Farm Fresh Deals this week (7/30/08)

Many of you have written in about your Farm Fresh deals this week. So, indeed we find that they are tripling coupons without much problem in the Wilson, NC store. Internet printables are going through fine as well. They have a limit of 25 coupons per trip and (2) of the same kind of coupon.


Here are some of the deals you've reported:

Eskimo's Icecream Bars 2/$6 $1/1= FREE
M&M Icecream Cookies 2/$9 $1/1 = $1.50
M&M Icecream Bars $3.68 $1/1 = $.68
Horizon Organic Milk $3.98 $1/1 internet coupon =$.98
V8 fusion juice $3.68 $1/1= $.68
Egglands Best Eggs 2/$5 $.35/1= $1.60
Tropicana lemonade $3.50 $1/1= $.50
Butterball bacon $2 $1/2= $1 for two
Smart Balance butter $3.28 $1/1= $0.28
Wishbone salad dressing $2.20 .75/1= FREE
Marzetti salad dressing $3.68 $1/1= $.68
Heinz 57 sauce $3.34 $1/1= $.34
Post cereal (kids) $1.67 $1/2= $.34
Tofutti cream cheese $3.58 .75/1 printable coupon on the right toolbar= $1.33


What else did you find?

Money making Opportunity: Market Research Groups (Wilson, NC)

I just got a phone call to participate in a market research study that pays $75 bucks- yippie! I'd heard about a local company that did these focus group studies but had never been selected for one of their projects. I've done these in the past and really enjoyed them. It was a very easy way to make money & fun to share my opinions.

Anyway, I told the lady that I would share the opportunity for some of the readers since I knew many of the local folks. The study below is for residents of Wilson, NC only and deals something with phone, internet, and/ or cable services. L & E Research will be conducting two in-person focus groups in Wilson next week and are looking for more participants, especially men. If you are interested or know someone who is, you can contact them directly on their website & the representative will call to ask you some follow-up questions. If you are selected, maybe I'll see you there next week!

Budgeting 101- Part 3

Budgeting 101- Part 3
Setting a Budget


We're back with our discussions on budgeting. This is the #1 requested session during our financial counseling classes. If you missed the first two posts, never fear, you can access them here: Budgeting 101- Part 1 & Budgeting 101- Part 2. Since our talks build upon previous discussions, be sure not to skip any sections or homework- it's important.


Today we will be actually setting your budget based upon the work you did in Part 2 by tracking your spending. What we develop today, you'll use next month and from now on. It's always interesting to me that many people try to jump right in to setting a budget with no concept or overall picture of what they actually spend. We're budgeting for success, not just to have one that doesn't suit our needs. Now that you've done all the groundwork, let's begin...



  1. For starters, let's look at a comprehensive view of how you spent money last month. Take what you spent last month and place it into the categories found on this sample budget worksheet (you'll need to print this out). Are you shocked by anything? Was this month typical of your lifestyle and spending habits? Perhaps, you are surprised at how much or little you spend in a certain area. No worries, we will make modifications shortly, but this is an important strating point.

  2. Next, we begin with how you earn income. This will apply to everyone, even if you work on commission or tips. We begin here because as a rule of thumb (and common sense), you cannot spend what you do not have. Period. This budget is based upon your actual earnings. We'll develop a system that does not allow you to depend on credit or payday advances in order to function financially.

    • Place your total net (employment and social security taxes are taken out) monthly income on the modifiable spreadsheet. For most people, this number matches the deposit or automatic deposit in the bank.


    • If your income fluctuates significantly, such as those of you who work on commission or tips, take the lowest monthly earnings you had in a single month over the last 12 months and use that number for your budget. In this case, using the lowest earnings helps to ensure that you continually have enough for your expenses even in harder times. Another option is to add up the last 12 months and divide by 12 to get an average of what you earn. Your budget will be more difficult if you choose this option because some months will be lower and others higher. If you don't mind the inconsistency, you can select this option.

  3. Next, place the essential life items in the total budget column of your budget spreadsheet. These are your major expenses that are often non-negotiable like mortgage/ rent, health insurance, loan payments, etc. For the most part, these should be expenses that do not fluctuate very often. Now take an assessment of how much money you have left to spend.

  4. Beginning with what you need/ want the most start placing a budgeted amount in the total budget column on the remaining items. Starting what what you need like groceries and gas and ending with what you like such as eating out and clothing, for example, fill in all of the boxes skipping anything that does not apply to you. The taxes will not be filled in unless you have discussed paying federal or state taxes ahead of time with your tax professional.

  5. After placing in your numbers, let's check some math. Does your total budget box = the total monthly income box? This is the goal. Ideally, you will design a budget that equals what you earn. You may budget less than what you make but you may never budget more than what you earn!

  6. If your numbers do not match, take some time now to tweek your budget. Be realistic, you'll be living with this guide from now on. Could you get your hair done less often? Spend less on groceries? Save more? Cancel the gym membership?

  7. Once your budget= your income then revisit your dream list. Are you planning financially for your dreams? If, for example, you want to send your kids to college, are you reserving some money in your budget now to do so? Your new budget should reflect both your present and your future.

  8. Finally, do some give and take. It's time to see an overview of what your spending plan is for this upcoming month. Can you live with the numbers you entered? Are you balanced & realistic? Take a second to just double check. As a rule, your budget must have an emergency fund/ savings built in. If this causes you to be over budget, then some other area has to decrease. The motto you will hear again is simply: it has to come from somewhere.

Homework

This month's homework is going to be easy and complex at the same time. I want you to see about living by this budget. That means that as you spend, you should enter your total in on the spreadsheet right away. If your eating out budget is $50 and you get take out tonight, subtract the $20 right away. That way, you always know how much you have left to spend.

In our final segment, we will discuss what to do if you overspend or underspend. For now, focus on tracking what you spend in your new budget plan. Congratulations, you've come a long way!

Budgeting 101 Part 1 Budgeting 101 Part 2

Deal Alert: Walgreens $5 off $20 purchase Fri & Sat August 22-23rd only!

Wanted to let you all know that there is a $5 of $20 purchase (after all other coupons are used). Walgreens also has a free-after rebate program. You could apply the $5 off coupon to items that you will get for "free" after rebate and technically make $5 for your trouble. You can print the Walgreens coupon good for Friday & Saturday, August 22-23rd only here.

Local Savings: Harris Teeter Deals This Week (7/30) w/ Coupon Match-ups

FYI, if you're new: If you see a date like this- 4/20 SS, that means you should look in the coupons in the 4/20 paper marked Smartsource, anything with a date and RP means it's in the Red Plum circular (formerly known as Valassis) & P&G is the Proctor & Gamble coupon circular sent out only once per month. Also, be sure to first read my previous post on How to Work a Double/ Triple Coupon Sale before heading out.

You probably know by now that Harris Teeter sales go from Wed-Tuesday. There's lots of sales but I don't see anything too special going on this week. Nevertheless, here's what I see as the best deals goin' on this week (Thanks HCW):

  • Hillshire Farm Ultra Thin 2/$7 (.55/1 or $1/2 7/13 RP) + get free Sara Lee Bread (Any Variety up to 3.89) With the purchase of any 2 packages of Hillshire Farm Deli Select Lunchmeats when you used your VIC card offer good 7/27/08-8/05/08
  • Hormel Black Label Bacon - $2.88 (.50/1, $1/2 02-17-08 SS)
  • Frosted Cheerios - BOGO (.75/1 or $1/1 6/22 SS)
  • Dole Fruit Bowls - 2/$4 (.50/2, .75/2, $1/2 5/18 SS1)
  • Mrs. Cubbison's Restaurant Style Croutons 5/$5 (BOGO 07/27 RP)
  • Reddi Whip 2/$5 (.35/1 or $1/1 6/22 SS (note expires 7/31)
  • Allen's SteamSupreme Veggies- BOGO (.35/1 4/6 RP)
  • Super pretzel 2/$5 (.75/1, .75/2, $1/2 5/11 RP)
  • Ziploc - BOGO ($1/2 All You Magazine (Iss 6, June 2008) Pg 101. 55/1, $1/1 or $1.50/2 6/8 SS (note expires 8/2)
  • Strawberries - BOGO
  • Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries 4/$6
As always be sure to print off any of the printable coupons $0.99 and under that I have to the right toolbar before you head out. The Harris Teeter coupon policy does not double/ triple these internet printables but at my local store they always do.

Do you see any other deals you'd like to share with the readers?

Tax Free Week/ Weekends are Here!

It's that time of year again! Here's list of states that offer Tax Free Week or Tax Free Weekends:
Alabama
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Iowa
Maryland
Missouri
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Virginia
Washington D.C.

Free Gerber baby food @ Food Lion

I saw this awesome post online:

Gerber baby food 2-packs are on sale this week for $1 at Food Lion. Use this store coupon (found under the baby coupons, formula & food section) for $1 off ANY Gerber baby foods= free! Yippie!

With the 1st set of coupons you can also get free travel size wipes to go with your free baby food.

Ongoing Sweepstakes

I don't spend much of my time entering sweepstakes nowadays. It seems like I'm not so lucky to win anything and, quite honestly, I get sick of entering in my information to get lots of spam. Sometimes though entering sweepstakes pays off, like when you actually win free stuff or get some good coupons. Freebies 4 mom posted some current sweepstakes & the odds of your winning something. It's a very useful list if you'd like to enter some of these:

Subway (83,000+ details here)
Hanes (20,000+ enter each Wednesday, details here)
Mamma Mia (10,000+ details here)
Colgate (10,000+ details here)
Dove (9,000+ details here)
Kraft (5,000+ details here)
Lipton (5,000+ details here)
Teas' (3,000+ details here)
Totino's (2,000+ details here)
Oreo (2,000+ details here)
Publix (2,000+ only for residents of AL, GA, FL, SC, TN details here)
Jelly Belly (2,000+ details here)
Batman (2,000+ details here)
Summer of Savings (1,000+ details here)
Tony's Pizza (1,000+ details here)
Wyndham (1,000+ skip to instant win + coupons, details here)
Wish-Bone (1,000+ details here)
WALL*E's (1,000+ details here) ends July 28
Pilgrim's Pride (1,000+ details here)
International Delight (1,000+ details here)
Spraychel (1,000+ details here)

Frugal Find: Redbox Movies



Have you heard about RedBox yet? About one year ago, my hubbie and I ditched Blockbuster and the online DVD rental services for Redbox movies. Rentals are only $1 per night and these "boxes" are found at grocery stores and some fast food locations. What I love about Redbox is that DVDs can be retuned to any location. Also, if you enter your email address on the website, they'll even email you a code for a free rental every Monday! What's better than a cheap movie... a free one, of course!

You can search here for a location near you.

Free Cheerios


Hi, as a reminder, the Cheerios Challenge officially began today. If you didn't sign up yet, do so. They'll send you at least (6) $1 off coupons good for Cheerios. Can you triple coupons???

Here's what I'm stirring up- Deals for 7/27/08- 8/2

Here are the deals I am stirring up this week in NC:

CVS
  1. Schick Intuition Razors, on sale for $4. Use $4/1 (6/29 SS if you were lucky enough to get this coupon)= free!
  2. Lifesavers (buy 10), on sale BOGO. Use (5) BOGO (6/8 SS)= free+ get $5 extrabucks
  3. Revlon Limited Edition Collection - bronzing face powder, blush, eye shadow or lip color, $9.99- $2/1 Revlon makeup (7/27)= $8 out of pocket and get $9.99 extrabucks back= $2 profit (limit 1)
  4. Band-aid bandages, on sale for $2.99. Use $1/1 coupon (4/27 RP, 5/18 RP, 6/15 SS, 6/22 RP)= $1.99 out of pocket + get $2 extrabucks back= free +0.01 profit! (limit 1)
  5. Stayfree/Carefree $4.50 (pads 20?-48 ct, liners 92-120 ct). Page 13 ~ Buy $20 in J&J products, get $10 (limit 1)

Walgreens

  1. Olay ribbons (buy 6), on sale 3/$10. Use (6) $2/1 coupons (7/6 P&G)= spend $8 + get a $7 register reward back = $1 for (6) bottles
  2. Infusium 23 hair treatment (buy 4), on sale for 2/$12. Use (4) $3/1 coupons (7/6 P&G)= spend $12 + get a $7 register reward back = $5 for (4) bottles
  3. Crest toothpaste, $2.39. Use $1/1 Easysaver coupon and $0.75/1 (7/6 P&G)= $0.64
Walgreens Monthly Deals
  1. Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber, about $5.69. Use this $2.75 internet printable coupon, then file for a $1.50 Walgreens Easysaver rebate (online) + get a full refund of the entire purchse price (up to $5.69) (7/20 SS)= free + $4.25 profit after rebates

There are some other decent deals but this is what I'm looking at this week. What good deals do you see? List a comment or link to your blog with scenarios below.



Olay coupon & more great triple coupons news for local readers!

Sara found a printable $5 coupon, yippie. I'm pretty sure there is an Olay deal coming up soon so print away!

I found an offer for a $5 coupon at olaydefinityoffer.com.
You fill out the quick survey and address info and they will send you a $5 coupon


Also, good news for local readers. It seems as though Farm Fresh is now tripling coupons. Good golly Miss Molly! I went by to check for myself. It looks like they are tripling up to 25 coupons per day, up to two like coupons per order, and up to $1.00!!! I'm not sure yet if they are accepting internet printables. Anyone know? This should make for some pretty incredible shopping since Harris Teeter only triples up to $0.99 and who has a coupon for $0.99?
(Thanks for the heads up Sara D.)

Whew... check these savings!

I am exhausted just thinking about this week's savings. I have to say that sometimes running all over town for a sale just isn't worth it. This is not one of those times!

Well, I did the diaper deal that I told you about yesterday at Walgreens. I went three times with no problems. I carefully calculated each of my purchases and walked away with 21 packages of diapers. I paid just under $15 total and got back another $35 coupon to spend. Here's a photo of my diaper closet. Needless to say, I think I'm stocked up through potty training!
I didn't have time to also take a pic of the awesome deals I got at CVS or Harris Teeter (whew). Let's just say that after 12 bottles of FREE Loreal shampoo & conditioner, 14 FREE packs of Trident gum, FREE baby wipes, oil, lotion, and creams, I'm exhausted.
Some of you wouldn't consider that you could get all of this great stuff. To me, it's worth the effort. In baby stuff alone, I feel really forunate to find ways to save. How about you? How did you do this week?

Deal Alert: Walgreens (Two days only!)


For two days only (July 25th & 26th), you can snag some incredible deals at Walgreens. You can use BOTH the July and August Easysaver coupons. Fortunately, there are quite a few products on sale and/ or with coupons both months. Be sure to take print outs of the coupons you want in case your store is out:

July Easysaver coupons (PDF)
August Easysaver coupons (PDF)

Here are the deals I see. If I know the price, it's listed below:
  1. Walgreens brand diapers (buy three) , on sale for $5.99. Buy (3) packs and use $5/2 July & $5/2 Aug= $2.97 + get a $5 register reward back= $2.03 profit!
  2. Welchs 100% Juice 14oz. (buy two) About $1.50 each. Use $1/2 July & $1/2 Aug= about $1 for two
  3. M&Ms (buy two) Use $1/2 July & $1/2 Aug
  4. Lipton Green Tea Bottles (buy two) Use $2/2 July & $2/2 Aug
  5. PediaSure Nutripals Use $2/1 July & $1/1 Aug
  6. Benefiber 60-114 Caplets or 38-125 dose Powder (buy two) Use $2/2 July & $2/2 Aug
  7. Benadryl 48 pk or 8oz liquid Use $1/1 July & $1/1 Aug
  8. Tylenol Severe or Multi Symptom 48 pk Use $1/1 July & $1/1 Aug
  9. Lamisil .42oz to 1oz (buy 2) priced $17.99. Use $5/1 July & $3/1 Aug & BOGO coupon (4/13 SS) & $3/1 internet printable coupon
  10. L'Oreal Natural Match Hair Color (buy two), priced $9.99. Buy (2) boxes and use $5/2 July & $2/1 Aug & (2) $5/1 coupons (6/29 SS or internet printable)= $0.98 for (2) boxes of hair color (the register will automatically take off the August ESR coupon twice)
  11. Walgreens Infant Formula (buy 3) on sale for $13.99. Buy (3) cans and use $5/2 July & $5/2 Aug= $26.97 ($8.99 each) + get a $5 register reward back

Did you snag a fabulous deal? Brag here by posting a comment!

Get a free schick quattro titanium trimmer razor

By voting on your favorite shaving style, you can get a free schick quattro titanium trimmer razor. Go here to get it. You will need to click on "Enter site" & vote for any style. Click "sure man" & fill out your contact information.

I'm not ashamed to save!

So, I went into my local Harris Teeter today and as I checked out I attempted to make conversation with the cashier as I always do. Since the store is still running a triple coupon sale, I asked her how us savvy shoppers were treating her. I was a little shocked at her response...After rolling her eyes, she proceeded to tell me that us couponers were driving her nuts. Next she told me how obnoxious it was to see the same people buying lots of the same items over and over.

I thought about her sentiments and others like it that I have had over the years. Granted there are lots of people who do not save money on the up and up, lots of individuals out for a good scam instead of savings, folks trying to beat the system, etc. Thing is... I'm not one of those people. Why did my saving money agitate her so badly? You know what I mean, don't you? Every now and then you come across one cranky cashier who almost takes personal offense when you nab a great deal.

I have come to this resolve. I'm simply not ashamed to save money. I'm not ashamed to ask for a price check, a rain check, a double check, a coupon, or anything else. It's when I'm flustered about what others think of me that I don't think straight and end up paying more money than I ought. So, as long as things are on the up and up... I'm not ashamed to save.

Local Savings: Harris Teeter Deals This Week (7/23) w/ Coupon Match-ups

FYI, if you're new: If you see a date like this- 4/20 SS, that means you should look in the coupons in the 4/20 paper marked Smartsource, anything with a date and RP means it's in the Red Plum circular (formerly known as Valassis) & P&G is the Proctor & Gamble coupon circular sent out only once per month. Also, be sure to first read my previous post on How to Work a Double/ Triple Coupon Sale before heading out.


You probably know by now that Harris Teeter sales go from Wed-Tuesday. There's lots of sales but here what I see as the best deals goin' on this week (Thanks HCW):


  • Daisy Sour Cream $1 (.50/1 6/1 RP) =free + $0.45 overage
  • Suave Shampoo - $1.50/1 7/13 RP = free + $0.19 overage
  • Right Guard deodorant 2/$5 (5/18 SS1 $0.75/1)= $0.25
  • Barilla pasta bags 4/$5 (6/15 SS $0.50/2)= free + $0.25 overage
  • Spray n' wash laundry stain remover $2.99-3.49 (0.75 internet printable) OR 0.50 (7/20 SS)= free + $0.75 overage
  • SOBE Life Water 5/$5 (0.50/1 gas station tear pad) =free + $0.50 overage
  • Mt. Olive Pickle Spears - Organic Kosher Dill on sale $1.24 (0.75/1 blinkie) = free + $0.99 overage
  • Dawn Sponge – Scrubber 2ct on sale for $0.99 ($.50/1 3/2 P&G) = free + $.51 overage
  • Scrubbing Bubbles – $2.00 (0.75/1 7/20 SS) = free + $0.25 overage)
  • Windex – $2 (0.75/1 7/20 SS) = free + $0.25 overage
  • Suave deodorant $1.99 (on sale now for 1.69) (0.75/1 5/18 RP) = free + $0.26 overage
  • Shout stain remover – $3.19 BOGO ($0.75 /1 7/13 SS) = free + $0.65 overage
  • Zone Perfect Nutrition Bar $1.39 (0.55/1 6/15 SS) = free
  • Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice- $2.19 (0.75/1 7/13 RP) = free
  • French's Mustard $1.29 (0.50/1 6/22 SS) = free
  • Mentos Gum $1.19 (55/1 5/18 SS1) = free
  • Skintimate Shave gel (trial size ) - $1.50 (0.55/1 7/13 SS)= free
  • Beech-nut juice blends - $1.39 (0.75/1 6/15 SS)= free
  • Texas Toast Croutons $1.50 (0.50/1 5/4 RP) = free
  • Gum Toothbrush - $2.29 (0.75/1 6/29 RP or 04-20-08 RP) = $.04
  • Domino Brown or Confectioner Sugar - .99 (.30/1 05-04-08 RP) = $.09
  • Comet Long Grain Rice on sale $1.74 (0.55/1 5/18 RP = $.09
  • Viva Paper Towels $2.39 (0.75/1 7/13 SS) = $0.14
  • Hefty Plates or Bowls, $3.49 on sale BOGO (0.50 /1 5/18 RP) = $0.24
  • Soft N Dry $2.50 (0.75/1 5/18 SS1)= $0.25
  • Nestle Nesquik Syrup - 1.79 (0.50/1 4/27 SS)= .29
  • Nesquik Chocolate Milk 16oz $1.79 (0.50/1 4/27 SS) = $0.29
  • California Pizza Kitchen Pizza $5.49 (0.75/1 6/1 SS) = $3.24
  • Tetley ice tea bags - $2.55 (0.75/1 4/13 SS) = $0.35
  • Smucker's Ice Cream Toppings assorted varieties 2/$3 (0.35/1 5/4 RP) = $0.45
  • Betty Crocker Brownies $2.50 (0.50 7/13 SS)= $.50 (Thanks Sara)
  • Pillsbury Crescent Rolls $1.59 (0.35/1 7/13 SS) = $0.54
  • Wish-Bone Bountifuls $2.99 (0.75/1 6/29 RP) = $0.74
  • Luigi’s Lemon Italian Ice – 4/$6 (0.75 /2 6/8 RP or 7/13 RP) = $0.75 for 2
  • Lysol Healthy Touch 2.99 (0.75/1 6/22 SS)= $0.74
  • Athenos feta 2.69 (055/1 5/11 SS) =$1.04
  • Smart Balance popcorn, on sale BOGO (0.50 6/8 RP)= free
As always be sure to print off any of the printable coupons $0.99 and under that I have to the right toolbar before you head out. The Harris Teeter coupon policy does not double/ triple these internet printables but at my local store they always do.


Do you see any other deals you'd like to share with the readers? We promise not to clean the shelves... he he he

NC: Get your sales tax back!

The last time we got our taxes done I asked my accountant if there was anything I was missing that was deductible. She said nonchalantly that the only thing I was missing was sales tax. Since I like to be SUPER prepared during tax time in an effort to get back all of the money we deserve, I asked for more details. She said that in the state of NC all state sales tax is deductible, all of it. Not just on major purchases like cars and such. Last year, I started keeping a running monthly tally of how much we were spending in sales tax. On the same spreadsheet as our monthly budget, I enter in the tax from groceries, gas, electricity, everything. Well... so far we have spent $836 in state taxes alone! I'm so excited for the due diligence because at the end of the year, we get to claim it back dollar for dollar. Yippie!

Check with your accountant for more details about your own state. For you N. Carolinians, it's not too late to start crunching those numbers!

Email

I can see that a number of you have attempted to email me, but for some reason, they are not coming through: Have a question or found a deal?

Email me at financialdiva@live.com

Local Reader Deal Alert: Free Electrasol Tabs (possible overage)

Readers of the Eastern NC region:

If you recently received the special cicular for Rite Aid's grand opening in Wilson, NC, you will see that Electrasol tabs (20ct) are on a special sale 2/$3. Use the 7/13 SS coupon for $2.25 to get these tabs for free or take the sales flyer to Walmart who price matches competitors to get them free or with possible $0.75 overage!

Hurry, the sale ends Tuesday, July 29th

Do you Have an Emergency Fund?

A recent USA Today article polled nearly 2,000 adults asking if they had an emergency fund in case a major expense. 63% did but how long would it last...

3% said less than one month
20% said 1-2 months
27% said 3-4 months
11% said 5-6 months
40% said 6+ months

Where would you fall?

Back 2 School Savings Roundup

Here are the best deals right now for back to school supplies:

Office Depot
2-pocket plastic portfolios - $0.01 (Limit 10)

Office Depot Notebook Filler paper, 150-ct - $0.15 (Limit 5)

Scholastic Crayons 16-ct - $0.25 (Limit 5)

1" Vinyl Binder - $0.50 (Limit 5)

Sharp Scientific Calculator - FREE after mail-in rebate (Limit 1)

Backpacks starting at $4.99


Walgreens
5-pack Bic Highlighters, on sale for $0.39 with the in-ad coupon. Use $1/2 internet printable to get them for free. (Use the manufacturer's coupon first then the Walgreens coupon in order for it to ring through correctly.) Thanks Money Saving Mom

5-Cent School Supply Deals:
2-pocket folders - $0.05 each with in-ad coupon (Limit 5)

5-pack Paper Mate mechanical pens - $0.05 each with in-ad coupon (Limit 3)

Mini composition book - $0.05 each with in-ad coupon (Limit 4)

Highlighter - $0.05 each with in-ad coupon (Limit 3)

Crayola Washable Markers, on sale for $2 + get $2 EasySaver rebate= free after rebate


Staples (good through Wednesday, July 23rd)
Staples cap erasers - $0.05 each (Limit 2)
2 pocket paper folders - $0.05 each (Limit 10)
Staples 6″ plastic protractor - $0.05 each (Limit 2)
1/2 & 1-inch simply plastic assorted binders - $0.25 each (Limit 4)

Pentel RSVP Ballpoint pens, fine, assorted $0.99 each (Limit 2)
Zebra Cadoozles 0.7 mm mechanical pencils - free after rebate - (Limit 1)

Here's what I'm stirring up- Deals for 7/20/08- 7/26

Here are the deals I am stirring up this week in NC:


CVS

Looks like a decent week at CVS with some more free and inexpensive items:

  1. Trident XtraCare Gum Single Pack- on sale BOGO. Use BOGO free coupon in 7/20 SS or 0.75 in July All You magazine +get $1 extrabuck back when you buy 2= $1 profit each (limit 5)

  2. L'oreal Vive Hydra Gloss shampoo/ conditioner, on sale BOGO. Use BOGO free coupon in 7/13 SS= free

  3. Spend $15 get a $5 ECB on Selected Baby Items (CVS diapers, wipes, lotion, shampoo, oil, cotton swabs, etc.). Use the $2/1 CVS skincare coupon & use toward many of these items such as 14-15 oz. baby wipes 2/$4, baby lotion/ oil= free or close to free on many items (limit 1).

  4. All Laundry Detergent- on sale BOGO. Use (2) $1 internet printable coupons

  5. Colgate Total, on sale BOGO. Buy 2 and use two $1.50/1 coupons from August All You magazine and/or this printable coupon. There is also a $1 CRT on some receipts= free or close to free

Don't forget that the $3/15 coupon expires Sunday. Shop early!

Walgreens

LOTS of inexpensive diapers going on this week @ Walgreens. They are on sale again for $5.99. Check this former post to see how to get them very cheap! You might want to wait until Friday or Saturday if you can't find the pharmacy coupon. I'll post details in a few days about overlapping deals that will take place this week. Here are some other good deals I see.

  1. Crayola Washable Markers, on sale for $2+ get $2 EasySaver rebate= free after rebate
  2. Pantene Beautiful Lengths, on sale 2/$8 each. Use (2) $2/1 coupons+ get $4 EasySaver rebate= free after coupons and rebate!
  3. Dixie Plates, on sale BOGO. Buy 2 at $3.79 and you'll get a catalina manufacturer coupon for $3/2 Dixie plate purchase. Repeat the deal again and you'll get 2 packs of plates for $0.40 each and get another $3/2 coupon! You can continue to roll this again and again and again until you are well stocked up. Note: The $3/2 will only be printing through 07/24, though, so stock up at the beginning of the week! (Thanks Money Saving Mom)
  4. Reynolds foil, on sale $1. Use $1/1 or $0.75/1 coupon (6/22 SS) = free or close to free
  5. 5-Cent School Supplies: 2-pocket folders - $0.05 each with in-ad coupon (Limit 5) 5-pack Paper Mate mechanical pens - $0.05 each with in-ad coupon (Limit 3) Mini composition book - $0.05 each with in-ad coupon (Limit 4) Highlighter - $0.05 each with in-ad coupon (Limit 3)

Freebie Roundup


Here are the latest 10 freebies & samples online:

Money Making Opportunity: Wellness360

It Pays to be Healthy!

I'm reposting this becuase this is still agreat opportunity to make some extra money:
I recently discovered Wellness360, an interactive health & wellness site that tracks various aspects of your physical health, from dieting and weight loss to medications. You earn reward points which convert to dollars with each visit to Wellness360, and also for also for charting your progress toward better health. You can begin with a free health risk assessment & go from there. Someone who consistently tracks what they eat can make up to $150 per year (not bad). Earnings are dispensed each quarter (one just ended) when you can "cash out". You will also be rewarded with a percentage of the cash that your friends and family earn after you refer them to the site. Points seem to add up pretty quickly. Click here to join.

Saving Money: Here's what I got

I absolutely love saving money. I was having a mini withdrawl since we went away on vacation last week and I didn't bring any coupons! To make up for things I decided to maximize the great savings at CVS and Walgreens as well as the grocery store. Here's what I got:





First stop- Walgreens


Who can pass up free hair products? I stopped by Walgreens for FREE Loreal Vive pro shampoo and conditioner. Walgreens had these on sale BOGO & I used a BOGO coupon from this past Sunday's paper. All in all, I walked away with 6 bottles of shampoo & conditioner for free.




Next up- CVS (Transaction #1)


I split my CVS transactions up in order to maximize the 3/15 coupon before it expires. I got:


  • (2) bottles of Sure deoderant, used (2) $1 internet printable= $1.69 each
  • (6) bottles of Sally Hansen nail polish, used (2) $3/2 CVS coupon= free
  • (1) Excedrin 24ct Back & body

I used $3/15 CVS coupon , $5.99 in extrabucks to pay for my order, $0.71 out of pocket (oop) & got back $3 extrabucks & I'll file for the full $4.79 excedrin rebate & $2.69 sure deoderant rebate (6/29 SS). So, after extrabucks and rebates, I'll have made $4.17!


CVS (Transaction #2)

(1) Excedrin PM, used $2/1 coupon

(2) Gas x thin strips, used (2) $1.50/1 coupons & (1) $5/2 CVS CRT

  • (2) Gold Emblem pretzels, used $1/2 CVS CRT
I used another $3/15 CVS coupon , $5.99 in extrabucks to pay for my order, $1.61 out of pocket (oop) & got back $10 extrabucks for the stomach products. On this order I made $2.40 after extrabucks. Yippie!

CVS (Transaction #3)
I most certianly wasn't going to pass up the best deal of the week at CVS on photobooks. I just didn't have all of my photos together during the first trip. So, I went back to make two photobooks. They were $7.99 & I used (2) $3/1 CVS photobook coupons, (2) $3/1 Kodak coupons and another $3/15 CVS coupon . I paid 0.98 & got back $15.98 in extrabucks, a big moneymaker!

How did you do this week? Post a comment below with a link or details on your savings.

Free Magazine: US News & World Report


...another offer from Mercury Magazines

NC Foreclosure Resources

Here are some resources regarding NC foreclosures. I found this in the Sunday, July 13th edition of the Raleigh News & Observer:

NC Hope Hot Line
Toll-free number set up by the state attorney general & state banks commissioner to connect callers with nonprofit housing and credit counselors
888.995.HOPE

Mortgage Foreclosure Project
Legal assistance with referrals from Legal Aid of NC. The goal is to keep working families in their homes.
866.219.5262

NC Banking Commission
Useful tools and steps for homeowners to avoid foreclosure

NC Academy of Trial Lawyers
Free legal help through a phone call or email exchange. No legal advice is given but information about the law is.

NC Attorney General's Office
Website helping homeowners to avoid foreclosure and scams.

Local Savings: Harris Teeter Deals This Week w/ Coupon Match-ups

Consider this a tribute to the local readers and those with Harris Teeter grocery stores nearby. I have so many searches on this site for deals at Harris Teeter that I decide to make a post of the good deals going on this week. I am also including coupon match ups so you will know right where to look in your coupon stash.


FYI, if you're new: If you see a date like this- 4/20 SS, that means you should look in the coupons in the 4/20 paper marked Smartsource, anything with a date and RP means it's in the Red Plum circular (formerly known as Valassis) & P&G is the Proctor & Gamble coupon circular sent out only once per month. Also, be sure to first read my previous post on How to Work a Double/ Triple Coupon Sale before heading out.

You probably know by now that Harris Teeter sales go from Wed-Tuesday. There's lots of sales but here what I see as the best deals goin on this week:


  • Pillsbury toaster scrambles, toaster strudles- B1G2F (4/20 or 6/29 RP $1/1; 5/4 RP $1/2)= $2.85 each- $3 (3 $1/1 Q's)= 0.15 overage
  • Maalox liquid- BOGO (5/4 SS $1.50/1; 6/1 SS $2/1)=
  • Garnier Fructis shampoo 2/$5 (5/4 RP $1/1; 6/22 RP $1/1)= $1.50 each
  • Right Guard deodorant 2/$5 (5/18 SS1 $0.75/1)= $1 doubled or $0.25 tripled
  • Arm & Hammer laundry detergent- BOGO ($1/1 internet printable)
  • Barilla pasta bags 4/$5 (6/15 SS $0.50/2)= $0.25 doubled or $0.25 overage tripled
  • California Pizza Kitchen $5.49 (6/1 SS $0.75/1) $3.99 doubled or $3.24 tripled
  • Brawny paper towels BOGO (6/8 RP $1/1)= $10.69/2- $1= $4.35
  • Easy off Bam cleaner $2.99 (6/29 SS 0.75/1)= 1.49 doubled or 0.74 tripled
  • Spray n' wash laudry stain remover $2.99-3.49 (0.75 internet printable)= $0 doubled or $0.75 overage tripled
Before you head out, be sure to also check the printable coupons that I have to the right toolbar. You can print these now. The Harris Teeter coupon policy does not double/ triple these internet printables but at my local store they always do.


Do you see any other deal you'd like to share with the readers? We promise not to clean the shelves... he he he

Free compact flourescent lightbulb


Million Lights Project is offering Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs for Free to the first 1 million requests. This is done to help raise awareness about global warming, reduce CO2, and take the load off the energy grid.

Mid-month budget check-up

Are you following our budgeting series? We could all use a financial tune-up. So I challenge you to join us even if you already have a budgeting plan. I am constantly re-vamping the way we do things around our house to achieve financial success. You can catch up by reading the first two parts of our series & doing the homework.

Budgeting 101- Part 1
Budgeting 101- Part 2

Our next order of business launching at the end of this month is to actually set a budget. I'll have sample worksheets and spreadsheets for you to use. But first it is essential that you are diligent in completing the homework from part 2, tracking your spending. Since we are 1/2 way into the month, I thought I would do a friendly check-up. How diligent are you? Tracking every dollar? If you've not done so great, make it a point to finish this assignment strong. Your financial success depends on it!

$14.99 oil change + tire rotation


I came across this coupon and thought that I would share. I need an oil change so bad it's not funny!

Money Saving Strategy: Comparing Unit Prices


Sometimes it's not easy to determine if a good deal is really a good deal. I often find myself questioning whether or not somethings a good buy, particularly when it's sold in bulk. Is generic better? Bulk buying better? How about normal price with coupons?


Here's a little something that I've been doing lately- comparing not just the prices but also the unit prices of the products that I purchase. This little technique has saved me many times. I used to get very excited when my local grocery store would run triple coupon sales until I realized that I was still paying more than I would have at SuperWalmart.


Here's some info I found from NY Dept of Consumer Protection:

It's easy to find the unit prices of some items. It may be marked on a sign near the item. For example:
If apples sell for $.89 per pound, you know that 5 pounds will cost $4.45 (5 pounds x 89 cents).
If potato salad sells at the deli counter for $2.59 per pound, you know that 2 pounds will cost $5.18 (2 x $2.59).


Unit pricing is most helpful when the price per unit isn't so clear. Let's look at an example. Your favorite brand of corn flakes is sold in three different sizes.

-The 14-ounce box is $2.52

-The 20-ounce box is $3.00

-The 2-pound (32-ounce) box is $5.12.


Which one is the best buy? Unit pricing helps. (In this case, the unit price is the price per ounce)
To figure the unit price, divide the price by the number of units (in this example, it's the number of ounces):


The unit price for the 14-ounce box is 18 cents per ounce ($2.52 / 14).
The unit price for the 20-ounce box is 15 cents per ounce ($3.00 / 20).
The unit price for the 2-pound box is 16 cents per ounce (2 pounds = 32 ounces, $5.12 / 32).
Compare the unit price of each package. Which costs the least per unit?

In this example, the 20-ounce package is the best buy because it cost less per ounce.
Corn flakes are also sold in the bulk food section for $1.44 per pound (one pound = 16 ounces). Divide $1.44 by 16 and you know the cost per ounce is 9 cents. ($1.44 / 16 = $.09).
How does the unit price of the boxed corned flakes compare with the unit price of the corn flakes sold in the bulk food section? In this example, the unit price shows that corn flakes from the bulk food section are the better buy.

Remember, the larger the package is not always the best buy. It pays to know the unit price.

Here's what I'm stirring up- Deals for 7/13-08- 7/19/08

Here are the deals I am stirring up this week in NC @ CVS:


CVS
Here are the deals that I will be personally doing @ CVS this week. The most amazing deal this week is on photobooks with tons of overage! There are some other good additions as well. I'll be using the $3/15 CVS coupon of course. I plan to break this up into many smaller orders so that the coupon can be used more than once. The details that I'll be working up are here in this chart. You local readers better not beat me to it!

ItemPriceCoupon(s)Total After Coupon/ Extra BucksMentionables

Kodak Photo books

on sale for $7.99

-$3 CVS coupon (found at the photo desk)

-$3 Mfq coupon

-6/8 SS (expires 8/31)
-5/4 SS (expires 7/31)

-$7.99 extrabucks

Free + $6 overage Limit of (2) 6x8 and (1) 4x6
Evian, 1 liter bottle (buy 2)

- $1/2 CVS coupon (printable)

- B1G1 (CVS weekly deal)

Limit 4
Gain laundry detergent liquid 24-32 loads or powder 40 loads on sale for $4.99

- $1/1 hangtag found on Tide detergent

-$2 extrabucks

$2Limit 1
Clairol herbal essence shampoo or conditioner 10.17-12 oz, or styler 5-8 oz 2/ $5

- $3/2 Mfq coupon

-7/6 P&G (expires 7/31)

$1 each
Sally Hansen nail polishes on sale for $0.99 -$3/2 CVS couponFree + $1 (possible) overage
Sure deoderant (buy 2) $2.79 each

- $1/1 Mfq coupon (printable)

- B1G1 Mfq coupon

-6/29 SS (expires 9/30) OR

- B1G1 mail-in rebate

-6/29 SS (expires 9/30)

- $3 extrabucks when you buy 2

with B1G1 coupon:

$5.58- 2.79( b1g1 coupon) - 1off printable q

= Pay 1.79, get $3 Extrabucks back!

with B1G1 rebate:

$5.58- $2 (2x internet printables)= Pay $3.58 , get $3 Extrabucks back!

July Monthly Deal

Check back this Wednesday for what I'l be working up during the extended triple coupon sale at Harris Teeter.

Magazines for Surveys





Rewards Gold is offering magazine subscriptions in exchange for yor participation in surveys. Just for registering on their site (no credit cards or other personal info), you get 250 points. This is enough for a 1 year subscription to Working Mother. I can attest that these magazines do come as I have registered my email with them in the past.


It's okay to say the "c" word



Coupons that is!

I've come to terms with it. I am a coupon lady. I am a young 20 something and I am a coupon lady. I used to sort of be embarrassed when I approached the register or entered a store because I knew that "they knew the secret"... they being the store associates and the secret being that I used coupons, heaven forbid.

I have now come to appreciate my coupon lady status, however. Why? It's simple math. I save money. I just don't mind to clip coupons when I save the kind of money that I do. My informal savings tally just this year is now running into the thousands, thousands! Coming full circle in my coupon lady embrace, I have decided to make the best of my store experiences by doing the following:

  1. I enter the stores prepared. No one likes an absent-minded couponer. I try to always have exactly which coupons I am going to use clipped,organized and ready before I get into the register line. Can I get an amen from the customers that have stood in line behind me?
  2. I make conversation with the cashier & associates. I have overheard store clerks telling horror stories of their coupon customers. Typically, it has to do with someone being rude and adamant about a deal. I have found far more success when I go into a store, learn the names of the associates (since I'm there so frequently), make conversation, and show a genuine interest in people's lives. This helps tremendously when I need a manager's intervention or special deal. Managers have also told me about upcoming promotions and given me coupons before because they recognized me.
  3. I always stay on the up and up. There is a serious difference between someone getting a good deal and someone scamming for a good deal. I am becoming even more conscious about reading the coupon wording and specifics as to make sure that I am within the guidelines set by the stores and manufacturers.


    How about you? Have you accepted or embraced your couponer status? What strategies do you use when in the store?

Stop the Press- a $3/15 CVS coupon


So, CVS coupons have been mighty scarce lately but look what I stumbled upon in a RI newspaper.... This one expires 7/20.

If you're new to CVS or don't know how exciting this is, check back this upcoming week. I'll post a beginners CVS tutorial and some good scenarios for savings that will rock your world!

Yippie, free slurpees today @ 7- Eleven

Thanks to my dear friend Anjie, I found out about a fun freebie happening only today. In honor of 7-11 day they are giving away free slurpees at most locations (check with your local store before you make a trip). We don't have 7-11s in my city, but luckily for me, we snuck out of town today to a city that does- yippie!


Free Chic-fil-A meal today for dressing up


Did you know that Chic-fil-A is giving out free meals today only to anyone brave enough to dress up like a cow and enter one of their restaurants. I'm personally going to pass on the offer, but who knows, maybe you should be the brave one to go for a freebie at any cost! Here's the details:


Dress like a cow from head to hoof for our 4th annual Cow Appreciation Day® (July 11, 2008) and get a complimentary combo meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) from Chick-fil-A.Not up for sporting the full cow look? Partial cow attire will still get you a complimentary entrĂ©e. Request a tall, cool Dr Pepper with your Chick-fil-A and complete your meal.Send this email to your friends and come dressed as an entire herd - Chick-fil-A for everyone! Cow up and get free Chick-fil-A on July 11th at your nearest Chick-fil-A.go to http://www.cowappreciationday.com/ for tips on how to dress like a cow =)

Expiration dates- ba humbug!

This past Monday I happened to catch a segment on the Today show about expiration dates on our household items. The guest suggested that everything from pillows to shampoo has an expiration date. I found myself pretty annoyed as I watched. I don't know about you but I grew up not throwing something away until it was truly "ready." Growing up on a tight budget, I discovered most things were salvageable. Nearly every bottle of cleaning and beauty products could be saved until the last drop.

I confess that as I have become a savvy shopper, finding many deals in which I stock up on toiletries and groceries, the challenge has become how to use things up before the expiration dates. There is nothing more perturbing than throwing medicine, vitamins, or food away. Someone, somewhere could have used that... and is it really that bad? Even with all of the great CVS and Harris Teeter deals, throwing things away never gets easier. I've tried to give lots of gift baskets and donations as I can but it seems as though I am constantly throwing things away. This is a serious excitement killer to all of my deal finds. In fact, it makes little sense to find a great deal and stock up if we can't find use for what I buy.

Maybe I'm having a complex, maybe not.... my dear financial divas what do you say? How do you deal with avoiding those pesky expiration dates?

Staples 1 cent deals- end today!

Staples is having a Back-To-School Sale in-store [view your local ad] with some items for one penny. The following deals are available in-store thru today only:

  • Purell 0.5 oz bottle= $0.01

  • 2-Pocket Paper Folder= $0.01

  • Dixon #2 Yellow Pencils 8-pack= $0.01

  • 1/2" and 1" Simply Poly Assorted Binders= $0.25

  • Pentel Retractable Assorted Highlighters= FREE after easy rebate

  • 96/20 Bright Staples Brand printer paper= $1.99 after easy rebate

  • Staples Multi-use Paper 8 1/2" x 11" Case (10 reams). Buy 2 cases (20 reams) for $77.98 - $38.99 easy rebate = $38.99 for 2 cases (20 reams)
Thanks Mall-Rat & kingofdeal at slickdeals

The Freebie Roundup: The Top 10 Freebie List


Seems like I always have a new freebie coming in my mailbox. What a treat! I wanted to share my top 10 freebies that I have found recently. Also, today @ 10 am, the first 100 people to enter a UPC from a qualifying Rimmel product below will get a free case compliments of Lucky magazine. Qualifying items: Exaggerate Full Colour Eye Definer, Glam'Eyes Mascara, Lasting Finish Mineral Powder. Enter @ 10am here.











The Top 10

Free Sample ~ Pantene ProV
Free 14 supply of nature made vitamins

Free Attune probiotic bar

(first 100 daily)

Free sample Airborne seasonal
Playtex nurser drop-in bottle (BPA Free)
Biore Skin care sample (Walmart)
Huggies Potty Training Success DVD
Free pack of stride gum for participation in a mock trial (choose settle). This one is cute!
25 free business cards + free shipping (only a limited number given)

10 issues, 1 year, of More Magazine


8 issues, 1 year, of Traditional Home








How to Get a Better Credit Score


There have been big changes recently in how our credit scores are reported and calculated. Credit scores are so important since they are used to determine everything from how much we'll pay for a home, car, or apartment to if we'll land a great job. Scores range from 300-850. While only 11% of people rank above 800, over 30 million, yes million people are considered to have severe credit, scoring below 620 (MSN Money). Having bad credit is dumb because it costs so much more money in the long run. Here are a few simple steps that you can take now to better your credit score:



  1. First, pull your credit report to determine the accuracy of what is on your records. You can reference my former post here on how to get a completely free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once per year. If any information is incorrect, contact the respective agency immediately. You can even submit corrections online.


  2. Stop being enticed by stupid offers. During my college years, credit card lenders would line the center student union with tables of free T-shirts, hats, and stuffed toys if you filled out a credit card application. So many students signed up for these offers for a free something or other. Post-college folks fall for similar gimmicks. Ever applied for a store card for a one-time discount, coupons, etc. Don't do that! This is because every time your credit report is accessed (by someone other than you) for a credit inquiry, your score is lowered. Shop for the best credit card offer first, then apply & only in that order.


  3. Be obsessive about late payments. Aside from a major negative event like foreclosure or bankruptcy, paying bills late is the single most damaging thing you can do to your credit. Do whatever you can to pay all of your bills on time. Try a filing system, online bill pay, paying over the phone or any other technique to keep you on track.

  4. Watch your "percentage" of credit limit usage. Knowing not just your credit limit but the percentage that you are using each month is the key to a better score. If, for example, you have a $5,000 credit limit and your balance is $2,500, you are using 50% of your available credit. Your credit score looks at the sum of your available credit to what you are using. This means that if you have to take into account what percentage of credit you are using overall. Consider the following example:

    Credit Limit BalancePercentage Used
    CC #1 $1,000$50050%
    CC #2 $500$500100%
    CC #3 $5,000$3,50070%
    Total$6,500$4,50070%

In this example, you would add each of the total credit limits and balances for an overall score of 70% usage of your credit limit. You want to shoot for using no more than 30% of your total available credit; the lower, the better.

This is important even if you pay off your statement in full each month. Credit card companies report what the last statement balance was without mention of whether or not it was paid in full. This means that if you have a balance of $1,000 and a limit of $1,000, you are still using 100% of your available credit and that's a no no.

5. Don't necessarily run to close your credit card accounts. Because of what we just discussed, not closing your credit accounts is as important as opening them. Think about our example above. If you closed the first credit card, because say the interest rate was too high, your percentage would rise to 73%, if you closed the second card instead, your percentage would only decline to 67%. It's more important for the credit companies to see that you can handle multiple streams of credit. Remember, changing the number of accounts you have alters your percentage just like a credit balance. The exception would be for those of you who do more harm than good with credit cards such as overspending or difficultly paying bills on time.

6. See how you stack up. Don't want to pay a fee for obtaining your credit score? I found a credit score estimator at Bankrate that gives you a rough estimate of where you stand. Try playing around with this tool as you manage your credit to see how your score changes.

(Almost) Free Prints from Snapfish.com


I got this in my inbox this morning. I've never tried snapfish but I have heard many people that have & liked the prints. Here's the details:

For one week only you can get 50 4x6 mail-order prints for only a penny each! (Plus Shipping)

Additional 4x6 prints are just 9¢ each

Use coupon code JUL4PENNY08 at checkout. This offer ends July 12!

B1G1 Free Lemondae at Starbucks exp 7/7


Here's a coupon for a Buy 1 Get 1 FreeStarbucks Lemonade Blended Beverage @ Barnes & Noble Bookstore with Starbucks Cafecoupon good thru 7/7/08

My savings this week- 7/4/08 (sort of)

Normally I wait until Saturday to summarize the best of my weekly savings but I wanted to post a day early in order to give you enough time to get in on a really great diaper sale happening now at Walgreens. We are getting ready to head down to sunny Florida to visit some family and attend a conference, so I will post as many great deals as I can find on the run next week. For now, here's what I worked up and how you can do it too:

Walgreens:
Thanks to Baby Cheapskate & Jennifer at Sisterly Savings, I landed a pretty amazing deal for next to nothing diapers at Walgreens this week. I got six packs of jumbo size 1 & 2 diapers for $9.35 out-of-pocket (oop) which I paid for with my Walgreens gift card from all the free after rebate items I've been scooping up. After paying, the register spit me out (2) $5 off your next shopping trip coupon-SCORE!
Basically the diapers were on sale for $5.99. I got three packs each time & used a $2/1 coupon from at the pharmacy & $5/2 coupon found in the July EasySaver catalog. Read the linked text above to get exactly how you can do it too.

Between having a baby shower & all these great deals, I estimate that we've spent less than $40 bucks on diapers/ wipes for my three month old so far.

CVS:
Even though there are some decent deals at CVS this week, I just haven't been up to shopping with so much going on. I made a very quick stop to snag these deals:



  • 2 coppertone baby sunblock sticks- $4.99 each- $10 in CVS extrabucks= free!

  • 1 Physicians formula mineral eyeliner- $7.99- $7.99 in CVS extrabucks= free!

  • 5 cleansing & make-up remover towelettes- $2.99 each (purchased each separately)- $2 Skincare coupon (click here for coupon & scenario)- $2.99 in CVS extrabucks= $2 profit each x 5= $10 profit!


That's it... not much to write home about but free is free.

More free magazines!

There sure are a lot of free magazine offers lately. Here are the latest two. Click the image to subscribe to 10 issues, 1 year, of More Magazine and/ or 8 issues, 1 year, of Traditional Home from Value Mags.


(Update) Towlette deal no longer active but still free

Looks like the towelette deal I told you about yesterday is no longer producing $2.99 Extrabucks. Now it is giving $1 back. Oh well, the $2 off coupon and $1 extrabucks still means it is free. It was good while it lasted.

What a baby costs!

Oh, indulge me for a moment.... What mom doesn't think their child is the cutest ever? But oh how quickly his charm doth fade away when I add up his tab!

Like holy camole, have you any idea what a baby costs nowadays? My young prince is now three months old & I am quickly realizing just how expensive children are! I think this sentiment is more than my mere emotions (which are currently out of whack), it is also psychological. I have been so frustrated at how I seem to be "targeted" lately. Every new mom wants the best for her baby. That's not the point. It seems to me, though, that we are an advertiser's dream. We have to have the best new gadget, toy, and baby wardrobe. Of course, it all costs a fortune & my kid outgrows it in a week...

Now, I consider myself a pretty good bargain shopper, but even I getting alarmed at the cost of childrearing. If you want to see for yourself how much you'll likely spend in the baby's first year, check out this First-Year Baby Costs Calculator I found. I like it because the prices are adaptable for your specific situation.
I'm curious, how are you saving money bringing up children?

Hidden CVS Deal Alert! Free Facial Towelettes

There is a hidden deal going on now at CVS so if you shop there & have extra bucks or if you want to get started on CVS deal shopping, now is a fabulous time. I have just returned from CVS to try out this hidden deal for myself & can tell you that it works just fine.


Right now if you but CVS brand facial towelettes for $2.99, you get a full $2.99 back. It is advertised as only giving $1 back, but the full amount is being printed off as extrabucks. But EVEN BETTER there is a $2 off any CVS skin care item coupon that can be printed here online. You'll want to print it 5 times. The math works out something like this:
You spend $2.99 for the 15ct. towelettes: $2.99
Minus the CVS coupon: -$2.00
You spend:0.99
and get back:$2.99= $2 profit


There is a limit of 5, so you can make $10 in extra bucks. I did each transaction separately so that I could use all 5 CVS coupons. Hurry to CVS before another savvy shopper snags the deal. Happy shopping!

Money Making Opportunity: Current Rebates (July '08)

I've never been a big fan of mail in rebates. It just seemed like they were more hassle than what they were worth. Some studies have estimated that only 10-40% of people even file for eligible rebates. Even better, a recent Star Tribune article suggested that some folks have gone through the effort to file for a rebate and never cash the check. Hmm? Sounds like we all need a bit of a reality check on how many hoops we are actually willing to jump through to snag a great deal.

I must confess, however, that I'm having a bit of a change of heart on the rebate situation. Thing is, rebate programs have made some serious progress recently. Many stores like Staples, Walgreens and Rite Aid offer online rebate submissions which are much easier than the mail in kinds and even save the cost of a stamp! What I also love now is the fact that I can often combine coupons with mail-in rebates for even greater savings. When it's all said & done, some companies even pay me to take their merchandise out the door! This was the case recently at my local Walgreens. You can read all about the shopping trip details here.
I thought in honor of my recent change of heart I would roundup my favorite rebates (and corresponding coupons) now available: