Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today's Haul + a MUST READ tip!

August 24, 2011

The haul for today...
This was such an exciting shopping day for me! You see, I am use to having no funds to hit the grocery store sales until Tuesday and that is the last day of the sales for the week. My new job has shifted my cash flow a bit and that allowed me to take advantage of some AWESOME deals the day they started.

Here's the scoop...

My sister Brandy had already done the "work" of hunting out the best deals based on the Publix and Winn Dixie ads which she views on the net first thing Wednesday morning. She met me at home just after I arrived home from work and shared her deal stories. She then helped me identify what mom and I thought we might want to take advantage of. Clearly, we have different food needs than Brandy's family. She has a pre-teen and a teen and they eat :-) So, twelve boxes of Aunt Jemimah frozen waffles are not needed at our house and we do not have the freezer space. We opted for four boxes:-)

Below, I will attempt to detail my haul but first let me give you one VERY IMPORTANT TIP!!!... When you shop somewhere like Winn Dixie that has a bonus card you carry or a customer loyalty card (I think that Kroger has this), DO NOT GIVE THE CLERK YOUR CARD UNTIL YOU HAVE HAD ALL OF YOUR ITEMS SCANNED and then LET THEM SCAN ALL YOUR COUPONS and then GIVE THEM YOUR LOYALTY CARD.

Why? Because giving them your card first may keep you from being able to apply some of your coupons, especially those that are buy one get one free. The best thing to do if they ask for your card is to say that you want to give it to them at the end of the transaction so you can see what savings is reflected on your receipt. This allows each item to go into the checkout system, then the coupons are presented and verified as being applicable towards the specific items you are purchasing. Then, when you give them your card, the savings are calculated against what they have promoted the item for if it is on sale. Believe me, it is the best way to do it. Don't hand your coupons to the clerk until the end of the transaction.

OK, now on to my haul and the details...

First stop, Winn Dixie.
6 Fab Liquid 32 load Laundry detergent:
Regular price $4.29 per bottle
Sale price (Buy one get one free or BOGO) $2.15
Coupon (four separate coupons for .99 cents each)
Final price per bottle: $1.16

12 Skinny Cow Clusters chocolate candy and Candy bars:
Regular price $1.09 per item
Sale price(BOGO) .55/.54
Coupon (.99 off two so I presented 6 coupons)
Final price $0.05 per item or $0.60 for all twelve

6 Hamburger Helper:
Regular price $2.00 per box
Sale price (BOGO) or $1.00 per box
Coupon ($1.00 off 2 boxes so I presented 3 coupons)
Final price $0.50 per box

2 Excedrin PM 40 count bottles:
Regular price $5.29
Sale price (BOGO) or $2.14/$2.15 for each
Coupon ($.075 and I used two coupons)
Final price $1.39/$1.40

That was all at Winn Dixie, where I spent $21.52 and saved $42.64!!!

On to Publix...

4 Lysol Ddisinfectant Wipes (70 count)
Regular price $4.89 per container
Sale price (BOGO or $2.44/$2.45)
Coupon ($1.00 off of two or $0.50 off each so I used 2 coupons)
Final price $1.94/$1.95 each

4 Aunt Jemimah Waffles boxes
Regular price $2.25
Sale price (BOGO or $1.12/$1.13)
Coupon ($1.00 off two or $0.50 each so I used 2 coupons)
Final price $0.62/$0.63 each

4 Ken's Marinades bottles
Regular price $1.45
Sale price (BOGO or $1.49/$1.50 each)
Coupon ($1.00 off each so I used 4 coupons)
Final price $0.45/$0.50 a bottle

4 Lipton Tea Bags boxes
Regular price $2.69
Sale price (BOGO or $1.34/$1.35 each)
Coupon ($0.60 off two or $0.30 off each so I used 2 coupons)
Final price $1.04/$1.05 each

2 A1 Steak Sauces
Regular price $4.29 each
Sale price (BOGO or $2.14/2.15 each)
Coupon ($1.00 off each so I used 2 coupons)
Final price $1.14/$1.15 each

4 Keebler Chips Deluxe Cookies bags
Regular price $3.49 each
Sale price (BOGO or $1.74/$1.75 each)
Coupon ($1.00 off two or $0.50 of each so I used 2 coupons)
Final price $1.24/$1.25 each

4 Campbell's Select Harvest Soup
Regular price $2.49 each
Sale price (BOGO or $1.24/$1.25 each)
Coupon ($1.00 off 4 or $0.25 off each so I used 2 coupons)
Final price $0.99/$1.00 each

4 Kraft Mac and Cheese
Regular price $1.45
Sale price (BOGO or $0.72/$0.73 each)
NO COUPONS USED

Last but not least, check this out. This is one of those tricky ones but it is there and it is a great one. Watch and read carefully.

I did two sets of this deal....

Schick Titanium Quattro Razor
Regular Price $8.99
Coupon (Buy the Blade Refill Pack get the Razor FREE. See below)
Final price $0.00
BECAUSE THE ITEM WAS PROCESSED AS A PURCHASE FIRST BEFORE PRESENTING COUPONS...
Coupon applies ($2.00 off Razor)
REVISED FINAL PRICE: -$2.00

Shick Quattro Titanium Razor Refill Pack
Regular Price $11.99
Coupon ($2.00 off 1 refill pack)
Final price $9.99
REVISED FINAL PRICE (With $2.00 credit from razor) $7.99

My friends, that is a $20.98 deal for just $7.99!!!!!!!

OK. My eyes are crossing and I must get some rest. Please visit our group on Facebook to share your stories and hear from others. You just might save a tone of cash :-)

Blessings

Dave

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ways to SAVE BIG!

August 23, 2011

Tonight, I wanted to mention the tremendous deal I got at Publix a week ago in more detail than I gave on the Facebook group wall.


Last week, I went to Publix and got the $1 deal on AXE Shower Gel, I also got Tylenol Precise Heat patches (Normally $8) for $2! I had a $3 mfg coupon and a $3 Publix coupon out of their kiosk coupon circular. I bought all five they had and tonight went back and bought a sixth one. It was because I had 6 mfg coupons (and all the free $3 I could use at my disposal) that I landed this deal. I also landed 12 boxes of Betty Crocker Cake Mix for $1 because of BOGO and a mfg coupon that allowed me to get .75 off of icing when I bought 2 cake mixes. In the end I got 12 mixes and 12 frosting for $24 ($2 per cake!) I also landed LARGE boxes of Kellogg's Cereal for about a $1 per box (Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks and Corn Pops) with my coupons and BOGO.

The key to this deal was not that the item was on sale, because it wasn't. It had a higher retail price than the competition. The thing here is Publix allows you to use a Publix coupon and a manufacturer's coupon in the same purchase. KEEP IN MIND, they will take ANY competitor's coupon along with an Mfg coupon. It can be there own (found in droves in their rotating kiosk at the entrance) or any other competitor or web coupon. They will not take 2 manufacturer coupons though.

I will say it again...know your store's coupon policies. Don't be afraid to ask someone in customer service for a printed copy if they have one. I found out that 2 local Publix will let you use unlimited numbers of coupons that clearly state on the coupon "Limit one per customer". I simply asked for clarification, if that meant per customer per day, per transaction or what. I was told with a smile that the management  at those two stores does not want their customers to have to drive back every day or go through the hassle of a multiple transaction sale. They simply said get what you want with no restrictions on multiple items and multiple coupons that read otherwise.

I have found that in some cases, a certain store will have the lowest price on an item and that buying the item at that store with a single coupon will beat some stores that take "stacked" coupons (One mfg and one store coupon). It has to do with the items listed retail price. This tends to happen rarely but it does happen. I landed Qtips at one place with only a single mfg coupon and got the best deal because Publix and others (tends to be grocery stores) had a considerably higher shelf retail price.

Reminder...

If you haven't read the previous tip blogs or it has been a while, go read them. The tips for getting your coupons in bulk remain the single best way to get the best deals in quantity, and that will help you build your stockpile.

Keep sharing this info with others and invite them to join our group or subscribe to the blog. If you have questions, suggestions or comments just let me know.

Blessings

Dave

Saturday, August 13, 2011

CCC Blog #4: Educate Yourself

August 13, 2011

I have been a little busy and adjusting to the new work schedule. That is the primary reason there has not been a blog post in a while from me. Remember, if you run across any great deals, tips, tricks or just want to say hello to the group then feel free to post on the CCC wall.

I was thinking about what to share in this blog and the thought crossed my mind about being educated shoppers. I am not meaning to be educated merely about sales ads, coupons and policies. I am leaning in this blog more towards each of us understanding what our families need, what will keep them healthy and happy, what we should steer clear of when we shop and putting that in the mix as we coupon.

I recieve tons of coupons every week. I clip them, file them and even pass along coupons to others if they are for things that don't interest me. That is where I felt like honing in a little. Perhaps this is more personal opinion than anything, but we all run across some killer-deal coupons from time to time that allow us to create a stockpile. Things that aren't perishable that we use all the time and foods that have long shelf life that we will actually eat are awesome finds. Paper products, toiletries, cosmetics, dry goods, frozen goods, and so much more await our purchase and make for great long term investments. I am thinking that hen it comes to those products that we love but they "love us back" by being unhealthy if over consumed need to be considered carefully when couponing. 

Let's say, for example, I find coupons for my favorite sweets and decide that just because I have coupons and can get them at a ridiculously low price that I buy all I can. I feel so proud of the deal I found! Weeks or months later, with deals just like that one being found, my freezer, pantry, closets and shelves are being overrun by my finds. I also notice that my belt is tighter, I feel more sluggish, my clothes aren't quite fitting right, energy levels are down, dental and doctor visits may be on the rise and perhaps its because I am not stopping to think about the long term effects of what I am choosing to buy.  Over-buying certain foods can lead to unwanted weight gain and health problems is what I'm trying to say. Sure, coupons allowing you to buy 50 bags of Oreo cookies sounds great. But if they are a weakness for you and you constantly have black crumbs on your teeth, it may not be long before you have no teeth and can't get out of the chair to do anything. 50 bags of Oreos might work for large families with growing kids if they are kept under lock and key and brought out as a snack from time to time. But if I had them, one half of the container would be empty in one sitting :-) If I did that every day for 100 days by myself the cookies would be gone in three and a half months and I would be the size of a barn!

If you are like me and money always seems tight then You'll know where I am coming from when I say I have to make a concieous decision about where, when and how I'm going to use my coupons and maintain my cash flow. With time, I believe the savings will increase our cash flow and allow for saving more and more and adding to important stockpiles. I just caution each of us not to take your budget and ruin it by buying, say, 100 boxes of Hamburger Helper (at 50 cents a piece and that would be a great deal!) if you only have $100 for a total food budget at the time. Yes, you would have a great stockpile, but you now only have 50% left of your budget. You are going to be eating a lot of hamburger helper (without being able to add the hamburger meat). You still have other essentials to consider. 

I guess where I am going with this is that we all need to learn when enough is enough of a great deal. Now, there will be times that you have lots of extra funds and it won't negatively impact your budget to buy unbelievable amounts of stuff for future use. Just don't coupon yourself into a corner budget-wise.


Blessings


Dave




Friday, July 29, 2011

CCC Blog #3: Walgreens "Register Rewards"

Friday July 29, 2011

Today's blog topic will be all about Walgreens.
Why dedicate a blog on our couponing site to talking about Walgreens?...Because this place ROCKS when it comes to savings!

Start by browsing their printed ad found in the Sunday paper or in the store. Or, just browse it on the internet...
http://walgreens.shoplocal.com/walgreens/default.aspx?ban=c1_h_wa

Look for the deals marked like this one:

Planters Nuts
$3.99 ea. or 2/$6
Planters Nuts
Planters
SALE
thru Jul 30
• Peanuts, 16 oz.
• Cashews Halves & Pieces, 9.25 oz.
• Mixed, 11.5 oz.
• Flavor Grove Almonds, 6 oz.

REGISTER REWARDS®*

Sale Price 2/$6 - REGISTER REWARDS* Good on Next Purchase $2 = Like Paying 2/$4

*Limit 1 coupon printed per offer. See coupon for exclusions, limitations and expiration.
 
Now, here is how this works:
Find a coupon for the item that is marked in the sales ad as getting "Register Rewards" with the purchase. Use your coupon and further reduce the sales price they have the item listed for. END YOUR TRANSACTION!!! Very important. Tell the cashier that is all you want on that transaction. I "Catalina" coupon will print off of their special printer that the cashier will hand you with you change. THEY JUST GAVE YOU FREE MONEY!!!!
 
Now, if you do what I did when I worked this system a couple of weeks ago you will see. It is a process. It takes a few minutes. IT WORKS!
 
I just happened to be in the store to pick up a prescription. I needed a bottle of shower gel and had found a bottle I liked before and had bought there. It was Suave 2 in 1. Hair and body. It was only $1. That is their regular price and the bottle happened to be a 50% extra  or larger bottle than the normal size, still $1.
 
OK, I see all the other Suave shower gel varieties for a $1. I got excited. You see, my mom was needing some more. So I get one of each. THEN...I walk over to the deodorant isle and see that they had a sale on Mitchum antiperspirant/deodorant. They were on sale 2 for $6. That's a good deal! And (I forgot to have my binder with me:-( there was a 75 cent off coupon I could have used. That would have made them 2 for $5.25. This offer said you get "$4 register rewards with purchase". So...
 
I get 12 sticks of deodorant.
I get 24 bottles of shower gel.
I approach the register.
I tell the cashier to ring up 2 of the deodorants.
I end the transaction and pay.
A coupon prints for $4 that can be used on future purchase.
 
I put 4 bottles of shower gel on the counter.
 
I asked her to ring them up.
 
I ask her to apply my $4 "Register rewards" coupon.
 
I give her 36 cents for tax.
 
I end transaction.
 
I put the next 2 deodorants on the counter.
 
I pay for them and end the transaction.
 
ANOTHER $4 coupon prints.
 
I lay 4 more bottles of shower gel on the counter.
 
She rings them up.
 
I asked her to apply the "Register Rewards" coupon.
 
I give her 36 cents for tax.
 
I did this same thing over and over.
 
Twelve total transactions in a row. THEY WILL DO IT!
 
I walked out with a stash of deodorant and 24 various bottles of Suave shower gel. I made sure and selected every single one of the 50% more size bottles they had too :-)
 
Here is the picture...
 


Now Jaime chose to use her Register Rewards (and she remembered her coupons!) to buy other needed items either on sale or just because. But the key here is to realize they are giving you FREE MONEY!!! You just have to gain the Register rewards and use the Register Rewards in separate transactions.

You may not need deodorant, peanuts, or some of the stuff that gets you the Register Rewards. But chances are you do. It is a great way to build a stock pile. I have more pictures of deals from other places I'll share in future blogs.

I hope this information is helpful. If so, let me know.
 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

CCC Blog #2: A Few Tools of the Trade

Thursday July 28th, 2011

I thought I'd record a short little video with my cell phone camera and show you what I use (and what my sister Brandy suggested I get). My best friend (and group member) Jaime Baker has the same set up too. These are just suggestions...

video

Today, our inserts arrived :-) I have mine separated and ready to cut already. I may procrastinate and make that a job for tomorrow. For some reason I am worn out. It could have been the late night laundry I was doing along with that song Valarie Durham, one of our group members, blessed me with that got my blood pumping. Hey, just for fun, let me share it with you. Its not about coupons...but it was posted by Val last night and she and her husband are in Germany serving our country. Her husband Neal is a military chaplain. Thank you guys for what you do for all of us! Coupons can bring connection and Christian connection is a great thing and much needed! Here it is...


I looked through this weeks coupons by the way and there are some that should help us actually get the stores to pay us if we play it right. Speaking with group member Jaime Baker earlier, she said she felt that it as really going to work well at the Kroger in her area. We have no Krogers in Dothan. We have Winn Dixie, Publix, Piggly Wiggly (LOL..I know) and that's about it.

I thought I'd let you see the pic I took of the flyers that came...

Refer back to my wall post from earlier today to see how many pages there are to each of them. Then, if you have them, compare them to your circulars from this past Sunday's papers. See a difference?


Tomorrow evening I will try and blog a little about tips that BLOW YOUR MIND when you play the Walgreen "register rewards" game right. It is not a game as such but it is a system that can get you  FREE products!!!! I know because I have 24 free full size bottles of shower gel sitting on my shelf here in the room to prove it. I will post some pics too.


Blessings,

Dave










Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CCC Blog #1: Welcome

Welcome to the first edition of the Creative Christian Couponing blog!

This is just a place for me to tell anyone who cares about deals I happen to run across, sales that I run into and people I run over while driving and thumbing through my coupons. Just kidding.

I created a special Facebook group tonight and named it, you guessed it, "Creative Christian Couponing". Look us up and ask to join. This group is intended to be a place to encourage each other and share tips and tricks to work the system and save money. Who doesn't need to save money?

A little background on me might be appropriate. I am a father of four. Garrett, Byron, Alaina and Camden. I have been unemployed now for about nine months and recently relocated to Dothan, Alabama. I am still trying very hard to land a job so say a prayer for me. My mother, a cancer survivor and 70 years young needed my help. Before coming down here, I had caught a few episodes of Extreme Couponing on TV. I, like most who watched it was amazed and overwhelmed at the thought of the prep that goes into getting those killer deals. Let me tell you...

You can do it!

My sister, Brandy, who is not a Facebook user herself (sad for us in the group, but I am trying to bring her on board), has helped me to develop a system and bring some order to the madness of couponing. Believe me, cutting coupons out of six to twelve FULL circulars (explanation to follow) every week and getting them in my binder is MADNESS!!!! But it is well worth it! Tonight alone, I went to Publix and bought:


3 boxes of Kellogg's Pop Tarts
2 big boxes of Reese's Puffs cereal
2 big boxes of Lucky Charms
4 full-size packages of Oreo Double Stuffed Cookies
2 boxes of 8-count Nature Valley granola bars
2 half-gallon bottles V8 Splash Tropical Juice

Retail price: $59.82
I paid: $24.36
I saved: $35.05

I also saved similarly at Target and Walmart today too!

My kids are coming to visit this weekend so I needed to start stocking up on some food. Up until now, my focus has been on stuff like toothpaste and body wash, batteries, razors, laundry detergent. I am always looking for a deal. My sister helps keep me in-the-know about what to look for. She is a jewel!

So how does one get started? The Sunday paper would seem to be the first and most obvious place to start. This is true and FALSE at the same time. Let me explain...

Here in Dothan, as in your town, the Sunday paper is known to have tons of circulars and it will generally feature one or more of the following actual "coupon" inserts:

Redplum
Smart Source
P & G (Proctor and Gamble)

Most weeks, here anyway, we only get the Redplum. It also is a VERY scaled-back version from what is actually printed by the one's who produce the circular. For months, there has been no Smart Source or P & G in the Dothan Eagle. My sister Brandy and I decided to ask the local Publix (who carries the "Atlanta Journal Constitution") when they best time to buy it from them is. They said be here when we open at 7am. They were not kidding! The line was about 20 people deep and some folks were carrying out stacks of those papers at $3.00 a pop! Brandy got one and there were all the circulars. The Redplum for Atlanta had about THREE TIMES the pages of our local one and thus more coupons. They had what seemed to be every coupon available. The Dothan Eagle is $1.50 and has very little.

Please keep in mind that I am talking about the coupon inserts and not the Walgreens, HH Gregg, JC Penney-type ads. There is a HUGE Walgreens tip I will share soon.

Brandy did some research and found THE PLACE to get ALL the available coupons EACH AND EVERY WEEK! No more buying newspapers (unless you just want to and have the money to blow on multiple copies) For two months, she and I have gone in together and ordered our inserts directly from the printer, at a HUGE discount over the cost of the newspaper! The place to go is http://www.sundaycouponinserts.com/

We buy ours in sets of six each, Meaning she will get six Redplum and so will I. This past weekend, all three inserts, Redplum, Smart Source and P& G were printed. I can assure you, not every paper in America gets them. We are lucky just to see a six-page Redplum. So, Brandy and I ordered 3 sets of 6 each. Read the site's info about pricing. On weeks where only one or two of the 3 available inserts print, we get them and split the cost of the inserts and shipping between us. It is usually $9 or $10 bucks. If you keep the order under 30 individual inserts, it keeps the shipping at about $5 instead of $10. This week, We could not avoid the higher shipping cost but its all good. We will save so much more than we are paying for the inserts and we will each have 18 inserts total this week. They usually arrive on Wednesday but did not come today. They should be here tomorrow. They came on Thursday last week too. Its been Wednesday every week before that though. I am not complaining because I JUST got caught up on my cutting and sorting and putting them in my binder. I will talk about helpful (and necessary) things you'll need shortly.

WHATEVER YOU DO...Order your circulars from this company just after midnight on Saturday (First few moments of Sunday). If you don't, they will get scooped up and then you'll have to wait until later in the next week for re-prints. We have found this system works for us.

I compared via Skype (internet video conferencing) with my children's mother her Redplum from the Chattanooga paper and the one I received from http://www.sundaycouponinserts.com/ . Her's had about 10 pages if I recall and mine had 26! It was the same front and back, but she was missing a lot of coupons!

There are so many sources on the web for coupons. Target.com is an excellent source. Walmart as well as many Supermarkets) honor competitor coupons. Most all of them do down here. Check each store for the policies in your on area. We have no stores that double coupons, but Chattanooga and other areas have Bi-Lo supermarkets and they do double coupons. Some "stack" coupons. This means they will take a manufacturer's coupon like in the inserts I have mentioned as well as Target coupons and actually let you count them both on your purchases. That is how I save at Publix tonight.

There is SO MUCH to say and SO MANY tips. I will have to stretch my own tips, tricks and the supplies and websites you need to get the great deals over the next few blogs.

Don't get overwhelmed. Get to saving some money!

Watch the official group page for shared success stories and let's motivate each other.

God bless,

Dave