A place for Maine's Frugalistas to Share Information on Matching Coupons with Upcoming Sales to Maximize Savings to Your Budget. Welcome, Friends ♥

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shaw's Cereal deal, Free Cascade at Target, & Cheap Gain Fabric Softener...

I had several coupons due to expire today which would allow me to "purchase" some free cascade dishwashing soap, and boxes of cereal and cleaners very inexpensively. I had intended to take full advantage of these sales during my shopping yesterday, but the shelves were depleted of their wares. So, I decided to try once more before resigning myself to missing these sales this round. I am very pleased that I did.
Today's Adventure:
Shaw's Supermarket
Ideally, you would use (3) $1/3 GM coupons available online at smart source.
You would purchase 10 boxes of Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp, or one of several other cereals on sale for 2/$4. Total cost $20.00 less the three $1 coupons= $17.00 for 10 boxes of cereal or $1.70 per box. But, the deal really sweetens when you get an instant savings of an additional $5.00 discount bringing your total to $12.00 for 10 boxes of cereal or $1.20 per box.

I had to mix and match my cereal purchase because I did not have enough of any one type coupon to fully maximize this deal. I used (3) $1/2 Chex Cereals which were on sale for 2/$5.00 and (1) $1/3 Any GM Cereal. My total came to $23.00 for 10 boxes of cereal. Less $4.00 in coupons= $19.00, Less $5.00 instant savings for buying 10 boxes= $14.00 for 10 boxes or $1.40 each box.

I also purchased Cains Dill Relish using a .55/1 coupon (which doubled to $1.10) for a profit of .13 cents. Additionally I needed butter and used a .50/1 Land-O-Lakes coupon (which doubled) to cost a total of $1.68 for the tub.

Catalina perk: I earned a coupon for $2/5 GM cereals to use on my next visit and I earned 35 bonus box tops for my kids' school's PTG group. I register the codes online for free. It takes mere minutes to do and I earn money towards field trips and other extras for my local school by buying things I already planned to purchase. Today's trip added another $3.50 donation.

I searched for trial size Cascade dish detergent yesterday, but the shelf was empty. I was happy to find them today. Trial size bags (3-4 cts) regularly sell for .97 cents. The coupon for $1/1 makes these a nice little Freebie. I know, I only got 16 packets buying 4 of the 4 ct bags, but that is 16 FREE loads of dishes. No matter how good the sale, there is no real way to beat FREE for a price. I bought the peppermint patty to eat up the overage on the coupon in case the cashier scanned the coupon at the $1.00 rate. Sidenote: I did not need the York patty, but it was delicious.
At first, the cashier declined to accept the coupon because it was for more than the price of the item. But, I explained that Target's coupon policy is to modify the amount of the coupon to the price of the item. She was very confused and called over her manaager to assist. The manager listened to my explanation and agreed it made sense, but could not see a way to modify the coupon, so she called over another manager to assist. The 2nd manager showed both the cashier and 1st manager how to modify the coupon. I felt badly for the poor customers waiting in line behind me, but choose to consider this a "cashier training moment". You are welcome, Target crew. 

I had several $1/1 Gain detergent or fabric softener coupons which were ready to expire today. Each time I visited Walmart I checked for the 40 count Gain Fabric Softener Sheets, but they have been out of stock for over a week. Thankfully, today there were many in stock. I used 5 of these coupons and stocked up. I did not clear the shelf; there were plenty left for others, too.

Hannaford:Our local Hannaford donates bakery goods, fruits and veggies that cannot be sold to a local community center. Any person may glean a free bag of these items for their families each day Monday-Friday. When I am in town and near the center, I pop in to see if there is anything I would use. 

Last week, I got an entire shopping bag of green beans. I canned several jars of dilly beans from my unexpected bounty and gave the rest to my goats as a treat.

This week, I brought home eleven loaves of various artisan and french breads, which would have cost $31.94. I do not have all eleven loaves pictured because I gave two loaves to my mother, one to my grandmother, and split one between my goats and hens. I put some in my bread basket for immediate use, but the rest are in the freezer waiting to be eaten with some nice homemade soup, a Sunday brunch, or spread with some garlic butter and grilled to serve up beside a pasta dish. Bread freezes wonderfully and is a good staple to have on hand... especially when it is given to you for free.

Final Tally:
Shaws             Regular Retail $41.08         Out of Pocket $15.58
Target             Regular Retail $  4.91         Out of Pocket $  1.03
Walmart          Regular Retail $11.70         Out of Pocket $  5.70
Hannafords     Regular Retail $ 31.94        Out of Pocket $   0.00
Total               Regular Retail $89.63         Out of Pocket $ 22.31
Savings of 75%

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Target Shopping, August 30, 2011

Total Retail Cost before coupons $73.12. After $35.60+ Tax.

I had planned on buying more than what is shown above, but when I got to Target, they were sold out of the Cascade 3pk, which would have been free with my 4 coupons and the Loctite Super Glue. And, the Keebler sale I wanted to take advantage of was not as good as I had hoped it to be. Also, I passed on buying the Fabreze Air Effects because I only brought 2 of the correct coupon and needed 3 more to make the sale work... and they were still at home. Which just goes to show, I should never shop without my binder- even when I have a spreadsheet and coupons all ready to go!

So, today I purchased:
3 Degree Deodorants trial size .97 cents. I used $1/1 coupon from RP 8/28. Final cost $.03 profit ea.
2 Mr Clean Magic Eraser Packs on sale for $2.69. I used $1/2 from PG 8/28. Final cost $2.19 ea.
6 Trident 3 packs on sale for 2/$4.00. I used $1/2 from SS 8/7 & $1/3 Target.com. Final Cost $1.33 ea.
4 Nabisco Oreo Cookies Snack Saks on sale $1.50 ea. I used $.75/2 SS 8/7 & B3G1 Free Target.com. Final Cost $1.12 ea.
4 Johnson & Johnson Gauze Pads 10ct $1.57. I used $1.50/2 from SS 8/21. Final Cost .82 cents ea.
4 Newman's Pasta Sauce on sale $1.87. I used $1/2 from 8/28 RP. Final Cost $1.37 each. AND I got a peelie on each one.
3 Oral B Floss on sale for $1.14. I used $1/1 from 8/28 PG. Final price .14 cents each.
1 Purina Beneful Dog Food 3.5 lb bag $5.49. I matched $2/1 from SS & $1/1 from Target.com. Final price $2.49
12 Purina Beneful Wet Food Reg Price $1.77. I used a B4G2 Free with two B2G1 Free coupons from Target.com. Final price 6 tubs of wet food for the price of two! $3.54 for 6 or $.59 each.

The key to this week's sale was combining sales prices with Target.com coupons AND insert coupons to make the most impact. My over all savings were 51% over the sale's prices because of the dual coupons.

This sounds good, of course, but it was not all sunshine and puppy kisses. I realized once I was calculating totals on the ride home that the Trident 3 pack cost me more than I should have willingly paid. Usually, gum can be found with a BIGI sale. When you use a B1G1 coupon, it makes the purchase free. These are not available every week, but in the last three months, I have seen more than one of these deals come around. I didn't NEED gum. I should have waited. I am always learning and I will chalk this one up to another lesson learned.

On the sunny side of the street, I was very pleased to find the peelies on the Newman's Pasta Sauce. The peelies are for $.75/1 Newman's Dressings (which are soooo yummy. No size restriction, so this is going to be a good coupon, perhaps doubled at Shaw's.) Also, I got a catalina for $1.00 off Target Pizza Hut which doesn't expire until October. My husband will LOVE that!

♥ Sonja

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Target coupons via cell phone

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a text message yesterday from Target with these offers; which expire 9/2/11:

.50/1 Velveeta Cheesy Skillets
$1/2 Dannon yogurts 6 oz Activia selects or 5.3oz Oikos Greek yogurt
$1/1 Ziploc food storage bags
$5 off Women's denim
$5 off Xhilaration apparel item
$3 off 3 Gerber Sleep and Play Onesies

Just show the cashier the text message and let them scan the bar code.

Want to sign up for mobile coupons? Click Here to sign up


♥ Sonja

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hamburger Helper, Trident, & Thomas English Muffins @ Shaw's today!

I haven't shopped at Shaw's for a while. I love that they will double manufacturer coupons up to .99 cents, but it is in Bangor and thirty minutes away, so unless the sale is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good, I just don't get there often. But, I was glad I did today.

I started at Hannaford this morning, coupon binder in hand. My plan was simple, eloquent even. I had printed and clipped 6 Hamburger Helper coupons. Four of them for $1/3 and one for .80/4. With the Catalina printing a $2 OYNO coupon. AND an immediate $5 off when you buy ten boxes, I was sure this was going to be a good sale. I was right... and wrong. I thought Hamburger Helper was supposed to be on sale for $1.25/box, but when I got there, the tag read 2/$4.00. Now, I have been out of school for some time, but I was fairly certain, that totalled $2/box. It didn't take me long to do the math and choose to call Shaw's to check their price.

The Math:
10 boxes @ 2/$4.00= $20.00
Less coupons ($2.80)= $17.20
Less Instant Savings ($5.00)= $12.20
Less $2 off any item I already had= $10.20
Less $2 OYNO coupon= $8.20
$8.20/10 boxes= .82 cents per box

Shaw's had Hamburger Helper on sale for $1.25 box. AND, I would get an additional .80 cents off from their doule coupon policy. This was going to be GREAT! And, I found a couple of other great buys, too!

The Math:
10 Hamburger Helper @$1.25/box= $12.50
Less Instant $5.00 Saving= $7.50
Less Coupons $3.60 (w/doubling)= $3.90 for 10 boxes= .39 cents each box...
But, with some grouping and making multiple transactions, the deal got even better.

My Shaw's Purchases
20 Hamburger Helper, 2 Trident gum, 3 Thomas English Muffins, 2 Cinnamon Burst Cheerios, Regular Retail $59.93

Transaction #1
I purchased 10 boxes of Hamburger Helper using 2 $1/3 coupons and 1 $.80/4 coupon (which doubled to $1.60). Total cost $3.90 out of pocket. Buying these triggered a $2 ONYO catalina coupon to print. Net Transaction, $1.90 or .19 cents per box! ♥ LOVE THAT!!!

Transaction #2
I repeated the transaction, using the same coupons and receiving another $2.00 ONYO coupon.

Transaction #3
I used $1/2 coupon to purchase 2 boxes of Cheerios on sale for 2/$4. This made them $1.50 each. And, I found a B1G1 coupon for the gum at the register bringing the price to two for $1.29. Shaw's had a sale for B1G2 for the english muffins, making their price 3/$3.29 or $1.10 each. My total came to $7.58. I paid with the two $2 Catalina coupons from transactions 1&2 and $3.58 in cash.

Final Result? Nearly $60 in groceries for a total of only $11.38.

♥ Sonja

Finally... CVS!

I have been a little jealous of those friends and family members who live near to the CVS Store. Our closest one is just over an hour away. Though, I had been just itching to cash in on all the great deals I spied on the web, it was just not worth the travel in gas monies to do so. On Thursday, though, a dear friend of mine suggested I meet her for lunch in Waterville. Since, I was planning on going there anyway, I just HAD to stop in to sign up for a card and see if I could find any deals for me. I did!

I needed printer ink. Usually, I spend about $40 on ink at Staples. But, CVS had the ink I use for $36 for a combo pack. This was great at $4 less than what I spend at Staples. It got even better with the $10RR when you buy two ink cartridges. I considered buying two and stocking up. Then, I noticed single ink cartridges for $19.00 each. Buying them individually would cost me $38, which would seem to cost more, but check out the math.

Combo pack price $36.
Purchase 2 packs= $72, less $10rr= $62 (or $31 ea pack; $15.50 ea ink)

Individual pack duo $38, less $10rr= $28 (or $14 ea ink)

Transaction #1
Purchased 2 single ink cartridges $38.00, earned $10RR= $28 net transaction

Transaction #2
Purchased 2 Dove Shampoos & 2 Dove Conditioners $4.79 each, earn $5RR when you spend $15. I had two B1G1 Dove coupons which were expiring this week and I wanted to stock up on some, so I had been looking for a sale. What a FIND!

4 Dove Shampoos/Conditioners= $19.16 + .88cent Sunkist (filler)= $21.09 w/tax
less two B1G1 coupons= $11.51
less $10RR from transaction #1= $1.51 cash, earned $5RR

Since CVS is so far for me to travel each week, I decided to use the RRs and take advantage of the .88 cent 2 liters and stock up, but the limit was five per customer. My daughter was with me and wanted her "special" shampoo (Suave for Kids). It was on sale, too and I happened to have a coupon, so I agreed.

Transaction #3
2 Suave 2-in-1 Shampoos for kids $1.99 ea
- less $1/2= $2.98
3 Sunkist 2 liters .88 cent ea= $2.79
Total $6.06 w/tax.
Used $5RR and $1.06 cash

All told, for about the same price as I would have purchased my ink for at home, I was able to buy:
1 Black HP Ink
1 Color HP Ink
2 Dove Shampoos
2 Dove Conditioners
2 Suave 2-in-1 Kids Shampoo
3 2 liter Sunkists

I am very please with my trip and my first experience at CVS. And, I am looking forward to the next chance I will have to get to Waterville again.

♥ Sonja

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Free Hand Sanitizer, Max Freeze Pain Reliever, and Deals on Notebooks

I started by buying these six Mead composition books for 3/$1.98. Each threesome earned one $1 RR. Total purchase $4.16 out of pocket, earns two $1RR

Transaction 2:
Purchase two hand sanitizers $1 each and each earn $1 RR. I Paid with the two $1 RR from the Mead Compositon Notebooks, so final cost .10 cents.

Transaction 3:
I purchased a third hand sanitizer for $1 and earned another $1RR. I paid with one of the RRs from the last hand sanitizer transaction. Final cost... Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

Last Transaction:
I purchased 4 Mead Single Subject Notebooks for the sale price of 2/$1. I paid with the two $1 RRs I had accumulated and paid again NOTHING.

6 Mead Composition Notebooks
4 Mead Single Subject Notebooks
3 Hand Sanitizers
Cost $4.26 for $16 worth of products.

Today, I bought a Max Freeze Pain Reliever Gel for $6.99 with a $6.99RR.
I paid cash and earned the $6.99RR. Then, I used the $6.99RR to buy another Max Freeze Reliever Gel with another Rite Aid card. I paid with the first $6.99RR and earned a new $6.99RR. I used that RR to purchase 3 Hand Sanitizers for $1 each and a $3.99 pair of earrings, which totalled $6.99 exactly. I paid with the $6.99RR earned, total cost NOTHING, and I earned 3 $1 RRs from the Hand Sanitizer. My last transaction was 10 Mead Single Subject Notebooks at 2/$1 and a $1.99 hand soap. I wanted to keep my RRs to roll towards more free hand sanitizer, so I paid $6.99 cash and earned another $1 RR. I earned a $2 Single Check rebate for spending $10 in Mead products.

Total Today $13.98 out of pocket, less four $1RR, less $2 SCR= Net transaction of $7.98 for $19 worth of products;
10 Mead Single Subject Notebooks
3 Hand Sanitizers
1 Hand Soap
1 pair earrings

Tomorrow, if I can find more hand sanitizer, I plan on buying two more sets of three on two more Rite Aid cards using the RRs I have already earned. I want to stock up on these. They come in very handy when we are camping, on road adventures, or when we meet a friendly dog who needs petting.

♥ Sonja

I am Learning to Love Walgreens

Yesterday's Shopping Trip:

I used a Buy 1, Get 1 FREE coupon on the 2 Axe products and combined that with the Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off sale.

Axe Products $5.79 x2= $11.58 Full Price
Buy One, Get One 50% Sale= $5.79
Buy One, Get One Free Coupon= $2.90, a 75% Savings

The rest of the products were merely on sale;
3 Sharpie Permanent Markers .39 cents ea
3 Walgreens 20 0z. .33 cents ea
2 Butterball Broth .50 cents ea
6 Mini Composition Books .15 cents ea
2 Pencil Sharpeners .39 cents ea
3 Papermate Pens 10ct .29 cents ea

Total Before Sale/Coupons $36.22
Total Spent $10.40
71% Savings

I have two more Axe Product coupons, so I plan on returning tomorrow to buy 4 more body washes. Total cost for the four products will be $5.79. I am also planning on picking up a few more of the 20 0z colas. I am picky about which sodas I will drink when it comes to regular cola or Mt Dew type drinks, but I have found that I can fool my taste buds when it comes to Orange cola. At this price, I will stick them in the pantry and use them for picnics or road adventures.

♥ Sonja
Dear Blog Frugalistas,

I have had quite a go of things since March; among these were (1)a fall which injured my ankle and left me less than myself, (2)a car accident which totalled my vehicle and damaged my person, (3) recovering from these, (4) assisting with our annual charity golf tournament, (5) increasing my time in my Christian ministry work, and all the other mundane routines we wifes, mothers, sisters, friends do each day.

So, cupboards depleted and stockpile dwindled, I am starting again, almost from scratch. In the last few days, my husband has valiantly cut up the coupons we have been stockpiling (and sadly, not taking advantage of). Then, came the sorting and the nearly painful task of throwing away myriads of unused coupons. All those sales I missed!

I am inching back into this blog-thing. My past experience showed me that couponing, can take only a few hours of planning each week or many hours scouring webpages, sales flyers, and couponing sites. I am chosing the former, as I have no time for the later.

I am excited to continue this journey of saving money and contributing to a better life financially for my family. I heard a quote once that stuck with me about the relationship between husbands and their wives:
The man said, "I make a living. And, she makes life worth living."
My husband and I are a team, with the same goals in life. He works hard to support his family. Should I not work as hard to make that support stretch as far as it can?