Sunday, December 30, 2012


Just looked over the new Staple's ad for this week and they have a ton of good stuff you can get almost for free. I'm going to try to get in on some Avery Heavy Duty Binders, some cardboard boxes and plastic containers. I'll pay for these items in store and then will receive Staples Rewards for the price of the items. Basically I'll just pay tax or they'll give me about $90 of credit toward my next purchase - however you want to look at it. Basic idea - free, needed usable stuff. How could you not want to get in on this?

For the love of office supplies! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img alt="The Color of War: How One Battle Broke Japan and Another Changed America" border="0" src="" /></a><a href="">The Color of War: How One Battle Broke Japan and Another Changed America</a> by <a href="">James Campbell</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">3 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
I received this book as a giveaway and am required by law to include that information in this review.<br /><br />Now, with that out of the way, a review. I don't do a lot of pleasure reading, or at least, not as much as I would like as my job requires a lot of detailed reading. My interest in this book was to see if it was something my husband would like to read. He is very interested in historical World War II accounts.<br /><br />For the first 32 pages I didn't see a connection to World War II and race although I had read enough to realize that was what the book would be discussing - African American Marines and Soldiers in World War II. At that point I was going to give it until page 50 until I gave up.<br /><br />Page 33 actually started recounting some vignettes. At first I was not sure if this book was supposed to be fiction or non-fiction. From further reading I think it is a non-fiction account, but after 100 pages I am setting it aside. Maybe my husband will like it.<br /><br />I was reminded of the movie Men of Honor while reading what I did and more recently of the book and movie, The Help. There were too many people mentioned, I couldn't find a connection between any of the people/characters mentioned and felt the book really didn't feel it matched the proposed title until page 33 of my copy.<br /><br />I wish the author continued success.
<a href="">View all my reviews</a>

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Love the Bag Tag

Yes, it's good for the environment to bring your own bag, but I really like the discounts you can get at different places for bringing your own. CVS and the bag tag brought home some free Captain Crunch for the Hubs.

Starbucks takes a dime off if you bring your own cup, Mariano's Fresh Market gives you up to $.25 off your order if you bring 5 of your own bags (and they double coupons on Wednesdays so that's another awesome reason to love that store as if you needed one more). I'm sure there are more out there that I haven't found yet, but it's nice to see rewards for simple effort. We keep our bags by the door and grab them on the way out. Good times. Great savings.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cheap Sunglasses

I broke my other pair of sunglasses that I have loved for many years, but I did what I could with CVS Bucks from a recent Trip and Quarterly Bucks that came out on July 1st. Sunglasses were 19.99 brought down to a mere .91 with tax. This may be my best one yet.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Totally Bummed

So, I went to pick up an Rx at Wags today and wanted to turn in my "Get a free $25 gift card for transferring a Prescription" coupon. The Rx didn't transfer. No gift card for me.  :(

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cleaning Up with Quarterly Bucks

This may very well be the best % off shop I've had so far. Saved nearly $50, paid $22. Almost 66% savings right?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's Extra Bucks Day - No Foolin'


Winter quarterly ECBs are now available from CVS. A percentage of all the money spent by a card holder is now available as a coupon you can spend on anything. We usually restock our paper products with these. We're good on paper towels for now, but the Charmin is running low. The quick plan is to use some of the P&G coupons that came out recently in the Sunday paper, $.25 off Charmin with a sale price of $5.99 for a 9 pack of the soft stuff. Quick math without a lot of fuss says we should be able to get at least two packs and just pay tax. We've never tried the store brand which has a 4 pack 2/$5 which could provide more rolls overall. So I suppose it just depends on how adventurous we are all feeling.

Then again, our jelly bean stockpile is kind of low too.

Go claim your quarterly bucks and put them to good use!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Results of That Shopping Trip

It feels like this was a million years ago, but the thrill of victory is still very sweet. It may be too small to read so I'll boast in letters as well as numbers. Using a bunch of ECB, coupons and sale pricing...saved $64.00 and the toilet paper alone was near the final total of $29 @ $7 a package. It's kinda like everything else was free and they paid me to take it home. Definitely one of my best shopping trips yet.

The weather is suppose to be fabulous, 60-70 degrees, this week so I am definitely heading out for another shopping session. I will post my plan before I go in case you'd like to borrow some of the ideas. Lots of good coupons today. I hope you looked through your newspaper.  :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shopping Plans!

Tomorrow I have an ECB that will expire if I don't use it and I promised NOT to be a money waster. So, the plan is to take the extra buck $1.00, plus some of the Free Hershey Delight when you buy another Hershey Bar along with the balance on the gift card that started this whole ball rolling...$.72. The plan will be to walk out with 4 candy bars and pay nothing or very little in change.

Later in the week we'll use up the rest of the Hershey bogo as they expire on the 18th. I'm also looking at working another Nivea deal. There are tons of coupons in the paper for Nivea so this one should be a winner for everyone. I'm taking $6.00 ECB with $4 in coupons to score some free + tax lip balm. At the rate I'm going I should never have chapped lips and with Valentine's Day on the horizon it is smooching time. These are fun little things to give away as well.

Speaking of giving away, One Touch Meters are on sale this week at many places, CVS, Dominicks - perhaps more that I have not found yet. There was a coupon for $10.00 off a One Touch Meter in the Smart Source coupons from 1/08 and the Meters are on sale for, yep, you guessed it, $9.99. Should be another free + tax kind of transaction. If you're lucky enough to have good health, but you still have the coupon these would be great donations for your local health clinic, doctor, food bank etc etc.

I'm heading back to Target to see if I can find some more Iams cat or dog food for free + tax. Again, good things to donate if you don't have pets, don't have friends who have pets or if you don't have friends. (just kidding on that last one)

I'm also aiming for some Vaseline Total Moisture lotion on sale for $.97 - have coupons from Red Plum 1/29 for $1.00 off - cha-ching. And I'm going to see if they have some Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Packets. Handsome Butch likes to make chili and these would be perfect with $.50 off coupons and $.64 seasoning.

I didn't see anything for Walgreens, but I'll probably stop in there and see what's what. You never know.

There are probably more deals out there to be found and had, but these are what I've put together for this week.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reader Question

Dear Girl and A Gift Card,

Why is it that sometimes a coupon you used on Monday at Store X is not honored at the exact same store a couple of days later?

Signed, Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,

That is a very good question, and funny enough I had the same thing happen to me this week. I went to Walgreens a couple days ago and used the current Mars coupon $1.00 off any 2 Valentine's Day products along with the store coupon putting these cute little Snickers Valentine's candies at $.39 each, limit six. I brought six Snickers up to check out with my store coupon and 3 manufacturer's coupons which should have made the purchase free (according to the math). The clerk would only take two coupons as the register would not allow a zero balance. I typically avoid confrontation so I went with it. Today I returned with more manufacturer's coupons and the plan to add enough other product to cover the overage so that the register would allow the transaction and full use of the coupon. The clerk today said the computer would not even take the coupon at all as it did not apply to the cutesy little Snicker's items. I announced that the coupons had worked just fine a couple days ago, but that didn't get me anywhere. Once again, store coupon policies as good to know and it very may well be that some clerks are easier to work with than others. Or perhaps the store caught wind of the idea that people had found some good deals and they weren't prepared for that kind of savings for their customers. Without a proper response from store management it's hard to say, but it's always best to roll with the punches. More often than not a good coupon plan gets shot to pieces when it's actually practiced by the consumer.

Friday, February 3, 2012


We made two trips to CVS this week and I've come to a couple of conclusions. First, since ECB cannot be used for sales tax the gift card isn't going to get us much further than where we are right now. However, with that in mind I will continue to post the deals. I can always try again next year with a bigger gift card and plan to only use it for tax.

So, picked up a bunch of deodorant, Hershey kisses, some Dawn soap that Mom wanted and some Tom's of Maine Toothpaste. There was also a hershey's egg but the wrapper and contents are long gone.

I figured after all coupons, bucks and other rebates we were about $3.00 out of pocket until we went back to finish the Colgate deal (more deodorant). We paid $.70 and walked out with four more speed sticks and $6.00 ECB. Crunching all the numbers, we're still ahead and trading up to bigger and better.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I've been remiss, mostly because I was still irritated about our last visit to CVS. They had a nice deal going this past week - buy x amount of Revlon, get $7.00 ECB. Totally up my alley, right? Well, I thought I had it made with $1.00 off Revlon nail product coupons to buy some nail files and a clipper, but they would not take the coupons for those items. The reason - the coupon was intended for make-up, not nail files and nail clippers even though I think we'd all agree those are nail products.
I think we could've called a manager over and made a big fuss, but it comes down to the fact that your time has a value. The nail products went back on the shelf and we will try again soon. But it's also a good idea to know your store's coupon policies. I don't think we were in the wrong in this case and really it wasn't a battle I wanted to fight. We'll save that energy for something else in the future.

My Glade House Party was a wonderful success! I can't thank Glade or House Party enough for the opportunity. I really liked the new diffusers. We did score some insanely cheap Glade products a couple days before the party with coupons/sale to get some extra gifts for the party. A buck and change for 3 motion detecting scent sprayers. You bet your cotton linen that was an ECB/Coupon/CVS deal.

This week in the mail, the first Sweepstake Prize of 2012! Whoohoo!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday/Monday Saver/Mail

Ack! I'm late, but as far as the Sunday Saver goes it looks like the best deals at CVS this week are for Brita and Glade. We already have a Brita Water Filtering device we already love otherwise I would probably try to get in on that deal. However, the Glade coupons from the newspaper along with what is now on could very possibly turn into some nice extras for the my guests at the upcoming House Party Freshen the Air Glade Party! Rumor has it the Magic Coupon Machine at CVS is churning out additional Glade coupons that would make these money makers. Handsome Butch may have to do the leg work now that winter is upon us.

As far as the mail, no samples or freebies within the past week, but I did get notification from House Foods that I was a first prize winner in their Kung Fu Panda/Tofu contest! I haven't seen the movie yet and I'm very excited. Since I started sweeping I've won 5 contests! This is the first of the year.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Smells Good

I rolled over to CVS today in the awesome 50 degree non-winter weather and worked a couple of deals. They were out of the Listerine ECB deal as well as the Vitamin D. However, there was Axe men's body wash as far as the eye could see. I brought my bogo coupons from the newspaper along with a $1.00 off coupon I had received in the mail to put toward the Axe. I also picked up a Snickers for the $.75 ECB and two Crush with the bogo coupons I had mentioned in the previous post. They had grape flavor so I had to do it.

End result: I used every coupon at my disposal, the $5.00 ECB from the previous visit and put the remiander, $4.74 on the Original Gift Card (half of that was just tax). I came home with 4 soaps, ate a Snickers and shared a Grape and Orange Crush with Handsome Butch while showing him the $4.75 we now have in ECB. He said, and yes I do love him even more for this, "So they paid you a penny to bring all this home, huh?"

I have a couple bucks left on the Gift Card, the $4.75 in ECB and I assure you, we're just getting started.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Mail

Checking the mail bag from the last week:

A big bunch of coupons! I sent holiday cards to all of the companies that sent coupons per my requests thanking them for their generosity and they have responded with even more generous offers. Love it!

There was also a sample of Dove shampoo and conditioner. Freebies are awesome.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Sunday Saver 1/8/12

I've looked through all the ads and organized today's coupons. These are some of the deals I might try to work this week at CVS:

M&M/Mars Single $.75 - get $.75 ECB - so basically pay tax on a regular size candy bar

Vitamin D CVS brand $3.49 - get $3.49 - again just tax

There is also talk that the Axe Men's Body wash BOGO coupon in today's paper is ringing up at a higher value than the sale price of the wash so that you could get 4 Axe Wash for $1.98 after it's all said and done. That's a pretty good deal.

There are also a whole new slew of products for the $30 Cash Card Deal. Mom said she wants paper products and Northern is in the mix so we may have to get her stocked up.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kiss Me Baby!

I took my scooter over to CVS and found the Nivea lip balms. Thinking I had one Rx to pick up I took two of the lip balms to pharmacy with my Extra Care Bucks Card and the $3.00 off coupon. It wasn't my Rx, it was Butch's so the $10.00 CVS cash card from the last trip along with a little help from the good ole debit card paid for Butch's Rx and two lip balms.

Then it was just a matter of getting the other two balms checked out and I used the original gift card from this whole post to pay for the two other balms.

End result: One Rx, 4 Lip Balms, $5.00 Bucks to use next time. For those of you into the math, the lip balms cost $4.92 for 4 with tax so it was an $.08 money maker.

I did use the Original gift card to buy some Act Total mouthwash at the grocery store yesterday. It was heartbreaking to be at Mariano's on double coupon day and not have ANY coupons to use.

I made up for it by using a bogo for Crush on my adventures out today. After CVS I buzzed over to Walgreens to pick up the new coupon book and then popped into the grocery next door to pick up what we forgot to buy yesterday at Mariano's. I'd link the coupon but it appears to be gone.

Anyway, it was from which has a variety of good ones. Right now there's one for play-doh. Grab it while you can!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Things don't always go as you plan, especially when it comes to coupons and sales. However today was successful nonetheless. Using the $19.50 in Quarterly ECB, the $5.00 Spend so much get $5.00 off along with two Charmin coupons and the Original Gift Card we came home with:

6 packs of Ultrasoft Charmin
and a $10.00 CVS Cash Card

The amount spent on the Original Gift Card was $8.74, so with a spanking new $10.00 CVS Cash Card we actually made $1.24 on this purchase.

Many thanks to Handsome Butch for doing the legwork. If the weather is nice enough later in the week I plan to roll over there and scope out the Nivea deal.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Quarterly Bucks!

Woohoo! Speaking of store promotions, I received the quarterly bucks from CVS. $19.50 to spend! Add that to the gift card and I am going to crank out some major hauls this week. From a quick scan through the flyer I see that they are now running $10 gift cards for their store only when you spend $30 on certain products. Paper products are part of the package deal this week. I feel some paper towels coming on. I just need the weather to help out and I will make a run to CVS.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

And so begins the 2012 Blog and Gift Card Project. I have one $25.00 gift card and the goal is to get to the beginning of 2013 using only this gift card along with other store promotions and coupons to buy a year's worth of goods for nothing more than the original $25.00. This isn't an exercise in materialism or a contest to see how much stuff I can get. It's a frugality challenge. I will only buy things that we can honestly use or goods that can be given to others in need.

I've come to learn a lot about couponing, saving and working a deal. My only regret is not learning this earlier in life.

So the challenge is on starting right now. I have my newspapers with ads and coupons to start my first shopping trip of the year.