Friday, May 29, 2009

Tick Tock Tick Tock, the Clock is Ticking

So I was a very good girl today. I stayed off my foot for the most part. I elevated it and put ice on it some. I took some belated grocery run pictures & sat here and did my end of month totals and such. And I sat and gave love to the doggies and brushed them. Things I could do without using the foot.

But all those FREEBIE Qs & the thought that they would expire before I could get to the store again weighed on my!

Then hubby came home and did the sweetest thing. He offered to take me out and help me go use these Freebie Qs. Instead of coming home and relaxing after a really hectic week at work, he drove me to a couple of stores AND went in and went through the check-out and bought packs of t.p. with the freebie Qs.
And he did this all BEFORE he got his dinner....if you knew hubby, you would know what a sacrifice THAT was!lolol
I treated him to a rare dinner out WITHOUT KIDS because he did this coupon run for me.....and because I love him the bestest! ;-))
Ok, so the dinner out was at Friendly's but hey, at least it wasn't MacDonald's, right?

Here is what is left of the Marcal Coupon Stacks now....

We used all the Free Single Rolls Qs & only have 3 $4/1 Item Qs left, plus the 29 $1/1 off Qs. I'll use the last 3 Freebie Qs tomorrow & those $1/1 Qs can just expire. That won't bother me....much. ;-)

Onward to the next Things on my To Do those end of month totals, get the garden put in & clean the garage out!

Anybody else got any big plans for this weekend? Let's hear 'em!


About College Stuff

So #1 son is a High School Senior. The local school district has an arrangement with the local community college, where, if you are among the top percentage of students in the senior class, you can take college courses during your senior year.

These classes are college level. They satisfy the seniors high school credit requirements for the diploma but they also possibly can be applied to your college record when you matriculate at a school. This means if your college will transfer these credits, you can possibly graduate in less than 4 yrs. When you are footing the college bill, getting through faster can be a good & frugal thing.

Anyway, #1 son has chosen to attend a public State School for College here in PA. The state school system here DOES accept these Dual Enrollment Credits if the grade is a B or over.

This is #1 son. He just got his grades from the Community College for the 2 courses he took this semester as part of the Dual Enrollment Program. He doesn't look very thrilled and it's not a very good picture anyway but he PASSED! Not only did he pass English 102 & Sociology but he got A's in both!

Add these to his grades for last Semester's English 101 & Philosophy grades and he has 3 As & 1 B for the year.

Maybe this is why the college he accepted entrance into surprised us last month with an Academic Excellence Scholarship! Since we have no debt(nothing since paying off the house in March of '07)the Federal Government considers us WEALTHY! Yes, the Federal Financial Aid Thingy said our family can afford to contribute almost $40 THOUSAND DOLLARS CASH toward #1 son's 1st year of College.

Yes, I said....




So because we are 'wealthy', #1 son can't apply for any financial aid except for loans, which have to be paid back. We can't apply for any financial need scholarships. Since he isn't part of any minority group or have a strange last name(well, he DOES but no one wealthy with our last name has ever endowed a scholarship for people with this last name) or a standout athlete, #1 son is only eligible for widely popular scholarships that everyone can apply for (Coca-Cola, etc. which he has no chance getting because of the sheer numbers of applicants) or Merit Scholarships. Most Merit Scholarships(both widely available or particular to a school)also have other components(applicant also have to be in a certain group racially or gender or living in a certain place or attended a certain high school, or has some other qualifier that knocks him out). The PURE Merit Scholarships are very few and most aren't within his reach because he isn't a Valedictorian, in the top 1% of his class & he didn't score perfectly on his SAT.

So he applied to a State School that we CAN afford to pay for in CASH! because
we live WELL below our means, save money and have no debt. We aren't relying on anyone else to pay for his education. He'll have an on-campus job too as part of paying for his education. By working, he is also contributing to his education.

So we were overjoyed when the letter arrived from his College that because of his high school grades he was being awarded a Merit Scholarship. It's not much money, but it will help pay for his books, etc. And if he keeps his grades up, it renews for all 4 years, IF he takes 4 yrs. ;-)

And in 2 more years, I get to go through this Federal Financial Aid stuff again, with daughter. I wonder how 'wealthy' the government will think we are when we have TWO kids in college? I may be the only 'wealthy' person in line at the Food Bank by then.


Totals for the Price Chopper $7 CAT DEAL

Since I'm grounded at home with a bum foot(see yesterday's post), I finally have the time/opportunity to snap pics and figure the Grand Totals for my Price Chopper $7 Catalina Promotion Transactions of last week.
To get up to speed on what the heck I am talking about, go read it

Forget the 3 pictures from the older post on the PC $7 Cat Deal....I've incorporated those items from the 1st 3 Transactions into new pics of EVERYTHING I BOUGHT.

First the numbers.....

Value of Items $502.43(that's without tax)
Cash Spent Out of Pocket $89.06(that includes the tax)

Savings of........82+%

If I were to take the tax paid out of the OOP spent(which comes in at around $16 of the OOP), my Savings Percentage would go up to about 86.5%.

82,'s all good! ;-)

Now for the photos. Sorry it isn't one big honking photo of everything but I just don't have a place large enough to put everything at the same time for a photo at the moment.lolol

Without further adieu here is what $89 bought last week at Price Chopper.....

Add Image

And here is the List of What is Pictured...

Wisk Laundry Detergent 8
Q-Tips 2
Lever Soap Package 4
Dove Soap Package 7
Dove Shampoo 6
Dove Conditioner 2
Dove Body Wash 4
Caress Body Wash 12
Suave Shampoo 11
Sunsilk Shampoo 2
Suave Body Wash 4
Suave Deodorant 4
Degree Deodorant 4
Degree Deodorant women's 1
Ragu Spaghetti Sauce 19 *These are the big honking jars!*
Knorr's Noodle Sides 12
Wishbone Dressings Assort. 19
Lipton Tea Canisters 4
Lipton On the Go Mix Boxes 4
Skippy Peanut Butter 8
A Total of 137 Items.
That averages out to .65¢ per Item.
I'll take it!lol

Beat the Clock? More like Stop the Clock Today.

What a day Thursday turned out to be.

I got to the PO to mail off an important document, paid some bills, cleaned some more clutter in the kitchen. Then I went to stash a minivan load of free t.p., paper towels and facial tissue in my storage unit. The Storage Unit I rent to hold my eBay treasures until they get sold, that is. It's half empty now, so plenty of room for all these lovely free paper products until the garage gets fully organized this summer & I have a proper place for my stockpile along side my home canned veggies & jams.

So I'm transferring all the paper products from car to unit and I stepped wrong with my left foot, half on/half off the concrete lip of the floor of the unit & half on the big gravel-y rocks in front of it and a bad 'snapping' noise eminated from said foot.

And a pain shot through the bottom of my foot and made me curse like a longshoreman.

And then I couldn't put weight on the foot.

Thankfully I don't have a manual transmission in my car, so I was able to drive home and stagger/hobble into the house, up the stairs! and into bed. When the kids got home, I called for some ice and my bottle of Darvocet.

So there was no T.P. Coupon redeeming today and Friday doesn't look promising either.

I could slap myself because this same exact thing happened a few months ago, the same injury and in the same exact spot...meaning same exact foot AND on the same exact location at the storage unit!

As Yoda would say, "A Dummy, she is!"

What's worse than not being able to redeem those freebies, is the fact that I missed my daughter's Induction into the National Honor Society tonight(well, last night technically). There was no way I would have been able to walk the distance & navigate the stairs from the parking lot to the auditorium where this shindig was being held. I talked to daughter and she wasn't very broken up about me not being there. She knows I would if I could.....

I was able to make it to the Induction Ceremony 2 weeks ago when she was accepted into the French National Honor Society so this absence isn't so bad.
The French National Honor Society is like the NHS but for High School students who study French and maintain an A average. They light candles and speak in French, then sign the register and get a certificate and a pin, amidst wildly clapping proud parents. Yes, there is nothing like giving a bunch of hormonal teens weapons(sharp pins), live flames(candles)& flammable starters(paper certificates)while they're reciting literature in a foreign tongue. At least they didn't revolt and take us parents in the audience hostage or attempt to storm any Bastilles or anything. ;-)

Here's a picture of daughter getting her certificate. It's too dark but every photo I take in that auditorium turns out that way because the lighting is so bad. She's the big dark blob in the center, next to the light blob, which is her French teacher.

Daughter's French Teacher once told us that daughter has a gift for language. Yes, she didn't get that aptitude from myself and certainly NOT from her father!lol

Daughter took the National French Exam last year and finished in the Top Ten in this region for her Level. Not bad for someone who wasn't raised in a bilingual home or exposed to a foreign language until Middle School. She just breezes through her French classes with minimal effort and gets A's. Daughter says it bores her and won't devote more than the rudimentary time to learning French. Neither her teacher or us, her parents, could talk her into taking the French Exam this year.

Daughter could develop mad skills with her aptitude if she just applied herself. If not French, then some other language. Even showing her that language skills might help pay her way through college(can you say scholorships?) or help her land an interesting job(can you say diplomatic corp?) doesn't seem to affect her attitude. She is too stubborn for her own good.

Gee, where does she get that from I wonder? ;-)

Sluggy-with the bum foot

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Toilet Paper Beat the Clock

I was able to chisel down the stack of Marcal Small Steps Qs a bit today.

The K-Mart stops were Not very fruitful, but I did get a few Paper Towel Packs.

At the local chain grocer I was able to use up the Facial Tissue Qs. And I almost cleared the shelf of the regional chain grocer in Teeny Tiny Town tonight of single T.P. rolls.

Here is the updated photo of the stacks....

I'm down to....

15 $4 item Qs(good for paper towel 3packs or t.p. 4 packs)

42 $1 item Qs(good for single rolls or facial tissue boxes on sale for $1)

29 $1 off Qs(good on 2 ct. paper towels, 4 roll t.p. packs or more-13 good on napkins also)

Total-86 Qs left to use.

Time left to use them in-3 days.

I'm not worried about the $1/1 Qs but....Must-Spend-FREE-item-Qs.....Must-Spend-FREE-item-Qs.....Must-Spend-FREE-item-Qs.....

Tune in tomorrow for the latest report....


CAT JAM FEVER at Wags, got Paid 11 cents to Shop

I had some CAT JAM FEVER today at Walgreens!
No, it's NOT a new Ted Nugent song parody(but it probably could be!lol).
And it's NOT a new Food Network Celeb's Food Product(though it would make a great name for a new Bobby Flay inspired hot sauce).
But it IS totally descriptive of my outing to Wags today.
Read on.....

So I had my scenarios all written down to roll my RRs for the week today. Got to the store and surpise, surprise!.....they had ALL the RR generating items in stock.

I get through the 1st Transaction, and then as the Cat machine is spitting out my 5 RRs for my 2nd Transaction it J-A-M-S mid Cat!




The paper jammed and the machine starts beeping and blinking and making some gosh awful noise like a gerbil is stuck in the gears of the thing.

Good grief!

The cashier is opening the front, fixing the paper, closing the front, then opening the back and sticking her hand in there playing with some wires. I am having visions of her electrocuting herself over some catalinas and the paramedics rushing in to carry her off in an ambulance.

But she somehow RESET the thing.

It stopped beeping.

It stopped blinking.

And it stopped printing the rest of my Cats as it had reset and now had no memory of my Cats.


So I got the 1st Cat and 1/4 of the 2nd one.

She calls the Manager.

The manager doesn't want to come up front because he just got a delivery in the back & is busy with that. He asks the cashier which Cats I need and she tries to tell him.

About 5 mins. later another employee comes up front with 3 papers & has the cashier give them to me. It's the dreaded forms to mail to the Cat company for your RRs that don't print. Of course, he should have brought FOUR forms, not three. I've got the Calcium D Cat, but need my Colgate $1.50RR, my Speed Stick $1RR, my Reach $3RR & my Tropicana $1RR. The forms he gave me where for the Edge Gel RR, the Colgate RR & a J&J RR(Reach is J&J but the RR amount is wrong). So I tell the cashier the forms are wrong or missing and she calls the Manager again.

Another 10 mins. go by and he finally shows up. I explain that I would have been more than happy to submit the forms(well, I lied...I HATE those forms!lol)but they were wrong or missing except for 1 AND 2 of them were NOT valid after today(had to be postmarked today 5/27!, even though the RR deals are active until Sat.)!)& there was no way I could get them in the mail today.

He looked at my receipt and gave the items I had bought the once over. Then he tried to tell me that my RRs didn't print because I used Coupons to buy them.

Oh, if I only had $1 for every time I've heard that lie!LOLOL

Don't these people understand that we all KNOW this is false by now?!?!

Geez.....they just keep trying this same old line on us, don't they?

So I came back at him, confidently, that I KNOW that isn't why they didn't print. The machine was in mid-print when it jammed, so it WAS trying to print RR #2 and would have printed the other 3 had it not jammed. My item count was 2 over my coupon count INCLUDING the RRs I used to pay. No RRs used in payment were from the same company as the items I purchased. I then pulled out a duplicate set of coupons like I had just used and said, "I can prove this snafu was NOT an error on my part by rebuying all the items on this receipt and using this identical set of coupons like I just used. I'll guarantee this other Cat machine at this register will print 5 RRs for $9,$3, $1.50 & 2x $1s. like it was trying to do over there before the machine jammed."

That seemed to satisfy him that I wasn't just some greenhorn couponer he could bluff. ;-)

Usually, like when the machine was broken 2 trips back, they just rering everything and print the RRs. Mr. "I'm too busy" just grabbed some already used RRs from the other register that equaled what they owed me and gave them to me.

As long as I got what was due me, that was fine.

Of course, I didn't look closely at the RRs he gave until I got home, so I didn't notice that 1 of them expires this Sat.


Usually you have 2 weeks to use them or lose them. I have 3 days to use this one. grrrrr

Then I went and bought the same items from Transaction #2 again and guess what??.....all 5 RRs printed!

The last 3 Transactions went smoothly. The whole process should have taken 1/2 hr. or less but because of the Cat jam snafu, I was in the store twice as long as I should have been.

I won't do a Play-by-Play Breakdown as it's late.

On my last Transaction, the register wouldn't take my Cutter's Repellant Q for $2.....might have been because I bought a double pack of sprays that was on sale and not a single bottle. Instead of pressing the point, I told her to take that item off my bill and I'll not use that coupon.....I could live without some bug spray today. She had already imputed my RRs as payment, so the total was -$2.98, meaning I had paid $2.98 over what was due.

So she refunded that amount back onto my Gift Card, which was fine by me. The Gift Card $ doesn't expire in 2 weeks like a

I just figured out my total OOP for these 6 Transactions and the first 5 came to $2.89. Then they owed ME $2.98, so I bought everything today and they paid me .11¢!

Grand Totals.....

Value of Items $164.48

Out of Pocket Negative $.11

Is 100.06% Savings possible??LOL

RRs Used $87RR

RRs Received $60.50RR

It should have been $61RRs as Mr. Manager gipped me out of .50RR. I can live with that though.

I did burn some RRs today. #1 son wanted some acne soap & they had some good stuff on sale, etc. I've got so many RRs I didn't mind burning through some, especially since next week I'll be getting free Ecotrin RRs with those $2 Qs I

So here is what I got.....

6 Colgate Toothpaste
9 Reach Toothbrushes
3 Reach Dental Floss
1 Listerine
5 Speed Stick Deo
3 Calcium D Supplements
2 Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheez
2 Chicken Broth
1 Mayo
2 Tropicana O.J.(NOT PICTURED)
2 PanOxyl Acne Soap
1 Wags Freezer Bags clearanced

All this and they paid me .11¢

They should have paid me $50 for the


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Lost Weekend a la Couponing

Have you ever seen that old movie, The Lost Weekend? It starred Ray Milland as a drunk who went off on an alcohol induced bender. He got the DTs & saw him some mighty big pink elephants in that film.

Well I feel like ol' Ray lately. I seem to have gone off the normal life tracks into one coupon induced shopping frenzy after another.

It all started earlier this month. Walgreens started it with that $5RR for those Glucose Meters. I had alot of coupons so I hunted those down for awhile. That gave me lots of $5RRs that I had to roll every 2 weeks or lose. (FYI-the Meters are in the process of being donated to a free medical clinic nearby.)

Then Rite-Aid had a fabulous month to do the Single Check Rebate, so I've been keeping a scorecard going of what I need to purchase each week to turn that MIR deal into a righteous Moneymaker!

Then there were the $10 Qs for Dr. Scholl's Inserts deal I 'stepped' into by accident(yes, I did just make a very lame pun), which gave me $10RR moneymakers that also now have to be rolled every 2 weeks into new RRs with the Bayer Meter RRs. I just finished planning out the 7 scenarios I need to complete tomorrow at Wags to roll the expiring RRs. That only took me an hour. 8-P

I have only dropped into CVS 4 times this month as I'm not an adept enough juggler to keep the Wags & CVS balls in the air simultaneously. The challenge of finding those Neutrogena sunscreen tubes Moneymakers was just too tempting NOT to visit today. BTW-I found some! ;-)

Then I found a long lost grocery love-Shop Rite-has a store that is plausibly close enough for my shopping pleasure. Another possibility for good shopping deals but at a distance.

Then Price Chopper baited us with a puny $7 Cat Deal. I was so starved for any Cat Deal here near Teeny Tiny Town that I swallowed it hook, line & sinker.
Last Wed. through Sat.(after I got my poor dented up car back)is just a haze of cooking, laundry, clipping/organizing 4x inserts from the 5/17 paper & running
back and forth to PC to roll the $7 Cats as many times as I could fit in. PS-I think I got in 23 Transactions before time ran out on the Deal. I won't know until I sit down and go through the pile of receipts!

Admist all this I've been methodically stockpiling paper products most of the month...those Marcal Small Steps items, that I blogged about HERE. With all those great FREE Small Steps Coupons I had plus the ones I traded for and then the ones I broke down and ordered on eBay because we didn't get the FREE $4.00 Valued Item ones, it was all a daze and this past weekend I finally pulled out all those SS Qs I had left and I think I may have a tad of a Couponing problem!

OK....I KNOW I have too many.


This isn't usually a problem but with a lack of focus on using these up, I find myself swimming in them and guess when they expire?

Go ahead, guess!

Did you say this Sunday, May 31st?

Of course you did.

And you are Correct!

So I spent Sunday night planning out my route with my other errands, so I can hit all the store that carry these items and hopefully use them all up before THIS Monday.

This is trickier than it sounds. Certain stores only carry the single t.p. rolls, while others carry the 3 pack Towels(for hubby, I don't do pts), and still others carry the 4 roll t.p. packages & some carry the single rolls and the facial tissues, etc. etc. etc.

I was successful today in using 30 single t.p. roll Qs, 7 facial tissue box Qs, 5 $1/1 Qs on napkins(I know, I know....I still use paper napkins sometimes and not cloth), 1 pack of p.t.s & 14 packs of 4 roll t.p. Monday I had to run out for some Memorial Day BBQ things and picked up 40 single roll t.p.s while I was at the store. I think if I show my face in that store again, the cashier who checked me out will have a nervous breakdown.
And I can't have THAT on my conscious.

Here's a pic of the Qs I have left....

Each of those paper clipped stacks is 20 Qs. There are 7 Free Facial Tissue Qs, 23 Free up to $4 Item Qs and I don't even know how many $1/1 Qs....maybe 40? I'm too tired(or would that be scared?) to count them.

I started out with about 250 Qs total, so I've still got some work to do this week. Tomorrow I hope to hit 2 K-Marts & 3 local chain grocers. If those don't prove fruitful then I'll hit the regional chain grocer in Teeny Tiny Town too. I should be able to pick up 20 rolls of tp there at least.

When this week is over, I don't think my family will need to buy t.p. until about Thanksgiving.

That would be Thanksgiving 2012!




Anybody want to bet whether I'll get these Qs all used before I either lose my mind or the sands of time run out?

Sluggy-who can stop aaaaanytime....

Reynolds Aluminum Foil for the Grill MAIL IN REBATE

If you are in the Central to Eastern PA area, check out your local Weis/Mr.Z's grocery store. There are displays in the stores for the new Reynolds Wrap Foil for the Grill. It's wider and supposedly non-stick.

There is a tearpad on the displays for a Mail-In Rebate to get your full purchase price back(up to $4.69) when you buy this new Grilling Foil and 1 other Reynolds Wrap foil item(excludes 25 & 20 sq. ft. rolls). Both items have to be purchased in the same transaction and the offer is good on purchases made between 03/23/09-10/31/09. MIR must be postmarked by 11/30/09.

The Foil for the Grill item at Weis here is $4.19. Use 2 Reynold's Foil $1/1 Qs from the 5/17 insert and buy the Foil for the Grill & another Foil item(cheapest that is larger than 20/25 sq. ft.), submit for the MIR on the Grilling Foil and you get back $6.19 on the purchase, while spending OOP $4.19 & $?
$2.89 is what the recycled Foil is going for here. That's what I bought with my Grilling Foil because philosophically, I'd rather get the recycled stuff.

So my transaction for the Grilling & Recycled Foil was $5.08 OOP(after Qs & before tax) and I'll get back $4.19 of that in the MIR.
You could also just grab the MIR Form now from the display and wait until you find a good sale on the other Reynolds foil products to snag a lower priced item with your Foil for the Grill. Just get a form soon before they all disappear!

There is also a $1/1 Q for the Recycled Reynolds Foil from the 4/19 inserts you can pair with the 5/17 insert foil Q, if you have it and don't have 2 Foil Qs from the 5/17 insert.
Whatever Q you use, go get you some cheap & free foil!

Meal Plan Monday...May 25th Edition Quick & Easys

The Meal Plan for last week?
I never got my act together in time to post it.
It was a crazy sort of week due to the fact that the support staff at the high school & middle school here was on strike, so I had 3 teens home at noon each day.
What a blessing and a joy!<---total sarcasm
I sort of made the Meal Plan up 2 days at a time as we went through the week, pulling most things from my stockpile or freezer.
The highlights were the LOBSTERS(a treat for $5.99lb. at Shop Rite!),Corned Beef/Cabbage/Carrots/Potatoes, Lasagna, Pizza-all from the stockpile or the previous week's shopping, except for the head of cabbage and the Lobsters. But sometimes, life is like that...the not planning ahead thing. It's at times like this, that it's a great thing to have a stockpile to pull from instead of having to run to the grocery store every night. Having a 'store' here that I've purchased everything at a low cost to rummage through sure beats being in the 'real store' rummaging for tonight's dinner at RETAIL prices!lol
As far as last week's Meal Plan, let's just start fresh this week, shall we?
The FOOD WASTE report for last week....with daughter dieting and #1 son no longer in wrestling season & #2 son becoming a mercurial eater, I really need to scale back how much I cook. There were so many leftovers from the previous week and a bit more this past week(but not as much as the previous week, at least). The doggies have been eating lots of leftovers with their kibble! I sure don't like spending all this money & then feed our food to them. Scaling back is what needs doing here.
I did spent some time cleaning the fridge 2 weeks back & again 2 days ago. I still need to get the bottom half done later this week. Which leads me to the Food Waste this past week, which was some old food items dug out of the back of the fridge Sunday. I did feed the leftovers we didn't consume to the doggies but the old jar of roasted red peppers(what a waste...I love those!), an old opened jar of spaghetti sauce & 1 looooong expired yogurt were unfit for even dogs and pitched out.
The only items I need to buy for this week's menu are the salad/sandwich greens & a tomato..oh and some sliced cheese as #2 son is still on a grilled cheese sandwich kick.
This week is chock full of standard meals for my house, with not much fancy stuff or experimenting. No baking from scratch either. I have much cleaning and organizing to do as relatives are coming soon, so meals are simple and quick here this week. No expensive meats or ingredients this week either so most of what I'm serving is pretty low cost.
Did I say 'this week' enough times for you in that paragraph?lol

Here's what is on the Menu at Sluggy's house this week.

MONDAY-Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Grilled Yellow Squash

TUESDAY-Baked Fish, Mushroom Rice, Brussel Sprouts w/Bacon

WEDNESDAY-Spaghetti & Meatballs(Beef or Turkey), Salad

THURSDAY-Club Sandwiches & Soup(might be Homemade Clam Chowder)

FRIDAY-Tacos, Corn, Spanish Rice

SATURDAY-Chinese Out for Lunch, Leftovers for Dinner

SUNDAY-Chili, Cornbread

DESSERTS FOR THE WEEK-Watermelon, Ice Cream, Chocolate Brownie Cookies(from the Pepperidge Farm Outlet)

Organizing Junkie is the home to Menu Plan Monday. Go see what's on her and many other Home Cooks' Menus for the week at Organizing Junkie's Website.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Walgreens Again....The Colgate Merry-Go-Round

You may remember my Walgreens post from earlier this week located Here, where I was fretting about buying the Colgate Visible White Toothpaste this week, since alot of RRs I was trying to roll from last week were $4.50RRs generated from a Colgate product back then.
Oh, how silly was I to worry about that!

Daughter needed to get out to purchase a Top-Up Card for her cell phone and the ONLY place she wishes to buy them is at WAGS, so I said, "Sure honey! I'll selflessly drive you over there to get your card.", as I rubbed my hands together with gleeful anticipation of some WAGS RR fun ahead.

I had read last night online at that the $4.50RR generated by the Colgate Visible White Toothpaste was truly ROLLING! So I planned to test it out in my local store.
My first pass through the register line and I had a Visible White Tpaste, a Right Guard Clinical Deo. & some filler Royal Gelatin boxes, so I could use 3 RRs-the $4.50 I got earlier in the week from buying the Visible White and a couple of $2RRs I wanted to roll.
I handed her the RRs after she rang up my 2 Qs and after looking at the $4.50RR, she said, "You CAN'T use this one!"
I said, "Why not?"
"Well, if you use it to buy this toothpaste, you won't get a RR back because it's a Colgate product.", she told me.
"That's ok....just use it.", I said, waving my hand like I didn't care. hehehe
"Ok, but don't say I didn't warn you!", she added.
She hits the button, the cash drawer opens up and the Cat machine starts spitting out 1 RR(for the Right Guard)and then #2 RR(for the Visible White).
The cashier's mouth dropped open and she just looked at me...."How did you do that?!?", said she.
I played dumb...."Gee, I don't know."
"You weren't suppose to get a RR. That never happened before. Maybe they changed the rules or sumthin....", she said, shaking her head.
I just smiled and went back to grab another tube of toothpaste and box of gelatin.
And each time I went to check-out with my toothpaste, gelatin, $4.50RR and .24¢, I got another $4.50RR. And the cashier just got more and more perplexed.
About the 6th pass through the line, I told her I saw online that for some reason, this product was spitting out RRs even when you used the same RR to pay.
She digested this information and then said, "Ok....but don't tell anyone working here. I get off in about an hour and I'm going to go get me some free toothpaste too!"
I leaned in and whispered, "Gotcha! I'll be sure and leave some boxes of it on the shelf for ya too."
And we laughed and shared a special moment..... ;-)
So what do you think? Did I get enough?

I also bought daughter a Frappaccino that isn't pictured. I didn't want too many but I only had bought 2 earlier in the week. Daughter urged me on too because she's getting her braces off next month and has this fear that she'll have stains on her teeth. She thinks she'll be needing this toothpaste to whiten them once the braces are off.

I'm too tired from today's excursions(including 2 trips to Price Chopper for more Unilever goodies)so I'll skip the 9 transaction breakdowns and just say that I spent a total of $2.43 on a Gift Card and got a $61.69 Value of Items, giving me a 96% Savings at Wags today.


Friday, May 22, 2009

How to Roll a CAT 101 & get a Great Deal!

I've had a couple of people ask me how to go about working a Catalina Promotion Deal, including the Cashier at the Price Chopper today, as I made my 5th trip through her check-out

The key to working a Deal or rolling a CAT is to be organized and Plan, Plan, PLAN before you even set foot in the store!

Yes, you can just throw your coupons and sales flyer into your purse and rush into the store, but then what?

What happens when they are out of items you want to build an order with?

What happens when you misfigure your total in your head and you haven't spent enough to qualify for the Cat?

You leave the store without your Cat and your great buys and either angry at yourself or so disappointed you just give up and go back to paying....GASP...retail for everything.

First you need to study the sales promotion.

1. What do you have to buy? Make sure you only buy what the sales ad clearly states qualifies for the promotion. If the ad is not clear, then ask store's management.

2. How much do you need to spend? Is there a dollar threshold you must spend & what is it? Is that dollar amount based on Regular Shelf Price, or if the item is on sale, the current sales price? One store here bases Cat promos on sales price(I hardly EVER do those promos!).

3. Is there a certain number of items you need to buy or a certain combination of items?

4. Are there any special conditions you need to meet for the CAT outside of #1 , #2 & #3?

With those questions answered, you are ready for some store reconnaissance. You need to venture into enemy territory(the store)and survey the battlefield. Take a trip into the store you'll be doing your deal in and get any information of price/size/quantity of the products you'll need to buy. My current Unilever Cat deal covered a wide range of Unilever branded items....from peanut butter to deodorant. As the total threshold was based on regular shelf price, I needed to literally take pen & paper into the store and write down the reg. price on each item in the deal. PC is notorious for NOT putting the price on BOGO sales ads! An item will be advertised as a BOGO/B1G1 but no mention of what the 1 you have to pay for will cost you.

You can sometimes use price information shared by others on forums like A Full Cup or Hot Coupon World but individual stores' prices CAN VARY. If I take the info. from someone online who shops at my chain store but in Trumbull CT, the price in MY PA store might or might not be the same. You want to know precisely the prices in YOUR store. This is vital information that, if you don't have it correct, can trip up your deal.

In my case, even though I did a Unilever Cat deal in early April in this PC store & still had some of the reg. shelf prices written down, I wrote them all down again on my reconnoitering 1st trip in for this New deal.

After all your facts are checked and you have all your information, now the fun begins! Get out your calculator and some pen & paper and do your homework.

Figure out and commit to paper any potential transactions you want to perform at the store.(This is also most excellent advise for folks who use ECBs at CVS &/or RRs at Walgreens to pay, and want to spend little to none out of pocket.)

I will fill up an 8x10 sheet of paper with potential scenarios before I even get in the car. When plannning out your scenarios, make sure to figure in the coupons you will be using too. If I can get it all written down(the scenarios with plenty of back up plans too)before I hit the store, the actual time it takes me to shop is minimal.

And be sure you have plenty of back up scenarios as Murphy's Law will always kick in and they will always be out of stuff you want to buy in your

Having the deals worked out beats trying to think on your feet in the aisles with the too loud muzak blaring and the other customers talking & getting in your way, all the while you are trying to figure math in your head, while fondling boxes of soap or jars of spaghetti sauce.lolol

And if you have to take babies or children or moody teens with you on your shopping trip, well, let me just say, there is a special place in Heaven for YOU!

If you have your beloved 'baggage' along for the ride, it is ESPECIALLY important to have the 'brain work' done ahead of time. That way you can be on auto-pilot so you can focus on keeping the kids out of trouble & happy and still have your deals work out.

Now get your coupons together. Bring any coupon you feel you may need. If it's a certain brands deal, unless you are also going to buying items besides the ones that qualify for that deal, leave the other branded coupons at home or in the car. For this Unilever deal I went through my binder and pulled every Unilever product that's a part of this Cat deal, just in case I needed it. I put them into 2 envelopes-one for the food products & one for the non-food/hba products. For the amount of coupons I had, this was enough organization for me.
And I would add, that if you are NEW to doing Catalina Deals to don't try to do 'other' shopping while shopping for the Cat Deal. Focusing on just this Cat Deal and buying just those products for this deal will help you get it right. If you need to do non-Cat deal shopping, do the Cat deal first, take it to the car and go back in to do your other shopping.

You scenarios are written down, your coupons, selling price of the items & sales flyer in hand. Grab your calculator(just in case you need to do last minute calculations in the store)and go to the store. Don't forget your store loyalty card too!!

Having everything worked out before you leave the house also makes the amount of time in the store alot shorter. Just pick up what's written down & get in line to pay.

Mostly it's the lengthy amount of time waiting in the check-out lines that makes some trips seem to drag on forever. If you can avoid being in the store on weekends(except very early or very late)& weekdays between about 2:30-5:30(the school dismissal hour to dinner hour), do so. Around here, those are the times where you will inevitably end up in a long check-out line. And any day they have a Senior Discount too. Most seniors aren't in a big rush so they slow the lines down, but they are much more pleasant company than the general population usually. ;-)

BTW-I hit Price Chopper this afternoon again & did 9 more transactions rolling my $7 Cat. After 12 Transactions, I'm up to a savings of 85%. (Savings of 80% for the first 3 & Savings of 86.5% for the last 9, averages out to 85% so far.)

I've got 1 more day of this sale ad/promo deal and an envelope still stuffed with coupons. If anyone is looking for me tomorrow evening, I'll be in PC until closing time. ;-))


I'm a Chopper least this week I am.

One of our local grocery stores, Price Chopper, has a silly slogan-"Be a Chopper Shopper!" Yes, they are all about "Chopping your Food Bill", etc, etc....blah, blah, blah.
Their marketing folks think this is clever, I think it is annoying. All those "chopping" references are a tad violent to boot.

Frankly, Price Chopper is NOT the least expensive overall in this area. I only go there to cherry pick the great buys(when they have them) or if they are holding a Catalina Promotion. You may recall my haul back in early April at PC from THIS post.

Well, Price Chopper is running a similar Unilever CAT Deal this week. Buy $20 in selected Unilever items and get a $7 CAT GOYNO(=Good On Your Next Order). Not as good as the Spend $40, Get $20 CAT Deal with the FREE EASTER HAM DOUBLE DIP, but there haven't been ANY CAT Deals around here for some time, so I took the bait!

Even though it's only a stinking $7 CAT for a $20 purchase, A-the total is based on the REGULAR SHELF Price, NOT the Sale Price! & B-some of the items included are Buy One/Get One FREE, so that alone will bring down your Out of Pocket costs and might make this stinking $7 CAT Deal worth doing.

Oh, and C-this CAT deal can roll. You can take that $7 CAT and use it on your next order of Unilever products and get another $7 CAT(if you purchase $20 or more in your next order).

So after dropping #1 son's car at the Oil change place and then dropping #1 son at school, I had an hour to hit the Price Chopper to scope out the shelf prices and figure out the least expensive way to get to $20 & then bring that down with coupons.

First I did this....

2x Wisk Laundry Detergent Reg. Price $6.59 ea.=$13.18/Sale Price BOGO
2x Q-Tips Swabs 500 ct. Reg. Price $3.99 ea.=$7.98/Sale Price 2/$5.00

Reg. Price Total=$21.16 **Over the $20 threshold

Sale Price Total=$11.59+.40¢ tax=$11.99

Coupons Used

1x $1.50/2 Wisk
2x $.30/1 Q=Tips doubled=$1.20

Coupon Total=$2.70

$11.99-$2.70=$9.29 OOP

Received a $7 CAT good OYNO

The 1st payment is the worst. Now it was time to 'play' with the PC money and get stuff for real C-H-E-A-P!

Next go 'round....

4x Caress Body Wash Reg. Price $5.49 ea.=$21.96/Sale Price BOGO

Reg. Price Total=21.96 **Over the $20 threshold
Sale Price Total=$10.98+.66¢ tax=$11.64

Coupons Used
4x $1.00/1 Caress Q=$4.00

$7.00 CAT
Coupon Total=$11.00

$11.64-$11.00=$.64 OOP
Received a $7 CAT good OYNO**

**Well I SHOULD have gotten a CAT but the machine ran out of paper halfway through my Cat!ack So the Manager came over and just gave me $7 cash back. I used that $7 as my CAT for the next transaction.

Round #3.....

2x Wishbone Dressing Reg. Price $2.69 ea.=$5.38/Sale Price BOGO=$2.69

3x Suave Shampoo Reg. Price $1.19 ea.=$3.57/Sale Price $.88=$2.64

2x Degree Deodorants Reg. Price $3.49 ea.=$6.98/Sale Price $2.00=$4.00

1x Degree Deodorant Reg. Price $4.49 /Sale Price $3.00

Reg. Price Total=$20.42 **Over the $20 threshold
Sale Price Total=$12.33+.58¢ tax=$12.91

Coupons Used
1x $1.00/2 Wishbone Q=$1.00

1x $1.00/2 Suave Q=$1.00

1x $1.00/1 Degree Q=$1.00

2x $1.25/1 Degree Q=$2.50
Coupon Total=$5.50

$12.91-$5.50=$7.41**-$7.00 cash from last Catalina that didn't print=$.41OOP Received a $7 CAT good OYNO

3 Rounds and I'm OOP $12.96. The value of the items I've purchased is $65.54. I'm just over an 80% Savings rate.

The more rounds I do, the lower my OOP will be proportionately to my Value of Items, meaning my percentage of savings will go higher.

I plan on going back over the next 2 days before the sale ends to do some more deals. Nothing as radical as back in early April but we can always use some more spaghetti sauce and soap. ;-))

Check back with me after the weekend to see how I did.

And if you have a Price Chopper near you, get on over and give this Catalina Deal a try. Go on now, I have faith that you can do this!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

All Roads Lead to Walgreen' least they did today

I have been going stir-crazy being grounded at home! My car is STILL in the shop thanks to my daughter's accident with the awning support pole at CVS the end of April.

We turned in the rental car early as it was just getting ridiculously expensive to keep it, so I've been without wheels for about a week now.

I finally bribed #1 son to drive me to WAGS today because I had RRs expiring on the 21st and Dr. Scholl's Qs to use before the month ends and we just can't have that now, can we?lolol

I had printed out some of the $5/25 coupon good today and tomorrow at WAGS but only used one. Why pay OOP actual CASH for things when I have all these lovely little RRs to spend! So after using 1 of the coupons I had printed off, I gave them to people in line around me. One woman I gave a Q to broke her $50+ order up so she could go back through the line to use another THAT woman has potential to be a great Hound!LOLOL

Here's how it went.....

Transaction #1

2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles on sale @ $10=$20.00
4x Bandaids on sale @$2.50 ea.=$10.00
1x Bayer Crystals on sale @$2.49
1x Colgate Visible White Tpaste on sale @$4.49
1x Bic Utility Lighter on sale @$2.99
1x Skintimate on sale @$1.99
1x Right Guard Pro Deo on sale @$5.99
2x Oreos on sale @$3.50=$7.00
3x Paper Plates @$1.50=$4.50
Subtotal $59.45
Tax $.54

Coupons Used
2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles Sunday Insert Q $10=$20.00
4x Bandaids Sunday Insert Q $1.00 ea.=$4.00
1x Bayer Crystals Q from display $1.00
1x Colgate Visible White Tpaste IP Q $1.00
1x Bic Utility Lighter IP Q $1.00
1x Skintimate Sunday Insert Q $1.00
1x Right Guard Pro Deo Sunday Insert Q $1.00
3x Paper Plates Wags Flyer Q $.51=$1.53
Wags 1 Day Q $5 off $25 after discounts=$5.00

Coupon Total $35.53

$59.99-$35.53=$24.46 OOP

No RRs used-so I could use that $5/25 Coupon. I don't know....I did get back more in RRs than I spent but still, I had to spend MONEY.

Received $10 Dr. Scholl's, $4 Bandaids, $2.50 Bayer, $4.50 Colgate, $1 Bic, $1 Skintimate, $5 Right Guard=$28RRs

Yes, I actually spent real money at Wags today! Imagine that....lolol

**So I paid and the cashier hands me the receipt and NONE of the EIGHT Register Rewards I was suppose to get, PRINTS! EEEEK!!!
After my heart started beating again I told her to call the manager 'cuz I was NOT leaving without my RRs!lol
Long story short, the CAT machine was broken. They KNEW it was broken first thing that morning and had put in calls to the company, etc. to try to get it fixed and they couldn't and they were STILL using that REGISTER all day to ring people up!! So, if you were an unaware shopper, you never even knew you were getting ripped off when you bought a RR generating item in that store!
Unreal.....that they would continue to ring customers out and not use a different register. They have FIVE registers at this store! Man, that got me
So the manager rerang everything up at another register and all 8 RRs printed like they should have the first time. So for the rest of my transactions I had to go to the photo center to checkout. Luckily, my fav. cashier Leticia was working at the photo center and she didn't mind letting me check out there. Sometimes the photo person doesn't want to ring you out if you don't have photo/ink stuff to buy too. I have GOT to write a letter to that store and give Leticia some Kudos! ;-))
Then it was off to roll a stack of RRs before they expired. Alot of them were $4.50RRs from the Colgate last week, so I couldn't buy the Visible White until I used those up.
Transaction #2
2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles on sale @ $10=$20.00
4x Kraft Mac & Cheez @ $.1.50=$6.00
1x Right Guard Pro Deo on sale @$5.99
1x Ramen Noodles Cup @ $.59
Subtotal $32.58
Tax $.36
Coupons Used
2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles Sunday Inserts Q $10=$20.00
4x Kraft Mac & Cheez Wags Flyer Q $.81=$3.24
1x Right Guard Pro Deo Sunday Inserts Q $1.00
1x Buy 3, Get 1 Free Kraft Mac&Cheez IP Q=$1.50
Coupons Total $25.74
Used $4.50RR (Colgate Sensitive)& $2RR(Pert)
Total OOP=$.70 put on Gift Card
Received $10 Dr. Scholls, $5 Right Guard Deo=$15RRs

Transaction #3

2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles on sale @ $10=$20.00
1x Bic Utility Lighter on sale @$2.99
1x Edge Gel on sale @$1.99
1x Right Guard Pro Deo on sale @$5.99
2x Ramen Noodles @$.29=$.58
Subtotal $31.55
Tax $.66

Coupons Used
2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles Sunday Inserts $10=$20.00
1x Bic Utility Lighter IP Q $1.0
1x Skintimate Sunday Inserts $1.00
1x Right Guard Pro Deo Q inside box $2.00
Coupon Total $24.00

Used $4.50(Colgate Sensitive), $2(Pert)
Total OOP $1.71 put on Gift Card
Received $10 Dr. Scholls, $1 Bic, $1 Edge, $5 Right Guard=$17RR

Transaction #4

2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles on sale @ $10=$20.00
1 Right Guard Pro Deo on sale @$5.99
2x 5 Gum @$1.49=$2.98
1x Energy Drink(for son) $2.29 Not Pictured
Subtotal $31.26
Tax $.50
Coupons Used
2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles Sunday Inserts $10=$20.00
2x WAGS Flyer Q 5 Gum $.50=$1.00
1x Right Guard Pro Deo Q inside box $2.00
Coupon Total $23.00

Used $4.50(Colgate Sensitive), $3(ConAgra)
Total OOP $1.26 put on Gift Card
Received $10 Dr. Scholls, $5 Right Guard=$15RR

Transaction #5

2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles on sale @ $10=$20.00
1x Right Guard Pro Deo on sale @$5.99
1x Fruity Pebbles Cereal on sale @ $2.50
1x Paper Plates $1.79
2x Angel Soft TP clearance @$1.09=$2.18
Subtotal $32.46
Tax $.42
Coupons Used
2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles Sunday Inserts $10=$20.00
1x Right Guard Pro Deo Q inside box $2.00
1x Wags Flyer Q Plates $.80
Coupon Total $22.80

Used 2x $4.50(Colgate Sensitive)-$9.00
Total OOP $1.08 put on Gift Card
Received $10 Dr. Scholls,$5 Right Guard=$15RR

Transaction #6

1x Royal Gelatin $.69
1x Colgate Visible White Tpaste on sale @$4.49
Subtotal $5.18
Tax $.00

Coupons Used
1x Visible White IP Q $1.00
1x Wags Flyer Gelatin Q $.44
Coupon Total $1.44

Used $3.00(Kraft)RR
Total OOP $.74 put on Gift Card
Received $4.50RR Colgate
Transaction #7
2x Oreos on sale $3.50=$7.00
1x Edge Gel on sale @$1.99
Subtotal $8.99
Tax $.12

Coupons Used
1x Edge Sunday Inserts $1.00
Coupon Total $1.00

Used $4.50(Colgate Sensitive), $2.50(Bayer)
Total OOP $1.11 put on Gift Card
Received $1 Edge, $3 Oreos=$4RRs
Transaction #8

1x Colgate Visibly White Tpaste on sale @$4.49
1x Royal Gelatin $.69
Subtotal $5.18
Tax $.00

Coupons Used
1x Colgate Visibly White $1.00
1x Wags Flyer Gelatin $.44
Coupon Total $1.44

Used $3.00(Kraft)
Total OOP $.74 put on Gift Card
Received $4.50RR Colgate
Value of Items $244.50
Coupons Used $134.95
OOP Spent $31.80 ($24.46 Cash/$7.34 Gift Card)
RRs Used $43.50
RRs Received $103.00
Savings of 87%

I am loving WAGS this month! All those Dr. Scholl's and Glucose Meter Moneymaker Coupons I got to use this month were wonderful.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rite-Aid Building Single Check Rebate for MAY Part 4

This is the 4th Post in My Rite-Aid MAY Single Check Rebate PLAN. See the 1st installment HERE & the 2nd one HERE & the 3rd one HERE.

To recap, here are the Rebates I have qualified for so far.

Skintimate $2.24
Salt-Aire $6.99
Mini Drops $6.49
Listerine Whitening $2.00
ProFoot $10.00
Claritin $3.00
Got2Be $4.99
Offer #50 $10-Highest level
Offer #500 $10-Need $7.55 more to get $25.00 Gift Card

Total of $55.71 in Rebates

Total Out of Pocket $55.26-including tax.

Everything free once the Rebates come in plus getting paid 45 cents.

The Plan from Part 2 has changed a bit. The Centrum Cardio SCR & the Centrum $10 rebate are NOT for the same size container. I can't buy 1 container and use it for both rebates. The size for the Centrum rebate is 180 capsules and cost alot more than the $10 Rebate offer. The size container for the Rite-Aid SCR is 60 capsules but the rebate is only for $1. Even with the $2/1 Q for it, I'll be spending about $7 OOP to get that $1 rebate, so these are out.

Here is what I bought on Sunday. This was done in 2 Transactions but if your Rite-Aid will take more than 1 Internet Printed Coupon Per Transaction, you can do this all in 1 Transaction instead. I had IP Qs for the Bayer & the Rite Aid 5/25 Q and they would only take one. **If you CAN do this in 1 transaction, leave out the Pop-Tarts. They were a cheap 'filler' for my purposes to get me to a $25 total.

Alaway Drops $7.99
Wound Wash $5.49
Right Guard Clinical Deodorant $5.99
Pop-Tarts $1.50 **Not Pictured**
Electrasol Dishwashing Detergent $4.99 **Not Pictured**
Subtotal $25.96

Coupons Used
Alaway Drops Q from Inserts $4.00/1
Wound Wash Peelie on Lid $1.00/1
Right Guard Q from Inserts $1.00/1
Pop-Tarts Peelie $1.00/1
$5/$25 Rite-Aid IP Q $5.00
Total Coupons $12.00

Tax $.66
Spent OOP $14.62

Bayer Crystals 10 ct. $3.99

No Tax
Used Bayer IP Q -$1.50
Spent OOP $2.49

Total OOP for both $17.11

The Alaway ALSO qualifies for Offer #500-the Allergy Rebate check. (I now qualify for this highest level Gift Card for this offer, the $25 GC.)

New Rebates I qualify for with this purchase.....
Alaway $7.99
Wound Wash $5.49
Right Guard Deo. $5.00
Electrasol $2.00
Bayer $3.99

So I added $39.47 in refunds to my total(with $15 more on the $25 Allergy Offer) & only $17.11 was spent.

Total of Rebate due me is now $95.18($70.18 Cash/$25 Gift Card)

Total Out of Pocket until rebates come in is $72.37.

This Plan now has me getting $95.18 worth of products for FREE PLUS I'll get my initial $72.37 back And get paid $22.81 MORE to take the items.
Well $22.81 of it will be a Gift Card, not cash, so technically I am OOP $2.19 and I profited $95.18 worth of product AND a $25 Gift Card.
Would you spend $2.19 on $120.18 worth of products?

I have a couple more items to purchase(the Gillette Deodorant this week and maybe something next week)before my plan is complete.

Check back for the last installment in this series soon.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Roasted Seasoned Potatoes a la Stockpile Recipe

The family had a yard work day on Sunday. The weather was nice, a tad cold but nice, so we donned the work clothes and set out to get the garden beds ready to plant. We pulled up weeds, raked up undecomposed leaves and such from the beds & did some weed whacking around the dog run and pool. There was also the end of last year's dirt pile to move so we could level & reseed the now grassless spot where it had sat. We also had a new pile of dirt delivered last week that had to be dumped into various garden beds. The compost also needed work as it had sat unattended all winter.

After a few hours of work, we called it a day and I had the task of feeding the ravaneously hungry crew. Besides the steaks I bought the day before to grill out on Sunday, I had been so busy with the yardwork that I hadn't prepared any other dishes to go with the protein....heck, I didn't even have ANY IDEA of what to serve with the steaks. So I opened the pantry door and peered in to see what stockpiled items would 'speak' to me.

The vegetable dish was easy, as I had some frozen boxed mixtures to choose from. The carbo dish was the hard one....I had some potatoes I needed to use up but baked potatoes would take too long and I didn't want to fry anything since I was on outside grill duty.
A box of Knorr dry soup mix caught my eye and I took it from there, making it up as I went along.

I washed & peeled the potatoes. Then I cubed them, placing them in a big stainless steel bowl.

I poured in about 2 Tablespoons of EVOO=Olive Oil, and tossed them in the bowl to coat.

I sprinked on 1/2 a packet of Knorr Leek Soup dry soup mix, shaking the potatoes so they were coated evenly.
The Knorr Soup Mix was a find from a Big Lots at $1.00.

Then I shook on McCormick's Salad Supreme(a salad topping seasoning mix)& one of their Grill Mates mixtures called "Hamburger". This had salt, pepper, chili flake, garlic, etc. in it. The Salad Supreme has Parmasen Cheese in it, among other things. I sprinkled on each, while tossing the potatoes to coat evenly, using about 1 Tablespoon of each.

Then I lined a cookie sheet with foil and turned the potatoes out on it, spreading them evenly. No need to spray the foil, as the EVOO on the potatoes will keep them from sticking to the foil.

I roasted the potatoes in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 22 mins. or until the chunks were cooked through and they were golden in color. (Smaller pieces will cook quicker-larger pieces will take longer, so YMMV.)
And here they are! My photography isn't the best but even with my skills with a camera, they looked good enough to eat!lol

The family gobbled them up in short order and gave them 2 thumbs up.
The potatoes were inexpensive, as potatoes usually are....about $1.00 for 7 spuds.
The Soup Mix was $1, so the half I used was .50¢.
The McCormick Seasonings were $1 & $.67 a bottle, respectively, on sale and with $1/1 Qs. I used approx. 1/4 a bottle each, so .25¢ & .17¢=.42¢ for both.
EVOO was .13¢ a tablespoon, so cost was .26¢ for 2 TBs.
$2.18 total for 6 generous servings or .36¢ per serving.
I thought this dish was fairly successful. It was tasty without resorting to mashing and tons of Butter & Salt....not that there's anything wrong with Butter &

It's Monday night and I STILL don't have my Menu Plan done for this week!
Maybe a refreshed brain in the morning can deal with this chore. I'm just too beat to think up anything good tonight.
Off to rest my weary bones.....


Saturday, May 16, 2009

These Insoles are Made for Walking! 99% Savings at WAGS!

The Dr. Scholl's Qs I ordered came on friday. I found myself out & about today near a Walgreens and made a quick run into the store to use some Qs.

Transaction #1

2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles on sale 2/$20
Used 2x $10/1 Qs
Total OOP $.00
Received $10RR for Insoles

I had gone over to the food aisles looking for those boxes of Large Lipton Tea Bags(the ones for making iced tea by the pitcher) I saw the other day that they were on clearance for .80¢ a box. This store had none! I figured the .87¢ peanut butter would be long gone...

But as I wandered back to get more insoles to buy, I went down the back end of the 'hardware' aisle and they had carts of food products lined up down the middle of the aisle. I don't know if they were marking them all down for clearance of just rearranging the food shelves and needed some stuff out of there temporarily so they had space to work BUT.....I found the boxes of Tea Bags in a cart there. So I priced checked them and they were still on clearance for .80¢....yes!!! We drink alot of fresh brewed iced tea in this house. Those boxes go for $3.00+ regular retail so .80¢ is a wonderful price!

Which leads me to the next couple of transactions......

Transaction #2

2x Lipton Tea Bags clearanced @.80¢=$1.60
2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles on sale $2/$20.00
Subtotal $21.60
Used Coupons
$1/2 Lipton Tea=$1.00
2x $10/1 Dr. Scholl's=$20.00
Coupon Total $21.00
Total OOP $.60
Received $10RR for Insoles

Transaction #3

5x Lipton Tea Bags clearanced @.80¢=$4.00
2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles on sale $2/$20.00
Subtotal $24.00
Used Coupons
2x $1/2 Lipton Tea=$2.00
2x $10/1 Dr. Scholl's=$20.00
Coupon Total $22.00
Used $2RR
Total OOP $.00
Received $10RR for Insoles

Wandered back to the Pharmacy and saw they had more Breeze 2 Monitors in....

Transaction #4

Breeze 2 Monitor on sale $14.99
Subtotal $14.99
Used Bayer Monitor Q $14.99
Total OOP $.00
Received $5RR for Monitor

**I just want to mention that alot of the blogs note that the Breeze 2 AND Contour Monitors are month long deals at Walgreen's for May. This Is NOT correct. Both Monitors were on special the 1st week of May(April 26th-May 2nd)BUT ONLY the BREEZE 2 Monitor is on sale for $14.99 ALL MONTH!
Trust me, I found out the hard way, by trying to buy a Contour AFTER the 1st week. It rang up regular price, twice!lol**

This store STILL hadn't gotten any Roots of Nature Hair Products either. And I found 1 lone bottle of the Iceland Health Fish Oil Capsules left on the back of a high shelf this turn around the aisles. Plenty of Colgate Max Toothpaste and Toothbrushes however.

Transaction #5

4x Ramen Noodles@ 4/$1.00=$1.00
2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles on sale $2/$20.00
1x Iceland Health Fish Oil @$8.00
Subtotal $29.00
Used Coupons
2x $10/1 Dr. Scholl's=$20.00
1x $5/1 Iceland Health=$5.00
Coupon Total $25.00
Used $2RR, $2RR=$4RR
Total OOP $.00
Received $10RR for Insoles, $8RR for Fish Oil

Transaction #6

2x Dr. Scholl's Insoles on sale $2/$20.00
Subtotal $20.00
Used Coupons
2x $10/1 Dr. Scholl's=$20.00
Coupon Total $20.00
Total OOP $.00
Received $10RR for Insoles

Grand Total
Value of Items Purchased $223.28
Coupons Used $121.99
Total Out of Pocket $.60
Savings of 99%
Register Rewards Used $6
Register Rewards Received $63

This was a great trip. Quick, low OOP, stuff I can use & made lots of RRs.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Green & Thrifty Thursday...Toilet Paper without the Guilt

A little late but it's still Thursday somewhere, right?lol

Here's this week's Green & Thrifty Tip.

I am NOT paid to endorse or review products. So rest assured, I have no financial motive when I recommend a product. You'll get the unvarnished truth from my experiences with products.

Folks who are concerned about the environment(and who isn't these days?) have decisions to make when shopping. Usually the big choice boils down to this one....Do you use the product that does the least harm to the environment or do you use the product that does the least harm to your financial bottom line.
Face it, most 'green' products come with a bigger price tag than 'regular' products. Buying 'green' is not cheap and often times the products are not all that 'green' either. Being 'green' has become the new hype companies use to get more of the GREEN stuff(money) out of YOU! When you can find something that truly strives to be 'green' & satisfies BOTH your conscience AND your wallet, that is HUGE!

Even if you are concerned with the environment, most people don't want to or can't conceive of give up using ALL paper products. You can give up paper napkins in lieu of cloth napkins;you can give up paper plates & use 'real' plates. But most folks can't see giving up using toilet tissue. Ah, there's the 'green' consumer's rub.....until now.

Marcal has come out with a line of paper products called SMALL STEPS. The company claims that No trees are destroyed in the making of these products. They are made from 100% premium recycled paper ONLY! If you buy the single roll size, even the outer wrapper is a paper product and can be composted! The larger packages DO have a plastic outer wrapper but I read on the wrapper that it CAN be recycled as a #4! Think of all those toilet paper wrappers being thrown into landfills each day....Charmin, Scott, Cottonelle, etc. If they would all go to a recyclable packaging, that's a TON of material we wouldn't have to dump into the earth!

Not only is this Marcal SMALL STEPS product better for the environment by not causing the destruction of the earth's forests, it is whitened WITHOUT Chlorine Bleach, so no harsh chemicals are used to make this product white. I don't know the specifics of the whitening process but since it's recycled paper to begin with, it's already been bleached in it's previous life, right? There isn't much whitening left to perform on it.

SMALL STEPS products are also Hypoallergenic with no Dyes or Fragrances added. I don't like my toilet paper colored or scented up, how about you? This would be a great product for all those folks out there who are allergic to chemical produced fragrances and artifical colorings.

I've used the toilet tissue, the facial tissue & the paper napkins in this line. In my experience, all are as good or better than other brands of the same items. They are sturdy but soft and get the job done.

As far as price goes, this line of Marcal products is comparable in price to other brands. Marcal has been releasing coupons regularly for this new line, making the products an even better deal for your wallet. Let's hope they continue to offer coupons to keep the price you pay lower, if you choose to use the coupons that make available.
As you can see in the photo below, I have been picking up the Small Steps products as I get coupons for it, giving me quite the toilet paper & facial tissue stockpile. Behold my Pyramid of Paper in

If you don't see the Small Steps line in your store, check out the Marcal website HERE to see where it's currently available. Or ask your local store manager to carry it.

No harsh chemicals, dyes or fragrance, good price, no trees cut down and even the packaging is recyclable. Sounds like a win/win/win/win/win to me!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Quickie to CVS...Buy $48.46, Spend .22¢

While over by WAGS yesterday I popped into CVS for a few things and to roll some Extra Care Bucks.

4x Kellog's Cereals on sale $2 ea.=$8.00
4x Ragu Sauce on sale $1.66/67 ea.=$6.67
2x Skippy Peanut Butter on sale $1.66/67 ea.=$3.33
2x Crest Pro Health Rinse on sale $3.49 ea.=$6.98
Bayer Crystals on sale $2.00
Nivea Body Wash $5.99
Nivea Legs Cream $9.99
Nivea for Men After Shave clearance $1.50
12 pack Diet Coke *Not Pictured* on sale $3.25
1x Energy Drink *Not Pictured* on clearance $.75
Subtotal $48.46

Coupons Used....
4x Kellog's Cereals $1/1 =$4.00
1x Ragu Sauce $1.25/3=$1.25
1x Skippy Peanut Butter $1/2=$1.00
2x Crest Pro Health Rinse $1/1=$2.00
1x Bayer Crystals $1/1=$1.00
Nivea Body Wash buy Leg Cream Get Body Wash Free=$5.99
2x Nivea $1/1=$2.00
1x Diet Coke $1/1=$1.00
Coupon Total $18.24

Used 3x $10 ECB=$30.22

Received ECBs...
$4 for 2x Crest Rinse
$2 for Bayer Crystals
$3 for Ragu/Skippy(buy $10, get $3ECB)
$5 for Nivea(buy $15, get $5ECB)
ECB Total $14

The per item breakdown on the Nivea was $2.00 ea.(not counting the clearance item)after the coupons and ECBS earned....a little high for what I like to see but ok.

I have peanut butter coming out my ears! I bought these 2 jars BEFORE I hit the Peter Pan clearance sale(.87¢!!) at WAGS, so we are good on the peanut front I also realized I didn't have enough Diet Coke stockpiled for hubby's relatives arrival in 2+ weeks. All 3 of them drink this stuff, so my 1 12-pack purchase was far from enough! I figure 2 12-packs should get them through 3 days, right? Oh wait....Sis-IL will be here a WEEK....Yikes! I'd better pick up more, huh?lol

If anyone needs Kellogg's Cereal, get to CVS this week after you print the Kellogg's coupons on Here. With coupons, they will run you $1 a box!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Walgreen's-cheap Peanut Butter, Fish Oil & Beans-95% Savings

Stopped by WAGS today to roll some RRs.
**Be careful this week if you are rolling the $4.50 Colgate Sensitive Toothpaste RRs from last week. Don't use this RR to pay in a transaction buying the Colgate Max Fresh/White Toothbrush or Toothpaste, or you won't get your Max White/Fresh RR. I mention this because it almost tripped me up today!

Let me just give a disclaimer here for all my Compact following friends, before you see the photo below. There are sinful Paper Towels in the photo. Now, I don't do paper towels in any way shape or form, since my sick old dog passed away last May. I hate paper towels, I always have since my mom first bought them in about 1973. But I am married to a human being who thinks Mighty Highly of them & grew up using them. He doesn't care if he's destroying the planet when he needs to use a paper towel.

He also pays for things around here, as he is the gainfully employed one and he is very good to me. So I let him have his few indulgences. My only request is that I buy the paper towels & not him.
He is a typical need an item, you go into the nearest place that sells item and you buy it. You don't even look at the price, you don't find one that is less expensive if there is a choice and good lord!, you DON'T USE COUPONS!
So, if paper towels are coming into this house, they are coming in through MY FRUGAL, COUPON USING, CHEAP SELF FILTER! I get em but I get em cheap. I'm not happy about it but I do what I gotta do. 'Nuff said.

With that, here's the haul from this afternoon......

Transactions #1

Colgate Max Fresh Toothbrush $2.99
Iceland Health Fish Oil $8.00
2x TUF Paper Towels @$.89=$1.78
Subtotal $12.77
Tax $.08

Coupons Used....
Colgate Toothbrush $1.00
Iceland Health $5.00
WAG Q Tuf Paper Towels $.60
Coupon Total $6.60

Used $4.50RR from Listerine
$1.75 OOP
Received $8RR Fish Oil, $2RR Toothbrush

Transactions #2

Colgate Max Fresh Toothbrush $2.99
Iceland Health Fish Oil $8.00
2x TUF Paper Towels @$.89=$1.78
Peter Pan Peanut Butter clearance $.87
Subtotal $13.64
Tax $.08

Coupons Used....
Colgate Toothbrush $1.00
Iceland Health $5.00
WAG Q Tuf Paper Towels $.60

Coupon Total $6.60
Used $2.50RR from Bayer, $2RR from Pert, $2RR from Pert
$.62 OOP put on Gift Card
Received $8RR, $2RR

Transactions #3

Colgate Max Fresh Toothbrush $2.99
2x Milky Way Bars @$.89=$1.78
Bayer Crystals $2.49
Subtotal $7.26
Tax $.00

Coupons Used....
Colgate Toothbrush $1.00
Bayer Crystals $1.00
WAG Q Mars Candy Bars x2 $.80
Coupon Total $2.80

Used $2RR from Pert, $2RR from Right Guard
$.46 OOP on Gift Card
Received $2.50RR, $2RR

Transactions #4

Iceland Health Fish Oil $8.00
6x Van Camp's Beans raincheck @$.50=$3.00
Peter Pan Peanut Butter clearanced $.87
Subtotal $11.87
Tax $.00

Coupons Used....
Iceland Health $5.00
Van Camp's $.75
Coupon Total $5.75

Used $2RR from Pert, $2RR from Right Guard, $2RR from Right Guard
$.12 OOP
Received $8RR

Transactions #5

5x Peter Pan Peanut Butter clearanced @$.87=$4.35
Subtotal $4.35
Tax $.00

No Coupons used

Used $2RR from Right Guard, $2RR from Pert
$.35 OOP

Value of Items $72.87

Coupons Used $21.75

OOP Spent $3.30($1.08 on GC/$2.22 Cash)

Savings 95.5%

RRs Used $25.00

RRs Received $32.50

I should have bought a 3rd Paper Towel on my 1st transaction and I could have used another $2RR to pay and had a $.37OOP instead of $1.75OOP. Doh!lol

I hate all these $2RRs I had. Made it harder to roll.
I did burn some RRs though for that amazingly cheap peanut butter...what a good price!
No Roots of Nature yet at this store. The truck comes tomorrow so I'll have to live without it as I don't have time or another reason to be over in that part of town the rest of the week.


I found a Shop-Rite & I got some deals!

When I was newly married back in the early 1980's, my hubby & I lived in northeastern New Jersey. My grocery store of choice back then was Shop-Rite. I loved me some Shop-Rite! ;-)

Eventually we bought our 1st home & moved to Pennsylvania. The 2nd closest grocery store to our house was still a Shop-Rite over the border in NJ. This was a 45 min. trip each way to the store but I gladly chose it over the 30 min. trip to the closer Grand Union store.

8+ years ago we moved again to a different location in PA with NO Shop-Rite. They did open a Shop-Rite here, in an old abandoned Hechinger's Lumber/Hardware Store. It was open all of 9 months before the company pulled out of the area and closed this extensively remodeled store. It was hardly open long enough to find out if this location would make or loose money! I've been lamenting the demise of Shop-Rite here for the last 6 yrs.

After seeing someone online post about yet another good deal at their Shop-Rite store, I went to the company website and started poking around. I discovered that there IS a Shop-Rite location 'sort of' near me! Well, it's 30 miles each way, so no further than what I use to have to drive to get to the one where we use to live in PA.

I had some time, a nice day & a good weekly sales ad, so I went to find the Shop-Rite the end of last week.
With my trusty coupon binder in hand, I went to sniff out the deals.
Here is what I was done in 3 transactions & only part of the goodies from this shopping trip are pictured.

5x Joint Juice Water on sale @$2.50=$12.50
2x Wesson Veg. Oil on sale @$2.49=$4.98
1x Large Eggs on sale @$.98 **Not pictured
1x Tropicana OJ 64 oz. on sale @$2.88 **Not pictured
1x Pork Shoulder Picnic $.99lb.=$9.24 **Not pictured
14x Perdue Cutlets/Strips @$1.99=$27.86 **Not pictured
3x Perdue Buffalo Bites @$1.99=$5.97
12x Aqua-Fresh Toothpaste on sale @$.99=$11.88
3x Colgate Toothbrushes on sale @$.99=$2.97
13x Spray n'Wash on sale @$1.64=$21.32
2x Spray n'Wash Stick on sale @$2.00=$4.00
Subtotal $104.58
Tax $2.41
5x Joint Juice Water on sale @$2.00=$10.00
14x Perdue Cutlets/Strips @$1.00=$14.00
3x Perdue Buffalo Bites @$1.00=$3.00
12x Aqua-Fresh Toothpaste on sale @$1.00=$12.00
3x Colgate Toothbrushes on sale @$1.00=$3.00
15x Spray n'Wash on sale @$.50 doubled=$15.00
2x $5 Catalina for buying 5 Spray n'Wash=$10.00
Coupon Total $67.00

$106.99-$67.00=$39.99 OOP
And I have a $5 Catalina OYNO to spend.
I got some amazing deals. The Wesson Oil was Gallon sized, the Pork Shoulder was a great price at .99¢ lb., the Toothbrushes and Toothpaste Tubes were free w/coupons, the Joint Juice was .50¢ per 4-pack w/coupons. The Perdue chicken-regularly $3.99 a package was half-price and with my $1 coupons, it came out to .99¢ a package! The Buffalo Bites even had $1 Peelies on the packages. I ONLY bought 17 Chix because I didn't have room in the freezer for
The best was the Spray n'Wash deal. It was 1/2 price at $1.64 for the Spray Bottles or $2 for the Stain Sticks. I had .50¢ coupons that doubled to $1, so the first 5 cost me .64¢ each. With each 5 you bought, you got a $5CAT good OYNO. So I bought 5 more, used 5 more coupons, making my total $3.20 and used the $5 CAT, so had overage of $1.80 per 5 bottles and got another $5CAT.
I could only use 15 coupons though as they ran out of Spray n'Wash....rats! I got a raincheck so I can go back next week, use my coupons and get it for better than free with the $5 CAT I have left. I figured out that the 15 bottles I bought cost me $10.32+tax after coupons. I used 2 $5 CATs, so basically I paid .32¢ + tax for 15 bottles of Spray n'Wash. And the last 4 bottles(couldn't get a raincheck for more than 4) with cost me -$2.44 after I use my last $5 CAT.
Value of Items purchased....$198.57
Out of Pocket.........................$39.99
I can say, I STILL loves me some Shop-Rite!lol