Today’s Safeway Trip (episode two)

My second trip of the day was kind of a flop.  All of the great planning and super scenarios I dreamed up after receiving my super awesome inside-the-box coupons from my earlier trip . . . FAIL.

But, this is what I got:

We kept getting the “too many coupons” error on the screen, I guess.  I even had a super wonderful checker, but there was nothing he could do for me!  Aw, well.  I took back my coupons and had him put back the apples.  Even though I totally should have grabbed the apples since my boys go through a TON of them.  It’s the principle of the thing, though, right?  Hee, hee!  I’m so stinkin’ cheap it hurts sometimes.  {sigh}

I used the $5/5 IP (no longer available)

Free Milk Catalina

$2 off wyb 2 gallons of milk MC from inside the boxes of Frosted Mini Wheats.

Plus, I earned another free milk Catalina for my next trip!


Today’s Safeway Trip (episode one)

Hello all of you blog readers who are only here for the couponing posts!  Are you still with me?  I know it has been a LONG time since I posted any of my grocery shopping trips, but if you are a Safeway shopper, then you are probably not surprised that I have been missing.  There just haven’t been a lot of “run out and shop NOW” weeks, have there?  In fact, most of my shopping trips have just been picking up the basics and living off the freezer and pantry stockpile, due to good menu planning.  And, it’s not like I have a MASSIVE stockpile, but we do have a bunch of broccoli and other frozen veggies from this summer, lots of applesauce, peaches and pasta from last year, and I’ve been doing a ton of baking from scratch.

The secret is to stockpile when prices are LOW.  For example, I stockpiled pasta (mostly free-25¢) a while back, and I’m almost out of our pasta sauce stockpile.  I’m down to about 10 jars/cans, which, to a couponer is low.  I was down to a single box of cereal (gasp!) until today, so my hubby is going to be overjoyed!

Here’s the picture. Details to follow:

I printed the $5/5 Kellogg’s coupon back when it was available, so I used two of them in this trip.  All of the boxes of cereal cost me 99¢ each.  By the way, 99¢ a box might be my new stock-up price.  It pains me to say that.  Feel my pain, couponers?  UGH.

The Gluten Free Rice Krispies are on a special price for $1.99 without a coupon.  I thought this was kind of a score since my hubby HATES it when I buy “kid” cereals for our boys, and it seemed like that was all that was available in this week’s sales.  You’ve got to admit it:  “kid” cereals really shouldn’t be fed to kids for breakfast.  Not that I never do it, but we all know better, right?  We eat them instead of ice cream for dessert!  Happy boys, happy daddy, happy mommy!  :)  I picked up Frosted Flakes and Frosted Mini Wheats (all 99¢ a box after in-ad and internet printable coupons).

I DID get the Catalina for a free gallon of milk for buying 4 boxes of the Mini Wheats!  I’m hoping to go back this afternoon to pick up more Mini Wheats and a gallon of milk or two, plus MORE fruit!  My boxes were marked with a “save $5 on breakfast” ad on the front, and inside the boxes I found these coupons:

I’ll be buying 10 more boxes of cereal, using (2) $5/5 coupons, (3) “save $1 on fruit WYB 3 boxes” coupon (attaches to the fruit), the “save $1 on eggs WYB 3 boxes” coupon (attaches to the eggs) and the “save $2 on milk WYB 2 gallons and 2 boxes” coupon (attaches to one gallon of milk), PLUS the free milk Catalina.  Hopefully it all works out.  I’ll post if it does!

The rest of the purchases are items you can find in your Safeway ad with match-ups at your favorite coupon blog.

My “big” purchase was all of that chicken.  The frozen boneless/skinless chicken breasts were $1.99/lb and sold in a 4lb bag for $7.96  bag.  I spent $31.84 on chicken, but I won’t have to buy chicken breasts for a couple of months, PLUS it got my subtotal up above $75 so I could use the $10/$75 coupon.

Other “deals” (used loosely!):

carrots $1
apples 67¢/lb
salad – free with coupon from the booklet in the produce section
Kettle chips – 98¢ with MC

Hope that inspires a few of you!  It’s just a normal shopping trip for this couponer living off of a budget of $50 a week for a family of four.  Totally possible, don’t you think?  :)

What great deals did you find at Safeway this week?

Never pay for toothpaste!!

Couponers NEVER pay for toothpaste, and you don’t have to either! This week, Rite Aid has toothpaste (even the fancy stuff) FREE after +UP rewards, and you don’t even need any coupons to do the deal!

First off, I had a $10 +UP reward that expired on Saturday!  ARGH! I hate it when I flake out like that!  SO, I was going to roll that reward, but it turns out that I still had a great Rite Aid trip even without that $10 to start with.

This is what I picked up:

My child has his chin on my maxi pads.  WHICH, by the way, make awesome donations!!  Did I mention that couponers never pay for pads??  Never.  Ever.  Ever.  EVER.  I can’t stress that enough. (Ever.)

Don’t bother clipping any coupons, but do if you’d like to make a little money on the toothpaste!  Go to Rite Aid and grab an ad.  Look at the front page, where all the best deals this week are listed (not always, but this week they are on the front).  This week you can pick up FREE toothpaste, FREE pads, cheapo deodorant and cheapo detergent.

SO, the transactions went like this:

Buy 1 Colgate Total (or any number of other Colgate toothpastes included) using your Wellness Card Discount.
Pay $3.50 out of pocket (OOP)
A $3.50 +UP Reward will spit out at the register = FREE.

THEN . . .

Buy 1 Colgate
Pay with your $3.50 +UP Reward
Owe $0 OOP
A $3.50 +UP Reward will spit out at the register

Repeat for a total of 4 tubes of toothpaste (the limit as listed in the ad).  If a line forms behind you, go to the back of the line.  Don’t make people irritated with you.  By the way, stores are used to this behavior.  My manager (sweet Becky) hung out with me at the register until I was done since she had to override all of my $0 sales.  :)

IF I had my +UPs from last week, I would have used those to pay for the first transaction.  But, I didn’t.

Now, use your $3.50 +UP Reward to pay for some deodorant.

The Arrid and the Arm and Hammer are 2/$4 this week, plus it produces a $3 +UP reward.  You can do this deal 2 times.

Grab 4 deodorants included in the sale.  There will be tags on the shelf.

Buy 2 deodorants
Pay with the $3.50 +UP from the toothpaste deal.
Pay 50¢ OOP
A $3 +UP Reward prints at the register.

Buy 2 deodorants
Pay with the $3 +UP
Pay $1 OOP
A $3 +UP Reward prints at the register.

If you have printed the coupons, you will pay $0 out of pocket.  I paid 50¢ each.

Actually, I was in a massive hurry, so I bought all 4 deodorants at the same time = $8 minus $3.50 +UPs from toothpaste = $4.50 OOP and I earned $6 in +UPs.

After picking up my sweet boy, I went BACK to Rite Aid and grabbed 2 detergents/$7, used my $6 in +UPs, paid $1 OOP and earned $3 +UPs.

I used my $3 +UPs to pay for the Stayfree = $0 OOP, and I earned a $2 +UP.

I still have $2 in +UPs in my wallet to roll into next week or spend on something else that I might need from Rite Aid like sandwich bags or milk.

In the end, I paid $6 OOP for everything that you see up there, plus I still have $2 in +UPs leftover.  Like I said, if I had cut coupons, I could have saved or even made money on this trip.  As it is, I’m pretty pleased!

Now, if nothing else, go pick up your free toothpaste this week!  It’s a great way to break in to couponing without having to clip a single coupon!

Early Christmas Shopping at Safeway!

I just got back from one of the LONGEST Safeway trips ever.  I spent almost an hour pushing an uncooperative cart through the aisles on an incredibly busy Sunday night.  I’m sure 30 minutes of the trip was just standing at the checkout line!! Never again. However, I had put it off for too long and one of my awesome coupons was set to expire today! I just HAD go!!

At least I didn’t have the kids with me, right?

I realize it has been a very long time since I have posted any of my coupon scores, and really, tonight isn’t massively impressive compared to past trips.  However, it was the week of the dreaded $10/$75 Safeway coupon, so I felt like I needed to shop, just for you guys!

Let’s recap a couple of quick details for my newest Facebook Likers:  I’m a strategic couponer.  There are 4 people in my family.  We have a budget of $50 a week for groceries/household, etc.  You can read about how I coupon in my Extreme Couponing Series of posts, and while you are at it, you might want to check out how we use our Cash Envelope categories.  (For those of you stalking my Etsy shop, I promise I have more coming tomorrow!! Please stop emailing me!!  LOL!)

As all strategic couponers can testify, it is really quite difficult to get our totals up above $75 to be able to use the coupon.  Most of us do small trips of $10 at a time.  NOTHING at all like that Extreme Couponing show.  Except for the nerves.  Most of us still get nervous.

For those of you joining me for a couponing post for the first time, please understand that my trips will look a bit strange to you because I have a great, huge stockpile of frozen veggies, meat, dry goods, etc.  I haven’t done any real major shopping in over a month, and our family has still eaten well.  We’ve just been going out for the basics: milk, bread, cheese, fruit and veggies (not very post worthy!).  Otherwise, we’ve definitely been eating out of the freezer and pantry this month!  THAT is the luxury of being a strategic couponer!

This is what I did tonight:

Let’s break it down starting with the interesting stuff.

You know that coupon that was going to expire?  Well, it was the $5 off Cars 2 Blu-Ray+DVD (regularly $24.99), which I had planned to get for my boys for Christmas!  Safeway is having a Buy Cars 2, get stuff free promo, so I got water, popcorn, a box of crackers and a Cars 2 cup for free.  BUT, it gets better, because the Special K cracker/chips are BOGO this week, so I ended up getting 2 boxes for free.

Ocean Spray 64oz drinks are $2/4, plus they are having a Buy 2, get one (the Cran w/ lime) free.  And, thanks to Frugal Living NW’s Coupon Database (which I reference all the time), I discovered a $1/2 MC in the Oct. Better Homes and Gardens.  In the end, the 3 bottles of juice cost $1 each.  Not the best price we have seen, but we’ve been craving cranberry juice!

Pineapple is $2.50 today.  Not tomorrow, though.  (I think it was a 3-day sale?)  I like to buy fresh pineapple, cut it up and freeze it for our Friday night pizza nights.  I get the equivalent of about 3 large cans from one fresh pineapple.

I finally used my FREE Open Nature ice cream coupon.

And, I used my FREE Starkist Tuna pouch coupon.

Plus, I used my FREE Kettle Chips coupon that came in the mail on Saturday!  Great timing!  We couponers like to save our FREE item coupons (which we get by writing to manufacturers or liking on Facebook during promos we hear about on the coupon blogs) for the weeks when we get the $10/$75 coupon.  It brings our total up!  :)

Safeway frozen veggies are 99¢ with the in-ad coupon.  This is really not a stock-up price, however the mixed bell peppers were included (which is rare)!  Wahoo!  We have a ton of frozen veggies in the freezer right now, and I like to oven roast them with bell peppers. YUM, in a major way.

I needed some all-purpose flour, and it is on sale for $1.99 until Thanksgiving (not stock-up, but decent).

The Open Nature bread is $2/5, and I had (2) $1/1 Safeway coupons from one time when a gal was giving out samples a couple of months back.  SO, the bread was $1.50 each!

Idahoan potatoes are my guilty purchase this time.  Yes, I do like them A LOT.  They are yummy and so super easy!  I paid 75¢ each after MC.

The Tide detergent was $5.99, but I had $2/1 MCs, so I paid $3.99.  This is a good price for Tide, but I typically don’t buy Tide.  I just wanted to sort of “clean out” my washing machine.

One of my precious children does not like hot cocoa (which couponers get for free this time of year), so I was thrilled when I saw the in-ad coupon for the hot cider @ $1.49/ea! Since the Thanksgiving ad prices go until Thanksgiving, I will most likely buy a few more boxes for camping season.

Other things you see:

Coffee (Ouch! $7.99 for the not so great stuff!)

After promo savings and Safeway coupons, but before manufacturer’s coupons, my total came to $89.83, and I almost had a heart attack.  After all coupons, my total came to $51.98!  And, keep in mind that the movie was $19.99, HOWEVER since I was able to stick within my grocery budget this week (with $2 borrowed from last week), I’m not going to reimburse myself from our Christmas gift savings.

Over all, I’m pleased with this trip, even though it wasn’t a massive shocker!

If my store restocks Kotex tampons, I’m stocking up.  PLUS, there is a Lucerne Catalina starting Tuesday, so I will most likely go back for cheese.

Did you guys get some great deals this week?


Just this morning, I was telling my friend that I would totally do the Eggo waffle deal if I had any more coupons.  Fortunately, I didn’t need them today!

I went to my trusty end cap frozen food clearance section and found a BUNCH of Eating Right waffles and pancakes on 50% off clearance, which made them just $1.40 each.  I bought 11 boxes to get my total above $15 so that I would earn that fun $5 Catalina!  I rolled a previous Catalina, plus I used the last of my $5 off a $15 frozen food purchase coupon that Tera sent me (I gave a couple away!).  SO, all 11 boxes cost me $5.40 OOP, however I also earned a $5 Catalina, so basically, I paid 40¢ for 11 boxes.  Kinda fun!  I actually gave 3 away to a friend, so I Photoshopped some in for the picture.  Hee, hee!

Other deals:

Artisan tortillas were 49¢ after Buy 8 promo and coupon.

Cheese was $1.79 after Buy 8 promo savings, and I used the 55¢/1 pdf printable on the California Dairy website, which made them $1.24 per bag.

Peanuts were $1.  They sucked me in.

Chicken legs, thighs and quarters are BOGO @ $1.49/lb, which actually equals out to about 75¢/lb.

Bananas were cheap.

The chips were $1.99 each after Buy 8 promo, which isn’t the best price, however we NEEDED them because I made a bunch more salsa last night!  I now have about 14 quarts!  I plan on making Jamaican Jerk Nachos, too!  :)

Anyway, I hope that this post gives you more ideas for your shopping trips!  My freezer is now completely full to the brim (literally), and tomorrow I start a massive apple canning adventure.  I think it’s time we started eating from the pantry/freezer!!  I love that that is an option for us since we have been stockpiling and preserving!

Frozen Pizza!

Having a full freezer is just so satisfying!  Mine is overflowing with broccoli, lasagna, and now PIZZA!  I really need to organize before I purchase more.  Ugh.

So, reader Tera sent me some of the amazing $5 off a $15 purchase of frozen food coupons, which coincide PERFECTLY with the amazing $5 Catalina when you buy $15 worth of frozen food promotion!  AND, I haven’t had a problem with my Catalina printing.  However, I have always made sure my total is up to $15, even after manufacturer’s coupons.  I’ve had a lot of success with  50% off markdowns on frozen food.  Check out today’s purchases:

For this transaction, I did the frozen food promo and the Buy 8 promo.

Buy 8:

The Knorr homestyle stock was $2.49 wyb 8 promo items, and there was a $2 off MC.

The Barilla was $1.29 wyb 8 promo items, and I had two 55¢/1 MC (Thanks, Jenny!), however my $2 Catalina didn’t print, and NOW I see that it is because I bought the Plus instead of the Whole Grain.  I’m totally taking those back, people.  First, because they accepted the coupon on the wrong product (it didn’t beep), and that’s not good.  Second, because I don’t PAY for pasta these days.  I get it for free, or it is a moneymaker for me.  I want my $2!!  Hee, hee!

The Crest Complete is $2.29 wyb 8 promo items, and there was a $2/1 MC in 9/11 SS or RP (can’t remember).  It’s a great filler item to get to the 8 item threshold.  Especially since, you know, couponers don’t PAY for toothpaste.  (Thank you to the lovely commenter under the Frugal Living NW post for sharing this one!!)

The Artisan tortillas are $1.99 after promo savings, minus the $1 MC and doubler = 49¢.

Frozen Food:

All of the pizza was in a freezer on an endcap where they keep clearance and overflow items.  The pizzas are originally $4.99 each (these are not the ones in the ad), and they all had 50% off stickers on them, which made them $2.50 each.  I bought 7 in this transaction to get my total above $15.  Then I used the $5 off coupon, and a $1 off Safeway brand coupon (from the same book), plus the $5 Catalina from a previous frozen food promo trip.

I paid just $10.25, and received another $5 Catalina.

Then, I took my son to a birthday party.

Later this afternoon/early evening, I went back to grab MORE clearanced pizza, and threw a Hot Pockets in there to get my total above $15. (For the record, this is the first box of Hot Pockets I have EVER purchased in my life, and it is so yummy!  Eating it now! Oh, and it’s LEAN pockets, so I can eat both.  Just kidding!! Although, you know I will.)

I paid $5.23, and, I earned another Catalina!!

I don’t know if I’m done or not.  My hubby is going salmon fishing, so he is bound to bring back a bunch of fish that I have to figure out how to get into my freezer.  IF there is room, I will go back for more.  Hee, hee!  SO much fun!!


One last trip!

My hubby grabbed Grant for soccer practice, and I grabbed Cole to be my Safeway buddy.  Cole was pretty sure he got the short end of the stick.

However, I scored.  I figured I would post, just in case any of the rest of you are last minute people!

I cleaned out the freezer case of the O Organics Lasagna.   Sorry Dallas peeps.  You took all the beans, so we are even.  :)

I only had (2) $1/2 Eggo coupons, so I could only buy 4 boxes.  That meant I had to throw the pink lemonade in there to get my total up to $15.97, which meant that I earned the $5 Catalina!!  Then, my coupons came off.  I’m pretty sure they fixed the bug that made the Catalina not print if the total goes below $15 after MCs.  By the way, they are having this same promo next week, so keep an eye out for great deals!!  The checker told me that all of the O stuff is going on clearance starting Thursday.  I plan on checking the clearance section in the freezer case!

I still had a $1/1 MC from the Ocean Spray free can promo that was a while back.  It doubled, so my 4 cans were 50¢ + deposit.

I did the Scrubbing Bubbles thing again!  I’m gonna have to teach my compulsive toilet cleaner (Cole) how to use these things!!

And, I’m done for the week.  Good thing, because I see a couple of sweet deals for next week!!  Wahoo!

Frozen food saves the day!

I once asked a friend whose son was entering first grade what she was going to do all day now that all of her kids were in school full time.  She said, “Everything I did before, except better.”  I just loved her response and was SO looking forward to the day when I could get a little bit of consistency in my schedule as my youngest started Kindergarten.  Unfortunately, that still hasn’t happened!  Kindergarten? Yes. Consistency? No.

I have been going, going, going since the first day of school, and I can’t see a break in sight!  This is seriously crazy! My house is a mess, the laundry is very far behind, and my grocery shopping has been sporadic, at best.

However, I did go shopping last night, just to grab some sandwich bread, bananas and cheese.  I brought back the rest.

I had a very small list of things I was going to get for “a great deal”.

First, the basics: 

We needed some meat, so I bought some cheap chicken.

I’m impatiently waiting for my cheap apples to arrive, so I couldn’t bring myself to buy any.  Instead, the boys get bananas!

I canned some salsa this morning, so I grabbed some cilantro, garlic, and chips.

We needed the cheese, and it was decently priced, plus I had a 55¢/1 coupon.

And, I was going for the Nature’s Own Bread that was priced 2/$4, but it was sold out, so I asked the checker to substitute the Safeway brand.  No problems there.

Now, on to the better deals:

My stock-up price for mushrooms is 99¢ a pack, but @ $2.18 BOGO, I’ll take it.  I mentioned before that I just dump them out into a freezer bag and store them in my freezer.  I grab a handful as needed!

The little jars of marinated artichoke hearts are $1 each, no coupons needed.  I am looking forward to making some Lemon Artichoke Chicken this fall.

I did the Scrubbing Bubbles deal, so I got two boxes of toilet cleaner stuff for 49¢.

I read under the comments over at Frugal Living NW that the Barilla Pasta ($1/ea) was producing a $2 Catalina WYB 3.  I only had (2) 55¢/1 coupons (which doubled), but I still bought 3 boxes so that I would get that Catalina!  In the end, purchasing whole grain pasta was a $1.10 moneymaker after you factor in the Catalina!

The Old El Paso Refried Beans were free after coupon and doubler.  I may go back for more, but my store only has ONE variety, and it looks like lots of my fellow Dallas couponers have been taking advantage of the deal!

Thanks to a comment under the Safeway deals post over at Frugal Living NW, I was on the lookout for full sized meals to take advantage of the $5 Catalina that is printing when you buy $15 worth of frozen goods.  According to the comments, it looked like the computers were really keeping track of your total needing to be $15 BEFORE manufacturer’s coupons.  That meant, I needed to proceed with caution if I were to do this deal.  One gal mentioned finding some peelies on a Stouffer’s Lasagna, so I was on the lookout for those, however a peelie bandit hit my store before I got there.  It was so sad to see the shiny spot on the package where the peelie used to be!  However, I turned the corner and, to my delight, I saw that the O Organics brand of lasagnas were on 50% off clearance!  I took a box up to Brad (we all love him) and he checked the price for me.  They ended up being $2.24 each after clearance price.  SO, I picked up seven bad boys and also used the $5/$15 frozen food coupon that I found in the frozen food book a while back (Totally no longer available, and I only grabbed 2 at the time.  Grr.).  My total for seven family sized (small family!) organic lasagnas was $15.68. Minus the $5 off frozen food coupon, minus the $5 Catalina, and I ended up paying a net of $5.68 for 7 meals!  Score! 

I’m really looking forward to pulling those lasagnas out for the times when I don’t have the time or energy to plan dinner.  Frozen food saves the day again!  :)

Okay, so tell me. Does the craziness ever end?  Will my life calm down later this fall?  Give a mother some hope!