living life, choosing joy

Category Archives: Couponing

Did you get the cool deal on Starbucks bagged coffee at Target this week?

If not, there’s still time before the week is up!

starbucks coffee

So here’s the deal:
Buy 4 bagged Starbucks coffee at $6.99 each =$27.96 {make sure to choose the packages with the rewards codes to get an even better deal}
Use (2) $2/2 coupons from the 9/8/13 SmartSource insert, pay $23.96 OOP, get $10 Target Gift Card back

Like paying $13.96 after coupons and gift card, or $3.49 each.

{I used only one $2 off coupon and a $5 Target gift card I got last week. = $20.96 out of pocket, and got back $10 Target GC to help pay with my next transaction, making my coffee total $10.96}

Already that’s a pretty cool deal, right? I mean 4 bags of coffee for $2.74 each?

BUT there’s more 🙂


this is what the rewards code will look like on the packages

Go to your Starbucks Rewards Account and enter the rewards codes from the packages. (If you don’t have one, you will need to sign up and register a Starbucks Gift Card to get this deal).  Right now there is a promotion through 10/19 when you purchase 4 packages of Starbucks coffee from the grocery store and enter the rewards codes you get the following :

1 code – bonus star
2 codes – free tall coffee at Starbucks
3 codes – free food item at Starbucks
4 codes – $10 eGift card to Starbucks

AND, each of the bags are good to redeem at a Starbucks for a free tall coffee when they are empty 🙂

So basically, I got 4 bags of Starbucks coffee, 5 tall cups if coffee, and a pastry all for $0.96!!

It’s a Starbucks miracle! {Now I just can’t wait to start enjoying all that coffee once I have this baby :)}

Don’t forget to grab this awesome deal this week too! Even if you don’t have a $5 gift card to start with, you can still get them for a pretty sweet deal 🙂

Have you found any great deals lately??


I was able to make a quick run to Walgreens & CVS today and pick up some great deals! A great week to stock up on Huggies wipes, tuna, and M&Ms if you need them. Also, be sure to take a look at the clearance section at Walgreens — you may just find killer deals on garden supplies (like we did!). I will be adding these into this weeks budget update on Friday, but wanted to let you know what I did (and how) today, in case you wanted to do any of these deals this week too.

Walgreens Deals

Walgreens 08.11.13

Walgreens – $12.84 out of pocket

Transaction #1

2 Scope Mouthwash – $3.00 each

1 Crest Glide Floss – $3.00

Used $2.75 in manufacturers coupons (from product inserts)

Used 5,000 Balance Rewards Points (=$5.00) from last week

Total Out Of Pocket (+tax) = $1.97, got $5 Register Rewards for buying 3 select dental care items

Transaction #2

2 Huggies Simple Clean Wipes (216 ct) – $5.99 each

4 pkg M&Ms – $0.49 each

Used (2) $2.00 off Huggies Wipes (Walgreens Store Coupon)

Used (1) $0.50 off Huggies Wipes (Manufacturer’s Coupon)

Used (2) $0.50 off 2 M&Ms Singles (Manufacturer’s – recently printing at

Used $5.00 Register Rewards from Transaction #1

Total OOP (+tax)= $4.40, got $2 Register Rewards for buying 2 Huggies wipes (unadvertised, only available Sunday 8/11)

Transaction #3

1 dozen Nice! Eggs – $0.99 (not pictured…oops!)

5 Burpee Garden Seeds – $0.29 each (on clearance, down from $1.07 each!)

2 Burpee Self-Watering Greenhouse Kits – $2.79 each (on clearance, down from $10.95 each!)

Used $2.00 Register Rewards from Transaction #2

Total OOP (+tax)= $6.47

So total Out of Pocket was $12.84, while saving $53.88!

CVS Deals

CVS - 08.11.13

CVS – $26.78 out of pocket

Transaction #1

2 pkg Huggies Size 5 Little Movers Slip-ons – $8.99 each

1 pkg Huggies Size 3 Snug & Dry – $8.99

1 Huggies One & Done Wipes (184ct) – $5.99

Used (2) $2.00 off Huggies Slip-ons (Manufacturers – recent printable at

Used (1) $1.50 off Huggies Snug & Dry (Manufacturers – recent printable at

Used (1) $1.00 off Huggies Wipes (CVS coupon printing on

Used $3.50 in Extra Care Bucks from a few weeks ago

Total OOP (+tax)= $25.76, got back $10 Extra Care Bucks

Transaction #2

5 Cans Bumble Bee Tuna – $0.79 each

1 Snickers Bar – $0.99

2 Dole Fruit Cup Four Packs – $1.99 each

1 Gallon Whole Milk – $3.19

Used (1) $0.74 off Mars Candy Bar (Printing from coupon kiosk)

Used (1) $0.35 off any Real California Product (printable)

Used (1) $1.00 off when you buy 2 Dole Fruit Cups

Used $10 ECB’s from Transaction #1

Total OOP (+ tax)= $0.02 🙂 (Now that’s my kind of total!).

Have you gotten any great deals lately?

Do you have a grocery budget? I do…but I have been struggling to stick with it for the past few months. Anyone else have this problem? I believe it’s important to have a fixed amount budgeted for monthly food & house expenses. So starting this month (Friday to be exact), I will be posting my purchases and the dollar amount I am at each week to stay motivated to stick with my budget.

As a point of reference, our budget for food, toiletries and household supplies, diapers/wipes, etc. is: $230.00 per month. (The breakdown being that $30 is strictly for diapers (but not necessarily wipes) and $200 for everything else). Our budget also resets each month on the 5th, so all purchases made August 5th- September 4th count for August.

OK, so here we are at Week 1.

Target 08.05.13

Target – $13.10

Stocked up on some basics for the week…including Snickers ice cream bars (only $0.49 + a free Redbox Rental Code!). I was able to use a lot of Target mobile coupons+Cartwheel+Manufacturers coupons to get some great deals. Sometime it just feels good to save money!

Walmart - 08.05.13

Walmart – $3.73

I was already making a return at Walmart, so I decided to use up a few coupons for freebies. I do not usually like to go to Walmart for “non-essential” items, but since I was already there, I just took advantage. The crayons ended up being $0.26 and the bath poufs were free. We needed some new notebooks (back to school time is perfect for stocking up economically), and the 3 Musketeers bars came down to having coupons and a weakness for chocolate…

Ralphs - 08.05.13

Ralphs: $6.96

I really only needed eggs for this week and I had a coupon for free eggs at Ralphs. So away I went. The eggs I am planning to use for baking and for breakfast. The mozzarella cheese is for homemade pizza this weekend. Italian dressing (was free!), and I like to use it for chicken marinades. And the Ben & Jerry’s…were on sale and I like them! Actually, I bought them with my sister(s) in mind, and intend to share with them as I don’t actually need to eat all three! But the mega sale at Ralphs this week + coupon made them $1.66 each – too good a deal to pass up! (Now hopefully I don’t regret this fun purchase by the end of the month…)

Smart & Final 8.7.13

Smart & Final: $15.61

I don’t usually go to Smart & Final, but this week had some good deals matched up with coupons, so I decided to make a trip. Since we are trying to decide if renewing our Costco membership is really worth it, I’ve been doing more careful research on the “regular” store prices. S&F had 2 lbs of cheese for $5.99 (Costco usually sells it for $5.69). So I grabbed that along with cheap peanut butter (stock up), 4 yogurt cups ($0.79 total), and a few fruits and veggies that needed restocking  (Ben LOVES bananas!).

Stater Bros 8.7.13

Stater Bros: $5.47

I kind of feel like of all the trips this week, this was probably the biggest waste. Bread was $1.49 (great price for whole wheat). But I had the wrong coupon for the cereal, so even though it was on sale for $1.99 each, I felt like I overpaid. We really like Honey Bunches of Oats, but….oh well. Not a huge disappointment, just not a very exciting deal.

Rite Aid 8.8.13

Rite Aid: $3.84

I’m not usually a Rite Aid shopper (and I’m not sure if I want to be or not!). But there is one down the street from my house and since I was looking for somewhere to walk, I decided to go down and take a look. I got a few things, but nothing fantastic. I needed some storage containers for the chicken broth I made on Wednesday. The pencil pouch was for my purse (for coupon and envelope containment). The mouthwash is because I wanted to try my hand at earning some +UP rewards…we’ll see how that goes.

Michaels: $3.69

I forgot to get a picture, but I got two black photo storage boxes for drawer organization.

Total Spent so far: $52.40

All in all, I am happy with where I am at this week. I got essentials at good prices, I was able to stock up on a few items, and I got a few fun treats too. Usually at this point I have already spent half our budget “restocking”. It feels good to have spent less than 25% so far!

Do you have a budget? How are you doing so far this month??

Part 1 – CVS

I did a quick trip to CVS this morning before church {which means I was up and out the door by 7:20am! – My phone alarm went off at 6:30 and I actually thought “Who is calling me?! It’s the middle of the night!!” Until I realized it was my alarm and almost cried! 😦 But I got up anyway because I am awesome like that 😉 – and very crazy about grabbing a good deal 🙂 }.

OK, so not as cheap a trip as the last time I went, but I actually need or use everything I bought 🙂 .

Here’s what I got:

CVS trip 03.17.13

Transaction #1

2 Jumbo packs Huggies Little Movers Slip-Ons – $10.00 each

1 Huggies Wipes (184 count) – $6.00

1 box Kotex U (18ct) – $3.99


-$8.50 in manufacturer’s coupons

-$4.00 in ECB’s from last week’s CVS deal

-$4.00 off $20.00 purchase (CVS email coupon)


Total: Paid $14.49 + tax, got $10 ECBs


Transaction #2

2 Duracell Batteries AAA (8pk) – $5.99 each

2 Dawn Olay Hand Renewal dish soap – $0.88 each


-$2.50 in manufacturer’s coupons

-$10.00 in ECB’s from Transaction #1


Total: Paid $1.24 + tax

Total shopping trip – for 8 items I wall actually use – $15.73! YAY!!! 

The bonus part of the trip is actually that we are in desperate need of AAA batteries {the kind of desperation that has you hunting late at night for batteries in other devices that are currently using them!} and I used the last drop of dish soap last night. So we are now (reasonably) stocked up…at least for now 🙂 .


Part 2 – Walmart

I generally try to avoid Walmart, and especially on the weekends when everyone else is there. BUT I needed to get a child lock for the fridge {yes, our little guy has just about figured out how to get himself a snack from the fridge – aaahhh!!!}.  So I decided to pick up a few other freebies I have been reading about – as long as I was going to be there anyway.

Here’s what I got:


Walmart 3.17.13

1 Poise Feminine Wash – $2.97

1 Kotex U Liners – $1.24

3 Colgate toothbrushes – $0.94 (each)

2 Ecotools Ecopouf Mini Sponge – $0.87 (each)

1 Duncan Hines Frosting Creations – $0.84

1 BIC disposable Razors  (4pk) – $2.96

1 Safety 1st Multi-Purpose Appliance Lock  (2pk) – $5.00 {the item I actually came in for, and the only item that didn’t make it in to the picture 🙂}

Coupons I used:

(1) – $3.00 off any BIC razor (Smart Source Insert 3/17/13)

(3) – $1.00 off any Colgate manual Toothbrush (Smart Source Insert 3/10/13)

(1) – FREE Duncan Hines Frosting Creations (Smart Source Insert 3/17/13)

(1) – $3.00 off any Poise Feminine Wellness Item (Smart Source Insert 2/10/13)

(1) – $2.00 off any Kotex U product printable

(2) – $1.00 off any Ecotools product printable


Total paid for everything after coupons: $3.73 + tax.

Because of the overage from the coupons I was able to make my own sale on the child locks 🙂 . I can use most of the items, but I probably wouldn’t have gone to Walmart just for the freebies. Still, not a bad day for grabbing a few deals!


Have you gotten any good deals lately??

$119.05 shopping trip for $24.23 (including tax) !!

I would say a big YES!!

Today was the day …the sales arrived…the coupons aligned…and it culminated in to my best shopping trip to date! Now, I know that there are some super-couponers out there that could top this, but I am still really excited!!

Shopping Trip 2.24.13

Ok, so what was involved, you ask?

1 hour clipping, planning, etc. {I didn’t actually clock it, but I’m pretty sure it was somewhere around there. Note: This step saved me almost $95 – this is a really important step!!}

3 stores {CVS, Target, Staples}

1 hour, 15 min actually Shopping/Driving {the stores are pretty close to each other}

Ok, so now on to what I bought:


Schick Hydro Razor {FREE, except for tax, due to a recent coupon mailer that came to my husband – yay! + $4 ECBs!!}

Poise Cooling Wipes {I don’t need these, but I actually made $2.01 + $1 ECB for “buying” them with coupons – so I couldn’t resist!}

4 Tubes Carmex Lip Balm {only 3 are pictured –one had to be used right away! }

Physicians Formula Blush { I have really been looking for a new blush, and this one fit in to the deal SOOO well – I actually got $7 ECBs for “buying” it}

Thermacare Heatwrap{My husband likes me to get these when they are free, just in case J and I don’t mind getting the at all, especially when they are $3.49 and I get $3.49 back in ECBs !}

Systane Eyedrops {OK, in all honesty, this was actually what I was after the whole trip, but… I just COULDN’T resist the urge to play the game and see if I could win! Considering that the “sale price” of this product was $8.99, I would definitely put this in the win category!!}

I used a $5 ECB coupon from a few weeks ago, so…

Total Spent: $5.62 (inc. tax){I like to add the tax in because I think it’s cheating NOT to count it – I actually parted with this money, so it counts against my monthly budget!}


1 tub Huggies Baby Wipes (64 count)

2 Reach Floss

1 Picture Frame

1 box Up & Up Sandwich Bags (100 ct)

1 bottle Up & Up Antacids (90 ct)

1 ½ inch Up & Up 3-ring binder (for which I have GREAT plans! Stay tuned…:))

1 pkg Up & Up Printer Paper (400 sheet)

33 oz Hunts Tomato Sauce Tetra Pack

1-14.75 oz Can Hunts Diced Tomatoes

2 – 8 oz Bags Market Pantry Shredded Cheese

2 Jars Market Pantry Pasta Sauce

I used 2 bag credits ($0.05 each) and a $5 gift card I got from the Cheerios deal last week {I only count those GC’s as savings on the trip I am able to use it, since it’s cash I don’t have to part with}…

Total Spent: $12.44 (inc. tax)


1 double pack HP ink (black & color)

1 Reusable bag

I used the Staples 20% off coupon for everything you could fit inside the reusable bag (which was free with purchase, but I forgot to put in the picture) and also used my Staples rewards dollars from past purchases and ink cartridge recycling credits…

Total Spent: $6.17 (inc. tax)

So now you may be thinking – “Wow, good for you. But I can’t duplicate your same savings, because you used coupons/deals/rewards dollars/etc. that I can’t get in order to do the same ones. You didn’t help me, you just teased me!”

A year ago, I would have said the EXACT SAME THING! But the point of my story of spectacular savings is not to make you upset or taunt you, but to inspire you with the idea that major savings ARE possible. I myself often wonder if all the time spent combing through blogs and coupon sites and organizing binders and boxes and strategizing my drug store deals with the laser focus of a military sniper are really all worth it.

And then I have a day like today {*big smile*} and realize that it is totally worth it!  But, it wasn’t like this the first few times I went on CVS runs and Target outings. I made lots of mistakes and realized (sometimes too late 😦 ) that some deals would have been better left off the list (even though I had a coupon! ;)). I wanted stuff for cheap and free as much as the next person, but to be honest, I had no idea how to do it! And when I saw posts similar to this one, it would frustrate me and make me think I wasn’t trying hard enough, or place the blame on my location (“we just don’t get double coupons here!” “CVS doesn’t do ECBs on milk here!”). You know the drill. But it’s really only now, with my still (very) limited experience with coupons that I can say this: It just takes time.

Seriously, couponing can be a huge investment and can take over your life if you let it, but ultimately can yield you a handsome return for patience and good planning. Just like most things in life :).

There. Now aren’t you glad you stuck it out until the end of the post 😉