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Archive for June, 2006

Pampers coupons, Tide, Covergirl, and eligilibity

June 14th, 2006 at 09:13 am

Well, given our trains desire for all things Pampers, as opposed to the other brands, I decided to look into the Pampers membership program (coupons and special offers). Hmmm...you need to have a baby, fair enough, and you need to provide the babies personal information. Why? Coupons and Other Special Offers and promotions are, according to Proctor and Gamble, timed to your babies specific needs. And, very limited. One coupon every few months. Contacting them, I was informed that coupons are available in the local papers, and privately issued coupons are available through the Pampers program as determined by the information you provide.

Hmmm...

And onto the other P&G products, Tide, Covergirl, Clairol, Dawn, Olay, Mr. Clean...I was informed that coupons are available in the PG saver newspaper inserts, and through special programs such as VocalPoint and individual clubs. Eligibility for coupons is at the discretion of Proctor and Gamble.

Which gets to my previous post...



http://flash.savingadvice.com/2006/06/13/proctor-and-gamble-coupons-at-will_10023/

While I'm becoming more aware of the black market for coupons, I am also seeing, perhaps, a bit of the "need" for the black market coupons. I do understand that you should have a baby to receive baby coupons...but why does MY AGE, or my marital status, or even my standards for being a "good wife" (i.e., obedient to my husband) determine my eligibility to receive coupons and special offers.

Has anyone else experienced this?

$1 trial memberships - an update

June 13th, 2006 at 04:07 pm

Lots of interesting posts and blogs on the subject, so I checked into a few things:

1. I have never been charged past the cancellation point (trial membership).

2. I have recently successfully signed up for offers using a $5 prepaid AmEx card, the one given free for OPEN WOB surveys. No problem going through, getting the email or g/cs. Even though I've done the offer previously.

3. The company responsible for sending out the gift cards, assigning memberships, cancelation, etc., has previously been under invesigation for false charges. Most of what I've found indicate this was in 2004, related to Trilegiant overseeing the identity theft protection for Wells Fargo. Some forums claim the problem was cleared up, and Trilegiant is on their "best behavior"; other forums chat of some problems. In any case, if you have had problems, the information for the class action case is it

http://www.girardgibbs.com/trilegiant.html


Girard Gibbs LLP is investigating consumer claims that Trilegiant charged for services that they allege they did not order or request.
Consumers report that these unordered services include Auto Vantage, Buyers Advantage, CompleteHome, Clever Clubhouse, Digital ProtectionPlus, Great Fun, Great Options, HealthSaver, Hot-Line, IdentitySecure, Just for Me, National Card Registry, Netmarket.com, Pet Privileges, PrivacyGuard, Shoppers Advantage, Small Business Central, Travelers Advantage, and others.

If you've experienced these or similar problems, please let us know by completing the form below.


I have NO information about this law firm, or the class action suit, or have experienced anything but success in my trial memberships.

Proctor and Gamble - coupons at will?

June 13th, 2006 at 03:03 pm

Proctor and Gamble manufacturers, well, a bit of everything, and probably something in everyone's household. Secret Deodorant, Pantene, Dawn, Clairol, Tide...and recently Gillette...etc.

I recently took two surveys, proportedly by P&G, signing up to receive promotions for products from two of their web sites.

Seemed simple enough...name, address, email, age...information required so that they can direct the "appropriate" offers to you. But I wonder, both asked for a rating on whether or not, and how strongly I felt, that married women should COMPLETELY OBEY their husbands.

An interesting question, and one that is frequently debated. Myself, well, being raised in a Mennonite community provides strong feelings, as does regularly counseling and supporting battered and abused women and children. I am intimately familiar with the many facets involved in this question.

But what does this have to do with P&G directing coupons or offers my way?

I was pondering this with a friend, who noted their new VocalPoint program. To quote from their site:

Vocalpoint is a unique marketing brand powered by the Procter & Gamble Company that helps companies do a better job developing products and services that moms care about and want to talk about.

We work with this influential group of moms to help companies in industries that include entertainment, fashion, music, food and beauty. We collect feedback and generate valuable knowledge and insight for our clients through surveys, product sampling and previews of products and services.


Procter & Gamble have offered a variety of freebies to people who enroll in VocalPoint. There is the potential to participate in future programs for new products. Members are promised new products to evaluate, free samples.

What they don't tell you, before you attempt to register, is that they are looking for female moms with chidren living at home between the ages of 5 and 19. Officially. Unofficially, my friend with son, younger than one, was accepted immediately, while another friend, with child age 6, but herself 45, was not.

I checked it out...and confirmed, it accepted a signup for identical information, children, etc., except for the age...seems to be a cutoff around 35 - 40.

So, are offers and coupons not "appropriate" for older Moms? Why are only Moms, not Dad's, included? And, why don't they indicate this before enticing you to provide your personal information?

Granted, they want actual information, not skewed to fit the requirements to get the freebies.

And what are the freebies? No one I know received the free samples, bundle of products or coupons. So far, a dozen flyers to pass out about a new tv show, a dozen recipe cards to pass out advertising a Blender. Product test? No. Coupons? Nope. Free samples? None I've heard of.

P&G indicates this program is to have Moms help with marketing of things Moms like. It appears that it has more to do with P&G marketing what they want to Moms.

I ask again, what does that have to do with receiving special offers? Special offers are, in fact, equivalent to coupons at will: as in "employee at will", there is no LEGAL requirement for ANYONE to receive offers. P&G is within their rights to single out whomever they want. They can provide offers, or they can deny them. At will. In whatever manner they deem reasonable.

Misleading, yes. Reasonable...I have my doubts.

A Bad Day for Shopping (but thanks, Jen!)

June 13th, 2006 at 02:15 pm

Started out simply enough, we had a few things to pick up on clearance...Safeway is having Tums for $1, and we have $1 coupons, Ensure for $2.99 and we have $1 coupons, etc...remodeling sale...

Dropped by Target to see if the Biotene really was cheaper there...we pay $7.50 minimum per bottle; it is regular $5.15 at Target (WOW), and on unadvertised sale for $3.99! THANKS FOR THE HEADSUP JEN!

So, I checked, yep, the sale tag is out. They only have 6 left, but HAPPY, take them to the register, get rung up, give them my last $5 g/c for Target (MUST STOP GIVING THOSE AWAY!). As we walk to the jeep, I am looking at the receipt...does not make sense...we were charged full price. Quick debate with DH on going back in, but we do...waited, were sent to CS, to a VERY grumpy clerk who said they were NOT on clearance and NO STORE IN CA has the same sales as MD and it was not possible...I did get her to walk back to the aisle and see the tag...turns out the sale expired yesterday...but since they were marked, she had to give us the price and refund the difference...but she was TICKED OFF that someone left an old tag up. Wow, hate to work for her!

Took forever, but very worth it. DH uses at least 60 bottles a year...so saving $2 - $2.50 regularly, or this, around $4.50 each, well...$120 or more saved EACH YEAR by changing stores. More if I have survey gift cards or other rewards for Target. Hmmm...

So, we dropped by the next store, which was completely backed up in check-out, so we went for the self-express. Hmmm...always a bad idea with coupons. It works sometimes, but there always seem to be problems. And of course, the clerk was NOT responsive to the computer locked up blinking light...first when a coupon got stuck, then when an item went through as unscanned and it was rescanned and then we were charged twice, and in the meantime our "buy 4 get one free" summer rebate was cashed out and lost...and Breyer's was BOGO, but the computer was not coded for my coupon, so the clerk voided the transaction, took my $6 coupon, and of course the computer then removed my free half of the BOGO...and charged me for it...and on and on...

It's just SO much nicer to work with a person.

We went to Giant, where the cashiers are friendly and know us, never mind processing loads of coupons, make sure we get a deal, even remind us to get rainchecks! Of course, we never let them get shorted. Coupons ring up twice, or they input $5 instead of $0.50, we correct them. Couponing, and saving, is only at the manufacturer's expense, only by the rules.

Still, a VERY long day, and stressful. I keep thinking I am just going to send my lot of coupons off to someone and stick to buying what we need...then I'm reminded that we do SAVE money...and we did make a donation in our friends name...the savings really help us do what WE want with our money.

So, for today

Current savings:
2006 $20 challenge: $4738
2006 grocery savings: $6502

Point Frugal, or Frugal to a Point?

June 12th, 2006 at 03:32 pm

If you are a member of any forum, you will know what I'm talking about...those little "points" that accrue each time you post (example is www.savingadvice.com). They don't monetary value, they can't be traded at this point.

But, you can cash them in to upgrade the appearance of your name, add color or flashes or, well, I don't know what...because when I went to add color, it told me how many points it would cost, and I said, oh, no, that's WAY too many points...

Since they have no specific value, I don't know what I'm "saving" them for, or why I don't want to see the numbers decline without good reason.

I CAN absolutely tell you that I feel the same about my savings, checking, any account. That's a huge part of the saving and "wealth" mindset being described in so many current books. I'm not a hoarder, I don't collect much of anything, but NUMBERS, oh, numbers, may they never decrease!

I don't think it's so much about frugalness as it is being raised to conserve, and not waste.

Still, they are JUST POINTS.

Free Product Coupon - Pledge, Raid, Windex...

June 11th, 2006 at 01:35 pm

Just a note...SCJohnson has discontinued their Pledge wood floor cleaners. If you email to tell them you cannot find it, where is it, they will send you a coupon for a free product, $4.50 on ANY ITEM they make.

Contact form is at

http://www.scjbrands.com/contact/

The Black Laundry returns from the dead

June 11th, 2006 at 01:30 pm

It's cleaning day. Shouldn't be, but it is.

DH has cleaned the last two weekends, and, well...he said he washed all the outdoor clothes, covered with all the black dye from the mulch, and so much else. However, he has NO concept of pretreat, Shout, Clorox 2, or anything except the COLD cycle.

And, absolutely no concept of mildew. After 23 years, I happen to believe a rocket scientist should, in fact, understand that if you pile a bunch of wet stuff together in a warm room with lots of gardening remnants, and leave it wadded up, the black stuff growing might NOT be mulch dye. Especially when it has that particularly AWFUL smell.

DH lost his sense of smell 20 years ago, though, lab rat that he was. Prior to regulation and good lab safety.

He should also understand the tensile strength of DELICATES versus DENIM. But, alas, he's still a one stop washer.


So, today, I sorted out the pile of jeans/shorts/tshirts/socks (serious, they were white before, now they have black stripes) underwear, delicates, and 5 pairs of shoes. Also all the throw rugs and mats by the doors. And, low and behold, since our dear little Corgi LOVES water, turns out DH has been playing water games with him during the bath/shower. Squirt, splash, mildew soaked rugs there, too.

Surpringly, the laundry did come clean. Smells great. Used the Gain apple mango tango (?) sample on the puppy stuff.

And while all the laundry was going, I scrubbed down the house. DH put the screens back in the windows (they come out for the winters here), and had a nice fresh air day.

Have not come up with this weeks saving challenge yet.

For now, a good friend passed this morning from cancer, so time to settle ourselves and prepare to visit.

Those $2/1 Huggies coupons...

June 11th, 2006 at 01:17 pm

Finally, few takers from our trains, so I traded them all for things on people's wish lists. Interesting pile of coupons I've never seen! Some that I have, of course, but many interesting ones. Trading for a POTLUCK, means the other person provides whatever they want to put together, and I've loved the surprises.

Now, what to do with things that aren't on wish lists...going to take time to update my haves list.

Pacific Train should go out tomorrow...

Free Coupons for Train Members!

June 11th, 2006 at 01:14 pm

Just a reminder, if you are on a train, let me know if there is anything on my HAVE list

http://flash.savingadvice.com/2006/06/08/current-have-list_9791/

that you need...if I don't have 50 of something, I'm not always quite sure who needs it...especially if there are only two or three...and I hate seeing them come back expired from one train when someone else is begging for them later.

Free Magazines may cost you in the end

June 10th, 2006 at 04:19 pm

I spent a bit of time last year canceling all the outrageous priced auto-renewals that the magazine publishers had been sneaking by on our credit cards. Saved a fortune, renewed the few DH loves for basically nothing. And, signed up for a few FREE with business news. And Club Mom. And BizRate. And...well, I figured free might include some coupons or offers, and I had no idea that once I signed up for one, they would send them ALL to me, free of course...

...but I realized, skimming through one in the salon yesterday...ALL of the free magazines - Cosmos, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Better Homes and Gardens, Redbook - to name only a few that have been piling up - ALL are full of ads and articles informing me of how to SPEND my money.

Not ONE is a finance magazine, or about SAVING money.

Granted, I don't really read these things, skim through them, and I will have to get around to cancelling them because I certainly did NOT ask for most of them. But...hmmm...these free magazines are really just one more way to send me free marketing materials into my home. BUY ME MUST HAVE ME BUY ME MUST HAVE ME...

Yikes!

I'm curious if anyone else has noticed this?

Mulching continues without me

June 10th, 2006 at 04:13 pm

DH offered to finish up the mulching without me, just around the bases of the trees...so I've been online getting through email and taking SURVEYs. Since I posted on the evil marketing of the unpaid survey, they swamped me with free product trial surveys, much to my delight. Actually, my arm is numb...too much time and the office is really set up for my DH, not my ergonomics.

He worked on the grape arbors, maybe we will have grapes planted some day. Blueberries are thick and full, and even though we've been having heavy downpours, quite a few of the fruit trees held their fruit. Quite a bit on the ground, too, but Ms. Deer will take care of that.

Dinner tonight was to be spinach salads, but I've changed to spinach omelets. Frig is still heavy laden.

Bad Day for Free Busy Bones!

June 10th, 2006 at 04:09 pm

As I explore the possibilities of contacting manufacturers about their products, I am amazed at the graciousness and genorosity of some manufacturers, and the jadeness of others. The large companies are the worst, simply because they receive so many requests.

Purina, however, has always been good to me. Very suppotive, lots of answers to lots of questions. So...I asked them, giving my Corgi's love of CHEWING, how many busy bones he can eat. Dad here is feeding him TWO a day, which I think is a bit much, as the kibble bowl is all but discarded. However, the Corgi still prefers raw asparagus, spinach, carrots, and anything else from around my skirts as I cook. No accounting for taste.

And, the Corgi is almost full grown now. Not a year yet, but, well, he's stopped the pound a week growth spurt.

Purina responded that they are happy that he likes the treats but each one contains OVER 300 CALORIES and ADULT DOGS should not have more than ONE OR TWO a WEEK!!!

Hmmmm...

So, I was equally surprised when I posed a similar question to Nylabone, makers of Healthy Edibles. They have, in fact, designed their products to be digestible, and can be used to supplement kibble for the little chewing monster. They sent me the nutrition info, breakdown info, calorie info, information to check with my vet...and are sending a full supply of samples to help us out through the chewing monster's chewing.

I read the info. They ARE healthy, actually a bit better than the dog chow...hmmm...

Recycling recycle bags

June 9th, 2006 at 03:19 pm

Yes, those blue plastic recycling grocery bags pile up, often faster than the recycling does. And our home recycles just about everything, including the inner roll of the TP.

Most people have seen the drop offs to recycle the bags at the stores. Here, any curb side recyle that is NOT paper must go into those blue bags.

And yet, here my friend is filling her garbage with her extra unused blue bags! ACK! She had too many, she said, so she was throwing them out. ACK!

Worst case, you can fill a blue bag with blue bags and recycle the whole thing! Or, find other uses for them.

One personal example...inside my house is cream color carpet, cream walls, white tile floors, and cream furniture...and outside is red clay dirt. Two acres of gardening, mulching, and mud! No matter how many ice chests I fill for drinks and food before we go out to garden, there is the rule of water in, water out...and a need to come inside at some point during the day.

I keep a pullout drawer full of the bags at the back door. Slip one over each foot, tie the handles together, and walk through without leaving a trail. Works great when moving, too, all the dirt going in and out.

They also work great as a quick wrap around a loaf of bread, or anything that needs a quick cover.

I'm sure many people have many great uses for them, even before they eventually get recycled. The garbage can isn't one of them!

A Day Without Coupons?

June 9th, 2006 at 03:08 pm

Couldn't happen. No matter how I try to get rid of them, more follow!

I started the day in a bit of a funk...and, well, first the EPT, purchased free after instant rebate in bulk at Costco before my last miscarriage. Then the Estroven Test, free, surprisingly, I received a coupon when I asked the company for info on well, let's just say I'm starting to feel my age. They were on discontinued clearance a few weeks ago, and I bought it on a freebie whim.

Both negative. More funk. I'm usually a very tidy, well organized, and extremely clean person. However, with coupons multipling like rabbits, well, maybe tribbles...they seem to be expanding to fill the space.

But, a day for a hair cut and color. Not the $200 treatments of a year ago, just something simple. Then dinner with friends.

Dropped by a store to pick up a bottle of wine for the occasion, and...coupons, wine tags. DH pulled me out of the store after I started to explore all the tear pads. Coupons on ice, on alcohol? Oooh, a nice one on pasta sauce. Yes, indeed, wine tags often have coupons on NON-wine items.

So, added a few more things to my have lists. And to the growing piles in the other room, where the Corgi waits to play in them.

A day without coupons...PLEASE?

Current Have List

June 8th, 2006 at 05:59 pm

It's the end of the month, so time to clean out my coupon box for all the "use it or lose it" (expiring) coupons.

I receive a large number of coupons, using all the methods discussed at www.grocerycouponguide.com. I do test my own advice before I submit it to the site . So, while I remove expiring coupons, I also evaluate whether or not I'm actually going to use other coupons I have filed.


Here is the list of my current "haves list", coupons I have but won't be using myself. It's a broad selection, encompassing most categories of groceries. It also illustrates the types of coupons that are readily available. They are all non-newspaper insert, non-printable, except where noted.

While this shows the types of coupons available to any consumer, remember, if you are on the savingadvice.com coupon trains, these are available to you, just let me know!

Flash’s Have List

(in addition to most inserts, and many other in small quantity)



STANDARD GROCERY COUPONS

Beverages (non-dairy)
(3) 5 free 2-liter Coca-cola product, 8/31/06
(3) Bottled water, FREE (NTE $1), WYB (1) Crystal Light mix, any, 9/30/06
(3) Hansen’s soda, $1 /2 6 pk, DND,8/31/06
(2) Nesquick Strawberry, 64 oz. carton, $1/1, 12/31/06
(3) Odwalla, any drink FREE/1, NTE $3.49, 12/31/06
(3) Turkey Hill Iced Tea, Lemonade, or Nature’s Accents, any ½ gal +, $0.35/1, 12/31/09
(2) V8 Fusion, 12 oz., $0.50/1, DND, 8/31/06
(2) V8 Fusion, 46 oz., $0.50/1, DND, 7/31/06
(4) 7up, 2 liter, FREE (NTE $1.59), 7/31/06
(4) 8th continent soymilk, 64 oz., FREE/1, 6/30/07
(4) Ice, $1/1, $2 minimum purchase, DND, 9/9/06
Miscellaneous inserts


Cereals
(22) Cheerios, any, $0.75 /2 DND, 9/10/06
(56) GM cereals, $1 /3, DND, 7/17/06
(35) GM cereals, $0.75 /2, DND, 9/10/06
(2) Kashi GoLean Instant Hot Cereal, any, $1 /1, DND, 12/31/06
Miscellaneous inserts


Crackers/Snacks
(25) Advantage Caramel Bars, $1 /3, DND, 9/30/06
(15) Doritos 13 oz. bag, FREE WYB 3 cards, 7/04/06
(3) EatSmart baked potato crisps, 6 oz., $1 /1, DND, 12/31/06
(16) Famous Amos cookies, 16 oz. package, 9/1/06
(16) Frito-Lay Light snack chips, $0.55 /1, 12/31/06
(8) Jet-Puffed Marshmallows AND 10 oz. or larger Honey Maid Graham Cracker, $1, 12/31/06
(20) Kraft/Nabisco: $1 WYB 3 Balance bar singles, Nabisco snack pack, nabisco to go, or Barnum’s animal crackers, DND, 6/30/06
(6) MetRx bars, BOGO, insert, 8/31/06
(40) Nabisco multi-pak AND (2) Kraft snack products, $2, DND, 8/31/06
(5) Nabisco Honey Maid graham honey sticks, 13 oz, $0.75/1, DND
(4) Ore-Ida, $1/2, insert, 7/31/06
(40) Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, FREE (NTE $3.00) WYB 2 boxes goldfish crackers (11 oz. or larger), 7/31/06
(11) Ritz crackers, any 2 12.5 oz or larger, $1 /2, DND, 8/31/06
(5) Ritz crackers, 14 oz +, $0.75/1, DND
(2) South Beach Diet Cookie or Cracker, any, FREE/1 (NTE $3.99), 2/28/07
(40) Sunchips, Rold Gold, Frito-Lay Baked! And/or Frito-Lay Light snacks (any combo, 9 ¾ oz or larger), $1 /2, 12/31/06
(5) Triscuits, 8.5 oz +, $0.75/1, DND
Miscellaneous inserts


Dairy
(2) Activia 4-pk, FREE /1, 12/31/06
(8) Activia 4-pk or larger, $1 /1, DND, 6/30/06
(2) Dannon yogurt, any, $0.50 /1, 12/31/06
(2) Daisy sour cream, FREE/1, NTE $2.29, no expiration date
(1) Eggland’s Best Eggs, $0.50/1, insert, 9/30/06
(3) Eggland’s Best Eggs, cage free, $0.50/1, insert, 9/30/06
(2) Eggland’s Best Eggs, $0.35/1, insert, 9/30/06
(5) Kraft singles cheese, 12 oz +, $0.75/1, DND
(5) Kraft sting-ums cheese, 24 ct. $0.75/1, DND
(15) Land O Lakes ½ pound or (1) package pre-sliced Land o Lakes Cheese, DND, 9/30/06
(1) Land o Lakes eggs, FREE/1, NTE $4, no expiration
(5) milk WBY 1 Oreo 14 oz., $1 /1, 6/30/06
(3) milk, FREE (NTE $2.99) WYB any two oreo, DND, 7/31/06
Miscellaneous inserts


Frozen
(3) Amy’s product, any, FREE/1, no limit, 12/31/06
(3) Bagel Bites, $0.55/1, DND, 6/30/07
(5) Breyers, Good Humor, Klondike, or Popsicle, any, FREE /1 (NTE $6), 3/31/07
(4) Contessa Homestyle Convenience Meal, any, $1 /1, DND, 12/31/06
(14) Edward’s whole pie or any two slices, $1, DND, 9/30/06
(11) Eggo, any product, $1 /2, 7/31/06
(28) Freschetta Pizza, any, $0.75, DND, 8/14/06
(22) Healthy Choice Frozen Meals or Entrees, any, $1 /3, DND, 7/22/06
(28) Kid Cuisine meal, any, 0.50 /1, DND, 7/23/06
(4) Lean Cuisine, any, FREE/1, NTE $3.49, 2/28/07
(26) Mann’s Fresh Cut Vegetables, any, 0.55/1, 9/30/06
(9) Morningstar Farms, any one, $1 /1, DND, 7/31/06
(3) Texas Toast, any, $0.50 /1, DND,8/15/06
(3) Turkey Hill ice cream, any 48 oz +, $0.55/1, 12/31/09
(3) Turkey Hill frozen yogurt, ice cream, or carb IQ, any 48 oz +, $0.75/1, 12/31/09
Miscellaneous inserts



Meat
(25) Aidells sausage, any, $0.50/1, DND, 8/31/06
(36) Beef WYB A1 Steak Sauce OR Marinade, 10 oz. or larger, $1 /1, DND, 5/31/07
(28) Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Steak, 4 oz pouch, $0.50/1, DND, 9/30/06
(1) Chicken (fresh), $1 off WYB 2 Fresh Express Salads, DND, 6/30/06
(2) Fast Fixin’s, any, FREE/1 NTE $7.99, 12/31/06
(23) Ground Beef WYB Lea & Perrins, any, $1 off, DND, 9/30/06
(25) Ground Beef, Giant, WYB (2) 64 oz. Heinz ketchup, FREE (NTE $2.50), DND, 9/30/06
(2) Ground Beef WYB (2) Hamburger Helper, $1 off, 9/1/06
(2) Honeysuckle White product, any, $1/1, 1/31/07
(2) Honeysuckle White product, any, $0.50/1, 1/31/07
(5) Pilgrim’s Pride cooked chicken, any, $1 /1, DND, 2/28/07
(30) Prairie Grove Farms pork product, any, $1/1, 2/01/07
(2) Perdue, any chicken product, $2/1, 5/31/07
(16) Rancher’s Reserve Beef, WYB any (5) Gillete, Oral-B, or Duracell products, $10/1, DND, 7/31/06
(2) Seafood, WYB any (1) A1 marinade for seafood, $1, 1/31/07
(1) SeaPak Shrimp, FREE package (NTE $9.99), DND, 6/30/08
(1) SeaPak Shrimp, any, $1 /1, DND, 6/30/08
(41) Tyson canned or pouch chicken, any, $0.50 /1, 8/31/06
(1) Tyson fresh chicken, FREE/1 any, NTE $3, 12/31/07
(1) Any meat, $25 on $75 MIR, 7/15/06
(1) Any meat, $15 on $20, MIR, 7/15/06
(2) Any meat, WYB (2) Wishbone salad dressing, 16 oz+, 8/31/06
Miscellaneous inserts


Produce/Salad Dressing
(3) Earthbound Farm Product, any, FREE/1 (NTE $6), 12/31/07
(4) Fresh Express packaged salad, any, FREE/1 (NTE $4), 12/31/06
(11) Fresh Express Complete Salad, any, $0.75 /1, DND, 7/31/06
(7) Fresh Express Complete Salad, any, $0.75 /1, DND, 6/30/06
(40) Fresh Express Salad, any, $2 /2, DND, 6/30/06
(2) Fresh Express Organic Salad, any, $0.55 /1, DND, 6/30/06
(9) Fresh Express salad, free bag (NTE $3.99) WYB (1) Oral-B Pulsar or Advantage twin pack toothbrush, DND, 7/15/06
(175) Litehouse dressing, any, $1 /1, DND, 12/31/06
(5) Maple Grove Farms Dressing, buy 2 and lettuce, $1, DND,10/31/06
(5) Marzetti dressing, any, $0.50/1, 7/31/06
(30) PRODUCE, any WYB (1) Kraft Parmesan Cheese (7 oz. +), and Good Season Salad Dressing mix, $2, 9/30/2006
(1) PRODUCE, any WYB Reynolds Plastic Wrap, any, $1, 11/30/06
(44) Ready Pac Bistro-to-go or Ready-to-go bowl salad, $0.55 /1, DND, 12/31/06
(11) Sunkist Almond Accents, any bag, $0.75 /1, 12/31/06
(100) Sunkist Almond Munchies, any bag, $1 /1, 12/31/06
(23) Sunkist Almond Munchies, any bag, $1 /1, 12/31/07
(1) Tomatoes FREE (NTE $3) WYB two Fresh Express slaw or shreds, 8/31/06
Miscellaneous inserts


Other
(27) Cattlemen’s, any, 0.75/1, 12/31/06
(5) Classico pasta sauce, any, $1 /2, 12/31/06
(1) Delmonte, free can, any, 1/21/07
(4) Filippo Berio Olive Oil, any, $1, DND, 12/31/06
(15) Heinz Tomato Ketchup, 32 oz or larger, 0.50/1, 7/31/06
(5) Jello Pudding, 4.5 oz, $0.55/1, DND
(30) KC Masterpiece BBQ or Marinade, FREE WYB (1) Kingsford 18 lb charcoal, (NTE $4.50), DND, 6/30/06
(2) Kikkoman Teriyaki Takumi, $1/1, insert, 12/31/06
(3) Kikkoman, $1/2, insert, 12/31/06
(2) Kikkoman, $0.55/1, 9/30/06
(3) Olivio, any product, FREE /1, NTE $2.30, 12/31/06
(4) Sara Lee soft and smooth bread, FREE WYB (2) Hillshire Farm Deli, DND, 6/30/06
(2) Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter, any, $0.35 /1, DND, 4/30/07
(2) Tabasco, any, $0.75, DND, 7/23/06
(1) Tree Top Apple Sauce, any, $0.30 /1, DND, 7/31/06
Miscellaneous inserts


NON FOOD COUPONS
Paper/Plastic
(4) Brawny Napkins, any, FREE /1, (NTE $5), 12/31/06
(31) Cottonelle TP in Ultra or Aloe & E, (3) 4-pk OR (2) 6-pk OR (1) 12-pk, $1, DND, 8/13/06
(25) Reynolds Wrap Release Non-stick Foil, any, $0.75/1, 12/31/06
(25) Reynolds Wrap Release Non-stick Foil, any, AND Reynolds Wrap Foil, $0.75/1, 12/31/06
(1) Reynolds Wrap Release Non-stick Foil, any, AND Reynolds Wrap Foil, $1/2, DND, 9/30/06
(17) Solo, any product, $1 /1, DND, 8/13/06
(3) Scott any (1) 4 pack or larger scott extra soft tissue OR (1) 12 pack or larger Scott 1000 Tissue, $0.50/1, DND, 8/13/06
(29) Scott any (1) 4 pack or larger scott extra soft tissue OR (1) 12 pack or larger Scott 1000 Tissue, $0.50/1, DND, 10/08/06
(3) Scott any (1) 4 pack or larger scott extra soft tissue OR (1) 12 pack or larger Scott 1000 Tissue, $1 /1, DND, 10/08/06
(105) Sparkle paper towels, (2) big roll or (1) larger size, $0.50, DND, 7/16/06
(2) Viva, 2 big roll or (1) big roll 2-pk, $1, 7/1/06
(1) Ziplock easy zipper bags, $0.35/1, 7/1/07
(1) Ziplock container, $1/1, 8/31/07
Miscellaneous inserts


Cleaning/Household
(1) Airwick Freshmatic starter kit, $4/1, 12/31/06
(2) All small and mighty, insert, $1/1, 8/20/06
(2) All or Surf laundry, insert, $0.50/1, 8/20/06
(1) Ajax liquid dish, any, $0.25 /1, 1/30/07
(5) Cascade, various, $1, 6/30/06
(5) Clorox, various cleaners, $1 - $5, 6/30/06
(3) DampRid, any, FREE/1, (NTE$5.59), 8/31/07
(1) Glade candle, $2/1, 11/1/06
(1) Glade scented oil candle holder, $2/1, 11/1/06
(1) Glade plugins extra outlet and night light warmer, $2/1, 8/1/06
(1) Glade glass scents or air infusion spray, FREE WYB Glade Wisp or Oil Fan, 12/31/07
(2) Glade Wisp starter kit, $2/1, 6/30/06
(7) Hot Shot, $1 on 1 ultra, or $1/2 other, 7/31/06
(1) Murphy’s Oil Soap Product, any, $0.50 /1, 1/30/07
(1) Palmolive Automatic, any, $0.40 /1, 1/30/07
(3) Pledge product, any, FREE/1 (NTE $4.50), 8/31/06
(2) Pledge Multi Surface, $1/1, 8/31/06
(1) Scotch Brite floor cloth starter pack or refill, $1/1, 12/31/06
(1) Scrubbing Bubbles shower cleaner refill, $1.50 /2 12/31/07
(1) Scrubbing Bubbles shower starter kit, $5 /1 7/31/06
(4) Tide, various, $0.50, 6/30/06
(1) Wisk 32 oz. Dual Action or High Efficiency concentrate, insert, $1.50/1, 7/9/06
(1) Wisk 100 oz +, insert, $0.50/1, 7/9/06
(1) Woolite carpet, $1/1, 12/31/06
Miscellaneous inserts


Beauty
(32) Sunsilk, any 24/7 crème, volumizing crème, or masque, $1 /1, 7/01/07
(30) Chapstick, $1 /3, 12/31/06
(1) CoverGirl Last Exact mascara, $1/1, 9/30/06
(2) Dermal Therapy product, any, $3/1, 12/31/06
(1) Dove Energy Glow, FREE/1, (NTE $6.49), 6/30/07
(5) Dove Energy Glow, $1.50/1, insert, 8/12/06
(1) Dove hair care, FREE/1, (NTE $5.99), 6/30/07
(4) Hawaiian Tropic suncare, 4 oz.+, $1 /1, 12/31/07
(12) Jergens Natural Glow, any, $1/1, 12/31/06
(1) John Frieda Luminous Color Gaze, any, $1.50, 12/31/06
(1) L’Oreal Feria haircolour, any, $2/1, 12/31/06
(1) Maybelline Pure Makeup, fullsize, $2/1, 1/1/07
(4) Nivea, various, $1 - $2
(1) Olay, any, $2 /1, 9/30/06
(1) Pantene Pro-V expressions, any, $1/1, 9/30/06
(4) Selsun, any, $1/1, insert, 11/7/06
(1) Sunsmakers, $1/2, 10/31/06
(50) miscellaneous inserts


Personal Care
(4) Adidas deodorant, any, $2/1, insert, 9/30/06
(20) Banana Boat product, $1 off WYB 1 minute maid coolers, 8/31/06
(1) Colgate Power Toothbrush, any, $1/1, 1/30/07
(1) Colgate toothpaste, any, $0.75/1, 1/30/07
(1) Colgate toothbrush, any, $0.75/1, 1/30/07
(1) Colgate kids toothpaste, any, $0.75/1, 1/30/07
(1) Colgate Total toothpaste, any, $1/1, 1/30/07
(1) Dove bar or body wash, FREE/1, (NTE $4.99), 6/30/07
(1) Dove deodorant, FREE/1, (NTE $3), 6/30/07
(1) Irish Spring soap, any multipack, $0.30 /1, 1/30/07
(1) Ivory personal cleansing product, any, $1/1, 9/30/06
(7) Lamisil AT cream, 24 g, $3/1, 1/31/08
(7) Lamisilk, any, $1/1, 1/31/08
(25) Oral-B, $1 any (1) Pulsar, Crossaction, or Advantage Artica, OR any (w) Oral-B Advantage, Indicate, or Stages toothbrushes, DND, 7/18/06
(25) Oral-B Crossaction power toothbrush, $1 /1, DND, 7/18/06
(13) Refresh Dry eye Therapy, any, $3/1, insert, 8/31/06
(12) Refresh, any, $1/1, insert, 8/31/06
(1) Secret, any, FREE/1, 9/30/06
(1) Secret Platinum, $0.50/1, 9/30/06
(1) Softsoap Body wash, any, $0.75 /1, 1/30/07
(1) Softsoap liquid hand soap, any, $0.40 /1, 1/30/07
(1) Speedstick, any, $0.75/1, 1/30/07
(1) Speedstick, any Ladies, $0.75/1, 1/30/07
(1) Thermacare, any, $2/1, 8/31/06
(3) VO5 styling produce, $1/1, insert, 7/31/06
(1) Viadent, any, $1 /1, 12/31/07
Miscellaneous inserts


Medicine/OTC
(12) Accuchek meter, $40 coupon and $40 MIR, 8/31/06
(1) Free Ascensia Breeze monitoring system WYB test strips 100-count, 6/30/06
(42) Advil PM 20 ct +, $2 /1, 11/30/06
(4) Aleve, 8 +, $1/1, insert, 7/31/06
(2) Aleve, 8 +, $0.75/1, insert, 7/31/06
(1) Aleve, 20 ct + or Cold and Sinus 10 +, or Sinus and Headache 10 +, $1/1, 3/31/07
(1) Bayer, any up to 120 ct., Free/1 (NTE$8.50), 3/31/07
(1) Bayer, 24 +, $1/1, 6/30/07
(6) Benadryl, any, $1/1, insert, 7/31/06
(4) Caltrate, any, $1 /1, 3/31/07
(6) Claritin, any, $2/1, 3/31/07
(2) Digestive Advantage Children’s Lactose Intolerance, $1/1, 11/30/06
(5) Flinstones, any, insert, $1/1, 6/30/06
(7) Metamucil, any, $0.50 - $1/1, insert, 6/30/06
(1) Metamucil, any, $1/1, 7/31/06
(11) Mylanta liquid, 12 oz. or larger, $1 /1, 12/31/06
(2) One-A-Day, any $1 /1, 6/30/07
(2) One-A-Day, any 200 ct., $1.50 /1, 9/30/07
(11) Pepcid, any 25 count or larger, $1 /1, 10/31/06
(6) Pepcid, any 25 count or larger, $1 /1, 1/31/07
(2) Robitussin, any, $1 /1, 12/31/06
(1) Rogaine, women’s, any, $5/1, 12/31/06
(3) Rolaids Plus, FREE UP TO $1.50/1, insert, 8/31/06
(1) Rolaids, any, $0.50, 12/31/06
(7) Tylenol PM, 50 ct or larger or 8 oz liquid, $2 /1, DND, 8/31/06
Miscellaneous inserts


Rite Aid Allergy Booklet – exp 7/29/06
(6) $1 /1 NasalCrom
(6) $1 /1 Visine
(6) $1 /1 Sudafed PE
(6) $1 /1 Zicam
(6) $3 /1 Nasal Comfort Mist
(6) $1 /1 DayQuil Sinus
(6) $1.50 /1Claritin
(6) $1 /1 Benadryl

Babies
(1) Baby Avalon organics, $1/1, 12/31/06
(28) Beechnut table time bakery, tubs, or dices, $1/4, DND, 9/30/06
(1) Bright Beginnings formula powder, 31.7 oz, $3, 12/31/07
(1) Gerber bowl, cup, or utensil, $1/1, insert, 6/30/06
(1) Gerber bowls or utensils, $1/1, insert, 10/31/06
(1) Gerber Grins & Giggles, $1/1, 10/31/06
(1) Gerber Grins & Giggles, $1/1, 12/31/06
(1) Gerber Graduates, any, $0.75/1, 10/31/06
(1) Gerber Graduates, any, $1/3, 6/30/06
(1) Gerber Graduates, Lil’ Entrees, $1/2, 10/31/06
(3) Gerber Graduates Fruit or Veggie Dices, $0.75/3, 10/31/06
(1) Gerber Graduates Fruit Splashers, $1/2, 10/31/06
(1) Gerber Graduates 1 liter Fruit Splashers, $1/1, 10/31/06
(3) Gerber Graduates Garden Mashers, $0.75/2, 10/31/06
(2) Gerber Graduates mini Fruit or Veggie, $1/1, 10/31/06
(3) Gerber Tooth & Gum cleanser, $1/1, 10/31/06
(3) Gerber 2nd foods, $1/8, 10/31/06
(1) Gerber 2nd foods, $0.50/8, 10/31/06
(3) Gerber 3nd foods, $0.75/6, 10/31/06
(3) Gerber Puffs, any, $0.75/2, 10/31/06
(10) Gerber Tender Harvest jars, any, $1/8, 9/30/06
(4) Gerber Tender Harvest jars, any, $0.75/4, 10/31/06
(200) Huggies Baby wipes, $0.50/1, DND, 8/31/06
(3) Huggies Good Nites, $1/1, insert, 8/14/06
(11) Huggies Lil Swimmers, $1 /1, insert, 9/06
(6) Huggies Lil Swimmers, $1/1, DND, 7/31/06
(4) Huggies any, $2/1, DND, 6/30/06
(4) Huggies any, $1/1, insert, 7/20/06
(6) Huggies any, $1/1, insert, 8/20/06
(26) Huggies any, $1/1, DND, 7/29/06
(5) Huggies Pull-up, jumbo or larger, $2/1, insert, 9/4/06
(4) Huggies Pull-up, jumbo or larger, $1.50/1, insert, 8/13/06
(4) Pampers, jumbo or larger, $1/1, 6/30/06
(2) Pampers, jumbo or larger, $1/1, 7/31/06
(2) Pampers, jumbo or larger, $1.50/1, 9/30/06
(3) Pampers, jumbo or larger, $1.50/1, 3/31/07
(4) Pampers, Easy up or Feel n Learn, insert $2/1, 6/30/06
(2) Pampers, Easy up or Feel n Learn, insert $2/1, 7/31/06
(3) Pampers Splashers, $1.50/1, insert, 7/31/06
(8) Weis Bear Essentials diapers, any, $1 /1, 12/31/06
Miscellaneous inserts

Pets
(10) Cesar dog food, $10 rebate on grooming WYB 12, 10/14/06
(1) Eukanuba puppy food, 4 lb. +, $2, 7/31/06
(1) Eukanuba, FREE 6.5lb bag dog food, 6/30/06
(1) Feline Pine cat liter, $3 on 2, no expiration
(1) Fresh Step Cat Liter, $5, 7/30/06
(15) Friskies cat, miscellaneous, inserts
(1) Greenies coupon booklet, various, 12/31/06
(1) Hills Science Diet, $5, PRINTABLE, 7/23/06
(12) Iams tartar Treats, $2 and $3 off, inserts, 7/31/06
(6) Kibbles ‘n’ Bits, miscellaneous
(1) Meaty Bone Chew-Lotta, any, FREE /1, NTE $2.99, 5/9/07
(1) Meaty Bone Chew-Lotta, any, $1 /1, 5/9/07
(2) Meow Mix, any 3.15 lb +, $1 /1, DND, 6/30/07
(4) Milk Bone, $1 /2, insert, 8/5/06
(2) Natural Choice Complete Care cat food, B12,G6 (coupon by mail for 6 free), 6/30/06
(5) Natural Way dog food, $1.50 on (1) 5 lb +, insert, 7/31/06
(12) Pedigree dog food, miscellaneous
(1) Pet Promise dry dog or dry cat food, FREE 3 lb. bag OR $9.99 on any 5 lb. bag or larger, 12/31/06
(2) Purina brand pet food, any 4.5 lb, $2 /1, 5/31/07
(3) Purina Busy Bone, $1/1, insert, 7/31/06
(8) Purina Dog Chow, $1 on 22 lb., insert, 7/31/06
(6) Purina Little Bites indoor complete, $2 on 4 lb, 10/31/06
(6) Purina dog food, any, $1, insert, 8/21/06
(1) Purina One Natural Blends Cat Food, $2 3.3 lb +, 12/31/07
(12) Purina cat, miscellaneous
(3) Purina Pro Plan Selects, $5, any, insert, 7/31/06
(10) Purina Whicker Lickin’s, various
(20) Whiskas cat food, various
(20) Miscellaneous dog treat coupons
Miscellaneous inserts


Other
(3) RadioShack, $10 off on $20, marked Baltimore area but good other locations, 9/30/06
(3) Kingsford Charcoal and Bic Lighter, any size, $1, 6/15/07
(6) Duraflame 3 lb. bag charcoal, $0.55 /1, DND, 7/16/06
(8) SixFlags America, $15 off with movie ticket stub, exp. 9/9/06
(6) $5 off GNC Gold Card at Rite-Aid
(5) Maxwell House Points Program, offer form, 12/31/06
(5) Costco sign up and receive $10 g/c form
(40) Costco refer-a-friend form ($10 to you, $10 to friend), 12/31/06
Miscellaneous inserts

CVS Pharmacy Booklet
$5/20 for 12 weeks

MAIL-IN REBATES
(12) Accuchek meter, $40 coupon and $40 MIR, 8/31/06
(2) Feline Pine cat liter, $3 on 2, no expiration
(2) FiberSure, $2 coupon by MIR, any, 12/31/07
(1) Filtrete filters, B2, $3 rebate, 7/31/06
(47) KC Masterpiece (any one) and Kingsford charcoal, (any one), ($2.00 rebate), 12/31/06
(1) Kedem sparkling juices, $1/bottle, up to ($6 rebate), NO EXPIRATION
(38) Ortega products (2) AND “eight below” or “glory road” DVD, ($3.00 rebate), 7/31/06
(2) Natural Choice Complete Care cat food, B12,G6 (coupon by mail for 6 free), 6/30/06
(1) Senokot, ($1.50 on 10 or 20 ct., $5 on 30 and larger and bran, no limit on number), exp. 6/30/06
(3) Sidekick System, ($5.00 rebate), 12/31/07
(40+) Sunny D movie ticket official order form, exp. 8/31/06
(3) $1.50 on flowers, MBP by 7/15/06


TRY ME FREES
(42) Advil PM 20 ct (FREE, no $), 8/15/06
(20) Aquafresh White & Shine or Extreme Clean 4.3 oz or larger (up to $3.69) 3/31/08
(3) Boost with Benefiber (up to $8.50), 10/31/06
(5) SpeedStick with Irish Spring scent, any, (NTE $2.99), 12/31/06


ALCOHOL
(1) Aquinas napa valley, ($1.50 /1 - $30 /12). 1/31/07
(2) Bacardi party drinks, $2, PMB 7/14/06
(10) Black Velvet Canadian Whiskey, 1.75L, $3, 8/31/06
(10) Burnett's gin, 1.75L, $2. 9/9/06
(3) Burnett's Vodka, 1.75 l, $2. 9/9/06
(7) Christian Brothers Brand, $2 on 750 ml or 1 l, or $3 on 1.75 l, exp 7/7/06
(1) Delicato wine, up to $7 MIR,. 8/31/06
(1) Francis Coppola wine, $2, 12/31/06
(1) John Barr, $3 on any, 12/31/06
(2) Rosso Bianco, $1 any, 12/31/06
(20) Seagram's Vodka, $4 on (2) 1.75L, or $2 on (2_ 750 ml, 6/30/06
Seagram's Gin, $2 /750 ml or $3 on 1.75L. 6/30/06
(10) Ten High Bourbon Whiskey, Lauder's Scotch Whiskey, Imperial Blended Whiskey, Northern Light Canadian Whiskey, Corby's Reserve Whiskey Or Corby's Canadian Whiskey. ($22 on 6 1.75L, $10 on 3 1.75L, or $3 on 1 1.75L) exp. 8/31/06
(1) Wild Bunch wine, $2 - $5 /2, 7/15/06

Paid Surveys Paid Off

June 8th, 2006 at 12:01 pm

Okay, I doubt anyone wants to hear about my $20 challenge any more, but I'm still tracking my progress.

I haven't had time to take any surveys recently, but I got TWO checks today from previous surveys...

$22
$50

And, this week, two products to test. Testing products is FREE product if you like it, and this week's hair products were actually labelled with the brand name that's not cheap.

Current savings:
2006 $20 challenge: $4738
2006 grocery savings: $6370

Still working on the 400 pounds of food

June 8th, 2006 at 11:43 am

So, buying all that wonderful fresh stuff, tonight we are having a great meal. BUT, I'm also NOT tossing out the corn I purchased last week, just because it's a bit wilted. Or the salad greens, just because they are a bit less fresh, and the frig is a bit full. NO WASTE. It ain't easy. But I'm working it.

Stockpiling does involve a bit of use it or lose it.

Perspectives on My Super Saver Day

June 8th, 2006 at 11:41 am

Tonight we eat salmon, asparagus, fresh corn on the cob, and mangos!

It's a strange perspective for me, personally. DivaJen, you asked about our spending...last year at this time, this would have been my weekly purchase, no sales, coupons, discounts, cash back cards and rebates to follow...

We had salmon at least once a week, steak, wonderful salads. To the mix, I would have added another $50 - 100 at Trader Joes, some DVDs from Costco.

The eye shadow compact from Costco, which I purchased after trying a free sample, well, that would have been at least $50 of MAC from Nordstrom. And I would not have tried it first, no time or interest, just pitch it if I didn't like it.

Yesterday DH and I both picked up additional items and put them in the cart...and then thought, what are we doing??? I don't need a 30 pack of post-its, just because I can't FIND the ones I purchased last time. They are somewhere in the house, probably buried by DH. He'll find them. We didn't need two boxes of Zone bars, when I can find them much cheaper elsewhere.

So, in contrast to last year, when we would have spent $500 a week easily, each and every week, because it was EASY, and would have tossed out anything that wasn't right, we have both changed our ATTITUDES. Takes a bit more time, thought, effort, and planning up front, but so much easier in the after math!

Family Teamwork in SAVING and stockpiling

June 8th, 2006 at 11:14 am

Jeffrey got my husband's article up before he (Jeffrey) left for the US...

Grocery stockpiling, and savings, from my husbands perspective!

My DH's Guide to Stockpiling


Before you view the pictures...they were taken BEFORE yesterday's shopping and AFTER I have seriously been trying to use the stockpile up. And I do have other stashes that aren't getting photographed...like under the bathroom sink!

$310 of grocery's for $27

June 7th, 2006 at 02:41 pm

I needed a challenge today. Having a down day, and wanted a tangible success. And, I needed something interesting to blog about. The question was asked about how I shop/save/spend...so, I gave myself a challenge.

My challenge: get a months worth of stuff, or at least grocery products across the board (hey, I've already got a HUGE stockpile - one more tube of toothpaste and I'll be in the dog house with DH, and the freezer is PACKED), for as little as possible. Keeping it real.

Realism, well, I did NOT want to use any FREE PRODUCT coupons, or do anything that every one else can't do fairly painlessly, and routinely, once they have built up their savings muscles (good analogy, Baselle!) It's not real to save up all your super show stopper coupons and dump them down in one fell swoop and then claim the wonders of couponing.

Well, I do plan to do that for an article, but as a different challenge. Today was just, well, rather spontaneous.

So...here's what I brought back, for $27:



Yep, that's crab-stuffed fresh salmon, fresh organic beef, four pounds of premium bacon, fresh asparagus, corn, portabella mushrooms...peanuts for my dear squirrels, dog food, drinks, CheerFree, Dole...an array of what WE needed to balance our STOCKPILE.

Part of our three month plan.

How? It started this morning, got today's ad, nothing at all exciting, but I made a list, cross referenced against coupons and our stockpile/needs, and went out shopping, with DH in tow, of course.

The details, well, Jeffrey has requested an article, and it shall be coming once he is back and running. Stay tuned!

Back to the savings challenge:

Totals before savings, $310. So, saved $283.

Also received the Mopar rebate from the car...great and surprising find! $40

Current savings:
2006 $20 challenge: $4668
2006 grocery savings: $6370

FREE Sunny D free movie ticket rebate forms.

June 6th, 2006 at 02:37 pm

Okay, I'm just stunned at the black market for coupons and rebate forms.

Sunny D, the juice drink, is offering a $12 movie voucher for every two 64 oz. or one 128 oz. POP sent in. BUT...you have to have the FORM. It is not available online, or in the newspaper. There were some peelies, but apparently they were all peeled off, and sold!

You can use one form for up to 4 vouchers.

I, in my innocence, picked up some while shopping and tucked them into our coupon trains yesterday.

Today, I see, they are selling for $1 EACH!!! MORE on eBAY!

The CVS pharmacy booklet, 12 $5 off $20 coupons, is selling for over $8 on eBay.

Totally unreal to me.

I have scads of the Sunny D forms. I've asked Jeffrey about making them available to more people, without forming all these trains...not realizing that there was a black market for them.

Coupons FIND me in the stores. Don't ask for them, I keep trying to get rid of mine Smile. Time to stop shopping!

Grocery budgets - take a second look

June 6th, 2006 at 02:13 pm

Still not able to knock that grocery budget down? It’s time to stop looking at the spending, and start evaluating the budget.

Most Americans spend at least $40-50 per person each week on food. Sound high? Break down the numbers. At $6 a day… $1 for breakfast, $1 for lunch, $1 for a snack, and $3 for dinner? How much does each meal actually cost? Don’t forget juice, soda, milk, coffee, tea, creamer, sweeteners. Protein powders, diet shakes, candy, gum, mints, ice cream. What does each person in your family put in their mouths each day, and how much does it cost?

Now, add in the cost of coffee and fast food on the way to work or running errands; lunch out with coworkers; soda and snacks from the vending machine; an occasional drink after work, or a few bottles of wine; maybe fast food or even a restaurant family meal.

Yikes.

Now add in to your grocery cart the additional items: OTC products like aspirin, cold or allergy treatments, Visine, band-aids, vitamins…and on to beauty and person care items like toothpastes, tooth brushes, shampoos, razors, tampons (and accessories  )…and don’t forget the cleaning items for dusting, vacuuming, mopping, polishing, wiping and sanitizing. Throw in the odd laundry basket and dish towel, and you’ve got…

A grocery budget.

Despite what most budget planners would like to believe, the grocery budget requirements are fairly fixed. While there may be some items you can eliminate, there are quite a few that you can’t. To set a realistic budget, you need to look at these costs straight on. Work out the numbers. Do not assume sales, coupons, or any other cost cutting measures. You can learn to decrease costs, but to set a realistic budget, you have to be realistic for the present, current, actual expenses.

The list of expenses can probably be cut. Again, be realistic. It’s easy to say you will start taking your lunch, cut out all snacks, skip the vending machine. It’s quite another thing to do it, and continue doing it over months and years. The GOAL is not to get the budget as low as possible; the goal is to create a budget that you can stay within, and then apportion it into your overall budget for living expenses.

Once you have a budget, the goal is to maintain the boundaries. This is not DECREASING the boundaries. The problem with grocery budgets is generally not that the expenses are increasing; it’s that other costs are running over, and you try to decrease the grocery expenses to accommodate everything else!

If you don’t think so…ask yourself four questions:

1. when was the last time you ate spaghetti for a week so you could afford trendy shoes, a better vacation, a manicure, lunch or dinner out…

2. when was the last time you passed on new shoes so you could eat steak, fresh produce, or a higher quality breakfast cereal?

3. when was the last time you put savings from your grocery budget into the bank?

4. when was the last time you put savings from your grocery budget into a different purchase?

Once you have a realistic grocery budget, and have carved it’s place into your overall budget, then you can begin to work on decreasing costs using sales, coupons, rebates, and stockpiling to save money, and even reducing the budget requirements. Until then, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Update on the colored days of spring

June 6th, 2006 at 01:14 pm

Okay, well, beautiful weather today, so we are, of course, back to the mulch pile. 50 cubic yards so far, more to go.

I wore out the pair of leather gloves, so switched over to a similar pair only with suaded palms. And fingertips. Which leaked through...yep, black finger tips.

A good bit of dirt and sun, even with the sunscreen, and the gardening gloves, well, my little white paws and tan arms with black nails definitely remind me of the Corgi pup. Feet...well, I did wear tennies...actually great running shoes that don't run well...and are breathable. Yep, black TOES, white rims around the ankles from the short socks.

Face should be pink from all the exertion and sun...but, well, when Dove said that free sample of energy glow would make a light bronze color, I don't think they planned for pink skin underneath. Add a bit of orange to the mix.

So, will be "testing" how great those laundry detergent samples really are! I'm a Clorox girl, but Shout and Wisk work...we'll see about the Gain and other free samples.

Then again, the Gain Apple Mango Tango (?)...maybe I will SMELL like I look, all swirled and fruity!

Painful Ways to Save Money

June 5th, 2006 at 04:31 pm

I've been pondering this for awhile now...with Jeffrey's quest to find 101 Painless Ways to Save Money...what are the painful ways? For me, wasting money seems much more painful than saving it.

I asked my husband. He said, people today feel that they can't LIVE without the latest technology; it's painful if they don't have it.

I read Money Talk$ blog, who's coworker seemed to feel that way.

I must be quite an oddity to most people. I'm on several technology forums and panels, and advisory boards. As an SVP I was directing technology development around the world.

But I don't really care if I own it.

A television that lasts 10 years is much better than a plasma tv that blows in 11 months (hope you purchased THAT warranty) and costs twice as much. I had to request a cell phone that DOESN'T take pictures, and I enjoy the new computer, but it's not the top of the line, and I wouldn't have purchased it if the old one hadn't crashed one last time.

Painful?

When I think of painful savings, I am reminded of the Best Man at our wedding. He was a brilliant computer programmer, and job offers were abundant. He could have written his ticket at any company.

We had all just graduated from university, and while DH and I were off to pursue advanced degrees, our Best Man took his degree in computer science and set out to discover himself. He spent all his money on gizmos and gadgets, until Mom and Dad stopped paying the bills. He lived a freestyle life for awhile, drifting here and there, working occasionally to get the latest and greatest.

He could have gone to MIT. He could have had the biggest house and the hot car, and everything that comes with TIME.

Instead, all his brilliant knowledge became outdated, as did his financial security. He ended up living under a bridge, trying to pick up odd jobs, digging ditches or cleaning sewers. Saving whatever money he could earn just to return to the basics, a room in an apartment, clean clothes, the ability to walk through a door into a job interview without security being called.

When I think of PAINFUL ways to save money, living under a bridge to cut costs is towards the top of the list.

Doing without a faster processor or larger flash drive is not.

There will always be something newer, or different, latest and greatest. Whatever you purchase today is NOT new tomorrow. But if you spend your life wasting NEW MONEY, you will never have OLD MONEY. You will never have MONEY. You will only HAVE. And, then what do you have?

Salad Day Savings

June 5th, 2006 at 02:51 pm

Ah, we have had several nice days of eating salads.

Earthbound boxed baby greens (the large box), was on sale, and I had coupons from the Earthday booklet. I picked up two boxes for $1 each.

The trouble with produce, is that you must use it or lose it, at least with baby greens.

The benefit...YUM. And, you can use up almost any leftover in a salad.

We've had spinach salads, taco salads, and last night, my personal favorite...

baby greens
mandarin oranges (delmonte fresh cup, free with sale/coupon)
chopped almonds (sale, coupon)
remaining half block of fat free feta (good protein, and it was on edge of date)
dried cranberries
raspberry dressing (Ken's, $2 sale and had a $2 coupon! FREE)
Bit of swiss and parmesan cheeses, fresh (sale, coupon)

DH figured out we spent 50 cents on each salad, and I'm talking two quart bowl salads. Served with a delicate broiled bread slice side.

Tonight, taking a break. DH will cook...well...we'll see. We had Taco Bell for lunch so probably light. But it will definitely be from the stockpile, and since he knows how to cook soup and tv dinners, it will probably be less than 50 cents each again. A bit of bread left.

Free Biotene coupons for life!

June 5th, 2006 at 02:43 pm

Well, not quite, but even better.

My DH can only use Biotene mouthwash since his radiation treatments. It hasn't been easy to find locally, so I've been ordering from drugstore.com.

It's $7.29 a bottle. He uses 3 - 4 bottles a week.

I found it locally in limited quantity last week, at $7 a bottle. No shipping. But, alas, no coupons yet.

I contacted Biotene, and told them of my plight. Drugstore.com is a preferred vendor, linked and highlighted on their website. In my email to Biotene, I noted that I had purchased over 100 bottles from drugstore.com to date, and asked if they had samples or coupons available.

In their GREAT kindness, they are sending a free travel kit with all their products. Very nice.

Even better, and more surprising, Biotene responded that I could find their mouthwash much cheaper at Target.

It's around $5 there!

That's a minimum of $120 savings each year. That's BETTER than a one time coupon! And since I have contacted several other companies (crest, colgate, etc.) to see if their products would be suitable, and they aren't, it's a small miracle for us.

Of course, I received 3 travel kits for Tom's of Maine, valued at $10 each, which I have no use for. Stocking stuffers maybe? Hmmm...

One email, $120 a year.

Who knew!?!

Free Ensure coupons from stockpiling

June 3rd, 2006 at 03:49 pm

But pretty close. Safeway we saved 90%. Weis, Ensure was on sale, regularly $10 down to $7, and had several $1 coupons from the trains...so stockpiled. Not quite half, but then again, they have a rebate for a FREE ensure 6 pack with every 5 (or 6?) purchased, so looking forward to the freebies!

Saved $72 total, between the two stores. So...

Current savings:
2006 $20 challenge: $4628
2006 grocery savings: $6087

Paid Surveys and Rebates

June 3rd, 2006 at 03:46 pm

Finally something in the mail for the challenge...

$50 from mysurvey.com (rapidly becoming a favorite)

$5 from Pinecone

$167 from Costco, the yearly rebate. This is really more on my success in reducing Rx costs, as I had not signed up for the higher level membership until October, when I realized I needed to transfer my scripts over, and the cashier was having a heart attack, so to speak, since we were NOT the higher level and were losing quite a bit of cash back with our level of spending.

It wasn't retro active. But, for the few months that we've been in, and getting 50% discounts on meds compared to our previous pharmacy, it's great. And, since the new insurance is covering more now, we'll be reviewing the costs to make sure the benefit continues to outweigh the cost. For now...$$$

Current savings:
2006 $20 challenge: $4628
2006 grocery savings: $6015

Free Shipping assistance

June 2nd, 2006 at 02:49 pm

If you have ever done the "free shipping with $XXX purchase", you've probably searched for something extra to reach the dollar requirement, and in the end gone way over and spent much more than you wanted on something you really didn't want or need.

Here is a neat site to help you find items to squeeze you above that $$$ requirement.

http://filleritem.com/

with thanks to DAGG.

More free coupons

June 2nd, 2006 at 12:56 pm

So, before the attack of the Huggies coupons...I was starting a challenge for this month. The good news continues...SCJ not only sent two free product coupons, $4.50 each, but also two coupon booklets. They always send sets of two coupons, one for you and one for a friend...and I have friends!

I also complained to Meow Mix that my cat does not like the hair ball formula. Loves regular. What's the difference, what to do...they sent helpful suggestions, and 4 $1 coupons on any package, exp. 6/30/07. Yep, 07. Told ya, manufacturer direct coupons tend to have long expiration dates. It's a very different customer support psychology of marketing process.

Now, a good coupon...but if Meow Mix goes on sale half price or better in the next YEAR, that's nearly free cat food. And if transferred to ziplocs, it keeps quite awhile.

Or, freeze it, and it lasts even longer!

Well...back to work, I've got trains to get out!


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