Lots of Shopping to report.. but after a $150 E.R. visit this evening....

>> January 31, 2010

Lots of Shopping to report.. but after a $150 E.R. visit this evening....I am too pooped to blog much, or take pics....

Suffice to say, Quinn will now have dirty ears and we will not be cleaning them with Q-tips any longer. Luckily no permanent damage occurred, just a scratch with lots of bleeding, which of course made us FREAK out. We thought we had damaged his hearing.... UGH talk about stress and freaking out.. We tried to hit urgent care, but it was already closed so we had to hit the E.R... which is a $150 copay for us..

I feel totally blessed though that the worst thing about it is the bill.....In the end... the E.R. was fairly empty and we were taken back withing a few minutes and were only back there 15-20 minutes. Quinn was a trooper, although exhausted this evening by the time he went to bed!

Anyway, more blogging tomorrow.. its been a long day!

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Thomas Trains: Great Warranty and Customer Service Experience!!

The Replacement Trains!

The Defective Train

I wanted to share my recent experience with Learning Curve (which makes the Thomas Train stuff) regarding a warranty issue. Quinn has had a few Thomas trains for awhile now, but just recently received a train table for Christmas along with some additional Thomas trains. Anyway, while in San Diego, Quinn received a 5-pack from one of my best friends for Christmas.. which included a Henrietta train (all the trains have their own names..). I noticed within a just a few days, a big chunk of the wooden top was "shaved" off. I am guessing some sort of defect in the wood caused it, because Quinn is only 2 and doesn't play rough with his toys, not that I would expect it to break even if he did. Anyway, I recalled hearing that Thomas Train stuff had a decent warranty/customer service policy, so I emailed them when we arrived home from our trip I received a response a few days later (I had emailed over the weekend) asking that I call them.


So I call... give them my reference email number and some additional details. In the end, because Henrietta is only available now in the 5-pack.. they sent us another 5-pack set as a replacement... so Quinn has double of the other 4 trains. I thought this was crazy wild, I mean I guess time is money and its not worth their time to open up a set and just send one train. Which works out well for us.. Quinn has more trains to play with and doesn't care that they are duplicates...

AND THEN....
They asked if he really wanted another, train.. like one he still needed in his collection. They wanted to send it as a customer service gesture for the issue we had... I was flabbergasted. I had hoped they would replace the one train (Henrietta), but certainly didn't expect a whole replacement set, PLUS another train. Since we are Thomas newbies around here, and don't have a ton of them, I wasn't really sure what to ask for.. luckily inspiration hit me quickly. Quinn LOVES fire trucks right now and is super big into Fireman Sam.. so I asked if there was a Thomas fire truck of some sort... and luckily there was...

Wow talk about awesome customer service! Like I said I have heard great things in the past about the Thomas Trains customer service, in addition to the fact that they can easily last 10 kids. And can get passed down among siblings, cousins and friends. We don't have anyone older than Quinn that can pass along to him, but its nice to know that we will be able to keep and play with these toys for a long time and both Quinn and his brother will be able to enjoy them


Oh returning the defective train was super easy, I just popped it in an envelope and left it on the doorstep. UPS picked it up, and took care of the return label.



I wish I could say the same for Fossil. Peter bought me a cute wallet for xmas, and the silver color is already starting to wear off the leather around the edges. When I contacted them about the issue, (I had it less than a month) they referred me to their warranty/replacement policy which requires me to mail it back to them (at my expense and they recommend mailing it certified, insured or traceable), plus assuming they agree to replace the item, there is a $8.50 return shipping and handling fee. UGH..... I mean its a $50+ wallet that was a gift less than a month old and here they want me to spend possible another 1/3 of the cost to replace it (with shipping and their fee). I haven't decided what to do yet. I am a big Fossil fan, with several watches and purses (a frugal downfall yes, but I do try to catch them on sale).. however this experience has left a sour taste in my mouth. I just have never had a wallet "wear" so quickly... after several years yes.. but not within a month. Anyway...

Have you had a really great customer service/warranty issue?

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Saturday Frys Mega Run

>> January 30, 2010


We had to drop off the work truck for a much needed oil change, so afterwards we hit up a slightly out of the way Frys to do a Mega run, a nice big family trip. This store is quite a bit nicer than the one I normally go to and was hoping that they would have everything I wanted in stock (like electrasol) and they did! It was a fairly quick trip, and self checkout was open and easy for me. Although having the cashier scan my Qs, always adds to the time, but they have to do that in a regular line anyway.



So this is what we got... (all prices are after the $5 discount wyb 10 participating items.. so $0.50 less)

3 Ritz Crackers $1.99- $1 MQ= $0.99 each

4 Deluxe Mac and Cheese $0.99 each - $3/4 tearpad Q (from albies)= $0.24 each!

4 Philly Cream Cheese tubs $0.99 each - $3/4 tearpad Q (from albies)= $0.24 each!

4 Kraft shredded cheese $1.49 each - $3/4 tearpad Q (from albies)= $0.74 each!

3 Electrasol $2.99 - $2.50 MQs= $0.49 each! yes used the last ones up.. they expire tomorrow.. so it was making me nervous!!

6 Sobe $0.49 each - 3 B1G1 IPs = $0.03 overage total!

2 Claussen Pickles $2.49 -$1 IP= $1.49 each, not super cheap, but our fave kind of pickles and we wanted a splurge! :-)

4 La Victoria Salsa $1.49 each - $4/2 IPs= $0.51 overage each!

6 Hormel Turkey Chillis $0.79 each - $55/2 MQs= $0.29 each

3 Hormel Master Chilis $0.79 each - $0.50 MQs= $0.21 overage each!

2 Frys sour cream $1.18 each (not part of mega sale)

1 Quaker rice cake thingy $0.49 (I had a $0.75 catalina Q, but it wasn't scanning for her..and it looks like she missed it on my receipt...)


Total $14.89 OOP! Not bad even with the missed Quaker Q!



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Frugal Ramblings 1/29

>> January 29, 2010

So I have some good progress on stuff, things that needed to get done or were done recently.

  • I finally got around to submitting the last of our medical reimbursement receipts for 2009. Since it is now direct deposited, it should be in our account by early next week.

  • We paid off our credit card, which we had previously been doing, but had let it build up a bit, while we we were working with our mortgage company on a loan modification.

  • The big news, (which we heard in early Dec) is we did get a mortgage loan modification, that resulted in a $450 decrease in our mortgage. The bank website is just now starting to update with the details of our new payment, they are so behind and you can't even get good information from them because one department doesn't know the details of what another one is doing. It's crazy. I am trying to be patient, but have wanted it all official online (even though we do have the official loan docs/agreement that we signed). We did have to "get behind" to qualify, which probably has affected our credit. I haven't even pulled our credit reports yet, I want everything in place before I start bitching at the bank for fixing stuff. I am sure it will be a process.. but regardless, it was necessary, because we really needed to the modification.

  • So we are starting a tighter budget and officially documenting for ourselves starting Feb 1. I made up some forms and we will see how good we can do....we have a huge goal we HOPE to achieve in the next couple of years.

  • I starting gathering our tax stuff together, and hope to at least do a quick estimate in the next week and get moving on actually filing pretty quick after that.

  • I received our (2) $5 BRU e-gifts for signing up yesterday as a fan on facebook.

  • I also requested and received a $81.xx check from BING.com for online purchases made last year. I plan on using it for extra "household" expenses as they come up, because we have our budget pretty tight right now (if we can keep to it that is) and this "extra" money will come in handy for some things that we want to do around the house.

  • My mom and I went through most of the baby stuff we had saved from Quinn, so we could figure out where I was at and what we still need for #2. I also pulled out my baby wipes (quinn is using toddler wipes now) and diapers to see what I have stocked up on.

  • I scored a great deal on a double stroller/sit and stand this week at Target thanks to a friend. After tax, I paid $91, I am pretty sure I can score $75 back easy on craigslist after about 6 months of use. (I will be switching to my Phil & Ted with double seat, once #2 graduates from being in his infant car seat).

  • Quinn received some new/free Thomas trains because we had a quality issue, I will be posting details about this soon. It was a total score and I would recommend Thomas the train toys to anyone based on the excellent customer service I received!

  • Precious at Frugal Makes Cents mentioned trying out 4hats Applesauce Chicken recipe... very simple and easy, so simple and easy I tried it today in the crockpot. It turned out well!

That's it for now.. I am tired.. and will really start rambling if I keep going! :-)


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Free $5 BabiesRUs Gift Card when you become a fan on FaceBook!

>> January 28, 2010

This offer is valid for TODAY (1/28) only. Become a fan of BabiesRUs on Facebook and they will send you a $5 eGift Card. The gift card is valid through 2/20/10!

Thanks to SlickDeals for the heads up!!

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Target baby score for me!!! Baby Trend Deluxe Tandem Stroller 50% off!!

>> January 27, 2010

Look what I scored for 50% off! Its actually a double tandem stroller, but the back seat removes to make it a sit and stand type stroller!

I have been stalking craigslist for a sit & stand for a while, hoping to score one for about $50 to use while #2 is in his infant carrier (cause they can pop into the front seat, infant carrier and all!). Anyway, the best I have really seen has been $75 for a used one and never in a convenient part of location for me to check it out. I was really hoping to get something for $50.. but this is almost as good!


This one was $84.98 (normally $169.99)! And I figure I should be able to get $75 back on it from craigslist, since that seems to be the going rate for one...

Anyway, the best part of my crazy find is the luck involved in getting it. The big baby stuff hit 50% off this week (generally monday) at Target. Most of the clearance gets snatched up really fast (the smaller items, blankets and such should be at 75% off, but of course it varies by store). Anyway, I just happened to read about someone finding this particular stroller at 50% on Tuesday, so I did a little research on the DPCI (upc sort of code for target) and used their website to find out if there was any availability at local targets. Of course none of the 3 stores we usually shop at had any left.. and only a couple stores across town listed "Limited availability" which really is no guarantee. However, I sat here debating how I could justify driving across town on a whim to see if I could snag possibly one of these strollers.... then I realized one of my friends is often out and about around town for various jobs, so I quickly texted her to inquire if and when she might be near one of these stores.. hoping in the next few days. Oddly enough, her job time had just been pushed back an hour or so and she was about to WALK into one of those targets right then to kill some time... Seriously, I couldn't believe my luck.. so I gave her info and she found one for me!!!!! In fact she realized after she found it, there was actually 2 there, but one was in a pretty beat up box. Anyway... I feel so lucky that we were able to score this deal and I didn't have to do excessive driving that might have been fruitless!!!

If you want to check local stores for this item.. using the online feature, click here. It's not 100% full proof, but it does give you an idea on stock availability!! As of right now, it shows limited availability at the Broadway and Irvington stores for any locals.. (El Con is where my friend found mine.. and it shows out of stock now..)

A big thanks to LYNN, for helping me score this deal!!!!



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Wed Errands, including a quick frys run!

Target
I found 2 packs of Gerber Graduates Plates 75% off for $1.24 each! We already have a few of these, so a couple more is good for us!
Plus a bottle of disney's gentle naturals cradle cap 50% off at $3.22.

I forgot my coupon book with me, so I will go back with my receipt and get a $1 back on the gentle naturals stuff...

Our new super target seems to be sadly lacking on clearance deals, that is all we found... not much in the baby section.

We stopped for a dozen fresh tortillas from a local Mexican restaurant for $3. I wish I could tolerate Mission ones, since there are deals out there for them, but they taste like plastic to me. Luckily we have a local restaurant super close that sells tortillas too!

We stopped at the mall to pick up the $5 hats I ordered from the Lids deal a few weeks ago! It was nice to save on shipping costs, but getting them shipped to the store!

I did a quick run at Frys... for their mega sale (save $5 wyb 10 participating items)

7 Electrasol $2.99 (wyb 10) -$2.50 MQs= $0.49 each
3 Rotel tomatoes $0.49 (wyb 10) - $0.30 MQs= $0.11 overage each!
4 wholly guacamole $1 each - $1 MQs= free
1 Dole Salad $1
Roma Tomatoes ($0.99/lb)= $1.22
Total $6.82 OOP!

I wanted the lettuce, tomatoes and guac for dinner tonight... (with the tortillas, yum!). I have several more guac coupons to use, hopefully I can save them for superbowl sunday! Plus I have 3 more dishwasher soap Qs to use, so I will have another 10 boxes for the next year or so.. I just opened my last box today!






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Frys - more beans and milk!

>> January 26, 2010


We stopped in at Frys to snag some more decently priced beans + cheap milk..

3 Gallons Milk $1.59 each (mom bought one)
18 cans S&W beans $0.69 each (mom bought 9 with my Qs.. to comply with limit of 3 Qs) - $0.55/3 MQs= $0.36 each
Bananas
Total $12.37 OOP

Frys will be starting a Mega Sale again tomorrow, where you save $5 wyb 10 participating items. PYP already has a preview up here! Looks like I will finally be able to get my electrasol detergent.. not free, but $0.49 a box isn't bad (with the $2.50 Qs that expire 1/31)!

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Target 1/26


We headed to Target this morning, hoping to find bed/bath stuff marked further down... I am waiting for some blackout type curtains for both boys' rooms. Unfortunately they were still 30% off. I am hoping to snag them at 50% off! I think they usually mark down domestics on Tuesdays, so maybe they were a little behind. We will have to check back later this week

The baby section at this store was fairly wiped out for clearance stuff. I did snag some gerber sleepers for #2 though.. using my $1 IPs!

2 Gerber 2 packs sleepers $2.48- $1 IP= $1.48 each
M&M Minis $3 (potty training.. we had a milestone last night.. Q went #2 for the 1st time in his potty!). $3

Total $6.36 OOP

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Albies: Cheap OJ and yogurt, plus more free paper towels!

>> January 25, 2010


We ran to the mall for some Quinn time in the play area this evening, its just too cold me to hang out at the park, particularly at dusk! Anyway, afterwards we stopped at albies and since Peter was with me... I did 2 orders

Order #1
6 Marcal Paper Towels $1 each - free MQs = free (there was lots more in stock again!)
12 albies yogurt 4/$1 (with ad Q)= $0.25 each
2 Donald Duck OJ $0.99 each (with ad Q) = $0.99
Total $5.35 OOP

Order #2
12 albies yogurt 4/$1 (with ad Q)= $0.25 each
2 Donald Duck OJ $0.99 each (with ad Q) = $0.99
Total $4.98 OOP

25 cent yogurt is about the best I can do, much better than a normal decent sale, so I was happy to stock up, peter eats it well and its a habit that I like to encourage! Plus cheap OJ is always good! The only issue, is albies is so annoying with their store ad Qs... they have to scan it for each item.. meaning the yogurt coupon 12 times and the oj coupon 2 times for each order... the computer doesn't automatically deduct the correct amount based on how many you buy.. plus they have to keep the Q and write something on each one. The whole process is annoying, and I am sure MORE annoying for the poor cashiers that have to do it. Anyway....

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Free bagels: Bruggers and Einsteins!

Well Einsteins popped up again with a coupons for a free bagel and shmear (cream cheese) for Facebook fans again... Check it out here (Thanks Swaggrabber)

Plus if you register for emails with Bruegger's Bagels, they will send you a coupon for a free bagel with cream cheese! (Thanks DealSeekingMom)

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Groupon Offer Phoenix: Paul's Ace Hardware

I mentioned Groupons back in November when I stumbled upon the concept. There isn't one in Tucson yet, (hint, hint), but I signed up for Phoenix and I get an email with their phoenix offers. They basically offer really good discounts when enough people "buy" the deal (although if you don't get charged if there isn't enough interest). This is the 1st one that really caught my eye. You get $20 towards ACE for only $10 and apparently this ace has 5 locations in Phoenix! Plus the website shows there are already plenty of people on board, so this deal is a go! Check it out here. Maybe someone in Phoenix can use this deal!


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Sunday Errands: Target, Safeway and Frys

>> January 24, 2010

So I ran into Target, mostly to grab some olay regenerist cleanser to do the rebate. I found a few other things...
PJ union suit thingy $4.98.. but will return it, its cute, but not really practical
Coin Purse $2.48
2 Buddy Bars $0.97 each - $1 MQ = free
2 Olay Regenerist Cleansers $5.49 - $3 MQ = $2.49 each
Total $14.03

Order #2
2 Olay Regenerist Cleansers $5.49- $3 MQ= $2.49 each
Total $5.87

I will send in 2 rebates (one for my mom) for $15 through Olay. I was a late bloomer on this rebate, it ends today... but hey better late than never!

Safeway
4 Chinet Plates $2.50 (with ad Q) - $2 MQ= $0.50 each
4 Chinet cups $1.99 - Free peelie Qs (scans at $3.00) = $1.01 overage each
3 soft soap $0.88 - $0.35 MQ= free
4 Fruit Rolls up $1 each (wyb 4) - $0.50/2 IPs= $0.50 each
1 Huggies Overnights $8.99- $2 IP= $6.99 - used our last one tonight and the target deal this week doesn't include overnights :-(
-$2.50 OYNO Q
Total $6.16 on a gift card
Earned another $2.50 (fruit snacks)

4 fruit roll ups $1 each (wyb 4) - $0.50/2 IPs= $0.50 each
1 blueberries $0.99
-$2.50 OYNO Q
Total $0.49 on a gift card
Earned another $2.50 (fruit snacks)

Would have rolled a few more fruit snack deals, but they didn't have the fruit shapes that I wanted... so I made do with fruit roll ups for my 2 orders.


Frys
2 gallons of milk $1.59 each (not pictured)
6 cans (the last 6 cans in the store!) S&W beans $0.69 each - $0.50/3 MQs= $0.36 each
3 Cheetos/Fritos $1.19 each (wyb 3)
- $3.00 OYNO Q
Total $5.90 OOP




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Safeway, CVS and Walgreens.. A good run!

>> January 23, 2010

CVS, store #1
Order #1
6 Diet Pepsi $20
-$5/20 CVS Q
-$15 ECBS
Total $0 OOP!
Earned $10 for pepsi... so a $5 loss in CVS funds, but still a great deal.. $0.83 a 12 pack! Plus its CVS $ money anyway, so no OOP cost anyway!!!

Order #2
1 Coors Light $12.99 (for coors rebate and to keep DH happy)
2 Oust Sprays $3.99 each - B1G1 MQ= $3.99 for both
2 fast breaks (they were clearance, had to splurge)! $0.45 each
-$5/20 CVS Q
-$12 ECBS
Total $1.87 on a gift card!
Earned $6 ECBS (oust), so a net "loss" of $7.87 in CVS funds for this order.. but Peter will enjoy the beer and will use it for the coors rebate!


Store #2
6 diet pepsi 12 packs $20
-$5/20 CVS Q
-$14 ECBs
Total $1 on a gift card
Earned $10 ECBS, again.. $5 loss in cvs funds for 6 12 packs.. a great deal!

Walgreens
Order #1
4 Tostitos $2.50 each
10 Gatorade $1 each - $1/2 MQs = $0.50 each
-$15 in RR
Total $0 OOP
Earned $10 RR spending $20 pepsi products...

Order #2
2 Wet Ones $2 each - $1.50 IPs= $0.50 each
Total $1.32 on a gift card
Earned $1 RR

(I would have bought everything in one order.. but they only had one on the shelf, so I asked for a rain check, which of course requires a manager who always manages to find stock in the back... so I had to wait for a manager to come up, then go to the back to look and bring them back up.. then I went to check out, which of course now there is a a line of several people, so I check out with the beauty advisor, and my $1 RR doesn't print... so we have to call the manager again.. Yah! Fun times.. 2 different registers didn't print the RR... but then randomly while this is happening my RR FINALLY prints at the beauty counter.. talk about 5 minute delay! Anyway.. it all worked out in the end, except that I was expected at home already....

Now with my CVS pepsi purchases and tostitos at walgreens.. I should be good to go on the Coors Rebate for my mom and me! of course we need to buy the beer too, but I did get one tonight and will have to see if my mom has bought any beer lately that would work.. otherwise I will have to work another deal for more beer at home.

Safeway
Order #1
4 softsoap $0.88 each - $0.35 MQs= free
2 Lever $0.88 each - $1 IPs, only one would scan.. I think because the Qs were over the price of the item.. the register said exceeded value too.. but now that I am here at home I realize the Qs were for 4-packs, anyway, I will return the 2nd pack since I didn't need them, only wanted to stock up if they were free.
4 Fruit Snacks $1 each (wyb in groups of 4) = $0.40 IP= free
1 blueberries $1
Total $1.54 on a gift card (but will get a refund on the one soap for 0.88)
Earned a $2.50 for the 4 fruit snacks..

Order #2
4 softsoap $0.88 each - $0.35 MQs= free
2 fruit snacks $1 each - $0.50/2 IP= $0.50 each
2 fruit roll ups $1 each - $1.00/2 IP - (2) $0.50 Eqs= free
1 Kix $2 (wyb 4 cereal) - 0.50 MQ- $0.55 EQ = $0.45
2 Cinnamon Toast Crunch $1.50 each (wyb 4 cereal) - $1 IPs- .55 EQ = $0.45 for BOTH!
1 Multigrain Cheerios $2 (wyb 4 cereal) - $0.75 Mq- $0.55 EQ= $0.45
1 blueberries $0.99
1 pack sandwich rolls (splurge for DH) $2.89
-$2.50 OYNO (from 1st order)
Total $3.82

Earned another $2.50 OYNO (fruit snacks)

Free soap and cheap ceral is very nice!

I plan on going back a few times for the fruit snacks deal, Buy 4 for $4, use .50/2 or $1/2 IPs or MQs, pay $2 and earn $2.50 back, so a money maker! I plan on throwing in thing of blueberries each time and just rolling the catalina for free fruit snacks and cheap fruit!



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Saturday Errands.. staples and bookmans


Peter was headed to lunch midtown with his dad, so I had him run a few errands to conserve on gas.

1st stop: Bookmans & bag full of stuff = $15 trade credit!
2nd stop: The credit union for some bank business
3rd stop: Staples (see picture above)
They FINALLY were having a grand opening for this new store (that opened several months ago) and had a few decent deals. My FIL wanted a few things, and I sent peter to snag 5 reams of paper at $1.99 each, plus he used a 10% Q they had mailed me.. which covered the tax. He used a $10 rebate debit card we had so $0 OOP for us!

And they let him pick up my "free" sharpie order from Nov. I had it shipped to the store for free and not been by to pick it up yet. Supposedly only the person ordering it, can pick up orders with state issued id... but they had no problem letting him pick it up, just signed for it. Which is fabulous, because I couldn't justify the time/gas to go pick the order up, when we had no reason to drive that way.... anyway, love the freebies!!!

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Great News! Laptop is back and pictures saved!!

>> January 22, 2010

Great news for me, my brother miraculously was able to save my pics and format/fix my laptop... he sectioned off the bad chunks of the hard drive, which maybe a permanent fix (if those are the only bad ones) or temporary if more continue to fail. However, the best part was my pictures were saved and I am back and running on the laptop for now!

I plan on picking up a 2nd external hard drive (that runs on USB only) really soon that way its more convenient for me to backup my pictures! Hopefully I get my staples rewards check for the 2 packs of "free after rewards" batteries I bought recently, I think that will be like $26! That would be a good size chunk of $ towards an external drive.

So I haven't been shopping or anything today, but I did get 2 more free mags in the mail to add to my bookmans pile (which hopefully will get traded in this weekend) and also a coupon for a free bag of Stacy's pita chips (totally a surprise, as I didn't remember signing up for that one) and a Q for a free digorno 200 calorie pizza (+ another one for $1.5o off).. not a bad little mail call!

Hopefully, we can have a busy and productive weekend.. we have quite a bit of stuff we SHOULD get done around here! :-)

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Laptop on the Fritz and some fun giveaways to enter!

>> January 21, 2010

Ughhh my laptop is on the fritz and the bad news (coming from my brother) is that the hard drive is dying, the REALLY bad news, is that I haven't backed up my pictures in a LONG, LONG time.. i have been trying to get back in and copy the pictures over.. but I swear I am being punished! Hopefully my brother will help me again, and figure out a way to get me into it long enough (before freezing) to get the pictures transferred....

Anyway, I do have a desktop to use back in the office, but its kind of a pain, particularly with Quinn back in there with me. However, I figured I should still try and get a few things done today, so while I am procrastinating, I thought I would share some contests I have recently entered...

  1. Great Cereal Giveaway - Enter to win free boxes of cereal every month for a year! Thanks Jane4girls. Who couldn't use cereal!
  2. TurboTax Software @ NonConsumerAdvocate. It's time to start working on your taxes!
  3. WALKING WITH DINOSAURS! (tucson contest) From KGUN9. This looks like something fun to take Quinn to!
  4. Britax Frontier Booster! @ BabyBix. This one ends FRIDAY, so act quickly. I would love to win this, we need another carseat for #2, and I have been watching for deals on another Marathon, however if we won this seat, I could move Quinn to the new seat and let #2 have his Marathon!
  5. $35 Jiffy Lube Certificate @ Cha Ching Queen. This one would be perfect timing with our recent vehicle upgrade (new to use explorer!!)

Have you entered any good contests lately? I would love to know and join in!!


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Walgreens and CVS run.. 1/20

>> January 20, 2010

Quinn and I made a quick trip out today.. or at least I intended it to be quick, however our visit to the minute clinic for quinn's h1n1 booster, took more than a few minutes... anyway

Walgreens
2 Wet Ones $2 each - $1.50 IPs= $0.50 each
1 Cream Cheese $1.50
- $2 RR
Total $0.82 on a gift card
Earned $1 RR (wet ones)

CVS
2 Honeynut cheerio double packs $7.99 - free Q (up to $4.99) = $3 each
1 Gallon Milk $2.29
1 fancy model VW bus for Quinn (a bribe/reward for doing so well at minute clinic) $4.99
-$5/20 CVS Q
-7 ECBs
Total $1.58 on a gift card
Earned $8 ECBS (cheerios)

We did wait 30-40 minutes for his shot.. luckily he loves playing with those big boy cars and I convinced him to play with them in the waiting area.. and of course I mentioned the dr. would be seeing us soon. He doesn't have any bad feelings towards drs, he mostly sees me go in for my prenatal visits, which are SUPER quick and easy. So he was excited to see the "dr!" It did make for a later lunch/nap, but they took our insurance so we didn't have to pay the $15 either!




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Freebie soap @ Target

>> January 19, 2010


I ran into target to cruise by the toy and baby sections again...

I grabbed some free Nivea body wash and J&J buddy bars while there...
5 Buddy Bars $0.97 - $1 MQ (adjusted to $0.97 each) = free
4 Nivea Body Wash sale price $2.99 - $1 Target Q (adjusted to $0.99) - $2 MQs = free
Total OOP $1.03 (only tax!!)

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Frys- Tuesday Night


The boys and I ran to frys after dinner, so I could grab the few things I wanted from the ad...
(5) healthy choice meals $2.19 each - $5/5 IP- $5 EQ (frys EQ) = $0.19 each
(5) Healthy choice little pizzas clearanced to $1.64 each - $5/5 IP = $0.64 each
(8) La Victoria Salsa $2 each - $4/2 IPs= free
(4) Starkist Tuna pouches $1 each - $1 IPs= free
Frys Ketchup $1
(2) Sour cream $0.88 each
(2) Cottage cheese $0.88 each
Cookies (splurge cause we are bad) $2.50
Total $ 11.17 OOP
I tried to get 3 free mixers with the free HC mixer MQ wyb 3 HC meals.. (and I bought 10), but the computer wouldn't allow with my $5 IPs for the meals.. so this caused a bit of a fiasco.. cause this frys is tiny and small and always crowded in the evening.. so with a long line behind me, the cashier (a manager/supervisor) tried to reverse the free MQs for the mixers, but that didn't work right.. so she had to void the whole order and ring everything up again.. UGHHH.. anyway... I still got some great deals, but the extra 5 minutes to check out sucked!

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CVS - Cheap Pepsi!


I plan on stocking up on diet pepsi this week at CVS, its pretty darn cheap and you can recycle your ECBS, to keep costs low.. this works great for me. Now I just need to make sure I can get over there a few times!

6 Pepsi 12 packs $20
-$5/20 CVS Q
-$15 ECB
$0 OOP!

Earned $10 ECBS back.. so it only "cost" me $5 ECBS, which is of course CVS $, not truly cash.. but even if you paid cash... $5 wouldn't be bad for 6 12 packs of soda!!!

Plus if you buy beer occasionally (at least) then there is the coors rebate you can submit for too, when you buy 18 pack or larger in coors and $20 or $30 in Pepsi/tostitos/dips/cups/plates/condiments. See the forms here. There are certain states that have no beer purchase requirements, but AZ is not one of them. Make sure you check out the details of each form! (Thanks to Frugalsuz for the link!)

I plan on doing the $30 rebate, and getting $15 back.. which should cover the beer purchase plus a few bucks (depending on the beer sale).. which works for me, free beer for Peter!

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Cheap Trees 4 Tucson= Shade & Lower Energy Bills!

I just happen to catch an article on a local news site about a program from Tucson Electric Power. You can apply for shade trees, that cost only $8 each!! Home owners of homes built in 1980 or later can request 2 trees and homes built before 1980 can get up to 4 trees. You must plant them within 15 feet of the west, east or south sides of you home and be a TEP customer. Check out more information here.

We plan on applying for 4 trees (our house slides in under the 1980 rule.. built in 1979!) for the front (west side) of our house.

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Quick Safeway Run 1/18

>> January 18, 2010


The boys and I hit the park for a little slide action, then I forced them to stop by safeway so I could do a quick run...

6 Healthy Ones Lunch Meat BOGO @ $2.99- (6) $0.55 MQs= $0.50 each
2 Oscar Mayer lunch meats $0.25 each (yup.. marked down to a quarter and these must have been a mistake.. they had quite a bit of marked down lunch meat, all with sell or use by dates in the next few days, but these were mid Feb! I think the meat guy got a little crazy with his mark down stickers and didn't pay attention!!)
6 Quaker Rice Cake $1- $0.75 MQs= free
1 Sara Lee Bagel $2
1 18-ct eggs $0.99 (with ad Q)
Total $6.46 on a gift card!

Plus I snagged a rain check for the 8-pack of yoplait yogurt.

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Albertsons: free paper products


I stopped in at Albies to use some of my $1.00/free Marcal paper product MQs. The 4 packs of TP, Kleenex boxes and single paper towels are all on sale for $1. This is in their monthly ad, so there is still a little bit of time to get over there.

8 packs of TP $1 - $1/free MQs= free
2 paper towels $1- $1/free MQs= free
nanas
2 lbs colby jack cheese $5.99 (already in the fridge)
I can't find my receipt..

I also put my name on a list to redeem my pots/pans stickers. I only have 85... enough for the smaller casserole pot thingy, it would have been nice to have snagged 5 more stickers, and had enough for the bigger stockpot. Oh well...

I should have paid attention more, I know my dad spent quite a bit there before xmas, but never asked for the stickers!! UGH! Anyway, either way the pans are in short supply and need to be redeemed by tomorrow.. which most likely means you will have to put your name on a list because most of the pots and pans are in short supply.

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Frugal Ramblings 1/17

>> January 17, 2010

This week has been fairly productive and successful for frugal-ness.... even though I did spend quite a bit at Target on toys!


  • Hit Target's 75% off Toy Clearance- Managed to get b-day/xmas done for my boys, plus a couple b-day gifts and even more xmas gifts for all the little ones we buy for. After returning a few things, selling a few things to relatives and picking up one last thing on Saturday, my grand total stands at $180, however I am essentially done for the year. Now when the July Toy clearance comes around, I will extremely selective, and not quite as desperate to make sure I hit the sale! Spending $180 now, for $720 worth of toys, allows us to buy nice gifts without breaking the bank!!


  • Speaking of Target I also snagged 3 pairs of shoes for Quinn for $12.13 (although paid all with gift card funds, so no true OOP cost!), I try to bop in the shoe department periodically to see if any shoes are being marked down. I much prefer to stock up on shoes at 75% off, rather than pay full price!


  • I used my $2.78 in ebay bucks to buy a car charger for my phone. Something I never want to pay OOP for, honestly I think they should just come with the car chargers! I have had the phone for almost a year and there have been times a car charger would have been nice. I decided to "splurge" and blow my ebay bucks balance on a charger. :-) Luckily I found one for $2.58 with free shipping (slow shipping of course)... but heck, no OOP cost for me!


  • I stocked up on 12.5 lbs of ground turkey at safeway this week for $1.19/lb! I just need to re package it into 1lb sections and vacuum pack them so they last better in the freezer! I am glad i passed on the $1.67 ground beef this week!


  • I ordered a BOGO Huggies Q from Recycle bank (I had previously snagged the $1.00 coke coupons which I have been using this week!), Kashless.org is another way to snag more reward points for RecyleBank. See my post here about it!


  • Oh and I managed to spend last monday clearing out my expired inserts to make room in my filing cabinet. I also spent some time in my office, soon to be 1/2 nursery organizing and cleaning. We really need to get in gear in here, because I just hit my 3rd trimester and you never know how you will feel.. I don't want to get behind the 8-ball and not be super prepared for Quinn's little brother!!

  • I order (2) more $5 Amazon gift certificates with my Swagbucks. If you haven't joined, now would be a great time to get started! Start savings for next christmas! I was able to buy $100+ in gifts for xmas, plus i had already splurged on one b-day gifts and a few super hot, cheap magazine deals earlier in the year! Free, beats super cheap, every day of the week!! :-) It's easy, just search using swagbucks instead of google and you will periodically earn Swagbucks. Its free, and easy! I have to re-double my efforts to make sure I get in and searched at least once a day. I need to build my amazon funds back up!!!


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Old Navy Haul...

So I only looked in the clearance sections.. and actually were all quite small for little ones and maternity in both stores (actually only one store has maternity)... the women's section in both stores seem quite large.

I ended up with matching jammies and xmas shirts for the boys, 2 onsies, a shirt and set of pj's for #2, another cute shirt for a gift, 1 maternity dress (may or may not keep... not a big dress wearer), 1 maternity top, and 4 tank tops in LARGE, hopefully they will be stretchy and long enough to cover my belly.. they didn't have any in maternity that would work for me.. anyway, I also did 2 price adjustments on previous purchases, factoring that in.. I ended up with a total of 15 items for only ~$16.xx WITH tax.. so really under $1 an item.. I also used a 25% off Q from the oldnavyweek.com website!

I don't know how long the extra 50% off clearance will last, for sure through sunday and maybe through monday since its a holiday... after that who knows! If you have time, it might be worth your while to check it out!

On our to-do list is to sort through the baby stuff we saved from Quinn.. to see where we are at for his little brother.. we lack storage around here, and in fact have some stuff farmed out to the grandparent's houses.. so Peter grabbed the 2 bins of little baby stuff we had saved. Now I need to evaluate and organize it.. figure out where we are at!

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