stretchingcents

Today’s Costco trip and items to stock up on.

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I love Costco. However, is it worth the membership price for everyone? Probably not.  I share a membership with my parents, so for us it is 100% worth it.  It might not be for you if lack self control because they are experts at getting you to buy things not on your list! It also may not be for you if you don’t have the space to stock up on items, or you don’t have enough people eating the food for it to be consumed before it goes bad.

Today I was able to buy 8 pizzas, 4 loaves of bread, 32 gogurts and 18 sleeves of Ritz for $40.97.  I think that’s a pretty good deal!

Here is my list of items I ALWAYS buy at Costco.  I buy them even if they are not on sale! They may not always be cheaper, but when you factor in the quality of the items they are a great deal:

  • Green beans (Usually about $10 for 12 cans)
  • Kirkland brand trash bags (They never break!)
  • Sliced American Cheese (I split it up into smaller portions and freeze)
  • Kirkland brand sticks of butter (I keep one package out and freeze the rest)
  • Finish Dish tabs (These go on sale a couple times a year and I really stock up)
  • Bread ( 2 loaves for about $3.00!)
  • Frozen Pizza ($12 for 4 pepperoni and $10 for 4 cheese)

Items I buy when they are on sale:

  • Bug spray
  • Gogurts
  • Juice boxes
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper Towels

Items I NEVER buy because they NEVER come out cheaper:

  • Diapers (I’ll do a post soon on how and where to get brand name diapers & wipes for cheap)
  • Baby Wipes

How do I find out if something is a great deal?  The Costco coupon book can be a great way to pull you into the store, but sometimes the deals won’t actually save you any money.  I use THIS SITE to check prices before I leave home!

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Martins Deals for the week of 6/24

I some trouble getting my list together for this week because many of the coupons that were SUPPOSED to be in the paper were not in the inserts I got.  I’ll add that deal at the bottom.

  • Butterball Turkey Bacon.  On sale for 10/$10.  Use $0.55 off 1 coupon from the the 6/24 smartsource insert.  The coupon says DO NOT DOUBLE but mine did today!  Final price without doubling is $0.45
  • Pillsbury Cake or Brownie mixes 5/$5 and you must buy 5
  • Heafty One Zip Bags on sale for 2/$4 and use a $0.55 off coupon printed here that doubles to $1.  Final price $1.00
  • Arnold Bread B1G1 on sale for $2.99 and use $1.00 one coupon that came in the mail

Check your 6/10 Red Plum coupon insert and see if you got a $0.50 off 3 Zatarines Rice coupons.  They are on sale for 10/$10 and you get 20 cents off gas when you buy 7.  This works out to a pretty good deal if you have the coupon.

Also-Don’t forget to check the clearance meat section found at the end of the 1st meat case in the Harrisonburg Store.  I found some chicken on sale for $0.99 a lb.  In the clearance bread section (found by the bathrooms in Harrisonburg) there were several loafs of 100% whole wheat bread on sale for $0.84.

 

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Sunday Coupon Preview 6/24

Here is a list of the coupons that should be in this weeks paper.  I plan on getting 4 papers since CVS has a deal on diapers that should be pretty good when matched with this weeks diaper coupons.

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How I create a stockpile and my stock up price list.

I hate paying full price for ANYTHING, so I try very hard to only buy my groceries when they are on sale.  The only way this is possible to 1) plan your meals around sale items and 2) create a stock pile.  I have been couponing long enough that I have a pretty good stockpile of canned goods, toilet paper, paper towels, hair products, razors, toothpaste, cereal, diapers, wipes and a few other things.  One of my goals this summer is to really work on my stockpile since I have trouble finding the time during the school year to keep up with couponing.  Not only does it save you money, but its an awesome feeling when you suddenly need brownies for an event, or maybe you get some surprise visitors and you already have what you need on hand.

The first thing you need to start a stockpile is space.  We are lucky to have a pretty good size pantry and a large bathroom vanity in our guest bathroom.  I will not end up like the crazy couponers on extreme couponing, so I will only let my stockpile get as big as those 2 spaces will hold.  Its important to get your items organized too so you know what you have to prevent things expiring.

The second thing you need to do is figure out how much you really need.  I have a list of the items my family uses most often and a rough estimate of how much we will use in a year.  I will not stock up on more than we can use in a year.

Another key element of stockpiling is to not blow your budget trying to get your stockpile started.  It is best to work at it slowly.  I have $45 a week to spend on groceries.  I use that money first to buy what I need, then with the leftover I stock up on any good deals.  If there is nothing worth stocking up on, I save the extra money for another week.  If you don’t have any spare money, don’t worry, just keep watching the sales and eventually you will have a week where you come in under your budget. (You do have a budget right???? If not- go to my post on how to create a budget!)

The final and most important part of creating a stockpile is knowing when to stock up!  Everything goes on sale eventually…you just have to wait.  Below is my list of what I consider a “stock up” price for an item.  This is a work-in-progress…I update it as I find things for cheaper.  These are prices I have actually been able to get the items for several times.  Many stock up price lists seem incredibly unreasonable to me, but these are very do-able prices for the area I live in.  A few entries are blank because I haven’t been couponing and watching the sales long enough to figure out a stock up price.  I would highly recommend printing this list and keeping it in your purse or wallet so you have it while you are shopping.  This is also a great tool to figure out if you are truly getting a good deal at places like  Sharp Shopper, Finders Keepers or Aldi.

Stock Up List

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Martins Deals and Coupon Matchups for 6/17 *UPDATED*

My original plan for Martins this week didn’t quite turn out the way I planned…so here is the updated version with the prices things actually are rather than what was posted online or in the ad.  Some things are a better deal, and some not so much.  The updates are in green.

Here is what I am planning on buying at Martins this week.  There are probably some other deals, but these are what I consider the best.

  • Tabasco Hot Sauce- On sale for 10/$10 (fancy for $1.00 each) Use a $0.50 off printable coupon that will double to $1.00.  Final Price: FREE (note- only one like coupon will double.  The website will let you print 2, but to get 2 FREE you will have to do 2 transactions)
  • ·  Magnum Ice Cream Bars- On sale for 2/$7.00 plus get $2.00 off instantly.  You can also print 2 $1.50 off 1 coupons here (note- you have to play a silly game to get the coupons) This brings the total down to $2.00 for 2 and the register should print a $2.00 off your next trip which make the Final Price: FREE If you read the ad as I read the ad, this deal would have worked.  However, the store says the minis are not included in the 2/$7.00 and the coupon is for the minis.  I called the Martins Headquarters to ask/complain and they agreed that the ad is not clear but said whatever the register rings up is correct. I politely told them that they should use proper punctuation in the sales ads so that there would be less confusion. 
  • Bounty Napkins- On sale from anywhere  between $1.09 and $1.19.  Use a $0.50 off coupon from the 5/20 Smartsource ad the total will be $0.09 to $0.19
  • Bounty Paper Towels- On sale for 10/$10. Use a $0.25 off 1 coupon from either the 5/13 or 6/3 PG insert and the total will be $0.50 for the roll.

The  next 2 deals are not Super Stock up type of deals, but they are 2 items we use ALL the time so I am going to go ahead and buy them

  • GIANT brand bacon– on sale for $3.99  and Buy 1 Get 1 Free bringing the final price to $2.00 each.  This is now a pretty great deal!
  • Triscuit Crackers-3/$6.00 and you must buy in multiples of 3.  You can get a coupon here for $1.00 off 2  This is not a rock bottom price, but its pretty good. (once you click the link, search for the coupon by “food” and “nabisco”)
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Kids Napper for $9.99 + $5.00 shipping

I had been looking for one of these since Tommy will need one at daycare next year.  At target they sell for $18-$50.  I had decided I would just try and sew my own, but I’m not sure I could make one for as cheap and as nice as the one here.  To get this deal go HERE.

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Magnum Ice Cream bars at Martins for $0.13 each!!

If you have never tried Magnum Ice cream bars…this is the week to do it!  Warning: They are incredibly yummy and normally incredibly over priced so try not to get addicted.  Once or twice a year there will be an amazing sale on them and thats when I stock up.

 

Normally they are around 4 or 5 dollars for 4 bars.  This week at Martins though you can buy 4 for $12 and get $4.00 off instantly.  You can also like them on facebook and get a $2.00 off one box coupon.  (I was able to print two of these before it said print limit reached)  You can also use a $1.50 off 2 coupon found here.  An extra special surprise is that after I paid, a coupon for $2.00 off my next purchase printed because I bought 4 of the ice cream bars.

Recap:

Buy 4 for $12

-$4.00 instant savings

-$2.00 coupon

-$2.00 coupon

-$1.50 coupon

-$2.00 coupon on next purchase

=$0.50 for 4 boxes!!!!!

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Martins deals and coupon matchups 6/10

Here are the deals I found to be the best at Martins this week. I’m sure there are more, but this is what I plan on buying

  • Breyers Ice cream: on sale for 4/$10.00 and get $4.00 instantly off your purchase.  You can print 2 $0.50 coupons here. The first one will double, bringing your total for 4 ice creams down to $4.50 or $1.13 each
  • Smithfied Ham Steak: On sale for 2/$5.00 or $2.50 each.  Use a $2.00 off coupon from the 6/10 smartsource insert and they will be $0.50 each
  • Welch’s Grape Juice: On sale for 2/$6.00 plus when you buy 2 you get 1 free. That means they are $2.00 each
  • Eight O’clock coffee: On sale for $6.49 each and they are buy 1 get 1 free.  Use a $2.00 off 2 coupon found here and each coffee will be $2.25 each.   Some site say there is a coupon in the 6/3 smartsource insert, but I couldn’t find it in my paper. This is an awesome price so I would buy as many as you can.  I was able to get 3 coupons to print.
  • Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad: On sale for 10/$10.00.  Buy 2 and use a $0.50 off 2 coupon from the 6/10 smartsource and they will be $0.50 each
  • Bounty Napkins: Online it says they are on sale for $1.19, but in Martins they were on sale for $1.09.  Use a $0.50 off coupon from the 5/20 smartsource and your napkins will be either $0.19 or $0.09.
  • Yoplait Yogurt Cups: on sale for 10/$5.00.  I plan on buying 6 and using $0.40 off 6 coupon from the 6/10 smartsouce.  This makes each cup $0.37 each.  There is also a $0.60 off 8 coupon if you want more
  • Yoplait Multi-pack Yogurt (This is the deal I’m most excited about!) They are on sale for 2/$4.00 plus if you buy 7 you get 200 gas points.  I figure every 100 points is $1.50 in savings.  I plan on buying 12 (plus 2 totinos pizza rolls since they are part of the gas deal)  and using 3 coupons from the 6/10 smartsource, plus I was able to print 3 coupons here  If my math is right, each 4-pack will be $1.08 or $0.27 per cup!
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I’m Back! Here’s an awesome Martin’s gift card deal

After several months without a post I am finally back.  The end of the school year just got too busy to keep up with blogging, but now that its summer hopefully I can get back to some regular posts!

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This week at Martins they are running a deal where if you buy $50 in gift cards, you get $10 off your next purchase.

We are currently remodeling our living room, and this deal is perfect for us since Lowe’s and Home Depot gift cards are included in the deal.  Tonight we bought 4, $50 Home Depot gift cards. (You have to buy each in a separate transaction)  The register printed out 4 $10 off coupons for Martin’s that expire 6/14. It says you can only use one per day, but that shouldn’t be too much of a hassle since I will be getting $40 off my groceries this week!!!.  Yes we had to spend $200, but I am 100% sure we will use it all up during our remodel.  This is only a moneymaker if you buy gift cards for something you know you will normally use.

This is an awesome week at Martins for yogurt, coffee, ice cream and ham, so stay tuned to my coupon match-up list coming soon.

How to make your gift card worth more: If you use ebates, you can use your gift cards online and get cash back.  Currently Home Depot gives 5% cash back, so we will get another $10 free when we go through ebates.

How to make your gift card worth EVEN MORE: Like I said, we are remodeling.  We plan to use the gift cards to buy insulation, which we can get an energy credit on next year’s taxes!!

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Diapers for as low as $4.00 a pack!!

I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had a chance to post…but this deal is amazing!  At Dollar General today only (Saturday 4/1) you can get their brand of diapers for $4.00 a pack.  I’ve tried their brand before and I personally think they are just as good as pampers or huggies.  They never leaked for us even when we used them at night.  If you don’t like their brand, you can also get huggies or pampers for pretty cheap too.

To get the deal, go to the Thrifty Couple’s site and they outline several scenarios and give the links to several online coupons.

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