Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Albertsons Shopping trip 6/14

We had doublers this weekend.... here's my shopping trip:
Retail: $71.35
OOP: $4.70

How I did it:
Transaction #1:
3 Ken's Dressings on Sale for 3/$5 (or $1.67 ea)
Used (3) $1/1 Kens Dressings MFQ's
Also used (3) twice the value Q's
OOP: .18 (Just the tax)

Transaction #2
6 'Wet Ones' @ $1.00 ea
Used (3) $1/2 MFQ's
Also used (3) twice the value Q's
OOP: .36 (Just the tax)

Transaction #3
1 Ken's Dressings $1.67 ea - used $1/1 + 2x value Q
2 Coffee-Mate Creamers $2.99 ea- used $1/2 + 2x the value Q
1 Dole Ceasar Salad Kit $3.49- used .75c/1 Q + 2x the value Q
1 Snow Peas $3.49 ea
1 Snap Peas $3.49 ea
2 pks Green Onions $1.69 ea
1 pk Blueberries $1.99 ea
8 Cokes + 8 candy bars (Sale: 2/$1 + 2 Free candy bars wyb 2) = $4
Silk cocunut Milk $3.89 - Used Free Milk Catalina
Also Used $20 off in store purchase Catalina (from last weeks gift card deal)
OOP: $4.16

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The NITTY GRITTY -How does it work??

I am getting more and more requests for: "How I do THIS"

Ready for the Nitty Gritty?

My method has a very specific pattern.

#1- Get Coupons....But where?
  • I get my inserts from the Sunday paper.  I do not get a paper the rest of the week.  Check your local paper for their 'Super Sunday Coupon Special' (most places have one) and sign up!  My Idaho Statesman costs me $3.13 per week for (5) papers.  There are a lot of other coupons that come in the paper besides the regular inserts(P&G, Red Plum, SmartSource). Ie: Last Sunday there were Michaels & JoAnns 40% one item coupons *sidenote- Joanns takes competitors coupons, so you can use all of these there and only have to take one trip*  There are also a lot of times JCPenney, restaurant, ect, and always ads for the local grocery stores.  Albertsons doublers come in the Sunday paper as well.  My grandmother in law just told me that she is going to start sending me her coupons too, because she doesn't use them, and I have a friend from high school that also clips and sends to me.  Ask neighbors for their inserts or keep your eyes open at work Monday morning for the paper.
  • E-Bay.  There is a MASSIVE database of coupons on E-bay for just about anything you can think of.  I do not just buy coupons impulsively on there.  The best way to make it work is after you find a sale for something is to get on e-bay and find the cooresponding coupons you need to make the sale price even sweeter.  Don't forget wierd things like *Auction ending times- I try to only do 'buy it nows on coupons unless I don't need them that week. *Shipping time- want to make sure you will get them in time for the sale! *Expiration dates!!!- Some jerks on e-bay will keep a coupon up for sale even after it is expired.  That sucks!  *Give your seller at least one business day to send the coupons and allow at least 3 days for them to get to you.  So in other words, if your sale runs Sun-Sat, you better make sure your coupons are won AND paid for by Monday morning.
  • (*Inserted on 5/25/2012)- I'm not so interested in Coupons off E-Bay anymore- Too many shady situations- try a reputable coupon clipping site like this one- cheaper and faster.... all around.
  • Peelies and on the package.  If you keep your eyes open at the store, there are SO many coupons stuck to products or on the package for next time!!!  Most you can use right then and there, but others you actually have to cut off the box.  Sometimes there is a nice surprise and you will find coupons inside your products!
  • Print out online:
    • (has a coupon database)
    • Most brand websites
    • Facebook (like brand pages & you get access)
    • (Holy cow the motherload of deals) Target lets you 'stack' MF coupons on top of their 'Target' coupons..... totally like doubling.
  • Walgreens. They have a monthly coupon book that has reusable coupons inside that you can also 'stack' with MF coupons.  They also have random coupon books that are 'Walgreens' coupons (stackable) such as the Infant Care Guide, Spring Beauty Guide, ect.
  • Flyers in the store/The little Black Box. Every month, Albertsons has a mini magazine with coupons and recipes in it (It has a coupon for a $25 Alb's gift card when you transfer or get a new prescription at their pharmacy.)  You all know the little black box that spits coupons at you.  Don't take them all!
  • If you are lucky enough.... Sometimes people will leave coupons on products.  (I do this with my coupons that are about to expire that I know I won't or don't need to use)  I call it my coupon fairying :)
#2- Make yourself a coupon organizing system.  I, (as a lot of other coupon crazies) use a binder with baseball card protector inserts.  I also keep track of all my receipts each month in an envelope in that binder

#3- Sign up for a blog or five that breakdown the best deals and tell you what MF coupons to match those deals with.  If you like to do your own investigating, just pick through your local ads and match the sales with the coupons you have (or if it's a smokin sale and you don't have a cooresponding coupon, try to find a printable one on a database or if you think you have time to wait, get some off E-bay.  some sales are good enough that you don't even need a coupon, but when you have one, sometimes you can make money... I know.  Rediculous.  Here is an example:  THIS WEEK at Walgreens, there is a specific colgate toothpaste on sale for $2.99.  A couple weeks ago a coupon came out in one of the inserts for .75c off ANY colgate.  Then after you pay, you get a $3 Register Reward (also called Catalinas).  So here is your breakdown:
  • Buy (1) Colgate toothpase on sale for $2.99
  • Use (1) MF coupons for .75c off
  • Pay $2.24 + tax and.....You get a $3 RR
#4- Plan your shopping trips to a T. 
  • Make your list for each store (along with the limits and ad if possible)
  • I organize the coupons I am going to use into separate envelopes for each store I plan on visiting
  • Make sure to have your coupon binder with you. (You never know when you might find something on clearance that you have a coupon for!)
  • Limit yourself.  Buy ONLY what you plan on buying and have coupons for.  If you don't have a coupon for it and it is not on sale, and you do not HAVE to have it to make dinner tonight or lunches tomorrow, it can wait. 
  • When there is a FANTASTIC sale on Toilet Paper and you have 20 coupons for that sale brand specifically, STOCK UP.  SUPER deals run their course and come back around every couple months or so.  Who does it hurt to have a couple months supply of TP?  However, if you know that you will be doing this at the begining of the week, give the manager of the store you will be going to a heads up that you are going to be buying X many of that item so that they can order additional in for you and still have some for everyone else.  Don't be a rude hoarder!
#5- Watch your budget and track your spending & savings!  You will impress even yourself at the end of the year :)  Pretty easy, right?

This weeks mission was to stock up on cereal and spices (remember my McCormick coupons from a couple weeks ago?)

Monday: Walgreens, Albertsons & Walmart
Retail Price: $304.57
OOP: $101.97 + 2 FREE Gallons Milk & a $10 VISA Gift card from Kelloggs

Tuesday: Albertsons
Retail Price: $134.08
OOP: $44.06 + 3 FREE Gallons Milk & a $10 VISA Gift card from Kelloggs

I am always open to questions or if you need help finding a deal on something you need.  Let me know and I am happy to help you save!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Emergency Substitutions | Recipe4Living

Emergency Substitutions Recipe4Living I think I just saved my own life by finding this!

Reduce, Reuse, Freecycle!

When I went back to Alaska last November I went to visit a friend of mine, Sue.  I had my son with me (8 months at the time) and when I got to Sue's house, I noticed she had a TON of baby toys on her counter.  I said something to the effect of  "I bet Grandma Sue will let you play with these" (To Tyler)... She said "Oh no!  Not yet, I have to sanitize them... I got them off Freecycle!  Whats Freecycle?!  I've never heard of it, but 'FREE' is in the name, and I LOVE free!!!  So she explained to me that it is kind of like Craigslist, but the catch is, you can not advertise to 'sell' anything or 'buy' anything...Only FREE items.

Easy to sign up....find your local network, join the group and then you can post anything on there that you want to give away, or you can post items that you are in need of..... nothing too big (though I wouldn't ask for a house) or too small.  I have seen people post on there that they NEED exercise equipment, couches, beds, cribs, down to small items like baby food jars.  Also- nothing is too wierd....boxes of envelopes, wrapping paper, spoons, broken toys, ect.  Whatever as long as you would rather it went to someone than in the landfill!  It's nuts and it's FREE.  I LOVE IT!  Check it out!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Homemade Conditioners

Just got off the phone with an old and very dear friend that said:
"I need good conditioner that doesn't cost me a lot! My hair is dry" :(  Your wish is my command!

Here are a couple Homemade Conditioner recipes that I found on

Coconut Avocado Therapy

The creamy consistency of both ingredients infuse your hair with moisture.


  • 1 avocado, mashed (Going bad? Use for this instead of trashing)
  • Coconut milk (Find this on clearance- even if expired, no problem- don't pay $3 a can for it!)
Combine mashed avocado with some coconut milk. Comb it through the hair and let sit for 10-15 minutes, rinse out. 

Rosemary-Honey Hair Conditioner

The extremes of heat and cold we endure throughout winter can make even the greatest of hair look and feel like straw. This nourishing conditioner blends honey for shine; olive oil for moisture and essential oil of rosemary to stimulate hair growth.


  • 1/2 C. honey
  • 1/4 C. warmed olive oil (2 Tbs. for normal to oily hair)
  • 4 drops of essential oil of rosemary
  • 1 tsp. xanthum gum (available in health food stores)

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour into a clean plastic bottle with a tight fitting stopper or lid. Apply a small amount at a time to slightly dampened hair. Massage scalp and work mixture through hair until completely coated. Cover hair with a warm towel (towel can be heated in a microwave or dryer) or shower cap; leave on to nourish and condition for 30 minutes. Remove towel or shower cap; shampoo lightly and rinse with cool water. Dry as normal and enjoy shinier, softer and healthier hair the natural way.



  • 1/2 C. mayonnaise
Depending on the length of your hair, apply approximately 1/2 C. of mayonnaise to your dry hair. Work into hair really well and then cover your hair with a plastic bag, allowing to set for about 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and then shampoo as usual. 

Hope one of these helps!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Homemade Healthy Scalp shampoo

Homemade Healthy Scalp (Herbal Hair Growth) Shampoo

I haven't used this yet, but Scott is all over it!!!  It's not very cost effective, but if you don't like the idea of putting chemicals of all sorts on your body, then give it a try!  If you grow the herbs in your garden, then it actually would be quite cost effective.   I got this recipe from and there are TONS of other cool things on there!


  • 2 C. distilled water
  • 1 C. fresh spearmint
  • 1 C. fresh rosemary
  • 1 C. all-natural, gentle baby shampoo


Boil the water with the fresh herbs for about ten minutes, in a glass saucepan (I don't have one, so I made do). Or, you can put in a microwave-safe glass or plastic bowl and heat in the microwave until boiling; allow to boil for about ten minutes. Then, remove the pot from the stove or bowl from the microwave and cover with a lid. Allow to sit and steep for an hour.

Strain the liquid through cheesecloth.

Mix this with the baby shampoo.

Pour into bottles and let set overnight. The next morning you can add some essential oil to the shampoo in whatever scent you like the most, or just leave it fragrance-free.  I added Spearmint Essential oils and made the mistake of putting it in a small circular jar on my porch for my friend.  I had a couple people question what the heck was on my porch (as you can see the color).  Oops!

Last week's deals:
A LOT of Clearance deals this week (my favorite) but the best deal of the week was at Walgreens- Did you get your FREE plackers?

Went to Walgreens 2x this week. 

Day 1:  Retail $103.45 , I paid $26.00 -75% Off!

  • These little finger skateboard things were on Clearance for .64c a piece.  My original though was (get some presents for birthday parties stockpiled)  When I got home, my husband asked me if I got the complete set!  Well, went back the next day and bought all the rest.  Can't beat .64c!
  • The plackers were on sale for $2 and you got a $2RR = FREE!  I heart Free :)
  • Airwick Airfresheners were B1G1 at $7.99 retail.  There were $4/1 coupons for them last Sunday. By 2, use 2 $4/1 coupons= FREE!
  • Snickers Creme Eggs- Sale 2/$1- Used coupon $1/2 Mars products from last weeks insert =FREE
  • Brita (filter inside) waterbottle- Reg price $9.99, Clearanced for $2.59

Day 2: Retail $78.95 , I paid $19.97  -75% Off!
  • Mostly clearance items, but the hair dye were clearance for $4.59 and I had a $5/2 coupon = Cheap dye! Also, I'm done with my Easter baskets (As soon as Tangled releases tomorrow, that is!)

This week's prospects:
  • K-Mart is offering UNLIMITED coupon doubling up to .99c from March 27th- April 2nd.  I am so excited about this one.  Gonna probably go a little too crazy.  I would assume that this is nationwide, but you should check with your local K-Mart if there is one near you. *Note you have to have a K-Mart 'rewards' card to get this deal.
  • Walgreens
    • Store brand diapers.  They are on sale for $5.99.  Use a $2 off coupon (Found in the Walgreens Infant Care Guide).  $3.99 each after the coupon for a jumbo pack
    • Skintimate Shave Cream or Edge Shave Cream.  2/$4 Use the .55c off (1) coupon from yesterday's insert and recieve a $2 RR WYB 2.  Makes these a little more than .50c each
    • Colgate total advanced toothpaste. 2/$6 Use the $1.50 off coupon from yesterday's insert and recieve a $4 RR WYB 2.  MONEY MAKER :)
There are a lot more great match ups, but these are the only ones I'm hitting this week.  I gotta slow down on my stockpile! 

Ok as ALWAYS, I will suggest that you check out for super coupon/ sale match ups.  I also recently subscribed to another coupon blog called 'I love to Gossip' - It's the sister of Ashley (3rd girl left standing or 2nd runner up however you look at it) on the recent season of the Bachelor, and the new upcoming Bachelorette!  She also does match ups and I believe she is on the East coast.  I am not by any means a pro, but I hope to be there someday!  Until then, I will use the awesome resources that I can find and share anything that I can with whoever wants to know!

Make your own YOGURT!!!

I just ran across this site that shows how to make your own yogurt for pennies on the dollar....

Just wanted to share!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Budgeting & Weekly Savings

A few years ago, one of our topics at church was saving, being debt free and using Gods money wisely.  There was a video sermon for a period of 4 weeks featuring Dave Ramsay.  I wanted to share his 'Envelope System.'  We went through his courses offered at our church and also purchased Dave Ramsays Financial Peace University to get us started.  For more information  visit

The way we budget our money is quite simple.  I have our budget for the next 2 years already figured out into an excel spreadsheet.  First I set up a page that shows all monthly expenses.  This includes everything, insurance, mortgage, credit cards, student loan, and any other automatic withdrawls that we have on that account.  We also have both of our paychecks direct deposited and they are the same every paycheck so I know exactly how much is going in.  

Step 1: Find out your monthly guaranteed expenses and guaranteed income.  Coming in/Going out.
Step 2: Decide a comfortable amount to 'budget' for Food, Gas, Clothing, ect. (You choose your variable items to budget).  Once you decide how much your variable items are going to cost you per paycheck, double the amount and add to your monthly guaranteed expenses spreadsheet. 
Step 3: The way I have my budget set up as follows (for example)

May 20th DepositsBalances:
Alaska USA
prev. bal:(carried over)20-May$xxxx.xxCheck # to Exceed Learning Center -Daycare
Scott check$xxxx.xxMail 20th$xxxx.xxCheck # to GMAC for June Mortgage- due 1st 
Kristina Check$xxxx.xx20th$xxxx.xxPAYOFF CAR LOAN  
21st$xxxx.xxIdaho Power
21st$xxxx.xxIntermountain Gas
5th$xxxx.xxCity of Meridian
A W/D20-May-$20.00Boise Milk Company
A W/D27-May-$20.00Boise Milk Company
A W/D1-Jun-$37.50Anytime Fitness- Gym Membership
AKUSA Balance$xxxx.xxTotal$xxxx.xx

If you notice, there is a remaining balance from the previous week carried over to the next week when we get paid again.  Where it is listed -$500 for Envelopes, that is my pre-budgeted $$ that I withdraw every payday and distribute into my 6 cash envelopes:

$50 for Scott Gas & lunch out 1x per week
$150 for Kristina Gas & lunch out 1x per week
$200 for Food
$35 for Pet food
$15 for Haircuts
$50 for clothing & gifts

The way this system works is: When the money in the envelope is gone, it's gone!  You have to wait for the next paycheck if you spend it all right away.  It doesn't really pay off to 'steal' money from another envelope either, because you will throw off your whole budget.  Also- I started puting $15 in a haircut envelope every payday so that there is always $ there when Scott needs a haircut (typically every 5 weeks) but then there is always extra so that when I have to go (and spend considerably more) there is also enough for me to get my hair done. 

If you don't have a lot of debt and maybe 'extra' money to put in envelopes, then you can make your self other types that aren't so essential!  Maybe you have a strange addiction to buying baseball cards (I don't know) .... Make yourself an envelope for your hobby...only lets say $25 a paycheck can go into that.  Or maybe you are very crafty so you buy a lot of paint or sewing materials.... make an envelope.  Some other good examples would be to make an envelope for fundraisers, charities, children's allowance, vacation fund, car maintenance, landscaping, remodeling fund, ect ect ect!  You could really find a million different categories to make envelopes for, but I would suggest sticking with necessities unless you are debt free.

I highly encourage you to check out Dave Ramsay's information.  It is really fabulous.

Ok, now here are my weekly deals:

3/15 Shopping

Albertsons: Retail Price $63.70, I paid $6.09
Walgreens: Retail Price $59.98, I paid $18.50

Grand total: Retail $123.68
I paid $24.59  80% off!!!

There was also FREE bread and hamburger/hot dog buns sitting out at Albertsons that I got 1 of each.  And the eggs listed above are Farm Fresh from someone at work.... I snagged for $1 for a dozen.
Albertsons was doing doublers and I used Walgreens match up deals from

3/16 Shopping

Albertsons: Retail Price $111.85, I paid $14.97
Walgreens: Retail Price $149.91, I paid $43.09

Grand total: Retail $261.76
I paid $58.06  78% off!!!


Walgreens Diapers
On sale- B1@ $8.99 Get 1 Free
Use your $2 off coupon from the Infant Care Coupon Book and it will automatically scan 2x
End price: $2.50 each

Kraft BBQ Sauce, Propel & Jello
Albertsons has a special this week where if you buy 10 qualifying items (the three above were all included) then you automatically get $5 off.  Just so happends that I had (5) .75 cents off 1 bottle of kraft bbq sauce from last Sunday's paper as well as a $1/2 for the propel
BBQ sauce Final price- .25 cents each
Propel Final price- FREE
Jello Final Price .79 cents

Hearing Aid Batteries (I know- why the heck did I buy these)
Here is why- At the Federal Way Albertsons in Bosie there is a gigantic bin of hearing aid batteries on clearance for .75 cents each.  A couple of weeks ago (I think it was the big P&G coupon insert) had coupons for $1.50 off a specific type of hearing aid battery.  They were FREE AND I was paid .75 for each that I took out of the store!  I am now selling those on E-bay for way cheaper than someone could get them retail for and I  might make a couple bucks for matching my coupon up with a clearance item.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday 3/14 doubler shopping:

3/14 Albertsons Doublers shopping:
Retail: $88.61
Paid $24.06
Whoo Hoo!!  Today I got 73% off my groceries!

Bed Bath & Beyond........Spices, spices everywhere

This Sunday's coupons insert had a $1/1 McCormick spice coupons....AND Albertsons doublers.  Perfect time for me to 'out with the old, in with the new' with my spices.  Apparently Spices don't last for 10 years like I thought.  If you don't store them in the freezer then they have like a 1 year shelf life and then lose their potency!  BOO!  I don't have room in my freezer for all my spices and the whole darn spice cupboard is a cluster to begin with, so I am doing a Spice Re-Org :)  I already get 5 Sunday papers, so I got 5 of the coupons and just bought 20 more on ebay. 

I asked Scott earlier today if for my birthday if he would make me a spice rack (with his handy dandy woodworking skills) to either hang on the wall or that we can connect to our cupboards.  I searched for spice racks on E-bay also to see what there was out there and I found this fabuloso thing:

Only problem here is that on e-bay, some nutjob seller wants $35 as a buy it now price + like $16 s/h.  I don't think so.  I just searched on Bed Bath & Beyond's website and found the same thing! FOR $24.99 RETAIL.  Of course we all know that I won't be paying retail for anything at Bed Bath and Beyond.  Most of us get the 20% off coupons in the mail as well as the $5 of $15 ones on the back of their monthly ad.  I think I will go there, get 2 of these and use 3 of my $5 off coupons and pay $35 (Oh wait, isn't that how much the dude on e-bay wanted for just one...before shipping?

BTW Bed Bath & Beyond is one of those places that you can get killer deals at.  Stash those coupons they send you, because they ACCEPT the EXPIRED ones.... and they also will let you use as many of them as you want in the same transaction (you obviously can't have more coupons than items, and you still have to follow the coupons instructions) but this makes for super savings!

So I am in the midst of getting all new spices and a new spice rack..... we will see if my hubby makes me one or I go with the fancy BB&B deal.  Oh and P.S. I am thinking that Walmart will have a better selection on spices and a better price than Albertsons, so if you are going to try to stock up on them with the doublers, you might want to shoot for Wal-Mart.  The coupons don't expire until late April or later, so if you look on e-bay for them, you will have plenty of time to wait for another doubler weekend. (Unless you are lucky enough to live in a state that does doublers!)  I envy you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Soap Box -Then the 3/8 Shopping Extravaganza

A lot of you have asked me how exactly the whole 'couponing' thing works, so I am going to start working that out for you all!  First a side note......

Here is my soap box:  Now, I have ALWAYS been a pretty darn saavy shopper- looking for sales, finding coupons to go out to eat, buying local yearly coupon books, giving into fundraisers, ect ect ect.  Lately it has gone to an extreme, for a couple reasons. 

  • First.... A fool and his money are soon parted.  For many years I have worked two jobs and had more money than I really needed.  At the same time I was bombarded with debt and stress.  I didn't understand how to make my hard earned money work for me.  Scott and I would go out to eat often, 'forget' the coupon at home and make foolish purchases without barely thinking it through.  We, like many Americans these days think of the 'now' instead of the later and were 'wanters' not 'needers'
  • Second- As many of you know- we made a huge sacrifice 3 years ago- We left our 'good' jobs, home, friends and (my) family in Alaska and headed to Idaho to make sure that we would be a part of Alexia's life.  This was a no brainer at the time which it why it was such an easy decision to make, however it turned our world upside down.  Scott was able to find a job that he settled into as soon as we moved here.  We found a house that we liked online and drove right up to it upon our arrival.  The sellers agreed to let us 'rent' until I found a job to qualify and purchase the house.  Everything seemed fine until it turned out it took me 5 months to find a job and it was a Temp position at that.  I held that job for 7 months, then it ended.  5 MORE months out of work and then I found another Temp position at another company (that barely paid more than unemployment and I was already pregnant at this point).  I worked there for 4 months, and then that position ended.  Here I was, 7 months pregnant, no job and still fairly new to the area.  We got by on Scott's income and my unemployment ok.  I focused on not having the 'best' stuff for Tyler, rather functional and necessary items.  After he arrived last March, I was still getting unemployment and we were getting by fine.  To make a LONG story short, my unemployment was denied when Tyler was around 5 weeks old and I was faced with what no one wants to face....... Not enough money to pay the bills and a brand new baby to take care of.
  • I fought my unemployment denial like crazy for the next 6 months or so.... continuously got denied.  We were stuck in a rock and a hard place.  It seemed like everything that could go wrong, did.  Instead of being a volunteer at the local Food Bank (which I had been doing to keep myself busy)  I found that I needed them.  We didn't qualify for any assistance from the state or any local programs, and to top it off we only had one car.  Finally, in the summer of 2010, I came across a permanent position at the company that I had the first Temp job at.  I applied and forgot about it.  In case any of you don't know- It is REALLY hard to find a job right now.  The area I live in is pretty horrible for that.  In July of 2010, I got an interview and a week or so after, was offered the job.  I now have a position that I feel is stable, good pay and great benefits.  I have been here for 7 months and feel at home.
The reason for this soap box is to let you know that I was a fool.  After TRULY feeling what it is to struggle, Scott and I stepped back and found the way.  We are now 'needers' instead of 'wanters' (Although we are human and 'want' things.... we just don't grant ourselves the satisfaction of it...all the time.)

Couponing is a way to make sure that we have what we need when we need it and if we have a rough month where we can't afford something, we have our stockpile to fall back on.  It also is a great way to get a thrill at the grocery store.  AND, a great way not only to get a discount on items, but a GREAT way to start saving cash. (I'll touch on 'SAVINGS') at another time.

3/8 Shopping Extravaganza - I have to admit, this wasn't the BEST shopping trip, but pretty dang good!  I had a coupon for EVERY SINGLE thing in this picture (including the produce- in fact almost all the produce was FREE)...wait.... oops I threw the St Pat's Day shirt for Tyler in the mix ($4) that wasn't in the original budget....yeah yeah- broke my own rules. 

Albertsons- Retail $42.93 - I pd $14.78
Walmart- Retail $106.91 - I pd $55.86

Total Retail $149.84 and I paid $70.64 

I got *more* than 50% off my groceries today :)

The type of coupons I had today were as follows:

  • Twice the Value coupons from Albertsons (Walmart accepts them too, so I used at both places)
  • Many were regular manufacturers coupons from the Sunday paper for example;
    • B1 Vicks product, get a free box of puffs tissue- so I bought Vicks tissues and got Vicks tissues free
    • $1 off 1 Dannimals product.  I had 4 of these and doubled them all with the 2x the value coupons, so the little packs I got for .49 cents each and the 12 packs I got for around $2.50 each.  My problem was that I shopped too late and so things like the Dannimals were limited supply :(
  • Most my coupons I used in conjunction with another coupon.  This is not doubling or stacking, I just think being smart!  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO GET THE MOST FOR YOUR MONEY!!!  I figured out this handy system when I found some coupons on e-bay for 'FREE PRODUCE -up to $1, WYB 2 Kraft dressings'.  I purchased a ton of these coupons in January -Expiration date is late March.  I was patient and watched carefully on e-bay for coupons to go on auction for at least $1/1 bottle of Kraft dressing.  I knew that if I could wait and find those, that I would be able to wait for 2X the value coupons to come out from Albertsons and then do my shopping at Walmart.  The REGULAR price at Walmart for the Kraft salad dressing is $2.  I had (7) coupons for $1/1 bottle.  I had my Albertsons 2X the value coupons.... AND I used (3) 'FREE PRODUCE -up to $1, WYB 2 Kraft dressings'...........essentially I came out of that scenario with (7) bottles of Kraft dressing and $3 worth of produce for FREE.... I paid NOTHING!!!
  • I had other coupons that I used with each other.... You can probably see that I have A LOT of chips going on up there....  I had the following coupons (and yes, I had to think very carefully about this transaction to make sure everything was correct):
    • (3) coupons for 1 FREE dip -WYB 2 Lays family size chips
    • (2) coupons for 1 FREE bag of Kettle chips- WYB any 2 bays Lays
    • (4) coupons for $1 in FREE Produce- WYB 1 bag of 'made w/ natural ingredients' Lays
      • In a nut shell- I paid full price for 6 bags of chips, but in return, I got all the following for FREE:
        • 3 jars Tostitos Queso $8.94 value
        • 2 bags Kettle Chips $5.56 value
        • Produce of my choice $4 value
I totally dig on the WYB coupons. 
Last week I had another scenario shown below that is a good example of using several coupons in conjunction with each other:
3/5 Walmart and Walgreens: Total Retail $68.77  I paid $28.12

My fancy WYB coupons were:
  • B3G1 Can Chefboyardee (Walmart had them the cheapest @ .87 ea)
  • FREE snackpack pudding WYB 4 Chefboyardee
  • I PAID for 21 cans of CBRD and got 7 cans FREE and 7 packs of Pudding FREE

Not sure what is going on with the format of the blog right now, so I'll wrap it up for today.  For those of you who are just getting started with couponing, here are a couple good websites to get you started: (my personal favorite) (purchase groups of coupons for very little) (for printable coupons) ('like' pages and you'll get deals/coupons sent to you)

Weekly ads: (Help you figure out your list before you even leave your chair)

Also- Call your local newspaper and ask them what their special is for bundles of Sunday papers.  I currently get 5 Sunday papers for $3.12 a week.  (Obviously the coupons are worth WELL more than that!)  Only trick here is that you will typically have to pay up front, but I was able to do it in a 13 week span, so it wasn't very costly.

Signing out!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Extreme shopping at Kohls!

Hi all!  I decided that it would be WAY easier if I just started a blog than sending out tips to various people all over the place!  I'll touch first on the Kohl's inquiries as that is what sparked most of the crazy attention- then later I'll get to my entire process and this will be a great way for me to share my recipes and health finds to everyone too.

To get extreme savings at Kohls:

#1) Go to: and sign up for sale alerts!
Shortcut here:
the more unique e-mail addresses you have and can enter in here, the more $5 of $5 coupons will be sent to you via-email.  If this seems like too much work to you, then see step #2

#2) Go to: and search 'Kohl's coupons' in the auctions search engine.  The best way to buy coupons for Kohls on ebay is to sort by auctions ending soonest and closely watch them in their last minute.  Bid with a max bid of at least $1 more than the current bid in the last 15-20 seconds of the auction.  You will typically always win the auction if a) you bid close enough to the end of the auction and b) you put a max bid in so that if someone else has a 'max' bid already, you will beat them.  I normally will get 5 of the $5/5 coupons for around $2 on e-bay.  Sometimes sellers will post 10 $5/$5 coupons in one auction and those are great too.  I try to bid on only the ones that say "Sent today/ Use today".... Then I can guarantee that they are codes that will be e-mailed to me within an hour of my payment.  Watch for expiration dates closely as well as auctions that have a "Valid only in.....(certain states).  As far as I can tell the codes that I have been sent electronically are valid nationwide. (As well as online)

#3) Watch and listen for the good sales at Kohls.  Currently it is the end of the winter season (I know, not necessarily for you all in AK) but our local Kohls has sweaters and lots of wintery tipe of clothes on their clearance rack.  Last weekend all the clearance was up to 90% off and there was an 'unadvertised' sale that ALL clearance was an ADDITIONAL 25% off.  It also helped that my friend Crystal found us an ADDITIONAL 15% off coupon online.  I had 14 of the $5/$5 coupons as well as 1 $10/$20 coupon and the 15% off coupon in tow. 

#4) Know what coupons you have before you go and make yourself have a mindset to get only what your coupons allow and NOTHING ELSE!  There will be another day to get more with more coupons, but you could easily talk yourself into that ONE item that is retail and throw your super shopping into a financial whirlwind quickly.  Since last Saturday I had 14 of the 5ers, I shopped with the mindset that I was getting 14 transactions of just over $5 each and 1 transaction of $20.  Since the clearance sale was go great, I was having to put 2 items in each transaction to make $5 before my extra 15% off coupon!  Most of the kids clothes were $2.40, $3.80, and $4.60 (before the unadvertised 25% off all clearance was applied).  The adult clothes were more like $7-$12 before the extra 25%.  Here is an example of how stinking cheap some of the stuff was:
Chaps 1/2 zip Mens sweatshirt: 
Retail $48.00 Clearance Price $7.80 - 25% = $5.85 - $5 (Coupon) = .85 - extra 15% coupon = .73 cents!
FOR A $48 shirt!!!!  You CAN'T beat that!!!!  Not even at a garage sale typically!!!

#5)  DO NOT SHOP FOR YOUR CURRENT SEASON!  You might be lucky enough to find a piece of clothing that will work for the current season, but my advice is stick to the clearance racks only!!!  This works super well at Kohls, because they ALWAYS have clearance racks.  I would have to say I have at least 1/2 of Alexia's school shopping done for next year because I went a size up on her stuff (sometimes even 2 sizes) and I probably only spent $7 on her!  At the end of the summer I will do the same thing for the following year.

#6)  Stock up on essentials.... if you LOVE sweaters and there are a ton of them that you like and fit you... WHO CARES if you have to wait until next year to wear them?  You are getting new clothes for darn near free....... Since Tyler will be 1 next week (I know- I can't believe it either)..... I am stocking up on whatever I can get for cheap for him.  We all know that kids go through clothes like crazy, so if you can get a pair of pants for less than a dollar, you won't be so mad when they get paint on them or a hole in the knee.  I only found 2 pairs for him on Saturday- but they were both size 2T.  I don't mind storing them for a while :)

I think that is about it for Kohls....... Next post, I'll start talking about the other ways I get super deals.