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