Monday, May 30, 2011

I Earned My Savings Today

There are times when couponing is last week.  Last week couponing at Albertsons was so easy and smooth...but not so much this week.  For the third week in a row Albertsons has had double coupon days.  Frankly our Lake Stevens store has been unable to keep up on stock and I think the checkers and stockers are worn am I! 

I decided to undertake a huge Albertsons shopping trip ~ I had hoped to do 8 transactions of 9 double coupons.  However ~ I was told that you are only able to use 9 coupons per day.  This is the first I have ever heard of of last week I was only using 9 coupons per transaction but would do a second transaction the next time around.  Perhaps it has always been that way but now they are tightening up on the rules.  Last night I ended up doing 9 transacations at the Lake Stevens store and then going into Everett and doing 9 transactions at that store...however that didn't go smoothly either.  At Lake Stevens ~ you can use all 9 double coupons in one transaction so I thought that is how Everett would be so I had one transaction that took advantage of the "buy 10 of certain items" and get $5.00 automatically taken off.  However, Everett would not allow all 9 doubles in one transacations so I had to walk away from that transaction and come up with a new plan of attack.  I went back into the aisles and did come up with 3 different transactions that would work for me.

Next morning ~ back to the Lake Stevens Albertsons to finally do the transaction that I had to walk away from last night.  After that trip ~ which was uneventful (I is all sorta blurry now) I then went to Winco where I had a new checker who argued almost everyone one of my 10 coupons that I used.  She was so frustrated by me and I was trying so hard to keep calm that I ended up giving her a $5.00 Starbucks card thanking her for her time and secretly hoping I would change both of our current moods!...a little good karma so to speak.

I then headed back to the Everett Albertsons to do one final round of double coupons.  I have never used 36 double coupons before and I am not sure if I ever will again...but I did save some significant money.

Mike and I get paid once a month...the last day of the month.  So ~ it is always during this time of the month that I get all my basics that I will need for the month.  After today ~ I will just be looking for great stockpiling deals.  But this weekend was all about getting stocked for our month of meals.  Normally I would spend $400.00 today and struggle to get through the rest of the month on $100.00 but usually I always spent a couple hundred more...but not anymore.

As of today ~ I stocked my freezer with bread products from the outlet store for $20.22
                       I bought a week or two of produce for $9.18 from Lenny's Produce (cheap!)
                       I stocked up on our need to have basics from Winco ~ $84.67
                       I stocked up on some toiletries and suntan lotion from Target ~ $22.78
                       I did 8 different transactions at Albertsons ~ $70.06
                       Total spent so far? ~ $206.91

How did my 8 Albertsons add up?  Full Retail:  $217.09
                                                            I paid:          $ 70.06
                                                           Savings:       $147.03 ~ 68%

Included with my normal groceries were groceries that I bought for my daughters upcoming wedding I am really glad with how my money has stretched to cover all these needs this month...and I still have almost $200.00 more dollars to spend on just "stock up" items!

First 2 Trips to Albertsons ~ involving 18 double coupons (@ 2 different stores)

Paid $20.22 for all this bread at Franz Bakery Outlet

Target stock up ~ paid 84 cents for the Zantac...normally costs $7.84!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

An Albertsons Update

I went back to Albertsons for one last time this week to take advantage of 5 more coupons that I had for a new product called "Breakfast on the Go".  Normally these cost $3.59 (I would NEVER pay full price for these!).  They were on sale for $1.99 and I had a $1.00 off coupons that was then doubled ~ so I was paid a penny to buy each box!

This week I spent $7.80 for $93.33 worth of groceries by utilizing Albertsons double coupons.

And guess what...the rumor is that Albertsons will have double coupons in the Sunday paper again!  That is three weeks in a row!  Yahoo!

I have just purchased my first batch of coupons off of Ebay.  I purchased (35) $1.00 coupons for Rozini Garden Pasta...and I have 5 already.  I received a rain check from Albertsons for the Rozini pasta ($1.00 per box) ~ with no limit.  So, as soon as I get those in my hands, I will be calling the manager at Albertsons to make my first bulk purchase.  I plan to donate many of those boxes to a food drive that is going on at work and give some to Kelsea as well as stock some up for our own use.  I have never bought or used coupons in this big of quantity so I will see how it goes.

I have also bought 20 coupons for $1.00 off Frank's Redhot sauce.  Mike and the guys at his work love this stuff so I thought I would stock them up this summer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Albertsons and Swagbucks = some great deals this week!

The past two days have been very fun shopping experiences.  Yesterday's paper (Sunday) came with Albertsons double coupons...I had 15 of those little coupons and decided to use them to get the best deals possible.

Cassidy will KILL me when she sees this picture on my blog!
My first transaction involved 15 bottles of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce...our very favorite BBQ sauce.  Normally $2.99 a was on sale for $1.00 BUT I got 5 $1.00/3 coupons that could be doubled.  I ended up getting each bottle for 33 cents!  In this same transaction I got 4 packages of the Rhodes Frozen Rolls...normally $2.99 each but on sale for $2.00 each.  I had quite a few $1.00/1 coupons...which I doubled so I got these for totally free.  Retail for this first transaction would have been $56.81...and I paid $5.00!...NOTE:  I did NOT clear the shelves by buying 15 bottles of Rays...Albertsons stocked up well and had a very large stock pile of this particular product.

Transaction number 2:  (Albertsons only allows the usage of 9 double coupons per transactions...that is why I have to do multiple transactions.)  I bought 2 brownie mixes and 1 package of the Rhodes Frozen Rolls.  Retail = $9.37...I paid zero, zilch, nothing!

All this  = $2.80 OOP
Transaction number 3: (I had to go to a different Albertsons because Lake Stevens was out of the product I wanted).  On this transaction I was able to use an overage which was really exciting.  I had (3) $1.00 off coupons for Franks Redhot Sauce...which I could double.  The sauce was on sale for $1.49 but with the double coupons...I earned 51 cents on each bottle.  I was then able to apply that overage to some produce I needed:  lettuce, cabbage, radishes and carrots...paying a total of $2.80!  Full retail would have been $9.20. 

Full Retail Value of all three transactions = $75.38, I paid $7.80...a 89% savings!

My supportive hubby!
I then came home and in my mailbox were 6 jars of Skippy peanut butter that I was able to get delivered to me, from, for only 81 cents.  HOW?  I used my Swagbucks.  In the past month I have been able to earn $15.00 in gift cards (and by tomorrow I will have earned another $5.00).  This is pretty exciting for me.  I will talk more about Swagbucks in a future post...for now, I think I have bragged enough for one night! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Target Stock Up's

Yesterday I was able to stock up a bit at Target.  On they have a whole list of coupons you can download and print.  Most of these are TARGET coupons...not manufacturer coupons (though some are manufacturer so make sure you take a good look).  What is great about this is that Target will let you "stack" coupons.  Meaning ~ you can use one manufacturer coupon and one Target coupon for each item you buy.  Take a look at how I used this technique yesterday:

Zantac ~ on sale for $7.44.  I had a $5.00 manufacturer coupons PLUS I had a $2.00 Target coupon.

I was able to buy a box of Zantac for 44 cents...because I was able to "stack" the coupons.  But what's more ~ I had four of each coupon so I bought 4 boxes of Zantac with each only costing 44 cents.

Target also had $1.00 off any "UP and UP" pain reliever (which is the Target brand).  Currently you can buy a 24 count bottle for 97 I got two for free since I had two coupons (these coupons are currently not available...but check often).

By utilizing these coupons ~ I got about $34.00 worth of product for around $3.00...about a 90 percent savings.  Not too bad and easy to do once you get confident.

Just a heads up ~ there is a rumor that Albertsons is having their double coupons again in the Sunday paper...that is TWO weeks in a row.  Yahoo for Albertsons.  I already have my plan for getting some really cheap...and possible free groceries on Sunday.  I will let you know how I do.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Couponing in Lake Stevens is picking up steam!

Shelves are getting barer and it is getting harder to use up all my coupons.  Today I went to two different Albertsons to take advantage of a fabulous double coupon deal...$2.00 ($1.00 coupon doubled with Albertsons double coupon special) off on Excedrin PM that is on sale for $2.99.  Basically I could get this for only 99 cents.  Either there are lots of people having a hard time sleeping or they are catching on to this coupon game.  I am torn about this new fad!  I appreciate everyone learning the value of coupons...but I still want to get my deals as well. 

I just need to practice patience!  I was able to get one bottle of Excederin PM and will wait for another great deal to come along.

Today at lunch I decided to go to the Oroweat Bakery Outlet that is located on Everett Mall Way (the strip mall next to Trader Joes).  I LOVE shopping at the various bakery outlets in the area.  I cannot imagine why anyone would buy bread for full price when you can get some great deals at the bakery outlet stores.  Today I got 2 loaves of bread, 2 packages of hamburger buns (the good kind!), 2 packages of hotdog buns (these were the good kind too!), 2 packages of english muffins, 1 loaf of cinnabon cinnamon bread and a candy bar (which you will notice is NOT in the picture above, I ate that sucker as soon as I got in the car).  I got all this for $10.59! 

I also got a punch card and after so many get a free item.  The Franz Bakery Outlet on Marine Drive in North Everett is really good too and is normally more generous with their freebies.  I take turns going to them all.  Hostess is located on Casino Road in that one too but avoid it because there is too much temptation with those snack cakes...can you seriously look at a SUZY Q and not want to buy it????  I stay clear of that one.

All these items last great in the freezer.  I have never had an item that tasted bad or didn't hold up.  It is money well spent.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fred Meyers ~ Founders Day and Safeway Sales!

Yesterday I spent my lunch break shopping at Safeway.  They were having a special on chips and Sobe ~ for which I happened to have some pretty great coupons for.  Unfortunately you could only use one coupon per customer ~ so I was a customer 5 different times at 3 different stores ~ but I think it was worth it.  Here is what I bought:

10 bags of Kettle Cooked Chips
5 Sierra Mist Pop (I had a coupon that if I bought 2 bags of chips I'd get a 2 Liter Sierra!)
25 Sobe drinks

Retail for this would have been $96.16 but I only paid $23.48 saving myself $72.68 (76%).  I earned quite a bit in that hour of work!

Blurry Pic ~ sorry about that!  

Mike and I then went to Fred Meyers to take advantage of their fantastic "Founders Day" sale.  Here is what we were able to get (some of these items had limits so we both went to take advantage of the sales).

8 cases of Pepsi
8 bags of Beggin Strips (dog treats)
4 Purex detergent
8 Quaker Rice Cakes
2 eye shadows
2 mascara (normally $8.99 each but both were free!)
2 Tillamook Cheese (2# block)
3 packages of bacon bits
5 boxes of brownie mix
1 bag of popcorn kernals

Full retail price would have been $180.67 (approximately ~ Fred Meyers doesn't always put their regular price on the I had to do some guessimating).  I paid $61.28 ~ saving myself $119.39 (66%).  I also used my Fred Meyer card and got triple points which is a nice bonus.

Our Fred Meyer checker was impressed with my coupon use but was very vocal about not being able to be an "EXTREME COUPONER" in this area (Pacific Northwest).  I didn't say much but I was thinking to myself that I think it is pretty impressive that I saved over 60 percent on this Fred Meyer order.  Some might not think this is EXTREME but I sure think it is pretty fantastic.

Currently we have 15 cases of pop and 15 bags of chips stocked up...but I promise I am not hoarding!  My daughter,  Kelsea, is getting married and we are stocking up on these items for her wedding day and her shower.  I have also been taking advantage of the drinks for my daughter (Cassidy) to have during the summer...a seasonal treat for her.  Again ~ I NEVER bought these drinks because I refused to pay full price for them but if I can get them free or very close to it...I will give it a try.

Finally ~ an EXTREME Shopping Trip

16 Fuze and 4 Goldfish ~ Paid $6.27

5 Carefree Panitliners and 2 packs of gum ~ paid 45 cents!

2 Gallons of milk and bandaids ~ paid 1.05!  However, I also will be getting a $2.99 rebate for the bandaids.

9 body washes and hairspray ~ paid $1.10!

3 Precise Heat Patches ~ Paid $1.29 (which was the SST)

In one hour I was able to save $103.62 on the items shown in the pictures above.  I went to 5 different stores...and saved over 90 percent on the items above.  How?  Take a look at how I did it.

Albertsons ~ they are having a great sale this week.  On the items above ~ if you buy 10 you save $5.00 automatically.  That meant the Fuze drinks were 50 cents each.  But...I had 5 coupons for $1.00 off 2.  So I got 10 free.  I also had a coupon for 55 cents off the fishes.  So on that order alone I saved $30.23.

Rite Aid (Stop #1) ~ The Carefree pantiliners were on sale for $1.00 but I had 5 coupons for a free they just cost me the sales tax.  I also had two Register Rewards ~ each worth 88 cents.  I found gum on sale for 88 those were free.  I spent 46 cents (SST) on $10.03 worth of product saving $9.57.

Target ~ I bought 9 containers of Nivea body wash.  They were on sale for $2.51 cents.  I had 9 coupons for $3.00 off.  Normally Target adjusts the coupon so that you don't have a coupon overage...but they did not this time.  So ~ I made 49 cents on each bottle I bought.  I also bought some hairspray which I did have coupons for as well.  I was able to apply the overage to both the remaining cost of the hairspray and towards the SST.  The SST was $2.15 but I still only paid $1.10.  The retail cost of this was $32.75 ~ saving $31.65!

Rite Aid (Stop #2) ~ I bought 3 Precise Heat Patches.  These were on sale for $5.00 (normally cost $8.49).  I had $5.00 off I got these for FREE!  I did pay $1.29 for the SST.  Retail was $25.47 so I saved $24.18!

Walgreens ~ I had $9.00 in Register Rewards so I was able to buy two gallons of milk and a box of bandaids for $1.05.  BUT ~ I just sent away for a the bandaid rebate worth $2.99 so this was actually a $1.94 money maker!

I have to say that this shopping experience has reinforced my dedication to couponing.  It is not always easy and I will not always save 90+ percent.  But I love not paying full price for the items we use every day.  Another thing that couponing has done is allowed me to buy and try new items (such as the body wash and heat patches) that I wouldn't have been willing to spend money on in the past.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Double Coupon Days at Albertsons

I love when Albertsons has their double coupon can really stretch your money!

Today was probably not a good day for me to go to Albertsons because I have been fighting a tummy flu and was not in my normal state of mind (calm...which is VERY important when couponing).  Mike and Cassidy went with me so that we could buy 30 yogurts...10 for each of us since Albertsons put a limit on how many one person can buy.

Over all I went to 3 stores and saved about 62%.  I spent $60.36 but received $10.00 in register rewards from Walgreens (which acts as cash on my next visit) and I received a free $5.00 gift certificate from Target.  So ~ I basically spent $45.36 on groceries that would have cost $118.63 if I had paid full retail price.

My best buys...I was able to get Bagel Bites for 19 cents at Albertsons (normally cost 2.79)! At Target I bought 2 John Frieda Hair color foams for 1.99 each (on sale for $11.99) but then got a $5.00 gift I made $1.02 on this purchase!  At Walgreens I got toilet paper, dish soap, razors...and earned $10.00 in register rewards.

I have to be VERY careful now ~ I only have about $68.00 to get through the month with.  I always love a good challenge!