Big Fred Meyers, Target, and Michaels trip! AKA The Best Bargain Trip Ever.

Fred Meyer (Keizer/Braodway)

(2) Bandon cheese $4.99 with in add coupon

(2) Organic Fresh herbs marked down 99 cents each

Croissants $1.49 marked down

Organic Kefir-Free after coupon (reg $4.39)

(2) Motts Natural 33 cents each (after 1.50 off coupon)

(4) Mom’s Best Natural Cereal 50 ish cents a box after sale and coupons

(6) Balance Bars 17 ish cents after sale and coupons

(2) Kroger bandages $1 after in ad coupon

(8) Organic Pumpkin $1.50 a can.  We LOVE making pumpkin chocolate muffins with this stuff and this is a super price!

(2) Edge gel 1@ 99 cents and 1 at $1.49 (couponing mistake on the second one)

(3) Kids Winter gloves (for upcoming trip) $5.99 x2 and $3.99 (they were marked down and an additional 50% off)

Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar $3 (the big size bottle) Great price!

(6) Towels $3.59 each. Marked down and then 50% off!

Store coupon savings $41.49. Manufacturer coupon savings $8.10. Total coupon savings $49.59

Things to check for here at Fred Meyer; clearance kids winter coats, gloves, etc an additional 50% off, clearance housewares (towles, rugs, bedding etc) and additional 50% off, the $5 off $10 Mega Event in grocery (Balance Bars, Moms Best, Edge,) and a the Bandon 2lb block for 4.99.

Target (Keizer)

(2) 264 ct Target baby wipes-$3.69 each after ($1 off a $3 or more Up&Up product) from target.com

Printer paper $$2.14 after coupon ($1 off a $3 or more Up&Up product) from target.com

(4) Method Dish Soap (3) at 99 cents and 1 at $1.99 (reg $3.99) after target AND manufacturers coupon

(3) Paper Towels FREE after $1 off Up and Up coupon on target.com (I think it is gone, but it might be back)

(2) Boys button down $3 (70% off)

Boys 3 piece set $7.80 (70% off) pants, vest, shirt.

Toddler Circo leggings $4 (sale this week). These are navy and white.

Womens Merona shirts 6o CENTS PEOPLE!!! (After $3 off Merona coupon)

Cherokee Sweater skirt $4.48 (70% off)

Cherokee Tights $1.50 (clearance) They even happen to match the skirt! Did not even notice it until I got home.

DUDE! THAT’S SOME GOOD STUFF!

Check for CLEARANCE EVERYWHERE! Tons even at 70% off.  They were marking things down around the store as I was shopping and it was like a dream! I don’t get out much people.  Sorry.

Go here to check out the Target coupons!

 

Michaels (Keizer)

There was no Michaels ad this week! Can you believe it??? BUT they had $2 grab bags.  The grab bag concept goes against just about every conviction I have, but they were HUGE and I could not resist.  This was at the Keizer Station store and there were quite a few more.  The lady even handed me a gorgeous wreath AND a very cool storage box to go with my grab bags that she found when she was getting rid of the last of the Christmas stuff.

Here is what was in the huge bags! Some of it was fairly worthless, but there was some totally cool stuff in there too! Have you ever seen so much stuff for $4?  It totally overwhelmed me, but I dealt with it right away and it is all stored,trashed, and organized.  There are some great things for the Littles to use for crafting too.

 

I want to give a shout out to Hubs for watching the kids (he had a glorious day off).  He even did school with the tots, worked on some of his stuff, did the dishes, fed them lunch and put them down for naps! Come ON?! He is just the best.

 

Wow! What a trip. I only do a big coupon trip like this every couple months.  It was so nice to have some time to do this yesterday!

Target Trip

Last night I did a big coupon trip to Target.  I don’t do these often and it had been awhile.  I have been pretty much fallen off the coupon wagon lately and needed to get back at it.  We had just been doing our big Trader Joe’s trips and more frequent small trips to the grocery store for things like lunch meat, buns, milk etc (these small trips are dangerous though and we want to be better at avoiding them).  We get organic beef locally, eggs from a friend, and some produce at the Saturday Market and Costco.   But, our stockpiles were diminishing and I wanted to make sure I used my good coupons before the baby came and they expired.

At the same time I was “Targeting,” hubby ran (literally) to Walgreens with the twins in the BOB to get some other coupon items…..I just think he is amazing!  What is better than a husband who watches the kids, runs with them, uses coupons correctly, and loads it all back up to run home?  I am still trying to picture the whole thing.  Somehow he fit a pack of diapers, 2 things of toothpaste, 2 cans of oatmeal, 3 rolls of tin foil, and a rain cover in case the weather turned.

Here is what I got:

(Sorry for the iPhone pic)

Pack of Huggies diapers-$4.50

Big bag of Huggies wipes-$3.50

Shout-42 cents

Butterfinger candy bar-free

Ritz Crackerfulls-free

Kraft mac-free

Olive Oil mayo-free

Welche’s White Grape-$1.64 (kids don’t really drink much juice so I might make popsicles with it)

Deli meat-free

2 Activia yogurts-66 cents each

3 boxes of Fiber One cereal-about 75 cents each

2 Boxes of Fiber One bars- about a dollar each

4 pack of lightbulbs-50 cents

Wet Ones-$1.50

Strawberry Shortcake bandages- 87 cents

Armor All tire cleaner- 29 cents (reg $3.29)

Armor All leather cleaner-$1.80 (reg $5.29)

2 Toy Story Playtex sippies-$5.74

Total before coupons-$77.73

Total after coupons-$30.37

Minus $5 gift card from Fiber one deal-$25.37

Pretty sweet since the regular price of the diapers, wipes, and sippies alone is $23.47

Everything went smoothly on this trip.  Cashier did great.  Only one coupon beeped and she pushed it right through since it was a valid use.  I usually ask if they want the coupons with the items, or all at the end…she said at the end was good except the ones for free products. So I put all my items up first with their corresponding “freebie” coupon and it worked great.  That way she was not searching for the price of the item at the end when she needed to fill out the value. As always, I warned the lady behind me that I had a lot of coupons in case she wanted to change lanes.  She was not overly friendly with me until she got curious how I was getting the deals.  Only one hitch of the trip… as I was trying to watch my coupons go through, and give her a 20 second coupon run-down, her little son lifted up my shirt to see what in the world was under there (I am about 12 days from due date).  Must look pretty pregnant of small children are curious what is under my shirt.

Did you score any great deals this week?

Take it from me. You should ALWAYS carry your coupons.

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Part of the view from our room

I have been fairly absent lately.  Sorry.  Absent for good reasons though!  After a wonderful weekend celebrating the 4th of July and a few days of preparations, my husband (of 5 years) took me to Seattle for our anniversary.  We stayed at the Westin on the 45th floor and had an amazing view.  We could see the Space Needle, the lake, and the down town area.  We had a great time exploring many parts of Seattle.

After a couple mini trips and one big trip road trip with our twinners to Disneyland I was SO excited about the simplicity of just packing for the two of us.  So easy, so simple, so fast.  The previous trips we literally packed EVERYTHING.  I tell myself that the best part about driving is that you can take almost everything the kiddos need. And we did! We took dish soap and a washing bin, hand towels, prepared meals and ingredients for other meals, utensils, a skillet, 2 coolers, toys, blankets, 2 portable high chairs, 2 pack ‘n plays, a folding table, in addition to all the normal stuff like luggage, diaper bag, etc.  We joked that we would never have to go home if we did not want to. It took days (okay, maybe weeks) to prepare and we did not forget a thing.

This trip was to be different.  My carefree attitude must have carried over to when we loaded the car.  Half way to Seattle a mental picture of my toiletry bag sitting next to my sink popped into my head.  “Hum,” I thought.  Did I possibly pack it perfectly only to leave it at home? After a call to my mom confirmed it, we had to figure what to do.  We made a call to a pharmacy near our hotel to replace one of my prescriptions and looked up the nearest upcoming Target.  I was thrilled to find that all my coupons were in my coupon bag I tossed in the van “just in case.”  This included the “Proctor and Gamble Saver,” which saved my buns and took the sting out of replacing some of the things I could not do without.  It felt so great to not have to pay full price even though I needed the stuff pretty badly (especially since not a single item I needed at Target was on sale.)

Lesson: Don’t ever get too cocky about your packing skills and ALWAYS carry your coupons.  You never know when you might need them.

Couponing 101 Part 1: How to Build Your Stash

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I have been asked quite a few times where I get my coupons from. Having a good stash of coupons is half the battle when it comes to saving your family money. There are a few different types of coupons and many places to get them. I will outline the main ways I get my coupons and include links to some of my favorites.

Inserts– These are the little multi-page fliers that come in the Sunday paper with all sorts of coupons (and some really tacky ads) in them.

Some of the main ones are:

  • Red Plum
  • Smart Saver
  • P&G Saver –Contains coupons for Procter and Gamble products only (Tide, Pampers, Pantene, Cover Girl, Herbal Essence, Charmin, Crest, etc.)

Internet Printables-These are the coupons that you can find and print out from the internet. This is the category of coupons that has been gaining the most popularity. Companies have seen the success and consumers love the convenience of printing out the coupons they know they can use from their own home.  Many stores accept printable coupons, but before you plan a big trip, be sure to call the store first.

Some of the main sources of coupons are sites like:

  • You can also many times fine coupons on specific companies sites. These are usually temporary and I often find out about these by looking at blogs that notify their readers. When I find great coupons like these I will post about them like I did in THIS post.

Coupon Books sent out in the mail– Some companies send coupon books containing coupons for their brands (the coupons in these would be considered manufacturer coupons). Some stores also send out coupon books with coupons that can only be used at their store (the coupons in these would be considered store coupons). These are sometimes a little harder to get ahold of. Many times you have to sign up for the coupon books for the specific companies. Whenever I see an offer online to submit a request for a coupon book, I jump on it. Many times these have higher value coupons than the insert coupons for the same brands, and some booklets even have coupons for free products.

  • Example of company coupon book-Home Made Simple <- SIGN-UP! CURRENTLY AVAILABLE!  (also for P&G brands)
  • Example of store coupon book-*Target

*Target (they send out two types of booklets; a regular one and a baby one)- These coveted little coupon books have left people wondering why some people get them and some don’t. Some theories are that people get them from registries, ordering online, after talking to customer service on the phone, etc. After some research and reading many people’s experiences, I eventually came to the conclusion that they are mainly triggered by in-store purchases (possibly within certain categories) made on your credit card. This was somewhat confirmed after THIS trip to Target with a friend who tried using her credit card as her form of payment and got their next (and her first) coupon book soon after. (Remember to always pay off your credit cards every month and don’t use this form of payment if it tends to get you in trouble.)

Word of mouth programs- There are many programs available online and they are a GREAT source of coupons.

Freebies- Often when I receive samples in the mail that I signed up for, they come with a coupon for the same or similar product.  These are often fairly good coupons.  I always sign up for samples of products we regularly use hoping that I will also get a coupon bonus out of the deal.

Blinkies- Those little red boxes that you can sometimes find in the aisles that spit out coupons.

Catalinas- The coupons or vouchers for money off your future purchases (often based upon what you purchased on that trip) that print off with your receipt.

Peelies- The coupons that are stuck to the front of the packaging of some products.  Easy to use and fun to find!

Magazines- Don’t forget to look through your magazines for coupons! I am not sure I have ever paid for a subscription.  All of the current magazines I receive are through free subscriptions or free issue offers that I have signed up for online.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Target Trip

A friend of mine was interested in how I use coupons to save money for our family.  I figured the best way for her to see what I do was actually show her, so we decided to make a run last night.  We met up at Starbucks for some pre-shopping fuel and to talk about how to organize, acquire, use and pair coupons.  After we chatted for quite a bit we headed over to target with a huge stash of coupons. To prepare for the trip I had spent quite a bit of time reading some blogs that outlined some of the deals for the week, and also printed off a bunch of online coupons.  You never really know how a trip will go till you see what products they actually carry, have in stock, and how good your checker is with coupons.  All in all it was a pretty successful trip! I was excited with what I came home with, and even more excited about how much I spent on it.

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Full shot of the loot
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Closer view
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Closer view

Here is a rough breakdown of how much my stuff cost.

Cascade rinse agent-Coupon for free item

Cascade gel-$2.50 used store coupon(S.C) and manufacturer coupon(M.C)

Dawn foam-79 cents used M.C

Dawn hand renewal-$1.09  used M.C.

Kraft BBQ sauce-24 cents used M.C

(2) Morning star farms Spicy black bean burgers-$1.29 each after M.C and S.C

All Beef hot dogs-Coupon for free product

Dog teeth cleaning treats-$1.04 after M.C

Earths best-27 cents after S.C

Kotex 36ct-$3.54 after S.C. and M.C

Band aids- 27 cents and 77 cents after M.C and S.C.

Bryers on sale for $2.50 each and if you bought 5 you get a gift card for $5. so….like getting 5 for $7.50

Shredded Wheat-about $4.25 for the three boxes  (2)M.C. and S.C

Milk-Free when you bought 3 boxes of cereal!

Archer Farms organic tortilla chips-$1.33 each after S.C

Archer Farms organic mango peach salsa- Free when you bought 2 chips!

Total………..$33.26 minus the $5 gift card from the ice cream

=$28.26 WOO HOO

Total before savings $82.35!

We got lots of products we will use and a few to build up our stock pile.  Some are products we are pretty brand loyal to, and some are just things that I got for free or close to free I knew that we could use.  I love to have a small stash so we won’t have to pay full or even just sale price when we run out of something.

Stats:

Time preparing for trip–Sadly it took me a couple hours because I had not organized my coupons lately and spent quite a bit of time looking for and printing coupons online.  I had the time though because our trip to the beach with the youth group got rained out. I don’t normally spend this much time preparing for a trip.

Time spent in Target–couple hours. More than normal because we were talking about the deals as we went.

Checker–Male and great with coupons! (I would use him again)…as you coupon you learn that the checker is crucial. Some don’t know hot to ring things up properly, some don’t know their companies policies, and some are just mad that you are getting better deals than they do.

Location-Keizer Station

If I continue to post about some of my shopping trips I likely won’t go into so much detail.  I just know that I like to see exactly how people are getting their deals so I can refine my game.

Happy Sunday! Its a new week with new deals!

Let me know if you have any questions!