Saving money on the ordinary to enjoy the Extraordinary!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Target: Expect More, Pay LESS :)

I went to Target last week to buy a baby shower gift for a co-worker. As I was walking down the aisles, I few sales caught my attention...

MoneySavingMarci Tip: 
ALWAYS take your coupons with you inside a store, even if you aren't planning
on using them. You never know when you are going to stumble across a
great sale or clearance rack :)

Total Paid: 6.93
Total Saved: $28.60

Wrapping Paper: $0.87 clearance price per roll (regular price: $3.49 each)

Combos: $0.44 clearance price (regular price: $1.79)

One A Day VitaCraves: $7.84 - $2.00 Target coupon - $3.00 manufacturer's coupon = $2.84

Bouce Dryer Sheets: $1.68 clearance price - $0.75 Target coupon - $0.75 manufacturer's coupon = $0.18

Colgate Toothbrushes: $0.97 each - (2)$1.00 Target coupons = 2 for FREE

Glade Candles: 2 for $5.00 - $2.00 manufacturer's coupon = 2 for $3.00

ReNu Contact Solution: $7.84 - $2.00 Target coupon - $3.00 manufacturer's coupon = $1.99

Total Price: $11.93
- $5.00 Target gift card from last week's Casting Crowns CD promo
Total Paid: $6.93 before taxes

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wonderful Wally World

Howdy Fellow Couponers!
This is a purchase I made at Wal-Mart a week ago. Most of these prices are probably still in effect, so if you have these coupons, you should be able to score the same savings that I did!

Retail Value: $22.59
Price After Coupons: $4.09
Price After Associate Discount: $1.83
Dr. Pepper 10: $1.00 each - (3)coupons for free item = 3 for FREE

Ruffies 13 gallon trashbags: $1.62 each - (3)$0.50 off coupons = 3 for $3.36 total

Cascade trial size*: $0.97 each - (2)$0.50 off coupons = 2 for $0.94 total

Old Spice trial size body wash: $0.97 each - (3)$1.00 off coupons = 3 for -$0.09

Schick disposable razors: $1.97 each - (3)$2.00 off coupons = 3 for -$0.09

Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaner Starter Kit: $3.97 - $4.00 off coupon = -$0.03

*Here's a hint that I learned from a fellow couponer...if you have a dishwasher and hate paying high prices for dishwasher detergent, stock up on trial sizes. It's amazing how much money you will save by simply purchasing the smaller quantities.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mother/Daughter Savings!

I'm super excited about this post! Today I had the pleasure of taking my mom shopping with me during one of my fun Saturday CVS trips. I am happy to report that I have converted my mom into a Money Saving Mother :)

We spent the afternoon clipping coupons, throwing away expired coupons, and looking through the ads (since the sale prices end today). While flipping through the CVS ad, one sale caught my mom's eye: Oral-B CrossAction Power Toothbrushes for $5.99

What made this deal even sweeter? See the transaction that took place below:

First of all, my mom scanned her CVS card using the Magic Red Machine, and scored a $6.00 ECB! (not bad for her first scan!)

Retail Price: $7.99
Sale Price: $5.99*
-$3.00 coupon from Sunday's newspaper
New Price: $2.99
My mom had two coupons, so she bought two toothbrushes :)
Total Price: $5.98 - $6.00 ECB = ($0.02) yes, she made money on these toothbrushes...
*item also scored $1.00 ECB for every toothbrush purchased, so she earned $2.00 ECB.

Long story short, CVS basically paid my mom $2.02 to take these toothbrushes off the shelf. AND she saved $15.98! The verdict? My mom is now a believer!!! :)

I mentioned the Mother's savings above. Below is the daughter's. I think we make a pretty good team!

My Purchase
Total Paid: $8.06
Total Saved: 26.30

Monday, September 19, 2011

Entertainment Pantry: Time to Restock

Tonight I made a quick trip to Kroger to take advantage of their Mega Deal Sale. I know, I know...it's not exactly the healthiest shopping trip, but these items will help restock my "Entertainment Pantry". You know...that pantry that you keep all your snacks in for when you host those last-minute game nights and football watch parties at your house :)

30-count Solo cups, Heinz ketchup, 2-liter 7Up
Drumstick ice cream cones, (2) Hefty zipper bags,
(3) boxes of Skinny Cow Creamy Clusters,
(3) bags of Mint Milano Cookies
Total Paid: $16.86
Total Saved: $25.42
Being able to treat your guests to yummy snacks: Priceless! :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

All This for Less Than My Breakfast Drink

Let me be honest with you...I should be cleaning house right now...not on my laptop with college football on in the background. But I can't help it! This morning's couponing trip is just TOO exciting to not share. The unorganized mail on the table and the unfolded towels in the dryer will just have to wait a few more minutes :)
First things first. In case you saw my post on Facebook and had any doubts, my McCafe caramel Frappe was just as delicious as always. So good, in fact, that I never hesitate to pay full price for that amazing cup of yummyness.

Total Cost: $3.02
Items Purchased: McCafe Caramel Frappe AKA Amazing Cup of Yummyness
Total Savings: $0 (but it DID bring a smile to my heart)
Ok. Now we all know I didn't just get online to talk about my Frappe (althought it was delicious!) I got on here to show you this MoneySavingMarci picture:

Total Cost: $2.80*
Items Purchased: (3)12-packs of Coke Zero, (1)12-pack of Sprite,
Pops cereal, Frosted Flakes cereal, CVS allergy medicine
Total Savings: $33.54 (bringing a big smile to our bank account)
*earned $6.69 in ECBs
What am I trying to prove here? If you plan your shopping trips correctly, and match your coupons with sale prices, then you can get groceries and medicine for really cheap. After you save all that money, then you can splurge a little and treat yourself to a yummy McCafe treat. Or Starbucks treat. Or whatever other treat you want :)

Now on to the mail and laundry...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Oh Target, How I Love Thee!

I found some great deals at Target!
Everything was purchased with coupons.
I only paid $8.43 out of pocket and saved $12.52 :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"What’s the worst that could happen?"

I came across this post and just had to share. Enjoy! :)

Dana says, “Since I am self employed and my husband has been struggling to find full time work over the last year, I’ve found myself in search of ways to cut the fat from our household budget. For the most part, my motto throughout this process has been, what’s the worst that could happen?

Our Week at a Glance

On Monday, I asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen if I try to clean the red nail polish stain out of my carpet using Windex instead of paying for a visit from a professional carpet cleaner?” It already looked like I’d murdered someone in my living room, so it was doubtful the stain could get any worse. If Windex really did remove the stain, however, I’d have a clean carpet without spending any extra money. (Update: The stain is completely gone.)

On Tuesday, I asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen if I try to remove the grease stain from my shirt with vinegar and dish soap?”  Since the shirt already had a huge stain on the front, it wasn’t going back into my wardrobe rotation anytime soon. If the stain didn’t come out, I would have ended up with another rag for the kitchen. (Update: The shirt is completely clean.)

On Wednesday, I asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen if I make this recipe using eggs with a sell by date from four weeks ago?” While I did ponder this for awhile, I decided it was highly unlikely we’d end up with anything other than a lousy casserole. (Update: Dinner was tasty and nobody had so much as a tummy ache when we were finished. The USDA also says this is perfectly safe.)

On Thursday, I asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen if I shave my legs with store brand razors instead of the Gillette Venus razors I normally buy?” Stubble? A bit of razor burn? (Update: The answer ended up being bloody legs covered in Star Wars bandages – not an attractive look for a hot Midwestern summer!)

On Friday, I asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen if I try to save money with home haircuts for everyone in my house?” I invest in matching hats for the entire family? I end up divorcing my husband because he accidentally snipped a huge chunk of hair off the back of my head? (Update: The child’s hair is fine, the husband’s hair is acceptable, and mine is somewhere in the middle range of haircuts I’ve received throughout my life. I am also still married.) 

The Moral of the Story 

Whether you’re attempting stain removal or debating the merits of a DIY haircut, being willing to try new things and think outside the box is the best way to save money. At the end of my week, I ended up with clean carpets, a spotless shirt, a delicious casserole, bloody legs, and a mediocre haircut. Frugal living, like most other skills one develops, is clearly an ongoing process.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life Success Story

It's Tuesday, three days after the new round of coupons came out, and I have no exciting coupon stories or pictures to post. I didn't rush to CVS on Sunday to take advantage of the newest ECB sale, and I'm pretty sure I have some expired Register Rewards in my coupon file. Normally this would make for a bummed out couponer, but not this week...

What was so important, you ask, that would keep this avid couponaholic away from the infamous Sunday sales? The answer is actually quite simple:

I slept in.

I went to church with my wonderful husband.

We went to lunch with some pretty awesome friends.

I learned about the new United Way.

We took a LONG afternoon nap.

We went to a Sunday night church service. 

We picked up Whataburger To Go

We even returned some lost keys. 

Might sound pretty boring and routine to some, but it's worth more than ANYTHING when you're spending time with the people you love. 

The coupons will always be there. The sales will always be there. Sometimes it's good to just take a Sunday off and just enjoy the simple things in life :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Foodie Friday

T.G.I. Friday’s
Click here to print a coupon for $5 off your table’s purchase of $15 or more.
Expires: October 31

Click here to print several coupons including one for a 16 Piece Feast for $29.99. 
Expires: August 31

Chuck E. Cheese
Click here to print several coupons including one to purchase 90 tokens for $15.00.
Expires: August 17

Free Chips and Queso when you sign up for their email club.

Jack In The Box
Click here to print a coupon for a free mini dessert with the purchase 
of a “Really Big Chicken Sandwich Combo” priced at $3.99
Expires: September 20

Long John Silver’s
Click here to print several coupons
including one for Free Medium Southern Peach Ice Flow
with any regularly priced meal.  
Expires: August 29

Olive Garden
Click here, and “like” them on Facebook to print a coupon for $2 off any 2 Paninis.
Expires: August 14

Little Caesars
Click here to print a coupon for a Crazy Combo for $1.99.  
This includes sticks and sauce.
Expires: August 31

Dairy Queen
Click here to print a coupon for a free mini, small or medium blizzard
when you purchase a medium blizzard.   
Expires: August 31

Kids eat free every day during the month of August from 4-10 pm. 
No coupon is needed.  Go here for details.

Click here to print several coupons including one for a free sub
when you purchase another sub of equal or lesser value and a regular drink.
Expires: August 14

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Retail Therapy Thursday

Famous Footwear
Click here to print a coupon to take an extra 20% off your entire purchase.
They are also having a Back to School Sale where you receive 1 pair 1/2 off when you buy another pair of equal or lesser value.
Expires: August 13th

Click here to print a Wow Pass!
to get an extra 15% off already reduced Home items and an
extra 10% off reduced Electronics
Click here to print another Wow Pass!
to get an extra 15% off select sale and clearance apparel
Expires: August 14th

New York & Company
Click here to print a coupon for $25 off your purchase of $75 or more.
Plus they are having a pant and jean sale right now where you can get any pair for $10 if you purchase another at regular price.
Expires: August 18th

Payless Shoe Source
Click here to print a coupon to take 15% off your purchase.
Plus it’s BOGO time AKA
Get any item at 1/2 price if you purchase another of equal or lesser value.
Expires: August 31st

Click here to print several coupons!!! :)
Expires: August 12th

Yankee Candle
Click here to print a coupon for $15 off a purchase of $45 or more.
Expires: September 5th

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Target: Another Happy Ending

So last night I made a trip to Target that had me smiling from ear to ear.  Just like this :)
It's amazing how much money you can save at Target-when you shop the right way. What exactly does it mean to "shop the right way"?

Simple. Shopping tip for today: Stack manufacture coupons with Target store coupons. If you go to the Target website, click on the Get Coupons link and BAM! You instantly have access to tons of printable Target coupons that you can pair with manufacture coupons. If you're still not sure about how to conquer Target, learn Target 101 from the expert.

With a little effort, here is an example of the kind of savings you can enjoy at Target...

First things first. Everything I bought last night was purchased with a coupon. If you aren't going to use coupons, I wouldn't recommend shopping at Target for everyday household items. I would suggest going to Wal-Mart; preferably the one in College Station, for Always Low Prices ;)

Tide 3 ct. (travel size):  $0.99 each
-(3) $1.00 off coupons from Sunday paper
Final Price: 3 for FREE

Cascade (trial pack): $1.09 each
-(3) $1.00 off coupons from Sunday paper
Final Price: $0.09 each

Cottonelle Wipes: $2.34 each
-$0.75 off 2 coupon from Sunday paper
-(1) $1.25 off 2 printable coupon (http://coupons.target.com/)
Final Price: $1.34 each

Johnson & Johnson First Aid Kits (travel size): $0.97 each
-(1) $1.50 off 2 coupon from Sunday paper
Final Price: $0.22 each

Loctite Super Glue: $2.49
-(1) $1.00 off coupon from Sunday paper
-(1) $1.00 off printable coupon (http://coupons.target.com/)
Final Price: $0.49

Shout Wipes (travel size): $0.97
-(1) $0.55 off coupon from Sunday paper
Final Price: $0.42

Ziploc Bags: $1.75 each
-(1) $1.00 off 2 coupons from Sunday paper
-(1) $1.00 off 2 printable coupon (http://coupons.target.com/)
Final Price: $0.75 each

Olay Bar Soap: $0.97
-(1) Free Satin Care shave gel with Olay purchase ($1.89 value)
Final Price: $0.97 for Olay bar soap and Satin Care shave gel

Total paid: $6.79

Total savings: $22.68

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

CVS Success Story AKA The Highlight Of My Week!!!

Shopping tip #2 for today. If you don't already have a CVS card, go get one! Right now. Ok maybe not right now, but sometime this week before Sunday rolls around. CVS is where I get the majority of our toiletries and miscellaneous household items for pennies. If you are new to the couponing world, and are looking for a place to start, your best bet is CVS. 

Now I know what you're thinking...you think that CVS is over-priced, and that I'm insane for recommending that you start shopping there. I used to think the same thing, until I discovered the power behind these 3 little letters: ECB. For all you beginners out there, learn from the expert: The Krazy Coupon Lady herself :) Just click on the CVS 101 tab and you'll be on your way to saving millions in no time.

OK. Back to my wonderful shopping trip to CVS. Don't focus too much on the picture...the items aren't anything exciting to look at. It's the numbers that really make me want to do my happy dance :)
Herbal Essences Shampoo: $2.49 each
*CVS sale is $1.00 ECB when you purchase two
-(2) $1.00 off coupons from Sunday newspaper
New Price: $1.49 each

Excedrin Extra Strength: $6.39
*CVS sale is $5.00 ECB when you spend $10.00 on Excedrin
-$0.75 off coupon from Sunday newspaper
New Price: $5.64

Excedrin Tension Headache: $5.99
*CVS sale is $5.00 ECB when you spend $10.00 on Excedrin
-$0.75 off coupon from Sunday newspaper
New Price: $5.24

Total Cost: $13.35 - $3.00 off coupon from The Magic Red Machine = $10.35
- $10.00 ECB from previous shopping trip
New Price: $0.35 + $6.00 earned ECB that I can use on my next purchase

Moral of the story: I basically got paid $5.65 to shop at CVS
(cue happy dance)

Walgreens Success Story

The sales this week at Walgreens weren't absolutely amazing, but I did walk out with a few items that we really needed (for really good prices).

Paper: 3.99 regular price
-(1) in-ad coupon ($2.00 off)
New Price: $1.99 

Colgate Toothbrushes: 2 for $6.00
*Walgreens sale is $4.00 Register Rewards when you purchase these items
-(2)$0.40 coupons from the Sunday newspaper
New Price: $5.20 for 2 

Notepad: $0.49 (used as a filler item)

Retail Value: $10.48
Price After Coupons: $5.68
-$2.00 Register Rewards from last week's shopping trip
New Price: $3.68 + $4.00 earned Register Rewards = Net Price: -$0.32

Kroger Success Story

Shopping tip #1 for today. Don't throw away those $0.25 and $0.35 coupons. Because some Kroger stores (like ours) continue to double and triple coupons, those little pieces of paper can save you BIG TIME. Let me prove it to you!

 Retail Value: $85.04
Price After Using Kroger Card: $60.46
Price After Manufacture Coupons: $37.57
Price After Kroger Doubled/Tripled My Coupons: $26.43
Total Savings: $58.61

And what exactly did I get for $26.43? Glad you asked! :)

Doritos, Honey Nut Cheerios, teriyaki sauce, 2 protein bars, Bugles, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, Sobe Life Water, milk, 3 Crest toothpastes (for free), Colgate toothpaste (for free), 2 Smart Ones Entrees for One, Hillshire Farms sliced turkey, 2 bags Kroger shredded cheese (great for freezing), 6 bags of Peanut M&Ms (only paid $0.75 for all 6), Yoplait Yogurt 4-pack, 2 Dole Pineapple Juices, 3 4-packs of Ivory soap (for free), 3 packs of Carefree liners, Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, Axe shower gel and loofah, 2 cans of Kroger tomato sauce, Welchs grape jelly, Pam cooking spray, Dial liquid hand soap, and Excedrin.

Average price per item was $0.629. Woohoo!!!

So the moral of the story: Those little coupons might not save you much anywhere else, but at a Kroger store that doubles/triples coupons, they can save you BIG TIME!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

CVS Success Story

Retail Value: $24.77
Total Paid: $3.48

(2)Schick Hydro 5 Razors: $8.99 each (sale price with CVS card)
*CVS Sale is Buy One Get One Free
-(2)$4.00 off coupons from newspapers
New Price: $0.99 for 2

Band-Aids: $2.99 (sale price with CVS card)
*CVS Sale is $1.00 ECB when you purchase this product
-$0.50 coupon from newspaper
New Price: $2.49

Total Paid: $3.48 + taxes = $3.52 plus $1.00 ECB that I can use on my next purchase

Total Savings: $21.29 or 86%

Walgreens Success Story

I'm so excited about this one! Who doesn't love cheap Excedrin and Twizzlers?!?!

Excedrin (125 ct.): $8.99
-$1.50 coupon from newspaper
Excedrin (100 ct.): $8.99
-$1.50 coupon from newspaper
(2)Twizzlers (16 oz.): $1.50 each
-(2)$0.50 coupons from newspaper

*Walgreens was running the following sales:
Spend $15 or more on Excedrin products, receive $7.00 Register Rewards
Buy 2 packages of Twizzlers, receive $1.00 Register Rewards

Retail Value: $20.98
Price After Coupons: $16.98
-$5.00 Register Rewards from last week's shopping trip
New Price: $11.98 + $8.00 Register Rewards = Net Price: $3.98

Total Savings: $17.00 or 81%

I'm Baaaack!

I'm not exactly sure where the last 32 days went, but I'm going to blame the following holidays for my blogging unproductiveness: Memorial Day, National Doughnut Day, Donald Duck Day, Flag Day, and Father's Day. Yes, I was so busy preparing for and celebrating each of those holidays that I couldn't find time to blog (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) :)

But I'm back now. So let the fun begin (again)...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good deals anyone?

Howdy fellow couponers!

I just wanted to see if anyone had any coupon success stories that they wanted to share?

Now is your time to shine! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Extreme Giving

People always ask me why I choose to coupon. And my answers usually sound like this:
“Why pay more for stuff when I can get it for pennies?”
“I am trying to be a good steward of God's blessings.”
“I like having a hobby that saves us money, not one that costs us money.”
Well last night, I came up with a different answer.
A few days ago, it was brought to our attention that a family in our community was in need. Not the kind of need that is a result of poor choices or lack of effort. This was the kind of need that broke my heart; that humbled me to no end. This family of 4 had recently had a baby, and when asked what they needed for their newborn, their response was sincere: “Just the basics, please.” Well thank God for churches that know how to rally around their own, and help meet the need. A baby shower was immediately planned, and a list of baby items was quickly circulated throughout our church’s electronic distribution list. Undoubtedly, our church would make sure that this newborn, God’s precious gift, would be ok.
After blogging about my trip to Walmart last night, I sat at my computer, completely convicted and utterly humbled. I sat in the comfort of my own home, blogging about my cheap diaper purchase, while there were people in my own community who couldn’t even afford diapers or blankets for their newborn baby. I had 4 boxes of unopened cereal in my pantry, while other families had to skip breakfast altogether to save money. I had countless bottles of Olay body wash in my bathroom, while some families would think of that as a luxury. How did I miss this? Why had I never put the two together? It suddenly all made sense…
"Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now." ~Saint Teresa of Avila
Last night I realized one very important lesson: My desire to coupon, save money, and stockpile shouldn’t be for my benefit entirely. God wanted to use my hobby to bless others.  He wants to use me, and my coupons, to be His hands and feet! I know it sounds silly. But if God can use a talking donkey, then surely He can use my coupon hobby, right? What an amazing thought…that something as insignificant as a $0.25 coupon could help minister to someone’s need…
And that’s when it all started! I was on a mission! I was going to be the hands and feet of Christ to the family I mentioned earlier. I ran to my garage, emptied out an old Rubbermaid container, and started to fill it up with items that I had stored away in closets and pantries. 10 cans of Chef Boyardee for their two children, 4 bottles of body wash, 3 toothbrushes, cereal, Q-tips, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, deodorant, toothpaste, the list goes on and on. Over 50 items, easily totaling over $100 regularly priced, were in that box. How much did I actually pay for them? I can’t say for sure, but I would guess no more than $10. I can’t explain the joy that was in my heart as I closed the lid on that Rubbermaid container. I smiled. My heart smiled. And I’m pretty sure that even Christ Himself smiled.

While my closets and cupboards may never be as full as those extreme couponing shows on TV, I’m content with what I do have. I would rather give those items to people who actually need them; instead of taking up space going unused.
Now when people ask me why I choose to coupon, my answer is this:
"I want my coupons to be the hands and feet of Christ."
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
Luke 12:48