Monday, March 31, 2008

Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit

Did you know that beans are an actually a veggie, but beside the point they can save you a ton of money. Recently I had the opportunity to play a little "Rachel Ray" in the kitchen and try a new creation. In the latest endeavor to make navy bean soup, it came down to about $5.00 out of pocket, a little creativity, and 4 meals completely ready to go. I purchased a store brand bag of navy beans ($2.39) and 48-oz carton of chicken stock (on sale of course for $2.29) and the rest of the ingredients were in the kitchen pantry. Soups can actually be a great time and money saver. Many of us "Thrifty Gals" own crock-pots so lets put them to good use. All a good soup really takes is three basic ingredients: stock (a liquid form of some kind), spices, and veggies. Meat can be optional for all of our vegetarian friends. Be creative as you let the slow cooker do the work.

Sorry, no pictures, the hubby ate the evidence!!

My First Blog....Ever

I never thought I'd be a blogger, but here I am. I always knew it would have to be something spectacular to get me to blog. I guess saving money broke my anti-blog mentality. So as you may know I had been a coupon user...but this CVS thing is great. I started my CVS experience last week with a $30 gift card for a transferred prescription and it has been nonstop since!!! Tonight I wanted to get one last use out of the $5 off $15 purchase so I braved the rain and headed out to CVS to get the SoftSoap that's free with ECB this week.

Here's what I got.
Order #1:
5 Lip Balms
1 gallon milk

Total (before discounts): $19.04
I used $5/$15
$0.55 coupon (milk)
$11 ECB
Out of Pocket: $1.59 and got $14.95 ECB Back

Order #2
5 Softsoaps
Total: $26.45
I used $4/$20
$3.50 in coupons off the Softsoap
$14.95 ECB
Out of Pocket: $2.86 and got $24.95 ECB Back

So basically I spent $4.45 out of pocket and received $39.90 to spend on another shopping trip!! This is great. Thanks to Laura for sharing her expertise.

Tresemme, Tresemme ooo la la

So I've been "CVSing" for about a week...and I must say I am obsessed. How can you not be...getting tons of great stuff for just pennies! It's truly AWESOME! It does take some planning before you head to the store, but it's totally worth every second when you get great deals like this.

Ok, here's the super deals:

- 3 bottles of Tresemme shampoo (32 oz - a.k.a. "giant" bottles)
- 2 bottles of Tresemme conditioner (32 oz)
- 1 Tresemme Hairspray
- 1 Tresemme travel size hairspray
- 2 Glade spray air fresheners
- 1 Oral-B cross action toothbrush

Should have cost: $40.10

Coupons/ECBs used:

-$4/$20 CVS coupon ($4 off a $20 purchase)
-$5/$15 CVS coupon
-$24.95 ECBs (extra care bucks)
-Glade BOGO coupon

OOP: $4.83
ECBs earned: $15.99

So basically, CVS paid me $11.16 to take all of this stuff off their hands! One word for you...AMAZING!

Expired Coupons

I came across this online - these are addresses to send expired coupons to so that military families can use them. Maybe we can do a monthly mailing as a group to save on postage?

Base 1: Thomas Leugers USAG-UD
CMR 419 box 1467
apo ae 09102

Base 2: Tara Whitmore
CMR 447 Box 123
APO, AE 09154

Base 3:
Volunteer/Outreach Coordinator
ACS-10th ASG
Unit 35115
APO AP 96376-5115

Base 4:
USO Europe Unit
29623 Box 8100
APO AE 09096

Ode to Carissa...

... sorry, NOT CVS!

Yay for saving money!! :-D

I don't have pictures of the things I got for free or really cheap, but I went grocery shopping Saturday AND Sunday at Meijer and saved a total of $121 Saturday and $156 Sunday between in store sales and coupons ($90 - some dollars of it was pure coupons)!! I researched ahead of time and planned menus for the next couple of weeks around what was on sale and what I had coupons for and I stocked up on some things that we use often. We shouldn't have to buy anything other than milk and produce for several weeks!! :-D Oh, and I have a $5.99 rebate - from bic razors - that I put in the mail today that I will be getting back so that can be added into the savings also.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


This is my third week "CVSing". I'm starting to feel like a professional!
I love this new found art to shopping.
I am amazed at what there is to learn on the Internet!

Here are my "purchases" - more like free items!
3 full size sprayers of Shout
2 bottles (32 loads) of All Small and Mighty
1 bottle Palmolive Oxy clean dish soap
2 (25ct) packages of Windex mirror wipes
2 bottles of Softsoap body wash
2 sticks of Lady Speed Stick deodorant
2 tubes of Colgate toothpaste
2 Colgate 360 toothbrushes
1 trial size can of Fusion shaving cream
3 packages of Extra gum
1 pacifier (it has a cover that flips closed if pacifier is dropped... I couldn't resist!!!)

Should have cost:$79.89
Spent $26 in ECB (Extra Care Bucks)
Earned $24 in ECB
PLUS $6 worth of "future use" coupons
Total spent OOP (Out Of Pocket) $.93

*Note: I began CVSing using a $25 CVS pharmacy gift card. I began purchasing with their money, and I continue to spend their money... it's wonderful!

Score at Target

I have a love/hate relationship with Target.

I love clearance, cute stuff and free stuff.

I hate the return policy and the lack of pharmacy gift cards for transferring prescriptions.

Today I had a love experience...

90% off Easter clearance. Boaz is going to have a kickin' egg hunt with his cousins next year- I kind of went a little bit crazy, there- I admit it!
* I'm not counting Easter clearance into today's savings.

OK, on to the real savings:

7 trial size Huggies baby wipes
8 trial size boxes of personal items
3 J & J trial baby shampoo
2 J & J trial size 24 hour baby lotion
1 trial size Jergans hand cream
2 trial size Dove deodorant
1 travel size antibacterial wipes :)
1 trial size Tylenol

Should have cost: $19.49
Did cost: -.65 (added into awesome Easter sale items)

*Coupons are cool!

*If a coupon doesn't state that it excludes trial sizes... go ahead and get the trial size and try it for free!

Learning Curves

I LOVE my Cell Group! I love spending time and being real with each of these women. Sunday mornings are so hectic at church for real development of friendships- and so Wednesday evening is the venue for me to really connect on a deeper level. We need the support and encouragement of one another to live the lives that God desires for us.

All of us, being in our mid-late 20's, are looking for ways to steer clear of debt, be able to give, to save and to have some recreational spending money as well. Let's face it... we are female and LOVE to shop! We love a good deal. We love to brag *with as much humility as is humanly possible!* about it!

So here we are, embarking on this, the Maiden Post for Thrifty Gals.

Maiden because:
1. We are ladies.
2. This is the beginning of our adventure together!

Let the thrill seeking, skill seeking, deal seeking adventure begin!

And remember, friends don't let friends pay full retail!