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27 Jun 2008   ·   16
Money Saving Mom

Walgreens: A great way to use the $5/$20 coupon

As I mentioned earlier, there’s a $5/$20 coupon out for today only. Since Walgreens recently changed the wording on these coupons, they aren’t quite as lucrative (your total has to be $20 after coupons, so you’ll be spending at least $15 out of pocket in order to use the coupon).

Dana wrote me yesterday with a great idea for using the $5/$20 coupon:

I wanted to let you know how I have been saving money using the Walgreens $5 off/$20 purchases! I use them to buy baby formula!! I stock up when these coupons come out because you can use the checks that formula companies give after (they are not considered a coupon).

 For those of you who buy baby formula, this sounds like a great way to maximize the $5/$20 coupon! Thanks, Dana!

27 Jun 2008   ·   38
Money Saving Mom

Reader Tips: Best Buy, Half Price Books, Ace Hardware, EBates, Pampers Gifts to Grow

Best Buy: Free Gift Cards for Report Cards* – From Stacie:

Our local Best Buy store is offering "gift cards for scholars". It
breaks down like this:

1 A= $5 BB gift card

2 A’s=$10 BB gift

3 A’s= $15 BB gift card 

4+A’s= $25 BB gift card.

We went
last night and got some great FREE goodies!! I have also heard that
the clothing store Limited Too does the same.  Do you know of any other
chain or franchise stores participating in a program like this?

(*Note from Crystal: The Best Buy deal might only be a local deal available at Stacie’s Best Buy store. Anyone know? If you know of any other great report card offers, please share them in the comments section!)

Half Price Books: Make A Profit Off the Free Magazines – From Catherine:

As I’ve been going to Half Price Books once a week
to get the kids’ the summer reading program sheets and free books
, I have
been taking in some books we don’t need anymore and haven’t
successfully sold any other way.

One week I noticed that our Half Price Books has a
magazine section, so this week I took in several of the magazines I
have already flipped through but didn’t want to save (now that I get
tons of free magazine subscriptions I’ve found out about through Money
Saving Mom!).  They gave me a great price for them, between 50 and 75
cents each.

Given that I didn’t spend anything on the magazines in the
first place, I thought that was a pretty good deal, and it more than
paid for my gas to get over there (although fortunately for me, HPB is
on my usual errand route anyway). I just thought I’d pass that along,
as other people may have basically new magazines sitting around the
house. Getting money for them is better than throwing them away!

ACE Hardware: Rebate Sale This Weekend – From Renee:

I just wanted to let you know that
Ace Hardware is having a huge rebate sale this weekend. They have many free items after rebate and many items
that are just $0.99 cents after rebate. More details can be found here.

Ebates: Refer a Friend and Make $5 – From Becky:

Did you see the
tip in the AllYou magazine this month?  Apparently, if you refer
someone, you and they get $5.

(Note from Crystal: For those who haven’t signed up to EBates yet, I highly recommend it. You only have to spend an initial $5.01, and you get $5 back for signing up. And then you can encourage your friends to join and earn an additional $5 for each friend who signs up with the promotion going on right now. Sign up here.)

Pampers: Gifts to Grow Program – From Jessica:

I know you mentioned Pampers recently on your blog and I wanted to be
sure that you knew about Gifts to Grow. We use Pampers too and I just
recently discovered what the stickers on the packages are. You can
find out about it at Every Pampers product comes with a code that you can enter into your
profile on the site and you can use the points to earn free toys, gift
cards, etc.

(Note from Crystal: I have not used this program yet–bad me for all the Pampers I’ve purchased (well, I got them mostly free at CVS, but that still counts!) in the last two years!–but I just bought another package and can’t seem to even find the code on it. Where should I be looking? And how many packages do I have to buy in order to earn anything of value? Just curious.)

27 Jun 2008   ·   11
Money Saving Mom

Old Navy: $1 Flip Flops on Saturday (June 28) Only!


According to the Real Simple blog:

This Saturday only (June 28th), Old Navy’s nation wide will be selling their fabulously comfortable and colorful flip flops for $1 each! You can grab a pair in every color and remain guilt and debt free. Now that’s priceless!

Now while I don’t think it’s necessary to get a pair in every color (after all, how many pairs of flip flops can you wear at one time?!), I do think this is a great deal–if you need flip flops.

I bought some flip flops at Old Navy a few years back for a couple dollars and they were one of the best Summer shoe investments ever. I literally wore them almost five times per week or more all Summer long for three whole Summers!

I think I might just buy a replacement pair tomorrow. I mean, who can beat $1?

Thanks, Joanna!

27 Jun 2008   ·   6
Money Saving Mom

Regional Deals: Hy-Vee, Price Chopper, Dillons, Meijer, HEB,

Wendy has the scoop on current Hy-Vee deals here.

Price Chopper: Free Honey Bunches of Oats – From Ginger:

Price Chopper has Post Cereals 50% off. Combine with the $2/1 Post Honey Bunches of Oats cereal coupon (you can print these here, here, here, here) to get these free!

Dillons (Kansas Kroger Affiliate): Free Pizza Rolls – From Shawna:

Pizza rolls are on sale 10 for $10 this week at
Dillons. It gets better… if you buy 10 boxes of pizza rolls
(15 count) you get and immediate $3 off your total price! Use the $0.55/1 coupons which were recently available from or the $0.40/1 coupons from recent newspaper inserts and get them free or $0.20/box after doubling! If you have enough coupons, you could actually make a profit to use towards the rest of your groceries!

Meijer: Dole Salad Coupon – From Shannon:

A few weeks back someone on your blog mentioned that they found a magazine at Meijer with a coupon for Dole salad in it. I scoured Meijer high and low, to no avail but I have found the e-copy version on their site. I was able to print the page with the salad coupon.

HEB: Free Admission to Water Parks With Purchases – From Katherine:

Buy 5 of the following products at HEB and you’ll get (1) Schlitterbahn buck (There are coupons out for many of these items):

Venus Shaver

Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner

Herbal Essence Shampoo and Conditioner

Crest Toothpaste

Oil of Olay Skin Products

Collect (3) Schlitterbahn bucks and get 2 FREE tickets to Schlitterbahn–a water park with three locations in Texas!

Albertson’s: Bic Soleil Razors for $0.29 – From Kristin:

Albertson’s has their Bic Soleil razors and blade refills on sale for
$4.29. Using the $4 recent coupon that is $0.29! Also, if anyone else is
a soda drinker they have both coke and pepsi on sale for 5/12.00. It
is actually buy 2 for 5.99 get three free.

Meijer: Two Day Sale – From Sonshine:

I just went to Meijers website and found that they had a "2 Day Super Sale Event" that was going to be starting 6am Friday (6/27) and ends Saturday (6/28) midnight!

You will want to make sure that you get a sale flier as there is a 10% coupon off your total purchase patio, grills, garden center, and outdoor plants. This is valid on regular prices, sale prices, and clearance prices!

As for other things on sale:

* Pepsi 2 liters 88 cents (limit 4, additional quantities are $1)
* Strawberries 2lbs $3.49
* All beef Hamburger patties 8lb box $11.12 ($1.39/lb)
* Oscar Mayer Deli Shaved Ham or Turkey breast or Roast beef B1G1 ($3.69) – Use $0.75/1 coupon

* General Mills Lucky Charms, Honey Nut Cheerios, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch B1G1 – Use $1/1 Honey Nut Cheerios coupon or other coupons here
* Meijer Cooked Tail-on Shrimp 26-30 count B1G1 ($14.99)
* Eggo Waffles 4/$5
* Keebler Sandwich Crackers 8pk- 99 cents

* Pampers Jumbo Swaddlers, Cruisers, and Baby Dry Diapers $7.99
* Tide Laundry Detergent 72-90 loads $14.99
* Tylenol Extra Strength, Excedrin, and Advil 50 ct. B1G1 (at least $4.88) Use $1/1 Advil
* Maybellie Makeup 40% off

* Family Shoe Sale buy one pair get another pair for $1
* Entire stock of sunglasses 50% off
* Fun Noodles B1G1 ($1.99)

26 Jun 2008   ·   227
Money Saving Mom

What’s your best money-saving vacation tip? (24-Hour Giveaway, too!)

It’s Summer and that means that many of us look forward to special memory-filled vacations with our families. Our family is planning a short vacation this Summer and we’ve been saving a little bit each month for the past six months in order to fund it. By the time August is here, we should have plenty saved up to be able to enjoy a simple and fun few days at a lake in Arkansas. We’re so excited about it!

Do you take a trip or two in the Summer? If so, what are your best money-saving vacation tips or great ideas for an inexpensive family vacation?


Leave a comment by Friday evening with your idea or suggestion and just for fun, you’ll be entered to win one of two $25 gift certificates from Hanes for Kids! (Winners will be posted late Friday evening.)

By the way, did you know that Hanes for Kids has teamed up with Disney World and they will be giving away entire vacation packages to seven families this Summer? Every time you purchase a Hanes® product, you could be one of seven winners of a Walt Disney World®
vacation. And you don’t even need to buy Hanes products to enter to win! You can go to official rules to see how you can get a free code. It’s your chance to experience
The Year of a Million Dreams in Hanes comfort! 

26 Jun 2008   ·   8
Money Saving Mom

Printable coupon round-up

Get an Auntie Ann’s pretzel coupon here. (It wouldn’t print for me, so I’m not sure what the coupon is but I’m posting it hoping that some of you are able to get it to print!)

Get a free Lip Favorite or Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel with any purchase at Bath and Body Works using this coupon. (Thanks, Terri!)

Get 20% off any Motorola purchases at Best Buy with this coupon.

Join the Glad email list and get $1 off any Gladware. (Thanks, Brittany!)

26 Jun 2008   ·   81
Money Saving Mom

Writing to companies = Free stuff and coupons!

I often receive emails from people thanking me for all the money I’ve helped them save. While I’m so glad to be helping save you money, I have to tell you that this blogging thing is a two-way street: I’ve saved so much more money myself since I started blogging on saving money.

Case in point: a number of you have mentioned writing to companies when you have a problem with a product. Honestly, the thought would have never crossed my mind to do so but with your encouragement I tried it twice in the last two weeks.

And guess what? Both times I scored free coupons.

First I wrote to Pampers because I recently bought a package of diapers that was cut funny and the tabs kept pulling off. We are almost exclusively a Pampers family and I have purchased who-knows-how-many diapers from them in the last four years I’ve been diapering babies, so I knew that this was not typical.

I shot off a simple emailing explaining what had happened, telling them how much we like Pampers, and asking if there was anyway they could send me some product coupons. In less than a week, I’d received an email back and a letter with two $5/1 Pampers coupons. Thank you, Pampers!

Armed with this success, I wrote to Lipton tea as I’d bought a box of tea a month ago which had mostly-defunct tea bags in it. When I’d pour the boiling water over the tea bags, they would explode and I’d have to throw out the now-tea-leaf-filled tea and try again.

Once again, I explained the situation, expressed my appreciation for their products (which I usually enjoy), and requested a coupon for a free product to replace the box of tea bags I was unable to use.
I promptly received both an email and a letter containing not only a coupon for a free box of tea, but a sheet of high-dollar coupons for other UniLever brands. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty–I’m impressed!

So folks, it never hurts to write and ask. Don’t complain and don’t take advantage of companies, but if you sincerely encounter a problem with a product, drop the company a line. Your few minutes of effort might pay off with free stuff and great coupons!

26 Jun 2008   ·   23
Money Saving Mom

Walgreens: Dixie plates for $0.40 each!


Rachel wrote:

I bought the Dixie Ultra plates that are on sale
with the in-ad Walgreens coupon B1G1 for $3.79.  A coupon printed for $3
off the purchase of 2 Dixie Ultra products. I went back and bought two
more B1G1 for $3.79 minus the $3 coupon and got them for $0.79+tax. I,
again, got another coupon and went back and did the same deal 4 more times,
getting the same printed coupon every time. 

What a great way to
stock up for the 4th of July. Ended up with 12 packs of 24 Dixie Ultra plates worth $45.48
(at full retail) for $7.74 out of pocket!

It is being reported that the Dixie Blue and White Ultra plates 22 count and bowls 28 count are the items working for this deal. Let us know if find any other kind that is working, too.

Here’s the deal breakdown:
Buy 2 Dixie Ultra plates or bowls on sale for $3.79
Use in-ad B1G1 coupon to get one free
Spend $3.79 out of pocket
Get a coupon for $3 off the purchase of 2 Dixie Ultra products

Repeat the above deal using the $3/2 coupon in conjunction with the B1G1 store coupon and get two packages of plates for $0.40 each! Repeat as many times as you’d like until you are well stocked up on plates!

Another deal Kim wrote about:

I wanted to let you know that the Planters trail mix that is $0.99 per
bag with the in-ad coupon from this also spitting out a $1
RR when you buy three. I have been buying 3 at a time (thats the coupon limit) and it has
given me a RR for $1 each time.

Also, there’s a $5/$20 coupon here for Friday only. Once again, this coupon can only be used for an after-coupon total of $20 or more. But for those who may be purchasing that much or be able to come up with a worthwhile plan, I thought I’d mention it. Let us know if you figure out any great deal ideas!

See all Walgreens deals for this week here.

26 Jun 2008   ·   22
Money Saving Mom

Toys R Us: Free Thomas Wooden Engine and more freebies!

The free Thomas train coupon from Toys R Us is available again. Click here to print it. (Make
sure your printer is ready because you can only open the coupon link
once.) (Thanks, Wendy!)

More Freebies:

Free subscription to RemedyLife magazine (Supposedly you can also sign up here to get free samples from RemedyLife–I have yet to get any though.)

Free subscription to Lego magazine (Thanks, Denise!)

Free sample of ShapeWorks weight loss supplement

The Pull up sample is also available again

Free subscription to Living the Country Life magazine (Thanks, Samantha!)

And for those of you interested in creating a baby registry at One Step Ahead, you can get a free subscription to Family Fun, WonderTime, or Cookie magazine. Val wrote:

Go here and create a registry. When you add the first item to your registry a popup will
ask you which magazine you’d like to subscribe to for free: Family
Fun, Wondertime, or Cookie. Click your choice and another window will
come up telling you to expect your mag in 4-8 weeks!

25 Jun 2008   ·   18
Money Saving Mom

*HOT COUPON*–$3/1 Planters product when you buy 3 Kraft products

I mentioned this coupon earlier last week in a Walgreens deal, but I think it bears highlighting in its own post because it is such a hot coupon.

Click here to print a coupon to save $3 off any Planters product (9 oz. or larger) when you buy any three Kraft, Nabisco, or Oscar Meyer products (excludes single serving products). You can print two of these coupons per computer.


For those of you in the KC area, at Hen House this week you can purchase 3 packages of the Oscar Meyer Jr. Lunchables (on sale for $0.99) plus 1 Planters product for $3 or less (some are on sale for $2.50). Use 3 $0.50/1 coupons here (doubled) and 1 $3/1 coupon. After the coupons, all items will be free! (Thanks, FishMama!)

For those of you with a Meijer store, there is a catalina reward going on for Planters products (good through 07/13):

Buy 3 Planter’s products, Get $4 Off Your Next Shopping Order (OYNSO)
Buy 4 Planter’s Products, Get $5 OYNSO
Buy 5 Planter’s Products, Get $6.50 OYNSO

Shannon wrote:

I purchased 9 boxes of Kraft Mac N Cheese = .64 ea x 9 = 5.76
Three cans of Planters Honey Roasted peanuts = 3.19 ea x 3 = 9.57.
I used the $3 off Planters with purchase of 3 Kraft items:

5.76 + 9.57= 15.33 – 9= 6.33 total spent…
and I get $4 off next time!


Be sure to check your local stores and see what deals you might be able to come up with using this coupon. Other ideas for things to purchase with these coupons besides the Jr. Lunchables and Kraft Mac N’ Cheese would be Jello packages (often on sale for less than $0.50 each) or Oscar Meyer hot dogs (often on sale for $0.99 and there was a recent coupon out for $0.50/1).

What deals have you come up with for you stores using this coupon? Tell us the details in the comments section!

25 Jun 2008   ·   76
Money Saving Mom

Blog problems–ideas and help requested!

A number of you are still mentioning you can’t get this site to load right. The blog loads quickly and perfectly in both IE and Firefox for me so I don’t know what the issue is nor can I see what could be wrong to try and fix it.

I’ve tried deleting every widget that could be causing the problem,
re-formatting things, and a multitude of other fixes–none of which
seem to be changing things as I continue to get email after email from people saying they can’t get the site to load. I’m honestly at a loss as to what to tell
you and Typepad didn’t seem to have any answers either.

Does anyone have any ideas for me? I certainly do not want to cause difficulty for people trying to visit here; the last thing you need is to experience frustration over trying to load this blog!

I’d appreciate any input or thoughts from those of you more techie than me. We’re working with a designer to have the site re-designed so that it will be more professional-looking and more organized, but I want to get these problems resolved before we switch over to the new format.

Any help or ideas? Thanks so much!

Update: Someone mentioned perhaps I need to get my own hosting? Does anyone know if that might be the case or at what point I’d need to do that? My site is currently receiving around 18,000-23,000 visitors/day–at what point does one need to make the switch?

Update #2: Thanks for all the input. If anyone wants to send me a screenshot of what they are seeing on their end (well, if it’s messed up, that is!), that would be extremely helpful as I try to determine what the issues are. I’m also thinking perhaps switching to dedicated hosting would be a good thing to do.

25 Jun 2008   ·   48
Money Saving Mom

CVS: Are CRTs being brought to life again?

After weeks of shopping at CVS and receiving nothing but ECBs on my receipt, I did a big happy dance last night when my receipt printed four good CRTs (this is lingo for the coupons which print at the bottom of your receipt) in addition to the ECBs.

I’ve been lamenting the lack of CRTs lately because without them or $/$$ coupons, I was wondering how I was going to keep scoring great deals at CVS. I mean, I’ve gone for months with very few $/$$ coupons (they used to be very abnormal) but I always had plenty of CRTs to combine with manufacturer’s coupons and ECB deals and thus get great deals.

And then I went for weeks with only $/$$ coupons and manufacturer’s coupons because I wasn’t receiving any CRTs. Once again, combining the $/$$ coupons with the manufacturer’s coupons and the ECB deals, I was able to snag some super deals.

But no $/$$ or CRTs?? That sounds like a recipe for disaster! I mean,  I might have to start spending more than a dollar out of pocket each week at CVS! That would just be wrong.

However, now that the computer spit out some CRTs for me,  I have hope yet for CVS. And now if they’d just generously release some more $/$$ coupons, I’d be one happy camper! 🙂

How about you? Have you been getting more CRTs lately? Can we hope that they are being resurrected?

25 Jun 2008   ·   5
Money Saving Mom

Chipotle: Free food from 5-8 p.m. today (Columbus, OH only)


Thanks to Shawna

for passing along this information from the Columbus Dispatch (if only this were nationwide!):

In an effort to offset the high cost of gasoline, Chipotle, the Mexican restaurant chain is offering customers free burritos, tacos or bowls from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Columbus-area stores — one per person, no fax orders accepted.