Sunday, January 31, 2010

Disney Outlet Savings--extra 20% off ends TODAY!

Today would be a wonderful day to do some online shopping at the Disney Outlet if you have the need since there is an additional 20% savings. I was able to pick up 3 items for $12 including s/h and tax (2 birthday gift items for my nieces (March/April) and a Cars lunch tote for my son who starts school in August). Since I did this through my Ebates account** I am also going to pick up an additional 3% back! All things I would be buying anyway but it will be that much LESS stress around their birthday times!

**If you would like to get started with your own Ebates account just click here! Ebates $5 just for signing up and Ebates will also give me $5 for doing so. It's free to join and they will pay you by either check or paypal. It's a win/win! (Thank you in advance)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Walgreens Addict...I Believe

I didn't realize I liked Walgreens as much as I do. I used to be addicted to food buys at Homeland but now I realize more and more of my trips are to "Wags." I hope to find a balance at some point but for now I am enjoying it. I made my trip to Walgreens today and yesterday so how did I do? Well, no pic to post (mostly because I am too lazy this evening) but I did get $46.78 in retail items for $15.71. Not great but not bad. Here's the scoop:

2 Colgate Max Toothpaste 2.99 ea - .75/1 Q = 2.24 (receive $2 RR ea)
3 Thermacare Heat Wrap Neck/Arm 2.49 - $1/1IP = 1.49 (receive $2.50 RR)
3 Tresemme Shampoo/Conditioner 3/$12 (receive $5 RR)
2 Windex Spray Items 2/4.29 (B1G1 Free) - $1/1 Q (x2) = 1.15 ea
1 Tuf Trash Bags 2.99

Note: I did another transaction but used my FSA card to get 2 Triaminic and 1 Thermacare Wrap which is not part of my $100 budget but it got me an additional $7.50RR. : )

Subtotal before coupons: 46.78
Coupons/RR: (22.50)
Discounts: (11.77)

Taxes paid: 3.20
Total OOP: $15.71

Total Savings $34.27 (73.3%)
Left to Spend (until 01/15/10)
in cash
$22.00 in RR
$7.00 in ECBs @ CVS

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saving for an apartment...again

Okay, we all remember moving for college, right? We remember how much that wonderful trip to Walmart, Target, or other large store cost. The fridge, the extra long California twin bedsheets/padding, microwave, food, necessities, etc.

Then there is the first apartment spend...ich! I remember my roommate from college and I filling a basket as two young 20 year olds moved that barely rolling cart (so full items were literally falling out) to the front of the store on that unforgettable day. I don't know if the looks we got were from the over $300 we each spent or the fact that we were 120 lbs a piece and they were wondering how long it would take for us to eat all that we got. Either way I remember there was barely any room for us to fit in the car on the way home.

Next there was moving out after college once I got a regular job which meant another large trip to the (unnamed) store but this time my two baskets cost me over $700 and did I mention I moved into a ONE bedroom apartment?!

Okay, so that sets up the story. If you have read any of my blog you will know that I have gone through some major changes in the past year (living wise, financial, and emotional) and this time I want to be ready for that eventful day. I am watching my pennies and living on a budget so let's just say there is not enough wiggle room in the budget to allow for such expenditures. I have been spending now what I will spend when I move out but since I am living at home I am spending the money on shelf stable items (food, cleaning, household, and toiletry related) to train myself to my budget as I adjust in my new place. I am hoping that the only thing I have to spend when I move out is on food related items that are refrigerated which aren't the greatest to "stockpile."

Where am I in the stockpiling? Well my goal was to have one of everything I needed (razors, deoderant, shampoo, canned goods that I normally use, etc.) but I seem to be buying more of items I don't need as often but the deals are just too good to pass up! I have stopped being "brand loyal" but I have bought one of my normal items (like my Caress Daily Silk Body Wash I have used for YEARS) in case I get a rash/breakout from the stockpile items. You never know. I also emailed Caress to see about coupons because I LOVE my soap but I usually don't catch it on sale.

Well, here I go on my $100/2 weeks budget. So far so good. Let's see how I fare after next payday (01/15/10).

Purex 3-in-1 Printable Coupon...$1/1

I found this wonderful coupon online that I would like to share:

$1/1 Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets (click here) UPDATED (click "get a coupon")

I love these sheets! I tend to find myself doing laundry at the laundry mat when it becomes overwhelming and I cannot emphasize enough how much I dislike hauling laundry detergent, softener, and dryer sheets (mostly because I always end up forgetting one of the three at home and they seem to weigh a ton). I also can't tell you how many times I have done the bottle "shake" to determine if I have enough (or turn the lid upside down to get every last drop...please tell me you understand). With these little sheets I know exactly how many loads I have left before I will need to refill and they are much easier to transport (both weight and space wise). Go ahead...give them a try!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ebates...give it a try

I thought I would give Ebates a try since I wanted an "online rebate" for purchases. Well, guess what? In the month of December for the few things I had set on buying online anyway I made $5 just for signing up and then made a little over $8 on the purchases I had already set myself up to do. I coupled this with free shipping deals that were going on online. I am hooked. Would you like to earn $5 and in the process give me $5 just for being a reference? (fyi...I'm using any rebates money to pay off my debt...every penny counts). Just click here!

$308.31 in Groceries...$72.51 OOP...saved $235.80

Since I do my shopping in smaller, more frequent trips (as I get better at this couponing thing I am going to attempt to go less times to the store) I always seem to have a few items missing from my photos. The following items are missing fom the above photo:

1 box Valentine Transformers Cards
1 box Special K cereal
1 gallon milk
3 Christmas pencils (filler items)
2 boxes Nabisco Chips Ahoy cookies
1 bottle Wishbone Italian dressing
3 bottles International Delight creamer
2 I Can't Believe It's Not Butter tubs

Where I shopped:

4 Wishbone Italian dressing
15 Del Monte canned tomatoes
3 International Delight creamer
2 I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
1 Velveeta

2 Downy Wrinkle Releaser
2 Dove Deoderant
1 Razor

3 Christmas Pencils (.25 ea...filler items)
22 Nabisco Chips Ahoy (Valentine's gifts for my 3 yr old son's daycare class)
1 Oreo Double Stuff (.99 sale...for Hunter)
6 Neosporin Lip Health (2/$8 w/$3RR and used IP...overage)
4 Special K cereal (2/$5 - IP)
6 Honey Nut Cheerios (2/$5 - IP)
4 Cinnamon Toast Crunch (2/$5 - IP)
3 Cottonelle TP (on sale $5 used RR to get for stockpiling)
4 St. Ives Body Wash (1.49 ea (30% extra) used raincheck)
6 Hefty One Zip Bags (2/3.29 and they had .20/1 peelies)
2 Johnson & Johnson Body Wash trial size (free w/IP)
2 John Frieda Weather Works (1.69 ea w/$5 RR when you buy 2)
3 Sally Hershberger Shampoo/Cond/Gel (clearanced for 2.39 and 3.19)
4 Electrasol Tabs (3.49-$2.50/1 w/$1 RR)

Subtotal before coupons: 308.31
Coupons used: (126.96) includes RRs
Discounts/sales: (124.72)
Taxes paid: 15.88
Total OOP: 72.51
Savings: 235.80 (76.5%)
Left to Spend:
$27.49 in cash
$14.00 in RR from Walgreens
$7.00 in ECBS from CVS (just started with CVS in December)

New Year...New Me

I decided that with the new year I would stick to my budgeting plans for 2010. What are those plans? Well, most of the plan includes me only spending $100 every two weeks for food/household items. This averages $50/week but with coupon shopping we all know that there are some weeks that are good and some bad. That being said as long as I remain within my budget for the two weeks I will be happy. I downloaded a new coupon savings spreadsheet from a fellow blogger and will be using this to track my progress. The one I used last year was a good one but this one is a bit more simplified so with my adjustments (like wanting to track how much I spend on items vs. tax I think I am good to go). So, how have I done so far? Well, that post is coming up next. : )