Friday, July 31, 2009

We finally got internet at our new house today, so I should be back in blogging action soon. I am way behind on everything. I even managed to forget to buy papers on Sunday. How insane is that!? So yeah, I'll post as soon as there are any new developments in my deal-seeking world.
PS There is a Super Target and a HUGE Kroger down the street from my new place. Uh oh.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kroger Trip 7/21

Yes, I have spent way too much time in Kroger this week, but that's what the mega-sale will do to a QQ like moi!

Once, again, no picture, sorry.

I bought:
24 Yoplait yogurt cups @ .44 ea. - used three .40/6 MFQs (dbls to .80) and one .50/6 IP (dbls to $1) = .30 ea.
10 Kraft dressings @ 1.69 ea. - used ten $1/1 MFQs (bought on ebay) = .69 ea.
1 Mott's apple sauce 6 pk. @ 1.85
2 Mentos gum @ $1 ea. - used two .55/1 MFQs = FREE
3 Bananas @ .48/lb. = .66

-$5 mega sale promo (for Kraft)

Total before Qs = $33.22
Total saved w/Qs = $21.90
Total saved w/plus card = $1.18 (for some reason they file the $5 promo under MFQ savings on their receipts)

Total OOP = $10.14
aka 69% savings!
AND I got a $2 off my next order catalina for buying 20 Yoplaits, so my net total was actually $8.14!

And I think I am done w/Kroger for the week. It's a shame because I have 10 $1/1Playtex glove coupons which would be a moneymaker if I could use them, but I have checked 2 stores already and they are cleaned out. I did get a rain-check, so I will still get them for free after Qs once they are re-stocked, but if this happens after the mega-sale is over, there will be no overage on them. Oh well...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kroger Trip 7/20

I hit up Kroger again today for a few more things:

8 Santa Cruz organic lemonades @ 1.25 ea. - used .75/1 printable MFQs (dbls to $1) = .25 ea.
3 Oral-B toothbrushes @ $1 ea. - used $1/1 MFQs from 7/5 P&G insert = FREE
3 Crest toothpaste @ $1 ea. - used .75/1 MFQs from 7/5 P&G (and another .75 came off from a loadable Q that I didn't know I had, and still don't know where it was from) = FREE + .75 overage
4 Kraft dressing @ 1.69 ea. - used $1/1 MFQs = .69 ea.
2 Eclipse gum @ 1.29 BOGO - used BOGO MFQ from 6/28 Smart Source = FREE
1 Pampers wipes @ 2.59 - used 1.50/1 Catalina and .25/1 MFQ from eSaver = .84
3 Buitoni pasta @ 4.29, 3.79, and 3.79 - used $1/1 MFQs = 8.87
1 ChiChi tortillas @ 1.61 (they were out of Kroger brand again!)
1 Bag of grapes @ .97/lb. = 2.03
2 Half gallon Kroger milks @ .79 ea. = 1.58
5 Kroger 3 minute pizzas @ .99 ea. = 4.95
1 Duracell batteries @ 3.00 - used .75/1 MFQ (dbls to $1) = 2.00

-$5 mega sale promo (for buying pizzas, batteries, and Kraft)

Total before Qs = $86.89
Total saved with Qs = $30.79
Total saved with plus card = $33.67

Total savings = $64.46
OOP = $22.43

That's 75% savings people!
That's my best percentage yet at Kroger!

Also, my Duracell $1/1 P&G eSaver Q didn't come off again, so I am going to be emailing them and hoping for a credit for next time. (ETA: I just looked at the website again and realized that the Q is for a 6 pack and I bought 4 packs b/c those are the ones on sale, so it actually makes sense now!)

Sorry, no picture this time. Half the stuff is still in the trunk and the other half is already put away...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

.25 Organic Lemonade

Santa Cruz lemonade is on sale at Kroger this week 4/$5. Use the .75/1 coupon here to get it for .25 per bottle (as the coupon doubles to $1). A great thing about this coupon is that it is in PDF format, so you can print it as many times as you want! This is an excellent deal on a delicious product (personally, I'm obsessed with the strawberry lemonade)!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Kroger Trip 7/17

Sorry, the pictures is not the best b/c Penny insisted on helping me "organize" the stuff.

Just a disclaimer; I will not always do these posts so extensively, but for now I just wanted anyone who is new at this stuff to get a good idea of what all goes into the deals. Coupons for Dummies, and whathaveyou. So, sorry if so much detail is too much for you, just skip to the statistics at the end if you want.

Keep in mind that I do my necessity shopping at Kroger, meaning that I will buy things there that are needed even if they aren't on sale or I don't have Qs for them b/c sometimes you just can't get around it, so you will see that my Kroger trips are a lot bigger than at other places. For example, when I go to Meijer I pretty much only go for certain things that are on sale and match my Qs.

What I bought and how I saved:
*When you see "overage" that means that I got an item free and actually made money for buying it, which then applied as a discount to the rest of my order. This is why the mega sale is magic!

2 Chex Mix @ 1.99 - used .50/2 MFQ (doubles to $1) and a .50/1 Shortcuts Q = $1.24 ea.
2 Sargento sliced cheese @ 1.99 - used .40/1 MFQs (dbls to .80) = $1.19 ea.
2 Sargento shredded chz @ 1.99 - used .40/1 MFQs (dbls to .80) = $1.19 ea.
1 Playtex rubber gloves @ 1.00 - used $1/1 MFQ = FREE + .50 overage
2 Glade oil tin candles @ 2.70 - used $1.50/1 MFQs found under lids = $1.20 ea.
1 Glade oil tin refill @ 2.79 - used free wyb Glade candle MFQ = FREE
3 Kroger 3 minute pizzas @ $1.00 ea.
2 Hunt's pudding 12 pk. @ $1.99 ea.
1 Kraft dressing @ $1.19 (was going to use $1/1 MFQ but I left it at home!)
1 Daisie sour cream @ 1.99 - used $1/1 MFQ = .99
1 Febreze fabric deoderizor @ 4.49 (closeout price) - used $1/1 P&G eSaver Q = $3.49
1 Febreze air spray @ 2.79 - used free wyb fabric deod. MFQ = FREE + .50 overage
1 Aveeno hair conditioner @ 3.49 (clearance price) - used $2/1 MFQ = $1.49
1 Duracell 4 pk. @ 3.00 - used $.75/1 MFQ (dbls to $1) = $2.00
2 Tombstone pizzas @ $3.27
1 Minute Maid juicebox 10 pk. @ $3.71
1 DiGiornio flatbread pizza @ $3.19 - free MFQ (mailer request) = FREE
2 Tyson boneless skinless chkn breast pkgs. @ $5.04 and $4.79 - used $1/1 MFQs = $7.83
1 24 oz. Kroger cottage chz @$1.77
2 Chocoloate Silk soy milks @ 2.99 - $2/1 MFQs (purchased on eBay) = .99 ea.
1 Kroger garbage bags @ $5.35
1 Kroger bagels @ $1.99
1 Bunch bananas @ .48/lb. = .94
4 Nectarines @ 1.48/lb. = $2.63
1 Zucchini @ .99/lb. = .55
1 Bag Dole salad @ .98
1 Pack Lance pnut butter crackrs @ $2.62

- $10.00 (I bought 20 items that were part of the Mega Sale, so I got $5 off for each 10)

Total before sales and Qs = $119.53
MF coupon savings = $37.87
Kroger plus & promo savings = $23.06

Total out of pocket = $58.60
Total savings = $60.93 aka 51%!!

This wasn't a perfect trip b/c I forgot my Kraft coupon at home and I was expecting a P&G eSaver Q on the batteries, but I got an unexpected one on the Febreze ( I always forget about those loadable Qs after a while), so that kind of made up for that. I also forgot to buy grapes...
But I'm not too upset b/c my goal is to save more than I spend, and I did it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Frugal Partner

Jon (my DH) actually scored a fantastic deal today and I would like to brag on his behalf.
He just got a promotion and he now needs to start dressing nicer for work. He needed some new clothes in order to do this, so we went to Express, where the dress clothes fit him best. He managed to get 4 dress shirts and 2 pairs of dress pants for about $85. The pants and one shirt were on clearance, which had an additional 30% off red-line prices. The other 3 shirts were on a deal where if you buy 3, you get $20 off each. He had a $30 off a $90+ purchase coupon and he opened up an Express card in order to save 15% more.
That's like $320 worth of clothes for $85!! Nice.

Walgreen's Coupon

Wags has released a $5 off purchase of $25+ coupon. Unfortunately your total has to be $25 AFTER coupons and discounts, but maybe you can still get some good deals from this if there is something you need to buy from Wags anyways...

Here's a scenario to make the best of this coupon that I saw over at Cincinnati Cents:

Buy (2) Coppertone NutraShield sunscreen = $21.98
Buy (2) Huggies Pull-Ups = $20
- Use (2) $5/1 Coppertone NutraShield printable coupons here
- Use (2) $3/1 Huggies Pull-Ups printable coupons here
- Use $5/$25 Walgreens coupon here
- Total out of pocket - $20.98 (plus tax)
- Receive $15 in Register Rewards
- Final price - $5.98 after coupons and Register Rewards

Kroger Mega Sale List

There is finally a list up of every single item in the Kroger Mega Sale this week (and next week I hear). In these sales, there are always a lot of unadvertised items, which makes it hard to prepare your shopping list ahead of time. For me, it is next to impossible to bring my coupon binder into the store with me because I always have to shop with my 1 year old who LOVES to much on coupons! So I make my list before I go and put my needed Qs in an envelope, that way those are the only ones I have to deal with and things are a lot simpler. I do end up missing unexpected deals b/c of this, or sometimes making a second trip later, but there is just no other way to go about it at the moment. So you can see how a master list of sale items being made available to me at home is such an asset! It's always good to plan ahead (although we all know what happens to the best laid plans, so there is almost always a bit of improvising going on in my shopping trips too!)

If you want the scoop, go to Nickel-n-Dime's post here!

PS If you don't know what a coupon binder is, you shall soon find out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Amazon Mega Sale

Amazon is having a great sale on toys and DVDs for kids and family right now!
Clicky clicky!

Monday, July 13, 2009

CVS Trip of July 12

Before shopping anywhere, including CVS, I always make my list using the store's ad and the blog resources you will find in my side bar over there ---->

Here's what I bought:
10 folders - on sale for .05 ea.
3 packages of Papermate pens - on sale for .99
2 notebooks - on sale for .99
2 scissors - $2.99
1 Gillette Fusion power razor - on sale for $7.99, used $4/1 MQ from 6/7 P&G insert
1 gift bag - $3.79 (this was not a frugal purchase, but this bag was perfect for my gift)
1 Bday card - .99
1 newspaper - $1.75
Sales tax = .54

And here's the breakdown:
Total before sales and Qs = $43.49
Total after sales and MQs = $22.49
Used $17 Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) from previous CVS trips
Total out of pocket (oop) = $5.49
+got $14.93 ECBs back (from pens, notebooks, scissors, and razor - all free after ECBs)
Net = profit of $9.44!!

Want to learn how to play the CVS game (hint: it's all about rolling your ECBs)? Go to Deal Seeking Mom's tutorial here!

Toys and Clothes for the Kiddies

The word on the street is that July is the time for toys and baby stuff to go on mass clearance in the retail world. I saw evidence of this at Target tonight. The toy aisles were filled to the brim with red clearance stickers. There are some excellent deals to be had, and if you are smart, you will take this opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping. It's always much more economical to shop for the holidays at times like these rather than wait until the last minute when you are screwed into paying whatever price the stores want to ask because you need a gift ASAP.

Kmart also has tons of toys on clearance. In fact, last time I was there, the clearance toys were all 50% off original prices. Pair that with this coupon for $5 off any toy purchase of $20 or more, and you have yourself a deal!

And as for outfitting the babes and kidlets for fall/back-to-school: if you are an Old Navy fan who likes to shop online to avoid dealing with crowds and nuisance, count yourself lucky because right now (until 7/16) you can use the coupon code "btschool" for FREE SHIPPING on any order that includes a children's item. Be brilliant and begin your online shopping adventure at Ebates to get 8% back on your purchase.
However, if you prefer to actually take the trip to the store, make sure to visit Old Navy Weekly and see if you can snag a coupon to take along!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

even sweeter deal

I mentioned the .50 Electrasol after Q at Meijer. Well, the deal just got even sweeter with a $1/2 Meijer Mealbox coupon. These can be stacked with manufacturer's Qs. In this case, the items become FREE! Yay!

To see all the other AMAZING deals at Meijer this week, check out Cincinnati Cents blog.

ETA: It seems as this price does not apply everywhere. In NKY the price is .50 more, but if you use the MQs and the MMQs, you will only pay .50 each.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Free make-up!

Go here to request a free lip pallet from TIGI. The site was going super slow earlier, so give it some time. However, when I tried it later at night, it moved much quicker. Just add the pallet to your cart, shipping is free. Hurry because it is only while supplies last!

Thanks myfrugaladventures!

Kroger sale starting 7/12

There are some great deals to be had at Kroger this coming week. Check out mommysnack's list for the best of the best.
I'll post what I get when I go Krogering.

Free slurpies at 7-11 today!

The title says it all. FREE SLURPIES! Yum!
However, I have no idea if there is a 7-11 in my area and their store locator site is not loading up for me...
Hopefully you will have better luck!

Friday, July 10, 2009

.50 Electrasol at Meijer starts Sunday

Heads up folks! In this Sunday's paper there will be a $2.50/1 Q which paired with Meijer's sale starting Sunday for Electrasol for $3 a box, makes each box only .50 each after Qs! Now that is a stock up price! This product usually runs about $6 a box!!
Last time this Q and sale match-up came around, I only had enough for 4 boxes. This time I am going to make sure to either buy more papers, or buy some extra Qs on Ebay or a coupon clipping site.
Does "buying" coupons sound crazy to you? No worries, it did to me too at first. But I have now learned that purchasing coupons can actually be a vital tool in the couponer's arsenal. You can buy bunches of 10 or 20 Qs for a dollar or two on Ebay and sites like Coupons by Dede. You can even buy whole inserts (what they call the coupon books stuffed in newspapers) if you want. It can still be very economical to do this b/c the coupons will tend to save you waaay more than the couple of dollars spent procuring them. And sometimes it is better than buying many multiple Sunday papers yourself b/c there are times when there are only a few Qs that you will actually use out of an insert one week, so you are better off just spending the $1.75 on a bundle of 20 Qs you will definitely use, rather than on a whole paper with only a few Qs you will use. Make sense?
And while I am on the subject of buying Qs on Ebay, I should also direct you to a site called Ebates where you can make money back on your online purchases. Everytime you want to shop Ebay, start your venture through the Ebates site and you will earn 3% back on all your Ebay purchases. Yeah, 3% of $2 is not much, but it adds up. And if you are like me, you buy a lot more than just coupons on Ebay, especially around Christmas time. Oh, and Ebates has a ton of other sites where you can earn higher percentages back as well.
It's all about stretching that dollar like a rubberband!

Free photo prints!

Another one of my favorite frugal blogs, mommysnacks has an awesome post about a bunch of different free photo print offers. So far, I have done the CVS and photocubbie ones. I'm trying to print all of our Europe adventure photos for free! I bet you have some summer vacay photos you would like for free (or near free) too, so head on over here and make it happen!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

coupon printing problems

I wanted to let you all know that if you have problems with installing/using the online coupon printing programs (especially the bricks one for and virtually every other IP out there), you are not alone! These progs give people problems constantly. For the longest time I could not get anything to print from my laptop. After a lot of screwing around and googling trouble shooting help I finally came across my answer. I had to clear my cookies. And then I had to use Internet Explorer to print from, for some reason. BTW, I did email the Bricks Help link and they NEVER got back to me, so don't bother. Or maybe you will have better luck than I did, who knows.
However, for your trouble-shooting pleasure, I found a wonderful post over on heyitsfree that has tons of great tips, especially in the comments section. Here's is a particularly good one:

"When you download the software, did you actually install it? If you’re on a Windows computer, I think the software downloads and then you have to double-click the file on your computer and run through the installation wizard."

SOOO if you have problems, head on over here!

Hope that helps! And trust me, it is worth it to get the Bricks coupon printer to work b/c you will save TONS w/coupons printed from it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wags prescription check adventure

Have you ever got one of those checks in the mail from a pharmacy that claims they will validate the check for you to use in their establishment if you transfer a prescription to them?
Maybe like me, you previously just threw those away thinking they were probably full of catches or it was a scam of some kind.
Well I am here today to tell you to no longer pitch these valuable pieces of mail. They really are what they say they are. And as I have learned recently, you can transfer your prescriptions all over the damn place at your pleasing in order to take advantage of these offers.
A few weeks ago I transferred my birth control script to CVS in order to take advantage of the extra Extra Care Bucks offer. Last week in the mail I received a $25 check from Wags to use if I transferred my script back to them. Today I did just that (after reading up on the possible catches in these pharmacy check situations).
I needed to get drinks for Penny and Naomi's Bday party this weekend, and I have next to no money in the bank right now, so I needed to find the cheapest way possible to acquire such beverages.
I remembered that I had this Wags check, and figured I need to refill my BC soon anways, so I might as well give this a try.
Well friends, this was a brilliant idea on my part and it worked out splendidly:

^This is still in my trunk for now^

Here we have 3 12 packs of Pepsi products - on sale for 3 for $12 +got $3 RR
1 24 pack of bottled water - used Wags in-ad Q making it $3.99
2 boxes of Kleenex - used Wags in-ad Q making it B1G1, so $2.19 for 2.
1 Aveeno shampoo - on sale for $6.49, used $1/1 MFQ +got $1.50 RR
1 "supersized" beach towel - 50% off, making it $4
1 bag of Happy Birthday balloons - $2.19
1 Elmo board book - $2.99 (Penny's prize for going to the store w/me when she didn't want to)

Total before Qs (but after sales) = $39.83
Total after Qs and old RRs = $27.64
Total after pharmacy check = $2.64 out of pocket (oop)!!!!
+got $4.50 RRs
Net total = $1.86 profit

So there we have it folks. Don't throw away those pharmacy checks. I just got all that stuff and was paid $1.86 to do something I would have already had to do anyways--fill a prescription.
And now P & N's party-goers will not go thirsty!

Q lingo

Jon told me I need to put a reference on here for all the lingo and acronyms that I use.
I am going to direct you to dealseekingmom's site b/c she has a great reference on there. And her blog is one of my favorites.

Click here

FREE Sobe Life Water at Target

Buy (10) SoBe LifeWater at 10/$10
Get a $5 Target GC wyb 10

Use (5) BOGO SoBe LifeWater printables (IE) or printables (FF)
FREE after coupons and Target GC!

However, you will need to be able to print from 3 computers to do this deal b/c you can only print 2 Qs per computer. But even if you only have 2 comps to print from, you will get 10 for $3.

rookie mistakes

My Target trip today was one of those times I end up kicking myself for making dumb mistakes that end up w/me paying more than I had planned for things.

I had 2 b1g1 Target Qs that said "only one per transaction" on them, but I figured it didn't matter b/c I had used 2 Qs that said this before w/no problem. I guess b/c it was B1G1, the register actually gave a crap. So my 2nd Q beeped and wouldn't go thru. Normally I would have just taken the offending items off then and there and re-did the whole thing, but it was busy and people were lining up behind me quickly, and I so hate being "that guy", so I just paid. Jon was with me and convinced me to turn around and return the full-price box of cereal and use the remaining B1G1 Q to get 2 more boxes. So I did. In the end, I paid .90 a box for 5 boxes of Kashi cereal which is usually $3.69 a box, so I really can't complain.
My real point in saying all this is that you know you have a real coupon obsession/problem when you let the fact that you would have gotten 4 boxes of cereal for .33 each, but instead got 5 for .90 each REALLY bother you and eat away at you all day. It's dumb b/c really, .90 a box is still an insanely good price on some fancy-ass cereal. But I am still irked...
However, I learned a lesson today and I will not make that same mistake again. And that is pretty much how I've learned a lot of lessons in this Q business. Trial and error.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

stockpile in style (not really)

I thought I would share some pics of my current stockpile (click on the pic to see it larger):

Penny likes to help me "arrange" things in there. As you can see, I do not have a lot of room to work with right now. I am seriously running out of space in this closet. And there are also plenty of stashes of things in various other spots in our apartment that are not pictured.

Because of the freaky type of memory I have, I can probably still you what I paid for each item you see here. Go ahead and test me.

Here's a close-up of the door organizer. It's pretty random because I have just started stuffing anything in it that will fit.

And of course, things are starting to spill out onto the closet floor as well.

This is where I keep the toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, and dental floss. Almost all of these were free. You also see vitamins and shampoo there that were free or close to it.

And here is the extra cleanng supplies area. Most of these came from the 1/2 off Lysol sale at Meijer a couple months ago. They ranged from about .17 to $1 each.

If you are new to couponing, you might be thinking WTF do you need all this stuff for and why do you hoard it like a deranged magpie? Well, my friends, stockpiling is truly the backbone to any successful couponer's strategy. The idea is not to buy what you need right now, but rather buy what you know you will need in the future AND only buy it when it is on sale (or at "stockpile prices"). Also, buy as much as you think you will need to last you until the next time the particular thing goes on sale. *Or buy more than you need and donate it to people who need it, or sell it to fuel your obsession further.*

To read about the importance of stockpiling, here are some helpful links:

A great article about why stockpiling works

The stockpiling forum at hotcouponworld will answer many questions for you

And if you don't wanna read, here's a video from local littlemissknowitall

I can't wait until we move to our new house so I can reorganize my stockpile and have a whole basement/garage to work with. Plus, we are getting a deepfreezer ASAP!

some freebies

Here are a few freebies that I plan on taking advantage of:

Next Tuesday, July 14th, Long John Silver's will be offering a free Baja Fish Taco until 2.30pm.
One per customer and NO PURCHASE NECESSARY! (thanks myfrugaladventures)

Check out Melissa at Saving Cents with Senses' post here to see how you can get a free lunch this Friday at Chik-Fil-A.

Hip2Save posted a great Freebie today- call 1-888-435-3639 and follow the automated instructions to receive a coupon for a free box of tea. Limit one coupon per household.

yesterday's steals

Yesterday I hit up Walgreen's (Wags) and Target for some small bundles of cheap stuff.


july 080

That's 4 boxes of Keebler Fudge Stripes - used 2 $1/2 MFQs (printables)
1 bottle of Wags brand aspirin - 100 ct. - used 1 Walgreen's FREE Q (got in the mail w/prescription transfer check)
1 Goody flex headband. - used $1/1 MFQ (printable)
+Used $9 in Register Rewards (RRs)

Total before Qs = $15.60
Total after Qs = $2.31
+Got $7 RRs back
+Got mail in rebate (MIR) for Goody for $3.99
Net = profit of $8.68


july 079

2 boxes Kashi cereal - used 2 $1.50/1 MFQs (printables), 1 Target .50/1, and 1 Target B1G1 Q
2 boxes Kashi TLC bars - used 2 $1.50/1 MFQs (printables) and 1 Target $1/2 Q
1 pack of Sprite playing cards - from Dollar Bin, for Penny

Total before Qs = $11.35
Total after Qs = $2.69

When all is said and done, I spent $5 and got $8.68 in rebates and rewards. That's a good day in my book.

Monday, July 6, 2009

welcome to my new obsession

Hello all, and welcome!

I decided it's high time for me to start chronicling my coupon and saving adventures because people I know keep asking me how I keep managing to pull off such ridiculous deals. I figure I will put it all in one place so they can see what I am doing.

Honestly, I am a total n00b to this whole coupon world. I started dabbling in it in October 08, and only really started full-force a few months ago (once school chilled out and I had more time to devote), so I am still learning. I make mistakes all the time. But I still manage to pull off some money-saving feats that amaze even myself.

My stockpile is meager compared to many others I have seen, but I am working with limited space here. Soon, we will be moving to a house and I am hoping to step my stockpile up a notch. I can't wait!

Anyways, I will try to keep this blog updated with my wheeling and dealing adventures for the world to see, but just know, I am still learning. Maybe you can learn along with me...