Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Friday, April 30, 2010

Target Giftcard Giveaway

My next giveaway will be a $20 Target giftcard.  You have until 10 pm EST Wednesday, May 5th to enter.

Just leave a comment and let me know I'm not the only one who doesn't always listen to their husband... Okay, not really, but poor guy just spent 3 minutes telling me who Jeff Bridges was for me to finally pay attention and say, oh you mean Jeff Bridges?

Instead, just leave me your favorite ice cream flavor in comments. :)
(By the way, Jimmy literally just got into the Skinny Cow Mint Ice Cream sandwiches and said they're really good!)

84% Off Laser Hair Removal

Okay, seriously, this has got to be the BEST Groupon yet.  (I'm half tempted to make myself a Groupon shirt and wear around to advertise, Groupon has got to be the greatest idea ever!)

Anyway, today's deal runs through Sunday, so if you want to think about it, you have time.  Today you can get  Four Laser Hair Removal Sessions at the Cosmetic Surgery Center for $99 TOTAL.  This is a $600 value.  (Note it is underarms and up only.)  The certificate doesn't expire for a year, so you've got some time.  I've been considering having laser hair removal done at my dermatologist's office for my legs, but they only do it in VA Beach so I'd have to travel anyway.  This is a great deal (and for this price I can try it out and decide if I want to invest more to have my legs done).  You can buy up to 2 certificates to use, you can use 1 on each body area.  I, personally, am buying 2, because, well, this is a fantastic deal.  Each body area treatment should only require 4 sessions.  There is a discussions tab on the Groupon website about it answering a lot of questions about laser hair removal.

Nothing against other places, but I, personally, prefer to go somewhere with an MD in the building, and this is a plastic surgeon's office.  I've looked up Dr. Lopes (she's board certified) on both the VA Board of Medicine Practitioner Info website and looked at her qualifications on her website, and it looks like a go.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Over $85 Worth of Organic Coupons

Earth Fare has a whole bunch of coupons for organic items over on their website.  Looks like they can be used anywhere.  Go here to print.

I don't think I ever mentioned it, but I loved the Seventh Generation products I bought.  The smell was a little overwhelming at first, but then it settled into a nice, clean smell, and I really liked it.  The wipes worked just as well as my Lysol ones, and I didn't feel that I had to wipe behind it when wiping off the elevated dog bowl feeder as I usually do with Lysol.  I was very happy about it and happy that I was using something more earth friendly.

Since I'm talking about being earth friendly, we get the Planet Green channel and I like to watch it from time to time.  I was watching Wa$ted today and they were showing this woman who goes through a roll of paper towels EVERY DAY.  She spent over $700 a year on paper towels alone.  Gees Louise!  I've been trying to be more conscious and use dish rags instead of paper towels, so far I've saved quite a bit.  Of course my paper towel budget was never $700 to begin with, but I've probably saved about $40.

I think my biggest vice is double roll toilet paper.  I'll help save the earth any other way that I can, just don't make me switch to two-ply!

Thanks to Money Saving Madness for the heads up on the coupons!

Old Navy Sale

Old Navy is having a store wide sale this weekend, no coupon necessary.  From their Facebook page:

Wholey Moley! It’s the 30% Off Sale at Old Navy.

From 4/30 through 5/2, the WHOLE store will be on sale: take 30% off your entire purchase.

That’s a whole lotta happy!

Legal stuff:

Offer valid from 4/30-5/2/2010 at Old Navy stores only. Not valid online. Discount applies to merchandise only, not value of GiftCards purchased, packaging or applicable taxes. No adjustments on previous purchases. Not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts including Gap Inc. employee discount.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Free Comic Book Day

If you or someone you know is into comic books, this Saturday, May 1 is the 9th Annual Free Comic Book Day.

Savvy Shopper has the line-up of participating locations in Hampton Roads:

Store owners will provide an array of titles for the giveaway, including storylines from the Archie series, Dark Horse comics, DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Store owners must purchase the comics for the event, so freebies are only available while supplies last. And be prepared to choose just one of the titles available.

Here are the participating stores on the Peninsula:

Benders. The Phoebus-area store will be giving away the free comics while supplies last. 22 S. Mallory St., Hampton. 723-3741.

Amazing Fantasy Comics. In addition to the free comics, local comic book creators will sign their books from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the 501st Legion, a group that dresses up as Star Wars characters to raise money for charity, will appear at the store from 3 to 5 p.m. 14346 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. 877-6030.

Amazing Fantasy also has a location in Yorktown. The 501st Legion will appear at that location from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m and the local comic book creators will sign books from 3 to 5 p.m. Village Shops at Kiln Creek, 209 Village Ave. 874-0600.

Heroes & Villains. Free comics while supplies last. 1152 Big Bethel Road, Hampton. 838-4431.

World's Best Comics. Free comics while supplies last. 9714 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. 595-9005.
Comic Cubicle. If you head to this location, look for the superhero characters that will be wandering around New Town. 4809 Courthouse St., Williamsburg. 229-5299.

Jersey's Cards, Comics & Gaming. In addition to the free comics, the store is hosting several open gaming events. 8100 George Washington Memorial Highway, Yorktown. 890-2842.

Farm Fresh Trip -- Saved 37%

Does anyone else feel like they're always buying groceries, or is it just me?

After work and a busy day of appointments and meetings, I headed to Farm Fresh for their double coupons up to $1.00 today (they are now doubling coupons up to .99 cents every day).  I had a lot of $1 off coupons so think I did pretty well.  I ended up saving $32.66 or 37%.

My camera let me take two quick pictures before it died again!

Sorry the quality is bad, but some winning deals were:
Lean Cuisines were on sale 2/$4 and you could get a free Skinny Cow ice cream item (4 count or higher) for free when you bought 6.  I used a $1/4 coupon often available on their website, though not currently.  It also generated a coupon at the register for $1.50 off 7.  Not as impressive as the $1 off 3 I got at Target earlier, but I'll still use it.
The Skinny Cow I got free--mint ice cream sandwiches, yum!--were originally 3.99.
4 Sobe Lifewaters at $1 each and used a B1G1 free coupon received at the Farm Fresh register previously.
YoPlus pack was free with the coupon I received last month.
McCormick Basil Leaves for .99 cents, orginally 2.99 and my $1 off coupon from this week's paper doubled.
KC Masterpiece Marinade was 2.50, used $1.00 off coupon available here (note you do have to register), so .50 cents after doubled coupon.
(By the way, those are bagged apple slices wrapped up in the front)

I had a second picture which isn't loading, but it was my Viva paper towel rolls, on an unmarked sale for 1.25 each, used my .85 cents off coupon which was doubled and left overage.  I also got milk, eggs, coffee, Starkist Tuna pouches and some cheap Velveeta shell cups for 1.25 each, used $1/2 coupons from this week's paper so got them for about .25 cents each.

Total After Savings was 57.80
Total Savings 32.66

I have some recipes I'm going to try out this weekend, I'll let you know if they're successful and share the recipes. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Avon Outlet Sale

Thanks to Mrs. Moneysaver for this deal, Avon has a lot of great things in their outlet sale and when you spend $5 use code 426FSD to get free shipping.  I'll probably peruse and see what kind of trouble I can get into.  Prices start as low as .59 cents.

Cheap Hallmark Cards at Walgreens

Walgreens has a great offer on Hallmark cards this week.  If you buy 4 or more, you'll get a $2 Register Reward, 8 or more and get a $5 Register Reward.  They have kids cards starting at .49 cents and up.  There is also a coupon in the weekly ad (available in the front of the store) for .44 cents off each card 1.50 and up, up to 6 cards.  Do that deal and you can spend approximately $4.20 and get $2 back, making for some nice, cheap cards.

Taste of Home Cookbook Sale, Other Cheap Resources

Taste of Home has reduced the price of many of their cookbooks to just $5 (regularly $24+).  Here is the link to take advantage of this offer.  While you're there, make sure you check out the rest of their clearance, they have some nice things marked way down!

I ordered some things from them recently and was pleased at how quickly I received my package.

Thanks, STL Mommy!

By the way, another GREAT source for cheap cookbooks is Ollie's Bargain Outlet.  It is like a Big Lots, but if you have some time you can get some great things.  They have a large selection of books, as well as carry a lot more items.  My local store carries a ton of cookbooks, covering any type of cooking you'd want to do (or not want to do ;))

If you want less clutter, one of my favorite recipe e-mails is from Pillsbury.  They even have a Cooking for Two e-mail.  Of course, if you don't want the e-mails, you can always just access recipes on their site.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Good Deals Round Up!

Go here to get a free Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor.  They will be giving away 1,000 razors a day until May 1st.

Reminder that Hollywood Videos are closing in the Eastern side of the state.  I see the Hampton store is marked down to $5.99 and below and Newport News is $3.99.  This is just for DVDs, but they have video games for sale, too.

Entertainment Books are all now $15 with free shipping.  A much better price than the $35 or 40 they were at the beginning of the year.  It says today's deal, but has been this way the past few weeks.

Farm Fresh has begun to double coupons up to .99 cents every day now.  This Wednesday they are doubling coupons up to 1.00.  I'm planning to go do some stocking up this week.  I'm definitely buying some Viva Paper Towels.  Yesterday's paper had coupons for .85 cents off a single roll, which will be 1.70 off so should make the rolls free.

Reminder, Kroger doubles coupons up to .50 cents every day.  I believe you do have to have their free store card to get this deal, though.

Money Saving Mom has a great post on how you can get 2 FREE Kodak picture movie DVDs this week.

Buy 2 Kodak Picture Movie DVDs — on sale Buy One, Get One Free
Use the Buy One, Get One Free coupon here
Get both free after coupons — the store gives you one for free with their promotion and the manufacturer gives you one free with the coupon

I'm not really keen on Kodak right now... I've killed yet another camera.  That makes 2 since January, people!!  This time I'm going for a Canon.  My sister found me a great one, I just have to order it now.  That has nothing to do with the DVD, but Kodak reminded me of that.  Anyway, it's a DVD so I don't think you'll have any problems with it dying. :)

If you're heading to CVS this week, make sure you find out what you can get free!  Tiffany at My Litter has the heads up on some free items.

"When you purchase 2 CVS sunscreen items this week you get a $5 ECB (limit 1) As of right now the little 2oz $2.19 bottles count for this deal. So pay $4.38 and get back $5!\

When you go into CVS scan your CVS card at the little red price scanner in the front and check your coupons! Many people are getting a $2 off any Huggies wipes coupon! This week they are on sale for 2 for $5. So use your CVS coupon and a $.50 manufacturers coupons to get a box free!"

I just found out recently you can scan your CVS card as many times as it will let you (or you start feeling someone is staring at you ;)).  It will keep giving you different coupons until you've printed all the offers available.  So if you don't get the Huggies wipes coupon the first go round, keep scanning.

It looks like Bath & Body Works has their signature collection on sale again Buy 3 Get 3 Free.  (Well, online states Buy 3 Get 2 Free, but the sign at the mall yesterday said B3G3.)  Use this $10 off $30 coupon to get 6 items for around $21.50.  I just bought some of their new summer vanilla body washes and am heading back for some lotion and a few more body washes.  They smell wonderful!  I get migraines so often can't stand a lot of strong smells, but these are nice and light.

That should keep you occupied for a while! :)  I'll post more deals as they become available.

I'm Home!

I spent a great weekend in Richmond courtesy of my husband's boss and his wife.  They took all the gas techs and families up there all day Saturday and overnight.  We had a great time!

It was the first time I'd been to the Science Museum of Virginia.  It was okay.  I'm not going to lie, some of the exhibits they had are much better at the Virginia Air & Space Center.  (The IMAX definitely was--they played the "IMAX" on the ceiling of the planetarium.  Yeah, weird.)  Regardless, it was a lot of fun.

So now I will round up a bunch of great things.  There were some great coupons in yesterdays paper, I bought a few extra papers to stock up on some great things in the coming weeks.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Aveeno lotion

This is a great week to stock up on Aveeno lotion!  First, go here to print coupons, then starting tomorrow both Rite Aid and Walgreens will have the products on sale.

Walgreens will have all their Aveeno products 25% off, then you get a free travel essentials kit ($9.99 value) when you buy 3 or more products.

At Rite Aid, buy three Aveeno Lotion 2.5oz $3.49 each
Use three $2/1 Aveeno in ad coupons
Use three $1/1 Aveeno Daily Lotion or from 4/24 SS insert
Pay $1.47 after coupons
Get $5 back via Single Rebate Check when you buy 3 Aveeno products.

This is a great price on Aveeno!

Thanks, Common Sense with Money!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast

Interested in hearing some inspiring leaders or becoming one yourself?

Chick-Fil-A is hosting a Leadercast:
"The Chick-fil-A Leadercast is a one-day leadership event featuring ten of the world's best leaders speaking about the leadership principles that matter most. Broadcast LIVE from Atlanta, May 7, 2010, to hundreds of locations around the world, the Chick-fil-A Leadercast is a catalyst for new ideas and better leadership practices. "

These speakers include neurosurgeon Ben Carson, John C. Maxwell, retired Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy and more.

Find more info and a location near you here.

Recycling Cartons

Carton Council lets you know if your area participates in recycling cartons (milk, OJ, etc).  We throw out a lot of milk cartons as they're cheaper than the jugs, so I'm happy to see Newport News accepts them.  Go here to see if your area participates.

We have to drop off our recycling anyway as our part of the neighborhood doesn't recycle (shame, believe me, I know!!), so I can now add this to my pile.

Mall Coupons

Tomorrow through Sunday use this coupon to score $10 off any $10 or more purchase at Aeropostale.

Thanks, Deal Seeking Mom!

Save $10 off any Yankee Candle purchase of $25 or more.  Print coupon here or use XF004Z3 if shopping online.

At Ann Taylor Loft save 30% off your entire purchase, online code is FRIENDS.  Expires Sunday, April 25th.

Thank Goodness I'm Not Banned From Walgreens!

My husband Jimmy owed me a favor as I had to stop and get him some turkey jerky yesterday after work lest he die.  Thankfully I cashed in on that today before he forgot.

I forgot to take my ink cartridges to Walgreens today and didn't think about it until after I'd changed into my cleaning clothes.  Not going out looking like this, I sent Jimmy with my cartridges when he got home.  After giving him directions of how to get to Walgreens (mind you, it's not more than a mile away from our house :)), I sent him with three cartridges in a plastic bag and the coupon.  I forgot to mention to him that they might only refill one as a $1 refill was probably too good to work on more than one.  I figured they'd tell him, though, and he'd bring the others home.

Instead, he comes home and tells me this: "They were only going to let me fill one, but I asked her did it say only one anywhere on that coupon?  No.  You sent me with a coupon and I was not going to mess up my mission!"

Thankfully Kelly mentioned over at Totally Target that her store told her they'd fill up to 5 cartridges.  I'm very relieved to hear this and that I might actually get my cartridges refilled!

Earth Day Links

(image courtesy of Google.com)

Happy Earth Day!  A few quick links to get the day started.  I'll be back later with some more great things.

Remember that today, April 22 Walgreen's will refill your color or black printer cartridge for $1.  There is a coupon from this week's sales ad that you'll need to take with you.  These are usually available in the front of the store by the buggies/carts.  I'm heading there before work this morning because how can you beat a $1 refill?

Prevention has 13 Ways to Go Green which could be subtitled "And save more green."

Think food coupons are only for junk food?  Okay, a large portion are, but if you're interested in organic or other healthier food coupons you can A. Search the product's website, B. Get coupons through Mambo Sprouts (and yummy looking recipes!) and C. Remember to shop at your local farmer's market.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Target Trip 04/20

I wanted to show you all that we do eat more than yogurt and frozen dinners in my house. :)

We stopped in for tomatoes and lettuce, and well, you know how that goes...
Snausages were on price cut for 2.01 and I used a $2/2 coupon from coupons.com (no longer available)
** There is a coupon on the package for $1 off 1 so you can get the same deal.
3 Ziploc products, all were on sale 2.27 each, used B1G1 free coupon (newspaper), $1/2 coupon (newspaper) and .40 cents off one (newspaper).  I'll submit this for the SC Johnson rebate.
** Not sure why I thought I could use all three coupons, but I should have only used two.  I just saw the flaw in my couponing.  The register took them all off without a problem, so it didn't hit me at the store.

Total Before Tax 19.98
Total Savings 9.74

B1G1 .25 cents Blizzards

"This year marks the 25th Birthday of the World's Favorite Frozen Treat. We realize that we couldn't have made it this far without your support. So to show our appreciation, we're declaring this Buy One at regular price Get One for 25¢ Blizzard® Treat Week! Stop by any participating DQ from now until Sunday, April 25 and get a Blizzard treat for only 25¢ when you purchase one at the regular price."

Freebies Round Up

This week is National Pet ID week.  In honor of this, Found Animals is offering a free dog tag.  Go here to pick one out.

Thanks, My Litter!

Origins recently posted on Facebook that they are giving away FREE products for Earth Day. Simply bring your current skincare product to any Origins counter on 4/22, and they'll trade you for either an Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash or an Origins Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea, up to a $20 value.

Go here to locate a store/counter near you.

Kraft has teamed up with Minor League Baseball to offer a free ticket when you buy another for Tuesday night home games through Sept 7th.  All you have to do is take an empty Kraft Singles wrapper with you to the box office.

More Target Merona Coupons!

(photo courtesy of CoverAwards.com)

If you're headed to Target this week, make sure before you go you print up some great coupons.  If you click on the clothing tab it will bring up some coupons including: $2 off a Merona women's top, $3 off Merona men's apparel item, and $2 off Merona women's hosiery item.  In addition to these, if you have a subscription or were going to buy it anyway, the May 2010 InStyle magazine with Scarlett Johansson on the cover has a Merona pull out advertisement on page 49.  Well, open it, because there is a 20% off Merona accessory, apparel, or shoes coupon in there, good until June 15.

Note that sometimes the coupons in the magazines you buy off the rack are different than those that subscription customers get, but you can always thumb through it before buying to make sure it's in there.  However, if it is in there, DO NOT take out the coupon without buying the magazine.  Also, the cover price is $3.99, so if you're not planning on buying it anyway this isn't really a good deal.

Half Off Ocean Breeze Waterpark

You've heard me talk about Groupon a time or two.  Today's local deal is fun! :)  (And popular!!)  You can get admission to Ocean Breeze Water Park for $13, regularly $26, and this is good up to 6 people.  Go here to take advantage!

Monday, April 19, 2010

American Airlines Discount

I forgot all about this so was happy to find my reminder e-mail today.  American Airlines is voting on the best Texas football moments of the last century.

When you vote, you will receive a code by e-mail good for 10% off your next flight within the U.S. up to 4 tickets.  Currently the discount "may be used for ticket purchases made between April 19, 2010, and July 19, 2010, for travel between April 19, 2010, and July 19, 2010."

Go here to vote.  There are two more voting periods, so two more chances to receive these discounts.  When you vote you are also entered to win other prizes, including a trip to next year's Superbowl.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Target Trip 04/18

I have a bad confession.  I may have made my husband pay for milk separately to get another free reusable bag at Target today...

He bought the Silk Soymilk on sale for 2.69, then used 2 $1 off coupons from the paper the other week.
His total: 10.32

I know it doesn't look like it, but I do occasionally cook.
I had four .40 cents off 6 Dannon coupons about to expire so I told my husband he needed to pick out 24 yogurts today.
The Lean Cuisines were on some kind of special promo that brought it down to an extra $1 off 8.  (I didn't see it as I wasn't down the aisle, but had two $1/4 coupons that expire this week so told my husband he needed to pick out 8 dinners, too)
I also bought two dark chocolate Reeses (not pictured as I forgot they were in my purse) as I thought my coupon was B1G1 free but was actually .55 cents off 1.  Oh well.

Total Before Tax was 24.59
Total Savings was 6.95

I think I'm going to have to let anymore coupons I have for frozen food go to waste this week.  I don't think I have any more room in my freezer.  The things in the front are stacked crazy because they're balancing off things on the back of the shelves.  So happy to think that between all that and now having milk I may be able to not go to Target again this week.  That just means I can't visit Totally Target the rest of the week!  She might find something that I think I need to have. ;)

Also check out the coupons on Target.com, they put out a few today for Merona clothing and accessories.

Rite Aid Trip 04/18

I made out like a bandit at RA today!  I'm going to list out everything I bought because it's that impressive! ;)
Dentyne was on sale 2/$5, used 2 $1 off coupons
Mentos were on sale .99 cents each, thought I used 4 .55 cents off coupons but not seeing it rung up like that on my receipt... I guess it took off $2 total though.
Old Spice Body washes on sale 2/$7, used B1G1 free coupon from today's paper
Aussie Shampoo on sale 2/$5, used $2 off when you buy a shampoo or conditioner and styling product coupon from the other week's paper
Kotex Liners on sale 3.49, used $1 off coupon from today's paper
1 Sunsilk shampoo on clearance for 2.14 (tried to use $1 off coupon from coupons.com but it wouldn't go through)
Also used $5/$25 coupon from here via Money Saving Madness

Total Before Tax was $6.09
Total Savings was $20.50
I will also get back a $1 Single Rebate Check from the Old Spice and $3.49 from the Kotex

Mother's Day is Coming Up Quickly!

Holidays always come up so slowly until I get busy the week before, then bam, you haven't seen out that Easter card you meant to because it's suddenly Saturday.  Sigh.  I'm going to do better the rest of the year!

If you order early for Mother's Day, 1-800-Flowers will give you $15 off your purchase of 2 or more gifts.  Be sure to shop through Ebates to get 10% cash back on your purchase.  You'll also get a $5 sign up bonus credit to your account if you open a new account.

Amazon Magazine Sale

Right now at Amazon you can use code APRMAG50 to get an extra 50% off select magazines.  Use this link to see all the ones included.  If you currently have a subscription to any of these, this would add on an additional year to your current subscription.

Saving Money on Healthcare

I just posted about a free skin cancer screening, but here are some more ways to save money on healthcare.  (My day job is in this, so I do know what I'm talking about here! :))
  1. For those with insurance, if you don't go to the doctor often and you get to choose your insurance plan, choose a high deductible plan.  Sure, paying a $3,000 deductible looks daunting, and this may be the year something happens and you have to pay it all, but chances are you will not have to pay it all and will save a lot of money every month as your premium will be less.
  2. For those without insurance and no way to get it, it can be scary, but know there is help out there if something happens.  Say something happens and you need an MRI.  Those run thousands of dollars.  Locally there is an orthopaedic office that gives free MRIs to those who qualify.  Note this does not have to be say an MRI of your hip because you're having extreme pain.  It can be an MRI of the abdomen or something else not related to what an orthopaedic doctor would treat.
  3. Again, for those without insurance, many cities have free clinics, call around to see if there is one in your area.  In Virginia there is a program Every Woman's Life which provides "free mammograms, clinical breast exams, Pap tests and pelvic exams to women who qualify."  In the worst case scenario, "If breast or cervical cancer is diagnosed after obtaining screening through the Every Woman's Life program, treatment may be provided free of charge through Medicaid."  Occasionally I'll see ads in the paper for free prostate screening also.  The health system I work for also gives a 50% discount on services if you pay in full at the time of service.
  4. Buy generic.  I've only seen a few instances where the doctor felt the patient needed to be on the name brand versus generic medication.  My $4 prescription works just as well as my $20 prescription.
  5. Some sites will talk about tranferring prescriptions around getting the $25 giftcard to the store for transferring.  Do so with caution.  First, if you're filling a narcotic at a different pharmacy every month, believe me, even if you're not doing anything wrong, eyes are going to be on you.  Second, if you only get a prescription now and then and don't take anything in the interim, that should be fine, but if you're on a lot of medicines and forget to write one down on your patient info sheet at the pharmacy, you run the risk of possible drug interactions being missed.  This could turn out very bad.
  6. Use the urgent care center rather than the emergency room.  There are some things that require the ER: heart attack or stroke symptoms, gunshot wounds, etc.  If you have a possible sprain, a bad rash, possible strep throat, stick to the urgent care center.  Not only is it going to be a lot cheaper, but if people are using urgent care instead, that frees up a bed for you at the ER when you're there with a real emergency.
  7. Know how your insurance works.  Most insurances require you to contact your Primary Care Physician for their okay prior to going to urgent care or the ER.  Obviously if your arm is hanging off and you're bleeding immensely, you need to go on to the ER, but if you've had a rash that's been around for a month and is finally driving you crazy, they may recommend something for you to use this evening and see them the next day.
  8. Also, if you to go the urgent care or ER without your doctor's approval and they deny a referral for you, if your insurance does not deem your visit an emergency, they do not have to cover your visit and you will be stuck with a bill.
  9. Know where your insurance goes.  If you do go to urgent care or the ER but go to one not in-network with your insurance, your insurance also doesn't have to pay for that visit either if they feel you could have driven a few more minutes to get to an in-network facility.
  10. Ask.  This goes for anything.  Ask for samples if you can't afford your medicines.  Ask your doctor if they know of patient assistance programs to help you get your medicines greatly reduced or free.  Ask if they know of anywhere you can get services cheap if you require more testing or to see a specialist.  Ask if your doctor will work out a payment plan for you.  There are people out there willing to help.  You're not the only one in that situation and no one will think less of you for asking!!!
A final thought for those who think the whole situation would resolve itself if doctors didn't charge so much.  Your doctor does not charge so much because he's looking to buy a new Lexxus or Ferrari.  Their prices have to go up because insurance reimbursement has gone down.  Their prices have to go up to make their reimbursement be remotely near what it was last year.  They also have to pay for supplies, staff, etc.  They don't do it because they're greedy.

Free Skin Cancer Screenings

My next post is going to be on saving money on healthcare, but here's a quick one before I get into it.  (I'm really annoyed that I just this week got a magazine with this ad in it as screenings started March 29th.)  Aveeno, Rite Aid, and The Skin Cancer Foundation have teamed up on the third annual Healthy Skin Tour.

They'll be making an estimated 80 stops in 24 states to do free skin cancer screens.  These will be done by local dermatologists who have offered to do this, so this will be real doctors, not whomever they've pulled to travel and do screens.

I cannot stress the importance of doing this.  I don't care if you've never stepped out of your house a day in your life without sunscreen, it is important to get screened.  If you do have insurance, they will cover a yearly skin cancer screen.  In the past four years I've had five moles removed, and last year had to go back and had more skin removed on my back as two biopsies came back abnormal.  I'm not a sun worshipper, but definitely am careful to wear sunscreen when I'm going to be outside.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Soothing My Conscience

Since I just told you about all the money I spent, I do want to update on how we're doing on our paying down debt!  This is my quarterly update!  I also want to give you some freedom here.  If you have the wiggle room, you do need to spend money now and again.  Sticking to a rigid budget could make you angry and resentful.  Maybe of your spouse, maybe of yourself.  Obviously I'm not recommending going out and blowing a hundred dollars or two in one day, but treat yourself to something, anything.
  • I just mentioned my Macy's bill, so I'll go there again.  In January I owed a good $500 on it.  Gasp!  Yes, you read that right.  I hope to have it all paid off by next Friday.
  • Our plan was to put $5,000 in savings this year.  I'll say we're at $1,500.  There's more in there, but we've got some things coming up we'll probably use some of the money for.  I know you're not supposed to touch your savings unless in the event of an emergency, but I guarantee the money will get spent much more easily on other things if it sits in checking.
  • My other store cards are paid off.  I owed $60 on one and $100 some on another.  Those have been paid off and are not being used because I'm using better self control.  (Let's talk overall, not my weak day today :))
  • We're spending much less out of pocket every month on groceries, toiletries, paper products, etc.  All the stuff you hate to buy but have to.  Before couponing or even just planning meals I would easily grab whatever I wanted and spend about $100 a week on groceries for 2 of us.  I know, that is horrible!!  Unfortunately when you have money at your disposal and more dollars than sense you do dumb things.  That wasn't even counting anything besides food.  Now, food and other supplies included, we're spending about $50 every 1.5 weeks.  That's already a monthly savings of $200+!  That's huge!
  • Speaking of that, now that we're not paying for two TV services we're saving $74 a month.
  • Because of this freedom and using coupons we've been able to give a lot more this year.
It's really a whole mindset you have to get into.  You have to think of the bigger picture.  Ours is to pay down student loans and car loans and move into a larger house.  When you think like that, suddenly you don't have to have anything.  I won't lie, it is hard!  Once you get started though, it's a great feeling.  Just don't think about all the money you've spent not doing these things. :)

Savings Fail!

So I received a few checks in the mail today, a few hundred dollars from a tax lien that's been lingering on my husband's credit for years that was never even his.  I got my $9.99 single rebate check from Rite Aid, and received the $20 Bissell rebate check yesterday.  Today was payday for both myself and my husband as well, so I got it in my head that meant I needed to go shopping.  Bad thoughts, bad thoughts!

I started at Target where I needed to get some more carpet cleaner for my machine so it can finish cleaning up chocolate... Sigh.  My husband also wanted some more Smart Ones dinners so I got him a few of those as well.  I bought some more cereal, too.  I'm okay with generics, in fact, most of the time if I can't get brand name cheaper with a coupon I do buy generics.  However, Farm Fresh's version of Golden Grahams does not cut it.  I bought some last night when I ran in to get some Farm Fresh brand Lactaid milk (which is really good).  The cereal was horrible.  I'm sure their other cereals are fine, but this had way too much honey on it.

Then when my husband went to Vitamin World I may have gone a little nuts in The Limited.  Whoops.  We then ate dinner at Salsa's so figured I might as well see if they had any more pants on clearance at Ann Taylor Loft since there was an extra 40% off their clearance and we were right there.  No pants in my size, but I found 3 shirts...

So today was a huge savings fail, needless to say.  Although unless someone can find all my summer shirts, I don't feel so guilty.  I might have given some away last year at the end of the summer, and some may have turned into a lot.  I donate my things to the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters thrift store, so it's going to a good cause!!  Okay, I know this is horrible trying to justify my bad behavior.

I'm going to be honest here.  I might go check out the Macy's sale tomorrow with my $10 off $25 purchase coupon... I do have some store credit, though, so will only use that.  I only owe $160 left on my Macy's bill which was a lot more to begin with, so am not putting anything else on there ever!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Limited Virtual Dollars Deal

Today through Sunday, April 18th, when you stop in The Limited store and spend $10 they will give you $10 worth of virtual dollars good towards your next purchase.  I don't like the new Peninsula Town Center, but I can visit it to go to The Limited.  :)

** Update:  Sorry, the e-mail I received was kind of misleading.  They will actually give you a $10 certificate off your $10 or more purchase the day you shop.  Then if you spend $50, they'll give you a certificate good for $15, 20, 25, or $100 off your next $50 purchase between 04/26-05/16.  I may have gotten one of those... The great thing about this is you can go online to check the code and see what your mystery savings is.  I got $15 off $50 which isn't a great deal so probably won't use it.

Hallmark B1G1 Deal

If you're in the market for Hallmark cards, they have a B1G1 free promo going on.  Unfortunately this offer only lasts until 11:59 pm tomorrow night, April 16 and just started today, when I got the e-mail.  Go here to get a free $3.49 card when you purchase another one at the same price.  This purchase does have to be made online, they will ship it for you.

Chocolate Mess!

So I was at a concert last night and get a text from my husband asking what was chocolate that my dogs got into.  I get a text a minute later saying, never mind, it was chocolate cake mix.  I'm not going to lie, it was my fault.  I had it in a box with a bunch of other things, on the ground, in the downstairs closet.

I come home last night to this:

My husband had tried to clean it up with all-purpose spray.  It obviously didn't work, and only ground it in further from all the scrubbing.

I didn't have time to mess with it before work this morning, but pulled out my handy Bissell Spot Bot Pet Pro (which, coincidentally, my $20 rebate check came in the mail today) this afternoon.  Of course I ran out of cleaner so have to make a trip to Target again tonight.  Seriously, this will be my 3rd trip this week.  I'm going to have to use it twice over the area, but now my carpet looks like this:

The picture doesn't really do it justice.  The top part is wet so looks really dark and dirty still.  But seeing it up close, it's much better than it was.  I have no doubt a second swipe or even manual clean will get it looking even better.  All I know is it was running next to me while I was reading e-mails, the fact that it is hands-free is wonderful!

It says Spot Bot Pet, but I would think it would be great for people with kids, too, as kids make big messes, too.  It probably works great on Kool-Aid stains!  (When I was 13 I babysat a 2 year old who spilled red Kool-Aid on their white carpet.  They had no carpet cleaner in the house!  Thankfully it was my summer job, so I knew the people well and they felt worse for me and my panic and using dish detergent to try to clean it up than were they mad about the stain.  By the way, as you can guess, the dish detergent did not work.)

Now to get more solution and then bleach and mop my tile where the dogs vomited up the chocolate in the middle of the night... Sigh.

Free National Park Admission

(photo courtesy of the Official Jamestown Settlement website)

National Park Week Runs April 17-25th.  The US National Park Service has a listing of all the participating parks.  Locally, both Jamestown and Yorktown parks will be free. 

Late Tax Day Update, Earth Day Freebies

Sorry this post is so late.  Yesterday was a long work day, then I was at a concert last night until 11 pm.  When I got home I was wiped out and ready for bed.

Tax Day Deals
Visit Chick-Fil-A on April 15th, hold on to your receipt from your meal and get the same meal FREE between April 16-30th.

P.F. Chang's will be giving you 15% off your food purchase on April 15th.
Earth Day Deals
Earth Day is Thursday, April 22nd. Here's a list of freebies celebrating Earth Day!

Home Depot will be giving away 1 Ecosmart Light Bulb to each customer beginning April 19th, while supplies last. No purchase necessary.
Disney Store is promoting recycling on Earth Day. Bring 3 plastic bottles to your Disney Store and receive a free gift, while supplies last.
Walgreen's will refill your color or black printer cartridge for $1 on Earth Day. You will need the coupon from the 4/18 ad in order to get this deal. You can usually pick one up as you walk into the store.

Target will give away a reusable shopping bag on April 19th to kick off Earth Week. Inside the bag is a coupon for $2 off GE Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb. While supplies last, no purchase necessary.

Try Reynold's Wrap FREE after Rebate. This rebate form HERE will only be printable on Earth Day for a full rebate up to $3.99

Thanks, All in the Buggy for all of these!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coupon Etiquette

This is prompted by a quick trip (that became not so quick) I made tonight... Here are a few tips so you don't become that person.

1)  That's great that you have 10 coupons for 1 particular item.  Use them all.  Just don't wipe the stores'  shelves clean.  If the store has 50 of the item, fine.  Just don't be that person everyone else hates because they need 1 and can't get it because you've got 10 in your buggy.  Make two trips.

2)  If you think what you're doing might be sneaky, it probably is.  Don't do it.

3)  If the cashier looks like they've never seen a coupon before or it's their first week, find another lane.  Yes, they have to learn, but not by being bombarded.

4)  If you get in lane with said cashier, do NOT start telling them how to do their job.  Then when they call over their manager to help them, do NOT tell them both what to do.  It just annoys everyone.

5)  Pay attention to your purchase.  As in, make sure everything you're purchasing has been rung up.  The person behind you has been waiting patiently, don't make them wait longer on your separate transaction on the item you weren't paying attention wasn't rung up.

Follow these rules and no one in the store will be annoyed by you!

Free Milk Bone Essentials Dog Treats

Petsmart has Milk Bone Essentials on sale this week for $2 with your Pet Perks card.  Use the $2 off coupon from Coupons.com (search Pet Care) with this and you have some free dog treats.  You can possibly print 2 of these coupons.

Real Simple Magazine Deal

I love Real Simple magazine, but have never been a fan of the price.  It usually runs $23 for a years' subscription.  Right now, they are celebrating their 10th birthday by offering a 1-year subscription for $10.  Offer ends midnight, April 17th or once 10,000 subscriptions are purchased, whichever comes first.
Go here to subscribe.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Target Trip 04/12

I had no coupons for what I bought at Target today, my husband would be dismayed.  I got my Cooking Light magazine that wasn't in my bag the other day and picked up a few other things.  Note that I only went for the magazine and milk... Isn't that how it goes?

Crystal Light was marked down from 3.89 to 2.84
I got two magnets clearanced to .98 cents each (Can you tell that one is a cat?  Yep, you know that was definitely bought to be donated! ;)  By the way, it's for the Community Service Boards' Day Program Bingo closet, that's why it's a random thing to donate.)
The Archer Farms frozen vegetables were also on sale this week so I stocked up on some more green beans.  They're more expensive than Green Giant but are the best green beans I've ever had!
Also, I know that it's cheaper to buy a head of lettuce and chop it yourself, but it's for dinner tonight and all that shopping today can wear a girl out!!

Total Before Tax was 23.81
Total Savings was 3.53

Walgreens Trip 04/12

So I left work early today and went on a shopping excursion.  I didn't leave early to go shopping, by the way, but I do think I spent a lot more than I made today.

2 Benadryl Allergy at 4.99 each -- used $5/2 coupon from yesterday's paper
3 Diet Peach teas .59 cents each with in-ad coupon
1 Bag Hershey's Kisses clearanced to .74 cents (Easter)
1 Bag Almond Kisses clearanced to 1.25 -- I will buy 2 more bags (Target was wiped out) and submit for a free movie ticket.  The chocolate will all go to work with me, we're like scavengers around chocolate, and I'll come out ahead anyway.

Total Before Tax was 8.74
Total Savings was 10.19

The Benadryl was supposed to print up a $5 register reward when you bought 2, but the cashier told me, "oh, yeah, there's a problem with the manufacturer and they're not printing."  Regardless, I still got the two boxes for 4.99 total and grabbed packs with $10 worth of J&J coupons on the front: