Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Playing the Grocery Game This Week - A Few Deals and Steals

Fair season is over so what's a girl to do? Work on the stockpile of course! I'm thankful for what I had stocked up cause I really didn't have time to hunt down any deals on pantry or household supplies the last couple months but I didn't have to run out and buy any necessities either. Last week though, I was down to my last roll of paper towels, last bottle of laundry detergent, and two bottles of shampoo so I knew it was time to seriously get back in the game again.

Thanks to some deals at CVS, I got my paper towels, shampoo and laundry detergent. Phew, that was close.

Now, onto this week's deals...

Crazy deal at Meijer if you like peanut butter.

Need I say more? Spend $2.55, get $2.50 back. Peanut butter for $0.05.
You can only buy one at a time and you cannot buy another jar of this peanut butter with the coupon if you want another coupon to print so best bet is to buy them separately. I got three earlier this week but I couldn't find any today so I'm kind of kicking myself for not getting more when I had the chance.

On to Walgreens...

Two really great deals this week. First, Oxiclean HD liquid laundry detergent is on sale for $3.99 and there is a $3 coupon out both in Sunday's inserts as well as an online printable, making it $0.99.

Next, all Almay is on sale Buy One, Get One 50% off. There is an online manufacturer's printable coupon for $5 off any 2 Almay as well as a Walgreens coupon (in their monthly coupon book) for $4 off any 2 Almay. Make up remover wipes are $5.99. Both my kids use these. If you buy 2 packages, the first rings up $5.99 and the second rings up $2.99. Use the $5 manufacturer's coupon FIRST and the register will take $5 off your total. Use the Walgreens coupon next and it will take $2 off every Almay product in your transaction... I say it this way because with the Walgreens coupons you only need one coupon and it will apply to your whole transaction. If you had 4 Almay products, it would still take $2 off every product. As long as you have a multiple of 2, it will take $2 off every product.

You have to get the manufacturer's coupon scanned FIRST. If the Walgreens coupon gets scanned first it will take the total value of the two items below $5 and the manufacturer's coupon may not work, or at least that's the way it used to be... there's been many register upgrades at Walgreens but I've always had my coupons work this way so I'm not deviating from what I know!

Anyhoos... if you've done the math by now, you've realized that it's now -$0.02 for 2 packages of make up remover wipes that are normally $5.99 each.

If you follow the blog, you also know that I normally only buy Arm & Hammer liquid laundry detergent because everything else makes my husband's skin fall off. However, I've found that my kids' skin isn't that sensitive and mine certainly isn't, so I decided to buy the Oxiclean with the Almay - that way my overall subtotal won't go negative - cause sometimes cash registers or cashiers freak out when that happens, and heck, if we hate the Oxiclean, it's such a stupid deal anyway I'm sure some food pantry would love the donation.

Finding the Almay and Oxiclean was hit or miss. There is only shelf space for 4 packages of Almay wipes in any store. In the stores that had 3, I bought 2. One store had 4 so I bought all 4. I'm thinking they surely have more in their stockroom but it was too much trouble to ask. The Oxiclean was easier to find and the store in Carmel actually had a whole endcap stocked.

I had a couple other Walgreens Balance Rewards deals loaded onto my account - Get 2000 points when you spend $10 and Get 7000 points when you spend $20. 1000 points is worth $1. The total amount spent is calculated before manufacturer's coupons but after Walgreens coupons... so 2 Almay would count as $4.98 spent.

At one store I got 4 Almay and one Oxiclean. That netted me the 2000 point reward. At another store I struck out on the Almay (all gone) but I got 2 Oxiclean, a Venus Swirl razor for $9.99, and 2 bags of Crunchmaster Crackers for 2/$4. I had a coupon for a free Venus razor (get on their mailing list and they will send you a free coupon a couple times a year), two $3 Oxiclean coupons, and a $1 Crunchmaster coupon so that netted me the 7000 point reward, plus I got $1.50 back from Checkout 51 for the Crunchmaster Crackers and $2 back for the Venus razor.

Walgreens Haul
Total Spent $12.49
(Total at regular prices was an insane $108.36!)
Earned 9500 Balance Rewards Points ($9.50)
Earned $3.50 back from Checkout 51
...which means I actually came out $0.51 ahead :)

...and it's only Wednesday. I'll be looking for more peanut butter until the promotion ends and I'll keep an eye out for more Almay since I still have more coupons. It was such a great deal I actually dug out my old laptop that I use solely as a coupon printer so I could get more prints.

All this Almay now brings me to another "issue." The "problem" with couponing is that often times I end up with a large amount of whatever the sale item of the week is, be it make up wipes, shampoo, or cereal, and kids feel like it's a free for all. What used to happen is that I'd find 5 different boxes of cereal opened up or 5 different kinds of shampoo lining the tub. It made me crazy. I finally "hid" the stockpile, bringing stuff out only when we needed a new box or bottle. The kids knew this but as long as it wasn't easily accessible (like stored up in MY bathroom rather than THEIRS) this kept them from opening too many new things at once.

The kids also have allowances and are supposed to buy the "non-essential" items on their own. Stuff like candy, extra clothes, and I put make up in that category. I got tired of them wanting me to drive them to the store for an overpriced candy bar or pack of gum - cause heck, there's ALWAYS a deal on junk food - so I started buying it when it was on sale and then they could buy it from me cheaper than getting it at the store, like $0.50 for a pack of gum and such. I still provide their essential hygiene items and, if they give me enough notice (of when they're going to run out), I'll even get their favorite brands. What I've noticed though, or maybe lots of kids are like this and I'm being overly sensitive, is that since they know the stuff is probably free or close to nothing, they don't respect it or think it's worth anything. I find half-full tubes of toothpaste with the caps gone and dried up thrown in the trash, packages of make up wipes, again half-full, not sealed back up so dried out and in the trash or... currently on the bathroom floor...

So... what do you think I ought to charge them for make up wipes?

Happy hunting!

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