grocery deals Archives

Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups for the Week of Oct. 21

Dominick's grocery deals this week: I'd drop by for bananas and barbecued meat.


Lloyds shredded pork or beef tub 18 oz. $2.99 (use $1/1 from many SmartSource inserts: 
1/27, 5/18, 6/29, 8/26) I've never tried it but for $1.99 I might. Never seen it this ceap.

Buy one, get one free pumpkins at $6.99

Snapple 12-pack $4

Doritos $1.79

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Jewel-Osco Deals Week of Oct. 21

The first thing I want to note in the Jewel-Osco flyer is that there are price changes in here on items included in the ConAgra Catalina deal. If your Jewel tends to get prices up ahead of time, like mine does, this could affect your deal, for better or for worse.
For instance, Betty Crocker fruit snacks, which were $2 card price, will now be $1.67. The store I visited this morning still had the old price, so I couldn't check to see what the new pre-card price was. If it's still $2.50, you can do a little better buying these now, since the card price is lower. But I would bet that once the card price changes, there will be a new pre-card price too, and if it's lower, it'll throw your scenarios all out of whack. So watch the register you ring these babies up today!

(Green Giant Steamers are also advertised for $2 this week; not sure what they were before.) 
Now, for all this week's sales and deals at Jewel-Osco.

Continue to see this week's sales, BOGO deals and other special offers.
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Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups for the Week of Oct. 14

Here are the hottest grocery deals at Chicago's Dominick's grocery stores this week. Because Dominick's accepts expired coupons up to one year, I have included those in my coupon matchups where available.

Is it worth it to visit Dominick's this week? I'd consider a trip to stock up on Cambell's soup at 50 cents a can, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese on Super Coupon for 69 cents, and maybe 99 cents/pound grapes or 99 cents/8 oz. mushrooms.

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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups: Week of Oct. 14

See my separate post for the deets on the General Mills Catalina deal. Unfortunately, other than that deal, it's a pretty slow week for grocery deals at Chicago's Jewel-Osco.


asparagus $1.49/lb.

Fannie May assorted chocolate buy one get one free @ $19.99

Hormel Always Tender fresh center cut pork rib or loin chops $1.99/lb.


Buy 2 Tropicana Pure Premium OJ @ $3 each, get Trop50 59 oz. (use the $1/1 Trop50 from the Dominick's $70 Savings book, or the $1/1 from the 9/26 RedPlum)

Buy 2 Marzetti's Dips @ $3 each, get a 3-pound bag of apples for 99 cents


Crest is still on sale for 99 cents, use the $.75/1 from the 10/10 P&G insert

Michelina's frozen entrees $1 (use the $1/5 from the Dominick's "$70" booklet or two different $1/5 printable coupons)

Carnation Evaporated Milk $1

Jewel canned beans 15 oz. 59 cents


Driscoll's raspberreis 6 oz. or strawberries 1 lb. @ $3.99, Oberweiss chocolate milk 64 oz. @ $3.99, Dean's ice cream 1.5 qt., Brownberry bread @ $3.99


$5/3 Brita filters, expires 10/20


$.44/1 American Greetings card $1.99 or more, expires 10/16

 Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World's database.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups Week of Oct. 7

Here are the best sales and deals at the Chicago grocery store Jewel-Osco for the week of Oct. 7. Jewel, always obliging, only put a few items on sale this week because they probably know I am so busy today. Thanks, Jewel! (sarcastic grimace)


bananas 38 cents/lb.
Fritos or Cheetos $1.69
2L pop 7-Up, Dr Pepper, Sunkist or A&W 77 cents


See separate Catalina deal post for the "spend $25, get $10" offer

Buy 2 T. Marzetti apple dip, get $2 off instantly any 3 lb. bag of apples (The ad says "instant savings," not "with in-store coupon." I've heard that people are finding tearpad coupons with this same offer. So, if this deal happens without the coupon, you could add the coupon to get an additional $1 off the apples. Or maybe the ad just forgot to mention that you need to grab the tearpad coupon. Please report back if you try this.)

Buy 2 Palermo's Pizzas at $5.50, get 1 12-pack Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mt. Dew, or 6-pack 24 oz. bottles Pepsi or Aquafina, or 8-pack 12 oz. bottles Diet Pepsi or Crush

(print $1/2 Palermo's coupon)


California crimson red seedless grapes 99 cents/lb. 

Minute Maid orange juice $2

mushrooms 8 oz. $1.79

Athenos hummus 7 oz. $1.99 (use $1/1 from the 9/12 SmartSource for a very good deal on hummus)


Perdue Short Cuts 9 oz (use two $.75/1 from 10/10 RedPlum).; Scotch-Brite sponges 6 ct. (use two $1/1 from the 9/19 SmartSource)

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World's database.

Dominick's Grocery Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of Oct. 7


You know when you are waiting for a certain date for a long time, like your due date to have a baby, and then all the sudden one day you pick up a gallon of milk with that date on it and you realize, whoah, it's right around the corner? That just happened to me when I typed Oct. 7 up there in the title. Oct. 7 is my brother's birthday, but way bigger than that, it's the day before the day before he's getting married!

Which is to say, I'll be a little scarce around here starting tomorrow, though the weekend. Don't worry, I'll set you up with at least a giveaway while I'm gone. Also, if you want to write me a guest post this weekend, please email me at carrielynnkirby AT

Now, the Dominick's grocery deals for this week.


Buy 1, get 1 free strawberries or raspberries @ $3.99

Kraft salad dressing $1.33 (use expired $1/1 from the 6/20 SmartSource or $.55/1 from the 8/29 SmartSource, or expired ones from old Jewel-Osco ads)

Lucerne shredded or chunk cheese 6-8 oz. $1.67

Safeway Select Artisan Italian Breads 99 cents

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Dominick's Just for U Review and Giveaway

Gather round while I tell you about my experience trying out Dominick's Just for U personalized savings program -- then comment for a chance to win one of eight $25 gift cards!

I just logged into my Dominick's account to try out the Just for U personalized savings program. Since I already had a sign in to the Web site with my card number entered, I didn't actually have to sign up for Just for U. The personalized deals just popped up, and I could hit a button to add them to my card just like I add regular coupons to my card.

The free eggs was the first thing I added to my card -- 12 Lucerne Grade A eggs.

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Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups for the Week of Sept. 30

Here are the best grocery deals I see for Dominick's this week, with coupon matchups.


pork loin back ribs previously frozen $2.99/lb.

Hass avocado 99 cents

Lucerne shredded or chunk cheese $1.67


fresh safeway boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs $2.49/lb.

Perdue ground turkey 16 oz. $1.99

red, green or black seedless grapes 99 cents/lb.

Bartlett pears 49 cents/lb.

broccoli crowns or cauliflower 77 cents/lb.

Lay's or Lay's Kettle potato chips 8.5-11 oz. $1.99 (I have $1/2 tearpad)

O Organics milk half gallon $2.99 (I found more O Organics coupons!)

Lucerne cheese 32 oz. $5.99

BOGO: Rancher's Reserve beef London Broil, Farmland bacon 16 oz. @ $6.49, Hillshire Farm smoked sausage or bratwurst 14-16 oz. @ $3.99, Jimmy Dean Sausage Roll sor fully cooked selections @ up to $4.49, Gorton's large or value pack fish fillets 14-24.5 oz. @ up to $7.99

Buy 2 get 2 free: Froot Loops or Post Honey Bunches 12.-14.5 oz. @ $?? (If you want 3, add the $1.50/3 coupon to your card on

SUPER COUPONS (require $10 purchase, can stack with manufacturer's coupons)

Tyson breaded chicken selections 22-28 oz. (use $1/1 from the Jewel Fall Into Good Things booklet)

Fresh GreenLine beans ? oz. $1.99

Betty Crocker Cake Mix 89 cents

Jell-O Pudding mix 89 cents

Miracle Whip or Mayo 22-30 oz. $1.99 (use $1/1 from the Jewel "Fall Into Good Things" booklet)

Sorrento String Cheese 13.3-16 oz. $2.49

Bright Green Laundry Detergent 100 oz. $7.99

6-pack Pepsi brands 24 oz. bottles pop $1.99

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World's database.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups Week of 9/30

Here are the best deals and coupon matchups I see at Jewel-Osco this week. First of all, it appears that Jewel-Osco has heard the disgruntlement of its customers over the lack of BOGO items in recent weeks; this week has a whole page of buy one, get one free items.

Second of all, I misspoke when I said that the P&G Catalina deal was ending. It's pictured in today's ad and it says it goes through 10/6. So get over there -- you're probably not going to get better prices on toilet paper or paper towels than this. I'm not noticing prices any different from what I listed, but be aware that prices can change when the new week starts Thursday.

(If Catalina deals are new to you, read my Catalina get-started guide.)

Thursday through Saturday Only

Driscoll's strawberries 1 lb. $1.88

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This Week's $100 Shopping: Stayed Well Under Budget, Saved for the Next Cow

Naturally the week after I increased my weekly grocery budget to $100 from $80, I only spent $65.70 on groceries, making it seem like the change was not at all necessary. But this is a great thing, because it allows me to start saving for the bulk beef purchase we'll make this fall.

I spent:

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Saved 77% at Dominick's: 50-cent Tater Tots, $1.50 Diaper Packs

I spent $13.85 at Dominick's today (after using the $5 coupon left over from the cleaning products Catalina deal). Not bad considering that usually you'd be lucky to get two packs of diapers for that much.


I found that my store still had Mom 2 Mom coupons on display at the Pharmacy, and that they are not expired, so I grabbed the two packs of diapers on clearance today, even though they are size 2 and too small for my baby. These are a nice donation item -- especially since they ended up being $1.50 a pack, with more than 40 diapers per pack! I.E., less than 4 cents a diaper!

They were marked 50% off $6.99, but they rang up at $5, so the 50% off bar code on the clearance sticker took off $2.50, making them $2.50 each. Then the $1/1 coupon brought them down to $1.50 each. Here's hoping they put more sizes on clearance!

I also got Super Coupon stuff:

4 bags Ore Ida frozen potatoes, $1.99 each after SC, minus two $3/2 manufacturer's coupons from the Dominick's/Safeway $70 off booklet (I found some by the refrigerator section this time) = 50 cents a bag

2 Safeway frozen pizzas $2.99 each after SC. The cashier tried to also scan the store coupon from the booklet but then the SC wouldn't work. So these are $2.99 whether you use the store coupon or the SC, but you can't seem to use both.

2 Smuckers and 2 Simply Jif (we normally only get organic, no-sugar added PB, but this is nice for holiday baking). $2 for the jam and $1.49 for the PB each after SC, minus two $1/2 Smuckers/Jif coupons from the 8/8 RedPlum = $1-$1.49 each

And not a Super Coupon, but we gotta pack some lunches this week:

Brownberry bread $2.50, minuse $.55/1 Q from the 8/15 SmartSource

My receipt says I saved 77%. Yay!

 P.S. I tried the Mrs. T's Pierogies from Jewel at lunch time today, and I for one loved them although like most foods they did not appeal to the kids. I'm going to buy more when I hit Jewel for laundry detergent sometime in the first half of this week.

Good News on P&G Catalina Deal: There Is a Spread

I just stopped into Jewel-Osco to do a little recon on the Proctor & Gamble Catalina offer. (What's a Catalina deal? It's all explained in this Wise Bread Catalina intro.) Also, I got two 16 oz. boxes of Mrs. T's pierogies for 75 cents each by combining the BOGO sale with the $1/1 coupons from the new Dominick's booklet. Will be trying those tomorrow to see if I wanna go back and get lots more.

About the P&G deal, which is "spend $30, get a $10 coupon": I thought there would not be much opportunity to "play the spread" because many of the items might be Osco items, which don't have Preferred Card prices. OK, if you didn't go to that link above, you'll want to know what "playing the spread" means. It means that at Jewel, when the deal says you have to spend $30, they really mean you have to buy stuff that would cost $30 before scanning your Preferred Card.

So, good news. Many of the items in the deal -- the Bounty paper towels, Tide detergent, Puffs tissue -- actually did have Preferred prices shown in the store. So if I were doing this deal I'd try to buy $30 worth using those. And here they are:

Tide 100 oz. liquid Pre-card price is $14.99, Preferred $9.99

Tide 141 oz. powder pre-card $16.99, Preferred $9.99

Puffs 3-pack pre-card "sale" price $7.19, Preferred $4.99

Puffs 4-pack pre-card price $7.49, Preferred $4.99

Bounty 8-count pre-card price $14.99, Preferred $9.99

FYI: The Tide unscented variety liquid had the same pre-card and Preferred price, but in my store it was not tagged with the Catalina deal. All the other things I just listed were tagged.

Deal idea:

Buy 2 Tide 100 oz. for $29.98 pre-card price, $19.98 Preferred

Buy 1 Pringles for $1.50

Use two $2/1 Tide coupons from various parenting or women's magazines (I got one from  Parenting I think)

Pay $17.48 + tax, receive the $10 coupon back for a final cost of $7.48 -- about $3.75 each for huge bottles of detergent! Or, if you don't mind using powder detergent, get one powder and one liquid and you won't have to buy the Pringles as a filler. However, my $2/1 Q says only liquid, so you'd have to use the $1/1 from today's P&G insert instead.

Deal idea 2:

You could do the same as above with 2 packs of Bounty instead of detergents, but the coupon for Bounty in today's P&G insert is only $.25/1, so you'd pay more.

Deal idea 3:

Buy 4 Puffs 4-packs for $29.96 pre-card, $19.96 Preferred. Throw in the Pringles again for the $1.50 filler.

Use four $.25/1 coupons from the 9/26 P&G insert

Pay $18.96, or $8.96 for 16 boxes tissues after you get the $10 coupon. That's 56 cents a box.

P.S. The good folks on Couponers Wanted have been doing this deal with similar transactions and "the spread" is working just fine for them.

Sunday Tribunbe Ads and Coupons 9/26 -- Free Shampoo at Menards, Money Making Natural Cough Stuff at Walgreen's, Hasbro Coupons

This has to be quick this a.m. because I am off to my first Wrigley rooftops experience. On a Groupon, of course. Between the chilly weather and the crappy team, we may have the place to ourselves. Here are the best deals and coupon matchups I see in the Sunday paper for Walgreens, CVS, Target, Toys R Us, Jewel-Osco, Dominick's and more, plus the four coupon inserts -- a SmartSource, a RedPlum, a P&G Saver and a special Hasbro insert.

RedPlum Coupon Insert: $1/3 bags various candy which matches up with the CVS ExtraBucks deal (see below), BOGO full-sized candy bars, Einsteins's Bagels Qs including one for a 50-cent pumpkin bagel.

P&G Brand Saver Coupon Insert: The usual, + Buy a Swiffer Starter Kit, get a refill free and Buy a can of Swiffer Dust and Shine, get one free; BOGO Old Spice products, and of course plenty of coupons that match up with Jewel-Osco's P&G Catalina deal (see below).

SmartSource Coupon Insert: $2/1 Huggies or $3/1 Huggies Pure & Natural, $.55/1 Hershey's Bliss Bar, $.55/1 TomCat mousetrap, $.75/1 Reynold's Wrap, $1/3 Reese's, Hershey or Kit Kat bags which also matches up with the CVS candy deal (see below), $1/1 Krunchers Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, two $1/1 Mountain High 32 oz. yogurt.

Hasbro PlaySaver Coupon Insert: (If you don't get the paper you can get the same coupons online, plus a bunch more like $2/1 Mr. Potato Head.)


Free Fullbar Fit appetite control bar after $1.99 Register Rewards

Free Emergen-C after $3.49 RR

Free Hyland's Cold n Cough 4 Kids after $4.99 RR -- moneymaker if you use the $1.50/1 printable coupon (thanks Common Sense With Money!)

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Lotion 99 cents after $5.99 RR

Pampers jumbo packs are $6.99 after RR, and you might have gotten a $3/1 coupon in a mailer If not, use the $1/1 from today's P&G Saver.

For the full Walgreen's deals, see Common Sense With Money.


Welch's grape juice is 2/$5 after $1 ECB. Use two $1/1 from the 9/12 Smart Source to get them for $1.30 each.

I have a $3/$15 coupon from the in-store coupon printer, and I think I'll use it to get my Halloween candy early and stash it in the basement freezer:

Buy 4 bags Reese's or Kit Kat for $10. Buy 5 bottles Dawn dish soap for 96 cents each. Use one $1/3 from SmartSource. Use five $1/1 Dawn (I got these in a special booklet at BlogHer.) Total should be $15 before coupons, $9 plus tax after coupons. Use the $3/$15 store coupon, and I'll pay $6 plus tax, and get back $3 for a final cost to me of $3 for a big bowl of Halloween candy and a year's worth of dish soap.

For a full list of CVS deals, including a free Oral-B rechargeable toothbrush, see Money Saving Mom.


I actually don't see any deals worth reporting in the Target ad. Am I missing something?

Menards -- mail in rebates require a $10 non-rebate purchase

free Physique shampoo or conditioner after $6 mail-in rebate

Super Hook 20-piece set 29 cents after $3 MIR

Eyewear repair kit 19 cents after $3 MIR

folding utility knife 99 cents after $3 MIR

Toys R Us

They put Hasbro stuff on sale to coordinate with the PlaySaver Hasbro insert. Cheapest thing I see is the Strawberry Shortcake Berry Cruiser RC, $4.99 after the $10/1 coupon.

Lots of gift card deals:

$25 gift card with any Mario purchase of $100 or more

$10 GC with Star Wars purchase of $50 or more

$5 GC with SW purchase of $30 or more

$15 GC when you buy 2 Pampers value boxes (see coupons above)

and then, if I'm reading this right, if you buy any of these things in addition ot the Pampers, you can get more $5 GCs: Tide detergent 150 oz. or larger, Dreft 100 oz. or larger, Pampers value box wipes, Pampers Extra Protection diapers mega pack, Pampers Easy Ups 60-68-ct., Charmin toilet paper 30-ct., Bounty giant paper towels 12 ct. With no prices listed it's hard to see how this compares to Jewel-Osco's P&G Catalina deal.

Speaking of which ...


The Proctor and Gamble Catalina deal is this: Spend $30 on select products in a single transaction, get a $10 coupon to spend on your next order. See my intro to Catalina deals to learn how these special deals work, but keep in mind that if you are calculating the amount you spent on pre-Preferred price, Osco items don't have Preferred prices so they don't work that way.

Promising-looking items in this deal are the 100 oz. Tide liquid at $9.99 (use $2/1 coupons from various magazines), 12-ct. Charmin for $6.99, 3-pack Puffs for $4.99, and Big Pack Pampers for $19.99. A good filler to make sure you spend $30 is the $1.50 can of Pringles. Match with coupons from today's P&G Brand Saver.

Please let me know if you try this deal. I do notice that the Tide, Bounty paper towels ($9.99 for 8 giant rolls), Charmin and Puffs have little badges saying "Preferred Price," so you might be able to get a spread on those.

The Sunday Jewel ad also has that $2/1 Bacardi coupon -- but not the $3/1 Sauza tequila. 

Dominick's weekend update has Super Coupons for Huggies jumbo packs diapers at $7.99 -- so break out your expired $3/1 coupons. There's also a SC for Tide 50 oz. @ $5.99 -- but the P&G deal should get you a better price even before you get your $10 coupon back; at Jewel it's $10 for 100 oz., so even before the deal that's $5 per 50 oz.

JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores has a coupon for 50% off any regular price item, good all week.

Michael's has the usual 40% off one item coupon, and they're having a "Duk Tape Costume Demo" on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Intriguing. 

Carson Pirie Scott has a coupon for 20% off sale price shoes and bags.

Office Max has two-day deals good Sunday and Monday only, including $50 off a cross-cut shredder, making it $49.99. I need that. Too bad I don't have those MaxPerks available yet.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups, Week of 9/23

Stuff to buy at Jewel today because it will be more expensive tomorrow: Campbell's tomato soup is 39 cents today (moneymaker after printable coupon), will be 67 cents tomorrow. 5 lb. bags of Gold Medal flour are 99 cents today if you buy 6 -- I don't know what the price iwll be tomorrow but the ad shows Jewel flour for $1.99 for the same size bag.

Here are the best of this week's grocery deals at Chicago grocery store Jewel-Osco: the best grocery sales, all the buy one get one free deals, the best special offers and the manufacturer's coupons. And guess what? There aren't many special anything, yet again -- no Catalina deal, few BOGOs which is apparently a permanent change. It's no wonder I'm spending more time at Dominick's lately, where at least I can use my expired coupons.

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Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups for the Week of Sept. 23 -- Free Soup, Free Sandwich, Possible Free Salad

Here are the best deals offered at Chicago grocery store Dominick's this week. These are just the highlights -- the best 3-day sale deals, the best regular all-week sales, the best Super Coupons, the best buy-one, get one free sales.


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Really Cheap Garbage Bags at Dominick's -- Today Only?



Did you get the "Summer Savings" coupon books at Dominick's? If you have three of these books, I just noticed today that you can get a very good deal on garbage bags -- 3 cents a bag.

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Sunday Tribune Ads and Coupons - Make Money Buying Deodorant

Parade has a coupon for $2/2 Glade 9.7 oz. Premium Room Sprays

Sears has a coupon for an extra 15% off regular and sale priced apparel, footwear and accessories, good 9/10-9/26. According to the ad, you could also get the same 15% off coupon by texting "fall" (3255) to 50101.

Jewel-Osco's weekend update has buy one, get one free Jenni-O turkey breast. Also a $2/1 manufacturer's coupon for Bacardi rum, which expires 9/26. I love turkey and rum, don't you?

The Dominick's update has new Super Price Coupons (require $10 purchase, can be stacked with manufacturer's coupons): Smuckers Preserves or Jam 18 oz. for $1.99, Jif peanut butter 18 oz. $1.49. Happily, there's a coupon in the 8/8 Redplum for $1 off if you buy 1 Smuckers and 1 Jif, so for $2.50 you're in happy school lunch land. Just add bread.

CVS has a moneymaker this week, and may I say it's about time? Make $1 buying Right Guard deodorant thusly: Buy 2 @ $2.99 each, use the $3/2 coupon from, and get $2 ExtraBucks back per stick. So after the coupon you're paying $3, then getting $4 back. CVS also has Revlon lipstick for $1: Buy one for $6, use $1/1 from the 8/15 or 9/12 SmartSource, pay $5 and get $5 Extra Bucks back. (Ooh, Mashup Mom just reminded me that there's a $2/1 Facebook coupon that makes the lipstick free.)

 Aaand, pretty good deal on Huggies diapers: 2/$14.98 after $3 ECB. If you get home mailers, you may have two $1.50/1 coupons on hand, whcih would bring them down to $6 a jumbo pack.

For a full list of this week's CVS deals, see Money Saving Mom.

Walgreens has Quaker Oats for 50 cents after coupon -- it's $1.50 for the 18 oz. cannister of quick oats; use the $1/1 from the 9/12 SmartSource to get it for 50 cents. Reach floss or toothbrushes are 99 cents with in-ad coupon. Have you ever looked for coupons for Reach at your dentist? I got a bunch for $2/1 coupons there, lucky me.

Target has an adorable owl shirt for infant and toddlers for just $5. And KitchenAid appliances and cookware are all 20% off, included -- you know it -- the stand mixer. Other than that, I don't see any deals of note.

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World's database.

Jewel-Osco Deals Week of Sept. 16

I'm just writing up the Jewel-Osco deals today because I didn't get an ad in my Tribune and had to walk over to the store today to pick one up. I wouldn't really say it was worth waiting for, but here it is.

99 cents when you buy 6: Betty Crocker Whipped frosting, cake mix, 5 lbs. Gold Medal flour, 5.1 oz. Bisquick Shake 'n Pour and some other stuff. That's a good price for flour. There are coupons in the 8/8 General Mills coupon insert for many of these.

Buy 3 12-packs Coke (or 6-pack or 8-pack bottles) @ $3.34, get free box of Ritz or Triscuits. So that's like getting each of those 4 items for $2.50.

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The Good-Enough Bargain Shopper

Two morals of today's shop:

1) Even if you don't execute every deal perfectly, you're still saving money if you get most of the discounts you're going for.

2) Mine your coupons for those high-value Qs to use at Dominick's, which is so kind as to still accept expireds.

Last night while we watched a movie from the library ("Milk," which was not as amazing as a lot of people said but interesting and compelling enough), I reorganized my coupon file and found several high-value expired coupons. Lucky for me, some of those turned out to be useful in my first shopping trip of the week, to Dominick's.



I spent $12.18, after all coupons, sales and a $5 Catalina coupon from Jewel. I also received a $5 Catalina, so that's a wash and $12.18 is my final total. I didn't execute perfectly -- now that I think of it, I might been able to get most of these cleaning products totally free instead of paying $2 for all five of them, or even make money on them. And I might have been able to make money on the Mission Tortilla chips. Still -- it's a good haul for $12.18.

The 5 cleaning products you see were the Catalina deal -- spend $15 and get a $5 coupon back. I had a $3 CRT coupon sitting around from Jewel that made the 409 free once I convinced the checker to reduce it. For the $2.50 Soft Scrubs, I had $2/1 coupons, two expired printables, one from RecycleBank. I might have been able to use the Super Coupon from Sunday to bring the price of those down to $1.99, but I was afraid that this would mess up the $15 I was supposed to spend and cause me to not get the Catalina. Anyway, I think the Sunday ad only shows regular Soft Scrub and it probably wouldn't have worked on these sprayable ones.

The two bags Mission tortillas for 55 cents each after combining store coupons and an old $1.50/2 tearpad. These were supposed to have an e-coupon but somehow I misplaced my Dominick's card again so I was using my old phone number which isn't the same as the account where I load my coupons, but who cares because other people were reporting that the e-coupon wasn't coming off anyway.

My other mistake was promising my 3-year-old that we'd be buying milk and cookies with a $1 off milk when you buy Nabisco coupon I'd found in the file, only realizing when we got there that the $1.99 Nutter Butters and Oreos was a 3-day sale, now over. Oh well, she was too whiny to deserve cookies anyway.

The DiGiorno pizza was $1 after the store Super Coupon brought it to $4 and the $3/1 coupon I found in my file took care of the rest.

The nitrate-free ham was $1.45 a pack after blinkie coupon, which by the way are still available at the Dominick's in Oak Park. I think I'm stocked for school lunches for a long time now!

Oh, and all those vegetables in the picture are our $32 worth of organic produce from Angelic Organics. So, add it up and I have already spent $44 on groceries this week -- pretty good haul though, eh?

P.S. Why no Healthy Start juice for 50 cents after coupon? I picked those up yesterday.

Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups: Cheap Hot Dogs, Refried Beans and Tortillas

Saturday-Monday Only

Ball Park Franks 99 cents (I have an expired $.75/1 Angus but don't know if those are included; otherwise use hte $.75/2 from the 8/1 RedPlum insert)

3 lb. clamshell red or green seedless grapes $2.99 (wouldn't it be great if organic were included again?)

Signature Cafe Pizza $5

12-pack Sam Adams, Dos Equis or 18-pack Bud $9.99

Buy 5, Save $5 Mix and Match: The ad shows Edy's ice cream, Skinny Cow novelties, Bertolli frozen meal, Green Giant vegetables and Healthy Choice or Hungry Man frozen dinners.

Inside, there is a SEPARATE Buy 5, Save $5 + Donate 5 Meals offer for Kraft products only: Prices after discount include a 5-pack of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for $3.39, Capri Sun 10-pack for $1.49 and Deli Fresh shaved lunchmeat for $2.49.

Super Coupons (require a $10 purchase, can stack with manufacturer's coupons):

Pop-Secret Microwave Popcorn 3-pack 99 cents (use $.50/2 from the 8/29 RedPlum)

There are other Super Coupons but they're just not worth mentioning.

Special Deal: FREE Mission Soft Flour Tortillas When You Buy 2 Rosarita Refried Beans @ $1 each. (If you still have your 4/25 SmartSource, try this: Combine the "buy 2, get 1" coupon with the $.50/3 coupon for the beans. Also use the $.75/1 Mission Tortillas from the 8/1 SmartSource. If they accept all 3 coupons, you should pay 75 cents for all 4 items.)

Regular All-Week Sales

 Rancher's Reserve round steak $1.99/lb.

assorted pork loin chops $1.49/lb.

peaches 99 cents/lb.

Nancy Martin bread, white or whole wheat, 88 cents

10 lb. bag Russet potatoes $1.99

Duncan Hines Cake Mix or Brownie Mix 88 cents (use $.55/2 from the 3/28 SmartSource)

organic heirloom tomatoes $1.99/lb.

Dairy Glen gallon milk $1.99

Buy one, get one free: Oscar Mayer ham or turkey lunch meat 10 oz. @ up to $4.99 (print $1/2 OM lunchmeat), Lucerne whipped cream 14 oz., Hefty One-Zip Storage Bags @ $2.99

Buy 2, get 2 free: Tostitos or Ruffles 9-13 oz.

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World's database.

Jewel-Osco Catalina Craziness

I'm kind of on a break from aggressively scooping up grocery deals lately. I think it's necessary for extreme couponers to allow themselves to step back when it becomes a bit much, otherwise it's just not fun anymore, and if it's not fun, it's not worth it.

But if you're all systems go, check out Mashup Mom's post about coupons for free pop 12-packs printing out when you buy a bunch of Chex Mix, which is already part of Jewel-Osco's instant savings deal this week.

Then there's this $1.50/1 Pillsbury Sweet Moments coupon, which can also become a freebie by combining deals at Jewel. (Or at Dominick's by combining with e-coupons you may already have on your card.)

What are Catalina deals, you ask? I explain Catalinas from the ground up in this Wise Bread post.

Grocery Updates for the Weekend

Before I wrap up the budget gifting portion of the Frugalista Challenge and close entries for that $100 drawing, here are a few grocery coupon deals to help you if you're shopping tomorrow:

1) Jewel-Osco just emailed out a coupon for $2 off chicken. I can't post it because my email is acting wierd, but if you sign up for emails here you should get your own.

2) I got some Catalina alerts for the very same General Mills products that are in that Jewel "$5 instant savings" deal, for Old El Paso products (buy 6, get $3), Pillsbury dough (buy 6, get $3), and Green Giant vegetables (buy 8, get $3). Mashup Mom shows you how to use these Cats to turn a meiocre deal into a good one.

(If you don't know what Catalina deals are, read my Catalina intro.)

3) Money Saving Mom posted this $1/1 coupon for any Horizon product -- including the "juicebox" of organic milk. (After the coupon prints, you'll hear some creepy sounds of giggling kids. I thought my kids had somehow snuck back in the house from their mandated outdoor playtime.

Dominick's Sales and Coupon Matchups Week of Sept. 8

Here are the best deals and coupon matchups for Dominick's this week. My favorite deal is the Welch's Healthy Start juice. It's $1.99 for a 59-oz. box with Super Coupon (limit 4), and you can print a $1.50/1 coupon from Ragu pasta sauce is also good at 99 cents, but you have to buy 6, so if you can find three $1/2 coupons, you're good.

See below for the full deets.

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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups Week of Sept. 9

Here are the best deals and coupon matchups for Jewel-Osco for the week of Sept. 9. Don't forget to print Jewel-Osco's official coupon policy so cashiers don't give you any guff.
California red green or purple grapes 99 cents/lb.
Doritos $1.88
Jewel sugar 4 lb. or vegetable oil 48 oz. $1.88
Pepsi, Diet Pepsi or Crush 2 L 88 cents
Lipton Tea 1.5L 88 cents
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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups - Labor Day Week and Free Kraft Cheese, Possible Free Watermelon

Before we begin: Mashup Mom reports they're having a 1-day sale today only. Hm.

Labor Day means sales on hot dogs and the like, but what's this? Free Kraft cheese at Jewel-Osco? See below for the Catalina and coupon combo that makes this happen.

And, here's a chance to try something tricky using the Jewel-Osco official coupon policy, available only on Frugalista:

The ad says, "SAVE $3.48 on any whole seedless watermelon with purchase of one Absolute 750 ml. with in-store coupon."

The coupon policy says, "Illinois/Iowa: Liquor Coupons that state they are redeemable on a purchase of liquor and a non-alcoholic item are redeemed without the customer having to purchase the liquor item."

Watermelons are $3.48. So it would seem that the free in-store coupon should get you a free watermelon with no vodka purchase required, if you wave around the coupon policy. PLEASE share in the comments if you try this.


24-pack Ice Mountain water $2.99, limit 2 (I think CVS has a similar water deal going.)

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Sunday Ads Deals and Coupons: Free House Wash, Free Tampons, $1 Off Nutella

Well, it's late Sunday afternoon, but if you still haven't decided whether to pick up a Sunday Tribune, here's what's in that plastic bag of ads.

Parade has coupons for $1/2 Libby's fruit products and $1/3 canned vegetables, and another for 60 cents off 1 Kellogg's Raisin Bran.

There's a P&G BrandSaver that includes several BOGO coupons as well as a mail-in form for that P&G Everyday Solutions coupon book -- but you have to spend $50 on P&G products first. The total is before coupons, so if you have any amazing P&G deals planned, it could be worth it. Personally, I am too busy these days to jump through all those hoops.

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The Frugalista Challenge: Reduce Your Grocery Bill by 20%


Wrapping up this week's Frugalista Challenge, getting grocery spending under control, here is a list of my best tips, a chance for you to share your advice, and a weekend gift card giveaway.

I get a lot of casual questions from friends along the lines of, "I know I should read your site, because I'm spending a crazy amount of money on groceries. But ..."

There are a lot of reasons that follow that "but." I have a but of my own, though. (And it's a nice one. Hahahahahahah.)

I respond, "But, no matter what your situation, I am pretty sure that if you really want to or need to, you could cut 20% off your weekly grocery budget."

Here are my steps for how to do that, and then, oh you know it, we will open the audience participation segment of our show with a weekend giveaway.

The giveaway will be for two more grocery gift cards. Don't you love it?

(Can you tell I caved and brewed an afternoon pot of coffee?)

First, my 10 tips. Then, you leave a comment with a pledge of how you will cut 20% -- or whatever % you think is reasonable -- from your weekly grocery budget. Then, on Monday at 5 p.m., I'll choose two winners from those comments to win $25 Aldi gift cards.


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Hurry: Amazon Sales on Starbucks Coffee AND Kindle Price Drop




If you need to stock up on coffee, today's Gold Box deal on Amazon is three 12-oz. bags of Starbucks coffee for $19.99. Use the "Subscribe and Save" feature (look on the right) and bring the price down 15% to $17.

At $5.67 per bag, that's not a bad price. I've seen it on sale at Dominick's for less, especially when combined with the $1.50/1 coupons we had earlier this year. But, not a bad price, especially when you consider that each empty bag should get you a free tall coffee at a Starbucks cafe. (Hopefully the bags Amazon sells have that written on there like the grocery store ones do.)

I got an email from Amazon saying they'd posted an incorrect price for this. They let me have one 3-pack for that price, but not the 3 I'd ordered. Still, I feel pretty lucky! Oh, and while you're on Amazon? I just bought this 3-pack of EO Bubble Bath for 96 cents, thanks to a hot tip from Freesnatcher.



For some reason it rang up with free shipping, too. Actually, it rang up totally free without using my gift card balance. But I have a feeling that was a mistake and Amazon will fix it. How's it ringing up for you?

(It looks like a possible safe bubble bath from my eczema-ridden 6-year-old, which would make her very, very happy.)  

AND, lookie here: Amazon dropped the price of the new Kindle today to $139. That's the Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6. I have the older model, but if I didn't I would totally jump on board at this price point. I adore my Kindle -- it's a bookshop in the rocking chair pocket.

Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of August 26

Not a bad week at Dominick's, especially for fresh organic produce -- you can get a huge 3-pound clamshell of organic grapes for under four bucks. I like the "buy 5 or more, get them for $1.99" deal, when combined with the coupons I list below, for ice cream, bars, and that ever-tempting junk food item, pizza rolls. (Or am the only one tempted by those things?)


Wish-Bone salad dressing 99 cents (use expired $1.50/2 from the 5/23 RedPlum)

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese 5-pack $2.99 (60 cents a box)

Safeway Select or Minute Maid OJ 59-64 oz. $1.99

Lucerne shredded or chunk cheese 6-8 oz. $1.67

Waterfront Bistro extra large cooked shrim $4.99/lb. (in a 2-lb. frozen bag), limit 2

Signature Cafe take and bake pizza (or hot) $5.99

Safeway SELECT Artisan Angel Food Cake $1.49

Cheez-It crackers 7.5-9 oz. $1.25, limit 4

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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of August 26: Free Ken's Salad Dressing

This week the big Jewel-Osco deals I see are free Ken's salad dressing after coupon, cheap 12-packs pop when you buy 4 and $1 Goldfish crackers. Unfortunately I think all the Goldfish coupons are now expired. There's a "10 for $10" sale, but you Frugalistas know that this just means a bunch of items are on sale for $1 each -- you don't have to buy 10. So I just listed the best deals of those in the regular all-week sales.

It seems that some changes at Jewel-Osco are becoming permanent, from the looks of this flyer. Still only a couple buy-one-get-one-free items and no Catalina deal, only an "instant savings" offer that takes 50 cents off per item. Hmph.

Buy 10, Save $5 Instantly Deal (ConAgra)

Ad lists Marie Callender's and Healthy Choice meals @ $2, Pam spray @ $2.50, Wesson @ $2, Reddi Wip @ $2.99, Egg Beaters (15-16 oz.) @ $2.99, Snapple @ $4.49 and 7-Up @ $2.49 per 6-pack .5L bottles, Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn 6-pack $2.99

Wasn't this the deal that overlapped with a Catalina last year leading me to fill the trunk of my car with Dr Pepper? I got so sick of Dr Pepper from the bottle (I prefer from the can) that if this were to turn into a moneymaker this year, I swear I would give all the pop away. Hold me to my word, readers!

I don't see many coupons for Con-Agra out there right now: Just $1/1 Reddi Wip from August All You. Am I missing some? Please share.

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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups, Week of August 19: Cheap Meatballs, Lots of Coupons

Thurs-Sat Only

Illinois sweet corn 25 cents

Michigan green peppers 50 cents

Michigan celery sleeve 88 cents

Michigan green beans 88 cents/lb.

Indiana whole watermelon $2.88, limit 2

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Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups for the Week of August 19: Cheap Kettle Chips and Del Monte Fruit Cups

This week the best grocery deals I see at Dominick's are Kettle Chips for $1 after coupon,


(See my Catalina guide if you don't know what these delightful money-back deals are.)

Edy's "Spend $12, Get $4 Off." It doesn't list the prices, but the ad shows Edy's ice cream, Fruit Bars and novelties; Skinny Cow and Haagen-Dazs. This deal isn't as good at Dominick's as it is when it runs at Jewel-Osco, since Dominick's caclulates your spending based on the sale price after Fresh Values Card. Not bad, though.

Coupons for this deal: $1/2 Edy's ice cream from 5/16 SmartSource, $1/2 Edy's Fruit Bars from May 2010 All You, $1/3 Edy's, Skinny Cow or Haagen-Dazs cups from May 2010 All You.

There is also an offer for a $10 coupon "toward a gift card" when you spend $25 on P&G stuff, but that is just ridiculous so let's not waste our time on it.


Safeway Select frozen pizza $2.99

Dominick's Italian sausage $2.99/lb.

Nabisco Premium Saltines 11-16.5 oz. $1.50

Lucerne butter $1.99/lb., limit 2

Crisco vegetable oil 48 oz. $1.99, limit 2

Kettle Chips 9 oz. $1.99 (Use $1/1 from the 6/13 SmartSource -- great deal!)

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Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups for the Week of August 12: Cheap General Mills Deal -- UPDATED WITH FREE NATURE VALLEY NUT CLUSTERS

This week the best grocery deals I see at Dominick's are


Betty Crocker cake or traditional brownie mix 79 cents

Sara Lee Classic Sandwich Breads $1.29

12-pack Nabisco cookies $2.99, limit 5 (use $1/2 from

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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups, Week of August 12: 99-Cent Cantaloupes

This is the second week in a row that I'm disappointed with Jewel-Osco's sales -- no real Catalina deals and many fewer buy one, get one free offers than in the past. The instant savings deal -- buy 10, get $5 off -- is half as rich as past offers. You have to wonder if these slim pickings are just a couple of slow weeks or if these are the results of chainwide changes that coupon queen Jill Cataldo has written about.

I might stop in for a cantaloupe, but otherwise no need for me to visit Jewel this week.

Thurs-Sat Only

whole cantaloupe 99 cents, limit 3

Snyder's of Hanover Pounder Pretzels (16 oz.) $1.88, limit 4

Buy $10, Save $5 Instantly plus 50 bonus box tops (same deal as last week but with different products)

This week they're showing General Mills cerals @ $2 each, General Mills bars @ $2 and $2.50, Betty Crocker cake mixes @ $1.25, frostings @ $1.50, Yo-Plus yogurt @ $2.50.

Places to get GM coupons: $1/2 cereals, $.50/1 Nature Valley, $.50/1 Yo-Plus on; Eat Better America,,

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Jewel-Oco Grocery Deals for Week of 8/5: Very Slow Week

Manufacturer's Coupons: Free Snuggle fabric softener 32 oz. or 70-80 ct. dryer sheets when you buy one All Liquid Laundry Detergent; $2/2 American Greetings cards priced $1.99 or more.

Thurs-Sat Only

Banquet Brown n Serve sausage 6.4-7 oz.

Arctic Shores shrimp $4.99/lb. (in 2 lb. frozen bag)

Catalina Deals

Buy $10, Save $5 Instantly

Various Kraft products and Kellogg's products, including Kellogg's cerals and bars @ $2.50 each, Nabisco crackers @ $2.99, Kraft cheese @ $2.49 and $3.49, Starbucks coffee @ $9.49.

See my Dominick's post for some places to find Kraft and Oscar Mayer coupons. (Sorry for being lazy, but I'm halfway out the door to BlogHer!)

Edy's Catalina Deal: Spend $12, Get a $4 for your next trip

Includes buy-one, get one free Edy's ice cream @ $6.49, $2.99 fruit bars, Drumsticks and Dibs, $2.99 Haagen-Dazs ice cream or bars, $1.25 Skinny Cow cups, $1 Edy's or Haagen-Dazs cups, and $3.99 larger boxes Edy's fruit bars, Dibs and Haagen-Dazs snack size bars. (For coupons, all I see is $1/3 from the July All You magazine.)

This should work like Catalina deals usually do at Jewel, that is, you can spend $12 before Preferred Card discount. But beware! BOGO deals do not ring up that way. So if you buy 2 Edy's for $6.49, that adds only $6.49 to what you've spent.

Deal idea: Buy four cartons Edy's ice cream for $12.98, get the $4 coupon, meaning your final price is $8.98, or about $2.25 per package. Big whoop.

Regular All-Week Sales

Perdue boneless, skinless chicken breasts $2.99/lb.

blueberries 1 quart or raspberries 12 oz. $2.99

Banquet dinners or Chef Boyardee cans 88 cents

Vienna Beef regular or natural franks 12 oz. $4 (I found a coupon in store for $1 off if you buy 2 VB plus 2 Rosen's buns; not a huge deal but if you're buying ...)

Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups for the Week of August 5

This week the best grocery deals I see at Dominick's are the super coupons for $2.99 a half gallon of O Organics milk (since I still have a couple $1/1 coupons left), 99 cent mushrooms and $1.69 Pepperidge Farm bread. There's also a Kellogg's Catalina deal. Oh, and check out Mashup Mom's instructions on how to use the "buy 5, save $5" deal to get free Kraft cheese.


2 lbs. blueberries $3.99

Waterfront Bistro raw shrimp $4.99/lb. (2 lb. bag frozen) (load $1/1 e-coupon onto your card)

Signature Cafe chicken tenders $3.99/lb.

Hellmann's Mayo 22-30 oz. $2.49 ($.75/1 printable)

Buy 5, Save $5

This week's ad shows the following Oscar Mayer products, with the $1 per item discount already reflected in the price: Beef Franks $2.99, Deli Fresh shaved lunchmeat $2.49 ($1/1 printable), beef bologna $2.49, cooked bacon $2.49, Lunchables Fun Packs or Creations $1.49, Kraft Natural Slices or Deli Deluxe Singles $1.99 ($1/1 printable). For more coupons, look at any old Jewel-Osco ads you have sitting around since many of them have expired OM Qs, and as you remember, Dom's takes expireds.

Friday Only

8-piece fried chicken or whole roasted chicken $5


Buy 10, get $10 off next shopping trip: Kellogg's cereals and bars, Keebler cookies and crackers. Prices are $1.99, $2.49, $2.99 and $3.49.

Find various Kellogg's cereal printables here and in the 8/1 RedPlum.

Deal idea to get cereal and Pop-Tarts for 55 cents a box: Buy 6 boxes Frosted Flakes, Corn Flakes, Apple Jacks or Froot Loops and 4 boxes Pop-Tarts for $20.

Use three two $1/2 Pop-Tarts coupons from the 7/11 RedPlum and two $1.25/3 from the 6/27 RedPlum. That takes off a total of $4.50.

Pay $15.50, get $10 coupon back, making the final cost for 10 cereals and pastries $5.50, or 55 cents each.

SUPER COUPONS (require $10 purchase, can be combined with manufacturer's coupons)

Lucerne butter 1 lb. $1.99, limit 4

Duncan Hines cake mix 89 cents, limit 5

Goldfish Crackers 6.6-8 oz. $1.25 (use expired printables, no longer available)

white button mushrooms 8 oz. 99 cents, limit 4

Pepperidge Farm 15 Grain or Cinnamon Bread $1.69

O Organics milk half gallon $2.99 (use $1/1 O Organics coupon if you have any left)

Regular All-Week Sales

grapes, nectarines 99 cents/lb.

Rancher's Reserve boneless beef cross rib steak $1.99/lb., or boneless top sirloin $2.99 (load e-coupon for $2/$10 RR purchase)

all Safeway frozen chicken 20% off

Buy one, get one free: Ball Park beef franks @ $3.99 (use $.75/2 printable), Tyson breaded chicken 25.5-30 oz. @ $7.49, Mission tortilla chips 14 oz., Eating Right salad blends

Coupon matchups from Money Saving Mom's database.

Sunday Tribune Ads and Coupons: Free Crayons, 99-Cent Pistachios

My favorite deal this week is a school supplies deal (that 24-pack of crayons on every elementary supply list for free), so let's start with the back to school:

Walgreens is giving away free Crayola crayons this week: buy a 24-pack for $1, get $1 Register Rewards. Also free after RR: Alive! multivitamins at $10. And Crayola washable markers, the 8-pack classic or the 20 pack "Super Tips," are free after mail-in rebate.

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Free Shopping at Jewel-Osco (Plus a Few Items That Cost Money)



Some people have gotten guff at their Jewel-Osco for using the BOGO Athenos Hummus coupon on the BOGO sale to get two containers free. But I had no problem. Now I'm just bummed that although both our computers say we have used up all our prints, I could only find one non-expired copy. Disorganized!

Oh well, can't much complain when I got all this free today: two hummus and two boxes baby wipes. For the Pampers I used the $2/1 coupon from the 6/6 P&G insert, which, which expires today, and for the Huggies a $2/1 from Both brands were on sale for $1.99.

Also picked up those insulated sippy cups on clearance* for $3.99, the fly swatter on clearance for 49 cents, the tunas on sale for 39 cents, and two cans of enchilada sauce for 99 cents each just cause I made pot roast and want to turn it into something less boring.

Total cost: $8.97. First grocery spendings this week.

* They also have Boon Snack Balls on clearance, and I got one last week.

Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of July 29

Here are the best grocery sales from this week's Dominick's ad, along with the dates of the SmartSource and RedPlum newspaper coupons and the printable coupons that go with them.

Lots of good Super Coupons this week: Monterey frozen burritos, string cheese, frozen pizza, snap peas, Huggies or Pampers diapers, and more. (See below.)


Signature Cafe pizza $3.99

Safeway wild-caught salmon fillets $4.99/lb. (in 2-lb. pack, frozen)

deli potato salad $1.49/lb.

Rancher's Reserve New York Steak, boneless, value pack $5.99/lb. (load the $2/1 Rancher's Reserve e-coupon to your Dominick's card)

All Week Sales

peaches 99 cents/lb.

zucchini 77 cents/lb.

O Organics salad $3, O Organics grap tomatoes 1 pint $2.50 (use the $1/1 O Organics coupon if you still have any)

Lucerne cheese 6-8 oz. $1.50

Dairy Glen milk gallon $1.99 (Huh? What happened to Lucerne? I have no idea if this stuff is hormone-free but I will check when I stop in.)

Signature Cafe 8-piece fried chicken $5.49

Johnsonville Bratwurst or Smoked Sausage 13.5-16 oz. $2.99 (use expired $.55/1 from the 1/17 SmartSource)

Dominick's Italian sausage $2.99/lb.

Super Coupons (Must spend $10, can stack with manufacturer's coupons.)

 El Monterey Burritos Family Pack 8-ct. $1.99, limit 4 (use expired $.55/1 from the 4/18 SmartSource, says 1 per transaction)

Eating Right Sugar Snap Peas 32 oz. $3.99, limit 2

Caribou Coffee 12 oz. $5.99 (use $1/1 from, all the General Mills sites like and, or the expired $1/1 from the 3/28 SmartSource)

Trix or Lucky Charms cereal $1.49/box, limit 3 (Load the $.60/1 Lucky Charms e-coupon from ShortCuts, then see the list of sources below for paper coupons)

Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Honey Nut Cheerios cereal $1.88/box, limit 3 (Look for coupons in all the above places, plus the $1.50/2 GM kids cereal printable, or the $1/2 cereals from the 7/11 SmartSource, and the 5/30 GM insert. Also load the $.55/1 Cellfire e-coupon for Cinnamon Toast Crunch to your card.)

6-pack 24 oz. bottles Pepsi products $1.99, limit 3

Huggies or Pampers jumbo pack $7.99. (Use the $3/1 Huggies printable coupon, or $2/1 Pampers from any recent RedPlum or P&G insert. The Dominick's $3/1 Huggies e-coupon is for 60-count or larger, but why not load it anyway, just for future use?)

Lucerne string cheese 16 oz. or sticks 12 oz. $2.49, limit 3

Safeway SELECT frozen pizza $2.99, limit 3

Palmolive dish detergent 20 oz., limit 2 $1.99 (use expired $.70/1 from the 4/25 SmartSource or the $.75/1 from the April All You magazine)

Buy one get one free: Ken's salad dressing 16 oz. @ $2.99, Ruffles potato chips @$3.99

Buy 5, Save $5: Shows Marie Callender's, Ore-Ida, Red Baron pizza. Remember the Ore-Ida coupons in this past week's Jewel-Osco ad.

Coupon matchups from Money Saving Mom's database.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of July 29 - Free Hummus

The best deal at Jewel-Osco this week is free Athenos Hummus. A 7 oz. container is BOGO at $3.99, and if you print the BOGO coupon here (use the back button to print twice) you should get two packages for free!

There is also a Very Nice Manufacturer's Coupon: $1.50/1 Neutrogena item, excludes sun care, cosmetics and trial sizes, good through 9/30/10. Despite the exclusions, this is a good coupon if you're a freak for Neutrogena lotion like I am, with plenty of time for a good CVS or Wag's deal to come up.

Thurs-Sat Only

StarKist chunk light tuna 5 oz. 39 cents

California seedless red grapes 88 cents/lb.

Stone Ridge ice cream 1.5 qt. $2.50

Ice Mountain 24-pack .5 liter or 12-pack 700 ml. water $2.99

Buy one, get one free mix and match with in-store coupon: Jewel boneless, skinless chicken breast; Jewel split chicken breast; Stockman & Dakota round roast; S&D sirloin tip roast or boneless chuck steak; pork back ribs or St. Louis style ribs.

Regular BOGO: Athenos hummus 7 oz. @ $3.99, use BOGO printable to get two free!!; Ball Park meat franks 16 oz. @ $3.49; Hebrew National beef franks 12 oz. @ $5.99; Entenmann's Little Bites @ $3.99; Dean's Ice Cream 1.5 qt. @ ?; Thomas' Bagels @ $4.79; Ruffles potato chips @ $3.99

All-Week Sales

cucumbers 49 cents each

Birds Eye steamfresh rice or vegetables 10-16 oz. $1

California peaches or nectarines 99 cents/lb.

wild salmon $8.99/lb. (use the $1/1 store coupon from that booklet found by the fish case)

snow crab clusters $7.99/lb. (previously frozen)

Jewel English Muffins 6-ct. $1.29 (the refrigerated kind are $1.50 -- what the heck is the difference?)

Wild Harvest Organic peanut butter 18 oz. $3.49

Prego pasta sauce 26 oz. 99 cents

General Mills cereals, bars and fruit snacks $1.88, plus if you buy four you get 2 free RedBox codes. Print coupons: $1.50/2 kids cereals, $1/2 cereal in the 7/11 SmartSource, various on,, However I rarely buy GM products at Jewel anymore because with the Cellfire and Shortcuts coupons it's almost always a better deal at Dominick's.)

Natural Harvest bread $2

Coupon Matchups from Money Saving Mom's database.

Jewel-Osco Deals Week of July 22: Peanuts 2/$1.89 With Coupon

Manufacturer's Coupons: Buy 2 Ore-Ida frozen potatoes, get 1 free; $1/1 Wesson oil; $1.50/2 Classico pasta sauce (use this at Dominick's this week!); $5/2 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers 33.5 oz. box. And a bunch more that are not as exciting.

Thursday-Saturday Only

8-piece Chef's Kitchen fried chicken $5.88

strawberries 2 lb. $2.99 (use $2/2 produce coupon -- get one by signing up here with code PRODUCE)

All Week

Buy 4 participating Quaker or Kellogg's cereals, get them for $1.75 each

whole watermelon $3.49

organic Braeburn apples $1.99/lb.

OK, maybe I'm just tired but I'm not seeing anything else that's a really good sale in there!

Buy one, get one free: cantaloupe @ ?; Jennie-O Turkey Store burgers 16 oz. @ ?; Eat Smart bagged veggies 10-12 oz. @ $2.49; President Chunk Feta cheese 8 oz. @ $6.29; Reggio's Dinner Size Pizza 18-20 oz. @ $6.99; Dean's Sherbet 32 oz. @ $3.79; Carapelli Olive Oil 17 oz. @ ?; Fisher Dry Roasted Peanuts 14 oz. @ $3.89 (use 2 $1/1 Fisher coupons from the 1/10 or 6/20 SmartSource or $1/1 printable; Orbit gum 14 ct.

Dominick's Grocery Deals Week of July 22: Cheap Butter, Tuna and Ritz Crackers

Well, if you need to stock up on butter and tuna fish like I do, you'll want to stop at Dominick's this week, but I can't promise mad excitement. At $1.88 a box, minus some old $1/1 coupons I've got rattling around, Ritz crackers might accidentally jump into my cart and make my 3-year-old happy. And wait -- butter, tuna and Ritz ... I believe I've got the ingredients for some kind of hot dish, no?

I'll also be checking to see if Huggies wipes are still on sale for $1.99, since last week I totallly failed to use one of the $2/1 coupons currently on


Bumble Bee tuna 5 oz. 44 cents

Signature Cafe whole roasted chicken $5.49


Rancher's Reserve boneless round steak $1.69/lb.

grapes 99 cents/lb.

corn 20 cents each 

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Mad Crazy Shopping: Never, Ever Pay $3 for a Tiny Box of Cereal

My cereal stock in the pantry was actually getting down to only one shelf. Which meant it was time for another free-cereal extravaganza, which Dominick's stepped right up to provide. Here's the crazy trip I did this morning:

2 Golden Grahams, 12 oz. $1.99 each

1 Cheerios 8.9 oz. 99 cents

1 Nature Valley Cashew Nut Clusters, FREE (why??)

1 Nature Valley bars Sweet & Salty, FREE

This is the "buy 4, save $4 plus free box of granola bars" deal at Dominick's this week. First of all, there's some crazy business with how the prices are ringing up. The cereals should all be $1.99, but as you can see the Cheerios rang up for only 99 cents. I've seen reports of this happening to lots of other people too.

The granola bars came up free as they were supposed to, but somehow the NV clusters came up free too. Huh??

So without any coupons, I'd have paid $5 for these five items. Not good enough, right?

Hence, I used paper coupons: $.75/2 Golden Grahams from a blinkie in the store, $.55/1 Cheerios printable that was probably expired, $.50/1 Nature Valley Sweet & Salty printable, and $1/1 NV Nut Clusters printable.

After the paper coupons, my cost is down $2.80 to $2.20.

Not good enough!

Bring on the e-coupons. I have been sporadically adding e-coupons on ShortCuts, Cellfire and the Dominick's site as they appear, and at Mashup Mom's prompting I went online last night and added new ones. Here's what came off:

$.75 for Golden Grahams

two $.55 for Cheerios

three $.50 for NV granola bars

three $1 for NV nut clusters

So that's $6.30 in e-coupons.

Final cost: NEGATIVE $4.10!

Yes, according to my receipt, buying these five items led to four bucks in overage to apply to the rest of my order. Pretty great considering that the regular price (pronounced in a derisive tone with raised eyebrows) for one box of these little cereals was $2.99.

Oh! More news flashes!

  • Huggies wipes are $1.99, and I had a $2/1 e-coupon loaded. Also used an expired $.50/1 coupon, so that generated overage too.
  • Mom 2 Mom diapers jumbo packs on clearance for $6, and there are small booklets with $1/1 coupons by the pharmacy. Last time I bought a Mom 2 Mom product, a $2/1 printed out. When I used that and bought a pack today, another $2/1 printed.
  • I got 3 Fage (pronounced fah-yay, according to their Facebook page) yogurt cups for 25 cents each after the Facebook coupon
  • And I splurged on  an 8-pack of Starbucks Via on sale for $6.99, used $1/1 printable coupon and two $1/1 e-coupons came off, for a final price of $4 or 50 cents per cup of instant coffee. Sounds crazy, but this stuff is actually good, especially when you pour it in hot milk. I'm going to be spending the weekend with people who brew bad coffee, so I thought it would be a prudent buy.

I also stopped by Jewel-Osco and got a free loaf of bakery bread with the no-longer-available coupon and two packs of blueberries with the $2 produce coupon. So the berries cost me all of 50 cents. Also, Tribe hummus is BOGO @ $3 something and I had two $.75/1 coupons.

People, I'm going offline for the weekend for some family time. Please forgive me for not posting Sunday deals! Have a good one!


My Free Bread, Almost-Free Produce at Jewel-Osco

I printed out about 10 each of those produce and bread coupons (Mashup Mom reports the bread one is no longer available) from Jewel-Osco, which expire in a week. Now if only I had time to stop in constantly I could feed my family for free every day!

Today I found time for one trip, with all 3 kids. We got:



1 pint blueberries, $1.28 + 2 green peppers, 58 cents each

produce total: $2.26

produce cost after $2 produce coupon: 26 cents!



1 bakery focaccia, $2.79

cost after free bread coupon: free!

2 Wonderful Pistachios, BOGO @ $4.99

cost after two $1/1 printable coupons: $2.99

With tax, I paid $3.55 for this bag of groceries. Yay!

Oh, and here's a pic of that booklet with the coupon for wild-caught salmon in it:


Dominick's Grocery Deals and Coupon Matchups Week of July 15

Here are the weekly grocery deals and coupon matchups for Dominick's. The only thing I see worth getting excited about is frozen shrimp for $3.99/lb., which is my target price.

BUY 4, SAVE 4: Ad shows General Mills cereals Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, plus Betty Crocker fruit snacks and Nature Valley granola bars, and says you'll get a free box of the Nature Valley Granola Bars as well when you buy 4. Man, does Dominick's ever love to give away the GM products! For coupons, hit up ($1/2 GM cereals), ($.50/2 fruit snacks), Box Tops for Education ($.50/1 Nature Valley, $.55/1 Cheerios, more), Eat Better America (more of the same). Plus of course stack with those your Shortcuts and Cellfire coupons from the Dominick's Web site (Shortcuts: $.75/2 Nature Valley, $.55/1 Cheerios, Cellfire $.75/1 Nature Valley and Golden Grahams, more), and let me know if you end up getting five boxes of GM products for free or better.


Tyson frozen chicken products, limit 4 (pic shows nuggets) 25.5-30 oz. $3.99 (try the $.55/1 coupon from the 5/16 SmartSource)

Waterfront Bistro Medium cooked shrimp $3.99/lb., limit 2

Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams or Chips Ahoy! $1.88 (use $1/1 Chips Ahoy! from July All You, or the $1/3 from the 6/27 SmartSource but you also have to buy a 6-pack Hershey's and a Kraft Jet-Puff marshmallows)

Signature Cafe pizza $3.99

18-pack Miller, Bud or Coors cans beer $9.99

FRIDAY ONLY: fried or roasted chicken $5 for 8 pieces


Red Lion nectarines 99 cents/lb.

Sweet Ranier Cherries $2.99/lb.

mangoes 50 cents/lb.

romaine, red leaf or green leaf lettuce 99 cents/lb.

Dominick's hot dog or hamburger buns 99 cents

Breyers ice cream, Popsicle novelties or Klondike bars $1.99 when you buy 3 (use $1/2 Klondike or $1/2 Popsicle coupons from the Sizzling Savings booklet at Jewel-Osco)

2L Coke, 7-Up or A&W 99 cents

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE: Healthy Life or Butternut Bread @ $2.99, Perdue boneless skinless chicken breasts @ $5.69, Jennie-O Turkey Store ground turkey 20 oz. @ $5.49; Hillshire Farm smoked sausage or bratwurst @ $3.79 (use $1/2 from almost any recent RedPlum, or $.55/1 printable), Ball Park Beef Franks @ $3.99 (use $.75/2 from 3/14 RedPlum and look for tearpads for free Sara Lee buns at Jewel-Osco); Dial hand soap @ $2.49 (use $.35/1 from 6/13 RedPlum); Doritos @ $3.99

Coupon matchups from Money Saving Mom's database.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups: Week of July 15

Very little to get excited about at Jewel this week, except that it's summer and produce has gotten cheap everywhere. Oh, and sign up for Jewel's new email coupon service with the code PRODUCE and get a printable for $2 off any produce valued at $2 or more. With no print limit! (I probably first read about this at Mashup Mom.)

Eat up those good free vegetables!


corn 22 cents an ear (limit 12)

cabbage 28 cents/lb.

green peppers 58 cents each

vine ripe tomatoes 78 cents/lb.

blueberries $1.28/pint (limit 3)


Michigan cucumbers 49 cents

General Mills cereals (smallest boxes) $1.88 (use $1/2 printable coupon, $.50/1 from the 6/27 SmartSource). larger 12-17 oz. boxes are on sale for $2.50

Jewel fruit cups four-pack $1.79

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE: Wonderful Pistachios 10 oz. @ $4.99 (use two $1/1 printable coupons, Doritos @ $3.99, Dean's Ice Cream @ ?; Steak-Umm 32 oz. @ $8.99; Krakus sliced honey or Polish ham $7.99; Entenmann's Donuts 8-12 pack $4.39

REDBOX OFFER: Buy 2 participating Chips Ahoy! cookies, get a free Redbox code (use the $1/1 from the July All You magazine). Or just try DVDONME or BREAKROOM -- both those codes worked last time I heard.

STORE COUPON: $5/2 Homelife charcoal, 16.6 lb. bags. expires 7/21.

MANUFACTURER'S COUPON: $2/1 Bacardi rum 750 ml. expires 7/21

Coupon matchups from Money Saving Mom's database.

Sunday Ads: Here Come the School Supplies Deals

On the second Sunday in July 2009, I wrote up the Sunday ads from the alternative birthing center at the hospital, the morning after our little boy joined the family. Today I'm going to dash this out because friends and family are descending on the house and yard at 3 p.m. for a first birthday barbecue.

But guess what? Fourth of July is in the rearview mirror, which means It's time for back-to-school deals. (Insert lament here about how the retailers rush everything these days.) Actually, the fact that they start early is a good thing for bargain hunters, because it gives us six weeks to stalk the loss-leader offers to fill out our kids' supply lists.

The School Supply Deals

Walgreens: 10 Crayola markers 99 cents, Fiskars kids scissors 99 cents, and with in-ad coupon, erasers and novelty pencils 9 cents, legal pads 29 cents, Mead envelopes 69 cents, pocket folders 8/$1.

CVS: Sun-Tues only, get free Paper Mate pens and kids scissors after 99 cents ExtraBucks. Limit 1 each.

Staples: Thru Wed only: 1 cent each with $5 purchase: folders (limit 10) and 8-pack pencils (limit 2). a ream of mulitpurpose white paper is 1 cent after $4.98 easy rebate, limit 2. There's a coupon in the ad for $5 off a $30 purchase, good all week.

Office Depot: Buy Mr. Sketch Markers at $7.99, get a $7.99 prepaid Visa card by mail. Buy a Singline stapler for $15.99, free after $2 instant rebate and $13.99 mail-in rebate. $1 each after sending away for Visa cards: ream of multipurpose paper, 25-pack sheet protectors, Pentel mechanical pencils.

Toys R Us: Free lunch kit up to $9.99 when you buy any backpack at $12.99 or more. Buy one, get one free Crayola crayons and markers

Kmart has a free lunch kit with backpack purchase.

World Market has a cute little food thermos there for $5.99 this week.

Other Deals

Parade has a coupon for $.75/1 pound cake or cream pie

For the rest of the Walgreen's deals, see Money Saving Mom.

CVS: Complete multipurpose contact solution is free after $7.99 ECBs, and a moneymaker if you use the $2/1 from the 5/16 RedPlum. has Campbell's tomato or chicken noodle soup for 50 cents, milk is still $1.69 after ExtraBuck (limit 2, and don't forget you get a free gallon for every five you buy). For the full CVS deals, see Mashup Mom.

World Market will give you a free tote bag with purchase of $10 or more.

Jo-Ann has a coupon for 50% off one regular priced item. And their patriotic stuff is down to 70% off. 

Michael's has the usual 40% off one regular priced item coupon.

Toys R Us/Babies R Us has a coupon for 20% off any regular priced baby item. And a free gift card offer when you buy 3 Enfamil Premium 6-can cases of formula. (Use formula checks plus any coupons you might have.) Plum Organics baby food pouches are on sale 10/$10, use the printable coupon for $.50/2.

At Jewel-Osco the only new thing I see is watermelons for $3.99, limit 2, which is awesome because I'm about to run over there to get balloons and asparagus for the party. And, now, watermelon.

Target gift card offers: Buy 3 Starbucks coffee @ $6.99, get a $5 GC.

Coupons: The SmartSource insert has a BOGO coupon for Earth Options Raid bug spray, a BOGO for Olay cleansers, BOGO for Head and Shoulders shampoo or conditioner, $3/1 Bic Disposable shavers. Redplum has $1/2 Pop-Tarts in case you need coupons for the Jewel-Osco deal this week.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of July 8

OK, people. If you are having any barbecues this weekend or for the rest of the summer, today is the day to stop at Jewel-Osco and pick up your pop, while it's still 4 12-packs for $8 with free Johnsonville sausage (clip the coupon from this week's flyer). Starting Thursday, the prices for 12-packs go up to $3 each, or $5.50 for a 24-pack. Also, the bogo on Jewel-brand bratwurst and Italian sausage ends today.

So what's good this week? Asparagus at $1.99/lb. and tons of BOGO items (including organic salads). Read on.


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Notice a Lot of Deals on Pop Lately? Thank Wal-Mart



The first thing I noticed about this Tribune article on the price of Coke and other name brand pop is that it appeared directly below a wrap-around Dominick's ad for a one-day special on Coke or Pepsi 12-packs: Buy 2, get 4 free.

When you do the math, that translates to the $2 a 12-pack price point that I always wait for to stock up. Coke is also on sale for 4/$8 at Jewel-Osco all week (plus a free pack of sausages) so no big deal missing that.

But what funny ad/article placement, which I know was accidental.

The article got me thinking not just about cheap Coke but about what Frugalista is all about. The Trib said that since Memorial Day Wal-Mart has been selling 24-packs of Coke for $5, and that this is the reason we've been seeing so many specials on pop at the grocery and drug stores -- mostly bringing the price to around $2.50 a 12-pack.

(Mashup Mom has a point about why the example of Coke is problematic. Hint: My stock-up price of $2/12-pack implies that this isn't exactly an unheard-of price.)

Still, the article is an interesting illustration of how Wal-Mart drives down prices for all of us, even those of us who refuse to shop there*. And it's one of those things that makes me feel awkward about advocating bargain shopping.

Now, I'm not shedding any tears for the packaged-beverage industry in particular. The product they sell isn't good for us, and I know that it's really cheap to make and that the name brands spend most of their money on advertising to allow them to charge premiums over no-name brands.

But this illustration of the way Wal-Mart capitalizes on our thirst for ever-lower prices does worry me when it comes to the more essential groceries. As much as I want to stick to my weekly budget, I don't want to put farmers out of business or push companies to use unsafe work conditions in order to meet Wal-Mart-level prices even when they're not selling to Wal-Mart.

I guess a clarification of what the Frugalista is all about is in order. It may surprise people to hear that I am not really an advocate of lower food prices. When food prices spiked last year, you didn't hear me saying that the price of food was getting ridiculous -- because I knew that even when milk when conventional milk went up to $4 a gallon or more, we Americans were still spending less of our income on food than anyone at virtually any time in history.

What I advocate here at Frugalista is that we all shop strategically. If there's a special out there, we will find it. Better yet, we'll find three specials and combine them all. We will buy at the right time to get the best deal we can. If there's a better product out there -- better for the planet, better for our families -- we'll find that too.

Pretty high-falutin' ruminations on the price of pop, I guess. And yeah, I went over to Jewel last night and grabbed four 12-packs plus the free smoked sausage that came with them (with in-ad coupon) because we're having a 1st birthday party for Toth this weekend and now I gots some refreshments.

So I guess I may have too much self-respect to shop at Wal-Mart, but not too much to reap some Wal-Mart driven deals.

* This weekend my 6-year-old niece said to my dad, totally unprompted, "You don't live better when you shop at Wal-Mart. You live worser." You could just see two little hearts zoom out of her retired-Union-president grampy's eyes.

Photo by Lane Christiansen, Chicago Tribune.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups - Fourth of July Week

Can I just tell you that since I can hardly eat anything right now due to my dental problem, typing these ads is making me so freakin' hungry? On the upside, I guess having an abscessed tooth is turning out to be a great summer weight loss plan.

On Thursday July 1 there's a one-day sale: Tyson boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts $6.99 for the 3-lb. box, 8-ct. Bounty paper towels or 12-ct Charmin toilet paper for $4.99 (regular $10.99, use $.25/1 from the 6/6 P&G and load a UPromise coupon as well), Frito-Lay multi-pack $4.49; Corona 12-pk. $9.99

For your Fourth of July weekend, Jewel-Osco has a THURS-MONDAY sale: sweet corn 19 cents, sweet cherries $1.99/lb., whole watermelon $2.99, Lay's potato chips $1.77

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Dominick's Deals Week of June 24: Goldfish Very Cheap or Free!



BUY 4, SAVE 4 PROMO, MIX AND MATCH: Picture shows Breyers ice cream and novelties, Starbucks ice cream (use $.75/1 printable coupon plus add $1/2 pints coupon to your Dominick's card), Klondike bars, Ben & Jerry's, Popsicle. Runs 6/24-6/30. 


Goldfish 6.6-8 oz. 88 cents or as low as FREE after coupons (Load a $.50/1 and a $.75/1 onto your card on! The $.75 one says it's for the grahams flavor while the $.50/1 says it's for original, baby, pizza, pretzel or parmesan. But with Shortcuts you never really know -- both coupons might come off from buying one bag. Stack with $.75/1 and $.35/1 coupons recently available on You may be able to pay just a few cents a bag, plus get overage via Shortcuts. I love it that it still costs a few cents after the paper coupon, because you'll be less likely to get flack from the cashier this way.)

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Jewel-Osco Deals for Week of June 24: Bratwurst, Frozen Wild Salmon, Domestic Grapes



Here are the deal highlights for Jewel-Osco for the week of June 24: California grapes at 99 cents/lb., bratwurst @ 99 cents a lb. (Thurs-Sat only), and wild caught frozen salmon at less than $3 a pound. (!)

Manufacturer's Coupons in the Ad: free Dasani water 8 pack when you buy the big 33.5 oz. box of Goldfish crackers, $2 off when you buy Nabisco graham crackers and Kraft marshmallows and Hershey 6-pack.


At first I thought they had a really good deal going on pork chops, but it's just that sneaky Jewel-Osco thing: 99 cents for a 5 oz. chop. Bah. But Jewel Italian sausage or bratwurst is 99 cents a pound, which I will probably take advantage of because our family of 5 has TWO birthdays within a week of the Fourth. It's like, party weekend, party weekend, party weekend, from here on out.

Also, Breyer's Ice Cream or Klondike Bars $1.99 and Ball Park meat franks 16 oz. for $1.49.

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CSA Recommendations: Timber Creek Farms, Angelic, Kings Hill



Got our second CSA box today. Because it had been raining -- probably during harvest as well as transport -- everything was pretty wet and I ended up just spreading it out on my counter when a little paper towel blotting didn't suffice.

I'm so happy we signed up. Last week we enjoyed super fresh lettuce, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, bok choi, scallions, garlic scapes and some herbs, all organic. This week, more lettuce, broccoli, spinach, scallions, scapes and zucchini, plus beets with greens, cauliflower, kale, basil and the dreaded -- to me -- kohlrabi. (Note: The pic above is not my box. I would photograph mine but I haven't unpacked our camping gear yet and don't know where my camera is.)


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Jewel-Osco Deal Highlights for the Week of June 17

General Mills has a Catalina offer where all they give you is 50 bonus Box Tops for spending $20. No Catalina coupon at all! Forget it, GM, ain't gonna happen.

Buy one, get one free: strawberries 1 lb. @ $3.99, Philly Gourmet frozen burgers 32 oz. @ $8.99, Nature Sweet Cherub Tomatoes 10 oz. @ $4.99; Jones sliced liver sausage 8 oz. @ $2.99; Stella gorgonzola or bleu cheese crumbles 5 oz. @ $4.29; Weight Watchers Ice Cream or novelties @ $6.99; Dean's ice cream bars or cones @ $4.39; Dean's sherbet @ $3.79; Chef's Kitchen frozen pizza @ $5.59; Cole's toast, bread sticks or loaf $3.49; Entenmann's donuts 8-12 pack @ $4.29; Stockman & Dakota chuck or eye of round steak with in-store coupon; Chef's Kitchen frozen pizza @ $5.99.

Regular sales: 12 oz. Jewel frozen vegetables $1 (That's all? Sorry, I just don't see much to get excited about this week. If you see something I'm missing, let me know.)


Dominick's Deal Highlights Week of June 17: Good Weekend Sale

Dominick's has a coupon for $4 off a $25 Rancher's Reserve beef purchase.

Super Coupons: Kleenex tissue 79 cents; Lysol disinfecting wipes $1.79 (limit 1, so the $1/2 from the 4/25 SmartSource won't help), Huggies or Pampers jumbo pack $7.99 (use $3/1 Huggies printables and don't forget you can used expired ones at Dom's!), Clorox bleach $1.69 limit 2 (use the expired $.50/2 from the 1/31 SmartSource), Safeway 16 oz. frozen vegetables 99 cents; Sargento slices $1.99 limit 3 (use the $1/2 from the Dairy booklet or $.55/1 printable)

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Stanley's! And What Are the Best Local Markets in Chicagoland?



Today on my way back from a nice little bloggers' gathering at Frankies on the Park* in Lincoln Park, I passed by the storied Stanley's Fruit and Vegetables. The baby was alseep and the parking lot was just packed. Naturally, I pulled in anyway.

Because friends who grew up on the North Side have long told me that Stanley's is the only affordable place to get great, fresh organics. And just driving by, I could see they were advertising cherries at 99 cents a pound.

I was not disappointed. I got all this for $14.60: FOUR 7-oz. packages of organic blackberries and raspberries at 98 cents apiece, Michigan asparagus at 99 cents/lb., two mangoes at 79 cents each, pea pods @ $1.98/lb. and five ears of corn for a buck. The tiny peach (nonorganic) and the two organic apples were thrown in to appease the 3-year-old, who was nearing her naptime.



I would have bought more except a) I just went to the farmer's market yesterday and b) we are getting our first CSA box Wednesday. Guess it's a vegetarian dinner tonight as we race to get through this stuff by Wed!

Also, this is the first week that I may spend my entire $80 budget on produce. Love summer!

Oh, and here's what I ask of you, people: What local groceries do I not know about in Chicago and the suburbs? Want to send me a guest post about your local favorite? Just email a photo and a description of what's so great (and ideally, a good value) about it to

 * It's an adorable Lincoln Park boutique with women and kids' clothing and they make custom Tshirts. By the way of disclosure, Pebbles brought a Tshirt and for free they put on her name and a peace sign. I had a mimosa. Also, Pebbles drank two juice boxes and a little bottle of water, and then almost wet her car seat on the way home and we had to pull over so she could go on the grass. Wait, have I disclosed too much?

Sunday Ads: Cheap Organic Strawberries, Free Razor, Moneymaking Body Wash

Hey, wow -- Target is selling Kindle now. This is not a deal at $259 -- the same price as Amazon sells it for -- but I love my Kindle. And for those who've never had the chance to see and handle one, it's nice that you can now check one out at Tar-zhay. Just sayin'.

And here are the best deals I see advertised in the Sunday paper this week:

Target gift card deals: $30 if you buy an Xbox 350 system @ $199.99, $10 if you buy a Cisco wireless router @ $49.99, $20 for buying an iPod touch @ $195, $25 if you buy a Braun Series 5 shaver @ $149.99, $5 when you buy Pedigree 40 lb. dog food and one selected dog treat.

Target freebies: free dozen eggs if you buy two 59oz+ Tropicana OJs, free 16 oz. Archer Farms salsa when you buy 2 Archer Farms chips, free 2L Coke when yo ubuy two 9-12" AF pizzas.

And a Target coupon for a $10 gift card when you sign up for auto refill and purchase a prescription. 

Redplum has a coupon for a free Visine after mail-in rebate (up to $7.99), BOGO soft scrub product, $5/2 Diageo liquors, $1/2 Pop-Tarts (use at Jewel this week)

SmartSource has a free Marcal toilet paper OR paper towel OR facial tissue. Also Neutrogena coupons that could be good for the ongoing Walgreens (buy 3 select prodcuts, get $10 Register Rewards). In fact, one is for $1/1 facial cleanser -- it doesn't show a picture of the $2.99 facial bars (or since Neutrogena is 25% off this week, these should be $2.25) but I will sure try to see if it works on them. $1/1 Tom's of Maine toothpaste, mouthwash or deodorant, which I have not seen coupons for before. $1/1 Energizer.

Dominick's has organic strawberries or raspberries for $3 -- I'm glad to hear that since not a single vendor I could find at the Oak Park farmer's market this week had strawberries that had not been sprayed. Also Lucerne whipped cream BOGO @ $4.99. (Mashup Mom, who always remembers about these things, says to load the strawberries $.50 e-coupon onto your Dom's card).

CVS will give you a Schick Hydro razor and a free Gillette (with $5 coupon from 6/13 SmartSource) or Old Spice body wash (no coupon needed) this week. For the rest of the CVS deals, see Mommy Snacks. Oh, and if you buy a $50 gift card to Sears, Sony Style or Golfsmith, get $10 Extra Bucks. But I hear you can't use a gift card for the $50 Sears rebate.

Walgreens also has a free Schick Hydro with that 6/13 coupon, or with the $4/1 coupon in this week's SmartSource, since the cost after Register Rewards is $3.99. Bags of Hershey candy are $1.25 after RR if you buy 4, honey is $3.99 for a 32 oz. bottle with in-ad coupon. For all the Wag's deals including moneymaking Nivea body wash, see Mommy Snacks.

Old Navy has a $10/$50 coupon.

Macy's has a coupon for an extra 20% off select sale and clearance apparel or 10-15% off other stuff.

Sports Authority hs a coupon for a $100 cash card when you spend $300.

Parade has coupons for Pravacid (up to $7), $10/1 Oral B electric toothbrush 

Dominick's Deal Highlights for the Week of June 10

Here are the best Dominick's deals starting today.

tomatoes on the vine $1.99

large raw shrimp $4.99

fresh Perdue whole chicken 79 cents/lb.

Brownberry bread 24 oz. $1.99

O Organics 1/2 gallon milk $3.39 (use the $1/1 coupon found near the pharmacy to get it for $2.29)

12-pack Coke $2.79

Ice Mountain 1 L sparkling water 49 cents

Buy one, get one free: Rancher's Reserve top round London Broil. Farmland bacon @ $5.49, Perdue ground turkey @ $3.99

Super Coupons: 18-ct. Lucerne eggs $1.49, Safeway SELECT frozen pizza $2.99, Palmolive 20 oz. detergent $1.99 (stack with $.70/1 from the 4/25 SmartSource)

Buy 8, save $4: (prices reflect the discount) Reddi Wip $1.99, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese 49 cents (use buy 3, get 1 from the 12/13/09 SmartSource), Breyers Ice Cream $2.49, Vlasic Pickles $1.99, Mission Tortilla Chips $1.49, Cheerios $1.49 (use $1/2 printable coupon, plus load a $.55/1 to your card on ShortCuts, Capri Sun 10-ct. $1.49 (use $1/1 Sunrise if that variety is included from 4/25 SmartSource).

Coupon matchups from Money Saving Mom's database.

Dominick's Deal Highlights for the Week of June 3

Here are the best deals I see at Dominick's this week. Pretty ho-hum.

Regular Sales

broccoli crowns or cauliflower 99 cents/lb.

large hot house tomatoes $1.77/lb.

10 lb. bag russett potatoes $2.99

Lucerne milk $1.99 when you buy 2

Buy 8, save $4 Mix and Match (the prices listed are if you buy four included items):

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese 49 cents/box

Tropicana Pure Premium 89 oz. $2.99 (use $1/2, expired, from the 2/21 RedPlum)

Tostitos tortilla chips $1.77

2L Pepsi or Mtn Dew 83 cents

Cheerios (8.9 oz.) or Frosted Flakes $1.49 (use $1/2 Cheerios printable coupon from, plus load a $.55/1 from ShortCuts to your Fresh Values card)

Mott's Apple Sauce 6-pack or Juice $1.49 

Super Coupons

Safeway SELECT Fruit Bars 6-ct. $1.49, Dole Juice Blends 64 oz. $1.88

Coupon matchup from Money Saving Mom's database.

Our $80 Shopping Budget: 9 Weeks' Worth of Diapers + Food

I'm sure you were all really bummed that I didn't post our spending last week. But, moving on, here's our over-budget spending for this week. We spent $129! Course, that includes nine weeks' worth of disposable diapers, but still, it's a lot. Especially since now that the week is over I feel like I need to shop again soon. First I'll break down our spending; then I'll dither on whether we really need to adjust our weekly budget.


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Jewel-Osco Deal Highlights Week of May 27

Memorial Day cookout deals, here we go!

(If you are heading in today, don't forget that Catalina-sweetening ConAgra coupon from the Ultra flyer. And note that some prices listed here will already be good; last night the River Forest store already had the Mountain High yogurt down to $2.29 and the Breakstone sour cream at 99 cents.)

Catalina deal: Spend $25 on participating Kraft products, get a $5 coupon for your next order. 5/27-6/2. Jell-o, Capri Sun, the bogo Oscar Mayer weiners, Kraft salad dressing. I don't see any appealing deals, you? 

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Dominick's Deal Highlights Week of May 27



Memorial Day weekend, people! Do you get Memorial Day and Labor Day confused? I always thought it would make more sense to have Memorial Day at the end of summer, because we could pause to remember what a great summer it had been before heading into Misery, I mean Winter, once more.

But whatever you call Memorial Day and Labor Day, they both mean one thing at the grocery store: Deals on hot dogs, beer, grilling meats and chips. It's usually a good week to put some encased meats in the freezer for spur-of-the-moment grill-outs all season long. This Memorial Day week is no exception at Dominick's, where I see bratwurst, hot dogs, chips, fried chicken, watermelons and beer on sale.


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Dominick's Grocery Deals and Coupon Matchups Week of May 20

Don't forget: If you go to Dominick's this week, look for that clearanced organic pasta I found and the $1/1 O Organics coupons that can make it free.

Not even Labor Day Weekend until next week, but already hot dogs are going on sale left, right and center. Dominick's has Nathan's Famous Beef Franks (12-16 oz.) buy one, get one free @ $5.99, and Johnsonville Smoked Sausage 13.5-16 oz. for $2.99. I've tried those Johnsonville things, and they do not compare to a nice juicy brat. Just a little culinary tip there.


Seafood and wine sale; the only thing I see that looks affordable are previously frozen cod fillets for $3.99 a pound. Course, my wine threshhold is generally $4 a bottle so that's why I'm not considering any of the wines listed affordable -- they run $6.99 for Beringer through $16.99 for Simi.


  • Buy 4 12-packs Coke @ $2.79, get two free boxes Nabisco crackers (shows Triscuit and Wheat Thins). Use expired $2/2 Diet Coke coupons from past booklets that were all about heart disease or diabetes -- I still have those both. Also use $1/2 Nabisco crackers from the 5/16 SmartSource.
  • Buy one, get one free Deli signature sandwiches, through 6/5. Limit one free per card per week.
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Jewel-Osco Best Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of May 20


  • Spend $50 or more, get a coupon for 10% off your next trip. (5/20-5/26 only)
  • 4/$9 when you buy 4: Pepsi, Coke or 7-Up 12-pack cans, 6-pack 24 oz. bottles or 8-pack 12 oz. bottles
  • $1.99 each when you buy multiples of 4: selected Kellogg's cereals or 12-ct Pop-Tarts
  • The ConAgra Catalina has already started but won't be advertised until Sunday; more on that coming soon.


The back page has coupons including $2/2 Ore-Ida frozen potato products (20-32 oz.), $1/2 Edy's ice cream 1.5 qt., $1/2 Haagen Dazs bars or other Nestle novelites (there's a list), $1/1 Lawry's Marinade, $1/1 Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing 16 oz., $1/1 Heinz ketchup 40 oz. There's also a coupon for $1/1 any Frito-Lay variety pack and $1/1 Kingsford charcoal on the inside pages.

Because these are manufacturer's coupons, you should be able to use them at any store even though they have a Jewel-Osco logo on them. However, they expire in just one week. I like to save the good ones and use them at Dominick's, which takes expired coupons. For example, this week Dominick's has Edy's ice cream on sale for $2.50 each with store coupon, so this coupon would bring them down to $2 each. 


There's this one fascinating store coupon: Save $3 off a Jewel Italian Sausage or Bratwurst Value Pack, on sale for $2.99 a pound. So if you found a one-pound package, the sausage should be free with coupon. But since it says "Value Pack," I guess they must package it around 3 lbs. or more. Oh well, it's worth a look anyway.


mangoes or avocados 68 cents


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Dominick's: Clearance Alert, Coupon Alert, Multiple Alert Alert!



I know you're on the edge of your seats waiting to find out about the sales that start tomorrow morning at Dominick's, but before I even begin to type them up, I have to tell you about my great visits to that very store today.

First order of business: O Organics whole wheat pasta for 69 cents. Both linguine and elbow macaroni, possibly other varieties too, are clearanced at 69 cents for a 16 oz. box. My "buy it" price for whole wheat pasta is usually $1.25 for 12 oz., although I did manage to get a bunch for a quarter a box like a year ago that we have been eating ever since.

But wait, it gets better:

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Good Time to Stock Up on Cereal at Jewel-Osco or Dominick's



Yesterday I reported that Post cereals are $1.49 at Jewel-Osco and that Kellogg's are $1-$2 at Dominick's. But what I forgot -- who can keep track of all these promotions? -- is that both brands have small Catalina deals going right now that will give you money back for buying them. Between coupons, the sale and the money-back coupons, you can get your price down to 25 cents a box or even free.

At Jewel-Osco, you'll get a $3 coupon for your next visit if you buy four boxes of Post. (You could get a $5 coupon if you buy five, but the $1.49 price is for multiples of four only.) Print two copies of the $1/2 Post cereals manufacturer's coupon at, and you can pay just under $6 for four boxes, take off $2 in coupons, and pay $4 to get $3 back. 25 cents a box.

You could also buy 8 boxes for $12, use four $1/2 coupons to get the price down to $8, and collect a $4 Catalina coupon, but that would bring the price up to 50 cents a box.

At Dominick's, you also have to buy four boxes to get the special sale price, but you have to buy five boxes to get a $4 Kellogg's Catalina coupon. The best you can do with current coupons is to buy 8 boxes of Corn Flakes for $8, and use four $1/2 from the 4/11 RedPlum or from, paying $4 and getting $4 back for free cereal. However, there are all kinds of expired Kellogg's coupons out there, which Dominick's should take.

Like, I have some expired $1/1 blinkies for Froot Loops. If I bought 8 boxes of those for $12 and took off eight $1/1 coupons, I'd be paying $4 and getting $4 back -- again, free cereal.

See what expireds you might have to sweeten this deal. There is also a $1.50/2 Kellogg's on, but the cereals it shows on the coupon are not shown in the ad. That doesn't mean they're not included in the deal at the store -- I don't know.

Thanks to Mashup Mom for posting about both these Catalina deals.

Photo by Malias, used via Creative Commons license.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups for the Week of May 12

Here are the best deals I see this week at Jewel-Osco. I probably won't shop there this week, but if I did the only things I'd get are the blackberries for $1.49 or the organic strawberries at $3.99/lb., and the cage-free eggs at $2.50.

CATALINA OFFER: Spend $20 on participating General Mills products, get $5 and 50 Bonus Box Tops (worth 10 cents each to your school, so this is like a $5 bonus for your school). Products include cereals @ $1.99, fruit snacks, canned vegetables, Progresso soup, but I don't see any truly exciting deals here. Any of you?


blackberries or blueberries 4.4-6 oz. $1.48 (limit 3)

Smirnoff Vodka, Captain Morgan or Parrot Bay Rum or Seagram's 7 Crown Whisky 750 ml $8.88 (Did we get a $5/2 in the 5/2 RedPlum, or was that just Wisconsin? If you have that coupon, this looks like a very good price.)


POST CEREAL $1.49 EACH WHEN YOU BUY 4 -- Fruity Pebbles, Just Bunches or Shredded Wheat.

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE: Jewel split chicken breasts, Jewel bone-in pork chops or roast, Dean's ice cream 1.5 qt., Jennie-O 93% lean ground turkey 16 oz., Louis Kemp Crab Delights 8 oz. @ $3.49, McCain frozen potatoes 16-26 oz.

organic berreis $3.99: 1 lb. strawberries, 4.4 oz. blueberries or 6 oz. raspberries or blackberries 

Egg Innovations cage free 1 dozen $2.50

Sabra hummus 10 oz. $2.99

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World database

Grocery Deals and Coupon Matchups at Dominick's for the Week of May 19

These are the highlights of the Dominick's sales this week:


Tyson boneless skinless chicken breast fillets 3 lb. frozen $6.99

Breyer's ice cream $2.50

Cheetos or Fritos 7.75 oz. to 9.5 oz. $1.29


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UPDATED WITH DOUBLE TIP: 3 Catalina Deals for Jewel-Osco This Week, Including Plenty of Ice Cream

UPDATE: Thanks to one of my awesome readers, info about a double-dip Catalina on the Nestle Lil Drums has been added below.

There are three new Catalina offers this week at Jewel-Osco: Unilever, a Dr Pepper/ConAgra/Hershey's (or maybe just a bunch of random products), and a Nestle Ice Cream Catalina! The Unilever deal also includes ice cream so it must be almost summer, no? This is good because all that ice cream we bought on Halloween is almost gone.

(If you don't know what Catalina deals are, read my Catalina primer that explains how to work these deals at Jewel to get the freebies and the extremely cheapies.)


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Jewel-Osco Non-Catalina Deals, Week of May 6

asparagus $1.99/lb.

Wild Harvest organic romaine hearts  12 oz. $2.99

Mountain High yogurt 32 oz. $2.29 (use $1/1 from 4/11 RedPlum)

Buy one, get one free: Farmland bacon, Fannie Mae chocolates

Yep, those are all the really good deals I see, aside from the Catalinas. I can't wait to get all those popsicles!

Top Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups for Week of May 6

OK, here's the best of the best at Dominick's this week:

Capri Sun for 49 cents a box: "Buy 5, Save $5" this week features various juices at $1.49, including Capri Sun. Use five of the $1/1 coupon from 4/25 to get them for 49 cents each.

Super Coupon Deals (require a $10 pre-card purchase):

Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh shaved lunchmeat, 7-9 oz. for 49 cents each: Use the super coupon on the back of the special Mother's Day ad to bring it down to $2.49 per pack, then use the printable from Facebook to get it for 49 cents. (They actually have regular OM ham on sale for $1.99 through the end of today, but since Dominick's can be such a pain about giving things for free, you might be better off with the low cost than trying to get a free one.) Limit is 5, so if you print two per computer you could get a few of these.

Del Monte Fruit Cups, as low as 75 cents: Super Coupon brings it down to $1.49. If this includes the no-sugar-added variety, use the $.75/1 from the 4/11 RedPlum to get these for an unheard-of 75 cents.

Lay's Kettle Chips $1.88 or as low as 2/$1.88: Did you print the Facebook buy one, get one free coupon when available? Now's the time to cash it in. 

Huggies or Pampers jumbo pack $4.99: Super Coupon brings it down to $7.99. If you have expired Huggies $3/1 printables (no longer available), you pay $4.99.

Other Good Prices

8 oz. mushrooms $1.50

Safeway fresh chicken leg quarters 59 cents/lb.

1 lb. strawberries $1.50

Honey Nut Cheerios 12.8 oz. 95 cents or as low as 73 cents: On sale for $1.49: Add $.55/1 ShortCuts coupon to your Fresh Values card. (You could probably use the $1/2 from the 5/2 SmartSource to bring it down to 45 cents each for two boxes; coupon says Cheerios but does not specify original only. Assuming you only have the one e-coupon loaded, it will take off a total of $1.55 from two boxes, making your total $1.45 for two or 73 cents a box.)

Cinammon Toast Crunch 12.25 oz. 95 cents: On sale for $1.49, use $.55/1 printable coupon or here

Sunday Newspaper Coupons and Deals May 2

This week multiple stores -- Kmart, Jewel-Osco, Toys R Us, Walgreens -- are offering P&G money-back offers. And, as luck would have it, there's a P&G coupon insert today. So, you know, put those things together and maybe they'll breed. But my favorite store of the week is CVS, Where I'm hoping to make a tidy profit this morning.

Bah! My Tribune has no SmartSource this morning. I went online and reported an incomplete paper. RedPlum has a coupon for $5/2 various boozes, buy 2, get 1 M&M bags (12.6 oz. or larger), and yes, those Nivea coupons for the big CVS deal (see below).

Kmart has a P&G deal: spend $35, get $10 off your next order. Sure, it's a slightly better payoff than the P&G Catalina at Jewel-Osco, but you have to go to Kmart. Next!

Target is surprisingly low on gift card deals. Market Pantry cheese is $1.89 for 8 oz., though.

CVS has that awesome Nivea deal. (That  link also has info about the free Depends and Reach floss.) If you get All You magazine, check out Mashup Mom's scenario instead of mine. That's actually what I'll be doing this morning. Also, Dawn dish soap is 97 cents, and there is a $.50/1 for a certain variety in today's P&G.

Walgreen's has a similar Nivea deal as CVS, with slightly different prices. Same price on the Dawn dish soap too. Also free Stouffer's meals with online coupon, and 3 hydrogen peroxide for $1. See Money Saving Mom for the full details.

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Terrible, Wonderful, Crazy Dominick's

Don't EVEN ask me why I have no photo of my groceries tongiht. You're lucky I made it home alive to tell the tale.

After the kids were in bed tonight I thought I'd slip out for a little shoppy shop. I gathered my coupons, looked around for my cell phone, didn't find it, thought, Oh, what the hell, and left.

First stop: Jewel-Osco, where I needed to hit the service desk to take off a few coupons I'd forgotten on my last trip and pick up an extra flyer for $2/2 CheezIt coupons. Also grabbed free 7Up with coupon, three bunches of cheap bananas and a pot of mums on clearance for $2.50. Spent a Catalina and about $5, went swimmingly.

Second Stop: Walgreens, where I spent the $3 RR I'd gotten yesterday plus a buck and change for the razor on a pack of Stayfree (99 cents after $2 coupon) and Plackers ($2). I also got three rolls of Scotch packing tape with the $1/1 coupons and a caramel as a filler. The cashier was a young dude who was having a serious conversation with a friend about needing to intercept the mail before his parents got to it and needing to hire an attorney. They conversation went on even as the cashier had trouble scanning my Scotch coupons and punched in the number. This was delightful to me not only because their conversation was intriguing -- was someone mailing him drugs, or what? -- but because far from scrutinizing me and my coupon use, the cashier seemed barely aware I was there. So I felt not at all self conscious about taking the $3 RRs from the Stayfree and immediately buying a 3-pack of Schick razors ($2.99 after $3/1 coupon) and another caramel. (Also paid 97 cents cash.) If I had not by then figured out what they were talking about -- drunk driving arrest -- I probably would have gone back for more transactions.

Instead, I took my $6 in RR (plus the $1 still unspent from yesterday -- not bad for my cash investment of about $4) over to Dominick's, where I started off at the service desk getting $4.49 taken off a past receipt because I had failed to use my free item raincheck. That should have gone smoothly because a great service desk guy was there, but instead it went slowly because he was trying to get one of the cashiers to do it since his drawer was apparently already closed out, and the cashier was not too into learning how to do the refund.

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Eat for Cheap Whether You're Highbrow, Midbrow or Lowbrow Today



Highbrow cheap eats: Today's Groupon is a $30 three course meal at Spring, named by Zagat as the top seafood restaurant in Chicago.

Midbrow cheap eats:

People rave about these Kitchens of India ready-made meals, on manager's special at Amazon for $1.47 each (when you buy a pack of 6 at $8.82). There are only two kinds left! Guess these won't last til I get my new infusion of Amazon gift cards Saturday from SwagBucks. (Oh, and order through Subscribe & Save to take off an additional 15%.)

Lowbrow free eats:

Don't forget those free CheezIts at Dominick's with the coupon from Jewel. Limit 3 -- I'm wondering if anyone would be well served if I make multiple trips and donate a full grocery bag of them to the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

Wash your Cheez-Its down with some highbrow coffee: Today's YouSwoop is a $40 credit at for $20. (Oh YES I am buying that one. Now.)

Photo by smartwentcrazy, used via Creative Commons license.

Grocery Deal Updates

In addition to the weekly deals I listed for Jewel-Osco and Dominick's, some late-breaking news:

1. CheezIts are actually free at Dominick's through Saturday. I pointed out earlier that they are 99 cents a box, and that Jewel-Osco has a coupon for $2/2 in this week's ad. Can anyone do that math better than I did when I said this would make them 50 cents? (Instead of being boring and blaming my 3 crazy kids for distracting me, I blame Canada.) 

2. Julie of Clever Couponing reports that that $1/1 7-Up printable coupon is still available (now gone -- but apparently this is a weekly thing? Try again later, I'd say!), so free 7-Up 2 Liters at either Dominick's (all week with Super Coupon) or Jewel (through Saturday). She also points out that Motrin PM is $2.99 at Jewel, so the $3/1 from the 4/18 RedPlum makes it free.

3. Mashup Mom points out that there could be crazy overage at Dominick's with overlapping Windex deals. I may try this! I'm feeling about that crazy this week! (UPDATE: IT WORKS!)

4. I just realized that the Letter Carrier food drive is next Saturday, May 8. That makes me wonder if I have time to go back to Jewel-Osco tonight for more free soup. (Answer: No, I don't! But I might, still.)

5. OK this ain't a deal but can I mention why I love Trader Joe's so?

Reason A: While shopping there today all I had to do was mention that I'd gotten some bad apples in my last purchase of organic pink ladies and the manager ran back and got me a free bag. No receipt, no return of the produce needed.

Reason B: Those cashiers are like free psychologists, I swear to God. Somehow today instead of a young hipster/unemployed actor I got a mom of grown kids -- just the person to confide in that Toth has been on a nursing strike for two days now. OK, maybe nobody needs to hear about my mammary problems, but Nice TJs Cashier sure acted interested and sympathetic.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups, Week of April 29

There is a P&G Catalina offer this week -- spend $20, get a $5 coupon -- but I'm not too excited about it because they all look like Osco items and those items typically are not very advantageous to buy in a Catalina deal. (Don't know what the heck I'm talking about? Read up on Catalina deals here.)

Better, there is the chance to double-dip on Kellogg's cereals Saturday only. The current offer is Buy 4 boxes Kellogg's cereals at $2.99, get $4 coupon at the register. (This is supposed to end 5/1, although it doesn't say so in the ad) See Mashup Mom's heads-up on the new Catalina offer that starts Saturday -- which will pay you a $3 Catalina coupon if you buy 4 products. So buy four boxes cereal at $12 and get $7 back, at a cost of $1.25 a box. Use coupons to bring that into a more desirable range.

Thurs-Sat only: bananas 38 cents, 7-Up, RC, Sunkist or Dr Pepper 2 Liter 77 cents (use that $1/1 7-Up coupon if you got it while available), Jose Cuervo tequila 1.75 L $26.99 (the $5/2 coupon will be back in this Sunday's insert 4/30. Is this a good price? Or maybe I should save the coupon for two smaller bottles, eh?)

All Week:

Brownberry bread buy one, get one free at $3.89

Mission Tortilla Chips 14 oz. $1.79 (use that $1.50/2 tearpad found at Dominick's)

Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce 10 oz. $2.99 (use the $2/1 printable coupon)

Tabasco Pepper Sauce 2 oz. 99 cents (use $.50/1 from the 4/25 SmartSource or $.50/1 printable coupon)

Manufacturer's coupons in the ad: $1.50 off when you buy one Nabisco cookies 4-26 oz. and one gallon milk; $2/2 Cheez-Its, $2 off 3 American Greetings cards

Store coupons in the ad: $5 off a decorated cake

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World.

Dominick's Sales Week of April 29: Kraft Dressing, Mission Tortillas

Good morning, here is my scaled-back review of the Wednesday grocery ads, with only my favorite, best-deal items highlighted.


Thurs -Sat only: Kraft salad dressing 99 cents (there are expired $1/1 in a couple different booklets if you saved them), 16 oz. strawberries or 6 oz. blackberreis $1.50. Tropicana OJ 89 ozl. $2.99 (use $1/2 from the 4/18 or 4/25 RedPlum or $1/2 printable coupon). Medium raw shrimp 2 lb.s for $6. Chicken of the Sea chunk light tuna 5 oz. 44 cents. Starbucks coffee $5.99 (use $1/1 from the 3/21 SmartSource, March and April All You, and there was a $1.50 in a past Dominick's booklet.) Cheez-Its are 99 cents (limit 4), and if you bring the $2/2 manufacturer's coupon from today's Jewel-Osco ad, you can get them for 50 cents a box.

Super Coupons (good all week, require $10 purchase): Mission tortillas 99 cents, limit 10 (use the $.75/1 from the 3/7 SmartSource OR I just found a tearpad at my Dom's for $.150/2 any Mission products; there are supposed to be $1/1 blinkies out there somewhere as well); Sargento shredded cheese $1.69 (use $.75/1 printable coupon); 7-Up or A&W 2 liter 69 cents (if you got that $1/1 printable that is no longer available, you should get it free. Make sure to hand over manufacturer's coupons before the store Super Coupon.)

All Week:

Barilla whole grain pasta 13.25 oz. $1, Lucerne 32 oz. selected cheese $4.99, Brownberry & Thomas' selected varieties mix and match buy one, get one free.

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World.

To ConAgra or Not to ConAgra: A Coupon Mom's Dilemma



This weekend I broke down and brought home two packs of Lunchables, free after coupon at Jewel-Osco. Unlike one of my favorite bloggers, I can no longer brag now that I have raised my kids without ever feeding them these nasty little trays of fat and sodium -- I had a good run at six years, but that Lunchables is in Nutmeg's lunch kit today. Much to her joy.

That little drama is an ongoing conflict for me. I love freebies but I also love to feed my family healthy food. The more I learn about the industrial food system and the health hazards posed by eating processed foods, the more I want to opt out and provide my kids with healthier and less guilt-laden foodstuffs bought directly from farms.

But I still love freebies, and I do allow that acquiring food for free is good for my family too. Every time I feed them something I didn't pay for, this leaves money in our grocery budget that actually makes the purchase of those pricier "good foods" possible.

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Deal Highlights for Jewel-Osco April 22-April 28

Remember when we had that little talk last week, about how I'm thinking about changing the weekly grocery deal postings? (If you were my husband, this is where you'd give me a blank stare because no matter how extensive our discussion had been, you won't remember a word of it.)

Today I'm going to try just giving you the highlights of Dominick's weekly ad. The stuff I think is worth buying. And I should share my criteria: I'm only going to post what I see as stock-up prices on food I think is worth buying. The unhealthier the food, the better the deal is going to have to be to get listed here.

Freebie: Free Lunchables Thurs-Saturday. They're on sale for 99 cents, and there's a coupon in the 3/21 SmartSource for $1 off. (That's a tough one. I love free, but ... Lunchables?)

ConAgra Catalina Deal 4/22-4/28: Spend $25, get a $10 coupon.

(If Catalina deals are new to you, see my Catalina primer on Wise Bread to find out how these deals are one of the best ways to get free groceries or groceries for pennies on the dollar.)

If you've read the primer, or if you're already a pro, you know that in a Jewel-Osco Catalina deal we are looking for items with the biggest spread, or difference between the card price and the regular price. And if there is a coupon for that item, even better.

Keeping in mind that you should verify the prices at the register because sometimes the regular prices listed in the ad are wrong, in this ad, the best spread/coupon combos I see are:

Alexia Waffle Fries or Onion Strips regular price $2.99, card price $1.49, use $.55/1 coupon from the 3/21 SmartSource

Orville Redenbacher's Microwave Popcorn $3.59/$1.79

Egg Beaters $3.99/$2.79, use $1/1 blinkie or from April All You

Hebrew National Beef Franks $3.49/$2.99 (there is supposed to be a $1/1 coupon in the 3/7 SmartSource but I don't see it)

Deal idea:

1) 9 Waffle Fries @ $26.91 regular price, $13.41 card price

use 9 $.55/1 coupons (there is time to order some from a service if you want to do this deal) to take off $4.95

Pay $8.46, get $10 back -- $1.54 profit!

There are lots of other great scenarios for this Catalina deal, I'm sure -- please leave any ideas you want to share in the comments.

Lawry's Catalina:

See Mashup Mom's explaination of how you can combine coupons and a Catalina deal to get free marinade.

Thurs-Sat Only

Francesco Rinaldi Pasta Sauce 99 cents

All Week

Um, yeah -- Chicago Now was down last night while I was typing this so apparently it didn't save. I will have to update later today with the rest of the deals.

Dominick's Deal Highlights April 22-April 28



Remember when we had that little talk last week, about how I'm thinking about changing the weekly grocery deal postings? (If you were my husband, this is where you'd give me a blank stare because no matter how extensive our discussion had been, you won't remember a word of it.)

Today I'm going to try just giving you the highlights of Dominick's weekly ad. The stuff I think is worth buying. And I should share my criteria: I'm only going to post what I see as stock-up prices on food I think is worth buying. The unhealthier the food, the better the deal is going to have to be to get listed here.

Thurs-Sat Only

Thomas' English Muffins $1.49 ($1/1 March All You magazine)

Butcher's Cut 73% or 80% lean frozen ground beef patties 40 oz. buy one, get one free @ $6.99

Pepsi or 7-Up 2-liter 69 cents

All Week

Buy 5, Save $5: Kraft cheese products are shown, but it says over 120 products included

Classico pasta sauce $1.49 (If you printed the buy one get one free coupon from get them for 75 cents each. The $1.50/1 coupon from is for the larger size, a reader reports. The coupons are no longer available for printing, alas.)

Safeway fresh whole fryer chicken 77 cents/lb.

Fresh Express Spinach, Shreds or Green and Crisp salads 99 cents (free if you have the expired coupon from the Jewel-Osco booklet with the strawberries on the front)

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World's database. Photo by Jill Clardy, used via Creative Commons license.

Sunday Ads and Coupons: CVS Freebies, Toys R Us Gift Card Offers

Last night I only managed to write about the Target deals before crashing, which turned out to be a good thing since the baby had me up from 3:30 to 4:30 in the morning. This week I'm kind of excited about CVS for the first time in a few weeks; at the end of the week I'll be over there looking for Easter stuff at 90% off as well.

Coupon Inserts: RedPlum has two coupons for $1/1 32-oz. Mountain High yogurt, which I love. Also $3.75 off Vaseline Sheer Infusion lotion. Buy one, get one Cover Girl face product, which often combines real nice with a CVS or Walgreens deal. SmartSource has $1/2 Scotch-Brite Greener Clean products, $.75/1 Tribe Hummus, buy one, get one free Ziploc, $2/1 Boudreaux's Butt Paste or other product

CVS Free After ExtraBucks: Dove shampoo or conditioner at $4.49, a moneymaker with the $1.50/1 in the 3/28 RedPlum. Free after ECBs and coupon: Dial bodywash @ $5.49 with the $1/1 printable coupon, Schick Hydro razor with the $3/1 from the 3/21 SmartSource. Free after coupon: CVS Earth Essentials single roll toilet paper is 50 cents, so if you printed any $1/1 CVS paper product from the machine in the past week, you can get two rolls free. Cheap after coupon: Fillippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil 17 oz. is just $2.99 after the $1/1 printable coupon, Simply Asia bowl or entree buy one, get one free @ $1.99, use two $.50/1 from the 2/7 RedPlum to get them for 50 cents each. For the full CVS deals, see Money Saving Mom.

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Dominick's Sales and Coupon Matchups Week of April 8: Good Super Coupons

Here are the best deals I see at Dominick's this week. I bolded the stuff I think is worth buying. I like some of the Super Coupons this week, especially the Ore-Ida potatoes if you still have that $1.50/1 printable (I do.).

Special Offers

There's a coupon on page 3 for a free reusable shopping bag with $40 purchase.

Bright Green (looks like a new store brand) cleaning products: Buy 2, get one free, mix and match, through 4/28.

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Tax Time Savings

The Frugalista filed her taxes already and even received my refund already! Neener neener!*

But if you haven't filed yet, you have 7 days left. And I wanted to mention the following tax time deals:

Tax Filing Deal 1: Prepare and file your taxes online for free. (Assuming you are filling out a basic 1040 and earned less than $57,000 adjusted gross income.)

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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups, Week of April 8

Special Deals

  • Fav 4 is back for meats and vegetables, but nothing too exciting there.
  • Refund Rewards, the 10% bonus on a $300 gift card, is going on through April 15. I got over my fear of losing it and bought one today.
  • Baby stuff deal: Spend $30, get a $10 coupon for baby products. Includes Gerber baby food, Similac, Huggies, Pampers, Johnson & Johnson.
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No Grocery Deals this Week on Frugalista

Sheesh, I just realized it's Wednesday. And maybe I haven't had a chance to fill you in thus far this week, but I am out of town for spring break. Picture me in Playa del Carmen, my belly button full of tequila as I lay on the bar and think about how awesome it is that the sunscreen I'm wearing was free after Extra Bucks at CVS.

Shah. I'm actually in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, struggling through the interruption in my baby's sleep pattern wrought by a weeklong visit to grandparents. But I did eat a piece of cheesecake with a glass of wine while listening to Toth cry himself to sleep, so that almost cancelled out the Baby Sleep Hell thing.

Where was I? Oh yes. I won't be summarizing the best deals at Jewel-Osco and Dominick's this week because I don't have a Chicago Tribune here in the Western Suburbs of Milwaukee. But check out the deals over at Mashupup Mom -- here's Dominick's and here's Jewel-Osco (ooh, free yogurt and cheap Coke). They're more organized than my version anyway.

I can provide this bit of intelligence, though: Although the Hershey's Robins Eggs (my favorite Easter candy) are still on sale for 99 cents this week, both the West Loop Dominick's and the Oak Park store are out of them and can't issue rain checks since it's a seasonal item. I had my husband stop in to try to buy 3 and use the coupon, but he was only able to snag one. Gee, I guess my kids get to eat a few less candies, boo friggin' hoo. (Can you tell I'm already tired of watching the grandparents spoil them?) on ABC News and the Difference Between Male and Female Couponers

Wow, I thought maybe the mainstream fascination with couponing was fading, but maybe not, because Nightline just featured, and it's the No. 2 search on Google right now! Way to go, We Use Coupons! I like that they use the phrase "extreme couponing" in the piece. The piece also features our local super coupon queen bee, Jill Cataldo.

They pitted Cataldo against a super-couponing dude to see who could get more groceries for $50. They show pretty advanced techniques, like using Catalina deals, getting overage and rain checks.


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Jewel-Osco Grocery Deals Week of March 25

CHEAP PASTA UPDATE: Ronzoni Smart Taste or Healthy Harvest (whole wheat) pasta 12-14.5 oz. is on sale for $1.29, and there are three different links for $.75/1 PRINTABLE COUPONS for the SmartTaste just posted at Money Saving Mom. Thanks, Crystal!

Jewel-Osco has so many different deals going on, it takes HOURS to go through them all!

First of all, the new Kraft/P&G Catalina deal started today: "Buy $20 worth, get a $5 coupon" for your next purchase of just about anything. (If you haven't done a Catalina deal before, read my overview on Wise Bread.)

Apparently there's a double-dip Catalina when you buy the Philly Cream Cheese. The Triscuits or Wheat Thins are a pretty good deal if you still have the $1/1 coupon from 1/24 SmartSource or if you print $1/1 from Facebook. Planters Peanuts are included ($2.50 card price, $3.95 listed as the before Preferred Card price in the ad), so if you have any of those $1.50/1 printables (no longer available) that could work. Oh, and Kraft cheese is included again, card price $2.49, pre-card price $4.29 (that's probably only for the shredded cheese, the brick cheese are less, I think), so if you have some of those $1/2 blinkies still, buy 5 bags of shredded cheese, ring it up at $12.50 and after two $1/2 coupons you're paying $10.50, getting $5 back. $5.50 for four bags of cheese, PLUS there is a new YourBucks offer for $1 Catalina coupon when you buy 2 packages of Kraft cheese. So really it's like $4.50 for four bags.

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Dominick's Sales for the Week of March 25

Thurs-Sat ony:

Safeway thick-sliced bacon 3 lbs. $4.99

Lucerne Eggs 99 cents

Pepperidge Farm Swirl Breads 50% off

raspberries or blackberries bogo @ $4.99

Starbucks coffee 12 oz. $5.99 (limit 8) (use $1/1 from the 3/21 SmartSource or if you still have any, $1.50/1 expireds from whatever Dominick's booklet had that)

Minute Maid or Florida's Natural OJ 64 oz. $1.99

All Week:

$1 each: Fresh Express Salad (free if you still have expired $1/1 from the Jewel Heart booklet); 1 lb. pears, 1 lb. zucchini, 1 lb. tangelos, Del Monte Fruit Naturals $1 ($1/3 printable)

Lucerne yogurt cups 40 cents

Pepsi or 7-Up 12-packs buy 2, get 3 free

Betty Crocker Cake or Brownie Mix 69 cents

Gold Medal flour 5 lb. $1.29 (use $.75/1 printables, no longer available)

Hershey's Robin Eggs 99 cents (use $2/3 Hershey's Easter Candy printable or from 3/14 SmartSource)

Super Coupons ($10 minimum purchase): Safeway Select Pizza $2.99

75 cents each when you buy 4 or more, mix and match: Rosarita Refried Beans, Manwich (use $1/2 from ConAgra booklet or $1/4 from 3/14 SmartSource); Chef Boyardee pastas (50 cents/2 printable or that same 3/14 SmartSource Q), Kraft BBQ sauce, Hunt's Pasta sauce (use $1/3 printable)

Buy one, get one free: Brownberry or Arnold breads @ $3.99, Hebrew National Beef Franks @ $5.49 (use $1/2 from 3/7 SmartSource); Oscar Mayer bologna @ $5.29; Farmland sliced bacon 16 oz. @ $4.99 (use $1/2 from the 3/7 SmartSource); Perdue Breaded Chicken Selections @ $9.99

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World database.


$80 Shopping Budget: Almost Made It

I spent just over my $80 budget this week. Shopping wasn't much on my mind for once, although I did get some good deals at Dominick's including free Post Selects cereals after coupons and Catalina.

I spent $40 at Trader Joe's on organic produce, eggs and wine.

I went to Dominick's twice. The first time I spent $20 on the cereal and some other stuff, and the second time I spent $14 on shrimp, whole wheat flour, milk, yogurt, bread and half-price organic sour cream, plus I got three bottles of Kraft salad dressing, a box of Stevia sweetener and three containers of kids' Colgate for free. 

I spent $8.43 at CVS doing the Stayfree deal and picking up a Sunday paper.

The kids have been just burning through the fruit, which is good, and since I just read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, we've pretty much gone through our vegetables too, so I'll have to hit Trader Joe's or my local Centrella store again real soon.

What We Ate on That

Breakfasts were fruit, cereal and/or toast, lunches were leftovers, sandwiches, salads, out once at Dunkin Donuts (wow those sandwiches are crappy) and Macaroni & Cheese once.

Tuesday: shared Popeyes with my parents

Wednesday: cabbage and ground beef and pasta casserole

Thursday: ham and bean soup out of freezer with homemade bread

Friday: pizza with salad

Saturday: honey mustard chicken in slow cooker with potatoes and carrots, salad

Sunday: Thai takeout with family

Monday: spaghetti and jar sauce with carrots and celery grated in, pear for dessert

Tuesday: roast with carrots, potatoes, celery and onions

I Actually Got Overage at Dominick's

Since I'd already seen my daughter perform in the ice show twice, tonight I dropped her off and headed down the block to Dominick's. Things went so well that I'm starting to realize that the evening hours are a good time to visit my local store. The people who work in the evenings seem a bit more relaxed -- except for the floral manager, who was totally ripping this customer a new one when I stopped to get Nutmeg some flowers.

Anyway, I got me some overage at Dominick's tonight, despite that store's propensity for turning down coupons if they make items free or even too cheap. 

I brought three $1.50/1 expired Kraft salad dressing manufacturer's coupons from a Jewel flyer a few weeks ago, and used them to get three bottles of dressing which were $1.29 through today. They beeped, but my cashier typed them in, for 63 cents overage on the three. I had to read a lot of labels to find three varieties without high fructose corn syrup.

I also got three tubes of Colgate for $1 each, and used three $1/1 store coupons from the booklet in the pharmacy. I handed over three $1/1 manufacturer's coupons, but the cashier only managed to put two of them through. Whatever, that's still $2 in overage.

That $2.63 overage paid for my copy of the Tribune so I could write up the Sunday ads, but guess what? When I got home I realized that the copy I grabbed didn't have the plastic ad insert in it. So annoying, especially since I KNOW I saw the plastic bags in the other papers on the stack. Guess I'll have to stop in tomorrow and swap it.


Sunday Ads: Free Sobe and $2 Monopoly at Target



There's an extra coupon insert today that could be really handy if you like to stock up on kids' gifts: HASBRO! $5/1 Monopoly, $4/1 Busy Ball Popper (we have that one, it's great), $4/1 Connect Four., and more.

But it gets better: Target has Monopoly and Connect 4 on sale for $7 each. I really hope I have time to get over there this week and restock my gift stockpile.

And as long as you're going to Target, here's how you can get free Sobe at there this week: Buy 10 bottles @ $10, get a $5 gift card, making them 50 cents a bottle. Target has a $.50/1 printable store coupon here, There's a buy one, get one manufacturer's coupon here. I also have some $.50/1 tearpad manufacturer's coupons from CVS. If you can print five of those bogos (hit the Back button to print two per computer), you'll pay $5 and get it back as a gift card, making the Sobes free. As many store coupons as you can print will just be overage.

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Dominick's Sales: Cheap Shrimp and Butter

Here are the best deals, sales and coupon matchups I see for Dominick's for the week of March 18. I like the shrimp at $3.99 a pound and butter at $1.99 a pound, both Super Coupons. I also want to gather my expired coupons for a possible sweet deal on MorningStar Farms fake meat with the frozen food deal.

Kohl's Rewards: Starts Thursday. Spend $50, get $10 Kohl's Rewards, spend $100, get $20, and so on.

THURS-SAT ONLY: Lucerne cheese 6-8 oz. $1.49, limit 2. Kraft salad dressing $1.29 14-16 oz., limit 3. Perdue ground turkey $1.99 16 oz., limit 4. Hass avocado 88 cents. Nabisco Nutter Butter or Oreos 9.6-18 oz. $1.99, limit 4. (use $1/2 from the Nabisco booklet)

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Jewel-Osco Grocery Deals: Good Deal on Ice Cream, Free Milk

Here are the best sales, special offers and coupon match-ups for Jewel-Osco the week of 3/18:

Gift Card Offer: Jewel-Osco today is advertising its usual tax-time program where you can get up to 10% back on your money if you buy a gift card. It's called Refund Rewards, i.e., you spend your tax refund on a grocery gift card. If you buy a $250 card, you get an extra $20 on it, and if you buy a $300 card, you get an extra $30. The limit is $1250 in cards per person, and it runs through April 15. Two years ago I bought two of these and -- aargh! -- lost one when my coupon file slipped out of my grocery cart. You can imagine the emotional anguish this caused to a frugalite with a family to feed. Jewel-Osco told me there was nothing they could do and the cards were just like cash. Oh, maybe I should have begged and pleaded with them more, but think about that before you buy one. Still, I might trust myself enough to try again this year. Will you buy one?

Coupons: Jewel also has more manufacturer's coupons in the flyer this week, including a $2/2 Pepsi 24-packs products that will bring the 2/$11 deal down to 2/$9. There are also store coupons for $1/1 Pampers Dry Max big pack or $.50/1 for a jumbo pack, which can be combined with manufacturer's coupons to bring the price down a bit. There's also another $1/1 Colgate Total in the Osco section of the ad.


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Saved 99 Percent at Dominick's Today



OK, I only got there by using $25 in Catalina coupons, which to me are more like cash than coupons, but still, today I saw something on my Dominick's receipt that I have always wanted to see:

Total Savings Value: 99%.

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Dominick's Sales: It's Corned Beef and Cabbage Time


Yes, yes, there is corned beef for $1.67 a pound or another kind for $2.49 a pound and another kind for $3.99 a pound. And there is green cabbage for 29 cents a pound and that's always a good healthy veggie to pick up cheap.

But that's not what I'm excited about at Dominick's this week. Here's what I am excited about:

Buy 5, Save $5 includes Fresh Express salads this week, at 99 cents when you buy 5. Why yes, I do have left over $1/1 Fresh Express coupons from the Jewel-Osco Value Your Heart booklet, and remember that Dominick's takes expired coupons. Five free salads, hooray! I hope this includes the spinach which I can cook up to make it keep longer. Also includes 10-oz. bags of Monterey Mushrooms, Marie's salad dressings and Eating Right salad blends, all at $1 each when you buy 5. (Now, if Dominick's lets me GET the five bags of salad for free, I'll be happy. I'll let you know if it works out.)

Also listed as "buy 5, save $5" are these cereals: Kellogg's Corn Flakes, Quaker Squares, Betty Crocker Fruit Gushers @ $1, Post Fruity Pebbles, GM Honey Nut Cheerios and Nature Valley bars @ $1.50, and Post Honey Bunches, Kellogg's Raisin Bran and GM Lucky Charms @ $2. All those prices are if you buy 5.

You should be able to do pretty well with that one if you combine printable coupons, Cellfire and Shortcuts. Coupons that immediately jump to mind are $1/2 GM from the 3/7 SmartSource, 50 cents/2 Gushers and 40 cents/1 Nature Valley on a number of sites like this one. Then there are CellFire coupons: $.55/1 Honey Nut Cheerios, $.50/2 Gushers, $.40/1 Nature Valley, and more of the same on ShortCuts plus $.55/1 Lucky Charms.

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Jewel-Osco Grocery Deals and Coupon Matchups Week of March 11

I imagine that all Jewel-Osco shoppers are ready to take a break after a week of hitting two Catalina deals and the YourBucks deals hard. Jewel is accommodating us by not offering many deals of interest this week.

 (FYI, the freebies on YourBucks have ended, as Mashup Mom pointed out; Catalina is actually saying that a few shoppers "abused" the program by buying things that were a good deal. Hm; I guess I was giving Catalina Marketing way too much credit before because I thought they appreciated the online aggressive bargain hunters who spread the word about their promotions free of charge, but apparently they see us and our readers as taking "questionable actions.")

Jewel's ad has manufacturer's coupons again for Kraft products, and as always these expire in one week. The prices aren't all that great when you combine these coupons with store prices, but you can always save the coupons for use at Dominick's, which takes expired coupons.

There is also a $3/1 Huggies Big Pack manufacturer's coupon in the Osco section of the ad.


Arctic Shores shrimp cooked or raw $5/lb.



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Dominick's Trip: Frozen Food Deal and Cheap Cheese Sticks



My 3-year-old, she only ever wants to eat "snacks."  We do make her sit down at the table for three meals a day, and we do insist that she try things before she leaves the table, but we can't force the dreaded non-snack foods down her throat.

What we can do is work with her definition of "snack" and make the healthy foods available that fit her definition. Things that come in individual packages generally fit her definition, hence, cheese sticks qualify. (Pebbles is no environmentalist.) So when I saw that Frigo Cheese Heads string cheese sticks were on sale at Dominick's this week I had to stop in. Sixteen-ounce packs are $2.99 if you buy two. I uesd one $1/1 printable -- I could have printed more but the Frigo site kept crashing my browser. But I have a little section in my coupon file for really good expired coupons to use at Dominick's, and I found one of those $1.50/2 lbs. cheese coupons. So I paid $3.50 for both packages -- $1.75 apiece.

That's 32 times I can say "Yes," when I hear that little voice ask, "Mommy, can I has a snack?"


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Dominick's Deals and Sales Week of March 4

Here are the best deals I see at Dominick's this week. I like cheese, so I'm impressed by the Frigo cheese sticks and Freschetta pizza deals. If you use printable coupons, you can get some cheese sticks (my 3-year-old has been asking for these about 20 times a day) for $1 per 8 oz., and pizzas for $2 each.


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Jewel-Osco Regular Plain Old Deals and Sales

For news on the three Catalina deals running this week, see my Catalina Madness post. This post is for your garden-variety sales and coupon matchups for Jewel-Osco this week.


bananas 38 cents/lb.

Bumble Bee tuna 5 oz. 50 cents

Lay's potato chips $1.88 (limit 4)


Wild Harvest organic russet potatoes 5 lb. bag $2.99

Cheerios or Trix small box $1.97

sliced white mushrooms 8 oz. $1.50

Phil's cage-free eggs dozen $2.50

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE: 4 lb. bag navel oranges $4.99; various meat with in-store coupon; Tribe Hummus (use two $.50/1 printables), Entenmann's Loaf Cake @ $4.29, Thomas' Original English Muffins @ $2.99, Edy's Ice Cream, Matt's Cookies @ $3.99; Hormel Natural Choice oven roasted or grilled chicken strips @ $4.49; Jennie-O lean ground turkey 16 oz. @ $7.99; butterball ground turkey sausage or burgers 16 oz. bogo @ $4.99

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World's database.

Sunday Newspaper Ads - Sudafed Moneymaker, Free Saw

This morning we loaded all the kids into shopping carts at Fry's and bought me an MSI Wind netbook. My husband's computer abruptly stopped working about 10 days ago, and then Friday my laptop finally succumbed to a longstanding charging difficulty, and we found ourselves without a computer in the house. That wouldn't do.

So what I'm saying is, please forgive any typos in this post as I get accustomed to this new, smaller keyboard. To make it extra challenging for myself, I'm typing in the dark while watching Saturday Night Live.

Hey, let's get crazy and start with Menards this week! Free saw after $10 mail-in rebate. That would really come in handy if you are a magician and need to saw a lady in half. Or preferably, if you need to present the illusion of sawing a lady in half. Because, why waste money on a really expensive saw when it's all a trick anyway, right?

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Dominick's Sales and Coupon Matchups - Week of Feb. 25

Hey, something new about the Dominick's flyer this week: They actually tell you how much you're saving with the sale price. Jewel usually gives the regular price and of course that helps me figure out whether to include it in the write-up, so I hope Dominick's stays with the new way.

And that's pretty much the most exciting thing in the Dominick's flyer this week, unfortunately. Here are a few of the better prices but there's nothing I'll be heading over for.


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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of Feb. 25, Free Salad

Let's keep this quick and dirty today: I've got a laptop struggling to stay powered up, a sick schoolkid at home, a cranky baby who won't stay asleep and when the toddler wakes up, she will probably be even more ornery than she was when she went down.

I guess kids don't like February either.

Anyway, Jewel-Osco has Fresh Express salad bags -- romaine, green & crisp or spinach -- on sale for 99 cents through Saturday, limit 2, which is AWESOME if you have the $1/1 coupon from that Value Your Heart booklet found at Jewel earlier this month. It's about to expire so go nuts if you got 'em.

Other than that, I don't see anything worth going to the store for, unless you're doing the General Mills Catalina deal. I may try to get out tonight and hope the salad is already on sale while I grab a few of the deals ending today.

 (UPDATE: I went, but neither the salad nor the Nut Clusters were ringing up at sale price yet. Drat. Got some Greek yogurt 6/$1 though Thanks to Mashup Mom for pointing out the ad and coupon for that in the 2/21 SmartSource.)

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Jewel-Osco General Mills Catalina: Cheap Granola Snacks and Dinner Kits

The "spend $20, get $7" Catalina deal is already active at Jewel-Osco, and today's sale ad holds the prices that will show us which products are going to be the closest to free.

(Free food? For real? Read my explanation of what Catalina deals are and how they can can get you free food.)

The most promising products I see arethe Nature Valley Nut Clusters (card price $2.50), Macaroni Grill meals ($3.49), Progresso soup ($1.50) and maybe Cheerios ($2.49). Why? Because these items have the largest price difference between the regular price and the sale, and because there are coupons out there for them.

(Seriously, if you haven't already heard about the "aggressive" way to rock these Catalina deals, you gotta read up at that link above. Then you'll know why the sale price/regular price spread is important.).

Deal Idea: Buy four Macaroni Grill meals for a pre-card price of $23.16. Scan your card and your price is $13.96. Use four $1/1 coupons from the 1/3 General Mills insert or from Now you're down to $10. After you pay, you get that $7 coupon so it's like you only spent $3 for four boxes, or 75 cents a box. Not bad; they're delicious although, you know, not what Michael Pollan would call "food."


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CVS Notes -- Free Oatmeal

  • I stopped into a CVS today that is not my regular store, and saw that the Mom's Best oatmeal is now marked down to 75 cents, which makes it free after this coupon.
  • The Rimmel products were not on clearance, but another brand of skin products were 50% off, though not marked. A staff member showed me when I asked about the Rimmel. It was called No. 7 or something like that.
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Other Chicago Grocery Deals This Week

Ultra has Fisher Peanut Butter (18 oz.) for 78 cents, which means it would be free after the $1/1 coupons in the 11/22, 12/6, 12/13, 1/10 and 2/7 SmartSource inserts. While you're there, 5-8 oz. packages of Kraft cheese are $1.67 (use $1/2 from the 1/24 SmartSource), 8 lbs. of potatoes are 88 cents, Fresh Express iceberg salad bags are $1.25 (use the $1/1 from the Dominick's booklet to get them for a quarter) and Starkist tuna (5 oz. can) is 49 cents.

Aldi has bananas for 39 cents a pound, grapes at 89 cents a pound, and a 4-lb. bag of navel oranges for $1.39. Last time I checked, butter was always around $1.29 there, if you need to stock up.

Fair Share Super Market and probably some other Centrella stores has Fresh Express Garden Salad for 99 cents which would be free if you have the $1/1 coupons from the Dominic's booklet; asparagus for $1.39 per pound, 16-oz. bags of Flav-R-Pac frozen vegetables for 69 cents (my other Centrella store has them at 79 cents) and 5 oz. cans of Bumblebee Chunk Light tuna for 49 cents. Angel Soft toilet paper is $5.99 for 24 regular rolls or 12 doubles, and if your store takes printable coupons (Fair Share in Oak Park doesn't) use the $1/1 printable here or here, or the $.50/1 in the 2/14 RedPlum.


Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of Feb. 18


Attention shoppers: The Fav 4 meat deal is back -- four packs of meat for $19.99. As always, check out Mashup Mom's explanation of how to get a better deal. Although I think some store staffs may be taking steps to close this loophole.

Also, Jewel wants to give you a free 2 Liter of Diet Dr Pepper on Saturday, Feb. 20. No purchase required. 

And, there's another $3/1 Huggies box manufacturer's coupon in the Osco section of the ad.

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Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of Feb. 18

Nothing huge at Dominick's this week, but enough halfway decent deals. Potatoes and pineapple are both cheap, in case you want to whip up your famous potato-pineapple hot dish.


Primo Taglio deli turkey meat $4.99/lb.

whole pineapple $1.99

Nature Valley granola bars $1.50 (limit 6; load a $.40/1 coupon onto your Dominick's card on Cellfire, load another $.40/1 on Shortcuts, and use $1/2 from the 2/7 SmartSource. Probably the e-coupons won't both come off for the same purchase but if you buy 2 you should get one of each? One e-coupon and one paper coupon, however, will come off if you buy just one box.)

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We're Bringing Home the Bacon!



I've been promising, at least on Twitter, to work up a post with my thoughts on seeing the documentary Food Inc. and how to reconcile bargain shopping with ethical shopping. I'm still thinking about that post -- partly because the question is so difficult and I can't claim to have all the answers to it -- but I do have a development to report. We're buying half a pig for our freezer, and yes, it's a pig I can feel good about!

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Sunday Ads: Yawn, Pass the Candy Hearts

Kind of a slow day in the Sunday ads on Valentine's Day, maybe so you can better concentrate on exchanging doily-and-paper hearts with your one true love. Or whatever.

There's only one lousy coupon insert this week: RedPlum. It has a few buy-one-get-one-free Renuzit coupons, $1/1 Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal and not much else exciting.

Target has a coupon for a $10 gift card with new or transferred prescription; I'm glad to see it because I have a couple of new scrips to bring to CVS. My CVS takes competitor RX coupons, and the RX coupons CVS puts out are generally for transferred prescriptions only, so I can use these to get a $10 CVS gift card on new scrips.

Target also has some free item offers: Buy Prevacid for $23.99 and get a free 160-count Up & Up antacid; Buy Tylenol Cold for $5.49 and get free cough drops; Buy Band-Aids at $2.59 and get free .5-oz Neosporin; Buy a 6-pack Clif or Luna bars and get a free single bar; Buy 200-ct. Origin fish oil soft gels for $8 and get a 100-ct. B12 tablets. Oh, also some $10 and $20 gift card offers when you buy Duracell batteries, USB thumb drives, Lexmark ink cartridges, Linksys Wireless-N router, Sony Handcam and a few other techy items.

Jewel-Osco has Kraft Mac & Cheese or Campbell's chicken noodle or tomato soup for 69 cents (use $1/4 printable for the soup), Chobani Greek Yogurt is $1 (in case you still have the $1/1 from the 12/13 SmartSource, if not there's a buy 2, get 1 printable), Frigo String or Snack Cheese is $2.49 for 10-12 oz. and there's a $1/1 printable).

CVS: Buy 3 12-packs Coke and get a 12-pack of diet for free. This works out to bge 4/$10 which is the best deal I've seen so far this year. DiGiorno pizzas are bogo and there is a $1/1 in the 1/24 SmartSource. You can get free Crest after coupons and Extra Bucks and a few other freebies -- check them all out at Money Saving Mom.

Walgreens, like Jewel, has Campbell's soup for 69 cents (you need the store coupon). Not much for free, but see the full deal list at Money Saving Mom.

Michael's has a coupon for 50% off one regular price item Sunday and Monday only, in addition to the normal 40% off one item. Also there's a coupon for Monday only that's for 20% off entire purchase including sale items.

Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups Week of 2/11

Epu won't have to avail himself of any of these Valentine's deals since he already sent a beautiful pink azalea for me to kill. He probably didn't even use a coupon code, but just to be romantic I'm gonna restrain myself from asking. 

But if you lack Epu's get-it-done-earliness, Dominick's is there for you. For Valentine's Day, there's a coupon for $3 off if you buy 3 Hallmark cards and an arrangement of a dozen or more roses. And a heart-shaped box of Fannie May chocolates is on sale for $17.99, doesn't say how much that weighs.

Also these Saturday-Monday only deals: 16 oz. strawberries bogo @ $4.99; Starbucks coffee 12 oz. $5.99 (use $1.50/1 from the Nabisco booklet previously found at Dominick's; expired); Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream 14 oz. to 16 oz. $2.50; filet mignon $8.99/lb., Pepperidge Farm cookies $1.88.

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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups: Week of Feb. 11

Not much exciting going on at Jewel this week in my view. I might be tempted by boxes of Kellogg's cereal at $1.88 since there are new $1/1 coupons for those on -- but only if the new granola is included, and that's a big if.

Thursday through Sunday Only (Smoochy stuff for your Valentine): Korbel Brut or Extra Dry champagne 750 ml $8.99, Fannie May Mint Meltaways bogo @ $19.99, and a bunch of flowers and stuff.

All Week

asparagus $1.99/lb.

kiwi 50 cents

cantaloupe $1.50

sliced white mushrooms 8 oz. $1.79

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Sunday Ad Flyers 2/7 - Cheap Triscuits, Cheap Camisoles

Today is not just the Superbowl, it's also the third anniversary of the day I had a six-hour labor and barely made it to the hospital in time to give birth to Pebbles. So here's a gratuitous picture of Pebbles making her red velvet birthday cake (you know the mix was bought on sale and with a coupon) and looking disturbingly like the clown in It:



I already posted about the one-day only deals at Dominick's, which are pretty sweet and soon to be tapped by me. Here's the rest of the action in this Superbowl Sunday's ad flyers:

Jewel is offering its annual freezer deal today 2/7 and tomorrow 2/8 only, where you buy a $149.99 freezer from them and they give you $150 worth of frozen food coupons. I thought about doing this last year but read some online reviews that the freezer failed for some people after a short time. However people on Couponers Wanted who have done the deal before seem quite excited about it, so I guess some folks are quite satisfied. Today's also the last day to get Pepsi 12-packs and some 6-packs of bottles 4/$9. But to my frustration I don't see Sierra Mist listed in the choices -- what the what, retailers? I am almost out of Sierra Mist and I'm gonna have to go out and pay money for it before my parents visit next, and that's just not cool.


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Jewel-Osco Sales and Deals, 2/4-2/10

Like Dominick's, Jewel has plenty of junk food and frozen party foods on sale for the Super Bowl. I will be stocking up on frozen pizzas this week for sure! They also have manufacturer's coupons on the back page again, including a $1.50 Kraft dressing (makes them 99 cents at Jewel) and a $2/3 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.

For details about the ConAgra Catalina deal advertised in today's flyer, see my separate post.


Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-Up, Dr Pepper Cherry or Sunkist 12 pack 12 oz., or Pepsi or Aquafina 6-pack 24 oz. or Mountain Dew 8-pack 12 oz. 4/$9 when you buy 4. Limit 8.

Jewel Choice beef: bone-in strip steak, porterhouse steak, Stockman & Dakota Premium Angus boneless; top sirloin steak $4.99/lb.

Lay's potato chips $1.88

Pom Wonderful Pistachios bogo @ $4.99, use two $1/1 from the 11/15 SmartSource to get them for $1.50 each.

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Sunday Ads: Free Dog Food or Cat Food! Free Toblerone, Free Toilet Paper


It's a pretty good week for freebies, mainly at PetSmart and Walgreen's. By using coupons and other offers this week, you can get a free bag of dog food or cat food, free men's body wash, a free box of chocolates, free lip balm, free eye drops, free Joint Juice and free toilet paper.

Wrapped around the front of the Tribune is a Dominick's ad with four freebie coupons: 1 free pound of 80% lean ground beef, 1 free Fresh Express salad, 1 free 14-16 oz. Kraft salad dressing and 1 free 12-16 oz. Prince Pasta. That's supposed to be a free pasta meal, and, no offense, Dominick's, but fatty ground beef over white flour spaghetti and an iceburg lettuce salad (that's the variety they show in the picture) with Ranch is, well, the less said the better here, I guess. I don't worry about offending Dominick's, which is a big grown up grocery chain and can take it, but want to offend any readers who might consider that meal the height of culinary fanciness. Anyhoo, the same coupons are also in the flyer inside the paper, and you have to spend $50 to use them and it's good Sunday through Wednesday.

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Dominick's Sales for Week of Jan. 28: Cheap Potatoes, Cheap A&H Detergent

THURS-SAT ONLY: Gatorade 32 oz. 88 cents (use $1/2 for $.50/1 from 1/10 RedPlum); 10-lb. bag Russet potatoes $1.99; Arm & Hammer laundry detergent 55-68.75 oz. $2.99 (use $1/2 printable - Thanks to Frugal Rhode Island Mama)

Super Coupon good Thurs-Sat only: Doritos 11-13 oz. 99 cents, limit 5.


3 Pepsi 12-packs or 6-packs of 24-oz. bottles and 1 bag Tostitos for $7.99. (add a dip and use the $1 off Tostitos and dip from the 1/17 SmartSource)

93% lean ground beef $1.99/lb.

boneless skinless chicken breast $1.97/lb.

large raw shrimp $3.99/lb.

asparagus $1.99/lb

O Organics salads $1.98

Post Honey Bunches of Oats 14.5 oz. or General Mills Lucky Charms 11.5 oz. $1.88, limit 6.  $1/1 Lucky Charms printable

Lucerne or Safeway Select ice cream 1.5-1.75-qt. $2.49

all wine 30% off (and get that additional 10% off if you buy 6)

Signature Cafe Pizza 16" $5 Fri-Sun. only, get it hot or cold.

Italian beef sandwich $3.99 with coupon

Super Coupons (require $10 purchase): 18-ct. Lucerne eggs $1.29, buncha drugstore stuff like Glade candles for $1.99.

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World's database.

Jewel-Osco Deals: Cheap Oatmeal and Bananas



This week Jewel-Osco has the thing again with the manufacturer's coupons: They're in the flyer, you can use them anywhere because they say "manufacturer's coupon" right on 'em, but unlike the coupons in the paper, they're only good for a week. All Unilever products: $1/2 Ragu, $1/2 Hellmann's, $1/2 Skippy, $1/2 Breyers Ice Cream, Bertolli Pasta Sauce, Wish-Bone Salad Dressings, Suave products, Lipton Tea -- everything is $1/2 except for the $1/1 Bertolli frozen meals.

Oh! But way more exciting to me is the manufacturer's coupon in the Beauty Care section: $1/1 any Neutrogena product. I can use this for the only hand lotion I can stand to use, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula, which is expensive but great. And this one is good through 3/31/10. I need to pick up like 10 flyers this week to clip these.

Fav 4 deal is back on meat: Four packs of meat for $19.99. See Mashup Mom's instructions for making this even cheaper by picking small packs of meat.

Buy 1, Get 3 deal: Buy one Orville Redenbacher 2-4-pack microwave popcorn @ $3.59, get another box free plus two 2 Liters of 7-Up or A&W. (or just buy Pop-Secret for $2)

Quaker Oats Shopportunity: the 42 oz. oats or the instant are $1.39 each if you buy 5. If you managed to print five $1/1 coupons (also here without having to do as much work), you'll get them for 39 cents each.

The deal also includes Quaker cereal and chewy granola bars. If you clipped the $3/5 from recent store flyers (I know my Centrella store had one, maybe Ultra too), you're paying 79 cents each. Or there was $1/2 the Chewy Granola Bars and $1/2 the Oatmeal to Go bars in the 1/24 RedPlum, or use the $1/2 printable.

Or Post cereals are $1.49 when you buy four; use $2/1 to get one of them free plus possible overage.

To go with all that cereal, pick up a pound of bananas for 39 cents. I always buy bananas when they go on sale under 40 cents, in fact last time I bought about four pounds and the kids devoured them all. Not a single one made it into the freezer for banana bread, which is a shame, because this recipe is amazingly delicious (and fattening).

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Sunday Flyers Coupons and Deals: Diapers and Kraft Products

In this week's coupons, RedPlum has a bunch of L'Oreal coupons, and the SmartSource has a $5 off Science Diet Nature's Best pet food, $1/1 Nabisco crackers, and a bunch of ConAgra coupons. Do I smell a ConAgra Catalina deal coming? There's also a $.55/1 Breakstone sour cream and $1/2 Kraft for using on the last day of the Kraft Catalina today (along with the printable cheese and sour cream).

Very little new in the Jewel flyer, except that Beech-Nut baby food jars are 39 cents for the 4 oz. or 59 cents for the 6 oz. Use the $1/6 from the 1/3 SmartSource.

Ultra Foods has Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for 38 cents and a gallon of milk for $1.88 (limit 2). Banquet dinners are 68 cents, and there's a $1/10 in the 1/10 SmartSource.

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JC Penney Free Shipping Code and More Coupons

JC Penney: Free shipping on orders $49 with code 10BEGINS, through Feb. 12. Can also use with phone orders at 800-222-6161.

100 free prints with purchase at Snapfish with coupon code MT572.

I Heart Wags has a link to a bunch of printable Walgreen's coupons. has the hot $1/2 Kraft cheese coupon again (print it while it lasts), and $.55/1 Breakstone sour cream.

The awesome $1/1 Wild Harvest coupon is back for Jewel's organic products (unfortunately this time it's a SmartSource link that can only be printed twice per computer, not unlimited like last time). (thanks Mashup Mom)

OK, and this is not a coupon, but a confession: I am addicted to trying to find coffee bargains. So I had to check out Amazon's coffee sale, even though I've got a few pounds of various crappy varieties tucked away in my freezer. At least I read the reviews and I think picked a good bag of organic whole beans for about $8.65 a pound. Although come to think of it, I forgot to save 15% by doing subscribe and save. But here's what I love about Amazon -- I'll just cancel and redo my order. Excuse me. 

(Whoops -- looked like someone snapped up my bag right after I returned it. Thanks, random buyer, for saving me from myself.)


The 10 Best Values at Trader Joe's (IMHO)

When I gave a bargain shopping workshop recently, one mom asked what store I would pick if I had no coupons and no time to prepare. My answer: I would go to Trader Joe's, where there are no weekly sales to study, but instead reliably low prices for the quality.

When Trader Joe's opened in Oak Park this year, it revolutionized my grocery list. Really! (TJ's doesn't know I'm writing this post and is not paying me to say so.)

My monthly Trader Joe's run is never the cheapest shopping trip I make -- I almost always spend my full $80 weekly grocery budget. But the value I get there in products that can't be found elsewhere or can't be found affordably makes it worth every penny.

The slideshow shows the 10 items I almost always buy at Trader Joe's.

(I've heard others feel the same about Caputo's. Do you have a store you feel this way about? Or if you're a TJ's shopper like me, what items do you always get there?)

Gallery sneak peek (11 images):

View the gallery...

Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups Week of 1/21: Fruit Snacks Moneymaker


Dominick's this week has a Buy 3 Save $3 deal that will result in free fruit snacks. Here's how:

Buy three Betty Crocker fruit snacks at $1 each after instant savings. Use the $.50/2 from the 1/3 General Mills insert and/or a $.50/2 and a $.40/1 from This brings your out-of-pocket price down to $2 or so. Then, according to Money Saving Mom, a $2.50 Catalina coupon will print out which you can spend just like cash on your next order. So it's a small moneymaker if you have the coupons!

The Buy 3, Save $3 deal also includes (prices reflect instant savings): Quaker cereals $1 (Buy six cereals for $6 and use one of those $3/5 Quaker coupons from various grocery flyers to get them for 50 cents each); Quaker Instant Oatmeal $1.50 (use $1/1 printable to get it for 50 cents); General Mills cereals $1.50 (use $1/1 printable to get them for 50 cents); Post Fruity Pebbles or Honey Bunches of Oats for $2 (use $1/2 from 1/17 SmartSource) or GM Wheaties (use $1/3 from the 12/13 or 1/3 GM inserts)

Thursday Through Saturday Only

Safeway Select or O Organics Pizzas $2.49, Breyer's Ice Cream or Klondike Bars $1.99, 2L 7-Up or A&W 77 cents; Waterfront Bistro raw shrimp $4.99/lb.; Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers 6.6.-8 oz. 88 cents (use those $.75/1 printables if you still have them to get them for 13 cents!)

All Week Regular Sales

5 lbs Russet Potatoes 99 cents

6 oz. blueberries 99 cents

gala or Fuji apples 99 cents/lb.

Fresh Express salads 99 cents

Honeysuckle or Jennie-O turkey breast 99 cens/lb.

pork sirloin chops 99 cents/lb.

Hershey's single bars are buy 3, get 3 free (if this includes Special Dark, use three buy one, get one free coupons from the 1/10 SmartSource to get six free)

Buy one, get one free: Brownberry or Arnold bread @ $3.99; Nature Made Vitamins or Schiff Move Free; Lay's potato chips @ $3.99

Photo by Oskay, used via Creative Commons license. Coupon matchups from the Hot Coupon World database.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchtups -- Week of Jan. 21


Lots of special deals at Jewel this week, the cheapest thing being Betty Crocker fruit snacks with a double-dip instant savings and Catalina deal -- through Sunday only. But hey, you can do a similar deal and get them free at Dominick's! So, um, I guess that makes going to Jewel kind of pointless this week.

Thursday through Saturday Only

Perdue fresh whole roasting chicken 88 cents

pork chops 99 cents

cantaloupe $1.28

Jewel butter 1 lb. $1.99

Home Run Inn 10" pizza $4.77

All Week Special Deals

Fav 4: Pick four participating fruit or vegetable items for $9.99 total -- no meat this time which means this is not such a great deal.

General Mills cereals $1.75 when you buy 4 (bring it down to 75 cents each with this $1/1 printable coupon). and Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks $1.25 when you buy 4. You can double dip the fruit snacks with the Catalina (money-back coupon) offer going on through Jan. 24. Buy 4 for $5 after instant savings, and get $2.50  back, making your final price 63 cents each. Use two $.50/2 from the 1/3 General Mills insert or from you're getting them all for $1.50 or 38 cents each.

Buy a 3-lb. or more roast (beef or pork) @ $2.99/lb., get a pound of carrots, 5 lbs potatoes and a pack of celery free.

Buy two 64 oz. bottles Ocean Spray Grapefruit Juice or Drink, get 5 lbs. fresh grapefruit free

Buy 4 Special K products and get one free instantly. Bars, cereals or crackers are all $2.49. Have all the coupons for this stuff expired?

Buy one, get one free: Lay's potato chips @ $3.99; Jennie-O turkey burgers 16 oz. @ $5.49; Perdue Short Cuts 9 oz. @ $6.29; Butterball ground turkey, sausage or burgers @ $4.99; Dean's Ice Cream 1.5 quart @ ?; Baldwin Ice Cream 1.5 quart @ $6.69; Pillar Rock red salmon @ $7.99; Thomas' bagels @ $4.89; Fuze 18.5 oz. @ $1.49; Equaline by Osco vitamins and supplements @ ?. 

All Week Regular Sales

navel oranges $3.48 for 8 lb. bag

Driscoll's blueberries, 1 pint $3.99 (use $.50/1 printable coupon)

green cabbage 49 cents/lb.

yellow onions 3 lb. bag $1.99

Healthy Choice frozen dinners $1.99

Campbell's Chunky Soup 99 cents

Kellogg's cereal 12-16 oz. $1.88

Malt-O-Meal bag cereal 17.5-22 oz. $1.49 (use $.75/1 Honey Graham Squares printable coupon or a $.75/1 off any Malt-O-Meal on

Wild Harvest organic coffee $5.49/10 oz.

There's a coupon for $3/1 L'Oreal lip color in the Osco section, which might come in handy with all the makeup on clearance at Walgreen's right now.

Photo by Oskay, used via Creative Commons license. Coupon matchups from the Hot Coupon World database.

$80 Budget -- Whoops, $118 -- Grocery Shopping


The photo is from just one of my many shops this week -- and I took the time to photograph this to show that yes, I do buy fresh produce although I'll admit that recent weeks have been pretty sparse. Being picky about both price and which things I want to have organic, I'm not attracted to much of the vegetables on display at Jewel or Dominick's, so I have to wait until I have a chance to visit Trader Joe's for organic and my local Centrella stores for cheap.

This week one of my fellow frugal bloggers pointed out just how sparse I've been on the fresh veggies, so I guess that motivated me to make the time this week! And I will say right here that although you will not often get vegetables -- especially not the organic produce I want -- for free or for as cheap as you will get packaged foods, you can keep a decent grocery budget and still get lots of produce. I really think that overpriced convenience foods eat up a lot of families' grocery budgets. When I get cereal for free and mac & cheese for 40 cents a box, I don't just live on that for a week -- it makes room in my budget for better veggies and meats.

Case in point: The stuff above cost $24.37 at Fair Share Foods -- not free, but not expensive neither. None is organic but none of it is the stuff that I stress about buying organic: 73 cents worth of cabbage, 99 cents worth of onions, $1.50 for 5.5 lbs. of bananas (we can always freeze what the kids don't devour), $3 worth of acorn squash, various broccoli crowns at 79 cents a pound, 2 lbs. brown rice for $1.89 and a few other things. Love that store.

Now that I'm done asserting that fruits and veggies dont' have to be a budget buster, I'll admit that I went over budget this week, spending about $118. But I hit a lot of stores, and I won't have to buy as much next week, so I'm fine with that. Also, I'll subtract the $7 I went under budget last week and call it a $111 week.

Spent $20.16 at Jewel -- I did one round of the GM Catalina deal (got a $5 Catalina coupon and a $1.50 one). I also did another deal where you buy five participating Kraft products and get a $5 Cat -- I bought 5 Breakstone cottage doubles for $1.24 each. And I got bogo blackberries and finally used those coupons for 50 cents off berries (they're no longer available). Some organic romaine, some bogo bread, some liver sausage, a few Christmas clearance items that the kids wanted, and some bubbly water which turned out to be sweetend with aspartame which I only realized after drinking some so I ended up offering the rest on Freecycle. My total would have been $30 had I not used a $10 Catalina coupon.

Spent $5.76 at Pan's Foods, a Centrella store that's local to me. I went in because they had the Oikos yogurt at $1, and I used four coupons to get four free cups. Damn, that stuff is good! It is so creamy that I was shocked to see it's fat free. What's the deal? Why is Greek yogurt so much more creamy and also so much more expensive? Anyway, while at Pan's I also snagged a 3-lb. bag of organic pears for $2.99, some sweet potatoes at 49 cents a pound and some soft, old oranges that were marked down to 45 a pound which we used for making juice. (The juice oranges were Nutmeg's idea; I'm telling you, there is not a more frugal 5-year-old around.)

Spent $20.26 at Dominick's, getting three 4-packs of Dole fruit cups for a total of $3.75 (store coupon brought them down to $1.50 each and I used one $.75/2), two gallons hormone-free Lucerne milk and three 12 oz. bags of Caribou coffee at $3 each ($4.99 minus three expired $2/1 coupons). I had loaded a $2 off Cellfire coupon onto my card but this didn't come off. I was only planning on getting one bag of the coffee to try it, but it smelled so good and they had whole bean, so I decided to grab three. Naturally, it didn't end up smelling as good as it tastes. I have got to stop trying to save big bucks on coffee and just get the Trader Joe's stuff that I like. Life's too short to drink bad coffee!

Spent $33.32 at Trader Joe's on organic carrots, celery, potatoes and peanut butter, a jar of pickles, a box of whole wheat couscous, jar of salsa, 16 oz. of TJs brand Greek yogurt (the verdict: better than regular yogurt, not as delicious as Oikos, and still costs more than regular TJs yogurt) and hummus. Plus the big-ticket item: a package of wild keta salmon fillets for $7.20. I try to feed the family tuna or salmon once a week (more often salmon due to mercury in tuna) so they can get those fatty acids.

Spent $12.66 out of pocket at Walgreen's on six 12-packs Diet Pepsi for when my parents visit, a bag of Stacey's Pita Chips to even out the $20 purchase needed to get a $10 Register Rewards back, and Neosporin Lip Health (which was actually a moneymaker but there was some cash outlay). I'll use my $10 RR next week to buy diapers in the "spend $25, get $5 RR offer."

Spent 75 cents at CVS on a gallon of milk. (Paid the remainder with Extra Bucks.)

What we ate this week:

WEDNESDAY can't remember

THURSDAY spaghetti with meatballs, salad (see below)

FRIDAY frozen pizza with salad (organic romaine, organic apples, walnuts from my aunt's orchard)

SATURDAY salmon with curry sauce and carrots over rice

SUNDAY split pea soup with carrots and potatoes from freezer, homemade whole wheat bread

MONDAY broccoli with cheese sauce over rice, bananas, brownies

TUESDAY Jane Brody's Colcannon (plus some Italian sausage I have on hand)

Other Chicago Grocery Deals This Week

This week since Jewel and Dominick's aren't that compelling, I'm planning to hit another local store. Here are the highlights I see in Chicago stores that are not Jewel or Dominick's. Feel free to chip in with the week's best deals from your neighborhood favorite.

Aldi: 99-cent pineapples, apples at $1.29/3 lb. bag, grapefruit 29 cents each, navel oranges $1.49/4 lb. bag, pears 99 cents for a 28-oz. package (57 cents/lb.).

Pan's, an Oak Park grocery with Centrella products, has Stonyfield Farm Oikos yogurt for $1, which would be free with the $1/1 coupon from the 1/3 SmartSource. (I'm going to try this today but this stores has been very coupon-unfriendly to me in the past so I woudln't be surprised if they refused me the free yogurt.)

Fair Share Super Market, the other Certisaver/Centrella place in town, is advertising Dole 64 oz. OJ for $1.89, cabbage for 29 cents a pound, bananas for 39 cents a pound, broccoli crowns for 79 cents a pound and Campbell's tomato or chicken noodle soup at 49 cents.

Food4Less, a Kroger store, has asparagus for $1.69/lb. Also they should have pouches of Starkist for around $1 which would make them free after this $1/1 coupon (I think that's the FireFox link).

For Ultra deals this week, see Mashup Mom's summary.

Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups -- Week of Jan. 14


I'm not too excited about Jewel this week -- except that the six-packs of soda and selzer are a pretty good deal and if you have the $.75/1 coupon, Mission corn tortillas are just a quarter. Maybe I could get a few of those and pop them in my freezer. (In case you can't tell, the photo is a snowman made of Mission tortillas. I think.

Thurs-Sat Only

Porterhouse steak or crab clusters $4.99/lb.

Kellogg's cereal, Cinnabon Bars, Fruit Snacks, Rice Krispies Treats or Pop-TArts $1.88 (cereal is around 12 oz.) (use $1/2 from j1/10 RedPlum, $1.50/2 printable from

7-Up, RC, Sunkist or Canfield's Selzer 6-packs of 0.5L bottles $1.88

All Week

Cuties Clementines 5 lb. box $4.99 (guess those newspaper coupons expired, bummer)

16 oz. Jewel frozen veg $1 (corn, green beans, peas, carrots or mixed)

Mission corn tortillas, 6 inch 30 ct. $1 (use $.75/1 from 1/10 SmartSource or $.55/1 printable)

Thomas' English Muffins 50% off

Buy one, get one free: 1 lb. scallops previously frozen  @ ?; 16 oz. Jennie-O ground turkey @ ?; Stockman & Dakota round or sirloin tip roast @ ? with in-store coupon; Farmland bacon 12-16 oz. @ $5.99 (use $1/2 from 1/3 SmartSource), fudge iced custard eclairs 3-ct. @ $3.49; Jewel English Muffins 6 ct. @ $2.59; Edy's ice cream @ ?; Palermo's pizza @ $7.59; Hostess Multipacks @ $3.99; Dutch Country bread @ $3.19; Nature's Bonty, Flex-a-Min or Knox vitamins and supplements @ varies

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World database. Photo by Loren Javier, used via Creative Commons license.

Dominick's Sales and Coupon Matchups for Week of Jan. 14


My favorite Dominick's deals this week are shrimp @ $4.99 a pound and the 3 lb. bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts at $1.49 a pound. And who can get enough of those clementines, eh? If you need cereal -- or to make treats with cereal and marshmallows -- you might be able to get Kellogg's for a quarter a box.

Oh, and before we start, I was at the Oak Park Dom's today and there was lots of nice Christmas chocolate on clearance: solid Fannie Mae stars for 89 cents and those Santa and reindeer Lindt sets for $1.50 or $2.


Hass avocados 88 cents

20 oz. Jennie-O ground turkey $2.50

Kellogg's Froot Loops 12.2 oz. or Rice Krispies 12 oz. $1.50, limit 4 (If you still have the $5/4 printables from the Target Web site, that would make these 25 cents a box. Otherwise, use the $1/2 or $1/3 from the 1/10 RedPlum)


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Our $80 Shopping Budget: Spent Most of It on Nothing Much

I've been thinking about it, and I decided it was silly to calculate my shopping for grocery stores and drugstores in different ways. So for now on, I'm reporting my weekly shopping in terms of what I spent out of pocket, period. I will not subtract the value of Catalina coupons from my costs, and when I spend Catalinas and other coupons, they will not show up as expenditures. At any rate, I'll make it clear here what's going on when I'm using coupons so I hope this will clarify things rather than obfuscate.

I'm sure you've just been on the edge of your seats about that so now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your weekly peek into my grocery cart.

This week I spent about $73 of my $80 grocery budget for what feels like very few groceries. For instance, I'm fresh out of vegetables right now, either fresh or frozen (although I do have some nice fruit). I stopped by a number of different stores:

 Whole Foods: $2.46 for a carton of hummus, minus a dime for bringing my own bag. (No, I didn't go into WF just for hummus, I went to see if Steaz were buy one, get one free, which they weren't.)

Dominick's: $26.64 for two bags of groceries -- I was really happy with this shop. A bag of Caribou Coffee (Got this for just $1 since there was apparently still a $2 coupon loaded on my card, plus I used a paper $2 coupon. Nice!) 10 boxes of Mac & Cheese @ 40 cents each, three bottles of Indian curry clearanced to $1.50 each, and the Hormel nitrate-free ham for $1.25 after coupon.

Jewel-Osco: I can't find my receipt but I think I spent about $23.50 on one round of the P&G Catalina (NyQuil/DayQuil + Puffs, small moneymaker after the $10 Catalina coupon) and a few groceries and clearance items (like coffee).

Target: About $7.50 on groceries including a pound of beef for 47 cents after coupon, a ham steak for 36 cents after coupon, a whole "natural" chicken which was delicious, and four boxes of Morningstar Farms fake meats for free.

Walgreens: $1.20 out of pocket on Electrasol, cookies and aluminum foil.

CVS: 83 cents (blew $6.50 worth of ExtraBucks on Christmas clearance stuff and $5 ECBs on Clorox wipes).

Woodmans: We stopped while in Kenosha in to buy a cheesecake sampler for a half-time dessert at my parents' house, for $10.

What we ate:

Breaskfasts were cold cereal or oatmeal and clementines or raisins. Lunches were leftovers or sandwiches unless noted. 

Wednesday: canned soup with homemade bread

Thursday: lunch = macaroni & cheese, dinner = homemade ham & bean soup with homemade bread

Friday: frozen pizza

Saturday: dinner = tacos made with 47-cents-after-coupon beef from Target

Sunday: Ate at my parents house while watching disastrous Packer playoff game.

Monday: roast chicken, potatoes and carrots

Tuesday: salsa/sour cream casserole w/ leftover chicken

Because there's only $7 left over this week, I'm not going to bother applying the savings to our bulk meat purchase, on which we still owe $220. I'll just keep it in the coffers in case I want to spend it this coming week.

Ads in the Sunday Paper: Lots of Target Grocery Deals

Target has some great grocery deals with coupon matchups this week.

Did you happen to find the $.50/1 tearpad coupons for SoBe Lifewater when they were available at CVS? If you have five of those coupons, you can get 10 bottles of SoBe at Target this week. The offer is "buy 10 at $1 each, get a $5 gift card." With 10 of those 50-cent coupons, which say CVS but are manufacturer's coupons, you'd pay $5 and get $5 back.

Lean Cuisine is $1.88. Print a $1/1 Target store coupon and get one for 88 cents. I think there was previously a $1/3 manufacturer's coupon on the Target site, so if you printed some of those, you can combine the store and manufacturer's coupons and really make out with 33-cent meals.

Kashi GoLean Crunch is $2.75, or $2 after the 75-cent Target coupon on the same site. Special K bars (6-count) or 8-oz. crackers are $2.39, and there is a $1/1 xx coupon on the site that's good for either one.

There's a $5 gift card offer if you buy 3 bags of Dunkin Donuts coffee for $6 each, and you can use three $1/1 coupons from the 12/13 RedPlum to bring the final price down to $10, or $3.34 a bag.

Target will also give you two bottles of Vaseline lotion (either 20.3-24.5 oz. bottles of MEN Body & Face or the 6.8 oz. Sheer Infusions) for $1.50 each. The offer is "buy 2 @ $5, get a $5 Target gift card," and you can use two $1/1 coupons from the 12/13 RedPlum (if you printed any $1.50/1 when they were available, so much the better).


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Dominick's Sales and Coupon Matchups Jan. 7


Guests what? There's a coupon for  $30 gift card in this week's Dominick's ad if you transfer a prescription by 1/26. Love those free groceries! As for the other Dominick's deals, Macaroni & Cheese is just 40 cents through Saturday, there are some pretty good Super Coupons this week and if you are on a New Year's fitness kick, you can get Lean Cuising frozen meals for 79 cents after coupon.

Oh, Mac & Cheese, the food I'd love to stop buying for my kids due to lack of healthiness, yet it's the only lunch my 2-year-old ever gets excited about and actually eats. Yes, one of these days I will have to try the Pioneer Woman's homemade macaroni & cheese recipe; all attempts to whip up delicious homemade mac have thus far failed.

But enough about my culinary problems, on with the deals!

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Jewel-Osco Sales and Coupon Match-Ups Jan. 7


Here are the best sales and coupon match-ups for Jewel-Osco for the week of Jan. 7. Lots of buy-one, get-one free deals (on which you can use two coupons to save even more), and a new General Mills Catalina deal which I posted about already.


10 lbs. Russet potatoes for $1.99, 3 lbs. frozen Country Pride boneless skinless chicken breasts $5.99, Ice Mountain water 24-pack $3.49 (use the coupon for a free pack when you buy 2 packs from


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Our $80 Spending for This Week: Moneymaking SoyJoy Bars, Free Electrasol, Free Cookies



I didn't write about grocery shopping over the holidays, and to tell you the truth I didn't do much. I'll jump right to the first shopping trip of the new year, and then sum up what I did with the last few after that.

This week, we came back from our Christmas visit to our parents' houses on Tuesday night, and although there wasn't much fresh in the house, I didn't grocery shop until today. It was so frigid out, and we were busy dealing with our end-of-the-year flexible spending account issues and searching for lost keys and whatnot, so I let it slide and we ate from the pantry and freezer. Epu stopped at Dominick's for me one day picked up a take-and-bake pizza and celery, onions and carrots so I could make our Christmas hambone into split pea soup. That was $15.

Tonight, tempted by Walgreen's and CVS deals, I finally broke down and ventured out into the cold night. I hit one Wag's, one CVS and Jewel, and got everything in the photo above for $74 out of pocket. I received a $10 Catalina at Jewel (the "spend $25, get $20" P&G Catalina deal -- I realized just before going to the store that we were almost out of Size 4 diapers), earned $7 Extra Bucks more than I used at CVS, and $15 in Register Rewards at Walgreens, for a whopping total of $32 back at all three stores.

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Sunday Ad Flyers 1/3: Free Electrasol, Free GE Energy Smart Bulbs

I summed up the five awesome coupon inserts in the 1/3 Sunday paper already, but let's look at the other sales and deals advertised in the papers this week:

CVS has one-packs of GE Energy Smart bulbs for 99 cents after Extra Bucks, which means they're free after the $1/1 coupon in the 1/3 SmartSource (there was also one in the 11/22 SmartSource, and there's a $1/1 printable too). Also at CVS: "spend $10, get $5 Extra Bucks" offer for Nivea products, which could probably result in free lotion or lip balm after coupons from this week's inserts.

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Jewel-Osco Sales and Coupon Matchups Week of Dec. 31

Very small ad insert at Jewel-Osco this week, but don't forget the $5/$50 that appeared in the Sunday paper, especially if you are stocking up for a New Year's Eve party. There are some very good deals on shrimp (I've been waiting for $4.99 a pound and may put some in  my freezer), chips and nuts.

Buy one, get one free: Wonderful Pistachios @ $4.99 (use two $1/1 from the 11/15 SmartSource to get them for $1.50 each); Nabisco crackers 7-10 oz. @ $4.19 (use two $1/1 from that one insert, I can't find the date, or $1/2 from the 12/13 SmartSource, or $1/2 printable, then if you buy 10 send in for a $10 rebate by Jan. 31); Vita Herring 12 oz. @ $4.99; Doritos 11.75-14.5 oz. @ $3.99; Langers cranberry cocktail 64 oz. @ ?.

imported sweet cherries $2.98/lb.

Arctic Shores cooked shrimp $9.98/2 lb. bag or $4.99/lb. at Pier 14 (is that their seafood counter?) (use $2/1 blinkie -- I am going to see if I can use it on 1 lb. from the counter)

12 oz. bag cashews $3.99

Jewel cheese 8 oz. $1.77

Jay's chips 11-11.5 oz. $2

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World database.

Dominick's Grocery Deals and Coupon Matchups: Week of Dec. 31

The sale flyers are thinner than that Chinese Oprah today. Guess they figure people are not really thinking about grocery sales during the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Dominick's has a buy one, get one free sale on meat, though, which would bring 93% lean ground beef or boneless, skinless chicken breasts down to $2 a pound. I don't see that $2 Rancher's Reserve beef coupon on the Dominick's printable coupon site anymore, but if you printed it before maybe you can use it to sweeten this deal.

What's with imported cherries suddenly being on sale? Sweet cherries are $2.99 a pound at Dominick's and $2.98 at Safeway. Are they from Chile or something?

"jumbo" cantaloupes are $1.49 each

Lean Cuisine entrees are $1.79 if you buy 5 or more. There was a $1/2 or $1/3 in the 9/13 RedPlum, and a $2/3 in the September All You.

Special deal: 3 Pepsi or Mountain Dew (or Sierra Mist?) 12-packs and two bags Tostitos for $9.99 total.

Super Coupons: Lucerne or Safeway Select ice cream 1.75 quart $1.99

Thurs-Fri only: champagne and liquor on sale including Veuve Cliquot for $37.98, apparently a $27 savings.

Thurs-Sunday only: 16" pizza, cheese or pepperoni, $5

Buy one, get one free: various meats, Perdue breaded chicken selections at ?, Trans Ocean Crab Classic @ $3.49

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World Database.

All These Groceries and Two Christmas Gifts for $40!


Quickly before I run to pick up my kid from stupid Wednesday eary dismissal, I got some AMAZING deals at Jewel today. You can too if you get over there today -- and if your store managers allow you to do it.

I got all the food pictured above -- over $100 worth before I scanned my card and rang up my coupons -- for $39.19 + $2.44 tax. And because $20 of this purchase was for Christmas gifts, I only used $20 of my weekly $80 shopping budget. Here's how:

1. I used the $9 ham coupon in the weekly ad from today's paper, AND the "buy a ham, get a free turkey breast" coupon found in store, which ends TODAY. The smallest ham I could find was $17.26, and the biggest turkey breast was $18.86. Using the two coupons, I paid $8.26 for BOTH.

(The cashier at self check first went to customer service, who said I couldn't use the two coupons together. Then a manager passed by and she got drawn into the conversation, and she asked, "Doesn't it scan?" Since it scanned, I got it. Yay!)

2. I used a $5/$50 coupon I got in the mail that was about to expire.

3. Did one round of the GM Catalina deal ending today. Got four boxes Green Giant vegetables, one box cereal, one pack Simply cookie dough and one bottle Sobe. Cost me $5.50 after coupons, got a $5 Catalina back, for a net cost of 50 cents.

4. The 16 oz. Pixies, which are for a birthday gift, were buy one, get one free at $19.99, which makes them a better deal than using the $10 gift card on the Web site. For gifts.

5. That just leaves some on-sale eggs, two jars of mustard from the clearance cart, the pistachios (which were $1.99 after coupon and sale), two cases of club soda and a Christmas tree doughnut I bought my 2-year-old as a reward for being cooperative. You can probably guess why the doughnut is not pictured.

And a (gasp!) full price 12-pack of Miller HIgh Life, which I bought to see if it might produce a rebate form from the Catalina printer. I had asked the staff for a rebate form and they couldn't find one, so they thought it might print at the register. It did not produce a rebate form, but the staff pointed out that the ad actually just says mail-in rebate with Budweiser, which I wasn't going to buy. Oh well, my dad, the Miller drinker, is arriving at my house tonight and that is some pretty cheap beer even not on sale.

Another thing I did not receive was the Redbox code that was supposed to print out, but I don't really care because I know you can get RedBox codes free online anyway. As if I have time to watch movies!

Dominick's Grocery Deals and Coupon Matchups Week of Dec. 17

This is apparently the last weekly ad before Christmas, because it says these prices are good through Dec. 25. Egads, is it really so close No wonder I can't stop cruising Amazon. Anyway, the best deal I see at Dom's this week is Coca-Cola products: 5 for $9.95! Personally, I stocked up at Walgreens last week, but if you didn't, now's your chance.

Don't forget that Dominick's is giving away a free item each day until Christmas, as long as you spend $20. The free item coupons are in Sunday's ad, today's ad, or online. Today's free item: Hillshire Farms L'il Smokies. Which you might be able to pair with this $.55/1 printable coupon to get overage.

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Jewel-Osco Grocery Deals for the Week of Dec. 17


The best deal at Jewel-Osco this week can be had today only -- ham, turkey breast AND beer for $8 or even less after coupons and rebate (see No. 1). Artctic Shores shrimp is a good deal at $3 a pound  if you have the $2/1 blinkie coupons. Other than that, I'm not terribly excited, and will probably make my only Jewel trip this week today to take advantage of this and other sales for the current week (like the Wonderful pistachios at $2.99 and of a couple more rounds of that General Mills Catalina deal.)

1. There's a coupon for $9 off a holiday ham on the front. Read Mashup Mom's explanation of how, today only, you can combine this with the "buy a ham, get a turkey breast" coupon and a beer rebate form found in store to get the turkey, ham and beer all for under $10. (Now, Jennie-O turkey breast will go on sale bogo tomorrow -- if your store has the bogo operating today, maybe you can get all this and two turkey breasts for the same price?)

2. 3-Day Sale through Saturday only:

asparagus $1.99/lb.

Tropicana OJ 64 oz. $2.50

Arctic Shores previously frozen shrimp or crab clusteres $4.99/lb. If you have any of those $2/1 blinkie coupons, now's the time!

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Our $80 Grocery Budget: 3 Weeks of Shopping Under Budget


I've been a little busy with the Christmas rush and haven't posted about the last couple weeks of grocery shopping on an $80 budget. But I haven't been hiding anything -- I've actually been doing very well and have been under budget three weeks in a row. Here's a three-week catch-up post. On the stuff above, I spent $38, and I'm not even showing the bags of groceries I got doing the General Mills Catalina deal at Jewel for the cost of $1.

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CVS Freebie Report


Today I took Nutmeg on a walk to CVS and Jewel to get her wiggles out, and because I had a beef stew simmering on the stove that lacked nearly-free frozen vegetables.

My CVS was well stocked with the three free-after-Extra-Bucks Christmas items, probably because only one of them was marked as a freebie. I was pretty happy with these items -- a lot of times the seasonal freebies are useless tchotchkes, but this is obviousy the most useful stuff possible if you celebrate Christmas. I especially liked the tissue paper and hope to get some more on my parents' card and my husband's tomorrow. I'm thinking that with some paper and gift bags I got on clearance after Christmas last year, plus this tissue paper, I won't have to buy an paper this holiday season.

Pretty basic transaction:

2 tissue paper $3.98

2 bows             5.98

2 rolls gift tags  3.98

Total: $13.34, minus $2/$10 CVS brand purchase = $11.34 + tax. Paid $10 in ECBs and the rest off a gift card from a prescription, received $13.34 ECBs. Moneymaker!

At Jewel, we did two quick transactions of the "spend $15, get $5" General Mills Catalina deal, with Nutmeg working the self-checkout like a pro.

(If you're wondering what a Catalina deal is, it's only the most awesome way to get free groceries in the world. Get up to speed on Catalina deals by reading this.

First 7 boxes Green Giant vegetables for $16.10 before card, $7 after scanning my card, minus $1.50 from three $.50/2 printables, and I paid $5.50 and got a $5 Catalina coupon back. I also bought a bag each of grapefruit and oranges, so I had no problem using my $5 Cat from a previous transaction to pay.

Then we worked the Progresso trick that I learned about from Mashup Mom, because Nutmeg wants to be a big shot and bring in 25 cans of soup for the school food drive tomorrow. Guess we'll be bringing the wagon.

Got 12 cans of Progresso soup for $1 each, which was $12 minus the two $2.49 "broth" credits, or $7.02. Minus $3.25 in coupons, so I paid $3.77 and got $5 back. Moneymaker! This time I bought two bags of split peas, on sale for 79 cents each, as a filler to boost my total above $5 to use the $5 coupon I'd earned a few minutes earlier.


Sunday Paper Ads and Coupons: Free Fannie May Chocolate


Today's Tribune has a one-page ad for Fannie May chocolates with two $10 off coupons: One for use in-store and one online coupon code, which is 10566. There is no minimum purchase, but it looks like neither coupon can be used on sale items. In-store at least you should be able to get just under half a pound of chocolate for free. On the Web site, though, the cheapest full-price items I see are over $20. Still, the coupon also takes off $7.25 to make shipping free, so if you have a gift recipient who appreciates fine chocolate this would make it a lot cheaper. (By the way, Dominick's has Pixies on sale this week for $14.99 for a 1-lb. box. The coupon and Web site would be a slightly better deal, because the total there would be $14.88 including tax. And no, you cannot use the $10 off coupon at Dominick's -- Fannie May retail locations only.)

Highlights of the other coupon inserts: RedPlum has $3 off coupons for several DVDs or BlueRays, including Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas, Coraline, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, as well as regular movies like Funny People, Inglorious Bastards and Public Enemies.

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Friday Night Shopping Binge: Free Soup, Walgreens Moneymakers

All week I've been writing up all the good grocery and drugstore deals out there, and not being able to get away from the house due to bad weather, other engagements and a late-working husband. So tonight while Epu put the kids to bed I gathered my coupons, and at 8:30 I zipped up my parka and ventured out into the night. I spent more money than I expected at Old Navy, made money at Walgreens, got free food drive soup at Jewel-Osco as well as cheap pop. All around, three successful missions!

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Dominick's Grocery Deals and Coupon Matchups Week of Dec. 10

For the first time in awhile, I want to go to Dominick's first this week, mainly for 99-cent cheese, which I didn't manage to stock up on last week. And bananas. Maybe Triscuits, too -- if I have time to deal with a whole rebate thing.

Buy 5, Save $5 on select Nabisco products, through 1/17/10

99 cents after savings: Cheese Nips or Mac & Cheese Crackers

$1.49 ": Wheat Thins, Triscuit, Premium Saltines or Ritz Toaster Chips

$1.99 ": Ritz, Honey Maid Grahams or Stone Wheat Thins

Use various coupons from the Nabisco booklet if you have it, plus the $1/1 from the 11/8 SmartSource. If you buy 10, apply for a $10 rebate with this form.

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Jewel-Osco Grocery Deals and Coupon Matchups for the Week of Dec. 10

Other than the new General Mills Catalina deal, there are a few other bargains to be had at Jewel this week, including possible free Coffee-Mate and pistachios for just $1.99 a bag with coupon.

THURS-SAT ONLY: Perdue whole roaster chicken 88 cents/lb, Jewel cheese $1.49/8 oz. (Dominick's has Lucerne at 99 cents), Jewel bacon or Bob Evans breakfast sausage $2.28 12-16 oz. ($.25/1 Bob Evans Qs in the 11/22 SmartSource or 12/6 RedPlum)

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Details on the new Jewel-Osco General Mills Catalina Deal: Potential Free Vegetables


Like I said last night, there is a new General Mills Catalina deal at Jewel-Osco that is already active, and there are more details in today's ad. It's mostly the same stuff we have seen in so many Catalinas before: Chex Mix, cereal, Pillsbury rolls (heehee), cake mixes, etc. But it does include flour and frozen vegetables and I rarely pass up a chance to get such staples for close to free.

The deal says you buy $15 ore more in participating products and get a $5 coupon good on your next order. As always at Jewel, this means your total must be $15 BEFORE you scan your Preferred Card. If you buy only $15 worth of stuff in pre-card prices, then pay the Preferred price minus coupons, you'll get some good deals. See my detailed Catalina explanation if this is your first time.

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Walgreens and Dominick's Facebook Offers: Free Clementines, Free Shipping


Both Walgreens and Safeway (Dominick's) have offers on their Facebook fan pages today, but I don't believe you need to become a fan to take advantage of them. Which will save you the emarrassment I experienced when I became a Safeway fan and one of my real friends commented, "Seriously??"

Well, OK, Dominick's and I have our differences when it comes to whether cashiers should act all weird every time a coupon leads to getting an item free, but actually I am kind of a fan. Especially since they gave us those sweet gift cards while back.

The offers:

Free shipping at today only with code WFAN.

Free box of Clementines with $25 purchase at Safeway, Dominick's or other stores in that chain. Click here to load the coupon onto your Club Card, then you can get a free 5-pound box of Cuties Clementines Tuesday, Dec. 8 only, with a separate $25 purchase. Kind of a lot of restrictions, but nice freebie ($4.99 value) if you were going to shop Dominick's this week.

Looking back at this week's Dominick's deals, I think I could spend $25 there by doing the "buy 5, save $5" deal several times and throwing in some bogo berries. And two gallons of milk, we always need milk. 


Deals From the Sunday Flyers for Dec. 6: Free Santa Hats!

Here are the most interesting coupons and deals advertised in tomorrow's Sunday paper. I don't have Target yet so I'll update with that tomorrow:

The RedPlum coupon insert has Target coupon including $2/1 Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive or $2/1 Pampers Cruisers Premium Absorbancy. These can be combined with the $2/1 from the 11/29 P&G Saver to get a total of $4 off a single pack of diapers.

SmartSource has good chocolate coupons for Christmas stockings, including $1/1 Hershey's Bliss and "buy 3, get 1 free" for Hershey's Kisses. (See below for Walgreens matching deal)

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Chicago Grocery Deals -- Not Jewel, Not Dominick's

Aldi is always a great bargain place to shop, especially if you don't want to bother with coupons, since they don't take them. But this week Aldi is advertising some price cuts that merit notice. I'll also mention a couple deals at other area groceries while we're at it.

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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of Dec. 3


Jewel has so many little special deals this week that you'll have to scroll waaay, way down for the regular sales. Nothing that exciting to me, although I know some of you get excited about the Fav 4, which is back. Do you think $5.49 is good for 17 oz. of EVOO? I'll have to check my Trader Joe's shelf price to compare this week. The Palermo's frozen pizza bogo is a good deal -- two pizzas for $2.80 each if you use two coupons. Oh, and you can probably get Banana Nut Cheerios for 50 cents a box. Read on for details.

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Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of Dec. 3


Pretty uneventful week at Dominick's: I'm interested in bogo berries if they're Driscoll's and I can use my coupon, and the Kraft "buy 5 save $5" deal is good with coupons if you need cheese. We always need cheese around here. Always.

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What I Fed My Family of Five for $80 This Week

I LOVED my Target trip this week. I spent $51.24 there on the above, and the BIG highlight was finding 1-lb. packages of Gold'n Plump boneless, skinless chicken breasts marked down to $2.75 AND with $1/1 coupons stuck to them if you buy the chicken and French's Fried Onions.
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Sunday Ads: All the Stores Are Warming Up With Price Cuts and Coupons


The retailers are already pulling out so many stops that I wonder what stops will still be in for Black Friday. OK, actually the Black Friday offers are no mystery at this point, and I'll post some links to all the previews tomorrow. But before then, we can already get games at half price at Target, all kinds of gift card offers and $/$$ coupons, rebates on Kitchen Aid mixers and more. Many of the deals are good through Wednesday only.Why am I just sitting down to post these at 9:30 Sunday night? Well, let's see -- my birthday party last night quite unexpectedly ran until 2 a.m. Then we had to get ourselves up in the morning and drive 90 minutes to get to Wisconsin in time for the Packer game kick-off. Kind of the fall/winter Sunday ritual around here. After putting 3 kids to bed and a little party clean-up, here I am.

Target: 50% off games including Twister, Operation, Sorry, Scrabble, and my favorite kids' present, Hungry Hippos. This makes them just $4.79 to $7.49! I once stocked up on Hungry Hippoes on Amazon when it got as low as $8, so I think this is a great price for stocking the gift closet and helping out Toys for Tots or your charity of choice. Also half price are a Fender acoustic guitar @ $74.99 and a Little People Fun Park set @ $19.99. Other good deals are Xmas PJs: infant and toddlers' for $5-$7, kids for $6-$10 and women's for $10. Some of them are more winter themes than Christmas, but this being Target, all of the designs are cute.

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Thanksgiving Week Deals at Jewel-Osco


Jewel-Osco has lots of the regular Thanksgiving goodies on sale this week, as well as some non-turkey-day-related groceries. Here are the best sales and deals, along with coupon match-ups.


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Dominick's: Best Deals and Coupon Matchups for the Thanksgiving Shopping Week


Tis the week before Thanksgiving, and that means ... deals on sweet potatoes, butter, regular potatoes, stuffing, French's Fried onions, potato chips -- and of course turkey. Later this week I'll discuss where to get the best deal on a turkey and how to take advantage of some of these sales for future meals after the big T-day.

But for now, let's just take a straight-up look at the Dominick's sale flyer for the week of Nov. 19. It's the best one we've seen in awhile.

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Sunday Ad Flyers 11/15: Free Shampoo and Cheap Chocolate Chips

Coupon inserts: There's one RedPlum, one SmartSource and a General Mills insert.

Parade has a bunch of coupons today: $1.50/1 Nancy's frozen appetizer or dessert, $2/1 Fragrance Collection by Glade product and $1/1 Nivea body wash. And apparently today's Tribune has a coupon for $10/1 turkey at Jewel with $20 purchase, on page. 17. Nice! Now that I have that deep freezer I'll be able to take advantage of Thanksgiving cheapness to put away a turkey or two for the rest of the year.


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Must Reads for the Coupon Crazy and the Cheap

1. I loved this post on Chicago Now blog Etiquette Bitch: "When to Skip the Coupon." Really, do you think there is EVER  time when it's not ok to use a coupon? Alright, maybe on that first date.

(By the way I met @etiquettebitch in person recently and she was hardly bitchy at all.)

2. If you haven't already, check out this Slate piece about trying out the hard-core couponing methods embraced here and on other Web sites. It's a fun walk-through for those who are also thinking about trying aggressive couponing tactics, and will give you a laugh if you're already a crazy coupon lady or dude. You'll even recognize the specific Catalina deals the author refers to.

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Target Deals: Cheap Cage-Free Eggs, Diapers, Sheets

Those of you who do not have children, take heed: Have your fun now. Because once you've got a few brats in the house, your idea of a fun night out may be reduced to an hour of pushing a cart with no kids in it around Super Target.

Yep, I went to Target alone, and I liked it. How could I not -- I found some deals that were not advertised in the weekly flyer and I scored diapers for as close to 10 cents apiece as I will probably ever get.

The deals:

1. Spareboe Farms cage-free eggs @ $1.68. I have NEVER bought cage-free eggs for under $2.49. Usually if eggs go on sale it's by a dime or two, but these were $1 off. I bought 3 dozen!



2. Free Archer Farms Artisan mini bread loaves. I used four prints of this coupon good for $1 off ANY AF bakery item to get four little loaves. Unfortunatley in the last hour of the night, my store had nothing out for $1 except these loaves. Oh well, these things are delish.

3. 64-oz. Ocean Spray juice $1 and $1.50 after thie $1/1 coupon on this page. Some people were finding peelies for $1/1 on them, which would have made them free. Alas, only one of mine had a peelie and that was for cranberries. Also, I just noticed that one of the flavors I chose was $2.50 before the coupon, not $1.98, so that one cost me a buck fitty.

4. Campbell's soup 59 cents (including cream of mushroom). Used a 40 cents/2 from a recent insert that I had in my file, so I got the Campbell's soup for 39 cents a can.

5. Wine Cube $15.99 -- that's $2 off, and it holds 3 liters.

6. The Huggies diaper deal I described already -- buy 2 boxes Huggies, get a $10 gift card. I sweetened it by using a $5/$25 baby items coupon that was to expire tomorrow. This coupon was the motivation for this whole trip. With my two $3/1 coupons and the $5/1 and the gift card, I ended up paying $39. There are over 190 diapers in the size 1-2 box, meaning I paid 10.3 cents per diaper. That's probably the cheapest I'll ever buy!

7. Flannel sheets for $14.99 (regular price $19.99). These were in last week's flyer -- turns out the sale lasts through 11/28. The ad said "all sizes" but they didn't have King, so I just got a Full set for Nutmeg's bed. They're cute, kiddie-type winter designs:



I also picked up a couple of cute pieces from the fall clothes on the clearance rack -- a skirt for $4.48 and a top for $3.74. There was a really cute black coat marked down from $40 to $20, but I knew it would just end up covered in spit-up so I passed. It's the three-tiered cotton jacket, apparently from juniors. So cute! I'm kind of kicking myself, looking at the picture online. They had several in medium and in large, maybe other sizes too. This is a the new Super Target on Mannheim in the Western Suburbs.

The other exciting thing about my trip? The cashier took my Walgreen's Register Rewards, including the expired one. Yay!

There were disappointments on this trip, too, though: I couldn't use the $1/1 Bumblebee printables (no longer available) to get free tuna because they were priced at something like $1.29. Same goes for my $1/1 Muir Glen coupons -- even the tomato paste is now $1.40 there. Bah.

And P.S.: I also stopped by the Ultra grocery store in Forest Park, on a reader tip. They have several shelves of clearance items there, with most things apparently marked half price. Nearly a whole shopping cart of Huggies Little Swimmers, and I think they were marked $3 something. There were one or two packs of Pull-Ups as well marked something like $4.50 I think. I got a pack of Crayola Washable Markers for $1.09, but that looked like the only one there. Oh, and a lot of Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta for 89 cents, which becomes 39 cents if you buy two and use the printable $1/2 from


Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of Nov. 12

Another slow week at Dominick's. The only thing that might tempt me would be buy one, get one Ritz crackers -- with coupons and the Jingle rebate you could get 10 boxes for 15 cents each. And the possible 99-cent Caribou Coffee.


Tostitos $1.69

gala apples 77 cents/lb.


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Jewel-Osco Deals Week of 11/12: Cheap Cheese, Emerald Nuts, Frozen Fish



Perdue whole roaster chicken 88 cents/lb.

Ragu pasta sauce 88 cents

Jewel cheese 8 oz. $1.28 (I got a mailer this week w/ a store coupon for 50 cents off Jewel cheese! Will try buying 4 bricks and combining this with $1.50/2 lbs. printable)

asparagus $1.88

Angel Soft bath tissue 12 pack or Sparkle paper towels 8-pack $4 when you buy 2.

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Two New Jewel Catalinas But They're Not As Exciting

Before I get to today's grocery sale flyers, a note: Today's the last day for the General Mlls "spend $30, get $15" Catalina deal at Jewel-Osco. And the two new Catalina deals going on aren't nearly as good, so you'd be better off getting in today while the gettin's good.

(Catalina deals explained.)

The new Jewel Catalna offers:

1. Duncan Hines: Already started, runs through 11/30. Spend $10, get a $2 coupon good on your next order. I found out about this on a little ad from the Catalina machine. Pictured products are Duncan Hines cake and brownie mixes and frosting, Vlasic pickles, Open Pit bbq sauce and Log Cabin and Mrs. Butterworth "maple" syrups.

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Reader Question: Grocery Savings Without Bulk Buying

Jill submitted a great question:

I enjoy your blog, but wonder if you have any tips you can share for
singles (or anyone who does not buy groceries for a large family.)
There are two of us in my household, and we don't eat a lot of
pre-packaged foods that seem to be the center of these Catalina deals;
not to mention it would take us months to go through 5 cartons of ice
cream. It doesn't seem worth it to buy things we aren't going to eat or
that we would be stuck with for a long period. Thanks in advance for
any advice.

So, you mean you don't want your car to look like this every time you come back from the store?


 (This is the back of my car after triple stacking the current Jewel-Osco Catalina offer; $90 in pre-card prices, paid $52 including tax after Preferred Card and coupons, received $45 in Catalina coupons for my next shopping trip --> $7 for 26 rolls paper towel, 12 cans soup, four boxes broth, and most of that was tax. And I had all 3 kids with me. Why yes, I DID need help getting out to my car, thankyouverymuch.)

 Jill, you bet I have advice for small households who don't want to buy in bulk, and who want to avoid processed foods:

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Jewel Catalina Successful Transaction: Made Money on Ice Cream, Progresso and Yoplait

Last night after dinner out with my husband (thank you,, I convinced him to take me to my favorite Jewel and sit in the car with the baby while I shopped. Oh, it was a night of romance, let me tell you. But I ended up making $6 buying stuff for the freezer, fridge and pantry, so that's always a good night in my book.

Here's my successful $60 transaction:

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Jewel-Osco Deals and Coupon Matchups 11/5-11/11 -- Free Tissues

The main event this week at Jewel is the General Mills Catalina deal, which I already posted about. I even got over there to run a $60 transaction last night and I'll let you know about that soon.

But there are some other good deals this week at Jewel too:

FREE after coupon: Scotties tissues on sale for $1, use $1/1 printable. You can print two of those per computer and also two 50 cents/1 to stock up for flu season.

DiGiorno Ultimate or California Pizza Kitchen $4.99 ($1.50/1 DiGiorno and $1/1 CPK on

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Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups 11/5 -- Free Breakfast


Dominick's will give you the fixings of a free breakfast this week if you spend $50 (card prices, after coupons) on Saturday or Sunday. There are four coupons for free items on the front of today's flyer: one for free orange juice, one for a free loaf of raisin bread, one for free bacon and one for free eggs. All store brands. I estimate these items would be worth around $10 total in your typical sale prices.

This would be a pretty good deal if it weren't for that pesky line about spending $50 AFTER manufacturer's coupons. Who wants to do that? Looking through the rest of the flyer, there isn't $50 worth of stuff on sale that I would normally buy. I can think of a few strategies, though, if you want to try for this free breakfast:

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Jewel General Mills Catalina Deal: New Sale Prices, Scenarios and Coupons

Thanks to the folks on Couponers Wanted, you can read the whole list of every single item included in the "buy $30, get $15 coupons" Catalina deal at Jewel-Osco right now. However, that list doesn't tell you the sale and Preferred Card prices for those items, which you need to put together transaction scenarios.

Lucky for you, I did a little research today. First, I got the Jewel Wednesday insert, which has a full page of new Preferred prices for this deal on the back (which are supposed to start tomorrow but my Jewel had a lot of these sales already running today). Then, I stopped into my local store to look for some of the pre-card prices.

Here are the ad items, with preferred prices, with pre-card price and coupon match if I have it. Note that some of the pre-card prices I saw on the tag myself, some are from the ad and some gathered elsewhere online; none are guaranteed so watch how they ring up.

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What We Spent Our $80 Grocery Budget on This Week: Organics at Trader Joe's

I went $15 over budget this week, but that's not too bad considering I hadn't spent any money at all the week before. I'll have no problem making it up in the current week since there is plenty of fresh food in the fridge.

After not grocery shopping at all last week, I needed fruit and vegetables, so I headed to my favorite local place for organic produce: Trader Joe's. Although there are plenty of goodies at TJ's I hold back on for both budgetary and diet reasons (my husband would become my slave if I came home with a cart of chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels, but I resisted), I don't exactly skimp there either because I don't have time to make a TJ's run more than about once a month.

I spent $80 there on my usual TJs staples, like organic peanut butter, organic potatoes, carrots and celery, organic fruit (apples and pears this time), hummus, whole-wheat cous cous, wild salmon (I usually buy the cheaper silverbrite and cook it in a curry dish to compensate for the blander taste) and wine. I also got two organic chickens at $2.79 a pound, some nitrate-free ham for Nutmeg's lunches, and one jar of simmer sauce for an easy dinner (probably with that silverbrite salmon).


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Details on the "Secret" General Mills Catalina at Jewel

You know how I made $5 on Halloween buying a dozen cartons of ice cream at Jewel? And then how I was bummed to realize I could have made $10 buying just 9 cartons?

Mashup Mom just pointed out that the good folks on the forum Couponers Wanted have ferreted out all the details on this "spend $30, get $15 in coupons" offer. In fact, they've posted a Google spreadsheet showing exactly what items are included. And they say that it triple stacks, meaning that you can buy $90 worth of stuff and get $45 worth of Catalina coupons. That is such a time saver!

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Sunday Ad Flyers 11/1: P&G Saver, Toys R Us Big Book, Target Gift Card Deals

Yesterday at my CVS they were piling all the Halloween stuff on a clearance cart to fill those aisles with Christmas kitsch. That's right, now that Halloween is behind us, it's on for holiday shopping. While I am irritated by early Christmas displays, I'm all for getting a jump on the holiday shopping. The earlier I start, the better deals I am able to find and the better stuff I am able to get for my loved ones. In fact I have already bought two gifts for my 5-year-old: a new comforter with shams from JC Penney (using that $10 voucher and $10 coupon combo) and three pairs of knee socks from Lands' End (using the $10 coupon).

So in the spirit of holiday shopping, here are the best deals from the Sunday ad flyers, Nov. 1.


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Ice Cream Moneymaker at Jewel

I just read on Mashup Mom that if you buy 6 cartons of Breyer's ice cream at Jewel right now, you'll get three $5 Catalinas. Because there's a "buy 1, get 2 free" sale going on, those 6 cartons will only cost you $12-$13. Moneymaker!

There's also a $.75/1 coupon in the 10/18 RedPlum.

But that buy 1, get 2 sale is only through tomorrow. How can I sneak away from Halloween festivities before Jewel closes? Maybe after the kids finally crash tomorrow night ...

Jewel-Osco Deals and Sales 10/29-11/4

No new Catalina deal this week, and I'm relieved because I'm busy and needed a break from scooping up all those freebies! Lots of buy one, get one free sales though, including one that could get you free candy (without ringing a single doorbell); I'll be stocking up on Reese's peanut butter cups (I have a few bogo coupons left after my Kmart Super Doubles adventure) coffee filters and Tony's frozen pizzas, all with two coupons for bogo.


Jewel apple juice $1.39

buy one, get 2 free Breyers 1.5-quart @ ? (price is usually $5.99 I think?) (use $1/2 from 10/18 SmartSource)

Shoppers Value toilet paper 12 double rolls $3.99 


Buy one, get one free: Hershey's Single Candy Bars including Reese's (use buy one, get one free Reese's coupons from ?); Dean's Ice Cream 1.5-qt @ ?; Keebler Town House crackers @ $4.89; Jewel beef bottom round roast or steak or Perdue boneless skinless chicken breasts, with in-store coupon @ ?; boneless pork choips or roast w/ in-store coupon; Jewel fresh Italian sausage w/ in-store coupon; Farmland bacon @ $5.99 (register here for coupons); Arctic Shores cooked or uncooked shrimp 2 lb. bag; TEnenmann's loaf cakes 12-14 oz.; Gonella French Rolls 20 oz. @ $3.89; Homelife plastic cutlery 24 ct. @ $1.29; homelife 9" coated paper plates 150 ct. @ $1.29; Equaline by Osco, Sundown and Osteo Bi-Flex Vitamins & Supplements @ ?; Dial Liquid Gold hand soap @ ?; Fresh Express Complete Salads @ $3.99 (use $.55/2 from 10/14 insert or $1/1 tearpad); Hormel oven roasted or grilled chicken strips 6 oz. @ $4.49; Farmland ham cubes, strips or steak 16 oz. @ $4.49; catfish nuggets @ ? w/ in-store coupon; Jose Ole Taquitos @ $6.99; Azteca Tortilla Chips @ $2.49; Louis Kemp Crab Delights 8 oz. @ ?; Floresta Frozen Pasta 11-13 oz. @ $2.99; Tony's Pizza @ $3.99 (use two $1/2 printables or $1/2 from 10/4 SmartSource); Foster Farms Corn Dogs or Mini Corn Dogs 29-43 oz. @ $8.49; Edwards Single Serve A La Mode Pies @ $4.29. 

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Dominick's Deals and Sales -- Week of Oct. 29

Seems like the Dominick's and Jewel flyers are going in separate directins lately: Dom's is one single piece of newsprint folded into 4 pages today, and Jewel feels like the Sears Christmas catalog. But each has some decent deals this week -- I like the DiGiorno pizza Super Coupon at Dominick's (but don't know if it's worth spending $20 to qualify for).


DiGiorno pizza $3.99, limit 1 (use $1.50/1 printable or $.50/1 from 9/27 SmartSource)

Safeway apple juice, 64 oz. 79 cents

Fritos or Cheetos, 7.75-11.125 oz. 88 cents

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Bargain Hunters Bonanza: Crackdown on Food Health Claims Means Lots of Clearanced Products


Remember how I was surprised to see YoPlus yogurt on clearance last week for $1.69? Today's Tribune offers a clue as to why -- they're probably getting rid of packages claiming the stuff improved digestive health, or immunity, or whatever they claimed. In fact, a lot of food companies have gotten busted recently for putting misleading or rule-breaking claims on their pacages, and the result for grocery bargain hunters should be lots of perfectly good food with bad labels marked down to clearance prices.

Dannon is, according to the Tribune story:

The Dannon Co. Inc. recently settled a class-action lawsuit alleging the company engaged in false advertising by touting the health benefits of yogurt products. Dannon, which denied wrongdoing, agreed to set up a $35 million fund for reimbursing consumers. Labels that once claimed "a positive effect on your digestive tract's immune system" instead are to say the yogurt will "interact" with that system.

So look for clearanced packs of Dannon's DanActive as well as the YoPlus, and I will let you know what I find out about applying for that refund.

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Grocery Spending 10/21-10/27: Came Out AHEAD By Shopping Moneymaking Catalina Deal

When I was done with the crazy Pillsbury/General Mills overlapping Catalina deals this week, I had a net profit of $6.50 (on top of a $3 profit last week). I didn't grocery shop at all on non-Catalina deals; I only bought a gallon of milk and two bottles of Izze soda (buy one, get one) at CVS for a grand total of $3.50.

That means ... I didn't spend my $80 grocery budget! Finally, a contribution toward the $400 we spent on half a side of beef. We now owe $320 to the beef fund.

Obviously, we mainly ate from the pantry and freezer this week since I didn't buy any fresh food:

WEDNESDAY: macaroni and cheese and carrot sticks (standard Dad's working late meal)

THURSDAY: Trader Joe's korma simmer sauce over rice w/ celery and potatoes, + carrot pancakes

FRIDAY: breakfast = bacon, eggs & whole wheat toast; lunch and dinner = out.

SATURDAY: breakfast = Grands cinnamon rolls, lunch and dinner out

SUNDAY: out of town, at at mom's

MONDAY: breakfast = cereal, lunch = canned soup, dinner = free KFC chicken plus purchased biscuits (I know, with all those Grands, I went and BOUGHT KFC biscuits. But I love those things and almost never go to KFC so I had to have them.)

Sunday Ads 10/25: Free Diaper Sample, Free Lip Balm, Free Soup

If this week's ad summary is a bit dry and to the point, blame my mom's slow computer that I'm typing on. Maybe I need to use that $70 off Dell coupon I got with the Kellogg's rebate for an upgrade for her.

At any rate, there are lots of good grocery deals this week with coupons, ExtraBucks and Register Rewards, not to mention that just about everyone has deep discounts now on Halloween costumes and candy. It pays to procrastinate! Behind the break you'll find out how to get free soup from CVS, free Dove soap from Walgreens, cheap DiGiorno pizzas from Walgreens or Target, Free LypSyl lip balm from anywhere, and a free diaper sample online. Free is good!

The coupon inserts: Redplum has coupons for $2/1 for the new Pampers Extra Protection diapers and $1/1 Pampers Sensitive wipes, but you have to buy both the diapers and wipes to use the $1/1. Also, they have an offer for a free sample of this new diaper from Walmart. Also a $30 off coupon for a Bayer Contour blood glucose meter which will get you some free ExtraBucks at CVS next time this meter is paying ECBs. (I have given these away on Freecycle and found quite happy recipients.)

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Dominick's Sales With Coupon Matchups - 10/22-10/29

I haven't been to Dominick's in awhile, but with the Kraft/Nabisco rebate and a hot sale on Triscuits, I'll definitely be stopping in. By the way, the 10 Nabisco items for that rebate don't all have to be purchased in the same transaction.


Nabisco Triscuit or Wheat Thins 5.5-10 oz. 99 cents, limit 4 (Great scenario for the Kraft/Nabisco rebate: buy 10 in three transactions, use five $1/2 coupons if you have access to three computers, and you've spent $5 and will get $10 back -- moneymaker!)

Chef Boyardee, Prince pasta, Knorr Sides 69 cents

Brownberry or Arnold bread $1.89

pumpkins buy one, get one free @ $6.99

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Jewel Deals and Coupon Match-Ups 10/22-10/26

First off, it turns out the expected ConAgra Catalina deal has been cancelled. Can you believe that? Do these guys think they can just stop paying us to buy groceries? This is being reported on the forum CouponersWanted. It's funny because the whole back page of today's flyer is obviously set up for a Catalina deal -- it's almost all ConAgra products in shaded boxes, except there is no actual Catalina offer telling you how much you are supposed to buy.


boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.88/lb.

tomatoes on the vine $1.29/lb.

Ritz crackers or Saltines 11-16 oz. $2 (buy 10, use five $1/2 printables if you have access to more than one computer, and get $10 back from the new Kraft rebate for a total cost of $5 or 50 cents a box)

12 packs RC cola, Hawaiian Punch, Dr Pepper or 7-Up 4/$8, must buy 4

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We've Got Grocery Deals Coming Out of Our Ears

There are so many grocery deals going on right now that it would be hard to pay full price for anything if you tried! And yet I see people doing it in line in front of me every day at the store. In fact sometimes I give these poor souls coupons for the items they're buying. Is that rude? Usually people are surprised and delighted, but occasionally someone says "no thanks" and I realize that I probably shouldn't make it so obvious that I'm looking at what they're buying.

But enough about me. The deals!

Kraft $10 rebate now through 11/30. I just got my $20 check from Kraft and my $10 check from Kellogg's in the past week, so with this positive reinforcement, why not jump into another Kraft rebate? For me, this one will be easy: Wait for a sale on our favorite crackers, Triscuits, to go on sale for $2, print five of these $1/2 coupons, and then I get 10 boxes of crackers for $5 after rebate. Even better if a $1/1 comes out before the promo ends, or if the little boxes that often go on sale for $1 are included in the deal. (The rebate form says 7 oz. - 16.5 oz., do you think that covers the little ones?)

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What We Spent Our $80 Grocery Budget on This Week: Booze and Canned Dough. And More Booze.

Readers, I was holding out on you last week. When I went to Woodman's in Kenosha, I totally spent $60 on booze and didn't tell you. It was $20 worth of cheap wine (6 bottles) and a big bottle of gin (which will last the hubby like a year). So this week's shopping budget was mainly eaten up by that.


After tearing our hair out all day with the kids, the hubs and I both feel like that glass of wine or cocktail in the evening is about the last thing we want to cut from the budget. But since Illinois and Cook County are taxing the heck out of booze, we like to stock up when we visit my parents up in Wisconsin.

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Saturday Shopping: $1 Gets 8 Packs Yogurt and Then Some

Yesterday I had one of my very favorite bargain shopping opportunities: The afternoon kids' birthday party. These parties usually last 2 hours, and are often a 10-minute drive or more from my house. Just far enough to say, "Why bother going home just to get back in the car again so soon?"

After sitting around the party for about half an hour feeding my baby and chatting with the other moms, I hit Walgreens and Jewel for some quick deals with only the baby in tow. This qualifies as me time these days!

The Wag's stop was kind of a dud -- I finally found a bunch of those kids' activity books with the coupons, but they were not on clearance for 50 cents, sadly, so I didn't buy them. I did get the Fresh Whatever ChapStick free after Register Rewards, as well as a bag of those Halls candies that were a 75-cent moneymaker after coupon.

By the time I got to Jewel, I had 45 minutes before I needed to head back to the party. It was a busy Saturday afternoon, not the idea time to do multiple transactions, but still the line at the self-checkout was not too out of hand. (The idea time for bargain shopping, I think, is a weekday morning. The lines will be short or non-existant, but unlike latenight shoping there should be a knowledgable manager on duty if you need help.) 

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Made Almost $5 Buying Canned Dough This Morning



Mashup Mom is right: Go to Jewel, buy 8 rolls of Pillsbury Crescents, Sweet Rolls or others that are covered by both the General Mills Catalina deal and the Pillsbury Catalina, and you will get $14 in Catalina coupons back.

(What am I jibbering about? See my Catalina primer on Wise Bread.)

I used two $1/1 Crescents printables (no longer available) and two $1/2 sweet rolls printables (I don't see these on now but there are LOTS of Pillsbury Qs on there).







Here's the breakdown:

pre-card price: $3.16 x 8 = $25.28

card price: $1.67 x 8 = $13.36

after four $1 coupons = $9.36

 Paid $9.36, get a $10 Cat and a $4 Cat. Niiiice!

As you can see, I could have made $1 more if I'd used one more coupon. I just handed over the wrong number of coupons, but no worries, I'll be back to use more. And by the way, there was a blinkie box for $.75/3 right on the cooler.

So in my house we have gone from only having bread or rolls when I make some in the bread machine or oven to having these empty-calories canned doughs available at all times. I know! But I will confess a secret love for the crescents dating back to my childhood, and I cannot WAIT to get into some of those cinnamon rolls. Also, we have this little book of Halloween recipes from Pillsbury and they all call for cans of dough.

AND, each tube comes with a Box Tops for Education worth 10 cents to my kid's school.

Dominick's Deals and Coupon Matchups - Week of Oct. 15

You can get free Healthy Choice frozen meals and extremely cheap Macaroni & Cheese at Dominick's this week. Not quite enough to get me in though, especially since you can also get the free Healthy Choice at Jewel, and besides that, the cashiers at my local Dom's give me a hard time whenever I try to use a coupon that results in a free product. Maybe next week will be better.

THURS-SAT ONLY: Kraft Mac & Cheese 34 cents! Doritos (11-14 oz) $1.49. large avocado 77 cents.


Healthy Choice frozen meals $1.99 -- FREE AFTER COUPON printable here

Rancher's Reserve beef chuck roast 1.49/lb.

gala or red delicious apples 77 cents/lb.

raspberries $1.50/5.6 oz.

Lucerne milk $1.99 a gallon if you buy 2

Cheerios 8.9 oz. or Cocoa Puffs 11.8 oz. $1.67 (use $1/2 from

Kraft shredded cheese 6-8 oz. $2.50 (use $1/1 printable)

Buy one, get one free: Jimmy Dean sausage rolls @ $4.29, Nabisco Chips Ahoy or Premium Saltines @ $4.29

"Buy 5, save $5": Mott's apple juice $1.85, Capri Sun $2.49, Ocean Spray juices $2.99 (price is before discount)

Coupon match-ups from Hot Coupon World's database.

Jewel-Osco Grocery Deals and Coupon Matchups -- Oct. 15

Besides the new possibly moneymaking General Mills Catalina with Pillsbury overlap, there are some regular old good deals at Jewel this week:


Jewel Butter $1.88/lb. limit 4

Oreos 9.6-18 oz. $2.49

Homelife toilet paper 24 regular or 12 double rolls or paper towels $4.47

2 Liters of 7-Up, Dr Pepper or Squirt 79 cents

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Reader Tips: Walgreens Coupon Books on Sale, Hacking the Jewel Fav 4

Reader "Natadash" wrote to let us know that at Walgreens, "the kid's activity book that has coupons in the front page is on clearance for $.50." One of the coupons is a Walgreens $1/1 Huggies Q, which can be paired with a manufacturer's coupon. Anyone know where Walgreens keeps these things? I have heard about them but never seen them in-store.

Another reader -- I can't find her comment now -- provided a very devious hack to Jewel's "Fave 4" offer, where you pick 4 packages of meat for $19.99. Apparently if you pick small packages for around $2.50 each, that have the sticker or are the same kind as the ones with the stickers, you will get a $4.10 discount off the purchase price -- meaning you'd pay around $6 for four small packages of meat. I'm thinking that could work out to be a pretty good deal, depending on what the price per pound is.

What You Can Buy on $80 a Week: Oct. 7-13

OK, this week I totally would have set aside at least half my $80 grocery budget toward the $400 of meat in our freezer,  but ... we went to Woodman's in Kenosha. We ended up going over budget with $92 spending, but we are so stocked up that I think we can mostly skip shopping this coming week.

I spent $55 at Woodman's on organic produce, 6 cartons organic free-range chicken broth on sale @ $2.50 each, and a bunch of organic jam on sale. I love that place! At Jewel I spent $25 on the $3 instant savings deal and a few other things. I also went to Dominick's for two packs of Smithfield bacon free after $3/1 coupons, and two gallons of milk for $4. Oh yeah -- I also got 5 apple juices and 5 six-packs of applesauce at Target for a total cost of $7.50 after gift cards.

Our week's menu was very easy, especially since we were out of town for the weekend and not eating any of our groceries.

Wednesday: andouille sausage pesto bake (from Dinners By Design; we were going to have this Tuersday but ended up going to a dinner @ school instead) 

Thursday: nutty noodles with homemade bread

Friday: frozen pizza

Saturday: Burger King breakfast, lunch @ grandparents' house, dinner @ wedding

Sunday: abelskiver breakfast in Kenosha, dinner @ Steak & Shake (kids eat free!)

Monday: breakfast: oatmeal, raisins; lunch: macaroni and cheese, carrot sticks; snack: apple slices, peanut butter, cookies; dinner: kale in broth over bread with egg

Tuesday: breakfast: cereal; lunch: macaroni & cheese, yogurt, carrot sticks, Goldfish; dinner: gorgonzola steaks (the last Dinners By Design meal) potatoes, salad


All This for $7.50 at Jewel-Osco

Today I did three rounds of the "spend $10, get $3 instant savings" deal at Jewel-Osco and got all this for $7.50. There is no limit on how many times you can do this deal in one transaction.




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Grocery Deals at Jewel for the Week of Oct. 8


See the regular grocery sales below, but first I want to tell you about this special deal Jewel has going on this week. It's a "spend $10, save $3 instantly deal" for a whole mess of stuff. Some of these things end up at a ho-hum price (like a 4-pack of Angel Soft toilet paper for $1.75, when I've seen it plenty of times for $1) but some look like stock up prices indeed. Here are the best items I see in this grocery deal, with coupon matchups. All the prices are assuming that you spend $10 and get the $3 instant savings:

70 cents: Duncan Hines cake or brownie mix, 10-pack Playtex disposable globes 70 cents (there is a $1/1 Q on specifically for this disposable variety, which makes them free. There are also $1/1 coupons for Playtex Living in the 10/4 SmartSource and on -- not sure if they will work on these), Ronzoni Smart Taste or Healthy Harvest pasta, 12-16 oz. (sign up here for $1/2 boxes, or get one from the 8/2 SmartSource, making them 20 cents each!), Pop Secret micro popcorn, Blistex, Scotties tissue cube (in the 8/9 and 9/13 RedPlum there are coupons for $.50/3) Softsoap 7.5 oz., Daisy sour cream 8 oz.

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Grocery Deals and Sales at Dominick's for the Week of Oct. 8


Dominick's Italian sausage value pack $1.99/lb.

tomatoes on the vine 98 cents/lb.

Tilamook cheese 32 oz. $3.99

Wish-Bone salad dressing 16 oz. 99 cents (use $.75/1 from 8/2 RedPlum to get it for a quarter)


gallon milk $1.99 when you buy 2

Marie Callender's meals or pot pies $1.99, must buy 5 (use $1/3 Pot Pies from 9/27 SmartSource)

large navel oranges 88 cents/lb.

Rancher's Reserve round steak $1.49/lb.

Hershey's snack size or Mars fun size candy bags 10-22 oz. $2.50 (use $1/3 Hershey from 9/27 SmartSource or $1/1 Snickers from 10/4 RedPlum)

whole pineapple $2.99

3-lb bag red delicious apples $2

acorn, butternut or spaghetti squash $1/lb.

Buy 2 Classico sauces for $2 each, get 2 free boxes Barilla pasta (12-16 oz.)

Hormel Compleats 10 oz. $2 when you buy 4 (use $2/1 from Oct. 23 All You, bogo coupon from August 28 All You, or $1/2 from 8/16 SmartSource)

Buy one, get one free: Oscar Mayer meat wieners @ $3.79

Super Coupons: Lucerne large eggs 99 cents/dozen; Safeway frozen waffles $1.49, Arm & Hammer detergent 55-68 oz. $2.99, Kleenex $2 off (this says $1.99 card price without coupon -- wouldn't this make it free? I'll have to check that out.) 

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World database.

What Can You Eat $80 a Week

This week I spent $55 at Trader Joe's stocking up on the usual things that are cheapest and best there: organic peanut butter, organic celery, carrots, potatoes and apples, cheap wine. I spent $10 at Jewel without getting any special deals there, $6 on a dozen Bruegger's bagels (apparently they have this deal every Wednesday), $8 at the farmer's market on apples and apple cider.

Oh, and I actually spent money at CVS on groceries this week, instead of getting it free for Extra Bucks the way I often do. I spent $5 on 3 cartons of ice cream and a package of cookies; I did get the milk with ExtraBucks though. I usually do a few moneymaking deals there from time to time and have enough ExtraBucks on hand to get the milk.

So not a major bargain-finding week for me, in fact we went $4 over the $80 food budget. And we still have put $0.00 towards the $400 we spent on beef. We'll do better next week!

Here's what I served on the $80 (well, $84) budget this week:

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What's on Sale at Jewel-Osco This Week -- 10/1-10/7

Here are the grocery sales and coupon match-ups for Jewel-Osco for the week of Oct. 1:

Jewel has some more manufacturer's products for Kraft products in the flyer this week, and once again at least one of them will be very useful if you pick it up at Jewel and bring it over to Dominick's. It's a $2/2 Q for Kraft Singles, which are on sale at Dominick's for $1.49.

Unfortunately, my husband doesn't want me to buy those things because he said processed cheese is made from the rotten sludge at the bottom of barrels in the cheese factory. Maybe so, but don't you love how very bendy those Kraft singles are? It's like childhood in a wonderfully uniform little postcard of cheese.

Speaking of coupons, there's also one for a free 9-11 oz. bag of Fritos (up to $2) when you buy a pack of Ball Park beef franks and a can of Hormel No Bean Chili @ $2. (you could probably combine that with the $1/2 Ball Park Q from the 9/30 SmartSource)

On Sale at Jewel Through Saturday Only:

raspberries $1.50 for 6 oz.

Sunshine Cheez-It or Town House crackers 7-16 oz. $1.88

Lay's potato chips 10.5-11 oz. $1.88



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Sales and Deals at Dominick's 10/1-10/7

These are the deals and sales at Dominick's for the week of Oct. 1, with coupon matchups, the best deal being free bacon if you have that $3/1 Smithfield bacon printable.

Through Sunday only:

Kraft singles 14.7-16 oz. $1.49

All Week:

New York strip steak, ribeye steak or top sirloin steak $4.99/lb.

boneless beef chuck pot roast $1.99/lb.

Smithfield bacon 12-16 oz. $3 (use $3/1 printable for signing up to get it free!)

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What You Can Eat on an $80 Grocery Budget, and What I Bought This Week with That $80 Budget

A perennial question I get about bargain shopping is, "What do you EAT on an $80-a-week grocery budget?" I think I'm lucky that although I am technically feeding four people, my kids are too little to hold much sway in what I buy (and also too little to consume much) and my husband is pretty flexible and willing to try new things. When we don't buy any alcohol, $80 isn't even much of a challenge.

One thing to keep in mind is that I have a large grocery stockpile and much of my weekly budget goes to feeding the pantry and the (new) freezer. So when you see our weekly menu, I didn't likely buy most of that during the current week.

First I'll run through what we ate this week, then what I spent:

Wednesday: breakfast = strawberry banana smoothies, lunch = Goldfish crackers and cheese sticks and pb&j sandwiches, dinner = salad topped with sauteed green beans and quesedillas

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All This for Free at Kmart Super Doubles

I topped off an exhausting weekend of shopping with ... more shopping. Why yes, I am starting to figure out why I never have time for anything.

But still. When I did a quick perusal of the possible deals at Kmart to write it up for you this morning, I saw that not only could I actually make money buying Special K, I could also get free Ziploc bags (which we were getting low on) and the free Reece's peanut butter cups I missed out on getting last time around. The clincher was that when 5-year-old Nutmeg found out I was going to get Halloween candy, she actually wanted to come with. I also kinda sorta told her we could maybe get some Halloween decorations, too. The kid is obsessed with this holiday.

Here's what I got for free:



(That Cariboo game you see in the background is just clutter in our house, not part of the purchase.)


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Sunday Flyers -- 9/27

There are 3 coupon flyers including the monthly P&G.

Kmart double coupon deals were covered in this post; there's also a $20/$100 coupon in the flyer for home fashions, bedding or bath.

CVS has some freebies this week, most notably a moneymaking bottle of Vaseline lotion after ExtraBucs and coupon, through Tuesday only. See I Heart CVS for all the deals.

Walgreens has the same lotion as a moneymaker as well, plus a number of Register Rewards freebies including Chapstick. I love free Chapstick! (In fact yesterday I got my free Eos sample in the mail, just after the one I got at BlogHer expired due to tampering by a 2-year-old. Thanks Eos!) See all the Wag's deals at Money Saving Mom.

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Dominick's Grocery Deals Sept. 24 to Sept. 30

Dominick's is still advertising their new lower regular prices, but it's hard to tell from the flyer because most of the stuff listed there is on sale, of course. So, you know, you'll have to go in and see for yourself when you win that $250 gift card I'm giving away (or one of the $50s).

There's a deal for buy 4 items, save $2, then save 50 cents off every subsequent item. Included products shown in the ad are Progresso soup, Safeway O organic soup and Chunky or Healthy Choice soups.  Price after savings range from $1 (for the vegetable Progresso) up to $1.50 each (Chunky).

Ranchers Reserve sirloin steak $2.99

pork chops $1.99 pork loin chops

93% lean ground beef $2.49/lb.

Gala apples 69 cents/lb.

raspberries $1.50/pint

eggplant $1/lb.

organic onions $1/lb.

large navel oranges $1/lb.

celery $1

mangoes $1

gallon milk $1.99

buy one, bet one free: Thomas' English Muffins @ $2.99, Hormel Black Label bacon @ $5.99

Rice Krispies or 8-count Pop-Tarts $1.49 (and unlike at Jewel this week, you don't have to buy 10) (use $2/2 from 8/30 RedPlum, $1/1 coupons inside booklets in some cereal boxes for cereal, or $1/2 for Pop-Tarts ($2/2 from 8/30 RedPlum -- not clear if this is only for a certain flavor, $1/2 from FfS booklet)

Oreos or Cakesters $1.99

Tyson fully cooked chicken wings $2.99/lb.

Buy one, get one: Thomas' English muffins, Nathan's hot dogs @ $5.99

Aquafresh toothpaste 88 cents, use $.50/1 from 9/20 RedPlum

Jewel-Osco Grocery Deals -- 9/24-9/30

Aside from the Kellogg's $1.50 each deal, Jewel looks kinda humdrum this week to me. Maybe that's just because my stockpile is now so full that I don't need much.

Thursday-Saturday only

Dannon yogurt cups 48 cents (use $1/10 from 9/13 SmartSource to get 10 for 38 cents each)

Jewel canned tomatoes or vegetables 58 cents

large hass avocados 88 cents

2 Liter of 7-Up, Dr. Pepper, A&W or Squirt 89 cents

All week

beef roast or pork loin $1.99/lb.

pork chops $1.49/lb.

Lean Cuisine Cafe Classics, Spa Cuisine, Casual Eating Classics or Paninis $1.88 (use $1/2 from 9/13 RedPlum, $2/3 from Sept. All You magazine, or $1/3 from June All You)

Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream Pints $3 (not sure if it will work but there is a $1/1 printable for a variety called "Five")

Yoplait Delights 4-pack yogurt $2.49 (use $1/1 from 9/13 General Mills insert, $1/1 printable here or here

Del Monte pickles 24 oz. $2.50

Wheat Thins or Triscuits 7-10 oz., Ritz Bits or Teddy Grahams $2.50

Jewel graham crackers $2

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World's database.

Buy one, get one free: cantaloupe @ $2.99, Doritos @ $3.99, Sunshine Cheez-It 11-16 oz. @ $4.99 (qualifies for Fuel for School), ready-to-eat salads # $3.99, 3-pack Affy Tapple @ $3.49, M&Ms or Snickers novelties @ $6.79, Luigi's Italian Ice @ $4.89, Breyer's Ice Cream, Dutch Country Bread @ $3.19,  

Colgate toothpaste $1 (use $1/1 from 9/13 or 9/20 SmartSource to get it free)

Arm & Hammer detergent 50 oz. $2.50

Wonderful Pistachios 10 oz. $3.99

Last Chance for Kellogg's Fuel for School Rebate Moneymakers at Jewel or Target This Week


The only big deal that stands out this week at Jewel is a new Kellogg's promo: Buy 10 of selected items (mix and match) and you get them for $1.50 each. Remember that Fuel for School Rebate, where you buy 10 Kellogg's products and they send you a $10 check? Well, it ends Sept. 30, i.e., the end of this shopping week. So if you haven't done it yet, now's the time. Buy 10 of these items at $1.50 each, pay $15, and get a $10 rebate check. Better yet, use coupons to bring the 10 items down to a buck each and it's all free after rebate. Better better yet, use coupons to bring them down to 50 cents each and then the rebate is a moneymaker.

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Sunday Flyers -- 9/20

The SmartSource this week include more Campbell's coupons for the Jewel-Osco Catalina, a buy-one-get-one coupon for a caramel apple or double chocolate fudge shake at Steak n Sheak (damn those look good), Dairy Queen and Quiznos Qs. The RedPlum includes several that would be useful for the week's CVS deals, including $1/1 Neutrogena hair product and $1/1 Aquafresh.

At Target, I don't see any hot gift card offers like recent weeks, but there are a couple of sales: memory foam mattress toppers are on sale for $43.49 (twin) through $135.99 (thicker full version). They don't list prices for queen or king but they do say others are on sale. 12-count Pop-Tarts and 8-count Nutri-Grain bars are on sale for $2 each. (Combine the $1/2 Pop-Tarts manufacturer's coupon from the 9/13 RedPlum or the $.55/1 printable with the $1/2 Target coupon to get them for a buck a box.)

Toys R Us is having a birthday party for Geoffrey, its mascott giraffe, on Saturday, Sept. 26 from noon to 3 p.m., with parades, activities and product giveaways. How nice of them to schedule it right during most tots' naptime. They're also having a sale that lasts all week" buy 2, get the 3rd free," good on all Lego Building Sets, all video games, all books, all LeapFrog learning toys, all Barbies, all Star Wars, all Playskool and a bunch of other stuff. There's also an offer for a $20 Pizza Hut gift card if you buy the game Birthday Party Bash for Wii, and a $15 Toys R Us gift card if you buy a Scooby Doo game and video together. They also have a $5/2 coupon for Pampers mega packs, which can be combined with Pampers manufacturer's coupons, and a $2/1 for value boxes of wipes.

Kohl's says you get $10 "Kohl's cash" for every $50 you spend, in addition to a big anniversary sale where you can take 15%, 20% or 30% EVEERYTHING when you use your Kohl's charge card. Both offers are in store or online, through Wednesday.

Through Sept. 29, Carson Pirie Scott is giving out coupons for 20% off any item (regular priced or sale) for each clothing or home textile item you donate to Goodwill. You are supposed to bring the items to the Carson store to get the coupons. You know, that is probably the best price you're ever going to get for most used clothing items. I would really like some boots for this fall; maybe I should figure out a way to squeeze a trip to Carson's into my schedule. And maybe get these?

CVS: A slow week. The only freebie I'm interested in is Crest toothpaste, free after ExtraBucks and the $1/1 coupon from the 8/30 P&G insert. (Because SOME people I coupon shop for are picky about their toothpaste brand. I'm looking at you, Mom and Dad. And Grandma.) The candy deal is all right if you want to get ready for Halloween: spend $15, get $5. It includes some items not listed in the flyer, like some individual bars. For the rest of the meager CVS deals this week (including free Sally Hansen nail polish) see Money Saving Mom.

Walgreens deals include a store coupon for 12 rolls Angel Soft toilet paper at $5.49 (combine with a $1/1 manufacturer's coupon from the 9/13 RedPlum). Reese's Pumpkins (size of a single cup) are 50 cents, so you should be able to use that $.55/1 coupon from the 8/23 RedPlum to get them free. For more Walgreens deals (including free Crest and a ThermalWrap moneymaker, see I Heart Wags.)

At Jewel-Osco, they're advertising Colgate toothpaste (4.6 oz.) for 1, so you could get it free with a $1/1 coupon (There's one in today's SmartSource that says "Sensitive" but you could probably use it on any Colgate paste. Or use one from the 9/13 SmartSource.)

Office Depot's Hot Deal of the Week is 500 sheets of multipurpose paper for 99 cents after rebate, limit 2.

Sports Authority has a $25 coupon off a purchase of $100 or more, good through Tuesday only.

Kmart has a Catalina deal that may have been going for a long time because it sounds familiar: Spend $25 on certain brands, get a $5 coupon; spend $50, get a $12 coupon. Brands are Huggies, Pull-Ups, Scott, All, Glade, Snuggle and Off! But after my experience with Catalinas at Kmart, I wouldn't touch it.

As usual: 40% off one item at Michael's and Jo-Anns.

Coupon matchups from the Hot Coupon World database.

Campbell's Soup for 12 Cents

I'm up to my neck in a freelance writing deadline, but I did manage to walk the kids over to Jewel tonight for bacon to go with some lovely fat tomatoes my parents brought from their garden. And of course I tested out that Campbell's Catalina deal so I could report back here.

It worked Mmm, mmm good. Hee.

Yes, the "spend $15, get $5" offer works on pre-card prices. I bought 10 cans of soup for 12 cents each after the $5 Catalina coupon I received. Here's how it worked:

6 cans Campbell's Select @ $1.25 = $7.56 ($12.90 pre-card)

4 cans Campbell's tomato @ $0.50 =  2.00 ($   3.00 pre-card)


                                                                 $9.56 ($15.90 pre-card)

                             MINUS COUPONS     1.40 (two $.50/2 Select Qs and one $.40/2)

                                                                    2.00 (two $1/1 Campbell's printables) 


                                                        PAID $6.16, RECEIVED $5 Catalina, final = $1.16

And a coupon printed out for $1.50 off 6 Campbell's Select soups, meaning that when I am off deadline I can go back and do the deal again. It won't be quite as cheap because I don't have any more $1/1 printables -- so I'll pay 32 cents a can. Pretty steep, I guess. ;-)

Jewel-Osco Grocery Deals 9/17-9/23


Ball Park Franks $1.25

boneless, skinless chicken breast $1.88/lb.

boneless half pork loin $1.79/lb.

pork spare ribs $1.49/lb.

snow crab clusters $4.99/lb.

All Week

Driscoll's Strawberries $1.88/lb.

8 oz. mushrooms $1.88

Roma Pizza 13 oz. $1.99

Save $5 instantly when you buy 5 of the following Kellogg's products: Kellogg's Special K Crackers 8-10 oz., Kellogg's Special K Cereal 11.4-14 oz.

Save $3 instantly when you buy 4 Nabisco products: Wheat Thins or Triscuit or Triscuit or Ritz or Oreo Cakesters or Nabisco Toasted Chips or Ritz Crackerfuls @ $2.50. (Use buy one Ritz, get Crackerfuls free from 8/23 SmartSource; $1/1 Wheat Thins Flatbread printable (not sure if this is included but it might work on regular Wheat Thins).

See my separate post about the hot Campbell's Catalina deal this week.

Jewel 9/17-9/23: Make Money Buying Campbell's Soup


I'll post the rest of the Jewel deals later, but first here's a word about this week's Campbell's Catalina deal. (If you don't know what a Catalina is, read this post.) Have you noticed that Campbell's has been discounting its products all over the place lately? This $1/2 cooking soups printable coupon will really come in handy at Jewel this week, especially if you have access to multiple computers and can print a lot of copies, because there's a Campbell's Catalina deal going:

Spend $15, get $5. Products include Cambell's tomato or chicken noodle @ 50 cents (w/out card 20/$15), Goldfish crackers 6.8-8 oz. @ $1.25, 2 oz. Goldfish or Campbell's Canned Pasta (Spaghetti-os) @ $1, V8 Splash juice 64 oz., Milano cookies or Swanson chicken breast 4.5 oz. @ $2, Cambell's Select Harvest or Chunky @ $1.25, Prego pasta sauce @ $2.

Here's the moneymaking deal: Buy 20 cans Cambpell's tomato soup for $10 with card, $15 pre-card price. Use 10 $1/2 printables to get them free. Collect $5 Catalina coupon. Or if you only have a few $1/2s, also clip the the Cambell's coupons from the 9/13 SmartSource: $1/2 V8 Splash, $.40/2 any condensed soups, $.40/4 chicken noodle or tomato, $.50/2 Select Harvest.

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Sunday Flyers: Golden Gate Edition

So, here I am in San Francisco, and you'd think I'd be out visiting my old haunts and eating all my favorite foods. I did eat some good food, but today I've been hanging out at my friends' apartment, waiting for Nutmeg to call out to me from her sickbed. It's a nice apartment on a great little shopping street in Bernal Heights, but still. It's not the getaway I'd hoped for this weekend.

But lucky for you, my confinement means that I had time to pick up a Sunday Chronicle (my alma mater -- I used to be a business reporter there) and look through the ads. If you didn't already know, there are five coupon inserts in some markets -- two Red Plums, two Smart Sources, a Generall Mills insert, and one other one that San Francisco apparently didn't get.

Target has a Kashi gift card offer: Buy 5 Kashi products @ $2.88 and get a $5 gift card. There's a (new or reset, I think) $1.50/1 Kashi coupon here for a cereal or snack product (thanks Money Saving Mom), which you can print twice per computer. There's also a $1/1 Kashi frozen pizza Target coupon here. Mashup Mom lists a few other Kashi coupons here. So if you are able to get five $1.50/1 Qs, you'd pay $6.65 for 5 products and get $5 back, making them $1.65 for five, or 33 cents each.

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The Frugalista Is Out of the Office, But ...

I'm in San Francisco for a long weekend. Work and pleasure. But while I'm here, I'll try to pop in with a few moneysaving tips. Such as:

  • There's a 16-family rummage sale to benefit a local girl scout troop in my home village of Oak Park this weekend. Saturday, Sept. 12, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., 608 S. Gunderson Ave. As much as I love being in SF, I hate missing a big sale like that!
  • You can get a coupon for a free box of "your favorite" Barilla pasta if you try their whole grain stuff and don't love it. (You do have a favorite pasta, don't you?) These "if you're not completely satisfied" offers are always confusing to me. If I thought it was just ok, would it be wrong to send in my proof of purchase and receipt? I like whole grain pasta, but I don't know if I've ever sat down to a plate of spaghetti and said "I just love these whole grain noodles. I just LOVE them!"
  • I missed a great Kashi deal when I typed up the Jewel sales this week: "Buy 4 select products, get $4 instant savings." Thanks to reader resweater for pointing it out, and here are details on how to make it a moneymaker or at least get some cereal or granola bars for very cheap from Mashup Mom.

Dominick's Deals for the Week -- 9/10-9/16

Some decent sales at Dominick's this week. I bolded what look like the best deals to me.

Thurs-Sun Only

Mission Tortilla Chips 99 cents, limit 1

DiGiorno PIzza $3.99

large navel oranges 99 cents

All Week

Italian Sausage Links $1.99

Perdue Lean Ground Turkey $2.50/lb.

Barlett Pears 50 cents/lb.

organic red or green seedless grapes $1.99/lb.

vine ripe tomatoes $1.99/lb.

Roma Tomatoes 69 cents/lb.

asparagus $1.88/lb.

Safeway Select Salsa (16 oz.) $2

Mission Tortillas (10-count) $2

Buy one, get one: Oscar Mayer bologna, 16 oz., @ $5.29 (I thought bologna was supposed to be cheap??), Oscar Mayer Fun Pack Lunchables or Deli Creations @ $3.49, Steak-Umm 10.5 oz. @ $5.49, Mama Lucia Italian Meatballs @ ?.

Super Coupons

Hormel lunchmeat, 6-8 oz. $1.99

Oscar Mayer beef franks 14-16 oz. $1.99

Safeway thick sliced bacon 3 lbs. $4.99

Safeway Boneless Skinless chicken breasts, frozen $1.69 lb.

IBC root beer, 6 pack $1.99

Quaker Instant Oatmeal $1.77

Lucerne or Safeway Select Ice Cream 1.75 quart $1.99

Lucerne large eggs 99 cents/dozen

Dominick's raisin bread $1.49

grape tomatoes, 1 pint 99 cents

5 lbs. russet potatoes $1.49

Chef Boyardee cans 79 cents

Post Honey Bunches of Oats 4/$6 (must buy 4) (use $2/1 printable IF they have the pecan variety, and if your cashier is cooperative about reducing coupon)

Hefty trash bags 14-22-count $3.99 (use $.55/1 or $1/2 from 8/30 RedPlum)

Friday only deli deal: meatloaf, 18-24 oz., serves 3-4, $5

Thanks to Hot Coupon World for coupon matchups.

Jewel Deals Sept. 10-Sept. 16

Whew! Anyone else relieved that there is NOT a new Catalina deal advertised in this week's Jewel flyer? I'm just trying to squeeze in a last couple moneymaking Green Giant vegetables transactions today and then I'm ready for a break! I will also hurry up and buy corn on the cob tonight before it goes from 5/$1 to 3/$1 tomorrow.

Thurs-Sat Only

pork chops 99 cents/lb.

peaches or nectarines 99 cents/lb.

Jewel apple juice 64 oz. 99 cents

All Week

seedless grapes 78 cents/lb.

onions $1/lb.

russet potatoes $2.50/5 lbs.

Stockman & Dakota sirloin tip roast, steak or bottom round roast 50% off

Tillamook cheese $2.79/8 oz.

Sargento shredded cheese $2.49/5-8 oz.

Dean's cottage cheese 16 oz. $2

Wild Harvest Steel Cut Oats $1.98/16 oz.

Wild Harvest organic peanut butter $2.99/18 oz. (as good as Trader Joe's regular price for 16 oz.)

Wild Harvest organic maple syrup $6.99/12 oz. (I wonder if there is such a thing as NON-organic maple syrup?)

Quaker Chewy Granola Bars $1.67/7-8 oz. box

2 Liters of 7-Up, Dr Pepper, A&W or Squirt $1

32 oz. Gatorade $1

Campbell's tomato or chicken noodle soup 50 cents (use $1/1 printable. Says "cooking soups" but works for all.)

Hershey or Reese's bars, 6-pack $3 (use $.55/1 from 8/23 SmartSource)

Popsicles, Fudgesicles or Ice Pops 50% off (use Catalina coupons you would have gotten if you bought any Breyer's products so far this summer)

Haagen-Dazs Mini Cups, 4 oz., $1 (use $1/3 printable to get 3 for $2)

Rosina Italian or Homestyle Meatballs, 32 oz. frozen, $6.99

PictSweet Seam'ables Complete Meals 12 oz. $1.99 (use $1/1 blinkie to get for $1)

Softsoap 7.5 oz. $1

Soft Choice toilet paper 18 double rolls or Mighty Absorben paper towels 6 mega rolls $7.99 (Homelife store brand)

Buy one, get one: Entemann's donuts 12 pack @ $4.69, Dean's 1.5 quarts @ ?, John Morrell Applewood Smoked Ham, 8 oz. @ $3, Perdue Breaded Chicken, 12 oz. @ $5.29, Dean's sherbet, 1 quart @ $3.75, M&M Mars or Snickers Ice Cream Cones or M&Ms Sandwiches, 6 pack @ $6.79, Philly-Gourmet Beef Sandwich Steaks, 21 oz., @ $7.49, Edwards Single Serve Pie, 5.2-8.5 oz., @ $4.29, Perdue Breaded Chicken Strips, Wings or Glazed Chicken, 26-32 oz., @ $9.99, Matt's Cookies, 16 oz., @ $3.99. 

There's a manufacturer's coupon for a free American Greetings card when you buy 2, expires 9/20, in the Osco section of the flyer. Note that this could be used at any store.

 Sale not in flyer: Ronzoni Healthy Harvest and Smart Taste are $1.50. I'm not sure how long this price lasts, but if it is on sale through the week this is a good time to use those $1/2 printables to get two packages for $1 each (a bogo sale would be even better but I'll take it)

Finally, if you live in or near Oak Park, the Madison Ave. store is having a Grand Reopening with some special sales running the same dates as the regular sales: seedless grapes for 59 cents a pound, whole chickens at 79 cents a pound, pork chops 99 cents a pound, fresh glazed donuts at $1.99/lb. (limit 2), 2 Liters of A&W, 7-Up, Squirt and Dr Pepper for 69 cents, Tropican 64 oz. for $1.99, Edy's Ice Cream for $2.50, Pringles tubes for 99 cents and Progresso Traditional Soup cans for 99 cents. And there is a store coupon in the flyer for a free American Greetings card, good through 9/16 (combine it with that manufacturer's coupon in the flyer to get 3 for the price of 1).

Thanks to Hot Coupon World for coupon matchups.

Free Cocoa Puffs at Jewel with Catalina and Coupon


If you sign up for the (surely riveting) newsletter from, you can print a bunch of coupons inlcuding $1/1 Cocoa Puffs. If you can print five copies of this coupon (two per computer are allowed), you should be able to get five boxes free with the "spend $20, get $5" Catalina deal at Jewel through tomorrow.

Transaction idea:

5 boxes Cocoa Puffs ($4.45 pre-card price x 5 = $22.25, $2 card price x 5 = $10)

- five $1/1 coupons (if you have access to multiple computers)


pay $5, get $5 Catalina coupon back = free!

Thanks to The Frugal Girls for the tip that has coupons! Other coupons on that site that can be used for the Catalina deal include $1/2 Grands, $.50/2 Green Giant Boxed Vegetables, and $1/3 Progresso.

Photo by CJ Sorg, used by permission through Creative Commons.

Sunday Flyers 9/7 -- Labor Day Sales

I have never understood exactly WHY there are no coupons in the Sunday inserts on holiday weekends, but that's how it is. So don't go out and buy an extra papers today.

There are deals in the flyers, though. Theoretically because of Labor Day there should be more sales. Well, let's see.

Yep. Here are the LABOR DAY SALES:

Toys R Us is having a sidewalk sale today and Monday only, with a bunch of toys and Crayola products at 50% off and a free ice cream sandwich with any purchase of $20 or more. They're also advertising a "Trade-In Event": get 20% off a car seat, stroller, travel system, high chair, play yard, bassinet or crib from participating brands when you bring in a used item from any of those categories, any brand. Since those items typically sell for pennies on the dollar used, it should be easy to come up with a really junky old one for a 20% discount. That deal runs through 9/20. Then there are the typical store coupons in the flyer too, for $4 off formula, $2 off baby bagth products, etc.

Jo-Ann's Labor Day sale includes half off and buy one, get one for a bunch of stuff including foam by the yard and fleece, and then there's a coupon in the flyer for 10% off total purchase including sale stuff. Good Sunday and Monday only; the online promo code is NGSE250.

Michaels has a coupon for 50% off any regular price item, Sun or Mon only, in addition to its usual 40% off coupon. Lots of stuff on sale for 40% or 50% off as well.

Bed Bath & Beyond is having its semi-annual storewide clearance, with savings up to 50% off original retail. There's a 20% off a single item coupon in today's paper, and it says if you sign up for email updates you'll get another one of those coupons in your inbox.

Office Depot's Labor Day sale includes doorbusters today and Monday, like 100 sheets of photo paper for a dollar (after rebate), or a ream of multipurpose paper for $1 (also after rebate).

OfficeMax is still offering discounted school supplies, like a ruler for a penny, composition books for 75 cents, filler paper for a quarter, and markers for a quarter per pack (limit 3).

Famous Footwear has a sale: "buy one pair, get second pair 1/2 off," plus there's a coupon in the flyer for an additional 20% off entire purchase. Get those gym shoes! (I'm holding out for the Sept. 26 consignment sale in Oak Park to shop for mine; that's what a mean mom I am.)

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A Quickie: CVS and Jewel Transactions

Tonight I was only going to stop by CVS -- and that only because I had one of those free chocolate coupons that was expiring today. (They've been giving them out every Friday, but only untli 11:59 p.m. EASTERN TIME, so too bad I just thought about it now at 11:26 p.m. Central.)

But then at 8:30 I started making zucchini bread as our breakfast for tomorrow's block party. And then I noticed that the hubs had used up the eggs this morning cooking breakfast. The nerve, eh? Cooking breakfast for all of us while I lay there, unsuspecting, in bed.

So off to CVS and Jewel I went, with the baby in the Bjorn and pushing a stroller only as a grocery cart. Here's what I got (no pictures, it's late!):

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Jewel-Osco Deals for 9/3-9/9

Coupons: The Jewel flyer is new and different this week -- it has a bunch of manufacturer's coupons printed on the back page. These should be usable ANYWHERE, not just Jewel; however they are only good for the one week so they are not as valuable as the ones you get in the paper. The $2/2 Miracle Whip and $2/2 Oscar Mayer Meat Wieners are particularly good for using at Dominick's this week -- Dom's has Miracle Whip for $1.99 with in-store coupon with a limit of 2, so if you stack it with this manufacturer's coupon, you should get it for $1 a bottle. And since most of the Oscar Mayer Qs out there are for $1/2, you'd be better off using this one it at Dominick's bogo sale. Also, $1/2 Kraft cheese is pretty good; usually Target has this product for around $1.50 I think.

With the coupons, these items are on sale for 2/$3 for Oreos, 2/$3 for Kraft cheese, 2/$2 for the Wieners, 2/$2 for OM bologna, and so on.

There are also other good MQs in the flyer: $1/1 any Neutrogena product, $1/1 Clean and Clear, $2/2 Clorox bleach and color safe bleach, and 1 free American Greetings card with purchase of 2. You might use that last one at Kmart along with the "free card" coupon to get 3 cards for the price of 1.

Regular Sales

strawberries $1.50

Pepsi, Coke, 7-Up products 5/$10, must buy 5

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Deals at Dominick's 9/3-9/9


The Labor Day sales are here -- hot dogs, meat, barbecue sauce and chips. Let's hear it for the working man!

Having BLTs? You might want to use the super coupon for 24-32 oz. Miracle Whip at $1.99, limit 2. As with all of Dominick's Super Coupons, a $20 purchase is required. (For the best deal, use the $2/2 coupon from the back of this week's Jewel flyer. Although it says Jewel-Osco in small type, it clearly says Manufacturer's Coupon so Dominick's SHOULD accept it.)

Other Super Coups: $5/$20 purchase of Rancher's Reserve beef (check the Clearance bin), 99-cent Kraft singles, and Soft Scrub  for $1.99 (23-26 oz.).

Regular deals:

corn 17 cents/ear

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My Grocery Binge: August 26-Sept. 1

After several lean weeks of doing only Catalina deals, I spent a ton on groceries this week -- a whopping $204 -- with a Trader Joe's trip, two Target trips, another failed Catalina attempt AND a last-minute run to Dominick's. I definitely won't have to buy much of anything for the coming week -- the fridge, freezer and cupboards are bursting.

Since I had $20 to carry over from last week, that means I spent this week's budget and next, and when I shop again the week after, I'll STILL have to spend $20 less than my regular $80 budget. I'm OK with that, though, because I have so much stuff stockpiled. I will probably have to pick up some fresh produce, putting me farther in the hole, but I will catch up within the next few weeks.

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Tuesday Deal News

1. Don't forget to get your free Kronos gyros today with this coupon.

2. It's the first of the month, which means new and reset coupons at (including Qs that work for the Kelloggs/ConAgra Catalina at Jewel, and the Special K deal at Target), SmartSource, RedPlum, and ShortCuts (including $1/1 Energizer batteries that can be combined with the $1/1 from the 8/2 SmartSource).

3. It's a good time to hit even though the discounts don't come out until the end of the month there. Why? Some restaurants consistently sell out, and if you've been wanting to get a gift certificate to one of those, better snatch it up now.

4. CVS is printing good coupons again at the register or coupon machine -- yesterday I got one for a free product (more feminine products, gettin' a lot of those lately) and one for $5 off Duracell recharchable batteries, which could be combined with the $2/1 rechargables from the 8/30 P&G flyer. Do the rechargables count toward the "buy $15, get $5 deal"? I dunno. 

The Sunday Flyers -- Free Ice Cream, Kmart Super Doubles

Oh MAN I am tired what a weekend. My father and brother came to see us yesterday to help watch the kids so Epu and I could spend some time cleaning out all the half-unpacked boxes and piles of junk in our basement. So now it's 7 p.m. Sunday and I'm just now sitting down to tell you about the deals in the Sunday newspaper. I can already tell you the highlights, though: Free ice cream at Target and another week of double coupons at Kmart.

Before we begin, help for the newbies: Glossary of terms; How to CVS; What's a Catalina; Overview of the Frugalista's Methods.

Coupon Inserts

It's a good week to pick up extra papers (or do a little Dumpster diving) if you are doing CVS deals, because there are lots of coupons tying into ExtraBucks deals this week.

First of all, the September P&G Brand Saver is in today's paper. There's a $1/1 Bounce dryer bar Q and a $.75/1 Tide Stain Release Q that work w/ an ExtraBucks deal at CVS to get you the dryer bar for $2 or the Tide for $2.25, and Duracell Qs that work with an ECB deal too. (CVS's rewards are called either Extra Bucks or Extra Care Bucks. For some reason the deal-hunters online have chosen to call them ECBs, not EBs. Fascinating, the etymology of the deal-hunter tribe.)

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Target Deals -- Some End Today

I'm a little bit ashamed to say that I visited the new Super Target on Mannheim Road twice this week. Even though this new big box palace is just a 10-minute drive from my home, it is usually my policy to sparingly visit stores that I can't walk to. But see, what happened is, my husband was going to drive over there this morning anyway to take Nutmeg shopping a the huge new Michael's. With a coupon from the Sunday paper, of course. We are supposed to be working on shoveling out our basement this weekend, so I thought I would go along to see if Target had any single shelving unit on sale, as well as pick up a few things I'd forgotten, use some of the coupons I just got in a Target mailer, and, yeah, I'll say it: Hit the many free-after-coupon deals at Target one more time.

We didn't get any shelving. But we did VERY well on what we got.

Before I get to my deals, I want to note a couple bargains I didn't buy:

  • Pink girls Radio Flyer Lights & Sounds Trikes are on clearance for under $30, normally $60. That's quite a steal since Radio Flyer is rarely discounted steeply.
  • You can get free dog food by combining a Target coupon with the buy one, get one sale that probably ends today. Thanks My Brain Is Inside Out for that tip.
  • Gold N Plump boneless skinless chicken breasts for 49 cents/lb! If you got a Target coupon mailer this week, take the $2/1 Gold N Plump Target coupon and combine it with a $1/1 manufacturer's coupon from For some reason I didn't have any $1/1 MQs with me so I got a lesser deal :-(

And now for the deals I actually got, in my two trips this week. First today's:



Total spent: $62.38 for regular purchases plus $247.49 for XBox* = $309.87

Total before coupons and discounts: $384.67

Saved: $74.80, 19.5 percent savings


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My Grocery Spending This Week -- Love That Free Zucchini


Once again this week (August 19-25) I didn't have much time to do real grocery shopping because I was too busy doing "deals. OK, there were also two parents back-to-school meetings and a pencil-sharpening party, and a weekend trip to Wisconsin.

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ConAgra, Kelloggs Catalina -- Half-Successful Attempt

Today I tried stacking the ConAgra/Kellogs/Own Brands Catalina deal, buying $50 worth of stuff and hoping to get $20 in Cats. It didn't work -- I only got $10 in Cats. Then I returned $24.65 worth of the stuff (being careful to leave at least $25 worth of products on my receipt so that I fairly earned that Catalina coupon. I added a 99 cent filler (2 Liter of Super Chill Seltzer) and rang it up again.

I failed to get the Cat again! Maybe the flavor of Seltzer I chose is not included? I will have to look it up on the UPC list to figure it out. Well, even I have my limits -- I'm not going to return the junk again. To tell the truth, it is STILL a good deal without the Cat -- four bottles of Wesson canola oil, a can of Pam and a bottle of seltzer for around $13. That would not have even bought three bottles of oil at regular prices (Although who would pay the regular price?) 

So I'm stocked up on oil for, oh, forever. Guess I'll skip buying the fancy grapeseed oil at Trader Joe's and just saute in canola. Apparently it's good for you. (Although some people say it's bad for you.)

Since my deal was so messed up, I won't bother listing exactly what I bought since it won't really help guide anyone. I'll post when I do a more successful transaction -- which I probably won't even try until I've had a peaceful evening to gather up my coupons. In fact, since the deal goes through Sept. 6, a week from Sunday, and since new coupons will pop up on the online sites on the first of the month, I'll probably wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to do any more of these deals.

I need a break from Jewel! I'm starting to actually be friendly with the manager who always seemed to hate me, and when you start developing the Stockholm Syndrome, you know you've been at your favorite store a little too often!

This Week's Deals at Jewel-Osco 8/27-9/2

First off, let's skip to the back page of today's Jewel flyer, which lists details about that Con-Agra/Kellogg's/Own Brands Catalina I warned you about. It is already active (I did it today), runs through 9/6/09, and offers two $5 coupons for every $25 you spend on included products. Unlike past deals of this nature, apparently it does not work to do this one two or three times in a single transaction; today I bought $50 worth of items but only got $10 in Catalina coupons instead of the $20 I would have gotten if it "stacked."

Items include Kellogg's items that qualify for the Fuel for School rebate, like Morningstar Farms products, cereals, Pop-Tarts, Keebler cookies, crackers and Nutri-Grain bars. A full list of products as posted on is here. See My Brain Is Inside Out for a list of coupon match-ups.

I'll report on my transaction from today and other deal ideas soon. But for now, back to the flyer:


Birds Eye Steamfresh Rice or Veg 10-16 oz. 97 cents (not sure if the $1/1 from 8/9 SmartSource will work as it says SteamFresh MEALS)

Jewel cheese 8 oz. $1

Jewel porterhouse steak bone in or previously frozen snow crab clusters $4.99/lb.


Free after coupon: Bumblebee Chunk Light Tuna Pouch 2.5 oz. $1, use $1/1 from 6/14 SmartSource

Post cereals $1.50 when you buy 4 (use $2/1 printable if the new variety is available)

Minute Maid OJ 64 oz. $1.88

canteloupe 78 cents

Buy one, get one: Dean's Ice Cream @ ?, Jewel or Perdue fresh split chicken breasts w/ in-store coupon, Dutch Country Bread @ $3.19, Thomas' Bagels @ $4.79, Dove ice cream 15 oz. @ $4.99, Baldwin Ice Cream 1.75 quarter @ ?, Jewel ice cream cups 6 pack @ $2.99, Homelife reclosable freezer or storage bags 30-50 ct. @ $3.89., Tribe Hummus 8 oz. @ $3.49

Ball Park meat or turkey franks $2 

Jewel yogurt cups 44 cents

Snapple case of 24 16-oz. bottles $9.99 after instant $4 rebate

sweet onions 88 cents/lb.

Hormel Black Label or Natural Choice bacon $2.50 12-16 oz. 

 Jewel cream cheese 8 oz. $1.25

Popsicle Fudgesicle or Ice Pops 33 percent off

Mama Lucia Italian Meatballs 12 oz. $1

Celeste Pizza for One $1

Moran's Grilled Beef Patties 32 oz. frozen $8.49

Coupon match-ups from Hot Coupon World database.

Deals at Dominick's 8/27-9/2

Looks like Dominick's is FINALLY following Jewel's lead by lowering everyday prices in a high-profile way. Today's paper has two Dominick's flyers: One publicizing lower prices -- Lucerne butter $2.49/lb., down from $3.99; Kraft Mac & Cheese $1, down from $1.49; Honey Nut Cheerios (25 oz.) $4.49, down from $6.09.

(I didn't really think that last one was such a great deal, I just couldn't get over the fact that some ordinary boxes of cereal had topped SIX DOLLARS. Wow.)

Then there's the sale flyer. They've still got "buy 5, save $5" going on, and this week they're highlighting little boxes (7.5 oz -12 oz.) Kashi Puffs and Kellogg's cereals at $1 each after instant savings, slightly bigger boxes of General Mills cereals for $1.50, and the same slightly bigger sizes of Kashi GoLean Crunch and Post Honey Bunches of Oats at $2 each. (Coupons: $1/2 GM cereals printable, $1.50/2 Kashi printable, Honey Bunches of Oats $2/1 printable.)

Regular Sales

Meats $1.88/lb: London broil; boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts; pork loin.

Fresh Express salads $1

8 oz. mushrooms $1

green seedless grapes 79 cents/lb.

organic grapes $1.99/LB.

Red Lion nectarines 77 cents/lb.

Ball Park meat franks bogo @ $3.99 (same price as Jewel)

Jimmy Dean Premium Sliced Bacon $2.50/12 oz.

Jennie-O ground turkey, 20 oz. bogo @ $9.99? (great time to use that $5/1 Jennie-O coupon)

Classico Pasta Sauce bogo @ ?

Hershey's bars buy 2, get 1 at 99 cents (use three .55/1 from last weekend's flyer to get 3 for 3 cents)

4 rolls Angel Soft toilet paper 99 cents

Wish-Bone dressing 99 cents (use .75/1 or $1.25/2 from 8/2 RedPlum)

Minute Maid lemonade 64 oz. 99 cents

Super Coupons -- all require a $20 purchase and are limited to 1 unless noted

Paramount Farms pistachios 16 oz. $2.99; Cheez-It 7.5-9 oz. (limit 3) $1.50; Prince pasta 12-16 oz. (limit 6) 69 cents; Filippo Berio Olive Oil 17 oz. (limit 6) $4.99; Safeway apple juice 64 oz. $1.29; Freschetta Pizza $3.49; Sargento cheese slices or shredded (limit 2) 5-8 oz. $1.49; Bright Green cleaners 24-32 oz. $2.49 (limit 4).

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World database.

Sunday Flyers 8/24

  • There's a coupon in the CVS flyer for a $25 gift card if you transfer a prescription. The CVS deals are pretty good this week, especially if you have a $5/$25 from taking the online quiz or a $4/$20 from the booklets they're giving out at the pharmacy. An easy moneymaker is the Carefree pantiliners, free after ExtraBucks at $3.79, limit 4. $1/1 printable,  $1/2 from the 6/28 SmartSource. For other deal ideas, see Money Saving Mom.
  • For Walgreen's deals, check out I Heart Wags. Also, remember that you can still get great deals on Huggies baby wipes there with the $2/1 store coupon combined with any manufacturer's coupons you have.
  • The Jewel flyer lists more products qualifying for that "spend $20, get $5" Catalina, like Scott toilet paper, Kleenex 3 packs and Ziplocs.
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Two Moneymaking Transactions: Kraft and CVS

Quiet around here today, I know. I took the kids to the Shedd Aquarium thanks to a friend with a membership, and it was exhausting. Although it was great to get in free (I get to reciprocate by taking the same friend and her daughter as our guests to the Brookfield Zoo), in two other aspects the outing was a frugal fail:

1. We didn't get there early enough to have a good chance at metered parking, and rather than pay double digits to park, I took 3 kids and a stroller on the El. It actually went very smoothly, but the travel time from door to door was 90 minutes each way, making for a pretty exhausting day.

2. I brought Easy Mac from the Kraft deal for lunch, because for some reason I though the Shedd had a lunch room with a microwave. Maybe it did before the remodel. At any rate, we couldn't get a micro or even any hot water, and my friend ended up spending $10 on a hot dog and a small cup of macaroni and cheese for my kids. Urg. 

And all that is not at all related to the main topic of this post, my two moneymaking transactions in the last few days:

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My Grocery Spending August 12-18

  • This was one of those weeks where I hit a number of stores and did a lot of shopping. This is what makes people say, Oh, I would never have time to run to all those different stores for deals! But this week is not normal for me. There were several can't-miss deals going on at Jewel and Dominick's and indeed I made several trips to scoop them up. Also, we went to Target for something else and since I was there I stocked up on hormone-free chicken (and some regular chicken I had a coupon for) and some other deals.
  • I also spent $104, well over my $80 budget, but I had $55 carried over from previous weeks so that's ok. So I have $30 in the grocery bank right now, but I'm planning to not spend it next week. I'm still saving to cover the $75 I spent on a Groupon for ready-made meals.
  • At Target I spent about $70 on groceries (pictured above). I actually got four bananas for just a few cents with the .50/1 lb. Target coupon, but we ate 3 on the way home. As you can see from the little red stickers, I got a lot of clearance items, and I was particularly pleased that they were DOUBLE red stickered, meaning I got the second price reduction. The hummus was down to $2 per 14 ounce carton, the turtle brownie kits were $2.18, the green chiles were 50 cents a can, and the organic salsa was $1.54 after clearance price and coupon.


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Grocery Sales at Dominick's -- 8/20-8/26



Lay's Chips $1.77

2 lbs. Michigan blueberries $3.99 (Too bad my kids are turning up their noses at blueberries in favor of $6/pint farmer's market blackberries. Can't really blame 'em though.)

Pillsbury Cake and Brownie Mix 79 cents

Cinnabon and Sun Maid Breakfast Breads (i.e. raisin bread) $1.49


Pepsi 2L + 7.25-11.25 oz. bag Cheetos or Fritos $1.49 for the pair

red seedless grapes 88 cents/lb

yellow peaches 99 cents/lb

12 oz. raspberries $3.99

local cucumbers 33 cents

pork chops $1.99/lb.

93% lean ground beef $1.99/lb.

24-pack Pepsi products $3.99

Post Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles, 11 oz. $1.88 (wasn't there a $1/2 in a recent insert?)

gallon Lucerne milk $1.99 when you buy 2

6 oz. Oscar Meyer lunchmeat $1.67

Honey Maid graham crackers $2.50 (use $1/1 printable, no longer available)

Vlasic pickles 24 oz. $2.50 (use $1/1 from MD booklet found at checkout)

Buy 3, Save $3: Popsicle Novelties $2.49, Premium Popsicle Novelties $2.99, Large Count Popsicle Novelties $3.49 before savings. (I did this last week with Fudgesicles, and was able to use a $2/3 manufacturer's coupon that printed out at Jewel from "buying" Breyer's in the Unilever Catalina deal.)

SUPER COUPONS (all require $20 purchase and limited to one unless otherwise indicated)

Electrasol Auto Dish Detergent (75-oz. liquid or 15-20 ct. tabs) $3.49 (I still have 10 $2.50 coupons I bought for this stuff; it was in the 7/12 SmartSource. It's expired but a cashier told me they take expireds at my Dominick's. And the tabs work WAY better than regular detergent in my dishwasher, so I'd go for this deal.)

Lucerne 18 large eggs 99 cents

Post Honey Comb 12-5 oz. or Cinna-Grahams 14.5 oz. 99 cents

Klondike bars $1.99

Safeway OJ 64 oz. $1.77

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World.

Photo by Payton Chung, used via Creative Commons license.

Jewel-Osco -- Sales 8/20-27


There are reports out there of a new Con-Agra and Kellogg's Catalina deal -- apparently it started today at Shaw's which is part of the same chain as Jewel, so it may be working at Jewel as well. I haven't seen any advertising or confirmation of that, though, so buy at your own risk. If you try it and it works, though, PLEASE report your results in the comments here.

As for the real, published Jewel sales this week, I'm underwhelmed, but maybe I'm just jaded these days. There is a new Catalina offer that could net you some really cheap Huggies diapers -- scroll way down to the bottom of the post for that one.


Jennie-O frozen turkey breast 99 c/lb.

Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna 5 oz. 49 cents

Coke 2-L 87 cents


Meat sale: $1.99/lb. gets you pork chops, eye of round roast or boneless, skinless chicken breasts; $2.98/8 oz. gets you rib eye steak or tuna steak (love how they call it "wild tuna." Ever hear of a tuna farm?)

Driscoll's conventional strawberries $1.50/lb. (organic are $3)

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Welcome WGN Listeners!


I had the privilege of sitting in the WGN radio fishbowl studio this morning with John Williams for a few minutes. Baby James came along of course and their wonderful producer Beth Swierk held him in the sound-proof control room while I talked with John.

We talked about CVS deals, combining coupons with sales, whether rebate deals take too much time (my answer: usually), buying kids' clothes ahead during the end-of-season clearance sales, and how setting a weekly budget -- not coupons or any other tactic -- was the most important step for me in becoming a frugalista.

For those of you who are new to bargain-hunting and couponing, these posts will help: My glossary of couponing lingo and my overview of a workshop I gave on bargain grocery shopping. Yes, a lot of my posts are about grocery shopping, although you will also find great ideas here on entertainment, clothing and living the frugal lifestyle.

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Sunday Flyers 8/16

The guests have gone home after yet another indoor barbecue -- we're 0 and 3 this summer for trying to use our backyard when we have company. The kids have dropped after the exhaustion of wreaking havoc in the house with their friends all afternoon. And I've finally got peace and quiet to look through these Sunday deals.

New feature this week: I linked each store's name to the online version of the weekly ad where available.

  • The coupon inserts: SmartSource has some coupons that would help you turn the Kraft rebate deal into a moneymaker: .75/1 DiGiorno Flatbread Melts, $1/1 DiGiorno Ultimate Toppings pizza (this should work on the personal pizzas, $2.50 at Jewel this week), $2/1 A1 Steak Sauce (that one would also get you free steak sauce at Kmart this week due to Super Doubles).
  • Target has a coupon for a free $10 gift card with transferred prescription. You should also be able to use this at CVS if your local takes "compeditors" coupons (as the electronic sign in front of my CVS says). Target also has the following $5 gift card offers: reserve and buy selected video games, or buy 2 Gillette razors or cartridges including Venus Embrace, Fusion, Breeze, at $7.99. For the best deal on that last, buy a Fusion razor and a cartridge pack, and use the $2/1 razor from the 8/16 (today's) RedPlum along with $4/1 cartridge pack from the 8/2 RedPlum. Then you'll get both for $5 after the gift card. Or if you already have a Fusion, two cartridge packs with two $4/1 Qs would be $3 after the gift card. You could also use the Qs from today's RedPlum for a free Gillette deodorant w/ purchase of a Fusion cartridge or a free Fusion shave gel with same. Finally, Market Pantry cheese is on sale for $1.79 per 8 oz. block.
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Jewel-Osco Unilever Catalina: The Final Reckoning UPDATED TO ADD THE DEAL IS STILL ON!?

 UPDATE: So, several readers have posted that this Catalina deal is still running. I actually found myself groaning at this news, because if it's still on, I'm tempted to get out there and try a few more moneymaking transactions, and I'm TIRED, dammit! Also, my house is messy.

I checked the Hot Coupon World Jewel forum and the word there is that it was "extended" until today, 8/14. But the sale prices have all changed. For instance, the General Mills cereals I was buying were on sale for $2 (Cookie Crisp and Kix are what I bought), but this week's ad says GM cereals are on sale for $2.50. But now you get a coupon for a free gallon of milk if you buy 4, and since milk is about $2 these days (50 cents x 4) that works out to be about the same.

Please post in the comments if you try the deal today and get the $15 in Catalinas!


I spent $10 (+$9.50 tax) on all the groceries in this picture. At full price (not that I ever would have paid that) it's $400 worth of groceries and laundry detergent (13 bottles!). It's hard to believe, but it's possible for anyone to do this by combining coupons with careful exploitation of a Catalina deal.

This Catalina deal is now over, but don't worry, there will be more! To learn how Catalina deals work read my Wise Bread post, "Advanced Grocery Deals: Catalinas."

 Here are all the transactions I did:

1. bought 2 packs Klondike bars, 5 boxes Cascadian Farms granola = $32.25 pre-card price

paid $16 + tax after Preferred Card and coupons, received $15 Catalinas

cost = $1 + 47 cents tax

2. bought 6 All detergents, 4 Yo-Plus, 5 Nature Valley Nut Clusters = $61.75 pre-card

paid $36 + tax, received $30 Catalinas

cost = $6 + $3.50 tax

3. bought 2 boxes CF granola, 2 Chex Mix bars, 2 Fiber One bars, 1 NV Nut Clusters, 1 Bertolli Organic sauce = $31.50 + tax

paid $17 + tax, received $15 Catalinas

cost = $2 + 64 cents tax

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Dominick's Grocery Deals 8/13-8/19

I guess it's because of all the free groceries I got at Jewel in the past week, but it really seems like Dominick's has been phoning it in lately when it comes to bargains.

Let's start with the Super Coupons that you can tear out of the flyer (pick one up when you get to the store if you don't get the paper at home because you want journalism to end and democracy to die because you're frugal). All require a $20 purchase and are limited to the quantities mentioned on the coupon:

Cheerios (8.9 oz.), Trix or Nature Valley bars 4/$6, must buy 4 (combine with $1/1 Cellfire Honey Nut Cheerios coupon IF the Honey Nut are included, .55/1 Trix Cellfire Q, .40/1 NV bars Cellfire Q, AND with .55/1 Trix printable, or $1/2 Cheerios or other GM cereals printable, or $1/3 GM cereals from the 8/9 SmartSource or $1/2 Nature Valley from 8/9 SmartSource -- I don't actually know if it's possible to triple-stack these coupons but if anyone tries it please let me know!)

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks 4/$4 (combine with .40/1 Cellfire, + $1/2 or .40/1 from 8/9 SmartSource or .40/1 printable.

Kraft Mac & Cheese 59 cents (it's 49 cents at Jewel)

Del Monte Fruit Cups 4-pack $1.49

All Small & Mighty $3.49 (if you missed it for same price in the Unilever Cat at Jewel) (use $1/1 printable)

Regular sales:

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Wednesday Flyers -- Jewel Osco 8/13-8/19

Whew! I'm typing this after my very last run for the Unilver Catalina deal and frankly, I don't want to see the inside of Jewel for a long time. But for those of you without shopping fatigue, here's a rundown of this week's sales:

First off, there's a list with pictures of the participating products in the Kraft $25 Free Groceries deal that are on sale this week. Particularly good deals are Mac & Cheese for 49 cents and 8-oz. cheese bricks for $1.69. Items I've noticed coupons for: DiGiorno pizza for one ($2.50) $1/2 6/14 SmartSource; California Pizza Kitchen for one ($2.50) or 12-inch ($6) $1/1 CPK product 5/17 SmartSource and $1/1 CPK pizza printable; Capri Sun ($1.99) -- I got a Q for a free box of Capri Suns on a multipack of Kraft Mac & Cheese, not sure if those are still out there; Easy Mac or Velveeta Mac cups ($1) $1/2 8/9 SmartSource; Kraft Singles ($2.50) $1/2 8/9 RedPlum, Starbucks Coffee ($6.99) $1/1 7/26 SmartSource. There are also a few on sale that I had previously printed coupons from for, but which are no longer available: Honey Maid Kids Graham Crackers, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Ritz all at $2.50.  

 So that's the Kraft deal news for the week, and remember that that deal runs through 8/23, one per customer.

The rest of the sales:

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Last Day of the Unilever Catalina Deal at Jewel-Osco

You can to do the Unilever Catalina deal through the end of today at Jewel-Osco. Even if you don't have a single coupon, you should really get over there if you haven't already, because you can get free ice cream and pasta sauce without any coupons at all. And since time is so short, you might even want to get bold and do the deal three times in one transaction, which Queen of the Urban Jungle showed was possible. I have done it myself successfully once and failed twice -- both failures due to my inability to keep track of $90 worth of pre-card prices.

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Free Food Tuesday


  • Get a free mint cookies & cream milkshake from Steak & Shake with this coupon, through tomorrow, August 12. It's a PDF, so you can print one for each member of the family. Chicagoland locations include Aurora, Bolingbrook, Evanston, Gurnee, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Rosemont and West Chicago. Call your location before heading out to make sure they're participating.
  • Take this survey to get a coupon for a free Kashi product.
  • Free apples and bananas at Target (free Rayovac batteries too).
  • Free sample of Somersault snacks.
  • $10 in free food delivered free from Schwan's (this appears to still be available!)
  • Free item with purchase at Arby's every Wednesday all summer. Tomorrow's freebie is a free roast chicken club with soft drink purchase.
  • The Unilever Catalina deal is still going through Wednesday at Jewel and there are tons of deals that result in free food! I will post soon with some last-minute deal ideas for you.
  • $25 in groceries free after coupon and rebate from Kraft.
  • Thanks to Money Saving Mom, Wise Bread and STL Mommy for these hot tips!

    Sunday Flyers, August 9

    Good Morning! It's a hot day; why not sit inside in the air conditioning and clip coupons? Unless you are too cheap to have air conditioning.Then you can sit under a ceiling fan and watch your coupons get flown all over the room like I do.

    1. This morning's coupon flyers.

    I was excited to see a General Mills coupon insert in today's Sunday paper, since the Unilver $15/$30 Catalina deal is still going on though Wednesday and General Mills products are included. However, the coupons inside aren't that exciting; most of them are available at the same or better value on or in past flyers. The only ones I clipped are the $1/1 Nature Valley Nut Clusters and and the .50/1 Yo-Plus (I already used all the $1/1 ones I had printed online.)

    If you are planning to do the Kraft $25 free food promo, there are several coupons that could help today: In Redplum thare are $1/2 Qs for Kraft Singles, Philly Cream Cheese, Kraft chunk cheese, Breakstone cottage cheese or sour cream and a $1/1 for Velveeta. There's also a $1/1 for a pint of Starbucks ice cream. I'm not sure if that's included in the deal, but if it is, those of you holding free pint coupons from the Facebook promo (now over) can really cash in. In SmartSource, there is a .50/1 Jell-O Pudding or Gelatin, $2/2 Kraft mayo$1/2 for Velveeta Shells & Cheese or Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese or Easy Mac, and a buy one, get one coupon for Velveeta Shells and Cheese cups. (Don't forget there is also a $1.50/2 printable for Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese or Velveeta Mac & Cheese and you should be able to print it twice per computer.)

    2. The CVS Sales

    Um, excuse me CVS? I can't seem to find the free school supplies in the flyer this morning. What's with that? It's like I don't even know you anymore! (Fortunately, free school supplies will be back next week with Phillips headphones, filler paper, pens and school boxes.)

    Oh well, there are two deals worth doing: Jumbo packs Huggies diapers are 2/$18. But that's not a very good deal, you say! I could do better buying a huge value box.

    Not really. First of all, CVS will pay you $4 ExtraBucks if you buy 2 packs. So that brings the price down to $7, a very good sale price. There are plenty of manufacturer's coupons out there, mainly from home mailers. I was lucky enough to receive a mailer when the new baby was born containing two $3/1 Qs. You might also have $3/1 coupons for the Pure & Natural variety, which I have not seen at CVS. Will those Qs work on regular Huggies? I don't know, but it's worth a try.

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    $25 in Kraft Groceries Free After Coupon and Rebate

    Starting today at Jewel-Osco, you can get $25 worth of Kraft products that work out to totally free after a Catalina coupon and a mail-in rebate. 


    Here's how it works:

    1. You buy $25 worth of participating products in the store and pay for them up front, less any coupons you use.

    2. At the register, a $5 coupon should print out that you can use to buy anything on your next shopping trip.

    3. A mail-in rebate form should also print out, which you can send in to get the other $20 back.

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    Troubles With Overlapping Catalina Deals at Jewel

    The first time I tried the overlapping Unilever promotions at Jewel, it worked like a charm and I got very excited about it. Now I've had three straight transactions that did not work out for one reason or another, and I am feeling discouraged.

    Two days ago I wrote about the transaction that didn't work, but where the cashier believed me when I said I was supposed to get $27 in Cats and gave them to me anyway.

    Last night, I did one transaction with $30 worth of lotion and got only a $3 Catalina for the "buy $30, get $12" promo and nothing at all for the "buy $30, get $15 promo." I think the reason that I didn't get the coupons for the latter is that I again had to buy the large 24.5 oz. bottles of lotion, and I guess they are not included in that promo. But I have NO IDEA why I didn't get the full $12 for the former promo. All the products I bought were listed in the ad, and they definitely cost $30. Maybe some of the varieties I grabbed were not included in the promo. Anyway, after coupons I spent about $17 out of pocket plus tax, and got only $3 back, so the lotion cost me $14. I may call the Catalina company to ask them what went wrong. I could have just returned the stuff, but a manager who doesn't like me was on duty and I didn't want to deal with her. Also, my dad uses a lot of lotion and is willing to pay me the $17 for all of it instead of having me return it.

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    Wednesday Grocery Deals -- Dominick's


    Gatorade Michael Jordan 32 oz. 69 cents

    Florida's Natural or Safeway organge juice 64 oz. $2


    8 pieces fried chicken $5


    2 lbs. blueberries $3.99

    red, green or black seedless grapes 88 cents/lb.

    nectarines 99 cents/lb.

    hot house tomatoes $1.49/lb.

    green beans $1.49/lb.

    organic strawberries $3.99/lb.

    Rancher's Reserve beef bottom round roast or chuck pot roast, or boneless whole pork loin or spareribs, $1.88/lb.

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    Wednesday Flyers -- The Rest of the Jewel-Osco Deals

    This week I'll be concentrating on getting all kinds of free product through the Catalina deals available, so I hardly gave a glance to the regular sales. But I suppose I may need a few things -- as much as I love getting free shampoo and cereal we can't live on that alone.

    Thurs-Saturday Only

    Coke or Fanta 2-Liters 88 cents

    asparagus $1.77/lb.

    Jewel butter $1.77/lb.

    Jewel boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.99/lb.

    All Week

    Driscoll's Strawberries $1.50/lb.

    Oreos9.6-18 oz. $2.50


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    Jewel Overlapping Catalinas: A Story of Catalina Shopping Gone Bad

    Sigh, sometimes it's so worth it to walk into a store and buy a few things and walk out with a profit. Usually it's so worth it.

    Today was not one of those days for me.

    I stopped at Jewel-Osco in the middle of some errands to try the double-dipping, money-making Unilever Catalina deal again. I got my three kids out of the car and into shopping position -- Baby Bjorn for the newborn, shopping cart seat for the 2-year-old, walking by my side and making it impossible for us to get through the door for the 5-year-old. We had not yet reached the Osco aisle with the deodorants when the 2-year-old began wining and shreiking about her desire to go home. I bribed them all with the promise of ice cream when we got home, but the 2-year-old informed me she did not WANT ice cream. Great.

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    Sunday Sales Flyers, August 2: Double Dip on Jewel Catalinas!

    Today is an EXCELLENT day to pick up extra Sunday papers if you ever do that, because there are FIVE coupon inserts: a special Kellogg's insert, a Procter & Gamble insert, the Redplum (aka Valassis) and two SmartSource inserts. I usually have my husband pick up extra Sunday papers for me if he goes to Menard's, where they sell them for $1 apiece. Street vendors also sell them for less than in stores, but I think they charge $1.25 now or something like that.

    Also, there are coupons in today's inserts that play into deals running at stores this week. I'm especially pleased to get my hands on that Kellogg's insert, even though the coupons inside are all for $1/2 which isn't that exciting. The reason is that Pop-Tarts are on sale 5/$5 through Wednesday, and there are two $1/2 Pop-Tarts coupons in the flyer.Once I get my mother's and grandmother's inserts, I'll have enough coupons to buy 10 boxes, pay $5 out of pocket, and send in for the $10 Fuel for School rebate. Moneymaker! The RedPlum has a whole bunch of Unilever coupons, and guess what? There's another Unilever Catalina deal running at Jewel through Wednesday. (If you're not familiar with thia kind of deal, check out this introduction to Catalina deals.)

    Earlier this week I posted about making $36 buying 6-packs of pop. I knew it was for two overlapping Catalina promotions, one advertised in the flyer and one not. What with the new baby in our house, I didn't have time to really look into what the other deal was.

    Well, it turns out the other deal was this, advertised in today's flyer: Buy $30 worth of included products (looks like Unilever and General Mills) and get $15 in coupons toward your next order. This runs through August 12, a week from Wednesday. I would expect this to work, as Jewel Catalina deals usually do, off the pre-card price, meaning that you only have to spend $30 worth of stuff based on the price it rings up as BEFORE you scan your Preferred card. Looking over the sale prices in the flyer, I'm guessing there are multiple transactions you could do where you spend $15 or less out of pocket, and get the $15 in coupons back, making your groceries FREE. 

    Just like I did last week with the pop, it looks like there's an opportunity to double dip with this deal and another Catalina deal also running and make lots of money in coupons. On p. 4 of the Jewel-Osco flyer, there's a promo on personal care products offering $12 in coupons if you spend $30. (Or $7 if you spend $20, or $3 if you spend $10.) There are products listed in both promos, like Vaseline Intensive Care lotion (10 oz. $2.50, 6.8-24.5 oz. $5), Dove products, Q-Tips and Suave products. This one runs through August 5, this Wednesday.

    So between now and Wednesday, If you buy $30 of the overlapping products, you should easily make money even without coupons. And the coupons in this week's Redplum/Unilver insert will be gravy. Now, usually Osco products are counted for these deals differently than grocery products -- they're counted based on the Preferred card price while the groceries are counted based on the pre-card price. So my deal suggestions for these Osco products are based on the card price. However, some people on Hot Coupon World are reporting that this particular deal actually works on the pre-card price, which would mean you could make EVEN MORE money. I will try that and report back for you.

    • Buy 12 Vaseline Intensive Care 10-oz. lotions for $30

    Use as many $1.50/1 coupons as you can get from today's Redplum. Also use as many $1/1 coupons as you can print -- usually the limit is 2 per computer.

    Receive $12 in coupons good for your next order, AND $15 in coupons good on your next order -- $27 total which means you just paid $3 for 12 bottles of lotion. Use just two $1.50/1 coupons and it's free. Use more 12 $1.50/1 coupons if you have them and you just made $15!!

    • Buy 12 Dove antiperspirants for $30, same as above. I am pretty sure I have coupons in my file for these, but I'm not sure from which insert.
    • Buy 6 Dove shampoos for $29.94 + 1 Suave deodorant for $1.67, spending a total of $31.61 + tax. Receive $15 in coupons + $12 in coupons = $27, meaning you paid $4.61. Use the .50/1 Suave deo Q and as many $1/1 Dove hair care product Qs from today's Redplum as you can get. If you use 5 or 6 Dove coupons, it's a moneymaker. (Note: someone on the Hot Coupon World Jewel forum says this deal worked for them by buying only 5 Doves and no filler. I'm going to try that and let you know!)

    Besides all these great double-dipping deals, there are also food deals to be had in the Catalina announced today. I just bought ice cream last night in the "buy 4, save 4 promo" running on Edy's products, but I have lots of coupons for Breyer's, which is part of the Unilever deal. No pre-card prices are listed in the flyer, so I'm gonna have to guess at them till I hit the store. Here's a rough idea:

    4 Breyer's ice creams (usually around $6) $24 (card price $3 each x2 = $6

    2 Klondike bar 6-packs ($4 each?)             $ 8 (card price $3 eacg x2 = $6)


                                                precard price: $32, card price $12, get $15 coupons

    This may be a moneymaker even before coupons! To sweeten it even more, use the $1/1 Breyer's coupon from the 7/12 flyer, or $1/2 printables. I personally have both $2/2 and $1/2 coupons that printed at the Jewel register to use.

    I feel a little dumb for buying ice cream that I actually paid money for yesterday. Oh well.

    I also hope to do a deal with Cascadian Farms cereals, since I love granola and most cereal deals don't include that. I'll use this $1/1 printable, but I'm not sure how many boxes I'll need to buy till I see the price in the store.

    There is also a promo going on where you get a free gallon of milk for buying 4 boxes of General Mills cereal, which are also part of the Catalina deal.

    I might as well just set up a cot over at Jewel this week. Since the flyer says that you can only earn the $15 in coupons once per transaction, I'll have to do a lot of transactions to get all the free and moneymaking stuff I'd like to get this week.

    As far as the other sales flyers go, Dominick's has a TON of store coupons good through next Sunday, 8/9, including 4-packs of Dole fruit bowls for $1.49, Pop-Tarts for 99 cents, 6-packs of 24-oz. Coke bottles for $1.99, Chef Boyardee cans 4/$3, and 3 lbs. of Safeway bacon for $5.99. (All require a $20 purchase and are limited to 1 or the number mentioned on the coupon.) But it's hard for me to get excited about "regular" good deals when I think about all the free food I'm gonna get at Jewel this week.

    There are also a ton more school supplies deals in the CVS and other flyers this week, but I will do a separate post about those later today.





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