Saturday, March 31, 2012

Freebie Challenge: Day One!!!

Today marked the official start of my Freebie Challenge!  I headed out with my coupons and baggie of change to find some great deals.  Yes, I was paying at each register out of my Ziploc baggie of was a conversation piece to say the least.  Here are today's far.


Maruchan Yakisoba Noodles, $.99
Used $.50/1 from 3/11 SS, doubled

Pennsylvania Dutch Noodles, $1
Used $1/1 Pennsylvania Dutch Product Coupon (sign up for the link by email)
Limit 1 per person, however you are able to print an unlimited number of copies

Kraft Fresh Take, $2.99
Used Kraft First Taste Coupon for FREE Fresh Take (sign up and check your account often!)

Banana, $.26
I had my almost four year old with me and he is a member of the Healthy Eaters Kids Club
With his "special coupon" this was FREE

Hot Wheels Valentines
Reduced to $.30
A great deal for next year!

2 Aunt Jemima Waffles, $1.69 each
I received a $3 off any frozen item purchase coupon in the mail
Paid $.38 for both

Tostito's Scoops, BOGO at $3.49 for one
Used $1/2 from Tear Pad (I found mine in the Gorham Hannaford, exp. 4/1)
Paid $2.49 for two!

Tostito's Queso Dip $4.35
Used coupon for a Free Tostito's Dip WYB 2 Chips  found at Hannaford in Buxton (tear pad)

Subtotal $3.17
Used $3 Catalina from Kraft Deal a couple of weeks ago
Total OOP $.17!!!

Rite Aid

I had much greater plans for Rite Aid today, but I ended up with two rain checks...stay tuned for those deals later in the week.  Today, I was able to score two great deals!

4 Snicker's Eggs $.69 each, BOGO
Used 2 $1/2 Mars Easter Candies from 3/4 RP

2 Playtex Kids Cups $6.29 each
I had a rain check from a few weeks ago when there was an in-ad coupon for $4 off any Playtex baby feeding item
Used 2 $2/1 Playtex Infant Feeding Product Coupons (sign up, email arrives in 24 hours)
Paid $.29 each
There are other cups priced at $5.99 which would have been free, however the Gray Rite Aid always seems to have girl colored ones, so I went with these options!

Total OOP with tax $1.28


2 Advil PM 4-ct $.99 each
Used 2 $1/1 Advil PM 4-ct + from 3/11 RP (I have more, but this was all they had in stock)
Paid $.10 in tax!

That's a total of $1.55 for the day...this is such a fun week!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Week of Freebies...Let The Challenge Begin!

For the last few days I have been hinting at an upcoming challenge I have for myself.  I think it's time to let you all in on the secret!  This coming week, I will be shopping only for freebies!  

What I have to work with:

Two $3 Catalinas from Shaw's
$12.99 in CVS Extra Care Bucks
Any spare change I can find around my house, in the cars, on the get the idea

Armed with these limited resources, and of course my coupons, I will shop 'til I drop this week.  

The challenge starts tomorrow...after all, in my world a "week" is defined by the Shaw's ad!

Forget About Dollar Doublers...Tonight Was All About Unbelievable Unilever Deals!

I love it when you find the perfect storm of couponing...a great deal paired with amazing coupons and a store that doubles for almost free products!  Tonight's trip came with some worries, since I assumed with such a great deal going on the shelves would be cleared.  I found much the opposite in the Windham store...they were fully stocked on everything I wanted!

Here we go...

Suave Body Wash, $2.39 each, B2G1
Used B2G1 from 3/19 RP to get a second one free
Final Cost $2.39 for all three, only $.80 each!

Buy 6 Save $3 Instantly Promotion:

I look at this as an additional $.50 off the sale price of each item, which is how Shaw's lists the participating products in their flyer.  The prices below reflect the full reduced amount.

4 Ragu Pasta Sauces $1.19 
Used 4 $.50/1 Ragu Sauce Coupons, doubled
Final Cost $.76, only $.19 each

4 Skippy Peanut Butters $1.99 each (with the rising cost of PB, this alone is a great deal)
Used 4 $.75/1 Skippy Peanut Butter Coupons, doubled
Final Cost $1.96, only $.49 each

4 Wishbone Salad Dressings $1.49 each
Used 4 $.50/1 Wishbone Salad Dressing Coupons, doubled
Final Cost $1.96, only $.49 each

Total Retail Value $41.86
I Spent $7.07
A Savings of 83%!!!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe...How To Do It SUPER Cheap!

I get requests for the recipe for my Buffalo Chicken Dip every time I make it for a party.  Now, just posting a picture resulted in a request for the recipe.  You can all thank Paula for the info.  For all my fellow Coupon Maineiacs, I will add in tips on how to save money on all of the ingredients!

Four chicken breasts, boiled and chopped
I always stock up on chicken breasts when Shaw's has them BOGO which they happened to a couple of weeks ago.  I used five from this particular package with the Kraft Fresh Takes and the last two for a half-sized version of this recipe!

Two blocks of cream cheese

I bought these during the Kraft Catalina.  My first time with that promotion I earned a $3 Catalina by buying four of the Kraft Fresh Takes, which I used with a manufacturer's Q from the Cat machine at Shaw's for $1.50 off 3 Kraft Philly Cream Cheeses!

8 ounces of blue cheese dressing 

FREE wishbone thanks to the $2 Hannaford coupon and today's adventure

8 ounces of shredded cheddar/jack cheese

my Essentials at Hannaford is priced at $2.69, which of course means I got a bag for only $.69!

Frank's Red Hot Sauce, as much as you like (I usually use one small bottle)

This was FREE at Shaw's using a recent $.75/1 coupon (expired, but this is the reason why I stock up when there's a great coupon like that one)

Crockpot option:
Melt cream cheese, add dressing, frank's and cheese
When all combined, add chicken and keep warm

Baked option:
Start with chicken
Chop cream cheese into 1-inch slices and spread around
pour dressing and frank's over
Bake at 350, stirring a few times to combine
Once everything is melted, sprinkle cheese on top
Bake until cheese is melted

Serve with tortilla chips or veggies...enjoy!!!

Of course, the chips I used tonight were from today's amazing Tostito's BOGO deal!

Happy Snacking!!!

Last and I Guess Least...But Still Worth Sharing!

I just can't have a super shopping day without making a stop at CVS!  

Gold Emblem Jelly Beans $.99
Received $.99 ECB
Most couponers will call this FREE, but I don't.  I paid for the item, but have just as much back to spend at a later time!  I could have separated transactions, but I know it will get used!

2 M&M's Easter Bags $4.19, BOGO
Used $1.50/2 Mars Seasonal Products from April issue of All You Magazine
and $1/2 M&M's From the Magic Coupon Machine
Paid $1.69 for both

Colgate 360 Toothbrush $2.99, regularly $4.89
Used $1/1 Colgate 360 from 3/11 SS
Paid $1.99
Received $2 ECB
again, some will actually call this a money maker...not me!

Total OOP $5.08
Received $2.99 back in ECB!!!

And no, the irony of purchasing three candy items and a toothbrush was not lost on us!

Shaw's Dollar Doublers: Day 2

Another benefit of today's Hannaford Hopping was having the option to visit a Shaw's store other than my own.  I did get advanced notice that the Scarborough store was fully stocked on Uncle Ben's Rice, so we headed there to break things up a bit.  

This was my strategy:

The Dollar Doubler (DD) items I wanted were the Uncle Ben's Rice (9 total, meaning 3 Q's, so I could get the $3 Catalina), two more boxes of Wheat Thins and four bags of Tostitos since I found the $1/2 tearpad at the Gorham Hannaford.  That gave me seven $1 coupons to double, so I also added in some YoCrunch yogurt.

My Cart:

4 Bags of Tostitos at $3.99 each, BOGO
Used $1/2 from tearpad
Total of $5.98 BDD (before dollar doublers)

2 Wheat Thins Bold Flavors, $2.50 each
Used 2 $1/1 Facebook Coupons
Total of $3 BDD

This brings my total to $8.98 BDD


2 Tostitos Salsas using another coupon found on a tearpad at Hannaford in Buxton the other day for a Free Sala or Queso WYB 2 Tostitos

4 Maruchan Yakisoba noodles, free with $.50/1 from the 3/11 SmartSource

Now I had to bring my total after manufacturer's coupons to $15 in order to use the Dollar Doublers

12-pack of Scott Bath Tissue, regularly $10.99 on sale for $6.99
Used $.99/1 Scott Bath Tissue 8-roll or more
I expected it to double, but there is tiny print stating do not double...I was shocked that the cashier noticed, but she did even though I didn't!
Paid $6.00, bringing my total to $14.98 

Half Dozen Rolls from the reduced bakery section, $1.75

Total BDD was now $16.48 (I thought it would be closer to $15, but the Scott not doubling made it a bit higher)
Total OOP was $12.83, down from $48.04 
Savings of 74%!!!

Hubby's Cart:

9 Boxes of Uncle Ben's Rice $1 each
Used 3 $1/3 Uncle Ben's Coupons
Total of $6 BDD

4 Yoplait YoCrunch Yogurts $.60 each
Used $1/4 YoCrunch Coupon
Total of $1.40 BDD

This brings his total to $7.40 BDD

He also got one free package of Maruchan Yakisoba noodles

His fillers to get to the $15 minimum were:

Shaw's Chicken Strips, regularly priced at $4.99, on sale for $3.99
Manager's Special Coupon for $1.50 off on the package
Paid $2.49

Ground Beef, sale price of $3.79/lb, package price $3.87
Manager's Special Coupon for $1.50 off on the package
Paid $2.37

Hubby's Choice of B2G1 Soda at $1.50 each
Paid $3 plus deposit for all 3

Total BDD was $17.11
Total OOP $13.11, down from $32.58
Savings of 60%
Plus $3 Catalina earned for purchasing 8 or more Uncle Ben's products!

Grand Total $25.94, down from $80.62
Savings of 68%!!!

In three trips this week, I have paid a total of $37.12 and earned a $3 Catalina!!!

Hannaford Hopping...I Need a Nap Now!!!

Today was a very special day for myself and my hubby; we both took the day off from work to spend time together, and this is what we did!  Of course, he was just thrilled about it...

Here we go!


2 Clorox Green Works All-Purpose Cleaner $3.29 each
Plus $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $1.62 with tax for both

5 BeechNut Stage 2 Baby Foods $.41 each, $2.05 total
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.05

Buxton (self-scan):

my Essentials Sour Cream $1.69
BeechNut Stage 2 Baby Food $.41
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.10

my Essentials Shredded Cheese $2.69
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.69

Hannaford Jalapenos $2.19
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.19
Hubby did this transaction twice for a total of $.38

Scarborough (self-scan):

Red Seedless Grapes, sale price $1.29/lb
Just over a pound for $1.33
Hannaford Hot Dogs $1.49
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.82

Hannaford Cheddar Cheese Block $2.59
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.59

Tony's Pizza $2.50
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.50
Hubby did this transaction twice for a total of $1

South Portland:

Reynold's Wrap Aluminum Foil $3.99
and $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.69 with tax

5 BeechNut Stage 3 Foods $.60 each (reduced from $.80)
Used $1/5 BeechNut Stage 3 Foods from their e-Newsletter
and $2 Hannaford Coupon

Forest Ave:

Wishbone Salad Dressing $2
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
2 FREE, we each got one!

We headed back towards the mall for a lunch break, then made a couple more stops...

South Portland #2:

5 BeechNut Stage 3 Foods $.60 each (reduced from $.80)
Used $1/5 BeechNut Stage 3 Foods from their e-Newsletter
and $2 Hannaford Coupon

Glad Flexforce Trash Bags $4.99
and $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $1.24 with tax


2 Clorox Green Works All-Purpose Cleaner $3.29 each
Plus $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $1.62 with tax for both

Tony's Pizza $2.50
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.50

Total Retail Value $55.68
Paid $9.30
That's a savings of $46.28 between store reductions, manufacturer's coupons and store coupons...83%!!!!!

We did all of this with minimal trouble.  One cashier did hesitate when I used the Glad coupon along with the store coupon.  Apparently others were going to that particular store expecting to use the $2 coupon when their balance after manufacturer's coupons was below $2.  Other than that, we made it through all of these stores in very little time.  There was some driving involved, but no more than we would have done if we went to work and back, so I don't see that as an expense.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Quick Trip to Hannaford...I Just Might Have to Go Back Later!

As we were leaving Shaw's, my almost four year old son asked "are we going to another store?".  Apparently, only going to one store is strange to him.  When I asked him where he wanted to go he said "I want to go to Hannaford, they have cookies there".  I didn't even prompt him, he came up with it on his own!  So, off to Hannaford we went, both hubby and myself armed with a $2 Hannaford coupon, the good ones!


5 Jars of BeechNut Stage 3, price cut to $.60 each (regularly $.80)
Used 1 $1/5 BeechNut Stage 3 Jars Coupon
Plus $2 Hannaford Coupon
All 5 jars were FREE


2 1.5 Liter Bottles of Coke $1 each
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.20 in tax and bottle deposit!

Total Retail Value $5.40
We Paid $.20
That's a savings of 96%!!!

If you need the good coupon, email me at

Shaw's Dollar Doublers: Day 1

Okay, I know what you're thinking, "it's not day one, it's day three".  Well, today was my first trip to Shaw's this week so it's day one for me!  

I went in with a plan, and it was shot to you-know-where for two reasons: no Uncle Ben's Rice :-( and no tear pads for the Tostitos BOGO deal.  The Uncle Ben's was what really put a wrench in the plan because that was $6 of my BDD (before Dollar Doublers) total so I had to get creative!

With hubby and two little guys long for the ride, here's what we got!

Texas Toast Croutons $1
Used $.50/1 from April All You Magazine, doubled
Final Cost FREE
This is also a great option for the Dollar Doublers with the $1/2 Coupon from the 1/29 SmartSource, but they expire today, so hurry!!!

4 Special K Granola Bars $2.50 each
Used 4 $.75/1 Special K Granola Bars Facebook Coupons, doubled
Final Cost $4, only $1 each
Plus, this put me over the top on the spend $20 get $5 SavingStar promotion!!!

4 Mueller's Pastas $1.29 each
Used 4 $.55/1 Mueller's Pasta Coupons, all doubled :-)
Final Cost $.76, only $.19 each

Ziploc Gallon Storage Bags $3.69 
Used $.70/1 Ziploc Bag Coupon, doubled (watch the video for the higher value)
Final Cost $2.29

4 Smartfood Popcorn BOGO at $3.99 each
Used 2 $1/2 peelies on the bags
Cost BDD $5.98 for all four

2 Wheat Thins Bold Flavors $2.50 each
Cost BDD $3 for both

Total cost after manufacturer's coupons was $16.18
I had a $1 Catalina from my Free Chex Mix deal which brought my total down to $15.18
I used 4 Dollar Doublers for a final cost of $11.18
That's a savings of 76%!!!

If you follow the rule of a $15 minimum purchase after all other coupons and discounts, but before the Dollar Doublers, the lowest your total could possibly be is $11...I didn't do too bad!

Now, I must prepare for tomorrow's plan!!!  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tonight's Hannaford Pit Stops!

Today's event in Old Orchard Beach presented me with a unique opportunity; Hannaford Hopping!  There are three different Hannaford stores which are truly on the way home so obviously I stopped at all of them.  I have plenty of the "good" $2 Hannaford coupons so here's what I got:


Hormel Pepperoni Minis $3.79
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $1.79
I know, it seems strange to not choose a free item, but I am making pasta salad as part of a lunch gathering tomorrow, so I got a great deal on a must-have item for that recipe.


Transaction #1

Green Bell Pepper $.94
Tomatoes $1.61
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.55
Also for the pasta salad!

Transaction #2

Santita's Tortilla Chips $2
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
(I just love the self-scan!)


5 Jars of Beech Nut Stage 3 Baby Food $.60 each
Used $1 off 5 Coupon from my Beech Nut E-Newsletter
and $2 Hannaford Coupon

Total Retail Value $11.34
My OOP $2.34
That's a savings of 79%!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Last Free Milk Coupon...So Sad :-(

I have to say, the Free Milk Coupon has to be one of my favorites ever, definitely top five!  Tonight, I used my fourth and final one.  Thanks to the $2 Hannaford coupon, this deal has been so much fun!   One word of warning, the link I have here is to the current version of the coupon which requires a minimum purchase of $15.  The past version had no minimum and is the one I used for this deal.  

Three breakfast items required for the free milk coupon:

Weight Watchers Whipped Cream Cheese $2.59
Used $.75/1 WW Cheese Product from the February All You Magazine
Paid $1.84

Three Bananas $.63

Half Dozen Eggs $1.29

Gallon of Milk $3.73

After Free Milk Coupon and $2 Hannaford Coupon my total OOP was only $1.76!!!
That's a savings of 79%

The look on the face of the woman behind me as she watched my total drop...priceless!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hannaford Challenge: Day 3

Had I known the $2 Hannaford Coupons were going to be extended another week (YAY!) I may have used a different strategy with yesterday's trip.  Oh well, I will take another week of this fun any day!  I made two stops on my way home yesterday, and here's how I saved:

Stop #1:

4 Ziploc Sandwich Bags 50-count, priced at $2.49 each
Used 2 $1/2 Ziploc Bags Coupons from the 3/4 SmartSource
And a $2 Hannaford Store Coupon
Final Cost $6.29 (with tax)
Plus, I earned a $2 Catalina for purchasing 4 Ziploc Products!

Stop #2:

Hannaford Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, $3.19
myEssentials Sour Cream $.99
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
and $2 Catalina from first transaction
Final Cost $.18

In all, I got $14.14 worth of products for a total of $6.47 OOP, a savings of 54%.  This trip wasn't about freebies, it was about using these great coupons to get something I otherwise have a hard time spending money on.  Ziploc coupons don't tend to be very high value, nor do they go on sale often.  This was my chance to get a deal on an otherwise difficult product to get a deal on!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hannaford Challenge: Day 2

Today I called in back-up to make the most of the drive home...hubby helped!  

We stopped at the Westbrook Hannaford on our way to pick up the kids, each with one transaction.  Then, we headed to the Gorham store with the boys in tow and completed two more transactions.  

Here are the details:

Me #1: 

Ten jars of BeechNut Baby Food at $.55 each (I splurged and got the veggies instead of the reduced flavors)
Used 1 $1 off 10 Beech Nut Baby Foods Coupon
and 1 $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $2.50, an average of $.25 per jar!

Hubby #1:

BeechNut Rice Cereal $2.19
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.19

Me #2:

My essentials Shredded Cheese $2.69
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.69

Hubby #2:

2.02 Pounds of Bananas at $.57 per pound, $1.15
Baby Carrots $1.69
Used $2 Hannaford Coupon
Paid $.84

Total Retail Value of all items purchased $13.22
Total Paid $4.22, a savings of 68%

Normally I would head out for one more trip, but I have had a sore throat all day which somehow has me glued to the couch.  Funny how that happens...I need to rest up for day three tomorrow!