Friday, February 29, 2008

Freebie: Spring Cleanup Gift Pack

Clean Home Journal is doing another gift pack giveaway--this one is called the Spring Cleanup Gift Pack. You can sign up for it by clicking here--but hurry, there are only 10,000 kits available. Thanks to My Good Cents for the heads up.

*If you have received a gift pack from Clean Home Journal in the last 90 days, you are not eligible for this promotion.

Walgreens deals: March 2-8

The big news for this coming week is the Olay bar soap deal--for weeks it's been a hot topic in couponing forums. And in an unprecedented move, I actually bought coupons for this deal. If you're planning to cash in on this particular promotion, do it early in the week. It's a hot item and will move quickly.

Moneymaker: Olay or Zest bar soap multi-pack: 2/$4; prints $4 RR; use $2/1 Olay bar soap pack or $1/1 Zest bar soap pack (both from 2/10 paper insert).

The following are all part of the same promotion, but I will list the details separately so as to not cause confusion with different coupons. The following 6/$20 deals are mix and match, so you could, for instance, buy two Olay body washes and four Aussie products and get $12 in RRs. Because the bar soap and body wash/hair care deals are all P&G, it is not a given that the RR will "roll" from one deal to the other. I will post when I know if it does.
Edit: It appears that the RR will not roll from one deal to the other.

Moneymaker: Olay Botanicals body wash: 3/$10 or 6/$20; prints $4 RR if you buy 3 or $12 in RR (3 $4 RRs) when you buy 6; use with 6 $2/1 bar soap or body wash from 2/10 paper insert. It's a better moneymaker to use the Olay coupons on the bar soap, but if you need body wash, this is still a good deal.

Herbal Essences hair care: 3/$10 or 6/$20; prints $4 RR if you buy 3 or $12 in RR (3 $4 RRs) when you buy 6; use B2G1 coupon from 2/10 paper insert. Your OOP may vary depending on what price the cashier enters for the free bottle, but (for 6 bottles) shouldn't be more than $13.34 and you'll receive $12 in RR. ***Some have reported finding HE hair gel on clearance for $1. Since the RR is based on the number of items purchased, you should be able to buy six of these and receive $12 in RR.

Aussie hair care: 3/$10 or 6/$20; prints $4 RR if you buy 3 or $12 in RR (3 $4 RRs) when you buy 6; use $2/2 coupons from 3/2 paper insert.

Old Spice body wash: 3/$10 or 6/$20; prints $4 RR if you buy 3 or $12 in RR (3 $4 RRs) when you buy 6; use $1/1 coupon from 3/2 paper insert.

Pantene hair care: 3/$10 or 6/$20; prints $4 RR if you buy 3 or $12 in RR (3 $4 RRs) when you buy 6; however, I do not know of any coupons to use on this. (There will be Pantene coupons in the 3/2 paper, but they're for a different size bottle.) Edit: The trial size Pantene shampoo and conditioner (1.7 oz) are producing the RR.

Edit: Click here for an update on the deals.

Gillette Fusion Phenom or Venus Embrace razors: 9.99, prints $5 RR; use $4/1 Phenom coupon from 2/10 paper insert or $4/1 Embrace coupon from 3/2 paper insert. (If you're buying both razors, buy them in separate transactions so that both RRs will print.)

Crest Dental Care: 3/$9, produces $3 RR. There are some low-value coupons out for these products, but it only looks to me like a good deal if you picked up some of the $3.50/1 coupons some report finding at their dentist's office. You can also request a $3/2 dental products coupon by clicking here, though it probably won't reach you in time for this sale. This RR should keep printing through 5/31.

Post cereals: 1.99 each; if your store carries Chocolate Honey Bunches of Oats, use this $2 printable to get those free (may need to be adjusted down one cent).

March FAR deals:

Garnier Fructis Hair Stylers 2-8.5oz (excludes shampoo, conditioner, serums, and treatments), up to $4.29; use $1/1 coupon from 1/6 or 2/3 paper inserts.

Colgate Total Advanced Clean or Whitening Toothpaste 4-4.20 oz, up to $3.29; use $1/1 coupon from 2/3 paper insert or the $1/1 printable here.

Theradent Oral Rinse 8 oz, up to $9.99; use $1/1 coupon from 2/10 paper insert.

Listerine Smart Rinse 250 ml, up to $3.99; I don't know of any readily-available coupons for this item, but since it's a new product, they may offer one soon. (Some have reportedly found a tearpad for Listerine mouthwash at their dentist's office.)

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew, up to $12.99; if you buy a cleanser or moisturizer, use $3/1 from the 1/27 paper inserts or this $2 printable.

Nature Made Liquid Softgels: Vitamin D 1000 IU (90 pack), Super B (90 pack), Vitamin C (90 pack), Calcium 600mg w/D (100 pack), Multi for Her (60 pack), or Multi Complete (60 pack), up to $8.00; use with $1.50/1 multis printable (signup required).

The weekly ad scans may be found here, compliments of Irish Lass and Hot Coupon World.

Leftover Oatmeal Cake

Several months ago, a friend and I were trying to come up with a use for leftover oatmeal--from a breakfast for 30 people. We located the following recipe, which turned out lovely--you'd never have known it had oatmeal in it! :-)

Leftover Oatmeal Cake

2 C. cooked oatmeal
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. white sugar
1/2 C. shortening
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt

Briefly beat oatmeal. Gradually add sugars, continuing to beat. Cream with shortening. Add eggs and vanilla and beat again. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased 9 x13 baking pan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until cake tests done.

Freebies: Tea samples & toddler tableware

Celestial Seasonings is offering a book club starter kit with samples, recipes, and bookmarks. You are required to enter two tea UPC codes to receive the kit. Thanks to Sisterly Savings for the heads-up.

Motts for Tots is offering a set of toddler tableware in exchange for taking a brief survey. Thanks to Money Saving Mom for the heads-up.

Walgreens: Leap day coupons

Walgreens is offering a few leap day coupons, good only today and tomorrow. (Unfortunately none of the $5/20 coupons they've offered at the end of the last two months.) The coupons can be accessed by clicking here and may be combined with manufacturer's coupons to sweeten the deal.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Free Johnson's Buddies bar soap

Thanks to Crystal at Money Saving Mom for the heads-up on this coupon.

Johnson's Buddies bar soap is frequently $1 or less in stores (Kroger, Target, CVS), and you can get a $1 printable by clicking here. You should be able to print the coupon twice (either use the "back" button in your browser or click the link again).

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Target: Free (or better) Sunsilk

Some Target stores reportedly have Sunsilk shampoo, conditioner, and styling products clearanced to $1.48. Combine this with the 1.50-2.50 coupons from the 1/13 and 2/24 paper inserts and it's free with possible overage.

Edit: MoneyCommonSense noted that clearanced Sunsilk might also be found at Wal-Mart.

Kroger: A few deals

Kroger tends to vary according to region, but here's what I'm seeing in my local ads. These deals run through next Tuesday, March 4.

There are a number of 10/$10 sales, which in reality simply means 1/$1--you don't have to buy ten to get the discount. The following are all 10/$10.

Fast Fixin chicken: use with $1/1 printable coupons from

Peter Pan peanut butter: Use with $1/1 coupon from 1/6 paper insert. Expires 2/29.

Pasta Roni: Use with .50/2 coupon from 1/6 paper insert. Expires 3/2.

Michelina's (prepared food): Use with .50/1 Authentico Entrée from 2/24 paper insert.

Barilla pasta: Use with $1/2 from 1/6 paper insert. Expires 3/3.

AquaFresh toothpaste:
Use with $1/1 and $1.50/1 coupons from 2/10 paper insert or click here for printable coupons. Thanks to Comical Coupon Cents for the heads up.

Between the sales and double coupons, we should be able to score some good deals this week!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bakery outlet: Healthful, inexpensive bread

I love high-quality bread with a variety of grains and seeds, yet I rarely take the time to make yeast bread and I find grocery store prices slightly ridiculous. Several years ago, I accidentally discovered our local bakery outlet. I've grown to love that place. I am regularly delighted to walk out with delicious bread at a very reasonable price. (Large loaves are usually $1.25-1.33, though I've gotten them for $1.00.)

Many of the other bakery items are standard junk food (and overpriced at that), but their bread is enough to keep me coming back.

It may take some creativity to find out if there's a bakery outlet in your area. Look in the yellow pages, ask friends, check with your local grocery store, do a google search.

Something else that I like about my bakery outlet is their discount punch card. I get it initialed each time I make a purchase, and eventually I'll get $5 of free bread.

For more money-saving tips, check out Tipster Tuesday at BeCentsable.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Walgreens: Dr. Katz Perio Therapy moneymaker

There is a March Walgreens EasySaver rebate for $10 Dr. Katz Perio Therapy Gum Care System. In some areas there were $8 coupons in the 1/27 paper inserts or you can find a $5 printable coupon here. Check the box before buying, but I'm hearing reports of a $10 mail-in manufacturer's rebate. The manufacturer's rebate expires March 1, 2008.

Before your order is rung up, make sure you request a rebate receipt. It will print an extra receipt that may be mailed in for the manufacturer's rebate, then your original may be sent to Walgreens for the EasySaver rebate.

Note: The normal price for this item is 19.99. However, some managers apparently have the kit on megasaver for $10 all month long. At that price, this would be a moneymaker (with the coupon) even if you missed the manufacturer's mail-in rebate.

Make-it-Yourself Monday: Broth

Broth is a lovely base for soups and sauces and makes a great addition to many casseroles. Best of all, you can make it at home for just pennies.

Supplies needed:

Leftover bones
When you eat chicken, throw the leftover bones into your "chicken bone bag" in the freezer. Keep beef bones in a separate bag. When you have a supply of one or the other, make a pot of broth.

Small amount of vinegar
Vinegar is optional, but will help leach minerals out of the bones and into your broth.

Seasonings such as celery leaves, onions, and garlic (optional)
Vegetables may be left whole--they'll be easier to remove later.

Salt to taste (optional)
I prefer to leave broth unsalted, then season when I'm using it in a recipe.

Place bones in stockpot. Cover with water and add seasonings and vinegar. Place on stovetop on very low heat. (I've never used a crockpot for this, but it should work.) Simmer for at least eight hours--24 hours is better. (The longer you simmer the broth, the better the flavor... up to a point!) Allow to cool. Remove bones and vegetables. Broth may be used immediately, or I prefer to have it frozen in recipe-sized amounts for later use.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Walgreens: More Jane makeup?!?

I don't know happening with Walgreens, but it's not bothering me. :-) If you miss the Jane deal this week, don't worry. Jane makeup will be BOGO again soon--March 9 to 15, to be exact. And if you're looking for the the $2 manufacturer's coupon, you can get that by clicking here. The coupon is good through April 30, 2008.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Honey Bunches of Oats $2 coupon

If you haven't yet printed your coupons for Chocolate Honey Bunches of Oats, you can do so by clicking here. You can often find these on sale for $2, so here's to some free cereal! Thanks to BeCentsable for emailing me the link.

Walgreens deals: February 24 to March 1

I don't know about you, but I'm accumulating quite a stash of RRs that need to be used. We'll see what we can roll them onto this coming week. I'll probably be buying several FAR items. What about you? Below are some deals for this coming week.

Maybelline blush, concealer, powder, or foundation: BOGO, use with $2/1 or $3/2 coupons from 2/10 paper insert.

Yes to Carrots Body Butter: on sale for $9.99, mail in March EasySaver rebate for $9.99 (makes it FAR).

Charmin toilet paper: 7-day coupon for 6 double rolls @$2.99; use with $1 off Any Charmin Product from 1/20 P&G paper insert. P&G coupon expires 2/29.

Palmolive dish liquid: 7-day coupon for .99; use with $1/2 from 2/3 paper insert.

Celestial Seasonings tea: 2/3.00; use $1/2 ES coupon and 2 .55/1 printables from

Select Quaker products: 4/$10, produces $4 RR; use with $1/1 Cinnamon Life printable from,, or (Thanks, Comical Coupon Cents!), or .50/1 or $1/2 Cap'n Crunch from 1/6 insert.

L'Oreal and HiP lipcolor: BOGO; use with $2/1 L'Oreal lipcolor from 1/6 paper insert. There is a $2 coupon for any HiP product from the 12/2 paper insert, but it expires 2/24.

Alka-Seltzer Plus: 2.99; use with $2/1 coupon from 1/6 paper insert.

And the monthly FAR deals:

Garnier Fructis Hair Stylers 2-8.5oz (excludes shampoo, conditioner, serums, and treatments), up to $4.29; use $1/1 coupon from 1/6 or 2/3 paper inserts.

Colgate Total Advanced Clean or Whitening Toothpaste 4-4.20 oz, up to $3.29; use $1/1 coupon from 2/3 paper insert or the $1/1 printable here.

Theradent Oral Rinse 8 oz, up to $9.99; use $1/1 coupon from 2/10 paper insert.

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew, up to $12.99; if you buy a cleanser or moisturizer, use $3/1 from the 1/27 paper inserts or this $2 printable. And if you're buying this on 2/22 or 2/23, use the $3 IVC (page 7) from the February EasySaver catalog for more savings.

Nature Made Liquid Softgels: Vitamin D 1000 IU (90 pack), Super B (90 pack), Vitamin C (90 pack), Calcium 600mg w/D (100 pack), Multi for Her (60 pack), or Multi Complete (60 pack), up to $8.00; use with $1.50/1 multis printable (signup required). Or, if you have Nature Made products that you haven't redeemed the codes on, enter those after signing up and you may "earn" a larger coupon. I just entered codes from items around the house and have enough points for a $5 coupon. Edit: If you're going to earn a coupon, do it ASAP--they say to allow 4-6 weeks for shipping.

For the entire March EasySaver catalog, click here.

The ad scans for next week maybe be found by clicking here, with thanks to Irish Lass and Hot Coupon World.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Walgreens: Friday & Saturday deals

Since the February EasySaver period ends Saturday and the March EasySaver period begins Friday (tomorrow), there is a two-day window to pick up some overlapping deals. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Venus Embrace Razor: use $2 coupon from 2/17 paper; $5 RR begins Friday; mail in February ES rebate for 9.99. Edit: As of Friday morning, this RR is confirmed to be printing.

Fusion Phenom Razor: use $4 coupon from 2/10 paper; produces $6 RR; promotional information claimed that a $5 RR would begin printing on 2/22, so theoretically you could get $11. I'll post when this is confirmed. Edit: As of this morning (Friday), the $5 RR is not printing.

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew: use $3 IVC (page 7) from the February EasySaver catalog and if you buy a cleanser or moisturizer, use $1/1 from the 1/27 paper inserts; mail in for March rebate, up to $12.99.

Butterball chicken broth: Buy 10 cans of Butterball chicken broth, regularly priced 1.19. Use 7-day coupon to make them 2/$1. Send in for March rebate #49: $5 when you buy $10 of select Con-Agra foods (your before-coupon price is $10.00 or $11.90, and that's generally what Walgreens counts).

Wal-phed PE and Wal-dryl removed because a reader pointed out that it wouldn't work.

The February EasySaver catalog may be found by clicking here.

The March EasySaver catalog may be found by clicking here.

Be sure to do separate transactions for March and February rebates so that you're able to send both receipts in as required.

Walgreens: February EasySaver period ending

The February EasySaver rebate period ends this Saturday, with a mailing deadline of March 1. Due to the avalanche of rebate requests they get, the sooner you mail your rebate, the better. And remember to snap a picture of all your records before you mail them off.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Walgreens: March free after rebate items

The March EasySaver month begins on Friday, February 22, and it's a good one. The following items will be FAR (free after rebate) all month:

Garnier Fructis Hair Stylers 2-8.5oz (excludes shampoo, conditioner, serums, and treatments), up to $4.29; use $1/1 coupon from 1/6 or 2/3 paper inserts.

Colgate Total Advanced Clean or Whitening Toothpaste 4-4.20 oz, up to $3.29; use $1/1 coupon from 2/3 paper insert or the $1/1 printable here.

Theradent Oral Rinse 8 oz, up to $9.99; use $1/1 coupon from 2/10 paper insert.

Listerine Smart Rinse 250 ml, up to $3.99 (will be available March 9); I don't know of any readily-available coupons for this item, but since it's a new product, they may offer one soon. (Some have reportedly found a tearpad for Listerine mouthwash at their dentist's office.)

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew, up to $12.99; if you buy a cleanser or moisturizer, use $3/1 from the 1/27 paper inserts or this $2 printable. And if you're buying this on 2/22 or 2/23, use the $3 IVC (page 7) from the February EasySaver catalog for more savings.

Nature Made Liquid Softgels: Vitamin D 1000 IU (90 pack), Super B (90 pack), Vitamin C (90 pack), Calcium 600mg w/D (100 pack), Multi for Her (60 pack), or Multi Complete (60 pack), up to $8.00; use with $1.50/1 multis printable (signup required). Or, if you have Nature Made products that you haven't redeemed the codes on, enter those after signing up and you may "earn" a larger coupon. I just entered codes from items around the house and have enough points for a $5 coupon. Edit: If you're going to earn a coupon, do it ASAP--they say to allow 4-6 weeks for shipping.

The following isn't FAR all month, but will be on sales for at least a week, making it FAR:

Yes to Carrots Body Butter, 8.45 oz, 9.99 rebate, will be FAR next week.

For the entire March EasySaver catalog, click here.

The March EasySaver period is February 22 through March 29. The mailing deadline for March rebates is April 5, 2008.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Total lunar eclipse: Free fun & education

This isn't an shopping deal, but watching an eclipse is a completely free, fun family activity. :-)

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, February 20), there is a complete lunar eclipse. The eclipse will begin at 7:43 P.M. Central Time (8:43 Eastern, 6:43 Mountain, 5:43 Pacific). Seventy-eight minutes later, the moon will be completely eclipsed, and will remain so for fifty-one minutes.

The eclipse will be over at 11:09 P.M. Central Time (12:09 Eastern, 10:09 Mountain, 9:09 Pacific), but may still be slightly visible for about twenty minutes.

For more details, check out this USA Today Viewer's Guide.

Kroger: Heath & Beauty deals?

Suzanne, a friend and reader, gave me the heads-up that numerous H&B items were clearanced at her Kroger, and I've been trying to figure out if it's a chain-wide phenomenon or just a local happening. (It might help if I actually looked at my own stores...) It sounded like the store was doing a reset of many items such as body wash and shampoo, and by using coupons you could score some great deals. (Suzanne mentioned getting body wash for 20¢.)

So... keep your eyes open for some really great deals--and if you find some, I'd love if you'd let me know! :-)

Target deals: February 17-23

Crystal at Money Saving Mom has posted several free or almost-free Target deals for this week. Check it out here. (Take note of her comment regarding the Olay bar soap. If you have Walgreens, save your coupons--it's an awesome moneymaker the first week in March.)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sears: Free tools *today only*

Sears is offering a number of tools FAR, but the offer is only good today and must be done in-store. (Though it appears you can order them online for in-store pick-up.) You can find and complete the rebate form here.

Thanks to iMommies for the heads-up on this deal.

Walgreens: Baby deals

Walgreens has a number of store coupons on their website for a variety of baby producs: diapers, wipes (or make your own), baby bath. The coupons expire 2/23. (The top of the page says through 2/16, but ignore it. The coupons state their individual expiration dates.)

To get an even better deal on the baby items, buy some Jane mascara and use the overage toward your baby items.

Make it Yourself Monday: Baby wipes

Here's another installment in our Make-it-Yourself Monday feature. This week's post is a by Darla, explaining how to make baby wipes. Thanks, Darla!

Baby Wipes

Bounty Paper Towels*
1 T. baby wash
1 t. baby oil
1 C. warm water

These wipes smell great and are so durable!

The original "recipe" said to cut the roll in half (which was not easy), remove the cardboard center, place in a container, and pour the water and soap mixture over the paper towels. I found that I couldn't find a container to fit them, and it was hard to find the "start" to tear one off each time... I personally prefer the "reach in" kind of wipes, so this was my solution.

Step One: Put a movie or some relaxing music on while the kids are napping (it takes about 20 minutes).
Step Two: Tear off each sheet in the roll, making a big flat pile.

Step Three: Cut the stack in half, so you have two rectangular strips.

Step Four: Tri-fold each sheet, folding so it's easy to snag the wipe with your finger (seam towards the middle, not on the very edge), also make note of how wide your wipes container is so they fit in perfectly.

Step Five: A double roll of Bounty will make me about four containers full of wipes (lasts over a month... almost two). I take the folded stacks and put them in a large ziploc bag (gallon size or larger), then just fill up my wipes container and pour the soap and water mixture over when needed.

Cost: I bought a bag of eight double rolls in May, and I still have two left! The baby wash, oil, and water cost pennies as so little is used and we already have this stuff on hand for bath time! My husband asked me if it was worth it... I told him I was saving about $15 a month, plus I look forward to my movie each time it's time to make more. Just a little "mommy unwind" time!

*I have never used a knock off brand. Bounty are extremely durable and do a great job. I have a feeling a cheaper brand would tear or not soak up the water properly.
Edit from Darla: Last week there was a sale on Bounty, and I actually picked up the select a size can then just tear off the half size, I suppose it will be a little easier. :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Walgreens scenarios: February 17-23

With all of the awesome deals to be had at Walgreens this week, I wanted to offer some specific ideas on how to get the most bang for your buck.

Scenario #1: Mascara, Twizzlers & Razor

I've edited this scenario because the Twizzlers didn't ring up as I'd originally thought.


4 Jane mascaras (4.99 each)
6 Twizzlers (2/3.00)
1 Fusion Phenom razor (9.99)

Use these coupons:

4 $2 Jane
1 $4 Phenom (1/10 paper insert)
2 B2G1 Twizzlers (tearpad at Kmart)
Twizzlers 7-day coupon
Twizzlers IVC (page 2)
Jane IVC (page 7)

Cost: 1.96, plus tax.

Resulting RRs: $6 Phenom

For the best value, do this deal on 2/22 or 2/23, and you might get an additional $5 RR on the Phenom.

Scenario #2: Mascaras, ChapStick & razor


Venus Embrace razor (9.99)
6 Jane mascaras (4.99 each)
ChapStick Naturals ($2)

Use these coupons:

$2 Venus Embrace (2/17 paper insert)
6 $2 Jane
Jane IVC (page 7)

Cost: .96, plus tax

Results in: 9.99 EasySaver rebate, $2 RR (ChapStick), and, if done on 2/22 or 2/23, $5 RR (razor).

CentsibleSawyer offers several scenarios here, with a total OOP of under $10.

Are there specific things you're trying to work into your deals this week? It's a great week to incorporate extra items, due to the possibility for Jane overage.

Sears: $5 gift card

Thanks to iMommies for the heads-up on this deal: Sign up for alerts at and they'll send you a $5 gift card. Offer expires April 6.c

Friday, February 15, 2008

Walgreens deals: February 17-23

I'm posting the Walgreens deals a bit earlier in the week in an attempt to both give y'all more of a head start and to work better with my schedule.

The big news is that it's officially Jane week... or something like that!

Jane makeup: BOGO; use with 2 of these $2/1 Jane coupons. And if you're buying mascara, also use the $2/1 IVC (page 7). Most products should be free or very close to it between these coupons. (In the case of the mascara, you should get $3 overage for each two mascaras you buy.) As always when using multiple coupons with a BOGO sale, YMMV.

Moneymaker: Venus Embrace: FAR all month (but rather scarce in stores...), use with $2 coupon from 2/17 newspaper. Some have reported finding a $10 MasterCard debit card inside the package, redeemable after filling out a survey. Beginning 2/22, there will be a $5 RR on this item. You may want to wait until then to purchase your FAR razor.

Twizzlers: use B2G1 tearpad coupons (found at Kmart), 2/2.29 7-day coupon, and $1/2 IVC (page 2). YMMV as to exactly how this rings up, but it should look something like this for six packages (depending on how they ring it up, you may get a bit of overage):

1.50 (regular price of the Twizzlers is 1/1.99 or 2/3.00)
x 6
-3.00 (B2G1 man q x2)
-2.13 (7-day store q)
-3.00 (IVC)

Free after RR: Gillette Fusion Phenom Razor: 9.99; use $4 coupon from 2/10 paper insert; produces $6 RR. (This is also reportedly included in the $5 RR deal with the Venus Embrace, beginning 2/22. That could mean you'll get $5, $6, or $11 in RR if you buy the Phenom on 2/22 or 2/23... We'll see, but I'm hoping for the $11.)

Free after RR: ChapStick Naturals: $2.00, produces $2 RR (currently unadvertised)

Photos: 7-day coupon--25 free when you buy 25

Maybelline lip & nail color: BOGO; use with $2 off any lip product from 2/10 insert.

Sunsilk: $3 RR WYB 3 products. Some have reported finding these on clearance; use with $1.50 coupons from 1/13 paper inserts or with this printable coupon. (Thanks, CentsibleSawyer!)

Revlon lip color: BOGO; use with $1/1 lip product from 10/21 paper. Coupons expire 2/21.

The March EasySaver period is reported to begin on February 22, giving a two-day overlap between the February and March rebate periods. This would be an ideal time to pick up some March FAR items with Jane overage. You can find the list of March rebate items here, with thanks to Irish Lass.

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew: Buy on 2/22 or 2/23; using February $3 IVC (page 7) and manufacturer's coupon: $1 coupons from 11/11, 12/2, and 1/27 inserts, $2 tearpad coupon (found at Kmart), or possibly this $2 coupon. Send in March ESR for several dollars overage.

True Lemon (individual packets of powdered lemon juice): 1.99 (normal price); use $1 printable from

Dove & Degree Deodorant are on sale for $1.99/ea. If you clipped the $1/1 coupons from past papers, you can get these for $0.99/ea. My store had bonus packs of both items that included a travel size of each product, which is an added bonus. (Thanks, Meredith!)

For specific scenario ideas, check this post.

Thanks to Hot Coupon World and Irish Lass, you can find the ad scans here. What other deals do you see?

Black Bean Casserole

It's been requested (Hi, Suzanne!) that I post more recipes here. I'm hope to include more, and if you have a favorite frugal recipe, I'd love if you'd email it to me to share here.

A friend gave me this recipe several months ago, after I thoroughly enjoyed the casserole. Hope you enjoy it, too!

Black Bean Casserole
2 C. cooked black beans (or a 15 oz. can)
2 C. cooked rice
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. salsa
1 C. (8 oz) sour cream
2 C. grated cheese (cheddar is good)
Extra cheese for topping

Mix all ingredients except topping cheese. Pour into casserole dish, topping with reserved cheese. Bake uncovered at 350° for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Frugal Valentine's Day ideas

Any special plans today? Here are some last-minute ideas to get your brain moving...

Mom Savers--I loved her Table for Two story

Get Rich Slowly: Cheap ways to say "I love you" Lots of inexpensive do-it-yourself ideas

Unique Holiday Gift Ideas: Eight Valentine Gift Basket Ideas

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Several coupons

Get a $1 coupon for Coffeemate.

And a $1 coupon for Advil.

Free Kotex sample.

$1 coupon Viva paper towels.

SeaPak products: $1 off.

Office Depot: $5/25 coupon

If you frequent Office Depot, here's a bit of savings for you: $5 off your order of $25 or more. Find the coupon here. (Expires 2/17.)

Saving on postage

It's official: On May 12 postage rates are going up yet again. The good news is that it's only a one cent increase and there are ways to save. Here are some ideas to cut how much you spend on postage:

1. Use online bill pay. Many banks offer this free with their checking accounts. (If yours doesn't, you might want to check out the ING Direct Electric Orange. My thoughts about ING Direct are posted here.)

2. Buy Forever stamps. In case you haven't heard, Forever stamps may be bought at the current first-class postage price, but may be used no matter how much the postage rate has increased since. The postal service is stocking five billion Forever stamps in preparation for an increased demand.

3. Use email to keep in touch with friends and family. I'm guessing most of us do this anyway, but this is a great reminder. If you really want to send a handwritten note, why not send a postcard--it's still 15¢ cheaper than a letter.

4. Submit rebates online when possible. Walgreens offers online rebate submission for Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. RiteAid also offers online submission.

5. Research other ways to send packages: UPS, Fed-Ex Ground, etc.

How are you planning to save on postage? Do you even use stamps these days?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Check your credit report!

Do you know what your credit report looks like at the moment? It had probably been a couple of years since I checked mine, so I recently ordered reports from all three credit reporting agencies. My reports all looked pretty much as expected and I'm free to not think about it again for a while.

Whatever your current credit status (out of debt, paying off debt...) and whether or not you use credit cards, I'd highly recommend you check your credit report. You can order each bureau's report once a year for free. Some people like to check one report each four months, others order all three at once.

However often you choose to do it, you can check it online at or you can call them to order: 877-322-8228. (They may try to sell you on getting your credit score, too, but don't let it confuse you--your credit report is free.)

Monday, February 11, 2008 Celestial Seasonings tea

If you really like tea, you might want to check out Raspberry Gardens Green Tea is $8.00 for six 20-bag boxes and Earl Grey White Tea is $10 for six 20-bag boxes. The down side is that you have to order a whole case--six boxes--at once.

Check out the whole variety of Celestial Seasonings teas here (watch bag-count--some boxes only have ten bags). Order more than $25 worth and standard shipping is free. Whoohoo--I can only imagine how long that stockpile would last! :-)

Edit: The deal gets sweeter: Use the code TEAFUN22 for $10 off your tea order of $29 or more. Thanks to The Bargain Shopper Lady for the heads-up on this one!

Walgreens: Store-brand Claritin

Thanks to Sally for the heads-up on this deal...

There is a great deal going on this week at Walgreens on the store brand of Claritin (Loratadine 10 mg) allergy pills. The boxes of 150 are on sale for $24.99 and many of them have an additional 90 pills in them. That’s 240 doses for $24.99. For daily users, this is an 8 month supply. It works out to $3.13 per month. And the best part is that the tablets are loose in a bottle rather than being in the difficult-to-use foil packs.

Make-it-Yourself Monday: Salad dressing

Another installment in our Make-it-Yourself Monday feature...

I love to make my own salad dressing, though it's honestly more taste-motivated than savings-motivated. I enjoy the variety and flexibility afforded me when I mix it up myself and the option of choosing high-quality ingredients.

Here's my favorite homemade dressing recipe--feel free to add or subtract ingredients to your liking. I rarely make it the same way twice, and that's part of what I love about making it myself.

Sweet & Sour Garlic Dressing

1 C. olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
2/3 C. vinegar
1/2 C. honey
Minced garlic
Seasoned salt to taste

Combine all in jar and shake to mix. Store in refrigerator. (Olive oil will solidify during refrigeration--you can let it sit out for a few hours or pop it into the microwave for a few seconds to soften it.)

My mom came up with this one...

Raspberry Vinaigrette

1/4 C. canola oil
2 T. vinegar
2 T. raspberry juice concentrate (from the frozen juice section of the store)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t. salt
pepper to taste

Combine in jar and shake to mix. Store in refrigerator.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Walgreens deals: February 10-16

Here's the beginning of next week's Walgreens deals. I should be back with more later today.

Moneymaker: ChapStick Naturals: 7-day ChapStick coupon for .99, Walgreens employee checked the database, and the coupon includes the Naturals this time. The $2 RR is still printing, so you get a $1 profit on each one. (Only one RR will print per transaction, and if you use a RR to pay for your next ChapStick order, the RR for that order won't print.)

Moneymaker: Citrucel Soft Chews: on sale for 9.99, use ES coupon for $5 off (page 26) and manufacturer's coupon for $2.50 (1/6 insert) or get a $2 printable by registering here. Send in for $10 MIR. (Sign-up is free, but required to get the rebate and you must fill out an IBS survey. The rebate is on the lower left side of the page after you complete the survey.) For a more detailed explanation of the scenario, see details here.

Moneymaker: Robitussin: 3.99. Use $3 printable coupon and get $2 RR.

Possible moneymaker
: Gillette Venus Embrace razor: 9.99, FAR. Some have reported finding a $10 MasterCard debit card inside the package, redeemable after filling out a survey.

Free after RR: Gillette Fusion Phenom: 9.99; use $4 coupon from 2/10 paper insert; produces $6 RR.

Hefty One Zip: BOGO 2/2.79; use $1/1 insert coupon from 1/20.

Bayer Aspirin: 1.99, use $1 IVC and $1/1 insert coupon from 2/3.

Bounty paper towels: 7-day coupon for .79; use with $1/2 Bounty from 1/20; total .29 each

Wrigley's gum: 7-day coupon for .59. Use with BOGO printable and .99/3 IVC (give BOGO, then 7-day, then IVC).

Rimmel makeup: BOGO

What other deals did you find?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Walgreens: The return of the Jane phenomenon

If you missed out on the Jane deals a couple weeks ago, hang in there. Jane cosmetics will be BOGO the week of February 17, so get ready to use your manufacturer's coupons and your EasySaver mascara coupons.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Teaching Children, Part 8: Parental ATM?

Part eight in our series on teaching children about money...

Through example and practice, my parents taught me that their money is theirs and my money is mine. Not that they never shared, but our home was certainly not run on the Communist ideal of community property. :-)

It shocked me when I began to realize that some kids routinely asked their parents for money and got it just like that, with no effort on their part. I was always under the impression that money was something to be earned, payment for a job done. And in our family, it was.

If I wanted to buy something, I had ways of earning money--but it was earned, not doled out without personal investment.

I'm grateful that my parents ingrained in me that money is to be earned, not something I am entitled to by virtue of being human, cute, or their kid. :-)

Walgreens: Free set of photos

In honor of Valentine's Day, Walgreens is offering a set of photos and enlargements for free, one per customer. The set includes 1 8x10, 2 5x7, and 4 4x6 photos. I'm not sure yet if all the pictures must be the same (in the example provided, they are).

To get the discount, go to the Walgreens website and order using the coupon code VALENTINE. Orders must be placed and picked up between Februrary 7-9.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Teaching Children, Part 7: Real-life finances

Part seven in our series on teaching children about money...

As I grew older, my parents gave me responsibility that made me realize money wasn't just something to collect knowledge about. It was real life. As a teenager, I was responsible for keeping the books and paying the bills for our small family business.

It's one thing when financial understanding is theories, but when you have other peoples' real money in your control, reality sinks in. When I kept the checkbook and paid bills, it was different that my personal finances: I felt a greater responsibility to others to see that it was done correctly.

Make sure your teenager has a clear understanding of what to do before letting them loose on paying bills. Otherwise it could become very frustrating for both of you. :-) (As long as you're still signing the checks, you can still keep an eye on things that way.)

You may not have a small business to train your children on, but what about your household bills--phone, electricity, water? Online bill pay is convenient, but it might be worthwhile to write checks for a while, if you can be training your children in the process--and if they realize how much you're paying, they may think longer before they waste resources.

Walgreens: SpaRewards

While the Wyeth/Walgreens SpaRewards promotion started before I began this blog, Crystal's input and my own success (just today) inspired me to share how it ended up working. It took a number of weeks for the promotion to come through, but it didn't take a lot my time in the actual procuring of the rewards.

I first talked with a SpaRewards representative in December, who told me it would take "up to fourteen business days" for them to make arrangements with the salon I chose. I've tried calling several times since then, but when I reached real people, their answers were frustrating and even contradictory.

Perhaps a month ago, I called the Walgreens rebate hotline (rather than the SpaRewards hotline). While I felt more like I was heard, they still didn't offer substantial help. About three weeks ago, I sent Walgreens an email, explaining the problem and the lengths I'd gone to in an attempt to resolve it. It seemed that I was getting nowhere with the SpaRewards hotline, and I was concerned that the certificates would expire before I even had a chance to use them.

I knew of others that received gift certificates, and would be grateful if that was an option for me.

This afternoon, I received a phone call from Walgreens, confirming the salon I wanted to use. The gentleman I spoke with told me he would make the arrangements and call me back in about ten minutes. Five minutes later, my phone rang, and he relayed the message that I have a $100 gift certificate waiting for me at the salon. I am to send my reward certificates to an address that he provided, and then the remainder of my gift certificates will be purchased.

I'm thrilled with the arrangement--makes me think it was worth the wait. Since I am receiving gift certificates, I can buy whatever I want, and, I'm assuming, use the certificates toward tax and tip. Additionally, most gift certificates are good for at least a year, so I should be well supplied with hair care for the next year. :-)

I am a happy camper... And I can't wait to get my hair done! :-)

Note: Particularly because of all the confusion surrounding this promotion, I am documenting the mailing of my SpaRewards certificates just as I would a rebate. That means my name and address on each reward certificate, and pictures of the certificates before I mail them.

Walgreens: Last week

My computer and I have both been sick for a few days, so posting will probably remain slow until we recover. :-) I did, however, want to share a couple things I hope are inspirational.

I was quite happy with the results of last week's $5/20 Walgreens coupon--I ended up spending about $5 OOP, getting $7 in Register Rewards, and I have $5.99 in ES rebates coming. I'm really liking the savings atmosphere at Walgreens these days! Here's what I picked up:

In a separate transaction, I attempted to purchase this:

However, when I handed the cashier the $1 StudioLine EasySaver coupon, she informed me that the coupon was only for the new line of products, not the marked-down ones I picked up (they were .99, not the 2/$3 the stickers indicate). She seemed rather disgruntled, mumbling something about not being supposed to do that. I said okay, why doesn't she take those items off my order?

When she realized I wouldn't be buying the items, she seemed to have a sudden flash of cash register brilliance and grudgingly attempted to scan the coupon. It worked perfectly--the above cost a total of $2.31, and the Chapstick produced a $2 RR.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Just ask... and make sure you're more than courteous, especially if the cashier is being difficult.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Teaching Children, Part 6: Creative income sources

Part six in our series on teaching children about money...

One thing I'm grateful my parents taught me is to come up with creative sources of income. Some of the ways my siblings and earned money were rather normal (paper routes, babysitting), and some were less conventional, such as selling bottled water at the Fourth of July parade and trapping rodents. And I'm sure there are some ways we earned money that I've completely forgotten.

It takes creativity and simply making opportunities to earn money, but here are some starter ideas, many of which aren't limited to kids:

Seasonal outdoor work: cutting grass, raking leaves, shoveling snow, etc.
Selling baked goods (Here's a neat story about a new wife who sold chocolate chip cookies)
House cleaning
Pulling weeds (My grandmother even paid me to do this when we were on vacation at her house! :-) )
Being a mother's helper
Pet sitting
Running errands
Selling greeting cards through programs such as Olympia Sales

Were there any unusual ways that you earned money as a kid? How do you plan to encourage your own children in financial creativity?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Teaching Children, Part 5: Balancing a checkbook

Part five in our series on teaching children about money...

One of the tools my parents gave me in preparation for handling my own finances was teaching me how to balance a checkbook. I learned to balance a checkbook when I was about fourteen.

I remember sitting at the kitchen table where we did school (we were homeschooled), while my dad explained and demonstrated how to do it. I wasn't overly excited about math, but the practicality of the lesson caught my interest and I picked up the skill. All these years later, I'm still using what he took the time to teach me and my siblings.

Obviously, if you don't know how to balance a checkbook, you can't teach someone else. But if you don't know how, this is a great time to learn. :-) Here are some tools to help you get started: A step-by-step tutorial and a form to help along the way.

Make-it-Yourself Monday: Cake decorating

Following is the first installation of our Make-it-Yourself Monday feature...

One of activities that kept me busy this weekend was a surprise birthday party for my dad. Rather than purchasing or ordering a cake, I baked and decorated a cake for the party.

Lest you think I'm unusually talented, here's a photo of the finished product:

If I had ordered the same cake from the grocery store, it would have cost $14-19. Instead I used ingredients I had on hand, costing me nothing extra. (A rough tally of the ingredient cost was around $2.50-- and could have been lower.)

If you'd like to decorate cakes, start practicing. You can take a class, too (I took the Wilton class), but the most important ingredient is lots and lots of practice. (By the way, Hobby Lobby offers Wilton classes for half price.)

You can save a huge amount of money just by learning this one skill.

Fred Meyer: deals this week

Thanks to CC for the heads-up on the following deals:

Although Fred Meyer's is a Kroger's store, it never seems to have all the great deals (or even double coupons) that other Kroger stores have. Today, however, I found some great deals in their Sunday flier.

5 for $10
+ send in for a $10 mail in rebate
+ plus coupons in today's paper
= Money maker of at least $2.10 after rebate
Buy 2 Colgate Total toothpastes these are required for the deal (use $1 off 2 coupon)
Buy 1 Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap (use 35 cent off coupon)
Buy 2 Speed Stick deodorant (use 75 cent off of 2 coupon)

Pillsbury Cake Mix
use 2 for $1 coupon in Freddy's flier
use 40 cent off 2 coupon in today's paper
= 30 cents for each cake mix

Campbell's Soup Tomato and/or Chicken Noodle
Use 10 for $5 coupon in Freddy's flieruse 2 coupons for 40 cents off any 4 cans= 42 cents for each soup

Plus a bunch of organic fruits on sale (bananas, oranges, Fuji apples, etc). They have the cheapest Organic milk that I've been able to find, $4.99/gal.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

This weekend

As I mentioned in the Walgreens post, things have been a bit crazy around here. I'll plan to continue the series on teaching children about money next week.

Also next week, be on the lookout for a new feature: Make-it-Yourself Monday, where I'll share ideas on cutting costs by creating things from scratch instead of buying them pre-made.

Finally, thanks to the reader who sent me a link for BOGO Glade flameless candles. (This is a great one to keep in mind for when there are BOGO sales....)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Walgreens deals: February 3-9

Life has been a bit crazy lately, and I didn't even pay attention to next week's Walgreens deals until tonight. Crystal has shared deals for the coming week here, and I'll plan to post others as I discover them.

Thanks to Sally for sharing this deal:

There is a good deal on Stayfree Dry at Walgreens this week. The packages of 10-12 are on sale for $2.50 each and there is a printable for $2.00 off. This printable can be printed six times! That makes the packages of pads $0.50 each. Link to coupon.

After I bought my Stayfree at Walgreens, a Catalina for $2.75 off for Always Dry printed up. This coupon is good until March 3, so I’ll be watching the Walgreens flyer for a good deal!

Time to stock up!

The Chapstick Naturals deal from last week is reported to work through the end of the February EasySaver period: Naturals are on sale for $2 and produce a $2 RR, making it free after RR. Just be sure you use up the RRs before they expire!

Free set of photo prints

Friday, February 1, 2008

Glade & Ziploc: Free gift pack

Thanks to Crystal for the heads-up on this deal: Clean Home Journal is offering their free gift pack to the first 10,000 who sign up. The pack contains one Glade Air Infusions, 10 Ziploc microwave bags, and $20 in coupons.

Sign up soon--it's likely to go fast!

Teaching Children, Part 4: Debt

Part four in our series on teaching children about money...

Growing up, I don't remember any formal discussions ("Now we will talk about ___") about debt. It was more a comment here and a decision there that made me realize debt is a bad idea.

If I we didn't have money for something, it was a chance to be creative or live without it. Borrowing money was simply not an option.

This did result in some amount of naivety: I thought everyone thought like this. It wasn't until the last couple of years that I even began realize how "normal" consumer debt is and how much money people waste paying back debt.

In my family, however, borrowing money wasn't a consideration when making purchases, and that way of thinking was passed on.

When I bought my first car, I paid $500 for a Honda Accord that had a lot of body problems, but was very dependable. It wasn't much to look at, but it got me around while I saved for something nicer. It was far more important for me to stay out of debt than for me to have an impressive vehicle.

I am so grateful that my parents drilled it into me to save before I make purchases, rather than paying afterwards--plus interest. As a result, I have no debt today and my income is free to give, save, and spend as needed.

Walgreens: March EasySaver

I realize this is just the first day of February, but I wanted to share my excitement for March's EasySaver deals. There are six FAR deals (value of over $40), with a couple other items that may be on sale for the rebate amount during the month. For a rough scan of the of rebate page, check here (click on the image for a readable version). Many thanks to Irish Lass for sharing the link!

Edit: Here's the listing of March FAR deals with coupon match-ups.