from a far off land.

18 10 2009

photoposting remotely from the pumpkinfest in keene new hampshire. kind of disappointing really. $250 for a hotel room, the line for funnel cake was a 45 minute wait (settled for truly mediocre apple crisp instead), and there were NO APPLE DONUTS! outrageous. we’re making the best of it by getting take-out chinese, watching good cable (we only get 12 channels at home) in our king-size bed, and cashing in on tomorrow morning’s complimentary breakfast buffet (i suppose it’s not so complimentary for $250 a night).

anyway, taking a minute out in the “business center” (which is essentially a tiny little glassed in terrarium in the middle of the hotel lobby) to catch up on some of my scores from earlier this week:

1. CVS- finally got my free neosporin lip balm (although the newbie cashier almost didn’t let me have it because the coupon was for more than the sale price *oof*). i also got a copy of this month’s reinventing beauty magazine! this is the first time i’ve ever seen a current one in a local cvs, so i grabbed it.  mysteriously, they also had a fistful of just the coupon inserts hanging out on a shelf in the beauty section (this is the forest ave. cvs near the burger king in portland). anyway, since they won’t let me have coupons on clearance items, i took 3 of those too. spiteful! damage- $.99

2. rite aid. my allergies were killing me, so i decided to try out the allergen block (a little weird, but actually helps) SCR deal, and grabbed the carmex deals as well. the carmex lady lip balm… or whatever it’s called is my new favorite thing (and to think, since i got that coupon, it made me $1.50).  i checked my SCR status today, and i’m up to $30 back, and the month is far from over.  also, frugalsuz has alerted me to some  very sweet olay oriented rebates that i might work on next (considering i’ll be $9 deep into olay pretty soon).

3. mail call- i didn’t think i was getting them, but i finally received my kashi go lean coupons!!! my boyfriend loves this crap, so it will be nice to get him some healthy cereal, after the 10 boxes of kind of crap cereal that he just finished tearing through. two $3/1 coupons (which should equal free at walmart), and a bunch of $1.50/1 that will also come in handy i’m sure. but seriously vocalpoint– WHERE’S MY OLAY PROX?!

anyway, i’ve been doing a ton of thrifting on my trip, and will post tomorrow. but right now, my bean curd and vegetable soup is getting cold, and there are unruly ill-parented children racing around the lobby screaming and banging on the piano. time to make my exit.

monday mailbox- now with extra ranting.

6 10 2009

mail call 100509pretty good mail day. unexpected book of $3/$30 coupons from shaws. not earth shattering savings, but combined with the right coupons, could turn good deals excellent- and i have been shopping there a lot lately (even if they didn’t have lettuce!!!).

finally got my secret clinical protection sample from vocalpoint yesterday. i have hyperhydrosis, which basically means that my underarms sweat constantly- regardless of the temperature or level of exertion. arousing! anyway, i’ve been using something called certain dri for years, which works great (i don’t sweat at all anymore), but is kind of harsh and stingy, and has the least sexy packaging ever (i hide it in my medicine cabinet because it’s pretty embarrassing). anyway, i’m actually excited to test this out.

i was a little bummed that there were no freebie coupons, but i’m probably starting to feel a little entitled in a way that is maybe not so great.  i read something yesterday that kind of rubbed me the wrong way…  someone was talking about “the plight of the couponer”, and all we have to endure in our efforts to save… irritable checkout clerks & managers… irritable customers in line behind us… rewards that don’t spit out when they’re legitimately earned… oh woe is us! anyway, i understand that being a super-couponer can be a little rough sometimes, but the truth is that we are inconveniencing people on both sides of the register. yes, we’re not doing anything wrong, and yes it’s great that we can get those savings… but  it’s irritating to stand behind us in line, and irritating when things don’t scan properly and the clerk has to go through every single line item on the register tape to make sure that we got our $.50 off. we are the reason that people curse themselves for “picking the wrong line”. i talk about this a little more in my “stay classy” section, but the key is to be organized, be ridiculously polite to everyone, and know when to walk away from the table. these savings are a privilege that we should be grateful for. let’s not let it turn us into crotchety old bitches who are happy to waste everyone’s time in pursuit of an extra dollar.


1 10 2009

zyrtec freebiei have debilitating environmental allergies and asthma. thanks dad! a few things i’m allergic to (in addition to good old fashioned hay fever) are:

cats, rabbits (including & especially angora sweaters), birch trees, grass, dust mites, pollen… basically, it’s tough for me to exist in the world comfortably without a daily allergy medication. (my boyfriend makes a lot of jokes about needing to keep me in a bubble). anyway, i found zyrtec almost 10 years ago when it was still prescription, and i had a several year long bout with chronic hives (worst. thing. ever.). anyway, now i take one every single day (2-3 if i’m going to be in an allergy-rich environment), and it’s expensive as hell. about $30 a bottle for 45 pills without a coupon at a regular drug store or supermarket. usually, i buy it at sam’s club (where you get 75 pills for about $30), but thanks to moms need to know via money saving mom (i know, but the mommies know their shit), i found out how to get 45 pills for $2.87. SOLID.

usually, 45 pills at rite aid go for $29.99, but this week  they’re on sale for $24.99.  i bought the pills & an $.88 granola bar to tip me over the $25  ($25.87 to be exact) mark, so i could use the $5/$25 that i lifted from here, which brought me down to $19.99. then i added a $4 off coupon from some RedPlum past, which made my out of pocket $16.87 before tax. now, there’s a $4 single check rebate on the 45 count zyrtec this week, which can be double dipped with SCR #75 which takes off another $10 when you buy $25 worth of select products (zyrtec & the tylenol i bought yesterday included), bringing it all down (as promised) to $2.87. oh, and the purchase put me over the $100 mark on my gift of savings, which means that my $20 gift card is on the move. eat that sam’s club. 

weirdly, i got my zyrtec free sample in the mail today from walmart. 1 pill and a lousy $2 coupon.  ever since the texas pete scandal, the freebies have been bunk.

money diary day 2. on credit.

30 09 2009

didn’t get a chance to hit the ATM before going to fat boy yesterday, so had to borrow from the bf. also, supposed to pony up some gas money for some burlesque oriented travel (3 hours in the storage locker pulling costumes). all in all $15 owed to boyfriend. $0 delivered. will distribute today, along with scoring what i think will be a sweet sweet zyrtec deal (to be detailed later) at rite aid.

weekend economy.

29 09 2009

cheeriosi don’t exactly need cereal right now, but i did get a couple of totally sweet cheerios coupons in the mail on saturday. $1 or more /1 coupons off cereal are basically the golden door to never having to pay more than $.99 a box for premium cereals. i’ve been noticing that the freebies seem to be pretty lame these days, i haven’t signed up for one in over a week. even when it’s just a tiny sample, if it’s not something that i generally want to try- or want a coupon for, then i don’t bother. and right now, soy-nut butter and foot ointment just aren’t doing it for me.

the fliers this week were kind of bunk. not a thing to be found at hannaford, and i decided to skip the vaseline lotion deal at cvs because i don’t really use body lotion, and i don’t really think that the preble street resource center  is really that concerned about dry elbows. i’ve been watching a lot of the hoarders on a&e, it’s terrifying me into trying to be more careful about what i bring into my house.

i’ve also been thinking a lot about the state of my economy, and trying to break my habits of pecking away at my funds with snacking and impulse purchases. i tried hard this week to choose foods that will keep me from straying to my local convenience store (like bottled poland spring water so i can stop buying vitamin waters whenever i’m  thirsty in the car). also, shaws had some really good deals this week that fit the bill pretty well:

092709decided to forego the walmart shop this week and stay in town instead. the sopo shaw’s had some pretty good 10/$10 deals this week.  i stocked up on these sabra hummus snack packs with pretzel chips (very delicious also). the little containers are pretty cute. i think i might refill them with other jazz (peanut butter & celery, or cucumbers & taziki?) once they’re gone. or i might be lazy and buy more… but at least they’re cheap. also got a couple of odwalla bars to help me combat post-pilates pre-dinner hunger that causes me to grossly overeat, and 2 boxes on ronzoni healthy harvest pasta for $1 each. i had a $1/2 printable, so $.50 each is pretty good . the real centerpieces of the grocery shopping experience for me this week were a couple of $off bonus coupons from the weekly flyer, and one from a healthy harvest coupon book that i received in the mail. 

deal #1. $4/ $10 worth of select general mills products. it would have been amazing if i had $1/1 coupons for everything (or $.50 coupons that could be doubled)… but all i had were 2 $1/2 coupons for the 4 boxes of nature valley granola bars. still, $1 a box is good stuff.

deal #2. $4/$15 from the wild harvest area. i bought baby spinach @ $3.99, 2 odwalla bars @ $1/ea., 2 bags of veggie booty for $2/ea., and 2 boxes of kashi crackers for $3/ea…. i used a $1.50/2 kashi snack coupon, and a $1/2 booty coupon… bringing the whole shebang to about $9.50. which for  natural food section goods, is pretty damn good.

i think that maybe a lot of other people are able to save more at the checkout than i do, but i also don’t eat a lot of processed foods… and i don’t buy meat- which makes things a little trickier. i also don’t ever have more than 2 sets of coupons at a time. maybe there are more dramatic saving websites hosted by at-homers with unlimited time and  coupons… but i like to think that i represent a more moderate view. possibly a more realistic view?

good mail day.

25 09 2009

DSCN1930let it be known that the world of coupons extends far outside the newspaper and the internet. actually, the very best coupons come via snail mail. sure, becoming a really great couponer involves learning the rules, searching for great deals, having a good organizational system… and so on.  however, regardless of how well you’ve trained yourself, the  most amazing deals can only be had when you have kick ass high-value coupons.  these coupons are scored in a couple of ways:

product testing. i love vocalpoint.  it’s a product testing community (ok, for moms, but the coupons are really awesome) where they routinely send you a free sample, and/or a fistful of high value coupons (that you’re probably supposed to share with your friends, but probably won’t). apparently you can also get similar stuff from pssst and other product review websites that are attached to specific brands like kraft first taste.

magazines. specifically, all you magazine is built for couponers (and extremely geared toward style-less stay-at-home mommy types, so proceed with caution), and has relatively high value coupons on pretty much every other page. yes, the actual magazine is kind of terrible, so i don’t actually attempt to read it as i would a real magazine. generally i just flip through, scissors in hand, and suck it quickly dry of all its bounty. you can currently get a one-year subscription on amazon, for about $20. totally worth it. on a side note, most women’s magazines (glamour especially) will have a coupon or two hiding inside. look carefully through the magazines that you actually buy, and the doctor/dentist’s office is a great place to mine for freebies in magazines that are better left on the rack.

online freebies. no need for hunting down individual deals, leave that to the stay-at-home moms! in the coupon/freebie universe- someone else has invariably done all the work for you. i like, but there’s a ton of websites that compile all the current going free stuff that you can get.  it sort of sucks at first, but if you diligently apply for a few a day, eventually, your mailbox will be a playground for sexy free samples and accompanying coupons… i’ve gotten cereal, soap, condoms, tampons, you name it.  as a matter of fact, today i received free travel deodorant (+ $2 coupon), a sample of granola (+ $1 coupon), and some random sale coupons from the gap. it really pads the disappointment from the bills and junk mail.