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Saturday, February 27, 2010


Well my birthday is coming up a week and the freebies are starting to fill my inbox. FREE stuff is also arriving semi-regularly in my snailmail box!

Today I got a FREE Wii Fit tote bag, a coupon for a FREE frozen pizza and 2 coupons from Aveda for double points and one for a FREE sample and hand massage.

In my inbox so far I've got a FREE Blizzard from DQ, FREE dinner at Black Angus, $10 off at Mimi's, FREE dessert at Chili's, FREE sundae at Ruby's, FREE burger at Red Robin and FREE dish at Noodles & Company.

I've had an emotional week, and all this early birthday love has cheered me up a bit. :-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Week...New Deals! And freebies in my mailbox!

There weren't many RR or ECB deals that caught my eye, but I still managed to score big today.
(click on the purple links to get your own freebies)

First stop: Walgreens for a MONEYMAKER. I had a coupon for $2/1 any Excedrin. Wags has Excedrin Menstrual relief on sale for $2.50 with a $2 RR. I figured Katie could use it, so with the coupon it was FREE and I actually made $1.50. I also got 2 packs of Trident Layers gum for Treklet on sale for .89 with .75 off coupons. My total OOP at Wags was $1.20 and I got $2 RR back. Sweet.

Next stop: CVS. Katie mentioned she was running low on tampons. Our preferred brand, OB, is also the most expensive. Luckily I found $1 printable coupons this week. The cheapest I've seen them is around $7 for a box of 40. CVS has them on sale this week for $4.49. My coupons expire 3/15. Some of the boxes had $1 peelies on them, which don't expire until June, so I kept them and used my printables, so the next time I see a deal I'll have more coupons. Still, $3.39 a box will be hard to beat, so I may go back and stock up.

I had $10 ECBs for filling out a short survey online. I recommend registering your CVS card online and signing up for surveys. It's easy free money, and doesn't take much time at all!

I also got a $5/$15 coupon at the scanner when I entered the store. Don't forget to scan your card at the red box scanner every time you shop. You may get something $5!

OK, so what else did I get? Treklet needs reflux meds. A box of 60 CVS generic Pepsid AC was regular price $13.99 marked down to 3.99. woot! Clairol Colorsilk was BOGO and I had another $1 coupon, printed from the Campbells cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soups were on sale for .89 and I had a coupon for $1/4. I use these for crockpot meals sometimes, and used my last one on Friday.

I planned to get Puffs at .88 ea with a .25/3 coupon, but they were out of stock. I might get some later in the week, but it's not a priority because I have enough Kleenex to last a while.

All totaled up, the shelf cost before markdowns, coupons, and ECBs was $51.54 and I paid $6.47 OOP!

I texted Katie and told her it's OK to menstruate now. LOL

I just picked up a few fresh veggies and a couple of packages of stew meat on sale at the grocer. I finished the month at 2/3 of my new lower grocery budget! I used my coupon for a FREE bottle of Extra Strength Excedrin that I got in the mail last week (don't answer Exedrin on the questionaire). Also FREE this week: a sample pack of Mariani Dried Plums (use code SUPERFRUIT) which is in hubby's lunchbox for tomorrow, a FREE sample pack of Poise pads with a coupon that expires in December (3 different pads included), & a FREE sample pack of Kleenex.

Here are few freebies you can get by mail: 7-Day All-Bran Promise Pack, several freebies from Walmart including Olay, Tide & Crest Whitestrips

Tomorrow I'll be making a quick trip to Target for a few FREE & a few cheap deals, and across the street to Staples to turn in a couple of ink cartridges. I hope my January ink reward comes in the mail soon because I maxed out last month! I should be getting $30!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Katie's home!

Not much time to blog, because Katie is visiting for the weekend. Just wanted to quickly point out what I did with my leftover Wags RR from last week.
Katie said she would help me dye my hair, so I needed hair dye. I had a lot of gray to cover!
Wags had an in-ad coupon for Clairol Colorsilk at $1.99 and I had a coupon printed from Target's website for $1. That was the main thing I needed.
Well, between in-ad coupons and manufacturer coupons, and my $6.50 RR, I ended up paying $2.64 for a shelf cost of $24.62!
Here's what I got:

1 Clairol Colorsilk .99
2 Starbucks 13 oz Frappaccino $1 ea
2 Yardley Soaps .69 ea.
2 cans mandarin oranges .50 ea
Welch's Grape Jelly 32 oz 1.50
Crest toothpaste 6.4 oz ..54
2 rolls Tuf paper towels .50 ea
All this was 8.41 after coupons. Add .63 tax and .10 CRV for the Starbucks, then subtract $6.50 RR and my total OOP was 2.64

Katie can use a roll of paper towels and the Starbucks, The Alien likes mandarin oranges on Chinese chicken salad and he will use the soap, Treklet has plenty of jelly for PB&Js, and my hair looks marvelous!

I'm out of RR for now, but I got stuff I needed that was on sale for cheap. There just weren't any RR deals I wanted to do this week. I'll just have to scour the Wags ads in the next couple of weeks for some RRs.

CVS didn't have anything I wanted this week, either, but they did give me $10 RR for completing a short survey online! If you haven't registered online with CVS yet, I suggest you do it. I've earned $15 for about 10 total minutes of surveys so far this year. That's like earning $90 an hour!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What is it with Treklet and reptiles lately?

Saturday Treklet and I went up to the Ramona Grasslands to check out the Hawkwatch program, which is ongoing every Saturday from 9a.m.-noon through February. There was a reptile table there, and that's all she was interested in!
I will admit that the program was a bit long on talk for a 7 year old. By the time the captive/rehab birds were brought out for us to see up close her attention span had been used up.
She got to hold a couple of snakes, and she giggled and giggled, saying that they tickled her. We left around 11 and that was fine with me. My feet couldn't take standing that long anyway.

On Valentines Day we enjoyed our blueberry pancakes and sausage with mixed berries and whipped cream on the side. In the afternoon The Alien and Treklet visited Barnes & Noble with an extra 15% off coupon, and a couple of gift cards we got at Christmas. They each left happy. While they browsed books I went to Michaels and got a lovely frame for the free collage photo I made last week. It was originally $12.99, but 40% off and I was able to use a coupon for an additional 25% off, so I paid only $5.84. I also got some Easter rubber stamps for $1 ea. and spongebrushes 14/$1. After that we went to DQ and got BOGO Blizzards.

On Monday we went to the zoo. I was looking forward to elephants and giraffes, but Treklet had other ideas. After the first 1-1/2 hours, we still hadn't laid eyes on a mammal! We looked at every slithery snake and lizard in the reptile house, then walked the path behind it to find tortoises, lizards and turtles and a gharial. By the time we made it to the opposite end of the park to Elephant Oddysey we were both pooped! We enjoyed a nice lunch, walked through Elephant Oddysey, then made our back to the front on the skyfari. She insisted on seeing gorillas, so I trekked unhappily through the primates and back. All I could think of on the way home was plunging my feet into a bucket of ice water to numb the pain, but when we got back what I really did was have a nap!

I really don't know how I'm going to handle Comic Con. I have an appointment with the surgeon (my skin is still not 100% healed and my ankle is bothering me) in March and the Rheumatologist in April. Hopefully they can come up with some kind of plan to get me on my feet again! and the rest for
As far as shopping goes, I'm pretty well stocked up for the month on food. I bought a few things as moneymakers, and some cheap shoes for Treklet at Target (also had a 10% shopping day) and that's about it.

At Walgreens I did the Venus/Olay coupon deals and submitted my receipt for a $15 Olay rebate, which makes it free. It's not quite a moneymaker, because of tax and the fact that the price wasn't what I expected, but I did it anyway. In the end I'll have 3 GIANT bottles of bodywash and 3 fancy razors for Katie all for $4.

At Vons I got 8 pkgs of Betty Crocker Cookie mix on sale for .99 minus .40 coupons. Vons only doubles the first coupon on like items, and only up to $1. So I got the first package for .19 and the rest for .59 each...and they have boxtops. Other than the cookie mix, all I bought was some sale-priced round steak (2.49 lb) for crock pot Swiss steak and some sale priced produce.

Ohhh..and I discovered the Bread Outlet! Yahoo! I spent $7 for 2 loaves of Milton's a 2 lb loaf of sourdough bread, 2 packages of Orowheat Sandwich Thins &2 pkgs of gravy mix! Just the Milton's would have been $5 at Costco or on sale at the grocer!

I made more money at Target on Glade. They had Plug-Ins and Scented Oil Candle tins for $1.66 on sale. I had some $1.50 coupons from the paper. Then when I was opening the tins to smell them each tin had a $1.50 coupon inside! So I got 6 items for .16 each! I submitted 2 rebate forms for $5 each. In the end I got 4 candles and 2 plug ins and I made $7.84 (including the cost of stamps).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Today was just beachy.

Treklet and I had a lovely day today! One of her favorite places to go is the Stephen Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. On the way there, we went to Einstein Bros. and had lunch. I had a BOGO coupon for Twisted Bagel Sandwich Combos. They were delicious ( we had turkey)! For $3 each we got a yummy sandwich, chips, a pickle and a drink.

The aquarium was fun. We got to the octopus and eel tanks at feeding time, and an aquarist was there to answer questions. Treklet loves making sketches and taking notes at the aquarium. They have some very nice interactive displays, which are quite educational, and we both enjoyed them. She spent $1.4o of her own money for an activity book, which she enjoyed in the car, and later tonight with her dad.

After our visit with the sea creatures, I decided it was too beautiful a day not to drive down the hill to the beach. We walked a bit on the sand barefoot, and ate a snack of leftover chips from lunch and drinks we brought from home. We were entertained by a couple of guys practicing really cool Frisbee tricks. I heard on the radio that the man who invented the Frisbee, Wlater Fredrick Morrison, died today, so that was like a little celebration of him.

There were about 15 paragliders over the cliffs to the north, and that was fun to see, too.

After our snack we headed back to Escondido. I had promised Treklet that if she were responsible with her chores and such I would take her to get her ears pierced for Valentine's Day. Well, today was the day! She looks so pretty in the sparkly flower earrings she chose. I hope they heal up better than the last time two years ago. We finally gave up on them and let them close up. Hopefully, now that she's a bit older, we won't have any problems. We're going to leave this pair of piercing earrings in until well after Easter, perhaps until school gets out.

We're planning a trip up to Ramona in the morning for the Hawkwatch. I hope to interest Treklet in birds, so that I can start up my old birding hobby again. I like fish, too, but birds are everywhere. We planned to do the hawkwatch last week, but we were rained out.

Final Wags Tally for the Week

Just look at all the stuff I got for $20.15! (Just the 3 John Frieda products are worth that!) I had to make one last trip to Walgreens today, because I couldn't pass up the deals. I got a 15% off everything coupon from their website, good only today.
I had $1 off Starbucks Frappuccino coupons and they were on sale 2/$10. With the coupons and discount I paid $3.25 for a 4 pack. That's a special treat for Katie to take back to college with her, because I don't even like them! I'm also sending the Kleenex and TP to college, as well as a few candy bars and packs of gum. I paid only .50 each for the 3-packs of Orbit (I was able to get 4) and .11 ea for the 3 Musketeers bars. The TP was on sale 9 big rolls for $4, but with the discount and my $1 coupon I paid $2.40. That's 1.09 per 100 sq ft, about half of what I've been paying at Costco. Oh, and I needed eggs, which were on sale for .99.

My total out of pocket for the week was $20.15, but the shelf cost of it all was $131.09. I have stuff to share with Katie and I'm donating the 4 Dove Men + Care bottles, which were all moneymakers.

BTW, remember the Glade candles I decorated for Valentine's? I paid .50 ea for them. Well I printed a mail-in rebate form for SC Johnson today, and my Glade purchases qualify! I will get $10 back! Woot! Can you say moneymaker? Now let this be a reminder to not only save your coupon inserts for a minimum of 3 months, but save your receipts, too!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Preparing Ahead and Saving on Pet Supplies.

I absolutely love my Cuisinart Griddler that I got at Costco last month. I got it for $70 after the instant manufacturer's rebate, but it sells for $107.99 on Amazon. I use it a lot! It is so easy to clean and I love the removeable plates..a griddle set (pancakes, grilled cheese, etc.) and one set for grilling (steaks & chops, panini, etc.).

I also really love my crock pots. I have a large one from Costco, and an older "slow cooker" that is great for smaller amounts. It has a flat rectangular base that you can cook on (but it's kinda small to be useful for more than one portion) and a metal pot that fits on top that can also be used on the stovetop and in the oven. I use one of them at least once a week. On the nights that Treklet has karate at 5:00, its handy to cook something in the crock pot so that when she comes home at 6:10 dinner is ready, whether or not I pick her up or hubby does. There is less rushing after school that way, too, so we can get homework done and be dressed and ready by 4:30.

I had the morning off so I cooked up some food for the freezer. As I said yesterday, I planned to have blueberry pancakes and sausage for Valentines Day breakfast. Since V Day is also Sunday, I thought I'd cut out some prep time so I can have a relaxing morning before church, too. I made up a batch of blueberry pancakes and layered them with wax paper in-between inside a freezer Ziploc. Into the freezer they went. I then switched to the grill plates and cooked up a pound and a half of sausage patties (last week's Vons sale) and froze them too. A plate of pancakes and sausage goes from frozen to delicious in just 1 minute in the microwave.

I used the remaining 1/2 pound of sausage, a package of shredded cheese from the Target deal last week, and Bisquick to try out a new recipe for Sausage-Cheese Balls that I got from Betty Crocker. I cut the recipe in half, because I doubt the Alien will eat it. I ate a couple and froze the rest. Ten miunutes in a 350 degree oven will do it for them at a later time.

Earlier in the week I used up some bell peppers that were not going to make it in the frig much longer, onions and some of the Italian sausage I got for cheap at Vons. I put it all in the crock pot with a can of tomatoes and a can of tomato paste and, voila! We had delcious spaghetti sauce and sausage for dinner. I froze the leftover sauce for another day.

Yesterday i used some of the .50/lb onions I got to make French Onion Soup in the crockpot, at Treklet's request. She loves to order it in restaurants, but we all know that isn't cheap. I got shredded mozzarella at Ralphs for $1/lb, so I broiled some french bread slices with mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top and floated them in the bowl of soup. She was one happy Treklet! The Alien doesn't care for onion soup, so I froze half of what I made for later, and Treklet and I will enjoy a few more bowls this week.

I have been trying to be creative in cutting down the amount of money we spend on our pets, without having to switch brands of dogfood. One idea I had last week panned out nicely! Instead of buying bedding for our guinea pig, Stinky, I used shredded paper. I mean, that stuff they sell at Petco is just crumpled and compressed paper anyway! It worked just fine, and I didn't notice any bad odor near his cage. So this week I did it again. I just put down a layer of newspaper, as usual (helps when you dump the tray) and then dumped my shredder bin on top. I had so much that I think Stinky got a cushier bed than usual, because I try to be so stingy with the storebought stuff. By shredding envelopes and junk mail, and the zillions of pieces of paper that Treklet brings home from school on Fridays, and the scraps from cutting out computer-printed coupons, I filled my shredder in just a few days. Now that is recycling! And it will probably save me about $20 a month!!

Stinky also recycles a lot of our kitchen waste. When I'm cutting veggies or fruit he gets all the scraps..carrot tops, lettuce cores, strawberry tops,bell pepper tops, broccoli leaves, etc. and I have a giant bushy parsley plant that survived the seasons in my garden which I consider free Stinky food. He hardly touches his pellets. His favorite munchy is Timothy hay, and necessary for his health, so I just have to crunch numbers on that for the best sales.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm really getting the hang of this!/Holiday Weekend Plans

So far this week I have spent $16.67 out of pocket for $107.81 in products. I have $9 in Register Rewards left, too. I'm not sure if I'm done. I might save the $9 RR for next week. My favorite deals were the unadvertised ones: 3-pack Orbit on sale for $1.99 (shelf tag says $3.69) and I had 4 $1 off coupons! I got 12 packs for $2. Three Musketeers (Katie loves them!) with the in-ad coupon .49 ea, buy 4 and get $1.50 RR. That's .11 each! And I got 3 different John Frieda products for $2.50 with coupons, sales, and RR. I'm going to try the new Root Awakening for breakage-prone hair shampoo and conditioner for Treklet. I've got 4 bottles of Dove Men+Care body wash, which were all moneymakers. My husband won't use them, so I think they may be going to Interfaith.
I actually had a few more items than are shown in the picture, but I sent them to Katie in her Valentine care package. She told me tonight that she's out of Kleenex, and I replied, "Not anymore...I got a DEAL!" She'll be home next weekend so she can collect Kleenex, liners 3Musketeers, Orbit and John Frieda Luxurious Volume Conditioner then.
I was a little peeved at CVS today. I had 2 coupons for $1.25 off Chocolate Cheerios. They had it BOGO. The clerk wouldn't take the second coupon because the item was already free. I explained that the free box was a CVS deal and the coupon was from the manufacturer, but she said the register wouldn't take it. Vons accepted 5 coupons for oatmeal last weekend when their deal was buy 2 get 3 free, but I decided not to push it. I still got a good price for the cereal, just not as good as I planned. Then the $2 ECBs I found at the scanner last week was not accepted either, because it came from another card. :-(

So for 2 bags of Goldfish and 2 boxes of Chocolate Cheerios I spent $2.74. Not bad, but not great. Walgreens has been much better for me.

I scored some coupons for free stuff that will be fun to use this weekend. Treklet has a 4-day weekend, so on Friday we will get our FREE bagels from Einstein Bros. on our way to the Birch Aquarium (we're members). On the way home, weather permitting, we will go to Ruby's for our FREE milkshake.

On Saturday, we are going to the mall to get her ears re-pierced. She asked for that last month and, being the bribing parent that I am, I told her she could have them pierced for Valentine's Day if she did her chores without being asked twice until then. I'm happy to say she has earned it! While we are at the mall, I will use my coupon for a FREE sample of Sephora BareMinerals Foundation at JC Penney.

I'm going to use some of the Chocolate Cheerios for a special treat recipe from their website for Valentine's Day. Haven't decided what to cook my hubby that day for dinner, but breakfast is going to be blueberry pancakes (Ralphs has cheap blueberries this week) and sausage (got Jimmy Dean cheap at Vons last weekend). I think I have a metal heart-shaped cookie cutter that I can use to make the pancakes heart-shaped.

On Monday, we will probably hit the Zoo (yep, members here, too). On the way down, we can stop at Einstein Bros. again for a BOGO bagel sandwich deal.

It should be a pretty frugal 4 day weekend!

Unadvertised Deals at Wags!

Buy four 3 Musketeers (3 Musketeers Bar, Mint Bar or Truffle Crisp)
Use $0.49 in-ad coupon
Pay $1.96 plus tax out of pocket and earn a $1.50 RR back. (Common Sense With Money)

Orbit Gum (multi-pack)–$1.50 (unadvertised sale, be sure to price check!)
Use $1/1 Orbit Gum coupon
$0.50 each after coupon (Money Saving Mom)

Michael's Coupon valid through 2/13. go HERE (Money Saving Mom)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wanna Know What Bugs Me About CVS?

Here's the thing. Their circular does not come to me in the mail or newspaper. So I look at it online. But what really bugs me is that they put a picture of some item, usually with the size of it concealed, and then say buy 2 get 1 ECB or something similar, but they don't tell you what the price is! So how in the heck can I tell if it's something I want to put on my shopping list?
What I've usually found to be the case is that it's a very small size of the item and the price is ridiculous to start with. So unless I have a high value coupon, it's probably not a good deal.
So for CVS it's usually a good idea to check with one of the experts' sites for what the good deals are...and then double check it yourself. I can often do much better someplace else. That's not to say I haven't got some great deals there, just do your homework.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Important Walgreens Lessons Learned

I had $5 RR and a new batch of $1.50 off Dove Men + Care coupons, so I headed to Wags after dropping Treklet at school.

First Store, First Lesson: I got the Dove for $5.99, minus the $1.50 coupon. That's $4.49. Added a Valentine Peep for .50 on sale. That's $4.99, plus the tax on the Dove, which is calculated before coupons, so it's .52 tax. That made the total $5.51. But I could not use my $5 RR to pay. Why? Because the coupon transaction is calculated before the tax! (Confuzzling, I know, right?) So I added a Reese's Valentine Heart for .50 on sale and the register accepted my RR. I had to pay $1.01 OOP. Weird.

Second Store, Second Lesson: Stopped at the Wags on the way home to use my new $6 RR. I picked up another Dove Men+ Care so I could add a couple of free items and still have $6 RR, following? Well that's all wrong! I didn't get another $6 RR. Why?? Because you can't use a RR that you got from a product to purchase the same product again! The computer knows you are trying to get another one for free!

The clerk tried to explain that the coupon doesn't work if you are paying less that the item is worth, because I had a coupon, but that didn't make sense since I already just did it at the same store yesterday, and another store earlier today. She told me to ask the manager. Well guess what? I'm the one that figured it wasn't the $1.50 coupon, it was the RR Coupon that messed things up...I got the RR for the Dove, so I can't use it to buy the Dove again. Look at the picture: The RR says Thank You from Unilever (that's who makes Dove). But you know what? The manager was totally cool, and used his Magical Manager Key to print me out a new $6 RR! Yippee!! I got lucky this time, but I know better for the future. So I ended up getting Kleenex (.89 on sale), another Valentine Peeps and Valentine Reeses (.50 ea) and another bottle of Dove Men + Care all for .98 and I STILL have $6 Register Rewards left!

The Wags game is fun and profitable, but there are a few more strings attached than at CVS. Treklet has karate tonight, and there is a Wags next to the studio. I'm gonna go and use my $6 RR for some Wags brand mucinex, ($6 for 20), and get $4RR back, which I'll roll for another deal Wednesday, when we are back at karate.

At the end of the week I'll put up a picture of all I got at Wags this week and how much I actually spent out of pocket.

I Am One Happy Trekkie!

Remember the Utopia Planitia poster I got? Well that frame I bought at Michaels just wasn't working for me so I returned it this morning. I inquired about custom framing, but the cost for that would be $135 AFTER coupons! Forget about it!!

Instead, i took my poster to Staples this morning and had it laminated. It was $6, and I paid for it with my Ink Recycling Rewards. So my free poster, laminating and all, was completely FREE after all! Yippee!

On the way there I made another Walgreens run (2 stores!) and I'll post about all my Wags deals at the end of my Register Rewards run later in the week. All I'll say is I'm streeeeetching my dollars!

And on the way home I found a filled in punchcard from Hot Shots and got a FREE large mocha!

Ah, what could be better than FREE chocolate and coffee and FREE Treknobilia?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

FREE Stuff and a Productive Shopping Day

I got some new freebies this weekend. The Nescafe free samples came in the mail Saturday. It's a pretty generous freebie. there are 6 different Taster's Choice flavors and a $1 coupon, with a 5/01 expiration date.

The Oreos came from Vons, with the free coupon on got from the Oreo fan page on Facebook. I got the tortillas free by using the VonsClub coupon for Mission Soft Taco Tortillas for .99 and a manufacturer's coupon for $1. I made a penny!

My entire trip to Vons was for sale/coupon combo items. My savings were 62%! The best deals were:
* Johnsonville Italian Sausage, 19.76 oz pkgs (5 sausages per pkg) on VonsClub Coupon sale for $2.49 minus manufacturer coupon of .55. So I got 3 packages for $1.94 each. The coupon was good for brats, too, but I already stocked up on those last month at Ralphs, and they were sold out anyway. By the way, Johnsonville brats are about $3.25 per pkg at Costco, where I used to buy them.
* Quaker Instant Oatmeal The Vons Club deal was buy 2 boxes, get 3 free. But the price for one box was $4.18! Very expensive. With the deal, the price came down to $1.67 a box, but I knew I had bought it last month for about half of that. I had 4 $1 coupons and so my final cost was $4.36 for all 5 boxes, just .87 each! That's only .085 per packet!
* Jimmy Dean Breakfast sausage. BOGO, but still not a good deal at $4.79 a pound! But I had 2-$1 coupons, which made my final price$1.39 per pound..that's .60 less per pound than the giant bulk chub at Costco.
* Gatorade Doug like to take Gatorade on the golfcourse. I can buy it by the case at Costco, but he only likes one flavor, so that doesn't work. Vons had a VonsClub coupon for 8-packs of 20 oz bottles for $3.99. I only wish I had manufacturer coupons! Still, .50 a bottle is not bad.

Before Vons, Treklet and I made a few other stops. We hit Walgreens first for a moneymaker. I got a 13.5 oz bottle of Dove Men+Care Bodywash, on sale for $5.99. I used a manufacturer coupon for $1.25 off. Total out of pocket was $5.25 with tax. I got $6 back in Register Rewards.

Next stop, Michaels. I have several coupons for Michaels. I got a 50% off one item for signing up online. I used it last week for a frame. I recieved a 40% off coupon good for next week. I used a 40% off coupon from the paper last week on my embossing powder, and got another 40% off coupon for next week. I got another 40% off coupon for signing up for Michaels "The Knack" and I used it today to buy a refill cartridge for my Xyron.

After that we went to Toys R Us. Treklet had allowance money burning a hole in her pocket. Her original intent was to buy Polly Pockets, but I didn't like the prices. Instead, we found Harumika was on sale Buy One Get One Half Off. So She got a doll with fabric and accessories and a package of fabric and accessories. She's been busy with it for about an hour so far, and I think it's a good toy for creative expression.

From there, we made another Walgreens stop, at the one near Vons. I used my $6 RR and coupons to get John Frieda products. The deal this week is buy 3 products for $5 each and receive $5 RR back. I had a $5/2 and a $2.50/1 coupon, so my out of pocket cost was $2.81.
But I'm not done. I'm planning at least one more trip to Walgreens this week. There were some very good RR deals, but I did not have the older coupons so I will just do what I can. At the end of the week I'll put up a photo of all my Wags purchases and a final OOP cost.

Oh...and one more freebie! Treklet earned a FREE Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut for reading at school. She has read over 4200 pages so far this year! So we ordered her pizza, ran into Wags, then picked up her pizza which she munched on while I shopped Vons. Even Treklet gets Freebies!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Free Valentine stuff at CVS

I got cheap Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix at Walmart yesterday (.68 a pouch). Our church is collecting baked goods for our adopted Marine Helicopter Squadron for Valentine's Day this weekend, so I thought I'd make a couple of batches of those cookies with the kisses in the middle and send some to Katie, too. Then i got an idea. Instead of kisses, how about heart-shaped chocolates? But I didn't want to spend money.

I had some CVS ECBs so I thought I'd stop by and see what I could get. I had 5 ECBs for taking a short survey on their website and about 7 ECBs from register rewards. Then I got a bonus! The CVS on East Valley at Citrus has a scanner near the front of the store. Usually when you scan your card it prints out a coupon or two from some CVS products. Sometimes people leave their coupons on top of the machine if they don't want them. Guess what someone left? ECBs!! Yep, 2 of them. I swiped my card and got coupons. pfft.

Now that particular CVS is Valentine Central. They've got a big selection. I spotted Dove chocolate hearts, but they were $4 for an 8 oz. bag. I kept looking and found the CVS brand for .88 for 5.3 oz. I picked up 2 bags. Then I treated myself to a lovely door decoration. It's shaped like a heart, and made of artificial roses. It was on sale 25% off for $7.50.

I had more than enough ECBs to pay for it all and I got 1 ECB back for swiping my bag tag (you get 1 for every 4 tag swipes).

Now our Valentine treats will be extra special, and 3 dozen only cost me $1.36.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Star Trek and Valentines

Free samples that I signed up for in January have started to arrive. In the past week I've received a full size bar of Dove soap and a sampling of Always pantyliners with coupons.

I got a wonderful one-of-a-kind poster from my friends at They had a contest on Twitter in celebration of Voyager's 15th anniversary. (see The contest was to simply tweet what your favorite technology from Voyager was and why. Here is my winning answer:
@TrekMovie my fav voyager tech in EMH cuz he was dynamic/able to learn/grow & became integral part of crew esp. once he got mobile emitter.
Here is the description of the poster, sent to my from Kayla, the Science reporter for

It's a poster, which was designed specifically for me by a friend of mine who works in the Mars Space Flight Facility, which is at Arizona State University, the campus where I work and go to school. We only printed four of these posters, so it is one of a kind!

The image on the poster is of Utopia Planitia, a vast lava plain on Mars as well as, in Star Trek lore, the location that is in geosynchronous orbit below the Utopia Planitia ship yards (where USS Voyager finished its construction). The image was taken by the THEMIS (THermal EMission Imaging System) camera, which is onboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft currently in orbit around Mars. If you want to learn more about the photo, or themis, and where the photo was taken, all of that info is online. Go to:

The image number is V01993007. Type that in and you can get all kinds of cool data about the photo. The website: has more information about the THEMIS mission. You may have met my boyfriend, Andy Britton, at the Vegas con last year. He works at the Mars Space Flight Facility, and he helped me get your poster. If you're ever in Tempe, call me up, and I'll have Andy give you a tour of the facility. It's a really neat place, and there is a full scale MER rover in the front lobby.

I hope you enjoy the prize and that you know how special it is!

One more thing I forgot to mention about the poster. Because of the toner used to print it, it is a bit fragile. These posters tend to scratch easily, so be careful when handling it. I'd recommend getting a cheap frame for it if you can.

Pretty cool, right? So I took my 50% coupon that I got for signing up at and went frame hunting yesterday. Unfortunately, the poster is a weird size, so I had to get a much larger frame. I will try it later today and see if it will work. I don't want to have to pay for custom framing! Perhaps I can have it laminated instead. I must say, the poster is more than just the Mars photo...they added Trek info. and a Trek logo and Voyager! More info. on the cool Trek connection can be found here:

I'll post a pic of my framed poster whenever I get it figured out.

Last week there was an awesome deal on Glade Candles at Vons. The weekly circular had a special VonsClub coupon for 2/$4, limit 4. I combined it with a manufacturer's coupon for $3 off 2 and paid .50 each! I picked up another circular on my way out and went back the next day for 4 more.

I just thought I'd share what I did with some of those candles. I made Valentine gifts! I thought these would be cute for teachers, friends, whoever. Isn't nice to be able to share a gift without breaking your budget?