Sunday, February 26, 2012

Coupon Inserts For 2/26

For those of you wondering what you could benefit from by subscribing to a Sunday newspaper, here are the coupons available in most local newspapers:

(Taken from Southern Savers)

Pepsico Moments to Save 2/26

$1/2 Brisk jugs (exp 3/17)
$1.50/3 Cheetos or Fritos, 8 oz + (exp 3/17)
$1/3 Crush product, 2 L (exp 3/17)
.75/2 Doritos product, 11 oz + (exp 3/17)
$5 off Hasbro Monopoly Electric Banking Edition (exp 3/17)
$5 off Hasbro Scrabble Flash, Simon Flash, or Yahtzee Flash (exp 3/17)
.75/2 Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, 8.5 oz + (exp 3/17)
$2/2 Pepsi mini can, 7.5 oz, 8 pk. (exp 3/17)
$1/3 Quaker cereal 12-28 oz or instant oatmeal (exp 3/17)
.55/1 Ruffles, 9 oz + (exp 3/17)
B5G1 SoBe product, 20 oz + (exp 3/17)
$2/2 Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist (exp 3/17)
$2/2 Starbucks Frappuccino or Double Shot, 4 pk. (exp 3/17)
.75/2 Sunchips product, 7 oz + (exp 3/17)
$1 off Tostitos Dip 15 oz+ wyb Tortilla Chips 9 oz+ (exp 3/17)
$1/2 Tropicana products, 59 oz (exp 3/17)

Smart Source 2/26

$1 off Air Wick Flip & Fresh (exp 3/25)
$2 off Air Wick Freshmatic starter kit or gadget only pk. (exp 3/25)
Free Air Wick Double Fresh Warmer Unit wyb Scented Oil twin refill, (exp 3/25)
$2 off Allegra or Allegra-D, 12hr or 24hr or any Children’s Allegra (exp 3/17)
$4 off Allegra 30 ct. or Allegra-D 12hr 20 or 30 ct. or 24hr 10 or 15 ct. (exp 3/17)
$6 off Allegra 45 ct. or 70 ct. (exp 3/17)
$1 off Almond Accents bag (exp 5/30)
$1 off Aveeno product, excl trial and 2.5 oz sizes (exp 4/15)
$2/2 Aveeno products, excl trial and 2.5 oz sizes (exp 4/15)
$1/2 Band-Aid products, excl trial sizes (exp 4/15)
$1 off Barber Foods product (exp 4/14)
$4 off Bausch+Lomb Soothe Dry Eye product (exp 4/30)
$1 off belVita breakfast biscuits (exp 4/30)
.40/2 Chex Mix 4.5 oz+ or 100 calorie snack (exp 4/21)
$1 off Clairol Professional liquicolor, permanente, or  demi-permanant (exp 3/31)
$2 off Clairol haircolor product, excl trial sizes (exp 3/31)
$3 off Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Color Blend Foam, excl trial sizes (exp 3/31)
.75/1 Colgate adult or kids man. toothbrush, excl Plus & Extra Clean (exp 3/17)
.75/1 Colgate toothpaste, 4 oz+ (exp 3/17)
$1 off Cottonelle toilet paper (Raley’s, BelAir, Nob Hill Foods coupon) (exp 3/31)
.35/1 Cuties bag, 3 lb (exp 3/26)
.55/1 Cuties box, 5 lb (exp 3/26)
$1 off Dulcolax product (exp 5/31)
$3/2 Ensure product, 4 pk. (exp 4/22)
.50/2 Fiber One 90 calorie chewy bars or brownies (exp 4/21)
.50/2 Fiber One chewy bars, 90 chewy bars or brownies (exp 4/21)
$1.25 off Gas-X product (exp 4/14)
.50/1 General Mills Select Treat bars or Milk ‘n Cereal Bars (exp 4/21)
$2 off Gevalia coffee bag, 12 oz+ (exp 4/9)
$3/2 Glucerna products (exp 4/22)
$1/3 Hershey’s Cadbury or Reese’s Eggs, multipk., 4.8 oz+ (exp 3/24)
$2/3 Hershey’s Kisses, Reeses, Bliss, Minis, Cadbury, Whopper (exp 3/24)
.55/1 Kraft Philadelphia cooking creme (exp 3/31)
.75/1 Kraft MilkBite milk and granola bars, 5 ct. (exp 3/31)
.75/1 Kraft Philadelphia Indulgence spreads, 8 oz (exp 3/31)
$1 off Kraft Fresh Take cheese & breadcrumb mix (exp 3/31)
$1 off Mio or Mio Energy (exp 4/30)
$1 off Nature Made product (exp 3/31)
$3/2 Nature Made products (exp 3/31)
.50/1 Nature Valley protein chewy bars, 5 ct.+ (exp 4/21)
$1 off Neosporin product, excl trial sizes (exp 4/15)
$3/2 Pantene products, excl trial sizes (exp 3/31)
.75/2 Prego sauces (exp 4/15)
$1/4 Progresso soup cans (exp 4/21)
$1 off Purell Advanced hand sanitizer, 8 oz+ (exp 5/26)
$1/3 Purell products (exp 5/26)
$1 off Purina Busy (exp 5/26)
$1/2 Purina Beggin’ packages, 6 oz or smaller (exp 5/26)
$2 off Purina Beggin’ packages, 25 oz+ (exp 5/26)
$2 off Purina One dry dog food or One Beyond dry dog or cat food (exp 4/6)
B2G1 Purina One dog food cans, max $1.79 (exp 4/6)
.75/1 Schick Hydro shave gel (exp 4/8)
$2 off Schick Hydro razor (exp 4/8)
$2 off Shick Hydro refill (exp 4/8)
$4 off Schick Hydro Power Select (exp 4/8)
$4 off Schick Hydro Silk razor or refill (exp 4/8)
$1 off Snapple tea or juice, 16 oz, 6 pk. (exp 3/31)
$1 off Snyder’s flavored pretzel pieces or pretzel sandwiches, 8 oz+ (exp 4/30)
$1 off Splenda sweetener (exp 3/24)
$1 off Star olive oil, 16 oz (473 mL)+ (exp 4/30)
$2/2 Star products (exp 4/30)
$5 gift card wyb 12 pk. + Scott bath tissue AND (2) SC Johnson items: Scrubbing Bubbles, Fantastik, Windex or Pledge (Target coupon) (exp 4/28)
$5 gift card wyb 6 pk. Kleenex AND (2) SC Johnson items: Scrubbing Bubbles, Fantastik, Windex or Pledge (Target coupon) (exp 4/28)
$5 gift card wyb 8 pk.+ Viva giant roll paper towels AND (2) SC Johnson items: Scrubbing Bubbles, Fantastik, Windex or Pledge (Target coupon) (exp 4/28)
.75/3 Totino’s Crisp Crust Party Pizza (exp 5/29)
$1 off Viva towels (Raley’s Bel Air, or Nob Hill Foods coupon), 10 pk. (exp 3/31)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saving Right Now Series Introduction: Earn Money by Saving

Over the next few posts, I will be giving out advice on several ways in which you can start saving money right now. You can do anything you want with what you save, but I highly suggest that you be financially smart and find something practical or profitable that you can do with your excess money. 

Philosophy: This series reiterates that you will earn more money simply by cutting back on spending!  
Its one of the oldest and truest sayings: "A penny saved is a penny earned." As a graduate student straight out of college, its one of the issues I have the worst issues with.  College/graduate students are always pushed for money but more importantly for convenience.  We often sacrifice what little money we have for increased convenience.  But our double-edged sword is that we live on a tight budget (well tighter than those with steady and/or disposable income).  If we can be smarter with our spending without inconveniencing ourselves, it does a great service to us as well as others who want to put money away. I will show you suggestions of things I have personally done as well as other options you might want to look in to. Next are a few things I will cover in my series:

1. Curb your poor spending habits. I will show you various options that are simple yet effective in showing how much money you are wasting on unnecessary things, ways to monitor your living expenses, setting up an easy budget to manage and adjust, and how to set up monetary goals for yourself.

2. Cut Costs on Living Expenses. Personally, a lot of my living expenses are fixed (rent, water/electricity) but only to an extent. I will show you ways in which I have cut costs on utilities and other living expenses that might be beneficial to you.

3. Earn Money on Your Spending.  There are many rewards programs that can help you save money whether its on gas, groceries, or online shopping. I'll do my best to show you the best ones, as well as the one's I use.

4. Smarter Saving Options (Short Term). Many people settle for sub-par benefits from checking or savings accounts. Let me show you some smarter options that could earn you interest on the money you need to use or save for the short term.

5. Assessing your Retirement Goals (or Long Term Saving Goals). Depending on where you are on your journey through life, long term goals will be different. As a grad student, I'm already looking at options to save while in school to help me once I graduate and have to start paying back those burdensome student loans. Others may be currently in the workforce and looking at ways to put money away til their golden years. What's great is you can actually do both if you're smart with your money. I'll show you what I'm doing and planning to do and provide options for whether you are looking to start saving money early for retirement (highly advised) or looking to save up for that vacation trip, house, or whatever you're seeking.

Follow me through this series and see what savings you can make to free up extra money in your budgets. Please feel free to comment with any suggestions or experiences you've had!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Grocery Couponing 101

This is how I do my grocery shopping in so that I maximize savings as well along with necessity so that every time you go shopping you being cost-effective (and most importantly, not starving).

Step 1: Subscribe to a local Sunday newspaper.

This is crucial to obtaining the most manufacturer coupons and maximize savings before even comparing the savings from grocery store sales.

There are many forums that will show you the best Sunday papers in you area that offer coupon inserts. The major ones are Red Plum, P&G, and SmartSource.  I literally just google'd my location + Sunday coupon and select "Discussions" under search options and found the best option for newspapers that service my area to obtain coupons.  After you select a paper, you may want to see if there is promotional offer going on. For those of you in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area--News and Observer is your best bet. You can subscribe online to get regular Sunday deliveries for $1 (50% off retail price) using promo code SC13". For those of you in other locations, once you find a suitable newspaper, do a quick google search to see if there's any discounts you might be eligible for. You will save significantly on your grocery shopping if you can get your hands on Sunday newspaper inserts.

Step 2: Keep coupon inserts organized (preferably by date).

Sites like will show you the best groceries to purchase with coupons in any given week, but they categorize the coupons used by coupon insert origin and date. If you can make a binder or a folder and have your coupon inserts formed by date, it will not take you long to go through them when you make your shopping list. These websites monitor expiration dates for your coupons so they will help you manage when you should take advantage of the savings.  This makes life much easier and couponing more of a hobby (low time commitment) and less like work. This is where I may lose some of you guys because you may feel too lazy to keep up with this (honestly this takes all of 5 minutes of your time).

Step 3 (optional): Subscribe to posts.

Southern Savers posts daily and can give you the opportunity to grab printable coupons from various website sources for free. This is an optional step, but can help you optimize your savings and what items you buy. I only suggest doing this because manufacturer's release printable coupons for short periods of time even though the coupon expiration dates are much later.

Step 4: On the day of shopping (or day before), create your shopping list and get your deals!

Maximize your savings by checking the Southern Savers weekly specials posts that include coupon matches. Click on the printable links to get the printable coupons (this is where you might notice that some of those printables have expired). This website easily lets you check boxes on items you like and create a coupon savings shopping list (see my prior post with shopping lists I personally used!).

Other steps: Repeat printable coupons daily, differential between grocery stores, DON'T GET CRAZY!

Printable coupons are often limited to once daily printing, you can print more the following day and use it again to buy more of that item at a discounted price. Also Southern Savers offers other grocery stores in your area with sales and you can compare your discount savings across grocery stores. And finally, don't let your friends think you need to be on Extreme Couponing! Practical people understand that sometimes you can't always buy everything on a discount. Buy things you need and want, and definitely don't go hungry or eat unhealthy just because its cheaper! Its nice when you can save but it's not always simple, practical, fun, etc.

Do these steps and save lots of cash on groceries you would purchase normally! Happy shopping!

For next time: Saving Right Now Series! I will begin my advice ways you can start saving money right now!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Update: Grocery Shopping--Saved More Than I Thought

I just realized a huge error in my savings calculations. I was using the VIC savings amount on the receipt instead of the Coupons tendered amount, which is the amount saved from VIC savings and coupons combined.  Corrections shown below:

% saved = 100 - 100(amount spent/(amount spent + coupons tendered amount))

Week 1: Total Spent: $53.64, Coupons Tendered: $62.48. Savings = 53.8%

Week 2: Total Spent $83.58, Coupons Tendered $67.60. Savings = 44.7%

So I in fact did save more money in the first week without double coupons regardless....but the savings were nearly 15% more than what I calculated in the first post. Glad I wasn't a math/stats major.

For next time: Since we're on the topic of couponing, I'll post a small, painless, quick tutorial on how to start your own couponing!

Grocery Shopping: Couponing at its Finest

Up until about 3 weeks ago, I was shopping at Food Lion about once a week and buying as few things as I needed until the next week, but I was still spending $60-$80 per trip and often coming up short and having to make a trip before 7 days were up. I've recently gotten into couponing and highly suggest that anyone who wants to save a quick buck do so as well. 

My favorite site to do so is which posts all the weekly deals from virtually every grocery store in the Southeast region (and maybe some for you crazy Northerners, Floridians, or West Coast peeps).  Regardless, you can essentially find the weekly specials from virtually any grocery store from websites like Southern Savers. What I enjoy about this website is they show coupon match-ups from various sources (Sunday newspaper inserts, online websites, magazines) and show how compare against each other and what the valued savings would be. 

I'm going to post my first 2 visits to Harris Teeter on here with my final savings and % saved to show you that these methods really do work! I buy on a bi-weekly basis now because of this. I shop Harris Teeter because they have the best matches on coupons in my area (Kroger and Publix also do really well at this) AND they have a week in every month where coupons are doubled (up to another $1)! And now without further adieu: 

(I apologize for the format, its my first time doing this kind of stuff)
Key: RP = Red Plum Insert, SS= Smart Source Insert, PG=P&G Brands (all Sunday newspaper)
Printable links are found on website

Week 1:

I purchased exactly these items and saved $45.59 off of $99.23. This is a 45.9% savings!

Week 2 - Purchased 2/20/12, This is DOUBLE COUPON WEEK
note: Southern Savers does 3 posts on their website for double coupon weeks so the images are split into three separate lists. Sorry again for formatting, I'll figure out how to do it better next time.

Note that some of these are good deals with coupons and some are just good specials by Harris Teeter. I also bought a couple items that didn't have coupons out of necessity (and you always will have necessities that you can't try and save a buck on) as well as items that were more expensive than their % savings would be even with doubling because I wanted them. In all even with that said I saved $35.60 off $119.18 on groceries. It was a savings of 29.9% though it obviously would have been higher had I sought better deals. But whats the point of buying things you don't want/need? All in all, Week 1 had better deals/coupons at the time, that's just how things go.

- Zeus