Frugal Ramblings 9/30

>> September 30, 2009

I didn't do much today other than a few things around the house. One of my best friends was in town from SLC the past few days, so we have been seen her and little Isa every day. Its so nice to hangout and see our kids play together!

**** Edited to ADD*****
  • I also checked the children't tylenol recall list and found 2 of the bottles in my stockpile were listed... so I called and they are sending me TWO $8 Coupons to replace them. Hopefully I can swing an extra special deal with those high value Qs! See more information here.

  • I snagged another $10 Target RX new or transfer Q, using my bookmans credit. They are in the Sept. Real Simple Mags. It's a great way to turn a few bucks in book credit into a $10 target gift card!!

  • We changed one of our Prescriptions to one that works better.. but of course is newer and more costly. In fact is a brand drug according to our copay schedule which will be a $50 a month copay for us. However.. I have learned my lesson, I immediately googled this drug, and found their website. They offer a printable RX savings card that will pay up to $50 of a copay for the 1st year!!! So we will actually be able to use this to cover our ENTIRE copay for a year on this drug!!! Way cool!

  • Signed up for Tryology (found on swaggrabber). It looks like a new program to try out new products and earn rewards for reviewing them. Sign up HERE!

  • I had TWO more $5 amazon certificates post for my Swagbucks account. I do want to point out you can save for other gift cards, but the best point/value ratio is really the amazon gift cards. I am saving mine for xmas gifts! If you haven't joined, its never too late!!! Click here to join.

  • There is a great new deal to try at Walgreens. I just saw on Arizona Savings, I hope to try it out tomorrow. It's a total money maker deal!!!


Last Minute Tuesday Deals...

>> September 29, 2009

I managed to make a couple quick trips after dinner thanks to LYNN!! Peter took Quinn up to Papa Joe's to ride his new big wheel at the park, which meant he took my car... anyway, Lynn rescued me and allowed me to run a few quick errands before he got too late.... the later it gets, the less likely I am to FEEL like going out...
1st stop was Target.. to pick up some RX's with a $10 Gift card coupon. The real simple september magazine has a $10 Target NEW or transfer RX coupon inside the front cover. Its good until mid November.. and the NEW RX coupons are harder to come by for me. So this wasn't a great $25 or $30 Q, but $10 is $10!
3 Tides $6 - $1 = $5 each
1 Vasoline Lotion $7.99- $1.50= $6.49
-$5/25 CVS Q (from their website...)
-$17 ECBS
Total $.49 on a gift card!!
(my subtotal was actually negative...their cash registers are crazy and I never know what will happen, sometimes they insist I buy something else.. other times they adjust my last ECB down.. and in this case... it took my subtotal negative, but of course tax brought that back up to $0.49....Anyway.. I will take it as a win!!)
Earned $7 ECB (vasoline), I will get one more tide and a dawn later this week.. to complete the P&G deal this week.. and earn $10 ECBS back (wyb $25 worth).
18 Crystal Lights $2.99 each (Mega event items) - $2/2 MQs
2 Dryers Ice cream each (Mega event items)
-$30 Pharmacy Rewards
Total $10.80 OOP
That is ALOT of crystal light.. but $1.99 is a good price and we are totally out of peach tea... Peter really doesn't like store brand versions of the peach tea and its the favorite flavor in our house.. so I thought this deal came at a great time. I knew there was a reason I couldn't find the $0.99 individual packs at Target to use the coupons... My coupons were holding out for the big canisters. :-)
Apparently Jennie-O turkey hot dogs were free with the Qs from 7/26 SS, but the Tucson papers didn't get that coupon.. . and I think that was the week I had trouble getting my Phx papers.. I searched twice and couldn't find ANY Phx smart source from 7/26.. BUMMER!! Oh well.. you win some, you lose some!


More free paper towels!!

>> September 28, 2009

So... I noticed my Oct Women's Day had $1 Marcal Coupons in them + $1.50 Skintimate (no size listed).... So my brother's wonderful g-friend did me a favor yesterday... took my huge stack of magazines to Bookmans and snagged ALLL the Women's day (with the coupons in them) at $1 each. Of course free for me, since I used trade credit!! Thanks Lynn!!

So the $1 Paper towel sale is good through tomorrow at Albies.. so I ran over there after Quinn's 2nd year Pediatrician appt today (I can't believe he is sooooo old...). Anyway, I also snagged some salad and bread for the lasagna tonight and of course I am a sucker for fruit.. so I grabbed that as well. My total was 10.xx, but the nice cashier gave me TWO stickers for the pots and pans promo. Who knows if I will actually collect enough. My totals are never that high.

on a side note... buying extra magazines at Bookmans using trade credit for coupons/forms is what started me quest to order free mags and collect credit. Several years ago there was some GREAT promo with Natrol vitamins, I can't remember the details, but I believe it was for a gift card or something and the form was ONLY available in a couple magazines (Does anyone remember that deal???).... I had trade credit from trading in books and stuff at the time, but I believe I depleted it all for that deal. That inspired me to find new forms of "bookman's revenue" to use when deals come up! So as I noticed good coupons and such I do occasionally go in and SNAG a stack of magazines just for the Qs!

I also have a new RX for Quinn (exema cream of some sort). And I knew the August or Sept Real simple magazine has a $10 target New RX Q in it, So I will be stopping by there to grab another coupon today or tomorrow!


I am back!! Disney was great!!!

>> September 26, 2009

Ok so we arrived back yesterday evening after a nice long day in car. We were smart this time and left by 9:30, avoid traffic out of LA and getting home at a decent 5:45!

I just got my mail from the past week delivered and had lots of goodies!

  • 12 magazines, a few that go direct to the Bookman's pile and the rest for us to enjoy first!

  • $50 rebate for the bushnell thing, I paid only $30 for it! So that is making money on a xmas gift!!!

  • A $7 Nature Made Q from their Wellness Rewards that I had recently requested. If you buy vitamins this is a great program. I have a ton of points banked, so I try to request the coupons often (you can only do one a time), because with a B1G1 sale at Wags or CVS, that makes for 2 free or very cheap vitamins!!

  • (5) $4 Star brand Qs for doing a survey. Star makes olive oil among other things, but I love these high dollar Qs! Plus they are good until Dec 2010!! So this should make for some super cheap olive oil!!!

  • Mambo Sprouts Q book

  • $10 Subway gift card I bought at MyCokeRewards!

  • Plus b-day cards for Quinn and Peter!!

We have spent all day cleaning the house, which was a disaster. Plus unpacking, doing laundry, etc. I have to grab some essentials for the fridge because we are out of lots of things. We are having a little cake and ice cream party for Quinn tomorrow with immediate family, so I need a few things for that as well.


Frugal Ramblings 9/19

>> September 19, 2009

Well, this week has been a very expensive week for us, full of unexpected costs. :-(
  • One of our dogs started having a bladder problem as a result he had a vet visit with blood work, urine tests and x-rays that cost $380! The resulting diagnosis cost $50 for meds and $50 really expensive dog food (Royal canin). As a result we are boarding our dogs for our trip (which we never do, just have people come check and feed them). This will cost $144. Plus their shots had to be current, and I had lost the paperwork. I knew they only needed bordatella shots, however my disorganization cost us some additional funds, since they then needed the other two shots for proof purposes as well. I did manage to catch a vetco shot clinic, so it was cheaper than a vet, but still cost $98 for both dogs. Grand Total: $722+ UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • Then we had an ant problem, and I figured they were Fire Ants based on some online research. We had truly nolen come out, who tried to talk us into an annual plan. I managed to resist that, but it still cost $140 for a one time (intensive visit). The good news is that they confirmed it wasn't fire ants. Normally peter does our bug spray, but he tried a few things, that didn't seem to work right away, plus I was worried about them being Fire Ants, so we decided we needed to do this...

Of course we leave today for California. On a much needed vacation! We had just decided to adjust our hotel plans to splurge on the Disneyland Hotel. The entertainment rate was unavailable for our stay so we were already playing $100 a night for the Hojo (vs. $69 ent. rate). We ended up doubling our hotel costs to stay at the Disneyland Hotel (and that is a good rate for the DLH). We won't be going back at least for another year. Maybe we can plan for next xmas, the new baby will be about 8 months then. Anyway... we splurged. :-)

  • I attempted to try the Walgreens Triaminic Deal at Wags, Check out the details here. Arizona Savings had a great run with this deal, I never found the Wags Q to use to make the deal work. Oh well, at least I tried!!

  • I did manage to snag my free paper towels at Albies this week (see previous post). I am hoping to snag a few more Qs when I get back from my trip. The Oct. Women's day had a the free Marcal Q + a $1.50 skintimate Q in it. I plan on grabbing a few at Bookmans with my credit. The $1.50 skintimate Q should make some cheap shave gel or certainly free trial size shave gel somewhere. I am running a bit low on it!

  • My coke rewards has been a little better lately. They have had some $5 or $10 gift cards on there to redeem for. I snagged 2 $5 subway cards (one on my husband's account) and a $10 chilis card that I received this week. Then $10 subway cards and $10 subway refills popped up this week. I snagged both on my account. I was able to add the $10 refill to one of my exiting $5 card and should be receiving the $10 card within a week or two. The subway cards will come in handy this week for a lunch on the road to or from Cali.

  • I put together 2 baby shower gifts this week. I had lots of goodies to throw together with some great stuff I had recently bought at Old Navy!

  • I picked up my free $10 gift card to the mall on Thursday. Free money is always nice.

  • I picked up $10 Target gift card with a new $10 RX I had to pick up. Plus I have another Rx (they had to order) to get with another Target RX coupon when we get back.

Overall though I am pretty happy with the week, I wish we didn't have the unexpected expenses, but I can't change much about that. I am also feeling better each week (just need the insomnia to go away, lack of good sleep does affect me each day). I should be better at deal seeking soon!

I probably won't post anything while I am at Disneyland. I haven't been organized to do any blogging ahead of time. But given my infrequent blogs lately, I am guessing no one will miss much anyway. :-)


Thursday Errands : Free Mall Certificate Day!

>> September 17, 2009

I had a planned adventure for today, we were going towards the Tucson Mall to pick up the free $10 gift card. Today was the first day they were available, (good through Saturday), but you need a voucher from your email to do so.
Anyway, so I planned several other errands in that area to make best use of our time and gas.
Babies R Us
I wanted a cup holder for our new stroller, so we stopped by BabiesRUs, unfortunately the selection was very limited. I did snag one (using a BRU gift card, I purchased at safeway using safeway gift cards), but I am not sure we will keep it. I need to try it out on the stroller first.
Twice As Nice
We stopped at Twice as Nice, I was looking for another disneyland shirt for Quinn. I didn't find one, but I did find a pair of 8 1/2 vans shoes for him (velcro even). I think his current shoes are too small and the 8 1/2 shoes I already purchased are still too big (Weird, huh??). We really need a good pair for Disneyland. He tried them in the store and I can feel his toes near the end of the shoe, but they are still bigger than his current shoes.. so they must be a little better fit. Anyway for $5.99 in credit, they seemed like a bargain!
Office Max and PetsMart
I had a return at Office Max and then needed to pick up RX dog food for Buddy at Banfield (petsmart). Unfortunately it was $45! Uggh.. We have had some dog issues and very expensive extra expenses this week!
Tucson Mall
I picked up my $10 Tucson Mall gift card! I checked out a few stores and snacked on a pretzel with Quinn. He loved people watching while sitting on a big boy chair! I attempted to use the $10 Things Remembered coupon from Swaggrabber, but apparently its no longer valid. Check out her list of other Mall coupons though!
I stopped by my "other" Albies, because I "knew" they would have the marcal paper towels in stock!! And of course they did. My stores had the sale price $1, listed through 9/29 so if you still have any free, up to $1 Qs, you can check there! I grabbed 6 paper towels and the very tempting bowl of watermelon.
Watermelon $3.99
6 Marcal Paper towels $1- $1 Q= free
Total OOP $4.36! (tax = $0.37 on the free paper towels).
Plus Quinn got a free cookie! :-) Then it was time to hit home for OUR naps!! :-)


Friday Shopping & Cookies

>> September 12, 2009

We made cookies last night. Yucky oatmeal chocolate chip from a package (for the boys) + No Bake Cookies (for me). It is a little odd that I dislike oatmeal cookies (in any form), but love No Bake Cookies (which do have quite a bit of oatmeal in them....). Anyway,I figured I would throw my recipe on my blog, more so I don't have to hunt down the recipe each time I want to make it.

Ingredients: (everything above except of course the BC bag... those were for the boys)...
3T Cocoa
3C Sugar
1/2 Milk
1/2 Butter
3C Oatmeal (1 minute oats)
Mix set #1 ingredients in a sauce pan, boil for 1 minute. Then take off the heat and quickly stir in the set #2 ingredients. Drop on waxed paper by tsp. Let cook and enjoy!!


After I made the cookies, we realized that we had very little mommy/daddy milk, which is so necessary when eating super sweet cookies. Plus I had a $5 RR expiring at Walgreens, so it was enough motivation to run up the street and grab some milk. I went in without a plan or any ideas on a how to roll the $5, so I ended up grabbing 2 milks (1.99 each) + 2 boxes of peach tea singles (for our disneyland trip), they were $1 each. So I paid $5 RR + $0.98 on my walgreens gift card.

I heard a rumour that wylers singles were part of the summer clearance at CVS, but I have only checked one store and didn't find any. Perhaps I will get lucky at another store. My soda intake has DRASTICALLY been reduced and I don't think I can justify buying a soda at Disney when I can't even finish a can of it at home.
My mom and I hit up Twice as Nice and Target yesterday. I wanted to find another "Disneyland" shirt for Quinnie to wear on our trip and found the best one! "I Heart Daddy" with Goofy!!! Plus I found a red crib sheet in great shape. I am on the hunt for a good on a few new crib sheets for Quinnie's new toddler bed (I will post a picture of that find another time). I was stoked to find the red sheet, exactly what I was hoping for!! Total was $5.98 (no tax with credit), but no OOP for me, since I used our credit!!!
Then off to Target
I couldn't pass up on a 4 piece pj set for $3.74 + a Dad's my super hero shirt at $1.99, both at 75% off! The shirt is 4t...because we already have WAYYYYY too many 3T shirts. The Pjs are 3T.. but we are always short on pjs around here.
We have quite the daddy and superhero theme today on clothes for Quinn. The i heart dad shirt at Twice as Nice, the Super hero Pj's and dad/super hero shirt from target!
Plus I grabbed a mini nerf football for $1.99 (50% off) for Quinn. He is throwing pretty strong now inside the house, but his aim isn't great... so we need some "safer" balls! I also grabbed a 2-pack of the fabric drawer bins for this Ikea shelving unit. They seemed smaller than the other ones, and at $12.99 not very cheap. However, I checked them at home and they are the same size, so I might snag another 2 pack to help me finish up organizing his shelves.


CVS Run and Free Gift Cards....

>> September 09, 2009

I had a few ECBS expiring today and decided to get a few things we "NEEDED!"
Ritz Crackers $3
CVS Benadryl $5.19- $2 CVS Q
CVS Ajax stuff $1.29
Strawberry Fruit Bars $4.79
Gallon Milk $2.79
CVS Prenatal DHA $10.99 - $2 Vitamin purchase
2 Sesame street books 90% off = $0.39 each
-$3/10 CVS Brand Products
-$13 ECBS
Total $5.76 on a gift card...
Earned NOTHING back!! :-( The good news is that I used no cash.. only free CVS $. Plus I picked up an RX transfer using a coupon so I have another $30 Gift Card!

Also I received my $50 in Visa Gift Cards yesterday from Nicole's Savings Advantage. I read about it on someone else's blog a few weeks ago (don't recall which one).. and thought I would try it out. There is a trial subscription for $2.95 and you earn (2) $25 gift cards. I unfortunately cancelled one day too late... and was charged the next month rate of ~$10... however, I did cancel it and now have $13 invested and received $50 in gift cards! It was easy for me to sign up and cancel. I may hunt around and find another one of these offers to try. I did a few of these "trial" things a couple years ago and made out pretty good!


Frugal Ramblings 9/7 - Part 2

>> September 07, 2009

So I came up with a few more thoughts to share....

  • I requested another $5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks! I just went into my account and counted it up.. I have earned $155 from Swagbucks, to me the best extra money, online program out there. It is beyond easy. My earning has slowed down quite a bit, but I still try and go and search using Swagbucks a few times a day. If you haven't joined... go for it. You won't be disappointed! I have already "blown" $40 on magazine subscription deals + a xmas present. The rest I am saving for other xmas presents I need to buy closer to the date.

  • Speaking of Xmas, I continued going through my gift tote bins and made a more accurate list of what I have already. I am in pretty good shape. I still need to find a good deal on a travel humidifier for my step dad, I just saw one posted on SlickDeals, but I need to get some advice from my brother to make sure it is a good deal. However, besides a few random gifts and maybe a couple gift cards, I am pretty close to be done!

  • We ran by my brother & SIL's house early for a free "chair massage". They bought one of those fancy massage chairs a few months ago, it is quite nice! I need to get over there more often to take advantage it!

  • On the way over there, we bopped into 99 cent only store and I found BIG (24 oz) boxes of quaker cinnamon oatmeal squares cereal. Yum! I snagged 3 boxes (maybe should have grabbed a few more). We are all out of "sweet" cereal here, so it was a nice find! I enjoying a bowl right now!

  • Oh and HealthyChoice has some $2.00 printables right now! Run and grab them! Remember to print each one twice!! (Thanks Swaggrabber!!)

  • I joined Buzz Back Surveys today, I haven't truly started with them yet, but I have read lots of positive reviews (apparently they pay $3 per survey and are quite fast), so I will let you guys know how it goes. Anyone out there already do BuzzBack?


Frugal Ramblings 9/7

  • I forgot to mention previously that I was accepted into the Neilson Consumer home scan program thingy and I received the equipment this week. However, after doing some research online, (I found a lot of negative reviews), I decided that it will be too much work for what it is worth. And right now my time is quite precious with the way I am feeling!

  • I received 5 magazines yesterday (my mail man must love me!!) and freebie bottle of OPI nail polish. I am not sure why I received the nail polish, I guess I signed up for something. Unfortunately, it is a hot pink type color and I am more of a dark blue/green, maybe purple nail polish type girl.

  • We had the dogs groomed yesterday, which cost $119 with tip. Unfortunately I didn't have anymore of the $10 petsmart grooming coupons from the entertainment book. I usually try and trade for extras. We usually have about 3 months in between grooming appointments. We have them both shaved down as close as possible and then bathe them ourselves every couple of weeks. So this is a big expense for us, but I am not sure we can help it. (We have tried grooming them ourselves, well I made Peter try.... but it was a nightmare and not easy).

  • I have been trying to declutter some of Quinn's toys, he has way too many. Plus with his b-day fast approaching, I know he will acquire a few more. I have a hard time picking and choosing what to get rid of. However, I desperately need to because we have run out of space! The couple toys I did decide on, as soon as I pulled them together with the all the parts/balls, quinn decided he wanted to play with them. Plus I feel guilty about any toys that were gifts, but we can't keep everything forever! I guess I will just have to bite the bullet, and make some decisions while Quinn is sleeping! I wish their was an easier way!

  • I did go through my gift bins to find all the new baby goodies I had set aside. I have 2 friends with upcoming showers that I need to prep for. I found quite a few fun little extras that will be good to throw in with their gifts. Plus I am involved in one of the showers so some of the things will be part of a game we are doing.


Frugal Ramblings 9/5

>> September 05, 2009

I guess I am due for a post by now. Seriously not shopping still. I do have another CVS run to post up, but I haven't been to any grocery stores, even though there are decent deals at Frys to be had. If you haven't seen the ad or stopped by PYP lately, check out the deal discussion for Frys here!!

  • We did spend $60 at Costco this morning. Basics mostly: yogurt for us, yogurt for Quinn, bread, milk, grapes, apples, nanas, goldfish crackers, bagels, etc.

  • I spent most of yesterday organizing the kitchen pantry and food stockpile shelves (in the laundry room). Unfortunately I had to toss some food that just expired. I was too embarrassed to take "before" pics, but this is what they look like now...

  • I KNOW that we are good on spagetti sauce and tomato sauce, plus have a decent amount of diced tomatos. Of course we always have plenty of pasta. We also have lots of turkey chili and Manwhich!

  • The extra space I created, allowed me to better organize a few "categories" so its easier to see what we have.

  • The kitchen pantry had several almost empty boxes or bags of treats that I had to toss for being stale. Hopefully we can keep it a little better organized this time, to stay on top of the goodies and not let any go to waste! I discovered 3 bags of Tostitos opened! Luckily they are all still good, but I clipped them all together to make sure we eat them up!
  • I have noticed I am spending less money in some ways because I am not shopping as much... of course blowing $60 at Costco isn't exactly saving money either.
  • I have also been sneaking in a few extras whenever I do shopping for my dad.. taking advantage of the weak and needing post surgery guy! :-)
  • I guess that is all for now.. I can't think of any other goodies to share!


CVS & Target

>> September 01, 2009

So I managed to hit up Target and CVS yesterday. I had $34 in ECBS that were expiring today and I knew I needed to make some effort to spend them. Luckily I had 2 high cost rainchecks to use on stuff we needed (TP and garbage bags).

Even though today was a better day for me, I only managed to get to CVS (one more time) to finish off the rest of my expiring ECBS. I had a nice plan together for the Frys Mega event, but I just couldn't manage it. In fact I am beat right now and I had a nap today! I am a little too restless to sleep, so I figured I might blog a bit to make me sleepy. :-)

So I hit up Target for some free dog food and trial size thingys with Qs that were expiring on me. The craziest thing I was trying to combine manufacturer's and target Qs, but the MFC Qs BOGO attached to the bags of dog food instead of the cans, the cashier noted it was wrong. However, she just kept scanning away. It ended up I couldn't use all my Qs, and allowed for overage to cover the Quinnie hat (in the picture) and hummingbird food (not pictured for my mom). I just paid tax on my order...

CVS, Monday: order 1

3 Scott TP $6.99 (raincheck) - $1 MQs= $5.99 each

1 bounce bar $3.99- $2.50 (vocal point)= $1.49

4 hand sanitizer sprays clearanced 75% off = $.50 each
-$5/25 CVS Q

- 18 ECBS

Total $2.74 OOP on a gift card

Earned $1 ECB (bounce bar)

CVS, Monday: order 2
2 Garbage Bags (rain check BOGO 50% off) = $7.49, $3.25 (cashier did the wrong math)

1 Countour Meter $14.99- Free MQ= free

4 Summer 75% off things for my mom.. $-.49 each

-$5/25 CVS Q

-$5, $7.99 ECBS

Total OOP $1.08on a gift card

Earned $5 ECBS (meter)

CVS (Today)

3 Tylenol (raincheck for $3.99) - $2 MQs

1 Glade Candle $6.99- $3 MQ

4 hand sanitizers $0.50 each

1 Bag of Tennis Balls (summer clearance 75%) = $1.75

1 first aid tape $5.19 (for my dad.. not pictured)

-$5/25 CVS Q

-$14 ECBS

Total $1.85 OOP

Earned $6.99 (glade) and $9 (tylenol)

So I went from $34 to $22 in ECBS over the past 2 days, but I did get 3 huge things of TP + 2 boxes of garbage bags which we desperately needed. I do plan on snagging another meter this week (limit 2), which will give me another $5 in ECBS!

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