Sunday, August 28, 2011

Publix: Half Off is Good

Spent: $20.79
Saved: $20.09
Total Value: $40.88
Percent Saved: 49%

There were some nice finds. With all of the meat I bought this week and the breakfast meat from this week, I think I am set for a little bit in the meat department. I could have gotten a better deal on olive oil with the Filippo Berio brand olive oil, but the online coupons aren't working. I think it is a MacOS Lion issue because I didn't have this problem before I upgraded about a week ago. I tried Safari and FireFox and had the same problem. Oh well...


$5 off $30 Purchase Winn-Dixie Coupon

Kleenex Cottonelle Wipes, $2.69
Free Cottonelle Wipes Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it FREE!)

Fresh Garden Salad, $3.99
Buy One Get One Free
(Made it $2.00 each)

Hormel Canadian Bacon, $3.00 Sale
$1.50 off Hormel Canadian Bacon Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $1.50 each)

Crisco Olive Oil, $5.79
$1.00 off Crisco Olive Oil Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $4.79 each)

Carolina Pride Bacon, $3.99
$0.50 off Carolina Pride Bacon Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $3.49)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sedano's: Chicken this Cheap?

Spent: $18.27
Saved: $13.71
Total Value: $31.98
Percent Saved: 43%

So, I was able to score the $0.29/lb chicken leg quarters after all. I had to spend $10.00 before the chicken to get that price, and the price was right on everything else to get to the $10.00.

(2) Chicken Leg Quarters, 10lb, $0.29/lb

Back Beef Ribs, $2.49/lb

Broccoli, $1.29/lb

Yellow Onion, $0.39/lb

Asparagus, $2.99/lb
(A $1.99 - $2.49/lb price is best on this)

Gravy Mix (not shown), $0.50

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Grocery Round-Up

Spent: $19.72
Saved: $10.21
Total Value: $29.93
Percent Saved: 34%

Yep. This wasn't an impressive coupon week at Publix. Actually, I planned to go to Sedano's to get their $0.29/lb chicken leg quarters after a $10 purchase. They also had some good produce prices. However, they didn't have the chicken, so I left and went to Publix and pretty much paid MORE for everything else. Well, except for the breakfast meat. Here are the highlights...

Carolina Pride Bacon, $3.00 Sale
$0.50 off Carolina Pride Bacon Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $2.50 each)

Carolina Pride Smoked Sausage, $3.49
Buy One Get One Free
(2) $0.50 Carolina Pride Smoked Sausage Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $1.25 each)

Fresh Express Salad, $3.99
Buy One Get One Free
(Made it $2.00 each) 

Spent: $8.35
Saved: $2.08
Total Value: $10.43
Percent Saved: 20%

I wasn't planning on going to Winn-Dixie, but Sedano's didn't have the chicken I intended to buy. There's also a candy bar included that I ended up eating before I got home. So, I was able to get a pretty decent deal on the steak and also tried this pre-seasoned fish. I haven't had too much luck with store pre-seasoned meat, but I tried this. It was bad. Thankfully, it was only $1.49. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Walgreens: Had to Spent the $2 RR Somehow!

Spent: $5.94
Saved: $8.69
Total Value: $14.63
Percent Saved: 59%

So, I had $2 in Register Rewards that expires today, so I had to go to Walgreens to spend it. I planned on only getting the almonds and the paper towels, but since the coupon I had for the almonds was for two items, the RR caused a beep. So, I went and got some freezer bags. I will be buying 20lbs of chicken leg quarters tomorrow, so hey, it's a necessity, and it's free too.

Blue Diamond Almonds, $3.59
Buy One Get One Free
$0.60 off two Blue Diamond Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $1.50 each)

Scott Naturals Paper Towels, 6 pack, $5.00
$2.50 off Scott Naturals Paper Towels Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $2.50)

Walgreens Quart-Size Freezer Bags, 20 count, $1.99

$2.00 Register Rewards from previous purchase

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Winn-Dixie: Good Deals

Spent: $6.51
Saved: $4.84
Total Value: $11.35
Percent Saved: 43%

This was a small purchase. Nevertheless, it was a good one.

Winn-Dixie Dozen Eggs, $1.29 Sale
$0.55 off two dozen eggs Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $1.06 each)

Dole Spinach, $2.99
Dole Salad, $2.49
Buy One Get One Free
(Made it $1.50 each)

Publix: Met Exact Min. Purchase and Got Free Gas!

This wasn't a coupon heavy week for me at Publix. That's the downside to low-carb dieting. Most of the items I need are around the perimeter of the store, and the real stuff is a lot more expensive than the science experiments down the aisles. However, Publix had their $10 off $50 gas card promotion this week with a minimum grocery purchase of $25. My total came in at $25.01. That's awesome. Here are the highlights:

Gas Card, $50.00
$10 off $50 Gas Card w/ $25 Grocery Purchase Publix Coupon
(Made it $40.00)

Kraft Shredded Cheese w/ Touch of Philly, 8 ounce, $3.00 Sale
$1.00 of two Kraft with Philly Cheese Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $2.50 each)

Carolina Pride Bacon, $3.99
$0.50 off Carolina Pride Bacon Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $3.49)

Dannon Carb Control Yogurt, $2.79
$1.00 off Dannon Yogurt Manufacturer Coupon
(Made it $1.79)

Kraft Parmesan Cheese, $2.50 Sale

Monday, August 15, 2011

School Supply Wrap-Up

So, for the past couple of weeks, I have taken advantage of the many deals that were available at the office stores during this time of year. The cashier at Staples referred to July and August as their Christmas. I also got some good deals at Walgreens. I got four items from Publix and they were all free!

The items at the top are for me while the items at the bottom are for a school supply drive.

Here are the freebies:

  • Expo Dry-Erase Markers 
  • Three packages of pens; one at the top is a rebate-based freebie 
  • Scissors 
If you want all the details, you can check out the following posts:
In total, I spent $9.47 out of pocket. I will get $4.00 back in rebates, bringing it down to $5.47. I received $3.00 in Walgreens Register Rewards that I haven't used yet, bringing it down to $2.47.

So, I got ALL of this for a whopping $2.47!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Office Depot: $0.02 for Printer Paper

I went in to Office Depot to buy some printer paper for myself. After rebates, it will be $0.01 each. Since I have contract pricing, it shaved a few cents off, which helps absorb the cost of the stamp, making it completely free! The Kleenex was on sale for $1.50 but my contract pricing brought it to $1.39. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

OfficeMax: Three Pennies

Spent: $0.03
Saved: $2.94
Total Value: $2.96
Percent Saved: 99%

This is simple. OfficeMax had 100 count notebook paper on sale for $0.01 with a quantity limit of three. I got three. It's sales tax free weekend in Florida. I gave the cashier three pennies. That's all. :-)

Walgreens: Free Free Free

Spent: $0.96
Saved: $11.29
Total Value: $12.25
Percent Saved: 92%

So, there's a story with this one. I went to Walgreens on the way out to dinner, and I was planning to buy the $0.99 markers and use two $2 off 2 Expo coupons that I had. I was going to buy a $0.09 highlighter to prevent overage issues. Well, that Walgreens wouldn't take that coupon. I put the stuff back on the shelf. I was going to grab and ad and price-match at Target or Walmart, but I passed another Walgreens on the way home and decided to stop there. They took the coupons for the markers, but since they didn't have any highlighters left, I ended up paying $1 for a box of crayons to avoid a negative balance. But, those crayons came with a $1 Register Reward, so I essentially go it for free too! 

(4) Expo Dry-Erase Markers, 2 count, $0.99
(2) $2.00 off two Expo Markers Manufacturer Coupon 
(Made it FREE!)

Crayola Crayons, 24 count, $1.00
$1 Register Reward wyb Crayola 24 count crayons

Albertsons: You Can't Beat This Price!

Spent: $14.01
Saved: $7.36
Total Value: $21.37
Percent Saved: 34%

So, I was able to swing by an Albertsons. They are no longer on my side of town, so I can't take advantage of the awesome meat and produce deals that they have time to time. But thankfully, I was able to do it this week. This total includes a Hershey's bar that was on sale for $0.99. You cannot beat this ground beef price of $1.78/lb.

73/27 Ground Beef, $1.78/lb Sale

Gain Dish Detergent, 30 ounces, $1.99 Sale

Hershey's Bar, $0.99 Sale

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Department Store Savings Opportunities

It is possible to save tons of money at department stores. Last week, I received a $10 off $25 coupon from JC Penny as well as a $10 off $30 coupon from Khol's in my local newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel. In addition to that, I had a 15% off total purchase coupon from Kohl's that I could stack with the X/XX coupon. The 15% came off of the total after the X/XX coupon was applied. Given that almost EVERYTHING at department stores are on sale nowadays, I was able to get significant savings already and maximize them through the coupons. I went to both stores and came within $3 of the minimum purchase requirement. 

Looking at my newspaper today, it looks like I have a $10 off $25 JC Penny coupon to use this weekend, and I also got a $10 off $10 in the mail this week! Whoa! This is awesome. That newspaper pays for itself over and over again!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

OfficeMax: School Supplies, $0.26

Spent $0.26

This trip to OfficeMax was crazy. It was like a drugstore trip without coupons and store rewards to drive down the cost! 

(2) Schoolio Crayons, 24 count, $0.01
(2) Wooden Ruler, $0.01
(2) No. 2 Pencils, 10 count, $.10

Friday, August 5, 2011

Staples: School Supply Deals; Free Pens!

Spent: $8.09 ($4.09 after rebate)

The office stores are probably THE best place to go for school supplies and general office supplies. I have access to special contract pricing at OfficeMax and Office Depot, but there's no need for that this time of year! Staples, OfficeMax, and Office Depot all price-match each other (and each other's websites including their own), so there's no need to go from store to store to catch the deals. Just bring in the ads and they will match. For instance, I could have price matched the folders to OfficeMax. Staples had them at $0.25 each while OfficeMax had them for $0.05. (Too bad I missed the Sun-Wed $0.01 sale on those folders at Staples).  I am sure they take the Walmart approach to the word "competitor," meaning if they sell the same product, they are a competitor. So, matching may not be limited to the three major office supply stores. 

Zebra Pens Ballpoint Pens, $4.00
$4.00 Mail-In-Rebate
(Made it FREE!)

Eraser Caps, $0.10

Bic White-Out, $0.50

Pencil Case, $0.50

Sharpie Permanent Marker, 2 count, $0.25

Notebook, 70 pages, $0.50

Pocket Folders w/ Prongs, $0.25

Walgreens: Just Tax and Got $2 in Return!

Spent: $0.13
Saved: $4.49
Total Value: $4.62
Percent Saved: 97%

RR's Used: $2.00
RR's Earned: $2.00

Well, if you don't include sales tax, the savings would be 100% on this box of markers. I was able to use the $2.00 in Register Rewards from my last Walgreens trip to pay for these markers. These markers also produced a $2.00 ECBs. So I got paid in Walgreens money to buy some markers. Awesome!

Crayola Washable Markers, 8 count, $2.00 Sale
$2.00 RR's from Previous Purchase
$2.00 RR's wyb Crayola Washable Markers
(Made it FREE!)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Will Simply Making More Money Solve All Financial Woes?

Extra money will always help you reach your financial goals. That is, if you are already doing a good job with the money you already have. These images are from the July 30 episode of the Suze Orman Show on CNBC. You can download a video podcast of the show for free from iTunes

The person who called in to Suze Orman's Can I Afford It? segment brings home $200,000 per year with her spouse. She was calling to see if she could afford private preschool tuition of $25,000 for her two year old child. Look at all of the debt they have:
  • $599,000 10-year interest only mortgage
  • $106,000 5-year adjustable rate mortgage
  • $214,000 worth of Home Equity Line of Credit loans
  • $29,000 left on a student loan
  • $29,000 left on cars
  • $5,000 in credit card debt
I am not writing this to attack the caller but to argue against the assumption that all will be well if only we all had more income. If all we are going to do when we get more money is buy a bigger house, a better car, better clothes, upgrade all of our electronics, and use the increased income to qualify for more credit to purchase it all, then the raise is going to be meaningless. However, the person who currently lives on less than he makes by following a monthly budget, saving for future purchases as opposed to playing the "payment game," saving for emergencies and retirement will upgrade his lifestyle modestly and continue his old habits when he receives more money. That person will ultimately be more successful in the long term.  Jesus in the Gospel of Luke sums it up well:
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much."
Luke 16:10 (NLV)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Silliest Argument Against Low-Carb Diets

"I tried (or know someone who tried) the low-carb thing, and once I started eating carbs again, I gained all that weight back?"

Like the low-fat people who go back to eating fat again once they lose the weight? Low-sugar? No red meat? Whatever you decided to eliminate and then start eating again? 

Come on! If you eliminate something from your diet and start eating it again once you meet your goals, of course you are gong to gain it back. If you start exercising and then stop exercising once the weight is gone, you will gain it back. Especially if you go back to eating those items in the same ways that you ate them previously. Going on a low-carb diet doesn't mean going without carbs forever. In most plans, you will eventually eat them again. However, they won't be as prevalent in your diet as they were in the past. 

Whether you choose to go low-fat or low-carb, you have to do something that you feel you can complete consistently. That's how you will achieve the most success with your diet. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Winn-Dixie: Good Meat Deals

Spent: $17.86
Saved: $10.54
Total Value: $28.40
Percent Saved: 37%

So, on Sunday, I went to Sedano's to buy their $0.59/lb chicken leg quarters. They only had one bag and it had a hole in it. So, I saw that they had some chicken thighs on BOGO ($1.69/lb). It was an unadvertised BOGO because they expired that day. I bought them only to come home and smell the stench of impending rottenness. I threw them away. Thankfully, I was able to buy some discounted meat at Winn-Dixie on Monday and not have that problem. They had chicken thighs for $1.69/lb that were on BOGO.

On another note: Thank you Winn-Dixie for putting your customer service survey online. That phone thing was very annoying. 

Chicken Thighs, $1.69/lb
Buy One Get One Free
(Made it $0.85/lb)

Beef Chuck Steak, $5.39/lb
Discounted to $3.69/lb

Winn-Dixie Eggs, 18 count, $1.99 Sale

Monday, August 1, 2011

Walgreens: Good Deal w/ Frustrations

Spent: $10.41
Saved: $12.74
Total Value: 23.15
Percent Saved: 55%

I heard about the Cottonelle Catalina deal  and decided to use that to buy some shampoo that had some Register Rewards. I made this two transactions, buying the toilet paper first and the shampoo second. I received a "$3.50 off next purchase" Catalina from the toilet paper. Well, the shampoo was two for $8 with $2 in RRs afterwards. I had a BOGO coupon to go with that. I should have walked with only a $0.50 out of pocket on Transaction #2. However, Walgreens' register decided to charge me $5.99 and $2.01 for the shampoos instead of $4 each. So, I ended up paying $3 out of pocket for the shampoo because the BOGO coupon subtracted $2.01 instead of $4 from my total. The price was still decent given that the 14.2 ounce bottle is $7.29 each at Target this week. Walgreens needs to fix this as I am not the only person who has had this problem with this transaction. 

Transaction #1

Spent: $7.40
Saved: $3.25
Total Value: $10.65
Percent Saved: 31%

(2) Cottonelle 12 Pack Toilet Paper, $5
(2) $1 off Cottonelle Walgreens Coupon
$0.75 off Cottonelle Manufactuer Coupon
$0.50 off Cottonelle Manufacturer Coupon
$3.50 off your next purchase Catalina Coupon

(Made it $3.38 each not including Catalina)

Transaction #2

Head & Shoulders Shampoo, $4.00 each
(Charged $5.99 for one and $2.01 for the other)
Buy One Get One Free Manufacturer Coupon
Used $3.50 Catalina from Transaction #1
$2 in Register Rewards with two Head & Shoulders Purchase
(Made it $1.24 each)