Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fry's Trip

Sorry I don't have a picture of this yet, but I'll get one. I'm particularly proud of this trip. Fry's had a promotion going on which was essentially $4 off the cost of your order when you purchased 8 participating products, or $0.50 off each qualifying product. In combination with Fry's every day low prices, sale prices and coupons we ended up getting a cart full of stuff for very cheap. This is what I got:

1 (big) box of Cheerios - $3.49 on sale - $1.99 after promo and coupon
3 boxes of Golden Grahams - $1.98 each - $0.49 each after promo and coupon
3 boxes of Trix - $1.98 each - $0.49 each after promo and coupon
2 boxes of Cocoa Puffs - $1.98 each - $0.49 each after promo and coupon

8 cans of Pillsbury dough products (assorted biscuits, rolls, and loaves) - $1.49 each - $0.49 each after promo and coupons

7 jugs of Sunny D - $1 each - $1 total for all 7 jugs after promo and coupons

3 12-packs of Dr. Pepper - 3 for $11 plus 2 free boxes of Cheez-Its
2 boxes of Cheez-Its - Free after promotion

3 bananas - $0.63
1 mango - $0.50
1 box of blueberries - $2.50

1 package of hot dog buns - $0.88
1 package of sausages - $5.99
1 package of mini sausages (for our son) - $3.34

After coupons and promotional discounts we spent $38.46 including tax. We also got a $4 off your next order coupon and a coupon for baby food worth $1.50. Soooo... Technically we spent $32.96 for everything. Are you ready to see how much we saved?

$77.35 plus the value ($5.50) of the coupons.

We saved about twice what we spent that day! Saving so much money on things like cereal and juice made it a little easier to splurge on things like Jalapeno cheese sausages. Plus, we don't need to buy cereal or juice for a very, very long time. Yay!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Diaper Savings!

I just recently became aware of diapers.com and it wasn't until today that I really shopped around on their website. They usually offer pretty good deals and free shipping on orders over a certain amount. They sell all kinds of baby/mommy gear, not just diapers. I also just learned from Money Saving Mom and My Frugal Adventures that diapers.com will allow you to stack coupon codes that you get from the Pampers Gifts to Grow program. Diapers.com will also accept manufacturer's coupons if you clip them and mail them in. We have been buying Huggies for Elijah almost exclusively now for almost a year, but I just got Pampers at such a great deal that I just couldn't pass it up. Here's how I did it.

First, I have been collecting Gifts to Grow codes from websites such as Money Saving Mom, My Frugal Adventures and Facebook. You can also find codes within Pampers items that you have purchased. You enter the codes and are given points for each code which can later be spent on various rewards. One reward is a coupon worth $3 off any Pampers purchase made at diapers.com. These coupons are stackable, which means that you can use more than one coupon code per purchase!

Another way to get Gifts to Grow points is to go to diapers.com and make a purchase using the coupon code "PAMPERS15." This code will give you 15% off your purchase and an additional 500 Gifts to Grow points! The only catch is that this is a one-time use code that MUST be used on your first order. This code cannot be combined with any other promotional offer. (You might be able to use it with a referral code, which I'll discuss in a minute.) I made two separate purchases. One using this code, then once I got the extra 500 Gifts to Grow points I redeemed those for more $3 coupons and used them on my next order.

Currently, diapers.com is offering free shipping on orders over $49 and they are offering free wipes with any Pampers diaper purchase along with many other deals you should check out on their website.

Finally, if you would be so kind as to tell diapers.com that I referred you, you will get 15% off your order up to $100 and you'll be helping me out too. :) You can do this by entering my referral code when prompted at checkout. You should be able to stack the referral code with other coupons. My referral code is ADXY2018.

You can also try using the promo code "Try10" but this code has to be used on orders of $49 or more, it's possible that it can only be used on your first order and I don't think it will work with other promo codes. You're welcome to check it out, but in my opinion the "Pampers15" is a better deal.

Today I was able to get 171 diapers for $35.59 ($0.20/diaper), free wipes, and two books for $7. I spent about $47 for everything including shipping. That's roughly a $25 or 53% savings! Not bad :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Farmer's Market!!

Today I took Elijah down to the local farmer's market and we made out like bandits! Everything pictured here, plus two more potatoes and several plums which got eaten, was only $4.25!! Just in case you can't see the picture for some reason, I got 2 peaches, 2 red plums, 3 red potatoes, 1 white potato, 2 green bell peppers, and several handfuls of the small plums! I have no idea how much I saved by going to the farmer's market but it's got to be a substantial amount. Plus, the people at the booths were very nice and a couple were even willing to give out samples! Our farmer's market is held at a local park, so after I was done with my shopping and Elijah was done eating his first plums, we went and played on the playground with some friends. Here he is showing me the sand on his hands. Little cutie :)

The farmer's market turned out to be a worthwhile venture for us. We got some great, fresh, organic fruits and veggies for quite the bargain and Elijah even got some playtime out of it!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday's Mini-trips

I haven't done any big shopping trips lately because I've been so busy, but today I couldn't resist using up a couple coupons on a few sales that were about to end. I went to CVS and Walgreens. At CVS I used the $10 ECB from last Friday's trip to get a box of U by Kotex ($3.99 after this printable), some hair rollers($5.49), and some chocolate to take up the rest of the $10. I paid $1.42 in tax and that's it. The best part is I got $4.99 back in ECBs from purchasing the Kotex product and I got a surprise coupon for $4 off my next order of $20 or more!! I saved over $11 this trip and got $9 in coupons for future use!

At Walgreens this week Covergirl cosmetics were on sale buy 1 get 1 half off so I went in to use the coupons I got from my CVS trip last week from the Tampax packages. Each coupon was for $5 off any two Covergirl products. Walgreens also had a few Pilot pens on sale for $0.99 each and I had a coupon for $1/1 which made them free! I got everything pictured here for $5.95 before taxes. Nothing amazing, but still a $16 savings.

This wasn't the best week for couponing and everything, but I couldn't resist getting in on just a couple deals. It looks like it could be a few weeks before any awesome deals come up, but we'll see :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How I Find Deals

My friend Stephanie asked what kind of sites I use to find great deals so I thought I'd take a little time to explain my process. Quite honestly, I rely pretty heavily on many, many amazing blogs. Some of my favorites for finding deals are Money Saving Mom, My Frugal Adventures, and Pinching Your Pennies. The women at Money Saving Mom and My Frugal Adventures post a lot of great advice about combining sales with coupons, freebies, freezer-cooking, and even fun projects to do with your kiddos! I mainly use Pinching Your Pennies for their forums that have grocery lists. The lists lay out the current sales by store and then show you the price after any coupons are used. I use the lists for the local grocery stores and for Walgreens and CVS. Walgreens and CVS have their own incentive programs that take a little while to learn. You can read up on it here.

A friend of mine gave me and another friend of mine a tutorial on how to use these resources, which was SUPER helpful! But it really is one of those things you kind of have to pick up on your own. I have started branching out into reading other types of blogs focused around saving money while still eating right, having fun, etc. I use Life as Mom, $5 Dinners, and Good Cheap Eats for recipes, advice on freezer cooking, and random other helpful advice.

All of these sites have a ton of really helpful information, tips, and advice on how to save money while still living well. These sites don't catch every single deal out there, so I usually do a little investigating of my own whenever I go into the stores to see what else I can get :) A little extra work in reading these blogs, planning, and shopping is really paying off. I'm always looking for new ways to save. What do you do to keep more of your hard-earned cash in your own pocket?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A few weeks' worth of Freebies!

Everything seen in this picture was 100% free in one way or another. There were several other things that I have gotten free, such as additional coupons, another box of Pop-Tarts, more toothpaste, more feminine care products, lotion samples, and coffee samples that just didn't make it into the picture. Everything except for the Purex, all, and U by Kotex samples I got from getting in on sales and using coupons. But every week I sign up for samples and coupons to be mailed to me through various places like Wal-Mart and manufacturer's websites. It's a quick way to pick up a few extra deals!

I'm not trying to brag, I just wanted to show you how a little extra work in clipping coupons can really pay off!!

A Little Friday Couponing

So I got the crazy idea to go through my coupon book while Elijah was napping and kind of remind myself what I had in there. The bad news is that I found about 50 expired coupons and a lot more that are going to expire in just a few days! The good news is that I can donate expired coupons to military bases overseas so they won't go to waste, AND I had a little spare time today so I got to go around town checking out what deals I could get in on with my soon-to-expire coupons. I realize that I am getting to be borderline obsessive with the coupons. I clip them from the paper every week, search for them online, and even fill out those annoying surveys on manufacturer's websites just to save a dollar! But on days like this it is totally worth it!

First I went to CVS and got all of this stuff for $1.99 before tax and about $4 total. (The tax was so much because I still have to pay tax on the items that I got for free.)

In order to get these great deals I used a combination of Extra Care Bucks and coupons. I had $5 ECBs from a previous transaction to start with.

Transaction 1: Spent $3.89 after tax and saved about $15 off sale prices
John Frieda Shampoo and Conditioner - 2 for $10 plus $5 back in ECBs.
Used two $2.50/1 coupons and $5 ECB from previous transaction
Free after ECBs and coupons.

Stridex - $3.49
Used $1/1 coupon ---> $2.49 after coupon.
(Plus there was another $1/1 coupon inside)

Transaction 2: Spent $0.36 after tax and saved almost $30 off sale prices
Pop-Tarts - $2.79
Used coupon for one free box that I received by participating in the Flavor Rewards program.
Free after coupon.

Tampax - 2 for $5
Used a $1/1 and $2/1 coupon along with the 5 ECBs from purchasing the John Freida products.
Free plus overage after coupons and ECBs!
(Plus... two of the three boxes came with $5 coupons for Covergirl!)

Feeling pretty good about my shopping experience at CVS, I decided to go to Fry's. I got all of this for $6.30 after tax. I saved $14.71 or 71%!!!

Viva paper towels - $2.17
Used $1/1 coupon---> $1.17 after coupon

Bounty paper towels - $1.19
Used $1/1 coupon---> $0.19 after coupon

(2) Oral-B toothbrushes - $1.00 each
Used $1/2 coupon---> $0.50 each after coupon.

(2) Ivory bar soap - $1.00 each
Used two $1/1 coupons---> Free after coupons.

(4) Gerber 3rd foods - 3 for $2
Used $0.75/4 coupon---> $1.92 for all 4 jars

(4) Gerber 2nd foods - $0.55 each
Used $0.75/4 coupon---> $1.45 for all 4 jars

And so after a quick trip to CVS and Fry's I spent roughly $10.55 for all of this!!!

If I had paid the sale prices on these items I would have paid $24.02. I saved over 50% off of the sale prices of these items, but if I had paid retail for this stuff I would have spent about $80 which means a savings of 87%!! So thank you to Tara who taught me how to use coupons, Briana for being my coupon buddy, and Money Saving Mom, Pinching Your Pennies, and My Frugal Adventures for the heads up on great deals!! In the next few days I'll try to post a picture of all the stuff that I've gotten for free over the past few weeks. :) Even though I was skeptical of couponing at first, I am totally a believer now. I would recommend it to anyone.