Sunday, November 30, 2008

K-Mart Double Coupons Week

This week K-Mart is doubling coupons up to a face value of $2.00. There is a limit of 75 coupons per transaction. Good luck scouting out the great deals!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday All Year Long

As a person who's always striving to find the latest, greatest deal to spin, you would expect that I would be the type to get up at 4am to be the first in line at the store for Black Friday. After scoring my deals, I would then rush to the next store to score some more, then on to the next and the next until finally I make it back home, car bulging with bags and bags of great deals. NOT SO.

Every year on Thanksgiving Day, I glance through the ads and consider whether it's worthwhile to venture out in hopes of scoring good deals. To be clear, there certainly are some great deals to be had. The CVS ad alone almost convinced me to head out. But as a true bargain hunter, with a little practice and some know-how on how to spot great deals, you can get these type of bargains year-round, and skip the rush of crazed shoppers lining up at the crack of dawn.

This year, more than ever, I've focused on saving money, as Dave Ramsey would put it "with gazelle intensity." Starting this blog has made me think more critically about the money that leaves our house every day. With the current state of our economy, I wonder what Black Friday truly would be like if more Americans learned how to conserve their money the way us bargain hunters do. It truly is up to all of us to help eachother learn how to save money, live within our means, get out of debt, and help those in need.

Here are some great posts on this topic from fellow money-saving bloggers:

Christina at Northern Cheapskate has a great post called Gifts That Help Others Save Money. Check it out. She has some good gift ideas to help others this year.

Mercedes at Common Sense With Money, talks about looking for freebies and deals to donate to those in need this year, in her post Giving Thanks By Giving Back.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mail Call - Freebies Received

Today was a great mail day. I received two different freebies in the mail. First, I got a really nice insulated reusable tote bag that I signed up for on a local health clinic website. This will be great to have in the car for keeping groceries cool. To save a trip after work, I often run to the grocery store over the lunch hour and store the groceries in my car until I get home. Usually this means that I have to rememeber to grab a cooler to keep frozen items cool, but this new bag should work just fine.

I also received my first issue of Forbes magazine. I got this as a free subscription offer online a while back. This is a great, interesting magazine, and I look forward to reading my free issues.

What freebies have you found online over the past few months that you have received in the mail? Post a comment and share your successes!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Frozen Assets – Part 6: Store It Up – Meal Preps

Today is the last segment of our Frozen Assets series. If you have missed any of the previous segments, here is a quick recap:

Part 1 – Using Up Fruit

Now, let’s look at ways to save time in the kitchen by preparing ingredients in advance and storing them in the freezer.

Ground Beef – The Diva family eats a lot of ground beef. This year, we purchased ½ of a cow from a local farm, which included 60+ pounds of ground beef. Whenever we brown ground beef for a recipe, rather than just browning one pound, we brown two or three pounds. Then we use the beef we need for the recipe, and the rest goes back into the freezer. With precooked ground beef on hand, we can quickly reheat it and have tacos on the table in less than 5 minutes.

Beans – Thanks to my favorite crockpot blog, I recently learned how to cook dry beans in the crockpot. When they are cooked and cooled, I package them in sandwich-sized bags in one-cup servings, and then I put them into a large freezer bag. When I’m heating up tacos, I can grab a cup of precooked beans from the freezer, and toss it in. Beans are a great way to add fiber to a meal and to stretch a pound of ground beef.

Chicken – I buy the 3 pound packages of frozen boneless, skinless chicken. Rather than cooking one chicken breast here for one recipe and another there for another recipe, I cook the whole package at once in my crockpot. I use what I need for the recipe I am preparing that night, and then I shred and package the rest into meal-sized servings and store it in the freezer. Having shredded cooked chicken on hand, we can quickly reheat it and toss it into stir fry, wraps, or salads for a meal in minutes.

I hope this series has inspired you to think about ways you can use your freezer to extend the life of your food, save money, and stretch your grocery budget. With a little planning and creativity, there are many ways to make mealtime easier, less stressful, and more nutritious by having meals on-hand rather than eating out.

Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment and tell us what your favorite way is to use your freezer. What do you freeze, and how has it helped you to save money?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Frozen Assets – Part 5: Store It Up – Meals

We’re in the home stretch of our Frozen Assets series. I hope you are enjoying this series, and have learned some tips to put to work for your family. If you have, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your feedback.
Today, we tackle freezer meals. As you know, the make-ahead meal business has taken off in the past few years. These days, families simply don’t have the time to cook from scratch every night, and the Diva family is no exception. While purchasing freezer meals from make-ahead meal businesses does save money over eating out, an even thriftier and personalized approach is to make the meals yourself.

For the Diva family, we do this two ways. The first way is by doubling recipes and freezing one for later. If you’re going to measure, chop, and assemble one dish, then why not two? The second way is by batch cooking on the weekend. I will buy everything needed for several family-favorite recipes with common ingredients (for instance, ground beef, rice, beans). Then I will brown the beef all at once, and use it to make several frozen dishes for later – enchiladas, taco bake, rice & bean stir-fry, etc.

Here are three tried-and-true recipes that freeze well. Each recipe uses sour cream, cream of mushroom soup, and either ground beef or chicken. Buy the large containers of soup and sour cream to save money. Take the meal out of the freezer the night before and thaw in the refrigerator before baking.

Diva Family Creamy Enchilada Bake
(I make this for friends as a quick meal to have on hand after having a baby.)
1 lb ground beef
1 can refried beans
1 onion
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz sour cream
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
Tortillas (Deal Diva Tip: Buy the large packs from Costco to save money.)
Tomatoes – chopped

Brown ground beef and onions. Mix in beans. In a separate bowl, mix sour cream and soup. Spoon half of sour cream mixture on the bottom of a baking pan. Fill tortillas with beef mixture, roll up, and arrange in baking pan. Spoon remaining half of sour cream mixture over the tortillas. Cover with shredded cheese. Sprinkle tomatoes on top. Freeze. Bake at 350° for 25 - 30 minutes or until cheese melts and tortillas are golden brown.

Here’s another simple and tasty make-ahead recipe that freezes well and takes mere minutes to throw together.

Creamy Chicken Bake
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream

Mix soup & sour cream. Spread half in pan. Add chicken. Spread remaining half of mixture on chicken. Freeze. Bake @ 375° for 30 minutes.

Finally, here’s another hearty dish great for a cold, winter night:

Daddy Diva’s Hamburger Hot Dish
1 lb Ground Beef
1 cup Elbow Macaroni
1 cup Frozen Corn
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
½ cup Sour Cream

Brown beef. Cook noodles. Drain. Mix all ingredients in a casserole dish. Freeze. Bake @ 375° for 30 minutes.

Up Next: We’ll wrap up the series with Part 6 – Meal Preps. I’ll show you how our family uses the freezer to store meal preparation items – such as cooked ground beef – to short-cut the cooking process for meals in a flash.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Frozen Assets – Part 4: Store It Up – Bowls

This week we begin the second half of our Frozen Assets series. As a quick recap, in the first half of this series, we talked about ways the Diva family leverages their freezer to use up fruits, veggies, and breads. Now, we will shift to how we store meals and meal prep items for lunches on the go and meals in minutes.

Part 4: Store It Up – Bowls

Today, I’d like to share some tips for storing individual bowl meals that are hearty, tasty, and take mere minutes to prepare.
Bowl meals are great to take to work for lunch, and certainly more economical than eating out.

Anyone remember the blue Ziploc Tabletops from about five years ago? If you are a seasoned deal spinner, you may recall that these blue plastic covered bowls, similar to Rubbermaid containers, were a fabulous deal when they first came out. The Diva family uses these to store our bowl meals in the freezer. Basically, any plastic food storage container with a tight lid will work.

Here are the Diva family favorites:

White Bean Chicken Chili – We make a huge batch of this in the crockpot. Save a few bowls for a meal, and package the rest in bowls for the freezer. To save time and energy, we cook a 3 pound bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot the day before, and then shred and use half of the chicken to make the chicken chili in the crockpot the next day.

Mommy Diva’s White Bean Chicken Chili
1 – 2 large jars of salsa
8 oz shredded Monterrey jack cheese
2 lbs cooked, shredded chicken (or turkey)
2 cans Great Northern beans – do not drain
Chili powder, garlic, spices to your taste

Mix everything together in crockpot, and cook on high for 3 - 4 hours.

Spaghetti & Meatballs – Prepare the spaghetti whichever way your family prefers. The only modification for the freezer is to add extra sauce so that the noodles do not dry out when reheating.

Seafood Chowder – Did you know that you can freeze milk-based soup? It may not look too attractive upon reheating, but once you stir it up well, it reverts back to thick, appetizing chowder. Click
HERE for my favorite recipe. We substitute shrimp for the crawfish.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup – Here in Minnesota, there’s nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of wild rice soup. Click HERE for my starter recipe. In addition, I add garlic, carrots, and mushrooms, and I let it simmer until it thickens.

Up Next: Frozen meals that take the guess-work out of dinner.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Great Week at CVS

The deals have been a little slow the past few weeks at Walgreens. Truthfully, it’s been a relief, since I’m still recovering from the diaper deal mania. Anyway, I’m not a big CVS shopper partly because there isn’t one along my normal routes and partly because I never seem to be lucky enough to find the deal items in stock. However, I happened to be near one this morning, so I decided to stop in and check out some of the deals that have been posted on “Money Saving Mom” and “I Heart CVS” this week. Although the free Crest Pro-Health and L’Oreal Pro Calcium were out of stock, I did manage to get in on a few good deals.

Duracell Batteries: The store was virtually wiped out, but I managed to get the last 2 AA 8 packs and the last two 2 AAA 8 packs for $5.99 each. There is a $15 Extrabuck for purchasing $20 of Duracell, so I netted 32 batteries for just under $9. We don’t go through nearly as many AAA batteries as AA, so I may save them and exchange them in a few weeks when they are restocked.

Glade: For every $10 spent on Glade, you receive a $5 Extrabuck. By combining this deal with recent coupons, several items are free. There is a limit of 5 per card, which means if you have several coupons, you could spend $50 and get $25 back.

Deodorant: Right Guard and Soft & Dry are on sale $2.99 each with a $2 Extrabuck, making them $0.99 each. Certain varieties have a “$0.55 off this purchase” sticker on them, making them $0.44 each. There is a limit of 5 per card. This is a great way to stock up if you like these brands.

In all, I spent $33.81 and received $20 in Extrabucks to use on my next purchase, which nets to $13.81 total for this trip. The Extrabucks are good for a month, so I can wait until another good sale week to use them. Adding up the total regular price of each item, I got $78.37 worth of merchandise and saved a grand total of $64.56. Looks like it’s well worth going out of the way to shop CVS.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My First Blog Award

A big thanks to Rachel at Common"cents"ical for awarding me my first blog award. I started blogging a few months back to beef up my technical skills, as well as to help others learn how to find deals and save money for their family. I never knew how much I would enjoy blogging, and how many great blogger friends I would make along the way. Rachel is a local MN blogger who shares great deals and fun giveaways.

As part of being a Kreativ Blogger award recipient, I need to talk about 6 things in my life that I am thankful for, and then recognize 6 blogs that I enjoy.

I'm thankful for:

1. My husband - (aka Daddy Diva): He's a very talented, hard-working project manager who loves his family.

2. My oldest son - (aka Junior D): He is a clever, creative, and kind-hearted "big" guy who loves preschool, swimming lessons, and playing with his friends. He's mom's little helper in the kitchen.

3. My youngest son - (aka Baby D): Although he's 2 now, he'll always be my baby. This sweet, spirited little guy loves playing with cars and hanging out with his big brother.

4. Our friends, family, and church: We are truly blessed to have wonderful friends and caring grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who help guide us in raising our boys.

5. Our Jobs: In this economy, we feel very fortunate to both have great jobs that we enjoy getting up for each day.

6. No Debt: Learning to save money has helped us live debt free. We are thankful that we have no debt, except our mortgage, which we are aggresively chipping away at each month.
And finally, here are some great blogs I enjoy:
Northern Cheapskate - Another MN blogger with great posts.
Money Saving Mom - As most of you know, MSM is addictive.
A Year of Crockpotting - I love, love, love my crockpot. This blog inspires me to do more.
The Centsible Sawyer - Denise has wonderful ideas for saving money.
Super Coupon Girl - I love her pictures of shopping trip deals.
Common Sense with Money - Mercedes comes up with great deal scenarios.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Frozen Assets – Part 3: Using Up Bakery Items

As you have learned from the past two posts (Part 1 & Part 2) in the “Using it Up” portion of this series, there are many great ways to use produce. Now, let’s take a look at bakery items.

Hamburger Buns – There’s nothing like a grilled burger on a warm summer night. But, if you are like our family, you don’t always have hamburger buns on hand. In the past, I would buy a pack of buns if we were planning to grill burgers that week, but to make the most of the pack of buns, we’d have to grill at least twice that week to use them all up. Often half the pack would get moldy before we got around to using them. This summer, we learned to use our freezer to “save our buns.” When we buy buns, we use them for the first meal, and then we freeze the rest. The next time we grill, I take them out a few minutes in advance, brush them with a little butter and toss them on the grill. Not only are the toasted buns tasty, but you can’t tell that they were previously frozen. Since we began doing this, we haven’t thrown away any moldy buns and we always have buns on hand without having to run to the store.

Muffins - If you are a warehouse club member, you’re probably familiar with the giant package of warehouse club bakery muffins. These muffins are huge, and unless you have a large family, it would be difficult to use up all 12 before they go bad. To make the most of them, the Diva family leverages the freezer. We buy a package of muffins at Costco, cut them in half, and package them in 24 sandwich size freezer bags. Next, we toss the smaller bags into a few large freezer bags, and then we put them in the freezer. These are easy to grab when on the go and only take an hour or less to thaw, so they make great mid-morning snacks for work. As an added bonus, they seem to come out moister than before they were frozen. Dinner Rolls and Breads – Having dinner rolls or French bread on hand is a great way to round out a meal. However, similar to hamburger buns, it’s not always practical to use up fresh rolls and breads without any waste. That’s why we buy the large packages of ciabatta rolls, dinner rolls, and double loafs of French bread, and then store them in the freezer. Bakery breads do dry out and can get freezer burned rather quickly, so we use them within a few weeks. I also pre-slice the rolls and divide the bread into meal-sized portions before freezing. When I’m ready to use them, I just take them out, let them thaw a bit, then spread with a little butter, garlic, or cheese and broil for a few minutes.

That’s it for the “Using It Up” portion of this series. Now for your feedback. What do you freeze and how has that helped you to stretch your family budget? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail and share your tips. Finding this series helpful? If so, leave me a comment.

Up Next: The second half of the Frozen Assets series kicks off next week – Store It Up. I’ll share tips and tricks on how the Diva family uses their freezer to get meals on the table in a flash.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Frozen Assets - Part 2: Using Up Produce

Today we continue on with the Frozen Assets series. In my last post, I talked about how to save your extra fruit for smoothies. Now, here’s some more produce tips:

Baked goods: Another way we save fruit or vegetables is by freezing them for later use in baked goods.
  • Apples – Apples can best be preserved for future consumption by freezing the finished product, such as apple bread or cake. For a healthier option, make applesauce in the crockpot and then freeze it for later.

  • Bananas - When we have whole bananas that are over-ripe, I mash them and freeze them for a future loaf of banana bread. When I’m ready to bake, I simply thaw the bananas, drain off a little of the liquid, and use them just as I would fresh bananas in my recipe. Same goes for zucchini.

  • Zucchini - This year was our first successful year at growing zucchini. Junior D and I had a wonderful time planting and growing them, and even Baby D learned how to say “zucchini” (in such an adorable way that would make any mom’s heart melt). To preserve them, I shred them and package them in bags in the required amount for my recipe. Just thaw, drain the liquid, and add it to your batter. Carrots can be used up in a similar fashion for carrot cake.

  • Carrots - Depending on the recipe, you could likely shred carrots and freeze them raw like zucchini. (Anyone ever try this? Leave a comment if you have.) However, when I use up carrots, I shred them, bake the carrot cake, and then freeze the carrot cake unfrosted for later. If you have enough carrots to use up, bake one to eat now and another to freeze for later.

Baby D’s “Num Num” Carrot Cake:

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely, and then frost, or cover and freeze for later.

Frosting: Beat butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Saving Other Produce:

  • Potatoes – Whenever we have a bag of potatoes to use up, we make a big batch of mashed potatoes, split them into meal-sized portions, and freeze them for later. Try it yourself, and you’d be surprised how little the taste and texture is affected by freezing. Also, it’s hard to put a value on the time saved by having a hearty side dish ready to just heat-and-eat on a busy night.

  • Onions – To save onions, we simply chop them and toss them raw in a freezer bag. They do clump together, so bag them by the amount you will need for a future recipe. One trick I use to save on freezer bags is by using inexpensive sandwich size baggies to individually package items, and then pack these bags inside a gallon freezer bag. Use the onions to toss into soups, sauces, or slowcooked meals in the crockpot. Preserve green onions the same way.

    With a little forethought and creativity, you can stretch your produce budget tremendously.

    Stay tuned. We’ll wrap up the “Using it Up” portion of the Frozen Assets series shortly with a look at preserving another household grocery purchase with a relatively short shelf life – bakery items.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Frozen Assets – Part 1: Using Up Fruit

Today we begin a new series called “Frozen Assets.” In this series, I’ll show you ways the Diva family has learned to stretch our budget and make the most of our food purchases by using our freezer.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, about 14% of the groceries purchased by a family of four go to waste. Based on a study done at the University of Arizona in conjunction with the USDA, researchers found that the average family throws out 470 pounds (that’s not a typo…470 pounds!) of food a year, for a total loss of about $600.

Think about it. How many times have you cleaned out your refrigerator and dumped unopened or partially used containers of food in the trash? How many times have you tossed out fruits and vegetables because they spoiled before you could eat them all?

To truly make the most of the food you buy, you need to use it all up. Remember, it’s not a deal unless you will use it…all of it. So, whether you are buying 4 pounds of strawberries at rock bottom prices or a 5 pound bag of carrots at Costco to save a buck off grocery store prices, if you don’t use it all before it goes bad, then it’s money down the drain.

Part 1: Using Up Fruit

This week we’re talking about produce. Here is one way the Diva family stretches their grocery budget by using the freezer to preserve fruit:

Smoothies – The Diva boys love fruit. In fact, we buy the large packs of strawberries, oranges, bananas, and apples every time we go to Costco, and often, we use it all up in no time. At every meal, we serve the Diva boys fresh fruit. However, inevitably, there are always a few berries or chunks of banana left on the boys’ plates. In the past, these leftovers would go right in the trash, but not anymore. In our freezer, we have a gallon Ziploc freezer bag dedicated to storing leftover fruit. Whether it’s leftover fruit from a meal or extra fruit that won’t get eaten in time, into the freezer bag it goes. Whenever we are craving a smoothie, we grab some yogurt, milk, and frozen fruit and create a tasty batch of mixed fruit smoothies. Not only are we using up the fruit that would have gone to waste, but it’s also a great, healthy way to use up extra yogurt and milk, too.

Junior D’s “Nana Berry” Smoothie
1 cup milk
1 carton yogurt
1 cup mixed frozen fruit (bananas, strawberries, melon, etc.)

Toss fruit into blender and let sit for a minute or two to thaw slightly. Add milk and yogurt and blend until smooth.

One last tip…when watermelon is in season, it’s often almost as cheap to buy a whole watermelon as it is a half. Can’t eat it all? Freeze the rest in small chunks, and blend it into delicious melon smoothies!

In my next post, I’ll cover other ways to make the most out of your produce, including freezing it for use in baked goods.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Spin The Deal - Friday Roundup

Here’s a recap of the past week, as well as a sneak peek at what’s coming in the next few weeks.

Victoria’s Secret Deal – My package arrived yesterday. I am thrilled with this deal. In addition, I received a coupon in the package for a free scarf with any sweater purchase. The coupon code is FA814725 and is valid 11/13 – 11/26. If you use this, it says that the scarf will be added to your cart after you add a sweater and then input the coupon code.

Walgreens Diaper Deals – There was no $x off an $xx purchase this week, but even so, this was a fabulous deal and a great opportunity to stock up.

K-Mart Double Coupons – If you haven’t heard yet, K-Mart has been holding double coupon events over the past several weeks at K-Marts in different parts of the country. During these promotions, K-Mart has been doubling coupons with a face value up to $2. People have been saving BIG TIME…hundreds of dollars in free items using coupons. How can you get in on this? Well, the week of November 30 – December 6th, all K-Marts across the country will be doubling coupons. So save up those coupons, and get ready for some great deals!

Black Friday – Ads are beginning to surface online for the “Black Friday” (a.k.a. Day After Thanksgiving) sales.

Christmas Cards – It’s not too early to get a jump start on holiday cards. I ordered mine this week through They currently have a 50% off sale on photo cards. I got 40 for $15 shipped. Also, check out Rachel’s post at Commoncentsical on another great holiday card deal HERE.

Marcy at Stretching a Buck is beginning a new series of posts called “All About Couponing.” The first post is “Coupon Insert 101” and contains great info and tips.

And lastly, I’m starting a new series of posts next week called “Frozen Assets” where I will share information, tips, and even recipes on how to extend the life of your bargain food finds by using your freezer. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Lowdown on the W Card

You may have heard me mention the Walgreens W Card in prior posts. Now here’s some detail on what it is and why I love it.

What: The W Card is a membership card for the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. The club costs $20 annually for a single membership or $35 annually for a family membership and entitles you to discounted prescription medicines included in their list. It is not a replacement for insurance, but it may save you a bit depending on your current medical plan. For mine, I have a $30 copay for a 90-day supply of generic drugs compared to $12 for a 90-day supply with my W card plan. So it would save me a little. However, I rarely need prescriptions, so I don’t plan to use it for the prescription savings at all.

So why would I want this card?

Bonus: There is an added bonus to having a W card. Members receive a 10% discount on any Walgreens brand purchase. That’s right…10% off Walgreens brand diapers, 10% off Walgreens brand vitamins, 10% off Walgreens brand sandwich bags….10% off Walgreens brand anything!

How To Enroll: When you sign up at the pharmacy counter, you will receive a sheet of paper that serves as a temporary card until your W card arrives in the mail a few weeks later. Don’t bother doing anything with the temporary ID because most Walgreens clerks do not know what to do with it. Just save all your receipts to get retroactive credit after your W card arrives.

How To Receive Credit: There are two ways to receive credit for your Walgreens brand purchases:

  1. Scan Your Card: When you are purchasing Walgreens brand items, simply run your W card first through the credit card reader upon checkout. Your 10% credit will be automatically calculated and listed on your receipt. The 10% bonus will be loaded onto your W card to use for a future purchase. Note: I don’t recommend this method.
  2. Enter Your Receipt Online: It takes a day or two for your receipt to show up in the Walgreens online system. After a few days, go to the Walgreens website and type “Prescription Savings Club” in the search box from the main page. Select “Add Receipt to Card” from the left-hand panel. You can then type in your RFN# from the top of your receipt. You will then get a yellow box that says “There is no receipt associated with card.” Select the “Add Receipt to Card” button, which will bring you to a screen where you can specify your W card number. You will then be brought to a screen to review the receipt details which will show you the total discount amount you will receive. Select “Confirm” and the amount will be credited to your W card.
How To Redeem: You can use your W card just as you would a Walgreens store gift card. The value added to your W card can be used for almost any purchase. You do not have to use it for Walgreens brand items only. To use it, simply run it through the credit card machine like a gift card.

Additional Tips and Hints:

  • Currently, some items offer more credit when you enter the receipt online. With the current diaper deal, if I scan my W card at the register, I receive $0.70 for each package of diapers that I paid for as it uses the after store coupon value for the 10% credit. Diapers were $8.99 - $2 coupon, so I received 10% of $6.99. When I entered my receipt online for a separate diaper purchase, I received $0.90 back for each package because it uses the before coupon purchase price.

  • Currently, Walgreens store gift card purchases are counted toward the 10% credit. If you were to purchase a $100 Walgreens gift card, you will get a credit of $10 back on your W card. This only works if you enter the receipt online.

  • When redeeming the balance on your W card, do not use it to pay for items that are Walgreens brand. If you use your W card to pay, it will automatically calculate and credit the value of your Walgreens items and you will not be able to enter the receipt online later. (I made this mistake by using it to pay for diapers, which meant I missed out on $0.20 per pack credit on the purchases I made before I realized it.)

  • If you still happen to have receipts from prior to enrolling in the W card plan, you can enter those online, too, and still receive credit for any Walgreens brand purchases for months prior to enrollment. I dug out a few older receipts I had from prior diaper purchases earlier this summer and received credit by entering them online.

Why I Love It: I have had the card for a little over a month now, and for the $20 I paid to enroll, I have already been credited back $31, more than making up for the initial investment, and for the next 11 months, I can enjoy a 10% discount on any Walgreens purchase.

For more Walgreens scoop, check out my post on
Walgreens Register Rewards.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Walgreens October Rebate Received

I received my October EasySaver rebate for $65.40 credited to my Walgreens gift card a few days ago. As you can see, the "hidden" carry-over rebate items from September were valid rebate items for October. I received full credit for the Nivea For Men, L'Oreal Revitalift, and LypSyl products.

Rumor has it that there are no carry-over items for November, but don't forget to pick up the free L'Oreal and Almay items this month. In fact, this week Almay mascara is "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" which means you can get two free if you buy the rebate eligible item this week.

And while you're at Walgreens, don't forget to pick up diapers!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Walgreens Diaper Deals Are Back!

This week is a great week to stock up on very cheap diapers at Walgreens. It's been a few months since we were "drowning in diapers" from the last Walgreens diaper sale. Since then, I've gotten a better idea of exactly how many packs we go through each month, so that I can plan accordingly for the next sale without going overboard.

Here's how this week's sale works. Walgreens brand Jumbo pack diapers are "Buy 1 Get 1 Free" at $8.99. If you have the $2 pharmacy coupon booklet coupon, you will get $2 off each pack. So, your total for 2 packs of diapers will be $8.99 - $2 - $2 = $4.99. If you have the W card, you will also get an additional 10% off your purchase credited to your W card. Depending on what value the 10% is calculated on, your end cost per package will be between $1 - $2. TIME TO STOCK UP!

I headed out this morning right after church and stocked up on diapers for Baby D. I also picked up a few packs for a friend who is having a baby soon and a few extra packs to donate. In the process, I used up all of my Register Rewards from my Walgreens spree one week ago.

Here's a few things to keep in mind:
  • If you have the $2 coupon in the pharmacy booklet, make sure you ask to keep the coupon for future sales. They are valid through the end of the year. Walgreens does not need to keep their own store coupons, as they just throw them out.
  • The training pants are also included in the sale; however, the $2 coupon did not work on these, even though they are listed on the coupon.
  • It's likely that Walgreens will run a $x off $xx coupon later this week as they have been doing for several weeks. If this happens, you could save enough to get the diapers for almost free. I chose to just buy mine now for a buck or two a pack rather than wait and take the chance that they are out of stock by the end of the week. The last time Walgreens ran their great diaper deal, all stores in my area were wiped clean in the first few days of the sale. However, if you choose to wait, assuming they have a $5 off a $20 purchase later this week, you could buy 10 packs of diapers for just under $10.

Happy Bargain Hunting!!!

Victoria's Secret Amazing Deal

Victoria's Secret currently has a great stackable coupon code deal. You can get 2 bras and a pair of cotton panties for $10 plus $5.99 shipping. For a few dollars more, you can also get 2 sweaters included in your order. Visit Chaos in the Cupboard for step-by-step details on how to get in on the deal. This may not last long, so act FAST. I was able to get the whole deal shipped for $32.99.

Here's the coupon codes:
SWEATER15 - Good for $15 off a purchase of two sweaters.
FA813789 - Good for $10 off any bra.
25PTY - Good for $25 off any two full priced bras and free cotton panty.

There is a specific strategy on how to get these codes to stack properly, so please check out Chaos in the Cupboard before you begin shopping.

Good luck!