Friday, October 10, 2008

Ways to cut back on costs!

We love movies and who wouldn't. So instead of renting one by one at $3.50 a pop. We have the monthly membership at Hollywood Video. And the best part. Ours got sold to Mark's Video. And when they got sold they sent us a coupon in the mail to go to another HV and get a free month of unlimited rentals. Well the manager at MV took it and gave us a free month there. (just asked and he said yes! See it never hurts to ask).

Here are some websites that give info on monthly unlimited plans on things like books and movies...

  • Hollywood Video MVP program
  • Blockbuster (with the online program you can also get in-store movies. You can not get online movies with the in-store program. Online program lets you receive movies through the mail)
  • Netflix (online program only! Online program lets you receive movies through the mail)
  • Paperback Swap (trade books and other media through the mail with other users for things that you want for just the price of postage)
  • Books Free (online book rental programs with no late fees)
  • Games N Flix (rent video games and movies online. You get then through the mail)
  • DVD Exposed (rent videos online receive via mail)
  • Gamefly (rent video games online receive via mail)
  • Bookswim (rent books through the mail online)

My stockpile sucks!

My complaint!

Ok, it my not suck for real but it sucks for me at the moment. I have not been posting a lot because I have been on the sick side. (Barely ditched a sinus infection, felt it coming on but nipped it in the bud) I have a yucky throat and the sniffles. I wanted tea and honey. But to my suprise we don't have tea. Suck number 1 for stockpile. Then I get a stuffy nose and can't sleep. I wanted nose spray. Suck number 2 for the stockpile. Why do I always find good deals on HBA items and meds, I find good deals on cough drops but no nose spray.

Less Good Deals!

I have been noticing that over the past few months there had been less good deals. Last year we got Quaker oatmeal at Albies for less then .50c a box with the back to school sale. This year it was $1.00 a box with the same sale and coupons. I know I got free Skippy at Safeway. They had a super coupon for .99c less .50c coupon and it was free. I never saw a Skippy coupon or low sale to get it this season. So we are down to 2 jars from last year. I refuse to pay for it. I think the biggest thing that is irking me right now is the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. It used to be on sale at least once a month and had coupons out. I have not gotten butter in 3 months. I will not pay more then .99 a tub for it. And the big one has gone from $3.99 up to over $6.00. That is crazy for oil and chemicals!

Store brand vs. Name Brand

One of the first questions that gets asked of seasoned couponers by newbies is "Are you brand loyal?". Well most of us are for the most part. When you see what deals are out there and the coupons that go with them you will become brand loyal to a lot of them. But you will also find products that you have not tried and once do you, like or love. So switching between name brands on things like shampoo and pasta sauce will become no big deal. I am brand loyal to a lot of things. Peanut butter is Skippy, then there is Hamburger Helper (no store brand for me), Dove deoderant, Kraft mac and cheese, and Kraft singles.

Some products there is just no competing with them on sale/coupon price. For instance Yoplait yogurt. It is always on sale at one store or another and a coupon is always out for it. So coupon plus sale makes it a better price then even store brand when it is onsale. Plus they have more yummy flavors. (check your store for a sale I bet one in your area has it). Right now with Kroger (Fry's) trippling coupons and taking competitors you end up with a sweet deal.

On sale for .50. Buy 12= $6.00
Coupon out for .40/6, trippled= -$2.00
Coupon in competitors paper for free cereal wyb 10 yogurts
Total is $4.00 for 12 yogurts and free box of cereal (ends up being .17c each)

Even if you don't have this sweet deal they are normally on sale for .50 ea often. And no tripple coupon is a normal occurance. So a normal sale occurance would look like this....

On sale for .50, buy 12= $6.00
Dbl coupon .40/6= -$1.60
Total is $4.40 or .37c (still a good deal.)

Even when store brand goes to a low price it is only 3 for .99c. So name brand is only .04c more. This is the case for most products. Hamburger helper on sale with a coupon is lower then that store brand low price of .99 (how often does that happen). The trick is to buy sale items with coupons and get enough to last you until the next time it is on sale. Most sale tend to run about 12 weeks. Some might be more often (like meat and yogurt) but you will learn the cycles in your area the more often you shop.

For example if you eat Hamburger Helper once a week. You would buy at least 12 when they are on sale with a coupon. So instead of paying 2.59 a box every week on your weekly shopping trip, you spend $9.00 (.75c a box X 12 boxes) one week and save yourself 22.08 over the next 12 weeks. That saves you 71% and 82.32 a year! Ok, that may not sound like much. But that is just one product. What if you have the same savings on 10 products. That is almost $1000 a year. Almost enough to cover gas for your car.

I know I rambled a lot today. But I hope it is a good explaination of couponing and the reasoning behind it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Free playdough!

Here is a recipe for homemade playdough.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup salt
1 tbs cream of tarter

Mix above in a large bowl. Set aside.

Microwave 2 cups of water for 2 minutes. (if you want to add color put it in the water. I add 2 pks of unsweetened koolaid for vibrant colors)

Ad hot water to dry flour. Add 3 tbs of cooking oil to the bowl and mix until ready to kneed. Kneed dough until uniform in color and not sticky anymore. (to not get your hands stained use dish washing gloves). Store at room temp in a ziploc bag.

This makes a lot of dough. About 4 tubs worth. Plenty for sharing.

Glade sented oil warmers....

Mom and I got a lot of these yesterday. Went to a lot of stores and used the peelies (totally free) that I have collected.... I only took 4 at each Walgreens. Ended up with 26 of them.. Here is how we did it yesterday....

Went to Safeway got 13 of them $5.XX in tax
Received: $26 OYNSO + Coupon for a FREE Iron Man DVD

Got 13 at Frys for $4.XX in tax (different city)
Received: $26 OYNSO

On the way home we stopped at another Safeway to get the DVD because they were out at the first one. (But the first one was out of warmers) Went home and split up the OYNSO coupons and the warmers.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Walmart price matching.....

I can not believe that my mom and I were shopping for over 6 hours today. Walmart took the longest only because of a stupid cashier. I went to ad match oral b toothbrushes at 4.99 for the rechargable ones. And we had $5 coupons. Cashier did scan it but for some reason it did not go through. After putting everything in the car we looked at the reciepts and had to go back because it not comming off. We stood at CS for 20 minutes while waiting for the manager to get our coupons out of the register. Then he told me that they will not ad match and take coupons. I told him I have a email at home that I would be glad to bring in and let him read (not really). So we returned the toothbrushes and got our coupons back too. I hate managers that try to make up stupid excusses... I have a link at the top for Walmart coupon policy!

Anyway here is the rest of the shopping.

12- GG steamers PM@ 1.00 - 1.00 Q = FREE
4- scott TP PM @ 1.00 - .75Q= $1.00
4- Hunts pasta sauce PM @ 1.00= $4.00 (need these to get through until another great sale)
3- Betty crocker cake mix PM @ .69= $2.07
2- Sourdough rolls maked down @ 1.50= $3.00
2 pillows (not including in total)
Total OOP = $13.07

Sunday Shopping Extravaganza!

We shop every Sunday so I will always show my shopping. Today was wonderful!

2- 3lb chubs hamburger (93%) @ 3.97ea=$7.94
3- Oral B power action toothbrush @ 4.99- 5.00Q= FREE
6- Glade gel plug ins @ 1.79 - BOGO Q= $5.37
1- water= 1.99

Total OOP= 15.30 + tax
Received 6 $2 OYNSO
Net= $3.30


2- Argo corn starch @ 1.50 - .45Q= $1.20
2- fresh Brush Max @ 5.99 - 1.00 Q= 9.98
2- Fresh Brush Max refill @ 4.99 - Free Q (buy FB get refill free) = FREE
2- Glade plug in@ 1.99 - BOGO coupon= $3.98
4- Glade plug in oil warmer @ 4.79 - BOGO Q= 9.58
1- Purina dog food 35lb @ 13.99 - 2 Q= 11.99

Total OOP= $37.73 + Tax

Recieved: 6 $2 OYNSO and Q for 1 free Ironman DVD! (I was going to buy this anyway for DH but thought I could get all the cleaning and smelly stuff for free if I was going to pay $25 for it.) So overall not bad for a huge bag of dog food and a DVD and all the cleaning and air freshers.

Net: $25.73


All bought in diffrent transactions but compiled here for easier posting.

6- Glade wisp flameless candles @ 5.99 - 5.00Q= $5.94
6- Crest toothpaste @ 1.99- 1.00 IVC and 1.00 Q= +$.06 overage
1 Halloween bag = $.11
2- Glade sented oil candle holders @ 5.99- $2 Q= 7.98
- $4.50 OYNSO used from last week

Total OOP= $9.47 + tax
Received: 6 $3 OYNSO for the glade
Net= + $8.53
Apply for Glade scented oil candle holder X's 2= $4

I went back to get more... (not pictured)
3- Glade sented gel refills @ 1.99 - 1.00 Q= $2.97
1 halloween bag= $.11
Used $3 OYNSO
= $.60
Apply for $1 glade rebate X's 3

Flores e Flowers

Sobre a Emporium

A shopaholic and coupon addict!

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