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:


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’OrĂ©al® 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:

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


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


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!

$5.00 off one Imaginext DC Super Friends™ Batcave

$4.00 off one APPLES to APPLES Party Box Game


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


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


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


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


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



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)


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 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!!