Monday, May 30, 2011

BOGO Theater Box Candy + $3 ECBs wyb $10

Even though CVS has been slammed all weekend, shelves are still stocked well. A nice surprise was BOGO movie theater candy, making them $0.75 each! Only 4-6 oz candies are BOGO, so watch the size. Since we love watching movies at home, I like to stock-up on this candy. Plus, it’s easier to limit myself to one box instead of a whole bag of candy. I am a recovering junk food addict.

If you prefer gel deodorants, Lady Speedstick is also on sale. CVS also has Honest Ade, besides the teas. This is new. I love the Orange Mango! They also had plenty of Prep H wipes, though it’s hard to find. This is one of those nice moneymakers you hope to never ever use. But if you do, at least you made money on it.

This is what I bought:
4 Honest Ade
1 Smart Water (cuz I only had 4 Honest Ade Qs)
8 boxes of candy
2 bags of Twizzlers
2 Twix candy bars
2 Lady Speedstick
2 Oral B Toothbrushes
I paid $13 and still have $10 ECBs for next week.

A note on the Gas Card deal:

The store manager told me that they now have $10 Shell Gas Cards available for the promotion- Buy $30 select items, Get $10 Gas Card. Usually, say the deal lasts a couple of weeks, I can buy $15 worth now and $15 later. On the second week, I will get the $10 gas card. This is works for most deals during the promotional period. BUT not for the gas cards! These deals are different every week and they do not rollover. Since the $10 gas card deals are available through September, keep an eye out for deals on items you would normally buy, even without a coupon.
Think of it as getting $20 for $30 worth, since you would pay $10 for gas every week anyway. For us, that’s not even 3 gallons. It’s so sad. I miss when gas wasn’t even $1 a gallon!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

CVS Deals Starting Sunday- FREE Chocolate & More!

FirstKingdomMom has a link-up for $5 CVS Challenge for multi-transactions using only $5.I’m splurging an extra $0.50 to keep this in 2 transactions.

If you are starting out with only $5.50 to spend:
First transaction:
Buy 2 Mars chocolate & Prep H wipes, 5Honest Tea
Pay $5.50, Get $7 ECBs

Second transaction:
Buy 2 OralB Toothbrushes, 2 Mennen Speedstick
Use $6 ECBs, Pay $0, Get $5 ECBs
Plus you still have $1 ECB from the chocolate

Pay $5.50 out-of-pocket, get $6 ECBs to use for next week

Go! Rollover Extra Bucks! Go!

Before I share the deal& match-ups to get a savings of 110%, can I share an “Anna”ctdote with you?

It was a nice change of pace to enjoy soft-serve ice cream and a frappe at McDonald’s this afternoon. I brought my laptop to use their Wi-Fi to scout drugstore deals starting tomorrow. I even brought 2 headphones so the little peeps could listen to the last episode of the Green Ring Conspiracy on Adventures in Odyssey. Everything was pleasant. Lots of families had the same idea so the place was a bit crowded.

All was well until some teenagers came in showcasing their non-existent muscles and decided to show off their bad language as well. At least they turned it down a notch after Big Mama reminded them that younger children are present. Although they backed off the “F” word, there was plenty of the “H” word and unholy use of God’s name. Then our McDonald’s field trip ended abruptly. If only I remembered the power cord then the kids could have listened to more stories online instead of trash, but alas it wasn’t meant to be.

While there, I did manage to jot down some awesome deals at CVS:

5 for $5 Honest Tea (& others), Get $2 ECBs
Use 5 $0.50 Honest Tea tearpad (found by Publix registers)
Pay $2.50, Get $2 ECBs
= $0.50 for 5 bottles

2 for $1 Mars Chocolate singles, Get $1 ECB
=2 FREE after the ECB!

2 for $6 Mennen Speedstick, Get $3 ECB
Use 2 $0.75 from the 5/22 SS
And use $1 off 1 from the Reinventing Beauty Mag*
Pay $3.50, Get $3 ECBs
= $0.50 for 2 deodorants
*The RIB magazine is only $0.99, but many stores will often have the coupon page in a stack for free.

$1.99 Oral B IndicatorToothbrushes, Get $1 ECB
(other items on sale)
Buy 2 (limit of 2)
Use $1.50 off 2 from 5/1 PG
Pay $2.48, Get $2 ECBs
= $0.50 for 2 toothbrushes

$3.99 Preparation H, 10ct wipes, Get $3.99
Use $2 PRINT
= $2 Moneymaker

Hip2Save’s CVS Deals list posts freebies in red, making it easy to spot. That’s where I go for deals. MoneySavingMom posts superdeals and has a link-up too.

Saved 75% at Publix (Saturday)

Publix was crowded today with beachgoers heading to Perdido and Orange Beach to enjoy Memorial Day weekend. Bumper-to-bumper cart traffic in most aisles. Shopping was more fun than usual, until checkout that is. I forgot a couple of things in my cart and asked the bagger for help. But he never complained and willingly obliged.

Sometimes, no matter how prepared I am beforehand, surprises still crop up:
1. My Publix didn’t have Kashi Pitas (for homemade hummus this week).
2. I forgot my raincheck for Lipton Ice Tea at home.
3. Cantaloupe is $2.50, not $1.97 and kinda smallish.
4. Marzetti Simply Dressing is BOGO at $3.49 (but the $1 blinkie machine is gone).

So after chatting with fellow MOPs and couponing friend (who is moving in 2wks like all my other friends- waaaah), I had to find a safe aisle to park my cart and recalculate my total. Our Publix lets us do multiple transactions. I needed two at least $25 each to use the Apple Market coupon.

This is what I bought, after coupons:
3 fried chicken (from cold case) for Sunday picnic, $3.99 each
4 Marzetti Simply Dressing, $0.75 each after coupons
2 Bush’s Baked Beans, $2.37 for 2
4 Kelloggs Cereal- $7 (need 1 more to get $5 Gas Card)
2 Quaker Oats Oatmeal, $1.59 (clearance cart)

6 Crystal Light Mixes, $1.16 for 6!
Breyers, $5.17 for 2 (they sell lactose free vanilla)
Kashi Crackers, $0.50 (used $2 Recylebank Q)
1 Buddy Fruit, $1 (needed a filler item)
Plus $10 off with 2 Apple Market Qs

In the end, I paid $26, instead of $102 without coupons. That 75% savings! I'll post the picture tomorrow.

Do you shop Publix? How did you do this week?

$5 Gas Card wyb 4 Kellogg’s Crispix at Publix

Kellogg’s Crispix is BOGO through Tuesday at Publix. I wanted to get Fiber Plus cereal but the little Lightning McQueen logo was on the corner of the Crispix box. Couponing To Disney posted that Kellogg’s has a Cars2 promotion. Buy 4 participating cereals and get $5 gas card. Well, Publix had 3 Cars2 Crispix boxes left. So I just need to find another cereal box with this logo. (I’ll wait a couple days until they restock or go to Target.)

I’m saving the UPCs for another $10 Gas Card Kellogg’s promotion (must buy 10 boxes). Double-dipping on these promotions is possible: Cars2 requires entering the codes online; $10 Gas Card requires sending in UPCs.

Here is a deal scenario with 10 Cars 2 Crispix cereal at Publix:
Buy 10 Crispix cereal, $4.49 x 5
Buy 1 gallon milk, $3.50 (or anything else $2.55 or more)
Subtotal: $25.95
Use $5 off $25 Apple Market (competitor Q)
Use three $1 off 3 Kellogg’s cereal (Target Q)
Use five $1 off 2 Manuf Qs
Pay $12.95
Enter 8 codes for Cars2- get $10 Gas Card
Submit 10 UPCs for $10 Gas Rebate
= 10 FREE cereal boxes + $7 Money Maker!

How about that! Of course, the key is finding enough cereal boxes with the Cars2 logo and having all the coupons. Either case, this is a great deal. As usual, donate if you don’t like the cereal or even give away the $5 Gas Card!

See other gas card deals? Let me know!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Simple Clothesline = Lots of Savings!

photo source

When I was growing up in Manila, houses didn’t have dryers. Some, like us, had a small washing machine. But most washed the clothes or hired a neighbor to wash and dry laundry. Our apartment was four stories high, with no elevator and the clothesline was on the roof. Mommas carried their daily washing up the flight of stairs to hang them up to dry. I guess people were very trusting and friendly to leave their clothes up there. At least 30 lines were filled with clothes billowing in the hot tropical breeze.

One thing I appreciate living in a house after a lifetime of apartment living is having a clothesline. Because Florida is mildew central, I couldn’t really hang up clothes over the bathtub. Since we moved, our new neighborhood is older, most everyone has a clothesline, even if only a few use them regularly.

We installed a clothesline off the deck. We bought clothesline wire instead of the kit with pulley (way cheaper!) and cut two 2x4s in half. Then my husband only had to attach the wood to the deck.

I like that ours is on the deck, right off the kitchen. It’s so convenient. After drying dishes or taking a shower, towels can air dry outside. After a trip from the beach or pool, wet bathing suits takes an hour to dry on the line. Stains disappear quicker than using stain removers. I’ve even hung bathmats outside to dry. And of course bed sheets smell so fresh and so clean afterwards. It’s just like I imagined in those commercials.

The biggest plus of course is a much smaller electric bill!

Do you have a clothesline? How do you save money with laundry?

Save 90% off books at the Library Bookshop

With summer upon us, we are looking forward to all the summer programs that keep boredom at bay. The nice thing is that most cities have free library programs for children this summer. The library system in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties have weekly programs that entertain and educate. I always come away learning something myself. Visit Pensacola with Kids for a schedule.

While at the library, visit the bookshop as well. Ours has book racks outside for $0.50 for any book, DVDs, VHS and cassette tapes. Inside, the bookshop sells mostly newer, hardcover books for $2 each. There are plenty of biographies, romance and suspense books. We usually donate books and occasionally buy books, and old tapes.

For the first time ever, I found hardcover books that I liked in the bookshop:

The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook (because it’s Martha Stewart)
Walk It Off (because we all can use another exercise book)
One Wintry Night by Ruth Graham Bell (wonderful story)

If bought retail, these would cost $50! Instead I only paid $6, saving 88% and I also helped the library. I also picked up a Curios George book, The Jolly Postman and Rescue Heroes VHS tape, only $0.50 each.

How do you save on books?

I’ve shopped used bookstores and bought some off BarnesandNoble when they’ve had $2 sales too. A friend is saving up Swagbucks to get FREE Amazon cards to pay for books. But shopping the library is the most convenient by far and economical by far.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Finer Things: Kindred Spirits

Photo from Outdoor Gulf Coast
We had a great picnic at Dickson Park near the backgate of NAS Pensacola to celebrate the end of this year's co-op. Lots of happy moms and children. The director and her honorary assistant made thoughtful presents not just for the teachers but all the moms. They used coupons and bought for-mom-only items like Bic Soleil razor, bodywashes and notecards (from the hardware store!) We had door prizes of fresh picked summer veggies that I just had to cook and enjoy that same day.
Teacher gifts they'll appreciate!
When I talked to the director, it turns out that she started couponing for her family. She was even sharing some deals I didn't know about. I already really like and look up to her. My heart felt light as I realized she is a kindred spirit! That's up there in my list of finer things.

This post is linked to Amy's Finer Things Friday.

Frugal Friday: $0.39/lb Bananas on Clearance

Many of us love to browse neighborhood grocery stores for clearance in the meat department. But our local Winn-Dixie also has plenty of produce on clearance like bananas for $0.39/lb. They're on a rack with other produce like tomatoes, peppers, and fruits, all marked down.
Ripe, but still great!
They come in a small, white paper bag. Since 4 bags is too much to eat in a few days, I froze some in a freezer bag. I peel and freeze them whole. We love smoothies and one banana with a few other fruits makes enough for our family.
Peel n' freeze
I use bananas and other frozen fruits to cool hot oatmeal, besides using them for banana bread and smoothies. My husband keeps bananas from spoiling by eating a few with generous spoonfuls of honey peanut butter. My little ones eat bananas because I tell them to.

Where do you find cheap fruit? The Comissary sells a box of bananas for $5. Besides Winn-Dixie, what other stores have you seen these bargains?

See more Frugal Friday's ideas at Life As Mom.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May Menu Plan

Visit Menu Plan Monday to link yours or get lots of menu ideas!

It's great to menu plan again. In the beginning of May, my husband and I did a freezer inventory. From this list and food in the pantry, I wrote up a menu plan for May. This time, I taped both inventory and menu plan on the fridge. I'm glad to say that we've followed it every week for the most part. Plus, all these meals are simple family favorites, I don't even use a recipe.

Here's some pictures of what we've been eating this month:
Fried rice for breakfast? That's popular in the Philippines when I was growing up. Very filling.Yay! I finally made pizza from scratch. I used meatballs from spaghetti night for meat. Now my family doesn't like Wal-Mart pizza.
Wal-Mart had Sea Best Tilapia 4lbs for under $10. The first week I fried fish. Then I made angel hair pasta with wilted spinach and vine-ripe tomatoes and served it with pan fried tilapia. Even the children ate it up!

May Menu Plan

Breakfast casserole
Oatmeal, boiled eggs, fruit
Fried rice
cream cheese bites, boiled eggs, fruit
French toast, scrambled eggs, sausage

Chicken broccoli casserole
Tacos night
Chicken or tuna salad sandwich, smoothies
Grilled chicken, Angel hair pasta with spinach & tomatoes
Ham and spinach casserole, salad greens

Pasta night- spaghetti & meatballs
Adobo, rice, green beans
Pancit & porkchops, ambrosia salad
Lentil soup & tilapia, pineapple cake
Pizza night
Steak, rice and beans

Each list starts with Sunday then it goes down the days of the week. I am very flexible with this plan, picking meals from different days to suit our needs. But I have been sticking to the types of meals that I make. Shopping is easier when I get a fancy idea in my head like, "I love curry-let's make it tonight!" Since it's not on the list and I don't have any ingredients for it, it's easier to tell myself, "No!"

I hate to admit that I get in the way of myself most of the time!

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