June 7, 2011

Shopping At Walgreens

Today I thought I would try another shopping trip to Walgreens using coupons. I did a little more "ahead prepping", but still it wasn't enough! I was not aware that RR (register rewards) are treated like coupons, therefore the rules for coupons apply for them as well. This means that if you are only buying 1 item but have 2 different RR's you can't use them both--well sometimes it means this--I had a couple of transactions that let me use more coupons than I had items!  That messed up my whole shopping trip!! That and the fact that 3 of my children were crying about being hungry and asking me a million questions while I was checking out! I thought I was only going to do 3 separate transactions, but that turned into 6, and I ended up spending more OOP (out of pocket) than I originally thought I would. I am sure there are probably 100 people who could have done this better than me, but here is what I did!
1st Transaction:
2 Nivea body soaps which were on sale 2/$7.00 with $2.00 RR (I also had a $1.00 coupon for this)
1 Bic Soleil Disposable Razors--$5.99 with $2.00 RR (I had a $3.00 coupon for this)  Of course I could be wrong and my $1.00 coupon could have been for the razors and my $3.00 coupon could have been for the Nivea---either way, I had $4.00 in coupons! 
Total: $9.73 with $4.00 RR (total savings $9.98)

2nd Transaction:
3 Super Stack cans of Pringles --the kids were screaming for food!--3/$4.00 (I had a $1.00 coupon)
Ban deodorant--$1.99 (I had a $1.49 coupon AND a $0.40 coupon for this but she only took the $0.40 coupon and I didn't realize it until it was too late.  She kept telling me that she used the other one but I just knew she didn't. The kids talking didn't help me either! So I didn't get as good of a deal on this as I should have)
I used $2.00 in RR from 1st transaction and paid $2.59 for this transaction. (total savings $7.40)

3rd Transaction: This was my favorite transaction!
Omega Smart Super Critical Ultimate Fish Oils--$10.00 with $10.00 RR (I also had a $2.00 coupon)
Total: $8.00 and received $10.00 in RR  (total savings $16.99)

4th Transaction:
Pantene--2/$7.00 with $1.00 RR (I also had a $1.00 coupon)
Coppertone Sunblock--$9.99 with $4.00 RR (I had a $2.00 coupon which the computer didn't want to take for some reason, but after calling a manager they took it)
I used my $10.00 RR from transaction 3 & $2.00 RR from transaction 1 & paid $2.15 for this transaction. (total savings $18.28) I received $5.00 in RR. I used 4 coupons and only got 3 items in this transaction. Weird.

5th Transaction:
Colgate toothpaste--2/$5.00 with $2.00 RR (I had a $0.75 coupon)
Colgate toothbrushes--2/$5.00 with $2.00 RR (I had a $0.75 coupon)
Total $8.50 and received $4.00 RR (total savings $7.46) I don't think I did this transaction very well. But, oh well!

6th Transaction:
Pullups--$10.99 (I had a $2.00 coupon) I wanted to get the Pampers Easy-Ups because they were on sale for $8.99 with $1.00 RR and I had a $1.50 coupon, but they did not have size 2T in boys! :(
Orajel kids--$4.99 (I had a $1.00 coupon)
Caress body soap--$2.99 (I had a coupon but was unable to use it because the number of coupons exceeded the number of items I was buying when I used my RR. I had wanted to get a SoBe Lifewater for $0.99 and receive $0.99 in RR, but I couldn't find a SoBe (or a place for one) anywhere in our Walgreens!)
I used $4.00 RR from transaction 4 and $2.00 RR from transaction 5--and paid $10.46 for this transaction. (total savings $11.00) This transaction allowed me to use 4 coupons and I only had 3 items. I don't fully understand the "you have to have as many items as you have coupons" rule.

I left with $1.00 in RR, but now that I think about it I should have another $2.00 in RR from transaction 5 that I never used, but she was taking coupons left and right and not scanning them. I think she took my last $2.00 RR and never gave it back....or maybe I fed it to one of my kids!

All in all I spent $41.72 and saved $71.11.  I don't think that is too bad, but I can't wait until I get better!

May 27, 2011

"5 For $5@5" and More Couponing

You can clearly see the "5 For $5@5" words on the receipt.
Too bad that isn't really what they mean!
I am a huge fan of Sonic---usually. I love the fact that they have Happy Hour when you can get 1/2 price drinks! My favorite is the Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper!!! I love the $1.00 menu where you can get a Jr. Burger (that is fully loaded) for just $1.00 ($1.19 in some places, but still!). Jacob loves the breakfast burrito on the $1.00 menu and everyone loves getting a $1.00 slush.  On Tuesday nights, they advertise "5 for $5@5".  That means (to me, and apparently ONLY me) that you get 5 burgers for $5 @ 5 (and after 5 too).  Since I believed this to be true, we recently went to Sonic on a Tuesday night after baseball to pick up some burgers.  I was only planning to order burgers because we prefer to take the burgers home and get our drinks there thus spending less money on dinner.  So, Ben ordered 5 burgers.  The total came to $6.44.  Ben swiped our bank card without thinking twice and then I asked, "What was the total?"  
The typical response, "I don't know, 6 something." 
 I asked him, "Doesn't that seem like a lot of tax for $5.00?" 
 After he thought about it he said, "Yeah, I guess.  Do you want me to ask when they bring our food out?"  "YES! I do!" I responded.  So, when our carhop brought out our burgers we questioned her about the total. She seemed confused so I simply asked, "Don't you advertise '5 for $5@5'?" 
 "Yes," she replied.
 I said, "Well, then why does my receipt say that the total for 5 burgers is $5.95 [+tax]?"  
"Hmm.....I never noticed that. I don't really know. Want me to ask my manager?" At this point I am thinking, "Seriously, no one has ever noticed this?"
 "Yes, I do," I told her. 
 So, the manager came out and I asked her the same question, "If you advertise 5 for $5@5, then why does my total for 5 burgers come up to be $5.95?"
"Well," she said, "we do advertise 5 for $5@5, but it isn't REALLY 5 burgers for $5.  They are really 1/2 price burgers. We just didn't think that 5 for $5.95 sounded catchy so we call it 5 for $5." 
"Wow! Don't you think that is pretty misleading?" I asked.  (And really how difficult would it be to just say "1/2 price burgers after 5?"  Not difficult, and also not misleading!!!)
 "Yeah, I guess it is," she nonchalantly said, "but that is how it is."
I was NOT a fan of Sonic on that particular Tuesday evening!
SOOOO, don't go to Sonic on Tuesday after 5 expecting to get 5 burgers for $5!

On another note, I recently went to CVS because they have Oak Farms milk on sale for $3.19/gallon and you get $1.00 in RR when you purchase one, so it is like getting the milk for $2.19/gallon which is a really good price around here right now.  There were some other things I wanted as well, so I did my shopping. Herbal Essences products were on sale 2/$5.97 with $2.00 in RR and I had a $.050 coupon, so I got a shampoo and conditioner. They also had a deal where if you spent $15.00 on Nivea products you would get $5.00 in RR. The cream I have been wanting for a while was $15.99 and I had a $3.00 off coupon, plus I got $5.00 in RR. So, the total for my first bill was $19.98 and I got $7.00 in RR. I then went and got my 2 gallons of milk. The total came to $6.48, so I just used my $5.00 RR and paid $1.48 for the milk. I still got $2 more in RR for getting the milk, so when I left I still had $4.00 in RR!   All in all I think it was pretty good! The only bad thing is I tried to use my $0.50 off coupon for Oak Farms milk, but the cashier wouldn't even scan it! She said it was in the manufacturer's limitations that it couldn't be used on milk that was on sale. I am not sure where these limitations are found because they are NOT on the coupon itself.  Anyway, since she wouldn't even TRY to scan it I still have 2 $0.50 coupons for milk that are good until December. I am excited about learning to coupon and I hope to get really good at it!!


May 5, 2011

Couponing!

$82.55 worth of merchandise for only $29.91!!
I am one of those people who has only ever used a coupon to get $1.50 off a package of diapers or $0.50 off of baby wipes. I have never been to the store in order to actually SAVE money on my grocery or shopping bill. I don't know why.....I have just never been interested in coupons. Mostly, I never really understood how much they can help you or how to use them properly. I have heard so many people say throughout my life that it isn't a good deal if   you weren't going to buy it in the first place, and while I still agree with this (on say cat food--I don't even own a cat--or Prilosec--never used it and don't plan to start!), I have found that even if I wasn't going to buy toothpaste TODAY, I would still need to buy it SOME DAY, so why not get it while it's on sale and I have a coupon for it?  Now that I have been faced with starving or applying for food stamps (ok, I wouldn't starve, but I can barely afford groceries AND gas these days!) I thought I would give couponing a try! I should be a couponer by nature simply because my Maw-Maw (my mom's mom) was an extreme couponer before extreme couponing was popular!  I can remember sitting on the floor of her house cutting coupons and organizing them for her. I remember her going to the store with her coupon organizer full and only buying things she had coupons for. I think in a way this is what turned me off to it. As I grew older I just felt like there was too much to do and not enough return.  Well, last night was my 1st "couponing" trip to the store and I really enjoyed it!!  After doing some research from The Krazy Coupon Lady, clipping coupons from my in-law's newspaper inserts, and buying a coupon organizer I felt like I was ready for the challenge! My trip was to Walgreens which is not a store I would normally shop in in the first place, so that was also new to me. I went up and down the aisles checking to see what was on sale and what I had a coupon for....yes I know it would have been better for me to do this step at home, but like I said it was my 1st time!!  I did 2 separate transactions (this was something I read about) so I could get my register rewards on the first transaction and then use them on my 2nd transaction! That was a really neat thing!  

This was my favorite buy of my trip!
Here's what I did......the Gillette Fusion Power Razor (normally $12.99) was on sale for $9.89. I had a $4.00 off coupon--bringing the total down to $5.89 (plus tax), and I received $5.00 in RR for the purchase!  So, it was like getting the razor (a $12.99 value) for $0.89!!!  WOO--HOO! Even if that's all I did I would be super excited!!  I then turned around and gave her the rest of my items--all but one was on sale, and I had a coupon for most everything else!!--and did my 2nd transaction using the $5.00 in RR at the end with all of my coupons. The only items I did not have coupons for were the Revlon make-up products, but they were on clearance for $3.59 and $2.79 each (regularly $10.99 each), so I felt like that was a good deal. Also, when I got the concealer I made sure to pick up one that had a BONUS lip gloss attached, so that made the deal even sweeter!  One of the great things is that it is all stuff we already use anyway. Ben and I use the Crest toothpaste, the kids use Colgate, Annalisa uses Pantene shampoo and conditioner, and Ben was very excited the Old Spice body wash was on sale (and I had a coupon) because that is what he uses! All in all I got $82.55 worth of merchandise for $29.91!! That is an over 50% savings which makes it worth it to me!!! I also got to walk away for 3 $1.00 coupons to add to other coupons on my next visit....so I walked away with $3.00 in savings to use later!  I am so excited about my trip and the money I saved! I will be doing this again, hopefully with groceries next time!

February 24, 2011

Staying Busy

I know I am NO good at blogging lately! It seems I go a month or more without writing anything down...but that doesn't mean there aren't things to write down--just that I don't have  take the time to do it! Since I posted last, Ben started a new job, I started Zumba, Cole made all 1's at UIL in band, Jacob turned 11, Annalisa started softball, and Benjamin learned how to say "hola"! See, that was quick and easy! Why don't I just sit down to do this at least once a week?
Ben now works for Pullin Ranch out of Conroe. He delivers sawdust to horse racetracks and ranches.  He had a rough 1st 2 weeks, but then it got better and he really likes it. He is making a little more than he made at McKenzie's so that is also good!
For Jacob's birthday he wanted to go see Blake, Carter and Dawson, so we drove to Whitehouse for the day on the Saturday before his birthday. The boys jumped on the trampoline, played baseball, played Kinect on the X-box, ate hot dogs and just had fun all day long! It was so great to see all of them together again!  Annalisa joined in with them...almost like old times! She didn't appreciate it much when Dawson tried to flip her! LOL When they are all together the boys don't see her as a girl! She is just one of the guys!
Jacob's actual birthday was on a Monday and in accordance with tradition we let him pick where he wanted to eat dinner. There aren't a lot of choices in Huntsville, so it was Chili's. He wanted cheese fries and a bacon cheeseburger, but once we got there he decided the bacon ranch chicken quesedillas sounded better!  It was a great dinner with our family plus Nana, Papa and Nanny!
getting ready to open presents!

Jacob LOVES Transformers
Annalisa started softball and she has her 1st game this coming Saturday. She actually has a double header! The other day she asked me if softball was supposed to be fun. I said, "Yes, why?" She said, "Because my coach said it is serious business!"  I laughed and told her she can still have fun while doing her best!! I am so excited to be watching my daughter play softball!
Benjamin spent the last 4 days playing with Alex and they are getting to be such good buds! Benjamin learned how to say "hola" but it sounds more like "hallelujah"! It is so cute! He is always keeping us laughing, that's for sure! Cole told him the other day, "Benjamin, I am so glad God let us have you."  That made me tear up a little!  Here is a video of him playing with Annalisa's headband:
video
Cole has a lot of passion! He gets very irritated at things these days....12 year old hormones exist in boys too!  He got in the car after school the other day, and I could tell he was not happy, so I asked how his day was. "Fine" he responded still staring out the window.  I decided to just leave him alone...sometimes that is best! A few minutes later he said, "Some people make me so mad I just want to punch them in the face!"  WOW! I wasn't expecting that much passion! I said, "Well, Cole what happened?"  He said, "There is this kid at school who talks like a girl, but he is always making fun of other people. Oh! It just makes me so mad!"  Cole doesn't like for people to make fun of other people...ironically though he was making fun of this kid by saying he talks like a girl!  That's a typical 12 year old!  He didn't say much more after that and I figured he just needed to vent, but when we got home he started up again.  "And he made fun of you when you drove up to pick me up!" he said.  "How did he make fun of me?" I asked.  "He said, 'Oh, look! That's your mom? I bet she can't even see over the steering wheel!' Oh!! I just wanted to run back and punch him in the face!"  Well, I immediately started laughing! I have been hearing people ask me if I can see over the steering wheel since I started driving! I told Cole that I wasn't going to lose any sleep over that, but it didn't matter to him! He didn't want anyone making fun of his mom!!!  That made me feel special! I do want him to lighten up on wanting to punch people in the face so much, but I guess the plus side is that he doesn't actually punch them! Even if he has stopped telling me he loves me when he leaves for school in the morning, I know he does!
I am still making things for my Etsy store, but not having much luck selling anything.  Here are a few pics of my newest creations:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/68204145/custom-boutique-pillowcase-dress-minnie

http://www.etsy.com/listing/68354798/cow-hot-pink-black-pillowcase-dress-you

http://www.etsy.com/listing/68624444/boutique-girl-flower-sundress-with-sash

http://www.etsy.com/listing/68623830/bandana-cowgirl-blue-pillowcase-dress?ref=v1_other_1

http://www.etsy.com/listing/68355153/boutique-girl-zebra-and-hot-pink-halter
We are looking forward to Spring Break in a few weeks! Ben and I will celebrate 15 years of marriage then and maybe we will be able to take a trip to Six Flags!?!?!

January 10, 2011

Cole's Poetry

Some of you may remember a few years ago when I posted a few of Cole's poems he had written for school.  I was so proud of how such a young boy could write such poetic words.  Since then he really hasn't written anything and doesn't unless it is for an assignment at school!  I mean, he's 12!  He has better things to do with his time than write a poem! :-)  So, the other night he was supposed to write a poem about a color. He kept asking me and Ben what different colors were so he could jog his thinking process. We were telling him things like, "green is the color of jealousy, money, grass, boogers.....red is the color of passion, fire, heat, atomic fireballs.....black is the color of my true love's hair (he didn't get that reference to the old song).....purple is the color of royalty"  and so on. He didn't like any of our ideas!  He stayed up until 9 "working" on the poem and had a blank piece of paper when he went to bed. He woke up early to work on the poem and had a blank piece of paper when he left for school.  However, he had a full poem written by the time he was dropped off.  Here is what he wrote:
Orange is the color of a rising sun
Letting you know a new day has begun.
It is the color of a fire 
burning higher and higher
The color of summer turning to fall
where leaves are raked and the piles stand tall
It is the color of the grand Canyon
With its rough walls
And its long drop where you don't want to fall
Orange is the color of a setting sun
Letting you know a new day is to come.

Ok, I know I am biased, but I thought it was pretty brilliant for him to go full circle with the color of orange! Especially since he wrote it in the car on the way to school! 
(This post in no way endorses procrastination on the part of the student!)