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Archive for November, 2008

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The. Best. CVS. Trip. Ever.

First of all, no one was in the store at…what, 9-something? Almost 10? to shuffle around and bump into with my massive coupon box. Secondly, they had everything in stock. EVERYTHING. That almost never happens at my CVS. I did it in three transactions, with a base start of $17.00 in ECBs; paid $5.47 OOP: $4 to start, and $1.47 since I didn’t have a small enough ECB denomination on the second transaction. And, AND, I came home with $51.91 in ECBs, and $97.00 worth of merchandise. I used coupons on every item except the Reeses, G2 Gatorade, and 1 of the L’Oreal Juicy lip glosses (my printer wouldn’t work when I did the survey-for-a-coupon thing 😦 ). But oh, if only every week went as smoothly. No one in line…each transaction playing out like a textbook example of couponing…applauding cashiers… *contented sigh* Well, even if it’s not like this all the time, I’ll take my dream week (this on top of my Black Friday steals!) with a hearty dose of…what else? Thanksgiving.

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Well, even with the crowds & parking, I can definitively say that Black Friday was worth it for me. The amounts I spent were all what I originally wanted to spend, but the quality of what I got was so much better than I anticipated! An out-of-this-world feeling for a year when we had to cut back on the gift-budget. Some of my favorite deals-of-the-day:

  • A pair of sterling silver earrings, normal price $39.99, Black Friday price $11.99.
  • A pair of black boots, normal price $70.00, Black Friday price $14.99.
  • A Macy’s scarf, normal price $44.00, Black Friday price $23.00.
  • 2 camis, normally $8.50 each, 2/$10.00.
  • Something else I can’t say in case my husband reads it, but I saved $65.00 there!

I got pretty much everything I needed except for my brothers, but once I get those…Bang! My Christmas shopping is done. Which is really the most surreal part of the whole experience–I’ve always been a straggler when it comes to gifts, always needing that thing two days before and rushing around to try and find it. Now, the aura of relief is palpable–I can sit back and concentrate on Christmas cards, sewing projects, dyi/eco-friendly wrappings…it’s a good feeling! Now onwards to try and snag some older online deals for the bros…

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During my teenage years, I worked at the Discovery Channel Store in a NH mall. I watched as the hordes swarmed by, clamoring for deals at the gate as we furtively stocked register drawers. We never had any other than our standard clearance shelf filled with dusty emotive, New Age books, so while we had a steady stream of customers, our “cashwrap” lines were short enough to allow us to take breaks.

One year I waited my full lunch break for the special edition of Moulin Rouge (which came with a free DVD). The next it took me 45 minutes to get a Gloria Jean Coffee. The third year I visited by brother, who was getting mobbed as a Game Stop employee. I reasoned that working BF was fun when I could retreat to the back room, but I couldn’t foresee ever shopping then.

This year though, I think I will. I think I will. A combination of factors–the thrill of the chase, the minor fact that an H&M opened today *shriek!!!* ahem*…who knows. It also helps that while my husband and my brother will be off staking out Best Buys in sparsely populated areas, my practically-sister-in-law whom I adore and just happens to be very fashionable and I will be together…which generally leads to Boston or the nearest Sephora, whichever comes first.

Now, don’t mistake me. I personally will get my mascara free from CVS as long as I breathe. BUT, there are just some things that must be bought with an awesome ambiance, and there is that unique American joy of walking around a mall with an Anthropologie bag on one arm and a C.O. Bigelow bag on the other.

PLUS, certain things that I’m getting for my husband are for-real on sale, and can save me money, honey. So, in the interest of me and my brother’s girlfriend, oh, and The Economy, here are the best girl-centric Black Friday Deals for the North Shore:

Marc Jacobs (on Newbury St. Boston): Shoe Sale 70% off!!

H&M is offering 20% off all purchases of 50$ or more.

Sephora looks like it’s got great freebies, but all online! 😦
http://www.sephora.com/promo/beautybonuses/index.jhtml

American Eagle: buy 1 top, get 1 50% off

NY & Co. : B1G1 75% off; 30$/75$ coupon mailed out.

Old Navy: FREE Samsung MP3 Player w/ $20 Purchase

Victoria’s Secret has the below coupons, plus a free Dream Angels Perfume Vial (deals found here: http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/victorias-secret/151482-deals-first-fellow-associate-update-11-25-2008-a-post1108446.html#post1108446 ) I don’t see any dates on these coupons, so I’m not sure on the expiration:

http://www2.victoriassecret.com/onlineemail/?c=30980_FB07518D3F23B27FA475034F089F03E7&cm_mmc=di-_-080306-_-V01-_-30980&e=

http://www2.victoriassecret.com/onlineemail/?c=31199_BEADEC07FF56A8955266F907D4B71931&cm_mmc=di-_-080313VSS-_-V01-_-31199&e=

http://ebm.cheetahmail.com/c/tag/hBJHDL7AcckdyB7XFTI$XTlt-xI/doc.html?RAF_TRACK=&email

http://ebm.cheetahmail.com/c/tag/hBJIXtzAcckdyB7XJesBJjZGcCB/doc.html?RAF_TRACK=&email=

Bath & Body Works: Spend 40, Use 10$ off 30$ coupon here: http://f.chtah.com/i/34/528207786/20081107a_8438coupon.html and get a bag valued at 100$ for only 15.
Bath & Body Works free product with 10$ purchase  http://f.chtah.com/i/34/528207786/20081124_8536_coupon.html

Lucky Brand: *New Info Edit* On Thanksgiving Day, everything is 40% off online, with free shipping over 100$. From 6-12 on Black Friday, get a free gift with purchase of jeans, and get another item 50% off.

Barnes & Noble : 10% off 1 item coupon: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/email/nav.asp?r=1&PID=25586&afsrc=1&r=1

Borders: 25% off 1 Item: http://www.bordersmedia.com/coup/coupon251127.asp?cmpid=SA_20081125_REW
plus other stuff on sale coupon: http://www.borders.com/online/store/MediaView_bfpass?cmpid=SA_20081125_REW

Teavana : 10$ off 30$ purchase coupon: http://www.teavana.com/c=s_join/shop.axd/Static?cm_mmc=Aff-_-Text-_-Disc-_-10coupon
and http://www.teavana.com/shop.axd/Poll

Ann Taylor Loft 30 and 40% coupons http://www.dealtaker.com/Ann-Taylor-Loft-Black-Friday-Cyber-Monday-2008-Coupons-t192684.html

The Icing: 20% off 1 Item Coupon http://www.shopgreatlakescrossing.com/IM/storedetail.html?store=Z706 ; if you spend 20$ you can choose earbuds for 7$, digital camera for 10 or flashdrive for 10.

Jo-Ann’s Fabrics: 50% off 1 item and 20% off your entire order coupons from the flyer

Lindt Chocolates: Buy 25$, get 25 truffles free

Bed, Bath & Beyond: 20% off your entire purchase 6-10 AM only. A good way to stack those million 20% off 1 item coupons you have sitting around!

CVS: And check out MoneySavingMom’s post on the amazing CVS deals for Thanksgiving & Black Friday…and check your inboxes for a 5$/30$ coupon!

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grocery-gathering5 Sprite, Diet, or Regular Coke 2-ltrs. 4/$4.00–buy 4, Get 1 Free!

Lay’s 2/$4.00

Boneless Pork Loin $1.89/lb.

Frozen Marval Turkey $0.47/lb.

Top Round Roast $1.97/ lb.

Gold Sweet Potatoes $0.49/lb.

Ocean Spray Cranberries $1.99/bag

Hershey’s Extra Large Chocolate bar 5/$5.00

Kraft Cream Cheese 2/$3.00
Buy 4 and Use with Use with $1.00/3 coupon for
4/$5.00

Pillsbury Grands $1.69
Buy 3 and use with $1.00/3 coupon for
3/$4.07

Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats 2/$5.00
Use with $1.00/1 coupon for
2/$4.00

Hannford Steam-in-bag Vegetables $0.93

Old Neighborhood Roast Beef $6.99/lb.

Nestle Toll House Morsels 2/$5.00
Buy 4 and use with $1.00/3 coupon for
4/$9.00

Pillsbury Quick Bread 3/$5.00
Use with $1.00/3 coupon for
3/$4.00

Ocean Spray Cranberry $0.99

Swanson $0.79/can
Use with $1.00/2 coupon for
2/$0.58

Libby’s Pure Pumpkin $1.19

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grocery-gathering4 So here’s Stop & Shop doing better than most weeks! Good for them. 😉

Land O Lakes Butter $1.99 (limit 3)
Use with $1.00/2 or $0.55/1 Coupon

5-lb. box of Clementines & Tangerines $4.99

Pepsi 2-ltr. MUST BUY 5 for $0.79/each

Green Giant Vegetables (boxed) 10/$10.00
If you didn’t use them up 2 weeks ago, use with $1.00/2 coupons

Mrs. Smith’s Pies 2/$5.00

Carando Spiral Sliced Ham $1.99/lb.

Pepperidge Farm Stuffing 2/$5.00

Italian chesnuts $4.99/lb.

Cooks Spiral sliced Ham $1.79/lb.

Semi-boneless Leg of Lamb $3.99

Jimmy Dean Sausage Roll B1G1 Free

Hillshire Farm kielbasa or Smoked Sausage B1G1 Free
Use with $1.00/2 coupon

Hillshire Farm Cocktail Franks 2/$5.00
Use with $1.00/2 coupon

Heluva-Good-Dip 2/$4.00
Use with $1.00/2 coupon for
2/$3.00

Reddi-Whip 2/$5.00
I JUST saw the coupon 5 seconds ago and now I can’t find it. Suffice it to say that one exists.

Pillsbury Refrigerated Doug/Crescent Rolls 2/$5.00
Use with $1.00/2 coupons

Cheez-It’s 2/$5.00

Hershey’s & Cadbury’s 10/$10.00

Blue Diamond Almonds 4/$10.00
Use with $1.00/3 coupon for
4/$9.00

Cool Whip 4/$5.00

Betty Crocker Cake mix or Fudge Brownie MIx 10/$10.00

Domino Brown or Confectioners Sugar 10/$10.00

Nestle Toll House Morsels 2/$5.00
Buy 4 and use with $1.00/3 coupon for
4/$9.00

Ocean Spray Cranberries 10/$10.00

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grocery-gathering4 Shaw’s has some identical sales this week, as well as some new ones…all-in-all, another good week for shopping, especially if you missed some deals last week! Shaw’s coupons here (you may need to sign in)

Jennie-O or Shady Brook Farms Frozen Turkey $0.48/lb. after $25.00-purchase (limit 2). Price without purchase is $0.99/lb.
Use with $1.00/1 Shady Brook Farms Frozen Turkey coupon.

Stove-Top Stuffing 10/$10.00

Ocean Spray Cranberry Cans 10/$10.00

Heinz Gravy 10/$10.00

Sweet Potatoes $0.69/lb.

Green Giant Vegetables (boxed) 10/$10.00
If you didn’t use them up 2 weeks ago, use with $1.00/2 coupons

Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers 10/$10.00
Use with as many $1.00/1 coupons as you have!

Nestle Toll House Morsels 2/$5.00
Buy 4 and use with $1.00/3 coupon for
4/$9.00

Shaw’s 93% lean ground beef $2.99/lb. (Seen lower, but for this %, best I’ve seen in a little while)

Cook’s Spiral Ham $1.79/lb.

Hillshire farms Kielbasa B1G1 Free
Use with Shaw’s Printable $1.00/2 coupon and $1.00/2 manufacturer’s coupon (should go through, but stores & cashiers are different!)

Jones All Natural Sausage Roll B1G1 Free

Porterhouse $7.99/lb

Cook’s Shank Portion ham $0.99/lb.

Perdue Perfect Portions $7.99

Philly Gourmet Steaks for Sandwiches B1G1 Free

Shaw’s Roast Beef $6.99/lb.

Sara Lee Ham or Chicken Breast $6.99/lb.

Shaw’s Turkey Breast $5.99/lb.

Stella Aged Provolone $5.99/lb.

Carando Pepperoni $2.99

Ken’s Steakhouse cocktail/Tarter Sauce B1G1 Free

Marie’s Dressings B1G1 Free
Use with $1.00/1 coupon

Fresh Green Beans $0.99/lb.

Ocean Spray Cranberries $1.99/bag

Red Seedless Grapes $1.99/lb.

President rondele Spreadable Cheese B1G1 Free

Hood Sour Cream 2/$3.00
Use with $1.00/2 coupon for
2/$2.00

Heluva-Good-Dip 2/$4.00
Use with $1.00/2 coupon for
2/$3.00

Shaw’s Bread B2G1 Free

Thomas’ English Muffins B1G1 Free

Buy 4 General Mills Cereals (Cin. Toast Cr/Cocoa Puffs/G. Grahams/Cookie C./Honey Nut Cheerios/Kix/Lucky Charms/Reese’s Puffs), get $4.00 off.
On Sale for 4/$12.00
With $4.00/4 in-circular coupon and $1.00/3 Manu. Coupon for:
4/$7.00 ($1.75 each)

Toaster Strudels 2/$4.00

Mrs. Smith’s Fruit Pies B1G1 Free

Nestle Hot Cocoa 2/$3.00
Use with $1.00/2 coupon for
2/$2.00

Nabisco Crackers (Triscuit/Wheat Thins) 2/$4.00
Use with $1.00/2 printable Shaw’s coupon
There’s also a tear-pad at Shaws with $1.00 off if you buy 1 Kraft Cheese (like the 2/5 Cracker Barrel) and 1 Nabisco Cracker.

12-packs of Coke, Diet, or Sprite $8.88

Diner’s Choice Mashed Potatoes B1G1 Free

Pepsi 2-ltrs. 5/$4.00
MUST BUY 5!

Kraft Cream Cheese 4/$5.00
Use with $1.00/3 coupon for
4/$4.00

Domino 4-lb. canister or 5-lb bag $2.99
Buy 2 and use with $0.50/2 coupon for
2/$5.48

Ocean Spray Juice 2/$4.00

Hood EggNog $4.89/Gallon
Buy 2 and use with $1.00/2 coupon for
2/8.78

10-inch Poinsettas $14.99 ($10.00 off)

French’s Fried Onions 2/$6.00
Buy 2 and use with $1.00/1 (or 2 if you have them) coupon for
2/$5.00 or 2/$4.00

College Inn Broth 2/$4.00
Use with $1.00/2 coupon for
2/$3.00

Barilla Pasta 10/$10.00
There are coupons out for $1.00/4 whole-grain Barilla Pasta and $1.00/4 Barilla Piccolini Pasta

Dole Pinapple or One-Pie Filling 4/$5.00

Betty Crocker Quick Bread 2/$4.00
Buy 4 and use with $1.00/3 coupon for
4/$7.00

Shaw’s Cranberry Sauce $0.88/can

Swanson Broth $0.88/can
Use with $1.00/2 coupon for
2/$0.76

Shaw’s Graham Cracker Crust 10/$10.00

Shaw’s Evaporated Milk 5/$4.00

Orville Redenbachers B2G1 Free
Use with $1.00/3 coupon

Organic India Tea Bags B1G1 Free

Shaw’s Snacks (Pretzels & Cheese Curls) 10/$10.00

Powerade 10/$10.00

Arm & Hammer B1G1 Free and get 1 Essentials Cleaner Kit Free
Use with 2 $1.00/1 Arm & Hammer detergent printable coupons

3 Glad Products, Get 1 Free (max value $7.00)
Gladware 3-5 ct. is 2/$6.00 and Storage/Freezer bags & Clingwrap is 2/$5.00

The 2/5 Roundup!
Hood Ice Cream
Tostitos Chips & Salsa (In-store coupon available: buy 2 tortilla chip bags, get the salsa free)
Kraft Cracker Barrel Cheese ($1.00/2 printable Shaw’s coupon)
Maine Potato 5-lb. bags
Town House (Keebler Crackers)
Wheatables/All-Bran/Toasted by Keebler
Red Oval Wheat
Saltines
Ritz
Nabisco 100-calorie Chewy Granola
Nestle Toll-House Dough
Simply Smart
Hood Half & Half
Fleishman’s Rapid Rise Yeast
Hood Instant Whipped Cream

The 10/$10.00 Round-Up

Hershey’s Single Candy Bar
Pastene Tomatoes
Birds Eye Frozen vegetables- Use with $1.00/3 coupons
Duncan Hines cake mix
Betty Crocker Brownie Mix
Green Valley Fresh Steamers- Use with as many $1.00/1 coupons as you have!
Schwepps 2 Ltrs.
Kleenex 110-ct. –Use with $1.00/4 Coupons
Shaw’s Aluminum Foil
Sobe/Gatorade/Powerade
Pringles
Dominos Light Brown Sugar

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I’m so psyched. And since I’m not one for suspense, I’ll lay it out right up front. Savings tonight: $80.59. My total OOP was $52.92, total before sales and coupons $133.51. Only 2 minor mistakes: I forgot to pull out the Carnation Evaporated milk coupon (-$1.00, doubled), and I somehow left a Pillsbury coupon at home (-$1.00). But everything else pretty much went off without a hitch, though my Shaw’s was ransacked. Never have I seen them actually run out of sales items, but that’s exactly what happened here! No Cedars B1G1 Tzatziki for me. *pouts*.

Second major reason I’m excited is that–for once–my cart isn’t filled primarily with junk food. I got stuff that I like, that I can actually cook with, and enjoy. Two bags of Sargento Cheese, 2 Sorrento Mozzerella balls, 2 boxes of butter, soups, baking supplies, carrots, grapes, spaghetti, a 17-pound, $8.33 TURKEY! Never mind the 8 boxes of cake mix and 3 things of soda that sorta make me sick now, but I will be SO glad I have when company pops over in the next few days–as they most assuredly will.

So, I’m pretty happy tonight…

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