Friday, December 30, 2011

Last Publix Trip Of 2011: Saved $100!


My last Publix shopping trip of 2011 was an amazing one. I had a decent amount of high value coupons that all expired on 12/31 so I decided to take advantage of some of those and get a few things. There were also some good deals combining coupons from the Publix savings booklets with some manufacturer and Target coupons that I had so I was able to get trash bags, toilet paper, Clorox wipes and some more Solo cups for the stockpile too. Thanks to some great sales on chicken, eggs, milk and frozen veggies in the last few weeks we didn't need any real fresh items so I was able to spend more of my weekly grocery budget (I like to be under $50 for the week) on other items.

Since this will be my first January couponing, I am really excited to take advantage of the beginning of the year sales and coupons on fresh and healthy products. I am also excited for coupon inserts to reappear in our papers this Sunday.

Here is the breakdown of this week's trip:

Total Retail Value: $145.09
Spent: $44.36
Saved: $100.57
Percent Saved: 70%

Here are the highlights with coupon match ups:
  • 4 packages of Clorox wipes, retails for $2.99, on sale for $2.00 each
    • Used four $1 off manufacturer coupons from the Publix All The Trimmings booklet
    • Stacked with two $1/2 coupons from Target.com
    • Made them .50 cents each
  • 2 Febreeze Set & Refresh Air Fresheners, retails for $2.99 each, on clearance for $1.50 each
  • 2 Febreeze Air Freshener Sprays, retails for $2.99 each, on clearance for $1.50 each
  • 2 tubes of Bengay Cold Therapy, retails for $8.99, on sale for $5.99
    • Used two $5 off manufacturer coupons from the 9/11 SS
    • Made them .99 cents each
  • 2 (150) count bottles of Tums, retails for $4.77, on sale for $3.50 each
    • Used two $1.50 off Publix coupons from the Winter Family Savings booklet
    • Stacked with a $1/2 manufacturer coupon from 11/13 RP
    • Made them $1.50 each
  • 4 packages of Wholly Guacamole, retails for $3.59 each, on sale for $2.99 each
    • Used two BOGO free coupons from the Wholly Holiday promotion
    • Paired with the two $1 off coupons they sent with those BOGO coupons
    • Made them .99 cents each
  • 2 jars of Pace Salsa, retails for $2.79 each, BOGO ($1.39 each)
    • Used a .55/2 printable coupon
    • Made them $1.12 each
  • 4 bags of Chex Mix, retails for $2.59 each, BOGO ($1.29 each)
    • Used two .50/2 coupons from the 12/11 SS
    • Made them $1.04 each
  • 4 assorted packages of Solo Cups, retails for $3.29 each, BOGO (1.64 each)
    • Used four .75 cents off coupons from the 12/4 SS
    • Paired with two $1/2 Publix coupon from the Winter Savings booklet
    • Made them .39 cents each
  • 2 bottles of A-1 steak sauce, retails for $3.39 a bottle, BOGO ($1.69 each)
  • 1 carton of Crystal Farms All Whites egg product, retails for $2.50, on sale for $2.00
    • Used a $1 off manufacturer coupon from the January Issue of All You Magazine (see sidebar for info on that magazine, tons of coupons!)
    • Stacked with a .75 cents off Publix coupon from the Publix Winter Savings booklet
    • Made it .25 cents
  • 1 package of Glad Trash Bags 78 count, retails for $11.79, on sale for $9.99
    • Used a $1.50 off Catalina that printed at Target
    • Used a Publix coupon for FREE Glad Sandwich bags when you buy Glad trash bags from the Publix All The Trimmings booklet
    • Also had a $2 off any trash bags purchase when you buy Angel Soft toilet paper
    • Made them $6.49 plus FREE sandwich bags
  • 1 packages of Angel Soft toilet paper, retails for $6.15, on sale for $5.00
    • Used  .50 cent off coupon from the 11/13 RP
    • Made it $4.50 (plus I got $2 off my trash bags)
  • 1 bag of Publix salad, retails for $3.09, on sale for $2.00
  • 10 Yoplait yogurts, retails for .67 cents each (not on sale but we needed them)
    • Used a $1/10 manufacturer coupon from the 11/13 SS
    • Stacked with a $1/10 Target.com printable
    • Made them .47 cents each

Hope that you are having an amazing end to 2011! I promise to get back on track with regular blogging once the craziness of the holidays ends next week : )

End of The Month Reminders!

As the end of the month (and 2011) draws near, don't forget to makes sure that you print any online coupons that you might want. Many of these could disappear on January 1st. Check out the list below of my favorite places to print coupons.


Also, lots of great, high value coupons expire on 12/31. If you have been holding on to them waiting for a sale but want to use them, make sure you do so in the next few days. Nothing is more painful to me that having to get rid of expired coupons (look for a post on my solution to that problem soon!)

Coupons.com
Redplum.com
SmartSource.com
Target.com
CouponNetwork.com

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Weight Watchers Inspired Honey Crunch Oven Baked Chicken



I have tried alot of recipes for oven baked chicken and while many of them have been good none of them really end up being that crispy. This recipe is simple, delicious and stays surprisingly crunchy. I am also amazed at how juicy the chicken stayed. It has very simple steps and ingredients and it is something you can adapt in alot of different ways. 

Weight Watchers Inspired Honey Crunch Oven Baked Chicken
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Corn Flakes or any types of flake cereal, can be tried with a Fiber One type cereal too
  • Light Honey Mustard Dressing (I used Newman's Own)
1) I pounded out the chicken breasts to make them easier to cook.


2) Coat the chicken in the honey mustard dressing. Shake off excess dressing.

3) Bread the chicken in crushed up corn flakes.


4) Bake at 350 degrees until the chicken is cooked all the way through. If the corn flake coating starts to burn before the chicken is fully cooked try covering it in foil while it finishes cooking. 



5. I topped the chicken with a little dressing for more flavor. 


Enjoy!

Double Cash Back From Ebates


If you are doing any after Christmas online shopping make sure to check out and sign up for Ebates. They are currently offering double cash back on tons of great online sites. 

Ebates is a cash back website that offers a certain percentage of cash back on all purchases you make from online retailers through their site.  All you have to do is sign in and then search for the website you are planning on making a purchase from. Click through to the site from Ebates and then earn cash back. I just recently signed up for Ebates  and I am already really liking it. I have only made two purchases through it and have already earned close to $10 in cash back.

Sign up now through this link and if you make a purchase through the site in the next two months you can earn a $10 gift card to places like Target, Home Depot or Barnes and Noble.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Publix Ad With Coupons 12/26

There is a new Publix ad out starting today. This ad goes through next Wednesday 1/4. It is a pretty long ad with a bunch of good deals. There is also a new Yellow Advantage flyer that just started this week and that also has some good sales and a few store coupons as well.

I am pretty excited about cheap salsa, Chex Mix BOGO and cheap Clorox wipes. Make sure you use the man. coupon for Clorox wipes from the All The Trimmings booklet with the Target.com printable for $1/2 Clorox wipes. That should make them .50 cents each if you buy two. 

Also there is a sale on Kashi waffles for $3 each. Use a $2 off coupon from Recyclebank.com and get them for $1 each!

Here are the two links to the blogs I use to make my weekly shopping lists and match up my coupons. I use the first link to create a printable list and then I use the second one to double check for other deals the first link might have left out. 

12/26 Publix Ad With Coupon Match Ups #1

12/26 Publix Ad With Coupon Match Ups #2

Let me know if you see any good sales these links missed!  

Lots of New Target Printable Coupons


Target.com has tons of great new printable coupons uploaded today. You should be able to print each coupon twice per computer. Make sure to print what you want now since some of these will disappear quickly.

Don't forget that most Publix's will let you use Target store coupons as a competitor's coupon. That means you can also use a manufacturer's coupon with them as well.

Get 100 ShopKick "Kicks" When You Sign Up Now


I had never used ShopKick until this week. Shopkick is a mobile app for your phone that gives you scanable coupons for certain stores. You can also earn "kicks" which can be used for rewards like gift cards and more discounts.

You can sign up with this link for free and you will get 100 kicks to start you off. You can also earn kicks by walking into stores, having your mobile coupons scanned or for completing other tasks in select stores with your app open.

The app is easy to use and understand so make sure you sign up now to get your 100 kicks and get started saving!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lots of New Ways to Earn Points With Recycle Bank


Recycle Bank has a bunch of new ways to earn points right now. Sign up for free and then click on the Earn Points tab. There is a new section of the Green Your Season Sweepstakes that can earn you 90 points and if you haven't done so already complete the Autumn and Winter sections for another 90 points each.

Recycle Bank is a website that promotes greener living. You can earn points by completing simple tasks and then redeem those points for coupons, magazine subscriptions and more. My favorite reward is the $2 off any Kashi product coupon.

Saved Almost 70% At Publix This Week

Wednesday's Trip: Spent $17, Saved $49, or 74%


Thursday's Trip: Spent $11, Saved $13

Since there was no new Publix ad this week, I decided to hit up the store to get a few left over sale items I didn't get last week or wanted to stock up on a little more of. I only spent $29.70 total (in two trips) this week and most of that was on items to add to our stock pile so we can start 2012 with lots of chicken, veggies and milk.

Here is the breakdown of my two trips to Publix this week:
Total Retail Value: $92.14
Total Spent: $29.70
Total Saved: $63.17
Total Percent Saved: 69%

Here are the highlights with coupon match ups:
  • 2 bottles of Sundown Naturals B6 Vitamins, retails for $3.19 each
    • Used two $3 off Publix coupons from the Green Advantage Flyer
    • Stacked with two $1 off coupons from coupons.com
    • Made them each FREE plus .81 cents each in overage
  • 4 boxes of Ritz Crackers, retails for $3.89 each, on sale BOGO ($1.94 each) and 2 boxes of Triscuts, retails for $3.69, on sale for $2.50
    • Used two B2G1 free Nabisco crackers printable coupons from coupons.com
    • Paired with three $1/2 printable coupons (since I bought 6 boxes total)
    • Made each box .73 cents
  • 2 half gallons of Smart Balance Milk, retails for $3.99 each on sale for $2.50
    • Used two $1.50 off printable coupons from coupons.com (zip code 45401)
    • Made them $1.00 each
  • 4 bags of Birds Eye Frozen Veggies, retails for $1.99 each, on sale 50% off (.99 cents each)
    • Used four .55 cents off coupons from the All The Trimmings Publix booklet
    • Made each bag .44 cents
  • 1 box of Birds Eye Frozen Chopped Spinach, retails for $1.39, on sale 50% off (.69 cents)
    • Used a .55 cents off coupon from the All The Trimmings Publix booklet
    • Made it .14 cents
  • 1 box of Lipton tea, retails for $1.99
    • Used a $1 off printable coupon
    • Made it .99 cents
  • 2 packages of Sorrento Fresh Shredded Mozzarella, retails for $4.49, on sale for $3.79
    • Used two $1 off Publix coupons from the Winter Family Savings booklet
    • Stacked with two $1 off manufacturer coupons from the 12/11 SS
    • Made them $1.79 each
  • 2 two pound bags of Purdue Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts individually frozen, retails for $8.29 each, on sale for $5.99 each
    • Used a $2/2 printable coupon
    • Made them $4.99 each
  • 2 bottles of Zephryhills Sparkling water, retails for .99 cents each, on sale for .89 cents each and BOGO
    • Made them .45 cents each
  • 2 one pound boxes of Domino Powdered Sugar, retails for $1.29 a box
    • Used a .50/2 coupon from the 12/4 RP
    • Made them $1.04 a box

I am looking forward to a new Publix ad starting December 26th. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Website Wednesday: $20 for $40 To Bloom.com on LivingSocial

Living Social is having a great sale that gives you $40 to Bloom.com for $20. If you are new to Living Social  click here to sign up and they should give you a $5 credit to use towards your first purchase which would make this deal even sweeter. This credit also comes with free shipping and three free samples.

Bloom.com is a beauty product site and they sell lots of great, name brand products. I bought this voucher with credits from another site a month or so ago and I was so happy with the selection and how quickly things shipped.

Living Social is a daily deals website that features local and national deals at great discounts. It's free to sign up.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

$25 AmericanApparel.com Voucher for $12.50


Saveology has a $25 credit to American Apparel on sale for $12.50 this week. This voucher is their website only and will expire 45 days after you buy it.

Saveology is a website that offers daily deals and flash sales. It is free to sign up.

Monday Meal Plan 12/19

We are going to attempt to cook and eat at home for the first half of this week since starting on Thursday we have family dinners or holiday events pretty much though the 26th.

Tonight we are making Weight Watchers Inspired Honey Crunch Chicken with butternut squash Cajun fries. Look for photos soon. I am thinking of making soup this week too. We will see how the week plays out : )

I am definitely going to be doing lots of holiday baking in preparation for all our family events. Here is the list of sweets being made:

Another batch of Homemade Peppermint Bark
A second round of Pinterest Pretzel Bites
My traditional holiday sugar cookies
Butterfingers Cake (made this for the work Christmas lunch today but didn't get pics, it was delicious)
Peppermint Patty Cookie Bars

Hope your holiday baking and cooking is going well!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pinterest Pretzel Bites



These have to be one of the easiest and cutest things on Pinterest. I saw them pinned lots of times and kept saying I would make them. Then my friend Ashley brought them to our Christmas party last weekend. They were so good we didn't even put them out to share; we just hid them for ourselves : )

Last night I decided to give them a try and bring them in for the other teachers at work. The original Pinterest recipe called for Hersey Kisses. Ashley used Rolos. I got crazy and added Reese Cups in the mix.

Here is the insanely easy recipe:

1. Line a baking tray with pretzel squares (snaps).



2. Top with Rolos, Hersey Kisses or Reese Cups.



3. Baked at 275 degrees for 3 minutes.

4. Press a single M&M into each one as soon as the come out of the oven


5. I ended up putting them in the fridge to harden up.


Enjoy!

Publix Trip 12/15


I am loving this week's extended Publix ad! I only spent $44 for everything you see here. I was able to stock up on a few things that I normally can't get great prices on so that made it even better. Most of my items were on sale, had a man. coupon and a store coupon so that really helped. I did get a few items I didn't have coupons for but they were BOGO or on really good sale so it was still really worth the deals.

Don't forget this sale goes until Christmas Eve so you have lots of time to take advantage of it. I will probably do a small trip next week because there are some really good sales on veggies and eggs but we don't need them just yet. I will probably end up getting more milk and chicken early next week too.

Here is the breakdown of today's trip:
Total Retail Value: $125.41
Total Spent: $44.46
Total Saved: $81.95
Percent Saved: 65%

Here are the highlights with coupon match ups:
  • 6 bottles of Zephryhills Sparkling Water, retails for .99 cents each, on sale BOGO
    • Used three $1 off coupons from Facebook and coupons.com
    • Made them all FREE
  • 1 bottle of Pantene 2 in 1 Shampoo/Conditioner ($3.93) and 1 Pantene Detangling Spray ($3.99)
    • Used a coupon for a FREE Styling Product WYB Pantene Shampoo & Conditioner from the Savings Are Stocking Up Booklet
    • Paired with a $3/2 coupon from the 11/27 P&G insert
    • Made them .47 cents each
    • sidenote: I do not know if that coupon will work that way for everyone, I read on a Publix blog that people were buying the 2 in 1 with the coupon and it worked for them, it could also be interpreted as you have to buy one of each
  • 2 bags of Publix Baby Carrots, retails for $1.69 each, on sale BOGO
    • .84 cents each 
  • 2 bags of Ore Ida Frozen Hash browns, retails for $3.61 each, on sale BOGO ($1.34 each)
    • Used a $1.50/2 Publix manufacturer coupon from the All The Trimmings booklet
    • Stacked with a Target Catalina for $1/2
    • Made them .55 cents each
  • 2 bottles of Crisco Vegetable Oil, retails for $4.67 each, on sale BOGO ($2.33 each)
    • Used two .50 off coupons from the 11/06 RP
    • Made them $1.83 each
  • 2 bags of Crasins, retails for $2.45 each, on sale BOGO
    • Made them $1.22 each 
  • 2 boxes of Ghirardelli Brownie Mix, retails for $2.99 each, on sale BOGO
    • Made them $1.49 each
  • 4 boxes of Muller's Pasta, retails for $1.43 each, on sale BOGO (.71 cents a box)
  • 2 boxes of Keebler's Club Crackers, retails for $3.89, on sale BOGO ($1.94)
    • Used a $1/2 coupon from an insert
    • Stacked with a $1/2 Target.com printable
    • Also used a $1/2 Publix coupon from the Winter Family Savings booklet (my Publix's allow me to use a Publix and a competitor coupon with a man. coupon at the same time, most probably don't)
    • Made them .45 cents each
  • 4 packages of Chinet Dinner Napkins, retails for $2.15 each, on sale BOGO ($1.07 each)
    • Used four .50 cents off printables from an email newsletter
    • Made them .57 cents each
  • 2 packages of Thomas English Muffins, retails for $3.89 each on sale BOGO ($1.94 each)
    • Used a $1/2 Target.com printable
    • Made them $1.44 each
  • 2 half gallons of Smart Balance Milk, retails for $3.99, on sale for $2.50
    • Used two $1 off coupons from coupons.com
    • Made them $1.50 each
  • 2 five pound bags of Gold Medal Bread Flour, retails for $2.57 a bag
    • Used two $1 off Publix coupons from the Yellow Advantage Flyer
    • Stacked with two .50 cents off Target.com printables (again my stores allow this)
    • Made them $1.07 a bag
  • 10 Yoplait Yogurts, retails for .67 each (not on sale but we needed them)
    • Used a $1/10 man. coupon from an insert
    • Stacked with a $1/10 Target.com coupon
    • Made them .47 cents each
  • Two 1.25 liters of Diet Coke, retails for .99 cents each
  • 1 bag of Purdue Frozen Chicken Breasts, retails for $8.59
    • On sale for $5.99
  • 1 brick of Cracker Barrel Cheese, retails for $5.49, on sale for $3.00
    • Used a .55 cents off coupon from a store dispenser
    • Made it $2.45
  • 1 package of Kraft BIG Slices cheese, retails for $3.19
    • Used a $1 off man. printable from CookingWithKraft.com
    • Stacked with a $1 off Publix coupon from the Savings Are Stocking Up Mailer
    • Made it $1.19
  • 2 cans of La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk, retails for $1.99 each
    • On sale BOGO, .99 cents each
  • 2 Et Tu Salad Kits, retails for $2.50 each
    • On sale BOGO, $1.25 each

Comment with questions or if you found any good deals!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Publix Ad With Coupons 12/15

Here is the new Publix ad with coupon match ups starting this Thursday (for FL) 12/15.


Looks like a really good ad with lots of great deals on stuff you might need for your holiday cooking. This ad actually runs through Dec. 24th so you have lots of time to look for coupons and see what you need.

I am looking forward to the more than free Zephryhills sparkling water (we have become obsessed lately), the BOGO Ghirardelli brownie mix, BOGO Fresh Express Salads and crazy cheap Chinet napkins.


Here are the links to my favorite coupon match up ads. The first one I use to print out my shopping list and the second one I use to double check and see if there are any additional deals not listed on the first one.

Publix Ad 12/15 #1

Publix Ad 12/15 #2

Make sure to keep an eye out for the Winter Family Savings booklet and the All The Trimming Booklet as well as the new Yellow and Green Advantage Flyers.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Meal Plan 12/12

As the holidays get closer, I am finding that we are eating at home less and less. However, I am trying to stick to cooking when I can.


Our menu for last Friday night's Christmas party, was a complete success. I will be posting some recipes as the week goes on. My personal favorites were the cheesy potatoes, baked brie, homemade peppermint bark, and the Cheesecake Caramel Apple Dessert Dip.

This week I am doing the bulk of my holiday baking since I always bring in baked goods as gifts to the administration at my school as well as a tray of goodies for the teacher's lounge.

Here is what I hope to make this week:
Another batch of Peppermint Bark for gifts
S'more cookies for gifts
Pinterest Inspired Christmas Pretzel Bites for gifts
Magic Cookie Bars for gifts
Gooey Butter Bars for gifts
Chicken Satay
Homemade pizza using our freezer cooking dough

Look for posts on cheesy potatoes later this week, as well as posts on my holiday baking!

Double Cash Back On E-Bates



Ebates is currently offering double (or more) cash back on over 500 stores online. It looks like there are alot of great stores included in today's promotion.

Ebates is a free website that offers "cash back" when you make purchases online through their website.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Taking Advantage Of A Target Gift Card Deal




In my party planning shopping this week, I made a little trip to Target to stock up on stuff for the party and I grabbed a few couponed items too. The sales weren't anything crazy but I did have a few Target coupons that made the whole trip. I had the coupon for a $10 gift card when you spend $50 and I also had a $5 off any $50 or more purchase Catalina that printed out for me a while back.

Since I had a long list of grocery items I needed for the party this week, I decided to buy the items that were cheaper or as cheap as Publix at Target to take advantage of the Target gift card coupon. Since I was going to be spending this money one way or another it was nice to be able to get a gift card to add to our Camera Fund in the process.

Before coupons my total came to $56 so I was able to use my $5 off, then give them my coupon to earn a $10 gift card, and then I used the rest of my coupons. My total out of pocket came to $40.68 (plus I got my $10 gift card which made it like spending $30.68)

Here are a few highlights:
  • 2 Revita Lens Saline travel kits, retails for $3.49 each
    • Used two $3 off coupons from the 12/4 SS
    • Made them .49 cents each
  • 4 twelve packs of Coca Cola Products, retails for $4.89 each, on sale 3/$11 ($3.66 each)
    • Target had a promo going on where if you bought 3 twelve packs at 3/$11 you got a twelve pack of Sprite for free
    • I also had a coupon for a FREE twelve pack from MyCokeRewards
    • I combined the sale, promo, and my free product coupon and I paid $7.32 for all 4 twelve packs or $1.83 each
  • 2 boxes of Wheat Thins crackers, retails for $2.54 each, price cut to $2 each
  • 2 bags of Ore Ida frozen hash browns, retails for around $3 each, price cut 2/$5
    • Used two $1 off printable coupons from WoundedWarriors.com
    • Made them $1.50 each
  • 2 packages of Land O Lakes butter, retails for $4.98, price cut to $2.99
    • Used two .75 cents off Internet printables
    • Made them $2.24 each

Homemade Peppermint Bark

My most recent batch!

A few years ago, my current roommate and I had a Christmas party. One of our parents' friends brought us a gift for hosting. It was the most delicious Peppermint Bark ever. I wanted to get some for my family for Christmas and when I priced it out at Williams & Sonoma (where it had been purchased), I was shocked to find that it cost close to $30 a box. I decided that I would find a way to make it for cheaper.

After lots of trial and error, I have finally found an easy and comparably inexpensive way to make this treat at home. I think that I even like it better than the one from the store and when all is said and done I make about three times the quantity in the box at Williams & Sonoma for less than $20. It makes a great dessert for a Christmas party and I package it up and give it as gifts to my co-workers and friends.

I personally have started using Ghirardelli chocolate bricks from Sam's because they taste amazing and melt really easily. They are 2.5 pounds each (one white and one regular chocolate) for around $7.50 each. You could use any kind of chocolate you have handy and I have even done it with chocolate chips before too. I then buy whole candy canes (I get Bob's from WalMart for .98 cents each) and crush them up myself.


Here is the step by step process.

Homemade Peppermint Bark
  • Equal parts white and milk (or semi-sweet) chocolate
  • Candy Canes
1. Rough chop your milk chocolate and put it in a microwave safe bowl.


2. Microwave it in 30 second intervals, stirring between each time until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

3. Pour and spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.

4. Put in the fridge for 15 minutes or until hardened.

5. While the first layer is cooling, I chop my white chocolate and crush my candy canes


6. Once the first layer has set, melt the white chocolate and then pour and spread evenly right on top of the first layer.


7. Right after pouring the white chocolate, even sprinkle on crushed candy cane bits.


8. Put whole tray back in the fridge until completely hardened.

9. Once it is set, you can break it up in to bite size pieces.


I store it in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer. I love to find little packages at the dollar store to wrap it up for gifts. This year I found a great deal on DIY Martha Stewart packing at TJMaxx. I ended up getting a set of six of these cute bags for $2.



Enjoy!


Couponing To A New Camera

As I have mentioned before, couponing has allowed us to save a significant amount of money in the last six months. We have been able to put that extra money towards paying off house expenses (specifically our little surprise renovation project), adding to our savings and it has allowed us to enjoy fun things that we would not have had money in our budget for otherwise.

In the last few years we have been really wanting a new, higher-end digital camera. We thought maybe would buy one before our Honeymoon last year but we never quite got around to it. Black Friday came and went this year and even though we saw the models we wanted for great prices, it just wasn't in our budget.

Lately, I have been taking advantage of all the great deals at Target and CVS where you can earn gift cards with your purchases. I normally just take these gift cards and use them towards my weekly grocery trip or use it on my next Target purchase. This gave me an idea; what if I saved this "found money" towards something big? That is exactly what we are going to do.

Every time I earn a Target gift card with my purchases or earn a $10 American Express card at CVS, we are going to save them in an envelope and put them towards a camera next Black Friday. I will also be using my reward points from my online search/cash back sites to redeem for gift cards as well. I specifically use E-bates, SwagBucks, and MyPoints.

Our goal is to have $600 in Target/Prepaid Gift Cards by next November so that we can use them to buy the camera we want on Black Friday 2012.

It seems like a high number but I have probably earned close to $100 in Target and Amex cards (from CVS) in the last few months alone. They are in small amounts ($5-$10) and won't really be missed now that we are saving them. I will try to update on our progress periodically.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Publix Trip 12/9



This week got a little crazy so I did not end up getting to go shopping until Friday afternoon right before our party. I was a little nervous that the price of this week's trip would be higher than usual because I needed alot of fresh veggies and stuff for our party that I did not have good coupons for. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how low my final total was compared to what it could have been. I had a few money makers and I did hit my $80 before coupons total so I could use both my $5/50 Publix coupon (my last one sadly) and my $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupon.

We did end up buying our meat for our party at Sam's since we still have our membership there right now. Since Publix does not really do store meat coupons and also does not print Catalinas which many couponers use towards fresh meat, end up buying alot of our meat at Sam's because it ends up being cheaper per pound especially when we need a large amount. It is one of the only things we currently buy at Sam's anymore. Check out this comparison of grocery shopping with coupons versus warehouse shopping for more details on why. 

Here is the breakdown of this week's trip:
Total retail value: $111.60
Spent out of pocket: $50.51
Total saved: $61.09
Percent saved: 54%

Ideally, I like to save at least 60% or more but considering that this trip included fresh carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, broccoli, 2 bags of apple slices and 3 bags of baby spinach I am ok with only saving 54% this week.

Here are the highlights with coupon match ups:
  • 1 tube of Crest Complete toothpaste, retails for $3.29, on sale for $2.39
    • Used a $2 off man. coupon from the 9/11 SS
    • Stacked with a $1 off coupon from the Stocking Spree booklet
    • Made it FREE plus .61 cents overage
  • 1 Oral-B Complete toothbrush, retails for $3.69, on sale for $2.39
    • Used a $2 off man. coupon from the 9/11 SS
    • Stacked with a $1 off coupon from the Stocking Spree booklet
    • Made it FREE plus .61 cents overage
  • 2 bottles of Kikkoman Ponzu Sauce, retails for $2.49 each
    • Used two $3 off man. printable coupons from the man. website
    • Made each bottle FREE plus .51 cents in overage
  • 2 cans of Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce, retails for .89 cent each
    • Used two .75 cents off coupons from Coupons.com
    • Made each can .14 cents
  • 2 cans of Muir Glen Organic Soup, retails for $2.59, on sale for $1.67
  • 2 boxes of Kashi Cereal, retails for $4.09 each, on sale for $2.99 each
  • 4 five pound bags of Gold Medal Flour, retails for $2.37 each
    • Used four $1 off Publix store coupons from the current Yellow Advantage flyer found in the front of stores
    • Made them .87 cents each (tis the season to stock up on baking supplies!)
  • 2 tubs of Smart Balance, retails for $3.59 each, on sale BOGO ($1.79 each)
    • Used two $1 off any Smart Balance product from woundedwarriors.com
    • Made them .79 cents each, I buy them and freeze them when I can get it under $1 each
  • 1 bottle of Coffeemate Natural Bliss, retails for $2.50, on sale for $1.67
    • Used a .50 off coupon from a newspaper insert
    • Made it $1.17
  • 2 bags of Celentano Meatballs, retails for $3.29 each, on sale for $2.79 each
    • Used a $1.50/2 Publix store coupon from the Winter Family Savings booklet
    • Made them $2.04 each
  • 1 bottle of Weiman's Glass Stove Top Cleaner and 1 pack of Weiman Scrubbing Pads, retails for $3.99 and $1.99 each
    • Used two .65 cents off printable coupons from the man. website
    • Stacked with a Publix store coupons for free scrubbing pads when you buy any other Weiman product from the Winter Family Savings booklet
    • Made both products $2.69 total
Everything else was either needed for the party or on sale BOGO. I got some other great deals on stuff at Target that I will post about soon.

Comment with any questions or if you found any great deals at Publix this week!

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