Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fry's Mega sale!

So, it's been a while since I've done any major coupon shopping. But I could not let Fry's mega sale go by without hitting it. I had done a small trip last week, mainly for some basics we needed and I got a little bit of the mega deal items too.

But I hit it hard today with my coupons. Of course they were out of or low on some of the items I was looking for, but I am happy with what I got. I paid $18.72 oop, of which $3.49 was tax, and I saved $172.88 or 91%!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cow Appreciation Day!

Today was the day at Chick-fil-a. Free food if you dress like a cow. We went and we all dressed up! Not only did we all get free meals, but they had so many fun activities, balloons and hats! While we were there, there was a "cow pageant" with prizes for the best costume, best "moo" and the best cow strut. Then they had a nuggets eating contest. Unfortunately, they only took 4 contestants for that contest and 4 little boys got to the table super fast, so my kids didn't get to do that one. But they enjoyed watching it. Then the little ones played in the play center. It was a lot of fun for the whole family and I appreciate Chick-fil-a doing this every year! Though I don't do a lot of fast food, when I do, Chick-fil-a is definitely one of the favorites.

Everyone seems to love the lemonade here. I don't drink lemonade, but everyone besides me got lemonade tonight and talked about how great it was. However, I could probably live on their tea and brownies. Though I didn't get a brownie tonight-(if I bought one, I'd have to buy eight) I did get some tea and then got a refill before we left!

The top picture is my two little girls with the cow and the bottom is our whole group dressed as cows. If anyone else has pics, post your link!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Buying in Bulk vs. Stockpiling

Having a large family, a lot of people assume I buy in bulk. But I rarely do. I don't even own a membership to a warehouse store! Instead, as a serious couponer, I usually do something called "stockpiling". Which means when something is free or at rock bottom prices, I will get as many as I can at that price. It is usually cheaper to do it this way and end up with 10 regular jars of salsa or spaghetti sauce than it would cost me to buy the same item in bulk-especially at the warehouse stores that don't take coupons.

And I have also found that it is usually more economical to get the smallest size product with a coupon and get more of it than to buy the largest size. (If spaghetti sauce is on sale for $1 and your coupon makes it free, it's much better to buy 10 of those than to use your coupon on the larger size which might be $2 after your coupon.)

Now, having said that, sometimes buying in bulk can be a good deal. When I got this week's ads in the mail, I looked over the ad for the hispanic store and noticed some really good deals this week. So, I did a little bit of both at that store. Chicken is on sale this week for $.29 lb, sold in 10 lb bags. We use a lot of chicken, so this is an awesome stock up price for me. So, I will be stockpiling chicken this week. They also had watermelons for $.10 lb, so I grabbed one of those since the kids have been asking for watermelon for a while. I might get one more towards the end of the sale.

Now, for the bulk deals, they had a pack of 5 dozen eggs on sale for $2.99. This comes to about $.60 a dozen, so that's a good deal to me. All purpose flour was $5.99 for a 20 lb bag. I have never bought flour in bulk before, but my girls are doing a lot of baking lately and with the newish bread machine, we are always running out. So I thought I'd give it a try. Breaking down the cost, it comes to about $.30 lb. I usually buy a 5lb bag of flour, so for 5 lbs this comes to about $1.50. That's a pretty good deal to me since the only time I usually can get a 5 lb bag of flour for $1.50 or less is around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I actually have been buying it at $2 and up lately for 5 lbs.

My conclusion, for me and my family, stockpiling will almost always be cheaper, but I stay open to buying in bulk on items that I cannot get a better deal on otherwise. And hopefully, we won't run out of flour for a little while. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Free stuff! Free Starbucks Ice cream, Free chik-fil-a and free slurpees!

If you're on facebook, you can get a coupon for a free pint of Starbucks ice cream. It says to "share" a coupon with a friend, but also says you can send it to yourself if you like. (You only get one coupon, so if you send it to a friend, you don't get one yourself, unless maybe a friend sends one to you.) They are giving away 800 every hour through 7/19, so plenty of time to get yours. But if you want one, you have to be diligent and be sitting on the site right at the hour because they go super fast. It took me three tries (3 different hours) to get one. If you are up late, that might be the best time to try. If you get in before they are all gone for the hour, you need to put in a mailing address for who you want to send it to. Also looks like one coupon per facebook account and one per household address. So once you've got one, no need to keep trying for another. Here's the link: Starbucks free ice cream

Chik-fil-a is giving away free meals again this year if you come in dressed like a cow for their "Cow appreciation day". The dress up day is this Friday from 6:30Am through 10:00 PM. We had so much fun last year and the kids are excited to go again. I know last year, if you dress from head to toe, you get a free meal and if you just have some cow accessories, you get a free sandwich. We will be dressing from head to toe and going for dinner! I can't wait to see all the pics after the event. :)

And on Saturday 7/11, there will be free slurpees at 7-11 stores! You can get a 7.11 oz slurpee for free while supplies last. ("While supplies last" means that each store will get special 7-11 "birthday" cups for this promo and when they run out of those cups, that's all the free slurpees for the day at that store.)

And if you're hungry when you go in:
"And to celebrate National Hot Dog Month in July, participating 7-Eleven stores are offering a quarter-pound Big Bite hot dog and Big Gulp® drink for just $1.99 throughout the entire month, a real value at a time when consumers’ incomes may be stretched dog-gone thin."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Free Movies and Free salsa!

First of all, today is the first Monday of the month, so you can get a free Redbox movie coupon code 4J7LF6. It expires tonight at midnight. Remember, you can use this code with different credit or debit cards and get a free movie for each different card you use. (I usually get 2 free movies.)

Next, if you need free salsa, (and who doesn't?) La Victoria has a great promotion going on. They have an instant win game where you can win a free coupon for a jar of salsa. (You can also win cash-but I have just won the salsa.) I have won this, but the coupon is mailed to you and I have not received it yet. But when you enter, you can print a $.50/1 coupon. The salsa is on sale right now at Fry's for $2, so with this coupon doubled, it is only $1 a jar. I know, I said "free" right? But wait, there's more...

If you enter codes found on the jars, you can earn points to print out coupons with a higher value. You can find one code in the inserts from 6/21. You can also find many codes on the internet with just a little searching. Get enough points and you can print out a $4/2 coupon. This now makes the salsa free! (If you don't have a Fry's, check your kroger stores, walmart, or look for it on sale wherever you shop!) As with most internet coupons, you can print this twice. Earn another one and print two more.... but be careful here, you might have to print from a different computer to do this since it may block you after the first two. It does say in their rules section that you can earn up to 6 rewards, but I was not able to get a second round to print from my computer after redeeming more points. (Will try another computer later.)

Here's a link to the game/rewards program:

LaVic Rewards
(You can skip the survey when you sign in)

Here are some codes to get you started:

A127F943X649C8 (code from inserts-check to see if yours is different) (if you click "no purchase" you will get double points)

These types of codes can be entered 4 times each! This will get you lots of points fast! (you should be able to get double points if you click no purchase- or if you click "other" it will give you an entry into the sweepstakes)


Thanks to Sweeties sweeps for the contest info!

A Few shopping deals-triples and quadruple coupons!

As I posted before, I have been a little lazy since I got back from vacation. But what better to get me back into the swing of things than triple, and quadruple coupons! Fry's and Albertson's both are running triples and quadruples!
Being still a little lazy, I didn't go crazy, but I got out to do a few deals. This is my Fry's trip above. I got Purex laundry detergant for $.99 each, Ragu for $.29 each, manwich for $.19 each, banquet meals for $.59 each ( no coupons), salsa for free and some chicken for $.69/lb.

This was from Albertson's sale last week. Sorry, but these prices are no longer good, but they are still doing the triples and quad's. (Just haven't got out this week yet to see what's good.)
I used up the last of my free marcal and free dog food coupons. Breyer's ice cream for $1 with coupons (can still get this price at Fry's this week), Tony's pizza for $1.50 w/coupons, Chex mix $.50 each, icing free with $.25 peelies, Lipton rice $.25 each, refried beans about $.40 each (I think), brownie and cake mixes $1 each (not great, but needed these for birthday party), and green giant steamers for $.75 each- no coupons.

If you got any good deals, let me know what you got or are getting!

A Great mail day and saving money on Vacation!

Not today, but when we got back from our trip, I had about 2 weeks worth of mail waiting for me and it was the best mail day ever! I got this cute little Jelly Belly dispenser full of jelly beans, a $10 BK gift card, 4 of my coupons for a free meal at KFC (we should have 8, but only got 4 so far), a coupon for a free digiorno flatbread, my 2 $25 checks from the Taco bell game from a couple months ago, 6-$5 checks from the Honey nut cheerios game, and $26.46 in survey checks. I had so much fun opening all this, I barely noticed the bills also in the stack of mail. ;)

For our vacation, I did a ton of things to save money too. Here's just some of the saving money tricks I worked. Our best deal was the hotel and my dad actually worked that out for me. Through a friend of his, we were able to stay 2 nights in a 3 bedroom room (bigger than any of my apartments ever were!) at the Powhatan resort. We had a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 3 floors, and a full size jacuzzi on the porch. I hosted the after wedding dinner/party here and it was great! Then we had a 2 bedroom room at Greensprings resort for 3 nights. Not as big, but still great! I paid just $200 for all 5 nights! (The first night we all crammed into a room at Super 8 for $35 until Friday when our reservation started for the other one.)

Since we had a full kitchen while we were there, we were able to buy groceries and save a lot of money doing this. I was even able to hit the commissary one day and use up the last of my KY coupons for a little more groceries. I spent about $30 total on groceries for the whole trip, except for the party. (That cost me about $85, but ti was for about 25 people.)

I also had saved up gift cards for food for the travel time. I had gift cards for Burger King and subway. So we spent about $25 total on food going up and coming back. (I had a ton of snacks packed in the car too, so we didn't have to eat as much fast food when we stopped.) When we used the BK gift cards, they had just started their new transformers game, so we got game pieces on our fries and drinks too. So, free lunch with the gift cards and we got enough free food from the game pieces to get free breakfast for half of us the next day too.

I was counting on free tickets for Busch gardens for the military, but when we got there, we found out they were only giving them away now for active duty. (Booo!)
So, we hit the base in Hampton and bought them there. This cost more than I had expected this way, but we still saved $20 off the adult tix and $10 off the kids. This was better than any other discount we could find anywhere. We also did one of those "90 minute" tours at the resort one morning and got 2 free tickets that way. That saved us $120 off the full price or $83 if we had to buy those on base. Of course, the 90 minutes took us almost 3 1/2 hours, but we got out alive and with the tix.

We also did not eat at Busch gardens, we left and hit BK (that's when we used our gift cards), so we saved a lot of money there! The kids also went swimming a lot at the resort- and that was free entertainment! We were going to hit CW and Jamestown, but ran out of time.

It was a great trip and thankfully, it did not break the bank. We did not get to do everything we wanted, but we did enough and we all had fun. And it just shows that you can be frugal in every aspect of life and have a great time!

Vacations make you Lazy!

Ok, so I've been back from my vacation for about a week and I have done... a lot of nothing! Well, except my Husband's birthday, 4th of July, and a few little chores and errands. But it's so hard to get back into the swing of things. And the 110+ temps don't help! I want to get back on those roller coasters! Relax in the hotel where I don't have to clean anything, and visit with friends and family.

But, it's back to life, back to reality for me. Back to the here and now... Back to work! :)

Photo is the Griffin coaster at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg