the look of moderate success.

31 01 2010

so i stayed up late last night (passed out on the couch and woke up at two with coupons stuck to my face), and planned out a reasonable course of action for today’s baking day 2.0 shopping trip. no inclement weather this time. had sufficient time for both super walmart & shaw’s, and sale-wise the stars were nicely aligned. all said and done, $86 (splitsies with the boyfriend for a personal total of $43) isn’t too bad for a month worth of food. maybe if i was a coupon superstar, it would have been less.  i still haven’t quite figured out exactly how some people can get what they need while still paying pennies… but all in due time.

money saving maine-iac always has the most comprehensive shaw’s deals (plus, i’m too lazy to do them myself), but here were the highlights:

buck-a-bag produce! i got yellow onions, white potatoes, carrots, and celery all for $1 a bag. the onions were a little sorry looking, and the celery was a little wilty… but no one will notice because they’re all getting cooked into other composite foods. and so cheap!

sargento cheese @ $1.99 with a doubled $.75/1 coupon from god knows where, but hey- $.49 cheese!

ronzoni smart taste pasta @ $1 each with a double $.75/1 coupon from the 12/6 smartsource= free with $.50 overage (i got two, but these are the days i wish i was better at hoarding coupon inserts).

i also finally put that $4/$15 wild harvest coupon to work. fuck me for spending $10.58 on 2 packages of fake quorn chicken. vegetarianism is a pricey proposition!

at walmart, i am sad to report that the free ept pregnancy tests that we were all going to hide under our sink are not actually free- at least in the state of maine. they’re $9.54 ($4.54 after coupon), which is still cheap, but i apologize for leading you astray!

i totally cashed in on the cheap cheese though (6 bags to be exact). on sale for $1.88 a bag, i used 3 $1/2 kraft natural cheese coupons from, and loaded my cheese drawer to max capacity (my cheese drawer isn’t actually that big) for a mere $1.38 a bag.

really, there were no shockingly amazing deals, but i had a decent fistful of coupons and everything was reasonably priced (that is except the quorn cutlets, and the gimme lean sausage- bullshit i tell you!). now if only i can carry this moderate success over to the actual cooking portion tomorrow…

junky trunky.

24 01 2010

it’s not secret that i’ve gotten fat this past year. almost 30 lbs. really. it’s a long and tragic story that doesn’t necessarily need to be shared right now, but the fact of the matter is that i need to be more diligent with what i stuff in my cramhole. despite the disappointing fare in this week’s shaw’s flier, i did still manage to score a few good deals.  however, as the diet is to start tomorrow (and less calories invariably equals more money), i did end up spending more than i would have preferred. although all in the name of restoring my health (and my pants size).

the wins:

i managed to print 4 more $.55/1 coupons, got 4 more cans of old el paso green chiles (on sale for $1 each), and made $.40 profit.

i also printed out 2 old el paso heat and serve sides coupons for $.50/1  @ to go along with the $1/1 coupon i clipped from the 1/3 smartsource. also on sale for $1 each, i got all 3 for free.

sadly, the breakstones sour cream was not on sale in my neck of the woods, but @ $1.79 with a $.55/1 coupon (also from, $.69 for a 16 oz. container is still good stuff. (and i printed out an extra in the hope that i can get a better deal next week).

the classico alfredo sauce was also on sale this week for $1.99, so i put that buy one alfredo get one pasta sauce coupon from the 1/10 smartsource to work, and got them both for $1 each.

hostess 100 calorie packs were on sale for $2.69, and that $.75/1 coupon (again from nice work this week guys!) doubled to make them $1.19. score!

i also grabbed that free sack of yoplait smoothie mix. i don’t know where my blender is right now, but i’ll make it work. has anyone tried this shit yet? is it good?

i’m not sure why i included them in the picture, but the lipton soup mix (soon to be veggie dip with the sour cream) cost $1.69 with a $1/2 coupon from the 11/15 red plum (so old!). $1.19 each. not that great, but way cheaper than the marzetti dip singles that i’ve been buying for like $4 a pop.

i also took advantage of the free grapefruits when you buy two ocean spray grapefruit juices. not a great deal @ 2 for $5 with no coupon (that’s why i put it in the pile of shame picture), but i need to get more produce in my diet.

the rest was just random lunch and dinner accessories. $29.14 for $48.62 in groceries. considering i used to spend $80 a week on bullshit, i’ll take it!

it’s time to reprioritize.

23 01 2010

that’s right shaw’s. i think it’s time for you to take into consideration the american obesity epidemic and the rampancy of heart disease before you decide to reward people with free stuff (namely free potatoes, onions, and carrots) when they buy a 3 POUND BEEF ROAST (pork roast is also acceptable). maybe you should consider giving people free veggies when they buy a meatless entree product or tofu?  or what about the fact that one of the participating products for the “eating well” magazine subscription giveaway is POTATO CHIPS!? that’s complete fucking madness!! anyway, i just thought it was time for us to have this little discussion. america is fat and sick, and you’re not helping.

also, i’m feeling a little left out this week. there’s very little that is inticing me:

i’m not a big juice drinker, but i do love grapefruits. if you buy two ocean spray juices @ 2/$5 (the have a couple of 100% juice options), you get a free 5 lb. bag of grapefruits. it doesn’t look like there are any current coupons for the juice, but i just joined something called the cranberry club, where ocean spray will send me promotions via email.

2 lbs of onions for $.99 isn’t so bad…

larabars are barely on sale for $1.39 (the lemon ones are AMAZING, and gluten free! and have a maximum of 5 ingredients, all of which are pronounceable!). i still have a couple of these buy 2 get 1 free coupons left (no longer available from there’s also a $1/ 2 coupon in the wild harvest mailer i got last week, making them each $.60. decent!

classico pasta sauce is pretty decent, and on sale for $1.99. you can also get a $1/2 coupon from their website, making them each $1.50.

old el paso crazy! fuck me for spending my $.55/1 coupons LAST WEEK (they do double)! this week they’re a $.10 money maker @ $1 each. hopefully i can grab a few more coupons and make back the money i spent last week!  ALSO, there was a $1/1 coupon in the 1/3 smartsource for any heat and serve side- and they also are on sale for $1 this week. freebie!

cheerios @ $1.75 when you buy four. print out a couple of these $1/1 coupons, and you’ve got yourself 4 boxes of cheerios for $3.

i’ve also got a $4/$15 wild harvest coupon that i got in the mail. i think i might try to work something with the larabars and maybe some produce.

let’s just say i’m underwhelmed this week shaw’s. if it wasn’t for the green chiles (and you better thank old el paso for that), i think i’d be asking for a little space right now.

* click on the map, and check out how the number of overweight people in the US has changed since 1985. it is jaw dropping.

stay gold.

21 01 2010

i feel as if i’ve been neglecting my duties as a deal seeker lately, so i thought i would make an effort to get my ass to the rite aid an see if i could work a little magic. what i came out with wasn’t exactly miraculous, but hands down the easiest multiple coupon transaction i’ve had in a long long time. not one single beep, not one scrutinized line of fine print, not a single discount put in manually. i’m misting up just thinking about it.

2 pantene @ 2 for $6 with a $3/2 coupon from 3/2 coupon from the 12/27 p&g brandsaver= $1.50 each

1 crest with scope outlast  for $2.99 with a $1.25 SCR & a $1/1 coupon from the 12/27 p&g brandsaver= $.74

1 36 count tampax pearl @ $6.99 with a $2/1 coupon i received with a free sample & $2 SCR= $2.99

1 18 count tampax pearl @ $5.29 with a bogo coupon from the 12/27 p&g brandsaver when you buy a 36 count box= free

i couldn’t find the wet ones anywhere!! somebody must have cleaned them out. instead, i got the scott naturals moist flushable wipes @ 2 for $3 with 2 $.50/1 coupons i printed from $2. although it looks like there’s a printable $1/1 coupon you can get here, to make it even sweeter.

oh, and i also picked up a couponless pack of trident to fill in the gaps, so i could use the $5/$25 i got from here.

total oop= $8.27, with $3.25 back in SCRs= $5.02. plus, i’m thisclose to qualifying for the $5 “grab the gold” rebate. although we all know that i’m headed for the $35 back on $100. i’t gonna happen.

*8 more “game of life” pieces, and still jack squat. has anyone won anything yet?

deal or no deal.

18 01 2010

i think my biggest struggle so far with baking day (save for the vegan pulled pork- which actually came somewhat back to life with the application of a bit of texas pete’s buffalo wing sauce), is grocery shopping when i don’t have much to buy. mostly, i’ve needed produce and lunch food. however, because i haven’t been plotting out my grocery list for dinners- i’ve been going to the store without a concrete plan, which has turned out to be pretty disasterous.

case and point, yesterday at the shaw’s. i needed the following:

1 loaf bread
1 cucumber
1 box cream of wheat
1 4-pack cottage cheese singles

i came out with all of those things plus:
2 bags rice works chips
1 bag quaker quakes
1 bag totstitos dippin strips
1 jar tostitos salsa con queso
1 bag halls honey lemon cough drops
2 cans old el paso green chiles
1 can wolfgang puck organic corn chowder
1 bag celery

although, lack of planning aside, i got some pretty good deals on some random stuff:

riceworks were @ $2.99 BOGO + $1/1 coupon made them $1 each.

wolfgang puck soup was on sale for $2.49 with a $1/1 coupon it was $1.49.

the quakes were on sale for $1, and i had a $.75/1 coupon that doubled,making me a profit of $.50.

the halls cough drops were $1, with a $.50/1 coupon that doubled making them free.

the old el paso green chiles were $1.49 each with two $.55/1 coupons that doubled, making them $.39 each.

that’s $13.45 worth of stuff for $3.76. i still bought a bunch of crap that i probably don’t need (and there’s really no excuse for the full price tostitos  & cheese dip), but i’m still $8 below my normal weekly grocery budget of $30, and riceworks chips are delicious. so there.

going for gold.

17 01 2010

i actually completely forgot that the olympics were coming until i saw this week’s rite aid flier. how tuned out am i? i do love me some figure skating though. how can you not love a sport where people fall on their ass a lot? plus hello, johnny weir?! but other than my unnatural love for sequins and career-ruining face plants, i’m not really all that into the olympics (all those lugers look exactly the same in their little unitards!). but rite aid knows how make things a little more appealing. the “grab the gold” promotion started this week, and it’s looking pretty hot:

buy $25 worth of select (although the list seems pretty extensive) proctor & gamble products, get $5, buy $50 get $15, and buy $100 get $35 (on a visa gift card). this totally puts the “gift of savings” program to shame. it’s more money- AND you can spend it anywhere, not just at rite aid. it will probably take me about 2 weeks, but i’m going for the full $100. luckily, there is much to get me started this week:

crest toothpaste is on sale for $2.99 with a $1.25 SCR & a $1/1 coupon from the 12/27 p&g brandsaver= $.74

36-49 count tampax pearl @ $6.99 with a $2 SCR and a $2/1 coupon that i’m pretty sure i got from a free sample last year= $2.99. if i can really work it, i will use the bogo coupon from the 12/27 p&g brandsaver to get a free 18-20 count box to boot.

42 count prilosec OTC @ $24.99 with a $6 SCR and a $3/1 coupon from the 12/27 or 1/17 p&g brandsaver= $15.99

pantene hair care @ 2 for $6 with a $3/2 coupon from the 12/27 p&g brandsaver= $1.50 each

duracell batteries (selected varieties) @ $11.99 with a $3/1 in-ad coupon, $3 SCR, and $1/1 from the 1/17 p&g brandsaver= $4.99

olay skin care is buy one get one 50% off, and i have a bogo hand/body lotion coupon from a marie claire past + a $1/1 coupon. not sure what the total will be, but hopefully not too bad.

there’s also a decent deal on nyquil (which i don’t need), but it looks like you can get it (after SCRs & coupons) for $.99

in addition to all of this olympic sized goodness, there is also a sweet deal on wet ones moist towlettes. they’re on sale for $1.99 each, and if you managed to get those $1.50/1 printables (for taking some kind of cleanliness pledge), you can get them for $.49 each.

mix it up with this new $5/$25 coupon that ‘s on the loose, and make it even better.

big meat hammer.

15 01 2010

wow. a whole lotta meat in this week’s shaw’s flier. almost an entire page top to bottom (save for a little cheese filler here and there). other than the meat parade, there isn’t a whole lot going on this week. i think they’re taking a little break from super hot deals after 2 weeks of catalinas, but there’s still a few decent situations packed into the cracks between the meat:

kelloggs cereals @ $1.88. i have a $.50/1 from for raisin bran (not there anymore) that will hopefully double and get me $.88 cereal.

wolfgang puck soup @ $2.49. i have a $1/1 from the 1/10 smartsource, and a $1/2 catalina i’ve been holding for a while. looks like $1 corn chowder is coming my way.

$.99 zatarain’s rice. i don’t have any coupons, but i do love their cheesy jambalaya.

bogo riceworks. got a really nice $1/1 in the 1/10 smarsource. don’t know how much they cost ($2.49 or less is my hope, but at shaw’s that’s probably a pipe dream), but it could be pretty sweet.

halls cough drops @ $1 each. $.50/1 from the 1/10 smart source- could double making for free coughdrops?

then there’s dollar days! which don’t seem that exciting (mostly shit that i can’t/don’t/won’t eat), but a couple of decent finds:

quaker rice snacks @ $1 each. supposedly there was a $.75/1 coupon in the 1/10 redplum, but i can’t find it. either i’m getting  sloppy in my clipping, or maine didn’t get it (like the ever-elusive revlon coupons!).

softsoap hand soap @ $1 each. according to hot coupon world, there’s a $.40/1 printable lurking on the interweb somewhere (coming soon!). hopefully it will surface soon, because i could definitely use some $.20 hand soap (i like the one that smells like grapefruit).

the definition of disenchantment.

12 01 2010

yeah, i’m talking to you rite aid-  sure, you puff up your pages with in-ad coupons and sweepstakes seduction, but the truth is that you have fuck all to offer. i want to participate in the game of life god dammit! and this is all i got:

rite aid:

post cereal @ $1.99 per box. use the $1/2 from the 12/6 smartsource- $1.50 a box is reasonable.

zest, ivory, or safeguard multi-pack @ $1.99 with a $1/1 coupon from the 12/27 p&g brandsaver= $.99 soap. meh.

with the $1/1 in-ad coupon and the $2/1 lubriderm from the 1/10 smartsource, some cheapish lotion is sure to be found.

cottonelle moist wipes $.50/1 in-ad coupon + a $.50/1 coupon i have from god knows where… $.99 is actually pretty good- but the grand scheme is still pretty lame.

ge soft white lightbulbs are free at least after single check rebate…

i don’t even think i want $25 worth of stuff, so much for this MAINE-CENTRIC $5/$25 rite aid coupon 😦

seriously, this is as ultimately frustrating and unsatisfying and jr. high dry humping. balls! now i’ll never win the game of life!

the fury.

10 01 2010

the norovirus unleashed. well, at least i lost 4 lbs. although it’s probably temporary because now that i have my appetite back, i just ate half a box of cinnamon toast crunch. i can really blame it all on a surprise trip to shaws. as it turns out, i also got my appetite back for shopping.

this week there’s a number of pretty good deals going on:

pick 4 prepackaged veggies for $7.99. (that’s $1.99ish each for the non-math inclined). unfortunately, the only decent coupons available are the $1/2 for the fresh express (from a recent-ish newspaper- can’t remember which one)… and 4 bags of salad might be a mistake (especially if they’re already trying to unload them).

sargento shredded cheese is 2 for $4. if you use the $1/2 from the 11/15 smartsource, that’s $1.50 each for pretty good cheese.

ken’s salad dressing is 10/$10. $1/2 in this week’s smartsource = all the salad dressing you can use for $.50/ea.

but the real story is on the back page. buy $20 in participating general mills products (way more is included than is shown on the flier), and get a $5 catalina toward your next purchase. the boyfriend and i decided to stop in today to cash in on the $2.22 cereal (he finally worked his way through the backstock), and actually didn’t think we would get enough to get the cat- but the cereal was so cheap, it didn’t really matter. here’s how it went down (various coupons printed from, redplum, & smartsource over the last few weeks- sorry no links!):

1 cocoa puffs with $.55/1 coupon doubled= $1.12

1 cocoa puffs with $.75/1 coupon doubled= $.72

1 cinnamon toast crunch with $.75/1 coupon doubled= $.72

1 original cheerios with $1/1 coupon= $1.22

1 honey nut cheerios with $.75/1 coupon doubled= $.72

5 boxes of cereal for $5.72 is pretty good, but i also had some bogo fiber one yogurt coupons (cut out of the backs of a bunch of fiber one granola bars i bought a while back)- and @ $1.99 each, it seemed like a good idea. still, before coupons it was only supposed to equal $15.08 in participating products.


the checker scanned all the products in before he scanned in the shaws card (the boyfriend was fumbling trying to get it out of his wallet and the checker got impatient), and the cat printed out before the shaw’s savings were taken off.  apparently the non-shaw’s-card price for the products was over $20- so we got all the products listed above, plus a newspaper ($1.75) and $3.59 gallon of skim milk for $11.43 with $5 back. that’s $6.43 bitches. a surprisingly good day.

*UPDATE* apparently (according to 2 of my more seasoned commenters- thanks , chris & winnie!),  shaw’s catalina deals are ALWAYS done on the pre-sale prices. woot!!!

if only they would stop using the word “cantastic”.

4 01 2010

i feel like i’ve been out of the grocery store loop for a while since i’ve been so busy. essentially, i’ve been completely ignoring the weekly flier deals, just shopping wherever is convenient, and using whatever coupons happen to be within close reach. not a great plan for a tight budget…

but 2010, that’s another story. i’ve entrenched myself in baking day(s), and my freezer is full (or it will be tonight). now is the time for me to start scanning my weekly ads for miracles, and quietly stockpiling for future baking days of doom.

this week at shaws this week, the biggest deal going down is the proctor & gamble $10 catalina (toward your next purchase) when you buy $25 worth of participating products. mavin of savin has a really thorough run down of the whole mess (including lots of scenarios), and apparently there are products not listed on the flier that are part of the deal. woot!

i haven’t quite worked out my own situation yet, but my yet untouched  home made simple coupon book and the last p&g brandsaver will definitely be coming in handy. mr clean magic erasers, here i come!

they are also running their stupidly named “cantastic savings” promotion again this week. basically, certain stuff in cans is cheap. pretty straightforward. considering i used like 4 cans of corn yesterday, i’m eying this special with more interest that usual. some possibilities:

goya canned black beans @ $.59 each.  i’ve been meaning to make some quinoa & black bean salad- now is the time! if i want to buy 6, there’s a $1.25/6 coupon from the 11/8 red plum- that’s $.38 cents a can!

progresso bread crumbs @ $.99. $1/2 on any progresso product= $.50 each.

hunts tomato sauce @ $.69. $1/3 hunts products= $.36 each!

ace of diamonds mandarin oranges @ $.69.

no grand coupon-match ups, but fairly priced. is it just me or, did you notice that the entire bottom row is $.69? do they have a 14 year old working in their layout department or something (or am i the 14 year old for even noticing)!?

some other good lookin deals:

thomas english muffins- buy one get TWO free. no coupon, but yow (assuming that the package that you have to buy doesn’t cost like $17)!

morningstar farms @ $3.49 with a $1/1 coupon= decent deal.

$.99 mangoes!

lightlife smart deli slices @ $2.29. veg stuff in general is usually way expensive, and this is an excellent deal. an even excellenter deal if you have a coupons (which i don’t, but there are a few out there).

post cereals @ $1.5o when you buy 4. apparently there were some pretty decent coupons for post in the 12/6 smartsource. too bad i either lost them or maine didn’t get them. balls!

p.s. yes, that is an octopus made out of canned goods.