Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's Finally Summer Break

It's amazing how time flies when you relax and let go. 

Schools out and we just returned home from a whirlwind 10 day visit to Orlando and the Eastern shore of Florida.  We went to Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure, The Magic Kingdom & Animal Kingdom that was 5 days of non-stop fun and exhaustion.

I had priced out our trip many ways including staying at 2 hotels, Disney property and a Universal property, to maximize on the on site advantages. I was almost ready to put my money down when I got a Costco coupon booklet in the mail and a lightbulb went on in my head reminding me that they have travel services.  I got on the phone with them and priced out my options.   Lo and behold it was $1000 cheaper in the long run to book through them, plus I get cash back on the trip by using my Costco Amex Card.  Have to say my Costco Executive Membership just paid for itself 10 times over.

Having now taken the trip I can admit that I've learned some things about the parks that I'd like to share. 

Bring 2 pairs of sneakers!!!  There are many water rides at both parks and your shoes will not dry overnight.

I don't know about the Universal Parks but a friend we met at Disney showed me that you can get free cups of ice water or Ice at the food stands throughout the park;  all you do is go to the cashier and order a cup of water, they ring it as free and you go to the counter to get it, she said they'll even fill your water jug for you. (thanks Lisa).

Get to the parks before they open, this will give you a better chance at getting on the "must do" rides in your itinerary before the lines build up.  If you're at disney, get a fast pass for one of the rides and go ride the other.  Getting to Universal Islands of Adventure early and waiting on line at the park entrance got us an unexpected bonus.  Our son was approached by the gentleman who opens the park and he asked our son if he would like to help him.  Jake is 7 and he was thrilled.  He got to make a speech on the public address system to all the people wating for the park to open.  Truly a once in a lifetime experience.


video

Since we were there early we were able to ride the Harry Potter ride two times and take a tour of the castle in under 40 minutes (that's without buying an express pass) I think that really was the key to getting to do and see everything we wanted to.

In retrospect I think we wouldn't have gone to the parks back to back like we did.  Jake has boundless energy and limitless wonder, but we parent were utterly pooped way before he was.  I think next time we'll take a break between Theme parks and sit at the pool to recharge.

All in all it was a fabulous first family trip to Florida and I am looking forward to planning our Deleware beach trip.  I wonder what deals I can find for that trip.

Yours in Saving,
Lori

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Productive Weekend

It feels like ages since I last posted.   Things have been busy.  Bob & I quit smoking 5 weeks ago, talk about saving money.  First order of business when we quit was to have the amount we were spending on cigarettes automatically transferred to a savings account. We did the same thing when we paid off our cars, kept on making the payment on to our savings.   This is something both of our Parents had taught us from a young age. Here's how we see it, if you don't save you can't spend and boy do we love to spend.

Yesterday I started on decluttering and cleaning up the kitchen.  The windows over the sink got a good scrubbing and the white eyelet curtains were not white anymore.  They got to spend a few hours soaking in oxyclean and hot water and came out bright and clean. 

I took my son to Kohl's and picked up some capri pants on sale for $16.00 plu an additional 15% off.  I was looking for the sneakers that I bought last year; unfortunately they didn't have them.

After a search online I found them on sale at Sears.com.  The sale price was $29.99 plus Sears.com has several coupon codes available, the one used was Womensshoes15.   That gave me free shipping and an additonal 15% off.  Plus I had some Shop your way reward points from Kmart that deducted another $6.  So they ended up costing me $19 and change.

Also I hit RiteAid for the Sobe Lifewater sale.  5 for $5 plus $1 up rewards with a 6 per household limit on the ups.   I did 5transactions  and used a $1.50 coupon for every 5 bottles. I purchased 30 Sobe's for $17.77.  That's $.56 a bottle compard to $.87 at Costco and $.70 at Giant Eagle.   That extra $1 off really made it a great deal.

Check back in a few days and I'll have more to share.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Walmart Matchups for April 24 to April 30

This is one of the best websites for Grocery Coupon Matchups and deals.  Like them on Facebook or sign up on their webpage.  The link is on the right hand side of this page.

Pocket Your Dollars Walmart Matchups

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rite Aid Pre Easter Trip

Had to get a few last minute basket stuffers to help out the Easter Bunny. 
Checked the Rite Aid Circular and the latest inserts and headed out the door.  I really should start walking over as I can see the darn store from my bathroom window.  I just never know how big my trip will be until I get there.
I had some $1/2 Mars Coupons on hand and saw the Kotex U BOGO half off sale in the ad.
I had $5 ups from my last purchase and am really p/o'ed that I forgot to print the $3 off $15 from my last visit.  No worry's as I'll be back there tomorrow to get zyrtec w/ups and sobe lifewater.


MM Milk Filled tin  2 @ 1.49 ea
Easter Pez  2@ .99 ea
Dove Milk Bunnies 3 pk  2@ 1.99 ea
Filled Eggs (Starburst jelly beans, skittles & pop up egg)  3 @ .80 ea
Kotex U Thin 18ct   1@ 4.79  1@ 2.39
Kotex U Tamp 18ct  1 @ 5.49
Kotex U Liner 18 ct 1 @ .74

Original Retail of $31.50 before 20% Wellness Rewards of $6.75
Coupons Used
$5 up
$1 Kotex U Tamp
$1 Kotex U Liner
$1 Kotex U Pad (2)
$1/2 Mars Easter Product (2)
$11 total in coupons

OOP with tax  $14.30 giving me a 55% savings ($17.20)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Even on Spring Break there's couponing

Zyrtec Liquid Gels, 40 CountJake & I are on Long Island visiting my parents on Long Island for part of spring break.  True to form I have my coupon organizers with me.  Plus my Mom saves me all the full inserts from her papers. 

I realized I needed more Zyrtec. I knew I had some coupons in my binder but went through the circulars my Mom and Sis in Law saved for me.   Lo and behold there were $7 off Zyrtec coupons expiring on 4/24/2011 (usually I find these high dollar ones the day after they expire). 

So off I went to the local Rite Aid.  Of course I can't just walk in get my items and leave; I have to check out what's on sale.

Zyrtec gel caps were on sale from $29.99 down to $26.99 (with wellness card) for a 40 ct bottle.  I had them in my hand when I noticed the the bottle of caplets was a 30 with bonus makining it a 40 ct and only $22.99.  Since it wasn't on sale I get and additional 20% off with my wellness card ($4.60).  I got two of them. 
Then I found nose pads for my glasses, I've been looking for these at my hometown Rite Aid for weeks and they never have them.   My new glasses keep sliding down the non existant bridge of my nose.

I marched up and down the aisles and happened up the Planters Flavor Grove Almonds with olive oil and sea salt.  I tried these a while back with a coupon and really liked them, but there's no way I am paying $3.49 for them.  This RA had them on BOGO and I had $1/2.

So here's the breakdown

2 Zyrtec 30 plus 10ct (40)  $45.98 ea  RA price $36.98
Nose Pads $.99   RA price $.79
2 Flavor Grove Almonds  $6.98   RA price $3.49

2 Zyrtec Coupons  $14
1 Flavor Grove Coupon $1

Retail Price before Tax  $53.95
Actual cost after Wellness rewards and coupons
$26.13  Plus $5 up  for $25 Allergy purchase
Savings of $27.82

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Discount Easter Baskets with Ebates $ & Shipping Rebate

A friend of mine let me know that Personalcreations.com had custom embroidered easter baskets on sale for $19.99.  Also if you do a search for Personal creations coupon codes you can get an additional 25% off on the basket.

Personalized Easter Basket - Personalized Polka Dot Basket with BunnyPersonal Creation is a division of ProFlowers which means there are many different discount options out there. 

First I went to Ebates.com to see if they were a partner and they are; offering 8% back on purchases when you go through their link.  After searching for  the discount code and trying a bunch of options I wasn't able to use the 25% off in conjunction with the cash back. 

I checked on Ebates Coupons list for Personal creations and found a link for 15% off which came to $3 off.  On the review your order page I noticed link under the Order Total section on the right side of the page that read Shipping Rebate Click Here.  For some reason it wouldn't click.  Then at the bottom of the screen is a bonus offer for a magazine if your order is $19.99 or more.  At the bottom of the box there's a link that reads; Get Details on rebate instructions.  When I clicked on it a new screen opened with details on the Free Magazine, but as I read down further I found that if I didn't want the magazine they would send me a rebate of $9.99 if I followed a few simple instructions.  Here is the paragraph:

As an added benefit to shopping at PersonalCreations.com, if you decide that you do not want a magazine subscription, please check the box on the "Review Order" page, or if you would like a rebate instead, simply send a copy of your order confirmation within 30 days of placing your order to: Flynn Marketing Services, Inc., PersonalCreations.com Program, PO Box 10469, Chicago, IL 60610 and you will receive a rebate of $9.99. Make sure to include: (1) a copy of your confirmation email; (2) a print out of the Reader's Digest Offer on the PersonalCreations.com Review Order page; and (3) this completed page in your correspondence.

My order total with the 15% discount, standard shipping and tax came to $24.98.  With the $9.99 rebate my final cost for the personalized easter basket will be $14.99.  I think that's a pretty nice deal for a personalized basket with some quality items in it.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Website that applies P&G coupons

I just came across this website that shows you the P&G coupon available for each item.  The have $5 shipping no matter what the order size.  I thought it was worth sharing for those of you that like to shop online but aren't able get the discounts from coupons.

Estore

Have a great day.
Lori