Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Couponing for Two: Shopping at Target

I love shopping at Target but never really thought to buy groceries there unless I was there anyway and did not want to stop again.  But then, I would only pick up something for dinner and still have to get out another day to buy groceries at Walmart (Walmart used to be my "go to" place for all groceries before couponing).  Well since learning all about how to use coupons, sales, etc to maximise my savings while staying in budget, Target has become a weekly stop. (I am speaking of Super Target, the regular Targets do not always have grocery depts.)

I try to get to Target early in the week and in the morning hours.  I know, if you are working a 9 to 5, this might not work out...but do not write Target off, just go when you can.  I try to get there in the morning, because it is less crowded.  I am a leisurely shopping and take FOREVER to get down all the lanes...and yes, I go down most every lane in the joint...sometimes more than once.  I have always been like that so it has NOTHING to do with coupons.  And yes, I most always have a list but I still like to "piddle" (another one of Mawma's words).  And I try to go on Mondays or Tuesdays just because it fits in my schedule as the big grocery stores have new sales come out on Wednesday...and well, it just fits.  However...there is one more reason....CLEARANCE DEALS!!!!

Target seems to have the BEST deals on close out and clearance items.  You can not always find something, this week was a bust....but when you do?  WOW!!!!

Remember the post I did a few weeks ago?  It was titled "Who's that lady who went to her cupboard and her cupboard was bare?"  That post was not part of this series, but it was all about a recent Target shopping trip I made where I brought home a TON of things from their clearance shelves.  I bought things like Pasta Sauce, name brand...not generic (not that generics are bad, in fact some are the EXACT same thing as the name brand) that retails for around 2.99 / 3.99 for under .30 cents a jar.  Also, Uncle Ben's Rice (boxes, not pouches) for .75 cents minus the coupon (I do not remember what I used for that).  These items have a long shelf life and will be eaten long before they expire (some not until 2013).



This is what the Target clearance sticker looks like.  Very easy to spot, even when on the shelf with regular priced items.

You can go to "Who's that lady that went to her cupboards and her cupboards were bare?" to read a rundown of that shopping trip at Target.

A word on clearance and expiration dates:  You have to be careful with the expiration dates because right next to a pack of coffee that expired in March of 2012 was the exact same brand, size, look, etc of coffee that expired a few months ago.  I do not think they are supposed to have these things on the shelf after expiration but you have to do your part and double check.  I would not buy something like eggs, milk or cheese that was about to expire unless it could be put in the freezer or eaten right away.  I will, however, but something that might be about to expire if, for example,  it has a "sell by" date of 9/5/11 and it is 9/1/11 if I can take it home and put it in the freezer right away.  If you look close you will see it usually says "sell or freeze" by a certain date.  I have been doing this for awhile and nothing has happened to me yet.  If this makes you squeemish, just forget about it and save on something else so you can ignore this part of saving.

Oh, one more little reminder...you CAN use coupons on clearance deals...that just makes it sweeter!!!!

Another way to save big on items at Target is to look for things that are "bundled" together.  For example, on a recent trip I found Secret Deodorants bundled with a trial size of the Secret Body splash.  I paid regular price, minus a coupon, for the deodorant and got the Body Splash for free.  Target has a lot of deals like this, esp in the HBA area (HBA = Health and Beauty Aides).

 
A "peelie" is a coupon STUCK to a product,
that you "peel" off

 Also, remember to keep your eyes out for "peelies" while walking up and down the ailes.  These are little coupons that are stuck to the product (sometimes there are hangtags).  You do not have to use that coupon on the product, if you have a higher value coupon or one that is about to expire, just put the peelie in your coupon organiser and save it for another day.  Target seems to have more of these than other stores where I have been shopping recently.  Oh...and also special packaging where there might be coupons inside.  I bought some Crest toothpaste a few weeks ago that came with about 15.00 worth of coupons inside for other Proctor and Gamble products.


This is an example of a "hang tag"
(although this tag does NOT go with this product, I am just using it as an example...I sure hope the Coppertone goes on clearance before this Q expires so we can stock up for next Summer.)


This is an example of "stacking" a Target Q with a manufacture Q

Target has there own coupons, as well.  You can find them in special inserts in your Sunday paper or sometimes you might be lucky enough to get some mailed to you, like the highly sought after College Savings Booklet that came out.  I did not get one but I hear there were some fabulous coupons.  With Target coupons, you can get great deals when paired with a sale...but even better....you can STACK THESE WITH MANUFACTURE coupons and get an even better deal.

These are examples of Target Coupons you can clip for the Sunday Paper.

An example of Target Coupons that you can print out from Target.com

Finally, do not forget to stop by Targets travel section.   Make sure that your coupon will allow usage on the smaller size, if it says "ANY" or does not have a size limit, that means it is usually ok to use on a smaller size.  Also, remember to know your stores policy. The travel section can make for some awesome savings. Sometimes, you can even score a FREEBIE.  For example, I recently bought some Eucerine lotion that was marked .97 cents.  I paired that with a coupon for 1.00 off.  Now I could have went over to the HBA dept and bought a big ole bottle of Eucerine for about 7 bucks with the coupon...but instead I bought 4 of the little travel sizes...and did not pay a penny.  AND, I had .03 cents in overage from each tube to use on other items.  I know .12 cents does not sound like a lot but if you buy enough things with overages, you might easily pay for that candy bar you want.  Shopping in the travel section is also a way to "try out" a new product before you commit to a larger purchase.  And really?  Those 4 tubes of lotion that I got for FREE will last me until there is another coupons to get more...  You can also get things like Tide detergent, Cascade dishwasher tabs, Nutrigena make-up remover clothes, first aid kits, etc for free in the travel section.  If you have enough coupons and time on your hand, you could get enough Tide FREE to equal a larger container.  Tide is not cheap when bought the conventional way.

OMG, I almost forgot...there are usually coupons on clothing at Target, too.  Match these up with some of the sales or clearance clothing and you just might score a free t-shirt or 3.00 pair of summer capris, like I did last week.  I found some cute capri jeans on clearance for 5.99 and had a 3.00 off any plus size clothing coupon...and score!!!!  Since you can print out two of every coupon from each of your computers, I had two of these and used the other to score the free t-shirt, it was on clearance for 2.25 (around that).  If I had looked closer, I would have seen a coupon for 5.00 off any lady's denim, which would have made the jeans .99 cents...oh well, can't save all your pennies, I guess.  LOL.  if you do not find anything you like, maybe you can find an inexpensive item to donate?  They have lots of baby clothings coupons, too...so check out all the coupons on Target.com.

Please check out some of the other more experienced couponing blogs for a better tutorial on Target shopping.  I am sure they can explain and help you better understand.  Coupon Divas even has a guide where she tells you what coupons to use and what Target coupons to stack to get the best deals.  You can click on the deals you like and print out a customised shopping list.  I love that site.  Also, my other "go to" site, Hip2Save has videos where Collin walks you thru by letting you go on a shopping trip with her.

Happy savings,

Tiffany 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Couponing for Two: Coupons = Money and THAT Keeps the Joint Runnin'


Couponers get a bad rap....and THAT is just not fair.  I do not care if you are using cash, coupons, or food stamps...YOU are the CUSTOMER and with out CUSTOMERS the store will not stay open.  It is as simple as that.  (Let's back up a minute....I am speaking about customers who follow the rules.  Customers who do not abuse the system, but work it to save as much as possible.  I know there is a fine line there and different people have different definitions of "crossing it" and we could go back and forth all day long...so we will not go there.  We will just agree that you should not abuse the system.  Also, just like we will not approve of stealing, counterfeit money, etc etc...we will not approve of counterfeit coupons or the misuse of coupons...because that, too, is stealing.)....ok back to my rant....


When a customer buys a product with cash, the store will profit.  When a customer buys a product with cash and coupons, the store will profit.  When the customer gets an item for free because of couponing, the store will still profit.  These joints do not stay in business by giving things away for cheap or free...they are getting their money....believe you me (that is what my Mawma used to say..."believe you me" LOL). 

When you use a coupon the store is reimbursed from the manufacture and also paid .08 cents per coupon for a handling fee.  So really, they are making money on each coupon.  If you use an "in store" coupon, the store is still turning a profit because they work that into their marketing strategy.  It is a way to get you into the store to buy more items....just like the company pays to advertise...the "in store" coupons and promotions are in someway an advertisement.  Think about it this way....Walgreens is a HUGE company...they know what they are doing or they would not be as big as they are and staying in business for this long.  Your savvy couponing, no matter how clever you think you are, is not hurting them...they are smarter than you, most of the time.

Keep your cool and do not let the cashier bully you or make you feel less worthy as a CUSTOMER because you are using coupons.  Coupons are currency just as if you are using cash, credit, or whatever you use to trade. 

One way to make sure you know the rules of each store is to KNOW their coupon policy (and Price Matching Policy, if you are shopping at Wal Mart or Target).  You can find a nice long list of store policies at Coupon Diva's web site.  Print these policies out and keep them with your coupons (I keep a coupon binder and just stashed the policies in there).  I make sure I know the  policy before I challenge the cashiers, etc.  I would hate to end up with those cheap eggs I just bought all over my face.  Most of the time, believe it or not, the cashiers do not know the policy....I am still new to all of this and actually had to show a manager at Tom Thumb the policy.  She was extremely rude and informed me that she would "let this slide THIS time"...WTHeck?  THIS TIME?  Whatever.  (I just choose not to shop there now...their "deals" are not all that great and that store (Campbell and Coit) has more problems of their own to worry about...that has to be the WORST store in my area for not having their check-out lanes open...oh but that is yet another rant I have!!!!)

So what about other CUSTOMERS giving you "looks" and complaining about you using coupons.  Well, frankly, they can just go jump in the lake because it is really not anyone else's business how you spend your time or money.  And if they are so concerned about you taking too long in line, so what...they should have got their first and in the words of Krazy Coupon Lady, "Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey!"  You are paying the same as they are, you are just not spending as much.  Does that make sense now that I explained how the store gets reimbursed?  And if you have to "call the cashier out" about not taking a coupon or not doubling it, or whatever...it is the same as letting her know that she over charged your Visa or did not give you back the right change in cash.  I am sure the lady behind you, "rolling her eyes" would not be "ok" with getting the wrong change back.  Just because she is paying CASH where you are using COUPONS, does not make her more worthy of a customer than you...it just means you are much much smarter with your money.  Now did your confidence in being a "Crazy Coupon Lady" just go up a notch? 

Just stick to your guns, know your policies and store rules, and keep your head up knowing that the 50% (and more) you are saving will look just fabulous on your feet in the form of a new pair of shoes.

Now get to clipping....and start saving lots of money.

Tiffany

Friday, August 26, 2011

Couponing for Two: Shopping at Walgreens

Walgreens is a national drug store chain, like CVS, that you find on most any corner in a major US city.  Other drug stores, like Walgreens and CVS include Rite Aid and Duane Reed, however we do not have either of these in Dallas, Texas so I am focusing on Walgreens and CVS.  This post will be about shopping and saving at Walgreens.


Before becoming focused on saving money, I thought of Walgreens as the place to get my photos developed, for cheap with their weekly photo deals.  However, that is where the savings would end because when I went into Walgreens to pick my photos up...I would buy a bunch of stuff I did not need, without coupons, without sales, and IF I got a Register Reward back, I did not know what to do with it so it so it sat in the bottom of my purse expiring.

I will admit, I am still learning but I have saved a lot in the process and look forward to saving more as I get more Walgreens experience.  One thing I am learning is how to READ their sales.  For example this week Walgreens had the Keebler brand of SOME cookies and SOME crackers on sale for 4/10.00.  Now that, right there, is a better price than the Walmart down the street where the Keebler Fudge Stripes, for example, are 2.68.  However, we are not stopping the savings with the sale price.  This week along with the sale price, you get 5.00 in Register Rewards back to use on a future transaction.  This has now dropped the price down to 4/5.00.  If you have coupons to pair up with this "deal" it will get even lower.  I got it down to 4/3.00 (with 1.00/2 Rice Krispies Treats and 1.00/2 Keebler Cookies coupons minus the 5.00 in Register Rewards Makes these 4/3.00 or .75 cents a box!!!!)  Now that beats Walmarts 2.18 a box (wyb 2 and after the 1.00 off coupons).  Please note that you must read the sales ad and buy the number it states to get these prices and the Register Rewards as Walgreens can be a bit pricey when you buy just one (on a 2 for $.$$ or 4 for $.$$ sale, the sale price is not divided by 2 if you just by one...and you will not get the Register Rewards unless you buy the number the ad states to buy).

Ok...now what about these Register Rewards?  Well, I think Collin from Hip 2 Save can explain it best, "Register Rewards (a.k.a. Catalina coupons) are manufacturer coupons that print out from a Catalina machine at the register after you have completed your transaction. The Register Rewards print out after you buy a participating product, which may be advertised in Walgreens weekly ad. There are also Register Reward deals that are not advertised in the weekly ads but are posted inside the store.

Register Rewards are manufacturer coupons. When you have a RR in hand to use, you can only use ONE RR per item purchased. For example: If you are purchasing three items, you can use up to a combination of three manufacturer coupons and/or RRs. If you attempt to use more than three, the register will beep. If you run into a situation where you have more manufacturer coupons/RRs to use than products, look for “filler” items to add to your purchase. Fillers are inexpensive items, and they allow you to apply more coupons at checkout. Great options for filler items include clearance merchandise, small candies, and pencils. Note: Walgreens store coupons do NOT count towards your coupon-to-item ratio. In other words, the register will not beep if you are using more Walgreens coupons than items.

If you purchase more than one of the same Register Reward participating item per transaction, you will only receive one Register Reward–NOT two! In order to get more than one RR coupon when purchasing more than one of the same qualifying items, request that each item be rung up on a separate transaction. However, you can purchase different Register Reward qualifying items in the same transaction, and you will receive one RR for each DIFFERENT qualifying Register Reward item purchased.

Another important thing to note is that Register Reward deals do NOT roll! This means that if your receive a $2RR for purchasing Huggies diapers, you cannot use this same RR to purchase another package of Huggies diapers and expect another $2RR to be generated.

You CAN use Register Rewards from a different deal to pay for another Register Reward deal–which means you can roll Register Rewards from different deals to help lower your out-of-pocket expense.
If a RR does not print, make sure that the Catalina machine is on (Note: You should see a blinking green light.) and that you bought EXACTLY the right variety of product that was supposed to generate the RR. If you still feel that you should have received a RR, you can have the cashier delete the transaction and ring your items up again OR you can leave the store and call the Catalina company directly. You can reach Catalina at 1-888-8coupon: Have your receipt in hand and state which items in your purchase should have triggered a RR. Catalina will review your transaction and will mail you a RR, within two to three weeks, if you should have received one."(from Hip2Save)

The hardest part to remember, but you must not forget, is to NOT use a Register Reward from Proctor and Gamble, for example, on another Proctor and Gamble "deal"...or a Colgate RR on another Colgate "deal".  You can use them...but you will NOT get another RR back...and well...then their goes the savings.  You have to have time to shop in Walgreens and lots and lots of patients.

Another thing to "get the hang of" at Walgreens is their STORE COUPONS.  These are either found in the weekly ads, in their monthly coupons books (both can be found at the front of the store), special "helpful" pamphlets, etc.  Keep your eyes peeled and do not be afraid to ask the pharmacy, beauty counter, or even the manager if they have any special coupons out.  They are there to help you and SHOULD be happy you are doing business in their store.  You are the customer, do not let them treat you any different just because you are using coupons (more on that in another post).

The STORE COUPONS can be "stacked" with your manufacture coupons.  This really helps the savings add up.  Just imagine if you can stack a store and a manufacture coupon on a sale item that also gives you back Register Rewards...oh goodness, I think I just got a hot flash.  For more info on this please see HIp2Save's Walgreens Store Guide (by the way, this is one of my MOST FAVORITE websites for couponing).

Now...would you like to see this in action?

Transaction one:
This was from last weeks sales cycle but when I went into Walgreens to get a Dallas Morning News Early Sunday Edition for some coupons, I saw they had restocked the Scope Mouthwash and wanted to pick some up.  (This is an example of when you must buy 2.  The Scope was 2/6.00 then you got back some Register Rewards.  I think it was 3.00 in Register Rewards.  I had a coupons for the Scope (.75/1, I had 2  which brought them down to 2/4.50, then I got back the RR)

Transaction 1
2 Scope Mouthwash (2/6.00 - 2  .75Qs and 3.00 RR)
1 DMN Sunday Paper 3.00
This transaction came to 7.50 but I had 5.00 in Register Rewards from earlier in the week, so it was 2.50 oop (out of pocket).

Transaction 2
2 Sugar Free Nips (2.19 BOGO sale, no coupon)
3 Mentos (clearance .75 a piece - 1.00/3 Coupon)
Gummie Bears (.70 on clearance)
2 Walgreens Brand Cold Med (1.29 on clearance but these do not expire until 2012 sometime)
Sandals (clearance 3.24 down from 12.99)
All of this came to 34.05 before the savings. After all the WAGS (Walgreens) savings, Coupons (but I only had 1 regular coupon) and Register Rewards (I used the one I got from the 3 - 3.00 RRs I got from a previous transaction that were about to expire) So this transaction came to 1.30 oop (out of pocket).

That entire trip was 3.80 oop....and I got a really comfy pair of Sandals and my DMN with lots of Coupons in it.  I also still have 3.00 in RR from the Scope "deal" not to mention I did not use all of the RR I had from the previous week.

Now on to the current week's sales cycle:


The above photo shows FOUR different Transactions that I did on Monday of this sale cycle.  I had to wait for Ms Dixie Lee to get done with her Spa Day so I needed to kill some time.  We will call them Transactions 3, 4, 5, and 6. Transaction 3 (at Beltline WAGS)
1 pack of Viva Paper Towels (5.99 on sale minus 1.00 WAGS Q and 1.00 Internet Printed Q = 3.99)
2 Crest Toothpaste (2/5.00 on sale minus 2 .75Qs and 3 RR = .50 cents for two tubes *great stock-up price if you can not find it free)
1 Colgate Sensitive Whitening (4.99 on sale minus 1.50Q and 4.00 RR = -.51 cents *here is your FREE toothpaste and even better it is a money maker...I do not use this toothpaste but I can easily donate...I can, however, use a .51 cents MM**)
Cold and Sinus Meds (2.29 on clearance...this is something I defiantly use and I needed a "filler"***)
The total oop for all of this was 3.37 cents because I had a 10.00 RR from last week.  I could have used a 3.00 RR to get my oop lower but I simply forgot. (remember I got 4 RR from Colgate and 3 RR from Proctor and Gamble - Crest so I am really UP 3.73)

Transaction 4 (still at Beltline WAGS)
I repeated Transaction 3 with the exception of adding the following:
2 Reese's PNB Cups (2/1.79)
1 Coke Zero (1.59 minus a .75 Q wyb 1 Coke and 1 Reese's product...I needed a "filler" item so I went ahead and bought 2 Reese's)
I used another 10.00 RR from last week and the 3.00 RR from my Scope "deal" from Transaction 1.  My oop on this transaction was .87 cents.  Even though I bought more, my oop was lower because I had more RR.  I did not use any of the RR I got from Transaction 3 because I was repeating the Colgate and the Crest deal in this transaction.  If I had used wither of those RR, another one would not have printed out...making the deal not so great on these products.  So in this transaction I got all of this and lunch (the coke and candy...LOL)

Not wanting to be a "shelf clearer" on some of these items, I headed over to a Walgreens closer to home.  The one I was at for the above Transaction was near Dixie Lee's groomer.

Transaction 5
Colgate Sensitive (4.99 minus 1.50 Q minus 4 RR = .51 cents MM)
Tape (.39 cents with WAGS in-store Q..a "filler" and something we needed)
Total oop .91 cents because I used a 3.00 RR from the Crest "deal". (but I got a 4.00 RR from the Colgate "deal", this is what we call "rolling" so I basically traded in the Proctor and Gamble / Crest RR of 3.00 for a 4.00 RR from Colgate PLUS got more toothpaste and tape.  Personally, I would rather have the Colgate RR to use later on than a Proctor and Gamble RR, the Colgate will be much easier to use since "Proctor and Gamble" has so many products and are harder to "roll".)

Transaction 6
Colgate Sensitive (yep more...we are "set" for toothpaste and I am donating what we do not need.  Remember, this is FREE and a money maker after all is said and done)
Skippy Peanut Butter (2.00 on sale with WAGS in store Q stacked with a manufacture q of 1.00 = 1.00, not a bad stock-up price)
Tape (again, we needed it and I think I needed a "filler" again)
This transaction came to .88 cents oop, that is less than the sale price of the peanut butter.  I used the other Crest / Proctor and Gamble 3.00 RR from the earlier transaction and a 1.00 RR from another product last week.  And remember I got back another 4.00 in RR from the Colgate "deal", yet again.

So for those 4 transaction, that took less than an hour (with travel time and another stop) I picked up a few things for my stockpile. some items to donate, and lunch (remember the coke and candy?) for only 6.03 oop (and could have been as low as 3.03, if I had remembered to use a 3.00 RR in Transaction 3).  I have 20.00 RR left from this days transaction and even some left from the previous week (the previous week's RRs were in larger denominations so they are a bit trickier to use).  One way I like to look at this is I would have paid almost 6.00 just for 1 of the Viva Paper Towels without coupons at Wal-Mart so all the other stuff is bonus.

And believe it or not...I was not done with Walgreens this week.

I had some time to kill before seeing my niece Cheer at her first football game so I stopped in at Walgreens to pick up some drinks and ice for the game.  Since I was there ...

I picked up:
More Colgate Sensitive (I have quiet a few coupons for this stuff)
Total oop .49 cents because I used a RR from last week.

Instead of pocketing that Colgate RR, I "rolled" it onto the following transaction:
1 AMP Energy Drink (on sale .99)
3 Vitamin Waters (3/4.00 with WAGS in ad coupon)
Sucker (.59 "filler")
oop.....   .58 cents because I used the 4.00 Colgate RR.  I did not expect anything to crank out of the catalina (where the register rewards come from) machine but I got a coupon for a free Gatoraid bar and a free Gatoraid drink.  The store was out so I will have to save that one for another time.

This last trip was unexpected but only took me all of 5 minutes run in / run out.  This is what I am working towards with Walgreens...a fast run in and get what I need and "roll" my RR so I am out of pocket very little.

After all of that, looking back at the pics, it does not seem like I got all that much.  LOL.  And really?  I didn't.  It just took a bit to explain it and not everything is pictured.  Once you get the hang of it, it will not take long at all to do your shopping.  And considering I was oop so little compared to the RR I got back and the products I got, I am ok with that.  Use the websites to help you pick your deals, organise your coupons and get to saving. (websites like A Full Cup, Cut Clip Save, Krazy Coupon Lady, and Hip2Save)

(notes:  **Money Maker or MM= when you buy an item that, after coupons, sales, and Register Rewards you are coming out ahead or making money.  You will not get CASH back but your RR will be more than the item cost you oop.  This is when you will pick something up you do not usually use and either give it a try or donate it to someone who can use it.  I will be giving lots of stuff to the Assisted Livings around here.  ***Fillers are very inexpensive items you add to a transaction to make it possible to use your manufacture coupons.  A Register Reward is considered a manufacture coupon.  You have to have more items than manufacture coupons in a transaction.  If you were to purchase 2 Scopes and 2 Skippy Peanut Butter in one transaction and then use a clipped coupon for each item then use a Register Reward you got from another transaction, you would need ONE filler item to make the items equal the number of coupons.  WAGS in-store coupons do not count toward this total.)

I hope all of this makes sense to you.  There are many videos and tutorials on the web.  Look at Hip2Save's videos, she has them for most every store.  The Walgreens info can be found here. 

Walgreens is very confusing but if you have the patients to learn the system you will save a lot of money.  You, most likely, will not use Walgreens to stock up on anything very fast...look at how many transactions it took for me to get all that toothpaste.  This week, I had plenty of down time where I was waiting for something...times where I had to fill up my time out of the house. Most weeks, I will go in on Sunday and maybe once more through out the week.  We have several Walgreens around here and running to Walgreens is like running to the corner store.  If there is a great deal on something and I have the time and coupons to make it work...I will go a few times and take advantage of it.  I do not like buying a lot of something at one time because I do not want to take up all of the stock or cashiers time.  Every time I think the store is not crowded and start my transactions, as soon as I am done with one there is a line behind me...and I am not THAT lady, ya know...that makes everyone wait and wait while I run through 5 transactions.  Plus, I keep thinking if I do that Walgreens will get tired of it and change their rules...and then it will be ALL my fault.. (this is just in my mind..I know it would not be ONLY because of me, right?)

I just counted up all of my Register Rewards that I can use next week...I have about 44.00 in Register Rewards.  I should not be oop ANYTHING.  I think I might get some photos developed, too.  Walgreens has a great sale coming up so I am sure I can find lots that I need...or maybe just a bunch of candy?  ha ha.

I hope this series is inspiring you to start clipping, rolling, and saving!!!!

Tiffany  


Ok...here is another Walgreen's trip...you know I had one more in me...LOL







This was actually the Keebler "deal" I talked about at the first of this post.  I did NOT buy more Colgate, it is just in the photo because it was "there"...





Here is the transaction:
6 Dawns (.99 with in-ad coupon stacked with a manufacture coupon .50 = .49 cents each)
2 Keri lotions(5.99 on sale minus 2.00 manufacture coupon and then you get 5.00 in Register Rewards back = 2.00 Money Maker.  All of the Wags have been out of this and I had several coupons just wasteing away)
2 boxes Rice Krispie Treats(not shown) and 2 Keebler Cookies (see deal at top of post)
Sucker (.59 cents "filler")
I used a 10.00 RR (about to expire), a 5.00 RR, and a 3.00 RR (about to expire) and was oop 1.48 plus I got back 15 Register Rewards.  What...What???!!!???  LOL

Now I need to cool it with the toothpaste, dish soap, and junk food.  Well, maybe not the toothpaste as it is donatable and FREE but the junk food would not make it to the donation site....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do you need a little fiber in your diet? Fiber One Brownies Review


If you do not want to try the Prune Milkshake in the photo, and still have a bit of a "problem"...might I suggest a Fiber One Brownie?

I was sent a few samples and was asked to share my opinion (good or bad) with my followers and friends.  These have got to be the best tasting HEALTHY snack I have had in a very long time.  The problem is they are so good it is hard to stop with just one...and since they are HIGH in fiber, you really should STOP with just one.

They are also very filling.  Really, if you need a snack to hold you over till dinner...and have a craving for sweets....and need to get a bit of fiber in your diet...or all of the above...I can highly recommend these 90 calorie treats.

As a matter of fact, most of the Fiber One brand of products that I have tried I would recommend.  I did not like the pancake / waffle mix, however.  The key lime yogurt tastes like key lime pie...I think I even detect a hint of graham cracker crust in an after tastes.  The cereal keeps me going and tastes so good, too. (ha ha just realised this could be taken TWO ways...but I meant keeps me going and hunger free...but it also will keep you going)

So throw that Metamucil, chalky fiber supplement, and nasty tasting prunes away and pick up something from the Fiber One brand.  Go to their site to grab a coupon first....

Now that I have given way TMI, I will stop....

If you would like to get samples and share your opinion, go to Vocal Point for more info.

Tiffany

Summer Reading List: The Story of a Marriage

"Even a diligent reader will be surprised by the revelations twisting through this novel and will probably turn back to the beginning pages to find the oblique hints hidden in Greer's crystalline prose. In San Francisco in 1953, narrator Pearlie relates the circumstances of her marriage to Holland Cook, her childhood sweetheart. Pearlie's sacrifices for Holland begin when they are teenagers and continue when the two reunite a few years later, marry and have an adored son. The reappearance in Holland's life of his former boss, Buzz Drumer, propels them into a triangular relationship of agonizing decisions. Greer expertly uses his setting as historical and cultural counterpoint to a story that hinges on racial and sexual issues and a climate of fear and repression. Though some readers may find it overly sentimental, this is a sensitive exploration of the secrets hidden even in intimate relationships, a poignant account of people helpless in the throes of passion and an affirmation of the strength of the human spirit" (From Amazon).



Sometimes when I think of this book I like it...sometimes I do not.  It was not the most exciting book on my Summer Reading List....I mean I had a few doozies this Summer (The Alex Cross series, Catch Me If You Can *coming soon*, The GodFather *coming soon*, etc).  It was boring, at times, however it was an ok read. 

I enjoyed that it was in San Francisco....but not in the part I visited last summer.  I enjoyed the time period it was in...but not in what I could relate to from past study.  I enjoyed that it was about a marriage....but not one that I have lived.  I think what I might have enjoyed the most was it had a hint of things I could relate to (except what happens in her marriage) and was different enough to keep part of my attention.

There were a few surprises, to me.  I did not see a few plot twists coming.  If it was not for these little surprises, the boredom I would have suffered would have been unbearable.  This is not your Leave it to Beaver post war, 1950's.  Think more like .... Far From Heaven...but on the other side of the tracks.

It is not a long book...so it has that going for it, too.

I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was more about the husband....but then it would have been an entirely different book.

If you are looking for a different kind of book, set in an interesting time period...I will recommend this one to you.  Oh heck...like I said, it is not a long book, go ahead a read it.

Tiffany

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of High School: Good luck to our little Cheerleader!!!!

I can not believe she is growing up so fast.  I remember riding in Mimi's mini van with Krystal (Jordan's mom) and Monty (Jordan's Dad) and Mimi taking her to her very first day of Kindergarten at Little Red School House.  As we approached the line of cars she said "I feel butterflies flying in my tummy".

I hope the "butterflies" are not very active this morning as she heads off to her first day of high school.  She is a Freshman Cheerleader this year and will have a lot of fun.  New friends will come along, hopefully some old friends, that we have all grown to love, will continue to hang around.  New challenges will have to be faced as the "work" will be tougher, but she can handle it.  She is a very smart girl.  Smart, pretty, sweet....she will do just fine.

I hope her mom is doing fine, too...because I know I am as emotional thinking about it this morning as I was riding in that car all those years ago.  Of course I have to play it cool and not ask if I can go with her this morning.

I can not wait to be in the stands as she leads the crown in cheers this year.  She has so much to look forward to and my hope is that she takes advantage of this time...because it, too, will move very fast.

I wish her all the luck I can wish on her very first day of High School!!!!  We love you Jordan!!!!

Oh, and Jordan....we sure will miss you at the water park this week.....hahahahahaha!!!!




Tiffany

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Couponing for Two: Shopping at CVS




If you are anything like I was, before I learned to save with coupons, you look at the CVS and Walgreen Sunday inserts and think, "well...that does not seem such a great deal!".  You would be soooo right if you were just going to walk in and buy something.  But if you are going to prepare, learn the "deals" and invest your time into saving, you will know that, quiet often, the deals are great. 

What you have to know is it does take a bit of prep work, time, and most of all PATIENTS. 

Here are some deals I got, just last night, at CVS:



CVS



Before I post ANYTHING about CVS, please understand to get any kind of good deal at this store you MUST have an Extra Care Card

Although I went to CVS last night (Saturday), most of these items are from THIS WEEK'S (Sunday) sale cycle.  I have find it is much easier for me to do my CVS shopping late Saturday so I have a better chance of finding the items before they are sold out.  One thing to note about the drug stores is they have limited stock on hand.

Here is what I bought:
Dentine gum
CVS Body Wash
Pantene Deep Conditioning treatment
Pantene Hair Spray
2 bottle of Infusium hair treatments
Hydro 5 Razor Cartridge
4 Ozarka Sparkling Waters
6 SoBe Flavored Waters
Bandages
Kens Dressing
3 boxes of Special K Cracker Chips (YUM!)
Conair Hair Straightener
(the Premium Saltines, Fritoes, and Bean Dip were bought at Big Lots next door without coupons, they do not take them as their prices are very low due to close-outs...the manufactures will not reimburse if they took coupons.  I will post more about these kind of stores at a later time)

For all of this....I paid 10.61 (and got back 10 Extra Care Bucks to spend next time..so "like" .61 cents!!!!)

Here is how I did it:
Dentine Gum  2.00 on sale - 1.00 CVS Magic Machine Q - 1.00 Manu Q= FREE
CVS Body Wash = FREE for "liking" CVS Minute Clinic on FB
Pantene Deep Conditioning treatment = FREE (came in the mail...I do not remember why)
Pantene Hair Spray = 1.24 on clearance (I used a 3.00/2 Pantene Manu Q with the Pantene Products*)
2 bottle of Infusium hair treatments BOGO 6.99- 2 1/1.00 Manu Qs = 4.99 (for BOTH)
Hydro 5 Razor Cartridge 8.49 on sale and you get 5.00 ECB - 4.00 Manu Q (Kroger 8/21 insert**)= 4.49
4 Ozarka Sparkling Waters .99 each - 2 BOGO Q (IPs***) = 1.98
6 SoBe Flavored Waters 1.59 each - 2 1.00/3 and a B2G1 free CVS Q = 4.36 (for ALL 6)
Bandages = FREE (CVS Magic Machine Q)
3 boxes of Special K Cracker Chips (YUM!) 2.00 on sale**** - 1.50/3 IP Manu Q = 4.50
Conair Hair Straightner 12.49 on clearance and you got 5.00 ECBs with purchase of any Conair Appliance

I also used a Magic Machine print out of 10.00 off a 50.00 purchase. 
The way this worked is you MUST hand over any $$$ off $$$ purchases BEFORE you hand over your coupons.  This way the total is high enough to get the discount.

Before any coupons my total was around 67.15 (might be slightly off due to tax)
I saved 45.54 with coupons

That is 45.54 I now have to spend on something else...that I would have paid because I wanted or needed everything I bought.  When I think of walking into CVS, spending 67.15 dollars for that small of order...I want to choke.  Really.  And then I think of what all this would cost if I waited until I absolutely was out of the product and had to pay FULL price when it is not on sale and did not use any coupon?  Before any savings whatsoever, this order would have been 118.79!!!!

With the ECB on the Razor Cart, it was like I got them for .49 cents!!! These are expensive so .49 cents is a great deal!!! and the Straightener was regularly about 35.00 (forget exact price) so with that being 7.49 cents (after ECBs)...who wouldn't pick that up?  I need a straightener and Jordan (my darling niece) has complained all summer that I did not have one.

A key to remember is to buy products when they are on sale with a coupon to stockpile so you are not paying full price for ANYTHING.  You do not have to have a huge stockpile, there are only 2 of us so I have no plans to have a large stockpile of anything.  You will have to determine the amount you need.  As this series goes along I will post more about that and we can learn together.  Another advantage to stockpiling is that you always have products on hand so you are not running out to the store here and there...THAT always leads to larger spending / bills.

You see in the photo that I have 2 bottles of Infusium, for example.  I had a bottle I bought a month or so ago so I now have 1 in use and 2 in my stockpile.  This will last me at least 4 to 6 months, even with my long hair.  By then, I will have a few more coupons and it will be on sale again since the sales cycles go in 12 week rotations, usually.  The Special K crackers, however, will not last that long, unfortunatly.  LOL.  I know that I should not have those in "stock" because then I would eat more than I should.  You have to know what will work for your family.

Here are a few notes:
* The Pantene coupon was 3.00 off any 2 Pantene Products. I was unsure if I could use that Q so I asked the cashier to make sure.  She was not the most helpful gal and not the nicest, either, but she said "yes" so I did not argue.  I did not see anything on the Q that prevented the exchange, except that it produced an overage...but that was applied to the rest of my order.  If anyone reading knows that I misused this Q, please comment so we can all learn from this.  Thanks!!!!
**We got a Kroger insert in this weeks paper with a few Qs.  They are NOT "Kroger" qs but Manufacture...so they can be used anywhere that accepts coupons.
***IP stands for Internet Printed.  Manufactures put out these coupons from their websites, facebook, coupons.com, redplum.com, and smartsource.com.  There are a few other legit sites that have IP coupons but PLEASE know where you are getting these and only use them if you KNOW for a certain fact that they are legit.  I have recently learned there are ALOT of counterfit coupons on the internet.  To see a list of SOME, not all I am sure...visit Coupon Information Center.
****When I got to CVS late Saturday evening, the sales cycles have already switched over (your store may vary) but the CURRENT week is also still available.  This is very confusing, at times.  If you still want some products from the current sale, yet want to pick up items for the next cycle, this is a great time to go.  just bring your ads because not all sales are posted...some have been taken down while others might not have been put up.  Lots of times, while I am there, they are working to change the signs. 

 To learn more about CVS and how to shop there please go to Hip2Save's website.  Collin explains this much better than I could.



Happy Savings,

Tiffany
I am linking up to:


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Couponing for Two: Response to Comment

Eartha Kitsch made a comment and asked a question on my last post.  I was unable to post an answer in the comments (I do not have authorization the message said?..it's my blag for heavens sakes) but I did want to answer her...so I am making a new post just for that.

She asked if the coupon clipping sites shipped out fast....  my reply:

"I have used the coupon clipping site, coupondede.com and, if I remember right, I ordered the coupons on a Wednesday and they were here by Friday.  I think this service is located in my state, so that might make a difference.  It was fast, in my mind.  I was not able to even use the coupons until about 2 weeks later, however, because they ran out of hte soap...I had to get a rain check...as I type this I am remembering that it was not until after I got the raincheck that I decided I needed more coupons and ordered them. 

When I thought I could get them durring the sale cycle, I only had 5 coupons (one from a previous insert, one from a box of Clinical Secret Deodorant, and 3 from the current proctor and gamble insert.  I did actually buy more papers that week because I wanted the soap coupons and a few more...and at that time had not used a clipping service...I bought the extra papers as I walked in to Kroger, paid for them, stood at the front of the store and clipped the soap coupons, went back to buy the soap and saw the empty shelf.  I then spotted the manager and asked for a raincheck.  Since I had more time to find more coupons, I decided I would get more soap and found a clipping site).  The rain check was the key to ME getting this deal...but even without it I would have "bought" 5 packs of soap for FREE...still a great deal.

Now I know some would say...but you paid out for more papers...ok, but I also got quiet a few other coupons that I KNEW I would use.  I got a few more toothpast, deodorant, razor, dish soap, laundry soap (proctor and gamble has so many coupons!!!)....and that saved me even more money...HELLO FREE TOOTHPASTE and FLOSS...and CHEAP Dish and Laundry Soap, just for started.  I will post more about getting FREEBIES ASAP....at least before the next Proctor and Gamble insert comes out.
And I know some will say...but you PAID for the clipping service...yes, I did.  I paid .08 cents per Ivory Coupon...so I guess the soap was really .08 cents.  Still, who doesnt want THEIR brand of soap for .08 cents?

I hope I answered your question SOMEWHERE in all this rambling.

Thanks for reading."

I will do a post about rainchecks, clipping sites, getting freebies, etc as we go...

Tiffany

Preserving Childhood Keepsakes with Martha Stewart

I love to preserve my memories by scrapbooking.  It is a fun hobby and the end result is that your photos and keepsakes are safe and arranged in interesting and pretty ways (if you use that method).  Martha Stewart Crafts has some of the neatest tools to help you with your creations.  You can find them on her site or at most hobby and craft stores like Michael's, JoAnn, and Hobby Lobby (and each of these usually have coupons to help with the cost).

Martha Stewart's website also has so many ideas in creating keepsakes that you are sure to not run out of creative ways to preserve your memories.  I the spirit of "Back to School", here are a few examples to get you started in preserving your child's school day memories.

Childhood Keepsakes

School Days Scrapbook



A scrapbook can help organize -- and proudly display -- the steady stream of photographs, artwork, awards, and other keepsakes that accrue during a young person's school years.

The pages are made from notebook paper (ruled and graph styles) secured to hole-punched card stock using double-sided tape. Embellishments, including a school flag made from card stock and a composition book (made from a reduced color photocopy of a real one), add texture.

School Pocket



Instead of an album devoted to school, you can add a pocket to your scrapbook for your kids' school-related memorabilia, from school pictures to poems she wrote for homework.

Tape together 2 pieces of notebook paper (ours is 7 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches), short end to short end. Trim width if necessary to fit scrapbook pages. Fold paper up from bottom as shown, making pockets in desired depths. Stitch sides to scrapbook pages with a sewing machine to secure, or glue with an archival glue stick.


Read more at Marthastewart.com: Memorykeeping Projects and Keepsakes - Crafts - Martha Stewart

Tiffany

Couponing for Two: A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

I am starting a new series on my ole Rambling blog.  I have read and heard people say that there is no need to use coupons because "I do not have that many to buy for"..."we are such a small family, I will not see the EXTREME savings"...etc etc etc.  Well first off...a penny saved is a penny earned and this cheapskate (yep, that would be me when it comes to buying such things as staples and everyday needs...that way I can spend more on my luxuries like shoes and lipstick) likes to save so she does not have to earn...ha ha.  Saving 10 dollars might be "little" compared to what we see on the reality couponing shows...but think if you save 10.00 every time you run to the store!!!!  If you are like me, you "run" to the store a few times a week...so that might add up to 30.00 a week in FOUND money....or 120.00 or more a month!!!!  1440 a year!!!! With that you might could find a great vacation to go on every few years...of course being the "savvy deal finding lady"' by then, you will save a ton on that vacation, too...so who knows where that 2880 bucks might take you (no brain cells were harmed with that fancy math work...I used a calculator..we all know this housewife does not do math!!!!).

Ok so now do I have your attention?  So... forget that 10.00 bucks all together because, most of the time,  you will save a lot more.  You will save more because you will start shopping differently....and less frequently.  You will really not have the NEED to "run to the store" a few times a week.  You might still do so, because you love to shop...but that is none of my concern. 


Recent Albertson's shopping trip where I bought things we use and saved $45.53.  I only spent 27.59 oop.  And look at the cheese wheels...THOSE are not cheap at 5.99 a piece.  The meat is not in the pic...the meat was 10.54.  So taking away the meat and cheese, everything else was around 5.00!!!!

I have yet to reach the "85 to 90%" savings that some boast about...but I do not buy a cart full of cereal and sugary drinks.  I buy things we need and use.  I do buy cereal, but it is of the high fiber variety so it costs a bit more...but I still use a coupon on it and I find it on sale.  I buy a lot of fresh fruit and veggies...and a TON of meat.  We do not scrimp on what we buy but we do save where we can.  I do not save as much in percentages as someone who is buying lots and lots of items...but I save.  That is what matters....that is what makes it worth my while.



I will highlight the great deals I find and point you to one of the great couponing sites where THOSE ladies can do the work...that is what THEIR blogs are about and they have the experience.  I hope what this series will do is show you that it is possible to save when couponing for a small family.

The first thing you have to understand is that you will need a good stock of staples on hand.  You will need to be patient and find deals so you can stock up on the expensive items like razors and other health and beauty items along with a good stock of laundry care and cleaning supplies.  You will want to get a good stock of things you like....we have stocked up on Hamburger Helper (David likes this and there were some great deals this month...but our stock is about 8 boxes compared to 50 or more that I have seen), pasta sauce, soups, canned tomatoes and mushrooms, pastas, salad dressing, diet Dr Pepper and Fresca, and bottled water, etc.  My stock, again, is not a very large number...for us, 4 jars of pasta sauce, for example, will last quiet awhile.  We go out to eat alot and David brings dinner home at least once a week.  We have a nice dinner on Fridays, for Shabbat, and that is usually something I spend a bit more time and money on...but this, too, is something I am working to find deals as we do have a rotation of favorite dishes.

So...I hope this series will help you understand that you can still save money while shopping for a smaller family.  You do not HAVE to be working on creating a HUGE stockpile of food for this to be worth your time.

Here are a few sites that I use to find deals and coupons:

Hip2Save  
Coupon Divas
Krazy Coupon Lady
Coupons
Smart Source
Red Plum
Target
CVS
Walgreens.com

The best place to find coupons is still the Sunday paper.  I do not buy multiple copies.  If I see there is a coupon I need more of I find a clipping service.  Also, we get a free city paper on Sundays that has a Smart Source coupon insert, so I always have at least two of those. 

An example of needing more than one of a certain coupon was when Kroger had their Ivory soap on sale.  David uses this brand and their 3 packs were on sale as part of their 10/10.00 mega sale.  So the soap was 1.00 per 3 pack.  The August Proctor and Gamble insert had a .50 cents off coupon for any Ivory soap, Kroger doubles .50 cent coupons so this made the soap free.  FREE.  I bought 15 - 3 packs....all FREE.  This is something that does not take up a lot of space, will not go bad before we use it, and well...was FREE.  Now David has enough soap to last until Spring.  Then I will find another deal and restock.  I paid a clipping service for their time in clipping the coupons and shipping (because you can not sell a coupon, you can charge for the service and shipping).


Ok..I will stop there, for now.  Please be on the look out for more soon....

Happy Savings,

Tiffany

Friday, August 19, 2011

Keep your cool with Summer Salads: Bacon, Blue Cheese and Apple Salad

I do not know why I do not loose weight during the summer.  It is too hot to eat most days.  Must be all the ice cream I eat to cool off.  Well, if I would choose one of these yummie salads, instead, I might have a fighting chance....  Some are not diet friendly but I am sure with some creativity and minor adjustments one could lighten them up.

Here is one that sound so yummie:



Bacon, Blue Cheese and Apple Salad
  • 6 cups spring greens salad mixture
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 (2.1-ounce) package Hormel® Fully Cooked Bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
Serves 4

I found this on Hormel.com.  They have some very easy and delicious products and the options for simple recipes are endless.  Head on over to their website to see more Simple Summer Salads.

Keep your cool,
Tiffany

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who's that lady that "went to her cupboards and her cupboards were bare"?

Well it certainly is not this Girlie Girl Housewife.  I have spent the evening organising my cupboards, my pantry, my laundry room...and finding places for paper goods and the like.

Why was I doing this?  Well, I am glad you asked.  I told you that I started clipping coupons, didn't I?  Well I started earlier this summer...got pretty serious about it sometime in July.  I have been getting cheap and FREE personal care items, beauty aids, razors, health and beauty products, etc.  I have found great deals on toilet paper and paper towels.  And I have got quiet the stock of Hamburger Helper, salad dressing, condiments, etc.  Well...today I hit the mother load on non perishables.  Target must be on crack because they had so many things marked down that have a very long shelf life, still.  Nothing expiring until March of 2012...and most even later into 2013.  Here are some of the things I bought...

I went into Target just to pick up some scrubbing bubbles products and left with a basket full of goodness. I usually do not find much on the Target clearance shelves but today I hit the mother load.  This is why you should carry your coupons with you on all shopping trips…I had Qs (that is what we "Crazy Coupon Ladies" call coupons) to match up with most of the clearance prices. I am not going to spell out every price and Q, since these are clearance.  I did, however, comment on a few that were REALLY good deals.  I want to make a quick note that I do not usually buy something we will not use.  I have, however, bought things that are "money makers", meaning after coupons the store is paying me to take the product home.  Then it is given away to someone who will use it....but I have really only done that once, even...



10 cans of Chunky Steak soups
Several Cambles Cream of (fill in the blank) soups
4 Wolf Brand Chili LARGE cans
Several cans of Hunts whole tomatoes
Several cans of Hunts diced tomatoes
2 cans Target brand whole tomatoes
1 Can Del Monte Garlic and Herb tomatoes
4 Boxes Rice a Roni
4 Boxes Uncle Bens Rice (.21 cents after clearance and Qs)
2 Korrs rice packs
4 small Cajun seasoning
3 Baertolli Sauces (.27 cents after clearance and Qs!!!!)
2 cans of Coffee
2 non dairy Coffee Mates
4 Dunkin Hines cake mixes (.13 cents each after clearance and Qs)
2 Large canisters of Quaker Corn Meal
Axe Body Spray (FREE)
Garneir Hair Spray (.08 after clearance and Qs)

The following was not on clearance
4 Cascade Trial Packs .97 used 4/1.00 Qs  so this was a .03 MM (money maker)
2 Guldens Honey Mustard .88 (price cut) used 2/.35Q so they were .53 cents each.

And here is a WONDERFUL deal I found (what coupons I used are listed below)

4 Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Gels
2 Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brushes (FREE)
2 Large pack of Scrubbing Bubbles Brush Refills (FREE)
2 – 4 pack Zip Lock Containers (1.50 Money Maker)

Here are the Qs I used for the Scrubbing Bubbles “deal”
2 $1.00/2 Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaners from SS 7/31 (SS is the Smart Saver coupon insert we get in the Sunday paper, 7/31 is the date the insert came)
1 $1.50/2 Ziplock Containers SS 8/7 (the containers were free because of the Target Q I used...THIS Q made it a money maker)
2 $1.00/2 Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gels, Target.com coupon
4 Free Scrubbing Fresh Brush Product WYB Toilet Gel B1G1 SS 7/31
2 Free Ziplock Smart Snaps WYB 3 Scrubbing Bubbles products Target Insert Q (IDK the date)***

The Scrubbing Bubbles part of my shopping trip cost 8.46 for all 10 items.

I also had some meat that had already been put away….and a few cans of this and that…

The total of everything was 36.34
Retail for everything was 156.59 (excluding the meat)
I saved 120.22
IDK what the percentage is…math is not my “thang”

I went by the “before” price marked on the clearance items and the price w/o Q for the rest to figure my savings. Also, I did not figure in the meat with the savings since it was not marked down and no Qs were used.

My pantry is bulging.  I wish I had been doing this forever.


Happy Homemaking

Tiffany

*****Please read, This was edited to add:  Since posting this I learned that I made a mistake on using the coupons in the "Scrubbing Bubbles" deal.  I found that deal on www.krazycouponlady.com and trusted that it was "ok".  If you want to copy that deal, please use either the "2 Free Ziplock Smart Snaps WYB 3 Scrubbing Bubbles products Target Insert Q (IDK the date)" OR the "1 $1.50/2 Ziplock Containers SS 8/7" coupon. I thought since you could stack a manufacture coupon with a Target coupon, this was ok.  The cashier took it so she did not know either.  However, this is not what you are supposed to do...but making the small adjustment should make it ok and only adjust your total bill by 1.50...not enough to really matter.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer Reading List: Along Came a Spider

I am so far behind on my Summer Reading list REVIEWS...but I am in no way behind on actually reading these books.  I do not have a schedule or a "have to" of books....but I am plowing thru them none the less.  I love to sit at the water park and read while soaking up the sun.  Since I have not felt the desire to go down the slides one after the other, I have plenty of time to do this in between lazy river jaunts, splashing int eh wave pool, going down the few slides I like, and taking lots of photos of the girls doing their "thang".  I also enjoy reading before bed...helps me wind down from the day.




Ok...so without further fanfare....the next book was actually written before my last book and was the first in the Alex Cross series from James Paterson.  It is Along Came a Spider.  I am finding that I really get into these books, I did not think I would...I read Kiss the Girls because I enjoyed the movie.  Now I want to read all of the book in the Alex Cross series...and there are so many and they are all a fast read, so far...just what I need during the summer months.

"A missing little girl named Maggie Rose.

A family of three brutally murdered in the projects of Washington, D.C.

The thrill-killing of a beautiful elementary school teacher.
A psychopathic serial kidnapper/murderer who calls himself the Son of Lindbergh.

He is so terrifying that the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police cannot outsmart him — even after he's been captured.

Gary Soneji is a mild-mannered mathematics teacher at a Washington, D.C., private school for the children of the political and social elite. He's so popular that the kids all call him "Mr. Chips." And he's very, very smart. Growing up, he always knew he was smarter than the rest of them — he knew that the Great Ones always fooled everybody. He kidnaps Maggie Rose, the golden-haired daughter of a famous movie actress, and her best friend, Shrimpie Goldberg, the son of the secretary of the treasury, right out from under the noses of their two Secret Service agents. But Gary Soneji is not surprised at his skill. He's done it before. Hundreds of times before.

Alex Cross is a homicide detective with a Ph.D. in psychology. he looks like Muhammad Ali in his prime. Cross works and lives in the ghettos of D.C. He's a tough guy from a tough part of town who wears Harris Tweed jackets and likes to relax by banging out Gershwin tunes on his baby grand piano. He has two adorable kids of his own. They are his own special vulnerabilities.
Jezzie Flanaganis the first woman ever to hold the highly sensitive job as supervisor of the Secret Service in Washington. Blond, mysterious, seductive, she's got an outer shell that's as tough s it is beautiful. She rides her black BMW motorcycle at speeds of no less than 100 mph. What is she running from? What is her secret?

Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair-at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji, who wants to commit the "crime of the century," is playing at the top of his game. The latest of the unspeakable crimes happened in Alex Cross's precinct. They happened under the protection of Jezzie Flanagan's men. Now Soneji is at large again, still wreaking havoc.
Alex Cross must face the ultimate test as a psychologist: how do you outmaneuver a brilliant psychopath? Especially one who appears to have a split personality — one who won't let the other half remember those horrific acts?

Soneji has outsmarted the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police. Who will be his next victim?
Gary Soneji is every parent's worst nightmare. He has become Alex Cross's nightmare. And now, reader, he's about to become yours."  From James Patterson's Official Website

I do not know about this man being MY nightmare but he was rather scary.  He had a motive to kill some (in his own mind) and other he just killed because he could.  He was a fun villain to read about.  If he was real, of course it would not have been fun in any way. shape. or form...but I do enjoy a good villain.  He was not as good as Casanova, however.... 

I get a bit irritated with Alex Cross...sometimes I just do not know why he is "there".  Patterson tries to hurry through an explanation of why Doctor Detective is working these cases but still...I have to just move on and try not to think about it too much. 

What keeps me coming back are the "bad guys" in these books.

I have not seen the movie but will be looking for it.  There is also a movie coming out soon with Tyler Perry as Alex Cross.  That just blows my mind because as I read the books, all I can hear is Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross.  IDK what to think about that just yet but since Cross is a younger man than Morgan Freeman, I guess they have to cast what makes sense...but Tyler Perry?  Why not Will Smith...or Terrence Howard ?  Maybe this movie will not be a big budget or expected to really make a statement?  It will be from a book I have not read called "I, Alex Cross" one quiet far into the series...so I better get off blogger and get to reading...LOL.



I am a bit out of order with the Alex Cross series....I have a list now that I have made, in order, of what comes next.  I will leave this series until I am able to get the right order from the library.  I have read one other and I am afraid I am find out bits and pieces of a book I have skipped...and I want to be surprised as I am reading.  So...since I am leaving this series on the book shelf I have decide to read The Godfather.  OMG..so far I am really liking this and I have a few that I have not reviewed to also share in the meantime.

I hope you are staying cool as the summer winds down.  We were almost at a record, here in Dallas, Texas, for the most days with over 100 degrees...but we missed it by one day.  We had a short break and are now above 100 again...but not as high as it was so no worries...it will cool off soon.

Tiffany