Savings with Style!

Start Saving with Style with Southern Coupon Belle! I'm now COUPONING IN CoMo!
What happens when a Coupon Expert in one region of the USA moves to another area of the country? I have started over learning new stores, coupon policies and building a reasonable stock pile and savings routine from scratch since October 1, 2011. I was an expert in Atlanta and the South but now happily reside in Columbia, Missouri!

I've searched other blogs and sites but I can't find someone else in my shoes so hopefully reading how I started over can help you! Whether you are a seasoned couponer in a new area OR a beginner- I know I can help walk you through what to do and help you start saving big! Starting over has made me realize how newbies to coupons feel and made me walk a grocery store aisle or two in a beginner's shoes again! Email me at and let me know how I can help! Thanks for reading and taking this journey with me!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Stockpile Style

Tomorrow is the big game and we are just having a family SuperBowl Party. We know the Arizona coach so we'll be rooting for him. I was thinking about what we could fix and with my stockpile- I could put together a pretty good party for about 15 people.

I have 2 packs of meatballs in the freezer that I paid $1.44.
BBQ Sauce and grape jelly for the meatballs
2 Deans French Onion Dips that I paid pennies for this week.
2 boxes of crackers
All the ingredients for hot Buffalo Chicken Dip (which is awesome if you've not had it before)
Blue cheese and celery to go with above dip
4 Red Baron Pizzas that I paid $2.00 each for the kids
Large bag of wings plus the ingredients to make the sauce
Free Sour Cream and the ingredients to make a Sour Cream Pound Cake
Tons of brownie mixes, marshmallows and icing to make my "designer brownies"
White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie refrigerated cookie dough

Now, I love to entertain so I would probably do more than this but if you got your guests to round out the food then you've got a pretty good spread for the big game for easily under $10. And if you aren't hosting, you can offer to bring a couple of the items above and you don't have to go to the grocery store! And you are not spending a fortune!

This Week's Deals at CVS and February ECB Deals

Extra Care Buck Deals this week:

Buy 2 Loreal Revitalift Products, Get $10 ECBs (Limit 2)

Buy 2 cleansers or towelettes at $5.99 each
Use 2 $2/1 coupons from the 01/04 RedPlum insert
Spend $7.98 out of pocket
Get $10 ECBs back
Free plus overage after coupons and ECBs

Buy 1 Excedrin 10 ct. at $2.49, Get $2.49 ECBs (Limit 1)
Free after ECBs

Buy 4 assorted Glade products at $2.50 each, Get $5 ECBs (Limit 5)
Use 2 $1.50/2 jar candle coupons from the 02/01 SmartSource insert or 4 $1/1 Scented Oil candle coupons from the 02/01 SmartSource insert
$0.25-$0.50 each after coupons and ECBs

Buy 2 Theraflu or Triaminic products at $6.39, Get $5 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use 2 $2/1 printables here
$1.98 each after coupons and ECBs


L'Oreal Products--on sale B1G1.
If there is a product that is $6 or less, buy 2 and use 2 $3/1 coupons from the 01/04 RedPlum insert to get both free.


Buy 1 Stayfree pads (14-24 ct.) at $3.99, Earn $2 ECBs (Limit 5)

Buy 4 Stayfree pads at $3.99 each
Use 1 $1/2 coupon from the 01/04 RedPlum insert
Use 2 B1G1 coupons
Spend $6.98 out of pocket
Get $8 ECBs

Buy 1 CVS Children's Chewable Aspirin (36 ct.) at $1.99, Get $1.99 ECBs (Limit 1)
Free after ECBs

Buy 1 Extreme Energy 6-hour shot at $4.99, Get $4.99 ECBs (Limit 1)
Free after ECBs

Buy 1 Earinse at $7.99, Get $7.99 ECBs (Limit 2)
Free after ECBs

Buy 1 Gillette Shampoo or Conditioner at $4.99, Get $3 ECBs (Limit 5)
Use $2/1 coupon from the 01/18 P&G insert
Free after ECBs

Buy 1 BodiHeat Pain Relieving Heat Pad (3 ct.) at $3.99, Get $3 ECBs (Limit 5)
Look for $1/1 peelies on the packages
Free after coupon and ECBs

Buy 1 Renuzit TriScents at $5.49, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 5)

Use $5/1 peelies found on some packages
Free plus overage after coupon and ECBs

Walgreen February Freebies


Here are the deals for the month to make some money and get some great items for free. I always make sure I have the Zucol on hand when we start to feel a cold coming on.

Zucol Cold Care Lozenges (18 pk.)--full rebate up to $7.99
Use $2/1 coupon from 2/1 SmartSource insert or $2/1 internet printable coupon
Free plus $2 in overage after coupon and February EasySaver rebate

Revlon Age Defying Spa Concealer or Spa Foundation--full rebate up to $10
Use $2/1 coupon from 1/11 inserts
Free plus $2 in overage after coupon and February EasySaver rebate

Revlon Creme Lip Gloss--full rebate up to $10
Use $2/1 coupon from 1/11 inserts
Free plus $2 in overage after coupon and February EasySaver rebate

Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Shampoo, Conditioner, or Stylers 6.8-13 oz.--full rebate up to $4.29
Use $1/1 from 1/4 inserts
Free plus $1 in overage after coupon and February EasySaver rebate

ThermaCare Trial Size Neck, Shoulder and Wrist Heat Wrap--full rebate up to $2.49
Use $1/1 from 1/4 inserts
Free plus $1 in overage after coupon and February EasySaver rebate

Walgreens Multi-Purpose No Rub Solution 4 oz.--full rebate up to $1.99
Free after February EasySaver rebate

Friday, January 30, 2009

Rollin, Rollin, Rollin...ECBs at CVS!

I say that we look at couponing as a game and tonight's shop to CVS is an example of why I think this way. I'm getting great products for next to nothing, free or even making money on them! Always in a legal and moral way.

CVS can be super fun or frustrating. Items that generate ECBs can be hard to find and there are some diehard couponers that go running to CVS first thing on Sunday morning. I've read on other sites about folks that go to 24 hour stores and are sitting in the parking lot at 12:01 am! I'm not like that and one advantage to living in Atlanta- there is a CVS at almost every major intersection! If you don't find the items on your first try- try again a couple of days later when you are running around. And there are deals that I don't get some weeks because I can't find them.

Mike stopped tonight and bought 1 Gillette Spa Breeze razor. It was on sale for $7.99, there was a $4 off in the January Proctor & Gamble insert. Price came to $3.99 and you receive $4 in ECBs on your receipt. We each had $3 in ECB so we paid $1.29 and got $4 back plus the razor. We both have Extra Care Cards so Mike did this deal twice. We paid $2.58 for 2 and got $8 back to roll next week.

This is fun, easy and a way to stock up so I never have to run out, buy a good razor at $10+ again!

99% Saved Tonight at Publix

I hit the jackpot tonight and there is a twist so I will explain that in a bit.

I got 23 items for $15.91 and saved over $55.00. That's 77% off!
We got:
6 Kellogg's Cereal to Go
4 Kraft Mayo
1 Wheat Thins Crackers
2 Dean Dips
1 Sociables Crackers
4 Hunt's Tomatoes
3 Cheerios Snack Mixes
2 V8 Splashers Juice

Understand that if I went in the store, these items were not on sale (my savings reflect the Publix sale on these items this week) plus I had no coupons my bill would have been $71.71! And I paid under a $1!!!

How did I do this? Read here about the Olay Regenerist Deal that netted a $15 Gift Card when I bought 2 Regenerist Products. I paid $4.40 for 2 great products that are normally closer to $20.00 a piece! I got my $15 Mastercard in the mail yesterday so I used it to pay for the groceries today. My balance after was .91 cents!!

So for just over $5.00, taking the time and mailing off the rebate form, waiting about a month, I got almost $40 in Olay facial moisturizers and all those groceries!!

This is what I refer to as the game of couponing. Just constantly rolling one deal into another to create even more savings!! Even without the gift card, you would still save 77% on the items above. And it's not hard or time consuming- I'll let you know about deals like this and how to take advantage of them.

$31 in Printable Coupons from SC Johnson

Go here to choose and print from $31 in printable coupons!

Click become a member in the right hand top corner. After registering, look for a tab for Tips and Coupons.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My list at Publix for 1/29-2/4

Hey! Here's the deals that caught my eye at Publix this week!!

V8 Splash Juice or Juice Blend 64 oz bottle- B1G1F
Sale price is $1.56 and in 1/4 Smartsource 2 there is a coupon for .50/1
Final Price= .56 or 82% off

Kellogg's Grab N'Go Packs, 5.3-5.8 oz B1G1F
Sale price is $2.00 and in 1/18 RP there is a coupon for $1.50/2
Final Price= 1.25 or 69% off

Hunts Tomatoes, 14.5 oz can B1G1F
Sale price is .70 and in 1/18S there is coupon for .40/2
Final Price= .30 or 78% off

Kraft Mayonnaise, 32 oz jar, B1G1F
Sale price is $2.10 and in 1/18S there is a coupon for .75/1
Final Price= 1.35 or 69% off

General Mills Chex Mix (8.75oz) or Cheerios Snack Mix (7.5-8.6oz), B1G1F
Sale price is $1.28 and in 1/25S there is a coupon for .50/1
Final Price= .28 or 89% off

Nabisco Baked Snack Crackers or Wheat Crackers, 7-10 oz box, B1G1F
Sale price is $1.75 and in 1/25S there is a coupon for $2/2
Final Price= .75 or 79% off

Deans Dip, assorted varieties, 12-16 oz. B1G1F
Sale price is $0.98 and in 1/25S there is a coupon for $1/2
Final Price= .48 or 75% off

If I bought the required amounts of each to use my coupons-
Total Price= $7.75 or 75% off for 11 items!!

Great deals on great products this week!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Welcome and Coupon 101

I know the blog is getting some new readers and it's a lot of information to absorb but there's a lot to learn here too! I don't want you to just scroll down, decide it's too much to look at and never visit again.

I know there aren't many comments but there are a lot of readers. I get emails all the time from folks all over the country.

To make things easier to navigate, I added a new Label tonight called Coupon 101.
Under this thread are the posts about how to save and the "teaching" posts.
I recommend you go there first and read the basics.

Thanks again for reading and all the positive feedback I've received.

Never thought I'd see the day....

There's a coupon to print for BIG LOTS!! 20% off your entire purchase.

Click here to go and print yours.

I used to love this place but there's not one nearby where we live now.
Hope you can use it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Walgreens $25 Gift Card with Prescription Coupon Online!

A huge favorite with several folks out here- click here to go the coupon on the There is a tab to the right that says "Click for a printable coupon."
Good through April 28, 2009.

Remember that most Krogers and Publix will take these and that's $25 in FREE groceries. Just check before you transfer and if for some reason they won't do it- go to Walgreens!!

McDonald's $1 Valentine Coupons= 12 FREE items!

I haven't seen these personally yet but you may want to stop and see if your location is selling the $1 (the price in most markets) Valentine's Coupon Booklets. These coupons are good from February 14 to May 15, 2009. Must be used by children until 12 and limit 1 coupon per customer per visit.

You get 12 FREE items!!
3 free hamburgers
3 free ice cream cones
3 free apple dippers or small fry
3 free apple juice or milk jug

That's awesome for $1! What a great book to keep in the car and have for last minute snacks and needing to feed the kids. And if you don't have kids under 12, this would be a sweet gift for nieces and nephews.

Free Diet Dr. Pepper

You fill out the information here and receive a coupon for either a 2 liter or 20 ounce Free in about 4-6 weeks. One per email address and household.

Great freebie considering how expensive soft drinks have gotten recently!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Great deals, great meals...

My last post was about critics and skeptics complaining about the time it takes to coupon and save money. The second criticism I get is what am I feeding my children and it can't be healthy. Yes, there are great deals on box meals, snacks and items like these but they are used in my house in a balanced way and added only a couple of times a week to our main meals. I've said this before but I have 2 perfectly healthy little girls that fall about 50% of their weight percentile charts for their ages. My girls ask for brussel sprouts so giving them boxed mashed potatoes or the occasional fruit snacks is okay in my book.

Sunday, Mike did the list for Kroger and spent $19, getting about 14 items. Included in this shop was a huge New York Strip about 2 inches thick and a pound of large shrimp. We got a manager special markdown on an Organic Spring Mix so we had steak, shrimp, a Green Giant Steamers (free from last week) and salad for 4 for less than $10.00 plus got 10 other items in our $19 shop. And I have to brag being the seafood lover I am and growing up in Charleston- it's cooler than anything to watch a 2 year old peel her own boiled shrimp which I think she ate at least a dozen. And I have 2 girls that know the real way to eat a steak...rare to medium rare! You can cringe but I love the foodies my children have become.

Tonight, we took advantage of several Manager's Specials for bakery specialty breads, cheeses, deli meat and produce for pannini night! Mike gets awards at IBM for projects, he gets to choose from a catalog and we received his latest today- a Cuisinart pannini press. We had turkey, havarti, avocado on oatmeal bread and ham, provolone and jalapeno on country white loaf panninis for dinner. Another organic mix salad with veggies and Mike did hashbrowns from the new Betty Crocker Skittles boxed potatoes. We easily ate for under $10.00 plus got a $75 press in the process.

I have a couple of points to our dinners the past couple of nights. First of all- obviously we aren't eating out of dented cans and over processed foods for dinner. Mike and I are foodies- we like to eat well and we both can cook very well. Second, if you do depend on the box items or foods that you can only get your children to eat- that's fine. You are saving money on those items. That's the important thing!

However... when you start noticing these manager's markdowns, the deals each week, a good stockpile that you can pick and choose from- you can get creative. We can get a great deal on bread and we may have sandwiches for a couple of nights especially if you find great deals on deli meat. My point- go in the store with an open mind, seek out the deals and go with the flow. You don't have to have the mentality that dinner has to be a meat, potato, side and dessert each night.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My thought today about coupons

I was sitting in church today and the message was great but the pastor said something that made me think about my critics to this "coupon madness." He was preaching on Luke 15 and talking about how quick fixes and get rich quick schemes never work.

A lot of people criticize and say doing coupons and finding ways to save money takes too much time. Yes, it takes a little bit of time but when you are organized, been doing it for a little bit- it becomes a reasonable process. And even if it takes me an hour each week and I save $80 at a store- where can I make $80 an hour if I worked part time that I was only allowed to work one hour? (I just realized there is a job I could do and it's illegal! :) ) That's money in my pocket to spend some place else or take care of what we need in our household.

I started thinking about groceries and the "quick fix" people apply to their households when it's been a bad or long day or they haven't planned out a meal for dinner. Ordering a pizza, getting take out, eating out or just wandering the store to buy dinner for that night is a quick fix. It may be good, feel good and serve the purpose at the time but when you do this a couple of times a month or some do this every week- this adds up, quickly depletes your grocery budget and adds financial stress to your family. And my attitude about food- a hot delivered pizza is tasty when you eat it, saved the night but IT IS JUST FOOD! You spent 1/2 a tank of gas, 1/2 your water bill that month or a deal at Publix that could net you 30+ items on that ONE pizza!

Sticking to the lists, organizing your coupons, taking advantage of the 12 week sale cycle to stock up- you are prepared for bad days, running kids everywhere and realizing you actually have to feed your family at some point. It's easy now to just think about what I have in the pantry, frig and freezer to come up with a dinner plan.

It's not hard to do this. I'm super mad crazy with the school newsletter, 2 girls (5 and 2 at age almost 38), PTA, Daisy Scouts, tennis lessons for my oldest, the blog, Facebook (that's my own fault), room mom, church, friends, selling Uppercase, now the speaking engagements etc. My stockpile and the deals each week save my butt numerous times a month. We'll plan out a meal, I'll forget to thaw (I don't like defrosting in the microwave... I have my issues with the microwave- I believe one day they are going to decide it was a bad idea and not healthy) and Mike calls asking what is for dinner. I don't have to panic- there are options. A frozen pizza, salad, fruit for the girls and another side. Stuffed chicken breasts that go from the freezer to the table in about 30 minutes, a Green Giant Steamer veggie, another side and cinnamon rolls for the girls. Or the best- Super Silly Supper- pancakes, sausage and grits. My girls actually love this one! They think eating breakfast at night is fun and with the deals- this is a $2.00 dinner for 4!

I said my critics are skeptical but as you embrace this new idea of shopping- keep those "quick fixes" in mind when you are tempted. Do I want Mike to stop and get Chinese- yeah but my mindset kicks in and I think- do I want him to spend $25 on Chinese (you are hungry 2 hours after Chinese... at least we are) when I can take that $25 and buy a trunk load of groceries? We enjoy eating out- we use and have great dinners out. Those are treats and appreciated since we just don't throw our hands up and say "Let's go to Chili's." We eat at great restaurants, not fast food or franchises.

And finally on the message this morning- "Get Rich Quick Schemes" don't work- I agree. When you start couponing, you will see great results immediately. This is motivation to keep doing it. Even if you only saved $20 a week- this adds up to over $1000 a year. That is huge but it's hard work, dedication, discipline, organization and planning. You are being a financial steward for your household and the results are a blessing.

I'm thankful for the message this morning and seeing how I can apply it to what I think is important and still feel like what I am doing with the blog and the speaking engagements can apply to any household.

Baby Steps CVS!

If you're still confused about CVS and not sure where or how to start, here's a great deal and a way to get a product you probably need for free!

On sale this week is Gillette Men's Shampoo for $4.99.
In the 1/18 Proctor & Gamble insert is a coupon for $2/1.
This makes the shampoo $2.99 and you will receive an Extra Care Buck for $3.00.
Final price- Free

You can do this deal 5 times. If you have another coupon or several, you do another transaction either right then or later if you feel more comfortable and you pay with your $3.00 ECB. Now you are only paying tax which was about 12 cents when Mike did it today. You will receive another $3.00 ECB!

Yes, there is an initial upfront cost for the first one but now you've got 2 for $2.99+ tax. And you have $3.00 to use for another purchase or wait until next week to see what other great free products you can use this ECB on to get more ECBs! So technically you get 2 shampoos for about a quarter.

The only thing you might encounter is the coupon or ECB may beep. All the cashier has to do is adjust either to $2.99 which is common practice at CVS. If you get a cashier that refuses- just grab a piece of candy to get the total back up to over zero.

Try it this week and see how easy it is to roll ECBs at CVS!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Great Shop at Publix!

Mike did the list early this morning and came home with a trunk full!

He got:
2 Publix soft drinks 2 liters
5 Red Baron Pizzas
6 Dole Fruit Cups 4 packs
6 Dole Parfait Cups 4 packs
2 Pace Salsa
6 Pillsbury Toaster Strudel
6 Chef Boyardees
2 Hall Cough Drops
3 Fantastik Cleaners

Mike had a $10 off $50 coupon from CVS. He asked Customer Service at Publix if they would honor it. They said yes!
So after all coupons and the CVS coupon our grand total was......
$20.73 and we saved $79.05 or 80%

Our freezer is packed after shopping this week so it's going to have to be great deals for the next couple of weeks.

Post your great trips in the Comments~

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hot Deals at Publix 1/22-1/28

Here's what I've have found as the hot deals at Publix this week!

Pace Chunky Salsa or Picante 16 oz. jar BIGI
Sale price is $1.40 each with a coupon for .40 off 2 in 12/14S Final Price: $1.00 or 64%

Pillsbury Toastal Strudel 10-11.5 oz. B1G1
Sale price is $1.25 each with a coupon for .35 off in 1/4GM
Final Price: $.55 or 78%
Or print a $1.00 here
Thanks Kelly for showing me this link today! :)

Chef Boyardee, assorted varieties 14.5-15 oz. $1.00 each
Coupon in 01/04 SmartSource for $1.00/3 Final price is .65 cents or 57%

Lysol Disinfectant All Purpose Cleaner 40oz B1G1 Sale price $1.60
Coupon in 1/4 S for $1.00/1. Final price is .60 or 81%

Halls Cough Drops 30 count bag (exclude Defense) B1G1 Sale price .94 cents
Look for 33% more bags. 1/11S $1.00 off so final price is FREE or 100%

Fantastik 26-32oz. cleaners B1G1 Sale price $1.45
Coupon from 1/11S for $1.00/1 Final price is .45 cents or 84%

Dole Fruit Parfait Bowls, 4 pack B1G1 Sale price $1.14
Coupon from 1/11S for $1/2 Final price is .64 each or 72%

Dole Fruit Gels or Fruit Cups, 4 pack B1G1 Sale price $1.14
Coupon from 1/11S for .75/2 Final price is .77 each or 66%

Red Baron Pizza B1G1
Coupon from 1/11S for $1/2 Final price is $2.40 or 59%

Total Price: $13.10 or 68% off!!
Take off the pizzas and your total would be $8.30 or 71% off

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

HOT!! .15 cent Skippy and .37 cent Ragu at Walgreens

These are rock bottom great prices but it might take a little work.

Walgreens is running a promotion this week that if you buy 8 Unilever products you get $10 back in Register Rewards. I've not talked about Walgreens yet but their great savings usually comes from their rebate program- Easy Saver catalog. I will post Walgreens 101 this week. But they created Register Rewards to compete with the CVS Extra Care Bucks program. It's just like ECBs and it prints out on your receipt. Technically cash to use on your next trip. Just hang on to that receipt!!

Skippy Peanut Butter is on sale for $1.99 and there is a coupon in the 1/18 RP insert for .60 cents off with a final price of $1.39. Ragu is on sale for $1.99 and another coupon in 1/18 RP when you buy 2 that brings the final price to $1.62.

Great prices alone on both BUT if you had 4 coupons for the Ragu and you bought 8- your total would be $12.96. If you got $10 back in Register Rewards then you are paying $2.96 for 8 plus tax. Same thing on the peanut butter but you would need 8 coupons!

Here's my negative to this deal- it's Walgreens so how many of each item are they going to have on the shelves? I've asked CVS before to go into the stockroom and get more items but never tried it at Walgreens. So, that would be try it and not know how it's going to work out. There are stores that are great and others not so great. Just decide if it's "worth your mileage"- another term used in the coupon world.

If anyone in the Atlanta area wants to take advantage of this deal- email me and I can get you the extra coupons in time to work the deal.

My favorite colors at Kroger are yellow and orange!

You should be looking for these colors too! They are on the Manager's Special markdown stickers!
You can find these stickers on all sorts of items throughout the store.

Produce, Deli, Meat, Seafood, Organics, Dairy, Bread and on the closeouts. Most are still far from their buy by date or expiration dates. Tonight I got a pack of hamburger buns for .49 cents and a package of english muffins for .49 cents.

Last week, we purchased a take and bake Private Selection Hawaiian pizza that's normally $8.99 for $4.49 and a salad mix for .99 cents. The pizza was wonderful for just over $4 bucks! Our family of four ate dinner for just over $5.00!

The Organic markdowns are great. I got some Acai drinks and teas for about 50% of their original price. Manager's Specials are a great way to try new products without spending a lot out of pocket.

I've also gotten some great deals on yogurt and yogurt drinks. You can use a coupon on a markdown so I've gotten several for free. Yes, you have to pay attention to the expiration dates but luckily yogurt flies through my house with 2 girls.

Some people are worried about the markdown meat. Never had a problem in 7 years. I just plan to use that night or it goes immediately in the freezer. This is the way we eat steak at least once a week. We get really nice cuts for less than 30-40% or more than their original price.

The girls love going to the store and being on the lookout for these stickers. We'll often stop by a Kroger when running other errands just to scan the store for specials. Takes just a couple of minutes and the savings is worth it!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Free Frozen Veggies At Kroger This Week

There's a mega sale at Kroger and a great deal on Green Giant Steamers Frozen Vegetables.
They are on sale for $1.50 each and there's a coupon from 1/4 Smart Source for .50 cents off. The coupon will double so the final price with the coupon is .50 cents.

Now- here's how it gets better. If you have multiple coupons- I had 17 then there is a Mega Sale at Kroger where if you buy 10 of certain items then you get $5.00 off your order.

So we had to pay $1.00 for 3 since we didn't have enough coupons but we got 20, $10 came off from the Mega Sale so for $3.00 and tax- we got 20 packages of the Steamers. Great deal and plenty of room in the freezers. My kids eat wonderfully and love vegetables so these will be used very quickly.

I know you don't have as many coupons but if you combine the Steamers with other Mega Sale Items to get the $5.oo off then you can get yours for free too!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

CVS 101- how to roll ECBs and get free stuff!

You have the grocery store deals down pat- now it's time to learn how to work the drugstores. I'll start with CVS and their Extra Care Bucks program.

What are Extra Care Bucks or ECBs? When you buy certain items each week or during the month of deals- you will get ECBs on your receipt to use on your next purchase. These are just like cash and can be used on almost anything. It's only usually restricted to not being able to buy things like cigarettes, alcohol, prescriptions and gift cards. You must have a CVS card but if you don't already- just ask the cashier to set you up.

What is "rolling" ECBs? It does take an initial purchase and a little bit of money out of pocket to start. You find the deals for the week, match the coupons and then your ECBs come out for the next purchase. Do a couple of little multiple purchases and your out of pocket isn't too bad. With coupons matching plus some of the great coupons from CVS via email for a like $5 off $20 printable- you can actually "make" money and it's totally legal. So you get items for free because of the ECBs that are printed and you just keep using those ECBs to get the next week's great deals. Now you are paying little out of pocket or anything and continuing to get ECBs to use again!

Are there any "cons" to ECBs? A couple and it's hit or miss depending where you are. There are times that it's hard to find the items because of other couponers. There are some people in my opinion that abuse the system. They have multiple CVS cards so they can clear out the shelves. Some managers hate the program and won't re-stock like they should. You have usually a month to use the ECBs before they expire so if you can't find items one week- there's time to use them. ECBs don't have to be used on other ECB earning items so I just try to keep rolling and if I'm getting close to an expiration then I buy diapers or something I know I will need down the road. The items are things I wouldn't necessarily go and buy but I've found I've used them when needed and it's nice to know I had it at the house. A couple of weeks ago- there was an Ear Homeopathic Drops that made $2 profit and I paid nothing. A week later- I had a horrible earache and I tried them. Went away- obviously nothing serious but it was nice to have the product to try before a trip to the Doctor. I just don't make an intentional trip to CVS- Mike will stop by one on his way home and try to work the ECB deals.

The only other restriction that you have to get creative about is you can't use an ECB that's larger than your total. So you have to have a plan and possibly do multiple purchases. You also need to know if you need a little something else to get the total where you need it. We are very courteous when we do these deals- we let people with one or 2 items ahead of us and we don't hold up the line. We'll do one purchase and get out of line if there is one. Sounds like work but it's not and the cashiers and managers will love you if you don't choke their lines up. We usually just do a couple of purchases throughout the week versus everything at once. Mike goes by 3 CVS on his way home so it's not that big of a deal.

Here's an example from this week:
Buy 1 Children's Throat Cooler Ice Pops at $4.99, Get $4.99 ECBs (Limit 5)
Buy 2 and B1G1 from the 12/07 SmartSource insert
(There are also reportedly $1/1 coupons in the boxes.)
Free plus overage after coupons and ECBs

Okay- now who thinks to go buy Throat Cooler Ice Pops? I didn't even know they existed but that's an awesome item to have on hand when the kids get sick. You get 2 for $4.99 and then getting $9.98 back in ECBs. See how it works?
NOTE: this is not in our region. Just an example to show how to roll ECBs

Here's the next deal:
Buy 2 Maybelline Mineral make up products, Get $10 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use (2) $3/1 Foundation coupons from 10/26 Red Plum inserts
Spend $9.98 out of pocket or the ECBs from the "scenario" deal above so free and you get $10 ECBs back!

This is just an example and I will normally show true deals but this is just the perfect example to show how rolling ECBs work.

Comment with questions and we'll continue learning how to work CVS and the great ECBs deals! It does take a little work to master but it's worth it in the end!

Free Department Store Makeup on 1/20

I just saw this on another deal site.

You will want to mark January 20th on your calendar. Department Stores are giving away makeup due to a settlement concerning price fixing. If you bought Estee Lauder, Clinique or many other brands between 1994 and 2003 you are qualify! Details are listed at the website below.

Huge Sale at Bath And Body Works starts tomorrow!

Bath and Body Works is changing the bulk of their sale items to 75% and 90% off starting Monday.

ALSO if you have any of those survey coupons that print out on the bottom of your receipt ($10 off of $30) you can use those and save even more!!! Use multiple coupons by separating transactions... (hopefully you'll get more when you cash out!)

Here's what I found at their website:

Bath & Body Works Store Specials

The Big Semi - Annual Sale!

$3 select Signature Collection Shower Gels

$4 select Wallflower Starters & Refills

$3 select Antibacterial Hand Soaps

$5 select Signature Collection Classics

$2 select Home Fragrance Oils

50% off select items

75% off select items

90% off select items

$5 select Filled Candles

Buy one get one 50% off select C.O. Bigelow products

Buy two get one free select Signature Collection products

$3 select Room Sprays & Home Fragrance Oils

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Free $25 Gift Card if you join Sam's Club 1/15-21

Join Sam's Club this week and take in the following printable coupon, to receive a $25 Sam's gift card. I've read on other sites that you can use this gift card at Walmart.

Not a bad deal if you have a Sam's nearby! Membership is about $40 I think for a year.

To Clip or Not Clip Coupons... that is the question!

When you get excited about couponing like several people reading have- there is always the looming question do you clip all the coupons or save the inserts and clip when you generate your lists from

My answer to the questions is save the inserts. Clipping coupons can take a lot of time once a week. I keep the inserts in a Rubbermaid bin, clipped together by week and have the most current inserts on top in order by date.

The binder system works for a lot of people but I've always just saved the inserts. My reasoning? I stick to the lists and don't spend more than the best deals on the lists each week.

What about items you need that aren't on the list? Simple- I use the Coupon Generator option on and look up to see if there are coupons for something I need.

What if you find a great unadvertised deal? I do miss out on those from time to time. I keep an envelope of coupons that I think I may run up on a steal. Things like diapers, wipes, certain shampoos etc.

Another great tip is to go to On the front page, click on forums. Then scroll down to Grocery Stores and Drugstores. There is a Publix forum and a Kroger Southeast Forum plus several for CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. I check these everyday and people will post great deals and unadvertised clearances they are finding. These are usually very accurate and when I find something- I add the deal and the coupons to the list. CVS and Walgreen forums actually have a section dedicated just to the deals and steals people are finding.

Binders are great and there's no right or wrong method. People just get immediately turned off to the idea of sitting down and clipping so much at once. Binders get very big quickly but there are diehard fans of the binder system.

As long as you are organized and get your own system down pat- couponing is easy and not time consuming like the critics think it is.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

3 Day Sale at Kroger through Saturday

Here are the items included in the Thursday, Friday and Saturday 3 day sale at Kroger this week:

Boneless pork tenderloin 1.98/lb
Strawberries 1.98
Mayfield ice cream 2.28
Tombstone pizza 2.48
Crest toothpaste 1.88
Always/Tampax 2 for $10

There are coupons for Always in the 12/28 Proctor and Gamble insert
Tampax coupons are in the 12/14 and 12/28 P&G insert
Same inserts for Crest coupons 12/28 P&G

Huggies Diaper Deal at Rite Aid this week!

Found a great deal on Huggies Diapers and Wipes this week. It's in the form of a Rite Aid Rebate so there's an out of pocket cost but the savings are worth it! This deal is good through 01/17/09.

Buy (2) Huggies Packs at $9.99 each (on sale, usually $12.49)
(2) 80 count Huggies Wipes at $3.49 each
Use a $5 off $25 printable Rite Aid Coupon (click here) Use this coupon first!
Use (2) $1.50 off Huggies Diapers coupons from the 1/11 Smart Source insert
Use (2) .50 off Huggies Wipes coupons from the 1/11 Smart Source insert

Final price after coupons: $19.85

Go to and register for their rebate online program.
Look at the rebate deals for January and click on the $2.00 of (1) Huggie Diaper Rebate, $2.00 off purchase of (2) Wipes, and the $10 Rite Aid Gift Card deal for purchasing $20 in Kimberly Clarke products. You will receive a $4.00 rebate check and a $10.00 gift card to Rite Aid in less than 6 weeks. Nothing to mail- you can do everything online.

So final price after rebate and gift card= $5.85 for in our case 52 diapers and 160 wipes.
Not too shabby! That's .11 cents a diaper not including the wipes.

I know the gift card isn't really cash but we'll use it on another great deal we find at Rite Aid through

And save that link to the Rite Aid Coupon- it's good until 03/31/09 so you could use it more than once.

Hot Deals at Publix this week 1/15-1/21

Here's what my list for Publix looks like this week!

In-Ad coupon: Purchase (2) 64 oz Bottles of Ocean Spray Grapefruit Juice and get (1) 5lb bag of red grapefruit.
There's a $1.00 off (1) Ocean Spray Grapefruit Juice in 1/11 Red Plum Insert

Motts 100% Apple Juice or Motts for Tots, Plus Kids Health or Plus Light- 64 oz Bottle. B1G1F
There is a $1.00 off (1) on the 12/07 SmartSource
Sale Price is $1.48 so final price is .48 or 84% off

Betty Crocker Premium Muffin Mix B1G1F
There is a .40 off (1) in the 12/14 SmartSource
Sale price is $1.30 so final price is .50 or 81% off

Lysol All Purpose Trigger Spray Cleaner 32oz bottle or Antibacterial Kitchen 22oz B1G1F
There is a $1.00 off (1) in the 1/4 SmartSource 2
Sale price is $1.35 so final price is .35 or 87% off

So assuming the Ocean Spray will be around $2 each, I will get 2 bottles
5 lb red grapefruit
3 Motts Apple Juice
3 Betty Crocker Muffin Mixes
7 Lysol Cleaners

Total: 20 items for approximately just under $10.00.
That's my Publix list for this week. And if I wait until Sunday or Monday- I'll get the penny item which is rumored to be milk this coming weekend. That's one of the better penny items.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Happens at Midnight- new Publix List for this week!

Okay- you don't have to print out your Publix list right at midnight but it does post on makes it so easy to generate your list and then match your coupons to what you want to buy this week.

  • You will probably have to register but it's free. Click on the main page Find Your Store's Grocery Deals List
  • Use the drop down window to find Georgia Publix. Then hit Go!
  • The current Publix list will generate. What I do is on the far right column is the % saved. There are 2 triangles by it. I click on the upside down one which will re-generate the list from 100% savings down.
  • Now, just go through the list, checking in the box on the far left what you want to buy. When finished, click at the bottom "Display Deals." This is your list! Print it out and you've got your shopping list plus on the left side is the date and coupon insert where you can find your coupons. This means no clipping coupons until you need them!
Super easy, keeps your list simple and organized. Only takes a couple of minutes and finding your coupons is a breeze with the list formatted the way it is. I keep my inserts in a rubbermaid bin with the most current inserts on top. I just sit down, find the coupons, clip them to my CouponMom list and we are ready to go.

I've sung praises time and time again because for 8 years- Stephanie Nelson has helped me save a ton of money!

SMOKING HOT!! How to save big on the circus.

UPDATE: Kelly commented and found the code "THRILL" to get 50% off Club Level or higher for the weekend shows. Thanks Kelly! She found the code on Great FIND!!

Just found this deal and it is amazing!

Go to to see if/when the circus will be in your area. Go to the tour schedule and find the show you want to attend. It's in Charlotte, NC Jan. 28 - Feb 1. Once you find the show you will have the option of "Get Tickets." Choose the time of the show you want to attend, and click "Find Tickets" Then choose the 4 Holiday Package @ $11.00 per ticket, and use the code CHEER4.

The tickets in Atlanta for Club Level are $35 a piece! We are in the Cherokee County School System and we get this week off for Winter Break. This deal doesn't appear to work for the weekend shows but we are going on Monday at 12:30 pm. You must choose the Advanced Ticket section and put the code in all caps like above.

If you need help- it took me a couple of tries to make it work- email me and I'll walk you through it. It's working in other cities than just Atlanta. By the way- my email is so feel free to email me anytime!

So much fun for our Winter Break and the girls are going to be thrilled.

One more note and tip- I plan to create the girls "Circus Gift Bags." We will not be buying any of the over priced items once we get there. Dollar Tree and Michael's have glow in the dark items plus I'll put together some snacks and other goodies to enjoy once we are there. I'm certainly not going to buy a $15 Glow in the Dark Sword (times 2) when I only spent $61 on tickets. You can also get there an hour early and interact with the animals and performers. Being in Atlanta- we have the honor of having the Varsity which is an Atlanta institution so we may eat there afterward and make a day of it. You can eat at the Varsity for next to nothing and the food is what any of us Atlantans grew up on.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I need your help!

Hey Everyone-
Next Wednesday I have my first speaking engagement about Couponing and Saving Money.
I would love it if you would comment about what you think I should talk about. What would you want to know more about if you were sitting there listening to me?

Thanks for your help!

Free Colgate-Palmolive Travel Bag with Samples and Coupons

Spend $15.00 on any of these participating Colgate-Palmolive products and you can get a FREE travel bag worth $25.00. Inside you will find travel size products and valuable coupons. All you have to do is complete the form below and click Submit. After you have submitted your information you will be able to print and mail in your form. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. Offer valid while supplies last.

You can check out and get some great deals so you are only "technically" spending $15.00 to qualify.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What does $2.41 buy you at Kroger... a ton!

Up late- woke up and while I love my laptop upstairs... it can be the devil when I can't sleep.

Have to share our newest score at Kroger. We have a new Kroger near the house and it's great- we are getting Kroger mailers with tons of coupons, plus our new friend that delivers for the Atlanta Journal so we are getting 20+ inserts each week.

First of all- lesson at Kroger. If you need baby related items like diapers- Kroger has a Baby Club. You get 1 point for brand name and 2 points for Kroger brand baby items. We use their diapers with Mackenzie to get the baby points. We are starting the potty training process and you have no idea the celebration at my house when diapers totally go away! We are counting down the minutes. I seriously think Mike and I may get a hotel room and a night out when we can say there will never be a diaper in our house again.

Kroger will give you a $10 off next purchase when you reach 200 points. The irony- Mike keeps doing the Johnson & Johnson Buddy Bar deal at Kroger that is technically free but gave us over 100 points towards this goal. On this purchase- we did get the $10 off.

For $2.41 we got:
16 Powerade Zero
1 Acai power drink
A POM tea
2 lbs of bananas
1 Ready Pac Salad Mix
5lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 pack of mushrooms
1 package of Pimento Cheese-

Our cashier went nuts- the total was just over $40 and the coupons hit- the bag guy who was great (I plan to compliment to Kroger) watched the screen and gave me a high five! Said we were unreal and never saw anything like it. Plus the guy behind us- first a little annoyed by the coupons and the hold up, stopped us in the parking lot and wanted to know how we did that.

Unreal- we saved $36.73, got 27 points towards our gas purchase and 7 points towards the next Baby Club system.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Free Popcorn Sample at

Go to (or your affiliate site I assume) and click on In Store in the top banner. Click on Samples.

You can get a free Orville Redenbacher's Natural Gourmet Popping Corn. Just fill out the form and it should arrive 4-6 weeks.

There is also a Stop Smoking Kit available if that applies to you.

Free samples in the mail are always so much fun!

Downloading Coupons onto your Rewards Card

It's the first of the month, so tonight I sat down and went through the 3 online programs that download coupons automatically onto my Kroger Plus card. These are fairly new programs and I've had success most of the time and failure a couple of times. I only choose items that I need or know I'll have a paper coupon to pair it with plus only purchase these items when they are on sale and at their lowest price of the sale cycle. So, until they work out all the kinks- I see these coupons as bonuses. You can dispute and I've done that before. There is information under "Contact Us" how to do so. It was resolved fairly quickly and I was credited the amount of the coupons and a little bonus for the hassle. When you register, it will allow you to choose to have coupons downloaded to your cell phone or your Kroger (or your affiliate store) card. Choose what you want and they are usually downloaded within the hour. This site also has restaurant, coffee and retail offers to places like Arby's, Caribou Coffee and Hollywood Video. This is Proctor and Gamble's site for coupons. Again, register then choose what coupons you want uploaded to your card. Again, takes about an hour. I usually play it safe and choose my coupons at least 24 hours before I'm ready to shop. I usually go through to access these coupons. Same concept.

If you go through, click on In Store then Coupons. All three sites have links on the Coupon page.

I mentioned before, the way these coupons really help is they can be combined with paper coupons. I don't keep track of what I download, just choose what I know I'm likely to purchase then check for deals where I clip coupons. Just another way to save and it's super easy plus only takes a couple of clicks sitting at the computer!