Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fresh & Easy deal on meat!

Fresh & easy has these grill packs again for $5.99! I got some of these in the summer and I am so happy to see them on sale again! They are on sale until 2/3. I went tonight to get some and I had a $5 off $20 coupon I got in the mail from them. (You can sign up on their website for coupons.) I had planned on getting 4 packages for $23.96 and use the $5 coupon to pay $18.96 plus tax. When I got there though, they were marked down to $4.49! They had just 5 packages left, so I grabbed them all and still used my $5 coupon. With tax, I paid $17.89 for all 5-less than I was prepared to pay for 4 packages. That's about $3.57 a pack. Each pack is 4 lbs and 11 ounces, so I got about 23.4 lbs of meat @ $.76/lb.
As for the meat, each pack has 4 hamburger patties, 4 sausages, and 8 pieces of seasoned chicken. (thighs and legs)

I stopped at Fry's last night and got some of the mega sale items. I got 10 cans of Hormel chili- free after coupons/sale, 5 packages of Kraft sandwich cheese-free after coupons and sale, and 5 packages of shredded or block cheese- $1 each after coupons/sale. I got the Kraft cheese coupons from a blinkie machine at Safeway and they start with a "5" so they doubled. I also stopped at Walgreens for the free redbox movies and we had a movie night last night. (sign up at redbox.com for free movie codes to your phone every monday.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

A little Walgreens and a Big lesson

Due to transportation issues and lackluster deals, I haven't done much shopping in the last two weeks. But the deals are picking back up and hopefully, I can get out to do some in the next few days.

I stopped at walgreens the other day to return a movie at redbox and pick up some peanut butter. I wanted some Ragu too, but 2 women had already cleaned them out. I got 8 jars of peanut butter- on sale for $1.99 and I used 8 coupons for $.40 off. My total before tax was $12.72 and I got a $10 RR back for buying 8. I paid with my rebate gift card so I spent nothing oop.

Then I got some junk food for the kids since for a "snack night". This cost about $10 and again, I used the gift card for the oop.

Now for the lesson. As I came into the store, the two aforementioned women were heading to the checkout with their carts full of peanut butter and ragu. They had coupons too. I could not hear everything that happened, but there was some sort of problem with the coupons it seemed. The women got very rude with the cashier about it and the cashier ended up calling the manager over. While waiting for the manager, the women apparently said something else rude to the cashier and a man behind her in line started going off on her. This is when it got loud enough for the whole store to hear. The man was telling the women she did not need to talk to the cashier like that and the women was telling the man to shut up and mind his own business. There was a lot of cussing and the manager arrived. The women then yelled at the manager asking him if he was going to let "his customers" talk to her that way. I am not sure how it ended as I walked down another aisle. But the cashier moved to another register and the manager finished checking out the two women.

This whole story was told to remind us to be nice to our cashiers. They are people too and if there is a problem with your coupons, deals or whatever, you can handle it without being rude and making an idiot of yourself. Granted, there are times when a cashier or manager or whoever is rude also and it's hard not to get mad and stand up for yourself. But this particular cashier is always nice and had done nothing to set off this women who was so rude to her. I felt so bad for the cashier. You can bet the next few times I go through her line, I will be super nice to her!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

More money makers

I'm bad about sending in rebates, so I haven't been doing them as much as I used to. Except for Walgreens rebates. I can just enter my receipt online when I get home and get the rebates. It's so easy, and I've been able to keep up with that.

In December, I decided I was going to try and do more mail in rebates and stay on top of them this year. I started with the just for men touch of gray rebate. It was on sale at Walgreens for $7 and you got a $7 rr back. I also had a $2 printable coupon, so I made $2 on this deal. But there was also a rebate for $8 back. I mailed it off and got my rebate check back yesterday! So, in all I got paid $10 for this product! (Tax and stamp came to $1.25, so technically I made $8.75.) I'm definitely going to send in more rebates this year!

And here's another one. Orajel has two products which are free after rebate at Walgreens this month. This is one of them. It was $8.49 and I used a $1 coupon. I will get back $8.49 + $.85 for the extra 10% on a gift card from walgreens for this. There's also another mail in rebate that was in the inserts in October. (where the $1 coupon was) This one is for $8 back. Since I can input my walgreens receipt online, I can use my actual receipt for this rebate too. So now, I'll be getting back $17.34 for this orajel. After $1 coupon, plus tax and stamp, it would cost $8.47. So, total I will make $8.87. Of course, I didn't actually pay that much oop. I got a few more things on this order and used a $10 rr. I paid $.42 plus tax for the orajel, 5 Garnier shampoos, and 2 cell batteries that I needed.
I love getting paid for shopping!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Homemade Yogurt!

As I stated in my previous post, we decided to try to make some yogurt. We made it in the crockpot and it was super easy. I had read some comments on another blog about the house being cold affecting the yogurt process, so I wrapped up the crockpot with the towel and put it in the oven overnight. The oven was still slightly warm when I did this from when we used it earlier. It worked great and this morning, we had yogurt! I didn't measure it, but it was pretty much at the same level in the pot as it was when I poured the half a gallon of milk in. So, pretty much, we got a half a gallon of yogurt. Since the milk was $1.58 a gallon and we used half a gallon, it cost $.79 for that ingredient. I used almost one whole yogurt I bought at the store for $.40 as the starter. So the total cost for a half a gallon of yogurt was $1.19. There are 64 ounces in a half a gallon. The yogurt cups I bought yetserday for $.40 a piece were 6 oz. At that rate 64 oz would be about $4.27.

Of course, my kids usually eat yogurt like trix yogurt, so they didn't want the plain yogurt. They had some fun today experimenting with the flavorings. First they made vanilla with some vanilla flavoring and honey.

Then they added some strawberries and some of the strawberry juice for strawberry yogurt.

Then they decided to try koolaid as a flavoring. This one is strawberry koolaid sweetened with some powdered sugar.

And then of course, one of the kids who had the vanilla yogurt decided she wanted koolaid in hers too-so they gave her some orange koolaid to mix in. According to the reports, this one tasted like a dreamsicle!

So, while koolaid may not be that healthy, my kids are definitley eating their yogurt and enjoying it! What a fun afternoon! We'll definitely be doing this one again and maybe often.

Zero balance and getting paid to shop

Tuesday evening, I made a quick run to Walgreens to return the Free Redbox movie we got on Monday. We were low on dog food too, so I grabbed some and a few more items. I got 2 cartons of Ben & Jerry ice cream- free after the $3 printable coupons, 1 Garnier-free after $1 coupon and walgreens coupon-they were out of pretty much all the free garnier except this one. I also found 4 more of the Loreal makeup that is clearanced and b1g1 free. I used 4-$3 coupons on these and had $4.82 overage to use-so I grabbed 7 cans of dog food. I did the math in my head quickly and figured that would be enough to cover it. I was actually amazed when I got to the register and realized how perfect my total was-it came to zero! Of course, I still had to pay tax, but before tax, it was a zero balance!

Yesterday, I did a little bit of shopping. Safeway has a great deal on milk this week-$1.59 a gallon, limit 2. I plan on going a few times and stocking up on milk. It freezes well, so I'll put some in the freezer at that price. I also got some buns for sloppy joes for dinner and two small cups of yogurt. I saw a post on Jane4girls blog about making yogurt in the crockpot and I decided we'd try it out too. I had followed the crockpot for a year blog, but somehow missed the yogurt post. So I grabbed the two small yogurt cups for $.40 each while I was at Safeway getting the milk. (Those are the only 2 ingredients needed.) I spent $1.89 on a gift card and $5.39 oop.

I also stopped at Walgreens to see if they had any more of the Loreal or Garnier. I got one more Garnier gel, 4 of the Sally Hansen nail clippers (made $.21 for each 2), and 4 packs of Ramen-since the kids wanted some for lunch the next day. My total was $.57 before tax and $1.14 after tax.

Last stop was the Commissary. I had 21 of the new KY coupon from this past Sunday. That gave me $24.36 in overage to shop with. I took into account about $3 for the surcharge. (The commissary does not charge tax-but charges a 5% surcharge on everything.) I got 3 lbs of apples, 2 lbs of bananas, 3 pork roasts- @ 6.5 lbs total, 1 pack of snack crackers, 2 packs of seasoning for the sloppy joes, 6 more cans of dog food (I forgot my coupons for the bagged dog food at home!), 1 lb frozen strawberries-to go with the yogurt, 4 lbs of rice,1 pack of always liners, and 1 box of little debbie donuts. (The commissary is the only place I can find this flavor of the donuts and I love these.) I actually used a calculator to keep track of my total, but when I checked out, somehow I was off and they owed me $1.11 after all my coupons. Now some cashiers at the commissary won't hand you cash back out of the register, so I usually just grab a candy bar or something close if I'm under and don't make a big deal out of it. But this cashier did hand me the money back-so I got paid for shopping there! I turned around and handed my $1.11 to the bagger for the tip. I know- it's not a big tip, but I had 3 bags total and I carried them out myself. So I walked out without spending a penny-even for the tip! (If you don't shop at the commissary-the baggers only work for tips so you have to tip them.) :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Frustrating day at Walgreens!

I was excited this morning as I went through my paper and the 5 coupon inserts we got today. I planned to go to Walgreens and use some of the RR I got last week from the robitussin deal to buy some more newspapers. I went through the walgreens ad and diligently cut the coupons from my papers that I get delivered and then headed for walgreens.

I was able to get 10 more papers at Walgreens. I used a $10 and a $5 RR. (our papers are $2 each) I also got 2 Reynold's wrap foil for free with $1 coupon and walgreens $.99 coupon in their ad. I got one electrasol for $.99 after the $2.50 coupon from today and will get back $1.50 from the walgreens rebate. (plus 10% since I will get a gift card.) I got some garnier for free with the $2 Walgreens coupon and the $1 coupon from today, and I got 2 Sally hansen tweezers which were $2.59 each and b1g1 free-and I used the $1 coupons from today's inserts. And I found some L'oreal makeup that was clearanced at $3.59 and $3.19 and was also ringing up b1g1 free-I used 2-$3 coupons from today and made $2.41 on 2 makeups!

I was really happy with my deals and came home to cut out more coupons and go back to get more makeup and other items. But when I started pulling my inserts out of my papers, I was dissapointed to find they only had 4 of the inserts. On top of that, I looked over my receipt and found one of my $1 coupons had been missed.

I cut more coupons and decided I would try a different store and check their papers for the inserts. I ended up hitting 3 more stores (2 walgreens, 1 fry's) and none of these stores had that one insert in their papers!

I also had issues at the other walgreens with my orders each time! The second and third stores I went to had to manually adjust the walgreens Garnier coupon since it was not working. I had used this same coupon in these same stores last week and it worked fine. The second store I had 9 garnier and the cashier adjustd 2 for me. I said I didn't want the rest, so he voided them after he had rung all my coupons. It had taken me a while to get him to understand I only wanted the items if they were on sale, and I was frustrated, so I didn't think to ask him for my Garnier coupons back. So I got an extra $7 off my order for those coupons he'd scanned, but somehow that caused it to void the free part of one of the makeups and add back in the $3.59 for it since my total was negative. I don't understand this, but apparently that's what it did as my total is off by exactly $3.59. In the whole scheme of things, I kind of came out ahead, but I am actually short 7 products that I can't get now because he kept my coupons and I'm short $3.59 that got added back in.

The next walgreens, I could only use one Sally Hansen coupon since my total was under $1 before tax due to the cashier not scanning my coupons in the order I gave them to her. So, I paid $1 more there than I had planned too. (I got 2 nail clippers that were $1.79. Using 2-$1 coupons and the b1g1 free, I would make $.21. This did work at the next store.) I only got 1 Garnier there since I didn't want to go through the same thing again and it was a good thing since the coupon wasn't working there either.

Finally, I went back to the first store again since the garnier coupon was working there and got some more garnier, makeup, sally hansen, foil, and newspapers. Everything worked as it should have here.

A few other things I got were Reeses whips- free with $1/2 coupon from today's inserts and 2/$1 walgreens coupons. Two L'oreal concealers $2.59 each- used 1-$3 coupon on those-they did not come up b1g1 free. 6 Flinstone vitamins, 1 One a day vitamins, one Phillips MOM. I bought these in sets of 4 for the $10 RR deal and got 2-$10 RR back. The flinstones were $5 and I used $1 walgreens coupon and $1 inserts coupon-so $3 each. The one a day was $7 and I used $1 coupon and the Phillips was $3-no coupons. I used overage from the makeup and a $5 RR on these to pay for them and I will also send off for two rebates- one will be $8 back and one will be $4.50 back.

In all today I spent $17.31 oop-all but $4 was tax. I saved $419.97 and got back $20 in RR and will send for $14.15 in rebates. I got everything you see here plus 16 newspapers. A success, but let's hope it's not so hard tomorrow when I go back again.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Green is my favorite color

Green really is my favorite color, but I like this kind of green too!
This morning, I had a yard sale. I'd been planning on doing a yard sale since before Christmas, but it didn't happen. So, I decided I would do it today, even though I didn't expect a huge crowd. I thought it might be too close after the holidays for people to be out spending money, but I was wrong!

When I say I had a yard sale, I mean I sold items from my stockpile. That's all I sold-just stockpile items.
I started setting up at 7:30 and by 9:30 I was almost out of stock. In my area, people really haggle and are looking for super cheap deals. So I priced almost everything at $1. I had a small table with some $2 items, but at least 1/3 of that I sold to hagglers for $1 each.
Shampoos and toothpaste were definitely the top sellers. I closed up by 10:00 because I didn't have much left. I still ended up with one bin full of stuff when I put it away, but it had looked pretty sparse on my tables. (I started with about 5 bins worth of stuff.) I sold shampoos, conditioners, styling products, hair colors, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, air fresheners, razors, soap, deodorants, and makeup.

We had a small mishap with the makeup. I had my basket full of makeup behind the table and was pulling stuff out to sell and putting it into another basket on the table. We got slammed before I finished sorting the makeup, so I just left MY basket behind the table. I was at the other end of the tables helping one customer when I turned around and there were about 5 women behind my table going through MY makeup! My daughter was working that end and sold them a bunch of the stuff I had wanted to keep. They decimated my makeup stockpile! But it's not all a loss, I decided I was probably keeping too much anyways and free makeup is pretty easy to come by. I just hope I come by it before I run out of any of my current items I'm using. :)

I also had put out some K-Y seeing as how I have so much of it and need to really get rid of it, but it wasn't selling. So I put a "free" sign on it and it started flying off the table. Some people were even asking what it was as they grabbed 4 and 5 each. LOL But put "free" on something around here and everyone wants it. :)

All in all it was a good sale, I cleaned out a good portion of my "overstock" and I made $355. I paid my kids for helping out and still had $325 left. Not bad for 2 1/2 hours worth of work. :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Date Night!

Here's how I do date night cheap. I have 2 free movie tickets from a Walgreens rebate from a few months ago. I got 4 free movie tickets for buying candy. Of course, the candy was on sale and almost free with coupons. :)

I also have 3-$10 gift cards to Chili's. These I picked up this week using the overage from the clearanced Garnier at Walgreens. I visited about 15 stores this week looking for the Garnier and used the overage on everything from Christmas clearance, kid's fabric storage cubes (see previous posts), to dog food and household items, and of course-the gift cards. Yes, the gift cards were free after the overage, I only paid tax. (about $3 total for all three gift card transactions.)

Now I have dinner and a movie for a nice date with my husband. Just another way couponing can help you save money in many areas of your life. :)