Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Walgreens deals – 03/22 thru 03/28

Walgreens has some good deals this week! Since I had to use RR from the Diaper Deals a couple weeks ago, I made two visits. (Remember that one of the limitations of the current Walgreens system is that only one RR coupon can be used per transaction.)

Here are details on some of the deals this week...

First store:

Campbell's Soups – $0.79 after weekly-ad coupon

Hunt's Tomato Sauce (8 oz.) – regularly priced at $0.99
$0.39 each after weekly-ad coupon (Limit 3)
Buy $10 worth and submit for $5.00 March EasySaver rebate #29
(I'm doing this in increments due to the "Limit 3" stipulation on the coupon.)

Pledge Fabric Sweeper – on sale 2 for $7.00
Buy two and use two $2.00/1 printable coupons
Submit for March EasySaver rebate #23 ($1.00 rebate each)
$0.50 each after coupons and ES rebate

Nature's Source Cleaner – on sale 2 for $6.00
Buy two and use $1.00/1 coupon (3/1 SmartSource)
Submit for March EasySaver rebate #23 ($1.00 rebate each)
$1.50 each after coupon and ES rebate

1 Colgate Total Toothpaste (4 oz.) – $3.49
Use $2.50/1 coupon from March Easysaver catalog
Use $1.50/1 printable coupon
FREE plus $0.51 overage after coupons

Total out of pocket: $1.23

Total coupon savings: $27.96
$4.00 (plus 10% bonus) coming from EasySaver rebates!
(I still have to figure in the Hunt's Tomato Sauce ES rebate, too!)

Second store:

Hunt's Tomato Sauce (8 oz.) – regularly priced at $0.99
$0.39 each after weekly-ad coupon (Limit 3)
Buy $10 worth and submit for $5.00 March EasySaver rebate #29
(I'm doing this in increments due to the "Limit 3" stipulation on the coupon.)

2 Colgate Total Toothpaste (4 oz.) – $3.49
Use $2.50/1 coupon from March EasySaver catalog
Use $1.50/1 printable coupon
FREE plus $1.02 overage after coupons

Right Guard Professional Strength – on sale for $5.99
Use $2.00/1 coupon (from inside flap) from a similar CVS deal earlier this week!
$3.99 after rebate
I'd already submitted another for the $5.00 March EasySaver rebate (#5)

Axe Hair Care Pomade – $6.99
Submit for March EasySaver rebate #1 (up to $6.99)
FREE after rebate
Remember that you get 10% bonus when you request your rebates on a Walgreens gift card!

Total out of pocket: $2.33
Total coupon savings: $23.80
$6.99 (plus 10% bonus) coming from EasySaver rebates!
(I still have to figure in the Hunt's Tomato Sauce ES rebate, too!)

(Go here for details on even more current deals.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

CVS deals – 03/22 thru 03/28

When posting CVS deals, I hope to help others who would also like to become more proficient in CVSing. Until six or so months ago, I had no real idea how much of an impact shopping at CVS could have on a monthly grocery budget! Now I don't remember the last time we paid any real money for toiletries, diapers, etc. A typical receipt from CVS is now "always" under $2.00 after coupons and ECBs – and often under $1.00!

You may want to read earlier posts (and click on links to tutorials in them) if you're new to CVSing. A key to getting a regular discount ($ off $$ purchase coupons) at CVS is to be consistent in how much you "spend" there. And that's not hard to do when you have ECBs you need to keep rolling over.

Today's trip was especially exciting – all of this for only $0.73 out of pocket after coupons and $20 ECBs – with the help of a $5 off $25 purchase CVS coupon. (And another one printed on today's receipt, too!)

Here are the details:

Mott's Applesauce (6-packs) – on sale for $1.25 each
Use $0.55/1 printable coupon
$0.70 each after coupon

Buy three Diet Pepsi 12-packs – on sale 3 for $11, Get $2 ECBs
(Limit 1)
Use B2G1 printable coupon
$1.78 each after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Crest Pro-Health Enamel Care at $3.49, Get $3.49 ECBs
(Limit 1)
Use $0.75/1 coupon (3/15 P&G)
FREE plus overage after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Dry Idea Clinical Solid or Roll-on at $7.99, Get $5 ECBs
(Limit 2)
Use $2.00/1 printable coupon
$0.99 after coupon and ECBs

The Right Guard deal is similar – but the $2.00/1 coupon for it came printed on the inside flap of an identical item purchased through the Walgreens EasySaver program two weeks ago. (And this box also includes a coupon!)
Note: Walgreens has this same item on sale for $5.99 this week – so use the coupon from this box for some nice overage there!

Thanks to The Frugal Kennedys, I found out about the Lumene coupon. I printed only one due to printer trouble but thankfully was able to find two $2.99 items. But Lumene items are on sale – buy one, get one 50% off, so I got two items for $0.50 after the coupon. (Using two coupons would give some nice overage!)

The Kotex deal came about because I had a $1.50/1 CVS coupon that I stacked with a $1.00/1 manufacturer's coupon (that came with a free sample) – and I was trying to reach $25 so I could use my $5 off $25 coupon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

FREE Italian Ice at Rita's – only on 03/20

Rita's will be celebrating the first day of spring (tomorrow, March 20) by giving away 10-oz. cups of their famous Italian Ice! Yum!
I wouldn't be posting if there weren't a location nearby!
Go here for more details. And while you're there, you may as well sign up for the Birthday Club, too!

Gotta love FREE!

Remember this deal? Buy $15 of Colgate-Palmolive products, get a $25-value travel bag!

Mine arrived today! In addition to the goodies, there's a booklet with $8.50 in coupons, too. And the trial sizes will be perfect for the travelling we'll be doing later this year.

The best part is that I didn't even spend $15 on the original items – thanks to the $1.50 Colgate Total printable coupon, CVS promotions, and the ECBs program! (Gotta love 'em!)

Apparently, this deal gets repeated, so you'll want to keep your eyes and ears open for it!

money-saving tip – soap pumps!

I recently read an on-line article, the first in a series on 100 different ways to save $100 this year. Since we'll be heading to the foreign mission field (where coupons, rebates, etc. don't even exist like they do here in the good ol' USA) and since one of my goals in the ministry there will be to help wives and moms learn how to make the most of what they have and live contentedly to the glory of God, I've been thinking of compiling money-saving tips, recipes, etc. that can be used both here and there. (More on that later...)

I must admit that I grinned when I read the article about living without paper towels. That's how I grew up – paper towels didn't exist there either! And the idea of eliminating one simple item from the budget got me thinking about other simple ways to save.

So, here's another idea where little savings can add up over time:

Use a soap pump, and dilute dish soap and hand soap. We've been doing this for at least three years. I've replaced the dish soap pump once and buy the hand soap pumps when Bath & Body Works has a promotion. If you use soaps acquired through bargain shopping at CVS and Walgreens, you can really save!

I fill the pumps about 1/8 of the way with undiluted soap (Dawn, Palmolive, SoftSoap, store brand, or whatever's free or almost free!) and then fill the rest of the way with water. So, for the dish soap, I fill only up to the "250 pumps" line with soap. For the hand soap, I fill only up to just under the product description lines (second from the bottom). Voila – savings!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I'm talking about opportunities to remember that my reason for existence is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever!

Application to daily living:
So long as bargain hunting and couponing fit that mindset (assisting me in efforts to glorify God by being a wise steward of resources He has entrusted to my care, looking for opportunities to minister to others by sharing what He has given, etc.), bargain hunting and couponing are good things. But when they tempt me to forget those truths, bargain hunting and couponing are not virtues.

I had two opportunities to remember these things this past week...

I remembered too late on Monday evening that my $2.00 Register Rewards expired that day – the same RR that refused to scan – not just once, but twice! Argh! And the remembrance became an opportunity to choose contentment.

While checking out on Monday evening, I inquired about the penny item. The cashier informed me that I did not qualify because I did not have at least $10 in purchases. I told her that I'd recently learned that the one-cent item itself could be included in that $10 total. She asked the girl bagging groceries, and they both agreed that my understanding was erroneous. Would I like to get something else and reach the $10 total? They kindly kept my groceries there while I grabbed a gallon of milk and a pack of gum on clearance in order to reach the $3.00 balance needed. "Are Publix stores independently owned?" I asked while checking out the second time. (Owner-managers certainly have the prerogative to decide their own store policies.) They answered in the negative and wondered which local stores interpreted the penny item coupon as I'd just learned to do.

We made small talk and parted on good terms. The experience wasn't negative, only surprising, and I was thankful for God's working in my heart. My dear husband puts it practically:
"During these incredible bargaining transactions, do you conduct yourself in such a way as to be able to give cashiers a Gospel tract or invite them to our church?" (I'm so thankful for him and his practical theology!)

Besides all this, my loving Heavenly Father promises:
"My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:19

Monday, March 16, 2009

CVS deals – 03/15 thru 03/21

Compared to last week's Diaper Deals at Walgreens, this week at CVS isn't so exciting – unless you don't need diapers. But there are some deals to be found! I managed to bring home these goodies, spending only $1.16 out of pocket plus almost $20 ECBs and getting $18 ECBs in return! I also had a $5 off $25 purchase CVS coupon I had to use (by tomorrow).

And my receipt states: Trip summary: Today you saved $56.03!

These deals are good all week – with the exception of the Irish Spring. It's a 3-day deal, good only through Tuesday!

Buy 1 Irish Spring Body Wash (15 to 18 oz) at $4.99, Get $4.99 ECBs
(Limit 1)
Use $0.50/1 coupon (3/15 SmartSource)
FREE plus $0.50 overage after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Dry Idea deodorant at $2.99, Get $2.00 ECBs
(Limit 1)
Use $2/1 printable coupon
FREE plus $1.00 overage after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Colgate Max Whitening Toothpaste (4.6 to 6 oz.) at $2.99, Get $2.99 ECBs
(Limit 1)
Use $0.75/1 coupon (3/15 Smartource)
FREE plus $0.75 overage after coupon and ECBs

Buy 2 Pantene Pro-V Shampoo, Conditioner, or Styler for $7.00, Get $2.00 ECBs
(Limit 5)
My deal today: Buy a combination of six products, Get $6.00 ECBs
1 Pantene Shampoo
2 Pantene Conditioners
3 Pantene Stylers
Use the following coupons:
B2G1: Buy Shampoo & Conditioner, Get FREE styling product (Proctor&Gamble 3/15)
$2/2 Pantene styling products (Proctor&Gamble 2/08)
$1/1 Pantene Nature Fusion product (Proctor&Gamble 2/08)
$1/2 Pantene products (Proctor&Gamble 2/08 or 3/01)
$1.25 each after coupons and ECBs

Johnson's Bath Buddies Soap – $1.19 each
$1/1 printable coupon
$0.19 each

Wheat Thins or Ritz Crackers – $1.00 each
Buy two and use the $2/2 coupon (1/25 SmartSource)
FREE after coupons

Buy 1 Absolutely Divine Chocolate at $1.99, Get $1.00 ECB
(I discovered these while figuring how to reach the $25 mark and maximize ECBs back. And my beloved loves dark chocolate!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Walgreens deals – 03/08 thru 03/14

There are sports, and there are extreme sports! There's couponing, and there's extreme couponing! (Or so I read – and I think I'm beginning to understand!) So far this week, Walgreens has paid me $10 to take home over $250 worth of stuff – including over $100 worth of diapers or Pull-Ups! Amazing! Basically, I spent $30 out of pocket, brought home the loot, and now have $40 in Register Rewards for future purchases. (And I'll be watching the expiration dates on those like a hawk!)

So, humor me while I mount my biggest moose rack yet!

The key has been combining Huggies high-dollar printable coupons with overage from two other items on sale this month (see details below) and using almost $25 from EasySaver rebates (on my gift card from previous months.) I think I'm beginning to understand Keren's feat – 13 months and counting without paying for diapers! I'm currently on month 7 or 8 of paying minimally, if at all, for diapers or Pull-Ups – partly due to loving aunts who have been willing to clip diaper coupons and run to drugstores for us! (Thank-you!)

So, the Huggies deals are what lured me into Walgreens four times this week!

Buy $25 in participating Kimberly-Clark products
Get $10 in Register Rewards
This includes a variety of Huggies jumbo packs of diapers or training pants ($10 each) and Huggies baby wipes ($6.00 each). Also included are other Kimberly-Clark products including Kotex (2 for $6.00), Scott or Cottonelle ($7.00 each), Poise or Depends ($12 each), and Kleenex facial care (3 for $4.00).

The following deals have been the "money makers" for me:

Colgate Total Toothpaste (4 oz.) – $3.00
(On sale this month – 2 for $6.00)
Use $2.50/1 coupon from March EasySaver Catalog
Use $1.50/1 printable coupon
FREE plus $1.00 overage after coupons

Sambucol (30 tablets) – $10.99 to 12.99
Use $10.00 coupon from March EasySaver catalog
(or tear pads in some stores)
Use $4.00 printable coupon
FREE plus $1.00 to $3.00 overage after coupons

For local readers: The Walgreens at 291 and East North is the one with the best overage! And if you didn't get to print the Huggies coupons, you could still net some great deals with the help of the overage.

For detailed lists of other deals this week, see here and here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gimme a P-U-B-L-I-X!

I'll agree – it almost doesn't seem normal to be so attached to a grocery store, but Publix keeps giving us reasons to love 'em! Besides the Cookie Club, cool carts, and occasional balloons, there's the Baby Club and Preschool Pals program!

I walked into Publix last night and immediately saw Boneless Skinless Premium Chicken Breasts advertised on sale – and I remembered that I had a Preschool Pals coupon for $1 off! Three cheers for Publix!

The penny item was the same as last week – a four (double) roll pack of GreenWise bathroom tissue. That may not sound exciting, but with all the talk of free (after coupons) Cottonnelle at Kroger stores (which we don't have nearby), I'm thankful for free TP!

So, those are some highlights of my Publix Super Savers for this week! Every little bit adds up to make a difference!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

For better or for worse... (CVS vs Walgreens)

Rumor has it that Walgreens plans to discontinue the EasySaver Catalog program this spring, replacing it with something similar to CVS's Extra Care Bucks program. Interesting...

"Imitation is the highest form of flattery!"

I'd been thinking of writing a post, giving tips on shopping at CVS and spelling out what I see as pros and cons of bargain shopping at the two pharmacies, even before I read the rumors. But consider yourself warned – I've become a CVS fan! Experiences earlier this week help to explain...

On Tuesday afternoon, I did a CVS run – primarily for the great diapers deal...

Spend $20 on Pampers products – Get $5 ECBs
(Limit 1 deal)
Buy two Pampers (or Easy-Ups) Jumbo packs at $10 each
Use two $1.50/1 coupons or two $1.00/1 coupons
Pay $17 to $18 out of pocket
Diapers cost $6.00 or $7.00 per pack after coupons and ECBs

I picked up two other free after ECBs items, used a $5 off $25 purchase CVS coupon (more on that later), paid the balance with $20 in ECBs and only $1.68 out of pocket – and earned $12.98 ECBs! (Two packs of 30 diapers for less than $2.00 out of pocket! Not bad at all!)

In contrast, I stopped by Walgreens that same evening hoping for the following scenario (after my positive experiences yesterday).

Buy two FiberOne bars at $1.99 each
Use two $0.50/1 coupons (from recent newspaper inserts)
Use $2.00 in Register Rewards (from yesterday)
Pay $0.98 with Walgreens gift card

Alas! The RR coupon wouldn't scan! And the cashier couldn't even force the computer to accept it. She couldn't figure out why... Then I remembered a common Walgreens glitch – number of coupons per transaction cannot exceed number of items being purchased!

But, the current Walgreens program has offered two major points in its favor:
  • Users get a 10% bonus when EasySaver rebates are put on a Walgreens gift card.
  • Money on said gift card does not expire.
Drawbacks of the current Walgreens program include:

  • You have to remember to "mail in" your EasySaver receipts (electronically or otherwise).
  • Rebate money is not immediately available (to be used on next month's deals).
  • Register Rewards are the exception; they are immediately available. However, besides the RR frustration recounted above, RR coupons cannot be used on items from the same manufacturer. (For example, if I get RR for purchasing Proctor & Gamble products, I cannot use those RR to pay for other P&G products, etc.)
So, how is the CVS Extra Care Bucks program better? First of all, you have to look at ECBs the way you look at any coupon. ECBs do expire (usually one month from the date of printing).

Advantages of the ECBs program include:

  • ECBs print on your receipt, so that "money" is immediately available!
  • You can use ECBs like money – they'll pay for anything you're buying (except prescriptions, gift cards, pre-paid cards, money orders, postage stamps, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and lottery). A good list of exclusions, actually!
  • $$ off $$ purchase coupons tend to print in accordance with your typical spending. I typically "spend" $25 at CVS (mostly to keep rolling over my ECBs), so CVS keeps printing $5 off $25 purchase coupons for me. (A manager verified that's how the program works!) And that consistent 20% savings at CVS beats the Walgreens 10% bonus for getting rebates on a gift card.
  • Opportunities to "build" ECBs abound – especially when you can combine coupons with free after ECBs deals and consistently pay for purchases with ECBs.

CVS isn't paying me anything to advertise – I just love the place! I started seriously "playing the coupon game" (including CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and Publix) in August of last year. I wish I could remember when I first built up to $20 ECBs – it's been months. But just last week, I reached my all-time high of over $60 ECBs – and that's in spite of "never" paying more than $2.00 out of pocket at CVS! How can you do that?! Well, if you're new to CVSing, read these (very helpful) tutorials and tips.

Happy Bargain Hunting!

And do keep your eyes and ears open for a great Huggies diapers deal next week at Walgreens! (You did print $16 worth of Huggies coupons in anticipation of a great deal, I hope!)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Walgreens deals – 03/01 thru 03/07

I'm always happy when I can get FREE food at a drugstore! Here's how it went when I braved the snow and visited two Walgreens this afternoon...

First store:
Paid $1.60 with Walgreens gift card
Got $3.50 in Register Rewards

Second store:
Used $3.50 in Register Rewards from first store
Paid $1.43 with Walgreens gift card
Got $2.00 in Register Rewards

Fiber One Bars – on sale for $1.99 each
Use $1.35/1 printable coupon
$0.64 each after coupon

Buy 1 Colgate Max Fresh (6 oz.) – $3.29
Get $3.50 in Register Rewards
FREE plus $0.21 overage after Register Rewards

Colgate Total Toothpaste (4 oz.) – $3.00
Use $2.50/1 coupon from March EasySaver Catalog
Use $1.50/1 printable coupon
FREE plus $1.00 overage after coupons

Sambucol (30 tablets) – $10.99 to 12.99
Use $10.00 coupon from March EasySaver catalog (or tear pads in some stores)
Use $4.00 printable coupon
FREE plus $1.00 to $3.00 overage after coupons
(This is great immunity-boosting stuff!)

I went to a second store primarily because the first didn't have some deals I was hoping to get. (Go here for details on even more deals!) Well, the second store was also "out" of some deals, so I had to buy something with the overage! I settled for another box of granola bars and the following deal...

Buy 1 Carmex Lip Balm – $2.99
Get $2.00 in Register Rewards
$0.99 after Register Rewards

Viva Publix!

The Italian theme is still on at our favorite grocery store...

Not only do we love Publix because of the Cookie Club and cool carts (and occasional balloons), today they gave us another reason to love them – Dora and Diego Yoplait Kids Yogurt for FREE! Actually, they "paid" us to get it, and the coupon overage helped with the general bill...

These deals are good through tomorrow – see details here. But I actually noticed that most of the items are cheaper in SC (by 3, 4, or 5 cents) than in FL stores! And every little bit counts, eh?

I hadn't planned to get SmartStart cereal... However, when I saw it was B1G1, I remembered I had a rebate from an earlier box with a mid-year expiration date. Bargain shopping can be so much fun!

According to my receipt...

Total out of pocket: $15.20 (before SmartStart cereal rebate)
Store coupon: $3.48 (The Penny Item: 4-pack bathroom tissue)
Vendor coupons: $11.70
Ad Special Savings: $25.04
Total Savings: $40.22

Viva Publix! I'm always excited when the Total Savings are at least double what I spent!

And a HUGE "thank-you" to Sarah at Fiddledeedee for putting the details together for Publix fans!