The Queen of Coupons Reigns......

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blogging on the Road...

Do you ever go on vacation when you're broke? I did. It happens occasionally. Events and holidays don't necessarily coincide with the non-housepayment payday. Thus-as we are over the hill (360miles) visiting family for a grandiose wedding extravaganza with pennies to our names...and the 5yr-old is winning with the most. So--just because we didn't come laden with funds doesn't mean that we aren't going to have funs :) Tomorrow is Memorial Day. My oldest brother is retired from the US Navy and suggested to my parents that they needed to visit the submarine museum in Bremerton. It's quite good and very kid-friendly. Excellent combination for my crew. So I googled it and came up with high-5's and chorus-line kicks...it's free to get in. That will be the start to our fabulous free day with family.


The kids expect treats and goodies for untold behaviors. Bribery is my best method of behavior control in public. Sonic Drive-ins have the best form of payment right now. You can go to Sonic now thru June 27th and grab a BOGO free Sonic shake on the spot OR get a coupon for a FREE Shake on your next visit! SOLD!! That's basically, half-price, in plain language. It's always seems more satisfying and tasty when you aren't consumed with the notion that you just paid the same price for 12oz of ice-cream as you would have for the whole blimey gallon. Sonic here we come!!

From the Seattle PI: Memorial Day weekend 2010 dawns with programs for and about veterans. New this year is the announcement that eight museums across the state have joined the National Endowment for the Arts' Blue Star Museums roster, meaning each will grant free admission to military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day (Sept. 6). Seattle has some of the most amazing flight and art museums. So the planned events for the family activity is looking better and better and I'm still not looking for the change out of the couch cushions and off the floorboards of the truck.


I love the fact that both of my parents are veterans--Air Force and Marines. And being that my father goes nowhere with the crew--I still am able to take advantage of the military discount for families as I have my mother with us.


So before you determine that you don't have enough money to enjoy your vacations and get-aways--look up the deals to be had in the area you're in and you might be surprized that you can have yourself a lot of fun and memories without breaking the bank.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kraft Deals Galore!!




So we left town today for the long, holiday weekend...that means that I had to take advantage of a fabulous sale on Kraft products early on in the sale period. Check out http://www.albertsons.com/ and the deal they are running on Kraft products. When you buy 6 selected products, you automatically save $3 on your total (no coupons, no waiting at the end for a Catalina print-out). I got coupons at the store for $1 off 2 products (BBQ sauce, salad dressing, A-1, etc). They were hanging near the products.

Now what makes this such a great deal is that there is another Kraft sale running in conjunction with this one. For every $25 you spend, you get a $5 Catalina OYNO coupon at the end. Disclaimer: last night I did all my transactions in increments of 6 products...but it was a long drive and I got to thinking about how those two deals could be used together. This is what I came up with...and you need a a couple of friends to enjoy this deal or a love for BBQ sauce. You need 19 coupons from the pad hanging in the condiment section. If you buy 38 bottles of Kraft BBQ sauce, your total is $26.22 before those 19 coupons. The coupons are $1 off 2 bottles--bringing the total to $7.22. Then you get the automatic $3 off (for buying the required 6)...and then you get the $5 coupon back at the end of the transaction. That makes the total deal a whopping -78cents. See what you come up with when you drive 350 miles....free goodies. Now-how to get that much BBQ sauce home?


Note: I saw the Kraft coupons hanging with the product in 2 different Albertsons' in Spokane. Since I'm in the greater Puget Sound area right now, I am going to check a local store to see if the same coupons are available. The coupon is what makes this a stellar deal and if it's not available...it's still a great price, but not so stock-up worthy--if you know what I mean. Also--watch the expiry dates on the products. Sad to say, these kinds of sales are a great way for the store to flip their inventory and that means that there could be a range of dates on the bottles of about 18 months!! I had to go through the bottles to find the dates that were furthest out into 2011, but I was weeding through Mar2010-October 2010. Yes--that was March 2010...gross!! You know the store has had the product awhile when there is dust on the bottles! (That reminds of an old country song...except they weren't talking about BBQ sauce ;)


The coupon that I mention here that is available at the grocery stores, includes the salad dressings as well. There is a Catalina promo coupon for this product as well, when you buy 4 bottles, you get a $4 Catalina print-out automatically. You can crunch the numbers and set up different purchase scenarios to see how you can balance you quantities to include another fabulous deal. It's not very often that you have a sale that layers so much savings at one time. The price-savvy will take advantage of this great deal, so don't miss it because you waited till the last day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

SC Johnson $5 Rebate


Holy Huge Picture, Batman. It must mean there's a great deal on this product somewhere!! Rebates, you say? Yes--they are awesome!! Rebates are bonus cash in the grocery market savings plans. They are over and beyond any use of coupons and discount sales. So when I came across this one--it's like manna because it's so-inclusive and not on funky products I would never buy, yada-yada-yada. Looking at it, I can't tell you how many transactions I've done that met the requirements since the beginning date that I could have already turned in. But the beauty of the situation--there's still time for all us late-bloomers.


Purchase any THREE SC Johnson products from their list (Saran, Nature's Source, Off, Raid, Drano, Fantastik, Shout, Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles, Windex, Glade, Ziploc) between now and June 30, 2010, fill-out the mail-in certificate and postmark it by 7/15/10. This is a fabulous rebate program because you are allowed THREE rebates per household!! Stellar, Stellar, Stellar. You just have to send in your original, store-identified cash register receipts with the purchase prices of the products circled with the rebate form filled out. Easy bonus money. Go to this link to print the rebate form. http://www.scjohnson.com/Files/afc-rebate-form.pdf?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=offline&utm_campaign=2009-10-value-tag-DIRECT
And just for the record, Safeway is running a Catalina coupon on Ziploc containers through 6/13. Buy 4 Ziploc containers at $1.99 each and use 2 of the $1.50/2 Ziploc container coupons. You end up paying $4.96 and receive 2 $2 Catalina coupons back--making them 24 cents a piece. Submit the receipt on the rebate and it's a $4.76 MONEYMAKER!! That's what I call a bargain.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Kids Bowl Free this Summer


We did this program last year and loved it. It was fabulous and even extremely affordable to take our herd bowling. We are quite fortunate to have a participating bowling alley in Spokane (North Bowl) that is a apart of the Kids Bowl Free program. You can sign up to do this program for free by going to http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/ and register directly on the bowling center page. Once you register, you will have the opportunity to purchase the family pass. The Family Pass was created to allow for adult family members to enjoy bowling with their families as well. The Family Pass is $24.95 and includes 2 GAMES PER PERSON PER DAY. This one-time payment covers up to 4 adults for the entire summer and is a tremendous value. You still have to pay for shoe rental (one idea: check out the local Value Village...), but the total cost is very diminished from what you would normally spend. For our family of 7--this is a HUGE savings and well worth the small fee to have a great activity that the kids look forward to during the summer.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Free Summer Kids' Movie Schedule


I start to anticipate summer when I think of all the fun things we can do because we have fewer schedule restrictions. But when I start thinking about how much everything is going to cost, I could easily freak-out. But you're talking about the woman who can get blood out of a penny...well, not really, but I like a great deal--FREE's better though. So this mind-set works well with the Free Summer Kids' movies hosted by Regal Cinemas. Every area has their own schedule at their local Regal theaters--google Regal and find out what your theater has scheduled. But this is the schedule for the Spokane Valley Regal Cinemas starting next month:


6/22-6/24--Tale of Despereaux (G)
Coraline (PG)
6/29-7/1---Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (G)
Astro Boy (PG)
7/6-7/8----Charlotte's Web (G)
Planet 51 (PG)
7/13-7/15--Rugrats: The Movie (G)
Ice-Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (PG)
7/20-7/22--Rugrats in Paris (G)
Kung Fu Panda (PG)
7/27-7/29--Wallace and Gromit (G)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (PG)
8/3-8/5----Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (G)
Monsters Vs Aliens (PG)
8/10-8/12--Doogal (G)
Hotel for Dogs (PG)
8/17-8/19--Muppets from Space (G)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG)


I've already slept through several of these movies in years past--so I doubt that we will be going weekly, but it is free--so add it to the list of options. On the north side of Spokane, the Village Theaters at Wandermere do a Summer Children's Movie series as well. The kids usually buy sheets of tickets for all the movies for $5 before they let out of school. The movies are generally newer releases and more "popular"...if you know what I mean. I don't mind paying the $5 a person because $30 for 10-12 movies for 6 people is so cheap because at current ticket prices--we wouldn't even be getting in for that price with everybody at a matinee. (It's 6 people during the summer instead of our usually lucky 7--since it's falls upon me to entertain the kids day after day as Dad's generally at work).


This is "cheapness herself" speaking when I tell you my family movie tip... I don't believe in 100% gouging the theaters of their profits, especially as the movies are SO cheap for the kids series. But even without paying an arm and 2 legs to get in, it still costs me the second leg to throw popcorn on the floor and have children begging for more candy--at $4 a box. So here's what I do: I buy the large popcorn bucket with the large refillable drink. I take brown lunch sacks and cut the upper third off, while still folded...and stick those in my purse. When we are seated, I divvy the bucket of popcorn up between the paper bags and hand them on down the row. By the time the last kid's bag is filled, I'm empty and ready for a refill. No kidding--we go through 2 refills before the movie starts...and 1 during the movie. The theater provides water cups for the kids to share the large drinks--hence I score big-time with my little tribe sharing a bit of liquid sugar. We do this at least once a week during the summer and it doesn't break the bank and we still contribute to the profits of the theater--just not to the gold-plaiting on the roof. I'm set and I'm only into refreshments for $8.50. Kids are happy and I'm NOT broke for going to the theater. (I didn't tell you that I occasionally let my kids eat the candy that's in their pockets...just not MY pockets). Mother of the Year tip: it doesn't cost me anymore to let my kids bring a friend along because it only means an extra bucket of "refillable" popcorn and an extra cup. Yeah!! It's easy to be gracious when it doesn't cost any more :)

Deals Galore...


When you're a bargain shopper, some things just set you off in a tizzy. You never look at things the same way when you have a walking calculator buzzing in your head. For all you looking for great deals...Old Navy has their flip flops for a buck--that's $1--per pair Saturday only. There's a limit of 5 pairs per person. Just knowing this set my head in a twirl when I saw the flip flops (thongs to all of you 70's and more mature babies....) at Wal-Mart for $3-15 a piece. Then when I was a Target--the deal was $5 for 2.........Oh. That makes this sale a no-brainer. Of course I'd like to pay $1. For what those things cost everywhere else--I can have 5 pairs for the price of 1. Sold.


This is a pitch for the local garage salers...Tis' the season, 'ya know. Our HOA is hosting a neighborhood garage sale this weekend. I just got an e-mail from a lady at church whose neighborhood is about 1/2 mile away--and they are having a neighborhood garage sale as well. That's amazing news for bargain hunters on the go!! Where else can you hit 50+garage sales all within a mile or less. Now I can't vouch for everyone's junk, and I still have no idea what we will be willing to part with--but I've seen the neighbor across the street perfecting her piles for the last 2 days and it doesn't even start till Saturday. So--whether a serious shopper or just out for the thrill of the hunt...expediency in the rounds is everything on a Saturday morning. So the more garage sales in one area--the better. Enjoy--and I hope you find your best deals :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Target Steals......I mean Deals


I'm heading to a great deal today. I printed my coupons for Aquafresh Kids' Toothpaste. It's on sale at Target for $1.62 a tube. I printed $1 off manufacturer's coupons and Target has a store coupon for 50 cents off. That makes the tubes 12 cents.... Hmmmm. I think I'll get 4. (Hahhahaa...we have 2 computers and I was able to print 2 sets of coupons from each computer, thus the magic number of 4).


I did the same deal with Cottonelle Toilet Paper at http://www.coupons.com/. They have a manufacturer's coupon for 50 cents off a 4 pack, and at http://www.target.com/ (under coupons), I was able to print $1.50 off coupons. The beauty of this possibility is that the Target coupon doesn't have any size restrictions....so. I don't know what the going rate for 4 packs of toilet paper are, but I'm hoping that they aren't too much over $2 a package. If they are...wowzers!! I'm going to start getting a little more irritated when I see how much gets wasted in the kids' bathrooms for everything except for what it was intended for. I know--TMI. But that's what happens when you don't really have to "pay" regular price for things from your living wages...you don't freak out over the wastefulness as you would if you'd just worked an hour of hard labor for the money that would have paid for what the 5 yr-old just flushed down the toilet to see if it would actually go!! (Thrift and budgeting is in the works for a lesson to said child....but we are also trying to encourage curiosity and interest...just haven't introduced cost factors to her yet).



Other things on the Target shopping list: Huggies' Baby Wipes. I printed coupons that save $2 on a container of 64ct or more. WOW!!! Now that's what I call a deal. I would buy a year supply (or 10 years) if I had 100 computers. That's a stellar deal. By the way--5 yr-old has been out of diapers for 2 years now. But I got hooked on baby wipes almost 13 years ago with the first child-and now they are a must for everything from road trips, preschool, sticky hands, etc. Life will never be the same again in our household because we love baby wipes. Just sayin'....


I e-mailed my sister-in-laws the fabulous Huggies deal going on at Fred Meyer this week. Haven't heard back if it was profitable for any of them...but here's the scoop. You need to hit all the websites and print the SWEET Huggies coupons and then take them to Freddies' to clean house on this deal because they have a Catalina deal going on in conjunction with the Huggie's sale price. Buy 2 Huggies Jumbo pack diapers for $7.99 each with in-ad coupon. (This includes Little Movers, Little Swaddlers, and Snug & Dry). Use 2 of your printed coupons from any of the coupon websites. You will end up paying $9.98--then receive a $3 Catalina coupon...making the final price for each package $3.49. You could do a second transaction (and third, and fourth, etc.) and use the $3 Catalina coupon with other coupons, making each transaction $.96--plus you keep generating a new $3 Catalina coupon from each new transaction. For all of you in diapers still--great deal!!


The best diaper websites to print free coupons from: http://www.coupons.com/, http://www.smartsource.com/, http://www.bricks.coupons.com/, and http://www.target.com/. There are more--you'll just have to find them. It probably wouldn't hurt to google "Huggies coupons" and see which sites you can print for free from.
Follow-up: Home from the stores. I got everything in the picture for $9.24 (the bulk of that being my contribution to the Governor's slush fund). If I had been in my "left" mind instead of my "right" mind--it would have cost $37.42 before tax. I saved around 80% off of that original price with coupons I printed for free from home. Now if I can do it--anyone can, if they have a computer and a printer ;)

Ins and Outs...

I was in Winco a couple of days ago and saw a tremendous deal on Ragu spaghetti sauce. It was 98cents a bottle. That's pretty stellar since it goes "on sale" for anywhere between $1-2...with purchase requirements usually in increments of 4 to 10 items to get sales' price. But at Winco that's the sales' price with no limit on quantities or purchase amounts. It got my head rolling and last night I ordered Ragu coupons on e-bay. I was pretty conservative this go around and only ordered 2 sets of 20 coupons. But the coupons are for "Save $1/2"--bringing the cost of the spaghetti sauce down to 48 cents a jar. Not too shabby for stuff that goes "on sale" for $2. Just sayin'....


There is also a very nice sale going on at Albertsons' this week on ConAgra Foods. They are the makers of Hunts' products, amongst others. For a purchase of $25, you get a $10 OYNO Catalina print-out. Most of the products in the fab deal are on sale for $1 each....SWEET!! Included in this sale are: Hunts' Ketchup, Spaghetti sauce, pudding, Manwich, Chef-Boyardee, etc., etc, etc. Go to www.albertsons.com to look at the ad if you didn't get the weekly circular. But the true goodness of the plan here is that you only have to reach the $25 before you coupon the items. So you can shop the internet for the coupons or see what you have from the recent Sunday papers--and take advantage of a GREAT deal. The best coupon that I found is at www.childhungerendshere.com and it's a ConAgra-based website and they are offering a coupon for $1.50 off any four ConAgra products of your choice. That makes the mixing and matching so much easier without having to be specific to a coupon's requirements for purchase amounts. Printer-disclaimer: you are only allowed to print 2 per computer. But that's still a jump start on the deal because it covers 8 products in 2 coupons.


If you don't have coupons, this is still a great time to buy on the ConAgra deal because it's 40% off the listed items in the promotion without coupons. That makes the cans of spaghetti sauce only 60 cents each....Wal-Mart can't even touch that price. Make a plan. What will your family eat in the next 3-6 months on the products you use the most of. Can you get a coupon on it as well? Is it worth stocking the pantry till the next stellar deal comes along. It generally is--especially when you do the math and see how many products you can buy for what you would have spent on ONE can. With the spaghetti sauce example--you can buy 2-3 cans more on this sale than you could have at regular price. Regular price=buy only what you need at the time (like 1 can)....Sales' price=buy the dollar amount of what you would have spent for 1 can and get the difference in the number of cans on sale. Put those cans in your pantry and don't purchase at regular price until the product goes on sale again...Money in the bank.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Schweet Deals again...


Got another little fix tonight. I know the receipt is a little caddy-whompus on the total, but it says $13.76. That's what I paid for my haul tonight...except, note: $8 worth of OYNO coupons. So technically--I paid $5.76 for the goods on the table. That would be 5 boxes of Fudge-covered Oreos, 5 gallons of milk, 3 boxes Capri sun (another story...), 4 bottles of Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean, and 4 bottles Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-a-Clean Refills. Well, you're probably thinking that's an odd combination of goods. And, yes, I agree with you. But I had to go to the store because we were almost out of milk. I usually get 3-4 gallons at a time. I generally pay $2 a gallon. But everything on the table except the milk was bonus (ie...FREE) because I contrived the deals to my advantage to basically get the milk for the aforementioned totals. But the irony of the deal--it would have totaled $98 without coupons. It was a no-brainer...it's better to buy the surplus goods--even if you've never heard of them before (like me and these cleaning products...)
So--I would never buy a bottle of cleaner, no matter how golden it promised to be, for $8.99 a bottle. But it was on sale for $6.99 a bottle. (I know--whoo-hoo...NOT). But there were $5 off coupons for each bottle. And another coupon that said "Free Scrubbing Bubbles Refill with purchase of Extend-a-Cleaner Spray"--AND, for every 2 sprayer products purchased, you got a $3 Catalina coupon OYNO and for every 2 refills, you got a $1 Catalina OYNO. So--with the sprayer product at $6.99 each and the refills on sale for $3.50--it was still a moneymaker at negative $4.02. **Remember--I still needed milk so I used my Oreo/milk combo coupons that saved $1.50 on each gallon of milk. All in all, it was a fabulous night at Safeway.
I made a quick trip to Albertsons' to use my double coupons. I needed NOTHING, but I had Capri Sun coupons for a $1 and they were on sale for $2. The doublers made them free...so it was worth the pit stop. But was even more impressive than my great deal was seeing flocks of serious couponers (with filing/organizing systems in their carts) taking advantage of the double coupon and Catalina deals. WOW.... It made me realize that I'm not the only one that sees a great deal for what it's worth! The stores love us. You've got to remember that coupon-users bring more money into the stores' profits than the average shopper without coupons. I had to stop and talk to a lady tonight because I knew what she was up to and I wanted to see her system. Everybody goes about it in a different way, but the results are the same--YOU control what you spend rather than the stores controlling you. And what a way to stock up--LOVE it!! It changes the way you shop--and I laughed when I told her that 50cents for a box of cereal IS NOT a good deal anymore!! There was a guy in there buying 6 boxes of Kelloggs' for 50cents...as in 50 cents for all 6 boxes. So make a plan. What do you want to accomplish with your weekly shopping trips? Learn a few techniques and put them to work. And the most important thought for shopping with a plan--It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

Panic...will there be enough Ketchup for everyone???

Starting tomorrow: FREE ketchup at Wal-Mart!! I just bet they love psycho shoppers like me. I won't be that conservative shopper who wonders how long it takes their family to get through a bottle of ketchup...I already know that it is it's own food group in our family. So here's the skinny on the fabulous deal. Wal-Mart has the Heinz 40oz bottle on a "Rollback" special for $1 a bottle. That is quite a deal by itself. But starting in the Albertsons' ad tomorrow there is a printed manufacturer coupon for $1 off Heinz ketchup!! For the mathematically-challenged...that equals FREE.


This coupon is a manufacturer coupon, but does have the Albertsons' logo on it. This shouldn't be a problem as Wal-Mart accepts "competitor coupons"--although, technically speaking, this is a manufacturer coupon and can be redeemed by the store who sends it in...thus Wal-Mart is the beneficiary of the reimbursement from the manufacturer. If Wal-Mart flings you any crap at the register, and it has been known to happen...just point out Wal-Mart's competitor policy and suggest that they follow the "retailer instructions" on the coupon. You're just the happy shopper out for a great deal. It's a 'Win-Win' situation, right?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Simple and Delicious...


So I made the most delicious dinner tonight...and it was easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. It's called Asian Chicken Thighs with rice and garden vegetables. Here's how simple it was...I dumped a 3lb bag of frozen chicken thighs (from Costco) into my crock pot this morning. I whisked together my sauce; poured it on and forgot it till dinner. The results=fabulous!! I love yummy dinners that taste like you've been cooking for hours. This one is a no-brainer if you like "asian" flavors.

Recipe: ASIAN CHICKEN THIGHS

3-4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 c. soy sauce
1 c. plum sauce
1 c. hoisin sauce
1/2 c. brown sugar
a bunch of green onions--chopped
one piece of fresh ginger--peeled and grated

Put the chicken in the crock pot. Mix the soy sauce, plum sauce, hoisin sauce, and brown sugar together. Pour over chicken. Throw the onions and ginger in. Put the lid on and let cook on low for 6 hours. I like to savor the sauce on the rice and vegetables, so I thicken it at the end by adding 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of cold water. Stir into broth until thickened. Serve with rice and vegetables. The chicken will melt in your mouth--and it's a sure crowd-pleaser. My inner-asian is smiling ;)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Freezer Meal Night


Last night we made a lot of dinners--about 130 to be exact. It was a organized crazy production. We made Maui chicken, Candied Chicken, Heavenly Chicken, Orange Chicken, Crab-filled crescent rolls, Pasta Fagioli, Pumpkin Pie Cake, Mexican Lasagna, Pineapple and Tomatillo Pork, Chicken Tetrazzini, Twice-baked potatoes, and Breakfast Burritos.



The results from 3-4 hours of food preparation: you don't have to cook dinner for 2 weeks the next month--or longer, depending on how many of each item ordered and how much your family eats. Some have said that you save an hour of time for every meal you have in the freezer that you can just throw in the oven. Frankly--making a meal takes a lot of time and it's not always time that we have set aside without anything else to do. We throw things together that sometimes make the kids go "hmmmm...." (or the adults :) or get something to eat on the run. Freezer meals save a lot of time and money.
Why I Love Freezer Meals:
Ready-made meals give us an hour of "free-er" time during the meal times. If we have places to be, dinner and it's preparation doesn't conflict with where we need to be. If you take a casserole out in the morning to thaw, it's ready to go in the oven when the kids get home and the running around starts. I especially love things that I can pour into a crock pot and let cook all day. My house smells like Super Mom's--like I've been prepping gourmet meals all day. When in reality, I probably hadn't even stepped into the kitchen since breakfast, unless it was to grab a can of sweet nectar from the fridge.
Money. Coming from the "coupon queen" perspective: most food is bought between the hours of 3 and 6pm. People are on their ways home from work, school and other activities. The price for dinner becomes irrelevant in comparison to the time crunch. Just a few trips like that every other day or so will put you in a financial crisis. With a ready-made meal at home waiting, the guess-work is taken out of what's for dinner and why you have to stop and deal with hundreds of other cranky, hungry people at the grocery store. Think of the $30 you'll save 2-3 times a week that you shelled out because you were hungry and in a quandary as to the main meal of the day.
I'm sure I could say more about the greatness of freezer meals...but another time, another menu will come.






Friday, May 14, 2010

SWEET Deal!!

Last night was an unbelievable night. I got lucky...literally.I didn't get to the store till 11pm. I had a raincheck for the super nice boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.99 a pound (and needed 25lbs worth for today's cooking group). I took my own advice and decided to take advantage of the Kellogg's Catalina deal while I was there. It pays to carry your coupons on you in an envelope in your purse because I hadn't planned on power-shopping at midnight with the nightlife of Spokane as my only company in the store. I did enjoy the check-out experience with no one staring at me while I mass-produced my savings right down to $21.51 for everything you see in the picture. **And I still had a $3 OYNO coupon for the next go around....

So what did I get? I bought 40 boxes of cereal (all free), 3 pounds of Fuji apples and bananas, 2 gallons of milk, 2 boxes of the most amazing mint Oreo cookies, AND 25 pounds of premium chicken breasts. It was such a serotonin rush, that I literally hauled my groceries in and went to find the camera at 1am. [This Catalina deal is good at Safeway through today--so print your coupons from the websites I added on 5/12 and get on down to the store!!]

The kids think we have a cereal fairy that regularly visits our house.. It comes in the middle of the night and leaves all kinds of cereal on the kitchen table. The myth is quickly burst in the morning when the queen of the fairies tells the kids that all of it needs to go downstairs to the food room. They turn into ogres and beasts--but are easily swayed with the promise they can keep a couple of boxes upstairs.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

FREE cereal at SaFeWaY!!

You gotta go check out www.safeway.com or look at the ads from the Wednesday circulars!
Safeway has a Catalina deal running on Kelloggs' cereal through this Friday (5/14). I would normally say BUY YOUR COUPONS now, but as there is no time till the end of the deal to get them by Friday, you must be creative--and it's possible. The Catalina deal is separate from the store deal. The Catalina is a print-out at the end of your transaction for the products you buy. For Kellogg's cereals it is printint till Friday, 5/14 at Safeway, and has different expirations for different chains. The coupon will be for--buy 3 boxes of cereal =$2 OYNO, buy 4=get $4 OYNO, and buy 5=$4 OYNO. Again, this is a promotional that is happening outside of the stores sale price and coupons.

So in the ad today there are 3 price points on cereal--$2 a box--Kellogg's 12oz Corn Flakes, Quaker Captain Crunch cereals, and Life. $2.50 on most General Mills, variety of Kellogg's and Quaker products not included in the $2 price; and $3 on you Kashi, Post Honey Bunches of Oats, oddball flavors of General Mills' cereals. So, buy 4--you get the $4 off automatically, then put coupons on it, and you still get the catalina OYNO at the end of the transaction. Score!!

There are several places that you can go to print your coupons for the Kellogg's' cereal.
Try www.coupons.com, www.redplum.com, www.snackpicks.com, www.kelloggs.com to start. You are allowed 2 prints per computer. If you have more than one computer, you're set!

You can get Kellogg's Corn Flakes (12oz box) for -.25 cents a box. I always say that things that a free taste better. I don't know if you're kids will think that, but at least it won't be painful to eat.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Freak Show on Wheels....


So I convinced Jeff to take six kids, by himself, to see the Reptile Man (a traveling freak show with multiple nasty creatures that elementary students seem to love)--while I took my own freak show on the road. Apologies to Kristine, who came with me...because I'm totally NOT referring to her. I had to go to Safeway to savor the last day of the Save $5 when you buy 5 Capri Sun deal. I had ordered 60 coupons off ebay and they were burning holes in my pockets till I got down to the store. Kristine only wanted a misely 5 coupons from my uber-stack of 60. Take note: I already bought 20 cases this afternoon from another store--I was just there to finish the rest of the stack before they fell out of my pockets with holes.
So we got to our local Safeway and I loaded my cart with 35 boxes of Capri Sun. The cart was barely "drivable" and you wouldn't believe the exaggerated eye poppers I got. Haven't people seen someone take advantage of a good deal?? OK. I will admit it...I was the Freak Show on Wheels. The cart was full and there was absolutely nothing in it but blue boxes. But I'm shouting from the rooftops--blog-style--that I just bought 55 boxes of Capri Suns for...drum roll, please....$33. I felt the rush of wild waters through my blood and knew that if I had anymore "native" in me--I'd be doing a tribal dance at the register. It was the thrill of the hunt...and 80% off regular price brings out the warrior in me. BTW--there is sales' tax on these drinks that I hadn't planned on--$26 would have sounded a lot better, but alas--not on this product. (Political soapbox is coming out of the cupboard). Since WHEN are juice boxes and pouch drinks lumped into the SIN TAX category with sports and soft drinks??? I'm a little perturbed that I had to pay sales tax on the item prices before the discounts were taken--adding a total of 61 cents to every transaction. That part just sucked....but I'm still a little chuffed that I don't have to buy this stuff at regular or even sales' price for a LONG time.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fabulous Cereal Finds....

So I was tooting the horn about the Fred Meyer deals this week and then I came across another one: Kellogg's cereal=$1.67 a box (limit of 6 per transaction). The Catalina deals are still going on through next week, so you get a $4 coupon back on 5 or more boxes of cereal. So there's 2 ways to do this deal. First option: buy a set of 6 cereals for a clean total of $10. You get the $4 Catalina coupon and you get to use three coupons instead of 2 on the total. So the math looks like this: $10 for 6 boxes of cereal
- 4 Catalina=$6 + minus off the coupons for a grand total of $3 for everything
50 cent$ per box
Second option: $8.35 for five boxes of cereal
-4.00=$4.35 + minus off the 2/$1 coupons for a grand total of $2.35 for 5 boxes
47 cent$ per box
It almost cerebral as to which option you like. I just know that both ways are pretty stellar. There's only a difference of of 3 cents per box...but way to stock up at a great price!! There is only one disclaimer: you have to do everything in separate transactions of 5 boxes or 6 boxes. Anything over 5 boxes of cereal only prints out ONE Catalina. You want multiple Catalina $4 coupons when you a buying in bulk. Be patient. Go later in the evening, or early in the morning to do more than one transaction. It's totally worth it.

Fred Meyer.......Founder's Day Deals

So it's Founder's Days at Fred Meyer this week. I was there getting a few things this afternoon and I thought it was worth a note to self and friends: 93% Lean Ground Beef is on sale in 3lb chubs for $5.97. That's $1.99 per pound. Great buy on that lean of meat! Barilla pasta is on an in-store coupon for 75 cents a box. Stellar price before coupons!! I even got a Catalina coupon back with my receipt for the pasta for 75 cents off. You do the math!! Tillamook Packaged Cheeses are 10/$10---fabulous because they are normally $3.29 (no coupon required to take advantage of this deal). AND the Fresh Express salads are buy one get one free, making them 99cents a bag.

Our family loves the Lighthouse salad dressings. They are a terrific deal this week because they are on the Buy 1 Get 1 free deal...and there's a coupon. You must take note: just because it's free doesn't mean that you can't use a coupon on it. So if the coupon says "Save $1 on two"--the only requirement is that you buy two...not what the price of each product is. So theoretically speaking: Lighthouse is normally $3.99 each jar. You get two jars (would have been $7.98) for $3.99 and then put a coupon on them (save $1 on one), the grand total for 2 jars is $1.99; each jar being about $1 each. That's a 75% savings on the product. That's the kind of deal you write about in your blog, right?

For any of you with kids...I guess Zhu Zhu Pets are the "in" thing. They are on sale for $6.99 a rat....ok--hamster. I subordinated myself to the 5 yr-olds demands and we bought "Nugget"--the gold-colored one that her friend Katherine has--same name, too. 30% savings off the individual prices meant that I didn't have to buy the bloody 3-pack to satisfy the kid. But the killer deal for the day was that all Barbies are Buy 1 Get 1 free. For Barbie-lovers, that's a GREAT deal. We got 2 Ballerina Barbies for $6.99. Yeah!! One for us, one for a gift for someone else...and we're all happy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An error in my ways....


I went to Albertsons' tonight to stock up on the good deals that I advertised via facebook, blog, and word of mouth. I had read that Albertsons' was printing 2 Catalina coupons, one for $4 and the other for $3 for a total of $7 off a $10 transaction; throwing coupons into the mix would make the deal $1 for 5 boxes of cereal. I printed every Kellogg coupon I could find on two different computers this morning. I was set...but the deal wasn't as sweet as I was hoping it to be. Spoiler alert: but it wasn't terrible either. I still had two $5 OYNO catalina coupons from last weeks' deals to start the night's purchases off to my advantage. My first transaction consisted of 2 large boxes of Corn Flakes, 2 boxes of Frosted Mini-Wheats, and a box of Fruit Loops, a bag of oranges, a bunch of celery, a gallon of milk, AND 2 packages of Dannon's Activa yogurt. The original total came up to $18.27. I gave Mr Cashier the golden coupons and my 2 $5 OYNOs...for a grand total of $3.27. A new $4 OYNO coupon printed at the register and got me onto my next roll. By the time I was done, I had 25 boxes of cereal and the groceries I mentioned before for a total of $10.27. I was a little miffed that I spent more than the $5 I thought I was going to spend...but I have to concede I did buy some produce and milk that I hadn't planned on. So, all in all, not a bad night. AND--I still have my $4 OYNO coupon to use tomorrow :)

5 Boxes of Cereal for $1!!!!

This will make your head spin. Go to Albertsons'!!!!

Buy 5 boxes of Kelloggs' cereals at $2 each. Use two Save $1/2 coupons (can print some for free from coupons.com) and you pay $8 for five boxes of cereal. Then you receive a $4 Catalina and a $3 Catalina. The final price for 5 boxes of cereal is only $1.

20cents a box...Can you beat that?

Cake, anyone?

Safeway has a great deal on Betty Crocker products this week. For every two products you buy, you get three free. Essentially, this is a Buy 5 for $5 deal--and like with most creative advertising, you have to decipher the real price on your own. For example, Betty Crocker cookie pouches (yum...we love their Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies) are $2.49. Holy Expensive, Bat Man! But when you buy 2, that's only $4.98 and you get three more packages for free. Thus, the price should really read FIVE for $4.98. Now put coupons on all the products. Smart Source put out 40cent coupons for this product on March 28th. You can look around your favorite couponing websites to see if you could print that coupon for free or do what I do....go to ebay and do a buy it now search for the coupons and buy them in a bundle of 20. Theoretically, I would buy 20 (one for every coupon) it four groups of 5. Each transaction could cost $2.98 for 5 pouches. That's 59cents a pouch. Somewhat of a stellar deal.

The other fabulous deal at Safeway this week is the drink selections for $2.49. When you buy 5, you save $5--making them $1.49. The 10pk Capri Suns are included in this deal and there is a $1 off coupon per box available, making the boxes 49 cents. I bought 3 bundles of 20 last night on ebay. Guess who's stocking up on drinks for school lunches and summer picnics?

There's some weeks that you look at the ads and there seems to be only a couple of things that are truly tremendous. That's OK. If it's free, get a years' supply. If it's nearly free, still consider a 3 month supply. If you are keeping the grocery journal and watching cycles in the things you are buying, you'll notice if it's time to buy that 3 months' worth or not. I got such a stellar deal on Capri Suns back in August that I didn't have to buy juices for lunches for almost 7 months. And I have you know that I'm shelling out 16-20 homemade lunchs per week. So--it's stock time at our house to get me to the next nearly free sale (probably in August).

Albertsons' is running their ConAgra deal from a couple of weeks ago, again. When you buy $20 in Hunts' products, you get $5 OYNO. Coupons, coupons, coupons. That's what makes these kind of deals so cost-effective. Need spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, pudding? Now's the time to look at the prices and what you can work out. Just remember that those tomatoes are normally $1.29 a can on sale for 75cents. Then when you buy it in $20 increments, you get the $5 OYNO back. When you buy 28 cans for $21 (before the $5 catalina kick-back), each can of tomatoes is 75 cents. With the $5 off that price, the cost of the tomatoes drops to 52 cents a can. Is there a coupon for Hunts tomatoes? Add that and the price keeps dropping. All in all--Fabulous deal. And when planning your purchase strategy (3 month supplies, and all)--just remember that these are canned goods that most likely have expirations in 2012. Stock up. It's just money in the bank.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Don't throw your EXPIRED coupons away!!

I saw this on The Krazy Coupon Lady's site. I've known about this for awhile, but didn't have a contact or address to send the coupons to. This is such a great and SIMPLE service, so I wanted to post it here with the address at the end for you.

It’s time to send in your expired coupons!
Pull out all your expired, clipped coupons,
DIVIDE THEM INTO FOOD & NON-FOOD,
put them in labeled baggies to separate,
and mail them to our new volunteer Cindy!
You have one week to mail your coupons in! Thank You!
More info on the Overseas Coupon Program below:

Did you know that overseas military members and their families can use expired coupons up to six months past their expiration? Families living in a far away country are often living on one income and money may be scarce. Let’s support our military by showing them some coupon love! KCL’s, we want to come together and pool our expired coupons to send to US military families in Japan!

Eligible Coupons:

•COUPONS MUST BE CLIPPED AND SORTED, AS EXPLAINED BELOW.
•Do NOT send coupons that are over 30 days expired.
•Do NOT send store coupons.
•ALL manufacturer coupons are eligible: printable, blinkies, peelies (if that’s the way you roll), tear pads in addition to newspaper coupons–
•They must be Manufacturer Coupons.
How do I send the Coupons?

Separate your clipped coupons into two categories: Food and Non-Food
Most bases have 2 stores. One is called the “Commissary” which is a grocery store and the other is the PX or BX which is a department store. We therefore ask you to sort the coupons into “food” and “non-food” bundles so that they can more easily be placed in the correct venue once they arrive at the base.

Label the Bundles

Try to use a baggie to separate your coupons instead of paper clips or rubber bands.

What’s Food & Non-Food?

Here’s the rule of thumb: It’s food if it can be eaten by humans, is usually eaten by humans, and is normally eaten to provide calories. For example, dog & cat food would be “Non-Food,” but Ensure or Slim-Fast would be “Food.” Vitamins would be non-food. Chewing Gum and Mints are food.

Is there a minimum donation?

No! Please send any coupons you may have. We only ask that you mail them only once a month. It will just be easier business this way!

ADDRESS FOR MAILING COUPONS:

KCL Overseas Coupon Program
c/o Cindy Carroll
215 Champion Hills Dr
Berryville, AR 72616

Doubler Coupons for Albertsons

In the Sunday paper today there is a "short ad" for Albertsons'. It starts today and lasts till just Tuesday. There are 3 in-store coupons availbable where Albertsons' will take a manufacturer's coupon, up to $1 and double it. It's a tremendous deal if you "layer" it strategically. You may consider trying to get a hold of a couple of doublers... Here's a scenario for the cereal deal:

General Mills Cereal $2.99
Cheerios, Golden Grahams, Kix, Cocoa Puffs, Reese’s PB Puffs
Buy 4, Get FREE Milk ONYO
Double the:
$1.00/2 – General Mills Cereal – (coupons.com)
$1.00/2 – General Mills Cereal – (bettycrocker.com)
$1.00/1 – Cheerios, Original – (cheerios.com)
$0.75/1 – Kix Cereal – (bettycrocker.com)
Final Price: As low as $0.49 each, plus FREE milk

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Freezer Meals....in May

Just letting you know now that the next freezer meal night is going to be Friday, May 14th. Just missed making your own fabulous Mother's Day meal ahead of time :) I'll need quantities and orders for each person by Monday, May 10th. You are welcome to invite a friend or relative as long as they come to help assemble and their orders are turned in by the deadline. I've kept the number of meals at 12 so
that we can get more done for the time we put into them. I've heard back from several of you (or your husbands...)about how much you are enjoying your dinners and can't wait for the next go-around. Everything is a new selection, with the exception of the Twice-baked potatoes and the Mexican Lasagna. So here are the menu choices:


1. Maui Chicken $5
2. Candied Chicken $3.50
3. Heavenly Chicken $6.25
4. Orange Chicken $2.75
5. Crab-filled Crescent Rolls $7
6. Breakfast Burritos (12) $8
7. Chicken Tetrazzini $7
8. Twice Baked Potatoes $4.25
9. Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Soup $7.50
10. Pineapple & Tomatillo Pulled Pork $5.25
11. Mexican Lasagna $7.50
12. Pumpkin Pie Cake $6.00

HUGE REMINDER: Fred Meyer has the 9x12 Glad OVENware on sale through the middle of May for $3.99 for the 2-pk. If you have a smaller family, amazon.com has the 8x8 Glad OVENware containers in an 18pk for $25+free shipping.Make sure that all the meat bags and "finished product" freezer bags are labeled with your name in permanent marker. All meals will feed a family of 6 adults...so plan your containers accordingly.

Statistically shown, for every meal you have in the freezer, ready to pull out and cook, it saves you an HOUR of prep time and lots of $$$. They are nutritionally sounder than processed or fast-food meals. The variety is extensive and exciting. I love the whole concept and production of Make-ahead meals. I'm willing to share my time and efforts because I really feel that this is a great time and money saver, but it's a LOT more fun to assemble the meals with friends than by yourself. Although, friends are not required to actually take on the endeavor, but many hands make the load lighter.