Saturday, June 25, 2011

Breakdown of my Rite Aid and CVS deals

I had a great frugalin trip to Rite Aid and CVS tonight. When I posted my pic and my totals spent on FB I got several messages asking me to break down what exactly I got and how much it cost, so I figure it will make a better blog entry than FB note. :)

Here is my picture of what I purchased (minus the zantac which I realized didn't make it in the pic!):

And here is my breakdown:

Rite Aid:

1 Hungry Jack Pancake Mix Reg 2.79, on sale for $1.99
1 Hungry Jack Syrup, Reg 3.99, on sale for $1.99
2 SAMY Foam hair color, Reg 9.99, on sale for $8.99
1 Zantac cool mint tablet (24ct) Reg 10.49, on sale for $7.99

Q's used:

-$3/15 RA q
-$5 off SAMY RA VV q (Rite Aid Video Value q)
-$2 off SAMY RA VV q
-$3 off SAMY manu q
-$3 off SAMY manu q
-$2 off Zantac RA VV q
-$5 off Zantac manu q
-$1 off Hungry Jack manu q
-$1 off Hungry Jack manu q

-$3 UP reward from last week
-$3 UP reward from last week

subtotal: .14
saved $31.00
99% savings!


$5 UP from SAMY hair color, $5 UP from SAMY hair color, $2 UP from Zantac


(1st transaction)

1 Hershey Bliss Dark Chocolate, 5.99
1 Rephresh tampons, Reg. 6.89, on sale for $6.79
1 Coke Zero, Reg. 1.87, on sale for .79

Q's used:

- $1.00 Hershey Bliss manu q
- $1.00 Rephresh manu q

- $4.00 ECB from last week
- $4.00 ECB from last week
- $3.00 ECB from last week

subtotal: .57
saved: 14.18
96% savings!


$6.79 ECB for Rephresh, $5.99 ECB for Bliss chocolate

2nd Transaction:

1 Sally Hanson Nail Color, Reg. 9.49, on sale for $2.37
1 LA Looks hair gel, Reg. 3.99, on sale for $2.99
1 John Frieda Hairspray, Reg. 6.79, on sale for $6.00
1 John Frieda Shine, Reg. 6.79, on sale for $6.00
1 64oz water bottle, Reg. 7.99, on sale for $5.99
2 Coke Zero, Reg. 1.87, on sale for .79

Q's used:

- $1.00 Sally Hanson manu q
- $1.00 LA Looks hair gel manu q
- $5.00 John Frieda manu q
- $5.00 John Frieda manu 1

- $5.99 received in 1st transaction
- $6.79 received in 1st transaction

$2.00 ECB from LA Looks gel, $3.00 for spending $10 in John Frieda products

Subtotal: .15
Saved: 38.84
99% savings!

Regular Retail price of pictured products: $84.02
Subtotal paid: .86
Total savings of 99%!!!
And still have $12 in UPS and $5 in ECBs.

Love when it works out like this!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Do You Sweep?

No, not with a broom. But with your keyboard, or paper and stamps. Do you enter sweepstakes and contests? If not, WHY NOT?!

About a year ago, I decided to try my hand at entering contests. After searching for contests online, I found the website ContestGirl. On ContestGirl, you can search the different types of contests available (single entry, daily entry, weekly entry, blog entry, etc...) and you can also create an account and save the "daily" entry contests that you are interested in entering, so you can go to one place each day to enter your contests. I learned quickly that the ones with the best chances of winning are the daily entries, because so many people will enter those once and leave it at that...if you enter every day the entire duration of the contest, your name is in there a lot! The first month of doing contests, I won one prize pack, and it still makes me laugh. It consisted of: two cans of powdered buttermilk, a can of dutch processed cocoa, an apron and recipe book. But you better believe I was absolutely thrilled!

I started looking around for other good sweeps/contest sites and found Sweeties Sweeps, which is another great site that I highly recommend. I started checking out Sweeties other sites as well, which include Sweeties Freebies and a "secret" site that some were talking about, Sweeties Secret Sweeps. The Secret Site was intriguing to me, yet it cost $25 a year to join. I was told that there were a lot of contests listed on that site that weren't published many places online, and they were broken down into contests for each state, too. I was really against paying for the opportunity to enter contests, but after a few weeks of going back and forth, I decided to go for it. I was going to use the money that I earned by doing surveys online to purchase it anyway, so it wasn't coming out of my pocket...only my PayPal. ;) I made the deal with myself that if, in that year, I had not won enough contests to more than pay for the membership, then I just wouldn't re-up when my one year was up.

I cannot go into detail about Sweeties Secret Sweeps, but I can tell you that to me, it has been very much worth the $25! I have found contests on this site that I have seen nowhere else, including instant wins, text-to-win and mail-in contests. When I did my first mail-in, I bought one book of stamps and made a deal with myself that if I had not won enough to cover the cost of the stamps by the time I finished the book, I would be done with mail-ins.

From Sweeties Secret Sweeps alone, I have won:

* $25 Dollar General Gift Card

* Autographed Brian McCann baseball (he is my favorite ball player and has been since his first rookie year here with the Rome Braves ~ I have a ball he signed then too!)

* Soccer ball

* Various reusable shopping bags

* $500 check (Just got notification of this one about two weeks ago and am anxiously awaiting its arrival! This was a mail-in entry, so I would say that it more than paid for my book of stamps!)

From various other sites I have also won:

* FLIP video camera (from a FB contest by Verizon)

* $20 Target gift card

* Case of Milano cookies (from a FB contest by Milano)

* $25 Wendy's gift card (this one was from a FB contest to send in a video for "Hey Wendy" giving them suggestions)

* Best Buy gift card of some sort...won this one in the KitKat contest I posted on the blog (in March I believe) and finally got an email this week that my win was not, in fact, a candy bar, but a gift card to Best Buy. Don't know the denomination, but it will be either $50, $100 or $500!

There are sooo many prizes out there to win, and entering takes so very little time!

A few tips:

* Instant win games can be easy or complex, but just know that how you perform on the game does NOT determine whether you win a prize. The system is set to give prizes away at certain times and if you happen to be playing at that time, then you win. In fact, you will often see a button to click if you aren't able to view a can do this anytime and it will bypass the game and take you straight to tell you if you are a winner or not.

* The best time to win instant win games is during the night! Think about it...there are fewer people online trying to win, so your chances of being in the right place at the right time is much better than competing with hundreds/thousands/millions of people during the day.

* You can download different AutoFill programs for your computer, which makes filling in contest forms so much easier! I am currently just using the AutoFill that came with my Google toolbar. There are some forms that won't work with an AutoFill, so you can decide if the prizes are worth the time it takes to fill out the form. Roboform is a great AutoFill program too...I have used it before, just haven't downloaded it onto my current computer.

* Read the rules! Be sure that you qualify to enter the contest so that you don't waste your time on it. It's also good to check the rules to be sure that you follow the rules about entering...many times if you inadvertently enter a "single entry" contest more then once, both of your entries are disqualified.

* Consider a separate email address for your sweeps/contests. While winning prizes is awesome fun, many times it is also signing you up for junk email. I don't want it coming into my regular email address, so I have an email address I use strictly for this purpose. You can always set up a free email address on Gmail, Yahoo or even AOL.

* Great contests to enter are those that require you to "do" something: send in a photo, video, write a paragraph, etc...many people don't want to take the extra time to do these things, so the chances of winning these are great!

I know that I have at least one reader who also does sweeps/contests and has even better luck than I to share any more tips? ;)

For everyone else, check it out! And let me know if you have any fun wins! If anyone is interested, I may start a running page of contests. Will think on that one. ;)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New Publix Coupon book!

Have you ever been checking up the coupon matchups on Southern Savers (or another coupon site) and saw that there are coupons available from booklets that you have never heard of? If so, don't miss your chance to get one of these books for yoruself!

Go HERE and request a copy of the newest Publix coupon booklet. This has great coupons in it, and they are usually store coupons, which means that you can combine them with a manufacturer's coupon for great deals ~ even free stuff!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

want coupons? :)

I always get asked where I get so many coupons for free products and other high value's pretty simple actually. I write to the companies!

Now, this does not mean that I write and request samples and coupons...while this may occasionally work, there are hundreds/thousands of people who do this on any given day. What I do is write to them and give my opinion of their product. For example, I may tell DiGiorno that their pizza is the only one that my family can agree on and then go on to tell them how much we enjoy the product. If I have a problem with a product, I write to them and give that information. Companies enjoy receiving your feedback, be it good or bad and more times than not, will reward you with coupons ~ many of which are for free products!

I found a site online that lists a "5 a Day" companies for you to contact. Check it out: Couponing to Disney: 5 a Day!

She lists the companies that she has contacted and what they have sent her, and you can go back in her list and write to various companies that she has already mentioned.

Here are a few that I got from this site, wrote to, and received coupons back: (there are more, these are the first ones I thought of)

Lance sent me 2 coupons for boxes of 8ct crackers

Michelinas sent me 2 coupons for free products

Molly McButter sent me 3 .50 coupons

Aleve sent me a Bayer coupon booklet

I am going to be posting a few of the "5 a Day" companies that she posts on her wonderful site, Couponing to Disney!