Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving and then some for under $50!

The deals at Scolari's in San Luis are amazing this week! Plus, they've started Double Ad Wednesday so you can take advantage of 2 weeks worth of advertisements in the same shopping trip!! Let me know if anyone visits this store as I am curious to know if I understand their doubling policy correctly. Below are the match ups for this week through Nov 24th...

What I would buy....

  • Nabisco Crackers, $1.99 each, buy 2

Use $1/2 Q fm SS 11/13, doubles

Final Price: $2 for both

  • Betty Crocker Cake Mix, $1 each

Use $0.75 off Cake mix and frosting Q fm GM 11/13, doubles but not over cost

Final Price: Free plus cost of frosting (should be great price around $2)

  • Mrs. Smith’s Pie, $3.50 each
  • Cool Whip, $0.99 each
  • Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, $1.69 each, buy 2

Use $0.40/2 Q fm GM 11/13, doubles

Final Price: $2.58 for both

  • Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, $1.99 each, buy 2

Use $0.40/2 Q fm GM 11/13, doubles

Final Price: $2.58 for both

  • Russet Potatoes, 5lb bag, $0.99 each
  • Apples, several varieties, $0.99/lb, buy 2lbs
  • Oranges $0.50/lb, buy 4 lbs
  • Yams/Sweet Potatoes $0.50/lb, buy 4lbs
  • Fresh Express Salads 2/$4
  • Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce, $1.25 each, buy 4

Use $1/2 printable Q fm Wounded Warrior Project, doubles

Final Price: $1 for all 4

  • Stove-top Stuffing, $0.99 each, buy 2

Final Price: $2 for both

  • Swanson Broth, $0.89 each, buy 2 (you will need this to make stuffing tasty)

Use $0.40/2 Q fm SS 11/6, doubles

Final Price: $0.97 for both

  • Eco-Foil Rack Roaster $0.99 each (this assumes you don’t have a roasting pan)
  • Norbest Turkey 20 lb turkey $9.97 (approx $0.50/lb, with min $25 post-coupon total)
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese, $1.25 each, buy 2

Use $0.60/2 fm SS 11/6, doubles

Final Price: $1.30 for both

  • Sara Lee Bread, $2.79 each

Use $0.65/1 Q fm RP 10/23, doubles

Final Price: $1.49

  • Ore-Ida Tater Tots, $2.50 each, buy 2

Use $1/1 printable Q fm Wounded Warrior Project, doubles

Final Price $1 for both

Total $43.37

Now, it’s entirely possible that my math is wrong as I’ve never had the pleasure of shopping somewhere that doubles coupons, but...even if they did not double, this shopping list would only cost you...$49.07, so give it a shot and see how it goes!

What I would make with this....

Breakfasts: Cinnamon Rolls (each can makes 8? so this should last a few mornings)

Cranberry Sauce mixed with Yogurt left over fm last shopping trip

Egg sandwiches (eggs and milk are not mentioned above and are assumed, if you don’t have them, but want to stick to the above budget, drop the crackers first.)

Lunches: Turkey sandwiches (bread, turkey, cranberry sauce, cream cheese) served with tater tots

Do you have Bologna left over fm last week?

Dinners: Traditional turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, crescent rolls, and salad

Leftovers for days!!!

Desserts: Pie with Cool Whip

Cake and frosting (if you don’t have eggs and oil, sub in a can of cola!)

Snacks: Crackers with cream cheese (and cranberries if you like)

See? Things are already looking up in your kitchen! Not only do you get a full Thanksgiving meal, you get to have dessert!! Now, if someone is cooking your T-giving meal elsewhere, that’s great, but I still encourage you to take advantage of this shopping/menu plan. And, as always, bring home leftovers to make these groceries go even farther!

Check out for a recipe for Citrus Butter Chicken.

Have more ingredients in your pantry to add? Use to create meals using what you have on hand!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shopping in San Luis for $35!!

For all my friends in San Luis, Pismo, and surrounding cities, did you know that Scolari’s doubles coupons!?! Here’s my first coupon match-up for this store, but hurry, these deals are only good through tomorrow! I will try and post more soon.

Disclaimer: The plan I lay out at the bottom is assuming you have zero stockpile- an empty pantry. This plan is intended to get you fed while building your stock. As you accumulate items at stock-up prices, your Out Of Pocket will fall since you no longer need to purchase things at full price. If, however, you have a small stock, you may be able to eliminate some items. Therefore, I have listed whether I think things are good prices or not. Enjoy!

Scolari’s Deals (Good thru 11/16)

  • Post Cereals (includes Honeycomb, Fruity Pebbles, or Cocoa Pebbles)

Sale Price 2/$4

Use $1/2 Post Cereals printable coupon fm, doubles to $2

Total $2 for 2 boxes of cereal (stock up price)

  • Digiorno Pizza (looks like these are the pizza/side combos)

Sale Price $6.49

Use $1.25/1 coupon fm RP 10/16

Total $5.25 (decent price)

  • Bar-S Bologna

Sale Price $1.59

Buy 2, use $0.75/2 fm RP 10/23, doubles to $1.50 off/2

Total $1.68 for 2 (or $0.84/ea which is a stock up price)

  • Mountain High Yogurt, 32 oz

Sale price $2.49

Use $0.50/1 fm SS 10/23, doubles to $1

Total $1.50 each (stock up price)

  • Fuji Apples- $0.99/lb (good price)
  • Hass Avocados- 2/$0.88 (stock up price)
  • Red Potatoes- $0.79/lb (poor price but oh so good!)
  • Del Monte Canned Vegetables- $0.89/ea
  • Bay View Farms Pan Bread- $1.88 (good price)
  • Assorted Pork Chops $1.97/lb (good price)

Here’s what I would buy...

4 boxes of cereal (uses 2 Q’s which is what you can usually print w/1 computer)- $4

2 loaves bread- $3.76

4 packs bologna- $3.36

2 tubs yogurt- $3

4 lbs of Fuji Apples- $4

3 lbs of Pork Chops- $6

4 cans of veggies- $3.56

2.5 lbs of Red Potatoes- $1.98

1 Digiorno Pizza- $5.25 (this is pricey, but a nice treat if you are trying to avoid eating out)

Total OOP: $34.91 plus tax

Here’s what I would make with that...

Breakfasts: Cereal

Lunches: Bologna sandwiches with avocado (sounds gross but it’s yummy and has “good fats” instead of the kind in mayo), serve with Fuji Apples (reserve 5)

Snacks: Yogurt (mix with honey or sugar to sweeten and sprinkle with cereal for a crunch!)

Dinners: Pork Chops with Homemade Applesauce (take 5 reserved apples, peel and chop, throw in crockpot with generous sprinkle of cinnamon, cook on low 3 hours till soft, cool a bit and puree in blender), mashed red potatoes, and canned veggies

Digiorno for a treat!

This should get you through at least 4-5 days, plus you’ve started a stockpile! If you can’t afford $35, I’d cut the Digiorno first. Remember, you can freeze lunch meat, bread, and yogurt!

Please let me know if you have any troubles doubling coupons! And, as always, I recommend printing and taking the store's coupon policy to be sure you get what they promise. ;) Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's BennyMania!! A Beatles Themed 1st Birthday!

Here are some pictures and details from our recent BennyMania- a Beatles Themed 1st Birthday Party! And what would a post from me be without some money saving tips?... As guests entered they passed signs for "BennyMania" and "Penny Lane" (afterward we wondered that we didn't make this Benny Lane, duh!) You'll see these signs throughout. I made them from foam board and foam adhesive letters (both found at Dollar Tree), construction paper and paste (both in my craft closet), wrapping paper (found in the dollar bins at Target), and Beatles note cards (found on clearance at Michaels and bought with a coupon.) Total cost for all signs- $5.
We also had a bubble machine out front spilling strawberry scented bubbles into the path. The bubble machine, along with its mate in the backyard, were picked up at Walmart using coupon overage so those were free!!! And, the bubbles were from the Dollar Tree. We used 3, so that's $3.

Inside, we decorated 2 of the walls with collages of Beatles pictures. I originally was going to buy posters online, but each one was $5-7. Instead, I picked up a calendar from Big Lots and cut all the logos and pictures out and arranged them as I saw fit. They even had the right colors on the borders! Total cost for 2 collages- $7.

No party would be complete in my house without paper lanterns and poms. I actually had the red and purple lanterns from previous parties- free. Then I tried my hand for the first time at making poms. They're not perfect, but they were a crazy kind of cute. Cost for tissue paper in the exact shades I wanted- $5. (That's silly. I could've done better there.)

In the dining room, I created an Octopus Garden where the presents eventually ended up.
There's another sign...and flowers recycled from previous parties. But the octopus himself was a treasure!! He came to us from Michaels...on clearance from $40....down to $2!!! He was, unfortunately too pink for my boy, so I painted him with good old fashioned acrylic paint and a sponge brush, both of which were in my craft closet so no added cost.

For lunch, we served Yellow Submarine Sandwiches (bought from Subway because that is still cheaper than buying all the fixings, and easier), Here Comes the Sun Chips, and I am the Eggman Deviled Eggs.

To drink, we had Sgt. Dr. Pepper, For the Benefit of Mr. Sprite, Muddy Water (iced tea), and Not so Muddy Water (bottled water). Next to those, we perched our little guy's toy drum to which we stuck a familiar looking sticker. I couponed for all the drinks so they were totally free!

On the dessert table, we had O's Darling (Cheerios for little ones, and donuts for adults),
They Say It's Your Birthday Cupcakes, Yellow Submarine Twinkies,

Lucy in the Sky with
Diamond Ring Pops, Kaleidescope Pops, Applesauce Records, and Watching Rainbow Skittles. Phew! All the references to Beatle culture were exhausting to coordinate. But oh so fun!! Now, most of the sweets were free due to coupon overages at Walmart. But, I did pay $4 for Ring Pops, and as mentioned in the previous post about the record dessert stands, I spent $5 on displays. Along with these little cartoon Beatles you see everywhere (cut from the afore-mentioned note cards), I found Beatles stickers for just $1/sheet. I got out some frames used in previous parties, printed up party details in a "Yellow Submarine" font, and adorned the pages with the stickers. So that cost me just $4 to add a lot of detail.

The backyard was covered in quilts and baby toys with a sign that said, "Strawberry Field for Babies" and the second strawberry bubble maker.
We also had balloons everywhere. Again, thanks to coupon overage at Walmart, I got a helium tank for just $9 with balloons included.
If you add in about $15 for tablecloths and paper goods, I'm all in at....
$60 plus the cost of the sandwiches!!!
And, come on, isn't this sweet face worth it?

The very last dollar was spent on the "1" candle we blew out for him. Cheers!

DIY Record Dessert Stand Tutorial

So, I recently created these dessert stands for my little guys birthday party and they were so easy that I just had to share a how to....
1. Get some glass candle holders from the Dollar Tree. Mine were for votives, but taper holders would work just as well.
2. Grab a can of spray paint and give 2 thorough coats. I had red on hand, and that worked great with my color scheme.

3. Lay records on a flat surface. (I got mine from Goodwill for $0.25 each!) Put some Krazy Glue all over the rim of the top of the candle holder and stick it to the middle. Allow to dry and voila! (Since we were doing a Beatles themed party, DaHubby printed out some stickers from his computer to cover over the original label on the record.)
4. Adorn with goodies! We obviously did yellow submarines out of twinkles, but they will hold just about anything.

Tip: These are not that sturdy, so choose things that you can balance or buy wide candle holders.
Also, don't be crazy and do this to your real record collection!

Total cost: $5 for 4 stands!!!

More Beatles Bday Party details coming soon...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sweet Curious George Birthday Party

My friend Kristin just threw the most adorable Curious George party for her little girl's 1st birthday!

We were so excited to attend since she is my little guy's bff. I will let the pictures do most of the talking, but I picked up a lot of great ideas from her brilliant decorations! Tables were topped with stuffed Georges as well as books checked out of the library. Can you say "free"? Amen.

All the snacks were laid out so thoughtfully and so baby-friendly!

Those are just disposable shot glasses from the Dollar Tree filled with yogurt melts, and Kristin printed custom labels for the tops of the fruit cups. Genius. Frugal. Spectacular. Stealing.

You have to love the yellow hat left behind by George's friend. It's just a sombrero from the Dollar Tree spray painted and adorned with kiddy puzzles!

The favors for the kiddy's were Curious George activity packs and books, bubbles, and socks. Many of the items just happened to pop up in Target the week beforehand. You have to love that! Favors for the adults were these perfect sugar cookies made by a friend of the family. They were delicious and such exquisite work!
I only wish I had a picture of the adorable yellow-hat-shaped smash cake that our friend Renee made, but alas, my arms were full of my own cupcake-hungry boy.

There you have it! Hope these pics inspire your next party!

Almost $400 in groceries for $118!!

Wow! I just had to share what I think is a great haul...

Total Value $370.88 for $135 Out of Pocket, Plus I Ended with $7 in Rewards & $10 Gift Card! True Cost = $118 which is a 68% savings on real, honest-to-goodness groceries!!

For those who don’t care to know the details, the abreviated list included a 6 month supply of paper towels, a 3 month supply of laundry detergent, 2 full size pizzas, 13 cans of soup, 3 boxes of cereal, 6 free 2-liters of soda, the most perfect pumpkin ever, and a bunch of other stuff we needed for this week and to build our stockpile!

For those who are curious to know how I did this, here’s what I bought and where....

CVS: (Value $88.73 , Out of Pocket $36.77, Gift Cards/Reward Earned $13 , Adjusted Total $23.77)

  • Transaction #1 (Total after using coupons and previously earned ECBs= $1.67, earned $4 new ECBs)

Buy 2 CoverGirl Blushes $4.99
Use $8.00/2 Covergirl Face Products, Limit 4 Like coupons per transaction from PG 10/2 (exp 10/31)
Pay $1.98, Receive $3.00 Extra Bucks
Final Price: $1.02 Moneymaker

Progresso Soup, 18.5-19 oz $1.66
Buy 4, Receive $1.00 Extra Bucks, Limit 1
Use $1.00/4 Progresso Soups any flavor from GM 10/2 (exp 11/26)
or $1.00/4 Progresso Soups any flavor from GM 9/11 (exp 11/5)
Pay $4.00, Receive $1.00 Extra Bucks
Final Price: $0.75 each when you buy 4

Gold Emblem Candy Corn, Autumn Mix, or Pumpkins, 8 oz $0.10
Limit 2

  • Transaction #2 (Total after tax and applying $4 ECBs fm Trans #1= $35.10, but earned $3 new ECBs plus a $10 Amex Gift Card)

Starbursts, Singles $0.50
Buy 4, Receive $1.00 Extra Buck, Limit 1
Use 2 B1G1 Free – Starbursts, Singles, CVS Coupon – (
Pay $1.00, Receive $1.00 Extra Buck
Final Price: Free when you buy 4

CVS Jumbo Pack Supreme Diapers or Training Pants, $6.99
Get $2 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $4/2 coupon from the coupon machine last week, Pay $10, get $2 ECBs back

Buy 5 Scott Choose – A – Size Mega Rolls, 6 Pack $6.00
Use 5 $1.00/4 Scott Towels, 4 or more rolls from SS 9/11 (exp 10/23)
Pay $25.00, Receive $10.00 Gift Card
Final Price: $3.00 each when you buy 5

Albertsons (Value $138.10, OOP $50.85)

Coffee-Mate, 16 oz, Sale $2.00, bought 2, Used 2 $0.55/1 printable coupons, Final Price $1.45 each

La Victoria Sals 16oz & La Victoria Enchilada Sauce 28oz $1.50/each, bought 4 of each Used 4 $1/2 coupons fm 8/14 SS Final Price $1/each

Smart Ones, included in buy 10/save $5 promotion, $1.79 after discount, bought 10 Used $3/10 coupon fm 8/7 SS Final Price $1.49 each

2 Fiber Plus Cereals, included in buy 10/save $5 promotion, $2.29 after discount Used 2 $1/1 printable coupons Final Price $1.29 each

Campbells Select Harvest Soups, included in buy 10/save $5 promotion, $1.29 after dis bought 9, used 3 $1.00/3 printable coupons Final Price $0.95 each

Best Life Spread, $2.89 sale price Used $0.50 catalina coupon fm last visit Final Price $2.39

Dr Pepper 10, $1.69 sale price (they only had one, so that’s what I got) Used Free Coupon fm SS 10/9 Final Price Free!!

Idahoan Loaded Potatoes $1.69 Used Free coupon fm October All You Magazine Final Price Free!!

Maxwell House Coffee, $8.99 sale price (not a great price, but needed and got me free cereal!)

Honey Nut Cheerios- Free with Coffee purchase!

Starbucks canned coffee- $2 (very much needed since I couldn’t go home to brew the Maxwell house above)

Walgreens: (Value $24.11, Out of Pocket $11.38)

Now, here I got a little messed up because the Infant Care Booklet and November Booklet did not arrive in my Walgreens on time. Below are the deals you could do, but above is the total I actually paid. :(

Huggies Baby Wipes, Refill Pack, 184 to 216 ct $4.99, On Sale Starting 10/23
Use $0.50/1 Huggies Wipes, 64 ct+ from SS 10/23
And Use $2.00/1 Huggies Big Pack or Wipes, 184 ct or 216 ct from Walgreens Infant Care Booklet (4 digit code #5519)
Final Price: $2.49

DiGiorno Pizza, 12 in $5.00
When you buy 2
Use 2 $2.00/1 – Digiorno Pizza – (
And Use $1.00/2 DiGiorno Pizza, 12 in from Walgreens November Booklet
Final Price: $2.50 each when you buy 2/

Foods Co: (Value $40 at least , OOP $20.53)

I lost my receipt, so I can’t give you exactly how much I got on the produce, but my total above should be pretty accurate. The perfect pumpkin was my deal of the day!!!

Hass Avocados- $0.79/each (a staple for the baby)

Granny Smith Apples- $.49/lb

Italian Squash- $.78/lb

Yellow Onions- $.25/lb

Kroger Pancake Mix 32oz, or Syrup 24oz- $1.68, got 3 of each

Amazing Perfect Pumpkins- $2.98 each!!

Rite-Aid: (Value $45.56, OOP $2.91 after Up Rewards, earned $4 new Up Rewards)

Xtra Laundry Detergent or Nice ‘n Fluffy Softener $2.00
Buy 3, Receive $2.00 +Up Reward
Pay $6.00, Receive $2.00 +Up Reward
Final Price: $1.33 each when you buy 3

Always, Carefree, or Kotex Liners $1.00
Use 2 $0.50/1 Carefree product, any from SS 8/21
Or $1.00/2 – Carefree, 18-22ct – (
Final Price: 2 for FREE

Arm & Hammer Toothpaste, Orajel Toddler Toothpaste, Baby Tooth and Gum Cleaner $3.99
Buy 1, Receive $2.00 +Up Reward
$1.00/1 Orajel Kids MY WAY toothpaste from SS 10/26
Pay $2.99, Receive $2.00 +Up Reward
Final Price: $0.99

Can of Sliced Pineapple $1.79 (not a great deal, but I needed them and had Rewards to spend)

Cover Girl Eyeliner $5.99, Sale BOGO 50% off, Use $8/2 coupon fm PG 10/2= Free, so I picked up 4!! (I now have all the makeup I’ll need for 2012!!!

Save-Mart: (Value $29.68, OOP after tax and coupons $7.16)

Dr. Pepper Ten 2-liters, $1.49 each (on sale fm $1.99), bought 5, Used Free coupons fm SS 10/9 = Free for all 5!!!

Pillsbury Cake Mix, $0.88 with in store coupon, limit 4, bought 4= $3.52

Black Plums, $0.47/lb, bought 1.78 lbs= $0.84

Sunrype Fruit leather (just a little snack to pick me up after shopping). $1.00

Roma Tomatoes, $0.47/lb, bought 1.54 lbs= $0.72

Dollar Tree: (OOP after tax $4.70)

Diet Pepsi- $1 (much needed as this was my last stop)

Black Licorice- $1

Canned Vegetables, sale $0.79, bought 2 (not a great price, but I needed them)

Whipped Topping- $1

Now, if I had packed my own snacks and coffee, and gotten the discounts I was expecting at Walgreens, my savings would have been much higher. But! I am not striving to show you perfection, I aim only to encourage you to do the work to get your family all the things you need for less!

Check out for local grocery deals. You can even click and print a shopping list right from the site listing all the coupons you'll need to get the best prices! Happy Hunting!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Spent $32.56, saved $71.79= 69% saved! Plus I got $4 back!!

Here's my latest trip to Albertsons....
  • 3 boxes of Kraft Velveeta Cheesy Skillets, Sale 3/$5 or $1.67 each
Use 3 $1/1 from SS 8/21
Pay $0.67, get $1 coupon back for meat= $0.33 moneymaker on each!!

  • 7 Ken's Steak House Dressing, 16oz, Sale 10/$10
Use 7 $1/1 from SS 8/14
Pay $0.00, FREE!!!

  • 6 Chex Mix Sweet & Salty, 8.75oz, Sale 10/$10
Use 6 $0.50/1 from SS 7/10
Pay $0.50 each

  • 1 Frigo String Cheese, Sale $3.49
Use $0.55/1 from SS 8/21
Pay $2.94

  • 2 Fresh Express Salad Kits, Sale 2/$6
Use Buy 2 kits, get free bag of Tyson Cooked Chicken Strips
Pay $6 for both bags of salad and bag of pre-cooked chicken

  • 2 Pam non-stick cooking spray, sale 2/$5
Use 2 $0/35/1 from SS 8/7
Pay $4.30, get catalina for $1 on next order= $3.30 for both or $1.65 each

  • 1 Minute Maid Lemonade, Sale 10/$10 (no coupon, but Auntie Sissy is babysitting and she likes lemonade)
  • Eggs $2.79 (not a great price, but what are you gonna do?)
  • Pluots $2.65
  • Don Francisco coffee, sale $6.49 (Crud! I had a coupon and forgot it!)
  • Albertsons English Muffins, Sale $1.39 (this is a great example of saving with generics if you don't have coupons for the items you want/need)
My heart beat a little hard when the register read $104.35, but after Preferred Club Card and coupons, my total came down to $32.56, and the cashier handed me $4 in coupons back. Phew! This, my friends, is how you get coupons on meat....use coupons to buy things that earn you meat coupons! It's just that easy!

And there you have it! I cleared no shelves, so you should be able to grab these deals too! I especially recommend the free salad dressing, thank you very much! ;)

Rocket Cake

Here's my latest adventure in cake decorating.... Rocket from Little Einsteins!
My nephew wanted a Rocket cake for his 4th birthday, so I did my best. I used a 1/2 sheet cake for the base and iced it in a sky blue. The Rocket itself was made of 1 oval cake baked in a Pyrex dish and a round cake baked in a Pyrex. I chose Pyrex so there wouldn't be any hard edges. The boosters are Twinkies with graham crackers cut at an angle. I put a couple of orange Candy Melts (the kind used for molds) as headlights, an unwrapped cherry Blowpop for the antenna, Twizzlers Pull-n-peels for the seeming, and red hots for the rivets. (The red hots were a last minute idea from Dahubby. Brilliant!) The clouds were just good old-fashioned white icing squeezed out of a Ziploc freezer bag that was snipped 1/2" at the corner and generously mounded. Not perfect, by any means, but recognizable to Jaxen, and that's all that matters!! I think the key is to just get in there and do it. Be fearless in the kitchen!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In my mailbox..

A while ago I signed up for Vocal Point. It's a company that sends you free items to try so that you can blog about them. Well, my first freebie came recently...a full size bottle of Downy Unstoppables Fabric Freshener Crystals. (It came with the cutie ankle socks pictured.)

So, I gave it a try, and I like it! When you're doing P90X as I am, your workout clothes take a smelly beating, and most times my shirts come out of the wash smelling like melted deodorant. Instead, with Unstoppables, they came out smelling fresh and super clean. Maybe it's an illusion. Maybe it's magic. ;) I was worried the smell would be overpowering (which it was not after the wash), or that the freshness would fade, but so far so good. I am currently wearing a shirt that was washed 4 days ago and it smells like it just came out of the dryer.

Now, will I buy this product without high value coupons?
No, but that's how I am with everything!

Spent $34.29, Saved $47.63 & Got $12 back!!!

If you've talked to me recently about couponing, you know that I have been attempting to focus my energies on the grocery stores rather than simply the drugstores. Here's why- toothpaste, shampoo and body wash pretty much all go on sale every couple of months so it's not difficult to create a stockpile of these items. It's not, however, going to feed my family. I have to focus my grocery budget on food! So, since I now have a 2-3 months supply of most health and beauty items from my first couple of months doing this coupon thing, I'm waging war on Albertsons!! (And Vons and Winco and any other store I can get good deals at.) Here's my adventure today.....

  • 4 Crest Toothpastes, Regularly $3.79 each, Sale 2 for $3
Used 4 $0.75/1 coupons
Paid $3 for all three, got 2 $1 catalinas from Albertsons and 1 $2 from Crest
(Since I paid $3 and got $4 back, this was actually a moneymaker!!!)
  • 2 4-packs of Dannon Light and Fit yogurt, Regularly $2.99 each, Sale 2 for $4
Used 2 $1/1 coupons
Paid $ 2, got $1 catalina back from Albertsons
  • 1 Gallon of Fat Free Milk, Regular Price $3.89
Used "Free Milk" Catalina from previous General Mills purchase
Since the value of the coupon is for $4.50, the cashier gave me the overage of $0.61!!!
  • 1 Pkg of Johnsonville Italian Sausage, Regularly $5.99, Sale $4.29
Used $1/1 coupon
Paid $3.29, Got 1 $1 Catalina from Albertsons
  • 2 Lucky Charms, Regularly $3.99, Sale 4/$10
(Ok, so I went in with Honey Nut Cheerios coupons, but the participating size was sold out. I only got the Lucky Charms because they went with the General Mills deal for free milk fm GM and $ Catalinas fm Albertsons. I will probably make some marshmallowy treat with them.)
Paid $5, Got Free Milk Catalina from GM and $2 Catalina fm Albertsons
  • 2 Boxes of Nature Vally Granola Bars, Regularly $4.19, Sale 4/$10
Used 1 $0.75/2 coupon
Paid $4.25, got the Catalinas already listed above (this was one deal with GM cereals)
  • 2 Boxes Emerald Breakfast-on-the-Go, Regularly $3.59, Sale 2/$5
Used 2 $1/1 coupons
Paid $3, got $1 Catalina from Albertsons
  • 1 12-pack of Quilted Northern Toilet paper, Regularly $ 10.49, Sale $6.49
Paid $6.49, got $1 Catalina from Albertsons
  • 1 tub of Cottage Cheese $2.70
No coupons, just needed it
  • 1 bunch of bananas $1.51
  • 1 lb of Strawberries $3.99,
(Ok here I got robbed because the price listed on the shelf was $1.99, but when I got home and checked the ad, they are supposed to be BOGO at $3.99 and the cashier simply didn't say anything. Good reason to keep the weekly ad with you when you shop! Either way, they are much cheaper at Vons this week. I just didn't have any other deals I liked at Vons this week.)

Also pictured are 3 items from Target....

  • 2 10-packs Papermate pens, Sale $1 each
Used $1/1 Target coupon
Paid: $0 - 2 pack for Free!!!
  • 1 5ct pack of Zyrtec, Sale $5.29
Used $5/1 coupon from Walmart website
Paid: $0.29

....So that's how I spent $34.29, Saved $47.63, and came away with $12 in Catalinas that can be used toward my next Albertsons purchase...oooh! and a Catalina for another free milk! Life is good!

There are a lot of great deals listed in the weekly ads. For coupon match ups, check or use her Coupon Database to search for coupons that you can use. I hope this helps/encourages you to go and get great saving for yourself this week!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Saved 61% on Meat at Albertsons!!!

It's week two of my war on the grocery stores! Have you joined my army? I am determined to save money on real food, healthy food for my family. That can be tricky when there are rarely coupons for meat and produce. That's why you should definitely take advantage of coupons that help you save on your overall purchase and apply them to transactions that include meat/produce at good prices...hence today's trip...

I spent $34.08, saved $52.77, a 61% savings!!! Here's what I got and how:

  • Garbage bags- $4.79 (Not a great price, but we desperately needed them. I'll have to stockpile these soon.)

  • 10 Oscar Mayer 1lb shaved lunchmeat $2.99
    Use 5 $1/2 Oscar Mayer shaved lunchmeat from SS 5/15, plus get $10 instant savings for buying 10
  • 9 pounds Albertsons Chicken Drumsticks, Thighs or Whole Legs, or Whole Fryers- $1.00/lb (no coupon needed)
  • 6 Boxes of Selected General Mills Cereal $1.88
    4 Bisquick Shake n’ Pour $0.75 (no coupon)
    Use 3 $1.00/2 – General Mills Cereal, Basic 4, Cheerios, Chex, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, or Cookie Crisp – (
    Final cost for all ten items after $5 instant savings : $11.28
  • Used one "Double the Value" coupon- These came in your mailbox in a "savings booklet" about a week ago. As long as you're using at least one coupon that is $1 or more in value, this is essentially like using a $1 off your order coupon. It's just that simple. Put it in with the rest of your coupons. There is no need to tell the cashier which coupon to use this on. Just make sure there is a $1 coupon in your stack to maximize the savings.
  • Used one $5/$25 order that I received for signing up for the Albertsons email savings program. (Get the link at You can receive up to 5 with referrals!)
Total before Club Card and coupons: $86.85 which still would've been a good deal,
paid just $34.08 after all was said and done!!!!!

Oh! And did I mention that each and every one of my Cheerios boxes had a $1.50/1 Pampers coupon on the box, and they don't expire for almost a year!!!

What are you waiting for? Go get some cheap groceries!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Albertsons- spent $69, saved $150!! 70% savings!

If you're new to couponing, you probably focus mostly on the health and beauty products, but are mystified and intimidated by getting the same kind of savings on real groceries. Well, no more! I am declaring war on the groceries stores, and you should join my army! Above is a picture of my grocery haul for today. I spent $69 on over $220 worth of food. That's a 70% savings in a town with no double coupons!!!

Hopefully you know how to find the best prices in the store- use the weekly ad (in your mailbox) and match it up with your coupons, whether you already have them or you need to print them online. Many sights will do these matchups for you ( is great as she lives in Bakersfield and will give you local deals by store), but they mainly focus on the rock-bottom prices, and forget that you may not be able to eat off of 6 bottles of pasta sauce alone. So, you'll have to do your own homework as well. There are a few steps to making a money-saving list....

The key is to focus your shopping dollars into categories. First, plan to buy the items that are at "stock-up" prices- see to learn more about stockpiling, its purpose, and -key- stockpile price points. Second, buy the items that are slightly higher than your stockpile price, but you have none of (this is obviously only for those who are just starting their stock like me.) It's better to pay a good, if not great, price now than to pay more later when you have to have it and you have zero stock. Third, buy the items you need to survive this week (or 2 weeks if that's how you shop). This will be determined by what you have on hand as well as what's on sale, combined to create menus. I know. This is getting complicated. Do your list in pencil, or like me, re-write it several times to check your numbers. If you feel you'll be over-budget, eliminate what you can from the 2nd and 3rd categories above. Try not to sacrifice the stockpile items, as this will pay off greater in the long run.

Now, I'm just starting out, so I can't claim to be an expert. That's why I encourage you to go check out my favorite sights listed above. I'm merely here to be an encouragement. They will show you the ropes.

For those of you interested, here's what I got today:
10- jars of baby food (coupon on 3 of them)
1- 12pack of toilet paper (sale, no coupon)
4- cans tomato sauce (sale, no coupon)
1- can diced tomatoes (sale, no coupon)
1- can coffee (sale, no coupon)
10- Lipton Knorr side dishes (sale plus coupon)
6- jars Ragu pasta sauce (sale plus coupon)
12- boxes Ronzoni pasta (sale plus coupon)
4- Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers (sale plus coupon)
8- bottles Wishbone dressing (sale plus coupon)
2- cans Las Palmas enchilada sauce (sale plus store coupon plus mfr coupon)
1- box Emerald Breakfast on the go (sale plus coupon plus doubler)
2- boxes of Lipton tea bags (sale plus coupon) > must have for my MIL when babysitting ;)
8- jars Peter Pan peanut butter (sale plus coupon) > not my preferred brand, but cheap!!
1- package of Weight Watchers cheese wedges >no sale or coupon, but needed for recipe
2- blocks of Albertsons cheese (store coupon in circular/weekly ad)
2- 1 lb packages of ground beef (store coupon from summer savings book)
1- 30 oz Rotisserie chicken ($0.99 with 10 Knorr sides purchase above)
2- yellow onions
1- 3lb bag of apples

What are you waiting for? Start saving money on real food!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Check those clearance sections!

So, here are the deals that worked in Bakersfield this week....

Value $95.90
Spent $43.36
Earned $20.50 back in store rewards
True Cost $22.86 (76% Savings!)


Electrasol, 20 pk or Jet-Dry, 8.45 oz $3.49
Buy 1, Receive $1.50 Register Reward, Limit 1
$0.55/1 Finish Jet Dry Rinse Agent or Turbo Dry, any from SS 4/17
Pay As low as $2.94, Receive $1.50 Register Reward

Total OOP $3.23 with tax, earned $1.50 back in Register Rewards

Rite Aid

Colgate 360 Surround Toothbrush x 1
Sale Price: $2.99
Receive $2.00 +UP Reward
Use $1/1 coupon from May All You Magazine
Final Price as low as:

Crest Toothpaste $2.99 x 2
Buy 1, Receive $2.00 +Up Reward, Limit 2
$1.50/1 Crest Pro-Health or Sensitivity Treatment and Protection Toothpaste, 4 oz. or larger from PG 5/1
Pay as low as $1.49, Receive $2.00 +Up Reward
Final Price: $0.51 MONEYMAKER

Ziploc Storage Bags $2.00 x 2
Buy 2, Receive $1.00 +Up Reward, Limit 2
$1.00/2 Ziploc Bags, any from SS 4/3
Pay as low as $2.50, Receive $1.00 +Up Reward
Final Price: $0.75 each when you buy 2

Purex Laundry Detergent or Fabric Softener, or Clorox Bleach $1.97 x 1
$1.00/1 Purex Laundry Detergent, any 50 oz. – 100 oz. bottle from RP 5/1
Final Price: $0.97

Bottled Water and Protein Bar to keep me going- $2.65 (used as filler to bring total up enough to use a $3/$15 coupon I earned by taking a customer satisfaction survey online after last week's purchase)

Before UP Rewards $12.59- $8 in UP Rewards= $4.59 OOP, earned $7 new UP Rewards


Transaction #1

Buy (2) Lipton Tea, 12 pack 16.9 oz. @ $5.99 each

  • Use $2/2 Coupon from 5/1 Moments to Save booklet

  • Total: $11.18 with CRV, earn $5 gift card

Transaction #2

Ore-Ida Easy Fries Golden Crinkles – $0.99 (Regular Price) x 2
Use $2.00/2 Ore-Ida Frozen Potato Items Target Store Coupon (exp 6/18)
Final cost: FREE!

Up & Up Pain Reliever (24 ct) – $0.99 (Regular Price) x 2
Use $1.00/1 up & up Pain Relief Item (excl trial size) Target Store Coupon (exp 6/18)
Final cost: FREE!

Turkey Meatballs, normally $7.99, clearance priced $3.98 x 1

Healthy Choice, normally $1.79, clearance priced $1.52 x 1

Lean Cuisine, normally $2.69, clearance priced $1.88 x 1

Smart Ones, normally $1.52, clearance priced $1.95 x 1

Nivea Body Wash, sale priced $2.54 x 2

  • used $1/1 Target coupon on each
  • used $1/1 manufacturer coupon on each
Final cost: $0.54 each

Old Spice Body Wash Bonus Packs, normally $4, clearance priced $3.40 x 2
  • Used BOGO Old Spice Coupon
Final cost: $1.70 for each bonus pack (or $0.85 per bottle of body wash

Total for Transaction # 2 $14.44- $5 Gift Card from Trans #1= $9.44 OOP


Speed Stick StainGuard Deodorant, 2.3-2.7 oz $2.99 x 1
Buy 1, Receive $2.00 Extra Bucks, Limit 1
$0.50/1 Speed Stick or Lady Speed Stick from SS 5/1
Pay $2.49, Receive $2.00 Extra Bucks
Final Price: $0.49

Sure Deodorant, solid 2.6-2.7 oz $2.99 x 4
Buy 1 Get 1 Free
Use 4 -
$1.00/1 Sure Anti-Perspirant from SS 5/15
Final Price: $0.50 each when you buy 2

Neutrogena Sunscreen $9.99 x 2
Use 2 $2.00/1 – Neutrogena Suncare or Sunless Product – (
Pay $15.98, Receive $10.00 Extra Bucks
Final Price $3 each when you buy 2

Total: $23.46 before Extra Care Bucks- 8.54 ECBs= $14.92 OOP, earned $12 new ECBs