On Tuesday evening, we got the news that my uncle Anthony had passed away suddenly. Anthony was my dad’s brother, and everyone on the paternal side of my family live here in England, so I’ll be spending the coming days with family and attending his service. I’ll be online as time allows, but I know you’ll all understand if it takes me longer than usual to blog and answer emails. I’m dedicating this with love to the memory of my “Uncle Tony”.
ETA: Alas, my order has been cancelled, along with most of the readers over at Money Saving Mom. Medco told me that “This promotion was available ‘while supplies last,’ and due to overwhelming demand the item is now out of stock. Accordingly, we have now terminated the promotion.” I had assumed that due to the great success of their $10 off promotion – which resulted in a great deal of positive publicity and new customers for the company – that they had released these new coupon codes as a way of keeping up the momentum. Having a deal valid “While supplies last” is a smart thing to do – but where Medco slipped up here was not making that fact crystal clear to their customers. If the company runs out of stock (and all the items I bought were marked “In stock”), the coupon code should bring up an “Expired” message. If a coupon that a company advertises deducts the promotional amount on in-stock items and places the order without issues, how is the consumer to know that it has expired?
Hurry over to Money Saving Mom’s site and check out her post about how to get free & cheap items at MedCo with some online coupons that they are currently offering. These deals are selling out quickly, so hurry! The picture above is a screenshot of what I ordered – a box of 50 Band-Aids, 4 Chapsticks, 5 packages of dental floss, and 8 toothpastes for $4.19 shipped.
You’ve read my thoughts on online deals, so be pragmatic as always – however, my experience with this company has been good so far. The only reason why I haven’t received my first order yet is because the items were on backorder – and then last week, my debit card number was stolen, so my order was further delayed while I waited for my new card to arrive.
Total for all groceries before coupons: $109.04 Total spent on groceries out of pocket: $2.69 Total spent trading for coupons that I used this week: $6.61 Total deducted from my Safeway gift card: $25.00 – I got this gift card free through MyBlogSpark, and we’re also giving one away – click here if you’d like to enter! Total that I will receive back in rebates: $9.88 ETA:I initially forgot to add in the cost of the two stamps to mail the rebates – .88 cents! Of course, if they refund the amount pre-10% store discount, it will cover the postage plus a small profit -but I don’t know for sure that they will, so the updated total is below.
Grand total: Spent $25.30 total ($10.18 of it in cash and $15.12 of it on my free gift card) after rebates for $109.04 worth of groceries.
Here’s the links to each individual post where you can see the scenario breakdown, receipts, etc:
Today’s guest post comes to us from Kathryn of Become.com’s shopping blog Pocketchange!
Trying to save money is always a challenge. It takes work, patience and strategy to live both comfortably and frugally, however there are a few things that make this much easier. In honor of the upcoming holiday season and the Thanksgiving spirit, here are five things I am thankful for that help us spend wisely but live richly!
Online Shopping – Sales are at our fingertips! We no longer have to spend a day at the mall searching for the best sales and lowest prices, which takes a lot of energy and persistence. Whether we follow a news feed of deals, search for products or use comparison shopping engines, we are able to quickly discover where we should make our next purchase and how little we can get away with spending.
Discount Stores – Stores that sell items in bulk, such as grocery warehouses, and stores that sell the surplus products from more expensive department stores are treasure chests for good deals. If you have the patience to look around, you can get great quality items at huge discounts. This is the easiest way to purchase nice brands without spending a fortune, and personally they are my favorite shopping destinations!
Coupons – Why wouldn’t you want to save money on everyday items? Although the savings might be fifty cents here, a dollar there, coupons can add up quickly and will result in a great percentage of monthly savings! I never overlook mailing inserts or grocery store ads because they have great deals on items I will be purchasing anyway, so it is a great bonus to save a few dollars.
Holiday Sales – Holiday season means shopping season, as we are giving gifts to family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. Luckily, if you start shopping early you can find some great holiday deals. Whether it is a free shipping offer for an online purchase or a special gift set product in the stores, now is a great time to save a little on the items we purchase for our loved ones. Knowing you scored a great deal can add to the joy of watching someone open a gift that they love!
Friends – The “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” idea couldn’t be truer for a bargain shopper! Borrowing, sharing and trading items that you and your friends no longer use can be a great way to get some new items without even opening your wallet. I love handing over a sweater that I don’t wear anymore in exchange for a purse my friend put back in her closet.
Living on a budget does not have to mean living with little, and for this I am quite thankful!
This guest blog was written by Kathryn Ek, holiday season enthusiast, experienced bargain shopper, and writer for Become.com’s shopping blog Pocketchange. Visit Pocketchange for more great shopping advice, and visit Become.com for all of your comparison shopping needs. Happy Holiday Savings!
Famous Dave’s is offering a free meal on August 30th to anyone with the first name of Dave, David or Davey. And if your middle name is Dave? You’ll receive your meal at half price! Click here for all the details. Thanks for the heads-up, Frugal Freebies and Deals!
As I mentioned earlier, my Johnson & Johnson Cause Party was a great success. I had a fabulous time with all my friends and family, and we raised $253.50 for LifeStraw – enough to give 39 African children clean drinking water for a year!
And although there were 18 of us, we only made a small dent in the huge buffet that I purchased using the $200 stipend! And we all got plenty to eat – most of the guests complained that they were a little too full when they left! Here’s some pictures of the spread -
I set out tables in the kitchen with appetizers, drinks, and desserts:
The main course was served on the grill, and consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, veggie burgers, and corn on the cob:
Here’s our friend Jeff, who served as the grillmaster!
There was simply so much food that I still ended up with a ton left over, despite the turnout. Since all the meat had been thawed for the party, I knew I needed to cook it right away so that it wouldn’t go bad. I decided to grill it all up the next night and then freeze it. We invited our friend Jeff over for dinner, since I needed to cook all this food anyway and wanted to thank him for helping out with the grill during the party. We grilled up all the meat and enjoyed a nice dinner – and this was what I had left after feeding 18 people on Saturday and then the three of us on Sunday night:
After cooking and seasoning the meat, I put it all into individual ziploc bags and stuck them in the freezer. So now we can just pull out one serving at a time and heat it up whenever we’re hungry. This is perfect timing, since I’m going to San Diego this weekend – I won’t have to fuss with cooking during this busy week and Jai will have plenty of food while I’m gone!
And that’s just the meat – I still have probably 20 ears of corn left, tons of salad, snacks, veggie burgers, drinks – my fridge, freezer, and pantry are packed!
If you’d like to see more photos and read all about the party and LifeStraw, you can click here to see a full recap.
Click here to sign up for a coupon good for $5 worth of Halo dog or cat food. You can click here to locate a store near you – there appear to be a few retailers that carry this in Portland, so local readers take note!
Today marks the one-year anniversary since my first post, so I’d like to take a minute to thank my loyal readers for making this such a fun place to share my frugal adventures!
And since it’s my blog’s birthday, I’d like to celebrate in a typically frugal fashion by sharing this link to FreeBirthdayTreats.com. It has a full list of birthday offers and discounts by state, and you can register to receive all sorts of free things on your birthday.
Breakfast: I prepared some food in the morning for that night’s dinner, because I wanted to use the stove earlier in the day before the temperatures got too hot. I ended up “sampling” what I was making instead of sitting down to eat breakfast! Jai had a banana.
Lunch: We were having company over that night and I was making quite a bit of food, so I didn’t want to eat a huge lunch. We both had power bars – the one I ate was a “FullBar” that I won in a giveaway from Saving Money 101. Thanks, Paula! It was quite tasty, and it was indeed filling. We also had some chips and dip:
I went to the store on Tuesday and Wednesday, to pick up 2 heads of lettuce, a bunch of green onions, a gallon of milk, a large package of chicken breasts, .81 lbs of coffee, a tub of Parmesan cheese, and a quart of half and half for $20.34. This brings my total for the week to $25.22.
Dinner: Four of my dear friends were visiting from out of town, so I invited them over to dinner. I made shrimp & chicken Alfredo served over angel hair pasta, two loaves of homemade bread, and a salad made from romaine lettuce, green onions, mushrooms, and dried herbs. For dessert, I baked a homemade chocolate cake, and one of my friends made a cheesecake – which I forgot to get a picture of, darn it!
Since I was cooking for six, I made a lot of food – and I overestimated how much we would need, as I tend to do! My motto is that it’s better to have too much food than have guests go hungry; and we love leftovers, so it’s all good. For the main course, I used three boxes of pasta, a 2lb bag of shrimp, and a bunch of chicken breasts (I don’t remember the exact weight). I made a variation on this Alfredo recipe – I highly recommend the recipe, it’s been a big hit every time I’ve made it. We all ate plenty, and I still have a stockpot full of pasta as of this writing!
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