Thursday, November 17, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Saving money without coupons

I know a lot of people struggle with using coupons. They don't have easy access to them or their stores don't have great coupon policies. I wanted to remind people there are still ways to save money.

My goal is to not pay full price for anything. I know that is not always possible but with a little planning ahead you can make it happen. For groceries and home products I start with the sale ads each week. I know what a good sale price is on most items and can usually tell you off the top of my head if it's a good price or not. To start doing this you can make a price book that tells you what something normally sells for and what the sale prices are. That way you have something to check to see if it's a good price or not. I go through the ads and make my grocery list from that. Rarely to I make a list based on what we need. Some times you do have to do that but around here it is rare because I do stock up on stuff when it's on sale and we don't use a lot of milk or anything like that. If I did I would be buying it from Aldi because that is the best place to buy things if you don't have a sale and a coupon.

This week I picked up bone in Chicken breast for 99 cents a pound which is my stock up price. I got 3 packs that each has 2 breasts in it. I brought them home, pulled off the skin, and threw it all into my crockpot with some water. Once they were cooked they pull apart super easy and you can discard the bones and fat. Then I separate it all into meal size servings and freeze it. So I have my chicken all ready for dinner that I got for the best price possible. Saves me both time and money. Took about 10 minutes of my time to put in the crockpot and then to pull it off the bones and bag it once it came out. Now I just  have to pull it out any time I need some. :)

I also bought a bunch of apples for 59 cents a pound and have been using them for all sorts of fun stuff. Today I made homemade applesauce in the crockpot. YUM I want to try making apple chips soon. My son loves those. Yesterday I was lucky enough to pick up a big bag of overripe pears for $2 and made them into pear sauce. That was pretty yummy too. I even froze some of the applesauce for later.

I always check the markdown shelves especially the produce one at Meijer. They often have great things that sometimes are not even bad but the rest of the package that they had been in was. So I get the good stuff at a nice reduced rate. :) Saves me a lot of money and we get fresh fruit and veggies. A lot of it I freeze for later use. Beats the price of buying the stuff that is already frozen too.

I also make my own bread with the help of a bread maker. My own pizza dough also with the help of the bread maker. Dough freezes well too so you can make it and put it in the freezer for later. Or bake the bread and freeze it for later. :) I love cooking things ahead and being about to just pull them out of the freezer when I am ready for them. Taking a little extra time or even just adding extra to whatever you are cooking can save you time on the those busy nights and you won't be tempted to get fast food if you have yummy food in the freezer ready to go.

My other favorite thing is making a huge pot of refried beans. For less than $3 I can make a huge crockpot full of them. Then I take tortillas and cheese and make up burritos and freeze them. They are then ready for my husband to just grab and go for his lunches. Another thing I do for his lunches is make extra of our dinner so he can take that as well. He is the envy of his office because his wife packs him a lunch with homemade food in it. :)

So think outside the box when it comes to saving money. Extreme couponing is making it harder and harder to use coupons so I need to do all I can to keep saving money. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Paying me to shop

Yes, I do some mystery shopping but that's not actually what I am talking about. I love when I can go into a store and get a lot of great stuff and have them actually give me money back for shopping. :) Staples was good to me this week.

Kroger 7-18-2011

7 boxes of Crayola Crayons on sale for 25 cents each
5 Notebooks on sale for 15 cents each
From the buy $10 get $5 off sale
3 boxes of Kleenex on sale for 99 cents each used a .50/3 coupon that doubled so 66 cents each
3 cans of Pringles on sale for 99 cents used $1/3 coupon 66 cents each
1 thing of floss and one flosser on sale for 99 and $1.49 used a $2.50 off coupon 2 cent MM
2 tubes of toothpaste on sale for 99 cents each used 2 .75/1 coupons 24 cents each

Swim mask ½ off $1.49
Goggles ½ off $2.49
Loaf of bread on markdown for $1
Loaf of French bread on markdown for 79
12 pack of coke $3.34
Not pictured ½ pound of Chicken pasta salad $3.12

Spent $19.09 Saved over $37.02 or 67% 

Walmart 7-19-11

2 Footballs to send to the orphans in the Ukraine $5.79 each
8 containers of Yogurt 58 cents each used 2 $1/4 coupons 33 cents each
2 boxes of Lipton soup $1.28 used 2 $1/1 coupons 28 cents each
4 packages of Thai spice flavored peanuts 25 cents each
2 can black beans 66 cents each
Tummy Tickler $1.97

Spent $19.09 saved $4 with coupons no idea how much the peanuts used to be


Bananas 44 cents a pound
Romaine Lettuce Hearts $2.49
Instant Oatmeal $1.39
Graham Crackers $1.19 each
Strawberries 99 cents
Popcorn $1.49 for a box of 6
dozen eggs 89 cents each

Spent $14.45 I love that there is still a place I can go and get great prices and not worry about coupons. Now I always love a good sale and coupons but Aldi is awesome!


2 reams of paper $5.99 each rebate of $4.99 each
1 pack of Pentel pens $4 with $4 rebate
1 pack photo paper $9.99 with a $9.49 rebate 50 cents
2 packs of pencils 1 cent each
2 packs of index cards 1 cent each

I also used a $5 reward they sent me to pay

$22.27 spent I will get $23.47 back in rebates which means I made $1.20 shopping there today. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I am going to get this going again.

So sorry to have not been back for updates recently. I do the work but don't get it put on here. I have been doing pretty well with my savings and am averaging above 50% savings. :) Here are my trips for this week. 

Meijer 7-14-11

This week was a Meijer Brand sale work so I did not use any coupons short of an Mperk coupon that they offered me for $5 off a $5 purchase. Perfect timing on this one. I did mean to use one on the coupon but it would have only been 10 cents so I didn’t hunt it down.

Not pictured Tilapia frozen filets on sale for $3.99 saved $2.
Butter on sale for $2.50 saved .79 off Meijer price but only 19 cents less than Aldi price
Cabbage on sale for 39 cents a pount .82 cents
Peaches on sale for 69 cents a pound $1.97 total
Plums on sale for 69 cents a pound .77 total
1 cucumber on sale for 34 cents
2 pints blueberries on sale for $1.50 each
2 containers raspberries on sale for $1.50 each
20 packets of Koolaid on sale 10/$1 and got a coupon for a free 5lb bag of sugar to use next time

Spent $13.39 after the $5 off saved $24.48 or 65%

Gymboree 7-14-11

Used 2 sets of Gymbucks worth $50 off $100 Makes the prices on the items less than I can buy clothes at even Walmart’s regular prices and it really helps when trying to resell them. I think we are pretty much set for next summer now at least on shorts probably will need a few more tops and a swim suit or two.

2 pairs of jeans on sale BOGO 50% off $13.09 each after all deals including Gymbucks
3 pairs of Gym shorts on clearance for $3.99 $2.11 each after deals
Dino shirt $10.94 after Gymbucks
Green shorts on clearance for $4.99 $2.64 after deals
T-shirt on clearance for $4.99 $2.64 after deals
Blue shorts on clearance for $15.99 $8.48 after deals

Spent $59.71 total Original price was $195.55 saved 70%


Target 7-14-11

Used lots of store coupons I got from

2 packs of Sharpie 2 packs on sale for $1 and used $1 off Target coupons FREE
2 packs of Pens $1.02 regular price used $1/1 Target coupon 2 cents each
Peroxide $1.02 used a .75 off UP First Aid item coupon 27 cents
Witch Hazel $1.47 used a .75 off UP First Aid item coupon  72 cents
2 Scotch tape (was in a bin marked 50 cents but rang up $1) used 2 .50/1 coupons 50 cents each
2 Hot Wheels cars used $1/1 coupon from Target website they were .99 each as of today’s markdown so I made 1 cent each.
Ultra catch game on clearance 50% off $2.49
Plastic rake on clearance for 50% off .99 cents

Spent $5.94 and saved $13.04 or 69%

Coldwater Creek

Jeans Regular price $79.95 on clearance for $39.99 with an extra 40% off $23.99 and used a $20 off coupon I get for using my Coldwater creek credit card. Paid $4.23 with tax saved 95%

Thursday, June 23, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

So sorry to have not been keeping up over here

www.pixelofink.comA friend stated a coupon group on FB and I have been posting my deals on there but I have not made it over here to post them. I am sorry about that and hope to do better in the near future.

I have been getting a lot of the same types of deals as I was getting and trying to deal with the fact that the prices of food is just just going up and up. How to feed a bottomless pit toddler and stay within our budget. It's so very sad each week to see how much the prices have gone up.

I will say I love my new Kindle with Special offers. Not only does provide me with lots of links for free books the Kindle itself gives me great offers to save money. Such as a 25% off coupon for where I have bought shoes for my little boy before. Also a great deal on for books "books on tape" as I have always called them. I am picking up some great books for my little guy to listen to like the entire collection of Raggedy Ann and Andy stories which were my favorite as a little girl and also Just so Stories from Rudyard Kipling. :)

I have been stocking up on lots of fruit to freeze for when it's not so cheap any more and also making some Strawberry freezer jam while berries are cheap. :) Plus my little boy is going to turn into a blueberry. He loves them so much.

I'll be back soon to post some more of my great deals and finds.

Happy saving!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Oil changed and deals

I went in and used a coupon for NTB to get an oil change for just $9.99. I think oil costs more than that plus the filter. Unfortunately I was not impressed and without the deal will not be using them again. They told me I didn't need an appt but when I got there tried to tell me without one that it would be a 2 hour wait. With a 2 year old are you kidding me. So I told them I had just called and so they worked me in and we were only there an hour. I got all my expired coupons cleaned out while I was there. I would have gotten the new ones clipped if the guy that was also waiting would have just stopped talking. :( Oh well. On top of that someone put a nasty black shoe print on my carpeting. If I hadn't paid so little they would have heard about that and probably should have anyway but taking a two year old back out of the car make some things just not worth it.

My Meijer trip. I got 5 lbs or Strawberries for $1.25 a pound. I am going to make freezer jam with them. I got a pint of blueberries for $2.50 which is at least a better price than the $3 for 6ozs they have had recently and Scotty was so excited. I got 3 ears of corn for 25 cents each another Scotty favorite. A Sweet Onion for 52 cents. Two huge bags of I think Clemetine's for $1 each I am going to freeze them for Orange smoothie drinks thanks to a blog writer who did it recently. Can't beat that price for fruit. A free container of coffee creamer thanks to and the free coupon they sent. 2 packages of Ball Park hot dogs for 79 cents each after $1 off coupons from their FB page. A can of Maxwell house coffee for $1.50 after $1 off coupon I got from voting. found here A package of Lunchmeat with no preservatives for $1.50 after a 50 cent coupon that doubled. No longer available and it expired today so I had to use it. I also got the two shirts on clearance for $4.99 each. Spent $17.25.

1st Kroger shopping trip of the week.  I got 3 pizzas for $2.49 after using $2 off coupons from Facebook and received a $5 catalina back. Got 5/4 packs of yogurt all but one were marked down to 99 cents. I got the other one for 49 cents with the Mega sale and a $1 off coupon I had. I got the two Pure Almond free with $2 off coupons from the Silk challenge and the Mega sale that had them for $1.99. I also got the two boxes for pasta for free with a $1/2 coupon and the Mega sale. The Cheez Its were $1.39 each after a $1 off coupon. I also picked up one more box of Allavert for Scotty while they still had a couple on Markdown. So sad we are not going to be able to buy it much longer.

Rite Aid
2 Packages of Easy Ups used a $1.50 off from P & G on Sunday and a $2 from a home mailer I got. I also used 2 $5 off Up rewards from last week and a $3/$15 for answering the survey on my receipt from last week.
2 bags Sunchips on Sale for 2/$5 used a $2 off coupon from the Sunday insert.
1 Crest toothpaste on sale for $2.99 used $1 off from a home mailer.
1 Gillette Fusion Razor used a $5 off coupon from a home mailer and $4 in Up rewards from the above purchases.
Spent $11.29 and got $7 in Up rewards to use next week or before if I make it back to find another razor since I have more coupons. Saved $37.25!

Walgreens They were out of a lot of stuff which is way to normal for them.
2 Lysol wipes used two $1.50 off and they were BOGO free paid 59 cents. (thanks Jacque)
2 bottles Melatonin for my husband on sale BOGO free used 2/$2 off coupons paid $2.99 total.
Suave hair spray used free coupons saved $3.
Comet used 25 cent off printable coupon and store coupon making it just 25 cents.
3 padded mailers for 39 cents each with store coupon
Package of non padded mailers for 99 cents with store coupon.
Mandarin oranges on sale for 50 cents. Only had the one can.
Mr clean magic erasers used $1.50 off coupon from Sunday paper. Paid $1.11 for the extra strong ones. They were out of the others and these are great I have tried them before.
Spent $9.28 Saved $29.19!

Kroger (best trip of the day)
11 boxes of pasta all but one they paid me a penny to buy. I got one more because I needed to round out my mega deals and they were just 49 cents on sale. So technically I paid 39 cents total.
8 Raspberry Whip eggs (I love these so much) on clearance for 21 cents each.
4 Power Bars on sale for 99 cents each and used two BOGO free coupons so $1.98 total.
4 boxes of Z bars on sale for $1.99 and used 4 $1 off coupons printed from Mambo Sprouts.
Uncle Ben’s Rice used a free coupon which gave me an extra item to add toward my mega sale so gave me an extra 50 cents toward another item.
3 boxes of Mom’s Best cereal 99 cents each after the Mega sale and I used 3 75 cent off one coupons to make them just 24 cents each.
1 Brut Deodorant used $1 off coupon making it free after regular sale price not part of the mega sale.
1 bag of pop chips used free coupon
1 bag Boulder chips used $1 off one coupon from zip code 90210 and got paid 1 cent to get them.

I also had a $5 store coupon from the pizza I bought earlier in the week.

I spent $3.38 total and saved $62.48 or 95% .

Saving money on vacation

How to save money and have a fun vacation too!

This year we have decided instead a big vacation we are going to take some smaller ones mostly closer to home. This past Friday my husband too a day off work and we headed off to Cave City to Dinosaur World. My two year old is slightly obsessed with Dinosaurs lately and I figured it would be a great adventure for our family. I subscribe to many different cities “Groupon” and “Living Social” deal sites as well as a few other sites as well. So thinking ahead I purchased a Groupon for Dinosaur World and used some credit from sharing Groupon with others to buy 2 adult tickets for just $2. Two year olds were free so he did not need a ticket. Normal admission price is $12.75 per adult. So we saved $22.50. We packed a lunch and had a picnic at their many tables in the playground area and saved some more money. We did pick up a couple of souvenirs some of which were broken before we got to far away but Oh well we took lots of pictures. Maybe I can put the truck back together with some glue. We spent about $14 total for our fun and souvenirs.

For our next adventure of the day I had picked up tickets to Kentucky Down Under for just $10 per adult and once again toddlers were free. The normal admission price is $22 per person so we saved $24 by buying in advance. I would not recommend going there during the week because of the school groups though it was crowded with tons of kids and it was hard for our two year old to wait while all the kids got to do things like pet the Kangaroo before they gave him a turn. What is wrong with people thinking it’s OK to do that to a two year old. He was a good boy and waited pretty well though. We only bought a small Kangaroo toy for about $5 so we did pretty well saving money on that fun outing.

Then off to a hotel to spend the weekend in Bowling Green, KY so we could visit with some of the kids I used to be a nanny for. I am super picky when it comes to hotels and I read all the reviews and check all the prices and make sure that I am getting the best rate. Traveling with a child who goes to bed super early means we need a hotel room that has two separate rooms so that we don’t have to go to bed at 7pm. After some research I chose the La Quinta Inn and Suites. It was a newly built hotel and was getting great reviews. I always try to pick hotels that include a free breakfast to help save some money. This one was great because it included hot food as well as things like muffins and toast. I love being able to get protein for breakfast. We have a AAA membership and that often gets us a great price on hotel rooms and it saved us about $8 a night at this hotel. This hotel had a great heated indoor pool and we had a blast swimming and enjoying it. Thankfully Friday night and Saturday morning were pretty quiet in the pool area and we had it all to ourselves. Not the case on Saturday night but we were too tired to swim again anyway. We could not have asked for a better room. They put us all the way at the end of the hall away from the elevators and only had a room on one side and one above us. We were over the pool so I did not have to worry that all the running my two year old was doing around the huge room was upsetting anyone. The room had the most space of any hotel I have ever stayed in it almost looked empty which was great for playing. J It had a separate bedroom and the best part was you could enter the bathroom from the bedroom and from the sitting room so no going through the bedroom and waking up the sleeping child. I was a little confused on the super cheap microwave they put in the rooms. I haven’t seen a turn dial one in years and I did not think it was going to survive popping our bag of popcorn. It was nice to have a refrigerator as well so we could keep our drinks and food cold without dealing with ice the whole weekend. The room also came with free internet which is a big one for us. I love not having to pay extra to upload my pictures form our adventures and keep up with email and Facebook.

On Sunday we headed down to the Nashville Zoo which was about an hour away. We all love zoos and my two year old is getting to where he loves watching for certain animals. We have a zoo membership to the Louisville Zoo and it often gets us into other zoos for free or ½ off. Nashville is one that offers free admission so all we had to pay was the $5 parking fee. I love how shaded the Nashville Zoo is especially since the high was over 80 yesterday. My two year old loved all the water features in the Zoo the most. Lots of really pretty waterfalls to watch. His second favorite was the giraffes that he watched for a long time. He even picked a stuffed giraffe to bring home. He picked it up and told me, “Giraffe, home.” He then named it after himself and told me it was going to take a nap. Must have been time to head home. J The zoo offered a discount on food and at the gift shop for members of all zoos so we saved 10% off our giraffe and pretzel we ate while there. We took our own crackers and water to help cut down the cost on what we spent while there as well. Could have taken lunch but chose to just pick up some on our way home at Arby’s which was a bit cheaper than eating at the zoo. We saved $37 with our zoo membership. Considering it cost $79 to start with that a great savings. We got it last June and saved about $13 at the Columbus, OH zoo. Saved about that at the Cincinnati Zoo as well. Then we also have gone to the Louisville Zoo 5 times since we got it including free admission to Halloween at the Zoo. It has been paid for many times over. Such an easy way to save money.

So total saved for our trip by thinking ahead and using coupons, passes, and travel membership is just at $100!

See you can save money on just about anything!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lots of great deals and some frustrating losses

I am not doing very well keeping up with my blog. Life just seems to get out of control and leave me no time for everything else.

I had a lot of mystery shops which is nice for getting some stuff I wouldn't normally get and stuff I don't have to pay out for but it takes my extra time as well. Deli stuff can be fun and I get drinks for free which is nice. Love my Coke!

This week I got some some fluoride free toothpaste for a great price and some power toothbrushes for super cheap after register rewards. Unfortunately I managed to lose one of my rewards. :( I have got to do better about hanging onto coupons. I also got 6 packages of free tuna with my Seafood friday coupons from Starkist. I love matching coupons with sale prices for free stuff. :) Last week they would have cost me 45 cents each at the same store. I also got four protein bars for just 82 cents can't beat that. I also got some chicken for 99 cents a pound. I love that I found out how great bone in chicken breast is so I can save money.

I got free toothbrushes and toothpaste at Kroger with coupons and a sale. Also two things of Reach floss and a Reach flosser all for free with coupons and a sale.

I also discovered that I can make my own homemade refried beans in the crockpot super easy and then make up burritos and freeze them for quick and easy lunches for my husband. My 2 year old even loved the refried beans and ate his quesadilla made with them all up. :)

This week I am going to get some Strawberries on sale and try my hand at Freezer Jam. I got some pectin on clearance last week. YUM I love strawberry jam and it is not cheap.

I am determined to do more to save money by making my own food ahead. Now to find the time to do that.

Happy Saving

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A second trip to Meijer, Rite Aid, and Walgreens

I did super well today at Meijer. There were to many good deals that popped up to miss going back. I also went to Walgreens for a couple of deals and to Rite aid as well.

At Meijer I got 2 ice cream cakes. They were buy one for $8.99 get one free and then All You magazine had a $3 off coupon for Celebration cakes so I paid $5.99 for both and M perks gave me a $2/off $2 coupon so I got that off as well. So $3.99 for the two ice cream cakes. YUM I also found more coupons for the Wheat Thins sticks on smart source for $1 off so I got them for 67 cents each. I also had a coupon that printed from buying 3 Crystal Light to Go items at the beginning of the week so I got one more box of regular wheat thins for free. Wish I had known about that deal and would have split up my purchases earlier in the week and gotten two of those. Oh well at least I got one. I also was able to print two more 50 cent off one stove top coupon and get 2 more for just 25 cents each. I found a deal for Green Works dish detergent. If you bought two they gave you $2 off. The price was $2.15 each before that. I was able to print two $1 off coupons so I paid 15 cents each. I printed 4 of the $2 off Heinz coupons from two computers when they were available on FB this week and got 4 36oz bottles of ketchup for free. To bad that Meijer will not give me the overage since they were on sale for just $1.59 oh well it's free Ketchup. I also found some Pectin for freezer jam marked down to 77 cents so I picked up a couple of packages. I want to try making some Strawberry freezer jam this year. I also took back the $1 coupon I found in the Smart Source coupons for the Oxyclean I got last week and got that back as well. I do like that they will give me the money when I take my coupons I forget back in. :)

At Walgreens I used a $1.50 coupon I printed online and a $1 store coupon to get 6 rolls of Scott Green paper towels. Never used them but I hope they will be good for some stuff at least. That is just 50 cents a roll. I also got 3 free rolls of Scotch tape. It was buy one get two free and used two $1 off coupons from Scotch's website making all 3 free.

At Rite Aid I got a bottle of Nivea Body wash free using a $3 coupon from Red plum and a $1 Up reward from last week. I also got 4 packs of 5 gum using 2 printable $1 off 2 coupons so I paid $2 for all for which is a pretty good deal even though occasionally I can get them for a little less.

Monday I will be back out getting my Easter stuff for next year. Scotty's basket has a lot of great stuff I got doing just that last year. I hate paying full price. Can you tell? :)

Happy Saving

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wow Freebies in the mail and shopping

I went to the mailbox today to find some awesome full size products instead of sample size like usual. Viewpoints not only has been offering me free Amazon gift cards for writing reviews they are now sending me these awesome products to sample. Might be worth getting signed up with them to see if you can get some too. :) I got a free bottle of contact solution for my husband. That stuff is not cheap so what a deal. :) I also got a 10 pack of the new Tide Stain remover packets to try out. I think i got another one sample of those through the Tide Facebook page as well we will have to see what comes in the mail. :) I also got a sample of a new product that is supposed to help with teeth grinding. My husband uses that kind of stuff a swell so he will get to try it out. Going to my mailbox is like Christmas morning. :)

I had a couple of coupons that were expiring today but with the rain I did not make it out to run my errands as planned first thing this morning so I ended up making a quick trip to Kroger to use them after dinner. I got 3 boxes of cereal, a box of granola bars, and 5 packets of tuna. I spent $11.09 out of pocket and have a $5 gift card and a $1.50 OYNO to use at my next trip. So about less than $5 total for all that. Cereal is not cheap so when I can get it for that price I am all over it. We don't eat a ton of it but my husband likes it as a snack and my little boy will eat some on occasion.

I started this blog last week but never got back to finish it. :) Over the weekend I ran a few more errands. I ran to Walmart to check on some games that could be paired with coupons for great deals to have on hand for gifts and such. I did not have any luck finding the Operation game everyone was talking about both our stores were sold out or never had them. I did however pick up two travel Connect 4 games for just over $5 with tax. Since they started out at $5.24 each that's a great deal. :)

On Saturday I made one more quick trip to Kroger for a few more deals that popped up. I got 8 cans of Libby peas, a can of fruit cocktail, and a package of floss and spent just $1.40 out of pocket.

I also went to Rite Aid where the cranky coupon man is growing on me. He was laughing when after my second transaction and wanted to know if I wanted to spend my $1 UP reward for something else. He told me I could just roll them all day. LOL I got 2 bottles of Gillette Body wash, a bottle of contact solution, a bottle of eye drops, and a box of Kashi cereal. I spent 8.35 OOP and will get back $7.99 in a rebate as well as I have a $1 UP reward to spend this week or next depending on when I make it in.

This week I went to Meijer to stock up on some stuff. I got 6 packs of Crystal Light Drink mixes with coupons and a sale for $8 or about $1.33 each, 10 cans of Del Monte Fruit on sale for 97 cents each but if you bought 10 you got a $2 instant rebate so they were just 77 cents each. I also picked up two packages of Wheat Thins Sticks with some $1 off coupons from Facebook for just 67 cents each. I believe that is what triggered the coupon I got for a free box of wheat thins. :) I got 3 boxes of Stove Top Stuffing for 25 cents a box, 2 packets of Tuna for 17 cents each, 2 cups of greek yogurt for 49 cents each, 4 dozen eggs for 72 cents each, a box of brown minute rice for $1.30, and two packs of goldfish grams for 97 cents each. Total of $28.98. :)

Then made a quick trip to Aldi to pick up a loaf of bread and some fruit and veggies. I also picked up a bag of chips for our family get together this weekend. A pineapple, 3.1 lbs bananas, Celery, baby carrots, and 2lbs of grapes all for $10.55. I love Aldi and their produce deals as well as great basic prices for when I don't have a good sale price for something like the chips and bread. My goal is to perfect my bread baking but no luck making a good sandwich bread yet. Working on a new one at the moment. I will keep you posted as well as a blog post on making other things from scratch to save money as well. It's been a lot of fun and yummy so far.

Happy Saving

Monday, April 11, 2011

Not a lot of shopping going on

The good thing about having a stock pile is that  when there are not a lot of deals you don't have to go out and spend extra money just because of it. Since my last post I have done two mystery shops where I got stuff that was either on sale or stuff I use all the time and I didn't use any coupons on either one! I spent two extra dollars on one of them but the rest of the stuff was all within what they pay for and my extra pay from doing the shop. I got some whole wheat flour to start my bread baking with. I got yummy deli chicken salad that I used for dinner one night when I was having a really bad day and ham that I have been eating for breakfast because it sounds good and I need the protein. I also made a quick trip to Kroger on Saturday because my sister gave me a coupon for free ice cream and a dozen eggs. My husband really wanted to go to Dairy Queen but I hate going without a coupon and the private Selection ice cream is pretty much as good as a blizzard it just last longer and you can't beat free. I went ahead and got the eggs so I would not forget to use the coupon since it expired this week and with Easter coming up I am sure they will be used. If not I will try my hand at freezing them with my new freezer. :) There are so many things I didn't even know you could freeze. While I was at Kroger I found some Activia yogurt marked down and a friend gave me some $1 off coupons for it recently so it was only going to be 9 cents each. Well the new policy of ecoupons not working with paper coupons got me. I had left a coupon on there for Dannon yogurt planning to use it for some of Scotty's yogurt and even though they never work on markdowns this one did. :( So I ended up having to pay the extra 50 cents not to mention arguing to be able to use the other coupon because for some reason it makes them all beep. :( What a bad policy they currently have. Oh well I spent 68 cents so I really can't complain I just was having a bad week and left pretty upset with Kroger. No more ecoupons for me unless they are for free or store brand stuff!

This week since there are not a lot of sales I decided to use my extra money to go ahead and pick up a ham for Easter since my extended family is coming for a meal. I love that Aldi offers spiral hams with a glaze to add for just $1.49 a pound. They are yummy just like Honey Baked Ham without the price or the wait in line. LOVE IT! I also picked up a few other things that I knew I would need soon enough like regular flour, salsa, popcorn, and Ketchup. Grapes were still 79 cents a pound so we got some more of them and bananas as always.My plan is to make some homemade bread this week but I bought a loaf just in case I don't get it done. I am currently waiting for my parents to come down because I could not get my freezer completely up and running. The bolted boards to the bottom so it has to be laid down and they have to be taken off. So I can't start really filling it yet. Our Aldi is getting super busy. The cost of groceries have remained pretty steady there while they are going up everywhere else along with the price of gas. The manager even told me they are going to have to get more help because of it. I love Aldi when it comes to prices you can't beat without coupons and sales. If the show extreme couponing show messes that up for all of us I will be shopping at Aldi even more. I have a friend who got her family of 3 through a really tough time using Aldi to stretch her $20 a week to feed them all. Not sure it would go as far today but I bet you could get close without the meat which her family didn't eat anyway.

Happy Saving!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lots of frustration with deals lately

So sorry I have not posted in a while. I have been shopping but have not had a lot of time to get it all typed up. The Kroger deals have not been as good since we are in between mega sales. So I have not been buying as much there. Meijer didn't have anything a couple of weeks ago so I didn't bother going but I have hit them the last two Sunday's to pick up some great deals. Last week they had Maxwell house coffee for $1.99 a can if you bought 7 items so I got two of those with a coupon for $1/2 making them $1.49 and 5 Crystal Light drink mixes for $1 each. :) Cheap drinks for my husband. I know I got  few other deals but nothing to exciting. This week they had their buy 10 $1 deals and get one free deal. I got 2 bags of salad, a bag of cole slaw, 3 bags of organic baby carrots, 4 cans of juice with 2 BOGO free coupons making them just $2 for all four, and a can of spaghettios for my free item. At Aldi I have been mostly buying fruits and veggies that were on sale or a good price. Not a lot else we need right now.

Walgreen's has continued to be frustrating. I took back the item that didn't print my register reward and the manager did not want to let me return it and was pretty rude. He finally returned it though. Then I went back this week but after the problems with the rewards printing I didn't even want to do any of those. I used some coupons to get Color Wonder On the Go packs for 50 cents each. I found some trash bags marked down and there was a coupon that should have worked on them but since they were marked down they would not allow me to use the coupon. I was only getting them because it made a good deal with the coupon. Without the coupon it wasn't a good deal. I would return them but that might be more trouble than it is worth. I think I just won't me shopping there very much in the future even though I am always tempted.

I finally got my freezer today after multiple phone calls to the company who could not figure out if they shipped it or not. I got a call from the delivery service saying they were ready to deliver it. I was happy to hear that since nobody returned my call yesterday to tell me what they found out. They did finally call back right before the freezer was delivered. A little late then. It was a nice deal but knowing if you shipped something makes for better customer service. What is wrong with people. I am however excited to start using it and making more of my own food from scratch and having the space to store it.

Happy Saving

Saturday, March 26, 2011

So Tuesday I had to pick up my husband's prescription so I headed back to Kroger with the coupons I forgot and some new ones for more free pasta in hand. I was sad to find that the computers are now catching all the coupons for items with ecoupons so I will probably stop using them for the most part since paper coupons double and ecoupons do not. It was nice while it lasted. The cashier did push them through because it was giving her a weird message she couldn't figure out but I knew what it was doing so I just went forward knowing I was done. So I got 8 more boxes of free pasta and 4 bags of Whole Wheat Egg Noodles for free. I got two boxes of Wheat thins for 99 cents each, a free bottle of Spicy brown mustard, a box of granola bars and one of fiber one bars each for 79 cents each. I got two bags of Gorton's fish for $2.99 each. Two bags of Steamfresh veggies for $1 each. I got 5 more containers of Philly cooking creme for 49 cents each. I got two 4 packs of Yoplait yogurt for my husband for 21 cents each. A 6 pack of Dananino yogurt for 49 cents. I don't get these though they are so tiny my son wants to eat at least two. What good are they. :( I also got 3 containers of sour cream and onion dip and paid 25 cents total for them. I did 3 mega deals with all that stuff well minus the bars they were not part of the deal. I spent just over $15 out of pocket and saved over $72 or 82%. It was a good trip.  Thankfully most of those deals would have been as good if I had not had the ecoupons so the deals will keep coming.

I hit another consignment sale this morning. I am really going to have to start working the sales or at least going the first day if I am going to buy Scotty clothes from them. Might have to stick to other places since the selection is not so good. I got a t-shirt for 50 cents, A DVD and a book for $1 each.

After that I hit Goodwill and found a coat for my husband for $5, a shirt for me for $3, A sweater for Scotty for $1.50. Two Mr. Rogers DVD's for $2.50 each and a potty book for 50 cents.

Update on my use of coupons at Rite Aid this week and how much it saved me. I went in on Sunday to buy a mouth guard for my husband that was on sale for $19.99. I had a $5 off coupon for it as well as two $1 off video value coupons good on any purchase (you watch videos to get them.) I received a $15 UP reward back on that purchase and spent $14.07. My second transaction that day was 2 packs of Huggies diapers and a bottle of Blink tears. I used a $2 off and a $2.50 off Huggies coupons and the UP reward and spent another $8.03. I will get back $7.99 from a rebate on the Blink tears. So a mouth guard, Blink and two packs of diapers for $14.10 out of pocket. I found out that if I spent $40 on Kimberly Clark items you got a $10 UP reward. You did not have to purchase them in one order. I went back this morning and used a $3 off $15 purchase from a survey on the receipts from Sunday. I got 3 more packs of diapers using 3/$3 off 1 coupons and two more $1 off coupons from my husband's account. I spent $14.29 and got a $10 UP reward because it added up with the two packs from Sunday. Then I used another $3 off $15 coupon and the $10 UP reward and a $3 and a $2 off Huggies coupons to get two more packs for $1.41 with a pack of candy thrown in to absorb the little overage of the coupons since the rest was tax. 5 packs of diapers for $15.70. Coupons save so much when paired with sales and store deals. Without the sales or deals regular Rite Aid prices would have been $135.99 I spent $29.81 after all coupons, rewards, and rebates. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Deals this weekend!

Normally I run errands on Saturday but this weekend I thought I had other plans so I didn't run any and it was really nice. Sunday I did run some errands because there was a deal I really wanted from Rite Aid and I knew the item would not last long. Unfortunately it still took me stopping at two different stores before making it work.

So first up was Rite Aid. My first transaction was a mouth guard that was on sale for $19.99 regular price $32.99. I used a $5 off coupon from the companies website that I found on another blog. Then received a $15 Up reward back. I also used 2 coupons from their website worth $1 each so total OOP (out of pocket) was $14.07. I turned around an used the $15 toward two packages of diapers that were on sale for $8.99 each. I had one coupon for $2 off and one for $2.50. To make it work I added a box of Blink tears which will turn out to be free after a rebate. So total OOP for the second transaction was $8.03. I will get back $7.99 on the rebate. So for the mouth guard, 2 packs of Huggies and a box of artificial tears was $14.10. I can get diapers cheaper on Amazon but not with the extra mouth guard which my husband needed and the tears.

Then we needed some grass seed for the yard and some more dirt to get our garden ready to plant so we headed to Walmart. I wish I knew how to get better deals on this stuff but some times you just have to buy them when you need them. I also discovered that the sandals I bought for Scotty last week are way to big. I would return them but I am pretty sure by the end of summer we will need them and there will be none in site so I am holding onto them but I picked up two more pairs for him while we were at Walmart. You really can't beat $11 a pair for new shoes. They are super comfy ones too with cushioned soles. One dress pair and one play pair. I thought the pair I had from last year was going to work but the top rubs his foot in both shoes so they are out even thought they are long enough. Oh well can't win them all I guess. So a little over $64 but it was all worth it. Thank goodness for tax refunds.

Since I was already out I stopped at Staples to take advantage of a deal I found out about on several other blogs for free printer paper. I printed two coupons for $1 each from via so I get credit for using them. I spent $10.70 and I will get back $9.98. Can't beat almost free paper when you print as many coupons as I do.

Then to the bread store to pick up a couple more loaves of bread. I swear my son loves his bread. My goal is to start making our own bread so I save money on the bread and on the gas getting there.

I think we are going to get an upright freezer so I can start making more of my own stuff and freezing it. I do have a small chest freezer but I keep it almost completely filled all time with my deals and stock ups. It keeps me from buying things like milk and meat at full price. I think there are still more than 5 half gallons of milk in there that I got free. We don't use much milk just for cooking and my husband likes it on cereal. I like the smart balance milk because it stays good a lot longer than the regular stuff and I don't have to throw it all out like I used to. Now to start searching for a good deal on a freezer. I know it will pay for itself. :)

I had my deals all worked out for Walgreen's this morning and things did not go as planned. :( I was able to use a $1 off 2 Planters Almonds coupon to get two bags for $1.49 each which is great since regular price on these is around $4. I also used a $4/4 coupon on some chex mix and bugles to get them for 33 cents a bag. They had canned Salmon on sale with a coupon for just $1.49 a can and the cheapest I have seen recently was $1.99. Wish I had waited to buy it until this week but it was a good stock up price so I got some more. They had Plackers flossers for $2 with a $2 Register Reward. This one did work for me. I tried to get the one on some Always and did not get the reward and forgot about it until I got home so I need to take those back. I also was supposed to get one on some Razor refills and the machine didn't give me that one either. The lady gave me a form to mail. Not happy to have to use a stamp to get my money on those but it's a good price and my husband uses a lot of them. So I left about $5 less than what I should have which did not make me happy at all. We did find a Water Wow paint book on clearance for Scotty for just $1.59 and that was a great price.

Then onto Kroger where the deals were awesome but I realized that I had left some of my coupons at home so I could not finish my purchases. I also realized that I had not dropped off my husband's prescription so I guess after Scotty goes to bed I will run back to Walgreen's and Kroger and try to finish up. Thankfully it's only 3 miles so I am not wasting to much gas. :( So my deals at Kroger were 6 more boxes of free pasta. 4 bags of Whole Wheat Noodles for 49 cents a bag. Another container of Philly cooking creme for 49 cents. Two 6 packs of drinkable yogurt for 49 cents each. A jar of Classico pasta sauce for 99 cents. A bottle of A1 steak sauce for $1.49. Two boxes of Triscuits for 99 cents each. Two boxes of Wheat Thins sticks for 99 cents each. (My little guy loves crackers so these won't last long.) Also a bag of Bear Naked Chocolate cereal for $2.49. I used another free coupon for a 12 pack of coke. I also got 4 more bags of chex mix and bugels for free with 2 ecoupons and a regular $4/4 coupon that I had left. I also got a free cup of yogurt with a coupon. I saved 92 percent according to my receipt. I have more coupons I am going to use later. I found a new link for more free pasta coupons. I might end up donating some or sharing with friends because I am not sure there is room for more pasta in my house. LOL I also am going to get more cooking creme and a few other things when I go back.

I hope you all find some equally great deals! Happy Saving.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lots of free pasta!

I hit Kroger on Tuesday morning to take advantage of both the Mega Sale and the Kraft Catalina that was ending. I got 2 large jars of miracle whip, 2 packages of American cheese slices, a bottle of bbq sauce, 2 boxes of wheat thins, and a pack of cream cheese minis to equal $20 before coupons to get a $5 coupon to use on my next shopping trip. I also picked up 2 boxes of Ronzoni pasta with coupons they paid me $1 to bring home. Two containers of Philly cooking creme for 49 cents each. A loaf of whole grain bread marked down to $1.29. I also picked 2 packages of chocolate chips on sale for $1 each with a $1 off two coupon making them 50 cents each. Now that is cheap! Out of pocket I spent $11.09 and got the $5 off. So before the money back I saved 72 percent. :) I have coupons to get more free Ronzoni and some free Red Gold tomatoes but didn't have time to get it all this morning and the sale continues next week. I also have coupons for more cheap cooking creme.

On Wednesday we headed over to Meijer after taking my little guy to have his ears checked. Thankfully all clear. :) At Meijer I found some deals on produce some marked down grapes and jalapenos for my sister for 13 cents she was happy.  I also picked up 3 more containers of strawberries for $1 a pound. I have already cut up and frozen most of them for smoothies. Normally I buy already frozen ones from Sam's club but $1 a pound beats that price. I got a box of free bagel bites with a coupon for $1 off and they were on sale for $1. I also picked up some bacon on sale. I love BLT sandwiches so I try to keep some on hand for when I find a good deal on tomatoes. It will be a while before I have any in my garden. Speaking of my garden I am going to try growing lettuce this year and see how that goes. :) I also decided for the first time to try buying bone in Chicken breast. I read a blog post by someone else recently that talked about how easy it was and how much more meat they got. Since they were on sale for 99 cents a pound which is at least 1/2 price of what I could get the boneless ones. I got a huge package for just over $5. I brought it home and pulled the skin off which was pretty easy and didn't take a lot of time I threw them in the crockpot and covered them with water. So glad I did that. I got enough meat for probably 8 different dishes ( I don't always use a lot of meat in all my dishes). I liked it better than a whole chicken because I am not a fan of dark meat even though we use if that is what we have. I will be doing that again for sure and probably not buying boneless much in the future. I also am going to try roasting them in the oven next time. I do like that cooking them in the crock pot produced broth I am going to use for soup. I also picked up a pack of Dole fruit cups for 99 cents which made them totally worth it. Wish I had remembered to print a few more coupons for that. For some reason I only had one.

Then we went to Babies R Us to use a $3 coupon I forgot expired that day. We were looking for Pip Squeak colored pencils but that one did not have any. So we decided to get a bubble mower and apply it to that. Unfortunately I should have done more research and realized that the bubble part does not work all that well. Oh well my little guy loves pushing it around the yard anyway.

On Thursday I finally made it to Aldi for some bananas, celery, cabbage, canned salmon, drink mix for my husband, and popcorn because some cute little boy keeps eating it all up. Spent less than $15.

Finally I made my 3rd trip to Kroger this week because I realized when I went to start dinner I did not actually have enough fish. I knew it was on sale and I really wanted to use my coupons for free pasta anyway so I ran out after my husband got home. I got a bag of Gorton's fish on sale for $3.49 with a 50 cent coupon that doubled so it was just $2.49 what a great deal. I also picked up 10 boxes of Ronzoni pasta with coupons that actually 10 cents to buy. :) I also got 8 cans of tomatoes that paid me 8 cents to buy. To round out the my deal because I needed to buy 20 items I picked up another container of of Philly cooking creme. I spent $2.80 out of pocket. I have some more great coupons I am going to use next week when the sale continues.

I am done for the week because we have plans on Saturday with friends so I got my errands in early this week.

Happy Saving!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to save on personal care items

Let’s talk about how to save money on personal care products. I would say one of my biggest ways to save is to be willing to use a different brand. There seem to be a lot of great deals on new products coming out. So my husband and I used a variety of different razors because there is always that latest and greatest new one out there they want you to try.

I also am willing to try different kinds of deodorant and shampoo. Especially if they are free and a lot of times they are at drug stores when they first come out. If not I am OK with the Suave shampoo that is very reasonably priced and works great. I color my hair and watch for sales and coupons for my favorite on it. Doing it myself saves a lot and it’s really not hard once you get used to it. Especially if you put Vaseline on the skin around the hair so it doesn’t stain it.

I now use Suave Oatmeal lotion almost exclusively. It works great for me. I have tried the Aveeno and have not noticed a difference when using it compared to the Suave. I still use Aveeno on my son because he has such sensitive skin but I am going to try the Suave on him and just see what happens because Aveeno baby costs even more. I also use the Aveeno bath stuff for Scotty. I was really excited to find some marked down at Kroger so that is a great way to save to. Watch clearance and sales on the items you “must” have.

We also get a ton of free toothbrushes and toothpaste I am sort of picky about toothpaste but my husband is not so he uses whatever I don’t like. I also use just a tiny bit instead of filling the whole toothbrush it works just as well and half of it doesn’t end up in the sink to clean up later.

So the other way to save is watch how much you are using of an item. How little can you use and still get the same results. Try it some time it’s kind of fun to do and realize you are saving money.

I also try to get every last drop out of bottles and such. For things like shampoo and conditioner I add a little bit of water and use it that way. For things like lotion I cut open the bottles and put them in a Ziploc bag so they don’t dry out. You would be amazed how many more uses you can get out of them. Nothing to hard or time consuming.

I have also found that Sam’s Club and I imagine other clubs have great deals on Toiletries and I save a bunch on things like soap and vitamins. I bought a huge bottle of chewable vitamin C for a fraction of what I paid for some for Scott at Whole foods. I also got a huge bottle of Flintstones vitamins for him there. I take a few out at a time and break them up so I don’t open the bottle everyday helping to keep them fresh for longer.

I save money by not using things like shaving cream. I found out years ago that Dove soap works great and does not leave my legs feeling dry. I can use a bar of it for a month and at less than a dollar a bar it’s a real bargain. I also use a different razor on my underarms. For some reason using it there ruins a razor faster than anything. So I use the really cheap ones and just pitch them when they stop working well. The one for my legs lasts at least 6 months that way and the cheap ones don’t work as well on my legs. The better razors I have gotten either free or cheap when they first come out. This is harder to do for my husband who goes through blades like crazy. We found a knock of brand at Walgreen's but the razor itself broke about 7 blades in so that was a bummer. We had some other ones I got free so I we haven't tried another one yet. 

Be flexible and try new things. Find some blogs you like and watch the sales at Walgreen's, Rite Aid, or CVS and learn how to make the most of their free items. The blogs will teach you how to roll the coupons into the next weeks deals. I admit I have a hard time doing some of that with a toddler. Dragging him in and out of the stores is tough some days. Walgreen's Register Rewards are actually manufacturer coupons so you can use them at the grocery store too which is nice. Rite Aid's can only be used at Rite Aid and the same goes for CVS. At Rite Aid you can do several orders and immediately use your Up rewards toward another purchase while still in the store if you want. I don't usually shop at CVS but have been told you have to wait 24 hours to use theirs not sure about that though. 

Watching clearance racks can find you some good deals too. Such as recently I found that Kroger is discontinuing the allergy meds we use for my son. So I have bought enough to get us through part of the summer. I think they may mark the rest down more so I am holding out for that on the rest in hopes of getting an even better deal. I shop there often since it is just down the street so I watch for them to mark things down. I know where they keep the clearance and check it regularly. Some stores will even let you use coupons on Marked down items. My Kroger will let me do that. 

Happy Saving!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lots of shopping. Some headaches in the deals department though

I love to save money and it frustrates me to no end when things don't go as planned. I had so many stops to make this morning. I am so thankful for a husband who takes our son to do fun things so I can get in and get out quick. They went to Lowes to build a mini basketball goal and then to visit grandparents!

I started my morning at Target. I used two Up and Up oral health care coupons to get 2 free dental floss. I used a 50 cent off cotton coupon to get a bag of 100 cotton balls for 72 cents since mine were used by a cute toddler to play with. I also used another 50 cent off cotton coupon to get 500 cotton swabs for $1.99. While I was there I decided to check out the sandals for Scotty. I got the cutest pair for him last year there. I found him some and they only had one pair in his size so I was scared to wait so I went ahead and bought them. Wonder why all the girls sandals were on sale this week but none of the boys. :( I hope they are on sale next week so I can go back for the difference. They are casual ones for playing.

Then on to Meijer. I thought I had coupons for a couple of boxes of cheap hair color but I found out two expired yesterday and Meijer won't take them a day late like Kroger often will. So I only got one box. I wanted to get some of the cheap benefiber tubes but found they were all sold out so I could not use those coupons. :( So frustrating when things are not restocked. I got 4 bags of Goldfish for 85 cents a bag. That's a good deal. I was going to get some more juice boxes with coupons today but when I got to the register I realized they were leaking so I just scraped that idea. I hope to make it back this week before the Mealbox coupon expires on Friday. I got 4 poundz of strawberries for $1 a pound. :) We will eat some and freeze the rest. They are on sale again next week so I will probably get some more.

Then I went to Dollar tree in search of coloring books. My son just loves to scribble right now so they fill up fast so I didn't want to pay to much. I did find one with Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse. I also found a big tablet coloring book with dinosaurs and stickers so that will make him very happy. The only bad thing about going to the dollar store is you find things you didn't really need but are cheap and fun. So I got a few things for Scotty's Easter basket. I picked up a cars wash cloth in the form of a magic towel, a blow up dinosaur, and a bug catching kit. I think he will love them all.

After that I went to Walmart in search of Benefiber but still no luck and tried for some shoes for Scotty but no luck they were already sold out of his size sandals. It's the beginning of March and they are all gone. Now that is crazy. :( So I left without buying anything.

From there I went to RiteAid where my frustration rose the longer I was there. Now RiteAid has some amazing deals don't get me wrong but they tend to be sold out of a lot of stuff that they have good deals on. Today they should have been restocked but were still completely out of the Colgate toothpaste I had planned to buy. I had $6 in Up rewards that were going to expire so I had to figure out how to use them. I was still looking for Benefiber but they don't sell the small cheap boxes there. They did however have some of the containers on clearance for 1/2 off making them $6 a piece. I had a $7 off 2 coupon so that would make them $5 for both. Still needed to spend $1 so I kept looking I found the little mini peanut butter cups on sale with a $1 Up reward making them $2 a piece. I had a $2 off 2 coupon so that would make them $1 a piece and solved the $1 I needed to spend. I also had been sent a free coupon for a 4 pack of Cottonelle toilet paper. What I have found is nobody carries 4 packs of it. So finally I found one at Riteaid. I spent 2 cents plus tax on it because they were charging 2 cents more than the top price the coupon would pay for it. Drug stores are high when you are not doing sales/deals. So to the register I went only to have the older gentlemen scrutinize every single coupon I had. I was using everyone legitimately but it was annoying and then he took it upon himself to tell me without scanning the coupon that I could not use my $7 off coupon. He informed me their policy was no printables over $5. So we took them back off and I then had a $2 coupon I needed to use. Finally they realize the manager is still there and the question everyone asks this guy is does it scan. Well he has no clue because he took it upon himself to say I couldn't use it he didn't bother to try. Finally they realize it says a coupon of more than $5 per item so I am good because it is for 2 items. The only good thing about that was that I got to roll my $1 from the candy back into the purchase so I don't have any that need to be spent now. I spent just over $3 total at the store.

Then to Home Depot because I scored a coupon for free 9V Lithium batteries and I  realized this is what I needed all along. They are supposed to last for 10 years in my smoke detectors. I hate batteries going off in the middle of the night and the 9V have gotten so expensive. The last time I bought them they were $2 a piece at Sam's club and I was like you have to be kidding me. So I figure at $5 a battery for about 9 more years of use I am saving a ton of money!! $2 a detector x 5 a year equals $100 or $5 x 5 for 10 years. Not to mention I got 2 free but bought 6. So less than $20 out of pocket. I WIN all the way around!

Next stop was Walgreen's for free Pedia Care meds. Can't beat that. Normal price is $6.99 and I got two free. :) I did get Scotty a ball for his Easter basket while I was there to absorb the extra cents from the coupons. I thought they were bogo free but it turned out to be Buy 2 get 1 free so I ended up with just one. Oh well.

After that I really wanted the sandals for Scotty and knew waiting would likely not help me. So I ran to the other Walmart closer to my house. I was able to get some in his size for $11. These are the same great cushioned ones we got him last year and they are great. They are nice for church and dressy stuff and if they get beat up they were cheap. :) 

This afternoon for free entertainment we took Scotty to see Firetrucks. Then my husband and I both really needed new shoes. My poor tennis shoes were trashed and really don't fit since having a baby. I have had them about 4 years I think. My husband needed new casual shoes because he doesn't wear tennis shoes. So I had a coupon for Rack Room Shoes so we headed to the mall. Shoes cost so much but cheap tennis shoes make me crazy so I  decided we were going to bite the bullet and go get good ones. I had a 20% off if you spent $60 and they had their BOGO 1/2 off deal going on. So we got $140 worth of shoes for just $85. I won't complain. We are both happy and won't have to buy more shoes for a while. Now if I could only say the same for Scotty. :(

I have some more money saving tips coming soon so stay tuned!

Happy Saving

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lots of freebies=very little out of pocket to start my week

I have not been doing very well holding onto coupons so I am trying to make sure I use them before I can misplace them or they expire on me. (This is how not to save money.) Saturday I ran some errands without my munchkin which was really nice since his latest is still throwing huge fits when we go shopping. Today he threw a fit just pulling into the Aldi parking lot. :( So I hit Target to pick up a copy of Bambi while my $10 off coupon was still good. Ended up paying $12.99 for a Bluray/DVD combo pack. I picked up some Children's Tylenol with a $1 off coupon making it just $1.84 for the bottle. I got 4 packs of floss for free with $1 off one coupons that actually gave me 3 cents overage per coupon. Then onto Meijer where I got 8 boxes of cereal for $1.25 a box. I have done better but my husband loves his cereal so it was a good deal for what it normally sells for. I picked up 4 huge bags of peppers both green and yellow for my sister for just under $2 because they were starting to get soft. She stir-fry's them anyway so it doesn't matter to here and with the price of peppers right now she was thrilled. :) I got 10 packs of koolaid free with 50 cent off 5 coupons that doubled I got from Facebook. I got 6 boxes of frozen Green Giant Veggies for $2 total. I also picked up 2 bags of pretzel sticks because my little guy likes them and they were almost 1/2 off. I also picked up some Yukon gold potatoes 3lbs for $1 which is a great price for them and they are my favorite. I also got frozen cans of OJ and Apple Raspberry juice for 75 cents a can. Also two Totinos pizzas for 65 cents each. I did have some major problems with my coupons that day. The cashier took them off and then when she finished the orders 1/2 of them disappeared so I had to take them back up to customer service to get my money. :(

I also hit a consignment sale on Saturday. Unfortunately most of the good stuff was gone already. I did however pick up two books for $1 and a set of play dough toys that I had been thinking of buying anyway for $4.50 about a 1/3 of the regular price on them. No clothes though. Boys clothes are so hard to come by. So glad I think ahead and work hard to get the stuff long before I need it. :) Makes it less stressful when I don't find anything like that.

On Sunday I ran into Walgreens for a few deals. I used the free coupon I got for coffee creamer with a BOGO free deal to get two for free. Can't beat doubling free! I also picked up three boxes of 3 packets of Cream of Wheat for free with some $1 off coupons I had. They did not say they had to be a certain size so I could use them on the smaller packs. They were about to expire and I couldn't find a good deal so that was a nice deal. I also used my BOGO free gum coupon with a sale to get two packs of gum. I spent 47 cents total on this shopping trip. :) On my way out I used one of my codes for Redbox and got a free movie.

I went to Aldi and bought almost solely fruit because they had amazing deals. $1.49 for a pineapple, $1.49 for a 5lb bag of navel oranges. $1.49 for a 5lb bag of apples. 39 cents a pound for bananas as always. I got a pint of blueberries for 2.09 (the same thing was $3.99 at Meijer on Saturday). A 2lb container of grapes for $2.29 which isn't great for the last couple of weeks prices but the best one I could find this week and my little guy loves his fruit. I got a can of cooking spray for 99 cents and a bag of tortilla chips also for 99 cents. I spent $14.75.

Then onto Kroger with lots of coupons for free items in hand. Some I got from facebook deals, some of them Kroger sent me in the mail on items I buy regularly there. I got a carton of egg beaters for free (this one came from Walmart's website). I got a container of Yoplait yogurt with a coupon they sent me for free. I got a free bag of Planter's nuts with a coupon from their FB page on Super bowl Sunday. I got a free box of Cheerios from a coupon I got in my Kroger mailer. I got a free bottle of Propel water with a coupon that printed out at the register. I also got a free box of granola bars from my Kroger mailer. (I still have one for free drinkable yogurt for Scotty but we did not need it this week so I waited it's good for another month.) I got a container of baby wipes for 83 cents. A container of cooking creme for $1. I was hoping my 75 cent ecoupon but it did not work. I need to check on that one. I got two boxes of pizza rolls for 40 cents each after coupons. Two bags of chex mix for 50 cents each with coupons. I also got another box of Granola bars for 79 cents after coupons. I saved 88 percent. I spent $4.34 and saved $30.29.

We also received our free boats from saving Pampers points. That got me an hour of a happy boy playing in the tub. They are great because no water gets inside to ruin them.

I also discovered that Amazon was offering a buy 3 get the 4th book free on some of their books. My little boy loves Wonder Pets and their books are hard to find. I have been using Opinion Outpost to earn Amazon Gift cards. Opinion Outpost and I also got a $10 Amazon card by writing 10 reviews for Viewpoints. They offer this deal every so often and totally worth the hour or so I use to write the reviews on stuff we use like baby gear and toys. So I got him 4 books for free. I am also going to order him a big toy that I wanted at Christmas time but didn't have the money for. Now I have gift cards to use. :) I also have a $10 off a baby item I got in Parents magazine to use toward it and it will extend my Amazon mom account. :) Can't beat that.

Happy Saving!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Saving money on cleaning products

I am going to start trying to give some ideas for other ways to save money besides finding deals. The less you have to buy the more you can save.

Let’s start with cleaning supplies I don’t buy a lot of them. To clean my bathrooms I use a powder cleaner like Ajax with bleach. I use it in the toilet bowl and on the shower/tub floor and walls. Also on the sinks. I use old toothbrushes that I run through the dishwasher to clean around the facets and such. For the mirrors vinegar and water are great. I have also started using reusable clothes instead of paper towels whenever possible for things like that and for scrubbing in the bathrooms I keep old wash clothes. I do use the disposable Lysol type wipes on the outside of the toilets. I use them sparingly and get them on good sales. Toilets with boys around are just too nasty so I decided it’s worth it. I use a steam mop on my kitchen and hard wood floors so I don’t use any cleaners on them just water. Baking soda and vinegar are good for cleaning in the kitchen if you need something besides the Ajax type powder. I have a dust mop with a washable cover which is great on the hardwood floors as well. I have the worst carpet and the cheap vacuum cleaner I had just wouldn’t touch them. I tried using a brush style non-electric vacuum but that was time consuming and it still didn’t work all that well. I finally was able to find a Dyson vacuum for $175 from a couple who was moving overseas and could not take it with them. It works great and I am so happy to have it. Totally worth the money to me.  

So the way you do Laundry can be a way to save money as well. Some things can be washed in cold water and still get just as clean. It also is much easier on the fabric to wash in cold. I only wash some things like sheets in Warm/Hot water. I also only use about half the laundry detergent that is normally called for and everything still comes out clean. I do have a front loading washer so I am sure that helps as well. I know that some people make their own detergent but I like All Free and Clear because the smell of a lot of detergents give me a migraine and with sensitive skin it has worked for Scott as well. I chose it over any of the baby detergents and it cost a lot less so that was a huge plus. There are lots of sales and coupons.

I will try and continue with more money saving tips besides just shopping for deals in the coming weeks. If you have any suggestions or questions let me know and I will address them as well. :)

Happy Saving!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Finally got my $5

In my last post I mentioned that I was supposed to have $5 on my Kroger card but it did not come off. Well I emailed customer service and someone finally put it on the card so it would work for me. :) I love deals but some times they make me work a little to hard for them. It is getting harder and harder for me to go to the store with my two year old. Everything is a huge tantrum with him lately and it's very frustrating. I had a mystery shop I had to do this week and he screamed for the first 10 minutes I was in the store. It was on the other side of town so there was no way  I could go back later. I tried last week to save my errands for the weekend and then my little boy turned up sick so I ended up running the errands while he sat in the car with my husband on the way to and from his doctor's appt. Poor little guy had a double ear infection from all the drainage of the allergies that kicked up as soon as the weather had a few warm days a couple of weeks ago so I am back to hunting down cheap allergy meds. Totally bummed that the one we really like is being discontinued in all the local stores so we are going to have to use something else now. Need to see if I can stock up this weekend before they are all gone.

So last week I hit Target for some ibuprofen and used a $1 off their store brand to get some cheap meds for my little guy. Then off to Meijer where I picked up some juice boxes that are healthy with carrots and such as well on sale with store coupons. The did not carry the type I had manf coupons for but in this coming Sunday's paper there are some good ones so maybe they will be on sale again soon. I know I got a bunch of other stuff but for the life of me I have no idea what it was. I do know I picked up some stuffed Chicken breasts because they were on sale and it was an easy way to make a quick dinner since I had a sick child. I also got a bag of salad that was also on sale and made a fast easy dinner. Some times I still go back to the easy stuff even if it does cost a little bit more. Not a lot but more than making it myself.

I also went to Rite Aid where I used my two free diaper coupons I got from Huggies from their points reward program. I had a coupon for $4 off $20 purchase so by using the free coupons I could add on a package of pullups (which we will need eventually) and use a $2 off coupon I had for those as well. I spent a little over $4 with tax and the rest of the pullups and left with $6 in Up rewards to use this week or next. So free money from using free coupons that I already had. The cashier told me that I was not the only one working the system these days. With the price of gas I am going to have to start working even harder. :(

Our big expense for he weekend was finally buying an Itouch. I have really wanted an iphone for a long time but just don't have the extra $15 a month in my budget without taking it from something else and I am not ready to do that. So I figured the next best thing was to buy the Itouch so I can get the apps and use the wifi on it but just pay once. I did my research and found that it was the same price on Amazon as it was at Sam's club so we went there to pick it up so we could have it for my sick little guy to play with. So far he is in love. I have only paid for 2 apps and everything thing else I put on it has been free. I am sure in the future we will pay for some more stuff but for now I am taking it slow. I figured out a way to get his beloved Wonder Pets videos onto it without repurchasing them which made me really happy. So Scotty has to share with mommy but we are both happy with the purchase. I need to figure out if I want the extended warranty on it. I have 30 days to do it. I need to do the research on that and find out if it is money well spent or not. Usually it's not but in this case it just might be. Maybe I should see what Clark Howard has to say about it. :) I like his show.

This week so far I have only hit Kroger. I used another one of my free coupons to get a 12 pack of coke. I love reward programs that give me awesome stuff that I am buying anyway for free. I picked up some barbeque chicken from the deli that has been marked down. Got to love a whole chicken for $2.99. I got 12 double rolls of Charmin for $1.99 (who says generic is always cheaper). I got some Cascade action tabs with coupons for a great price. Cheaper than what I can get the Electrosal at Sam's club for per use. I keep seeing great deals on it for free and such but I have not been lucky enough to get my hand's on those good coupons. Sometimes we don't get the good coupons locally which is really a bummer and the other day I tried to print some Target ones and there were not any left. :( I was a little to late for that deal. I also picked up some Secret antiperspirant for 50 cents and some Old spice that they paid me a penny to buy. Two cans of Pringles for cheap. Store brand cheddar cheese for 1.27 for two cups. Totinos pizza rolls for 40 cents a box and 2 pizzas for less than 45 cents each. It was a good trip for sure.

I promised a while ago that I would post some other money saving tips on here and I plan to do that in the next couple of days so stay tuned. :)