October 31, 2009

Free Digital Christmas Magazine

I posted this on my personal blog but it's too good to miss....

I posted this on Facebook a week or so ago when I first heard about it, but since I just got my "copy" and started looking through it I just had to share again! This digital magazine is put out by a homeschooling magazine but it is full of wonderful Christmas activities, recipes, and crafts that anyone can use. The recipes alone make it worth downloading!! You can preview it online or download it here.

October 28, 2009

The End of Kraft Food and Family Magazine

Just got my last issue of Kraft's Food and Family today. Why is it my last you ask? Because it came with a renewal notice! They want to charge me $5.99 (preferred rate) to subject myself to their advertising! Ridiculous!! I enjoyed flipping through the magazine when it came in the mail. I even tried several of the recipes (substituting more cost effective products, of course!). There were occasional coupons in there as well, but PAY for it? You have to be kidding me! No thanks Kraft.

I was going to send Kraft a little email letting them know of my disappointment but their website was down when I tried. Probably tons of other frustrated customers trying to give them a piece of their mind! :)

October 21, 2009

Family Dollar Overage

Did you know Family Dollar takes manufacturer's coupons? A few weeks ago, just after we got those $3 off Snuggle coupons, I read on one of the money saving blogs that Family Dollar had it regularly priced for $3. So yesterday while I was out shopping I stopped to get two free Snuggles. It just so happened that Snuggle was on sale this week for $2.50. Having never using manufacturer's coupons there I wasn't sure if they would give overage or not. So I grabbed a package of napkins just in case. Sure enough, my total was $1.36 for $8 worth of stuff. So the extra $1 overage went to pay for half of my napkins!

Make an Easy $5 at Walgreens

Zantac is on sale this week for $8.99 and you get a $9 RR plus there is a $5 off printable coupon available! If for some reason you can't get the coupon to print there were $1 off coupons in the 10/18 SmartSource and the boxes at my Walgreens had a $2 off peelie right on them.

October 20, 2009

Food Storage Analyzer

MoneySavingMom mentioned the opportunity to earn a $10 gift card from Emergency Essentials for trying out and reviewing their food analyzer. I have been on their mailing list a long time and their website has lots of helpful information as well, so I couldn't resist the chance to earn a $10 gift card.

Even if you aren't crazy about stockpiling like I am, I think you will find the analyzer helpful. If you don't have larger buckets of wheat, oats, or flour then just go straight to the last two tabs of the analyzer where you can put in "grocery store/canned food" items or "add your own" items. I put in the food items I currently have and the handy analyzer told me I have enough food to feed the seven of us for 69 days!! I didn't even include the cake and brownie mixes so technically we could eat for even a bit longer than that! :)
This isn't just a checklist. This is based on nutrition and calories. If you have a goal to store a certain amount (ex: 3 months worth) you can use this list to help decide if you have enough and where the gaps in your storage are. I found it pretty comforting to know that if something happened we'd be able to eat at least a couple months from just what we have here at home.

*The picture of my "stockpile" above was taken awhile ago. We actually have more than that now!

Gift Card Giveaway

October 11, 2009

Sam's Club

I've been meaning to post this for some time but never got around to it. When MoneySavingMom recently posted about her trip to Sam's Club it reminded me.

Click here to see a spreadsheet that I made up to help me compare Sam's Club prices to other stores. It isn't a very extensive list but a list of things I usually buy and thought might be a better deal there. I printed it out and filled in the "elsewhere" store with Aldi prices and for the most part they were pretty much even with one exception: vanilla extract is considerably cheaper at Sam's Club.

Personally, I could live without the Sam's Club membership. Is it worth the $40 membership fee to get cheap vanilla twice a year? No. For our family, I really don't think the savings justifies the yearly membership fee. At this point we hold onto it mainly for diapers but really even then the savings might not be worth it.

A bad "side effect" of shopping at Sam's is buying things that you don't really need, especially sweets and snacks. Another possible problem: if you buy large quantities and can't use it all before it "expires" you're basically just throwing money away. If you really need items in large quantities or just buy basics (flour, sugar, noodles, etc.) Sam's might work for you. However, if you just want basics, I suggest you check Aldi before you spend the money on a membership to Sam's Club.

You can do a google search about whether Sam's Club is a good deal or not. What I have found is most people compare Sam's Club prices to one grocery store's regular prices and then come to the conclusion they are saving money. They haven't usually shopped around, used coupons, or even waited for a sale.

One such person said they "saved" $6.48 buying Pepsi at Sam's over their grocery store. (They said it was $.24 per can at Sam's and $.42 per can at their grocery store.) Were they shopping out of a vending machine? Over FIVE dollars for a 12 pack of Pepsi!?! Festival had Pepsi on sale (with in-store coupon) last week for $1.98 a 12 pack. That's $.17 per can and beats the Sam's Club price buy $.07 a can. And that's just one example. I absolutely guarantee that anyone buying toothpaste at Sam's Club is paying WAY to much. It's free at CVS and Walgreens.

Some people say they don't have time to shop around for sales or use coupons and that may or may not be true. You can't really put a price on someone's time, especially for someone else. I think it all boils down to whether you're willing to spend more time or more money for the items your family needs. Personally, I'd rather take a little bit of time to shop at an extra store or two a week and save our hard earned dollars.

How about you? Do you have a Sam's Club membership? Is it worth the yearly fee?

October 6, 2009

Surprise: More than Free Ziploc bags

Piggly Wiggly had a great sale on Ziploc bags this week (sorry, it ended today*) 10 for $10 which alone was a pretty good deal. Plus if you bought 10 items you got an 11th free. There were plenty of $1 off 2 and $.40 off 1 coupons out right now that made the deal even better. I was happy to enough to be getting each package for $.45 but the register spit out THREE $2 off my next order coupons as a "Thank You" from Ziploc. You're more than welcome Ziploc... you just paid ME to buy eleven boxes of bags!

*Now, I know this wasn't a very helpful post since you won't be able to head to Piggly Wiggly and get this deal. Believe me I would have posted it sooner if I had know about the register coupons! But Piggly Wiggly had that same sale last year around this time (minus the register coupons) so I was keeping an eye out for it. And the point I wanted to make (or remind you of) is that stores tend to run the same promotions over and over. So keep watching those ads! And let this also be a reminder (to me especially!) to tell your GBSavers friends about deals in a timely manner! :)

October 5, 2009

Canned Pumpkin Shortage?

Had any of you heard about this? I did notice that Aldi didn't have any canned pumpkin yet but I didn't think anything of it. I still have several cans from deals last year, but I'm running low because I've made several batches of pumpkin bread and bars. Now I wish I would have stocked up even more. I only have two cans left and that's not enough to make my pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving! When and if they are in stock I don't think we'll be seeing any awesome sales. When supply is low and demand is high... prices go up. Ugh! If you see a deal please be sure and post it here!!

October 4, 2009

Walmart Deals

I did a little shopping Friday night. Overall it was a good trip! I spent nothing out of pocket at Walgreens thanks to a gift card from MyPoints and got $12 in RRs back. I spent $40 at Festival (on meat mostly). My last stop was Walmart. I had a few coupons that I had been saving to use there. My subtotal was $60.77 before coupons and $20.77 after! That's exactly $40 in coupon savings!!
6 packages of Kotex liners free after $1 off coupons
1 pack Always pad free after free item coupon from sample
Lipton Tea bags free after free item coupon from special promotion
6 packages of Pull Ups wipes $.14 each after $3/2 coupons
2 packages of Goldfish crackers $.65 each after $1 coupons
2 tubes of kids toothpaste $.97 each after $1 coupons
8 packages of muffin mix $.63 each after $1/4 coupons
4 packs of muffin liners $.75 each on clearance
2 bottles worchestershire sauce $.48 each after $2 coupons
1 can baking powder $.82 after $.65 coupon
2 canisters Crystal Light free after $2/2 coupon
2 Nature Valley clusters $.68 each after $1.60 off coupons from mailer
1 four pack TP $1 after $1 coupon
1 package lemon cake mix---$1.16 no coupon!! :)

And what I really needed and went for:
Spot Shot $3.36 after $1 coupon

If you aren't a member of Vocalpoint yet... I highly recommend that you join. They send all sorts of high value or free item coupons. Also take advantage of the freebie offers that MoneySavingMom and Freebies4Mom mention. It takes less than a minute to request a sample or a coupon and you can get lots of great stuff for free! Kotex samples, for example, always come with coupons and new samples become available all the time.

If you have a PC you can install Roboform to help you fill out freebie information forms faster or if you use Firefox you can install an add-on called AutoFill that will fill out forms with the click of a button. You can even set it for different profiles (one with your real email address and one for you junk email address).

This really has nothing to do with saving money unless you count the money saved not getting your carpet cleaned or replaced, but I want to highly recommend Spot Shot. If you have kids or pets or any stains at all on your carpet this stuff is a miracle! It gets just about any stain out on the first try. Walmart has the best prices on it and there is a $1 off coupon here. Plus right now when you buy a Spot Shot product you can print a form to get a free movie ticket.

October 1, 2009

Home Depot Kids Workshop!

The Home Depot Kids Workshop for October is the 3rd. So head over to make a firehouse bank. No registration, just show up between 9am and noon.