Friday, April 30, 2010

Triples At Harris Teeter

I know it's the last day of the month and I need to do my month-end money recap but I thought you'd be more interested in how I did with triple coupons at Harris Teeter this week. Especially since you're going to want to get there soon before they sell out of everything! Though in case you were wondering I did go a little over my grocery budget this month.

I spent: $420 (exactly!) for the month of April
And saved: $546.89 (a 57% savings) - not my best month but still pretty good
I also earned: $50.97 in Extra Care Bucks and/or money back

But the real important stuff is how I did at Harris Teeter yesterday:

I spent: $16.80
And saved: $63.55

Funny thing is before my coupons my total was $58.15 and the cashier commented that was a good deal for all I got. Of course, to me it wasn't but how much better of a deal to get it all for just under $17??!!

Since all of my deals were good deals I'll give you my best :) As always you can check Southern Savers and the Grocery Game for a lot more deals.

Ortega Salsa/Refried Beans/Seasoning Mix
- regular price: $2.50/each salsa
- regular price: $1.29/each refried beans
- sale price: $2.00/each salsa
- sale price: $1.00/each refried beans
- bought 4 of each
- used 4 $0.75/2 coupons that tripled to $2.25 off 2 each from S 4/18
- final price: $0.75 for 1 salsa and 1 can refried beans - obviously you'd have different prices for different things but we needed salsa :)

Bryer's YoCrunch Yogurt (we all love these - kids included!)
- regular price: $3.19/each
- sale price: $1.97/each
- used 4 $0.75/1 coupons from S 3/28
- final price: FREE (no overage)

Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers
- regular price: 2/$5.00
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used 2 $0.40/1 coupons from S 3/28
- final price: $0.05/each

Sargento Shredded Cheese
- regular price: $3.19
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used 3 $1.00/1 coupons from S 4/18 (coupon good only on reduced sodium cheese)
- final price: $0.59/each

Mahatma Rice
- regular price: $2.65
- sale price: $2.25
- used 2 $0.50/1 coupon from RP 2/7; RP 4/25
- final price: $0.75/each

Yoplait Go-Gurt and Trix Yogurt (a staple at our house)
- regular price: $2.99
- sale price: $2.00
- used 3 $0.75/2 coupons from S 3/21
- final price: $1.75/2 or $0.88/each

And yea, tomorrow is the start of a new month! I can hit Harris Teeter for triples again :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free Milk At Giant

Now that's a deal you can't pass up :) One of my favorite money blogs is Moneywise Moms - she's the only blog around that lists deals at Safeway and Giant and whenever she says there's a good deal I have to head to the store. And boy was she right! There's a great deal going on at Giant until tomorrow.

Here's what I picked up:

I spent: $6.06
And saved: $25.30

Here's what I did:

None of the cereal is on sale - it's all full price but you geet $10.00 off automatically when you buy 6 boxes. Combine that with coupons and it is a great cereal deal.

For coupon links go HERE - you can print 2 copies of each coupon that you'd like - they will double at the store if they are under $1.00.

After you buy 6 boxes of cereal you will (should) get 2 Catalinas for $4.50 each - both Catalinas say for a free gallon of milk but $4.50 will be taken off your order no matter what you get. I picked up 3 gallons of milk for free - probably not the best idea - you should at least try 4 gallons of milk and pay for one or 2 gallons and some other food items. My total came to $9.08 so I had to have the cashier over ride everything. She was a bit rude even though I was just trying to ask her some questions - I wasn't trying to rip the store off! She ended up giving me the 3 gallons and taking the coupons rather than explain to me a better way to use the coupons. Just an FYI if you try it yourself.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New To Staples Rewards

Oh yes, there's another store with another rewards program. I think they are probably endless and if you had all the time in the world you could probably get everything and anything free.

Alas, I do not have that kind of time :( However, when I read the words free batteries and paper for $1.00 - that I do have time for.

Here's what I picked up at Staples tonight:

I spent: $27.79

I will receive: $19.98 back in Staples Rewards
And: $5.49 in Rebates
Total cost to me: $1.00 plus tax

Staples Rewards will be money back that I can use in the store to buy other Staples products whereas Rebates are actual checks that I can cash and well, get cash :)

The battery limit is 2 and the paper limit is 1. You do need to sign up for a Staples Rewards card the same as you would at CVS or Harris Teeter.

I'm completely new to actually receiving Staples Rewards though I've been signed up for a while I've just never received any rebate checks. You have to reach $10 to get a rebate and if you haven't reached $10 in a quarter then you lose your rebate rewards so truly I have no idea if I ever got to $10 before :)

I'll let you know what happens - in the mean time sign yourself up and get to Staples especially if your house, like mine, goes through batteries and printing paper like water.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Harris Teeter Week 4/25

I took two trips to Harris Teeter this week. Wish it were one but that is life :)

Trip #1:

I spent: $42.83
And saved: $34.83

Trip #2:

I spent: $30.11
And saved: $29.27

Best Deals:

- regular price: $1.99
- sale price: $1.00
- used 2 $1.00/1 coupon from S 3/21
- final price: FREE

Tidy Cat Litter
- regular price: $5.89
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used $1.00/1 coupon from RP 2/7
- final price: $1.95
(you'll notice I got 1 on each trip - I tried for 2 on my first trip but they wouldn't let me use 2 coupons on a buy 1 get 1 free items - first time they've ever said anything - so I just bought one each time - kind of a funny policy since you don't have to buy 2 and they ring up half price - I spent the same amount in the end as if I had been able to use 2 coupons the first time around - so I have no idea why the policy exists but technically it does and it's always going to depend on the cashier and the individual store)

Classico Pasta Sauce/Ground Beef
- regular price: $2.09/each (for sauce)
- sale price: buy 2 get 3 free
- used $1.00/2 printable from HERE
- final price for sauce: $0.64/each
- ground beef original price: $4.55/lb
- sale price: $2.99/lb
- used 1 $1.50 off beef when you buy 2 sauces from S 3/14
- final price for beef: $1.40 (not quite a lb)

Kellogg's Pops, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes
- regular price: $2.79 to $3.19
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used $1.00/3 coupon from RP 4/11
- final price: $1.20/each (I bought 1 Frosted Flakes, 1 Fruit Loops and 1 Pops - averaged out to $1.20/each)

Stayfree Maxi Pads
- regular price: $3.55
- sale price: 2/$6.00
- used 2 $2.00/1 coupons from RP 3/28
- final price: $1.00

I know there are lots of other good deals including a great Kashi deal but this is what I picked up. Check out the Grocery Game and Southern Savers for other great match-ups.

And in case you haven't heard this Wednesday begins Harris Teeter TRIPLES!!! So get your coupons out and get ready to stock up :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

CVS For Good Coffee

I hate coffee. Hate it. I know, I'm weird. But my husband loves it - a lot. And since he works a lot and coffee keeps him awake it seems to make sense to keep him happy and buy him good coffee. How much better when that good coffee is well, cheap?!

Here's what I got at CVS:

I spent: $7.83
And saved: $15.38 (using $3.99 ECB's from previous week)
And earned: $4.99 in ECB's

Dunkin Donuts Coffee:
- original price: $8.19/each
- sale price: $6.00/each
- earns $3.00 in ECB's
- I printed 2 $1.00/1 coupons from HERE
- I also used $1.50/2 from RP 3/28
- final price: $2.75 each

Advil Caplets:
- original price: $5.49
- sale price: $3.99
- earns $1.00 in ECB's
- used $2.00/1 coupon from RP 1/31 (yes, I still had it!)
- final price: $0.99

A big thanks to Southern Savers for the match-ups this week. Check it out for more great buys :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Planning Monday 4/19

I haven't felt well all weekend so shopping and cooking have been the last things on my mind. I guess it helps me not go out and spend but it does make it hard not to do take-out so we did order pizza this weekend. Gotta give myself some breathing room occasionally :)

I did manage to come up with a recipe plan for the week using the chicken I have in the freezer and my new favorite cookbook:

So, here's my plan though it's subject to change depending on what meat goes on sale at Harris Teeter this week just so I can change up the whole chicken thing a bit :) And since I haven't been able to get to the store to pick up my needs list for the rest of the month the actual food on the actual day may differ. But hey, it's a plan not a law. That's another thing about meal planning just because you put spaghetti on Monday doesn't mean you can't have it on Tuesday because it didn't fit on Monday. Plans don't have to be rigid, they are meant to give you an idea of what you have in the cabinet to make. Although my husband does like to pull up this blog while at work and see what's for dinner and when I'm off schedule he's sometimes disappointed :)

Monday: Chick-fil-A and Pancakes - odd combination but like I said I wasn't feeling well and we had some free coupons to Chick-fil-A and the kids wanted pancakes so it worked :)

Tuesday: Maryland Chicken Supper (p. 76)

Wednesday: Chicken Cheese Enchiladas (p. 77)

Thursday: Chicken Manicotti Ole (p. 79)

Friday: Chicken 'n Vegetable Biscuit Bake (p. 86)

Saturday: Pampered Chef Party/At friends for dinner

Sunday: Spaghetti

Monday: Southwestern Chicken Pie (p. 130)

Tuesday: Chicken Enchilada Quiche (p. 144)

Wednesday: Chicken and Cheese Crescent Chimichangas (p. 91)

Thursday: Speedy Layered Chicken Enchilada Pie (p. 80)

Friday: Leftovers

My plan is to the end of the month since I have just over $100 left for the remainder of the month and want to stretch it as far as I can. It's a huge chicken list but I have a good 7 pounds in the freezer which should be enough for all of the recipes. But if another meat goes on sale I'll make a change or two.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Safeway Mix N Match Sale

I don't often get to Safeway but when they have their Mix and Match sale I can find some great deals when I match their sale with coupons. With a little help from Moneywise Moms I picked up this today:

I spent: $30.17
And saved: $49.66

Sometimes the deal is buy 3 get $3.00 off but this week it is buy 5 get $5.00 off. Included in the deal is a lot of cereal, pop tarts and oatmeal.

My kids are sadly addicted to Pop-Tarts (personally I think they're gross!) but currently if you buy 5 you will get each box for $1.00. I combined them with a few coupons I had printed a while ago for $1.00/2 as well as $1.25/3 from RP 3/28 making my Pop-Tarts between $0.50 and $0.58 a box - good deal!

As for the cereal:
- Mini-Wheats are $2.00 a box before coupons
- used 2 $1.50/2 printables (link says $1.00/2 but it prints $1.50/2)
- final price: $1.25/box

- Rice Crispies are $1.50 a box before coupons
- used 1 $1.00/2 coupon from RP 4/11
- final price: $1.00/box

- is $1.50/box before coupons
- used 2 $1.00/1 printables
- final price: $0.50/box

Links to printable coupons can be found HERE

There were quite a few other cereals that were part of the sale but not listed on the sale insert so I will probably head back for 5 more boxes - the limit per card is 20. For now I am feeling much better about the status of my cereal shelf. Before this week I was down to just 2 boxes! I'm hoping what I bought today and Wednesday will last me to the end of the month. At least that's the hope :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good Week To Start CVS

I mentioned last week that it's a good idea to start "playing" the CVS "game" when you can begin with free items. Well, this is a good week to get some "free" items after your extra care bucks.

I went last night and did two transactions.

Here's what I got:

Transaction #1:

I spent: $16.67
And saved: $21.96
And earned: $13.99 in ECB's

Transaction #2:

Using my previous ECB's:

I then spent: $2.41
And saved: $26.33
And earned: $4.00 in ECB's

We were low on soda and I figured almost free with ECB's was the best way to stock up again :)

As for the free stuff:

Dove Shampoo/Conditioner
- regular price: $4.49
- sale price: none
- earn back $4.49 in ECB's or FREE
- in my paper there were no coupons on 1 product, however, there was a coupon for $2.50/2 from RP 3/28
- I decided to use that coupon since I always need conditioner with my shampoo anyway
- final price for 2: $1.99 or $0.99 each

Dial Nutriskin Body Wash
- regular price: $5.49
- sale price: none
- used coupon from HERE
- earn back: $4.50 in ECB's
- final price: $0.99 without coupon or FREE with coupon

For more deal match-ups this week head to Southern Savers. It was kind of a high week but at least the ECB earning was pretty good. I started out with $3.99 for this week and have $4.00 for next week. And I have some free soda :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saving Coupons Pays Off

What do you do if you need an item and have a high dollar coupon? The tendency is to use it. At least you've saved yourself a few bucks. But unless the item is one that you can't live without. Such as, you are on your last diaper I highly recommend holding on to the coupon as long as you can (as long as it's not expiring soon). You won't be disappointed by the amount of money you can save.

For example - here's what I picked up at Harris Teeter today:

I spent: $65.80
And saved: $82.82

We have been out of Crystal Light for a LOOOONG time. It's sad really, I love the Raspberry Tea flavor and it's the only low calorie drink that I like (besides water which is okay but it's free :) ). I've come across a coupon for it but couldn't bring myself to use it on a full-priced item. Well, I'm so glad I held out because this week at Harris Teeter Crystal Light was on sale!

Here's the deal:
- regular price: $3.75/each
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used 2 $1.00 off 1 coupons from S 3/21
- you may notice I bought 4 - I decided to do that since we go through it a lot and unfortunately I only had 2 copies of the coupon
- my final price: $1.38/each
- final price if you buy just one: $0.88

I also printed out $3.00 off Huggies coupons from a while ago. I print coupons I like long before I know I'm going to use them and this is another example where I'm so glad I hung on to them and glad I printed them when I did (though as far as I know they are still available).

Here's the deal:
- regular price: $10.99/each pack
- sale price: $5.99/each pack
- used 2 $3.00/1 coupons
- final price: $2.99/each pack (HUGE savings!!)

Other great deals:

Kix Cereal
- regular price: $3.55/each
- sale price: 3/$6.00 (or $2.00/each)
- used 4 printable coupons from HERE
- final price: $1.00/each (my price point!)
(for the other cereal - it was the same price but instead I had $1.00/2 coupon from S 3/7 or and the final price was $1.50/each - a tad high for me but we are in desperate need of cereal and the girls love the chex)

Peter Pan peanut butter:
- regular price: $2.45/each
- sale price: 2/$4.00 or $2.00/each
- used $1.50/4 coupon from HERE
- final price: $1.62/each
(While this is an okay deal it gets even better since I also purchased 2 Chef Boyardee mac n' cheese packs for $1.00 each bringing my total ConAgra purchase to $10 - now I can fill out this Mail In Rebate form and get $25 back in valuable ConAgra coupons - makes my peanut butter purchase all the more worth it :) ).

- regular price: $2.69
- sale price: 2/$4.00 ($2.00)
- used $1.00/1 from S 3/21
- final price: $1.00

For more match-ups early in the week head to Southern Savers. I've started the habit of checking out her site on Wednesday and trying to get to HT on Wednesdays to pick up the best deals of the week so I will probably end up heading back this weekend for a more things.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Just An Okay Week At Harris Teeter

Like I've said before the biggest plus about stockpiling is not having to worry so much when it's not a good sale week. I will say that despite buying cereal like a crazy person we go through it like it's going out of style. I can go from 20 boxes to 4 in a week. I kid you not! All the kids love it and with few exceptions it's what the kids want to eat for breakfast. I am trying to bribe them with muffins for breakfast though since we are currently low on cereal. This explains why I was willing to pay $2.00 for a box! $2.00 - I'm still wrapping my head around it - especially since it was the smaller box.

Here's what I got:

I spent: $50.95
And saved: $27.33

I really didn't use many coupons this time so my deals weren't that great. The only thing I did pick up was 4 packs of stick cheese. They were on sale buy 1 get 1 free and on some of the packages there was an offer for $4.99 back if you bought two packs. You can do up to 5 rebates per household so after rebates I will get my 4 packs free! That's about the only way I can justify spending $10 on cheese :)

Just a note - if you buy 4 packs and see the rebate offer - do it in 2 transactions because you can only submit one offer per envelope and you have to have the original receipt for each one.

P.S. A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my (sometimes) co-blogger and good friend, Cherie. Cherie, you're an awesome mom and I'm proud to know you! Have a great day and a blessed year.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

CVS Starter Tips And An Awesome Movie Deal

Since I gave another coupon talk to my MOPS group this morning and will have some new readers because of it I thought I would cover a few starting tips. Some of them seemed confused by CVS and believe me it sounded very confusing when I first started!

Here are a few things to know to help you get started:

1. Make sure you sign up for your CVS card. This is the only way you will get the sale price and earn back your ECB's (Extra Care Bucks).

2. ECB's will print out on the bottom of your receipt so don't lose them or throw them away! You must keep them and give them to the cashier when you make your next purchse - they have a bar code on each of them.

3. Begin with an item that is free after ECB's - today I purchased gum that was $0.99 and earned me back $0.99 in ECB's = FREE - this week it's not a huge free item but it's still a way to get started. (Know that ECB's are earned before coupons are taken off - meaning if you need to spend $20 to earn $5 ECB's - your $20 is before coupons - so you would still earn the $5 ECB's even if after you coupons you only spent $15 out-of-pocket - OOP)

4. Pick up items that you need already - i.e. items that are on your weeks need list that were planning on buying anyway. If it earns you ECB's then it's a win-win situation.

5. If you have to, hold your ECB's until the following week to earn you another free item. However, if there is more than item you are interested in in any given week you can purchase one to earn some ECB's and then turn right around and pick up the other item.

- For example: purchase gum today for $0.99
- Earn back: $0.99 ECB's
- Take your ECB's and pick-up Listerine 1 L, Smart Rinse, or Agent Cool Blue which is $3.99
- use $1.00 off Listerine Smart Rinse or Agent Cool Blue from RP 3/7
- use your $0.99 ECB's
- pay $1.99
- earn back $1.00 in ECB's
- final price for the Listerine: $0.99

And you just keep going. At any time you can use your ECB's on any item in the store rather than another item that earns ECB's but truly the best way is to use ECB's to earn more.

Tonight, however, I used me $5.00 ECB's from my last trip to purchase:

I spent: $20.54
And saved: $38.19
And earned: $0.99 in ECB's - I also had my winter spending rewards print this time around and that was $3.00 in ECB's

I will say it's not often that I get to add a really fun purchase to my grocery budget but this week I was able to pick up Alvin & The Chipmunks DVD for $5.00 after buying products I very much needed (we were literally down to our last paper towel!)

Right now when you spend $20 on P&G products you can get $15 off the movie.

Here's what I got:

2 Packs of Bounty Paper Towel
- retail price: $10.99
- sale price: $6.49
- used 2 $1.00 off 1 coupon from PG 3/7

1 Pack Charmin Basic
- retail price: $7.99
- sale price: $4.99 (didn't use coupons)

3 Dawn Dish Detergents
- retail price: $1.99
- sale price: $0.96
- used 3 $0.20/1 coupons from PG 3/7
- final price: $0.76

Total towards P&G Movie deal: $20.85 (as close to $20 as I could get)
Total out-of-pocket: $18.25
Used my $5.00 ECB's from my last trip to bring my total down
Then I was able to pick up the DVD for $5 or free if I apply the ECB's to it instead of my P&G products :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Menu Planning - Buying 1 New Ingredient Or Less

Last week was horrible for menu planning. It was Spring Break which meant everything was weird and we ate whatever was in the house without much of a plan. I guess there are weeks like that.

This week doesn't seem a lot better but I am planning meals and my goal is to only need one ingredient or less to purchase since I have already done my bulk grocery shopping and since I didn't spend much I don't want to spend much more :)

Because I have so much Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom soup I looked for recipes that used those - Campbell's Kitchen website is a great resource for that! So, no cookbook this week but a great new site :)

Monday - Cream Cheese Chicken w/ Broccoli (purchased Italian Seasoning packet $1.29)

Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie w/ Cheese Swirls (purchased Veg-All $1.00)

Wednesday - Tator Tot Casserole (purchased tator tots $2.69)

Thursday - Chicken Taco Bake (purchased black beans $0.69)

Friday - Now & Later Baked Ziti (purchased ziti noodles $1.00)

Saturday - Mini Taco Bowls (purchased cheese $2.00)

Sunday - Egg Omelettes made by daddy - he makes really good ones and we all love to eat his breakfast cooking on Sunday's :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Harris Teeter Trip April Week 1

I started my top 50 list this week but haven't gotten around to finishing it. We headed to DC to check out the Cherry Blossoms and I've been playing catch up since. I also went to Harris Teeter without a real grocery list - I had my coupons but no real meal list.

I picked up:

I spent: $41.84
And saved: $72.36

I'm most excited about stocking up on Cream of Chicken Soup :) I go through this a lot and I love not having to pay a ton for it.
- retail price: 2/$3.00
- sale price: 3/$2.00
- used 3 $0.25 off 3 coupons (now expired) and 2 $1.00/2 printable coupons from Southern Savers
- final price: $0.17 to $0.50/each

Act II Popcorn
- retail price: $2.55
- sale price: 4/$5.00
- used 3 $0.40 off 1 coupons from S 2/28
- final price: $0.45

Sister Schubert's Frozen Dinner Rolls (love these!)
- retail price: $3.99/each
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used 3 $0.50/1 coupons from S 3/28
- final price: $0.99/each

For tons more great deals check out the Grocery Game and/or Southern Savers.