karmic balance.

19 11 2009

on the heels of my amazing rain-soaked rite aid adventure on saturday, i was flying high this week with what i thought would be an incredible take-down at the rite aid, and an easy extrabuck flip at cvs. apparently, sending that snarky email to the kinkos guy who screwed up my order must have thrown my karmic balance out of whack. or maybe things just can’t always be perfect all the time…

but rite aid was an ultimate clusterfuck. what was supposed to be so simple (coupons in order in a neat stack and ready to rock), turned ugly when my olay coupons (that i had used before at a rite aid in the exact same fashion!) went tits up.

kotex tampons for $2.99 with $2.00 SCR & $1/1 coupon from here. FINE

two 12 packs of quilted northern ultra something or other for $5.99 each with that $5/2 video values coupon, and even though they were for “soft and strong”, these two northern coupons went through JUST FINE.

crest with scope for $2.69 with $1/1 coupon from the 11/1 p&g brandsaver + double dip rebates (118 & 121) for a total of $3.69… FINE.

but then i got greedy. i wanted to use my $5/$25 (from redplum online a week or so ago), and those sweet olay quench coupons (bogo & $3/1) that i got in this month’s marie claire. with olay on buy one get one 50% off… i figured i could get $14ish worth of lotion for a mere $.74.  but it was a mess. first neither of the olay coupons would go through (even though the product was CLEARLY pictured on the coupon). then, they took the bogo one off manually… except he took off the $3.74 50% off one, instead of the full price one. is that some sort of rule that i don’t know about? anyway, then the $3 off coupon wouldn’t go through and they couldn’t even put it in manually… i had been holding up the line for a good 15 minutes. i told the adorable (too cute for rite aid) clerk that i owed him a fruit basket. he told me that i should get fruit baskets for the people in line behind me. *ouch*

in the end, what could have been a very simple and lovely  $8.66 OOP with $5.69 back in SCR, turned into $12.35 OOP instead. after SCRs, do you know how much i spent? EXACTLY $6.66. MY TRANSACTION IS POSSESSED BY THE DEVIL!! i may attempt an exorcism by bringing back the lotion. i’m sure that will be a mess too… i may also try to suck it up and take it as a lesson learned.

to make my deal suckage complete, it turns out that i got the advil deal at CVS wrong this week. in my head, i flip my $6.99 of expiring ECBs by buying one 100 count advil @ $7.49  and getting $4 ECB in return. turns out i had to buy TWO to get the deal. i got some useless CRTs for metamucil and crap (pun intended), no extrabucks, and i just don’t need another 100 advil expiring quietly in my medicine cabinet. boo-urns.





dedication.

19 11 2009

so on saturday night around 6 pm, in the midst of a torrential (although unseasonably warm) rain storm, i realized that i had neglected to do my rite aid deals for the week. i was sitting on my couch, checking out my coupons, and feeling like a jerk for passing up all those good deals… when i found myself digging around for my wellies and umbrella.

i got drenched completely, and got there half an hour before closing (double drunks!), but my deals went off without a hitch, and the cashiers weren’t even mad at me for going all coupon lady and shit right at the end of their shift. it was pretty kick ass.

but something i noticed as i performed my wet and frenzied (porn-tastic!) race through the store, was that even on the very last day of the sale- everything i was looking for was still there. not a single item was sold out.

if you’ve ever watched the miss america pageant, you’ll notice that miss maine NEVER makes it to the top ten. we don’t really do beauty pageants in maine. it’s not the new england way. similarly, i don’t think maine is a coupon state. i mean, people use them- but not the crazy deal-mongering that happens in other places. i recently read a post on the most beloved coupon goddess’s website where she was defending her honor from another local couponer who had accused her of “shelf-cleaning”. outrageous! then i read this post at coupons deals and more. the idea of getting up at the crack of dawn to guarantee the deals that i want is unthinkable.  if i don’t get to my weekly deals by thursday, friday, or saturday, 90% of the time they’re still there. apparently, there are no shelf cleaners in portland maine. we may not have kroger, or meijer, or miss america- but we don’t have shelf cleaners, and i will take it.





wasteland.

15 11 2009

cvs-pharmacyi’m sure you’re not tired of this yet or anything, but cvs has a big nothing this week yet again. and of course, i have $6.99 in ECBs expiring on the 17th. fuck.

there actually is one decent deal on advil- which is something that i use regularly (generic ibuprofen tastes like bad fake banana candy), and will definitely be buying. 100 ct. for $7.49 with $4 in ECBs. i also hear tell from my boyfriend hot coupon world, that there will be a $2/1 coupon in tomorrow’s paper. that’s a very minimal $1.49 at the end of the day.

also, the 24 oz. whitman’s sampler is on bogo- for $19.99 with $5 back in ECBs. i’m trying hard not to be fat right now, so i probably won’t get this- but that doesn’t make it any less of a good deal. i’m thinking whitman’s sampler challenge?

maine doesn’t get revlon coupons for some insane reason, but if you can lay your hands on some, and you’re the makeup type… the $7 ECB when you buy $15 isn’t such a bad deal.

but seriously, that’s all i got. if you want to see someone examine every single deal from the cold sore meds down to the dreaded snuggie, you can go herehere or even here… but you probably don’t need to waste your time.





rite aid, you know what i like.

15 11 2009

rite_aid_sky_signdespite 8 FULL PAGES of useless xmas crap (seriously- step away from the snuggie!), rite aid still has a few good things going on this week:

crest + scope toothpaste is on sale for $2.69 with a $2.69 SCR and a $1/1 coupon in the 11/1 p&g brandsaver. woot!

olay quench is on buy one get one 50% off. in general, this is unremarkable- BUT, marie claire had that bogo coupon for quench lotion plus a $3/1 coupon- which should equal free lotion- or close to it. on a somewhat related tip, my lucky magazine this month also had just the bogo coupon in it. lotion load-up extravaganza!

nut crazy! select planters, emerald, & blue diamond nuts are all on bogo. there’s some nice coupons for emerald in 11/8 smartsource ($1/1 & $1.50/2), and some ok coupons for blue diamond ($1/2) in the 11/15 smartsource. there’s no real available planters coupons (unless you’ve scored some tearpads), BUT in addition to the $5 SCR when you buy $15, you can double dip into the “put some jingle in your holiday” rebate- where you buy ten participating products and get $10 back. i should go and scope out how much they cost, but if they were $3 a piece, you could take out both rebates and break even.

free tic tac chill! on sale for $1 each + that $1/1 from the 9/20 redplum (that you might still have if you’re lucky). also under the same umbrella- mentos gum is also on sale for $1, and with a $.55/1, $.45 still ain’t bad.

holy toilet paper batman! ok, so quilted northern 12-packs are on sale for $5.99- good price… AND there’s a $5/2 rite aid video values coupon rockin’ right here… AND you can print out two of these babies (hopefully these work for the regular tp, not just the soft and strong… otherwise there was apparently a coupon in the 10/11 redplum that mainers didn’t get..)= 24 rolls of pretty decent TP for $4.98.

tresemme is on bogo this week too. if you’re still holding on to your $1.50/1 video values coupon from last month- you’ll be getting two products for not so much money.

arrid and arm & hammer deodorants are on sale for $.99! there’s never coupons for these, but if you need to pad out your order a bit in order to use a $3/$15 or something… these are great donate items.

garnier ultra-lift is $12.99 this week (seems totally reasonable next to the olay pro x-tra expensive line), plus- there’s a $5 SCR, and a $2.50/1 coupon in the 11/8 redplum. combined with that $3/$15 i was just talking about and a couple of freebies (tic tacs and toothpaste maybe?), you can take it home for $2.49.

oh, and if you didn’t already blow your $2 SCR load on kotex (like i did), you can get these bitches for $.99 (free if you were lucky enough to have a $1/1 from the october all you).

*UPDATE* the very savvy money saving maine-iac let me know that there’s a SCR for kotex just for this week- which means we can all do the deal again! also, money saving mom tipped me off to this sweet $1/1 coupon on ANY KOTEX! free maxi pad bonanza yo!





weekend pickthrough- xmas edition

13 11 2009

3104078631_5490f790e8we’re barely half way to thanksgiving, and everyone is already wound up tight about xmas. mostly, people are talking about kids and toys and jesus… it’s tough.  i’m a childless pagan who (although she finds an earnest sweetness in the idea of  making someone a home made bible cover for christmas…) just can relate.  i do however need to get my ass deal shopping & cookie baking just like everybody else.

my boyfriend introduced me to the early a.m. black friday ritual last year. it’s a sickness that he has passed on to me. can’t wait until thanksgiving to get your flyers on- plot your master plan here. the target flyer just came out this week, and it’s lookin pretty good…

start working on your best xmas mix tape right now. *it is officially ok to listen to holiday music while preparing thanksgiving dinner.

amazing gift idea- no such thing as too much butter.

i love giving home made! there’s a ton of christmas fairs going on for the next month, but save your pennies for the mother of them all- space gallery’s holiday shop-a-do (december 4th & 5th).

tis the season to work those hasbro rebates.

buy a party dress (or party pants) on the cheap with this sweet express coupon.

screw making cookies. this is betty’s best recipe EVER.

i know your family will love dinah the xmas whore as much as mine does. use BKLVFREE to get free shipping. (thanks for the tip coupon geek– even if i did switch it up a little).

cop out and give gift cards! better yet, pay for discount gift cards with loose change!





catalina complications.

11 11 2009

DSCN2203so i was so excited about my shaws trip this weekend (not quite as excited as the coupon goddess, but still very excited)! i had it all mapped out perfectly… i had a goddamn spreadsheet! everything hinged upon the $15 off $30 (via catalina) deal on the back of the flyer. i would buy $30 worth of participating products, use about $10 in coupons, and get $15 back with which to buy all the stuff i wanted that wasn’t on sale. very simple… or so i thought!

i know it’s risky, but i always go to the supermarket late at night and use the self check-out. it’s my pathological fear of holding up the line with my multiple transactions and fistfuls of coupons. so there i was at 8 pm on sunday, spreadsheet in hand. i chose my items EXTREMELY CAREFULLY making sure that each item came from a shelf with the appropriate tag indicating the catalina deal. i try to be good- i swear!

but the register meant disaster. i scanned everything in- $32 worth of participating products… $10 worth of coupons, and no catalina. the printer made a noise like it was trying to spit something out, but it never spat. usually when a deal doesn’t work out, i step away and let it go… but this was $15! i approached the store manager and tried to explain the situation:

me: i bought $30 worth of participating products, and was supposed to receive a $15 catalina- but it didn’t print out. can you help?

manager: (looking at my receipt showing $22 after coupons) um, you didn’t spend $30.

me: i’m pretty sure the deal is price before coupons.

manager: um, give me your receipt.

DSCN2206the manager then goes back to her managerial podium and proceeds to check all of my items one by one, occasionally yelling out that something doesn’t count toward the deal- only to have me walk over and point out that it does. eventually, she concedes that i have met the terms of the deal- but has no way of printing out my catalina. she gives me $15 cash. crap! the value of the catalina over the $$ is that it forces me to spend it on groceries. instead, i pocketed the cash, paid for the rest of my groceries with my debit card, and then later spent the cash on crap that i wouldn’t have otherwise bought if i hadn’t been carrying cash. fuck.

to make things even crappier, on my 2nd transaction, my pizza catalina beeped *need manager approval*, and a different shaw’s manager informed me that i could not double up catalinas with manufacturers coupons. double fuck. when did that happen? can someone verify to me whether or not that’s true? the self check-out certainly seemed to think it was. can i get a boo-urns?





wise up.

8 11 2009

cvs failcvs. i feel like we’ve talked about this several times already, but i haven’t seen much of a change from you. you used to know what i liked, and made sure that my needs were taken care of every week… but another week goes by, and it just seems like you’re not trying!  christmas candy? disgraceful knock-off electronics? thankfully, you threw me a couple of tiny crumbs… otherwise you’d really be dead to me:

1. i missed this deal last week at shaw’s, and was a little bummed. arm & hammer laundry soap (my brand!) is on bogo this week. not sure how much it costs, but i do have a couple of $1/2  from the 10/11 smartsource that could come in handy.

2. cvs brand omeprazole @ $17.99 (need to nurse that glass stomach). buy a 28-pack- get a 14- pack for free. not really an amazing deal, but a girl needs to stock up.

3. crest pro health is on sale 2/$6.98 with $4 extrabucks right back at you. if you happened to get 2 p&g bransavers last week, use 2 $1/1 crest coupons and get 2 for $.98. passable if you use this $5/$20, or the slightly less cool $5/$30

4. and i might also get that totally adorable cvs toy truck for $1.50. toys are fun.





so lazy. (plus, the shaw’s shakedown)

7 11 2009

shawsi didn’t even bother to post my grocery deals last week. mostly because there weren’t any. i’ve been stockpiling a lot of my morningstar farms products using the booty from my super tear-pad score from a few weeks ago. i’ve been paying about $2.50 per product, which is a good $2 less than they are at shaws. they’re cheapest at target & walmart (usually between $2.99- $3.25), and they never really go on super sale… so i’ll take what i can get.

other than that, the most impressive deal i got last week was paying $.39 for two dial hand soaps (they were on bogo for $1.79 ea). those $.35 coupons need to be doubled to be worth anything!

anyway, i’ll be proactive this week (but still lazy) by pointing you to all the best shaw’s deals this week via money saving maineac (she’s great). i have to say she’s got it covered. she even found some deals for me amidst the MEAT SALE!.

most notably, $15 catalina when you buy $30 of certain products. most of it is garbage food (which i love but shouldn’t eat), but i’ll be loading up on a ton of $1.88 cheerios, some $.99 green giant corn niblets (the only canned veg that i actually like), a couple boxes of $3.39 savorings (one of my favorite binge foods, plus i gotta put that $.55/1 coupon to work), and i’ll probably fill out the rest with some paper towels or kleenex. details to follow.

also deal worthy this week:

frosted mini wheats on sale 2/$5- but you get a catalina for a free gallon of milk (up to $4) when you buy three. i’m pretty sure that if you use 3 of these $1/1s, you can get 3 boxes of cereal and some milk for $.50-ish.

birds eye bagged vegetables are 10/$10 … if the lightly sauced varieties are on sale, i can use this $.50/1 coupon and pray for doubling. my freezer is getting really full.

california pizza kithen pizzas are on sale 2/$9, which is otherwise unremarkable- EXCEPT when combined with the two $1.50/1 catalinas that i’ve been hoarding, and two of these babies. $2 pizza, here i come!

i also might go for a couple bags of the 2/$4 fresh express salad blends (i still have one $.55/2 coupon from  the 10/4 smartsource- confirmed to double), and some $2.29 tribe hummus ($1/2 from the 10/18 redplum).  if i work it all out correctly, i’ll be taking home roughly $60 worth of groceries, for just about $20.





geriatric mambo.

2 11 2009

geriatric_needs_oandp09rite aid is for the elderly again this week (from flexamin to fiberchoice and back again) . which is fantastic, if you’re over 75… but i’m very much not, which means no real deals for me. there are a few small bits and pieces that i might pick up if i’m in the bargaining mood… but i think i might also skip this week and save myself for some slightly livlier deals:

always maxi pads, liners, and tampax tampons are on sale for $2.99 with a $2 SCR. use any number of $1/1 or $1/2 coupons floating around, and you can have those suckers for free or cheap.

febreze air effects– which i deem to be the least offensive of the spray air fresheners, is on sale this week for $2.49 with a $1 SCR. there was a $1/1 in this weekend’s p&g brandsaver, getting you a can for just $.50.

cheap cereal! there’s a $.50 in-ad coupon for certain kellogg’s & kashi cereals this week, plus it’s on sale for $2.49.  if i use a couple of my vocalpoint $1.50 off kashi go lean coupons, i could get myself a box for $.50.

mentos gum is on sale for $.99, and i have a couple of $.55/1 coupons from the 9/13 smartsource. $.44 is pretty good i guess… but i remember when gum used to cost $.25, and i’m not that old!

crest & oral b– there were an assortment of $1/1 coupons in this week’s p&g brandsaver, when combined with the $2.50 sale and $1 SCR, could equal $.50 toothbrushes or toothpaste.

lastly, since i’m always looking for prilosec/omeprazole… 42 count boxes of prilosec are on sale this week for $24.99 with a $6 SCR. i also have a $3/1 coupon from both last month & this month’s p&g brandsaver… which when combined with a $5/$25 (it looks like the coupons.com link is gone… but if you printed your 2 and save them…) could equal $10.99 prilosec- which is pretty good for prilosec, but rite aid brand omeprazole works just as well, and is significantly cheaper- even after coupons.





weekend pickthrough- spooky edition

30 10 2009

12487it’s halloween yo. there’s things to do of varying price ranges and family friendlinesses all around the city (and surrounding metro-area). also, there’s some other stuff worth checking out that’s not halloween related. and here it is:

the best southern maine (well, mostly portland) halloween jazz on friday and saturday for under $10:

spend the ghost hour under the stars.
take a walk among the shadows of the old eastern cemetery.
ride the ghost train.
dance with the dead.
shocking secrets! tragic deaths! despicable villains!
baltic cyborg blisters.
get lost.
get your fortune told and your fancy tickled at the halloween carnival.
nothing scarier than devo! covers.

some unhalloweeny deals & entertainment to help massage your candy hangover:

i’ve always wanted to know how to become a secret shopper.
i will be loading right the hell up on cheap ass cheese this week.
why wait for coupons to come to you? go out and get them!
get knocked up on the cheap.
stock your local food bank.
why did i no know about snackpicks?
$.99 potatoes!