Monday, May 31, 2010

Savy shopping in Cincy

This past weekend I spent some time in Cincinatti, OH coaching my u11 club soccer team. If you've ever been to a soccer tournament before, you know that this involves several hours in between games for players to rest. And best of all for their coach to find some awesome deals. I used my ever trusty Garmin to direct me to the nearest Target and Meijer stores! I've discovered that my planning can even work in a whole different city. Here are some deals I scored at Meijer.

-Ragu Pasta Sauce-$1.29 each

Used 2 Meijer mealbox coupons (see link below) for $1/2 and 2 $1/2 Ragu MFG coupons from 5/23 Redplum insert=$.29 each

-French's Mustard (Reg and Spicy Brown)-$1.50 brown, $1.25 reg

Used $.50/2 Meijer mealbox coupon + $.50/1 coupon that doubled=$1.25 total

-Kraft Salad Dressing-$2.00 each=4 FREE + $3 catalina

I had 4 $1/1 Meijer coupons from since you can combine these with MFG coupons, I combined these with 4 $.55/1 coupons from (you will only be able to print 2 from one computer so find a friend with a printer)

The Meijer store in Cincy bumped up all coupons under $1 up to $1 each! Meijer also had a catalina that gave me $3 back to use on my next purchase, so I broke it up into two transactions.

Total from 1st transaction=$2.41+ $3 catalina to use on my next purchase

2nd transaction

-Purina Little Bites 18 lb Dog Food-$9.99

Used $1.50/1 coupon (sorry it expired 5/29) and $3 catalina

Total from 2nd transaction=$6.49

In my other shopping adventures, I also happened to find some really cool throw pillow covers on clearance at Target for $2.98 each. I did go a little overboard and bought 8 of them. (2 red/orange stripe, 2 blue/green stripe, 2 solid red, 2 solid navy) These will be a great investment since I had put all the throw pillows up when I got Sophie. She likes to lick them and it leaves stains, but these can be thrown in the wash when they get pet hair or other unsightlies on them.

I also ventured to the IKEA store where I spent ENTIRELY too much money, but got some much needed things from around the house. I will be doing an entire blog entry sometime this week on IKEA. Don't miss it!

I hope all the teachers out there are enjoying the start to their summer breaks! Catch my next blog entry about how to use freebies in the classroom. Sure sounds good to me!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Marsh trip in review

Today's Marsh trip was a huge deal saver! Check out some of the deals I ended up getting.

I got 4 boxes of Suddenly Salad pasta salad, 3 cups of Yoplait Greek blueberry yogurt, 2 Grands biscuts (5 in each container), and a bag of Green Giant Red potatoes and green beans in rosemary butter sauce for FREE + .60 overage. Check out my previous post to see how I did this.

I ended up spending more than I normally would for groceries because of the one day only meat sale. I won't have to buy chicken again until August which is FANTASTIC!!

Perdue boneless chicken breast was $1.57 lb so I bought 4 packages. This was 18 chicken breasts total. I already had one bag of frozen chicken breasts so pair these two up and I am set for the summer!
I also got boneless pork loin for $1.68 lb. I got a 7 lb package and had it cut into 3/4 inch chops by the butcher. He then packaged them up in twos so I have quick grab chops to marinate and throw on the grill. I ended up with 14 packages so that breaks down to 28 chops! All for about $12! Wonderful!
I ended up buying a few other items I had coupons for that were on sale. I also bought 6 vine ripe tomatoes for sandwiches over the next week. All in all I ended up spending $35.54 for everything. This is only $3.00 more than what my 7 lb pork loin costs at regular price. I saved a total of $75.79 on my order (68%).

Friday, May 21, 2010

If you have a Marsh close CAN'T miss this!

I wanted to share some awesome deals that are at Marsh this week. Tomorrow is their Saturday only meat sale that they have every month or so. They also have some pretty awesome deals this week when you pair them with coupons that you can print out online. Here are just a few of the deals I am going after tomorrow.
-Perdue Boneless Chicken Breast on sale for $1.57 a lb. Limit 6 packages.
(One awesome tip for this is to get packages that will still be good without being frozen until your next trash day. I then deal with all the chicken a day or so before the trash comes. I put each piece of chicken in between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound it out so it is the same thickness. Then I package them individually. Yes it takes time now, but it saves me time when I need to cook something quickly. That way you don't have to worry about a frozen center when the outside is already browned.)
-Whole Center Cut Boneless Pork Loin-$1.69 lb
(Another trick for all of you who can't eat a 7-9 lb pork can get this sliced into boneless chops that are great on the grill for FREE at Marsh. The boneless pork chops normally cost somewhere between $3-4 a lb so this is a GREAT deal saver. I like the 3/4 inch thick ones that I can marinate.)

These deals are available until Wednesday at all central Indiana Marsh stores.

-Vine ripe tomatoes-$.99 lb
(Marsh claims to only buy local farm grown produce...which is why I suppose it costs sooooo much, but I figure this is another effort to be green. Less gas to get here=greener)

-Starbucks Pint Ice cream-$6/2- $1/2 coupon from$2.50 each
(It's not the cheapest ice cream, but it does taste exactly like the favorite is java chip frap. It's cheaper than getting a cup of joe from the shop that's for sure)

-Buy 10 participating General Mills items and get $5 off instantly at checkout!
-Yoplait Greek Yogurt-$.99 each (3)
-Suddenly Salad-$.99 each (4)
-Grands Biscuts-$.99 each (2)
-Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers-$1.49 each (1)

This will cost me $10.40 before tax-$5.00 instant cash back at checkout=$5.40

So here is how I have it worked out:
-Yoplait Greek Yogurt -$.30/1 coupon from off 3)
-Suddenly Salad- $.40/1 coupon from (print off 4)
-Grands Biscuts-$.30/2 coupon from (print off 1) *You will have to join the site
-Green Giant-$.50/1 coupon from (print off 1)

Yoplait-coupons will double $.60 x 3=$1.20
Suddenly Salad coupons will double $.80 x 4= $3.20
Grands coupon will double-$.60 x 1=$.60
Green Giant coupon will double-$1 x 1=$1.00

Total coupon savings=$6.00
If you noticed that I was only going to spend $5.40 after the instant $5 at the checkout you will also notice that I am getting ALL this for FREE + .60 overage. So not only am I getting 10 name brand General Mills items for FREE I am also essentially getting paid $.60 to buy all of it. This $.60 can go to pay for my other purchases.

Yes it takes time, but imagine how many meals I am going to get out of spending the time to plan this all out! The yogurt makes a great afterschool snack (and it has 2x the protein of other yogurts so it keeps me full longer). The Grands will go great with the Tennessee Pride sausage gravy I got on sale a few weeks ago for some good ole biscuts and gravy on Sunday morning. The veggies are a healthy low sodium way to have veggies if you can't get them fresh. And the pasta salad will go great with burgers or chicken on the grill! Plus I'll enjoy this wonderful summer food on my new back patio!

So I am putting out a CHALLENGE to all of my blog readers (I know you're out there even if you haven't told me...415 views since starting on Wednesday! YES!!!!)
-Try to get one of your favorite summer eats on a great deal by searching your grocery ads or using coupons and share in the comments section! You might inspire someone to else to finally go back after those Dreamsicles or Bombpops after all these years!

Fun Friday

Today I found myself at Meijer after a long day of teaching. I was tired, went without a list, and was just looking for something that sounded good for a nice night in. Little did I know I was going to snag some awesome deals in the process. When I lived in Louisville, Meijer was a staple in my life because it was less than a mile from our apartment. They always have such a great selection of quick sale meats that are actually priced to sell quickly. Unfortunately, there isn't a Meijer close to my house. Today I took a different way home from work due to construction which took me past Meijer. Enjoy some of the deals I found! Tomorrow is a HUGE sale at the Marsh right by my house so I'm sure to post more awesome deals from the Saturday only sale.

-14 Yoplait yogurts-10/$4-$.50/8 coupon-$.40/6 coupon (both double)=$3.80 total

This breaks down to about $.27 a container. This is by far the cheapest I have EVER gotten them!

-Country Crock churned style butter-$1.29-$.40 coupon (doubles)=$.49

-Coffee Mate Creme Brulee creamer-$2 on sale-$.50/1 coupon (doubles)=$1.00

-OB Travel tampon case w/3 reg tampons-$.76 on clearance because packaging was damaged-$1/1 OB product coupon=FREE + .24 overage

-Alfalfa Sprouts-$.89 on clearance

I bought some Parrot Bay Key Lime rum for less than $9.50 on clearance and some Puppy Chow for $9.00 after my coupon came off. All around great deals!

Tips for money saving:

-Have some sort of organizational system for your coupons. I will share how I organize mine in another post.

-Do not get rid of your coupons (from the newspaper or mail). Find a place (I use a box in the garage) to keep them until they expire. I clean out the box once or twice a month. This way if something goes on sale and you forgot to clip the coupon, you aren't S.O.L.

-Look to pair sales with coupons (especially at stores that double them) to get things at rock bottom prices. I'm pretty sure the yogurt I got today is about as low as it can get.

-Most of your best deals are going to be on the front page of the weekly ads. Often stores have those items at break even or loss prices, just to get you into their store.

-Don't be afraid to look stupid. I've seen some people reluctantly use coupons because they are afraid of making the cashier or people behind them upset. As long as you are nice to them, odds are they are going to be more envious of the deals you land than upset.

Sounding off with my sounds vegetables and herbs are growing well. I cannot wait to eat fresh tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and eggplant from the garden all summer long. Most posts to come on how much $ you can save by growing a garden.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Walmart Deals

Walmart has some awesome deals on things for my little puppy, Sophie. I am in love with these Busy Bones from Purina (which I always seem to have tons of coupons for) because she will go to town on them so I can eat my dinner in peace. Plus I do something that helps me out with saving money TWICE!!! I am a member of On this website, you read emails and shop online to accumulate points to earn gift cards ranging from $10-100 (my favorites are for Panera, Olive Garden, and Starbucks). Well, Mypoints has a whole section run by I receive 10 points for each coupon I print and use in the store, plus 25 bonus points when I use 10 or more coupons per month. I am able to access multiple computers to print these off (although I know everyone isn't so lucky) so I can sometimes print 8-10 of the same coupon to use when things are on sale. A $10 giftcard is about 1,400 points so between my 3 mypoints accounts I've been earning $30-50 a month in giftcards to spend at places I love! Not only does this let me reward myself on a tiny budget, but it gives me more money to save for my future plans (ie: a car that has a working radio and a driver side door that unlocks)

Enjoy checking out some deals I scored at Walmart yesterday. -Purina Busy Bones (4 pack)-$2.88-$2/1 coupon from Mypoints account=$.88 for 4! This means that for $.22 I can eat on my couch without my dog trying to steal my dinner! Well worth it!!!
-Cesar Prime Rib Treats-$2.98 on rollback-$1/1 Prime rib treat coupon + $1/1 coupon on the package=$.98 for 75 treats!
Not all places will let you use both, but the wonderful cashier pulled it off the package and scanned it "since I might as well use all the coupons I can." My dog will be thanking you when she gets the fancy treats this month!
-Dentastix (7 count for large dogs)-$2.98-$2/1 coupon from my mom (THANKS!)=$.98
I've tried the small dog ones before, but you get more bang for your buck with the large package. I do cut them in half with a kitchen knife. You don't have to go through all that effort, but I get 14 of the same size for the price of 10.
-2 packages of BIC Crystal pens (10 count)-$1-2 $1/1 BIC product coupons=FREE +this gave me 20 points toward a gift card and put me over my 10 coupon limit for the month on one account! 45 points toward a gift card and free pens?!?! YES PLEASE
-Off Smooth and Dry bug spray-$2.97 in the trial size isle-$1/1 Mypoints coupon=$1.97
This stuff is normally fairly expensive and I desperately needed some for my coaching bag after getting eaten alive in Carmel this past weekend. I'm sure I could find this on a better deal when paired with a sale, but for now it works!

Deals from this week

As I stated in my first post, I am a self proclaimed penny pincher. This translates into all aspects of my life. So often, I skimp and save for the future. Back in February, I was told that I was being RIFed (reduction in force) for next school year and the panic began. Let me also say that I bought a house in January 2009 and my biggest fear in life is that I will lose my house. While I've never been a huge worrier, this send me into a tizzy. From this point, my super savings plan began. I cut my monthly budget to allow an extra $400 a month to go into savings on top of what I was already saving. The first things to go were dinners out and extras that weren't essentials. I began to take my penny pinching to a whole new level by utilizing coupons and planning my meals. I took my grocery budget down to the bare minimum while also allowing my to eat healthy foods. I have since been offered my job back (WHEEEEEW!!!!) and have continued these tips! They have allowed me to continue to save at a SUPER level. Here are just a few of the deals I got this week at Target.

-Nivea Touch of Sparkle bodywash-$3.99-$4.00 off coupon=FREE

-Nivea for Men body wash-marked down to $3.54 because they were our of Dove for Men body wash-$3.00 off Nivea for Men bodywash=$.54

-Tide Travel size-$.99-$1/1 Tide coupon=FREE

-2 pkgs of BIC grip pens-$.99 each-2 $1/1 BIC product coupon=FREE (These will be great for my classroom since my kids are always taking...I mean borrowing my pens!)

-Vaseline Sheer Infusion Lotion-$4.79-$1/1 Vaseline Target coupon + $3.75/1 Sheer infusion lotion=$.04 (Plus it came with a 1 oz. sample size lotion too)

-Downy Wrinkle Releaser (travel size)-$1-$1/1 coupon=FREE

-2 Arm and Hammer travel toothpastes-$.99 each-$2.50/2 coupon=FREE + $.52 overage

-2 Benadryl Anti itch sticks-$2.29 each-$4/2 Benadryl coupon=$.29 each

-Frizz Ease Mousse (trial size)-$.97-$2.50/1 John Fredia product=FREE +$1.53 overage

-Dove deoderant (trial size)-$.97-$1/1 Dove coupon=FREE +.03 overage

-Carefree pantiliners-$.97-$1/1 Carefree product coupon=FREE +.03 overage

-Shout Wipes to go-$.97-$.55/1 Shout product coupon=$.42

-Johnson and Johnson First Aid kit-$.97-$.75/1 J&J first aid product=$.22 (This will go into my soccer coaching bag for all those bumps and bruises 11 year olds get)

-Yoplait Yo-plus Strawberry Yogurt-$1.42 on clearance-$1.00/1 Yo-plus coupon=$.42

Total from my trip: $.17+1.73 in tax=$1.90

-Sounding off with my sounds good: We are down to 7 days until summer break and my desk is clean, my grades are finished (except their final), and I still have a job! Sounds good to me!

Welcome to the world of blogging

Hello blogging world! I am Kels. A 24 year old, teacher, soccer coach, pet lover, and self proclaimed penny pincher. In my crazy busy life, I find time to play with my 7 month old Jack Russel terrier, Sophie, and find time for my friends. This blog will be devoted to all things positive. My students tell me I say, "Sounds good!" quite a bit so what better name for my blog. I will be sharing the latest and greatest deals I have found, enlightening moments of my teaching career, practical tips I've found helpful, and of course a daily "sounds good." I hope that I can help inspire you to find the good in life!