I really look forward to Fridays. Saving money is a game to me and it’s great fun to make a list of known deals, match coupons, see where I can get free items, cheap items and then find a few surprises along the way. I got some fairly good deals today, although not the best ones I’ve ever gotten. Rebates and such are now few and far between. Below outlines my shopping schedule to show you how I save money. I also always make a loop, so I’m not driving more than necessary and wasting gas. I take insulated shopping bags or a cooler for any items that need refrigeration.
FIRST STOP: Arby’s
Never go shopping on an empty stomach. Although I planned to spend about $3 on a breakfast sandwich and soda, I actually wound up getting it for free. The girl rang up my order wrong and overcharged me by $3. When she fixed it, she just refunded the entire order and told me the meal was on her. Yay! Free breakfast. This shopping day was starting out great.
Next Stop: Rite Aid
I haven’t shopped at Rite Aid a lot lately, but Michele over at Refund Cents compiles a list every week of deals and they’ve been looking pretty good lately. Last month I had moved my Rite Aid prescription over to Meijer because they offered me $20 incentive to do so. Rite Aid had mailed me a letter and a coupon to get a $25 gift card to move it back, so you can bet I did. My insurances pays all but $5 on prescriptions, so that was an easy $20.00 profit. Here is what I bought at Rite Aid:
Prescription Filled $5.00
2 U Kotex $7.00
Mouse Pad $9.99
Cover Girl Eye Shadow $3.39 x 4
1 10 oz. Candle $7.99
Total before coupons $43.54
$5 off $25 non presc. -$5.00
1 free mouse pad coupon -$12.99
$1/1 U Kotex -$1.00
$1/1 U Kotex -$1.00
4 $2/1 Covergirl -$8.00
Total in Coupons: $ 27.99
Total Bill: $15.55
Gift Card: $25.00
Appx. $10 Profit Whoot!
NEXT STOP: JAY C FOODS (owned by Kroger)
Not a lot of great deals, but right across from Rite Aid, so worth stopping. Here is what I purchased:
Strawberries $2 (will only buy if not grown in Mexico)
Lettuce .98 a head
3 RC products for $8
I really didn’t have any coupons at this stop, but the sodas were a great deal and hubby takes them to work, so I stocked up on those.
Next Stop: Walgreen’s
I LOVE Walgreen’s and the deals they have. They now give you what is called Register Rewards, which is an instant rebate you can use on a different item on your next visit. These are great, because you don’t have to mail anything in. They are basically catalinas. They expire pretty quickly and don’t lose them. They spend like cash. Michele Easter has a run-down at her member site on how to use these and other coupons. It can be a little involved, but that is half the fun at Walgreen’s. I do VERY well there. Sometimes you can transfer scripts and get a free gift card, but they limit how often you can do that.
I divided my order in two so I could use the most coupons and RR I had from my last visit. I usually go to the health and beauty department to ring out. They seem more coupon friendly.
Order # 1:
4 Pepsi 12-pack Products $12.00 (stocking up for hubby still)
Aleve 50 ct. $4.99
No Nonsense Knee Highs $.50 each (bought 4 on this order will explain why in a minute)
Tuf Towels $.59 (with Walgreen’s in-ad coupon)
Total before manufacturer coupons and RR: $19.58
No Nonsense $1/2 (made the knee highs free)
$3 Register Rebate
$3 Register Rebate
Final price after coupons and tax: $12.38
Plus, I received a RR for $3 for the Pepsi and another for $2 for the Aleve essentially making my total $7.38 for all those items. Not bad, especially for soda.
Order # 2
This one was my favorite. I actually made a profit.
Schick Hydro 3 Razor $7.99
2 Tuf Towels $ .59 (with in-store ad coupon)
6 No nonsense knee hi $3.00 (.50 each)
Total Before coupons: $12.17
3 $1/2 No Nonsense -$3.00
1 $5/1 Schick Hydro – $5.00
$2.00 RR – $2.00
Total Coupons: $10.00
Total After Coupons and Tax: $3.02
Now, here is the great part. I also received a $5 RR for the Schick Hydro Razor. I made a $2.00 profit on this deal.
A couple of quick things. You can’t do more than one RR on one ticket and you can’t use the same RR to buy the same item. So, I cannot use the $5 RR above to buy another razor. I can however, use the two RRs from the previous order as long as I have a filler item. I must have the same number of items as I have coupons. The Tuf Towels were my fillers, because Walgreen’s coupons don’t count toward your coupon total. This is pretty confusing, so if you are really serious about Walgreen’s, I really do recommend you sign up for the electronic version of Refund Cents. It is well worth the cost. You’ll save a ton.
My day was just beginning…. Next Stop: Petsmart
Deals on pet food, especially if you buy high quality are hard to come by. Recently, I was able to get my hands on 5 of the $5/1 coupons for Nature’s Recipe, which is the brand my dogs eat. Also, I have my cat on Blue Wilderness, which is normally $10+ a bag. It has been on sale for $6.99, so I’ve been stocking up all month while it is. I don’t want to stock too far ahead. So, with coupon and sale, I saved about $14.00 today. Sometimes Petsmart will print out a survey coupon worth $3 on next order. Make sure you do the survey to get the code and take advantage of these!
Next Stop: Target
This is another store I haven’t been frequenting much, but I found some deals in their paper this week and thought I’d give it a try. I was pretty happy. I also bought two items toward a $5 rebate I’m working on, so that will be a little extra money. I still need to find one filler item I would normally use for the rebate. I have several months to work on it as they don’t have to be on the same receipt.
Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Get $3.94
Scrubbing Bubbles Starter $6.29
Post Raisin Bran $2.54
6 Vitamin Waters $6.00
Band Aid 20 count $1.82
Nexcare 20 count $1.79
3 $1/2 Vitamin Water Coupons -$3.00
$1/1 Nexcare Manufacturer -$1.00
$.50/1 Nexcare (Target Coupon) -$ .50
$.50/1 Band Aids -$.50
$.75/1 Band Aid (target coupon) -$ .75
$2/1 Post Cereal -$2.00
Buy Toilet Gel get Starter Free -$6.29
Total Coupon Savings: $15.04
Total After Coupons & Taxes: $9.64
Next Stop: Walmart
Walmart is another store I often avoid. It is crowded and dirty and they don’t double coupons. But, I had a couple of good deals today. Not sure if it was worth the trip or not yet. I’m going to summarize a little more quickly from this point on. Also, I should mention that I try not to buy items I don’t normally purchase anyway unless they are free or make me a profit, then I will try them out.
Bic Pens $1.00 each (coupons for $1/1 so free)
More Vitamin Waters $1.00 each (coupons for $1/2 so free)
Armoral Products (working for rebate will be free after coupons and rebate comes, $5 out of pocket now)
Star Kiss Tuna $.93 each (had a coupon for $1/2, so .43 each. Pretty good price)
Tidy Cat Litter 1.99 ($1/1 coupons – I chose the smaller bags, because the deal was better)
100 Calorie Snack Packs 2.38 each (coupons for Buy 1 Get 1 Free, so about 1.19 each)
Amount saved this trip: $14.00
Next Stop: Kroger
I debated about nixing this stop. I was starting to get tired, but I wanted more vitamin waters and I didn’t want to use too many coupons in one spot because places start getting snarky. I don’t really get it as they are reimbursed from the manufacturer for the coupons. Anyway these were my deals at Kroger:
6 more vitamin waters $1 each (coupons $1/2 making them .50 each)
2 liter sunkist (coupon for .50 plus .50 and under are doubled so $1.00 making it a .50 2-liter)
Kix Cereal ($1.00 manufacturer coupon and .55 Kroger coupon – loaded on Kroger card, making cereal $1.87 (my kids like this kind)
Bread (we use a certain brand/kind) but was on sale for 1.99 no coupons
Total saved Kroger discounts and coupons: 8.98
Next Stop: Kroger Gas
Not only was this the cheapest gas in my area already at 1.76, but I got another 3 cents a gallon off for using my Kroger card.
Next Stop: Meijer
Meijer is definitely my favorite store. I love shopping here. The aisles are wide, the employees pleasant and their prices comparable to Walmart. They also double coupons and have Mealbox coupons you can use on top of your manufacturer coupons. Remember that $25 Rite Aid gift card? I had a coupon for $20 off your bill when you transfer a prescription. I transferred a different prescription, gaining $20.
Meijer’s catalinas are a lot like Walgreen’s in that you can stack some of the them and they print under certain conditions. They are a little harder to figure out but keep them and use them because they are like free money. This is good as there are always a few items my family uses which I have no coupons for and are not on special at the time I run out. The $15 helped cover this.
$5 for the prescription but I got $20 off, so made $15 profit here
Clearasil Kit $1/1 coupon but had a Meijer catalina for $3.75 off when you spend $25 on health and beauty. I bought a few other essentials to get it up to $25 that we do use but I had no coupons for. Still, it was worth the savings as we will use them and there are rarely coupons on these items.
Pizza Rolls were 5/$5 and I had .60 off 3 Not bad. I bought 3 and still got sale price.
Freshlike Veggies 1.29 plus meijer coupon for $1/2
Hebrew National Franks were $3 each. My family LOVES these but they are pricey. No coupon but I bought a package anyway
Chicken Breast Tenderloins in the bag were $4.99 a bag. I bought two. Usually can get these for about 6.99 a bag
Canned Planters Peanuts were on sale for $1.99. I had a coupon for $1/2 and Meijer had a Mealbox coupon for $1/2, making them $.99 each. Good deal
I wanted some Angel Soft Bath Tissue for $4.99 for 12 doubles but they were sold out. I should have gotten a rain check, but was tired and wanted to get home
2 Kraft Cheese Slices $2.98 each had coupon (mealbox) for $1/2
2 Handi Snacks $1.99 each mealbox coupon $1/2
Overall, I saved a ton of money today. This was one of those weeks where I could focus on stockpiling because we are having meals at church every day during revival. It is nice when you have a week where you can do that, because you can really take advantage of some great deals with your budget and do some stockpiling. On weeks where I have to buy meat and stuff to make meals I may or may not do as well (depends on the deals and coupons)