Monday, November 2, 2009

Walgreen's : Sweet Almay Moneymaker!

I had every intention to skip Walgreens this week, but I needed mascara and after finding out that Almay is ringing up BOGO, I couldn't resist.

Almay One Coat Mascara $6.99/each x4 = $27.96
Almay Pure Blends Mascara $6.99
Almay Pure Blends Foundation $9.99
= $44.94
- $16 -- $4 Almay One Coat Mascara x4 (from Nov. ESR)
- $20.97 -- Almay BOGO sale
= $7.97
- $5RR from Quaker {last week's deal}
- $1RR from J&J {last months' deal}
= $1.97 + 1.78 tax = $3.75

& get back $10 RR (foundation) and $5RR (mascara)

I love free make-up! I already know that I love Almay mascara, and tomorrow I'm going to try the foundation to see if I should repeat the deal.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Albertsons's - 10/13/09

I haven't posted here in ages, and that's mainly because of school. However, I'm still couponing - to some extent. I make a lot less trips and pass up on deals, but that's okay.

However, today something neat happened - I managed to cut my grocery bill in half at Alberston's. Now, I've been able to do that before, but this was one was cool because I bought stuff I normally buy, but don't usually have coupons for.

Yoplait Delights - $2.50
Green Giant Steamers - $1.50 x5 = $7.50
Bananas - $0.39/lb = $1.10
Iceberg Lettuce - $1.29
Roma Tomatoes - $1.49/lb = $1.31
Dietz & Watson Wasabi Mustard = $2.00
Dietz & Watson Virginia Ham $6.99/lb = 7.41
Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges - $4.79 x3 = $14.37
Alberston's French Bread = $1.50
Subtotal: $38.98

-$1 off produce wyb Laughing Cow Cheese {tearpad}
-$1 off produce wyb Laughing Cow Cheese {tearpad}
-$1 off produce wyb Laughing Cow Cheese {tearpad}
-$0.90 --$0.40/1 Green Giant Steamers, "tripled" {10/12 SS}
-$0.90 --$0.40/1 Green Giant Steamers, "tripled" {10/12 SS}
-$0.90 --$0.40/1 Green Giant Steamers, "tripled" {10/12 SS}
-$0.90 --$0.40/1 Green Giant Steamers, "tripled" {10/12 SS}
-$0.90 --$0.40/1 Green Giant Steamers, "tripled" {10/12 SS}
-$1.00 off Yoplait Delights {10/12 SS}
-$2.99 - free mustard wyb 1lb of Dietz & Watson lunchmeat {store coupon}
-$4.79 - Buy 1 Laughing Cow Cheese, get two free {store coupon}
-$4.79 - Buy 1 Laughing Cow Cheese, get two free {store coupon}
- $3 - Store Promotion for buying 6 GM items at once {Steamers & Yoplait}
Total: $15.81

The $0.40 Steamers coupons should have taken off $1.00, but they "tripled" incorrectly and I was too tired & hungry to fight it. The free mustard coupon was coded for $2.99, which is the regular price of the mustard, but it was on sale for $2.00, so I got paid to take it. I thought it was neat. I've been paid to take food out of the store, but never by Albertson's.

Other than that, and the 16 bags of frozen vegetables I got for free yesterday {joy!}, I haven't gotten any amazing deals lately. I still need to make it out to Walgreens for my 16 jars of peanut butter at $0.27/jar. Okay, yes, 16 is a bit excessive, but it's to share with family, I swear!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

August Challenge:: Record all spending.

You know all those budget goals I made in July?

Yeah, I lost a lot of the receipts again, and have no idea how I did. Okay, I know I blew my grocery and Walgreens budget. I think I did alright on gas...not sure.

So this month, I'm tracking all my spending, just to see where my money goes. Everything with the exception of bills, tuition and school books.

So, let's start.

Saturday, 8/1:
$6.11 at Walgreens
---Hair dryer, used $10RR, got $10RR back.

Sunday, 8/2:

Monday, 8/3:
$10.10 - Expensive gas
$10.74 - Old Navy Shirt {that I may return tomorrow}
$13.04 - Alberstons - ~8lbs of chicken, salt and some ice c4ream that got in my way
$1.02 - Walgreens - Sauvitel x2; ColorSilk x2; Toothbrush, used $10RR, got $3.50 RR back

Total Spent: 41.01

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Seven months later, it ends.

Last winter break, I was cruising the internet, completely burnt out from all my classes, and enjoying my free time. In searching for a muffin recipe for my mother, I came across a money saving blog. From there I found more and more blogs, and I was intrigued. I knew that we were in debt. I knew that we spent way too much at Wal-Mart. I knew that if we didn't do something to stop this I would never be able to get the things I wanted - a MacBook Pro, a Mustang - without getting more in debt. I was sick and tired of having to turn down movies and outings with my friends because I didn't have the money. After seeing how many bloggers managed to get free shampoo, soap, groceries, I knew I had to try it.

I started couponing in January 2009, the same time I started this blog. And while I never really kept up with the blog, I kept up with the shopping. I managed to master Walgreens, and now have a linen closet full of shampoo/conditioner/lotion/etc. I have so much in there, that blankets that belong in that closet no longer fit! I guess I have to clean it out!

I've grown a lot in these past months. I've come to realize the difference between needs and wants - that Mustang? It's a "want", definitely not a need, and I won't be getting one anytime soon. The MacBook? It's a possibility. I am in the market for a new laptop, so we'll see. I'm slowly learning not to be embarrassed at cash registers and to stand my ground. If I'm using a coupon correctly, there's no reason for the cashier to disagree with me; I just need to make sure they know that. I learned the value of time - it's not worth arguing for fifteen minutes about a $1 coupon that didn't go through.

I'm also learned that I spend a lot of time on this - way too much. If I'm online, you bet I have HCW or one of my favorite blogs open. During the semester? You can bet that I was planning my Walgreens trips around school. It was annoying coming out of a class or lab and still thinking "Oh, I have to stop by Walgreens". I actually felt like I had to stop by - it wasn't something I did for fun; it was something I had to do.

And yes, I did enjoy it. But lately, it seems like a chore more than something fun. So I'm taking a break from couponing. Once this semester starts, I won't be couponing. I need the time for school, and I'm tired of having to search fliers, remember coupons, use them before they expire and everything else that goes with couponing. I am stocked up on HBA stuff, which will be enough to last us through December. Hopefully in December/January, I can pick up enough deals so that I can stock us up for next semester.

I have a little less than a month before this semester starts, and I'll be using it to hunt for deals on what we still need. Just to make sure I don't forget, I'll make a list of what we need:
--Toilet Paper
--Contact Solution
--Toothbrushes {Target/Wal-Mart, free}
--Face wipes {maybe}
--Freezer Bags
--Sandwich Bags
--Snack Bags

--Pasta {Wacky Mac, Alberstons, $0.34 'til 8/14; Ronzoni, Wal-Mart, $0.50 'til Friday}
--Peanut Butter {Walgreens, next week, $0.25/each}
--Canned Tomatoes
--White Flour
--Sugar {Alberstons, before Friday}

I think that's everything. I may be missing some stuff, but we'll see. My plan to to only have to buy produce, meat and dairy for the next few months, and only buy loss-leaders. We'll see how it goes.

So one more thing: will this blog continue? Yes. I have yet to manage to figure out this thing called "budgeting", and we are still in debt. I'm also hoping to start menu-planning, and being more organized and this blog shall serve that purpose. I will try to update it about twice a week, but we'll see how that goes.

Monday, July 6, 2009

June Budget Update && July Goals.

June Budget:

Let's review my June Budget Goals:

1) Stick to a Walgreens budget of $80/month or $20/week.

2) Stick to a grocery budget of $200/month or $50/week.

3) Stick to a gas budget of $40/month.

Now, let's see - did I stick to it? I have no idea. I lost track of my receipts, so unless I hunt them down, I won't know.

I know for sure that I went over gas budget, but that was expected. Gas is up to ~$2.50/gal here {if not more}, and I had to drive 30 miles out of town on many occasions. Total spent on gas for the month? $69.71

I'm pretty sure I came under on my Walgreens budget. After my last post, I found my giftcard which had about $35 on it, and I used that. It lasted me almost all month, so I'm guessing I spent $60 at Walgreen last month.

July Budget:

1) Stick to a Walgreens budget of $40/month.

So far I've spent $6.11 at Walgreens, and the next two weeks? They look pretty bland! Oh, and let's face it - I have plenty of shampoo/body wash/soap/etc. to last us quite a while. Plus I'm going to need the money for gas.

2) Stick to a grocery budget of $200/month or $50/week.
This still feels pretty reasonable to me as I have not mastered the art of stockpiling food. So until we can get some more food in this house, I'll keep it at that much.

3) Stick to a gas budget of $80/month.
I drive a lot. And it's mainly because I have to, not because I'm cruising around the streets due to boredom. Oh, and gas is expensive.

4) Record spending within two days of buying the items.
Seeing as this was my downfall last month, I'm making it my goal this week.

So far:
Walgreens - $6.11
Gas - $0
Grocery - $33.03

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June: Budget Update

Alright, since I haven't posted them, here are the budget totals as of right now:

Health & Beauty:

Walgreens: $24.27/$80
This includes two hairdryers, some laundry soap & quite a bit of clearance school supplies. I still have $12 in RR though, so I'm doing good.

K-Mart: $1.15
I was testing to see if our Kmarts were unknowingly doubling coupons. They weren't.

Wal-Mart: $2.04
Q-tips and trial-size contact solution.


Alberston's: $6.75
Some bottled water I had rain checks for. This will go up tomorrow though, since there are some neat sales.

Target: $1.30 on a giftcard.
Salad dressing and mayo - should have been free or really close to free, but everything resulted in overage and so my last coupon wasn't accepted. That's okay; I'll live. This was on a giftcard, so it doesn't count towards my budget.

Save-Mart: $2.65
Some onions and chile. The rest of the produce was really bad, so we went to Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart: TBA.

I've made three trips to Wal-Mart in the past 3 days. A bit crazy, I know. We went on Saturday and it was packed, so I didn't feel like using coupons. We bought a bunch of veggies and some meat. The total was around $46, but the receipt is out in my car, so I'll update that later.

I made another trip yesterday morning to use up some of my Kraft IPs that were expiring soon - that was 8.46 for some fun stuff - graham crackers, Ritz, Wheat Thins, and then some pasta and Ramen.

The second trip was a bit more pricey - 16.46. That one included Boca Burgers, Yo-Plus Yogurt, Cheddar Cheese, Kashi bars and hamburger buns.

So that's approximately 80.32 of the monthly budget and we're only nine days in...whoops! It'll be about another twenty tomorrow, but I'm not too worried right now. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rant: Stupid Kmart.

So, I previously wrote that all NM stores would be participating in Kmart doubles this week. This was information I received when I wrote to Kmart last week. On Thursday, when our ad showed up, it didn't show doubles on not. However, word on the blogosphere was that all Kmarts were doubling - it just wasn't advertised.

So, I did a trial run today. I bought Huggies wipes, since they'd be free after doubles and cheap enough after coupon. Didn't work. I was so annoyed! I was completely prepared to spend quite a bit at Kmart this week; I had several scenarios to take advantage of their 'Buy More; Save More' promotion and the Axe movie ticket promotion - but no. Kmart isn't doubling coupons.

This is infuriating because we've been left out of doubles since March. I've read on several blogs that Kmart only hosts these promotions in areas where they get a lot of response - i.e. big cities were there are a lot of couponers. I think that's dumb. Sure, maybe there will be five people in my town who go in with coupons during doubles week. But that's five people who wouldn't walk in there otherwise. And face it - we all know couponers move a lot of merchandise through stores. We may be getting the item free, but the store is getting reimbursed for it {well, I guess for half of it during a doubles event}.