Thursday, November 20, 2008

Steve & Barry's

I have never been to a Steve & Barry's until today. The one in Champaign, up by Sam's Club is closing down this weekend. I went to see if they had any good shelving they were getting rid of for a great price (for our garage), but instead I found some great deals on kids clothes.

Everything in the store is 4/$5
(or $2.98 each if you buy an amount that isn't a multiple of 4, but that would be silly)
(unfortunately, it doesn't include shelving)

I really had to restrain myself, but if want to stock up on baby shower gifts or need some clothes, it's a great buy! They have clothes for all ages and genders, but I mostly stuck to the baby stuff because my time was limited. No promises on the grown-up clothes. You might have to do some digging to find the sizes you want, but for the price, it's definitely worth it!

Pictured above are a few of the things I got: some baby boy gifts and matching spring/summer dresses for the girl cousins on my side of the family!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back in the Grocery Groove-- My Highlights for the Week

Here are my grocery highlights:

Meijer (through 11/22)

Green Giant Steamers $.89

Idahoan Mashed Potatoes $1
**$.40 off Idahoan Mashed Potatoes =$.60

Pillsbury Sweet or Crescent Rolls $1.25
**$.35 off Pillsbury Crescent Rolls =$.90
**$.35 off Pillsbury Sweet Rolls =$.90

Cool Whip Topping $.89

Philadelphia Cream Cheese $1.25
**Catalina Deal (prints a coupon for money off your next order): Buy 5 -- get $2, Buy 6 -- get $3, Buy 7 -- get $4... time to stock up and freeze cream cheese!

County Market (through 11/22)

Campbell's Cream Soups $.50

Imperial Margerine 1lb $.49

County Market Butter 1 lb $1.99

BirdsEye Steamfrech veggies $1

Jet Puffed Marshmallows of Marshmallow Creme $.99

County Market Apple Juice 64 oz $1.50

Schnucks (through 11/25)

Freshlike or Birds Eye Steamfresh Veggies $1
**$1.00 off 2 bags of Freshlike Veggies =$.50/bag

Pillsbury All-purpose Flour 5 lb $1.50

Pillsbury Cake Mix $.50

Monday, November 17, 2008

CVS Deals (through 11/22)

Duracell Batteries are the hot item this week, so if you need to stock up on batteries, check out this deal:

Spend $20 on Duracell batteries, get $15 in ECBs (use like cash on your next order).
AA and AAA 8 packs, C and D 4 packs, others $5.99
AA and AAA 16 packs, C and D 8 packs, others $9.99

You can use your $15 ECB on Thanksgiving weekend at CVS to get lots of things free (you'll get more ECBs back).

Skippy peanut butter 2/$3

Scrubbing Bubbles $2.50
- $2.00 off Scrubbing Bubbles =$.50

Windex $2.50
-$2.00 off Windex = $.50

Pledge Furniture Polish $2.50
-$2.00 off Pledge = $.50
(Let me know if these printables do or don't work for you... I printed them over a month ago and don't know if this url is still good.)

Also, if you haven't scored you free-after-ECB toothpaste, pick up a 2 tubes of Crest Pro-Health toothpaste (look for it in the monthly ad by the store entrance).

That's all that interested me. See if you find something great in the CVS ad!

Walgreens Deals (through 11/22)

Chex Mix $.99
- $1.00 off Chex Mix (print 2)= FREE

Skippy Peanut Butter 2/$3.00

I didn't find much else that I was interested in. Check out the ad and see what you find!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Coupon Clippers

While the best way to get coupons is for free, there are times when investing a little money in coupons will save you more in the long run. One way to do that is with The Coupon Clippers. They buy lots of Sunday papers (yes, the entire paper) and clip all the coupons, then charge a handling fee for their efforts (coupons themselves cannot be bought and sold). You pay anywhere from $.05 to $.30 for each coupon (from what I've seen), pay a $.50 administrative fee (covers credit card/PayPal fees), and pay for the stamp. Some coupons have a minimum order (must order 5 of this coupon), others have a limit (can only order 10 of this coupon). You also must have a $3 subtotal (before shipping and administrative costs) before you check out, meaning the least amount of money you can pay is $3.92 ($3 order, $.50 admin fee, $.42 shipping).

Be sure to factor everything in when you decide if ordering coupons is worth it. I have to already know what I'm going to use a coupon on before I am willing to make an order. This means it's either an item we are loyal to and will be buying anyway (say you only buy Huggies), an item that I know is on a good sale in the coming weeks (did you know that you can peek at Walgreens and CVS ads for the coming weeks?), or an item that I can almost guarantee will be on sale in the coming weeks. I especially watch for coupons I can use on items with a rebate (you get a reabate on the price before the coupon) or items with special deals (free after ECB at CVS, for example).

Saturday morning is when the new week's coupons are available to order, though you can view them the day before (under Tracker). Some of the coupons go pretty fast.

Here's an example of what I'm planning to order tomorrow:

$1.00 off Steamers @ $.12, limit 10
so 10 coupons for $1.20
**I can guarantee that Steamers will go on Sale for $1 before the coupon expires in January. That means you can get 10 bags of steamers for $1.20 (not including the admin fee and shipping)**

$.40 off Skippy peanut butter @ $.08, limit 10
so 10 coupons for $.80
**I am already planning on stocking up on PB when Skippy is 2/$3 next week at both CVS and Walgreens, so I know I will be able to use these coupons and save $3.20 ($4 - $.80)(not including the admin fee and shipping)**

I'll need to find another dollar's-worth of coupons to meet the minimum, but even with these two coupons it is worth it for me.

If you're planning on making an order this week, I would recommend coupons for Thanksgiving weekend at CVS (many things are free after ECBs, so coupons will make for a profit). Also, there is a coupon for $1.00 off Sure deodorant that will work great in conjuction with an EasySaver coupon at Walgreens the week of Nov 23 (=free deodorant plus $.50 overage). I already got these coupons for myself, my mom, and 2 sisters all at the same time.

I know this can be confusing, especially if you're just starting. Please comment or email me if you're having trouble. I am happy to help!

Thanksgiving Weekend Plans for CVS

There are lots of items that are FREE after ECB (Extra Care Bucks, printed at the bottom of your receipt to be used like cash on your next transaction). Of course CVS is hoping that you'll go out and buy a bunch of these in one transaction, then end up with a bunch of ECBs that you'll either forget about or come back and use on ridiculous regular prices. We're smarter than that, right?

I'll show you my plan that only requires $3 (and some change) out of pocket, will get lots of free things (toothpaste, shampoo, razors, lotion, tampons, chocolate, etc), and will finish you off with over $15 in ECBs (which I will show you how to wisely use on good sales in the future).

Before I begin, I will warn you that my plan includes several coupons. I don't get the paper, but I occasionally order coupons at The Coupon Clippers when I know that the money I save/earn will be lots more than I spend on the coupons. (I was going to explain about The Coupon Clippers here, but it was getting long, so I'll explain it in my next post.) In this case, the coupons minimize the number of transactions necessary to keep the out-of-pocket minimal and rack up the ECBs. I planned this scenario to do with my mom and sisters when I'm home for Thanksgiving. I ordered the coupons for all 4 of us and it came out to $2 of coupons per person. Not bad!

FREE after ECBs that I used in my scenario (see Ad Scan for more)
Colgate Total Advanced toothpaste $2.99 (earns $2.99 ECB) limit 2
Aussie shampoo, conditioner, styler $2.99 (earns $2.99 ECB) limit 2
Hershey’s King Size candy $1.00 (earns $1.00 ECB) limit 1
Johnson’s softlotion $5.69 (earns $5.69 ECB) limit 1
Gatorade G2 20 oz. $1.49 (earns $1.49 ECB) limit 3
Bic Soleil razor $5.99 (earns $5.99 ECB) limit 2
Garnier Nutritioniste towelettes 25 ct. $5.99 (earns $5.99 ECB) limit 1
CoverGirl Smoothers pressed powder $5.99 (earns $5.99 ECB) limit 1
L'oreal lip gloss $6.99 (earns $6.99 ECB) limit 1

Deal from Weekly ad
Playtex tampons 18 ct $3.99 (earns $3 ECB) limit 1$.99 after ECBs

I rounded things up a penny for typing and reading ease ($3.99 = $4)

Transaction #1
1 Soleil razor $6 - $3 coupon = $3
= $3 oop, earn $6 ECB

Transaction #2
1 Soleil razor $6 - $3 coupon = $3
1 Aussie shampoo $3 - $1 coupon = $2
1 Hershey candy bar $1
=$6 pay w/ ECB from T#1, earn $10 ECB

Transaction #3
1 Aussie shampoo $3 - $1 coupon = $2
1 Garnier towelettes $6 - $1 coupon = $5
2 Gatorade $3
=$10 pay w/ ECB from T#2, earn $12 ECB

Transaction #4
2 Colgate $3 = $6 (maybe $1.50 less with printable, buy something for $1 if using coupon, already used mine)
1 CoverGirl Powder $6 - $1 coupon = $5
1 Gatorade $1.49
=$12.50 pay w/ ECB from T#3 +change, earn $13.50 ECB

Transaction #5
1 Playtex tampons $4 - $1 coupon = $3
1 Johnson’s softlotion $5.69 -$1 coupon = $4.69
1 L'oreal lip gloss $7 - $1 coupon = $6
=$13.69 pay w/ ECB from T#4, earn $15.69 ECB

Make adjustments depending on the items you will use. If you're new to this, I'd be happy to help you organize them into transactions that will minimize the out-of-pocket. Just tell me what you want to get and what coupons (if any) you have. I think it's fun!

Free Snapfish PhotoBook-- Just Pay Shipping

Snapfish is offering a free 20-page 8.5 x 11 inch photo book with a custom cover for a very short time. You still have to pay shipping (which I believe is $6.99), but I would say it's still a fabulous deal and would make a great Christmas gift.

I know it's kind of late notice (I've been behind on blogging this week), but if you sign up for your coupon by tonight at midnight and then have your photo book all put together and ordered by Sunday night, you can still take advantage of this offer. Can you guess what I'm working on today?

UPDATE: You will now have until Saturday Nov 22nd to finish your book (so many people responded to the offer that the site is being really slow now). If you haven't signed up for your coupon you can still do so tonight!

$40 in Change = $50 in Gift Cards

Coinstar has a promotion through December 7th:

Convert $40 in change into a gift card or eCertificate and you can send away for a free $10 gift card or eCertificate to the same location.

Check out Coinstar to find the locations around you and what gift cards are available at each location. Once you have entered your zip code, click on the yellow gift icon under each location to find out what gift cards are available. If there is one where you'll be spending $40 anyway, then go check all the dresser tops, couch cushions, and purses for spare change and make $10 on this offer. A form will print out at the bottom of your receipt for you to fill out and send in to receive your gift card. Check here for details on the offer. Oh, and there are no fees when you opt to have your change converted to a gift card or eCertificate!
Thanks Liz!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Walgreens Deals (through 11/15)

Kellogg’s Cereal (Smart Start, Mini Wheats, Raisin Bran) 4/$10
earns $2 RR (to use on next transaction) which makes it like 4/$8
Use $1 off coupons is you still have them from a while back. I saw some Mini Wheats coupons on my sidebar just a little bit ago. I have several for $1 off Smart Start (which usually doesn't go on sale for $2), so I'll be using those.
=4 for $4 after coupons and RR

Royal pudding 4/$1 (with in-ad coupon)

Betty Crocker frosting $.99 (with in-ad coupon)
-$.55 off Betty Crocker frosting
=$.44 after coupon

Carefree Pantyliners $.99 (with in-ad coupon)
-$.50 off any Carefree product
=$.49 after coupons

Kotex (pads, tampons, liners) 2/$6
earns $1 RR (to use on your next transaction) which makes it like 2/$5
-$1 off Kotex pads (2), $.75 off Kotex tampons, liners (2)
= 2/$3 after coupons and RR

There are several other good deals on baking items. Check out the Walgreens ad and see if there's anything else you need.

REMEMBER: You can't have more coupons than items, so just make sure to count before you checkout. If you need more items, try the pudding (it's $.25 each and one in-ad coupon works for up to 8)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

CVS Deals (through 11/15)

St Ives Body Wash $3.99 (earn $ 3ECB) limit 5 (THROUGH MONDAY)
- $2.00 off St. Ives (coupons is for St.Ives Elements, but it works)
=FREE + $1 overage after coupon and ECB

Fructis shampoo, conditioner, or styler $2.99 ($2 ECB) limit 1
=$.99 after ECB

Palmolive$1.49 ($1 ECB) limit 5
=$.49 after ECB

Listerine Agent Cool Blue Tinting Rinse $3.99 (get $3 ECB) limit 5
-$1.00 off Listerine coupon
=FREE after ECB and coupon

Glaceau Smart Water 1 liter $1.59 ($1.59 ECB) limit 1
= FREE after ECB

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Some Current Coupons... and How to Use Them!

Here are some great coupons to help build your stash! I also included some sales (or regular prices) where you could use the coupon to get a great deal! Whether you're going to use them this week or not, I recommend printing them now while they're available and convenient. Try right clicking on each of the links, then choosing for it to open in a new tab or window so you can easily find your way back to this list.

$2.00 off any Goody Ouchless product (PDF, so you can print multiples)
Target and Walmart have many different packs or hair bands for $2.12
Cost after coupon= $.12

$1.00 off Green Giant Steamers (also on sidebar and here, print twice)
Walmart $1.08, County Market $1.00, Schnucks $1.00
Cost after coupon= FREE or $.08

$2.00 off Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches
Walmart $2.82, Meijer $2.88, or hold on to it for when they'll be free
Cost after coupon= $.82-$.88

$1.00 off Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour 5 lbs
Walmart $2.76, Schnucks $1.69
Cost after coupon=$.69-$1.76

$1.00 off 2 Green Giant Boxed veggies
Schnucks $1.00
Cost after coupon= $1.00 for 2

$1.00 off 2 BirdsEye Freshlike Vegetables (also on sidebar, print twice)
Meijer $1.00
Cost after coupon=$1.00 for 2

$.40 off Betty Crocker Potatoes (also on sidebar, print twice)
Walmart $.98, Schnucks $1.00, Meijer $1.00
Cost after coupon=$.60

Also, grab the printable coupons that I used at Walmart last week , that I recommended for groceries this week, and that I listed for this cereal sale.

Cereal at Schnucks (through 11/11)

General Mills cereal (Cookie Crisp, Honey Nut Cheerios, Reese's Puffs, Golden Grahams, Cinnamon Toast Crunch) is 5 for $10 this week. You get a printout for $5 off your next order when you buy 10 boxes. Here are the coupons to use to get the best deal:

$1.00 off Honey Nut Cheerios (print 2)
$.75 off Cookie Crisp (also on sidebar, print 2)
$.55 off Reese's Puffs (also on sidebar, print 2)
$.55 off Honey Nut Cheerios (also on sidebar, print 2)
$.55 off Cinnamon Toast Crunch (also on sidebar, print 2)
$1.00 off 2 General Mills Cereal

There are more coupons than you need to do the "buy 10" deal. If you use two of each of the first five coupons listed above you will save $6.80.

10 boxes @ $2.00 each = $20.00
less $6.80 = $13.20 oop, get a printout for $5.00 off your next order
like paying $8.80 for 10 boxes or $.88 each

Even if you don't have a Schnucks, print these coupons! There will be other opportunities to get great deals with them!

Free 8x10 at Walgreens (through 11/8)

Go to Walgreens's Photo Center, upload a picture, order an 8x10, and use the coupon code: FREEPIC in the checkout to get it free (you might have to pay taxes). This would make a great Christmas gift for the grandparents!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More Tips on Getting Coupons

Besides printable coupons, there are lots of other ways to find coupons without buying the paper.


Look down the aisles of your stores for the little red blinking coupon machines. Grab a few. Save them for a good deal. They are manufacturer coupons, so they can be used at any store.

Front of the Store
I mentioned a while back that I found a stack of coupons by the ads at Meijer for completely free butter spread. You'll find all sorts of coupon books if you keep your eyes peeled.

Sample Day
If your store has a sample day (Saturday for most stores), chances are they are passing out coupons with the featured items. I grabbed some last week at Meijer.

Newspaper Inserts
Even if you don't receive the newspaper, you can probably get your hands on one. Talk to your neighbors and friends who get the newspaper. Ask if they use the coupon inserts. If they don't, then ask if you can have it. I would guess that most people who take the paper are not avid couponers and would have no problem giving it up.

In or On Packages
Last year there was an sale on Quaker granola bars for $1 a box. Printed on the inside the box, there was a coupon for $1 off your next box. You better believe that I bought a bunch, brought them home, cut up the boxes, then went back for more (and more, and more) for free.

Look Around
The last 2 times I was in Walgreens, I found some stray coupons that someone left in a cart. Seriously. It was like the coupon fairy had sprinkled my cart.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Grocery Deals (through Nov 8th)

County Market
Steamers $1 (10/$10, but you don’t have to get 10 to get the price)
-$1.00 off Green Giant Steamers (also on sidebar)=FREE

Progresso $1
-$1.10 off 1 Progresso Soup = FREE
also -$1.00 off 3 Progresso Soup = 3/$2.00

Hamburger Helper $.77
-$.80 off 3 Hamburger Helper (on sidebar too) = $1.51 for 3 boxes
Thanks Angela!

Quaker Cereal 2/$4.00

Check out the County Market ad to see if there's anything else!

Jello (if you still have coupons for $1.50 off 2 small boxes-- not available this week)
Last week buying 3 in one transaction was pringing a $2 Catalina deom Kraft (can use on anything though). Worth a try!

Taco Shells/ Salsa (Mealbox coupon for $1.50 is back!)
Shells (12 or 18 count) = FREE with $.20 overage
Salsa = $.35 still a great deal

Kellogg’s cereal 5/$10
- $1.00 off Kellogg's coupon= $1 per box
Note: this is a hot coupon, so print now! If it doesn't work, try it in the morning. I heard that the print limint (total, not individual) is reset daily. Also check in the morning if there aren't any $1 Kellogg's coupons now.

Betty Crocker Mashed or Specialty potatoes $1.00
-$.40 off Betty Crocker Potatoes (on sidebar too) =$.60

Grapes $.88/lb

Check out the Meijer ad to see what I missed.

Please share any other great grocery deals you find this week!

Did You Vote?

Go get a free scoop of ice cream at Ben & Jerry's!

Go grab a free doughnut at Krispy Kreme!

Or, if you live in Champaign where there isn't a Ben & Jerry's or a Krispy Kreme...
Go to Smoothie King
wearing your "I voted" sticker and get a free smoothie!
Round Barn (behind Arby's on Springfield)
Campustown (on Green St. next to Murphy's) Thanks Liz!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Drugstore Deals (through Nov 8)

I didn't find too many drugstore deals that I was excited about this week. Let me know if you find anything great.

Crest Pro-Health toothpaste 4.2 oz $3.49 (earns $3.49 in ECB)
-$1.00 off Crest Pro-Health toothpaste
= $2.49 oop, earns $3.49 in ECB
[This week's ad says limit 1, but monthly ad says it is good all month limit 2. I would say 2 is safe. If your ECBs don't print, you can show them the monthly ad where is says limit 2.]

See this week's CVS ad here.

Almay Mascara is FREE after November's Easy Saver Rebate.
This week Almay Makeup is B1G1 (buy one, get one free) so, if you buy your Almay mascara this week (for $6.99) you'll get one free! You will get your $6.99 back with your November Easy Saver Rebate (plus 10% if you choose a giftcard rather than a check). So you'll get 2 tubes of mascara for FREE!

See this week's Walgreens ad here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Printables! Grab them now!

The coupons have been updated. You can scroll through my sidebar or go to You can print 2 of each coupon. Grab them now and we'll match them up with good deals in the weeks to come! Some of my favorites are:

$1.00 off Steamers (these go on sale all the time for $1, so they'll be free)

$.75 off Betty Crocker Cookie Mix Pouches (these go on sale for $1, so they'll be $.25)

$.40 off Supreme Brownie Mix (Mmmm... love brownies)

$.40 off Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes (on sale for $1 at Meijer through 11/08, lots of yummy flavors, great for when you're in a hurry)

$.75 off Bisquick

$.60 on 3 Yoplait (also $.50 off 6)

Other great sources for printable coupons:

Betty Crocker

Coupons Inc (list of Bricks)

If you're new to couponing, check out my post on printable coupons and coupons in general.

Snail Mail: Samples and Coupons

Samples are a great way to get free stuff. They usually come with coupons, too! And hey, it's always fun to get mail, right!? Here are a few samples I've found:

Head and Shoulders

Kotex plus printable coupons on the same site

Valesine Intensive Care Lotion

Nature's Bounty Tote

Bear Naked Granola


Sign up to receive coupons by mail:

Febreze, Dawn, Swiffer, Mr. Clean, etc coupon book with $27 of coupons

Ivory Soap $2 coupon by mail