CVS Archives

Drug Store Updates: Money-Making Alka-Seltzer, Possible Free Tuna, Cheap Diapers

I wrote up the highlights of the CVS and Walgreens deals as part of the Sunday Chicago Tribune ads post, but here are a couple of updates:

  • Make $2 buying Alka-Seltzer at Walgreens. Mashup Mom explains how.
  • Four-day sale coming Wednesday will get you a free Fullbar and a free Balance Bar after Register Rewards, according to I Heart Wags.
  • Cheap Huggies diapers at Walgreens. They're on sale for $7.99, paying $1 ECB, and there is a coupon for $3/1 the Pure & Natural variety in the 9/26 SmartSource, or a $2/1 printable for Little Snugglers. (I think the diaper deals on Amazon lately are even better than this, but if you can't wait, go to Wag's.)
  • Possible free tuna. Money Saving Mom points out that there was a coupon for $1/2 cans Bumble Bee tuna in the 9/12 SmartSource, and it's on sale for 49 cents a can at CVS this week.

Caveat: I do not know if the specific varieties of some of these products listed on the coupons are included in the sales, but in my experience it often doesn't matter. The coupon might show one flavor of Huggies, but it will probably work on any old kind.

Image source: Walgreens.

Stocked Up for Halloween at CVS

Does that look like enough candy for Halloween? Well, I'll probably get at least two more bags next time I come in, to use up a coupon that printed out at the end of my receipt today.


You can't see the Snickers, but this is 11 bags of "fun size" M&Ms and Snickers, each about 9-10 oz., at $1 a bag after combined store and manufacturer's coupons. They're priced $2 a bag through Tuesday, and I used a $1/2 store coupon and two $.50/1 peelie manufacturer's copuons on each pair of bags.

Is that actually a good deal, about 10 cents an ounce or slightly more? I sure hope so. Even the Frugalista sometimes does not have time to do extensive price research, so if I find out that I could have bought 60-oz. bags for $5 each I'll be annoyed. Oh well, I also got to burn ExtraBucks by buying them at CVS, so that's always a plus.'

Last year I got all my candy for free or close to it through Kmart Super Doubles. But still, $10-$15 for all of it ain't bad. 

How much did you spend -- or do you plan to spend -- on Halloween candy?

Last Day of the Week CVS Transaction

This morning I slipped over to CVS to get milk and oh, what the heck, why not make a few bucks while doing it?

I bought:

2 Azo Itch Relief @ $6.99 = $13.98

1 gallon 2% Dean's                   2.79

2 Quaker Quick Oats@ $2.50 5.00

2 Colgate Total @ $2.99          5.98


pre-coupon total                        27.75

coupons used: $5/$25 from email, two $2/1 Azo printable coupons, 2 $1/1 Quaker Qs from the newspaper, 2 $1/1 Colgate Qs from the paper ----> $13 in coupons

I paid $14.75 + tax

ExtraBucks recieved: $10 for the Azo, $5.98 for the Colgate, $1 for the milk and $2 for the Quaker ---> $18.98

So, I made four bucks on my little milk run. Not bad! And Epu was glad to see we're restocked for a short while on oatmeal.

Quick embarrassing anecdote before I have to run: I was standing there in the anti-itch products aisle, Azo coupons in hand, searching the shelf and seeing nothing. It's a monthly free-after-Extra Bucks deal and I was counting on that extra $14 to pump my relatively small order up big enough to use my $5/$25 coupon from email. The store manager came by and I asked him if they had it.

He immediately led me all the way across the store, and I'm thinking, this can't be right. All the anti-itch stuff was over there and he's leading me to the .... oh. The feminine products aisle.

As a couponer, I've bought Depends, tampons, anti-gas tablets, you name it, chatting with the staff all along. But in my pre-coupon days, I would have rather died than have a male manager -- who I see every day -- show me where the vag itch products are. A new low, or a new high?

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.

Sunday Newspaper Ads and Coupons: Free Eos Lip Balm, Free Schick Razors, Cheap Apple Juice

Lots of freebies in the Sunday paper today! Free Nivea lip balm, free Schick Hydro razors, free Renu contact solution, all kinds of free after Office Depot Rewards stuff, free utility blades, shelf linter and book light at Menards. Scroll down for the deets.

I'm in Milwaukee today, and the Journal Sentinel (home of my first journalism internship) I picked up had only SmartSource and a General Mills insert. But the SS is a nice fat one, with $1/1 GE light bulb which usually results in free bulbs, $1/1 Energizer batteries, $1/1 Tom's of Maine toothpaste and deodorant, $1/1 Frigo string cheese, $1/1 Bush's beans (these usually go on sale for about $1.67) a Walgreen's store coupon for $.50/1 Kleenex 4-pack as well as a $.50/1 manufacturer's coupon for same, and two $4/1 Schick Hydro coupons which make them free at either CVS or Walgreens this week.

There should also be a RedPlum in your Tribune; the JS does not get RP for some reason.

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$5 Off CVS Halloween Stuff Coupon Today Only = Free Skulls

I stopped into CVS in Milwaukee today to get a newspaper and some cash. I received a coupon out of the in-store coupon printer for $5 off any Halloween costume, accessory or decor -- good today only. There are plenty of decor and accessory items that are under $5 so this is a nice coupon! I scanned my mother's card and got the same coupon for her too.




I bought these two skulls with light-up eyes -- they were 2/$5. Other items I noticed under $5 were a witch wig and novelty cups with straws.

P.S. I went back tonight and with my mom's coupon I bought 2 bags of fake spider webs for $5 even -- they didn't even charge tax -- and with Epu's coupon I bought a pack of tea lights for jack-o-lanterns for $4.99.

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

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

I spent:

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

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

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

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

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

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


Free Fullbar Fit appetite control bar after $1.99 Register Rewards

Free Emergen-C after $3.49 RR

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

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Lotion 99 cents after $5.99 RR

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Eyewear repair kit 19 cents after $3 MIR

folding utility knife 99 cents after $3 MIR

Toys R Us

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

Lots of gift card deals:

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

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

$5 GC with SW purchase of $30 or more

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

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

Speaking of which ...


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CVS Family Shop - Made Money, Should Have Made More

This morning my parents were at my house and so my mother, 3-year-old Pebbles and I joined hands and skipped over to CVS together. I had a $5/$30 coupon for my mom's card from this morning's email.

Here's what we bought:


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New Grocery Shopping Budget and My Frugal Grocery Shopping This Week

I've been lax about reporting my grocery spending over the summer, but now that it's the first day of fall, I suppose it's time to put the house in order. I have had a hard time sticking to the $80 per month budget while buying the weekly organic produce box and trying to pay off the two humanely-raised meat purchases we made last year. In fact, I just couldn't do it.

This year, we are planning on buying a portion of a beef and a pig again -- although our beef portion will be smaller -- and I'm still getting the organic produce box. So I'm changing my weekly shopping budget to a more realistic $100 a week.

This will include household goods that you buy at drugstores and grocery stoers -- diapers, cleaning products, toothpaste (as if we ever pay for that).

This week I spent $77: $12.18 at Dominick's, $17.30 at Jewel-Osco, $11 at Dunkin Donuts (on whole bean coffee), $4 at CVS (milk, lipstick, mainly just rolling ECBs) and my usual $32 on the organic produce box. 

Next week I'll resume cataloging the meals we make with our $100 weekly spending. This week, I'd just like to point out some bargain shopping priciples illustrated in the week's shop.



That seltzer water? Got those for $1.79 each with a rain check, and although the rain check was for five cases, the cashier let me buy 2 and just amend the raincheck so I could get the remaining 3 later.

30 pounds of white flour: Well, baking seasons's a-coming, especially with all those apples we got this weekend! (I didn't count in my shopping budget the $40 we spent on entrance to the apple picking place since that was basically entertainment.) The 5 lb. bags of flour were part of the "buy 6, get them for 99 cents each" sale at Jewel, and I didn't want any of the other stuff like cake mix or frosting right now. 20 cents a pound is the cheapest I've ever bought white flour, you?

The organic olive oil is still on sale for $3.99, regular price $10.49. Trader Joe's sells this size (17 oz) normally for $3.50, but not organic. Course, I really don't know how the quality compares or if this is a good thing to buy organic, but for $3.99, what the heck?

Campbell's tomato soup at 39 cents, minus two $.50/2 coupons = 11 cents a can. You won't normally do better than that, except right now -- because you can print and use the $1.50/3 "Great for Cooking" soups, which I didn't have handy today. Yep, you'll make money on tomato soup or get it free.

Baking soda is an all-around frugal thing to have around -- deodorizer, ingredient of homemade cleaning fluid, volcano-maker. It's one of those things you don't see deep discounts on, so even though the store brand was only marked down a dime, I grabbed one. I'm wondering: Does Costco, etc., sell the stuff in bulk?

Pearled barley: another item with tiny sale markdowns but it's a good frugal buy -- more nutritious than brown rice.

Split peas: ditto -- small markdown, but a cheap, good meal ingredient.

Elsewhere this week, I discovered that Dunkin' Donuts can be a good place to buy whole bean coffee. If you get those little booklets of coupons in the mail, look for a coupon for two pounds of coffee for $10.99. Now notice that 12 oz. of DD brand coffee is "on sale" at CVS for $6.99. Most of the time I don't see whole bean coffee in stores for less than $5.99/12 oz. bag. (Sometimes you'll get 8 O'Clock brand for $4 with a coupon, or a really good coupon deal on Starbucks coffee, but usually, no.) In case math is not your strong suit, here's how this compares: Two 16 oz. bags for $10.99 = $5.50 per bag or 34 cents an ounce. The CVS price is 58 cents an ounce.

Do you have basic frugal grocery shopping principles like this? Staple inexpensive, healthy ingredients, or surprising places to get an item cheap? Please share.

Show a Little Skin at CVS to Make Sure Those Coupons Go Through



Tonight after a whirlwind trip to Wisconsin for Packer football and apple picking, we put the kids to bed and I ran over to CVS for milk, moneymakers and freebies. The basics, you know.

I gave the (male) cashier a big smile, got my stuff, and checked out. There was some beeping with the coupons, but the cashier was very friendly and when he'd checked and double checked that I bought the right stuff, just manually put in the $2/1 Revlon coupon.

When I got home, I tried on my new lipstick right away. I wanted to see how it looked with the new haircolor I got with a Groupon yesterday. (I'll do a review of my many recent Groupon purchases soon.) Only after admiring the new color did I notice something: I'd walked down the block and into CVS with my shirt unsnapped from nursing the baby.

Hmm. Maybe that's why the cashier was so nice tonight.

In my defense, my bra might have looked like a tank top to the casual observer, rendering the outfit an acceptable-if-sloppy look. Barely.

Anyway, before I go yell at my husband for letting me leave the house like that, here's my transaction:

2 Right Guard deodorant @ $2.99 each ($2 ECB each)

1 Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick $6.99 ($5 ECB)

1 gallon Dean's milk $2.79

Total before coupons: $15.76 + tax

Coupons used: $3/2 Right Guard from, $2/1 Revlon from Facebook

Total after coupons: $10.76 + tax

Extra Bucks received: $4 ECB for deodorant, $5 ECB for lipstick

Cost to me: $1.76 + tax (which unfortunately almost doubled what I paid)

See more details about this week's CVS freebies and moneymakers on this week's Sunday newspaper ads write-up.

Sunday Tribune Ads and Coupons - Make Money Buying Deodorant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coupon matchups from Hot Coupon World's database.

Have a Lot of ExtraBucks to Burn? CVS to Sell $100 Laptop



CVS is reportedly planning to sell a Sylvania netbook laptop for just $99.99 this fall, according to Engadget. Specs aren't available, but if it's anywhere near as capable as the other netbooks on the market -- I use one to write this blog -- that's an amazing price. Especially if you, like me, like to blow all your ExtraBucks you've been rolling all year and start fresh in the new year.

Looks like they're also offering an e-book reader for $180, which seems like a terrible deal, considering that Amazon now sells a Kindle for $139.

(And I'm not just saying that because that's an affiliate link to Amazon. Which, disclosure disclosure, it is.)

Photo source: Engadget.

Sunday Ads: No Coupons and Few Deals

There are no coupon inserts on holiday weekends, but here are the deals from CVS, Walgreens and Toys R Us in the Sunday paper, for what it's worth. (Deals are slim.) And see the other post for the school supplies deals from Office Max and Office Depot.


Free Schick Hydro razor after ECBs and coupon: The razor or cartridge is $8.97 with $4 ECB back, and there is a $5/1 coupon for the razor in the 8/8 SmartSource.

Dove deal: spend $15, get $5 ECB. soap 6-packs are $7, deodorant is $3.50. But the coupons aren't there. Or am I just not seeing any? Hmph.

For (a few) more CVS deals, like free gum, see Money Saving Mom.


Quaker instant oatmeal is 1/$3 after Register Rewards. Use two $1/1 from the 8/29 RedPlum, and you're getting them for 50 cents a box.

Wisk detergent, 48 loads, is $4.99 after RR, so use the $3/1 from the 8/29 RedPlum to get it for $1.99

Comet cleanser is 50 cents a can with in-ad coupon

John Frieda hair products including Root Awakening are 3/$10 after RR, so if you have three $3/1 coupons from the 8/22 SmartSource, you can get three for $1.

Try new Carmex skin cream for 99 cents after $4 RR. Hmm ... that sounds ... odd. Yet intriguing.

For the full list of Wag's deals, see Common Sense With Money.

Toys R Us

There is a sheet of coupons in the flyer including $10 gift card when you buy any 2 Pampers value boxes diapers, $10 off any bath purchase of $50 or more, $4 off any 2 Similac, Gerber Good Start or Babies R Us powder formula, and $5 off Dreft, Tide, Seventh Generation or Babies R Us detergent 150 oz. or larger.

Those are all store coupons, so pair them with a manufacturer's coupon for more savings. If you have a baby, chances are you're getting Pampers mailers and they have recently sent out a $2/1 coupon. The formula coupon can be paired with a manufacturer's coupon and a formula check if you have both.

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

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

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

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

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CVS: Only Two Bucks for School Supplies and Milk

At CVS today, we got the following:

2 Caliber spiral notebooks 2/$1

2 Caliber glue bottles buy-one-get-one-free @ 99 cents

1 bottle Refresh Tears eye drops $7.99 ($7.99 ECB)

1 gallon 2% Dean's milk $2.79 ($1 ECB)

Throat Cooler pops clearanced @ $1.29

Pre-coupon total: $14.06 plus tax

Coupons: two $1/2 Caliber products from coupon printer (no longer printing), $1/1 Refresh

I paid: $11.06 plus tax (I used a $10ECB and change)

I received $7.99 ECB for the Refresh and $1 ECB for the milk

So, I'm behind $2 and change for that transaction. Not bad for milk plus knocking another two items off the school supplies list!

Sunday Tribune Ads and Coupons: Free School Supplies at CVS

This week's Sunday paper ads' best deals are a bunch of freebies at CVS, including free school supplies. School supplies deals are hot all over, and there are a couple good shoe coupons too. Happy back-to-school shopping!

Back to School Deals

CVS free after $1/2 Caliber coupon printing daily from the in-store printer: 70-sheet spiral notebook, 10-count pens, 5-oz. glue. They're also advertising Caliber pink eraser, sharpener, ruler, 10-count pencils, index dividers and school box as BOGO, but I don't know the prices. Will report back!

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CVS Says ExtraBucks Are Educational (Plus Yesterday's Transaction)

CVS just sent me a list of tips for using the Extra Care program to teach your kids about saving money. LOL -- if they read my blog, they'd realize that my kids have already advanced to graduate level ECB deals before starting first grade! In fact, CVS would probably my kids didn't become any more ECB savvy because at this point they will be making money off CVS for years to come.

(To skip the blah blah blah and just see how I made $1 yesterday buying milk and other useful stuff, go to the end of this post.)

What CVS emailed me:


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

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

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

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This Week's Deals and Steals Newsletter: Free and Cheap This Week

This week's Deals and Steals newsletter collects a few free and cheap deals in the Chicago area for the next couple of weeks. Some of these will be new to you, others old news. You can subscribe to the weekly email newsletter here.

  • Free workshops on creating eco-friendly play spaces and kids projects at Colori Eco Paint Boutique on Saturday, July 31.
  • Free entrance: Fiesta del Sol street fair in Pilsen, July 29 - August 1. Family-friendly event features carnival rides, giveaways and Mexican food.
  • Cheap classroom supplies (up to 80% off) at Learning Resources tent sale in Vernon Hills. August 5-7 and August 12-14. (Thanks, Mashup Mom!)
  • Free at CVS this week: free photo book and free or (if you have coupons) moneymaking Kotex product. (Also, in an update, moneymaking BioTrue contact solution.)
  • Free garage sale finder: See every advertised rummage sale in the Chicago area this weekend on the map at ChicagoNow blog Garage Sale Warrior.

Sunday Ads: Here Come the School Supplies Deals

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

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

The School Supply Deals

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

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

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

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

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

Kmart has a free lunch kit with backpack purchase.

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

Other Deals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CVS Trip: Body Wash Limit Is Really Two

Tonight I walked over to CVS after getting a hot tip on Mashup Mom that the Old Spice body wash limit is really 2, even though the ad says one. That is, you can buy two bottles and get $4 Extra Bucks for each for a total of $8 ECBs.

That is a big deal because there was a buy one, get one free coupon in the 5/3 P&G insert, along with a $1/2 coupon as well. Those coupons make this a pretty nice moneymaker. Not to mention that now your man won't have to use lady-scented body wash.

Also, I had a $15 ECB that was expiring tomorrow. I wasn't feeling well, but I thought a walk down the street might make me feel better. (It didn't, therefore, no picture for you because I am about to fall into bed.)


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Saving Money on Prescription Drugs

In the wake of that Walgreens/CVS spat, the Tribune today had an article on saving money on prescription drugs with some pretty good tips. Here's what I would add:

1) Use those coupons for gift cards with new or transferred prescriptions. When a coupon comes out, especially if it's for a $30 Dominick's gift card, I will transfer every scrip I have available, even if I am not out of the medicine yet, so I can collect multiple gift cards. And yes, I've even been known to put off filling my scips until a new coupon comes out. (It's just allergy meds, don't worry.) And remember that some CVS stores will take the coupons from other stores, so save the Target and Kmart $10 ones too.

2) Use drug company coupons. Do you ever hear that little extra tag at the end of a drug commercial where it says, "If you can't afford your prescription, so-and-so can help?" If you truly can't get your medication in generic form, it is worth looking around or contacting the manufacturer to find out if there is any kind of coupon or rebate program. I don't really like the idea of such programs, since they encourage patients to use medicines that may be more expensive for their insurance companies, raising costs for everyone. But you do what you have to.

3) Revisit the topic with your doctor. I mentioned to my allergist the high cost of my Rhinocort prescription once, and he said it was not available in generic. But when I raised the issue again at my next visit, he offered up a scrip for the generic of Flonase, with the caveat that he did not like this drug because it had fragrance and other additives. After trying the Flonase, I agree that the produce is less desirable, but since it costs 1/6 as much for me I will use it for now.

4) Change doctors. My allergist has on display a No Free Lunch pledge, meaning that he will not accept anything from drug companies. If you wonder if your doctor is prescribing drugs that are more expensive than necessary, you might want to look for a doctor who has also taken this pledge. Also, some doctors seem to be more familiar with which drugs are expensive on which insurance plans.

$5/$15 Coupon Printing at CVS

I just popped over to CVS for milk, and a $5/$15 coupon printed out at the end of my receipt. We haven't seen a coupon of that high value at CVS in a long time!

Since I hadn't had my coffee yet -- hence the last-minute milk run -- I didn't think to try my husband's card on the coupon printer to see if I could get the $5/$15 without making a purchase. But let me know if you try it!

P.S. Yogurt just does not work as a coffee whitener. Even organic yogurt.

CVS Clearanced Diapers Producing ExtraBucks



I got this tip on Money Saving Mom -- some CVS-brand diapers are clearanced to 50% off, and although they are not marked as part of the ExtraBucks deal, they are producing ECBs. I tried it tonight and it worked for me. So here's how it worked:

Jumbo pack CVS diapers at 50% off $4.24 (the Ultra Thins were marked down, not regular or training pants)

Paid $2 ExtraBucks

Cost to me: $2.24 for a jumbo pack of diapers. Sweet!

P.S. The Frugalista is busy preparing for a block sale on Saturday and probably won't be posting tomorrow. To be honest, the Frugalista is quite behind in organizing and pricing her stuff for the sale.

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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CVS Clearance Report: Diapers and Wipes

Stopped into CVS to see if they had any more clearanced Huggies mega packs. They did -- but only size 6, which I have gotten through two kids without ever needing. In fact, I think the size 6 Huggies were even down to 75% off! Naturally, since I passed them up, fate will punish me by making sure that Toth is one of those boys who won't potty train until they're 4. And the way he eats, he'll be husky, too.

But I noticed lots more baby products on clearance:

Pampers wipes refill (two tubs' worth) clearanced to $1.99

CVS brand wipes refills clearanced to $1.30-something, also two tubs' worth

Playskool purse-size wipes pack 50% off at 99 cents

And don't forget that a regular ExtraBucks deal this week is buy one jumbo pack CVS brand diapers at $5.99, get $2 ECBs. I noticed that the shelf price on a pack of CVS' training pants is $10.99, so getting it for $3.99 looks pretty good. I have used their diapers, back with baby #2, and don't remember having any complaints.

I also noticed lots of hardware products including low-energy lightbulbs and 3M Command Adhesive hooks clearanced to 40% off.


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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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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$80 shopping: Got Three Packs of Diapers, $50 in ExtraBucks and Register Rewards

I spent $84.42 this week, which is pretty darn close to my $80 budget goal. That's particularly good considering that besides getting our regular groceries, I generated around $50 worth of ExtraBucks and Register Rewards that I can spend on future trips, and that I got three packs of diapers.

CVS: $14.57 over seven trips?? on three packs diapers, three gallons milk and a bunch of freebies, two DiGiorno pizzas and more freebies and moneymakers. (Wow, I haven't been to CVS that many times in many weeks.)

Walgreens: $4.85. That was $3.35 on ice cream bars for the kids and money-making Schick razor. $1.50 on just a razor.

Trader Joe's: I spent $48 at TJ's on organic produce, peanut butter, bread, wine -- my normal TJs staples. Then @Epu stopped in the next day and spent $29 on one small bag of groceries. Sigh. This would decimated nearly half of our weekly grocery budget on just six items. But then I remembered that we have a $50 per month "entertaining budget" that we use for serving guests or bringing foods to gatherings. I haven't been making use of it lately, mainly because between Xmas and summer there ain't much entertaining. But Epu's $8.99 six-pack of beer (grr), his $3.99 fancy sausages, his $3.99 organic asparagus, $5.29 bag of pistachios and $2.49 white baguette were all brought to his friend's house with him, so onto the entertainment budget they go, leaving only the $2.69 he spent on "juice" for the kids. (He didn't realize that it was really limeade until I pointed out where the bottle said "15% juice." I am such a bitch if you mess with my shopping budget.)

Bottom line: $51 at Trader Joe's.

Whole Foods: $14 on bulk pearled barley, whole wheat flour, cage-free eggs and a few other things. And get this, I got overage on one item. Overage at Whole Paycheck! It's not something you can replicate, probably, because I had a free item coupon for Oikos Greek Yogurt. But the Whole Foods in-store booklet currently has a $1/1 store coupon for the same product, so I was allowed to get a buck overage put put towards my other stuff. Hooray!

What we ate on that:

Wednesday: leftover chili

Thursday: something with ground beef

Friday: brought a large pan of mashed potatoes with (free) cream cheese to a potluck

Saturday: pizza and salad

Sunday: swiss steak with barley, carrots, celery and garlic, slow cooked in beef froth 

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: salmon marinated in curry over couscous, with carrots

CVS Coupon and Clearance Alerts

I stopped into CVS today just to scan my card at the coupon machine -- hey, they are still printing $2/1 store coupons for Huggies wipes on some cards! Combine that with the $2/2 manufacturer's coupon for Huggies wipes from if you need some. But sadly I don't see these going on sale before my CVS coupon expires June 1 so it's not a killer deal.

But I did notice that a variety of Pampers Wipes were on clearance at 25% off. That's not so exciting, except that at CVS clearance items start at 25% off and progress to 90% off if there are any left at that point. Something as useful as wipes probably won't make it that far but I'll keep an eye out!

Small purse packs of CVS brand Playskool wipes were also clearanced at 25% off. Hey, I wonder if the $1/2 CVS brand paper products coupons currently spitting out of the machine would work on those. They're a CVS brand, and they're paper.

Dear Shoplifters: There Are Better Ways to Get Free Stuff!

First of all, a warning: Do not mess with the employees of your local CVS. They just might be willing to defend their body wash and razors to the death.

OK, it's not funny. This guy got caught shoplifting at CVS in Little Village this weekend and ended up getting strangled to death by a store manager. The police are calling the death accidental, but jeez. It's hard to believe a CVS employee would defend the store merchandise that zealously.

But the main thing that bothers me is that the guy was stealing toothpaste. At CVS! Whenever I hear about shoplifting at CVS and Walgreens, I just want to tell the perps: Don't you know there are legal ways of getting that stuff for free? Toothpaste is the number one easiest thing to get free with coupons and ExtraBucks. It's offered nearly every week!

Over the past couple of weeks I have run several deals involving nice razors and body wash. You know what that means, right? Waiting around for employees to open the locked case.

I can't blame the stores -- shoplifting arrests were up 7% last year. Times are tough, apparently tough enough that there's a thriving black market for bars of soap and body wash.

But I do feel put out at having to deal with the locked cases. I blame the theives, who can't be bothered to learn mad coupon skillz so that they, too, can take home free stuff without running the risk of being prosecuted -- or, in this case, much worse.

CVS: How I Got Frozen Pizzas for 65 Cents Each



Here's what I ended up getting at CVS this morning:

1 Dove peanut butter bar 49 cents

2 Aussie mousse $5.98

2 Ladies Speedstick $5.98

1 Blade razor $6.99

2 DiGiorno pizzas $7

2 Covergirl Wetslicks $5.99

2 CVS shampoos $1.98

Pre-coupon cost: $34.41 + tax

Coupons deducted: $5 email coupon, 49 cents free Dove from coupon printer, two $1/1 Speedstick, $2/1 Aussie, two $1/1 CVS haircare from coupon printer, $5.99 for BOGO Cover Girl coupon, $2.50/2 CoverGirl coupon.

Total coupons: $20

I pay: $14.41 plus tax

ExtraBucks received: $16 -- $4 for Aussie products, $4 for Speed Stick, $6.99 for razor, $1 for Green Bag tag.

Yet I managed to pay only $1.31 net today, not even paying the whole tax. How's that? The register did not take off the $5.99 for the BOGO Cover Girl WetSlicks. So at first I paid my $15 ECB, plus $3 more ECBs, plus $5.31 in cash.

Once I realized what had gone wrong, I had the cashier refund that one, and she gave me the $6 or so in cash. So instead of $23.31, my expense was $17.31 with $16 back. Hey, I didn't want any of this stuff except the frozen pizzas, but we were out of those and now I got them for 65 cents each!

Sunday Ads: Take a Week Off or Grab a Few CVS Freebies

I'm pretty busy this week (when am I not?) so I felt a sense of relief as I paged through the ads in today's Sunday Tribune. I'll be making one CVS run, but maybe I can get through the rest of the week with only a couple grocery runs.


Free after ExtraBucks and coupon are Herbal Essences or Aussie (limit 2), Speed Stick (if you have the $1/1 Q from Reinventing Beauty) and CVS brand Blade 5 Razor System. For the full CVS deals, see Money Saving Mom. Also see my planned moneymaking transaction.


Free after Register Rewards is just Gilette or Old Spice  body wash @ $4.99. Oh, but here are a couple items you could get free with coupon: Reese's peanut butter cups are 49 cents with in-ad coupon and there's that $.55/1 from the 3/14 SmartSource. For the full Wag's deals, see Mashup Mom's posts here and here.


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CVS Plan 5/16-5/22

I have a $5/$30 CVS coupon from email that expires tomorrow, so I'm trying to work out a $30 scenario to run in the morning. I'm working off the CVS preview post on

CVS brand Blade 5 Razor System $6.99 (earn $6.99 ECBs)

1 Aussie shampoo + 1 Aussie styling product $2.99 x 2 = $5.98 minus $2/2 Q from the 5/16 RedPlum, pay $4 (earn $4 ECBs)

2 Speedstick @ $2.99 = $5.98, minus two $1/1 Q from Reinventing Beauty magazine, pay $4 (earn $4 ECBs)

2 CoverGirl WetSlicks @ $5.99, use BOGO coupon to take off $5.99 pay $0. Possibly also use $2.50/2 from 5/2 RedPlum for overage (no ECBs)

1 free Dove bar or $2 off a bag 69 cents-$2

2 CVS brand shampoo @ $1 = $2, free after two $1/1 coupons from the price scanner

That gets me to close if not all the way to $30, with a cost of about $12.50 plus tax. After the $5/$30 coupon, I'd pay $7.50 plus tax and earn $15 ECBs.

If I need fillers, I can throw in some 83-cent cups of Cheerios. I have several coupons for Cheerios that don't specify a size, so I'll try using those. Could also use travel sized packs of Schick disposable razors with $2/1 coupons. Or 2 CVS brand bandages for $2 (so I've heard), since I have a coupon-printer coupon for $2/2 of CVS 1st aid products.

Now the only problem is the ExtraBucks I have: a $1, a $2 and a $15. Trying to think if there's something our household actually needs that I should blow yet another $7.50 on to use the big one? Best would be if I did two transactions, first to break up the $15 and then to use the $5/$30. Hm. I'll have to sleep on this.




More $3/1 Huggies on

The good news: You can print fresh $3/1 Huggies manufacturer's coupons on right now, which are great to use on the CVS deal through tomorrow -- pay $8.49, get $2 ExtraBucks. Or pay $5.49 after coupon, get $2 ECBs, for a final cost of $3.49.

The bad news: When I hit up the CVS coupon printer yesterday, it was no longer producing $2/1 CVS Huggies coupons, even for the card I hadn't printed one on originally. (I use my husband's and mother's cards as well as my own, and shop plenty for their needs too.)

So unless it starts again, you probably won't get a pack of Huggies for $1.49 like I did. Still, $3.49 is a darn good deal!

Thanks Money Saving Mom for the coupon heads up.

CVS: More $2/1 Huggies From the Coupon Printer, and I'm on a Roll!

I just got back from a stroller walk to CVS and everything went great -- until I parked the double stroller in front of my house and a neighbor walked by and grabbed the sleeping baby's hand until he woke up. Realllly, neighbor who has six kids of her own? Have you learned NOTHING so far? The worst part was having to smile and say, "Oh, it's OK" when I really wanted to have her put in jail for contempt of the Parents Code.

Anyway, great news: The coupon printer/price scanner at CVS is spitting out store coupons for $2/1 "any Huggies Supreme diaper." Remember that Huggies jumbo packs are an ExtraBucks offer this week at $8.49, get back $2 ExtraBucks.

If you pair the $2 store coupon with a manufacturer's coupon of $1 or more, you're looking at paying $5.50 OR LESS for your pack of diapers -- meaning your cost after getting the $2 ExtraBucks is just $3.50. Or less.

I have a bunch of $3/1 expired printables left, and have found that CVS is usually not too strict about expireds. Which makes Huggies $1 after coupons and ExtraBucks. Yahoo!

Also, my transaction over there was another moneymaker. See the numbers below this shot of my loot and my slightly-under-the-weather helper: 





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Did You Get This Week's Newsletter About Free Stuff at CVS? Here's an Update.

This week, the Deals & Steals e-mail newsletter covered the basics of getting stuff free at Chicago drugstores through the CVS ExtraBucks and Walgreens Register Rewards programs. Old news to a lot of you, but if you're just getting started on that, you'll want to read the newsletter, below.

And, if you're here from the newsletter, you should know that more than just Depends is free at CVS this week! Read how I actually profited more than 11 bucks at CVS this week buying Depends, Nivea body wash and Reach toothbrushes.

Here's the newsletter:

Get Free Household Items

Last week we talked about getting free food using money-back programs at grocery stores. I ended up getting nine cans of soup at a profit, which will go to the Letter Carriers' food drive Saturday, May 8. Keep watching for freebies this week (I'll post the grocery deals here tomorrow with freebie alerts) and you can put together a big bag for your carrier to pick up.

This week, let's get some free or better household items. Both Walgreens and CVS offer money-back programs that routinely result in a profit for the shopper when combined with coupons. Because of these programs, I have not paid for shampoo, toothpaste or deodorant for two years.

This week, CVS will pay you $2 to buy Depends. OK, you might not need those! But I'll bet a local charity does. If you buy and donate them, you can use the CVS ExtraBucks you earn on another money-making item next week and slowly grow your ExtraBucks wealth.

Step by step:

1.  Print this coupon for $2 off Depends.

2.  Take the coupon to CVS and get a store card if you don't have one.

3.  Check the weekly ad to find the exact packs of Depends that are paying ExtraBucks.

4.  Buy Depends for $6.99, and pay $4.99 plus tax after coupon. Make sure the cashier scans your card.

5.  Check the receipt: You should have $6.99 ExtraBucks, which you can spend on nearly
     anything in the store.

6.  Make sure to use those ExtraBucks before they expire, preferably on something that generates more ExtraBucks.

Don't want to buy Depends? Every week the offers change, and if you glance through the flyer each Sunday before long you will find an offer that works for you. Walgreens' Register Rewards program works in a similar way. Each Sunday I highlight the week's best drugstore deals on the Frugalista blog.

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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Profit $6.40 or More at CVS This Week!

Here's my plan for CVS tomorrow. This is the most exciting CVS week I will have had in awhile:

1. I got a $5/$25 in the email on Thursday, good through 5/2. Print that.

2. Buy 3 Sunday papers. (Does Mendards get the Sunday paper the night before? Anyone??)

3. Nivea products are "spend $15, get $5." Buy 3 body was at $4.88 each and one small product (Abundant Food Savings recommends the 99-cent hand cream.) to bring the total above $15.

3. Buy one pack Depends at $6.99. Yes, to donate!

4. Buy two Reach floss at $3.99 each.

5. Total should be $30.60, or $25.60 after my CVS coupon

6. Hand over $19 in manufacturer's coupons: three $4/1 Nivea body wash from tomorrow's paper, $2/1 Depends printable, bogo Reach from 1/3 RedPlum, $1/1 Reach from the 1/3 RedPlum.

7. Pay $6.60 plus tax.

8. Get  back $18 ECBs: $5 for Nivea, $6.99 for Depends, $4 for Reach. $11.40 profit!

9. Repeat, except without $5/$25, meaning that I'll "only" make $6.40 profit.

Sunday Ads: Free Stuff at Walgreens, Menards and CVS

I picked up a Sunday Tribune at Jewel-Osco today and all it had was the CVS ad, Menards and Carson Pirie Scott, Jewel and Dominick's, plus the two coupon books. Thank goodness those were in there or I might have had to drive back to that Jewel-Osco and had an on-the-floor tantrum right there. I don't know why I even buy advance copies of the Sunday paper, because they are always missing something.

SmartSource has $.70/1 Palmolive dish soap to take to CVS this week, $.75/2 Dole fruit bowls, parfaits and another for gel fruit bowls, $1/1 Stayfree to take to Walgreens this week, $1/1 Johnson's baby product which is always good for a tiny bottle of baby shampoo at CVS (if you need a filler). RedPlum has $1/1 any Dove deodorant which could probably get you a travel size one free.

CVS has that Schick Hydro razor free after ECBs and coupon (3/21 SS, any disposable) AGAIN, and Softsoap Nutri Serum body wash is free if you have the $1/1 coupon from the current Reinventing Beauty magazine. (Which by the way has pretty crappy coupons this time around, mostly manufacturers'.) If you're almost out of dish soap like I am, you'll be happy to see Palmolive on sale for 88 cents, since there is a $.70/1 in the 4/25 SmartSource that takes the price down to a quite manageable 18 cents. Oh, and if you got a $2/1 store coupon for Huggies wipes like I did, combine it with the $.50/1 from the 4/18 SmartSource and get them free this week. Finally, Mashup Mom has a hot tip on how to get Fig Newtons or Wheat Thins free.

So, I don't have a Walgreens ad yet but I know there are moneymakers with coupons -- Stayfree and Plackers flossers -- becaues I read about them on Money Saving Mom.

Carson Pirie Scott has a coupon for an extra 20% off sale price apparel and fine jewelry, or lesser discounts off other stuff.

Menards has free deck wash after rebate. 

So, when I get a real Sunday paper tomorrow, maybe I'll update more. I say maybe because tomorrow is Nutmeg's 6th birthday, I've got family coming over, and it will probably be pretty crazy all day. But yay Epu and me for successfully raising a child through the end of "early chidlhood" into well, regular childhood.

Sunday Ads: Free Kotex, Free ThermaCare, Free Jig-a-Loo Lubricant. Not That You Need That Combination of Stuff.

Target is having a TV clearance, with a 47" Philips LCD HDTV for $799.98 (from $979.99 and a 19" one at $179.98. Also Thomas' English Muffins in assorted varieties for $1.89. Storage bins and shelving are on sale, which I'm psyched about because Money Saving Mom's big clutter clean-up and garage sale has inspired me to really get going on some decluttering of my own.

Kmart has an offer through its new rewards card program: Buy 5 items on the page, get $5 Rewards. Seems like you can spend these rewards like cash when you scan your card at the register. If you are like me and shop at a store that accepts the $10/$20 coupon (no longer available), here is a deal idea for getting paper towels at 30 cents each:

1. Buy 5 two-roll packs of Bounty extra-soft paper towels @ $3.99 each.

2. Add a 5-cent or more filler if necessary.

3. Use the $10/$20 coupon to bring your total down to $10.

4. Use two $1/2 from the 3/7 P&G insert to bring your out-of-pocket cost to $8.

5. Get your $5 Rewards, making your final cost $3 for 10 rolls paper towels, ro 30 cents each. 

Kmart's ad also has a $10 gift card coupon for a new or transferred prescription, save this to use at CVS if your location takes competitor Rx coupons. And, if you have a scrip for foilic acid (i.e. if you're pregnant), you can get a free one-month supply of supplements through 5/1. And the ad has a coupon for $30 off a $100 housewares purchase.


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Get Previews of Upcoming Deals on Slickdeals and Other Forums

Did you know that you can find out online what sales and ExtraBucks offers are coming up at CVS, Walgreens and some other stores weeks or even months in advance? Slickdeals is the site I use the most for checking out upcoming deals, but I Heart CVS and I Heart Wags are also sites with previews.

This can be really handy when you get a good store coupon out of the coupon printer at CVS and you're wondering if you should use it right away or save it. For instance, for the past week the coupon printer has been spitting out coupons for $1/1 CVS paper product. In fact last I heard they are still printing these. The first one I got, I spent right away on a single roll of CVS toilet paper and paid 15 cents for it.

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

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

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

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

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Huggies for $2 a Pack OR LESS at CVS, Kmart,



Those $3/1 Huggies coupons have made for some amazing diaper deals lately. Yesterday I visited my favorite CVS (in Kenosha, where I've been staying with my parents all week), and did two transactions, one yielding Huggies diapers and Pull-Ups for $2 per jumbo pack and one for 50 cents a pack!

How did I do that? As always, a combination of luck and skill. ;-)

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Sunday Ads: Free Sobe and $2 Monopoly at Target



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

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

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

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Shopping Notes: Jewel-Osco and CVS

My Jewel-Osco today had no trace of free Jose Ole chimichangas (probably sold out everywhere but I couldn't even find a spot in the freezer for them at the Oak Park Madison Street store). But they did have a clearance cart full of Asian foods including Wanchai Ferry meals for around $3. If only I'd had some of these $1.50/1 printables on me, I'd have bought them (also in the 3/7 SmartSource).

And the 1 Liter bottles of Chill seltzer water are on sale for just 25 cents (normally 89 cents). We go through a lot of these, so I was bummed that there were only four on the shelf. Other varieties (like the flavored waters) were more.

On our walk home we popped into CVS just to print coupons and (for the girls) ogle the Easter treats. Huggies must have heard me naysaying Pull-Ups earlier today, because out of the coupon machine came a $3/1 store coupon for Pull-Ups! I have $2/1 from a mailer, so now I can get $5 off -- unfortunately it doesn't look like Pull-Ups will be on sale before it expires 3/28, though.

I scanned my card, Epu's card and my mom's card, and only mine got the Pull-Ups Q. But my mom got ANOTHER Q for a free Dove bar, so that's nice.

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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CVS: Valentine's Clearance and Other Notes

I can't believe it, but I forgot to go into CVS yesterday to scoop up Valentine's clearance items at 90% off. I don't know about other stores, but today our Oak Park store was down to a few items in a cart: Gold Emblem brand gummies for 9 cents a bag, one pack of heart-shaped Peeps for 15 cents, and a few paper heart-covered bags for 3 cents.

I knew it was going to be 90% off yesterday, because I checked with the staff, but also because CVS usually does the same pattern for holiday clearance:

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Sunday Newspaper Ads - Sudafed Moneymaker, Free Saw

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

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

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

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I usually have great trips to CVS, but tonight was pretty lame. I needed to pick up a gallon of milk, so I decided to gather my DiGiorno coupons and take advantage of the buy one, get one free offer ending tonight.

I could only find one $1/1 for regular DiGiorno pizzas, but I found a bunch of coupons from a blinkie box that were for a specific variety and I thought they might work just as well.  A lot of coupons say they are for a specific product, but are actually coded to work for anything of a certain brand or product line.

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Photo Deals: CVS and Snapfish

Create a photo book on Snapfish and get 100 free 4x6 prints when you order by February 28. Use coupon code BOOKGIFT at checkout.

At CVS, get a free 8x10 enlargement or photo collage when you spend $20 or more on digital prints in store.

CVS Notes -- Free Oatmeal

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


Lest you think I am getting all hoity toity with my healthy-ish meat purchases, tonight I walked off the frustration of a bad baby sleep day by hauling the kids' wagon over to CVS and stocking up on 12-packs of Coke. The deal this week is buy 3 Coke 12-packs for $10 and get a Diet Coke 12-pack free, but it works if you just buy four regular. The manager at my store said so, since they were out of Diet, and sure enough, the register worked it without intervention. I ended up getting everything pictured above for $8 including tax, after coupons and Extra Bucks.

This was a "rogue" shop because I used the $5/$20 coupon that says "Northern California only" and is also expired. I'm not recommending that others use this coupon; only if you want to bring down the entire CVS corporation with your wily coupon ways. Or something.

Other things I noticed tonight: Besides there still being Physician's Formula Organic makeups on sale 75% off (many free after the $3/1 coupon from the 1/24 SmartSource, which is expired but my store has been accepting expireds lately), there are a lot of 75% off stickers on Rimmel products as well -- foundation, powder, lip gloss, various eye makeup. There's a $3/1 mascara coupon in the March 26 All You (got mine today), there was a $2/1 in the December All You, a buy one, get one in the October All You, and a $1/1 in the 12/13 RedPlum. These prodeucts are pretty cheap -- like $6 or $7, so at 75% off the $1 and $2 coupons could make them free or close to it.


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A Different CVS Strategy = Free Toilet Paper for the Year

I love this post on Money Saving Madness because it shows how different couponing strategies can meet different goals. Michelle over there builds and builds her CVS Extra Bucks from Thanksgiving weekend through about now each year, and then spends them on the Bonus Packs of toilet paper that they offer in the beginning of every year.

This post also shows how cyclical most brand and store promotions are; once you've been couponing a few years you get to know what promo is coming next.

She also has a great tip: Now that Bonus Days is almost over, look for those giant packages to be put on clearance prices, and still paying Extra Bucks, which can make them super good deals or moneymakers. I'll let you know if I find any like that.

Sunday Ads: Yawn, Pass the Candy Hearts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reminding Me Why I Love CVS


After a typically trying day with the kids, I slipped out for a little CVS fun. I had a $4/$20 coupon from my email burning a hole in my coupon file and 30 minutes before Grey's Anatomy.

I got all this for $2.70 out of pocket. That was all tax. The actual cost of the stuff I paid with  $12 ExtraBucks slip, and I got $13 ExtraBucks back. So in that way, you could say it was all free. Here's what I "bought":

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Follow CVS on Twitter for Deals

Got a message from CVS this week:

Through Sunday night (February 14), if you follow @CVS_Extra on Twitter, you will receive a secret discount code for 25% off nearly everything on Of course, that's just for the kick-off - by following CVS/pharmacy daily on Twitter, you'll find out about other special discounts throughout the year and you'll also be among the first to know about new programs and Extra Bucks promotions, fun facts and contests, and much more.

OK, I followed them, and the "secret" code is LOVECVS, good through 2/12. Then they'll tweet another one.

I generally woudln't bother shopping, but I did notice when I clicked through to this Q&A page that you can actually redeem ExtraBucks and use other store coupons online. That's pretty cool! Like, if you have a large ExtraBucks slip that is about to expire, and you don't feel like going out, you can at least get something for it by ordering online. 

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

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



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

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


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


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

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

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Did the Eucerin Deal at CVS


When I couldn't take watching my old boyfriend Brett Favre get hurt anymore (I didn't know I still cared!), I slipped across the street to CVS for milk and high-grade lotion.

The deal is "spend $20 on Eucerin, get $10 back." For some reason these always exclude Aquaphor. I got a tube of Calming Cream Daily Moisturizer for $7.99, a tube of Calming Itch Relief for $7.99, and a tube of hand cream for $5.49. Used a $4/2 and a $1/1 from today's paper, plus an expired $5/$20 from the Fresno (or was it Sacramento?) Bee Web site (no longer available). So I paid about $11.50 plus tax, and I got $10 back.

Doctors always recommend Eucerin for my daughter's eczema, and I used to blanche at the price. But 50 cents apiece? I'll take it!

I also wanted to do the Stacy's chips with the "spend $20, get $10" Pepsi deal (it's not a moneymaker as I earlier posted, I found out from a reader, because the coupons labeled "CVS Coupon" are actually manufacturer's coupons.

Still, after I brought home one bag of these pita chips from Wag's last week, the family gave them the thumbs up, and if I bought seven for $21 and used seven $1/1 manufacturer's coupons, I'd still be paying $14 and getting $10 back -- less than 50 cents per bag.

Sadly, though, someone had cleaned out all the good flavors of Stacy's chips AND the good True North snacks from my store. I guess since this promo was going on last week too they probably did it then.

Oh, also in the weekend shopping category? The hubs stopped at Target for me before a manly Menards run, and he did the Pampers deal. He got three jumbos of the Sensitive Swaddlers at $8.99 each, used a $2 Target coupon and a $2 manufacturer's coupon for each one, paid $15 and got the $5 gift card back. He called me to report his success at getting diapers for just over $3 a pack, and I could hear the coupon victory rush in his voice.

I didn't even have the heart to make fun of him for not thinking to use the gift card at the cafe where he was having lunch with Nutmeg. Well, at least not to make fun of him very much.

Sunday Flyers Coupons and Deals: Diapers and Kraft Products

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

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

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

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Maximizing the Splurge When Your Store Credits Are Expiring

Walgreen's Register Rewards and CVS ExtraBucks can be such a money saver -- if you're able to keep rolling them onto good deals week after week.

But sometimes, your store credits expire before anything good goes on sale, and you completely lose the initial cash investment you made to earn them. If that happens to you a lot, maybe this game is not for you.

Other times, you might not lose your credits but you find yourself having to spend them quick before they expire. If you just blow them on whatever comes to mind, like overpriced full-price items that you could have bought cheaper somewhere else, it's almost like you lost them.

Today I was faced with that situation. I noticed a whopping $15 worth of CVS ExtraBucks were expiring. Actually, they had expired yesterday, but my CVS is usually nice about taking recently expired ECBs.

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Sunday Ads: Pepsi 12-packs for Under $2

Nothing too exciting in this weekend's ads unless you need to stock up on Pepsi products, then it's an AWESOME week with 12-packs below $2 each at both CVS and Walgreens (after instant rebates).

Coupon inserts: There is a SmartSource, a RedPlum and a P&G. SmartSource has a $1/1 Colgate which often results in free toothpaste at CVS. $1/1 Dreamfields pasta which is somehow high-fiber without being whole wheat. BOGO Weight Watchers yogurt. $.55/2 -- one Tostitos and one Tostitos brand dip (use at CVS or Wag's on Pepsi deals).

The P&G insert has a NyQuil coupon that would come in handy at Walgreen's this week, a buy one, get one free Febreeze coupon and Duracell coupons.

Walgreens and CVS both have Pepsi offers, like they always do when the Super Bowl approacheth. At Wag's, Pepsi 12-packs are 5/$15 and you get $10 Register Rewards when you spend $20. At CVS, it's 6/$20 with $10 ExtraBucks back. So, let's see, at Wag's you'd have to buy 7 12-packs to hit the threshhold, then after the RR you'd have paid $11, or $1.57 each. At CVS, you'd pay $10 for 6, making them $1.67 each. So Wag's wins if you're just planning to buy pop. At Wag's you can also combine in Tostitos chips and dip if you want and use the $.55/2 coupon from today's SmartSource to do a hair better. At CVS, the other Pepsi products like chips and nuts are a separate "spend $20, get $10" deal.

For all the details and some more deal ideas, see Money Saving Mom's CVS and Walgreens summaries.

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Planning a Raid on the Local CVS

I'm planning a "Shoplifting With Permission" raid on my local CVS. Do not alert the authorities, I'm not planning to break the law. That's just what I call it when I hit a store and come out with as much or more money than I went in with.

The reasons I'm excited about CVS this week:

1) You can print unlimited copies of this $5/$20 coupon right now, which is good through 1/9 (I saw that one on I Heart CVS.)

2) Reader Marie A confirmed a rumor that I had heard: CVS has brought back Bonus Days, value packs of food and other products that pay ExtraBucks. this includes my 2-year-old's fave rave, SoyJoy bars. Since most people hate SoyJoy bars, they have to make them free after ECBs. Here's the link to Cha-Ching on a Shoestring that Marie A read.

3) That Nivea deal and the light bulbs that I already posted about. Actually, Mashup Mom points out that the lightbulbs are a moneymaker if you print the $1.50/1 manufacturer's coupon off Target.

Here's hoping stuff for these deals are still in stock -- I wasn't able to rush over on Sunday because I spent the whole day searching the house for our set of spare keys. I misplaced my keys (and, more tragically, my CVS tags) over the holiday, and Epu's key broke off in the lock at around 5 p.m. Saturday -- after, of course, or local locksmith had closed for the weekend. The good news is that we didn't really need to go anywhere in the freezing cold all weekend, and this morning I was able to get the broken key copied. The bad news is that every minute I wasn't feeding the baby, breaking up a fight between the girls, doing laundry or preparing as meal this weekend, I was searching for keys. And you'd think our house would have gotten really organized in the process, right? Well, some areas did, but others are just turned inside out like the place has been ransacked. Kind of an epic fail on the "being grownups" thing at our house.

So here's an easy $20 transaction:

3 6-packs SoyJoy $18

1 GE Light bulb     $ 3

Total $21.

Coupons: $5/$20, two $1/1 SoyJoy coupons from the 11/15 SmartSource (I only have two), one $1.50/1 GE printable.

Total after coupons: $12.50 (could be $11.50 with one more SoyJoy coupon)

Total ECBs received: $20

Profit: $7.50!

Sunday Ad Flyers 1/3: Free Electrasol, Free GE Energy Smart Bulbs

I summed up the five awesome coupon inserts in the 1/3 Sunday paper already, but let's look at the other sales and deals advertised in the papers this week:

CVS has one-packs of GE Energy Smart bulbs for 99 cents after Extra Bucks, which means they're free after the $1/1 coupon in the 1/3 SmartSource (there was also one in the 11/22 SmartSource, and there's a $1/1 printable too). Also at CVS: "spend $10, get $5 Extra Bucks" offer for Nivea products, which could probably result in free lotion or lip balm after coupons from this week's inserts.

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CVS Freebie Report


Today I took Nutmeg on a walk to CVS and Jewel to get her wiggles out, and because I had a beef stew simmering on the stove that lacked nearly-free frozen vegetables.

My CVS was well stocked with the three free-after-Extra-Bucks Christmas items, probably because only one of them was marked as a freebie. I was pretty happy with these items -- a lot of times the seasonal freebies are useless tchotchkes, but this is obviousy the most useful stuff possible if you celebrate Christmas. I especially liked the tissue paper and hope to get some more on my parents' card and my husband's tomorrow. I'm thinking that with some paper and gift bags I got on clearance after Christmas last year, plus this tissue paper, I won't have to buy an paper this holiday season.

Pretty basic transaction:

2 tissue paper $3.98

2 bows             5.98

2 rolls gift tags  3.98

Total: $13.34, minus $2/$10 CVS brand purchase = $11.34 + tax. Paid $10 in ECBs and the rest off a gift card from a prescription, received $13.34 ECBs. Moneymaker!

At Jewel, we did two quick transactions of the "spend $15, get $5" General Mills Catalina deal, with Nutmeg working the self-checkout like a pro.

(If you're wondering what a Catalina deal is, it's only the most awesome way to get free groceries in the world. Get up to speed on Catalina deals by reading this.

First 7 boxes Green Giant vegetables for $16.10 before card, $7 after scanning my card, minus $1.50 from three $.50/2 printables, and I paid $5.50 and got a $5 Catalina coupon back. I also bought a bag each of grapefruit and oranges, so I had no problem using my $5 Cat from a previous transaction to pay.

Then we worked the Progresso trick that I learned about from Mashup Mom, because Nutmeg wants to be a big shot and bring in 25 cans of soup for the school food drive tomorrow. Guess we'll be bringing the wagon.

Got 12 cans of Progresso soup for $1 each, which was $12 minus the two $2.49 "broth" credits, or $7.02. Minus $3.25 in coupons, so I paid $3.77 and got $5 back. Moneymaker! This time I bought two bags of split peas, on sale for 79 cents each, as a filler to boost my total above $5 to use the $5 coupon I'd earned a few minutes earlier.


Sunday Paper Ads and Coupons: Free Fannie May Chocolate


Today's Tribune has a one-page ad for Fannie May chocolates with two $10 off coupons: One for use in-store and one online coupon code, which is 10566. There is no minimum purchase, but it looks like neither coupon can be used on sale items. In-store at least you should be able to get just under half a pound of chocolate for free. On the Web site, though, the cheapest full-price items I see are over $20. Still, the coupon also takes off $7.25 to make shipping free, so if you have a gift recipient who appreciates fine chocolate this would make it a lot cheaper. (By the way, Dominick's has Pixies on sale this week for $14.99 for a 1-lb. box. The coupon and Web site would be a slightly better deal, because the total there would be $14.88 including tax. And no, you cannot use the $10 off coupon at Dominick's -- Fannie May retail locations only.)

Highlights of the other coupon inserts: RedPlum has $3 off coupons for several DVDs or BlueRays, including Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas, Coraline, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, as well as regular movies like Funny People, Inglorious Bastards and Public Enemies.

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Sunday Ads: All the Stores Are Warming Up With Price Cuts and Coupons


The retailers are already pulling out so many stops that I wonder what stops will still be in for Black Friday. OK, actually the Black Friday offers are no mystery at this point, and I'll post some links to all the previews tomorrow. But before then, we can already get games at half price at Target, all kinds of gift card offers and $/$$ coupons, rebates on Kitchen Aid mixers and more. Many of the deals are good through Wednesday only.Why am I just sitting down to post these at 9:30 Sunday night? Well, let's see -- my birthday party last night quite unexpectedly ran until 2 a.m. Then we had to get ourselves up in the morning and drive 90 minutes to get to Wisconsin in time for the Packer game kick-off. Kind of the fall/winter Sunday ritual around here. After putting 3 kids to bed and a little party clean-up, here I am.

Target: 50% off games including Twister, Operation, Sorry, Scrabble, and my favorite kids' present, Hungry Hippos. This makes them just $4.79 to $7.49! I once stocked up on Hungry Hippoes on Amazon when it got as low as $8, so I think this is a great price for stocking the gift closet and helping out Toys for Tots or your charity of choice. Also half price are a Fender acoustic guitar @ $74.99 and a Little People Fun Park set @ $19.99. Other good deals are Xmas PJs: infant and toddlers' for $5-$7, kids for $6-$10 and women's for $10. Some of them are more winter themes than Christmas, but this being Target, all of the designs are cute.

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CVS Trip: Free Milk, Free Nuts, Free Huggies Wipes, Free Everything


You know you're a crazy coupon lady when you realize you're out of milk in the evening and say, "Yay! I'll have to run to the store!"
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CVS Season to Save Booklet and Other Coupons


CVS hasn't been tempting me lately, which is ironic, because suddenly there are lots of good coupons available to sweeten the deals:

  • Halloween clearance is up to 75% off at my store. Watch for it to go 90% off. Also, some expensive-looking facial sunblock sticks were clearanced to $1, and these are usually good for several years. (Check expiration date.)
  • The cashier should offer you the Season to Save catalog, pictured above, when you check out. Take it! It has a coupon inside good for $4 ExtraBucks when you spend $20. I LOVE this coupon because it means that even if you use other coupons to get your total down to zero, you can STILL save more! Looks like you can only use one of these per card, though.
  • Printable coupons available: $5/$30 for taking Medicare quiz, and $5/$20 just because.
  • $2/2 coupons for CVS brand nuts (Gold Emblem) are printing out of the price scanner again, which Mashup Mom reminded me are good for getting two snack-sized bags of nuts for free. I love these for keeping in my purse for an emergency snack (drive-through deterrent) and for sending with the hubs' lunch. (Mashup Mom also used them to get macadamia nuts, buy one, get one this week @ $5.99. Transferred to a fancy container, these would make a nice Christmas gift!)
  • I've been using my Green Bag Tag toward getting an Extra Buck every fourth time it gets scanned. Once you scan it four times, the 99-cent price has paid for itself.

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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Sunday Ad Flyers 11/1: P&G Saver, Toys R Us Big Book, Target Gift Card Deals

Yesterday at my CVS they were piling all the Halloween stuff on a clearance cart to fill those aisles with Christmas kitsch. That's right, now that Halloween is behind us, it's on for holiday shopping. While I am irritated by early Christmas displays, I'm all for getting a jump on the holiday shopping. The earlier I start, the better deals I am able to find and the better stuff I am able to get for my loved ones. In fact I have already bought two gifts for my 5-year-old: a new comforter with shams from JC Penney (using that $10 voucher and $10 coupon combo) and three pairs of knee socks from Lands' End (using the $10 coupon).

So in the spirit of holiday shopping, here are the best deals from the Sunday ad flyers, Nov. 1.


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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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CVS: Spent $9, Got $10 Back

Tonight I stopped into CVS because I just printed $2/1 coupons for Nestle and Wonka candy and I wanted to see if any of those products were included in the "spend $20, get $5 ECB" candy offer.

They weren't, but since I had one of the new $5/$25 flu quiz coupons, I decided to do the Advil deal. Here's how it went down:

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CVS GreenBagTags Are Here!



Saturday night I walked across the street to CVS looking for that Neosporin lip stuff that should have been free after coupon, and check for clearanced diapers. This is what I consider a hot Saturday night these days.

My store didn't have it (the coupon's no longer available, either).  But guess what they did have? The new GreenBagTag, which you can buy for 99 cents and then have scanned along with your ExtraCare card every time you bring your own bag. Every fourth time it scans, you get $1 ECB. 

I'm frankly surprised CVS is doing something so progressive, and I think it's great. I happily bought one as a filler along with my gallon of milk and newspaper (I had A $5 ECB to spend so it worked out perfectly). The only disappointment was to read on the back of the tag that it can only be used once per day per household -- so if you go over there to do five transactions on the same card, you can only get the .25 ECB once. Oh well, I'm sure I'll be able to earn an ECB a week easily with this thing.

Clearance Diapers at CVS: Keep an Eye Out


Tonight I walked into CVS to get that cheap Edy's ice cream and they had a clearance bin full of Playskool diapers for $2 a jumbo pack. I was kind of crushed when I saw they were all Newborn size, which at 12 weeks little James is beyond. But I did some investigating and it looks like there may be all kinds of diaper clearance sales going on at CVS now or soon!

First of all, I noticed that there are no Playskool diapers at all left on the shelves at my local store. Have these all geen sold off on clearance without my noticing? Are they discontinuing the brand, which is an in-house brand done as a partnership deal?

The only info I found online said that some other shoppers have been finding Huggies Mega Packs AND Playskool diapers clearanced to as low as $4 a pack. So keep your coupons with you and keep an eye out for clearanced diapers! I'll scan a few of the Huggies in my store to see if they ring up as clearance even though they're not marked.

Other folks say they are still finding Huggies Little Swimmers at 90% off, which is 89 cents. Glad it was not just me!

Photo by Spigoo, used via Creative Commons license.

My Plan for Almost Free Ice Cream at CVS This Week


We're down to our last gallon of free ice cream so I'm glad to see that I'll have the chance to get three more cartons in a nearly-free deal at CVS tomorrow. OK, this Edy's Maxx stuff is actually "frozen dairy dessert" but don't tell that to the kids, who of course love it. I can get a lot of obedience out of three cartons of ice cream.

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$5/$25 and $3/$15 CVS Coupons

  • I already took the CVS flu quiz and used the $5 coupon I got, but I Heart CVS reports that you can take the quiz again at two different URLs to generate more coupons with unique bar codes.
  • I got a $3/$15 coupon good on anything AND a $3/$15 cold and flu products today in separate emails. CVS usually sends out email coupons on Thursdays so if you are signed up with them and didn't get anything, search your spam folder.
  • They keep advertising that you can get $100 in coupons for getting a flu shot there. Has anyone actually seen this new coupon book? My store doesn't know anything about it.

CVS: Got My Milk and a Bunch of Other Stuff for Just the Tax

We needed milk tonight, so off to CVS I went. Armed with two $5/$25 coupons from taking the quiz on the CVS site, of course, not to mention a few manufacturer's coupons.

I got all this in two transactions. Both were over $25 before coupons. After coupons, I paid about $22 + $4 tax, and got $24 Extra Bucks back. So really, it all cost me $2 -- 29 cents less than the price of the milk.



The ECBs I got were for the Vaseline Infusium deal (costs $7.99, get $7ECBs) and the "spend $15, get 5 ECBs" Cover Girl deal. Exact instructions on where to find the coupons can be found on Common Sense With Money. I didn't get any guff about my selections for the Cover Girl bogo coupon, although I know some other people have been hassled by cashiers with a narrow definition of what consitutes a "face product." My other filler was a $2 bottle of CVS-brand Viology shampoo, with a $2/1 coupon from the Reinventing Beauty magazine you see there. I actually rang up the magazine, then pulled out the coupon and had him scan it.

By the way, I tried on the lip stain in the picture, which is on sale for $7. Meh. It is exactly like coloring your lips with a felt-tipped pen, and I don't think the effect was any better than a much quicker lipstick.

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.

Sunday Flyers: Golden Gate Edition

So, here I am in San Francisco, and you'd think I'd be out visiting my old haunts and eating all my favorite foods. I did eat some good food, but today I've been hanging out at my friends' apartment, waiting for Nutmeg to call out to me from her sickbed. It's a nice apartment on a great little shopping street in Bernal Heights, but still. It's not the getaway I'd hoped for this weekend.

But lucky for you, my confinement means that I had time to pick up a Sunday Chronicle (my alma mater -- I used to be a business reporter there) and look through the ads. If you didn't already know, there are five coupon inserts in some markets -- two Red Plums, two Smart Sources, a Generall Mills insert, and one other one that San Francisco apparently didn't get.

Target has a Kashi gift card offer: Buy 5 Kashi products @ $2.88 and get a $5 gift card. There's a (new or reset, I think) $1.50/1 Kashi coupon here for a cereal or snack product (thanks Money Saving Mom), which you can print twice per computer. There's also a $1/1 Kashi frozen pizza Target coupon here. Mashup Mom lists a few other Kashi coupons here. So if you are able to get five $1.50/1 Qs, you'd pay $6.65 for 5 products and get $5 back, making them $1.65 for five, or 33 cents each.

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Swim Diapers for Free or 89 Cents on Clearance at CVS

If you will have kids in diapers next summer, I advise you make time today to hit your local CVS and see if they have Huggies Little Swimmers clearanced to 89 cents. Mine did, and I got six 12-count packages.

If you have any Huggies coupons -- there are $1/1, $1.50/1 and many other denominations in circulation -- these should be free. You can print a $1.50/1 (hit the back button to print a second time) right now on

It's normal for CVS to put its summer stuff on clearance for 90% off at this time of year, but I have never seen swim diapers included in that. But today, these $8.99 diapers rang up at 89 cents. Major coupon lady excitement here.

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Sneaking Away From the Block Party to Visit CVS

You know you have a problem with bargain shopping when you wait until it gets dark at your neighborhood block party and the kids settle down to watch the outdoor movie ... and you sneak off to CVS and score a bunch of stuff on clearance.

I did four transactions at CVS today in between feeding the kids (Our dinner-on-the-street cost about 40 cents per person, thanks to my recent Catalina purchase of Pillsbury Grands at 15 cents a can, hot dogs for 75 cents a pack at Dominick's with manufacturer's coupons from the Jewel flyer, corn for 17 cents an ear from Dominick's, free cucumbers from dad's garden and $1 after sale and coupon Mountain High yogurt from Jewel.)

All totaled I paid $16.50 + tax for all this:



Usually I don't like to have so much out-of-pocket expense at CVS. But this time it was more than worth it.

Since these deals are over, I won't spell out all the transactions. But with a combination of manufacturer's coupons, CVS  coupons (two $5/1 batteries from the machine and three $4/$20 from the pharmacy book) and the ExtraBucks offer, I paid about $6 for all those batteries -- including TWO packs rechargeables that sell for $12.99 each regular price. I HATE not having the right batteries on hand for some new toy or whatnot, and my very sanity depends on keeping the baby's swing stocked with D batteries these days. So we're set.

I spent $8 on the clearance items shown: that's 48 ounces of raisins, 69 ounces of pretzels, 36 ounces of candy, 32 ounces of prunes and 8 bars. It was 25 cents per raisin and prune package, 25 cents per candy box and $1 per pretzel silo. The hubs really likes those for brigning to card games so we'll have no trouble using them by their November expiration.

The remaining $2.50 went to milk (whoops, forgot to take that out of the fridge for the pic but I got a gallon) and the six bars of Dove soap (with the "spend $15, get $5ECB" deal and lots of manufacturer's coupons). 

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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CVS Transaction: Made $4 Thanks to Crap I Didn't Need


Note: The deals in this post are good through store closing tonight.

Recently I was showing a friend how to make money and get free stuff at CVS. During that week, I got a couple packs of highlighters for free after a coupon, in order to boost my total up to $20 so I could use a $4/$20.

"Don't you end up getting a bunch of crap you don't need?" she asked.

Well, yes. But the crap always seems to find people who do need it. In that case, highlighters turned out to be on Nutmeg's new teacher's supply list, so I was able to score brownie points by sending in two packs.

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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.)

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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Welcome WGN Listeners!


I had the privilege of sitting in the WGN radio fishbowl studio this morning with John Williams for a few minutes. Baby James came along of course and their wonderful producer Beth Swierk held him in the sound-proof control room while I talked with John.

We talked about CVS deals, combining coupons with sales, whether rebate deals take too much time (my answer: usually), buying kids' clothes ahead during the end-of-season clearance sales, and how setting a weekly budget -- not coupons or any other tactic -- was the most important step for me in becoming a frugalista.

For those of you who are new to bargain-hunting and couponing, these posts will help: My glossary of couponing lingo and my overview of a workshop I gave on bargain grocery shopping. Yes, a lot of my posts are about grocery shopping, although you will also find great ideas here on entertainment, clothing and living the frugal lifestyle.

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Sunday Flyers 8/16

The guests have gone home after yet another indoor barbecue -- we're 0 and 3 this summer for trying to use our backyard when we have company. The kids have dropped after the exhaustion of wreaking havoc in the house with their friends all afternoon. And I've finally got peace and quiet to look through these Sunday deals.

New feature this week: I linked each store's name to the online version of the weekly ad where available.

  • The coupon inserts: SmartSource has some coupons that would help you turn the Kraft rebate deal into a moneymaker: .75/1 DiGiorno Flatbread Melts, $1/1 DiGiorno Ultimate Toppings pizza (this should work on the personal pizzas, $2.50 at Jewel this week), $2/1 A1 Steak Sauce (that one would also get you free steak sauce at Kmart this week due to Super Doubles).
  • Target has a coupon for a free $10 gift card with transferred prescription. You should also be able to use this at CVS if your local takes "compeditors" coupons (as the electronic sign in front of my CVS says). Target also has the following $5 gift card offers: reserve and buy selected video games, or buy 2 Gillette razors or cartridges including Venus Embrace, Fusion, Breeze, at $7.99. For the best deal on that last, buy a Fusion razor and a cartridge pack, and use the $2/1 razor from the 8/16 (today's) RedPlum along with $4/1 cartridge pack from the 8/2 RedPlum. Then you'll get both for $5 after the gift card. Or if you already have a Fusion, two cartridge packs with two $4/1 Qs would be $3 after the gift card. You could also use the Qs from today's RedPlum for a free Gillette deodorant w/ purchase of a Fusion cartridge or a free Fusion shave gel with same. Finally, Market Pantry cheese is on sale for $1.79 per 8 oz. block.
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Diapers for ONE BUCK a Pack


UPDATE: I looked at my ExtraBucks after writing this and realized that the razor deal only paid $3 ExtraBucks, not $4. So I actually paid $1.50 for those diapers. To make up for my error, I'm updating this post with a deal idea that really will get you the diapers for a buck apiece. The new scenario will only work through Tuesday, though.

I expected to get cheap diapers at CVS this morning, but after a quick adjustment to my plan I ended up getting two packs of Huggies for one measly buck fifty apiece! You can too if you follow the steps I did.

The sale price was $9 a pack, which is pretty much what diaper jumbo packs normally go on sale for at drugstores. Here's how I got from $9 to $1.50:

1. I took the quiz here and printed a $5/$25 coupon to use.

2. I bought two packs Huggies for $18 and added a $6.99 Bic razor cartridge pack to increase the total to $24.99 (CVS counts this as spending $25).

3. The $5/$25 coupon got the total for 2 packs diapers and one pack cartridges down to $20. This coupon beeped and the register said it was not supposed to be used before 8/10, but the cashier pushed it through.

4. Two $3/1 Huggies coupons got the total down to $14. I used coupons that said they were for Huggies Pure & Natural, although the variety available at CVS is the regular Huggies Supreme. The coupons worked fine and did not beep. (I also have two $3/1 for regular Huggies I got in another mailer; if you don't have any of these print two $3/1 Pure & Natural or two $1.50/1 regular Huggies here or clip the $1.50/1 ones from the 7/19 SmartSource.)

5.The $3/1 Bic coupon from today's SmartSource brought the total down to $11. I paid $11 plus tax, mostly in ExtraBucks I earned from previous offers.

6. I received $5 in ExtraBucks back -- $4 for the diapers and $3 for the cartridges.

7. That means I left the store with $4 less in ExtraBucks than I went in with (not counting tax which I paid out of pocket). That's $1.50 each for the diaper packs and $1 for the cartridges.


1. Buy the 2 packs of diapers for $18 plus one Revlon ColorStay Mousse for $9.99 (I didn't see this in my ad but others did; hopefully this offer is good in the Chicago area)

2. Use the $5/$25 coupon.

3. Use two $3/1 diaper coupons and one $1/1 Revlon coupon from the 7/19 SmartSource insert.

4. Pay $16 out of pocket (preferably in ExtraBucks you earned from previous offers)

5. Get back $9.99 ECBs (ExtraBucks) for the makeup and $4 for the diapers.

6. Your total expense was $2! $1 per diaper pack, free makeup.

Wow, right? Too bad there is a limit of one diaper transaction (of 2 packs) per CVS card. This came not a day too soon for us -- I had to break into one of the packs just hours later to cover the baby's tushie. Oh, and before I get a bunch of coments about the fact that it's cheaper to use cloth diapers, I want to let you know that we were using cloth until a couple weeks before I gave birth, and plan to get back to it in a couple months. I'm giving myself a little laundry break while I adjust to caring for three kids.

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...

Two Quick Drugstore Dealies

1. The Walgreen's $5/$25 coupon has been extended through Saturday. You can print the new version from their Web site. Note that Walgreen's, unlike CVS, requires you to spend $25 AFTER COUPONS to use the coupon. The only way to avoid spending at least $20 out of pocket after the coupon is to use formula checks, which are not considered coupons.

2. CVS is giving each ExtraCare card holder a free gift this month. The coupon for this gift will print out with your receipt if you make a purchase, or if you scan your card at the red coupon machine found in most stores, it should print out.

If your coupon happens to be for a free pack of CVS AA batteries, like mine was, you should get in there by tomorrow if possible: Those are buy one, get one free this week, meaning that your coupon should get you two free packs.

Also keep in mind that these free product coupons are great for when you're trying to use a $4/$20 coupon like the ones currently available in little booklets from the pharmacy. Because, unlike Walgreen's, CVS DOES let you use the coupon if your total is $20 before coupons, a free product coupon helps you get up to that threshhold without spending any extra cash.

Coupon Books at CVS Pharmacy Counter

The pharmacy workers at CVS are supposed to give you a coupon booklet right now if you ask about ReadyFill, their automatic refill service. I tried this today and was given one. At first the employee thought she had to enroll me right there, but then another employee told her to just give it to me.

The booklet includes two $4/$20 coupons good through 9/12 as well as a bunch of coupons for money off purchases in certain categories, like $2/$10 off oral care and $4/$20 off skin care. Pretty sweet! This week, if you are planning on doing the "spend $20, get $10" Electrasol deal, the $4/$20 will really sweeten the pot.

By the way, at the CVS I visited today 5-oz. cans of Bumblebee tuna were marked down to 25 cents! I'm not sure if this particular store was clearing them out or if all stores have this price, but even if it's not marked in your store, you might want to scan a can to see if it's selling for this unheard-of price.

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