Sunday, July 26, 2009
That is when I decided to make a fun dinner using stuff I had on hand. It was definitely not gourmet by any stretch of the imagination, but the kids loved it! So we had squidward (hot dog with legs cut and then boiled them), fleas on a log, "nemetoids" in yogurt, and some slimy worms. It just took a little bit of creativity and time to make a memory and fun weekend and not much money, What creative ways have you come up with to not spend money but make great memories?
Monday, July 6, 2009
Here are some of the highlights of my trip:
Dove Ultimate Deodorant on sale for $3.99 (x2)
I used an IP (Internet Printable) that I got from a link on Money Saving Mom for $2 off 1 making it free (I just printed off two coupons and was able to use both coupons)
*for those of you new to double coupons, let me explain. The coupon was for $2 off so doubled makes it $4 that gets taken off. Since the item was $3.99, I got it for free (I actually would have made a penny if they would allow money to be given back).
Oust Deodorizer on sale for 2 for $6
I used $2 off 1 from the 5/10/09 Smart Source insert making it free
Starbucks Frappuchino on sale for 2 for $4
I used $1 off 1 coupon from 6/21/09 Smart Source insert making it free
St. Ives Scrub for $3.69 (this price was higher than the price listed on link below)
I used $1.50 off 1 coupon from 5/10/09 Smart Source insert making it $0.69
Acts Mouthrinse for $4.59 (this price was higher than the price listed on the link below) (x2)
I used $2 off 1 from the 5/31/09 Smart Source insert making it $0.59 for each
Pantene (full and thick) on sale 3 for $10 ($3.33)
I used $2 off 1 coupon from the 7/05/09 Smart Source insert making it free
Dawn Dishwashing Soap not on sale but I really needed it - $1.99
I already had a manufacturer coupon for $o.25 off (I cannot remember which insert) and then found a tearpad next to soap for a Kmart coupon for $0.50 off 1(remember you can use both coupons since one is store and one is manufacturer); with doubling, I got the soap for $0.50!
*this one is a perfect example of paying attention and matching your needs with sales and coupons; I knew I needed it to make my homemade stain remover and I was able to get it for very little.
There were more but these were my highlights. For more deals and additional links go here. Overall, it was a success. I was just reminded yet again to plan well and to pay attention.
I did get some additional coupons at checkout that I had not planned on. I may not end up using them (they are great coupons; I am just out of budget for another Kmart trip before the coupons expire) so let me know if you plan to go and I will give them to you!
Friday, July 3, 2009
- Learn your stores' policies on IPs. Some take them without issue while others either do not or have many stipulations due to coupon fraud. Familiarize yourself with them before printing off a bunch and wasting your time, ink and paper.
- You can often print off two on the same printer by hitting the refresh button after your coupon is printing. You can also sometimes print off more if you have access to different computers. Almost all IPs have print limits (with the exception of many of the Target store ones which let you print as many as you want!) but each one can be different. Some websites are login monitored as far as reaching your print limit. So once you have printed it under your login, you cannot print another one. Others monitor it by the printer which means you can print multiple ones if you have access to multiple printers.
2) Another effective method for gathering coupons is through the Sunday paper inserts (usually Smartsource, Red Plum and P & G). You can get these numerous ways such as through subscription to your local paper, buying at your corner mart, buying at the dollar store (for cheaper than anywhere else), buying off ebay or other websites, begging off family and friends from their papers, digging through the trash can at places like Denny's or recycling bins (not that I have done this!! :) ), collecting from papers left behind at your local Starbucks, and many more creative ideas. I have even heard of people getting store managers agree to let them have any unsold papers at the end of the night. There are some tips to keep in mind for how many you should get and when you should get them:
- You can look at http://www.taylortownpreview.com/ for what coupons will be in the inserts which can be a huge help for knowing how many papers to buy. Just click on the week you want to know about. Very user friendly.
- The first two Sundays of every month have the most inserts. This would be a good time to buy more than one paper.
- The Sunday paper before a holiday, especially Mondays, do not typically have coupons. Check taylortownpreview before you go out and buy papers.
- At CVS and Walgreens, Saturday evenings can be a great time to shop as the previous week sales are still in effect and the upcoming week's sales have begun so you can "double dip". But what if there is a coupon you really need in the Sunday paper? Well, you can often buy a weekend edition that will have the coupons in it on Saturday. LA Times does this for sure. Just be advised that the sports page will not be current in case your husband has to have that so you will still need to buy the Sunday paper the next day too!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Another way to get the most out of your card is to look for the price scanning machine located in many CVS stores. Not all of the stores have them, and those that do seem to have them in different spots in each store. But if you find one, you can score some great coupons! Simply scan your Extra Care card and coupons will print out the side. I have found that a majority of the time, the coupons coincide with sales already going on. And for those of you new to CVSing, this is a big bonus because you can pair CVS coupons with manufacturer coupons for additional savings often making the item free!
For more frugal tips every Friday, go to http://www.lifeasmom.com/.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I really needed diapers and I also had a coupon about to expire for $5 off a purchase of $15. So I checked out my favorite blog http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ for any deals she could tell me about. She had quite a few although not all worked for me due to price differences and lack of stock but I did score some good stuff. Here is how I rang it all up.
For my first transaction, I got three bottles of tylenol, 4 SOBE vitamin waters, and 1 thermacare heat wrap product. The complete total without sales and coupons would have been $27.89.
The tylenols are usually $5.99 each, but they are on sale this week for $3.99. Then I had 2 coupons for the tylenol; one was for $2 off 1 bottle and then a $3 off 2 bottles. This brought my cost for each tylenol bottle down even more. With sales and coupons the original total of $17.97 minus tax (3 x $5.99) for the tylenol became $6.97. Still a great price especially because I needed tylenol, but wait, it gets better! I got something on the end of my receipt called extra care bucks (ECBs) for purchasing the tylenol. Basically, extra care bucks are CVS money to use for future purchases. This month you can get $2 ECBs per bottle of tylenol you purchase up to 3 bottles. So I paid the $6.97 for the tylenol but got back $6 ECBs on the end of my receipt for my next transaction (I will cover that in a minute)which means I basically paid $0.97 for 3 bottles of tylenol.
Next I got the SOBE waters. I have wanted to try those anyway but not at $1.49 per bottle when I can drink water for free. 4 SOBEs at normal price would have been $5.96. But this week they are on sale for buy one get one free (B1G1) which is already tempting, but wait! I had two coupons printed from the internet (known as IPs) that were also B1G1 thus making my bottles free. Make sense? Let me walk through two of the bottles: With CVS sale, I would pay $1.49 for the two bottles since one was free. Then I gave a coupon also for B1G1 which made the second one free as well. Then I did it again for the next two which gave me all four for free.
The Thermacare heatwrap did not ring up as it should have but was still a good deal. It was on sale for $2.49 and I had a coupon for $1 off. I was supposed to then get $2.49 ECBs back but it did not print for some reason so I need to go back and have the store fix it. Had it printed, I basically would have made money on the whole thing since it was free with ECBs plus $1 was taken off my total due to my coupon. As it was I only paid $1.49 which is still a good price.
So I rang those all up and got my receipt back with my $6 ECBs on the end of my receipt. I tore those off and stuck with my coupons for my next transaction.
For the next transaction, I had the two packs of diapers and a package of cookies rung up. The total without sales and coupons would have been $25.37 minus tax. But the diapers were on sale for $8.99 which is good for Huggies. They were cheaper even than CVS brand which I often get. On top of that, I had two coupons for $1.50 off 1.
But before I gave those coupons, I gave a coupon that printed off one of my previous receipts (from the week before) for $5 off $15. I gave this first so that there would be no question about my total being high enough. Once that coupon was applied, I gave the two diaper coupons. Then I gave my ECBs from the first transaction bringing my grand total to $6.05. It would have been even less had my ECBs from the Thermacare printed off.
Hope that explains it all. . .or at least begins to. The crazy thing is there are so many more deals and free things there this week if I was more organized and they restocked stuff that other couponers like me had already wiped out. I plan to go back to mine or visit another nearby CVS before the sales go off to get more stuff but we will see how the budget is looking. I will post those deals if I do go.
Let me know your questions as you think of them. This can feel a bit overwhelming at first, but I promise you can soon do it in your sleep like me. Just ask my husband who has to hear about my CVS trips all the time!