Money Saving Monday – Knowing a good deal when you see it

Money Saving Monday-Keeping a good deal book

Be sure and check back every Monday for money saving tips for your family

I was in a store (which shall remain un-named) last week picking up a few sale items. As I was walking down the aisles my eyes were drawn to the bright red signs advertising this major grocery stores sales for the week. One such sign read: Butter 2/$6. My initial thought was, “butter I need butter I’m so glad it’s on sale”. As the red sign drew my hand toward the product it suddenly occurred to me that $2.50 was not a good deal for butter. I had almost fallen prey to the pretty red tag. This week saw an add for the same butter 3/$5 or $1.66 each a much better deal.

There is a simple way to avoid these marketing schemes if you are strategic. I recommend being intentional about keeping a “bargain book” for the items you usually buy. Grocery stores pay entire marketing departments to research and implement the best ways to get you to buy their products even when they are overpriced so a strategic plan is needed to counter this.  My recommendation is carrying in your wallet a small list of “good deals” so you will know a good deal when you see it.

Where do I start?: Make a list of items you buy on a regular basis (that aren’t seasonal).

My personal list is as follows, it is a bit small as I started tracking good deals and found that WINCO carried all the bulk items for cheaper then I had ever seen elsewhere so I no longer “track” the sales on those. Winco is just cheaper period:

Chicken-whole

Chicken-boneless, skinless

Beef

Milk

Cheese

Butter

Cereal

Keep track of prices for about a month: Stores tend to cycle through their sales about once a month. So for one month just jot down on those items what prices you see for the month. Be sure and use the price / unit not the total cost. For example for cheese do the cost / lb. so you can figure out if those smaller blocks really are a good deal. Use your store ads that come to your home or your favorite store that you shop at.

An example would be:

Cheese (price/lb): $3.82, $2.49, $2.84, $3.22, $2.32, $2.84

Determine what a good “sale price” is for each item. Beside each item decide on what a good sale price is for each item. If your store was running a big promotion during your tracking and is not likely to run it again you won’t want to use that price but most store prices get cycled through at least monthly. Each persons list will vary by region and store. What a good deal is for me may be a terrible deal for you or vise versa. The important thing is being able to pull that list out of your pocket so you know if you are looking at a good or bad deal. My list is below Please remember though this is for my region based on the stores I choose to frequent yours could look quite different!

Chicken-whole: (just started tracking this don’t have reliable numbers yet 🙂

Chicken-boneless, skinless: $1.99/lb buy it —- less then $1.99/lb stock up

Beef (we always buy the cheap stuff):  $1.99/lb buy it —– less then $1.99/lb stock up)

Milk: $2/gallon buy it — less then $2/gallon stock up

Cheese: $2.49/lb buy it —- less then $2.49/lb stock up

Butter:  $1.66/lb buy it  —– less then $1.66/lb stock up

Cereal:    .75/box buy it      —     less then .75/box stock up.

Only buy your item if it is at the sales price (or really close): Like I said each item should go on sale at least once a month (milk usually every other week) so you can just stock up when the item goes on sale. All the items I listed can be stored up to a month (milk can be frozen as can cheese and butter and meat), Cereal lasts so long we just organize it by exp. date. If I see a sale where I can get something for cheaper then my normal “good deal” I “stock up” or buy as many as my budget allows because it saves money in the long run.

Store marketing departments are using your “club cards” and even sensors on carts (in some stores) to determine your buying patterns and discover the best way to get you to spend more money in their store. By simply knowing a good deal when you see one you can save yourself hundreds in your grocery budget without ever clipping a coupon or even going to lots of stores to get your deal.

Your turn, let me know what you do to keep from overpaying for your groceries

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Kmart Double Coupons

Most Kmarts are offering double coupons this week. Puget Sound Kmarts are offering doubling up to $2. There are some limits, no internet printable coupons and you can only use 25 coupons per visit. Be sure and know what a good deal is though because Kmart tends to mark up their prices a bit. Let me know what good deals you find!

click here to find out if the Kmart near you is participating

Walgreens week of 2/22/09-no Sunday paper needed edition

I’m trying something new this week. This is after all a blog for someone that is busy.

This post is all deals you can get just by printing coupons from home and using the coupons in store...no Sunday paper needed! Below each total cost I show how you can lower your cost by using Sunday paper coupons in red. But if you don’t get the Sunday paper or clip coupons don’t worry look at all the great deals to be had!

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Be sure to check their clearance section all their valentines day stock is 75% off. Stock up for next years valentines or surprise your honey with a box of gourmet chocolates for 99 cents 🙂

If you need help shopping at Walgreens click here

Here are the deals I am going to take advantage of at Walgreens this week.


Gillette Fusion Gamer razor $8.99

$6.00 coupon called a register reward prints out of the register after you finish your purchase. It can be used at Walgreens for your next purchase.

Total Cost = $2.99
IF YOU HAVE A COUPON FROM Feb 8th Sunday Paper for $4.00 off you get paid $1.01 to buy this product!!!

Theraflu 2 for $10 – buy 2
$6 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online by entering your receipt here)
Use two $2/1 coupons from here

Total Cost after rebate: FREE

Robitussin or Dimetapp $3.99

-$2.00 coupon you print from the internet HERE or HERE

Total Cost = $1.99

Reynold’s Wrap Aluminum Foil 20ft

.89 cents with the coupon found in the weekly sale add at the front of the store

Total Cost: .89 cents

IF YOU HAVE A COUPON FROM Feb 8th Sunday Paper for $1/1 off you get paid $.11 cents to buy this product!!!

Excedrin 20-24 count $1.99
$1.00  coupon called a register reward prints out of the register after you finish your purchase. It can be used at Walgreens for your next purchase.

Total Cost: $1.01

IF YOU HAVE A COUPON FROM January  Sunday Paper for $1/1 Total Cost= THEY PAY YOU .01 cents to buy!

Q-Tips 300 pack

$1.99 with the coupon found in the weekly sale add at the front of the store

Total Cost= $1.99

IF YOU HAVE A COUPON FROM January 18th  Sunday Paper for .34/1 Total Cost= $1.64

Pampers Jumbo Pack Diapers $9.99

IF YOU HAVE A COUPON FROM Sunday Paper for $1.50/1 Total Cost= $8.49

Revlon Creme Lip Gloss $9.99
$9.99 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online by entering your receipt here)

Total Cost after rebate: FREE

IF YOU HAVE A COUPON FROM January 11th Sunday Paper  for $2/1 Total Cost= They Pay you $2 to buy this product!!!


Revlon Age Defying Spa Concealer or Foundation $9.99
$9.99 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online by entering your receipt here)
Total Cost after rebate: FREE

IF YOU HAVE A COUPON FROM January 11th Sunday Paper  for $2/1 Total Cost= They Pay you $2 to buy this product!!!

Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Hair Care $3.99
$3.99 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online by entering your receipt here)
Total Cost after rebate: FREE

IF YOU HAVE A COUPON FROM January 4th  Sunday Paper  for $1/1 Total Cost= They Pay you $1 to buy this product!!!

Zucol ColdCare $7.99
$7.99 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online by entering your receipt here)
$2 coupon you print from here
Total Cost after rebate: They pay you $2 to buy this product

ThermaCare Heat Wrap $2.49
$2.49 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online by entering your receipt here)
Total Cost after rebate: FREE

IF YOU HAVE A COUPON FROM January 4th Sunday Paper  for $1/1 Total Cost= They Pay you $1 to buy this product!!!

Walgreen’s Multi-Purpose Solution $1.99
$1.99 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online by entering your receipt here)

Total Cost after rebate: FREE!

Other deals you may want to take advantage of if you have Sunday Coupons!


Oust Air Sanitizer $2.99
B1G1 free from February 8th Sunday paper
$1.00 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online by entering your receipt here)
Total Cost 2/.99cents

Glade Fabric & Air Deodorizer $2.99
B1G1 free from February Sunday coupon inserts
$1.25 from February Sunday coupon inserts

$1.00 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online by entering your receipt here)

Total Cost: They pay you .26 cents to buy two of these

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If your confused about using two coupons look here

Tell me what great deals I missed in the comment section

FOR WALGREENS DO NOT REQUEST YOUR REBATE CHECK UNTIL THE END OF THE MONTH YOU CAN ONLY REQUEST ONE CHECK PER MONTH AND YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS OUT ON ANY GREAT DEALS!

Walgreens 2/1-2/7

Updated 2/13: THESE DEALS HAVE EXPIRED

This is a great time to try out Walgreens rebate program lots of items for free or for profit with coupons this month!

If you need help shopping at Walgreens click here

Here are the deals I am going to take advantage of at Walgreens this week.

Register Reward deals (where a coupon prints out after your purchase for money off your next purchase)

Clinical Right Guard or Dry Idea Antiperspirant/Deodorant $5.99
Look for a $2 coupon inside the Right Guard package

$5 register rewards print out after purchase
Total Cost: $1 moneymaker (but you pay $3.99 out of pocket)

Gillette Fusion Gamer, Venus Spa Breeze or Embrace Razor $8.99

$6 register reward prints out after purchase

Total Cost: $2.99 (but you pay $8.99 out of pocket)

Rebate deals (apply for rebate online by entering receipt info. Get $ back at the end of the month) THESE DEALS ARE GOOD ALL MONTH LONG!


Revlon Age Defying Spa Concealer or Foundation $9.99
$9.99 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online at the end of the month)
Plus use $2 coupon from the 1/11 newspaper insert
Total Cost after rebate: They pay you $2 to buy this product

Revlon Creme Lip Gloss $9.99
$9.99 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online at the end of the month)
$2/1 coupon from the 1/11 newspaper insert
Total Cost after rebate: They pay you $2 to buy this product

Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Hair Care $3.99
$3.99 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online at the end of the month)
Plus use $1 coupon from the 1/4 newspaper insert
Total Cost after rebate: They pay you $2 to buy this product

Zucol ColdCare $7.99
$7.99 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online at the end of the month)
Plus use $2 coupon from here or the 2/1 (this weeks) newspaper insert
Total Cost after rebate: They pay you $2 to buy this product

ThermaCare Heat Wrap $2.49
$2.49 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online at the end of the month)
Plus use $1 coupon from the 1/4 newspaper insert
Total Cost after rebate: They pay you to $1 to buy this product

Walgreen’s Multi-Purpose Solution $1.99
$1.99 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online at the end of the month)

Total Cost after rebate: FREE!

Theraflu 2 for $10
$6 rebate (purchase product and request rebate online at the end of the month)
Use two $2/1 coupons from here

Total Cost after rebate: FREE

Coupon deals

Dove Bar Soap
Use $1 Face Care coupon from the 11/2 Sunday newspapers insert

Walgreens coupon (found in Sunday paper insert or at front of store)  .99 cents

Total Cost: FREE

Splenda $2.99
Use $3 coupon from here
Total cost: FREE

NOTE: I am not a fan of splenda but I donate mine to local shelters 🙂

Breeze 2 or Contour Blood Glucose Meter $14.99
$14.99 mail-in rebate in box OR
$30 coupon from the 10/26 newspaper ad
Total Cost: FREE (If you use the $30 coupon, you won’t get the $30 rebate)

NOTE: This is an item I don’t use but I donate to my local senior citizens home 🙂

Green Reusable Bags
With Walgreens coupon (found in Sunday Walgreens insert or at front of store) 3/$1

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Tell me what great deals I missed in the comment section

FOR WALGREENS DO NOT REQUEST YOUR REBATE CHECK UNTIL THE END OF THE MONTH YOU CAN ONLY REQUEST ONE CHECK PER MONTH AND YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS OUT ON ANY GREAT DEALS!