Friday, December 19, 2008

Two FREE 8x10 Photos From Walgreens!

Here is a great deal for yourself or a last-minute Christmas gift. Get 2 FREE 8x10 photos when you order online and pick up at Walgreens. These will be 2 seperate orders:
Order 1 8x10 directly from Walgreens, and use code FREEGIFT upon checkout. (hurry, offer available 12/19-12/20 only)
Order your second photo from Snapfish, new or existing customers. Free 8x10 Print When You Pick Up At Walgreens, coupon code: WALFREE
I just did this a few minutes ago and after entering the codes, my total came to $0, no credit card # needed. You can pick up in Colonie, Wilton, or Troy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Free Holiday Music from Oprah!

Free Christmas music downloads from again! If you missed them last time around, they are up again. Eight Christmas songs by popular singers are free for you to download for the next 48 hours (starting early today so my guess is get them downloaded sometime on Friday). Click here to download. Enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Click here to receive a free subscription to Shape and/or Prevention magazine. Rewardsgold does not ask for your credit card info, nor will they bill you. If you are new, you just need to sign up (it's free and you can always cancel your membership anytime). If you're already a member (like me), you need to take a quick survey about yogurt and refer a friend. I always read Shape in the doctors' offices I visit and I'd love a free subscription (but am too cheap to buy one).

Some of my current free magazine subscriptions are:

  • Woman's Day
  • Family Fun (has some great craft ideas for the kids)
  • Wondertime
  • More (for women over 40, which - ahem - I'm not, but it does have a lot of great articles!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Free Samples available now!

Here are some great free samples to get you started! Don't forget to read my previous post about Roboform to make signing up for samples so easy!

Click here to get a free Glad Force Flex trash bag.
Click here for a free sample of Christina Aguilara perfume.
Click here for a free sample of Bear Naked granola.
Click here for a free sample of Dunkin Donuts coffee.
Click here to get a free Mr. Clean magic eraser. (Love these!)
Click here for a free sample of o.b. tampons.
Click here for a free sample of Folgers Coffee.
Click here for a free sample of Good Nights for your child.
Click here for a free sample of Always Infinity.
Click here for a free sample of kotex lightdays.

Free Samples

Okay, this might sound silly but I love getting free stuff in the mail. I sign up for many, many freebies online and I get free stuff in my mailbox about 3 times per week. On Saturday I received a free granola bar, a trial-size box of ob tampons and a free one-load packet of Tide-to-Go. Here are some of the free samples I've received in the past 6 months;
(trial sized) boxes of cereal - perfect for on the go snacks or when you run out of cereal
(trial sized) shampoo & conditioner - I love pantene and they are always offering free samples!
granola bars, fruit/cereal bars, snack bars (like Chex bars) - these go straight into my snack bowl in the pantry - I love trying new kinds of snack bars before buying them (and they usually come with really good coupons)
tampons & pads - Hey - we all use them and I've probably received at least a box worth of each over the last several months! That's a bit of savings! Also usually come with high value coupons (like $1 to $1.50 off of one!)
laundry detergent - every 1 load pack saves that much more you have to buy
I've also received razors, perfume samples (it's nice to smell expensive for a day!), trail mixes, etc.
It's also really nice to get a little package in the mail a few times a week along with the bills!
So how do I have time to sign up for so many free samples? I have the free sampler's best friend - Roboform. Roboform is a free little program you can download that you enter your basic info (name, address, gender, dob) and when you go to enter your info for free samples, it will automatically enter the info for you.
Just click here. You can also store up to 10 logins/passwords for free!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Online Communities Part 4 or FREE CHOCOLATE

Yes, you read that right- FREE CHOCOLATE!!!! Note-If you are my most wonderful and extremely understanding trainer you will pretend you did not see this. I really truly needed chocolate today, as you will see in an upcoming post, and then it appeared in my mailbox from a company that I must now describe as Heavenly! shespeaks is an online opinion panel community. They email you a few screening questions about a certain type of product, and if you qualify they will send you the product to test, and bonus coupons for yourself and to share!!! I have 5 coupons if you want them- subscribe to this blog and leave a comment that you did- and my hips and I will be glad to share them with you. As a matter of fact I will give away all 5- one each to five different people and no my dear husband, you cannot win.

Now after I have mowed - I mean tested-the chocolate I will log onto the shespeaks website and give my opinion. It does not get any easier than this!!! Join shepeaks now and maybe you will be able to get your own chocolate!!!!
By the way, these coupons could be combined with Extra Bucks (ECB) at CVS to get your own FREE CHOCOLATE!!!!!

Online Comunities Part 3 & What Stephanie got for FREE!

I came home Saturday afternoon to find a box on my doorstep containing all of these items. There are 8 full size packages of cleaning products here! This is the benefit of settingup that extra email address and joining Online Communities. So, where did these little goodies come from? They came from Right@Home- an SC Johnson Company. This is a very simple community to belong to. I receive an email newsletter monthly with printable coupons for SC Johnson products, last month I was able to print coupons for B1G1F Glade Candles, which I took to Target, and purchased the Holiday Scents, and received a free $5.00 Target Gift Card with my purchase. Also, Right@Home has a quarterly sweepstakes that you can enter to win products like the ones pictured above. This was only the second time I had entered and I won! I am guessing there are about $40.00 worth of cleaning products here. I actually have an urge to clean-don't faint Mom!!! If all of this is enough reason for you to join Right@Home go here.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Coupons! Coupons! Coupons!

Here are some great coupons for you this week!!!!

Fill out the Form and print two coupons -Save 75cents on Chiquita Bites and Try Me Free Chiquita Bites Single up to $1.00 here

Keebler Cookies, including Pecan Sandies. I love Pecan Sandies!!!! Click here

Yes To Carrots Skincare- Coupon for B1G1F (buy one get one free). I have seen these at Walgreen's. This would make a great stocking stuffer or round out a nice Holiday Gift Basket.
Get Carrots. You need to sign up and join the "Carrot Club", which is another reason that new email address you set up for your Online Communities comes in very handy.

Thanks to Budgt Helps for these great coupons!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Free letter from Santa for your child

Just fill out the info and the elves from Santa Claus, Indiana (where it's Christmas all year round) will send your child a letter from Santa.
Click on "request a letter" on right side of page! Santa

25 Free Music Downloads !!!!!!

Everyday through December 25th is unveiling a new Holiday Song to download for FREE!!!

Go to Amazon to get yours!!!!!!

Barbie $50.00 Pre-paid Visa Gift Card

Now through December 31st you can get a $50.00 rebate when you spend $100.00 on selected Barbie Toys. Click here for the official rules & rebate form

Rebate applies to these selected Items:
Barbie and the Diamond Castle Princess Liana Doll
Barbie and the Diamond Castle Princess Alexa Doll
Barbie and the Diamond Castle Horse and Carriage
Barbie and the Diamond Castle Glimmer Flying Horse
Barbie and the Diamond Castle Playset
Barbie Party Cruise
Candy Glam Style Station
IDesign Ultimate Stylist
Barbie My House
Barbie Peekaboo Petites Peekaboo Place

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Celebrate all month long with ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas

If you have the ABC Family Channel, they are doing their annual 25 Days of Christmas. The following is the schedule for the month - which movies on which days. Free holiday movies to watch with your kids - and you can tape them or dvr them and have your own Christmas movies recorded for free!

Dr. Seuss on the Loose
Dr. Seuss' The Hoober-Bloob Highway

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Polar Express
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
'Twas the Night Before Christmas
Jingle All the Way

A Garfield Christmas
Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat

Mickey's Christmas Carol
Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town

Rudolph Shiny New Year
The Year Without a Santa Claus

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

All Day
Holiday Classics Marathon
A Miser Brothers' Christmas A New ABC Family Original Special

Snow 2 Brain Freeze A New ABC Family Original Movie

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Mary Poppins
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Santa Clause 2
Christmas in Wonderland
The Polar Express
White Christmas
All Day
Holiday Classics Marathon
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

P.S. My favorite Christmas movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation...what's yours? Please leave a comment and share!

P&G Year of Savings Coupon Rebate

I love P&G coupons and products personally. I think this is a great deal. Most of what they offer I purchase anyway, especially at CVS with Extra Bucks! I will try to post deals for the upcoming weeks at CVS and other stores that make this an even better deal for you! It never hurts to stock up on paper towels, toothpaste, toilet paper, and other essentials for the winter months. Also, don't foget to use your coupons from the P&G Brandsaver coupon bookleet that was in the November 29th newspaper- most of these coupons expire December 30th!

Receive $120 in P&G coupon savings by mail with the purchase of $50 worth of P&G products.

Purchase $50 worth of ANY P&G products between 12/14/2008 and 1/31/2009.
Circle the P&G products and their corresponding prices on your original cash register receipt.
Print the form and fill it out.
In a stamped envelope, enclose the form and original dated sales receipt with item descriptions and product purchase prices circled and mail.

Click here for more details....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Celebrate All Month Long ~ Part 2

I hope you've already jotted a few fun events that I recently blogged about on your family's calendar. Here are some more fun ideas to keep everyone looking forward to Christmas. Today, let's focus on books, movies and music!

Christmas Books

First, go through your children's bookshelves and pull out every Holiday book you can find. If you don't have a lot of Christmas books in your stash, make a quick trip to your local library and check some out. Chances are it can be a really quick trip because the children's librarian has probably already set a bunch out for display on top of the bookcases. Grab a few that look interesting. While you're there, check out the Christmas dvd's, too. Libraries lend movies for free, provided that you return them on time - we get to keep ours for 1 week (our library charges $1 per day that your video is late!).

Christmas Movies
Now, go home and pull out Christmas videos or browse through the TV guide and mark on your calendar the nights that Christmas specials will be airing.

Another option - Lend and borrow holiday books and videos with your friends. If your kids are bored with their stash, someone else's might provide hours of fun and vice versa! Keep your pile of books and videos handy so that you can quickly grab one or the other for a quick, little holiday treat. Most of us read with our kids almost every night anyway, so this activity shouldn't bring on any holiday stress.

Our favorite holiday movies - ALL!! Seriously, my kids are so into Christmas that they enjoy watching anything that has to do with the holiday - including the Christmas Coca-Cola commercials that feature Santa and lit-up trucks! They do love all the Christmas classics (Santa Claus is coming to Town, Rudolph, etc.), the Grinch and Charlie Brown Christmas.

Our favorite holiday books - Again, pretty much ALL!

Christmas Music

Pull out your favorite Christmas cd's. Or play local radio station 98.3fm for 24-hour Christmas music. Just take 30 minutes of playing a little holiday music and dancing with your kids. We have recently been exposed to YouTube (thanks to Mommy finally getting a laptop) and the kids are amazed at what we can find. We love finding our favorite songs from Christmas movies ("You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch) and watching them and singing along.

Now, what are your favorite holiday books, movies and music? I'd love to hear about yours and any traditions that you might incorporate them into!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Coupon Lingo!!

By this time my closest friends and family have probably heard me throw around the term Extra Bucks enough to make you want to hurt me. Extra Bucks are the definition of shopping without money! We are going to post some coupon lingo for you to refer to, and we will try to keep it up on the sidebar for your reference.

ECB - Extra Care Bucks - CVS "money" printed on receipts to be used like cash in store
OOP - Out of Pocket - actual cash paid
Peelie - Peelable coupon located on packages
RR - Register Reward - Walgreen's "money" printed on receipts to be used like cash in store
BOGO: Buy One Get One FREE!
2/$5: This means 2 items for $5 (of course there could be other numbers like 3/$10 means 3 items for $10).
$1/2: This means $1 off of 2 items, in other words you must buy 2 items and then the coupon will work (of course it could be different numbers like $2/1 means $2 off 1 item).
wyb: when you buy
Catalina: thin paper coupon that prints out from a seperate machine (like at grocery stores)
MIR: Mail in Rebate
SS: Smart Source (coupon insert in the newspaper)
P&G: Proctor and Gamble (another coupon insert in the newspaper-once monthly)
RP: Red Plum (coupon insert in the newspaper)
exp: expires (usually followed by the date of expiration - like on coupons)

I learned all of these terms and have copied this information from The Centsible Sawyer Blog. The Blog is run by Denise Sawyer and her blog is amazing!!! This is where I first learned about ECB's, coupons, and money saving. Please take time to visit and read her blog here:

posted by Stephanie

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Celebrate All Month Long - Part 1

In our house, the children have been looking forward to Christmas since Halloween was over. I think they were truly Thankful on Thursday...because they knew once Turkey Day came and went, they would be that much closer to Christmas!! When I asked my 6-year-old what his favorite things about Christmas are, his responses were; #1 - seeing all the lights and blowups, #2 - decorating our Christmas tree, and #3 - putting out our decorations. Only when prompted from me, did presents come in at #4. I know how much he loves decorations, crafts and Christmas music but it was such a nice feeling to know that presents were not #1 on the list. So, to make it really special this year, I'm trying to be organized and come up with a loose schedule of holiday fun (one thing a day) for the entire month. Often we get caught up in the stress of holiday shopping, cooking, planning, and budgets, sometimes forgetting to enjoy the simple things. So I'm beginning a frugal list of Holiday Entertainment (places to go, people to see, things to do) from the Capital Region to the North Country.

Today I'm featuring some Places to Go. Now is a good time to mark your calendar with the events that look doable for you and your family. It's always fun to get some friends together and make it a group outing. After that, we can begin filling in the rest of the calendar for the month with simple crafts and other Holiday Fun that we can enjoy. Stay tuned for more fun ideas to keep you in the holiday spirit!

Places to Go

Quick Response Restoration ~ Saturday, December 6th and Saturday, December 13th. Live reindeer, photos with Santa and his sleigh, an assortment of favorite winter characters, and free refreshments. Not to mention, the huge light displays! There is a snow day cancellation date of Sunday, December 14th. All dates are from 5:30pm - 9pm. For more info: Clifton Park, off exit 10 of the Northway. FREE. This is an awesome light display that you can drive by any night from Now through the New Year!

Holiday Lights in the Park ~ November 28 – January 3. 12th Annual Capital Holiday Lights in the Park – This year’s theme: An Olde-Fashioned Holiday. Sun-Thurs 6pm-9pm; Fri & Sat 6pm-10pm. $15 per car, $25 per limousine or passenger van, and $75 per bus. Proceeds benefit Albany PAL. Washington Park, Albany. For more info: 435.0392. We did this last year and the whole family really enjoyed it!

Albany Winter Festival 2008 – December 27th. Free family event includes a myriad of outdoor and indoor activities focusing on a family audience. Fabulous Fireworks will light up the skies! 11:30am-6pm. Downtown Albany. For more info: 434.2032. I did this a couple of years ago with a friend and our kids. We bundled up and it was well worth it - we saw a cirque du soleil type show at the Palace theater, wandering magicians & jugglers, and there were indoor crafts for the children. (FREE)

SEFCU Holiday Tree Lighting and Fireworks Festival ~Arts and crafts, storytelling, holiday marketplace, visit from Santa, Toys for Tots, holiday music, dramatic fireworks display. 1pm-6pm. Free. Empire State Plaza, Albany. December 7th. For more info: 877.659.4ESP; (FREE)

26th Annual Troy Victorian Stroll – December 7th. Live music, dancing, storytelling, theatre, costumed performers. The stroll ends at 5pm with “A Celebration of Lights” at Monument Square. 11am-5pm. Free. For more info: 274.7020; (Free)

December 14 Moments in Time Ice Show – Figure skating. Celebrate Glens Falls Centennial. Bring canned good/non-perishable food items to be donated to local charity. Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls. For more info: 747.6571.

This is just a sampling of things to do but you get the idea - there are lots of free (or very inexpensive) events close to home. We usually try to go to events after lunch or we pack a "picnic" to eat in the car. We always bring our own beverages and snacks, too!

For more events, visit and click on holiday cheer.
Now, do you have any can't miss light displays or holiday shows to share with us? Please leave a comment!
posted by Heather

Friday, November 28, 2008

Online Communities Part 2

Pssst Network

I cannot say enough about Pssst! There is minimal effort involved for some great rewards. Pssst is a General Mills Member Community, which gives great coupons to you that are high in value or for free items. Every so often I receive an email to share printable coupons with my friends, when I send the email to my friends I receive an email from Pssst with additional coupons for me. Most recently I received an email coupon for $1.10 off of one can of Progresso Soup. These were on sale for $1.25 at Walgreens a few weeks back, so I was able to buy 4 cans of soup for 60 cents!!!

Additionally I receive coupons in the mail for free items, and high value coupons to share with my friends. Recently I received a coupon for free Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, with 6 coupons for $1.25 off one package to share with friends. In my local Price Chopper these sell for about $3.50 a package. I like to combine these with Price Chopper’s double coupons that come out once in a while, or with a sale to get them quite inexpensively. These are going to create some great additions to my Holiday Entertaining!

If there is one online community that is really worth your time, this is it!!!

Join Pssst

Don’t forget to sign up for a separate free email account and use this when you sign up for these communities!

Online Communities – Part 1

Let’s get started! I hope you are excited to save money and make money. There are many tools we use other than shopping for the best deals to save money. This is not your Grandmother’s couponing method! We belong to a series of online communities that offer us deals and a forum to tell manufacturer’s what we really need in our lives. The first step I recommend is to set up a free email account like yahoo or g-mail to receive mail from these groups. Some of these create spam, most do not. It depends on your preference. I highly recommend setting up a separate account.

Let’s get started!

The first group that we love is VocalPoint. What is VocalPoint? It is a forum for members full of activities that gives you free products, and high value coupons. Most times it takes less than five minutes for me to complete an activity. For example a few months back I completed a 6 question survey about breakfast cereal and received five $1 off coupons and one $2 dollar off coupon for Kashi cereal in the mail. We’ll show you how to use those coupons to get free/really cheap cereal by combining them with store deals throughout the blog.

In the past 60 days I have received a free Venus Embrace Razor, and coupons for Tuna. Only days after I received that razor mine broke, and since there were no spectacular deals, I had myself a free razor! That saved me at least $9.99.!

Sign up for VocalPoint

Thursday, November 27, 2008

CVS Free Black Friday Items

Even if you are starting with zero ECB's, you can get some great deals with the following list of free after ECB's. First, I'm going to post the list of items from the flier with their limits, and below them you can see where to find the coupons to make these deals even better. Then I'm going to post some simple transactions where you can get lots of stuff for very little cash.

FREE after ECB Deals ~

Colgate Total Advanced, Clean, Advanced Fresh or Whitening $2.99 (Limit 2)
$1.50 off any Colgate Total Toothpaste Printable
Colgate Total Advanced Whitening, Advanced Clean or Advanced Fresh, any 4 oz.+ $1 (12-6-08) SS 11/16/08 $1 off Colgate Total or Max Fresh Toothpaste(excludes Trial) CRT

Aussie $2.99 (Limit 2)
Aussie Product, any except trial size $1 (11-30-08) P & G

Johnson's Soft Lotion $5.69 (Limit 1)
$1/1 Printable HERE $1/1 from the 11/2 RP $1/1 Home Mailers
Hand or Body Lotion or Body Wash, Any $1 CRT

Gatorade G2 20oz $1.49 (Limit 3)
Gatorade G2 from Beauty Book $1 off 2 12/31/08

Hershey's King Size Bars $1.00 (Limit 1)
Hersheys Bar, 1.45 oz - 1.55 oz
B1G1F up to .79 (11-30-08) SS 9/28/08Hersheys Milk Chocolate Bar, w/ Almonds, or Special Dark B1G1F up to .79 (2-28-09) SS 11/9/08

Bic Soliel $5.99 (Limit 2)

Bic Soleil System Razor, any $3 (12-14-08) SS 11/2/08 $2 on any Razor Purchase of $10 or more CRT

Garnier Nutritioniste cleansing towelettes(25 ct.) $5.99 (Limit 1)
Garnier Nutritioniste Cleanser or Moisturizer, any $1 (11-30-08) V 8/24/08
Garnier Nutritioniste Cleanser or Moisturizer, any $1 (12-31-08) V 9/14/08
Garnier Nutritoniste Cleanser or Moisturizer, any $1 (2-28-09) V 11/9/08

Maybelline Foundation $8.99 (Limit 2) - Recycled from 11/23 ad
$3 Maybelline Foundation RP 10/26, Exp 1/26/09
$2 off Maybelline FOUNDATION off any ONE , RP 9/21/08, EXP 12/31

5 hr Energy 2pk $3.99 (Limit 1)

Magnovox Remote or Phillilps Headphones $6.99 (Limit 2)

L'Oreal lipgloss $6.99 (Limit 2)
L'Oreal Lipcolour, any $1 (1-25-09) V 11/2/08
$1/1 Printable HERE (Register and go through a survey to get the coupon)

Sally Hansen Max Growth $3.79 (Limit 1)
Sally Hansen nail color, any $0.50 (11-17-08) SS 8/17/08 *expired* Sally Hansen or La Cross product, any $2 tearpad CVS coupon Sally Hansen Nail Color or Nail Treatment, $3 on 2, Beauty book 12/31/08

Covergirl Smoothers Foundation $7.99 (Limit 1)
Cover Girl Product, any $1 (11-30-08) P & G 10/12/08
Cover Girl Product, any $1 (11-30-08) P & G 11/2/08

Covergirl Smoothers Powder $5.99 (Limit 1)
Cover Girl Product, any $1 (11-30-08) P & G 10/12/08
Cover Girl Product, any $1 (11-30-08) P & G 11/2/08

Other ECB Deals

Schick Quattro Razor or Trimmer $7.99 Earn 6 ECBs Limit 1
$2/1 Printable HERE
$4/1 in the December All You Mag FREE + overage after either coupon!

Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons $3.99 Earn 3 ECBs Limit 1 $1/1 from the 10/5 FREE + .01 overage after coupon and ECBs!
(Thanks Denise at for compiling this list).

Okay, now what to do with all of this information? Sort it into transactions that maximize your purchase and keep your out-of-pocket $$ low....So here's a scenario that the typical CVS "newbie" could try out between Thanksgiving Day and Saturday (yes this is a 3-day sale). So What's the, So what's the scenario yo ( a little 90's music humor for
Okay, the "Grand Plan" (thanks to Southern Savers at has been created for you to start with no ECB's and still end up with a great deal. You'll need about $5 to cover your costs and you'll get $120 worth of product and several ECB's back. If you do have $15 ECB’s remaining from last weeks Duracell deal, you can add transaction #2 and #3 together (remove the .50 cent filler item) and pay with the $15 ECB from last week.

Buy:(2) Colgate Total Advanced
Use:-$1 off CVS coupon(1) -$1.50 off printable (technically states one per household)(1) -$1 off SS 11/16
Total Due: $2.48 cash
Get Back: $5.98 ECB

Buy:(1) Johnson’s Soft Lotion $5.69, (1) Aussie Product, (1) .50 cent filler item.
Use:-$1 off Johnsons-$1 off Aussie
Total Due: $6.18, pay with $5.98 from #1 and .20 cents.
Get Back: $8.68 ECB ($5.69, $2.99)

Buy:(2) Bic Soliel Razors
(3) Gatorade G2
(2) Hershey’s
Use (1) -$2 off $10 in razors CVS coupon(1) B1G1 Hershey’s(2) -$3 off Bic Soliel
Total Due: $9.45, pay with $8.68 ECB from #2 and .77 cents
Get Back: $17.45 ECB ($4.47, $11.98, $1)

Buy(1) Garnier Towelettes(2) Maybelline Foundations (if you did not buy them earlier in the week)
(1) Cover Girl Powder
Use:-$4 off $20 in Cosmetics CVS coupon-$1 off Garnier(2) - $3 off Maybelline-$1 off Covergirl
Total Due: $17.96, pay with $17.45 from #3 and .51 cents
Get Back: $29.96 ECB ($5.99, $17.98, $5.99)

Buy(1) Energy 2pk
(2) Magnovox or Phillips items
(2) L’Oreal Lip Gloss
Use:(2) -$1 off Lip Gloss
Total Due: $29.95,
Use $26.96 ECB from #4 (ask to downgrade by one penny)
Get Back: $31.95 ECB ($3.99, $13.98, $13.98)

Buy(1) Sally Hansen Max Growth
(1) Cover Girl Foundation
(1) Schick Quattro
(1) Playtex
(1) -$1 filler item (at least.71¢)
Use:-.50/1 Sally Hansen-$1 off Cover Girl-$4 off Schick-$1 off Playtex
Total Due: $18.26 pay with $3.99 and $13.98 ECB from #5 and .29 cents
Get Back: $20.78 ECB ($3.79, $7.99, $6, $3)

You still have one Aussie Product left that you can buy.

Total value of products: $120.28
Total spent out of pocket: $4.25
Extra Care Bucks Remaining: $34.

If you don't have all of the exact Q's, don't wig. You can still do very well with these transactions. Some of us put everything in our cart at once and ask the cashier if we can multiple transactions (if there's lots people waiting it's always nice to do a transaction, then go to the end of the line while you get your next one ready). Once you start rolling your ecb's into bigger ecb's, you'll be able to go to CVS making only 1 or 2 transactions. And don't worry, most everyone who works at CVS has been through this before so they know the routine. Just try being polite and friendly with them and don't let the grouchy ones get you down! Please post your comments if you try this over the next 3 days and share your success story! Include your out-of-pocket, how much stuff you got and how many ecb's you came away with. We'll be including ours as well. All those who participate in our very first challenge will be entered into our very 1st giveaway to be anounced in December. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Welcome to Our Blog

Welcome to our Blog! We started following the money-saving experts and their blogs about 6 months ago and have been so excited that we decided to start a blog of our own. We'll research the best of the best and scout out local (upstate New York/Capital Region) deals, too. Then we'll sum them up for you here. We are really new to this blogging thing so please bear with us as we get the site constructed. We are just so excited to get started that we're going to start posting NOW! Follow along as we save money, set budgets and pay down debt.

A little about us...

Heather - I am a wife and a stay-at-home mom to 2 kids, ages 3 & 6. I've also been working as a consultant for a party-plan company for the last 10 years. (I can't mention the business specifically on the site but I like to call myself your photo guru - helping with anything I can with photos - from organizing to scrapbooking to digital photobooks.). Anyway, I love staying home with my kids (most of the time!) and having time to volunteer at school or other local organizations and I'd like to keep it that way! Using all the money saving tips I've been learning over the last several months has helped me keep our family from adding debt with the rising gas prices (gotta love the latest price drops, though) and grocery prices of the last year. I have always loved scoring a deal and it gives me a little high every time I get something for free or practically free! I love helping people save money and I hope I can help you reach your money-saving goals, too!

Stephanie - I work full time outside my home, I am Mom to one adorable puppy named Gizmo, and wife to Shawn. I started this money saving journey to keep debt down, tithe to my church, and maintain my lifestyle in these difficult economic times. When I am not shopping without money I am at the gym, or volunteering for a local not for profit corporation and my local Church. I hope that you will follow me on my journey to lose weight, seek deals, and serve people. My goal for this blog is to give you inspiration and courage instead of fear in these difficult financial times.

Getting Started at CVS

We're going to start with CVS because there are lots of free after ECB items Thanksgiving through Saturday! So these are the basic skills of playing the CVS game!
First, get your CVS ExtraCare card. Ask a cashier, or sign up online. If you're excited to get started, ask for it at the store. Otherwise you'll have to wait for it to arrive in the mail. You'll need to have the card scanned for each of your purchases. If you have a card but do not have an email account, go to and register yourself. This is your key to getting email coupons.
Next, earn ECB (Extrabucks). ECB are earned through promotions, such as “Buy XX, receive $YY in ECB.” You will see these promotions in the monthly and weekly ads. The ecb print at the end of your receipt - clip them and keep them as carefully as you would cash. The required amount to receive the ECB is calculated before coupons. You do not have to buy all the products for that particular promotion in the same transaction or at the same store. ECB coupons can be used to purchase nearly anything in the store (excluding prescriptions, alcohol, tobacco, and Gift Cards). You cannot get change back when you spend your ecb's. They can be entered as less than their face value (if your cashier knows how). For example if your total comes to $1.97 and you have an ecb for $1.99 that you would like to use, and you don't mind losing 2 cents, you can use your ECB to pay your total. ECB coupons expire 4 weeks from the date they are printed.
Couponing @ CVS ~ CVS accepts manufacturer's coupons, including IP (internet printable) coupons. CVS also issues their own store-specific coupons. You can get these by mail, email or printed out at the end of your receipt (these are referred to as CRT's - cash register tape). Both ECB and CRT coupons are linked to your CVS account, which means you cannot use them without the same CVS card that earned them. It used to be that we could share email coupons, but recently that has been changing a bit. It seems most of the item coupons (like $4 off skin effects) can still be used with any extracare card. However the $$/$$ coupons (like $3 off $15 or more purchase) will beep and the cashier will receive a message that the coupon was not issued to your card. The CVS coupon policy allows for the use of one manufacturer and one CVS coupon on the same item (called stacking). Often a very good deal can be had when you combine a CVS item coupon and/or a manufacturer's coupon on an item that gives back ecb's.
Handing over the goods ~ There is an order to handing over your CVS coupons.
First, have the cashier scan your card. Next hand over your $/$$ coupon. Then hand over your CVS coupons and Manufacturer coupons.
So here is a sample CVS trip (using this week's flier):
Transaction 1:
Buy 1 Maybelline Mineral Foundation at $8.99, get 8.99 ECB (limit 2)
Buy 1 Maybelline Mineral Foundation at $8.99.
Use $3/Maybelline Foundation coupon in last week's paper.
Total out-of-pocket cost: $5.99 + tax, earn $8.99 ECB.
Transaction 2:
Buy 1 Maybelline Mineral Foundation at $8.99.
Use another $3 off coupon from the paper.
Purchase a $3 item like milk.
Total OOP: approximately $8.99
Use your $8.99 ecb from transaction 1.
Total oop : $0
Earn $8.99 in ECB.
Then we keep rolling our $8.99 ECB's to get more items for free!