Saturday, January 31, 2009

16 Free Harlequin Romance Books

Run over to "Deal"icious Mom to find out the details on the downloadable books here
Maybe you can read these while hubby watches the BIG GAME!!!

Woman's Day Magazine Free Subscription

Go here to get a free subscription to Woman's Day magazine. I have had a subscription to this since May through the same offer- it really will be sent!!! If you do not already read it, Woman's Day has great money saving articles. Happy Reading!!

Free E-Book from Ebay Seling Coach

Get a free E-Book from the Ebay selling coach here .
Author Suzanne Wells has been selling on Ebay since 2003 and is a Silver Level Power Seller.
While you're waiting for the book to download check out her blog YOu willfind a lot of useful information and tips.

$31 in printable coupons

If you have not already signed up for Right at Home newsletter after I won the cleaning products here , then you definitely need to now!! Right now you will be able to print over $31.00 in printable coupons. Don't miss out on this !!!!!!!!

Walgreen's Deals 2/1 through 2/7

Here are the weekly deals available at Walgreens this week:

Comet Cleanser--$0.50 each after in-ad coupon Use $0.50/2 coupon from 1/18 inserts$0.25 each after coupons

Buy 1 Clinical Right Guard or Dry Idea Deodorant at $5.99, Get $5 Register Rewards$0.99 each after Register Rewards

Buy 1 Soft and Beautiful Relaxer Kit at $4.99, Get $4 Register Rewards$0.99 each after Register Rewards

$3.99 Russell Stover Chocolates w/ Walgreens Weekly Ad Coupon
B2G1 FREE in the 8/17 SS Insert (exp 2/28/09)
B1G1 FREE in the 11/9 SS Insert (exp 5/31/09)$1 in the 12/14 SS Insert (exp 2/14/09)Net Price $1.70 - $2.99 each$3.49

Welch's Grape Juice$1 on 2 in the 1/11 SS Insert (exp 4/30)$.50 or $1 on 2 in the FebruaryIVC Net Price $2.49 each

$1.50 Pop Tarts w/ Walgreens Weekly Ad Coupon $1 on 2 in the 1/18 RP Insert (exp 3/1)Net Price $1 each$.33

Reusable Grocery Bags w/ Walgreens Weekly Ad Coupon

$3.49 Pert Plus 13.5 oz
$1 in the 1/25 SS Insert (exp 2/28)
$1 Printable here
$1.50 in the FebruaryIVC Net Price $1

$8.99 Gillette Fusion Gamer, Venus Breeze Spa, Embrace Sister Razor: $6 RR.Purchase a 4 pk of Cartridges too and receive and additional $4 RR (must buy the razor).

$5 Triaminic and Theraflu
$1.50 Triaminic Printable here
$1 on Triaminic in the 12/7 (exp 3/31) and 1/4 (exp 3/31) SS Inserts
$2 Theraflu Printable here
$1.50 on Theraflu in the 1/4 SS Insert (exp 3/31)
$1 on Theraflu Printable here
$6 on 2 via EasySaverRebate (# 12)Net Price $2 - $3.50 each - 2 Theraflu: FREE after Rebate!!

$5.99 Vicks 44, Nyquil or Dayquil: Spend $20, get a $10 RR; Spend $15, get a $5 RR
$1.50 on Nyquil or Dayquil in the 1/18 P&G Insert (exp 2/28)
$1 on 44 in the 1/18 P&G Insert (exp 2/28)
Net Price $4.50 each - Buy 4 Day/Nyquil: $8 after RR!


Zucol Cold Care Lozenges (18 pk.)--full rebate up to $7.99Use $2/1 coupon from 2/1 SmartSource insert or $2/1 internet printable couponFree plus $2 in overage after coupon and February EasySaver rebate

Revlon Age Defying Spa Concealer or Spa Foundation--full rebate up to $10Use $2/1 coupon from 1/11 insertsFree plus $2 in overage after coupon and February EasySaver rebate

Revlon Creme Lip Gloss--full rebate up to $10Use $2/1 coupon from 1/11 insertsFree plus $2 in overage after coupon and February EasySaver rebate

Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Shampoo, Conditioner, or Stylers 6.8-13 oz.--full rebate up to $4.29Use $1/1 from 1/4 insertsFree plus $1 in overage after coupon and February EasySaver rebate

ThermaCare Trial Size Neck, Shoulder and Wrist Heat Wrap--full rebate up to $2.49Use $1/1 from 1/4 insertsFree plus $1 in overage after coupon and February EasySaver rebate

Walgreens Multi-Purpose No Rub Solution 4 oz.--full rebate up to $1.99Free after February EasySaver rebate

CVS Deals 2/1 through 2/7

Two-Day Sale (Sunday & Monday only)

Hershey’s Valentines Kisses, Hugs, Miniatures, Kissables, Reese’s or York (8.5-10 oz.), 2/$3

Valentines Card Exchange Kit (4.8-21 oz.), BOGO $1 off 2 Wonka Candy Printable here

Dasani Purified Water 24-pk., $3.99

:: ECB Deals
Excedrin 10ct. Vial, $2.49Get $2.49 ECBs (limit 1)FREE after ECBs!

Assorted Glade, 4/$10Get $5 ECBs (limit 5)
Glade Jar Candle 4 oz.Plugins Refills 3 ct.Scented Oil Refill 1 ct.Scented Oil Candle Refills 3 ct.
$1/2 Glade Plugins Scented Gel Refill Packs, exp. 2-21-09 (SS 1/11/09)
$1.50/2 Glade 4 oz. Jar Candles or 2 in 1 Candles, exp. 3-14-09 (SS 2/1/09)
$1/1 Glade Scented Oil Candles Refill Pack, exp. 3-14-09 (SS 2/1/09)
BOGO Glade Scented Oil Candles Holder, exp. 3-14-09 (SS 2/1/09)
FREE to cheap after coupons and ECBs!*Depends on if your store allows you to use a money off coupon in conjunction with the BOGO.

Theraflu or Triaminic, $6.39Buy 2 get $5 ECBs (limit 1) $1.89 to $2.39 after coupons and ECBs!
$1.50 Triaminic Printable here
$1 on Triaminic in the 12/7 (exp 3/31) and 1/4 (exp 3/31) SS Inserts
$2 Theraflu Printable here
$1.50 on Theraflu in the 1/4 SS Insert (exp 3/31)
$1 on Theraflu Printable here

$19.99 KY Yours and Mine: $10 ECB. Limit 1.
$5 Printable here (click on Special Offers)
$5 in the 2/1 RP Insert (exp 6/30)Net Price $15 - $5 after ECB!

L’Oreal Revitalift Cleanser or Towelettes, $5.99Buy 2 get $10 ECBs (limit 2)
$2/1 LOreal Facial Skincare Product, exp. 3-29-09 (V #2 1/4/09)
Better than FREE after coupon and ECBs!

L’Oreal EverPure Shampoo or Conditioner, ~$6.99 (price ?) Get $5 ECBs wyb 2 (limit 2)
$2/1 L’Oreal EverPure Shampoo, Conditioner, or Treatment, exp. 4-26-09 (RP 2/1/09)
~$2.50 ea. after coupons and ECBs!

Excedrin Menstrual Complete 20 ct., $6.99Get $3 ECBs (limit 5)
$1/1 Excedrin Product, any 20 ct.+, exp. 3-31-09 (SS #2 1/4/09)
$2.99 after coupon and ECBs!

Buy $15 in Colgate/Palmolive products, receive a $5 ECB *. Limit 1.*

$2.50 Speed Stick Deodorant$.75 in the 2/1 SS Insert (exp 2/21)*
$7 Lady Speed Stick Clinical Strength *
$2.50 Colgate Total, 2-in-1 or Max Fresh Toothpaste or Toothbrush$.75 in the 1/18 SS Insert (exp 2/7)$1 in the 2/1 SS Insert (exp 2/21)*
$1 Softsoap Hand Soap$.35 in the 2/1 SS Insert (exp 2/21)*
$3.50 Softsoap or Irish Spring Body Wash$.75 in the 2/1 SS Insert (exp 2/21)$.50 in the 2/1 SS Insert (exp 2/21)*
$2 Irish Spring Bar Soap 3 pk$.50 on 2 in the 2/1 SS Insert (exp 2/21)*
$.97 Palmolive$.25 in the 2/1 SS Insert (exp 2/21)*
$2.50 Fabuloso or Murphy Oil Soap*
$3.50 Suavitel Fabric Softener

Non ECB Deals
L’Oreal Products, psa $3.49 (BOGO)$
2/1 L’Oreal HIP Eye or Lip Product, exp. 3-29-09 (RP 1/4/09)
$2/1 L’Oreal Lip Product, exp. 3-29-09 (RP 1/4/09)
$3/1 L’Oreal Makeup, Powder, Blush or Concealer, exp. 3-29-09 (RP 1/4/09)
$2/1 L’Oreal Paris Eye Product, exp. 3-29-09 (RP 1/4/09)

Progresso B1 @ $2.99 get 1 free
$1.10 off 1 printable reset here - 79 cents for 2 after 2 coupons!

Electrasol $2.99 - use $2.50 coupon from 1/4 SS Insert (exp 2/1)

$7.99 Gillette Gamer Manual or Power Razor: $4 ECB Limit 1
$4.oo off any Gillette Razor 1/25 P&G Brandsaver

Thursday, January 29, 2009

$175 for in-home study

This is an in-home study on laundry (does anyone here know what laundry is??). Probe Marketing will pay $175 for 2 hours of your time. Click here for more details.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

JC Penney Bargains

Tonight my husband went to JC Penney all by himself (shhh...he likes to shop...and he loves to shop for our kids) and found some great bargains! "Skegging" size 4t = $0.98 (originally $9.99)

Minnie Mouse long-sleeve tee = $1.98 (originally $15.99)
Dora & Boots long-sleeve tee = $0.98 (originally $15.99)

Princess long-sleeve LIGHT UP tee = $2.48 (originally $19.99)

Long-sleeve monster truck tee with car toy = $6 ($24.99)
Total for 5 items = $12.78
- JC Penney gift card = $0.57 out of pocket

$10 off $10 purchase at Oriental Trading

Use coupon code AVA910 at checkout to get $10.00 off any $10.00 or more online purchase at Oriental Trading. You will still have to pay shipping, but if you shop the clearance, you can find some great deals. I saw some really cute kid crafts for winter for 1/2 their regular price! You could order party supplies, party favors, Easter basket goodies, all kinds of things!

Note: My son really LOVES Christmas and would be happy if we could keep our house decorated for Christmas all year long! This year, I wanted to do some craft Christmas ornaments that we could include with Christmas gifts to our family. I think I'm going to get some of these craft items and we will work on creating them all year have them ready for next Christmas! - good stuff

If you haven't heard of, it's worth a check-out. I received an email from them today with a special promotional code to get a discounted restaurant certificate. I have been SUPER busy this week and was hoping to order pizza tonight to give me a break from cooking and washing dishes. So, I went to, typed in my zip code and they gave me a list of local restaurants to choose from. Their normal deal is $3 for a $10 certificate, $10 for a $25 certificate. I noticed a local pizza place on the list so I decided to purchase a $10 certificate. Using my special promo code SUPER that you can use today as well, I purchased a $10 gc for $0.90. They will then email you a link to print your certificate right away. Some of the restaurants specify that you must spend a certain amount to use your gc (usually $20 with a $10 gc or $35 with a $25 gc) and my minimum was $20. So for dinner tonight, we ordered a large sausage pizza, a small order of mozzarella sticks, and an order of buffalo chicken tenders. Total cost $22.64 - $10 = $12.64. So for a total of $13.54 we had a very filling dinner and I didn't have to cook!

Free bottle of Dr. Pepper

Click here here to get your free bottle of Dr. Pepper. I am not a huge soda drinker but I have always have gatherings and parties and scrapbooking workshops and I know this is a popular drink!

Free Subscription to Martha Stewart Living

Click here for your free 1 year subscription to Martha Stewart Living. I really do like this magazine but never purchase it because it's not in my budget, of course! I like Rewardsgold because they do not ask for credit card info. Just fill out a little survey and refer a friend.
Hurry! These go fast and I bet this one will go especially fast!

a Frugal Idea

I know many of us on our frugal budgets are trying to stay away from stores and buying stuff. Well, I've been on an organizing kick for the last couple of weeks...the kind of organizing where your mess gets much bigger before it gets smaller which makes me kind of nuts...but anyway, I cleaned out the tupperware cabinet and the pots & pans cabinet. One item that's been sitting and collecting dust since before I got married (so probably for the last 10 years), is the salad spinner. I thought the idea of a salad spinner was ingenious...but I went through one time I was young and childless with 2 incomes coming in and I'd buy expensive bagged salad because it was easier. Then, during pregnancy, I could only eat cold, crisp iceberg lettuce from a bag. It cost less but it was less nutritious too. Since I've discovered that fresh romaine and red-leaf lettuce taste so much better (when you're not puking from too many pregnancy hormones surging through your body), are so much healthier for you and are much cheaper than lettuce in a bag...well, I've had to reaquaint myself with washing lettuce. I usually cut it, put it in the pasta strainer to drain it, pat it with a few paper towels and voila! It's ready for a salad. Well tonight, said salad spinner was sitting up on the kitchen counter because I decided while cleaning out the cabinets, that I was finally ready to pass this thing on to good home, where it could loved and cherished...and well, spun. So anyway, I began tearing my lettuce and out of the corner of my eye, I spot the Spinner. And I think , Why don't I try it and see if I like it? And then I think, that's just going to open a whole can of worms. I'll end up seeing a value in it and keeping it and still never using it again. Well, I used it. And when I used it, I got excited! I liked seeing all the water (much more than I probably ever patted out of it with a paper towel) spinning out to the bottom of bowl. I liked that lettuce water didn't dilute the vinegar in my salad (I'm kind of hardcore on the vinegar side of things). Anyhow, I'm really liking the salad spinner now and will be using it again -and moving it to a more upfront spot where it can be easily observed and reached. What is my point? Well I felt like I had gained a handy new kitchen gadget without ever leaving the house and going shopping. I had the same end result of a shopping trip but I didn't spend any money...I'm so thrilled with my "un"purchase that I may have to try out the bread machine that's been sitting in my basement, unopened for the last 6 years.
So what do you have in your house that you've brought home and never used? What do you have lying around, that you're thinking you'd like to put out by the curb for someone else to find and take home? Have you ever thought about actually trying out one of those items or re-purposing it to make it work for you in a different way? Have you had a similar experience. Please share in a comment (bloggers love comments!). And happy un-shopping!

Monday, January 26, 2009

How I Organize my Coupons by Heather

I have read so many systems for organizing coupons and it took me several months to find one that really worked for me. I have combined the methods of several to get one that works for me.'s how I do it...

First, I try to clip anything that I know I am going to use in my weekly grocery shopping or definites for upcoming CVS or Walgreen's ad. I then put them into my coupon binder. My coupon binder is a regular binder with plastic baseball card sheets in it. Each sheet is a different category (have not gotten organized enough to use tabs, etc. yet). I then slide in all the breakfast food coupons on one sheet, frozen foods on another, etc. Before I go shopping, I take my Wal-Mart envelope (just a regular business size envelope that says Wal-Mart on it) and put in the coupons I'll be using from my shopping list. I'll also take my binder with me so that if I see anything really cheap or on sale, I can grab my coupon for the item.

I also have a file box with file folders and manilla folders in it. Each week when I get my coupons in my paper and my husband brings home the abandoned coupons from work, I write the date on the front of the insert with a sharpie in big numbers. I date the manilla folders in pencil and put the coupon inserts into them. Then, when I see a great deal that requires a coupon from 4 weeks ago, I simply go into the file folder for 12/14 and grab the pile of P&G inserts, pull them out, clip what I need and put them back in.

I do not throw any coupons away. In the beginning of this adventure, I would throw away inserts after I thought I was done clipping all the things I wanted. This was a huge mistake. In the coming weeks, all kinds of deals would abound and I was missing out on them! For example, I'd think I'm not going to use that coupon for product X, I don't normally use it. Then a great deal would come up for product X, where you could get X for free after ecb's and if the coupon was for $3 off, I could use that extra $3 off to pay for something else in my cart.

L'oreal Facial cleanser is $5.99 with $5.99 ecb's. I have $5 ecb's from a previous transaction. I can go to the register with my L'oreal product and say, a gallon of milk (pretend milk is still $1.99 a gallon). Now, L'oreal rings up $5.99, milk rings up $1.99 and my total is around $8. I use my $3 q, which brings my total down to $5. So, I buy milk and facial cleanser with my $5 ecb and get back $5.99 ecb's. I just made a 99 cent profit. And guess what? Even though I don't normally use that facial cleanser, the next time I run out I decide to try it out (it was free, what the heck?) and I actually like it! And if I don't, I can pass it on to someone else to try.

How do you organize your coupons? Did this help? Leave a comment!

Best of CVS Week of 1/25-1/31

Thanks to Stephanie for compiling this list. I copied most of this list because I like how simple she made it.

Mentos Gum $1.59 B1G1Free
- (2) $1/1 Qs (12/14 SS)
= 2 Free + possible 41¢ overage

Gillette Fusion Gamer Razor $7.99, Earn $4 ECBs (limit 1)
- $4/1 Q (12/28 PG)
= $3.99, Earn $4 ECBs
= Free + 1¢ profit

Head & Shoulders, Gillette, Pantene Restoratives or Expressions Shampoo, Conditioner, Mask or Balm $4.99, Earn $3 ECBs (limit 5)
- $1/1 Head & Shoulders Q (12/28 or 1/18 PG) = 99¢ ea.
- $2/1 Gillette (1/18 PG) = Free + 1¢ profit
- $2/2 Gillette (12/28 PG) = 99¢ ea.
- $3/2 Pantene (12/28 PG) = 49¢ ea. (Although I have tried to lose my brand loyalty in the spirit of frugality, I am still a die-hard with my pantene so for me this is a great deal!)
- $1/1 Pantene Styling Product or Treatment (12/28 PG) = 99¢

Good Deals:
Revlon Makeup B1G1Free - limit 6 - *Sunday & Monday ONLY
- (2) $1/1 Q (10/12, 11/16 or 12/7 SS) or $2/1 Q (1/11 SS)
= Prices Vary
Russell Stover Chocolates $3.99 - limit 4 - *Sunday & Monday ONLY
- $1/1 Q (12/14 SS)
= $2.99
Arm & Hammer $6.99 B1G1Free
- (2) $1/1 Arm & Hammer IPs
= $2.50 ea.
Buy $10 worth of Almay Cosmetics, Earn $5 ECBs (limit 3)
- $1/1 Q (10/12, 12/14, or 1/11 SS)
= Prices Vary
Buy $15 worth of Advil, Dimetapp, Robitussin, Earn $5 ECBs (limit 1)
Dimetapp $6
- $2/1 Dimetapp IP or $1/1 Q (11/2 RP)
Robitussin $6
- $2/1 Robitussin IP or $1/1 Q (11/2, 12/14, or 1/4 RP)
Advil Cold & Sinus $5
- $2/1 Advil IP or $1/1 Q (12/14 or 1/11 RP)
Possible Scenario:
(3) Advil $5 ea.- (3) $2/1Advil IPs= $9, Earn $5 ECBs= $4 = $1.33 ea.

Buy $20 worth of Huggies, Earn $5 ECBs (limit 1)
Huggies Wipes or Wash $3
- 50¢/1 Huggies Wipes (1/11 SS)
- $1/1 Huggies Wash (1/11 SS)
Huggies Jumbo Pack Diapers or PullUps $10
- $1.50/1 Diapers (1/11 SS)
- $2/1 PullUps (1/11 SS)
Possible Scenario:
(2) Huggies Diapers $10 ea.- (2) $1.50/1 Qs (1/11 SS)= $17, Earn $5 ECBs= $12 = $6 ea.

Buy $20 worth of PepsiCo Products, Earn $10 ECBs (limit 1)
Lays Chips 2/$4
Gatorade, Propel, or Sobe 4/$5
Pepsi 2 liter 4/$5Pepsi 12 pk 3/$10
Tostitos or Stacys Chips 2/$6
- $1.50/1 Stacys (1/25 SS)
Possible Scenario:
(7) Stacy's Chips $3 ea.- (7) $1.50/1 Qs (1/25 SS)= $10.50, Earn $10 ECBs= 50¢
Plus, send in for $15 in Pepsi/Lays Coupons!

Monthly ECB Freebies - this is the last week to get these!:
Children's Throat Cooler Ice Pops 6ct $4.99, earn $4.99 ECBs (limit 5)
- B1G1Free Q (12/7 SS) or B1G1Free IP
= $4.99/2, Earn $9.98 ECBs
= $4.99 Profit
If you print 3 coupons and can repeat this deal 3 times (meaning they have 6 boxes in stock) you will make a $15 profit of ecb's!

NasoGel Drip Free Gel Spray 1.52oz $7.99, earn $7.99 ECBs (limit 2)
- $2/1 NasoGel IP or $2/1 Peelies
= $5.99, Earn $7.99 ECBs
= $2 Profit

Nutra Trim Weight Management Chewing Gum 48ct $3.99, earn $3.99 ECBs (limit 2)
= Free

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Free Sample Turtle Chex Mix

A DEEELicious free sample! Signing up for the newsletter will score you lots of coupons, too!
Click here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Free Magazine Subscription!

Click here for a free 3 year subscribtion to Today's Diet and Nutrition. Use code INAUG09 in all caps. It looks good - I can't wait to get mine! Thanks to Southern Seven here for this info.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Due to a Classaction lawsuit against some big retailers, anyone who bought cosmetics from one of these companies anytime between 1994 and 2003 can get one free product while supplies last. Here are the stores that are “participating” (makes it sound so willing):
Bergdorf Goodman
Boston Store
Carson Pirie Scott
Neiman Marcus
Saks Fifth Avenue
They will give one product per person. You do not have to have any proof that you purchased a product but you do have to sign a form stating that you are taking a product. They will give products away as supplies last or for 7 days. Go here for the official lingo and to see a list of the free products.

I used to buy tons of Clinique during that time period but I have to drive 45 minutes to go get my freebie so doubt I'll be seeing one. If you are close by to one of these, make sure you pick up yours.

Due to a Classaction lawsuit against some big retailers, anyone who bought cosmetics from one of these companies anytime between 1994 and 2003 can get one free product while supplies last. Here are the stores that are “participating” (makes it sound so willing):
Bergdorf Goodman
Boston Store
Carson Pirie Scott
Neiman Marcus
Saks Fifth Avenue
They will give one product per person. You do not have to have any proof that you purchased a product but you do have to sign a form stating that you are taking a product. They will give products away as supplies last or for 7 days. Go here for the official lingo and to see a list of the free products.Thanks to Southern Savers here for this info today!

Free Hallmark Cards at CVS!

Buy 3 Hallmark cards (if your CVS sells American Greeting cards, those should be in your ad) and get 3 ecb's. This deal is working with the $.99 Hallmark cards. So buy 3 cards for $2.98 and get $3 ecb's back. Check the limit in your ad - mine says 5. I'm so excited - 15 free Hallmark cards today!! I love Hallmark cards - they are always so cute, original and funny!

Monday, January 19, 2009

CVS - How many ECB's do I need?

Answers to Reader Questions (actually, one reader's questions) ~

1. How do I get enough ECBs together to start really "gaming the system"?

The key to earning more ecb's than you spend is buying as many free after ecb items (fecb's) and using coupons for them. For example, this month you can get sore throat cooler pops for $4.99, $4.99 ecb's - limit 5. Buy 1 at $4.99, use B1G1 coupon here. Print this coupon 3 times.
Transaction 1:
Buy 2 sore throat coolers. Use 1 b1g1 q.
Total = $4.99 + tax. Earn $9.98 ecb's. Rip the $9.98 ecb's off your receipt and use them for transaction #2.
Transaction 2: Get 4 sore throat coolers. Use 2 b1g1 q's.
Total = $9.98 + tax. Earn $14.97 ecb's.
So, all together today, you have spent $5 and earned about $10 (14.97 ecb's - $5 cash spent).
Now, wait to roll the ecb's into more ecb's. When you start making more profit, you can start "burning" the extra into things other items you usually buy at the grocery store - like milk, bread, etc. Also, $/$$ crt's (cash register tapes) help you get more things for free. Those $3/$15 or $4/20 or even my $10/50 help save a lot!
Also if you have the right coupons, you can start taking advantage of the system right away. Last week, CVS had Colgate toothpaste on sale B1G1. I had $1.50 off printable q's. I bought 6 (they were limit 6) of the B1G1 tubes for $1.99 each and used 6 $1.50 off q's (You are allowed to use one for each item you are purchasing).
So 6 x $2.79 = $16.74
-$1.50 x 6 = -$9
- b1g1 3 @ $2.79 = -$8.37
Total for 6 tubes of toothpaste = -.63
I'm actually not sure if the cost adjusted down or if the extra 63 cents applied to my total because I bought other things.

2. How do I redeem the ECBs? I usually wait until a receipt prints out that says I have $9 or whatever and then I spend it all.
Redeem your ecb's after each purchase, to pay for the following purchase. Sometimes I take everything in my cart to the register and ask the cashier if I can do 2 different transactions to maximize my savings. If there are a lot of people in the store, I'll do one transaction at a time and go to the end of the line or walk around the store sometimes. If I have a lot of transactions, I'll sit down and make a list before I go. I'll make a list of each transaction and then I'll paperclip those q's (including my $/$$ q's) in the order that I need to hand them over. I even put a post-it with Trans. 1, Trans. 2, etc. on them. This helps me keep my head straight and make my transactions go as smoothly and quickly as possible. Of course, those who know me know I'm no mathematical genius so of course every once in a while, surprises pop up - but I'm usually only off by $1 or less. The last 2 times my totals were way off in my plans, I was charged twice for one package of paper plates and at KMart I was charged $11.40 for 2 cantaloupe that were on sale 2/$3. Even I spotted that one from a mile away!
Hope this helps! Please keep asking questions and if anyone needs help figuring out a transaction, please let me know.

Free Bath & Body Works Item!

Get a free Bath & Body Works Signature collection item (up to $12 value) with any purchase. "The Blogs" are reporting that this coupon works with $1.50 nail files and $1.00 gift bags and other inexpensive items. So treat yourself to a free lotion or shower gel or handsoap and feel a little pampered without feeling guilty! I love Cherry Blossom and Moonlight Path. What's your favorite?
Go here to get your coupon.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Declutter & Organize = Save $$$$

I am joining Sarah at ThriftyDecorChick on her January Mission to Declutter & Organize. I am showing you my official pictures of shame here. I love Sarah's blog and am in awe of her home and her talent for decorating.

Life has been so busy since Thanksgiving that I have been unable to keep up. The shoes and mail and Christmas Clearance shopping have all been piling up and I am feeling very overwhelmed. This is what I have been walking into every day when I open my front door. Besides the stress it causes me, I have been praying no one came over.

So I decided to take Sarah's advice. She wrote that last year she went through her house room by room, not moving on until she finished one room at a time. Sarah designated a space in her basement for items she was donating, threw out what needed to be tossed, and cleaned each room as she was finished. I have a very ADD cleaning style. I start in the Living Room and bring papers to the recycling bin, I pass the Kitchen on the way back to the Living Room and then I wash a few dishes, remember I am cleaning the Living Room, and go back there, etc.
This time I brought the recycling bin to the Dining Room - I could not have done it without ya' Gizmo-and I had boxes and bins for what needed to be organized & moved. A box for Christmas Clearance Shopping, Target Toy Clearance shopping, personal items for me and my husband, shoes, and a trash bag.

I sorted everything and put it all away - personal items and shoes in the bedroom, the papers went into a bin to be made into files for the office. I separated the papers into two boxes- filing and things that had to be taken care of immediately. People, I found a bill from 2007!!!! I had already paid it, but it was in a pile for filing that I made over a year ago-see, I was not kidding about my cleaning ADD thing.
Then I cleaned. I used all of the products I won from the
Right@Home Gift Pack Contest. I repurposed some baskets and containers that I had already. I created a space for shoes, and keys, hats & gloves on top of the shoe rack. I plan to buy something else when I find something I like that encloses these things so they cannot be seen. Now I am no longer ashamed and am ready to attack the Living Room tomorrow!

This is going to save me so much time and stress! When things are clean and organized I don't waste time searching for items I need, or worse buying things I cannot find. It helps me focus on saving money other ways and keeps me stress-free. I have space to clip coupons or actually eat at the table! Cleaning is the easy part though, keeping it that way is my real challenge, but just like losing weight or saving money, these are lifestyle changes, and this is something I have to focus on everyday.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Great Coupon Tips

I picked up some great coupon tips perusing "the blogs" as we like to call them. Specifically, Erin at jane4girls mentioned hitting the beer and chip aisles around the holidays and special events like Superbowl where you can find great q's for discounts on chips, dips, beer (hey, my hub used a mir for his beer that he bought this summer and got $4 back), pepperoni & crackers. We scouted at Super KMart today and found some cool q's near soda & chip pyramid they have toward the front of the store -
1 coupon - Save $2 on any one frito-lay dip(includes salsa and queso0 when you buy any 2 bags of frito-lay snacks (tortilla and potato chips were shown).
1 coupon - Free Dip when you buy 2 bags of Tostitoas chips (excludes queso dips)
Then there were these cute little Superbowl themed-recipe books with $5 in savings on the last page which were 5 q's:
Save $1 when you buy a 12-pack of coke zero or any other coke product (sweet deal with CVS coke sales for ecb's)
Save $1 on any 2 plantars products
Save $1 wyb any 2 Wheat Thins, Triscuits or Ritz crackers
Save $1 on 1 Velveeta 1 lb and 2 cans of ro'tel
Save $1 on 2 kraft, cracker barrel or polly-o product ( shredded, chunk, cube, string cheese, etc.)

Super K-Mart Doubles Trip

Ok, so Steph and I hit Super K today for the Doubles! Good news if you're near the Queensbury, NY store - their sale runs from Wednesday - Tuesday so if you haven't made it up there yet, you still have time! However, this is where I blew my monthly grocery budget today because I don't get up there often and they had some deals I didn't want to miss. I guess I could have lived without MOST of the stuff, but it was stuff we use a lot of.
Here's what I purchased:
8 bags of Kmart brand (Our Family) shredded cheese (4 mozzarella and 4 Colby and Monterey Jack) at $3.29 B1G1 = $1.64 per bag (lowest price compared to local Price Chopper, Hannaford, and Wal-Mart though this was a sale so I felt justified in stocking up.
2 3-packs for $2.29 - $.45 cent q doubled = $1.39. (plan to make my own pizza dough)
1 Tylenol caplets $4.79 - $2 q doubled = $$.79
2 French's spicy brown mustard - $1.79 - $1 q doubled = $.79 each
3 Welch's sqeezable red raspberry jam @ $2.99 - $1 q doubled = $1.00 each
2 Bisquick @ $3.00 each - $1 q doubled = $1 each
1 box of Kellogs Special K w/ berries = $2.50 - $1 q doubled = $.50 box
8 Progresso Broth (4 chicken, 4 beef) @ $2.79 - $1 q doubled = $.79 each (I use this constantly and Walmart just raised their prices!)
1 package of Chips Ahoy cookies @ $3.00 each - NO Coupon because I couldn't find it. I totally blame myself for this one and just had to suck that cost up because I didn't want to tell the cashier I no longer wanted them after she just so nicely scanned my millions of coupons! Also, Ella (the choco-holic) already saw them in the cart and was told she could have some after dinner. I couldn't bear the meltdown that would occur from this and it was my fault, not the store's, so I bought them. Unfortunately I also have baking to do this week!
1 gallon Sunny Delight @ $3.00 (it's a serious addiction for my children though I have been weaning them to less - they have been drinking a lot more water lately!
2& 1/2 pounds of yellow bananas - $1.68
1.8 pounds of grapes @ $1.99 lb (this is a good price around here!) = $3.54
Loaf of french bread for $1.50
1 pack of pull-ups
Grand Total = $46.12
All in all 32 items for $46 items isn't a personal best for me but it's not so bad. I was able to stock up jam, bisquick, broth, mustard and shredded cheese which we use to make quesadillas, homemade pizza (it's just so expensive to order one anymore), macaroni and cheese, lots of things! 8 bags will probably take us through March so I was using some of this month's grocery budget toward next month's meals. Since next month is a slightly shorter month, maybe I can work out to reduce next month's budget by whatever I spent this month. I guess I better stretch everything I have and then try to do my meal planning for next month right at the beginning of the month. And here's a secret "thing" about me - I'm not a big fan of meat on the bone so I tend to get the more expensive cuts of chicken, beef, ground beef, pork chops, spare ribs - all of that I buy boneless and in the less fat version. Any suggestions on how to trim down the pricing on that besides stocking up on each item when it rotates through the sale system? Thanks! I'd appreciate your coments!

January Food Budget = $250 update

How's it going? It's going... (updated in red)

Here's where my expenses went so far this month:

Walmart = $32.40

CVS = $8.60 (DH went and bought medicine with real money! Arrrggghhhh!)

CVS = $1.00

Walgreen's = $6.68

Walgreen's = $3.69

WalMart = $98(that is minus $10 for a new doorknob)

Freihofer's = $3

Price Chopper = $11.38

Super KMart = $46.12

Price Chopper = $14.45

Freihofer's = $3.57

Price Chopper = $20.54

Total Spent = 249.43

I personally know I can't not spend any money on food for the rest of the month but I will do my best to keep my total as close to $250 as possible.

On the bright side, I have inventoried my pantry and freezers and I have enough dinners for nearly the rest of the month. I am only short about 4 days worth of dinners and since my kids are so fussy and my husband and I really aren't, we probably will make do with leftovers for many of those days. I still have lunch food to purchase (like deli meat and mac & cheese and that kind of thing) and some snacks. I'm planning to use some ecb's for that as well my hub's crack (I mean pepsi). So I'm going to do my best to finish filling my cupboard by shopping at Walgreen's and CVS.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Target 75% off Toys in some stores!

Tonight I was alerted by my MOM to the Target Toy clearance prices in our area. I knew that Target had been marking down toys but had heard it was only at 30%. My mom called to tell me it was at 75% in Clifton Park, NY. I bundled up the kids (it was about a balmy 6 degrees when we went) and ran to Saratoga/Wilton Target. I was so excited to run out and get there that I let Ella wear her underwear on an outing instead of changing her to a pull-up. I didn't have time! So on we march to Target. We go directly to the Toy Aisle. All along the back wall are toys with multiple signs showing 50% off. I am vastly disappointed. But I'm here, and it's darn cold out so I might as well look. Maybe some toys will be good at 50% I go over to the first toy that catches my eye and it's bright orange sale sticker is showing what looks to be like 75% off! Many, many of the toys were 75% off though there wasn't a sign anywhere indicating it! There was still lots of stuff in my store - here are some items that I bought today with toys I have in mind specifically for upcoming kid birthdays. I spent $46 on 8 toys!
Note: If you have a child whose birthday we are attending, Don't Peek!
2 2-pack High School Musical Dolls (Troy & Gabrielle and Sharpay & Ryan)
originally $22.99/75% off price = $5.74 each
Thomas Learn & Explore Laptop
originally $24.99/75% off price = $6.24
Fisher Price Speed & Go Spiral Raceway (Speedracer version)
Originally $19.99/75% off price = $4.98
2 Vtech Write & Learn Smartboard
originally $24.99/ 75% off price = $6.24
Batman Shake & Go Batwing (kind of like a nerfgun for batman)
originally $19.99/75% off price $4.98
Bat Bunkers expandable playset (Joey got a firetruck version of this thing for Christmas and he loves it)
originally $12.99/ 75% off price $3.24
Total with tax came to $46.44. I paid $46.88 for 8 birthday gifts this year. I can already say what a huge savings that will be for me because I'm usually running around on the way to the birthday party, never finding anything on sale (unless the birthday falls around Christmas) and spend $20-$25 on child birthday gifts. Not that I think that the children aren't worth that much, it's that my budget really takes a beating with all of the parties we get invited too. So...if you have money left after Christmas, RUN don't WALK to Target and stock up your gift closet!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yankee Candles 75% Off!

If you have any cash left...Click here to see Yankee Candle's semi-annual clearance sale. There are some adorable Christmas sets clearanced that you could save for next year, and some that don't even look quite Christmassy (some Snowmen) that would make great gifts for Winter birthdays and such. I am trying to hold myself back from the deals. They are so good you'll want to buy them all. I'm going to make a gift list before I go back there so I don't overspend. Happy Shopping!
Thanks to the folks at for alerting me to this! I heart A Full Cup.

Click here to sign up for Eat Better America's newsletter and get free coupons mailed to you. One of my favorite coupons that they offer from time to time is $1 off Muir Glen Organic tomatoes. These sell at Wal-Mart for $1.24 per can for the smaller size and $1.78 for the large can of tomatoes that I use to make homemade sauce with. $.78 per can for organic tomatoes is cheaper than buying the generic version than I've found anywhere in at least 6 years (my favorite DeCecco tomatoes used to go on sale for 2/$1 from time to time but I haven't seen that bargain since shortly after Joey was born - 6 years ago!).

Target 75% off

Report from fabulous sister-in-law: Kids clothes in our area Targets are marked down as much as 75%. She just got a sweet haul for the kids including a shirt for $1.00. Latham had lots, Clifton Park, NY is very picked over.
Here is what she got-- Item / Reg price / SALE price

Thing 1 -
3 polo shirts / $20.97 / $5.22
2 tees / $9.98 / $2.48
Fleece / $9.99 / $4.98

Thing 2 -
Skirt / $9.99 /$ 2.48
Tights / $3.99 / $2.78
Dress / $11.99 / $ 2.98
Shirt / $ 4 / $ 1

Totals $70.91 / $ $21.92 a savings of $ 48.99!!!!!! 10 items for $21 - Very Nice!
Check your local Target to see what you can find!

Why do I buy things I don't use?

Here was a question posed to me this weekend regarding my Wags and CVS'ing - Do you really use all of those things? Will you really use 5 bottles of Listerine? Well, here is my answer - Somebody will! Somebody will use it! who? Here are some ideas...

1. Barter ~ I have diet shakes that my sister likes and she has Children's motrin and no children. Sometimes when a friend does me a favor like watches my kids or cuts my child's hair for free, it's nice to be able to give her a little goodie bag in return. Wouldn't it be great if we all started stockpiling free items and could trade them with others for things we really need?

2. Food Pantry or Shelter ~ These places are very hard-pressed for food and household items right now. Wouldn't you feel great if you could drop off a box of brand-new health & beauty items, food and cleaning products every month? Helping others while helping yourself save money (plus it satisfies my shopping urge) is a great way to share the wealth! I'm sure a woman's shelter would be happy to get extra make-up and nail polishes to help woman getting back on their feet, re-entering the job market, etc. I know I feel better when I look pretty!

3. Friends & Family ~ I bet if you thought about it for a few minutes you could come up with at least 3 families you know who are struggling right now. Drop an anonymous bag off on their porch one night.

4. FreeGift It ~ Have items on hand so you don't have to do last-minute (pay full-price) gift shopping. Nail polish, body washes, razors, shaving gel, etc. make nice gift bags for friends. Each year at Christmas, I have a specific budget for every person/couple on my list. This year I spent my usual budget on their gift but because of all my freebie shopping I was able to gift everyone little extras in their bags - nail polish, razors, truffles (yummy), cans of nuts, etc. With the recent economy TANK, it's nice for me to be able to GIVE MORE, instead of cutting back.

5. Garage Sale or Ebay ~ One blog reader told me that she's been shopping this way for over a year and made $200 at her yard sale summer with her Freebies! That's good business "cents!"

I'm sure a box of "free" diapers you bought at CVS would go really quickly on craigslist for 1/2 price!

I rarely buy food we won't eat because it's cheap (unless it's a CVS moneymaker) but I have found that using q's and rebates has allowed me to buy some more expensive brand-name products for less. We've also gotten to try some foods we might not have otherwise tried if it wasn't dirt cheap and didn't fit into my grocery budget.

And while we're at it, let's go over one of my recent CVS transactions to show why I "buy" something I don't need to get something else for free ~ I just want to make it clear that I don't spend real money to get other things for free.


5 bottles of listerine at @ $2.99 (w/ $2.99 ecb's) = $14.95 (with 14.95 ecb's back)

1 jar of peanut butter @ $3.29 = $3.29

Total = $18.24

-5 $1.00 listerine q's

-$.35 skippy q from newspaper inserts

-$3/$15 CVS q that they emailed me

Gives me a grand total of $9.89 for 5 bottles of listerine and 1 jar of peanut butter

I pay with $10 ecb's (you don't get change with ecb's) and I get $14.95 ecb's back. I used no real money out of my pocket and I made $4.95 on this deal.

Next time I go to CVS I will have $14.95 to spend!

I have used this method so many times with only spending very little out of pocket, that I have "earned" more ecb's than I've spent. Right now I have $45 ecb's to spend.

To some it may be a waste of time to figure it all out and that's okay. For me it's a thrill and a challenge and I love it! Why pay $2.29 at Wal-Mart when you can get it at CVS for free?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Need help with CVS?

Leave me a comment if you are having trouble figuring out how to get your starter deals going? If I already know you, I'll give you a call. If not, also send me a seperate email to and I can give you a call and walk you through it. Don't be shy! We want to help people!!
Heather & Stephanie

Suavenomics! January 14th only!

Suave wants to give you a free bottle of shampoo, conditioner, or hair styling product.

Go here to sign up for your free coupon!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Free Febreze Sport

Click here for a free sample from Febreze sports - to help eliminate nasty orders from running shoes and other workout gear.

January Food Budget = $250.00

So how am I doing on my January food budget of $250? Not so great! It's only January 12th and I've already spent $164. That leaves $86 for the entire month. Can I do it?...I have no idea! Here's where my expenses went so far this month:
Walmart = $32.40
CVS = $8.60 (DH went and bought medicine with real money! Arrrggghhhh!)
CVS = $1.00
Walgreen's = $6.68
Walgreen's = $3.69
WalMart = $98(that is minus $10 for a new doorknob)
Freihofer's = $3
Price Chopper = $11.38
I am just about out of bread and almost out of meat. I have $45 ecb's but I'm very stingy about burning them unless I really need to. Yesterday when I was low on cleaning products, I used the old tried-and-true baking soda and vinegar method and it worked really well.
It computes out to $ per day for food for the rest of the month. Okay, now we get down to the nitty gritty and see if I can pull this off! Any suggestions or good deals you know about would be greatly appreciated! I'm off to inventory my pantry & freezers and make my shopping list!

KMart Super Doubles up to $2 this week!

Both of the KMarts in our area are doubling coupons up to $2 this week - that means if you have a coupon for $2, you will get $4 off the item! Last time around I got some very good freebies - a few food items and many health & beauty items. Our KMarts are the Queensbury, NY store (a SuperK with lots of grocery items), Clifton Park, NY and Latham, NY. Some are participating up to $1 and some are tripling up to 75 cents.
Also, make sure you grab the KMart Beauty Book and the KMart coupon book at the front of the stores with the fliers. Note: Kmart does not take printable coupons. It says 25 Q's per day, limit 4 of the same type of coupon per purchase. In other words, you can only use 4 electrasol Q's per transaction.
First, click here to get your $5/$50 purchase Q.
Click here and type in your zip to see if your KMart is participating.

Here's a list of some items you can get for cheap or free:

Select Kellogg's Cereal $2.50-$1 coupon from 12/14RP=.50
Vaseline Lotion $2.99-$1.25 coupon from 11/16RP =.49
Colgate Kids Shrek Toothpaste $1.99-.75 coupon from 1/4SS=.49
Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner $4.29-$2 coupon from 12/14PG =.29
Lysol wipes $2.99-$1 coupon from 1/4SS =.99
Glade Aerosol Spray .96 each-$1/2 coupon from 1/11RP=2 FREE
Endust products $3.29-$2 coupon =FREE
Glade Candles $2.89-$1 coupon =.89
Glade Fabric Spray $3.50-$1.25 coupon=$1
Mean Green $2.29-.75 from 10/19SS=.79
AirWick Lumin'Air $4.99-$5 coupon from 12/7SS =FREE
Wet Ones $2.29-.75 coupon from 11/2SS =.79
KY Jelly $3.99-$2 coupon from 12/7 & 10/26RP =FREE
Trident Gum 3 pks $2.50-$1 coupon from 12/7SS=.50
Hershey Kisses (clearance) $1.49-$1 coupon from 11/9SS=FREE
Ragu $2-.25 coupon-$2/2 Kmart coupon (purchase 2 and use 2 manuf. coupons and 1 Kmart coupon)=.50 each
Powerade $1.19-.40 coupon from 1/4SS=.39
Colgate Total Advanced bonus pack $3-$1.50 coupon from here=FREE
Suave Body Wash $2.19-.75/2 coupon from 11/16RP -$1.50/3 Kmart coupon (purchase 6 and use 3 manuf. coupons + 2 Kmart coupons)=.94 each
Pull Ups $10.99-$2 coupon from 1/11SS-$2/2 Kmart coupon (purchase 2 and use 2 manuf. coupons and 1 Kmart coupon=$5.99 each
Slim Fast Bars $4-$1.25 coupon or +Kmart $1/2 coupon (purchase 2 and use 2 manuf. coupons plus 1 Kmart coupon)=$1 each
Halls Cough Drops (select varieties)=$1.49-.50 coupon from 12/7SS=.49
For More KMart cheap & frees, see A Full Cup here.
Thanks Hip to Save here for this List!

Free Financial E-book from Suze Orman

Suze Orman is giving away another book online! It's called "Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan" and it's her newest one. Click here - just make sure to download it (it's a pdf) by Jan. 15th @ midnight before it turns into a pumpkin. I have never read any of her books before but I've seen her on Oprah and her own show and she definitely know where's it at when it comes to getting your money together. And she's very straightforward - she doesn't take any excuses!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 Health Resolutions

Andrea @ MommySnacks has a weekly post called Fat Burnin' Friday. Since I have been on my own weight loss journey for about a year now, I have decided to link up to her posts, post my progress, and keep myself a little more accountable. This will be helpful to me and you since it will keep me accountable, and show you that using coupons and getting Freebies can work into eatng well and losing weight/being healthy. Coupons are not just for potato chips and ice cream!

So, to start I am going to post my goals for 2009. As most of you know I ahve been working with a trainer for the last year, and it has been the best thing I ever did for myself! I will continue to workwith him this year and these are my plans:

1) Workout 6 days per week
2) Beat my time for the Family Day 5k from last year- it was something like 45 minutes!!!
3) Increase my total weight loss for the year to 60 pounds

My plan is to bring you a weekly Health check-up letting you know how I did and where I went wrong. I also will bring you some of the Money Saving Tools I use that link up myhealth resolutions to fit in with my Money Saving Resolutions. If you are up for the challenge of joining me leave your comments here!!!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Super Savings Saturday - Walmart Trip

I had a great trip to Walmart today! We were given $125.00 in Walmart Gift Cards for Christmas. Thank you so much to the giver of this gift-I am not saying where this wonderful gift came from for fear of embarrassing anyone or any hurt feelings. I went shopping back on December 28th and spent $65.00 of the cards, and tonight my goal was to use the remainder to stock up on meats to last us a while. So here is how it breaks down:
2 packs of 90/10 Lean Ground Beef @ $7.58 ea= $15.16
2 Johnsonville Smoked Turkey Sausage @ $2.97 ea= $5.94
1 Pack Great Value Ground Turkey @ $1.78 = $1.78
1 Pack Lean Beef Stew Meet = $8.70
1 Eye of Round Steaks(6 steaks) = $9.23
2 Morningstar Farms Sausage Links @$3.32 ea = $6.64
2 Morningstar Farms Veggie Crumbles @ $3.32 ea = $6.64
1 Jenny O Oven Ready Turkey = $10.79
Total for Meat = $64.88
9 Green Giant Fresh Steamers @ $1.23 ea = 11.07
7 Green Giant Fresh Steamers @ 1.50 ea = $10.50
7 Cans Muir Glen Whole Tomatoes @ $1.83 ea = $12.81
3 Cans Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes @ 1.38 ea = $4.14
2 GV Northern Beans @$0.62 ea = $1.24
1 Can GC Tomato Paste = $0.88
1 Can GV Mushroom Pieces = $0.94
4 Old El Paso Taco Seasoning @ $0.74 ea = $2.96
2 Hungry Jack Mashed Potato @ $0.86 ea = $1.72
2 Quaker Oatmeal @ $2.78 ea = $5.56
1 Rold Gold Pretzels = $2.50
1 5lb bag Flour = $1.88
2 Del Monte Selects Peaches @ $1.42 ea =$2.84
1 Half Gallon Milk = $1.57
1 Egg Beaters = $2.00
2 Gen. Foods Coffee Vanilla Latte @ $2.77 ea = $5.54
2 Fiber One Granola Bars @ $2.48 ea = $4.96
2 OM Light Bologna @ $2.00 ea = $4.00
1 Box of Wheaties = $3.64
1 Pizza Dough = $0.97
1 Smartfood = $3.59
Subtotal $81.55
Subtotal $150.17- I added to $146.43- not sure if I added wrong because there was no tax on the receipt
-$15.00 - 15 $1 off Green Valley Giant Fresh Steamers
-10.00 - 10 $1 off Muir Glen product
-2.00 -2 $1 off Morningstar Farms
-1.00 Egg Beaters
-1.00 off 2 Delmonte Fruit Cup
-1.00 off 2 Hungry Jack Potatoes
-2.20 - 2 $1.10 off 2 Old El Paso products
-2.00 - 2 $1.00 off 1 Quaker Oatmeal
-2.00 -2 $1.oo off 1 Fiber One Chewy Bars
Total $ 36.20
Total Minus Coupons = $ 114.97
Minus Gift Cards ($35.81)($25.00)
Total OOP=$54.16!!!!
I am going to explain in an upcoming post about obtaining Gift Cards to stretch the budget. I know that we all do not have gift cards to use- but I wanted to show why they are worth asking for and how I took $125.00 in gift cards and using coupons and shopping smart I turned them into $200.00 worth of food!! I am very pleased to share this with you- I think it demonstrates that you can stretch your food money a long long way, even without gift cards.

Super Savings Saturday-CVS Trip

Today I popped over to CVS to take advantage of the Johnson & Johnson Deal. Basically if you spend $20.00 on specific products in this week's CVS ad you get 10 Extra Bucks. I had $19.96 in ECB's to burn, and a $5 off and $25.oo purchase of specific products mailed ot me from CVS- and the producys listed match this deal perfectly. so here is what I bought:
-4 Tylenol Sinus $6.00 each- I forgot my coupons for $2.00 off 1
-14 Atkins Bars- B1G1F- rang up $1.oo ea. due to B1G1f sale
Coupons Used:
-7 $1 off 2 Atkins Bars
-$5 off $25.00 J&J purchase- was actually $24.oo but coupon was accepted- I did not realize it until later
-$19.96 ECB
-$6.00 ECB
Total OOP = $0.04
My lowest total to date!!!!

More Free Magazine Subscriptions!

Click here to get your free subscription to Self Magazine or Woman's Day from Rewards Gold! If you're a new member to Reward's Gold, you don't have to do anything but sign up (they do not send lots of spam) and if you are already a member you just have to take a quick survey on exercise equipment (like the one you may currently own and never use - yes, that's a question on the survey!). Easy Peasy and get free magazines!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fabulous CVS Trip

CVS is worth a trip this week! If you haven't checked out my previous post with deal ideas, check it out and make a trip. Here's what I got for $1. My transactions look a little different than the ones I previously outlined because I've been building my ecb's for a while and that darn machine keeps spitting out $10/$50 Q's at me.

Transaction 1

2 Colgate toothpaste = $5 ($2 ecb's)
4 Stayfree @ 2/$9 = $18 ($10 ecb's when you spend $20 on J&J products)
1 hello kitty bandaid =$3 (part of above)
1 nasogel @ $7.99 = $7.99 ($7.99 ecbs)
1 garnier mousse = $2.99 (2 ecbs)
Cottonelle = $12.97 ($4 ecb's)
CVS flushable wipes = $4.29
Total = $54.24
-$10 ($10/$50)
-$3.00 (2 $1.50 Q's for Colgate)
-$9.00 (2 b1g1 Stayfree)
-$1 (any Johnson's product - bandaids)
-$2 (nasogel)
-$1 (garnier)
-$3 (any CVS product)
Total = $23.24, used $19.96 ecb's & 5 ecb's
Total oop = $0.65
Transaction 2
Then I "burned" $10 ecb's buying my husband 3 12-packs of pepsi (he's an addict) and 2 Dove bars (2 for $1.00) as fillers. My oop was 23 cents on that one.
Earned $25.99 ecb's, still have $44 ecb's to spend!
I cannot say this enough: Run, Run, Run to CVS this week. Next week's deals don't look too hot and you'll be bummed that you missed out this week!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Frugal Fun

I cannot help myself- I thought this was a great idea- instructions on how to turn an old changing table into a bar cart!! Maybe if we get to work on this now it will be ready for New Year's Eve 2009. To me it seems charming, and useful. What could be more frugal and Earth-Friendly than giving an item that is no longer needed a new use!!! Check it out Here !!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Free Signature Scents

Go here to get your free signature scent samples. You can choose 2!

Right at Home Back to Basics Gift Pack

Remember the Great Supply of Cleaning Products I won in this post ? Well, Right @ Home is offering the Back to Basics Gift pack here !!!!! The First 5,000 people to respond will receive a variety of free Ziploc Big Bags!!! Hurry!!!!!!

$3/$3 CVS Brand item

I suggest everytime you make a transaction now through January 17th, you pick up an item. To print yours go here.
Thank you Southern Savers for the link!
Just a few suggestions on what you can get for FREE with this coupon:

CVS Beauty Bar soap 2-pks. were $1.99 and in the following varieties – Exfoliating, White, Cool Moisturizing, Sensitive Skin
CVS Emerald Mist Deodorant Soap 3-pk. in Aloe Vera or Hydrating Burst
CVS Aloe Cool & Fresh Light Moisture Lotion 3.3 oz. $1.49
EOB loofah bath sponge $1.99
CVS Advanced Healing Fragrance Free Lotion 97 ML $1.49
CVS Mild Hypoallergenic Baby Oil 4 oz. $1.49
CVS Total Moisture Dry Skin Lotion 3.3 oz. $1.49
Many types of CVS hand sanitizers and liquid hand soaps are priced $1.19-$1.99
CVS Kid’s Body Wash $2.99
CVS Sunblock lotion SPF 30 2 oz. $2.19
CVS Medicated Apricot Scrub $2.99
CVS Hydrating Body Wash w/ essential oils 12 oz. $2.99
CVS Moisturizing Body Wash 12 oz. $2.99 in the following scents – Ocean Breeze, Cucumber Melon, Milk & Honey, Lavender and Chamomile, Pure Silk

CVS Deal Ideas for the week of 1/4 - 1/10

This week's transactions should net you about $118.25 in product for only $6.60 out of pocket (OOP). You will even have $14.99 ecb to start next week with! Some of these require 2 sets of the Sunday paper from this week. If you don't have an extra copy, beg, borrow and steal to get the ones you need. (My hubby brought me 3 copies from work!). These are great deals!! (Next week's don't look so hot so time is of the essence).
Read on....
Also, to make each transaction more worth your while, print several of the $3 off any CVS brand product q's and use one with each transaction on a CVS brand item $3 or under.
Trans. 1

2 Children's Throat Coolers @ $4.99 each (get $4.99 ecb)

Use B1G1 printable Q (print 3 of these)

2 Colgate Toothpaste @ 2 for $5 (get $2.00 ecb)

Use $1.50 off one printable Q (print 6 of these)

1 small filler item such as 50cent candy bar

Total - $15.48

Q's - -$3/15 purchase

-$4.99 b1g1 throat cooler

-$3.00 (2 $1.50 off Colgate toothpase)

Total = $4.49 + tax oop, earn 9.98, 2.00 ecb (earn $7.49 from this purchase!)

Trans. 2

1 Garnier hair product for $2.99 (get 1 ecb)

Buy 2 Colgate at 2/$5 = $5(get 2 ecb)

Buy 2 childrens throat coolers $9.98 ($9.98 ecb)

1 Palmolive at 97 cents .97

1 pack of Johnson's bandaids for $3.00

Total - $21.94

Q's - -$3/$15 purchase

-$3 Colgate

-$4.99 (b1g1 throat cooler)

-.35 Palmolive

-$1.00 Garnier

Total = $9.60

Use $9.98 ecb's (usually I ask them to put it in as if I don't need change), hold onto your $2 ecb and earn $9.98ecb, $2ecb, $1ecb = $14.98

Transaction #3

Buy 2 throat coolers at $4.99 = $9.98 (you will only earn $4.99 for this one)

Buy 2 Colgates @ 2/$5 $5

Buy 1 Palmolive dish soap at $.97

Total = $15.95

Q's - $3/15

-$4.99 B1G1 throat coolers

-$3.oo Colgate

-$.35 if you have it

Total = $4.61, pay with $2 ecb, $1 ecb and $1.61 out of pocket.

Earn $4.98, $2 and still have your $9.98 = $16.97 ecb's left.

Transaction 4:

Buy 2 bottles of All Laundry detergent at b1g1/7.49.

Buy 1 nasogel at $7.99

Buy 1 Palmolive at .97

Total = $23.94

Q's - $3/15

$7.49 free All

$2 ($1 All printable - hit your back button and print it twice)

$2 nasogel printable

$.35 Palmolive if you have it

Total = $9.10 Buy a 50 cents candybar and pay with your $9.98 ecb's. Carry over your $4.98, $2 and earn $7.99 = $14.97.

Transaction 5:

4 stayfree pads (2 for $9 use B1G1 coupon in paper) = $18
Also, $1 off 1 printable here. You can use 1 coupon per item so you can use the b1g1 from the paper and the $1 printable on 2 packs, making them actually 2/$16. Make sure you hit your back button, refresh and print a 2nd copy.

Buy 1 Palmolive for .97

Total = $18.97

Q's -$3/15

- $9 (2 b1g1)

Total = $6.97

Pay with $4.98 ecb, $2ecb and earn $10 ECB's for a total of $17.99 ecb's left.

Transaction 6:

Cottenelle for $12.97

Speed Stick deodorant 2/$6

1 bottle of nasogel $7.99

Total = $26.96

Q's -$3/15

-$.50 printable cottenelle

-3.oo (b1g1 speed stick)

-2.00 (nasogel)

Total = $18.46, pay with $17.99 ecb's and 50 cents oop and earn $4, $7.99 and $3 to get started for next time

If you have any questions about these transactions be sure to email me and I can walk you through it.

Friends don't let friends spend too much money!!

And please post your deals in the comments section. We love to see what deals you score!

Monday, January 5, 2009

CVS Monthly Deals - January

CVS Deals January Monthly
CVS has some great monthly MONEY-MAKING deals this month! If you're new to CVS and don't have tons of ecb's or coupons, this will be a great start for you with very little oop. See future post with deal ideas!

Children’s Throat Cooler Ice Pops 6 ct., $4.99Get $4.99 ECBs (limit 5)
BOGO Children’s Throat Cooler Ice Pops printable
Better than FREE after coupon and ECBs!

NasoGel Drip Free Gel Spray 1.52 oz., $7.99Get $7.99 ECBs (limit 2)
$2/1 NasoGel Drip Free Gel Spray printable
Better than FREE after coupon and ECBs!

Nutra Trim Weight Management Chewing Gum 48 ct., $3.99Get $3.99 ECBs (limit 2)
FREE after ECBs!

Soy Joy Six Pack, $6Get $6 ECBs (limit 5)FREE after ECBs!

$2 ECB wyb Tylenol 8 hour, Extra Strength Caplets, Cool, or EZ tabs 50 ct., $6.29Get $2 ECBs (limit 5)
$2/1 Tylenol Extra Strength Rapid Release Gels, Caplets or Gel Caps, exp. 1-31-09 (V 11/9/08)$2.29 after coupons and ECBs!

Sootherbs Wild Cherry Lozenges 30 ct., $5.49Get $3 ECBs (limit 5)$2.49 after ECBs!

Listerine Smart Rinse or Agent Blue, $3.99Get $3 ECBs (limit 5)$0.99 after ECBs!

Preparation H wipes 10 ct., $4.19Get $1 ECB (limit 5)
$2/1 Preparation H printable
$1.19 after coupon and ECB!

Click here for a complete list of all the monthly deals.
(Thanks to Tara at Deal Seeking Mom here for this list!)

CVS Deals 1/4 - 1/10

CVS has some great deals for beginners this week. And if you have a few ECB's to roll, it makes the deals even BETTER! Since it's the beginning of the month, I'm going to pair up the weekly deals with the monthly deals to get you the best deal possible this week! Deals will be in a seperate post.

Don’t forget to check out the new $3 off any CVS Brand coupon to score a free item with your transaction!
Get your $3 off $15 printable before shopping.

:: ECB Deals
Colgate Total Toothpaste, buy 2/$5Get $2 ECBs (limit 3)

$1.50/1 Colgate Toothpaste printable

Better than FREE after coupons and ECBs!

Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Conditioner or Styler, $2.99Get $2 ECBs (limit 1)

$1/1 Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Conditioner, or Treatment, exp. 1-31-09 (RP 10/5/08)

$1/1 Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Conditioner, or Treatment, exp. 2-9-09 (RP 11/9/08)

$1/1 Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Conditioner, or Treatment, exp. 5-1-09 (RP 1/04/09)

$1/1 Garnier Fructis Style Product, exp. 2-9-09 (RP 11/9/08)

$1/1 Garnier Fructis Style Product, exp. 5-1-09 (RP 1/04/09)

$1/1 Garnier Fructis Style Product, exp. 1-31-09 (RP 10/5/08)

FREE after coupon and ECBs!

Cottonelle Toilet Tissue 20 pk., $12.97Get $4 ECBs (limit 5)

$0.50/1 Cottonelle printable$0.50/1 Cottonelle printable Teal Quick Print on Right Sidebar

$0.50/1 Cottonelle Toilet Paper, exp. 1-11-09 (SS 12/14/08)

$8.47 after coupon and ECBs!

Johnson & Johnson productsBuy $20, Get $10 ECBs

See here for long list.

Mennen Speed Stick, buy 2/$6Get $3 ECBs (limit 1)

BOGO Speed Stick 24/7 Antiperspirant/Deodorant, exp. 1-24-09 (SS #2 1/4/09)FREE after coupon and ECBs!

Slim Fast Optima Bars or Shakes 6 ct., $6.49/Get $2 ECBs (limit 5)

$1.25/1 Slim-Fast Bars, any Multi-pack, exp. 3-31-09 (RP 1/4/09)

$1.40/1 Slim Fast Ready-to-Drink Multi-Pack or Powder Canister, exp. 3-31-09 (RP 1/4/09)$2/1 Slim-Fast Bars printable (register)

$3/2 Slim-Fast Multi-pack printable (register)$2.49 to $3.24 after coupons and ECBs!

:: Other Deals
Progresso Soup, $2.99 (BOGO)

$1.10/1 Progresso printable

$1/2 Progresso printable

$2/4 Progresso printable

$0.50/2 Progresso Soup, exp. 1-17-09 (SS 11/23/08)

$0.50/2 Progresso Soup, exp. 1-31-09 (SS 12/7/08)

$1/4 Progresso Soup, exp. 1-17-09 (SS 11/23/08)

$1/4 Progresso Soup, exp. 1-31-09 (SS 12/7/08)

$0.40 ea. to $0.99 ea. after coupons!
L’Oreal Cosmetics, psa $3.49 (BOGO)

$2/1 L’Oreal HIP Eye or Lip Product, exp. 3-29-09 (RP 1/4/09)

$2/1 L’Oreal Lip Product, exp. 3-29-09 (RP 1/4/09)

$3/1 L’Oreal Makeup, Powder, Blush or Concealer, exp. 3-29-09 (RP 1/4/09)

$2/1 L’Oreal Paris Eye Product, exp. 3-29-09

(RP 1/4/09)FREE or cheap after coupons!

Atkins Bars, $1.69 (BOGO)

$1/2 Atkins Single Bar, exp. 3-31-09 (RP 1/4//09)

$0.69 ea. after coupons!

ALL Laundry Detergent 2x or 3x, $7.49 (BOGO)

$1/1 ALL Laundry Detergent printable

$1/1 ALL Free & Clear printable

$2.75 ea. after coupons!

$250 Budget for 1 month!

Okay, this month I will attempt to feed the family for $250 maximum grocery budget (seeing as my electric bill was $600 today, it would really help if I could do this!). My $250 grocery budget will include food, health & beauty items(shampoo, pull-ups) and household goods like toilet paper and cleaning products. I will not count items like the new doorknob that cost $10 at Walmart. Since I have been stockpiling many items for just pennies over the last several months, I really don't need to purchase much in the way of health and beauty (but I'm down to my last 2 rolls of tp) and can devote most of my cash to food. This $250 is an out-of-pocket cost. In other words, if I go shopping at CVS and use $20 Extra bucks (ECB's) toward my purchase and I have to spend $2.50 out of my pocket, only $2.50 will count as money spent from my grocery budget. I'm going to be as resourceful as possible and show you all the ways you can use coupons, ecb's, Walgreen's register rewards and rebates toward lowering your shopping bill. If I do use something that will gain me a rebate later, I will count the cash as cash spent from my budget. Oh and meal planning will be key!

On December 28th, I made a trip to Walmart for groceries and spent $98 on grocery items. (I'm going to count that toward January food).
I made 2 trips to CVS this week and spent 97 cents and $0 oop (out of pocket).
I made one trip to KMart and spent $22.00
I made one trip to Price Chopper and spent $11.38.
My purchase above from CVS was quite exciting. I actually made money at CVS this week.
Pictured above are:
3 boxes of CVS brand Cheez-Its ($1.97 each)
6 boxes of Sore Throat cooler pops ($4.99 each)
8 bottles of vitamins (various prices $4.99-5.99)
5 bottles of Right Guard Professional Strength (gave one away) ($6 each)
3 cans of clearance skintimate shave gel ($1.50 each)
2 tubes of blistex (99 cents each)
Not a bad haul for 97 cents, huh?
Did you get a great deal at CVS this week? Leave a comment and let us know!

CVS Blizzard Trip!

Here's a trip I took to CVS on December 21st. I thought I would use it to inspire you to get on board with CVS-ing (another word you probably didn't know was a verb!) and ECB's. So I braved the tremendous snowstorm that was going on and dragged my kids to CVS after getting all of my deals together. The shelves were still cleared of many free after ECB items but I got scored some great deals and with all of the $10/$50 crt's that keep printing out on my receipts, I got some free items that I needed to finish my holiday baking!

Here's what I scored on this trip:

1 pack of Halls cough drops

2 L'oreal metallic eye shadows

1 Alteril sleep medication (not strong enough for me!!)

1 8-pack of Zantac 150 (in case Jamie comes over)

5 bottles of Listerine

1 Excedrine gel caps (20 count)

1 EAS Advantage snack bar

4 cans Planters Mixed Nuts

1 bag Rold Gold Pretzels

1 Frosty the Snowman animated figure

1 Charlie Brown & Snoopy animated figure

Total oop after coupons and ecb's = $1.23 with $45 ECB's for next time!

I was especially excited because I promised Joey that if he was good at CVS and helped watch his sister I would buy the Peanuts Christmas figure as a special early Christmas gift. As soon as we entered the store he grabbed it and held onto it. Ella saw Frosty and she grabbed that. She just assumed it was part of the deal and I didn't know how I was going to tell her "no." They were both so well-behaved that I didn't want to disappoint either of them. When I saw how low my totals rang up, I was able to get both of them for pennies. Both kids came home very excited!

By the way, I also "burned" about $25 ecb's the night before Christmas Eve buying bags of truffles, stocking stuffers and little boxes of candy to add on to the Christmas gifts we were already giving! After that I had $25 ecb's left to spend. Since then I've spent 97 cents and now have over $45 ecb's. Stay tuned to see how you can do this, too!

Beginning with Basic Financial Principles

Long Ago, before I began couponing we were living paycheck to paycheck. It was not enough for me to get serious about our finances until we bought a home, and it was very difficult to get that home, and to pay for it after was even worse. I began to practice money saving strategies I had learned previously but had put in the back of my mind. Although that was helpful, and it kept me from scrimping by and limping along, I knew there had to be a better way, a way for these changes to affect us in the long run. One day a friend of mine was reading MSN money and I was intrigued, or should I say hooked! I began to practice as much as I could absorb, and had actual GOALS of where I wanted to be. I started saving money, and my attitude began to change. Now, I have been combining these principles with the new money saving methods I am practicing now and I feel great about the direction of my financial future. I get frustrated like everyone else, but reading the blogs, and blogging great deals for you helps keep me motivated, like a pep talk for the financial soul.

Here are my Favorite articles from MSN money:

The Emergency Fund You Can Eat here -this is reinforcement on Heather's post on Couponing and Stockpiling

Why You Need $500 in the Bank - Here- a great way to start your Emergency Fund by taking a small step - from personal experience this $500 has saved me from financial disaster many times

Smart Spending Money Blog Here

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Free Suave on January 14th

Free Suave!!
Mark your calendars, crazy coupon followers! Register on starting at 12:01 a.m. on January 14th for a coupon for one bottle of Suave Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Spray, Styling Aid, Body Wash, or Body Lotion (good up to $3) by mail.
I’ll be sure to post a reminder on the 14th!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

$15 Olay Regenerist Gift Card

Purchase 2 Olay Regenerist Facial Cleansers or Mositurizers between December 14th 2008 and January 14th 2009 and receive a $15.00 Gift Card by Mail.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Exfoliating Wet Cleansing Cloths are $7.99 at CVS. If you buy 2 Regenerist facial cloth cleansers it would look like this:
2 @ $7.99= $15.98, to make it an even better deal~There was also a $5 off 2 coupon in the December 14th Proctor and Gamble insert
So $15.98-$5.00 =$10.98 out of pocket
A profit of $4 after you buy the stamp to send in the form. Remember, you can use your Extra Bucks to lessen your out of pocket and make more on this offer.

Here is the link to the Olay homepage. Here is the link to the PDF form for the gift card.

***Update*** The Olay homepage is showing an additional $15 gift card offer for buying 2 Definity products! We can do both gift card offers