Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Target Coupon Headache

I stopped at four stores today. My normal Rite Aid was out of the Nivea body wash, but they did get a delivery today. I'm hoping to stop back this afternoon & get more free body wash. If not I'll ask for a rain check.

*Update - I did go back but forget to get a rain check. I grabbed another tube of free after rewards toothpaste. I'm beginning to wonder how anyone makes money on toothpaste?

I tired stopping at a second Rite Aid about 10/15 minutes away. They carry some items my normal Rite Aid doesn't including the Ace wrap at $3.99. Free after in ad coupon on page 8! To bad they didn't have any Nivea either. I was going to get some mouth wash, but as it turns out it was mis-marked on the shelf. I would have gotten the sale price, but no +up rewards. I did make an impulse buy of my favorite gum. Bad Taika! Ah well. $1.29 doesn't hurt anyone. ^_^

First Store:
Colgate Sensitive 6 oz $3.00
Total Before Coupons: $3.00

$1/1 Colgate Sensitive
Total After Coupons: $2.00

$3 +up
Net: $1.00 profit (Manager over ride required because I used +up rewards to make my out of pocket $0!)

Second Store:
Colgate Advance White $3.00
Ace Sport bandage $3.99
Orbit sweet mint $1.29
Total Before Coupons: $8.28

$4/1 Ace Bandage Rite Aid
Total After Coupons: $4.28

$3 +up rewards
Net: $1.28

Total net of both transactions: $.28!

Then to Target! I have no idea what exactly happened. I'm a little bit wary of Target at the moment because I know that it's been doing strange things at the registers with coupons when Target Gift Cards are involved. The transaction started off with a coupon reader. She read each Target coupon to be one per transaction. Okay, it only meant that I was paying $.50 for the two Sobe I had planned on getting free. No biggie. I wanted some more Sobe any way.

This also meant the two bic 10pk of pens, two Wonka bars & two Chef Boyardee's needed to be split into two transactions. Again I'm not going to complain she rang up those three items on a separate receipt. Awesome, glad she wasn't annoyed about ringing two transactions. Problem was she didn't take the second Wonka bar off the first receipt and the $1.00 off Wonka Manufacture coupon took off only $.06?!? I knew my total couldn't possibly be correct at almost $9, should have been only about $6.

The cashier and manager were trying to get a refund on the Wonka bar, but it kept coming up at $2.06 to be refunded instead of $2.29. So where did those $.23 go? Not a clue. The had me go to customer service to get it taken care of. The guy there was really nice. He refunded me $2.06 (it's taken me to long already to fight over $.23) and gave me $1.00 for the coupon missed scan. All in all I was only shorted $.17, but I'm not going to fight tooth & nail for that. I've dealt with customers who are infuriated if the price is a penny off. Really? A penny? Here have a penny from my pocket. Gees . . . I know pennies add up, but it strikes me as petty.

Transaction One (As the receipt Shows)
2 Wonka choclate bars @ 2.29 each = $4.58
2 Sobe @ $1.00 each = $2.00
Chef Boyardee $.99
Bic 10pk pens $.99
St Ives body wash travel size $.99
2 Schick Quartro 3pk @ $5.49 each = $10.98
Total Before Coupons: $20.53

$1/1 Wonka bar Target Q
$.06/1 Wonka bar (Still don't get it)
$.50/1 Sobe Target Q
$1 Sobe BOGO coupon
$.99/1 Chef Boyardee Target Q
$.99/1 Bic pens Target Q
$.99/1 St Ives
$3/1 Schick Quartro disposal multi pk
$3/1 Schick Quartro disposal multi pk
$.05 for reusable bag
Total After Coupons: $8.95

$5.00 Target GC for purchase of 2 Schick Quartro
Net: $3.95

Transaction Two:
Chef Boyardee $.99
Bic 10pk pens $.99
Wonka Bar $2.29
Total Before Coupons: $4.27

$.99/1 Chef Boyardee Target Q
$.99/1 Bic pens Target Q
$1/1 Wonka bar Target Q
$1/1 Wonka bar
Total After Coupons: $.29

Transaction Three (correction time)
-$2.06 for extra Wonka bar charge
-$1.00 for coupon scanning incorrectly
Net: $3.06 back in cash

Total of all three transactions: $1.18 (Close enough for me.)

Last stop was Weis. I had stopped in only for Dole Monte ready to blend fruit smoothie. These were on sale for $1. I printed a coupon last time the went on sale a few weeks ago, but couldn't find it so I went on my merry way home. I'm glad I held on to the coupon as it netted my two free today. Just in times as they expire on the 30th. I ended up picking up Digiorno pizza for one. This was a freebie coupon I got through face book that expires at the end of the month. Target didn't have them & since I spotted them at Weis I decided to pick it up. Too bad they only had pepperoni in the deep dish. That just means my Sweetheart gets to enjoy it. (I don't eat pork products.)

Free! Enough said.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Surprise @ Rite Aid!

Time for my stops at the drug stores. I'm very lucky to live so close to two different drug stores, Rite Aid down the street & CVS all but 10 minutes away! Now if only there was a Walgreens closer. (Yes, I'm spoiled by the closeness of everywhere I shop.)

Sunday was my typical trip to CVS. I forgot to bring my camera along, so I couldn't do a picture book. That's okay it was busy any way. I'll have to find some time to go & get it done. I need to head back any way because they were out of the CVS pantyliners and I have one more deal left for the month. Let's see what I got . . .

Reinventing Beauty Magazine $.99
U by Kotex tampons $4.99
Total Before Coupons: $5.98

$1/1 Kotex Manufacture
$1.50/1 Kotex CVS coupon
-From the Beauty Magazine! The whole reason why I bought it. Best of all the coupons inside are CVS store coupons.That means I can double up with manufacture coupons! I'm hoping that I can get more use out of this one.
Total After Coupons: $3.48

$4.99 EB from Kotex purchase, limit 1
Net: $1.51 profit (+ $.25 green bag tag)

It's Monday, so that means a trip to Right Aid. I'm a little disappointed in this weeks ad. There really didn't seem to be much there, although I still ended up with 4 products free. I really got use to using $5 off $25 coupons, but there wasn't anything that wouldn't cost more out of pocket to bring my total up that high. I considered getting the Ducolax, between sale and combination of coupons it would have netted me about $2. They were out because of the sale from last week.

2 Nivea Men's Body Wash @ $1.99 each = $3.98
Reach Tooth Brush $3.99
Colgate Total Advance Toothpaste $3.00
Total Before Coupons: $10.97

$4/2 Nivea Body Care (Thanks to For The Mommas, see here)
$1/1 Reach product (I forget where I got this internet coupon)
$.75/1 Colgate (from Smile Talk)
Total After Coupons: $5.22

Received/Will Receive:
$1 +up Nivea
$1 +up Reach
$2.99 SCR Reach
$3 +up Colgate
$1 +up Nivea
-SURPRISE! Before you would only get one at the register, now you get two? I had two different scents, so I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it. I'm happy that it's split up and not lumped together like CVS extra bucks. (Lumping multiples of the same offer together makes it more difficult to spend.) I wonder if this will continue
Net: $3.77 profit

Here are both of the $1 +up Rewards

Here both Nevias are on that same receipt.

If I were to exclude the +up rewards I would have spent $2.23 for all the products. As I've stated before I don't like the direction this is going. I hope I can soon turn those +up rewards back into cash via single check rebates. I'm going to spend some time today looking over the monthly rebate flier to get some ideas.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Making Money From Rebates

In the short span of time that I've been doing the rebates (May of this year) I've managed to make:

$36.37 at Rite Aid (includes the GCs from skin care rebate, GC P&G rebate & has my out of pocket costs subtracted out of the total. This is everything I’ve ever bought at Rite Aid!)

$20 rebate OLAY (Rite Aid already paid for everything except for about $2. I took that money away from my Rite Aid total so I'm looking at this as a bonus)

$10 rebate Kraft (I didn't think I would get this rebate. I didn't specifically head out to the store & buy $30 of product to get $10. I just happen to do so in the time span required. Definitely a bonus)

$10 Johnson & Johnson rebates ($5 more Johnson & Johnson to arrive in the mail. Again all items I would have gotten anyway.)

Grand Total: $76.87 and I still expect another $5 to come in!

I'm not counting the Office Depot as of yet because I haven't received it. I don't count CVS Money Makers because it has to be spent at CVS. If I could turn around and get gift cards with the Extra Bucks you better believe I would. (Pre-paid Visa anyone?)

In the long haul $75+ doesn't seem like that much over 3 months . . . If you add in the free products it's an awesome deal! There are some things I wish I had done at the beginning to keep better track of what was going in & what went out.

1. Given my rebate “fund” a head start by setting aside $50-$100 to use. Once it grew enough to be twice the size I would take back the initial amount back into savings or use it to pay off more of my debt. (Depending on where exactly I got the money from in the first place. As it is everything either came out of my spending cash or groceries.)

2. A written record of all rebates. For The Mommas has a wonderful rebate tracker (here) to put on paper. It really helps keep everything organized. It’s easy to see what I should be getting back, when it should be coming and eventually will give me good expectations on how long things will take in the future. (I don’t plan on using this for Rite Aid, except perhaps to keep track of my totals. I want to make a month to month accounting of that specific store.)

3. A box to keep ALL my receipts regardless of whether or not there was a rebate at the time that I knew about. You never know what your might find three days latter, only to have that receipt in the trash the night before last.

4. An ‘open’ filing system to readily file coupons, rebates, envelopes, mailing labels, stamps, receipts that have rebates & copies of receipts & mailings. This would be a nice bin with hanging folders that make for easy filing right next to my desk.

I think I will have better records of everything given I follow the above plan. In addition to a ‘normal’ rebate fund I plan on having a separate Rite Aid rebate fund. There have numerous free after rebate products at Rite Aid and the money will continue to just keep cycling through. A quick look ahead it seems as if the Single Check Rebates don’t look as good for the up coming month. (See here.) I hope it gets better, because I would hate Rite Aid to end up like CVS with their extra bucks.

Freebies have been spotty lately. Here are two that I've gotten since I last posted. Kelloggs sent more than just the one cereal sample which was a pleasant surprise. Boscia blotting sheets are really nice. $10 for 100 sheets is a fair price. CVS blotting sheets retail around $4.99 for 50, so it's about the same cost. Now the question is can I get free shipping? I might switch brands if such is the case.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Money Doesn't Grow On Trees!

It Grows In Drug Stores feeding on rebates!

Round two of drug store trips! First off to CVS. Still no pretzel M&M, I did however get a raincheck to use latter. Not sure when this will happen, we will see. The brita filter 3pk was a great deal with plenty on the shelf. I also found a CVS $4 coupon for a Schick Quatro raiser in the store. Pair that up with with the manufacture coupon and I've got a money maker! (Which was promptly absorbed by the filters.) Forgot to check on the panyliners. Next time . . .

Schick Quatro Raiser $8.99
Brita Filter 3pk $14.99
Total Before Coupons: $23.98

$4/1 Schick Quatro CVS
$4/1 Schick Quatro
Total After Coupons: $15.98

$5 EB Brita Filter purchase
$4 EB Schick Quatro purchase
Net: $6.98 (-$.25 green Bag Tag)

Rite Aid had their delivery today. Unfortunately they were still out of the 20ct Motrin PM. That was disappointing. I really like that stuff for a specific time during the month. It's great just before going to bed. They didn't have any more of the Zegerid on sale. Boo! There went my filler! I ended up getting the Colonaide any way so I could use a $5 off $25 purchase.

Smooth Move Tea $3.69
Cryostat $8.99
Colonaide $22.99
Total Before Coupons: $35.67

$2/1 Smooth Move
$2/1 Colonaide
$5 off $25 purchase
Total After Coupons: $26.67

Will Receive
$3.69 SCR Smooth Move
$8.99 SCR Cryostat
$22.99 SCR Colonaide
Net: $9.00 profit

I ♥ Rite Aid Single Check Rebates! I'll just keep on going in and getting things if it means money grows in drugs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Out of most things . . .

It was a complete miss on Sunday at CVS. They didn't have the Pretzel M&M. (They were subsituting the plain & peanuts. I'm not overly fond of those, so I will wait to get the pretzel ones.) And they were out of the CVS pantyliners. I could have gotten the britta filters, but I'll just wait until latter today. Today is delivery day. ^_^

Rite Aid wasn't that much better. Here is my list of the following being out!

Smooth Move (tea) $3.69
Cyrostat $8.99
Colonaide $22.99
Motrin PM 20ct $5.99

It's Monday for crying out loud! Can't you order up so you have stock through Monday? Or rather your next delivery day? Seriously. I know retailers get a look at there ad weeks in advance, if not by a month or two! I know, I know you can't always predict what exactly will sell so well. 3 out of 4 items listed above are free after the Single Check Rebate. I would think someone would be be like "Ah yes, of coarse we should order a ton of these because people get them free. People like free stuff." Same goes for CVS! (At least they have more stuff come in on Mondays.) *sighs* I will just end my rant there.

I did manage to snag the following:
Dulcolax 14 days $9.99
Zegrid 14ct $10.00
Advil Liquid gel 20ct $5.19
Total Before Coupons: $25.28

$4/1 Zegrid
$3/1 Zegrid in Ad Rite Aid
$4/1 Dulcolax
$5 off $25 purchase
Total After Coupons: $9.28

Received/will receive:
$7 +up Zegrid purchase
$9.99 SCR Dulcolax
Net: $7.71

I hadn't planned on getting the Advil, but with the Zegrid & Dulcolax totaling $19.99 I thought I could at least use my $5 off $25 coupon. We are low on Ibuprofen any way. I looked to for something slightly over $5 and this was the first one to catch my eye.

I was also plan on submitting the receipt for the Zegrid rebate. I'm going to wait on that for now. I plan to go back latter in the week to grab the Smooth Move, Cyrostat & Motrin PM. ($18+ if it's all there.) I'll add the Zegrid again if they have any of those items and Zegrid pushes the total over the $25 mark. (Another $5 off $25 coupon.) I'm going to skip the Colonaide as I don't have a coupon for it and it's over $20. I could use the $5 off $20, but I rather save it for something a bit more useful for my personal needs or that of my family.

I also tried using one of the rebate checks Rite Aid sends out to pay for this transaction. I used a previously earned $5 +up rewards, so the total only came about $4. I didn't realize it until after. Being as I planned for my totals to be a lot more I didn't think it would go under the amount of the rebate check. The cashier went and processed it. Of coarse the register only put it in for the amount of the transaction. Which makes complete sense. Of coarse they don't want to give you cash back on an amount over the transaction. You can't do it any store I know of.

Rite Aid, please train your cashiers. This is the same person I see every week. I know she's been there for a while. I would have thought they would know about the system by now. Lesson learned: Take your Rite Aid rebate check to the bank and get the cash. It's just so much less of a pain.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Money Makers, but do I need the item(s) in question?

Currently (at least until Saturday) there are several rebate offer at Office Depot that when combined with a $10 off $25 purchase create money making scenarios. A maxium value can be found here from Mojo Savings. (Common Sense With Money has all items listed here.)

Now while I love a money maker to me the 'best' scenario doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I'm sure I could find a place to donate the items, but I had a slightly different idea in mind.

2 Staples Paper 500sheets/pk @ $6.29 each = $12.58
Staples Sheet Protector 25/pk $6.99
Hanging Folders $9.79
Total Before Coupons: $29.36

$10 OFF $25 purchase
Total After Coupons: $19.36

Will Receive:
2 Visa Gift Cards for Paper purchase @ $5.29 each = $10.58
Visa Gift Card for Sheet Protector purchase $6.59
Net: $2.19

Not bad for all stuff I need! I might try and run out tomorrow and get the other items as money makers. I haven't really decided yet. If there are deals like this often at Office Depot it might well become my favorite supply store.

I also ended up signing up for their rewards program. We will have to see how that works out. I was told for each ink cartridge I turn in I get a $3 gift card. I hope that's correct, because it would mean no expiration date! I use to like Staples when they would take off $3 instantly. I hated when they turned it into certificates, because I could never get to the store before they expired. Although now I live a lot closer to one . . .

Quick CVS stop! $2 money maker! It was free after Extra Bucks and I had a $2 manufactures coupon. A good item for a donation.

Monday, July 12, 2010

CVS & Rite Aid

Time for my typical Sunday & Monday trips. ^_^

I found everything at CVS on Sunday. It was amazing because last year when they ran these deals they would be all out by noon on Sunday. Looks like they are trying to keep everything in stock, I only hope it continues as more Back To School deals show up in the ad. I was going to get the free full size contact solution, but forgot my coupon at home. Ah, well. Another CVS trip coming up then.

I bought:
2 CVS Pantyliners @ $.50 each = $1.00
Papermate Pens 10pk $.99
Caliber 5 inch Scissors $.99
Tylenol Precise Cream $5.99
Biotrue 2oz $2.99
2 Shoe Bags @ $1.59 each = $3.18 (80% clearance!)
Total before Coupons: $15.14

$2/1 Tylenol Precise (found on a 'power wing' as the associate called it)
$5/1 Tylenol Precise CVS coupon
Total After Coupons: $8.14

$1 EB CVS Pantyliners
$.99 EB Papermate Pens
$.99 EB Caliber Scissors
$2 EB Tylenol Precise
$2.99 Biotrue
Net: $.17 (+ $.25 profit Green bag tag makes this $.08 profit)

Rite Aid Today was an okay trip. I managed to find the toothpastes with Single Check Rebates, but the only coupon I had left was $1/2. Still that means free toothpaste. I also found the witch hazel that had been spotted with a try me free rebate. I didn't realize it was on sale until I looked at my receipt when leaving the store. If I had known that I might have waited to get to use as a filler or put my purchase up to $25. My Rite Aid does not have the Neutrogena Clinical that has a try me free rebate this week. Maybe I can try another Rite Aid? I don't think they will have it either. Perhaps I will just sit this one out?

I bought:
Crest w/ Scope 4oz $2.69
Crest 3D White 5.8 oz $2.99
Dickinson Witch Hazel $2.50 (Reg $5.29)
Total Before Coupons: $8.18

$1/2 Crest 4oz+
Total After Coupons: $7.18

Will Receive:
$2 SCR Crest 3D White
$2.69 SCR Crest Scope
$2.50 rebate Dickinson Witch Hasel

Net: Free!

Friday, July 9, 2010

I *heart* Sobe!

Loving the Sobe deal at CVS. Looks like they filled up the coolers again today. I used up the last from my current stash of BOGO coupons. Got two more playing the game tonight. Don't think I will make out to CVS again. The coupons are good 'til the end of August, so I'm hoping for another Target deal between now and then.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rite Aid Trip

Today was my delayed Rite Aid trip. It did not go exactly as well as I had hoped. I couldn't find the toothbrush on special, I didn't have a coupon for the blink (which I bought any way) and the rude cashier was there. That's okay I still made out fairly well.

Today I bought:
Gillette Pro-glide Fusion $9.99
Crest w/ Scope 4oz $2.49
Renu Sensitive Eyes $7.29
Blink Tear Preservative free $7.99
Andes Mint $.25 (Not that I needed this . . .)
Total Before Coupons: $28.01

$2/1 Gillette Pro-glide
$1/1 Crest 4.0oz or larger
$2/1 Renu Sensitive
$2/1 Renu Sensitive Video Values
$5 off a $25 purchase
Total After Coupons: $16.01

Received/will receive:
$5 +up rewards Gillette
$2 +up rewards Crest
$2 +up rewards Blink
$7.29 Single Check Rebate Renu
$5 Single Check Rebate Blink
Net: $5.28 profit ^_^

I also got my free 5x7 & 8x10 today. When my cashier saw that they were free she started becoming a bit rude. I think she's mad about people getting stuff free. *sighs* I am certain she could do these deals as well if she wanted to. I work retail and got the idea to start working the deals after watching so many customers do them on a consistent basis. It's not to difficult once you get started. I will say that my experiences from cashiers being rude about coupons & good deals changes the way I view customers myself.

This is one of the pictures that was a part of my free collage that I picked up today. Isn't this a beautiful flower? It grows in my parents garden. I need to pictures of it again sometime soon.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Target & CVS Freebies

A while back I was luck enough to get a catalina coupon at Target for $5 off a $20 purchase of frozen food items. I read about a deal on Bertolli, buy 3 @ $5.89 get a $5 GC. I was already planning to go back and get more Eggo waffles & pancakes, so getting 3 of those meals would bring it up the purchase just above $20! I also had a coupon for $1.50 off one. (Unfortunately that's all I had.) So . . .

5.89 * 3 = $17.67
$17.67 - $5 (coupon) - $5 GC - $1.5 (coupon) = $6.17
$7.67/3 = $2.05 (and $.02 split 3 ways)

Not a bad price for those meals. The Eggo waffles & pancakes ended up being $.75 each. Good deal for Target. I actually did this on Wednesday, but haven't had time 'til now to post anything about it. I worked all weekend . . . luckily I have today as an extra day off.

Saturday at CVS they finally had the Olay body wash back in stock along with the ivory soap. I had gotten a rain check from a previous week when it was buy $27 of Olay 7 Effects body wash or moisturizer. Opting for 4 body wash made for some cheap soap & body wash.

4 Olay 7 Effects Body Wash @ $7.00 each = $28.00
4 Ivory soap 4pk @ $2.99 each = $11.96
Pure Energy bar @ $.99
Total Before Coupons: $40.95

4 $4/1 Olay 7 Effects Body Wash = $16.00
4 BOGO buy Olay 7 Effects Body Wash get Ivory Soap Free (up to $3.00) = $11.96
Total After Coupons: $12.99

$7 EB Olay purchase
$.99 EB Pure Energy Bar
Net Total: $5.00 (forgot my green bag tag again! I'm so bad with that.)

Sunday at CVS was Freebies only. Most appropriate for the day of freedom, yes?
6 Sobe @ $1.59 each BOGO sale = $4.77
~Two of these are gone. I had one and shared a second with my mom.
2 CVS pantyliner @ $.50 each = $1.00
BioTrue Multi Purpose Contact Solution 2oz $2.99
Total Before Coupons: $8.76

3 BOGO Sobe Coupons @ $1.59 each = $4.77
Total After Coupons: $3.99

$1.00 EB purchase of 2 CVS pantyliner
$2.99 purchase of BioTrue
Net: $0.00 ($.25 profit green bag tag scan)

Oh! My freebies have started coming back again!

July Budget & Climbing . . .

Time to look at my debt. Any time I've looked at the ending sum of my debt I've never felt like I was getting any where. I think that if I look to see how much I've paid off from month to month & have the ability to watch the principal slowly go downward as it picks up speed in dropping I will be much more satisfied.

Grand Total Last Month: $47,072.37
New Grand Total: $46,694.41
Amount Paid Off: $377.96

I don't plan on changing my budget from June to July. I need to get back into the swing of things again. To much changed all at once & I've been a bit lost in keeping up. Speaking of which I need to see how much extra was on that last pay check and balance my accounts again.

Bills (Electric) $100
Car Insurance $42
Car repairs/upkeep $48
Cellphone $30
Clothing $20
Free Money $60
Gas $200
Groceries $120
Health $28
Rent $280
Savings $20
Student Loans: $501

Grand Total: $1429/month

Donation Box

I've wanted to give for a while, but I don't have lots of money. I don't have a consistent chunk of time to set aside. I've felt kind of stuck. One of my projects has been to collect what I could through couponing for free items and then give away what I don't need. I'm happy to say after two months of really going for the deals I'm able to give away my first box of donations. It's not a lot, but one never knows how a small deed might help someone or inspire someone else.