Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Black Friday and some other shopping

Last week was a busy week and I did not spend a lot on Groceries. I had two mystery shops which helped me get the deals I wanted without spending money out of pocket which was nice because it left me with money to do some more Christmas Shopping. :) I did not see anything worth going to Meijer for last week so I completely skipped it. This week there are two or three things worth going for so I will head over there at some point to pick them up. I need to make it back into Rite Aid to use my $9 in coupons for another pack of diapers. I also need to find my receipt so I can return the size 3's I had to get to finish the deal and exchange them. It's not always easy saving money. :) I did my usual Monday run to Aldi and picked up a few things we were out of and my usual bananas for the monkeys in this house. I also needed to go to Sam's club. I was trying to save some money by using up some powdered dishwasher detergent my dishes were coming out with a film on them so I gave up. Sam's carries the huge containers of Electrosol Finish that works best. 90 washes for less than $14. It will last a long time and I will be happy with my clean dishes. We also picked up a Rotisserie chicken to make some chicken pot pie with. While I was there I found some roast marked down. Angus beef roast for $2.30 a pound which is a good price. I brought them home and froze them and will pull them back out when I am ready to throw them in the crock pot.

The other thing to check into if you have a Sam's club or other club membership and you need a lot of gift cards for Christmas that is the place to do it. I was able to get 4 Itunes cards worth $60 for only $48. I still need a 5th card and I will get it somewhere else for full price but at least I saved $12 and will have happy nieces and nephews.

I have decided that I am not cut out to be an in store black friday shopper. Toys R Us has some great prices on stuff I really wanted for Scotty. I knew I was not going to out and stand in line on Thanksgiving night in the pouring rain and fight for the things I wanted. I had been in the store on Wednesday and they didn't even have what I wanted but swore up and down they would by the next day. I wasn't even sure I believed them. So I sat at my computer watching the website since most things were supposed to be on sale there as well. At 9:55 they marked it all down even the stuff that wasn't going on sale in the store until 5am. I did a free trial of a shopping service to get free shipping on my items. So without anything more out of pocket I got just what I wanted sitting on my bed in my pajamas. Got the Wonder Pets School house that I had been wanting for Scott for a while for $10, a fold and go train for the same price. Gifts from his aunt and uncle and they didn't go broke. I also got him the Bugsby reader to go with the Wonder Pets book my friend picked up for him on clearance and the little Engine the Could book to go with it since he loves trains. All for under $40.

Friday morning I thought I will just head out and see if they still had this little cake I wanted for Scott's birthday at Target. I knew it was going to be bad when I got there because you couldn't really park in the parking lot but I had no idea it was because you couldn't check out not because it was crazy with people shopping. It was at least a two hour wait to check out. I didn't see the cake on the shelf anyway and there was no way I was standing in that line to check out. So off the Build a Bear I went to see if they had the cute light up moose for $5. Thankfully they did but even with just 10 or so people in front of me I waited at least 15 minutes to check out. I thought about checking out a couple of other stores but there were so many people in the mall around 6:30 that I just came home. I got online and looked up the cake and found it on Amazon where I have free shipping for just 50 cents more so I got it too. All in all it was a good deal day but more online than in store and I was happy. Next year I think most of my deals will be done online! Christmas Shopping to begin right after Christmas this year for next year. :) I got a lot of my stuff for this year that way last year. All my stocking stuffers for Scott were bought that way as well as some of his gifts.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Almost free tag books and more grocery runs

So many great deals to be had the last couple of weeks. I know that Black Friday will warrant some more but I am not sure if I am up for facing the crowds or not. My little boy is worth the effort though. Over the weekend I ran to Meijer where I just picked up a few items but was annoyed that my $2 off m-perks coupon that I took the time to add and punch in the code did not come off. Thankfully customer service gave me the $2 back anyway. I had a coupon for a free Healthy steamers meal so I got that. A couple of boxes of butter for the holiday baking since it was on sale. Some bags of frozen veggies for making chicken pot pie (since I stocked up on pie crust) and vegetable soup since it is starting to get cold and there is nothing  better than homemade soup in the crockpot and bread in the bread maker. :) See winter isn't all bad.

My husband killed his computer that we bought off of Craigslist over the summer and it was going to cost more to fix it than to buy a used one from Laptop exchange so I let them take the old one for $20 and got him another one. That is a great business. They take in old ones and make sure they are working and resell them. Since buying a new one was not an option this was a great choice for us. You can even get a warranty on them which is great. I hate when my husband uses all the memory on my computer surfing you-tube and then leaves it for me to reboot the next day before I can even check my email. This is a marriage saver for us. :)

I also ran to Rite aid again and used more coupons as well as the $9 in bucks they gave me for 3 more packs of diapers so for less than $5 I got 3 more packs. I love the deals on diapers at Rite Aid. I only wish they had more in stock so it was not so hard to get the kind/size you want or need. I still have one pack I need to exchange for a bigger size. Might have to try that tonight if I have to go by there to drop off the little boy I have been watching. I also have $9 in bucks to use so I might pick up another pack of diapers with that and a coupon.

Sunday I had another shop and even with the $14 I found enough deals to still spend another $7 but it was good stuff. I rolled my $3 coupon from Pillsbury for 4 more cans of Grands cinnamon rolls and 2 more cans of  crescent rolls for 41 cents a can. It also gave me another $3 coupon that I plan to use for some more pie crust and crescents tomorrow. I remembered that I needed batteries for my car remote so that was $3.99 plus tax of my overage but I need those and finding a deal was not really an option on something like a rare battery. At least they were not super expensive. I found some rubber spatulas for cleaning out bowls that appear to be good ones for $1 each so I picked up two of those. (Some times having to stay in the store for 30 minutes can be a bad thing because I have time to browse and possibly spend more.) I also picked up some yeast rolls with a coupon and a sale for $1.50. Not an amazing price for what they are but at 1/2 off a good deal anyway. I also had to get an under cart item (coke) and a deli item to fulfill my obligation.

I then ran to Target to pick up some Tag books. Even though I have not bought the older kid version of the Tag reader the books were cheap enough that I got them and will get a reader when I find a great deal. I have the Tag Jr one for Scott now and most of the books they have for it I got for $1 each at Walmart with coupons and a clearance deal. There were $5 coupons available so I printed two from each of our computers and some of the books were just $9.99 and one I got was $13.99 they were then BOGO free so for $3.99 plus $1.44 tax I got 4 books that normally cost $13.99 each. :) I love a great deal.

Today we went to Aldi. I am finding more and more that mostly what I am buying there is fresh fruit and veggies. Their prices are hard to beat and I can't get coupons on them most of the time so it's hard to save on them at the regular stores. Other stuff I can use coupons on are cheaper with a sale and coupons at other stores. Even bread I can find a good markdown on or run to the bread bakery for cheaper bread. I also gave in and bought Scotty a train there today. It as a really good price and every time he says Whooo Whooo for the whistle I just fall a little bit more in love with him so it was $7 well spent. Why else to save save money other than to be home but to spoil my boy just a little bit. :) So the deals of the day at Aldi were celery for 79 cents, bananas are always 39 cents a pound, pineapples for $1.49 so I got two, oh and 10lbs of potatoes for $1.49, and two bags of cranberries for 99 cents a bag.

Tomorrow I have another shop to do and two more pizza shops his week. So more freebies for a little bit of work. If you are interested in Mystery shopping let me know and I will tell you about the companies I do shops for.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Great trip to Kroger and things not to do while your toddler is misbehaving. :(

With the babysitting I have been doing I have not been going out as much so don't spend as much which is for sure a positive thing. This morning I ran into Target because I had heard of a deal or two that would be worth getting if they had them unfortunately the one I really wanted was not marked down yet so the deal won't work most likely since it ends on Wednesday. I also wanted to look at the Leapster Explorer for Scott for Christmas. He wouldn't even look at it and showed no interest so I think I will just save my money. He just kept looking at the other shelves yelling truck. Well we know what he likes. I have read mixed reviews on it anyway so it's probably for the best. I might go back Sunday or Monday if they really do have their Tag books BOGO free. I have printed $5 off coupons on them which would make them anywhere from free to $2 a piece so not a bad deal at all.

I also recently discovered that even though I don't own a Kindle I can download the Kindle for PC to my computer and can get all the great free books they offer right on my computer no Kindle needed. So I have been watching blogs and today clicked on a book I was interested in and Scott started to misbehave and jump on the couch and I hit click without checking to make sure it was still free. All the sudden I had bought a book that was $11.99 with on click and could not figure out a way to get rid of it or get my money back and Scott was still misbehaving which was stressing me out. Finally got him calmed down and called Amazon where they promised to refund my money. We will see if that happens. So I have decided I cannot do that if he is up and especially if he is not behaving at the time. :( Why in the world they think one click is a good thing I have no idea. I would rather have the option of turning it off so that kind of thing does not happen any more.

I have been working on getting my coupons together for some of the Pillsbury/General Mills deals at Kroger this week. From my shopping trip the other day I had my first $3 catalina. So today I went in and two separate orders so that I could get two different deals. My first one I needed to buy just 6 of the pillsbury items to get the cat but 8 items to get the correct prices on the items since it was a mega deal buy 4 get $4 off. So I got 6-2 packs of pie crust and 2 boxes of Chocolate Cheerios. After the $8 off each of the items was just $1.49. I had on .50/2 e-coupon for the pie crust and 3 $1/2 paper coupons. For the Cheerios I had one .75 e-coupon and 2 .75 cent off paper coupons. I added to this order 2 4 packs of yogurt that was on markdown for $1.39 and I had 50 cent off coupons for each that doubled making it just 39 cents each. I also got an 8 pack of drinkable yogurt marked down to $1.50 and had a 55 cent off coupon making it just .95 cents. I also picked up a loaf of bread to throw in the freezer that was marked down to $1.09 which will save me 60 cents next week. I also picked up 3 boxes of Green Giant veggies that were priced at 88 cents each. I had an e-coupon and a paper coupon both good for 60/3 so I saved a $1.20 total. My total after using the $3 coupon from my last shopping trip was $6.43. Then I took my $3 catalina from that order and bought 4 packages of Simply Chocolate chip cookies and two cans of Crescent rolls. I had an e-coupon for 50 cents off the crescent rolls and 2 e-coupons each worth $1/2 on the cookies. I had a 50 cent paper coupon which doubled on the crescent rolls and a .55/1 coupon for each of the packages of cookies so my total was 26 cents and I got another $3 coupon to use when I do my shop tomorrow. :) I think it was a pretty good day. Here is a picture of all I got for less than $7 and left with a $3 coupon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some online deals and regular shopping as well

Well a couple of weeks ago I used the rest of my Eversave credit to buy a coupon for a Snap totes purse. These have pictures on the side of them. The one I chose is regular price is $80 and I would never spend that for a purse. I paid $8 out of pocket for the coupon which gave me $80 in credit for the site. A friend who was familiar with the company recommended I pay the extra to get the picture on both sides so that was $15. Shipping was about $10 so I spent another $25 out of pocket. It will be part of my Christmas present from my little guy. (Don't you love how I buy my own presents? It's the only way I know I will like what I get. LOL)

I also was able to combine my free shipping with all my freebies I had stacked up on Shutterfly. I have never been able to get that great of a deal before. I got 2 8 x 8 hard cover photo books, a 7 x 9 soft cover photo book, 50 Thank you cards for Scott to use, 10 more invites to Scott's birthday party, and 60 photo prints. I got 2 extra pages in each of the 8 x 8 books so that cost me $3 so that was my total! How great is that. One of the books is for my mom and the 7 x 9 is a special book full of grandparent pictures. :)

I went to Aldi on Monday and picked up some apples, bananas, and tangerines all for great prices so I stocked up for the next few weeks. I also stocked up on brown sugar, syrup, and some canola oil. I may have picked up another item or two but I have trouble remembering a lot of stuff lately. No idea why. Nothing at all going on. Need to start taking pics when I come home so I know what I got. While I was down there I ran into Walmart to check and see if any of the deals I had seen posted online were good at my store. I did not have any luck with that and could not even find the hook I was looking for to hang up the bird feeder my MIL got for us. I did however find a box of the allergy meds I needed to buy this week for only $2 and even better I had a $2 off coupon for them. To bad that was the only box they had left. I also picked up 4 pouches of Salmon for only $1 each and a container of extreme pringles with a free coupon.

Today I had a shop to do and picked up some deals while I was there and only spent $2 more dollars than I made and got a $3 catalina for next time. I got four cans of Grands cinnamon rolls, 2 cans of crescent rolls, some chicken salad from the deli (a deli purchase is required for these shops), a 12 pack of coke (an under cart item is required). I also got two packs of instant mashed potatoes for 40 cents, a protein bar with a free coupon, and a box of Barilla Plus pasta also with a free coupon and a 20 cent overage. So I did great at saving 60% even with two things I would not have bought if someone else had not been paying for them.

I also stopped at Rite Aid on Monday and got 3 packs of diapers for about $15 which makes them $5 a pack which is a great deal. I hope to go back at the end of the week with my $9 in bucks along with $7.50 in manf coupons and $5 in store coupons to get 3 more for about $6. Then I will still have $9 to get another package of diapers. Love it! So glad I figured out a way to stop paying full price for diapers and that Huggies work for Scott since they are great about coupons.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thomas the Train and Kroger this week

So I read about this Thomas the Train deal at Target and was so excited. Target had a coupon good for 50% off their Beginner Thomas set making it just $12.49. Then I was able to Swap for some $10 off coupons that some other moms had received in magazines they were not going to use. One mom just sent it out without anything and I knew getting a couple of extras wouldn't be bad to get more for gifts or to share. So another girl I was already trading other stuff with sent one and I traded coke points for another but have yet to see it. Might be in the mailbox though I am so bad about getting down to check it lately with two kids around. So I picked up two sets for just over $6 with tax. They are so cute with Thomas trains that talk. :) I love Swap Mamas and being able to trad things I don't need or want for things I do need or want. Check them out if you haven't already. Let me know if you have any questions. Most of my experiences have been good but there have been a few along the way that have gone a bit bad but for the most part it has been great. :)

So I have been getting my list together since last week to hit up Kroger on the second week of their mega sale. They had Ronzoni Pasta on sale for 79-89 cents a box with the deal and I had coupons good for at least 50 cents off a box if not $1 off making it free plus a money maker. I got 17 boxes all together of the three different kinds. We love the whole wheat pasta one for spaghetti it makes it so much more filling and I need less meat in the sauce. I also had an ecoupon that came off and helped out. All said and done I made 16 cents off the 17 boxes. Got to love that! I also picked up 10 cans of tomatoes at .49 cents a can. I know there were coupons out there but I didn't have them and it would have only saved $2 so probably not worth trying to get them. I also picked up a bunch of cans of fruit for Scott for the winter. When I can't get the fresh fruit we switched to cans and I have a hard time finding good deals so I stocked up at .49 cents each at least 25 cents cheaper than I can get it when it's not on sale and a lot cheaper than I can get pears since I can't find a place that carries the ones in juice for a great regular price or even in light syrup. Aldi at least carries the peaches and fruit cocktail at decent prices. I did mess up my count though so I have to take 6 back and get 4 more to round out the deal. I have a love/hate relationship with Mega sales because you have to have the exact right amount to get the deals. I also got 6 cans of cream of mushroom soup and 2 cans of Chunky soup for free with an extra penny for each. I had two coupons good for $4 off Wholly Guacamole and it was only marked $2.89 so I got two free and overage for the rest of my groceries. I got two packages of Driscoll Raspberries for $1.50 each after my 50 cent off coupons doubled. My total was well over $100 before the Mega deals and coupons. I got 102 gas points and spent a grand total of $33.39 at a 75% savings and that didn't count the mark down on my 2 loaves of bread I got for 99 cents and the markdown on Scotty's favorite yogurt I got for 1/2 off. Oh and for that money I also got 3 6 packs of drinkable yogurt. Scott loves those. Oh and a brick of Velveeta for our yummy grilled cheese. I am down to half a box and didn't want to run out. I came home and had to clean out my pantry to fit all that pasta and food in it. :) What a great trip. So blessed to live in a country where food is so abundant and there are so many great deals on it to be had.

The only bad part about cleaning out the pantry was I realized I am out of some stuff for baking for the holidays coming up so I will have to stock up on those next week at Aldi if there are not better deals somewhere else.

Oh I forgot I did get to Aldi this week as well. I took the container back from my grapes because they were supposed to be seedless and I spent all week pulling seeds out of them so Scotty could eat them. :( Thankfully they have a satisfaction guaranteed promise there. I picked up a pineapple on sale and a ham which will last a while and I will freeze the rest. Spent more than normal at Aldi but I am good for a while with the ham which was the biggest expense.

Meijer didn't have anything on sale I couldn't live without. Next week I will make it in to use my $2 off anything coupon they gave me through their M-perks. It is good through Friday of next week. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween Clearance and a Meijer run

I ran into Target to check and see if they actually had the trains I am waiting on coupons to get and stopped to check their Halloween stuff. They had stuff 75% off so I picked up a couple of costumes for Scott for next year or for dress up. I got Thomas the train for $5 and a Knight costume (not armor) for $3. I also picked up a blowup helmet for my husband. I know he's going to have a blast with it. :) Love clearance. I wish I could have gone back on Sunday when I am pretty sure they went 90% but Sundays don't work for me. :(

Then I ran into Meijer to grab some stuff that was on sale. I didn't have a lot of coupons this time but I had a couple of 50 cent off Angel soft and it was half price so I got two 6 pack double rolls for 99 cents. Sure can't beat that. I also got a bag of frozen shrimp for $3.49. Love it! I know I got some more stuff but I can't remember what. I do know they were regular stuff with sale prices but nothing extraordinarily great.

I then ran to Kohl's to check something for a friend and couldn't resist picking up Scott a few shirts while I was there. He doesn't have a lot of shirts and the prices were pretty good for new shirts. I got two for $4.80 each and one for just over $6 but it was a Thomas the train Christmas shirt so totally worth it. :) I also picked up a book for a little friend's first birthday. I got almost 30% off with the weekend deal they were having. Kohl's has the best sales. I don't go often but always seem to like the prices with their sales.

I need to make it to Aldi but I am not sure I am going to brave taking my extra out to do it. A couple of sale prices on fruit I wish I could get but that's about it. Otherwise Wednesday will be soon enough. I also need to get my list together for the mega sale at Kroger. I knew it would continue this week so I didn't go back last week. Got my coupons ready to go. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Deal good enough to return stuff to Toys R us and way behind

Wow so sorry for being so far behind on my blog. I started a new babysitting job this week and I haven't been shopping let alone getting back to my blog. It's a short term job so hopefully I will be back to normal soon.

A week ago Thursday TRU had one of their member's only sales where they email you coupons and it's only good for one day and sometimes only for a few hours. Thankfully this one was good all day. (I hate shopping at night when stores are crowded.) They were offering the Early Engineers Thomas trains and sets for 1/2 off. I knew I wanted a couple more trains for Scott so I figured I would pick those up even though I had already bought the sets for Scott. Well I got there and they had combined one of the trains I bought seperately with the set so an extra savings. I was like for that price I can return the set and the train. So a $49 dollar set and a $18 train were on sale for $24. I added another set we didn't have yet and 3 more trains for about $8 more than what I returned. Amazing! Sometimes it's even worth a return trip to take something back you got a better deal on. I did return it when I was near there anyway and didn't have my little guy with me making it easier on myself and not wasting gas while I am at it.

I did do one shop on Sunday and have another one in two weeks so I got a few more freebies doing that.

Kroger is having their mega sale this week and next. They have some really great deals on there and I need to make it back for some more. So far all I got was 10 cans for fruit for 49 cents each. Since the best I can get is a double can for $1.49 it's a great deal and the pears I can't even get for that price. I want to get some more of that and there are other deals I was able to print coupons for and some I found during my shop for the Ronzoni garden pasta which will make it a money maker. :) I didn't even know it was on sale when I snagged the coupons I just figured it would be soon. That store had not done a good job of putting their tags on the shelves telling what was on sale and what was not. Not very helpful to the bargain shopper. Especially since the ads are kind of vague at Kroger.

This weekend is my Shutterfly party that I won. Everyone gets a free photo book and 10 free cards. There is supposed to be a deal with free shipping but something seems to be wrong with the site and it's saying you can't get it so we will see if that part gets fixed. I was happy to find out that www.tripadvisor.com was giving away free photo books when you posted a review. I love reading trip advisor reviews when I am going to stay at a hotel. I want to make sure it's a good one. So I always leave reviews for other travelers. This time I left a review of one of my favorite restaurants right here in Lexington. I am going to use the freebie to get a book for my mom for Christmas. Love saving money on gifts. The other place I have been ordering from is www.artscow.com. I am not over impressed with them and they are in some place like Hong Kong so shipping is slow but the prices are pretty good with all the deals they offer. I have bought prints and Christmas ornaments from them so far and am considering some other deals as well.

Also for blogging about Shutterfly's cards they gave me 50 free ones. To bad that I didn't wait to make my cards. Oh well now I am going to see if they will work to order more invites to Scott's party so I don't have to print any myself and make some Thank you cards for it while I am at it. :) Now that is a money saver.

Oh and the way not to save money just check out Etsy.com. I bought all the stuff for Scott's party but still had not figured out what do about the "cake". It is a Wonder Pets theme party at Gymboree. So I found someone that had Wonder Pet cupcake toppers listed. They really didn't want to make me any character ones though. So I ordered just the W's from her and she pointed me to another seller who had made big faces for cakes and I thought about them but at $15 a piece I just couldn't do it. So I got 6 faces from her even though they were more than the 12 W's I bought from the other person. Got to love how much some charge vs others so be sure and check out all the sellers on there and if you can get from someone who sells for less for the same thing you are good. :) Doesn't always work though. Oh well they are bought and paid for with my work money for this week so now we are ready for the party. All I have to do is make the cupcakes and a little cake for Scott. :) I think that is everything for his party. You only turn 2 once. :)