Month # of items Value of items
Jan 105 310.10
Feb 108 448.23
Mar 106 179.53
Total 319 927.88
I got a fair number of free items in March, but they weren't worth as much as the 2 previous months. Here's what I got...
1 $10 Walgreens gift card 10.00
2 $5 Amazon gift cards 10.00
4 4 oz tubes Colgate toothpaste 12.00
4 4 oz cans Geisha mushrooms 2.36
1 Burt's Bees daily moisturizer sample 0.50
2 Life Choice cereal bars 1.56
1 Vaseline lotion .3 oz 0.97
1 Arm and Hammer 60 ct laundry tabs 7.94
4 ct Sundown fish oil capsules 1.00
2 Metamucil samples 0.99
1 Crest oral rinse 1.22 oz 1.00
1 Redbox movie 1.20
2 4 oz tubes Colgate toothoaste 6.00
2 2 oz ReNu contact lens solution 2.94
2 doz Walmart eggs 1.76
1 Palmer's cocoa butter for men sample 1.00
4 2.6 oz Right Guard + 2 oz body wash 8.98
1 large symphony bar 1.50
1 lancome 7-day sample Genifique youth 3.00
2 6 packs Zevia soda 7.00
1 letter opener 1.00
1 jar opener 1.00
1 magnet clip 1.00
1 pack of Simple facial wipes 5.49
1 3 pack Dentyne 2.00
2 Mederma scar cream for kids 4.00
1 Sample Simple laundry detergent 1.00
1 Reviat Lens contact solution 1.00
1 free pen 0.50
1 Simple face cleaner sample 1.00
1 2 ct Nordic Naturals omega 3 pills 1.00
1 Tums freshers sample 1.00
1 Purex sample 1.00
8 mars easter bunnies 4.00
2 Reach floss 2.00
2 Emergen-C samples 1.00
1 pack Stride gum 1.29
4 22 ct Carefree 3.76
1 10 ct Breathe Right 4.82
1 $5 Target gift card 5.00
1 bunch celery 1.09
1 free month Hulu plus 7.99
4 Mars easter bunnies 2.00
2 Suave conditioner 1.96
3 Starkist tuna 7.77
3 22 ct Carefree 2.92
2 Nivea lip balm 1.98
1 Revitalens contact lens solution sample 1.00
1 Oatmeal squares sample 1.00
2 $5 Safeway OYNO coupons 10.00
1 Gevalia coffee sample 1.00
4 days Starz network 2.50
4 Snickers peanut bars 8.76
1 Garnier Fructis shampoo sample 1.00
1 Fekkai shampoo and conditioner sample 1.00
3 4 oz tubes Colgate toothpaste 3.00
I got several more free items today as well as .90/gal savings on gas. I had .90 cents off Safeway gas from last month. They tripled my gas points. So I spent $300 in groceries and gift cards and got 9 gas points. I spent $2.86/gal and filled up my tank and 2 5 gallon cans for just over $60.
I pruned my coupon organizer and saw I had 2 more Colgate toothpaste coupons that will expire this month so went to King Soopers and got 2 more free to donate.
At Walgreens I got 3 Milky Way bunnies for free with coupon and gave them to my mom.
At Walgreens I also did several deals that have multiple layers. Kelloggs frequently has overlapping deals. Right now they have a rebate buy 10 boxes of cereal and get a $10 gas card back.
Walgreens has Rice Krispies on sale buy 2/$5 get $2 RR back.
I had coupons for $1/2 boxes of cereal and get a free large bag of M&Ms when you buy 2 Rice Krispies. They had 2 kinds of M&Ms, one kind had 10% more in the bags, so of course I got those.
So I did 4 transactions and need to do one more later this week to qualify for the $10 gas card.
5.00 - 2 boxes Rice Krispies
3.59 - 1 bag with 10% extra M&Ms
-1.00 - $1/2 Rice Krispie coupon
-3.59 - M&M coupon
-2.00 - RR to use on my next order
-2.00 - gas card rebate
All the cereal will be donated. The M&Ms go to my nieces.
I finished reading my book Viel of Night by Linda Howard. Romance - very good.
Month # of items Value of items
ytd = April 1 2011 - March 31, 2012
Coupon total ytd = 2,269.18
RX total = 476.32
Discounted Gift Cards = 227.12
Total = 2,972.62
I started tracking my coupon use last April 1st. I also started tracking the gift cards I got for transferring prescriptions and the amount of money I saved from buying discounted gift cards. I ended up saving just under $3000 for the year. It was an interesting experiment, but I won't continue to track these items.
One of my goals this year is to average my food budget at $200/month. So far I hadn't done so well and was way over the first 2 months of the year. This month I spent $101.49, so that should help bring the average more in line.
My networth for the first quarter increased by almost 3%. That's pretty good.
I finished reading the library book The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel. Historical fiction - very good.
I took my youngest niece to see John Carter yesterday. We had both heard it wasn't very good. But we both really liked it, so I don't know why the reviewers thought that. I think it's one of the better movies I've seen in a long time. I spent $13
We went to lunch afterwards at Sonic and I spent another $12.
I had lunch with her at my parents on Wednesday too, so was able to catch up. She's a mess. She lies constantly, but what can I do? Just be with her and tell her I love her.
I finally started on my taxes. Should finish in the next couple of days.
Starz is free this weekend and I've watched several movies. Friends with Benefits - good. Resident Evil - Afterlife - very good. Burlesque - very good. Soul Surfer - very good.
I also got Bridesmaids from Netflix. My niece told me it was my sister's type of humor, so I figured I wouldn't like it and I didn't. Not my thing.
My older niece sent me a picture of some old books she bought at a thrift store for $5. She didn't go far from the aunt tree She loves just looking at books and using them for decoration.
I finished reading the library book A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber. Sci/Fi - good.
When I was working I normally worked 10 or more hours a day, sometimes for weeks at a time. I was usually multi-tasking at 2 or 3 things at a time all day long. I was constantly busy and extremly efficient. Now I feel unsettled when I have to make a few phone calls in a week or have to go in town a couple times. I don't know what it is, but I definetly don't enjoy a fast pace anymore or even a mildly busy one.
I had to go in town twice 2 weeks ago and I had to go in town twice this week. Plus I've been on the phone talking to the insurance company because even though I went into the office and signed the paperwork making the changes to my car insurance. They sent me the wrong paperwork without the changes. I called back and they said so sorry, we'll fix it and then yesterday I got new paperwork and it's still wrong and I have to call back again
Pain in the butt. It seems like no one does their jobs anymore. You have to follow up on everything. I had to go in town Friday to get another xray on my chest and have to go back Monday to get a CT scan on my pelvic area. This is just checking to make sure they got all the cancer from my kidney removal in 2010. But it's another trip in town.
Then I have to go see the Dr after that, so another trip. I am just unsettled with all this stuff going on. I like my quiet, uninterrupted days
I got my Roku box set up and while it's ok, I don't get as many shows from Hulu or Netflix as I expected downloaded to my TV. A lot of them have to be on a computer and I don't want to have to go to my office to watch things on the laptop. I'm thinking about returning it and buying a new TV that is internet capable. I had thought to buy a new laptop this year. I might just buy an internet TV instead. I'll research prices today.
On one of my trips in town this week, I went to 2 thrift stores, a used book store and a dollar store. I found several books at the thrift stores and the book store. A couple for my niece to fill out some of her series that I started her on. One thrift store was way overpriced on everything in my opinion. $2.50 for a paperback vs .50 at the other thrift store. $4 for a hardback vs. $1.50. At the dollar store I found some organic chicken broth in the box for $1. I got 4, it's always almost $3 at Walmart.
I splurged and bought a Ninja food processor/blender at Target. On sale for $49.99, plus you got a $5 Target gift card with purchase. I don't have either a blender or a food processor and I've seen several recipes I wanted to try lately that calls for a blender. This brand was rated high on consumer reports and it normally sells for almost $100.
I finished reading the library book Shadows in Flight by Orson Scott Card. Sci/Fi - very good. Tells the story of Bean and his children who went to space. Bean was one of Ender's classmates in battle school. I love the Ender stories.
I also read my book In Serena's Web by Kay Hooper. Romance - ok.
I shopped at Walgreens yesterday and got 8 free Milky Way bunnies, gave 2 to mom and donated the rest. I got 2 free reach floss - also donated.
I got a Tums refresher sample and a Purex laundry sample in the mail. I also got a free issue of Bridal magazine that I gave to my niece and a free Better Homes and Garden magazine.
Today I got one of the $10 Amazon gift cards for $5 that creditcardfree mentioned. I paid with a credit card giving 5% back on amazon purchases, so should get another whopping .25/c back
I ran across an interesting article on money saving mom this morning. I've calculated costs of recipes for years now and specifically costs of servings. She offers a spreadsheet and a conversion chart here
I also ran across a new blog called the 99 cent chef. He mostly takes things he buys from the dollar stores and makes meals. I haven't seen anything I would make yet, just because I'm not eating processed stuff, but I find it interesting to read.
Here is a website that has recipes I am interested in trying. I just found it yesterday. It's called the nourishing gourmet.
I sold some stocks last Thursday for living costs this year. They've gone up quite a bit and I decided to take some profit. I see they hit my checking account this morning.
I have to go in town for a Dr's appt tomorrow, so I'm making a list of all the other places I should visit while I'm there. It's no wonder I'm so tired when I go to town. I hate getting in and out of the car multiple places, but better to do it all at once than go in again next week.
I finished reading the library book Scarecrow Returns by Matthew Reilly. Adventure - very good.
I also finished my book Upon a Midnight Clear. Romance short stories. OK, only reason I'm keeping this one is because of the short story by Linda Howard.
I spent the last two days shopping and doing errands and right at this minute I don't want to see another store for several days.
Tuesday I went to the town about 30 minutes away. First stop was Walgreens where I got 3 bubble mailers for .39c/each paying with my Walgreens reward card from February.
I stopped at Dillards in the mall and picked up a free 7 day sample of Lancome Genifique youth moisturizer. I tried it the last 2 mornings and it really feels good on my face, but I won't be buying it.
Whole Foods was next. I used 2 $3 Zevia coupons with a $1 Whole Food coupon and got 2 6 packs of Zevia soda for free. Well almost, I spent .20c on taxes. I've never tried this brand, but it's no sugar or carbs.
One of the main reasons I went to town was to see my insurance agent at State Farm. I canceled collision and comprehensive on my car. It's 10 years old now and not worth keeping. That saved me $91 every 6 months. That's a nice inflation fighter for me. They gave me a free jar opener, a letter opener, and a magnetic clip to hold papers.
Target was next. I got 2 free tubes of Mederma scar gel for kids, using coupons. I will use this on my surgery scars and see if it helps. I got a free 3 pack of Dentyne using a manufacture and a Target coupon. I gave it to my mom. And I got a pack of Simple facial wipes for $4.49 after the Target coupon and will get a $5 Target gift card from Real Simple when I turn in the rebate, making them free too.
I stopped at Big Lots and got a large jar of black pepper and one of garlic salt for $1/each.
I met my parents at Red Lobster for lunch and used a $4/2 coupon. Spent $9
Then we went to Costco where I got a free sample of Laundry detergent and spent less than $35. I mostly got organic chicken broth, beef broth and individual packs of peanuts for snacks.
The other main reason I went to town was to get an xray of my kidney to see if I have any kidney stones, so I did that next. They gave me a free pen.
Last stop was Walmart where I picked up the cordless phone I ordered and shipped site to store. The phone has 3 cordless phones that I can place thru out the house and it connects to my cell phone. So I don't have to keep carrying my cell phone from room to room and I can hear better in the house.
At Walmart I also used a coupon to get a free sample of Rivalens contact lens solution from the eye department. I gave this to my niece.
That took care of Tuesday. On Wednesday my niece came down from college and I took her the 2 bags of grocery items I've collected since the last time I saw her. We had a big lunch at mom's and then we drove to Manitou and Old Colorado City.
It was a beautiful day out and we didn't even need coats. I was surprised at the number of people walking around down there. My niece loves the old hippie styles from the 60's/70's and Manitou is a haven for that stuff. Mom got her a pair of aladin pants for easter. We went to a free trade store where refuges from other countries sell items that allow them to escape their situations. Very pretty stuff, but a little pricey in my opinion. I got her a bracelet for her bday from there.
She loves books almost as much as I do so I took her to a good used book store over there and I think she could have spent the rest of the day in there. I got her 2 books to give her for her bday and she got several books for herself. I got 3 books for me.
At the glass store I bought a beautiful fairy sitting on a glass ball to replace the glass unicorn my cleaner broke last year. It was about $60
I got some homemade salsa at one of the stores, they had samples and it was really good.
We got back home around 6 and my niece headed out to spend time dancing at a friends house. Ah, youth
I stayed and played games at my parents.
This morning I went and got a haircut for $7 and spent $9 with tip. I used a coupon to save $5.
I was supposed to pick up a prescription but spaced it and don't want to go back now, I'll try to remember it tomorrow.
I finished reading my book Angels of Darkness. Short stories about angels. Very good.
I really like Toby Keith and have several of his CDs. Amazon has Toby Keith's 35 biggest hits that you can download on a Mp3 player for $3.99. So I used some of my gift cards from Swagbucks to get it.
Went to Safeway this morning and got 2 more bags of salad for .50c/each. I also got 2 bottles of Ken's salad dressing for .19c/each. Safeway has a coupon to make the salad dressing 1.19 and there was a $1 coupon in yesterdays paper. I was able to stack them and get them for only .19c/each. I used to always get salad dressing for free, but haven't been able to for several months.
My niece is coming down to see us. Late Tuesday she's going to stay with her mother, then Wednesday she'll go to my mom's and we'll visit and have supper there. Then Wednesday night she'll stay with her dad and then back home Thursday. It's a bit of a pain when you have a divided family and have to try to work in everyone in one trip. I'll just be happy to see her for whatever time she has.
I finished reading my book Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews. Sci/Fi - excellent. She's got 3 series going now and all of them are great.
I went to Walgreens and Safeway this morning. At Walgreens I got paid to buy 4 Right Guard deodorants and they each had a free trial size of body wash attached. They are on sale BOGO, but some of them had the trial size body washes attached and some of them didn't. So I made sure to get 4 with the free body washes. All of them will be donated.
17.96 - 4 Right Guard deodorants
.62 - taxes
-8.98 - 2 free for BOGO sale
-6.00 - 2 $3/2 coupons
3.60 - I got a $4 RR back for buying 4 Right Guards, this made me .40c
At Safeway I got a bag of Fresh Express asian salad kit for .50. It was on sale for $2.50 and I had a $2 coupon. I have some left over ham so I will have that and a large salad for dinner tonight. I also got 4 large Symphony chocolate bars for my nieces. On sale for $1.50/each. I had a coupon for buy 3 get 1 free. So paid about $1.12/each. I'll go back tomorrow and get another bag for tomorrows super.
And I did a price match a Walmart last night. Walgreens had Russel Stover sugar free candy on sale, buy 1 get 1 free. But they didn't have the variety I wanted, which is the butter caramel, (so good). I got 4 bags at Walmart for .75/each after the sale. Very good price.
My niece called for over an hour Friday night. She lives with 3 other girls. She's very pretty, but she doesn't really think about it much. She likes to dress up, but she's not vain. Anyways the other girls are all chunky and man-hungry. My niece is outgoing and likes to talk to people, but they get upset and say she is trying to get all the guys, blah, blah, blah. Makes my niece unhappy. So they went out and she didn't talk to anyone, so of course none of the guys came over and that made them even more unhappy. They asked her what she was doing and she said, "you get unhappy when I talk to guys and now you're unhappy when I don't talk to them, what do you want from me?"
I told her she is perfectly fine the way she is, and she shouldn't try to change herself for someone else. They will still find something about you to dislike, because the problem is them and they can't acknowledge that, so they blame you. If you change yourself, you'll be unhappy, they will still be unhappy and now everyone is unhappy. Stay the way you are and at least you will still be happy and true to you.
It helped some, but it's mostly that age group of girls. They are all juniors in college and I don't know why they think having a man in their lives will fix everything. You need to like to live with you and be happy with you, before you can expect to be happy with someone else.
She said she felt better, but it won't last. When you have 3 people picking on you, it's hard to live that way. Next week is her spring break. I told her to come down and stay with me or mom for a couple of days. We'll go shopping and to the movies and I promised her mom would make her good food. She thought that was a good idea and I hope she does it. I know she wants to go skiing with her boyfriend and she has some homework and working at her job to do, but I'd love to have her come spend some time with us and get away from a stressful living situation.
I hate these kinds of conversations with anyone. There's nothing you can do to help, you can just listen and offer support. I can just tell her she's wonderful and I love her. I can't change the way they act or the way she feels. I like it better when she tells me she needs an idea for an essay or groceries or something like that. Things I can actually do something to help.
My niece said she doesn't want to talk to her boyfriend about this stuff, for one thing she's only been seeing him for about a month and for another she says he doesn't want to hear about girl drama. She's smart to know that and not fill his ears with all the crap about her roomates.
I finished reading the library book Sweet Silver Blues by Glen Cook. Sci/Fi - ok
I got this movie free from Redbox yesterday using a promocode. It was ok, not really my kind of movie, but I didn't see anything else that I hadn't either seen or was in stock. I like action and/or sci-fi mostly.
I did some price matching at Walmart today and got two dozen eggs for .88/each. I also got 2 trial size ReNu contact lens solutions for 1.47/each and used $2 coupons giving me overage which I used to pay for a dozen of the eggs
I got some metamucil and crest mouthwash samples in the mail. These will go to the food pantry along with the ReNu solutions. I got the ink I ordered just 3 days ago, that was very fast. The jello is due today.
Speaking of jello, Safeway has it on sale for .88c this week. But they only had cherry in the sugar-free kind that I like. I think I'll price match it at Walmart and get some rasberry. I did get 10 of the cherry. They had strawberry and lime, but I don't care for either one of those flavors.
I ordered a Roku box from Walmart last night. @ $75 with tax. They will ship it to the store. I used shopDiscover to order it so will get 5% back. If I like it I will order Hulu and cancel my cable. I'm still debating about signing up for the Amazon prime for the streaming downloaded videos. I'll probably do that too, and still save at least $30/month. The just bumped the cable $5/month.
I finished reading my book Something Wicked by Catherine Mulvany. Paranormal - ok.
As part of my cleanup of my bits and pieces notebook I'm transferring the quotes to my quote book. I've had this book for over 20 years. I keep all kinds of quotes in it, not just financial ones. Sometimes it's not even a quote, just I liked the way the sentence worked. Many of them have to do with reading.
Here's a couple of the funny ones.
"You are what you eat, which sort of accounts for vegetarians I guess."
"He could finesse an elephant through a keyhole without any grease." - Stephen White
"Waking a person unnecessarily should not be considered a crime. For a first offense that is." - Robert A. Heinlein
"I don't know why people stand and study the dead that way. It makes about as much sense as paying homage to the cardboard box your favorite shoes came in" - Kinsey Milhone
"God, don't start telling me I'm normal. I've had all the bad news I can take for today." - Jan Burke
"He would have to increase his IQ by 10 points to be considered an idiot"
"OK, I can buy the virgin birth, but where are they going to find three wise men?"
Here's a few of the financial ones.
"Cannot people realize how large an income is thrift?" - Cicero
"It isn't the man who has too little who is poor but the one who craves more." - Seneca
"Thrifty in its adjectival form, originally meant "having success and good fortune as well as respectability."
"Many wealthy people are merely the janitors of their possessions." Frank Lloyd Wright
"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strenthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help man permanently by doing what they could and should do themselves" - Abraham Lincoln.
That last one seems very apropo for today's times.
I got a blood test yesterday and they wanted to put a hold on my credit card first. I guess they changed their system. Used to be they would bill the insurance company, they would pay their part and then they billed me and I would pay my part. They said too many people weren't paying and they had to write off too many charges. They said their profits have gone up by 100K since they started this method.
Then the hospital called this morning. I had set up an appointment to get an xray next week on my one remaining kidney to see if it's ok - no stones. They said I would need to pay upfront with them too. I guess too many people aren't paying their bills.
I finished reading the library book The Unquiet. Mystery short stories. OK, the only one I really liked was the one by J.D. Robb.