Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

This weekend, Saturday Feb. 27, from 11am to 3pm Lakeshore Learning Store is throwing a birthday party for Dr. Seuss. They will be doing quite a few things during this time:
  • Free Crafts for kids
  • Storytime every hour
  • Face painting
  • Games

It should be a fun outing to take your kids too.

Also, while you are there, if you see anything you are planning on buying, make sure to make use of their "Buy one get one at 50% off" coupon found on fliers in the store.

And if you can't make this event, they have free crafts for kids every Saturday from 11am to 3pm

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Price is Right

These days I seem to save all my shopping to one day, and on that day I drag my little girl with me to several stores, getting all our deals in a marathon shopping trip. Today happened to be that day. I usually set everything up, take a picture for blogging purposes or just for my own pleasure, then make my husband guess how much I spent when he get home. I decided to do something a little more fun tonight when he got home. I made him play "the Price is Right."

I arranged it all by store and put a tag under each group with the store name and the retail price of all the items on it. As in the Showcase showdown where the closest price without going over wins, my husband had to guess the right price of what I actually spent, without going under. His prize--whatever store he came closest too without going under, he got to pick a prize from that group of stuff. He's become pretty good at guessing, so I wanted to give him a real challenge. I don't think the Wipes or tuna from CVS or mascara from Target were really calling his name, so he was more interested in getting the oreos from Smiths or gum from Walgreens.

Here are the results:

Total Retail Value--$33.99
Total Spent--$11.34
Chris' Guess--$12.68
% Saved--67%

Total Retail Value--$27.96
Total Spent-- $1.46
Chris' Guess--$10.38
% Saved--95%

Total Retail Value--$34.15
Total Spent-- $14.38
Chris' Guess--$18.35
% Saved--58%

Total Retail Value--$17.12
Total Spent-- $0.63
Chris' Guess--$4.73
% Saved--96%

and the prize is . . . the Double Stuffed Golden Oreos (compliments of the coupon for a free package I got from Oreo's facebook account). Yum. I hope he shares with me.

Here is a breakdown of some of the deals with details of where to get the coupons if any of these things are things you want or need.

Walgreens: (I had a $3RR that was about to expire and I needed to quickly use it, so this is what I ended up getting with it)
  • Hunts tomato sauce--on sale for $0.39 each after in-ad-coupon. Use the $1.00/3 cans manufacturer's coupon found here (must play the game) to get these for $0.06 each. (Can print it twice but have to play the game twice to do so)
  • Mentos gum--on sale for $0.99 each. Use the $0.55 MFC from the 2/21 Smart Source to get these for $0.44 each
  • Goody Hair bands--on sale for $2.99 with $2RR earned on purchase. Final price essentially $0.99
  • Packets of Seeds--on sale for $0.20 each with in-ad coupon--a great filler item if you need one (to understand why you need filler items, go to my post here)
  • Select Movie Candy boxes--on sale for $0.49 each--also pretty good if you have a sweet tooth (like me!) and need a filler item.
  • Kraft cheese--use the $1.00/2 MFC from the 1/24 Smart Source with the $1.00/1 Target printable coupon to get these for $1.34 each--ok deal (usually you can print the Target coupons twice but for some reason I couldn't. That would have made these $0.84 each it would have let me--maybe you'll have better luck).
  • Kraft Parmesean Cheese--on sale for $3.55 this week--use the $1.00/1 MFC printable coupon found here (print twice) with the $1.00/2 Target printable coupon making them $2.05 each
  • Rimmel Mascara--Use the $3/1 coupon from the March All You Magazine making it free.
  • Swiffer Sweeper and Refill Pack--On sale for $8.99 this week--Use the $2/1 Target coupon found in the 2/21 Red Plum and the "Buy a Swiffer Starter kit get a refill free" MFC from the 2/7 P/G making it only $6.99 for both the Swiffer Sweeper Starter Kit and the Refill Pack.
(I did invest a $7ECB from my shopping from last week, but I had gotten that from shopping using a $10ECB that I earned by simply doing an online survey for CVS--it seriously pays to register on their website--they periodically email you ways to earn ECBs!)
  • Huggies Refill Wipes (184+ count)--ringing up as $2.50 this week--hidden deal! If you have any huggies wipes coupons from home mailers (I had a $0.50/1) use them, getting them for $2.00. You can also log on to your Upromise account and click on the huggies wipes coupon to get $1.00 deposited in your child's upromise education account when you buy 2 packs. Update 2/24/10--Huggies refill wipes are no longer ringing up at $2.50 anymore, only the small packs are.
  • Bumble Bee Tuna--on sale for $0.49 this week--buy 5 and use the $1.00/5 printable coupon to get them for $0.29 each.
  • Softsoap--on sale for $0.88 this week--use the $0.35/1 printable coupon to get them for $0.53 each.
Smiths: I'm not going to spend much time on this one since their deals end tonight. Sorry. I'm late in getting out this week to Smiths and saved my shopping trip to their final day. Just be aware of the BOGO Purex coupon in the 2/21 Red Plum that you may want to use when they go on sale again (I ended up spending $0.95 each--making it about $0.03 per load of laundry)
I am most excited for my swiffer sweeper. I've gotten these a couple of times, but used them as part of bridal shower "cleaning supply" gifts. Now I have my own...and it's red (it's a limited edition one--and I like it so much better than the green! :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Old Navy V-Neck Shirts

Old Navy has their V-neck shirts on sale this week for $5 each, down from $14.50, as well as some tank tops and other children's clothing and Men's tees. If you are ready for spring like we are here in Las Vegas, then this is a perfect opportunity to pick up some shirts for the nice weather. (They are kind of hidden in the store I go to, so if you don't see the ones for $5 at first, ask an employee--don't get confused with the $10 V-neck tees)

To make your shopping trips at Old Navy more worthwhile, make sure to head on over to Old Navy Weekly to get printable coupons. They refresh every week, usually sometime on Thursday. The really good ones (like $50 or $75 off $100 purchase) usually go fast (like within minutes), but you can find others still there throughout the week. They make you work for the coupons, though. You have to click on different things to find the hidden coupons.

Example for this week:

To get the 15% off coupon do this: click on the blue stripped tank, then the pants below it (a 10% off coupon will pop up) but then click on Amy's face that appears in the blue box for the 15% off coupon to appear.

My total for the 2 shirts: $8.50 plus tax--a 71% savings over the retail total of $29.00.

How to shop Walgreens

My friend Maren recently asked me how to do the whole Walgreens deal shopping. This is in answer to that, and my hope is it will help others of you out there too!

Here is the jist of Walgreens: A Register Reward is a coupon that prints out of their machine (called a Catalina machine) when you purchase a certain item. Every week Walgreens has selected items that when purchased will print out a Register Reward. If you look in their ad, you will see some of them. Example from the other week: Buy Huggies diapers at $8.99/pack, earn $3 Register Reward. So essentially you buy the Huggies, spending the full amount, but then get a coupon back for $3 that can be used just like money at Walgreens.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, there are other tricks to make this work even better--essentially making money at Walgreens. Frequently they have items that earn you the same amount of RR as spent (i.e. spend $4 for the item, earn $4RR). If you can find manufacturer's coupons on the item, then you will "make money" (ex. same item for $4--you have a manufacturer's coupon for $1 off the item--you spend $3 out of pocket, and earn $4 RR). The next week you can use your $4RR to buy another item that earns you register rewards, so you are spending a minimal amount out of pocket, but keep RR on hand and current. So theoretically at first you invest a little of your own money, but if you can keep rolling over your RR every week, you get all these items, but only pay tax and maybe a few more dimes and nickels a week.

There are a few "rules" about Walgreens system that you need to know about:
  1. You can only use as many manufacturer's coupons as items you are purchasing (3 items, 3 MFC). They consider RR as MFC too, so if you want to use any RR you have from previous purchases and already have a MFC for every item in your cart, you will need a filler item (any additional item) to include in your purchase. You will find your favorite filler items if you shop a lot at Walgreens. My favorite is the small boxes of Royal chocolate or vanilla pudding--$0.39 each and something we will use.
  2. Every month Walgreens puts out a little Savings booklet, commonly found up front with their ads or by the registers. These are full of Walgreens coupons ("Wags")on items in their store. These are not the same as MFC and you can use them in combination with MFC on a given item. They do not count toward your coupon total when figuring out the # of MFC you have to items being purchased, so they are GREAT. They will also have Wags coupons in their ad each week so be sure to check those out. There may be an item in their ad with one of these that would make for a great filler item since the Wags coupon doesn't count toward your coupon count. Don't forget to have the cashier scan the Wags coupons from the ad or savings booklet, or you won't get the deal.
  3. RR can not be used to pay for tax. So you need to calculate your purchase out, subtracting your MFC and Wags. If your pre-tax after all of those is less than the RR, the register will not accept your RR, even if the total after tax is more than the RR. You will need a filler item. Simplified example: you want to buy an item priced at $7.99. With tax it is $8.49. You have an $8RR. You can't use it to get that single item since it wasn't over $8 pre-tax (even if it is only off by $0.01). You will need a filler item.
  4. The best way I have found for giving the cashier my coupons to avoid beeps is this: MFC first, then Wags coupons, then RR.
  5. You can only earn 1RR on a given item per transaction, but different items in the same transaction can all earn RR potentially. (sound confusing? let me explain...). If crest toothpaste has a $2RR you can earn on it, even if you buy 2 or 3 in one transaction, you will only earn 1 $2RR; but say if Nyquil also has a RR deal where you can earn $4RR for buying their product, and you buy 1 Crest and 1 Nyquil in the same transaction, you will get a $2RR and a $4RR.
  6. You can not roll over RR that you earned from purchasing "item A" to buy another "item A" and still get another RR printed out, but you can use it to buy "item B" which earns another RR, then use "item B's" RR to buy another "item A", and so on and so forth. Ex: you can't use that Crest RR to buy another Crest toothpaste and expect a RR to print out again. It won't. Instead alternate transactions with something else which earns RR, like Nyquil. Transaction 1-Crest; Transaction 2-Nyquil, Transaction 3-crest, etc.
  7. Sign up for their e-letter--they occassionally send out coupons and other deals.
  8. Take a calculator with you. It helps out immensly!
  9. Above all else, start out small. It takes some practice to get the hang of everything at Walgreens. I would start with one or two items per week until you get the hang of all the coupon stuff there and how their system works. You will tend to do a lot of transactions at times, but the more you do it, the better you get at calculating everything, and being able to put more things together in transactions to make the most with your RR.

Good luck, Maren! (and everyone else). Let me know if you have any questions (which you might, because my explanation above might be totally confusing!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Free Fresco Taco

Hurry on over to the link here to print off a coupon for a free fresco taco from Taco Bell. No purchase necessary. Coupon expires 7 days from when you print it. Only the first 1 million to try and print it will be able to get a coupon, so you may want to print your out quick (and you can print 2 per computer like other printable coupons).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Paying Attention to Utilities

Have you paid attention to your different utility bills lately? There are many articles out there giving suggestions on how to get your electric or gas bill down by conserving energy different ways, such as using high efficiency light bulbs, but this post isn't about those things. It is about Internet/phone/cable bills.

If you have any or all of these services, it may be worth your time to call up the company you have these through to see what the going rates are for their services. They just might be lower than what you are currently paying. This happened to us this past month. We have our internet through Cox. We had signed up with them when we moved in to our place Fall 2008 with a 6-month promo deal--$19.99/month for 6 months for 1.5mb speed--but after that it jumped to $39.99. Last month my husband heard a deal on the radio for 3mb speed for $32.99. It wasn't a 6-month promo or anything like that. It was their standard price. To be honest, I have no idea how long their prices have been this, and how long we have been overpaying for a slower speed, but we didn't let it go on any longer. We called up Cox, and told them we wanted to switch to the 3mb speed. They were very nice and helpful, and the switch only took a couple of minutes. Now we have twice as fast internet speed and pay $7 less per month.

Moral of this story--call your internet/cable company every 6 months or so, just to find out what the current rates are. They might be lower than you are actually paying.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Huggies Deal at Walgreens

Walgreens is having an amazing register reward deal this week on Huggies diapers. Here is the jist of the deal:

They are on sale for $8.99 each with a $3RR earned on each pack (only 1 per transaction)
Use $2/1 Huggies printable coupon here
If you have the Children's Coupon Booklet that came out last fall, use the $1/1 Walgreens huggies coupon in it too.
Pay as little as $2.99 after coupons and register rewards
Submit for the Caregiver's Marketplace Rebate ($0.75 per huggies pack)
Essentially spend only $2.24/pack of diapers

Here is where it gets even better . . .

Usually at Walgreens you can't roll over a Register Reward from one transaction on a certain product to get the same product in a new transaction and earn another RR (ex. can't buy a huggies pack, earn $3RR, then buy another huggies pack, use the $3RR to buy it, then earn another $3RR). You usually have to alternate transactions with another product that earns register rewards. HOWEVER...I heard from Common Sense With Money that for some reason, the huggies deal is allowing rolling over. It might just be some glitch in Walgreen's system, but I tried it out today, and they were right! I could buy a pack, roll over the RR to buy another pack, and still earn another RR. Happy Day! I don't know if this will last all week, or if Walgreens will switch it back to how they normally do things, so jump on this deal quick.

If you stop in you might want to take advantage of a couple other deals:

Unadvertised deal: Orbit 3 pack gum is on sale for 2 for $3.00. Use $1/1 printable coupon here (print twice) to get them for $0.50 each

Dove Men Care Body and Face Wash is on sale for $5.99 with a $5.99RR earned making it essentially free after RR earned.

Note: remember that you can't have more manufacturer's coupons than items being purchased, and RR count as manufacturer's coupons. Walgreens coupons don't count though. You will need a filler item if you use both manufacturer's coupon and RR. There are Valentine's pencils on sale for $0.20 with Walgreens in ad coupon that could work (or I use the boxes of pudding for $0.39)

My trip was a success. I had those printable coupons plus one I got in a mailer on Saturday (perfect timing!) and 2 $1.50/1 coupons I printed last month. I had to do 6 transactions, but here is the summary of my trip:

Invested $16RR from last week's earnings/came away with $3RR

Total Spent: $7.30 (subtotal)/ $11.50 (with tax)

Total Value: $76.08

Total Saved: 85%

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

High Value Diaper Coupon

There is a great new printable coupon here for $4 off 1 pack of Baby Basic Diapers. This brand can be found in Albertsons here in Nevada. Make sure you print it twice!
thanks, She Saved

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baby Deals

I stopped over at the $0.99 Store on Marks St. in Henderson today and found some great deals on Gerber and Earth's Best items. Up along the front they had the Gerber Mini Fruits, Gerber Preschool granola bars, Earth's Best Tots crackers, and other such items, all for $0.99. This is a great deal for these items. If you have a youngester at home, you may want to stop by if you are around that area.

Smith's Buy 10 Save $5 Deal

Bought 26 items
Total Spent: $20.46
Total Value: $64.49
Total Savings: 68%
Price per item: $0.79

Smiths is running their "Buy 10 Participating Items, Save $5 instantly" deals. I got a late start on my shopping, so this deal actually ends tomorrow. If you want to pick up a few things with it, you'll have to go tomorrow (Tuesday). There are some pretty good deals on this, especially if you combine them with coupons out there. You can find where a lot of the coupons are (and all the participating items) by going to Grocery Smarts here, but here are my favorites, a few of which they don't have the links to:

$1.00/2 Capri Sun boxes printable here = $0.99/box after coupon and "buy 10" deal

$1.00/2 Kraft Cheese printable from my sidebar (click on "see all coupons") or in the 1/24 Smart Source = $0.99/8oz block or shredded after coupon and "buy 10" deal

$1.00/2 Quaker granola bars printable here = $0.99/box after coupon and "buy 10" deal

I was also excited for the goldfish crackers that are on this deal and are $0.88 without any coupons (after I got some last week at Vons my husband asked me why I hadn't gotten more, so here was my chance to get him a few more packages).

There are also a bunch of other great Kraft coupons at the same link as the Capri Sun that you may want to print out to have on hand. These don't come around too often.

$1/4 Philadelphia Cream Cheese
$1/1 Velveeta Cheese
$1/2 Planters Mixed Nuts
$1/2 Capri Suns
$1/1 Grated Parm Cheese
$1/1 Oscar Mayer Meats
$1/1 Oscar Mayer Bologna
$1/1 Claussen Pickles
$1/2 Kraft Deluxe or Velveeta Shells and Cheese