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Archive for May, 2006

Finally REAL food!

May 22nd, 2006 at 07:39 am

Today, leftover ribs and two LARGE salads. It's finally produce season.

One store had Fresh Express, BOGO, and I had 2 $2 on one coupons...so 50 cents or so a pack. Safeway had O organic carrots BOGO, and a $1 coupon on any O, so again, fairly cheap.

I like BIG salads...so one bag of Fresh Express makes two salads. I make up the salads first thing in the morning: if I wait until the end of the day I'm always tired and that is how we waste POUNDS of food each year.

So, two giant bowls of baby greens, I grated the carrots, saving several zip bags full for future use...if I don't use them for salads this week I'll freeze them for muffins later.

Toss in some leftover corn...I prefer it off the cob, but wrong season. Add some olives from the pantry stockpile, some grape tomatoes (one splurge, but bulk at Costco wasn't bad), some fresh mushrooms (sale), some Kraft crumbles (sale, coupon, 50 cents for the bag).

A bit of South Beach ranch dressing -- never tried it, but it was also BOGO and coupon meant less than 50 cents for the bottle. Although I've broken DH down to a healthier level (his cholesterol was 250 when we got married!), he still believes lettuce is just the carrier for dressing. So, come summer, we pour through it (with apologies for the pun).

Crunched up a tiny bag of Doritos, some promotion, to sprinkle on top...and we've got us a salad!

I'd usually put in a bit of protein, but we have the ribs, and some broiled bread, to eat.

Tomorrow, maybe a spinach salad or a greek salad...got to stay on top of the produce.

My secret for keeping bulk mushrooms fresh...add a paper towel to the tub and reseal with plastic wrap. I know, that's not supposed to work. But it does...allows the mushrooms to "breathe" but not shrivel or get slimy.

So, that's my cheap but healthy salad meal.

Now...the weather has turned...no longer rainy, but windy. Should make for an interesting day with the mulch!

A very big thanks to Boo Meyers and Nina's Mom!

May 22nd, 2006 at 07:26 am

Boo, you are fabulous, and I can't wait to get a train running with you as the Conductor! And, as always, your encouragement is appreciated!

Nina's Mom, what a wonderful treat to open the day's mail and see such generosity. The kindness of strangers...but then, you aren't a stranger now, are you!

Much appreciation!

The Corgi Ate My Coupons!!!

May 21st, 2006 at 10:26 am



Well, rarely literally. He does love to eat them, but I love to use them. I haven’t purchased dog food in seven months.

It started simply enough. Last fall, when I started exploring the realm of online coupons, I found an offer for $2 on Beneful. My girls favorite food! But the coupon would not print. Being fairly new at the online game, I sent an email expressing my disappointment and concerns for my ailing pup, and asking where I could find coupons.

They sent coupons for two free bags, and 3 $2 off coupons for future purchases.

Unfortunately my girl’s health was rapidly declining. A tooth abscessed, and wet dog food, well, let’s just say it didn’t agree with her. We went through stockpile of baby wipes from Costco. I searched for solutions on the web. The Iams site featured an “ask the vet” contact form…so I did. They responded with free samples and coupons for free pouches and bags of dry to mix in.

My sweet pup of 14 years passed on before she could sample these culinary delights. In our grief, my husband and I came home with a Corgi puppy, Max.

Max was sent home with a complimentary bag of Precise dog food. And a coupon for a second free bag. Precise is expensive, though, and Max liked to eat! Gaining a pound a week takes a lot out of a pup, and we had to put quite a bit in!

Iams vet followed up to ask about our senior dog, and I told them the sad news, and registered our new pup. Iams immediately sent out a Puppy Kit, complete with a coupon for a free bag of puppy food.

I received a Purina ONE challenge free bag coupon requested before my dog died. I registered Max for a new challenge, and received a second coupon for a free bag.

The vet sent us home with IAMS and Eukanuba Puppy Kits, complete with free bag coupons. She also registered Max with them, and they mailed us additional coupons for…FREE BAGS.

Hill Science Diet also ran a challenge, and, yes…another FREE BAG.

I used one of the Purina coupons to try a free bag of Puppy Chow. When I opened the bag, it came out in clumps. Questionable about it’s safety for a sensitive little puppy, I contacted Purina. They sent mailing materials to return the chow to them for testing, and…FREE COUPONS for FREE BAGS. Two more $2 off coupons, too.

Purina Puppy Chow went on sale, for $2 a bag…

Newspaper inserts a few weeks ago had coupons for free bags of Purina Naturals. Sorry, I’m loaded up…the coupons were sent on to the coupon trains.

I’ve mixed the foods together in my free Ziploc Big Bag, so no problems with changing foods constantly.

Max, well, he still eats everything he can, including coupons. But I think he gets a bit more out of actually using the coupons first!



Shopping Again!

May 21st, 2006 at 08:05 am

I have been trying to use up part of my stockpile. But, the purpose of stockpiling is to stock up when prices are at their lowest, then ride out the high priced days without spending. So...I did break down and SHOP some of the seasons sales.

The first store had some good sales...Oust for $3, but I had $2 coupons, so $1 each. Wishbone, not my favorite salad dressing, but a few flavors are okay, and BOGO plus a $1 coupon came to FREE (it actually printed that on my receipt, since the price was less than 0). Lipton sides, 10 for $10 means $1 each, and doubling a 50 cent coupon...FREE.

And so it went.

Total before savings: $87
Total AFTER sales/coupons: $17

AND...$7 catalinas good on next purchase of anything at the store.

Big Grin

Second store, well, I did go back to Safeway with my coupons to see if they had restocked the clearance items...and they had! $72 of spices, $8. Okay, I bought 2 apple fritters too...$9 total.

Total before: $72
Total after: $9 Wink

Total Savings: $159 for $26, $133 saved. I sense another article coming out of this...

Current savings:
2006 $20 challenge: $4351
2006 grocery savings: $6015

Coupons New In Stores

May 21st, 2006 at 07:37 am

TEAR PADS
$2 product with 1 Kraft Parmesan and 1 4 or 5 pack OR 3 individual packs Good Seasons Mix, exp. 9/30/06
75 cents one bag Sunkist Almond Accents, exp. 12/31/06
$1 on back Sunkist Almond Munchies, exp. 12/31/06


Pull-outs
55 cents any Read Pac Bistro-To-Go or Ready To-Go Bowl Salad, exp. 12/31/06

Wine Tags
$1.50 on 200 count One-A-Day, Exp. 9/30/07

REBATES
$3 or $5 on Caravel Ice Cream Cakes, exp. 7/15/06

SWEEPSTAKES FORM
Energizer “Cars” sweepstakes, exp 9/30/06

BBQing next weekend...get your rebate!

May 20th, 2006 at 07:53 am

It's summer kickoff weekend, and while the coupons and sales may not be quite as dramatic as in the coming weeks, there are still deals to be found.

This weeks inserts feature savings on hot dogs, sausages, etc. Also, a hidden rebate!

Go to

http://www.saraleefoods.com/pdf/10_rebate_form.pdf

$10 rebate on $20 of Sara Lee, Hillshire Farms, Ball Park Franks, and Bryan.

Note that this rebate is good until July...so wait for the deals you want. But don't forget the rebates!

Some final tips for reducing Rx costs

May 19th, 2006 at 11:49 am

Some final tips for reducing Rx costs:

Even if you are getting great prices at your pharmacy, there are a few ways to achieve additional savings!

1. Samples. Ask your doctors for samples of the medications they prescribe. Be up front about any difficulties you are having in paying for prescription, or let them know how much that monthly Rx costs.

Doctors receive daily visits from various pharmaceutical sales reps, including samples, coupons, and other offers. The newer the medication, the more likely they are to have samples available. However, doctors are busy, and see many patients, and may not think to offer the samples, unless you ask!

Specialists in private practices (gastro, cardio, etc.) usually receive additional volumes of samples; after all, their patients are the most likely to use them. Just ask!

2. Coupons and Vouchers. Coupons and vouchers for free samples, discounts at your pharmacy (also referred to as pharmacy checks), and rebates are increasingly common. Even if you are already on a medication, your doctor may write a separate prescription for the free sample, in addition to your regular prescription.

Several offers are listed at

Rx Coupons

Once you fill a trial or use a prescription coupon, the manufacturer will generally provide another. And another…

Several programs also have “Rewards Programs”, allowing you to submit your receipts for rebates and free gifts. $40 - $200 a year in cash back, as well as freebies, can add up quickly in reducing costs.

Don’t assume you cannot use coupons with copayments or insurance plans. In general, you can. The major exception is when your medications are completely covered by Medicare (some breathing meds, diabetic supplies, etc.), in which case you would be being paid to take a drug (not allowed). Your pharmacist will know the requirements and are generally very supportive.

3. Contact the Manufacturers Most manufacturers have prescription assistance programs. While these are changing dramatically with the changes in Medicare plans, they do have programs available. Programs generally require input from your physician, and some program provide the medications directly to your doctor to pass on at regular appointments.

4. Pharmacy Rewards. With the introduction of medicare plans, many patients were required to change pharmacies, or even utilize mail-order programs to meet the insurance requirements. Pharmacies are now offering incentives to keep and bring in new business. $25 gift cards for new or transferred prescriptions are now common.

For new prescriptions, the free trials work well: no need to pass on insurance information, no need to pay for medications, and you get a gift card!

For transferred prescriptions, there are several things to consider. First, no matter what the pharmacy’s price points are, you can transfer a generic or low cost prescription and still generally come out ahead. Second, if the medication is covered under your prescription insurance plan, the costs should be similar (not necessarily the same), between pharmacies. Call and ask the price before you transfer, and make sure you are benefiting by the offer.

Also, remember, transferring a prescription does not mean it needs to be filled at that pharmacy in the future. Just take your empty bottle back to your preferred pharmacy and have it transferred back when it’s time to refill.

5. Doctors Office coupons. As odd as it may seem, the doctors office, and pharmacy counter tops, are becoming loaded with coupons. Some have Rx offers, many have OTC medication offers. Look. Skim through the brochures. You might be pleasantly surprised!

6. Regular Checkups For your Rx costs! Prices change constantly. It’s a competitive business. Evaluate your insurance coverage, evaluate the prices at your pharmacy, and don’t be afraid to make changes when it’s best for you and your family.

What goes around...

May 19th, 2006 at 11:20 am

What goes around comes around. Call it karma, luck, divine intervention, but it does.

I received another request for the Kraft calcium coupon booklet. So I dropped by Safeway on my way home to pick one up, and some dry mustard (ran out on the BBQ sauce today). Turns out Safeway is having a clearance on McCormick and Spice Island spices...90% off select! If only I had my $1 coupons with me!

But...garlic salt, 44 cents, season all, 29 cents, dry mustard, 44 cents, PURE vanilla (regularly $8!) was $1...so I picked up $65 in spices for $8.

Now I'm set for awhile, and saved $57!!!

Current savings:
2006 $20 challenge: $4351
2006 grocery savings: $5882

DH's tip of the day -- MAIL COSTS

May 19th, 2006 at 06:33 am

Hubbie is usually concerned with the BIG ideas on our finances. And...he is usually very skeptical about using online billing. But...he has spent the last month checking on security issues, etc. and...

Yesterday he moved all of our bill paying to online accounts.

He calculated this saves us $8 each month on stamps, let alone envelopes, scratch paper, and GASOLINE to the post office (never mail bills/money/checks from home...we have some security issues with mailboxes in our area).

So, $8 a month comes to $96+ a year.

Plus less stress...the computer reminders are much easier to deal with than the PILE of mail that has to be sorted through (or buried) each month.

Back to the challenge

May 18th, 2006 at 12:10 pm

Today brought $5 in rebate from Green Giant (I don't even remember this one!).

The Kraft food and family magazine did arrive, with an insert, but only one coupon for my region.

Working on the mulching. It started to rain, so I took a break and wrote up some Rx savings tips (you did ask for them Wink ). Now...back to the mulching!

Dinner, agh...was supposed to cook beef ribs, but didn't get them started yet, so tv dinners, Lean Cuisine and lots of protein bars, probably.

Back to the MULCH PILE (it's winning the war so far!)

Current savings:
2006 $20 challenge: $4351
2006 grocery savings: $5825

Reducing Rx costs - price comparisons

May 18th, 2006 at 12:01 pm

You might assume that if you are on an insurance plan, prescription plan, or even a discount plan, the costs from one pharmacy to the next will be the same.

There are two reasons. First, if your medications are not covered, obviously you want to get the lowest prices you can.

But...did you know that your insurance price may not be the lowest price?

Frequently a pharmacy lowers their standard prices to meet the insurance negotiated prices. However, several pharmacies, such as Costco, guarantee to provide your prescriptions at the insurance price OR their price, whichever is lowest. And, surprisingly frequently, the Costco price is lowest. There are many reasons for this, but the only important one for this exercise is, are you paying the lowest price possible.

To see how your rates compare, check online sources. For this example, we will use Costco.com and drugstore.com.

You don't need to be a member of costco.com to compare their prices. Simply go to www.costco.com, click on the "Pharmacy" menu up top, and on "Learn More/Pricing Information" on the page that follows.

You may type in a medication name, or select from their list. A link to the drug, or possible drugs, will appear. Select the link, and scroll through the prices to determine your dosage. Check prices for various pill sizes, and even quantities.

In your spreadsheet or table, add a column and record the prices of each medication in the size and quantity per month you have previously calculated for your current pharmacy.

Remember, insurance prices MAY be lower, this is their default price.

After you have made it through all your medications, repeat at www.drugstore.com

Select Low Prices from the left menu, and perform a drug search as before.

You should now have a table something like:







Now...remember, you do not have to buy ALL of your prescriptions at the same place. If the prices are the same at your regular pharmacy for most drugs, do what's easiest. BUT, if for even one drug you find a significant price difference, consider purchasing at least that one elsewhere.

NOW, I'm NOT recommending Costco or Drugstore.com, these are examples. Do your own research, and see what you can find for your own needs.

A few other things to factor in...if you use a 5% cash back for drugstores, if you have executive membership and AmEx with Costco (3% back), if you can purchase bulk quantities (3 months at a time)...factor all those possibilities in to find the best savings for you.


Happy Saving.

Reducing Rx costs - Pill Splitting

May 18th, 2006 at 11:49 am

Pill splitting is a great way to reduce your prescription costs. Always check with your doctor AND pharmacist before splitting pills! Never split an extended or time released tablet!

Pill splitting is simply purchasing a large size tablet, and cutting (spliting) it in half. Pills that can be easily split are scored (have a line indent running down the middle of the pill) which aids in the ability to snap them in two (along the line).

For example, instead of taking 3 50mg tablets of Zoloft each morning, pill splitting would allow you to take 1.5 100 mg tablets. The cost savings?

90 50mg tablets (one month of 150mg each day) are priced at $310. 50 100mg tablets (one month of 150mg each day) are priced at $182. SAME DOSE, DIFFERENT PRICE!

Adding this information, go back to your list, and consider what pills might be available in larger sizes that can be split. We'll look into this more later. For now, let's add some possible pill split savings into our table.

Reducing Rx costs - your price book

May 18th, 2006 at 11:32 am

The most important step in reducing your Rx costs is knowing what you are paying. It may not be obvious. Copays, prescription cards, tiers and levels. But it can be sorted through.


First: next to the list of meds, write down the size pills/inhaler/that is prescribed. For example, Zyrtec is typically 10 mg size tablets.

Next: convert that to the number of pills/inhalers/injections etc. that an average prescription would be each month.

Example, Zyrtec, 10 mg each night is 30 per month. Zoloft, 50 mg pills but three each day is 3 x 30 days = 90 pills.

For inhalers, assume, for this exercize, one per month.

Etc.

NOW: add two columns: the price your pharmacy charges, and the price you pay. Even if you have a low copay, or are on a medical discount card, look at the medical receipt for what the insurance rate charged, and what you pay.

Example, with a discount plan, the pharmacy rate for Zyrtec is $128, but the discount plan rate reduces the actual charge to $94.

You should have something that looks like:


That's the first step.

Newsletter success and other news

May 18th, 2006 at 06:58 am

Well, I signed up for the healthy newsletter with Simple Green, and they are emailing me once a week with info and printable coupons...if I can't print, they will mail!

Claritin, DH uses, signed up for their weekly forecast, and every Thursday it comes with a printable for $3 off.

The list goes on....and so I've compiled a list of some of the major newsletters and their sign up url's.

Combo Newsletters

Quite a few individual products have their own newsletters and contacts, so I'm compiling that, too. Last December, it took me over AN HOUR to get past the Pepsi Virtual Assistance to get an email/phone contact info...so that will be posted soon...but as you can imagine, there are quite a few sites to get through first.

And, for those of you who want to know more about all those in-store coupon sources I find, an article with GRAPHICS (thanks Jeffrey!!!) on what to look for...

In Store Coupons

I hope this is helping you find GREAT coupons and deals.


Membership fees?

May 17th, 2006 at 03:49 pm

I saw divaJen's note about having to cancel three times...now I'm worried...DH monitors our cards online and I assumed he was watching for the charges, but he says he hasn't noticed anything...but I'm going to recheck everything. Major chunk out of my challenge if it's been billed. I hope no one else has had trouble!

Do you pay for warranties?

May 17th, 2006 at 12:08 pm

We have just received a notice that the maintenance/warranty on our dryer is about to expire. The cost to continue is $200 a year. Ridiculous!

But, somehow, DH and I both fall prey to these expenses fairly easily. He just purchased a new laptop, which seemed a great deal on sale at $1000. When the clerk rang it up, he said of course we will want the extended warranty, and the accidental warranty and maintenance agreement. DH said yeah...and the total shot to $2K.

I said WAIT A MINUTE (one of those times when we balance each other Smile )...just how much is the warranty? Well, for four years, and for complete coverage and maintenance and connection to all your other devices, it's $250 a year.

Okay, so our house HAS been hit by lightning, and we've lost some modem and power supplies...

...but in four years, DH will likely rather buy a NEW computer, than that to have paid twice for the old one!

I did in fact fall for this five years ago, when I purchased the washer dryer set on my own. Busy day, needed item, a warranty and maintenance contact where they will maintain the items for four years, clean out the lint trap, repair and replace anything that's wearing out...$100 each item each year...but in the urgency of the moment, it seemed completely reasonable.

I asked DH about this today. After all, his policy is, if you are buying a premium item and paying a premium price, why does it need a warranty? If you pay extra for quality, it should have quality. If not, what are you doing?

So, why are we buying warranties and maintenace contracts? His simple response: "I never thought it all the way through."

The reality is, we don't USE warranties and maintenance contracts, except on the vehicles. Anything breaks, we fix it ourselves.

EASY: There is NO WAY that we can SIT ALL DAY to wait for a REPAIR person to come fix something that isn't broken. So out with the maintenance.

EMBARRASSMENT: There is NO WAY I am going to let a repair man see the gunk in my lint trap, or how dirty my refrigerator is (I'm told it's not, but, well, produce sheds!).

I'm sure I could get through all the E's.

Now, DH and I have designed, built, repaired and maintained state of the art equipment. We can replace bearings and washer and take things apart and put them back together.

Yet, we keep falling for the contracts.

So...DH is going through all of our warranty/maintenance/contracts and deciding what we NEED (cars), and what to dump, or get our money back.

And, I'm sticking with his question...if we pay premium for quality products, why DO we need a warranty or maintenance agreement?

Planned grocery shopping

May 17th, 2006 at 11:48 am

We've been trying to live off of the stockpile, but there are some things, well...the point of stockpiling is to keep a stockpile at the best price possible.

So, today, we took the sale circular, made a list, coordinated it with the coupons, a $10 g/c from Club Mom points, and...

Total before savings: $95
Total after sale/coupon/gc: $24

Savings: $71

And, several of the items have coupons on the boxes for future savings!

Current savings:
2006 $20 challenge: $4346
2006 grocery savings: $5896

latest idea for the $20 challenge

May 16th, 2006 at 04:41 pm

Well, we already dug through all the closets, boxes, storage, and DH's old office (still boxed up!). We recovered $800 in coins, dollars, travelers cheques...and some old coins. 1890 - 1960, some they don't make anymore like the Eisenhower dollars...anyway, probably not worth much, but more than the original value. So DH is going to be looking up their value.

Also found a pile of currency from Singapore, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand...I used to travel there so much, every other week, I never bothered to convert it (always seem to lose money in the conversion), and just grabbed the currency for whatever country I was going to. Then, of course, it made a great show and tell, and later part of a school project...

add in DH's from his time in the Hague, and we plan to convert it all and put the cash into the extra income ($20 challenge). Crossing my fingers...although I'd feel pretty silly if it was worth MUCH...I felt like an IDIOT when we collected $800 in lost money around the house!!!

Rx costs - the first step

May 16th, 2006 at 04:12 pm

The first step in reducing prescriptions is going to appear to be very simple. It may or may not be.

Make a list of every prescription medication you and your family have used in the last 12 - 18 months. Every one. Whether it's a medication you use every day, like insulin or glucophage, or a one-time-only antibiotic, whether it's an inhaler you use periodically, or just an Epi-Pen to keep on hand, add it to the list.

If you have recently changed Rx to treat the same condition, list both medications. If you are considering a new or alternate medication, add it to the list.

It may help to look through your tax receipts. Collect any Rx receipts you can find; not the cash register receipts, but the actual medication description, warning, and cost sheet.

At the end of this process, you should have a list, similar to

Regular:
Rx #1
Rx #2
Rx #3
Rx #4

Periodic:
Rx #5
Rx #6
Rx #7

Former:
Rx #8
Rx #9

Future:
Rx #10
Rx #11

That's all you need to do for this step. But be thorough, and include every medication you can possibly think of.

Kraft magazine reminder

May 16th, 2006 at 11:31 am

Just received the kraft email reminding me that their magazine with coupons, is in the MAIL. They do have an internet version, but BY MAIL gets around the printables issues. If you haven't signed up for it, the link is

http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/FoodandFamily/

Make sure you select it to come by MAIL, (as well as email if you like).

Nice income on the challenge

May 16th, 2006 at 11:21 am

DH and I received our eBates checks for last quarter...total of $172. We caught some sales and double points days, free gifts, and used coupon codes as well, so really didn't spend a large amount compared to the value of our purchases, and only necessary items, medical for DH, etc.

I am happy with this "found" money! Wish I had been using cashback programs before last October!

Also received two free Daisy sour cream coupons in response to an email, and two additional Earth Day coupon booklets in response to my request.

So...

Current savings:
2006 $20 challenge: $4346
2006 grocery savings: $5825

Need to add another category for other savings.

Also, postage for train welcome packs last week was $8, and for the two trains today was $6. So, train mail is $14 out.

Evaluating Prescription Costs

May 15th, 2006 at 01:16 pm

I was, well, moderately furious, at the latest pharmacy campaigns. So many are now designed to indicate " we accept all policies, so your costs are the same no matter what".

It's true that by accepting an insurance plan, a pharmacy agrees to charge prices negotiated with the insurance plan. This does not necessarily mean that your total prescription costs will be the same at that pharmacy.

Unless you have outstanding insurance that covers 100% of every drug (in which case you are probably paying WAY too much for insurance) at some point you will probably be paying the higher rates of the standard pricing at that pharmacy.

Why?

There are limits on coverage. If you have a step program, a tier program, a limited formulary, a co-pay, a deductible, a ceiling, a percentage discount card, or any other expense NOT covered by your insurance, the pharmacy can charge you it's regular prices. If it's not COVERED by your insurance, the pharmacy charges the PHARMACY rates.

Look at the language in your policy. For example, from the standard medicare guidelines:

Standard Coverage (the minimum coverage drug plans must provide):

If you join in 2006, for covered drugs you will pay a monthly premium (varies depending on the plan and coverage you choose)...

...Step therapy is a type of prior authorization. With step therapy, in most cases, you must first try certain less expensive drugs that have been proven effective for most people with your condition. For instance, some plans may require you to first try a generic drug (if available), then a less expensive brand-name drug on their drug list, before you can get a similar, more expensive brand-name drug covered.


If you have been on the "expensive brand-name drug", which include things like Allegra and Imitrex, and have already found they are the most effective for you, you may be paying out of pocket unless (and until) it is determined that the other drugs are "officially" not as effective. In the meantime, NOT COVERED means it does NOT fall under the prices agreed to by your insurance company.

There may also be QUANTITY LIMITATIONS...

For safety and cost reasons, plans may limit the quantity of drugs that they cover over a certain period of time./ In some cases these quantities are fairly low...a policy may cover Zoloft at 50 mg a day, even though 150 mg is a standard dose. Whatever is not covered, again, is not necessarily subject to the insurance price agreements.

Formularies are even more difficult; very few insurance include newer drugs in their formularies. A formulary typically covers at least two drugs in a class. However, this translates to two SSRI antidepressants, for example. Prozac, which is available cheaply as a generic drug, is likely in the formulary, while Cymbalta, a newer and non-generic drug, is likely not. The effectiveness of SSRIs is highly individualized, but your coverage is probably not.

So, choosing a pharmacy can have a huge impact on your drug costs. It did mine. And so, I will blog on tips to evaluate your prescription costs.

This week's challenge

May 15th, 2006 at 12:54 pm

DH and I did fairly well with the loose end projects last week. The insulation installed, and FREE with all those gift cards, will be a nice savings.

So for this week...we are going to mulch our own yard.

Sound easy? Consider two acres, 100 yards of mulch to spread.

But, we've paid $2700 each year for the last two years to have someone else do it! Now that we are back in the savings mode, it's time to cut that down. DH has already purchased the mulch, $900 total, and a better quality than before. So, by doing it ourselves (rain permitting), we will save around $1800!

I'll be physically sore, but financially happy!

contacting companies, YEAH

May 15th, 2006 at 12:44 pm

A great way to find offers is to go to websites listed in magazines. I did this for a new organic line yesterday, signed up for their newsletter, and asked them to send a brochure and coupons...today's email response:

Thank you so much for your interest in our Organic Classics products, and for taking the time to sign up for our mailing list. I have your address below and will absolutely send you out a brochure with information and coupons.

The site is for Farmfield kitchens organic classics...which lead me to pull together a list of some companies that offer newsletters with coupons, savings, promotions...

Newsletters

I'll work on pulling more contact info together, but I hope you find these newsletters useful Big Grin

Watching the Signs, and Planning ahead

May 14th, 2006 at 03:11 pm

New seasons, new sales, new products! Stop and think about those sales...

Coke is buy 2 get 3 free! Why? Coke and Pepsi alternate promotions...Pepsi had the holiday packs, Coke had the Olympic game packs. Huge sales after each promotion to get the "expired offers" off the shelves. So...time for another Coke promotion, and of course, sales coming up for the holiday weekends and summer events.

A few things to be thinking about...the Smart Source "Summer Blastoff" themed coupons will be out May 21st. Coupons aren't issued on the following Memorial Day weekend. So...start planning and looking for sales on hot dogs, hamburgers, condiments...

New squeezable mayo packaging, the old product has to go to make room for the new; and now the new product coupons are hitting the shelves. Heinz has coupons out for ketchup; it's getting to be the season for hot dogs and hamburgers; the old packages go, and sales on the new...

June 4 coupons are themed around the Children's Miracle Network. June 25 around Easter Seals. Father's day is in between, with July 4th BBQs just around the corner...what sales and coupons will YOU be on the look out for?

If it seems like Back to School sales started early last year, look for clearances early again this year. The "Back to School" coupon inserts come out July 30 and again August 13...so they will probably be cleaning out old "out of style" school products, and introducing new ones. Foods, too, lunch box favorites. Breakfast foods for the morning rush...

Watch for the signs, and you might be able to plan ahead for some great deals!

Unilever month!

May 14th, 2006 at 03:00 pm

Have you noticed that it's Unilever month? Coupon inserts this weekend, and every store seems to be offering different incentives. Purchase $$$ of these products and get $X back; purchase 5 and get X; rebates; one-check store rebates.

Watch the offers, and make sure you use the right ones for you! Buying 10 items to get a refund may not be great if you don't use the items, while a smaller refund on the 5 items you do use may be a better buy in the long run. Match up the sales, coupons, and rebates to get the deal that's right for you!

slow day, but no spending

May 14th, 2006 at 02:50 pm

Been working on articles about saving money, couponing...and a trick to get around that "no printables" rule...hopefully Jeffrey will have them on the site soon! I've definitely filled up his inbox!

A few Green Booster tips

May 14th, 2006 at 09:02 am

Keeping landscaping up can be expensive. A few tips...

1. Use those rewards/points/MyPoints and survey rewards to get Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. cards. In the last few months I've had $150 in g/c earned that went to Home Depot. Tools, fertilizer, peet...

2. If you have hard water and use a softener system, like we do...turn it off when you water! The plants need to keep their "native" environment, and we save $$ by conserving the salt and other softener resouces. They are expensive!

3. If you evergreens need an immediate boost, rhodadedron/azalea fertilizer, like Miracle Gro for azaleas, will revive them quickly to a lush green.

4. Water and time can be expensive. If it's going to rain, SPRINKLE the immediate dry fertilizer (Miracle Gro, Schultz, bloom booster...) over the areas before the rain comes in, and allow the rain to dissolve it and feed. A great way to get the ground cover to fill in quickly after winter.

coupons in stores, 5/13

May 13th, 2006 at 01:58 pm

Blinkies
75 cents any one Egg Beaters exp. 6/30/06


Tear Pad
$2 when you buy any 1 Nabisco Multi-pack AND any 2 participating Kraft products Exp. 8/31/06

Rebate
Try Me Free ($2.99) Speed Stick with Irish Spring exp. 12/31/06
Try Me Free ($3.69) Aquafresh White and Shine. Exp. 3/31/08 (tear pad, replaces previous Smartsource pullout)
B2 Lysol Wipes get 1 Lysol product free ($4.19) exp. 5/31/06

Booklets
Restocked Kraft calcium booklet
Restocked Safeway Picnics to Parties booklet ($1 on any O organic)
Restocked [u]Rite Aid allergy booklet
(exp. 7/29/06)
$1 NasalCrom Allergy Spray
$1 Visine
$1 Sudafed PE
$1 Zicam
$3 Nasal Comfort Mist
$1 Dayquil sinus
$1.50 Claritin
$1 Benadryl

Loose
$1 FastFixin’, exp. 12/31/06
$1 any package of Bear Essential diapers or training pants, any size. Exp. 12/31/06

[b]Expired/[b]
$1 on one Kraft singles with any Oscar Meyer Shaved deli meat (4/30/06)
$1 produce with one kraft grated cheese (2/2/06)

Breyers Fruit swirls for 25 cents!!!

May 13th, 2006 at 06:56 am

Okay, it finally paid off...the Breyers Fruit Swirls and ice cream coupons for the news products began with this weekends Unilever circular.

So, the $6 product that I have a rain check at $1 each...now I have coupons for 75 cents off. That makes each 25 cents!

If you didn't get a rain check, stay tuned, there are more offers, and more seasonal offers, coming.

Ragu Organic continues at $1 a jar, with that 75 cents coupon...25 cents.


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