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Archive for January, 2011

Mavis Rocks Rite Aid… Again…

Maybe the title of this post should be:

How to stock the nurses station with enough StayFree pads to last an entire school year…or two.

Wooo Hoooty Stinkin Woooo!

Some weeks I can barely contain my excitement for FREE crap!

I know what you’re thinking…

Mavis… Panty liners?

That’s not exactly the stuff dreams are made of…

Wanna Bet?

——————-

Here’s what I’ve picked up so far this week…

I don’t know why I wrote “so far” … I can’t imagine I’ll be going back…
unless I need milk…

Stay FREE is on sale this week Buy 1 get 1 FREE…
Use the buy 1 get 1 FREE coupon from the 1/9 ss to score 2 free Stay FREE… or if you’re like me… use enough buy 1 get 1 free coupons to stock the nurses station.

***************

Okay… so I was totally out of Up Rewards… so I was starting from zero…

Here’s how the whole thing went down…

Transaction #1

Stay Free is on sale this week buy 1 get 1 free…

buy 1 @ $3.99 get 1 FREE

I tossed 6 in the cart… used 3 Buy 1 Get 1 FREE Coupons from the 1/9 ss
———————————
The pantyliners were FREE… I paid $1.00 tax

**************************************************

Transaction #2


Coricidin $5.99
Afrin $5.99
—————-
-$3.00 off Afrin (coupons.com)
-$2.00 off Coricidin (coupons.com)
-$2.00 off Coricidin (Rite Aid Video Values)
-$2.00 off Afrin (Rite Aid Video Values)
——————————–
Paid $3.98 out of pocket

Got back $4.00 Afrin Up Reward
$4.oo Coricidin Up Reward
$10 Winter Wellness Up Reward
———————————-
$18 Wellness Rewards Profit

***************************************************

Transaction #3

4 Dryers or Eddy’s Ice Cream $2.99 each
2 Dixie Paper Plates $3.99 (on sale buy 1 get 1 free)
1 chocolate covered cherry candy .33 cents
———————
-$3.00 off 2 Dixie Plates (Rite Aid video Values)
-$10.00 off Rite Aid Healthy Heart Up Reward
-$2.00 Video Credit (Rite Aid video Values)
-$1.00 Video Credit (Rite Aid Video Values)
——————-
Paid .34 cents out of pocketGot Back $8.00 Dryers Up Rewards (4) $2.00 rewards
$5.00 Up Rewards Up Your Game Promo
———————–
$13 Up Rewards Profit

************************************************************
Transaction #4


4 Lays Stax Chips @$1.00 each
——————–
– $4.00 Up Reward
————————
$0 zero out of pocket

Got back $4 in Up Rewards

*************************************************

So after 4 transactions…

$5.32 out of pocket… $21 in Up Rewards

AND

Now all I have to do is finish spending the required $100.00 to get another $20 Up Reward!

Are you exhausted? Not me!

Believe it or not… couponing goes quickly once you get the hang of it…
There is a learning curve to this whole thing so just remember that. It took me about 3 months to get the hang of it… so start slow…and remember… baby steps.

****************

Okay…
Round two
The key here was to figure out WHAT I needed to buy… with the most amount of coupons and least amount of out of pocket cash to get to the additional $20 Up Reward point.

(At this point I drove to another Rite Aid to finish my shopping… I don’t believe in clearing the shelf… that’s bad.bad.bad.)

Here’s what I did.

Transaction #5

The panty liners and the Sobe were free with coupons, the cough drops were .25 cents after coupons & a Rite Aid Video Value Coupon, the toothpaste was $2.00 (but spit out a $2 Up Reward) the Cranberry juice was $5 (but spit out a $1 Up Reward) and the crasins were $2.79.After I used all my coupons and all the Up Rewards I could… I was left to pay $2.64 out of pocket (all but .27 cents of that was tax)

I thought for sure I had added correctly and the $20 (for purchasing $100 in specific products) Up Reward would spit out…

But I was wrong.


So I went back and bought..

Transaction #6


Crasins and a mint candy…
I used $3 in Up Rewards and paid .04 cents out of pocket…
and finally…


I had reached the $100 mark and a $20 Up Reward spit out…

Transaction #7


Which I then used (along with one more $1.00 Up Reward) to get the above items…

Victory at last!

So… at the end of my little 1.5 hour Rite Aid Adventure…

I had spent $8.36 out of pocket…
and
Still had $9 in Up Rewards…


Lot’s of FREE stuff for me… Lot’s of FREE stuff to donate…
and hey… a little left over!

I love it when a plan comes together!

*** If you’re sitting at home shaking your head thinking there is no way on earth you’d spend 1 1/2 hours shopping and driving to 2 different Rite Aids just to come home with enough pads to keep a small boat afloat and bunch a free stuff… It’s okay… I get that… I really do.

Happy Clipping,

Mavis

Your friendly coupon clipping corespondent

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I really had no plans yesterday…

Until The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird asked me to take her to the mall…

I hate the mall.

But then I remembered… Hey… We can go to See’s Candy… and use the gift certificates grandma gave us for Christmas to buy some Valentine’s Day candy…

Okay… I’ll take you…


Of Course … if you have teenagers…
You know any trip to the mall requires the appropriate survival gear…
And by survival gear I mean a head lamp and gas mask…
Only I couldn’t find the gas mask so I brought along some toilet paper…

Mavis…

You’re a nut…

Why on earth would you need that?


Have you ever been to Hollister?

How this store is still in business I have no idea.

First of all…

You can’t see anything… unless you bring a headlamp…

Secondly… you can’t smell anything… because all your nose hairs are fried as soon as you walk in the door… so you have to stuff toilet paper up your nostrils before you walk in the door if you expect to have any sense of smell upon leaving the premises…

And third… You can’t hear anything… (darn it… I totally forgot the noise canceling headphones… remind me to write that down for next time)

Anyway… I don’t get it…

I think that store sucks…big time!


Moving On…

After a torturous 17 minutes in Hollister we finally made it to See’s Candy…


I was able to get all my Valentine’s Candy Shopping finished…


And only had to pay .20 cents out of pocket…

Sweet!

And if donning a head lamp and .20 cent candy wasn’t enough
excitement for one day…


On the way home from the mall…
We stopped by my favorite recycling bin…
And I scored 28 coupon inserts from last Sunday’s newspaper…

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I spent $5 for a $10 Papa Murphy’s Gift card… I’m thinking with a coupon… I might be able to score 2 pizzas for Monkey Boy and his friends to chow down on… That way I can keep up appearances as the cool Mom who buys the boys pizza and pours free soda. The only draw back of course is I have to wait about 2 weeks for it to come in the mail 😦


Fish Oil
What the heck is this stuff for???
I have no idea…
But I do know what a money maker looks like when I see one…
After all my discounts,Rite Aid Up rewards and coupons up the kazooo…
I paid $6.32 out of pocket… and got back… are you ready for this? $26 in Rite Aid Up Rewards… Not bad… for a crazy coupon clipping housewife who picks thru the trash for coupons…
Not bad at all… if I do say so myself.

Look… Real Food… $7.94
I think those are called like vegetables and stuff…
I hear they’re suppose to be good for you and all…


Okay… so here’s what I was down to by Tuesday morning…
$3.81 and $26 in Rite Aid Up Rewards…
Yikes…
This is all I had to last us until grocery payday (Saturday)
… a full 4 days away…

Now… let’s be honest… Rite Aid does not have the best shelf prices in town (any town for the matter) BUT… coupons are your best friend at Rite Aid… if you know how to use them.
Anyway… my point was… I turned the fish oil deal into this…


2 gallons of milk, 1 whipping cream, 1 cottage cheese, 1 doz. eggs (our chickens are on vacation apparently) 3 packets of seeds, 1lb butter, 1 sobe, 1 snickers and 1 seed growing kit.


I did have to pay .69 cents for it though…(darn tax!)
Now I have a seed growing kit for my tomato plants I plan on growing from seed!


FREE


Bought some toothpaste ($2.75) and received a $25 Albertsons gift card…


So… on Wednesday afternoon I was down to .11 cents!

Well.. 11 cents and a $25 Albertsons gift card…


Look… REAL FOOD… for the second time in a week…


And meat too… are you feeling it???

Shock and Awe baby….


More Vegetables…
Mavis… what has gotten into you?

So all in all a good week… not a lot of crap food in the cart but hey…

REAL FOOD!

Total Spent $22.96

How about you… How much did you spend this week?

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(more…)

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Now before I give you some of my favorite links…
Let me just say this…

I’m a couponer…
I like my coupons…
I like the thrill of the hunt…
I may have OCD (self diagnose of course) but I do have control…


Once you start clicking on the sites below you will soon go into a sort of coupon coma… it’s intoxicating… and it will be hard for you to walk away from your computer…
How do I know this?

Because when I first started serious couponing over a year ago… I’d say for the first 3 months or so I was consumed by the whole “You mean I can actually get this stuff for FREE???” concept of the whole coupon thing…


It’s like a drug… a wonderful glorious drug… except of course… the best part is… the drugs are FREE…

Remember… Crack is whack… but coupon crack? That’s where it’s at!

I’m just saying…
Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

If your husband comes home from work one day to find 82 tubes of toothpaste on the kitchen counter and decides now would be the best time to have you committed…. Don’t come crying to me… because I warned you!

Okay…
Here we go…


Hip2Save

It’s a great site… a little of everything… lot’s of giveaways to enter BUT you’ll have to filter thru a bunch of posts on the site.

TotallyTarget
All you ever wanted to know about Target deals and more…
She updates all the time… so be prepared to skim thru the posts.


FabulesslyFrugal
A great site if you live in the Pacific Northwest Region…
I like this site for several reasons… it’s run by a bunch of nice & thrifty moms wanting to share in the whole coupon experience… It’s easy to read and they don’t post a bunch of crappity crap that I have to skim thru… there are the occasional deals they post pertaining to the Boise, Idaho region (where they are located) but beyond that I love,love love their site. They also sell a couponing video on their site if you are a coupon newbie and seriously need someone to break it down for you.

Couponconnectionsnw
Another great site if you live in the Pacific Northwest.


Organic Deals…
For those of you looking for website on Coupons for Organics…
Or just a site for Organic Deals…

Okay… that’s enough for today…
Tomorrow we tackle online daily deal sites and how to eat out at a restaurant for elcheapooo.

Oh… and ONE LAST THING…

Yesterday someone asked “How do you know which coupons are in which inserts?”

That’s easy…

There is a coupon data base…

GO HERE

Can you believe it?
It’s like a dream come true!

Simply type in the product… and like a magic 8ball… it gives you an answer!

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What good is a coupon binder

If you have no coupons?

Today’s lesson: Where to find coupons

I’d say 75% of the coupons I use come from the Sunday paper.
20% from the internet
and the last little bit come from in store product displays.

When I first started couponing I would buy4-8 newspapers a week…
It didn’t take me too long before I figured out I was shelling out $8- 16 a week for coupons…

I realized I needed to find a better way to get my hand on some newspapers without the added cost… so I called up my neighbors whom I knew had their Sunday paper delivered (remember I live in suburbia and I see everything 🙂

Hey… it’s me Mavis… I’ve started clipping coupons and I was wondering if you were using your coupons from the Sunday paper? Yes, you know the one… you pay for … that sits in your driveway until 4pm everyday? Yes, that’s the one… You’re not? You’re not using your coupons? Can I have them? If you’d just stick them under your doormat I’ll pick them up every Sunday… I promise. Thank you sooo much! You rock!

And so it began…

Now… before you say “I could never do that… what would my neighbors think of me?… They’d think I was in financial trouble because I’m asking for their coupons… how embarrassing…”

Yes you can… you can do it.

If I live in the land of Mc Mansions and manicured lawns and can ask…

so can YOU.

Even if you live out in the middle of nowhere or on a farm… there are people you can ask.

or… you could try…

The Recycle Bin…

Now… I can understand

1. You think I’m crazy…
2. You’d NEVER do something like this…

But the way I see it…

1. It’s entertaining…both for myself… and for the people who every week see the skinny white chick picking coupons out of the recycle bin, getting into her car and driving back to suburbia…


However…I do in fact realize that not everyone ENJOYS spending their free time in a dumpster… or likes to receive a sack full of aluminum cans, a free lunch and a recycled Christmas bag full of coupons on their birthday… I get that… I understand.

So for those of you who are not as hearty as Mavis… I’d suggest buying your coupons from a coupon clipping service…

Yes… there are companies that clip coupons for YOU!

Holy Cats!

Here are a few…

here here here

(I have never used one of these services… but a lot of people do)

************


Internet Coupons:

Redplum.com

SmartSource.com

Coupons.com

You will be asked to download their thing a ma jig so it can talk to your printer… to print coupons! I have never had a problem with any of these sites.

************************


In store Coupons:

Umm… they are in the store…

Usually attached to the product or a display…

**************

Okay… class is dismissed…

Wait!!! There’s homework…

Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you how to USE coupons… and how to “stack” them.

** If you left me a comment/question yesterday… check back in the comment section from yesterday’s post later today… I’m headed over there right now to answer them 🙂

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This week I’m going to focus on showing you what I’ve learned in the past year or so on my couponing journey… If you have any questions… please ask… it’s the easiest way to learn.

Lesson #1 How to organize your coupons…

When I started couponing about a year ago… I would clip every coupon available… and my dining room table looked like this:


Yikes!

It took me a while to realize if I actually wanted to use a coupon…

I’d have to know ahead of time I needed it so I could bring it into the store with me..

Plus… My house was a mess…

***************

After reading various online couponing sites I soon figured out I needed 2 things.

#1 A way to store all my coupon inserts.

#2 A Coupon Binder/Purse

*******

Here is what I do…


I store all my coupon inserts in page protectors…

I mark, date, and organize them with the most recent inserts at the front of the basket.

This way when I need a particular coupon… I know just where to look.


If you don’t have room to line up a bunch of baskets on your desk…


I would suggest you place them in stacking containers like this.


Simply date each file folder either by date or month.


A Coupon Binder/Purse

Forget Prada, Channel and Louis Vuitton…

If you’re going to spend money on a purse… spend it on one of these.

I take my coupon binder/purse everywhere…

At first glance it looks like any other purse/tote…

But open it up…

and the magic begins…

This is what the inside of my coupon binder looks like…


In the front I have a notebook


And a pencil pouch where I store a calculator, scissors and pens.


The a few pages of plastic baseball card protector sleeves where I store my FREE coupons that are not related to any specific store.


Then a few pages with random gift cards and discount cards…


Then a few pages full of Restaurant.com certificates, Tippr, Living Social, and Groupon discount certificates/codes that I have bought online. (Make sure to circle the expiration dates).
(I will go into these particular websites in another post this week)


A few pages of local restaurants, and fast food (for the stinky boys) coupons…

Okay… then…

I have plastic page dividers set up for each store I shop regularly at…

Rite Aid…

Fred Meyer…

Albertsons…

Yada Yada Yada….

Behind each store marked page protector… is yet another set of baseball card sleeves…

These particular sleeves are filled with coupons I know I will be or will soon be using at a specific store.


Like for instance…
I happen to know there will be a free & money making deal on Afrin & Coricidin HBP products coming up at Rite Aid… so I simply printed the desired coupons, cut them out… and placed them a page protector behind the Rite Aid section in my binder.

I do this for EVERY STORE I shop at!

Then…


After my “Store Section” in my binder… I break it down again into grocery categories…

Cereal, Snacks, Dairy/Meat, Fruit/Veggies, Frozen, Toiletries ect…


And I fill the baseball sleeves with the corresponding coupons…
And… that… in a nutshell is how I organize my coupons.

Do you have any questions?
Leave me a comment and I’ll try to answer them.

*************


If you want to BUY a Coupon Binder like the one you see above…

Made by yours truly… MAVIS…

Then go HERE and pick out a bag matching your personality.

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