Saturday, May 29, 2021

A week of shopping disasters

I don't know what's going on this week, but it was filled with all kinds of shopping problems which resulted in me spending too much OOP.

First stop, Target. Their 12pk sodas on sale for $3/12 this week and there's also a 25% off Cartwheel q for both Pepsi & Coke products. 

Trans 1

3 x Canada Dry $12.00

Less 25% (3.00)

Bottle deposit 3.60

Less GC payment (10.66)

OOP $1.94

Trans 2

3 x Canada Dry $12.00

Less 25% (3.00)

Bottle deposit 3.60

OOP $12.60

Sooooo, I have $10.xx Circle rewards that I wanted to use to pay for the 2nd transaction. I rarely shop at Target in store and assumed that the Circle amount would be applied once you enter your phone number at checkout (like the coupons do). Nope, it asked me for my Wallet details. What the heck. I don't even know my password or anything, nor do I have the app on my phone. So I just paid the $12.60 OOP. Its not a problem, because I can still use the Circle rewards on a future purchase. 

The good news is that I finally learned how Circle offers actually work. You can use a Circle Q up to 4 times in one transaction. Eg, if you purchase 6 tostitos, the q will only apply to 4 tostitos per transaction. However, you can do up to 6 transactions per day and the same q will apply to every single transaction. So you can do 6 tostitos transactions per day(limit 4 per transaction) and the q will apply to all 6 transactions. Does that make sense? 

This is why I did 2 separate transactions.

So $14.54 for 6 x 12 pks soda isn't too bad, since $7.20 of that is bottle deposit.


2 x Maybelline baby lips $9.58

1 Covergirl mascara 6.99

1 Covergirl lipstick 7.29

1 Covergirl foundation 8.69

1 Skintimate razor 10.99

1 Schick hydro razor 11.79

1 Coppertone sunscreen 11.49

1 Coppertone sunscreen 12.99

Less Covergirl eye DQ (3.00)

Less Covergirl face DQ (3.00)

Less Coppertone DQ (2.00)

Less Schick hydro razor DQ (4.00)

Less Skintimate DQ (4.00)

Less $6/20 Covergirl DQ (6.00)

Less $5/20 Shave DQ (5.00)

Less $5 Schick hydro refill DQ (5.00) don't know why this applied, but I'm not complaining :)

Less $4 Covergirl CRT (4.00)

Less EBs (31.00)

Tax 3.89

OOP $16.70

Earned $34 EB ($10 Coppertone, $10 Razors, $5 Maybelline, $6 Covergirl, $3 Beauty)

I had a bloody sense of humor failure when I saw that total. I immediately knew it was wrong, but without seeing the receipt, I had no idea what didn't apply. I had $6 Beauty on my account that didn't print at the red machine. At checkout, I asked cashier to apply it to my order but nothing deducted. 

Once I got home and studied my receipt and online account, I noticed that the $6 Beauty has 'poof' vanished into thin air. I don't know if it was expired or what happened, but remember seeing it on my account before going shopping. Weird. $2 Covergirl lip DQ didn't deduct. When I checked it online, I saw that it excluded the lipstick. Ugh, totally my mistake. I had also printed a $2 Coppertone Q before going shopping and forgot to take it to the store with me. So that's already $10 I could've saved. 

This wasn't my regular store and I couldn't find the NYX anywhere, so I replaced it with the Maybelline that ended up costing me $3.xx more than the NYX would have. So $13 down the drain. I tried contacting CS numerous times about the $6, but kept getting error messages. So I'm just sucking up this loss.

On a positive note, we do need the sunscreen so I'm happy with that. 

WAGS (my account)

1 x Revlon mascara $9.46

3 x Oral b t/b 9.00

Less Revlon DQ (5.00)

Less Oral b DQ (5.00)

Tax 1.14

OOP $9.60

Earned $5 RR (Oral b) + $3 WC (Booster DQ) + $6.97 Revlon +0.60 bonus (Ibotta)

Total earned $15.57 so a nice MM

WAGS (DH account)

3 x Oral b t/b $9.00

Tax 0.54

OOP $9.54

Earned $5 RR + $5 WC (CS)

Trans 2

4 x Olay b/w $24.00

Less DQ (8.00)

Tax 1.44

OOP : $17.44

Earned $5 RR + $5 WC

Firstly, my $5 Oral DQ didn't deduct. Ugh!! Then no receipt printed. WTH?! Cashier told me that it would show on my online account. I told her that I'm set up for paper receipts (not digital) and have never NOT had a receipt print. So she checks my account and it shows Paper Qs. No shit sherlock!  I just told you that. On my 2nd transaction, the receipt printed slick as snot. So I have no idea what cashier did with first transaction. But...... it gets worse. 

When I got home, I contacted CS. Rep said she couldn't see Oral b transaction on my account. So I check my account and whaddya know, that transaction just doesn't exist. So she asks me to give her the RFN number on my receipt. I had already explained that I didn't get any receipt for that transaction, but I was very polite and explained it all again. She was very nice and said she'll add $5 to my account and apologised for the inconvenience. 

Never a dull moment at WAGS.


5 x Oceans spray blends juice $12.50

Less KC (6.00)

OOP $6.50

Earned $3 Ibotta, $3 KC

Silly me should REALLY learn to read before going shopping. I thought that the juice limit was 5, until I scanned my receipt to Ibotta. I'm not too upset about it, because it's still a great price for juice.

Total OOP for the week : $74.32

Total earned : $75.57

The final numbers look great, but I would've preferred to spend less OOP. 

I'm actually done with grocery shopping for the month. As far as I know, we don't need a single thing. That might change, once I figure out next week's meal plan. I only know that we'll have one Mexican night, because I made a big pot of fajita chicken today.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

March & April Numbers

I apologize that this is so late. Life just seems so busy these days. I can now thankfully say that our entire household is fully vaccinated. Boy did that vaccine kick my butt. I was the only one who suffered from side effects (started about 5 hours after I got my 2nd shot) and it was rough. We got our shots last Saturday. I tossed and turned all Saturday night, I was so sore. I just could not find a comfortable position to sleep in. I slept the entire Mother's Day and all through Sunday night. By Monday I was slowly beginning to feel less pain. Got up, cleaned, did some laundry, cooked dinner & went back to bed by lunch time. By Tuesday I was back to my old self again. Phew!

On to the numbers, that are so late I don't even know if anyone's still interested in it.

Sams : $35.79

Produce market : $107.98

Aldi : 24.62

Kroger : $168.45

Meijer : $39.64

Walmart : $130.42

Ollies :  14.56

Walgreens : $104.21

Rite aid : $0.19

CVS : 31.99

Total OOP : $657.85


Ibotta : $208.70

Fetch : $25

Kroger Cash Back : $31.00

Total earnings : $264.70

Total cost after earnings : $393.15

Whoo hoo!! I'm so thankful to finally have our grocery budget under control. My $300 monthly budget is now attainable. Huge sigh of relief. I'm a 'failure is not an option' kinda person, so those high numbers from before got me down.

Boy am I glad I stocked up on raisins at Ollies before. When I went back to purchase more Tostitos, there were no raisins to be found. I knew that this would happen, that's why I bought 6 bags when I saw it in stock.

Sams OOP is low, because I used earned gcs (mainly Ibotta) to pay for it. 

We received an unexpected gift last month, so we decided to apply it to groceries instead, hence the low grocery amounts (April was almost free shopping). I still have a balance and am trying to stretch it through June. I haven't bought too much groceries the past 2 months, because we still have a big stockpile. Only Kroger is high, because I did lots of Mega Event shopping that also earned cash back. 

The produce market is always high, since we eat lots of fresh produce. I usually go once a month and leave the store with a full cart.

And then there's the drugstores who always end up making me broke (but they're so much Well, at least Wags does. I had to start from scratch at CVS, so I'm not concerned about that number. 

I didn't include all my RRs, WC and EBs in the money earned above, because I count it when I redeem them. 


Earned $145 gcs  ($10 IGC, $25 Swagbucks, $100 Mypoints, $10 PG)

Personal items (things we've had listed for the past 2 years) : $78.59

2021 Closet cleanout : $23.67

Big goal : $253.56

Drugstore items : $5.38

Total earnings : $506.20

YTD Earnings :

GCs (point earning sites) : $220

Ibotta : $95 (redeemed) + $208.70 = $303.70

Personal items : $141.43

2021 Closet cleanout : $72.58

Big goal : $463.18

Drugstore items : $53.50

Total Earnings (excl Ibotta) : $950.69


$292.26!!!!! None of which was planned.

My sunglasses broke in March. I cannot drive without sunglasses. I was NOT happy about it, but I knew that I had to replace it. The only good thing is that it broke at a time when that brand was B1G50% off 2nd at one store. So I bought two pairs to the tune of $143.08!! Now I have a spare pair for the next time this one breaks (which will hopefully not be any time in the near future).

The rest of the expenses was all DS. He needed new sandals and I decided to just get him a pair of quality sandals. So Keens it was. I also purchased a Christmas gift for him. I'm actually behind with Christmas shopping this year, but I don't feel too bad with everything being topsy turvy these days. I do need to keep an eye out for good gift deals though, cause this year is flying by.

I also purchased some spring stuff for DS at Kohls and used gcs to pay for it. I did earn $30 KC which I then used to buy things to sell and apply to our big goal. I still have $10 Y2Y that I need to redeem soon.

Why am I so unhappy with this number? Because our OOP cost is way more than our personal sales for this year. I can't believe we're in the red this year. Time to kick things into high gear.

I only listed 7 more items from my closet the past 2 months. That brings my total to 42. Only 18 more to go to reach my goal of 60 items for the year. 

I maxed my IRA for the year, so that's one goal I can at least check off my list.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Busy drugstore shopping week.

I apologise for being MIA. Things have been kinda crazy here. Besides being busy, we had another Covid scare. DS has been in close contact with someone who tested positive and has had to quarantine. Of course my first instinct was to panic. A few days later, I got sick. Not Covid, but it sure  made me panic again, because things are bad here in Michigan again. I'm thinking it's my allergies (not a cold as I originally thought), because the pollen count was high then. Took flu/allergy pills and slept hard for 3 days and I'm feeling better again. While I was sick, I received a message that one of my brothers has been hospitalized. One of the downsides to my family being so far away, is the time difference. They're 6 hours ahead of us, so I always end up receiving bad news first thing in the morning. It never rains, it pours. I'm more than ready for something good to happen to me for a change. 

Anyhoo. Wags had some great deals this week, so I decided to venture out. Sorry, I didn't feel like hauling out all WAGS purchases for pics. After some marathon shopping, running errands and sanitizing every item, I was pooped. I didn't do all WAGS shopping in one day though, but I hit up different stores because they didn't always have all the items I wanted.

Trans 1 (DH account)

4 x Gillette deodorant $22.00

2 x Colgate t/p 7.98

3 Newspapers 9.00

Less Gillette DQ (8.00)

Less Colgate DQ (3.00)

Less WC (10.00)

Tax 1.80

OOP $19.78

Earned $5 RR (Gillette), $5 WC (Colgate), $6.10 Ibotta (Gillette)

DH only had $10 WC on his account, so the high OOP was planned. I purchased newspapers at WAGs, because my DTs have been out of papers the last few months. I didn't like paying that high price, but the Qs were good this week.

Trans 2 (My account)

6 x Softsoap b/w $20.00

2 x Colgate t/p 7.98

Less Softsoap Q (0.75)

Less Softsoap DQ (3.00)

Less Softsoap DQ (0.75)

Less Colgate DQ (3.00)

Less WC (20.00)

Tax 1.68

OOP $2.16

Earned $10 WC (Softsoap) $5 RR (Colgate)

Trans 3 (my account)

4 x Gillette deodorant $22.00

2 x Colgate t/p 7.98

2 x Clif bar (clearance) 1.78

Less Gillette DQ (8.00)

Less Colgate DQ (1.50)

Less WC (20.00)

Tax 1.80

OOP $4.06

Earned $5 RR (Gillette), $5 WC (Colgate) $0.50 Ibotta Cliff

I needed a $1 filler so I could use $20 reward and found the clearanced Cliff bars. I bought the bars, because there was an Ibotta rebate on it. Not a lot of money, but better than nothing. 

Darn Ibotta. I was waiting on the Gillette deal to reset, but they ended up pulling the offer early. There were lots of unhappy people in my WAGS group, but there's nothing we can do about it. 

Trans 4 (DH)

6 x Softsoap b/w $20.00

Less DQ (3.00)

Less DQ (0.75)

Less Man Q (0.75)

Less 2 RRs from previous transactions (10.00)

Less WC (5.00)

Tax 1.20

OOP $1.70

Earned $10 WC 

Trans 5 (DH)

2 x  Olay b/w $12.00

1 x Oral b t/b 4.00

Less Olay DQ (4.00)

Less Oral b DQ (2.00)

Less WC (10.00)

Tax 0.96

OOP $0.96

Earned $5 RR

Trans 6 (My account)

2 x  Olay b/w $12.00

1 x Oral b t/b 4.00

Less Olay DQ (4.00)

Less Oral b DQ (2.00)

Less WC (10.00)

Tax 0.96

OOP $0.96

Earned $5 WC

I was supposed to get a RR, but it didn't print. We know that CAT machine was working, because it printed a booster Q. So manager added $5 WC to my account. I'm very happy with that, because RRs are only good for 2 weeks, whereas WC is good for a year (I think it's a year). 

I started out with $43 WC ($33 Me, $10 DH)

I now have a balance of $9 WC (me) and $5 RR, so $14. This means I spent down $29 rewards

Total OOP : $29.62 ($9 is for newspapers)

Total cash earned : $6.60 Ibotta

Total Qs used : $44.50

Total rewards used : $75.00

Total rewards earned : $55

Retail value : $198.26

So my total cost for after cash back is $23.02

I also earned a $5 DD gc from PG. 

I finally made it to CVS. I must've taken about 2 months off CVS shopping. I didn't have any EBs (so again, the high OOP was expected), but I still had a $10 CVS cash card.

3 x Pantene shampoo $15.00

2 x Pantene  14.00

1 x Crest t/p 2.99

2 x Colgate m/w 8.98

2 x Colgate t/p 9.98

2 x Colgate t/b 8.98

2 x Schick disp razors 11.98

1 x Schick razor 8.99

1 x Covergirl liner 6.99

1 x Covergirl liner 8.29

Less Pantene q (3.00)

Less Pantene q (4.00)

Less 2 Colgate t/p qs (2.00)

Less 1 Colgate m/w IPQ (1.00)

Less 2 Colgate t/b qs (2.00)

Less Schick disp q (4.00)

Less Schick q (4.00)

Less Covergirl q (3.00)

Less Schick DQ (4.00)

Less Covergirl DQ (3.00)

Less Colgate DQ (1.00)

Less 6/30 Shave DQ (6.00)

Less 4/18 Hair care DQ (4.00)

Less 3/15 Covergirl DQ (3.00)

Less 3/15 Oral care DQ (3.00)

Less $3 Covergirl CRT (3.00)

Tax 4.81

Less Cash card (10.00)

Less GC (10.00)

OOP $31.99

I must admit that my I got nervous when I saw that my pre-coupon total was $101.xx  Yikes!

Earned $31 EB ($10 PG, $6 Covergirl, $5 Colgate t/p, $5 Colgate m/w, $5 Colgate t/b) and should get another $3 (or maybe $6, but I can't remember how much beauty was tracking before I went shopping) Beauty Bucks

I printed the $10 GC from IGC. 

I had 2 x 3/15 Oral care DQs, so I'm surprised the 2nd one didn't deduct. However, the register applied the 6/30 Shave DQ instead of 4/20. I'm guessing it counted the original price (not sale price) and I'm not complaining :)  All in all, not too bad a trip. Now I have enough EBs to roll into future deals. Yes, I planned on the high OOP, because it's easier to have a large amount of EBs for future deals, than doing lots of small transactions. Things get complicated with those small ones. Besides, I sometimes mix & match deals to use DQs/CRTs like a $4/20 hair care (you can mix deals/brands), so it's best to have enough EBs to cover the cost.

Total OOP : $31.99

Total Qs used : $50.00

Total rewards used : $10.00

Total rewards earned : $31

Retail value : $125.13

I actually enjoyed shopping at CVS again. I totally love all the Q stacking you can do there. 

Drugstore totals for the week :

Total OOP : $61.61 Yikes! It's all fun & games until you add up all your

Total cash earned : $6.60 Ibotta

Total Qs used : $94.50

Total rewards used : $85.00

Total rewards earned : $86

Retail value : $323.39

Well the Ibotta and DD gc brings my OOP total down to $50.01. I haven't scanned any receipts to Fetch yet, so I don't know if there's anything good to earn. 

I'll post March & April numbers soon. Have a great weekend everyone!

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