Monday, May 30, 2011


I had a very good trip this week. Our store's clearance end cap got marked to 90% off! I've been meaning to buy up some cotton balls, but haven't seen any good deals. These were the trail size ones that we'll no longer be carrying. Yippie for me! Spotted two flavors of Chips Ahoy! 75% off making them $.94 a pack. Also exciting this week is the Planters BOGO free deal, part of the gas rewards. (I've been packing these up along with some raisins as a healthy snack.) I purchased this on Saturday night, so some of it is part of last week's deals.

Aqua Fresh Kids Toothbrush $1.00 (raincheck)
2 Chips Ahoy! @ $.94 each = $1.88
2 Coke 2-Litters @ $.99 each = $1.98 (one not pictured)
5 CVS Cotton Balls 25ct @ $.09 each = $.45
4 CVS Cotton Squares 20ct @ $.09 each = $.36
CVS Facial Cleansing Tissue $1.49
CVS Green Bag Tag $.99
Essence of Beauty Jumbo Wedge 4 ct $.09
Honest Tea $1.00 (we only had one green tea in stock *sad face*)
Popcorn Indiana $2.50
Pringles Pizza Flavor $1.34
Pringles Regular $1.33
Stirde Gum $.99
Planters South Beach $7.49
Planters South Beach FREE (BOGO Free)
Total Before Coupons: $22.89

$1/1 Aquafresh Kids Toothbrush
$2 off wyb 2 Coke 2 liters & 2 Pringles
$1.50/1 CVS Facial Cleansing Tissue (CVS Coupon Center a while back)
$.99/1 Green Bag Tag (CVS Coupon Center, last week)
$.50/1 Honest Tea 16.9oz (Tear pad on cooler door. It was there for 3 days & then gone!)
$1/1 Popcorn Indiana (CVS Coupon Center, last week)
Total After Coupons: $15.90 +$.19 tax (used $10 EB)

$.99 EB Stride
$1.00 Green Bag Tag
Net: $14.90 cost (Higher than normal, but I'll work with it)

Today after I got done with work I headed to another CVS because we didn't have any more of the South Beach diet verity of Planters. I'm hoping to finish it off for a $10 gas card once our truck comes in on Friday. I also wanted to use up the raincheck on the Aqua Fresh Toothbrush as the coupons expire on Tuesday.

3 Aqua Fresh Kids Toothbrush $1.00 each = $3.00
2 Planters South Beach @ $7.49 = $14.98
Planters South Beach FREE (BOGO Free)
Planters Energy Mix FREE (BOGO Free)
Total Before Coupons: $17.98 (forgot my EB)

3 $1/1 Aqua Fresh Kids Toothbrush
Total After Coupons: $14.98

Net: $14.98

Grand Net: $14.98 + $14.90 = $29.88

Geez! That's a lot of money from me all in one week. The nuts count towards my grocery budget as does the coke, pringles & popcorn. The rest is from my free money. Luckily I haven't been buying as much in the past week and I got in some rebates for some food products. That'll help my grocery budget.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saving Sunday - Mailbox!

I haven't done one of these in a while! I didn't get anything for a while, but now I have about two or three weeks worth of stuff. Feast or famine. Coffee, cereal, Coke 12-pack (Coke Rewards), dog treats, shampoo, detergent, sweet potato fries and that cute bag from Coinstar! What a fun collection. ^_^

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CVS - Nail Polish Free!

This week is free nail polish at CVS! I don't wear a lot of cosmetics. There are a few things that I go for such as nail polish. I hate having it on my hands, but love it on my toes. Huh? I'm just weird. Some of these colors will be given away to friends or to Mutti. She requested the clear one. Any who . . . On with the trip!

Transaction 1:
2 Revlon Nail Polish @ $4.99 = $9.98
Total Before Coupons: $9.98

$2/1 Revlon Cosmetic
$1/1 Revlon Nail Polish
Total After Coupons: $6.98 + $.06 tax (used $6 EB)

$8 EB Revlon Nail Polish (two offers)

Net: $.96 profit

Transaction 2 & 3:
2 Revlon Nail Polish @ $4.99 = $9.98
Total Before Coupons: $9.98

2 $1/1 Revlon Nail Polish
Total After Coupons: $7.98 (used $8 EB)

$8 EB Revlon Nail Polish (two offers)


Bonus: $5 EB Beauty Club! From buying Nail Polish!

Transaction 4:
Always Infinity $7.99
Crystal Lite single pack $.50
2 Hellman's Mayo $3.00 each = $6.00
2 Reese's Mini's $1.87 each = $3.74
Reese's Mini FREE (Buy 2 get 1 Free)
3 Skippy @ 3/$5 = $5
Total Before Coupons: $23.23

$1/1 Always Pads
$1/1 Always Infinity CVS Coupon Machine
$1/1 Any Crystal Lite CVS Coupon Machine
2 $1/1 Hellman's Mayo (IP a while back, no long available)
$1.87 Reese's Mini Free CVS Employee (Coupon addressed CVS crew members)
Total After Coupons: $17.36 (paid with $5 EB & $8 EB)

*Dear Skippy. I love your peanut butter. Where are my coupons? I haven't seen them in ages!*

$3 EB Always Infinity
$3 EB wyb $10 of selected Unilever products.
Net: $11.36 cost

Grand Net: $.96 profit + Free + Free + $5.00 profit (bonus EB) + $11.36 cost = $5.40 cost.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Donation Box

Just a quick look at the Donation Box from the past couple of weeks. I'm glad I started couponing with the goal of saving money and giving back as much as I can. ^_^

Friday, May 20, 2011

CVS - Candy!

Not much of interested for me this week. I did however plan on getting M&Ms for my candy 'jar'. My 'jar' is actually one of gum ball machines. It's great because when I'm feeling the need for some candy I turn the handle once maybe twice and walk away. I don't tear through bags of candy any more. The Coupon Center gave me a $3 off $15 grocery purchase and a $2/1 Hershey's Reese's Mini's or Drops. Sold!

2 Hershey's Reese's Minis 8oz @ $3.00 each = $6.00
4 M&M Bags (Medium size) @ $2.50 each = $10.00
Total Before Coupons: $16.00

$3 off $15 grocery purchase (CVS coupon)
$2/1 Hershey's Reese's Minis or Drops (CVS Coupon Machine)
$2/2 Hershey's Reese's Minis or Drops
Total After Coupons: $9.00 (used $7 EB + $2.00 cash)

$3 EB wyb $10 of select Candy
Net: $6.00 (about $1.00 for each bag of candy!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rite Aid

I had a quick Rite Aid run on Monday. They were out of the Colgate 360, so I either need to pick them up latter this week or find something else to spend $4 +up on. Not a bad trip, but not quiet as good as I was hoping either.

Lysol Wipes $3.14 (10% discount)
No Nonsense Socks $.90 (10% discount)
2 Oral-B Toothbrushes @ $2.99 each = $5.98
Total Before Coupons: $10.02

$1.50/1 Lysol Wipes (Facebook offer)
$1/1 Lysol Wipes Rite Aid Coupon (Donation)
$1/1 No Nonsense Rite Aid Coupon (Donation)
$1.50/1 Oral-B
$1/1 Oral-B manual toothbrush (from a sample)
Total After Coupons: $4.02 (used $4 +up & $.02 cash)

2 $2 +up Oral-B Toothbrushes (limit 2)
Net: $.02 cost

Love getting items for less than a penny each. What will I buy if I can't get more toothbrushes? Maybe Ziplock containers?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday Madness and Then Some

Mondays are turning out to be my day to run around everywhere. At least when I don't have to be at work until 3pm. Running around for most of the morning and then working latter in the evening means I don't have much time for posting. Tuesdays are a 'break' for me as I usually am working at my part time job and cook something for dinner. Wednesdays are often early mornings with cleaning to do in the evening. Thursday being a long day means no posts until latter. I like the idea of being able to have a routine. It's nice. Now if only I can keep it that way for a few weeks. Anywho . . .

Today I have some extra time so I thought I would share some of my shopping trips this week. Okay, two of them are technically last week, but I'm putting them here anyway. Target is always a strange sort of fellow. I still haven't figured out if overage is a normal thing or not on coupons. I wasn't planning on any at all this time because of all the adjustments made last time. I'm happy with the result. I needed to use up my Nivea coupons and Sweetheart desperately needed some Benadryl.

Men's Nivea $3.19
Women's Nivea $2.03
Benadryl 100ct $11.29
Total Before Coupons: $16.51

$3/1 Men's Nivea
$3/1 Women's Nivea
$1/1 Benadryl (found a manufactures coupon booklet for allergies at CVS)
Total After Coupons: $9.51 (actually $9.46 because the coupons created a negative tax of $.05!)

Target, could you kindly make up your mind? I think you should allow the overage as your competitor Walmart does. (Makes sense to me.)

Saturday night I decided to try out a new store: Food Loin. It opened up a few months back, but I hadn't been in to see the prices at all. With another grocery store right across the street does it really make sense to drive 10 minutes out of the way? (Yes, I'm spoiled with the grocery store being across the way.) A $10 off a $20 purchase is enough to entice this girl.

It wasn't super spectacular or anything. They don't double coupons or have a big ad. Some prices are slightly high than my normal store and others are slightly lower. (Comparing the prices of items I normally buy.) I was happy to find my Fruitables juice boxes on sale 2/$4! I've never seen them on sale, ever! Now priced at $2.75 for the lowest price I ended buying a few of these on the spot. Also ended up with some frozen veggies which ended up with me spending a bit more than I intended for this particular trip. It did save me from having to store at my regular store on the way home. (Needed veggies any way.)

Total Price of Merchandise: $44.41
Sales Savings: $7.00
Coupons: $10.00
Total Spent: $27.41 (Not to shabby)

I've stopped at Gaint a few times this week. First I needed my newspapers for the coupons. Second my parents have a cat and had coupons to buy up some cat food cheap! More than happy to oblige. Had to be quick about it as they expired on Monday. Also there's a special deal at Gaint on Oscar Mayer Sub deal. (See here.) I was more than happy to take advantage of. Few more coupons from a co-work and run it again. (Didn't take a picture of that one.)

Merchandise (Including 3 Newspapers): $17.31
Sale Savings: $1.39
Coupons Savings: $.35
Double Coupon: $.35
Total Spent: $15.22

Merchandise: $24.81
Sale Savings: $3.87
Instant Savings: $3.00
Coupons Savings: $15.00
Total Spent: $2.94 + $.18 tax = $3.12 (Parents will reimburse me for kitty food!)

While I managed to get something for the Kitty, I couldn't get in on a deal for the girls. Petsmart is running a special on some dog treats that paired with sale & coupon are free. (I forget which blog I spotted it on.) They were completely out and none in the back. I inquired about getting a raincheck. They do rainchecks! I'm very happy about this. It has to be in an ad flier & a manager needs to sign off on it. I'm hopping I will be able to get some in the next deliver before the sale is over, if not I have a raincheck. (As long as they come in before the coupon expires.)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

CVS posting

Ah, finally a chance to get to my weekly shopping trip. I haven't stopped at Rite Aid at all this week mostly because of time, partly because I haven't been as interested in the deals. I feel like I'm lagging behind. Gerr . . . I need to pop over there at some point this week or waste my +up rewards.

CVS has had some at least okay deals for me. Again for simplicity I'll just summarize everything up. I need to start cooking dinner and would also like to cook up some things in advance. (Part of that 'increasing' grocery budget.)

CVS Trip Summary
Merchandise Sales Total: $40.32*
Coupons/Discount: $31.71
Tax: $.04
EB used: $6.54
Total Out Of Pocket: $2.11
EB Received: $7.00
Net: $1.65 cost

*Ivory Soap was a raincheck for $.99. Even though we restocked on Friday I didn't buy them until this week.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stamp Out Hunger

I had planned on doing this tomorrow and posting my CVS trip instead. Blogger it seems had other plans and was down until a few minutes ago. I need to head off to work soon, so Stamp Out Hunger it is. These are the items I'm putting out by my door.

These are all items I got for free/cheap or bought ages ago and never did anything with. (Canned veggies anyone? I seem to eat only the frozen one now.) It feels good to clean out my pantry. Time to figure out what to do with that chicken broth. Why does Sweetheart hate soup so much? It's cheap and easy to make, but he hates almost everything. Miso is about the only one he will eat and even then he leave the broth. Gerr . . . must be more creative!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Increasing the Budget

*Warning, long post ahead!*

I've been debating with myself a lot lately about increasing the food budget. My current amount works out to $25/week for two people! I don't think that's nearly enough. How on earth have a managed it to this point? I believe I've been able to scrape by for the following reasons:

~Once a week we eat at my Sweetheart's parents. His mom loves to make these fantastic meat balls! They are just great.

~Sweetheart has insisted on eating out two-three times a week. He had been accustomed to eating out even more often than that. We had tried a budget of $50/week for eating out, but alas it didn't last long. (I couldn't get him to go any lower!)

~About every other week we've made it over to my parents for a meal. Sometimes this meant eating out, again. Other times my parents have footed the bill for an in house meal with us bring along dessert.

~All of the above at times meant there was a possibility of left overs. This has meant easy packable meals or quick meals when we've been too tired.

~I've often used Extra Bucks to buy Coke from CVS. These EB were generated from deals that either were MM or stuff that was nearly free or needed but paid for out of my pocket money. So I'm really paying for stuff from my free money instead of the grocery items.

~Some grocery items I've managed to get free after sales, coupons & rewards. (Anyone remember that fantastic week of Edy's Ice Cream, Chex Mix & Lay's Stax at Rite Aid? If not see here.)

A recent meal from our 'vacation' weekend.

Things have slowly been changing. We use to go out more often to eat. Sweetheart's dad ate out a lot. I meal a lot! (Like 5 or 6 days a week sometimes for all three meals of the day!) He often liked to have company around and would invite us to join him. It was not entirely uncommon for him to invite us out twice if not three times in one week. Sometimes I was working and Sweetheart went by himself, but more often than not I was there as well. He hasn't asked as much of late. (As of this posting it's been about two/three months since I've joined him.) We're not sure why but we suspect he's started to keep an eye on his money. (Recently retired.)

Sweetheart has been out less often than what he use to. While it was two to three times a week with me, there were still another two or three times he would out himself when I was not around. Lunch out while at work, a meal out with a friend or getting dinner on the walk home. He takes lunch to work unless he needs to walk there. Our friends come over for a meal in house. Sweetheart doesn't buy his dinner on the way home anymore. He goes through his bread for sandwiches a lot fast than he use to. (Sweetheart loves white bread. I hate it. He doesn't like wheat, but I love it. So we end up with separate bread.)

Not eating out as often means less in left overs. His parents not eating out means even less. There had been times when they would get two large Pizzas and offer us the left overs. We would happily except them and eat them for work.

Lastly food prices are started to creep slowly up. I hadn't noticed much beyond the price changes at work until one of my main packing staples went up by $.25. It's not a lot, but a item originally priced at $2.50 each now at $2.75 is a price jump of 10%! Ouch. That really hurts on a small budget with little room for error.

It's time for a change . . .

Home "cooking". How much of this is really cooking when it's a box mix?

I don't want to honestly, but something has got to give. I'm spending the grocery money fast than it's coming in. Sometimes I know it has to do with my choices. I like Florida's Natural Orange Juice. Yes, it can be pricey, but I love knowing the Orange juice is from the USA. It makes me happy to support 'local' farmers. (Florida's not really local, but Oranges hardly suited to grow well in the PA climate.)

I also buy organic meat, milk & carrots. I'm not exactly sure why I started to buy organic meat. I just did at some point in college. I suppose I thought it was better for you. I certainly think it tastes better. That's all a matter of opinion though. As for carrots, one day I noticed the store I bought them from had regular & organic carrots for the same exact price. Same size bag, identical looking cut and no good reason not to buy organic. (Prices have gone up slightly, but not enough for me to switch.)

I go through phases on milk. Sometimes I drink a lot and a half gallon is gone in less than three days. At other times I'll have one glass from the container and then not touch it for over a week. My milk spoil on me before I could finish it. I also had always thought milk tasted funny after you got about half way through it. Organic milk has a far longer expiration date. The reason is the ultra pasteurization process it goes through. Which meant my milk doesn't spoil if I go through a period when I'm not drinking it. And no more funny taste after the containers been opened for two days. Yea!

Other choices are cheap, cheap, cheap! Sweetheart loves his white bread and at $1.19 for a typical loaf it will make lots of cheap meals. Eggs: Hard boiled, scrabbled, used to make french toast, a cheap source of protein. Buying in on deals even if it's snack items or junk food (Rite Aid!), as long as it's edible enough to eat.

A deal from Giant a few weeks back. The fruit snacks, instant potatoes & granola bars worked out to $.86 after coupons, doubling, instant savings & Cat of $$ off your next order coupons. The other items are things I needed to help fill the pantry.

Now what? I'll start by increasing the budget. Unfortunately I can only add in about $5/week. Ouch! I plan on using it to buy more veggies & fruits. I've decided to eat healthier than prepackaged store bought meals or meals that go from box to table. That is one thing I was to back away from.

I've asked my Sweetheart to chip in. Tonight I made a meal of pasta & chicken. He really enjoyed it. Really, really liked it. I've talked to him about increasing the budget, eating out less and having him help me a little with the food. It's only going to add another $5/week, but it's something.

It would be nice to add more to the budget, but I'm not certain I would spend it in the best way if I jump it up much further. I'm also worried about gas prices. Filling my tank for the past two weeks has cost me about $39 each. That's $4 over budget. I can't do that every week. So that too needs an increase. Also I'm still working on those loans. I want them gone as soon as can be. I'm hoping that this small increase will be enough.

At least I wait for my meat to go on sale. I freeze these for latter because most often they are marked down needing to be sold within two days.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Oral Care is Free

At least it should be. With all the deals you can get on toothbrushes & toothpaste at the drugstores I really don't think anyone should be paying for oral care items. (The densist is another story.) I'm always surprised when I ring up customers when they just hand me $3-$4 for a tube of toothpaste. Sometimes I want to point out the free after EB specials we run often enough for the same kind in a slightly smaller tube. That's not what people want, so I just smile and take the cash to put in the register. This is what retailers and manufactures want people to do. Ah well.

As always I'm running behind. It seems unless I have a short day on Monday (or have the day off) I don't get around to posting until much latter in the week. I suppose it has to do with the fact I usually end up working at both jobs Tuesday through Thursday.

I'll just do a summary today. If I like this format I'll keep it. It gets tiresome to put in every single coupon I used. It's not as if I do the coupon match ups. I do like see the exact coupons others used and sort of assume they would like the same. Another day. I need to get ready for work.

CVS Summary:
Mechandise Sales Total: $22.55
Coupons/Discount: $9.30
Tax: $.79
EB used: $7.99
Total Out Of Pocket: $8.50
EB recieved: $5.54
Net: $10.95 cost (Those plastice cups were $5 each!)

Rite Aid Summary
Merchandise Sales Total: $12.96 ($1 donation)
Coupons/Discount: $6.00
+Ups Used: $5.76
Total Out Of Pocket: $1.20
Tax: $0.00
Recieved: $8 +up
Net: $1.04 profit

Friday, May 6, 2011

May Budget & Climbing!

This past month flew by fast. Really fast. I had ever intention of getting the inspection for Kori done, but alas it did not happen. However I did get it done this week. A little over $500 worth of inspection! I was hoping it wouldn't be that much as I just got her in Janurary and the serpentine belt replaced last month. I hope it's all worth it.

The mechanic also told me about a bit of 'play' in part of the tire rod. (Which I have noticed.) It's still within the limits for inspection, but I'm to keep an eye on it. I'll just get it fixed as soon as I can at an estimated $300. *sigh* Oh! Between the inspection and driving home that same night my right head light went out. WHAT!? Gerr . . .

Spring is here! It's an old picture, but it's what I've got.

The Budget:

Bills (Electric) $103
Bunnies $30
Car Insurance $36
Cellphone $36
Free Money $40
Gas $140
Groceries $100
Rent $310
Student Loans $472

Grand Total: $1267/month (Take home pay.)

Extra Funds Notes:
1. Health $20
2. Clothing $20
3. Car Repair $60

*Extra money tallied up at the end of the month. Each category lists a maximum contribution. Any additional funds are to pay off one of my student loans.

No really changes. I would like to increase the grocery budget if possible. Perhaps after I get my next loan paid off. I also really need to increase the car budget. I can't keep wiping it clean. The problem is there is no build up from previous years anymore with buying the car.

I should be getting a raise at some point this month. Not sure exactly when it will hit the pay check. (Hoping next week?) The other change coming up is CVS will no longer pay weekly, but instead switch to a bi-weekly pay schedule. I'm not happy with this move at all. I like keeping one pay checks worth of bills in the bank so if something happens it doesn't mess with all my automatic payments. So instead of using the extra pay week this month to pay off more of my loans I'm stuck having it sitting in the bank. The switch doesn't happen until July, but I will not be collecting nearly enough extra funds between now and then.

Another old spring picture.

2011 Goals

Finical Goals

1. Buy A Car (A Reliable Car)
2. Rebuild Emergency Fund DONE!
3. Pay my parents Back Not applicable
4. Pay off another smaller loan
5. Save $750 for Cruise 2012! DONE!
6. Start a Gift Fund for Presents

Non-Finical Goals

*I want to skip this part next month. I don't seem to be getting any further with these. We'll see.

1. Develop a sleep pattern - Going to bed by 11pm, no problem. Getting up? Improving, slowly. I'm actually starting to feel awake when the alarm goes off in the morning.
2. Lose 20lbs. - Not much to say here, other than adding more fruit & a little more veggies to the diet. Cutting out soda again. (Except one a week.) Exersice is null and void at this point. *sigh*
3. Do more stuff that doesn't involve sitting & playing games on the 'couch'. - Still not going anywhere.
4. No more dirty dishes in the sink @ the end of the night. - Still going strong!
5. Clean the apartment more often. - Got that right! Yippie!

Monthly Climb!!!
Grand Total Last Month: $42,204.69
New Grand Total: $41,825.44
Amount Paid Off: $379.25

Once again I messed something up and ended up paying on a loan twice. Ouch! It's not like the bill gets delayed a month if I do that. At least my tax refund was able to cover it. Speaking of which I had enough left over to make another payement to a different company. I can hardly wait to see how much my total will go down next month. I'm excited!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rite Aid - What happened to all the deals?

I don't know about everyone else, but there just hasn't been any deals in the last two weeks at Rite Aid the peaked my interest. (There was the Nivea body wash, but I didn't have the coupons.) I ended up running out on the last day for me to use $3 +up. I rolled them as best I could, but I didn't have much to go on.

Some candy missing. It's yummy in the tummy. ^_^

2 M&M Pretzels @ $.88 each = $1.76
3 Reese's Egg 2 $.44 each = $1.32 (50% clearance)
Total Before Coupons: $3.08 (used $3 +up)

No Coupons

2 $.88 +up M&M candy
Net: $1.32 cost

This week is looking more promising. I'm hoping to grab some toothbrushes & raisers. I'm happy to see there are limits in place. Hoping at the end of the week I can grab something. Not much time until then.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Saving Sunday - Mailbox!

When I received the cup I didn't know what it was at first. I didn't bother to open it until after I took the picture. I sign up to get free things and often forget in the process what I've signed up for. I was very happy to open it and find the goodies below. Oh Vocal Point! How I love thee!