Sunday, January 8, 2012

Feeling Gypped

Today I got a newspaper, knowing that there should be a smartsource insert with coupons in it. It didn't. I don't know if the Bozeman paper just doesn't carry smartsource or if I just got a fluke, but I feel gypped!

Another Week of Couponing

Another week of couponing is about to begin, and I have done a few things to prepare for it...

1. I have started making my "Price Book" - the place where I track what prices are and what the best sale prices I've had are for the items that we use most. I'm using a spreadsheet so it's easy for me to alphabetize as it grows.

2. I have started organizing my manufacturers coupons in my household binder alphabetically by brand. That way I can easily find them when I want to use them for a specific store.

3. I have entered all of my manufacturers coupons into a Google task list by expiration date so I can easily see which coupons are expiring soon.

4. I have made plans with Kristiina to go through the ads tomorrow and make my shopping lists.

5. I have been utilizing to see what free or nearly free deals I might be missing simply because I've overlooked them or they are things I wouldn't normally think of. These free items are great for collecting toward my guest supply, future gifts, or Operation Christmas Child boxes!

We will see how this week improves over last week! I am amazed at how much quicker and cheaper I can shop when I have a list to follow... I don't wander up and down every aisle, trying to remember what I need, and therefore I don't have the impulse buys that I am so often prey to! I'm excited to start streamlining my process so I can be efficient with my time and money each week.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weekly Review

Well, my first week of couponing is just about over, and I'm pretty pleased with how it went. Here's a general overview...

Kmart = $27.89 - $7.98 in savings because of coupons. Would have been more if I'd been more assiduous and gotten my $5 off for the Slimfast. Doh!
Slimfast - bought 5 @ $5 ea, used $3.60 in coupons = $4.28 per 4pack I was supposed to get a coupon for $5 off my order for this, but I don't think it printed out, or if it did, distracto girl who was checking me out didn't give it to me. I should pay more attention at Kmart, I think. 
Nice 'n Easy - bought 1 @ $4.99, used $1 in coupons = $3.99
Oreos - bought 1 @ 2.50 I used a super coupon for this, so it should have been $2.38, but I don't think she counted it. She was distracted and I should have paid more attention when she entered it. Note to self for the future.
Cupcake Mix - $1 - not on sale, just needed.
Distracto girl I think scanned one of my coupons twice so I got an extra dollar off. It's the only way the math makes sense, and there are two coupons on my receipt with exactly the same number. 

Walmart = $34.38
Bush's Beans (various) - bought 18 @ $0.92 ea. These are normally around $1 ea, and are something we use. I got the varieties I can't get at Costco. 
Rotel Tomatoes - bought 4 @ $0.88 ea. These are normally closer to $1, and something we use.
Lysol Motion Sensor Soap - bought 2 @ $3.47. Not on sale, something we needed for the guest bathroom. We were completely out of these. 
Hormel Turkey Pepperoni - bought 1 @ $3.28. Not on sale, just needed for dinner tonight!
Hormel Canadian Bacon - bought 1 @ $2.12. Not on sale, just needed for dinner tonight!

Staples = $20.16 Would have been $50.59 if I'd paid full price for everything. Mind you, I wouldn't have paid $6+ for scissors, so that's not a realistic number, but I was pleased with how this purchase went! I read the ad, chose what we needed, and calculated as I went so that I could make the most of the trip! I did need the pens, driving log, and scissors, so that would have made the trip anyway!
Goals Notepad - bought 1 @ $4, reg. $7
Scissors - bought 3 @ $1 ea, reg. $6.29 ea
Driving Log - bought 1 @ $3
BIC Mark It Pens - bought 3 @ $1.29 ea.
Glue Stick 4 Pack - bought 1 @ $1, reg. $1.99
Rainbow Pens - bought 1 pack @ $4.79
Tamper Resistant Envelopes - bought 2 @ $1, reg. $3.29 ea.
Zipper envelope - bought 2 @ $1
Business card holder - bought 1 @ $1, reg. $1.99
Lollipop - bought 1 @ $0.50 - for Eliana, to get over $25 and use coupon
$5 off $25 order coupon

Rosauers = $12.31
Provalone slices - bought 2 @ 2.50 ea This is the one thing that wasn't on my list, but is something I wanted and it was a good price!
Cucumbers - bought 3 @ 3/$1
Green Lettuce - bought 1 @ $0.89
Green Bell Peppers - bought 3 @ 3/$1
Grapefruit - bought 1 bag @ $2.50 (7 grapefruit @ $0.36 ea)
Grape Tomatoes - bought 1 container @ $1.99

Costco = $101.80
Fage Yogurt - $12.49 ($1.05 ea.)
Canned Chicken - $9.99
Craisins - $7.49
Chicken Chimichangas - $13.49
Bananas - 2 @ $1.39
Dried Coconut - $8.99
Shredded Mozzarella - $11.99
Feta - $7.45
Tillamook Cheddar Slices - $8.49
Walnuts - $14.99
Eggs - $3.65

Target = $87.84 My total was well over $100 before they started entering all the coupons, so it was really fun to see the number go down, down, and down! I scored some really good deals on this trip to Target, including the Lean Cuisine deal, and the Fiber One deal! Woot!! Those will make lunch time and snack time easier when I want a quick fix and am tempted to eat something that won't help me lose weight!
Pantene Detangler - bought 1 for $3.99, used $1 coupon
Nice 'n Easy - bought 1 for $6.99, used $1 coupon
Nice 'n Easy Foam - bought 1 for $7.99, used $3 coupon
Pantene 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner - bought 1 for $5.84, used $2 coupon, and $3 coupon
Ziplock snack bags - bought 2 @ $2.50 ea.
Wet Ones Travel - bought 2 @ $1.29 ea, used 2 $0.75 coupons ($0.54 ea.)
Expanding File / Notepad - $5.99
Dollar Spot Notecards - bought 5 @ $1 ea.
Always Wipes - bought 1 @ $3.29, used $1 coupon
Always Pantiliners - bought 1 @ $2.99, used $0.50 coupon, plus $1 coupon for both
Fiber One Bars - bought 4 @ $2.75 ea, used 2 $0.40 coupons, plus got one box free Woohooo!
Lean Cuisine - bought 10 @ $2, used $5 coupon, received $5 gift card for future Woohoo!
Venus Razor - bought 1 @ $8, reg. $9.49
Venus Blades - bought 1 @ $20.99, used $5 coupon, received $5 gift card for future
Colgate Toothpaste - bought 1 for $2.99, received coupons for future, plus free travel size

I got stuff at CVS as well, but I don't remember where my receipt is. But anyway... that at least gives an idea of how my couponing went this week! I hope to get better and better at it as the weeks go by!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Coupons confuse me. I hear about people that save oooooodles of money by using coupons, and I know it is possible. But I seem to be struggling with how to keep everything straight. I thought I was doing pretty well, but somehow my piles of coupons have confused me again and I can't even make a decent list of what we need and where we should get it. There are obviously TONS of coupons for things we don't need, so I suppose I could start by weeding those things out....

Here's one of the confusing things, for example... Slim Fast Shakes. Turns out, if you heat them up they taste like hot chocolate, only are high protein, low carb. According to Safeway, a 4 pack is $5, and they are "Buy One Get One Free with Manufacturer Coupon from Sunday Paper". The only problem is that I couldn't find any manufacturer coupon in the Sunday paper that made them B1G1. Did I miss it? I do have a couple other Slim Fast coupons, so I should use those. Kmart has Slim Fast at 2 for $10, plus you get $5 off when you spend $25 on Slim Fast. Since my existing coupons are for $1.60 off 2, and $2 off 3, that would be $25 of Slim Fast, minus the $5, minus the $2, minus the $1.60, for a total savings of $8.60, according to my calculations. So, really it's only $16.40 for 20 bottles of Slim Fast, making them 82 cents each. Now, CVS has them for 2 for $9, so for 5 it would be $22.50, minus my coupons, making them $18.90 for 20 bottles. Turns out, Kmart has the best deal. Huh. Is it just me, or is that a lot of thinking for Slim Fast? BUT, it is something I have on my list, and I will be going to Kmart for hair dye anyway.

Okay... Here's another one. Target has Lean Cuisine meals on sale for $2, plus you get a $5 gift card when you purchase 10 of them. That's $20, but you get a $5 gift card back. I also have a random $5 off Frozen Food Puchase of $20 or more Target coupon, so that would technically be $15 for 10, plus $5 to spend later. makes it somewhat easier to get good deals, but only for national chains like Walmart, Target, etc. My local grocery stores like Town&Country and Rosauers aren't in that list, so it takes just a bit of extra work for that, too. Sometimes it is definitely worth looking at the local grocery ads, too. Just last night I sent Leif to Town&Country for a few items. They have the best price on the special yogurt our daughter eats, and they also had onions on sale. They also had a GREAT deal on Yoplait yogurt, which is normally around 60 cents a container. They had Yoplait for 5/$1, PLUS I had coupons for 50 cents off 8 and 40 cents off 6. Leif ended up getting 20 containers of yummy flavored Yoplait yogurt for less than $3!! Not bad at all! I'm glad I looked at their ad this week or I'd never have known!