Monday, March 31, 2008

Walgreens Q&A: Rebates and Register Rewards

Question from Kim: I've never done walgreens before. Do they have a limit to their deals? I have about 10 Tylenol PM $2 off coupons, could I use them all?

Answer: Walgreens has a limit of one of each Register Rewards promotion per transaction. In other words, you would have to do ten transactions in order to use your coupons and have the Register Rewards print. Beyond that, it may vary by store. If you make friends with your cashier, let other customers go in front of you, and are pleasant and courteous, you're more likely to be allowed to do multiple transactions.

Question from Becky: Can you tell me if you need to buy the Colgate/Palmolive products all on the same receipt to get the rebate?

Answer: Generally speaking, Walgreens does not require you to buy all items on a multiple-item rebate in the same transaction.

And if you have trouble obtaining a rebate receipt, you might be interested in what Marly wrote:

A manager at my Walgreens claims that there is absolutely no way for them to print a duplicate or rebate receipt. I called the toll-free EasySaver number, and they told me that you can ask the manager for an "electronic journal" of your purchase, and they will accept that for their rebates.

Make-it-Yourself Monday: Canning beans

Here, finally, is this week's Make-it-Yourself Monday. If you can find tasty ways to prepare dried beans, you'll save a heap of money... :-)

Note: In order to complete this project, you will need to know how to use a pressure canner.

For each pint of canned beans, you will need the following:

1 straight-sided wide-mouth pint jar
3/4 c. dry beans
1/2 t. salt
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic (optional)

Place beans in jars. Fill jars with water. Allow to soak overnight. Drain water and rinse beans thoroughly. Add salt, bay leaf, and garlic. Fill to 1/2" from top with boiling water.

Put flat jar lids in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Make sure jar tops are completely clean and not chipped. Place lids on jars. Fasten with jar lid rings. Put 2" water in bottom of pressure canner. Process beans for 40 minutes at ten pounds pressure. Follow pressure canner directions for cooling before opening the canner.

For more Make-it-Yourself Monday features, click here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Walgreens Q&A: Double-dip rebates

Debi wrote with the following question regarding rebates:

I looked at the rebate offer for the Just for Men Haircolor and to get the $8 rebate, you had to submit an original register receipt. You also have to submit an original register receipt for the Walgreens Rebate. How do you do that?

Thanks for asking, Debi. When you need to submit original receipts for both store rebates and manufacturer's rebates, the simplest method is to request a rebate receipt from the store. You cannot submit a rebate receipt for the Walgreens rebates, so use the rebate receipt for the manufacturer's rebate. (If your cashier doesn't know how to print a rebate receipt, nicely ask for further assistance--a manager should know how to do it.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Walgreens deals: March 30-April 5

Free printer cartridge refill: 7-day coupon. No purchase necessary. Wednesday, April 2 only.

Coffeemate Creamer: 2/$3; use 2 of these $1/1 printables. Total cost: .50 each.

Softsoap liquid hand soap: (normal price reportedly $1.99--scenario will have to be adjusted if that's different) 7-day coupon for .99; buy 11 (before-coupon total of $21.89); use .35 manufacturer's coupon from 3/30 paper insert and 7-day coupon for .99. Send in for April EasySaver rebate #13: $10 WYB $20 worth of Colgate-Palmolive products. Total profit: $2.96 (if you can get a hold of 11 coupons--without manufacturer's coupons, it's nearly free). This one's a bit complicated--feel free leave a comment if you have questions.

SpeedStick or Lady SpeedStick: 2/$5, use $1 printables from SmartSource or $1/1 from 3/9 paper insert; send in for EasySaver rebate number #13: $10 WYB $20 of Colgate-Palmolive products. Total cost: .50/2. (You might combine some of these with some of the above Softsoap.)

Advil PM: $3.99, produces $3 RR; use $1 coupon from 1/27 paper insert or 9/23/07 insert (expires 3/31); $1 printable available here, $1 printable available here, $1 printable available here, $1 printable available here, or $2 printable available here. Total cost: Free or $1 profit.

There are numerous P&G RR rewards deals this week, but I've found it confusing to locate good deals. Input, anyone (see the ad scans for listings)?

April FAR deals:

AquaFresh toothpaste, 5.6 or 6.0 oz., up to $3.99; use this $2 printable or $1 coupon from 2/10 newspaper insert. Profit: up to $2.

Colgate 360 Clean or Deep Clean Manual Toothbrush, up to $3.99; use the $1 printable found here. Profit: up to $1.

Soyjoy Bar, 1.06 oz, up to $1.39; use the Free Soyjoy bar coupon from the 1/6 newspaper insert. Expires 3/31. Profit: up to $1.39.

Just for Men Touch of Gray hair color, up to $8.29; register at the Just for Men site to get a $2 coupon and request a rebate receipt for this $8 manufacturer's rebate on any Just for Men haircolor or this $8 manufacturer's rebate for Touch of Gray products. Profit: up to $10.

Tums QuikPak, 24 doses, up to $4.49; use $1 coupon from 3/15 newpaper insert. Profit: $1.

Jane Be Pure Mineral Blush or Kabuki brush, up to $4.99; use this $2 printable for the blush. Profit: $2.00.

Wal-Zyr 24-Hour Allergy Relief, 10 mg, 5 tablets, up to $3.99. Cost: free.

Wal-Itin 10 mg tablets, 30 pack, up to 6.99. Cost: free.

Here's what I have for now--I'll plan to update with more deals a bit later...

For this week's ad scans, click here (compliments of Hot Coupon World)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Walgreen: March/April overlap deals

The April EasySaver period begins on March 28 and the March EasySaver period ends on March 29, which means you have Friday and Saturday to do the deals below. The overlap dealsaren't as good this month as sometimes, but here's some of what they're offering....

Alavert: $10.99; use $4 printable, $4 April EasySaver coupon and send in $3 March EasySaver rebate. Total profit: $.01.

Banana Boat products (cheapest reportedly $8): Use $2/1 March EasySaver coupon; send in for $10 WYB $20 April EasySaver rebate. Total cost: $8/3 or higher. (I'd advise waiting on these...)

Scott or Cottenelle toilet paper: 2/$5 (7-day coupon); use 2 $1 printables and send in for $1/2 April EasySaver rebate. Total cost: $1 per 4-pack.

Twizzlers: .99 (7-day); use April EasySaver $1/4. = $2.96. (To get more bang for your buck, buy the 10% more bags that advertise movie tickets. Send movie ticket points in for the Hershey's Mega Movie Ticket Offer.) Total cost: $2.96/4.

If your store doesn't offer the EasySaver booklets until next week, you might try printing the coupons from the EasySaver booklet on the Walgreens site.

More free Johnson Buddies soaps?

According to Crystal at Money Saving Mom, we may be in for even more free Johnson's Buddies soaps. Apparently at Shoprite, Meijer, and Kroger stores, when you buy three Johnson's Buddies soaps, a Catalina prints for $3 off your next purchase of Johnson's products. Here's to soap stockpiles! :-)

Walgreens: Hot Buys

Walgreens is offering a few coupons, good through Saturday, March 29--3-pack of Scotch tape for .99, flip-flops for .99, and a few others. To access the coupons, click here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Walgreens: April free after rebate items

I posted the April EasySaver overview a while back, but here's a closer look at the rebates. The April EasySaver period runs from March 28-April 26.

The following items are free after rebate all month long:

AquaFresh toothpaste, 5.6 or 6.0 oz., up to $3.99; use this $2 printable or $1 coupon from 2/10 newspaper insert. Profit: up to $2.

Colgate 360 Clean or Deep Clean Manual Toothbrush, up to $3.99; use the $1 printable found here. Profit: up to $1.

Soyjoy Bar, 1.06 oz, up to $1.39; use the Free Soyjoy bar coupon from the 1/6 newspaper insert. Expires 3/31. Profit: up to $1.39.

Just for Men Touch of Gray hair color, up to $8.29; register at the Just for Men site to get a $2 coupon and request a rebate receipt for this $8 manufacturer's rebate on any Just for Men haircolor or this $8 manufacturer's rebate for Touch of Gray products. Profit: up to $10.

Tums QuikPak, 24 doses, up to $4.49; use $1 coupon from 3/16 newspaper insert or the printable available here. Profit: $1.

Jane Be Pure Mineral Blush or Kabuki brush, up to $4.99; use this $2 printable for the blush. Profit: $2.00.

Wal-Zyr 24-Hour Allergy Relief, 10 mg, 5 tablets, up to $3.99. Total cost: free.

Wal-Itin 10 mg tablets, 30 pack, up to 6.99. Total cost: free.

For additional profit on all your Walgreens rebates, request your rebate in the form of a Walgreens gift card--they'll add 10% to your rebate total.

For the entire April EasySaver rebate sheet, click here (compliments of Hot Coupon World).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Free Hiland Yogurt

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

For those of you in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma (the states where Hiland products are sold), you can get a coupon for a free Hiland Pomegranate Mango or Apple and Spice Yogurt here. The coupon does not state that it is "Limit one per customer." Instead, it states "Limit one coupon per item purchased."

New website: Christian Couponers

If you want to get in on the beginning stages of a new couponing forum, you might check out Christian Couponers. They're looking to grow their (free) membership, and the administrator seems very helpful and friendly. Drop by today!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bath & Body Works: Inexpensive product

iMommies highlighted a Bath & Body Works deal, good through April 12:

Bath & Body Works frequently gives away coupons for a free product with a purchase, but they rarely allow shoppers to choose their free product…and they rarely give away a free product with ANY purchase. There are items priced as low as $1 at most store locations, and sometimes even less for clearanced items, but if specific Bath & Body Works products are staples at your house, this is a great time to stock up and receive a free item while you’re there!

Through April 12th, visit your local Bath & Body Works with the coupon below, purchase an item of your choice (any price), and receive a free “whatever-you-like” (up to an $11 value).

Click HERE to print the coupon.

Ann Taylor Loft & Macy's

Amber passed on the following. If you're willing to do some digging, you may come up with some decent deals.

The Ann Taylor Loft website is having free shipping on all orders, plus they have a code for $25 off of $50 (code 80200012), AND they have some sale stuff for buy one, get one half off, so I was able to get a pair of pants (tall too!), two pair of shoes, and a sweater from the site yesterday for a grand total of $27 for merchandise that was originally $216, and that included shipping it to me.

Not sure how many items are still in stock, but the Macy's website women's clearance had Michael Kors' dresses for $5.99 and $99 Style and Co. Dresses for $2.99, etc., yesterday. It was one of the best sales I've ever seen at Macy's!

Q&A: Coupon explanations

Monica wrote with the following question...

When you post something like this: Kleenex: .89 7-day coupon; use with .50/3 or $1/5 coupon from 1/27 insert. What exactly does that mean? What insert date are you referring to? Newspaper inserts? Do I need to be saving all the newspaper inserts to make sure I have coupons?

First, yes, I would highly recommend saving your newspaper inserts. Find the system that works best for you. Some people clip all the coupons immediately, others file the coupon inserts and cut the coupons as they discover sales. I tend to promptly clip the ones I'll probably use, then save the others to mail to military families.

As far as translating the sentence into plain English, here's a stab at it:

.89 7-day coupon: There is a store coupon in the weekly Walgreens flier, making Kleenex .89 a box.

Use with .50/3 or $1/5 coupon from 1/27 insert: .50/3 means there is a coupon for .50 off three items (in this case, boxes of Kleenex); 1/27 refers to the date--January 27.

Monica, thanks for asking for an explanation--does that answer your questions? It's easy to get caught up in the jargon of any business and forget that it may sound like gibberish to people. :-)

Office Depot: Free Moterola Bluetooth headset

Thanks to Amber for this heads-up...

Today's Office Depot ad has a Hot Buy of the Week, a Motorola Bluetooth headset for $39.99, with a $35 mail in rebate, resulting in a price of $4.99. On the same page, there is a coupon for $5 off of a $5 or more purchase. Soooo, free, or technically I might get 1 cent back.

Update from Amber:

Just had to tell you that I also got the last Bluetooth that they had in our local Office Depot yesterday too. Not only was it free, but they had a whole section at the front of the store with $1 items, so I ended up getting $121 worth of merchandise for a total of $13.

Edit: Sorry, folks--generally speaking, the $5/$5 coupon was only good yesterday, Sunday, March 23. However, if your store was closed on Easter, the circular states that you may redeem the coupon today, March 24.

Make-it-Yourself Monday: Fabric softener

Today's Make-it-Yourself Monday idea is inspired by Thrifty Fun. Personally, I don't usually use fabric softener, but if you can't survive without the stuff, here's a fun alternative... :-)

Dryer "sheets"

6 C. water
3 C. vinegar
2 C. hair conditioner (this would be a great use for conditioner you've gotten free or cheap)

Combine all in gallon container. Stir to mix. Dispense from spray bottle.

To use, saturate a clean washcloth or rag with softener. Dry in dryer with clean clothes.

Note: Since fabric softener reduces the absorbency of fabric, you may wish to avoid using it on your towels, rags, washcloths, and any other items used to soak up liquid.

To see other Make-it-Yourself Monday tips, click here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kohl's: Add up the savings

I've heard of a number of Kohl's discounts recently and it would seem you could get some great deals by combining them.

Suzanne wrote, "Kohl's is having a 75% to 85% clearance sale on all their Christmas outfits for babies and toddlers. I found a dress--24 months, from $40.00 marked down to 5.00."

There is also a 15% off printable coupon here--good only through today.

Additionally, Money Saving Mom posted a link to sign up for the Kohl's email list--and get $5 off your next order of $5 or more.

Between all the discounts, you should be able to pick up some sweet deals! :-)

Walgreens savings this week

It's been quite a while since I participated in Super Savings Saturday, but I was excited by my deals this week and thought I'd share them. Here's the haul:

I paid a grand total of $2.06 on a gift card and got back $15 in RRs ($10 for the Alka-Seltzer/Phillips and $5 for Embrace razor). My receipt proclaimed a savings of over $50, but I am, as usual, skeptical of their assessment of value. :-) The Bic razors were free with the deal mentioned here.

What deals did you find this week?

For more savings inspiration, check out Money Saving Mom.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Walgreens deals: March 23-29

Suzanne, a reader, suggested that I list final prices after coupons, so I'm adding that this week. Remind me if I slack off. :-)

At the end of the week there will be some March/April EasySaver overlap deals--watch for details the middle of next week.

BAM Cleaner: 2.99; use .50-1.00/1 coupons from 2/10 insert or use .50-2.00 printables available here. Send in for $2 EasySaver rebate. Final cost: .49 or less (possible profit).

Lysol toilet bowl cleaner: 2/2.79; use 2 $1/1 coupon from 2/17 and 3/16 paper insert. Final cost: 2/.79

Hefty OneZip bags: 2/2.79; use 2 $1/1 coupons from 1/20 paper insert. Final cost: 2/.79.

Revlon tweezers, curlers, or mirrors: BOGO; use 2 $1/1 coupons from 1/13 insert. Final cost: will vary.

L'Oreal mascara or eye shadow: BOGO; use $1/1 coupons from 1/6 insert. Final cost: will vary.

Gillette Venus Embrace or Fusion Phenom: 9.99, prints $5 RR; use $4 Embrace coupon from 3/2 insert or $4 Phenom coupon from 2/10 insert. Final cost: .99
Also remember the rebate extension on the Venus Embrace.

Excedrin: 1.99; use $2/1 from 3/2 insert or printables from, Smart Source, Coupon Bug, RedPlum, and Final cost: Free (coupon may need to be adjusted down).

Pantene Pro-V: $3 RR when you buy two products. Once again, the 1.7 (trial size) is included, making this a bit of a moneymaker. Buy two trial-size shampoo or conditioner (about 1.29 each, or 2.58 total), get $3 RR. Final cost: .42 profit. Edit: Nix that--this is reportedly not be working with the trial size Pantene.

Photo prints: 25 free 4x6 prints WYB 25; use code 25FREE if ordering online or scan coupon in-store.

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; use with this printable (thanks to Crystal) or 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 insert 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).

Ad scans may be found here, compliments of Hot Coupon World. What other deals do you see?

Albertsons: Nearly-free cereal through 3/25

Thanks to Jill for passing on the following deal...

Get 7 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal at Albertson’s for the price of 1 through 3/25: Kellogg’s cereals are on sale 3 for $5. Get a $10 coupon when you buy 7+ boxes, or buy 5-6 boxes & get a $6 coupon, or buy 3-4 boxes & get a $3 coupon. “Coupon redeemable during your next shopping trip through 4-20-08.”

So, buy 6 for $10, get one more box, get a $10 coupon-so it’s 7 for the price of 1 essentially.

Baskin Robbins: 31 Cent Scoop Night

This is still a ways off, but Baskin Robbins is having a 31-cent promotion on April 30, in honor of America's firefighters. You can find the details here--and get ready to eat some ice cream!

Walgreens: Possible free Bic razors

The other day I saw these packages of razors on the Walgreens' clearance shelf. I glanced at them, but moved on because they didn't have a price tag and I assumed they weren't that great a deal anyway. (Cheers to me for jumping on conclusions. ;-) )

I was at Walgreens again yesterday, attempting to use some expiring RRs and saw the razors still hanging out on the clearance shelf. My two favorite beauty advisers were working and I asked one of them to price check the razors. They rang up at $1.00. There are $1.00 coupons in the March EasySaver catalog (page 12), so I ended up getting four packages completely free.

Moral of the story? 1. Check clearance areas. 2. Price check items without tags. 3. Don't forget the check the EasySaver catalog for items you find on clearance. :-)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wal-Mart: Free dino nuggets

Crystal at Money Saving Mom posted instructions on how to get 12 bags of dinosaur chicken nuggets... free!

Fast Fixin' Dino Bites are on sale 2 for $2.00 at Wal-Mart this week. Go here to get your $1.00 off coupons. Just sign up for their Fanatics club, and they will send 5 coupons to your printer. Go back and refresh the page to print 5 more!

Then, look around on their site, and there is a place to print another coupon. Again, backspace and refresh the page and you'll get yet another. That makes a total of 12 coupons! I just got my 12 free bags today, and we had them for supper tonight. Free photo paper

iMommies posted instructions for how to get free photo paper ($30 retail value) at

1.) Click HERE to access
2.) Type “AC10376A” into the search window
3.) Click on the $10 Digital Photo Paper image to display the product details
4.) Add the item to your cart
5.) Select Google checkout to receive the $10 discount
6.) Select free shipping. (If your total isn’t $0, you’ve missed a step (unless you live in the sales tax states of California, Massachusetts, or Tennessee.)
7.) Receive your free Super Premium Digital Photo Paper within a few days (usually much faster than their website indicates) allows one free Google checkout item per email address and credit card. (You’ll have to enter your credit card information to check out, but once the Google Checkout discount is applied, your item will be free.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Buying coupons?

I recently mentioned that, contrary to my normal practice, I actually purchased coupons for the Olay bar soap deal at Walgreens. I'd like to share a few thoughts about buying coupons and how to figure out if it's a wise idea in your situation. My own decision to buy coupons was based on the fact that this particular deal was an awesome moneymaker and I was able to get the coupons through The Coupon Clippers (link in sidebar) at a very reasonable price.

1. How much will it actually save you?

When all is said and done, how much will you really be saving by buying the coupons? There is often a minimum order size, plus postage and handling, and all your costs must be added before calculating savings. "Free" isn't actually free if you're paying for coupons.

2. Is it in your budget?

However good a deal it may seem, it's only as good as the money you've budgeted for it. If you don't have the money, don't spend it.

3. Do you know that there will be a sale to combine with the coupons?

Unless an item is always priced low enough to make a great deal with coupons, be careful. The coupons you paid for may expire before a good sale rolls around--or you may feel obligated to use them, simply because you paid for them. Ouch.

4. Does your store double coupons?

Because coupons are usually sold by a percentage of their face value, having a store that doubles coupons can extend your savings.

5. As always, if you're going to buy, find the best deal.

I've visited a number of sites that sell coupons and my personal favorite is The Coupon Clippers (link in sidebar). After you add everything together (coupon prices, postage, handling), they seem to have the lowest prices. eBay is another option, though your success may vary from one sale to another.

There are a couple of situations where I would certainly consider buying coupons:

1. A once-in-a-blue-moon amazing moneymaking deal, such as the Olay bar soap.

2. Preparing a meal for a very large number of people (a Christmas banquet, for instance). If by purchasing coupons very cheaply I could get necessary items free or nearly free, I would consider it.

What about you? Do you buy coupons? What guidelines have you set up for yourself?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

K-Mart: 7-Up

Kmart has 7-Up on sale from March 19-22 for .88 for a two-liter bottle. There are reportedly BOGO coupons on the 7-Up website, which would make it a grand total of .44/bottle. Thanks to Elikalman for the heads up on this deal.

Economic Stimulus Rebate Calculator revisited

Awhile back I posted a quick tax rebate calculator. If you're looking for something a bit more complex, click here for the official IRS calculator. (Why am I not surprised that it's more complicated? :-) ) And if you're wondering when your rebate might show up, here's a quick guide...

The IRS is basing the order of the rebates upon the last two digits of individuals' SSN. (Anyone know how it will work for couples who file jointly?) To figure out when you'll get you rebate, find the numbers below that correspond with the last two digits of your SSN:

Paid 2007 taxes via direct deposit:

00-20—May 2
21-75—May 9
76-99—May 16

Paid 2007 taxes via check, rebate check to be mailed by:

00-09—May 16
10-18—May 23
19-25—May 30
26-38—June 6
39-51—June 13
52-63—June 20
64-75—June 27
76-87—July 4
88-99—July 11

Thanks to Thrifty Florida Mama for her heads up the calculator.

Wal-Mart samples

As usual, there are a number of free samples available from Wal-Mart. Here's what they're currently offering:

Dexatrim Max2O

Vaseline Intensive Rescue

Garnier Nutritioniste Deep Wrinkle Treatment

Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizers

Colgate Total Advanced Whitening Toothpaste

Curel Life's Stages Moisturizers

Dove Hair Care

Glad ForceFlex trash bags

TENA Serenity Overnight Pads

FreshLook Colorblends contact lenses

Monday, March 17, 2008

Walgreens: Bic Soleil razor system & refills

Here's one more Walgreens deal for this week...

The Bic Soleil razor system is on sale for $5.99 this week and you get a free 4-pack of refill cartridges when you buy the razor. There were coupons in the 3/16 paper for $2 off the razor and $2 off the refills. Use both to get the razor and refill pack for $1.99.

Edit: There is also a Bic Soleil printable coupon available by clicking here (you should be able to print it twice per computer, resulting in one set of refills and a razor).

Walgreens: Glade Wisp and Oust Surface & Air overage

Glade Wisp candles are on sale at Walgreens this week for $5.99. You can get a $5 coupon by clicking here (you should be to print two per computer). March EasySaver rebate #47 is for $2 each off of these candles, limit three. After the coupons and rebates, you should get about $1 profit on each candle.

Oust Surface & Air is on sale 2/$6, with rebate #45 for $1 off each (up to four). There is a printable BOGO here and there were coupons for $2/1 in the 2/10 paper inserts. (Your final price will vary depending upon the price entered for the BOGO, but you should get overage after the rebate.)

$5 Starbucks gift card

To receive a $5 Starbucks gift card, register with ItzBig by clicking here (free) and then fill out the follow-up information after they email you. Thanks to iMommies for the heads up.

Make-it-Yourself Monday: White sauce

This week in Make-it-Yourself Monday, we're talking about white sauce. White sauce is simple, yet the results taste a whole lot better than the cream-of-whatever soups from a can! Once you're used to making it, it's fun to mess around with the recipe and make new variations... :-)

Basic White Sauce

2 T. butter
2 T. white flour
1/4 t. salt
1 C. milk

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add salt and flour, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat until bubbly, then continue to cook for about five minutes. Add milk a little at a time, beating constantly. Cook on low heat until thickened (do not allow to boil). Use in recipes as you would cream soup or as a base for other sauces.

For some fun variations, you might try the following:

Cheese sauce: After sauce has thickened, turn off heat and add grated cheese. Stir until melted and mixed.

Mushroom sauce (use in place of cream of mushroom soup): Add sauteed mushrooms.

To view other Make-it-Yourself Monday features, click here.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Clinique Bonus Days

Thanks to Suzanne for this heads up...

Clinique is running their Bonus Days promotion through March 22. If you are a die hard Clinique user, this might be a good chance to pick it up. Here's what Suzanne had to say...

I am a die hard Clinique user, so I only buy Clinique facial cleanser and and moisturizer--this and getting my hair done are the two things I don't and won't budge on. You get a Gianni Binni makeup bag with--1 fl. oz of Dramatically different moisturizing lotion; .17 oz (lasts me for months!!!) of repair wear intensive eye cream; 1.7 fl. oz. rinse-off foaming cleanser; a full size eye shadow--colour surge eye shadow duo--two shades of pink chocolate; .14oz. lash doubling mascara--black; and a full size lipstick--called all heart (a bit pink for my taste).

Anyway, you have to spend $21.50 to get this---a retail of $50.00 (and it really is!!!!)

Well because I stock up on my Clinique stuff, I spent a little over 2x the amount to get the bag, so I got two bags. If I would have spent 3x the amt., I would have gotten three bags. I am not afraid to speak up and say that because I spent 2x the amt, I would like another bag.

Free audio books

Extremely Frugal posted a link to a library of free public domain audio books. You're allowed to listen, burn them to CD, or share them with friends. Click here to access Librivox.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Walgreens deals: March 16-22

Here are this week's deals. Let us know what else you find!

Campbell's Soup in Hand: .99 7-day coupon, use with this $2 printable.

Bounty paper towels: 7-day coupon for .79, use $1/2 manufacturer's coupon (or .25/1 from 2/10 or 3/2) from 3/2 P&G insert.

Kleenex: .89 7-day coupon; use with .50/3 or $1/5 coupon from 1/27 insert.

Playtex tampons: 2/$6, use with this $2.50/1 printable.

Alka Seltzer: 2.99, produces $10 RR when you buy 4 products. Use the $1/1 printable from and the $1/1 coupon from the 1/20 insert.

Rimmel cosmetics: BOGO (many items are reportedly clearanced as well).

Revlon cosmetics: BOGO, use $1/1 from 1/13 insert.

Kelloggs cereals: 1.99, use with $1 to $3 printable from Smart Source (must complete two-question survey).

Nature Made vitamins and supplements: BOGO; use 1.50/1 printable multis. This would be a great week to pick up the FAR Nature Made vitamins.

Schick Quattro Titanium and Schick Trimmer: 8.99; there were FAR forms for both of these in the 3/9 paper insert. You also get a free shave gel with the purchase of either of these. Remember to get separate receipts for each of these items, as each requires an original receipt and you are only allowed one submission per envelope.

Glade Wisp candles are on sale at Walgreens this week for $5.99. You can get a $5 coupon by clicking here (you should be to print two per computer). March EasySaver rebate #47 is for $2 each off of these candles, limit three. After the coupons and rebates, you should get about $1 profit on each candle.

Oust Surface & Air is on sale 2/$6, with rebate #45 for $1 off each (up to four). There is a printable BOGO here and there were coupons for $2/1 in the 2/10 paper inserts. (Your final price will vary depending upon the price entered for the BOGO, but you should get overage after the rebate.)

Bic Soleil razor system and refills: The razor system is on sale for $5.99 this week and you get a free 4-pack of refill cartridges when you buy the razor. There were coupons in the 3/16 paper for $2 off the razor and $2 off the refills. Use both to get the razor and refill pack for $1.99.

For this week's ad scans, click here. Ad scans are offered courtesy of Hot Coupon World.

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; use with this printable (thanks to Crystal) or 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 insert 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).

Military family: Expired coupons

I have quite a few (several hundred?) expired or soon-to-expire coupons that I'd love to pass on to a military family that could use and share them. If you are in the military and stationed in a place where you can used expired coupons, please email me by clicking here. Thank you for your sacrifice.

Edit: For those who are interested in mailing their own coupons to those in the military, check out the Overseas Coupon Program website.

Walgreens: How you can help the Beauty Advisers

I recently mentioned a Walgreens Beauty Adviser sharing ways we can help the Beauty Advisers. Several of you asked for specifics and now I'm finally getting around to passing those on. (This gets a bit complicated, so hang in there.)

Problem: Walgreens corporate has recently begun a test program in some stores which may result in the removal of Beauty Advisers (BAs). Obviously, this is of great concern to the BAs. Although the program is only in testing at this point, corporate has removed the commissions of the non-senior BAs in these stores.

What we can do: It's really quite simple. At select stores, there is a green Help buton at the Cosmetics counter. Push it as often as you legitimately can. Corporate is tracking how often the button is pushed, in an effort to determine how easily they could eliminate the BAs.

The BAs at my store are consistently helpful and friendly and go the extra mile with my coupons and multiple transactions--all without complaining. I know of others who have had the BAs offer coupons from their own stash on an item a customer is buying. For many of us, our shopping experience would be very different without them around. The least we can do is express our gratitude by helping them out.

You could even contact corporate and let them know how much you appreciate your BAs.

Other ideas on how to help the BAs...

1. If you have extra coupons for health and beauty items, offer them to the BAs. Many keep a stash to share with customers.

2. Figure out your transaction(s) before you get to the register, so that you can be as efficient as possible.

3. Be pleasant and courteous. It's always nicer to work with someone who is polite.

4. If there's a line at the register and you have several transactions, wait to check out.

What do you do to make your couponing easier on cashiers and other store employees?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Groceries: Straight from the source

One of my favorite ways to save on groceries is to buy them fresh from the farm. Right now I'm paying $1 dozen for eggs. And not just any eggs, but farm-raised eggs that are probably higher-quality and fresher than the most expensive organic eggs at the grocery store. Farm-fresh milk from a small local dairy is $2 a gallon. Many gardeners would be happy to share extra produce for a few dollars.

I would encourage you to search out options for locally-grown groceries--check your farmer's market, keep your ears and eyes open, ask friends. You may end up finding some high-quality foods at amazing prices.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Walgreens: Online rebate submission

Walgreens recently expanded their online rebate submission area. If you live in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, or Wisconsin, you're in luck.

While I've not done it myself (I can't wait till they include my state!), I've heard from those who have done it that it much simpler and easier than the mail-in rebates. You enter receipt information on their website, the system approves your submission, and your gift card is usually reloaded in a matter of days. (Sounds far better than the weeks or months it sometimes takes by mail!)

And if nothing else can pique your interest, remember that you're saving a stamp every time you use online submission. :-p

For more information on the rebate program, click here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gillette Fusion gift set

If you've picked up one of the Phenom razors on sale this month, you can get an extra bonus by mailing in for a "gift set." The set contains a toiletry bag and hand towel, and is available only to men over the age of 18. For details, click here. Thanks to Sisterly Savings for the heads up!

Walmart: Salad dressings

Thanks to Suzanne for the heads-up on this deal... Apparently Wal-Mart is doing a complete reset of their salad dressings, moving to higher-end dressings. The good news is that they have a wide selection of dressings on clearance. (I don't know how many of these are for the specific items on clearance, but there were dressing coupons in the 1/20, 1/27, 3/2, and 3/9 paper inserts.)

You don't have to

I have sometimes felt a sense of obligation to take advantage of a deal because it's a moneymaker or simply a really amazing deal. After recently blogging about a money-making deal, I was trying to figure out how in the world it was going to fit in my own shopping.

As I was thinking--and stressing--about it, I finally realized I don't have to do it. (That may seem simple and obvious, but sometimes I require a knock on the head. :-) )

As great as it is to save money, find bargains, and be frugal, it's important to keep it in perspective. People are matter more. There's nothing that requires us to take advantage of every opportunity in front of us. (Whether it be time or money constraints that are the limiting factor.)

So, my encouragement today is to keep frugality in perspective. Frugality can be a life-saver. But getting good deals is not worth damaging relationships or living life in a constant state of stress.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Make-it-Yourself Monday: Curtains

In this week's Make-it-Yourself Monday feature, we're talking about making curtains. For those of you who are challenged in the area of sewing, take heart--I am, too, and I still managed to make some cute curtains. :-) Curtains can be simple, inexpensive, and take very little time--yet completely change the feel of a room.

Supplies needed:

tape measure

1. Measure your window. How much cloth you use for the curtains can vary according to your taste and how gathered you want your curtains to look. I used about three times the width of the windows. You should also decide approximately how long you want your curtains, though you can always shorten them.

2. Wash, dry, and iron your fabric before beginning.

3. Cut your material, adding 7" to your curtain length and, if not using the natural edge of the fabric on the sides, 3" to the sides.

4. Fold down a 1/2" of material along the top, toward the wrong side of the fabric, and press.

5. Fold down 3-4" of material toward the wrong side of the fabric, and press again (original 1/2" fold will now be hidden on the wrong side of the material).

6. On the wrong side of the fabric, sew a very narrow hem, catching the 1/2" you turned under.

7. Make a similar seam about 2" higher, leaving two "tubes" along the top of the curtain.

8. Hang your curtain in the window, and decide exactly how long you want it to be. Use a pin to mark the length.

9. Cut curtain 1" below your hem mark.

10. Fold a scant 1/2" up along the bottom (toward the wrong side). Press. Fold a generous 1/2" up, and hem along the bottom, catching both layers in your seam.

You did it! :-) If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment, and I'll do my best to answer you.

For more Make-it-Yourself Monday topics, click here.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Walgreens deals: March 9-15

The pickings are slimmer than last week, but there are a some good deals to be had at Walgreens this week. If nothing else, you can pick up some cheap or better Jane makeup. :-)

Moneymaker: (13 cans) Hunt's tomato sauce or (11 cans) Van Campen pork & beans: use 7-day coupon, then send in for EasySaver rebate #49. (Amount spent is calculated before coupons.) If you buy the tomato sauce, your after-coupon total should be $4.33; the pork and beans total would be $4.29. (This is without considering the $5 rebate you will receive in return.) Edit: Apparently due to an unadvertised sale, the tomato sauce is not ringing up as expected. While you can still get a good deal, it's a bit more complicated. To get the best deal, do four transactions of tomato sauce, using the 7-day coupon each time. First transaction: four cans. Second transaction: four cans. Third transaction: four cans. Fourth transaction: three cans. Send all receipts in for EasySaver rebate. Your total spent should come out to just under $5, making it FAR.

Jane cosmetics: BOGO, use with this printable $2/1 coupon.

Sunsilk: 2/4.29; use with 1.50-2.50 coupons from 2/24 inserts or the printable coupons available by clicking here.

Trident Splash gum: BOGO, use with this printable BOGO coupon or the BOGO from the 3/9 insert.

Windex: $5/2; use Windex Antibacterial BOGO coupon from the 2/24 insert, then send in for the $2/2 EasySaver rebate.

Aquafresh toothpaste: 7-day coupon for .99, use with $1/1 coupons from 2/10 paper insert or this printable.

L'Oreal or HiP lipcolor: BOGO.

Red Kiss implements & appliances: BOGO.

There are B2G2 coupons out on the Russell Stover Easter eggs, but you might save those in case Walgreens does another brief round of coupons before Easter.

This week's ad scans my be found by clicking here, compliments of Irish Lass and Hot Coupon World.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Walgreens: April EasySaver catalog

In case the current deals aren't enough to keep your mind spinning, here's a sneak peek of the April EasySaver rebate total form. The April EasySaver period is March 28 to April 26 (two-day overlap with the March EasySaver period). Thanks to Irish Lass and Hot Coupon World

Note regarding Walgreens deals for March 9-15: This week has been rather crazy and I probably won't get the deals typed up today. Check back for them tomorrow.

Walgreens: FAR Venus Embrace razor

If you, like many others, missed the February FAR deal on the Venus Embrace, you still have a chance to get in on the deal--and it's actually a better deal now. Due to a widespread phenomena of not having enough razors for all the customers who wished to purchase them, Walgreens is offering an extension of the Embrace rebate.

Here's how you can get in on it and save quite a bit in the process...

Using the $4 coupon from the 3/2 paper, purchase the Venus Embrace razor (currently on sale for $9.99). It should print a $5 RR. On your EasySaver rebates reporting form, write #51 and fill in the Embrace information and 9.99 for the price (they count before-coupon price). If you're in one of the states that are provided online submission, it's even simpler--they have reportedly added the rebate to their list of March rebates.

Walgreens: Double dip on Phenom razor

For those who attempted to cash in on the double dip Phenom razor Register Reward deal on February 22-23, you might still be able to get your RR. Because it was advertised by Catalina Marketing (on Catalina slips that printed out before the promotion began), they have some obligation to provide the RRs. It's reported that they're making good on their promise. As I've mentioned before, if your Catalina ever doesn't print, you can contact Catalina Marketing directly via this form. Several people who bought the Phenom on those days have contacted Catalina and Catalina has been very helpful and promised to mail the missing RR.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Walgreens Q&A: How many transactions?

Debra asked, You mentioned "transaction #1, transaction #2," etc. Do you do multiple transactions with one visit to the store? I live out of town so it's sort of a 'trip' when I go shopping. I would like to take care of business with one stop but feel silly.

I understand your hesitation regarding multiple transactions. While most cashiers I've run into are very helpful, some really don't like to see customers do multiple transactions, use lots of coupons, or get amazing deals. I don't know the atmosphere of your store, but I'll tell you what has worked for me.

When I first began shopping at Walgreens, I took it slowly. I rarely did more than one transaction and I tried to keep it quite simple. My "mode of attack" was flying under the radar. As I got to know the store and the cashiers, I began to discover which cashiers are excited when I get great deals and which ones seem insulted--and I tend to avoid those that are unhappy about it.

One of the biggest helps to me is checking out at the beauty counter. I have found that almost all of those ladies are very helpful and knowledgeable--and I'm happy to be able to help them meet their sales quotas.

If I have several transactions, I will usually wait to check out until there isn't a line (I like to go when the store isn't busy anyway). If other customers come to check out, I try to let them go ahead of me when I'm between transactions.

If I'm doing more than two transactions, I'll generally ask the clerk if she's okay with several transactions. On the soap sale this week, for instance, I went when the store was slow, got my items, and found the beauty adviser, letting her know I was ready to check out. I specifically asked her if she minded me doing several transactions (I think I had about seven different ones), and she said it was fine.

I try to go out of my way to be gracious and friendly to the cashiers that help me in this way. I know my orders are more complicated and I want them to know I appreciate their time and helpfulness.

Particularly when I'm doing several transactions, I try to keep my payment simple. This week I took in quite a few coins, so that the cashier would have to worry about change as little as possible.

I ended up getting into discussion about couponing and deal-hunting with the beauty adviser, and she let me know some things I can do to help them. They are more than helpful, and I'm grateful to be able to return the favor.

Something that I have heard of others doing (particularly those without amazing beauty advisers) is doing one or two transactions at each checkout area in the store (cosmetics, front, photo, pharmacy). This isn't what works best in my situation, but it might be for yours.

Free baby kit

For a free baby/new mom kit from Johnson & Johnson (rumored to contain samples and some high-value coupons), call them at 866-565-2229, ext. 1. It's a completely automated call. Thanks to Green Stew for the heads up!

Walgreens: Vivactiv moneymaker & free Visine

Many people have reported finding Vivactiv clearanced at Walgreens to around $3.49. There is a coupon in the March EasySaver catalog for $2 off. There is also a 7-day coupon in this week's flier for $3 off, as well as manufacturer's coupon in the 3/2 paper insert for $3 off. You could potentially make more than $4 each. This would be a great deal to combine with this week's soap deals.

And for some free Visine, check your Walgreens for some clearanced to $2.99. Use the $3 manufacturer's coupon from the 3/2 paper (this coupon will probably need to be adjusted down to 2.99).

Edit: The Visine isn't clearanced--it's on sale this week for 2.99. So your store should certainly have some. :-)

Saving on clothes: Consignment shops

I enjoy having new (or at least new to me) clothing, but I generally find it hard to stomach the price tags. I sometimes shop at Goodwill during their $1.10/item sale, but find it takes a decent time investment to find nice clothing. Last time I went, I'm not sure I even bought anything.

However, I have discovered our local women's consignment shop to be a bargain-hunter's paradise. Before you rush out and spend money, let me explain.

In our town, we have a small, family-operated women's consignment shop. They're selective in the items they accept--and as a result have rooms full of very nice clothing. Their prices are far better than what you'd typically find at a clothing store, yet still more than I'd like to pay. (I think I've bought a total of about two of their "full price" items.)

However, the store has a once-a-month sack sale--$3 a bag for clothes with the current color tag. I recently paid $3.21 for a bag of clothes. This is part of what I picked up:

I later added up the prices and it would have cost over $100 for the clothes if I'd bought them on regular consignment--and that's not even considering new prices. Some months the selection for the sack sale is rather poor, other times it's amazing (the above, for instance, was purchased weeks after the sale began). I've found that the best deals may be found by being there when the shop opens on the day of the sack sale.

To find out about deals in your area, check your yellow pages for consignment shops (ask if they have any sort of mark-down sale to get rid of clothes they've had for a while), ask friends about deals, and keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

FAR: Noxzema razors

If you're not getting enough razors from the Walgreens deals of late, you might try this one: Noxzema is offering some razors FAR (up to $3). The form may be found by clicking here. Use with the .50 coupon from the 3/2 P&G insert for a bit of overage. Thanks to Sisterly Savings for the heads up!

Walgreens: Use more than one RR per transaction?

With all of the great Register Rewards-producing deals going this week, it seemed like a good time to post this email. There have been a lot of questions as to how many Register Rewards you may spend per transaction, as many of them state Only one per transaction. Some have interpreted this as earning while others believe it means spending. Below is an email from the Walgreens corporate office that clarifies the answer. You may want to print it out (or email Walgreens yourself) in case a cashier isn't sure about it.

February 29, 2008

Thank you for taking your time to contact our Corporate Offices. We appreciate hearing from our customers and value all comments received.

A customer may not use more than one Register Reward on a purchase of only 1 item example: 2 rewards for Chapstick for 1 Chapstick product). However, a customer can use as many register rewards as they have items in the transaction [emphasis added]. The Register Reward coupon works like a manufacturer coupon when redeemed. Therefore, if a customer uses a manufacturer coupon and a Catalina coupon during the same transaction for the same product, the system will not scan one of these coupons. I hope this helps.

Again, thank you for letting us know about your satisfaction. We truly appreciate your thoughtfulness.


April S.
Consumer Response Representative

Ref # 1432925

Monday, March 3, 2008

Make-it-Yourself Monday: Buttermilk substitute

Today's Make-it-Yourself Monday idea is a simple baking tip: what to do when you're out of buttermilk.

If you find yourself needing buttermilk for a recipe but don't have any on hand (or prefer a cheaper alternative), you can make a very simple substitution. Simply pour one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup, then add milk up to the one cup line. Allow it to sit for a couple minutes before using.

To read other Make-it-Yourself Monday posts, click here.

Walgreens scenarios: March 2-8

With all the great RR deals on at Walgreens this week, here are some scenario ideas to maximize your savings. These are particularly meant for those who are new to Walgreens (or don't have past RRs or gift cards to use) and want to minimize their OOP expenses and maximize future return.

Transaction #1:

Buy 6 trial size (1.7 oz) Pantene shampoo or conditioner
Or, I just read that the Herbal Essences trial size have worked, and they're cheaper than the Pantene.

Pay about $6-8 OOP

Receive $12 RR

Transaction #2:

Buy Venus Embrace or Fusion Phenom razor for 9.99
1 filler, such as a pencil or inexpensive clearance item (I recently saw super glue for .10)

Use $4 RR, $4 coupon (Embrace may be found in the 3/2 paper and Phenom may be found in the 2/10 paper)

Pay about $2.15

Receive $5 RR

Transaction #3:

Repeat transaction #1, except use your razor RR to pay for $5 of the transaction. OOP should be around $1-3, depending on which product you buy.

Transaction #4:

Same as transaction #2.

You can continue to roll the RRs as above, saving the extras for later use. You can then use your saved RRs to purchase FAR items, stretching your savings farther.

For all of this week's deals, click here.

Walgreens: RR update

Here are a few updates for those doing the P&G RR deals this week. These are based on what has seemed to work and not work for people. If you experience something different, leave a comment to let us know.

It appears that you cannot roll the RRs from the bar soap to the body wash/hair care deal. That is, if you pay with your bar soap RRs, your RR for the body wash/hair care deal will not print.

The trial size (1.7 oz.) Pantene shampoo and conditioner are producing the RRs. They are usually about $1.29 each, so this would be a great moneymaker for someone just getting started with Walgreens (total would be around $8.00). Edit: I just read that the Herbal Essences trial size are also producing the RRs and are a bit cheaper. You should be able to buy 6 for about $6.

According to Crystal at Money Saving Mom, Walgreens corporate has stated that there are some glitches in this promotion. In particular, it seems that the Herbal Essences hair care items aren't consistently printing the promised RRs. For more details, check out her post here.

For the full details on this week's deals, read this post. For scenario ideas, click here.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Walgreens: Overage deals *today only*

Check out Crystal's post on several deals using the Walgreens Leap Day coupons to get some overage. These deals are only good today.

Airborne: Product refunds?

I received email notification today that there is a class action lawsuit against Airborne Health (the company that makes the effervescent immune support drink). If you purchased any of their products between May 1, 2001 and November 29, 2007, you may be eligible for a full refund. For more details, check the settlement website:, call them at 888-952-9080, or write: Airborne Class Action Settlement Administrator; PO Box 1897; Faribault, MN 55021-7152.