Friday, August 5, 2011

Hello readers!

I haven't forgotten about you all, I promise! I am in the process of revamping the website, including buying my own domain name! Now that school is done, I am going to start a lot of new features including giveaways, guest posts, and more focus on local deals! It might be a few days until the new site is up and running, so in the meantime I will try to update here. If you'd like to check the progress of the new page, you can check it out at
Another Coupon Blog

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday Shopping

A very busy shopping weekend for us! We did our weekly grocery store trip yesterday, and today we went to Target, Walgreens, and Safeway. The picture is what we bought today, except for the pillow that I forgot to put in the picture.

Weekly Grocery Trip
Total spent: $87.75
Total coupon and sale savings:$121.10 (58%)

Sunday Shopping
Total spent: $12.26
Total coupon and sale savings: $55.80 (82%)

We used our free Suave products and free ice cream coupons that we've received in the mail the past couple of weeks. Here are a few of my other favorite deals from the week.

  • Mossimo women's jeans on clearance for $4.98 - $3 off select denim jeans Target coupon = $1.98
  • Bic ballpoint pens on sale for $0.50/pack - $1/2 printable coupon = 2 packs for FREE
  • RE pillow $2.50 - $2 off select pillows Target coupon = $0.50
  • Milka chocolate bars on sale for 2/$3 - 2 $1/1 printable coupons - $1/2 found in the July Walgreens coupon booklet = 2 bars for FREE
  • John Frieda Full Repair on sale for B1G1 50% off (originally $6.99 each) - 2 $5/1 coupons from the 6/5 SS = 2 for $0.25 each

Sunday, July 17, 2011

5 Free g-maher samples!

Read Collin's post from Hip2Save on how you can score 5 free samples from skincare company g-maher! I just placed my order and received a confirmation email, and it looks like these samples have all been back ordered but hopefully the company will still eventually fulfill the order.

I love getting free samples in the mail, and have been stockpiling lotion, shampoo, conditioner and other cosmetic product samples for a while. I've decided that rather than using these products right away, I'll save them for travel. Next month, I'll be heading to Cabo, Mexico (woo hoo!) and plan to bring lots of samples. This way, once I use the samples I can simply toss them and then I'll have more room in my suitcase on the way home for souvenirs.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

In the Mail

We didn't get a lot in the mail this week, but we did get a few goodies:
  • Coupon for a free carton of Open Nature ice cream from Safeway (no longer available)
  • Sample of L'Occitane Fluide Radieux SPF 15 Protective Lotion (no longer available)
  • Zipfizz healthy energy drink mix (no longer available)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Free Salad!

Vocal Point is offering a free bag of Fresh Express salad! Just follow the link to score your own coupon for a free bag!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Product Review: Downy Unstopables

I was very excited a few weeks ago to open my mailbox to find this:

I am a member of, a site that offers coupons, samples, and more. They sent me this "blogger exclusive" full-size sample of Downy Unstopables to try out. Basically, it's a scent booster that you add into your wash with the detergent. I don't think this is a product that I would have gone out and bought, but since I had it thought I might as well give it a try. This stuff is STRONG, so if you're sensitive to fragrances at all I would be careful how much you use. For things like towels and gym clothes, I think this stuff is great. I just threw a load of clothes from camping in the wash with this stuff and it took the campfire smell right out of them. I did have a little trouble getting them to dissolve in a full load of laundry that I washed and rinsed in cold water, but I think that may have been because I overloaded the washer. Overall, I think if you can score this on sale and use a coupon on it, it's totally worth it.

Do You Like Wine?

Of course you do. And now, you like saving money too. Want to combine the best of both worlds? Check out this deal from Lot 18. This site has a great selection of wine, and you get a $10 credit when you order your first bottle! They run various promotions that offer free shipping on select bottles, and, best of all, it's wine delivered right to your house. We tried a bottle of their 2008 Calie 351 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and it was great (even for white wine, which I normally am not a fan of).
Original Price: $24.99
Sale Price: $16.99
                  -$10 new member credit
                    Free Shipping
                   $6.99 shipped to my door

(*note: the link above is my referral link)

The "I Haven't Blogged in a While" Update Post

What a crazy couple of weeks it's been! Between 4th of July celebrations and camping this weekend, I've kept very busy and apparently have been neglecting my blog. So let me get you updated, starting with today's weekly grocery shopping trip at King Soopers.

Total spent: $36.02
Total sale and coupon savings: $34.47 (48%)

My favorite find of the week was on a 8 oz Hormel pork tenderloin garlic roast, on sale this week for $3.99 (marked down from $5.99). The sale price wasn't marked, but we had a $1 MQ (no longer available) that we thought made it a pretty good deal. Lo and behold, when we got to the register, it was on sale! A great deal for a quick meal.
*UPDATE*  DH did some digging for me and it turns out there's another $1 off Hormel Always Tender coupon in the 5/08 SS (ex. 7/11), so you all can still get in on this deal at King Soopers through Monday!

In the Mail
I didn't update last week with my mailbox freebies, so I'll post pictures from last week and this week.
  • Rachel Ray Nutrish Dog Food
  • Shout Color Catcher Sample
  • Head and Shoulder Shampoo 
  • Prilosec
  • Worx energy shot

  • Playtex Sport Tampons
  • Purex laundry detergent
  • 3 coupons for FREE Suave hair product
  • 1 coupon for FREE Suave body wash
  • Rebate check from Blue Rhino propane
  • Coupons for Express clothing

Friday, July 1, 2011

Rite-Aid Paid Me $7.25!

A good week at Rite-Aid this week! I had about $14 in +UP rewards that I needed to use by the end of the week, so I decided to go even though I didn't think there were many great deals. Here's the totals:
Total spent: $0.06
Total saved: $45.85 (99% savings)

My actual out of pocket expense with tax, after using all my +UP and coupons, was $2.13. And I got back $9.38 in +UP rewards for future purchases. So I walked out of the store making $7.25!

Here's what I got
  • 2 boxes of Crest toothpaste
  • 5 boxes of o.b. tampons
  • 2 Benadryl topical itch relief sprays
  • 1 bag of Haribo gummy bears (those didn't make it in the picture, I'm pretty sure DH took them to work with him yesterday....)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Shopping

Another busy Sunday, but we sure got some great deals today! Here are the totals for today:
Total spent: $56.50
Total coupon and sale savings: $150.39 (73%)

Walgreens purchases
 We stopped at King Soopers, Safeway, Petsmart, and Walgreens today. I will also be making a stop at Rite-Aid at some point during the week. This was the first time I've used coupons at Petsmart, but I will definitely start making it a habit...we saved a whopping $40 today! We scored 2 bags of dog food, 2 bags of cat food, and a bag of Greenies (our dog's favorite treat) for $27.03 (including tax). Our stockpiles are looking very full, and I will also be making a trip to our local food pantry to donate some items that I don't think we'll be using.
My custom tank top
I've also finished my sewing project that I started yesterday! I have another tank top that I want to modify as well, but I'm pretty happy with the way my first project turned out! I may be wearing this one to work tomorrow.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to plan a shopping trip

DH tells me that when he tells his coworkers at work that his wife got 8 bottles of Jack Daniels BBQ sauce for $0.14, they ask "how is this possible?" Well ladies and gentlemen, there really is no secret trick here. It takes time and dedication and motivation, and you have to be able to learn from your mistakes and not dwell on deals you might have missed or transactions that didn't go perfectly.
With that said, I thought I ought to outline how I've typically been planning my shopping trips. Pre-couponing, our method was pretty straightforward. We kept a list on the fridge that we would add to during the week when we ran out of something. On Saturday or Sunday morning, DH would plan the dinners for the week (since he's the chef in our household) and tell me what he needed from the store. We would never even look to see what was on sale that week, much less use coupons.
The method these days is a little more complicated. Fortunately, couponing doesn't have to mean going over the weekly ads with a fine-tooth comb and trying to remember each and every little coupon that you have. There are several websites I consult multiple times a week:
  • Southern Savers: The nice thing about this site is that since they're based in the South, their Kroger ads come out sooner than ours do (King Soopers' sales run from Wednesday to Tuesday, Kroger sales run from Sunday to Saturday). This site also gets the weekly ad matchups posted quickly; the drugstore ads are almost always posted by Thursday evening. The bad thing about the site is that the prices are not always the same (things tend to be a bit more expensive up here in Colorado). Another thing I wish this site had was a better rating system; they'll put an acorn symbol next to the deals they think are really great, but other than that there isn't a whole lot of guidance.
  • Hip2Save: this is one of my favorite coupon sites. It is updated very regularly (many times a day) and has almost all of the giveaways, daily deal sites (such as Groupon), as well as weekly ads for drugstores and grocery stores. Again, this site is not local, so the prices aren't always the same. I do think this site does a better job of finding all the great deals each week though.
  • Denver Bargains: the obvious advantage of this site is that it is local. The prices are always correct, and they also post deals at local restaurants and attractions. They also have a rating system, which will help guide you (especially in the beginning) in deciding whether to stock up on an item that week or just buy enough for one or two weeks.
  • Bargain Blessings: another local site, and this one has a really good rating system too.
Ok, so now you know which websites can help guide you to coupon matchups. The whole point of couponing is to save you money, right? I'm sure everyone has seen Extreme Couponing and wished they could get out of the grocery store paying next to nothing. Well, that's not going to happen in the beginning. Unless you have massive quantities of coupons available to you and can live on floss, body wash, and dehydrated noodles, you're still going to have to spend money. What you're going to want to focus on is sticking to your budget and simultaneously increasing your percent savings. Think about it this way: you're going to spend the same amount of money you've been spending on groceries (or you can lower your budget a bit, if you want) but you're going to be getting at least 50% more product for the same amount of money. Eventually, you will have built up your stockpile to the point that you won't be spending much at all on groceries.
So the first few weeks, still buy what you need for the week, but if you can alter what you buy a little bit to match up with sales it will help. For example, if you normally buy one brand of lunch meat every week for lunches, but there's a different brand on sale that week, buy the brand that's on sale! Even without coupons, you're already saving money on something you were going to buy anyways. I do this for produce and meat every week, as there aren't a whole lot of coupons for these products.
Once you've determined how much you will spend on things you need for the week, you can then decide what things you're going to stockpile. You've found all the good deals by doing the research online, so now you have to figure out what things you'll actually use. Make sure you have enough coupons, and make sure you are familiar with your store's coupon policy. For example, King Soopers limits you to 3 like coupons (not items) per transaction, so plan your stocking up accordingly. Some people get around this by doing multiple transactions in the same trip, others might make multiple trips in one week or just stick with using 3 like coupons.
Once you've made your list, you might want to arrange it in the order that you go through the store. For example, I usually shop produce, then meat, then personal items, then dairy, then packaged products, and finally frozen items. Arranging your list to match up with the way you progress through the store will keep you from forgetting an item and having to run back and forth. Before you head to the store, double check that you have all your coupons (I use a small binder clip to keep my coupons together). I also bring my accordion file, in case I run into any unadvertised deals that I have a matching coupon for. Grab your reusable bags and you are ready to go!

Free Orange Chicken! and other weekend adventures

Mmmmmmm orange chicken
 Last night DH and I were total scammers and stopped by 2 different Panda Express restaurants to pick up a free box of orange chicken (no longer available). He had done a little research earlier in the evening and found out that orange chicken freezes and reheats just fine, so we stuck these bad boys in the freezer. We'll be making some fried rice to serve with it later this week, and as we already have most of the ingredients for that in our stockpile it should be a really cheap Chinese dinner at home.

This morning I stopped by Old Navy because they are having a $2 tank top sale this weekend. I was hoping to find some basic cotton tanks that I could use for a sewing project that I've been meaning to try for a while now. The only things I really found were basic rib-knit tanks, but I went ahead and got a couple anyways since they were so cheap. I also picked up a couple cute shirts for myself from the clearance rack, and a few undershirts for DH. With the 10% off coupon I printed the night before, I got 8 shirts for $31 (with tax).

I will update tomorrow with our weekly grocery shopping and Walgreens trips, as well as post pictures of my sewing project (if I get it done tomorrow, that is). Happy savings everyone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In the Mail

More freebies in the mail

First freebie of the week came in the mail today
The packaging totally makes it look more impressive than it is, but I can't complain about 2 free packs of Emergen-C (still available)!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekly Grocery Trip

It seems like there really aren't any good deals anywhere this week! I'm going to take a break from the drugstore game this week, so my only trip this week will be my weekly King Soopers trip. We just got back, and we were well under our weekly budget of $75.

Total spent: $46.76
Total coupon and sale savings: $41.61 (47%)

There's a tiny mega event running at King Soopers this week, it looked to me like there weren't too many products included. Next week (unfortunately) will be the same mega event, so I went ahead and bought some of the Kellogg's cereals that were included in the sale.
I did find this promotion that goes along with the mega event, and I should be able to get a $5 gas card back! Add to that the new King Soopers fuel policy, and I should be able to fill up relatively cheaply the next time I need to.

Monday, June 13, 2011

$1.98 at Target!

A great day at Target today! Here's what I got
Target's running a promotion this week where you get a free bottle of Degree body mist when you buy Degree deodorant, so all of the deodorants and body mists were completely free!
I also used my $5 gift card from last week's John Frieda deal to pay for this trip, so this didn't cost me a penny out of pocket!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Busy Sunday!

Our stockpile is filling up quickly!
 We made stops at 5 different stores today...I am exhausted! But our stockpile is finally starting to fill up again and we got some really great deals as well. We went to: Walgreens, Safeway, King Soopers, Walgreens AGAIN, and finally Rite Aid. Again this week I threw away the receipts after entering them in my grocery savings spreadsheet, so the totals from this week include sales tax.

Total spent: $100.78
Total coupon and sales savings: $168.27 (63%)
Total savings after RR and +UP: $188.26 (65%)
Not included in this total was the great deal on Huggies I scored this week at Rite Aid! We don't need them in our household, but my little brother uses Pull Ups so I picked these up for my dad and stepmom.
  • Huggies Jumbo pack diapers normally $11.99, on sale this week for $8.99
    • -$3 MQ (no longer available)
    • -$1 Huggies Rite-Aid Video Values coupon (watch by 6/25)
      • $4.99/pack! (58% savings!)
Another pretty good deal I was excited about was the mix and match beverages sale at King Soopers. You get 5 free when you buy 10, so they end up being $0.67 each. We were able to print out a couple of the free Lipton iced tea coupons on Friday (no longer available), and since these were included in the sale we paid for 7 beverages and got 8 for free. This made them $0.46 each!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In the Mail

More in the mail on Thursday this week:

  •  Free sample of Garnier moisture rescue and $1/1 coupon (no longer available)
  • $8.99 rebate check from Staples!
Already another fun week for freebies! Here's what I got in the mail on Monday
  • Sample of Gold Bond body wash (still available)
  • Jamberry nail shields! (deal no longer available)
  • Coupon for a free Yoplait yogurt (no longer available)
I'll update later this week with any more freebies that arrive!

Weekly Wrapup

It's a little late in the week, but here's the summary of our grocery shopping, plus Target and Walgreens trips!
Target and Walgreens finds
(in my cleaning frenzy this morning, I threw out my receipts, so these totals are overall for the week and include sales tax)

Total spent: $97.93
Total coupon and sale savings: $137.60 (58%)

A few weeks ago, I would have been very impressed with 58% savings. This week, however, there were a few impulse buys at King Soopers (we bought jam at *gasp* full price, not even on sale) and with summer classes starting, I had less time than usual to plan my shopping trips.

My FAVORITE deal of the week was at Target. Right now, if you buy any 3 John Frieda products, you get a $5 Target gift card good on your next order. I had just tried the John Frieda root awakening shampoo and conditioner because I got a sample in the mail last week and loved it! Plus, it seems like there are John Frieda coupons everywhere right now. I got 6 shampoos and conditioners for about $14, plus got $10 in Target gift cards back! Check out Hip2Save's post about it for more details!

Wondering what to do with your expired coupons?

At the end of each month, I go through each category of my accordion file and pull out the expired coupons. Throwing them away each month just felt so wrong, like I was throwing out money or something. So this month, I found a way I can put these coupons to work!

Our troops overseas can use coupons at their local Commisaries up to 6 months after they expire! There are a couple of different organizations you can send these coupons to. This month, I sent them to Coups for Troops, an organization that will organize and send coupons to military bases.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In the Mail

Here's what I've gotten in the mail so far this week, I'll update if/when I get anything else:
  • $12 Allure rebate check from a Rite-Aid deal available a few weeks ago. I've received $18 in rebates in the past 2 weeks, not too shabby. I'm expecting a lot more soon too!
What a great week! I've been excited to check the mail every single day, because it seems like every day I got something new and exciting. Here's what else I've gotten this week:

I missed my installment of In the Mail last week since I was out of town, so I'll put up the picture my DH sent me
  • Free ZonePerfect bar and a $1/1 MQ (no longer available)
  • Coupon for a free bag of Ore-Ida sweet potato fries (no longer available)

Product Review: Nail Shields

Since I've started couponing, I've been able to try a lot of products that I probably wouldn't have bought otherwise. I thought I'd start a new series to review some of these great finds! This first post is also to brag about a great deal I got yesterday.
Nail shields are kind of like stickers for your nails. They look and feel just like nail polish once applied, and once you get the hang of it they're really pretty easy to apply. And they come in TONS of different colors and designs, which I love. I first tried out the Sally Hansen kind a few months ago, and loved them. I got so many compliments and comments on them. I didn't find that they lasted the full 10 days promised, but they lasted longer than when I polish my own nails. The only problem with these (in my opinion) is the price. Last time I checked, they were about $9 for a package (which only gets you 2 applications).
So yesterday, when I saw a deal that could possibly land me FREE nail shields from a different manufacturer, I jumped on it. Here's how it went down:
The design I picked out
  • I signed up with a website called  which works kind of like Groupon. When you sign up for this site, you get a free $10 credit.
  • Yesterday's deal (expired now, sorry guys) was a $15 voucher to Jamberry Nails for $7.50. I used my $10 credit to purchase the voucher.
  • I headed over to Jamberry's website to pick out my nail design. It looks like all their nails run for $15, which was perfect. There was no charge for shipping, so my entire order was completely FREE!

I'll update this post to let you all know how these nail shields compare to the others I've tried before. But hey, you can't complain about free, can you?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back in Business

It's been a crazy week, I was out of town all last week and I'm just now starting to settle back into my routine. We did our weekly King Soopers shopping trip, made a stop at Safeway, and went to Walgreens on Sunday. I'll be going to Rite-Aid and Target later on this week. Here's the totals so far this week:
Total spent: $50.92
Total sale and coupon savings: $65.07 (56%)

I totally goofed on my Walgreens order this week, forgot to have them scan an in-ad coupon AND forgot to grab filler items so that I could use my RR from last week :(. My DH is going to return and re-buy some of my items, as well as pick up some more RR items (and use RR from last week to pay for it). Even with the snafus, we didn't do half bad:
Total spent: $11.01
Total sale and coupon savings: $6.20 (36%)
Total savings after RR: $9.19 (45%)

King Soopers
It was a quiet week at King Soopers, but I still got a few good deals. I got a few goodies in the mail while I was gone, including a coupon for a free bag of Ore-Ide sweet potato fries (my favorite). Here's a few more of my favorites from the week
  • Raspberries are on sale for $1/box this week, paired up with the Driscoll's coupon makes them FREE.
  • Santa Cruz organic lemonades are on sale for $1.25 each, pair up with the Santa Cruz coupon makes them $0.25 each!
Total spent: $40.96
100% savings is a beautiful thing.
Total sale and coupon savings: $33.67 (43%)

We don't normally do any grocery shopping at Safeway. However, this week you can score FREE Jack Daniels BBQ sauce.

        Jack Daniels BBQ sauce normally $3.15 each
        On sale for $0.99 each
       -$0.55/1 (SS 5/08) - doubles to $0.99
      =FREE BBQ sauce

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Walgreens Paid Me!

It was a HUGE week at Walgreens. Here's what I scored this week
  • 2 bottles of Tone body wash
  • 2 12 oz bottles of Complete contact lens solution
  • 2 packages of hair ties
  • 4 packages of panty liners
  • 1 box of Bayer asprin
  • 2 boxes of Tylenol Precise cream (I know, we needed more, right?)
  • 2 packages of Oscar Mayer hot dogs
  • 2 packages of Haribo gummy candy
  • 5 Nestle candy bars
  • 3 boxes of aluminum foil
  • 1 Listerine whitening mouthwash
Here are my grand totals:
Next week's shopping fund
Total spent: $17.91
Total coupon and sale savings: $63.79 (78%)
Total savings after RR: $91.79 (112%)
This means that after RR, Walgreens actually paid me $10.09 to take this stuff out of their store. Even after taxes, I made $5.16 by shopping today! Better yet, I checked out with my favorite Walgreens cashier at the store by my work today. She is always very friendly and was absolutely blown away by how much I saved today.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Productive Saturday

My washer and dryer actually
match now!

       I leave for my trip tomorrow, so the pressure was on to get most of my errands done today. The first task of the day was to get rid of our old dryer (that finally died earlier this week) and switch it out for one that my dad and stepmom are letting us use for the time being.
       Since we were rearranging anyways, I cleaned out the laundry room AND moved the location of our stockpile. The personal/household items stockpile is getting full very quickly. Once I get back from the trip, I think I will clean out underneath our bathroom sink so we can start stockpiling things there as well.  
       After we had finished with rearranging the laundry room, it was off to the grocery store. I usually grocery shop early on Sunday mornings, but between working Sunday morning and leaving town Sunday night, I figured my plate was going to be pretty full already. I do plan to make a Walgreens stop on my way home tomorrow afternoon, as there are a TON of great deals this week. Here's the lowdown on our weekly King Soopers trip:

Total spent: $22.48
Total coupon and sale savings: $45.55 (67%)

       It was a small trip, as we just got a few fresh items for my husband and stocked up on a few good deals. My favorite deal of the week was on Wisk detergent. Originally priced at $8.19 each, on sale for $3.99. Use the $2/1 MQ (5/15 RP) makes them $1.99 each. It looks like there will be a decent deal on ketchup once tomorrow's coupons come out (those who know me know we go through a LOT of ketchup in our house), so I'm pretty excited for that. My husband will probably be making a Monday or Tuesday stop to stock up on that.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In the Mail

I received another freebie in the mail today, a coupon for a free box of Cottonelle Fresh flushable wipes (still available)

After 7 weeks of couponing, I am finally starting to start getting samples/freebies in the mail. Here's what I've gotten in the mail so far this week:
  • Atkins start kit (still available)
  • Gillete Fusion ProGlide Razor (no longer available)
And both came with coupons, of course!

Something for Me!

With all the great deals lately on men's deodorant and bodywash, I was starting to feel a little left out. As much as I love couponing for other people (especially charity) and sharing great finds with friends and family, sometimes it's nice to get something for yourself. My RiteAid trip this week was all about me.
Total spent: $13.96
Total coupon and sale savings: $46.35 (77%)
Total savings after +UP and SCR: $55.35 (92%)
My favorite score was on the Almay foundation. I am picky when it comes to foundation, and this is the foundation I've been using lately. But at $13.50+ per bottle, it can get pretty expensive. I didn't even have any coupons for Almay, but they were buy 1, get 1 50% off. Plus, I could get a $2 SCR for each that I bought. This brought them down to about $8 each.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday Shopping Wrapup

Yesterday was our weekly grocery shopping trip to King Soopers, and I went to Walgreens as well. Here are our totals:
Total spent: $35.91
Total coupon and sale savings: $130.08 (79%)

King Soopers
Total spent: $28.55
We donated all of this! 

Total sale and coupon savings: $79.55 (73%) 

This was probably the cheapest week we've had yet at King Soopers! We paid $30.22 out of pocket, including sales tax.  And again, I feel like we have more than enough food for the week, plus we stockpiled some more essentials. But the best part of the trip? We scored another 18 POUNDS of pasta to donate to our local food pantry.
I am going to be gone most of next week, so our next shopping trip will probably just be easy meals that my husband can make for himself while I'm away (unless there are any great deals for my stockpile). Once I get back, I would LOVE to try out freezer cooking, and see if this is a strategy that would save us both time and money.

Total spent: $7.36
Total sale and coupon savings: $50.53 (88%)
Total savings after RR: $57.53 (99%) 
It was another great week at Walgreens! Lots of freebies and great deals this week. I used a $4 and $5 RR to pay for part of my order, but got a $3 and $4 RR back! 
I was very excited to find the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails polish were on clearance for $1.09 each. I have 4 $1/1 MQs, which made these $0.09 each.
I checked out at the cosmetics counter for the first time, which I think I will be doing from now on if I can. The cashier was great, even when we ran into trouble with the Scotch magic tape deal. The manager at this store was very accommodating and we got through our transaction without any problems. I will probably be going back to Walgreens to get a few deals that either weren't in stock or I didn't have the coupons on hand for. I am also planning on visiting RiteAid today, so I will try to update later this evening with my finds.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Walmart Deals and Freebies

I had read a report of possible free Purex laundry detergent at Walmart this week, and that in combination with a few more freebies was enough incentive for me to plan a trip. I have also been on a quest for cheap long-sleeve white shirts to wear during an ecology study I will be doing in the Sonoran desert in a few weeks. This is not the time of year to be looking for long-sleeve shirts, but I thought I might be able to find something at Walmart. Here's what I scored.
  •  2 3-packs of Ivory bar soap
  • 4 pack of AA Rayovac batteries
  • Noxema bikini razors
  • 2 white shirts
Total spent: $7.88
Total coupon and clearance savings: $17 (69% savings)

Price tags both say $5,
but one actually rang up at $3

I was pretty bummed to find that the Purex detergent I thought I'd be able to get wasn't on sale. I don't even use this brand of detergent, but I was hoping to score a bunch (I had 6 coupons!) to donate. I will be donating the bar soaps I picked up, and will be able to buy quite a few more boxes of pasta at the King Soopers mega event again this weekend that I will donate as well.
It looks like it's gonna be a fairly slow week at both Walgreens and RiteAid this week, and while I'll stop by to pick up the freebies, I'm probably going to slow down on couponing a little this week and give myself some much-needed time to relax. I will update tomorrow after our weekly grocery shopping trip.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Walgreens Finds

I found some great stuff at Walgreens this week, but unfortunately I encountered a LOT of rude staff. I think there are a lot more people couponing now after the TLC show, so maybe cashiers are just losing patience with people? I don't know what the deal is, but I stuck to my guns and got my deals at the end of the day. Here's how it played out.

Total spent: $10.43
Total saved: $65.18 (86%)
Everything except one item I bought was free after coupons. Here's what I got this week:
  • 5 packages of Carefree panty liners: $0.99 each, used $1/1 MQ from the 5/8 SS
  • 7 packages of Tylenol Precise: $7.99 each, used the Walgreens coupon (found in the May coupon booklet) for $3 off, and used $5/1 MQ from the 5/8 SS
  • 1 bottle of Act mouthwash: $6.99, used a printable $2/1 MQ
Updated Stockpile Pictures
I think we are set on Tylenol Precise for a looooooong time.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

How to get coupons

As I've been talking to more and more people about my couponing adventures, one of the most common questions I'm comming across is "where do you find all these great coupons?" There are lots of sources to find great coupons, both in print and online.
Right now I subscribe to two Sunday newspapers. The number of coupon inserts will vary from week to week, but you can expect at least one, and sometimes up to five, booklets every week. I also ask anyone I know who subscribes to the paper but doesn't coupon if I can have their coupons. I've also been able to score coupons from my work, where there are often several copies of the Sunday paper laying around. The most common booklets you'll find in the paper are Red Plum and Smart Source, but sometimes Proctor and Gamble or other manufacturers will put out booklets as well.
Walgreens and RiteAid have their own store coupons that they print every week. These come in the newspaper as well, and can also be found at the front of the store. These store coupons can be stacked with manufacturer coupons, so I like to grab a copy of the store coupons when I head in to shop.
Some other sources of print coupons are catalinas found in grocery and drugstores. These are the coupons that print out after you check out that are good for money off your next purchase.
There are TONS of coupons to be found online. The great thing about sites like Southern Savers is that they will link you directly to the website where the coupon can be found. But if you're in the mood just to see what's out there, here are some websites to check out:
  • Redplum
  • Recyclebank: this website is more of a movement than just a regular old coupon site. It began as a way to encourage people to start recycling more by giving them rewards for their recycling. However, there are lots of ways you can earn points on this site if your community recycling program isn't a part of Recyclebank. This site often has coupons that can't be found anywhere else. (Disclaimer: the link I've provided is my own personal referral link, which means I'll receive points for anyone who signs up through this link).
  • Smart Source
  • Manufacturer websites: many manufacturers will post coupons on their websites. You can also sign up for their e-mail lists (I created a separate folder in my Gmail for these emails so they don't bog down my inbox) so you can be notified when new coupons are added.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Late Night Freebies

After reading about some of the great freebies I somehow missed earlier this week, my husband and I decided to head out to a couple stores after dinner. First we went to Walgreens, where we had one of my most favorite cashier moments yet. We got 6 bottles of the Right Guard body wash, which is B1G1 at Walgreens this week. We then used 3 B1G1 MQs (RP 5/01) to make them COMPLETELY FREE! The cashier, however, was a little confused when we went to check out. Here is a brief summary of our conversation:
Cashier: "You can't use these, because these are already B1G1."
Me: "Really? Because I'm pretty sure your coupon policy says that you can."
Cashier: "You're going to try to get all of these for free aren't you?"
Me: "Yup. That's the plan anyways."
And lo and behold, when he scanned the coupons they did indeed go through. So all we paid was sales tax :)
Total spent (without tax): $0.00
Total sale and coupon savings: $29.94
This was a good lesson that you should ALWAYS know your store's coupon policy (I may consider printing out the policies of the stores I shop at the most to keep in my coupon file).
Next, we headed to Walmart. We scored 2 packs of disposable razors, 2 travel size toothpastes, and a 4-pack of batteries, all FREE. No snarky cashier here though :)
Total spent (without tax): $0.00
Total sale and coupon savings: $6.85

Successful charity shopping trips, plus a few things for me.

First stop of the day was to Walmart to pick up Ivory soap for free. I got 4 3-packs of bar soap.
Total spent: $0.21
Total coupon savings: $4 (95%)

Then it was on to King Soopers for my pasta bargain, plus a few other things. I was bummed to find out that my store didn't carry one of the varieties of pasta I was planning on getting, so I had to do some fidgeting with the shopping plan while I was in the store. Most of the items I bought today were part of the "Buy 10, get $5 off instantly" mega event, so I had to buy in increments of 10 items to get the best price. I ended up getting:
  • 3 bags of Boulder Canyon potato chips
  • 1 Freschetta pizza
  • 16 boxes of pasta
  • 1 bag of cat litter
Total spent: $11.59
Total coupon and sale savings: $41.60 (78%)

However, a large chunk of my out of pocket cost for this trip was the cat litter (which we unexpectedly ran out of, and I had to get more). But as I was looking for the best deal on cat litter, I found this rebate for World's Best Cat Litter. So once I receive my rebate for the cat litter, the King Soopers trip breaks down to:

Total spent: $3.00
Total coupon and sale savings: $41.60 (93%)

So after I returned from my shopping trips today, I decided to gather everything together that I was going to donate and head over to Longmont's OUR center. Here's what they received today:
  • 14 boxes of pasta
  • 4 3-packs of Ivory soap bars
  • 5 toothbrushes
  • Several travel sized toothpastes and floss
I spoke with the man who was processing donations today, and he said that lately they've been feeding 300 people a day at the kitchen, and serving 180 families through the food bank. I am so glad I could do something, even if it was small, to help these guys out! I will absolutely be donating here again.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Giving Back

It's been a little over a month since I've started couponing in earnest, and I really think it's change my mindset about money and our lifestyle. There is so much to be said for the peace of mind you feel when your finances are in order, and being able to handle emergencies and other unexpected expenses. I think that couponing, along with sticking to a strick budget, is going to be the path for us.
With that being said, I think that using coupons can do even more. I was able to print off 15 $1 off 2 coupons for a brand of pasta that's on sale at King Soopers this week. The pasta is $0.50/box, so with these coupons every single box will be free. That will net me 30 BOXES of pasta, which is probably more than my husband and I eat in a year (not to mention it's whole grain pasta, which I'm still trying to convince my husband won't kill him). I will have to make 2 separate King Soopers trips to buy this pasta due to their coupon limits, but it is totally worth it to me. I have found a very worthwhile charity in my community that I have decided to donate most of this pasta to. Once I decided I was going to donate, I started looking for more freebies that I might not normally go for, and found a few other things that I'm going to try to score for my donation this week.
Despite how stressful our finances can be at times, we have been truly blessed with good jobs, good education, and supportive friends and family. We have never found ourselves in a truly dire situation, and I'd like to think that if we did, there would be someone there to help us out. I know there are people in our community, however, who are not as fortunate as us, and I would love to know that I could do something, even if it's small, to give them some peace of mind.

What a coincidence, I just happened to see that next week is the official Couponing for Community week. Even more inspiration to try to grab some great deals to donate!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

King Soopers, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid Trips

Today was our weekly grocery shopping trip, and we also stopped at Walgreens and Rite-Aid to grab some of the great deals this week.
Total spent: $78
Total savings (after all RR, +UP, sale, and coupons): $133.85 (63%) 
King Soopers
A pretty small trip this week (especially for us!), but I feel like we got everything we needed for the week.
 I am LOVING the Driscoll's berries coupons right now. I got two $0.50 off coupons when I registered with them, then I made my husband register with them as well for two more. Then this morning (since it is now officially May!) I got two more $0.50 coupons because it's my birthday this month! With our grocery store doubling MQs up to $1, this has made for some really great deals on berries. Today I got a full pound of strawberries for $0.50. Find this great offer here.
Total spent: $29.97
Total sale and coupon savings: $21.30 (41%)
Good deals at Walgreens this week, including a few freebies. The picture is from my second Walgreens trip of the day, after I realized that I forgot a few freebies the first time around.

Total spent: $20.33
Total sale and coupon savings: $55.19 (73%)
Total savings after RR: $65.19 (86%)
I honestly probably should have spent more time with my Rite-Aid planning this week. I messed up on a couple of my coupon matchups, and didn't buy enough to qualify for the $12 rebate I was hoping for. I'm going to go ahead and go back at some point this week to get $8 worth of qualifying items (I won't be paying $8 out of pocket, of course) so that I can get my $12 rebate. Despite all that, I did score some great deals this week, and am looking forward to getting my single check rebate later this month.
Total spent: $27.70
Total sale and coupon savings: $29.36 (51%)
Total savings after single check rebates and +UP rewards: $47.36 (63%) 
Updated Stockpile Pictures