Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Savings Account

One of the best things that we have done was open a savings account that automatically takes money out of our checking account. I started slow with $25 a month. That seemed painless enough so I worked my way up to $100 a month. If my husband or I work an extra job or a few extra hours, I'll make a one time transfer into that savings account. I don't do any other banking online, but I'm comfortable with this account. I've also found that it becomes a challenge for me to see how much extra I can deposit each month. It's also very rewarding to check the account and see how much it's grown and how much it's made in interest. We have made a deal not to withdraw from this account at all. It's totally separate from our regular savings or emergency fund. I am surprised at how much it has already grown in less then one year! I'm hoping that in a few years we'll be pleasantly shocked at how much we've been able to save with just a few dollars at a time. Let me know if you have any tricks or tips on ways that you save, I'd love to hear them.


Sorry the picture is a little fuzzy. The kids were outside and I wanted to hide a few things in the closet for Christmas before they came in so I didn't notice the picture was bad until too late.
Here's the scoop
Hot wheels spin slammer (was 19.99) - $4.98
Transformer transportable activity center (was 29.99) - $7.48
Digital spy camera (was 14.99) - $7.98
Power Ranger jungle fury walkie-talkies (was 19.99) - 4.98
Spiderman deluxe chalk set (was 3.14) - $1.57 (got 2)
MXS motorcycle toy (was 3.79) - $ .94 (got 2)
Big bag of knights (was 1.99) - $1.99
Large sling shot (nerf like) (was 2.99) - $1.48
Double pack Ziplock bags (was 4.99)- $3.49
Diamond plastic silverware (was 3.38) - $3.99
Purex 2x detergent (was 2.99) - $2.49
All 2x (was 4.99) - $1.64
Solo cups (was 3.99) - $3.38
Dixie plates (was 3.99) - $3.38
6 pk elmers - $1.00 (got 2)
Composition books - $ .50 (got 3)
10 pack of 70 ct notebooks - $ .50
10 pack portfolios - $1.00
I know some of the deals don't sound to good, but the purex, ziploc, diamond silverware, All, solo cups & dixie plates were all limited edition sizes (larger then usual) and were good deals without being on clearance. I also had a purex coupon for .50 & a target coupon for $1.50 off the All. Some things were bought specifically for the party Saturday so I couldn't wait for another markdown, but I will be checking back on Monday to see if anything has been marked down more. I also splurged on the digital spy camera. It was only 50% off, but it was the last one and my son is very into the spygear stuff and will love it. I'll use the less expensive toys as party favors and save a lot that way. I had made a trip to Michaels a few weeks ago and they had a bunch of notebooks and girl things on clearance for .50 cents each so this will be the least amount of money I've ever spent on party favors and I brought home better things then ever before.
My total at Target including tax was $60.36. Definitely a budget breaker. I don't know what the normal prices on the school supplies were so just using the sale price on those I brought home $136.73 worth of stuff ($145.62 with tax?) So I saved over $85.00 which isn't too shabby.

I blew my budget

OK I'll admit it, I threw the budget out the window this week. But, in my defense, I got a lot of good deals. We are also having my son's birthday party on Saturday and I usually would be spending a fortune just on that so I really have saved a lot this week. Lets start with Office Max...

Unfortunately I've missed out on some of the great Staples deals as I don't have a Staples near me so I had to take advantage of Office Max since I was right there. I was a little disappointed because I was there Monday and some of the items were already gone, which really annoys me, but I still did good. Take note in the picture of how the sharpie high-liters look. When I brought them to the register I asked if they were the ones on sale and the salesgirl said no. She began to ring them up and as I said I don't want them if they aren't on sale I saw that they rang up with the sales price. The sales girl was shocked, and as the store was out of the ones that were supposed to be on sale I was thrilled to get them.
3 sharpie mini high-liters .15 cents
3 ring binder rulers .03 cents
2 micro ban scissors pointed $1.98
3 blunt scissors .75 cents
3 color crayons 24ct .03 cents
set of 5 pink erasers .99 cents
Avery 8 tab inserts .99 cents
So I got $21.34 worth of school stuff for $5.24
Next stop Target

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Think differently

In this quest to stretch our dollars a little bit further I've learned a little bit about myself. I like the challenge of getting a good deal. I am becomming addicted to finding the best deals and bargins that I can. I realized this yesterday as I was chatting with one of my girlfriends on the phone. She was about to buy new school uniforms for her daughter online without using any coupons, codes or other money saving sites. I just about jumped through the phone to stop her & immediately sent her to one of my favorite websites, fatwallet. She will get back 3% of her purchase which didn't seem like much to her. I then went into a whole passionate explaination of how quick the money can add up. Then I realized that how you spend and save your money is an entire mindset. I saw the potential of 3% and my friend saw that she had to do a whole bunch of extra stuff to get a measly 3%. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CVS deals this week

Sorry that I don't have a picture, but I wanted to let you know the deals I got at CVS this week anyway. I had 3 seperate transactions over two trips.
Transaction 1
1 power ranger lego figure on clearance for $1.75
4 two packs of disney chapsticks on clearance (.75 each) $3.00
2 Loreal Hydro. conditioners BOGO $4.99
2 Loreal Hydro. shampoos BOGO $4.99
1 veet large gel cream $9.99

I had some good coupons for the veet that the company sent me so I used $9.00 of them.
I had 2 BOGO coupons for the Loreal so they were free & I used $3.00 in ECB's.
My OOP (out of pocket) was 3.96 & I took home $48.90 worth of stuff.

Transaction 2
1 Gold Emblem garlic salt .88
1 GE cashews $2.99
1 GE chocolate cashews $2.99
1 veet small gel creme $4.59
1 GE white chedder popcorn $$1.49
1 GE pretzels $2.49
1 GE popcorn $1.19
2 hersheys $2.00

I used my last veet coupon of $3.00, $1.00 off hersheys, $2.00 off $10.00 CVS purchase (Gold Emblem is a CVS brand) & $10.00 in ECBs.
My OOP was $2.62 for almost $24.00 worth of stuff and I received $5.00 in ECBs for the veet.

Transaction 3
1 CVS daily vitamin 100 ct on clearance $1.75
1 CVS multi vitamin 100ct on clearence $1.80
2 GE cashews $5.98
1 clean & clear face cleaner $5.49
1 clean & clear sensitive skin cleanser $4.49
1 clean & clear steam facial $6.99
1 clean & clear scrub cleanser $6.99
2 Loreal hydro. conditioners BOGO $4.99

The Clean & Clear was an additional $1.00 off each item. Don't forget to scan your CVS card on the price checking machine every time you're in CVS to get your extra coupons. I had received 2 different $1.00 off any purchase of CVS multivitamins so the vitamins that were on clearance were great fillers. I was also able to count them towards my CVS purchase & use another $2.00 off CVS items. I had another BOGO coupon for the Loreal so that was free. I signed up here for Clean & Clear coupons & printed out a $3.00 off 2 coupon. Later on they emailed me 2 $2.00 off any Clean & Clear purchase coupons and I was able to combine all 3 of these coupons to get some great deals. I'll give the facial stuff to my husband to wrap for my birthday. That way I get what I want and at a bargin price!
I used $7.99 in ECB's so my OOP was $10.83 for $60.50 worth of stuff. I recieved $5.00 in ECBs for the clean & clear.

So the bottom line was
$17.41 OOP for $135.61 and I still have $10.00 left in ECB's from these transactions.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Publix deals

Hello all,

I know I've been slacking off lately, but I've got a new attitude and will be blogging much more now. We spent a few weeks visiting our loved ones all over NY, NJ & CT and it was wonderful, but I just checked the credit card balance and fell off my chair. So I'm refreshed and on a mission to save enough over the next few weeks to make up for what we spent. I still can't conceive having a budget of $40 or $50 a week like some of the bloggers I love do, but I'll try my best. I've had some really great CVS shopping trips lately, but I wasn't able to get pictures. Especially today since I had the kids with me (and was reminded of why I usually leave the little darlings home when I coupon shop) and they ate/opened most of what I bought. I'll try to at least write down this weeks savings, but I will let you all in on my Publix bargains...
This was a great trip because everything I bought is stuff we will use relatively quickly, as opposed to a lot of my CVS deals that go in the cabinet until needed.
I bought
2 Green giant veggies $2.00
2 Old El Paso gordito kits $2.59 (Buy One Get One Free - BOGO)
2 dannon yogurts $1.00
Smart Balance Butter Blend $3.59
2 Dole salad blends $3.49 (BOGO)
2 Fast Fixin chicken tenders $5.99 (BOGO) you can sign up for 1.00 off coupons here
4 A-1 Marinade $5.78 (BOGO)
2 Farm Rich French Toast Sticks $3.29 (BOGO) you can sign up for .75 coupons here
Polly O string cheese $3.99
2 Tombstone pizzas $5.79
2 Barilla Marinara $2.75
2 Yocrunch yogurts $1.20

I had coupons for A-1 marinade 4/$1.00 off so they cost me almost .44 cents each.
I used 2 $1.00 off Fast fixins chicken and paid about $1.99 each.
Used $1.00 off the Smart Balance Butter (we've really been wanting to try that)
Used the .75 coupons on the french toast sticks & paid about .90 cents each
At the front of Publix there were smart summertime savings books (I took a few) with coupons for $1.00 off Polly O & $1.00 off 2 dole salads. I also used a $5.00 off $30.00 that Publix had sent me.

My grand total was $25.36 for $73.54 worth of groceries!
Maybe I can get closer to that $50.00 a week budget then I thought.