Sunday, December 21, 2014

Rite-Aid Again.....What Else?

I made one more trip to Rite-Aid on Saturday.
I had gotten another $3/1 Excedrin Catalina which made it free after +Up Rewards so how could I not get more? lolz

I also decided to do the $5 on $15 Baking Items +Ups Deal on another card.

2 x Playtex tampons on sale=$7.00
2 x BC cookie mix on sale=$4.00
1 x Excedrin on sale=$3.99

Coupons Used
2 x $1/1 Playtex tampons IPQ=$2.00
1 x .75¢/2 BC cookie mix IPQ=.75¢
1 x $1/2 BC baking items VideoValuesQ=$1.00
1 x $3/1 Excedrin CatalinaQ=$3.00
Coupon Total......$6.75


I used $8 in +Up Rewards and paid .24¢ OOP.

I received back $5 in new +Up Rewards($1 Excedrin, $4 wyb2 Playtex) so this stuff  "cost" me $3.

And the Catalina machine spit out yet another $3/1 Excedrin Q!
I give up.....lolz

I now have tracking of $4 on 2 Wellness cards toward the $5 Baking +Ups.

This week I'll buy 2 containers of Domino sugar(on sale BOGO50%=$6.43 my store)and 2 canisters of Sun-Maid raisins(on sale $5 for 2) on each card.
These purchases will give me $15.43 spent on each and trigger the $5 +Ups for each.  The raisins also double dip as they have their own +Ups Deal staring Sunday--buy 2, get a $1 +Ups back.

I have a .75¢/2 IPQ(redplum dotcom)for the sugar so I'll spend $10.68 after Q and get $6 in new +Ups back on each card and $6 in +Ups will print out.

The cookie mix spending from this week was $2.25 on one card and $1.50 on the other card after Qs(one card got an extra .75¢ discount from my SavingStar account).

All together I'll get 4 bags of cookie mix, 4 4lbs. of sugar and 4 canisters of raisins($30.86-$5.75 in Qs=$25.11-$12 in +Ups earned=$13.11 "cost"(paid for mostly with +Up Rewards).  As I'd have to pay that much just for the sacks of sugar at the grocery store, this is a good deal if you need sugar, raisins and cookie mix.

Other than these items I don't foresee any other Rite-Aid shopping until after Christmas.
But then again, something that's an irresistible deal might turn up.... ;-)


Saturday, December 20, 2014

What's Been Going on Around Here Lately

Well there was some of this......

Then some of this......

(Note the recipient of the gift above)

Then there was this, packages sent to friends/family far and wide......this is about half of what I mailed.  You do NOT want to see my postage bill......lolz

And then we attempted to go to the special Ollie's(invitation only) sale last Sunday night.

We arrived at Ollie's at 1 minute to 6pm and there was a line that wrapped around the building.

Not wanting to fight that sort of a crowd and not really going there for anything specific, we just turned the car around and left.

I have been to these yearly sales at Ollie's in years past but NEVER saw a crowd like the one on Sunday night!
Is it because the economy is improving and people have more to spend for the Holidays?
Or is it because the economy is still struggling and people need to find real deals and make their meager gift dollars stretch further?

We ended up checking out a new place called GABE'S that opened up here in the old Price Chopper grocery store building.

They seem to have a lot of merchandise that is returns from other businesses at very low prices.  But you really have to hunt through everything to find the gems.
I saw these shoes I REALLY wanted but they didn't have them in my size......

Hubs found some dress shoes for work though at a good price, which he needed.

They had some wooden signs to hang in/on your house too.

"I'm a Proud Coal Miner".
Now THERE'S a niche demographic! lolz

We got the tree up.
I'm not talking about this tree......

But this tree.......

This is our old tree.  We didn't set up the huge tree, wanting to simplify all the work this year.
It's pre-lit and we put on garland and the star.
College Boy put on 5 or so ornaments this week so we are just calling it done now.  ;-)

This week, in between dr. appointments and grocery/Rite-Aid shopping I've been gathering toiletries to take to our oldest son.
And I've been cooking since Wednesday.

First I had to soak our salt-cured ham.......a Virginia delicacy........

This is a 3 day process.  Today I'll finish it up in the oven.

There was peanut butter cookie baking for College Boy, then the "Christmas Crack" needed making.....

You know you can quit eating this anytime.......NOT! hahahaha

Then it was onward and upward to pie making......

It's not Christmas here without pecan pie.

But before that, there was nut soaking in whiskey.
This is but the first step in making a surprise for someone.........

Friday morning College Boy helped me hauled all that laundry detergent and shampoo up to the Food Bank and then I went to Rite-Aid to give my friends there some "Crack" and cookies.

But I forgot to take the food so I did a transaction instead.
I needed some Hershey kisses for my baking and Hey!  Rite-Aid sent me a coupon Friday morning for cheap Xmas candy(and I did the Playtex tampon +Ups Deals).

I won't bother detailing this one.
Let's just say I used a lot of coupons and spent down my +Up Rewards by $10(after $4 in new +Ups earned for the tampons)and put the .54¢ OOP on my free R-A gift card.

I went home after that and worked on the surprise food item and then took the plate of baked goodies up to R-A afterwards.

Friday evening was simmering the ham and later this morning I'll be baking it off.

What have you been doing to prepare for the Holidays?



Friday, December 19, 2014

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the end of the fourth quarter of the year and you know what that means........

Stock Dividend Check Time!

You thought I meant Christmas or something? lolz


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Weis Shop This Week

I did my Weis grocery shopping on Wednesday.......

4 x GM cereals(Cheerios, Basic 4, Chex, Cinn. Toast Crunch)=$14.16
6 x Red Pack tomatoes on sale $1=$6.00
4 x Skippy PB on sale $2=$8.00
4 x GG veggies on sale .88¢=$3.52
5 x Swanson broth cans on sale=$3.00
4 x Swanson broth cartons on sale=$8.00
1 x Campbell's soup on sale=$1.00
1 x Eggnog quart(for Son)=$2.99
2 x Turkey Hill Ice Cream on sale=$5.00 *not pictured*
1 x Scotties tissue on sale=$1.00 *not pictured*

Coupons Used
Instant $6 off wyb4 GM cereals=$6.00
Instant $5 off wyb $15 Campbell's/Swanson=$5.00
4 x Assorted GM cereal IPQs(all doubled to $1 off)=$4.00
2 x .55¢/3 Red Pack products(doubled to $1)=$2.00
4 x .55¢/1 Skippy PB(doubled to $1)=$4.00
1 x $1/5 canned Swanson broth ManuQ=$1.00
2 x $1/2 Swanson carton broth IPQ=$2.00
2 x $1/1 Turkey Hill IC IPQ=$2.00
Coupon Total....$26.00

$52.67-$26.00=$26.67  OOP

Reg. retail of all items......$73.38

Savings of over 63%.

I also saw this in the ad this week at Weis.....

Free $20 gift card with new prescription fill or transfer Offer.
I had an rx to fill for a painkiller for my back when it acts up so I took it to Weis with me.

And $5 later(the cost to fill the rx)I received this.......

I now have a $5 Weis gift card(for a Catalina Deal that didn't work correctly months ago), a $10 off your Order Catalina & this $20 Weis gift card.
That's $35 in free food which I'll probably use to get a Rib Roast for Christmas dinner.  8-)))

Food spending for the week so far.....$35.03(not counting the Rite-Aid OOP).
I might spend another $15 or so this week making this a low spending week. 
I can really use a low spending week on food.......!



Holiday Buyers, the Good & Bad

Well I have had another run-in with a customer, this time on Amazon.
I have had a few books for sale on there since forever.

Last week I sold one of those books which would have net me $33.  I paid $2 for the book when I bought it.
Sounds good right?

It's an out of print book and quite sought after by chess aficionados for teaching kids out to play competitive chess.  It's especially a good book because it was the edition that came with a chess "self" timer.

This is my last copy of the book and it was buried under a stack of other books so when I pulled it out I saw it had some cosmetic issues......a dog eared corner and a dent on the cover of the book, but it is unread and the timer is still sealed under plastic.
So not wanting any problems I wrote to the buyer and attached photos of the issues to make sure they still wanted it.

They answered me and thanked me for being forthcoming with the information and then said it was for a gift(grandchild)but the child wouldn't have a problem with the condition of the book.

THEN.....they went on to say they would have to "think about this" for a day before deciding if they still wanted the book......and mentioned that they could get a "new" condition book from a different seller on Amazon for $18.

I went and looked at the other identical books like mine on Amazon.
Then I cancelled the transaction with that buyer.
Why you say?

Because the $18 copy was NOT new and most probably in similar condition to mine except that it was also used.  Besides this $18 seller I was the lowest priced seller of a new or used copy, with most copies being sold for around $100 or more.
PLUS, NONE of these other copies was the edition that included the Chess Timer!  This timer makes my copy a STEAL at $33!

Yah, this guy was trying to get me to sell this for a lot less than what he was paying and lying about my I wouldn't have gone and checked. Ha!
I hate sneaky people like this.

So now if he wants this book he can buy a used copy for $18 or spend about $100 on it for a "unused" copy.....and ALL of them do NOT have the timer.
And I'll just tuck this book back in case any of my grandchildren(when I have some)want to learn to play chess like their grandpa does.

But on the other side of selling at the Holidays--I woke up this morning to find an Etsy sale in my account.
Among what this person bought was that remnant I posted a listing for, for that cheap buyer who then disappeared and didn't spend a whole $1 on it. lolz
So the .20¢ I spent on that listing isn't a total loss.....ho ho ho!

Have you ever sold anything at the Holidays and had a problem with the buyer?


Should You Stockpile?

Today's question--Should you stockpile?

I would give this question a big YES answer!

I don't care what your family size, living situation or yearly income, stockpiling is a wise choice.

Stockpiling will save you money, probably save you time and help you get organized if done thoughtfully.

By waiting until items go on sale or their rock bottom price to buy them.....and then not buying them again until they go back to that rock bottom WILL  save money.  And you can do this with not only grocery items, but HBA products, paper goods, clothing, gifts, and just about anything you need/want to buy.

But all this saving does mean you have to do a little work, plan ahead and be a little organized.

Everyone no matter where they live has room for some sort of stockpile.
Even those you live in a rented room or a small apartment can get creative with ways to store their stash.  An easy stashable place is to put your bed on risers so you can store plastic tubs underneath.  And fill those tubs with goods you get at rock bottom price(RBP).
Have you got unused oddly confrgured space under a stairway?  That's a great place to stash products.  A high shelf in a closet you can't reach easily?  Store some stockpile there since you only need to access it on occasion.

If you have limited space for a stockpile think smart and stockpile the items that will save you the most money by buying at rock bottom price.  If you only have room to stash 12 bottles of something and it's a choice between 12 bottles of spaghetti sauce(where your savings are $3)and 12 bottles of shampoo(where your savings are $20) you know which is the better use of your cash & space, right?

Once you stash away items you got great deals on be sure to rotate your stock, just like the grocery stores do.  Put your newest items at the back of the shelf, etc. so that the older ones get used first.  Take a marker and put the date you bought the item and/or the date it needs to be used by.

And it does help to write down a master list of what you have so you can see, without having to actually go look at your stock, how much you have of which items on paper or on an electronically stored list.

If you are new to stockpiling, start small, BUT START!
If you don't have large wads of cash to just go buy lots of items, start small, by taking $5 or $10 of your weekly grocery budget(or whatever you can spare)and using it to buy extras of something you regularly use that are at a rock bottom price that week.

This is how I started, by buying loss leaders in quantities to last our family until that item went on rock bottom price again, when I'd stock up again.

I did a thorough post about Stockpiling back in 2010.  If you want to learn to stockpile I'd suggest you go read that article HERE .

I found this site that guides you to build a stockpile of necessities in a year with only spending $5 a week HERE .  Of course you can change items bought to suit your situation.

Now that this is my shopping norm, if you look into my grocery cart each week, it's not like most people's carts with a wide assortment of goods.
This week you'd see lots of peanut butter, cold cereal and frozen veggies because those are the best deals now.  A couple of weeks ago it was lots of coffee and bacon or canned tomatoes and not much else.

If you don't feel you can stay on top of a grocery stockpile(with using items before they are out of date)then stockpile HBA products or laundry detergent, toilet paper, or other items that don't go "bad".

Even if they don't release coupons for what you buy, you can still save money by waiting until an item is the lowest price to buy it. (Of course, if you can pair a coupon with a sale that's even better.)  If the place you shop at doesn't ever put what you buy on sale, then do some research and find another place to buy those goods.  Don't limit yourself to grocery/drug/warehouse stores.  Consider trying Discount Food Outlets or Restaurant Supply Stores, Farm Stands, Buying from a Farmer Directly, CSAs or even Grocery Auctions.  Think outside the Grocery Store box.....

Other ways to save money on the items you need is to start or join a co-op or food buying club.
Some folks use warehouse clubs(Sam's BJ's Costco, etc.)and buy in bulk to save money on groceries.
If you don't stockpile, once you start buying at these stores it may force you to, because of the large quantities you are required to purchase. ;-)

I don't find shopping at those sorts of stores helpful very often, unless I need very large quantities.  If you can split what you buy with a neighbor or friend at one of these warehouse clubs, that can solve that problem some times. 

But be careful as just because it's a large quantity doesn't always mean you are getting a great deal.
I recently activated a Sam's Club membership I had won in a giveaway.  Hubs and I took over an hour to just stroll the store and check on the prices of items we use and compare them to my rock bottom prices at the regular grocery stores.  Most items at Sam's were a comparable price(w/the rock bottom prices)but I didn't have to buy in mass quantities at the grocery stores that the warehouse store required.  Some items seemed a great deal but once you broke it down into unit sizes it wasn't a deal at all.  If I still have a family of 5 or more to buy from the warehouse club might be a better choice for us or if I had a stand-alone freezer still.

Once you get the hang of shopping this way it will come natural to you.
Thanks to my efforts, we are on track to spend under $5K on food/toiletries for the year for my family.....and that's for EVERYTHING food, HBA, laundry detergent, cleaning products, dog food and paper goods related.

Even though we have spent so little on food/toiletries/etc. we can find ways to bless others as well.

Anonymous commented on my last stockpile post that I may have "too much" for my small family.  If they haven't been reading here for a few years they may not have realized that what they suggested I already do......

*  I fill giveaways boxes with excess items and gift them on this blog(and pay out of pocket for the postage).  I've been doing this for about 5 years now.

*  I take bags of excess items to friends and family when I visit them. 

*  I hauled bags of toiletries through the Midwest this Summer to give away.

*  I took 20 tubes of toothpaste to the Blogger get-together to give away last March. 

*  I have a box of items for my brother in-law for Christmas and a box of items to take to my son & his GF in Pittsburgh later this month and another box started to take to my daughter's house in LA sometime after the 1st of the year.

*  I use to sell my excess at a local flea market and hold stockpile sales(like a garage sale) though I haven't had to do that in a few years since I scaled back how much I stockpile.

*  And I give to the local food bank.

This week all this is going to my local food bank......

20 bottle of shampoo.  I bought 20 Qs specifically for the sale on Tresemme last week at Rite-Aid, getting 20 bottles for pennies.  Even paying $3 for the Qs from a clipping service this was still an awesome buy!

Plus 10 bottle of laundry detergent also for the food bank.  Didn't have to buy any extra Qs for this score so it was acquired even more frugally.

I have been giving to my local food bank since 2009.  I use to give more when I couponed more vigorously.  I still try to give a few times a year.

If you go back to Thanksgiving of 2011, I instigated the Great Gravy Caper.
If interested you can read about that adventure HEREHERE, HERE, HERE .  That was fun and reminds me how much I miss Judy. 8-(

But enough about stockpiling and shopping for now.
Lets get back to Christmas stuff.....