Sunday, June 26, 2011

Getting back into the swing of things

I've been off couponing for awhile now. My cupboard was stocked really well with my favorite items, and frankly, I was getting a bit burned out.

But it's been a few months, and the closet was getting low, so yesterday I went through all my old inserts, tossed a bunch, and clipped what I liked. This morning more great Q's came, and I was off to the races!

This was my last stop, but biggest purchase- where the big guns came out. And the credit card (don't worry, I pay it off in full monthly).

$8.99 Venus Razor (used $2 Target Q, $2 MQ)
$10.49 Bounty 8-pk (used $1 Target Q)
$0 Bounty napkins (for buying the bounty 8-pk)
$11.99 Tide (used $0.75 Target Q)
2*$6.99 36-ct Playtex (used $2.50/2 MQ, and got back a $5 Target GC)
3*$2 Pepperidge farm cookies (used $1/1 Milano Melts MQ, and 2 $0.50/1 MQ's)
$2.15 Stash Teabags (used $0.50/1 MQ)
$18.99 6-ct Intuition (yikes! This was in the wrong spot so I thought it was less, I probably wouldn't have bought it otherwise- but I did use a $4.50/1 Q, which made it more reasonable)
$3.29 Kashi cereal (no Q's, just needed some)
$2.79 Coke 12-pk (no Q's, my coke rewards account always expires on me)
2*$2.24 Revlon tools (used $5/2 Target Q to get these babies FREE!)
=$64.02 subtotal, plus taxes.

The Revlon tools section had quite a few items in the $2-$3 range- several basic clippers and tweezers, plus that nail buffer that was featured with the coupon. As you can see I didn't spend $5, mostly b/c those were the products I wanted, but also to see if I could get a little overage. The coupon didn't give overage, but it didn't beep either- it automatically adjusted itself down. AND, it triggered a $5/2 MQ and a $2/1 MQ for Revlon tools to print with my reciept. I see lots of free/cheap nail clippers in my future.

Also, notice the healthy Kashi is hidden behind the delicious, delectable cookies. Just like the way it is in my head.

$15 for 4 Dove Ultimate deodorants
Used 1 $0.75/1 Q and got back $5 RR, for a true cost of $9.25 + tax

Pretty boring I know, but it's my fav deo, and I'm on my last bar or two.

Trans 1:
$5.88 Pond's towelettes (30 ct)
$8.99 Intuition razor refill (3 ct)
Used $1/1 Ponds Q and $2/1 Intuition Q, and got back $2 Ponds EB and $3 Intuition EB, for a true cost of $6.87 + tax

Again I'm hooked on Intuition and Venus razors, and I've not tried Pond's towelettes yet, but I like the Garnier ones so we'll see how these compare.

Trans 2:
$2.50 Kettle Chips
$9/2 Stayfree pads
Used $1/1 Kettle chip coupon (yum!), and BOGO Stayfree, plus my EBs from Trans 1. I should have used a $1/1 Stayfree Q as well, but didn't have it handy. Cost was $6 plus tax, but OOP lower thanks to EBs.

You can see in the pic I also picked up some canned tuna for my roommate, but it wasn't necessary to work the scenario- it's just $0.88 a can is a good price for albacore.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Tulsa ER

So this week I was in Tulsa, Oklahoma for work. You might not think that it is a very exciting place, but if you think that, you've never been to their ER late at night.

I had an infection that needed immediate attention (most ladies will know what I'm talking about, but I don't think we need any detail there!) and so I headed in about 11 or 11:30 pm, as all urgent care units were closed up.

My poor nurse had several other patients, and kept telling me I was the best she'd had all night. Based on my observations, I didn't have any stiff competition there... one lady took out her IV and started bleeding all over the place. Twice. Then a guy was brought in on a wheelchair because his leg was burned pretty bad. How did it happen, you might ask? Oh, he had a few drinks with friends, went to bed, and woke up because one of his "friends" (he used that term, I surely wouldn't have) set him on fire. Yes, on FIRE.

When I was released (about 3 am), I headed to a CVS I'd been given directions to that was open 24 hours so I could get the antibiotics I'd been prescribed. Let me tell you, that store was beautiful! I wish I'd had my coupons with me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I don't need no stinkin' sleep

So this title struck me for two reasons. One, it is 6 am pacific, I'm in an airport traveling for work, and the line for Starbucks is honest-to-goodness longer than the security line was. There are at least 20 people waiting in line for their overpriced coffee.
Two, work has been on the overwhelming side recently. We have been working as a pretty skeleton crew lately, and it's definately been wearing on some folks. The area me and my coworker cover is larger than some of the other regions, yet there are two of us, whereas the other areas have 3 and 4. The best part of course, is that last week, my only counterpart submitted his resignation. My boss will do his best to help me out, and he is super-experienced which is a major help, but realistically he has 7 other folks to oversee (who do very different work than I do). However, that still leaves me with the ENTIRE west coast to support from a day-to-day engineering standpoint, from San Diego to Seattle. So I'm telling myself I don't need no stinkin' sleep, because I certainly won't be getting any anytime soon. Yay!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


This was the view from our balcony. We went to Montego Bay and it was amazing! Every day was sleeping in, eating breakfast, doing something on the beach (except the day we ziplined!), meeting the friends from college we went with for dinner, drinks, and usually cards (we are avid euchre players, and no one seems to know what it is on the west coast). Sometimes after cards we'd relax in the hot tub you see in the photo- it was for anyone on the resort, but didn't seem to get a lot of use being away from the bars and such.

My favorite activity was probably the snorkeling, although the zipline course makes it a very tough call. The included resort snorkeling was fun, but the afternoon tour that went out further to a nicer reef was just fantastic. We got to see sea snakes, urchins, trumpet fish, and a HUGE sting ray. DBF did some free diving and I got a few nice videos of him swimming around in the ocean. The zipline was crazy, I had never done a verticle one before (read: they DROP you straight down, about 60 feet) and was unaware we'd be doing that beforehand, but it was quite the rush. I enjoyed the kayaking, though DBF was less than excited about it since it closely resembled excercise on vacation.

We were pretty fortunate in that it didn't rain much- about half the days in the mid-afternoon. Since it's rainy season, that's to be expected. We were also lucky Hugo dissipated and we had no tropical storms in the area; while we'd gotten trip insurance, we would have been very upset to miss out on our vacation! It was a risk we knew we took booking in off-season, to get the rates we did on the room.

I also really liked that it was an inclusive resort, so the only stuff we paid extra for were the zipline tour and the longer further-out snorkeling. Frankly part of why it was nice was things being faster- bartenders aren't having to figure out what a drink costs, ring it up, etc, etc. Also, it was very convienient to be able to walk around without a purse since we didn't need money or ID within the resort- and it was DBF's job to hang on to the room key. The swim up bar would have been particularly interesting otherwise.

All in all, certainly the best vacation I've ever taken myself on- it was definately worth saving up for. What about you, what's been your favorite vacation?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A crazy month, Part 1: Side business

Last month when I got everyone's favorite coupon friendly magazine- All You- I saw an ad that said "Will work for Chocolate". Since I like chocolate (alright, LOVE chocolate), I decided to take a look at the website. I submitted my info after looking at some of the products, and spent a few hours over the course of a week or so speaking to the woman who called me about it. Long story short, I decided to give it a go, and am now a Dove Chocolatier part-time.

So far it has been going pretty well- I did a launch party with my friends at my place, and another with my family during a reunion type weekend. I'm also signed up to do a few boutiques this fall with other Chocolatiers and have another party tentatively booked. In another week or two I think I should be about the break-even point and it doesn't actually feel like work- at least not yet.

I don't mean for this to sound like a plug- which is part of why you don't see a link in this post (though I am happy to talk more about it if someone would want)- I'm just quite excited to be doing this! It has been so nice to get my head out of engineering while still using it and doing something different in my free time. I'm also meeting new people outside of my typical circles (in case you don't know too many engineers, please feel free to read that as "people who don't make bad jokes about circuits, pump curves, or the periodic table") which is refreshing.

Much love, and hope everyone has been doing well! I hope to continue summarizing my crazy month over the next week or so. Part 2: Vacation...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If only it were always this easy...

Rite Aid is a moneymaking machine this week! Seriously, I wonder how the registers are holding up after having that surgery to convert them all to ATMs. And I didn't even have the best possible coupons for matching up- the madness! Of course, I did have my favorite cashiers at each store.

Also, these are really low OOP scenarios even if you don't have any UP+ bucks yet. And, if you have an FSA debit card w/ moola on it, they'll actually be 0.00 OOP!

As an added bonus, if you haven't done the skincare rebate yet, you could seriously go buy Garnier face washes all over town and turn a profit on that deal this week.

Store 1:
$6.99 Garnier Nutripure cleanser
$9.99 Dulcolax
$10.00 Zegrid
-$5/25 RA Q
-$5 Garnier RA Q
-$1 Garnier MQ (from inserts)
-$5 Dulcolax MQ (from All you)
-$3 Zegrid RA Q
-$4 Zegrid MQ (from inserts)
-$2 UP+ rewards
=$1.28 + tax on my FSA debit (as both Zegrid and Dulcolax count for FSA)
Now, had I been a good couponer and watched the RA video for the $2 Garnier coupon, I could have tried to use that too (but YMMV as you're already using the $5 RA Q on it) and gotten the same OOP w/o using an UP+ reward. I also could have tried buying two and using two $5 RA Q's to get the $3 UP+, but my brain wasn't quite there yet.
Got back $7 UP+ for Zegrid, will get back $9.99 SCR for Dulcolax, and the Garnier counts toward the skincare rebate I finished up with these transactions.

Store 2:
$6.99 Garnier clenser
$10.49 Neutrogena sunscreen
$3.99 Pantene hairspray
$5.99 Motrin PM 20 ct
-$5/25 RA Q
-$5 RA Garnier Q
-$2 RA Neutrogena suncare Q
-$2 Pantene MQ (Parade insert)
-$3 RA Motrin Q
-$1 Motrin MQ
-$7 UP+ rewards from Store 1
=$2.26 + tax on my FSA debit (b/c OOP was less than the Motrin PM price)
Got back $2 UP+ for Pantene, $2 UP+ for Motrin PM, and have now finished the skincare rebate.
If you don't want the Neutrogena, $8.03 of anything else would get you to the $25 mark, but for me it pushed me over the edge for the skincare rebate, and it is my fav-orite sunscreen.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fruit Bars

I had a $5 RR expiring yesterday that I'd gotten from buying the Gillette razor. Sadly that was the only RR producing item that caught my eye at all, so I had to just burn it, but I did so on yumminess! WAGS has the Dreyer fruit bars on sale this week for $2.50, so I bought 2 boxes and paid $0.00 OOP! This is a pretty decent price for these, and they are just what I need when I come inside on a hot day!

As for today, I stopped by RA and spent all of my $30 in UP+ rewards from buying all that John Frieda.
Trans 1:
$7.99 Oral B Cross Action Power toothbrush
$7.29 Renu Sensitive
$2.49 Crest 3D Vivid White
$8.99 Neutrogena Sunscreen
-$5/25 Q
-$3 Oral B Q
-$2 Renu Q
-$0.75 Crest Q
-$10 UP+ bucks
=6.01 + tax, paid $8.62 OOP
Got $2 UP+ for Crest, and will get $7.29 SCR for Renu, $4 SCR for Oral B, and begin earning the suncare gift card (yes, I'm a late starter on that deal)

Trans 2:
3*$8.99 Neutrogena Sunscreen
-$5/25 Q
-$20 UP+ bucks
=$1.97 + tax, paid $4.11

I now have $35.96 towards the $50 of qualifying items for the sun/skin care GC deal, which will give me a $25 (hopefully $30 since I'm using my UP+ card) RA GC for buying this stuff. There have been better deals in the past to get to this $50 mark (and is another good one next week), but my skin gets along with neutrogena sunscreen best, and this makes it a great price overall for my sunscreen.