Blog Archive



Weis 5/25

I am extremely late on posting this, it's been busy around here! But regardless of the fact that the sale week is over I wanted to make an example of this trip in particular. Here's what I got:

Approx 17lbs Tysons Boneless Chicken Breasts (3pkgs) @ $1.69/lb (Reg. Price 3.89/lb)
2 Marcal Small Step TP 4 pack @ $1.39*
1 pack Spiderman tattoos $1.00
4 O-Celo Scrub Sponges @ $1.29
1 2 pack Women's Socks $1.00
1 pair Men's socks $1.00
1 Value Time Corn Muffin Mix $.50
3 Onion Soup Mix packets 3/$1.00
1 Stress Candle $1.00
2.24lbs Bananas @ $.69/lb
4 Breyers yogurts 4/$3.00*
3 Campbells Pork & Beans 3/$1.00
2 Campbells Cooking Soups @$1.35
2 Cans DelMonte No Sugar Added Fruit @ $1.59
2 Gallons Turkey Hill Tea

Total Before Savings & Coupons: $82.64
Total OOP: $46.98

Coupons Used:

2 $.75/2 O-Celo Sponges Doubled
2 $1.00/1 Marcal Small Steps TP
$1.00/2 Turkey Hill Teas
$1.00/2 Campbell's Cooking Soups
2 $.40/1 Del Monte No Sugar Added Fruit

I had the "FREE" Marcal Coupons to use and they didn't have the single rolls. The 4 pack is actually a softer toilet paper even though it's a smaller roll. This made it less than 10 cents per roll and the comparable packaged at the dollar store is of course $.25 per roll. I am here to tell you, short of getting the free rolls (which isn't the best toilet paper but free's free) IT DOES NOT GET CHEAPER! If you prefer a softer more quilted type toilet paper, and want to get a cheap deal, use these FREE or $1 off any coupons on the Marcal 4 packs. Best deal other than the Dollar Tree's "Softelle".

If you only count what I spent on food items this week, I stayed pretty close to budget (including my $8 Martin's trip) but, I was stocking up on chicken for future weeks. I plan to better track my budget starting on the 1st. But anyway, the chicken. I have mentioned before that Memorial Week IS the week to buy chicken. Never have I ever seen chicken go lower. Other grill meats go pretty cheap, but chicken doesn't usually dip down this low at other times of the year. If you have seen it happen at other times, PLEASE let me know. I apologize that I'm writing this too late, but watch the chicken prices and try to stock up when it gets at LEAST 50% off it's regular price. This was a little more than half off but it's to late for that math!

I opened one package already and baked two breasts for dinner. Usually, I freeze two breasts in small freezer bags. I try to make all my meats a component of a meal, not the main part of the meal in order to make it stretch. This means that we don't have a lot of meat centered meals. I make chicken chilli, chicken taco salad, chicken quesadillas, chicken casseroles, chicken pot pie, chicken noodle soup, chicken and dumplings, chicken sandwiches, chicken BBQ, chicken fried rice. All these things don't require too much chicken per person and are combined with ingredients that are inexpensive, that really help stretch your budget.

Free Sample of True Lemon

Get a Free Sample of True Lemon. Just fill out a short form, confirm your email and your sample is on its way!

Free Sa mple Of Crest White Strips

Get a Free Sample of Crest3D White Strips. You have to skip the intro and click on the white strips to get to the sample form. Allow 4 weeks for delivery.

Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta $.75/1

Print a coupon for $.75/1 Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta. It doesn't state not to double so this can make for free or very cheap pasta!

Note: I was able to print two of these by putting in a different email the second time, but it won't allow you to print more than two.

EDIT: Here is a second link where you are able to print this coupon once more for a total of 3!

Thanks, Keeping The Kingdom First!

CVS 5/17

No picture due to the fact that both memory cards are full and I'm still trying to hit up my husband to clear them off for me. However this is a week I really wish I COULD post a picture of because I'm extremely proud of myself.

This week, I used the list of CVS deals at Money Saving Mom which really cut down some time on my planning. Usually, I figure it out on my own but this made it easier for me to go early this week! Here's what I got:

1 Aussie Shampoo @ $2.99
1 Herbal Essences 2 in 1 @ $2.99
1 Dial Soap 3-pack @ $1.88
1 Lady Speed Stick Stain Guard @ $2.99
2 Cover Girl WetSlick Lip Gloss BOGO @ $5.99
2 Maxwell House Coffe B1G1 for $.01 @$4.79
1 .5oz Dove Deodorant @ $1.00
1 pack CVS Brand 50 ct Swabs @ $.99
1 CVS Shampoo @ $.99

Total: $24.61

Coupons Used:
$1/1 Aussie Product (From a Home Mailer)
$1/1 Herbal Essences (5/16 RP)
$.35/1 Dial Soap (Ordered From Coupon DeDe)
1 BOGO Cover Girl Product (Unsure)
2 $1/1 Maxwell House (SS don't know the week, sorry!)
$1.50/1 Dove printable (Adjusted to $1.00)*
$.75/Lady Speed Stick Stain Guard printable
$1/ any CVS Haircare Product*
$8.50 in ECBs

Total OOP + Tax: $3.17

NOTE for those starting out this week: Without ECBs, you would have spent $11.67 and gotten $7 ECBs for a total initial investment of $4.67.

I just want to hit on a couple of things I experienced this week. After last week, I decided to stay faithful to my regular CVS UNLESS they happen to be out of something. This is also avoided by trying to hit CVS early in the week.

Last week, I was told I couldn't get the shampoo with the CVS coupon. Most people do, so don't ask first, just use it. The register didn't even beep for it which usually means it's the correct item.

I also used the $1.50/1 Dove coupon on a $1 deodorant. When I asked the cashier to adjust it she said she would've gotten a bigger one, and I just stated that it wasn't on sale nor would it be free. To "lose" $.50 was actually worth it because I would have paid over $2 to keep that $.50. This way I have a travel size deodorant for vacation that I didn't pay a penny for.

She also asked if I usually get things I need and I said yes, but they are things I will use and I pay so little that it pays to stock up. I couldn't get in real deep with her about it, I was just surprised that CVS employees don't all take advantage of the deals!

I am also sending my husband back this afternoon with coupons, 1 ECB and our flex spending card to buy $7 in bandaids and neosporin to get $3 in ECBs! This will be his first time doing CVS on his own, so wish him luck!

$.75/1 Malt O Meal Cereal

Print 3 $.75/1 Malt O Meal Cereal Coupons! I was able to print two of each, but I think that's the limit. The bonus is that they don't say "Do not Double" at the top so this can make for some cheap or nearly free cereal.

Get a free sample of South Beach's Fiber Fit S'mores bar. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

$2/1 Post Cereal Coupon

Sign up for the newsletter, and recieve a $2/1 Shredded Wheat, Grapt Nuts or Raisin Bran coupon in your email.

Free Sample of Playtex Gentle Glide

Get a free sample of Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

Free Sample Of Eucerin Lotion

Go here, click "GET YOUR SAMPLE", fill out a short form and your sample will be on it's way in four weeks.

CVS 5/11

This week, I had planned to get the Schick Hydro, as many probably did since there was a $5/1 SS coupon. But I went to a different CVS than my usual store, and they were completely out. I was actually very disappointed that nothing was properly labelled for the sales and the store was a complete wreck. To boot, the cashier was very unpleasant when I let her know (politely). Even though I wasn't able to get the razor, here's how I made out:

2 CVS 40ct Sheer Bandaids $1.00
2 Right Guard Deodorants $2.49 ea.
1 Crest Pro Health Rinse $3.50
1 Mitchum Women's Deodorant $2.99

Coupons Used:

$1/2 CVS brand First Aid Products (from the kiosk)
$3/2 Right Guard Printable (from last week)
$.75/1 Mitchum deodorant from 5/9 Smart Source
$6.00 ECBs

Total OOP: $3.17
Received $8.50 in ECBs

I could have done better if I had a coupon for the mouthwash, but the ECBs I had covered a portion of that so I still felt it was a pretty sweet deal as I made $5.33 on this deal.

One tip I learned this week is that even if you have planned your trip in advance, make sure you carry your sale flyer with you. This isn't the first time where the sales and ECB deals haven't been properly marked, and the mess people make can make it easy to grab the wrong thing. I have had to do a return before with a toothbrush that was placed in the wrong slot. Even if it seems obvious you are trying to do and ECB deal, the cashier just plain does not care and isn't going to let you know it's the wrong item, it's your responsibility to make sure you have the correct items. And, have your sale flyer with you at the front and watch the prices to make sure it's done correctly. Don't feel bad double-checking your receipt before you leave, either.

Why Coupon?

As I'm preparing to teach a coupon class at my church this Saturday, I sat down to type some notes and think about what God's put on my heart about it. I want to share a little bit of those thoughts here.

One of the most popular excuses not to coupon is that it takes too much time and saves too little money. As Christians, my husband and I have had the conversation many times wondering why people won't accept free money. If I had asked most people with this excuse if I could show them how to save $50 this week on their groceries with 1-2 hours of clipping and planning, they'd be impressed, want to do it, but ultimately wouldn't. Now if I handed them $50 to spend on the groceries I bet they'd use it, wouldn't they?

Even if you can "afford" not to coupon, the main thing God's putting on my heart is that the money belongs to HIM. I realize that no one can be perfect with their money, but, I still want to encourage others to really pray about what God wants them to do with their budgets, specifically with a variable expense like groceries. We DO have control over how much we choose to spend and what we buy. And often, we can find coupons to use towards the very same things we already purchase, which usually doesn't take but a few minutes of time, and time belongs to God, too.

By saving money with coupons--and using strategy--it enables us to tithe more, to donate items that were free to us, to help others, to save for the future or apply our savings to other areas of the budget. For me, it has provided an opportunity to build relationships with others in the grocery store, to show love and kindess towards cashiers and also make a huge impact on those standing behind me in line. Using coupons helps us to learn patience, perseverance, instense focus and humility in realizing we are probably on the nerves of either the cashier or those held up waiting for your massive wad of coupons to be scanned in. I can't say I have always had this attitude, but it helps with the learning process, and I believe it's a huge reason why God has led me to use coupons the way that I do.

Realizing we are dealing with God's money had as much of an effect on me as I hope it has for you. I don't think the extent of your couponing matters as much as your willingness to do it at all, and realizing the big picture is about honoring God with your finances. God has given us the income we have and He can take it away at any moment. So please don't behave as though it is not going anywhere, you have no way of knowing or controlling this. But what you can control is your behavior with the money you have right now, and I believe couponing is one of the best ways you can do that.

$.50/1 Ronzoni Quick Cook Pasta Printable

Get $.50/1 Ronzoni Quick Cook Pasta! Just enter your email address and click print.

Thanks, Keeping The Kingdom First!

Save 80% At TODAY ONLY!

Today only, go to to buy $25 gift certificates you can normally buy for $10 for $2 each! Just enter promo code ENJOY for an 80% discount.

Thanks, Free Sample Freak!

Aldi Trip 5/4

I've been meaning to post about this trip for a while, but lately, my time to work on my blog has been limited. I'm finally getting to it a week later but at least I'm doing it!

I've posted before that my weekly grocery budget is $30. One of the ways I make that possible is by shopping at Aldi, which is a store with all private label brands that are lower in price but not in quality compared to brand name stores. They do however have brand name items occasionally, but they don't accept coupons. Usually, these are the types of items I'll purchase there:

  1. Items that never or rarely have coupons like meat, dairy, or breads
  2. Items that even when coupons are available or generic is purchased are still too pricey
  3. Items I need this week, but I have no coupons and the sale isn't very good

If I didn't recieve WIC, I would always and only buy dairy, bread, and cereal at Aldi for the low price. I don't have specifics on those prices, but here is what I did buy at my last trip:

1 12" Frozen Cheese pizza $2.29
2 1lb Frozen 85% Lean Ground Beef Rolls $2.29 ea.
2 1lb Frozen 85% Lean Ground Turkey $1.19 ea.
32oz Fat Free French Vanilla Coffee Creamer $1.99
1 Chewy Granola Bars 10ct $1.69
13 Gallon Kitchen Trash Bags 30ct $2.49
1 18 oz Peanut Butter $1.39
1 box Hawaiin Punch Fruit Snacks 24ct $3.49
1 Large Aldi Green Bag $1.99

Total + Tax: $22.77

Since my "price book" is in my head I can't give a great guess of the prices of these items in the grocery store, but I can tell you that I know I would've paid almost double. The lowest price I've ever found for fresh ground turkey is $2.50 and that's for 73% lean. That right there more than doubles the price. Not to mention that I find it to be the best quality I have ever tried. I am not real sure how good of a deal I got on the beef as it seems to average around $3/lb for the same thing at my regular grocery store, so the savings isn't as drastic, but I still find the quality to be much better.

Fruit snacks are my son's favorite treat, and I used to be able to find them in an all natural version at Aldi. However, these have vitamin C which is more than I can say for the store brand which winds up costing around $1.50 for a 6 pouch package, and this box has 24. $1.50 x 4=$6.00. I saved $2.50 this way.

I purchased a green bag, and if you know me, you know how I really feel about "going green". However, each time I go, I wind up buying 3 paper bags at 6 cents apiece. I figured that after 12 trips the bag would pay for itself (3 x .16= .18 12 x .18= 1.98) short of a penny. But, it holds more and it's a lot easier to haul your items to the car.

Lastly (Had to save this for last!) the LOWEST price I have ever seen for a frozen pizza that will feed four is $3.75 with a sale + coupon. Sometimes, the size I purchased would go on sale 2/$6 in the store brand, but again, I rarely see this. $2.29 is just an unbeatable price to pay to have a quick meal in the freezer.

Make sure you go to Aldi's website and see where the nearest location is to you. The only downside is that I have trouble taking both my kids since you have to walk to the door to put a quarter in the cart for it to release. This is another way they cut down on costs and pass the savings to their customers, and you also have to remember a quarter!

Get $5 To Shop At Home!

ShopAtHome Banner

Sign up for Shop at Home to recieve cash back for shopping. Plus, you'll recieve $5 upon signing up, and each time you refer a friend.

A Bonus: You'll also get access to over 800 grocery coupons.

Get 2 Free Trial Issues of All You Magazine!

All You magazine always has a TON of great coupons in it and these coupons are often used in sale matchups. If you're like me and have an "Aw, man!" moment when you realize you're missing these deals, sign up for two free trial issues of the magazine to try it out. You can simply cancel when you receive the bill, or, you can pay up front now to save $5 on the price of the subscription. Don't forget to check the box to subscribe to the email newsletter to recieve printable coupons!

Martin's 5/4

I am actually very proud of how well I did this week and how far I am making things stretch. As far as my weekly budget goes between the two stores I've spend a little more than $42, however, last week I considered myself to be $10 under as what I bought was spent on a gift card and we used $20 to go out to lunch. I will talk more about the budget in my next post about my Aldi trip.

Here's the breakdown for Martin's this week:
(Items with * are discussed)

1 50ft roll of Reynolds Wrap Foil* $2.00
4 Gerber 1st Foods $.99 ea.
2 Gerber Organic 1st Foods $1.13 ea.
2 GIANT 2nd foods $.85 ea.
2 80ct Guaranteed Value Wipes $1.49 ea.
5 Betty Crocker Warm Deights $1.59 ea.
3 Furmano diced Tomatoes $1.00 ea.
1 Package GIANT Hamburger Rolls* (12ct) $1.58
1 Rally Cola 2 liter* $.89
1 Choc Full O Nuts Coffee $2.50
1 Festingo Tortilla Chips* $2.99
2 28oz cans of GIANT baked beans* $1.49 ea.
1 package Nestle Flips Pretzels $1.89
2 Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage $3.99 BOGO
1 Lloyd's Pork BBQ* $4.99
2 4 pack Yo Crunch Yogurts $2.29 ea.

Martin's was running a deal this week where if you buy any Lloyd's BBQ for $4.99 you would get rolls, chips, and soda for free. I am not sure if there's a limit, but if not, I plan to go back.

Total Before Bonus Buy Savings: $58.76
Total After Savings: $47.09

Coupons Used:

$.75/1 Reynolds Doubled
$1/4 Gerber 1st Foods
$.75/1 Betty Crocker Warm Delights x 5 Doubled
$1/3 Furmano's Tomatoes
$.75/1 Choc Full O Nuts Doubled
$.50/1 Nestle Flips Doubled
$1/2 Hillshire Farms
$.75/1 YoCrunch x 2 Doubled

Total after coupons: $27.43

Used $7.34 remaining on gift card and paid a total of $20.09 OOP. My total savings was $39.01 (I didn't use my calculator because a certain 2 1/2 ft tall person keeps using it as a cell phone).

There was a roll of Reynolds foil that was on clearance for $1.34 and I could have gotten it for free. However, the last time I tried it with the same coupon, they didn't double it at all and it cost me $.59. This way I saved the hassle and possibly 9 cents.

I was also needing baked beans for a picnic at my sister's on Sunday. I had a coupon for $1/2 Bush's Grillin Beans, but they weren't on sale and were still WAY more expensive than the store brand. I can't remember the exact price but I know it would have been over $1 more to buy name brand even with a coupon. If I didn't need baked beans for something specific, in this case, I would avoid buying them or rearrange my meal plans for the week.

I also want to point out that while my purchases may not seem very healthy or even form complete meals, keep in mind that I buy my staples and produce with WIC, and that I keep a running stockpile in my pantry and freezer and stock up on good deals. I figured I would mention this in case you're new to my blog and haven't seem this in any of my other posts.

Starbucks 1/2 Price Frappucinos!

From May 7-16, enjoy half price frappucinos for their 3pm-5pm "Happy Hour".

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

The Melting Pot: Join Club Fondue

One of the coolest restaurants I've personally ever been to has been The Melting Pot, which I had never been to myself until last summer at Myrtle Beach. It's definitely one of those places you only go to when you have the money to spend! But, when you sign up for Club Fondue you'll receive free chocolate fondue for two just for signing up. Plus, you'll receive other offers and promotions through your email. I've just signed up myself, but I'm thinking any little bit helps the splurge from doing too much damage to your wallet!

Free Nabisco Cookies

Go to Nabisco's Facebook page and click the Cookies and Milk tab to print a coupon for a second package of Nabisco cookies with the purchase of one plus a gallon of milk. The coupon is only available today and expires 5/21.

Free Menu Plan Worksheet

I have gotten very good with grocery lists, and planning meals in my head. But it would be so much better to start keeping it on paper. I found a free download for a menu planning worksheet with space to put your grocery list at The Project Girl. There are actually two different versions so you can choose the one that suits you. My skills in putting something like this together are somewhat lacking (or, my computer is lacking in the appropriate programs to do so) so I'm pretty excited to see something like this available. It might be a good idea to have it laminated and attach magnets to the back to put on the fridge. That way, you're not wasting paper and ink to print it off every week.

Happy planning!