Friday, November 20, 2009


I have recently had some good and not-so-good things happen that has made me realize that I need to take some TIME and UNPLUG.

This blog is fun.
This blog helps people.
But it's time I take a chance to unplug for a bit.

I'm hoping it is just until after the holidays and then I can be back in force, blogging about great deals once again, but I'm making no promises.  I do know that I enjoy blogging, but I always said once it became something I felt like I HAD to do instead of WANT to do, then I would call it quits.

The fact is that my family and home has to come first right now.  I have three little ones (two of them VERY LITTLE) and this is just one thing I have to let go for now.
Most of my readers have come from Facebook (thanks friends!) so I will post an update when I decide the time is right to plug in again.

Coupon Institute:  I will end with next week's post on Grocery Store shopping.  I always intended to re-teach the lessons at the beginning of 2010, so that is still my tentative goal, as well as completing the "course."

Thanks for hanging in and supporting me!  Keep me bookmarked and check in every now and then to see what is new!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week 5: Scoring great deals at Target+video link

As you can read from Target's Coupon policy, you can use TWO coupons per item--one Target, one manufacturer.  This makes it very easy to get great deals at Target--food there is sometimes cheaper than the grocery stores!  Here are some tips for Target shopping:

1. Profile your cashier--Target cashiers can make or break you.  I have found some cashiers to push my coupons right while others are so unsure of what to do, they call someone over for every coupon.  My suggestion is to look for two types of cashiers--older women or teenage boys.  The older women always seem to "cheer me on" as I give them my coupons and watch my total go down.  The younger boys are (often) brought out from the stock room or gathering carts and when I seem to know more than they do about the coupon policy, they push my coupons through as well.  

2. Know the difference in "Limit one per transaction" and "Limit one per item" wording on coupons. Target coupons usually say "limit one per transaction" while manufacturer Q's usually limit you to one per item, but not per transaction.  Read your coupons carefully.

3. Go with a plan BUT take your coupon binder and be flexible.  Target prices vary widely from store to store nationwide.  Laundry detergent might be on temporary price cut in Alabama, but not in California.  Even within the same state, Target's sales might vary.  It is always good to go with a plan, but this is the store where I also carry my binder, just in case.  Other stores, I simply carry my small organizer with just the coupons I need.

4. Print the Target coupon policy and carry it with you.  In case your profiling of your cashier has not gone well, you might need this on hand so they can be reminded of the rules.

5. Target now (as in JUST THIS WEEK) has started to limit how many coupons you can print per computer to just two.  Before it was unlimited.  Here is the new info:
This is what they now state under one of the questions on their help page "Many of our coupons have print limits – per guest and in total. If/when you exceed those limits, the coupon will no longer appear for you or you may receive a messaging stating “you have exceeded your household limit” or “this coupon is no longer available”." You can check out more details on this here.
Here is the link for Target coupons.  I have updated my Printable Coupons link in my sidebar to add this new link.

Lastly, my favorite blogger, Hip2save has a great video on Target shopping.  She shows you how to find deals and combine coupons to get things for free or very little.  Watch how she explores every part of the store to find deals!  Love that gal!

So what have you found for a steal at Target lately?

Coupon Institute Week 5: Target Coupon Policy

Here is the Target Coupon Policy direct from a customer service rep that I emailed recently:

When accepting coupons, we use the following guidelines:

- We accept two kinds of coupons: Target-issued and manufacturer-issued.
- We'll accept one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon for the same item, unless either coupon prohibits it.
- We can't give cash back if the face value of a coupon is greater than the purchase value of the item; in this case, we're able to adjust the value of the coupon to equal the price of the item.
- We can't accept coupons from other retailers, or coupons for products not carried in our stores.
- All valid coupons should be presented to the cashier while you're checking out.

For questions about using a specific coupon, we encourage you to stop by Guest Service and ask to speak with the Guest Service Team Leader. They'll do their best to help while you're in the store. If you still have questions after speaking with them, please call our Guest Relations team at (800) 440-0680. Either way, we're here to help!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sick, but not dead

Wow.  I am sorry for the lack of deals and freebies this week.  I decided Wednesday night (as I have been battling a cold all week) that this week would be a "do over"  next week.  There is no use trying to attempt to salvage it now, so I'm taking the rest of the week off to recover, get family stuff done and get things ready for next week's blog posts again.
Thank you, dear readers, for emailing to check on me.  
Target coupon policy, coupon stacking rules, deals and freebies to come.  Thanks for hanging in there.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Still here + Coupon Institute

I am still here.  I have family visiting me last week and this week and I am feverishly trying to get stuff done while I have some live-in babysitters.  

Coupon Institute this week is all about TARGET SHOPPING!
Did you get the Target Toy Catalog (and coupons) in this weekend's paper?

Check in later this week for our next Coupon Institute lesson on Target shopping.  I hope you love it as much as I do.  I didn't realize I could get such great deals at Target when you use coupons the right way!!

Thanks for hanging in!  More soon!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Target deals--Wii games and more

Okay, so I could tell you how I scored $98 of stuff last week at Target for $52 and NEXT WEEK you are going to learn how saving at Target works.  IT IS CRAZY.

Here is an example.  Remember the Target Toy book I posted about here?  Well now the coupons are available to print here!  And here you can view the Toy catalog for the holidays.

There is a $10/2 Wii games coupon--paired with their weekly sale of Buy 2 Wii games, get 1 free, this is going to be an AWESOME DEAL.
Some games start at $14.99
Buy 3 Wii games at $14.99=$42.97
Minus Buy 2 get one free=$28.98
-$10/2 coupon=$18.98
3 Wii games for $6.33 each!

Even paired with the more expensive Wii games, this is a killer deal with the coupon!

Just wait until next week.....we will learn more about Target coupons and how to really maximize your savings there.  I am constantly amazed that I can save so much at Tar-jay.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Home Depot Kid's Workshops

 I know I have mentioned the Lowe's workshops for kids, but Home Depot has them too.  Home Depot's are the first Saturday of each month. In my honest opinion, they are more difficult than Lowe's, so if you aren't real handy, have your child go with someone who is.  I seem to always put the darn thing together backwards.  My daughter will go with her PawPaw this weekend for this project

No signups necessary, but that also means first come, first served.  The workshops are 9-12, but I try to get there by 10, just to be safe.  My local store ALWAYS runs out by about 11am.

Kids will get an apron, goggles, and the project.  Once completed, they will receive a certificate and an achievement pin.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Walgreens: My Five Faves

Here are my FIVE favorite deals at Walgreens this week.  What are yours?

Mitchum Deoderant $1.99 with in-ad Q
-$1/1 from the 11/1
$.99 each!

Tide Stain Release (10 count) $3.99
-$1/1 from the 11/1 P&G

Febreze Flameless Luminary $12.99 (buy $10, get $2.50 RR)
-$4/1 from the 11/1 P&G
$6.49 after Q and RR

Buy TWO DayQuil or NyQuil 10 or 12 ct or liquid @ $4.50 each, Get $3 in Register Rewards
Use TWO $1.50/1 coupons from the 11/1 P&G
Pay $6 out of pocket
Get back $3 in RRs
$1.50 each after coupons and RRs

Almay One Coat Mascara – Buy 1 Get 1 50% off (they are $6.99 online)
Use $4/1 Walgreens coupon from the
$1.24 each after coupon

CVS $5 Challenge

The CVS $5 Challenge is hosted by Kingdomfirstmom.  The goal is to roll your ECB's and keep your total OOP under $5, while earning MORE ECB's.

Transaction 1:
Plackers Dental Flossers 90 ct. $2.99=$2Ecb (limit 1)
Use the $1/1 coupon from the 11/1RP

OOP: $1.99

Transaction 2:
Gillette Disposable Razors (2-12 ct) $5.99=$2Ecb (limit 1)
Use the $3/1 coupon from the 11/1PG

Use $2 ECB from above
OOP: $.99

Transaction 3:
Buy 2 Reach Toothbrush 2pks $3.99 each=$7.98 (Earn $2 ECB)
Use the buy one get one free coupon from the 4/26RP
Plus, use the $1/1 coupon from the 3/15, 6/14 or 10/18RP
Use $2 ECB from above

OOP: $.99

Total OOP: $3.97+tax
Earn $2 ECB to roll next week!
Retail value=$14.96

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's Hip to Save!: "Follow Me Monday" Post-Holiday Shopping!

Want to see how to score some GREAT deals on post-holiday merchandise? Check out my FAVORITE blogger's video post.
I am going to head to Target to try to find some of those monster washcloths for a baby gift....So cute!

It's Hip to Save!: "Follow Me Monday" Post-Holiday Shopping!

Walgreens Money making deals

Hip2save has a couple of great deals this week at Walgreens for you experienced Register Reward users.
The deal on Theraflu and Dulcolax is here.

The deal on Lubriderm and Almay cosmetics is here.

Coupon Institute Week 4-CVS Weekly Deals

Want to see the weekly ads before they arrive at your door each week?  Check out iheartcvs for the ad scans.

Thanks to hip2save for pulling together this week's CVS matchups!

Extra Care Buck Deals

Plackers Dental Flossers 90 ct. $2.99=$2Ecb (limit 1)
Use the $1/1 coupon from the 11/1RP
Final cost FREE!

Buy $10 worth of Oral-B Pulsar Power or Manual Toothbrush single packs=$5Ecb (limit 1)

Prices starting at $2.69
Buy 4 for a total of $10.76
Use 4 $1/1 coupons from the 11/1PG
Pay $6.76
Get back a $5Ecb
Final cost $0.44 per toothbrush!

Buy Listerine Total Care 16.9 oz, Reach Toothbrush 2 pk, or Reach Floss 30 yd $3.99=$1 Ecb (limit 3)
Deal scenarios:

Buy 2 Reach Toothbrush 2pks $3.99 each=$7.98
Use the buy one get one free coupon from the 4/26RP
Plus, use the $1/1 coupon from the 3/15, 6/14 or 10/18RP
Pay $2.99
Get back a $2Ecb
Final cost $0.49 per 2 pk!

Buy Listerine Total Care 16.9 oz $3.99
Use the $2/1 coupon from the 3/15SS or 4/26RP
Pay $1.99
Get back a $1Ecb
Final cost $0.99!

Colgate Total Advanced 5.8 oz or Total 7.8 oz $2.99=$1Ecb (limit 2)
Use the $1/1 coupon from the 10/25SS
Final cost $0.99!

Clairol Nice & Easy $5.99=$1Ecb (limit 1)
Use the $2/1 coupon from the 11/1PG
Final cost $2.99!

Gillette Disposable Razors (2-12 ct) $5.99=$2Ecb (limit 1)
Use the $3/1 coupon from the 11/1PG
Final cost $0.99!

Schick Quattro Razor or Refills $7.99=$3Ecb (limit 1)
Use the $2/1 coupon from the 10/4SS
Final cost $2.99!

Buy $20 in Select Cold Remedies=$10Ecb (limit 1)
Deal Scenarios:

Buy 10 bags of Ricola Cough Drops $2 each=$20
Use 5 buy one get one free coupons from the 10/11SS
Pay $10
Get back a $10Ecb
Final cost 10 bags for FREE!

Buy 2 Neti Pot $11 each=$22
Use 2 $3/1 coupons from here
Pay $16
Get back a $3Ecb
Final cost $3 each!

Buy $10 worth of Glade Scented Oil Candle Refills 3 ct. or holders $2.50=$3Ecb (limit 3)
Deal Scenario:
Buy 6 Refill 3 ct packs $2.50 each=$15
Buy 6 Oil Candle holders $2.50 each=$15
Use 6 buy holders get refills FREE coupon from the 11/1SS
Or use the printable coupon from here
Pay $15
Get back a $9Ecb
Final cost ONLY $0.50 per item!

( There is a better deal going at Target right now--hang onto those coupons until next week!)

Buy Softsoap Ensembles Hand Soap Pump (online price $7.99) & Refill base 8.3 oz (online price $3.99)=$4Ecb (limit 1)
Use the $3 coupon from the 10/25SS
Plus, use the $1 CVS coupon from the $100 CVS flu coupon booklet
Pay $7.98
Get back a $4Ecb
Final cost $3.98 for both!

Nova Max Blood Glucose Meter $9.99=$9.99Ecb (limit 1)

Final cost FREE!

Other Great Deals 

Honey Bunches of Oats buy one get one FREE
Use 2 $2/1 coupons from here
Final cost 2 boxes possibly FREE?

Mom's Best Naturals Oatmeal regularly priced at just $1
Use the $0.75/1 coupon from here
Final cost $0.25!

Dove Silky Smooth Chocolate bag 8.5-9oz $2
Use the $1/1 coupon from the 8/16RP
Final cost $1 per bag!

Revlon Eye or Lip Care buy one get one free
Prices starting at $3.90
Use 2 $1/1 coupons from the 10/11SS
Final cost as low as $0.95 each!

Kleenex Tissue buy one at $2.39, get one FREE
Use 2 $0.50 coupons from the 10/4SS
Plus, use the $1 CVS coupon from the $100 Flu coupon booklet
Final cost $0.39 for 2 boxes of Tissue!

Cascade Gel or Powder $2.99
Use the $1/1 coupon from the 11/1PG
Final cost $1.99!

Dawn Dish Liquid 9.5-10.3 oz $0.97
Use the $0.25/1 coupon from the 11/1PG
Final cost $0.72!

Get $15 off Ice Age 3 DVD ($19.99) with $20 in select Coke or Mar's products
Plus, use the $2/1 Ice Age coupon from here
Final cost Ice Age ONLY $2.99--with $20 Coke/Mar's purchase!

New Poll is up!

It's Monday so a new poll is up!  I am trying to get a feel for how your progress is coming (because apparently none of you are leaving me comments!!)
Don't be shy--vote in the poll, then leave a comment for me!

Coupon Institute Week 4 --CVS shopping basics

Compared to Walgreens, CVS has the easiest to understand policy.

Hopefully you have signed up for an Extra Care Card. If you have not, do it NOW.  Also make sure you sign up for email alerts--you will get more money saving coupons (like $4 off a $20 purchase, $3 off a $15 purchase, etc...) via email and those are how you really score at CVS!

  Here are the basics on the Extra Care Bucks program:
  1. You earn 2% back on purchases in store and online.  Every quarter, your total earned will print out on the bottom of your receipt.
  2. You can earn 1 ECB for every 2 prescriptions filled
  3. You can earn ECBs for buying certain advertised products (much like Wags RR's.)  For example if Secret deoderant is advertised at $2.49 and you get $2.49 in ECB's to use on your next purchase, it is as good as FREE. You goal is to "roll" your ECB's as you have seen in my $5 Challenges to keep your OOP as low as possible.
UNLIKE Walgreens, the ECB's are NOT like a coupon, so there is no worry with a "coupon to item 1:1 ratio" I told you with Walgreens.

There are 4 types of coupons you can use at CVS:
  • $/$$: These are those special coupons you might get via email or in store for a dollar amount off your total purchase amount.
  • Manufacturer coupons: Use them just like you would at any store
  • CVS coupons: You can "stack" a CVS coupon with a Manufacturer coupon
  • ECB's: These are like cash and will print out at the bottom of your receipt.

To maximize your savings, hand over your coupons in this order:
  1. $/$$--If your total is right at that amount (if you are using, say, a $4/$20 Q) your other coupons could make it fall below the $20 amount.  So hand this over first!
  2. CVS Coupons
  3. Manufacturer Coupons
  4. ECB's--You can't use ECB's on sales tax, so hand these over last.  You will also NOT get change if there is overage, so plan carefully before heading out to the store!
Always be on the lookout for coupons--especially from the "magic machine" located right inside the door.  Sound fun, right?  Well the "magic machine" is a red box, usually located right inside the front door, and my CVS has another one in the middle of the store too.  It is generally used to "price check" items by scanning the barcode on the item.  However, make sure you scan your Extra Care Card each time you go to CVS on this machine because you never know what you might get! (hence the "magic").  Sometimes it will print out your quarterly ECB's earned or a $/$$ coupon (love those!) or CVS store coupons.  You just never know what you are going to get, so scan each time you walk in the door!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Walgreens Weekly Deals 11/1-11/7

Walgreens has some great deals this week! 
For more deals, check out NWAdeals.  Many thanks for the match-ups for this week!  I have several coupons for the Febreeze Flameless Luminary and have been waiting for a sale on these!  
Hunt’s Tomatoes Sauce 3/$1.00 with In Ad Coupon
Play this Game  and print a $1.00/3 Hunts Product Coupon
= Free after Coupons (Scan Manufactuer coupon first)

Johnson & Johnson First Aid Gauze $3.99
Use $1.00/1 Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Product 8/2 Insert
Get $8.00 in Register Rewards when you buy 3
= $0.32 each after coupons and RR

Dial Foaming Hand Soap $1.99
Use $0.35/1 Dial hand soap from 10/4 Insert
Get $1.00 in Register Rewards
= $0.64 after coupon and RR

Gillette Body Wash & Deodorant 2/$8.00
Use Buy Gillette Deodorant & Get Body Wash Free, 11/1 PG
Use $1.00/1 Gillette Body Wash or Deodorant, 11/1 PG
Get $2.00 in Register Rewards
= $0.50 each after coupons and RR

Herbal Essences Shampoo & Stylers 2/$7.00
Use Buy 1 Get 1 Free Styler Coupon from 10/1 PG insert
Get $2.00 in Register Rewards
= $0.75 each after coupons and RR

Blistex Lip Balm $2.49
Get $1.50 in Register Rewards
= $0.99 after RR

Vicks NyQuil, DayQuil, or Vapo Rub 2/$9.00
Use $1.50/4 NyQuil or DayQuil Coupon from 11/1 PG insert
Use $1.00/1 NyQuil or DayQuil Coupon from 10/11 PG insert
Use $1.00/1 Vapo Product Coupon from 10/11 PG Insert
Get $3.00 in Register Rewards
= $1.50 - $2.00 each after RR

Sambucol Cold & Flu Relief $9.99
Get $5.00 in Register Rewards
= $4.99 after RR

Pampers Diapers 2/$20.00
Use $1.50/1 Pampers Diaper Coupon from 11/1 PG insert
Get $2.00 in Register Rewards
= $7.50 each after coupons and RR

P&G Register Reward Deal. Spend $10, Get $2.50 in RR
Downy, Tide Stain Release, Bounce $3.99
Use $1.00/1 Tide Stain Release from 10/18 Insert
Febreze Flameless Luminary Starer Kit $12.99
Use $4.00/1 Febreze Flameless Luminary from 11/1 PG Insert

Febreze Air Effects $2.50
Use $1.00/1 Febreze Air Effects from 11/1 PG Insert
Deal Scenarios:

1 Bounce Dryer Bar $3.99
1 Tide Stain release $3.99
1 Febreeze Air Effects $2.50
-$1.50/1 Tide Stain Release (Parents Magazine) OR
-$1/1 Tide Stain Release (11/1 PG)
-$1/1 Bounce (10/11 or 11/1 PG)
-$1/1 Febreeze Q (11/1 PG)
=$1.66 each after Q's and RR's!

 1 Flameless Luminary Starter kit $12.99
-$4/1 Q (in home mailers or 11/1 PG)
$6.49 after Q and RR's (50% savings)

Queen Anne Cherries 4/$10.00
Get $5.00 in Register Rewards when you buy 4
= $1.25 each after RR

M&M’s 2/$5.00
Get $1.00 in Register Rewards when you buy 2
= $2.00 each after RR

Mars Holiday Candy 2/$6.00
Get $1.00 in Register Rewards
= $2.50 each after RR

Arizona Tea Buy 1 Get 1 Free @ $0.99
= $0.49 each after discount at register
Campbells Soup $0.50 each (limit 4)
$1.00/2 Campbells Soup Printable Coupon
= Free after Coupon
Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent B1G1 @  $6.99
$1.00/2 Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent Coupon
= $3.00 each after coupons and B1G1 Free Sale

Clorox Wipes $1.99
Use $0.50/1 Clorox Wipes Coupon from 10/4 RP
Buy 2 Get 1 Free Clorox Classroom Coupon (for Teachers and Parents)
= $1.00 each when you buy 3 after coupons

Almay One-Coat Mascara B1G1 50% off--price varies but I will use what I saw in-store as $6.99
Use $4/1 Q from Walgreens November Coupon Booklet (with Weekly ads at front of store)--This will deduct $8--one $4 Q for each mascara
=$1.24 each WYB 2 (again your price may vary--check your store)
FILLER IDEAS: Remember that In Ad Coupons do not count towards your coupon count so these often are the best items to use as fillers.
Mandarin Oranges 2/$1.00 with In Ad Coupon