Totals: Spent $8.42 from my gift card, earned $20 RR and $11.86 on my gift card. It's almost too good to be true.

(I didn't take a photo as I gave out the Robitussin to moms at church, since who doesn't need a bottle of cough syrup? kept just one for the picture would be empty...hehe)

The first store I shopped at, usually the friendliest people, argued with my about the RR not printing, etc. Saying that the manufacturer is paying for the RR so DUH they won't print an RR if I use coupons...riiiight. So why'd the manufacturer give me coupons, hmm?

One more trip today...I still have $14 RR to use. Some people are allowed to use one manufacturer's RR to pay for a deal that prints an RR from a different company, but not my stores. So I have to buy other things. I'm planning on a shampoo and chapstick that are both FAR, and also Kleenex that I desperately need.

Yay shopping! I love providing for our needs, so that we don't run out of something essential like shampoo and have to run out for a bottle. I also have an abundance to donate, which I really like. We have always donated items, time and money in the past, but we'd never be able to give so much if I didn't take the time to shop like this!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Updating Blog

Bear with me as I make changes...although I will miss the column on each side (thanks for all the hard work, Trevor!) this is much cleaner...will add links and such later on. Any thoughts?

Weekly Trips, Part 1

I really like sharing my deals...some decent ones so far this week. Looking ahead excites me...some great deals later in the month at Walgreens.

First stop, CVS...
Right Guard Deodorant: $2.99, earn $2 ECB, manq $1x5
ACT mouthwash: $4.49, earn $2 ECB, manq $1
Colgate toothbrush: $1.99 BOGO, manq $1x2
Schick razors: $.99, manq $2x2
Totals: Spent $2 on gift card, used $11.78 ECB, earned $12 ECB

Next stop, Walgreens...beautiful day for a walk. Even needed a windbreaker!
Dove Bars: in-ad coupon to make them 2/$3, IVC (coupn in rebate book) for $1/2 and manq $1x2 =FREE
Excedrin: $3.99 FAR (we need it anyway)
Benadryl: $3.99, manq $1x3, earn $4 RR (printed coupon for next time)
Totals: Paid $13.28 cash for things we basically need (desperate need of Benadryl!), earn $4RR and $4.39 rebte on gift card.

Here's how I store my coupons...mostly working. Need to reorganize a coupe categories, maybe laminate the dividers next time. Also, need to remove many expired General Mills coupons and keep them elsewhere. Really hoping for another amazing General Mills deal at Jewel. (Remember, the 60 boxes of things for $14? yeah)

And here's Jack hiding from the vacuum. Sometimes you can't find him, even if you aren't vacuuming...then you see a tail sticking out of the blinds...haha

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Simple Amusement

I know that some of you like my "frugal shopping" posts, so here's yesterday's deals:

At CVS I got:
2 Colgate $2.99x2 -$1.50 manq x2 earned $4 ECB
5 packs of cashews $.79x5 -$2 CVS coupon x2
2 Dasani water $1.49x2 earned $1 ECB

So I spent a $5.79 ECB I had, $.46 on a gift card, and earned $5 ECB for next time. Not too bad!

Then I went to Target. I added it up afterwards, and realized I had $25 in coupons. I saved more than I spent, and have lots of lunches to bring to work for the upcoming cold weather since I really like a warm lunch those types of days.

Steak (Boneless Chuck..they look nice!) $3.25 and $3.73, $2 store coupon on each $2.98 for both
Butoni Pasta $3.14 each. $1 store AND $1 man. q on each. $2.28 for both
Del Monte Harvest Selections (yummy, 2 veggie servings each) $2.49 each, BOGO coupon x2, $4.98 for 4
Easy Mac individual serving bowls $.70 each, $1/2 man. q x3, $1.20 for 6
Archer Farms Trail Mix, sale for $.80 each, $.50 store coupon on each $.60 for both
Glade Plug-ins Oil Warmers, $3.94 each, two $4 man. q, -$.12 for both
Total with tax: $12.94 That's crazy good, in my book. 10 lunches, 2 steaks, 2 pasta meals? Craziness.

Oh yeah, the amusement? I send for lots of free product samples. Every so often it'll be for a men's deodorant or body wash, etc, so I put Matt's name on them so he gets some mail ;) Well, got home late Tuesday night and had a package slip. Matt worked later Wednesday, so he was able to go to the office to see what it was. We weren't expecting a package, so it was a surprise. He calls me up at work to let me know what it was...I answer, he says, with this little upset/incredulous voice, and I'm totally picturing his face...

"it's a roll. of. toilet. paper."

I bust out laughing.

"In your name, huh?"

I had totally forgotten I sent this in his name. But seriously, who could resist a free roll of toilet paper, especially when it brings such joy? I about died laughing. Made my entire day.

Now, off to a big meeting, then the airport for Toronto for work. Back tomorrow. Super busy next four days!!