Monday, March 29, 2010

CVS for Less than $1.00

I went to CVS yesterday and made it out of the store paying $0.37 out of pocket and getting $2.00 in Extra Care Bucks.  I wasn't supposed to get the $3.00 but they had a sign up that said $3 back for $10 spent in candy.  I purchased enough candy but the ECB didn't print.  Apparently the ECB deal had expired but since they still had the sign up they honored it and printed one for me.

Order Summary:
Spent:  $0.37
Saved:  $23.73
Used:  $11.99 in ECBs
Earned:  $3.00 ECBs
3 bags M&Ms
2 bags Reese's eggs
1 bag Hershey eggs
2 bottles of Softsoap body wash

The body wash was B1G1 and I had 2 $1.00 off coupons for each of them.  The were priced at $4.99 each.  One was free so it ended up being $2.99 for two or $1.50 each.  The candy was on special for $2.00 a bag. I purchased $12 worth of candy and used $3.00 in coupons.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Trip to Giant Eagle Felt Like Stealing

I didn't get anything from the Giant Eagle ad last week.  Giant Eagle gets a little confusing to me because it is the only store that I go to with an ad that starts on Thursday instead of Sunday like the rest of them.  Regardless, as I posted last week there just wasn't anything there that warranted a trip.  This week, I was able to use the $18 I earned buying diapers.  Using this and my coupons allowed me to walk out of Giant Eagle with bags full of food for only $11.04!!  On top of that I earned $5.00 toward my next order.

Order Summary
Spent:  $11.04
Saved:  $47.08
$5 earned toward my next order
Used:  $18 earned from my last trip
1 box of Uncrustables
10 boxes of Yoplait GoGurt
5 boxes Kellogg's Chocolate Mini-Wheats Little Bites cereal
2 packs of Vanity Fair napkins
2 packs of Vanity Fair plates
1 pack of Dixie plates
1 pack of Dixie napkins
3 boxes of Splenda (with fiber)
1 French's mustard
1 bag of frozen spinach

You might think 10 boxes of GoGurt is excessive, but my kids eat the stuff like crazy. Evan loves them frozen and probably eats 2-6 of them a day.  Jason said Evan was mad while I was at the store because we were out of GoGurts.  Now our freezer and fridge are fully stocked. 

I hadn't planned on purchasing more cereal unless the price was exceptionally low, however Jason tried a box of the Chocolate Little Bites last week and loved them.  As I was going through the coupons in this weeks paper I saw that they had $2.00 off two boxes and $1.00 off one box.  I had two sets of coupons (thanks Granny) so I used 2 $2.00 and 1 $1.00 at Giant Eagle where the cereal was 5 for $10. This made them $1 a box.  Not as good as $0.50 per box I had a Target the other week, but Jason will be leaving for Atlanta again and I thought it would be nice for him to take his new favorite cereal with him.  I am sure he knows I would DIE if he went to the grocery in Atlanta and spent the usual $3-$4 for a box of cereal. 

The purchase of 3 boxes of Splenda is how I earned $5 toward my next order.  Splenda was on sale 3 for $10 or $3.33 each, plus you earned $5 toward your next order if you purchased 3.  I had $1.00 off coupons so I used 3 of them.  This made the Splenda $2.33 a box or $6.99. After the $5 earned, I was able to purchase 3 boxes of Splenda for $1.99. 

The spinach was on sale for $1.00, I had $0.50 off so it was free after the coupon was doubled.  The napkins and plates were on sale 2 for $4.  We only use paper plates for parties, but I usually end up running to the store a few days before the party and spending full price for them. With a little advance planning, I was able to purchase them for $1.00 a pack since I had $0.50 off coupons for the Vanity Fair plates and napkins. I saved even more on the Dixie plates and napkins since my coupon for both of those was $0.55 and it was doubled to $1.10. 

GoGurt was 3 for $6 or $2 each.  I had two different kinds of coupons.  There were 4 $1.10 off of Simply GoGurt and 6 $0.40 off of one GoGurt.  I wasn't sure if Simply GoGurt was included in the sale, thankfully it was.  I used my 4 $1.10 coupons so those 4 packs were $0.90 each.  The 6 $0.40 were doubled so I got $0.80 off each pack which made them $1.20 each. 

To add to my savings I now have $0.80 off per gallon of gas at Get Go.  Fuel perks are earned more slowly when I use my coupons because it take me a lot longer to spend $50 when I only spend $10-$20 a week in groceries at Giant Eagle.  I still take advantage of the gift cards they offer and am sure to purchase them there whenever I need them. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coupon Savings Week of 3/21 - CVS

I was able to make it to CVS today since my Granny came over to watch the kids while their swing set was being constructed in the back yard.  I only had a few things on my list, but wanted to make sure I picked them up before the sale and ECBs on these items ended. 

I had to get one unplanned item and that was children's cold medicine.  Evan has been sick for days and I was running low on Triaminic.  Thankfully, I had a $1.50 off coupon and CVS had an instant coupon of $2.00.  Still the medicine cost me $8.50!  I will be sure to keep my eyes out for good stock up prices on medicine for the kids so I don't have to pay retail when they get sick.

Order Summary:
Spent: $23.56
Saved:  $25.94
ECBs earned:  $11.99
2 Jumbo packs Pampers Cruisers Size 4
1 bottle Crest Pro-Health mouthwash
1 tube Colgate toothpaste
1 bottle Triaminic day time
1 bottle Triaminic night time

The diapers were on sale for $8.97 a pack and I earned $3.00 ECBs on the purchase of each pack.  I also had a $2.00 off coupon.  This made the diapers $3.97 a pack after coupons and ECBs. 

The mouthwash was on sale for $3.99, I had a $2.00 off coupon and received $2.00 ECBs.  This means I made $0.01 on the purchase of the mouthwash.

The Colgate was $3.99, I had a $1.00 off coupon and received $3.99 ECBs.  This means I made $1.00 on the purchase of the toothpaste. 

I made sure to scan my bag tag so I am now only 2 scans away from $1.00 of Extra Care Bucks.  For those that don't know.  If you purchase a bag tag at CVS and have it scanned each time you make a purchase, even when picking up prescriptions, you will earn $1.00 every 4 times you have the bag scanned.  I keep my bag tag with my Extra Care card so I don't forget to have it scanned.

Kroger TRIPLE Coupons!

This week Kroger had triple coupons which means that any coupon $0.50 or under will be tripled.  I had my short list for Kroger but decided to take a little longer for shopping this week to make sure I maximized the triple coupon savings.  As I sorted through my coupons for those that were expired, I pulled out the ones that were $0.50 or less.  I had the organized by type when I went to the store and basically went down each isle looking at the coupons and item prices.  I was able to snag a few more deals that had I stuck to my original list.  However, the savings with triple coupons on most items was not as great as I had anticipated.  Maybe they know what coupons are out there so they don't offer sales on many of the items that a coupon would apply to.

I had three orders this week.  I made a mistake and put my Grands on separate orders, had I put them on the same order I would have earned $2 toward my next order.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some.  There wasn't really and logic to putting them on separate orders, just didn't think it through.

Order Summary:
Spent:  $39.01
Saved:  $115.73
7 2 liters of Diet Coke
2 bottles Lysol all purpose cleaner
2 spray bottles Lysol bathroom cleaner
2 bottles Lysol toilet bowl cleaner
2 spray bottle Lysol antibacterial kitchen cleaner
1 bottle Sun laundry detergent
4 Pillsbury Grands biscuits
1 pack Arm & Hammer dryer sheets
2 Suave kids body wash
2 5 lb bags Gold Medal flour
2 cans Carnation evaporated milk
4 3 packs of Irish Spring
3 Secret deodorants
6 Betty Crocker warm delights
1 Oscar Meyer lunchable
1 French's Worchestershire Sauce
1 box Hefty kids cups
1 Betty Crocker frosting
3 Listerine pocket strips
1 Progresso light soup
2 Campbell's condensed soups
3 boxes 90 calorie Fiber One bars
3 boxes Chex Mix turtle bars
1 bottle Softsoap liquid
2 bottles Suave lotion

I also received a coupon for a free 2 liter of diet Mountain Dew.  I will be sure to pick this up when I go Krogering next week!

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Plans for Expired Coupons

I just cleaned out my coupons this week and wish I knew about this program before I put them all in the trash!  Starting today, I am going to send all of my expired coupons to the Overseas Coupon Program for use by military families.

The information below was taken from the Overseas Coupon Program website.

Why would they want my expired coupons?  
     -military commissaries (grocery stores) overseas would accept manufacturer's cents-off coupons for up to six months past their printed expiration dates.

I only get the Sunday paper and don't have enough coupons to donate.
     -There is no minimum.  The average Sunday newspaper contains approximately $125 worth of coupons. Even the smallest donation, when combined with the donations of other individuals, will make a difference in the lives of many military families serving our country overseas.

Can I just send the Sunday inserts?
     -It is better to clip the coupons prior to sending.  By clipping the coupons, you save the volunteers at the base valuable time.  Most organizations are short of needed volunteers.  You also save yourself a lot of additional postage since most of the coupon circulars are wasted paper. 

What type of coupons should I send?
     -“Manufacturer’s Couponsare the coupons of choice since they are accepted at any store.   Coupons from the dispensers in grocery stores, from the internet and from your local newspaper inserts, and dozens of other places are good as long as those magic words are on them: "Manufacturer's Coupon."  You do not need to send internet coupons because the military families have access to those and can print them.

You can read more in the FAQ section on the website.

Coupon Savings Week of 3/21 - Meijer

I made my second trip to Meijer after work today, my first was yesterday.  I made Jason tag along to assist and see my mad coupon skills before he heads back to Atlanta.  I had to stop there again today because I forgot my $1.00 off South Beach bars coupons and Jason needed the bars to take to Atlanta with him.  I bought 3 boxes, they were on sale for $2.50 each and with my coupon they were $1.50 each.

It was a slow week for items at Meijer.  After the amazing deals I had last week with 10 for $10, it was a disappointment.   I know I can't expect huge sales and deals each week, so I just have to wait in anticipation for the next weekly ad to come out.

Order Summary: 
Spent:  $16.45

Total Savings: $30.14
1 box of Biz stain fighter ($3.99 had $2.50 coupon)
4 gallons 2% milk (on sale 2 for $4)
2 4 packs of Atkins shakes (2 for $10 had $1.00 off each)
2 packs of men's disposable razors ($5.24 each.  Had $4 off 1 and $3 off the other)
3 boxes of South Beach bars  ($2.50 each had 3 $1.00 coupons)

I also used the $10 I earned last week.  No money toward my next order (catalina) deals were earned this week. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coupon Savings Week of 3/21 - Walgreens

I had a good week at Walgreens.  I did learn that you can only use two Register Rewards (RR) per order. I would have had my orders for close to free this week if I had been able to use all of the $30 I earned last week.  I was able to stock up on diapers at a reasonable price, earn more Register Rewards and keep the remaining rewards to use next week.  The rewards I earned last week expire on 3/31 so I need to be sure I use them or I am pretty much throwing away cash!  The rewards I earned today don't expire until 4/8 so I have time to hold onto them.

In order to take advantage of the maximum amount of register rewards, I had two separate orders this week.  Huggies diapers were $8.99 and you received $5 in  RR with the purchase of 3.  Planters Trail Mix was 2 for $3 and I had 3 $1.50 coupons and one $1 coupon.

Order Quick View: 
Spent:  $22.98

Total Savings: $48.38
Earned: $10 in Register Rewards
Purchased:3 packs Huggies size 6 diapers (20 diapers per pack)
1 pack Huggies size 3 diapers (36 diapers per pack)
2 packs Huggies size 4 diapers (31 diapers per pack)
4 bags of Planters Trail Mix

On the first order I used 3 coupons for $3 off one pack of Huggies.  This made each pack $5.99 (total $17.97).  Once the RR rewards of $5 are factored in, I was able to purchase the 3 packs of diapers for $12.97 out of pocket or $4.32 per pack.  This is a pretty good price for diapers.  I now have a nice stockpile of them since I also bought them at Giant Eagle two weeks ago.

Since I could only use two RR per order I still have $12 in RR earned last week. My total RR left to spend is $22.

Coupon Savings Week of 3/14 (Part 2) - Meijer

I have been delaying this post for the past week, not sure why since it was possibly one of my best trips to Meijer so far. I went to Mejier once and realized that I missed out on a few deals during their 10 for $10 event.  I went through my coupons did some more match ups and stopped at the store for one more shot at finding deals to stock up.

To maximize my money earned toward my next order, I broke my purchases up into four separate orders.  I learned that Mejier only doubles the first two like item coupons so I wanted to be sure I only had two of each same item on each order.

Order Quick View (total items in all 4 orders): 
Spent:  $19.96

Total Savings: $56.12
Earned: $10 on my next order
16 boxes of Betty Crocker fruit snacks
2 boxes Bagel Bites
3 Land O' Lakes spreadable butter
2 Betty Crocker potato packets
4 bottles fruit juice
8 bags of Green Giant frozen vegetables

I am not going to go into the specific detail of each order as I usually do because they were all pretty much the same.  2 veggies, 4 fruit snacks, 1 bottle juice, and as you can see from the numbers 3 had butter, 2 had bagel bites and potatoes.  The total for three of the orders was $5.04 each and I earned $2.50 toward my next order for each of them.  The fourth order was $4.84 and I also earned $2.50 toward my next order on that one.

With the money toward my next order the total for all of the above items was a little over $9.00.

The juice ended up being $0.17 a bottle.  This was because I was able to stack a $0.50 Meijer mealbox coupon with a $0.50 manufacturer coupon (doubled).  The juice was $1.67 and I received $1.50 off with my two coupons, so they were $0.17 each.

The bagel bites were free because they were part of the 10 for $10 and I had $1.00 off coupons.  The vegetables were free as they were also part of the 10 for $10 and I had $0.50 off coupons that were doubled to $1.00.  Same with the butter.

The potatoes were $0.20, they were part of the 10 for $10 but my coupon was only for $0.40.  Still $0.20 for a side dish of potatoes is a pretty good price.

Lastly, the fruit snacks were $1.66 each (3 for $5).  My coupon was for $0.50 off of two and when you purchased 4, you receive $2.50 toward your next order.  I bought 4 boxes on each order, used two $0.50 coupons which made them $4.64 for the 4 boxes.  Subtract the $2.50 earned and it was $2.14 for 4 boxes or $0.54 a box.

The kids are LOVING the fruit snacks and can't seem to get enough of them.  I must admit I sneak a fruit roll up on occasion as well.  Having the large supply saved me from running to the store the night before Liam's snack day at school.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How the Roku Changed Our Television Habits

In August of 2009 my husband and I made a decision to cancel our satellite tv subscription. This decision did not result in us replacing it with cable, we decided to *gasp* go without tv.  That's right, we didn't have tv at all for a month or two.  No cable, no premium channels, and no local channels.  We figured that with the amount of DVDs we had and the kids had, it would be no problem to go without.

We didn't have tv for months and still survived to tell the tale.  I am a complete reality tv junkie and was able to watch almost all of my shows online.  Sure I didn't get to watch them the night they aired, but I was recording most of my shows with the DVR and watching them later anyway so it wasn't that big of a change for me. 
I then looked into subscribing to Netflix so we could get DVDs and watch some items instantly online.  We did this for about a month until I found out about the Roku player.  With this tiny device we would be able to watch all of the instant programming from Netflix on our tv!  How exciting.  I have loved watching Law & Order since law school and now I had so many seasons of SVU and Criminal Intent I didn't know what to do with myself.  It was like having A&E again when they were running a Law & Order marathon.

Not only was I enjoying the programs, my husband was able to add South Park, Sherlock Holmes shows, and his new favorite the IT Crowd.  The boys love watching Thomas, Blue's Clues, Spongebob, and tons of kids movies.  Liam especially loves watching Wall-e, iCarly and Mythbusters

The system is so simple to use that Liam (our 5 year old) can easily use the remote and find the programs he wants to watch.  He dominates the Roku in the family room that we have decided to buy a new one for the family room and give him the old one for the bedroom he shares with his brother Evan. 

We used to have one Netflix account for $14.99 a month.  We decided to add another account and downgrade the original account to the $8.99 a month accounts.  This will allow us to have one Roku linked to the family room tv where we will have all of the grown up shows and a few for the kids in the instant queue.  The second account will be linked to the boys Roku and we can put all of the kid shows they love in the instant queue.  We have total control over their queue and can make sure they are only watching shows we approve for them. 

This means we now spend $17.98 a month for entertainment when we used to spend over $100 a month on satellite.  Getting rid of our satellite subscription also allowed us to cancel our home phone which we were spending at least $40 a month on.  We kept the high speed internet because we both use it for work and now as our primary source of entertainment, news, etc.

I love that we no longer see commercials.  The boys don't watch regular tv so they are asking for items advertised during their shows less.  They still watch regular tv at the babysitters or when visiting family.  They aren't in a bubble so they do know what new toys are out there, but it isn't a constant saturation like we had before. 

Roku and Netflix are offering a special deal, you can get $20 and FREE shipping with the purchase of a Roku player and set up of a Netflix account.  If you already have Netflix, you will still qualify for FREE shipping.  If you use the provided link, you can help me earn rewards for the referral.  Click HERE to order now!

Feel free to send me an email ( or leave a comment with questions and I will be happy to answer them as best as I can.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shopping for the Upcoming Week

Jason made it home on Sunday and I have been sick since last Thursday so the focus o/n my coupons has been drifting.  I checked out the ad for Giant Eagle that ends tomorrow and there aren't any screaming deals for me.  The only freebie is Softsoap that is 10 for $10 or $1 each. There was a $0.50 coupon in my All You magazine, but I can't find it.  I think I may have already used it.

Regardless, a trip to Giant Eagle isn't warranted for a free soap valued at $1.  I thought about picking up some Pierogies since they are $2 each and I have $1 off two boxes, but my freezer is fairly stocked and my coupon isn't going to expire anytime soon.

I still have to post my amazing savings from my second trip to Meijer last week.  I plan on checking out the blogs before Saturday so I can hit the rest of the stores on Saturday morning while my hubby stays home with the kids :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Coupon Savings Week of 3/14 - Kroger

Order Quick View:  Spent:  $35.99
Total Savings: $93.75
Earned: $1 on my next order
9 Tyson Anytizer frozen snacks
2 Oscar Meyer bacon
2 Capri Sun packs
4 Ronzoni pasta boxes
3 Flintstones Gummy vitamins
1 Bumblebee Tuna pouch
1 4 pack light bulbs
1 Macaroni Grill meal helper
2 Turtle Chex Mix
3 Del Monte Fruit Naturals
1 King Size Reese's Cup
1 20 oz. Coke Zero
2 Warm Delights
4 Snickers
7 2 liters Diet Coke
1 large bag Reese's Pieces

This week I had three orders and two trips to Kroger. The two trips was not by choice.  I stopped there before dropping off the kids to pick up drinks for Liam's snack day.  The plan was to complete my list while I had all 3 kids at the store.  Thankfully, the sitter called and was able to take them so the first trip included only the 2 packs of Capri Sun and the 2 packs of Oscar Meyer bacon.  I had $1.50 each pack of bacon and they were on sale for $2.99. I didn't know there was a catalina deal as well where I received $1.00 off my next order with the bacon purchase.  With the price, coupons, and $1 this made the bacon $0.99 a pack.

When I went back to Kroger later in the afternoon, I was able to split my purchases into the two separate orders that were originally planned.  I did most of my coupon match ups on my own using the Kroger ad.  I had a tip from the blogs on the Ronzoni pasta which I used a $0.75 coupon on each of the 4 I purchased.

I made sure to buy 8 of the required items on each order to get the benefit of the March to Savings event.  This gave reduced prices on certain items and $4.00 off at the end of the order.  Tyson frozen anytizers were part of the sale, once you purchased 8 items the price was $2.49  I had a few $1 off coupons, 1 $1.50 off, and some $0.55 coupons.  This made the price of them $1.50, $1, and $1.40.  I had one for dinner last night and it was pretty good.  I like having items like this to have around for a quick dinner.

I had coupons for $0.50 off two Snickers and Kroger had them 2 for $1. After the coupon and it being doubled, they were free.

My boys really like the Flintstones Sour Gummy vitamins, they are usually pretty expensive but Kroger had them on sale for $4.99 and I had a few $1 off coupons.  This let me pick up 3 bottles of the vitamins for $3.99 each.

Details for the three orders are below:
Kroger Order #1
Spent:  $6.90

Total Savings: $9.00
Earned: $1 on my next order
2 packs Oscar Meyer bacon
2 boxes of Capri Sun

Kroger Order #2:
Spent:  $16.11
Total Savings: $29.27
4 2 liters of Diet Coke
4 Tyson Anytizer snacks
1 Turtle Chex Mix
1 Warm Delights
1 bottle Flintstones vitamins
2 Snickers
1 Bumblebee tuna pack
2 boxes Ronzoni pasta

Kroger Order #3: 
Spent:  $12.98
Total Savings: $55.48
5 Tyson Anytizer snacks
1 Turtle Chex Mix
1 Warm Delights
2 Snickers
2 boxes Ronzoni pasta
1 Romano's Macaroni Grill meal helper
2 bottles Flintstones vitamins
3 2 liters of Diet Coke
3 Del Monte Fruit Naturals
1 large bag Reese's Pieces
1 King Size Reese's cup (won in the Kroger march to savings online sweeps)
1 box light bulbs (had coupon for one free box from Kroger)
1 20 oz Coke Zero (won in the Kroger march to savings online sweeps)

On this last order I used $10.50 earned last week after purchasing all the fruit snacks and getting $3.50 for every 5 boxes purchased.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Moon from Target for $4.99!

I will be purchasing New Moon for $4.99 on Saturday morning.  This incredible price is due to my cereal savings at Target this week.  I was able to score 8 boxes of cereal for $0.50 a box and 4 boxes for $0.76 a box.  I did this in three transactions.  One was made earlier this week when I stopped at Target during my lunch break.  The other two were today. 

This week Target is running a special on Kellogg's cereal and Pop Tarts.  When you purchase 4 of these items, you receive a $5 gift card.  On the three transactions the 4 boxes of cereal were: $10.16, $11.54 and $10.08.  I used $3.00 in coupons on two of the orders and $2.50 in coupons on the other.  I paid the following out of pocket for each of the orders:  $7.16, $8.04, and $7.08. 

I did this in 3 separate transactions to make sure I received the $5 gift card for each of them.  After the gift card my final prices for each order of 4 boxes of cereal were: $2.16, $3.04, and $2.08.  That made them $0.54, $0.76 and $0.52 a box! 

Now I have $15 in Target gift cards to use toward my purchase of New Moon.  Now I can enjoy my movie and we can all eat cereal for dinner :)

Coupon Savings Week of 3/14 - Walgreens

Order Quick View: 
Spent:  $31.14
Total Savings: $63.89
Earned: $30 in Register Rewards
3 tubes Colgate toothpaste
3 Sudafed cold medicine
1 Sudafed nasal spray
2 Tylenol cold
6 padded mailers
2 5 lb. bags Gold Medal flour
3 Reese's peanut butter cups
1 Revlon Colorsilk hair color
1 Neosporin
2 boxes Band-Aids

I split my purchase into 3 orders to maximize the register rewards.

There were 2 orders with 1 Colgate and 2 Sudafeds each.  Both of these orders were $9.95 out of pocket. I earned $9 in register rewards for each so the total amount spent was $0.95 for each order.  The Colgate as $3.99, I had $1 off and received $4.00 in register rewards (I received this for each order).  The Sudafed was $4.99 a box, I had a $2 coupon for each box, this made the boxes $2.99 each.  I then received $5 in register rewards for the purchase.  No more running out to the store when one of us gets a stuffy nose and paying $5+ for cold medicine.

On the final order I used $10 register rewards earned last week and spent $11.24 out of pocket.  I earned $12 in register rewards on this order, with this I technically made $0.76. This order included 1 Colgate and I received the same deal on Tylenol cold as I did on the Sudafed.  I also purchased 2 5 lb bags of Gold Medal flour.  Walgreens had a coupon in the ad that made these 2 for $3.  I had 2 $0.75 off coupons, Walgreens doesn't double coupons so the final price was $0.75 each. Still a decent price for flour.  I learned that you can freeze the flour and then store properly.  Once that is done it will not expire.

I was able to gain more register rewards with the purchase of Neosporin and Band Aids.  The padded mailers were 3 for $1 using a Walgreens coupon from the weekly ad.  The Reese cups were on sale for $0.89 each and I had a $0.55 coupon.  The hair color was $1.99 using a Walgreens coupon, I also had a $1 manufacturer coupon which made it $0.99.

With $30 in register rewards, I am confident I will spend very little out of pocket over the next 2 weeks.  I noticed that they expire quickly (03/31), however if I keep checking the weekly ads and making purchases with my register rewards that yield more register rewards I should be able to keep my expenses very low.

Coupon Savings Week of 3/14 - CVS

Order Quick View: 
Spent:  $23.73
Total Savings: $58.53
Earned: $6 ECB
4 Degree for Women
2 Degree for Men
1 Aussie Volume Conditioner
3 6 packs of Scott mega paper towels
2 Purex 3 in 1 laundry sheets

I finally remembered to buy a reusable bag and bag tag this week!  With my first scan, I am only 3 away from $1 in extra care bucks.

I didn't do as well as I would have liked at CVS.  Mostly because of the $2.00 spent on the bag and tag. I also bought the Purex 3 in 1 sheets that were B1G1. They were $10.39 each and even though one was free and I had $2.00 off, it was still $8.39.  I don't typically use this type of laundry soap but found them a godsend when we went to Myrtle Beach. They were much easier to pack and use than liquid soap and dryer sheets.

I was able to get a nice supply of Scott paper towels as well.  They were on sale for $4.99 each and I had $1.00 off. For $3.99 a pack I was able to get 6 of the mega rolls that are pick your size.  The purchase limit on these was 3 so that's what I bought.

Aussie haircare products were on sale for $2.99 and you received $1 ECB with your purchase.  I used a $1 off coupon so this was like getting conditioner for $0.99.  Not the best price but I wanted to try the product.

Lastly, I purchased more deodorant.  Most of what I got for free or $0.50 each over the past two weeks has been Right Guard for men.  I have no issues with using mens deodorant but when presented with the opportunity to get some Degree for women at a good price, I jumped at it! Degree was 2 for $5.  I had coupons that gave $3 off of two.  This took the price to $1.50 each.  CVS was also offering $5 ECB for $15 spent.  I had 3 $3 coupons so I bought 6 sticks at 2 for $5.  With the coupons and ECB the price for all 6 was $1.00, roughly $0.17 a stick.

I was also able to use my $9 in ECB from last week to make the total for my order (with tax) $23.73. I earned another $6.00 in ECB to use if there is anything good next week.

My Truck, My Trunk, My Super Full Trunk

I went shopping today and stocked up on fruit snacks (again), frozen vegetables, and more cereal.  Here is a picture of my trunk before I brought everything into the house:

I did the math and after all of my money earned toward future orders, I spent $85 this week on all my grocery, home, and drug items.  This does not include the dog food which I purchased at Sam's Club. I haven't figured out how to save on that (yet). 

How Are You Doing This?

I frequently get asked how I am saving so much money at the store.  This is a result of posting notes on Facebook about my couponing adventures, my status updates discuss the savings, and now this blog.  I rely mostly on money saving bloggers and facebook friends to let me know where the sales are and what the best match ups for the week will be.

This week was the first week I attempted the match ups myself with my Meijer trip.  I knew I wanted to stop there on Monday, the ad was out but none of the websites had posted the match ups yet.  Most of them were fairly obvious.  Chex Mix was 10 for $10, I had $0.50 coupons that are doubled so the Chex Mix was free.

My grocery savings post from earlier this week reflected that trip to Meijer.  One of my favorite bloggers, Happy Homemaker Cindy posted the match ups for Meijer and I realized there were a few I missed.  I made a second trip to Meijer today to pick up those few items. 

Here is where I am getting my information:
-weekly grocery store ads (Giant Eagle, Meijer, Kroger)
-weekly drug store ads (CVS & Walgreens)
-weekly national store ads (Target)
     -Happy Homemaker Cindy
     -BeCentsable, LLC
     -Deal Seeking Mom
-Meijer Meal Box Coupons - these are store coupons that can be used with manufacturer coupons to increase savings.  They can also be found on Meijer's website.
-E-Coupons for use at Kroger: through the Kroger website you can link to Cellfire and Shortcuts to add coupons to your Kroger shopper card.  I have found that the e-coupon comes off one item in addition to a manufacturers coupon.
-I have become a fan of some of the deal hunters and information about deals and freebies appear in my news feed on facebook.  These have been valuable because it alerts you early when there is a high value coupon or a giveaway that you need to take advantage of quickly since there are only a certain number of coupons that can be printed or items given away.
     -Coupon Geek
     -Money Saving Mom
     -Freebies 4 Mom
     -The Centsable Lady
     -Deal Seeking Mom

I personally don't find going to multiple stores an issue.  I am lucky enough to live in an area where the stores I find the best deals at are within minutes from each other, many are often just across the street. If going to multiple stores doesn't work for you, then use the reference above to find out how to save the most at your favorite grocery/drug store and continue to shop at just one place.

My time spent in the actual store had decreased dramatically.  I am spending more time at home planning the shopping trip and less time in the store.  I like this approach much better than how I previously shopped. I used to spend hours at Sam's Club and sometimes the other grocery stores picking up items without thinking of the price.  If we needed it, I bought it.  If I had a list, I always bought more than what was on the list.

Now I go into the store with my list in hand and coupons ready.  I only buy what I have on my list and that usually includes a coupon or good sale price.  I also figure out how many of each item I can put on an order to maximize the double coupons or catalina deals that give me money on my next order.

I often have 2-4 separate orders when I get to the register.  I keep them straight by using a cart but then putting the baskets you carry in the cart.  You can easily fit 3 of these baskets. I then fill them with the items from my list for each order and put the on the belt at the register when checking out.  I let the cashier know each is a separate order and haven't had any issues.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Coupon Savings Week of 3/14 (Part 1) - Meijer

I started my shopping week off at Meijer to take advantage of their 10 for $10 sale. The 11th item purchased as part of the 10 for $10 was also free. This made some of the items I had coupons for free and the money off applied to the bottom line on my order.  With coupons I was able to get 13 bags of Chex Mix for free and 3 bags Goldfish crackers for free. 

Total Spent:  $27.29
Total Savings:  $79.85
What I purchased:
13 bags of Chex Mix
6 bags of Goldfish
5 lb pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 1 lb packs of ground turkey
8 cans of Manwich
1 Nivea for Men body wash
2 Johnson's Buddies bath soaps
3 Renuzit Air Freshners
2 Gallons 2% Milk
12 boxes of Green Giant frozen vegetables
4 cans Del Monte diced tomatoes
4 cans Pillsbury Grands biscuits

The Hazard of Cheap Fruit Snacks

I shared a post about all of the great deals I have received on fruit snacks over the past two weeks.  My kids have been enjoying this bounty and I realized this morning that they may be enjoying it a bit too much.  When I went to get my middle child (Evan, 2) ready for the day I discovered what I thought was a major head wound, but turned out to be Gushers fruit snack smashed into the side of his head.

The boys had their before bed snack upstairs since they were watching a movie and Evan must have fallen asleep without finishing the Gushers. I didn't see them around him when I tucked him in so I honestly have no idea how it ended up in the bed.

I will have to spend this evening using all of my cheap laundry detergent to clean the sheets.

Here is what his head looked like:

Coupon Savings Week of 3/7 (Part 2)

I finished my grocery shopping for the week with stops at Meijer, Giant Eagle and Walgreens today. I think the grocery gods were against me in terms of time, however they were on my side when it comes to savings. Seems that every store I went to had issues with barcodes on products, scanning coupons, registers out of ink or tape, and slow cashiers. On the plus side, I even impressed the cashier when my total at Meijer was $5.28.

Walgreens was a decent trip as I was able to stock up on cold medicine which I am confident we will use without any problem.

I spent more than I would have liked to at Giant Eagle this week, but I stocked up on diapers, paper towels and toilet paper. Hopefully, my savings at the other stops this week make up for the extra expense. I used my Kroger method at Giant Eagle and had three separate orders to maximize the money toward my next order. This week at Giant Eagle if you spend $30 in certain baby products you get $6 toward your next order. This combined with their sale on diapers and coupons gave me an opportunity to stock up.

I did really well at Meijer this week. I purchased one item that I didn’t have a coupon for and that was a 2 lb. bag of baby carrots for $2.50. Since my final total was $5.28, it means I spent $2.78 for everything detailed below (except for the carrots).

What I spent: $5.28
Total Savings: $26.81
What I purchased:

7 Johnson’s Bath Buddies kid soap
8 Ocsar Meyer lunchable sub kits (no drink)
1 bag of Snyder pretzels
2 Dial foaming hand soap
2 jugs Clorox bleach
1 2lb. bag of carrots

What I spent: $21.28
Total Savings: $34.97
Received $10 register rewards for my next purchase. Including this $10 I spent $11.28.
What I purchased:

4 NyQuil Liquid Caps
1 DayQuil Liquid Caps
1 box puffs tissues
3 bottles Dawn dishwashing liquid
3 bottles Listerine
6 full size Nestle Crunch bars

I had three orders at Giant Eagle because I wanted to get $6.00 back in diapers purchases on each order.

Giant Eagle Summary:
Spent: $121.36
Received $18.00 toward my next order, which makes my total at Giant Eagle for this week $103.36.

Order 1:
What I spent: $40.20
Total Savings: $39.05
Received $6.00 toward my next order.
What I purchased:

5 boxes Fiber One cereal
4 boxes Betty Crocker cake mix
3 tubs Betty Crocker frosting
1 Endust Free
1 Angel Soft mega pack of toilet paper
1 box of Luvs diapers
2 jumbo packs of Huggies diapers

Order 2:
What I spent: $48.21
Total Savings: $31.63
Received $6.00 toward my next order.
What I purchased:

6 cans Campbell’s Tomato soup
3 packs of Keebler cookies
6 Right Guard deodorants
1 pack of Sparkle paper towels
1 Angel Soft mega pack of toilet paper
1 box of Luvs diapers
2 jumbo packs of Huggies diapers

Order 3:
What I spent: $32.95
Total Savings: $26.61
Received $6.00 toward my next order.
What I purchased:

1 pack of Pampers diapers
2 Philly Cream Cheese minis
4 sticks Right Guard deodorant
2 jumbo packs of Huggies diapers
2 packs of Keebler cookies
1 Angel Soft mega pack of toilet paper

Coupon Savings Week of 3/7 (Part 1)

I was able to stop at CVS and Kroger before heading home today. Did pretty well at Kroger since I had $20 from last week to put toward my order for this week. I also used the three order method this time to maximize my money toward the next order.

This week was all about stocking up on fruit snacks. I bought some last week and the kids have been loving them. Also, if you buy 5 or more you get $3.50 toward your next order. I had two orders with 6 fruit snacks each (my coupon was $0.50 off two) so this let me get $10.50 toward my next order.

In total I spent $19.71 out of pocket at Kroger and I received $10.50 toward my next shopping trip so the actual money spent was $9.21 for all three Kroger orders detailed below.

At CVS I used $3.50 in Extra Care Bucks that I earned last week and spent $22.89 out of pocket. I earned $11 in Extra Care Bucks for my next order so the actual money spent was $11.89 for the items purchased at CVS.

Kroger - Order Number 1:
Spent: $1.84
Total Savings: $25.55
Received $3.50 for my next order
What I purchased:

6 boxes Betty Crocker fruit snacks
2 Betty Crocker mashed potato packets
3 Betty Crocker Warm Delights

Kroger - Order Number 2:
Spent: $17.13
Total Savings: $17.86
Received $3.50 for my next order
What I purchased:

2 Betty Crocker Warm Delights
2 Betty Crocker Mashed Potato packets
6 boxes Betty Crocker fruit snacks
1 bottle of Tide detergent

Kroger - Order Number 3:
Spent: $0.74
Total Savings: $17.20
Received $3.50 for my next order
What I purchased:

6 boxes Betty Crocker fruit snacks

Total Items for All Three Kroger Orders:
6 Betty Crocker Warm Delights
4 Betty Crocker Mashed Potato packets
1 bottle of Tide detergent
18 boxes Betty Crocker fruit snacks

Spent: $22.89
Total Savings: $30.74
Earned $11 in Extra Care Bucks to use on my next order
What I purchased:

2 bottles of Cascade liquid dishwasher detergent
1 bottle of Tide detergent
1 Venus Embrace razor kit
1 Hershey bar (Evan was with me)
4 boxes of Raisin Bran

Coupon Savings Week of 2/28 (Part 2)

I finished my shopping today. I think I figured out the trick at Kroger but should have planned better for Walgreens. Meijer was okay, the number is a little higher than I would like it to be but I also purchased some clearance clothes for the kids.

My trick at Kroger was figuring out how many of a certain item I had to buy to get money toward my next order. Once I figured that out, I broke my order into 3 separate transactions to maximize the savings. All of this planning was done at home, prior to going to the store. I had my list for each order and was able to get out of the store in about a half hour (maybe less).

In total I spent $50.79 at Kroger, but I received $20 toward my next shopping trip so the actual money spent was $30.79 for all three Kroger orders detailed below.

At Walgreens, I purchased Starbucks drinks that were 4 for $5. I only printed 2 $1 off coupons so I got 4 for $3. In hindsight, I should have printed two more coupons so I would have received 4 for $1.

Kroger - Order Number 1:
Spent: $17.81
Total Savings: $36.83
Received $6.50 for my next order
What I purchased:

1 box Kroger Chewy Granola Bars
5 boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars
5 boxes Fiber One Bars
4 bags of Chex Mix

Kroger - Order Number 2:
Spent: $13.99
Total Savings: $32.08
Received $6.50 for my next order
What I purchased:

2 bags of Chex Mix
5 boxes of Fiber One Bars
2 Betty Crocker Warm Delights
2 Betty Crocker Mashed Potato packets
4 boxes of Nature Valley Granola Bars

Kroger - Order Number 3:
Spent: $18.99
Total Savings: $31.15
Received $7.00 for my next order
What I purchased:

5 boxes of Fiber One Bars
1 bag of Green Giant Steamed Vegetables
2 bags of Chex Mix
2 Betty Crocker Warm Delights
6 boxes of Fruit Snacks

Total Items for All Three Kroger Orders:
1 box Kroger Chewy Granola Bars
9 boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars
15 boxes Fiber One Bars
8 bags of Chex Mix
4 Betty Crocker Warm Delights
2 Betty Crocker Mashed Potato packets
1 bag of Green Giant Steamed Vegetables
6 boxes of Fruit Snacks

Spent: $8.94
Total Savings: $34.50
What I purchased:

4 Starbucks drinks
12 Right Guard Deodorants

Spent: $47.75
Total Savings: $141.54 (this includes non-coupon savings of $125.04)
Received $4.00 off my next order of $60 or more.
I used the same coupon for the order today, just use it FIRST. As long as the register total is $60 you get the $4.00 off. I was then able to have him apply the $4.00 I received toward my next order from last week as well as the manufacturer coupons.
What I purchased:
2 pairs of pants for Daphne
1 pair of jeans for Daphne
1 pull over fleece for Liam
2 long sleeve tees for Liam
1 fleece outfit by Carters for Daphne
1 Gallon 2% Milk
3 boxes Quaker Instant Oatmeal
3 I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Sprays
1 Sure Deodorant
6 bottles of Dynamo Laundry Detergent

Coupon Savings Week of 2/28 (Part 1)

Kroger is having a great sale this week. I am spending the extra money we have and stocking up on what I can. Ideally once I have a nice stockpile of non-perishable goods, I will be able to spend $30-$70 a week on great deals and replenishing depleted items.

I still have a few items to pick up at Meijer and Walgreens. I might stop back by Kroger tomorrow to stock up on a few more items and use the $9.00 I earned for my next order. I was amazed when the register total before the scanned coupons was $157.00, once all the coupons were applied my total was $67.

The total savings includes coupons, bonus coupons, and card savings.

Spent: $67.49
Total Savings: $144.00
Received $9.00 for my next order
What I purchased:

4 bags Green Giant Steamed Vegetables
4 boxes of Fruit Roll Ups
5 6-packs of Trix Yogurt
3 boxes of GoGurt
11 Betty Crocker Warm Delights
6 bags of Chex Mix (various flavors)
9 cans of Progresso Light Soup
1 Betty Crocker Frosting
4 Betty Crocker Mashed Potato Pouches
4 boxes Fiber One Muffin Mix
6 bags Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters
1 pack Jennie O Turkey Sausage (free with mail in rebate)
3 boxes Chex Mix Bars
1 Tide Detergent
1 Tide Stain Booster
4 boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars

Spent: $11.49
Total Savings: $8.55
Extra Care Bucks Earned: 3.50
What I purchased:

4 packs of Bower Bar Energy Gels (for Jason)
1 bottle Excedrin Back and Body
1 Gain Laundry Detergent

Giant Eagle:
Spent: $35.27
Total Savings: $41.71
Received $2.00 for my next order
What I purchased:

10 boxes Kellog's Frosted Mini-Wheats
4 12-packs Diet Dr. Pepper
4 boxes Super Pretzels
3 boxes Special K Granola Cereal
3 boxes Betty Crocker Muffin Mix
2 Coffee Mate Creamers

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Coupon Savings Week of 2/21

I went on my first couponing trip yesterday. I think I did pretty well and expect to do better as my experience increases. I spent more than I wanted to out of pocket, but used part of my money for the week for stocking up which why I purchased so many cereals and boxed meals. Here is what I ended up with:

Giant Eagle:
Spent: $51.46
Total Savings: $47.73
What I purchased:
5 boxes Wheaties Fuel
3 boxes Cinnamon Toast Crunch
2 boxes Chocolate Cherrios
8 Romano's Macaroni Grill Complete Boxed Meals
8 Wanchai Ferry Complete Boxed Meals
4 packs of Starkist Tuna Creations

Spent: $40.11
Total Savings: $61.71
What I purchased:
5 boxes Green Giant Frozen Vegetable
5 Freschetta Pizzas
5 Oscar Meyer Lunchables
5 packs Kroger Shredded Cheese
2 boxes of Capri Sun
1 2-liter of 7-up
1 jar of Kraft Mayo
3 tubes of Chapstick
1 tube of Blistex
1 tube of Colgate

Spent: $16.71
Total Savings: $33.01
Money Toward Next Order: $8.00
What I purchased:
6 boxes of Grape Nuts
2 6-packs of Trix Yogurt
1 4-pack of Activia Yogurt
4 gallons 2% Milk
1 Marzetti's Salad Dressing
2 packs of Sargento Shredded Cheese
2 boxes of Orville Reddenbacher Microwave Popcorn

My Couponing Adventure

It all started a few weeks ago when my neighborhood ladies league had a guest speaker that opened my eyes to the world of stretching my family budget through smart shopping. This involves clipping coupons like crazy and watching the ads to get the best deals.  I also learned to stock up on items when they are cheap because of store sales + coupons. 

Once my supply is started and I am just replenishing what we use and stocking up on the next great deal it will be much easier to maintain a lower grocery budget.  I will be able to easily create meals from what I have on hand. 

Since embarking on this adventure, I have seen the biggest savings on cereal, snack food and laundry products. 

I am going to write about my savings each week and hopefully get to the point where I can spot deals and tell you what I will be buying for the upcoming week.