Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Did GOOD Today!

During lunch today ~ I decided to head to Staples to get some free printer paper.  How?  Read this excerpt from the "Fabulessly Frugal" website:

FREE Paper at Staples!

March 22, 2011

Buy HP Multipurpose paper in-store at Staples from 3/20 – 3/26, and get it FREE after coupons and rebates.
HP Multipurpose Paper, $5.99 (limit 2)
Use $1/1 printable coupon (Office Supplies category)
Pay OOP $4.99, receive $4.99 back with Easy Rebate
Final price FREE after coupon & rebate

It only took me about 2 minutes to enter the rebate on the Staples website and "ta-da" I have a free ream of printer paper (a check for $4.99 will be sent to me in 4-6 weeks).  I believe that this may be a monthly deal...I see they did the same thing in February.  

Then, when I got home from work, there was a package for me that had been delivered during the day.  Inside was a free Nerf Gun with extra Nerf Bullets ~ yahoo.  I had forgotten about this.  In January Hasbro had a promotion that I took advantage of ~ buy $20.00 worth of toys...get one free!  From the site I was told that Amazon was having clearance prices for several toys...Hasbro brand being one of them.  I was able to buy three toys for just over $20.00 that are currently sitting in my closet waiting for upcoming birthday parties.  I then sent in my receipts, along with my toy choice...and viola ~ I now have another gift in my closet and it cost only the price of a stamp.

I then decided to do the "rounds" in Lake Stevens.  I started out at Target.  I got the following:

ITEM                                                      RETAIL                      MY COST

(3) Excedrin Extra Strength                  $3.74 each               1 cent MM** on each
(1) Dove Men's Deodorant                     $3.99                       99 cents

I paid 96 cents for the items above ~ full retail would have been $15.21!
** means "money maker" ~ I actually earned 1 penny on each box of Excedrin

Next ~ I went to Rite Aid.  I am still trying to get my two boxes of Motrin PM.  They were still out so I walked out of that store empty handed.

Next was Walgreen's.  Here is what I got:

ITEM                                                   RETAIL                        MY COST

(6)Packages Trident Gum                  $1.69 each                    about 15 cents each
(10) Snicker Easter Eggs                   59 cents each               FREE!

I paid 87 cents for the items above ~ full retail would have been $13.64!

So ~ today was a success.  For a few minutes of my time I was able to buy about $45.00 worth of product (includes the paper and Nerf gun) for only $1.83!!!  WOW!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Patience is a Virtue when Couponing!

Today was not my best day of couponing ~ I got some good deals but had some challenges along the way.

At my lunch break today I ran to get a few things at Winco.  I was able to download a great coupon off of the Winco website.  Buy 4 bags of Chex Mix get $4.00 off.  So ~ I bought 4 bags and each one only cost 39 cents.  I am excited to have some healthier chips to snack on.  However, the coupon didn't work and the Manager needed to be called.  I told her that I downloaded the coupon from the Winco Website and she accepted it.  Apparently they have been victims of coupon all us good ones have to pay the price for that.  I just kept calm and appreciated the checkers kind words...she called me a "young lady" ~ Bless her Heart!!

Next ~ I decided to check our Lake Stevens Rite Aid AGAIN to see if they got anymore of the Motrin PM in stock.  Surprise, Surprise ~ they didn't.  I got a rain check.  I also had a $2.00 UP coupon to use since it expires tomorrow.  I found a fingernail polish that was 75% off so it cost $2.00 which I would get free with the UP coupon.  Unfortunately, I did not realize that the 75% off was just for a specific color...that was out of stock, of course!  The checker, a grumpy older man, was not real happy with me.  BUT ~ I was determined to use my UP coupon...that is just like cash and I am not going to throw it away if I don't have to.  After walking aimlessly around, I found a great facial kit that was 50% off so was marked down to $3.99.  I used my UP coupon and got it for $1.99 ~ a 75% savings.  It will go on my gift shelf.  I have lots of gatherings coming up and I know this will come in handy.  But, unfortunately, the whole experience at the Lake Stevens Rite Aid left me feeling almost defeated.  I have decided to go to Everett and to quit shopping at the L.S. Rite Aid ~ I certainly won't miss them and their less than stellar customer service skills and I am sure they won't miss me.  The Everett Rite Aid as always been I will visit them.

Finally I went to Albertsons ~ they are having some good sales this week.  Now before I start this story, please let me note that I always try to be organized, grab the correct items and make sure that my coupons are valid...this makes it easier on me and everyone else.  One thing I forgot to do today?  Look at my receipt before leaving the store...more on this later!  I took advantage of sales and coupons and got $60.92 of groceries for $15.76 ~ again, a 75% savings!  The sale this week is if you bought 10 items of certain advertised specials ~ you would get a $5.00 rebate.  I made sure to buy those correct items.  When I got home, I looked at my receipt...and NO $5.00 rebate.  So ~ back to the store.  Basically, I bought the wrong Mac and Cheese however ~ it was labeled as being the correct Mac and Cheese to was mismarked on an end cap.  Thankfully the checker was very friendly and accommodating and promptly refunded me the $5.00.  

My Cassidy girl is my best supporter ~ she likes to show her friends my stock pile ~ lol!
I must admit that I am feeling a bit down.  I wonder if this is all worth it.  I have to remind myself that I am doing this by choice ~ that I can afford to pay full price if I want.  But what I want more is to be debt free and to have the freedom to travel.  I know it will be a few years until we reach that level...but I have to keep trudging along.  For the most part though ~ I get pretty excited about my stash that I have accumulated and that I paid on average 50 to 75% less than retail.  I just forget the positive sometimes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Albertson's Double Coupon Days ~ AGAIN!

Surprise, surprise ~ there were double Albertsons coupons in the Sunday paper!  Yahoo, I used 15 of them today.  I ended up getting $58.30 worth of food for $11.95.  I could have done a bit better but I really needed some powdered sugar and only had a 50 cent coupon to double on both of those.  I did take a picture of my haul...but my camera battery died so it has disappeared.  Here is what I bought and paid:

Item                                                      Full Price                 Price Paid
(3) Jello Pudding Temptations                $2.99                      50 cents
(2) 2# Powdered Sugar                           $2.99                     $1.99
(4) Colgate Toothpaste                           $2.99                      31 cents ~ SCORE!
(2) Franks Hot Sauce                              $3.29                     FREE!
(3) Wonka Chocolate Bars                     $2.49                      49 cents ~ oh yeah!
(3) M & M Candy's (small bags)              .79                         26 cents
(3) Pure Vanilla Extract                          $4.99                       99 cents ~ Yahoo!

So I am feeling pretty good about this haul!  My only issue, the Lake Stevens Albertsons told me that they would only take 9 double coupons in 3 different transaction.  I did argue saying that the Everett store had no issue with my 5 transactions last week (3 coupons used for each transaction).  Thankfully the checker said she would let me go through this time.  

It is imperative that you are organized when doing multiple transactions.  I make sure my Albertsons card is out.  I use my debit card on the first transaction but then grab out enough cash to pay cash for the next transactions.  Have your coupons ready near each transaction so it can go quickly and smoothly.   Don't get rattled!

I also went to Haggen today to stock up on cheese and butter.  They are having a pretty good deal through today.  2# Tillamook cheese is $5.00 each but if you buy two ~ $2.00 is taken off.  So basically I got a 2# block of cheese for $4.00...not too bad.  They had the same sort of deal for butter ~ 3 boxes for $10.00 but if you buy all three, you will get $2.00 off.  That is a pretty good price for Tillamook butter.  So I bought 4 blocks of cheese and 3 boxes of butter for $24.00 ~ saving $17.43.  It is not a stupendous deal...but pretty good for cheese and butter. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free Photo Book

If you have ever made a photo book ~ you know it can be expensive!  I just received an email regarding an online company called "Picaboo" that is offering a free photo book.  Here is the link:

Click on the link above and you should come to a page asking for your email and then you will get a code to use for your free photo book.  You will need to pay shipping of $7.99.  From what I can see this is good for a 20 page photo will probably have to pay more for any pages above 20.  This is a $39.95 savings!

Needs to be used by March hurry up!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cheap Produce In Everett

Nothing frustrates me more than paying ridiculously high prices for produce.  I just saw a grocery flyer advertising grapes for $4.99 a pound ~ no way am I paying that for grapes!

I love going to Lenny's Evergreen Produce located at: 5317 Evergreen Way, Everett, WA 98203

This market has a wide variety of produce along with Ukrainian foods.   Here is what I got last week for the low cost of $15.00...

          Napa Cabbage
          Bell Pepper

I thought the price for all this produce was fantastic.  I will use the napa cabbage this week to make Oriental Cabbage Salad with chicken.  We will be having eggplant parmigiana also this week.  I used the limes and cilantro in a huge pot of Posole soup which fed us two meals each and have enough in the freezer for a couple more meals.  The point is that I am making several meals and lots of snack options for $15.00 in produce.

One thing to note is that sometimes you need to pick through the produce to find the best choices.  However, it is well worth the cost.  For example ~ Safeway is selling cilantro for $1.49 a bunch (ridiculous amount) and I bought it here for 50 cents a bunch...a pretty significant savings.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Albertson's Double Coupon Days

This is my blog about finding the best value for my grocery buck in the Everett/Lake Stevens area.  I am a wife, mother, and full-time administrative I DO NOT have the time to shop for the lowest prices at all my local stores.  I depend on a couple of great websites to tell me what coupons to use with what sales are where to get the most for my money.  If you are are a "die hard" couponer...this site will not work for you.  However, if you are like me, I can help you save quite a bit of money on a more moderate scale...less work and time involved.

I get 5 Everett Heralds each Sunday and have a fast way to clip those coupons each week...I will cover that more in a later post.  Call the Herald at 425.339.3200 and ask for the "Couponer's Special."  You get a paper each day and 5 Sunday papers each week for $99.00 for 6 months...well worth the cost. 

Now for my specials this week ~ Albertsons has their double coupons out ~ YAHOO!  I used 18 coupons today (six different transactions) for huge savings.  To find the best ways to use your coupons, click on this link:  This site will have a list of coupons to use for the very best deals.  Here is a picture of what I got today:

I spent $39.79 and got $97.31 worth of food!!  Here's what I got!

4 pork tenderloin ~ b 1/g 1free plus used (2) 1.00 coupons that were then doubled...saved $19.64
20 yogurts ~ normally 75 cents ~ paid 30 cents each 
2 gallons of milk ~ not on sale but badly needed
5 pans of frozen rolls ~ normally $2.99 each ~ paid 50 cents each
2 orange juices ~ normally $3.99 each ~ paid $1.59 each
2 Frigo String Cheese ~ normally $5.99 each ~ paid $2.99 each
1 Challenge Butter ~ normally $2.99 ~ paid $1.89
3 Rice ~ normally $2.79 each ~ paid 29 cents each

So ~ I clipped some coupons, looked at a couple of websites and spent a half an hour at Albertsons and saved $57.52 dollars...not too bad.  What is even sweeter is that I have enough yogurt to get me through the month, four pork tenderloins in the freezer and even treated us to some yummy orange juice...which is a splurge for us.