Contest and a favor :)

>> August 31, 2008

One of my very best friends is quite crafty and sells things on this special crafty website.. perhaps you already know this site. I am not crafty, so I am clueless..
Anyway, one of her designs is a finalist for a contest there. Please go vote for her. Her design is "a felted le lapin pillow" They are sorted randomly, but her name is "allthingsbelle" and it has a bunny on it :)

You do need to register in order to vote, but its simply picking a user name/password and confirming it with your email address. No personal information is necessary. They are giving away 14 different $350 Etsy shopping sprees. There are 7 categories and you get one entry for each vote. I saw lots of cute stuff on there! Maybe someone we know (ME ME ME) will win a shopping spree. :)


Walgreens Coupon $10 off $40 - makes the camera deal REALLY sweet.

>> August 28, 2008

There is a new walgreens coupon good tomorrow and saturday. This makes the camera deal a bit sweeter if you are in the market for it. Unfortunately I already submitted my rebate, so I can't do it.

$65.99 - $10 coupon... 55.99 - $40 rebate (or $44 if you choose to receive it back as a walgreens give card)= 15.99 or 11.99
Hot Hot Hot!


Disneyland on a Budget: Part 4

Ok so I listed my original budget.. that I calculate many months ago...with my updated numbers

Category:Original Budget/New Budget
Airfare: $250/$242.60
Hotel: $425/$425.50
Disneyland Tickets: $375/$388
Meals: $300/$300
Gas: $20/$25
Parking: $40/$40.50
Transfers: $80/$50
Housekeeping: $10/$10
Misc: $0/$100
Total Budget $1500/$1581.60

I added a $100 misc, I plan on spending ~15 for a Disney picture cd, and $50 for groceries delivered to the hotel, that leaves a little extra room in the budget for other things.

I was able to save money on transfers from the airport, but switching from a taxi to the Disneyland resort express bus. Taxis are easy from the Orange County airport, however we are wanting to avoid dragging our carseat with us.

When I changed the layout of my blog, I didn't transfer my Disneyland savings ticker over. However, I will add it to my Disneyland posts.


Great Find at Walgreens...

>> August 27, 2008

I found the Polaroid i737 digital camera for $65.99, (half price.. normally ~$130). and there is a $40 rebate (+10% since I request my rebate in gift card form) in this months ESR. So a ~$21.99 digital camera. I desperately needed a new camera, as ours died a few weeks ago.

They were clearly marked half price with the orange clearance tag, however there was no mention of the rebate.. which I guess helped me out.. I am sure more people would have snagged them up.
**Oh and my camera is black, I couldn't find a black version of it online. :)
Also Precious found the camera in her walgreens and has a picture of it.. so if you are looking and want to see what the actual packaging looks like..check it out.

I also did a quick run at frys.
10 gerber items - various MQ and IP coupons
3 cottonelle tp - .50/1 doubled MQ = free
4 kleenex - 50/1 MQ doubled = free
1 bakery chocolate chip cookie package... :)
-$5 for nestle (gerber) promo
Total $13.77 OOP

I think the cashier missed a gerber coupon.. but I used the self check out and I totally feel odd hovering too much at the cashier stand when they are scanning coupons. I tried to watch. but I wasn't too organized, as Peter was with me (hence the cookies) and we were in a hurry.. grandpa was watching Quinn. :)

Starting Budget$44
Less $13.77 OOP
Budget remaining $30.23


Frys Run

>> August 25, 2008

10 Lean Cuisine
20 Gerber Graduate items
4 cottonelle tp
3 kleenex
- (3) 1.00/1 lean cuisine IPs
-(2) 1.50/3 lean cuisine IPs
-(3) .50/1 kleenex MQs
-(4) .50/1 Cottonelle MQs
- (15) .50 or .75 Gerber Coupons
- 3 $5 Nestle Promos
Total $24.23 OOP

Basically the TP and Kleenex were free with coupons (well... actually $.23 in tax)
$9 for the lean cusine (.90 each)
$15 for gerber graduate items (.75 each).

I am doing the $60 Grocery Budget... so
Starting Budget$60 + $8.23 (left over from last week) = 68.23
Less $24.23 OOP
Budget remaining $44.00


Easy Lean Cuisine Deal at Frys

>> August 24, 2008

Here is a decent deal for lean cuisine if you are in need of some at Frys.
Buy 10 lean cuisine ($2 each) = $20
Use 2 of these 1.00/1 coupons

and 2 of these $1.50/3 coupons

Remember once you print one.. you can hit the back button on your web browser and it will let you print one more coupon. If you have access to more than one printer, then you can print 2 of each coupon from each computer.

These coupons will bring your total down $5... so $15.. plus you get $5 off you grocery bill when you buy $20 worth of Nestle products (lean cuisine is part of the nestle family).. .so that makes it 10 lean cuisine for $10.
I believe the limit is 3 per order.. so you could technically buy 30 packs.. and get a total of $15 off your grocery bill. If you have access to more coupons, then go for it. In fact if you can print more of the 1.00/1 coupons and only buy 10 entrees.. you can do a lot better.
If you buy 10 and use 10 1.00/1 coupons (if you can print that many).. then you can get your total down to $5 after coupons and frys promo.

This is good through Tueday. I hope to do the deal one more time, if I can get over to my dad's and print some additional coupons. :)


A couple great runs with the $5 Walgreens coupon

>> August 23, 2008

I had a couple of great orders later-ish this evening. I was busy all day with a friend's bridal shower (Hi Lee!). However I did manage a quick run at Albertsons and walgreens after dinner. Albertsons
4 Enfamil RTF formula
1 beer
-$5/20 Walgreens coupon
-4 $5 Formula checks
Total $1.87

I totally felt trashy buying ONE beer with 4 cans of formula... but my husband wanted a beer (and we don't buy a lot around here normally) and I wanted to take advantage of the $5 coupon in conjunction with my formula checks. Anyway.. I have no problem with buying beer, but the fact that we had only beer and formula.. seemed silly.

I think if we are careful, we will be pretty close on formula for the next month. However I do have a random question.. when switching to regular milk.. do you mix it with formula at first... to get them used to regular milk. or just stop cold turkey. My dr. didn't really explain that.. just said wait until 12 months. Anyway, I guess I need to do a little research on this.

Ok next store.
5 Ragu
1 Skippy
3 Prep H wipes (creates overage with MQ and IVC)
1 Bionaturals hair product
-$5/20 WAG coupon
- (5) .65/1 Ragu coupons (thanks Katherine)
- (1) .55/1 Skippy
- 2.00 IVC and $3.00 MQ for each Prep H
Total $4.95 on a gift card
I earned $4 RR for buying 6 ragu+skippy products. Plus I will get $5.99 +10% for the hair product. So definitely a money making trip after RR and ESR.

Starting Budget$8.23
Less $0 OOP
Budget remaining $8.23


Blog Award :)

Hi Everyone. Rachel at has been so kind to give me a blog award. Thanks Rachel!

I actually love seeing blog awards on other people's blogs, because its an easy way to link through to new blogs. I know I usually peek at each blog and see whats going on over there, plus if they have links, I keep on peeking. Its like a wildfire :) I have found some great blogs that way. Anyway....

Here are the blogs I am passing the award to:

She has a great series going on right now about retiring early and I always catch her deals to see how she is working out with our sales in Arizona.

Heather at D-E-A-L-ish

She always seems to have cool things posted on her blog that I don't necessarily see anywhere else. It keeps things interesting! Plus she has come up with some interesting travel deals lately, which I am ALWAYS interested in.

Allison's blog is a great place to see just the deals for the week, without any clutter or discussion. Depending upon how much time you have, her blog is a great stop to see what she has listed.



>> August 22, 2008

I managed to make a quick run to Albertsons (well it was sort of quick they had trouble with the $5 coupon).. anyway and got a decent deal on some more formula.

3 Cans of RTF enfamil formula 6.19 each
1 gerber jar (.28)
1 gerber juice 4 pack (1.19)
Total $20.03
-$5/20 Walgreens coupon
- $4, $4 & $5 enfamil checks
Total $ 2.03 on a gift card.

The cashier kept trying to scan the walgreens coupon.. and it wouldn't scan, he asked for help from another cashier who scrutinized it and said, "its a walgreens coupon". I then chimed in that they do take competitor's coupons. They double checked with a supervisor and then tried to put it in manually.. they ended up adding $5 to my order.. and it took a bit of time and the supervisor to fix it, but in the end it worked out fine. I did call and double check this morning about competitor's coupons, I knew they did take them in the past, but I wanted to double check and be sure.

Anyway, I actually wanting to repeat the deal above.. but they only had 2 more cans of formula, so I might try another albertsons tomorrow.


Walgreens $5/$20 Coupon Good Friday and Saturday Only

>> August 21, 2008

Here is the link.. to print it.
Also a couple of school/office supply coupons, if anyone actually still needs any.

I am actually planning on trying to use the Walgreens coupon at Albertsons in conjunction with some formula checks. Albertsons will take competitor's coupons generally, but its up to the cashier to determine if they wish to take it or not.

I will let you know how it goes for me tomorrow. Hopefully it works out, because I have another 6 $4 or $5 checks and albertsons is the only place I have found that carries the enfamil next step liquid form (which runs $6.19). Anyway...


Safeway and Sprouts

>> August 20, 2008

There is a pretty cool Hallmark promo going on at Safeway though 9/20, I read about it on slickdeals, but wanted to check out my store first to see if AZ was included.

Basically its buy 2 hallmark cards, save $2, buy 3, save $3 and buy 4, save $4. It excludes the gift enclosures and warm wishes cards. Some of the $.99 cards are warm wishes, and some aren't. So I carefully chose 4 $.99 cards, making sure they didn't say "warm wishes" on the back. And i received $4 off my order. Yeah free cards!

I am so glad the card promo is on for a few weeks because Safeway is my least favorite and furthest store to visit. Hopefully they don't hide or run out of all the .99 cards. :)

I also picked up some free sprite and sale priced diet coke. The 2-liters are buy 3 get 3 free and I have BOGO MQs for sprite and Save 1.00/3 for diet coke.

4 .99 cards
6 sprite 2 liters -(3) BOGO MQs
6 diet coke 2 liters - (2) 1.00/3 MQs
-$4 Hallmar (shows up on receip as, -$2, -$1 and -$1)
- $5.67 (B3G3 sprite store promo)
- $5.67 (B3G3 coke store promo)
Total $3.69 OOP

1.44 lbs pears @.39/lb
2 blueberry pints 2/$4.00
2.67 lbs pluots @ $.69/lb
1.21 lbs peaches @ $.39/lb
Total $6.87 OOP

Starting Budget$18.79
Less $10.56 OOP
Budget remaining $8.23


I found some great deals at Walgreens today!

I found some great mark downs at Walgreens today. My mom was with me and she had seen a lot of orange (clearance tags) lately, so we decided to make a quick unplanned stop out today and I totally scored. First 4 packs of easy ups jumbos for 2.99 each and I had $2.50 coupons! So $.49 a pack. Also they had several different electric razors marked down 75% (it must have just happened because my mom saw them 50% off a few days ago). This was perfect timing, I HAD to buy a refill blade today for my husband. He broke his newish electric razor and his old one worked, but needed new blade/foil thingys. The replacements are $25-$35 and I bought a whole new razor for $14! I actually bought the 2nd one there for a xmas gift.

So I am totally stoked, I was able to fix Peter's razor issue cheaper than I expected and I scored a super great/cheap xmas gift and cheap diapers.

The pull ups were size 6.. it looks like they aren't going to carry them anymore.. so if you see them in your store, it might be worth checking it out. Also I noticed a lot of the nice/department store type perfume and colognes marked half off underneath the glass in the cosmetics area.

Also most of the stores have summer toys/flip flops at 75%.


Frys and Albertsons

>> August 19, 2008

20 lean cuisine - (5) 1.50/3 and (5) 1.00/1 IP
2 fiber one bars - (2) .75/1 IPs
2 cuve bars - (2) .60/1 IPs
4 Kleenex - (4) .50/1 MQs
- (2) $5 Nestle (lean cuisine) promo
-$ 4 granola bar promo
Total $17.66 OOP

Basically the kleenex and granola bars were free with coupons... and I paid $0.16 tax on the kleenex. So I was able to score 20 lean cuisine for $17.50, better than the .99 cent store. DH likes to take these to work a couple times a week, so we are set for awhile.

4 Yoplait kids yogurts - (4) 1.50/1 IPs
4 chex mix - (3) 1.00/1 and (1) .60/1 IPs
1 Sara Lee bread- free MQ
2 Milks
1 Sour cream
-$8 for General Mills promo
Total $4.90 on a gift card.
Starting Budget$36.45
Less $17.66 OOP
Budget remaining $18.79


Disneyland on a Budget: Part 3

>> August 18, 2008

We have set up a budget and found ways to earn money for our trip. Now lets see if we can save money on our trip.

Hotels and Airfare are a big portion of the trip costs. The biggest way to save money is to do research and book early. I am a big fan of Southwest airlines because there prices are good (particularly when you book early and take advantage of Internet/DING fares) and they don't charge a fee to change your tickets if your plans change.

I love staying at on site (Disneyland Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel), and you can get discounts, if you plan it and do the research. They sometimes have 4th night free promos, where you book 3 nights and get the 4th night free. In addition, you can usually save some cash a package deal. We have also used Costco and AAA for deals staying on site. Where you stay really depends upon your budget and whether you think its worth it to pay extra for a Disney Hotel.

We are a big fan of staying at the Howard Johnson if not indulging in a Disney property, which is quite often. When walking to Disneyland, the Hojo is actually closer than the Paradise Pier hotel and similar in distance from the Disneyland Hotel. The only difference is you are walking down harbor blvd instead of through downtown Disney. Again Hojo offers and entertainment rate ($59 and $74) with an entertainment card, on a limited number of rooms. In addition every room has a fridge and some have microwaves which can help with food costs.

The price of Disneyland park tickets are fairly fixed; if you buy a package you can roll your price into it, but generally you can't find a significant discount in price. Some years, we have upgraded our park hoppers into an annual pass in years at the end of our trip. Its generally under $100 to upgrade to an annual pass (depending upon what you paid for you tickets) and $100 is pretty cheap for even one more trip to Disneyland. There are sometimes bonus things attached to you ticket depending upon where you buy it (that don't apply to annual passes). For example we are getting 2 magic mornings because we bought our tickets through getawaytoday. If you book your hotel and Disneyland tickets together in a package you will generally get 1 magic morning and one entrance to Toontown madness (where you get into Mickey's Toontown one hour early). Doing a little research can help you decide where you should buy your tickets. Last year we bought our tickets at the convention center rate, for a convention that was happening while we were there, we saved about $50, but the trade off was no magic morning.

We budget our meals, so we don't go overboard. In years past we actually took out the cash and purchased our meals separately to keep track of how much we each spent. For example we budget $5 for a snack, $10 for lunch and $15 for dinner each day. We eat breakfast in our hotel room or while walking to the park. So essentially $30 for meals per adult. This allows us to indulge in 2 snacks, but then work it with our meal allotment by eating a cheaper/lighter meal at lunch or dinner.

I have bought kids meals in the past, which are really plenty of food particularly when I am going to get a fun snack anyway. We also bring in bottled water and a few snacks with us, so help us save money. I also belong to the safari club at RainForest Cafe which gets us to the top of the wait-list when dining there and also a 10% discount. The safari club sometimes sends coupons as well. I also found free kids meals coupons on ebay for the RainForest cafe, which I bought to use with Quinn. I don't think an adult could get away with it in a sit down restaurant. But in the parks at counter service restaurants, there is no problem buying kids meals.

Our Disney visa card provides a few nice perks that we take advantage of including shopping and dining discounts at Disneyland.

Our favorite feature has been the Meet in Greet in Disney's California Adventure. Its a special event held each day for an hour and half that only Disney visa members can do. There are 2 Disney characters that only meet with Disney Visa cardholders, so there is very little wait if any. Plus the Disney photographer takes your picture and gives you a voucher for a free 5X7 photo. The photos run $10+, so this is a nice bonus. You get one voucher per card per day. These are a great free Disney souvenir.

Another feature is free stroller rentals each day, we will be taking advantage of this on our trip resulting in a savings of ~$10+ per day.

We love Disneyland and know lots about it through experience, however I also still do a lot of research looking for new ideas or changes that might occur. I really like these websites for disney information:


Later in the day...

>> August 17, 2008

2 Nature Valley granola bars -.50/1 IPs
2 Curve bars - .75/1 IPs
4 Fiber One bars - .60/1 IPs
6 Gerber crackers/cookies - 1.00/3 MQs
3 Gerber pasta sides - 1.00/3 MQ
3 Gerber Crunchies - 1.00/3 MQ
4 Kleenex - .50/1 MQs
-$5 Nestle (gerber) promo
- (2) $4 granola bar promos
Total $12.16 OOP

2 pints of raspberries
1 egg noodles
-$4.00 OYNO coupon
Total $0.19 OOP

Starting Budget$48.80
Less $12.35 OOP
Budget remaining $36.45


Earlier today...

I had quite a bit of $ left over from my $60 budget last week, however one trip to costco can wipe out any extra funds.

We only bought a few things, but you can never leave costco without a fairly high bill.
1 4-lb bananas
1 2-pack kirkland formula
1 dz bagels
1 thingy of pluots (15 of them)
1 18-pack yoplait light yogurt
1 2lb presliced tillimock Cheese

Total $49.67 OOP

I was hoping to find the lean cuisine meals at the .99 cent store still, which was silly, things like that tend to sell out fast. I did pick up 4 cute little plants for the house.
Total $4.28 OOP

Starting Budget$60 + $42.75 left over from last week = $102.75
Less $53.95 OOP
Budget remaining $48.80



>> August 16, 2008

Order #1
2 CVS Baby Sunscreen (on sale for 5.99)
1 Children's Advil ($5.79 Free after ECB)
-$2/10 CVS coupon
-$1 Advil IP
-$2 CVS Skin care
-$1 Sun Screen CRT (scanned at $2)
-$10 ECB
Total $0.55 on a gift card
Earned $5.79 ECB

Order #2
1 Lamasilk
1 Small CVS Sunscreen (on sale for .19)
1 JJ Buddy Bar
- $2/10 CVS
-$3 Lamasilk MQ
- $1 JJ IP
-$2 CVS Skin Care
Total $2.52 on a gift card

Order #3 SAME as above.. except that I earned a $10 ECB (for buying 2 lamailks)

Starting Budget$42.75
Budget remaining $42.75



Finishing up my walgreens deals, I FINALLY received my online rebate $. For some reason walgreens didn't want to load it on to my old gift card and instead mailed a new card to me. This works, it just takes longer to happen, which has slowed me down a bit on walgreens deals.

1 Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber
4 Hershey's bliss
8 bic pens
- $2.75 IP Scrubbing Bubbles
- (4) 1.00/1 Hershey's Bliss IPs
-(4) 1.00/2 Bic Pen IPs
-$5 RR
Total $2.32 on a walgreens gift card.
I will get ($5 for hersheys and $1.50 for scrubbing bubbles on this month's WAG rebate.) Plus I will mail away for the Try Me Free Scrubbing Bubbles rebate (it was in the coupon inserts) for the full value of $5.49. So this was definitely a money making transaction after my rebates!

Starting Budget$42.75
Budget remaining $42.75


Disneyland on a Budget: Part 2

How do I pay for my trip? Using alternate methods to acquire money for your trip. I have been saving for our trip using a few different methods, none of which involve our regular paycheck.

Craigslist (or ebay):
I have been selling things on Cragslist (less hassle than ebay for me, but ebay would work too). Some things were deals that I bought super cheap (like huggies swimmers free after coupon and clearance price). As Quinn has outgrown baby gear, we have sold them on craigslist for disney funds. In addition, I have been just looking to clear out random stuff we have and keep things simpler in the house, making some funds for our trip in the process.

Disney Visa Card:
We also have a Disney Visa card. When I applied a few years ago, they had a bonus offer of $50 to open an account. We use it for most of medical, gas and big purchases expenses just to earn disney rewards for our trips. The disney visa does have some great features including discounts on merchandise and dining, free stroller rental and free disney meet and greet experiences with photos that we take advantage of. The rewards are transferred on to a special disney rewards card, that essentially works like a disney gift card in the park and can be used everywhere that visa is accepted. I have almost $200 so far that we will use for our meals in the park.

Any rebates I send for I consider a bonus and deposit those funds into our disney budget. Its also a great way to turn CVS ECB or CVS/Walgreens gift cards into cash for our trip.

Mystery Shopping:
I am signed up for a few different mystery shopping companies and will do them every once in awhile. I came across a couple of great shops this spring, that were easy and earned me $150+ in total.

My Points is an easy way to earn a little extra money/gift cards with very little work. I mostly just click on emails and check out websites. If I am going to buy something online, I check to see if mypoints offers any points for that store and I sometimes sign up for offers. With very little efforts (although it does takes some time to build up enough points), I earned a $25 gift card to RainForest Cafe. There is a RainForest Cafe in downtown Disney that we like to eat at.

Rx transfer gift cards:
We have several regular Rxs that we will transfer around when there are Rx transfer coupons out. I was able to buy $250 in southwest airlines gift cards by saving up my Safeway gift cards earned from RX transfers (my mom also helped by donating some of hers to our cause). Thanks mom! Safeway lets you use their gift cards to purchase "other" gift cards. Albertsons used to allow it too, but not since they started offering the 10% bonus gift cards for cashing your economic stimulus checks. However even a gift card to safeway or albertsons can be useful on our trip as both stores deliver groceries to the disneyland area.

I bought my $25 shell gas card from Walgreens using Register Rewards (RR) that I had earned. This may not work for everyone anymore because they have been changing the wording on the RR lately to exclude gift card purchases.

Any questions so far?


Disneyland on a Budget: Part 1

>> August 15, 2008

I thought maybe I would write a little bit about our budget for Disneyland and how I saved some money on our trip. I will break it up into a few posts, since I can write quite a bit about it. Hopefully you find some useful information.

Disneyland on a Budget

We enjoy going to Disneyland and in years past have sometimes gone more than once a year. I have been saving this year for our BIG trip this fall. This will be a special trip for us, we will be celebrating Quinn's 1st b-day, my husband's 30th and our 5 year anniversary all rolled into one (all 3 happen within 2 weeks of each other). We are staying 5 nights, which is a longer trip than usual for us, which results in a larger budget.

I will explain our budget and share how we are saving money.

Original Budget
Airfare: $250
Hotel: $425
Disneyland Tickets: $375
Meals: $300
Gas: $20
Parking: $40
Transfers: $80
Housekeeping: $10
Total Budget $1500

We are flying southwest airlines and I booked the 1st day our travel date was available. Southwest is a bit different than other airlines in that only a few months are available to book ahead of time. The earlier you book, the more likely that southwest will have their special Internet rates available on the flights you want. In addition, on the first day the fall travel dates opened up, there was a special Ding fare that helped us save an addition 15% off the fare. Our airfare cost us $243.90 for 2 tickets. We are taking Quinn as a lap baby, since he will only be 1.

We are staying at the Howard Johnson Anaheim (Hojo). We have stayed there several times in the past and find it to be the best value at Disneyland. Staying on site is wonderful and we love it, but it just isn't in our budget when we are going for 5 days and I am staying home with Quinn. We did manage to snag an "entertainment" rate at the Hojo for their premium rooms which is $74 a night and includes view of Disneyland, a fridge and microwave in our room. There are a few hotels a bit closer, but the slightly shorter distance does not outweigh the "properties" of the Hojo. They also have entrainment rate of $59 for a standard room, which are almost as nice minus the microwave and "Disney" view.All you need to get these great rates are an entertainment card. There are only a limited number of rooms at these rates though, so you want to book in advance.

Disneyland Tickets:
We bought our tickets through Getaway Today, it cost us $388 for 2 5-day hoppers (Under 2 is free). I used a promo code to bypass their $10 handling fee. I could have found our hopper passes SLIGHTLY cheaper (closer to the $375 I had originally estimated) however Getaway Today is offering 2 Magic Morning Days with their tickets (the only place that offers this feature) and with a little one I think the extra magic morning is worth the cost.

The magic morning gets you into Disneyland 1 hour earlier with FantasyLand and TomorrowLand open. Magic mornings are only available on Sat, Sun, Tues and Thurs. I think they are worth it, particularly since FantasyLand does not have any fast pass options. We have a few faves in FantasyLand (Toads, Alice, Peter Pan) that we always ride. However, I anticipate we will be riding most rides in FantasyLand with our little one this time.

I budget $15 for dinner, $10 for lunch and $5 for a snack for each adult. We eat breakfast in our hotel room or on our way to Disneyland, (part of the reason we like a fridge/microwave in our room). I either pack food or have groceries delivered. In addition I am adding another $10 per day for Quinnie boy, either kids meals or extra sides since he is eating solids now.

Parking/gas: We are flying out of Phoenix to make it easier with Quinn; We can fly directly to Orange County which is a much shorter ride to Disneyland vs. LAX. So I budget for gas to phoenix and parking at the airport

Transfers: We had originally planned on taking a taxi from the airport to our hotel, which is certainly painless from the Orange County Airport, however with the car seat issue I am not sure if we will do that. This decision is still up in the air. We bring our car seat, rent a car and rent a car seat or take the Disneyland express bus (a greyhound that doesn't use car seats). The bus is $50 round trip for 2 adults, so I will keep this at $80 or under.

Misc: Tips for maids and Fun stuff. We usually leave $2 a day in our hotel room for maid service. We don't usually buy a lot of souvenirs, but depending upon finances we will budget a little. Quinnie is too little now, but in the future I plan on buying Disney trinkets ahead of time at $ stores or clearance sales to bring with and dole out each day. Hopefully that will keep our costs down that area too.

I will try and post the next part tomorrow. :)


I had to return our Free redbox movie rental, so...

>> August 14, 2008

I decided to hit Frys, CVS and Albertsons while I was out returning our free movie rental from Redbox. The granola bar deal from last week is still going on at Frys, so I printed a few more coupons and gathered the ones I had left.
My store had a good amount in stock, including the curve bars.

4 curve bars - .75 IPs (doubled)
4 fiber one bars - .60/1 MQs (doubled)
- (2) $4 promos
Total $0 OOP

1 Enfamil Next Step Can
1 CVS Cotton swabs
1 box of junior mints (to cover overage)
- 2/10
-2 skin care coupon
-10 Enfamil check
-11. 58 ECB
Total $0.90 on a gift card

2 gallons of skim milk
Total $4.00 on a gift card.

Starting Budget$42.75
Budget remaining $42.75


Coupon Lingo

Q: Coupon

OYNO: Coupon good "On Your Next Order"

Catalina: Coupon that prints when you check out. Sometimes these are $5 OYNO, which are good on anything or they are just random regular MQ like $1 off you next huggies purchase.

RR: Register Reward (Walgreens program)

ECB: Extra Care Bucks (CVS program)

BOGO: Buy one get one free

B2GO: Buy two get one free

MQ: Manufacturer's coupon (some people use MFC)

WAG: Walgreens coupon

IP: Internet Printable

OOP: Out of Pocket cost, your total after coupons and discounts.

ESR: Easy Saver Rebate (Walgreens) <---- They no longer have a rebate program.

IVC: Instant Value Coupon (Coupon from walgreens ESR)

7-Day: Coupon from walgreens sales ad

Transfer Q: Usually referring to transfering a RX to another drugstore for a gift card.

Tearpad: Coupon found on a tearpad in a store

Peelie: Coupon found on a product in the store (you peel it off to use it)

Endcap: The end of a store aisle (often clearance items are placed at the back of an aisle, walgreens, cvs and target does this regularly)

Other information that might be helpful can be found here:

CVS & Walgreens Tips

Couponing Tips


CVS & Walgreens Tips

Here are my tips for maximizing your savings at CVS and Walgreens.

The best thing about CVS is their Extra Care Buck program (ECBS). It works like a instant rebate program on products they advertise. You must have a CVS loyalty card to do these deals, as there are limitations on their deals.

For example they will advertise that Huggies Wipes are Free after ECB. That means you buy the Huggies wipes for 2.99 and at the end of your receipt a coupon (ECB) prints up for 2.99. You can use that 2.99 ECB on your next purchase of almost anything in the store (gift cards, alcohol, tobacco, RX, etc are excluded).

What is even better about their program is you can combine their ECB deals with MQ (Manufacturer's coupons). Lets back up, you buy the huggies wipes for 2.99 but use a 1.00 MQ coupon, so your total is 1.99 (+ tax of course), but you STILL get an ECB for 2.99. I like to think of this as FREE CVS money. :)

These deals have limits, so you have to pay attention to the ad and the ECBS do expire, generallly a few weeks after they were issued. So be careful, I hate when I let my "free $" expire!

In addition, there are sometimes generic CVS coupon available, like $4 off any $20 purchase. You can combine these with our cool CVS deals and really make some "free CVS $".

*** Rainchecks ****
Don't forget to ask for rainchecks if they are sold out of a deal you want. CVS rainchecks never expire! And they will include the ECBS that are applicable to the deal!

Walgreens no longer offers their Easy Rebate Program.

Walgreens has a program called Register Rewards (RR). Register rewards are advertised in their weekly sales ad and they are instant coupons that print after you checkout. For example it could be earn $1.00 RR when you buy 2 Huggies wipes or Earn $3 when you buy 3 Huggies wipes. And you can combine with with MQs to make it an even better deal!!

Register rewards are basically coupons good on your next order (OYNO) and are sometimes called Catalinas because they print from a little machine at the register that is run but the Catalina Company. The nice thing about RR vs. CVS ECBs is that there is no loyalty card attached to it at Walgreens, so you can generally do a deal as many times as you want (in separate transactions). Several times in a row (if you have a nice store/cashier) or hit another store or go back another day.

Other helpful information can be found here:

Coupon Terms & Lingo

Coupon Tips


Blog Updates

I am doing some blog updates, changing the look and hopefully making it a little more user friendly for new couponers. I would love some input.
I am posting a few helpful blogs: couponing tips, walgreens/cvs programs, and coupon lingo. If you think I am leaving some details out or have another suggested blog topic for helping out new couponers, I am all ears! :)
If you don't want to comment... .please email me your ideas at desert deals diva at gmail dot com
without the spaces :)


Couponing Tips

  • Check clearance sections for deals that match up with your coupons. Some stores I regularly check for clearance deals are CVS, Walgreens, Grocerys stores and Target.

  • Utilize Drugstore rebate programs: CVS Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) and Walgreens Register Rewards (RR) and online rebate program

  • Obtain as many coupon inserts as possible: buy extra papers, search for free local papers, ask friends and family, etc

  • Organize Sunday Coupon Inserts by date in file folders; Only cut out coupons you KNOW you will use. If you come across a deal later and wonder if you have the coupon in file check out the coupon lists. I like the one at PYP

  • You can check out what coupons are coming out the next weekend at

  • Don't be brand loyal and don't assume that the generic is always cheaper, a name brand is often cheaper with a sale price and coupon!

  • Stockpile! Stock up on items you use when they are a good price (free or cheap).

  • Match store coupons with Manufacturer's coupons (MQ) for extra savings. I have combined Target, Walgreens and CVS coupons with MQ for some great deals in the past.

Other useful information can be found here:

Coupon Terms

CVS & Walgreens


99 cent store

>> August 13, 2008

I picked up a few things at the 99 cent only store. Nothing spectacular, but not bad.
1 celery
4 organic veggie broth
1 baby carrots
3 lean cuisine panini
1.5 lbs peaches
1 bag salad
1 coupon folder envelope
1 krazy glue
Total $13.10 OOP

Starting Budget$55.85
Less $13.10 spent OOP
Budget remaining $42.75


Evening Trips

>> August 12, 2008

1 Skin Effects Cleanser - 2.00 Skin Effects
1 Scrubbing bubbles shower kit (75% off) - 5.00 coupon MQ
-2/10 cvs
- $3 ECB
Total on a gift card & I earned $5 ECB (skin effects)

Order #2
1 Lamasil - 4.00 MQ
1 Lamasilk - 3.00 MQ
1 CVS travel pack wipes - 2 CVS skin care
- 2/10 CVS
- $5 ECB
Total on a gift card and I earned $10 ECB (lamasil)

I had to return one of my yoplait kids yogurts from Friday.. it had expired 7/31, which we didn't notice until DH drank it. I received 3.51 cash back, I will add that into my grocery budget.

6 Tava - 1.50 TAVA IPs
- (2) $5 Promos
Total $1.00 OOP

8 Maltomeal cereals - (8) 1.00 IPs
Total $0 OOP

Walmart (the point of my evening outing was to return our free movie from redbox, it has to back before 9 pm the next night...)

10 Huggies Clean Team Wipes - (5) 3.00/2 CleanTeam MQ
Total $2.40 OOP

4 Nature Valley - (4) .60/1 MQ doubled
- $4 Promo
Total $0 OOP (also got a raincheck for the fiber one bars and curve bars)

Starting Budget
Add $3.51 from safeway refund
Less $3.40 spent OOP
Budget remaining $55.85


CVS & Frys

2 lamisil - (2) 4.00/1 coupons
1 CVS wipe travel pack - 2.00 cvs skincare
- 3 ECB
Total 1.91 on a gift card & Earned $10 ECB (lamisil deal)

4 Fiber One bars
4 Nature Valley bars
- MQ and IPs
Total $0 OOP.

Starting Budget $55.74
Less $0 spent OOP
Budget remaining $55.74


Quick morning run

>> August 11, 2008

4 nature valley granola bars
4 fiber one bars
- 8 IP and MQs doubled
-2 $4 store promos
Total = Free :)

6 Packs of Bic Pencils
2 Packs of Bic Pens
-4 1.00/2 Bic IP
Total $.24 OOP

Order #1
Alavert - $4 IP
CVS Kids Spray Sunscreen - 2 CVS skin care, -2 Sunscreen CRT (actually says $1, but $2 comes off)
-$2/10 CVS purchase
Total $2.63 on a gift card

Order #2
3 Diet Coke 12 packs - $1/2 peelie and $1/1 IP from mycokerewards
1 small cvs tube of sunscreen - $2 CVS skincare
-$2/10 CVS purchase
Total $4.19 on a gift card

Starting Budget $55.98
Less $0.24 spent OOP
Budget remaining $55.74


Stocking up on Sunscreen and Diet Coke

>> August 10, 2008

I managed to do a couple of great runs at CVS tonight. My goal was to get diet coke and Spray Sunscreen at a minimal cost. (Wanna see a picture of my CVS goodies? See my previous post.)

Order #1
3 Diet Cokes - $1/2 Peelie, - 1.00/1 IP
1 CVS wipes travel pack - $2 CVS skin care
1 CVS aspirin - Free item CRT
- $2/10
-$4.99 ECB
Total $0

Order #2
1 CVS Spray Sunscreen - $2 CVS Skin care
1 Skin Effects Cleanser - $2 Skin Effects
1 Snickers (had to buy because my total went negative by $0.02)
-$2/10 CVS
-$2 Sunscreen CRT (said $1, but scanned $2)
-$5 ECB
Total $.77 on a CVS gift card & I earned $5 ECB (for skin effects)
** I am not sure how the registers work, the first order allowed the cashier to adjust my ECB to $4.99, however on the 2nd order, it scanned at $5, which made the total go to -$.02 and required me to grab a snickers bar. (I am heart broken) :) **

Order #3
1 Alavert - $4.00 MQ - $2.00 CRT
1 CVS Spray Sunscreen - $2 CVS Skin Care
1 CVS Loratadin - Free item coupon
-$1 Sunscreen CRT
- $0.50 ECB
Total $0.84 on a gift card & I earned $3 ECB (Alavert)

Starting Budget $55.98
Less $0 spent OOP
Budget remaining $55.98


Safeway, Albertsons, Frys

I did very well tonight at Safeway, Albertsons, Frys and CVS (I will post my CVS stuff next).

9 Tava- 1.50 IPs
6 Crystal Lights - Free wyb MQs
18 Koolaid packets
3 Powerades - 1.00 MQs
2 Yoplait kids smoothies - Free MQs
1.94 lbs bananas
- 3 $4 Promos (for the tava)....
Total $1.02 OOP. AND I earned a $4 OYNO

I actually ended up with overage using less coupons than I needed. I had 3 1.50 Tava and 1 Free Crystal Light coupons that couldn't be scanned because my total was too low ($1.02). So I paid $1.02 and kept the leftover coupons. For some reason the cash register automatically took the non sales price off for the free item coupons. The cashier just kept pushing them through... That is why I didn't actually use all the coupons I intended. Oh and he had already scanned my safeway card, so the sale prices were ringing up, so I am not sure why he didn't "fix' the coupons, but Whatever, better for me. I had an extra Free crystal light coupon to use at Frys.

6 malt o meal cereals - 1.00 IPs
Dole Pineapple/Orange 100% Juice marked down to .99
Total $.99 on a gift card (from a RX transfer)

3 nature valley granola bars - .60/1 IPs
1 Fiber one bars - .60/1 IP
5 Crystal Light - Free WYB MQ
15 Koolaids
- $4 Granola Bar Promo WYB 4
Total $3.00 OOP AND I earned a $3.00 OYNO coupon :)

Starting Budget $60
Less $4.02 spent OOP tonight
Budget remaining $55.98

I am pretty impressed with my start! :)


Tighten that Grocery Budget Challenge

I am joining Precious at in a grocery budget challenge. Basically lots of people work at building up their stockpile of food, but once they have a good amount put aside, they could really cut back on your grocery budget and focus on using their stockpile. Not everyone is good at doing this, ME especially. I really want to spend less and use more of my existing food more!

So I am taking Precious up and attempting to tighten my budget and see what I can do. I am setting my weekly grocery/hba budget at $60 (everybody is different so that maybe too little or too much for you). That is less than what I was allowing us previously, but we also included eating out and other random purchases in that budget. I am hoping I can tighten our budget even more and spend less than $60; but we will see, we tend to flake out and eat out once a week. I think eating out once a week is fine, but we get lazy and just grab something. I want to work on having better meals planned and decide ahead of time when we want to eat out.

Back to the grocery budget challenge, I am setting my weekly budget at $60 cash starting today. I will focus on buying my dairy/produce with this and stocking up on what is a great deal for me. If there is $ leftover, then I will roll it over into the next week. I will not count my existing CVS ECBs, Walgreens RR or store gift cards, they will be just like "coupons" in my budget. Therefore, I will not count RR or ECBs earned into my budget either, they just sit in my coupon book waiting to be used. I am focusing solely on cash OOP.

If you're interested in joining Precious in her challenge too, hop on over and let her know. If not, stop by and see how we are doing each week. :)

** Oh and I did FANTASTIC tonight on my store run, see my next post to see what I bought $4.02 OOP *** I impressed myself tonight :)


Late night run to my FAVE CVS

>> August 09, 2008

Order #1
4 pert plus (on sale $3.69 BOGO)
2 Scissors (BOGO Sale)
2 Covergirl Smoothers (BOGO Sale)
1 CVS Travel Pack Wipes
- $2/10 CVS
-$2 CVS Skin Care
- BOGO Covergirl MQ
- (4) 2.00 Pert Plus MQ
- $2 ECB
Total $2.42 on a gift card. I will send for the $5 School Supplies/Pert Plus Rebate. (I also plan on doing it this month at Walgreens and sending in for my mom, Walgreens has Pertplus FAR this month, so I can double dip on that rebate).

Order #2
2 Covergirl Smoothers (BOGO Sale)
1 CVS Travl Pack Wipes
1 Gallon Milk
-$2/10 CVS
-$2 CVS Skin Care
- BOGO Covergirl MQ
Total $0.68 on a gift card.
Not bad for a gallon of milk :) Plus again this makeup is what I like, a simple tinted moisturizer with SPF with a long expiration date.


Walmart, CVS and Walgreens

Ok here is the pic.. but I am missing the ball, some bubbles and few snack bar things from walgreens, they must be out in the car still....

10 Clean Team packs
- 5 $3/2 MQ
Total $2.73 OOP

1 Zoe doll .70 (90% clearance)
3 Flashlights .87 (75% clearance)
Total $3.58 on a gift card (I used no coupons.... WILD!)

4 smart start with berries
1 smart start bar
2 rice krispie treats
2 nutrigrain bars
1 bouncy ball (.45 because 75% off)
3 big bottles of bubbles (.74 because 75% off)
Dino Flashlight ($1.50 because 74% off)
4 Glade fabric air spray stuff
- (5) 1.00 smart start coupons
- 1.00/2 rice krispies MQ
-1.00/2 nutrigrain bar MQ
- (4) 1.50 Glade coupons
- ESR Glade coupon (1.50 each)
Total 19.94 OOP

I had a little trouble with this at Walgreens, I am guessing one of the snack/cereal bars wasn't programmed for the RR. Only 1 $5 RR printed and I expected 2. The cashier claimed it was because I used coupons and it brought my totals below $10 for each promo. But I know that isn't the case, because I did buy 4 cereals earlier this week, used 4 1.00 coupons, paid only $6 and still earned a $5 RR. The cashier was very nice and tried to be helpful but kept claiming it was my coupon's fault. We started ringing the promos up separately but since I am going to do the $10 Kelloggs rebate (from last weekends inserts), I needed all 10 purchased on one receipt. So she re rang it up and it still only produced 1 $5 RR, but she let me keep both, so in the end it worked for me.

So total was $19.94 OOP, I received 2 $5 RR and will submit for the $10 Kelloggs rebate, so I guess the whole order was free in a sense. Not bad.

I did actually pay $19.94 CASH. I was hoping I would get my rebate gift card reloaded from July's rebate sometime this week, but it never happened. That is why I waited until the last minute to do my Walgreens deal.


GREAT Deal Alert at Safeway!!! TAVA

A Huge HUGE HUGE Thanks to wildheart at pyp, she pointed out that Tava is on sale for 3.00 each at Safeway, but in the top left corner of the ad, it states save $4 when you buy 3, so then its 3 for $5. Combine this great price with the $1.50 IP coupons out there and you get 3 packs of tava for $0.50!!!!!!

Order #1
3 Tava
-$4 store promo when you buy multiples of 3
- 3 $1.50 coupons
Total $0.50

Order #2
9 Tava
- (3) $4 Store Promos
-9 $1.50 coupons
Total $1.50


CVS Deals

>> August 08, 2008

I made out pretty good at CVS today. Covergirl is BOGO this week and there were BOGO MQ in the paper last weekend for face products. I don't like concealer/foundation so I bought their tinted moisturizer with spf 15. Combine BOGO sale with BOGO coupons and you get FREE make up :)

I also found the little individual cups of cheerios for $1.00 and I had $1.00 IP coupons (from the cheerios challenge) that have no size restrictions. The coupons had a short expiration date, and I really don't need anymore big boxes of cheerios right now, but I thought these would be good for on the go with Quinn.

I also bought cvs travel size wipes to work with my 2.00 CVS coupons, more on the go stuff.
Order #1
2 Covergirl Smoothers
1 Cheerios Cup
4 CVS Travel Pak Soft Cloths
- 2/10 CVS coupon
-2 CVS skin care coupon
-1 BOGO Covergirl coupon
-1.00 Cheerios MQ
Total .45 (tax was actual .47, so my subtotal was -.02) on a gift card.

Order #2
Exactly the same as above :)

What is great is the makeup doesn't expire until Feb 2010, which works for me, since I stocked up on free Jane tinted moisturizer at Walgreens a few months ago! I can't imagine PAYING for make up :)


99 cent only and Frys!

I picked up few things at the 99 cent store. No smoking hot deals, but some decent prices for produce.

1 organic celery
1 2- pack of red peppers
1 3- pack of green peppers
2 bags of salad
1 pack of spinach
1 box of mashed potatoes
1 1lb-bag of kiwi
1 2lb-bag of onions
2 cleaning brushes
1 fly swatter :)
Total $11.80 OOP

2 coke 12 packs
1 pepsi 12 pack
2 fry pretzels
3 curves granola bars
3 nature valley granola bars
2 fiber one granola bars
- free pepsi 12 pack (frys mailer)
- $1.50/2 coke (frys mailer)
-1.00/1 coke (mycokerewards website)
-2 pretzels WYB 3 coke 12 packs (in store promo)
- 3 .75/1 curves MQ
- 3 .60/1 nature valley MQ
- 2 .60/1 fiber one MQ
Total OOP $7.50

** all the granola bars are free, they are on sale for $2 a box, but if you buy 4, there is an in store promo that takes $4 off the price.. so instead of $8 for 4 boxes, the promo makes it $4 for 4 boxes. Combine this with coupons that will double and you get free snacks. There is a limit of 2 promos per order (why I bought 8) and also frys will only double 3 like coupons (unless you have a nice cashier) per order. **


Another Twice As Nice Find!

Ok.. so maybe Quinnie is a bit spoiled. :) But I have seriously wanted one of these play tables now that he has been pulling himself up on everything. Anyway, my mom and I hit Twice As Nice (local consignment shop) this morning and they had a super fun table. It was $12.99, but of course I had credit, so no tax and no OOP cost!

We are getting low on credit there, but I may need to take a few "baby" toys in and also once they start accepting warmer clothing, I have some winter stuff that I MUST get rid of. :)


Travel Deal Alert!!

Check out this link for $8.88 rooms at Super 8 Motels in honor of the Olympics. Rooms are limited, but its worth a shot. The first opportunity to book a $8.88 room is tonight, 5:00 pm AZ time. :)

Thanks to Heather at DEALish for finding this great travel deal!

I will be trying tonight for a room in Wilcox for our fall pumpkin picking adventure. I have been scouring the Internet looking for a BRG opportunity for a free room, but I just can't seem to find one. There are only two Wyndham BRG properties in Willcox, one being a Super 8. Hopefully I can score a $8.88 room, not free, but pretty darn close!

EDIT ** I didn't get a room tonight for $8.88 but the promotion is supposed to happen for the next week. There is a limit of 800 rooms each night. I will be trying again tomorrow :) **


School Supply Deals

These deals are for next week!

Precious over at has the super school supply deals listed for staples! We don't have a staples in Tucson, but we do have some great deals at Office Depot next week. The ones I see that are best are...

FAR Sharp EL-501VB Calculator (limit one, free after $7 rebate)
Crayola Classic Markers 10 pk $.50 (Sun-Wed only, limit 2)
4 pk Glue Sticks $.50 (Sun-Wed only, limit 2)
6" protractors $.05 each, (Sun-Wed only, limit 5)

There is also a MIR form from last week that gives $5 back when you buy $5 in Pert plus or sure deodorant and $5 in School Supplies. CVS has Pert Plus BOGO this week and Walgreens has Pert Plus FAR this month in their easy saver catalog. Either store would make a great deal combined with the MQs from last week. I haven't done the deal yet, but I will show my results when I figure out what $5 in school supplies I want!


Online tutoring anyone?

>> August 07, 2008

Click Here for a Free 25 Minute Trial of - At, you get live help from real tutors right when you need it most.

School is starting up again. I thought some parents might appreciate this offer. Sign up for a free trial of Let the kiddos take it for a test drive and see how it works for them.

I have actually tutored for and there are definitely benefits to using an online tutor. It's not perfect, but it can be very useful for most students and help keep students and parents from getting frustrated while working on homework.

Consider these great features offers:
Free trial
24/7 access
Many subjects available
Variable session length, you choose how much time you need
Very cool software that allows you and the tutor to "write" on the same whiteboard. It is great for visual learners.
Previous sessions are available for review
Free trial :) The best reason to take a test drive!

Any questions? I will do my best to answer them :)



I picked up 6 boxes of the malt o meal cereal for free yesterday, they are small boxes, and mostly yummy sugar kids cereal, BUT... we really like a change, our "good sweet" cereal is always consumed first, so even though we have cereal, these will be a nice treat. I will probably go back and buy some more and "hide" it somewhere so that we can have a treat again at a later date :)

I also picked up some enfamil next step formula. Since Quinn is now 10 + months, we have received a few formula checks/samples for the "toddler" formulas. We have already started using the enfamil next step sample cans and he has done great. I didn't plan on stocking up much on formula since we will be able to switch to whole milk in about 6 weeks, but I do need to get us through those 6 weeks. I decided to buy several of the liquid ready to use enfamil cans to help us along. They are $6.19 at albertsons, I used my $5 formula checks and was able to get 2 cans for $1.19 each.

6 Malt o meal cereals
2 enfamil next step liquid formula
- 6 1.00 coupons
-2 $5 formula checks
Total $2.38 and I used an Albertsons gift card :)
If anyone sees enfamil next step cheaper, let me know please. :)


Free cereal at Alberstons!

>> August 06, 2008

Albertsons has bags of malt o meal cereal on sale for $1.00 each this week and there are several $1.00 printable coupons out.

Check out this post at pyp for links to print the coupons. You actually can print 2 at each link, after one prints, hit the back button on your web browser and it will print a 2nd one for you (but no more than 2)! :)

I was able to print 8 coupons from the links.. so 4 of them worked for me and then I hit the back button and printed it again.

Check it out if you want some free cereal!

Thanks to for the links. While you are there, be sure to check out all the great boards, my favorite one is the AZ board :), but there are other ones that have great info too!!!


Frys, Safeway and CVS

>> August 05, 2008

I was able to run a few errands this afternoon minus Quinnie... My mom watched him. Its just been so hot, that I can barely tolerate it and we just aren't always super fast getting out of the house in the morning.

8 Kraft Singles packages (.50 each on manager's special, Thanks Layla on pyp)
3 Sargento Cheese
3 Advil
5 Frys apple juice
2 rice krispies
2 bc warm delights
1 bc frosting
1 bc cookie
1 franks hot sauce
1 bbq sauce
7 huggies wipes
-3 2.00 advil coupons
-2 .50 sargento coupons
-2 .55 warm delights
- .50 bc frosting coupon
-.50 bc cookie coupon
-7 1.00 huggies coupons
-.50 bbq sauce coupon
-.50 franks coupon
- 2 5.00 (buy 10 get $5 off promo)
Total 13.72 OOP

10 Extra Lean Jennie O 1.25 lb ground turkey BOGO sale
6 diet coke 2L BOGO
6 Sprite 2L BOGO
fat free milk
- 10/50
- 2 1.00/3 coke
- 3 BOGO sprite coupons (the cashier punched one in for .95 manually and argued that they were already BOGO free)
- 2 1.00 Jennie O coupons
- milk super coupon (makes it 1.99)
Total 29.55 OOP

** Taking out the soda and milk, that makes it about $2 a lb for hte extra lean turkey... so not a bad deal at all **

I had to pick up an RX for cvs.. I wasn't really prepared to go, but I managed to make out pretty good.
1 Infant Advil
1 CVS aspirin
1 Colgate Advanced Clean
-2/10 CVS
-1 Advil
-Free CVS aspirin
-2.00 Colgate CVS CRT
-1.50 Colgate coupon
-1.99 ECB
Total was .53 on a gift card and I earned 5.79 and 2.00 ECBS. I made $5 in ECBS :)


Twice As Nice

>> August 04, 2008

Look at this super cute toy that we scored at Twice As Nice ($16.99).. Its in perfect condition, less than half the price as toysrus ($34.99) and because I used store credit (from taking in clothes), it cost $0!

Don't forget to check consignment stores for deals!


Walmart, Redbox, and Walgreens

I hit up Walmart yesterday evening, we had a free movie from redbox to return. It was our first time using redbox and it was pretty easy and you can't beat free. Check out If you sign up you get a free code for your first time, although I believe its one free code per account, which is done by credit card. So if you have more than one credit card, you should be able to use the free code again.
Also there are other free codes out there, check out for additional codes. Normally its $1 a night per movie, which is significantly cheaper than the typical movie rental place (i.e. blockbuster). The boxes only seem to carry newer movies and also only have so many copies. However, you can check the inventory of your local redbox online before you and also reserve it online, so you can decide before you go and KNOW it will be there for you.

Ok. Anyway....

Walmart, I am not generally a huge walmart fan, I don't think it has SUPER great prices and its so HUGE that its always a big trip to get in and out. However, I do note deals that other people are finding with coupons and I make a list and see if my store has any...

I managed to find
14 clean team wipes ($0.14 each after coupon)
3 boca chick in bun ($1.00 each after coupon)
2 Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes ($0.34 each after coupon)
1 All You Magazine (has great coupon this month)
1 plain yogurt cup
- 7 $3/2 clean team coupons
-3 $1 Boca Coupons
-2 $1 Muir Glen Coupons
Total $9.38 (including tax) OOP

**I was also looking for cheap TAVA and lysol ultra minis, I couldn't even find TAVA in my store and the lysol ultra mini things were 9.xx, which is a bummer, we could totally use those. **

4 special K with berries
-4 $1.00 coupons
Total $6.00 on a gift card & earned $5 RR, (net result .25 per cereal)

** We don't need cereal, we are still working on the stock I have from several months ago, however, we do need a little variety, so I do try to get a new kind when its free or cheap to keep us cereal sane :) **



>> August 02, 2008

Sorry for the crummy picture... my camera broke and I am using this crazy one Peter uses for work, which is super old and clearly I can't operate well. I am still on the look out for a camera deal, preferably under $100.
CVS: 2 orders, one on my card, one on my mom's card.
1 Children's advil
1 Infant advil
2 cvs anti bacterial hand wipes
1 cvs hand sanitizer
- 2.00 advil peelie
-1.00 advil printable
-2.00 cvs skin care
Total .41 on a gift card.
Earned $11.58 in ECBS (the advil is free this month, so I got overage with the MFC) + I received $5 ECBs from the cvs wipes from last week (I had to call since it didn't automatically print last week when I qualified) and also Free CVS brand aspirin - 10ct. Apparently everyone will be receiving various CVS items for free when you make your 1st purchase in August. Too bad no one I know uses aspirin.

Order #2
2 Infant Advil
1 CVS cup holder wipes
- 2 1.00 Advil printables
-10 ECB
Total .73 on a gift card and I earned another 11.58 in ECBS for the advil. Apparently the monthly book states the limit on the advil is one, but it is actually a limit of 2. My mom's card earned a free cvs brand loratadine allergy 5ct.

Also I didn't mention my Walgreens trip on Thursday, I was so tired and stressed by the time I got home, I couldn't do anything. I hit various stores and half of them didn't have what I wanted, so I was very frustrated. I also had to go to TWO walgreens in order to come up with an order to use the $5 off $20 coupon.
I managed to find
1 water filter (rebate item)
2 ultra garbage bags (rebate item)
1 milk 2.99
1 gerber veggie crackers - 1.00 gerber coupon
1 tie on bottle strap thingy on clearance, to keep quinnie from throwing his sippy cup on the floor.
-$5/20 coupon
Total $15.14 on a gift card and I will earn $13.19 on a walgreens gift card for the rebate items. So 2.00 isn't bad for the milk, crackers and bottle thingy.



I send Peter and Quinn to Safeway and the bank for an adventure out of the house, it allowed me a little time to work on my desk area.
6 Jennie O Extra Lean Ground Turkey (1.25 lbs for 6.99 BOGO)
~10 lbs of extra lean 93% ground beef (1.99 a lb)
4 lbs of seedless grapes
1 gallon fat free milk
pluots and peaches
- $10/$50 coupon
-Milk super coupon (to make it 1.99)
-Grapes super coupon (to make it 2.99)
Total 41.89

They did great. The only bummer is some of the turkey packages had 1.00 coupons on them that he could have used... or found all packages with coupons and used them. I might go back and get some more turkey to freeze and either use them or get a refund form customer service, but the great news they are NED... so really no big deal, we can use them another time. There is no pressure to get back over there. :)

Ok back to my paperwork and coupons :)


More organizing to save money!

>> August 01, 2008

**** I am totally procrastinating, I started this post last night and I am supposed to be actually working on my desk/den area right now, but instead I am browsing blogs, no pics of this disaster, our camera somehow broke after I took the pantry pictures yesterday, MAJOR BUMMER, so I was also browsing for a good deal on a digital camera... so if You know of any... please let me know... back to the organizing post ****

In addition, my desk area/papers/coupons/etc is currently a mess. I mean insanely disastrous, I am just getting buy on finding stuff that I need, bills, coupons, etc. It will only take a few uninterrupted hours to get it together, so my goal (now that the pantry is done) is to completely overhaul my desk/den and not just temporarily fix/clean it as I have been doing for the past few months. Adding to the craziness is Quinn, who is very tall for a 10 month old and comes cruising and grabs any papers within his reach. I have let coupons expire, deals pass by and missed out on rebates because I can't find what I need. Missing a deal can happen to anyone, but in my current state it is happening way too often!

After taking care of my papers/coupons, I need to work on my HBA closet, I know I need to donate/give away a few things, because I am stuffed to the gills again!


Organizing to save money!

Why is organizing essential to deals?

One example is maintaining your stockpile of household goods. It takes a bit of effort to get organized and then to periodically reorganize it. I am lucky to have two food pantry areas, one a typical closet in the kitchen and also a big wire rack in my laundry/storage room. I had "organize pantry" on my to do list for a couple months now, and with a little one sometimes non essentials just don't happen. I am very happy to say my food is reorganized again. I have plenty of bbq sauce, marinade, tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, apple juice, crystal light, pasta, fruit snacks, and popcorn....

In fact, I may need to calculate how much bbq sauce and marinade we will reasonably use before it expires. I may need to donate some of it.

I also found several salad dressing that had expired, which is a bummer. Knowing what you have stocked up on already is essential to your success. Nobody wants to let things expire or on the other hand run out of stuff that you KNOW you can get cheap. Re-organizing a couple times a year is essential to my sanity!

I don't have any before pictures of my messy food pantries, but here are a couple of the nicely organized ones.

My big wire shelves work really well in my storage room, we actually have a 2nd one, but there is not enough space for it. We have a chest freezer and fridge in there on the food side (the other side is the laundry area). This picture also shows the edge of the paper products stockpile on top of the fridge.

I am constantly debating what products I should have on the bottom shelves in the corner, since that is the hardest place to get things from....
Here you can see my food and laundry areas colliding. We have a bar above the freezer to hang dry clothes and actually a shelf above the bar for storage cleaners, air fresheners, etc.
What is crazy about this "old" fridge is that it came with our house, and we actually tried to sell it on craigslist. We did sell the washer and dryer that came with house and had someone come and look at the fridge (for their garage), but they decided they didn't want to spend $50 on a fridge when the age was unknown. It has been one of the best things we didn't sell. :)
When the couple passed, we decided to wait and sell it after we were done remodeling, that way we could have cold drinks in the house while work was happening. Then, after awhile we decided that we might be able to fit the fridge in our laundry/pantry area with our chest freezer. I can't imagine not having it. The extra fridge space is great for drinks or other cold food deals I find, plus that is our THIRD freezer space since we already owned the chest freezer. So THANK YOU to the couple that passed on the fridge!!!

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