Monday, August 16, 2010

Giant Eagle This Week - Coupon Matchups and Personal Summary

I was checking the blogs and going through my Giant Eagle ad to find the best deals this week.  I have a difficult time finding a blogger that sufficiently covers Giant Eagle. I love Deal Seeking Mom for Kroger and Meijer match ups but am not finding any sites that are frequently updated and accurate for Giant Eagle shopping in Columbus, OH.  If you find a site that you love, please share it with me.

I picked up Huggies this week. They are $19.99 per box but you also get $0.30 in Fuelperks when you buy two.  I have some $3.00 coupons left but I can't find any of them anymore to share.  You can get $2.00 off per box from

2 boxes = $39.98
$4.00 off = $35.98
+ $0.30 in Fuelperks and the $35 counts toward your Fuelperks earnings

In order to maximize my savings, I had 2 orders at the check out this week. The first included the diapers and the total was $53.21 the second was only $3.89. The second is pretty amazing to me because for that $3.89 I was able to get: 4 cans of Tomato Soup, 3 Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese's, 2 bags of gummy lifesavers, 2 cucumbers and 1 box of Ronzoni pasta.

If you take the diapers out of the equation for the first order I spent $19.23 and here is what I purchased:
3 bags Kraft Homestyle Mac and Cheese
2 boxes Ronzoni pasta
2 bags Lifesaver gummies
2 jars Vlassic pickles
1 bag Texas Toast croutons
4 cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup
6 cans of Hunt's diced tomatoes
2 Vanish drop ins
1 box of Purex 3 in 1s
1 bottle of Purex laundry detergent (32 loads)
1 tube of Colgate toothpaste

Kraft Mac & Cheese:  I was able to get a fantastic deal on the Mac & Cheese, it is a new product so that usually means sales combined with coupons.  The blog I checked before heading to the store had these listed at $2.00 each. At my Giant Eagle they were $1.85 so combined with my $1 off coupons they were only $0.85 each! You can find the $1 off coupon in your Smart Source from 8/8 - I had 4 of them so was able to stock up on them. If you don't have the coupons from 8/8 you can also find the $1 off here: Kraft Homestyle Printable.  Remember this is a Bricks coupon so you can hit your browsers back button to print it twice.

Hunt's Tomatoes:  The Hunt's tomatoes were $1 each. I used two $1 off 3 coupons from the 8/1 Smart Source insert.  This made them $0.67 each. I like to stock up on items like this because I add it to my spaghetti and chili when I don't have enough vegetables from my CSA.

Colgate Toothpaste:  Colgate is $1, you can use the $0.50 off coupon from the 7/25 Smart Source and once the coupon is doubled the toothpaste will be FREE!

Lifesavers:  Bags of gummy Lifesavers are $1 this week. Print the $0.50 off coupons and score free Lifesavers once it is doubled.  The coupon can be found here: Lifesaves Printable. The link will take you to a promo page for Wal-Mart, just scroll to the bottom of the page to Sweet Savings and click on Get Special Savings Now.

Pickles:  Some varieties of Vlassic pickles are $1.88 this week.  Use this $0.55 off one printable and get pickles for $0.78 each.  Pickles Printable

Soup:  Campbell's soup is on sale this week 2 for $1. I used a printable $0.50 off 2 coupon. When doubled this was $1 off 2 so the soup was FREE!  Campbell's Soup Printable

This is my first time posting match ups, I hope you find them useful and all the links work for you.  I appreciate any feedback - positive or negative.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Save $0.75 on Coffee-Mate Creamer

Use this link to save $0.75 on Coffee-Mate creamer.  When there is a sale, you can usually pick this up for free or less than $0.50.

They have a new Honey Vanilla Creme flavor that I might try with this coupon.

Meijer Savings Week of 8/8 - Had to Do Some Math on this One

This week taking my husband and kids to Meijer with me may have been a bit of a mistake.  I have had them join me on my couponing adventures before but there must have been something in the air that made us spend money and my kids crazy.

In order to reflect the actual money spent on what what I typically buy, I had to subtract the additional items from my bill.  I left the unplanned food items on as that is a realistic view of what can happen at the store when impulse food is purchased.  I ended up subtracting $108.38 from my total amount spent as we ended up buying some planned and unplanned home goods items. 

What we bought for $108.38:  1 bulb for my tail light, 1 gal jug for hubby's iced tea, 2 storage ottomans, 5 plastic totes, 1 pair of silicone tongs, 2 honey/sugar bottles, 2 insulated soup jars, and 3 Kitchen Aid knives.

My total bill for Meijer was $129.24, when I subtract the $108.38 I only spent $20.86 on my food and household items this week. 

Items Purchased:
1 small can potato sticks (Evan was starving)
1 bag of Entenmanns donuts (hubby snuck these in)
1 small bag M&Ms
1 Milky Way bar
5 cans Campbell's Healthy Request Soup
4 jars Ragu pasta sauce
2 1/2 gallons Smart Balance milk
1 1/2 gallon Rice milk
2 jars Skippy Natural peanut butter
1 pack popsicles

The items I planned on purchasing cost $17.83 before coupons, my total coupon savings was $16.44 which means the planned items only cost $1.39 out of pocket.  I planned on buying the soup, pasta sauce, smart balance milk and peanut butter. 

The remaining items were impulse buys these impulse buys cost $19.47.  This is how most people shop and how I used to shop. I had a vague idea of what I needed, I may have even had a list but I didn't shop the sales or with my coupons.  This meant I had lots of impulse buys and not very much to show for it.  I typically ended up spending $150-$200 in one store per week and most of the items went bad because I didn't use them.  Not only am I more dedicated to stretching my budget through smart shopping and stockpiling, my husband and I are more dedicated to eating what we have at home. 

It can be a challenge, we both noticed we have had fast food more times over the past week than we are comfortable with.  He started a new job and my work has been very busy so it has made us lazy in our eating habits. We both agreed that we need to get back on track this week.  The food usually tastes better and is better for you when it comes from home.

Kroger Savings Week of 8/8 - This Might be My Best Trip Yet!

My cart when leaving the store today
My trip to Kroger this week amazed me.  I was able to take advantage of double coupons, B1G1 free Sobe coupons and the $4 off Mega Event.  The Mega Event took $4 off your order for every 8 specified items purchased.  I ended up with $12 off just from this.  The best deal was probably the Sobe water, they were regularly $1.19 per bottle.  With the Mega Event, the bottles were $0.69 each when you purchased 8.  When using the B1G1 coupons the cashier puts in the listed price for the item which was $1.19.  This means I was able to get the Sobe water for less than $0.10 each!  It is on sale again this week, so get your coupons and stock up while you can.

I get the coupons from:  B1G1 Sobe Link.  You have to play the unscrew the cap game, I always receive the coupon it is a Bricks coupon which means you can print it twice, just use your browsers back button after the first time printing.  You can get the coupon once a day, I usually make my trip to Kroger on Saturday morning which means I can get 14 of these coupons throughout the week if I remember to log on each day to play.

Spent: $20.23
Saved:  $76.31
Earned: $3 on my next order
When I initially saw my total of $96.00 I thought there was no way I would be able to get out of the store for less than $50.  Once my Kroger Plus card kicked in and my coupons were scanned, I was very happy to see the savings.

Items Purchased:
3 boxes CoCo Puffs cereal
4 jugs of Sunny D
2 boxes Hefty Gallon storage bags
2 boxes Hefty Quart storage bags
16 bottles Sobe Lifewater
4 bags Quaker True Delight rice cakes
8 cans Progresso Soup (this earned my $3 OYNO as well as $4 of Mega Event savings)
2 jars Welch's jam
1 container Oscar Meyer Deli Lunchmeat

My receipt - the scanned coupons are almost as long as the items purchased

CVS Savings Week of 8/8

This week at CVS ended up breaking my order into two transactions.  I decided that since I have stopped nursing, I would like to go back on Alli.  CVS had the refill kit (120 pills) for $49.99.  I ended up paying $37.29 after using my coupons.  I used a $5 off $25, and the $11 ECBs I earned last week.  Now to the real CVS shopping which took place on my second order.

Spent:  $12.44
Saved:  $27.75
Earned:  $7 ECBs
Used: $5 off $25
Items Purchased:
4 2-liters of Diet Coke
2 packs of Huggies wipes (216 wipes in each)
1 Schick Hydro 5 razor
1 Schick shave gel

The wipes were $6 each and if you spent $10 in Huggies products you received $3.00 ECBs. I also had coupons for $2.00 off each so I spent $8.00 out of pocket but received $3 back. This made the wipes $2.50 each.

The razor was another ECB special, with the purchase of 1 you received $4.00 in ECBs. The razor was $8.97 but I also had a $5 off coupon.  This made the razor $3.97 out of pocket and then I received $4 for next time.  I was also lucky enough to grab a razor with a tear off coupon that gave me a free shave gel with the purchase of the razor.  I was able to pick this up for free, it had originally be $4.29.

Diet Coke was not a planned item for me, however I received a $1 of 2 from the Extra Care machine.  Coke was on sale 2 for 3 and I found a bottle that had a coupon for a free 2 liter when you purchase 3.  I grabbed 4 and ended up getting all 4 for $3.50 or $0.88 each.

I decided to go ahead with my Walgreens ban and it made my shopping this week much less stressful.  I

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just Finished Sorting Coupons - Here's a Sneak Peek at What I am Buying This Week

I have made the decision to ban Walgreens from my weekly shopping trips.  They had some great deals but have just become to restrictive and accusatory with their coupons policy that I am going to save myself the hassle and focus my couponing and spending my money elsewhere.

This week I plan on shopping at CVS, Kroger, Meijer, and Target.  Kroger is my most extensive shopping trip of the week.  The deals are pretty light in some of the stores.  I do need to get out and find school supplies. 

At Kroger this week I have the following items on my list:  Sobe water, Progresso Soup, Welch's jelly, Ziploc bags, Sunny D, Quaker rice cakes, Gardettos snacks, and CoCo Puffs.

I am only getting All detergent, a Schick razor and Huggies wipes at CVS this week.  I don't think the Vitamin Water is 10 for $10 again, if it is and I can repeat the ECB deal I will likely pick more up.

Meijer has a fantastic deal on Smart Balance milk this week.  I have never purchased this before but I don't think my family will notice the difference and with coupons the 1/2 gallons are free so there better not be any complaining!  I will be picking up 2 1/2 gallons of milk, Campbell's Healthy Request (also free), Campbell's tomato soup (Liam's go to for lunch), Lipton tea, Ragu spaghetti sauce, Revlon products, and Skippy peanut butter.

Lastly, I will be stopping at Target to pick up just a few items.  My hubby needs a 1 gallon cooler/jug for iced tea at work so I will be picking one of those up  - without a coupon!! Oh the shame!  It isn't that bad since I should be getting the other two items for free and like to purchase something for possible overage and less suspicion of thievery.  I will be picking up Scotch Tape, the rolls are advertised at $0.50 each and I have coupons for $1.50 off of 3 so they should be free.  I bought tape the other week and kept thinking, why am I getting this?  I then realized if it is cheap now is the time to stock up for the upcoming holiday season and with 3 kids we have lots of Christmas wrapping along with other gifting events throughout the year.  I am also going to pick up Post It Notes. They are supposed to be $1 and I have coupons for $1 off so that should make them free!

Here is the $1 off 1 Post it Notes coupon $1/1 Post it Note and here is the Scotch tape $1.50 off 3 coupon $1.50/3 Scotch Tape.  Both of these are pdf documents so there shouldn't be a limit on how many you can print.

Happy Shopping!

UPDATE:  I went to Target yesterday and was unable to find $1 super sticky post it notes or the $0.50 scotch tape.  I did end up getting Crystal Light drink packets for free - they were $1.97 each and I had 3 $2 off coupons.  

Giant Eagle Savings This Week

The Giant Eagle ads running Thursday to Wednesday always mess up my postings because I never know which week of savings to categorize them in.  I do like that I don't feel obligated to hit Giant Eagle in my usual Saturday shopping trip as I can easily go there during lunch one day and pick up what I need when they aren't as busy.

This week I was able to score some decent deals on yogurt, applesauce and trash bags. 
Here is the breakdown:
Giant Eagle
Spent:  $12.28
Saved:  $19.41
Earned: $0.20 fuelperks
Items Purchased:
2 boxes Hefty garbage bags
2 packs Musselmanns applesauce
1 Danimal crush cups 4 pack
1 Danimal 6 pack smoothies
2 4 packs YoCrunch 100 calorie (so yummy)
1 pack Breyers kids yogurt
1 pack Dannon kids yogurt
1 fresh salad from the salad bar ($1.48)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Coupon Savings Week of 8/1 - My Second Week Back in the Game

This week can be easily summed up as cereal week for me.  I was able to get some great deals on cereal and replenish our supply that has diminished since March. I ended up with 19 boxes of cereal!  To some of you this may seem excessive, however my family goes through cereal rather quickly.  The boys usually have it for breakfast and a before bed snack (sometimes I join them).  Daphne loves trying out her new teeth by eating dry cereal.

This week again reminded me how much I enjoy couponing and being able to save my family money.  Our basement storage area is getting so full that we will need to add another set of shelves.  I realize how fortunate we are to need more space for food storage, there are families out there that can barely get anything to eat.  The food pantry at our church needed donations. It felt wonderful to be able to go into my basement and fill bags of food and personal items to donate.  I am trying to be very mindful of when the amount of an item is getting out of control and then donate some of what I have purchased.  Most of the items I donate were free or less than $1 so it is very little out of pocket for me but can make a huge difference for someone else.

This month I mostly donated meal kits, cereal, pasta, and deodorant.  When I first started couponing I was able to get at least 20 bars of deodorant in the first few weeks.  There is no way we would use all of that.  I also accumulated a nice stockpile of cereal and pasta.  All of the pasta was free and the cereal was fairly inexpensive.  After shopping this week the storage area is looking full and in a few weeks will be ready for another round of donations.  I am going to try to donate to the food pantry once a month.

Liam and Evan love to help me bring all my purchases down to the basement for storage.  Liam is old enough now that he can go down to the "store" and pick what he wants.  He always goes down and asks if anyone else wants something.

The only difficult part of having such a great supply of food is that I seem to be the only one that knows what is down there.  I think if everyone in the family knew what we had, we would be enjoying the fruits of my labor much more. Anyone have tips for how to spread the word?

I made it to Meijer, Walgreens, Kroger, CVS and Target this week.  Giant Eagle always throws me off since their ads run Thursday to Wednesday. It did make it nice since I didn't have to stop by there yesterday.  I can easily run to Giant Eagle during lunch next week to pick up the few things that I need.

This week I spent $126.93 on all of our home, grocery and personal care needs.  I saved $204.20. Summaries, spending breakdown by store, and what I purchased can by found below in my earlier posts.

Kroger Week of 8/1 - A sale combined with coupon match ups = great deals!

Spent:  $36.05
Saved:  $82.60
2 bottles of All Free & Clear detergent
1 box Nature Valley Granola bars
2 boxes Cinnamon Toast Crunch
3 boxes Cherrios
4 boxes Fiber One bars
1 box CoCo Puffs
1 box Quaker Oat Squares cereal
1 box Life cereal
1 box Crunch Berries
1 bottle Tide detergent
2 boxes Quaker instant oatmeal
1 pack fresh strawberries
3 Cover Girl eye shadows
4 boxes Betty Crocker fruit snacks
2 boxes Golden Grahams snack bars
1 bag Nature Valley granola

Kroger had two deals running this weekend.  They are continuing with the P&G $4.00 off if you by 4 of the listed items.  I bought the Tide detergent and 3 eye shadows to qualify for the extra $4.00.  The Tide was originally $10.99 the P&G deal made the price $8.99. I had a $1 coupon and a Cellfire coupon that gave me an additional $3.00 off.  This made the bottle of Tide $5.99.

I keep getting an offer on the bottom of my receipt to sign up for the Rewards Mastercard.  If you apply and are approved you get a $25 Kroger gift card.  I am not really interested in using the card as we don't do that anymore, but would like the $25.  What are your thoughts on doing this?

Meijer Week of 8/1 - How did I spend $50 out of pocket?!

Spent: $57.55
Saved:  $46.55
2 boxes of Huggies diapers ($19.77 each!)
2 tubs of Huggies wipes
1 1/2 gallon of Silk Vanilla Soymilk
10 bottles of Sobe lifewater
4 boxes of Post Raisin Bran
4 boxes of Cinnabon cereal
2 gallons milk
1 bottle of Soy cooking oil
1 box of Glad garbage bags

WOW! My trip to Meijer was expensive this week. Usually with a bill over $50, I am going to have a receipt that is as tall as me and a cart full of groceries.  I kept looking at the total and then looking in the cart, until I realized the death of any mom's budget is the dreaded diaper!  They are so expensive, I use coupons whenever I can but with 2 kids in diapers there isn't much I can do.

Daphne wears Gro Baby Diapers on the weekends and whenever I am home so that helps a little.  I am also not a snob about which brand of diapers I use.  In the past I purchased the store brands on occasion and didn't really have issues with them.  I have found that I don't really like Luvs because they aren't very absorbent.  Using coupons and sales, I have been pretty good with getting Jumbos packs of Huggies and Pampers for around $4-$7 a pack. This week at Meijer if you purchased a box of Huggies diapers you received a free pack of wipes.  I had $3off Huggies diapers and with my coupons I got $1.00 off the wipes.  This made the price for two boxes of diapers and two tubs of wipes $31.54.

When I subtract the $31.54 for diapers and wipes the bill from Meijer seems a bit more reasonable for what I purchased.  The 8 boxes of cereal, milk, etc...only cost me $26.01.

Target Savings Week of 8/1 - Lots of freebies!

Spent:  $5.66
Saved:  $20.52
Items Purchased:
1 fashion scarf ($1.98)
1 pair of shorts for Daphne ($1.98)
2 Lunchables
4 Clean & Clear face wash (trial size)
2 Reach Floss
6 Johnson & Johnson To-Go First Aid kits
4 packs of Bic pens (10 per pack)
2 packs of Papermate pens (10 per pack)

The big question on this trip is what items did I actually pay for?  I paid for the scarf, shorts, and lunchables.  Everything else was FREE!

The Lunchables were $1.25 each and I had $0.50 off so they were $0.75 each.

I had $1.00 off coupons for Clean & Clear and for Floss.  The trial size Clean & Clear was $0.99 each and the floss was $0.97 each.  It took a little convincing to get the cashier to accept the Clean & Clear coupons but once she and another cashier read them they saw that it did not specify a size and did not exclude trial sizes.

The first aid kits were also in the trial size section of the store.  They are $0.99 each.  I had coupons for $3.00 off 3.  Which meant 6 kits for free!

The pens were also free after a combination of coupons. Target had the Papermate pens for $0.50 a pack and there was a Target coupon for $0.50 off any Papermate product.  The Bic pens were $0.99 each.  I had a manufacturer coupon for $1.00 off two packs, plus a Target coupon for $1.00 off two packs.  You can stack a manufacturer coupon with a Target coupon. This meant I had $2.00 in coupons for two packs of pens.  The pens were $0.99 each which means they were free!

CVS Week of 8/1 - Found a few surprises!

Spent:  $15.82
Saved:  $18.40
Earned: $11 ECBs
Received:  coupon for $5 off $25 or more and offer for $4 off $20 for updating my email addres
Items Purchased:
10 bottles of Vitamin Water Zero
2 Thermacare Back wraps
3 packs Dentyne Gum

I went to CVS planning to buy just the back wraps because I need them but don't like to purchase them because they are so expensive.  This week they were 2 for $12.98 + you received $5 in ECBs.  I had one $3 off coupon, in hindsight I should have printed a second coupon to save even more but it slipped my mind.

As I was going through my coupons before shopping I found 2 $1.00 off Dentyne gum that were expiring on 8/7.  I figured I could use those to get a pretty good deal on gum. Since CVS was my first stop, I checked the prices there first.  I bought on pack of Dentyne Pure for $1.29. With my coupon it was only $0.29.  Dentyne had the other gum B1G1 free so I was able to get a 2 pack for $0.29 with my coupon. This is only $0.15 per pack!

The surprise for me this week was Vitamin Water being 10 for $10.  I usually wouldn't pay $1 for a bottle of water but if you bought 10 you received $5 ECBs.  Jason and I both like the water so I know we will drink it and at $0.50 per bottle it is easier for me to buy them.

Lastly, I received the $1 ECB for using my Green Bag Tag.  If you shop at CVS and aren't using this, you are missing out.  You purchase the tag and have it scanned every time you make a purchase, including picking up prescriptions in the drive through.  For every 4 scans you receive $1 ECB.

Walgreens Week of 8/1 - Is it time for Walgreens to go?

Spent:  $11.85
Saved: $36.13
Items Purchased:
4 Stage 2 Gerber baby foods
1 Walgreens Baby vapor bath
3 Hershey's 5th Avenue Bars
3 packs Huggies wipes (72 wipes per container)

I am on the verge of nixing Walgreens from my weekly shopping. This is the second time my printed coupons have been called into question and I have had to explain them to the cashier and manager.  They keep telling me that their own store policy says they can't accept the internet coupons.  It is too much hassle to get them to take them and they make me feel like a criminal when I try to use them.  I might try another Walgreens next week to see if I get better service. If not, I won't be shopping there anymore.  Is anyone else having issues at their local Walgreens?

I was very lucky at Walgreens this week and wish I would have stopped in before other shoppers raided the baby isle.  There were many items significantly marked down as they are clearing out some of the products.  I was able to get the Baby vapor bath for $0.82 and the Pull-Ups were only $3.19 per pack, marked down from $8.99 each.  I also had coupons for $1.50 off each Pull-Up so I was able to get those for $1.69 each.  The baby food was also on sale for $0.42 per two pack.  I didn't have any coupons and Daphne is enjoying chunkier food but I plan on mixing what I purchased with cereal and using my food processor to add rice or noodles.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Savings Week of July 26th

Last week was my first week back to coupon shopping. My family was able to eat fairly well on what we had from my last bout with couponing that I just didn't feel the drive to get into it over the past month or so.  My hiatus is over and I'M BACK!

I forgot how much I enjoyed the thrill of getting items for free and seeing a $100 total go down to $40.

I can't find my Kroger receipt from last week but I know the total paid was $40 and the initial bill was $100.  If I can locate the receipt I will post my Kroger savings then.

Last week I went to Kroger, Meijer, Walgreens, and Target.  I skipped CVS because there wasn't anything there that I really needed.

I had a little trouble at Walgreens with the cashier and my printed coupons.  They said that their policy was to no longer accept them because they have been getting lots of forged ones.  I assured them that I printed them at home none of them were forged.  They finally accepted them, but I may stop shopping at Walgreens if this continues to be an issue.

Between Meijer, Walgreens and Target I saved $133.57.  I spent $77.22.  We purchased a few impulse items at Target that took our total up higher than I would have liked.  With the $40 spent at Kroger I spent $117.22.  When the Kroger savings of $60 is included, I saved $193.57.

It seems that spending $117 on groceries isn't much of a savings.  My purchases included household items, diapers, laundry detergent, a board game, socks, formula, and groceries.  In the past I would easily spend $150-$200 a week on groceries alone.  When the other products are added in, I could have spent $250-$300.

Even though I am saving money, I would like to eventually get my weekly spending down to $40-$80 per week.  It will be difficult while I still have two little ones in diapers and one on formula.

Here is a breakdown of money spent and saved at each store.  I have also included what I was able to get for the money spent.

Spent: $28.28
Saved:  $92.21
Items Purchased:
2 Rolos
3 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
1 Reese's Whipped
1 Pack of buns
1 4-pack Yo-Plus yogurt
1 4-pack Fiber One yogurt
8 boxes of GoGurt
4 bags of Chex Mix
1 loaf of bread
2 7 packs of boy's socks
1 6 pack of men's socks
2 packs of tortillas
6 Smart Ones Frozen meals
2 packs of bologna
4 boxes Totino's Pizza Rolls
4 boxes Kellogg's Fiber Plus cereal
2 bags Dole lettuce
3 pepperoni pizzas

Spent: $4.09

Saved: $17.39
Items Purchased:
2 2-packs of 3M Command wall hooks

2 rolls of 3M Scotch tape
3 mini composition books
3 cans Hunt's tomato sauce
2 cans black olives

Spent: $44.85
Saved: $25.97
Items Purchased:
1 can Similac Advance - Powder ($20.99)

1 game of Clue Secrets & Spies ($11.98)
4 8-packs Juicy Juice
4 Chef-Boyardee microwave meals
4 Kid Cuisine frozen meals
4 boxes Bagel Bites
4 bottles Sobe Lifewater