Sunday, 26 February 2012

Recent Deals

As you all know, I like to take pictures of items I consider to be big wins for me. I'm always saving $1 here or 50 cents off this product or what not. I figure that stuff is pretty boring and not worth much blogging about. Plus, right now it would be too time consuming for me as I've got a lot to do at the moment. Not to mention the lack on deals that have been going on the last couple weeks. I didn't even go grocery shopping last week. Luckily, we have more than enough food to last us!

I felt like doing a little blurb today about some other great deals I've gotten in the last week or two. This will help give you an idea of what's out there, the sales, the coupons, and hopefully to expect these sort of deals again. It always feels good to recognize and cash in on a great deal. Here we go...

 Free 591mL of Smart Water! I signed up to receive this coupon in the mail and had to cash this sucker in before it expired. Good thing about Rabba is that they take coupons! Couldn't find this size at No Frills or Walmart.

 A great example of price matching! This stuff is expensive and I LOVE nachos! I got these price matched from Price Chopper for $1.88 each. Can you believe salsa and cheese sauce is $1.88? Downtown that stuff runs you at least $5-$6 bucks a pop!

I like mustard and we happened to be running low on this stuff. I don't use it often, just here and there for burgers and hot dogs. I was adamant to keep an eye out for a sale and possibly a coupon. Lo and behold within 2 weeks I found a 75 cents off coupon, and the following week Walmart had a sale for it for $1. I almost got greedy and got two of these! For 25 cents it was too cheap to pass up, but my boyfriend sometimes being the voice of reason reminded me he doesn't even like mustard. So, one little bottle for me was good enough. In hindsight, I did save 25 cents from not buying another bottle.

Clorox Bleach was on sale this week for 99 cents a bottle at Shoppers Drug Mart. I had a coupon that saves $1.50 when you buy any two Clorox Bleach. I ended up paying 24 cents each bottle. Not too shabby huh? 

Feel free to reach me at!

Till next time!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Cashier

Hi Everyone,

I had a little spat recently with a cashier about redeeming $1 off a travel size Crest mouthwash and because I bought that, I had a coupon to get some free floss. Essentially, getting both items for free! I know several people who have taken part of this great deal and have redeemed both items no problem. But, unfortunately I was given a hard time and just couldn't win with the cashier that time and had to give up on this fabulous deal. I eventually worked my way around this conundrum at another Walmart and eventually cashed in on this great deal regardless of spending a bit of money. So, it has inspired me to write today's blog "The Cashier."

With all this couponing and organization the most important person after you is your cashier! How can you get your freebies and deals if the cashier themselves are preventing you from cashing them in? I find many cashiers just don't understand coupon rules and lingo. They think that if it says one coupon per purchase, then you can only use one coupon per transaction or shopping trip. It's really one coupon per product, so if you buy 3 products you can use 3 coupons unless it clearly states otherwise. And if a coupon says save $1 off ANY whatever brand product, that includes travel sizes!

To get my free mouthwash and floss my cashier insisted that she had to do them all individually!! The horror on my face as she started to go through each coupon and transaction one by one! Luckily, it was around 10pm and there wasn't many customers there. She also mention that she was new and in her training it didn't allow it, even though I tried to explain to her that I've purchased many items at that particular Walmart every week with no issues. She also said she didn't want to get in trouble with her boss, so I was fine with that and patiently waited for her to ring everything up one by one. I did have one lady line up behind me but I politely informed her that the cashier was insistent on ringing everything separately and that I might take some time. If you know you're going to be awhile with a cashier, it's just good karma to let the person behind you know what's up so they can decide whether to stay or move on to the next cash.

Look at all these insane receipts!

A lot does depend on your own store's policy. So, be sure to read all the find print of your coupon! I find that the Walmart's in Scarborough are much more reluctant to take coupons than my normal Walmart at Dufferin mall. Some store's don't even accept printable coupons or price matching without your competitor's flyer. Not on iPad or nothing! In this day and age who really wants to carry around 10 different flyers with them when they're shopping. A quick glance of an iPad is so much more convenient, but all I can say is you win some and you lose some. I just end up trying on another day or another store.

Here are some of the other things I managed to scoop up during this week's Walmart trip! 

 Charmin To Go Wipes $2 each and Charmin Seat Covers $1 each = $15 
I used 3 coupons of $4 off when you buy 3 Charmin Products. I paid a total of $3 for the lot! 

Now if I had not purchased the $2 wipes and stuck with the $1 seat covers I would be +$3 to use on any of my other Walmart purchases. Yes, folks! This does work in Toronto and not just the States! 

Kotex was on sale for $3.97 each - $1.50 each from coupons I clipped out. 

With all those receipts the payoff was well worth it! Five flosses worth about $4 each were all free! Mouthwashes I had to pay for five, which was $1 each. But, I had four $1 off coupons and got four mouthwashes free!

I could have chose not to redeem my four free mouthwashes and saved time on the extra transactions, but I was thinking of the overall cost per unit of each mouthwash. By only paying $5 for the five of them I would of paid $1 each. But redeeming the four free ones made the per unit mouthwashes to come up to about 55 cents each. I really didn't care about the wash, I just really wanted the floss since I was low on my stash at home.

Note: I usually never include the taxes in my prices to make explaining easier. I figure it's a given that we all have to pay taxes!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Tips and Tricks With Coupons

Hi Again!

So, now that you have an idea about where to get your coupons, I'd thought I'd show you the best ways to use them to your advantage. 

In the beginning, I didn't have very many coupons to shop with but I quickly learned that organization was key. Who wants to use them when your at the store and have to sift through a big pile of coupons at the check out line. So, I went to the local dollar store and bought a mini accordion file folder and named the tabs "food, free, house supplies, personal care, pets, medicine" and so on. Next for each section, I took at all coupons and organized them by category and due date, with my most used items in the front of the pile regardless of due date for easy access. This is a great way to have your coupons ready for a shopping trip when you're a novice. It's also amazing for organizing group buys like Groupon, Teambuy and such. But, that's a whole other story and I'm phasing out the use of them since their deals aren't really deals anymore. 

 Here's what my old folder looks like.

Now a days, I find that system just doesn't work for me anymore. I've got way too much coupons and not enough time to go through each section when I'm shopping, so I switched to the binder method. Same sections apply, however, I now use dividers for separating the sections, baseball card holders for small coupons and whole page sheet protectors for larger ones. I go strictly by due date and to save some space I put the same coupons in the same slots but spread it out so that I can read multiple expiry dates. I also added a new section for coupons I know I'll be using that week right in the front of my binder. This helps a lot! Since, I know I'll be checking flyers on Thursday when they come out. I make a list of things I know I'm getting right off the bat! And if I have a coupon for it, all the better and to the front of the binder it goes. 

Here's a shot of my binder with multiple coupons.

To get the best deals shopping, you have to know your prices. It's good to know what the normal prices are and if you can how often it usually goes on sale. When you see a good sale item and have a coupon to match, you double score! You are therefore saving with your coupon on top of the store sale. Most people don't realize your biggest savings technique is by buying smaller packages, where the coupon savings goes a lot farther. For example, it's better to save $1 off a $2 package of anything, than it is to save $1 off a $10 package of the same thing but in a bigger size.  Most things I get for free is because the item went on sale for a $1 and I had a $1 off coupon. The size may be half that of the regular size but who cares! I'd rather have 5 little bottles of the free stuff, than have to pay anything for the slightly larger packaging.  

Also, I noticed the most underused value of shopping at places like No Frills and Walmart is that they Price Match! Come on people! If you see something on sale somewhere else for cheaper, grab it and tell the cashier! You do have to show them proof of the price and product to match. They will automatically adjust the price to their competitors so you save money, time, and possibly not even getting the deal because they're all snatched up at the other place. I price match all the time and use a coupon on top to get the best savings possible. You can either use flyers you get from the mail or do what I do and take pictures on my iPad, but iPhone will do too if I don't have my iPad with me that day. I don't have the luxury of getting mailed all the flyers I like living downtown, since most of the good sale prices are almost non-exsistent at places like Rabba, Sobeys and Metro. So, I go to a store's website and take screen shots with my iPad. Just be sure to take a picture of the front of the flyer clearly showing the name of the store, date for which the flyer is valid and a clear shot of whatever item it is you want price matched. Sometimes, I've noticed a store will change its prices at the store if they know a competitor has a lower price. So, essentially they do the price matching for you. You also, have to be sure that whatever you're price matching is the same brand, size/quantity, etc and be sure the coupon matches as well. It's takes some pre-planning and organization though once you get the hang of it, it's really not much at all and well worth the effort.

Happy Hunting!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Crafty Ideas...

Hi everyone!

I find that I've become really addicted to this new site called Pinterest. It's amazing! Especially, since I like to make crafts and just anything that is do it yourself. I've gotten some really great ideas on cooking, baking, and home made gifts. I can't wait to do all of them! I'm a novice when it comes to these things but their so fun and creative!

I'm currently working on a couple of crayon rolls to keep around the house as a last minute gift. This was an awesome gift idea I made just this past Christmas. I made them for several kids ages 1 1/2 to 4 years old. Depending on age, I used either crayons or cute little washable markers.

These were adorable, easy to make and loved by both parents and kids. It makes a good travel companion to keep kids occupied when you're out and about. I hand sewed these since I don't own a machine nor have the space for one. Each of these rolls took me about a couple days to make. I double stitched everything to make sure that they lasted. If you've got machine, I'm sure you can make one within an hour or so.

Here's the link if you'd like to try to make this yourself.

With my left over fabric I'm going to attempt to to make this plush puppy as practice for next Christmas or possibly a birthday.

Link to Plush Puppy

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Where Do I Get These Coupons?

Hello There,

When people see my coupon binder, I always get asked "Where do you get all these coupons from?" My answer is the internet! You can find many from company's websites to their Facebook accounts. I prefer to get mine mailed to me, with the occasional at home printing if I'm going to be purchasing that product soon. I can't justify wasting so much ink and paper just to get all the coupons out there, even if I am only printing in black and white. Because they are printed by you, some retailers may not accept them since they may feel they don't look official enough for them. I usually like to go to Walmart or No Frills to do my shopping, as I haven't had an issue using printed coupons from them.

Some places I like to find coupons are:

Red Flag Deals
This is the place I check everyday for deals in general and they have links to coupons that I can print. Red Flag is also very informative! I've gone here to ask users where the best place to eat sushi in Toronto to where I can go and get the best exchange rate for my Canadian dollars for my trip abroad. I also go here before I make a purchases like electronics to see if there is a sale somewhere or just tips on how to get a deal. There is a lot of insider info too, like what kind of retention deals cell phone providers offer to unhappy customers. This is amazing as the last 4-5 years I've always had a custom cell phone plan that was dirt cheap and it gave me all the add ons I needed.

Coupon Inserts
There are three that I often look out for called Smart Source, Red Plum and P & G Brandsaver (this is also mailed out, see below for more info). I would say that these coupons come out about once a month sometimes twice in select local newspapers.

For mailed coupons, I usually check these sites about every 2 weeks to see if they have new coupons. There is a minimum order of three for some of these sites, so just beware to not order everything all at once if you don't need them. I've made that mistake before and couldn't order a new coupon that I needed, since I didn't hit the three coupon minimum. These sites usually also have a re-order period, so you can only order one of each coupon at a time. This is to prevent someone from having 100's of the same coupon mailed over and over to them. I also use two different addresses with two different accounts to score multiple coupons, since it is sent as one per household. This is a great way to score multiple freebies. For example, this is how I received five free toothbrushes last week from No Frills instead of just one.

I use this most often and like how they print on paper that I can tear out the coupons and use immediately.

I'd say this is my second most used site for me. They have good coupons but you have to sit down and actually grab a pair of scissors to cut each coupon out.

P & G Coupons
There is a max of about 32 coupons you can order at a time. However, you can also get these from your local newspapers about once a month.

Go Coupons
This is one is not the greatest and updates least often. However, lately they've been giving out great Royale product coupons. I like the look of these coupons the best. They are actual coupons that you don't need to clip, some have holograms and everything.

I also find that having friends who coupon help as well! You can trade coupons you may not need for something you do. For example, I trade baby coupons to a new mom in exchange for her extra coupon booklets that I don't get from the mail.

Soon, I'll blog about getting the most bang for your buck when using coupons and the strategy you'll need to learn to become a couponer!

See you next time!

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Goodies...

Hi Everybody,

I thought I would entice you today by showing off some of the goodies I've gotten recently with coupons! To me it feels like treasure hunting, I can't believe more people don't do this!

Gain Detergent was on sale at No Frills for $2.97 for a powder box of 40 loads and I had a couple of the buy 2 get $3 off coupons. Essentially, I got one box for FREE! These are usually about $6-$7 a box regular price. There was a liquid detergent option but it was only 32 loads, so I opted to get the bigger powder box to get more bang for my buck!

Finish Dishwasher Cleaner was FREE! I had a couple of the mail in rebate coupons to try this product for free. This was also on sale at Walmart and after taxes came to about $5. The funny thing is I have a dishwasher but have never used it! Since, we're in a tiny condo it's mainly used for storage. I have  friends who use their dishwashers every day, so I just give them this sort of stuff next time I see them. 

Charmin To Go Seat Covers were FREE! I had $1 off any Charmin product coupons. And, guess what? These are only a dollar at Walmart! I get a bunch of these coupons regularly but I don't really use this stuff, so I'm keeping these coupons for the times when I need to buy Charmin toilet paper. 

Nutrigrain Bars are usually always on sale somewhere for $1.99, and I usually get $.75 or $1 off coupons. So, it makes these about $1 or $1.25 for a box of 8 bars. I don't know about you guys, but I can't ever eat breakfast before I head off to work. I'm one of those people who feel repulsed by food when they first wake up. But, after a couple hours I find myself starving like a mad woman. To combat this, I started forcing myself to eat little snacks like these bars to give my body some calories it needs to function. 

Pine Sol was on sale at Shoppers for $.99 and I had a $1 coupon, so it was FREE! I've never used Pine Sol and just gave it to my mom. But, this is a great example for keeping coupons you don't think you need. I often give things away to my mom or friends who need them more. I've never gotten huge amounts of freebies, but if I ever did I would love to make packages of my freebies to give away to shelters and such. 

Royale Tissue 3 Ply on sale from No Frills for $3.99 for a box of 6, and I had a $2 off any Royale product coupon. At $1.99 this was a great deal, considering I always have to load up on these tissue boxes. I usually get them for $.69 at Shoppers every couple weeks when they have a sale. 

Pom Juice $.99 was on sale at No Frills, had $1 off Any Pom Product so it was FREE! I really like Pom juice but rarely ever buy them since they're so expensive! Let's just say I made some really nice Pomtini's with these! ;)

I hope you enjoyed today's blog, as much as I enjoyed writing it! Next time, I'll write about where to find these coupons and some other money saving tips!

See you next time!