Monday, June 30, 2008

Opps, I Did it Again!!! More FREE Diapers!

I happened to be in town today, and I couldn't resist visiting that "other" pharmacy to see if they had restocked the diaper shelves. Well......they hadn't. But have you ever had one of those moments where you've been disappointed....but you just won't leave??? That was me today. Sad...dejected....staring at the shelves in disbelief.....milling around the store, refusing to leave. If "Wally" had been a boyfriend, I would have been a stalker, and poor "Wally" would have had to call the police on me today. To paraphrase an old song, if loving freebies was wrong, I didn't want to be right. But for once, obsessing paid off: I spied a $5.99 sticker in front of some lonely size 5 diapers. The package on these size 5's looked different than that on those I had purchased previously. Turns out these diapers were "premium." I took them to the cashier, and I learned that all of the store's "premium" diapers had been marked down; they simply hadn't changed the tags. So I picked up every premium size 3 and size 4 diaper I could find....but I came up short. I needed to round out my final set of 3. AND THAT'S WHEN I realized that the store's brand of training pants were also $5,99!!! Since I have one baby, and one day-time potty trained preschooler, the ability to scoop up both diapers and training pants was perfect!

Alright......Somebody come and help me. I'm now addicted to free diapers, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to pay for a diaper again.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Wee Bit O' Freebie Fun & Environmental Concerns.

Today I saw "The Count" floating down Sesame Street. For the first time I noticed this amiable vampire was dressed like an old-fashioned banker. Can anyone say "Typecasting?"
anyway........... today the Folkes Family took yet another trip to Sesame Place. We pass CVS on the way, and I had to pick up a script. I didn't have time to work out a sparkling CVS scenario, but since I had to drive the car past the store, I figured why not indulge in a little "Freebie Fun?" (My CVS is actually in walking distance. If I use the car to go there, I prefer doing whatever I can to maximize the worth of the trip.) The obvious shopping choices were these: Buy 2 Coppertone sunscreen sticks for $4.98 each, and receive $10 ECBs. Buy Physician's Formula Mascara for $7.99, receive $7.99 ECB's.

On another note, there was a two-day sale on the 24 pack cases of CVS's house brand water. DH insisted we re-stock our water supply, so I picked up 4 cases of water at $2.99 a case, and a CVS pill container on a key chain for $4.99. I applied a "$3 off when you buy $15 of CVS Brand Products" coupon to the transaction, then paid for the balance with $10 ECB's and $3.00 cash. Still.....I'm seriously looking for a good deal on a Pur water pitcher. I'm sick of paying for bottled water, and I'm ready to filter our tap water and pour it into a few re-usable, portable bottles, myself. This is not just about saving money....the Folkes Family needs to do our share to preserve our environment. Let's face it: "The Powers that Be" can not recycle all the plastic we Americans throw into those recycling bins. Everyone needs to cut down on the use of plastics. Reducing the use of disposable water bottles would not be a bad start. Mrs. Folkes is old enough to remember when no one purchased water in bottles, anyway. How it has come to be that American citizens need to treat our drinking water supply as if it was unfiltered swill from a Third World Country, I'll never know. If water can not be considered safe enough for general consumption in each of our 50 states, then it's a crying shame. Perhaps the citizenry needs to reexamine it's priorities.


My Most Outrageous Purchase Yet!

I can't thank all you "Frugalistas" enough! Just as the "Craig's List Lady" suggested, On Saturday, I picked my store coupons from the July Easysaver booklet at the front of the store, and the $50 Savings pamphlet at the pharmacy desk. (I even shared extras with friends.) On Sunday I went to the pharmacy after Church, and sure enough, there were store brand diapers marked down to $5.99. I picked up every size 3 and 4 diaper the store had. I even threw in a size 5. I divided my order into sets of three. I gave the cashier my two coupons for each transaction, then took the coupons back to apply them to the next transaction. (Remember--you only get the max value when you purchase your $5.99 packs of diapers in sets of threes.) I repeated this transaction 4 times, and paid $17.68 for the whole kit-n-caboodle. In total, the coupon machine spit out $20.00 in store money (4 coupons worth $5 each.) The diapers are, in effect, free, and I "earned" a $2.32 profit, to boot. But really, how can I thank all of you bloggers out there???? Because the bonus to all of this was the look on my husband's face, LOL! DH is the primary diaper and formula shopper in our house, and I think he was a wee bit skeptical about how much of a savings this was, when compared to what we normally spend on boxes of diapers. But once he pulled out his calculator and realized we had received 402 diapers for free, he was sold.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cent$ational Senseo Deal!!!

I want to thank all the frugalistas and deal posters who listed the "Free" Senseo offer! Here's Mine. It came in the mail last Saturday. I think I barely ordered it a week before that.

If you visit the Senseo website, you have the opportunity to take a quiz and "win" a free Senseo Single Pod Coffee Maker. Now, I'm kind of reluctant to call this machine "Free," because you do have to pay $15 shipping and handing. However, when I consider that the average cup of Joe costs me $1.50, and that Senseo includes 8 coffee samples, a spiffy metal tin to hold my pods, and a $2.00 coupon for more coffee, well, in the end I think it's reasonable to say the machine is free.

Now, Senseo is hoping anyone who takes advantage of this deal will recommend the machine to all of their friends. Not only have I recommended this pot to all of my friends and family members, I've recommended it to several strangers as well! It's really cool. I keep it on my desk. The coffee is nice and strong. The cappuccino is quite tasty for something brewed in the convenience of my home. And if you prefer tea on occasion, you can purchase Senseo Tea Pods as well. However, I do have one caveat: one pod is meant to make a 4oz cup of coffee. You'll need to use 2 pods to fill a mug to 8ozs. (Although DH likes his coffee made with one pod and 8ozs of water.) All the same, the cost of two pods is a bargain when compared to what you'll spend on the street. And the cost of the whole shebang, plus the savings you'll reap from not having to get in your car and drive down to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts means it's a great choice for "Frugalistas." Heck...this thing would even make a nice gift. Just don't tell the giftee you got it for free, LOL!

*Edited to add: This machine DOES make a super hot cup of Joe! Just be sure to let the start button's blinking light stop before you push the coffee button.
**Edited to add: The Dark Roast Coffee is INCREDIBLE!!!

Cent$atinal Senseo Deal, Part II!!!
Did anyone notice those boxes of Senseo Coffee that are next to the box the machine came in? Well, shout out to all the folks who posted that the Senseo Variety Packs of 24 Pods could be found at Ross for $0.99!!! I found four boxes at my local Ross store. If these last me the better part of a year, the "Free" Senseo machine may turn out to be the best deal I've received all year. I'm looking forward to the my daily energy boost. On top of that, scientists say women who drink coffee suffer less depression than others, so I'm thinking coffee fits under the category of "health drink" these days. And just think-- now that I have a coffee machine, it might not be so hard to get out of the house anymore. Ohhhh, the productivity!

CVS Deals For the Day:

Deal #1
(2) Listerine Smart Rinse $3.49/$349ECB (FREE)....(2) Oral B 2-Pack Toothbrushes, save $1.00 at $6.99/$6.99ECB (FREE).....(4 Soy Joys were orig. in this transaction at $4/$4ECB, for the purpose of reaching my $5/$25.) Total: $24.96 Minus: $5/$25, = $19.96, +$1.12tx =$21.08 cash out of pocket. ECB'S Earned: 20.96

**** however, after this transaction I realized that I wasn't getting the $4ECB's I had expected, so I had the cashier deduct them and I substituted 3 Hello Kitty Toothbrushes at $0.75 each...I wound up adding $1.75 cash to my wallet by accident. Hey, I tried to do the honest thing, okay?)

Deal #2
It's been Soy Joy city around here as of late. Soy Joy has been on sale for $1.00 this month. The regular price for Soy Joy is $1.29, and on top of saving 29 cent per bar, CVS offered a 4 Bar $4 /$4ECB deal, and you could do it 5 times. I wish I could figure out how to turn this into a money maker...but I suppose I'll simply have to be happy I got 20 bars for $4.00. (And looking at it another way......if the regular price is $1.29, that means 20 bars would normally be $20.80. So the total savings was $16.80.)

Deal #3
Band-Aids $1.99/$199ECB= FREE....Brut Deoderant $3.19/$3ECB....Brut Anti P. $3.39/$3.00ECB.....(Not in pic....Dutch Country 100% Wheat Bread $3,59) = $26.22+TX, Minus $5ECB/$25, -$6.98ECB, -$13.98ECB = $O.26 cash out of pocket.

Lessons Learned While CVS'n

CVS 6-25-08


1) Accidentally used a July $5/$25 coupon, instead of one of my two June $5/$25 coupons.

2)Purchased 4 Soy Joy Bars, hoping to get $4/$4ECB = Free, however the "Offer Limit" had already been reached during a previous visit.

3)A. Purchased 2 Brut Antiperspirants, and 4 Brut Deodorants, expecting $3ECB for six items. Learned that the 5 Item Offer Limit applied to the entire Brut product line, and thus paid $3.39 for one item, and did not receive the $3ECB for it. B. Also learned that if I wanted to return that one item, I would not get $3.39, but rather $0.39, because I had paid for the items with ECBs, and was not entitled to the full amount in cash, coupons, credit or ECBs.

4)Forgot to pick up Rain Check for a Smart Rinse and an Oral B Toothbrush at my local CVS.

Smart Choices:

1) When I needed cheap items to use up ECBs or to take advantage of the $5/$25 coupons, I didn't buy items that would cause me to spend a dollar of my own cash, or settle for losing 20-40 cent of value from my ECBs. Instead, I found items discounted to fifty cent and sixty cent on the candy display. Turned out the sale prices on these candies had expired, but I asked the Mgr. to honor the sticker prices anyway. I reached my goals, used up ECB's and saved $1.39 on Altoids and $1.49 on Ice Breaker Gum. I'm not a big gum and hard candy person, but I eat them occasionally-- so the prices I paid for those items suit me just fine.

2) Picked up Rain Checks for Deoderant that wasn't available in my "other" CVS. Learned that Rain Checks aren't given for items CVS lists as "Free." Also learned that one the ECB period of time expires for an item, you will get the item for the reduced price, but you won't get the ECB's. (IE: Brut is 3.19, + 3ECB's. Cost: $0.19 after ECB's. With Rain Check, once the deal expires, you'll get the Brut for 19 cent, but you won't get the 3ECB's.)

Life is an endless school. If you aren't learning something, you might as well be dead.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Time to Put the Pedal to the Metal

In this day of $4 a gallon fuel cost, it is ironically the time when we need to put the pedal to the metal and push full steam ahead with our beliefs on the benefits of living frugally. We know a lot about saving and investing-- but I'm sorry to say we have not been living as if we know much. "Faith without works is dead," they say in the New Testament. Perhaps everyone has that day when they have to decide to put their Faith to work, and live by what they believe. So to that effort, we're starting our family blog- The Five and Dime - and we're dedicating it to our effort to turn this ship around from spending like it was the go-go 80's to living the life of fiscal responsibility.