Thursday, July 31, 2008

Compilation of Before Aug Deals

August 1 is TOMORROW!! Our Mission R.I.C.E experiment is officially beginning.

BUT! Before that, we've already aquired these deals.

This morning, I made an early morning run to Wag. (since the kids are up and we can't do much until breakfast, and since I have a $5 off $20 JUST FOR TODAY!!) We had to get milk. Here's the deal.

Coupons used:

-$0.50 milk
-$3/1 personal item
-$1.79/1 paper
-$14.99/1 OneTouch (which I don't need, but apparently there is a mail-in rebate in the box...that I haven't found and may have to make another trip back to Wag)...this item will be a give away since it's free for me.
-$5 off $20 used

SO! I spent $16.77, with the possibility of getting back $11 at least (OR $21!)

In total for August We would have spent $5.77 on the above items (The shampoos and bags are for FREE after rebate, great stocking up). (or maybe none at all, and some cash in our sweet is that??)
We have saved...
1. Shampoo
-8 bottles. Usually we would have spent $2 per bottle for shampoo..that's $16
2. Milk
-Usually we would have spent $4
3. Stationery
-Would have cost us $6.19
4. Personal Item
-Would have cost us $5 (at the cheapest rate)
So we should have spent $31.19 (even without the vacuum bags or One Touch...which we would not have gotten without the deals). Since we spent $5.77, we saved $25.42. (If the rebate came through, we'll have saved 35.42)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Supermarket Savings 101

So, what did I learn from Supermarket Savings 101?

1. Know your prices.
Thus I'm trying to make rounds to my supermarkets around to write down prices of the things I buy often. I might have to change my usual store (BOO-HOO!! I love Stop and Shop)

2. Plan meals ruthlessly
Meaning. Plan ALL MEALS. And follow them. This way, I won't be running out of meals and have to grab something quick (or make hubby grab a lunch) that usually will cost more. Plan meals that will cost $1.20 or lower per serving (that's for our family). Also I should plan meals according to the sale items of the supermarket.

3. Understand coupon policy
I've asked 2 stores about their policies. check.

Aug Easy Saver from Wag

Wag for Walgreens...learning all these lingo.

This month, I can buy 3 shampoo (2 of them very high-class looking) and 2 space-saver bags (those vaccuum ones?) for FREE. Yes, free. I just pay tax.

What happens is every month Walgreens has a booklet that lets you know what are the items that you can buy and they'll rebate the full price. Sweet, isn't it? Of course, it's a rebate (means out of the pocket first).

The deal with Wag and CVS, is that I'm trying to get my household items (like the toothpaste, or shampoo) for free from them (or almost free) so that I don't have to spend money buying them. Today, hubby did our first CVS deal. For CVS, it's another ballgame.

Ultimately, I have to proceed to the "C" of R.I.C.E soon or else my house will be filled up with all these purchases we make!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A good season

"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13

With all these saving and planning and budgetting, one might think it's such a pain. I would think so too. We were talking to some friends who are closer to the "plenty" side and they are pretty easy with using their money. We, on the other hand, need to think many times before making a decision about purchases.

Yet, hubby and I both agreed that this is a good season for us. We are indeed, like Paul, not "in need", but we need to learn to the secret of living in every circumstances and in our case, at the moment, closer to the "little". If we have plenty, we might not have the discipline to learn. And thus, we may have missed out this very important season to prune, to train and to discipline ourselves.

Thank you God!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Our Diaper Conquest

We bought a total of 24 packs diapers, 806 pieces of them, at $13.76.

Averaging Size 5 dipe and Size 3 dipe, each dipe would have cost us $0.20
...806 pieces at $134.8...

Which means we saved a whooping $121.04!!!

That's all because my hubby did his "exercise" runs to Walgreens. Thank you, dear!!

Savings from wipes and papers

Mission R: Reducing cost by using cloth (to wipe kids' mouth and clean table) and using 1/2 a wipe to clean bum when no poop and wash colleen when poop instead of wipes.

Savings: $3.60 per month (on kitchen towel) and $3.00 per month (on wipes)

Seems little but it can add up! (that's $79.20 per year)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Take-it-Slow R.I.C.E Plan

Planning Stage: Learning about smart grocery/savings
Goal: Learn about how to do smart grocery and save more
1. Grocery Course
2. Learn from websites and jot down notes
3. Understand about Walgreening/CVSing
4. Do Meal costing/write out our main grocery items

Date: Until Aug

Stage One: Grocery planning/scouting & orientation of Walgreens and CVS
Goal: Plan meals well and getting to know the supermarkets & Walgreening, CVSing
1. Plan all meals and snacks(with meal costing in mind)
2. Get prices from grocery stores

3. Read from MSM (Money-Saving Mom) and get a couple deals from Walgreens/CVS to get orientated
Date: Beginning Aug 1

Stage Two: Coupon organization & more deals from Walgreens/CVS
Goal: Collection & organization of coupons, start buying from right places & start Walgreening/CVSing
1.Subscribe to newspaper
2.Start organization techniques for coupons
3.Plan and buy groceries with best prices
4.Read from MSM (Money-Saving Mom) (and possibly other websites) and get more deals from Walgreens/CVS
Date: Sep?

Stage Three: Attempting couponing & regularly Walgreening/CVSing
Goal: Using coupons smartly & regularly do W/C
1.Start to use coupons with grocery or W/C
2.Read from MSM (Money-Saving Mom) (and possibly other websites) and W/C once a week (or 2 weeks) at least
3.Come up with FHD (Frugal Healthy Delicious) Meal Menu Choices
Date: Sep/Oct?

Stage Four: Clutter Control
Goal: Begin to clean out clutter
Date: Oct?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

RICE update: Achievement so far

So, how do we intend to practically follow our RICE plan?

Here's what we've done so far:
1. Cut electricity costs by unplugging switches (we have lots of gadgets) in the day when they are not in use.
2. Turn off my computer from 11am-8pm, 10pm-7am. So I use it for 6 hours a day.
3. Use cloths to clean up kids after meals instead of paper towels
4. Enrolled in moneysaving mom's Supermarket 101 course.
5. Started our Walgreening.
6. Applied for CVS card.
7. Try to rewear wearable clothes to cut down laundry
8. Eat out less (not that we've eaten out a lot, but we've been trying to cook instead of eat out for Sunday dinners)
9. Sit outside in balcony after meals (a real enjoyment)
10. Plan meals according to on sale items

And today I started writing out our R.I.C.E plan and clutter control plan. We're rolling up our sleeves!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Diaper Deal at Walgreens

The diaper conquest that got us all started...

We buy 3 pack of Walgreens Diapers (very specific, mind you, we only realized after many tries...only the ones with "Walgreens" work), on sale at $5.99 each. ($17.97)
Use the Easy Saver Coupon ($2.50 off each pack) (less $7.50)
Use the Prescription Savings Coupon ($2 off each pack) (less $6)
Get $5 back as Register Reward (like giftcard to use for next purchase).

Less $7.50
Less $6
Less $5
We gain back $0.43!!!!!!

We did that yesterday for 2 rounds and they didn't work as sweet. So...including today's deal, we paid $9.51 for over 300 diapers. Even at BJs, we would have spent about $40 on the 300. We saved $30.
What I'm most grateful, besides all these deals and fun, is that my hubby is in this with me, hands and feet. He ran around getting all the diapers and found it to be exhilarating. In his words, he would have found all these a bore if he hasn't taken over the CFO role. Let your man lead, ladies!

Beginning of the Journey

How did this all begin? 2 Colgate toothpastes.

I learnt from a website that I can get colgate toothpastes for almost free. I cannot believe it. After following instructions, legitimately, I did. So, I went on to the bigger deal. Diapers.
Supposedly, done right, I can get diapers for free too. We tried it. And it worked.
How's $-0.43 for more than 100 diaper sound to you? Not only did we get the diapers for free, we made 43cents out of it. We didn't believe it until we did it.
Hubby and I are on fire! We started to want to do this seriously.
Thank you, Crystal in moneysaving mom, an amazing Christian homemaker, for your wonderful site.
First step. Research. We're going to start learning from Crystal.
So, from Jul 21 to end of the month, we're going to do a supermarket savings course (online) and we're going to do a lot of planning.
This is way too exciting!! Let's see what happens after August!!