Saturday, November 24, 2012

Reward Points Do Add Up

Recently as we visited with some friends we found ourselves in the kitchen.  It was crowded but I happened to look over at the counter and spied a couple of Coke 12-packs.  They had been opened, a few cans had been taken, but what got my attention was that the cartons were intact--the code tabs were still attached!  I slipped toward the counter, ripped off one of the tabs and showed it to my hostess.  I asked her it she collected them, to which the anticipated no came.  Our conversation drew the attention of everyone surrounding us, so I had an audience to educate. I explained reward points.  One person already knew of my commitment to point redemption and had long been giving me his Coke points, so he provided an affirmation.  Another person chimed in and asked me why was I not the one writing the column in the News Sentinel.  I was honored to be compared to Coupon Katie, http://www.couponkatie.com/ who not only is a great saver but uses great social networking skills to share her information.

What did I teach?  

1.  I do not go for the tangible goods.  They typically need more reward points and are probably not things that you really need.  I go for food.  

Coke -- 250 points for a 12-pack
Lean Cuisine -- 500 points for a Lean Cuisine meal
Kellogg -- this is new to me, but I see a high-value $1.50 coupon off for Cheez-its for 100 points.

2.  Many of your friends do not want to go through the trouble of redeeming the points, but they might be willing to save the points for you.  Be appreciative and grateful.  


Here are some coupons:  FEATURED COUPONS


$2.00 off ONE Pampers Baby Dry Diapers



COUPONS.COM

Baby & Toddler

$2.00 off ONE Pampers Baby Dry Diapers


Beverages

$1.00 off Minute Maid Juice Box 10-pk


Foods

$1.00 off Pepperidge Farm Jingos!™ crackers



REDPLUM

SAVE $1.00 On any ONE (1) package of Angel Soft® Bath Tissue 12-Double Roll or larger






Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Chewing Gum -- Do You? Where? When? What Are the Costs?


Curmudgeon Alert!

I enjoy chewing gum, but I likely chew it in two situations:  driving on a long trip and working on a long project.  (note to my friend whose husband is in the hospital for a while--I'd be chewing it there, too!) I believe that in general chewing gum does not belong in public. This is particularly applicable in church (how people chew, go to communion, and chew again intrigues me.  Is it a new piece?  Did they park it in the back of their mouths?) I am fairly outspoken about this, so I was surprised recently when I got a tap on the shoulder at church from a 20-something acquaintance. "Do you have any gum?" he asked.  "You are kidding, right? Ha HA" was my reply and I laughed along with what I thought was a joke.  He was serious.  I felt somewhat remorseful as I must have made him feel uncomfortable since he had no clue as to why I was laughing.

I realize I am in the minority, and every etiquette reference I checked had much looser standards than mine, but there is no doubt that gum chewing contributes to the ugliness of our environment, as described by Brian Downing in Engineering Suite 101:

"Every day, millions of Americans walk on sidewalks littered with little, round black spots, perhaps thinking these blobs are merely dirt or tar. But these dots are not tar, but instead discarded chewing gum, blackened by grime and flattened by the thousands of pedestrians who continually trample it.

The removal and cleaning of this concrete blight is a never-ending, and expensive, endeavor for cities and private business owners. Finding affordable and effective ways to clean gum from sidewalks is important for those already pinched by a tight budget.

This is at best an eyesore, and at worst the most vile and prodigious illustration of American laziness and littering since that car tossed a bag of cigarette butts and old hash brown wrappers at the feet of the 'Crying Indian' in the famous PSA from the Seventies.

This issue has led to a conundrum on American sidewalks. Americans do not like to be told what to do, and, despite laws to the contrary, they won't throw their gum in a garbage can. But they do not want to pay for the gum cleanup, either. It's a lose/lose scenario.

Coast Guardsman Adrien O'Brien succinctly captured this Catch-22 in the August 2, 2008 edition of the Virginia-Pilot. When asked to comment about gum-cleaning services he said, 'What a waste of taxpayer money. How are you going to police people from spitting it out again?'"

I asked an acquaintance with the City of Knoxville Public Service about gum clean-ups.  While CoK has a machine to remove the gum spots, there is no routine service mainly because of the expense.  There are some efforts, mainly on the West Coast, to recycle gum; but it's not yet economically feasible.  

Here's the latest coupon round-up:


$1.35 off When you buy any TWO NESCAFÉ® MEMENTO™ Specialty Coffee Beverage Products$1.35 off When you buy any TWO NESCAFÉ® MEMENTO™ Specialty Coffee Beverage Products

$2.25 off when you buy any ONE 22 oz or larger Size GERBER® Good Start® SOOTHE$2.25 off when you buy any ONE 22 oz or larger Size GERBER® Good Start® SOOTHE

$5.00 off when you buy any ONE Glade Expressions® Oil Diffuser Starter$5.00 off when you buy any ONE Glade Expressions® Oil Diffuser Starter



$5.00 off Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser kit$5.00 off Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser kit

$3.00 off Glade Expressions Fragrance Mist$3.00 off Glade Expressions Fragrance Mist

$0.40 off 2 Pillsbury of Grands! Sweet Rolls$0.40 off 2 Pillsbury of Grands! Sweet Rolls

$0.50 off ONE BOX Original Cheerios cereal$0.50 off ONE BOX Original Cheerios cereal




COUPONS.COM

Foods

New Coupons!
$1.50 off 3 12 oz. SPAM products

$1.00 off and 3 Kellogg's Cereals

$1.00 off any THREE Kashi Cereal or Snack Bars


Household

New Coupons!
$1.00 off Any ONE Hot Shot Insecticide product

$5.00 off Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser kit

$3.00 off Glade Expressions Fragrance Mist


COUPON NETWORK

Beverages

New Coupons!
$1.35 off When you buy any TWO NESCAFÉ® MEMENTO™ Specialty Coffee Beverage Products


Health & Nutrition

New Coupons!
$2.25 off when you buy any ONE 22 oz or larger Size GERBER® Good Start® SOOTHE

$1.00 off when you buy any ONE AVENT Pacifier Pack


Household

New Coupons!
$5.00 off when you buy any ONE Glade Expressions® Oil Diffuser Starter


Pets

New Coupons!
$1.50 off when you buy any TWO Milo's Kitchen® brand dog treats

$1.50 off when you buy any ONE 10oz or larger bag of Milo's Kitchen® brand dog treats



SMART SOURCE

Household

New Coupons!
Save $1.00 off any (2) Five Star® Reinforced Filler Paper Products

Save $1.00 off any (2) Five Star® products including Student Planning

Save $2.00 off any Five Star® Binder including Five Star Flex® Hybrid NoteBinder®

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Addressing the Costs of Life . . . and Death

Expenses surrounding death certainly can go crazy or be reasonable.

I recently spent some time at Physicians Regional in the Coronary Care Unit.    There was an elderly woman who never moved, never opened her eyes, during the 20 hours or so that I was there.  I had heard "d.n.r." uttered between a lead nurse and others in the hallway, but I rarely recall a moment when the patient wasn't being attended by one medical staff member or another.  There were ample visitors, and I could tell that they were saying good-bye to a dearly beloved.  However, the one thought that came to me time and time again was that, if that woman could talk, she'd probably ask to quit everything and let her go. 


Being the thrifty person that I am, I often think of the incredible expenses incurred in the last days of life and beyond.  Therefore, I was very interested in an article in today's News Sentinel by Joyce Richman which referenced a piece entitled How Doctors Die.  Bottom line:  doctors, knowing what they know, don't spend nearly as much time, energy and MONEY on keeping themselves on this side of "the river"  when things get bad.

So far I have not been involved in any superfluous efforts to keep a loved one alive.  My dad had advanced dementia when the "old man's friend," pneumonia, visited yet one more time and took him away.  My mother was diagnosed with full-blown cancer on a Thursday, went into a coma on Friday and died the next Tuesday.  Even her veins cooperated in her rapid demise:  they became too thin to hold an i.v., so her "treatment" consisted of morphine being dripped down her throat in case she was feeling pain. No fluids, no nourishment.

When I was admitted to the medical center this past week, one of the questions asked was "do you have a living will?" uh, hmm, no.  This comes as an embarrassment to me as I used to lecture on preparing for death, and I had not done exactly what I was telling others to do.  Actually, I would not choose a living will but would opt for the more streamlined and easily downloadable Advance Care Plan, developed by the State of Tennessee.  Of course, it's free, as opposed to a living will I could purchase at costs starting at $40.  An additional benefit is that the Advance Care Plan does not require a notary, but it does require a witness who is not going to be making health care decisions.  

Before I blog again, I promise to have an advance care plan completed, signed and witnessed.

Here are some good coupons
$1.00 off when you buy any ONE box of POST Shredded Wheat Cereal$1.00 off when you buy any ONE box of POST Shredded Wheat Cereal

$1.10 off when you buy any ONE Tyson® Grilled & Ready® refrigerated product$1.10 off when you buy any ONE Tyson® Grilled & Ready® refrigerated product

$9.00 off Buy 3 Get 1 FREE Aspirin Dispenser$9.00 off Buy 3 Get 1 FREE Aspirin Dispenser

$1.00 off (1) GARNIER FRUCTIS Shampoo, Treatment$1.00 off (1) GARNIER FRUCTIS Shampoo, Treatment


COUPON NETWORK

Baby

$1.10 off when you buy any FIVE Gerber® Lil' Entrées

85¢ off when you buy any SIX Gerber® Organic Pouches


Beverages

65¢ off when you buy any TWO Packages of DOLE® Fruit Smoothie Shakers

$1.50 off when you buy any TWO SAMBAZON® ORGANIC JUICES

60¢ off when you buy any TWO DOLE® Juice cans (46 oz. or 6 oz. 6-packs)


Breakfast

$1.00 off when you buy any ONE box of POST Shredded Wheat Cereal


Cereal

$1.10 off when you buy any TWO 16oz. Gerber® Cereals


Condiments & Sauces

65¢ off when you buy any ONE Knorr® Homestyle Stock


Health & Nutrition

85¢ off when you buy any ONE Dramamine® Motion Sickness Relief Product

$1.50 off when you buy any ONE Dramamine® For Kids Motion Sickness Relief Product


Meats & Seafood

$1.10 off when you buy any ONE Tyson® Grilled & Ready® refrigerated product


Personal Care

$1.85 off when you buy any ONE 1.5L Listerine® Zero Mouthwash


Pets

80¢ off when you buy any three 3oz cans of Purina ONE® canned cat food



COUPONS.COM


Beverages

$1.00 off on One (1) 64oz. Ocean Spray Blueberry


Entertainment

$3.00 off I Don't Know How She Does It dvd


Foods

$0.50 off any FRENCH'S French Fried Onions

$1.00 off ONE DIGIORNO Pizza Dipping Strips

$1.00 off any size bag of Pretzel Crisps

$1.00 off any 1 package of Pepperidge Farm Jingos


Health Care

$2.00 off one (1) Similac Prenatal Vitamin

$1.00 off TUMS Freshers Twin Pack

$1.10 off Joint Juice Ready-to-Drink

$5.00 off Bottle of Joint Juice Easy Shot

$9.00 off Buy 3 Get 1 FREE Aspirin Dispenser


Household

Buy TWO Glade Jar Candles, get one FREE

$1.00 off Glade Décor Scents holder

$1.00 off 2 Glade Carpet Odor Eliminator products

$1.00 off 2 Glade Sense & Spray refills

$1.00 off Glade PlugIns Oil refills

$1.00 off 2 Glade Automatic Spray refills

$2.00 off Glade Sense & Spray starter kit

$1.00 off Reynolds Wrap Foil

$1.00 off Glade PlugIns Scented Oil warmer


Personal Care

$1.00 off any Mitchum or Mitchum for Women product

$1.00 off Off any Debrox Earwax Removal Product

$1.50 off Simple cleansers and moisturizers

$1.00 off ONE (1) MAYBELLINE NAIL Product

$2.50 off 2 Simple cleansers and moisturizers

$2.00 off any Simple moisturizer

$1.00 off (1) GARNIER FRUCTIS Shampoo, Treatment

$2.00 off Revlon ColorStay Whipped™ Crème Makeup



SMART SOURCE


Food

Save 50¢ off any ( 2 ) Peter Rabbit Organics Pouches

Save 55¢ on any two Duncan Hines® Comstock® or Wilderness® Fillings & Toppings



REDPLUM

SAVE $0.75 on ANY L’Oréal® Paris Studio Line styling product

SAVE $2.00 on ANY shade of L’Oréal® Paris Preference

SAVE $1.00 on any ONE (1) Garnier Moisturizer

SAVE $1.00 On any SIX (6) Meow Mix® Single Cat Food Cups or ONE (1) Meow Mix® Cat Food Variety Pack



SavingStar Grocery eCoupons

New Coupons!
Buy any 2 Marie's® Salad Dressings, Save $1.25. Expires 8/18/2012.



Cellfire Coupons
Pays On: New loyalty card load
Your Tracking Link: http://partners.mysavings.com/z/5860/CD1881/

Latest Coupon Cycle!
The offers below are available from 7-1 to 7-31 and they expire on 8/15. These offers are valid at Kroger and Kroger subsidiaries, Carrs, Genuardi's, Randall's, Tom Thumb, Shop 'n Save, Foodtown, and Harps.

Nature Valley® Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO BOXES any Nature Valley® Granola Bars (5 count or larger) OR Nature Valley® Granola Thins.

Total® Cereal Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy any ONE BOX Total® cereal: Whole Grain Total®, Total® Raisin Bran.

Fiber One® Bars Save $.40
Save $0.40 when you buy ONE BOX any flavor Fiber One® Chewy Bars, Fiber One® 90 Calorie Chewy Bars or Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies.

Reeses® Puffs® Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX Reese's® Puffs® cereal.

Honey Nut Cheerios® Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX Honey Nut Cheerios® cereal.

Bisquick® Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE 20 OZ. OR LARGER Original Bisquick® OR Bisquick Heart Smart® Baking Mix, OR 10.6 OZ. Bisquick® Shake 'n Pour® Pancake Mix.

LÄRABAR® Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy THREE any flavor/variety LÄRABAR®, ÜBER® OR JOCALAT® bars.

Cascadian Farm® Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy any flavor/variety Cascadian Farm® product.

Yoplait® Greek yogurt Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO CUPS any flavor Yoplait® Greek yogurt.

Fiber One® 90Cal Bar Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX any flavor Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies.

GM Fruit Snacks Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO BOXES any flavor/variety Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks, Mott's® Fruit Flavored Snacks OR Sunkist® Fruit Flavored Snacks.

NV Protein Bars Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy ONE BOX any 5 count or larger Nature Valley® Protein Chewy Bars.

Yoplait® Cups Save $.40
Save $0.40 when you buy SIX CUPS any variety Yoplait® Yogurt (Includes Original, Light, Thick & Creamy, Whips!®, OR Lactose Free).

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Little Savings Here, A Little Savings There . . .

The stuff that makes couponers heart beat fast:

Monday I went to CVS.  The first thing that a veteran couponer does is go to the kiosk, scan her/his card and voila -- a coupon OR coupons!  I had a quarterly reward coupon to come out worth $2, but I also got a $4 for $20 worth of facial products.  Whoo-hoo.   I could apply a $3 coupon from the Procter Gamble circular from Sunday, and if I buy $30 more of products, I can submit for a $10 rebate on the Olay.  I have another $3 coupon from another Procter & Gamble circular (I love my non-couponing neighbors who give me their coupons!)  soooo, basically that means:
Purchase of facial products                                              $30
Kiosk Coupon                                                                   -4
Procter & Gamble Newspaper insert                                  -3
Procter & Gamble Newspaper insert                                  -3
Rebate                                                                            -10
Net pay on $30 worth of "facial product"                         $10
and to consider that this $30 is part of a $50 that I need to spend in order to get $5 credit from purchasing  $50 worth of beauty products                                        -   3
                                                                                     $   7


Yeah, it wouldn't make "Extreme Couponers," but I am thinking it's pretty dang good to get $30 worth of facial product for $7--a 77 percent savings OF STUFF THAT I WILL USE!!!

Onward to the finding the $5,291
(Please note that I only list this when I apply the coupon or cash the rebate, so some of the detailing above is not reflected below)

Last balance                                                                   5,231.00
CVS coupons and buy one/get one free 7/2                       -28.92
Walgreens savings & coupons  7/3                                     - 3.25
CVS buy one/get one free & coupons 7/3                         -14.24
                                                                                       5,124.59







Sunday, July 1, 2012

Kroger -- The Ongoing Experiences

I did it!  I saved $2 a gallon on gasoline at Kroger!  See the photo for proof! Please see my blog of June 6 for details.

Earlier yesterday we went out to the new Kroger at Cedar Bluff.  "I feel like I am in Walmart," said my husband.  Our entrance had taken us to the non-food area.  

This was the last day of the grand opening specials.  It was packed, the kind of crowds you see before a predicted snowstorm.  We got a few of the specials, but I should have known better than to think that the $4.99 a pound beef tenderloin would be something we would take home.  They were frozen (that's ok) and the smallest one cost $70+.  
Interesting point on the gasoline--we thought about using our $2 off a gallon there.  We would have gotten an additional $.10 off as a part of the grand opening.  Price was $2.94 a gallon.  We ended up going later to the Kroger on Broadway near Fulton High School to get the gasoline.  Posted price was $2.84. 


I snagged a Kroger $10 gift card for $5 from Half Off Depot this morning.  However, I think they are all gone.  I can't find it on the site anymore.  A $5 certificate from Kroger means more than $5.  For example, if we use it on Wednesday, it really means $5.25 because of the senior discount.  (hmm, that doesn't sound like much.  bad example.) Update:  it might still be up Kroger $10 for $5

Today is July 1, half-way through the year.  I am going to see how long it takes me to realize $5,291, which was my first job's annual salary.

Start:           $5,291
Gas Savings       60
Balance       $5,231

Here are some good coupons  (the General Mills cereals are always good ones to have around):
55¢ off when you buy any TWO packages of DOLE® Frozen Fruit Single-serve Cups55¢ off when you buy any TWO packages of DOLE® Frozen Fruit Single-serve Cups

$1.00 off any 2 Welch's Sparkling Juice Cocktails$1.00 off any 2 Welch's Sparkling Juice Cocktails

$2.00 off two or more frozen Bacardi Mixers$2.00 off two or more frozen Bacardi Mixers

$1.00 off any Banana Boat Sun Care$1.00 off any Banana Boat Sun Care

$0.55 off 1 Sargento Sliced Cheese$0.55 off 1 Sargento Sliced Cheese

$1.00 off 3 General Mills divisional cereals$1.00 off 3 General Mills divisional cereals


$0.50 off Newman's Own Salad Dressing$0.50 off Newman's Own Salad Dressing

$1.00 off TWO BOXES Cheerios cereals$1.00 off TWO BOXES Cheerios cereals

$1.00 off 2 General Mills adult cereals$1.00 off 2 General Mills adult cereals


COUPONS.COM


Baby & Toddler

New Coupons!
$5.00 off MY LITTLE SNUGABUNNY™ Seat


Foods

New Coupons!
$0.30 off 4 oz. or larger HARIBO product


Household

New Coupons!
$1.00 off Comet stainless steel cleaning item


Toys and Games

New Coupons!
$3.00 off Thomas & Friends™ Talking Engine

$3.00 off BARBIE™ in A Mermaid Tale 2 Merliah

$2.00 off WWE FlexForce Figure

$5.00 off Laugh & Learn™ Fun With Friends™ Table



SMART SOURCE

Food

New Coupons!
Save $1.00 on any SPLENDA® Product


Monday, June 25, 2012

When you can re-use or not buy at all


Some of my thrifty habits (I have posted some of these before):
1.  Affixing the old sliver of soap to the new bar when they are wet. 
2.  When no more toothpaste comes out of the tube, slice one-use applications (see picture).
3.  When no more lotion comes out, microwave for no more than five second to liquify the last little bit.
4.  Use inside bags of cereal boxes for (obviously) re-use as a bag or cut them and separate hamburger patties before freezing.
5.  Using the dryer less and less (I am thinking of Robert Loest proposing that on his Facebook page.) However, a hang-dried towel cannot compete with a dryer-fluffed one.
6.  Donating blood, which I did today at Medic. If you weigh less than 120 pounds, you cannot donate; so I am good for it.  A donor gets a free t-shirt, a Chick-fil-A coupon, of course a Little Debbie snack afterwards.
As I grow older the cholesterol reading that they send me a couple of weeks later is getting more important as I grow older!

7.  Using alternatives to wrapping paper for wrapping presents.  In high school we used the funny paper. I am trying to figure out what would be good to wrap with my office's Stendig calendar expired pages (at right is a commercial picture, but with the baby you can see how large it is)--perhaps a man's birthday present? 

I am taking a few of these coupons with me to Kroger's this week:

REDPLUM

New Coupons!
SAVE $1.00 off any TWO (2) packages of Vanity Fair® napkins

SAVE $1.00 on ONE (1) 2-Giant Roll or larger package of Brawny® Paper Towels

$1.00 OFF TUMS® freshers™ (50ct.)

SAVE $0.75 on any TWO (2) Luigi's® Real Italian Ice products

$1.00 OFF any TWO (2) packages of Land O’Frost Premium®, DeliShaved® or Bistro Favorites™

SAVE $1.00 on ANY L’Oréal® Paris Excellence shade

SAVE $1.00 on ANY Garnier® Fructis® shampoo, conditioner or treatment (Excluding trial size)

SAVE $1.00 on ANY Garnier® Fructis® Style product (Excluding trial size)

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE ANY flavor Good 'n Natural® Bar

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Magical Vineyard in Middle Tennessee

"Oh, it's great." "Charming" "Special" --- those were the comments from people who had visited Arrington Vineyards.  NEVER a negative comment, so my expectations were high.


I was not disappointed.  Here's the wonderful story of how a country music star got together with the right people on the right piece of land to provide an affordable entertainment venue:   http://www.arringtonvineyards.com/our-story


We were there for my sister-in-law's 60th surprise birthday party. This is an incredibly beautiful and well-kept expanse of land where friends and family can gather for NO cost in either covered spaces or at outdoor picnic tables.  Above is before the clusters of visitors claimed their spaces on the slopping hillside and later how it looked near dusk (with nephew Jon in the foreground). 


My husband and I arrived early and were able to tour the grounds as well as enjoy the tasting.  It was perfect.  It reminded me of the 19th century painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte 










 We had been advised to sign up for the FREE wine tasting as soon as we got there, so off we went!  



Afterwards, we walked around.  Folks, this is a real vineyard!  With real grapes! 


You DO NOT have to buy anything -- no wine, no nothing!    We did buy a few bottles however, as we were there for a celebration, which went great with the fantastic food that the honorees' children and friends prepared.  We had a wonderful, relaxed evening.   (That's the birthday girl in the middle, above.)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

When You Need Cheap, You CAN Find It in America

Last  night I was with some dear friends who just returned from Finland --- yeah, THAT country that everybody talks about when the high quality of living standards is the topic.  We concluded that it would be hard to apply the Finnish approach to America because, gosh darn, we are just too diverse. 


Take for example, Harbor Freight Tools.  America the diverse NEEDS Home Depot, Lowe's AND Harbor Freight.


I had never known of its existence until the words "free scissors" caught my eye when I was going through the Sunday paper.  It was the Harbor Freight flyer.  I later asked my son about the store. He pressure washes and might likely have been there for tools.  "Yeah, I've been there when I need something to use once. Whatever I buy there usually breaks after a few uses." Music to my ears!  Somewhere truly cheap that I had never been. "Take me there!" "Mother, there is NOTHING there you would want.'

"I want my free scissors with just one store purchase (no dollar limit noted)."

"But you do not need any scissors.  You have plenty."

He did not realize that he had just lost.  No couponer worth her salt buys on the basis of current need but anticipated.  I knew that sometime in the future we would lose enough pairs of scissors to allow for an extra.   

I won.  We drove there.  It was in a modest neighborhood with minimal signage next to a Food City.  I would have missed it if I were looking for it by myself.

Yep--cheap.  BUT SOMETIMES ALL YOU NEED IS CHEAP!!  I am so disappointed that my picture of the garden gnomes didn't turn out, because they were cheap AND cute, and great for practical jokes. (I looked for flamingos, but I didn't find any.)
  
 Below is a simple canopy.  I was intrigued with the Mustang 
-- has nothing to do with the canopy.
 I was able to do a price comparison: 
To the right is a 40 piece socket set for $3.99.  The least expensive socket set at Home Depot is $12.97 for just 10 pieces.  hmmm. I'm thinking that this is a perfect example of what my son was talking about -- one (use) and done.


What did I purchase to get my "free" scissors.  Can't tell.  It's a Father's Day gift that I reduced the price with a 20 percent off coupon.  Scissors were listed on my receipt at $4.99.  













Monday, June 11, 2012

Clean-up Produces Good Finds

I spent the day cleaning out my closet and drawers, which proved to me that neatness supports thriftiness.  Any neatness I put forth is a real effort--it does not come to me naturally.  There were a few items for which I found duplicates because I had to buy another whatever since I couldn't find the original.  For example, I have extra khaki shorts.  They are now actually in the same drawer!


The items, though, I swear, that have reproduced in my drawers are:


 1.  Covered rubber bands for hair
 2.  Socks, for which most of them matched up
 3.  Eye glass cleaning cloths
 4.  Lapel pins, from current and former employers and special events
 5.  Emery boards
 6.  Half-used bottles of lotion from hotels
 7.  Chapsticks
 8.  Name tag lanyards
 9.  Spare button packets
10. Pennies 

All this stuff is organized now.  I almost use all the items above and am very excited that I know where my stash is now. 

Here's some good coupons:


$7.00 off one SpaceSaver High Chair$7.00 off one SpaceSaver High Chair

$4.00 off Brilliant Basics™ Musical Walker$4.00 off Brilliant Basics™ Musical Walker


$3.00 off 1 BARBIE DESIGN & DRESS STUDIO™ Doll$3.00 off 1 BARBIE DESIGN & DRESS STUDIO™ Doll


Save $1.00
On your purchase of any one (1) box of Playtex® Gentle Glide® tampons 18 count or largerSave $1.00 On your purchase of any one (1) box of Playtex® Gentle Glide® tampons 18 count or larger



COUPONS.COM


Baby & Toddler

New Coupons!
$7.00 off one SpaceSaver High Chair

$4.00 off Brilliant Basics™ Musical Walker


Books & Magazines

New Coupons!
$1.00 off People Country Special

$0.75 off July issue of People en Espanol


Personal Care

$1.00 off one GARNIER FRUCTIS Styling Product


Toys and Games

New Coupons!
$3.00 off 1 BARBIE DESIGN & DRESS STUDIO™ Doll

$5.00 off one Imaginext DC Super Friends™ Batcave

$4.00 off one APPLES to APPLES Party Box Game



SMART SOURCE

New Coupons!
Save $2.00 on any one (1) Probaclac® Healthy Flora™ Adult Probiotic or Extra-Strength Probiotic. Available exclusively at Walmart.


Baby

New Coupons!
Save $2.00 on COLIEF® INFANT DROPS. Proven colic relief from Europe now available in the US!


Beverages

New Coupons!
SAVE $1.00 Off 1 Melitta Can Coffee 8 Oz. Or Larger


Food

New Coupons!
Save $1.00 on any 2 Garden of Eatin' Tortilla Chips products (3oz or larger)

SAVE $1.00 on any ONE (1) LaChoy Creations® Family Size Meal

SAVE $1.00 on one (1) package of Butterball® Sub Starters Lunchmeat

SAVE 50¢ on one package of Crab Classic. Lobster Classic or Seafood Snackers

SAVE 75¢ when you buy ONE (1) package of Truvia® Natural Sweetener or Truvia® Baking Blend with sugar

Save $1.00 on any Thank Goodness Chicken or Fish product at Hannaford Supermarket locations in ME, NH, VT, NY & MA.

SAVE 55¢ Off Any Florida Crystals® Natural or Organic Sugar Product

Save $1.00 on any one (1) Thank Goodness Chicken or Fish product at Sweetbay locations in FL only.

Save $1.00 on any one (1) Thank Goodness Fish product at Food City locations in TN, VA and KY only.

SAVE $1.50 on 1 package of Butterball® Sweet Onion or Original Seasoned Frozen Turkey Burgers

SAVE $1.00 off 2 Ken's Dressings

SAVE $2.00 on any (1) one HIGH LINER® SEA CUISINE® product

SAVE $1.00 on any one (1) Birds Eye® Voila!® Product

SAVE $1.00 on any TWO (2) Alexia® Frozen Items (any variety)

Save $1.00 on any 2 NABISCO Cookies or Crackers (Except Single Serve)

SAVE $1.00 on any ONE (1) Kikkoman marinade


Health Care

New Coupons!
SAVE $2.00 on any one (1) ALLEGRA® Allergy 5, 12 or 15ct, Children's ALLEGRA®, ALLEGRA-D® 24hr 5ct or ALLEGRA-D® 12hr 10ct

SAVE $4.00 on any one (1) ALLEGRA® Allergy 30ct or higher, ALLEGRA-D® 24hr 10ct or higher or ALLEGRA-D® 12hr 20ct or higher

Save $5.00 on a purchase from the Xenadrine Results family of weight loss products!

Save $5.00 off any Philips Sonicare brush head multi-pack or Xtreme toothbrush

SAVE $1.00 Off Any CORTAID® Product

Save $10.00 off any Philips Sonicare rechargeable toothbrush (exc. Xtreme)

Save $15.00 off any Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, FlexCare+ or FlexCare rechargeable toothbrush


Household

New Coupons!
Save $1.00 on any Cortizone 10® product

SAVE $3.00 WHEN YOU BUY TWO CASE OF BALL® OR KERR® JARS


Kids

New Coupons!
Save $5.00 $5 off purchase of $30 or more of Little Tikes product


Personal Care

New Coupons!
Save $1.00 On your purchase of any one (1) box of Playtex® Gentle Glide® tampons 18 count or larger

SAVE $1.50 on any TWO (2) ACT® mouthwash or mouthrinse (16.9oz or larger)

SAVE 50¢ Off Any BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages with QUILTVENT™ Technology

SAVE $1.00 Off Any BENADRYL® TOPICAL Product

SAVE $1.00 Off Any VISINE® .5 fl oz. or larger or VISINE® Soothing Wipes Product

SAVE $1.00 on any JOHNSON'S® Baby Powder 15 oz. or larger (excludes sizes 1 oz. to 9 oz.)

SAVE $1.50 on any AVEENO® sunscreen product (excludes trial sizes)


Pet Care

New Coupons!
SAVE $3.00 off any size bag of World's Best Cat Litter™ Clumping Formulas






Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cheap Cokes, Cheap Milk, Cheap Some Other Stuff

I work at a nonprofit. During our meetings (and there are many), we provide snacks.  More Diet Coke is consumed than all other beverages offered, combined.  

There are stories that Diet Coke consumption increases one's want for sweets.  Not me!  The world is better because there is Diet Coke.  And tomorrow I will buy some Diet Cokes for myself as well as for my business because of this UNBELIEVABLE  $1.99 a twelve pack at CVS--but just for tomorrow.  You have to get the coupon out of their in-store coupon machine. (Thanks to Coupon Katie to getting her alert out before I saw my own e-mail from CVS).

I saw that on my Facebook and was very happy, and then I went to Weigel's to get some skim milk.  What? $2.99 a gallon?  

Another big winner this week is (which Coupon Katie also noted)

Kroger

All Liquid Detergent -$2.99
$1.00 OFF any ONE (1) all® mighty pacs™ or all® Liquid Laundry Detergent (24 Loads or larger)$1.00 OFF any ONE (1) all® mighty pacs™ or all® Liquid Laundry Detergent (24 Loads or larger) coupon
Final cost=$1.99
Get it tomorrow and get a great deal on blueberries.   Coupon Katie also noted that there's a $1/1 Mayfield Dairy Ice Cream or Frozen Novelty Item from the 05/06 SmartSource Insert (exp 06/30/2012)
Final cost=$1.35!  But we don't eat ice cream so I didn't clip the coupon.
 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How I'll Get $2 Off Per Gallon at Kroger


In May Kroger announced that up to 2,000 points can be redeemed for up to $2.00 in savings - at Kroger fuel centers in one fill-up. 

2,000 points -- that you have to earn in ONE month.  The program ends September 30.  If you tried to earn 2,000 simply by buying groceries, that would be $2,000.00 worth of groceries. When chow.com asked what the average couple spent on groceries, most replies came in between $50 and $100 a week. Even a family with three children is going to get nowhere near $2,000.00 in one month.   

Every qualifying prescription earns customers 50 fuel points. 

Purchase of gift cards earn two times the points, but through June 16 in honor of "grads and dads," gift cards earn FOUR times the points.  While I am going to purchase some Bed, Bath and Beyond as we have more weddings to attend this summer, I am considering buying Lowe's cards.  So if I purchase $500 worth of gift cards, I'll get the $2 off per gallon.  My husband's car holds 20 gallons, so we would save $40.

$40 off $500 worth of gift cards would mean an eight percent savings.

Caution:  You have to use the points in one fill-up.  You have to use last month's points this month or they will expire, so that means I would have to use these points up by the end of July.  

But I do have to have a chuckle reading the press release from May 24, which was headlined:

With Gas Prices Going Up, Kroger Doubles Down to Help Customers Save at the Pump

Thank goodness the prices didn't go up as predicted!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Realm of the Thrifty: SAHM

Coupon code: FREEFORDAD

First, check off "get something sweet for their dad" off your list:   


One of my daughter's dearest friends blogged today about choosing to stay home with her firstborn.  Congrats!  Check her story out: 

http://www.hellohappinessblog.com/2012/05/change-for-bettermy-new-career.html?m=1 


I nostalgically remember the easy ways to save money when I was at home. I joined the local church's moms support group, where simplicity for sanity's sake was celebrated. A group of moms developed a moms/children interactive playgroup based on some pre-school curricula, which served as a fun alternative to mothers-day-out. And the all-important co-op minimized my spending money on the tennis league experience (with the appropriate clothing), and the children spent those mornings with moms who were likely much smarter than I--physicians' wives, gals whose husbands were wrapping up their doctorate work at UT . . .


I was fortunate that I had a boy first, then a girl. She didn't look bad in the hand-me-downs of denim overalls and striped T-shirts, but it would have not gone well the other way around.


When I was an at-home mom, grocery stores had yet to adopt electronic payments as department stores and restaurants, so those time-consuming checks had to be written out. Some items, including coupons, were not bar-coded, therefore requiring the naked eye to check on prices and expiration dates. Stores rarely doubled coupons; and when they did, the manual review made the lines as long as the modern Black Friday's.


And yet, my journal shows that I saved more than $1,100 in 1987.


I recently read about some SAHMs who elevated their couponing experience. "Fabulessly Frugal’s annual revenues currently hover in the low six-figures. Yoder and Knight each take home a five-figure salary and employ 13 other women part time."


Learn more:  http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/2012/05/learn-how-the-blog-stared-in-the-ny-times-magazine.html