Thursday, May 19, 2011

Walgreens, Target

This week by far has been the most frustrating week I have ever had with couponing!!! Let me explain. My plan for Walgreens was A+ worthy until I went to the blasted store! Monday we had to take my car to the shop in a different town so, I decided to hit up their Walgreens and CVS. CVS was good. I spent $25 and got $10 back in ECB. Then, on to Walgreens. I looked everywhere for their Zest body wash. They didn't carry it at all. So, I'm a little confused as to why it's advertised but they don't even carry it on a normal basis? So, I found everything else. I got to the register and did Transaction #1. I was suppose to get $3RR back and I didn't. When I asked she said, "Oh, well it's not working." So, I lost $3!!!! I was so mad. I didn't buy anything else and we left. Then, on Wednesday I ended up going to 4 Walgreens to find the items I needed! Talk about ridiculous. Then, they have the nerve to limit the transactions to 2 even if you go to the back of the line and there's nobody there! My husband had to go in and finish getting the stuff I needed because they refused to check me out when there were no other customers! Awful, Awful, Awful!!!
Transactions: (I did not do all of these in one day.)

1. Dove Men's Deodorant $3.99 - $1MC
Aquafresh Training Toothpaste $1.99 - $0.75MC
Hyponex Potting soil $0.99 x2
Gain Dishwashing Detergent $0.99 - $1.00MC
I paid: $5.80 and was suppose to get $3RR
Saved: $9.05

2. 4 Reach Toothbrushes at $0.99 - $4MC (They would only take $2MC though)
I paid: $2.06  and received $4RR so a moneymaker of $1.94
Saved: $4.65

3. 2 Zest Bodywashes + 1 Gillette Bodywash 3/$10 - $4MC - $4RR
M&Ms $0.39
I paid: $3.30  and received $3RR
Saved: $10.97

4. 2 Pantene 2 in 1  2/$7 -$3MC - $3RR
M&Ms $0.39
I paid: $2.04 and received $1RR
Saved: $9.48

5. 2 Zest Bodywashes + 1 Gillette Bodywash - $4MC - $1RR
M&Ms $0.39
I paid $6.30 and received $3RR
Saved: $7.97
Bonus: The Zest were 2 packs on sale so I ended up with 4 in this transaction!

6. 2 Pantene 2 in 1  2/$7 - $3MC - $3RR
M&Ms $0.39
I paid: $1.61 and received $1RR
Saved: $8.98
                                             7. Dove Men's Deodorant $3.99 - $1MC - $1RR
Pepsi 2L $0.99
I paid $3.42 and received $3RR
Saved: $3.90

Total Spent: $24.53 (Should have been $3 less)
Would have spent: $79.53 

Sally Hansen Nail Polish on sale for $2.04x2 - $2SC - $2MC = $0.26!!!! for 2
The cashier was even impressed!
I saved $4.00!

Other exciting finds this week:

Olive Oil on sale for $3.99 - $1MC
Neutragena Sunscreen buy 2 get $10 ECB. My son and I have sensitive skin so they were $12.49 per bottle.
I paid: $25.70 and received $10ECB
Saved: $9.50

Kool-Aid 10/$1 - $1MC = FREE!!
Large Eggs $0.99 dozen. I bought 4!
Lettuce $0.69
Vidalia Onions $0.69/lb
Paid: $5.71 Saved: $5.34

What good deals did you get this week? I hope you had an easier time than me!!

My Coupon System

Everyone organizes their coupons differently. The only thing that matters is you have a system that works for you and won't stress you out. Here's what works for me;
This is my new fav thing! I have a confession to make. I am a paper junkie, just ask my husband. I am the person that L-O-V-E-S the school supply aisle at Wal-Mart and I am not ashamed. I love the part of the movie, You've Got Mail when Tom Hanks tells Meg Ryan that if he knew where she lived he'd send her a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils! I am the girl who would love that. I am just an organizational freak! What can I say, it's my thing. I love it!

Had to laugh when I saw what it said!

One side is pockets to hold your coupons. The other side is your notepad for your list. Pretty cool, huh? So, I organize my coupon pockets by store. I always take the same route so this is how it's organized from front to back: Meijer, CVS, County Market, Walgreens, IGA, etc. If I'm going to do multiple transactions for example at Walgreens I will make sure to put my coupons in order by transaction. It's just a lot easier than fumbling through your coupons at the register.

Here is the "Big Mama." I don't keep the whole coupon insert like some people do. I go through them and cut out only things that I know we will use and then I donate the rest to friends and family. This is just a plain folder with baseball card holder pages. I am an extremely visual person so this is the only way I have found that I've liked. I started out using a coupon organizer and just putting them in categories. I HATED digging through each category to see if I had the coupon or not. Now, I can just look at each page. I do group things like baby care, meats, hygiene, snacks, etc. The front pocket is for my Walgreens Coupons books. The back pocket is where I carry all of that weeks fliers.

This is what works for me. What works for you?

Dry Erase Board

Disclaimer: Please exuse the crap-tastic photo. My camera and I are on the outs. I'm in the market for a new one. Any suggestions?

I first saw this idea on I just love her site. You must check it out! She makes the most adorable baby and toddler things. Anyway, this is a photo frame that I purchased on sale at Michaels for $5. Then, I cut scrapbook paper to size and slid it on in. I added velcro to the side and to the marker. Then, I glued magnets to the back. I placed it on our fridge so, as soon as we are running low on something we write it down. I also put to-do lists on it and notes to my hubby. I love it because you can change out the scrapbook paper to whatever you want. I am looking for a big frame to make a big dry-erase, magnetic calendar for our very busy little family. That project can be found at She does amazing things with home decorating and you have to check out her awesome Road Kill Rescues.

Kitchen Helpers

Yep, it's a mustard holder....or is it? I have to share this ingenius idea from my step mom. 100% of the credit goes to her! With making homemade condiments it's inconvenient to store them in tupperware so she bought a 2-pack of these babies at Dollar General for $1 and said, "Here could you use this for your chocolate syrup?" As Gru would say, "Light Bulb." It works beautifully and I went out and bought another set for my homemade syrup and I'll probably use the other one for pancake batter.

This little bottle is some amazing stuff!! It can be found in the baking aisle of any supermarket. This makes wonderful pancake syrup. This is how simple it is:

1 cup of boiling water
2 cups sugar or splenda
1/2 tsp Mapleine

Mix together. When cool, pour into your awesome new container!
The END!
This little bottle lasts forever! I am still on my first bottle and haven't even used half of it. The syrup tastes no different than the store bought and it costs pennies to make!

A butter dish? Yes, I've lost my mind and I'm showing you my cheap-o butter dish. Why you ask? From now until forever I will only use stick butter! I can't believe how long it's taken me to figure out that it's so much cheaper! Plus you can freeze it! I buy it when you get a 4 pack for $0.50. The last time it was at that price I bought 10! You should have seen the looks I got.

So, what's in your kitchen?

Bread Machine- Whole Wheat Rolls/Buns

I found a recipe for homemade buns at They were easy and are awesome!

Makes 2 dozen.
1 1/2 Cups Water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 - 1/3 cup honey
1 egg
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp yeast

Add these ingredient in order to your bread machine. Put it on the dough cycle. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. When handling the dough flour your hands. It is super sticky. Make balls of dough about the size of tangerines. Allow to rise 45 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

They are super soft and good! The wheat is a little overpowering for my family so I do substitute in a little bread flour to calm the taste down.

Here's dinner that night. Cheeseburgers on the grill, oven fries, peas, and strawberries. Yum-O!

Try the buns! You won't buy another store bun again!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Walgreens, County Market, Target, etc

Today my friend and I went shopping in Urbana. We take turns driving. Not only do we save on gas but, we have a great time together. Our kiddos are best buds too!

First stop was Meijer. I didn't need anything there but, I received my coupon in the mail for a FREE Suave Professional Coupon valued at $3.00! So, I bought the new Suave Dry Shampoo. It was $2.79 on sale and I only paid $0.24 for tax! The cashier's response was, "Well, I guess you can't beat free." I just smiled and said, "You are so right about that."

Second, was County Market.
Kraft BBQ Sauce on sale for $0.79 x2 plus it had a peelie for $2.00 off of Kool-Aid or Country Time Lemonade

Johnsonville Brats $2.88 x2 with Penny Pincher Coupon

Strawberries 4lb on sale for $3.96 or $0.99/lb    Freezer jam time!

Prairie Farms Lowfat Yogurt on sale for $0.33  I had 2 coupons for buy 2 get 1 free so I bought 6 yogurts

Country Time Lemonade $3.19- $2MC

Milk x2 gallons   On Wed milk is $2.19 per gallon. County Market also tracks the number of gallons you purchase with your Max Card. After you buy 9 gallons you get the 10th free. Today was my lucky day as I got 1 for free! Another note about milk is I read a great article on the site; The family was saving a few hundred dollars a year by buying whole milk and diluting it with water by themselves. I had never thought of doing this before. Plus they stock up and freeze it when they find it at the lowest price. So, we are giving it a try. No complaints so far!

Total Spent: $16.39 Total Saved: $22.96 or 59%

Transaction 1: Cottonelle 12 roll Toilet Paper on sale 2/$10 get $3RR 
                      $10- $2 SC - $1 MC= $7oop
                      Hershey's Chocolate Bar on sale $0.49 (This was a filler so I could use 3 coupons)
                      Total Spent: $8.41  Total Saved: $3.40     got $3RR

Transaction 2: GUM Eez Thru Flossers $2.00 get $2RR
                      Hershey's Chocolate Bar $0.49 x 2 (We make smores when we have bonfires)
                      I used the $3RR from transaction 1 and spent $0.77 and saved: $5.00

Transaction 3: Colgate Toothbrushes 2/$5 get $1RR  I had 2MC for $1 off each
                      Reese's PB Cup $0.49
                      Total Spent: $1.97 Total Saved: $7.38
In hindsight I should have switched Transaction 1 and 2. If I would have bought the flossers first I would have spent $2 +tax and got the $2RR. I wouldn't have had to have any fillers. Then, I would have bought the TP + 2 fillers and would've spent: $7 and got $3RR back. Last the toothbrushes and Reese's and would have spent: $0.49 + tax and got the $1RR. I am still learning!!!

I spent $11.15 and could have spent: $10ish   Still, I essentially only paid for the toilet paper and got the rest of it for free. That's another way to look at it. $11.15 is still way better than paying $26.93.

My husband has a sensitive face and can only use Mach 3 razors. Thank goodness there are always good coupons for the expensive little boogers! Target had 3 packs on sale for $6.49. I happened to have 2 MC for buy 1 get 1 FREE. So, he bought 4 packs.
Aquafresh kid's training toothbrush with coupons for $0.49
We had a $5 gift card from buying Huggies there last week.
He spent a total of: $10.83 He saved: $19.48

So, the end result is I got $102.13 worth of essentials for $38.37. Coupons and sales fliers really do pay off!