Monday, August 30, 2010

Quick CVS Trip - 8/30

Lee took me up to CVS tonight after dinner. I just wanted to get a few things really quick.

I got 2 Purex, 1 Cascade, and a Bounce.
It would have cost $25.16 (before tax).
I had $9.20 in CVS savings which brought me down to $15.96.
I used a $3.00 off $15.00 which brought me down to $12.96.
I used $1.45 in manufacturer's coupons which brought me down to $11.51.
I used a $10.00 ECB from last week which brought me down to $1.51 (before tax).
I got back $6.00 in ECBs.

So not counting my $10.00 ECB, I technically "spent" $5.51 (before tax), for a savings of 78%.
So today we got a package from Gerber. It contained 2 little boxes. Each box had a canister of their Good Start formula, a onesie (so cute), a $6.00 coupon for a canister of formula, and a $1.00 coupon for Gerber apparel. I was so excited. Of course if you know how much I love couponing, I saw Rite Aid was having a deal on this exact formula. If you buy $25.00 worth of Gerber Good Start Formula, you get a $10.00 rebate. I am going tomorrow and will get a 26oz canister of formula for like $1.50 with all my coupons and the rebate. I am excited to get these coupons and freebies from companies so that I can go get stuff super cheap for the babies. Of course we are hoping I can nurse or pump, but I know we will need formula at some point and if we don't, we can donate it. :)

Goal Price List

I've been meaning to do this for a long time. I wanted to post a list of what I consider my goal prices for things. This helps because I can look at "deals" and make sure they are really good deals. Obviously demand can make the price I am willing to pay go up (like if we are out of milk and we are at Harris Teeter, I don't care if I could save 50 cents down at Walmart).

Here's my goal price list for commonly used items:

Meats:
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts - less than $2.00/lb
93% lean ground beef or turkey - less than $3.00/lb
Pork chops/loin - less than $3.00/lb (I really love to get it for less than $2.00/lb)
Fish - less than $5.00/lb
Steak - less than $6.00/lb

Dairy:
Milk - less than $3.00/gallon
Eggs - roughly 10 cents/egg
Cheese, shredded - $1.00/bag
Yogurt - $1.00/pack (I really love to get it for FREE which is possible during Super Doubles at Harris Teeter most times)

Deli Meat:
Packaged sandwich meat - $2.00/pack (I prefer to get fresh from the deli though)
Packaged turkey bacon - $2.00/pack (I've gotten this for like a quarter before)

Produce:
Grapes - 99cents/lb (I will pay more if they look good and we want them)
Apples - under $2.00/lb (really love to get them cheap in the Autumn)
Bananas - under 50cents/lb
Watermelon - $3-$4 in season
Pears - 99cents to $1.50/lb
Pineapple - $3-$4 in season
Zucchini/squash - 99cents/lb
Onions - 99cents/lb
Potatoes - $3.00/5lb bag
Carrots - $2.00/lb
Bagged salad mix - less than $2.00

Condiments:
Peanut butter - less than $1.00 (I love to get it for like 50cents)
Jelly - less than $1.00 (I love to get it for like 50 cents)
BBQ sauce - FREE
Mustard - FREE
Mayo - 50cents
Ketchup - under $1.00
Frank's Red (we use this a ton) - 50cents
Salad dressings - under $1.00 (very easy to get for FREE)
Worcestershire sauce - FREE
Steak sauce - $1.00

Canned Stuff:
Canned Veggies - 50cents/can
Canned Tuna - FREE - 25cents/can
Canned Cream Soups - 60cents/can
Canned Soups - 25cents/can

Pasta/Rice:
Packaged pastas - 50cents
Packaged rices - FREE - 50cents
Jarred pasta sauce - under $1.00/jar

Breakfast Stuff:
Cereals - under $1.00/box (I love to get these for FREE)
Oatmeal - under 20cents/packet
Poptarts - under 50cents/box (We only get these if they are a super good deal)
Breakfast bars - $2.00/box (Luke loves these so we get them no matter what, but I like to stock up when they are a great deal)
Fiber One bars - $1.50/box (Again, Lee loves these so we get them no matter what, but I like to stock up when they are a great deal)
Granola bars - $1.00/box (Again, Lee loves these so we get them no matter what, but I like to stock up when they are a great deal)

Snacks:
Fruit snacks - FREE (I only stock up when they are FREE or super cheap as they are a treat)
Chips - we rarely buy chips so if we want them, we shop whatever is the best deal of things we like
Pretzels - $1.00/bag
A lot of our snacks are bought based on super good deals. We don't buy too many chips/cookies. I prefer to make homemade cookies from low-cost baking ingredients (flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, etc).

Cleaning Products:
Wipes - less than $1.00/tub (I love to get these for FREE)
Sprays - less than 50cents (I love to get these for FREE)

Laundry:
Detergent - 5-10cents/load (at least the load indicated on the bottle/box)
Fabric softener - 5-10cents/load (at least the load indicated on the bottle)

Dish:
Dish soap - FREE - 50cents/bottle (depending on bottle size)
Dishwasher detergent - $2-$3/bottle

Toilet Paper/Paper Towels:
Toilet paper - roughly 25cents/roll
Paper towels - roughly 50cents/roll

Baby Stuff:
Diapers - 10cents/diaper
Wipes - FREE to 2cents/wipe
Baby Wash - $1.00/bottle

Food Storage:
Baggies - 5-10cents/baggie
Containers - 25-50cents/container

Freezer Food:
Ice cream - $1.00/container (only buy when it is a great deal)
Frozen pizza - $2-$3
Lean entrees - $2.00

Personal Care:
Face wash - $1-$2
Shampoo - FREE - 50cents
Conditioner - FREE - 50cents
Soap/Body Wash - FREE - $1.00
Shaving gel/cream - FREE - 50cents
Razors - FREE - $1.00 (for the good ones)
Deoderant - 50cents
Makeup - $1-$2
Toothpaste - FREE - 50cents
Toothbrushes - FREE
Feminine hygiene - FREE

Please let me know if there are any other things you think I should add to the list. :)

Rite Aid - 8/30

I ran into Rite Aid today and did 3 transactions. If you haven't read previous posts about Rite Aid, I divide my shops into different transactions now that they have the UP Rewards because you can only get one per transaction, but you can roll them and get another with a different transaction. I also do this because I usually have a $5/$25 or $4/$20 purchase so it makes sense to break it up into $20 or $25 transactions.

I got 3 40ct packages of Pampers Swaddlers diapers, 1 240ct package of Rite Aid wipes, 1 tube of Boudreaux diaper cream, 2 Colgate toothpastes, 2 Nivea body washes, 3 Gain dish soap, and 3 Downy fabric softeners.

It would have cost $97.55 (before tax).
I had $33.16 in Rite Aid savings.
I had $42.50 in coupon savings.
I had $2.00 in SCR savings.
I spent $19.89 (before tax).
I saved 80%.
I had a per item cost of $1.33 (pretty good for diapers, wipes, and fabric softener). ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My New Laundry Routine

A while back I wrote about how helpful having a laundry routine is. I know lots of people just do laundry as it comes up and that works for them, but I am the type that really does better when I know what I need to do. It helps me to not let stuff get overwhelming. That's been a challenge for me during this double pregnancy because I can't keep up and then I get overwhelmed. Luckily, I have Lee to help me out when I get in a bind. I don't like to have to have help, but when it is necessary, I let my weird "do it myself" tendencies down and ask for help.

With the twins on the way, I have been thinking about how things are going to change as far as household chores go. I know that I don't have a clear idea of how it will go (especially the first few months), but being the planner/organizer I am, I have come up with a new laundry routine that will (hopefully) only have me doing two loads a day during the week and playing catchup or doing extra loads (if they present themselves) on the weekends.

Here is the plan:

Monday - Lee's everyday clothes and my everyday clothes

Tuesday - Master sheets/other whites and towels

Wednesday - Babies' clothes and babies' bedding/towels

Thursday - Luke's clothes and Luke's bedding

Friday - Lee's work pants and Lee's work shirts

I'm thinking this leaves Saturday (I don't do much at all on Sundays) to do an extra load or two of whatever might need to be done. I am thinking there might be an extra load of the babies' stuff or our everyday clothes. Those will be easy to knock out on Saturday. Or if I get behind, Lee can help me play catchup on the weekends.

I am really hoping that this works out really effectively as I don't like to have much to do on weekends so we can spend family time or do outside chores.

PS I would love to hear what your laundry routine is (or if you don't have one, how you do it). Please comment. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

20 Followers!!!

I am excited that Organized Homemaking now has 20 followers!!! I am not sure how many readers we have, but I know there are people reading that don't follow. It makes my heart so overjoyed to know that my little blog that I started just to help a few friends learn how to coupon has become a source of helpful information in all areas of homemaking.

It is my heart's desire that all women (and some men) that want to be organized homemakers can be. It took me years of messing up, trying again, messing up again, and trying again to finally figure out some really useful tips that make our home run more smoothly and I am happy to share them with anyone who wants to learn. I am happy that there are people who are enjoying the blog.

Thanks readers!

Now that I have been doing this for 6-7 months and seem to have a decent amount of people following the blog, I would love to know what you guys would like to see on here. If you could comment, that would be awesome. :)

What do you want to see more of or different things I haven't done before?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Couponing - Weekly Schedule

A lot of people have asked me, "How much time do you spend couponing?" and "How do you do it?" People seem to want to know how I actually plan my trips and how much time it really takes me. I decided that I would do a post with my basic weekly schedule.

What Is My Weekly Schedule?

SUNDAY
Coupon at CVS (their deals start on Sundays - earlier I get there the better)
Coupon at Rite Aid (their deals start on Sundays - earlier I get there the better) (I only go to RA if there are a good amount of deals)
Coupon at Kroger (I only go to Kroger if there are a good amount of deals)
Buy Sunday paper(s) for the coupons (if there are $150 and up I get 2; if less, I get 1; on the 1st Sunday of the month, I buy 3-5 because they have a ton of coupons including P&G)
Clip and organize coupons (at the end of the month, I pull expired coupons)

MONDAY or TUESDAY
Plan my trip(s) to Harris Teeter on Southern Savers

WEDNESDAY
Coupon at Harris Teeter (their deals start on Wednesdays - earlier I get there the better)

FRIDAY OR SATURDAY
Plan my trip to CVS on Southern Savers
Plan my trip to Rite Aid on Southern Savers
Plan my trip to Kroger on Southern Savers

How Do I Plan My Trips?

I go to Southern Savers (http://southernsavers.com/) and click on the store I am looking for deals at (I generally shop at Harris Teeter and CVS, but I also do Rite Aid and Kroger if there are enough deals to warrant the drive).

They have a checklist maker and I just quickly click the deals I am interested in and print the list.

If there are printable coupons that I need for the deals (only if I absolutely want them/they are a great deal), I print and clip those.

I go through my binder and find the coupons I need for the deals.

I put it all together in the ziploc bag for that store.

I go to the store and get my deals.

How Long Does It Take?

I would say that clipping and organizing coupons, looking up the deals, printing the IP coupons, pulling the coupons, and organizing my baggies takes no more than 3 hours a week (if that even). I have gotten pretty efficient.

At first it seemed like it took me a lot of time since I was learning all the stores policies, looking for every deal, going to every store, and didn't quite know what I was doing.

Now I can clip the coupons I know I want (I don't clip them all anymore) in 15 minutes probably (more if I get multiple papers). Same with finding the deals. I only get the ones I need/want/are rock bottom deals, so I don't spend as much time on that part. I do all of this during downtime (like when I am watching TV at night).

I also zip into and out of the stores really quickly. I know the lay of the land at each store, go through my list, get my stuff, and check out. Unless there is a coupon problem, or I have to think on my feet, it takes just a few minutes to get my deals. I would say I shop faster now than I did before since I only go in and get what I want, I don't dilly-dally and look at all the deals. I can't imagine walking aimlessly around with my giant coupon binder doing the math in the store. That would be nuts for me (and very impractical since I usually take Luke with me). I would say I spend an hour or two (at the most) at the store each week (including getting my fresh stuff each week).

So I spend no more than a total of 5 hours (probably a huge overestimate) planning and shopping. I probably spent at least 1-2 hours before. The way I look at it is, I have cut my grocery budget from $600 or more to $450 or less and I get at least twice as much for that amount (including lean meats, fresh produce, milk, and bread each week). TOTALLY WORTH MY TIME! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

CVS & Rite Aid - 8/22

Today could be called Toilet Paper Day. Lee and I stopped by CVS and Rite Aid and I ran in and got some awesome deals on toilet paper, diapers, and laundry detergent.

CVS

3 packs (16 double rolls) of Charmin toilet paper - normally $11.99 each, on sale for $9.99 each

Total before sale = $35.97
Total after sale = $29.97
Used $5.00 off $25.00 purchase = $24.97
Used 2 25c coupons = $24.47
Total with tax = $26.41
Got back $10.00 ECBs

Saved 60%.

RITE AID

Transaction #1 -
2 packs (12 rolls) Cottonelle toilet paper - normally $11.49 each, on sale for $6.49 each
1 pack Huggies diapers - normally $11.99, on sale for $8.99
2 Xtra detergents - normally $3.49 each, on sale for $2.00 each

Total before sale = $41.95
Total after sale = $25.97
Used $5.00 off $25.00 purchase = $20.97
Used $1.00 and 50c off coupons on Cottonelle = $19.47
Used $2.00 and $3.00 off coupons on Huggies (stacked RA & mft cpns) = $14.47
Used 2 $1.00 off Xtra coupons = $12.47
Total with tax = $13.71
Got back $1.00 UP reward for Xtra and $2.00 UP reward for Huggies

Transaction #2 -
2 packs (12 rolls) Cottonelle toilet paper - normally $11.49 each, on sale for $6.49 each
1 pack Huggies diapers - normally $11.99, on sale for $8.99
2 Xtra detergents - normally $3.49 each, on sale for $2.00 each

Total before sale = $41.95
Total after sale = $25.97
Used $5.00 off $25.00 purchase = $20.97
Used 50c coupon on Cottonelle = $20.47
Used $3.00 coupon on Huggies = $17.47
Used $1.00 coupon on Xtra = $16.47
Used UP rewards ($2.00 and $1.00) from previous transaction = $13.47
Total with tax = $14.71
Got back $1.00 UP reward for Xtra and $2.00 UP reward for Huggies

I also get a $5.00 SCR for the 4 Cottonelle.

What I would have spent = $83.90 (minus tax)
What I did spend (after sales, coupons, SCR, and UP rewards) = $17.94 (minus tax)

SAVED 79%.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Quick Diapers & Wipes Run at CVS

Tonight, I made a quick run for diapers and wipes at CVS. The other night Lee had to get a prescription filled and get some meds for his ear infection, and he, being the brilliant husband he is, saved all the coupons that printed on the bottom of his receipt (he's learned fast that you never throw out coupons). One was for $3.00 off a purchase of $15.00 and the other was for $4.00 off Huggies Jeans diapers.

Well, Huggies Jeans diapers were on sale for $8.99 (normally $11.99) and I had the $4.00 coupon plus a $1.50 off any Huggies diapers. You can stack coupons (AKA use a CVS coupon and a manufacturer's coupon) so that was $5.50 off.

I also had a $1.50 off Pampers coupon and a buy a pack of Pampers diapers, get a free pack of Pampers wipes (awesome coupons to use together). Well Pampers happened to be on sale this week for $8.88 (normally $11.99).

I figured I would get the Huggies diapers, the Pampers diapers, and the wipes, and use all my coupons and save a bundle. Well when I went it, I scanned my card at the CVS coupon machine in front (always do this!) and it gave me a $3.00 off $15.00 purchase and a $5.00 off $15.00 purchase. The $5.00 off $15.00 expired before the $3.00 off $15.00 and was the better coupon, so I used that one.

She rang it all up - $11.99 for the Huggies diapers, $11.99 for the Pampers diapers, and $2.99 for the CVS wipes (they were out of Pampers so I asked if I could substitute and she did it).

She scanned my CVS card - I saved $3.11 on the Pampers diapers and $3.00 on the Huggies diapers ($6.11 in CVS savings). My total was then $20.86.

I gave her my coupons in this order (I say this because it is very important):
$5.00 off $15.00 CVS coupon(always use these 1st because if you give the coupons and get below $15.00 they can't take it).
$4.00 off Huggies diapers CVS coupon
$1.50 off Huggies diapers manufacturer's coupon
$1.50 off Pampers diapers manufacturer's coupon
Free Pampers wipes with purchase of Pampers diapers manufacturer's coupon

I had a total of $14.99 in coupons.
I had a total of $21.10 in total savings.

The total was then $6.79 including tax.
It would have been $28.99 including tax.

I SAVED 77%!!!

Dishes Dishes Everywhere

Unless you eat out every meal, dishes are inevitable. It's amazing how quickly they can pile up if you don't tend to them after each meal and snack or if you don't unload the dishwasher when it is done. Those are my first tips: always unload the dishwasher ASAP and wash and load the dishwasher after each meal or snack so they don't pile up.

Here's my next set of tips:

Just like everything else in my house, I have a system for dishes. We have a dishwasher and disposal (thank God). That sounds funny, but I have been lots of places that didn't have one or the other or both and it makes it really challenging to do dishes. With a dishwasher and disposal, dishes are simple.

We have a two-sided sink. The side with the disposal and the counter next to it is for dirty dishes only. This makes it easy on Luke because he knows where to put a dirty dish. We don't let him put them in the sink (it's too deep and we would get broken dishes). The side without the disposal and the counter next to it (which just happens to be above the dishwasher) is for clean dishes only. The clean side of the sink is where things that don't go into the dishwasher (frequently used things - peeler, knife or bulky items - pots, pans, mixing bowls) are put to dry.

With this system, it makes doing dishes super easy. You go to the dirty side and either rinse and load the dishes into the dishwasher or scrub, rinse, and put them on the clean side to dry. When the dishwasher is done and ready to be unloaded, you just put it all away (that is when I put away the dishes on the clean side as well). It makes it really easy and pretty quick.

My dishwasher tips:

Yes, I load my dishwasher in a very anally organized manner (and Lee follows it). I figured I would share my system in case you wanted some ideas. Trust me, it takes just as much time to load it specifically versus just putting things in and saves a ton of time when unloading.

Bottom rack:

Utensil holder: Each side has 3 places for utensils. One side is for silverware. We put spoons in one, forks in one, and knives in one. On the other side, we put steak knives in one (the one next to the knives) and kitchen tools (big spoons, measuring cups, etc) in the other two. It makes it really easy when you go to unload. I grab a handful of the same thing and can put it away really fast.

Around the edges (where it is wide): This is where bowls go.

Inside: We line up dinner plates on one side and salad plates on the other. It makes it really easy to unload because you grab a handful of similar plates and can put them away in seconds.

Upper rack:

We have a row for tall glasses, a row for smaller glasses, a row for sippy cups, a basket for sippy cup lids, a row for ramekins (really small bowls), and a row for tupperware and car cups (water bottles, etc).

I hope this helps. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

My 2nd and 3rd Trips to Harris Teeter Super Doubles

I couldn't resist. I had to do a couple of more trips to Harris Teeter for Super Doubles. I found a ton of coupons and can't believe I had overlooked some of them. I could have missed some great deals which is totally not cool.

Here's a picture of what I got:

Here's the breakdown of how I got it:

2 Motts Medleys juices - normally $3.89 each, on sale for $2.50 each, used 2 50c q (Doubled) = $1.50 each ($3.00 total) (these were a new product I wanted to try, so I just waited until they went on sale which happened to be this week)
3 Minute instant rice bowls - normally $2.45 each, on sale for $2.00 each, used 3 50c q (Doubled) = $1.00 each ($3.00 total) (these were something I wanted to get when they were a decent deal so Lee has an instant carb side item when things get crazy around here)
2 Lysol toilet bowl cleaners = normally $2.95 each, on sale for B1G1, used a $1.00/2 q (Super Doubled) = 95 cents for both
2 Lysol wipes = normally $3.49 each, on sale for B1G1, used a $1.00/2 q (Super Doubled) = $1.49 for both
2 Kraft salad dressing = normally $2.75 each, not on sale, used 2 $1.00 q (Super Doubled) = 75c each ($1.50 total)
2 Cheer detergent = normally $6.49 each, on sale for $4.99 each, used 2 $2.00 q = $2.99 each ($5.98 total)
6 Pillsbury brownie mix = normally $2.39 each, on sale for $1.50 each, used 3 $1.00/2 q (Super Doubled) = 50c each ($3.00 total)
2 Sunburst detergent = normally $3.49 each, on sale for $1.99 each, used 2 $50c q (Doubled) = 99c each ($1.98 total)
2 Surf detergent = normally $5.99, on sale for $4.99 each, used 2 $1.00 q (Super Doubled) = $2.99 each ($5.98 total)
2 Softsoap hand soap = normally $2.85 each, on sale for $2.05 each, used 2 70c q (Doubled) = 65c each ($1.30 total)
3 Starkist tuna pouches = normally $1.50 for 2 and $1.65 for one, on sale for $1.00 for 2 and $1.45 for one, COUPON ERROR (figured it out when I got home) = $3.45 for all 3 (this bummed me out when I figured it out, but there are errors sometimes)
1 Baby lotion = normally $4.29, on sale for $3.79, used $1.00 q (Super Doubled) = $1.79
2 Clearasil wash = normally $4.99 each, on sale for $3.99 each, used $1.00 q (Super Doubled) = $1.99 each ($3.98 total)
2 Ziploc sandwich bags 100 ct = normally $3.95 each, on sale for $2.50 each, used $1.25/2 q (Super Doubled) = $1.25 each ($2.50 total)
6 Ziploc containers = normally $3.25 each, on sale for B1G1, used 3 $1.50/2 q (Super Doubled) = 25c for 2 (75c total)
2 Softsoap refills = normally $2.89 each, not on sale, used 2 $1.00 q (Super Doubled) = 89c each ($1.78 total)
1 Colgate toothpaste = normally $3.99, on sale for $2.50, used $1.00 q (Super Doubled) = 50c
3 Gillette shave gel = normally $4.49, on sale for $2.99, used 3 $1.00 q (Super Doubled) = 99c each ($2.97 total)
6 Eggo waffles = normally $2.50 each, not on sale, used 3 $1.00/2 q (Super Doubled), got $6.00 in Catalina deal = 50c each ($3.00 total)
4 Morningstar "meats" = normally $4.29 for 2 and $4.35 for 2, on sale for $3.29 each, used 2 $1.00/2 q (Super Doubled), got $4.00 in Catalina deal = $1.29 each ($5.16 total)
3 Tyson nuggets/strips = normally $6.45 for 2 and $9.59 for 1, 2 not on sale and 1 on sale for $6.99, used 3 $1.00 q (Super Doubled) = $4.45 for 2 and $4.99 for 1 ($13.89 total)

I would have spent $209.70.
I had $54.45 in VIC savings.
I had $87.30 in coupon savings.
I had $141.75 (68%) in total savings.
I spent $67.95 (32%).

YAY!!! I was thrilled with this especially considering that $14 of that was the Tyson frozen chicken. I also got a ton of higher priced items (laundry detergents, face washes, shaving creams, Ziplocs, Morningstar "meats", baby lotion). I love getting stuff I really need, matching the coupons and sales, and walking out saving a load. Stockpile craziness!

FUNNY STORY - Lee went with me and we had so much fun. It was fun showing him how I get the deals and telling him my savings. He was cute picking out the stuff and knowing it was such a good deal. I actually had to have a manager override since I "saved too much money". That has not happened to me before and I was excited Lee was there to see it. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

1st Trip to Harris Teeter Super Doubles

Yesterday I ventured over to Harris Teeter for my 1st (maybe only) Harris Teeter Super Doubles trip. I recommend getting there ASAP and for me that was around 10:00am. I am fortunate that my Harris Teeter is not super popular (yet), so there is a little (just a little) more room to wait.

I had the things that I really wanted to get - Fiber One bars (Lee loves these, I had coupons, and there is a Catalina), Betty Crocker fruit snacks (Luke loves these, I had coupons, and there is a Catalina), Welch's jelly (Lee and Luke love this and they were buy 3, get them for 97 cents each), and then anything else that was a good deal with coupons that were Super Doubled.

Here is a picture of everything that I got:

Here's the breakdown of how I got it:

6 Windex - normally $3.55 each, on sale for $2.50 each, used 3 $1.00/2 coupons (Super Doubled) = $1.50 each ($9.00 total)
3 Windex multi-surface - normally $3.55 each, on sale for $2.50 each, used 3 55cents coupons (2 Doubled, 1 didn't Double - see below) = $1.40 each for 2, $1.95 for 1 ($3.35 total)
6 Ragu pasta sauces (big ones) -normally $3.35 each, on sale for $1.675 each, used 2 $1.25/3 coupons (Super Doubled) = 84 cents each ($5.05 total)
3 Welch's jelly - normally $2.49 each, on sale for 97 cents each (when you buy 3 - you can only do this once if you are an eVIC member) = 97 cents each ($2.91 total)
1 Surf detergent - normally $5.99, on sale for $3.99, used a $1.00 coupon (Super Doubled) = $2.99
3 Clean and Clear face washes - normally $6.49, on sale for $3.99, used 3 $1.00 coupons (Super Doubled) = $1.99 each ($5.97 total)
6 Snyder's pretzels - normally $2.99 each, on sale for $2.50 each, used 3 $1.00/2 coupons (2 Super Doubled, 1 didn't Double - see below) = $1.50 each for 4, $2.00 each for 2 ($10.00 total)
1 Bisquick - normally $3.49, not on sale, used 50cent coupon (Doubled) = $2.49
6 Fiber One bars - normally $3.45 each, not on sale, used 4 50 cents off and 1 50cents/2 coupons (3 Doubled, 2 didn't Double - see below), got back $2.50 Catalina = $2.367 each ($14.20 total)
12 Betty Crocker fruit snacks - normally $2.69 each, on sale for $1.50 each, used 6 50cents/2 coupons (3 Doubled, 3 didn't Double - see below), got back 2 $3.00 Catalinas = 62.5 cents each ($7.50 total)

I would have spent $159.37 (before tax).
I had $49.78 in VIC savings.
I had $36.25 in coupon savings.
I had $8.50 in Catalinas.
I had $94.53 in total savings (59.3%)
I spent $64.84 (before tax) (40.7%).

Why Some Coupons Didn't (Super) Double -
As you guys know, you can only (Super) Double 20 coupons per day per VIC card. I had 27 coupons (11 of them said "DO NOT DOUBLE OR TRIPLE"). I figured that I really only had 16 coupons that would (Super) Double, so I just did my transaction, handed him my pile of coupons, and checked out. Well, he didn't read them and just scanned them so they did double. So when I got to 20 coupons that had (Super) Doubled, the rest did not. Now that might sound like bad news, but it was really good news as I had 4 coupons that ended up (Super) Doubling that I wasn't expecting so I saved a small amount more than I had planned. If in doubt, make sure you use your higher face value coupons first and then hand over your lower value coupons so that the first 20 that do (Super) Double are your bigger savings.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

3 Catalina Deals at Harris Teeter

Harris Teeter has some awesome Catalina deals going right now. Just in case you don't know what Catalinas are, they are coupons that print out with your receipt from a special machine (Catalina) after you pay. More specifically, when you purchase certain amounts of certain things, you get a certain amount of money on a coupon to use on your next purchase. It's like getting money back essentially. I LOVE THEM! They are even better when matched with sales and/or coupons.

Here are 3 Catalinas that are going on at Harris Teeter right now:

Kelloggs - Not sure when this ends - Check SouthernSavers.com
Buy 10 Kellogg's items, get a $10 Catalina - if you match that with $1.00 off coupons for cereal, poptarts, and/or Eggo waffles (these are on sale also), you can really make it worth your while as they are having Super Doubles now and the $1.00 coupon would be worth $2.00

Fiber One Bars/Nature Valley Granola Bars - 8/9-9/5
Buy 3, get a $1.50 Catalina
Buy 4, get a $2.50 Catalina
Buy 5, get a $3.50 Catalina
There are usually coupons for these items. The Fiber One bars weren't on sale so they were overpriced as HT overprices things, but I used coupons and then when I got the Catalina, it made them reasonably priced. I needed them anyways. I am not sure about the NVGB as I don't buy those.

General Mills or Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks - 8/9-9/5
Buy 3, get a $1.00 Catalina
Buy 4, get a $2.00 Catalina
Buy 5 or more, get a $3.00 Catalina
These were on sale and there are a ton of coupons on the Internet for them. By the time I matched the coupons with the sale and got the Catalinas back, they were 50 cents a box.

Stockpiling 101

I just read a great article on stockpiling and thought that I would share it with you guys. This lady seems to have a really great blog all about couponing and smart grocery shopping. I know a lot of my readers love to hear about those things. She is very thorough including examples and pictures. I hope you enjoy!

http://beautyandbedlam.com/stockpiling-groceries-101/

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Harris Teeter Super Doubles 8/11-8/17

Sorry to just be posting this but I hadn't seen confirmation about this until I was on my way home from the beach last night.

HARRIS TEETER IS HAVING SUPER DOUBLES 8/11-8/17!!!

I have posted my tips previously for how to manuever Super Doubles but since I can't seem to copy and paste, I will share them again.

Tips for Harris Teeter Super Doubles:

Plan ahead - Go to SouthernSavers.com to find the deals and click the ones you want and print out a list. Find, clip, and organize your coupons for your trip.

Get there early - The deals start at 7:00am so if you really want to get first dibs, be in the checkout line at 7:00am. Now I know that isn't realistic for everyone, but the earlier you get there the better.

Go for the FREE stuff first - These are the deals that go first obviously, so go straight for those when you go in the store. Things that tend to go first outside of the FREE stuff are non-perishables (especially personal care items).

You can only double 20 coupons per day per VIC card - Since you can only do 20 per day per VIC card, get the things you want most first and then go back the next day.

Bring more coupons than you plan to use - Usually you won't get all 20 items/deals you want, so bring backup coupons. I recommend at least 30.

Don't use your coupons that are less than $1.00 unless it is an absolutely awesome deal - Since Super Doubles is so special, don't use your lesser face value coupons until you have used up your $1.00-$1.99 coupons. Those coupons will still double any other time.

They will only double up to the total cost of the item - If you buy something for $2.50 and the coupon is $1.50 off, they will only take $2.50 off (it will show up as $1.50 and $1.00). They don't give you money back.

GOOD LUCK, HAVE FUN, GET SOME GOOD DEALS, AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, SHARE WITH ME SO I CAN POST ON THE BLOG. ;)

Morning Routine

One of the most helpful things I have found is having a morning routine. It can have one thing, say making your bed, or a few things. Either way, it is a great way to get your day started as it is consistent, starts your day with at least something clean and looking great, and gets you going.

My morning routine has a few more things on it as I am home most mornings and don't have to rush out of the house. Plus I really don't like doing a ton of stuff at night minus cleanup from dinner and help Luke clean up his toys. Since being pregnant and getting further along, I pretty much crash on the couch after dinner and just leave any clutter or cleanup for the next day.

Here is My Morning Routine:
Wake up, brush teeth, take a shower, and get dressed
Make our bed
Straighten up our bedroom
Start a load of laundry
Straighten up living room
Straighten up kitchen
Dishes/dishwasher (load/unload)
Wipe down kitchen
Make breakfast

It might look like a lot, but it really isn't. Making the bed takes all of about 2 minutes. Straightening up rooms takes a few minutes as we don't leave our house that cluttered. Starting a load of laundry takes a couple of minutes. There may be a few dishes to take care of (if any) and unloading/reloading the dishwasher takes a couple of minutes. Wiping down the kitchen takes a minute or two as there isn't usually a mess since we clean up after dinner. We keep breakfast really simple at our house - cereal, oatmeal, fruit, milk, so it takes hardly any time to make breakfast.

I would say the entire morning routine including a quick shower and getting dressed takes less than 30 minutes. The best part is it makes my house a little easier to manuever all day. When I go to the kitchen, there aren't dishes in the way or yucky counters. When I go to the living room, there are places to sit and room for Luke to play. A load of laundry is going and ready to be put in the dryer early in the morning. It's really nice.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Harris Teeter - Kellogg's Deal

I blogged about the Kellogg's Deal at Harris Teeter the other day. Basically between 8/1 and 8/14, if you buy 10 Kellogg's cereal, poptarts, or cereal bars, Eggo, or Morningstar products, you get $10.00 back to use the next time you shop at Harris Teeter. Well the deal is sweeter because this week from 8/4 through 8/10, Kellogg's products are 50% off. If you match that with coupons (which there are a ton of in the papers), it gets even better. And if you really want to make it better, buy the boxes that have Toy Story 3 movie rewards on them and you can get free stuff like movie tickets, concession bucks, and more on the Kellogg's website.

Well, I decided to go crazy. I don't have a picture because 1/2 of my stuff is still in the van and I am waiting for Lee to get home and unload it. But I will write what I did. It's pretty sweet.

I got 30 boxes of cereal (Raisin Bran, Special K, Cocoa Krispies, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks), 3 boxes of NutriGrain bars, and 8 boxes of poptarts (yes I know it is 41 items because of how my coupons worked out). I divided this into 4 transactions because you can only get 1 $10.00 off per transaction. I also saved my $10.00 coupons to use on regular groceries. I don't recommend using one to buy another deal since it might cancel it out.

All of it would have cost $129.91.
Since everything was 50% off, there was $64.96 in store savings.
I used $18.75 in coupons.
I spent $46.20.
I got back $40.00 to use on another Harris Teeter trip.
I also went on the Kellogg's website and entered the codes I got from 6 boxes of Froot Loops and got $10.00 in concession bucks for the movie theater.

AWESOME DEALS!!!

Quick CVS Trip Today

So I went to CVS today since I had $10.00 in ECBs to use and needed sunscreen. I had a handful of sunscreen coupons and figured I could find a good deal. If nothing else, I wouldn't have to "pay for" the sunscreen. ;)

Well I went in and looked for things I had coupons for. Ironically none of them were on sale. I saw Coppertone was on sale from $10.99 to $8.99, but the best part was it had a $2.00 ECB. So, I decided I would get the Coppertone and some candy to use my $10.00 ECBs and get the $2.00 ECB and use that to buy a Banana Boat which I had a coupon for.

Transaction #1 -
Coppertone - normally $10.99, on sale for $8.99, got a $2.00 ECB
2 candies - normally 89 cents each, on sale for 50 cents each

Total $10.77, used $10.00 ECB. Paid 77 cents. Got back a $2.00 ECB AND a $3.00 off $15.00 purchase coupon.

When I got the $3.00 off $15.00 purchase coupon, I decided to get a few more snacks for our beach trip since they were virtually free.

Transaction #2 -
Banana Boat - $10.99
2 Pretzels - 99 cents each
2 Pringles - $1.00 each

Total $15.71. Used the $3.00 off and the $2.00 ECB as well as a $1.00 off Banana Boat coupon. Paid $9.71.

So I would have spent $29.25. I saved $18.77. I spent $10.48. I saved 64%.

Not bad for a quick trip into CVS to get some sunscreen.

My First Rite Aid UP! Rewards Transactions

So like I said in my previous post, Rite Aid has a new program called UP! Rewards. It is kind of like Register Rewards at Walgreens in that you can do it multiple times during the week as long as you don't try to get more than one per transaction. They do this program in addition to the Single Check Rebate (SCR) program which is where you buy something that has a SCR and enter your receipt on their website, and they send you a check once a month. I always loved the SCR program, but when you combine it with the UP! program, it is amazing savings.

Here's how to use coupons, SCR, and UP! Rewards program:

#1 - ALWAYS look for a $5 off $25 purchase. They are printable and require a little bit of searching sometimes, but are great (basically 20% if you get $25 exactly).

#2 - Go to SouthernSavers.com to find the deals, figure out where the coupons are, and plan your trip.

#3 - Get a Rite Aid Rewards card (if you don't have one) - you have to have one to get the sales and the UP! Rewards.

#4 - Get exactly what you need to total $25 if you have the $5 off $25 coupon.

#5 - Ring up. Use the $5 off $25 first!!!! If not, your coupons will bring your total down to below $25 and they won't take it anymore. Then use your coupons. Pay. Get your UP! Rewards. Repeat! ;)

Here's what I did:

Transaction #1 -
31 count Pampers diapers - normally $11.99, on sale for $8.99, SCR of $2.00, UP! Rewards of $2.00, used a coupon for $1.50 off
72 count Pampers wipes - normally $3.49, not on sale, used a Buy 1 Diapers, Get 1 Wipes Free coupon
26 load Tide detergent - normally $9.99, on sale for $5.99, UP! Rewards of $1.00, used a coupon for $1.00 off
Herbal Essences 2-n-1 - normally $4.49, on sale for $2.50, UP! Rewards of $1.00 (when you buy 2 HE products)
Herbal Essences mousse - normally $4.49, on sale for $2.50, UP! Rewards of $1.00 (when you buy 2 HE products), used a Buy 1 HE Shampoo or Conditioner, Get 1 HE Styler Free coupon = FREE
Aussie shampoo - normally $4.69, on sale for $2.50, UP! Rewards of $2.00 (when you buy 2 Aussie products)
Aussie leave-in conditioner - normally $4.69, on sale for $2.50, UP! Rewards of $2.00 (when you buy 2 Aussie products), used a Buy 1 Aussie Shampoo or Conditioner, Get 1 Aussie Styler Free coupon

So I would have spent $43.83, I saved $15.36 in store savings. I used $15.99 in coupons. I had $5.00 in UP! Rewards. I had a $2.00 SCR.

Transaction #2 -
31 count Pampers diapers - normally $11.99, on sale for $8.99, SCR of $2.00 (let my sister get it as it is one per household), UP! Rewards of $2.00, used a coupon for $1.50 off
60 count Pampers wipes - normally $3.49, not on sale, used a Buy 1 Diapers, Get 1 Wipes Free coupon
2 Skippy peanut butter - normally $2.99 each, on sale for $2.50 each, UP! Rewards of $5.00 (when you buy $15.00 in Skippy and/or Ragu), used 2 60cents off coupons
4 Ragu spaghetti sauce - normally $3.49 each, on sale for $2.50 each, UP! Rewards of $5.00 (when you buy $15.00 in Skippy and/or Ragu), used $1.25 of 3 coupon

So I would have spent $35.42. I had $7.94 in store savings. I had $16.44 in coupon savings (I used some of my UP! Rewards from Transaction #1). I had $7.00 in UP! Rewards. I had $2.00 in SCR.

Transaction #3 -
2 26 load Tide detergents - normally $9.99, on sale for $5.99, UP! Rewards of $1.00 (you can only get one per transaction but I didn't care since I was just wanting to use my UP! Rewards from other transactions and get the Tide on sale, plus if I forget to go back, I am only out $1.00), used 2 $1.00 off coupons = $8.98

So I would have spent $19.98. I had $8.00 in store savings. I had $11.00 in coupon savings (I used some of my UP! Rewards from Transactions #1 and #2). I had $1.00 in UP! Rewards.

So in total, I spent $24.23 (subtracting out the SCR). I would have spent $106.17. I saved 77%.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Awesome Kellogg's Deal at Harris Teeter

Harris Teeter has the best deal on Kellogg's this week. All Kellogg's cereals, cereal bars, and poptarts are 50% off. As if that is not enough, if you buy 10 of any of them, you get a $10.00 coupon for your next transaction at Harris Teeter.

Poptarts are $1.09, cereal bars are $1.77, and most cereals are between $1.50 and $2.00.

If you use coupons (which there are usually a ton of cereal coupons in the paper), it sweetens the deal.

Today I got 10 boxes of cereal, 8 boxes of poptarts, and 3 boxes of cereal bars (yes that is 21 but it made sense with my coupons) and after coupons and the $20.00 I got back, it was roughly $1.50.

Tips:
You can only get 1 $10.00 per transaction. Don't buy 20 of them thinking you will get 2 $10.00 coupons. You won't and you will end up with a mess.
Don't use the $10.00 coupon to do the next Kellogg's transaction. I fear it might override your Catalina and you won't get another $10.00. Not worth the trouble. Just save it for your other shopping trips.

New Program at Rite Aid

I am soooooo excited to share the new program at Rite Aid with you guys. Some of you may already know all about it, but I have been in hibernation a bit lately and haven't couponed at my normal level. Anyways, I thought I would share it with you and explain the details I have figured out.

#1 - You now have to have a Rite Aid card (much like a VIC card or CVS card) to get any and all deals.
You just apply and fill out an application. It takes about 30 seconds. Each time you use the card, you have to tell them the phone number you applied with so don't forget. ;)

#2 - They have a new program called UP Rewards.
It is a lot like Walgreens Register Rewards in that when you buy certain things (ie 2 Aussie hair products) you get a coupon on the bottom of your receipt that is so much money off (ie $2.00 off) your next order courtesy of that manufacturer (ie Aussie). They expire roughly 2 weeks after you get them.

Here are some tips about UP Rewards:
#1 - You cannot get more than one per transaction (ie buy 4 Aussie hair products and get 2 $2.00 off coupons).
#2 - I don't know if you use one coupon and buy the same product if you can get another coupon (at Walgreens you cannot). I didn't try it because I didn't want to risk it. Try to use them on different products and go back and forth (ie buy 2 Aussie, get $2.00 off, use the $2.00 off on Tide, use the $1.00 off on Aussie again...).
#3 - You can use coupons on the items that give you UP Rewards.
#4 - You can get Single Check Rebates (SCR) on items that have UP Rewards if they are eligible for SCR.
So you can match sale + coupon + UP Reward + SCR and get some crazy savings.

An example I have for today is:
I bought 1 pack of Pampers diapers and 1 pack of Pampers wipes. The diapers would have been $11.99 but were on sale for $8.99. The wipes were $3.49. The diapers had a SCR for $2.00 and an UP Reward for $2.00. I used a $1.50 off Pampers diapers coupon and a Buy 1 Pampers diapers get 1 free pack of Pampers wipes coupon. So I paid $7.49, got $2.00 Up Reward got a $2.00 SCR, so I paid $3.49 for the wipes and diapers (THE DIAPERS WERE BASICALLY FREE).

#3 - Like I said, they still have SCR and it works the same.

Rite Aid might just be my favorite drug-store now. It might sound complicated but once you get the hang of it (it only took me one day), it can add up to some amazing savings.

Relax, Let Things Go, and Let Others Help Out

I have been feeling this post for a while and didn't quite know how I should write it. This is going to be a very transparent post which I hope my readers appreciate. As a lot (if not all) of you know, I am pregnant with twins that are due in roughly 10 weeks. It has been one of the biggest blessings in my life and I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. The hardest part hasn't been the morning sickness I had for 9 weeks, the aches and pains, or the expanding belly.

The hardest part has been putting away my tendency to 1) be a perfectionist and 2) not want other people to have to help me. I am a very self-sufficient person and generally like things to be as perfect as possible. While I know that this isn't the healthiest way to be, it's easier said than done to relax and let people help me. I have had to rest a lot and that puts other things (like keeping a perfectly neat home, cooking every night, keeping up with the laundry, and all the other things I do on a daily basis) on the back burner at times. It's been very difficult for me to look around and see clutter or mess.

The other hard part has been letting Lee help me. He is the kindest person in the world and will chip in and do things to help me out without complaining. It is just hard for me to let him do the things I feel are my responsibility. He goes to work full-time and then has to come home and help me out. I must admit that there has been a lot of guilt on my part.

I have really had to get out of my comfort zone to get comfortable. It's kind of ironic. I just wanted to share that there are seasons in our life that require us to just relax and either let things go or let others help out. There is nothing wrong with it. As I journey through the last 10 weeks of pregnancy, deliver two babies, recover, and adjust to having two newborns, an almost 5 year old son that I homeschool, a husband who needs attention, and a million other things that I have to do, I am going to remember what I have learned in the past few months. It's okay to relax, let things go, and let others help out. Please pray that I will stay in that mindset and not beat myself up or feel guilty.

I hope this has helped others.