The Queen of Coupons Reigns......

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Walgreen's--XOXOXOX





Ok. I'm in love. I think Walgreen's rocks the boat with some of their deals. I was just perusing next week's ad--and not coming up with a lot of items that make for uber-savings because of Register Rewards...but still found some great deals that are worth mentioning, especially if you are still in Back to School-mode.


Next week's deals:

Copy paper [400count]--$1.99 (limit 3 with coupon)


Elmer's glue/5" scissors--29 cents (store coupon)


erasers (2 pk)/sheet protectors/index cards/poly binders/mechanical pencils/etc--39 cents


10ct pencils--19 cents


Highlighters--9 cents each


Crayola crayons--free after Register Rewards


Papermate 10pk pens/white poster board--29 cents


Expo dry erase markers--$3.99 (go to http://www.thekrazycouponlady.com/ to print the coupon that saves $2/2 for additional savings)


Kleenex--99cents a box (with store coupon). There are coupons on ebay for additional savings. Make sure to read the coupon carefully as to make sure that it is for the featured item.


Kind of a weird diversion, since I don't get groceries at Walgreen's...but they have a dozen eggs and packages of bagels on sale for $1.29. That seems like a fan-tab-ulous deal, especially as you are going in for those last minute back to school needs, right?


Keep in mind that you are able to place manufacturer's coupons on store coupons. This exponentially improves the sale price on a lot of things. For example, in this week's ad, Reach toothbrushes and Reach dental floss are featured in a store coupon for 99cents each (limit 3 per store coupon). I found coupons on ebay that were Save $3 on 3. Um. Yeah! It was the only set I could find, but I got 'em! I still had to pay sales' tax for the Governor's coffers--but at least it was only 26 cents for the three items, rather than $3.23 before coupons. [They adjusted the coupon down to $2.97...instead of the $3, because they won't give you a credit to take the items for free. It's all good.] So what would have cost $1.79 each, prior to the coupon, ended up costing me around a quarter for all three! Sweet deals--more XOXOs to Walgreen's.


And to Mary Lou "Who?"--a soon-2-be coupon GURU--that I met today on my dental supply run...it's all about how you use your coupons! Always use them on the lowest priced items, and combine store coupons with the manufacturer's whenever possible. Register Rewards are the "cream" for a sale well-shopped :) It'll bring out the obsessive/compulsive in you and before long--you won't buy anything unless you are stripping digits away from the price tags!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Walgreens......I HEART Them!!



With the exception of Sunday, I've been in a Walgreens' store everyday for the last 8 days! Human behavior masters say that it takes 30 days of repetitious behavior to form a habit. I don't know about that! I think habits can be developed in fewer repetitions then 30! Try...6 or 7 times, for me.


In the past, I've been pretty dedicated to Rite Aid with their Up Reward program. I love rolling the savings into the next week and seeing how much money I can save by layering the coupons on top of my Up Rewards as well. I've come home with some mega deals. For example, Stayfree Maxi pads were last week's hottest commodity . I got six 48ct packages for less than $1.50 for all of them. Yep! That's 288 pads for less than 1/2 a cent. Ok. They'll keep, for all of you wondering--or they will go to the local women's shelter for a FULL PRICE tax deduction. Ahh..........I LOVE the law of reciprocity! It pays to be generous. Anywhoo--I digress.


So I've been fairly monogamous with Rite Aid because the Walgreen's advertising gimmickry made it seem some limited and harder to work a great deal. And I was running into so many things that I wanted at Rite Aid that have become limited to so many per household and store card. I mean--Really! How many Rite Aid cards can a girl have? I've limited myself to 4. Ok. Maybe 5. But I'm OUT of phone numbers I can use! I'm having a difficult time keeping track of which card was the one used with the "limited" items. So I started looking at the competition for an easier game. What I noticed in the Walgreen's ad was that there were no exclusive limits...but rather, a limit of "per transaction". That's a whole 'nother way of thinking--and shopping! I know I can do multiple transactions...I'm a patient woman when it comes to not paying full price--and if I layer the Register Rewards in my knowledgeable way--with a fantastic coupon...I can save a truckload of money and still go home with a truckload of goods.


So I gave it a whirl last week with some of the back to school items and toothpaste. [I'm in accumulation-mode for items that we need for building hygiene kits]. What started out as just a few items turned kind of crazy by Saturday. Revlon had their nail polish on sale for $3.99, producing a $3 Register Reward per transaction. I added the $2 store coupon and the $1 manufacturer's coupon...and I ended up getting more in Register Rewards then I paid for the lone bottle. My OCD kicked in, and I ended up with 30 bottles of nail polish and $90 in Register Rewards. [The endorphins are going cerebral and zingy just thinking about it :] So how could I not buy them. Many thanks to the patient checkers. I've yet to have a bad experience with a single employee! That's really something to be said, as well. (By the way, Ashley's getting a heck of a Spa birthday party...and her friends are getting 3-4 bottles of polish each...because I'm cool like that!)


So I started using the Register Rewards first thing Monday morning on the items that also generated more of them. I bought an ungodly amount of Keebler cookies (remember, Register Rewards+coupons=free and a new $5 Register Reward), some really expensive Colgate Sensitive Toothpaste for 50cents (normally $5.49), which also generated another $4 Register Reward, Dial Body Wash (no coupon) but generated $3 Register Reward, Keri Body Lotion for zilch (generated a $5 Register Reward), and so on. I know that every week is NOT like this one. But I bought over 20 tubes of deodorant, 30 tubes of toothpaste, 20 bottles of lotion, 30 packages of cookies, tons of toilet paper, countless oddball school supplies, scotch tape, plastic cutlery, dental floss, Dove soap, and more!


On this Saturday, I'm loading up on the Revlon sale--again. It's 40% off--with a $3 Register Reward for each $10 purchase. I'm going to use the $2 store coupon plus $1/1 manufacturer's coupons in conjunction with a previous Register Reward. I anticipate that each transaction of $10 will quickly come down to no more then $1-2 per transaction, tops...and I'll get a $3 Register Reward each time. Ten transactions should do me and get me off to a great start for the following week's ads. The Register Rewards that I have right now don't expire till September 6th. So I may hold on to a lot of them to use for the ad after next, instead of the upcoming one. And if all else fails to spark my interest to stock up on--I won't let them go to waste. It might be time to replenish the birthday wrap and cards or stock up on Halloween candy early. Ooh. No worries. I'll spend it and it will be for a some great cause or another ;)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Savings in the Fine Print....



Sometimes I have privvy to some delicious scuttle-butt. This one is going to pay off BiG TiMe if you like Revlon Cosmetic products. Next week, Walgreens has all their Revlon products on sale for 40% off. You also receive a Register Rewards of $3 for every $10 purchased. Most of the super coupon shoppers are aware that there is a $1 off one Revlon Cosmetics coupons. But this is setting up to be a beautiful deal, because there is an In-Store coupon for $2 off ONE product available as well.

A little birdie told me about next week's sale and to make sure that I use my coupons from the store and manufacturer's as well. But what she didn't tell was about the Register Rewards. And spending $10 in make-up won't be hard, since that's the total before coupons. That tidbit came from the fine print in the sales' ad. So make sure that you are reading the microscopic paragraphs under the pictures of the goods. There might be some additional penny-pinching strategies that can be plotted in the game of savings.


For newer thrifty shoppers--the Register Rewards act like cash towards anything on the next sales' transaction. There is one caveat: if you use the Register Reward from an item to buy/pay for the exact same item--another Register Reward will NOT print. You make sure that you are using the Register Reward on something else; preferrably an item that will print another Register Reward.


This is one of those extreme savings moments when you can "layer" your coupons; ie. use more than one coupon per item in a transaction--starting with the store coupon, the manufacturer's coupon, and then the Register Rewards from a previous sale. But you have to remember that at Walgreens you cannot have more coupons/register rewards than you actually have products. Thus--this requires the "Filler" items to be used as well. And there are some great and inexpensive filler items from the in-store coupons in the ad, like 10 count Papermate pens, packs of erasers and pencil sharpeners for 29-39 cents; mini composition notebooks for 15 cents; and numerous other items for under $1.


Additional savings can be found when you use your Register Rewards and coupons in conjunction on items that generate another Register Reward. You roll your savings from sale to sale and keep the cost low on the products that you would buy anyways!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It Pays to Make Your Own!!




I just came across a blog tonight that had a recipe to make your own "Febreze". I thought that was pretty clever, especially if you are an avid Febreze user.


(Pets, kids, odoriferous foods occasionally drive us to our nasal limits).


Imitation is the highest form of flattery! So...here it goes thrice. There are a lot of products that we can make at home to not only save money, but to control the amount of chemicals and detergent that we introduce to our personal environment. This must have been on my mind for awhile now, because I went through my word documents saved on the computer, and found several articles with recipes attached. It was worthy of my attention, at some point.
http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2010/04/12/do-it-yourself-laundry-detergent/



Lots of people must be thinking of snipping the fat out of their budgets, because there are so many creative, and productive, ways to do that without eliminating the commodity. Hard times sometimes cause us to become our most creative and productive selves. And quite frankly, just because it comes out of a can--doesn't mean that it is the best product to clean with.


A little research on the secrets of homemade household cleaners may pay off big in the end. Sometimes Savings start with just a Simple thought, rather than going to the Shop :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back to $chool $aving$!!




Some people plan their major shopping events around the seasons of the year or days of the week. And although "Back to School" time is not officially a holiday--it is the second highest grossest sales' event in all shopping-dom. There are just certain things that need to be purchased at this time of year when they are at price-blaster amounts, rather than during the regular purchase year...namely office and school supplies.



With five kids in school, we buy a lot of stuff in August to get them ready to re-enter the land of education. Pencils, scissors, paper, crayons, markers, glue sticks, notebooks, backpacks.... There seems to be piles of stuff when I done buying...and then we get the dreaded list from the teacher and we have to go back and get a bunch more!! Every year is the same scenario--and not once have I ever regretted buying too much, because we seem to go through it. I usually find myself put out a little if I have to buy school supplies during the year at full price!



Case in point--last year I bought at least 100 glue sticks because I needed 80 for my preschool supply. I had 14 kids in preschool last year and glue stick reigns supreme in the cleanliest of adhesives for children that can't spell yet. In April, something happened that doesn't usually catch me off-guard--we ran out of glue sticks! Those little hummers cost at least 80% more in the Spring to replace then they did in the Fall. I spent almost as much getting just enough to get by as I did to stock the drawers for 8 months worth of goods! So just remember to PLAN, PREPARE before you PURCHASE so you don't overpay for your PRODUCTS! I think you would agree, 10cents a glue stick is so much better than 50-75cents a glue stick!



I'm a shopping philanderer. I'm not faithful to any one particular brand or store. If Target has my goods for the same price as Wal-Mart, I choose the less crowded store to shop. But sometimes stores have some smoking sales that I don't frequent, so it's in August and September that I reacquaint myself with Staples and Office Max for selected items. I also have to say that they know that I'm coming...because they have also changed their store policy about their major promotional items. You used to be able to buy a pack of pencils, erasers, or highlighters for a penny. Yep!! Those were the days. People like me--who divvied out pennies to their children and made them stand in line for their 10cents of glory--and hanging our heads in shame now, because the stores now require a $5 minimum purchase to get those beautiful penny finds.



But!! Now I just have to shop with a plan. Staples has multiple discounted items that are at tremendous discount, so I decided to create a $5 game plan that incorporates my needed products with the penny finds. I think that I won't be disappointed in the bargains--because I'll be thanking my planning efforts in April when I still have reserves for finish the school year.



I've been comparing prices on the staple items between most of the major stores. I don't like to buy store brand crayons or markers when I know that I can get Crayola and other well-known brand items at extreme savings. You can sure tell that inflation has hit some industries sooner than others, because I've only found one store that has had Crayola 24 count crayons for a quarter--and there was a limit of four! I remember when I could buy masses of them for less than 19cents a box. They were on "sale" for 40cents this week in one of the circulars, and that was the best price I've seen. Sure--the store brands and RoseArt ones are also featured, but they are the prices now that the Crayola used to be. Oh well. Probably wouldn't hurt to buy some for next school year--like, as in the next of the next, when you find a great deal--since they won't expire or go bad. Just sayin'!



Rite-Aid has a Crayola rebate check program going right now. When you buy $15 on Crayola products, you get a $2 mail-in rebate. Frankly--don't waste the stamp--go on-line and fill in the application and then just wait for the check to come in the mail. You are allowed 2 of those. This was a HUGE savings for me because last week all the Crayola was Buy One, Get One FREE. I was able to get high dollar items for a great deal--I paid for them with my Up-Rewards and I can fill out the application on-line for an additional $4 back. This week they are offering the same program, but now the promotional is Buy One, Get One 1/2 Off. You could also use the coupons for free macaroni and cheese for every 4 items purchased--I saw those coupons hanging by the Crayola products at Fred Meyer.

It looks like the Crayola deal from last week--Buy One, Get One Free--sale is going to reoccur next week at Rite Aid...with the single check rebate program still working through the end of the month. This was a super deal, especially if you had Up-Rewards that you can use to discount it even further.

Using my own tips--I perused the Target ad and started matching up the items that offered gift cards back for certain quantities purchased. I think I came up with a stellar plan in the Suave hair care department. I found Buy One, Get One Free coupons on http://www.ebay.com/. For every set of 4 twin packs purchased at $3.49 each--you get a $5 off gift card. I'm going to use those gift cards to stock up on Hanes' products (using the in-store coupons found at http://www.target.com/) and also the coupon from the Target Back to School catalog that came in the mail last week--Save $5 on any $50 purchase. And that gift card applies before coupons discounts...making a GrEaT deal in the works--with bonus gift cards at the end of the transaction, as well.





True Savings is all about how you LAYER it!! Make sure that you take advantage of the great back to school discount line-ups. Make sure that you don't forget to look at the stores you wouldn't normally shop for those sales--like Rite-Aid and Walgreens. Wal-Mart no longer holds the monopoly on the best savings in town! You can find a steal of a deal anywhere--if you're looking.