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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hannaford Catalina Happiness

I was so excited about this deal that I almost forgot the bag of yogurts I purchased when I walked out of the store. Thankfully, my husband was less distracted than I and caught my error. My sale purchases would have been less exciting had I forgotten a bag at the register and then, had to turn around to retrieve them. Crisis averted, this is what happened.

I cashed my check at Hannaford last Friday because I needed to be at a friend's house early in the morning and was in town before the bank was to be open. I hate doing that, but it was a necessary evil for the day. This being so, I had a $2 rebate coming, if I spent $15 in groceries. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make this work for myself. I did not intend to spend this much money. I also had (2) $2 and (1) $1 catalinas in my wallet, and I had a catalina for $2 off Rachel Ray's Nutrish Dog Food. Keep in mind that for every 4 Hannaford My Essentials items I purchased, I would earn another $1 catalina.

I started by purchasing:
3- cans My Essentials Chicken Soups 2/$1
2- cans My Essentials Evaporated Milk (Sean wanted to make "snow cream" after the storm with the kids today) .99¢
2- cans My Essentials Green Beans 2/$1
2- cans My Essentials Peas 2/$1
2- cans My Essentials Corn 2/$1
1- 5 lb bag My Essentials Sugar $3.39 (needed it for the table wine Sean and I racked today)
13- My Essential Yogurts .45¢
Total Cost: $15.85 less $5 Catalinas= $10.85 out of pocket and I earned (1) $6 Catalina.
Net total spent $4.85

Then, I purchased 1 bag of Rachel Ray's Nutrish Dog Food for $8.49. Less $2/1 catalina which printed when I bought my last bag and $6 catalina equalled .92 cents out of pocket and I earned another $2/1 Catalina for Rachel Ray's Nutrish Dog Food.

I was very happy with this result.
How have you used the Hannaford Catalina Event?
Sonja ♥

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Learning Each Day: Creating a Button for Your Blog

While I was searching around the internet for freebies and deals from other blog sites and webpages, I noticed that so many blogs had "buttons" which other bloggers could grab and post to their sites. Great idea, right? Obviously, I wanted one, too! But, how? I am pretty computer savvy. I know a little about HTML codes, uploading pictures, and the like, but I had never written code on my own. Where to start?
Where other than on the internet? I typed in " how to create blogger button" and was directed to a couple of related articles. I selected this one- Oikology 101 (Read article HERE) initially because it was written by someone who writes on the Blogger site. I chose wisely. The article was clearly written to be easily understood. I followed the directions and within minutes had my button posted to my blog.

There was one small glitch, which was my doing. I created my button using a print artist program and made a jpeg picture to upload to Photobucket. Oikology did tell me to make sure that I sized my project to 150x150, but I forgot to resize my jpeg before I uploaded it. Once, I checked my blog, I realized my error and simply resized my photo and uploaded it in the correct size.

Thanks, Oikology 101 for your help!

 Need a button for your blog? Now you know where to go for detailed instructions! Hope it helps, blogger friends!

Sonja ♥

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hannaford... More Catalina Purchases

Since I needed to bring my eldest son and eldest daughter into town to work today, I decided to go next door and attempt to roll the catalinas I earned a couple of days ago at the Hannaford in Hampden. I had (1) $2 and (1) $1 catalinas to start today.

I decided to buy (8) cans of My Essentials canned vegetables. The total came to $4. I paid with a $2 catalina, $2 cash, and I earned a $2 Catalina. 8 cans of vegetables for $2 equals .25¢ each can. Then, I purchased (2) cans of My Essentials chicken soup and (2) packages of My Essentials biscuits. The total came to $1.90. I paid with $1 catalina, .90¢ cash, and earned a $1 catalina. The soup cost .25¢ each and the biscuits cost .20¢ each.

I have to drive passed a Hannaford's tomorrow and I think I will purchase My Essentials Yogurt on sale for .45¢ each. I'm going to buy (8) yogurts for $3.60 and use (1) $2 catalina, $1.60 in cash, and earn a $2 catalina. Yogurt cups for .20¢? I can soooo live with that. Which makes me wonder....

According to Dannon Yogurt (and I assume if you can freeze Dannon's yogurt, you can freeze other brands, too.) Read the article yourself HERE.

Can DANNON yogurt be frozen?
It's okay to freeze yogurt, especially if you're packing yogurt for lunch the next day. However, when refrigerated cup yogurt is frozen it may not retain all of its live culture activity and the product may undergo some changes. These changes could include texture and/or taste changes. Because some individuals do not find these changes to their liking, it is recommended that you "test freeze" one cup or just a small sample from a 32 oz. container first, before freezing a large quantity...

Here is  fun snack idea- push a wooden stick into the center before freezing the cup.

I think there may be lots of yogurts moving in to live in my freezer, while this promotion is underway. My kids love yogurt. And, I love the idea a frozen yogurt as a treat.

Have any of you frozen yogurt before? What were the results?
Sonja ♥ 

I need 20 friends to help ME with this!

I want to get this FREE Smart Scrunch Bag and I can, if I refer only 20 friends.

You or your friends do not need to buy anything or do anything special.

1. Log in here: http://www.nomorerack.com/?cr=1150567 and I will get credit for you signing up. It costs you nothing. I need 20 friends to sign up to get one of these

2. Also, when you sign up, you’ll get a FREE $10 off $20 purchase credit when you use the code: P1070, if you decide to purchase something, but you do not need to.

Thanks for your help! I really appreciate it!
Sonja ♥

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Restaurant Deal $100 in gift cards for $8.

So, as I was checking my facebook account, I noticed a post from a friend of mine about www.restaurants.com. While supplies last, they have a GREAT deal! Normally, you can purchase $25 gift certificates for $10, which is a pretty good deal. When you use the code PUMPKIN at the check out, you can get $25 gift certificates for only $2. SERIOUSLY!!!

I ordered a $25 gift certificate from Miguel's in Bangor for $2.
I ordered a $25 gift certificate from China King Chinese Restaurant in Augusta for $2.
I ordered a $25 gift certificate from Black Sheep Tavern in Bucksport for $2.
And, I ordered a $25 gift certificate from Twenty Milk Street at the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa in Portland for (you guessed it) $2.
Total spent (no tax) $8. And, there were many other offers available.

A couple of notes: signing up is FREE. You can either print your certificates when you have finished paying (either with your credit card or with your paypal account) or, you can log in to print them at your convenience later. There are minimum purchase limits on these coupons, so you will end up paying more than the gift certificate amount. And, the restaurants almost universally add a "gratuity" % to your order before the gift certificate amount is credited to the bill. I found them to be between 18%-20%.

Using Miguel's Restaurant as an example (It has a minimum purchase of $35 and a 20% gratuity added before the gift certificate is applied.) this is the scenerio I am hoping for:

NACHOS - Our homemade chips covered with sizzling hot cheese & salsa 7.99

THE "PHILLY" - Fajita steak, cheese and poblano peppers 8.99 for me and
CHIMICHANGA - A crispy fried burrito with ranchero salsa 10.99 for Sean.

Our Meal Total is $30.97, add 20% gratuity= $37.16, less $25 gift certificate= $12.16 out of pocket. We could substitute desserts instead of the appetizer for the same price. And, I did not include an amount for beverages. Usually, my family orders water with lemon to drink with our meals. We might order a beverage, but probably not.

The final analysis is this, including the cost of the gift certificate ($2) and the cost out of pocket ($12.16), the meal total cost is $14.16, still 1/2 price of what the meal would cost without the gift certificate. I will update you after I attempt to use the gift certificates with reviews on the restaurants and my experience using the gift cards, but color this girl E-X-C-I-T-E-D! I smell some food adventures coming my way!

Thanks, Courtney M. for the tip!


Freebie: Gooseberry Patch Cookie Swap Cookbook

Get a free Kindle download of the Gooseberry Patch Cookie Swap Cookbook for free on Amazon.com. You can get yours at this link:
If you don't have a Kindle, you can click this link to download free Kindle Reading Apps.
Looks interesting! I don't have a Kindle, but I think I will download the Reading App. I love cookies. And, I am always interested in new recipes to try out on my willing family!
Sonja ♥

Hannafords My Essentials Catalina

With Hannaford's change in coupon policies, I honestly doubted my continued shopping there. I still look through the flyer that comes in the mail each week, because I don't want to miss a good sale, if one comes up- just in case. This week's flyer piqued my interest.

Hannaford's is offering catalinas based on purchasing their store brand, labeled "my essentials". For every four My Essential products you purchase, you earn a $1 catalina for use on your next order. You can earn up to a $10 catalina. As I mentioned, interesting. So, I looked at what was on sale that might make this deal worth my shopping at Hannaford's this week.

My Essentials canned vegetables are on sale for 2/$1. As are My Essentials chicken noodle and tomato soups. My Essentials refrigerated biscuits and yogurt are on sale for .45¢ each. You can mix and match My Essential items. Hmmmm....

The Scenerio:

Purchase 4 Biscuits= $1.80. Pay $1.80 cash and receive $1 Catalina back.
Purchase 4 Yogurts= $1.80. Pay .80¢ cash and $1 catalina, and receive $1 Catalina back.
Purchase 4 cans Vegetables= $2.00. Pay $1 cash and $1 Catalina, and receive $1 Catalina back.
Purchase 4 cans Soup= $2.00. Pay $1 cash and $1 Catalina and receive $1 Catalina back.

I like to use the catalinas to purchase low cost items that my family would use and that are on sale. Taking into consideration the catalinas earned, yogurt and biscuits on sale for .45¢ get marked down to merely .20¢. And, the price of canned vegetables and soup reduce from .50¢/can to .25¢/can.

You can do a total of 10 different transactions of four items (since the limit on this offer is $10). In the end, the net cost of the items are the same, but the amount you pay out of your pocket is significantly less. In this scenerio, purchasing all the items at once would cost $7.60 in cash and earn you a $4 catalina. This makes your net transaction $3.60. Using multiple transactions, the cost out of pocket would be reduced to $4.60 and you would still have $1 catalina to use another day for a net transaction of $3.60. I choose to use multiple transactions. It takes more time, but in the end, I spend nearly half as much cash from my wallet.

I have earned $3 in catalinas so far, but I plan to stop in when I go passed a Hannaford, again, this week. How about you?

Sonja ♥

Monday, October 24, 2011

Free Hugo Boss Frangrances & Philips Avent Bottle

I got a lead today about a free sample of Tom's of Maine. I followed a couple of links, only to discover that the samples were gone. Sorry, Miss Cherie, I thought of you and was so looking forward to posting that link, but alas! it was not to be.

On my travels, I did discover a few other freebies along the way. These were a few of my favorites.

Hugo Boss has free samples of your choice of three delightful frangrances. I chose Boss Orange. You can get your sample HERE. Which sample will you choose?

I also found a place HERE for a free Sample of your choice of one of three Hugo Boss Men's Fragrances.

You can get a Free 4oz Philips Avent Baby Bottle when you "like" their facebook page, while supplies last. You can get yours HERE.

My littlest baby is already 11 years old and in Middle School, but I have friends having babies and family having babies. This can be added to a gift bag with some other goodies for any expectant mother in my life.

Have you found any interesting Freebies this week???

Sonja ♥

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today's Freebie: Fiber Choice

Today's free sample is Fiber Choice.

I have never tried taking fiber, so I have not had the opportunity to try this. I have a good friend who usually uses Benefiber, but I thought that she might like Fiber Choice.

Click HERE for your Free Sample.

Did you come across any interesting freebies this week?


Friday, October 21, 2011

Free Sample Aveeno Shampoo and Conditioner

Today's Free Sample comes from the Walmart site.

Get a Free Sample of Aveeno Living Color Shampoo and Conditioner.

Get your Free Sample Here.

I can't wait to try this one out!

Has anyone already tried it? What did you think?

Sonja ♥

Freebies in my Mailbox

I love getting free samples in my mailbox! I mean, what's not to love about trying a new product before buying it? Or, having single size packets of products to leave out for visiting guests? Or, to pack in your carry on bag when you travel? Or, to use in hundreds of other useful ways? 

Today in my mailbox I received a lovely, little, feminine bag of goodies. Among these were samples for Ponds facial cleansing cloths, Tresemme Shampoo & Conditioner, Garnier Fructis Shampoo & Conditioner, John Freida Full Repair Shampoo, Conditioner, & Repair, L'Oreal Youth Code lotion, Burt's Bees facial cream and a coupon book with $20 in money saving coupons exclusive to Target.

In another packet, I received 2 pair of disposable underwear for women from TENA Women. It included a booket with helpful hints on dealing with adult incontinence. My Nana was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease many years ago. As her health deteriorates, sadly, this kind of product becomes more and more necessary. And, these products can be very expensive! I intend to keep this packet in my first aid/emergency bag in my vehicle. If I need them on an outing with Nana, they will be waiting, just in case.

A friend of mine gave me a tip about using baby diapers for absorbing domestic animal household "accidents". Perhaps, these would suit that purpose, too?

The last item in my mailbox was a sample of Biore facial cleanser. I have not actually used this product before, but I wanted to try it out. I love that now I can... for FREE!
I do not pay anything for samples. I find them very frequently available on facebook, couponing webpages, and blogs. Proctor & Gamble's program will send you free samples and coupons each quarter when you sign up. This quarter I am expecting to receive free samples of Crest 3D White Toothpaste, Crest 3D 2 Hour Whitening Strips, and Herbal Essense Shampoo and Conditioner. I was pleased to see some high value coupons for Tampax Pearl, CoverGirl NatureLuxe Foundation or Lip Balm, and Venus Pro Skin Moisure Rich system. Sign up Here. You can Sign up for Target Samples Here and Sign up for Walmart Samples Here.

What freebies came in your mailbox today?

Sonja ♥

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shaw's: $10 Catalina WYB $25, again

Retail Value: $39.38. Cost Out of Pocket $10. Catalina Earned $10.
Net Cost= FREE           100% Savings
Today was the last day for the $10 catalina when you buy (wyb) $25 in participating GM products. I already had a $10 catalina to use on this deal from my shopping trip last Friday and coupons to match this sale, so I wanted to try my hand at doing this deal another time. With coupons and catalina in hand, off to Shaw's I went.

In my first transaction, I decided to purchase 6 bags of Chex Mix. These were on sale for 2/$4. I had a coupon for $1/2 from a Sunday insert. This made them 2/$3. I purchased 4 bags of Betty Crocker Cookie mix on sale for 2/$4. I had (4) .40¢/1 manufacturer coupons (which doubled to .80¢/1) to bring these to $1.20/bag. Totino's Pizza Rolls were on my list and I used an online printable coupon of .40¢/2 (doubled to .80¢/2) to bring them to .60¢/box. And, I purchased (10) Yoplait yogurts on sale for 10/$6. I used a $1/10 coupon with these to being the total to 10/$5. Clearly, none of these prices were so AMAZING as to be MUST HAVES... until you consider the $10 catalina offer. My total before coupons/savings came to $28.00. After coupons and discounts, the total was $10. I paid $10 in cash and received a $10 On Your Next Order (OYNO) Catalina. Basically, everything I bought, was FREE.

Retail Value $31.18. Cost out of Pocket .62¢.
Net Cost .62¢           98% Savings
For my last transaction today, I flipped the $10 to purchase the Kibbles 'n Bits that I had gotten a rain check for on Tuesday. Kibbles 'n Bits were priced at $5.99 (which was even less expensive than was advertised previously. I don't know why, but I am not complaining!) and had a buy one, get one sale on them. This made them 2 bags for $5.99. I used (2) $1.50/1 manufacturer coupon from the Sunday insert to bring them down to $2.99 for 2 bags or $1.50 each (for the 3.6 pound bags). I did not want to use cash, so I needed to bring my balance to over the $10 mark. I added 2 bags of Chex Mix with the same coupons as above... and a twix candy bar at the register. My total came to $10.62. I paid with my $10 Catalina and .62¢ cash.

I really am very impressed with the Shaw's crew. Today, my cashier was Ethan and my bagger was Jill. She was so friendly and I appreciated that on a dreary, rainy day. There was a small snaffoo buying the Kibbles 'n Bits when the computer failed to register the buy one, get one sale. Ethan was great. I knew the amount on the register was too much, so I inquired about the price of the dog food and showed Ethan the sales flyer. He was so polite and professional. He called over his shift supervisor, Joyce who took one look and fixed the problem. Easy, easy. Problems will occasionally arise, but when they do, it is comforting to know that the cashiers are on your side, ready to help. Joyce even handed me a copy of next week's sales flyers early. I highly recommend the Bangor Shaw's store.

Starting tomorrow, there are going to be some good buy 3, get 3 sales. I am looking into taking advantage of the Classico pasta sauce. www.classico.com has a $1/1 printable coupon. You can print this twice. Quakes Rice Cakes are going to be on sale for $1 and they had some $1/3 peelies that will make these a fairly decent treat. Vitamin Water Zero is on sale for $1 with a bonus of (4) bottles when you buy (10), this makes them .71¢ each. I am going to look for a coupon for the Pillsbury Cake mix on sale for $1. I am also interested in the FREE MILK offer when you buy (4) participating GM cereals at 4/$10. There are several $1/2 coupons available for this offer, which would bring the cost to $8/4 boxes of cereal. When you consider that milk costs about $4/gallon, if you were going to need the milk anyway, it is like paying $1 for each box of cereal. Not too bad!

What sales caught your eye for next week?

Sonja ♥

20 Free Prints from Kodak


Today's Freebie is 20 Free Kodak Prints from Facebook. This offer is good until 10/23/11. Just "like" Kodak on facebook HERE to print the coupon.

For our area, we have a choice of printing them at CVS or Target. The Target offer is buy 5 prints, get 20 prints FREE. I did not see any limitations on the CVS site. If you do, please, let us know!

Sonja ♥

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Walgreens: Inexpensive Razors and Cottonelle

I started my morning by visiting the Walgreen's in Belfast. I hoped to buy a couple of Schick Hydro Razor systems and a couple 12 packs of Cottonelle. Unfortunately, they were all out of the Cottonelle, so my plan needed some modification. I bought one Schick Razor System. This was on sale for $8.49. I used a coupon for $2/1, which brought my total to $6.49. I earned one $4.50 RR. Net cost on this transaction was $1.99.

Later in the afternoon, I stopped by the Walgreen's on Oak St. in Bangor. The crew there know their stuff about coupons! Abby helped me today and I couldn't have had a better experience! I was not sure that a coupon I intended to use would work for the sale I wanted to use, but it all worked out perfectly! And, she was able to confirm that when you use a Walgreen's coupon from any of their booklets, it is unnecessary to clip more than one of them. The register is programmed to take off the coupon amount from each item purchased, as it does with coupons in the flyers. The coupons read: "Limit one coupon per customer per offer", so that can be a little confusing. But, when I purchased (2) Cottonelle 12 packs today, a total of $2 was removed from my total; (1) $1/1 for each item.

With Abby's assistance, I started my transactions by purchasing (1) Gillette Venus Razor system for $9.99. I used a $2/1 coupon (10/11 PG insert) and the $4.5RR from Schick Razor (earlier). My total amounted to $4.40 and I earned $4RR. Net transaction= .40¢.

Next, I bought a Schick Hydro 4 pack cartridge on sale for $8.49. I used a $2/1 manufacturer coupon and the $4RR. My total came to $3.33 and I received a $4.50RR. Net transaction= $1.17 profit.

I repeated these two transactions another time, with the same results. Then, I purchased (1) Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor system for $9.99. I used a $5/1 manufacturer coupon and a $4.50RR. My total came to $1.40 and I earned a $4RR. Net transaction= $2.60 profit.

Finally, I bought (2) Cottonelle (12 large roll packs). These were on sale for $5.00 each, which made them about .42¢ per roll. I used (2) .75/1 manufacturer coupons and (1) $1/1 coupon from Walgreen's October Savings Book (this doubled as I explained above) and the $4RR I earned on the ProGlide System. My total came to $3.43 (.27¢/roll) and I earned a $3RR. My net transaction totalled .43¢.

Total Retail Value $72.71.
Total Cost Out of Pocket $19.61.
Savings of 77%.

*Note: In each of the above transactions, it was necessary to buy a "filler" item because I was using more manufacturer's coupons than the total of the items I was purchasing. Today, to my husband's delight, I used .39¢ vanilla caramels.


Free Nescafe Sample... while supplies last!

Imagine a soft, snowy afternoon. Snuggled in with your family, a warm fire toasting your tootsies, and a steaming cup of cocoa in your hands. It almost makes me wish for Winter...almost.

Click Here for Your Sample on Facebook, While Supplies Last.

Sonja ♥

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rain Checks

Today, I was in Bangor, so I ventured into Shaw's hoping to purchase 4 bags of Kibbles and Bits Dog food for my pooches. Shaw's has the 3.6-4.0 pound bags on sale for $6.43 each. This doesn't sound great, but they were included in this week's buy one, get one sale. So, two bags for $6.43. Still not a great price, but getting better. Here's the kicker, you can use (2) $1.50/1 Sunday paper inserts on the deal to bring the price of two bags down to $3.43. Put another way, 4 lbs of dog food for $1.71/bag. I can definitely live with that price.

My intention remained alive for all of the time it took me to get the the back of the store and see that the shelves were completely bare. *Gasp!* Color me disappointed. Shocked. Morose. But, wait! My coupons do not expire until 10/22. Hope abounds!

With a spring in my step and a pleasant determination in my belly, I walked to the Customer Service desk and politely requested a rain check for 4 bags. The friendly cashier was happy to help me and even let me know that their truck comes in by 2pm on Thursday and that the shelves are usually restocked within an hour or two of its arrival. Nice information to have.

I put my rain check with my coupons and made a mental note to return on Thursday afternoon. I do not anticipate a problem with this transaction and when all is done, I should have been able to buy 16 pounds of dog food for $6.86.

Rain Checks are a GREAT way to get the sale price on items when they are out of stock at the store. I can't stress enough how important it is to be organized keeping them. I slip mine into my coupon binder with the coupon that matches it. While, I have not found any stores willing to consider coupons that will expire before an item is back into stock, my Rite Aid has given me rain checks with an additional price modification for any Ups+ RRs I would lose out on. Handy, that. If your coupon is going to expire before the item comes in, you may want to consider that in deciding if it is worth getting the rain check. The other side of that coin is that other coupons may come out that work just as well for your rain checked item. It is my preference to get the rain check, hope the item comes in, and if not, look for other coupons to use with it.

What about you? Have you used rain checks? With what results?


Monday, October 17, 2011

Contest Update ♥

First of all, I am sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry.... well, you get the point. It seems that some of you (read that all of you) that have tried to comment on the contest posting were unable to do so. There were some technical difficulties with the posting (which is what happens when I try to engage my brain at 6am) that made it impossible to post comments.

I will admit, I have been watching patiently, (read that: anxiously pacing, wringing my hands, and murmuring worried thoughts under my breath to the general dismay of my husband, children and closest friends for DAYS) waiting for the comments to start pouring in on my Rainy Day Give Away contest. I was a little confused about the lack of comments. I mean, who wouldn't want a FREE chance at winning a $20 gift card, right??? It wasn't until today when I attempted to post a comment on the posting myself, that I realized *whispers* I accidentally disabled comments.

So, to repeat my opening... Sorry to all you who attempted to comment already and the frustration you may have felt. On the bright side? The problem has been remedied. Please to commence the posting at your leisure... but before October 31st, when the contest closes.

Sonja ♥

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Free Organic Cold Medicines at Rite Aid this week

(3) Duract Cough Quick Melt Tabs, (3) Organix Defense Cough Drops, (3) Blistex Cold & Flu Lip Balm, (3) Sucrets, (1) Similasan Kids Cold & Mucus Relief, (3) St. Joseph's 81mg aspirin, (1) Saline Soothers, (3) Fun Size Candies (These were "fillers" and sadly, they suffered some casualties on the drive home.) ALL for a total cost of $6.06.
So many people I know are interested in using all natural, organic foods and medicines for their families. The complaint I hear often, though, is that these items are more expensive, there are not coupons for them, and they rarely go on sale. These things are not true. At least, not entirely. I will admit that coupons for organic foods and medicines are more rare to come across than their counterparts, they are not entirely lacking. I was pleased to see that Rite Aid is carrying a larger selection of these items AND are offering them on sale, with RRs, and with Single Check Rebates (SCR). Because of the limits imposed on this sale, I called in some family and friends and with 3 wellness cards in hand, consider me ready.
My shopping trip today, as usual, took many transactions to complete. I was glad to be in Bucksport. The crew there is just wonderful. I hate to inconvenience other shoppers, so I try to give some advance notice to the store about my check out needs. When I let the manager know that I was going to check out in nine multiple transactions, she opened a register herself to assist me. This is the way they do at Bucksport's Rite Aid, every time.

I began with $2.50 on RRs from last week. In order to use as little of my out of pocket money, I started with purchasing (1) Organix Defense Cough Drop and (1) Blistex Cold & Flu Lip Balm for $2.99. I paid with $2.50rr and .64¢ cash. I received $1.49rr and $1.50rr. Next, I bought (1) Sucrets for $2.99. I paid with $1.49rr and $1.50rr and .15¢ cash (for the tax) and I earned $2rr. Then, I purchased (1) St. Joseph's 81mg aspirin for $4.99. I used $1/1 coupon from Sunday insert, $2rr and $2.24 cash and I received $4rr. Finally, I purchased (1) Duract Cough Quick Melt Tabs for $6.00. I paid with $4rr and $2.30 cash and I received $6rr. Total out of Pocket equalled $5.33 and I ended with $6rr, which gave me a net profit of .67¢. So far, so good.

At this point, I switched to a second card. Because I now had $6rr to work with, I did not need to make as many small transactions. For my first exchange, I purchased (1) Sucrets for $2.99, (1) Blistex Cold & Flu Lip Balm for $1.49 and (1) St. Joseph's Aspirin for $4.99. I used a $1/1 coupon for the aspirin, the $6rr, and $2.95 in cash. And, I received back $4rr, $2rr, and $1.49rr. Lastly, I used those RRs to purchase (1) Organix Cough Drops and (1) Duract Cough Quick Melt Tabs. I paid .39¢ cash and I received $1.49rr and $6rr. Total out of Pocket for this set of transactions totaled $3.34 and I now had $7.49rr. One last card to use to complete my shopping.

On the third card, I began with purchasing Sucrets, St. Joseph's Aspirin, and Organix Cough Drops. I flipped the $6rr and $1.49rr from my last purchase, a $1/1 coupon for the St. Joe's and added $1.46 cash from my wallet. I received $2rr, $4rr, and $1.50rr. This is where I needed a filler item. The last two items I planned on purchasing were going to cost me $7.49, so I would either use more money out of pocket and keep some RRs, or bring my total .01¢ over the RRs I had available to spend. The Twix were on sale for $1. This was not the cheapest option available, but Twix are absolutely, addictively, delicious, and that is what I opted to buy. I purchased (1) Duract and (1) Blistex Cold & Flu Lip Balm and (1) Twix "fun size" candy for $1.52 cash and my earned RRs. I received $6rr and $1.49rr back. The net total for this set of transactions was $2.98 cash and I finished with $7.49rr.

My RR shopping complete, all I had left to buy were items that would be free after the Single Check Rebate. In planning my shopping trip today, I had intended to buy (1) Zarbee's Natraflu Nighttime Cough & Sleep Drink ($6.99), but the store was out of stock on them. I was offered a rain check, which normally, I would accept, but I did not need this medicine immediately and I will be near another Rite Aid tomorrow, so I will check there first. I did buy the $1 Saline Soothers Moisturizing Nose Wipes and Similisan Cold Relief for Children for $3.99. The Saline Soothers was a complete freebie and I had a $1.75/1 Similisan coupon which made this item a .76¢ money maker.

I love SCR. It is a great way to turn coupons and RRs back into cash. Rite aid mails me a check each month for my rebates. I only use the single check rebate program on items I am getting free. Additionally, I use any left over RRs to pay for the cost to purchase the items and because I have also used a coupon when making the original purchase, most of the time, these become better than FREE. I just happily deposit the money into my checking account each month. Gotta love that!

I am waiting for the first sign of scratchy throat complaints to use the Organix Defense Cough Drops. They are sugar fee, gluten free and all organic. I am tempted to try the New Mint Chocolate flavored ones now- cold or no cold. Maybe, I better just have a mini Twix and call it a night instead.

Good night, all.
Sonja ♥

Friday, October 14, 2011

Shaw's + General Mills Products= HUGE SAVINGS

Shopping at Shaw's today was AWESOME. I will admit, there is a little bit of an adrenaline rush when I am in line, waiting to see if everything is going to work out the way I planned it. I needed to make some minor alterations at the store to compensate for some coupon match ups and that only added to my state of excited nervousness. I came within $5 of what I intended to spend. Success!!!Total Retail for my purchases $139.05. My out of pocket expense was $ 38.03 AND I earned a $10 On Your Next Order (oyno) coupon, which made my net transaction $28.03. Total Savings 79%.
The sale Shaw's advertised was save $10 On Your Next Order when you buy $25 in participating General Mills products. The $25 mark is triggered before you apply coupons, so you don't actually spend $25 in cash monies to qualify for the $10 catalina. As usual, I wanted to spend as little out of my pocket as possible, so I broke up my purchases into 3 transactions.
Transaction #1:
The differences in the amount I paid and the sale amount reflect the additional savings I enjoyed from the coupons I used. Shaw's only allows "4 like" coupons for each transaction, so that was another factor in my transaction groupings. I used both online coupons and Sunday paper insert coupons in various amounts, which is why on one graph, it will show more money for the same product than on another graph.
Transaction #2:
The out of pocket amount is the cost after all my coupons were applied and before the additional $10 OYNO catalina. After earning the first $10 OYNO in transaction #1, I used it to pay down my out of pocket balance in transaction #2. And, since it only matters that the total before coupons reached $25, I earned another $10 OYNO catalina. In all, I earned three of them, but rolled them on each subsequent transaction. If I had purchased everything in one transaction, I would have paid $58.03 out of pocket and earned (3) $10 catalinas. The final net amount of $28.03 would be the same, but by employing multiple transactions, I used catalina money to pay and kept my money in the bank where it does my family greater good.

Transaction #3:
I am quite pleased with my results, but I have more coupons which correspond to this sale, so I will probably plan to revisit Shaw's when I am in Bangor again later this week. I am very visual, so I brought home the flyer to look through, mark up, and devise possibly a better deal than today's. The internet is full of sites that give you sneak peaks at ad scans for upcoming sale weeks. For this week's sale the most helpful one for me was from Money Saving Maine-iac's blog which You Can Read Here. Oh! And, purchasing 5 GM Cereals together in my final transaction (not 4) triggered a $2/5 any GM cereal catalina.

The other cool things about this sale is that all the items I purchased had a General Mills "box top for education" label, which are worth .10 cents each (today's total was $5.30) AND because I purchased more than ten qualifying items in each transaction, it triggered (3) 10 Bonus box tops codes worth an additional $3.00 That means, Searsport Middle School's parent/teacher group just got $8.30 richer just by my buying my family's groceries today.

At the end of today's trip, I had purchased: 15 boxes Totino's Pizza Rolls, 6 bags Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes, 6 boxes GM Cereals, 16 boxes Betty Crocker Potatoes, 8 bags Chex Mix, and 4 bags of Bugles... all for less than $30.00.

Sonja ♥


Rainy Day $20 Gift Card Give Away

Good Morning, Friends!

I woke this morning at 6am to find it still raining. It looks to clear tomorrow, but for now, it does not make the body feel much like being up and about, ready to take on the new day. I don't care for dreary days. So, I said to myself, "Self, we are going to need to do something special today."

I got a little excited about the Shaw's possibilities starting today, and organizing my sale strategy for that helped brighten my mood a bit, but then I thought... how about a contest???? There truly is more happiness in giving than receiving. I would love to give every reader an extra $20 to use for their shopping needs, but that would not be realistic. So, the next best thing is this:

I am entering every "follower" (aka Member) of this blog into a contest to win your choice of one $20 gift card to either Shaw's, Hannaford, Rite Aid, or Walgreen's.
To enter the contest, all you must do is this:

1. Simply scroll down and watch the right hand side to find the "Members" list. Click the "sign in" link and complete the easy sign in instructions. If you are already a member, no worries: no need to sign up, go on to step 2.

2. Once you are a "member", comment your choice of which gift card you would prefer to win in the comments section of this blog.

3. To gain a second chance to win, comment your gift card choice on our facebook post, also.

For complete contest rules, Please visit HERE.

Have a Happy Day, Everyone!
Sonja ♥

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rite Aid: Free Cold and Flu Medicines

Rite Aid has been very kind to me lately. Last week, it was the awesome deal on Dove line hair care products. Read about that HERE. This week it is the place to go for cold and flu medicine, sore throat spray, cough drops, chapstick and hand sanitizer. And, most of it is FREE.

My husband, Sean and I, are a team when it comes to couponing, finding sales and saving money. When it comes to the actual shopping, though, it is usually me at the register figuring out in what order to buy things and how to group my transactions to use the least amount of cash possible. I don't mind that because it can get confusing when more than one mind is trying to put things on the counter and keeping track of RRs. But, yesterday, I challenged Sean to go to the Bucksport Rite Aid solo and come home with the best deal he could find. He did GREAT! With no coupons to use and no RRs to start with, he brought home this: (4) bottles of Hand Sanitizer, (1) Burt's Bees Cough Drops, and (1) box Cepacol Sore Throat Drops. He spent $2.85 and brought home $3.50 in RRs for a PROFIT of .65¢. I'd say he successfully completed that challenge!

Transaction #1:
He bought (2) Hand Sanitizers for $1.00 each, with tax, cost out of pocket= $2.10. He paid with cash and earned (2) $1 RRs. Total cost .10¢.

Transaction #2:
He repeated this purchase exactly, except he paid with $2 RRs. Cost out of pocket= .10¢ and he earned (2) $1 RRs. Net cost. $1.90 money maker.

Transaction #3:
He purchased the Burt's Bees Cough Drops for $1.49, with tax= $1.56. He paid with $1RR and .56¢ out of pocket and earned $1.49 RR. Net cost= .93¢ money maker.

Transaction #4:
Sean bought the Cepacol Sore Throat Drops for $2.50. He paid with $1 RR, $1.49 RR, and .09¢ out of pocket and earned a $2.50 RR. Net cost= $2.41 money maker.

He paid a total of $2.85 out of pocket and left with $2.50 RR and $1.00 RR, so he made a profit of  .65¢ buying his items. I will gladly admit it: he did better than me! I spent money on my shopping trip, but I am still pleased with the overall results.

I purchased (6) bottles of Hand Sanitizer, (2) Chloraseptic Sore Throat Spray, (2) Defend (liquid) Cold & Cough Relief, (3) Comtrex: Cold & Cough, Severe Cold & Sinus, and Cold & Sinus, (3) Burt's Bees Cough Drops, (3) Cepacol Sore Throat Drops, (3) Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment, and (1) Zarbees all-natural Children's Cough Syrup.

When I reviewed the flyer online, I knew that I was going to want to stock up and that my friends and family may need some of these products in preparation for winter's cold season. Most of these items had a limit of one, except the Hand Sanitizer (which had a limit of 4 per reward card) This meant that I needed to call on my friends and family to see if I could use their reward cards. This saved them from having to shop and allowed me to stock up on more than the limit allowed. With four reward cards in hand, I was ready to visit the Broadway, Bangor Right Aid. I was going to have to be very careful to keep track of which cards and items I used together.

I started with a $5 RR (from Dove last week). My shopping was broken into seven transactions that went like this:

Transaction #1
I purchased one Defend Cold & Cough Relief for $5.99. I paid using my $5RR and $1.30 in cash. I earned a $5 RR. Total cost out of pocket $1.30.

Transaction #2
I purchased one Chloraseptic Throat Spray for $3.99 and one box Comtrex Severe Cold/Sinus  for $3.99. I paid with $5RR and $3.38 out of pocket and I earned (2) $3 RRs.

Transaction #3
I bought three Hand Sanitizers at $1 each, one Blistex Lip Ointment for $1.49, one box Cepacol Sore Throat Drops for $2.50, and one bag Burt's Bees Cough Drops for $1.49. I paid with (2) $3RRs and $2.91 out of pocket and I earned: (3) $1RR, (2) $1.49 RR, $2.50RR. (Total RRs $8.49.)

Transaction #4
I bought one Chloraseptic Throat Spray for $3.99 and one Defend Cold & Cough Relief for $5.99. I paid with the $8.49 RRs from the previous sale and $1.98 cash out of pocket. I received $5 RR and $3RR.

Transaction #5
I purchased one Comtrex Cold & Cough for $3.99, one Blistex Lip Ointment for $1.49, one Cepacol Sore Throat Drops for $2.50, and one Burt's Bees Cough Drops for $1.49. I paid with $5RR and $3RR and $1.95 out of pocket. I received $3RR, (2) $1.49RR, $2.50RR.

Transaction #6
I repeated transaction 5 for items purchased. I paid with $3RR, (2) $1.49RR, $2.50RR and $1.47 in cash and I earned $3RR, (2) $1.49RR, $2.50RR again.

Transaction #7
I purchased three Hand Sanitizers for $1 each. I paid with $3RR and .15¢ out of pocket. I earned (3) $1RR.

When I had completed my purchases, I had spent a total of  $12.68 out of pocket. I left the store with (3) $1RRs, (2) $1.49RRs, & $2.50RR =$8.48 RRs total. My net cost was $4.20 for everything I purchased.

These are the items which cost me NOTHING to purchase, I only had to pay the tax on them.

I also bought a Zarbees all-natural Children's Cough Syrup for $5.99. This item has a Single Check Rebate of $5.99, so it was free, too.

We are all stocked and ready to go for cold season. I sincerely hope that we avoid the flu again this year, but if we become ill with a sore throat or a cold/cold & sinus thing, we will have the medicine on hand to combat it.

One additional thought that I wanted to share. I had seven transactions to complete. I was not the only Customer in Rite Aid shopping. When another Customer was ready to check out their selections, I paused and moved aside and waited for them to complete their purchase. Did I have to do that? Wasn't I a Customer, too, and in line first? Well, yes, you could reason that way. But, I consider this to be in a similar vein to NEVER clearing a shelf at the store. Read more about it HERE.  It is just good manners and it is the right things to do. Most Customers are coming in for a couple of items and need to get on their way. I, too, don't want to be in the store longer than necessary, but I also choose to save money by breaking things into smaller transactions, so I can roll my RRs and use them to the best advantage. Please, readers, be considerate to others.

One additional perk to kind behavior: in my experience, the cashiers really appreciate it and I cannot repeat this enough, you WANT them on your TEAM.

Sonja ♥

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coupons and Codes Galore!

I was contacted recently with an invitation to check out the site www.couponchief.com. They promised I would find the latest up-to-date coupon codes for online and in store purchases. I, personally, have had very limited experience with shopping online and using codes, but I was definitely interested in checking it out. I am always interested in adding a new way to save money to my living frugal arsenal.

My first step was to simply log into their site and browse a bit. It looked interesting enough that I decided to sign up and begin my first foray. I scrolled through ten pages of coupon codes for everything from Walgreen's to Old Navy, PhotoWorks to Express. Some of the coupons were for up to 55% off- even on clearance items! Others were for free shipping if you ordered a certain dollar amount.

Interest piqued further, I was ready to delve in and see just what kind of deal I could find. My attention was first caught by an offer for a FREE 8x10 collage picture from Walgreen's. I thought that this seemed promising. I created a Walgreen's account and uploaded a couple of pictures. At the checkout screen I was prompted to enter my code [COLLAGE], but sadly, this code had just expired. Strike One. Hmmm... I was starting to get a little concerned.

I browsed a little longer and found another offer that I wanted to check out. Bath and Body Works was offering two coupon codes; one for free shipping on orders more than $25.00 and the other offered 20% off my order. And, their online store had tons of choices. At the check out, the coupon [F114778] worked without any problems at all. I did not reach the $25.00 limit, so shipping was an additional $5.99. Visit Bath and Body Works Here.

Also, Coupon Chief has an interesting premise. You can actually earn money yourself by posting valid codes. It is super easy. Just create a free account at the www.couponchief.com website. Upload coupons using their upload tool. Every time someone uses a coupon you uploaded, you will earn 2% of the sales. (For complete details visit the site.) You can track your earnings on your "my account" page. What a great idea, right? I have not yet tried this option out for myself, yet, but I will be doing so.

All in all, I was very impressed with the ease of the site, the variety of the offers and stores represented. I love the idea of making money uploading coupon codes I come across in my everyday web travels. I was a little disappointed that the first coupons was already expired, but that can happen anywhere, really.

Check them out and let me know what coupon codes you find!

Sonja ♥

Disclosure: This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.  The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. 

I have been compensated to provide my honest opinion regarding this website. Regardless of compensation, I will always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apples Update

From twelve and one half (50 lb) bags of apples to apple cider, hard apple cider, apple wine, apple pie filling and apples to snack on. After, Sean and I pressed the apples at a congregation apple pressing party, it was time to start processing our bounty to savor over the cold winter months.

To prepare my traditional apple cider, I sterilized my equipment: large stock pot, water bath canner, covers, ladle, and jugs, and the cider in 8 quart batches. I added 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg to each batch. Using a plastic funnel made filling my jars easy, easy. I filled 7 gallons of cider. Sooooo delicious warm or cold. Once they cool on the counter (It is not safe to put warm or hot foods in the fridge or freezer. It can raise the internal temperature and cause foods to thaw in the freezer, or bacteria to grow in a warmer fridge environment) to room temperature, they are ready for the freezer. These can last for up to a year this way.

I am sending my husband's Dad and Mom and his Brother's family the quart jars which I canned in a hot water bath. Packed carefully and shipped overnight via UPS, they should arrive intact and be ready to be enjoyed or stored until colder weather.
My husband's Hard Cider takes somewhat less preparation at this stage. Pressed and poured into (2) five gallon glass carboys and (1) five gallon bucket, he topped them with air locks and wisely leaves them to do their fermentation thing. In about a week, he will rack and bottle them. Once more, leaving them be to age to perfected, drinkable goodness in about one month.

Sonja ♥

Personal Money Saving Strategies

For me, saving money, in all aspects of my living is important. So, I make the most of the many resources available. My top number of money saving strategies are:

1. Know the difference between your needs and your wants. "Need" is defined to be necessary; indicates that a course of action is desirable or necessary. Whereas, "want" is defined as to wish, crave, demand, or desire. This takes a lot of thought. When you understand the difference between needs and wants, your priorities change. Before you make a purchase, ask yourself questions like, Do I require this to make my life easier? Will this purchase take up precious time from more important things, like time with friends or family? Can I afford this? Will I have to work more hours to pay for it, again, robbing your time from more important things? Do I need it right now?

2. Friends & neighbors save coupon inserts for me. I always have multiples of each week's coupons and I never have to buy a Sunday paper. In return, I give them gifts from my bounty of freebies. I am not out anything because I decide what to gift. My cupboards remain stocked and I love that I can pass on the savings to others.

3. I plant a small garden each Spring. I love growing my own veggies. Beyond that, it saves tons of money on buying things that I can grow in my own yard. It saves on gas and my time: no driving to the store. It saves on trash in landfills because household scraps become organic compost. What I cannot use by the end of the season, I pick and can or freeze to enjoy through the winter.

4. Gleaning food. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. Our community building often has food donated by a local Hannafords and each family is able to pick up a shopping bag of fruits and veggies, breads and desserts for free. Look at community boards to see what might be available in your community. If you live in an area with local farms or orchards, at the end of the season, many are willing to allow families to glean these or sell the produce at severely reduced rates rather than let the produce go to waste. It takes a bit of courage, but it never hurts to ask.

5. Keeping animals. We keep chickens for eggs. Most of our flock has been given to us. We watch the Uncle Henry's View Here and Craig's List View Here for hens who need a home. We keep enough to satisfy our family's need and we sell our excess to other families. It costs us to buy grain, true, but when we figure it all out. We make a profit of a few hundred dollars each year and we have an unlimited supply of the freshest, most delicious eggs we could eat. The chickens, also, keep down bugs in the yard. We will hatch a few clutches of chicks this spring to sell or replenish our flock. And, some folks supply Sunday dinner from their flock when their girls don't produce as much.
Feeding Leah and Rachel some treats.

Jedidiah playing with a box.
This year, we also started a small goat herd. We will sell the kids to cover the cost of grain and hay for the cooler months. And, we gain goat milk from the Nanny's. From this, we will make several kinds of cheese, including herbed goat cheese, feta cheese, mozzarella, and ricotta, goat's milk lotion and soap. We will have what we need to supply our family and will sell our excess which makes our Nanny's financially profitable. In addition, they are so loving and have such wonderful personalities, they bring joy into my life with their antics.

Note of caution: Keeping animals is not for everyone. There is work that goes into this hobby, mucking stalls, feeding, and keeping your animals healthy. It works for us, but be very thoughtful about what you are getting into before you invest in raising your own animals.

6. Buy the best quality things you can afford. My dear sister-in-law gave me this sage piece of wisdom and I keep it in mind. "We are too poor to buy cheap." It may sound like a contradiction, but if you have to replace a thing many times because it is of poor quality, where is the savings on that? Instead, if you are buying online, use coupon codes matched with sales to get great savings. Companies, such as www.CouponChief.com, are great resources for up-to-date coupon codes to use with sales at many high quality stores. Good quality items last and I have found that I can buy these for less than buying cheap brands by matching sales with good coupons. For instance, last week, I bought (12) bottles of Dove Shampoo and Conditioners. These regularly sell for more than $4/bottle. With the sale Rite Aid had and the coupon from a Sunday paper, I bought the 1st set of six for $5.50, which is .92¢/bottle and used the earned $5RR on the 2nd set of six to buy them ALL for .55¢. That is .09¢ per bottle. Compare with Alberto V05. This product does not work on my hair. I use more shampoo trying to clean my hair and the conditioner is next to useless for me. Why buy this inexpensive brand for .79¢-.99¢ a bottle when I can get a quality bottle of shampoo for so much less?

7. Use it up. Wear it out. Make do or do without. Reuse and Recycle what you can. Instead of throwing things out, can it be fixed or can it be repurposed? Be creative. An ornate head board to an unuseable, unfixable antique bed gets a fresh coat of paint, some polyurethane, and becomes a whimsical sign in the garden. Excess mortar from a household tiling project gets poured into a round cake pan, decorated with shells from the beach, and sets overnight into a lovely garden accent stone. Your local ReStore is full of second hand light fixtures, various types of tile, and other home improvement project needs for about 50% off regular retail.

7. Barter. Your friends and family are comprised of people who have gifts. Perhaps, one styles hair. Another is a thrifty shopper. Someone else you know is the "Pied Piper" of children and makes the perfect babysitter. Trade your resources for their expertise. One of my close friends raises chickens for meat. I do not. I trade bathroom supplies; shampoos, deodorants, tooth care items, hair color, etc.
-all of which I get for FREE- for what she has to trade- delicious home grown chickens ready for my freezer or Sunday night dinner table.

What strategies do you use most frequently to save money?

Sonja ♥

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple Adventures

Fall means many delightful things. Among my favorite of them are leaves changing colors on the trees like an artist painting the world around us, bonfires with friends complete with marshmallows and steaming cups of hot chocolate, and APPLES. Delicious. Delightful. Delovely Apples. 

Two years ago, my husband and I picked 3 contractor bags of apples from a friend's tree and from this made 10 gallons of a sweet apple wine and several gallons of apple cider. This year, we were again blessed through a friend of my sister, Kelli to be allowed to glean apples from a cultivated orchard. On Wednesday, my husband and I picked and filled (8) 50lb grain bags with Cortlands, MacIntosh, Braeburns, Granny Smiths and Red Delicious. I have no idea if these bags hold 50 lbs of apples, but they certainly FELT like it when I tried bringing them to the car. I quickly decided that this was "man's work" and left it to my husband.

My Christian sister, Cheri and I canned 21 Quarts of apples into slices, spiced with cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, and nutmeg for apple crisps and apple pies to warm our hearts and bellies in the cold months to come. I will put up a few more from these fruits gathered. I will be glad to share this recipe. Feel free to comment or email me to get it.

On Saturday, we are joining some Christian friends to enjoy an old fashioned apple pressing party. With this many apples, we will be able to enjoy them through the whole of winter. My husband, Sean, has every intention of using the (3) carboys he owns to age some into apple wine and hard cider. I will collect (10) gallons into containers, boil this, and pour it into clean plastic jugs to freeze. 

It feels so wonderful to prepare foods for my family to enjoy through the winter months. I love the feeling of accomplishment it gives me.

♥ Sonja

I just got home from helping Sean pick 2 more trees, which equaled 3 1/2 additional grain bags of apples! I am loving apples, but I am slightly concerned that we will be able to process this volume! I'll let you know how it goes! ♥

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tampax Pearl from $5.79 to .95¢ at Walgreens!!!

(8) Tampax Pearl Tampons $5.79
(8) Act II Popcorn 2/$1
(1) Cottonelle 12 pk $5.00
Total Retail $55.32

But Wait! We must figure in coupons and sales...

(8) Tampax Pearl = $46.32
Less (4) Buy One, Get One Free coupon from 10/3 PG insert= $23.16
Sale Buy One, Get One 50% off = $11.58
Less (4) $1/1 coupon from 10/3 PG insert= $7.58 or .95¢ each

(1) Cottonelle 12 pk= $5.00
Less $1/1 in ad coupon= $4.00
Less .75¢/1 SS insert= $3.25 or .28¢/roll

(8) Act II Popcorn= $4.00
Less 4/$1 in ad coupon= $2.00

Total Out of Pocket= $12.83
Savings of 76%

Sonja ♥

Dove @ Rite Aid Makes Me Happy, Happy, Happy

Dove Shampoo/Conditioner on sale for 2/$7. Now, you know if you have been reading my blog, that I would NEVER again pay this much for shampoo or conditioner, even if I love the product, as I do with the Dove line. But, throw in a $5 RR when you spend $15 in Dove products and a Buy One, Get One Free coupon from 10/2/11 RP insert and you have my attention. Completely.

Here's the Math:
Buy (6) at 2/$7= $21.00
Less (3) $3.50= $10.50
Earn (1) $5.00RR= $5.50 for 6 or .92¢ each.

I also took advantage of the Ricola sale 2/$3 and earn $1 RR when you buy 2, which was like paying $1.00 each. But, I also had a Buy One, Get One Free coupon from the same insert. The Math looks like this: Buy (2) at 2/$3= $3.00. Less (1) B1G1 coupon ($1.50)= 2/$1.50. Earn $1 RR. This made them only .25¢ each. I was able to pick up these two bags and have a "rain check" for 6 more bags.

Today, I have had an epiphany regarding the Dove deal. I love Dove shampoos/conditioners and I want to pick up more of them, but I have already used my stash of coupons. So, I turned to Dede.  I ordered (9) B1G1 Dove at a cost of .12¢ each. This is why it made sense for me to do so. The math:

Transaction #1
Buy (6) at 2/$7= $21.00
Less (3) $3.50= $10.50
less $5RR= $5.50 for 6
Earn $5RR= .50¢ for 6 or .09¢ each.

Transaction #2 and #3 (Use a friend's card and repeat twice)

Total Purchased: 9 bottles of Dove shampoo & conditioners
Total Retail Value: $63.00
Total Spent Out of Pocket: $16.50 with a $5 RR towards next week's purchases.
Total Net Transaction: $1.50/18 bottles

I'll let you know how it goes!
Sonja ♥

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shaws... Once More With Feeling

1 Box Trix
2 Boxes Cookie Crisp
3 Boxes Cinnamon Toast Crunch
4 Boxes Cheerios
6 Nature Valley Trail Mix
6 Nature Valley Granola

Retail Value:  $75.28
Total Spent: $26.60
(1) $3 OYNO Catalina earned

Net Transaction: $23.60
68% Savings

I visited Shaw's on Friday, eager to see what I could do with their four bonus $1/1 facebook coupons. I was pleased with my shopping, but I knew that Nature Valley was participating in a catalina offer for $3 off on your next order (OYNO). With that added into the mix, how could I resist?

I had "liked" Shaw's on my facebook page already. My husband followed suit on his account. He printed off his four $1/1 Shaw's coupons. I considered trying to print a 2nd set for myself, but decided against it. The page clearly states only one per Customer. Armed with coupons in hand, we drove to our local Shaw's anticipating delightful savings.

A couple of ways to use your Shaw's coupons to their best advantage:

Option 1
Transaction #1:
Buy 6 boxes of Nature Valley Granola Bars on sale for 4/$10. If you buy 5 boxes, you get them at $1.88 each AND a $3.00 OYNO will print. Use (3) $1/1 Nature Valley Coupons from SS insert. AND use (3) $1/1 Shaw's coupons from facebook. The Math:

6 x $1.88= $11.28
less (3) $1/1 coupons= $8.28
less (3) Shaw's $1/1 coupons= $5.28
Earn $3 OYNO= $2.28 for 6 boxes or .38¢ per box

Transaction #2:
Buy 6 boxes of Nature Valley Granola Bars on sale for 4/$10. If you buy 5 boxes, you get them at $1.88 each AND a $3.00 OYNO will print. Use (3) $1/1 Nature Valley Coupons from ss insert. AND use (1) $1/1 Shaw's coupons from facebook. AND use $3 OYNO catalina. The Math:

6 x $1.88= $11.28
less (3) $1/1 coupons= $8.28
less (1) Shaw's $1/1 coupons= $6.28
less (1) $3 OYNO coupon= $3.28
Earn $3 OYNO= $.28 for 6 boxes or .05¢ per box

In theory, you could continue to do this transaction (though, you would not have the additional $1/1 Shaw's coupons to use) until your coupons ran out or the sale ends. You do need to purchase other items to bring the total to $15 in order to use the Shaw's coupons. I supplemented this with buying GM cereals. Whether you use the $1/2, $1/3, or $2/5 GM coupons, the total to purchase 5 boxes works out to be $7.40 for 5 boxes of cereal or $1.48/box. If you decided to use the Shaw's coupons on these, you would get them for as low as .68¢/box. I have seen some chatter about printable coupons for Chex, Trix, Cookie Crisp, and Cheerios, but they were not listed on the sites when I searched for them.

For my family, I purchased 6 boxes of Nature Valley Granola Bars first. Then, my husband purchased 6 boxes of Nature Valley Granola Bars and the cereals all together. We could have split the orders and used both $3 OYNO catalinas (and probably should have!) but we still have one and I am completely fine with my results.

If you find a link to the GM cereal printables, I would LOVE to have you comment it here for others to use.

Sonja ♥

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Free Betty Crocker Give Away Package

A good friend of mine has been blogging for MANY years. Occasionally she is given some super prizes from companies to give away to her readers. Her current give away is sponsored by Betty Crocker and interested me immediately. Maybe I won't win. Maybe I will. But, it cost me nothing to enter and gives me a chance to win this goodie package.
And, I can really use new cupcake tins.

You can enter to win HERE.

Sonja ♥

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Shaws Addional $1/1 DOUBLE coupons= Woo Hoo!!!

$68.11 in Groceries for Only $26.11 +  $5.92 in Bread from Nissen Outlet Store
2 Boxes Cheerios $1.08 each                                     
2 Boxes Trix .68¢ each                                             
1 Box Corn Chex $1.08 each                                    
2 Cans Progresso Bread Crumbs $1.00 each           
2 Welch's Grape Juice 1.99 each
4 Boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars $1.08 each
2 Boxes Nature Valley Trail Mix $1.13 each
4oz Tilapia $1.00
4 oz Salmon $1.00
2 Bags Sargento Parmesan Cheese $5.00
3 Asian Pears $1.50
10 8oz Shaw's Tomato Sauce $1.95

Nissen Outlet Store:
2 Country Wheat Bread .99¢ each
2 Country White Bread .99¢ each
4 Single Serve Popcorns .49¢ each

I had a wonderful adventure with my friend, Cheri in Waterville.
First, we stopped by the Rite Aid in Fairfield. This store ROCKS!!! Store Manager, Michelle was wonderful. I had a problem getting all the RRs I anticipated, but she knew just what to do to fix the problem AND she was friendly all the while she helped me. I was hoping to find a couple of the Irish Spring Body Washes that have been unavailable on my local store shelves this whole week. So, I was not a bit surprised to see empty spaces where I hoped the Irish Spring Body Wash would live. Slightly disappointed, I decided to go ahead and buy a couple packages of Irish Spring Bar Soaps and Deodorants instead. While these would not be FREE, I can live with 17¢ per bar of soap. I borrowed my Nana's Rite Aid Wellness Card because there is a limit of four per on this deal. When buying Soft Soap Bodywash this week at the Belfast Rite Aid on my card, only two of the four $2 RRs printed on my receipt. Patricia, who is AMAZING at her job and by far my favorite employee, helped me to remedy the situation. Michelle was quick to return the items, rescan them and make sure I got the right credit for the sale. Interestingly, when my friend, Cheri duplicated the exact same two transactions, all of her RRs printed without any hitches.

Next, we shopped Shaw's. I was excited to see what could be matched with the four $1.00/1 coupons I printed from Shaw's on Facebook Here. My favorite deal was on GM products.

I bought 2 boxes of Cheerios, 2 boxes of Trix, and 1 box of Corn Chex. I used a $1/3 boxes of GM cereals and (2) .50¢/1 box of Trix which I printed online last week from the www.Shaws.com site. When you add the additional $1/1 Shaws Facebook coupon, it looks like this:
GM Product Sale 4/$10.00,
get an additional .62¢ off on each when you buy 5= $1.88 each box which totals $9.40
less $1/3 GM, less $1/1 Shaws, less (2) .50¢/1 (each doubles)= $5.40 for 5 boxes
$1.08 each box.

I bought 6 boxes of Nature Valley Granola Bars. I used (3) $1/2 coupons from the Sunday paper insert. These were also on sale for 4/$10.00 with an additional .62¢ off each when you buy 5. This brings the total down to $1.88/box. The  insert coupons make them $1.38/box. I used my other three Shaw's Facebook $1/1 coupons to them .88¢ each box.

Lastly, Cheri took me to the Nissen Discount Store. I found Country White and Wheat breads, which normally retail for $2.99 at my local Walmart for only .99¢. I bought 4 loaves; one loaf of each in the bread box of a quick french toast breakfast tomorrow and I froze the other two loaves to use whenever suits my needs in the future. Thanks, Cheri!!!!

I was able to print another block of four $1/1 coupons today and might repeat the Granola Bar purchases before the sale ends October 6th. I am not sure if they are somehow linked to my Shaw's card and will be disallowed on another visit or if I can do this another time. I will keep you posted when I find out.

Do you plan to use Shaw's additional coupon savings this week?

Sonja ♥