At Fred Meyer: Fresh Express Salad for $0.44!

Wow…I’m so good it hurts!

In my Store Sales Cycle predictions, I mentioned it was quite possible we’d see bagged salads dip to $1 each for the first of January. So when I opened my News Tribune (Tacoma) today to find Fresh Express Salads advertised at $1 each, I smiled. While this is advertised as a sale running from 12/31 – 1/2 only, I will not be surprised to see the Fresh Express Salads don the front page of the weekly circular this Sunday (we’ll see if THAT prediction comes true or not!).

Fresh Selections or Fresh Express Salad Kits or Bags $1
$0.55/1 printable coupon
Bottom line: $0.44!
(There are also coupons in select packages, and you might still have some additional printable coupons on hand from the Salad Spinner game which ended recently.)

There were three additional coupons in the paper. I found them on page A4 of the News Tribune (Tacoma):

Big K Pop, 2-Liter
$0.33 each with in-ad coupon (first 3)

Tillamook Cheese, 2 lbs
$3.99 each with in-ad coupon (first 1)

Lay’s or Lay’s Kettle Cooked Chips
$1.25 each with in-ad coupon (first 4)
Stack with $1/2 coupon from 12/5 SmartSource (expires TODAY!)
Bottom line: $0.75 each

For more Fred Meyer deals, see my weekly Fred Meyer post.

One last idea for you: Chicken!

Shop at Home. We Deliver.
Coupon Connections NW hatched a great idea (all puns intended) for the offer that expires TODAY.

As a reminder, first time customers can receive $15 off your first delivery order of $50 or more AND free shipping.

Here’s her awesome deal idea:

Head to and set up your account. This will tell you if they deliver to your area or not.

Buy 18 Whole Chickens $2.77 each ($49.86)
Buy (1) lime $0.25
Then, use coupon code CJSAVINGS to save $15
Bottom line: $35.11 (the chicken works out to $0.55 per /lb!)

If for some reason CJSAVINGS does not work, you might try CHEER. The deal should work through today only, even though your order won’t be available for delivery for a couple days.

While that is certainly a LOT of chicken, this would be a great way to stock up your freezer, prep some freezer meals, or simply share with a friend.

Thanks, Coupon Connections NW!

My New Year’s Resolution: Eliminate the Nonessentials

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in eliminating the nonessentials.” – Ancient Chinese Proverb

I love a good, meaty goal. And I feel blessed to have accomplished many such goals in my life. I’ve graduated college, started two businesses from the ground up, run three full-distance marathons, completed a sprint-distance triathlon, read my way through Anna Karenin, Crime and Punishment, and Les Miserables and nearly all of Steinbeck’s novels…

In fact, it seems I’m almost always working on a goal or setting a goal for myself. This past year, I started a second blog to chronicle the training and completion of my fourth marathon. Early in the fall, as I was out running a 16-miler something occurred to me. It was a like a lightbulb going off. It was this simple thought: “this is not fun.” Instead of dismissing how I was feeling and plowing through, I decided to quit the marathon. It was the first and, I hope, only race I’ve ever quit. It was sucking up valuable time and energy from my life. There was no joy in it. And no, I do not regret my decision. I know it was absolutely the right call.

So as I sit here, contemplating my resolutions for New Year’s, I’ve decided to consider what’s really important…

  • My relationship with God.
  • My relationship with my spouse.
  • My relationship with my children.
  • My great group of girlfriends.
  • Helping others learn and grow.
  • Just enjoying being who I am, and not what I do.

So this year, I hope to slow down, take a breath, and not put any crazy expectations on myself to be perfect or achieve something remarkable. Life is more than the sum of what I do.

I started this post with a quote, and it’s one of my favorites. I believe there is great wisdom in deciding what things we leave undone. So I encourage you to do the same as you contemplate losing 30 pounds, writing a novel, traveling to Spain, paying off your house, becoming a ferret breeder, and all the other grandiose things you’re hoping to do in 2011.

In closing, I’d like to leave you with another quote from a very wise person. Mr. Fred Rogers:

“You’ve made this day a special day by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you. And I like you just the way you are.”

Happy New Year’s, friends.

December 31 is here…so use it or lose it!


Photo credit Murali Cm

It’s New Year’s Eve which means there are some pretty hot coupons and deals about to expire.

Here are a few coupons and promotions you might want to consider.

  • Free coupons. If you have free coupons, check their expiration date! I personally have a Barilla free pasta coupon (from Vocalpoint) in my folder that expires today. I’ll make sure to use it.
  • Print coupons. Because it’s the end of the month, I highly recommend you do a quick go-through of, Red, and and print any coupons that stand out to you. It’s quite possible some of them will go bye-bye in the new month.
  • High value coupons. Most of the coupons in the beloved Safeway Thanksgiving Coupon Booklet expire today (sniff, sniff)! Don’t forget there’s a $1/1 Sierra Mist coupon in there, and that variety is on sale at many stores this week. The 11/28 P&G insert coupons also expire today. You might just want to do a quick thumb through of your coupon binder as well.
  • P&G coupon booklet rebate. Today is the last day to make purchases that could qualify you for $110 in P&G coupons! You need to have receipts with products totalling $50 or more P&G products. For more information and to download the form, go HERE.
  • Rue La La. If you signed up in October and received the free $20 new customer credit for Rue La La (no longer available), it expires today! You might want to see if there’s anything worth picking up if you still have this credit.
  • Safeway delivery offer. Today is also the last day to take advantage of the $15 off your order of $50 or more and free delivery. While the buy one, get one free offers do not seem to be working any more with this code, this may be a great way to save on items such as produce or meat. Head to to get started and enter CJSAVINGS at checkout.
  • Nordstrom Rack Groupon et al. If you snagged that awesome $50 Nordstrom Rack Groupon awhile ago, it expires today! While you’re at it, make sure to go through all of your daily deal vouchers and make sure none expire today.
  • Entertainment Book. One of my readers pointed out a coupon in her Entertainment book that expires today. If you have this book, you may wish to take one last look!

What am I missing? Please let us know!

QFC Deals 12/29 – 1/4

I received the QFC ad in the mail this week. In skimming it, a few deals popped out at me. I also think the prices on some of their P&G items may be a better bet than Albertsons this week.

Progresso Soup, Selected Varieties $1
$1/4 printable coupon
OR $1/4 coupon from 12/5 General Mills insert
Bottom line: $0.75 each

Post Cereal $1.88
$0.75/1 Pebbles coupon from 12/5 SmartSource
Bottom line: $1.13

7-Up, Skinkist, A&W, Coke, Sprite 2-liter
$0.75 each when you buy 4
(through Saturday ONLY)

Red Baron Classic, Fired Baked, Thin Crust
Or Single Serve Pizza $2.50
$1/1 Singles coupon from 11/14 SmartSource
$0.75/1 – $1/1 coupons from 10/24 SmartSource (exp 1/3)
Bottom line: as low as $1.50
(through Saturday ONLY)

King’s Hawaiian Rolls $2.50
$1/1 coupon from 12/12 Red Plum
Bottom line: $1.50

Rice Dream or Soy Dream $1.99
$1/1 coupon from 10/24 SmartSource
Bottom line: $0.99

Foster Farms Chicken Wings or Strips, frozen $9.99
Buy one, get one free
Bottom line: $4.99 each

Star Olive Oil, 25 oz $4.99
$3/1 hangtags *may* be on select items
Bottom line: $1.99
(This would be HOT! Let us know if your store has this.)

Alouette Cheese Cup $3.99
$0.75/1 coupon from 11/7 SmartSource
Bottom line: $3.24

P&G Promotion

First you should know that you can load e-coupons to your QFC advantage card by heading HERE.

This week’s promotion states: “Save $4 at checkout when you buy any 4 participating products.” In addition, you can use coupons on top of these sales! In fact, this week’s ad has so nicely told you which e-coupons you could load to your card for additional savings. As you can see…some of these prices are REALLY hot and I’ve highlighted my favorites for you in red.

A couple quick notes on the e-coupons: only one will come off per item. So if you buy 4 toilet paper packages, you’ll only receive one e-coupon discount. In this instance, I’d present 3 paper coupons for the other packages. In my matchups below, I’ll give you both options so you’ll know what you have available. However, you may not stack a paper coupon with an e-coupon.

Charmin Bath Tissue 12 roll $6.99/$5.99
$3/1 e-coupon
$0.25/1 coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: as low as $2.99

Bounty Paper Towels $6.99/$5.99
$1/1 e-coupon
$0.25/1 coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: $4.99

Cascade Action Pacs, 26-32 ct $5.99/$4.99
$0.50/1 e-coupon
$0.25/1 coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: as low as $4.49

Downy Liquid Fabric Softener $4.99/$3.99
$0.50/1 e-coupon
$0.25/1 coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: as low as $3.49

Bounce or Downy Dryer Sheets $4.99/$3.99
$0.50/1 Bounce coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: $3.49

Tide Liquid, 100 oz $10.99
$1/1 e-coupon
$1/1 coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: $8.99
(That’s a pretty decent price for this size!)

Dawn Dish Detergent $2.49/$1.49
$0.50/1 e-coupon
$0.25/1 coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: as low as $0.99

Febreze Air Effects $2.49/$1.49
$1/1 e-coupon
$1/1 coupon from 11/28 P&G (exp 12/31 – TODAY!)
Bottom line: $0.49

Crest Pro-Health or 3D White Toothpaste $2.74/$1.74
$0.75/1 e-coupon
$0.75/1 coupon from 11/28 P&G (exp 12/31 – TODAY)
$0.50/1 coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: $0.99

Olay Body Wash $4.99/$3.99
$1.50/1 e-coupon
$2/1 coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: as low as $1.99

Prilosec OTC Acid Reducer, 42-ct $19.99/$18.99
$4/1 e-coupon
$3/1 coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: as low as $14.99

Always or Tampax Feminine Products $5.99/$4.99
$1/1 e-coupon
$0.50/1 – $1/1 coupons from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: as low as $3.99

Pampers Diapers $8.99/$7.99
$1/1 e-coupon
$1.50/1 coupon from 12/26 P&G
Bottom line: as low as $6.49

Pampers Baby Wipes $2.99/$1.99
$1/1 e-coupon
Bottom line: $0.99

Finally, remember that you have until 12/31 (TODAY!) to buy $50 worth of P&G products to score a sweet P&G coupon book with $110 in coupon savings! Download the form for more.


TLC Extreme Couponing Show: My Reactions


I recently shared that there would be a show on TLC called Extreme Couponing. The show highlighted four couponers – Amanda, Joanie (of Krazy Coupon Lady), Joyce, and Nathan (of We Use Coupons). All used various methods of extreme couponing. If you missed the show, it airs again on January 4 & 5, 2011.

What I liked was that there were some glimmers of good coupon strategies thrown in with the crazy moments. In an effort to be diplomatic, I’ll share both the positives and negatives I observed last night.

The Good “Take Aways”

  • It is a good idea to follow store sales cycles and stockpile.
  • By stockpiling, you’ll avoid paying full price when the item is not on sale.
  • Having a good stockpile can help you during difficult financial times (Joanie of Krazy Coupon Lady shared this).
  • It is a good idea to call the store ahead of time if you intend to buy large quantities (Nathan mentioned this near the end).
  • Sharing your knowledge to help others save money can have a positive impact (Joyce demonstrated this).
  • Excess items you buy can be donated to food banks (but PLEASE call the store and food bank ahead of time to let them know what you have in mind to do if you’re going for extreme amounts.)
  • Using coupons is one way you can reduce debt and live within your means.

OK, now that we’ve established what can be learned from the show, I will now share my concerns.

Your Couponing is probably out of control if…

  • You have to take an insurance policy out on your stockpile.
  • Your stockpile is encroaching into your husband’s mancave.
  • You have to take a day off of work to do your shopping.
  • You are in tears, recollecting how you’ve had to cancel dinner plans to go shopping instead.
  • Your toilet paper brings you “absolute joy.”
  • Your shopping trip takes over two hours, three cashiers, and a manager to checkout and crashes the computer in the process.
  • You have enough deodorant to last you 140 years.
  • You need to hook a trailer hitch up to your Prius to go to the store. 

To end this post, I thought I’d share with you pictures of my current stockpile. No, I do not have thousands of items sitting in my garage. And I do not plan to include it in my will, either.

Here is my pantry, as of today:

And here is a good example of what you’ll find in my health and beauty stockpile:

As you can see, I have a decent amount of stuff! Probably enough toothpaste to last a year or more, and same for deodorant, soap, and body wash. I also have enough food in my pantry to last me a bit. There are definitely some items I’m running lower on, but I really do not fret about it. I just wait for a sale and do my best. I also prepare meals from scratch and freeze them. I estimate I have about 10-12 meals prepped and ready to go right now in my freezer. I don’t feel that I need 40 years’ worth of toilet paper in my house (nor would I WANT to store that anywhere in my house).

Your stockpile may be bigger or smaller than mine, and that’s fine. I simply wanted to share another example of how a stockpile could look.

A Final Word

As a couponer, I strive to be respectful and kind to the cashiers, employees, and managers that help me save money at their stores. Whether or not this was staged by the show, I did not appreciate the way Amanda treated the cashier who had just spent more than a couple hours assisting her at the store. Her parting words to him were something to the effect of, “I hope I don’t see you for a long, long time.”

Now maybe she meant that she hoped she wouldn’t have to go shopping again for a long, long time.

But Amanda? If I were that cashier, the feeling would’ve been mutual, honey.

If you saw the show, what were your thoughts? And if you wrote about the show on your blog, you are welcome to link to it in the comment section. I’m also curious to hear your thoughts about how you like to stockpile and when you feel couponing crosses the line into compulsion and hoarding.

Coupon preview for 1/2

Ready to start the New Year? Check this out: we’re getting FIVE inserts this Sunday! That’s two Red Plum inserts, two SmartSource inserts, and a General Mills insert!

You can see some of the coupons up over at Sunday Coupon Preview.

Here are a few that stood out to me:

  • Disney Vitamins $1/1
  • Nivea Body Lotion $2/1
  • Quaker Oatmeal $1/1 (Yes!)
  • Wisk Laundry Detergent $2/1
  • Robitussin (includes to go) $1/1

If you are just making sense of couponing, can I recommend my Coupons 101 page? You might also want to print off the download I released yesterday called Store Sales Cycles.

Locals: start the New Year with a newspaper subscription!

The awesome News Tribune or Olympian newspaper deal is still available. Pay just $1 a copy for the Sunday paper when you buy between 3-6 copies. That’s half off of the newsstand price AND no driving involved! I have this very subscription myself and I love not having to drive around Sunday morning looking for coupons. You can pre-pay for 6 months, OR get on a monthly E-Z Pay schedule if that’s more convenient for you. For the full scoop on this offer, please go HEREWhen call for your subscription, say you want the Sunday paper deal you saw on The Coupon Project!

ALSO, if you are in the Everett area, check out Coupon Connections NW for a HOT deal on the Everett Herald!

Coming this January: Adventures in Produce!


Tired of eating the same old carrots?

Feel like you pack an apple or banana for your kid’s lunch every day?

Are your meals lacking that certain je ne sais quoi?

Join me this January as I introduce you to some of your produce department’s hidden treasures. These are the vegetables and fruits that sit longingly and wait as you fill up your cart with russet potatoes and cabbage. Each day I’ll feature a new wild and wonderful fruit or vegetable and give you some ideas for how to eat it. Some will be varieties that are simply less chosen than others, while some of my features may be items you’ve never even heard of before.

So get ready to be daring and spice up the dinner table…join me for Adventures in Produce!

Unadvertised Rite Aid money maker: craft supplies


While at Rite Aid last night, my bloggin’ bud Abby from Steals Plus Deals came across a pretty sweet deal.

Buy (2) Specially Marked Craft Projects, earn a $5 UP Reward.

AND she found a couple on sale for $2.29 each, making this a small money maker after UP  Rewards! While her store’s stock was quite low, she says that the sticker reads that the deal is good through 1/26. So don’t despair if you don’t find this item right away at your store.

If you’re planning a trip, make sure to stop by my Rite Aid deals post.

Thanks, Steals Plus Deals!

Albertsons deals 12/29 – 1/4

Here are the best deals I could find for Albertsons for the week. Coupon Connections NW is reporting we’re getting Twice the Value coupons this weekend, so I’m giving you some matchup ideas now. Because of that, I’m personally waiting until Sunday to do my deals.

Fresh Avocados
$0.68 each

Boneless Pork Loin

Oscar Mayer Basic Lunchables
$1 each

Campbell’s Soups:
Chunky, Select Harvest, Chunky Healthy Request $1.25
$0.50/1 – $2/4 assorted printable coupons
Bottom line: as low as $0.75 each
If doubled: as low as $0.25 each

Yoplait Yogurt $0.50
$0.50/4 printable coupon
OR $0.40/6 coupon from 11/14 General Mills insert
Bottom line: as low as $0.38 each
If doubled: $0.25 each

Albertons Grade AA Large Eggs, 18-ct
$1.99 each with in-ad coupon (limit 2)

Tyson Breaded Chicken $4.99
$1/1 coupon from 10/10 SmartSource
Bottom line: $3.99
If doubled: $2.99

Wonderful Pistachios, 10 oz $4.99
$1/1 coupon from 11/21 SmartSource
Bottom line: $3.99
If doubled: $2.99

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Pace Salsa $2
$1/2 in-ad manufacturer’s coupon
Bottom line: $1.50 each
If doubled: $1 each
(Note: you should be able to double this since it’s a manufacturer’s coupon)

Lay’s Potato Chips $3.99
Buy one, get one free
Bottom line: $1.99 each

Nabisco Snack Crackers $2
$1/2 printable coupon
OR $1/1 coupon from 11/14 SmartSource (regional)
Bottom line: as low as $1 each
If doubled: as low as FREE

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, or 7-Up Soft Drink 2-Liter $0.99
Must buy 3 (otherwise $1.33 each)
$1/2 Sierra Mist hangtags (found at Fred Meyer this week)
Buy 4, get 1 free Pepsi hangtags (found at multiple stores)
$1/1 Sierra Mist coupon from Safeway Thanksgiving Coupon Booklet
Bottom line: as low as free

Nestle Cookie Dough $2
$1/1 printable coupon
Bottom line: $1
If doubled: FREE

Hillshire Farm Little Smokies $2.50
$0.75/2 coupon from 12/5 Red Plum
Bottom line: $2.12 each
If doubled: $1.75 each

Celestial Seasonings Tea $2.50
$1/1 coupon from 10/3, 11/7, 12/12 SmartSource
Bottom line: $1.50
If doubled: $0.50

Coffee-Mate Flavored Coffee Creamer $2
$1.50/1 printable coupon
OR $1/1 printable coupon (Facebook)
OR $0.55/1 coupon from 11/14 Red Plum
Bottom line: as low as $0.50
If doubled: as low as FREE (I’d double the Facebook coupon)

Classico Pasta Sauces $2
$1/2 coupon from 11/21 SmartSource
Bottom line: $1.50 each
If doubled: $1 each

Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Cereal $2
$0.70/1 Fiber Plus printable coupon
Bottom line: $1.40
If doubled: $0.70

ConAgra Promotion

There is a ConAgra promotion running this week.

Here’s how this one works: when you buy 10 participating items in a single transaction, you’ll save $2 instantly. That means each item will work out to $0.80 before coupons. Just make sure to buy in multiples of 10. You can mix and match the participating products.

Banquet Brown ‘N Serve Sausages
Regular Dinners
Chef Boyardee Canned Pasta with Meat
Chef Boyardee Microwave Pasta
Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce
Hunt’s Spaghetti Sauce
Rosarita Refried Beans
Hunt’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
Rotel Diced Tomatoes
Hunt’s Snack Pack Pudding, 4-pack
Swiss Miss Cocoa ($1/1 coupon from Safeway Booklet ex 12/31; $0.50/2 coupon from 11/14 SmartSource)
Blue Bonnet Margarine Quarters or Spread

P&G Promotion

As I suspected, there is a P&G Promotion this week. It reads “Save $5 on your next shopping trip when you buy any combination of $20 of these participating P&G products in a single transaction.” Unfortunately, we have the dreaded fine print: “minimum purchase requirement calculated after manufacturer coupon.” Additionally, remember that the P&G coupons now read limit 4 like coupons per same shopping trip.

Now it’s *possible* you’ll receive the $5 Catalina coupon even if your total is just $20 before coupons, but I can’t guarantee it. And because the fine print is what it is, you may find yourself having a hard time getting someone to help you at the store if it doesn’t print. You might be interested to read this most interesting post on this topic over at Coupon Connections NW.

Caveats aside, here are the matchups. There are two P&G inserts you can use – 11/28 and 12/26 P&G. The coupons from the 11/28 insert expire on 12/31 so heads-up!

Finally, remember that you have until 12/31 to buy $50 worth of P&G products to score a sweet P&G coupon book with $110 in coupon savings! Download the form for more.

Charmin Ultra Double Roll Bath Tissue $11.99 ($0.25/1 from 12/26, 11/28)
Tide Laundry Detergent, 100 oz $10.99 ($1/1 from 12/26, 11/28)
Pampers Big Box $19.99 ($1.50/1 from 12/26, 11/28; get wipes free wyb box from 11/28)
Bounty Big Roll Paper Towels $12.99 ($0.25/1 from 12/26, 11/28)
Bounce Dryer Bar/Fabric Softener $4.99 ($0.50-1/1 from 12/26, 11/28)
Pampers Wipes $5.99
Bounty Napkins $2.99
($0.25/1 from 12/26, 11/28)
Mr Clean $2.49
Dawn Foam or Liquid Soap $2.49
($0.25/1 from 12/26, 11/28)
Cascade Liquid Detergent or Action Pacs $4.49 ($0.25/1 from 12/26, 11/28)
Puffs Tissue, 3-ct $5.99 ($0.25/1 from 12/26)
Duracell Batteries $4.99 ($1.50/1 from 12/12 Red Plum)
Pringles Super Stack $1.50 ($1/2 -4 from 12/26)
Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner $3.50 ($3/2 from 12/26; B1G1, $1/1 from 11/28)
Clairol Nice ‘N Easy $5.99 ($2/1 from 12/26)
Old Spice Deodorant $2.79 (B1G1 spray, $1/2 from 12/26; $1/2 from 11/28)
Secret Deodorant $2.79 ($0.50/1 from 12/26, 11/28)
Olay Bar Soap, 6-ct or Body Wash $5.99 ($2/1 from 12/26; B1G1 Wash/Lotion from 11/28)
Always Pads or Liners $5.79 ($0.50-1/1 from 12/26)
Tampax Tampons $5.79 ($1/1 from 12/26)
Crest Toothpaste $2.50 ($0.50/1 from 12/26; $0.75/1 from 11/28)
Glide Floss $2.50 ($0.75/1 from 12/26)
Oral-B Toothbrush $2.50 ($0.75/1 from 12/26; $0.75/1 from 11/28)
Covergirl Cosmetics 25% off ($1/1, $2.50/2 from 12/26; $1/1-2/2 from 11/28)
Olay Regenerist, Total Effects 15% off ($1/1 face from 12/26)
Total Effects Body Wash 15% off (B2G1 from 11/18)
Aussie Shampoo/Conditioner $5.79 (B1G1 from 12/26)
Herbal Essences Shampoo/Conditioner $5.79 (B1G1 from 12/26)
Zest, Safeguard or Ivory Bar Soap $3.49 ($0.25-$0.35/1 from 11/28)
Gillette Body Wash $3.49
Old Spice Body Wash $3.49
NyQuil, DayQuil $5.99
($1/1-$3/2 from 12/26; $1.50/1 from 11/28)
Sinex $5.99 ($4/1 from 12/26;
Prilosec $9.99 ($3/1 from 12/26, 11/28)
Metamucil $10.49 ($2/1 from 12/26, 11/28)
Gillette Disposable Razors $6.69

For more Albertsons deals, make sure to drop by The Grocery Gathering.