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Archive for May, 2011

cheap country pork ribs

May 31st, 2011 at 09:21 pm

I helped my sister pack up to move yesterday and she gave me a stack of coupon inserts that she hasn't had time to go thru. So I clipped coupons last night and set out to gather more free stuff today. I have a huge load for the food pantry the next time I can drop off. They only let you donate Monday and Thursday afternoon and for some reason, that's a bad time for me - always some conflict - so I end up waiting till I have a ton of stuff.

King Soopers first. I got 2 free 20 ct packages of Carefree and a bottle of Santa Cruz lemonade for a quarter for the food pantry. I also got a free protein bar, 2 free butterfingers a bunch of radishes for .99 and a bag of shredded cabbage for .85. I used another $2.29 in RX coupons and it was all free.

Safeway sent out a bunch of coupons for free Safeway products so I went and got those today along with some other freebies. I spent $3.79. I used $17.26 in coupons.

I got the following for free - they all go to the food pantry

2 bottles Jack Daniels BBQ sauce - FP
1 40 oz bottles safeway ketchup - FP
10 ct safeway jumbo taco shells - FP
1 24 oz bottle safeway pasta sauce - FP
1 16 oz safeway spaghetti - FP
1 bottle Lawry marinade - FP

I got 2 bottles of KC masterpiece BBQ sauce which will be donated to the food pantry. They were .88/each. I used a $1 q and I had a coupon for $2 off country pork ribs wyb KC BBQ sauce. I got 1 lb of pork ribs for $2.50. So they were .50 cents after the coupon and I paid .76 for the 2 bottles of BBQ sauce. I've never fixed country pork ribs before - any suggestions on what to do with this? I froze them until I find out what to do with them.

I also got 2 bags of Fresh Express bagged salad with a BOGO sale and I had a coupon making one bag .49 - so I got 2 bags for .49. I got some tomatoes and used a $1 off $5 produce coupon.

ytd = April 1 2011 - March 31, 2012
Coupon total ytd = 393.98
RX total = 128.77
Discounted Gift Cards = 207.19
Total = 729.94

I finished reading my book Burning Up - paranormal short stories. Very good.

Walgreens deals and disappointments

May 29th, 2011 at 07:51 pm

Walgreens was having a good 2 day sale starting today and I knew if I wanted to get the specials I would have to go early. I went at 9:30 but they were already sold out of the 2 things I wanted the most. Ritz Crackerfuls for my niece and Lily coffee for my dad. It's frustrating that Walgreens never has enough product on their best deals. They have 10 or so and they don't restock until the sale is over.

I did get some other good deals. 4 Right Guard deodorants for free and 3 boxes 45 Ct Ecotrin that I made .40/each on. These all go to the food pantry. I also got 10 boxes of sugar-free Royal Gelatin for .20/each.

I finished reading the library book The Storm Witch by Violette Malan. Sci/Fi - very good.

Fathead

May 28th, 2011 at 08:13 pm

I watched this documentary Fathead on Netflix yesterday. I guess you can play it on hulu also. Really funny. It's a response to the guy who made the Super Size Me movie. Instead of believing everything you hear, use some common sense. It questions many of the Super Size movie 'facts'. This guy ate at fast food places everyday and lost 12 pounds in a month. It debunks a lot of the crap the government keeps trying to tell us about how to eat healthy. Following their rules we have diabetes, obesity, depression and ADHD epidemics.

Thanks to Single Guy I was able to get a $40 Shell gift card from Discover using $20 of my reward money. If I use a .10/gal discount with my King Soopers card, I might be able to fill up my car for that Smile

I finished reading my book A Deadly Shade of Gold by
John D. MacDonald. Mystery - pretty good.

lots of freebies for memorial day

May 27th, 2011 at 08:31 pm

ytd = April 1 2011 - March 31, 2012
Coupon total ytd = 346.53
RX total = 126.48
Discounted Gift Cards = 207.19
Total = 680.20

Went to Safeway this morning and saved 92% on my grocery bill. Spent $3.84 and used almost $19 in coupons. I got the following for free. FP = food pantry donations

4 bottles Jack Daniels bbq sauce - FP
2 bottles Lawry's marinade - FP
3 Suave deodorants - FP
1 Zone perfect bar - FP
2 Luna bars - FP

3 bottles Wish Bone salad dressing - FP. These cost .19/each after coupons. There is a $1 rebate on the salad dressing so I will send off for that.

I also got 2 bags of salad - BOGO and some celery and sugar snap peas. Used a $1 off $5 produce coupon.

I finished reading my book The Reckless Bride by Stephanie Laurens. Romance - very good.

last of the discounted home depot cards ordered

May 26th, 2011 at 07:03 pm

I ordered another $450+ in discounted Home Depot gift cards from Gift Card Rescue today. That will make around $1800 I have for the second carpet installation. I'll order the carpet as soon as I get the cards. My house is gradually being readied. I make 5 trips a day upstairs carrying books, etc. I figure another 2 weeks and I'll be done. If I order the carpet next week, then it will take about a week to get in and schedule.

I got a haircut at Great Clips today and used a coupon taking $3 off. Spent $11 with tip.

ytd = April 1 2011 - March 31, 2012
Coupon total ytd = 327.26
RX total = 126.48
Discounted Gift Cards = 207.19
Total = 660.93

I finished reading the library book Hard to Hold by Stephanie Tyler. Romance - very good.

Seven Falls

May 25th, 2011 at 08:47 pm

I took my youngest niece to Seven Falls by the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs yesterday. Even though it was a cloudy day, it was beautiful up there. It's in a canyon in the foothills. I was woken up by hail yesterday morning and thought we wouldn't get to go. But we decided to go anyways and it didn't rain again till we were back home later in the afternoon.

Admission was $16.50 for the 2 of us and I got her a souvenir beaded bracelet with her name on it for another $6.27.

After the falls we went to Sonic for lunch - $11.79 and then hit an Albertson's on the way home. At Albertson's I spent $8.18 for 2 bottles of Potassium vitamins (BOGO), and 2 doz eggs and taxes. I got 3 boxes kleenex, 4 boxes Jolly Time microwave popcorn and 6 butterfinger candy bars for free. I gave my niece 2 boxes of popcorn and 4 candy bars. The other 2 boxes of popcorn will be donated.

I entered the wellness points from the two bottles of Nature Made potassium I bought and had enough points to order a $7 off coupon.

We stopped at a Redbox and got Tron for free using a promo code and then we stopped at a gelato place and got gelatos. I had a coupon for 50% off, so with tip I spent $4.49. The movie was ok, she liked it a lot.

ytd = April 1 2011 - March 31, 2012
Coupon total ytd = 327.26
RX total = 126.48
Discounted Gift Cards = 170.87
Total = 624.61

I finished reading the library book The Lady Most Likely. Romance - short stories, very good.

another huge increase in health insurance

May 22nd, 2011 at 07:42 pm

I got a notice in the mail yesterday from my health insurance provider. Due to increased health costs they 'have' to increase rates again. They increased them 14% in January and now are increasing another 14%. The new rate is $486/month about $79 more/month. Almost 30% increase in one year.

This is the only health insurance I can get in Colorado due to pre-existing conditions. Its state sponsored, but not cheap. If I were 55, it would be $606/month - $120 more. If I were 60, it would be $706/month - $220 more. It's insane.

I could go with a higher deductible, but that's a guessing game. The likelyhood of having two bad medical years in a row are slim, but possible. Last year was the first bad year in 25 years, I doubt if it will be 25 years until the next one, but the chance of one in the next 15 (pre - Medicare) is pretty high. But will it be this one or not for 5 years. I could go for the lower premiums/higher deductibles, but adding another $1000 deductible from my HSA actually adds a few dollars to the premium and out of pocket is $1000 higher, so that's not an option.

Going to a $5000 deductible lowere the premiums a little over a $1000 a year, but out of pocket if I need the max increases by $4000 a year. So I guess I'll stay where I am and hope that sometime in the next decade, a decent health care system gets implemented.

Before retiring I read that for each decade of early retirement you need to put aside $100,000 for health care costs, now I'm thinking that was a little shy, I'd bet on $150,000 per decade. I have almost 2 decades from when I retired at 47 to eligibility for medicare, which still costs, just not quite as much.

I finished reading my book Darker Than Amber by John D. MacDonald. Mystery - pretty good.

banana nut bread

May 20th, 2011 at 08:52 pm

My neighbor brought me some banana nut bread this morning. It was so good - moist and big chunks of walnuts. Yummy! I'll have to think of something I can give her. I'm not a baker, or even much of a cook.

Mom sent me an email from Elephant Bar, buy a $25 gift card and get a $5 bonus card. Looks like dad's father's day gift. I need to remember next time I go in town.

I finished reading Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi - excellent.

more toothpaste and toothbrushes for free

May 19th, 2011 at 08:33 pm

Got paid to buy toothbrushes at Walgreens this morning. Reach toothbrushes were on sale for .99/each. I had coupons for $3.50 off. Paid .73 with taxes and got a coupon for $4 on your next order. Made $3.27. Paid with gift card so no OOP.

At King Soopers got another prescription filled and used a $10 Target coupon to get $10 put on my loyalty card. Spent $2.22 on the prescription

Got 3 tubes Colgate toothpaste and 2 toothbrushes for free. Bought 10 tubs of Cool Whip on sale for .89/each wyb 10. Gave mom 2 of them and froze most of the rest. Mom got 2 dozen of the medium eggs for .88/each. The lady told us at King Soopers the medium egg cartons are made up of other cartons that had broken eggs in them. So you can get Eggsland eggs or extra large eggs or whatever in the carton. I noticed last time I got them, I couldn't tell the difference in size from the large eggs.

All the toothbrushes and toothpaste go to the food pantry.

ytd = April 1 2011 - March 31, 2012
Coupon total ytd = 309.31
RX total = 126.48
Discounted Gift Cards = 170.87
Total = 606.66

I finished reading my book Heir to the Shadows by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi - excellent

How to Shop for Free - book review

May 17th, 2011 at 08:30 pm

This book is written by Kathy Spencer. I got it from the library and I highly recommend it. It's the first saving money book where I've actually learned something new in a long time. She writes about how to buy groceries for free using coupons, catalina's etc. She says she spends $4/week for food for her family, I think she has 6, but not sure about that number.

She also has really good tips for getting other things for free/cheap. I won't use some of her methods because they aren't my thing, but they are good ideas for people who want to follow thru. Some of the things I learned are:

Catalina promotions are based on the pre-sale price.

If you have more than $2500 in materials for a home project Home Depot will give you a contractor price saving you 10 - 15%.

Check the internet for Black Friday sales prior to the sale date and if the item you want is at a store that offers price protection, buy it the week before the sale. Then take your receipt back and get the lower price. That way you don't have to fight people for the item. Some credit cards offer price protection too, you can just call them and get the lower price.

I went to King Soopers this morning to get some produce and eggs and do the last mega deal. I actually had to spend some money this time. All my prescription money is used up. I spent $4.10 for $23 of groceries. $13 in coupons and almost $6 in RX savings. I got the following for the food pantry.

2 Think Thin bars
4 boxes Quick Cook pasta
4 Reach Toothbrushes

The toothbrushes are a special Catalina deal right now. Buy 4 get $4 back in a coupon on your next order. They are also part of the mega deal

9.16 - 4 toothbrushes @2.29
.73 - taxes
-----
9.89
-2.00 - mega sale
-4.00 - 2 .50 q's doubled, 1 $2/2 q
-----
3.89 - get $4 OYNO coupon

I also went to Walmart and got 3 small bottles of Franks Red Hot sauce for free, that will go to the food pantry. I got a bag of coleslaw too, since King Soopers doesn't carry the kind I like anymore.

I bought another $500 in discounted gift cards to Home Depot from Gift Card Rescue at 8% discount. I need about another $500 and then will have enough for the downstairs carpet.

Coupon total ytd = 281.92
RX total = 119.45
Discounted Gift Cards = 170.87
Total = 572.74

I finished reading my book Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi - excellent. I'm rereading the whole series right now, since I read Twilight's Dawn last week.

gift card granny

May 14th, 2011 at 09:36 pm

I read about this site in the All New magazine. It's basically an aggregate site that lists gift cards for sale on other sites and who has the best price. It also lists who is paying the most if you want to sell a gift card.

There is also a challenge section. They challenged a woman with 2 kids to live on discounted gift cards for a month, everything except rent and utilities. It was pretty interesting. She saved about 10% overall.

http://www.giftcardgranny.com/blog/category/challenge/

I bought around $175 of Walmart gift cards from Plastic Jungle today, saving 3%. I've noticed the discounts are getting smaller on a lot of cards I used to buy. Either less people are selling, or more people are buying so they can charge more. Even so, for places I got to all the time even 3% adds up.

I finished reading the library book Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Adventure - very good.

Friday errands

May 13th, 2011 at 07:52 pm

Coupon total ytd = 253.35
RX total = 113.57
Discounted Gift Cards = 118.28
Total = 485.20

Ran errands this morning. I started at Safeway where I had a $10 OYNO coupon to use up. I got 2 lbs of ham and turkey deli meat, a doz eggs, and 2 bags of sunflower seeds. I paid .93

At Walmart I got a pair of Just My Size jeans for $11. Regularly $16, but I had a $5 coupon. I just thru away a pair because of holes in the pocket area and fraying on the hems, so I needed a new pair. I also got a 6 pack of Hanes panties for $5. There was a sign saying these were $5, but I checked the price before going to the register and it said $6.97, so I went to customer service first and she said just tell the cashier she said to charge only $5. Good deal.

At King Soopers I picked up a prescription for .57. I had a $10 Target prescription coupon so they put that on my card. I got $18 in free groceries using $14 in coupons and $4 of my RX coupon. I got the following, FP = food pantry.

2 bags Boulder chips - FP
8 boxes pasta - FP
2 Think Thin bars - FP
3 20 ct packs carefree pantyliners - FP
1 doz eggsland best eggs
2 bunches radishes
2 starkist tuna pouches

It looks like Sunday's coupons are going to be really good for things I buy. I may have to invest in a couple more papers.

I ordered another $250 in Home Depot gift cards from Gift Card Rescue @ an 8% discount. saving me about $20. I still need $1000 more for the downstairs carpet.

I'm about halfway thru putting my upstairs back in place - hope to be done by Sunday, and then I'll start tearing up the downstairs. I want to get the downstairs carpet ordered by June 2 to take advantage of the installation discount they have going on Martha Stewart carpet. Saves me a $100.

I finished reading my book Hell Island by Matthew Reilly. Adventure - very good.

the carpet is installed

May 11th, 2011 at 08:57 pm

Carpet guys showed up yesterday morning and wanted me to look at the carpet before they installed it. It's the right color, but not the right pattern. I ordered a carpet with a diamond pattern and this carpet has a cross-hatch pattern. So while they waited outside my house I drove over to Home Depot and talked to customer service. Turns out the carpet I ordered comes in two patterns and the lady who did the order in the computer put in the second pattern. I can't imagine why you could design carpet that way, where it could so easily be wrong. Anyways, since the carpet was already there, the installers were already there and I had already tore my upstairs apart, I told them I would take the carpet if they gave me a 15% discount. So they said ok. That's only a discount on the carpet, but it will come to over $500 by the time I finish the downstairs too. They promised they would give me the 15% off when I order the downstairs carpet. So I took it, not exactly what I wanted, but I can live with it, it's just carpet after all.

The installers did a really good job. I don't have to do any touchups on the baseboards or walls. Now I have to put everything back upstairs and start tearing up the downstairs. That will be a much bigger job. I have about 1500 books down there, that will have to be carried up here. Tired just thinking about it Smile

I finished reading the library book Twilight's Dawn by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi - excellent. I love her books, I liked this one so much I'm reading it again today.

cheese crackers

May 9th, 2011 at 05:37 pm

I ran accross this recipe for goldfish crackers in a low-carb cookbook and it was so cool sounding I had to try it last night. The first time they were too salty for my taste, so the second time I didn't add any salt and they were much better.

Basically take a slice of American cheese and cut into about 16 squares. Combine 1/4 tsp garlic and chili powder and salt if you want. Put cheese squares in spice mixture and coat lightly. Place far apart on baking sheet, (use a silicone baking mat if you have one, or parchment paper). Bake at 400 degrees for 6 - 7 minutes. Let stand a min or two and eat.

My carpet will be installed tomorrow. I plan to take down the computer as soon as I'm done messing around on the internet today and then I'm ready for them.

Not sure when I'll get back on here, Wednesday at the earliest.

I finished reading the library book Citadel by John Ringo. Sci/Fi - pretty good.

mother's day

May 8th, 2011 at 08:49 pm

Coupon total ytd = 218.63
RX total = 109.45
Discounted Gift Cards = 97.91
Total = 425.99

Did a couple of quick errands this morning before meeting sister, neices and parents at Mimi's Cafe in town for a mother's day lunch. Spent $11 at Mimi's.

At Safeway used my $10 on next order q and got $10 of sliced turkey breast on sale for $5/lb and then spent $1.14 on celery and green onions.

At Walmart I used $5.50 in coupons. I got 2 12 packs of Scick disposable razors for free, which will be donated. My cashier was making comments about all of my purchases. I hate that. Oh, these are nice bras. Oh what's this - an egg poacher? How much is that? - yech. I spent $77.02 there.

Stopped at Albertson's for 3 rolls of free paper towels. Spent .22 on taxes.

I brought 2 bags of groceries to give to oldest neice to take back up to college with her, mostly pasta, but she lives on that. She had her finals last week and is now half way thru.

My youngest neice died her hair again. This time a strawberry blond and then she crimped it. I didn't even recognize her when she came to the door. She looks gorgeous.

I finished reading the library book Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward. Paranormal - excellent. If you like Laurell Hamilton or Sherrilyn Kenyon you will like this series.

birthday shopping

May 7th, 2011 at 07:44 pm

mom and I went in town yesterday to shop. She wanted to do some shopping for herself and my major goal was to get some stuff for niece's bday next month. My niece sent me a list of books and dvds she wants. I got several of the things listed.

Coupon total ytd = 200.13
RX total = 109.45
Discounted Gift Cards = 97.91
Total = 407.49

At Bed, Bath and Beyond I got a silicone baking mat for me. $15 - $5 coupon. Used the last of my discounted gift card and paid cash for the rest. Bought another $25 discounted gift card today from Plastic Jungle to replace the used up one. Got a 10% discount.

At Target I got some ham for me and several DVDs for her. Step up 2 and 3, Burlesque, and Benny and Joon. Benny and Joon was on sale for $5 and I had a $3 coupon, so I got that one for $2. It wasn't on her list, but she likes Johnny Depp and I think that's a cute movie.

At Border's they didn't have any of the books she wanted so I got one book for me and used a coupon to save $2.64. I did get the Shutter Island DVD for her and used a 33% off coupon on it. Saved $6.60.

This morning I went online to Borders and ordered the 3 books on her list and another DVD - Fight Club. Saved $5.94 on the DVD. I used a discounted gift card to pay. That leaves me with enough money to get one more DVD. I'm going to see if Walmart has any of the others on her list and then the list goes to mom, to see if she can get some for her.

My sister had a contract on her house and if it goes thru will need to move out by June 10. We are going to look at houses this afternoon.

I finished reading my book WitchFire by James Clemens. Sci/Fi - very good.

the deals are back - woohoo!

May 4th, 2011 at 09:06 pm

Lots of good deals today and several items for the food pantry. First stop was Safeway. They have a deal for Mother's day. Buy a $50 gift card and get a coupon for $10 on your next order. The cards are Pennys, Kohls, Barnes and Noble, Nordstrom and a couple others. I bought a Penny's card that I will give to my mom for xmas or her bday and have $10 to spend on groceries sometime this week.

King Soopers has a similar deal on different gift cards and you get 4x gas points.

Next was Walgreens where I did the same thing as Monday but added 2 cans of Almonds to get my total over $20. Used mom's AARP card and wyb $20 get a coupon for $5 off next order.

10.00 - 2 12-pack Cottonelle
7.00 - 2 Oscar Meyer bacon
3.59 - 2 Almonds bogo
.69
-----
22.28
-1.00 - 2 .50 cottonelle q's
-2.00 - WAG q for $1 on Cottonelle
- .60 - .60/2 Blue Diamond almonds
-----
17.68 - got back $1 RR for bacon, $3 RR for cottonelle and $5 RR for AARP card. Paid $10 with gift card and the rest in cash.

King Soopers is having a another mega sale. They have a new way of doing it which makes it hard to see if the numbers are right. Previously wyb 10 items they take off $5 at the end. Now they take off .50/item. They missed 7 of my items so now I have to go back and get $3.50 back.

I got a prescription filled for .80. It was a transfer so I got $25 put on my card. They sent me a letter asking why I transfered and gave me another $5 for bringing it back. So I had $30 in prescription coupons on my card to use towards my groceries. Also Safeway had a $10/$50 coupon and they take competitors coupons and let me use that. So that was $40 off the top. I used $34.32 in manufacture coupons and did 3 mega deals which deducted another $15 off - the $3.50 they didn't give me. Plus I got a coupon for $2 OYNO for buying $10 in Dole salads.

Bottom line I saved 90%. Bought $145 in groceries for $15. But I got the $2 OYNO coupon and the store owes me $3.50 so it was really $9.50. This included 15 lbs of boneless/skinless chicken breast at $1.99/lb and 5 bags of Dole salads 2 spinach and 3 mixed.

I got the following for free. FP = items I will donate to the food pantry.

3 boxes Quick Cook pasta - FP
2 tubes Poligrip - FP
6 boxes Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta - FP
2 bottles Ivory body wash - FP
1 3 pack Ivory soap - FP
2 bags Boulder canyon potato chips - FP
6 boxes Ronzoni Healthy Harvest pasta - FP
4 bottles Propel water
2 bags Mahatma saffron rice - FP
2 Think Thin bars - FP
2 Uncle Ben ready to eat rice - FP
1 Mentos gum - niece

I have more pasta q's, so at least one more trip before the sale is over.

I finished reading my book The Quick Red Fox by John D. MacDonald. Mystery - pretty good.

snail mail

May 3rd, 2011 at 08:34 pm

I had an interesting snail mail day.

$10,000 check from selling stocks last week
coupon for free ready made rice from Uncle Ben's
Safeway coupons including $10/$50
Letter from King Soopers offering to give me $5 for filling out survey on why I transferred my prescription.
Property tax assessment showing my property is worth 12K less than 2 years ago. This should mean my property tax will go down next year. And since I don't plan to sell anytime soon, the loss in equity has no meaning right now.

Walgreens has a deal if you use your AARP card this week and buy $20 worth of stuff they will give you a coupons for $5 OYNO. My mom isn't using hers so she's giving it to me to use. I'll see what there is tomorrow.

I gave my grandma two $20 phone cards for xmas. Since she still had them in the card I gave her with my name on them, they came back to me when the aunts were cleaning out the house. I don't need them so have decided to donate them to Operation Shoebox.

I finished reading the library book Eternal Prey by Nina Bangs. Sci/Fi - pretty good.

cheap toilet paper

May 2nd, 2011 at 07:10 pm

Coupon total ytd = 128.26
RX total = 79.45
Discounted Gift Cards = 95.41
Total = 303.12

Went to Walgreens yesterday and did 2 transactions. First one was 2 packages Oscar Meyer bacon on sale for $7/2 plus get $1 RR back. Paid cash.

Second transaction was 2 12 pack rolls of Cottonelle toilet tissue for $10 - 2 .50 q's and a Walgreen q for $1 off each. Paid $7 after q's and got a RR for $3 back. Bottom line is $2 per 12 pack or .17/roll. Used gift card purchased with RRs to pay. Also got a mother's day card for .99 and used a $1 RR from a couple weeks ago to pay.

I finished reading the library book The Queen of Winter. Sci/fi short stories - very good. Sharon Shinn and Lynn Kurland are 2 of my favorite sci/fi writers.