Freebies and Rebates

July 29, 2011

So I finally at least sorted the pile of mail on my table. Whenever I bring in the mail I immediately throw away obvious junkmail and open obviously important stuff. Otherwise I’ve been lazy and throwing it on the table to open later. I think I have about 2 months of it in there. Sorted through today and separated all my rebate checks and sample freebies that have come in!

I’m not a huge freebie/sample so I don’t get all of them that are out there, though I’m trying to do more of it. Here’s what was in the pile from the last couple of weeks:

Freebie sampler pack of U by Kotex + coupons
Free sample of Carefree liner + coupon
Free sample of Miralax
Free sample of Garnier shampoo/conditioner
Free sample of Aveeno (lotion?)
Free sampler of Taster’s Choice

I also got in some rebate checks for Rite Aid SCRs, Snapple, and one I can’t remember what it was from. Yay!

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Quickie coupon trip

July 24, 2011

Ok, so I have been EXHAUSTED this week. I was taking antibiotics and Ibuprofen for a cat bite I got last week and I don’t know if that was part of it, but this week at work I have been low-grade nauseous and so tired. Thursday night I felt feverish and Friday night I woke up with all of my muscles sooo sore like I had done some kind of crazy workout or something. Maybe I’ve been fighting off a low-grade flu? Anyways….not much time to organize coupon shopping but copied over a few deals here and there into my email. Before work last night I just quickly grabbed the inserts for my Albertson’s preliminary list. Sooo after work I stopped at one client’s house, drove an hour to another client’s house and then dropped by the Albertson’s near there (much less coupon shoppers!). I pulled up the list on my phone and clipped coupons from inserts in the car. It worked out just fine but definitely not the level of prep I usually put in! Here’s my normal “system” (varies a bit store to store):

1. Skim through the inital¬†matchups on www.couponconnectionsnw.com and www.thecouponproject.com. If Albertson’s also check www.thekrazycouponlady.com. If Rite Aid also check www.forthemommas.com. Copy & paste obvious good deals to either a Word document if at home or to an email if at work.

2. Monitor these 4 blogs daily for any new deals that come up for the store, add to shopping list if desired.

3. Before workweek is over, print out any printable coupons that are on my list from work computers.

4. Right before putting together the final list, read through comments on the matchups of these blogs in case there are problems/other deals that other shoppers have seen. Edit list appropriately.

5. Edit final list. Print from online and/or clip coupons from inserts. On shopping list remove all other coupon options except what I will be using, note how many of items to buy, calculate final prices of each item, potentially organize into separate transactions if needed. Put coupons for each store in separate envelopes along with printed list.

6. Shop!!

So yeah….obviously I make it much more involved and time-consuming than it needs to be. The reason for that is that couponing is not just a budget necessity. It is a really enjoyable hobby and so I dwell a little more on it than necessary. But if time is of the essence, I CAN skip a bunch of these steps, as I did this week.

Anyhoo. I am glad for the weekend! I am skipping Rite Aid this week and Safeway. Might take one more trip to Albertson’s, might not. Just looking forward to sunshine, sleeping, and watching my newest addiction: True Blood. Cuz a new show is just what I need! Haha. Here’s today’s quickie trip to Albertson’s:

I paid a grand total of $4.78!

(8) Crest toothpaste – 0.65MM total
(6) Snackwells cereal bars – free (cause I need more granola bars, lol. This brings the count to 76 boxes total in the last month-ish)
(12) Knorr rice & pasta sides – $4
(2) Emerald roasted peanuts – $3.50
(2lbs) whole salmon – $3.92 (I have them fillet it for me)
I also used a $5 wyb $50 catalina that I got last week!

So I am pretty psyched about that! Here’s hoping for a sunny and restful weekend! ūüôā

~Lissa

I hereby declare myself FINISHED with these GM catalinas! What with the last 2 weeks of Nature’s Valley and Fiber One….then this week new and fun catalinas ON THE SAME PRODUCTS, just add cereal and free milk. What’s a girl to do? Coupon!!

Ok, it’s not too crazy this week. I didn’t shop every day or have huge insane trips or use 70 doubler coupons. Really. But still, look at the score!!

This is Albertson’s. 2 separate shops, one yesterday, one today. Grand total? $12.02!

Here’s the rundown:

12 boxes GM cereal = $0.50ea
4 boxes granola thins = $0.19ea
4 gallons of milk = free wyb 4 cereal/granola thins
4 Emerald Breakfast on the go = free
6 boxes Ronzoni Healthy Harvest = free
1 Chips Ahoy = free wyb milk (free milk counts!)
6 S&W beans = $0.69ea (should have skipped these, cheaper at Walmart or Fred Meyer’s- but I’ll eat em!)
1 Nalley dill pickles = $0.89
and 1 lettuce head = $0.24

Into the “share” pile goes 8 boxes cereal, 2 boxes granola thins, 4 boxes Emerald togo, 2 gallons milk, and Chip’s Ahoy. Happy happy coworkers!

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I also went to Fred Meyer, though I don’t typically shop there, look at the ad, or even look through the matchups. But their ad has a huge picture advertising cherries for $1.49/lb. I like cherries and I happen to KNOW this is a stock-up price.

I spent $17.45 and got:
10 cans beans – 0.50ea
5 packs Tillamook shredded cheese – $1ea
5lbs of cherries – $1.49/lb

Not a super cheap bill compared to alot of times, but when you consider all the cheese and cherries….it’s good prices. I think I’m going to make some dried cherries!

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And then I had a Walmart run. The Walmart isn’t very close by¬†and it’s not a supercenter with a full grocery section so I don’t make trips there unless I’m nearby. It is on the way to my massage clinic though so once or twice a month I stop in. It was a great trip today!

All this for just $3!!!

One of the great things about Walmart is that they give overage. So sometimes there is a good moneymaker (or several) and it reallys helps to bring down the cost of other items. Here’s the rundown:

(7) Travel-size pronamel sensodyne toothpaste: 0.06ea
(6) Travel-size men’s Dial lotion – 0.94 moneymaker each!
(3) Noxema razors 4-pks – 0.16ea
(1) 4lb Iams dog food – $1.58
(12) M&Ms – 0.12ea
(6) 3 Musketeers – 0.25ea
(2) Tomato soup – 0.58ea

So all the travel items, the razors, and the 3 musketeers go into the “share” pile. I made $5.64 in overage which basically paid for everything else, I just paid a touch more than tax!

Phew! In other news, I bought new tires for $328 and I need a crown that will cost me about $550….and may end up needing a root canal anyways. Guess it’s a good thing I coupon!

Happy hunting!
~Lissa

Slow week, WHATEVER!! Ok, after today though, I think I am done shopping for the week. Unless doublers come out for Albertson’s. Which I don’t think will happen. (or so I hope!). The stores SEEM quiet so far….usually some crazy stupid deal comes up every time I say that. Like Rite Aid this week. I wasn’t even going to GO to RA this week. (I did actually skip last week…..and I even had a list ready.) But then……*sigh*……the Jergens moneymaker deal came out. And so…..

….the total for this trip: $0.36

For EVERYTHING.

Including the 2 DVD rentals.

Ok, I was so excited that I posted this on Facebook and I said I would give the full breakdown of HOW I did it. Since this isn’t *really* a coupon blog, I usually just post brags here with what I bought, total paid. But here’s the full rundown:

“*Note: Rite Aid offers UP rewards, which are the $$off coupons that print on your receipt at the end. You can use these on anything else you buy on your next transaction, just like they were cash. They won’t apply towards tax though. I shop RA a lot so I usually have a bunch of these from previous trips and just buy everything in one transaction. Right now I didn’t have any previous UPs so I did multiple transactions in order to not pay as much out of pocket. So it looks really obnoxious, but I don’t usually break it up so much!

Transaction #1

(2) Oral-B Advantages Plus toothbrush¬†–¬†$2.57 each
Buy 1, Receive $2+UP Reward, LIMIT 2*
Use:(2) $2/1 Oral B Toothbrushes 7/3 P&G Insert
Pay: $1.63, Receive (2) $2+UP Reward

Transaction #2

Buy 4 Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer, 2 oz. – $2.24 each
use (4) $1/1 Jergens Natural Glow
use (2) $2 UP from transaction #1
Pay $1.81, receive (2) $5 +Up Reward, limit 2

Transaction #3

Crest Pro Health Rinse – $4.99
Buy 1, Submit for $4.50 SCR (an SCR is a rebate that RA will mail to you when enter the info online.)
$2/1 Crest Rinse 6/5 P&G Insert

(1) John Freida flyaway tamer – $9.99
(1) John Freida shampoo – $3.50 (buy one John Freida, get one 50% off)
Buy 2 John Freida products, get a $5 UP reward, limit 3
use (2)  $2/1 John Frieda  Hair Item 6/5 SS Insert
use (2) $5 UP from transaction #2
Pay:  $4.22, get $5 UP for John Freida, submit $4.50 SCR for Crest

Transaction #4

(1) John Freida conditioner Р$6.99
(1) John Freida leave-in conditioner spray Р$3.24 (buy one John Freida, get one 50% off)
Buy 2 John Freida products, get a $5 UP reward, limit 3
use (2)  $2/1 John Frieda  Hair Item 6/5 SS Insert
use $5 UP from transaction #3
Pay: $2.20, get $5 UP

At the end of it all, I paid $9.86 out of pocket (most of which was tax)
 I have a $5 UP leftover from transaction #4
And a $4.50 SCR coming to me from transaction #3
Which results in a grand total paid for these products of: $0.36!!!

I love couponing!

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And then I just sorta “swung by” Top Foods to pick up¬†some¬†cheap produce. Every now and again¬†they have some great customer appreciation coupons that come out in their sales ad. These coupons require¬†you to purchase $10¬†of any and all groceries in a¬†transaction and then you can use any and all of the coupons in the same¬†transaction. They have these coupons out this week:

-Free organic eggs, 1 dozen large
-$2 off any meat
-$1 off any produce
-$1 off any bakery/deli item

This is a small portion of what I bought (I didn’t¬†get a picture of it all!)

I spent $5 at Top Foods.
For that $5 I got:

(3) dozen eggs
(3) bagels
(3) ~$2 packs of beef
(1) cauliflower
(2lbs) broccoli
(1) 32oz greek yogurt

Here’s how:

Transaction #1
eggs – 4.50
beef – 2.25
bagel – 0.75
cauliflower – 2.50
– free egg coupon
-$2 off meat
-$1 off produce
-$1 off bakery
= $1.50

Transaction #2
eggs – 4.50
beef – 3.50
bagel – 0.75
broccoli – 1.25
– free eggs
-$2 off meat
-$1 off produce
-$1 off bakery
= $1.50

Transaction #3
eggs – 4.50
pork – 1.25
bagel – 0.75
broccoli – 1
yogurt – 3
– free eggs
-$2 off meat
-$1 off produce
-$1 off bakery
= $2

¬†I did separate transactions because you can only use each coupon once per transaction. The value of the free eggs and other couponed items is counted towards the $10 minimum total, so I ended up having a very low total after the coupons were applied! Also, the full value of the coupon was applied, even if the item didn’t cost as much as the coupon. For example, the bakery coupon was for $1 off and I bought a single bagel priced at $0.75. But the coupon still came off for $1, giving me 0.25 overage (or money “back”) that applied to the other items I was buying.

It’s all about knowing how the system works!

~Happy Hunting!
~Lissa

Holy Granola Bar!

July 8, 2011

Ok, I have officially survived the Great Granola Bar Catalina Deal.

It was a little iffy. This was like the deal that Wouldn’t Die.

I don’t have a picture of the true extent of it because every time I thought it was over, it continued. And I was not about to try and gather all the boxes (and a bunch were already gone anyways), just to take a pic.

Grand total: 68 boxes of Nature’s Valley and Fiber One granola bars for $21.50. That equals $0.32/box. Oh yeah, and 4 free gallons of milk. That is CRAZY!!!!

It started 2 weeks ago (see the last post!)…. There were a few low value coupons available but doublers made it better. There was a catalina double dip with¬†2 different catalinas for each set of 4 boxes bought.¬†Stock was sold out. I bought 8 boxes. (one trip)

Then last week both catalinas ended up carrying over for the full sales week. The milk catalina unexpectedly carried over for a couple of days. Even without doublers and the low value insert coupons, boxes could be had for only 0.50/box. I bought 12 more boxes early in the week. (one trip)

And then it was July. And new online printable coupons were released on coupons.com. Higher value for ALL the various granola bars. Plus even slightly higher value ones from pillsbury.com. 2 prints each site per computer. I printed from 3 work and one home computer. And on Tuesday, the last day of the sale, I headed to a nearby store to see what was left in stock.

They had a TON. (no granola thins but WHO CARES!). In a single shopping trip I bought 40 more boxes!!! I got a wide range of varieties/flavors and there were multiple boxes of each left on the shelf. It was a quiet afternoon in the store and I spent about 40 minutes at the self-checkout running my 10 transactions through – 4 boxes at a time (because of the catalinas). The cashier was so nice and patient!

Finally the week was over, both catalinas are dead, and I have a zillion boxes of granola bars to bring to work and filter into the candy drawer so everyone has tasty and healthy snacks on busy days! As well as a couple of coworkers who took home several boxes each. ūüôā Who’s the most popular coworker ever???

In other shopping news this week:

Thank God Albertson’s didn’t have much else in the way of deals (or doublers!). There was a good buy 10 save $5 sale that I did twice, once at the beginning of the week, once at the end. I got:

(11) boxes of brownies – 0.49
(9) cans veggies – 0.49
-(5) 0.55/1 brownie printable
-(6) 0.40/1 brownie insert
= $4.65 (brownies = 0.24 for 11 boxes!)

Brownies will also be making their way to work this summer…….again, campaigning for most popular coworker ūüėÄ

I had a few deals lined up for Rite Aid last week but I was so tired that I ended up skipping it. They were all things I had stock of already so I didn’t feel too compelled to exhaust myself with the effort. I thought about skipping this week too, but there has ended up with a couple of good moneymakers so I will *probably* go tomorrow. We’ll see! The grocery stores are all snoozers this week (thank goodness!) and I am well stocked on most everything so it will be a very light weekend for me!

Maybe I’ll actually get some studying done? Pray for sunshine!

Take Care
~Lissa