Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolve to Save Money

Have you ever been on a flight and while talking to the person next to you, you find that you paid twice what she paid for her ticket because you bought your ticket at the wrong time or from the wrong website, or whatever?!? Nothing can make me feel worse than to know I spent more than I had to because I didn't have the same 'inside' information as someone else. I guess life isn't fair, right?

Wrong! I never want to pay more than I have to for any product or service I need. I don't have a tree in the back yard where I can harvest dollar bills whenever I want. Each dollar is precious to me and my family. That's why I refuse to pay more at the grocery store than I absolutely have to spend.
Join me this year in resolving to save even more money on what each of us needs EVERY DAY - groceries and household products! Why should you pay twice what I pay for a box of cereal or a package of frozen corn? Let me teach how to make your purchases at the right time and the right place for ultimate savings.

I'm telling you . . . it's easier than you may think. Once you realize how much you can really save, you'll want to share with all your friends and family. Even better -- why don't you all learn together. I'm sure you know several people who would love to save money, too. Get a group of friends together and call me to schedule a class. Before you know it, you'll be saving the big bucks. You'll be the one in the grocery store paying half as much for your groceries as the average shopper. That's right. Half as much. That's not an exaggeration.

Maybe you can use your savings to fly away to a wonderful vacation spot! Anything's possible!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Walgreens January Coupon Booklet

Walgreens January coupon booklet is available in Walgreen stores. They can usually be found close to the weekly inserts. The coupons are valid 12/27 to 1/30. Remember, these are Walgreens coupons and can be used IN ADDITION to manufacturer's coupons for double the savings! So look for them in your Walgreens and start saving today.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mail-in Rebates

Mail-in Rebates are just one more way we can save serious money on the products we buy and use everyday. I will try to keep you informed of available rebates here on my blog -- and if you know of any, please let me know so I can pass that information along to my readers.

Basically, with a Mail-in rebate (MIR) the company is paying us for using (or trying) their products. Usually, you will be required to download the company's rebate form, supply the original store receipt with the product information circled, and send that information to an address printed on the form. Within 6-8 weeks you will receive a check. Who doesn't like getting money in the mail? I'm currently awaiting $40 in recent rebates and I'm always on the look-out for rebates on the products I already use.

Olay is offering several MIR:
Purchase any Olay Quench Body Lotion (excluding trial size) and receive a rebate check by mail. All purchases must be made by January 29, 2010. Rebate submissions must be postmarked by February 12, 2010.
(They will reimburse you the total amount you paid for up to 2 body lotions!)

$15 Olay Rebate
When you purchase 2 Olay Regenerist Facial Moisturizers, Facial Treatments and/or Facial Cleansers by January 24, 2010. Form must be mailed by February 5, 2010.
(Olay Facial Cleanser is currently on sale at CVS for $6.99; plus use the $3/1 or the $1/1 coupon from the P&G 11/29/09 exp 12/31/09)

SC Johnson $5 Rebate
Get $5 back by mail when you purchase ANY 3 SC Johnson Products, including: Ziploc, Glade, Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, Pledge, Shout, Fantastik, Drano, Raid, Off, Saran, Natures Source.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Get $25 in Grocery Coupons!

Okay, I know I was going to take some time off, but I found this deal I thought you may want to know about!

From the All You website:

Purchase $10 worth of these Con-Agra products and you can receive a coupon booklet worth $25 (while supplies last).

Participating brands include:

  • Orville Redenbacher
  • Crunch n Munch
  • Banquet
  • Snack Pack
  • RO-TEL
  • Hunts
  • Manwich
  • Chef Boyardee
  • Kid Cuisine
  • Peter Pan

Click here for the mail-in offer. Offer must be presented by 4/9/2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

I'm taking a break for the holidays. We'll be back up and running after the new year when the inserts start being delivered again. Until then, enjoy the season and the time we have to spend with family and friends.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Albertsons Kellogg's Promo

SPENT $12.28 -- SAVED $40.78

So I dropped into Albertsons for these quick buys. I needed to complete two transactions, (the 4 Raisin Bran were one order by themselves) to see if I could use a manufacturers coupon I found on the Target coupon site. It worked!

The chocolate chips were $1.88, I had two $1/1 coupons; the cheese was $1.49, I had two $1/2 coupons. The cereal is on sale for $2.67 but when you buy three you will automatically receive $3 off at the register without having to present a coupon. You can also download a printable coupon for $5/4 here. You will need to buy 4 boxes of cereal, so only three will be $1.67, one will be $2.67. But this is still a fantastic buy. The downloadable coupon has the Target emblem printed on it, but it also states it is a "manufacturers coupon". It is NOT a "store coupon", which means you do NOT have to use it at Target.

Just in case you were wondering . . . I saved 78% piggybacking the store promo with the manufacturers coupon! The cashier had a question about the coupon because initially the register wouldn't accept it. She called the manager who told her to override and enter the $5 coupon. Yippee!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Insert Surprise!

I'm always surprised when I get a General Mills insert in the Sunday newspaper! (Sorry these pictures aren't too great!) I guess it's because I don't have any type of schedule for the GM delivery. Anyway . . . make sure you don't miss this insert in today's paper.

Also, look for this coupon in the Weekend USA and one in the Parade Magazine in today's paper if you're a Viactiv user. You can combine this coupon with a Walgreens coupon for $4/1. I'm not sure what the price is for Viactiv (the ad doesn't say), but you can usually get a good deal when you can combine a manufacturers coupon with a store coupon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Albertsons General Mills Promo

Okay, here we go again with the General Mills Promo at Albertsons and the sometimes fickle catalina printer! Please remember this promo will print a $5 catalina coupon for your purchase of a minimum of $15 in participating products AFTER MANUFACTURER COUPONS HAVE BEEN DEDUCTED. So plan your purchases accordingly. Here's how it went for me. (Sorry everything wouldn't fit in one picture!)

I did multiple transactions (5 total), with 4 transactions planned to trip the catalina print by buying General Mills products, using my coupons, and leaving a balance of at least $15.00.

The Catalina coupon printed only once. After each transaction, I told the checker I had expected a catalina print on the advertised promo. She checked the receipt, checked the ad, spoke with the store manager and gave me $5 off my next transaction. The store manager said the issue is with the Catalina company and she was going to call them again. She told me I was not the first who had the problem (and she didn't think I would be the last). This has been happening since the promo started on Wednesday. My Albertsons (on E. Charleston & Sloan and I think every Albertsons) wants happy customers and they are doing what they can by deducting $5 on your next order or refunding $5 in cash.

So please, if the catalina doesn't print and you believe you should have received it, ASK. Albertsons personnel are fully aware of the issue. SOMETIMES (I repeat, sometimes) the catalina won't print if you've used coupons in your transaction. Then again, sometimes it will!

Aside from the possibility of having to work for the $5 catalina, this is a great promo for stocking up! By the way -- hope you noticed I purchased items I would need throughout the week that weren't a part of the promo. Yes, those are fresh blackberries. =)

I saved $118.06 on groceries valued

at $195.06 --

60% Savings!

Total out of pocket: $77.00

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Homemade Bows From Reycled Materials

A Heart 4 Home has a great tutorial here for recycled bows made from recycled magazine pages. What a great idea -- it's easy and earth friendly.

This is a fantastic idea. All of us probably have old magazines around the house. And you know when you buy those bags of bows at the store half of they are smooshed anyway.

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bath and Body Works Freebie

Now through December 24th, you can pick up a free item (up to a $13 value) at Bath and Body Works with any $10 purchase. What a great offer for the holidays! You can find your printable coupon here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


"Stockpiling" is buying more than you need when you don't need it.

Some may think they can't afford to stockpile. It takes every dollar they have to buy the groceries they need immediately and there's nothing left to buy anything "extra". But I believe you can't afford not to stockpile. By stockpiling with the Grocery Smarts program you should be able to come home with more groceries while spending less money.

I understand this concept may sound like a crazy idea. I'm not saying that you should go out and buy 200 rolls of toilet paper, but if you find toilet paper on sale and you have coupons, buy enough to last for a few months. You know you'll use the product and if you're forced to buy it when you need it, you may pay more for it because you'll probably have to pay full price. We need to change our mindset about the way we were taught to grocery shop.

Here's some tips about stockpiling I learned from Teri Gault's book, "Shop Smart, Save More."

  1. You can stockpile almost everything.
    And by everything, I mean everything: the most expensive things on your grocery list, except for milk and produce (which you will most likely buy every week). Most of what you use/consume has a long shelf-life, except for these two categories. The key is to recognize stockpiling opportunities and take advantage of them.
  2. Stockpile 3 months . . . at least.
    Start with planning to stockpile enough to last about 10-12 weeks. Eventually this will adjust as your stockpile adjusts and you are overstocked or understocked in different categories. The rule of thumb for how many non-foods to stockpile goes by the number of people in your family. If you have four people in your family, you should keep four tubes of toothpaste unopened in your stockpile. You should be able to get through until the next toothpaste sale. When the sale happens, if you have two tubes of toothpaste in your stockpile, buy 2 more. You should rarely pay more than $1 for toothpaste.
  3. You (and your family) decide what you stockpile. You are the judge and jury. You should base your stockpile on what you like to eat, how much your family eats of certain foods and also how much space you have to store. Whatever your family likes, fill your shelves with it when it's on sale.
  4. You will stockpile almost every week. Eventually, your stockpile will be well rounded. This is when Grocery Smarts shoppers only shop for milk and produce and can ease up on the extra buying. But I can't emphasize enough how important it is to keep building the stockpile EVERY WEEK and never let it get depleted. Also, on major holidays---up to about four a year, there may be no "new sales". These are the weeks when the Grocery Smarts shoppers are happy to take a breather (saves time and money), and let the stockpile serve it's purpose.
  5. Keep track of your inventory. What good is stockpiling if you have no idea of what's going stale in your pantry or spoiling in your fridge? Make it a practice that you "fix" those expiration dates and sell-by dates on packages as soon as you bring them home from the store. By "fixing" them I mean making them easy to see. Before I put my groceries away, I mark them with a big permanent marker in big numbers right on the front of the package. It's also a good idea to keep a running list of what's in your fridge and pantry. Find a system that works for you (a list on a bulletin board, inside the cupboard door, index cards, a recipe box or computer spreadsheet) and use it. Make sure you're never scratching your head about what you have or don't have.

And the bonus is this: Stockpiling frees up money in other areas! Once you stockpile in all areas of your groceries, the day will come when you're so far ahead in your savings, and your cupboards are so bursting, and your bank account is so much fatter, that you can afford a SPLURGE!

Just try it! Stockpiling has worked wonders for my grocery budget -- it can work for you, too. Make sure you are getting one newspaper for each person in your family (that equates to one coupon for each item for each person in your family). Then watch the miracle happen. It works!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Time = Money; Money = Time

Time is money and money is time. When we think about money as being equal to time, it can change the way we use that money. If you earn $20.00 an hour, and you're spending $500 on your groceries each month, that's equal to 25 hours of your labor (three 8-hour days plus 1 extra hour). Equating your purchase amounts to the time it takes in labor to produce that amount of money can be sobering. And when you are the spender but you are not the earner, it becomes even more important to save where you can.

When my husband and I started having children, we decided together that it would be best if I stayed home with the children instead of staying in the workplace. Besides, daycare for 8 children would have been astronomical! Over the years, because I was not contributing a paycheck, it was important to me to be as frugal as possible with the household funds. The money I was spending was the fruit of my husband's labor. He has always worked hard in a field that is physically demanding. I never wanted to contribute to his exhaustion through my frivolous spending.

A friend once told me, "I spend what I spend and then my husband knows what he needs to earn". I hope she was joking.

One of my Grocery Smarts friends told me recently her husband was so excited with her Grocery Smarts savings. She had saved more in one day than he had made being paid by the hour on his job for the day. She says he brags to his friends about their grocery savings. My husband is the same way. When we are saving money regularly, it sends a message to those who are working for that money. It says, "I value you and your efforts for our family enough to manage that money wisely". And if you are the earner, you know first hand what is required of you on the job. Saving money on your groceries each week is equivalent to a weekly bonus!

How fortunate we are to have the Grocery Smarts program that helps us stretch those dollars and lighten the workload. In a time when many are struggling to make ends meet, we have been given the tools to ease the strain. If you want to know more about Grocery Smarts, I would be happy to share what I've learned. Why pay full price for your groceries? Call me and we'll schedule a class.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

New Hostess Incentives!

Calling all Prospective Grocery Smarts Hostesses!
If you've been considering hosting a Grocery Smarts class, now is the PERFECT time. Grocery Smarts has recently changed their hostess incentives. By hosting a class, you have the potential to earn much more than the previous $20 grocery gift card. Please call me or e-mail me for details and to get a class on my calendar. You may believe the holidays are not a good time to hold a class, but I can't think of a better time to learn how to SAVE MONEY. This is a perfect way to end or begin a year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Insert Update

You're aware already there were no inserts in last Sunday's newspaper. It's okay. Take a deep breath! Do not despair. This is common on holiday weekends. More coupons are coming. I promise.

For future reference, I'm posting the 2010 coupon insert schedule on the right of my blog. For the remainder of 2009, remember there will be NO inserts on December 20 (Christmas) and December 27 (New Year's).

But . . .

a P&G Saver is scheduled to be delivered with your Red Plum the week of December 27th, so watch for it. Also, we will be receiving TWO Smart Sources and Red Plums the week of January 3!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


2010 Sunday Coupon Insert Schedule

1/3: 2 Smart Source & 2 Red Plum & General Mill
1/10: Smart Source & Red Plum
1/17: Smart Source & Proctor & Gamble
1/24: Smart Source & Red Plum
1/31: Smart Source & Red Plum

2/7: Smart Source
2/14: No Inserts
2/21: Smart Source & General Mills & Procter and Gamble
2/28: Smart Source & Red Plum

3/7: Smart Source, Red Plum & Procter and Gamble
3/14: Smart Source& Red Plum
3/21: Smart Source& Red Plum
3/28:2 Smart Source & Red Plum & Procter and Gamble

4/4: No Inserts
4/11: Smart Source & Red Plum
4/18: Smart Source & Red Plum
4/25: Smart Source & Red Plum

5/2: Smart Source & Red Plum & P&G
5/9: Smart Source & Red Plum
5/16: 2 Smart Source & Red Plum
5/23: Smart Source & Red Plum
5/30: No Inserts

6/6: Smart Source & Red Plum & Procter and Gamble
6/13: Smart Source
6/20: Smart Source & Red Plum
6/27: Smart Source & Red Plum

7/4: No Inserts
7/11: Smart Source & Red Plum
7/18: Smart Source
7/25: Smart Source & Red Plum

8/1: Smart Source & Red Plum & Procter and Gamble
8/8: Smart Source & Red Plum
8/15: Smart Source & Red Plum
8/22: Smart Source & Red Plum
8/29: Smart Source & Red Plum & P&G Insert

9/5: No Inserts
9/12: Smart Source & 2 Red Plum
9/19: Smart Source & Red Plum
9/26: Smart Source & Red Plum

10/3: Smart Source & Red Plum & Procter and Gamble
10/10: Smart Source & Red Plum
10/17: Smart Source & Red Plum
10/24: Smart Source & Red Plum
10/31: Smart Source & Red Plum

11/7: Smart Source & Red Plum & Procter and Gamble
11/14: Smart Source & Red Plum
11/21: Smart Source & Red Plum
11/28: No Inserts

12/5: Smart Source & Red Plum & Procter and Gamble
12/12: Smart Source & Red Plum
12/19: No Inserts
12/26: No Inserts

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving on a Budget

Thanksgiving for a crowd can be expensive. That being said, I'm spending much less this year because of the Grocery Smarts coupon savings techniques I've been using the last six months. I was able to save 62% on this order at Smiths. By the way, some of the items are 'stock up' items, not even planning on using them for Thanksgiving dinner!

So what did I get for $43.52? A 17-pound Butterball turkey (my second turkey for stock up), 15 cans Swanson chicken broth (stock up!), 6 Heinz turkey gravy, 4 pkgs Turkey cooking bags (2 in each - stock up), 4 boxes Mrs. Cubbinson's stuffing, 3 can Princella yams, 4 Anderson heavy whipping cream, 2 cans Dole pineapple, 1 can french fried onions, 4 bunches celery, 2 boxes Triscuits, and 2 boxes Wheat Thins.

(Also, check out Walgreen's sale this week for olives, pumpkin, chicken broth, gravy and other items.) Maximize your savings by shopping the sales AND using a coupon!

To recap:
Spent $43.52 on groceries valued at $114.61,
& Saved $71.09 (62%)
Guess what? You can do it to. Call to schedule a class!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Albertson's Rocks

In reference to my previous posts concerning the recent Albertsons promotion and the problems with the catalina coupons: I received an email from Albertsons customer service department apologizing for my not receiving the $15 bonus when I had clearly followed the guidelines of the promo. They are sending me a $25 Albertsons gift card for the inconvenience and thanked me for bringing the matter to their attention.

Moral of this story: Most corporations want their customers to be happy. (At this point I want to emphasize that I was VERY cordial when relaying the details of the problem to both Albertsons and Catalina. I never disparaged their employees or threatened any action that would be detrimental to their business.) When a situation such as this is brought to their attention, they want to do all they can to: #1 resolve the issue and guarantee that it doesn't happen again, and #2 satisfy the customer.

Please do not be intimidated by big business. In most cases, they appreciate your contacting them if you are dissatisfied. How can they be expected to solve problems that will keep people from shopping their stores if they aren't aware of those problems? Please take the time to make your voice heard. In most cases, you have everything to gain!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shop Smart, Save More (Free)!

Okay, here's your chance to get a free copy of "Shop Smart, Save More" (a $9.95 value) just for booking a Grocery Smarts class! The author of this book is the founder of which is very similar to Grocery Smarts. She addresses grocery store sales cycles, stockpiling, and the need for multiple coupons. It's an informative and easy read that I think you'll enjoy. I know I did. Did I mention this is in addition to the $20 in free groceries for inviting 8 of your friends who have never attended a class? So what are you waiting for? This offer is limited to the first four who book classes.

Now is the perfect time -- the holidays are here and everyone wants to save money at the grocery store because that leaves more money for those Christmas gifts, right? You may want to team up with a friend (especially if you've already attended a Couponing 101 class) to become eligible for the Advanced Couponing Class. Your first couponing class is just the tip of the iceberg. Become eligible for the advanced class by hosting 12 people who have never attended a class. Then I'll schedule a time to sit down with you and another person (see the benefit in teaming up with someone else to host a class?) and share ways to increase your savings even more!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Catalina Print Failure

After speaking to Albertsons corporate office concerning their current promo which promises a $15 bonus when purchasing $30 in participating items, I was given the number for the Catalina Coupon office. (See previous post) When I called the number (1-888-826-8766) an automated system informed that if you believe you did not receive a coupon print to which you where entitled, you could send the information via email. I sent the information this morning and am anticipating a response within 48 hours and will keep you posted as info is received.

I know that there are many others who should have received the bonus and did not. If you have your receipt, email Include the store information, the purchase information (how much in participating items you purchased, amount of coupons deducted from the transaction, and your personal information - name, address, phone) and any other details you believe will help resolve the issue.

The purpose in being proactive in this matter is to help ensure these types of glitches do not occur in the future. Many I've spoken to, especially new couponers, believed they had miscalculated the amounts on the participating items they purchased. Please take the few minutes required and follow through. Whatever the response from Catalina, you will know you have done all you can to resolve the issue.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

$30 Before or After Coupons?

This week's Albertsons General Mills promo has stirred some controversy with local couponers. On Wednesday morning (as posted earlier) I was able to generate three $15 bonuses at the Albertsons on E. Charleston and Sloan. Each of my multiple transactions totaled just over $30 BEFORE coupons were deducted. Each transaction generated the $15.00 catalina coupon. I've received calls and have been following the posts on the Pinching Your Pennies forum concerning shoppers who were not receiving the $15 when their orders were under $30 once coupons were deducted from their totals. I can't explain the difference in policy from my early transactions and those of other shoppers later in the week.

The ad states "Minimum purchase requirement excludes manufacturer and store coupons". I think I was fortunate early in the sale (Wednesday morning) to receive the deal I received. It's possible Albertsons corrected the glitch and is now following the policy stated on the coupon.

I understand the frustration in fine tuning your grocery list to hit the $30 mark before coupons and then not getting the bonus. Lesson learned. SO, for the remainder of this promotion (and in the future with similar coupon restrictions) we need to closely follow the store's requirements to receive bonuses. There is no benefit in our arguing with store personnel who are only doing their job; showing courtesy is always the best policy.
Saturday afternoon I spoke with the store manager at my Albertsons. I had tested the current bonus promo by purchasing enough promo items to total over $30 after coupons had been deducted. The catalina did not print. The manager (who was so apologetic) said by using any coupon in your transaction, that triggers the catalina machine to not print the bonus. So it didn't matter that $30 in promo items had been purchased above the minimum purchase requirement. If buying promo items, she said, I should not use my coupons and receive the catalina bonus -- then go to the customer service counter and show my coupons and receive the coupon amount in cash. What a hassle!
When I returned home, I called the Albertsons corporate office because I am concerned this may be the new coupon policy at Albertsons. Corporate office said under their store policy, there was no reason the bonus should not have been given. They referred me to the catalina offices, which were closed on Saturday evening. I will be calling the catalina office on Monday morning. More later.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sweet Savings

When I saw the weekly grocery ads Tuesday, I was so excited! I checked through the Grocery Smarts listings, decided what I needed, gathered my coupons and I was ready to shop. Fortunately, there were no glitches in my morning so I was able to get out early and accomplish quite a bit in a short period of time. Gathering everything together will help you be prepared for when you can find the time to shop.

At Albertsons, I spent $50.59, saved $106.55 on groceries valued at $157.14!

And I still have $15.00 in register rewards to use on my next trip. I was able to trip the General Mills promo three times! When you spend $30 on specific items, you receive three $5.00 register coupons to use on your next shopping trip.

On my CVS trip, I spent $29.87, saved $65.77 on an order totaling $95.64

That Ice Age DVD only cost me $2.99 after making qualifying purchases (Dasani water and M&M's) for a $15.00 discount. There is also an additional $2/1 coupon available here.
(this coupon no longer available)

And finally, My Vons trip: I spent $38.00, saved $42.58 on an order totaling $80.58

So altogether I spent $118.46, saved $214.90 on items totaling $333.36. If I were paying myself for my savings, I saved over $70 an hour on these three trips. Well worth the effort, I think!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Organizing Your Coupons

I'm often asked how I organize my coupons -- so here's a little peek into my coupon world. When I first began received multiple Sunday newspapers (I get 4 papers each Sunday but have recently added another subscription for 5 total) I kept them in sheet protectors in a three-ring binder. All the Smart Source inserts for one date were kept in one sleeve, all the Red Plum inserts were kept together in another and so on. The most recent inserts were placed at the front of the notebook.

As you might imagine, it wasn't too long before my notebook was bursting at the seams. The sheet protectors were sliding all over the place and it just wasn't working for me anymore. So I bought a plastic file box. All the Smart Source inserts for a particular date are clipped together and each packet is filed in a folder. I keep all the Smart Source inserts in one file, all the Red Plums in another. There is no need to label the files -- the Smart Sources are in the front, the Red Plums behind them and any miscellaneous inserts (P&G, Kelloggs, etc.) are kept behind those. These inserts are also filed by date so they're easy to pull when I'm ready to clip coupons.

Just for my convenience, I bought a filing box with a separate lift top with several small compartments. Everything I need is in one place. There are micro binder clips so I can keep my inserts together; these binder clips are also used for clipping my coupons to the back of my grocery shopping list. The scissors for clipping and the Sharpie for marking my inserts are also close at hand. This filebox sits under my computer desk for maximum convenience.

Keeping my coupons organized and having the tools at hand have saved an enormous amount of time! We need to remember - while trying to save money (which is important), time is also a valuable commodity. Hope this helps!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Last Taste of Summer?

Ribs are on sale at Smiths this week. It's not a fantastic price, but enough that I will still have a pretty decent savings. I'm planning some ribs for our family dinner tomorrow night. It's always been a family favorite -- especially for my boys. I thought I would make some cole slaw and maybe some baked potatoes, some corn. A splurge like this can be justified when I'm consistently saving so much on my groceries. And besides, it feels like the last days of summer. When the weather starts to change, my cooking habits seem to follow pretty closely behind. This will probably be my last 'summer dinner' this year. You might want to check out this easy bbq ribs recipe at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Sale Is a Sale Is a Sale

A sale is a sale is a sale, right? Maybe not. The level of excitement I feel when using my Grocery Smarts coupons is dependent on what I need at the time. I'm happiest when I've purchased exactly what I needed and saved mega bucks at the same time. It may sound crazy, but I enjoy the shopping experience so much more since learning about and applying the Grocery Smarts concepts.

Here are a few tips that have helped me in the short time I've been Grocery Smarts shopping:

1. Know your needs in advance of the sales.
Keep a list on your refrigerator or somewhere convenient. When your stock is getting low, put that item on the list. Of course it's better if you can replenish before your completely out of something, it gives you more leeway when watching for a sale. If you must buy a necessity when you don't have a coupon or it is not on sale, buy only as much as you need to get you by until you can buy the item the right way -- on sale and with a coupon. Refer to your list as you're planning your shopping trip.

2. Be patient.
While I was building my coupon collection as a 'newbie', I was sometimes frustrated at the limited number of coupons I had on stock. Don't sweat it. In time, those coupons will accumlate. Slowly but surely, your shelves will fill with the items you need and you'll feel the satisfaction of saving money while meeting the needs of your family.

3. Stick to your list.
Once in the store, don't be swayed to make frivolous purchases. Know what you want, get what you need and only what you need, and the savings will happen.

4. Take the store ad with you.
I try to circle things on the ad that match up to the items on my list. If I ever have a question about the specifics, I don't have to waste time trying to find it on the circular. You know what it's like . . . sometimes there are so many items listed you're eyes get sore searching! But never fear! If you forget to take yours from home, you can usually pick one up at the front of the store.

5. If you can't find something . . . ASK a store employee!
There have been times when I have searched and searched and not found the sale item. Occasionally the store has not had the sale item in stock. Ask for help. Store personnel have even offered to make substitutions for me! You will never know what the possibilities are if you don't ask. Most importantly -- ask POLITELY. The grocery clerks at the stores in my neighborhood know I am a couponer. Because I make it a point to always treat them with respect, they have done the same for me.

And last of all, enjoy the experience! I hope you'll feel the sense of accomplishment as you recognize what little time you are spending in planning your shopping trips is paying off in huge savings.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just a Quick Trip to Smiths!

Spent $46.16
Saved $72.10 (61%)
Okay, so you know I already made a grocery run to Albertsons this week and saved some big bucks, but I couldn't resist a trip to Smiths to pick up a few items I needed there, too. By far, my greatest savings came with the pork loin roasts. I bought three of them for about $5 each. Can't beat that price! I'm looking forward to putting them in the crock pot for some yummy pulled pork. I love crock pot cooking because I can get dinner done early in the day and not worry about it when my day is particularly busy. So I saved money buying the roasts and I'll save time cooking them. A good deal all around.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Albertsons Deals 10/14 thru 10/20


Albertson's has come back this week with some more fantastic buys! There are some great five star deals you'll have to check out; but be sure you don't miss the General Mills promo. You'll save $10 on your next shopping trip when you buy $25 in participating products. So many five stars . . . too many to mention. You'll have to check it out for yourselves at the Grocery Smarts website. Okay, so I'll mention a few: Betty Crocker - snack items and potatoes; Chex mixes; General Mills cereals; Green Giant vegetables; Pillsbury biscuits, cookies and rolls; Progresso soups; and Yoplait yogurt and Go-gurts.

Of course the secret to maximizing your savings is in using the multiple coupons you're getting in your Sunday newspaper inserts. Not getting multiple Sunday newspapers? Call me for a great deal. You can also find extra printables thanks to our Grocery Smarts listmaker who searches out all the great coupons available for our convenience.
I'm headed to the store today. I'll update later and let you know how it goes!


Total value: $255.42, Total Out of Pocket: $79.28
Total Savings: $176.14
69% Savings Overall

Here's how it went:
1st order: 10 Go-gurts
Total: $37.90
Preferred savings: 6.00
Big Relief price cut savings: $6.90
Coupon savings: 6.20
Albertsons 10% keytag savings: 2.03
Total OOP: 16.77
+ Plus received $10.00 to be used on future order
2nd order: 2 boxes Fiber One cereal
6 boxes Golden Grahams
5 boxes Betty Crocker specialty potatoes
1 can Green Giant corn
Total: $46.76
Preferred Savings: 13.67
Big Relief price cut savings: $8.00
Coupon savings: 16.00
Albertsons 10% keytag savings: 2.51
Total OOP: $6.58
+Plus received $10.00 to be used on future order
3rd order: 4 Progressive Broth
4 cans Green Giant corn
4 cans Green Giant green beans
2 Pillsbury Orange Danish refrig. rolls
4 Green Giant frozen steamer vegetables
Total: $42.64
Preferred Savings: 16.03
Big Relief price cut savings: 1.65
Coupon savings: 14.00
Albertsons 10% keytag savings: 2.50
Total OOP: $8.46
+ Plus received $10.00 to be used on future order
4th order: 3 Betty Crocker Warmers
6 Progressive Broth
2 Pillsbury Grand refrig. biscuits
2 Pillsbury crescent rolls
3 Go-gurt
Total: $41.37
Preferred Savings: 13.12
Big Relief price cut savings: 1.80
Coupon savings: $15.55
Albertsons 10% keytag savings: 2.65
Total OOP: $8.25
+Plus received $10.00 to be used on future order
and $2.50 from the GoGurt purchases
5th order: 2 loaves Orowheat Bread
Albertsons string cheese (24)
6 Marie Callendars frozen entrees
2 Crest toothpaste
2 Ground Turkey
1 Beef Roast
1 Iceberg lettuce
3.48 lbs Honeycrisp apples
Total: $86.75
Preferred Savings: 19.51
Big Relief Price cut savings: $5.30
Coupon Savings: 17.00
Albertsons 10% keytag savings: 5.72
Total OOP: 39.22
I divided my cart into multiple orders to trip the General Mills $10 rebate when you purchase $25 in listed items. I shopped mid-morning when traffic at the store was light so I'm less of an intrusion for other shoppers -- although my savings almost always draws the attention of other shoppers in line behind me. I used each of my $10 credits on the order that followed (it shows up in the coupon total).
To explain, in early September I received an Albertsons keytag in the mail. It was a random mailing, not associated with my Albertsons preferred card. The mailer was addressed to "Resident." Anytime I shop Albertsons I use the keytag for additional savings through October 31st!
Sorry for the long post . . . but I just wanted to mention that my renewal for my multiple newspaper subscriptions is due this month. Can I just tell you that the savings realized on this shopping trip alone would have paid my renewal fee over . . and over . . .and over again!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Smokin' Albertson's Deals!

I Spent $110.82, Saved $152.00

I just got back from a VERY successful Albertson's trip. Sorry there's no picture. But you'll find some great Quaker deals and some other Mix and Match promos where you'll receive savings instantly on your order (no receipt vouchers to use on your next shopping trip) so you won't have to roll you orders. When you add your multiple coupons to the instant savings promos -- that equals amazing savings! Sale is on through next Tuesday night.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Walgreens Trip 9/29

Chapstick Fresh Effects $2.99
Vaseline Sheer Infusion Lotion $6.99
2 Nyquil 2/$10.00
Gillette Fusion Razor Cartridges $12.99
Emergen-c Immune $3.49
Venus Razor $7.99
3 Pantene Mousse 3/$10.00

Sub-Total: $54.45

Coupons used:

vaseline lotion - 1.50
(2) nyquil 1.00ea - 2.00
venus razor - 2.00
Walgreens $5 off $25 order - 5.00
Total coupons: $10.50
Sub-Total: $43.94
rr used: 2.50 Thermacare
6.00 SoftSheen Carson
(2) 1.00 Glade
(2) 2.00 P&G
Total rr: $14.50

Sub-Total: $29.44
Tax: 4.41
Total OOP: $33.85
rr received:
3.00 Chapstick
7.00 Vaseline lotion
5.00 Nyquil
4.00 Venus razor
3.50 Emergen-c
Total rr received: $22.50
Then I bought:

64 oz. Softsoap $5.00
Bounce Dryer Bar $3.99
Oral B Advantage 1-2-3 toothbrush $3.00
Vaseline Sheer Infusion Lotion $6.99
Chapstick Fresh Effects $2.99
Nestle Crunch Bar .89
Total: $22.86
Tax: 1.78

Sub- Total $24.64
Coupons used:
-1.50, Vaseline lotion
-1.00, Bounce dryer bar
Total coupons used: 2.50
rr used:
-3.50 emergen-c
-3.00 chapstick
-4.00 venus
-5.00 nyquil
Total rr used: 15.50
Total OOP: 6.64
rr received:
$7.00 Vaseline lotion
$3.00 Oral B Toothbrush
$3.00 Chapstick
Total rr received: $13.00
Two order total: $83.50
OOP: $40.49
Remaining rr: $20.00
Savings: $43.01 + rr ($20.00) 75% SAVINGS!

Monday, September 28, 2009


$5 Off your $25 Walgreens Purchase
Valid Sept. 29 and Sept. 30 ONLY!

This in-store coupon is available at the following link:
To qualify for the savings, your order must total $25.00
before taxes &
after all manufacturer and Walgreens coupons.

Get going ladies!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekly Shopping - 50% Savings Goal

This week, aside from my Smith's snack and cereal visit, I was able to save $65.57 on my weekly shopping at Albertsons. The total of my transactions was $119.94. I paid $54.37. While this isn't my best Albertsons shopping trip, I still saved 55% on my total order. If you spend $50, you should be able to realize at least $50 in savings. If you spend $40, you should be saving at least $40. If you aren't, please call me! Attend a Grocery Smarts class. Get your friends together (you know they want to save money, too!) and hold a class in your home. You can earn free groceries. Ask me how! If you've already been to a class, let me help refresh the shopping tips you learned there. With the economic times we're all facing, now is the time to work towards getting the greatest return on the money you spend.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Because I'm Grandma

Because I'm Grandma, I'm expected by certain younger, shorter people in my family to have my pantry fully stocked with the favorite snack items. Fruit by the Foot is the current favorite. My children (who pay the dental bills) have disallowed these items in their own homes (but I did mention I was the Grandma, right?). So as you can see, I am now prepared. Interestingly enough I'm finding the '3 month coupon rule' is very accurate. Coupons on most items will 'recycle' at least once approximately every three months. The last time I stocked this item was in June when I found a 'killer' sale on them at Vons. I was down to one box in the pantry when I caught this sale at Smith's this week. :) I was able to buy 12 boxes of cereal and 16 boxes of Fruit by the Foot for a total of $22.82.
Total value of sale: $83.72
Coupon & store savings: $60.90
Total OOP: $22.82

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Albertsons Gas Rewards

"Albertsons Gas Rewards Program is being discontinued. 9/21/09 is the last day you may earn Gas Rewards. Gas Rewards issued on or before 9/21/09 will be honored until they expire." This is the notice printed on my Albertsons receipt today. Just be aware; don't let your gas savings expire before you can use them!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Walgreens continues to be one of my favorite places to shop! You'll see what I purchased today below and the savings are incredible. But while you're in the store, please look for he Walgreens "Children's Activity Book" at the camera or pharmacy department. Your kids will enjoy the activities, and you will love the coupons:
Neosporin, $2 off
Band-Aid Bandages, $2 off
Children's Benadryl, $1 off
Flavored Tylenol, $1 off
Braun ThermoScan ear thermometer, $5 off
Huggies diapers or training pants, $1 off
Gerber tooth & gum cleaner, $1 off
Zooth or Oral-B Stages toothbrushes, $1 off
Listerine, $1 off
L'il Critters Gummy Vites, $2 off
Walgreens Children's Allergy Relief, $.50 off
Walgreens Childrens's Ibuprofen 100, $.50 off
Crayola Color Explosion or Color Wonder, $1 off

Today's Shopping Trip:
2 Neosporin ointment, $3.99 each, $3 rr wyb 2
($2.00 coupon, childrens activity book, $.50 mfr coupon, SS 6/28)
3 Degree deodorant, $1.99 each on sale
2 Kleenex, $.89 each on sale
1 Glade soy candle, free with mfr coupon
2 Walgreens activity books, $.99 each
1 True North nut clusters, $3.00, $3 rr
2 Triaminic children's thin strips, 2/$10.00, $5 rr

Total value: $47.59
Coupons used: $29.50
Wag advertised savings: $9.26
OOP: $8.83
Register rewards received to be used on my next trip: $11.00
All together, a very rewarding trip!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

General Mills Savings

Don't miss the General Mills coupons in today's paper. When you are receiving multiple Sunday newspapers, make sure you check closely through all the sales ads in that first newspaper. This booklet was an unexpected bonus for me. I didn't want you to miss these great coupons!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm So Excited!

I've been using Grocery Smarts since May, but I began tracking my savings in the middle of August. From August 15 through August 31, I bought $679.50 worth of groceries and household items. (Btw, this is unusually high for me, but I stocked up on some over-the-counter medications that I just couldn't pass up.) I saved $379.71 and spent $299.79 out of pocket. That's an average savings of 57%! By "household items" I mean things like toiletries, paper products, and cleaning supplies. Of course my individual sales receipts vary in their percentages saved, but having almost 60% savings overall on things I use everyday is exciting to me. I should probably mention that my husband is VERY happy with the savings. He always asks, "How much did you save today?" By taking the extra few minutes to search the Grocery Smarts website and organize my coupons before leaving my house, I am saving so much money! Let me show you how. Call me or email me and schedule a class. I would love to show you how you can do the very same thing . . . save money . . . every week!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Brand Loyalty vs. Savings

I love Jif peanut butter. I guess you could say I'm a peanut butter snob. Who knows why I love the products I do, but I've always used Sure Deodorant, Pantene hair products, Heinz ketchup, and Tide detergent just to name a few. There's no accounting for some peoples tastes. When our kids were younger, I would experiment with generic brands to try to save money but was not often satisfied. I like name brands. And I like my favorite name brands best. Since becoming a Grocery Smart shopper, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and experimenting with other brands -- other name brands, not generics -- and finding I can sometimes be just as happy with the outcome. I recently discovered Hunts ketchup is pretty good (my family didn't even notice the difference)! Don't get me wrong. I'm still on the lookout for great buys on my favorites so I can stock up, but I'm also more open to the possibility of being surprised by products I would not have even considered in the past. Using Grocery Smarts and my newspaper coupons, I don't have to spend a lot of money to try something new. Who would have thought?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pinching Your Pennies

Want to share deals or post big savings tips? Pinching Your Pennies is an AWESOME forum for doing just that! There isn't a ton of participation yet in the Nevada Forum so I thought I'd do a post to get awareness out there so we can all start using it! Basically, you just register then can share info on extra deals you find as you are out shopping. The Grocery Smarts lists are great, but if you find something extra - this is where you can post it for everyone to see!I get emails all the time from gals with more deals to share and if we can pass the word around and all start using this forum, it will become a great resource for all of us!

Walgreen's Trip 8/31/2009

3 cans Geisha Peaches
1 can Geisha Pears
1 Rembrandt toothpaste
1 Mens Zone
1 6 Razor pack
1 Theraflu Cough/Cold Syrup
3 Jello
2 Kraft Velveeta Cheese Dinners
2 Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese Dinners
1 Colgate Reach Toothbrush
1 Colgate 360 Toothbrush
4 cans Sardines
Total: $56.10

Walgreens 15% Discount: $ 6.40(15% discount for one day onlyfrom
Coupons: $10.84
Walgreens advertised savings: $12.09
Register Rewards Used: $21.00

OOP: $ 5.77

Plus I received $14.00 rr

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


What is Grocery Smarts?
Many shoppers who want to save money at the grocery store spend hours scouring over the ads and digging through piles of coupons to find what matches up. Grocery Smarts puts an end to all of that craziness and simply matches local store ads to current coupons (found in the Sunday paper) in an easy to use list. The list is updated each week as new ads are released and even links you instantly to any online printable coupons that are out there. Using an easy "5 Star" rating system, the list even tells you which deals are the BEST deals! And, the greatest part about these lists is they are free! Free for anyone to use, anytime... and you don't even have to register or fork over your email address to use the service. Nice, huh?

How can I learn how to use the lists?
The best way to learn how to use the store lists is to attend a class. If you haven't ever been invited to one, consider hosting your own! In-home classes work the best, so grab your friends and family to attend and contact me to book one anytime!

What's a class like?
Classes generally last about an hour (depending on how chatty the ladies get). In that time, I teach you the benefits of shopping the sales, show you how to do it, and give you recommendations on how to stay organized. It's not complicated or difficult to learn because the list does all the hard work for you.

How much time will I have to spend clipping coupons?
Virtually none! Seriously, the Grocery Smarts big wigs came up with literally a "5 minute" method that'll keep you organized, yet not feeling overwhelmed. You only cut what you need, when you need it!

Is it really worth it?
It is for me (and lots of my friends and family)! I've been couponing for along time and my budget is in good check and my pantry is full. My favorite part about shopping this way is I actually get to buy nicer brands. No more generics for me... nothing beats a name brand item when it's on sale and has a coupon to boot! Plus, my hubby praises me for my trophy receipts (the ones where I save more than I spent)! Seriously, I hang these on the fridge and he loves it!

So... What's the catch?
Several other similar online shopping services charge users a monthly membership fee to access their coupon matching service. However, in an effort to be a head above the rest, the founders of Grocery Smarts didn’t think charging a monthly fee to families who are trying to save money made any sense at all. They started thinking outside the box and realized that regardless of what service you use, in order to shop smart and to do it right, you need multiple sets of coupons from the Sunday paper. They thought, "Why charge a fee to the user… when the newspaper sits right in the middle directly benefiting from the concept we teach?" So, the Grocery Smarts big wigs presented their concept to the Review Journal. They quickly realized that when we teach our classes, we naturally refer new subscribers to the paper. So, you can imagine how quickly they jumped on the opportunity to open their market up to moms like us who typically wouldn't be getting the paper at all.

So here's the long and short of it... At the class, as I teach you the concept of shopping smart and show you how you can use the website to save money at the store. And, because having the right amount of coupons (1 set for each person in your household) is such a key part of saving big, it makes sense for me to hook you up with the papers you need at the class. I offer the Review Journal at amazing prices to anyone not currently taking the paper, plus can get you up to 4 more additional Sunday papers delivered to your door for less than a buck a week! And that's why the class is free... I make money based on how many new subscriptions I turn into the Review Journal. So, I guess we can all thank them for stepping up, getting involved and helping Grocery Smarts keep the classes and website FREE for everyone!

Start Here!!

After following the Grocery Smarts concept for the past four months, my pantry is very well stocked! Our youngest daughter, who is a junior in college, shops from the pantry when she makes her occasional weekend visits. Filling this pantry and saving money in the process is the most fulfilling part of the story.

How do you start?
I was first introduced to Grocery Smarts at a class I attended. I learned about the free website that would help me plan the best way to shop using coupons from the Sunday newspaper (I now get five Sunday newspapers). Each store has an individual listing of their weekly sale items. If coupons are available, they are also listed. It sounded easy, and it is! I have consistently saved an average of 60% on my groceries since using the website.

Have you attended a class?
If you haven't attended a class, contact me and we can discuss how you can hold one in your home and earn free groceries. When you do attend, I can show you how to save at least 50% on your groceries and hook you up with a sweet deal on your Sunday Review Journal. I'm hoping this blog will help keep you informed and excited about Grocery Smarts. I try to share ideas and tips that you can use to save money.

What's next?
Go to the Grocery Smart website HERE and print your shopping list. If you just ordered your newspapers, it will take some time to accumulate multiple coupons. Each week you will accumulate inserts and before you know it, your savings will increase. But you can start saving the very first time you go to the store by using the website to shop the sales more efficiently.

Do you have your newspapers already?You know you need multiple coupons to maximize your savings, which means you need multiple newspapers. The Grocery Smart concept is to have one set of coupons for each member of your family. For less than $1 a week, you can get an extra Sunday newspaper.

Current incentives for ordering your newspapers through me . . . .

$5 Gift Card for ordering 2
$10 Gift Card for ordering 3
$20 Gift Card for ordering 4 or more!

The savings go on and on! As you continue to use the website and experience the coupon savings, your pantry and shelves will be stocked. You will be amazed at the amount of money you are saving on groceries and other household items your family uses regularly. Before making a purchase, don't be surprised if your hubby or children ask, "Do you have a coupon for that?" You'll probably find that couponing is contagious. The more money you save, the more you want to save.

So bookmark my blog and check back each week to see how I have been using my coupons. Hopefully I can give you some ideas on how you can save even more money!