Queen Bee

December 13, 2009

Matchups 12/13/09 to 12/19/09

Filed under: Saving Money — Queen Bee @ 2:51 pm

Here is the weekly Walgreens ad. I think the kid toothbrushes are the best deal this week.

Here is the weekly Rite Aid matchup.

Here is the Target matchup.

And here is the CVS matchup. I saw the CVS coupon books she talks about sitting on the counter in the perfume section. It is to the right just inside the front door at the Hwy 18 location. Don’t bother grabbing more than one book. You can only use on $4 ECB coupon per CVS card.


November 10, 2009

Shopping Trip 11/9/09

Filed under: Saving Money — Queen Bee @ 5:01 pm
Tags: , ,

Rite Aid

Rite Aid 11/9/09

I was disappointed with my trip to Rite Aid. The cashier did not take the time to read the coupons I had and as a result I was not credited for the correct amounts. Most of my coupons were- buy this thing and get this other thing free. Shopping with a fussy baby and a lot of coupons makes it hard to pay close enough attention at the register. Despite that I did pretty well.

Subtotal: $40.73 (includes tax)

Less Coupons: $20.99

Total: $19.74

Less Rebate: $2.99

Net: $16.75

(I was shorted $6.98 in coupons, my net should have been $9.77)


Target 11/9/09

Target has some great deals going on right now. The potato head santa was .99 and the 10 glade items will be a net overage of $5. I will likely be going back to Target this week for diapers and more glade products. I received a $5 off $75 coupon at the register. It is easy to get your subtotal to $75 when you are buy large boxes of diapers. The bananas, granola bars and rawhides were $6.86 and things I needed to buy, so it is like getting the rest of the stuff for free because my net for the purchase is $6.70!

Subtotal: $45.67

Less coupons: $23.97

Total: $21.70

Target Gift Cards Received: $10.00

Rebate: $5.00

Net: $6.70


CVS 11/9/09

Subtotal: $23.99 (after tax)

Less coupons: $11.50

Total: $12.49 (I paid with $6.99 ECB from last week and $5.50 cash)

ECBs Received: $15.00

Net: $2.51 overage

November 1, 2009

How To Find/Use Matchups

Filed under: Couponing Basics,Saving Money — Queen Bee @ 10:35 pm

So now that you have started saving and organizing your coupons, how and when should you use them?

If you are serious about using coupons you might have to change your shopping mentality a little bit. When you are shopping without using coupons the general rule is that the biggest size the product comes in is usually best value. With coupons though, you are usually able to get the best price per ounce, pound, etc by buying the smallest product possible and match it with the highest value coupon. When comparing prices it is best to figure out the per item price or the per measurement price.

You are going to want to find a blogger (or two or three) in your general area to get your store matchups from each week. I have found a few great blogs in my area and will share them with you.

Charlene at My Frugal Adventures is located in Northern California. None of her grocery stores double coupons. She does matchups for Drug Stores, Grocery Stores and Big Box stores (Walmart, Target, Kmart) all based on her prices. These are usually close to our prices here in Southern California. She also posts various random sales, deals, rebates, samples, etc. She has a ton of posts pretty much every day. If you want to keep up with her posts you will want to either subscribe by email or blog reader.

Nicole at Being Frugal Is Fabulous is also located in Northern California.

Cathy at Chief Family Officer is located in the LA area. Her prices are still a little different from ours in the high desert.

Here is an example of how I use matchups: Here is her matchup for Target for the week of 11/1/09. I highlight the text of the post and paste it into a Word document. Then I go through item by item. If I know I will not purchase an item I delete it. If I want to try and purchase an item I print the coupon  she has linked to and/or clip the coupon she refers to. From Microsoft Word hold down Control and click on the link to get directed to the website with the printable coupon. Then I print the list and take it with me on my shopping trip. I usually end up with more deals on the page than I actually purchase. I don’t always find the right products mentioned and sometimes my prices are different than hers.

Please keep in mind that prices are regional. You can either check the prices against your weekly ad, or just check the price when you are at the store. I usually end up scanning items on the price check machines. I especially do this if an item is reported on sale on a blog, but the price on the shelf is higher. I have not been able to find a great place for grocery matchups yet. It seems that promotions run nationally, but the actual prices of products are often a lot higher in my area than others.

These three blogs should get you started if you are serious about couponing and being informed about great deals. I will start directing you to weekly drug store matchups and how I use them. If I find a better source for grocery stores I will be sure to direct you there.

 Shopping at Target

October 20, 2009

Where Do Coupons Come From? – Part 3

Filed under: Couponing Basics,Saving Money — Queen Bee @ 6:10 am

Loyalty Card

I used to think these were pretty self explanatory… they are used to get the ‘sale’ items for the week and/or month. There is a new feature to these cards. You can load coupons on them online or with your cell phone. You can stack a manufacture clipped coupon with a loaded manufacture coupon for the same item. If you happen to have a store coupon for that item as well, then you can actually have three coupons for the same item.

I load coupons onto my Ralph’s card and my Von’s card. Both stores take P&GeSAVER (Bounty, Tide, Cascade, etc.) coupons, Cellfire coupons and Shortcut$.com coupons. Cellfire coupons are supposed to be able to be loaded using your cell phone as well as the internet. I have not tried the cell phone feature yet though. Keep in mind that there is some lag time between the time you add the coupons to your card and when you can use them. It will be obvious on your receipt if they were applied to your bill.

ralphs rewards

Catalina Coupons

The coupons that print out at the register are called Catalina coupons. The name comes from the company that makes the coupon printing machine. These coupons can be for money off the purchase of a specific item or a dollar amount off your total grocery bill. They are only redeemable at the store you received them from. These are store coupons and can be combined with manufacture coupons.


These are the coupons in those little machines with the blinking light that are located on the grocery shelf that the item is sitting on. For items that I regularly buy I grab one coupon to use when the item goes on sale. A recent example is liquid coffee creamer. Ralph’s has had blinkie coupons for it for the past few weeks. These are manufacture coupons so you don’t have to use them at Ralph’s. I have used one of these at Target and one at Albertsons.


When I am browsing through magazines I pay attention to the coupons. If there is one I think I might use I will cut it out right away. If I don’t do it right away I won’t remember where it was and/or I will forget all about it. There is a magazine called All You that is only sold at Walmart. It features dozens of coupons every month. There is even an index of the coupons, amounts and page numbers in the beginning of each magazine.

allyou cover

October 17, 2009

Introduction To CVS

Filed under: Couponing Basics,CVS,Saving Money — Queen Bee @ 9:44 am

A very fun store to shop at for me is CVS. Most weeks there are a few items that you get all or most of the money you paid for a product back in the form of an ECB (Extra Care Buck). ECBs can then be used on your next purchase. You can even use them to buy things that will result in more ECBs. I know, it all sounds very confusing. The net effect of this process is that the items are ‘free’, you just pay for the tax.

Money Saving Mom has a great CVS 101 post. If you are brand new to CVS I suggest your read her post.

Sunday is day 1 of their weekly sales. To get you started on your CVS journey, this will be a fun week to begin with. Here is the free after ECB deal that we should see (10/18/09 – 10/24/09):

Glade Candles/Diffusers $6.99 (limit 1)
Use the $3/1 from 10/4 Smart Source
Get $6.99 in ECBs
Final Price: $3 moneymaker!

Your total out of pocket will be $3.99 plus tax and you will walk away with an ECB for $6.99 to use on your next trip.

If this is your first trip you will need to apply for Extra Care Account. They should have applications up by the registers. You need to fill out your name and address and the cashier will hand you your card. Your extra care bucks will be attached to this card, so to use the ECBs you will need to have that card with you.

After making your first purchase you will be able to have fun with the price scanner. Each time you go to CVS you can scan your CVS card at the price check scanner and coupons will print out. I save these until they expire because they sometimes do come in hand. Sometimes you will get a $5 of $20 purchase. These are always fun to get and use. They help to lower your out-of-pocket expense.

Southern California is sometimes different from the rest of the country, so check the ad before you go. You will find the ad either in your Sunday paper, or at CVS.com

For a complete matchup visit Charlene at My Frugal Adventures.

October 15, 2009

Where Do Coupons Come From? – Part 2

Filed under: Couponing Basics,Saving Money — Queen Bee @ 2:59 pm


 Printable Coupons

 If you don’t purchase the Sunday newspaper you can still get great deals with coupons. All you need is internet access (you are reading this, so you must be online, right?) and a printer. There are a lot of sources for internet printable coupons.

  • Coupons.com – This is probably the place I print most of my online coupons from. The coupons on here are continuously changing.  At the beginning of each month a lot of new ones are added all at once.
  • SmartSource.com – The coupons online can be different than those printed and included in your Sunday paper.
  • RedPlum.com – Again, the coupons online can be different than those printed and included in your Sunday paper. 
  • Product Websites – If you have a product in mind that you want to purchase and you don’t have a coupon for it, go to their company website and see if they offer a coupon there for one.
  • Store Websites – A lot of stores are offering printable coupons on their website. Target  is a great place to check for coupons before you head to their store. The great thing about a store coupon is that you can match it with a manufacture coupon for the same item. For example, if there is a Target coupon for $1 off Crest toothpaste and you also have a manufacture coupon for $1 off, you can use both coupons on one tube of toothpaste for a total aof $2 off. Store coupons will say so on the coupon, usually up top by the expiration date.

Keep in mind that the coupons can usually be printed twice per computer. Also, online coupons have a set number of times it can be printed overall. Once that many have been printed, it will no longer be available.

Home MailersCoupon Booklets

From time to time you can sign up to get a coupon booklet mailed to you. Here are a few that I have right now. Get  your own Home Made Simple  booklet here. The coupons in this booklet don’t expire until next year.

October 10, 2009

Where to Grocery Shop

Filed under: Saving Money — Queen Bee @ 2:58 pm

My grocery store of choice for the High Desert is Ralph’s. When I venture out to Albertson’s or Stater Bros it is because there is an unbelievably good deal. My choice is based on location and price. Ralph’s is closest to me and tends to consistently have good deals. If I had more time and energy I could drive all over town and shop at all three each week (which I have done before), but usually I do my main shopping at Ralph’s and then I might pick another store and get their best deals for my weekly grocery shopping. There is always a fourth option when it comes to grocery shopping – WinCo. I have found that I can often beat their prices on most items. There are some produce and bulk items that are very hard to beat, but since it is located so far away from my house (8.5 miles) I don’t bother shopping there very often.

Albertson’s is having a 3-day sale (today is day two). When I hit one of these up I usually stick to just the really great deal items. On my trip today I purchased some great deals combined with coupons and then a few extra items that I needed for our weekly dinner menu that I forgot to put on my regular Ralph’s list.

You know you did well when the cashier gets a surprised reaction on their face when they glance at your receipt to tell you how much money you saved on your trip. Here is what I got:

 Total Cost: $18.15

Total Savings: $60.34 (77% saved)

Soup Mix = $1.05 (not on sale, but got generic)

3-Day Sale Items:

2 cartons of Strawberries $.99 each

6 Yoplait Yogurt $.44 each (paired with $.50 off 6 coupon) = $.36 each

Buy 10 save $3.00 Promotion:

7 Pop Secret poppcorn = $.70 each (paired with $1.00 off 2)

5 Scotties Tissue = $.70 each (paired with $1.00 off 5) = $.53 each

Emerald Peanuts = $1.70 (paired with $1.00 off) = $.70

McCormick Slow Cooker seasoning = $.70

4 Ronzoni Pasta = $.70 each (paired with $1.00 off 2) = $30 each

2 Sargetno Cheese = $1.40 each (paired with $.50 off 2) = $1.15 each

This is an example of some great prices on items that our family regularly uses. In the weeks to come I will show you the how, when and where to find these great deals.

Along with my receipt I was handed a catalina coupon for $5 off my next $50 purchase. In the fine print it stated that the $50 was after coupons. The sad thing is, I doubt I will be able to use this coupon. I just don’t spend that much money on one grocery trip to Albertson’s.

October 7, 2009

My Kind of Shopping

Filed under: Saving Money — Queen Bee @ 3:38 pm

I think it will be fitting to submit my first post from my iPhone since that will likely be my main source.

I don’t do a lot of couponing at Walmart, but yesterday it was worth my time/effort to make a trip.

I bought the new release of Snow White, some plates, 3 glade soy candles and an iMotion sprayer. I paid $15 and will be getting $10 back in rebates. Not too shabby, huh?

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