Frugalista

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!

Stop One: Old Navy

Objective: Adoraboots for $10 and children's mittens at $4 for stocking stuffers

Coupons: Three 25% off one item coupons from the Sunday paper

Results: I spent $50! So many things were on sale for $5. I got three pairs of leggings for the girls, two pairs gloves, one hat, five pairs baby socks, a pair of toddler PJs, as well as a cami and three pairs unmentionables for myself. They had no kids' adoraboots, though. :-(

Lesson Learned: Old Navy stays open until 11 and therefore should not have been my first stop.

Stop Two: Walgreens

Objective: Do two $25 transactions plus buy as many free Neutrogena for Men products as possible for stocking stuffers

Coupons: $2/3 Coke peelie, $2/1 Just for Men printable, $2/1 Neutrogena from December All You, $1/1 Stayfree printable

Results: Since I walked in seven minutes before closing, I could only do one transaction. Got 3 Coke 12-packs, one Neutrogena lotion, one Just for Men, a Stayfree and a pack of Scunci hair bands. Had to add 3 caramels in order to use my four Register Rewards from last week. Paid $19.29 ($7 in RR, the rest in cash), and got back $23 in RRs. The cashiers were amazed and very nice, and the manager remembered me from last week and applauded my savings.

Lessons learned: The Walgreens by the River Forest Whole Foods is the best Walgreens in the whole world because the staff are so nice. The children's Scunci headbands are not included in the free after RR deal.

Stop Three: Jewel-Osco

Objective: Get money-making Progresso for school food drive, get diet Sierra Mist at steep discount for guests, get frozen vegetables at nearly free for family

Coupons: three $1.10/3 Progresso printables, one $.50/1 Sobe manufacturer's coupon from CVS, two $.50/2 Green Giant boxed vegetable coupons and two $.50/1 Green Giant Steamfresh printables (all printables from Coupons.com)

Results: Bought 13 Progressos, forgot I could have used four coupons, total was $5 exactly and received $5 Catalina coupon back. Then bought three six-packs Sierra Mist (diet) and one Sobe, paid $10.50 before tax, got $5 Catalina coupon back. Then bought four Green Giant boxed vegetables and two Steamers. Paid $6 after coupons, but didn't get a Catalina coupon back. Returned the frozen vegetables, asked for and received my coupons back.

Lesson Learned: Can't figure out what went wrong with last transaction since the list on Couponers Wanted says the Steamers are included. Maybe my math was wrong; it was quarter to 11 when this one got rung up. But I did learn that asking for a quick return and coupons back can be quite easy when the store's not busy, and it's best not to argue when they tell you you didn't get the Catalina because "You only spent $1.62!"

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