Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Today's Thrifty Thursday blog is about shopping around and getting a lot of stuff for little money.

There are several places that offer rewards for buying certain products. One such place is Walgreen's. Every week their ad will show you what products are offering a reward coupon. This week they had Herbal Essences products on sale for $2.99 then you received a $2 reward coupon to be used on your next purchase. You can only get one reward certificate for each product advertised so you may have to make several trips to get what you need and to get the best value. You also have to make sure that you have the same number of items as you do coupons or you won't be able to use them all and that the total price is more than your coupon total.

I made three trips to Walgreen's and I must confess that the majority of the stuff, I did not NEED but could use at some point or another. When I was deciding what I would get, I found it was a better value to get things I knew I didn't need on top of the stuff I needed because I would end up getting more for my money. During trip one you will spend the most. I spent $30.02, that was with only using one $1 off coupon for the Herbal Essences Shampoo and I received $11 in reward coupons. I made a run to the grocery store then on my way back I stopped back at Walgreen's. I forgot about needing 4 items to use the 4 coupons I had so I could only use two coupons. I ended up spending $3.55 this trip and getting one more reward coupon. Trip three I did two transactions since I knew I would be getting a $2 reward back, which the cashier did not mind. Sometimes they will make you leave and come back in and they do have the right to limit the amount of sale and reward items you buy but I have not had any problems (then again this was only my first time shopping with the rewards). My first transaction totaled $1.16 and my second a mere 24 cents that I HAD to put on my debit card since I used all my change this weekend for tolls :p

For a total of $34.97 including tax, this is what I bought... Herbal Essences Shampoo, Conditioner and Hairspray (had a $1 off coupon plus reward coupon), a 2oz Glade Soy Based Candle (had a coupon for a free candle), 2 6oz cans of Blue Diamond honey roasted almonds (buy one get one free in ad), 2 bags of caramels (for making caramel apples mmmmm, on sale for 2/$3 plus reward coupon), 8 rolls of paper towels (always only $5), 2 Jumbo packs of Easy Up Training Pants (on sale 2/$20 plus reward coupon), 5 individual size Pirate's Booty popcorn (on clearance for 25 cents each), a large can of Arizona Raspberry Iced Tea, and an Oral B 1-2-3 toothbrush.

If you have a Sam's Club membership you can find some amazing deals on bulk items. A year membership only costs $35 and can be bought as a gift (ours was given to us for Christmas). I usually only get my meat and some various snacks. Today I happened to find a 5.4lb pack of hamburger, 90% lean, for only $5.37. Much to my luck, it was mispriced and it rang up at that insanely low price. I knew it wasn't only the 2.31lbs it was marked at. They also have seasonal and one time buy items that are usually fantastic deals. This time I got a 3 pack of Chex cereals (one of each kind) for less than $7... perfect for making Chex Mix! I filled my cart with snacks, meat, and juice boxes for only $127!

This is what I got... 72 fruit snacks, a large container of animal crackers, a large container of rod pretzels, two fudge making kits (includes everything you need except butter), 6 bags of Chex cereal, 36 snack pack puddings, 36 individual apple sauces and 10 everything bagels (plus about 10lbs of hamburger, 6 1/2 lbs of chicken breast tenders, 4 boxes of Capri Sun juice pouches and the large can of nuts my 3yr old thought needed to go in the freezer)...

ALDI is another place to find great deals. Like Sam's Club, you cannot use coupons but their prices are pretty low on a lot of things. For awhile their milk was only $1.49 a gallon and was the only reason for me going there. They don't have 1% though and just this trip I decided to make the plunge to skim milk since their prices changed. 2% was now $2.15 and skim was only $1.93 per gallon. Their hotdogs are only 79 cents and if you are not brand picky with your hotdogs it makes them a great deal. Today I spent less than $6 and got two gallons of milk, a can of kidney beans and a can of chili beans. I was hoping for less than that, but we needed milk and you can't really find it cheaper anywhere else.

Now to take care of all this stuff I just bought :p

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