Saturday, April 23, 2011

What I learned shopping this week

I haven't posted this week because I was waiting until I went to every store that I normally shop at so I could tell about all my exploits.

Lesson #1

The first thing I learned at Walmart was, do not take your husband and child with you if you intend to use coupons. I actually went back alone with Jack and was able to make sure all of my coupons went through, so I think the lesson is don't take a person along with you who is in a hurry. Two of my coupons didn't go through because the cashier was jabbering on about her allergies to grass, and she was swiping them and tossing them aside instead of paying attention to what did and didn't get accepted, meaning she would have to manually type it in the register.

I was trying to watch the screen, but Jack was yelling for something and trying to get down. As soon as she bagged the stuff, Jeremy picked it up and walked off and I was trying to keep up with him while reading my receipt so I would know for sure... I got cheated out of $3. Lesson learned.

Lesson #2

The extra care bucks (ECBs) at CVS are handed to you with your receipt. Still new to all this, I thought it would show up on my Extra Care card. Didn't know I needed the paper receipt thingy.

So, I've lost some, however, I got Clean and Clear Body Wash on sale for $2.99 (normally $5) and I had a buy one get one free coupon. So I paid $3.50 with tax and got $4 ECBs. Score! It's like they paid me .50 cents

Lesson #3

Buy things you don't need if it costs less than your coupon at Walmart. I bought 5 items that were cheaper than the coupons. They gave me the overage and I applied it to the one thing I went their to buy, plus it means I got two string cheese, two dental floss, and neutrogena makeup towelettes for free, plus it took $2 off the Crayola Color Wonder I got for Jack's Easter basket.

We also discovered today that a newspaper recycling bin is right in front of our neighborhood next to the mid-high. Yippee!

We are going to check it out and I will report back.

And here's two photos of my free things. :)

That's all for now.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Baby Steps

You aren't gonna start this week and save like those looney toons on TLC. So, here's what you can do to get started. 1) Sign up at and click the boxes to receive emails just for the stores you already go to. I get emails a few times a week for Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens. She does the hard work for you. The e-mail will tell you what the really good deals/sales are that week, plus tell you where to get the coupon to go with it, making it free or really cheap. The coupon will come from a link she has for you to click on or it will be from All You Magazine (worth buying for the coupons) or the Sunday paper. 2) Also sign up to get weekly e-mails from, which you can go through every week and print the coupons you need or use. If there's products you buy regularly that you don't see coupons for, check their websites. About half of the stuff I've looked up had coupons on their sites. 3) A few other things to check online are replum and smartsource. Those are the two that come in the regular mail too. Also, definitely get a Sunday newspaper or as many as you can get your hands on. 4) If you have a smart phone, get the groceryIQ app. It's free and has the same coupons you'll find from most of these sites. You email yourself all the coupons you select. 5) Sign up for the rewards card/club at CVS or Walgreens. That's all I am currently doing to find the deals. My deals this week were: 1 package of M&Ms free (CVS rewards email) 1 Body lotion free (CVS beauty club reward) 2 YoPlus Yogurts free (coupon from yoplait's site) 2 Airwick warmers free( 1 package or razors free (newspaper) 1 trial size Aquafresh toothpaste free (aquafresh website) 1 Xtra clothes detergent for $1 (online coupon) Roman Meal bread $1.18 (roman meals site) Dole Pineapples .50 cents off (newspaper) I'll tell you exactly what I buy after I get this coming Sunday's paper and see what moneysavingmom tells me is on sale. There's your first lesson!

I'm not crazy... yet

I was thrilled to get seven things for free this week. Since some of y'all asked how I did it... I'm starting a blog because I think it's the easiest way to share my tips on rational saving. I'm never gonna be one of the crazies, at least I don't think so. I'm probably not gonna have 75 newspapers delivered to my doorstep or ask the manager of Walmart to fax me a list of every item's price, and you're not either. But anything we can get for free or cheap helps! And as long as it doesn't take a complex formula or excel chart, I'll do it. I can handle buying a couple of newspapers and signing up for some deal alerts/printing my two coupon limit online. If it gets me two to four Airwicks or yogurts, I'm happy. The whole point is to save some money on things I don't want to buy (diapers, printer ink, toilet paper, razors) so I can buy more of the things I do enjoy buying (clothes, Starbucks, etc) . Let's see what we can save!