Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shopping Day

Not a bad shopping day today!

My trip to CVS...

7 Bags of Stacy's Pita Chips - 8oz
2 Dawn Hand Soap
2 Oust Air Sanitizer

All this would normally cost me $36.06.

But I got it all for $9.11 and I got back $16 in ECBs!

My trip to Publix...

Pork Chops (3.44lbs)
2 Lysol Bathroom Cleaners
Publix Classic Hummus
2 Pompeii Olive Oil
2 Soft White Bulbs (4pk)
4 Healthy Choice Meals
2 Be Voila Meals
2 Halls Cough Drops
(and my husband's friend Cal who didn't really understand why I was taking pictures of my groceries...haha)

All this would normally cost $59.31

But I got it all for $26.07!

Not too shabby! Let me know if you have any specific questions. Have you found any great deals lately?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Channeling The Pioneer Woman

Lately, I have become obsessed with The Pioneer Woman. If you have not seen her website, go now. I'll still be here when you get back.

Still here? Well, the past two nights I have tried her recipes. Last night it was the BBQ Meatballs. Delicious!

Tonight? Chicken Parmigiana!
Her photo:

My photo:

So it may not be as pretty as The Pioneer Woman's, but I tried! And it was DELICIOUS!

And it also took me WAY longer than it was supposed to. And my kitchen was a disaster. But I made my husband a wonderful meal and he appreciated it. Yay! :)
I really love her recipes. Mostly because they are easy to follow, use "normal" ingredients, and they show a picture every step of the way! Perfect for a non-cook like me!
Anyone else out there love The Pioneer Woman?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Missing the Wedding

We have been married for almost five months, and while newlywed life is great/fantastic/better than I coul have dreamed, I often find myself missing our wedding. As happy as my husband is that my planning is done, I feel like I need a new project. I miss pouring over magazines and websites, conspiring with my mom and sister over crazy details, and yes, I even miss the stress that came with it.

Maybe I'm feeling this way because I'm in the midst of putting together our wedding album - a task I have been putting off for months. I look back at that beautiful day and love everything about it - all the love that went into making it so perfect.

Have any other newlyweds found themselves feeling this way? Any ideas what my "new project" should be?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm Doing a Triathalon?!?!

Yes, it's true. I'm doing a triathalon on April 24th. I signed up tonight.

Am I crazy???

Well, not as crazy as you might be thinking. This isn't an olympic triathalon, or even a sprint triathalon, but it's a mini-triathalon!

What is that?

A 200m swim, 5 mile bike, 1 mile run.

I can do that...right?

Yankee Candle Coupon!

GO HERE to snag a HOT new Yankee Candle Printable Coupon good for $10 Off $25. You can also order online at Yankee Candle with coupon code: 88HBJB. Expires 1/30/10.
These make great gifts - who doesn't love Yankee Candle??
Thanks MojoSavings!

Saving is Contagious & Publix Preview

My older sister (aka Super Crafty Sister) called me last night, all excited about her savings at Publix. She saved almost as much as she spent! I'm proud of her for jumping on the couponing bandwagon with me!

My latest observation about couponing? Treat it like a game. It is way too easy to get frustrated if you take it too seriously. Here's an example. My husband really wanted some frozen fish sticks (he loves making fish and grits for breakfast in the morning). :) I had a coupon for $1/2 and I used it last week. Today I find out that those same fish sticks will be BOGO this week at Publix! If I had just waited one week, I could have saved a bunch! But really, I probably only would have saved a couple bucks. And what is that in the grand scheme? Not enough to get frustrated over. :)

Speaking of Publix, here are all the Buy One Get One deals at Publix this week! (Remember, some stores start their weekly ads on Wednesdays, but some wait until Thursdays - check your local store!)

Atkins Advantage Shakes
Banquet Brown 'n Serve Sausage Links
Betty Crocker Premium Muffin Mix
Bumble Bee Chunk Tuna
Cascadian Farm Granola
Cool Whip Whipped Topping
Diner's Choice Mashed Potatoes
Egg Beaters
Emerald Deluxe Mixed Nuts
Entenmann's Little Bites
Gatorade Thirst Quencher
Gordon's Fish Sticks
Hebrew National Kosher All Beef Franks
Hershey's Bliss Dark Chocolate
Hunt's Tomato Ketchup
Juicy Juice 100% Premium Juice
Keebler 100 Calorie Right Bites Cookie
Kellogg's Special K Bars
Kellogg's Special K Cereal
Ken's Steak House Dressing
Lay's Potato Chips
Lender's Bagels
Lysol Neutra-Air Sanitizing Spray
Matlaw's Stuffed Clams
Nabisco Teddy Grahams Snacks
Nissin Chow Mein Noodles
Peter Pan Peanut Butter
Propel Fitness Water
Publix Deluxe American Cheese
Quaker Cereal
Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta
Valley Fresh White Chicken

I'll try to post some coupons to match up with these soon.

Do you shop at Publix?

Monday, January 4, 2010

How Much Did I Save This Week?

I did all my shopping for the week last night, so I thought I would share my finds with you!

My purchases differed a little bit from my original lists, mostly at Walgreens where the items I planned to buy weren't in stock!

But here is a look at what I did buy.

My trip to CVS...

Nivea Body Wash ($6.99 - list price)
All & Mighty ($7.49)
Playtex Tampons 36pk ($8.49)
2 Nivea Lip Care ($2.99/ea)

All this would normally cost $28.95.

But I got it all for just $8.57 ...and got $5 back in ECBs!

My trip to Walgreens...

Clean & Clear Foam Cleanser ($3.99)
Nivea Soft Moisturizing Cream ($0.99)

This would normally cost $4.98
But I got it all for just $0.81!

My trip to Publix...

2 Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt (4pk) ($2.50/ea)
2 Fresh Express Salad ($3.69/ea)
2 Double Packs of Smart Balance Butter ($2.89/ea)
2 Kraft Mayo ($4.99/ea)
2 Ziploc Bags ($2.79/ea)
15 Bean Soup ($2.39)
Napkins 400ct ($2.89)

All this would normally cost $39.49
But I got it all for just $18.84!

Total Amount Spent: $28.22

Total Amount Saved: $47.13

We are trying to use the "envelope system" to help with our budgeting. We usually budget $250/month for groceries. This month, we are trying to bring that down to $200/month by spending just $50/week on groceries ($40) and toiletries ($10). I'm hopeful we can get it down further than that, but I didn't want to start too low and get frustrated.

So after my shopping trip, here is what we have left for the week:

Amount Remaining:
Toiletries: $0.62
Groceries: $21.16

I hope you enjoyed seeing my purchases this week! Let me know if you have any questions on how I did it - I'd love to help you save some money too!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Buy a Newspaper This Sunday!

FYI - tomorrow's newspaper will have FIVE coupon inserts!!

You can see a preview of the coupons here.

A couponing trick? Buy two papers tomorrow. Several of the coupons are for single items. You can always use two coupons on BOGO items at Publix. Stock up on those coupons now!

My Shopping List

I thought I would share my shopping list with you this week to see some of the sale combinations I have found. Hopefully this helps you find a few deals too!

By the way "ECB" means "Extra Care Bucks" at CVS. They are coupons that operate as cash - they spit out at the bottom of your receipt. They are a great way to save money!

GE Energy Smart Bulbs – $2.99
Get $2 ECB (limit 1)
Use $1/1 printable here(IE) or here(FF)
Cost Out of Pocket (OOP) = $1.99

All Detergent - $3.99
Use $2/1 in 01/03/10 paper
Cost OOP = $1.99

Playtex Gentle Glide or Sports tampons 36 ct - $7.99
Get $3Ecb (limit 1)
Use the $1/1 coupon from here: IE or Firefox
Cost OOP = $3.99!

Total Cost OOP = $11.00

I have $3 in ECBs

Final Cost OOP = $8.00

Get $5 back in ECBs!

Kraft Mayo (BOGO) - $4.99
Final Cost: $2.50/each

Ziploc Bags - 2/$4
Use $1/2 - Coupon from Sunday, 12/6
Final Cost: $1.50/each

Smart Balance Spread (BOGO) – 13 to 15 oz. or Spray – 8 oz $3.09
Use $1/2 printable
Final Cost: $1.05/each

Fiber One Yogurt (BOGO) – 4 pk $2.50
$1/1 printable (Print twice)
Final Cost: $0.25/each!!

I'll report back and let you know how my shopping trips go this week! (We obviously don't need much this week, so it should be a nice week to save some cash!)

I Am No Expert

Let me just say, I am no expert at this couponing thing. I am learning as I go, and making my fair share of mistakes along the way.

For instance, last Thursday I went to Target, armed with a TON of coupons. I was going to get trash bags, toilet paper and some other items for a killer deal by combining their sales with both a Target coupon and a manufacturer's coupon. I was so proud of myself! Until I got to the cashier. She rang up all my items, and then I handed her my stack of coupons. She obviously got a bit overwhelmed because she rang up about two of them, and then put the eight or so rest of the coupons in her drawer without ringing them up! I tried to get her to go back through and ring them up, but she was so flustered that it was useless. When I got my receipt, I realized I had paid at least $4 more than I should have because she hadn't used my coupons!

I was so frustrated. I actually made myself sick to my stomach. (Over $4???) Super Crafty Sister was with me and gave me the idea of taking back two of the boxes of trash bags since I ended up paying way too much for them, and I only bought them because I was planning to get such a great deal. So everything ended okay, but it was frustrating in the meantime!

My lesson learned here? Don't buy things just because you have a coupon. Buy things you would normally be willing to buy full price. And then the coupons are just a bonus! Yes, still plan your trip around the coupons and sales, but don't make yourself sick if it doesn't work out the way you planned. :)

After Target, we went to Walgreens where I had a much more successful trip. They had a deal last week (in small print in the ad!) where you could get Honey Nut Cheerios at 2 for $4. When you bought the cereal AND a gallon of milk (already the cheapest price around that week at $2.79), you got $2 in Register Rewards. I had two printable Honey Nut Cheerios coupons (found here), each for $1/1 box. So I got 2 boxes for $2, and got $2 back in Register Rewards. Not bad!

I'll try to post my shopping lists this week - we'll see how that goes!

In the meantime, do you have any couponing mistakes/lessons learned to share with the rest of us?