Monday, March 30, 2009
The guest room is coming along and I will post photos as soon as it's done. I ironed all the bed linens this weekend and bought a new shower curtain and bath rug. Got both of these at Walmart and was amazed they all matched the comforter set. The shower curtain came with a year's free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens magazine!
I'll be on Spring Break this week so might be posting less. The weather here is far from spring like--we got 6 inches of heavy wet snow yesterday. But the sun is shining brightly and very warm through the windows and there are no clouds in the sky.
Friday, March 27, 2009
I don't know about you, but we have very few guests each year since our inlaws live far out of state, and so I lacked any real motivation to paint or decorate this unused room. Part of the problem was simply not having any vision for what I wanted it to become. It's a large room, about 12 x 14 and has its own full bath and lots of windows. It has no furniture really, just a bed on a frame, a wooden rocking chair and some cast off furnishings from our old house when we had a formal living room (I needed someplace for the 30" skirted table with glass top!)
- A headboard
- A dresser
- Art for the walls
- A decorating chromosome that will allow all this to come together
At least it isn't pink!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Combining sales and coupons you can buy Hunts tomato sauce at Walgreens for pennies a can.
Hunts Tomato Sauce $.39 (with Walgreen Flier Coupon)
$5 (wyb $10) March Easy Saver Rebate (#29) <--- this is the Walgreens saver booklet found in the store in the same rack as the weekly flier)
= $.20 (you would have to buy 26 cans -shelves might not be that full for this rebate)
It is still a great price on Tomato Sauce.
Take that, Costco!
I'm telling you right now to stop cutting them out. Period.
Let me pass along one of the smartest things I've learned in my new venture in the grocery game, and that is you don't actually need to clip the coupons out. You just need to save the entire inserts and only clip the coupons when you are ready to use them.
Nearly every Sunday you probably get a packet or two of coupons in your paper. Typically there are two companies providing these. The first is called "Smart Source" (SS) and the other is "Red Plum" (RP). Just pull these out of the paper (and preferably collect as many as you can get your hands on), write the date at the top of the packet and stick it inside a clear plastic page protector, the kind that will hold an 8 x 10 piece of paper.
Take those two packets and stick them in a binder. See, we haven't even touched a pair of scissors yet.
Now, here's what you do. You head over to couponmom.com and register (free) and click on her grocery deals by state link on the left side of the page. Find your state and your grocery store and up pops a database listing of every item on sale this week, PLUS every SS or RP coupon associated with the item. You can even sort the items by amount you saved. Each item will tell you in which week you can find the corresponding coupon (this is why you MUST date the packets). Often there are also Internet coupons, too. You can search for these on a link to printable coupons on the home page.
There isn't really a trick to any of this. It's just knowing where to go and where to look. You can even read a super detailed tutorial of basic and advanced couponing strategies off the couponmom.com website.
Just remember a few cardinal rules of couponing:
- Don't use your coupons too soon. Wait to combine a coupon with a sale.
- Don't buy items with coupons you don't eat. Smart, huh? A deal is no deal if you don't like the product.
- Consider donating ultra cheap items to food pantries or shelters. If you won't use it, someone else may.
- If an item is buy one get one free (BOGO) you can use TWO coupons (one per item)
- You can combine store and manufacturer coupons on one item. If Target has a coupon for Progresso soup, you CAN use this with a coupon from Progress on the same item.
- Collect lots of those coupon packets. Likely you have friends who toss theirs (only 1% of printed coupons are redeemed in stores). Buy in bulk items you use when they are ON SALE.
- Plan your shopping BEFORE you head out. Know your sales and your stores.
- Subscribe to a couple great couponing websites, like the ones on my side bar. These women track sales at all the national chains in detail I can never match. Find deals on what you need at stores near you.
Good luck and happy saving!
For the latest Wal-Mart deals. I've posted below but want to give Centsiblesawyer the credit.
Some good buys I'll have to check out:
McCormick seasoning packs (taco, chili, etc) rollback to $0.50
$0.25/2 coupon from insert
Final Price: $0.37 each
Progresso Soup, 2/$3
$1.10/1 printable (exp: 3/31/09)
Final Price: FREE
Small box of Arm & Hammer baking soda $0.50
Use with PRINTABLE $1/2 coupon HERE
Final Price: 2 for FREE!
Thanks to Engineer a Debt Free Life!
Muir Glen Fire Roasted Chopped Tomatoes, $1.18
$1/1 printable$1/1 printable
Final Price: $0.18
Thanks, Laina and Deal Seeking Mom!
There are so many deals out there on the Internet. All you need to do is check out some of the links off centsiblesawyers' home page.
I've got to get out this weekend and use the $13 in Jewel food coupons I have from my catalina sales last week!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I bought 5 packs of string cheese (expire June 09) for $15 and got back $13 in Kraft catalinas towards my next purchase. Kraft 2% string is on sale for 2/$6 (reg. price is $5+ per pack) so I didn't need to spend the $25 out of pocket to get the $10 in coupons (plus $3 more for buying 4 packs of cheese).
Suave conditioners and shampoos and 2 in 1 shampoos are all on sale for $1.66 at Jewel. I used a $1/2 and a $1.75/3.
By coordinating my coupons with sales and BOGO offers (Fischer nuts, for example) I was amazed at what I saved. I LOVE peanuts and they were $3.79 something BOGO and I had 4 $1 off coupons (3/15 SS) so ended up with 4 containers of dry roasted and honey roasted nuts for $0.90 each!
Friday, March 20, 2009
First you need a bar of Zote (or Fels Naptha or even Ivory). Just don't use anything with lotion or "moisturizer" in it. I buy this in the grocery store. It's Mexican. It costs about $1 or less.It takes about 5 minutes to grate this BIG bar. If you find a coupon for this, let me know. I've never seen one. By the way, this was bought in Garden Fresh. I've not seen it in Walmart, Jewel or Dominicks (those three carry Fels Naptha). My friend used Ivory. This will also work just fine.
See, all liquefied.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Decorator topiaries. Nice quality. Goodwill: $2.99 each
Baseball card protector sleeves (going to use them for storing my coupons). Goodwill: $0.99
I thought I'd scored a Trapper Keeper (do you all remember THOSE??) but alas it was not to be.
I went on the way home from work and signed up in store for the ECB card (it's their loyalty care). I used it right away. Colgate toothbrushes free after store coupon (I got a coupon for $2.99 off my next purchase). Turned around and used it in a second transation to buy cub scout treats (on sale and with coupon). Used my ECB discount= free
My husband remarked tonight that I am shopping in stores that I have never shopped in before and isn't that exactly what these stores want? I reminded him that if these stores wanted me to shop there for 50-100% off their items, they needed a new marketing strategy. I'm not spending more money with them, I'm spending less!
Pretty good deal considering my governor announced state income tax increases that will hit us to the tune of $2,000 more next year. Great.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
As I mentioned in my last post, I'd racked up $13 in Jewel grocery free on your next purchase rewards for spending $14 on cheese (yes, cheese). This time I took advantage of another Jewel catalina sale. Spend $25 on Nabisco products and get $10 off your next Jewel purchase. Here's how it transpired:
4 boxes Wheat Thins (reg. price $4.15) = $16.60
2 boxes of 10 count Nabisco low calorie snack crackers (reg. price $7.25) = $14.50
Total before sale prices and coupons: $31.10
Sale price for above: $21
Spend $19 oop and got $10 back
If I had started collecting coupons earlier this year I could have saved more. With Easter coming, guest and kids snacks for school, this was a deal.
Combining coupons, register rebates, and store sales I save $54.62 off my grocery bill. That's a 37% savings. Sweet!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Just a quickie to share my glee...I participated in my first grocery "catalina" today. Apparently a catalina is that little coupon machine that spits out register coupons at the check out. This was a deal on cheese I learned online. Kraft was running a special if you bought so much, you got $10 back, and if you bought X number of packages, you got another cash coupon back.
It went like this:
7 bags of shredded Kraft cheese (regular price = $4 x 7= $28)
On sale, it was 2 for 4, so I spent $14 ($2 x 7)
Jewel grocery/Kraft catalina required me to spend $25 (regular price) so I was covered, even though the cheese was on sale
Since I bought 4+ bags, I got an additional $3 coupon
total cost for 7 bags of cheese: $14
total coupons received from grocery store: $13 (good for ANY groceries, not just cheese and no min purchase
Total out of pocket: $1
I could have bought 35 bags of cheese for $5 and gotten $50 off my grocery bill (assuming 5 separate transactions at 7 bags each) and donated them to a food bank if I knew one near here that took perishables.
Slightly crazy I know. But simple and hey CHEAP. By the way, am freezing the cheese....