Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is Costco really a deal?

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity of having my husband home so I took advantage of him! He stayed with the girls while I went shopping. It really made everything easier for me. Albertsons had "Twice the Value" coupons this week and I really wanted to score some sweet deals. There were also four coupon inserts in the Sunday paper so I bought extra of those (6 copies total). I've noticed that, to get some REALLY good deals, you need to buy many items at a time. Having more copies of a particular coupon helps you get better prices. Anyway, that's a side note. The point is, after getting a total of 6 papers, I had 6 sets of doubler coupons. This gave me a lot of opportunity to get good deals. I just had to do everything in 6 transactions. There was also a Pillsbury catalina and General Mills promotion going on at the same time. The General Mills promotion offered $5 off for every 10 participating General Mills products purchased. For one transaction, I bought 6 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, 6 Pillsbury Grands! rolls, and 8 Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers. This was 20 items so I got $10 off my purchase. I also doubled 3 $1 coupons and got a $3 Catalina back for buying 6 Pillsbury products. In the end, each item cost $0.50 and I got a $3 Catalina back! The next day I got 6 Freschetta pizzas (these are our favorites) for $2.50 each and free Mission Tortillas.
Here is the heart of this post. After doing all my Albertsons shopping, I went to Costco to buy some things that I haven't found cheaper. Yet. I bought paper plates, bread, peanut butter, Frosted Flakes cereal and some Kashi bars. In the end, I spent over $100!! As I was walking out, I looked at the few items in my cart and knew that I could get almost everything much cheaper. We get a good deal on gas and we buy some high price items there so I don't think we'll ever get rid of our membership. However, I see a day when we won't be buying groceries or household products there. I just don't think Costco is such a deal anymore.
Now, after that insight, I'm going to go cut out my coupons from my six papers! It's all worth the effort :-)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Free cheese!!

I know! I know! I said I wasn't going to shop at Albertson's unless I had their doubler coupons. But, this was too good of a deal to pass up. I paid $5 for all the items below. At the end, I received a $5 catalina. So, everything was free!!
I had to do everything in four transactions which helped me get a little bit of exercise. Since I have to leave the store between each transaction, I had many trips out to my car. How this all worked was as follows. I had a coupon for $5 off 5 Kraft items. The Kraft cheese is on sale for $2 a bag or block. For the first transaction, the cost of 5 bags of cheese was $10, minus the $5 off 5 bags coupon made the total $5 up front. I then received a $5 catalina to use on my next transaction. I went back and bought 5 more bags of cheese, again for $10. With a $5 off 5 bags coupon and a $5 catalina made the total $0 with a $5 catalina received for my next transaction. I did the same for the bags only bought 5 blocks of cheese. Again, received a $5 catalina which I used to buy the Cool Whip. The Cool Whip was $1 a tub. Five tubs then cost $5 which I used my $5 catalina to purchase. I then received a $5 catalina from this transaction to use the next time I shop at Albertson's.
A few months ago, I had no idea what a catalina was or that you could use them this way to keep getting free food! If you are reading this and wondering what a catalina is and how you can use it, please leave a comment and I'll try to explain it in another post.

My Bath and Body Works Order

Here is my order from Bath and Body Works with my five bottles of Dark Kiss lotion!

The full price cost of this purchase would have been $70.20. With my super duper deal, I got these for $32.00 shipped. Maybe those who are great bargain finders would wait until the lotion was on clearance and get it all for like $10. However, I wanted the lotion now. Did I mention how much I love it!! My favorite scent right now.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Today we had a birthday party. I plan to upload pictures to my other blog sometime soon. Needless to say, I've been busy trying to pull things together. There is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into a simple 3 hour party for little kids! I was almost cringing at the store when I bought a lot of party favors that were not on sale and for which I didn't have any coupons for. I was definitely starting to think of the next party and how I was going to do things a little differently, and cheaper. I was really thankful for some of the stockpile I've been trying to build. It was easy to just grab a few bags of hot dog buns out of the freezer, ketchup, plates and cups off the shelf and just put them all together and go. I also saw the need to have a few things on hand that we don't normally eat but that other people like. For example, I don't eat chips but I bought a few bags just because that's something people like to eat at picnics and other get togethers. Hopefully the next party will be done more frugally.
Anyway, since I was planning and preparing for this party today, I didn't have a chance to get to Rite Aid last week. There were some good deals on things that I could use but I just couldn't find the time to get there. I told myself it was all okay because I don't really need to go shopping every week. Right now I'm building up my stockpile of toiletries and other household items you can buy at Rite Aid. So I feel more of a need or desire to get all the deals every week. But I've read that the deals will come around again and it's not the end of the world to miss a few here and there. But, when we got done with the party today, I couldn't wait to get my coupons together and get to Rite Aid before it closed. There weren't any super great deals this week but I just needed to go. It's my favorite store and I was starting to miss it! I'm feeling pretty good about my trip(s), however. I actually went to Rite Aid this morning before the party to get four 2-Liter bottles of 7-UP. They were 4 for $5 with a $2 +UP reward which is like getting $2 back. This afternoon, I took those $2 and, with coupons, bought $24 worth of stuff for $2.50 and received $8 in +UP rewards. Again, the +UP rewards are like getting cash back. In total today, I spend about $7.50 and got back $8 so essentially broke even. I feel good about it.
I had wanted to go to Albertsons and get some free cheese but I forgot my coupon for that. All of the activities of the day have finally caught up to me and I'm feeling a little tired. So I've decided I'll wait until tomorrow to get my free cheese. It will still be there, I hope!