Thursday, March 31, 2011

Knowing Your Store Manager

Today, I learned the importance of one of the strategies I see all the time on couponing blogs....Get to know your store manager. My local Rite-Aid is the only place I shop every week at the same time. I've been a regular for the past couple months and the cashiers and manager have started to recognize me.

Today, I finally made it in to pick up the deal on the Finish tablets I told you about earlier this week. For the past several weeks, there have been 3 boxes of Finish tablets on the clearance shelf at my Rite-Aid. They did not have a price on them and I just hadn't taken the time to ask. But I figured today was a good opportunity to find out if they were indeed on clearance since there was a $5 +UP reward when you spent $15 on Finish products.

I took them up the front and asked the cashier to scan them. They rang up at full price ($6.49), so I figured they were just misplaced. But the manager was standing there and said "Weren't those on the clearance shelf? They are 75% off". Score!!!

I bought the 3 clearanced boxes and 4 additional boxes (on sale for 50%). My total was over $15, but my +UP Reward didn't print. The manager was still standing there chatting with me about couponing so I asked why my +UP didn't print. He said it was because the clearance items had to be price adjusted, so they weren't factored into $15 (I have another theory about this that I'll share in a minute). But he said, "I'll take care of it". He said I could find something else to buy and he would price adjust it. I grab 2 more boxes of Finish and he ended up price adjusting them both down to $0 (a $6.29 value). I did offer the pay the difference, but he said it was okay.

(9) boxes of Finish tablets (reg. price $6.29-$6.49)
- $3/$15 survey coupon
- $3.75 in coupons
= $10.67
81% savings

I know it looks like this is less of a savings than my intended scenario, but remember in that scenario I would have ended up with a $5 +UP reward. If I had rolled that reward into 2 more boxes of Finish, my total costs would have been $11.96. Math isn't my strong point, but trust me on this one.

My theory on +UP Rewards: Both times I have had problems with my +UP rewards printing, it has been when my total (after coupons) has been below the amount needed to trigger the +UP. Today, my total after coupons was $10.76. Even though I spent $15 on Finish products and have had clearance items count towards deals like this in the past, the manager stated this was why my reward didn't print. I have never had this problem when buying other items that bring my total over the required amount. My theory is that if I had spent an additional $4.25 on anything, my total would have been over $15 and my reward would have printed. This is just a theory, I'll do some testing and report back.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Upcoming Albertson's Cereal + Milk Moneymaker!

The coupon world will collide at Albertson's starting this Sunday (4/3) with several overlapping deals that will yield you 10 boxes of cereal, 3 gallons of milk, and some change in your pocket. Here's how it will work.

Albertson's Sale on Kellogg's Cereal = $1.67/box
Twice the Value coupons (confirmed to be coming in Sunday's paper)
Catalina offer for a FREE gallon of milk (up to $3.99) when you buy 3 Kellogg's cereals
Kellogg rebate offer for a $10 preloaded Mastercard gift card when you buy 10 participating products

The varieties of Kellogg's cereal that overlap all of these deals are Rice Krispies, Crispix, and Corn Flakes.

Are you still with me? Here's the step by step instructions for getting this deal.

Step 1:

Register on the Kellogg's site and print (2) of each of the following coupons:

$1/2 Crispix or Corn Flakes
$1/2 Crispix
$1/2 Corn Flakes


Print (2) $1/2 any Kellogg's cereal (link here).

Step 2:

Starting Sunday (4/3), head to Albertson's.

Buy (10) boxes of Crispix, Corn Flakes, or Rice Krispies (sale price $16.70)
Use (5) of the above coupons (-$5)
Use (3) Twice the Value coupons (-$3)
Pay $8.70

Receive (3) FREE milk catalinas (up to $3.99 each).

Step 3:

Submit the UPCs from each box for the Kellogg's rebate. The rebate form states this is a rebate for a $10 preloaded Mastercard that can be used for gas. It is unclear if it can be used for other purchases, but who doesn't need gas?

You can submit for up to 5 rebates (1 per envelope) and the offer is good until 12/31/2011. I would print 5 rebate forms now and then check your pantry for any of the participating varieties you may already have. No receipt is required for this rebate, just the UPC. Chances are there will be another sale before the end of the year on the participating products, so you can potentially get up to (5) $10 cards.

Grand Totals:
(10) boxes of cereal
(3) Gallons of Milk
$10 Mastercard
= $1.30 Profit!

Thanks to The Coupon Project and This Beautiful Frugal Life for the breakdown of this sale!

Groupon: $7 for $15 Ebay gift card

I love this deal today from Groupon. For $7, you will get a $15 gift card for Ebay. Go here to get this deal.

You MUST have an Ebay and a Paypal account before purchasing this deal.

Limit 1 per person. Gift card can be applied to shipping and taxes and used over multiple visits.

Thanks to Penny Pinchin' Mom for the heads up on this one!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rite-Aid: FREE Gum and Cards

There is a great coupon in this week's Rite-Aid for $3/3 American Greetings cards. My Rite-Aid had an entire section of $0.99 cards. I love having extra cards on hand for last minute occasions. I picked 2 birthday and 1 thank you card for FREE. If you don't get a Sunday paper, you should be able to find the Rite-Aid ad with this coupon in the store.

The Snickers eggs are not pictured. I plead the fifth on what happened to them.

Regular Price
Sale Price
I Paid
+UP Rewards Received
(8) Trident Vitality Gum
(4) BOGO (3/6 SS)

(3) Greeting Cards

$3/3 In ad coupon

(2) Orbit Gum
(2) BOGO (printable)

(2) Snickers Eggs
$2/2 (All You)

(5) Revlon Products
$17.23 ($2.19-$4.65)
40% off
(2) $2/1
$4 on $10 Revlon purchase

I also got another $3/$15 feedback coupon on my receipt. I am loving these coupons. The coupons randomly print on your reciept, but when you get one head to the website listed on the receipt and fill out a survey about your visit. You'll then be able to print a $3/$15 coupon.

Here's how I'm hoping to use my coupon later this week. I started using Finish detergent a couple months ago when it was free at Target and I love it. I love the pre-portioned packets and it gets my dishes (which I refuse to rinse) very clean!

Finish Gelpacs (20 ct)
Regular Price $6.29
Sale Price 50% off ($3.15)
Spend $15, Get $5 +UP Rewards

(5) Finish Gelpacs
- $3/$15 coupon
- (5) $0.75/1 coupon (3/6 SS)
- $5 +UP Reward
= $4.00 or $0.80/each
87% savings

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This Week at Target

I went to Target on Friday and had every intention of posting about my trip that night. Obviously that didn't happen and in the meantime I have misplaced my receipt. So my prices here are approximate, but you get the main idea.

Check out Totally Target for all of this week's coupon match-ups. And don't forget to check out the Target coupons available on

Regular Price
Sale Price
I Paid
(4) Crackers

(4) $1/1
B3G1 Target coupon
(2) Kids Socks

(2) $1/1 Target coupon
(2) Soft Scrub Total

(2) $1.50/1
(2) $1/1 Target coupon
Up & Up Plates
$0.50/1 Target coupon
(3) Hefty Bags

(3) $1/1
(2) Up & Up Cotton Rounds

(2) $0.50/1 Target coupon
(2) Revlon Emery Boards

(2) $2/1

Plus, look at all those catalinas:

$5/2 Revlon tools (Target coupon)
$2/1 Sally Hansen Nail Care (Target coupon)
$1/1 Purex laundry item (Target coupon)
$0.50/1 Ritz/Wheat Thins/Triscuit (Manufacturer's coupon)
$1/1 People Magazine (Manufacturer's coupon)

As an added bonus, a picture of my "helper".

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Wonders of Amazon

Remember when the only thing you could buy on Amazon was books? Well, times have changed. You can literally buy anything on Amazon these days. I can't remember the last time I was looking for something and couldn't find it on Amazon.

Here are a couple lesser known resources on Amazon. You can also check out my previous posts on the awesomeness of Subscribe & Save and the Amazon Mom program.

Warehouse Deals: Save up to 50% on bulk purchases. These items are discounted because they are reaching their expiration date.

I love these deals because you can often find great organic snacks that can be hard to find on sale. A couple weeks ago I stocked up on Earth's Best cereal bars and chocolate graham crackers for my son. I think am going to order these Nature's Path Chococonut Granola Bars. I haven't tried this flavor before, but I love the other Nature's Path bars that I've tried and can you really go wrong with chocolate and coconut?

I also spotted a couple other great deals.

Sprout Organic Baby Food, Sweet Peas (12 count for $5.99)

Special K 90 Calorie Cereal Bars (36 count for $8.99)

Manager's Specials: These are weekly deals on a variety of grocery items. This week I see a TON of gourmet chocolate treats.

Magazine Subscriptions: Amazon often has great deals on magazine subscriptions. Right now I see Marie Claire for $5 a year and Redbook for $3 a year.

Amazon Appstore for Android: I just got my first smartphone and I'm loving the Amazon Appstore. They have a ton of free apps and each day offer a paid app for free. Right now you can download Angry Birds Rio for free.

Amazon Student: If you have a .edu e-mail address, you can sign up for Amazon Student which will give you a free Amazon Prime membership for one year. Amazon Prime gives you free 2 day shipping on any order!

What else do you buy on Amazon?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Eversave $5 Credit

Sign up for Eversave today and get a $5 credit. They usually only offer a $2 credit, so today is a great day to sign up. Go here to sign up!

You can use your credit today or save it for another deal. Today's deal is $20 for a $40 credit to The deal includes FREE SHIPPING! I'm not personally coordinated enough to wear heels, but I did spot these cute ballet flats. You could pick these up for $15 with your new member credit. That is 81% off regular price.

Also, I just noticed that Eversave is now on Swagbucks. You can earn 23 Swagbucks for every $4 you spend on Eversave. After you sign up for Eversave, head over to Swagbucks and find the deal you want to purchase under Daily Deals.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Grocery Store Round-Up: 3/23

Each week, I will try and post my favorite deal(s) from each of the local grocery stores. Plus, I'll link you to my favorite bloggers who have the full list of match-ups for each store. Fred Meyer deals are good through Saturday. All the other stores are good through Tuesday.

There is a $5 off $15 in frozen foods in the Safeway ad again this week.

Lean Cuisine Frozen Entrees (Sale $2)
Buy 8

- (4) $1/2 coupon (1/2 SmartSource insert)
- (2) $1.50/3 printable coupon
- (2) $1/3 coupon from Safeway frozen food coupon book
Use $5/$15 frozen food in-ad coupon
Final price: as low as $.88
See more Safeway deals over at Frugal Living NW

Pop Secret Popcorn, 3pk ($1.50)- $0.50/2 Pop Secret (2/20/2011 Red Plum)
$1/2 Pop Secret Products
Final Price: as low as $1.00

See more Albertson's deals over at Coupon Connections.

Not a great week at QFC, but some good prices coming up during their 3 Day Sale (Fri-Sun 3/25-3/27).

Pork Back Ribs or Pork Tenderloin
$2.99 a pound

Fresh Asparagus
$1.49 a pound

QFC Large Eggs (dozen)
$0.99 (limit two)

See more QFC deals over at Queen Bee Coupons.

I did my weekly shopping at Fred Meyer this week because there were several things in the Sunday ad that I wanted to pick up. They have some great prices on produce this week as well. I bought organic apples, strawberries, and grapes for cheaper than my local fruit stand.

1/2 Gallon Organic Valley Milk
$2.50 each with in-ad coupon (first 2)
- $1/2 printable coupon
Final price: $2 each
See more Fred Meyer deals over at The Coupon Project.

A Word About Toilet Paper and Baby Wipes

After several months of serious couponing, I have come to a realization about toilet paper and baby wipes. Basically, I have realized these are two items I am not willing to chase all over town and will continue to buy the Kirkland brand at Costco.

Baby wipes: I recently bought a box of Huggies wipes on Amazon. They were marginally cheaper than the Kirkland brand. But I love the smaller containers that come in each box of the Kirkland brand. They are easy to throw in the diaper bag. I usually use about 3/4 of a container at home and then once it is smaller rotate that one into the diaper bag. No separate containers needed.

Price: $18.99 for 900 wipes ($0.02/per wipe). There is often a $4 off coupon in the Costco mailer bring the price down to $0.017/per wipe).

Toilet Paper: On a recent trip to Target, I literally spent an hour calculating the per square price of various brands on toilet paper. I ended up paying more than I should have and wasted a lot of time. My time is too valuable to worry about paying a few extra cents per roll. I love that the Kirkland brand comes individually wrapped and the rolls are huge. When my current supply gets low, I'll be heading back to Costco for my toilet paper needs.

Price: $17.99 for 36 rolls ($0.50/per roll or $0.0094/per square foot or $0.0018/per square).

I know that I can get both of these items cheaper, but my time (and sanity) are worth more to me. I save a lot of money on other items and it's kind of freeing to realize I don't need to chase down every baby wipe or toilet paper deal that comes along.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Target: Stationary Clearance

I stumbled upon 75% off clearance in the office/stationary section of Target this week. I love finding these sales. I can always pick up a few packs of cards or some cute office items. I even found a couple items I had coupons for to bring my total savings down to 85% off!

I was really excited to find 40 invitations that will be perfect for a wedding shower I am throwing this summer. You can't beat $3.92 for invitations!

Regular Price
Sale Price
I Paid
(3) Packs of kids Thank You cards

(4) Packs of Invitations

Crayola Stationary Box Kit
$2/1 coupon
Post-It Pockets
$1/1 coupon

Total = $8.92 + tax
Saved 85%

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rite-Aid: Moneymaker Trip

Another great week at Rite-Aid. I finally found some stock on the Johnson & Johnson items from last month that I had rainchecks for. Still no Desitin though. Which is really a bummer because my raincheck and coupons expire this week. Oh well.

As always, head over to This Beautiful Frugal Life for all the Rite-Aid deals for the week.

Regular Price
Sale Price
I Paid
+UP Rewards Received
(2) Lysol Wipes
$1/2 (printable)
(1) Veet

$3/1 In ad coupon
$3/1 (printable)
(2) Loreal Go Clean Face Wash
B1G1 50 % off
$2/$10 purchase (VV)
$2/1 (VV)
(2) $2/1 (3/20 Red Plum)
Physician’s Formula Organic Mascara

$5/1 (no longer available)

Physician’s Formula Powder
$5.95 (clearance) + B1GI 50% off


(2) J&J Bedtime Bath
$0.99 (Rain
check price)

(1) J&J Shampoo
$0.99 (Rain
check price)

(2) J&J Detangler
$0.99 (Rain
check price)
(2) $1/1

Total = $14.12

-         Received $7 +UP Rewards
-         $1 Single Check Rebate on Lysol
-         $9.95 Physican’s Formula Rebate

Grand Total = $3.83 profit

Check out your store for clearance Physician's Formula items. All Physician's Formula are Buy 1 Get 1 50% off and this does include clearance. I found a powder (in my color) on clearance. I paired it with a organic mascara with a Try Me Free sticker and a $5 off coupon. I'll get both items for FREE.