Woohoo, the new website is up! Well, here it is. I know there’s not much on it at the moment, but that’s going to change quickly. I’ll be adding this week’s deals and some more freebies tonight and tomorrow, so stay tuned for those and please follow me here, Facebook, or Twitter. (or all three). See you soon!
Hi all, I have had some major health problems lately, (which I will get into in a post soon) so I apologize for the long time between posts. I am currently thinking about how to re-design this site to make it more interesting and organized. I had many ideas on what and how often to post and I will be checking out how to do it. Not easy when you have absolutely NO web or design experience. I will be working on it over the next couple of weeks, so please stay tuned and in the meantime, check out my YouTube channel, Coupon Choice Mom. I seem to have been more active on it than here, probably because I love playing with editing equipment. (It’s probably why I went into TV broadcasting in the first place. ) I hope you will stay tuned. If you follow me on the main page, I will make a post announcing that I am back when I’m done, but please check out my older posts in the meantime and subscribe to my channel!
I love couponing. And to love couponing, sometimes, you have to love math. Even those complex word algebra problems that were your bane back in school.
And you didn’t think you would ever use it in real life.
Here is the problem: You must buy a combination of 12 of the following items in order to get them for .75 each. Progresso soup, Idahoan potatoes, Campbell’s soup, Lipton Recipe Secrets, Pasta Roni, or Kraft Macaroni and cheese. Now which coupons do you use in order to maximize your savings?
Sigh. I always was bad at math.
After glaring at both my binder and calculator for a while I eliminated Idahoan, Pasta Roni and the macaroni since I didn’t have any coupons for them anyway. After a lot of scribbling of bad equations, I was visited by a vision of my middle school pre-algebra teacher and figured out the following: 3 Campbell’s tomato soup. (Because I love tomato soup and a tuna sandwich as a nice comfort lunch. And you have to admit, Campbell’s tomato soup may be simple, but you know you love it. I had a coupon for the tomato soup for $1.20 off 3. I grabbed 2 Lipton Recipe Secrets seasonings with a $1.00 off 2. I had 3 coupons for .50 off 2 (which doubled) any Progresso product. I was even able to get some pot roast and chicken noodle flavors. Ok, that was the end of the coupons, but that was only 11 so I threw in a coupon-less Idahoan potato pouch to make it to the required dozen.
All that math ended up with me paying an average of .31 for each of the products. Not bad.
I also grabbed 4 Minute Ready to Serve Rice in 2 different flavors. (white and fried if you really want to know. On sale for 2/4, I had a $1 off coupon for each one. Another deal was the Breakstone sour cream. It was 3 for $5, but since the sign didn’t say you had to buy 3 so I didn’t. Take that, sale sign. I only had 1 coupons for .75 off 2 that of course doubled. I also had a load to card special for 1.50 off 2. All in all, I paid 33 cents for each.
Then came the tea. Ahh, the tea. Now, I grew up in the deep south, where a good sweet iced tea is practically the required beverage for life itself. Well, Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, and Tetley all were on sale and I had coupons for all. Southern house wine, how I love thee.
There was a sale on grapes that if you spent $25 you got red seedless for 99 cents each. There’s a lot of grapes in Ziplocs in my freezer right now.
There was some other small coupon savings (thankfully, with no major math) with things I needed anyway, including cat food and litter. She’s an expensive little furball.
There was a deal I had to pass up though. The store was offering a free box of store brand dryer sheets if you bought a box of Bounce dryer sheets. I had both a load to card discount and a coupon for Bounce. It would have been a great deal except that I couldn’t find an unscented version of the Bounce sheets. Now I’m so sensitive to smell, that when I was young my parents had me sniff the sodas in restaurants so I could tell which one was diet for my diabetic brother. ( I was never wrong) My super strength smell sense may seem great, but combined with my asthma, it means I can’t use scented laundry anything. (Or soap, shampoo or anything similar.) Now I am not one of the weird and crazy couponers you see on TV that will buy literally anything if it’s a great deal, even if you don’t need it and will never use it. I do have standards, and sanity. And limited storage space. So with a heavy heart (and a pinched nose) I passed it by.
I did have to get a few things at full price because, you know, Thanksgiving approaches.
All in all, this was a great trip. I got around 108 dollars for 41.21 (including tax) . I know normally I say the exact amount, but I seem to have misplaced the receipt before I typed this up.
“How did I type this up then?” you may ask. Well, obviously it was easy to find out how much I spent, I also remember the approximate pre-coupon total, since I was bragging on it to a friend from work. But for the last couple of hours, I have been going through the old flyer. (which was still stuck in my binder for some reason) I circled everything I remembered buying and if I didn’t remember exactly what the coupon I used was, I hit the coupon database on MoneySavingMom.com to see what was available, since that is what I would have had.
I have just remembered to check my rebate apps to see what I got when I uploaded my receipt. According to my Saving Star account, I saved another 40 cents off the Lipton tea, 60 cents off the Recipe Secrets and a dollar off 3 Progresso soups. . And Ibotta says I was credited $1 for the Lipton Recipe Secrets too. This means that actually for the 2 boxes of seasonings, I made, that’s right, made $1.29. So adding all the rebates, that brings my total from 108 to 38.21.
That’s a pretty good deal, I hope I find the receipt so I have proof.
All of the deals were at Giant stores in Fairfax County, Virginia. The sales I mention here have already ended, but if you know of a sale for the upcoming Thanksgiving week or know of another great sale in your area, please leave a comment. Happy Couponing!
Perhaps my couponing skills have gone supernatural- Last evening I went to my apartment complex’s Halloween party and I won a 50 dollar rent credit playing Halloween bingo. See, mad couponing skills. Also, fewer jello shots than my neighbors.
Just letting my readers know I have finally put up a new video on my YouTube channel. Please check it out, the channel is also called Coupon Choice Mom. The video is about where to find coupons, which I know I covered here already, but now its in video!
UPDATE: This sale is over, sorry!
There wasn’t enough deals to do a real couponing trip this week, but there was a deal in my area I had to let people know about. (In case anyone in my area is reading this.) Before I finish planning a couponing trip, I make a run through to check for deals that didn’t make it into the flyer for whatever reason or which varieties are included in “select varieties”. And this is why I do this. This was an UNADVERTISED deal at my local Giant stores in Fairfax County Virginia, and just in time for Thanksgiving planning. You don’t even need a coupon for it.
Select varieties of McCormick products have a special going that if you buy 6, you get $3.00 off. One of the varieties is plain old brown gravy packet, perfect for turkey, potatoes, and dressing you might be needing next month. And look at that, the gravy is on additional sale for .49! 6 of those is $2.94, which means you’re already making 6 cents off this deal. If you find a rebate or coupon, that’s even better savings. (Although Giant doesn’t allow coupons on things that are already free.) I went to three local Giants and saw the same deal at all three. However, I noticed that the word did get out, because the last one had no packets left. So there you are. Free gravy, no coupon or minimum purchases needed. Just a great addition for anyone’s stockpile.
83%. My new record. Down from $49.34 to $8.29. Even I think that’s great, and I’m usually very critical of myself. Now, I just got home from the store, so this is a quick one, but here’s how I did it.
The main deal was soup. I love soup. A nice thick soup is great with some good bread on a cool night. The Progresso soup was on sale for 1.00 each, but if you bought 10, it dropped to 88 cents each. I had coupons for 50 cents off 2 cans, but Giant doubles. So I needed 5 coupons, enough for 10 cans. Guess how many I had. Well, you’re wrong, I had 7. But that was more than enough. The bad news is that it looked like another couponer got there first and there weren’t that many flavors to choose from. But she (or he, who knows) left the garden vegetable alone, and that happens to be my favorite anyway, so I’m a happy woman. Ok, so now I have 10 cans. I also had a load to card from the store for 2.00 if I bought 10 cans of soup. Done. So with sales and coupons, they came to 18 cents a can. Not bad for soup that is usually 2.49 a can.
On to the yogurt. I only had 1coupon, so I only could grab 5. On sale for 50 cents each and a coupon for 1.00 off 5 made them 30 cents each. And it looks like the other couponer hit here first too and took all my prized peach yogurts away. They did have a couple of strawberries left, and a lemon burst, so I’ll have those.
Those new Hillshire chicken bites snack packs were on sale for 1.49, and I had a dollar off 1, so I’ll give them a try.
Two packages of Simply Potatoes microwavable mashed potatoes were on sale for 2.50 each, and two 75 centers which double gave me both for a total of 2 bucks.
Well, you can’t have too many potatoes, and the microwavable ones will keep, so I grabbed a 5 pound bag of russets on sale for 1.88 and a 3 pound bag of onions for the same price. See how healthy I’m being? Carbs non-withstanding.
Finally we have this nice frozen cracked peppercorn tilapia fish down from the original price of 6.99 to 3.99. Add my dollar off coupon and its 2 meals of gourmet fish for 3 bucks.
And that’s pretty much it. Not a huge trip (except for the savings). I’m also amazed at how healthy everything I bought is. No chocolate in sight. I’m surprised myself.
These deals were from Giant stores in Fairfax County, Virginia. If you found another good deal where you are, share them in the comments. Happy Couponing!
I think it’s time to catch up a little more about my attempts to become a mom. After all, I have been on this journey for almost two years now and a lot happened at first, so I thought I would get them down while I still remembered them. So, once again we find ourselves time traveling to the past. Far away back to the time when I thought it was easy to get pregnant. I didn’t know how wrong I was.
Many times I have wondered, “Where have all the good men gone?” But, I didn’t think I would be wondering in a fertility clinic waiting room.
Getting ready to go to my consultation appointment at Shady Grove was weird. Even though a lot of the SMC women had gone there and recommended it, I still wondered and worried about what people would think when I walked in. I even worried about what to wear so I would look confident. As I opened the door I felt like back in high school and I was going to be left out of the “cool kids/ married couples club”. But a glance at a wall mirror showed that the scarlet S I was feeling was invisible to others, so I signed in, collected volumes one and two of my new patient paperwork and sat down.
When I looked around, I was surprised to see that there were only women. Were they all single like me? None of them seemed to be sitting or talking together, so they weren’t couples.
I know now that most of the women were there for daily ovulation monitoring, which is quick and no partner has to be there. Later, when I began my daily monitoring, I would also come in early every morning. But for now, I just sat in the waiting room getting more and more nervous. I knew it was stupid to be; after all I wasn’t leaving the office pregnant that morning. But now that all my hopes were being pulled closer into reality it was making me weird out a little.
The nurse had handed me a lot of paperwork to get started and there at the top of the page for “male’s information” was a box that said “check here if using donor” and suddenly I wasn’t as nervous. Why would I be? My status as a donor user was treated simply as a matter of fact. I began to feel more relaxed and less judged.
Half an hour later I was sitting across an office desk of one of Shady Grove’s finest fertility specialists, feeling just as normal, if not a little worried. There was a major issue we were dealing with. Or rather a major number. 40.
Without medical intervention, a 40 year old woman has only around a 10% percent chance of conceiving each cycle. It is a little improved with medical help, how much depending on what fertility treatment is chosen.
But first my doctor talked about giving me an all over checkup. I was immediately scheduled for a mammogram, since I have a family history of breast cancer, and a blood test for just about everything under the sun, an HSG test (Hysterosalpingogram for those who like medical tongue twisters) to check for ovarian cysts and possible blockage of my fallopian tubes, and a full DNA workup. Apparently, since I am an Ashkenazi Jew, I am prone to a lot more genetic problems than the general population. Oh, joy. I needed to be tested for Tay-Sachs, Gaucher, Cystic Fibrosis, Bloom syndrome and several other exotic diseases I had never heard of.
But the first step could be done right away, right there in the office. Just a simple ultrasound to check my uterine general health. Ok, that sounded simple enough. Then I learned what they meant when they call it an invasive ultrasound. I think my ex would have been jealous.
They had a little screen so I could see the images too, and although a lot of it looked like squiggles, some did slightly resemble images I remembered from biology books. But something seemed a little off. Although the general shape of my uterus looked the same as in the books, it also looked a little …swollen. Oh great, I thought, it’s just as fat as the rest of me.
The doctor was looking closely too. “I think”, he said slowly. “I think you may have a fibroid, you need to see your gynecologist and have an HSG before we do anything else.”
When I got home, I was typing Uterine Fibroid into Google before the door closed. I was relieved to find out most were small and easily removed and were rarely malignant.
A few days later, I was preparing to have my whole reproductive system flooded with dye for the HSG x-ray test. I wasn’t sure that subjecting my uterus with radioactivity would help the whole fertility issue, but they seemed to know what they were doing. The whole point was that they needed to see clearly what was blocking my uterus and how big it was. They were also going to be able to see if there was any blockage in my tubes. Apparently this can become common in older women. (Since when was I an older woman?) It’s just one of the many things to look for to explain why a 40 year old woman had never been able to become pregnant. Never mind that for the last 20 years I had been actively trying to prevent pregnancy and now I wasn’t, but once again there was a whole time issue they were dealing with, and it was better to do all the tests first than wait to test after the first few tries failed. At the time this was explained, I thought this was a waste, after all I felt healthy and my cycles were regular. It turns out this was a great idea, since this fibroid thing threw me for a loop.
A couple of days after the test, my doctor was extremely cheerful as he pointed to some images and explained that while most fibroids were small, mine wasn’t. It was the size of a, well, I never did find out exactly how big it was, but I know it was so big, it not only filled my whole uterus, it actually was stretching it out of shape.
I had to wonder why didn’t I know? Didn’t I have any of the symptoms? Bad cramps? Nope. Irregular cycles? Nuh-uh. And the sad fact is, I had been very lax in my annual trips to the doctor. There is a possibility it might have been there for years, starting small and slowly growing. If I hadn’t made this decision, it might still be there. I wondered if I had really needed to be careful with my college boyfriend. I remember once my cousin holding my hand as I waited for the results of a ‘scare’ test. Did I never need her or the test? I couldn’t think about it because now what mattered is that my fibroid had to come out right away. Because as long as it was in there, I was infertile. Period. No pun intended.
Several of my friends thought it would be nice if I recorded my coupon shopping trips. So, I have braved my stage fright and started a YouTube channel to be a video component of my blog. I will be posting both here and there so don’t worry that this page is going anywhere. I don’t know how often I will be posting. (Stage fright galore, it took half an hour and about 15 attempts to record the 1 minute into.) So many thanks to my friend Lorena and her daughter Julia for helping me out. So I hope you will check it out and I will be posting another post here within a couple of days and the YouTube channel within a week. (I hope). The channel is called Coupon Choice Mom and I hope you enjoy.
Whew! I just pulled off one of my best couponing trips yet. Well, my pantry is pretty well stocked, so basically everything I walked out with was from a couponing deal. And there were some pretty tasty deals. Ice cream and popsicles, and sugar cereals, oh my!
Well, I had two main deals to get, Kellogg’s cereal and Blue Bunny ice cream. Giant had the cereals on sale for $1.77 each IF YOU BOUGHT THREE. Don’t argue with the cashier like somebody was apparently doing when I got up to the register. It says right on the sign, must buy three of the participating cereals. The cereals that were participating even had small signs next to the price tags saying $1.77 if you buy three. Don’t say the store doesn’t help you save. The main rule of couponing is you must obey the store’s coupon policy. Don’t be a jerk and ruin it for everyone else. All you did was make the cashier defensive so she was already annoyed when I got up there with my coupons. Thanks a lot dude.
Ok, so first deal, cereal. As I said, Kellogg’s had a deal where it was $1.77 if you bought three. And, what do you know; I had three coupons for a cereal each. Two 75 cent ones for Froot Loops and a 50 cent one for Rice Krispies. Ok, so $1.77 times three is $5.31. All three coupons were doubled and the total off was $4.00. That leaves a total of $1.31 for the three boxes. But wait, there’s more. I had a 50 cent ecard coupon from Giant if I bought two boxes of cereal from Kelloggs, and a rebate deal of 50 cents off two boxes from Saving Star. Also a 25 cent rebate for any cereal from Ibotta. So, including rebates, I spent a whopping total of 6 cents. I don’t think 2 cents per box of cereal is that bad. I’m not sure how much sugar I can handle, so I’m giving one of the boxes of Froot Loops to a friend at work. I’ll eat some of the box of Rice Krispies, but most of it will go to make some treats. Froot Loops will just have to be my morning sugar rush.
Now, if I’m buying cereal I will need milk, which I don’t usually do since I’m slightly lactose intolerant. I can have some cheese or cream cheese or ice cream and similar once in a while. (or more with Lactaid), but drinking straight milk or even pouring it over cereal usually makes my tummy unhappy. But, sometimes the coupons smile on you and you get a pretty good substitute. Silk milk was on sale, and I had coupons. (Why did I point out I have coupons? Don’t I always have coupons?) Anyway, Silk makes many alternate milk products. I decided to try the almond milk. Now, I didn’t know if I would like almond milk, but there’s nothing wrong with trying something new. It’s one of the things I love about couponing. You can try new things for cheaper. You never know what may become your new favorite. Two half gallons of almond milk hopped into my cart for 65 cents each. The sale price was $3.00 each. A store coupon of $1.00 off two Silk brand products and an e-coupon on my loyalty card for the same deal came off first. Then add one doubled 55 cent coupon for each carton. Throw in an Ibotta rebate for 50 cents and you’ve got 2 half gallons of great almond milk for $1.30.
Now for the fun stuff. ICE CREAM!!!! My local Giant just started carrying Blue Bunny brand ice cream, so there was a deal that you got a free carton of ice cream if you bought two boxes of any of the novelty items. I had a coupon for $1 off any two Blue Bunny novelty items and it seems that the small “mini-cones” were on sale 2 for 7. So that makes three dollars each plus a free carton of ice cream. I picked the Bunny Tracks flavor because, well, I like caramel. Which is also the flavor of the mini cones I picked out so I’m not complaining. Anyway, so that’s an average of two dollars for every ice cream product. These are normally over five bucks each, so that’s not a bad discount.
While on the yummy icy treats aisle, I stopped for some Luigi’s Italian Ice. It was on sale for 2.50 and I had two coupons for $1 off 1, so I grabbed a couple of boxes. Now, my freezer is probably going to be stuffed full at this point, so I better leave well enough alone and hit the register. Then I turn around and see that Bird’s Eye Viola meals were on sale too. $3.99 isn’t bad, especially since I had a $1.50 coupon off one in my binder that was about to expire anyway. I grabbed some sweet and sour chicken for dinner.
Although not my biggest trip, definitely one of my better ones, percentage wise. Original total: $42.20, after coupons and rebates $11.60! That’s right, you heard me. 73%! That’s pretty good, don’t you think? I only hope I’ve got enough room in my freezer. Now I’ve got to get home and hide all the ice cream treats from myself before my next deal will be only on Lean Cuisines and mineral waters.
These deals were found at the Giant stores in Fairfax County, Virginia. If you know of a deal I missed there, or if you know a good deal in your neighborhood, please let me know in the comments. Happy Couponing!