New month, new coupons

The 1st of the month is exciting for most couponers. It’s the day when online coupons reset and new ones are released. You can hear the hum of my printer for most of the morning while I take advantage of many limited print coupons. I always try to make sure I have backup paper and print cartridges on hand. (There is nothing worse than having your printed queued up and then having to shake your cartridge to get the last bit!!)

I’ve come up with a system to check all of the company and coupon websites so it takes the least amount of time possible. I’m all about convenience and getting the job done. What I do is I save all of the websites in a favorites folder. (I’ve listed the ones I go to below.) Then, on the first, I open up a new Internet browser and open the whole list of favorites in different tabs. I sign in and print what I want from each site and then “x” it out when I’m done. If one site is running slow, I can flip to another tab and start the process there while waiting for the previous tab to load.

It’s important to try and get your coupons printed as soon as you can because many have a limited number of prints available. Also, keep in mind that you are generally able to print twice per computer or IP address.

Here are the sites you can find in my favorites…

Bettycrocker.com
Pillsbury.com
Livebetteramerica.com
Quevidarica
Kellogg’s
Coupons.com
Couponnetwork.com

 

A screenshot of how I open multiple tabs in a browser for 1st of the month coupons!

Mailbox Freebies

Here’s a glimpse into what was in my mailbox this week….

What goodies did the mailman bring you?

I received a Highlights for kids preview, Free Taste of Home magazine, Purina Healthy Weight Cat food sample, 2 Kirkland Diapers samples from Costco, Scotchbrite Dolbie scrubber from 3M, Kneipp Sleep Well Herbal bath from Facebook, a Bic pen from a Bic Facebook giveaway, and a free card from Cardstore.com.

The Purina Cat food is still available here.  Kneipp is on FB here.  Bic penpals here, aren’t giving away anything right now, but watch them since they do periodic samples of pens and markers.

Cardstore.com gives away free cards ALL the time. Like them on FB and sign up to receive emails from them so you get notified when they do giveaways. They let you personalize them with photos and text, print addresses on the envelope AND come with a stamp!!

What’s in my Cart?

Another great week at ShopRite for me! Here’s what I bought!

What’s in your shopping cart??

  • ShopRite Stuffing mix- $1.19
  • International Delight $1.66 (x4)
  • Kellogs Fiberplus Nutty Delight Bars $1.99 (x4)
  • Del Monte Mixed Fruit $2 (x4)
  • Knorr Chicken Bouillon$1.49  (x2)
  • Heinz Ketchup – $2.99
  • Sorrento Mozzarella Cheese- $1.98
  • Sorrento Ricotta Cheese – $1.98
  • YoCrunch Yogurt – $0.49 (x7)
  • Ellios Pizza – $2.50 (x2)
  • Fisher Boy Fish Sticks – $0.99
  • Garnier Nutrisse Hair Dye- $4.99 (x2)
  • Poligrip – $1.99 (2)
  • Gold Bond Lotion – $2.99
  • Robitussin Nasal Relief – $1.49 (x2)
  • Alka Seltzer Cold Plus – $2.82
  • Skintimate Shave Gel – $1.99
  • Jell-o Birthday Cake Pudding $1.49
  • Back to Nature Macaroni & Cheese – $1.79 (x5)
  • Kelloggs Apple Jacks Cereal- $1.99
  • Apple & Eve Juice boxes – $2.49 (x2)
  • Langers Apple Peach Mango Juice- $2.50
  • ShopRite Deli Ham $3.99/lb = $2.35
  • Pork Chops- $2.18
  • Red Seedless Grapes – $0.99/lb = $1.92
  • Tomatoes – $1.99/lb = $2.57
  •  Organic Carrots – $0.99

Subtotal:  $101.37

Coupons used:

  • 4- $0.75 International Delight Creamer here
  • 4- $0.75 Kelloggs Fiberplus here
  • 2- $1/2 Del Monte Fruit Cups here
  • 2- $0.50 Knorr Bouillon here
  • Free Ketchup wyb FisherBoy here (up to $2.50)
  • Free Juice wyb FisherBoy here (up to $2.50)
  • $1 Sorrento Mozzarella Cheese from SmartSource 06/24/12
  • $1 Sorrento Ricotta Cheese from SmartSource 06/24/12
  • $0.75/5 YoCrunch Yogurt here
  • 2- $0.25 YoCrunch Yogurt here
  • $2/2 Ellio’s Pizza Printable (No longer Available)
  • 2- $2 Garnier Nutrisse Hair Dye from RedPlum 9/9/12
  • Free Poligrip from Smart SOurce 8/26/12 (X2)
  • $2 Gold Bond Lotion – Product Insert
  • 2- $1 Robitussin here
  • $0.55 Skintimate Shave gel – product insert
  • $1.25 Jell-o MixIns here
  • 5- $0.75 Back to Nature Product here
  • $0.49 ShopRite SuperCoupon Organic carrots
  • $10 off purchase of $75 or more ShopRite Mailer
  • $3 Catalinas (from last weeks purchase of Glade)
  • $0.50 off Apple Jacks here
  • $1 off Alka Seltzer Plus from Red Plum insert 9/16/12
  • $0.55 off Apple & Eve Juice here (X2)
  • $0.50 Knorr Bouillon E-Coupon (not doubled) here
  • $1/2 Apple & Eve Juice E-Coupon here
  • $0.20 off for 5 Reusable bags

Total Paid: $32.84
For 53 items, that’s an average of $0.62 an item!!

I saved $68.53 just by using coupons.

(I also saved an additional $30 by shopping the sales. An example of this is the Sorrento Cheese. I checked their pries on Saturday, before the new sale started, and they were priced at $5.99. With this weeks sale, they are $1.98 which saves me an additional $4!)

 

 

You’ve got mail

“Your cat will never threaten your popularity by barking at 3 in the morning. He won’t attack the mailman or eat the drapes, although he may climb the drapes to see how the room looks from the ceiling.” – Helen Powers

Once upon a time, I came upon this quote that made me laugh because in our life, it could never be further form the truth.

We have 3 cats and the youngest of our frisky felines LIVES for the time of day when the mailman comes. He hears the hum of the mail truck, comes running, and then sits patiently at the door while staring at the mail slot. The second the mail comes through the slot, the cat pounces and he owns that pile of mail! He chews, rips, and tosses anything he can get his furry little paws on.

This happens every day. Every. Single. Day.

We are lucky to get mail everyday. Not the usual bills and mass mailings, but real actual mail. Our mailman and I have often laughed and joked that with me on his route, he has job security. I plan on keeping him in business because I love getting mail everyday. Especially, the tons of freebies, samples, magazines and coupons I get!

I sign up for all kinds of samples and promotions. I sign up for almost any I can find so I can have the opportunity to try out new products and receive coupons. I also enjoy getting free magazines so I can keep up to date with everything from fashion, to music, to family.

This may sound crazy but let me tell you about some of the most awesome freebies we have received. A “where’s the beef” t-shirt from Wendy’s, a water bottle filled with Larabars, countless k-cups, Mio, and beauty bags from Target. I have also received full size products from Olay, Pantene, Biore, Secret, and Schick. (once again, FB offers tons of these types of things!) Lastly, I’ve gotten TONS of samples of cat treats and trial sizes of cat foods.

Yup, you have found the reason for my cats obsession with the mail. After getting so many cat freebies, you can see why mail time is a big deal around here and why our feline friend ravishes the mail, searching for the one package that is worth tearing into.

Pretty kitty waits patiently for the mail… then takes it and destroys it!

What’s For Dinner??

Shopping on a budget doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavor. Our family eats well and we are often trying out new recipes. Most of our dinners average about $8 or less to make and can feed 4-6 people.

I’ve decided to do a weekly installment of “What’s for Dinner” to show you what our family eats along with recipes and a cost breakdown.

Shrimp Scampihttp://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/shrimp_scampi/ 

I followed this recipe except I omitted the oil and wine (since we are also cutting back on calories). Total cost $7.42    

Shrimp Scampi

  • Barilla thin spaghetti- on sale $0.77/ box
  • 12 oz bag of frozen shrimp- $5.99/bag
  • 1 lemon- $0.66
  • 2 tbsp butter, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper – on hand

Chilihttp://busycooks.about.com/od/hotsouprecipes/r/crockpotchili.htm

Again, I tweaked this recipe and only used 1 onion, added a green pepper, and used 1 can red beans, 1 can black. I also found that after letting it cook in the crock pot, I did not need to use the cornstarch to thicken it up. Total Cost $4.23

  • Ground beef- $2.29/lb
  • 1 can Goya low salt red kidney beans & 1 can Goya low salt black beans – original price was $0.79 each but I bought 4 and used a $1 off of 4 coupon from the paper which brought the price down to $0.54 each, $1.08 for both
  • Muir Glen tomato sauce- $1.19 – $0.85 printed manuf coupon(doubled) = free
  • Muir Glen diced tomatoes – $1.19 – $0.85 printed manuf coupon(doubled) = free
  • 1 Green Pepper – $1.49/ lb = $0.56
  • 1 onion- $2.49 for 10 onions  = $0.30
  • chili powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic – on hand

Chicken & Mushrooms – This one was experimental with a new product that I recently bought.

I cut up chicken breast into bite size pieces and cooked in pan with a little oil. I added 1 large diced onion and 1/2 package of sliced mushrooms. Once chicken was browned and onions cooked, I added 1 can of Progresso recipe starters (creamy portabella mushroom flavor). I added salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Then served it over noodles. Total cost $5.99

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts- 2 lbs @ $1.99/lb = $3.98
  • 1 onion- $0.30
  • 1/2 package sliced mushrooms- $1.99/pack = $1
  • 1 can Progresso Recipe Starters – on sale 3 for $4. I used 3 $0.50 printed manf coupons (doubled) to bring price to $0.33 a can
  • 1 bag Pennsylvania Dutch Yolk free noodles- on sale for $0.88, I bought 2 and used $1/2 printed manf coupon, final cost $0.38
  • salt and pepper- on hand

Chicken Noodle Soup http://southernfood.about.com/od/crockpotsoup/r/bl43c14.htm

Another great crock pot recipe. As always, I made it mine by adding additional amounts of the vegetables and adding in mushrooms. I also substituted bouillon for the broth so I used about 6 cups of water. Total cost $5.86    

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts- 2 lbs @$1.99/ lb = $3.98
  • Earthbound Farms organic carrots – $0.99 – $0.75 manf coupon from their website (doubled) = free
  • Earthbound Farms organic celery- $1.49 – $0.75 manf coupon from their website (doubled) = free
  • 1/2 pack sliced mushrooms- $1.99/ pack = $1
  • 1 onion – $0.30
  • 4 tsp bouillon – $1.29 for 28 tsp  = $0.20
  • 1/2 bag of Wacky Mac Vegetable Pasta – on sale for $0.88, I bought 2 and used $1/2 printed manf coupon, final cost $0.38
  • salt, pepper, garlic – on hand

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches & Coleslawhttp://southernfood.about.com/od/coleslawcabbagesalads/r/r80731b.htm

The coleslaw is best when prepared the day before and I omit the vegetable oil that the recipe calls for as well as using a bagged mix for convenience. Then, I simply filet the chicken into thinner pieces and grill. (I also use my griddle when unable to grill) Once cooked, I coat with Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce, put on a bun and top with lettuce. Voila! Easy peasy! Total Cost $7.52

  • 2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts- 2 lbs @$1.99/ lb = $3.98
  • Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce – o sale $1.79 – $0.75 manf coupon from newspaper (doubled) = $0.29
  • Store brand Hamburger Buns – $1
  • 1/2 Head of lettuce – $0.99/head = $.50
  • Coleslaw mix – $1.25
  • Hellmans Mayo – $2.99 on sale – $1 manf coupon from newspaper = $1.99/30 oz jar = $0.50
  • vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar – on hand

Our grand total for  weeknight dinners this week… $31.02
What’s on your menu?

The Dollar Store Rule

I have come to adopt “The Dollar Store Rule.” Basically, the rule is as follows; Do not a buy a product for more than $1 if you an get it at the dollar store. (On a sidenote- not EVERYTHING follows this rule, I have some exceptions)

For example, some items that are included in my rule are; Toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair brushes and ties, body or hand soap, cleaning supplies, and paper goods (plates, cups, napkins, baggies). There are many others but I don’t want to overwhelm anyone.

Generally speaking, you can get most of these items for free when using a coupon paired up to a sale. But, if you must buy them, do not spend more than $1. You can find many of your favorite name brand products at your local dollar store for, yup, a dollar.

You would also be surprised at what you may find at a dollar store. They are fantastic for seasonal items! Recently, I was on the hunt for autumn foliage garland for my husbands store to decorate with. My first stop was Party City where I found 5ft strands for $6.99. Yikes!! I needed about 60 strands of them, as well as other items, and I was trying to stay within a $100 budget. My next stop was the Dollar Tree. I found the SAME strands of leaves for only $1!! This made for a great deal, as well as a happy husband!

I have found that the “dollar store rule” helps give you a price point basis. It gives you a little direction when you are starting out of what may be a good price or not.

Overall, keep your mind open and don’t knock the dollar store until you have tried it!

Oh, the possibilities…

What’s in my Cart?

Here’s how I did grocery shopping today!!

This is What I Bought…

My Shopping Haul

  • Pepperidge  Farm Goldfish Whole Wheat Bread $2.00
  • ShopRite Brand Sandwich White bread $0.88
  • BetterOats Strawberries & Cream Oatmeal $0.99 x3 = $2.97
  • Pop-Tarts Confetti Cupcake $1.77 x 2= $3.54
  • Smithfield Bacon – $3.99
  • Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup- 4/$3
  • Old El Paso Green Chilies- $1.79 x 2 = $3.58
  • Old El Paso Spicy Refried beans- $1.59
  • ShopRite Chicken broth 32 oz – $1.79
  • Bisquick Baking Mix – $2.49
  • Colonna White Clam Sauce – $1.14 x 2 = 2.28
  • Glade Expressions Oil Starter – $6.29
  • Glade Expressions Fragrance mist Starter- $3.29
  • Glade Plugins Scented oil Twin Refill – $4.49
  • Glade Candle – $2.69
  • Danimals Crunchers – $2.00 x 2= $4
  • Organic Valley Whipping Cream $1.99
  • ShopRite Shredded Mozzarella Cheese – $0.99 x 2 = $1.98
  • Green Giant Seasoned Steamers 2/$5 x 2 = $10
  • Poppy’s Pierogies – $0.99 x 2 = $1.98
  • ShopRite 24oz Frozen Corn – $2.29
  • ShopRite French Fries – $2.50
  • Gillette CustomPlus 3 Razors – $4.64
  • Celery $1.49
  • Earthbound Farms Organic Baby Spinach $2 x 4 = $8.00
  • Fresh Express Cole Slaw Mix – $1.25
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – $1.03
  • ShopRite Yellow onions 3lb bag $2.49
  • 1 lb Glen Rock Deli Ham – $4.89

Subtotal: $95.28

Then, I used these coupons… (All coupons under a dollar were doubled, unless otherwise specified.)

  • $0.75 off Pepperidge Farms bread – Expires 12/2/12, From SmartSource Insert 09/09/12
  • $1/3 BetterOats Oatmeal – Facebook
  • 2 x $0.70 PopTarts Confetti Cupcake – Coupons.com
  • $1 off Smithfield Bacon – Printable here
  • $0.40/4 Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup -Expires 10/21/12, From SS 09/09/12
  • 3 x $0.50 off Old El Paso Product – Coupons.com
  • $0.50 off Bisquick – Coupons.com
  • Free Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Starter Kit wyb Jar Candle (-$6.29) – Expires 10/28/12, From  SS 09/16/12
  • Free Glade Expressions Fragrance Mist Starter Kit wyb Glade Plugins Scented Oil Twin Refill (-$3.29) -Expires 10/28/12, From  SS 09/16/12
  • 2 x $0.75 off Danimals Crunchers – Coupons.com
  • $0.75 any Organic Valley whipping cream – Mailer from Organic Valley, sign up here
  • 4 x $0.75 off Green Giant Seasoned Steamers – Coupons.com
  • $3 off one Gillette disposable razor- Expires 10/31/12, From RedPlum Insert 09/16/12
  • 4 x $0.75 Earthbound Farms Product – Printable on their Website, sign up here
  • Reusable Canvas Bags- 8 bags x$0.05 = $0.40 off
  • $10 off purchase of $75 or more mailer from ShopRite
  • $0.50 (non-doubled) Bisquick E-Coupon – ShopRite Website
  • $0.60/3 (non-doubled) Old El Paso E-Coupon- ShopRite Website
  • $0.75 (non-doubled) Creen Giant E-Coupon – ShopRite Website

Grand Total: $42.56

I love getting paid to shop!

For 46 items, that’s less than $1 per item!

I also got back $3 in catalinas from purchasing Glade items that I can use towards my next shopping order.

My total Savings (With sales, priceplus, and store & Manufacturer coupons) was $93.32 …. not too shabby!!!