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CVS 101

July 7, 2013

I’m sure that most of you have a drugstore where you live.  Most people assume that drug stores are the most expensive places to shop. But if you learn to shop successfully at drugstores, you can get grocery, and personal care items for cheap or even FREE!


The first thing you need to do at CVS is to get a store card. You can only get the CVS deals each week with a store card. Each household is limited to one card. When you register your card they will also email you coupons, some of the coupons I get on a regular baisis are 20% off 25% off $4/$20 and $5/$25


At each CVS store they have a red coupon machine, if you can’t find it ask someone to help you. They are usually pretty easy to find.  Scan your card each week to get coupons.


When you have a store card register it online, you can get coupons from them when you log into their website.  Look under Extra Savings or click here when logged into your account.


Sign up for CVS emails at the bottom of any page there is a space to sign up for emails.


Make sure to sign up for the CVS beauty club here For every $50 purchase you get $5 in Rewards. The purchase doesn’t have to be made at once ,  each time you make a participating beauty items purchase with your card they track it. You can see how far away from it you are by looking at your receipt or by going online and checking. It usually takes two days for the rewards to show up, unlike the regular Extra Bucks which show up right away.


Every week there are items that offer Extra Bucks, purchase those item to see the savings really add up!


Each time you purchase an item with Extra Bucks rewards attached to it, you get those rewards the same day! You can even use them on your next transaction


Some of you may be thinking I won’t spend $20 or let alone $50 to get those discounts. Here’s the kicker those prices are BEFORE coupons and any Extra Bucks you have. 🙂 Here’s an example


Here’s a practice scenario for you

John Frieda Shampoo $4 Spend $15 get $5 in Extra Buckss

Gilette Body Wash $4 Spend $12 get $4 Extra Bucks

Pretend like you have a $5 reward from a previous transaction and a $5/25 coupon that was emailed to you.



Buy (4) John Frieda $16

Buy (3) Gilette $12

Total $28

– $5/$25  coupon that was emailed (always use the $X/X coupons first to make sure they come off  the highest total

– (2) $3/2 coupon for John Frieda

– (3) $2/1 coupon for Gilette

$11 dollars

– $5 Extra Bucks from a previous transaction

$6 for all 7 items and you get 9 in Extra Bucks to use on your next transaction. You also have $16 toward you $50, shampoo is a participating product , but body wash is not. To see the participating products go to the beauty club page  and click on how it works.


Also be sure to print out a copy of the CVS coupon policy, each stores handles coupons differently. CVS has a great policy,and it’s easy to follow. Here’s a link to it   There is Beginners Guide to Shopping at CVS video , some of thier policies have changed since, but this is a good source for someone that is just getting started.



Let me know if you have any questions about shopping at CVS.



Walmart’s grocery challenge ads. Are they a little deceptive?

July 5, 2013

I’m sure most of you have seen Walmart’s ads where they show customers being excited about their savings. In these ads they are implying that the only place to get inexpensive groceries is at Walmart. In my 4 years of couponing and following sales cycles I have learned that this is very untrue.  This is one of the reasons I was never a big Walmart shopper to begin with. I can routinely beat Walmart’s price with a sale price/promo/gas points/coupons. All of these 4 factors together are what can make shopping at grocery stores cheaper than shopping at Walmart.

I have a few articles for you to check out if you want.  I did not write these articles. They were written by Jill Caltaldo and  found on her website. For these of you who are unfamiliar with Jill Cataldo she is the leading Coupon Teacher in the country.

Here are some articles relating to some of Walmart’s potentially deceptive  advertising strategies :

1) The truth behind the Walmart Challenge ad’s

2) The Walmart Challenge is Challenged by grocery stores and other retailers.

3) Walmart’s receipt  comparison tool. Is it Deceptive?

What are your feelings about this?  Do you think that these ads are deceptive?

Menu Plan for the week

July 2, 2013

Here is my menu plan for the week. I hope this inspires you to consider menu planning. It’s doesn’t have to be detailed or time consuming. 🙂





Greek Yogurt

Pop Tarts





Left Overs



Pork and Rice

Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

Breakfast for Dinner

Fish and Fries

Left overs


Frozen Veggies




fiber plus bars

pop tarts


fruit snacks

frozen veggies


How do you plan your weekly menu’s?




Savings 101- Top 5 tips for getting started on grocery shopping

July 2, 2013

Top 5 tips for getting started shopping at grocery stores:

1) Get a store card – To get the sale prices at grocery stores, you need a store card. You can get them at customer service. During checkout hand the card to the cashier to get the sale price.

2) Go to their website, most grocery stores have a website. When you go to their website you can see the ads, and plan your shopping trip. Many online grocery ad’s even offer a feature of creating a shopping list. Be sure to sign up for emails, they can send you coupons that way.

3) See if they offer digital coupons that you can load to your card. Many large grocery chains offer digital coupons. Please keep in mind that you cannot use paper coupons along with digital coupons. You have to use one or the other. These digital coupons will only apply to one item. A big advantage to these is that they are loaded to your card so you wont forget them. 

4) Look for coupon booklets in the store, you can find them at customer service.

5) “Like” your grocery store on Facebook, sometimes they offer coupons on their Facebook page.

What are your favorite tips for using grocery stores?

Savings 101 – Menu Planning

July 2, 2013

Another easy way to save money while supporting other stores and spending your money wisely is to plan your menu around the sales at the stores each week. Menu planning can be as simple or detailed as you like. I personally make a note of what I have in my fridge and freezer. When I make my grocery list, I look at what’s on sale and make a general notes like this

Breakfast cereal, yogurt, pop tarts ..
Lunch Lunch meat, tuna, soup, leftovers . . .
Dinner Pork baked beans, chicken potatoes, fish fries . . .

Menu planning will save you time and money in the store. I don’t how many times I used to ask my husband pick something up on the way from work because I’ve forgotten it. If you plan simple meals it will also save you money in that you won’t have to eat out so much.

Try to have a meatless night a couple times a week. Some great options that still include protein are Breakfast for Dinner (eggs are very cheap) , beans are also a great inexpensive option for protein. My family usually has a pasta night once a week.

Each week there are rock bottom sales in every department Last week I got a sale on Greek yogurt, they had a promo that when you buy 7 items you get $4 off. That was $3 for 7 Greek yogurts, without coupons. . I got the same promo for 7 Progresso Light soups, it was $10 for 7 of them. Also pork loins, whole chicken, and frozen fish fillets they were on sale so I bought them. I also bought rice and potatoes, and french fries.. That’s what we’ll have this week for dinner. This week pasta is .88 a box and ore ida fries are $2 each when you buy $3. Boneless skinless chicken breast is $1.99/lb, this is what we’ll have next week. Your grocery store will have sales and promotions that are similar.

What are your favorite way to plan menu’s?

Savings 101 – Grocery Stores vs Big Box Stores

July 2, 2013

The first thing to understand about grocery stores is that they are not all that expensive if you know how to shop them  The difference between big  box stores and Grocery stores is that big box stores have “everyday low prices” and grocery stores have sales. Each week in every grocery store, they will have rock bottom prices in every department from meat, produce, dairy, and grocery. The key to successful shopping at grocery stores is to buy what is on sale, look for terms like Buy one Get one Free, 40%-50% off, promotion buy $x amount, and save $X, one last things to look for is stores that offer gas promotions.
When a store has a gas promotion, for each dollar you spend, you rack up gas points. Sometimes they even offer promotions where if you buy a certain product you’ll earn gas points. These are all great ways to save. None of them require coupons. The first thing to remember about saving money is that coupons are just a small factor in your overall savings. I think of it like this, when you get a great deal, most of the savings come from a promotion or a sale, not the coupon.

What are your favorite tips about grocery store shopping?

Welcome Paula Deen readers!

July 2, 2013

I’d like to welcome all the Paula Deen readers to my website.  Each day I’ll be posting here couponing, and savings tips. You’ll also see  some of the best deals at some of your new favorite stores. I’m also hoping to share  Paula Deen recipes lightened up.

A little background about me

My name is Susan. I’m a stay at home mom to a beautiful girl.  Saving money without spending a lot of time on it  has been a passion of mine for 4 years. You  can save money too at the stores where you live. Yes, I’m  talking about even the “expensive” stores. My goal here is to share savings tips and strategies with you, so that you can stretch your money further. 🙂

Some other topics you’ll see here are eating healthy on a budget, exercising without going to the gym, and many other fun things are coming up too.


I look forward to getting to know each of you and helping you make the most of your money.


What stores are close to you that you’d like to see deals on?


Feel free to find me on Facebook and ask any questions you have and to voice your support for Paula.