Free Taco Del Mar taco on Tax Day


Celebrate the end of tax season by treating yourself to FREE taco from Taco Del Mar!

Hop on over to the Taco Del Mar website to fill out a short form and print your coupon, good for a free taco on April 15th!  I'll be sure to remind everyone about this great freebie a day or two before tax day, just in case you forget.

Thanks, Keri, for the tip!

Free Dominos medium pizza!



Update: According to Hip2Save, it appears that this "deal" may well be the work a hacker.  For that reason, I have removed the details of this post.  I will additionally be contacting my local Dominos to cancel my order if this is the case.  I apologize for getting your hopes up.

Unfortunately, stuff like this happens from time to time.  I want you to know that you can count on me to officially retract any post that does not adhere to my coupon ethics guidelines.

Thanks to commenter Rochele for bringing this to my attention.

Few good deals at Fred Meyer this week (a Kroger store)

Fred Meyer

So I need to tell you all something.  I spent $2.99 at Fred Meyers this past Sunday.  I know, I know, I'm a horrible person for not following my "no spend challenge" to the letter of the law.  But before you get on my case, let me just explain that my parents (of their own offering) decided to "buy" $3 worth of items from my stockpile to have on hand at their house.  So I made $3 unexpectedly and decided to buy a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.  And I still have a penny left.

While I was there, I found a few deals I thought I'd share:

  • Tillamook Cheese, 2 lb block, selected varities = $4.99 (this is one of those brands I prefer!)
  • 1/2 Gallons of Fred Meyer milk, chocolate milk, OJ = $1 each (with in-ad coupon.  Limit 10)
  • Mentos gum = $1 (use the $1/1 coupons from a couple weeks back to make it FREE)
  • Kraft Mac N' Cheese = $0.50 each (with in-ad coupon. Limit 10)
  • Select Apples = $0/58/lb (school-boy size Granny Smith, Braeburn, Red Delicious)

Awesome cereal stock-up deal at Albertsons this week!


Albertsons is running a pretty fantastic deal on cereal, and I just had to come and share it with you!

There are selected varietes of Post cereal that are on sale for $1.57 each when you buy two.  Included in this deal are Nabisco Shredded Wheat, Raisin Bran, Honey Bunches of Oats, Cranberry Almond Crunch, and several others.

In addition to the sale price, there is currently a catalina offer going: buy 5 boxes and get a "Save $5 off your next order" coupon.  

On top of that, you can use the $1-off-2 coupons that appeared in the 3/1 SmartSource insert to sweeten the deal.

Bottom line after the sale, catalina, and coupons?  Try $0.17 a box for size!   

Be sure to read all the details on this awesome find over at Thrifty Mom's blog!

Coupon myths and misconceptions: “I’ll save more shopping at Costco.”

Scale Today I'm continuing the series I launched four weeks ago entitled "Coupon Myths & Misconceptions."  My goal is to challenge some of the commonly-held excuses for not using coupons to save money on grocery and household items.  If you're interested to read the other posts in the series, I've created a category called "Myths & Misconceptions" for your reading pleasure.

My post this week is one I've been chewing on for some time now because it's a question I get A LOT: "Won't I save more by just shopping at Costco?"  My short answer to this question is "in most cases, no," but there's a caveat.  Costco sells MANY MANY items from coffins to cruise packages to Corian for your kitchen counters.  In the interest of time (and my sanity), I am going to stick strictly to groceries and basic household items – the sort of things you'd ordinarily buy at a supermarket.  Let's compare apples to apples, OK?

That being said, let's move right along.

You've probably heard this before, but I'll say it again.  You save money when you buy items your family needs and uses when they are at their "rock-bottom low" price.  How do you determine what that price is?  You need to pay attention to unit prices, and then you need to write them down.  There is this fallacy out there that buying in bulk is the way to go.   Nothing's more American than the shopping approach of "buy more, save more."  But in the world of unit prices, this does not always hold true.

To put it in dollars and cents, a couple friends of mine recently jotted down the Costco unit prices of items they regularly buy.  Here are some of their findings (note these may well be regional and fluctuate with time):

  • Canned kidney beans = $0.72 each
  • Canned corn or green beans = $0.79 each
  • Canned black beans = $0.68 each
  • Canned diced tomatoes = $0.99 each
  • Canned Nalley Chili = $0.81 each
  • Canned tomato soup = $0.66 each
  • Diapers = $0.20 each (Huggies and Kirkland brand share this unit price)
  • Paper towels = $1.17 each

When broken out in these terms, maybe it's easier to see that these prices are regularly matched and beaten at regular, everyday grocery stores.  There are a few other important disadvantages Costco has that you should know about (if you don't already):

  • Costco does NOT accept manufacturers' coupons – only their own
  • You must pay to shop at Costco (an annual membership for my husband & me runs $50)
  • There is not a lot of flexibility when it comes to selecting quantity or size (e.g., you must buy all 12 cans of green beans as one unit or a huge tub of peanut butter – and good luck eating that before it expires)

Here's how I see it.  I can regularly beat Costco's unit prices at my grocery store AND I can use manufacturers' coupons AND I don't have to pay $50 to go there.  I can also buy the quantities and sizes that make best sense for my wallet and my stockpile.  Because of this, my husband and I have let our membership expire. 

When I was a Costco shopper, I also lamented how I never left the store without dropping at least $100 (and usually more).  This seems to be a common sentiment among Costco shoppers.  In all honesty, I can't remember the last time I spent $100 at a grocery store.  So how exactly are we saving all this money by shopping at Costco?  There's no denying – Costco DOES have some good deals.  My friend Jessie listed a dozen eggs for $1.40.  That's pretty hard to beat in my neck of the woods (get it…beat?  eggs?…moving on…).

The main problem, in my mind, is what I'll call the Costco Marketing Machine.  Consider:

  • When you first walk in, you see LOTS of TV screens and electronics
  • You also tend to see seasonal items that catch your interest – lights at Christmas, bulbs in the fall, etc.
  • To get to the food, you MUST cross through other items first – books, movies, toys, linens
  • Don't forget all the catchy end displays of food storage systems and home spa electronics
  • There are always so many darn good samples cooking up that you just have to try
  • The layout of the store makes it hard to get in and get out

When you end up spending a lot of money you hadn't intended or budgeted for, you are no longer saving money – no matter how good the deal.  Make sense? 

Again, I do not want you to run out and cancel your Costco memberships based on this one post (and neither does Costco, for that matter).  However, I do want to challenge your thinking that just because it's from Costco, it's a good deal and can't be topped.  And if using Costco for your gas, home electronic, travel, etc. purchases is saving your family some serious cash, more power to you.  Just be open to the fact that there may be other deals to be had by looking elsewhere (and some places might even be happy to price-match or beat Costco's prices for you).

In closing, I'd like to leave you with five simple strategies for surviving Costco if you choose to shop there:

  1. DON'T take a cart.  Their big carts just encourage you to fill, fill, fill the empty space.  If you truly came in for the box of green beans, get a little workout in by lugging them to the checkout.  (You can do a few lunges with them as you wait in line, too.) 
  2. DON'T go on an empty stomach.  Good night this should go without saying. 
  3. DO give yourself a time constraint.  Make sure you don't dilly-dally. Schedule your Costco trip about 20 minutes before you need to show up to your friend's house for dinner (or better yet, your boss' house).
  4. DO leave the credit card at home.  Plan your trip enough to just use cash.
  5. DO wear horse blinders.  You might look like a nut, but at least your eyes won't wander and get your pocketbook in trouble.

Be sure to watch next Monday for yet another coupon myth and misconception!

Photo credit Stephen Stacey

Aveeno $2 off coupon

AveenoBaby Thank you to my friend, Tamara, for emailing me about this coupon today!

Go here to fill out a short form to receive your $2 off any Aveeno item.  Tamara also tells me at Target, they have an end display with Baby Aveeno products on sale for $2.99 (that are pacakged with a free trial size, to boot!).  Use your coupon to pick yours up for $0.99.  (Or of course, save it and use on the Aveeno product of your choosing.)

Great tip!

Additional Safeway deal for your trip: Bertolli pasta sauce


If you read my post from yesterday and are planning to head out to Safeway before 3/31, you might want to add Bertolli pasta to your list.

Bertolli pouch sauces are currently on sale for $2 each and are printing out "Save $2 off your next order" catalinas at checkout for every two sauces you buy.  Better yet, there are $1/1 blinkie coupons directly in front of these items!  Here's how to make this deal work for you:

Buy 10 Bertolli pouches @$2 each = $20 total
Less $5 discount from current "Mix & Match" promotion = $15
Less 10 $1/1 blinkies = $5

Once you pay your $5, you'll receive $10 worth of "good off your next order" coupons.  In other words, you'll end up making $5!

Thanks for the awesome find, Crystal!

Don’t miss this Jolly Time Popcorn mail-in offer!

Jolly Time

When you're cutting up your coupons this weekend, be sure and pay attention to everything in those inserts.  There are frequently mail-in offers and rebates that can really help you save some extra bucks on your grocery bill.  There was one I wanted to bring to your attention and you'll find it in today's SmartSource.

When you mail in one UPC/proof of purchase from any box of Blast O Butter Microwave Pop Corn, you'll receive FOUR $1/1 and one $1/2 good for any box of Jolly Time Microwave Pop Corn!  I think this is a smashing deal because Jolly Time will occasionally go on sale for $1 a box. 

You'll find this offer right next to a $0.50/1 coupon.  And you can also get additional Jolly Time printable coupons (including a $1/1) by registering on their website.  My strategy would be to use the $1/1 printable on a $1 sale to get the popcorn for free.  Then I'd submit my UPC to get my coupons and potentially get four more boxes for free.  SCORE.

BUT WAIT!  It gets better.  According to their website, you can also get a FREE reusable grocery bag when you submit three UPC's from any Jolly Time Popcorn!  Hmmmm….five boxes of popcorn and a reusable tote for free?  Jolly Time, you are on my good list today.

Be sure to visit the Jolly Time website for details on all these promotions and to get your coupons.

Walgreens deals 3/29 – 4/4


A note to my readers: I apologize for the links to the printables in my scenarios for last week.  A number of you brought to my attention that they were not working..  I phoned SC Johnson and they said all the links were working at their Right@Home website, so I fear I must have sent you to a broken webpage.  Please note that going forward I will do my utmost to ensure coupons I direct you to work.  Thank you for your patience! 

Dawn Dish Detergent, 10.3 oz.

Use the $0.99 coupon in the ad and stack with either the $0.20/1 coupon (3/1 P&G) or the $0.50/1 (P&G Year of Savings book).  Bottom line: $0.50 - 0.79 each.

Comet Cleanser

Use the 2/$1 coupon found in the ad.  Limit 2 (but note you don't "have to" buy 2).  Bottom line: $0.50 each.

Multipurpose Paper – 400 sheets

Use the 2/$7 coupon found in the ad.  Limit 4.  Bottom line: $3.50 each.

Bic Disposable Razors

Use the $2/1 coupon (3/15 SmartSource) and pay $2.99 at checkout.  Receive a $1 Register Rewards on your next purchase.  Bottom line: $1.99 (please note I consider this to be a decent deal, but if you don't need this item you might want to hold off for a better one).

Soy Joy Nutritional Bars

Sale price $0.50 each.  Use the "buy 1, get 1 free" coupon (2/22 SmartSource).  Bottom line: $0.50 for 2 (or $0.25 each).

Bayer Aspirin – selected varieties

Sale price $1.99.  Use the $1/1 coupon (3/22 SmartSource).  Bottom line: $0.99 each.

Halls Cough Drops

Use the $1.39 coupon found in the ad.  Limit 3.  Stack with the $1/1 coupon (3/29 SmartSource).  Bottom line: $0.39 each (you might be interested to know how you can get these for FREE at Safeway this week.)

Chaptisk 100% Naturals or True Shimmer Lip Balm or Butter.

Sale price $1.99.  Receive a $1.99 Register Rewards good on your next purchase.  Bottom line: FREE.

Kotex Pads, Tampons, Pantliners

Sale price 2/$6.  Purchase any two of the selected varieties and use the two coupons that apply to your purchase: $1/1 pads, $0.75/1 pantiliners, $0.75/1 tampons (all from 2/22 SmartSource).  Receive a $1 Register Rewards good on your next purchase.  Bottom line:  $1.50 for pads,  $1.75 for tampons, pantiliners.  (Again, a decent deal if you need them.  If not, better deals are to be had for stockpiling.)

Equal Sweetner

Sale price $2.50.  Use the $2.50/1 (1/4 SmartSource).  Bottom line: FREE.

While you're at Walgreens, don't forget to pick up this month's new EasySaver Rebate book.  It's full of in-store coupons and lets you know which items have Walgreens rebate offers.  There are a few freebies this month:

  1. Free Printer Cartridge Refill, up to $7.50
  2. One-a-Dat Multivitamin Drink Mix, up to $1.50
  3. Wal-itin Allergy Relief, up to $6.99 

Finally, it looks like we're starting to hear more and more about the Walgreens EasySaver program ending.  If the rumors and reports are true, April will be the final month of the EasySaver program.  I'll make sure to share more as I know more. 


Safeway mix & match deals 3/25 – 3/31

SafewayHave you noticed that a lot of grocery stores are running these awesome "Mix and Match" sales lately? 

Safeway is currently running one that I found several good coupon matchups for and thought I'd share with you!  Incidentally, the Safeway stores in my area do not double coupons, so I won't be factoring doubles into my scenarios below.  (If yours do, all the more savings to you!)

Here's the deal on this sale.  There are over 1,000 items in the store with an "orange tag" that you can mix and match.  When you buy 10 of any of these items, you will save $5 automatically at the register.  The ad indicates you can do this more than one time in a transaction – for instance, if you purchased 20 items, you'd save $10.  Oh, and note you do not have to buy all the same price categories of items (e.g., you can buy 3 of the $0.75 items and 7 of the $2.00 items).  Please note that my prices below are what you'd pay AFTER your $5 savings and WITH your Club Card (otherwise, tack on an extra $0.50 per item).

Rosarita Refried Beans: $0.75 each.  Purchase 3 and use the $1/3 coupon (3/22 SmartSource – this was on a Fred Meyer pullout and may be regional).  Bottom line: $1.25 for 3 cans ($0.41 ea).

Halls Cough Drops: $0.75 each.  Use the $1/1 coupons (3/29 SmartSource) OR use the printable coupon for $0.75.  Bottom line: FREE or $0.25 in overage.

Duncan Hines Cake Mix: $0.75 each.  Use the $0.35/1 coupon (3/29 SmartSource).  Bottom line: $0.40 each.  

Fresh Express Salads: $0.75 each.  Apparently there have been some $0.75/1 and $1.00/1 blinkie and tearpad coupons in stores recently.  If you have one, here's a good sale to use it on.  Bottom line: FREE or $0.25 in overage.

Del Monte Superfruit Cups: $0.75 each.  Purchase 4 and use the $2/4 coupons (3/1 Red Plum).  Bottom line: $1 for 4. 

Quaker Instant Oatmeal: $2.00 each.  Purchase 2 and use th $1/2 (2/8 Red Plum) OR this printable.  If you have any boxes at home (especially of the Select Harvest varieties, you might check for a $1/1 coupon inside the box packaging).  Bottom line: $1.00 or $1.50 each. 

Huggies Gentle Care Wipes: $2.00 each.  Use the $0.50/1 coupon (1/11 SmartSource).  If you still have any of the $5/1 printables (that don't specify "diaper" on them) from earlier this month, here's a tip from Abundant Food Savings.  Purchase 3 "Gentle Care" wipes for $6.  Then use (1) $5/1 printable and (1) $0.50/1 coupon.  You're effectively purchasing more Gentle Care product than your saving, so your coupon will not beep.  Bottom line: $1.50 for 1 OR $0.50 for 3 tubs of wipes.

Crystal Light Drink Mixes: $1.50 each.  Purchase 3 and use the "buy 2, get 1 free" coupon (3/29 SmartSource).  Bottom line: $3 for 3 ($1 each).

Kraft Salad Dressing: $1.50 each.  Use the $1.50/1 coupon (3/29 SmartSource).  Bottom line: FREE.

If I were to do this deal, here is what my shopping trip might look like:

6 cans of Rosarita beans = $2.50
4 Del Monte Fruit cups =$1.00
3 Huggies Wipes = $0.50
3 Halls Cough Drops = $0.00
3 Kraft Salad Dressing = $0.00
1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce* = $0.75

Total: $4.75

*While I don't have a coupon for this item, I think this a pretty good price if you need/like it (which we do!).  I imagine as we start getting into the summer months we'll see more items such as BBQ sauce on sale. 

You can view the (largely pictorial) ad here.   Find another great matchup you'd like to share?  Did you post about this deal on your own blog?  Leave a comment!