A good weekend for coupons

14 05 2009

Looks like it will be a good Sunday to buy an extra newspaper or two or three.

According to the folks over at thecouponclippers.com, there will be three nice-size inserts in this Sunday’s papers. Click here to check out the list to see what coupons you may be interested in. Then click on each of the inserts listed under May 17: Smart Source, Valassis and Proctor and Gamble.

By buying extra papers, you’ll be able to maximize your savings and add to your pantry stockpile when you  match your coupons to store sales.

 And, with my journalism roots, I can’t resist an opportunity to put in a plug to buy extra papers to boost those ever-shrinking circulation numbers at newspapers across the country. Click here, here and here for past posts on why I think newspapers are still a smart purchase.

A couple coupons that caught my eye for this weekend: 75 cents off 1 package of Breyers Yo Crunch 100-calorie packs of yogurt and 55 cents off 1 package of Nabisco Chips Ahoy cookies.

In double- and triple-coupon land where I live, those two coupons have huge potential.

And don’t forget about my shortcuts for clipping all those coupons from multiple papers. Click here to save yourself all kinds of time and aggravation.

One last remember:  Next Sunday, May 24, there will be no Sunday coupons because of Memorial Day weekend.


Coupon for FREE beverage at Borders/Seattle’s Best

30 04 2009

Treat yourself to a FREE beverage at Borders bookstores between now and May 6. Click here to print a coupon for a 12-ounce beverage of your choice at stores that have Seattle’s Best Coffee cafes.

And a big thanks to moneysavingmom.com for the freebie alert!

More Target deals

30 04 2009

img_1699I couldn’t resist going on another shopping expedition to Target today with my Target coupons. I had a couple coupons expiring and I couldn’t stand the thought of them going to waste.

I thought I would share the deals and post a photo to further illustrate the “Target Tutorial” post I wrote earlier this week.

If I had paid full price, which would NEVER happen, my bill would have been $14.40 for the items you see pictured.

Here is what I paid and how I did it:

*Half-gallon Tropicana orange juice, $2.99, minus $1 Target coupon, minus $1 manufacturer’s coupon = 99 cents

*Three apples, regularly $1.89 on sale for $1.27, minus $1 Target coupon = 27 cents

*Promise Activ Supershots, $2.89 (cheapest price I could find), minus $1.50 manufacturer’s coupon= $1.39

*Three Quaker granola bites packages, $1 each, minus three $1 Target coupons = free

*Two GE Energy Smart CFL bulbs, $3.59 each minus two $2 Target coupons minus two $1 manufacturer’s coupons = 59 cents each

My total bill was $4, which includes tax. The cashier was speechless. I was giddy. I carried it all out with my FREE reusable Target shopping bag, which I received on Earth Day.

Lovin’ Target, lovin’ coupons.

Triples update: I saved 87 percent on my grocery bill

29 04 2009

img_1698If you’ve had any lingering doubts about the power of coupons, check out my latest shopping trip to Harris Teeter. I saved 87 percent off my total grocery order. 

In other words, I paid 13 cents on the dollar for all the groceries you see filling my kitchen table. If that isn’t worth a couple hours a week clipping and organizing, I don’t know what is.

After three shops at three different HT stores — all a stone’s throw from my house — I paid $22.01 for $163.23 worth of groceries.

Harris Teeters throughout the Southeast are tripling coupons up to 99 cents today through Tuesday, May 5. Click here to read my original post, which includes a link to a substantial list of great deals for free and unbelievably cheap items.

Items I “bought” that were totally free: Grande tortilla chips, McCormick cinnamon, McCormick chili powder, Clabber Girl baking powder, Bumblebee Tuna, Lava bar soap and Lady Speed Stick.

Items 25 cents or under: Dial soap three-pack, McCormick imitation vanilla, Texas Toast crutons, Planters Big Nut bars, Lipton noodles, Dole peaches, Multi-grain Cheerios and No Yolk noodles.

Items 55 cents or under: Pepto Bismol, Nestles Morsels, Eggo waffles and Breyers ice cream.

Everything else was under $1 except for the package of sirloin fillets, which were $1.76 after a $2 peelie, and Reynolds 100 percent recycled foil, which was $1.45 after triple coupons. But, I will end up getting this free — or possibly make money — after sending in my Earth Day try-me-free mail-in rebate.

After all that shopping, I’ll probably take a breather until early Sunday morning when the new coupons come out in the Sunday newspaper. Check here or here later today to see what coupons we can expect. 

In the mean time, I’d love to hear your best grocery savings stories.

A Target tutorial

29 04 2009

I love Target. I love its clean stores, its wide aisles, its cute and cheap kids clothes, its funky home decor.

And I especially love its coupons.

With just the right combination of  Target coupon and manufacturer’s coupon, you can score some great deals. If the item happens to be on sale — or better yet — on clearance, the deals can be astounding. It is not uncommon to “buy” several items, paying only sales tax.

I do not claim to be a Target expert. There are plenty of writers who blog daily — yes, daily — about the ins and outs of  Target deals, and their love of all things Target.

Two of my favorites are Attention Target Shoppers and Slave to Target. At Attention Target Shoppers, Ginger gives weekly updates on coupon match-ups. She also gives her followers — she calls them Targeteers — the heads up on sales, coupon policies and strategies, clearance deals and the occasional giveaway.

 Target Slave characterizes her relationship with Target as a “Red Cart Romance.” She describes herself  as an “Internet dork and Target lover, endcap whore and $1 section addict.” She offers hilarious reports on the latest Target merchandise.

I’m just a coupon junkie who knows my way around the endcaps of her SuperTarget, which is so close to my home I could walk to it if I had to.

With the tips of fellow bloggers, I have learned the art of the Target deal.

This week’s deals are exceptionally good so I thought it would be a great time to share.

How do free apples, free Quaker snacks, 32-cent Kraft Easy Mac cups, and 50-cent Oscar Mayer hot dogs sound? They sounded pretty good to me.

The apples, Quaker snacks and mac and cheese are all straightforward deals, requiring only a Target coupon. The hot dog deal requires a Target coupon and two manufacturer’s coupons. This coupon combination is called stacking in coupon parlance and is perfectly legit. Think of the Target coupon as a hidden sale, offered only to shoppers in the know. The cost of the store coupon discount is absorbed by Target.  By using a manufacturer’s coupon along with the Target coupon, you further reduce the amount you will pay for an item.

Here are the details of the deals I got yesterday:

*Several varieties of apples are on sale this week for 99 cents per pound. Target issued a coupon for $1 off one pound or more of apples. Select just enough apples to weigh in at one pound and you’ve just bought yourself some free apples.

*One dollar bags of Quaker Granola Bites can be found near the cash registers. Target issued a coupon for $1 off any Quaker snack. The key word here is “any.” Free granola snacks.

*Kraft Easy Mac bowls are 82 cents. Target issued a coupon for $1 off two Kraft Easy Mac meals. Bulls-eye! Dorm dinners for my college boys at 32 cents each.

*Many varieties of Oscar Mayer hot dogs are on sale for $1.99. Target issued a coupon for $1 off of two packages. Lucky for me, I also had manufacturer’s coupons for $1 off one package of OM hot dogs. Using one Target coupon and two manufacturer’s coupons,  my final price for two packages of dogs was $1 or 50 cents each.

Where do you get Target coupons?

Frequently, Target will mail out coupons to shoppers, based on Zip codes and shopping habits. I sometimes receive these mailer coupons but my neighbors, who aren’t big coupon clippers, seem to get them more regularly. I know this, btw, because they sometimes give me their Target coupons.

Most often, I get my Target coupons by printing them off the Target.com website. About every two weeks, the store will issue new coupons and you can pick and choose which ones to print. Click here to check out this week’s coupons. There are 18 coupons, all expiring May 23, worth $17.

Being frugal, however, I detest using paper and ink on coupons I may or may not use. So the most frugal way to get these coupons is to print them at Target using its paper and its ink! I try to make a habit of stopping in at the Customer Service area each time I set foot in Target. Three computers are there for customers to sign in to wedding and baby registries and to print coupons.

If you forget to print coupons off the Target website, the coupons are also available for printing at afullcup.com and hotcouponworld.com, two national bargain shopping forums. These sites have the coupons available for printing until they expire. Target.com generally replaces the coupons every two weeks.

My only other advice on using Target coupons is to use common sense and courtesy. Theoretically, I could have walked out of Target with a dozen or more of each item I purchased but I didn’t. First, I want Target to keep offering these great deals. Greed is bound to spoil it for all of us. Second, I want to give my fellow couponers a chance to find a bargain.

It’s time for triples again

27 04 2009

My favorite grocery store, Harris Teeter, is at it again with another round of triples. It has only been one month since the last triples promotion, and according to folks with inside sources, it is another week-long event. Triples will begin Wednesday, April 29, and run through Tuesday, May 5.

This lends credibility to the rumors that Harris Teeter will be doing triples on a monthly basis. We coupon crazies can only hope.

And for those of you in the lands of no triples, such as Florida, my pantry runneth over in sorrow for you.

For those of you on the East Coast within driving distance of a Harris Teeter, click here  for a wonderful list of triples deals posted on the North Carolina-based deals forum, SavvyDollar.org. Many thanks to Faye Prosser, a North Carolina coupon guru and the author of the book, The Smart Spending Guide, for compiling the list, which also includes deals listed on HotCouponWorld.com, a national deals forum.

Looks like there are many free and nearly free items available to savvy shopper with the right coupons. During the first two days of the sale, we’ll be able to take advantage of those coupons with April 30th expiration dates. And Sunday will bring another new round of deals with the new coupon inserts in Sunday’s newspaper.

In these recessionary times, I can’t think of a better way to stretch that grocery budget.

There is such a thing as a free lunch — today at KFC

27 04 2009

KFC is going grilled.

Not sure what the Colonel would think of that. But you can decide for yourself today, April 27, without risking a dime. Get a free piece of grilled chicken from its new line as the restaurant celebrates “UNFry Day.”

Lower in calories and fat than its fried counterpart, the grilled chicken version also has a carefully guarded secret recipe, according to company execs.

Check it out for yourself — for free. And if your Monday schedule is too hectic, you’ve got a second opportunity to snag yourself a free piece of chicken. Check inside yesterday’s Parade magazine, which is inserted into most Sunday newspapers, for a coupon for a free piece — valid until May 12.