Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"LIVE" with Martha

For those of you who know me, you already know, but for those who don't.... I HEART Martha Stewart.  ALOT.

I strive to be more like her - my favorite acronym is "WWMD" (What Would Martha Do).  My family calls me Martha Jr.  She is ridiculous, lavish, over-the-top and has lots of helpers. What's not to like about that!?!?!

I have the most fortunate opportunity to speak with her on the phone.  NO KIDDING!!!!  As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I listen to Martha Stewart Radio to and from work the week of Thanksgiving.  I left the office on Monday, tuned in as usual, and she was hosting the Turkey Hotline.  Keep in mind - most of the time, there are semi-famous/important chefs that are hosting the show, but that afternoon Martha was hosting.  I called...........the "screener" picked up on the second ring.  My heart fell into my stomach.  She asked what question I had, I told her and she put me on hold.  As you may suspect, I already knew the answer - I just wanted to talk with Martha.   Approximately 7 minutes later, I was "LIVE" with Martha.  I asked my question (wasn't that important/difficult), and we exchanged our schedule for Thanksgiving Day.  Just in case you're going to NYC and want to see her, she will be walking around Central park mid-day - after brunch, of course.  I was SOOO nervous.  When I got home, I told Rachel that I was "walk down the isle" nervous.  Had to explain that one to the 13 year old. 

The unfortunate part about this is that no one that I knew personally was listening.  I was going to try to call or text Wally and Rachel, so they could listen, but I didn't want to accidently hang up.  That would've been terrible!!!

To make up for it, I spent most of the evening calling everyone that I thought would REMOTELY care and told them.  I am off cloud 9 a little more today, but still, very excited.  I am the only person that I know that has spoken with Martha. WOW!!!!

The next thing on my list is meeting her in person.  I'm going to add that one to my "Bucket" List.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wags picks for 11/22

Abbreviations used in this post:
ECBs = Extra Care Bucks
IP = Internet Printable Coupons
MM = Money Maker
q = coupon
rr = register reward
RP = Red Plum
SCR = Single Check Rebate
SS = Smart Source Coupon Insert
Wags = Walgreens
wyb = when you buy
$1/2 = $1.00 off of 2 items

Better get  your deals done early this week with the holiday coming up.  I would be interested in hearing what type of Black Friday deals you are aiming for - either post or send me an email.  There is not much we need, so I'll probably sit this one out - but I'm not promising anything!!!

The best deal this week is the cracker deal at Wags.  Purchase 5 boxes of Nabisco Crackers and get $3.00 in rrs. That makes them $1.70 each.  But wait, if you bought multiple papers, you can get them for free!  Use the 5 x $1 q from 11/8 SS, making them $2 for 5 boxes.......but wait, there's even more!  If you act now, and your store has the Diabetes and You Booklet, there is a $1/2 boxes q in there, making them -.50 for 5 boxes.  See below for more details.
5 boxes x $2 ea =                    $10.00
5 x $1 q from 11/8 RP =          -  5.00
4 x $1/2 q from Diab. Book =  -  2.50
Total OOP:                                  2.50
Get:  $3.00 in RRS                   -  3.00
Net                                            -    .50 (aka - Money Maker)

Think that's a great deal - it gets even better!!!  Do this deal twice, submit the receipt for the "Put a Jingle in your Holidays" Nabisco promotion and you will get a $10 rebate.  Who says that it doesn't pay to stockpile/coupon!?!?!  Those crackers are paying me $10.50 to eat them!!!! Well, not all of them, at least 5 boxes will be donated which means......you got it - Nabisco is paying ME for the needy to eat crackers......SWEET!

Here's the link to the rebate form: http://www.kraftfoods.com/SiteCollectionImages/ImageRepository/Sept_09/Kraft_Holiday_Crackers.pdf

There are also some IPs at the Kraft website, but it's $1/2.  Not as free, but still a great deal!

A couple of other deals that are worth noting at Wags this week:

Hershey's Holiday Minis, Bells or Kisses are 2/$5, get $1 rr wyb 2 bags.  Use the $1/2 q from 11/8 SS, making them $1.50 per bag after rr.

The Starbucks Icecream is on sale for $2.50, use $1 q from 11/15 RP.

Select Harvest soup is $1.25.  Did you happen to print off the $1 IP?


Not much going on there this week but a couple of deals:

Tums are $3.99, get $1 ECB. Pick up the $100 q book (from the pharmacy I think - I haven't even gotten mine yet!).  Use the $2 q from there and the $1 IP, Link: http://www.tums.com/ - CORRECTION - Print limit has been reached - but still only $1.00 net - if you need them.

Complete Contact Solution: $8.99, get $8.99 ECBs, use $1 q from 10/25 RP. 
$1 MM

No one in our family uses contact solution, so this will be donated.  This is a great example of "rolling" and "growing" your ECBs.  Hopefully, you already have ECBs and your oop will be low. 
For example - I have a $10 ECB that will expire on Friday, 11/27.  I am going to scour through the black Friday ads and, if there is nothing that I see that I want/need, I will use the $10 in ECBs on this and add a little something else that I want/need. 

Rite Aid:

Rite Aid has started their "Gift of Savings" program (began on 11/22, ends on 12/24)

Spend $25-50, get $5 back
Spend $51-100, get $10 back
Spend over $100, get $20 back

This is before qs.  When they had the fall version of this, I spent about $43 oop (getting SC rebates for $38) and got a $20 check to be used at RA.

It is valid on most items.  See Riteaid.com for more details.

The Benevia (nutritional beverage) is $7.99, get $7.99 SCR, use $5 IP and it becomes a $5 MM!!!  Link:  http://www.gobeneviacoupons.com/

That's about all for this week!

Shopping for Thanksgiving/Weekly Groceries

I went a little crazy on Sunday and actually spent about $32 on groceries. 

Sam's Club: $7.00
10 lbs potatoes
Apple Cider

Lowes Foods:  $10.81
Sweet Potatoes for Thanksgiving
2 x Tennessee's Pride Sausage
2 x Land O' Lakes Butter
3 x Breyer's Icecream (a necessity)

Harris Teeter: $14.85
2  4 packs of Crab Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms
Large bag of reduced mushrooms
4 bananas
3 apples
1 celery
1 Butternut Squash
4 boxes instant Jello pudding
2 pkgs. Chinet napkins
1 Tropicana OJ E-Vic special for $1.77

When I go into HT, I always check the "reduced" section in produce.  I happened to go first thing Sunday morning and they were putting stuff out.  The lady brought out 4 - 4 packs of crab stuffed portablleo mushrooms.  They were .79 for a 4 pack.  OMG....I picked up 2 of the 4 packs and confirmed with her that I could NOT freeze them.  I wanted to buy ALL four really, really bad.  It was ALL I could do not to buy all four packs.  I would gladly have them for lunch one day this week, but we have stuff going on at work and my lunches are spoken for. This is one item that is not "donatable", so that was not an option. Oh well......we enjoyed them for dinner Sunday night and will have the remainder on  Monday night.

I got the butternut Squash for free!!!  When I walked into the store, they had a sign up for butternut squash, $1.29.  I have been wanting try it and thought I would get one.  I spoke with the produce lady about how to prepare it and she was very helpful and friendly (as she always is). When I got to the register, it rang up per lb, not each.  I told the cashier that I did not want it.  I would have tried it for $1.29, but not for $4.93 (just imagine how many of the mushrooms that I could have gotten for that!?!?!?)  I suggested that she check the sign and change it to per lb. and she said that she would.  She voided the item off, walked it back over to produce and her and the produce lady (I have GOT to get her name) looked at the sign.  Sure enough, it was not marked per lb. The produce lady brough the squash back over to me and put it in my cart.  I told her that it was not necessary, but she insisted. I was very pleased, but not surprised.  HT's customer service has always been excellent, especially at this store.

It's HT's policy to give you the item if it rings up incorrectly. I have had this happen only in a couple of situations and usually do not accept their offer to give it to me for free.  They have always been very apologetic about it and I feel like I'm "robbing" them anyway (most of the time).

I still have to go to Ronnie's Country Store downtown to get an onion, collards, and fatback (yes, I said fatback) but game day is running on schedule. 

The house is clean and I'm just waiting until Tuesday evening to start cooking!  My SIL and her family are coming and will be at our house around lunchtime on Wednesday. We have WAY funner stuff to do than cook (not that I don't enjoy cooking), but she shops as well/much as I coupon AND cook, so it's really fun.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Donation Reminder - Remember those in need

With the holiday season fastly approaching, please make an effort to pick up extra items while shopping for those in need.  My goal while shopping/couponing is to pick up items for .25 or less for donations.  As I mentioned on a previous post, our church has discovered a need in our community.  There is a set of HUD apartments (about 100) that is close in proximity to our church. They can use about anything that you would like to donate.  As you can expect, food is at the top of the list. Contact me if you would like to donate and I will coordinate pick up or you can drop it off directly at the apartments.

Logistically, it's very easy to give this time of year.  The Second Harvest Food Bank has donation barrels in most grocery stores. Can't get much more convenient than that!

Also, did you know that the Second Harvest Food  Bank supports programs all over the city?  I discovered a nursing home close to my work that partners with them.  I was able to drop the items off on the way to work at 7:00 a.m. and not have to drive downtown.

Don't forget the little ones.  Pick up an extra toy or two for donating while shopping.

Happy Shopping!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Preparation (WWMD?)

Just a few words about Thanksgiving preparation at my house.  I call it "Game Day".  It's when I do what I do best - cook.  Believe it or not, I cook even better than I coupon. In order to allow the cooking experience to go smoothly, I also plan, plan and overplan.  I listen to Martha Stewart Radio on the way home every afternoon to grasp some tidbit of information that I might have missed, all the time knowing that I learned from the best (Mom) and I probably know it all, but I do get some satisfaction in yelling the answers to the stupid questions that the callers ask. Back to the planning......there is a cleaning list for the weekend before, a cleaning list for the Wednesday before and timelines........galore (sorry - I just couldn't resist that one!)  I set my table on Tuesday night and have planned (with signs, of course) what casserole dish will be used for what food and where the food goes on the table.  Martha herself would be proud. One day, she will show up at my house unannounced for Thanksgiving lunch and you have better believe that I will be ready.  Of course, that will never happen - she would call first and never show up unannounced.

In previous years, I spent about $80 purchasing the items that I need for Thanksgiving Dinner, not including the Turkey/Ham.  This year is WAYYYY different!!!  I will spend about $5-10 (not including the Turkey).  I have everything I need, except for a couple of fresh items.  I will spend some time this weekend grouping my items together to ensure that I have what I need for every dish.

Of course, the family helps out a lot.  We will all get our exercise running down to the "stockroom" to get something that I forgot.  Much better/less expensive than running to the store!

Good luck if you are cooking this year.  Hope your "Game Day" goes well!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cereal Anyone?

So.....our minister mentioned a new need in the community that has recently been discovered and sent me an email with the details (I will post details separately).  Not wanting to waste ANY time and BARELY needing an excuse.....a great cereal deal appeared in my radar.

Target price matches.  They have only been doing this since late summer and it has taken a while to catch on.  You are required to bring in the original sales ad and there are a lot of rules (see link to Target's policy below). The sweetest thing is that Target has their own qs (IPs) that can be used in combination with mfg. qs.  Combine all three and you've got some really good deals!!!

For example......Wags has their Kelloggs cereal on sale for $1.99 this week.  There was a $1 mfg q. in 11/8's insert and there are IPs on the Kelloggs website.  There is also a Target q (IP) for $1 off any 11.2 oz or larger Kelloggs cereal (exp. 11/17/09).  You've got it!!! $-.01 for a box of cereal.

The Target q expired on 11/17, but I wanted to have more than one day to do the deal. On 11/16 I went in armed with sub-standard qs, having to use some .75 IPs instead of $1 ones.  Anyway, I paid $1.46 for 4 boxes of cereal.  Not fantastic, but that's okay (just this once).

A co-worker accompanied me to Target at lunchtime on the last day before the q expired.  The limit on the Wags ad is 4, so I bought 4 and she bought 4 (for me, of course).  We got to customer service and the associate was very nice.  She price matched them all for me and I also purchased a pack of gum. (Don't be too hard on me - it was for my DD and no, I did not have a q for it :(   )     Plus, I did not want to have a negative balance.  I gave her my qs and she looks at them, pauses and said "I can't take $2 off a $1.99 item.  I told her that she could price modify it and she just looked at me. Then I offered to take one of the Target qs back so, net, the amount would not be a negative.  She liked that idea.  I still got the pack of gum, so my total was $2.05.  She forgot to give me my bag credit of $.05 darn-it!!!!  Anyway, my friend's total was .96 (no gum)

Final Total for 12 boxes of cereal......


Retail value - non sale and no qs:  $33.96....That's 10% of retail.

Not fantastic and not a MM, but gosh darn it - still a good deal. I know the "newly-discovered" needy group will enjoy it!

Here is the link to the Target's Price Match policy:  http://sites.target.com/site/en/company/page.jsp?contentId=WCMP04-040400

CVS and Wags picks for week of 11/15/09

Below are my picks for the week of 11/15:

Aussie Hair Products $2.99
Receive $2 in rrs
Use $1 q from 10/11 P&G
Also, this is rolling (for explanation, see "Newbies Corner" below, click on Wags.

Ricola Cough Drops (Berry Flavor) $1
Receive $1 in rrs
Use .50 q from "Healthy Savings" Walgreens book (located in the store)
.50 MM

Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice (aka kid's holday champagne) $2.50 with Wags in-ad q.
There was a $2 IP that is no longer available - hopefully you printed this???
OOP: .50

I Motion Compact air freshener is 50% off, making it 3.99
Use the $4 q from the 10/11 SS.  I haven't tried this yet.  My Wags has not restocked since the last sale.

Also, they have Christmas pencils on sale 8 for $1 with q from Wags sales flyer.  This would be a great filler if needed.

Covergirl Simply Ageless Foundation $13, Covergirl Simply Ageless Blush $10  Purchase both of these and get $10 in ECBs.
-$10 Use BOGO q from 11/1 P&G
-$  1 Use $1 q from 11/1 P&G
Total oop: $12 (hopfully you have ECBs to roll?)
Receive $10 ECBS
which makes them $1 each (unless you have a $/$$ q - even better)!!

Purchase $12 in Glade products and get $4 ECBs.
Glade Sense and Sprays $6
$6 x 2 = $12
Use $4 x 2= -$8
OOP: $4.00
Receive $4.00 in ECBs = FREE

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm finally up!!!

After a couple of weeks of playing with the format, I FINALLY have a blog!

My goal is to provide you with information regarding couponing and sales, focusing on the Winston Salem, NC area.

I would love suggestions and feedback on what you do/don't like about the blog. Just shoot me an email (found under "My Profile").

I will be adding more features, such as a "Newbies section", Glossary and a few other cool things soon.

Thanks for reading and wish me luck!!!