Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shopping Trip 3/31: Expiring Coupons and Aldi

Well, today is the last day of the month, and you know what happens on the last day of the month...coupons expire.  Normally, I would not let expiring coupons get to me.  Today, however, I had 3 of those $3/1 Gain fabric softener coupons.  You know the ones that everyone has been getting for less than $2 at Wal-Mart.  $1.87 for the 40ct to be exact.  After having heard about Wal-Mart's new coupon policy that allows overage on coupons that are above the value of the item ("If coupon value exceeds the price of the item, the excess may be given to the customer as cash or applied toward the basket purchase."), I thought it might be worth it to make a quick trip in there after lunch.

I always get nervous handing over coupons at Wal-Mart because I never know what is going to happen.  Recently I had heard stories of stores being so nice and coupon friendly, and all the cashiers knew what was going on and they had the new policy plastered to all of the registers.  Well, I just have three words to say about that...Must. Be. Nice.

After my cashier rang up my items, she began scanning y few coupons, and I saw her put those off to the side.  She then looked up and told me that they couldn't take those.  I said simply "I thought you would now, I read about it online".  I didn't have the coupon policy with me, but *if* I ever go back there I will now.  She had no idea what I was talking about.  She asked the cashier at the next register over, who apparently ranked higher up the chain of command than she did.  This lady told her yes it was ok, so she came back and put the coupons through no problem.  She said she wondered when they changed that.  I told her it had just been a few weeks, and that it was truly the only thing that got me back into the store because I hadn't been in about a year.

As I was grabbing my bags and walking away, a manger walked up.  She asked her, the manager looked outraged, and said "Naw.  We don't do that."  She pointed at the one who ok'd it, who again said yes.  The manager said "I got this.  NO."  She told her, "well, I just did it, "  and the manager said, "well, don't do it again."

I silently walked away, feeling sorry for the cashier because I know that she is going to have about a million arguments over this today.  I sincerely hope the next shopper through her line has a copy of the new policy with them so that manager can read it.  I think it is very sad that big corporations like that take absolutely no time to clue in their employees when such huge changes are made.  It's not the employees faults.  They are only doing what they have been told, and they haven't been told much of anything, and what they have been told is incorrect.  I'm not just saying this as a bitter customer either.  My mother has worked for the company for over 26 years years, so trust me when I say they never tell them anything!  I'm always like "hey mom, did you know blah blah blah?"  She doesn't.

So now that I've ranted....here is what I got:

Total Shelf Price:  $27.58
Price Paid After Coupons and tax:  $9.06  (I got a FREE Drano coupon after I contacted the company.  I also got what I felt was a pretty rude email back from them, so you do what you want with that info...)

I did not get my windshield wiper blade, but I did pick up a mop head, since mine broke last week mid-mopping, and I had to finish up with a cloth diaper attached to my Clorox Ready mop that I have no more fluid for.  I guess now I have no excuses for not mopping, and boy do I need to!  I had forgotten what messes toddlers can make.  Even though I have two living mops...err....dogs. ;)

As I was leaving Wal-Mart, I decided to go ahead and stop by Aldi to pick up some of those awesome produce deals since it was just across the street.  I would have needed to go back in a few days for milk anyway, so it saved me a trip later on.

Here is what I picked up:
3 Strawberries, 1 Red Grape, 1 Green Grape, 1 bag of Gala Apples, 2 cucumbers ($0.65/each), Milk (up to $1.39 now....but still $2.09 at Wal-Mart), 3 frozen peas because I noticed a few nights ago we were out, Apple Juice, some snack crackers, a pack of diapers (gonna use disposables until we get another washing machine), and a pack of diet soda.  My husband has had cravings.  I feel I've corrupted him.

Total Paid:  $25.08

Unless I end up going to CVS, that should be my last shopping until next week.  This trip, along with my Target trip on Monday and my trip to Albertson's and Kroger on Tuesday and a quick $15 run into Aldi on Saturday have cost a little over $68 for the week.  This is right in line with my new lowered budget, so I am pleased even though I had to do a lot of catch up shopping.  I guess that's what I get for not shopping all last week.

How did your shopping go this week?  Leave a comment or a link below.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another Resource: Free Coupon Alerts



I just came across another nice site that I wanted to share:  FreeCouponAlerts.com.  This site is a listing of the most recently available printable coupons from across the internet.  Of course, I will try to share as many as I can on here, but sadly, I can't catch them all.

This is a good site to check daily, especially if you've been out most of the day.  Some of those coupons can run out of prints pretty quickly!

I've also added a button on my right side bar, so you can always find your way there easily.

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Free Sample of New Degree With MotionSense


Degree Women is giving away free samples of their newest deodorant with MotionSense Technology on their facebook page.  Go request yours now!

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Aldi Deals 3/30-4/5


None of the grocery ads this morning really impressed me, except for Aldi, as usual.  They have some great produce deals this week:

Strawberries     $0.99/ 1lb. package
Texas Grapefruit    $0.25/each
Red and Green Grapes    $0.75/lb sold in 2lb packages for $1.49
Gala Apples  $0.60/lb sold in 3 lb. bags for $1.79

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quiznos Coupon: $2.99 Any Small Sub


I love Quiznos.  I rarely go there, because it is kinda pricey.  If you are like me, then you will love this deal.  Right now you can get a coupon for any small sub for just $2.99.  While you are there, you also have the option to sign up for their Q club.  If you do this, you can upgrade your coupon to include a free cookie, as well.

This new Chicken Bacon Dipper sub is making my mouth water.  I'm trying to cut out fast food, but I may just have to take advantage of this one. ;)

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Shopping Trip 3/29: Albertson's and Kroger

I didn't shop last week, and now I'm trying to make up for it at the last minute.  I knew I wanted to make one more trip to Kroger before the Mega Sale ended (it may be going on a third week, but I wasn't certain), and there were also a few things that I wanted to pick up from Albertson's which is on the way and 2 blocks from Kroger, so that is what we did this morning.

First stop, Albertson's for some cheap detergent and Nature Valley bars:

Shelf Price:  $20.94
Sale Price:   $9.98  (Saved $4 instantly when I bought 4 participating items)
Price Paid After Coupons:  $3.98 + tax =$4.14    80% Savings


From there I went to Kroger.  I wanted to grab a few more of the Mega Items that I had wasn't able to use all my coupons for last trip.  I also had those Kool-Aid coupons I wanted to use.  I also found some bell peppers marked down to $0.99 for 4 on the way in.  The Cuties clementine oranges were on sale for $2.99 for a 3 lb bag, and I was going to grab on for that price, but when I did I noticed a coupon inside the package for $0.35/1 3lb bag.  That tripled to make it less $1.94.  Best I've even seen them for and they are SOOOO good.

Here is all I got (sorry, it's a little scrunched up and hard to see everything--there are actually 8 more boxes of Ronzoni in there.  I had 10, but I ended up with 22 items instead of 20, so I put 2 back):
Shelf Price:  $58.36
Sale Price:   $34.07
Price Paid After Coupons:  $13.32      77% Savings

Now, I'm about to go slice up those peppers into strips and throw them in the freezer to cook with. =)  Half of the time, finding the best deals requires so planning at all, it is just being in the right place at the right time.

Oh, and when I was checking out at Kroger, there was an elderly man behind me in line.  He was watching the cashier scan all my coupons and he commented that he supposed he should start saving coupons too, he's just always been too lazy.  I told him that was kind of my job at the moment.  He glanced over at my girls and said it looked like I had a much harder job than just clipping coupons, and that they sure were cute.  He made me smile.

I may not be done with my shopping for the week, since new ads will come out tomorrow.  I may even make a trip to Wal-Mart (I shudder at the thought!) to use some of my really good coupons that are about to expire on 3/31 and I haven't found a sale to use them with yet.  Maybe some of that overage they are now allowing can absorb some of the cost of a new wiper blade for my van!  I'm getting tired of staring at pollen smudges.

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Free Kid's Gardening Kit When You Buy 2 Annie's Products


Annie's has a great offer available on their site.  If you buy two of their items, you can submit a form to receive a free kid's gardening kit, complete with seeds and gloves.  It does not specify the type of seeds, though the picture shows carrots.  The best thing is that this is not a mail in rebate.  You do not have to send in proofs of purchase or a receipt.  All you have to do is enter in the UPC numbers of 2 products.  They may be already sitting in your pantry.

I went to their site this morning looking for some coupons to pair with the Kroger Mega Sale, as I was making a second trip over there this morning.  I did not find coupons, but I found this offer instead.  I thought that since they were just $0.50 per box, I would go ahead and grab two of them, but I could not even find them in my store.  It has an almost non-existent organic department.

So, it looks like I will not be submitting for this great offer, but if any of you guys have some sitting around or you are able to find some at a store near you, I wanted to let you guys know that it was available.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Freebie Site I Just Came Across


I just came across a new free sample site just for women called womanfreebies.com.

Here's how it works:
--Sign up for free.  All you need to enter is your first name, birth year, and email address.
--Click the link in the confirmation email. (Check your spam folder...mine went there.)
--Get emails.

I got my first email right away.  Today it listed a free Playtex sample, a Cottonelle Sweepstakes that I can enter, and a link to print a $5/1 Zantac coupon.

I love sites like this that do all the hard work of finding the freebies for you.  If you would like to sign up and give it a try, go HERE.

What is your favorite free stuff site?

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Target Trip 3/28

I had to make a trip to Target today to pick up a prescription for my husband.  We transferred it there because I had a $10 Gift Card coupon to use and it was expiring today.  I also had a $5 gift card that came in the mail last week from taking an online survey.  So, I went in knowing that I was going to have $15 of their money to spend.

I know there are usually some great deals to be had at Target, so as I was organizing my coupons last night, I pulled out a big stack of coupons that I was going to just check the price on while I was there.  I'm not sure if it was just a bad week for deals or what, but I didn't really find that many today.  What I did find, though, was exactly what I was needing to get.  The coupons I had on hand made the name brands that I prefer cheaper than the store brands that I usually settle for, and after my gift cards, I left there paying under $2 out my my own pocket, so I would say it was a pretty productive trip.

Here is what I came home with:

Shelf/Sale Price:  $27.44  (The original prices are not shown on my receipt, only the sale prices.)
Price After Coupons:  $16.88
Price Paid After Gift Cards:  $1.88

Coupons Used:
--$2/1 Purina Cat Food Printable (made it $9.99, and the store brand was just over $10)
--$2/1 Got2b from April All You (My husband's favorite and he hasn't had any for a LONG time!  Coupon made it just $1.49.)
--$4/1 Vicks Sinex from P&G insert (made it $1.99 and the store brand without the menthol was $1.97)
--AND Get Free Puffs wyb Vicks from P&G insert (I also had a Target store coupon that was in a coupon insert for $0.50/1 Puffs, but those are very regional so I'm not sure who all got it).
--$1/1 Flintstones from either 1/2 SS or 3/20 SS AND $2/1 Target Store Coupon Printable  (made it $3 and it was a bonus bottle with 75 instead of 60.  The store brand cost over $4 for 60, and these taste much better).

I'm very pleased with being able to use the gift cards for these items, because the cat food especially usually takes a large chunk out of our budget, and vitamins have gotten ridiculously expensive, too.  Whenever I have a credit like that to use, I try to get the things that I am running out of and will cost the most, so the credit covers that and less of it comes out of my pocket.  This trip is a very good example of being able to do just that!

How do you save money on costly necessities?  Do you have pets?  Have you altered their diet to save money?  I would love to hear.  No more Iams for my puppies!  LOL

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

The End Of The Month Is Near: Get Your Coupons Now!

I just wanted to remind you guys that the end of the month was quickly approaching.  If you haven't been over to coupons.com in a while, head over there and see if there are any coupons you may wish to print.  There is no guarantee that they will still be available when April rolls around, so go get them while you still can.


Also, make sure you go and load up any e-coupons you wish to get from cellfire.com and shortcuts.com.

There has been some controversy over e-coupons being accepted along with paper coupons at Kroger lately.  I did not actually buy any items that I had e-coupons for on my last Kroger trip, so I do not have any answers as to how they are working at my store.  From what I have been hearing, the e-coupon will come off first and make the paper coupon beep.  They will not be able to take the e-coupon off (which of course will not double), and also not be able to take the paper coupon (which would have doubled), so you may get cheated out of a multiplied coupon.

Some are saying that they are still working fine at their stores, while others are having problems.  Most people are suggesting that if you have e-coupons loaded to your card, that you hand over your coupons first before scanning your card.  The coupons will not initially multiply, but once the card is scanned they will all multiply at once.  This will make it harder to see if they double correctly, but it solves the problem with the e-coupons preventing the paper ones from scanning.

Like I said, I am only reporting what I've read in multiple places online.  If you have first hand experience with this, leave a comment for us and please let us know what state you are in.  Thanks!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sunday Coupon Preview for 3/27


Tomorrow, we should get 3 coupon inserts:  2 Smartsource, and a Redplum.  If you would like to take a look at the specific coupons you can expect, go HERE.

My favorites include: SoftSoap, Halls, Nature Valley, Dove, Lipton, Stayfree, Colgate, etc.  In other words, it should be a great coupon day so make sure you get a paper....or three. ;)

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Friday, March 25, 2011

My Good Friend Is Learning, And Wanted to Share

I have a very good friend named Ruby, whom I've known since way back at summer camp in middle school.  I had totally lost touch with her until I found her on facebook.  She has been reading my posts and decided to give coupons a try.  She sent me a picture of one of her first coupon shopping trips during the Kroger Mega Sale that is going on now.

By stacking coupons and sale prices, she paid just $72.25 for over $113 worth of groceries, including some meat and produce.  She's also got some cleaning supplies and 5 boxes of cereal in there!  Plus, she said she got back a $1.50 Catalina coupon for buying the Hamburger Helper.

I think Ruby is doing a great job for just starting out, and she wanted to help encourage others who are just getting started as well.

She also emailed me the very next day about another unexpected deal she found.  She was purchasing some Levi's jeans for herself at Academy.  The signs said $14.88, which she thought was a good price already.  When she went to pay for them, they actually rang up $0.88!  I think Ruby has had a great savings week!

She and I would both like to encourage anyone who is just getting started with couponing to stick with it.  You most likely will not see 90% savings on your very first outing.  That rarely happens for those that have been doing this for decades!  The longer you stick with it, the more savings you will see in the long run.

I think the idea here is to not look at the percentage you are saving on the receipt, but the amount less you are spending as a whole on your groceries over time.  That's what we are truly in need of decreasing.  Try picking up as many of the freebies and items that are at their lowest price as you have coupons for each week *before* you actually need them, and over time you will have a small stockpile of items that you did not pay full price for.  Then when you need it again, you don't have to run out and pay full price, you can just walk right over to your pantry.

Once you build up a pantry full of items in this way, you will really start seeing savings in your grocery spending.  To do this, you will likely need more coupons than come in a single Sunday newspaper.  Many can be printed online, but you, like Ruby, may not have a printer.  Some of the coupon print links have an option to have them mailed to you!  Also,many of your friends and family may not use their coupons and would gladly give them to you, so ask around.  The longer you save coupons, the more coupons you will have in your stash also, and this will increase the number of items that you are able to get great deals on!

If you are also just getting started, keep at it.  You will see savings.  If you would like to share a trip to encourage others, too, email me at savingmyselfsilly at gmail dot com.

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I'm Back...

Well, I didn't really go anywhere, I just haven't had a chance to post in a few days.  What have I been up to?  Well, on Wednesday we spent the day at the Fort Worth Zoo with my second cousin who was in town briefly.  She lives in Hawaii and I have seen her in person maybe a handful of times in my entire life.  She surprised me by paying our way in, buying us lunch, and sneaking off into the gift shop to get stuffed animals while I was taking the girls to the restroom, not to mention bringing them gifts from Hawaii!  We had a great visit, the weather was beautiful, and my baby learned a few more words, such as "tiger"!  Here we are about to head into one of the new zoo exhibits.


Thursday, I cleaned.  End of story.  I tried to take care of everything I didn't get to on Tuesday, and everything I wasn't home to do on Wednesday.  I ended up finishing half of it up this afternoon.  (Yeah, right....I'm not done!)  It has been another very busy day.

This morning, though, I took the girls to the library to check out some new books and movies, and we saw a few garage sale signs on the way.  My oldest daughter loves to go to garage sales, but we usually wait too late on a Saturday afternoon and all the good stuff is gone, so I thought while we were out and it wasn't yet lunch time I would stop by and see what they had.

At the first place I stopped, I lucked out and found a few nice polo shirts in my husband's size that were being sold for just $1 each.

Then, at the second one, I happened to spot something we really needed as I was about to head to the car empty handed.  My husband likes hats.  My husband sweats a lot.  Therefore, my husband has very dirty hats.  BUT, he won't let me wash them because "they will get all bent out of shape".  He has been wanting to get one of these contraptions (I honestly don't even know what to call them) for a while.  We really didn't even know where to go to look for one.  He has been tempted to pay the $6.50 they wanted for them on Amazon.  He was so impressed that I found one priced at just 5cents.  I couldn't even find a nickel in my purse so I gave her a dime instead. ;)

Except for a quick $10 run to Aldi on Monday, I haven't even been shopping all this week since my CVS trip that I shared with you guys on Sunday.  I purposely stayed away from the stores this week knowing that my husband's monthly paycheck was going to be in the bank by Saturday morning.  It's not that I was out of money in my grocery budget.  I actually did extremely well staying *under* budget this month by using rebates, pharmacy credits, and rewards earned on previous shopping trips to bring down my expenses on my non-coupon items.  Instead of buying extra items, I wanted to be able to stash that extra money away for gas because we have a college reunion coming up in a couple weeks.  It's only about 4 hours each way, but with gas going up as it has been, we were concerned about going over next month's gas budget if we went.  Now that won't be an issue. =)

Since I opted to stay away from the stores, I didn't have much to share with you guys this week, but that's ok because my house really needed some attention. ;)

I hope everyone had a great week.  I should be back to shopping and posting as usual.  If you found any great deals this week, please share them in a comment below.  Feel free to leave a link!

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Reminder: Friday's Are Mega SwagBucks Days!






I just wanted to give you all a quick reminder that every Friday is Mega Swagbucks day.  You can earn higher than normal amounts of Swagbucks with a single search today, so start searching.

If you have not registered with Swagbucks yet, you can do so here.  You can redeem the points you earn from searching for many items in the Swagstore, including Amazon gift cards, which are my favorite.  It only takes 450 Swagbucks to get a $5 Amazon gift card, so start searching!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kool-Aid Coupon=Free At Many Stores

There is a new coupon available on the Kool-Aid Facebook page for $0.50/5 packets of Kool-Aid.  You must enter the sweepstakes before you will see the option to print it, but hey you might even win something big!

If you have a grocery store that doubles this coupon value, you might could score some free Kool-Aid.  On my last trip to Kroger,  these were on sale 5 for $1.  $0.50 doubled= $1.00/5, so that would mean free Kool-Aid.  I'm not sure if the sale is still going on at Kroger, but I think that is a frequent sale price at many locations.  I've even seen as low as 8 for $1!   Print twice and stock up before summer!

My husband, not my children, was actually so excited that I recently purchased real Kool-Aid instead of generic because it comes in non-boring flavors. ;)

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Great Wipes Deal on Amazon.com

I wanted to let you guys in on this deal that I just bought for myself.  I was running low on wipes, and there never seem to be really great stock up prices on these at the stores.  It's really hard to get the big refill pack (which is the most economical, usually) for under $5, so when I saw this I definitely went for it.

Right now, Huggies Soft Skin Shea Butter Baby Wipes Popup Refill, 184-Count Pack (Pack of 3) is priced at just $17.78, which is $5.93 for each pack....about the usual sale price.

However, if you are an Amazon Mom member (click to sign up if you aren't), you get 15% off.  If you also buy it through Subscribe and Save (you can cancel at any time), you get an additional 15% off, which brings the total down to just $12.45, and Subscribe and Save purchases always have FREE shipping (it would have been $12.31 for this item!!!!).

This price makes each pack only $4.15 each refill pack (or $1.38 each single pack if you prefer to think about it that way), and it will be delivered to your door for free in just a few days!

Of course what makes it even better is that I had gift cards available to use from Swagbucks, so I actually paid nothing at all. ;)

If you would like to get this deal, I suggest you hurry, as Amazon prices fluctuate randomly.  This price was only for this particular variety of Huggies.  The other varieties were priced higher, but I'm not that picky.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Sorry...

I wasn't able to post anything today because our internet has been going out randomly all day long.  My husband is working on it and has it back up momentarily, but it hasn't stayed up longer than half an hour all night since he's been home.  Hopefully things are back up and running soon!

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Free Sample of Dove Men Care and Coupon

Walmart.com is offering a free sample and a coupon for Dove Men Care.  Go HERE to get yours.

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Play a Game, Feed the Hungry

Play Freerice and feed the hungry


This is not a "deal" necessarily, but it is something that I just came across and I wanted to share it with you.  This site, FreeRice.com, has partnered with the United Nations and the World Food Programme.  There are a number of different subject areas to choose from on the site.  It asks you quiz type multiple choice questions, and for every answer you get right, it will donate 10 grains of rice.  It keeps a running tally of all the grains you've donated on the side of the page when you log in.

This is a free and easy way to give to those in need, and it can help you brush up on your skills in certain subject areas.  The most popular is the vocabulary quiz, which can also help students prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT.

Check it out if you are interested in helping, or if you are just bored and want to do something worthwhile.  I added a link to my sidebar, as well.

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CVS Trip 3/20: I Actually Spent Some Money

I am still fighting this congestion, which I now believe is just Spring allergies, but I had that $5/$25 coupon that was expiring today so I made sure I got over there.  There were a few more things that I wanted to get but I couldn't find the coupons and my brain was not cooperating, so I may end up making another trip later on in the week.

This was a pretty unusual shopping trip for me because I got a few items that were included in an ECB deal that I did not have coupons for (the St. Ives and Noxzema that were 3 for $10 and giving back just $2 ECBs).  I really like these products, though, and the price was reasonable.  Plus, I was running low.

 I also bought a pretty costly item that did not give back ECBs.  It was the Allergy Buster spray.  I've tried the Sinus Buster variety in the past and thought it worked pretty well.  It had a clip free $3 off coupon in the ad, and I also had a $3 off manufacturer coupon for it.  Even so, it still cost me $7.99.  I also picked up the 5ct Allegra that was free after rebate, and used the $2/1 coupon from the paper.  If you do not have that one and still would like to try this item, there were tearpads at both the pharmacy counter and the front register with the same coupon on them.  Hopefully between this and the spray I can get a bit of relief.  I hate not being able to breathe. =(

I also grabbed one of the Schick Intuitions using the $2/1 coupon from this morning's paper, and a few of the Reach Flosses that were on sale for $1.  I had previously printed some $1/1 coupons from coupons.com which made them free.

Here is everything I came home with (the little red scanner machine must love me because this is the second time I've gotten a $1/1 Starbucks coffee coupon on the way in--note the empty bottle):

Total Shelf Price:  $56.60
Total Sale Price:   $42.77
Price After Coupons:  $25.77
Price Paid After my $12.50 in ECBs from last trip plus $5 in ECBs that I got from taking an online survey for the CVS advisor panel (click to sign up):  $8.76 with tax and I got back $12.99 in ECBs.

What will you get from CVS this week?  If you need some more ideas, head over to Simply CVS to see all of the reader shopping trips.  I will be linking this post there also.  I find it helpful to see what others are buying because you might find a deal you hadn't thought of. =)

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Freezer Cooking: Ground Beef

This afternoon, I took the 10lbs of ground meat I had gotten for $1/lb a few weeks back, and turned it into 11 meals for my family.  First off, a couple days ago I took it out of the freezer to thaw in a large bowl in the fridge.

Then I looked in my pantry to see what I already had on hand.  .  I found 2 packs of Hamburger Helper that I had gotten for free at Kroger--not something that I buy often, but for free I will, 4 jars of spaghetti sauces that I had gotten for $0.25-$0.50 each (two were from that same Kroger trip).  Since I had stocked up all I would need on my past shopping trips, I found that I actually would not need anything extra from the grocery store.  Here are the things I decided to use (the lasagna noodles are not pictures because those were a small change of plan).

I split the meat up into the correct sized portions: 2 lbs for the hamburger helper (I got that cooking in a small pot), 4 lbs for the spaghetti sauce (got that cooking in my large stock pot),

and 4 lbs for burgers/meatballs/meatloaf.  
For this mixture I use the onion soup mix (shown above-$0.69/ 2 pouch pack at Aldi and makes really good onion burgers) as seasoning.  I put 1 pouch per pound of meat, so for this mixture I used 4 (that happened to be exactly what I had on hand).  I also ad bread crumbs, and eggs (1 egg/lb of meat so I used 4 for this batch) to make it stick together.

 I took a small loaf pan and lined it with foil and then I stuffed it with the mixture.  This will be one meatloaf for us.  It seems really small but it feeds us all nearly perfectly.  Now, when my kids are a little older I'll have to think of something else to use.  I covered this in foil and froze it.  Tomorrow I will pop it out of the loaf pan and bag it up.  When I'm ready to cook it I just need to thaw it, unwrap it, and bake it.  I usually bake it in a larger casserole dish so I have room to add some gravy. =)
After this I shaped the meatballs and placed them in a mini muffin pan.  Then I shaped the burgers and laid them flat on a baking sheet.  I put these in the freezer overnight, and tomorrow I will bag them, also.  Then I will be able to toss them in a pot or throw them on the grill.  All the messy work has been done all at once!
While I was in the freezer putting these away, I discovered that I still had two bags of spaghetti sauce in there.  I had initially intended to bag up all of my sauce and freeze it for spaghetti, but after realizing this, and a comment on my facebook page (Thanks again, Brittany!) I decided to make a couple of lasagnas.  I had everything I needed for them on hand, too. =)
After I made these, I was still able to bag up three more meals worth of sauce for spaghetti.  That will go great with all of the pasta I got yesterday.  I laid these out flat in my freezer because I've had problems with the ends of the bags falling between the slats of the freezers shelves before freezing and then being stuck when I want to get them out.  Here is what my freezer looks like now.

All of this took me about 2 hours total, and could have taken even less.  We had the Hamburger Helper for dinner tonight along with the rest of our salad from Thursday night.  We even have once more meal from it still in the fridge.  While that was cooking, I assembled the lasagnas, and the only thing left to do after dinner was to bag up the rest of the sauce once it cooled a bit.

This is going to save me so much food preparation time later on, and it saved me so much money too since I got the meat at a great price and paired it with items that were already in my pantry.   The key to saving money in this area is to buy things that are on sale and you have a coupon for when they are at their lowest price BEFORE you actually need them.  That way when you need to cook a meal, you have plenty of items on hand to choose from.  You will not have to run out and pay full shelf price for items that you run out of if you buy them ahead of time when they are priced their lowest.  Now I'm not talking about amassing quantities of food that you will never be able to consume before its expiration date.  I'm just talking about having enough on hand to get you through however many times you will eat that meal until it goes on sale again and you have a coupon.  This is usually 2-3 months, max.  If you aren't choosy about brands though, you can usually find a sale on some type of an item in any given week.  The more flexible you are, the more you will end up being able to save!

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Sunday Coupon Preview for 3/20



In tomorrow's paper there should be two coupon inserts, a SmartSource and a RedPlum.  You can go HERE to check out all of the details, remember though that coupons can vary by region, so you may or may not get the ones listed.

My favorites include:  Huggies, Schick (I need some razors),  and lots of pet food/treats.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.  You will likely not hear from me again today.  *sigh* Something must be done about this house!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Kroger Trip 3/18-97% Savings

I really wasn't feeling very good today.  I got hit with a head cold that kept me up until 5am.  My loving husband let me sleep in, and when I woke up I found him covered up on the couch wearing a sweater.  He said he had fever and chills.  Not a great end to his spring break week.  I had already volunteered to bring a meal over to a friend from church who had just had a baby, and to get to her house I have to pass right in front of Kroger.  I figured since I was practically there anyways, I would drag myself into the store and grab a few things I wanted to get on their mega sale this week, so I started going through my coupons.  I found coupons, and coupons, and more coupons that I wanted to use.  I ended up with quite a stack to take along with me.  I halfway figured that I would good in there and just grab ten things and decide to come back another day, but my daughter was behaving well and the store was strangely not that busy for 4pm on a Friday.  I was even feeling so good about my purchases when I left that I stopped and bought a box of Girl Scout cookies.

I ended up getting 4 sets of mega items and a good bit of other things.  Here is everything I came home with (click to enlarge):

Total Shelf Price:  $149.91
Initial Sale Price:   $114.87
Price After Mega Sale Deducted $20:    $94.87
Price After Coupons:    $30.16
Price Paid After $25 Pharmacy Credit  :  $5.16    97% Savings



Here are a few highlights:
--Ronzoni  $1.19 ($0.69 with Mega Sale).  Used coupons I told you about here.  Cost $0.19 each! (Not free, but close enough for me!)
--Carefree 46 ct liners on clearance for $1.97.  Used $0.50/1 from 1/9SS (doubled).  $0.97 each.
--Stayfree $2.49 ($1.99 with Mega Sale).  Used BOGO free coupons from 1/9SS and I also had a $1/1 printable and a $1.50/1 Catalina.  This should have worked out to $3.47 for all 6 or $0.58/ pack.  However, the cashier took off not just the pre-Mega Sale price, but the pre-sale price of $2.89, so I actually ended up paying just $0.77 for all 6 packs!  (This will all even out in the end, though....)
--Motrin PM  $2.99 ($2.49 with Mega Sale).  Used $6/2 from 1/9SS.  this should have worked out to be a $0.49 per box money maker after the Mega Sale pricing.  However, when the transaction was completed, only 39 items showed up on my ticket.  I ran and grabbed a $0.50 pack of tuna (an extra purchase I shouldn't have had to make-and I had a coupon for it that I couldnt find--, and went with it).  When I go home I noticed that I had grabbed 2 20ct Motrin PMs and 1 40ct, which was in the exact same size box!  The 40ct rang up $6.79!  Oh, well.  I'm still happy with my savings on this trip so I'm not going to try to exchange it.
--Kids Yogurt  Dannonino $1.79 with Mega Sale, Dannimals $2.29 with Mega Sale.  Used $1/1 coupons from 2/27SS made them $0.79 and $1.29
--Spiderman Bandaids, clearanced for $1.29, used $0.50/1 (doubled) and convinced my daughter they were cool ;)
--Pedigree Dog Food  $4.49 ($3.99 with Mega Sale).  Used $3/1 coupon from 3/6 RP made it $0.99.
--Purina One Beyond small boxes of cat food.  $2.99.  Used a FREE small box coupon and a $3/1 coupon from  3/13 SS made both FREE.
--Aquafresh Training Toothbrushes $1.50 ($1 with Mega Sale).  Used $0.50/1 printable (doubled).  FREE!


That is the majority of the great deals.  If you are curious about something I missed, just leave a comment and ask =)

Did you do the Mega Sale at Kroger yet?  How did you do?

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reminder: Friday's Are Mega SwagBucks Days!



I just wanted to give you all a quick reminder that every Friday is Mega Swagbucks day.  You can earn higher than normal amounts of Swagbucks with a single search today, so start searching.

If you have not registered with Swagbucks yet, you can do so here.  You can redeem the points you earn from searching for many items in the Swagstore, including Amazon gift cards, which are my favorite.  It only takes 450 Swagbucks to get a $5 Amazon gift card, so start searching!

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An Idea For Those Leftover Chops

I'm not a big fan of eating leftover meat.  I am far less a fan of wasting food, though.  This afternoon I was contemplating what to have for dinner.  We had eaten chicken meals from my freezer cooking day the past two nights, and I was kinda tired of chicken.  I looked in my refrigerator and I saw a plate in there that contained two leftover pork steaks that we had grilled three nights ago.


I thought, we need to eat these or I will have to toss them, and I really hate to do that.  I also thought that is not enough to feed all of us anyway.  Then I had a bright idea:  A dinner salad.  I had plenty of things on hand that could be added to the salad, just not the salad itself, so I made a quick trip over to the 99Cents Only Store--Love That Place!  It is the only dollar type store that I have ever seen with a produce and freezer department.  I picked up a bag of baby spinach and a bag that contained 3 Hearts of Romaine lettuce.  I also grabbed a bag of carrots to shred.  We mixed all of that together in a big bowl.  That only used one of the Romaine hearts.

I had also bought some yellow squash last week at the farmer's market, and it was still sitting in my fridge waiting to be used.  We like it battered in corn meal and fried.  Never thought of adding it to a salad before, but my husband said it sounded good (and it was!)  I microwaved some frozen red and yellow bell peppers alongside the meat, and we tossed all of that stuff on top with some cheese and dressing and it come out great.

What do you do with your leftovers?

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Check Your Email: CVS Coupon


Check your email!  I just got an email from CVS containing a $5/$25 purchase coupon good through Sunday.  Did you get one too?  If you have not registered your CVS card to your email account, make sure that you do.  They send out this type of coupon offer pretty offen.  Plus, they will send you a $4/$20 just for signing up!.

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Kraft First Taste: New Offer

Log into your Kraft First Taste account and you may have a surprise waiting for you!  I was able to request a FREE coupon by mail for Jello Temptations.  Not all offers are available to all members, so check just to see.  If you haven't signed up yet, do so!  There are new offers popping up with chances of free coupons all the time.

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New Kroger Instant Win Game

Once again, Kroger has an instant win game going along with their Mega Sale.  Go here to play every day.  You can win coupons for free products dowloaded to your card.  I just won a free pack of Crystal Light Pure.  I love that stuff!

Let us know if you win anything!

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Ronzoni Coupons: Possibly Free Pasta At Kroger













Kroger is having yet another Mega sale this week.  The list of sale items on their website shows Ronzoni Pasta is included in the sale.  The price is not listed in my sale ad, but I have seen many reports that it is on sale for $1, and if you buy in multiples of 10, the price gets reduced to $0.50.

There are coupons here for $1/2 for each type of Ronzoni (Smart Taste, Healthy Heart, and Garden Delight-which I've never actually seen at my store).  You may print them twice per computer, so one computer can in theory get you 12 free boxes of pasta if your store sells all three varieties.  If you do not have a printer, there were also some of these in the 1/23 SS.

I have never seen a price this good for this pasta, and I am so excited about it because I have almost reached the end of my stash of these!

Also, I always hear people say that coupons are just for junk food, but this is one example of how coupons have help my family switch to more healthy options, because in the past we bought only store brand white pasta!  My father in law joked that I was trying to poison him with the whole wheat pasta, but even he said it was good.  =)

There are many, many things included in the Kroger sale (which should run through next week also).  I am still trying to sort through it all, but I will give you an update with the best deals that I find soon.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New BzzAgent Campaign: SCJohnson Smart and Easy Spring Cleaning



In the past I have told you about a company called BzzAgent.  It is one of my favorite market research companies.  Instead of sending you surveys, they send you actual products to try, and coupons to give out.  Anytime I see that I have an email from this company, I open it right away!  If you are interested, click the link above and sign up.  You do not have to be a blogger to qualify.  I was a member long before I began blogging.  I have been getting more opportunities recently, though. ;)

I had qualified for this particular campaign a while back, and in all the madness around here, I had completely forgotten.  I was pleasantly surprised when my doorbell rang a few days ago and the mailman handed me a large box.  Here is what was in it:

1 Scrubbing Bubbles Foam Spray
1 Plegde
1 Glade Spring Collection Candle
1 Glade Scented Oil Refill (something to put it in would have been nice....)
1 Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel
AND a coupon book with $58 worth of coupons (keep reading)


The only item I have had the chance to try so far has been the Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel.  It came in a small tube/wand container with gel inside.  You push it onto the inside of the toilet (yes I cleaned my toiler prior to applying it, and I discovered that my 4 year old enjoys using toilet brushes =P).

I was very impressed with two things about this product.  First of all, being that is was a gel, I was expecting it to be soft and runny, or wash away after just a few flushes.  I was very surprised that it seemed to harden after being exposed to the air.  I had to poke it and examine it's consistency for curiosity's sake.  So did my 19 month old =/.  After three days of flushing, the product has no seemed to shrink or change at all.  I think that it should be there for quite a while.  I will be interested to see how long it actually keeps any stains from appearing, though.  About that I'm a bit skeptical.

The second thing that impressed me about it was the smell.  It has a wonderfully clean scent that I could smell down the whole hallway shortly after I applied them to my two toilets.  Still three days later, you are able to smell in strongly in the bathroom area.  It almost takes the place of a bathroom air freshener as well.

I cannot wait to try the rest of the products.  I may post another update to let you know what I think about the others if I am very impressed/unimpressed.  In the meantime, if you would like to try some of these products for yourself (as well as a few others), I would like to give you the opportunity.  In the coupon booklet I received, there were a few sets of these coupons (click to enlarge):
I have four sets like this to give away, and I will mail them out to the first four people who email me with their name and mailing address at savingmyselfsilly at gmail dot com.  *Gone* All I ask is that you email me letting me know your thoughts about the products so that I may convey them back to BzzAgent.

If you would like a printable coupon for $1/1 Glade scented oil refill, you may go here.

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Aldi Deals 3/16-3/22 Dallas Area..And Look Out for Markdowns

Produce Deals:
Bananas   $0.39/lb
Celery      $0.69 each
Yellow Onions  $0.25/lb sold in 3lb. bags for $0.75
Broccoli Crowns  $0.75/lb sold in 1 lb packs

Many areas of the country are having their red potatoes on sale.  They are not advertised here, but I certainly hope to find that they are!

Meat Deals: **
80/20 Ground Beef  $2.49/lb
Beef Stew Meat       $3.99/lb
Beef Chuck Roast    $3.49/lb
Boneless Center Cut Pork Chops  $3.49/lb
Pork Half Loin          $2.49/lb
Center Cut Pork Chops  $2.99

**I find their meat to be high quality, but quite expensive.  Whenever I go, I do check over the meat counter for any mark downs they may have.  I have found items up to half off before.  Right after Thanksgiving last year, I found this, which worked out to $1/lb:
You can see that this was an extra markdown, and there is a $3 off (I believe) sticker underneath the 1/2 price one.  So, whenever you are at Aldi, be on the lookout for those red stickers in the meat department.  Sometimes you can score a great deal on quality meat!

Other Deals:
There are a few markdowns at the bottom of this weeks ad, as well:
Route 1 Jive Bars (Like a Twix)  $0.29   (was $0.49)
Chunk Light Tuna in oil  $0.65  (was $0.69)
Whole Grain White Bread  $1.19  (was $1.29)

The thing that caught my eye the most, though, was the Lullabies Baby Wash 15oz, just $0.99  (was $1.29).  I am almost out of the Johnson's, and that stuff has gotten expensive.  Every once in a while you can find it on sale 2 for $5, but even if you have a $1 off coupon, you would pay more than this stuff at regular price.  I hadn't needed it in the past, so I guess I never noticed how inexpensive it was there.  I will be grabbing one of these on my next trip there!

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