Saturday, October 17, 2009

Well... Hello!

I haven't been posting for a few weeks. Reason being, I have mono (for the 2nd time in my adult life) and have had a hard enough time getting through my work day (and grad school at night) to blog about deals. Today I went full-on food shopping for the first time in weeks mainly because my husband is about to start a low-iodine diet which means we are going to be eating a lot more fresh home-made foods and he won't be able to eat some of the major things he usually does. I literally used 3 coupons total and spent way more than I usually do ($60!). But that's ok. I'm letting myself not worry too much about saving money/blogging because I deserve the break. I'll probably start up again closer to the holidays. And because we've been dramatically under-budget probably for 4 or 5 months now, I know in the end it'll all even out.

Hope everyone is well in the money-saving blog world.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Various Shopping Trips

(9/22) As predicted I went to Giant for some bread and milk:

$2.99 gallon skim
$1.79 loaf of bread

= $4.78 OOP

And then on Sunday (9/27) I hit CVS to do the only real attractive deal this week and then Safeway for some items

$7.99 1 bottle Vaseline Sheer (Infusion?) lotion

- $5.00 EB (received for doing a survey on - just did one today that rewarded me with $15 EB!)
- $1.50/1 Vaseline
- $1 EB

= $.67 and received $7.99 back for the lotion (ps, it's tiny for the price)

And then Safeway:
10 bottles of Gatorade
5 bottles of Propel (free with the purchase of the 10 Gatorade)
2.23 lbs gala apples ($1/lb)
18 ct eggs (super coupon .99!)

= $16.50 OOP

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Target, Safeway & Harris Teeter

Ok, so I've been going a little crazy ever since we moved, got settled and I realized I had a bit more storage space (well all but our freezer, of course it's smaller than the one at the apartment, guh!). That coupled with the great deals lately, I couldn't really pass up stocking up our pantry.

Today I hit 3 places: Target, Safeway & Harris Teeter. I'll probably be a bit over budget this week because we will ultimately need milk, I am fresh out of Extrabucks (in fact I used expired ones today to buy some fun stuff for myself - thankfully the cashier pushed them through) and I haven't been to CVS in awhile - it's not across the street anymore. Annnyway.

2 boxes of Capri Sun sunrise
8 boxes of Kleenex tissues

- $1/4 kleenex
- $1/4 kleenex
- $2.50 free capri sun
- $2.50 free capri sun

= $10.72 OOP (saved 65%)

2 boxes of Swisher wet wipes (on sale for $3.50 each - less than Target brand!)
2 boxes of target brand dry wipes $3.84 each
8 boxes of 12 count Pop Tarts (at $2 a box I could not pass this up, this is the cheapest I have ever seen them!)

- $1/2 pop tarts
- $1/2 pop tarts
- $1/2 pop tarts

= $28.56 OOP (since I haven't been grocery shopping nearly as much, I still have a bit till I redeem points for a target gift card, thanks to Capital One)

And finally, Harris Teeter (2 more days of triple coupons!). They wound up restocking quite a bit of what wasn't on the shelves on Friday, although even their distributing center is completely out of the Breyers yogurt.

2 boxes of instant cream of wheat maple brown sugar (Mmmm)
2 box of Fiber One apple cinnamon muffins
2 boxes of Archway farms homestyle cookies (raspberry and sugar)
4 Reeses crunch bars
3 single serve Yakisoba japanese noodles (all free after coupons)
2 bottles of Spray 'n Wash
1 box of Barilla piccolini pasta
2 bags of Poppycock snacks
1 box Luigi italian ice
2 boxes of Green Giant frozen veggies (on sale $.99 a box - great deal!)
1 yocrunch yogurt
4 tubs of Hillshire Farms hearty turkey breast (if you buy 2 you save $4 which makes it $2 a tub!)

= $24.63 OOP (total was a bit over $65 pre-coupons)

Budget Summaries

Wow, I have been really bad keeping track of this stuff and of course it's a big pain to go back and get all the information for nearly 2 months rather than update it weekly. Oops.

AUG 2 - AUG 8 $31.76
AUG 9 - AUG 15 $16.66
AUG 16 - AUG 22 $36.60
AUG 23 - AUG 29 $57.30
= $142.22/$200 = $57.78 under budget

August 4th Safeway $31.76
August 9th Giant $10.98
August 9th CVS $5.68
August 16th Giant $2.39
August 17th Safeway $34.21
August 23rd Safeway $33.92
August 23rd Giant
August 23rd Rite Aid $3.50
August 23rd Rite Aid $10.50
August 29th Giant $2.99
August 30th Safeway $27.50

September 4th Giant $3.49
September 8th CVS $1
September 15 Target $13
September 18th Harris Teeter $18.99
Safeway 18th Safeway $15.51

FEB 1 - FEB 7$82.26
FEB 8 - FEB 14$42.24
FEB 15 - FEB 21$0.00
FEB 22 - FEB 28$79.45
MAR 1 - MAR 7$53.20
MAR 8 - MAR 14$5.88
MAR 15 - MAR 21$44.35
MAR 22 - MAR 28$17.81
MAR 23 - APR 4$39.96
APR 5 - APR 11$50.94
APR 12 - APR 18$1.09
APR 19 - APR 25$64.17
APR 26 - MAY 2$16.74
MAY 3 - MAY 9$13.01
MAY 10 - MAY 16$8.50
MAY 17 - MAY 23$37.94
MAY 24 - MAY 30$19.34
MAY 31 - JUNE 6$64.06
JUNE 7 - JUNE 13$26.82
JUNE 14 - JUNE 20$27.33
JUNE 21 - JUNE 27$30.69
JUNE 28 - JULY 4$40.41
JULY 5 - JULY 11$68.54
JULY 12 - JULY 18$60.88
JULY 19 - JULY 25$30.99
JULY 26 - AUG 1$10.11
AUG 2 - AUG 8$31.76
AUG 9 - AUG 15$16.66
AUG 16 - AUG 22$36.60
AUG 23 - AUG 29$57.30
AUG 30 - SEP 5$30.99
SEP 6 - SEP 12$14.60
SEP 13 - SEP 19$47.50
SEP 20 - SEP 26$?
SEP 27 - OCT 3$?

Harris Teeter & Safeway

Friday night (the 18th) I had the grand idea of going food shopping after I got home from work so I wouldn't have to deal with Saturday crowds. It wasn't the best idea I ever had - mostly because they were doing work on one of the major roads around here so it took a bit longer than expected.

Harris Teeter (till the 22nd) is running their triple coupon promotion (up to 99 cents). And Safeway has an excellent deal on Nature Valley granola bars and various other breakfast stuff. If you buy 4 boxes, you get $4 off (so instead of 4/$10, they are 4/$6)... and if that weren't enough, you get a free box of Capri Sun coupon for use on your next grocery order! With coupons, this deal is awesome and as far as I can see, there's no limit! Usually Safeway makes this deal into a limit 1 coupon, so I was thrilled to see it wasn't. And of course DH needed fruit rolls ups/fruit snacks and he never says no to the sweet 'n salty nature valley peanut bars.

4 boxes of Nature Valley granola bars (peanut)
4 boxes of fruit roll ups
2 boxes of Nature Valley dark chocolate nut bars (for moi)
2 bags of Nature Valley nut clusters
4 boxes of Kleenex expression (on sale buy 4 get each for $1.50 plus had a $1/4 coupon)
1 12-pack roll of Charmin' Ultra Soft (super coupon)

= $21.51 OOP

Well one of the coupons didn't spit out so I went to customer service. Today I'm going back to get my 2 boxes of Capri Sun and do the Kleenex deal again since a coupon spit out for $1/4. I didn't realize it till after I left that the CS person accidentally gave me cash for 2 more rounds of the 4/4 - she mentioned that since the coupon says value up to $2.99, she would just give me $3. Fine by me. But she actually gave me $6. I was a good 20 minutes away before I realized this or else I would have gone back to give her the $3 dollars. Anyway, so that means my out of pocket was technically $21.51-$6.00 = $15.51 OOP

Harris Teeter was pretty successful although they had already sold out of the new Breyers yogurt, can someone say mint chocolate chip yogurt Mmmmm Mmmm Mmmm? I really want to try that stuff!!!!! But not full price. Maybe they will have restocked Monday.

I got a large amount of stuff:

2 boxes of Betty Crocker warm delights
2 boxes of Chex Mix bars
2 bags of Cheerios snack mix
2 boxes of Betty Crocker fruit snacks
2 bottles of Newmans Own salad dressing
1 bottle of Newmans Own tomato sauce
1 bag of Alexia snacks (free after the buy 1 get 1 free coupon promo I had sent in)
2 packs of Yo Plus yogurt
1 pack of Yo Crunch yogurt
1 bottle of Kikkoman teryaki
2 packs Reeses peanut butter cups

Total? $18.99 OOP!

total before coupons was $47.23!

We need lunch meat and pop tarts (Target has the big box for $2 each!!!) so I'll be going out today for some things. I am happy to report that our kitchen is almost unpacked and at least from one side of the room looks decent... though there are still several boxes sitting on the other side.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

CVS for Newbies

I'm a member of a board called "poor skills". I wouldn't call myself poor but I'm not rich either (hahah Fiddler on the Roof). Anyway, someone posted about whether you could actually save money shopping at CVS. After reading a bunch of comments saying no and it wasn't worth it (gosh, no wonder they are poor!). I posted this and thought it was helpful for those that don't know about the program.

Wow, reading these responses kind of makes me understand why there are so many people scrimping these days.

Yes, you can actually make money from CVS using their Extrabucks program, BUT it takes a bit of work and you can't be picky about the products that you use. Here's what you have to do.

a) Buy products that are "free" after extrabucks (not every week btw).
This means that you do pay for the product first. And then they gave you a coupon for the price that you paid. Combine this with coupons and remember to use the extrabucks and you walk away spending very little or with CVS paying you for the products that you bought. Once you have this coupon, you 'roll' it into another purchase. So for example:

Assume you start off with no Extrabucks:
buy 1 Revlon foundation for $9.99
use $1 off Revlon product
pay $8.99 plus tax
get $9.99 bucks back in Extrabucks

then the next week, there's a sale on... say tampons - Buy 1 at $4.99 get $4.99 in Extrabucks

buy tampons for $4.99
(ok, so here's a problem - they don't give you money if you spend less than the amount of the Extrabucks so you either need to buy something else, or pay cash)... What I generally do, is buy other things that we need, say milk which doesn't go on sale around here to eat up the other Extrabucks
And let's say there's also another on Halloween candy - coming soon! Where if you pay a bag of candy corn for .99 you get $.99 in Extrabucks, limit 2

buy tampons for $4.99
buy milk for $3.50 (yeah, I hate Maryland too)
buy candy corn for $.99
buy candy corn for $.99

Let's say you also have a $.50 cent coupon for the tampons (and I've seen $1 too)

you total comes out to $9.47 excluding tax

Oh no! Still less than $9.99! You must buy something low value - generally the stores will have a 75% off bin, or 50% off bin or other "specials" going on with low values. Last week it was 15 cent CVS band aids. Hey! I need bandaids! So you pick up 5 packages of bandiads: $.75

Now your total is $10.22 excluding tax
you 'pay' with $9.99 in Extrabucks
you total is now around 50 cents

You get $1.98 in Extrabucks from the candy corn and $4.99 Extrabucks for the tampons

You now have $6.97 to roll for the next week.

In essence, that $9.99 foundation has also bought milk, tampons, bandaids and candy corn and whatever you buy next week.

It takes a bit of planning, you can't be picky, and until you get the hang of it, you may have to bring a calculator on shopping trips, but it is well worth it. I have not paid for feminine items in over a year. I have not paid for shampoo, conditioner, or deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, you name it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


We are all moved into our new house! Well, all of our stuff is there. I wouldn't exactly called us "moved in".

There are boxes all over the place and we've had to buy a lot of things (like a microwave, a desk for me) and of course eventually furniture for our living room.

Yesterday after work, I drove to Target to buy said microwave, some milk, bread and lunch meat... without coupons. I know! My coupon organizer is still packed.

I bought:
2 packages shaved turky breast
1 loaf of bread
1 gallon of milk
and a little pack of frog gummies for DH

= $13.00 OOP (had a $50 giftcard from capital one of course and some leftover on another one so I paid very little for the $59.99 microwave)

I'm hoping we get some important things unpacked tonight so we can start eating more than cereal for dinner and I can stop buying lunch at work everyday.