Friday, February 21, 2020

Some bits & bobs

I only hit up CVS this week, cause nothing else appealed to me. I was really excited when I logged into my CVS account on Sunday and saw oodles of CRTs. I don't know if it's because of the Beauty event bonus (20% they're currently running) or if it's because I've been shopping consistently. I decided to wait until Wednesday to shop, so that my CRTs are still good through next Wednesday (it's good for one week only). When I got to the Red Machine, it spit out a long list of CRTs, but not everything that I saw on my account. Ugh. I wanted to use both the $2/6 body wash and $2 off Irish Spring CRTs, but only the Irish Spring one printed. Same with the Maybelline CRT. Checked my account on my phone and none of the qs showed up. I did receive a $6 Beauty reward though. Whoo-hoo!

3 x Irish Spring bw 11.97
2 x Covergirl blush 11.98
2 x Revlon eyeshadow 17.18
Less Irish Spring CRT (2.00)
Less Irish Spring IPQ (0.75)
Less Covergirl CRT (4.00)
Less Covergirl DQ (3.00)
Less Revlon CRT (4.00)
Less 2 Revlon qs (6.00)
Less EBs (21.38)
Tax 2.21
OOP $2.21

Earned $15 EBs ($5 Irish Spring, $5 Covergirl, $5 Revlon)

And what prints at the end of my receipt? The $2/6 Body wash Q. Ugh. In fact, it printed another long list of qs, so I can't complain.

I was a little bummed at the cashier though. I gave her $23 EBs, but only once I got home, I noticed that the $3 one only applied 38c. Normally they'd ask if you want to use that EB or pay cash. I would've gladly paid the 38c and saved the $3 for next time. Then I noticed that a $3 Covergirl DQ deducted. Huh? I know that I had Covergirl lip and face qs. Does blush count as a face product? This is why my total was off, cause I do math both when I make my list and while I shop (store prices sometimes vary from online).

These all qualify for Beauty, so I should get another $3 Beauty reward or $6, if it's 20% back. Yay

I also received my $20 RA Visa gc last week and a $5 Chobani visa gc.

I redeemed rewards for a bunch of gcs, so that got added to my gc pile.

When I was at Meijer last week, I noticed a long list of CATs (register coupons) laying next to the register (where you place your basket). I always use self checkout (easier to see when things don't ring up correctly) and there was only 1 person in line ahead of me. I could see that the one CAT was a $10 CAT (yes, I know what Meijer $$$ CATS look I was trying to act nonchalant, but inside I couldn't contain my Somebody actually left $10 behind?! No friggin way!! So when it was my turn, the person ahead of me was still bagging her groceries. Being the person that I am, I couldn't just knowingly take the CATs if it belonged to her. So I picked it all up, showed it to her and asked if it was hers. She said no and inside I started doing a happy dance. I just stuck the whole pile in my purse and scanned my items.

When I got into my car, I saw that it was indeed a $10 OYNO and there was also one for free loaf of bread (up to $3) WYS $10 and $1 off cheese WYS $7. Whoo hoo! Free grocery money.

After CVS, I went to Meijer to do some damage with those CATS. I got 11 drinking yogurts (buy 10 get 11th item free), loaf of bread and other stuff. I also had a $4 q (from some previous deal) on my Mperks account, so that's $18 worth of free groceries! Go me!

Then at Sams, I decided to buy the store brand dish soap instead of Dawn. I prefer Dawn, but when I checked the prices online (I compared all prices before going shopping), I saw that the 90 oz Dawn was $9.25 compared to $5.27 for 100 oz store brand. No way was I gonna pay twice as much for the same thing. I normally buy Dawn when Sams has it on sale. Now that I've used the store brand dish soap, I can definitely tell the difference. While it's not bad, it doesn't foam as much as Dawn does (so I have to use more), nor does it smell nearly as good. So back to Dawn when this bottle is done.

I also did the math on laundry detergent and discovered that I can get it for less at Sams vs the drugstores. To me, points & rewards are the same as cash. So why would I pay $2 for 33 oz (6c/oz), when I can pay around 5c per oz for better brands at Sams. Yes, it's a penny difference per ounce (these are on Sam's regular prices), but all those pennies add up. I received our Sams monthly coupon booklet in the mail today and noticed that All detergent has a $2 off q. The 250 oz bottle will cost $13.48 after discount. That's a 250 pennies savings which translates to $2.50. So I'll be stocking up on All next week. There is a limit of 3 per account, but that will last us months.

I don't mind buying the drugstore detergents when they're on sale for 99c, like the Purex. I'm not crazy about the Purex scents, but I love using their fragrance free ones.

Not much else happening here. I've been so busy working and crunching numbers for taxes.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Some frugal things we've done

I know this might come as a surprise to many, but we do lots of little things that helps us continue to live way below our means. I rarely post about it, because most of the items will just be repeated in new posts.

1. Used our bottle of Cascade dishwashing liquid for just 10 days shy of 6 months. I mark most items to see just how long they last us. I've been doing this since I was a teenager, because I've always been an independent person and wanted to see how long my toiletries lasted, until I had to buy more (with my own money of course)

2. Found these bags of reduced oranges (there were some grapefruit and minneolas too) for $1 each at the produce market. There were 8-10 oranges per bag. I used it to make fresh squeezed juice.

Last month I found a huge box of apples for $2 and made some applesauce and juiced the rest. The juice tastes so much better than store bought (we all know that store bought isn't even 100% juice) and it only contains natural sugars (we use very little sugar)

Then I used to apple pulp to make muffins. I don't know if there's any nutritional value left in the pulp, but I hate having to throw it all out. I started doing this years ago, trying to reduce food waste. Sometimes I'll freeze the pulp and add it to our smoothies.

I haven't juiced in years, because I have a very old Jack Lalane juicer that's a pita to clean. I told DH that I'm so happy with fresh juice that I'm gonna look for markdown boxes every time I go to the produce market (which is every fortnite).

3. I zest all my lemons, limes and oranges, before using the rest. Let me just tell you that lemon blueberry pancakes and muffins are the absolute best!! The zest adds so much flavor to it. I used some for holiday cookies and they were amazing.

4. Cleaned out a drawer and removed all those open holiday napkin packages to use up. It's crazy that we only use the napkins one time and forget about the rest. So that's what we're using until it's gone.

5. Finally opened a package of reusable straws I bought at Burlington a few months ago. We drink lots of smoothies and once again I hate all the plastic waste. It's not a big money saver, but it will greatly reduce the amount of straws we constantly have to buy.

6. DS desperately needed some new jeans, so when Gap had an extra 60% off clearance I redeemed points (IGC and Mypoints) for $20 Gap gc and added it to that balance I had on an old card. I also added a long sleeve top (I love these Gap tops and it was on clearance for $3) and shorts for myself. Paid $14.34 and earned $2.94 from Rakuten.

I used Old Navy through Rakuten, because they had a higher cash back % than Gap. The shorts was from Old Navy, that's probably why I qualified for the higher amount. That's the only clothing we've purchased for the year to date.

7. Cleaned out my sock drawer and replaced the old ones with new pairs from my stockpile. Several years ago Macy's had 6pk (6 pairs) Fila crew socks clearanced to $2-3 per pack. I bought 8-10 packs and paid with a gc. Then I saved those sets for a rainy day. So whenever we run out of something, we just shop from our spare closet. I've been shopping like this for years. I'd rather buy items at deep discounts, than wait until we need something and pay full price.

We've never ever done back to school clothes shopping. We always shopped for new items from our spare closet. Our athletic shoes come from Kohls BF sales. You can't beat that price.

8. Maybe not frugal, but Rakuten always offers bonus gcs instead of a check during their first quarter payout. I always get a Kohls gc, but went a different route this year. I settled for a JCP gc, because it offered a 15% bonus compared to 8% from Kohls. This added $11 to my balance. Whoo-hoo. I love free money!

I didn't shop that much over the holidays. I had a nice balance, because most of my shopping was done on days when they had high cash back percentages like 12-30% cash back. Most of my shopping was paid for with gcs too, so this is basically free money to me.

9. Scored 27 FREE Russell Stover single candies for a Valentine's gift project. They were on sale for 3/$1 at WAGS last week and I used points to pay for it all. That's 9 people I could bless for free this week.

10. Refilled my fabric softener bottle and diluted it with water 50/50

11. Refilled our foaming hand soap bottles by adding a teaspoon Softsoap hand soap to water. Also diluted the Softsoap body wash to use as foam bath. I've found that it foams more & better when diluted with water. Not to mention, it lasts longer too ;)

12. We are completely off grid, but we're still mindful of our energy consumption. Turn off the dryer 5 minutes before the cycle ends. The last part of the cycle is just a cool down, so I turn it off and unload the dryer a few minutes after.

13. I'm back to cooking/baking once a week. I love cooking this way, cause it frees up lots of time for work during the week. I use the oven for whatever needs to be cooked/grilled or baked for the week. I make double or triple batches and freeze the rest. It's really hard for me to make small amounts of food, because I grew up in a large family.

14. Cleaned out my makeup bag and replaced old items with new products from my stockpile.

That's about all I can think of right now.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Drugstore shopping 2/9/20

I didn't go crazy with shopping this week, cause the deals aren't all that great. I only hit up CVS this week and shopped WAGS online.


Got my $3 Beauty EB from the Red machine.

4 x Loreal shampoo/conditioner $16.00
2 x Loreal Everpure shampoo/conditioner 15.00
2 x NYX Lip gloss 11.98
2 x Almay mascara B1G50% off 2nd 14.38
Less $10/30 Loreal CRT (10.00)
Less 4/20 (4.00)
Less Loreal IPQ (3.00)
Less Loreal DQ (3.00)
Less Loreal IPQ (2.00)
Less Loreal DQ (2.00)
Less Almay CRT (4.00)
Less 2 Almay Qs (4.00)
Less EBs (25.00)
Tax 2.96
OOP $3.32

Earned $19 EB ($10 NYX, $5 Loreal, $4 Loreal). Everything qualifies for beauty, so I should get another $3 EBs next week.

The Almay wasn't really a good deal, but I had a $4 CRT that I wanted to use before it expired. I went to a different store (since I was out running errands that way) and they didn't have the lower priced eyeshadows that I wanted to buy. I'm kinda glad they didn't, because Almay is my favorite mascara and my local WAGS stores no longer carry Almay products.


They had a 25% off $30 Beauty & Personal care online flash sale, so I stocked up on a few items that had qs available (sorry no pic as it hasn't been delivered yet)

3 x Nivea lip balm B2G1F $6.38
2 x Pantene masks 4.47
1 x Loreal cleanser 6.79
1 x Covergirl mascara 6.69
1 x Love Beauty Conditioner 6.99
1 x St Ives lotion 1.89
Less Pantene DQ (3.00)
Less Loreal DQ (2.00)
Less Covergirl DQ (3.00)
Less Love Beauty DQ (4.00)
Less 25% discount (5.30)
Less BR points (20.00)
Shipping 5.99
Tax 2.05
OOP $3.95

Earned $0.84 Rakuten.

Not a great sale, but I needed to spend down some points. Everything counts towards Beauty reward though.

WAGs has another Beauty bonus deal starting tomorrow, but I'm not sure I want to go. I can get the Revlon RRs and turn it into the $7 Beauty bonus, but I just don't have the time to chase down deals. I'll see how my mood is

Total OOP $7.27
Total cash back earned : $0.84
Total rewards used : $45
Total rewards earned : $22 (including beauty EB)
Total coupons used : $30.00
Retail value : $124.46
Total items purchased : 19 ($0.38 OOP per item)

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Drugstore shopping week 2/2/2020

Y'all are not gonna believe this, but WAGS was actually the best store this week!! I know!! I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, but miracles DO

First stop CVS

2 x Garnier Whole Blends 7.00
2 x Schick razors 15.00
1 x All Detergent 2.99
1 x Sure deodorant 2.00
2 x Maybelline eyeshadow 8.38
1 x Covergirl lipstick 8.79
1 x Covergirl mascara 6.79
Less Garnier CRT (2.00)
Less Garnier q (4.00)
Less Schick DQ (3.00)
Less All q (1.00)
Less Maybelline CRT (3.00)
Less Covergirl DQ (3.00)
Less EBs (25.00)
Tax 2.34
OOP $6.29

Earned $22 EBs ($3 Garnier, $5 Schick, $2 Sure, $7 Covergirl, $5 Maybelline)

Ugh, I just knew that my total was wrong. I saw that the $3 Schick DQ deducted instead of the $7/2 one. Before I went shopping, I was a little worried about this happening but reminded myself that this isn't WAGS, so it won't happen. Ha! I also had a $1 Schick App Q  and $2 Covergirl lip DQ that didn't deduct. Thankfully I had an extra $4 EB with me (I wasn't sure how much the Maybelline CRT would be, so I took different values EBs with me, just in case). So I will email CVS to find out why my DQs don't all deduct. That is $7 after all.


Trans 1

2 x Nivea shave cream B1G50% off $4.48
4 x Old Spice b/w (clearance) 15.56
2 x Carefree liners 3.00
6 x R Stover candy 2.00
Less Nivea q (2.00)
Less Carefree DQ (3.00)
Less RRs (9.00)
Tax 1.38
OOP $12.42

Earned $17.25 points ($5 WYS $20, $10 Old Spice - buy 2 get $5, $2.25 10x booster points).

Earned $1.90 Ibotta (Nivea shave + 10c any item)

Now this high OOP was totally planned. I have read that many stores had Olay & Old Spice clearanced. So I put 2 different deals together in case I find any good clearance. My guys use Old Spice, so I was very happy to find these babies at my store.

I also had  $5 WYS $25 DQ (this is why I added all those filler candy & free carefree to get my total to $25. Okay, I love those R Stover single candies and already ate Unfortunately it didn't combine with the paper $5 WYS $20, but still a good deal.

I also had 2 Nivea qs, except when I got to checkout, I noticed that one was Nivea and the other Aquaphor. Ugh! Can they please print these darn qs bigger so we can actually see them. The Nivea qs are tiny.

Trans 2

2 x All detergent $5.98
1 x Old Spice b/w 3.19
1 x Old Spice b/w 3.99
Less All q (1.00)
Less All DQ (1.00)
Less BR points (10.00)
Tax 0.74
OOP $1.10

I didn't earn any points for the Old Spice on this transaction. No biggie, since my OOP was low. However, I did contact CS and they added $5 points for me. Yay! Now my guys have a decent body wash stockpile.

Rite Aid

2 x Fiber One cereal $3.98
2 x Covergirl powder B1G50% off 2nd 11.98
4 x Tresemme 18.00
2 x Herbal Essences mousse B1G50% off 2nd 7.18
2 x Bic Razors B1G50% off 2nd 11.23
Less Fiber One L2C (1.00)
Less 2 Covergirl qs (6.00)
Less 2 Tresemme qs (8.00)
Less Herbal Essences q (3.00)
Less Bic q (3.00)
Less Bic L2C (3.00)
Less 8/40 Mailer q (8.00)
Tax 2.46
OOP $22.83

Paid with my previous $20 Visa card + 2.83 cash

I had a $2 Covergirl mailer q, but the cashier refused to accept it. She wanted me to buy the exact same product as the picture (insert eyeroll). The Q said "COVERGIRL MAKEUP".  I asked her to try and scan it to see what happens and she said she doesn't have to, cause I didn't buy the right item. Aaaaaah! Seriously?! It wasn't worth my time to argue over $2. I've never seen this cashier before so I don't know if she's new or if she works at the pharmacy.

Submitted for $20 Visa gc.

I don't know if I'll earn the $1 General Mills cereal Savingstar reward, cause I clipped it after I went shopping.

Total OOP $22.64
Cash back earned $1.90
Total rewards used : $64.00
Total rewards earned : $64.25
Total coupons used : $55.00
Total retail value : $202.72

As I was putting the detergent away, I thought to myself  'man these bottles are small'. So I checked the size and discovered that it's only 33 oz!! What happened to the 50 oz bottles we used to get. I know that Tide reduced the size to 40 oz, but 33 oz is crazy. That's a whopping 17 oz less (I can do a week or two's worth of laundry with that 17 oz). Yet another reason why I coupon and shop the sales. Manufacturers keep trying to rip us off with smaller sizes for much higher prices. Crazy!!

I was gonna buy some more All detergent tomorrow, but changed my mind. I don't want to pay $2 for a small bottle. I'll wait for a good Arm & Hammer sale, cause they usually have bonus size bottles. I might go look for more clearance Old Spice and I want more candy for a Valentine's project.

Monday, February 3, 2020

January 2020 Drugstore recap

This has been one of the most expensive drugstore shopping months for me, no thanks to Walgreens. I can't remember the last time I spent this much at the drugstores in ONE month. This is not how I normally shop, so I decided to calculate how much it actually cost me.


OOP : $81.92
Coupons used (paper & digital) :$86.66
Rewards redeemed (points + RR) : $150.00
Rewards earned (points + RR) : $168.00

Total rewards available : $88 BR points + $9 RR


OOP $37.84
Coupons used paper & digital) $97.28
EBs redeemed : $53.50
EBs earned : $65.00

Total rewards available : $38.00

Rite Aid

OOP : $11.71
Coupons used (paper & digital) : $38.48
Rewards redeemed: $6.23
Rewards earned : $20.00

Total rewards available : $20.00 (Visa gc)

Total cash back earned (Ibotta/CK51/Savingstar/Fetch) : $10.00


OOP : $130.66 YIKES!!!!
Coupons used $222.42
Rewards redeemed : $209.73
Rewards earned : $253.00
Cash back earned : $10.00

Good heavens! I spent a week's worth of grocery money just at the drugstores this month. Crazy! I've got to plan better at WAGS.

I spent $130.66 OOP and earned back $10 + $20 Visa gc (which is as good as cash), so my total cost for the month is $103.66.

I'm very happy with the amount of coupons used. I only purchased newspapers the first Sunday of this month ($20). The coupons didn't look too good the rest of the month & since I get the RMN & P&G inserts in the mail every week, I decided to not spend any more money on coupons. So those 7 newspapers more than paid for themselves (this includes digital coupons too). Yes, it takes some work, but it's so rewarding to me.

We are now stocked up on several things that we needed (body wash, moisturiser) and we have oodles of toothpaste & shampoo. Not to mention makeup. I love being able to try new brands and products, without breaking the bank.

So I have $155 to roll into new deals at the drugstores. CVS & RA are easy. I can easily get a low OOP at those stores. I'm gonna have to do some serious planning for WAGS, because I don't want to spend so much this month again. In a perfect world, I would like to spend no more than $20 between all 3 stores. Unfortunately sales tax will cost a lot more than that. Then I have to figure in WAGS DQs that might not deduct. Oy vey. So I think $50 is a good number. Do I want to spend that much? Heck no! But I'm hoping to stay well below that number.

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Hi everyone I have decided to move my blog. I tried to sign up for ads several years ago, only to to discover that the ex already owned an a...