Monday, May 30, 2011

Deals For 5/30

I went riding around town today just to pass the time while Trina was at work and, of course, I ended up doing some coupon shopping. Nothing crazy though. Here's my first stop:

Click picture for a larger image

I stopped by Target first because they have an awesome deal on some sun-care products. If you buy 2 Banana Boat or Hawaiian Tropic products you will get a $5 Target Gift Card. I grabbed the Lip Balm ($1.79) and the Aloe Gel ($5.84) and also used a $1 coupon for the Hawaiian Tropic. I ended up paying $6.48 and getting the $5 gift card so it's like getting them both for $1.48!

Next I went to Walgreens to finish getting Jessica some gum. She had 4 more of the $1/2 Orbit coupons and with the in-ad coupon the Orbit is just $0.19 each. Since there was a limit of 4, I did a transaction and she did a transaction and we both paid $.92 for out deal. That's 8 Orbit gum for $1.84. 

On our way home we stopped by Rite-Aid and grabbed 4 Jolly Time Blast O'Butter individual packs and one Rencare Organic Shampoo. I used 4 $.50/1 coupons on the popcorn so it was all free and I used $4 in UP rewards for the shampoo. Total OOP was $1.42 and I got back a $4.99 UP reward for the shampoo. Then I went back and bought the Rencare organic conditioner to go with the shampoo and used the $4.99 UP and paid $0.32 for that. I also ended up getting another $4.99 UP. So, I paid $1.74 out of pocket and spent $4 in UP rewards and left with my products and $4.99 in UP rewards! That's like getting it all for only $0.75! 

After grilling, watching some tube and relaxing, Trina asked if I wanted to go to Target again. We went and bought another sun-care deal. This time we got the lip balm and the Banana Boat Aloe Gel. We also got two different bowl sets by Ziploc that were price-reduced to $2.17 and 2 4 packs of Degree deodorant that were marked down to $4.24 It wasn't a bad deal when you look at it broke down. Here is the break down:

Banana Boat Aloe - $4.99
-$1 off Banana Boat product (excluding lip balm)

Banana Boat Lip Balm - $1.79

Glad Deep Dish Storage Bowls - $2.17
Glad Entree Storage Bowls - $2.17
- $1.50/2 Glad Bowls

(2) Degree 4 packs - $4.24 each
- BOGO coupon

Total before tax - $19.60
- coupons ($6.74) = $12.86
- $5 Gift Card = $7.86
Plus we also got another $5 gift card to use later! 

Now it's time to relax until the new sales ads come out on Wednesday! :-)

Have a great evening everyone!


Getting Started With Coupons

A few people have asked me how to get started using coupons. I'm not an expert but I will share some tips with you. I've only been back to couponing for about a month and I will share my learning experiences during that time.

First and foremost, don't get discouraged if you aren't able to get massive amounts of stuff immediately. Honestly, that really shouldn't be your reason for couponing in the first place. You want to save money and using coupons is the way to go but you might have to wait a while to build a "stockpile".

Some people say that the first thing you should do is to set a budget. Decide how much you want to spend and stick to it. Perhaps you should only allow yourself $20 a week for spending to start your "stockpile". If you can do that then that would be fine. We operate on a completely different scenario.

Since most of our bills come due around the first, we usually stock up on meat and frozen items in the middle of the month. We hit the sales and find the best deals we can and go from there. This means that most of our grocery budget is done in the middle of the month.  However, we still allow for a lot to be spent during the week, depending on the sales.

The main thing to remember is that you have to look at your situation and decide how you want to approach when to spend for your coupon items.

Here is a list of rules I would follow when starting out couponing:


  • Take the time to learn your store(s) coupon policy. You can find most policies online or you can request a copy from your store's CS desk. Each store is different and you will have to learn this to know what you can and cannot do there.
  • You might want to take the time to learn one store at a time. It will be easy to get distracted and want to go here and there and save as much as possible but you will have more success if you take the time to learn each store slowly. 
  • Try to build a rapport with your store(s). Be friendly when you go to checkout and when you make a mistake with a coupon, and you will do this, let them know that you are still learning and thank them for helping you along. I go to my local Harris Teeter just after midnight each night and see what is available. Most of the stockers know me pretty well now and we often just chat for a minute or two. 
  • Find a few good sites for coupon matchups. This will help you save a lot of time and energy when getting ready for your shopping trip. My biggest suggestion would be to join We Use Coupons and search through there as a starting point. I have a few favorites but each location will be different as each location has different stores in their areas. Also check out Amit19 Deals World if you like CVS or Walgreens! 
  • Make sure you stay organized! Just starting out you can use a small coupon organizer and set it up as you would like. I still am using my coupon pouch that I got from Wal-Mart but I am seriously thinking about switching to a binder method. Whatever the situation, find a system that works for you and make your experience fun, not tedious.
This is just some off the wall suggestions that I am throwing out there. I'll have more later but I just wanted to let everyone know that I haven't forgotten about them at all! I've just been busy saving! :-)

Have a great Memorial Day everyone! 

Ken

Last Deal Of The Day, 5/29

Hey everyone! The picture attached to this is the same picture as yesterday's deal because it was pretty much the same deal as yesterday, just a different store.

My purpose of this post is to show you that you can replicate a deal I may have gotten from CVS by just visiting your local Wal-Mart! Everyone has one of those, right?

Here's the deal:


I stopped by Wal-Mart and did a similar deal to what I did yesterday on the Axe. They had the Axe bonus packs priced at $3.44 and I bought four of them with 2 BOGO coupons. Essentially, I paid 6.88 for 4 bonus packs. If you figure I got 8 full-size products for $6.88 then that would be $.86 each. That's a little higher than yesterdays but it is still a great deal! If you have just one of the BOGO Axe coupons, head to your Wal-Mart and get a bonus pack if they have one and you too can get some Axe for $.86 each! :-)

I also bought two (2) All You! magazines for the month of July. My wife questioned me buying 2 but I told her it would be OK, I'd get my money back easily! At $1.88 you can't beat it! 

We left Wal-Mart, picked up Jessica and decided to stop by Walgreens on the way home to see if they were substituting anything for the Crackerfuls they were out of this morning. Unfortunately, they didn't have anything left! While we were on our way I was looking through the All You! magazine and saw there was a $2 coupon on any full-size got2be product. I remembered that this was one of the things that were on a BOGO sale at Walgreens so I checked it out. They had the flat-iron stuff (I'm not really sure what it is used for) and Julia needed something like this so I worked up a deal. It was $5.99 BOGO and I had 2 of the $2 coupons (remember I bought 2 magazines!). That would work out to $1.99 for two or basically $.99 each! Yes, another good deal and Julia was excited about this deal. I paid the $1.99 with a $2 RR and bought one more of the Icy Hot products for $.99 to be my filler item. So, I paid like $1.72 out of pocket and walked away with another $.99 RR. 

Now, I'm ready to go save some more but, unfortunately, all the stores are closed. I already have a Target scenario worked out for tomorrow! I'll post it if I am able to accomplish what is on my mind! 

Once again, enjoy your weekend!

Ken


Food Lion Deal, 5/29

OK, I'll calm down on posting deals soon but I just wanted to share some more savings with you all!

Tonight, we stopped at Food Lion on the way to get Jessica from work. Interestingly enough, she works at Food Lion but her Food Lion is 10 miles away and we stopped at the one by our house! Anyway, here is the main portion of our deal:
Click picture for larger image

The Ronzoni Pasta was on sale for $1 each and I had 9 coupons for $1 off, so all I had to pay was the 2% tax, or $.18. We also bought some bananas and tomatoes but that was not coupon stuff so it isn't in my picture! 

Not bad for a trip to waste some time! 

Hope you are all enjoying your Memorial Day weekend! Tomorrow we will be firing up the grill! Yippee! 

Ken

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Drug Store Deals For 5/29!

I just got back from visiting my three drug stores, Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid. I think I did pretty well today even though I wasn't able to get everything on my list! :-)

Walgreens:
Click picture for larger image!

Because Walgreens requires no card for the deals, I took Trina and Jessica with me and we each made a trip through the line. Instead of breaking down each individual transaction per person, I will list what all we got and how much we saved.

(3) Scott Paper Towels, 6-roll - $3.99 each
-(2) $1.50 Printables
-(1) $1 5/22 SS
Final price = $7.97 for 3

(6) Dry Idea Deodorants - $3.99 Buy One Get One Free
-(3) BOGO 5/1 RP
Final Price = All 6 for FREE! :-)

Reynolds Wrap, 75 sq. ft - $1.99
= $1 5/22 SS
Final price = $.99

(3) Illy Coffee - $2 each
- $2 RR each
Final price = All 3 FREE

(3) Icy Hot Naturals Pain Relief Cream - $0.99 each
- $0.99 RR each
Final price = All 3 FREE

(2) Goody's Headache Powders, 6 ct. - $0.99 each
- $0.99 RR each
Final price = Both FREE

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor - $9.89
- $4 5/1 PG
-$5 RR
Final price = $0.89

2 Act II Extra Butter Popcorn - $0.25 each (for filler items)
Final price = $0.50 for both

M & Ms Peanut - $0.69 (filler Jessica used)
Final price = $0.69

(12) Orbit Gum - $0.69 each w/in-ad coupon
-(6) $1/2 4/17 SS
Final price = $2.28

Total was $64.86
- coupons and RR - $48.47
Out of pocket = $16.39 (a savings of @75%)

I would have liked to get the Crackerfuls and one of the Calcium Tablets but that didn't work out as they were already out of it!

CVS:

I had plans for more at CVS but I only ended up getting a little bit and it was all candy! Sorry, I didn't take picture of it! I started off with $4 ECB from last night's Axe deal.

Transaction 1:
(2) 3 Musketeers Bars - 2 for $1
paid $1.08 OOP and got $1 ECB back

Transaction 2
(4 Bags) Hershey's Pieces - $2.50 each
- (2) $2/2  5/1 SS
- $5 ECB ($4 from Axe and $1 from Transaction 1) 
Final Price = $1.78

Total OOP = $2.86 and I got back $3 ECB!

Rite-Aid


Another small deal but at least I was able to "refresh" my ^UP rewards!

(2) Irish Spring Deodorants - $2.99 each
- (2) $1 Peelie
Final price = $3.98

(2) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - 2 for $1
- $.50 from RiteAid Perks Video
Final price = 2 for $.50

- $4 ^UP rewards from previous transaction

Total OOP = $.87 and I got back $4 ^UP rewards again!

So, now it is time to lay down and take a nap! Hope you are all doing well!

Ken

My Walgreens Scenario For 5/29

OK, bear with me on this. I'm hoping this all works out but it depends on stock! Here's what I plan on trying to get Sunday morning at Walgreens:

Reynolds Wrap Foil, 75 sq. ft. - $1.99
-$1 q from 5/22 SS
Final price = $0.99

Crackerfuls - $2
-$1 q from 4/17 SS
- $2 RR
Final price = $1 MM (Money Maker)

Scott Paper Towels, 6-roll - $3.99
- $1.50 Printable
Final price = $2.49

Orbit Gum - $0.69 w/in-ad coupon
- $1/2 from 4/17 SS
Final price = $0.19 each

Right Guard Deodorant or Body Wash - Buy One Get One Free
- BOGO q from 5/1 RP
Final Price = 2 FREE

Illy Coffee - $2
- $2 RR
Final Price = FREE

Icy Hot Naturals Pain Relief Cream - $0.99
- $0.99 RR
Final Price = FREE

BC or Goody's Headache Powders - $1.50
-$1.50 RR
Final Price = FREE

AppliedNutrition Triple Calcium - $10
-$10 RR
Final Price = FREE

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor - $9.89
-$4 q from 5/1 PG
-$5 RR
Final price = $0.89  (I'll probably do this one later and pay with my RRs from other transactions!)

This is one I plan on checking out to see if it is good. Thanks to Super Coupon Lady for this one! :-)


FREE First Aid Case wyb (2) participating Johnson & Johnson First Aid products (there are $15 in coupons in First Aid Case!) $1.49
$1.00/2 Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Brand Product coupon from 05/15 RP
Final cost $0.62 each + FREE First Aid Case!


I'll let you know if I am able to get all or most of this deal! 


Happy Shopping everyone! 


Ken

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Great Deal On Axe!

Hey everyone! Sorry I've been idle for a while but I was very busy last week with the Triple Coupon deals at Harris Teeter and plus I had to take care of business while Trina was gone!

Today, I'm posting my latest deal. I stopped by CVS today to see if they had any of the Ragu Pasta Sauce in stock so I could get some but they didn't. I took the time to look around some and I'm glad I did. Here's what I found:
Click picture for larger image

CVS had a special on Axe that was buy 3 for $13 and get a $4 ECB back. I happened to have 2 Buy One Get One Free for axe so I decided to buy 4 of them and get a cheap deal. To make the deal even sweeter, I found 4 bonus packs of deodorant that had a FREE full-size body spray with them! So, here's how it breaks down:

4 Axe Bonus Packs = $17.34
- 2 BOGO Axe 5/22 RP ($8.66)
Total is 10.02 with tax
- $4 ECB 
Like paying $6.02 for 8 full-size Axe products or $0.75 each! 

That's a nice deal, huh? 

Tomorrow, I will use that $4 ECB to get me 2 Pantene shampoos for nothing out of pocket! :-)

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Ken

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Harris Teeter Savings, 5-18

Hey everyone!
It's Triple Coupons week at Harris Teeter and I want to share my first batch of savings with you all! Please forgive the blurry picture. I think I may have to start using my other camera!


Here's how the savings break down:

Ortega Fajita Seasoning Packets - $.99 each
-$.50/2  4/17 SS = $.24 each
International Creamer - $1.87
-$.55/1  Printable = $.22
Crackerfuls - $2.99 each
-(2)$1.00/1  4/17 SS =$1.99 each
Kikkoman Soy Sauce - $1.45 each
-(2)$.55/1  5/15 SS = Free
French's Worcestershire Sauce - $1.99
-$.75/1  5/15 SS = Free
Biltmore Salad Dressing - $1.99
-(3)$.75/1  4/17 SS = Free
French's Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce - $1.99
-(3)$.75/1 Printable = Free
Rhode's Warm 'N Serve Rolls - $2.39 each
-(2)$.75/1 5/1 RP = $.14
Haribo Gummys - $.89
-$.30/1 Printable = Free
Kool-Aid Unsweetened Drink Mix - $.29 each
-(2)$.50/5 Printable = Free
Mahatma Rice - $1.59 each
-(3)$.50/1  5/1 RP = $.09 each
House Autry Fish Fry Pouches - $1.79 each
-$.50/1  5/8 SS = $.29

The total was $51.70 but after coupons I paid $7.11. That's a savings of about 86%! Not bad for my first go at it this week! 

Harris Teeter limits you to 20 coupons tripled per day so I can't go back until tomorrow but that gives me time to get my next shopping list in order! 

I'll write a post about coupon lingo soon but for now the breakdown is this:
RP = Red Plum Insert
SS = Smart Source Insert
Printable means I printed it off the internet, probably from coupons.com.
-(3)$.50/1  5/1 RP = $.09 each = 3 coupons for .50 off 1 from the 5/1 Red Plum Insert and the total was .09 each after coupons.

Woo Hoo! I'm stoked about triple coupons this week. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings! 

Anyone else have any savings to share? :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Times They Are A Changing!

Hello again everyone.

I just wanted to drop in and let you all know how things are going. I'll try not to be too long today.

Things have been pretty busy lately. The move, the new hobby (couponing), getting organized, work, etc... I've been so busy I haven't even posted anything much on Facebook. The good news is that most of the stuff is starting to calm down some now.

The bad news is that there is another change to our family this coming week. Starting tomorrow, Trina will be heading to Durham for a week to stay with Zae-Zae while Stephanie takes care of a few other things. This means the foundation for our family will be out of place for a bit!

No, I'm not the foundation! My wife is the glue that holds everything together and for the next week or so we will do our best to keep from falling apart! :-)

So, I will try to post some more and fill you all in on how things are going with Trina, Zae-Zae and all the family.

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Ken

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My First Walgreens Trip

Today I took my first trip to shop at Walgreens since I started couponing.

I prepared by studying a couple of sites for the latest bargains. There are several great scenarios but I opted to try my luck with a scenario featuring some Gillette products.

Here's the deal I opted for:

3 Gillette Body Wash (sale 3 for $10)
3 Gillette Deodorants (sale, buy 1 get 1 for 50% off)
2 Sure deodorants (Walgreen's coupon for 2 for $3)

I used 3 $2 off coupons on the body wash, 3 buy 1 body wash and get the deodorant for free, and 2 $1 off Sure coupons.

Total before coupons - $30.79
Total after coupons -    $ 5.82
Total savings -              $24.97 or about an 80% savings!

Not bad for my first trip. Oh, and I still got a $3 Register Reward to use on my next purchase. Using that I could say I saved 90%! :-)

I plan on stopping by on my way to get Jessica so I will get a couple other deals then!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Slowly Getting Organized

Hello again everyone (or whoever is reading this!). I just wanted to take a moment to update you all on my attempts at starting to save some money! I'll probably start posting a little more once I get past the "organization phase" of my new hobby.

So, how am I getting organized? Well, couponing in 2011 is way different from when I did it back in the 1990s. Back then I had a small index card box I used to put my coupons in and a big box to put my overstock coupons in. That was sufficient! I only clipped what I thought I needed and that was that. I had to make trips to the store each week to see what was on sale and hope that I recognized all the deals.

Today, it's a lot simpler or at least that is the way it seems to me. You can print certain coupons from the Internet. You can find several blogs where bloggers post the deals for the week. I even have better access to coupons, even though I am in a different atmosphere than before.

My organization plan, for now, is to use my little coupon book for all my coupons I am using at the moment. The "extras" are put into the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet. I arrange the "extras" by the date I got them and don't actually clip them until I need them. In other words, the whole coupon insert is placed there until I need them. Today, I pulled out the last of my 5/8 Smart Source coupons for the Martha Holmes products and Trina will get them later on. I had 10 inserrts to begin with and had used 8 of the coupons so now I will use the final two.

How do I find deals? I usually frequent a couple of blogs, actually several right now but I am developing a list of favorites. I am trying to weed out the good from the bad. There are some that will post "Free" items but you would have to use the coupon in the wrong way to do so. I don't like this because in the long run it will hurt all the couponers! I'll have a list of my faves soon.

That brings me to another thought. Coupon Ethics. Is it right to use a coupon in a way it is not meant? For instance, in the above mentioned scenarion Wal-Mart has the small bottle of Purex on sale for $2.97 and the coupon that was mentioned to be used to get it free was for $3 off the larger, 150 oz. size. It might be that the cashier wouldn't recognize it and the coupon might scan and you get the smaller free but is that ethical? I don't believe so. If I am going to do this, I want to be legit! So, look for a post soon on coupon ethics.

One more thing. My sister has written and asked me for help in getting started couponing. I think instead of just responding to her alone, I may post a series of articles on how to get started. I'm not an expert but I believe we can all learn together. Some of you may be more "seasoned" than me and I would love your input also!

So, that's it for today. I'm sorry I just seem to be scattershooting right now but I just have so much going on it's pitiful!

Have a great day everyone!

Ken

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Are You Swagging Yet?

Search & WinHave you joined Swagbucks yet?

I just recently started Swagging. You use Swagbucks to perform searches, which you usually do everyday, and get rewarded for it. Plus, you also get daily rewards by doing the daily poll, NOSO, Trusted Surveys and refreshing the toolbar. You can earn while watching Swagbucks TV, watching select videos, signing up for newsletters, buying things, etc...

Why do all this?

Because by doing this you can earn Swagbucks which you trade in for different rewards. My favorite is the Amazon gift card. You can get a $5 gift card for just $450 Swagbucks! I earned my first one in my first week!

There area lots of other things you can do with your Swagbucks but you would have to visit their website to find the full details. If you use my link, I will be able to get some extra bucks also!

If you have any questions about it, feel free to email me or comment with your questions!

Ken

Slow Start But Still Saving!

So, last night and again today, I stopped by my local Harris Teeter and got a few bargains. Here's a breakdown of what I got:

7 cans of Margaret Holmes vegetables for $.045! I used the $0.35 off 1 coupon and HT doubles and these were on sale for $0.67 each. We got 4 Collard Greens for free and 3 Spinach for $0.45 (they were regular price of $0.85)
2 bottles of French's Worcestershire Sauce for free (on sale for $1.00 and 2 $0.50 coupons)
1 box of Uncle Ben's Whole Grain White Rice, Broccoli Cheddar Flavor for free (clearance of $1.19 and $0.75 coupon)
1 box of Raisin Bran for $0.54 (sale for $1.94 and $0.70 off coupon)

The veggies and the French's were from coupon inserts in the paper. The Uncle Ben's and Raisin Bran were coupons I printed from the Internet. The Uncle Ben's came from their Facebook page and the Raisin Bran came from coupons.com (through Swagbucks). If you're going to go through coupons.com, you might as well go through Swagbucks and earn a little bit more! :-)

Being as I am just getting started I feel good about this! I don't have enough coupons to take advantage of some deals but I am slowly starting to get back into the swing of things!

I'll post some more tonight!

Ken

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm Back, With A New Plan

Hello everyone. Things are starting to calm down a little bit so I figured I would post again! :-)

We've gotten moved and are almost set up and the new place is awesome! I will post some pics of it later.

My new plan for this blog is to start writing some about my new passion, saving money! I still will do my genealogy but I also have to think about the present. Times are tough so I have to figure ways to make ends meet. Most of my immediate family will remember when I used to coupon and such. I still have pictures of my walk in closet full of stuff from couponing! Well, I've decided it's time to start doing it again!

I will try to post things I am finding free or almost free and sharing with you all how much I am saving. Although I live in North Carolina, the Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Target stuff may be the same as Texas! Of course, some of the things I post may be nationwide, such as the Starbucks half-price Fraps from 3-5 until May 15!

Anyways, just a quick check in for now. I'll try to get things going and start sharing with you all soon.

Ken