Catalina deals Archives

More Jewel Catalina Transactions and a New Moneymaker Idea

I think I'm done shopping the Jewel-Osco Catalina deal, which ends today. But today I did notice a tempting new item to buy: Pillsbury sweet rolls priced at $4.45 pre-card, $2.50 card price. These are the fancier sweet rolls, some co-branded Cinnabon, and look like so:


Transaction ideas and my transactions today beyond the break.
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Catalina Shopped for an Hour or Two Tonight



First off, an apology. Earlier today I posted that you could use a Swiss Miss coupon for the Catalina deal at Jewel-Osco right now. Um, what? Swiss Miss is not on the UPC list. Not in the ad. No one anywhere mentioned buying Swiss Miss as part of this deal. And to top it off, when I was at the store today, I noticed that the Swiss Miss doesn't even have a "Preferred Price." It's on sale for $1, but it's labeled "Bonus Buy" as if it's an Osco order.

So, forget I ever said anything about Swiss Miss. I was thinking of Catalina deals of days past.

Tonight I shopped the Jewel-Osco General Mills Catalina deal and bought: 

Transaction 1:

8 BC brownies

1 Pillsbury crescents

1 Pillsbury crescents dough with no perforations

($1 cost after coupons and Cat)

 Transaction 2:

3 Reese's cereal

3 Golden Grahams

3 Cheerios (beware -- at my store the 12 oz. boxes were right next to the 14 oz. boxes; you want the 14 oz.)

(note that if you buy some Reese's you may only need 9 cereals because they ring at $2.95, not $2.75)

($6 cost after coupons and Cat)

Transaction 3:

13 frozen veg: sweet peas, snap peas, broccoli spears, creamed corn, broccoli cuts. all sauce free except creamed corn.

($3.50 moneymaker after coupons and Cats)

Transaction 4:

4 crescents

4 grands

1 Cheerios

(25 cent cost after coupons and Cat)

All worked, giving me a final cost of $3.75 + tax for the night. Well, OK, I had one faulty transaction when I brought up the wrong size Cheerios, but I realized as I was ringing it up that the Cheerios were the wrong price, and decided at the last minute not to pay with a Catalina. Which made returning the stuff and starting over easier.

This was at the Jewel in Oak Park on Madison Street, and there were plenty of vegetables, enough cereals (except Multigrain Cheerios), a few varieties Grands and Crescents, and I left y'all one lonely brownie mix. Some poor guy was trying to pick up the exact variety of crescents his wife wanted, with no luck. I thought about explaining it all to him, but it just sounded too bizarre so I went back to doing arithmetic in my head.

GM Catalina Update at Jewel-Osco

This is a post with some transaction ideas for the General Mills Catalina deal going on at Jewel-Osco right now. See some pointers on this deal here, and if you don't know what Catalinas are or why they so often result in free food, get up to speed with my Catalina primer

I stopped by Jewel this morning and did my first transaction: 13 cans of Progresso soup. The pre-card "sale" price is $2. (NOTE: NOT $2.19 LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. SO YOU HAVE TO BUY 13 CANS TO HIT $25.)

So, my 13 cans of soup rang up at $26 + tax, then when I scanned my card it dropped to $13. I used three $1/4 coupons from inserts, bringing the total down to $10.23. My two $5 Catalina coupons printed as expected so ... free soup. I paid the 23 cents tax.
Imagine me throwing a little handful of confetti. Hooray!

Intrepid reporter that I am, I walked into the store with no pen and paper or even my phone to record more pre-card prices for you. But I did manage to check out the Cheerios and Golden Grahams, both tagged for the deal, with pre-card sale prices listed at $2.75. Here's how a transaction would work with those:
10 boxes Cheerios @ $2.75 = $27.50 before card
scan card and price drops to $20
Use three $1/3 coupons from inserts, plus one $.75/1 printable
I pay $16.25 and get a $10 coupon back
Final cost: $6.25 for 10 boxes cereal, or 63 cents a box

You could lower your cost a smidgen with that scenario by dropping it to 9 boxes cereal plus one cheaper item like one can of soup. Or you could have better coupons -- like if you have access to enough computers to print nine or ten $.75/1 coupons!

Any of you do any Catalina transactions today? Planning any? Please share your scenarios here.

This Week's Shopping: Catalina Fun and a Wedding



This week there wasn't much time to shop on account of my brother getting married. OK, I made multiple trips to all kinds of stores, but those were errands that I ran for the wedding and don't count.

Here's what I did for our family:

Spent 35 cents at Dominick's getting Barilla pasta, sauce and cheese. How so cheap? I used a $10 Catalina I had in my wallet -- without that my total would have been $10.35 for four jars sauce, four boxes of spaghetti, two blocks cheese and one jar O Organics baby food. The deal was "buy 2 pasta, get 2 sauce free," and the $1/1 coupons didn't work because they were for the wrong variety of pasta, but not a bad deal anyway. Oh! Also I forgot to report that I got a $1 Catalina coupon for buying Barilla products -- not sure how many I would have had to buy to trigger that, but if you count that and the $1.25/2 sauce coupon I used, I paid $5.75 for 4 sauce and 4 pasta -- not bad!

At Dominick's I also found more "Save $70" coupon booklets, with that $.50/1 any Healthy Choice coupon so useful in the Catalina deal at Jewel-Osco.

At Jewel I have done 2 rounds of the current Catalina deal. The first time I spent $5.92 on 9 cans of Healthy Choice soup ($.88/can x 9 = $7.92 - $2 in coupons = $5.92). The second time I got 9 cans soup with no coupons and some grapes. I paid with the $10 Cat from before, and I only owed the tax -- 23 cents. (And of course I received a $10 Catalina coupon for each of those transactions.)

At CVS, I spent 35 cents after Extra Bucks on some milk and a can of cream of mushroom soup.

So, my grocery spending for this week was $6.85, plus my normal $32 for the organic produce box. I donated 9 cans of soup to the Girl Scouts food drive and shared some of our produce with the babysitter, since we were going out of town and couldn't eat it all. $38.65 out of a possible $100. No wonder we hardly have anything to eat around here!

I won't detail our meals, since we ate most of them out of town, at parties and restaurants. But I am happy to report that I can add $60 to the "buy a cow 2010" fund, bringing my savings up to $95.

Jewel-Osco Catalina Deal Perfect for Food Bank Donations

Saturday the Girl Scouts will be roaming my area (Oak Park/River Forest), picking up food bank donations from porches. Even if your local troop won't be picking up, right now is a great time to shop at Jewel for your local food bank, because that Catalina deal is making food ... FREE.

See Mashup Mom for a new scenario where you can make money buying 9 cans of Healthy Choice soup ... even if you don't have coupons. With coupons, you make even more. If you have a little time, you can do this over and over and deliver oh, maybe 90 cans of soup to your local food bank? Or if the Scouts are coming to your neighborhood, better tell them to bring an extra wagon!

(OK, buying 90 cans of soup at one time is not considerd nice couponing, unless you place a special order, which might or might not come in in time for Saturday.)

See my Jewel-Osco Catalina deal post for more details, and if this kind of deal is new to you, see my Intro to Catalina deals.

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.

Jewel-Osco New Catalina Deal for Free or Very Cheap Food


I'll post the regular deals for this week at Jewel-Osco next. But first, finally, a big fat Catalina deal has come back to Jewel-Osco. Like it or loathe it, this is big agriculture food at its cheapest.

(See my explanation of how Catalina deals get you cheap or free groceries if you're new to this.)

This week's Catalina deal is already active, and it runs through next Wednesday, 10/13/10. Buy $25 worth of select products, get a $10 coupon to use on your next order -- of anything. Some products with pretty good sale prices: 

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These Are the Groceries I Paid for ... But Look at the Groceries I Got!

You know those Empire commercials, right? "I paid for this much carpeting," showing a tiny patch of carpet in a bare room, "But look at the carpeting I got!"

Tonight I felt that way at Jewel-Osco. I paid $31 plus tax in two transactions. If I was paying full price with no coupons, I could have afforded this:

(That'd be three bags of coffee.)

But with manufacturer's coupons, a store coupon, instant savings, Preferred Card prices, Catalina coupons and even an Avenue "personalized savings" deal, I got all this for my $31:



Is it any wonder that we get hooked on couponing?

Here's how it went down:

Transaction 1:

Bounty 8 Giant Rolls $9.99 Preferred Card price/$14.99 pre-card

Tide 100 oz.               $9.99/$14.49

Pringles $1.50

Mrs. T's Pierogies BOGO @ $3.49

Starbucks 12 oz. @ $6.99 x 4 =  $27.97

Cheerios 14 oz. $2.50

cage free eggs $3


Total before any coupons or discounts (except card prices): $58.44 plus tax

MINUS $1 Avenu savings on the Bounty: $57.44

MINUS $7.50 instant savings on the Starbucks/Cheerios $49.94

MINUS $5 Jewel coupon from the mail -- spend $50, get $5 off (I was 6 cents under but it went through) $44.94

MINUS $9 manufacturer's coupons ($2/1 Tide from a magazine, four $1/1 Starbucks from the 9/12 SmartSource, $1/1 Bounty from a booklet I got at BlogHer, two $1/1 Mrs. T's Pierogies from the Save $70 booklet at Dominick's) $35.94

MINUS the $10 Catalina coupon I got for buying $30 worth of P&G products

-----> FINAL PRICE $25.94 plus tax

Transaction 2:

12 Big Roll Charmin $6.79/$9.49

100 oz. Tide               $9.99/$14.49

Mr. Clean @ $2.50/$3.85 x 2 = $5/$7.70


Total before any coupons or discounts (except card prices): $21.78

MINUS $6.49 manufacturer's coupons ($2/1 Tide from a magazine, $1/1 Charmin from the BlogHer booklet, and $3.49 for the BOGO Mr. Clean coupon from the 8/29 P&G Saver, and FYI I told her it was on sale for $2.50 but she put in $3.49 anyway.) -- $15.29

MINUS $10 coupon for my next order for buying $30 worth of P&G stuff

------> FINAL PRICE $5.29 plus tax

The sale prices, the coffee/cereal deal and the P&G Catalina all end tomorrow, so if you want to copy this, don't dawdle. Mashup Mom and her readers have more transaction ideas here.

Check Out Mashup Mom's Great Jewel-Osco Scenarios

I almost stopped at Jewel today to do the P&G Catalina deal, but I held off because I have several $X/$XX coupons -- $4/$40, $5/$50 -- and I wanted to make sure I could spend enough at one time to use one. I'm so glad I did, because check out Mashup Mom's scearios for Starbucks at under $5 a bag, and free Mr. Clean.

P.S. I want to buy more of those Mrs. T's Pierogies at 75 cents a box, but I don't know if I'll be toasting more in the oven anytime soon; I ran the "clean" function on my oven for the first time yesterday, and I can't get it unlocked now. I think the oven got so hot it warped the metal or something.

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.

Coupon Policy Changes at Dominick's

Jill Cataldo has a very clear post up about two changes in Dominick's coupon practices: they will no longer stack a paper manufacturer's coupon with an e-coupon, and they won't take Catalina coupons from other retailers for money off your order.

(I don't see these changes reflected in Safeway's online coupon policy, but Jill is very knowledgable and I'll take her word for it. Also, I've heard that other bloggers have experienced at least the first change too.)

The first change, while disappointing, is easy to understand: The manufacturers don't want to reimburse the store for more than one coupon on an item. I'm sure the ony reason it took this long for Safeway to stop accepting both an e-coupon and a paper coupon for one item was that it took awhile to get the registers to figure out when it was happening.

However, it will be annoying. Since e-coupons hang around on your card for quite awhile after you load them, you might not know what you have e-coupons for. Then if you bring in paper coupons for the same items, you won't realize why they're beeping at the register.

The second change has to do with those Catalina deals, where you buy $x worth of stuff and in return, you get a coupon for $5 or $10 off your next order. Those usually say "manufacturer's coupon," it made perfect sense to me that I'd be able to take one I got at Jewel and redeem it at Dominick's. I wonder why Dominick's has decided this is a problem. Here's hoping that Jewel, which specifically says in its coupon policy that it'll take such coupons from other stores, sticks with that policy.

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.

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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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Food Shopping Today


(Note: If you wanna replicate this deal, hurry! These prices should end tonight.)

Took all 3 kids and walked over to get our CSA box, stopping at Dominick's on the way there for processed food to balance out all that organic goodness.

The Good: CSA

organic carrots, lettuce, cucumber, corn, green peppers, hot peppers, onions, celery and cantaloupe for $32.


The Bad (Sorry, but I looked at the list of various sugars on those bars and teh 14 g sugar per serving. Bad.)

5 boxes "soft" granola bars for the 1st grader's lunches $7.50 before coupons

5 boxes Simply Fruit Roll-Ups $5 before coupons

My total after coupons and $6 in Catalina coupons was $6 even, and I got $6.50 in Catalinas back -- $3.50 for the granola bars and $3 for the roll-ups.

Granola bars: $7.50 - $.75 e-coupon - $2.25 in paper coupons = $4.50, got $3.50 Cat back so the cost was $1 for 5

Fruit Roll-Ups: $5 - $.50 e-coupon = $4.50, got back $3 Cat so cost was $1.50 for 5

Could always pull some Fruit Roll-Ups coupons and bring them in with receipt next time to make it even lower.

The ugly: Clearance items including 2 bags butterscotch baking chips and a bag of lentils. These didn't turn ugly until I left the groceries on the deck too long waiting to get around to photograph them. Now, I have two bags with one very large butterscotch chip each! (But, you know -- only 69 cents each.)

Speaking of clearance, they also had cans of O Organics soup at half price, making them about $1.30 -- cheap soup if you still have the $1/1 O Organics coupon.

Dominick's Trip: Accidentally Paid for Granola Bars




A moment of disorganization turned a potentially moneymaking Dominick's trip into nearly almost-free. I paid $1 for four boxes of granola bars, when I was hoping to get five for free or at a profit.


But first, what do you suppose the nice cashier asked me when he saw my coupons?

"Do you ever read that blog, Mashup Mom?"

I sighed.

"Yes. Yes I do." Then a little tear rolled down my cheek.

Now, to the oopsie shopping trip. I arrived at Dominick's at 9:45 with instructions from Epu to get some kind of liquor and bubbly water for his enjoyment. Because I am a surrendered wife, I of course hopped in the car and rushed on over there before they stop selling booze at 10.

OK, for real I wanted to do that granola bar Catalina again to stock up for school lunches. I had e-coupons loaded on my card for both regular Nature Valley granola bars and those new Thins, as well as Fiber One bars (aka "cover 'em with so much sugar they'll never know it's healthy bars"). I also had paper coupons for both kinds, plus one more $1/1 NV Nut Clusters. I figured that if I bought four boxes granola bars and one bag Nut Clusters, I'd pay $7.50 pre-coupon, $4 after paper coupons, and maybe around $2.50 or less after e-coupons because you never know what will come off there. And, I'd get a $3.50 Catalina coupon back.

Got that?

First I had to hustle to pick out my booze, of course, and then just as the manager got on the speaker to tell me to hurry up cause liquor sales end in 10 minutes, I darted into the cereal aisle to grab my granola bars. Except, all the Thins were maybe never put out yet or maybe gone. And all the Nut Clusters were just gone since apparently other people found out those were free after coupons and Catalina.

They probably read about it on Mashup Mom.

So I ended up with just four boxes granola bars along with my Sauza Tequila and bubbly water. Then, at the register, I couldn't find my Dominick's card. I dug around for at as long as I could, and then finally just gave my phone number. Problem is, I for some reason don't have a phone number linked to my current Dominick's card, or I don't know what number it is. The phone number I use at Dominick's is the one to my old Safeway card that I used in California. With no e-coupons loaded on it.

On the up side, the 3 $.50/1 Nature Valley Thins coupons I was using worked just fine on the regular granola bars. I know that many couponers think using a coupon for one specific product for any old product in the same brand is a major sin, but I chatted about this with a marketer recently and she laughed at the idea that the manufacturers would care.

"If people only knew how little time the brand manager spends deciding which variety to put on the coupon," she said.

So, anyway, $6 worth of bars, minus $2.50 in coupons, means I paid $3.50 and got only $2.50 back. So I paid 25 cents a box.

I also got the Tequila with an expired manufacturer's coupon from Jewel, prompting Epu to Tweet:

short on booze, @carriekirby offered to hustle to the store. she came back with tequila, bought with coups. what a lady!

And epu, at least, doesn't read Mashup Mom.

She Shops, She Scores


You've been wondering, I know. The Frugalista -- doesn't she ever shop anymore?


Well, summer has been hectic, but yes, I have shopped without sharing. Tonight I have a nice little trip to share, though.

I stopped into Dominick's after picking up a Freecycle thing, and spent $17.68 on all this. I also got back a $5 Kraft Catalina, making the cheese free:


Since most of these deals ended tonight, I won't go into tons of detail. The cheese was a combo of a "buy 5, save $5" offer that ended tonight, five $1/1 coupons, and the $5 Kraft Catalina offer. The pens were free due to a combo of Dominick's e-coupons, a paper coupon and a Super Coupon that ends tonight. The bread was $1.69 after a Super Coupon, the shrooms were 99 cents each after SC, the milk was $1.99 after SC and the O Organics coupon (and you can't beat that for organic milk!). The mangoes were just a regular sale of 3/$1.

I also got some of that random double-deduction love that happens at Dominick's with Super Coupons sometimes. The 40 cents for the milk came off twice. Oh, and I saved 16 cents in state tax on the pens due to the state sales tax holiday. Whoo-hoo!

67% savings, and that doesn't take into account the $5 Kraft Catalina coupon I get to use on my next order.

Still got it.

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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Two Weeks of My $80 Shopping Budget

Last week I spent around $65 shopping, which means I started this week still $35 behind my budget. I'm probably going to increase my grocery budget now that we buy so much organic food, but I haven't done it just yet.

This week I spent $51, $29 under the $80 budget. So I'm $6 behind going into the first week that we get our organic CSA box, which will take $32 of each week's budget.

This week I spent $20 at Jewel-Osco (1 round ConAgra Catalina, 2 rounds Dairy Catalina, plus a few sundries), $16 at the farmer's market ($10 of that was on some outrageously priced tomatoes that I can't believe I bought), $15 at Stanley's. My CVS purchases of milk, cereal and whatever didn't take anything off my budget because I used ExtraBucks and a gift card.

What we ate on $51 and our stockpile:


THURSDAY leftovers

FRIDAY ordered pizza and had it with salad

SATURDAY blts for lunch, for dinner pot roast made into bbq beef sandwiches and salad

SUNDAY blts with fried egg for breakfast, tuna melts and salad for dinner

MONDAY homemade macaroni and cheese, asparagus

TUESDAY sauteed snow peas, barley and barley and scrambled eggs

ConAgra Catalina Transaction

This morning I thought we'd quick stop into Jewel-Osco before our Monday morning playgroup at the park. Alas, when we came out of the store it was raining, but at least the Jewel-Osco part of the plan happened.

Here's what we did for the ConAgra Catalina deal:

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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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Deals from the Sunday Ads: Holiday Coupons for Michael's, Diapers, Deck Box



It's a GORGEOUS holiday weekend, so don't waste time poring over those Sunday ads. In fact, don't even read this post until it's raining tomorrow and you're lying around the house bored. Here are the best deals from this week's Sunday newspaper:


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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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Today Only: Use $5/$15 ConAgra Coupon at Jewel-Osco

Did you get your Wednesday paper with the grocery ads? If you get Ultra, there's a manufacturer's coupon in there for $5 off a $15 purchase of select ConAgra products. If you take that coupon to Jewel-Osco today only, you should be able to considerably sweeten the ConAgra Catalina deal that's ending today.

Products listed on the coupon: Healthy Choice All Natural Entrees, Soup, Micro Bowls and Fresh Mixers. Hunt's BBQ sauce and tomato sauce. Banquet Chicken and Dinners. Marie Callender's Pot Pies, Dinners and Pasta Al Dente. Gulden's mustard. Van Camp's Pork and Beans. Manwich. Act II Popcorn 3-pack. Alexia Crunchy Snakcs. Wesson Oil. Kid Cuisine.

The most obvious deal that pops out is the Wesson Oil, which was already a good deal in the Catalina. What will you do with this coupon if you have it?

Coming later today are both the Chicago daily deals and my summary of the grocery ads, if I can squeeze all that in. Right now I'm off to visit a friend with the kids.

Sunday Ads and Coupons: Cheap Diapers, Cheap Thermacare, Moneymaking Contact Solution

Here are the best deals and coupons I see in this week's Sunday newspaper inserts. Let's make this quick and dirty so I can go outside and enjoy the weather! This week I'm interested in Huggies and moneymaking Complete contact solution at Walgreens, ThermaCare wraps for 50 cents a box at CVS, and the ConAgra deal at Jewel-Osco.


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ConAgra and a Helpful Site for Catalinas

The latest ConAgra deal is already active at Jewel-Osco, and you can see it advertised in tomorrow's Sunday newspaper ad. From what I am seeing other people buy, the best deals are on Wesson oil, Pam grilling spray and Orville Redenbacher popcorn.

Personally, I will probably get some Pam, some Hunt's tomatoes and/or sauce and a can of Reddi-Wip. I'll post my transaction when I do it.

But I wanted to tell you about a Web site that offers a lot more help with these Catalina deals than I do: Calculate Your Shopping. This site provides unbelievably organized spreadsheets showing all the information you need to work Catalina deals as well as some suggested transactions.

The site author, Mary, says she has verifed every price in the ConAgra Catalina offer, and the spreadsheet for the current ConAgra deal is here. It tells you the item's Preferred Price, pre-card price, where to find the coupons, and the percentage you will save item-by-item or transaction-by-transaction. So at a glance you can look at her "shopping lists" and see that you can save "104%" (i.e. make money) right now if you buy seven popcorns with seven coupons, or that you can save 77% on Hunt's spaghetti sauce with no coupons.

I hope she keeps this site up -- it seems like a lot of work -- and I will definitely be looking here for Catalina help in the future.

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

ANOTHER ConAgra Catalina Deal Coming at Jewel-Osco

Got this warning about the next big ConAgra Catalina deal at out of the coupon printer at Jewel-Osco today:

"SAVE BIG on brands for the quick meals you squeeze in between everything else. Purchase $25.00 in participating items from ConAgra between 5/20/10 and 5/26/10 and receive a $10 coupon to use on your next shopping trip."

Notice the 2.5:1 ratio -- this is a good Catalina deal, assuming there is also a good spread between with card sale prices and regular prices. (See my explanation of how Catalinas work  and how they can get you free food, if that sentence baffled you.) Many of the Catalina deals we've seen lately only offer $5 if you spend $20 or even $25 -- ratios of 4:1 or 5:1.

So I'm glad I didn't shop recent ConAgra Catalinas. I think I will cave and get canned tomatoes if they are part of it, because I am almost out and have not thought of an affordable way to get jarred tomatoes. Actually, I thought of an affordable way: Buy a Groupon or YouSwoop certificate to a fancy grocery store. But I didn't actually get those certificates when they were available; maybe next time.

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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Proof That CVS Loves Us: $2/2 Body Wash Coupons from the Coupon Printer

This morning I headed over to my neighborhood CVS with much excitement to do the Nivea deal and restock my dwindling ExtraBucks wallet. I was helped by the manager of the whole store, and I told him about this blog, so Hi Nader or Nader's wife! If you are reading this.

Now that the meet and greet is over, the big news from my trip: The CVS coupon printer is spitting out $2/2 body wash store coupons! I scanned three different cards and each one got the coupon. That cuts the out of pocket for this deal to about $1.60 if you don't have the coupons from All You magazine, or 87 cents if you have them!

(UPDATED TO ADD: If you get a different coupon from the printer, try scanning your card again. The generic CVS coupons like this generally come out last, sometimes after scanning your card several times.)

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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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The Best ConAgra Scenarios Through Wednesday

Despite my lack of enthusiasm about the "spend $25, get $10" ConAgra Catalina deal at Jewel-Osco*, there are some good scenarios out there for free or very cheap food.

(See my quick primer on how these deals work and why these scenarios have you spending LESS THAN $25 but still getting the $10 Cat.)

Participants of the discussion board Couponers Wanted suggest:

1) Buy 7 Orville Redenbacher popcorns, use 7 $.40/1 coupons from the 3/28 SmartSource. Spend $9.73 after all the coupons ---> free after you get the $10 Catalina coupon back. (Do even better if you a) haven't printed the $2/2 Smart Pop coupons or buy cheese flavor and use the $.75/1 from the 3/28 SmartSource -- thanks Mashup Mom for both those tips.)

2) Whatever you're buying, throw in two packs of the participating Activia yogurt flavors (strawberry and cereal, peach and cereal, vanilla and cereal, or light blueberry) so you can get the $2 YourBucks Cat as well. And of course print two $1/1 from

3) Healthy Choice soup: buy 9 cans at $9 and get the $10 Cat back for moneymaking soup, with no coupons needed.

To make your own scenarios, use the full product list, also compliments of CW. And please share your scenarios in the comments!

* Keep in mind it's not just my high horse keeping me from getting excited, but also that there aren't as many products participating this time around and I have a stockpile of what I need.

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.

Free Coasters, Cheap Pampers at Jewel-Osco and Other Quick Deals

Oh, readers, I had hoped today was the day we'd get to sit down over a steaming mug of coffee and really talk. The middle child is up in Wisconsin for a few days.* The bathroom remodel was supposed to be finished.

But then ... oh, never mind. Point is, the day is slipping away and I don't want you guys to miss these deals while I cater to a sick kid and a baby who apparently can't sleep when mom mixes Sudafed with caffeine** while breastfeeding:

  • Two free photo coasters, shipped, first 3,000 only so skedaddle. You have to shill the Web site to three friends, but you can placate two of them by giving them each a free coaster, right? (Thanks Hip 2 Save, who also notes that the Rayovac printable coupon has reset, and that gets you free batteries if your Target has them in the Dollar Spot. UPDATED TO ADD: AND I just followe4d Hip 2 Save's advice and used a $20/$20 coupon code at Springhill nursery. H2S, please stop posting such good deals so I can get something done around here!)
  • Cheap Pampers with a double-dip Catalina deal at Jewel-Osco, today only. And free Scrubbing Bubbles at Dominick's. Thanks, Mashup Mom, you're a monument to American Catalinahood.
  • Walgreens actually has two moneymakers going on right now if you gots the coups, reports Money Saving Mom. But hurry lest the vitamins and aspirin involved in the deals be sold out.

* What? If 3 is old enough to walk a tightrope over a tiger pit, it's old enough for co-ed camping trips, right? Americans, so prosaic.

** See *. 



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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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: 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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Sunday Ads - Even More Cereal Deals



This might be a good week to hit Target. Other than that, not much about the Sunday ads say must-shop to me. Of course there are continuing cereal deals at Dominick's, and a freebie has popped up at Jewel-Osco for frozen chimichangas (don't get the jalepeno variety).

Target has a Kellogg's gift card offer that will get your four boxes of cereal or 12-count Pop-Tarts for $2-$3 -- 50 cents a box for cereal or 75 cents a box for Pop-Tarts. Buy four @ $2.50 each and get a $5 gift card for a cost of $1.25 a box. To sweeten it, print any of these manufacturer's coupons: $1.50/2 cereal$1/2 Pop-Tarts coupons and $1.50/3 Kellogg's cereal.

Another good deal at Target is Starbucks coffee -- it's on sale $7 for a 12 oz. bag, and there's a $1.50/1 Target store printable coupon. There are $1/1 out there on tearpads, or in the March All You magazine. Combining the two coupons would get you down to $5.50 for the bag, and remember that an empty bag of Starbucks beans can be redeemed for a frew cup of brewed coffee at a Starbucks cafe.

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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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$80 Grocery Shopping: Over-Budget Blues

Darn, over budget two weeks in a row! I spent about $93 on groceries this week, after spending $87 last week, so I am now $20 in the hole. But I got a lot for my money: Since I ran both the ConAgra and the Kraft/P&G Catalina deals twice, and since one requires a $25 purchase and one a $30 purchase (before card  prices and coupons), that's $110 worth of stuff right there. According to my receipts I saved $166 at Jewel and $32 at Dominick's -- about $198. That's like paying 32 cents on the dollar, and I like it.

I didn't go crazy on these Catalina deals, because most of the product wasn't totally free, but I did stock up on some things we will use: pasta sauce, nuts, yogurt, cheese, ketchup, mustard, and my girls' favorite treat, whipped cream. So I'm fine with this; next week I will probably run to Trader Joe's to stock up on organic produce, and it won't be until the next week that I keep the groceries under budget to make up for the $20.

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Jewel-Osco Catalina Ideas from the Experts

Mashup Mom posted some great "beginner" scenarios for the ConAgra and Kraft/P&G Catalina deals at Jewel-Osco. Those are actually great scenarios for anyone, since they can result in free food! I'm going to run some of her suggested deals myself.

My Brain Is Inside Out posted a list of unadvertised items that qualify for the "Just Chill" frozen food deal.


Jewel-Osco Catalina Run

multicatgroceries.jpg My double-Catalina-plus-YourBucks transaction, which went perfectly (This was like the Long Program of Olympic Grocery Shopping, and may I say, I think the judges would have scored me well.) Pre-card prices first, card prices in parenthesis.

(If you don't know why both prices are important, read my Catalina shopping how-to on Wise Bread.)

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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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Catalina Bonanza at Jewel-Osco

Tonight I got tired of hearing about all the great moneymakers and freebies people were getting with the new YourBucks program and the General Mills Catalina, so even though our house is busier than busy right now, I took an hour to myself after the kids went to bed to ravage my nearest Jewel-Osco.

I went to Jewel tonight with a $7 Catalina in my wallet, came home with $21 in Catalina coupons. The trip cost me $25.73 cash, however, which is quite a bite out of this week's $80 grocery budget.

But when you take into account the Catalinas I now have, it's like I paid $11.73 (including tax) for all this:



In the first transaction, I got four boxes of Wheaties Fuel for the GM Catalina (cost after card and coupons = $6, Catalina paid $7). I got two bottles of Nestle Quik for $2 and YourBucks paid me $2 right back, same with Ragu at $1.99, and then I got a Culinary Circle pizza for $3.99 and got back $1 in Yourbucks. I threw in some asparagus and bubbly water because we cannot live on Catalinas alone.
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Jewel-Osco: Catalina Madness With ConAgra, Kraft, P&G

Here are the Catalina deals advertised in today's Jewel-Osco ad:

(Catalina deals at Jewel-Osco can usually be worked in a special way to result in free or very cheap food. Read up on Catalina strategies here. Keep in mind that all pre-card prices quoted here should be double-checked at the store -- they might ring up differently making it necessary to make adjustments.)

1. Kraft/P&G (back page). Runs 3/4-3/10. Buy $30 worth, get $10 back. Products include regular Kraft cheeses, Oreos, Planter's nuts, Puffs, Charmin and more. The coupon sleuths at Couponers Wanted have the full product list here.

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Two More Catalina Deals Coming Up at Jewel-Osco

The General Mills Catalina offer at Jewel-Osco (spend $20, get a $7 coupon for your next purchase) is scheduled to end Thursday, 3/4. But don't dispair, there are two more Catalina offers coming up! I got ads for two upcoming deals on from the Catalina printer on Saturday.

(If you don't know about those special and often free-groceries-generating Catalina deals, check out my Catalina primer.)

1. A P&G and Kraft Catalina deal starts on Wednesday, 3/3 and runs through 3/10. Spend $30, get a $10 coupon. Expect to see the sale prices for that deal in this Wednesday's flyer. As usual, My Brain Is Inside Out has a nice preview. 

2. Then on Thursday 3/4, we get a ConAgra Catalina offer: Spend $25, get two $5 coupons for your next purchase. That also runs through 3/10, so I guess we'll see those details in the Wednesday flyer too.

Also don't forget these new ongoing YourBucks Catalinas. I've been negligent in trying them, but you can see over at Mashup Mom that she has been getting all kinds of moneymakers and free products using YourBucks -- free Ragu sauce, moneymaking Suave products.


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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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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Jewel-Osco ConAgra Catalina Deal

Because you're obsessed with grocery deals, you've heard about the ConAgra Catalina deal coming soon to Jewel-Osco. Well, it's already active, from what I hear! I'ts a "spend $20, get $5" -- not that great of a deal compared to the "spend $30, get $10" or even "spend $25, get $10" at other times of the year, but there are still some possibilities here if you work it.

(For an introduction to Catalina deals and how to work them to get free or very cheap stuff, read my Wise Bread post.)

Here are the included items that go on sale tomorrow; many Jewels will already have the sale prices up and running. I'll note the "without Preferred Card" price where listed in the ad, but keep in mind that these are not always accurate for all stores so definitely pay attention as you ring things up to make sure you hit the $20 before you scan your card! Also, look in the 1/24 RedPlum for more ConAgra coupons.


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The Next Great Pillsbury Croissant Grab


OK, I caught some flack for loading up on tons of money-making croissants and Grands last time Pillsbury did a Catalina deal. But you know what? They're gone! We made a lot of friends and relatives happy by sharing half a dozen tubes with each, enjoyed some ourselves, and I think the very last tube of cinnamon rolls was our Christmas morning breakfast.

Now a new round has started at Jewel as well as Dominick's and Kroger stores. The slip I got today at Jewel says theirs started Jan. 25 and runs through Feb. 21. Buy 4 get $2, buy 5 get $3, buy 6 or more get $4. Lists Crescents, Cookies, Sweet Rolls, Grands, Grands Cinnamon Rolls, Pie Crusts, Dinner Rolls, Loaves, Breadsticks, Pizza Crust. And by the way I saw the tags in-store on the Simply cookie dough so that's included too, and at my store there are still lots of $1/1 stickers on the Simply packs.

Money Saving Mom reports that a similar deal is going on at Safeway (Dom's) and Kroger (Food4Less).

The General Mills insert from 1/3 should have plenty of useful coupons for this; also both SmartSource and RedPlum had some on 1/24.

Photo by Karla Kaulfuss, used via Creative Commons license.

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 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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Jewel-Osco General Mills Catalina Deal - Possible Moneymakers or at Least a Freebie or Two


Here are the details from today's Jewel-Osco ad about the new General Mills "spend $20, get $5" Catalina deal, which is already active:


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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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When My Jewel Card Itches, I Know a New Catalina Deal Is Coming

This weekend, I got the feeling that Jewel-Osco was about to launch yet another General Mills Catalina deal. How did I know? Well, there was a General Mills coupon insert in the Sunday paper, and started showing a bunch of General Mills coupons.

I was right. According to My Brain Is Inside Out, the latest General Mills Catalina is already active today! It is "spend $20, get $5," which is not all that great, but at least you can stack it, meaning you can spend $40 per transaction and get two $5 coupons. Also, there is another Catalina deal going on with the Nature Valley granola bars and Betty Crocker snacks which is always nice. Go to that link above and Bethany will explain how it all works.

According to Couponers Wanted, you also get Box Tops for Education on this one, which is a nice bonus if you have a kid at a school that collects these. (If you are looking for a school to donate these to, just email me at carrielynnkirby AT gmail dot com.)

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!

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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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.


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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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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Gather Your Coupons: General Mills Catalina Deal at Jewel

Mashup Mom reports that there's a "spend $15, get $5" Catalina deal advertised in tomorrow's Jewel-Osco ad, and it's already active. Looks like frozen vegetables and plenty of other stuff will be completely free, with the help of the GM coupons on right now.

The sensible thing to do for me would be to sit this one out. My house is already crazy with holiday madness and run-of-the-mill drudgery (aka laundry). The first big snow falling on a Monday morning when the whole family was scheduled for early-a.m. flu shots and I didn't have anyones boots out of the crawl space yet, preceded by the sudden death of my laptop, got our week started with a bump.

BUT, my daughter's having a food drive at school, and I thought she'd be so proud when she brought in five items today. Only to find out that another kindergartener brought in 31 items. Mom's stockpile is going to take a major hit with this kind of competitiveness going on.

So, you know, hand me my coupon scissors.

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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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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Sunday Ad Flyers 11/8 - Cheap Huggies, Toy Coupons

Today's ads make it clear that all the retailers are trying really hard to get us really excited about holiday shopping asap. But guess what, retailers? I doubt many of us WILL be that excited about holiday shopping this soon, unless it's to take advantage of deep, deep discounts. Speaking of which, I'll be posting soon with my holiday shopping strategy and the "no credit card bill" holiday agreement I made with my husband.


SmartSource has more General Mills coupons good for the Catalina deal at Jewel -- $1/1 Yo-Plus and Yoplait Delights, $.25/1 Progresso. RedPlum also has a coupon for the Catalina deal: $.40/1 Pillsbury frosting. But the coupon I'm most excited about today is the $1/1 Nabisco crackers -- perfect for getting some Triscuits at a profit using the Holiday Jingle rebate if another $1 Triscuit sale comes along!

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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 Deal: All This for About $1.64


Today my parents were here for the morning so I slipped out to run a few errands including, of course, Jewel General Mills Catalina runs. I didn't find everything I wanted in stock, but I did end up getting 8 cans of soup, 3 boxes of Kleenex, 16 rolls of paper towels, 5 pounds of flour and two cans of frosting for about $4. The first store I stopped at was near our local kids' consignment shop, where I was dropping off some of the girls' outgrown holiday dresses to sell.

(If you're wondering what a Catalina deal is, read my Catalina primer. Also, both fellow Chicago deal blogger Mashup Mom and My Brain Is Inside Out have recently posted some great answers to common Catalina questions.)

I had enough coupons to pull off a triple-stacked deal of only Scott single-roll paper towels, but of course couponers have been cleaning those things out everywhere so all I found were two rolls. I looked over the few coupons I've had time to clip for the other items and patched together a quick $30 transaction.


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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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Two Quick Transactions: Moneymaking Ice Cream and Moneymaking Oatmeal

OK, I started this post in between passing out candy this afternoon, but I'm not getting it done until now that the day is over and you can't replicate these deals. Sorry! But they were so good I still wanted to share -- I shopped at two stores this afternoon and came home $6 richer with 12 cartons of ice cream and four cannisters of oatmeal.


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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 ...

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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Walgreen's Trip: Earned $7.50 With Theraflu, Vaseline, Chapstick

Today at Walgreen's I bought 3 packages of Theraflu and earned $7.50 after Register Rewards. (I would have earned $8 but one of my coupons was for $1.50/1 instead of $2/1.) I got a Fresh Effects chapstick for free, earned 75 cents on Halls candy and earned $1.50 on Vaseline lotion (with this $1.50/1 coupon). I paid for a 35-cent caramel.



So in all I had a profit of $9.45. All these Register Rewards deals are good through the end of the month -- however the Theraflu is only on sale @ $4.99 through Saturday so it won't be as good a moneymaker next week.

My out-of-pocket expense was higher than it could have been due to poor planning and the fact that I am just not as good at Wags as I am at CVS. In my first transaction I got everything but the lotion, and paid with a $4 Register Reward and $3.34 cash.

I received an $8 RR for buying 3 Theraflus, a $3 RR for the Chapstick, and a $1 RR for the Halls. That was fine, but in the second transaction, when I got only the lotion for a post-coupon cost of $5.50. I added a caramel so I'd be able to use a Register Reward in addition to my manufacture's coupon (you need one item for each MQ), but I could only use gthe $3 RR, not the bigger one, so I ended up paying another $3.50 out of pocket and receiving another $7 RR.

What I should have done was went to get another Fresh Effects Chapstick, which would have raised my cost to $8.50 with the lotion. Then I could have used my $8 RR and only had to spend 50 cents plus tax in real money.

Oh well. That's still a mighty nice profit for enough Theraflu to last us the winter (let's hope!). My dad uses cough syrup and Halls and will appreciate getting those from me, and I ALWAYS need lip balm, cannot get enough ever.

General Mills Catalina Deal: $9.50 Proft on 78 Grocery Items


I did the General Mills and Pillsbury overlapping Catalina deals nine times, according to my receipts. Here is what I got:

57 cans of Pillsbury rolls

6 cans Progresso soup

9 four-packs Yo-Plus yogurt

4 cartons Progresso beef broth

2 five-pound bags flour

(Not everything is in the picture; we already ate and gave away a bunch of the Pillsbury rolls, ate some yogurt, and I plain forgot about the flour.)

This is about $240 worth of food before sales.

Here is what I paid for all that:

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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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Sunday Ad Flyers: Make Money Stocking Your Medicine Cabinet

The highlights of this weeks ads are definitely Walgreens and CVS: At Wag's you can make $5 buying Theraflu with the right coupons, and at CVS you can stock up on Advil and Chapstick for a very low price.

CVS: the "spend $20, get $5 ECBs" candy deal is in its last week, and one of the included items is the Reese's peanut butter pumpkin for 50 cents. If you still have any of those buy one, get one free Reece's coupons, you could use them on this. Trident Layers gum is also included @ 99 cents and there is a bogo coupon for that in this week's SmartSource.

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Reader Question: Are Catalina Deals Worth It?

I got a comment today on one of my posts about making money on these so-yummy-but-so-bad-for-you Pillsbury dough rolls that brings up several things I like to talk about: finding your frugal bliss and being realistic about what we are really saving and what it is costing us when we pursue deals. The comment also brings up a few practical tips I can share for doing Catalina deals. Here's the comment, from reader jlwood, (and all emphasis added is mine) and my own response will follow:

"I guess I don't really get it (I want to, I do!) I am trying to learn this coupon game thing and so far come way short on every deal I have tried to duplicate what I read online. I just got back from Jewel where I bought 9 rolls of Pillsbury dough (in the form of Biscuits and Crescent rolls) and though I had coupons and my Jewel card and saved almost 50%, I didn't get any $14 back coupons, I just have $12 worth of canned dough that though it will be delicious I could have probably lived without and probably would have never bought otherwise.
I bought 9 tubes, the total of which before discounts was $25.71. I guess I shouldn't complain, since I did get it for $13, but I had hoped for the coupons back to buy the rest of the items I needed, which was about $15.
I guess I don't really get how buying something you don't absolutely need is any better on the budget than just shopping smarter and buying what you do need. I hardly ever go to Jewel, because in the past, we've shopped mainly at Trader Joes and Costco. We spend about $400 a month in the trips to those two places, but I never need to buy stuff that I wouldn't otherwise, and I don't have to hunt for coupons, and hope the math works out at the store correctly.
If I can make this work it could be the difference between us being able to afford to stay at home with Kids or not, so I do want to get it, I just don't. I have read a full cup, Common Sense with Money, all the coupon primers I have run across, but my deals never look as good in the end as they do on the internet. :(

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More Deal Ideas and Coupons for the Pillsbury Catalina at Jewel

Oh, canned dough. When you were both expensive AND bad for us, it was easy to resist you, but now that you're free (though the overlapping Catalina deals at Jewel) the "bad for us" part seems so ... Hey! There are reset $1/2 Pillsbury Crescents coupons!

(When I posted this earlier I thought they were $1/1. Sorry!)

Well, anyway it's Halloween season and there are lots of things you can do with canned dough. I'm not very crafty, but my kids have low standards. This is supposed to be a mummy:



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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.

I Try the Deals for You

Tonight I am physically exhausted because I was out pushing the stroller ALL DAY trying out deals to report the results to you. OK, to tell the truth I was out all day because I get a little overly obsessed with completing my day's plans sometimes, and my seemingly simple plan of visiting a Jewel other than the one by my house to look for those Playtex cooking gloves that were free after coupon through today kept getting thwarted. I really wanted the gloves to make these clever Halloween decorations:


 Get it? They're like disembodied hands. The gloves will also be used to make the ice for the punch at the Halloween party Nutmeg's throwing for her little friends.

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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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New General Mills/Pillsbury Catalina Deal at Jewel-Osco With Overlap: Moneymaker or Free Groceries Alert


General Mlils/Pillsbury/Betty Crocker is one of the most frequent companies to offer Catalina deals at Jewel-Osco, and this week they are at it again: spend $25, get a $10 coupon for your next order.

Included in this deal are Pillsbury Grands, Crescents or Cinnamon Rolls. These things have their own Catalina deal going on -- I think you get a $4 Catalina coupon if you buy six or more. I came up with one moneymaking scenario right away by combining these and I'm sure you all have many more ideas.

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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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Great Deal on Pampers at Toys R Us

Buying diapers at Toys R Us is usually a pretty good deal to begin with -- as long as you don't bring your kids and get suckered into buying a bunch of toys as you make your way aaaall the way to the back wall of the store where they conveniently keep the diapers. But on Saturday and possibly through Monday you can get a better deal than usual:

Buy 2 boxes Pampers (92 count or larger) and get a $15 Toys R Us or Babies R Us gift card. Now, there was a store coupon for $5 off when you buy a "value box" in the Sunday Toys R Us flyer, which you should be able to pick up at the store. It's been awhile since I've used a coupon at Toys R Us or Babies R Us, but I'm hopeful that it would take $5 off each box or you could use two $5/1 coupons in one transaction. Anyone know for sure?

The store coupon is good through Saturday only, so to be safe I would go on Saturday if you want to do this deal. They may well have the same or a similar coupon again on Sunday, but maybe not.

And of course you'll want to stack that store coupon with a couple of manufacturer's coupons, $1.50/1 or whatever you've got. Taking about $13 off in coupons at the front end and getting $15 at the back end of the transaction, this should be a pretty good deal.

Kmart Super Doubles: I Cleaned That Kmart Out

Today I passed a big Super Kmart and I couldn't go to it. This is because I was really, really far from my house and pretty much lost, and it was past pickup time for my kindergartener and one of my mom friends had to pick her up instead of me. So yeah, it was a tough day -- total parental fail AND being that close to a Super K and not being able to go in and use tons of doubled coupons to get free and cheap groceries. But let's focus on the positive: Nutmeg was not traumatized by getting picked up late, and I got all this for $18 + tax at the regular tiny Kmart in Forest Park:

Those are 32 boxes of Ziplocs in addition to the 6 boxes I got on my first Super Doubles trip.

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Winnetka Sale: Holy Mother of All Rummage Sales, TODAY

Chicago Now blogger Diana Durkes at Garage Sale Warrior is at the Christ Church Winnetka Rummage Sale this morning. If you are anywhere in the northern suburbs, you need to take a coffee or lunch break and get to this sale -- it goes through 3 p.m and it has got to be the hugest, bestest annual sale in the Chicago area, if not the entire Midwest.

If, like me, you can't get there, you'll have to follow her dispatches from the scene on Twitter.

By the way, have you checked out the cool widget on Garage Sale Warrior? You can search garage sales by city, and it even provides a map. OK, it occasionally freezes my browser but other than that it is totally cool

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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Joint Juice Moneymaker and Other Ways to Save This Weekend

Money Saving Mom says there's a moneymaking Catalina deal on Joint Juice at BOTH Jewel AND Dominick's. Sweet.!

Groupon has a pretty amazing offer going on this weekend, if you live anywhere near 901 N. Larrabee Street. It's $10 for a 2-pound bag of some more-than-fair-trade coffee, PLUS a free coffee or espresso drink in the @Spot Cafe every single day for a month. Lattes included! The cafe people say it's worth up to $115. You can buy this one through Sunday at midngiht.

I think I have to move.

Finally, I just returned from shopping and volunteering at the Parenthesis consignment sale here in Oak Park, and I just want to let you know that the tables are piled HIGH with clothes. Girls 4T and size 6, I noticed, were practically breaking the table with the weight of all the nice clothes piled on there. I saw an adorable Ralph Lauren blouse for girls in size 6 that was marked $1.50.

And I left it there for you!

Stop Them From Denying Your Coupons: Resources


In the past couple of weeks I wrote about approaches you can take when a cashier tries to tell you that you can't use a certain coupon. And I shared the results I got when I fought back on coupons -- mainly by contacting the chains' customer service lines. Today I'll share some resources that might help you when you go to battle. If you carry around a coupon binder, you might want to print the policies that might come in handy for you and keep them with you.




Walgreens (unfortunately this one is not hosted on the company Web site but at least sounds official)

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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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Today ONLY: Frozen Vegetables for a Profit

Readers of this blog are a smart bunch, I tell ya. Yesterday I got two extra dollars from the Catalina machine at Jewel, and I didn't know what they were from. Well, reporter20 knows:

"(...) The overlap is on the G(reen) G(iant) veggies. You get one $1 OYNO with every 3 veggies you purchase."

Wow! That means that, through the end of today, you can buy 10 boxes of Green Giant frozen vegetables for $10, and receive $8 in coupons good on anything you care to purchase on your next trip to the register. Ten boxes of vegetables for two dollars.

But it gets better. Go to and print two coupons for $.50/2 Green Giant frozen vegetables. Then use the back button on your browser to go back and print it again. You should be able to print two more if you sign up at Repeat this on any other computers you have access to.

Once you have five $.50/2 coupons, you can buy 10 boxes for $10 with Preferred Card, use five coupons to knock your out-of-pocket total down to $7.50, and collect $8 in Catalina coupons -- $5 for buying $20 worth (pre-card price) of products from the General Mills Catalina, and three $1 coupons for buying three sets of three vegetables. (Unless there is a limit of two of these $1 coupons -- I haven't tested this.)

That would be a 50 cent profit for stocking up on vegetables. I especially love this because it's rare to be able to buy healthy stuff in Catalina deals.

I also suspect that other, better Green Giant coupons such as the $.50/1 Frozen Bagged Vegetables might also work on the boxed products. It's my experience that most coupons aren't as limited as the text on them says.

You can only do this once per transaction, but you can ask the cashier to do multiple transactions or go through the line as many times as you'd like.

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.

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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Two Transaction Ideas for Jewel Catalinas

I finally got the time to sit down with my alarmingly thick folder of coupons and work out a couple Catalina transactions for Jewel. Here are two I will try tomorrow if I get the chance, and hopefully I will leave the store with many bags of groceries for under $4 (after rebate):

1. Kellogg's Transaction That Will Qualify for Fuel for School $10 rebate

2 boxes Pecan Sandies ? pre-card price, $6 with card

2 boxes Fudge Shop cookies ? pre-card, $5 with card

4 boxes Special K Crackers ? pre-card, $12 with card

2 Morningstar products $9.34 pre-card, $7.34 with card


pre-card price = def. over $25, out of pocket $30.34

MINUS COUPONS                                    -  1.00 $1/2 cookies from Fuel for School booklet

                                                                   1.00 $1/2 Fudge Shoppe cookies printable

                                                                    4.00 four $1/1 Special K Crackers printables

                                                                    2.00 two $1/1 MorningStar printables


                                                                  $22.34, get $10 coupon back + $10 rebate

                                                                  total cost = $2.34

2. General Mills transaction

10 tubes Pillsbury Grands! pre-card  $22.50, card price $12.50

MINUS COUPONS                                                    -   2.00 $1/1 printables (no longer available)

                                                                                    4.00 four $1/2 printables                                                                    (


                                                                                    6.50 out of pocket, get $5 coupon

                                                                                    total cost = $1.50 (15 cents each)


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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General Mills Catalina at Jewel-Osco 9/3-9/9 UPDATED WITH $1/1 COUPON




At this point I feel like begging Jewel-Osco and the Catalina Marketing company for a break. Don't you know I CAN'T stay home and put away laundry/process my rebate receipts/bathe when you keep offering all this free food via Catalina deals?

But my cries are unheard. The deals just keep coming. I heard from a Shaw's blogger that there was another General Mills deal coming to Jewel, but I thought maybe they were referring to the one we already had a couple weeks ago.

Nope. Here it is in today's flyer: Spend $20, get $5 coupon off your next order. Hunt4Freebies posted a full list of participating products, reportedly from someone on the forums at CouponersWanted.

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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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We're All Pooping For Less at Our House


We've got kind of a savings theme going here this week. Can you guess what it is?

Here's a hint: Besides the stuff pictured, I also saved about SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS this week by finally getting the Village of Oak Park over to my house to replace my wireless water meter. Turns out that if they can't read your meter, they charge you for 10 percent more water and sewer every quarter in order to start a fire under your ass so you will call and report that you're getting estimated readings. Ours have been estimated, it turns out, since January 2008, and they owe us ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND GALLONS of H20. They won't send us a check for that, but they will stop charging us until our balance is back to 0. And the average household uses 25,000 gallons a quarter.

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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.

Drugstore Deals: Midweek Update

  • $5/$25 coupon at Walgreens good today through Saturday.
  • Free photo collage at Walgreens with code FUNDAY. Also 25 free prints if you buy 25.
  • More Walgreens freebies with coupon. Also note there's a bogo Chinet coupon in today's Jewel flyer that might result in free stuff when combined with the bogo Chinet products at Wag's this week. See all the week's deals at I Heart Wags.
  • $30 prescription transfer coupon in Dominick's flyer today, which can also be used at CVSes that take competitor coupons. Also, Jewel has been printing coupons for 10% or 20% off your order with a NEW or transferred scrip. And don't forget there is a $25 gift card coupon in the CVS flyer this week.
  • Free Reece's and Kotex with coupons at CVS this week. (What a themed pairing, eh ladies?) Free items are especially useful when you're trying to use a $4/$20 coupon from the pharmacy. See the rest of the week's CVS deals here.
  • Today's the last day of the Box Tops Catalina at Jewel, which includes drugstore items such as diapers, toilet paper and Kleenex.
  • Lots of freebies with coupon at Target this week, including baby bottles and travel-size toothpaste. (By the way, I went today and was able to get free baby bottles, artisan bread and bananas, but the checker wouldn't accept my $1/1 coupons for the 99 cent General Mills cereal cups.)

Target Diaper Deal


I've been frustrated that it doesn't appear that the Boxtops Catalina that ends today at Jewel includes size 1 or 2 diapers (or if it does, not in the size box that made it the best deal). But I just got back from Target where I got a comparable deal on the Huggies size I need: I got two Big Boxes for $22 each after coupons and gift card. There are 192 size 1/2 diapers per box, making the dipes 11.5 cents each. Since Baby Cheapskate says the price to beat is 17 cents a diaper, and according to Krazy Koupon Lady size 2 at CostCo are 16 cents apiece, this is an awesome deal.

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Jewel Paper Goods Catalina: Coupons Inside Diaper Boxes

I did the "spend $20, get $5" Catalina at Jewel tonight, buying one Big Box of Huggies for $18.99 and one box of Kleenex for $1.49. After my $3/1 Huggies coupon (it said Natural Care on it but works for any Huggies) and the $5 coupon that printed out for my next order, I paid $12.48, which is pretty darn good for that many diapers and a box of Kleenex. 

Some of the Huggies boxes are marked with a sticker saying "$20 worth of coupons inside." You definitely want to select one of these boxes. The coupon book inside includes a $1/1 for Huggies wipes, which would bring the price of a box of Huggies wipes at Walgreens down to 49 cents or 59 cents in Chicago-area stores when you combine it with the $2/1 store coupon found in booklets at the store. There's also a $2/2 Huggies bath and body products Q, and I'd bet you could use that one for wipes too.

There are also coupons toward items in this Catalina offer: $2/1 Huggies, $1/3 Kleenex, $1.50/1 Cottonelle 12 pack, $2/1 Scott toilet paper 16-pack or larger or Scott towels 4-pack or larger.

The only negative thing I have to say about this deal is that I cannot seem to find any infant-sized diapers in the $18.99 boxes listed as part of the deal. I had to buy Size 4 for my 2-year-old, and honestly, I don't like to think we'll go through that many more diapers before she's potty trained. Well, maybe this is the way to get her to do it -- if I stocked up on umbrellas, it wouldn't rain for a year, right?

ConAgra/Kellogg's Catalina -- Starting Tomorrow?

Apparently some people have gotten ads print out of the Catalina machine at Jewel that say the ConAgra/Kellogg's deal is starting tomorrow, August 24 and going through Sept. 6. Apparently it's "spend $25, get $10."

I really wanted to say, "I'll sit this one out." I've been shopping Catalina deals hard, my basement pantry is full, and I have a number of rebates sitting in my dining room waiting to be processed. And after all it's my daughter's first week of school, ever. BUT, you can combine this deal with the Kellogg's Fuel for School $10 rebate, which runs through Sept. 30. And it includes some Morningstar Farms products, which are healthy easy things I like to have in the freezer for the kids. And this coupon and this one should help make those a really good deal.

So, maybe I'll do a couple rounds of this one. I expect further information in Wednesday's flyer, but if anyone here tries it, please do share your experience.

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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Final Kraft Transaction


The Kraft deal ends today. Note that this deal is one per customer, but a couple of relatives were kind enough to let me do it for them. We have kind of a symbiotic relationship, where they give me all their coupons and let me use their store cards, and I provide them with free stuff that they need, from toiletries to medicines and food. This time I bought 13 7-8 ounce cheese chunks and one 10 oz. bottle of A1 sauce for a total of $25.47, minus a $2/1 A1 coupon from last week's insert. The $5 coupon that printed at the register brought my expenditure down to $18.47 + tax, so when I get the $20 check it will be $1.50 profit.

This is my favorite version of the Kraft deal because most Catalina deals don't allow you to get fresh food such as cheese. And we use a lot of it.

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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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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Today's Deal Hounding: Free Fruit Snacks, Not Free Granola


I had an idea about the Catalina deal at Dominick's on fruit snacks and granola. The deal that caused me all kinds of confusion because people with stores that double coupons were saying it was a freebie deal, but for us where they don't double, not entirely free.

My idea was, what about those Cellfire coupons? Right now there are 40 cents/1 Qs on Cellfire for both the fruit snacks and granola bars. Wouldn't combining those be just like doubling, allowing us to get all 8 boxes of snacks for free?

So I tried it today, and here was my result:

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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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My Kraft Deal Transaction: Mistakes Were Made


I did the Kraft deal today, and while I got the $5 Catalina and expect to get the $20 rebate, I made two errors that resulted in me paying more than I wanted to.

It happens. You do all these complicated deals, and you get amazing bargains, but sometimes you just mess up. There are so many things to remember and to pay attention to.

Here is what I bought. I'm only listing the card prices:

12 Easy Mac cups $1 each ($12 total) (-$8 coupons)

2 Philly Cream Cheese (12 oz.) $$4.29 each ($8.58 total) (-$1 coupons)

California Pizza Kitchen for One $2.50 (-$1 coupon)

DiGiorno Flatbread $2.50 (-.75 coupon)

Ritz Crackers $2.50 (-$1 coupon)

2 Kraft chunk cheese $1.69 each ($3.38 total) (-$1 coupon)


precoupon total: $31.88

                        - 12.75 coupons



I got the $5 coupon back right away (I was scared I wasn't because the young checker entered a coupon as $1 off grocery which can really mess things up, AND he needed a key to do an override at the end), so it's like I spent $14. And when I get the $20 rebate, it will be like I made $6.

So why am I disappointed? First of all, I meant to buy VELVEETA Shells & Cheddar Cups, not Easy Mac cups. Both are $1, both are included in the deal, but the Velveeta are reportedly printing a $1 Catalina for every two that you buy. If not for that error, I might have gotten $6 more print out at the register, making the deal a $12 moneymaker instead of $6.

That might not seem like much to be disappointed at, except that I didn't especially want Easy Mac cups to begin with. I only chose them because I was thinking about the Catalinas. I certainly would have rather had something else in the Kraft deal, like more regular cheese or even regular boxes of Mac & Cheese.

My second error was that I grabbed the 12-oz. tubs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, while it was the 8-oz. tubs that were on sale. As sometimes happens, the 12-oz. tubs had been set on top of the wrong price tag. That explains why I spent a whopping $6.88 more than I needed to to complete the deal -- each cream cheese was $2.50 more than I expected.

When you make errors in a deal, you have to decide whether it's worth your time or even possible to try and remedy them. In the case of the Easy Mac, there's nothing I can do. I can't even try that maneuver again because I used up all my coupons the first time.

In the case of the cream cheese, it looks like I could return one of the tubs without messing up my chance of getting the rebate. However, at this Jewel they will probably not give me the full $4.19 back because I used coupons on the order. They'll find the largest coupon and deduct that. That means that although the coupon I used only took 50 cents off my cream cheese, they'll deduct $1.50 from my refund. I might be able to EXCHANGE the large tub of Philly for the smaller one without losing $1.50 off the cost. Is it worth the trouble of bringing the stuff back, standing in line at the service desk, and making a pest of myself? We'll see. I have another issue on the same receipt to deal with, not related to the Catalina, so maybe I will go through the effort.

I did learn something interesting doing the deal the way I did: Coupons labeled Velveeta Shells & Cheese will work for Easy Mac. I had four $1.50/2 Velveeta Shells & Cheddar coupons, and they scanned just fine for the Easy Mac, making those 8 packs just 25 cents each. I wouldn't be surprised if they also scanned for the regular Kraft Mac & Cheese, which is only 49 cents this week.

P.S. I also did the Post Selects deal and it worked perfectly, getting me four boxes for $1. I love that cereal. I will be cleaning out my pantry very soon and donating a lot of less-favored cereals to make room for the new Post and the Cascadian Farms Granola.

Photo by hildgrim, used via Creative Commons license.

Grocery Shopping Today? Check Out These Deals -- CORRECTED

Money Saving Mom has several deals posted for affiliates of Jewel and Dominick's today:

  • Free fruit snacks and granola bars FOR LESS THAN A QUARTER A BOX after coupons and Catalina at Safeway (which I'm guessing will also work at affililate Dominick's) (I believe Jewel also has the same Catalina deal going, but the prices there aren't as good this week so they wouldn't be free if you get them there)
  • Post Select cereals for 25 cents after coupons and Catalina at Albertson's (confirmed on Hot Coupon World that this is working at affiliate Jewel). The coupon you need here was in the 7/26 SmartSource. (I DID THIS AND IT WORKED)
  • If you're doing the Kraft $25 free groceries deal today, try the Velveeta Shells & Cheese Cups. They're paying $1 Catalina for two cups, and the cups are on sale for $1, so if you use the bogo coupon from last weekend's SmartSource (8/9) they will be free AND count toward your $25 Kraft total. Pretty sweet. (MAKE SURE YOU GET THE VELVEETA CUPS NOT EASY MAC. MY STORE DIDN'T CARRY THE FORMER.)

I'm headed to the grocery store now, so I'll let you know if I get any of these deals!

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

Continue reading...

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:

Continue reading...

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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My Weekly Grocery Shopping -- August 5 to August 11

Hi, everybody! Between getting a nice link from Money Saving Mom last week and the promotional efforts of the Tribune company now that Chicago Now has officially launched, I think there are a lot of new readers here. Welcome to you newbies, and welcome to my loyal readers who have followed me over from Shoplifting With Permission!

One of the blog rituals I started on Shoplifting With Permission -- and will continue here -- is detailing my weekly grocery spending every Tuesday, and what meals we ate with it. My budget for a family of four eaters (the newborn doesn't count yet) is $80, and we are able to eat quite well on that. In fact, the longer I have been bargain shopping, the better we have been eating, because I have been able to switch much of our produce to organic, and our meat and milk to hormone-free.

What's your weekly grocery budget? If you don't have one, I highly recommend setting one as a first step toward cutting down your household expenses. That doesn't mean you have to pick the same number I did -- for some families, especially those with teens, $80 seems too difficult to start with, while others easily spend less than I do each week. I wrote a post on Wise Bread about what I learned from simply sticking to a budget, regardless of what the number is (that post also ended up in Wise Bread's money-saving book).

This week is another totally weird one, because I was again so busy shopping moneymaking or close-to-free packaged goods in Catalina transactions at Jewel-Osco that I barely had time to pick up anything fresh. Also, my dad's garden harvest has begun and that provided us with many of our meals this week.

Continue reading...

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.

    Continue reading...

    $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.

    Continue reading...

    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.

    Continue reading...

    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


    Continue reading...

    Wednesday Flyers -- Jewel Overlapping Cats Actually Through Sunday

    Yesterday after my Long March through Jewel-Osco, I happened to look at one of the Unilver coupons I got from the two overlapping Catalina deals. The ad said that one of the promos, the one that says "buy $30, get $12," ended today, but according to the coupon, it actually runs through Sunday, August 9. The other one, "buy $30, get $15," with all the food products, runs through Wednesday, August 12, and is advertised in today's flyer.

    That means you have four extra days to work moneymaking double-dip deals on Dove and Degree deodorant, Vaseline lotion, and Suave products. What I'm not sure about is if all the sale prices advertised in Sunday's flyer for the toiletries in the deal will still be good this week. The deodorant and the small bottles of lotion are still on sale for $2.50, though, so that's good.

    Pleae keep sharing your stories of hot deals achieved with the combination of these two promotions.

    If you don't know what Catalina deals are, see my primer on Wise Bread.

    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.

    Continue reading...

    I Just Made $7 Buying Shampoo at Jewel-Osco

    So, it worked! I went to Jewel-Osco today and combined the two Catalina deals currently running. I spent $20 on Dove shampoo and conditioner, and the coupon machine printed out a total of $27 in coupons good on ANYTHING I purchase next time I shop at Jewel. Which will likely be VERY soon, like as soon as my kids are in bed tonight, cause I wanna make more money!

    Here's how I did it:

    1. Purchased five bottles Dove shampoo or conditioner, Preferred Card price $4.99, regular price $6.99.

    2. Used five $1/1 coupons from the following inserts: 5/17 Redplum and this weekend's 8/2 Redplum.

    3. Pre-card total was $35, meeting the requirements of both deals to spend $30 or more. After card, total was $24.95 plus tax. After coupons, total was $19.95 plus tax.

    4. After I paid, the coupon machine next to the register spit out ALL these coupons: one $10 and one $2 for the "buy $30, save $12" deal, and three $5 coupons for the "buy $30, save $15" deal. Phenomenal!

    Also, I think I figured out why the shampoo deal works on the pre-card price when Osco items usually require you to spend the deal threshhold (in this case, the $30) on the sale price. When I found the shampoo in the store, although they were in the Osco section, they had a "Preferred Card price" sale tag on them. So they must really be Jewel items. The other items in the promo that I noticed, like the Dove deodorent and the Vaseline lotion, were marked with Osco sale tags, which say "Bonus Buy" instead of "Preferred Card Price." So when I buy those items, I'm going to calculate the $30 required purchase based on the sale price.

    If all this is greek to you, read my primer on getting unbelievable deals and making money on Catalina deals.

    And by the way, while I was there I made note of the pre-card prices for a couple of items in the "buy $30, get $15" promo that I plan to buy before it ends a week from Wednesday: The pre-card price for Klondike Bars 6-packs is $5.50, and the pre-card price for Breyer's ice cream cartons is $6.50. So my ice cream deal will go like this:

    5 cartons ice cream: $3 card price x 5 = $15 (pre-card $32.50)



                                                                -      4 (2 x $2/2 ice cream coupons that printed @ register)


                                                           I pay $11 and get $15 back in Catalina coupons

    I just love getting paid to eat ice cream!

    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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