Thursday, September 30, 2010

cheating on a budget

Is it really cheating on a budget if you claim an expense made on 9/28 on the October budget?

In other news, I saved 91% at Kroger yesterday :). I got 3 bottles of Diet Dr. Pepper for only $.64. I told my husband that and he thought I meant $.64 a piece... nope! They were $.21 a piece after various rebates I had received.

If only I could do that every week.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CVS deals for this week

Yesterday, I went to CVS to increase my stockpile of toiletries and other various sundries. Here is a breakdown of what I spent on what:

1- Cascade Diswashing Detergent: 6.49
CVS card discount: -2.50
Manufacturer's Coupon: -$1
Final Price: 2.99

2-Dawn Dishwashing Liquid: 1.69 a piece
CVS card discount: -.73 per item
Manufacturer's Coupons: -.50 and -.25
Final Price: $.59 a piece

1-Downy: 5.79
CVS card discount: -1.80
Manufacturer's Coupons: (if I had not forgotten to use it) -1.00
Final Price: 2.99

Colgate Total Toothpaste: 3.99
CVS card discount: -2.02
Manufacturer's Coupons: -.75
Final Price: 1.22

2-Arm and Hammer Laundry Detergent: 6.99
CVS card discount: Buy 1 get 1 free
Manufacturer's Coupons: -.25
Final Price: 3.37 a piece

2-CVS Batteries: 4.29
CVS card discount: Buy 1 get 1 free
Final Price: 2.15

2-Clean and Clear Face Wash: 5.99 a piece
CVS card discount: Buy 1 , get 1 for 50% off
Manufacturer's Coupons: (2) -$1
Final Price: 3.49 a piece

2- Clean and Clear Face Wash (a different kind): 5.49 a piece
CVS card discount: Buy 1, get 1 for 50% off
Manufacturer's Coupons: (2) -$1
Final Price: 3.12 a piece

Tampax Tampons: 5.79
CVS card discount: -2.80
Manufacturer's coupons: -$2
Final Price: .99

Always pads: 3.99
CVS card discount: -$1
Manufacturer's coupons: -$2
Final Price: .99

All in all, I saved a grand total of 42.13. I could have saved 44.93 if I had remembered to use my downy coupon and use my CVS bucks. Before tax, I only spent around $37 dollars on all of this stuff.

To make this an even better deal, if your CVS has the Oral B Vitality toothbrush, you could get it for $13 bucks and get $13 CVS bucks back. This would make the toothbrush free! Unfortunately, the Starkville CVS is out... but that's okay. When I asked if they had any, they wrote me a "raincheck", so I will be able to get the toothbrush at the awesome discount when it is back in stock (before 10/31, because that's when my coupon expires).

I think I finally got my stockpile of laundry detergent complete for the year. After this shopping trip, I think I now have enough toothpaste to last me and my husband for a year.

On a not so funny but sort of amusing note, I had gone to Sams a few months (5) back and bought a 2 quart (?) bottle of dishwashing liquid. I was running low and bough another bottle about a month ago. I had forgotten about this bottle until last night, after I had started stocking up on dishwashing liquid by using coupons at the local drug stores. So now, I have about a 2 year supply of dishwashing liquid!!!!! (oops)

Monday, September 27, 2010

I wanna work outside

The weather is taunting me. I can see the reflection of the sunlight on my computer monitor and it is making me want to go outside. Maybe I can convice everyone else in the office to rotate the cubicles so that they face the window. It would be more productive, right? ;)

The weather is perfectly fall. I've even set out my Halloween decorations and hung a fall wreath on the door. (It's wreath number 2, because someone stole my first wreath... Seriously, who steals a cheap wreath from CVS?) I made a wreath this time, so it was free. I've also set out the Halloween candy. At this rate, I won't have any candy left for Halloween. (Maybe I need to quit buying my favorite candy so I will stop eating it. )

I would like to go bike riding with Chris, but the rear brake fell off of his bike. (I was blaming the wreath thief for breaking the brakes, but a friend had borrowed the bike and forgot to tell us that the brakes fell off.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I still make stuff... I promise

I've been in a creative drought recently (as you probably noticed). Also, I've been busy organizing my coupon collection and trying to set up a method to use them. BUT.... here is my latest creation:

A diaper cake!

My cousin and his wife are expecting and they are having a baby shower this weekend. I've never given a baby gift before, so I was at a complete loss for ideas on what to give them. I wanted to give them something practical, so I was torn between outlet covers and doorknob covers or a diaper cake (because every baby needs diapers).

The cousins on my dad's side of the family were discussing how expensive diapers were and how they were always needing them. I knew that I wanted to give diapers, I just didn't know how to present them in an appropriate manner. Most how-to videos online tell you to roll up the diapers like a cylindar and tie them with a rubber band. That just seems impractical. Either the mom will have to spend hours untieing them or they'll wait and when they need a diaper, they'll have to fight with the rubberband before fighting to put the diaper on the baby.

I thought about buying a diaper cake, but they're so expensive! (and overpriced, too). After an hour of off-and-on searching, I finally found a how-to that doesn't involve rolling up the diapers. Instead, you arrange the diapers in a spiral fashion in a cake pan, secure the big wad of diapers with a rubber band, and flip the pan over. To make a two-tiered one, just use a smaller pan for the second layer and secure them with a paper towel tube through the middle.

It was really easy to make. Also, it's a very cute way to display diapers. (did I mention that I got the diapers at an uber cheap price because of a sale at Walgreens and a $3 off coupon)

... I had to throw coupons in there somewhere ;)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

another coupon post

If you're wondering why I post so many coupon posts, it's primarily so that I can see what I've saved (and point out to my husband when needed, that couponing actually does save money ;) )

My first big save/spending was at Walgreens. (and as a disclaimer, I'm not going to include the Claritin in my "saving/spending" total because it was not "grocery" related ( and excluding it makes my total look better :)

Total Groceries before coupons: 43.99
Discounts: 22.07
Total spent at Walgreens: 21.92.

I got some register rewards from this transaction and applied them to my next transaction:
Here are the numbers from that:
Total Groceries before coupons: 14.87
Discounts: 8.51
Total Spent on second trip at Walgreens: 6.36

In order to use my register rewards, I had to have some "fillers" to make my total be high enough to use the coupons. My fillers were M&M's. I think the fillers are going to make me fat :) .

The second store that I visited (and will post about since I saved more than I spent) was CVS. They had some really good deals this week, and when combined with coupons from the papers/online, it was a really really big discount.

Here are the numbers:
Total before Coupons: 41.27
Discounts: 25.90 (yay!!!-and I haven't even really started racking up ECB's yet)
Total spent: 15.37

I just can't seem to get the savings to add up at Kroger and Walmart. I save money, but the amount of savings doesn't go over what I had spent. I'll keep working on that and maybe one day, I'll be able to make money from them too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This week's coupon deals

Instead of posting every transaction I make with coupons, I decided to only blog about savings that equal to more than I spent at the register. This happened today at Walgreens.

I went in to take advantage of their sale on Arm and Hammer detergent (buy one get one free). I also had a coupon for $1 off two. Instead of paying 13.98 for two bottles, I only paid 5.99 for two.

The next deal was a coupon that they had in their sale paper-$.99 for Palmolive dish washing liquid. This was $1.00 off the original price.

I also had a coupon for $5 off from the purchase earlier in the week.

Without coupons, my total would have been 22.96. After coupons, I spent a grand total of $8.97 (before tax). This equals to be a savings of 13.99.

I knew that in order to use the coupon, I had to spend at least $5. I panicked and probably bought more than I could have, but in the end, I essentially got a large bottle of Herbal Essences shampoo for only $1.99. This was the only item that I didn't have a coupon for (and it is rumored that there will be a coupon for Herbal Essences in tomorrow's paper).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cups-and-Cakes review

I was excited at the prospect of a bakery opening in Starkville that sold cupcakes. After reading blogs such as Cupcakes take the Cake, I was really hoping for a modern bakeshop that sold amazingly different flavored cupcakes that would make your mouth water at the pure thought of eating one. This place is not that.

Upon walking in, you are greeted by an interior that is welcoming, with chairs and neutral browns on the wall. You then see the coolers that are everywhere, housing the cupcakes, cakes, and cookies. Country music fills your ears, and you realize that this isn't the modern bakery you were hoping for.

Behind the counter, where all of the "magic" takes place, there are tons of buckets with colored icing. The floor is stained with icing that has fallen and there were no ovens anywhere to bake the delicious treats in. I kept looking for a row of ovens, but nothing.

The eats are pleasing to look at, but upon closer inspection, you see that they are nothing but simple cakes smothered in icing. Cupcakes have icing towers that are 3 inches tall. There is only one problem with this, however... the icing is not home made. It, instead, is the Sysco brand buckets of Crisco that many grocery stores use to slather on cakes to make them look presentable. I understand that royal icing is needed to have stiff flowers that don't melt on the cake, but you could at least use icing that is not glimmering because of the oil content.

I'm not a fan of storebought cakes, if you can't tell. The icing is nothing but a big vat of grease, slathered on top of a sponge that may or may not be a cake. Considering her background is working at a grocery store bakery, one can see that she did not vary her talents when it came to opening up her own shop.

To me, a person who makes cakes should strive to make cakes that are from scratch and make creative icings that allow for not only the eyes, but also the tastebuds to have a treat.

She also sold cookies. They weren't fresh. Instead, they were either a little soggy or hard, depending on the flavor. They also crumbled... a lot.

Her cakes are pretty to look at, but are covered in icing. (did i mention that the icing will stain your teeth?) Basically, I believe that her bakery is not a bakery, but instead, a place where a young girl can go and "color" a cake with icing for fun.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

always clip the coupon...

Well, coupons are good and all, but not necessarily when you forget to cut them out of the sale paper! Today, I went to Walgreens and took advantage of their deals.

Some of the deals that I took advantage were:

Dial soap: buy 1 get 1 free
Scrubbing Bubbles automatic shower cleaner: 14.99 (which is a deal in itself, considering it's originally 24.99 at Walgreens), plus a $5 coupon that I had, PLUS $5 register rewards. That means that the shower cleaner only cost $4.99!
and lastly, they had flour on sale for 1.79 (with coupon)... but guess what genius forgot to clip the coupon.... Me! So, I paid full price for the flour (2.99) and also learned a lesson to always clip coupons from the sales paper before I go into the store.

Today's savings from Walgreens (hold your breath) : $20.99!!!!

Another deal that is going on is that if you access through, you can get 5 items for a penny (yes, $.01) each. I took advantage of this, got a ton of lotion and body wash, and spent only $6.04. ($5.99 shipping). I saved a total of $30.90.

I should be set for a while on bathroom supplies.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another couponing post

So, tonight I went on a couponing shopping spree. First stop, Kroger.

Here were some of the deals:
Deals Without coupons:
Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts - $6.99 a bag.
Kroger Italian sausage - $2.99

Deals with coupons:
Ronzoni pasta - $1 before coupon, FREE with coupon clipped from magazines ( I had 2 coupons)
Bryan Beefy Jumbos - $8.78 for two, a dollar off with coupon
Diet Dr. Pepper - $1.89 before coupon, .50 off with e-coupon on Kroger card

At Kroger, I saved $3.98 with the Kroger card and $3.50 using coupons. Total savings equal 7.48. Overall, I only paid 31.10.

The next stop, I went to Walmart. That was an adventure in itself. Walmart was having a sale on Diet Dr. Pepper - $1 a piece. That was a much better deal than Kroger. At Walmart, they also had a clearance sale going on with excess college dorm room supplies (such as bedding and clotheshangers). I got a new set of sheets for $9 and clotheshangers for $1.

I had coupons for a some pet products and groceries. I got a bunch of groceries (enough to last a week... hopefully).

My subtotal was $84.04 before coupons, and 64.51 after coupons. That's a savings of $19.53. I'm still trying to get a hang of this whole coupon thing. My goal is to get to where I can buy $100 worth of groceries for $5. ( a little extravagant but the principle is there ;) )

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I need to post something "crafty" so that I can keep my blog title :)

It's been a while since I've posted anything crafty, so I thought I would post an invitation I made at work for a retirement party.
Who knew my "how to use powerpoint" class would come in handy.