Friday, January 28, 2011

I heart cvs!

     Tonight I went to CVS armed with $13.99 ECBs and headed for the coke zero which is one of my husband and my favorite sodas. They are on sale through the 29th buy 5-12 pks for $15 get $5 ECB. So I am happy to announce we are now the proud owners of 60 cans of coke zero for only $2! Not to mention they gave me a $5 ECB to keep me coming back. Our thirst will be quenched for quite sometime : ).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Today was a success!

     After being sick for a week I thought I would never get back out to hit the stores for deals. Today was the day, and what a great day it was! I really feel that today's shopping trip of a combination of 7 stores has boosted my confidence that shopping for free, or really cheap is possible! Not to say that it is easy in the slightest don't get me wrong. But the pros say it gets easier with time so lets all hope for that! I spent a total of 8 hours sick in bed yesterday with my laptop, a mound of coupons, and all my ads mapping out my plan of attack for today. A lot of my knowledge and success is credited to Kathy Spencer (my coupon queen and inspiration) and her loyal followers at The people and information on that site, along with Kathy's book "how to shop for free" (an absolute must read!) are incredible at compiling the things you need to know to succeed. The website is my reliable source of coupons and current deals that I start my planning with. I made a list of every item I needed and how much to get for every store and separated my coupons according to store as well. This made the shopping go by very quickly. I am happy to announce that this was overall the best shopping trip I have had so far, with a success at every store. If I were not to have combined the stores sales with my coupons I would have spent $190.22, which for me in past years would have been a little more over my average cost for a grocery trip but sadly nothing shocking enough to refuse to fork over the debt card and pay. Thankfully I have learned the error of my ways and will never turn back. Today I am proud to say that I knocked 61% off my grocery bill (that's over half!) And with all my purchases today only spent $74.27!!!!! I am ecstatic! Yes i have been an Aldi shopper in the past and absolutely have nothing against them and yes i could bring home a cart full of grocery's from Aldi for that price as well I'm sure of it. But the items I cashed in on today are all name brand top of the line products for CHEAP! And yes I did pay full price for some things I did not have a coupon for but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. The greatest deals I found today were: GE reveal light bulbs-FREE, Reach floss-FREE, Tide detergent-FREE, pop-tarts-FREE, Cheerios-FREE, how does it get any better?!? Does your family use those items? Why are you paying for them? Couponing pays. Does it take time? Yes. Energy? Yes. But is it worth it? Absofreakinlutely! As you can tell I'm a little hyped up lol. Lets bring it down a few notches.
     If you haven't seen yet there's a great item to get you started with your ECBs this week at CVS. Crest mouth wash is on sale for $3.99 and at check out a $3.99 ECB prints out. Great deal! Now there is a limit of one per household so you can't roll the deal to keep coming back for more free mouth wash but we will be happy with what we can get right? Also at Walgreens they have a similar senario, buy one Nivea shave cream or after shave for $3.99 get $3 back in RRs. We took advantage of that yesterday and used an old $1 RR to break even, paying $3 and getting $3 back in RRs. They also are running the same Pantene special as last week: buy 2 shampoo, conditioner, or styling products for $7 get $2 RRs. So today we used our $3 RR from our Nivea purchase and I had a coupon for $3 off any 2 Pantene products making our total $1! Even with my fridge and pantry stocked and my freezer overflowing I can't wait to see the new grocery ads coming out on Thursday to see what other deals i can conjure up...guess I will have to wait.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trying to find a good Walgreens deal to cash in on. Always a struggle for me.

Just like CVS, Walgreens pays you back for purchasing certain items each week. Unfortunately Walgreens has much more restrictions on their rewards program. Walgreens does not have loyalty member cards so no need to run out and sign up, their rewards are available to everyone. Each week Walgreens selects certain items to print out a "register reward" when the required amount is purchased. For example this week if you buy 2 Pantene products either shampoo, conditioner, or styling products it is $7. After your purchase, a $2 off your next purchase register reward (RR) will print out on a seperate receipt. Sounds like a good deal right? Well this is where Walgreens RRs get a little sticky. The RR that prints out after your purchase is from the makers of Pantene- Proctor & Gamble (P&G) and will have restrictions that your $2 RR cannot be used on another P&G product. Also if that wasn't hard enough on the gal who wants to shop for free Walgreens has a rule that your coupons (manufacturer and RRs) cannot exceed the amount of items you are purchasing. So say you had $1 RR from a previous purchase and 2 coupons for $2 off each Pantene item and you thought you could get your bill down to $2 and snag the $2 RR at the end of the transaction you are out of luck because you are trying to use 3 coupons (2 coupons and your RR) for only 2 items. In this case you will either have to throw another item into your order like some cheap gum or candy of forfit using one of your coupons (one of my worst nightmares! If I have coupons they are gonna get used dang it!) So one of the deals I am going to cash in on this week is an advertised item: Thermacare pain relief for $2.50 get $2.50 back in RR, so its technically FREE! I have a $1 RR that I am going to use as well as purchasing a Carefree item that after my coupons comes down to $0.49. So my items will come to a total of $2.13 after tax and all my coupons and they will give me a RR for $2.50. Thats a money maker! Its much harder to shop for free at Walgreens than it is at CVS but it can be done. Happy shopping!
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Monday, January 17, 2011

What an undertaking!

   My journey started a few months ago to be the next "coupon queen". There is no doubt in my mind that I am struggling with this new undertaking. I have read and read and researched and researched some more, hours upon hours in front of a computer screen and being buried under a mess of coupons and ads and I still feel hopeless. Although, i must say, the inevitability of failure has spurned me on in this coupon quest. I will not fail! Just like learning anything new it takes a lot of practice before succeeding. And mark my words...."there will be success!" Not only have I created a couponing disaster out of myself it just wasn't enough, I had to create my first blog ever! So bear with me anyone who may ever stumble across this and wonder why there is no creative genius behind this...sorry to disappoint...there isn't one. So those that decide to stick with me will be able to learn as I do the mastery of couponing and who knows perhaps even blogging :). In the posts to come I hope to enlighten readers of deals they can cash in on themselves and in turn if you have anything you would like to share please feel free.

   So like I said I started this bargain craze a few months ago. Since then I have only received what I would call "basic deals." And let me tell you, they were not as easy to find as I hoped. The store nearest and dearest to my heart is precious CVS. Nothing will pull me out of bed faster on a sunday morning knowing that my new CVS deals are sitting on my driveway. There are so many great deals to be had and even made at CVS. Yes you can make your own deals! It just takes time, and if you can work through any frustration it will pay least this is what I keep telling myself. If you do not already have a CVS extra care card shame on you! Now if you don't know what the heck that card is for than you are just like I was a few months ago. I had no idea there was a system behind that little mysterious red card. Well if this is news to you listen up! Every week there are new deals at CVS to be had. A lot of these deals pay you for buying their product. How could it get any better? They pay you to buy the things you need already! If you don't get a paper delivered to you look up the ad in your area at For instance this week at CVS there are opportunities to make money. If you need Charmin toilet paper, bounty paper towels, duracell batteries, or puffs tissues go to CVS. This week if you use your CVS extra care card to buy any of those products mentioned above when you spend $25 they give you $10 back. This means that after you sign up for a CVS extra care card and you spend $25 of the qualifying merchandise (which is usually labelled well in the store) a $10 coupon will print out at the end of your receipt (called and extra care buck) to use on your next purchase! These extra care bucks (ECBs) work just like cash (few restrictions apply and are listed on the ECB.) Now the trick is after that first ECB you make to never buy another item that doesn't give you another ECB at checkout. So that you rarely after that first purchase are spending money out of your own pocket. And fortunately that is very easy to do at CVS. Especially when you throw coupons in the mix. Also you can get coupons from the newspaper or print from online. sites such as: cellfire, smartsource, redplum...the list goes on and on. Now lets go back to the deals at CVS this week...say you took advantage of the deal spend $25 get $10 in ECBs, so now you have $10 to spend on your next visit. Another sale going on this week is spend $15 on any maybeline product get $5 in ECBs. So you ask how can I cash in on that deal with out spending any money because I only have the $10 ECB. This is where coupons come into play. Say you buy 2 maybeline mascaras for $7.50 a piece, that's $15. But then you have 2 coupons for $1 off each tube, that brings your total down to $13 and use your $10 EBC and you not only just got 2 wands of mascara for $3 but they gave you $5 in ECBs! So technically even though you spent $3 out of pocket you actually made $2 from buying at CVS. Now there are definitely better deals out there but that is just an example of what deals are available this week to get you started. A lot of times CVS will have items that work out to be free like a few months ago I paid $9.99 for contact solution and a $9.99 ECB was printed out at the end of the transaction, now thats what I call a deal! 
   Well this is a lot of information to put out there for my first posting, how about a little homework? Start clipping, printing, any method you prefer to get your hands on coupons. Also if you don't have one already sign up for your CVS extra care card then go out and buy 1 item you need where you get an ECB in return. There is much more information I have to share with you so stay tuned...