Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nabisco Pack a Kraft Smile rebate and coupons

These booklets are out in some stores (I saw the books at Kmart and an empty display at Jewel) and can also be requested online here. They have a bunch of coupons for Nabisco cookies and crackers, plus a couple for Planter's nuts. A few of the coupons have already expired, but most of them are still good. There are also (2) $20 rebates, one good for purchases made during the last half of 2009, the other good for purchases made during the first half of 2010. The rebates require that you buy 10 cookies or crackers, 5 participating drinks (Capri Sun or Kool-Aid Jammers), and 5 Easy Mac cups. Pairing the coupons in the book with the right sale, you could likely get the cookies and Easy Mac for $.50 or less each, and the drinks often go on sale for around $2 each (better if you have coupons, of course). If you work your deals right, you could potentially spend less than $20 on everything, in which case you would come out ahead after the $20 rebate. You do not have to buy everything on one receipt, so you can pick up things here and there when you find a good deal.

CVS Highlights 9/13 - 9/19

CVS has several decent deals this week. If you're not familiar with how CVS works, you'll probably want to read my post here, then come back and read about this week's deals; otherwise this post may not make much sense to you.

Jack Link's Flamin' Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
Use the free coupon from the August 28 edition of All You (available by subscription or at Walmart). These are on B1G1 sale, which means the first one rings up full price and the second one rings up at $0.00. After the sale and coupons, you'll get 2 bags for free!

Listerine Total Care mouthwash or Reach toothbrush (2-pk.) - Limit is 3 ECB deals per CVS card
Buy 1 at $3.99 and use $2 coupons from the 3/15, 4/26, or 6/14 inserts.
Pay $1.99 and get back $2 in ECB = FREE after coupons and ECB!

Dove Ultimate Clear Deodorant - Limit is 1 ECB deal per CVS card
Buy 2 @ 2/$7 and use 2 $2 printable coupons (hit the back button and you should be able to print 2 per computer)
Pay $3 and get $2 in ECB; final cost = $1 for 2, or $.50 each after coupons and ECB

Dyna Pep energy micro-shot, 2-pk. - Limit is 2 ECB deals per CVS card
Buy 1 @ $4.99 and get $4.99 in ECB = FREE after ECB!

Colgate Total Advanced Toothpaste, 4 oz. - Limit is 1 ECB deal per CVS card
Buy 1 @ $2.99 and use $1 coupon from 9/13 insert
Pay $1.99 and get $2 in ECB = FREE after coupons and ECB!

Purex Ultra Concentrate liquid laundry detergent, 24-32 loads - Limit is 5 ECB deals per CVS card
Buy 1 @ $3.49 and use $1 printable coupon (for Natural Elements kind)
Pay $2.49 and get $1 in ECB; final cost = $1.49 after coupons and ECB

Walgreens Highlights 9/13-9/19

Walgreens has some great deals again this week! If you aren't familiar with Walgreens shopping, check out my post here first, and this will probably make more sense afterwards.

1-Day Deal (good on Wednesday only)
Sign up for email updates from the Walgreens photo center and get 1 roll of film developed for free with in-ad coupon

Triaminic 4 oz. liquid or 14 ct. thin strips
Buy 2 @ $5 each and use 2 $1.50 printable coupons and the $2 Walgreens store coupon from the Walgreens Healthy Savings booklet (the cashier will only scan this coupon once, but it will take off $2 for each one). And, I was able to print 2 coupons per computer by hitting the back button on my browser.
Pay $3 and get back a $5 Register Reward (RR) = $2 profit after coupons and RR!

Edit: The Triaminic coupon is apparently no longer available. Still a good deal if you were able to print before it was taken down!

Murine Ear Drop Kit
Buy 1 @ $6 and get $6 RR = FREE after Register Rewards

Listerine Total Care mouthwash (the purple one)
Buy 1 Listerine Total Care @ $2.99 and use a $2 coupon from the 3/15 or 4/26 insert or a $1 coupon from the 3/15, 6/14, or 8/2 insert.
Pay $.99-$1.99 and get back a $2 RR = $1 profit or FREE after coupon and RR!

Band-Aids, 8-20 ct. Tough Strips, Ultra Strips, or Antibiotic Bandages
Buy 2 @ $2.49 and use 2 $1 coupons that are in red blinkie machines found by the Band-Aids in some stores.
Pay $2.98 and get $3 RR = FREE after Register Rewards

True North Nut Crisps or Clusters
Buy 1 at $3 and use $1 printable coupon
Pay $2 and get $3 RR = $1 profit after coupon and RR!

Coupon Highlights - Week of 9/13

There are some great coupons in this week's insert! Here are some that I think could come in very handy:

Colgate Total Enamel Strength or Total Advanced toothpaste, 4oz+, $1 on 1, exp. 10/3/09 - These kinds of toothpaste are often featured in ECB and RR deals at CVS and Walgreens, and these coupons could net you free (or better!) toothpaste.

Crystal Light Drink Mix Products, $2 on 2, exp. 10/10/09 - I have seen small 1- or 3-ct. packs of Crystal Light To Go at several stores for $1 or less. These would be free after these coupons. In my area, CVS has Crystal Light singles for $.50, and Ultra has 3-ct. packs for $.89 each.

Hersheys Kisses, 10oz+, $1 on 1, exp. 11/30/09 - In the weeks leading up to Halloween, the drug stores often have good deals on candy, and these coupons could help you get it for less than $1 a bag, which could be a good deal if you're trying to stock up for Halloween. Or, if you wait until after Halloween, many stores will clearance the Halloween packages and you could get them pretty cheaply after the clearance sale and coupons.

Revlon Color Cosmetic Product, $1 on 1, exp. 10/18/09 - CVS often has good deals on Revlon cosmetics, and these coupons could definitely help out there.

Schick Disposable Razors, $1 on 1, exp. 10/25/09 - CVS and Walgreens (and maybe other stores too?) have 2-ct. packages of Schick razors in the travel section for $.99, so free after coupon! (Note: the coupon will beep and need to be adjusted down to $.99; CVS registers will automatically prompt the cashier to do this, but the Walgreens ones will not, so you may have to remind the cashier.)

Birdseye or Steamfresh bag, $.50 on a, exp. 10/24/09 - These veggies go on sale for $1 on a somewhat regular basis. If you have a store that doubles coupons, you could get these for free. Kroger always doubles coupons up to $.50 and I have seen this sale there quite a few times, so definitely watch your Kroger ads if you have one.

Campbells condensed soups, excludes chicken noodle, tomato, and creams, $.40 on 2, exp. 12/15/09 - Soups often go on sale as the weather gets colder, and these coupons could make for some cheap or free soup, especially if your store doubles.

Frenchs Fried Onions, 6 oz., $.50 on 1, exp. 10/25/09 - These are another item that often go on sale in the fall and winter, and if any of your stores double coupons, they could be pretty cheap after coupons.

Glade Plugins Scented Gel Warmer, B1G1 up to $2.35, exp. 10/24/09 - The drug stores often have Glade deals that could result in free or at-profit air fresheners.

Angel Soft toilet paper, $.50 on 1, exp. 12/31/09 - The 4-pk. of Angel Soft will likely go on sale for $1 at Kroger before these coupons expire at the end of the year. Depending on the size restrictions on your particular coupon, you could score some free tp with these, since Kroger will double the coupon.

If you want to see a full list of tomorrow's coupons, go here.

Note: Not all coupon inserts are created equal - there are regional differences in the selection and wording of some coupons. Typically the bigger cities' newspapers get the "best" coupons. I get the Chicago Tribune because the coupons are much, much better than the ones in our local paper. Also, if your paper publishes an early Sunday edition on Saturday, it will probably have the same coupons in it, and will be a little cheaper at most stores. Or, if you're really just interested in a few coupons, you might want to check out a coupon clipping service like The Coupon Clippers (see my post here or the link in my sidebar), where you can pick and choose your coupons and get multiples of the things you really want.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Great Deal on Old El Paso and Meat at Kroger!

EDIT: It seems that the Old El Paso printables are no longer available. But if you were able to print them, here's the deal!

Through 10/4/09, Kroger is running the following promotion:

Purchase any 3 Old El Paso taco shells, dinner kits, seasoning, refried beans, or heat & serve side dishes and receive $1 off your next purchase of beef or chicken.
Purchase any 6 of the above products and receive $3 off your next purchase of beef or chicken.

There are printable coupons for $.60 off any 2 Old El Paso products. Don't forget that if you hit the back button on your browser, you can often print one more coupon per computer!

The cheapest way to do this deal would be to buy seasonings, which were $.99 last time I checked.

Buy 6 seasonings @ $.99 = $5.94
Use 3 $.60/2 coupons = (-$1.80)
Pay $4.14, get back a coupon for $3 off beef or chicken. Note that there are no size restrictions on the meat coupon, which means if you find a package that costs right around $3, you won't pay much extra for it. So, for a total of about $4.14, you get 6 seasoning packets and $3 worth of meat.

Meat is one of the hardest things to get a good deal on, so if you'll be buying it anyway, this is a good way to do it!

Note: If you've never done these kinds of deals at Kroger before, you should be aware that the coupon will print out of a small machine next to the register. It's called the Catalina machine, after the company that makes it. If your coupon doesn't print for some reason, you can call the Catalina company at 1-888-8coupon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Free Enfamil Samples

If you're pregnant or adopting, or know someone who is, Enfamil has some great free samples available: a breastfeeding support kit and a free can of formula. I breastfed exclusively for the first several months, but even I appreciated my free formula samples when I started using it to mix up cereal. I accumulated a number of full-size samples for free and never had to actually buy any at all! So, if you need it or know someone who does/will, this is one you'll definitely want to take advantage of.

Saving Money on Halloween

Halloween still seems kind of far away (at least to me), but you've probably noticed that many back-to-school aisles have already transformed into Halloween aisles. Although we may not think of Halloween as an extremely expensive holiday, the cost of candy for the entire neighborhood, the cutest costume on the block, and fantastic decorations do add up. And, as with most things, you can often save more money by planning ahead and getting an early start on deal hunting. Here are some tips to cut back expenses without cutting back on fun.

  • Make a costume instead of buying one. Disney's website has a lot of cute ideas for homemade costumes that require fairly simple materials. Some of my favorites were a Lego block, an airplane, and a washing machine, which all required mostly things you probably already have on hand (like boxes, cardboard, plastic cups, etc.). The site also includes reader feedback about what worked, what didn't, things they did differently, etc.
  • Check thrift stores and/or garage sales. Many Halloween costumes are only worn one year, so a lot of used ones are still in pretty good condition.
  • Organize a costume swap with your friends. Chances are, most people probably have a few costumes lying around. Ask some friends and see if anyone is interested in trading.
  • Check your local Freecycle for anyone who might be giving away costumes.
  • Check online classifieds sites like Craigslist; our area also has a "for sales" group run by the same people who run the local Freecycle.
  • Be looking out for great deals on candy. Don't just add it to your list and go into the store, committed to buying it right then and there. CVS and Walgreens usually have pretty good deals on candy at some point during the Halloween season; you might be able to get bags of Hershey's kisses (or something along those lines) for less than a dollar a bag.
  • Use coupons when you buy candy. The deals at CVS and Walgreens are much better when you use coupons! Also, if your local Kmart participates in super double coupon events (they often double coupons up to $2), that could be a good time to stock up on candy if there is a sale.
  • Don't get your favorite kind of candy. If you get your favorite, you'll be tempted to buy more "just because." Both your waistline and your wallet will thank you if you settle for something else!
  • Consider giving out something other than candy. As a kid, it might seem uncool to get pencils or stickers instead of candy, but as a parent, I would appreciate a few people doing that, and it could be cheaper if you find the right deal.
  • Again, consider making your own. Disney's Family Fun site also has ideas and directions for some pretty cute decorations that you can make yourself. Personally, I like the scarecrow standing on his head ("Pumpkinhead Scarecrow"). also has quite a few ideas for homemade crafts and decorations using common household items like flower pots and egg cartons.
  • Consider growing your own. If you have pumpkins or gourds this year, keep the seeds and plant them for next year. You could also use roast the pumpkin seeds and use the pulp for baking pies or breads.
Buy for Next Year, This Year
Post-Halloween sales often yield some of the best deals on seasonal items. Look for discounted costumes and decorations. If you wait long enough, many stores will mark seasonal clearance items down to 90% off regular price - although be warned that there may not be much left if you do wait that long.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Upromise - Pay Off Loans or Save for College

I have recently become rather excited about the Upromise program! I had heard about it in passing and seen stickers on shelves at some stores, but for some reason had never really taken it seriously. Well, I started taking it more seriously when I realized that not only can you save for a future college education, but you can also pay off existing student loans! Not that we're not interested in saving for our daughter's education (because we most definitely are!), but my husband still has a fair amount of student loan debt from college, and at this point in our lives, that is a higher priority for us (our daughter is 2). So, I was very excited to learn that the savings from this program can be transferred to pay off loans serviced by Sallie Mae!

To get started, go here, sign up for an account, and register your participating store loyalty cards on the site. Then, add the e-coupons to your account. When you use your loyalty card to buy participating products, you will get the coupon amount credited to your Upromise account. You can also register your credit and/or debit cards with Upromise, and you will get back a percentage of the total amount spent at participating stores, restaurants, gas stations, websites, etc.

You can put the funds in a 529 plan or, after you have accumulated at least $25, you can transfer them to pay down a Sallie Mae-serviced loan. You can also donate the funds from your Upromise account to a friend or family member who might need funds for college.

All in all, I think this sounds like a great program, and I'm excited about taking advantage of it! Hopefully it will reduce Justin's loans by at least a payment or two, and I hope it helps you too!

New Cellfire Coupons!

Cellfire released some new e-coupons yesterday - go here to load them on to your store loyalty card or cell phone. There are coupons for some yummy stuff - Betty Crocker Warm Delights, yogurt, Fiber One bars, Nature Valley Nut Clusters, fruit roll-ups, Betty Crocker cake, cookie, and muffin mixes, and much more!

If you missed my first post about Cellfire, go here to read more about them.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Free Do-It-Herself Home Depot Workshop

If you're feeling handy or would like to learn more about home repairs, you might want to check out this FREE Do-It-Herself kitchen remodeling workshop at Home Depot. Learning how to do some household repairs/updates yourself can definitely save you quite a bit of money over time, so investing some time in a workshop like this could pay off down the road. I've always thought these workshops sounded kind of fun too, but I've never had a chance to go. If you do go, I'd love to hear what you thought of it!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Staples - Free Peachtree Pro Accounting Software

If you need accounting software, this is the week to get it! Staples has Peachtree Pro Accounting 2010 free after rebate this week. It is on sale for $165 ($199-$35 "instant savings"), and you get $165 back via rebate. Also, most, if not all, Staples take competitor coupons, so if you have an Office Depot or Office Max coupon (e.g., $10 off a $40 purchase), you could use that and get an even better deal. (You will still get the full $165 rebate back.)

I know rebates in general sometimes get a bad rap, but I have done several Staples rebates in the past and have had very good experiences. Assuming this is actually a Staples rebate, not one from the manufacturer, it should work the same way. When your receipt prints, you will also get the rebate form, which you can mail in, or you can submit the rebate online at Personally, I prefer the online submission - it's quick and painless, and I can do it the same day so I don't forget about it. After you submit the rebate, you can also track it online to make sure it's going through okay. All in all, I think Staples has a good rebate program, and I feel comfortable using it; we have always gotten our money back promptly.

Building Your Coupon Collection

As you might imagine, becoming a "super shopper" requires building up a nice collection of coupons. There are quite a few ways to get some great coupons, and I found that once I started looking for them, they're a lot more common than I thought they were.

1) Newspaper inserts: Probably the most common source of coupons is the Sunday newspaper inserts. Without these, you will definitely miss many great deals! However, not all inserts are created equal, so the trick may be finding the best inserts (or at least the coupons from them). If you are in or close to a big city, that city's paper will likely have better coupons than the local one. We get the Chicago Tribune instead of our local paper for that very reason. You might also want to try a coupon clipping service like The Coupon Clippers (see link in my sidebar and/or read my post about them here) if you want to get multiples of a few specific coupons without buying the whole paper.

2) The Internet: A second common (and rapidly growing) source of coupons is the internet. More and more companies are posting printable coupons on their websites or on coupon printing sites. One of the most popular sites is (see the link in my sidebar); others include and I also recommend checking company websites to see if they have coupons clearly posted somewhere. And, sign up for e-newsletters from the manufacturers of products you use; many companies email printable coupons as part of their newsletters. Another thing to remember when printing coupons is that most of them are set to print a certain number per computer; if you hit the back button on your browser after printing the first one, it will often let you print one more. Most printable coupons print with a unique code on each coupon, which is designed to prevent fraud. Under no circumstances should you photocopy a printed coupon - this is considered fraud.

3) In-store Dispensers or Displays: Be on the lookout for special displays or dispensers in many stores. Many stores have red "blinkie" machines that dispense coupons. I have also found booklets and tearpads of coupons on shelves or special displays. Some of these are amazingly great coupons!

4) In or on packages: Many manufacturers put coupons on their products, often in the form of peelies (basically stickers) or hangtags. You may also find them printed directly on the packaging (like on a cereal box) or stuck inside a box.

5) Magazines: Some magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Glamour, Cosmo, and Woman's Day often contain coupons. One relatively little-known magazine that often has some great high-value coupons is All You; it is only available by subscription or at Wal-Mart. If you see a copy, it could be worth your time to check it out and see what coupons are in that month's issue.

6) Home mailers: Now, when I say "home mailers," I'm not talking about the Valpak kind of things that come in the mail - I'm talking about coupons that manufacturers send you. Many companies send out mailers with some pretty high-value coupons. I have received several mailers from Proctor & Gamble that contained coupons for a free bottle of Cascade Crystal Clear Rinse. The best (and often the only) way to get on companies' mailing lists is to ask them, so check out the manufacturers of the products you use and see if they send periodic mailings to consumers. Also, if you email companies and tell them how much you like their products, they will often send you some high-value coupons; if you try this, be sure to include your address. I usually also take that opportunity to ask them to add my name to their mailing list.

7) Winetags: Another source for some great coupons may surprise you: Winetags. Many liquor companies issue coupons for non-alcoholic products, such as meat, produce, or ice. These coupons are sometimes hanging on bottles of alcohol, but stores also sometimes just set them out in or near the liquor section. What may be even more surprising is that some of these coupons do not require an alcohol purchase, but this varies a lot by state. I am fortunate to live in a state where there are a lot of NAPR (no alcohol purchase required) winetags, and I have found quite a few really good ones (the most recent was for $3 off any grill meats). If it is indeed an NAPR winetag, the back of the winetag will say so, often in fine print. Before you redeem a winetag, however, I will warn you that some cashiers have never seen them before and aren't sure what to do with them. If you're not also buying the alcohol, they usually beep because they can't be coded for every possible kind and brand of meat or produce or whatever kind of product they're for.

8) Electronic coupons: Several stores now have coupons that can be electronically linked to your store loyalty card and will come off instantly at check-out. Kroger and Safeway affiliates (including Dominick's) have partnered with three sites that offer e-coupons: Shortcuts, P&G eSaver, and Cellfire. When you sign up at these sites, you can choose which coupons you want to load to your loyalty card(s), and those coupons will be available for a set amount of time. Jewel also offers avenu coupons. You do not get to choose what avenu offers are added to your card, although they are supposedly customized for you based on your past purchases.