Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rockin' Rite Aid

Rite Aid's deals aren't too shabby this week either. Here's what I got:

(2 deodorant, 1 razor, 1 toothpaste, 1 box of pads, 1 Reese's)
I spent: $8.26 out of pocket
Rebates: $2.69 for the toothpaste, $5 for the razor
Bottom line: $.57
Plus, these purchases qualified me to receive $20 back from Rite Aid's Fall Gift of Savings Program. Thanks to this program, I've made $11.20 in profit shopping at Rite Aid the last couple of weeks. It doesn't get much better than being paid to shop.

Wonderful Walgreens

This week is amazing at Walgreens - there are so many free after RR and moneymaker deals. Here's what I got:

(1 chap stick, 1 toothbrush, 1 bag of cough drops, 1 bottle mousse, 1 razor, 1 bottle of lotion, 1 pack of floss picks, 2 cans almonds, 1 box Robitussin to go, 2 bottles of Emergen-C)

I spent $16.69
I received $17 in Register Rewards
Bottom line: $.31 in profit
Regular Retail: $45.05

I came out ahead $.31 "buying" all of the stuff above. Our Walgreens is a little lame in that they limit you to 2 transactions, so I had to spend a lot out of pocket since I couldn't do lots of transactions and just roll my RR from one to the next. So, now I have a ton of RR to use in the next couple of weeks. Thankfully, it looks like there will be quite a few freebies and cheapies coming up, so hopefully I'll be able to keep them rolling. Our Walgreens actually limits you to 1 of each of the RR offers. Which I like, it ensures that more people get a chance to get in on the deals. It's all about sharin' the freebie love.

Super Exciting Baby Einstein DVD Deals

I found out on Saturday that Babies 'R Us and Toys 'R Us had an amazing sale on Baby Einstein DVDs - $2.50 each! The sale was ending that day and we were super busy, so busy we didn't even have time to watch the BYU Football game, but I managed to squeeze a trip to the stores. I got 12 Baby Einstein DVDs for $31.98! And we're selling 4 of them on half.com for a profit that's going to cover the cost of the 8 that we're keeping. I was so giddy - I've wanted to buy these ever since Hunter was a baby, but we just didn't have the money. Patience really does pay off when it comes to frugality.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekly Monday Morning Shopping Trip...


(4 bottles All Small & Mighty 32 load laundry detergent, 2 10ct packages of Airborne, 2 toothbrushes, 2 Febreeze candles, 1 Thermacare wrap)

I spent: $ 13.08 (That's how much 2 bottles of the laundry detergent would've cost)

Regular Retail: $ 65.36

I had heard about a lot of great clearance finds at Walgreens, but wasn't expecting to actually find them at my store. I was so excited about the laundry detergent - they would've been a better deal if I had any All coupons, but I've used them all. Darn it! $1.79 is still a great price for this detergent. The priciest thing, by far, was the Airborne - it was a good deal, but still a good bit of money.


(4 Healthy Choice Meals, 8 bags of veggies, 2 bottles applesauce, 2 1/2 gal Lactaid milk, 3 cans coconut milk, 4 cans cream of chicken soup, 2 boxes Jell-o, 2 bottles SeasonAll, 4 packets taco seasoning, 6 bananas, 3 pears)

I spent $ 21.81

Regular Walmart Retail (which is already low): $ 43.51

I usually only go to Walmart to use coupons that will lead to free or almost free products or to use coupons that are about to expire on products I really want or need. So that's what this trip was, plus a few well priced produce items. I should've bought fewer veggies - you should've seen me trying to get them into my freezer - it was pretty comical. The Simpson's episode where Homer uses his Tetris skills to pack the car for a family trip came to my mind while I was packing, re-arranging, and shoving everything into our freezer. I sure wish we had an extra freezer - some day :o).

Rite Aid:
(2 packages of Pull-Ups, 1 package of Diapers, 1 Clean & Clear face cleanser, 1 bottle Proantinox)

I spent $ 25.15
I will receive $17 in Single Check Rebates from Rite Aid
Total, after Rebates: $8.15!!!!!

Regular Retail: $52.95
A couple of weeks ago our Rite Aid changed their hours from being open 24 hours to 8am - 12 midnight. It has made it very difficult to get there on Mondays - the only time that I have the car is before Fred goes to work (which is usually before 8). I was a little distraught this morning knowing that with the amazing diaper deal going on this week, I would probably find a lot of empty shelves by the time I finally made it to the store. And they were pretty much cleaned out of Huggies diapers (no size 3 or 4), but I was still able to get some :o)
In case your wondering the Proantinox is an ultra concentrated Cranberry drink, specifically designed to help treat UTI's. I don't really need it, but I made $3 buying it, so I figured why not. Oh, and I didn't buy Newborn size diapers because I'm pregnant, I got them because they were out of pretty much everything else and I figured that they'd make a good baby shower present some day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's The Little Things...

This is the view that we have out of our bedroom windows - isn't it quaint. There are actually three windows just like this side by side and it is just lovely to look out them and see the green leaves flickering in the breeze. I love to come up to our room when the boys are napping and lie on our bed, under the window, and read. It is so peaceful.

While our home does have a few things that I could do without, I sure am grateful for it. Yes, we do have problems with mold in a couple of spots, which I have to clean with bleach every few days (it doesn't grow that fast, I'm just uber paranoid). It's drafty and poorly insulated. There's no dishwasher. The driveway is very long and super tiring to shovel in the winter. And the bathroom is tiny.

BUT, we have 3 bedrooms - the boys each have their own room and it is wonderful. We have a large living room that is big enough to double as an "office" for Fred. We have our own washer and dryer. We have a covered car port (which is a perfect home for all of Fred's tools. Oh, and our car manages to squeeze in there as well). We have tons of storage space in our back room (which is overflowing with food storage that I really need to organize). We have a decently nice front and back yard that is great for running around with our boys. We have beautiful bay windows in the front room that let in a ton of light, which is especially great in the winter. We pay a phenomenally low rent, which includes utilities. We have a very nice landlord that fixes problems right away and has been very patient with us as our plans have changed numerous times since we've moved in.

We are very blessed to have this home to live in. While it does have it's problems, I am still so, SO grateful to live here. I will forever look back, fondly upon our time here in this home. Yes, the years that we live here will probably be some of the most challenging of our lives - it's not easy being a young, poor, college student family. But, I know they will be some of the best of our lives and unlike any other time. I'm grateful that during these challenging times, God has given us small, tender mercies, like a beautiful view from our bedroom window to remind me of just how lucky we are.

5 Guys Burgers and Fries

My Grandparents (Gill) were in town very briefly at the beginning of last week. They stopped by our house for a short visit and were kind enough to leave us a little money to go out to eat, since they weren't going to be around long enough to take us out themselves. Well, me being the totally impatient and impulse driven person that I am decided to go out that very night. Fred had wanted to try 5 Guys Burgers and Fries for some time, so that's where we went. I know we're way behind the times - the place has been here in Provo for quite some time now, but we don't ever eat out, so we're just a little slow on the restaurant scene.

But let me tell you, It. Was. Good. I honestly don't think I've had better burgers in my life (and that includes In-n-Out). And I make a lot of really good burgers at home too, but these were on a whole other level. I rely on lots of extra ingredients to make my burgers tasty. These were out right, straight up, yummy burgers - starting with the meat which was so juicy and delicious. They have way more topping options than In-n-Out (although I stuck with a pretty traditional burger). Their fries are made fresh from real potatoes - they were dense and tasted so good. I normally skip the fries at most burger places because they just aren't tasty enough to be worth the calories to me. Uh uh, not here - I ate a ton of them. Hunter loved them too, as you can see in the picture above. They have the standard fry sauce too, which was oh so good.

I don't think I will ever want to eat another burger at any other restaurant again. They just won't be as good. Seriously, that's how good the burgers are. Now, I hope I haven't hyped it up so much for you that when you visit there, you are totally disappointed. But, even if you don't think they're the best burgers ever, I'm sure you'll agree with me that they are pretty darn tasty.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Makin' Money at Walgreens and Rite Aid

My Monday started off the same as any other Monday - a 6am trip to Walgreens. And it was a pretty good trip too. Here's what I got:

(2 Schick razors, 2 packs Trident gum, 1 bottle Ibuprofen, 1 bag Nut Clusters)

I paid $3.81, plus I got back $3 RR for the Nuts Clusters and $1 RR for the gum. So, I came out a head a little :0) Originally, this woud've cost $28.56. I would have had quite a profit if I did the Triaminic deal - I could've made $7 buying 2 bottles of Triaminic. But I decided to pass on it for 2 reasons. First, Hunter's only 3 - Triaminic and all other cold medications are not advised for kiddos under 4. Second, the kind of Traiminic that was a money maker was a night time cough suppressant. And I really don't believe in cough suppressants - your body needs to cough to clear out the congestion (I usually only buy decongestants / expectorants). So, I decided to pass on the deal and allow others to make an easy $7. Alright, I'm off my soap box now. I kinda regret it, because I could've just donated the medicine to the food bank, but cest la vie, I'm still happy with my deals. And that's probably way more information than you really care to know...

Once Rite Aid opened, I went there, really excited about their weekly deals. My excitement fizzled when I got to the register and the cashier and manager told me that it was Rite Aid's policy to not allow BOGO coupons paired with a BOGO sale, so no free makeup for me :o( I needed to use some of my free product coupons so that I could get by before coupon total up to $25 so that I could use my $5 off $25 coupon. So, I ran and grabbed the chap stick, diapers, and canker melts (all of which I had free coupons for). I got all the stuff below for $5.43, which I paid with a gift card. Plus, I will receive $5 back in SCR for the Johnson & Johnson products and $1 in SCR for the Suave lotion. So, I came out ahead with a $.57 profit!

But, it gets even better. Rite Aid has a promotion (Fall Gift of Savings) going on right now, where you get Rite Aid gift certificates back when you spend certain amount of money. My pre coupon total was $30.43, which means that I already qualify to get $5 back. And there are still several more weeks left in the promotion. I have a feeling that I am going to make quite a bit of money shopping at Rite Aid this month! :o)

Once I got back home I realized that I had left my BOGO Cover Girl coupon at the register. So, I called the store to see if they had set it aside. They had and they informed me that they had talked to Rite Aid corporate and several other Rite Aid stores and discovered that Rite Aid had changed their policy and now allow BOGO coupons to be paired with BOGO sales! So, they told me to hurry on in and get my free makeup. Now that is coupon friendly customer service! So, Hunter and I ran back to the store and got this:

I paid $.84 for the CG foundation, CG mineral make up, and Reese's - basically, all I paid was tax! So sweet! It would've cost $24.37. Add that to my $30.43 above and now I've accumulated $44.81 in eligible purchases for the Fall Gift of Savings promotion . Once I reach $50, I get $10 back - which I will definitely do by the end of the promotion.

Hunter wanted the candy bar and I was weak and gave in. It's the first time I've done that and now I worry about the precedent I set. Now, he's going to be begging for candy every time we're in line. *sigh*

At the end of the morning I ended up getting paid to buy all of the items pictured above. I brought home $83.36 worth of products, spent $10.08 out of pocket, received $4 in RR and will receive $11 in rebates from Rite Aid (so far...). Which means that when all is said and done, I will have made a $4.92 profit!

That is why drug stores and coupons are so wonderful! I absolutely love shopping at drug stores. They make things ridiculously complicated, but once you figure out the puzzle you come away with some killer deals and the thrill of having conquered something challenging. It's a fun game :o)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I ♥ Case Lot Sales!

This week is the week of case lot sales - Smith's, Albertson's, Reams, Buy Low, and Harmon's are all having case lot sales. I went to Smith's because I love my Smith's, it's close and they've got good prices.

Although, at Smith's you have to buy whole cases to get the case lot price, Macey's usually allows you to get individual items at the case price. So, I only picked up whole cases today and am hoping that when Macey's has their case lot sale next week they'll have things priced individually, where I'll pick up other things that I want to stock up on, but just not a case at a time (mandarin oranges, cream soups, tomato paste and sauce, honey, oatmeal, peanut butter, vegetable oil, and maybe a few other things)

Here's what I got:
(24 boxes corn bread mix, 24 cans black beans, 24 can corn, 12 cans Chicken, 8 4 packs pudding, bananas, tomatoes and milk)

I spent $55.66, originally it would've cost $109.82. They're not amazing prices, especially when I've been able to get so much for almost free lately. But, with Albertson's changing hands, we've not had very good sales lately from them and I doubt we'll see double coupons ever again. So, I'm happy with the deal I got. Fred's especially stoked about the corn bread - it's not a great price, but he loves the stuff and now we have lots on hand so we can have corn bread when ever his little heart desires. I'm excited about the sugar free chocolate pudding. I'm trying (slowly, but surely) to loose weight and sugar free chocolate pudding is a life saver when I get a craving for chocolate (which is pretty much daily).

While I did have to buy things by the case to get the sale price, they still took my coupons for the corn and pudding - they had to manually override them, but they were happy to do so. And that made me very happy, because the coupons saved me an additional $7 on top of the case lot prices - yay!

We bought the same amount of beans and corn last year and I actually ran out of my last can of black beans and corn last week - I bought them 1 year ago exactly. That worked out pretty well :o) However, I did buy way too many crushed and diced tomatoes last year, I probably wont' get any of those this year. Stocking up like this is very important if you are trying to cut your grocery budget. If you stock up when items are at their lowest, then you'll never have to pay full price ever - and that's a good thing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday Morning Madness

On Monday I hit up Walgreens, Albertson's and Target, all before 9am! I was actually so excited about the Target deals that I had a hard time sleeping Sunday night (what a dork!).

Here's my Walgreens trip:

(2 Reese's candy bars, 1 Glade scented oil candle holder, 1 candle refill pack, 2 glade candles, 1 water bottle that had travel size tissue and lotion in it)

I spent $4.71 out of pocket, but received $3 in Register Rewards that I can use later. Originally this would've cost $21.64. I probably wouldn't have run out to get this stuff, except I had Register Rewards that were expiring and so I needed to roll them. Now, I have $3 that I hopefully can roll on more useful items. While Fred loved the Reese's and I'll love the candles, we don't need them, and I'd rather be getting stuff we need for almost free.

I then headed over to Albertson's where I picked up:

(2 6 packs Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt, 8 bottles DanActive yogurt shots, 4 Activia, 2 6oz Dannon Light & Fit, 6 boxes frozen veggies, baby lotion, saline solution, and hydrocortizone cream)

I spent $11.77, originally $48.75! I wanted to get more veggies but there is NO room in my freezer. I had a hard time just getting these 6 boxes in. And our fridge is pretty full of yogurt too - we got quite a bit the last 2 weeks with Smith's Mega Sale and now this Dannon promo (which was save $2 instantly on $10 of Dannon products, plus I used coupons). Good thing we eat a lot of yogurt. I used a $5 catalina from earlier in the week to help pay for this shopping trip. Also, all Albertson's brand items are 50% off right now (as part of the AFS transition), so the lotion, saline and hydrocortizone cream were really cheap!

And last, but definitely not least, Target! I was SO excited about this sale - I dreamt about it all night. Here's what I got:

(8 boxes Fiber One Caramel Delight cereal - yum!, 2 boxes Fiber One Granola Bars, 4 string cheese, 4 5pk Ponds cleansing cloths)

My total for all this was $11.54, plus I got $10 in Target Gift Cards, so it was almost a wash! Originally this would've cost $52.02. Our family LOVES this cereal - I was so excited that I was able to get it for free! Wahoo :o) I combined manufacturer coupons, target coupons, and a target gift card promo - now that's what I call a perfect storm. And, bonus! 4 of the boxes have BOGO coupons for Fiber One yogurt - and when I use a $1 coupon (which I have a lot of) on the one I'm buying, I should be able to get 8 containers of Fiber One yogurt for about $1! Sweet! But, I've gotta wait until we get through all that Dannon yogurt first :0) I wish I was able to get more of this cereal, because even though I got 8 boxes, it will probably be gone in a month! And even though I bought 8 of one kind, there were tons on the shelf, so hopefully I left enough for others - it was really hard to restrain myself. The cheese was free using target coupons and the Ponds was free using a manufacturer coupon that didn't exclude trial sizes. Once again, my Target is awesome and I had no problem using all the coupons (24 of them!)

Overall it was a very successful morning of shopping - I spent $28.02 on $122.41 worth of merchandise and I still have $10 Target gift card and $3 in Register Rewards. What a great way to start a day :o)

Monday, September 7, 2009

BYU Football Starts with a Bang

On Saturday we headed over to Mike and Alicia's to watch the BYU - OU football game (Mike is Fred's business partner). Ryan, Alexis and Maija also joined us for the excitement. It was truly BYU style football - small apartment and lots of kids :o). We are so grateful that Mike and Alicia invited us over, because we decided not to get cable this fall (we got it last year, mainly for football). We're so glad that we're able to not only able to watch the games, but hang out with them as well.

To say that watching the game in a small apartment with 6 adults and 5 kids was crazy would be an understatement! The kids were all really well behaved, but between the stress of a very close football game and the stress created by keeping and eye on all the kiddos - phew, we were wiped out at the end.

Katie and Hunter had a great time playing together. They had some crazy 3 year old synergy going on - by the end of the game they were so hyper! Hunter was worn out and ready for by by the time we got home. Grant, Maija and Ethan were very good - they just played with toys and explored the living room.

We had an exciting game, yummy food, and great company. We hope the rest of the reason is just as great!

Go Cougars!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lots of Veggies from Albertson's

Fall is in the air, which means sales on veggies and soup - way excited about the veggies, not so excited about the soup. I like to have canned soup in my food storage because it is a good staple to have on hand in case of emergency, but I really don't like canned soup (everything's mushy and salty and homogeneous in flavor). So, we usually stock up during the fall sales, hold onto it, and when it's about to expire we donate it to the Food Bank. We just don't really eat it, but we would if we had to.

Albertson's has a pretty good sale going on right now. I was able to get all the stuff below for $14.80, plus I received a $5 catalina that I can use like cash anytime in the next 2 weeks. Originally this would've cost $52.93 (with Albertson's inflated prices). Pretty good deal.

(10 boxes of vegetables, 2 cans of biscuits, 1 tub of frosting, 6 cans light Progresso Soup)

The challenge was fitting all the veggies in my freezer! I want to get more, but need to make room for them first. We pulled out all the bread ends I had been saving and fed the ducks, so that helped. Hopefully we'll go through a bunch of food with the football game this weekend. Fred absolutely loves biscuits and since baking is not really my cup of tea, I'm glad he can have some (plus, they were free!). And now that the weather is cooling down, I might actually turn on my oven and "make" them for him. I'll probably also come up with some tailgate recipes to use them because I got a bunch at Smith's Mega Event Sale the last 2 weeks as well (those were free too!)

How I love thee, Swagbucks!

I just have to give another shout out for Swagbucks. I've now earned $30 in Amazon gift cards and Fred's earned $10. Seriously, it is the easiest way to make a little extra money. We haven't decided what we are going to get with our gift cards - most likely we'll use it for Christmas presents.

I gave a pretty detailed explanation of it here and you can read that to learn more about it. We use Swagbucks to do all of our Internet browsing - even if we know the URL, we still type it into Swagbucks and it helps us earn points even faster. And, they just rolled out a new toolbar - when you install it, you'll have access to a new swagcode (worth 1 point) every day during the month of September. That means that you can have 30 Swagbucks by the end of the month, just through the toolbar. The toolbar also makes it easy to do all your searches with Swagbucks.

If you sign up using my link below, I'll earn 1 point for every point that you do (up to 100). So, sign up using my link and then have your friends, siblings, spouse, cousins etc sign up under you so that you can get their points. You'll be amazed at how fast you accumulate Swagbucks when you have a bunch of people under you.

I know it seems too good to be true - free money, just for searching the Internet. But, it's really that easy. I waited a long time to sign up for it because I was skeptical, but now I wish I'd signed up for it as soon as I found out about it - I'd have that many more Swagbucks to my name.

Sign up! :o)

Search & Win

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Target and Walmart in one Night - Totally Different Experiences

I was completely exhausted Monday night, but HAD to get to Target - the deals were just SO good! Can I just say how much I love my Target - I've been reading all over the blogosphere about people having problems with grouchy cashiers and managers, and yet I have never had a problem. And tonight my cashier was SO super friendly - she was so happy for me and the deals I scored. She congratulated me and told me I was a good shopper! Now that is the kind of customer service that keeps customers coming in the doors. I plan on e-mailing Target corporate to let them know how wonderful she was - seriously she was a doll! With Albertson's out of the Double Coupon game, Target may be my new favorite place to shop! I seriously love all of their web coupons - there are some great deals every week. I just wish our Target wasn't so far away...

Anyways, here's what I got:

(4 boxes of cereal, 4 boxes of granola bars, 1 1/2 lbs of Boneless Skinless Buffalo chicken breasts (yum!), 2 cartridges black ink, 28 1 quart hefty bags, and 4 cheese sticks)

I spent $24.20, originally this would've cost $62.43! The biggest expense was, of course, the ink - it was originally $30 itself. But I used $20 in gift cards ($10 for the Quaker deal last week and $10 from the Special K deal this week) to pay for most of it - I only had to pay $10.49 for 2 cartridges of ink. AND I still have $10 in gift cards that I earned for buying the ink, which I will roll into next week's deals.

I wanted to snag several more things (bananas, baby bottles, buddies soap, Honey Nut Cheerios cups), but they were cleaned out! Bummer - I was expecting it though and was still very happy with the deals that I got.

I also went to Walmart earlier in the evening, where I picked up my free Glade candles, free after MIR Palmolive dish soap, almost free Tabasco sauce and Chinet plates as well as a few other odds and ends. **WARNING: There is a little bit of venting ahead!** When it came time to pay, my total seemed a little high, but there was already a huge line, so I decided to just pay and look over my receipt out of line. Sure enough, my cashier missed one of my $3 Glade coupons. I went to customer service and explained the situation. The girl I talked to was very nice and called another employee over and asked her to check the cash drawer for the 4th coupon. This other employee treated me like I was a criminal - she was questioning what all of the other coupons were for on the receipt and comparing bar codes to make sure I wasn't lying. I told her that I wasn't trying to rip them off and that I just wanted them to check the drawer. If there were only 3 coupons in the drawer, then I must've forgotten the coupon. But, if there were 4 coupons in the drawer, then clearly one of them was missed and I would like the money for it (being that I had already paid out of pocket). I don't know why she was so quick to assume that I was being dishonest - it was very rude! She came back from checking the drawer and sure enough there were 4 Glade coupons in there. The first girl gladly gave me my money back and I was on my way. What a different experience that was from Target! I can't say that I love shopping at Walmart - I'm happy with the deals I get sometimes, but it's kind of an unfortunate, necessary evil.