squeakytight

My quest in couponing, cutting back, and saving more.

My biggest score so far

I have seen so many posts by Money Saving Mom on ways to get numerous items for free or even get paid for buying certain items at stores such as Walgreens and CVS by combining their Register Rewards with in store deals and coupons.  Today, I thought I would give it a try.  I searched the weekly ads for both Walgreens and CVS to see who had the best deals to go with the coupons I had. This time it ended up being Walgreens.

Here is a break down of the deals I took advantage of and how I maximized my advantage:

Axe Shower Gel  On Sale buy 1 get 1 50%.  Originally priced at $5.49 a piece.  I got 1 for $5.49, 1 for $2.74.  Then I had 2 $2 off coupons I found in the newspaper.  I paid a final price of $3.49 and $0.74.

NM VItamins On Sale Buy 1 Get 1 Free. Originally priced at $11.99 and $11.49.  I got both for $11.99.  I then had 2 $1 off coupons I found in the paper.  I paid a final price of $9.99 for both.

Axe deodorant $1 Register Rewards for purchasing 1.  Originally priced at $3.79.  I got two and used 2 $1 off coupons.  I paid a final price of $2.79 plus $2 in register rewards.

Finish Dishwasher product $1.50 Register Rewards for purchasing 1.  Originally, $3.99 plus I used a $0.65 off coupon for a final price of $3.34 plus $1.50 in register rewards.

DuracellBatteries.  $5 in Register Rewards for purchasing 2.  Originally priced at $9.99 a piece and I used 2 $1.50 off coupons.  I paid a final price of $17 for both plus $5 in Register Rewards.

Bic Flex Razor $1 Register Rewards for purchasing 1.  I used a $2 off coupon I found online and paid $3.99 plus $1 in register rewards.

Loreal Eye Liner on Sale for $5.99 plus I used a $1 off coupon I found in the newspaper for a final price of $4.99.

Goody Bobby Pin on sale for $2 plus $2 in Register Rewards.

Neutrogena Mascara on sale for $4.59 plus I used a $1 off coupon I found in the newspaper for a final price of $3.59.

Covergirl Cosmetics Buy one get one 50% off.  Originally priced at $5.49 and $5.99.  I ended up paying $5.99 and $2.74 plus 2 $1 off coupons I found in the newspaper.  Final price $4.99 and $1.74

My total products were originally priced at $119.43 before sales and coupons.  I paid $64.41 plus $12 in Register Rewards and I qualified for $15 in Jingle Cash.  I’ll use my Register Rewards and Jingle Cash on my next trip and get another $27 in free merchandise.  After all rewards are used  I will end up paying $64.41 for $146.14 worth of product.  Thats a total savings of $81.73.  Not to bad considering I’m pretty new at this.  I hope one day I can enjoying getting paid to take home a few items.

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Reasons Why Target Is Better Than Walmart

Reason 1:
Target has cuter, nicer, high quality clothes for cheaper than Walmart

Reason Two:
Target has more coupon stacking opportunities

Reason Three:
Target is happy to accept my coupons. Walmart didn’t give me credit for my coupons if they had to enter them by hand.

Last week I popped my coupon cherry at Target. I had several coupon stacking opportunities and have saved $90 at Target. I had a coupon that had a value on it for $1 off, but for some reason when it scanned, it only came up as $0.75 off. Without question, the register attendant adjusted it so I got the $1 off.
My second grocery shopping trip was at Walmart. The register attendant had a bad attitude toward me once she saw the coupons. She wasn’t even going to scan them until I asked her to. If I had a problem with a coupon where the barcode didn’t work and she would have to enter the code by hand, I didn’t get credit for the coupon. For example, I had a $2 off a Sally Hansen Beauty Tool with a minimum $2 value. Walmart had an eye lash curler for $2 so with the coupon I should have gotten it for free. When I checked my receipt I discovered she hadn’t entered the coupon. Talk about me being pissed! It was a great deal I lost out on! I don’t spend that much time clipping the coupons, planning my trip, and finding the items to not get credit for the coupons. I do not try and use expired coupons. I make doubly sure my items are exactly what the coupons are for so the coupons will be valid. I am 100% honest about my couponing and I do not deserve the horrible experience I had at Walmart.

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Dinner Tonight

One thing I love about being a stay at home mom is having the opportunity to cook dinner for my family.  Tonight, we are having one of my husbands favorites.  Apricot Russian Chicken.  Its super easy and I never use exact measurements for the ingredients.  I just kind of pour roughly equal parts of each.

Apricot Jam

Russian Salad Dressing

Lipton Onion Mix

Combine above three and coat chicken.  Then bake.  Its that easy, but super delicious.

One thing I will admit is that my family does not eat enough vegetables.  So our side for the night is one of the Green Giant Steamers I got with stacking coupons.  I wish I could remember how much I ended up paying for them.  Anyway, we will be trying the red potato and green bean in a buttery garlic sauce.

I’m contemplating trying to start a garden this spring for my family’s produce.  Any thoughts?

 

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Free samples every day found by ALL YOU

Free samples every day found by ALL YOU.

I found this great magazine called All You.  I find tons of valuable coupons in All You, great articles on saving money, fashion, and dinner recipes.  They also have a fantastic website.  About 4 weeks ago I found that Allyou.com, posts a free sample everyday and how to go about getting the free sample.  Also with the free sample, they may send a coupon for money off the product.  I am super excited that my free samples are starting to arrive.

The first free sample I got was this amazing anti-wrinkle face cream available at Walmart called Dr. LeWinn by Kinerase Skin Care.

Dr. LeWinn by Kinerase Skin Care

Along with the free sample, I got a $5 off coupon!  Yesterday, I got a free sample of Especially Escada Perfume.

Especially Escada

I love the daily free samples found at http://www.allyou.com.  I feel its a great way to try products I wouldn’t normally try and its a great way to save money on these products.

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The First SCORE!

I am back from my first couponing adventure.  I took my adventure to Target because that is where I had the only coupon stacking opportunities.  The down side to the trip was I wasn’t able to use all my coupons because they didn’t carry everything I had a coupon for.  And I had a great coupon for a butterball turkey, but they had sold out for the day.

The good news is I saved $28.72!  It would’ve been higher if I got my turkey.  Here is a list of the score:

Women’s Sweater originally $12.99  I got it for $8.99

Pajama Bottoms I got for free

Spagetti and Sauce $1

Axe Body Wash $2

Soft Soap Body Wash $2.79

I’m most excited that I got to use so many high value coupons.  Most were $0.75 off or higher.

4 Green Giant Steams Originally $1.52 a piece I got it for $1.08 a piece

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Cherry Poppin’ Coupons

Well, I am about to embark on my first couponing adventure.  I did find some coupon stacking opportunities via target, but not a lot.  I’ve got a lot of coupons to use I think.  I sat down and laid out all my target store coupons and matched them up with as many manufactures coupons as I could.  Then I thought about what I need this week and put coupons for that into my pile.  Then I tossed in a couple extra coupons for just some good deals I’m hoping to score.  Thanks to http://www.moneysavingmom.com  I learned of a good coupon for ladies pajama pants and target has pajamas for less then the coupon value.  If they still have the pants, SCORE!  Free pj pants.

I also found a $4 off coupon for a sweater at target and target has a really cute sweater for $14.  Another SCORE!   Cheap Christmas present for me!

Target $14.99 After Coupon $10.99

Wish me luck on my first couponing adventure.  I’m nervous.

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Black Friday

As we all know Christmas is coming up and that is the number one time of the year I tend to get carried away with the gifts. In prior years, I never priced researched. I didn’t care how much I spent on the gifts. This year is going to be different.

James with Santa 2010

I already made my list of what Santa is bringing this year. Now that I know what I am looking for, I have begun researching the best prices for each item. I have been checking the following two websites for the black friday deals for the stores I know will carry items on my list.

http://www.2011blackfridayads.com
http://www.theblackfriday.com

Now before you all get yourselves in a tizzy and tell me the best deals aren’t always on Black Friday, I am well aware of this. That is why I have been doing more research and checking the prices at the stores now, the prices available online, and cyber monday deals. I have yet to find a great cyber monday website.

Now to stay organized with me research and results, I have made a spreadsheet detailing the item, what the lowest price is, and where I can find that lowest price. I’ve gotten Christmas down from a couple thousand dollars last year to $200 this year. And that is for everyone I need to shop for.

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Step One

So my first step in cutting back is to cut out the un-necessary.  Here are some of the un-necessaries:

1.  High-end Label Clothes

No one we know even knew what the labels are anyway.  I once spent $150 on a t-shirt.  Un-necessary.  Other places such as Target, Old Navy, and Kohl’s have clothes just as cute for a fraction of the price.  If I look for good deals, I occasionally can buy things at Banana Republic and J Crew.

Banana Republic Shawl Collar 1

Price: $108.00

 

Banana Republic Shawl Collar 2

Price: $52.50 Better Deal

2.  Dinner Out

When I worked, I never cooked.  I never got home early enough to cook.  I never had the energy to cook.  We only had dinner out.  We spent approximately $450 on lunch and dinners out for a week.  Now, I cook all meals at home and have a weekly grocery bill of about $120 a week.  With our current finances, this is still to high.  I just clipped my first coupons to use in this coming Sundays grocery trip.  I’ll let you know what the savings are.

3.  Name brand Foods

Growing up, my husband wasn’t as privileged as I was.  He often ate ham and beans, bologna aka ghetto steak as he calls it, potato soup.  He didn’t experience the deli ham until he was older.  Now he refuses to eat anything but deli ham.  No more Carl Buddig for him.  John works out a lot therefore eats a lot of protein.  He eats about 2lbs of deli meat a week in his lunches.  Our local grocery store only serves Boars Head meat which runs about $10/lb.  That is $20 a week just in lunch meat alone.  Sorry babe, but I can get you lunch meat from Walmart for half that price.

Boars Head Ham Sandwich

4.  High Heating Bills

During that time of year when we require heat, our heating bill runs about $300 a month with the heat set at 70 degrees.  We do own slippers and sweatshirts which are not uncommon to be worn during the winter months.  I think we can save some money by keeping the heat set at 60 degrees if we keep the sweatshirts on inside.  Its really not that uncomfortable.

 

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Hello world!

Hello world!  My name is Katie and I am a recent stay at home mom.  Before becoming a stay at home mom, we thought we were living the life.  We shopped at Saks at least once a month.  Only bought high end label clothes.  Had a Beemer with thoughts of buying a second one for my husband to have a cute zippy car.  Only went out to eat at nice sit down places.  Were making tons of home improvements.  This past year we remodeled the living room, put in new windows, new siding, had plans of a new fence.  We took an annual vacation to Jamaica.  We loved to buy expensive gifts for people. especially for birthdays and Christmas.  We were avid savers for retirement.  We had money, nice stuff, never had to worry about our finances.  It felt great.

From on of our many trips to Jamaica

Now, money is so tight we can’t go out to eat.  Christmas feels like it will be impossible for Santa to even have one gift for our son.  My husband, John, has been nothing but crabby with me.  Come to find out we haven’t been “making it” from month to month like I thought we were.  We don’t escrow so each month we need to put $500 into savings to pay for our homeowners insurance and real estate taxes.  He dropped the bomb on me that we haven’t been able to put even a $1 away each month to cover this.

So why give the “good life” for our current circumstances?  You see before becoming a stay at home mom, I worked as an auditor and I traveled a lot for work.  I think it got to the point where I was out of town about 50% of the time.  When I was in town, I still didn’t get home till about 7pm at the earliest.  This left me with about an hour and a half of  “quality time” with my wonderful two year old son.  This quality time consisted of us being tired and crabby after a long day.  After a while, he began to resent me for being gone all the time.  This resentment led him to want nothing to do with me .  He couldn’t stand to even be in the same room with me.

I in turn began to want nothing to do with him because he was just plain nasty to me.  I eventually broke down (during the worst time imaginable) at my sisters wedding because I just could not take it anymore.  It was no way to live.  It just is not healthy for a mother and son to hate each other.

I have faith, however, that even in our current financial situation we can make this work.  I am on a quest to learn how to coupon.  Learn how to cut back. And get back to being the avid savers we once were.  My in-laws used to call my husband squeaky because before we had the money he would be so tight with the money his wallet squeaked.

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