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K-Mart this Week & Another Use for Snuggle

July 4th, 2010 at 04:59 pm

K-Mart this week is doubling the first 5 coupons of up to $2. So, for me that means, free Visine for the troops ($2.00+1.99=3.99,no tax). You have to use your Rewards card and can only double 5 coupons per day. But, I have enough coupons for 7 days X 5 coupons = 35 free Visine. The problem is they don't stock 35 Visine. Even using 2 stores, I won't get 35.

RiteAid is my favorite drugstore. I am about 300 points away from getting 20% off storewide in Riteaid. I now get 10% and I qualified for a free health screening. Its blood testing, I think, thru Quest Diagnostics. And, lucky me, they just opened a branch 8 miles from my house. I wasn't going to travel 30 minutes out of my way. The local Health Fair charges $35. Its free thru my health care, but only when justified.

I had a nasty reaction to the prescribed medicine from the Allergist. Don't laugh, but it gave me puffy eyelids and a black eye. Also, I slept 12-15hrs a day. I am definitely back on Claratin.

A strange, but true, idea. If you suffer during these hot days from wet feet (soaking your shoes with sweat) just put snuggle fabric sheets in your shoes to absorb the moisture. I guess, half a sheet would be enough. They taught my son this during desert training. Who would have thought!@#? He walked by my stock of snuggle, stopped and said send these to the grunts (infantry Marines). If you try it, let me know how it works for you.

Recipes - Laundry Softner/DW Rinse

July 1st, 2010 at 08:33 pm

Dishwasher Rinse to prevent mineral deposits -

Fill with vinegar.

Laundry Softner -
3c vinegar
2c Hair conditioner
6c water

Put the ingredients in your softner jug. Shake to mix. If you like dryer sheets, just soak an old t-shirt (torn to wash cloth sizes) in the mix and then add to dryer with clothes. Credit for recipe to: 4hatsandfrugal.com

Putting this here for others and so I won't forget where it is. I usually just add vinegar on its own to rinse cycle of the washer. I could add a drop or two of hair conditioner to see the results.

Over Reaction & Conversion to Cash

June 28th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Okay, so the allergist visit wasn't so bad. They use something now that feels like a comb pressing on you. I reacted to just about everything. No big surprise there. The Dr. gave me 2 prescriptions and sent me on my way. He did say that allergies can get worse when a woman is peri-menopausal.

I have to use CVS/Caremark if I want to get the best price on medicines. I get a 3mo. supply for $15. So, I spent $30 for the 2 prescriptions.

I used my HFS card. It increases my savings by letting my use pretax dollars to buy approved items. I just give them the credit card I get at the beginning of the year, until all the money is spent. Thats the tricky part, or at least it was in the past. Now I can sign into my account and know exactly how much I have left. I only put in the minimum of $125 this year. I guess I will up that amount for next year. I just have to save my receipts.

While at CVS, I got a raincheck for the Schick razor deal. Spend $20 get a 10ECBs. Hopefully, they will get more in stock soon. I do like the flexibility to do the deal at anytime that a raincheck give. I have until the end of July when my $5 off coupons expire.

I did the JF deal 2x today. I spent one of my 10+ups to get SCRs and products. That turns my Ups into a rebate check. Things didn't go quite as I planned, so I will only get $2.50 after oop expenses instead of $6.50. I did get the tube of athlete foot cream I wanted for the Troops. You win some, you lose some.

Tomorrow, I plan to purchase $25 of Aveeno products. I will use one of my 10+ups to pay for it, plus MQ and RA coupons. In return I will get a $10 gift card from Riteaid. This will makes purchases more flexible. And, there is a $10 Aveeno Mail In Rebate. (rebate form is at Aveeno.com) Buy $25 in one purchase and get a $10 rebate check. Like the SCR it will help me turn my +up into cash. I should have only tax + maybe $1 oop. Plus I get 3 good products to use or gift. A good opportunity all around.

Good thing tomorrow is Tuesday. I've accummulated alot of items for the Food Pantry. RiteAid and CVS have Stayfree BOGO this week. I have lots of $2MQ and BOGO to make it free and with no tax on those products, I do mean free.

Had to Do the Deal

June 27th, 2010 at 06:46 pm

The air quality in Southern Maryland is horrible. The temps have been in the mid 90's, the humidity you can cut with a knife, and without Claritin and Benedryl I just can't breathe well.

How do I know this when I'm supposed to be staying inside? Well, I just had to do the Crest Whitestrips and John Frieda deal at Riteaid. It was a total success. And, Foodlion is next door, almost, so I had to stop and get free pasta and cheese.

I went into RiteAid with 21+up to spend and walked out with 28+ups to spend, plus the Crest/JF/Carefree Ultra. Oop was tax of $1.81. I have enough coupons to do the deal for JF 3 more times. After tax it is a $7 MM. I'll go again after I visit the torture chamber, oh, I mean the allergist who will be sticking me with thousands of needles. (I don't mind the Dentist, but the allergist#%&*@!!) I plan to take Claratin & Benedryl before I leave the office.

The shampoo/conditioner will go overseas, the Crest Whitestrips to my son and the Carefree to the Food Pantry or overseas.

The consequence of going out is my feet swelled even worse than they already were. So the skin separated between my little toe and my foot on the bottom. I hate that. However, tomorrow at this time I will be well on my way to healing because the swelling will be down, allowing the skin to heal. My lungs aren't to happy either. Coughing to breathe always leads to bronchitis for me. I don't want to spend my summer vacation sick. See what greed will do to you!

The end of the June SCRs at Riteaid has passed so I requested my rebate. I will be getting almost $53.

My DS comes home for leave from June 30 until July 12. He will be shipping out for Afghanistan sometime between the July 14 and 18. So now we are back to the original time. Now that its getting close, I don't know how other families do it. I honestly want to cry. I will in private. My son can only handle me getting teary eyed.

Laughing at Life Part 3

June 27th, 2010 at 09:04 am

The plane landed in Memphis, TN, on a Delta airstrip. The older woman was taken to the hospital and as of a week after this happened she was alive. The Memphis airport was closed. Lucky them the new law was in effect. So the airport opened up a lounge for them and they were restricted to that area that included bathrooms. Thank goodness.

You might ask, why did they open a lounge? Why didn't they just turn the plane around and fly away? That would be to easy. First, they took an hour to fill out the paperwork explaining why they had an emergency landing. The next 2 hours were taken up with explaining why they landed on a Delta airstrip when they were too heavy for that airstrip. Duh?! Could it have anything to do with that was were they were told to land. The extra weight was due to fuel coming from California. So, due to government bureacracy they stayed in Memphis for 3 hrs.

Finally, they took off and landed at their connecting airport, Atlanta, GA, around 2am. For some reason, they missed their connecting flight to Washington, D.C. The previous 2 days had seen alot of storms that delayed and cancelled flights in Atlanta. They were informed that the earliest they could be put on another plane to DC was at 2pm. Having had enough, Stephanie's son got a rental car and drove them to DC. The trip took 10hrs by car. Normally it takes 11hrs. Oh, and they took a fast food/ bathroom stop.

In order to get your money back from AirTran you have to cancel at least 45mins before the flight. Stephanie called 30mins before the flight to cancel their tickets. She talked to an AirTran Customer Service rep and explained who she was, what she had done for the woman on the plane and their choice to drive. The CS rep asked her to hold for a moment and when she came back on the line was extremely pleasant and thankful. She thanked Stephanie profusely and not only refunded all 4 tickets fully ($189), paid for the rental car, had their luggage delivered at no charge to their homes, but gave everyone of them a free, no blackout, round trip ticket, good for 1yr to anywhere AirTran flies. Now that is what I call customer service.

By comparison, no one from SouthWest has called, texted, emailed or otherwise contacted my niece to see how her thumb is doing. Her thumb was sore and a problem for her during her whole vacation and the week after. When a guest is injured in your home you always contact them to see how they are. Its just good manners (and in the case of SouthWest good CS).

Looks like AirTran will be their airline of choice from now on. Considering how often Stephanie travels and my Niece travels, SouthWest has made a costly decision.

My Niece graduates from college this December with her Bachelors. My DSis & DNiece might use their tickets to fly to the Carribean the day after Christmas to celebrate. DSis is a CPA and January to April is her busy season.

So, alls well that ends well!

So Many Changes

June 25th, 2010 at 10:57 am

As my parents started downsizing they offered to me a set of antique furniture that has been in the family for over 160yrs. I love the furniture. But the bed is a double and just wouldn't work when I was married. So they put it in their spare bedroom. My mom's health is such that she sleeps in a hospital bed and dad has been sleeping in the spare room. Dad decided he wants to decorate the room to his tastes and so I just got the furniture yesterday minus the mattress. In the meantime, my kingsize went to the county dump. So now...

I have to buy a full size mattress and box springs. New would be more money. Used would be free or low cost but I've watch too much tv and the CSI black light showing stains keeps going through my mind and the bed bug thing just as bad. Sometimes ignorance is bliss! It will probably be new.

June 28, I have an appointment for torture. Yes, I am going to the allergist to be stuck with needles. I already know I have allergies. Heck, I've got the epi-pen to prove it. But, going without allergy medicine for 5 days before testing at this time of year is unpleasant. I can't go out during the day or my hands, feets, and throat swell up (makes it a little hard to breathe). Even inside my sinues and eyes are leaking. I might try to go out tonight, briefly, as nights are better. I am allowed the inhaler and if I get into real trouble I was advised to go to the ER, no epi-pen, uhmm, what do they think the ER is going to give me? Generous advice. I'm not lol.

My Son is through with training in California and there is no transport to bring them home. So although his leave is supposed to start June 29 they have no way home until June 30 or later. Lovely! I know I want to vacation in Death Valley, CA in summer with no a/c, amenities or swimming pool (NOT). They haven't had showers for 5 days. If I was the enemy I'd smell them at 300 yards. Young males especially are pungent in the heat when they go even a few hours without a shower, I can't imagine 5 days. Some afternoons the 8th grade hallway (in my middle school) stinks like something died after the boys have PE. Yuck! I consider it a blessing I don't work in that hallway in hot weather especially.

At least, he doesn't have plane tickets like some others do for June 29 leaving out of NC.

On a lighter note the library came through and I got Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich!

I'm also doing well with no sodas. Thats a nice cost savings.

Wednesday -

$1.97 5 pampers wipes (Afghanistan)
$1.17 10 protein bars (Afghanistan)
$3.00 7 Nivea for Men body wash
$9.00 1 summer shirt for me
= $51.55
- 9.85 pampers MQ adjusted to 1.97ea
- 10.00 Met-x $2/2 5 coupons
- 21.00 nivea for men MQ 7 x $3 (Foodbank/Echo)
= $10.70
+ 2.40 tax
= $13.10

I really like the shirt. Seventeen cents for a protein bar is great, not tax. Twelve cents for pampers is good, had to pay tax. Twenty-one cents for each body wash, tax.

Learning About Facebook

June 22nd, 2010 at 08:14 pm

So, I'm not the biggest techie in the world. Pretty much todays 8 yr old does better than I do (ok maybe a 5yr old but I'm getting better. lol). My wonderful niece is a Communications Major in College and graduates this December. Yes, this is the one who got her thumb stuck in Learning to Laugh. I need to finish that story in part 3. Back to Facebook. My DN is very good at Facebook, Twitter, etc (communications).

I've asked her to help me set up a Facebook page to promote AnySoldier.com and AnyMarine.com in my county. When 9/11 happened people sent letters and packages to the troops. Now with the conflict dragging on 9 years and financial troubles here at home, people have forgotten their initial support. Even if people are struggling financially, I believe they can afford a 44 cent stamp and send support in a letter.

People struggle with what to write. I understand that, but it can be as simple as who you are, what you will be doing this summer, and a simple thank you - you are not forgotten while serving in a foreign land.

Its hard for me to imagine them not having the basics like socks, so they can do their jobs. Or, need gatorade/electrolyte drink mixes to add to their water so they can stay hydrated in 100+ degree days daily with 60lbs on their backs and no way to get it. We take for granted a store to walk to or just get into our cars and drive to. For them, there is no store.

I know some folks don't support what we are doing abroad and I respect that. Being allowed to have differences of opinion is what makes this country great. The military goes where "We the people" send them. So, I believe they should recieve our support while decisions are made here in the US regarding their movements.

So, my DNiece is setting up the Facebook page for me with links back to AnySoldier.com and AnyMarine.com.
She had several ideas. One is to include local service personnel on the page with name and pictures. It makes it so personal.

My DNephew is an Eagle Scout with a Denali Award (which is an additional honor) and is going to mention at the next meeting to the area leader that perhaps the scouts could write letters this summer. I would include them in my packages. Or, they can send the letters if they want. Or, any combination of the two ways. I just hope they say yes.

My sister called me earlier today and said she would pay the $12.50 postage for me to send another box each week. My heart is overflowing. I love my family and their support.

I'm really excited about all these possibilities.

Oh, and I got a $100 gift card in the mail from a co-worker. "Thanks for all your help this year, use this to make your summer even better." It was so totally unexpected.

I feel so Blessed.

Busy Father's Day

June 20th, 2010 at 07:13 pm

Spent the morning, 8am to 11am shopping, etc.

I started off at Riteaid. I have about $60 worth of $3 coupons off Motrin PM. So $3 - $3MQ = $0. No tax on Motrin in Maryland. The SM decided that Riteaid doesn't allow a $0 total. Ugh! I hate SM that make it up as they go along. I'll call CS at Riteaid tomorrow.

Then it was on to Foodlion to get the freebees.
1/2 dozen eggs
1lb pasta
8oz cheddar cheese
2 can of manwich
= .59

Next of to Project Echo to drop off this weeks donation.

Next the Post Office to check the recycle bin.
2 ESPN Magazines
1 Sports Ill. Mag
Lots of Red Plum Inserts

Then I went home and dropped 1/2 dozen eggs on the kitchen floor. What a mess!!! Good thing cheese doesn't break.

Went to Mom & Dads for Fathers Day. It was great. The food was delicious. The company fantastic. I loved the card I got my dad. We have a tradition of passing cards around the table for all to read. It makes for a lot of laughter and smiles. If you truly don't want your card read, then don't bring it to the table, give it in private.

My only disappointment is my regular source of coupons didn't come thru for me this week and my back up forgot. Oh well, you take the good and the bad and make the best of it.

Blew My Budget

June 19th, 2010 at 02:30 pm

It is so easy to blow money at yardsales. I found one movie($1) and 31 (.25ea) beanie babies for Afghanistan. Also, 2 board books for my nieces. All told I spent $9.50.

I'm in my second day of no sodas so maybe it will balance out. How's that for rationalizing?

Today I plan to go through my coupon inserts to take out the expireds to mail overseas, recycle the left over paper and put the good ones in my, new to me, filing cabinet. Since I want to start the hybrid system I guess I will cut out 2-3 sets of each insert.

I was telling my SIL that I forgot to take a 3 ring binder from school that was headed to the dump. We laugh at school talking about locker diving (vs. dumpster diving) for school supplies. You would be suprised at the stuff the students throw out. Brand new unopened school supplies are trashed by them. We are a green school so we recycle, reuse, reduce. Classrooms have recyle your school supplies bins during locker cleanout. Amazing! Anyway, my SIL is clutter cleaning and said here, have this 3 ring binder and dividers. Yippee! Now I just need to get the baseball card holders to keep the coupons separated.

10 more days until my son returns from California.

Eggs, Cheese and Pasta 9 cents

June 18th, 2010 at 03:39 pm

Once a day until the 22nd I can get 6 eggs, 8oz chunk cheese and store brand pasta for .09. Foodlion, a grocery store in my area has store coupons for these items, making them almost free. After the 22nd, the eggs won't be free anymore. I will still be able to get the cheese and pasta for .09 until the 29th. I've done it twice so far, getting Colby/Jack & Swiss cheese and Garden Rotini and Fettuccine pasta. The eggs are just, well, eggs no variety there. I probably won't go again until Sunday when I go to Riteaid.

I've been doing the Drugstore game for awhile now. I am amazed at the opportunities for the Grocery store game. Combining the two has been incredible for me. And, I don't take advantage of alot of the deals out there. The more I give away the more seems to come my way expanding what and to whom I give.

Tomorrow, I plan to go to my first yard sale of the season. A little late since the season starts around here the first weekend of May, but better late than never. I'll be looking for dvd's for $1 to send to Afghanistan. DVD's sent to Afghan don't return, so it is a disposable purchase. Maybe clothes for my great-nieces.

Using FreeBiz and Slickdeals.net I've started subscribing to magazines that Marines will enjoy. The marketers who tract purchases will wonder about me. Flying(free), Maxim(free), Popular Mechanics($6)Men's Health($3), Glamour($3.50), Marie Claire($3) are ordered and I will be looking for ESPN, fishing/hunting, cars/motorcycle and a cheat sheet magazine subscriptions in the coming weeks. Each subscription is for 1yr. I might get a boating mag from Freebiz, we'll see. I wish I could afford People but it is out of my budget. I can also send the sports section of the Washington Post.

Unexpected Benefits to Helping Someone Out

June 17th, 2010 at 01:49 pm

I went with my coworker to Safeway to get items for sale for the Graduation Party. We got 8 cases of Deer Park water, 12 - 12pks of Coke Products, 2 lg bags of Tostitos, 2 lg bags of pretzels, and a couple of other small items. Her total, before the Safeway card was over $130. Her look was resigned, it was what she expected to pay. I gave her my Safeway card and she used the coupons to take her total down to $62. She was thrilled. In facted, she wanted to celebrate by going to Chick-fil-a for dinner. Save it, spend it is her motto.

After we went our separate ways, I stopped at Safeway to get gasoline as that was the cheapest in my area that day. I put in my Safeway card for the 3cent discount and it came up 10 cents off. Wow! How did that happen? I usually spend a few pennies to $1.25 each time I go. I finally figured it out. By letting her use my Safeway card, the order being over $50, gave me a 10cent discount. An unexpected benefit. $2.47 for gas around here is cheap. Yes, sirree, filler' up!

Simple Pleasures

June 16th, 2010 at 02:17 pm

Some things are just free to enjoy.

Last night I got home after dark and saw lightning bugs flying around I remembered the simple pleasure of lightning bugs.

As a child my mother and grandmother taught us how to catch them without damaging them and then we put them into a jar for about and 1/2 an hour. Using our imaginations we pretended we had made our own light (lamp). Then we would count them so see which of us had caught the most. Anyone damaging lightning bugs had to take a time out watching the others have fun for the rest of the evening. But, to be honest, I don't remember anyone hurting them. Then, altogether we would release them and watch a mass exodus of lightning bugs.

My brother, sister and I did the same with our children. The niece and nephews loved it just as we did. Alot of laughter and love. And, learning to love and respect nature.

My son loved turtles, any kind of turtle. On our way to daycare, we would go by, what we would call, turtle crossing. Almost every morning 1-3 box turtles were crossing the street. And, every morning I had to put my emergency flashers on and get out of the car, pick up the turtle and put it in the grass on the side of the road it wanted to be on. Today on my way home from work, I came across a box turtle trying to cross the road. Cars are trying to avoid it. I turned my car around and went back to put the turtle on the side of the road it wanted to be on. I was reminded of the joy my son and I got every morning helping the turtles.

Last but not least is watching cows wading around in their pond. I swear they look like they are smiling as they wade around. Are they really smiling? Who knows? Who cares? Maybe, its just the reflection of my smile.

Just simple pleasures and memories. Have them, make them, they are priceless!

Food Pantry & Priority Mail

June 15th, 2010 at 03:16 pm

I sent the Priority Mail box to Afghanistan. The Post Mistress asked my if I want the box back if it was rejected. I didn't want to pay priority mail fees to get it back. She informed me that my 12.50 fee to send it covered the return trip also. I didn't know that so I asked that it be returned if rejected. Also, using the APO/FPO Priority Mail box saved me over $4. So, if you send a package request the APO/FPO box. And, it can weight anything, it just a straight fee, whether 1 lb or 20 lbs.

Food Pantry Donation:

24 1 Liter bottles of Water
48 ct of Maxi Pads for Women
30 ct size 5 diapers
52 ct size 4 diapers
40 ct size 6 diapers
8 Zatarain's Rice
2 French's Honey Mustard Sauce
6 Kraft Mac & Cheese
2 boxes Betty Crocker Sweet Potatoes
1 box Kelloggs Corn Flakes
4 pkg of 48 rolaids
4 single use Tide detergent
2 Sure Deodorant

I'm really excited. My brother dropped off a 5 drawer filing cabinet. Now I can file my coupon inserts.

I'm off to the food pantry drop.

Now Vs Later

June 14th, 2010 at 07:56 pm

Originally I was putting together going away packages for my son's platoon. There are 38 packages with 9 items in each package. Since word has come down that I should wait and send them what they need as they need it, I've been going back and forth about what to do.

I've decided to adopt a group of Marines already in Afghanistan that will be returning in October. Why, because they are in need NOW. I went to AnySoldier.com and found a group. The box is packed with items they requested. Tomorrow it will be sent priority mail in an APO/FPO box and they should have their items this time next week or a day or so after that.

Some folks just want letters, to stay connected and motivated, so feel free to log on even if your funds are tight.

Since this group is returning in October there won't be alot of overlap and I can help someone now instead of maybe later. The future is nebulous, right now I can help these people. And, at the rate I acquire items, it won't be a problem.

$4ea x 2 bottle of Gillete BW = $8 - $4/2MQ - 4eb=
0 + tax = .48 (I paid cash forgetting my GC, darn)
Got back 8eb.

Nivea Deal $5.99 +.50(envelopes)=$6.49 - 3MQ - .50RR = $3.48 (with tax) Got back 6RR.

Safeway - 5 deals avg. .25 oop with a $2 ONYO earned each time.

Giant Food - 4 toothbrushes, 2 pkg wacky mac, 2 bottle honey mustard, 1 ban deodorant = .93 after MQ and GF tripler. I also got a $4 ONYO cat for the toothbrushes. Happy dance time!

It was an incredible shopping day!

OOP I spent $6.14 (6.54 incl .50RR), a little over my $5 a day.

I have $14 in cats and 4 more ebs. I'm ahead over $11. Plus, lots of items.

Project Echo Donation

June 13th, 2010 at 07:15 am

2 boxes of cereal (Raisin Bran & Corn Flakes)
4 lbs of sugar
1 lb of salt
2 rolls CVS paper towels
8 rolls of toilet paper(4pk Simplify,4pk Angel Soft)
1 box of 500 Johnson's cotton swabs
1 Johnson's bath buddy (bar soap)
1 Benedryl itch stick
1 48ct ladies monthly pads
2 Reach toothbrushes
2 Visine eye drops
4 single use Tide
2 Schick razors
4 deodorant (2 Sure, 2 Gillette)
8 individual use Benedryl tabs
3 indiviudal use Tylenol PM
3 bars of soap (1 Dove & 2 Compare to Dove RiteAid)
1 Reach Dental Floss
1 pkg 72ct Pamper Wipes

As I look at the list, I notice most things are name brand. Thats because, coupons/sales/discounts/etc make them free or for pennies. Generic brands are rarely free of for pennies.

I debated whether to list what I donate. I don't tend to put numbers to it. This sounds funny, I suppose on a SavingAdvice website. What I do is keep my daily spending for self and others to $5 a day. If one day is $6 and the next $4 it averages. I keep receipts and an average in my head. For RiteAid, I will go over if the rebate covers the overage. It is a system that works for me, and has proven itself over time. I never recommend it to others, especially those starting out.

I don't pay tax on food and medical but 6% adds up on the other stuff. The Proglide razor might be free after coupon but tax is still $.54 tax or .27 a razor. Is it worth it? Hmmm. Numbers, Numbers. Last night at CVS my .82 oop broke down to .56 tax.

That does not include gas, insurance, rent, eating out, and my very big vice sodas. I buy sodas at 2.50-2.75 a twelve pack or $1 a 2 ltr bottle or less. I've eaten out 3 times in June that I paid for. Twice it has been a disappointment. Once was for work.

I anticipate postage will be big in my budget very soon as I send a priority package a week to Afghanistan. That will cost $11-15 a week or $44-60 a month.

I Tried To Do The Right Thing

June 12th, 2010 at 07:22 pm

I tried to do the right thing. CVS in my area turns its deals on a 6pm. Giant had a good deal, so off I went.

The $4 EB did not print out. I decided to return the order. Here is where it gets confusing. I used $4MQ , 2EB and .36 on my CC to pay for my order. I asked if she would just return my MQ, EB and credit my CC for .36. She happily gave me back my MQ and EB. Then she insisted that to return the Gillette BW she had to give me a $6 CVS GC. I offered the MQ and EB back in exchange for the GC and she said that was not possible and I had to take a $6 GC. The math is definitely off but she insisted for 10 minutes it was the only way the register would come out correct. Okay, fine. Smile

Giant Food

3.99ea 2 Sorrento Stringster Cheese
1.19ea 2 Yoplait Greek Yogurt
= $10.36
- 3.00 MQ $3/2
- 1.20 2 MFQ
- 2.00 Store Disc on Cheese
- .38 Store Disc on Yogurt
= $ 3.78
Got a Cataling for a free 1/2 gallon of Giant Milk and a $5 rebate for Sorrento Stringster Cheese. The milk is normally $2.49 a 1/2 gallon.

So $3.78 - 2.49 - 5= $3.71 moneymaker

CVS - I walked in with 3eb and walked out with $5eb's and a GC for $5.18. Plus I got 2 rolls of paper towels, 1 schick hydro5 razor and 2pk schick razors. I used $7MQ and $3crt/eb. I got back a 4eb.

I've never tried Greek Yogurt, so here is my big chance. The string cheese is mozzarella, I think I have tried and like it. Our food pantry doesn't take refrigerated food from individuals.

The razors will be donated. The paper towels, I'm not sure yet. I don't use paper towels. Homeless shelter, maybe.

Dinner with a Co-Worker

June 12th, 2010 at 08:11 am

I will refer to her as CW. CW came to my classroom and asked what I was doing for the rest of the day. I told her I was headed to Foodlion and the Walgreens. She said she was headed in the same directions for errands, why don't we combine errands and then catch dinner. While finishing work for the day she got a call from her realtor that there was a contract on her house. CW was over the moon. Its a short sale. She is so ready to move on. This will break her final tie to her ex. Her son, youngest, graduated last Friday. So her efforts to provide stabilityof the same friends and schools for her two children through HS is finished. Dinner turned into a celebration and I went with her to meet the realtor at the mall to sign the contracts.

On the way home, she mentioned the family and son's friend graduation party she is throwing at her ex SIL house for her DS. Early on will be family and later will be friends of son. She has very little money and asked me for ideas and if I would look into prices for her. Oops, another challenge, and, a short term one at that.

Of course, I hit my 1yr stash. I have a high impact/low cost plan in my head and we are going to sit down Monday afternoon to discuss and then write out a plan of action. This will definitely be fun.

We plan to go to Safeway after work, for their buy8get$4 off sale.

How Do You Get So Many Coupons?

June 10th, 2010 at 07:22 pm

My SIL is storing 2 chairs in my apartment for a week or two. My SIL's sister and husband helped transport and move the two chairs. As they walked by my dining room table they said "Wow, look at all those coupons." A conversation started and I was finally asked where I get them all.

My sources:
Sunday Delivery
Famiy - SIL, DB, DS, Mom
Friends/Friends of Family
Post Office/Mail

Sunday Delivery - We have always gotten the Washington Post. Sometimes I would cancel, cuz then they call with a good deal, but I was rarely without.

Family - It started with my mom. She and I would coupon together. I helped her put together deals that interested her. As she was unable to shop she passed along her inserts and those given to her by two friends. Then as I was putting together the Marine Project my DB said he might have a source. Turned out he did. I recently asked my DS, we'll see how that turns out - it may be hit or miss.

Friends/Friends of Family - Knowing that I send packages to the troops and give to the food pantry/homeless shelter, people will give me coupons, but this is hit or miss. By giving to me they are giving themselves. The more I have the more I can do.

Stores - Stores have and give out coupons. It might be smart source, peelies, a CRT, or a catalina. I admit to picking them up off the ground or out of an empty cart I am about to use. Most catalinas end up in the recyle paper bin, but some I use.

Magazines - pullouts and cutouts

Post Office/Mail - If I go in to mail a package or buy stamps, I look on the counters. People will leave them on the counters. I get some in the mail and family/friends will get them in the mail. They know I will use them and they probably won't. Safeway $10/$50 coupons I give to someone with a cart load of groceries as I rarely end with $50 after Safeway discounts and manufacturer coupons. They are happy and so am I, a win-win situation.

Other - There has to be an other but I can't think of what it is. Wait, the computer, duh. I sometimes print coupons. I am very picky and must know I will use it. I print out Riteaid coupons more than any other. Coupons.com would be a far distant second. Third would be from manufacturers themselves.

How you store your coupons is dependent on personal choice and the amount of coupons you have. Some folks can't miss a deal, I miss lots, some I am sorry to miss (blood glucose monitors), others not so much. I have decided to do a hybrid system. I am going to clip 3-5 inserts and keep in a binder and the rest I will use as whole inserts. I will use the whole inserts to clip for planned deals. The binder coupons to catch surprise/unadvertised sales and discounts. It will save on time and gas, I believe. Also, my home will be neater. Its amazing how quickly I can be overrun with items for donation and coupons. I should take a picture, but the shame would kill me. That said, progress it definitely being made.

Food Pantry Drop Off - Tuesdays at 6-6:15
Homeless Shelter - Sunday mornings
Troops - any day the post office is open
Box Tops+Campbells points-turned into the schools
Expired Coupons - sent to Marines in Japan
Remainder of Inserts - paper recycling

*Our County does not provide trash pick-up. We use an efficient, clean dump/recycling station. Every home was notified of the recycling program and that if percentages were not reached our taxes would go up substantially. The program has been so successful they have a hard time disposing of the huge bins quickly enough. We exceed all State standards and frequently are the No. 1 County in the State. No other incentive was needed, than "keep your taxes down, recycle."

Safeway Coupon Acceptance Policy Change

June 9th, 2010 at 05:50 pm

I have a love/hate relationship with Catalinas. I love getting them and using them to roll over on deals. I hate having to use them only at the store that issued them.

Just a pain to keep track of for each individual store, the expiration dates and matching sales. Safeway has come to my rescue. They will now except Catalinas from other retailers. Yeah! Yahoo! I took my Giant $6 OYNO cats to Safeway and they went thru without a hitch. This is the same store where Christina works, so I brought the printed policy with me in case she was on duty. Taivon just smiled and said no problem, its allowed.

It was like when I turned 18yrs old and went to purchase my first beer. I didn't even like beer. The guy didn't ask for ID. ID in hand ready to show and nothing happened. What a let down? I asked if he wanted to see my ID and he just smiled and said no. Talk about disappointment. If I had gone in at 17yrs and 364 days you bet he would have carded me.

I'm hoping Safeway will take Walgreens, also. That would give me alot more flexibility to make use of there sales without the one coupon one item rule thing. Especially since I live 30 mins from a Walgreens.

Laughing At Life - Part 2

June 8th, 2010 at 07:09 pm

In May, I wrote about my DS & DN going to California and their exciting plane ride, now for the return trip.

Once again, its funny/crazy/unbelievable/etc if its not happening to you or you are looking back.

The main characters are DS & DN and Stephanie & her son, Chuck. DN and Chuck are good friends from HS. DS and Stephanie met thru DN & Chuck. DS and Stephanie are now very good friends.

Chuck graduated from a college in California. He is returning to pursue his Masters in Washington, DC. Stephanie went to attend his graduation. DS & DN decided to join up with them and vacation together. So far, so good.

Now for the return airplane trip from California to Washington, DC (sort of). This time they return on Air Tran (not SouthWest). A small amount of background. Stephanie is an RN that travels frequently, almost every week, for her work. Lots of experience flying.

Stephanie decides she wants to fly first class and upgrades her ticket and Chuck's. She doesn't like to wait for drinks/snacks/etc. DS & DN are in regular/ second class.

My DS & DN are surrounded by characters. Truly, like something out of a sitcom. Next to my DS is a Japanese woman who continuously picks her nose and ears. She rolls the buggers and flicks them into the walkway. Supposedly this is socially acceptable in Japan. I don't know. I have no experience with this. In front is another Japanese woman, early 20's, who spends 50 mins of every hours admiring herself in a compact mirror and the other 10 mins asking for water and then going to the bathroom. Next to her is a newlywed couple who vacationed in Disneyland and are goofy with love. He wears a Peter Pan hat with feather and she wear another character hat. Also in view is a man with a bald, tatooed head and his ear lobes have been stretched so they wrap around his whole ear.

Everyone is nice but my DN kept waiting for someone from candid camera to pop up and say "you're on candid camera".

Before reaching Memphis, TN, my DS notices a passenger in distress. The stewardess' are assisting her. She is in her 80's. They call a service AirTran contracts with that is supposed to be available 24/7 365/366 days a year in case of medical emergency. Unfortunately, they don't answer the phone.

DS hears "If anyone is a Nurse or Doctor" request. Its announced a second time. This time my DS looks up and sees that the only medical person onboard is Stephanie. The woman stopped breathing, no pulse, people heard a death rattle and she released her bladder and bowels. Stephanie assisted and made the call to land the plane for emergency assistance. Steph was able to stabilize her until they landed in Memphis to sirens, police and ambulances.

No the story does not end here. But its my bedtime so I'll finish tomorrow.

Lots of Little Things

June 7th, 2010 at 07:05 pm

Two bags, by the door, filled with things to deliver to the food pantry tomorrow at 6:15pm.

My Sis was able to get my 4 inserts. I want some of those dancing smiling faces. Yea!

I won't get my usual inserts from June 6, from my Brother until he returns to work this weekend. He asked someone else to get them for him. So, it will be like Christmas wondering what and how many. Could be 5 or could be 30. Who knows?

Packed up another box of clipped coupons to send to the Marine base in Japan. It takes awhile since it is about 9"x13" and about 5" deep. A major recycling job done!

Sis and I took Mom to the Pulmonary Specialist. She had a breathing episode while in the office. Her O2 saturation went down to 72. The nurse came out hooked her to the O2 condensor and upped her O2 to 3.5 liters. This brought her O2 sats up to 86-89. For nonmedical people, an adult with no problems ranges from 96-100. We go back in 3 weeks for a work up. He will be on vacation in the meantime, so we do 2 tests echocardiogram and chest x-ray. If she has another major incident he recommended she go to the ER. When you feel like she does and you can't get to the Dr by yourself, I can see why you would just go to the ER. They do all the tests in one day while you are monitored and wheeled around. More expensive to the tax payer/insurer but less stressful. I don't know how other seniors do it. My Mom has me, my sis, my bro, my niece and dad/her husband. I think we have talked her into purchasing the new wheelchair (her old one broke). They have the money, $800, but like alot of seniors are afraid to spend it. She wants to leave us kids some money. We tell them both to get what they need and do what they want. We are grown adults, independent and able to support ourselves. I hope I don't sound ungrateful, but I want and believe they deserve to be comfortable in their old age not worrying about leaving us money. My bros and sis feel the same. I suppose I am rambling, so I will end this thought.

Seven more days with our students. And, 4 of those days are 2hr early dismissals. I will work one day after the students leave for summer break and then have permission to take 2 sick days. We have to make up days due to the snow. But, they don't really want us in the building because of scheduled maintenance, hence allowing sick days. Normally our contract prohibits taking any time off the last week.

Sizzlin' Sixteen by Janet Evanovich comes out soon and I am 39th on the library list for my county. I beat out my local librarian, lol. She is 40something. With 10+ copies, I should get it pretty quick. Plus they also do 1 week nonrenewable nonreservable express book checkouts, so I might get lucky or someone else on the list will and I will get to read it quicker. Fingers crossed and double crossed.

Petulant Customer Service

June 6th, 2010 at 11:02 am

Good news, I hope! My sister works at a restaurant/hotel/marina complex. We were talking and I asked her if she would feel comfortable asking the hotel manager if I could have the Sunday inserts for any papers not used by the guests. Its the type of place that gives the paper to its guest for free. She said she would ask and didn't see it as a problem. My fingers are crossed.

I stopped at Riteaid this morning:

$7.00 (2) Old Spice BW 3.50ea (Food Pantry)
-3.50 B1G1 free

$9.89 (1) Gillete Proglide Razor (DS)
-4.00 $4 p&g coupon

$3.99 (1) Listerine Total Care MW (DNephew)
-1.00 $1 mfQ

$7.99 (1) Blink Tears (mom)
-2.00 $2 mfQ

-5.00 $5/$25 purchase Riteaid Store Coupon

$12.37 subtotal
.90 tax
$13.27 total

I paid with a Riteaid GC earned for the Allergy SCR

SCR's earned $7.99, $5, $3 = $15.99
Also earned a new +Up Reward of $4

So 19.99 - 13.27 = $6.72 mm/profit plus products
Excellent service!


$34.85 Total Cost
-23.44 Club Savings
- 7.35 Coupon Savings
= 3.51 Out of Pocket Cost

Originally the Out-Of-Pocket cost was $0.78. The clerk, started to shake and called customer service.

The customer service person who came over never introduced herself or greeted me. Nice service. She instead made a big show of gathering everything and saying I could not pay so little. Mind you that was before she looked at everything. As she looked at everything and matched them up she got agitated. Her self righteous attitude turned uncomfortable until finally she said ah-hah. You can't double this coupon. She added the doubled part of 4 coupons back in. Now 2 days ago a clerk had no problem with the same coupons. Hellooo, the matched part is paid by Safeway, not the manufacturer. But I decided not to argue about $1, but the ones for .75ea (2) I did. I felt legit about my use and issue. She said you can't get it for free and I said I didn't. The coupon is buy two items, which together cost $1.84 and the coupon doubled takes off $1.50, so I pay .17ea not free. First she held up two of the wrong items and was upset when I nicely pointed out she had the wrong items in hand, giving her the wrong total. Her answer was "look you are getting alot off and only have to pay $3.51." My thought is, "So? Why does she feel free to spend my money?" I just looked at her.

I dislike situations where people who don't understand coupons, aren't logical and then get mad when you nicely explain why their thinking is off or incorrect. I didn't say that to her, of course. She got in her mind a certain amount I should pay and wasn't going to deviate. Ughhh. She turned on her heel and left. I shook my head and paid, so in a sense she won, I suppose. You win some, you lose some. The clerk, meekly said have a nice day. I smiled and said thanks, you too. I guess she thought I would take her head off.

Guess what was in the mail I went thru when I got home? Coupons for more than $10.00 in free products from Safeway. I suppose its witchy of me to hope she is working that day. I could torture her by following the rules and still paying less than $1.

To be honest, I am considering contacting customer service. I try to follow the rules of each store. As they are all different, it is possible to make a mistake. Thats no excuse for her to be rude.

Swiftly Declining

June 6th, 2010 at 09:36 am

My mom is having difficulty with her breathing. Back in October of 2009 she was diagnosed with bilateral multiple blood clots. In other words, lots of clots in both lungs. Her latest cat scan shows there are no clots now. Thank goodness! She has lots of other health issues. She jokes that the only diagnosis she doesn't have is diabetes, knock on wood.

We go to a pulmonary specialist tomorrow. It is our last hope, I believe. Her breathing is scary. Not a technical term but accurate. Yesterday, as I listened to her sleeping and later awake, it reminded me of patients I had as an RN that lived only days, weeks or even months longer if they were lucky. My heart is so heavy, it feels ragged and torn. I love my mom so much. I just keep hoping and praying.

Yesterday was my nephew's college graduation party. I am so proud of his hard work and accomplishment. I did not go to the party, I stayed with mom. She has always been so independent and a go-getter. She is terrified she will die alone and doesn't want to be left alone.

I lied and told everyone my allergies were acting up and I couldn't make it. That way she wouldn't be alone and no one would feel guilty. My sister and I hatched this up together, unfortunately, she ended up with a terrible case of guilt. Everyone in my family loves mom.

My nephew is the kind who loves to stretch celebration events over days, so I am taking him to lunch or dinner next weekend, hopefully with mom. I'll give him his graduation gift then. He loves cash as a gift, so he'll be pleased.

Last Nights Wanderings...

June 5th, 2010 at 07:24 am

Stopped after work at the GiantFood in Edgewater. They don't have a spot for the .99 Reach toothbrushes, but they did have double packs from last Christmas priced at .99 hanging on one of those hanging thingys behind a freestanding cardboard Colgate display. Bingo! I scored 2 deals for a total of $8 OYNO and the cost to me was .24 after MQs.

Major mistake. This is where my Walgreens is located. I put away my Ecotrin $2 off MQ and did not bring them with me. Walgreens had restocked enough for me to score $30 in RR if the cashier had let me, but my coupons were at home. Don't let this happen to you. If the sale isn't over don't put your coupons away. I was really ticked at myself.

On to Safeway, I got:

.49ea 16 Mac&Ch
-8 .55/2 doubled

.75ea BC cake mix
1.09ea BC icing
-8 .75 doubled

total after coupons $1.76

A 96% savings.

The cashier was funny. She is really nice, but new, I've had her before a few times. She said "You use scissors to cut your coupons, that's a first." I asked her what other people do and she said "They just rip them out." I told her "I couldn't do that it might damage the barcode." She said "I know, customers get mad when I can't take them without the barcode."

Two New Deals

June 4th, 2010 at 08:37 am

Two new deals have popped up for my 1 year food pantry project. One at Safeway and one at Giantfood.

Safeway has coupons out for $1 off the purchase of any O organic product. The canned beans are at a new low price of $1. Stock up time.

Giantfood has a new catalina deal. Its $4 OYNO if you buy 4 Reach Toothbrushes. The prices are .99-3.99. I have .50MQ that double, so I will get the .99 ones as available. It lasts from 6/1 to 6/24. I checked with the stocker who handles that area in my store and she said she it expecting a shipment in Saturday morning early and they should be out by afternoon. I did a test run last night and got $2 OYNO for buying 3. Out of pocket with tax was 1.11.

I spoke to my son last night. He said his training is going well. I told him I missed him and to have fun at Marine Camp for the next 3 weeks. Hey, not everyone gets to go to camp for a month in the summer. lol. Its gets me through.

Financial Movie Rating System

June 2nd, 2010 at 08:02 pm

How good is the movie? What would you/I pay to see it?

Order of Value:

Pay ? for IMAX 3-D
Pay 11-12 for 3D in Annapolis, Upper Quality Theatre
Pay 10 at Upper Quality Theatre,Annapolis
Pay 5 at local theatre matinee
Pay 1 at Redbox/Blockbuster Express
Pay 0 wait for it to be available at library
Pay 0 watch it on TV in a couple of years
Pay 0 never watch, or you pay me to watch

Although available, I haven't been motivated to drive an hour+ to do the IMAX 3-D. I will admit to thinking about it.

I've paid twice for 3D and been pleased. I wish they would credit you if you bring your own 3D glasses instead of making me/you pay each time.

I usually do the $10 Upper Quality Theatre with my sister. She can rarely do matinees. Doing Redbox with her is challenging because she usually falls asleep 1/2 way thru the movie, lol. She has to watch a movie a couple of times to see it all the way thru.

I prefer the $5 matinee since it is less expensive and rarely crowded. It also attract a different crowd.

My family and friends know my rating scale. So if they have seen a movie I just ask where it fits on the rating scale. I will admit that some movies are better on the big screen. Most do just as well in the dark on my 42" HDTV.

I saw Prince of Persia and for me, it was a $5 movie. I liked it alot. I hope they do a sequel. I understand 2 more are planned. I would definitely see it again on DVD.

Memorial Day

May 31st, 2010 at 10:31 am

I headed out shopping this morning. There was a deal with overage at Safeway. Raincheck pickup at Foodlion. Lowest price at Walmart.

Safeway was:

8 Carefree, 4 Skippy Natural Peanut Butter, 2 "O" Organic Teas, 2 Compleat Meals/Hormel = $47.61
$47.61 - 46.97Disc/MFQ = .64 (.12 was tax) The Carefree will go to the food pantry + 2 peanut butter.

Foodlion was a raincheck pickup for my SIL. 4 tides at 4.88 = 19.52 - 4MFQ = 15.52 + 1.18tax = 16.70. She was thrilled with the price.

Walmart was to pickup mom her Caltrate. It was the lowest price I could find for 200 pills at 13.97 after coupon. Anyone with ideas for cheaper let me know. My has severe Osteoporosis controlled with meds to mild.

I've been clipping expired coupons to send to Marines and their families stationed in Japan. Its something I can do for those serving so far from home on this Memorial Day.

My son is at a training camp in California. Its the training all Marines go thru before heading to Afghanistan. He is supposed to be camping in the desert at a machine gun range right now. The Corps has informed him he has a natural apptitude for machine guns why didn't he sign up for machine guns when he joined? Duh! I could only think perhaps he would have known if that was taught in HS. Yeah, right! I can picture that now. Heaven help us all. Otherwise, how would he know he has a "natural apptitude for machine guns". I swear and declare my eyes are rolling.

I know its not summer camp, but I would love pictures as he goes thru the training process. One week down, 3 more before he comes home for a 2 week leave. Smile

Laughing At Life

May 30th, 2010 at 07:33 am

My DN is a 21yr, honors college student, beautiful and high maintenance young woman that adventure seems to follow. She is very comfortable being treated like a princess,lol. I love her dearly. Yet there is that Lucille Ball thing going on.

She and my DSis went on vacation this last week to California. Here the adventure begins. They get to the airport and the luggage carousel isn't working(not good for a Princess) and the computers are down for Southwest Airlines, their airline. Ouch! They finally get checked in and on the plane.

They have a layover/connecting flight thing in some major city. During the layover, passengers exit and DS and DN are told since they are continuing to California they can change to whatever seats they want before the new passengers embark. So far, so good. They choose the front seats as both are 5'8" and wearing 2-4in heels. Now they can stretch out. Yea!

The new passengers get in and get seated. The stewardess' do their thing and tell everyone to fasten their seatbelts. Here the excitement starts. My DN reaches back to get her seatbelt and her thumb gets stuck in the mechanism. Oops! They call the stewardess, no luck. They call all the stewardess, no luck.

No Seatbelt, No Takeoff, they call the Captain. The Captain can't get her free. They call maintanence. Maintenance shows up and says "Yeah, we been having problems with this alot lately."

The maintenance guys unbolt the 3 seats and carry her in the seats out to the runway. I have this visual of a Princess/Queen (DN,lol) being carried around on a chair/bed in Arabia by 4-8 buff bodyguard/slaves. Once she's on the runway I get a visual of a Seinfeld episode or some other comedy. The maintenance guys proceed to take the seat apart until it is in pieces and my DN boards the plane, takes her seat and off they fly to California.

Lest you think the adventure ends there, you are wrong the return flight is just as eventful.

Effects of 1 Year Challenge

May 29th, 2010 at 06:28 am

Games are for kids and challenges are for adults, lol. Same thing, just a different word. But it helps me immeasurably as I move through life. Drudgery can be fun and/or exhilirating if shared or done as a contest. Although I procrastinate, its not so much when in a challenge. Plus a challenge helps me develop and keep habits I want and/or want to maintain. Having this forum helps me to have accountability. So my thanks to all of you even though you don't know you are participating.

One of my weak areas in my budget has been eating out. Each month I would swear to do better. When I eat out it is almost always with a gift card, coupon or using a restaurant promotion (combo of the three). That makes it much easier to rationalize. This challenge without even thinking about it has brought my eating out down to much less than my budgeted amount.

Plus my at home food bill is much much lower. I'm incorporating todays eating/shopping with my 1 year challenge. An example is the Kraft Salad Dressing has a $2 off produce when you buy 2 bottles, well my dressing is free so the produce is free. I can do this once a day (coupon rule, not mine) so I could get $14 in produce free this week. Another store has BBQ sauce on sale with coupons. I could get the BBQ sauce and 1/4lb of hamburger free. I know that is small but do that BBQ deal 4 time in that order and you have a free lb of hamburger and 4 BBQ sauces. I like BBQ sauce for summer, I love it for meatloaf in winter.

I got my credit card bill for this last month yesterday and I was shocked at how low it was. I had to go over twice as I was sure there was a mistake or something just wasn't on it yet. It was 50% lower than usual and that is with just 3 weeks of the challenge. I charge everything. Yes, even my .31 orders. Why? So I can't escape or forget my monthly expenses and so I can get credit card points to go to my gift cards. I payoff my bill every month. This month I will do it proudly.

93 Cents

May 27th, 2010 at 06:50 pm

After twice through the line at Food Lion I ended up with:

15 Kraft Salad Dressings
9 Jars of Peter Pan Peanut Butter (I debated with
myself whether or not I should get All Natural)
6 Benedryl

The cost of each deal was 31 cents. I saved over $60 off the full retail value. Some would not pay full retail, so I saved about $45 off the sale price.

Structure of a deal is important. It allows you to get the maximum for your money. Although doing it on the grocery level gives small returns each time, adding up to alot over time, it is definitely a lesson for bigger life decisions and choices.

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