Friday, February 27, 2009

Free Dog Food and a Dog Fight Over TinFoil

Because we love and feed a family dog, I'm always on the lookout for good deals (and free meals!) for Sheba too.

A couple weeks ago, the coupon booklet that comes with the Sunday newspaper had a coupon for a free can of dog food. (I posted about that already.)

We delighted over being able to use several of those coupons last week for free cans of dog food. Then, as I was browsing a place where you can order coupons online (the cost is only for P/H because the law says people can't "sell" coupons), I discovered Dede had those coupons for a free can of Purine One dog food for .35 each.. I ordered 15 coupons, and today I exchanged them at Kroger for 'free' cans of dog food. (Yes, they actually cost me .35 each.) I remember when we used to wait for less quality (Purina) dog food to be ON SALE for from .69 to .62 at our grocery store and think it was a good deal! Fifty-cents a can was a STEAL, and we stocked up!!!! LOL

Besides the great deal on canned dog food, I have a coupon for $4 off one bag of Purina dry food. I notice the price for a 5 lb bag is a little over $5. I could have gotten it for only $1, but decided to wait until it's ON SALE for 3.99. Then it will be free. I need to make sure I use the coupon before March 31 when it expires.

While I was ordering extra coupons from Dede, I got some extra coupons for things we use all the time such as Campbells soup and my favorite Quaker Oatmeal granola bars ( to save me time and trouble - ha ha). The soup coupons were for .40/2 (40 cents off of 2 cans) of Campbells soup. I read where Wal-Mart had soup on sale for .60 a can, but when I got there, our store didn't have it on sale. (GRRRR). But, at Kroger, some kinds were on sale for .64 a can, so I used them there (doubled) (That made each can cost .49 each which is a super great deal for Campbells soup and LESS than the store brand.) (Wal-Mart doesn't double anyway!)

From one of my coupons blogs, I learned that the Oatmeal sale at Kroger this week says it's for the BOX of oatmeal, but it WORKS for the box of individual packets of instant Oatmeal that Jim loves for breakfast. I tried it for one box because it costs almost $4 a box normally, but with the coupon it would be only .77 (cents) a box, and I didn't believe that could be true. Well, it was! Now I'll go back and use a few more of those coupons. That's even better than when Walgreens has it on sale, (but probably not as good as someone who's been using coupons a long time).

The Kraft cheese coupons are still doubled at Kroger, and Kroger has the best sale of all three grocery stores in our area. I gave John our last cheese, so I was able to get some more for .50 a package.

Milk had a Managers Special sticker for .89 a half-gallon, and that was a very good (unexpected) deal too.

I've been on a 'tin-foil' mission at Walgreens where I should have been able to get it free this week, but was forced to pay regular price for one in order to get two at no cost! It was one of those 'fighting events' where I didn't push it with the cashier, but I called the manager of the store when I got home.

I explained the situation of the store not accepting my coupon off because it created an override on the computer, and the clerk wouldn't/couldn't accept the coupon. HE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT A RED PLUM COUPON WAS!!!!!!! (You may not know, but he should because he's manager of a retail business that accepts LOTS of coupons.) I told him it was a 'coupon that was inserted into most every Sunday paper in the United States" and it was for $1 off on a roll of tin foil, and his store had it on sale for .89 and I wanted to know why they wouldn't take my coupon(s).

He said he would find out what to do for an 'overage' situation and call me back THE NEXT DAY. (I can't believe this hasn't happened before at that store.)

Surprise, surprise! I did get a call the next day. He said the store would enter the coupon for .89 (instead of $1), and that he would make sure all the cashiers got that information.

(Jim ahd a good laugh over that story.) I'm going back there in a few minutes and find out if the promised "inservice' was done. A smarter action on my part would have been to purchase several products where I actually had to pay the store for something. ha ha

So, the lesson(s) learned here are to always know the regular prices of things you use, and to know when it's really on sale. (Sometimes the sale price is higher than the regular price. No kidding!) Understand the coupon policy where you shop. Use your cents-off coupons and stock up when it's at the best sale price. (If you don't want to check out with a load of the same thing, come back several times while it's still on sale.)

I'm doing that with toilet paper. I know most stores don't double coupons, but because our stores do, I've ordered coupons for Cottonelle toilet paper from e-Bay that, when used at Kroger, will make the 4-pack rolls of TP at no extra cost to me. The coupons cost me .12 each, but the (4-pack) TP is free at the store!

So, this morning my groceries cost me $21 and the register receipt says I saved $36.00!!

Happy Shopping to you - and may you always get Good Deals and Free Meals!

Take Care on the Journey,



Friday, February 20, 2009

Take the Tea and Give My Penny Back

They say that those of us who are serious about couponing get real testy over every penny, and I'm somewhat ashamed to admit I'm being so penny-serious that I'll make a fuss at any cash register, fast-food window, or customer service over almost nothing! And, I'm learning when a sale is a sale and when it's a gimmic!

This morning as I drove hubby to work, we pulled through McDonalds for his breakfast. After placing his usual #12, no drink, I noticed the cost was for a MEAL with a drink.

"Are you the usual order-taker?", I asked without thinking. I mean, we've been through there at 6:55 a.m. so many times, I just expect her to recognise my voice and automatically place our usual order. (LOL)

"What?" she responded somewhat confused.

"Just add hot tea", my husband said.

"Okay. A #12 with hot tea," I replied.

"That will be $4.06."

"What? We've never paid $4.06!" I hissed to hubby.

"Never mind. Just take it," he said.

"But we have 12 boxes of tea bags at home. This is going to cost us a dollar!" I fussed as I pulled through to the window.

"It's below-zero cold, and we are not at home. Just take the hot tea," hubby said firmly but quietly.

At the window, I gave the smiling robot a glare as she handed me an ICE COLD DRINK.

"What is THIS?" I asked, still upset over it costing a dollar when I could have made a potful of hot tea at home before we left.

"Just take the tea", my hubby said sweetly but evenly.

Serves me right. We got orange DRINK (not even orange juice) in a cup full of ice. Hubby didn't get any hot tea, and we paid almost a buck-fifty more than we should have.

Later, I stopped at Kroger to use my store coupons that I had picked out. It's easier for me to watch what's going on if I don't buy other items when I'm using lots of coupons. So, everything I bought this morning was FREE after the coupons except for a container of biscuits for .49.

At checkout, the total was almost $25 until she started running the coupons, but when she said the final bill was $2.43, I questioned why I had to pay that much when everything I got was free with the coupons except for the biscuits. Only $2.43 sounds silly to quibble over, but I didn't want to pay $2.43 for 49-cents worth of biscuits! After reviewing the ticket, the cashier admitted she missed a $1.49 coupon. We laughed and I thanked her for taking time to get it right.

I was very happy with my two big bags of 'free' groceries and, I got my "pennies' back!

By the way, I may be stingy with the penny, but does anybody need paper towels, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, Kelloggs cereal, hot tea, cheese, fruit juice, and MORE?

Come and get it! Our home overfloweth with it!

As I was writing this, I heard loud laughter coming from the kitchen. Those of you who know my hubby will recall that he doesn't give a good belly laugh very often. He came into the computer room and said, "Never in my life have I been able to afford more than one box of tea for myself. I just turned and looked on the shelf and counted 14 boxes of tea."

I couldn't help myself. I had coupons for $1.00 off of his favorite Celeste tea (usually almost $4 a box) and they were on sale for $1.59. My final cost was 59-cents! I got one of every flavor!

Jim says if he could give me an award for making our grocery money go so far, he would give it to me. He is just amazed at what I've done with coupons and how full our cupboards are in these bad financial times.

Did I say we had hot tea? Stop by and warm yourself anytime.

Take Care on the Journey,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Share Your Coupons

I've been very busy with a new quarter at nursing school and different classmates due to a reassignment for clinical assignments. (More will be posted about that on my Linda's Notebook blog.

Due to my change in schedule and having to adjust to many things, I've missed some good deals this week, but still have some GREAT ones to report!

At Meijers and Giant Eagle they have juices on sale this week. I've been saving my Juicy Juice coupons ($1 off) (I actually ordered these online for .07 each). I can get 64 oz. of fruit juice for $1.50 instead of about $3 each.

Frozen Orange juice is also on sale for .99 each which is really a great deal around here! I would have gotten more, but my freezer is FULL of frozen vegetables and other 'almost free' products! We're thinking of buying a small freezer to put in the garage so when food is on sale and combined with coupons making it up to 90 percent off, we can stock up.

This afternoon on the way home from school, I stopped by CVS to use coupons and get Extra Buck dollars, but they didn't have those sale items I wanted. (Good deals go quickly!). So, I stopped by Walgreens as it's right on the way home and found an unexpected gift! Hair coloring (I won't say if was for me or hubby) was on "last chance" price to less than $5. I had a coupon for $5 off two, but the cashier (very sweet, helpful, and friendly) ran both items with my two $5 coupons, so I got $10 off items that I was actually paying $8 for. (Simply put, I 'made' $2 on the sale.) She gave me some free store samples too. (It works both ways. I gave her some extra coupons the other day for customers who might not have any coupons.)

Back at CVS, on Sunday I went after Scott paper towels thet were on sale AND I also had manufactures coupons to add to the sale price. Too bad, they didn't have Scott paper towels even though the sale was only a few hours old. But, the cashier informed the manager that he 'better do something because they are on sale in the flyer". The manager knows me by now (because he always has to come up front and override the computer when it won't accept a coupon), so he offered me ANY brand of paper towels for .50 each because that's the price my Scott towels would have been. I don't think he realizes that some paper towels are BIGGER and cost MORE. I'm not greedy. I took three rolls of his VERY EXPENSIVE paper towels and said many thank-yous! On top of that, he gave me a rain check for more paper towels at .50-each even though the add says, 'no rain checks".

The coupons in the newspaper last week included a coupon for a FREE can of Purina One dog food that usually costs 1.49 each. (We never pay that price!). Thankfully, I got extra coupons from the mailbox area of our apartments, and Buffy gave me some, so I'm going out soon and collect all my FREE cans of dog food.
(By the way, Billy and Colleen, there's always good cat food coupons too. I can end up getting it FREE most of the time.)

Last week we needed something that CVS sells but I didn't have a coupon for it. Instead, I bought two tubes of Colgate Total toothpaste for 2.99 and got 2.99 in Extra Bucks to spend in the store. (Yes, the toothpaste was FREE in the end.) Actually what happened was, as the (same) manager was trying to override the computer (because the computer was not spitting out the $2 bucks), he gave me $2 off for EACH tube of toothpaste making it DOUBLE the extra bucks I expected. I made the purchase we originally wanted and added two containers for laundry soap for with the Extra Bucks.

If you got confused on that last paragraph, I spent $5.98 of my own money and got a total of $22.98 from the store.

Happy Shopping!

Thanks for the coupons Sandy. You know I'll use them!

Take Care on the Journey,

Friday, February 13, 2009

Free Gas and Cheap Wet Wipes

At Giant Eagle we get credit for gas with groceries and new prescriptions. This week hubby got new med prescriptions for his back pain (sorry Chiropractor Prenger) which, when presented to Giant Eagle with our grocery store card and special coupons wqual $1 off for each prescription that gave us $2 a gallon off on gasoline (up to 30 gallons). Gasoline is 1.95 right now, so I sent a SOS call to son John.

(Funny thing. Hubby probably won't take any of the pills, but the prescriptions equal free gas!!!)

In exchange for lifting the 7-gallon containers of gas and filling our other vehicle, he gets to fill up his car too. Between filling up my car and the gas containers, we got our 30-gallons of FREE gas.

As some of you know, John lost his job a few weeks ago. I've been using my coupons to stock up on the best deals each week to help them out. Today they enjoyed several bags of food including at least four boxes of Cheerios! Dry cereal is a big item the last couple weeks. All the grocery stores seem to be in competition to offer the best deal on cereal!

I've been watching for an opportunity to use my Wet Ones (wipes for cleaning). This week Giant Eagle offered Buy One/Get One Free (BOG1). Although the shelf lists the Wet Ones for $2.38 (I think) each, if you buy four and use four .75 coupons (and they are doubled up to $1 at Giant Eagle), it comes out to .44 for each one. (Jim says that grocery coupon math is almost as bad as his numbers at work.)

Anyway, my total at GE came to about $3.25 for everything I bought including breakfast items, butter, the four containers of Wet Wipes, and juice. The cashier said, "wow!" and praised my excellent shopping skills.

Back at Meijers, I was trying to decide how many containers of Betty Crocker frosting to get because I had four coupons for four FREE containers. My thought was that neither John or me needed all that frosting but it was hard to pass up something that cost me nothing. Just then a woman came up with a little child who was begging for everything. (ha ha. My kids are grown!) I asked her if she had coupons for the frosting and she said no, so I gave her two of mine and felt a whole lot better. She gushed thank-yous for the coupons all the way down the isle.

Happy Coupon Shopping!

WalMart Doesn't Double Coupons

A quick trip to WalMart today to pick up some 'trail sizes' that I had coupons for was disappointing because the coupons were not doubled. I found some trial size Wet Wipes and Tide Laundry soap that only cost a few cents with my cents-off coupons.

Crest toothpaste cost 6-cents after my $1.00 coupons that were in the Sunday paper. I think WalMart is the only store that has the $1.06 size of Crest toothpaste. Jim's favorite.

A tube of Suave hand cream was free with a $1.00 off coupon because the regular cost is 97-cents. (Bottom shelf).

Celestial Tea wasn't on sale but I have 12 coupons worth $1 off each, so I got a box to see if it would really work. The box of tea was $2.23 before the coupon bringing the cost to $1.23. I'm waiting for someone to have it on sale for $1.88 a box. Hopefully before my coupons expire!

I really thought WalMart doubled the coupons but the cashier said they don't, and I never argue with them at that point.

Anyway, it was worth it because I found a cute, big, red, Teddy Bear that says I Love You for hubby for Valentines. (We agree that I get the Teddy Bears and he gets the roses.)

Besides the Teddy Bear, I spent less than $2 at WalMart and got a bag full of items. Never give up! I'm always learning.

Keep reading for the specials at Meijers today.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Good Deals on TP and Cereal This Week

My favorite best deals were (again) at Kroger this week. Cheerios were on sale for 1.67 but I had coupons bringing them down to .87 a box. These were also added to John's grocery box.

Another real favorite at Krogers this week is Cottonelle TP on sale for .99 for a 4-pack. There are several coupon sites online for .99 coupons. You know what that means. We have many rolls of TP stacked under the bathroom sink! All FREE.

At Meijer, Crest toothpaste is also FREE if you have that 1.50 coupon in the newspaper last Sunday. It's on sale for 1.50. Coupon + sale = Free.

Well, if you have a sweet tooth, Betty Crocker frosting is also a great deal at $1 each (at Meijer). The newspaper also had a .50 coupon - doubled at Columbus, Ohio, Meijers - making the frosting another freebie! Also at Meijers, those microwave 1-minute Warm Delight Brownies are on sale for 1.25 with a .50 coupon that is doubled brings a testy delight for your lunch to only .25 each. Some more sweet things for John's box.

Not to leave out my closest grocery store, Giant Eagle. Betty Crocker Pouch Potatoes are on sale for .80 and I have coupons for .25 off (doubled makes it .50 off), bringing the checkout cost down to .30 each.

Wishbone Salad Dressing is $2 at GE but using a .75 coupon brings it to $1 off making the final cost .50 each. Better yet, Meijer has it on sale for $1 making the better deal at Meijer for .25 each! Gotta watch the competition.

That's not all, but I'm not sure anyone is even reading this blog. I've had a very busy week at school starting clinicals. I'm posting that story at my other blog

Take Care on the Journey,


Sunday, February 08, 2009

We Don't Eat Canned Vegetables

This week I've been almost paranoid with an "almost free" store item at Kroger's using coupons. Kroger was promoting 'less-salt" Del Monte canned green beans, corn, peas, spinach, and mixed vegetables. The sale was 80-cents a can. But, I was alerted by a friend that the little black box next to them (called blinker boxes because sometimes they have a red blinking light) held 30-cent coupons that would be doubled at checkout AND Kroger would accept the cans even if they were not the reduced salt kind. That would bring the price per can down to 20-cents a can!

I expected the blinker coupons to be gone within a few hours, but most people thought you had to buy the reduced salt cans and were not interested in the item. So, every day or so I've gone over and collected a few more coupons and purchased more cans of our favorite peas, beans, and corn (plus a few others).

Yes, we do enjoy adding a side of canned veges out our meals, but the rest of the story is that as I was leaving the store I saw a lady about my age getting a cart. She made nice eye contact so I said, "Would you like to know about a really great deal on canned peas and corn?"

She smiled a little and said, "Thanks, but we don't eat canned vegetables."

Earlier this week, a friend told me she wants to save money by using coupons but would wait 'until it gets warmer'. Many just do not have the time to clip, sort, plan, and shop accordingly. I'm learning that people will be ready for coupon shopping when they are ready, and I don't mind who does and who doesn't. We all have reasons why we do or don't have certain habits. Part of me worries a little about bugging people when I talk about my coupon experiences.

That's why I decided to make this blog. If you pick up some little something that makes you happy, that's wonderful.

In the meantime, I'm thrilled to learn something new as I travel this journey of life.

Take Care on the Journey,