Showing posts with label Couponing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Couponing. Show all posts

Monday

Me? Couponing?

I don't know where you'd get the idea that I had been couponing again. Nope. No idea where that thought would come from...

Thursday

SOS Mom Saver: Grocery Items to Stock up on Now!

Any seasoned couponer can tell you that there are grocery "seasons".  There are certain times when you should buy certain items.  For example, cereal is cheapest in August, September, & January.  You can't beat the deals on hot dogs at the end of May & first of July.  Want chips and dips for cheap?  The end of January is when you'll want to shop.

So what's best to buy NOW?  Well, as we approach "Turkey" day, I would think that one great deal item is obvious.  (For my new and thus sleep-deprived moms...that would be turkey.) You can expect prices as low as 29¢/lb; depending on your area.  We've already seen 59¢/lb here.  And that's not even including the "Buy $100 in groceries per week for 4 weeks get a free turkey" deals.

What else is a good buy right now?  Between now and Christmas, you can expect deals on the following items:
  • Turkey 
  • Stuffing
  • Baking Items 
    • Corn Starch
    • Baking Soda
    • Corn Syrup
    • Sugar
    • Flour
  • Canned Gravies
  • Green Beans
  • Cranberries
  • French Fried Onions
A good rule of thumb with this season is that if you typically see it around the holidays (Thanksgiving & Christmas) then it's on sale.

I'm curious...are you baking this holiday season?  What are some of your favorite things to bake?  I've got a ton of new things I want to try out saved over on my Pinterest page.  Check them out if you haven't yet.  I spend way too much time there!

SOS Mom Saver: Using Coupons & Saving Money on Groceries Part 5: Where Do I Find Coupons?

I think this is one of the most commonly asked questions about couponing.

What good is knowing the coupon policies at your stores and how to handle any problems you may encounter while couponing...if you don't have coupons?  They're kind of an important part of couponing!

So where do you get coupons?

The easy answer to that question is to buy the paper every week.  However, that is not the only way to get coupons...and there are even specific papers you can buy to increase the likelihood that you'll get good, high-value coupons.

So...Where do you get 'em?
  • Buy a paper (of course).  
    • If you have a choice, you should get a bigger city paper like the Chicago Tribune or the LA Times.  These papers are going to be more likely to have higher-value coupons (and more coupons period).
    • The big thing to remember when buying papers is to check for the coupons BEFORE you buy them.  This is VITAL.  There's nothing worse than paying for a paper (or several) only to find out you didn't get the coupons you paid for.
    • Some papers will offer a discount if you buy multiple subscriptions.  Call & ask.  The bonus here is that they'll deliver the papers to you! (But it also means you get the paper even on weeks when there are no coupons.  And it's up to you to follow-up with the paper if you happen to not get coupons in one (or more) of your papers on an given week.  (Before subscribing, make sure that the paper still includes the coupons in their delivered editions.  Some don't.)
  • Buy whole inserts from a place such as Whole Coupon Inserts.
  • Buy just the individual coupons from a place like The Coupon Clippers.
  • Get coupons on Ebay (I wouldn't recommend going with any seller who has less than a 100% rating with no negative reviews.)
  • "Blinkie" coupons which are right by the products in the stores  (These are the coupons with the red borders that are right on the store shelves.  They used to be in red machines that blinked (hence the name).  In many areas, however, they're now in cardboard boxes.) 
  • "Tear Pad" coupons which you'll find on the shelves or on the door of a cold case in the stores.  Don't forget that you can even find these at some gas station chains.  (I know Shell and Speedway have them.)
  • "Peelies" which are coupons that are attached to the product in the store.  Note:  These are not a part of the box or container, but are a sticker that is attached to the product.
  • Booklets in the stores.  Some of these will be up at the front right by the ads.  Others will be on special displays throughout the store.
  • Catalina coupons
    • These are the coupons that print out at the register at your grocery store
    • They're called "Register Rewards" at Walgreens, but these are also Catalina coupons
    • Check with your local grocery store to see if they will take a Catalina coupon that printed at another store (even Walgreens) in their store.  If they say "manufacturer coupon" on them, then many grocery store chains will take them.  (Those that I know do take Catalina coupons even if they weren't printed in their store include Kroger/Smiths/Food-4-Less & other stores in that chain, Albertson's/Jewel & other stores in that chain, Vons/Dominicks/Safeway & other stores in that chain, Family Fare & other Spartan chain stores, Meijer, Publix, & Walmart if it's off a specific product.)  Don't be afraid to ask.  The worse they can say is no.
  • Call or e-mail companies for your favorite products (or ones you're brand-sensitive on) and ask them for coupons. 
  • Go to online sites to print coupons:
  • Go to the website for your local grocery stores.  Many of them offer printable coupons.  Here are a few:
  • Go to the website for your favorite companies.  Many of them offer printable coupons.  Examples:
  • Load coupons onto your store card.  You can do this from many store websites as well as from these 3rd party companies:
The above sources are not an extensive list of everywhere you can go.  The number of places to get coupons is far too numerous for me to put them all here.  They are merely a starting point to help you know where to find coupons. 

Be sure to check out all of the posts in this series:


Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 1:  Don't Be a Brand S:nob
Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 2:  Know Your Coupon Policies
Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 3:  What if I Have a Problem?
Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 4:  Store Cards 
Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 5:  Where Do I Find Coupons?
Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 6:  Price Matching

    SOS Mom Saver: Freebies

    It's so stinkin' hot here that save for a fantastic deal, I pretty much stop all couponing for the summer.  The heat doesn't really leave me itchin' to get out & grab the deals. 

    Then, the unthinkable happened.  I realized when I went to replace mine, that we had no more toothbrushes.  And, um,  I really don't want to stop brushing my teeth and don't yet have a snazzy homemade alternative to the toothbrush.  So...to the coupons I go.  (I'm certain that's not grammatically-correct.  It's like 180 degrees outside.  Work with me here.)

    One thing I learned years ago is that even when I stop couponing, I need to keep getting the coupons every week.  Without fail, every time I have not done this, I have regretted it when I started couponing again.

    So...I quickly perused my favorite sites, cut the coupons I needed...and off to the store I went.  (I didn't have time to spare.  I had already thrown my old toothbrush away.) 

    A couple hours later, I came home with 3 tired kids and this...

    Paid $1.47 total for all of this!

    Well, actually, I had more than that...but I tried to keep the 3 aforementioned kids calm by bribing them with some of the Gatorade drinks and energy bars. (Tip: Before trying such a thing, you should first make sure that what you are offering your children ACTUALLY tastes good. Don't say I didn't warn you.)

    Some of these deals were one-day deals (like the Dove soap which was an almost $3 money-maker).  However, others (like the toothbrushes, hair gel, & deodorant) are deals that you can get through this Saturday at least.  Some are good until Tuesday or Wednesday; depending on your area.

    Here are the deals:

    Walgreens:
    • Degree Deodorant 
      • You're getting the ones that the ad says are 2/$4 with a $1 register reward...but you're going to get a better deal.
      • Buy 4 of them (not the 2 listed in the ad) $8 - 4($1) 7/31 Unilever - ($4) register reward = Free!  
      • Some areas only got the $.75/1 coupons in the same insert so your total would be $1.
    • Colgate 360 Pro-Relief Toothbrush $4.99 - ($1) 7/31 ss - ($4) rr = Free + 1¢
    • Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste (4oz) $4.99 - ($1.50) 7/31 ss - ($4) rr = Free + 51¢
    • Crest 3D White Toothpaste (4oz) (buy 2) $5 - 2($1) 7/31 pg - ($3) rr = Free
    • Keri Lotion (15oz) $8.49 - ($2) 7/17 ss or ($2) 8/21 ss - ($5) rr = $1.49 (Or even better, Free + $1.01 if you got a raincheck when they had them on sale for $5.99 a couple of weeks ago...like I did.)
    • Check your Walgreens sunscreen and clearance sections for the sunscreen.  The face stick alone normally retails for $6.99.  The combo packs were from $1.87-$2.74 each.  The sunscreen I got doesn't expire until 2013 which makes this an AWESOME deal!
    • Gatorade deal has run out of prints so it's over.  Sorry.  (They were all free.)
    • Dove deal is also over.  Sorry. 
    Food4Less:
    • LA Looks Hair Gel (20oz) $1 - ($1) 7/31 rp = Free!
    • Motts Apple Juice (64oz) (buy 10) $1.28 ea - 5($2/2) MDA bklt found at Safeway stores (Vons, Dominicks, etc) = 28¢ each (This is only available at stores in some areas.  Other areas have Hansen's Apple Juice for $1.48 ea wyb 10.)
    These are the deals I got this week.  I haven't checked the other grocery stores yet and CVS had nothing worth mentioning this week.

    School Supply Freebies and Deals 7/24-7/30

    I was awakened early Sunday morning by my husband.  I was delirious, moaning in my sleep, and burning up.  My temperature was 104.9.  Sorry, the school supply deals weren't getting done.  Nor were they any other day as my temperature continued to stay high.  After a trip to the doctor, my temp is below 103 for the first time today.  Except for going to work, I've been at home & in bed most of this week.

    I've had several people asking me for the deals which I did start to type up on Tuesday...and then lost when a child accidentally closed the file without saving.  I don't have the deals for you this week, but you can find a comparison list of all the sales at Pocket Your Dollars

             Price Comparison List of School Supply Sales 7/24-7/30

    I apologize for not getting them out this week.  It's been a week.  We've all had one of those.
     

    Sunday

    School Supply Freebies and Deals 7/10 - 7/16

    The school supply season has officially started.  Please note that the deals do vary in different areas of the country (I recommend you check your ads or visit each store's website to confirm the deals before you head out to shop.).  The deals I list are what is valid in the Las Vegas area.

    Staples: (Teachers are allowed to get 25 of each of the deal items; regardless of limit.) Sun-Wed Only
    • Staples Cap Erasers (12pk) $.01/ea w/ $5 min. purchase, lt. 2
    • Bic Round Stick Ball Point Pens (8pk) $.01/ea w/$5 min. purchase, lt. 2
    • Staples School Glue (4oz) $.01/ea w/$5 min. purchase, lt. 2
    Staples: (Teachers are allowed to get 25 of each of the Extreme Deal items; regardless of limit.)
    • 2-pocket Poly Folder (these are the better, stronger ones) $.25/ea, lt. 2
    • Staples Stickies 1/2" tape flags (125ct) $.25, lt. 2
    • Bic Mechanical Pencils 0.9mm (5pk) $.25, lt. 2
    • Slider Pencil Case $.25, lt. 2
    • Staples Multi-Purpose Paper (500 sheets) $5.99 - ($5.74) esr = $.25, lt. 2 (Teachers lt. 2 also)
         Office Depot:
        • Office Depot Multipurpose Paper (500 sheets) $6.49 - ($5.49) rebate = $1, lt. 2
        • Office Depot File Folders (100ct) $6.99 - ($6.99) rewards = Free, lt. 2 per day (must have their card)
        • Mr. Sketch Scented Markers (12 ct) $7.99 - ($7.99) rewards = Free, lt. 2 per day (must have their card)
        • PaperPro Compact Stapler $9.99 - ($9.99) rewards = Free, lt. 2 per day (must have their card)
        • Uniball Vision Rollerball Pens (12 ct) $17.99 - ($17.99) rewards = Free, lt. 2 per day (must have their card)
        CVS: (Thanks to I Heart CVS for the following deal information.)
        • Balance Bar (1.76oz) $1.69 - ($1.69) ecb = Free
        • Complete Multi-Purpose Solution (12 oz) $7.99 - ($7.99) ecb = Free
        • Lumene (any) Buy $20 get $5 (buy following combo of items):
          • Lumene Wipes (buy 5) $4.19 - 5($4) 6/19/11 ss - ($5) ecb = Free + $4.05
          • Lumene Creme (buy 7) $2.99 - 5($4) 6/19/11 ss - ($5) ecb = Free + $5 (Most CVS stores will not give you overage on coupons. The computer automatically adjusts them down...which is why I say to use 5 rather than 7 coupons for this transaction.)
          • There are other combos of deals, but you get the idea.  Find the best combo utilizing the $4 coupons that you have to (ideally) pay no more than $5 before ecb yielding you free products.  (Or even better...profit up to $5 after ecb!)
        Walgreens:
        I would encourage you to do deals for extra-cheap school supplies or free products even if you won't use that item.  You can donate what you cannot or won't use to others.   SOS is accepting donations in office for school supplies.  You can also donate them to most food banks.  Find one in your area by going to Feeding America.

        If you have any questions about a particular abbreviation or word, check out my coupon definitions. If you still can't find the answer, post here or shoot me an e-mail. Want to see the best grocery deals for your area? Check out Savings Angel. I use them when I'm short on time or not feeling well but still need groceries for the week.

        Thursday

        SOS Mom Saver: Buy a Gift Card, Save Money at the Grocery Store

        At least a couple times a year, grocery stores non-typical promotions involving gift cards, a freezer, or something else you don't usually find in your weekly ad.

        You'll usually find freezer promotions around March and gift card promotions around tax time.  Albertsons is currently running one such promotion.  If you buy $100 worth of gift cards to OTHER stores (found in their "Gift Card Mall" display), then you get a coupon for $20 off of a future purchase.  (You can also find this deal at other Sav-On stores such as Jewel Osco.  Call your local store to verify that they're participating before you purchase your gift cards.)

        Are these deals worth it?

        That depends.  If they offer gas cards or cards to stores you would have already spent money at then you'll spend no more than you previously would have but will get a bonus for having bought the gift card at Albertsons first. 

        At our store, they offer gas gift cards to Shell or Arco gas stations.  I can take my regular monthly gas budget of $200 and use it to buy gift cards.  In return, I get $40 back to spend at Albertsons.  I've just made $40 to spend on groceries without spending anything I wouldn't have otherwise spent.

        We're also going to be replacing our washer.  I've done the research and know that after price-match, guarantee discounts, coupons, and taxes we'll pay just over $400 for the washer we want at Lowes.  Since our Albertsons also offers Lowes gift cards, we'll spend our $400 there first on gift cards.  For doing so, we'll get back $80 which is a bonus savings on what we were already going to spend...just for buying a gift card first.

        The gift cards offered at each grocery store CAN vary even within the same chain.  In this promotion, buying a gift card to Albertsons is not allowed.  (Previous promotions at tax time have allowed you to buy an Albertsons gift card.)  At my store, they have gift cards to Shell, Arco (both gas station chains), Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, Kohls, several different fast food restaurants (like Jack-in-the Box), sit-down restaurants like Olive Garden, sporting goods stores like Cabellas, mall stores like Disney (which can also be used to purchase tickets for a Disney trip), and Southwest Airlines. 

        If you have extra money, you could really capitalize on this deal by buying gas gift cards for a couple of months so you can get the bonus now.  This deal runs through Saturday, June 18th.

        SOS Mom Saver: Freebies!

        After a much-needed couponing and shopping sabbatical, I am back to doing the deals.  That's part of the beauty of couponing.  If you need a break, you take it.  (And in most cases, your grocery budget doesn't have to rise because you can just use the stockpile you already have on hand.)

        If you don't already have coupons on hand, but sure to look for the "no coupons required" or the coupons listed only as "ip", "ivc", "hhay", "ac" only, "blinkie" and "peelie" coupons as these are deals that you can get NOW without a previous stock of coupons.  The coupons are available online, in a booklet in a store, in the store's ad, are on the outside of the product itself, or are in a box attached to a shelf near the product.

        Non-coupon items you'll find great deals on this week include vinegar and eggs.  (There are coupons on for Heinz vinegar online.)  The day after Easter, you can expect all Easter items to be 50% off.

        Here's what you can get free from just CVS and Walgreens JUST this week:


        CVS: (When I'm busy, I head to I HEART CVS for a quick list of the freebies.  I HIGHLY recommend them!  The deals I'm listing today are straight from and with much thanks to I Heart CVS.)
        • Green Bag Tag $.99 - ($.99) ecb = FREE (lt. 2) (No coupon required.)
        • Mars Easter Singles $.50 (buy 2) (lt. 8 total, choose from the following coupons):
          • - ($1/2) 3/20/11 RP = FREE
          • - ($1/2) 4/10/11 RP = FREE
        • Reach Total Care Toothbrush $1 - ($1) 10/10/10 RP = FREE
        • Reach Total Care Floss (55yds) $1 - ($1) 10/10/10 RP = FREE
        • Reach Total Care Toothbrush $1 - ($1) 4/17/11 RP = FREE
        • Reach Total Care Floss (55yds) $1 - ($1) 4/17/11 RP = FREE
        Walgreens: (When I'm busy, I head to I Heart Wags for a quick list of the freebies.  I HIGHLY recommend them!  The deals I'm listing today are straight from and with much thanks to I Heart Wags.)
        • Always Leak Guard Plus Pads (22ct) $3 (buy 2) - 2 ($1) 4/3/11 P&G - ($4) rr = FREE
        • Colgate Total Advanced Toothpaste (4oz) $3 (buy 2) - 2($1) 4/10/11 SS - ($4) rr = FREE
        • Colgate Total Gum Defense Toothpaste (4oz) $3 (buy 2) - 2($1) 4/10/11 SS - ($4) rr = FREE
        • Colgate Total Advanced Toothpaste (4oz) $3 (buy 2) - 2($1) hhay - ($4) rr = FREE
        • Colgate Total Gum Defense Toothpaste (4oz) $3 (buy 2) - 2($1) hhay - ($4) rr = FREE
        • Goody Ouchless Hair Accessories $3 - ($3) rr= FREE
        • Neilmed NasoGel Drip-Free Gel Spray $4.99 - ($1.50) peelie on some boxes - ($5) = FREE + $1.50 PROFIT (if your store has boxes with peelie coupons on them)
        • Reach Total Care Floss (30yds) $2.99 - ($2) 10/10/10 RP - ($2) rr = FREE + $1 PROFIT
        • Reach Total Care Floss (30yds) $2.99 - ($1) 4/17/11 RP - ($2) rr = FREE + $.01 PROFIT
        • Reach Total Care Toothbrush $2.99 - ($1) 4/17/11 RP - ($2) rr = FREE + $.01 PROFIT
        • Reach Total Care Floss (30yds) $2.99 - ($1) 10/10/11 RP - ($2) rr = FREE + $.01 PROFIT
        • Scotch Magic Tape $1.99 plus b1g2f (w/ac) (buy 3) - 2($1) ip = FREE (You should be able to print & use 2 of the coupons even on a b1g2f sale.  Just make sure you give both manufacturer's coupons FIRST before you give them the in-ad coupon.)
        • Green Giant Vegetables (14.5-15.25 oz) $.49 (w/ac) - ($.50/2) = $.24/can (not free, but a good deal)
        • Aquafresh Kids Toothpaste (4.6oz) $1.99 - ($1) 4/17/11 RP - ($1) rr = FREE + $.01 PROFIT
        • Aquafresh Training Toothpaste (1.5oz) $1.99 - ($1) ivc - ($1) rr = FREE + $.01 PROFIT
        If you have any questions about a particular abbreviation or word, check out my coupon definitions. If you still can't find the answer, post here or shoot me an e-mail. Want to see the best grocery deals for your area? Check out Savings Angel. (That is an affiliate link and I will get credit if you click on that link and subscribe to Savings Angel.) I use them when I'm short on time or not feeling well but still need groceries for the week.

        SOS Mom Saver: Where To Donate Non-Food Items

        I have frequently talked about where to donate food items you might get for free or make a profit on.  (Feeding America lists food banks nationwide for those who've missed it.)  I've had several people recently contact me to ask where to donate non-food items.

        Some food banks will also take over-the-counter meds, health and beauty items, and paper products.  For those that won't (or if you'd just like another resource for donating), you can also donate most of those items to Ronald McDonald House Charities.  For those who are unfamiliar with what they do, they house families of children who are in out-of-town hospitals.  I have witnessed first-hand what a blessing the Ronald McDonald House can be to families.  To get an idea of what families spend while staying there, think for a minute how much more it costs to care for your family when you're out of town.  Ronald McDonald house does offer meals for the families, but the families are on their own for toiletries, health and beauty items, etc.  Any items you donate help a family that is likely already incredibly financially strapped &/or in deep financial debt because of a sick child.  They also enjoy donations of toys, coloring books, crayons, sippy cups, formula, bottles, and the like for young children staying there with their parents.

        Your local nursing home, assisted-living facility, or retirement community welcome donations; especially of health and beauty items and over-the-counter medical products.  These largely consist of seniors on a fixed income.  Every little bit helps.  They find donations of diabetic monitors especially helpful as this is an expensive product that many will go without if they don't have the money to buy.  Some will also take over-the-counter meds, but you'll have to check with each individual facility to find their restrictions and needs.  I find across the board that they need any medical products donated to be in their original packaging with no damage to the box.  In the case of diabetic monitors, they won't even take it if the UPC is cut off or if shrink-wrap is supposed to be there but isn't.

        Homeless Shelters are another excellent place to donate.  What they will take and when will vary by shelter.  Your best bet is to contact the shelter you want to donate to directly to see what their needs and guidelines are.

        Low cost medical clinics will sometimes also take donations of over-the-counter medicines and other medical products if you show receipt of where you purchased it and give it to them in the original packaging.

        Domestic violence shelters have unique needs.  Women and children who come there have often left literally everything behind.  If you need it to live, they'll need it from clothes to diapers & wipes to food and kitchen items.

        Of course many churches always have donation programs.  Contact your local church and see what their needs are.  You might be able to help by donating to their food pantry or you might be able to help reduce the church's operating budget by providing a years worth of Clorox wipes for the nursery.

        You can also always ask around.  You might have a neighbor who HAS to use Allergra (a medicine that's a current money-maker at CVS).  Even those who don't normally coupon would welcome a generous donation of an expensive over-the-counter medicine.

        Above all, remember, a food pantry is not usually JUST a food pantry.  They usually accept many more items than food...and are often low on those other items because people DON'T know that they accept these items.  There are even some pantries and organizations who will take frozen or refrigerated items.  Don't be afraid to ask!  The worst they'll say is no...but you might find a new place to bless in an unexpected way!

        Tuesday

        Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 6: Price Matching

        There's one more aspect of couponing that deserves a blog all it's own.  Price-matching.

        If you live in an area with Publix, nothing beats their price-match and coupon-acceptance policies.  For the rest of us, there is Wal-Mart.  (Meijer also price-matches, but only on General Merchandise items.)

        Those who don't have the time or desire to figure out Catalina deals or go from store to store often just stick to price-matching and using coupons at Wal-Mart.

        Wal-Mart will price match on pretty much any item in their store.  Here's an outline of their policy:
        • They will not match b1g1f items, loss-leaders, (Those items typically on the front page which are sold at a loss to try & get you in the store.), % off, $ off or free items.  Don't worry, it's not as bad as it sounds.  Their policy is pretty standard & is actually a good one.
        • They will match the sale price for generic items from another store on their generic items.
        • They will price match items in an ad...however...they will also match non-ad items if they can call & verify that is the current price on that item at another store.  Typically, they'll only do this on big items like computers & cameras and such.
        • They will match produce sales.
        • They DO typically match even loss-leaders.  As I've been told, that restriction is there to allow them to limit should they feel it necessary on loss-leaders.
        As a bonus, their coupon policy is fairly decent.  IN THE POLICY, they say they will give you the overage on coupons.  In other words, if you buy an item for $.99 and have a $1 coupon, they will give you the extra penny towards your other groceries.   Still not sounding good?   Let's say you have an item that's $1.54 & there is a $2 coupon out for that item.  You're now getting $.46 to put towards your other groceries.  Now, let's say you have 10 of those coupons.  You've just gotten an additional $4.60 to put on ANY items that you buy from Wal-Mart.

        If you are only going to shop sales and use coupons at one store, then I'd recommend you go to Wal-Mart...but take your ads from the other stores with you so you can get those sale items at Wal-Mart.

        What's next?  I've had a lot of people ask me how to organize their coupons.  Those who have come to my couponing classes have seen first-hand all of the different ways one could organize their coupons.  The methods are so varied, it will be easier to describe each method in a separate blog post.  Those will follow soon.

        If you have any specific questions about couponing, send them my way.

        Be sure to check out the previous posts in this series:


        Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 1:  Don't Be a Brand Snob
        Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 2:  Know Your Coupon Policies
        Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 3:  What if I Have a Problem?
        Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 4:   Store Cards
        Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 5:  Where Do I Find Coupons?

          Thursday

          HUGE Money Maker...Possibly Today Only!!!

          I mentioned today on Gary's show that there was a HUGE moneymaker on food that we DON'T EVEN EAT!!!  Yet I'm still buying it! 

          Why?  Am I crazy? 

          The crazy part is debatable, but I still buy the items for a specific reason.  We can turn around and donate the food to someone who will.  Feeding America lists food pantries all across the nation.  I encourage those who find foods that are free or close to it to buy it even if your family won't use it...because  someone will.

          That's part of the beauty of couponing.  You can help those that maybe otherwise you wouldn't have been able to help.

          Now...the deal.  I would like to thank Mashup Mom for posting the details of this HUGE moneymaker at Walgreens as it came in.  You can find the details on her site:  Post Moneymaker at Walgreens.

          Tuesday

          SOS Mom Saver: Freebies!!!

          People are clamoring for another freebies post...or so they tell me.  Why haven't I done them in awhile?  Because I haven't been shopping much!  I've had a trip here or there, but we have been using most of our grocery money to restock our bulk goods many of which we were completely out of!

          I'm not used to buying all of them at once so it was a big couple of months grocery-wise for us.  

          And now our stockpile of shampoo is running low!   EEK!  So back to the freebies we go!

          CVS: (2/13-2/19)
          • Colgate Sensitive (6oz) or Total Advanced (5.8oz) $3.79 - ($1) mc (listed below) - ($3.79) ecb = FREE + $1 (lt. 2)
            • ($1) DAY (Colgate Total)
            • ($1) 2/6/11 ss  (Colgate Sensitive)
            • ($1) 1/30/11 ss
          • Listerine Zero (16.9oz) or Reach Total Care Floss (30yd) $3.99 - ($2) mc (listed below) - ($2) ecb = FREE + $.01 (lt. 2)
            • ($2) 9/19/10 rp (Listerine Zero)
            • ($2) 10/10/10 rp (Reach Total Care floss)
          • Speed Stick Stainguard Deodorant (2.3-2.7oz) $2.99 - ($.50) 1/30/11 ss - ($2) ecb = $.50 (lt. 1) (not free, but great deal if you're brand-sensitive)
          Walgreens:  (2/13-2/19)
          • Reach Total Care Toothbrush or Floss $2.99 - (mc listed below) - ($2) rr = Free $.01-$1.01
            • ($2) 10/10/10 rp (Total Care floss)
            • ($1) 10/10/10 rp (floss or toothbrush)
          • Quaker Quick One-Minute Oats (18oz) $1.50 - ($1) 1/2/11 rp = $.50 (not free, but a good deal for someone who's brand sensitive)
          • Walgreen's Brand Diapers $9.99 (b1g1f) - 2($2) infant care coupon booklet in stores = $3 a pack (not free, but a good deal for someone who can use generic diapers)
            Walgreens:  (2/20-2/26)

            • Rephresh ph Tampons $5.99 - ($1) ip - ($5) rr = FREE $.01
            If you have any questions about a particular abbreviation or word, check out my coupon definitions. If you still can't find the answer, post here or shoot me an e-mail. Want to see the best grocery deals for your area? Check out Savings Angel. I use them when I'm short on time or not feeling well but still need groceries for the week.

            Thursday

            SOS Mom Saver: Saving Money on Fresh Produce

            Most of us have heard that the best way to save money on produce is to buy in season.

            But what does that mean?

            How do I know what's in season when?  Does that mean in season here or in season in another state?  Well...Yes.

            The closer to the source of the produce, the cheaper it will be.  If you're in California or Florida where they grow oranges, then they're going to be cheaper for you than if you're in Michigan.  If gas costs are up, then those oranges are going to be even MORE expensive in Michigan.

            The oranges are going to be cheaper for everyone when those oranges are in season because they grow with less assistance and in greater quantities when in season.

            There are a lot of variables that can affect produce prices.  A hurricane that wipes out the citrus crop in Florida is going to affect us all by raising prices or causing a shortage as would a flood, drought, or fire that destroys crops in California.

            The bottom line, though, is that all other factors aside, buying when the produce is in season will save you the most money.

            I couldn't possibly list what is in season in every area of the country every month.  I could tell you some general guidelines to go by.  For example, oranges and other citrus fruits will be in season in the winter, melons and berries will be in season in the summer, and apples and different squashes will be in season in the fall.  Your BEST bet, though is finding out what produce is in season in your area.  If nothing is currently in season in your area, find the state closest to you with in season produce and know that those items will be your cheapest buys.

            Epicurious and Sustainable Table will give you a general idea of what is in season in your area each month.  Local Harvest goes one better, though.  It will direct you to farms in your area.  Many of those farms list what they grow each season on Local Harvest.  Even better, many will let you buy directly from them to save even more money.  Plus, you'll be getting the produce directly from the source which is ALWAYS best!

            If you can't buy directly from a farm in your area, check your grocery store sale ads.  Typically, the produce that is currently in season will be the cheapest!  In the summer, we stock up on berries when they're $.99 for 6oz to 1lb (depending on the berry) and freeze enough to get us through the winter.

            This was our first cucumber ever!!!

            And of course the BEST way to save money on fresh produce is to grow it yourself!  I'm excited about learning the ins & outs of gardening in Vegas this year.  It's always a little scary at first to start gardening; especially if you've never done it before.  I promise you, when you see the fruits (literally) of your labor, the hard work will have all been worth it!

            Wednesday

            Using Coupons & Saving Money on Groceries Part 5: Where Do I Find Coupons?

            What good is knowing the coupon policies at your stores and how to handle any problems you may encounter while couponing...if you don't have coupons?  They're kind of an important part of couponing!

            So where do you get coupons?

            The easy answer to that question is to buy the paper every week.  However, that is not the only way to get coupons...and there are even specific papers you can buy to increase the likelihood that you'll get good, high-value coupons.

            So...Where do you get 'em?
            • Buy a paper (of course).  
              • If you have a choice, you should get a bigger city paper like the Chicago Tribune or the LA Times.  These papers are going to be more likely to have higher-value coupons (and more coupons period).
              • The big thing to remember when buying papers is to check for the coupons BEFORE you buy them.  This is VITAL.  There's nothing worse than paying for a paper (or several) only to find out you didn't get the coupons you paid for.
              • Some papers will offer a discount if you buy multiple subscriptions.  Call & ask.  The bonus here is that they'll deliver the papers to you! (But it also means you get the paper even on weeks when there are no coupons.  And it's up to you to follow-up with the paper if you happen to not get coupons in one (or more) of your papers on an given week.  (Before subscribing, make sure that the paper still includes the coupons in their delivered editions.  Some don't.)
            • Buy whole inserts from a place such as Coupons and Things by Dede.
            • Buy just the individual coupons from a place like The Coupon Clippers.
            • Get coupons on Ebay (I wouldn't recommend going with any seller who has less than a 100% rating with no negative reviews.)
            • "Blinkie" coupons which are right by the products in the stores  (These are the coupons with the red borders that are right on the store shelves.  They used to be in red machines that blinked (hence the name).  In many areas, however, they're now in cardboard boxes.)
            • Booklets in the stores.  Some of these will be up at the front right by the ads.  Others will be on special displays throughout the store.
            • Catalina coupons
              • These are the coupons that print out at the register at your grocery store
              • They're called "Register Rewards" at Walgreens, but these are also Catalina coupons
              • Check with your local grocery store to see if they will take a Catalina coupon that printed at another store (even Walgreens) in their store.  If they say "manufacturer coupon" on them, then many grocery store chains will take them.  (Those that I know do take Catalina coupons even if they weren't printed in their store include Kroger/Smiths/Food-4-Less & other stores in that chain, Albertson's/Jewel & other stores in that chain, Vons/Dominicks/Safeway & other stores in that chain, Family Fare & other Spartan chain stores, Meijer, Publix, & Walmart if it's off a specific product.)  Don't be afraid to ask.  The worse they can say is no.
            • Call or e-mail companies for your favorite products (or ones you're brand-sensitive on) and ask them for coupons. 
            • Go to online sites to print coupons:
            • Go to the website for your local grocery stores.  Many of them offer printable coupons.  Here are a few:
            • Go to the website for your favorite companies.  Many of them offer printable coupons.  Examples:
            • Load coupons onto your store card.  You can do this from many store websites as well as from these 3rd party companies:
            The above sources are not an extensive list of everywhere you can go.  The number of places to get coupons is far too numerous for me to put them all here.  They are merely a starting point to help you know where to find coupons. 

            Be sure to check out the previous posts in this series:


            Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 1:  Don't Be a Brand Snob
            Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 2:  Know Your Coupon Policies
            Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 3:  What if I Have a Problem?
            Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 4:  Store Cards

              Monday

              Using Coupons & Saving Money on Groceries Part 4: Store Cards

              You're almost ready to get coupons.  I'll tell you where to get them in the next segment in this series.

              When finding out the coupon policies at your stores, you should have found out if they require you to have a store card to get the sales.

              If one or more of your stores requires a store card and you haven't signed up for it yet, you should do that now.  You'll need it in order to get some of the coupons I'll tell you about later this week.

              While most stores do allow you to sign up for their card online, I HIGHLY recommend that you do so in store.  Signing up in store gets you a card right away.  I personally recommend putting the card on your key chain.  Anyone who knows me in "real life" knows that I follow this advice.  My keychain proves it!

              As soon as you get home with all of your cards, you should then go online to the store's website to register your card online.  This will allow you to take advantage of any digital coupons offered.

              Once you've done this, you'll be ready for Part 5 and on your way to saving money with coupons!

              Be sure to check out the previous posts in this series:


              Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 1:  Don't Be a Brand Snob
              Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 2:  Know Your Coupon Policies
              Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 3:  What if I Have a Problem?
              Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 5: Where Do I Find Coupons?


                Sunday

                Using Coupons And Saving Money On Groceries Part 3: What If I Have a Problem?

                I'm sure as you can tell by now, I am all about being prepared.  Before you jump in 100% to couponing, you should have all of your ducks in a row.  You need to know the couponing policies at your stores...and you need to know what to do should you have any problems at the store.

                I would love to tell you that you will never encounter a problem using coupons.  I really would.  Unfortunately, I can't.  You might get lucky.  You might be in a wonderful area where everyone loves and supports coupon use.  I have lived in one of those areas before.  You might not, though.  If you're not in one of those "coupons are awesome" areas, then you need to know what to do should you encounter a problem.

                The most important thing to remember if you do encounter a problem is that you want to shop at this store again.  You don't want the cashiers to run and duck for cover when you walk in.  You want to be the person that they know coupons...and will be polite and respectful should there be a problem.  The person that they, inevitably, come to and ASK about how to use coupons.  (Which they WILL eventually do after they see your savings week after week.)  Be THAT person...not the one who hollars, screams, huffs and puffs, and is an embarassment.  I know it can be frustrating to encounter problems, but handling it the right way...through the proper channels..means that you will have a successful, long-term couponing career at that store.

                Also, remember that the cashier is likely doing as they were trained.  If there's a problem, it's not typically at the cashier level.  There's usually a problem higher-up with a manager who doesn't understand the store's coupon policy. 

                If you have a problem...call and ask for the manager explain that you talked to "Mary" (or whomever you talked to), have an e-mail from corporate with the written policy, or have a print-out of the policy posted online (whichever applies).  Ask what the two of you can do in the future to ensure that all cashiers are aware of the policy so that customers like yourself no longer have delays when checking out which then causes delays for non-couponing customers also.

                Anytime I encounter a problem with coupons, I am always polite and respectful.  I don't push an issue unless I know 100% that I am right.  If I'm not sure, then I'll ask for a manager and let them know that I'm not sure.  If they still say no...then I respect that and either buy the product anyway or let them know that I'm no longer interested in the product.

                If, however, I am 100% sure that I am right, then here is my chain of command with couponing issues (I pretty much keep going until I have fully resolved the issue.):
                • While in the store:
                  • Ask for the manager (whether or not I have a written copy of the policy with me).  (if still no resolution...)
                    • And I do NOT have written proof of their policy with me then I ask for the name of the manager I talked to, leave my merchandise there (unless I would have purchased it anyway without the deal or coupon), thank them and leave.
                    • And I have the written proof of their policy with me: 
                      • Then I will ask for his/her manager.  (if still no resolution...)
                      • Then I'll ask for THEIR manager.
                        • If there is a higher manager and I still get no resolution then I ask for THAT manager's name, the store director's name, and the store phone #.  Unless I would buy those items anyway without the deal or coupon then I leave my merchandise there, thank them and leave.
                        • Often, however, at this point you'll be told that there isn't a higher manager.  This is VERY likely to happen.  If this happens, I ask for the name of the highest manager I talked to, the store director's name, and the store phone number.  Again, unless I would buy those items anyway without the deal or coupon then I leave my merchandise there, thank them and leave.
                • If I didn't receive resolution in the store (whether I was able to obtain a written copy of their policy or not), then I do the following:
                  • Call the store and ask for the store director (or ask for him by name). 
                    • If I never could get a written copy of the coupon policy then I ask for one now explaining how it could perhaps help everyone if the policy was in writing.  Explain my frustration at trying to follow their policy...but not knowing what it actually is.
                    • If I have a written policy, then explain the situation and how I felt it wasn't honored.  Ask what can be done to ensure that all of the cashiers know the policy and how we can solve the issue I had while there (saying that I'd LOVE to come back in and make my purchase).
                    • If everyone I encounter (cashiers, managers, etc) was polite and respectful even when there was a problem, then I make sure to point that out and thank the store director for that.  I might also say what I like about the store (good gluten-free or organic selection, great sales, etc) and how I really want to resolve this so I can continue shopping there. 
                    • Then I'll confirm the store director's name and title (get it if I don't have it) and ask if there's anyone above him at the store (there shouldn't be).  Whether or not I feel like there was an acceptable resolution, I'll then ask for the name and number of the district or regional manager (whoever is next up the chain) for reference and/or to give compliments if I feel the resolution up to this point has been acceptable.  I always remain polite and respectful...even if they aren't (and then later vent in frustration to my husband usually...bless his heart)(if still no resolution...) 
                  • I call the district or regional manager (whoever is next up the chain):
                    • Often they'll tell you that they'll redirect your concern to the store director.  I always make sure to tell them that I have already spoken to the store director giving them his name and summarizing my conversation with him if it's still not resolved.  Regardless, I'll let them do their job in the way that they think they have to...even if they DO ultimately redirect me back to the store manager. 
                    • Make sure you tell them what you expect them to do or what an acceptable resolution is to you. 
                    • If you don't have a written copy of the policy yet...ask for it again at this level.
                    • If you do have a written copy, explain where it wasn't honored and ask how the cashiers and managers will be educated so that you don't face delays at the register which also holds up non-couponers and reflects poorly on the store.
                    • If the cashiers and managers up to this point have been polite and respectful (even if the issue wasn't resolved)...then say that and thank them for that.  (If still no resolution...)
                  •  I call the district or regional manager back:
                    • I explain that this is my 2nd call to them and that the previous attempt at resolution was unsuccessful (usually this happens if they simply threw the case back at the store director who was already unsuccessful at resolving the issue).  
                    • Remind them that you spoke to the store director before calling them the 1st time, then they redirected it back to the store manager who had already not successfully resolved the issue and that you'd now like it handled by the district/regional office themselves.
                    • As before, make sure you tell them exactly what the problem was and how you expect it to be resolved.
                    • Again...if you've received polite and respectful treatment (even if the issue wasn't resolved), then tell them that and thank them for it.  (If still no resolution...)
                  •  Then I'll call customer service (the corporate number you can find online at their website).  
                    • They'll usually point you back to the district/regional office and/or store director so it's very important to let them know what attempts you have made thus far at resolving the issue.
                    • Again...be very clear about the issue and your expected resolution...and ask again for a written policy if you still haven't received one.
                    • Don't forget to compliment the store and tell them if the cashiers and managers you have spoken to thus far have been polite and respectful (even if they haven't resolved the issue). (If still no resolution...)
                  •  E-mail customer service.  The first e-mail I'll send will be through their website usually.  However, when I e-mail, I compliment them if necessary, detail the issue and my expected resolution, detail every attempt I have made thus far at resolving the issue.  I'll usually write this e-mail in Open Office then save it.  I'll copy and paste it into my e-mail.  This way, I also have a written copy on MY end...that I can use again should I encounter a problem with this or a different store in the future.
                I'm sure this all can seem overwhelming.  I'm simply trying to help those who are lost when they encounter a problem know what they should do to find a resolution.

                I'm as detailed as I am because I want to make sure that I have done everything in my power before I give up on that store.  Usually, though, following the proper channels in a polite, respectful manner resolves the problems at that store.

                Be sure to check out the previous posts in this series:


                Using Coupons Part 1:  Don't Be a Brand Snob!
                Using Coupons Part 2:  Know Your Coupon Policies

                  Tuesday

                  Let's Talk Christmas!!!

                  Well, Christmas clearance...but that's almost like a second Christmas to me!

                  Now is the time to think about Christmas NEXT year.  Do you need more ornaments?  Garland?  Lights?  A new tree?  Look NOW for what you'll need next year!  You can save at least 50% in most cases and sometimes as much as 75% or 90% off the regular sale price of an item!

                  Don't just think about Christmas, though.  Think about gifting throughout the year.  Need wrapping paper?  A spiderman lover isn't going to question snowflake-shaped webs on his wrapping paper (I speak from experience).  Look for character paper with as little "holiday" flare as possible for birthday gifts in the coming year.  Don't forget to also stock up for wrapping for next Christmas as well!  You'll also find gift boxes, gift bags, tissue paper, & tape on clearance.  Yes...even tape!

                  Not only that, you'll find holiday-themed anything on clearance.  From dishes to baggies to clothes and non-holiday food items that simply have a holiday-themed package.  And don't forget the toys!  You'll only see lower clearance prices on toys (from 15%-30% off) until the major Christmas clearance is done.  After that, stores hit the toys hard!  They very quickly go from that 15% mark to 50% off & from there to 75%-80%; depending on the store...and at some stores, they'll hit their biggest percentage off as soon as the middle of January!  This clearance happens MUCH more quickly than most of their toy clearances.

                  Above all, though, remember that it's not a savings if you don't have the money...so plan appropriately, but don't go into debt just to "save" in the future.  If you don't have the money in cash...it's not a deal!

                  Thursday

                  SOS Mom Saver: Price Match Policies


                  This is actually something we can utilize year-round.  What happens if you MUST buy something right now...but it's not on sale?  If you MUST buy something, then you must buy it...and you might have to do that at full price.

                  All is not lost, though.  After you buy that item, keep watch on the sales.  You can go back and have the store give you a refund for the difference between what you paid and the current price should the item go on sale.

                  Depending on the store, can go back as much as 14 days later to get this price adjustment.  Kohl's allows adjustments for 7 days.  Target allows adjustments for 14 days. 

                  Call your favorite stores to find out their policy before buying.  You just might save yourself some money...AFTER your purchase!

                  What can be better than that?

                  (Besides, of course, getting paid to take the item home...)

                  SOS Mom Saver: Prepare NOW for Toy Clearances in January!

                  I know everyone still has Christmas on the mind being that's still 2 weeks away.  However, now is the PERFECT time to start planning for next month.  (What can I say?  I'm a planner.)

                  As soon as you've finished your Christmas prep (or if you have a minute to spare) (I know...I'm hilarious!  Free time!  That's funny!  But I digress...)  When you can (how's that?), make a list of all of the birthdays you have coming up this year.  Include not only your kids, but any family members or friends who you know you'll be buying presents for in the coming year.  Write down ideas of what you want to get them as well as a price limit for the gift. 

                  Then hit the stores in January!  All stores start a massive toy clearance in January.  Some stores go more quickly than others.  Wal-mart tends to clearance their toys out the slowest.  Target is usually the fastest with some stores hitting 75% off by mid-January and others hitting it by the 3rd week in January. 

                  A word of advice:  If you KNOW that you want something at Target, then buy it when it's 50% off; especially if it's a hot item.

                  I also start planning and buying for my Christmas NEXT  year (in 2011) in January. Like I said...I'm a planner!

                  Sunday

                  My Best Black Friday Ever: The Details

                  Yes, I was a tease.  I showed you pics of all of my Black Friday finds on Friday but left you hanging on the details.

                  For me, Black Friday isn't just about what deals I can get on THAT day, though.  I prep very carefully for that day knowing what deals will likely be there.  Once the ads come out, then I can firm up my preparations.

                  Here's what I started Black Friday with:
                  • The following gift cards:
                    • (2) $10 Land's End gift cards ($20 total) which can be used at Land's End, Sears, and/or Kmart
                    • $20 Gap gift card which can be used at Gap or Old Navy
                    • (10) $5 Amazon.com gift cards ($50 total) from Swagbucks (plus (3) more $5 Amazon.com gift cards pending from Swagbucks)
                    • (2) $25 CVS gift cards ($50 total) from prescription transfers
                    • (2) $25 Walgreens gift cards ($50 total) from prescription transfers
                    • (2) $5 Target gift cards ($10 total) from previous promotions
                  • $100 from my husband to spend on a Kitchen Aid if I could find a good deal (which I did), and of course...
                  • A detailed list outlining what I needed, what we wanted for gifts, where we needed to go when, and what we could get online (and through Ebates and/or Upromise to save even more money)
                  How much did I spend?
                  • $1,820.50...Oh I kid!  (You didn't believe me did you?)  You know better than that!  What is that figure?  It's what everything I got the week of Black Friday WOULD have cost me had I paid full price.
                  • You know I'd at least want everything to be on sale, right?  Sounds good...except that even on sale, everything I got the week of Black Friday would still have cost me $1,021.91.  Yeah.  I'm not spending that much.  Not even close.
                  • But wait!  You know I'd also use coupons to reduce what I pay.  THAT will make it affordable.  Right?  Close...but at $506.31...still no cigar.  Not gonna pay THAT much either!  (What?!  You've already knocked the total down by almost 75%, and that's STILL not enough?!)  Nope.  It sure isn't.
                  • Why?  Because I also had gift cards (and the $100 my husband gave me for my KA).  They had been saved just for this day!  After my gift cards and cash from my husband had been applied, my total ended up being $271.28.  THIS was my final price at the store.  But wait, I'm not done yet...
                  • I am expecting rebates back from products I purchased at Amazon.com and Walgreens.  When they are received, my total out-of-pocket will have dropped down to $202.46.
                  • But wait...I also got register rewards (RR's) back from Walgreens and extra care bucks (ECB's) back from CVS.  Although I don't actually count them in my savings until I spend them, I'm going to here just so you'll see my net total.  After taking the ECB's and RR's into account, my total net spending was $96.81...less than the total price of my KA mixer alone after the sale and rebate is applied!
                  • For those trying to do the math, that's a net savings of over 95%.
                  Here's a recap:
                  • Regular price:  $1820.50
                  • Sale price:  $1021.91
                  • Price after coupons:  $506.31
                  • Price after gift cards (what I paid up front):  $271.28
                  • Price after rebates (total out-of-pocket):  $202.46
                  • I have the following left to use on future purchases:  $185.62
                    • Register Rewards (can use at Wags or a local grocery store):  $73.72
                    • Extra Care Bucks:  $31.93
                    • Amazon.com gift cards:  $15
                    • CVS gift cards:  $34.97
                    • Gap gift card:  $20
                    • Target gift cards: $10
                  What did that $202.46 ($96.81 after RR's and ECB's) get me?
                  • Kitchen Aid Professional 600 Series 575 watt 6qt mixer (orig. $499)
                  • Artist's Loft Creative Design Table (orig. $149.99)
                  • Wii Cabela Hunting Game w/gun (orig. $39.99)
                  • Kingston 8gb Flash Drive (orig. $39.99)
                  • (2) Wii games (orig. $29.99 ea/$59.98 tot)
                  • (2) Sealy Posturepedic Pillows (orig. $19.99 ea/$39.98 tot)
                  • Kingston 4gb Flash Drive (orig. $19.99)
                  • Fiskars 12" portable paper trimmer (orig. $19.99)
                  • Body Pillow (orig. $19.99)
                  • Walgreens Warm Steam Vaporizer (orig. $15.99)
                  • Walgreens Heating Pad (orig. $15.99)
                  • Phillip's Ear Buds (orig. $9.99)
                  • Creatology 100 pc Art Set (orig. $6.99)
                  • Eucerin Lotion (orig. $6.99)
                  • (4) Scotch Gift-Tape 3-pk (orig. $5.99 ea/$23.96 tot) 
                  • (2) Old Spice Body Spray (orig. $5.99 ea/$11.98 tot)
                  • (6) Photo Boxes (orig. $4.99 ea/$29.94 tot)
                  • (18) Secret Scent Expressions Body Splash (orig. $4.99 ea/$89.82 tot)
                  • (18) Olay Body Wash (orig. $4.99 ea/$89.82 tot)
                  • (7) Centrum Vitamins (orig. $4.99 ea/$34.93 tot) 
                  • (3) Gillette Odor Shield Deodorant (orig. $4.99 ea/$14.97 tot)
                  • (3) Herbal Essences Shampoo (orig. $3.99 ea/$11.94 tot)
                  • (3) Herbal Essences Conditioner (orig. $3.99 ea/$11.97 tot)
                  • (12) Herbal Essences Spray Gel (orig. $3.99 ea/$47.88 tot)
                  • (4) Herbal Essences Gel (orig. $3.99 ea/$15.96 tot)
                  • (16) Nivea Men's Shave Gel (orig. $3.99 ea/$63.84 tot)
                  • (6) Pure Water 24pk (orig. $3.99 ea/$23.94 tot)
                  • (16) Crest 3D Vivid White Toothpaste (orig. $3.99 ea/$63.84 tot)
                  • (12) Oral-B Indicator Toothbrushes (orig. 3.99 ea/$47.88 tot)
                  • (6) Listerine Pocket packs (orig. $3.99 ea/$23.94)
                  • (6) Colgate Toothpaste (orig. $3.49/$20.94 tot) 
                  • (10) Gum EZ-thru Flossers (orig. $2.99/$29.90 tot)
                  • (3) LA Looks Styling Gel (orig. $2.99/$8.97 tot)
                  • (12) Scunci Pony Tail Holders double packs (orig. $2.49/$29.88 tot)
                  • (16) ThermaCare Heat Wraps (orig. $2.49/$39.84 tot)
                  • (2) Robitussin DM To-Go (orig. $2.49/$4.98 tot)
                  • (30) Advil PM 2ct (orig. $1.99/$59.70 tot)
                  • (3) Carmex Lip Balm (orig. $1.99/$5.97 tot)
                  • (15) Mars King-Size Candy (orig. $1.79/$26.85 tot)
                  • (16) 2 ltr bottles of pop (orig. $1.59ea/$25.44 tot)
                  • (2) Photo Calendars (orig. $1 ea/$2 tot)
                  • (2) Magnetic Calendars with notes (orig. $1 ea/$2 tot)
                  • (2) Pocket Calendars (orig. $1 ea/$2 tot)
                  • (15) Reese's Candy Singles (orig. $.99/$14.85 tot)
                  • (4) cans Mandarin Oranges (orig. $.69/$2.76 tot)
                  • (4) cans Mushrooms (orig. $.99/$3.96 tot)
                  In other words...a dump-load of stuff.  How did you do on Black Friday (or did you hide out at home attempting to avoid all of the Chaos?)