Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Huge and Super Surprising Savings

Okay, I had an amazing thing happen to me this evening and I had to post about it.

Do you use Price Protectr? If not, and you're trying to live the frugal life, you really need to look into it. I don't like to download any programs onto my computer - not even search bars on my browser. But I read about Price Protectr on another blog a few months back and decided to sign up.

Basically, you buy something (online or in brick and mortar stores). Then you go to Price Protectr, add the link to the item and click search. They bring up the item at it's current price, you type in your email address, and they will watch the price for you for your specified period of time. If the price goes down, they'll email you and you can search their list of retailers to find out how to contact that store for a price adjustment. They also have coupons on their site for different stores and list the current public coupon codes.

Here's what happened to me:
On September 20th, I ordered Halloween costumes for my kids from Old Navy. Their costumes were originally $22.50, on sale for $20.00. It was also their Best Friends' Weekend - entering the code "BFF" at the checkout got me an additional 20% off and free shipping. I have to admit that I was pretty excited to get their costumes for $16 each after the discounts. Don't get me wrong, that's still pricey, but Old Navy's costumes are well made, roomy, and my kids still dress up in R's from last Halloween (fireman) often. To me, it was worth it.

Just for kicks, I decided to add the costumes to Price Protectr this weekend. I had forgotten to order the costumes through ebates or mypoints, so I figured the least I could do would be to watch for a price reduction. Old Navy offers a 14 day window for a one-time price reduction. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I enter the link, I see the $20 costumes are now $15! Their rules say they don't adjust for a discount code, so I wasn't sure if they'd give me the $2 difference ($32 total now down to $30 total), but I figured I'd call and find out.

The woman I spoke with was SO nice. She had to put me on hold for awhile, and I wasn't sure if it was because it wasn't going through. Really, I was pretty prepared for them to say that it wouldn't go through, I was just gonna give it a shot. Not only did it go through, they adjusted the price BEFORE the "BFF" discount!!!! Instead of getting $2 back, we got $10 credited back to our card!!!!

So my kids are getting AWESOME costumes that will also double as fun dress up clothes for $11 each! I can't say enough good about Price Protectr. I would have been thrilled with $2 back, but this went above and beyond my expectations. So go sign up - it's totally free!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Need a medical screening?

Free screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure or obesity at certain minute clinics across the country, now through September 30th. This seems to be mostly a CVS thing (we don't have them), but there are a few non-CVS locations. Click here for more info.

Friday, September 26, 2008

More Walgreens!

After yesterday's trip, I decided I had to go back and take advantage of the cheap diapers and $5/$20+ coupon. I got some great deals today - and I plan to go back tomorrow... but more on that in a bit.

2 packs Walgreens Premium diapers (they were out of regular) $11.98
2 packs Walgreens Premium diapers (they were out of regular) $11.98
1 Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber $5.49
1 Pediasure Nutrapals bars (clearance) $2.99
Total: $32.44

$2 off Walgreens diapers x4 ($50 Rx booklet) -$8.00
$1 off Pediasure (Sept ESR booklet) -$1.00
$1 off Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber (MFG Q) -$1.00
$5 off $20 or more after coupons (Walgreens printable) -$5.00
Total Qs: -$15.00

TOTAL: $17.44

Plus, there was a recent manufacturer's rebate in the paper to try the Action Scrubber free - so I have a rebate for $5.49 to come out of that as well!

I plan to go back tomorrow with a printout from the October ESR booklet. My Walgreens doesn't put them out until Sunday, but the coupons are good starting today. They have their large Pert Plus bottles on sale for $4.99 (regular $5.99) through tomorrow. The ESR (page 6) has a coupon for $2.50 off Pert, and I still have one $3/1 coupon from the school supplies ad back in August that expires on the 30th. That's $5.50 off $4.99... so I'll have to make sure to pick up another $.51 in merchandise (I saw they had some cookies my family likes in clearance for $.24 each - three of those for $.21 total OOP would be awesome, or I'll find something else to work my magic on =) )

ETA 09/27 - I did go back for the above mentioned deal and got the large Pert and the 3 cookie packages for $.21!!!!

End of the month slump?

Didn't really do much in the way of bargain shopping this week. I even submitted both of my rebates for the month a bit early. I may pick up some cheap cheerios tomorrow at Safeway, but even that's not a for-sure (we do have an awful lot of cheerios right now... I know, I know - stockpile the sale).


Here's what I DID get this week. I went to Walgreens yesterday to exchange a package of pull-ups. Awhile back, in fact one of my first really great coupon deals, I got a bunch of diapers and a package of pull-ups with a sale and two different coupons, plus a register reward. Well, my son potty trained a lot faster than we thought he would, so we had an unopened package of boy pull-ups - and a little girl that likes to try and be like her brother. While I save my receipts for everything, that's one receipt I just couldn't find (I said it was way back!). But they exchanged them, after a bit of confusion, for a same size/style pack of girl pull-ups. Now we're set for when M is really ready. The manager asked if I wanted to do my whole order at the same time (I was just getting some more diapers), so I said sure. They were buy one at regular price, get the second at 50%... and according to HCW ad previews, there wouldn't be another Walgreens brand diaper sale for at least the next two weeks. So I got the 4 packages of regular (not premium - I can't tell the difference and there's 4 more to the package this way) diapers for M, and I used my coupon for $2 off the diapers at regular price from the $50 pharmacy coupon book. But here's how God provided for our family once again because of Walgreens computer system...

The price for the diapers before coupon was something like 2 for $11.98 (can you tell I don't have my receipt in front of me?). My total order was 4 packages of diapers and the package of pull-ups. The computer took off $10 for the $2/1 coupons, and I ended up paying less than $12!

Tomorrow and Saturday, Walgreens is having one of their great coupon deals again - this time $5/$20+. I'm not all that interested in October's FARs (which start on Friday, btw), so I'm thinking of getting either 4 more packs of diapers and the only FAR that's interesting to me (the skin cleanser), or else get 6 packs of diapers. I'll do some more plotting and planning based on what my store has in stock and report back shortly =)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wow Wow!!! Another Giveaway!

Robert's favorite TV show (that we actually have to limit because he'd watch it all the time) is part of a giveaway! Two copies of a new Wow Wow Wubbzy are being given away here at Mommies with Cents. Try your luck - go sign up!

Great giveaway!!!

Sisterly Savings is giving away two copies of the The Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom by Stephanie Nelson. I've heard great things about this book, though I haven't read it. I would love to win this - but I also want to give YOU the opportunity to win, too =)

Here's the post - go sign up!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A soft and squishy give away!

Home Ec 101 is giving away a $25 gift card to the Build A Bear Workshop! Head on over HERE to find out more!

Old Navy Sale

I just got an email from them saying they're having a Best Friend Weekend at the store. Bring a buddy, say "BFF" at the register when you pay, and get 20% off.

Don't feel like going in (or don't have a friend to go with you)? It's online, too - 20% off AND free shipping. Enter the online promo code "BFF"

Looks like I'll be purchasing the kids Halloween costumes today. The three of us sat down at the computer and looked at all of them so that they could pick the ones they wanted. I love ON's costumes. They're well made and warm - and if you need to layer, you can layer UNDER them. We'll be purchasing them a little big so that they can be used for dress up for awhile. The kids still use the fire fighter costume from last year!

Friday, September 19, 2008

What are you getting for YOUR birthday?

Special thanks go out to Sisterly Savings and Free Birthday Treats Blog. Here are some fun treats that are available for you - just for being born!

Free Birthday Treats

(Be sure to check out the FBTBlog as well - more great ideas there!)

Super excited

I have a really awesome rebate story to share with you all, but I'm not wanting to do so until the full rebate is in my hand so as not to jinx it. It wasn't a planned rebate - totally accidental and one of those God providing for us during our lean times right now thing. But from checking on it's status today, it shows that it has been validated. Now I just wait as patiently as possible for the mail. I'm really, really excited about it!!!


This week has been a little crazy. We're putting the kids on a schedule to make their lives a little easier - and my own personal schedule has been thrown off for unrelated reasons. So I'm a bit slow in getting these posted. BUT! It was another great shopping week at Walgreens! And, as you can see, we're just about set for trick-or-treaters, too (though I still can't believe I willingly purchased Nestle products).

2 Butterfinger 11 oz fun size bags @ 2 for $5
2 Butterfinger Crisp 10 oz fun size bags @ 2 for $5
1 Kit Kat 8 pack @ $1.59
6 Reeses Peanut Butter Cup 8 packs @ 2 for $3 ($9)
3 Peeps pumpkins @ 1 for $$.59 and 2 for $1 (but it rang them up totaling $1.50)
2 Colgate Max Fresh Toothpaste with mouthwash beads (Sale $2.99 each - $5.98)
2 battery operated tea light candles (Sale $1 each - $2)

Total: $30.07

Walgreens ad coupon for $2 off each Colgate Max Fresh -$4.00
Walgreens ad coupon for Peeps @ $.39 each -$.33
2x ESR booklet coupon for $1/2 Nestle bagged candies -$2.00
Manufacturer coupon for $1/1 Nestle bagged candies -$1.00
Manufacturer coupon for $1/1 Nestle bagged candies -$1.00
Manufacturer coupon for $1/1 Nestle bagged candies -$1.00
Manufacturer coupon for $1/1 Nestle bagged candies -$1.00
Manufacturer coupon for $1/1 Colgate Max Fresh Toothpaste -$1.00
Manufacturer coupon for $1/1 Colgate Max Fresh Toothpaste -$1.00
Walgreens Catalina* for $10/$10+ from Robitussin -$10.00

New Total: $7.65 (which came off my gift card - OOP - $0)

Why all the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and the Kit Kats? ESR #35 - buy $10 in Hershey's 8 packs and get a $5 ($5.50) rebate. Since I had a free $10 from the Robitussin deal, that's what I did. I try not to double count my rebates and Catalinas, saying "my total was really like $2.15 after the rebate" - because I don't have that money in my hand and the full $7.65 was taken off my card. But I will be getting that 110% back on my card - which is exciting. Unless I can find the large vacuum bag on Tuesday, I don't plan to add anything new to this rebate... and I'm expecting - get this - $91.69 back in rebates this month after the extra 10% for getting it on the gift card! I'll be posting an end of month recap with what I spent and what I'm getting back after I submit it next week. I did a preliminary estimate this week and I have to admit... it's pretty cool =)

*Catalinas are the extra strip of paper that sometimes prints with your receipt - out of a separate little machine. That's what the $10/$10 RR was, and that's how I've gotten some pretty great deal (free 2 liter bottles of soda as one example) at other stores. So don't just chuck those - make sure to take a good look at them!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Going against my principles

I know - it's Nestle. I can't even print it (they said I've already printed it the number of times allowed... um, no, but whatever). But if you can get it to work for you and you want it...

$1.50/1 Nestle morsels. They're on sale for about that this week somewhere, too (Walgreens?).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Coupons I find

I have to admit that I'm not organized enough yet to do one of those awesome posts you see on other blogs. You know the ones - with the 30 links to really valuable coupons. I find one, I say "I'll have to post about that later" - and then I forget. So I think from now on, or at least until I get that organized (stop laughing), I'm just going to post them when I find them.

$3/5 Soyjoy bars!

$1/1 Johnson's Buddies - some of which are only $.96 at Wal-Mart (we got the easy grip sudsing bars)

$1/2 Easy Mac cups. I admit, I have my reservations about Easy Mac after a bad experience in college, but if I can find cheap and (I pray) healthy food for my kids...

A Moral Issue?

I see a lot of posts in the coupon blogging world about Manufacturers Rebates. There are some that seem legitimate (I have one that I recently printed off and sent in for a new Arm & Hammer cleaner, and I've seen "try me free" peel-offs on boxes of cereal as well). But I just clicked on one that really got me kind of upset, and it seems to be pushed in the coupon world as a great thing to do.

The link was for a "Try Me Free" rebate on the new Duncan Hines Carrot Cake. I had just recently printed out $1/1 coupons, so I thought, GREAT! This is a money maker!

But the "try me free" rebate isn't that at all. It's one of those "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back" rebates. Take a look for yourself. You have to actually select why you weren't satisfied with the product and why you want your money back.

Lets be honest, people. Don't start trying to get your bargains by lying. If you honestly didn't like the cake, then tell them so. But don't be telling others there's a rebate out there before we even try the mix - that's just unkind.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I couldn't help myself - Walgreens was calling my name!

I had to go back!

Someone linked some $2/1 South Beach Diet high protein bars coupons. My never has been picky before son hasn't been eating as well as I'd like, so I figured these would be a great thing to have around when he's wanting a snack. Plus, they fit into the 2 for $5 sale AND the buy 3 get ___ free coupons from All You - and the free product would fit nicely into Easy Saver Rebate (ESR) 31 as well. I also did the Robitussin deal again (and I noticed from clicking on the link I gave the other day that they aren't doing the $3/1 coupons anymore...)

So, here was yesterday's trip:
2 Kraft Shells & Cheese - $3 (ESR 31 and B3G1)
2 South Beach High Protein peanut butter - $5 (ditto)
2 South Beach High Protein cinnamon raisin - $5 (tritto?)
3 Ricola Honey Herb cough drops - $5.97
1 Pert Plus Medium 13.5 oz shampoo - $3.79
3 Robitussin DM - $11.97
1 Crystal Light Raspberry Ice - $2.99
1 Nabisco Wheat Thins - $2.50

Total: $40.22

-$2.99 - Buy 3 Kraft get Crystal Light
-$2.50 - Buy 3 Kraft get Wheat Thins
-$2.97 - Walgreens' Ricola $3/3 coupon
-$1.00 - Pert Plus coupon
-$8.00 - $2/1 SBD coupon x4
-$9.00 - $3/1 Robitussin coupon

Total: $13.76

This was taken off my gift card from last month's rebates (with $17.95 remaining). My OOP was $0.

$10.00 RR for the 3 Robitussin
$5.50 (110%) ESR for the Nabisco/Kraft products
$4.17 (110%) ESR for the Pert Plus*

I'm going to have to go back within the next 2 weeks to use the $10 coupon - I may invest it into ESR 35 (buy $10 Hersheys, get $5 [$5.50@110%] ESR) - the ESR totals will have to wait until they next credit my gift card. This is an exciting month for Walgreens. I need to total up my purchases and see how much has actually been spent versus what's coming back!

(* Pert Plus is a hidden rebate. If you go online to submit your receipts, you'll see that there are 3 rebates listed there that aren't in the booklet. If I understand correctly, Walgreens does that if there was a problem stocking a certain item in the previous month. So go look up ESR 43 - up to $4.79 back - even a money maker if you use a coupon when you purchase it!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How Exciting!

FrugalHeart just posted that Walgreens is doing another month of FAR Pert 2-in-1! Plus, I just got my $5 rebate back from the Pert and school supplies deal last month, and the check came with 2 coupons - $1/1 Pert and $1/1 Sure. So there's another money maker... AND a shampoo that we already use and love!

I just picked up last month's FAR Pert at Rite Aid yesterday, too (raincheck and I have to fax it in, but it will work). So YAY!!! for free shampoo =)

Free Sample

Free sample of Degree for men at http://www.madeineuerka.com. You have to wait awhile for it to load, but it does eventually come up. My husband just saw this on SciFi today, so I have a feeling it's really popular right now.

What an awesome Walgreens day!!!

It started out kind of as a bummer. I had applied for the Jane brush rebate last month, but it didn't process. I called them last week - the woman that I spoke with said that it should have gone through, she put a note on my account (I heard her typing it and she read it as she went) that they should do a one time adjustment, and she said to call them back in a week (today). But today, the gentleman I spoke with said the brush I bought wasn't part of the promotion. I don't see how, as the "free after rebate" tag was hanging off this particular spot on the shelf. But, whatever. I told him it was a good thing I hadn't used it yet - I'd go and return it today. He was a little shocked at that, but I'm not going to hang on to a "treat" that isn't a necessity right now if they're going to go back on their deal.


The rest of my time at Walgreens was AWESOME! I even had one of the sales clerks asking where I find my coupons, because he wants to send his wife to these sites, too! I plan to make up a list for him to give her - I'll bring it with me the next time I go.

Before I show what I got, let me explain why I did it in three batches. Walgreens has these great promos called "Register Rewards." For instance, this week, they had buy 2 Robitussin, get a $5 Register Reward (RR). Buy 3, get a $10 RR. These RRs are the same as cash at Walgreens, but they have some special rules. You can't get more than one RR per order/receipt. If you use a RR to pay for your order, you won't get a new RR - even if you're buying something that should print one. And they do expire... I think you get 2 weeks to use them. So if you don't use them, you didn't really save anything after all. So...

Order 1
Crest Pro Health Mouthwash
Sale price - $4.49 - get a RR for $4.49
I had a $.75 coupon from a Sunday newspaper insert.
OOP - $3.74, receive a $4.50 RR

Order 2
Robitussin DM - $3.99
Robitussin Cough and Cold - $3.99
Robitussin Night Time/Flu - $3.99

I had 3, $3.00 coupons from here (you can print as many as you want when the print dialog box comes up). This brought the cost of each down to $.99.

OOP - $2.97, receive a $10.00 RR

Order 3
This is where I bought my other rebate items and good coupon deals.
3 Ricola cough drop bags - $1.99 each
Travel size vacuum bag - $5.99 (FAR - hidden rebate since they were out last month)
LypSil Lip Moisturizer - $1.99 (FAR)
Walgreens Water filter (think Britta) - $6.99 (FAR)
Excedrin Tension Headache 20 ct gelcaps - $3.99 (FAR)
Revlon nail enamel - $4.49 (FAR)
3 bags of Bold Chex Mix - $.99 each (sale)
Total: $41.40

Here come the coupons!!!!
-$2.79 Walgreens Ricola coupon (in ad - 3 for $3)
-$.50 off Chex Mix
-$1.00 off Chex Mix (HERE)
-$1.00 off Chex Mix (same - print it twice)
-$1.00 RR (from last week)
-$4.50 RR (from Order 1)
-$10.00 RR (from Order 2)

TOTAL: $11.42!

Plus, I just got my notice in the mail this afternoon that my rebates were on my gift card, so I used my gift card for this third order and paid ZERO OOP.

And, from this order, I'll be getting 110% rebates equaling $25.80!

This is the time that I've heard the rebates get fun - when you can start rolling them from month to month and watch them grow! So I'll get to buy the next month's FARs out of this month's money and rebates and keep the cycle growing without touching our money. And these gift cards can be used not only in store, but for pharmacy purchases, too, from what I understand.

I am LOVING Walgreens!!!!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Free Magazine Subscription!

If you're interested in receiving Parents magazine, you can sign up for 2 years (24 issues) for free HERE.

Supposedly, this goes fast - so if you think you'd like it, sign up quickly.

(Thanks go out to Money Saving Mom!)

Monday, September 8, 2008

How to help fellow budget bloggers with your mouse

All of us who are in this couponing blog world are in it for one main reason... to save a little money. Maybe we start for extra spending money. Maybe some of you, like me, started doing this to try and keep more money in the family budget during tight times.

I try to make it a habit to click on at least 1-2 links in these blogs whenever I direct visit one of them. By that I mean that if I'm not reading your site through my bloglines subscription but I'm actually on your site, I'll click away as I have time.

I've added Google AdSense to my site awhile ago. I know some of you have been here (I really should get a site counter) as I've made almost $1 this past month. I thank those of you that have visited the ads on my site. If you haven't yet, please click on something that seems interesting to you - and help put a few more pennies in our virtual piggy bank! And go ahead and click on links on the other mama's blogs as well. If we all help each other out each day - what a wonderful (and frugal) world it would be =)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Got WIC?

We participate in Oregon State's WIC program. Part of out WIC checks are for 36 ounces of different approved cereals, one of them being Kix. 18 ounce Kix cereal are buy two (36 ounces total) get one free. This DOES include WIC, as long as you scan your Safeway club card with your purchase.

Just a heads up in case others can benefit from this as well.

By the way, when you use your Safeway card regularly for WIC checks, whether you hit a super deal like this or not, you're helping others benefit from the program. By using less money yourself, more is left out there for other families or for new benefits in the future (like Oregon supposedly getting fresh produce added to the checks in 2009).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Free to my good home

Things have been busy here with some company coming for a few days (and then recovering from my really dumb sunburn - you'd think I'd learn by now). But I wanted to get a post up of things that we have gotten free or ridiculously cheap in the last week. Of course, this picture was taken on Sunday and then I went shopping today... and there were a few things not in the picture to begin with. I'll try my best to add them in and explain them all...

Let's start with not pictured: a bottle of Walgreens acid controller complete, 2 boxes (8.9 oz, I believe) Cheerios at $.49 each, 8 packages Bic pens (4 blue, 4 black, 10 pens each), 6 Glade Plug In Scented Oil Warmers with Vanilla Lavender oil, 3 Preparation H travel wipes (10 individually wrapped packets each, $3.03 overage), $10 of my purchase at Walgreens (using that $10/$40 coupon).

What is pictured?
2 boxes Cinnamon Toast Crunch
2 boxes Kashi Go Lean Blueberry Waffles
1 12 pack Mountain Dew
1 package Giant Chewy Nerds
3 packages Kotex Lightday Longs Liners
1 South Beach Living Tide Me Over drink mix (7 servings)
1 South Beach Living Pepperoni Pizza ($.72)
1 L'Oreal Revitalift Anti-Aging Serum
1 Orajel Toddler Training Toothpaste (about $.50)
2 Wishbone Bountiful Salad Dressings ($.02 overage)
1 Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste
1 Arm & Hammer Essentials Multi-Surface Cleaner Starter Kit ($1 overage)
3 Soyjoy bars (strawberry)
3 packs Trident Xtra Care gum ($.24 each or $.72 total)
1 can Amy's Organic Lentil Soup
1 can Amy's Organic Medium Black Bean Chili
1 bottle Chemistry shampoo
1 roll Duck Packing Tape
2 Oral B toothbrushes and
1 Scientific Calculator (for my coupon binder!)

Some of these things I'm waiting on rebates - some were free outright with a coupon, store sale or combo.

Today's additions:
2 bags lightly salted Kettle potato chips

4 cartons Whoppers
1 can Arizona Iced Sweet Tea
1 Excedrin Migraine 24 count (plus $1 register reward for next trip!)
1 Hershey's Syrup

1 Cocoa Puffs Combos (I WON THIS in a giveaway from Our Blessed Arrows / Frugal Heart)
2 more Cheerios at $.49 each
2 more Bountifuls dressings

1 Pantene Expressions Shampoo (SHOOT! I forgot the in-ad coupon - I'll have to see if I can return it and use it then!)
1 Crest Plus Scope Whitening Toothpaste
1 Oral B Stages Toothbrush ($.39)

So, it has been a good week in our house. We are SO stocked on toothpaste now. Seriously, I don't think we'd have to buy any for a couple years. But I like having it on hand, not only for our use, but should there be a toiletries drive through any of the local organizations, etc.