Monday, February 28, 2011

Izze Obsession

A few weeks ago Izze's went on sale at CVS so I bought a few 4-packs of them to try them. I fell in love with them! They were instantly my new favorite drink. I consumed them all in a matter of days and have been waiting patiently for them to go on sale ever since.

So you can imagine my excitement Sunday when I found out they were on sale at CVS this week for $3!! I had some ECB's leftover from before so I figured out a couple of scenario's where I could buy a few other items that produced ECB's and save even more money on the Izze's (plus come away with some ECB's so I didn't diminish my stock).

We got to CVS and *gasp* they were out of Izze's! I asked the guy if they had any anywhere else in the store, and he checked the stock room for me. He came out with the glass 4-packs...which were not the ones that were on sale :( They were actually double the sale price. I apologized to him for wasting his time, and said I was looking for the ones that were on sale. He said because they didn't have the cans in stock, he would give me the bottles for the sale price!

This was especially awesome because the bottles were bigger than the I was getting more for my money! I was thrown off by this, so it messed up my scenario that I had worked out with coupons and ECB's before going to CVS, but I didn't care. I actually ended up spending more out of pocket, but I was getting Izze's on super sale so again, I didn't mind.

I ended up with about $15 in ECB's after this trip, so we ran into another CVS and they had the cans in stock. I bought four 4-packs of the cans and still ended up with $6 in ECB's leftover.

Spent: $24.57 (yikes!)
Saved: $55.86!!!
Received: $6 in ECB's

5 4-packs of Izze bottles
4 4-packs of Izze cans
2 Crest toothpaste
2 Oral B power toothbrushes
1 Revitalens contact solution

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Target may be my new Publix

Ok, I think I might need a Target intervention. I went a fourth time :/ Here are the details:

Spent: $11.78 (It comes out to $0.53/item!)
Received: $10 in Target gift cards
Bought: 5 cans frozen juice, 2 boxes Boca burgers, 7 boxes sausage links, 6 boxes Green Giant frozen veggies, 1 box Red Baron Singles, 1 package baking chocolate (on clearance)

Target Finals

So, after my first huge success trip to Target, I kept thinking about all of the awesome deals they were having with the buy 7 frozen items, get a $5 Target gift card sale. Paired with coupons and gift cards from previous transactions, I realized I could get a lot of free or ridiculously cheap food. And the best part? Every time I bought 7 items, I got another $5 Target gift card!

So I went back 2 additional times and scored some pretty awesome deals. I didn't get a picture of my 2nd trip but I did get one of my 3rd trip.

Trip #2:
Spent: $3.50
Received: $10 Target Gift cards
Bought: 14 bags Steamfresh frozen veggies, 1 Vaseline Lotion for Men

Trip #3:
Spent: $1.61 (I couldn't help but smile when the cashier said this was my total!)
Received: $10 Target Gift cards
Bought: 6 bags Steamfresh frozen veggies, 8 Tony's pizzas, 2 Dentyne Pure 3-packs of gum, 1 set wall hangers for our living room mirror.

The extra good news? Our freezer isn't even full!! So for $12.73 OOP (out of pocket) including tax I got:
24 bags of frozen veggies
8 Tony's pizzas
10 Smart Ones frozen meals
2 three-packs of Dentyne gum
1 pack wall hangers
1 Vaseline for Men lotion
1 pair of jeans
And I still have two $5 Target gift cards leftover!!

Thanks Target!!! The sale ends today...anyone want to take any wagers on if I'll go back a fourth time???

Friday, February 25, 2011

Holy Weekly Savings Batman!

Sorry. That was the dumbest title ever. I skipped posting about last week's grocery trip because we were out of town and we didn't do our shopping until Monday. We went to Dominick's and Aldi and I was so tired by the time we got home that I didn't snap any pics. At Dom's we spent $32.06 and saved $39.53. I forget what we spent at Aldi ($20ish maybe?).

Fast forward to this past week where we did awesome. Target had this kick-a** deal where if you bought any seven frozen food items, you would get a $5 gift card. The frugal bloggers of the world were going crazy about this so I started gathering my coupons. While I was printing Target coupons, I saw one for "$5 off women's denim" and bloggers were reporting that women's jeans were on clearance at Target for $ jeans! So one day after work we stopped and we got everything pictured below!
Spent: $28.56
Saved: $38.58
Received: $10 in Target Gift Cards!!!
  • 10 Smart Ones meals (I don't usually eat these but they were practically free and make for an easy lunch if we don't have enough leftovers)
  • 4 bags Target frozen veggies
  • 1 box clementines
  • 2 bags shredded cheese
  • 2 bottles of bleach
  • 2 packages pantiliners (sorry to the men who read my blog)
  • 1 twelve-pack Charmin TP
  • 100 count bag of cotton balls
  • and...................*drumroll*........

I also ran into CVS earlier this week to take advantage of their Purex deal with coupons from this past Sunday's paper. Each item below ended up being $0.99 after coupons, for a total spent of $5.13 and a savings of $24.60!!! (Ironically, I can't even use this detergent because it irritates my skin but Tom doesn't mind it and we can use it to wash things like Bailey's towels).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Buying a House

Soooooooooooo, remember when I said how I feel strongly about putting down a 20% down payment when we buy a house? Apparently I felt super strong about this, because I just couldn't shake it as we started to really analyze our finances and look at a few houses. We have had several in-depth discussions weighing the pros and cons of buying a home.

We didn't feel comfortable only putting down 10% and having to pay PMI which doesn't go toward interest or principal. We definitely didn't feel comfortable having our savings dip that low. One or two unexpected major repairs and it would have been nearly wiped out. And we would be in dire straights if something happened to one of us and we weren't able to work.

So as bummed as we are that we're not able to live in a house where we don't share walls with anyone, have a fenced in back-yard for Bailey, and have slightly more space, we're quite comforted by the fact that we still have a pretty sizeable emergency fund if we were to need it for anything.

We actually have a pretty nice apartment, aside from the shared walls, a somewhat creaky floor (in some places) and having to walk down a flight of stairs to take Bailey out, we're pretty lucky to have scored this apartment in the first place! And just last week we got a space in the garage out back (one of the neighbors moved out) so we don't have to deal with street parking anymore and it's SO much easier to come and go through the garage and back entrance.

In light of the fact that we made the decision to stay in our current apartment for at least another year from when our lease is up in September, we decided to do a few things to the apartment to make it more "home" like. We're not allowed to paint, which sucks, but there were a few minor things that we were just doing without figuring there was no sense in buying them if we're trying to save for a house and not planning on being here more than a year.

We bought a big throw rug for the bedroom, some long dark (light blocking) curtains for the bedroom, an extra large mirror for the living room (and we moved the old mirror we had in the living room above our dresser in the bedroom). We bought some pretty spring flowers to sit in the fireplace, and there are still a few other things we want to get. We have a pretty long hallway so we'd like to get a long runner/rug (we currently have two 8 foot runners but they always slide) and I would love to get a new couch. I know which one I want and how much it goes on sale for so it's just a matter of saving up "new couch money" and then finally getting around to purchasing it!

We're a little bummed out by all of this, but I like I said earlier, the comfort of knowing we will be okay in a financial emergency is worth putting off owning a home for a few years!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February Challenge: Week 2

Well, we didn't do as well this week as the previous week, but the good news is we still had some money left over! We spent 72% of our weekly budget. I'm glad that we decided to do this Challenge this month since we spent some "unplanned" money last week at Ikea. The good news is the leftover money from this month's challenge should cover it! So we don't have to touch any money that was budgeted toward our savings!
This coming week has the potential to be right on target...we shall see!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Weekly Savings

Hmmmmm. We did pretty good this week when you only look at "groceries." Add in a Valentine's date, a trip to Ikea and a stop at HomeGoods and it's more like Weekly Spending...but I'll save that for later in the week.

On the way to Ikea we stopped at Walmart because we've been missing our Key Lime sparkling waters since we don't live near a Walmart (which other than missing the waters, I'm not complaining about it!)

We skipped out on Dominick's this week (because they didn't have anything on sale in the flyer) and hit up Aldi on the way home from work on Monday. Here is what $27 buys you at Aldi!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February Challenge: Week 1

We are at the end of Week 1 in my February Savings Challenge. As a reminder, I am trying to cut our weekly spending budget (which encompasses basically anything we spend money on in a week except for bills) by 2/3.

This week we spent 38% of our weekly budget. So slightly over the 33% I was aiming for but still pretty awesome considering we usually spend 100% of it!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekly Savings: So far so good!

We had a really good day shopping today! Which definitely makes up for last week....Dominick's has been having so many issues lately and they overcharged me by $20 last week. Fortunately I was able to get it refunded but there was really no rhyme or reason why it happened in the first place.

Anyways! Back to this week, which was awesome. We got everything pictured below for $37! (Retail value $110!)

Dominick's: Spent $20.57, Saved: $49.34 (72%!!!!)
2 Gallons of milk
1 Simply Limeade
8 Campbell's Chunky soups
3 Jack's pizzas
4 Blue bonnet butter
4 honey tangerines
5 Fuji apples
1 bottle creamer
2 bags Tostito's
1 jar of salsa
5 cans of black beans

CVS: Spent $10.98, Saved: $18.00 (Received $8 in ECB's!!)
2 Nivea aftershaves
2 Jergens lotions

Aldi: Spent $7, Saved ? maybe $3 by my estimate
1 gallon of milk
Grape tomatoes
1 dozen eggs

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Short month = Extra money?

So, for years now we have had a set amount of money that we can spend every week. This money can be spent on groceries, dog food, toiletries, household items, eating out, going out, stocking up on sale items, clothes, shoes, etc, etc, etc. Basically, we only try to spend this set amount of money every week, regardless of what our needs are.

For about 6 months now I've been inconsistently trying to cut this weekly amount by 1/3. But it never happens. We always end up spending exactly what we have budgeted (or maybe a few dollars more, in which case it just comes off the next week's budgeted amount).

Every February, I find myself thinking about going on a "spending hiatus" for a month and only buying things we really, really need. And every February, I never actually do it. This year I thought about it, and thought it would be pretty hard to not stock up on sale items, etc if they are a rock bottom price. So instead, I've decided that I'm going to cut our weekly budget by 2/3 for the month of February only.

My hope is that by setting a goal to only spend 1/3 of the original amount, even if we go over we still won't be spending more than 2/3 of the budget, and either way we end up saving more money this month.

I'll let you know how it all turns out!