Monthly Archives: May 2008

May Freebies

I like to keep a record of my great deals, but there are so many that I decided to do a monthly post on my blog just to show my FREE deals. By free, I mean those items that cost me no out-of-pocket money.

I get free items various ways. One way is through the Publix Mystery Coupon on Mondays. The Mystery Coupon item actually costs 1 cent, but that’s free in my accounting system. Some items are free after Extra Care Bucks at CVS. Other times, items are on sale at a fantastic price, and, combined with a great coupon, they come out free. Sometimes I get free goods through rebates, when the full purchase price is returned to me. When I send in for rebates, I keep that money separate from my wallet money, and use it only for the little due at CVS or Walgreen’s after I pay with Extra Care Bucks or Register Rewards. In reality, when I make purchases this way, the items are free. Sometimes I find coupons in the paper or an online offer for a try-it-free item. And every once in a while, I’m given something free. May Free Stuff
Publix Mystery Coupon:Colgate toothpaste/toothbrush combo pack
spaghetti sauce
CVS Extracare Bucks:

5 Colgate 360 toothbrushes
3 Aquafresh toothpastes
3 Crest toothpastes
2 Addidas deodorants
Sunday newspaper
2 bottles Dawn dish detergent
magnetic photo pocket
folding camp chair (“Quad” chair)
OraPik travel pick
4 bars Olay soap (raincheck)
2 18-oz bottles Spa Radiant body wash (raincheck)
2 Venus razors
Schick Intuition razor
2 bars Johnson’s Buddies soap
half gallon Mayfield milk
2 pkgs chocolate chip cookies
shortbread cookies
Snickers bar
Spending My Walgreens Register Rewards:
2 dozen eggs
2 8-oz pkgs grated cheese
2 12-roll pkgs TP
Cottonelle wipes
Coupons for free items:
77 4×6 prints
2 8×10 prints
1 5×7 print
64-oz bottle Softsoap refill
Given to Me:
radishes

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Saving Money While Traveling

We don’t travel very often, but when we do we try to save as much money as we can and still have fun. Most of our travel for the past five years has been going to our son’s music competitions. We travel to Highland Games all over the southeast about six to ten weekends a year. Our expenses include gas, lodging, food, entrance fees and his competition fee. We have learned to save in several ways:
1. We drive our most fuel-efficient car
2. We pack snacks and lunch for the road
3. We buy water bottles at the grocery store rather than at the Games
4. We bring our lunch into the Games rather than buy from vendors on-site
5. We avoid the souvenirs and printed programs (This can be hard when we know David’s name is printed inside that program as a trophy winner the previous year!)
6. We volunteer to help at the Games if it means a free admission

7. When the competition is also a band event, David’s lodging is free. We just have to pay for half the room for the accompanying parent/family.

The difficulty we have always had is eating dinner economically. Because we are so far from home it isn’t feasible to bring our dinner for two nights. Restaurants are expensive. Fast food is ok now and then for lunch, but it really isn’t adequate for dinner.

Last weekend at the Highland Games in Gatlinburg, an expensive tourist destination, we just happened to be assigned a hotel room with a little kitchen. David and I were very excited; we could use the microwave to heat a grocery store-purchased dinner! Off we went to the local market, bypassing all the bad, overpriced restaurants downtown. I even had my coupon book along. We chose salad makings and a microwavable frozen seafood pasta pouch for two (I used a coupon). And a tiny cheesecake for dessert. We looked around for a container to heat the pasta in, and in the “Dollar Daze” section we found a three-pack of large microwavable plastic salad bowls. Just one dollar. We also picked up our lunch fixings and more snacks. We spent just under $20 for it all. And it was the best dinner we have ever had in Gatlinburg.

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Using Up That Turkey

Back in November I bought an extra turkey to stash in the freezer for an unknown future use. The day came to use it: my birthday earlier this month. I decided I would really like turkey for my birthday celebration. And that turkey has turned out to be a very frugal purchase because it has lasted a long time. These are the meals I have made, so far, with it:
Roast turkey for birthday dinner
Leftover turkey, potatoes, and cranberry sauce
Turkey sandwiches for three or four days (I forget how many)
Sliced turkey and gravy over mashed potatoes
Turkey and tortilla casserole
Turkey and noodle casserole
Stir-fried turkey with vegetables and rice
Turkey and broccoli casserole
Turkey crepes
Remaining in freezer:
enough crepe filling for about 4 crepes
3 cups turkey broth
2 pkgs diced turkey, 2 cups each

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Little White Bonnet

A linen baby bonnet I made using one of my thrifted dinner napkins:

I used rose pink ribbon to tie this bonnet, but any color could be used. It was quick and fun to make; now I need to find a baby girl.

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Walgreen’s Register Rewards

I walked over to Walgreen’s early this morning to do the “Buy 9, Get $20 Register Rewards” deal. I bought:

4 Cascade dw detergent at $2.50 each, had 25 cent coup for each
3 Old Spice body wash at 3/$10, had a $2/2 coup and a 75 cent coup
2 Olay Ribbons body wash, one at $4.99 and one half price at $2.50, had a $1/2 coup

OOP: $22.72 and I earned $20 Register Rewards! (It printed out as 2 $10 RR)There were other things I wanted to buy also, but I couldn’t carry any more stuff home. So I walked home, dropped off what I had, and walked back. Second transaction:

Jergen’s lotion, sale $2.99, $1 coup
Gillette Venus Embrace razor, $9.99, $4 coup
2 Domino sugar, $1.99 each, 55 cent/2 coup

2 bags Dove chocolates because it’s my birthday, 2/$4 with ES coup, BOGO mfr coup (net: $1 ea)

Used a $2 RR and $10 RR
OOP: $2.20 and I earned $6 RR on the Venus razor (making it FREE)

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Saturday Savings

My deals this week from two trips to CVS and one trip to Walgreens, as well as freebies in the mail:

CVS #1:
2 Soleil refills
Tostitos Scoops and dip
2 Bath Buddies
2 Altoids
OOP: 41 cents, earned $6 ecb’s

Walgreens:
Irish Spring body wash
Spa body wash
2 Smart Rinse
Lady Speed Stick deodorant
Oral B Crossaction toothbrush
pain reliever
3 Jello
3 pkgs gift wrap
OOP: less than $1, with $6.49 rebate coming

CVS #2:
Adidas deodorant
2 Colgate 360 toothbrushes
2 Aquafresh toothpaste
OOP: 44 cents, earned $18.95 ecb’s

FREE in the mail:
Schick Quattro razor
Dove deodorant
Dove hair care samples
Gillette body wash
$9.49 rebate for a razor

I also received a packet of coupons worth over $12 from Colgate-Palmolive because I called them about a defective product. I had a 7 oz Softsoap pump that I paid about 40 cents for. When I tried to use it, it wouldn’t pump. Ordinarily, I would have returned it to the store where I bought it. But I decided to call the mfr for two reasons: 1) They need to know about the defect, and 2) They may send me more than just the replacement for the defective item. I was right; they sent me a coupon for a new Softsoap, with a value up to $3.99. They included a stack of coupons, each with a value of 75 cents to $1, for assorted other Colgate-Palmolive products. I already used the toothbrush coupon, and I will probably use all the others. They don’t expire until 2009. The coupon for the replacement soap will get me a much larger bottle of soap, free! I think I did well. The bottom line is: call the mfr if there is a true problem with a product.

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Use It Up #3

I was tired of seeing four tiny cartons of yogurt on the top shelf in the refrigerator. No one in this house liked the brand, but I couldn’t just throw them out! I hunted for recipes using vanilla yogurt… I passed by my scone recipe…and I realized scones can be made with yogurt.I added snipped dried apricots instead of currants because who keeps currants around? Not me. They flew off the plate this afternoon, hot with butter melted into the fluffy centers.

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