Monday, February 18, 2019

Walgreens Fiasco

You'd think that by now I should be used to things not working right at WAGS. Doing the perfect transaction is definitely Hit or Miss at their stores. I hate shopping at WAGS, because of all the problems (especially with coupons) and complicated rewards, but they often have good deals.

So last week I decided to do some deals, because there were some bonus points offers and Ibotta had a $3 Valentines bonus for buying 4 items. So I figured I'd double dip.

Trans 1

3 x Crest t/p $9.00
Less DQ (1.00)
Less BR (5.00)
Tax 0.54
OOP : $3.54

The crap already started here. I had a $1/1 and $3/3 Crest DQs. Now it should've deducted the $3 q, since I purchased 3 items, but in true WAGS fashion it deducted the lowest value q. Now I'm already ticked off

Trans 2

2 x Axe Shampoo B1G50%  off  $7.48
4 x Old Spice b/w B1G50% off  $17.96
Pringles Wavy $1.99
Less Axe DQ (1.00)
Less Old Spice DQ (9.00)
Less BR (5.00)
Tax 1.53
OOP $13.96

Earned 6980 BR points + 220 Everyday points (around $7). $5 Old Spice and $2 Bonus (I think it's the 20X reward)

Earned $4.35 ($4 Axe, $0.35 Pringles)

It was at this point that I realised that the Crest CAT from the first transaction didn't print. My whole plan was to roll the CAT into the 2nd transaction to lower my OOP. So I asked the girl if the CAT machine was working, because others have reported getting bonus points CATs WYS $20/25. Hence my high value transaction. She called over a manager, who said he'd try a different register. j

So off to another register we went to return the Crest. And whaddya know, a CAT for $7 bonus points spits out when the return was done. So anyhoo, my return value was $9.54. $5 on a gc (for the points I used) and the rest in cash. So happily I made an extra $1 on my return. Then he rang up the Crest again and my $3 DQ deducted. Yay! So clever me (lol) decided to hold on to the gc (since it doesn't expire) and use more points instead.

Trans 3 (this is what Trans 1 should've looked like)

3 x Crest t/p $9.00
Less DQ (3.00)
Less BR (5.00)
Tax 0.54
OOP $1.54

Earned $5 CAT

Also, my account had 2 x Axe qs - $1/1 and $2/2. Do you see how WAGS is gypping us?

My store was out of Advil, so I stopped at another store to get a box.

Trans 4 

Advil Multisymptom $5.99
Less DQ (3.00)
Tax : 0.36
Less BR (3.00)
OOP $0.35

Earned $2 Ibotta & $3 Savingstar, so a nice MM

Then I stopped at Walmart to add the last item for my Ibotta bonus. This was not my regular Walmart and I couldn't find the freebie Yo+ yogurt, so I settled for Noosa instead. I was in a sugar coma just reading the label. 36g Sugar! Yikes! I follow a low sugar diet, so this was insane to me.

OOP was $1.97

Earned $3.60 Ibotta ($3 Bonus, $0.50 Noosa, $0.10 any item)

So to recap

I started out with 19150 points (about $20)

Total OOP $17.82 (this includes Walmart)
Less Crest DQ credit (1.00)
Less Ibotta Earnings (9.95)
Less Savingstar Earnings (3.00)

Total $3.87

I also have a balance of 11570 points (approx $10), $5 CAT, $5 gc. So I'm basically back to where I started with WAGS points/rewards.

I am, however upset that the CAT machine didn't work, cause I could've earned an additional $7 rewards for Trans 2. I can't call CS, cause the reward wouldn't work since I used points to pay (silly WAGS rules). 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Some shopping deals

Boy was I happy to get out of the house after the Polar Vortex. That 15 degrees felt warm to me after the cold

First stop Ollie's. I had a 15% off coupon and needed some new reading material. I now only look for my favorite authors at Ollies and Dollar Tree. I found 2 books at $3.99 each ($3.39 after q)

Boy did I have fun in the food section. The bacon chips is my favorite and I can only find it at Ollies. The Old Bay is DH's favorite (another Ollies exclusive). So I grabbed 4 Bacon and 2 Old Bay. Yep, there's a bag missing. I was so hungry after being out half the day, that I dug into one bag when I got home. Too tired to even think of fixing something to eat.

A funny story. I don't eat seafood. Now I know that DH loves to use Old Bay seasoning whenever he cooks seafood. So in my little mind I always assumed that the Old Bay chips would have a seafood flavor. Then during my shopping trip a little lightbulb finally turned on and I realised that it's just a seasoning that can be used on seafood. However, I wasn't taking any chances, so I asked DH about it when I got home. Here I've been depriving myself of those yummy chips cause I thought it would taste like So a week afterwards I tried the chips. When I opened the bag, all I could smell was seafood. It reminded me of when we visited the east coast and the guys stuff themselves on fresh crab. So I took one bite and that was it. DH had tricked me. Yuck!

I was so happy to find a new pizza cutter. My old one broke years ago and the new one is completely stainless steal and works great.

I was really happy to find the Fiber one at such a great price. I now carry a bar and a banana or other fruit with me whenever I go out for hours. No feeling hungry and no wasting money on junk food.

My total OOP at Ollies was $27.10 after the 15% coupon.

Made my monthly trip to the produce market. DH thinks I'm nuts, cause I always leave there with a full cart. I told him that it's easier for me to shop once, instead of running to the market every week, when I could be working. The market's prices are dirt cheap.You can see everything I bought on the receipt.

The peppers are always a great deal. I got 25 peppers for under $10 (excl green peppers) I always stock up this way, cause we love our peppers. As you can see, I made 12 bags of mixed peppers to freeze. Yes they freeze fine in the sandwich bags. I've done it before when I ran out of freezer bags. I didn't get much green peppers, because they were individually priced, unlike the rest that were by the pound. The bagged peppers usually last us a month or 2.

The $1 item was a bag of clearance limes (there were 8 limes in the bag)

We will just fill in the gaps with bagged salad, bananas and carrots throughout the month.

I made 6 jars of pickled beets. That's how I grew up eating it. I love beets and usually order imported beets from the SA food shop. However, they don't always have beets in stock, so I decided to make my own with the items I got at the market and it tastes exactly like home.

I also used some produce to make pizza and a salad for dinner one night.

Then on Monday I hit up Dollar Tree for some newspapers. I like to browse through the store, cause you never know what surprises you might find. Boy was I happy to find our favorite bread brand. I know that they normally get bread delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I was over the moon to find bread on a Monday, because we were on our last loaf from my previous DT purchase. I bought 4 loaves. BTW, I'm an expiration date junkie, but I've eaten this bread way past it's expiration date (without freezing) and it was still super fresh. I think that having it double bag (the inner bag is sealed), helps keep it fresh for longer.

Then at CVS I grabbed 2 bottles of detergent on sale for $1.99. Used $1 Digital q and $3 EBs that expired that day. Paid 6c OOP. I had a whole different shopping trip planned, but they didn't have the items I wanted

Silly me didn't think to run out to my car to clip 2 qs so I could grab 3 bottles for the same price. Duh!

I swear that the more I try to spend down my WAGS points, the more I earn. So I'll just grab the good deals, because they sometimes have some great DQs.

Trans 1

1 x A&H detergent $1.99
2 x Carmex supercran $6.34
Less AH DQ (1.00)
Less Carmex DQ (1.00)
Less Carmex q (1.00)
Less 5000 points (5.00)
Tax : 0.48
OOP $0.45
Earned $1 BR Carmex and $2 Ibotta Carmex + 10c Ibotta any item

Trans 2

4 x HE Shampoo $12.00
2 x Lindt minis 2.00
2 x AH detergent 3.98
1 x Heinz mustard 2.79
1 x Bic Razors 6.79
Less HE DQ (8.00)
Less Lindt DQ (1.00)
Less Lindt q (1.00)
Less AH qs (2.00)
Less Bic DQ (4.00)
Tax 1.37
OOP $12.93

Earned $7 BR ($5 bonus WYS $25, $2 mustard)

My plan was to get more AH detergent, but they were out of pods. That's the only qs I had left. So I improvised and got razor and mustard instead, which made my OOP higher than expected

Total drugstore OOP this week : $13.44
Drugtore rewards earned : $8.00 (there's also smaller everyday points that I don't include. too complicated)
Ibotta earned : $2.10

That was my shopping for last week. As you can see, this post is late. I wrote it on Sunday, but then still needed to take some pics.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Stockpiling items Week 1/20

Boy, last week sure has been a fun week. Between a snowstorm and Polar Vortex, we were stuck indoors for 4 days. However, I prepared for this when I saw that forecast. I did all my grocery shopping the week before, to make sure we won't need anything.

I also combined some qs and sales to stockpile some items.

Meijer had the Loreal items Spend $15+ save $5 instantly. I've used this moisturiser since college and I can only find this item at the grocery store. They also had digital qs for the moisturiser and shampoo/conditioner, which came in handy since we don't get the RMN inserts.

Another big surprise was the $13 ($5 & $8) off anything qs on DH's mperks account. I'm guessing it's cause I haven't used that account in a long time. I used the $5 on groceries before.

Trans 1

1 x Loreal Moisturiser $11.49 (darn, this item was $9.49 just a little while ago)
2 x Loreal Shampoo  $8.38
2 x Stayfree maxi pads $5.42 (B1G30% off 2nd)
Less instant discount (5.00)
Less Loreal skincare q (2.00)
Less Loreal shampoo q (3.00)
Less 2 Stayfree qs (2.00)
Less MPerks q (8.00)
Tax 1.52
OOP $5.29
Received $3 Ibotta for Stayfree

Trans 2 - my account

1 x Loreal Moisturiser $11.49 (darn, this item was $9.49 just a little while ago)
2 x Loreal Conditioner $8.38
3 x Dannon light & fit singles 3.00
Less instant discount (5.00)
Less Loreal skincare q (2.00)
Less Loreal shampoo q (3.00)
Less MPerks q (2.00)
Tax 1.19
OOP $9.06
Received $1 Ibotta for Dannon

Trans 3 - I was out of Stayfree qs, but had another Mperks q that I earned

2 x Stayfree maxi pads $5.42
3 x Dannon L&F singles 3.00
Less Mperks q (3.00)
Tax : 0.33
OOP : $5.75
Received $5.00 Ibotta ($3 Stayfree, $1 Dannon, $1 bonus)

Total OOP for everything after rewards = $11.10

Slightly less than I would pay for one moisturiser. I now have enough moisturiser to last the rest of the year. I still have one sealed bottle from a Target deal I did in December.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Best laid plans and some freezer cooking

Three weeks ago I had a plan to do all kinds of grocery shopping, then hit the drugstores up later that same week. The Monday I hit up the produce market and left there with a full cart, then Sams and the grocery stores.

Tuesday I stayed home to catch up on household chores. As I headed downstairs after washing the kitchen floor, I hit the top basement step, slipped and went thudding all the way down the stairs. I watched the bucket of water and mop go flying through the air and hit the basement floor. (Thankfully our basement floor is tiled, so it was easy clean up for DH) I couldn't get up for a while. Then I couldn't find my phone to call DH who was working in the shop. I finally made it to the shop and told him what happened. Thankfully I didn't break anything, but an hour afterwards, the pain hit my back and side. So for 2 weeks, I was in pain and spent quite a bit of time in bed. I'm finally back to my old self again, so now I'm once again playing catch up. This seems to be my new normal. sigh. I will say though that I am thankful for my stockpile and freezer cooking. It always comes in handy during an emergency.

This week I did a bit more freezer cooking, since I hate cooking in the morning. In a perfect world, someone would just stick a cup of coffee into my hand and everyone will leave me alone until my coffee kicks in. Of course this doesn't happen, but I still don't want to have to cook breakfast for anyone, myself included. So freezer cooking it is.

Blueberries (a favorite of mine) has been on sale at several stores, so I stocked up. I used a whole box of Heart Smart Bisquick to make pancakes and waffles. Some blueberry, some gingerbread. I always crush my blueberries so that its spread evenly in the batter. I didn't make too many waffles, cause I'm the only one who's nuts about it.

I topped the pancakes with butter/margarine, syrup, cinnamon and fresh blueberries and rolled them up to be frozen. Now it's all ready to just be heated when we want to eat some. Easy peasy. I didn't do anything with the waffles. I like to top it with fresh bananas and cinnamon. I also made some lemon/blueberry and banana oatmeal muffins last Sunday, so we have more than enough breakfast food.

Does anyone else do breakfast freezer cooking? I know most people do that for dinner, but I like having all meals prepped in advance.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Switching things up

Hi everyone

I haven't fallen off the face of the The past few months have been super busy. I've spent so much time working and the holiday season is always crazy. I also like to bake over the holiday season and would take a day or 2 off, just to bake all day long. I baked around 20 dozen cookies just before Christmas. DH who doesn't care for sweet things, would eat cookies at 11 am. His friend stopped by while I was baking and they started eating the cookies before I had a chance to decorate them. They said the cookies taste great without any toppings. We still have a few dozen that will be frozen, since I don't use the oven during summer.

I normally make traditional South African treats and I've never decorated cookies before, because we don't eat much sugar. Well my friend started doing decorated cookies, so we all jumped onto the bandwagon. So this is what my cookies looked like.

Sugar cookies (some with chocolate and some with cream cheese frosting)
Almond coconut cookies - DH's favorite
Hertzoggies (traditionally filled with apricot jam & coconut, but we prefer the caramel/cream filling) My favorite SA treat
Romany creams (SA treat) - Chocolate coconut cookie filled with mint chocolate
Lemon cookies

Now, as you can see, I'm not good at cookie decorating. I can work wonders with cakes, because I have the tools to do so.

So, on to switching things up. I have some big financial goals for this year. In order to reach those, I have to work more. I sell online and have decided to expand so I can earn more. This means less time for other things. One of those being point earning sites. While I still enjoy doing those, it's just not worth the frustration and energy since things haven't worked well since Swagbucks took over Mypoints. My encraves (my favorite way to earn) are hit and miss. So while I'll still try to earn some gcs, I'm not going to make it a priority. This means there won't be any month end money posts either. I'll continue to sell our old things though. I'll try to post whenever I can. Some weeks there might be one post and others 3-5 posts. I'm just trying to be as productive as I can, so I can reach my goal. If I fall short of that goal, then I at least know that I've tried my best.

I will post the remaining 2018 numbers though, so you can see how we fared last year. We did come in under budget for Christmas, so I'm happy about that.

I didn't do much after Christmas shopping, since we didn't need anything. My only plan was to head to Meijer at 6am (when they open) to pick up holiday baking supplies. As I was getting ready to head out, our local news channel was reporting from my Walmart that the store had just opened and the parking lot was empty. So I switched gears and headed to Walmart instead. This was the first time my Walmart was so empty. I did hit the motherlode with Hickory Farms. We used to buy Hickory Farms for years, until they got to expensive. I remember we used to get really big boxes of sausage & cheese for $20 back then. One year someone posted that HF had the sets for $8, so I stocked up and froze quite a bunch. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find several boxes at Walmart at 50% off. I got 5 boxes at $10 each and 2 at $7.50. The sausage are frozen. The cheese won't last long, cause we love cheese. I got a few baking items, cause there wasn't much to choose from.

Then I headed to Meijer who had even less clearance. No baking stuff to be found. Thank goodness for the news channel, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten those Walmart goodies. I just picked up some Ziploc containers. I have Pyrex, but I've always loved these small round Ziploc ones. They're so easy for storing my coffee beans and other small items. These were $1.74 per set. Not the best price, but I needed the items. I also forgot to check for coupons before heading out.

I'll try to do another post this week.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Kohls Black Friday Shopping

Hi Everyone

I'm still here. It's just been a crazy busy month and next month will be more of the same.

I tell ya, Kohls wore me out this month. I always look forward to their BF sale, which actually starts on November 1st. I shopped the 1st, Veteran's Day and again on the 19th. I'm plumb worn out, but had lots of fun. Other than drugstores and an occasional Meijer trip (if they have gift items I need), I don't set foot in any stores. In fact, by the time BF rolled around, I was done shopping. Other than the discounted Target gcs this coming weekend, my Christmas shopping is done. So what did I get?

Lots of athletic shoes
2 Comforter Sets for DS
1 Big One reversible comforter for ourselves
Lots of Bath and hand towels
2 Big Ticket Christmas gifts - one has a rebate
Ski jacket & gloves for DS
24 Piece Pyrex Storage set - rebate
Coffee Maker - rebate
Toaster - rebate
Bath mat for 2nd bathroom
1 Sweatpants for DS - filler item so I could earn Kohls cash and get free shipping
Slippers for myself
Replacement Cuisinart coffee pot

I always stock up on athletic shoes for us during this sale. DS always needs new shoes. I wear my shoes until they break. So I keep some shoes stockpiled for when we need it. My old pair actually got some holes in them just before BF.

The towels is an annual purchase too. Nothing wrong with our old towels, but I like having new fuzzy towels. DH uses the old towels for work.

I buy the reversible comforter every 4-5 years. These things are light, but very warm. We use it as a spare blanket during winter, since we turn the heat way down at night. As safe as electric blankets are, I can't see myself using one. I won't get any sleep worrying about the blanket electrocuting me while I

The comforter sets for DS was too good to pass up. His room is red, white & blue. Actually more navy and white with touches of gray and red. He currently has a red/white/blue Izod comforter, but it's way too heavy for summer. Last summer he used the spare bedroom's lighter comforter in his room. When I found this one on sale, I couldn't resist. As you can see there were stackable Veteran's Day codes and Kohls cash, so I got this and another sherpa one for a song. I love this one. It's gray, blue and light green. We can just get rid of the few red touches when he uses this comforter.

I wasn't planning on getting the Christmas gifts at Kohls, but I figured it's a better deal with the discounts, rebate, ebates & Kohls cash, than any other store. Hence my high OOP.

Now for the crazy tale of the coffeemaker. About 2 years ago I scored a great deal on a Cuisinart Grind & Brew coffee machine at Macys. I got the machine & 2 other Cuisinart items for $60 oop after rebate. Not long after buying the coffee machine,  I accidentally knocked the glass coffee pot off the counter. I was bummed, because I loved this machine. I packed it up and put it in the basement and have used a French Press (DH's idea) ever since.

Last year I fell in love with the Ninja coffee system, but missed out on the sale. The same item was on sale again this year, but I just didn't have peace about buying it. You know that gut feeling you get when something doesn't feel right? Well, I trust mine because it's always right. Besides, the reviews were mixed and there were some really bad ones about it leaking and stop working. Then I decided to search for a replacement coffee pot (I was too cheap to pay $25 before, since the whole system cost double that amount) and found that Kohls has it. So after discounts, I got a good price. When it arrived, both DS and I were excited and I went downstairs to hunt for the machine. Except, there was no machine. We have a finished basement, so there's only a small area in which to look. This thing wasn't buried under loads of stuff. I went to the shop (where DH works) to search the storage area. Nothing. I know that I didn't get rid of it, because I figured I could still sell the system, since it was fairly new. Well darn, so much for my new coffee pot. So I opted for the cheap Hamilton Beach coffee maker, that's $7 after rebate. Hey, as long as it makes my coffee, I'm happy.

I've searched all big box stores for a deal on the Cuisinart, but it was $100 almost everywhere. Then I noticed that Meijer had a week long sale on it for $74.99, get $25 CAT. For BF week, they run different sales that overlap with the weekly ad. On Saturday they had jingle bucks. So I told DH to stop at the store on our way out, grabbed my coffee maker and paid $38.xx after all discounts. I'm a happy mama, because we now drink freshly ground bean coffee again. Yay!

Back to Kohls. I buy the Pyrex every year to use for food storage. I'm replacing all my plastic storage containers with glass. Last year I opted for the Corningware set, to add to an existing set I have. Don't ask about the toaster. Our toaster works fine. However, I've found that when I get the urge to buy something, it always turns out that we need it. Just ask Last year I bought him a Philips Norelco electric razor for Christmas (scored a great deal at Kohls). When he opened the gift, he asked me why I bought him something he already has. I told him that his other razor was old and this way he has a spare when the other one breaks. Not long afterwards, he accidentally dropped his old razor and guess who had a brand new one to use? No need to run around with a 5 o'clock shadow and no paying full price. And no, I'm not

So on to the money:

OOP $337.44 (total after gcs)
GCs used $372.92
Less Ebates (28.01)
Less Rebates submitted (84.00)
Total cost to me : $225.43

Total retail value : $1864.68

I combined stackable coupon codes and rolled some Kohls cash to purchase all my items. I did separate transactions to get the most out of my gcs.

I still have $75 Kohls Cash to use. We don't need a single thing. I'm going to see if I can find some clearance athletic shorts for DS. The rest will be used to buy clearance to resell, so I can recoup some of my OOP.

Monday, October 29, 2018

A BIG Thank You to Thrifty Mom in Boise

About 2 months ago I saw this post about a new vacuum on TMIB's blog. I had been researching new vacuums at the time, because our Dyson quit after 3 years and the Shark just doesn't seem clean to as well as I'd like it to. I hate feeling any kind of dirt when I walk around the house bare feet. My plan was to look for a good vacuum deal over the holidays.

Well, I found this Bissell she mentioned at Walmart. I must admit that I was rather skeptical when I first saw the size of it, after opening the box. DS assembled it and immediately took it for a test drive. This little sucker works great! (pun intended). It cleans far better than the Shark does. We haven't used the Shark since purchasing the Bissell. I can also easily vacuum under the beds, without taking the vacuum apart (like I do with the Shark)

Then last week (out of curiosity) I asked DH to test how much energy the Bissell uses vs the Shark (we mainly use Solar energy, but I'm still mindful of our energy consumption). The Bissell uses 260 watts vs 1000 watts that the Shark uses. So not only does the Bissell clean better, it also saves us almost 75% worth of energy for vacuuming. Such a great investment for just $20.

So a great big Thank you Thrifty Mom for sharing this deal! We couldn't be more pleased with this stick vacuum.