Thursday, October 29, 2009

Q & A

I have been hearing reports of reader stacking coupons (store with manu.) to get free products. I am excited for you! Don't forget an easy freebie this week, your free Snuggle at Fred Meyer by stacking store coupon with $3 manufacturer from 10/4 RP.

So while we are on the subject of stacking here is a reader's question:
Can you stack Rite Aid video value coupons with manufacturers?
Well, I have read conflicting information on this, so I decided to try it and see what happened. First of all Rite Aid coupons say RC on them before the barcode, but some also say manufacturers coupon, so it is confusing. According to their policy though, RC (or Rite Aid coupons) can be stacked with manufacturers. These RC are the ones found in the circular and at video values. However, everytime (including today) these video value coupons won't scan (they beep)! Today it said, expired, even though it wasn't until 10/31. The cashier finally just had to manually enter it. She was totally fine about it though, but some cashiers might have refused it. I got a pack of diapers for $2.99 and 2/5 counted toward my free coupon.

Also another questions about KMart. Does KMart accept internet coupons?

From KMart: "Effective March 1, 2009, Kmart will accept industry-standard, secure print-at-home coupons." Translation yes, but again not all cashiers may be up to speed with the new policies.

Have a question? Please email or leave them in comments and I will answer them for you.

Store Secrets: Kid Cones

We are still not 100% healthy here. I haven't been shopping in over a week now, so no pics to share. I guess that is not totally true, I went to the corner store for milk...I am not sure which was worse, how I looked, how I felt, or how much I paid for two gallons of milk. But anyway, here is your store secret for this week.

I just discovered this one day and it has been a lifesaver. McDonalds kids' cones! Sometimes they charge me a nickel a piece, but most of the time they are totally free! I usually buy a drink off the dollar menu so I don't feel so cheap and hey mom needs a treat too! Besides the price, I love these because they are small enough for a quick snack (even for my one year old), they are not too messy because they are small enough to eat fast (plus they give you tons of napkins and wet naps on request) and so convenient (drive-up window). Now you have a little leverage for dealing with you clan at the store, kid cones! Thanks McDonalds!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Deals of the week

Another slow week at Albertsons... I am disappointed because so many of you expressed wanting to learn more about catalinas that I was hoping there would be one to show you. Anyway, check out a thrifty mom for some matchups. Two deals I am going to be doing are

*Taco Bell Dinner Kits $2.79, use $1 coupon from Sept. All You

*Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks $3/5, use coupons at Plus, the catalina I talked about here is running through Nov 1.
Update: Utah readers, please read Becky's comment about Albertsons.

Another deal, totally unrelated to grocery stores, but still great. Check out There are some awesome deals from $25-100 each way. They are only good for travel from Dec 2-16 and Jan5-Feb 10. You also only have until 10/29 at midnight to book. Click on over and see if you can find a good deal for a getaway.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Step #7: Home

You made it out of the store and hopefully had a good cashier and good experience. Now what do you do? First, preferable when you are loaded in the car, look over your receipt. Make sure everything looks right and that your coupons and promos came off right. Also make sure you got your catalina promos, if you were trying for them, if not you need to go into the store and have customer service take a look. Treat your catalinas and receipts (if you are doing rebates) like money, because that is really what they are.

When you get home, lay everything out in an ascetically pleasing arrangement and take pictures for your blog/brag/to impress your husband (I am kidding about that one, but sometimes it is fun!) You should take the chance to impress your husband though before he gets tired of hearing about your great deals...:)

Seriously, look over your purchases and be sure you got everything. Make sure you didn't leave a bag in the store or wandered around your trunk. Now, put everything away, but think about it. Will we eat it soon, or should I freeze it. You might want to arrange your shelves items by expiration dates, so you eat the oldest products first. Put produce in a spot where you will snack on it before it goes bad. Also plan your meals around what products need to be consumed first. (That cheap salad kit isn't a great deal if it goes slimy before you eat it.) Basically, just use common sense, but you don't want all your hard work to go to waste because of food waste.

Next week, we are going to talk about stockpiling and balance, just a few more steps to go.

Rite Aid Deals for 10/25-10/31

The good news is that I got lots of cold/flu freebies from Rite Aid the last two weeks, that bad news is we had to use them this weekend. So sorry this post is late as we are under the weather. However, their are some great deals this week.

First don't forget your $5 off $25 coupon and check out for their video values coupons. This week starts a new month of rebates, so request your October rebate check. Also be sure to request your Gift of Savings Certificate, it is at the end of your rebate status page and you have to request it separately.
*Update: Check for new Rite Aid printables. Depending on your area, there are $3 off 15, $4 off 20, and $5 off 25.

Freebies: Vaseline Intensive Care Sheer Infusion Lotion $4.99
use $1 coupon in 10/18 RP and get $4.00 SCR

St. Ives Skin Care $3.99
use $1 from 9/20 SS and get $3.00 SCR

Kotex products $2.99
use various $1 coupons from packages, and get $3.00 SCR

GE Soft White Light Bulbs $2/2
get $2.00 SCR (I have not paid for light bulb in a year thanks to Rite Aid!)

Other good deals: Huggies on sale for $9.99
use coupon from $10/25 SS or
get $3 SCR, plus one pack towards your five towards coupon for free pack.

Duracell Batteries: 40% off,
SCR deal, spend $15 get $5 SCR, use coupons in 9/27 P & G

Finesse $2.99, Use $1 coupon and rebate form ($2) from SS 10/25

Tons and tons of B1G1 free sales throughout the store too. For a more complete list please visit the coupon project.

*Update again: Go to hip2save and watch Collin do a Rite Aid transaction. It should clear up a lot of your confusion about shopping at Rite Aid.

Two more good deals in the Sunday paper. Albertsons doublers please visit fabulessly frugal and Utah readers enjoy your last hurrah with Albertsons!

Also Fred Meyer has Snuggle fabric softener on sale for $2.99, use with $3 from 10/4 RP and free fabric softener. You only have to use one store coupon per transaction, limit 2 fabric softeners.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How Inside Edition changed my coupon story

It has been a year since I started couponing the right way and to celebrate I want to share my story with you.

I started using coupons when my first daughter was born, mostly just on diapers. I thought it was fun and started using EVERY coupon I got from the catalina machine, in the mail, etc...not very smart. I even ventured out to get a Sunday paper and for some reason (holiday weekend?) I got one with no coupons. So I kind of abandoned the whole coupon thing (thank goodness since I was doing it totally wrong). I still used them on diapers and a few things, but resigned to shopping at the warehouse grocery store instead.

The problem, I was spending a ton! Then I started making shopping lists and I saved some, but not very much. Then about a year and a bit ago, I was watching Inside Edition and caught a couponing story. You know the kind, where the lady loads up her cart and spends like $12. My husband said, I bet you could do that and the challenge was on. I looked up her website and googled a little bit, but everywhere wanted to charge me money to get the coupon matchups. I thought it was stupid to pay money to save money, so I abandoned my coupon dreams again.

Then on October 24, 2008, I was watching Inside Edition again (really I watched it like 4 times all of last year) and caught Heather on the Freebies 4 Mom story. I have always loved getting mail and so I was intrigued. I immediately went to her site and spent like three hours just soaking it up like a sponge. From there I was linked to the Grocery Gathering (see side bar) and I was amazed, this is how people did it. Then I started slowly figuring it out. I read blogs, collected coupons, and starting shopping in a whole new way. In December, I did a catalina sale at Albertsons, and discovered Rite Aid and then I knew there was no turning back, I was hooked.

I love it now, I feel so empowered and I love finding deals. I am not perfect and I am still learning, but I am saving. I have eliminated those bimonthly $250 plus grocery store trips and $100 plus superstore trips altogether. I have more stuff in my pantry and bathroom. It is name brand and there is plenty of it. My most recent adventure was to start this blog and try to share some of my experiences and secrets with you. I hope you have found it useful.

To properly celebrate my shopping overhaul, I have decided to have a giveaway. The winner will receive a $25 gift card (to one of these stores, your choices, Rite Aid, KMart, Albertsons, or Macys) and a set of coupon inserts. To enter, please leave a comment on what you have learned from this blog. You may enter only once and you have until October 31 to enter. I will post the winner on November 1. Thanks for reading and good luck.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Food for Thought

Deals by Dawn's guide to cashier ratings:

***** A five star cashier makes you feel like you are her favorite customer. They use adjective like "amazing", "incredible", and "brilliant" They compliment you and are excited to see how much you save. You have earned their trust and they know you are going to use coupons correctly.

**** A four star cashier scans your coupons quickly and efficiently. They don't question anything and push through everything (including your handmade catalina...not saying to do this, just saying they would push it through...) They are usually just trying to customers in and out quickly.

*** A three star cashier plays by all the rules. They aren't really impressed that you coupon, but they are offended either. They will move you through quickly, but won't let you get away with anything.

** 1/2 A two and 1/2 star cashier is a oblivious to couponing. They have no idea you spent an hour planning this transaction. If it doesn't scan they don't know why and they don't investigate the issue. They are usually newbies, but the good thing is they are trainable and friendly.

** A two star cashier see you in the line and instantly has a spike in blood pressure. You make them nervous. They will double check everything and not let you use everything (even if it is good). They will probably call the manager over, take forever to check you out, and basically kill your shopping high.

* A one star cashier will ruin your trip. They will be rude and treat you like a shoplifter. They will be grumpy and not let you use a lot of your coupons. They may make you want to cry, but don't.

After shopping a little you can scope out a five, four, or three pretty well. Always try to find a five, four, or three, it will make your life easier. My pet peeve is when I am in my favorite five's line and they suddenly open up a new line to hurry things along. How do you politely say, "but she is a 5, and you are a 2..." Which brings me to another point, they have an express lane, a "family" lane, and a self-check lane, why don't they have a couponer's lane with only 5 star cashiers?

One more thing, when you get a five or a one, drop the company an email or phone call, they should know about your experience, especially a good 5 star one. Wouldn't you just love to make that cashier's day after she treated you so well.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Q & A

Where do you get a cheap All You Subscription?

I love the All You Magazine. It is a great source of coupons and a fun realistic read. I also enjoy their website as a good source of coupons, tips, and sweepstakes. I ordered mine several months ago from
However, they are backlogged from previous orders and no longer are allowed to sell the subscriptions. Jenny at Southern Savers told me that the cheapest way to get this mag is through Amazon here. It is cheaper than buying it at the newsstand or ordering through the All You site.

Macy's One Day Sale

It is official, I heard that famous swing song on the commerical. It is a One Day Sale at Macy's this Friday and Saturday. (Don't ask me why One Day Sales last two days, I do not know). At this time I can neither confirm or deny the existence of a coupon. Check for the specifics on Friday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Store Secrets: Card Carrying Member

It seems like every store wants you to get their card these days. (I am not talking about their credit cards either.) I was curious what cards I was carrying and here are my results:
*MasterCuts (10 haircuts get one free)
*Hallmark (coupon in the mail when you spend so much)
*Sears Portrait Studio (free sitting fee, free 8 x 10)
*Maurices Take Ten (spend $250 get $10 coupon-not a very good one...)
*Safeway Club (get club card prices, tracks purchases for Catalinas, gas rewards, coupon mailers)
*Macys (this one is a credit card, but I get special coupons and 2.5% back on what I spend and yes, I pay it off each month)
*Pet Co (coupon mailers)
*Staples (rebate coupons and ink recycle program)
*Borders Rewards (coupon mailers)
*Albertsons (coupon mailers, get preferred card price, tracks purchases for catalinas, gas rewards)
*Fred Meyer (rebate rewards based on purchases).

Some of these have more benefits than others obviously, but my point is they are good sources for coupons and rebates. If you are not signed up, take the extra couple of minutes next time and see the benefits for yourself, just make sure you are getting the club card and not the credit card. I am going to tell you about my "go to" store now: Fred Meyer. The reason why is it is close and they give me a rebate (a small one) on everything I buy there. So, if I am out of something or need basics, it is a good place to stock up. Here is another secret: every couponer has basics stock up trips, they have to, you can't live on cheap peanut butter and ketchup :) They will just probably never tell you about them on their blogs. I bet their husband also sometimes stops at the store and shops (gasp) without coupons (double gasp). And I am sure they run out of milk or need cupcakes for school tomorrow sometimes too. I try to be realistic about it. I try to stay in a loose budget and save money, but I don't get too upset if I spend a little more than I had planned because I am still way under what I was spending a year or two ago.
Lastly, here is an example of using some of the coupon mailers that Fred Meyer sends out quarterly. I had 20% off shoes, which I used for my husband. $2 off a $2 or more school supply purchase. I got these pencils, which my daughter needed for homework for .19. Also, $2 off a $5 beauty purchase, I bought CoverGirl for $5.49, used with $1 off manufacturer's coupon, and an instore coupon (free mascara with any Cover Girl purchase) to get both items for $2.49. These are all things we needed, but because I had my Rewards card, I was able to earn rewards and get them for cheaper. Do you take advantage of the club cards?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Deal of the Week

Well, for those of you sad about Albertsons in Utah, you aren't missing anything this week...blah! I might skip it all together. To be fair, there are some good meat coupons in the ad, I just have a freezer full, so they don't get me excited. Utah shoppers check out these blogs to find some posts for your area and the grocery gathering (on sidebar). Hopefully, you can find some new blogs for your favorites stores. I have also heard that since Albertson's is becoming an Associated Food store and lots of areas already have these, you might be getting more Smiths (Krogers) in. I hope whatever happens it works out for you. *I did hear that Utah Albertsons are marking a lot of their own store brand down to 50% off, so there is a bargain for you Utah shoppers. (Thanks Nicole)

There are a couple of deals I did want to share though. First Rite Aid has a Huggies diaper deal. This one goes for three months. It is buy five packs, get a coupon (in the mail) for a free pack. It works the same as their other rebates as far as entering them in the computer. You don't have to get them all at once, you can space it out however you want during the three months (including when it is included in other promotions). They are on sale for $8.99 this week and there are new Huggies coupons on (sidebar).

With Trunk or Treats, Trick or Treats, plus just snacking...:) I wanted to pass on a few candy coupons so you can get some deals on your candy. freebies 4 mom has a link to some printable coupons.
In the last few inserts: 9/27 & 10/11 RP $1.50 on any 3 bags of Mars brands candy
9/27 SS $1.00 of any 3 Hershey's, Reese's or Kit Kat
10/18 SS Free Bag when you Buy 3 Hershey's, Reese's or Kit Kat. Right now Rite Aid has these priced for $1.99/bag
These coupons all expire 10/31/09, how very tricky, so try to find a good deal in the next couple of weeks for your little treaters.

*Be sure to check back on Saturday, I have a surprise for you.

Step #6: Actually Shopping

We finally get to the step that most Americans start at, shopping in the store. One thing first though, before I get in the store, I organize my coupons by aisles (my list is also organized this way). That way I spend even less time in the store, which ironically is a benefit of couponing. Here are some things to watch for when you are shopping.
*Bring your ad (or get one from customer service). This becomes helpful in finding the exact product, double checking prices, or finding a replacement.
*Make sure you have the right product for your coupon and especially your promo. It is very easy to get the wrong size or even brand. Now days, store brands are marketed to look a lot like name brands so be careful. I once missed out on a $12 catalina because I had one store brand box of granola bars mixed in which my name brand ones. Looks for the sale tags and promo tags hanging by the product.
*Check end displays and front displays. They often shelf the promo/sale products in addition to their usual place in the store. After you have checked all of these places and still can't find the item you want, be sure and ask for a rain check.
*However, if you are trying to earn a promo catalina or have to hit a certain amount, get a replacement item for the one that is out of stock. Always have a backup plan, especially if you are in a busy store or it is a popular item. Usually stores order extras for these large promotion sales, but they frequently run out too. Another thing to consider is being considerate of others who might be trying to get the deal...don't be a shelf clearer.
*Look for unadvertised deals in clearance section. You might find some bargains. Be careful though, you don't have to get everything just because it is on sale.
*Try to shop alone and when the store is less busy, to lower your frustration levels and allow you to concentrate, especially when you are doing complicated deals. I know this isn't always feasible, so try to keep kids occupied with free samples (from the bakery), or free stickers/balloons that a lot of stores offer. This is a challenge for me, my kids seem to have a meltdown by the time we reach the checkout counter, which is really when you want to pay attention.
*When you are ready to check out, double check your items, making sure they are the right ones. Also double check your coupons and get the ones ready you are going to use. Look for a "coupon friendly" cashier, or one you have a good relationship with, it really makes a difference (more on that later).
*Hand over coupons and reward cards. I usually put mine on the belt right at the first, so they know what to expect. Some cashiers like to scan as they item is scanned, so it is better if they have them all upfront.
*Be pleasant and knowledgeable. If a coupon doesn't work or "beeps" it is up to the cashier whether to push it through or not. Sometimes you have to decide if it is worth arguing over 75 cents, usually for me it is not. However, if your catalina you are going for doesn't work, you need to speak up. It is usually very easy to fix and a couple minutes is always worth $10 or so.
*Don't let a bad experience ruin it for you. Even if it didn't go smoothly or you had a grumpy/rude cashier, you still saved some, which is what you wanted to do.

Next is what to do when you get home...we are not done yet.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rite Aid 10/18-10/24

Rite Aid is awesome again this week, with another 13 freebates including:

Niel Med Sinoflu Ready Rinse or NasoGel Drip Free Gel Spray

Niel Med NasaMist Saline Spray

Zucol Coldcare Lozenges

Kids Chlorospectic spray or throat strips

Children's Coldcalm Pellets or Chestal Honey Cough Syrup

Little Colds Cold Formula

Little Colds Sore Throat or Mucus Relief Melt Aways

Blink Tears Eyedrops

Little Allergies Allergen Blocks

Sambucol Immune System Booster

eos Lip Balm

Cepacol Fizzlers Just for Sore Throats


Of course you can make these money makers so check out frugal living NW for the coupon matchups. Don't forget your $5 off $25 purchase. My Rite Aid had all the products at the front of the store and plenty of them, so load up on whatever flu/cold supplies you think you can use.

Also this week there were Albertsons double coupons in the paper. I also saw a couple of good Fred Meyer deals.

*Campbells Chunky Soups (10 cans for $10 with in ad coupon) use with .50 off 4 from SS 10/11 or SS 9/20.

*Tree Top Apple Juice 2 for $3 with in ad coupon, use with $1 off 2 from SS 10/18.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Food for Thought

We have all been there...the fits, the car carts, the things they just can't live and shopping not a good mix. Add in coupon shopping, and you are bound to have an incident. Besides getting Dad to tend, what do you do to make your shopping trips less eventful when you take your kiddies? I would love to hear your tips.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting my 2 cents worth

Yes all of this and Rite Aid paid me two cents! The retail on this was $57.71, so here is the breakdown: The Pantene and Olay was for the Olay rebate. (The Herbal Essences with these two qualifies for the P & G $10 gift card promotion) The M & M were for a survey. The Sucrets, Throat Coolers, Cold War, and Carmex were all free after rebate. The water, chap stick, and gum were free with Rite Aid coupons I earned from a previous promotion. The hair clips was what I bought with my coupon overage, plus I get a $1 rebate back on those. I can't believe I used to pay for this stuff (or the generic brand of this stuff) when now I get the name brand stuff for free. I am a happy shopper today. There was still plenty of all the freebates at my Rite Aid, so hurry out and get your deals. You have through Saturday.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Store Secrets: B1G1

B1G1 or BOGO means buy one get one free. These sales in and of themselves, might not be great deals. This is a merchandise clearing strategy used by stores to move stuff fast. If the items were marked as 1/2 price, people would probably only take one, but since it is buy one get one free (even though it is really like 1/2 price) people will take two, thus reducing the inventory. Be careful though because sometimes the price is hiked up before the sale, so it is not that great of deal.

BUT, you use coupons buy one get one sales mean a whole different thing for you! You have two great options to make these work for you. First, think of it like you are buying two products, (ie..two at 1/2 price) because you are buying two products. So you can use two coupons. For example, an item is marked B1G1, priced at $2.99, but you have two manufacturers coupons for $1, so you get to use two coupons and get both items for $.99.

Another way to score on B1G1 coupons is to use a B1G1 coupon when an item is on sale at B1G1, so then you end up with two free items! Most stores will do these deals for you, but if you have any questions, just as their customer service desk. Don't try and be sneaky or work the system, but these coupons can be real money savers. Now you know another store secret:B1G1 (or two) free!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Albertson's Deals 10/14-10/20

Another good week at Albertsons, Yeah! Does anyone know when Utah will no longer have Albertsons? I thought it was in October and I am sad for you. They have the best promos. Also, rumors of doubles in the Sunday paper are floating around the blogosphere, so you might want to wait.

There is a catalina promo on General Mills products, buy $25 get $10 back (in the form of a catalina coupon to use on your next purchase). The $25 is before coupons, not sure if the cat will "roll" or not. However, to make it even better, there are two separate promotions that also fit in this deal.

*PILLSBURY Crescents, Cookies, Sweet Rolls, Grands! Biscuits, Grands! Cinnamon Rolls, Pie Crusts, Dinner Rolls, Loaves, Breadsticks or Pizza Crust (price varies from ($1.67 to $2.50)
Buy 3, Get $2 cat
Buy 4, Get $2.50 cat
Buy 5 (or more), Get $3 cat

*BETTY CROCKER Fruit Shapes, Fruit By The Foot, Fruit Gushers, Fruit Roll-Ups or Fruit Roll Up Stickerz (priced $2.50 each) have a catalina deal too:
Buy 3 and Save $1.50 cat
Buy 4 and Save $2.00 cat
Buy 5 (or more) and Save $3.50 cat

So you should be able to buy 5 Pillsbury ($8.35), 5 Betty Crocker ($12.50), Plus about $5 other products and get back $10 cat, $3 cat, and a $3.50 cat. This is not even factoring in coupons. Wow, I am thinking fruit snacks for the trick or treaters! Check out the krazy coupon lady for an unbelievable list of coupon matchups (print out ones mostly). Let me know what you get! *Just a note on these catalina promos, if you buy $50 worth of stuff, or 10 Betty Crockers, etc in one will still only print out the $10 or $3.50 cat. If you want to do more than one transaction though, it should let you do the deal as many times as you want.

Another promo, get free Shopper Value Saltine Crackers when you buy 2 Hormel Chili Masters ($2/4). October All You has a $2 coupon, so you could get Saltines and two chilis for $2.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Step #5 Planning your shopping trip

I know it sounds boring and time consuming, which it can be, but this is why you plan your trip.
Spent $94.01, saved $182.84!!!

There is no way, even if I had the best coupon binder ever, I could have done this without planning my trip first. Now it took me about two hours to get it all together and organized, but two hours is definitely worth $185 of my time!

Several years ago, I made a list of all my families favorite recipes, (50 total). Then I broke that list down into five separate ingredients lists that I rotate and take to the store. The problem was I was still spending, a lot! Since I have couponed, I do it different. Each week, I look at what is one sale, what coupons I have, and what we need (produce, milk, juice, eggs, etc...). Then I go shopping. About once a month or so I take one of my big recipe list to the store, only now I have bought a lot of it at cheaper prices on different weeks. So now, I only have to get the fill in ingredients that are missing. My family still has their favorite meals and I still saved money. So here it is summarized:

1) First, look over the ads and blogs! Find out what is really a good deal!

2) Decide what you actually need or will use based on what is on sale.

3) Find (or print) matching coupons.

4) Make up some sort of list that works, organize it in a way that works for you, especially if you are trying to do complicated deals.

5) Bring your list and your coupons to the store!! (what to do in the store is next)

A couple of good finds

While I was out and about today, I found a couple of fun things. One a sweepstakes, where the prize is grocery money! Check out the link, it only takes a second to enter.

The other thing was I splurged and bought myself a People magazine. It was the 35th anniversary edition and there is $35 worth of coupons in there. I thought you might what to check these out!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rite Aid Deals for 10/11-10/17

What is better than free? How about 13 freebates at Rite Aid this week!
That's right I said 13, things that might come in handy for flu season. Check out the last page of the ad at iheart rite aid
The included products are:
*Bee MD throat drops cough suppressants
*Beyond Bodiheat pain relieving pads
*Breath Again nasal spray
*Carmex lip balm 3 pk
*Carmex moisture plus lip balm
*Children's throat coolers
*Chloroseptic allergen block gel
*Dr. Thompson's coldwar
*Poligrip denture adhesive cream
*Simply Saline children's nasal mist
*Simply Saline nasal mist cold methanol
*Sinus or allergy buster
*Sucrets throat lozenges

Beginner deal: Take this $5 off $25 coupon, purchase over $25 of above items, profit roughly $5.

Intermediate deal: Do beginners deal, but add some manufacturer's coupons. Check out my frugal adventures for the coupons matchups.

Advanced deal: This is what we call "double dipping." There is a promo running this week, spend $30 on P & G products, get a $10 Rite Aid gift card back. Two of the products on the list, also correspond with a P & G rebate for Olay, which is buy an Olay Regenerist Eye Roller and one Pantene shampoo or conditioner and a get $20 rebate. These two products total over $25, so you need about $5 more (in P & G products) and then you will qualify for both rebates, and get your full $30 back. How exciting is that? Of course, you can add in some of the freebates or coupons in the above link to get even more bang for your buck!

Confused about how Rite Aid works? Try reading this post or email me. Don't forget this is the last week of the Gift of Savings Promotion. Remember to request your gift card, it is separate from your rebate check.
Just a couple more notes of exciting things happening this week
*There will be Albertsons doublers in the Sunday paper, so look for them.
*Walgreens has a Huggies Diaper Promo this week. Buy two packs at $9 each, get $4 back in Register Rewards. There is a new Huggies online coupon too (print it twice). If you need to review how Walgreens works please read a thrifty mom. There is no limit to deals at Walgreens, however you cannot roll the Register Rewards to the same deal, so read the link above to clarify the rules.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Food for Thought

Oh, how I love saving money and still buying great stuff! Albertsons, would have spent $146.97, spent $68.38. Pretty good, next week will be one for the record books though, I have a feeling.
Rite Aid: would have spent $46.41, after rebates, will have only spent $8.51. Plus I earned 6 box tops!

Grocery outlet: retail prices, $30.91, spent $6.95. So that brings my totals to $83.84 for $224.29 worth of stuff. I saved almost 63% this week. Love it and next week is shaping up to be even better!!! How did you do?
So here is my question to you find you shop less at superstores, when you coupon? I want to know if this is a common occurrence or is it just me. I will post more on this later.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Q & A

A couple of good questions answered for your Thursday.

1) Can I use store coupons with manufacturers coupons?
YES, this is a very smart thing to do. It is called STACKING and can score you some free or very cheap things. Store coupons are usually found in the weekly ads for the store. They have the store logo on them and do not say "manufacturers". If is says manufacturers coupon, even if it came in the "store" ad, it is still a manufacturers coupon and cannot be stacked with another coupon. Some stores such as Walgreens and Fred Meyer have their own coupon books, just check at customer service. On thing that took me awhile to figure out, catalinas are manufacturers coupons and not store coupons, which leads to question number two...

2) How do I get a catalina machine to trigger a certain coupon?
Catalinas took a long time for me to figure out. First off any piece of paper that comes out of that machine is referred to as a catalina or cat, even if it is just telling you of a new product. Sometimes you can get it to trigger a certain coupon based on what you buy, but it is not always reliable. For instance, I have gotten baby formula coupons buy buying one brand and got one for another brand. However, when I tried to repeat this transaction, the catalina did not print, so there is no way to trigger catalinas to print a certain coupon....BUT

If you are going for a promotion, like spend $25 get $10 on your next purchase (like the ones that are frequently run at Albertsons), you should trigger your $10 coupon. If you don't, you need to tell the cashier or go to customer service to get it. These catalinas (or register rewards at Walgreens) are WONDERFUL, because they can be used the same as cash on (almost) anything in the store! Sometimes they even roll, meaning you use the $10 you just earned, to pay for another promotion transaction and earn the $10 catalina again. Still confused about catalina, try reading this again. Once you do some shopping and really start paying attention to these catalinas, you will understand how they work better.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Store Secrets: Rain Checks

Last night, I finally got to look over my Albertsons ad and it is a good one. I am so sad that Albertsons will soon be bought out in Utah, because they have such great deals. I like to share them with you. In addition to the Quaker promo, there is another great promo. It is spend $10 get $3 off instantly. These are before coupons prices, so it is very easy to get down to just a dollar or two for $10 worth of items. Please look over this matchup list courtesy of pinching your pennies. PYP is a great resource for sale information. It can be a little tricky to follow everything on their "forums", but I love their coupon lists. It says "Utah" but everything should be pretty much the same for the entire Northwest.

So, now for the secret. With great sales like this, the shelves are often empty when you get there. What do you do now? Ask an employee if they have any more in the back or another part of the store, but if they don't get a rain check. Albertsons is great at giving these out, just ask your cashier as you check out. A rain check will honor the sale price after the sale. You can still use your coupons and get the great deals you were going to get. You have 30 days from when it was issued to redeem it.

Here is a rain check I got two days ago, just so you know what they look like. I have a feeling I will probably be getting another one for oatmeal, last year, they were all gone early. I know a lot of stores do this if they are out of stock, it never hurts to ask. So now you know another secret: take a rain check.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Deals of the week

This is it! According to fabulessly frugal, the Quaker sale is back at Albertsons, Wednesday through Tuesday. This is the best prices of the year on Quaker cereal and oatmeal (even without coupons).I am excited since my kids love instant oatmeal. There really is a difference between store brand and Quaker too. The deal is buy ten products (priced at either $1.50 or $2) and get $5 off instantly at the register. Fabulessly frugal and the krazy coupon lady have the coupon matchups.

Another great find this week is the 30 days of beauty sweepstakes that I read about in O and Harper's Bazaar. It is a daily sweepstakes for the month of October. Everyday there is a high end beauty prize they are giving away. I have won some great prizes in sweepstakes, including $5,000, a Amazon Kindle, and lots of gifts cards/coupons. Just click on the link and fill in the form. Make sure you check no on the magazine offers (already defaulted to no). You might also want to set up a "junk" email account if you are going to be entering lots of sweepstakes or getting lots of freebies so you are getting lots of unwanted emails in your regular account.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Step #4 Organizing your coupon stash

So now you have this huge stash of coupons, how do you find them when you need them? There are several methods to organizing your coupons. I am an organized person, but what works for me might not work for you. I will show you what I do, but if that is not your style, look on some other blogs and see what they do. It only needs to work for you. (I am not a huge binder person (yet), I just find I don't have the extra hand to deal with a toddler and maybe another kid or two and a 30 pound binder. )

I have a drawer in my house dedicated to coupons. This is also where I put ads, rebate info, gift cards etc.

I have a small binder that I put clipped coupons, catalinas, coupons I receive in the mail, coupons that I know I will use.
It is divided into tabs. The division I use are the next three months expiration, 5 stores categories (Albertsons, Fred Meyer, KMart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid) for store coupons, baby, and anything that expires in more than three months. I use this method because it is easy for me to see if there are any coupons I want to use before they expire. I have also seen alphabetical by brand and food categories or store areas (for example, health & beauty, frozen, snacks, dairy, etc...) These last two work better if you take your binder to the store, which I usually don't do.
I don't "clip" every coupon that comes in the paper. Instead I put them in a folder and then if I need one, it is much easier to find then hunting through my huge stack. I do clip any "high value" coupon that I might use, products I know we will use (such as diapers, juice), any "free coupons", or anything I might like to try, but for the most part they stay in the inserts. I used to clip what products I would usually buy and throw the insert away, but a lot of coupons I needed later I didn't have when I did this. Now I just save them all so if I need them I have them. I keep about 4 months worth in my folder. Every few weeks I go through the oldest inserts and clip the ones that aren't expired yet (which is not very many) and throw the rest away.
Example of "dating" my insert so I can find it quick.

When I go to the store, I take the coupons I need (sale matchups) and ones that might expire soon(to look for a possible sale). I also take a list and put it all in just a plain white envelope. I take time to plan out my trip, but this makes it so much smoother when you get to the store. Planning is the next step

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rite Aid Deals for 10/4-10/10

Free after rebate this week include Super Poligrip Powder and Scalpicin Medicated Wipes, I am not excited about either of those. I don't buy product me and my family will never use, even if they are free.

I am excited that the video values program has been refreshed. This is a great program that give you access to lots of coupons that can be paired with manufacturer's coupons and rebates to save even more money. There is also a $5 off $20 purchase you can earn by watching videos (commercials) of products. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to watch enough videos to earn your coupon. Check it out when you get a chance.

Best deal I see is Kotex pads/liners/tampons are $2 for 6. Buy 2 get a $1 SCR. Use the $2 off 2 coupon in 10/4 SS and they are 2 for $3.

There is a good rebate promotion going on with Johnson & Johnson products. Buy $15 get $5 SCR, or Buy $20 get $8 SCR, or Buy $25 get $10 SCR back. These totals are before coupons too! The included products are : Listerine mouthwash, Tylenol Cold, Extra Strength, Children's Tylenol, Children's Tylenol plus, Motrin IB, Reach Total Care floss and toothbrushes, Clean and Clear skincare, Band-aid, Neosporin, Zyrtec and Zyrtec D, Benadryl allergy, Sudafed and Sudafed PE, Pepcid Complete, Immondium anti-diarrheal, and St. Joseph's aspirin. The Tylenol, St. Joseph's, and Motrin also have a separate $2 SCR, so you potentially get back $12. (These three products qualify for both rebates). Check out the coupon matchups at my frugal adventures.

Another good rebate going on right now is the SC Johnson rebate. Basically it is buy 3 participating products get $5 rebate by mail. This rebate can be done at any store and any time up to July 2010. However, this week though Rite Aid has Ziplocs on sale for $1.99, use three(if you have them) .55 coupons from the 9/13 SS, making your total $4.32, so you get PAID .68 to take home three boxes of Ziplocs.

Not too much else I am excited about. Did you find any other deals?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Food for thought Friday: Some bad apples

If I had bought all of this (2 pictures below) at retail, I would have spent $113.81, but after coupons, sales, and rebates, I only spent $42.24! That is 63% savings. But, not everything was smooth sailing.

The first Rite Aid I went to was out of toothbrushes and toothpaste, so I had to go to the other one. This is the first time I have ever seen this happen, so maybe someone in my area got some good deals. :) Also I had to hunt for the toothpaste, but I found it on a display at the end of the aisle. Make sure you have checked all around and maybe even asked someone before you give up on a freebie!

See that lovely bag of apples...that bag cost me over $15!!! I weighed it at the scale by the produce and it said 3 1/2 lbs so I figured with my produce coupon and the bag coupon it was reasonable. I was shocked when I finally had a chance to look at my receipt when I got home and saw that it actually weighed 7 1/2 lbs (this was verified by my own scale.) I chalked this one up to my mistake, but it really agitated me. I don't know if their scale was that off or I measured wrong or what. It wasn't worth the drive back and we love apples so they won't waste. Lesson learned though, lesson learned.

I have been a little slow in my mailbox freebies because of the move. (I hope the person at my old house uses coupons/freebies because they are getting plenty!) I did get 4 $6 Albertons coupons, 2 $1 Cheerios coupons, Honey Nut Cheerios sample, Secret deodorant sample, and my free mags: O, Elle, and Harper Bazaar. The All You mag was my subscription, but it has lots of coupons in it, 2 rebate offers, and several B1G1 coupons (Buy one get one free) so it is like getting a freebie.

So what happened to you this week? Any great deals/freebies? Have you ever got a bad deal, like my apples?

October deals

Did you know certain times of the year are the "best" times to buy certain products? Here are October's deals:

*Tires and car supplies
* Appliances
*Winter clothing, speaking of clothing check out these Macys coupons
that are good through Sunday. The ones that were for my areas were 15% off, $10 off $50, $15 off $75, and $25 off $100. Go to to check out your area.
*Also watch for Columbus Day sales at your favorite stores!