Meals by the Week takes meal planning off your plate. Plan dinner menus based on sale items at your grocery store. Currently, Meals by the Week publishes 18 different menus each week for grocery store chains, including Safeway, Hy-Vee, Trader Joe’s, Publix, Walmart and others. There is also a Vegetarian and a 400 Calorie menu.
Some of you probably do this anyway when shopping for clothes. We won’t ask you to admit to having a pair of shoes or shirt that you have never worn in your closet. We all have that shirt that looked great under the store lights and was a deal, but didn’t look the same when brought home and have had no time to return it.
Why would you do this with grocery store items?
If you have recently joined us you may see that our shopping trips include things that our three households don’t use and we donate to the local food pantry/women’s shelter. We recently had this conversation with a reader “I finally got it… I finally got that you buy things to get overage so you can buy items that your family uses…you also buy items that are free to add to your Glove Box coupon total to buy items that are not on sale or don’t have coupons… meat, produce…”
For example our recent shopping trip included Poise liners. These are so expensive (great for getting your totals up) and they make a wonderful donation item. This is one of those items that if you are unlucky enough to have to use them but you don’t have a lot of money (and you don’t coupon) this can be a wonderful happy to find at the food pantry or shelter.
Here is an example of how to get your totals up to qualify for using more Glove Box coupons.
Buy 10 Poise Liners $3.19
Glove Box coupon total is $31.90
-Use 10 $3 coupon 1/13 SS
-Use 1 $5 off $30 Glove Box coupon
Final Price: Free plus $3.01 money maker (overage to use on other items)
Here are some other examples, again a great donation items:
These are just a few items that we have purchased and have donated.
The vitamins are tough to find donation sites for so we normally give those to our family and friends to go through the bag to see if there is any they are currently taking. If there are some of you out there that can use Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Papaya… and some others that are not coming to my mind right now send me an email.
We hope that after reading this post you “finally get it.”
The price of stamps will increase to $.46 on 1/27. We will only see a $.01 increase but we count every penny.
Did you know that you don’t have to worry about the price increase of postage stamps? That your cost will be the same $.44 after next week. It is true, if you stock up on Forever stamps before next week (next post office price increase) the price you pay today ($.45) for a stamp will be the same until you run out of the forever stamps. The Forever stamp is sold at the current stamp price and can be used in the future regardless future of the cost of a stamp.
Following us on the Frugal Fairhope Facebook Fan page will give you access to all this and more. Yes, the FAN page and not the FRIEND page, we reached the Facebook limit of 5,000 Friends so we no choice but to switch over to our Facebook Fan page.
Here is what you could be missing by not following us on Facebook:
Exclusive Facebook Fan giveaways
Store deals that we and our readers have found
Deal discussions that cater to specific areas
Exclusive coupons and offers from manufactures
Frugal Fairhope comments and funnies
If you are hesitant to join Facebook we completely understand. We understand that some of you just don’t want to put your information out there on the internet. If this is the only reason, there is a way to create a Facebook account with very little information. Did you know the minimum requirements to create a Facebook page is a name, email address, female or male, and date of birth? You could even create an email address just for your Facebook account.
Once you sign on to Facebook, find us by typing in “Frugal Fairhope” in the search field. Two options will appear. The first one is our Frugal Fairhope Friend page and the second is the Frugal Fairhope Website Fan page. Select the second and “like” us. Or you can click on this link and “like” us.
We have been thinking of this for a while now and it sickens us to hear stories of big box stores that throw away grocery carts full of bread, fruits and vegetables. Most items that come out of the bakery goes to the homeless shelters but others are tossed into a locked dumpster. If the homeless shelter can not pick up that day it is thrown away.
Such a waste!
We are only one family but we are going to try and do something about it.
If you or someone you knows owns a grocery store, vegetable stand, cafe, coffee house, church pantry, restaurant… in Fairhope, Daphne, Spanish Fort, Loxley and you have fresh food (not served) that you toss in the trash (because it was not sold) email us at Frances@FrugalFairhope.com to find out how to reduce your food waste for free and feed hungry farm animals (absolutely no human consumption).
Daily Pick Up is Available
If we have response to this, and you are interested and have farm animals email us. Must be able to pick up daily.
If you live outside of these areas mentioned email us to find a match for you in your area.
Get ready for back to school with 6 free back to school basics! Stock up on school supplies for all of your kids’ needs. Choose from FREE Business Cards, Calendars, T-Shirts, Stamps, Tote Bags and Photo Books! The products are free, just pay for shipping! Customize 250 Free Business cards with your contact information and any information on your children to send with them to school or new activities. Hand out the cards to new parents you meet to arrange play dates. Upload your favorite photos and create a calendar that starts in September to follow your own time frame. You can add icons and text to important dates so you never forget! Design a customized tote bag for your kids to carry all of their belongings to and from their after school activities.
We thought we would bring this post forward for those of you just joined us.
How Do I Know What Is a Good Deal?
We have been couponing since our college days, not to show our ages but we were couponing when couponing was not cool. Now that we have thought about it, we were couponing early in the 1990′s. Wow, has it really been over 20 years? Now we are feeling old.
Regardless if you have just started or have been doing this for a while you maybe asking yourself How Do I Know What is A Good Deal? “Old Timers” will tell you that eventually you will get a “gut” feeling about certain products, even those products that have never been bought before. We personally like the “Dollar Rule” (back in the 90′s it was the “$.50 Rule“), if it is less than a dollar chances are you are getting a good deal.
Here is a list of items you should be getting for free (tax not included) or less than $1. We have also included how and the stores you can look too for getting the best deals. In case you have forgotten some of the coupon jargon, we have included it below.
Used to be always free, you never pay for dish soap! Now you can get it for less than $70. Stockpiling by rolling your ECBs or RRs you should have so much of this you could “choke a goat” ~Mamo (she did not choke goats this was just something she would say). Typically, the drug stores are going to be the best bet for getting free dish soap.
Cleaning Products Watching for Publix B1G1 sales, using Publix & manufacture coupons have been the trend.
We treat expensive razors (Gillette, Schick…) like disposable razors and we have yet to buy the cartridges (too expensive and never on sale). You can find good razor deals at all drug stores (CVS, Walgreen’s & Rite Aid) after ECBs, RRs, & SCRs offers and stacking with manufacture coupons. You will pay around $2 or less for the expensive razors using the Target gift cards deals. These sales have been rare this year but look for the future for more deals and don’t forget to stockpile so you can get through these times when the deals don’t come as often. We found a deal last week for free razors at Walmart: http://www.frugalfairhope.com/walmart-money-maker
Toothpaste Always free at drug stores just about every week with ECBs, RRs, & SCRs stacked with manufacture coupons. Toothpaste is probably the most common item that goes on sale every week. The days of paying $3+ for a tube of toothpaste at Walmart or Sam’s Club are over.
Toothbrush and Mouthwash
Very close to free at drug stores with ECBs, RRs, & SCRs stacked with manufacture coupons. Mouthwash deals have been few and far between this year.
Canned Tuna Look to CVS for the $.59 tuna sale and pay for it with ECBs. This is the best price we have seen so far for canned tuna. Pouch tuna deals can be found at grocery stores like Winn-Dixie or Publix.
Deodorant Almost free at drug stores just about every week with ECBs, RRs, & SCRs stacked with manufacture coupons. There are some products that your family has to use (it is the only thing that works) but make sure you are not being a “brand snob” by buying a certain brand because “that is what we have always bought”. If you are getting it for free, why not try it out?
“Choking Goats” again. We heard one reader state that she could fill her swimming pool with the amount of free body wash that she has purchased to use, donate, and given away. Look to drug stores just about every week with ECBs, RRs, & SCRs stacked with manufacture coupons.
Shampoo, Conditioner, and Gel
Very close to free at drug stores just about every week with ECBs, RRs, & SCRs stacked with manufacture coupons.
You should be getting this very close to free at drug stores just about every week with ECBs, RRs, & SCRs stacked with manufacture coupons. What we love about these products and others above is you only have to buy them once (after stockpiling) and you are done. We now only buy them if they are a donation item or money maker. Nice to have our grocery bill (cost) and list (time) cut in half by eliminating some of the routine products that most people buy on a monthly basis. Now we only buy these and most of the products above on a yearly basis, sometimes longer to replenish our stockpile.
Very close to free but deals are few and far between, so stockpile, purchase your white envelopes, or call your friends and family to print Target coupons when you see a deal.
Very close to free at Publix when you stack with manufacture and competitor coupons.
Pay around $.25 or less for a 4 pack of yogurt from Publix B1G1 & Target sales with manufacture coupons.
Dressings and Condiments (BBQ Sauce, Salad Dressing, Marinades…)
“Choking a Goat Free” from Publix and Winn-Dixie. We have put ourselves on a “Salad Dressing Ban“. We have so much of this that we only buy to get a deal on another product and we donate or giveaway to friends and it needs to be free or a money maker?
Medication (watch expiration dates)
Drug stores are typically your place to buy medications of any kind really cheap.
Watch for the soup sales that are coming in the winter. We buy soup for our households once a year at the Publix Italian Days sale. Stacking manufacture and Target coupons, this year we paid $.42 each (up from $.25 last year) http://www.frugalfairhope.com/401-progress-soup-for-71-42-each. Again, saving time (saving money is nice too ) buying this all at one time and not having to put it on our list to buy again for a whole year is our goal.
Poor goat, if you are paying more than $.20 for a box of pasta you are paying too much. These sales have been rare this year (non wheat pasta) but look for the future for more deals and don’t forget to stockpile so you can get through these times when the deals don’t come as often.
If you need something that you don’t have a coupon for or a sale don’t forget that you can Create Your Own Coupon: http://www.frugalfairhope.com/making-your-own-coupons.
Blinkies: Those little black boxes that spit out coupons. They have a red blinking light on the side. These are manufactured coupons that typically cannot be doubled but can be used at any store that accepts coupons. Stacking Coupons: Most stores will let you “stack” coupons. This means combining a manufactured coupon and a store coupon. Target and Publix are good examples of stores that frequently offer store coupons and allow stacking. Catalina: This is the name of the machine that prints out RRs or coupons after a qualifying transaction. You will typically find these at grocery stores and Walgreens. If you have a problem with the machine not giving you an RR, call this number 1-888-8COUPON. This is the direct number to the manufacturer of the Catalina machines. ECBs: CVS ExtraCare Bucks. These are attached to the bottom of the receipt. This has an expiration date. SCR: Rite Aid Single Check Rebate RRs: Walgreen’s Register Rewards. Slips of paper that print out of a Catalina machine after the transaction. This has an expiration date. Rolling ECBs or Rolling Register Rewards: This is a common term used when shopping at CVS or Walgreen’s. Rolling means to pay for something with ECBs or Register Rewards and get ECBs or Register Rewards back. It is rare for Walgreen’s Register Rewards to roll.
No goats were harmed or intended to be harmed from the creation of this post.
You can also use the image below to search for an individual coupon that you need and not just for a stack of miscellaneous coupons. Type in “Dawn Coupon” in the search below and see what you find. We post this image on almost every grocery/drug store post so this gives you the convenience of searching for the coupon you are looking for without clicking around the internet.
Are you new in town? Want to know the in and outs of couponing in our area (Baldwin/Mobile)? Here is a summary of our opinion that we hope will give you a start to couponing in our local stores:
~Doubling: The only stores that double are Brunos and Food World. In our opinion deals are rare in these stores. Brunos and Food World double up to $.50 every day. Fred’s will double up to $.70 once on each item on Saturday only. Doubling in our area is not popular and is not the sign of a store where to get the deals.
~Inserts: Coupons are regional so we are not going to get all the coupons that other areas get. If you have friends in Texas, Arizona or other areas, you might ask them to mail you their inserts. If you don’t read the paper (we don’t) it is cheaper to buy a paper on Sunday for the coupons than a subscription. You can get the Sunday paper for $1 at the Dollar Tree in Fairhope (limit 5).
~Winn-Dixie: Winn-Dixie is our secondary place for deals on rare occasions and only for specific things. Meal Deals have not been a deal in the past. Winn-Dixie has a new fuel perks program that just started in this area but we are not sure if spending $50 in one month is worth $.05 off a gallon of gas (jury is still out for us). Signing up for the baby club will give you coupon in the mail.
~CVS: This is our favorite drug store. Some CVS stores in our area are small and may not have the stock. Keep your rain checks (they never expire), expired ECBs are also accepted (less than a week old) at some stores (Fairhope).
~Walgreens: Some stores are more coupon friendly than others but you can get decent deals at Walgreens. Shopping at Walgreens with coupons is not for the light of heart or for newbies. There are a lot of rules shopping at Walgreens, Register Rewards don’t roll, Register Rewards are considered manufacture coupons and cannot be used with a manufacture coupon without a filler…
~Rite Aid: Would you believe that Rite Aid was our Number 1 store two years ago? They changed the rules (limit of 4 deals) so we don’t shop there and we don’t even bother posting the deals. As always we are willing to change our minds if someone could show us the benefits?
~Publix: Publix maybe far from you but WELL WORTH the trip. In our humble opinion Publix sales beats Walmart hands down because Publix will accept and stack competitor coupons, manufacture coupons, and $X off $XX coupons (for every $XX you spend). You can use even use coupon overage as credit for other groceries. The coupons in the mailed Publix publications are few but sometimes that product goes on B1G1 and you can get a deal so it is worth signing up. Pay attention to links and sign up for the Publix Pet and Baby Club (if appropriate). The baby club will give you coupons in the mail. The other Publix coupons can only be found in the store, Yellow & Green Advantage Buyer, Running In Run Out, Stocking Spree, SmartSavings…. they will release other coupon books throughout the year. Mobile will be getting at least three Publix stores later in the year/early next year. We expect grocery store shopping for Mobile will change like it did with Baldwin County and some stores may suffer if they don’t change.