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Using up leftovers

February 3rd, 2008 at 10:52 am

I'm on a quest to use up leftovers and to also clear out my upright freezer.

Today I made a wonderful fruity sauce that I'll use over chicken tonight. I had some leftover fresh pineapple and a mango (49-cent score from Aldi). I pulsed these in the food processor. I added a bit of minced fresh ginger, a sprinkling of brown sugar and a tsp. or so of garam masala. Lovely.

There is enough for two servings which means I'll freeze half of it. Doh! That interferes with wanting to clean out the freezer!

May 2007 coupon usage

June 5th, 2007 at 05:33 am

2.95 Free Prego
0.75 candy
3.00 razors
3.00 razors
2.00 razors
2.00 razors
0.35 zest soap
0.75 pledge
1.00 salad dressing
1.00 meat
0.40 mayonnaise
6.00 Anything at Wags.
1.00 Cereal
0.50 sour cream
2.00 razors
0.25 downy
2.00 meat
0.35 bathroom tissue
1.00 glad products
1.00 coffee
1.00 coffee
0.75 egg rolls
1.00 salad

Not a great month compared to previous months.
In addition to the coupons, I used a $10 Kohls gift card that was from a grocery store promotion. I also used $20 in Kmart gift cards that were from a spend $50 get $20 promotion.

I received two coupons for free pet food which I'll use this month.

April 2007 Coupon usage

May 1st, 2007 at 03:42 pm

1.00 frozen veg
1.00 frozen veg
1.00 Lubriderm
1.00 lipstick
1.00 excedrin
0.40 ziploc
0.25 downy
1.50 Advil
1.00 candy
1.50 candy
1.00 toothbrush
1.00 Aleve
1.00 excedrin
1.00 milk
1.00 Aleve
2.00 Benefiber
1.00 cat litter
1.00 coffee
3.49 meat
0.55 shave gel
0.40 yogurt
0.50 mints
1.00 Pepp. Farm cookies
1.00 advil
1.00 gum
0.55 brownies (Free!)
0.55 brownies (Free!)
2.00 Advil
5.00 Soy Joy

Several coupons were used in conjunction with a Free-After-Rebate program so they ended up being money-makers. I think it turned out to be $7.50 in money-makers this month.

I ended up getting four Bird's Eye 1-lb bags of frozen peas for 25-cents each.

The brownies were reduced for quick sale to 50-cents and I had the 55-cent coupon!

I'm not able to use coupons much for food. I don't buy the types of food for which there are coupons.

Easy, Inexpensive Chicken & Peaches

April 19th, 2007 at 06:22 pm

Tonight's dinner

$2.44 Six chicken thighs
$0.79 One can peaches
$0.25 Blanched Almonds
$0.05 2 Tbs Vinegar
$0.10 1 tsp Curry powder
$0.10 1 tsp Garam Masala
$0.05 Cornstarch
$0.59 Fresh Green Beans on the side
- - - - - - - - -
$4.37 Total.
Two chicken thighs leftover for lunch tomorrow

Resisting the urge to shop CVS this month

April 4th, 2007 at 07:27 am

...so far anyway. I had a great month last month at CVS.

For $25.98 out of pocket (not including taxes or bottle deposit) I purchased the following bundle of goods in combination with coupons and ECBs:

180-ct Advil Liquid Gels
180-ct Advil Liquid Gels
12-pack Mountain Dew
12-pack Mountain Dew
12-pack Mountain Dew
12-pack Pepsi
6.2-oz Toothpaste
60-ct Viactiv chocolate chew vitamins
60-ct Viactiv chocolate chew vitamins
16-oz Infusium shampoo
16-oz Infusium conditioner
250-ml mouthwash

DH is loyal to the Advil liquid gels. We go through one of those 180-ct bottles about once a month. My non-sale price on this item is $13.79 at Target. I usually have a $1.00 coupon for it. So 2*13.79 – 1.00 – 1.00 = 25.58. For the price of what I normally pay for Advil, I got the remaining items free. Advil does go on sale but I’ve noticed that when the 180-ct size is on sale the liquid gels are excluded.

DH drinks Mountain Dew and Pepsi so we’ll go through that. DH is loyal to his toothpaste so I’ll end up using the free toothpaste. I don’t normally use the Viactiv vitamins (or any vitamins for that matter) but I am at least trying to remember to eat one of these every day. DH is loyal to his expensive salon shampoo so I’ll be using the shampoo. (Anyone getting the idea that DH is a little too brand loyal?)

Anyway, the CVS deals worked out great for me last month and that was the first time I had ever shopped at CVS. I don’t know if I’ll do it again this month. I was all set to go on Monday and had to talk myself out of it. First, CVS is about 15 miles away. Roundtrip, we’re talking about a gallon of gas. However, I had been trying to incorporate it into other trips into that neighboring town.

The deals for the first week of April are not things that I can see myself using. To get the ball rolling, I would have had to purchase a lipstick for $8.99 and some liquid soap for $4.49. I don’t ever wear lipstick. The two tubes I have in my drawer are stale now so it wouldn’t hurt to get a replacement for special occasions, however, Walgreen’s has it Free after Rebate this month for 5.99. And in that case, I’ll get the money back, not have it rolled over to ECBs which have to be used at CVS again. On the other side, I do have coupons for $1.00 on each of the above mentioned items, so it would be a ‘money-making’ deal. Additionally, I had a save $5 when you spend $20 that expired yesterday. I still have a save $3 when you spend $15 and I also have $3 in leftover ECBs. I don’t know what to do. The deals for the first week of April didn’t interest me that much but I see ones for next week that do interest me. I just don’t know if I want to commit myself to doing this again. On the one hand it’s a hassle to go all the way over there and my house if fairly well stocked with any and every toiletry I could possibly need and it takes time to think about the deals and put them together to best advantage. On the other, it is FUN to do and it is fun to add up the totals as I did above.

March 2007 Coupon usage

April 4th, 2007 at 06:25 am

4.67 *FREE* Cat Food 3 lbs
4.67 *FREE* Cat Food 3 lbs
4.67 *FREE* Cat Food 3 lbs
4.67 *FREE* Cat Food 3 lbs
2.99 *FREE* Cat Food 1 lb
3.00 Razors. With a $5 rebate, these were FREE
3.00 Shampoo. With CVS ECBs this was $0.50/bottle
3.00 Conditioner. With CVS ECBs, this was $0.50/bottle
0.75 Cleaner. With $1 rebate, final price was 0.75
1.00 Glass cleaner. With $1 rebate, final price was 0.50
1.00 Advil (DH is brand loyal)
1.00 Advil
2.50 Tampons. Final price 0.50 for 16-ct box.
Not my normal brand, but for 0.50 I’ll try them
2.50 Tampons. Final price 0.50 for 16-ct box
0.50 Tampons. Final price 4.38 for 40-ct box. Normal brand and I bought these in conjunction with a spend $20 on P&G products, get a $10 Kohls gift card.
0.50 Tampons (same as above)
0.50 Tampons (same as above)
2.00 ALL detergent. Sale 3/$10 - Final price $1.33
2.00 ALL detergent. Sale 3/$10 - Final price $1.33
2.00 ALL detergent. Sale 3/$10 - Final price $1.33
1.00 Toothpaste. Free after rebate, so this was a money-maker.
1.00 deodorant. Item was B1G1, plus get rebate. FREE!
3.00 Bulk Coffee – Expired 3/31 had to use all coupons this month. Not a problem b/c this is the brand we normally buy.
3.00 Bulk Coffee
3.00 Bulk Coffee
0.75 Frozen potatoes. Final price 1.25
0.75 Frozen potatoes. Final price 1.25
0.75 Frozen potatoes. Final price 1.25
0.75 Frozen potatoes. Final price 1.38
0.75 Frozen potatoes. Final price 1.38
0.75 Granola bars. Reg Price 2.99 Sale price 2.00 After coupon 1.25
0.75 Granola bars. Reg Price 2.99 Sale price 2.00 After coupon 1.25
0.75 Granola bars. Reg Price 2.99 Sale price 2.00 After coupon 1.25
0.75 Granola bars. Reg Price 2.99 Sale price 2.00 After coupon 1.25
0.25 sour cream
0.25 sour cream
0.55 yogurt
0.50 yogurt
0.75 Frozen eggrolls
0.75 Frozen eggrolls
0.50 Frozen breakfast pastry
0.50 Frozen breakfast pastry
0.50 Frozen breakfast pastry
0.55 bread
0.55 brownies. Paid 2.00-0.55=1.45. Will receive rebate for 2.00
1.00 Popcorn. FREE
1.50 Popcorn. FREE and a 50-cent moneymaker
1.50 Popcorn. FREE and a 50-cent moneymaker
1.00 Cereal. Final price 1.16 per box.
1.00 Cereal. Final price 1.16 per box.
1.00 Gum FREE
1.00 Gum FREE
1.00 Gum FREE
1.00 Gum FREE
1.00 Gum FREE
1.00 Gum
1.50 Chocolate bagged candy. Final price after rebate $0.88/bag

Total = $83.82

An above average month because of the free cat food coupons. I did my first online coupon trade this month to get another one of those cat food coupons. Yeh! I had two of the coupons from the newspapers that I bought and I had one extra from my mom’s paper.
Most coupons were for nonfood items because normally I don’t buy much in the way of brand name and/or prepared food. I did buy quite a few of the frozen potato products. Obviously these are much more expensive than buying fresh potatoes but it is convenient to have them on hand and I have room in the freezer.

The granola bars are for DH. The products were new, hence the sale price and decent coupon. Again, this is another prepared food but he takes these to eat in the car and it keeps him from spending $$ on lunch.

The frozen eggrolls are something I buy only when they are on sale and when I have a coupon. Such was the case this month.

The frozen breakfast pastries are not something that I normally buy but they were on sale and I had the coupons. They worked out to $1.16/box. I bought them as a treat.

I doubt my total for April will be anywhere as high as this month.

Drugstore rebate games - March Totals

March 22nd, 2007 at 06:36 pm

As you may recall, I am unemployed and I have an excess amount of time on my hands. (Excess time, not cash!) In the past couple of months I have really upped my coupon usage (but only when it makes sense). I have also started playing the drugstore games at two of the national chains. I decided to share my success for the March rebate period.

There is one week left in March but I think I'm done shopping!

2.50 Hershey’s bag candy
2.50 Hershey’s bag candy
2.50 Hershey’s bag candy
2.50 Hershey’s bag candy
-1.50 Mfg coupon when you buy 3 bags
-5.00 WAG Rebate

2.99 Colgate Toothpaste *Money-making Deal*
-1.00 Mfg coupon
-2.99 WAG Rebate

3.49 Listerine Mouthwash *FREE*
-3.49 WAG Rebate

2.50 Windex
2.50 Fantastick Spray
-0.75 Mfg coupon
-1.00 Mfg coupon
-2.00 WAG Rebate

0.99 Juicy Fruit 17 stick gum *Almost FREE*
0.99 Juicy Fruit 17 stick gum
-0.80 WAG coupon
-1.00 Mfg coupon

3.99 Fructis hairspray *FREE*
-3.99 WAG Rebate

2.99 Reach Toothbrush *FREE*
-2.99 WAG Rebate

6.29 105-count feminine product *FREE*
3.79 48-count feminine product
-10.00 WAG rebate

2.97 Three packs of Orbit gum
-0.97 WAG coupon
-1.00 Mfg Coupon

10.00 Four bags of Dove chocolate
-5.00 WAG Rebate

2.98 Crest Toothpaste *FREE*
-2.98 WAG Rebate

1.99 Ten-pack Big Red Gum *FREE*
1.99 Eight pack Extra Gum
1.99 Ten Pack Big Red Gum
1.99 Ten Pack Juicy Fruit
-1.98 WAG coupon
-1.98 WAG coupon
-4.00 Mfg coupon (4x$1.00)

6.00 Two packs of 18-count feminine product
-5.00 Two 2.50 Mfg coupons

7.99 Three pack Schick Quattro disposable *FREE*
-3.00 Mfg coupon
-5.00 WAG Rebate


+ 78.42 Merchandise
- 43.44 WAG Rebates
- 5.73 WAG coupons
- 18.25 Manufacturers coupons
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
$11.00 for all the above !!

Summary of products:
8 bags chocolate candy (Easter candy for nieces and nephews)
2 packs of 17-stick Juicy fruit (Easter candy)
3 packs Orbit gum
4 multipacks of 5-stick gum, 10 packs per bag (Easter candy)
2 tubes toothpaste
1 toothbrush
1 hairspray
1 mouthwash 250 ml
1 window cleaner
1 all purpose cleaner
3 disposable razors – brand with four blades
Lots of feminine hygiene products

February 2007 coupon usage

February 28th, 2007 at 02:22 pm

1.00 chips
2.89 free bread with purchase of meat
0.50 yogurt
0.55 veggie dip
2.00 granola bars
1.00 gum
1.00 cereal
1.00 lotion
0.50 oatmeal
0.50 spray cleaner
2.00 nuts
2.00 razor
2.00 razor
2.00 razor
2.00 razor
3.00 duster (Free!)
1.00 toothpaste
3.00 coffee
0.75 chocolate
1.00 advil
0.35 lettuce
1.00 salad dressing
0.40 yogurt
0.55 meat
0.35 toilet paper
1.00 cereal
-2.00 extra papers for the razor coupons
TOTAL = 31.34

I bought extra papers one weekend because of the coupons. Not only did it have the $2 coupon on DH's razor, it also had $3 coupon for the coffee we drink. I need to use those four $3 coupons up next month.

I received my January Walgreen's rebate and I also sent in February's rebate.

Going out of business sale

February 21st, 2007 at 02:27 pm

One of the local discount grocery stores is going out of business. I went there yesterday and made some purchases. In today's paper there was an advertisement that indicated the discounts were even steeper. I returned there today. HBA was 60% off. I now keep a Price Book (thanks to reading saving advice!)of the items that I commonly buy. Thanks to that price book I was able to determine whether or not 60% off was a good deal on various items. Grocery store HBA is usually more expensive than other places, but at 60% off it was a steal! I am sufficiently stocked up on a number of products. Cleaning products were 40% off but according to my price book I could find a better deal elsewhere!

The cards and gift wrap were seriously marked down. I think it came out to 90% off. I stocked up on some wrapping paper for $0.40 a roll and on some gift bags for $0.56. I also bought loads of stickers for the nieces and nephews. They were 11-cents and 22-cents a package. I'll put those in the Easter baskets or in birthday cards. I also bought a decorative candle and candle holder as a Mother's Day gift. Grand total for the candle gift and the tissue paper and the gift bag: $1.39. This is not a little rinky-dink votive candle either. I think the candle and holder were on clearance and then they took another 90% off.

Food items were anywhere from 25-40% off. I bought three bottles of a gourmet brand of salad dressing for my dad's upcoming birthday. I bought three jars of a gourmet brand of jellies/jams for father-in-law's birthday. Both are retired and don't need any junk so I usually get them something consumable.

I'm pleased with my purchases but also sad. I am so sad that this place is going out of business. It had a great selection and decent prices. It had a great produce section. Now I'm left with HyVee or Walmart for groceries... and I don't do Walmart.

January 2007 coupon usage

January 31st, 2007 at 10:26 am

0.75 – can’t remember what this was for
0.35 – Dole lettuce. On sale for 0.97 - .35 = .62
1.75 – Emerald Nuts. Final price = 1.25
1.00 – Angel Soft TP
2.00 – Cat litter
2.50 – Breathe Right strips (for DH)
2.00 – Advil (for DH)
0.50 – Lysol
1.00 – Cereal. Final price 1.34
0.25 – Cascade. BIG box on Clearance at Target $4.07. Included free Rinse agent.
1.00 – dried fruit 2/$3 at Walgreens. Final price $2.00 for 20 oz.
0.50 – Dawn. Final price 0.50 for a little bottle.
1.00 – Prego. Final price $0.24!!
0.35 – Dole lettuce. Final price $1.32
0.25 – 3 boxes of Puffs
2.00 – Cereal. Final price 1.50 per box
2.00 – Coffee. Final price 3.88 for 12 oz Eight O’Clock coffee
3.00 – Coffee. Final price $3.00 for 24 oz Eight O’Clock coffee
6.00 – Razors. Final Price 4.99 (on sale!) -2.00 = 2.99 per 4-pack
0.50 – Tampons
0.35 – Dole lettuce Final Price $1.32
2.00 – Popcorn. Final Price FREE. On sale for $1.00 each - 1.00 coupon.
1.00 – Lubriderm (for DH)
1.50 – York Peppermint patties

33.55 – TOTAL

I’ve decided to keep a detailed record of all my shopping and coupon usage this year. When it comes to food, I tend to buy a lot of store brand items so I don’t get to use many coupons for that. I also don’t buy too much packaged/prepared food. DH has the problem of being brand loyal to certain toiletry items. That limits me incredibly. I’ve tried to use other products but he absolutely won’t use them. We end up with two toothpastes, two lotions, two shampoos, etc. I use the cheap or free stuff; he uses whatever product he is attached to.

I did not include the Walgreen’s coupons. Walgreen’s has a tendency to be overpriced. I’ll only buy something there if there is a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon and if the resulting price is lower than elsewhere. I do go in for the Free-After-Rebate offers. Those are not included in the above total.