Saturday, August 30, 2008

My First Giveaway!

I started Saving Some Green just one month ago (give or take :)). I have had so much fun learning more about saving money and also sharing my ideas through this blog. This has been a great outlet for me! So, in honor of my one month anniversary...I am having a giveaway! Woo-hoo!
I have one $25 Target Gift Card that I will be giving away! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on my blog that includes your e-mail address (if I can't get a hold of you through your blog) and topics that you look for in blogs you visit. I am hoping this will give me some great ideas for future posts.

I will choose a winner on Friday, September 5th using random.org. If you would like to have two chances to win, just post this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post and leave a second comment on my blog with the link.

Just imagine all of the things that you frugal people can do with $25 at Target! I can't wait to see who wins!

My Walgreen's adventure this week...

With the $10.00 off if you spend $40.00 coupon worked pretty well. Here is what I was able to get...

  • 2 Pert Plus @ $4.99 each (minus) 2 $3.00 off coupons (equals) $3.98 (I love Pert Plus and had already received my free ones from Walgreen's and Rite Aid :))

  • 3 Walgreen's 52 ct diapers and 1 60 ct diapers for $2.74 each (total) $10.96! These were on an endcap marked clearance regularly $10.99! I am bummed though, I just realized I could have used the $5.00 off 2 from the August Easysaver, ugh! - but this was an awesome deal just the same.

  • 1 Men's Nivea Body Wash @ $4.99 (minus) $1.00 off coupon (equals) $3.99 - will receive $4.99 Easysaver rebate for September (equals) FREE + $1.00 overage!

  • 1 Crest Pro Health toothpaste $3.79 - will receive $3.79 Easysaver rebate for September (equals) FREE!

  • 1 Revlon Nail Polish $4.49 - will receive $4.79 Easysaver rebate for September (equals) FREE!

  • 1 CoverGirl eyeliner pencil $3.79 (minus) $1.00 off coupon (equals) $2.79 (not a steal, but I really needed one :))

  • 1 Russell Stover box of "Urban Chocolates" for $2.99 - this was on clearance, regularly $5.99, and I got it for a gift for a family member.

  • 2 Walgreen's Sour Gummy Worms $1.00 each - this is also not a bargain, but a necessity :). I love these things!

  • 1 Huggie's Diapers @ $9.49 (minus) $1.50 off coupon (equals) $7.99 received $2.00 register reward for my next purchase (equals) $5.99 - this was a decent deal, not as good as the Walgreen's diapers I found, but I can't use store brands on my son, they don't hold enough for him!

So, my total OOP was $36.78.

I received $2.00 in Register Rewards

I will receive $13.27 +10% back on my Walgreen's giftcard = $14.59

Net I will have paid = $20.19

I'm happy with that!

Do you want to find out what great deals others have found at drugstores? Check out The "Cents"ible Sawyer's Drugstore Divas! I love her blog!

Also, I am hosting a giveaway this week, you could win a $25.00 Target Gift Card click here for details!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Walgreen's $10.00 off if you spend $40.00 coupon

Walgreen's has another coupon deal this weekend now instead of $5.00 off if you spend $20.00 - it is $10.00 off if you spend $40.00. Again, the $40.00 must be after coupons and discounts. The good news is that the new EasySaver rebates go into effect, so you could pick up all of your free after rebate stuff and make some money see the list of rebate items for September here. With all of the items listed, you could EASILY get to $40.00, get your $10.00 off and make some money!


This is only good tomorrow and Saturday.


So...get your own Walgreen's $10.00 off coupon here.


Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Albertson's Deals This Week

This is my first time being part of the Be CentsAble Grocery Gathering...love their blog!

Albertson's is having one of their great sales this week where if you spend $10.00 on certain products they take off $3.00. To sweeten the deal, many of these are Kraft, Nabisco, and Oscar Meyer products that work with the FREE (Hot Dogs, Crystal Light, Salad Dressing, Kraft Singles, and Wheat Thins) that were available in the August All You Magazine. If you hurry, you may still be able to get one at WalMart.

I do have to preface this post by saying I have a love/hate relationship with Albertson's. They are normally super high priced, but present everything they sell as a "great deal." Be sure to comparison shop before purchasing some of the products listed in their ad. For example - an 8oz bag of Kraft Cheese for $2.34 doesn't have me jumping up and down!

Some great deals that I will be taking advantage of (you have to spend at least $10.00 on the mix and match items to get theses prices see the weekly ad for details):
Kraft Easy Mac singles - $.70 each (minus) $1.00 off 2 from recent inserts. Depending on how many you buy and how many coupons you have, they are .20 each!

Kraft Pasta Salad - $.70 each, this is already a great deal - if you have any coupons (which I don't) you can sweeten the deal!

Oscar Meyer Weiners - $1.40 each, again this is a great deal, but go get your All You and they will be FREE!

Kraft Jet Puffed Marshmallows - $.70 each (these could be used as your 3 qualifying items to get the free items from the All You coupons).

Kraft BBQ sauce - $.70 each (although I got these for $.50 a few weeks ago, so you may not want to stock up on too many of these - they might go on sale again)

Also, not part of the $3 off if you spend $10 they have some sales at 20 items for $10.00 ($.50 each, you don't have to buy 20 to get the deal), some of the great deals here are:

-Albertson's Brand Chicken or Beef Broth
-Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
-Albertson's Brand Yellow Mustard

Albertson's also has:
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast for $1.69/lb

Nalley Pickles 2 for $4.00 (minus) $1.00 off coupon in recent insert - $1.00 each!

Also, Albertson's has a Preferred Card program. In order to get all of these deals, you must have a preferred card (free and easy to get). The best part with this program is that they send you coupons regularly. I just got a packet with 4 coupons that are $5.00 off when you spend $50.00 - this must be after coupons and sales, but you can easily spend this by stocking up on these great deals. They send a coupon for each week for the following month (hoping that I will spend $200.00 there next month - yea right!). They are helpful, especially combined with other offers.

These sales are good through Tuesday, September 2nd. What other great deals have you seen in the Albertson's ad? Leave a comment and let me know!
I just love freebies...especially when I get them in the mail. It's like my birthday! Here are some great freebies that you can take advantage of too!

-Free eraser set from Malfinity here.

-Free calendar from Women's Health.gov here. These do not ship until December 2009, but reserve yours now!

-Free sample of Orville Redenbacher's snack cakes here.

-Free sample of Fiber One Cereal here.

-Free sample of Al's Pistacios here.

-Free sample of Cascade All in One and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser here.

-Free sample of Bounce Awakenings dryer sheets here.

-Free trial of Tutor.com here.

-Free sample of Sunsilk hair care here.

-Free sample of Old Spice body wash here.

-Free box of Touch of Gray Men's Hair Color here.

Gotta love freebies! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Accumulating Coupons

I have had many people ask me lately, "Where do you get all of your coupons?" I have to start out by saying I did not start "couponing" until July of this year, but I was amazed at how quickly I was able to accumulate a lot of coupons.
  • Get the Sunday paper - this is an obvious one, but wait until you can get a good deal. In Boise, the Idaho Statesman is $2.17 per week, but I was able to get it for $1.00 per week on a special at the fair. Until I got my good deal, we were getting our paper from a machine for $1.50.
  • Put the word out that you are a coupon clipper. Many people get the Sunday paper and throw out the coupons! I have let family, friends, and co-workers know about my "couponing" and many times there are several inserts on my desk when I come in on Monday. My family members often give me their inserts as well.
  • Join a Coupon Train I just heard about this recently, basically you are assigned to a group of about 6 people and person 1 sends a stack of coupons to person 2 who takes what they want, adds what they won't use and sends to person 3, person 3 to person 4, etc. I just joined a group through yahoo here. My group is from all across the country and the person before me e-mailed me to ask for my "wish list!" I can't wait to see how this works out!
  • Print Coupons from the Internet I am not huge on this because I have had problems at different stores not accepting printed coupons, but many people have great success with these. There are TONS of websites that offer printable coupons, just google it!
  • Request Coupons Direct from the Manufacturer I have not tried this either, but have heard of others who have e-mailed companies asking for coupons with great success.
  • Take Advantage of Free Samples You can get free samples from many different places, see my previous post. Most of the time these samples come with some great high value coupons that you can use to purchase the items later. I just received 4 $2/off coupons from Pampers along with a free diaper sample.
  • All You Magazine I have recently discovered this as well, this magazine has some awesome coupons in it each month. You can purchase it at Walmart for $1.77 each or you can get a subscription and get it delivered to your mailbox. Money Saving Mom posted this great deal that she found for a subscription.
  • Buy Coupons on E-bay I have had some success with this, I purchased 100 random coupons for $2.24 from one auction. I have already used over $5.00 from the coupons I recieved, so it was worth it to me. Be careful not to spend too much.
  • Dumpster Dive at the recycling center. I have not tried this either, but have heard of others who have. I do check the recycle bin at work (I have found coupons there before), but that's as far as I go.
These are just a few of the ways that I have accumulated my stash - so tell me, how did/do you accumulate your stash?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Great deals this week...

Rite Aid deals for the week:

Purchase 2 Pledge Dusters: 2 for $4.00 (minus) $2.00 single check rebate (minus) $1.00 off any pledge Multi Surface from recent insert.

FREE if you have two coupons or $.50 each!

Purchase 2 Shout 22oz Stain Remover: $2 for $4.00 (minus) $2.00 single check rebate (minus) $.75 off any Shout product from recent inserts.

$.25 each if you have to coupons or $.63 each!

Purchase 1 Pert Plus 13.5 oz: $2.99 (minus) $2.00 single check rebate (minus) $2.00, $3.00 off Pert Plus from recent inserts.

$.99 if no coupon, FREE plus overage with $2.00 or $3.00 coupon!

There are also still some great school supply sales this week - check out their weekly ad to find yours!

Albertson's (only until Tuesday 8/26/08!)

Ken's Salad Dressing or LITE Accents: 2 for $4.00, purchase 1 use $2.00 off 1 Ken's from recent insert. (I only have one $2.00 coupon and several $1.00 coupons from recent inserts, so I will be purchasing several and paying $1.00 for some.)

FREE or $1.00 each!

SunMaid Raisins: 10 for $10.00 use $1.00 off 2 from recent insert

$.50 each after coupon!

Fred Meyer this week - most of these items require a store coupon. If you don't have a weekly ad, you can get these at the front of the store before shopping. Bring your scissors!

Purchase 6 Big K (store brand) 12 packs of soda: $10.00 - store coupon required.

$1.66 per 12 pack!

Van Camp's Pork and Beans 15 oz: 3 fr $1.00 - store coupon required. I have not seen manufacturer's coupons for these.

$.33 each!

V05 Shampoo and Conditioner: $.79 each - store coupon required. I have not seen manufacturer's coupons for these either.

Peaches and/or Nectarines: $.88/pound

Check out Money Saving Mom's list of great deals this week from Walgreen's (and CVS if you are lucky enough to have one in your area!)

Have you seen any other great deals around town? Please share!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Credit Union Tools - for your benefit!

You know from my previous posts, that I am a huge credit union advocate. So, now that you have taken my advice and have found the right credit union for you (right?), it is time to start taking advantage of all the services and products that they have to offer that will help you save money and time.

My credit union, Idahy Federal Credit Union, is big on educating members. They have many links to information that can help your financial future. Check your credit union for money and time saving links and/or discounts. You will be amazed at what they have to offer.

One link on Idahy’s website (and probably your credit union's website and if not is available to you as well) is a link for a free credit report. I have to preface this by saying it is NOT the “Free Credit Report dot com” that you hear about on TV, which does offer a free credit report, but you have to sign up for another paid service. NEVER go to that site for your credit report. You are actually entitled on one free credit report each year from each of the 3 credit reporting agencies - no strings attached. This was a government program instituted to help consumers be proactive about checking their credit for ID theft. I recommend checking your credit report on a regular basis to look for identity theft, but also just to look for errors (you would be amazed to know how many errors are on credit reports - old information, double reported accounts, etc!). Because you can get a credit report from each of the three agencies each year, I recommend getting a free credit report every 4 months (example: January – TRW, April – Equifax, August – Trans Union). This would ensure that you were checking your credit on a regular basis and you would be able to take advantage of all of your free credit reports during the year.

Again, you don’t have to be a member of Idahy to utilize this service. Click here for the details. Good luck!

Fun Giveaway


Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls is giving away a Couponizer! Check out her post here for details!

$5 off $20 at Walgreen's


Every once in a while Walgreen's will send me an e-mail with a printable coupon for $5.00 off when you spend $20.00. This is great - except the catch is that it has to be $20.00 AFTER coupons. If you haven't already purchased the FREE after rebate items you could make your purchases and use the coupon. You can also use it in combination with Similac or Enfamil checks because they are not considered coupons.

Click here to get your $5.00 off $20.00 at Walgreen's - these are only good Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Free Stuff!!

I love FREE stuff! Here are some links where you can get your own FREE stuff!

Click here to download the mail in rebate form for your entire purchase price of Arm & Hammer essentials cleaner.

Click here for FREE Health Information, discount information, and FREE samples (this will require you to take a short survey).

Click here for a FREE sample of Enfamil Formula.

Thanks to Mommy Snacks for the link to FREE samples from WalMart - supplies are limited for most of these so get yours now (Tampax, Kotex, Scott Toilet Paper and others)!

Thanks to Money Saving Mom for the link to a FREE sample of Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub!


Thanks to Sisterly Savings for the link to FREE Clean&Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets!


Don't you just LOVE free stuff?

Monday, August 18, 2008

I hit the jackpot!



Okay, not really, but close! Tonight we went to family day at the Western Idaho Fair (a.k.a. Money Gobbler) and had a great time. The best part of all is that there was a booth where they were selling subscriptions to our local newspaper - the Idaho Statesman. I have been waiting for a great deal on the Sunday paper ever since I got into couponing a few months ago. I could purchase a Sunday/Holiday subscription online for $2.17 per week. It seemed like I could do better, especially since my husband goes up the street every Sunday to a paper machine and can get it for $1.50. Anyway...I talked to the man at the booth and asked what the Sunday/Holiday subscriptions ran these days. To my sheer delight they were running a special where we can get the paper for $1.00 per week and they can start it this Sunday. Not only that, I also got two nice FREE hardcover books for signing up. One is scenic drives across the country (gorgeous pictures) and the other was a recap of the Boise State Bronco's perfect season two years ago (which was awesome by the way). And one last wonderful thing - they were giving away free papers - so I asked if they happened to have yesterday's (Sunday) paper - and they did! Two more coupon inserts for me. WOO-HOO! So, here is my plan...I will be giving the books away as gifts for some events coming up (great money saver) and I will be enjoying my CHEAP subscription for the next six months! Life is good!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Digital TV Conversion

In about six months there is a required conversion from analog to digital TV broadcasting. Like many frugal people we do not have cable, satellite, HD, etc. We have our good old fashioned rabbit ears! We do use the TV as a source of entertainment - we love watching the Olympics right now, I am addicted to The People's Court (don't ask me why), we also watch the semi-annual General Conference for our church. In order to keep being able to watch our programs, we have to purchase an HD TV (worst case scenario as far as I am concerned) or a digital converter or we will just see static on our TV. I have been pricing these and they are somewhere between $50 and $60, however, you can get a coupon for $40.00 off from the government. We just received our coupon in the mail earlier this week. I am wondering though, not only from a frugal standpoint, but from a moral, physical, mental, and spiritual standpoint, would it be so bad if we didn't buy the digital converter and talke with each other a little bit more, read a few more books, and took a few more walks in the park?

I am curious to see how other frugal people are feeling about this change. Please leave your comments...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

All You Magazine

I heard about the coupons in the All You August issue from Money Saving Mom. Honestly, I don't like going to Walmart - for many reasons, mainly because it is sooooooooooo big and seems to be soooooooooo busy at the times that I am able to go. Anyway, I ventured to Walmart today and picked up two issues. I was pleasantly surprised! It was filled to the brim with coupons - it felt like Sunday morning to me (when I clip my coupons from the paper)! Just the Kraft freebie coupons made it worth the $1.77 each that I spent, but there were tons of other great coupons as well. I highly recommend picking up this magazine, but you can only get it at Walmart. You can also subscribe here. This link also allows you to sign up to get two free issues. When you do this you are actually signing up for a one year subscription, but if you decide that you don't want it the year's subscription, you just write cancel when the bill arrives (make sure you mark "Bill Me" on the payment method).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yikes! My (HUGE) grocery mistakes...

I have always considered myself to be a frugal person. I felt as if I never wasted money and was doing "the best I could." That was when I started to read books about saving money, spending less, budgeting, etc. What an eye opener! I just recently started using coupons. I knew about the possibilities in the past and I had used them some in the past, but never to their full potential - and I know I am not now. I was inspired by reading Money Saving Mom and decided this would be a fun hobby. Of course now I am addicted to getting a great deal - even the best deal possible - free or with overages. I have had a few decent success stories. I decided that I would (and could) start spending much less on groceries. Crystal from Money Saving Mom spends $35-$40 per week on her family of 4. Because I am also a family of 4 I decided to try. I looked back at my grocery spending (I use Quicken) and gasped - for the past year this is what I have spent on groceries:

August '07 - $563.91
September '07 - $610.53
October '07 - $634.52
November '07 - $559.33
December '07 - $114.65 (great month!)
January '08 - $457.67
February '08 - $499.57
March '08 - $582.95
April '08 - $559.81
May '08 - $666.50
June '08 - $989.16 (YIKES!!!!)
July '08 - $443.36
August '08 - $211.21

Overall total for the past 12 months - $6,893.17!!!! I have been throwing our money down the toilet!

I do have to mention that those prices included all household products, baby formula, and diapers for 2 kids - but still! This is ridiculous. The numbers speak for themselves. So now, my current goal is $60.00/week, which is kind of high from what I've seen on other blogs (see my link list), but I have to start somewhere. So, my frugal journey has begun - thanks for being here for the ride!

A Time Saver - the laundry basket solution

I don't know about you, but my kids bring things out of their rooms constantly (I have an almost 3 year old and an almost 1 year old). I feel like I am always tripping on things! I started a system that is working great for us, and may work great for you too. I used two inexpensive laundry baskets and wrote their names on each one. When things get out of control and/or I am doing laundry, I pull out the baskets. The almost 3 year old helps by putting all of his stuff into his basket, and of course I clean up the baby's stuff. Then we take the basket in their rooms and put things away - or if has been an especially hectic day, the basket stays and we put it away later! When we have more kids (hopefully!) and they are a bit older, I envision using this process a lot more. Maybe even giving the kids a two-minute time limit to pick up their stuff and put it in their baskets or I will throw it away (okay give it away)! Just a thought...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cheap Dates/Dating your Spouse

I am a HUGE advocate of married couples dating. I think it is really important to continue the courtship - but how can you do this without breaking your budget?

A few years ago I taught a dating class at church called - Re-discover your mate...go on a date! These are some of the ideas that I shared with the class (these are from coolestdates.com) - pick out a few ideas and have fun with your husband or wife or significant other. Enjoy!

Natural Scenery: The beauty of nature is all around us and it doesn't cost a dime. Whether it's a trip to the beach, a walk in the forest or a search into a cave, it can be done together for practically nothing. Take the time to find the natural scenic spots in your area and utilize them for your dates.

Sports: If you and your date are both athletic, sport activities together can be a great way to spend your time. Play a set of tennis, jog in the park, toss a Frisbee about, play catch with a baseball or football or shoot some baskets. Whichever you choose, you can spend quality time at minimal cost and get some exercise in, too.

Picnic: Picnics are great for dates because they can be taken along wherever you plan to go for the day and they cost a fraction of going out for a meal. They also can be made as casual or as romantic as you want. Take a casual picnic meal, add some cheese & wine along with a red rose and the picnic instantly takes on a romantic feel.

Historic Places & Buildings: It seems the only time people go looking at the historic landmarks near where they live is when visitors come from out of town. Many of these historic or culturally significant spots have no or small entrance fees and make a great place to go on a date. You also get to learn more about the area you live.

Meal/Evening At Home: Cook up a meal at home and spend the evening watching movies or some other activity such as a board game. The meal most likely will be better than at a restaurant and the evening will cost a fraction of what going out to dinner and a movie would cost. Cook the meal together to spend even more time together, or do it yourself as a special surprise.

Memory Album: Take your camera or purchase an inexpensive disposable camera and make a day of taking photos together. Make a theme for the day if you want or just take any crazy photo that comes to mind. Once finished, get the photos 1 hour processed and create a memory album together for the day that will live on forever.

Museums: If you have museums in your area, they can be an excellent place to enjoy an inexpensive date. Admission prices are usually reasonable and often they have discounts for those attending a number of events over the year.

Learn A New Skill: Gather some information on a skill you always wanted to learn and spend a day practicing it together. It could be a day of learning card tricks, learning how to juggle or learning to make bird calls. Any skill you have always wanted to try can make a fun and interesting date.

College Events: If you live near a college or university, utilize their resources for your dates. Guest lectures, music recitals, art exhibitions and plays are common and are often free of charge. The quality can be excellent and the variety enormous.

Hobby Together: You can set a regularly scheduled date if the two of you have a hobby you both enjoy. You can look in the local community newsletter to see if there are classes being offered in something that interests both of you. These classes are usually quite inexpensive and the two of you can enjoy a few hours each week together learning something new.

Local Thrift Shop Date: Plan a date someplace where there are a lot of people. Before going, head down to the local thrift shop together. Once there, specify a small amount of money to purchase clothing or accessories for the other and both head off in different directions. The goal is to find items the other has to wear for the rest of the day/evening within the price specified. The entertainment is seeing the reaction from all the people who see your new outfit as you wander the crowded area. Or just go to the thrift shop and see what you can get for a small amount of money - and who can make the most of the money.

Follow Them Date: As the two of you meet, you look around and pick somebody out on the street. The date is to follow that person where ever he or she goes. Once that person has stopped or you can no longer follow them, pick another person to follow. Your bound to have loads of laughs as you attempt to stay with your designated guide.

Scavenger Hunt Date: When your date arrives, have him or her make a list of what he or she considers to be 20 unusual items. Once the list is made, the date will be to try and find as many of those items as possible. We have done this with friends, but had a list of items that we had to take a picture of with our digital cameras - it was loads of fun!

Truth Or Dare Date: Pick some spots in your area to visit, but play truth or dare along the way. It doesn't really matter where you go since the entertainment is doing the various dares that the other gives in addition to telling all the truths.

Just sit in a busy bus or train station, airport, or park, and watch people. Occasionally say "hi" and be sure to wave. You will get responses.

Go to the children's section of a library or bookstore and read children's books to each other.Play hopscotch in a vacant parking lot or an empty school campus. Later return home for a bubble gum blowing contest.

Find a muddy area, dress in your grubbies and have a mud fight. For groups, take along a rope for a tug-of-war.

Make a couple of pans of brownies. Then drive to various friends' houses and deliver a brownie or two to each friend and visit for a while. When it becomes too late to be visiting people, go home and finish off the brownies.

On a sunny Saturday morning, travel around the countryside and photograph special sites and serene scenery.

Go to a free concert at a mall or local school.

Spend less than one dollar for dinner and movies. Go to the grocery store to sample free food items. Then go back to your house to watch a video. Snacks that you can scrounge from around the house don't count against the dollar.

Form a group of inner tubes of all different sizes, from tractor to car . Float down a nearby river.

Cheer on a mutual friend. If the two of you have a mutual friend who is playing in a game or a concert at school, attend the performance together to cheer your friend on.

Take a stroll around the block -- and hold hands as you walk.

Put together a puzzle on a rainy evening.

Spend an evening looking through your date's picture books and high school yearbooks. Find a comfortable place in the home free from distractions to sit down together. While looking at the picture books, try to guess what's happening, where the picture was taken, what time of year it was, etc., before looking at the description sentences. The pictures in these books will be lots of fun for the person showing them. This is also a guaranteed night of laughing together. You will learn a lot about that person as they tell you the stories and experiences behind each picture.

Clean an attic, basement or garage that no one has touched for a long time. Grandparents' houses are perfect places for this.

Lie on your backs on a grassy hill or meadow and pick out cloud formations.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kellogg's $10.00 Rebate

I'm happy to say I did pretty well with my Kellogg's $10.00 rebate. There was a separate insert in the paper two weeks ago that had a $10.00 rebate by mail from Kelloggs and several coupons. The rules were purchase 10 Kellogg's, Keebler, and/or Eggo Products and receive $10.00 back by mail. I decided to check out Fred Meyer and found some great unadvertised specials.

I got:
2 Eggo Waffles, $2.00 each, - $1.00/2 coupon, total=$3.00

3 Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats, $1.67 each, - $1.00/2 coupon=$4.00

2 Kellogg's Poptarts, $1.67 each, - $1.00/2 coupon=$2.34

2 Kellogg's Yogo's Fruit Snacks, $1.67 each, - $1.00/1 coupon, - $1.00/1 coupon =$1.34

2 Keebler Cookies, $1.88 each, - $1.00/2 coupon=$2.76

Total = $13.44 - after $10.00 mail in rebate - $3.44!

In case you were wondering...this is a total of 11 items, but I had to buy 3 Rice Krispie's Treats to get a store discount. What a shame :).

Friday, August 8, 2008

Free/Cheap Entertainment

Before we decided that we needed to be more frugal, we spent more money than I care to think about on entertainment - movies, out to dinner, etc. We love to be together as a family and do things together, and we have found that you can have just as much fun and spend much less money. We have found tons of fun, free community events in our area. There may be opportunities for some free fun right in your community too. Check your local library, TV and radio station websites, the newspaper, or even just Google "Free Events" and your city's name. You will be amazed with all the things going on that you never would have thought about. For fun community events in the Boise area, check out:

Also, check for free or discount days at your favorite hangouts. In Boise, the Boise Zoo is discounted every Thursday. The kids are still free - until my son turns 3 - so we can go for $4.00 and pack a lunch and it is a cheap fun day for us!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Why I love Credit Unions

Each year many consumers throw away thousands of dollars to their financial institution for services that should be free. As far as banking goes, I belong to a credit union. At first I joined a credit union because my parents were members of a credit union forever. That was before I went to work in the credit union industry nine years ago and realized the dramatic differences between the philosophies of credit unions and banks.

Banks:
-Banks are for profit
-Fees are generally their largest income generator
-Banks must please their stockholders – by making as much money as possible

Credit Unions:
-Credit Unions are not for profit
-Loan interest (not fees) is generally their largest income generator
-Credit Unions must please their members – they are the owners of the credit union

Credit Unions are not for profit – this is truly a unique feature of credit unions. All income that is generated by the credit union goes back into providing lower rates on loans, higher rates on savings, and improving technology. Credit unions must generate income to stay competitive – they have to be able to provide the convenience services that banks can provide (Online Banking, BillPay, ATM/Debit cards etc.).

Fees – In general, the amount of credit union fees are much less than standard bank fees. The insufficient funds fee at the credit union where I work is $23.00 per item. At one of our local banks, the fee is $35.00 per item up to a certain number of items, then increases up to $39.00 after that number of items is reached. Many banks charge a fee to speak to a teller or to make a deposit in the branch while most credit unions do not charge a fee for these types of services.

Credit Unions must please their members – A credit union is a financial cooperative designed to fit the financial needs of a specific group of people. That is why you see Fireman’s credit unions or Postal Employee credit unions, etc. For many credit unions, that group of people is a zip code, a county, or a community. These people have a common interest (the group) and through a credit union they can help each other. Some members have borrowing needs, others have saving needs. Credit unions use the “saver’s” money to loan to the “borrowers” pay a dividend to the “savers” and earn income from the “borrowers” which in turn is used to improve the credit union. This is such an amazing philosophy.

How can you find a credit union to join? Check with your employer, friends, family members, and the internet to see what options are available. In the Boise Area, I recommend Idahy Federal Credit Union . I have worked for Idahy for the past 9 years, they truly put members' needs first! When you find a credit union in your area, compare rates, fees, and products with your bank. You will be pleasantly surprised with how much green you can save and how easy it can be to make the switch!

As you can see, I am very passionate about credit unions. They truly are the best option for everyone. Look for many future posts about ways to maximize your credit union membership and save some green in the process!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Albertson's Deal This Week

Albertson's is having one of their awesome sales where if you buy 10 items you get $5.00 back! This combined with manufacturers coupons will yield some great savings. There are several different categories, so check out their ad to look for specific items you need or want. There are several different categories 10 for $10.00, 10 for $15.00, 10 for $20.00, and 10 for $25.00. Again, you have to buy 10 items to get the $5.00 off.

Some of the best deals I see are:

Jolly Time Microwave Popcorn - $.50
Starkist Tuna - $.50
Kraft BBQ Sauce - $.50

Kellogg's and General Mills Cereals - $2.00 (use your MFG coupons to bring this cost down even further)


The important thing to know and remember about Albertson's is that generally it is a more expensive store and you have to look closely for the great deals. They claim everything is a great deal, so make sure it actually is - for example Pop Tarts for $2.00 doesn't get me too excited! Also, just remember that you must use your Albertson's Preferred Card to get these great deals and their sales run from Wednesday to Tuesday, so these sales are good through Tuesday, August 12th.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Walgreen's Kellogg's Deal

There is a lot of buzz going around about the $10.00 Kellogg's rebate. I still haven't quite decided how I am going to work it out to get some free stuff. However, Walgreen's is having a great Register Rewards (RR) deal on some of the Kellogg's items.

Buy at least $10.00 worth of Kellogg's items and receive $5.00 in RR. The $10.00 is original price, not total after coupons so you can use coupons to get the $10.00 as low as possible. The RR can be used toward another purchase at Walgreen's. This isn't a deal that you can "roll" - meaning use the RR toward another $10.00 Kellogg's purchase. So in order to get the best return, only by $10.00 at a time. Using the coupons from the Kellogg's insert from 8/3's paper:

Purchase 4 boxes of Kellogg's cereal = $10.00 - $2.00 coupons = $8.00 out of pocket then the RR for $5.00 will automatically print. The cashier will give it to you with your receipt. Use your RR to purchase other great deals at Walgreen's and/or use them towards items in their EasySaver Rebate catalog.

These RR's are also good for other items such as Keebler, Cheez it, etc. Good luck!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Albertson's Deal This Week

Albertson's has a great special this week -

Purchase 2 gallons of any type of milk and get up to 5 boxes of Post cereal for $1.19 each! This is a sweet deal that can be made even sweeter if you have the post cereal coupons from the recent insert. You must have an Albertson's Preferred Card to get this deal.

Here is what I was able to get:

2 gallons Good Day milk - $2.99 each
1 Post "Just Bunches" cereal - $1.19
1 Post Cocoa Pebbles cereal - $1.19
2 Post Honey Bunches of Oats - $1.19 each
1 Post HoneyComb - $1.19

Total=$11.93

Coupons=$1/1 Just Bunches, $1/2 Post "kid" cereals, $1/2 Post Cereals

Overall total after coupons=$8.93!

This special is going on until next Tuesday, August 12th, and you may do it multiple times. When they do this special I usually do it at the beginning of the sale and the end - because I don't have the room for so much milk!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yard Sales

I love to yard sale. I am not one of those hard core, up at six, fanny pack wearing power yard salers, but I do love it and I have found some great deals. I have been amazed to find that many people have never shopped at a yard sale or had one themselves. I encourage everyone to go out and try it, you will be pleasantly surprised. Here are a few tips to make the most of your yard sale-ing experience.

  • Go early, the "good stuff" is usually gone at the beginning of the sale. Although, sometimes you can get better deals at the end of a sale - people are tired and willing to bargain just to get rid of stuff.

  • Carry change and small bills, this makes it easier on you and the seller.

  • Be willing to bargain - I have been able to ask for less than what people are asking on many things and get a better deal. One of my best deals that I bargained for was my son's twin bed - I got a Sealy matress, box spring, and headboard for $15!

  • Make a list of items you are looking for - or better yet - give this list to your yard sale-ing friends, when they find an item you want they can pick it up for you - and vice versa for them. My boss makes gift baskets for a charity event that she does every year and picks up most of the contents of the baskets from yard sales. Last year, she gave me a list of items and $20.00. I was able to find all sorts of things items, still in the package for her baskets.

  • Buy only items that you know you will use - or that you can resell for a profit. It is never a good deal if you spend the money on something then it sits in a closet gathering dust!

  • Look for neighborhood sales or entire subdivision sales. This is a gas and time saver.

Bottom line, I have saved hundreds of dollars by shopping at yard sales and you can too. I have purchased most of the clothing for both of my kids, children's toys galore (I have never purchased new toys for my kids), a patio umbrella (for $5!), dishes, books, cookbooks, furniture, etc, etc, etc!

For the yard sales in this Boise area check The Idaho Statesman, Z Idaho, and Craigs List.

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