Friday, March 30, 2018

Ibotta bonus stack CVS shopping & my shoe addiction

This week Ibotta offered a bonus stack deal. The deal is in 3 parts, but all items purchased count towards the bonus Eg. My first bonus was $2 for purchasing 12 items, 2nd bonus $5 for 15 items. The 12 items from the first bonus counts towards the 2nd bonus. So once I reached the first bonus, I only needed to purchase 3 more items to get my total items to 15 and qualify for the 2nd bonus. Since the 2 overlapped, I tried purchasing it all in one trip, but alas, I miscalculated. My Walmart was out of a few items on my list and I didn't have my Ipad with me (I have a crappy old phone that struggles to download apps. The phone still works, so I continue to use it instead of buying a new one) to check what else I could purchase to complete the deal. So here's what I got (sorry I took a pic of my haul, but the ipad now says it can't download pic)

Walmart

8ct Dannon yogurt $3.98
1 Artichokes 2.37
1 Splenda naturals 3.48
1 Country Crock butter sticks 2.48
1 McCormick Grillmates 2.32
1 Musselman applesauce 1.53
2 Covergirl lipsticks 9.16
1 Kotex pads 2.63
1 Yoplait mixins 1.00
1 Windex 2.98
2 Hefty slider bags 3.96
Less Dannon q (1.00)
Less Splenda q (2.00)
Less Kotex q (1.00)
OOP $31.89

Earned $17.75 Ibotta ($2 March stack, $1.50 March monthly bonus, 25c any) + $0.75  Savingstar Splenda
The Musselman tracks on Savingstar

I didn't use the $6/2 Covergirl q, because I read that none of the Walmarts were accepting the q and I wasn't in the mood to fight them about this

Meijer

12 pk Canada dry lemon 4.48+1.20 deposit
2 lt Canada dry 1.50 + 10c deposit
1 Pace Salsa 1.89
1 Pace Salsa verde 1.89
Less $3 mperks (3.00)
OOP $8.06

Earned $4.50 Ibotta ($1.50 was bonuses)

3rd bonus (which started yesterday) $3 for 3 items, which I picked up at Meijer

2 lt Canada Dry $1.50 + 10c deposit
1 Pace Salsa 1.89
1 Pace Salsa Verde 1.89
OOP $5.38

Earned $10 Ibotta ($8 for the March stack bonuses)

Total spent $45.33
Amount earned (33.00)
Total cost for 20 items = $12.33 or 62c each

Not my best shopping trip, but it's all items we can use. The 12pk soda alone would've cost me $5.68


Now CVS was a different story. I totally messed up, because I miscalculated my cost. When I wrote my shopping list, I wrote the price of the Softsoap AFTER EBs, instead of the before price (silly me). And I wondered why my oop was so high...lol Thank goodness I had a gc to cover the cost.

3 x Dentyne Ice $3.00
3 x Softsoap bw 10.47
1 x Colgate t/p 3.50
2 Sally Hansen Hard as nails 7.98
2 x Rimmel Brow 9.38
2 x Covergirl pencil 9.38
Less 3 Softsoap qs (2.25)
Less SH qs (2.00)
Less Rimmel qs (6.00)
Less Covergirl L2C (6.00)
Less Colgate q (1.00)
Less Colgate CRT (2.22) Should've deducted $2.50. I dont know why CVS math is so weird
Less EBs (15.99)
Sales tax 2.44
OOP $10.69 Paid with gc

Ugh, I now only have 97c left on that card. I need to redeem for another one

Earned $21.25 EBs (5.25 Softsoap, $1 Dentyne, $5 Rimmel, $5 SH, $5 Covergirl). This trip should have enough points for $6 Beauty rewards.

Earned $2.25 Dentyne Checkout51. I need less than $1 to redeem my CK51 reward. Their site has been a real pita, since they've combined deals with Savingstar. I can't wait to cash out and just be done with them. I've had that $17 in the account for months now.

Then, I fell off the wagon

Every April, I shop the Macy's shoe sale for heels/sandals. I normally buy 3-4 pairs, because you get up to an extra 40% off shoes (incl clearance). I have a system. April - heels/sandals, BF 2 pairs athletic shoes, Christmas 1-2 pairs boots. Can you tell I'm a shoe addict?...lol I'm not gonna tell about how much shoes I have (even though I sold a large number of it last year). Every time DH gives me cash or a gc for an occasion, he writes that I shouldn't spend it on more shoes...lol

So last week I added some shoes to my cart, so that when the sale starts, I can just check out. I was planning on paying for my items with earned gcs. Well a few days ago, I checked the prices (because the prices keep changing on their site due to various sales) and saw that the pair that I absolutely wanted was almost OOS (out of stock). I googled the brand and style, to compare prices at various stores and saw that the Macy's price was the lowest. So I paid with my $25 gc (I redeemed for 2 this week, but only received one while the other is still being processed) and $41.90 OOP. That's still a lot for me to spend on shoes, but it's rare for me to love something at first site. When I do, I know it's a winner.

Redeemed for the following gcs this week

$25 Macys - IGC
$25 Macys - Mypoints (still pending)
$50 Walmart - Ibotta
$5 Target - Bing (Bing is slow, but for 2-3 minutes per day, I'm happy with the reward)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend. I'll be back on Sunday night or Monday with monthly figures

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

My $15K Savings Goal

I have a savings goal that I'd like to achieve in the next 18 months. Well, it's more like a combination of savings/earning goal. Realistically, it should take 24 months (2 yrs), but I'm hoping to reach it by or before 09/30/2019.

My plan is to fund it from earned gcs and the 52 week savings challenge. How the heck am I gonna get $15 000 this way, you ask?

For the 52 week challenge, I'm gonna need to save around $70 per week. How did I come up with this number? I used the $27 (average weekly amount to use for 52 wk challenge) + my age. If I can add anything over and above $70 p/w, that will be great.

So $70 x 78 weeks = $5460

As you can see, I'm still $9540 short of my goal.

I'm taking $200 gcs and $100 cash out of our clothing fund (March was good to us). The $300 will be used to buy whatever clearance items I can find (doesn't matter what the items are. If it's a vase that I can make extra cash on, I'll buy it) at the stores. Any money earned will be added to my savings account (I have a separate bank account that this money will go into). I'll still keep withdrawing my initial $300 investment to keep buying new items and everything besides that amount will be saved. I'm gonna have to keep track of every single penny here, to make sure that I don't just spend without making any profit).

Any Savingstar and Ebates cash (I usually get a gc, because they offer a bonus. However, they don't offer the gcs every quarter) will also be added to this fund.

Any cash left at the end of the year, from selling our old clothes and shoes will also be added.

Any drugstore items that we can't/don't use or donate, will be sold and funds added too. I'll have to find more ways to earn, to reach my goal faster. I'm starting my 52 wk plan on April 1st.

I sure have my work cut out for me, but I'm up to the challenge. GO BIG OR GO HOME!!

Monday, March 26, 2018

I'm still here

I have to apologise for my lack of posts. Last week was just crazy busy. I'm still trying to play catch up, after being sick 2 weeks ago. I just have so many things to do and there's not enough hours in the day to get everything done.

I wasn't planning on going shopping last week, but I discovered that I had $17 EBs expiring on the 23rd. So I headed to CVS for a small shop. The deals weren't too good though.

2 Softsoap bw $7.00
1 Cadbury's Mini eggs 0.99
1 94 oz All Detergent 13.29
Less 2 Softsoap qs (1.50)
Less EBs (17.00)
Tax 1.22
OOP $4.00 Paid for with a gc.

Earned $10.99 EBs ($7 All, $3 Softsoap, 0.99 Cadburys)
Not the best shopping trip, but I decided to get the detergent (which we use anyway), instead of more makeup that I don't need. The All tracks on Savingstar (spend $20 get $5), so I'll be able to earn a little extra cash back from that deal.

The candy is for DS for Easter. I got all of DS's easter goodies for free with gcs and rewards. This includes a $41 Nintendo game (we are huge Mario fans). So happy that I didn't have to spend a single penny.

Redeemed a $25 TJM gc through IGC.

I'm happy to report that I haven't done any other shopping for the month and I'm hoping to keep it that way until month end.

I've also started spring cleaning last week. Years ago, I read that you can use 30 minutes to tackle a different task every day. That's an easy way to get things done. So besides my regular cleaning, I've started doing 30 minutes decluttering/cleaning and it helps so much. I really don't have the time or energy to clean all day long.

This week we're having 50 degree weather, so my plan is to wash the windows. I like to have clean windows and try to do a room per day.

I'm also hoping to go for a run Tues-Thurs. I've neglected working out last week and I'm paying the price on the scale. I've gained 2 lbs, but I think it's cause I've been eating fries again too. So back to no fries & working out.

I need to get my behind to RA, so I can spend my $15 BC. I don't even know when it expires. I need to check my account.

Not much else to report right now. I'll be back with a new post tomorrow or Wednesday

Friday, March 16, 2018

A slow week

Not much has happened at Casa Goose this week. When DS was home sick for 2 days at the beginning of the week, I just knew that I was gonna get sick too. DS is much better and whaddya know, I have a cold now too. I didn't even get to the drugstores this week. Between appointments and us getting sick, I just did not have the energy to shop. I only hit Meijer for some grocery shopping yesterday and we stopped at Sams on our way home earlier this week, to pick up Ciabatta rolls and bread.  I wanted Pesto too, but couldn't find any.

I stocked up on my favorite Gevalia coffee at Meijer this week. I've never seen qs for this coffee before, but Ibotta has a rebate for 85c (at least my account does. It used to have a $1 rebate. Limit 5). Meijer had it on sale for $5.49. Buy 5, save $5 instantly. So after discounts and Ibotta, the coffee cost $3.64 per bag. Defintely better than paying $5.99 per bag.

I also did the Herbal Essence deal (my favorite and we were running low). Spend $13 or more on HE and/or Pantene, save $4 instantly. Mperks had a $6/2 Bio renew Q, so I did the deal on both accounts

2 x Bio Renew   $11.98
1 x 2in1 HE          2.67
Less discount        (4.00)
Less MP q           (6.00)
Less MP reward (4.00)
Total incl tax       $1.05   DH had a $4 reward on his account. I had a $2 reward on my account

Did the same deal on my account and paid $3.17 OOP



Well, my Friday No Carry Out plan got derailed. I took a 3 hour nap this afternoon, because I was just not feeling well. I know that I heal faster when I sleep during the day. I'm not a nap person, but my body needed the rest. So while I was sleeping, DH decided to pick up carry out. But before he got home, I was already up and fixing dinner. I made pesto chicken paninis. Had to test drive that $6 Panini press I got at Kohls BF sale :) So he got home with carry out while I was fixing dinner. DS was very happy and grabbed a panini and fries. Me, I stuck to my salad. The sandwich might not look too appetizing, but it sure tasted good.

I cooked some chicken breast in my instant pot and shredded it once done. Added pesto and diced roasted red peppers. Added some swiss cheese (remember all that reduced cheese I bought a few weeks ago) and red onion and onto the press. I only had to buy the ciabatta rolls and pesto. We already had everything else.


I received my Red Robin gcs from Sams yesterday. Yay for free food.

Redeemed another $25 Kohls gc through Mypoints

Earned a $5 Target gc from mycokerewards. I saw it posted on another site earlier this week. It was a special event where you had to enter one code. We don't drink much Coke anymore (I'm a Canada Dry girl), but still had a few 2lt bottles. So I entered the code from one cap and forgot about it. I was very surprised to see the $5 gc email today.

I swear I'm gonna go broke buying underwear for DS. Can someone please tell me why men's underwear is so expensive? So much for my no shopping month...grrrr. DS has only one brand and style that he prefers to wear. The very expensive Tommy Hilfiger ones that cost $42.50 for a pack of 3. No way am I paying that much, so whenever I find it for $20 or less, I stock up. When I was at Marshalls last Friday, I found the undies clearanced to $17.99 per pack and grabbed 3 (one pack was $14). Thankfully, they were all in his size. I also bought him some summer sleep shorts and spent $79.48!! Crazy. What's even crazier is that I have a $25 TJM gc at home. I knew that I was gonna stop at Marshalls, cause it's right by Walmart, but for some reason my brain didn't connect the dots. I found some inexpensive Hanes undies for him at Ollies last year. The downside is that the size ran small and he didn't care for it after wearing it a few times.

Also purchased some veggie seeds that I'd like to plant this weekend.

That's my week. I'm so far behind with everything else.

Monday, March 12, 2018

How I shop Black Friday sales

As mentioned before, I'm not really a Black Friday shopper. I've never gotten up early, stood in long times just to score a few BF items. No way am I depriving myself of sleep, pumpkin pie for breakfast and standing in long lines in below freezing temps. Other than drugstore freebies and the occassional Meijer trip (only if they have the best price on an electronic item for DS), I stay indoors.

I do have a love for online shopping. There's just way too many perks. So I like to save some gcs for BF shopping. My go to stores are Kohls, Macy's and occassionally Target (also depends on prices of electronics).

There's several reasons why I love to shop Kohls. The $15 Kohls cash for every $50 spent, Yes2You rewards, 15-20% coupon discount, rebates & Ebates. Two items I like to stock up on during Kohls BF shopping are bath towels and athletic shoes. I love their Sonoma towels and it's usually on sale then. They have select brands and styles athletic shoes for $29.99 every year. I buy several pairs. 4 for DS and 2 for myself. I mainly wear athletic shoes at home. Why indoors? I've slipped and fallen down the stairs so many times, I've lost count. Slippers won't work for me go up and down the stairs all day long, but athletic shoes work great. DS hates shoes, but he doesn't mind athletic shoes. I get him 4 pairs, so he can rotate his shoes. He normally uses 2 pairs to rotate and save the other 2 for when the first ones wear out.

Other than that, I don't really have a Kohls plan, but I check other sites to see what else is good. I've purchased vacuum cleaners from Kohls during BF before. Got myself a lovely Dyson (which we still have). I just don't care for the suction when I vacuum corners or edges. I always feel like my arms got a workout. So I purchased a Shark lift away vacuum one year, that I'm still using. I've also purchased other household items (that comes with rebates) this way.

So I pay with my earned gcs, then earn Kohls cash and Y2Y rewards. I also earn at least 6% cash back through Ebates. If I purchased a rebate item, I'll score a visa gc in the mail. Last year I got DH a Norelco electric razor for Christmas. Paid for with gcs, earned KC, Y2Y, Ebates and a $10 MIR. Score! Then I use the Kohls cash & Y2Y to stock up on clearance clothes for DS. Now his summer closet gets filled for free.

I don't buy much at Macy's either. Just a few gifts for family. It's usually high end beauty items. They often offer $5-10 Macy's cash when you opt for No Hurry Shipping. Beauty items ships free, so I usually do a few transactions to get the most bang for my buck. Then I use the Macy's cash (can be combined with other sales discounts) to treat myself.

My birthday is just before Thanksgiving and I always get cash (my guys know that I know how to stretch those dollars). I use the cash to buy discounted gcs at RA so I can splurge guilt free at a later stage (of course I splurge on clearance only, which stretches my cash even further).

The rest of BF is spent putting up the tree, eating leftovers and just chilling. It's rare that I have a day to just relax.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Small CVS run and other happenings

I did a small CVS trip on Friday, because there wasn't much good in the ad. Just picked up a few MM items

2 Colgate t/p  $6.98
1 Sure deodorant $2.00
1 Hershey gold candy $0.99
Less 2 Colgate qs (4.00)
Less Simple q (1.00)
Less Hershey q (0.50)
Less Hershey CRT (0.74) I was really surprised that it deducted the full value, because CVS does not give overage
Less EB (2.00) My other EBs have $5 and $7 values
Total incl tax $2.27 Paid with a gc

Earned $5 Ebs ($4 Colgate, $1 Sure) A small MM trip for me. I now have a total of $22 EBs for future purchases and still $15.66 on my gc. I love FREE shopping!

Redeemed a total of $75 gcs from 3 different sites ($50 Kohls, $25 Walmart)

I decided to experiment with the Sams gc idea. I didn't just want to redeem for a bunch of Walmart gcs, only to find that it doesn't work online. So I ordered the $50 Red Robin gcs (Sams cost $42.78). Paid with the $45 Walmart gcs that I had and it worked! Happy Dance.

I tried explaining the deal to DH and I could see his eyes start to glaze over as I talked. I said 'you're prolly thinking WTH is she talking about?'...lol. So I just told him 'we'll be eating at Red Robin for free'...lol. Now that I know it works, I can save my gcs to purchase more reduced Sams gcs.

We've been doing really well with not getting carry out on Fridays (we used to do that every week and it would cost $15-20 per week). We still get the occasional carry out (maybe once a month), and not only have I been feeling better about what we eat (I cook from scratch), but I've also lost weight. I'm now down 6 lbs and still have 6lbs to get to my target weight. I can't lose any more than that or I'll be underweight again.

I can't wait for the weather to get better, so I can go running again. I went out 2 days last week and the fresh air felt so good (I'm a fresh air girl. I'd throw open all the windows year round, if I could). I'm not trying to run a marathon. I just want to get back in shape again and not gain weight again. Who knows, I might just decide to join a club and run a short marathon. We'll see what happens.

I've listed most of our clothes for sale. I still have about 15 items to list and I'm continuing with purging. I'm purging everything, not just clothes. Whatever we can't sell, gets donated. It's so freeing getting rid of clutter.

Now on to my week of jet lag from DST. I never get jet lag when we travel abroad, but DST always makes me feel jet lagged for a week afterwards.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Revising the Christmas budget

Do you set a Christmas budget and save for it throughout the year?

Every year after Christmas Day, I set a new budget and start working/saving towards for the next year's gifts. I've always been a 'shop year round' for the holidays kinda girl. When I worked in the corporate financial world, we used to get a 13th check at Christmas (equal to one month's salary). In South Africa, Christmas falls during the summer holidays, so the majority of businesses close and everyone goes on summer vacation and spend like there's no tomorrow. During January, most people are broke and can't wait until month end, for their paycheck. I was a little smarter than that. I shopped year round when I found clearance deals (I've always been a little planner). When we got our 13th check in December, I would save it for January when everyone's broke. My colleagues didn't understand how I could give them all Christmas gifts and still have money in January...lol.

So back to the budget. For this year I've budgeted $1500 (don't fall off your chairs...lol). This amount includes $500 for BF (Black Friday) shopping. That is, $500 in gift cards. Other than RA & CVS, I don't set foot in the stores during BF. I shop in my jammies, with a cup of coffee, on my computer. I might need to write a post on how and why I save and shop for BF.

So for Christmas, the total is basically $1000. That is for DH, DS and some misc gifts. Neither of us have any family here (well DH has some, but we don't buy gifts for them) and I shop for my 3 nephews/2 nieces throughout the year with gcs and just mail a box to them. So it's mainly just the cost of postage (which is pretty pricey).

DH normally just wants gcs to the Home Improvement store. No problemo. I always get $100 Home Deport gc at RA during BF, because there's usually around $16 rewards back. Another $100 gc I can either get through with my CC rewards or look for a discounted gc. I like to put some items under the tree for him, so I have 2 items on my list that I think he might like. I'm budgeting another $100 for that, even though it will cost a little less than that. We don't do stocking stuffers, because we already have everything we need. I really don't like to get a bunch of stuff we don't need or won't use. That's why we just buy a big ticket item or gcs.

We've already knocked out 3 small gifts for DS with amazon gcs. I'm budgeting another $150 in Target gcs for gifts for him and I'll pick up 2 tshirts with his favorite character at Kohls. None of us like getting clothes for Christmas, but he loves getting these tshirts every year. There is another big ticket item that I have my eye on for him that will cost around $250 cash. I'm really on the fence about this, because it's a high amount to spend on just one item. It's a personalised handmade item, but I'm really not feeling it at that price. I'm gonna add it to my budget, but I'm not sure I'll purchase it.

Then another $100 for gcs for teachers, mailman etc. I like to get each person $10 Target gc when Target has the 10% discount in December. The gcs then cost me $9 each or I'm paying $90 for $100 gcs.

So, in total my new budget is $800 (excluding BF). $620 of that is cash, so I need to earn enough cash from selling our old stuff.

This brings me to my new plan for Savingstar/Ibotta. I usually order Starbucks gcs from Savingstar, as teacher's gift. Earlier this week, I had a lightbulb moment.Why not just cash out Savingstar to my bank account (I don't use my Paypal account) and then buy discounted gcs at Sams. That way nobody gets a paper/egift card and I have more options available (not just Starbucks). Sams usually has good gc deals over the holidays, so I can save a little extra that way. I only need 2 more gcs ($20 total), so any extra cash I earn, will be added to the Christmas fund. That fund currently has $32 from earned rebates. I'm not adding the current cash amount from our sales, because we might still spend some of that cash during the year. I'll just try to build this fund and use whatever Sales cash we have available around October.

I've also decided to get some Sams Club/Walmart gcs through Ibotta. I like to get Target gcs to buy HBA or household items, but we have a decent stockpile and I will continue to stock up at the drugstores. I'll use the Walmart gcs to purchase discounted Red Robin gcs. Sams sell $50 gcs (it's a 3pk of $15 gcs with a $5 bonus) for $42.78. So I'll be saving $7.22 on $50 worth of gcs.  So we'll earn cash back through Ibotta just for doing our regular shopping (if there are MM deals, even better), then pay for our dining out with those discounted gcs. It's almost like eating out for free.  It's a win-win situation.

I haven't done any drugstore shopping this week. I might stop at RA & CVS for MM Colgate (CVS) when I run errands tomorrow.

Monday, March 5, 2018

A free jacket

As mentioned in my previous post, I earned $30 Kohls cash and $20 Yes2You reward (I only expected a $15 reward, because it was my only Kohls shopping for the month. I don't know if the points roll over from the previous month), for my shopping the previous week. The total purchases was around $150, but I only spent $35.73 oop for it. The rest was covered by gift cards.



So off to Kohls I went last week to redeem my $50 Rewards. When I got to the men's clearance section. I spotted this jacket at the front of the rail. It looks like someone tried on it, then changed their mind about it. I looked at the price tag and couldn't believe my luck! $32, marked down from $160. That's an 80% savings. The jacket has a hood, is lined and is water resistant.

Why was I so excited about this jacket? After purchasing myself a knee length wool coat for around $50 at Burlington a year or 2 ago, I thought I should get something similar for DS because it keeps your upper legs warm during winter. My plan was to wait until Spring, then check Burlington clearance for a coat. That plan has changed, because I got this Levi's jacket for FREE with my Kohls cash.

Another reason I'm excited. While Levi's aren't exactly a high end brand, their jackets are quite popular and super expensive. I would never pay $160 for this jacket. I checked the manufacturer's tag and saw "Made in China". No way am I paying that much for something that costs pennies on the dollar to manufacture (I thank my dad for all those lessons he taught me :) ). We always keep our coats/jackets for a number of years. So when DS gets tired of this jacket, we will sell it. On the low end, we should get around $50 for it. If this style has been discontinued by then, the value would be increased. Meaning we can get around $70-100 for it. I've checked online and see that some similar used jackets have sold for $70-90. But even if we get $50 for this jacket, it will be pure profit since I paid for it with Kohls cash. Happy dance!

On another note, I pulled around 50 items from my closet/ironing baskets to sell. I realised that unlike DS's closet, mine doesn't get purged twice a year. I hold onto things, because it's in great condition and doesn't need replacing every year. Well, those items are all being listed for sale. Out of my house and money in my pocket.

Friday, March 2, 2018

February numbers

Surprisingly February's earnings was not much different from January. I didn't expect that, since it was a shorter month. Our personal sales were also slow for the first half of the month, then things started selling like crazy, so we ended up making a decent amount again.

Gift cards earned

Mypoints $50 
Swagbucks : $60 
IGC : $45 ($25 mine, $20 DH account)
Ibotta : $25 (Amazon)
Savingstar : $0 (I only add this once I redeem for a gc)
Total gcs earned in January : $180

So yeah, I earned the exact same gift card amount as I did last month. I usually cash out $25 gcs on Swagbucks. However, I had a 50sb Swagup reward (you receive the credit when you redeem for a gc) that was expiring, so I decided to get a $10 Amazon gc. 

The amazon gcs were added to my account, to order an item that DS wants. 

Here are the balances of gcs I currently have. All numbers are after this month's earnings and expenses. Some gcs were purchased last year. Once I finished Christmas shopping last year, I started saving gcs for this holiday season. Just so you don't wonder how I get to shop and still have decent gc amounts left.

Kohls - $91.57
Target - $30
Walmart - $20 from DHs IGC account. I wanted to order something from Sams. So I asked him to redeem for a gc, since he had enough points. So we got the gc and when I checked out at Sams, the item was no longer available. Bummer. We'll just save it for next time
Gap - $54.54
TJM - $25.00
WHBM - $50.00
BBW - $15.00
Starbucks : $15 (this does not include the teacher's gifts). The $15 is for our personal use. I'm not a Starbucks fan (I'm a Dunkin Donuts girl), but I received this credit when I ordered something online. We'll just save it for when we're in the mood for a frappucino.

That's a total of $301.11 in gcs.

I know that I have much more than $30 in Target gcs. I have quite a few $5 ones, but I need to go through my emails, to check which ones still have balances available. Then there's still small $1.xx gc balances on my online account. I wish they would do what Amazon does and lump it all together. It makes keeping track of balances much easier.

I've read before that you can use a Walmart gc at Sams Club, to purchase discounted gcs in store. I might have to try this sometime, if we don't use that Walmart gc.

I'm not including my CVS gc, because I use that card almost every week. They haven't sent me a $ off coupon for the past 2 weeks, so I guess I'll be skipping shopping again next week. There's no free or MM deals, so it's not worth a trip to the store.

Total earned from online sales (after fees) : $344.91
Plus January balance $256.44
Less expenses (393.98)
New Balance : $207.37

That's it for the month of February. Not the best numbers, because I shopped too much. I'm gonna try to keep OOP expenses low (less than $100) for March. Would be nice if we didn't spend any money this month, but I know that whenever I plan for that, a great deal comes along.

I did shop at Kohls today, to redeem Kohls cash I earned last week. I didn't spend a single penny in cash though, but scored a very nice item for free. More on that later.

Does anyone else try to keep expenses low, by using earned gift cards?

Black Friday shopping

There's method to my madness. Always remember my mantra when you read about my weird shopping trips. I had a plan for Kohls. I wanted to...