Posts Tagged ‘ frugal living ’

Weekly Spending Summary (7/20-7/26)

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Some of you have wondered where I get my printable coupons. Here are the main coupon sites that I use:, Coupon Network, Smart Source, Red Plum, Ibotta, Hopster, Checkout 51 and Saving Star.  Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are another great source.

Favorite buys:
* Free Dial body wash
* Free Dial bar soap
* Free Honest organic tea
* Free Jones All Natural sausage
* Diapers for approx. $3.50/pack

Total Spent: $106.01
Total Saved with Coupons: $10.56
Total Saved with Sales: $19.06
Total Saved: $29.62

CVS: $3.55
Saved with Coupons: $7.06
Saved with Sales: $5.80

Missing on photo: Snickers bar

It was a good week at CVS- everything I bought there was either free or better than free!  I got the Dial body wash and bar soap both for free after coupons/sales/Ibotta rebates.  Love all the soap I’ve been able to get for free lately!  Oh and the Honest tea was actually a money maker of $0.63.  Obviously not going to complain about that!


  • 2 Dial body wash $3.00 each
  • 2 Dial bar soaps $2.00 each
  • Snickers $0.77
  • Paper Towels $0.79
  • Honest Tea $1.87

Coupons Used:

  • $2/2 Dial body wash printable coupon
  • $1/2 Dial bar soap printable coupon
  • Free Snickers product coupon from Facebook promotion ($0.77)
  • Free Paper Towels coupon from Red Coupon Machine in CVS ($0.79)
  • $1.00 Honest Tea CVS printable coupon
  • $1.50 Honest Tea printable coupon
  • $2.00 in Extra Bucks (CVS coupon that print at register for purchasing specific items)

Got Back:

  • $2.00 in Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Dial body wash (can be used on next purchase of any item)
  • $2.00 in Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Dial bar soap (can be used on next purchase of any item)
  • $1.00 via Ibotta for purchasing the Dial body wash
  • $1.00 via Ibotta for purchasing the Dial bar soap
  • $1.00 via Ibotta for redeeming and offer in July (this was a bonus offer that they gave)

Giant: $30.18
Saved with Coupons: $3.50
Saved with Sales: $13.26

I got some good deals at Giant this week but they were mostly thanks to rain checks.  The deals have been pretty slim there lately and I’m hoping it’s just a temporary thing.  Often in the summer the deals kind of slow down so this isn’t totally unusual.  But I don’t remember it being quite this bad other years so it makes me wonder if it’s more than just a summer slump.  The good side is that I’m enjoying a break from deal shopping which I had been planning to do anyhow.

After sales and gas rewards the  Jones sausage was a money maker of $0.38 and the Revlon implements were a money maker of $4.45.  If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that we love the Jones All Natural sausage.  I’ve gotten quite a bit of if free this year and we’ve been enjoying it in breakfast sandwiches, breakfast wraps and just as a side with eggs too.  It really helps make a quick easy lunch or dinner.  (We tend to eat baked oatmeal or homemade granola for breakfast and enjoy hot breakfast food for our other meals.)

(If you aren’t familiar with how the gas deals work, basically you earn so much off a gallon of gas when you purchase a certain number of specific items.  This time I earned $0.90 off a gallon, up to 25 gallons of gas, for purchasing the Jones and Revlon.)

The Pampers wipes were jut $0.99 each after coupons/sales.  I try to not pay more than $1 a pack for wipes and can usually pretty easily find them for that price.  The Honest tea was a money maker of $0.50 after a coupon.  I usually buy my potatoes at Aldi because I love that place, but I have trouble with their potatoes spoiling on me really fast in the summer.  So I decided it’s worth spending more to buy them elsewhere until fall which is why I bought these here this week.

And the Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar?  You very likely are wondering why I’d pay so much for vinegar.  Well, this is no ordinary vinegar.  It’s vinegar with the “mother”, which is basically beneficial bacteria that is a result of the fermenting process and it’s considered to be very healthy.  I’ve used a splash of Bragg’s ACV in my Homemade Mexican Dressing and several other recipes for a long time and more recently I’ve started to enjoy Good Girl Moonshine, a drink that I shockingly think is rather good.  (My husband who is usually the one to like those sorts of things declared it terrible tasting but for some reason I like it and actually get thirsty for it!)  Anyway, all that to say that I’ve decided it is worth spending more for this expensive vinegar that I was getting very low on.  I typically purchase it from Vitacost or Amazon (and pay for it with gift cards earned through Swagbucks) but since I didn’t need anything else from Vitacost (and therefore couldn’t qualify for free shipping) and since I had just used all my Amazon gift cards on another purchase I decided to go ahead and get my Bragg’s ACV from Giant this time.  In the end, I think it was about the same price or cheaper than if I had ordered it online and had to pay for shipping.


  • 7 Jones All Natural Sausage $1.66 each
    (bought with rain check)
  • 4 Revlon nail clippers $0.29 each
    (bought with rain check)
  • Revlon tweezers $4.39
    (bought with rain check)
  • 2 Pampers wipes $1.99 each
  • 5 lb. Red Potatoes $4.99
  • Honest Tea $1.25
  • Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar $6.29

Coupons Used:

  • Two $0.50 Pampers printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
  • $1.50 Honest tea printable coupon

Got Back:

  • $12.50 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Jones sausage
  • $10.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Revlon

Aldi: $17.17

Just another week at Aldi….  Not much to mention here other than seeing those 5 cans of beans makes me think I should recommend trying them on salad if you haven’t already.  It’s the new favorite salad topping around here.


  • Heavy Whipping Cream $1.79
  • 3 lb. Apples $3.69
  • Spinach $1.79
  • 5 Black Beans $0.59
  • Almond Milk $2.49
  • Chips $1.79
  • 2 Mushrooms $0.69 each
  • Cheese Wedges $1.29

Target: $45.11

I did this awesome diaper deal at Target.  (You can do a similar deal this week.  You’ll get the $10 gift card as well as $10 off when you choose in store pick up!)  I just haven’t been able to convince myself that cloth diapers are worth it so getting deals like this on disposable ones makes me happy.

Misc.: $10.00

* Withdrew $10 cash from our checking account to use to buy milk at a local dairy.

* Got 3 more tomatoes from our little garden.  :)

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Why I Always Open Department Store “Junk” Mail

Friday, July 25th, 2014

A couple of days ago I got our mail and among other things, I noticed a flyer from Bon-ton.  Now typically I’m not one to waste my time on junk mail but I’ve learned that some junk mail is worth opening and this was one of those times.  I opened it up and there was a coupon for $25 off a $25 or more purchase of kid’s apparel and accessories!  You know what that means, right?  I basically can use that coupon to get free clothes or at least very nearly free!  It’s even good on sale priced items.  My son is pretty hard on his jeans and is down to just a few pairs so this will be a great way for me to get him some more very inexpensively.

I’ve gotten into the habit of always opening and at least glancing through any flyers or mail from stores because I’ve learned that semi-frequently I’ll find little gems like this.  It only takes a couple of minutes but it can save me pretty big.

A few of the stores that I’ve gotten “free” dollar value coupons or coupons for free products from in the past:
* Kohl’s
* JCPenney
* Hallmark Gold Crown Stores
* Bath & Body Works
* Kmart/Sears

Want to get coupons like this too?  The best way I know to do it is simply to sign up for the stores mailing list on their website.

Do you get coupons like this in the mail?  What stores have been good to you?

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Up & Up Diapers for just $0.11/per diaper!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014


Update: I just did the deal myself and realized that when I paid with my Target Red Card I could save an additional 5%!  So if you have one, be sure to use it when you pay.

Target has hot deal on Up & Up diapers right now where your final cost for two boxes of diapers is just $37.48.  That comes to as low as $0.11/diaper!  This is the equivalent of paying around $3.50 a pack, at least for the size 2 and 3 diapers.  I typically consider $5 a pack or less a great deal so this is definitely a good deal!

Here’s how to do it:

1.  Buy (2) Up & Up Boxed Diapers at $24.99 each

2.  Save 5% when you select the Subscribe & Save option
- You should be able to cancel this once your order arrives if you don’t want to continue receiving shipments.  Just be sure to mark your calendar to remind yourself to do it!

3.  Shipping is Free!

4.  Pay $47.48
* Use your Target Red Card to save an additional 5% and bring your total down to $45.11!

5.  You’ll receive a $10 Target gift card with your order

Final Cost: $37.48 or as low as $0.11/diaper for size 2 & 3


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Weekly Spending Summary (7/13-7/19)

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Some of you have wondered where I get my printable coupons. Here are the main coupon sites that I use:, Coupon Network, Smart Source, Red Plum, Ibotta, Hopster, Checkout 51 and Saving Star.  Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are another great source.

I did very little grocery shopping this week since I was short on time and also because the deals are just slow right now.  I find that the deals always die down in the summer but this year I think it’s more than normal.  At any rate, thanks to my stockpile it’s not really been a huge issue and for that I’m grateful.

Favorite buys:
* Better than free Huggies diapers
* Free Starbucks Refreshers

Total Spent: $70.96
Total Saved with Coupons: $3.00
Total Saved with Sales: $0.98
Total Saved: $3.98

Rite Aid: $0
Saved with Coupons: $3.00
Saved with Sales: $0.98

I stopped by Rite Aid because I had a $1.00 coupon to use there before it expired and figured I might as well get these two Starbucks drinks since I could get them for free after coupons and sales.  I was intending to also get some shampoo but they were out of stock so I got a rain check.


  • 2 Starbucks Refreshers $1.50 each

Coupons Used:

  • Two $1.00 Starbucks Refresher printable coupons
  • $1.00 Catalina coupon (coupon that prints at the register) that I received from a previous transaction

Got Back:

Aldi: $46.99

 My husband and the men and boys in his family went camping this past weekend.  He was responsible to take bacon for two breakfasts, fruit, as well as all of the paper supplies which is why I bought 4 lbs. of bacon, apples, bananas, cups, napkins and plastic utensils.  I’m actually going to take back the cups, napkins and utensils because we ended up not using them.  We had a bunch of packets of plastic utensils wrapped in napkins that someone had given to us and so they used those instead.  And the day before they left I realized that everyone was going to be taking a water bottle along anyway so there was really no need for cups so we skipped those as well!

I bought the blueberries thinking they were a good deal but realized once I got home that they weren’t as great as I thought.  They were $0.99 a pint but it is a dry pint, not a liquid pint, so it’s not actually a lb.  I was thinking that I was paying $0.99/lb. when in actuality I paid $1.98/lb.  That’s not a bad price for many of you but around here I can get 20 lb. boxes of blueberries for $1.69/lb.  I was rather annoyed at myself but chalked it up as a learning experience.  I think I’ll remember from now on that a dry pint is not a lb.!  :)


  • 4 Bacon $3.49 each
  • 2 Canned Salmon $2.39 each
  • 2 Black Beans $0.59 each
  • 12 Blueberries pts.  $0.99 each
  • 3 Apples $3.69 each
  • Bananas $0.44/lb.
  • 3 lb. Sweet Potatoes $2.39
  • Cups $2.49
  • Plastic Utensils $3.49
  • Napkins $1.49

Got Back:

Walmart: $8.97

I kept hearing things about TopCashBack, an online cashback website, and finally decided to use it.  They had an offer last week you could make almost $1.00 just by purchasing Huggies diapers online via Walmart.  Since I’m always looking for ways to save on diapers I jumped on the deal.

TopCashBack periodically does promotional offers like this one where you can get something for free or better than free after cashback.  I’m hoping to let you all know about them on here when they have them in the future.


  • Huggies diapers $8.97

Got Back:

Misc.: $15.00

I withdrew some cash to use at our local farmer’s market for produce.

* $6.50 (used grocery cash)
I got more fresh ground wheat flour from my in-laws.  They buy big 50 lb. bags and then grind it for me.  It’s so much better and cheaper than just buying whole wheat flour in the store.  I love using it to make my 100% Whole Wheat Bread as well as numerous other things.

* These two lovely tomatoes came from our small backyard garden.  I have about 13 more still hanging on.  The plants seem to have gotten a blight though, so I’m not sure if it will affect the tomatoes or not.

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Arby’s: Free Jamocha Shake (July 23, 2014)

Monday, July 21st, 2014

In celebration of their 50th anniversary, Arby’s is giving away free 12 oz. Jamocha shakes on Wednesday, July 23, 2014!  Sign up now to get your free coupon.

Don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for Jamocha shakes!

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