Friday, May 27, 2011

Drugstore Coupon Shopping Notes 5/22

I just got back from my trip to Walgreens and CVS and I had a few notes to share with any one else who is doing this whole coupon adventure.
First of all, I did extremely well in spite of some hiccups.
I ended up spending a total of: $38.45 OOP
I received back $40 in Register Rewards from Walgreen's.
I think that's pretty awesome! =)
Here's some things I found out today that are mentionable:
1. The BOGO Suave Body Wash coupon that a whole bunch of matchup lists said would be in the 5/22 Red Plum Unilever insert... NOT in mine. It's possible that this is a coupon in other states, but I had 4 copies of the paper and I went through that insert 5-6 times (trust me, I was desperate to find it) and it wasn't in there. Anyhoo, if you happen to live in AZ and actually found it, would you please let me know where exactly? I would love to know if I'm blind for real! =P
2. The $2 off any Revlon Color Cosmetic coupon DID NOT work on the nail polish at CVS. So, I politely (and calmly) asked the cashier to take those off of my order... I hope my embarrassment wasn't too noticeable. ;-) It's possible this might work at a different location, but I thought I should let you know about my experience.
3. I had $3 off of Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation that I got HERE and I had 2 of these coupons. At my CVS, these were 75% and so when they rang up, they OWED ME $1.50ish! I used this overage and another coupon to buy some Cover Girl eye shadow. Anyways, with this coupon, it seems like you can get a pretty good deal on this makeup. I am getting close to empty on the stuff I'm using right now, so this was great for me!
4. I have read Arizona Walgreen's coupon policy, but it didn't mention how many transactions a customer is limited to. That said, when I went to checkout today and told the cashier I would have 4 separate transactions and that I would be happy to get back in line for each one, she informed me that she is only supposed to do 2 transactions. She was very nice and it wasn't a heated discussion or anything. She did say she would go ahead (even though I told her it was okay not to). At the end, I did ask her about that and she said they're not supposed to, but it depends on how busy they are and what time of the day it is and if you let them know you have more than 2, it's okay. Okay, I thought I did that when I checked out... hmm? That's not very clear, but I think I will keep it to 2 transactions next time.
5. The Complete Contact Solution deal and the Scunci Hair Elastics are an awesome deal at Walgreen's this week. They end up being FREE with rewards you get back, but make sure you go back and spend your rewards on another great deal during the week or next week (before the reward expires) or the contact solution and hair bands don't end up being free.
6. Even though I've done hardly any shopping at CVS, I scanned my CVS card at the kiosk in the store and a coupon for a free bag tag printed up, so definitely take the extra couple of minutes to scan your card... you might get something good!
7. Finally, here's the matchup lists I used for my shopping this week. Both of them are from The Coupon Counselor. <---- thank you! =)
CVS coupon matchups and deals
Walgreens coupon matchups and deals
So those are my shopping notes from my drugstore shopping today! How did you do?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Saved From the Garbage Muffins

Okay, that's not the REAL name of these muffins, but I was trying to get your attention.
But seriously, the whole reason why I made these muffins was to save certain ingredients from the garbage can!
Over the past few days, I have been cleaning food out of my refrigerator and instead of throwing food away, I've been coming up with a way to use it. I've come up with some pretty yummy eats doing this and the great thing is that I'm not throwing food away, so I'm saving money! Cha-ching! =)

Here's what I wanted to use up:

Okay, let's see... we've got some applesauce, a couple of overripe bananas, a zucchini that's almost rotten, and a bit of crushed pineapple.

Here's what I came up with and they turned out delicious!!

The recipe is loosely based on THIS ONE from allrecipes (which is delicious, btw), but you will see that my version is an entirely new creation! TONS less oil, less sugar, and more yummy, nutritious ingredients. I would have loved to have used a combination of whole wheat flour and white, but I had no whole wheat flour on hand... boo! =( That would have increased the nutritional value of these muffins a bit. Feel free to try it with whole wheat flour and add whatever you want! I also think I could have gotten away with less sugar. I will probably try a bit less next time. I think these would be fantastic with nuts, but I planned on letting Baby Girl have some, so I left those out. Enjoy!

Better-For-You Zucchini Banana Muffins
Click here for a printable version
Makes approximately 18 regular-size muffins or 3 dozen mini muffins


2 bananas, mashed
⅓ C. unsweetened applesauce
⅛ C. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
¾ C. sugar
1-1/2 C. flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
⅛ tsp. baking soda
½ TBS. ground cinnamon
1 zucchini, grated
⅓ C. crushed pineapple
½ C. raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease muffin pan or line with muffin liners. (Note: I had much better success without the liners. I just gave each muffin cup a light grease and they came out easily. The ones in the paper liners stuck really bad to the paper and the muffins didn’t come out too nicely from the paper. FYI!)

2. Combine the first five ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. Add the sugar and mix until combined.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and ground cinnamon. Mix to combine.

4. While stirring, add flour mixture to wet mixture until ingredients are well combined.

5. Add in the zucchini, pineapple, raisins, and any other chunkier ingredients at this time. Stir to combine and distribute fruit evenly throughout batter.

6. Distribute among muffin cups and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve piping hot out of the oven or cold. They’re good either way!

Here's the skinny on these muffins according to caloriecount: 1 serving/1 regular-size muffin: 109 calories, 2.1 grams fat, 21 mg cholesterol, 13.4 grams sugar, 1.8 grams protein.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Wise Shopping Trip Results 5/12

I wanted to share my shopping results with you from yesterday's trip. It's not too late to get in on the deals and it's kind of fun and challenging to save money. I even made a video of my shopping trip which is at the bottom of this post. It was fun to do.

I will mention that wise shopping isn't just using coupons. It's shopping the store deals and when possible, matching up that great deal with a coupon. I really didn't use a whole lot of coupons on this last shopping trip (about a dozen), but I still saved 78%.

Here's the goods:

$110.34 worth of groceries for $24.02!!

Here's the run down:


Total: $19.61
Savings: $20.54
Rebate & Reward: $19.00
This shopping trip ended up costing $0.61!!
Check out the matchup list for Walgreen's HERE.
Deals for Walgreen's end Saturday!


Total: $8.67
Savings: $13.57
Check out the matchup list for Bashas' HERE.


Total: $4.38
Savings: $12.98
View the matchup list for Fry's HERE.


Total: $10.36
Savings: $20.23
View the matchup list for Albertson's HERE.

My silly video!!

Hope you enjoyed today's post!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Grocery Deals for 5/11 - 5/17

Here's some links where you can go to see what's on sale this week here in AZ. Follow the links to find the lists for the deals.

Fry's - Go HERE

Bashas' - Go HERE

Albertson's - Go HERE

Safeway - Go HERE

A friend of mine also told me about this site: GrocerySmarts

Monday, May 9, 2011

This Week's Menu

This is what is going to be on our plates this week.
Weekly menu planning is a great way to save money.
You not only use up what you have,
but you don't make as many trips to the grocery store
where you inevitably buy items you
weren't originally planning on buying.
Those extra shopping trips add up!

Chicken & Veggie Stir-fry
(my way of cleaning out the vegetable bin)
Leftover Mongolian Beef
Fried Rice

Corned Beef & Cabbage

Grilled Salmon
Rice Pilaf
Sweet Potato Oven-baked Fries

Skillet Beef & Noodles
Carrots w/ Garlic


More Leftovers!! :D

What's on your menu this week?

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Thanks so much for stopping by!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sunday Paper Coupon Preview

I found this link recently and it gives you a preview of the coupons that are going to be in the Sunday paper. This is great for deciding if you need to get multiple copies of the paper or not. This week's coupons contain coupons for a couple of things I would buy, namely the Mountain High yogurt and Tide detergent. So, I will probably pick up a couple of extra copies of Sunday's paper. Isn't that nice to know ahead of time without having to look through the paper yourself?

Here's the link:  Make sure you click the "read more" button at the bottom of the post for this week to see the complete list!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers! =)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Coupon Adventures

I've been an amateur coupon user for a few years.
"Oh, I use that." snip
"Maybe this will go on sale." snip

My husband and I watched some youtube videos
a few weeks ago and decided to give this whole coupon thing
a trial of a few months and see if it's worth the time and effort.
There are many youtube videos out there about couponing,
but I have really appreciated this series by Living Well Spending Less:
Extreme Couponing for Normal People

(click above for the first episode and the others are on the side bar)

Yes, normal people! That's what we are!
Well, we have friends and family that would beg to differ...
but you know what I mean.
We're not going to be using underneath our children's beds
to store extra items.
And we're not going to buy things we aren't going to use.
That kind of normal.
Anyhoo... this intro to what I really want to share with you
is taking a long time because I'm rambling too much.

Living Well Spending Less also has an awesome
step-by-step guide to help you start couponing
that we found very helpful.
Here's the link to that: How to Start Extreme Couponing.
I'm not sure how comfortable I am with the label "extreme",
but that's what I'm doing and I guess that means I'm extreme.
If you decide to jump in and be extreme like myself (and others)
and you decide to follow her step-by-step guide,
please follow her suggestions when putting together
your first shopping list.
I thought I knew how to "coupon" and I went
too extreme (you might say) with my first trip
and I was so exhausted and burnt out just making the lists.
I almost gave up then and there!
So don't overwhelm yourself.
Take baby steps.
Start with a very small list.
Start with ONE store.

I'm only on my 3rd week and it was much easier this week.
I was so excited with my trip to Fry's today.
I spent $15.46 and saved... are you ready...
$39.89!!!!!! That is a 72% savings.
Yes, I'm pretty excited about that.
I spent about an hour getting my list
and coupons together.
I would say $40 for an hour is pretty good. =)

Before I decided to give this a try
I was doing a pretty good job of shopping smart
and saving money when I went,
but my percentage was usually anywhere between 35-45%.
The past few times I have gone shopping, my percentage has
been in the 50%-60%.

I definitely have more to say about all this,
but I don't have the time at the moment.
I just wanted to share my results with you thus far
and also share the list for Fry's this week (5/4-5/10).
Deals & Coupon Match-ups @ Frys

Hope you're enjoying your week!