just a snippet…

(a glimpse of our little world)

‘Sort of’ Freebies: Week of 8/22/10

My definition of ‘Sort of’ Freebies: Items that have been purchased paying nothing, or tax only. If I pay with Extra Care Bucks, Register Rewards, Rebate money and only have to pay tax with my ‘real’ money – then I consider it a ‘Sort of’ freebie.

Here’s my deals for the week of 8/22/10…

This was another great week, only spent $2.00 of my ‘real’ money and received $50.22 worth of pre-tax items…96% savings!

My items were from Pick and Save (cereal and Mentos), CVS (Glade, Herbal Essence, Listerine and Glide) and Target (more free soup!)  Aaaand, I actually figured out the Pick and Save deals all by myself, without using any ‘blog’ help! 

General Mills had an awesome deal, buy 6 and get an automatic $10 off and I had 3 $1 coupons that were doubled, so I paid only $2.34 for 6 boxes of cereal which gave me my 5 boxes free. I paid only $2.34 for the sixth (which was less than the sale price).  Also, they gave coupons for a free gallon of milk and free dozen eggs!!

Thanks again to Totally Target and Simply CVS for the deal ideas!


‘Sort of’ Freebies: Week of 8/15/10

My definition of ‘Sort of’ Freebies: Items that have been purchased paying nothing, or tax only. If I pay with Extra Care Bucks, Register Rewards, Rebate money and only have to pay tax with my ‘real’ money – then I consider it a ‘Sort of’ freebie.

Here’s my deals for the week of 8/15/10…

The total I paid for the following items is $2.28!  The total sale price of these items was $50.59 before tax, so I paid a little under 5% of the cost…95% savings!!

Everything except the soup was purchased at CVS.  The soup was from Target and was TOTALLY free!

Thanks to A Full Cup, Totally Target, and Simply CVS for all the help on their blog(s) to find these deals!

Pick and Save; A New Way to Shop!

So today, I shopped completely different at Pick and Save. I really had nothing in particular that I was looking to get since I was preoccupied with leaving town. But, it was double 10 coupons and I hated to miss out on the reduced groceries.

I went in with my coupons and just walked the aisles, looking for sales that matched my coupons. Surprisingly, it did not really take me much longer to do that, then when I have a list!

I did pretty well, bought $29.04 worth of groceries (after sales) and ended up paying $13.64!! Yep, I was pretty excited…  $15.40 worth of coupons after doubing!!

My really good deals were:

Uncle Ben’s rice – $2.19 minus $1/doubled = .19!
Oreo cookies – $2.69 minus $1/doubled = .69
Chex cereal – $2.79 minus $1/doubled = .79
Sara Lee Key Lime Pie (ready to serve) –
        Clearance for $1.64 minus $.75 doubled = .14!!

Who would have known couponing could be such a rush?!?

Love Pick and Save Double Daze!

Pick and Save was one of those grocery stores that I seldom shopped at before I became a “couponer”.  I look back in amazement, once again, at all the good deals I missed before my couponing days began.  Combining sales at P&S with the double coupons almost always gets me something for free that week!

This week, I bought my $25 worth of groceries ($25.73 to be exact) and paid only $14.73 OOP.

Again, the yogurt and Kraft 100 calorie cheese were free (plus got .34 overage on the Kraft cheese)!  I so seldom pay anymore for yogurt, it will be hard to start paying again if they ever stop the double days!

My “OK” deals (good sale at PS):
1 Popsicle – $1
2 Lunchables – .98 each

My great deals:
1 Activia yogurt – $2
(minus $1 coupon/doubled) = free
1 Kraft 100 Calorie cheese – $1.66
(minus $1 coupon/doubled) = free +.34
2 Skinny Cow Truffles – 2/$7.00
(minus 2 $1 coupons/doubled) = $1.50 each!! 
This was great since it is normally 4.89 a box here.
2 Lean Cuisine meals – 2/$4.00
(minus $1 coupon/doubled) = $1.00 each!

For all of the following, it cost me $14.73. 

Not bad when you consider that the Bologna was $5.99 (this is my ‘filler’ to get my total to $25 when I need it…only Bologna my hubby eats) and the bananas were $1.10.

That means $7.64 for everything else!!

KMART Double coupons!

This week (7/4-7/10) is double coupon week at Kmart.  I read some blogs and some people thought it wasn’t quite worth going since it was only 5 coupons that were being doubled.  Sooo, I wasn’t quite sure how it would turn out but decided to give it a try anyway.  They are doubling up to $2 coupons (giving me $4 off), so it sounded like it could be some pretty good trips.

I did have a bit of a scare after my first trip on Monday…my hubby put away the cart with my coupon binder still in it (he thought I was going to grab it, and I did not even know it was there!).  Innocent mistake, but we did not realize it until we were several blocks away.  When I got back to Kmart, I could not find the binder at all, but, thank God, it was at Customer service and the girl that worked there had found it!  

Back to my transactions!

#1) Bought:

Gillette Clear Gel Deodorant for $4.29
1 Bic Soleil 6 pack for $5.79
1 Tampax 20 ct for $4.49
1 Dove Deodorant for $4.00
1 Dove Body Mist for $4.00 (which smells awesome by the way!)

Total: $22.57 before tax ($23.81 after tax)


-$4.00 ($2.00 Gillette)
-$4.00 ($2.00 Bic)
-$4.00 ($2.00 Tampax)
-$4.00 ($2.00 Dove)
-$4.00 ($2.00 Dove)

Coupon total: $20.00 !!

Final Total: $22.57-$20.00 = $2.57 + .69 (Tax) = $3.26 OOP

For #1, I received $23.81 worth of product for $3.26…savings around 86%!!

#2) Bought:

2 Broadway Nails for $5.49 each
1 Poise Pantiliner for $3.49 (Charity)
1 Tampax 20 ct for $4.49

Total: $18.96 before tax ($20.00 after tax)


-$4.00 ($2.00 Broadway Nails)
-$4.00 ($2.00 Broadway Nails)
-$4.00 ($2.00 Tampax)
-$3.49 ($2.00 Poise) – only will double up to the value of the item

Coupon total: $15.49

Final total: $18.96-$15.49 = $3.47+.80 (tax) = $4.07 OOP

For #2, I received $20.00 of product for $4.07…savings around 80%

And with both transactions around a 83% savings! 

I know it is not the best deal in the world, but for a new couponer, it is pretty good!  Managed to get the Dove and Poise for free (other than tax) and the the Tampax for only around .50 each box!

The Broadway Nails are what cost me, but $1.68 for each is an awesome price for what I have found in my area!

$7.33 for all of this!!

Frugal Finds: Week of 05/30/10

Scored Big time this week at Target!
Started with a $5 gift card I received a couple of months back and a $9.99 Rebate Visa Card that I had received from CVS (didn’t have 9.99 left, but still had some money on it)
Transaction #1:

10 Sobe Waters (10 for $10)


$2.00 (4x.50 coupons from Target.com)
$1.00 (Buy 5 get 1 free coupon)
$5.00 Gift Card

Total due: $2.00 plus tax (paid with a rebate gift card so $0 OOP!!)

Received $5 Gift Card back!!

Transaction #2:


1 Scrubbing Bubbles Cleaner – $8.69
10 WW Dinners – 17.90 ($1.79 each)

Total: $26.59


$3.00 Scrubbing Bubbles Target coupon
$5.00 Scrubbing Bubbles IP coupon
$4.00 WW coupon
$5.00 Gift Card

Total: 17.00

$26.59-$17.00 = 9.59 (9.90 with tax)

Still had money on my Rebate Debit card, used $6.00 of that
Paid $3.90 OOP!!

Aaaand, received a $5.00 Gift card again…

So I received $36.59 worth of product for only $3.90 that day!! And I still have a $5.00 Gift card to spend!!

CVS Experiment – Update

As of 6/9/10, the following purchases have been added to my “experiment”…

I haven’t updated in a while, though I have been taking pictures of my “finds”.

Here is what I added to my orignial purchases:

Trans #6:

1 Blade 5 Razor – $6.99 (will get $6.99 ECB)
1 Herbal Essence Hairspray -$2.99 (will get $2 ECB)
3 Glade room spray – $2.50 (will use SC Johnson Rebate of $5 for 3 products)

Total: $12.48


$1.00 Herbal Essence
$10.99 ECBs

$11.99 Coupon/ECB total –> $12.48-$11.99 = .49

Received $8.99 of ECBs and another $1 for scanning my Green Tag, so I lost $1 of ECBs, but will submit the 3 Glades for the SC Johnson $5 rebate for 3 items – which will make me almost $4 of ‘real money’.

OOP $1.13 – so $30.87 spent to date.

Trans #7:

2 Gillette Body wash at $4 each (Charity donation) – (will get $4 ECBs per item)
1 Dial Trial size body wash – .99

Total $8.99


1 B1G1 Body Wash (-$4.00)
$4.99 ECBs

Coupon/ECB Total = $8.99 —> 8.99-8.99 = 0!!

OOP – .49 (Tax) AND received $8.00 in ECBs!!

Woohoo, only 49 cents!

Trans #8:

P&G came out with their new coupons for June and CVS had some razors on ECB deals.

Rolaids was also an ECB deal, but I did not buy the right ones, soooo, I lost some ECBs, but still got a good deal on the items:


1 Venus Embrace – $8.99 (will get $4 ECB)
1 Gillette Fusion – $9.97 (will get $5 ECB)
2 Rolaids at $3.49 each
2 Caramels at .33 each (not pictured, but needed to use my ECB total)

Total: $26.60


$5.00 CVS coupon (off $25 purchase)
$4.00 Gillette Fusion
$2.00 Venus Embrace
$4.00 Rolaids
$11.49 ECBs

Coupon/ECB total: $26.49 —> $26.60-$26.49 = .11!!

OOP – $1.24 (with tax)

Received $9.00 ECBs – so, lost 2.49, but still got a good price. Had I bought the right Rolaids, I would have paid $1 more, but got $4 ECBs – Oh well…live and learn to read the sign!!

OOP $1.24 – cheaper than my previous Venus Embrace deal, and I got a second razor (and Rolaids)!

Trans #9:

Found out on a blog that CVS has monthly ECB deals, that may or may not be marked on the shelf…but do not necessarily show up in the ad. So, our CVS did have it marked which saved me having to figure out what was on the ‘deal’.


3 Power Bars – .99 each (will get .99 ECB back on each one)
1 Snack – $1.00

Total: $3.97

Used a $4 ECB that they reduced to $3.97 (ECBs only cover pre-tax cost) – soo…

Total OOP = 7 cents! And I received $2.97 in ECBs!!

To date, the result of my ‘experiment’: $32.67 all of these items so far! I am now a true believer that although some prices may be higher at CVS, the ECBs make it worth your while to buy items there.

CVS Lover

I have become a huge fan of CVS and regret that I avoided shopping there for years. I (along with others) always thought that they were waaay overpriced, and, even if they did give back Extra Care Bucks (ECBs), it did not offset the cost of the items I was buying.

Oh, little did I know how much CVS just gives away!

After reading many couponing blogs, I realized that to succeed at CVS you need to take the ECBs that you earn and ‘roll’ them into your next purchase. Meaning 1) use them! Don’t let them expire and end up in the trash and 2) try to buy something that generates another ECB. This way you are continually getting ‘free’ money.

I started an experiment that got put on hold while I was on vacation – and I am still working on it. I decided to pick a purchase where I started with no ECBs (like a CVS newbie), but made sure that the purchase generated ECBs. Then, I would take those ECBs to the next purchases and see how much I could get before depleting all the ECBs.

ECBs usually expire within a month of your purchase, so that gives you 4 weeks to find another sale that you can roll your ECBs into.

So, here’s my scenarios:


Trans #1:
Bought Charmin, Bounty and 3 Puffs tissues and I had a $4 off $20 purchase coupon from CVS (you get these in an email or when you scan your card).

My total for the items, with tax, was $21.54.

Not a great price (and why I never shopped at CVS before), the Charmin was 9.99 – 50 cent coupon and the Bounty was 12.99 for a 12 roll. Again, neither was a fantastic price, but the purchase generated a $10 ECB for my next purchase.

Trans #2:
Bought a CVS tag for my reusable bag for 99 cents. This generated a 99 cents ECB.

The beauty of this CVS tag is that every time you use a reusable bag and scan this card, CVS keeps track and, after 4 times, it generates a $1 ECB….free money for using a reusable bag!

So, after #1 and #2 I have $10.99 in ECBs.

#1 / #2 : $22.59

Trans #3: 
CVS had a deal, buy $15 in Nivea products and get a $5 ECB. 

I also bought Depends (no, I don’t need them but will donate them since they are free!) They were 6.99 with a $6.99 ECB generated.

And, CVS sent me another $4 off $20 purchase in my email. So…

3 Nivea Body Washes ($4.88 x 3 = $14.64)
2 Nivea Lip Care Items ($2.99 x 2 = $5.98)
1 Depends – $6.99

Total: $27.61

$4 CVS coupon (use this first before total is less than $20)
$4 – 2 Nivea Body Wash Coupons (2×2.00)
$4.88 – 1 B1G1 Nivea Body Wash
$2.99 – 1 B1G1 Lip Care

Total = $15.87

$27.61 – $15.87 = $11.74

Now, I use my ECBs from trans #1/2: $11.74 – $10.99 = 75 cents! (You have to pay tax on the full amount, so my total was $2.08)

Cool thing, I get back a $5 and a $6.99 ECB, so I make a buck, because I now have $11.99 in ECBs.


Trans #4: 
Venus Embrace (had 2 cartridges in it) was on sale for $9.79, which generated a $6 ECB.

$9.79 – $2 coupon – $6.99 ECB  = 80 cents! With tax, $1.34…pretty good for a $9 razor.

I also got $6 in ECBs, so right back where I started before #3 (ie. I have a $5 and $6 ECB)

#4: $1.34 Out of pocket

Trans #5:
Made a killing in this transaction!
 2 Pantenes – 2/$6.97 (will get $3 ECB)
2 Right Guards – 2/$5.98 ( will get $4 ECB)
1 Crest Pro Health – $3.50 (will get $3.50 ECB)
1 Lady’s Mitchum – $2.99 (will get $1 ECB)
1 Kotex U Liners – $4.99 (will get $4.99 ECB)
1 CVS Wipes – .99

Total = $25.42


$5 CVS coupon ($5 off $25 – from scanning card)
$1 Pantene
$3 Right Guard
$1 Mitchum
$1 CVS coupon for Kotex
$1 Kotex

$12 coupon total

$25.42 – $12.00 = $13.42

I used my 2 ECBs, $5 and $6 = $13.42 – $11.00 = $2.42; plus tax = $3.54!! For all of that…

I then received 16.49 back in ECBs, making a little over $2!!

I turned around and bought the 2nd Crest Pro Health (there was a limit of 2) using the $3.50 ECB and spent 19 cents. I received another $3.50 ECB and a $1 ECB for using my CVS tag on the reusable bag.

So, I now have $17.49 in ECBs and still have another $5 off $25 purchase. For the next month I will look for deals that will let me get more free stuff!

#5: $3.73

The total, to date, that I have spent from (and including) the first purchase is $29.74. See the picture with all my products below.

I will keep adding to this note (probably not to the picture, though!!) to see how much will be purchased before I run out of the ECBs.

All of this, so far, for $29.74!!
There are 22 items, so around $1.35 per item!
Or around 7 bucks for everything after my first purchase!

Scriptures for our class…

The room that I teach the New Life Discipleship class in needs some decorating.
Since there are 20 lessons, each with it’s own memory verse, I decided we should ‘scrap’ the verses so they can be put on the wall…

We did these yesterday and I really think they look pretty. They will definitely add a lot to the room.

Christmas decorations…

I was playing with my camera, trying to improve my ‘night’ shots. Still haven’t mastered it yet, but I really like how some of the pictures turned out. Here is my ‘white’ tree:

I had wanted a tall, thin tree to put white lights on. When Niki was pregnant with Julia she found this tree after Christmas for $11 – what a deal! She had to race to get the last one from a woman that was eying it; but, pregnant and all she got it – and I was thrilled!!

Here are some of the decorations:

I had such a blast shopping for these ornaments after I knew I was going to finally be able to decorate a tree in white lights. We have enough now, but I still love looking at burgundy and gold ornaments at the stores….


Our Mickey/Minnie tree skirt

Our IKEA lights – love these (copied the idea from Niki)

I love all the lights at Christmas and always think that it would be so cool to see them all year. I suppose, though, they would become common, then they would not be so special…