Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shop Smart Magazine

Are you familiar with Shop Smart magazine? This is one of my guilty pleasure magazines that I don't subscribe to (yet!), but often pick up when I'm out and about. It is put out by Consumer Reports and is full of great, unbiased information about which products are worth your money and which you can pass on. It also offers great advice on how to get the most for your money.

A couple tidbits of information that I learned from this months issue:

* Coupon usage is up 8% from last year. 67% of women reported using a coupon in the past month.

* Open Sky, a social shopping site that has "pro 'curators' who guide you to cool finds in four categories: food, style and beauty, healthy living, and home and design. They'll select one item a week, and you'll have 24 hours to snap it up at 30 to 60 percent off". I'll definitely be checking this website out.

* Many major retailers take returns of open beauty products. You should never get stuck with a beauty product that doesn't work for you.

This magazine tends to be a little more expensive, mainly because there are NO advertisements! Because it is published by Consumer Reports, they do not take any ads or free samples. They test all the products featured in the magazine and provide honest reviews. It's not very often that a magazine will tell you what products NOT to buy.

If you are interested in checking out Shop Smart, here are a couple ways you can save some money.

Look for $1.50 off peelie on the magazine in stores. All the copies at my grocery store had these, which brought the price down to $3.49.

Look for Shop Smart at Costco. I reguarly see this magazine at Costco, where magazines are 30% off cover price. The price at Costco would also be $3.49.

If you are interested in a subscription to Shop Smart, go through Ebates and purchase at Ebates offers 40% back on Shop Smart is $34.95 for 10 issues or $20.97 with your Ebates cash back. That brings the price way down to $2.09 per issue. Maybe it's time for me to get a subscription!

P.S. No one compensated me for this review. I just really like this magazine and think it is worth checking out!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grocery Store Round-Up: 6/29-7/5

I have fallen out of the habit of posting weekly grocery deals, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things. Each week, I'll highlight my favorite deals(s) and provide links to other blogs for the full match-ups. My favorite deals this week focus on everything you need for your 4th of July BBQ or camping trip.

Sweet Corn on sale $.33

Reser’s Salads on sale $2
- $1/1 printable coupon
= $1.00

See more Safeway deals over at Frugal Living NW

Fred Meyer deals are good through 7/2.

Stacy’s Pita Chips, 8 oz, $2.00
-$0.75/1 or $0.55/1 Stacy’s from 6/26 SmartSource
=As low as $1.25
Emerald Valley Kitchen Salsa, Hummus or Bean Dip, 12-16 oz, $3.49
-B1G1 Free Instant Discount
=$1.75 each when you buy 2

See more Fred Meyer deals over at Frugal Chic Living.

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast $1.69/lb

Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams, $2.99
Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows, $1.25
Hershey’s Candy Bars 6-packs, $3.00
-B2G FREE Marshmallows Printable Coupon (click the “Get Free Marshmallows” cloud)
-$1.00/3 S’mores Products from 6/26 SS or tearpad
-$2.00 instant savings
=as low as $3.99 for all 3

See more Albertson's deals over at The Coupon Project.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Somewhat Frivolous Albertson's Doubler Trips

I had 5 sets of Albertson's double coupons this week that I used in 6 transactions on 2 days. Still with me? I guarantee I will lose you by the end of this post. Here it goes.

Transaction #1
(3) Danimals Crushables ($2.00)
(1) Dan-a-ninos ($2.00)
(1) Gallon of Organic Milk
- (3) $1/1 Danimals coupons
- (1) $1/1 Dan-a-ninos coupon
- (3) Albertson's Doublers
- $4 instant savings on milk
= $2.79

Transaction #2
(4) Containers of bubbles ($0.50)
(1) Luna Bar ($1.00)
(2) Yogurt Blue Cheese dressing ($4.79)
- (1) $0.50/1 Luna bar
- (2) $1/1 Yogurt Blue Cheese dressing
- (3) Albertson's Doublers
= $7.58

We needed the dressing for a BBQ (veggie dip...yum!) and I was really glad I had the $1/1 coupons. Even with the doubler, I didn't think it was a great deal but it would have killed me to pay $4.79!

Transaction #3
(4) Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies ($2.50)
- (4) $0.75/1 Fiber One Brownies coupon
- (3) Albertson's Doublers
= $4.75
Received a $2 AND a $5 catalina! (Thanks, Coupon Connections)

Transaction #4
(1) People Magazine ($3.99)
(8) Honest Teas ($1.25)
(1) Diet Coke ($1.49)
(2) Tree Top juice boxes ($1.00)
- (1) $1/1 People magazine
- (4) BOGO Honest Tea coupons
- (1) $1/1 Diet Coke coupon
- (1) $1/2 Tree Top coupon
- $7 in catalinas from Transaction #3
= $0.00

Transaction #5
(4) Nature Valley Granola Bars ($2.50)
- (2) $0.50/2
- (2) Albertson's Doublers
= $8.00
Received $2 catalina AND $5 catalina AND FREE milk catalina (up to $4.50) (Thanks, Thrifty and Thriving)

Transaction #6
(4) Nature Valley Granola Bars ($2.50)
- (2) $0.50/2
- (1) Albertson's Doubler
- $7 in catalinas from Transaction #5
= $1.50
Received $2 catalina AND $5 catalina AND FREE milk catalina (up to $4.50)

So to sum it up, I spent $23.87 and still have $7 in catalinas and 2 FREE gallons of milk. All of these are manufacturer coupons so I will most likely take them to Fred Meyer next week where I can get the cheapest organic milk.

Obviously, some of my purchases were a bit frivolous. But sometimes you just have to go crazy!

Gaggle of Chicks + Gilt Sale

Gaggle of Chicks has teamed with Gilt Groupe to offer some great clearance deals. But even better, they are offering FREE shipping on all clearance items.

Step 1: Create an account with Gilt Groupe.
Step 2: Create an account with Gaggle of Chicks
Step 3: Click on the link at the top of Gaggle of Chicks for the Gilt sale.
Step 4: Shop (the best part!)

Here are some great deals I spotted.

Haba Squirting Duel Game $4
Regular Price $23

Caden Lane Audrey Tote Bag (Set of 4) $25
Regular Price $130. I see this on Amazon for $90.

Mermaid of Chili Pepper Costume $5
Regular Price $26
One size fits up to 25lbs 

Rite-Aid Trip: Saved 93%

Sorry there is no picture of this weeks' finds. I was rushing to get things cleaned up for some house guests and put everything away before taking a picture. Oops!

I had a scenario mapped out that would have made me money on this trip but as I was heading out, my husband put on his sad puppy dog face and said we needed more s'mores supplies. So I switched things up a bit and still did pretty good.

Regular Price
Sale Price
I Paid
Got2Be Dry Shampoo
$2/1 coupon (All You)
Crest Toothpaste
$1/1 (P&G mailer)
Oral B Toothbrush
$1/1 (P&G mailer)
(2) Kids Sunglasses
B1G1 50% off
$5/2 (Video Values)
$1/1 (printable)
(2) HoneyMaid Graham Crackers
$1/2 (6/26 SS)
(2) Hershey’s Bar 6 pack
$1/2 (6/26 SS)
(3) Kraft Marshmallows
(1)Free with crackers and chocolate
$0.20/2 (6/26 SS)

= $23.58
-          $3/$15 survey coupon
= $20.58
-          $2.69 +UP for Crest*
-          $2.69 +UP for Oral B*
-          $1 +UP for Excedrin*
-          $5 +UP for Sunglasses*
-          $4.99 Single Check Rebate for Got2B
= $4.21
Saved 93%

Is it just me or does it seem like stores are raising their "regular" prices in order to make their sale prices seem better? $4.79 for graham crackers???? Seriously? Would anyone actually pay that?!?!

Heartsy: Great deal on DSLR camera straps!

Yay! I have been wanting to get a cute strap for my DSLR camera for a while and now I'm glad I waited. Today on Heartsy, you can get a $15 credit to MonkeyNMonster for just $7! But if you are new to Heartsy, you will get a $5 credit, so you can pick up this deal for just $2!

You can then use your credit to design your own camera strap from the available fabric. You can choose 1 or 2 fabrics. These camera straps are $18, so just $10 after your credit ($5 for new Heartsy members)!

Sign up for Heartsy today to get this deal.

Now for the hard part, choosing which fabrics I want for my camera strap. I'm thinking #4 on the front and #15 on the the back. What about you?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Discovery Toys on Plum District

Today on Plum District, you can get a $40 voucher for Discovery Toys for just $20. I remember my mom hosting Discovery Toy parties when I was a kid and I was excited to browse their website and see some of my favorite toys.

I loved this MarbleWorks set when I was a kid. So many possibilities for building the perfect "rollercoaster" for your marble. It also makes a great rollercoaster for water.

Head over to Plum District to pick up your voucher. Last time I saw Discovery Toys on a daily deal site it went FAST. If you are new to Plum District, you will get $5 towards your first purchase.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Target-Saved 57%

Please excuse the small hand grabbing his new plates. He was very excited about these!

I was going to skip the Method deal because I only had 2 $1/1 coupons. But when I went through that aisle to see what was included, I found some $0.75/1 peelies on some of the bottles. Keep your eyes open for these.

Regular Price
Sale Price
I Paid
(2) Downy Retro Bottles
(2) $1/1 Target coupons
(2) $0.25 coupons (6/5 P&G)
Tank Top
$2/1 Target mobile coupon
(2) 2pks of Plastic plates
(2) Lipton Ice Tea Bags
$1/2 Target coupon
(2) Kraft dressing
$1/2 Target coupon
$1/2 coupon (6/19 SS)
(4) Method Cleaners
B3G1 Free
(2) $1/1 coupons (6/19 SS)
(2) $0.75/1 peelie coupons
(5) VitaminWater
B4G1 Free
(5) $0.55/1 (tearpad found at Rite-Aid)

= $25.55
Saved 57%

The $2/1 coupon for the tank top was a Target mobile coupon. If you have a cell phone with text messaging and internet access, you can sign up to receive these coupons. Go online to register your phone or text "COUPONS" to 827438. The cashier will scan the coupon right from your phone. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Rite-Aid Trip: $5.78 Profit

I made a quick trip to Rite-Aid on Sunday morning. But as you may have seen on Facebook, I messed up the Physician's Formula deal and had to go back. For some reason, I was thinking the Physician's Formula +UP reward ($5 +UP when you spend $15) would include some Physician's Formula I bought a couple weeks ago, so I only purchased one item. This doesn't even make sense now that I think about it. I blame the fact that I had only had one cup of coffee when I went to Rite-Aid. Luckily, I was able to correct my mistake.

Transaction #1

(4) Colgate toothpaste ($2.99)
(6) Stride gum ($1.00)
- $1/1 Colgate (All You magazine)
- (3) $0.75/1 Colgate (6/5 SS)
- (2) $1/3 Stride (5/15 SS)
- $3 off $15 Rite Aid Survey coupon
= 9.71
Received $13.96 back in +UP rewards

Transaction #2

Physician's Formula Mineral Correcting Primer ($10.95)
Physician's Formula Concealer ($8.95)
B1G1 50% off
- (2) $1/1 Physician's Formula (6/12 SS)
- $12.96 +UP Rewards from 1st transaction
= $0.46
Received $5 in +UP rewards
Will submit for full rebate on Mineral Correcting Primer (Try Me Free peelie)

Grand Total = $5.78 Profit

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Upcoming Albertson's Milk & Yogurt Scenario

Coupon Connections has confirmed we are getting Twice the Value coupons for Albertson's on Sunday. Check out the HOT scenario she put together! $4 off a gallon of milk will get your some FREE regular milk or some very cheap organic milk.

Dannon Activia, Light & Fit or
Danimals Crush Cup 4pk
Danimals Drinkables,
Coolision or Dan-o-nino, 6pk $2.00

Buy 4, Save $4.00 on Milk Instantly
$1/1 Dannon Danimals Product 6/5/2011 SS Insert (exp 7/31/2011)
$1/1 Dannon Dan-o-nino Dairy Snacks 6/5/2011 SS Insert (exp 7/31/2011)
$1/2 Activia 6/5/2011 RP Insert (exp 7/31/2011)
Final Price: $1.00 or Free after double
Buy 4 Danimals $2.00
Buy 1 Gallon Milk

use (4) $1/1 Dannon Danimals Product 6/5/2011 SS Insert (exp 7/31/2011)
use (3) Twice the Value Coupons, starting 6/25
Pay: $1.00 for all 4 yogurts and FREE milk!
Be sure to check out Coupon Connections for more Albertson's deals!

No More Rack

Are you familiar with No More Rack? This is a great site that offers eight daily deals on a variety of products. They often offer name brand clothing, shoes, and accessories. When you sign up, you will get a $10 credit in your account. Plus, No More Rack often adds credits to your account for holidays or just randomly. I have gotten $12 in additional credits since I signed up. Plus, shipping is only $2 per item!

Today, I decided to use my credits on a new summer purse. I got this cute purse in white for $7 ($27 - $22 in credits + $2 shipping). 

Sign up today to get your $10 credit. Use the code P1070 when you sign up, if it doesn't automatically appear in the box. Happy Shopping!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ebates = FREE Money (+JCPenney's Deal Idea)

I've talked about Ebates before, but I just wanted to remind you about how great this program is. It is absolutely the easiest way to earn FREE money.

Step 1: Create an Ebates account.
Step 2: Shop online

Easy, right? Plus, you will get $5 from Ebates just for signing up.

In addition to some of the online retailers you might automatically think of, Ebates also offers cash back at some more unique retailers.

Ordering pictures? Earn 8% back from
Buying a daily deal from Mamasource by Mamapedia? Earn 4% back on your purchase.
Booking a vacation? Earn 1-4% back from Expedia.
Sending flowers? Earn 16% back from FTD.

Ebates is currently offering double cash back to JCPenneys (6%). Combine this with a gift card promotion at Safeway and you can put together a sweet deal.

Step 1: Go to Safeway (by 6/19) and purchase a $50 JCPenney's gift card using your Safeway Club Card. Receive $10 Safeway catalina.
Step 2: Create an Ebates account and go through Ebates to the JCPenney's website.
Step 3: Add $60 worth of merchandise to your cart.
Step 4: Use the code BUYATIE to get $10 off your order (good 6/17 & 6/18).
Step 5: Use your $50 gift card to complete your purchase.

And here's what you will end up with for your $50 investment:

$60 in JCPenney's merchandise
$10 Safeway catalina
$0.10 Safeway fuel discount
$3 in cash back from Ebates ($8 if you are new to Ebates)

I found this bookshelf that matches a dresser from JCPenneys that I have in my son's room. Regular price is $199.99, but is on clearance for $79.99. The coupon code BUYATIE is also good for $15 off $75 or $20 off $100. Using the code, my cost would be $64.99.

For $64.99, I would get the bookshelf, a $10 Safeway catalina, $0.10 Safeway fuel discount, and $3.90 cash back from Ebates. Total value of over $215.00! And that is how you make a good deal into a GREAT deal.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Two Organic Daily Deals

Here are two great daily deals on organic products that you may want to take advantage of.

 Little Birdie is offering a $30 voucher to Peeled Snacks for $15. But when you sign up, you will receive a $10 credit which will bring your total to just $5. We love, love, love Peeled Snacks in our house. The pineapple ones are seriously amazing. I have bought several Peeled Snack vouchers for other daily deal sites and will definitely be picking up this one as well.

Plum Distict is offering a $40 voucher to The Spicy Gourmet for $15. The Spicy Gourmet offers organic free trade spices from India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Their website makes me want to run home and start cooking. If you are new to Plum District, you will get $5 off your first purchase bringing your price down to $10.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guest Post: Saving on Organic Products

This is a guest post from Heather from Because More is More. Too often, people think that couponing only works for unhealthy or convenience foods. Like Heather, I try to steer clear of many of those foods and have found that you can find deals on organic and natural products. Heather has some great advice for how to save on these products. Make sure to check out Because More is More for more deals and information. Thanks, Heather!


When my daughter was about a year old, I started researching about the food that I was feeding her...& I was horrified at what I learned.  I immediately began feeding my family organic products & noticed our budget went up, but I felt it was worth it (& I still do!).  At the time, the economy was great so I didn’t give it much thought.
Well, the economy is no longer great, however I am not willing to give up purchasing organic & green products, which means I need to pay less for what I need to buy.  This has taken some trial & error on my part, but I have been able to drop our grocery budget by 25-40% while still buying the same brands I had previously been paying full price for (gasp…full price…can you imagine?!).
If you have been considering purchasing more organic & green items, don’t be afraid to do so.  There are ways to save on organic & eco friendly products!
Here are a few ways to get started:
  1. Always stroll through the organic section of your store. Be on the lookout for peelies, blinkies, tear pads, etc.  My Kroger affiliate puts out a magazine that has great coupons for organic products in it.  Grab one (or three) & build your coupon stash that way.
  2. Head to the website of every brand that you like or want to try. Seventh Generation, Horizon, Earth’s Best, & many more have printable coupons right there!  Sign up for any newsletters (digital or snail mail) they offer because they often include coupons.
  3. Pay attention to coupons from non organic brands. Many brands offer both organic & non organic products.  Unless a coupon specifically excludes the organic product, you can use it on the organic item.  For example, if you see a coupon for $.50 off any S&W canned item, use it on their organic canned vegetables.
  4. Shop Trader Joe’s.  You can use coupons there!  It has to be a manufacturer coupon for a brand they carry, but yes…they take them!
  5. Shop Costco. Costco is stocking more organic & eco friendly items every day (or so it seems).  I buy my organic ground beef & organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts there.
  6. Shop online.  Amazon,, & all have great selections of organic & green items & often have outstanding deals.  Take advantage of those deals & stock up! 
  7. Shop locally.  Going green is about more than just what you buy!  Purchasing items produced locally will reduce your carbon footprint & get you fresher products. Additionally, you will be supporting your local economy!  Head to your local farmer’s market.   Buy directly from a farmer & buy in bulk.  This will cost a bit more up front (say, for a quarter of a cow) but it will likely save you in the end.  Join a CSA (community supported agriculture) & get fresh produce right from the farm! 
There’s just no getting around the fact that organic & eco friendly products costs more.  If you use your couponing & savvy shopping skills, the impact on your budget will be less than you might think.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

FREE Subscription to Disney Family Fun Magazine

Here's a great deal from Living Social for a FREE 1 year subscription to Disney's Family Fun magazine. When you purchase today's deal for $5, you will have the opportunity to watch a 30 second video for Windows 7. Watch the video and your Living Social account will automatically be credited with $5 which will be applied to today's purchase. So your total cost will be FREE!

Plus, if you are new to Living Social you will get an additional $5 for signing up. Sweet deal!

Click here to get started.