Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sort of a frustrating savings week but some great buys/deals

I started off my week with a mystery shop but had a bunch of stuff I wanted from the store so I did spend more than I made but only about $20 so not to bad. My frustration was that I entered a bake off contest just to get the $5 off coupon at the store and it was on my card but did not come off. Then when I was finally able to check because when I came home the site was down the coupon is no longer there. I picked up a pack of twistable crayons for my little boy because I had the coupon but ended up paying for them out of pocket and that was very frustrating. I have emailed Pillsbury about the disappearing coupon and we will see what they have to say. so for my $21 I got a bag of brown rice, 24 pack of Crayola twistable crayons, 6 bottles of BBQ sauce, 3 32oz containers of yogurt, 6/6 packs of drinkable yogurts, 3/4 packs of yogurt for my husband, a loaf of whole grain bread, 2 tubes of colgate toothpaste, 2 greek yogurt containers, a Thomas the train placemat, a 12 pack of coke, 2 packs of Whole Wheat tortillas, 2/2lb blocks of velveeta cheese and 2 cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli. I used a lot of coupons making some of the stuff free including the 12 pack of coke, the toothpaste, and the greek yogurt.

I made another run to Kroger yesterday to get a few more things and pick up some prescriptions. My little boy has some pretty yucky outdoor allergies that started as soon as we had a warm day last week and they didn't end until the middle of December last year so we keep him on allergy meds full time during the rest of the year. I am very disappointed to find that almost everyone is discontinuing the Alavert that we love so much. I really want to stock up but don't really have the money in my budget so I have to decide how I am going to do it while I still can. I can give him Claritin but it costs a lot more for the chewable and  he really doesn't care for the liquid. I did however find two bottles of the liquid Claritin on markdown for $2.39 so I couldn't pass that up. I had a $2 coupon for one bottle and when I scanned the one box of Alavert I picked up with a coupon I had for it it produced an automatic $2 coupon for more Claritin so I was able to get each bottle for 39 cents each. Poor baby will just have to suffer since it's what mama can afford. I got 2 dozen eggs on sale with a 55 cent off 2 coupon. 2/4 packs of kid yogurt for Scotty (I had coupons that I someone did not scan for these), 4 packs of tuna for free with doubled coupons, and spent less than $5 because I had a $3 coupon from my mega deals from the other day. Would have been less than $3 if I had remembered my other coupons. I probably should try and take those back.

I was so happy to find the cutest little croc boots for Scotty for next fall for less than 1/2 price. They even still have them for that great price with free shipping if you want some. They had several colors but we got the black ones thinking they would go with most everything. :) We also received our first thred up box yesterday. The clothes were OK but we were going for the Thomas the train bathtub toy and we were not disappointed. Since I only paid $1 for the box with a deal I figure even though the clothes were so so. I did get some jean shorts for summer and she threw in an extra Find it toy which is adorable. It was a good experience. I have about $8 credit on there toward another box for Scotty if we can find a good one. I am going to list a couple more boxes. I still have one nobody has picked but all the rest have been taken by other families to cloth their boys. :) This is the freebie she threw in. :) Happy saving everyone. If anyone wants to try out Thredup you can join through my link so I get credit for it. You will also get $5 toward your box. So you will only have to pay shipping on the box.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Getting ready for sping and doing my best to save while doing it.

I had one more mystery shop this week and didn't spend more than I made so that was good. :) I managed to pick up some Valentine's for my little boy for the future, some cool straws leftover over from Valentine's day and a couple of packages of Valentine bags with zippers on them to use to give out Valentine play dough to his friends at some point. I loved the idea another blogger posted about making homemade play dough and adding a heart shaped cookie cutter to it. I did not manage to get a deal on cookie cutters though so I am a bit bummed on that. I will have to keep my eyes open next year and see if I can find any cheap to use. If not maybe we will wait another year to use this idea.

Today started the Once Upon a Child President's Day sale where you can get anything in the store for an additional 25% off. I knew that we were lacking in dress shirts for summer in bigger sizes so I stopped in to check it out. Due to the fact boys clothes in any size over 2 are hard to come by I made sure and got there first thing for the best selection. I got him 5 shirts and 2 pairs of shorts for under $21. Not the best deal in the world but it beats retail prices and the extra 25% off helped a lot. I have learned with the consignment and other shopping that name brand does not always equal the best value. I do like that the name brands have a higher resale value but sometimes what I would pay out makes it not worth the extra which isn't much anyway. I go for what looks best at the best prices.

I was all out of packing tape and I hate paying a lot of money for stuff like that but I needed it for mailing stuff. So off to Dollar Tree I went. Love that I can get it there for $1. I got two so I won't run out to quickly.

I also took a trip to Meijer this morning. I had a few things on my list that had better prices there and they gave me $2 free on my Mperks card so I wanted to use that. I got 3 containers of the new Philadelphia cheese cooking cream. A friend used it and said it was great. They had it on sale for $2.50 and were offering a 50 cent off meijer mealbox coupon. I was able to print 3 $1.50 coupons from two different sources. So I paid 50 cents a container. It is great to get to try new products for great prices. I don't always keep buying them but it's fun to try new stuff and get ideas for different meals I can make from scratch. Their website gives all sorts of recipes for them. I also got 8 boxes of Ronzoni pasta. I stock up when I can get a good price and have coupons. I paid just $4 for all 8 boxes and it's regular price is about $1.69 a box here I think. 

I am thinking about how the prices of everything are rising so fast and how many people are going to be having a harder and harder time feeding their families. I am starting to work on ideas for making more and more things from scratch or just plain not buying them if they are to high. Next year I am going to make my own chili beans. I learned they are really just pinto beans in a chili powder sauce. Why was I paying so much for these? I have also been working on a recipe for honey whole wheat bread that I like. No lucky yet but I think I am going to have to bake it in the oven not the bread maker to even get close to the kind I buy. Thinking harder about this now that the bakery outlet jumped their prices 20 cents a loaf. I have got to find a cheap source of honey. :)

Happy Saving everyone.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pretty much normal deals lately

I unfortunately lost my credit card while trying to get a deal last week so I didn't get out as much for deals as I normally would because I didn't want to put much on other cards. I did get a replacement finally at the end of the week. Thankfully nobody tried to use it. I have been getting great free codes for Redbox movies so in the last week I have watched two free movies. :) If I make it to Meijer tomorrow I will get another one for tomorrow night. Watching the blogs saves me so much money and allows me things I wouldn't do otherwise. I got an 11 x 14 collage picture of my son's birthday party pictures for $1.99 shipped with a deal on Snapfish. I got a two year subscription to Parenting the Early years for just $2. I ordered my husband a animated card for Valentine's day at a $3 discount. It was still a little over $3 but cards are high and this one had pictures of our son on it that moved. :)

I also found a great deal on an HD video camera from Best Buy for just $40. It was originally $129. I still need to get a memory card for it soon because it does not hold much otherwise but I am more than thrilled with my deal. I had been wanting one for a while. I was using my regular camera but when I got my new fancy one it is all about pictures and not video.

My grocery shopping has been pretty normal lately not a lot of excitement. I always watch clearance racks and shelves. I was able to pick up a huge bag of peppers for my sister for just over $2 because they were getting soft. She cooks them before eating anyway so it doesn't matter to her and it saved her a lot of money. She cooked some and froze the rest for later use. Finding things you use every day for less always helps the budget and my sister never has enough money so it's extra important for her.

Yesterday for Valentine's day we chose not to spend a lot of money. We can show each other we love each other without buying over priced flowers and other stuff. I had the card made for Brad and he made me one on the computer and printed it out. They are special because they have our pictures and say exactly what you want them to. I did buy my little guy a super fun balloon because they are his favorite. For dinner we were able to snag a BOGO free meal from Qdoba just for kissing the one we love. Love getting deals on dining out. Every once in a while it is nice not to have to cook dinner and not have it cost a fortune. I sign up for email alerts from all our favorite restaurants so that I get special coupons and know about all the deals.

I have been earning lots of Amazon gift cards and using them to buy things like diapers which extend my Amazon mom account for longer. I also received a $10 off coupon on the baby section of Amazon in my Parents magazine. I think I have almost enough to for a stand and play car ramp toy for my son. It looks like a lot of fun.

Happy Saving!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Re-kid sale, Riteaid, Walmart, and another trip to Kroger...

Today was Re-kid's bag sale. I headed over there just after they opened and grabbed a bag. Anything marked half off you could fill your bag with for just $15. I don't like that they mix the boys clothes with the girls stuff but I started pulling stuff down. I was looking for more shirts and sweaters for Scott for next year. Pants don't matter as much if they get changed up on a boy and I got enough at Once Upon a Child when they were 50% off. I heard that there really weren't any marked down from the frustrated moms who were looking through them. I ended up getting 16 shirts, sweaters, and fleece jackets into my bad and I headed up to pay. I was the first one to check out and the girl got the computer all messed up. The manager/owner came to help but got frustrated and told her to just give it to me for the $9.92 it was showing instead of redoing it for the $15.90 it was supposed to come to. I couldn't have been happier. Great stuff in great brands too. :)

I also went to Riteaid to search out some deals I had read about there as well. I got a Electrosal dispenser, a tube of toothpaste, a large bottle of contact solution, and 2 bags of cough drops. I paid $9 out of pocket . I will get back $7.99 in rebates and I left with $3 in Up rewards to use next week. So technically they paid me $2 to shop today.

On Friday I headed to Kroger because I was got an e-coupon that was supposed to be good for a deli tray. Unfortunately after two tries I have still been unable to make the thing work. I am going to try one more time tomorrow and if it still won't work I am going to call customer service and tell them how unhappy I am that they gave me this great freebie that won't work. :( I did pick up some marked down bread and got some more yogurt. We seemed to be killing that around here right now.

I also went to Walmart because a friend that works there told me there were a lot of mark downs. I swear that my Walmart likes to just keep it all because their prices are terrible. I am not sure why but I rarely find a good clearance deal there and when I do there is like one left. :( I did get some free yogurt, some cheap travel packs of baby wipes, and some cheese sticks for Scotty.

Oh and I also purchased a $10 coupon to use on Deal Pulp for $1. That is the site I got the ThredUp deal through the other day. I figure it will be good for something soon. I also used my Groupon for Nutty guys to get some Almond butter for my sister, more dried blueberries for Scotty (I got a whole pound) and some Raspberry granola cereal for me. YUM I just paid shipping which was about $9 I think. A good deal since Almond Butter and blueberries are super expensive. Oh and a Valentine card that is animated meaning it changes from one picture of Scotty to another when you move it. I paid about $3 for it and I bet it's kept unlike a store bought generic card. I really love making cards with pictures on them. I think they are super special so I always watch for deals to make them cheap. :)

I can't remember if I posted about my cool new HD video camera I got from Best Buy this week or not. This one sells for $129 regular price but was on sale for just $39.99. So far I really like it a lot. I need to get a memory card for it so I can record more movies without filling it up. I haven't downloaded the videos to my computer yet but I am impressed with how crisp they are on the video screen. I hope I like them as much on my computer. I love being able to capture my little guy and all he does. :)

A pretty good week of savings for sure.

I also got the info about our health insurance. Not so good but we are doing our best. I am changing my plan to one that is not as good but will keep my price within $2 of what it has been. There isn't much I can do about my husband's so his will go up almost $40 a month but at least it is just his so we will survive. I don't know what will happen if he doesn't get a raise next year either or a job with real health insurance. I don't know how we can keep doing this. I will have to start working again if it keeps up this way and I really don't want to do that. How are we supposed to survive with no more money coming in and everything going up and up and up. OK that's my rant for the week I figure most of you are in the same boat and for that I am sorry. Life is not so much fun some times. All the more reason to save as much as possible on everything else. :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Newest deals

I had a couple of shopping trips yesterday and got some great deals online. I hit Kroger and stocked up on Tomato sauce. Seems I keep running out and 50 cents a can is about as good as it gets. :) I found some more drinkable yogurts on clearance and used a coupon to get them cheap. Scotty loves mommy when she gets him more yogurt. I also checked and found that the regular ones I buy him are marked down through the end of the month and my coupons are good until then too so we are good to go for cheap ones the rest of the month. Yay! I got a few other things too but nothing to exciting. I also hit Aldi for some fresh fruits and veggies I have been doing so well there on that stuff. It's most of what I buy there any more. I got a pineapple for $1.69, bananas for 39 cents a pound, a pint of blueberries for $1.99,  and a pound of baby carrots for 69 cents.

I also finally got around to ordering a gift for my mom which I think I will save for Mother's day. Can't beat spending $5 for something she will love. My mom really likes to play cards and Art  Cow had a deal to get playing cards with a picture on them for $4.99 shipped. They have a great picture of her grandson on them so I know they will be a great gift.

I also used my $5 deal pulp credit to get a box of clothes from ThreadUp for only $1. Not sure if I will use it after trying it out or not but might be worth it we will see what my first experience is. I think I will probably do better buying stuff at yard sales but for $1 we will see how it goes.

Good thing I am all about saving money because I realized yesterday that our health insurance is going up this year and I thought we were in the clear. We all have individual plans so I don't know yet how much mine or my husband's is going up. We ended up upping my son's deductible because it was going up 14% or about 30 month. :( Oh well it's still great insurance even with the higher deductible. Now to figure out what to do about mine and my husband's since we already have a pretty high deductible. I guess it depends on how much it is going up. Why can't some things be easier when it comes to saving money.

Happy Saving!