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Archive for the ‘Frugality’ Category

Tom and I like to make a nice dinner on the weekends, and we have fun being a little adventurous with these meals. This past Friday we were inspired by the Pioneer Woman and attempted to make our own fresh pasta for the first time.  It worked really well!

Finished Pasta

Pasta details

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CVS Logo

This week was finally a pretty good week for CVS deals.  Here are the deals that Kara and I got:

  • Playtex Sport (16ct.)
  • $3.99, minus $1/1 coupon, earn $3.00 ECB’s. $3.00 OOP.
  • Speed Stick Pro (2.7 oz.)
  • $3.99, use $3.00 in ECB’s, earn $3.99 ECB’s. $0.99 OOP.
  • Speed Stick Pro (2.7 oz.)
  • $3.99, use $3.99 in ECB’s, earn $3.99 ECB’s. $0.00 OOP.  (yes, I did it twice!)
  • Post Trail Mix Crunch Cereal (17 oz.)
  • BOGO @ $4.79, used 2x $2/1 coupons. $0.79 OOP
  • Post Trail Mix Crunch Cereal (17 oz.)
  • BOGO @ $4.79, used 2x $2/1 coupons. $0.79 OOP (yes, I did it twice!)
  • CVS Mouthwash (1 liter)
  • $2.99 on sale
  • Colgate Total (4 oz.)
  • $2.99. Used $3.99 ECB’s for this and the mouthwash, earned $2.00 ECB’s for next week. $2.00 OOP.

Altogether, we got all this stuff for under $8.00 – wow!

For more info on CVS deals:

CVS Savings Plan: Week of May 17, 2009
CVS Savings Plan: Week of May 3, 2009
See more CVS savings at “Cents”ible Sawyer’s CVS Superstars
Even more CVS savings ideas at Money Saving Mom

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This post is a double-whammy: baby gift ideas and my first two contributions to Use It Up. A good friend from grad school is having a baby girl, so I made her the Interweave Knits Baby Kimono and a pair of Better than Booties Baby Socks. (Ravelry links)

Baby Kimono

Baby socks
Knits Details

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I don’t think I have a huge fabric and yarn stash, but it does weigh on me. Often I feel compelled to start projects because I think I “should” use what I already have, even if it is in odd amounts or colors I don’t like. My current stash is really weighing on me because I received some gift yarn that I don’t love. It’s not my cup of tea, and there is a LOT of it. I don’t feel right about buying new yarn when I have a mountain of old yarn sitting in the corner, but I’m not excited about knitting with what I have.

So,  to try to get myself excited I’m issuing myself a “Use It Up” challenge. The challenge is to make 10 projects out of material (fabric, yarn, ribbon – whatever) that I already have. Once I’ve made those 10 items I can reward myself by going out and purchasing supplies for two items that I really want to create.

Oddly, I’m really excited about this. Somehow reframing my old, neglected stash into a “challenge” has gotten me excited again. The creative juices are flowing, and I think that I’m going to create some items that I never would have thought of without the challenge.

 

Game on!

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CVS Logo

This week’s CVS deals are a bit better than what we’ve seen in the last few weeks, but still only so-so.  We’re only taking advantage of a couple deals:

  • Dry Idea Deodorant
  • 2 for $5, used $2/1 coupon (x2, printable here).  $1 OOP.
  • CVS Facial Tissues (200 ct.)
  • Buy 1 at $1.99, get one FREE (used $2 EB’s so $0 OOP.)

We don’t use the Dry Idea brand, but it was such a good deal that we bought them so that we could give them away.  I just found out that my co-worker collects toiletry items to distribute at the Women’s Lunch Place, a shelter that serves lunch to homeless women not too far from our apartment.  So they’ll go to good use.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Women’s Lunch Place, I found this great article online.

Have you been able to use CVS deals to buy items to give away?

For more info on CVS deals:

CVS Savings Plan: Week of May 3, 2009
CVS Savings Plan: Week of April 19, 2009
CVS Savings Plan: Week of April 5, 2009

See more CVS savings at “Cents”ible Sawyer’s CVS Superstars
See more CVS scenarios at Saving Cents with Sense
Even more CVS savings ideas at Money Saving Mom

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CVS Logo

We only took advantage of one CVS deal this week:

  • Kellogg’s Special K and Frosted Mini-Wheats (12-18 oz)
  • Buy 3 for $10, get $5 in ExtraBucks
  • Use 3 $1 off coupons (printed here and here)
  • $7 + tax out of pocket, earn $5 EB’s

It was such a good deal that I did it on my CVS card, then Kara did it on hers, too!

There were some other OK deals this week but we didn’t buy anything else. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of getting a good deal and forget about whether you actually need whatever is on mega-sale. We live in a little apartment and don’t have a lot of space so maybe we are more sensitive about bringing stuff home that we aren’t going to use.

Read my brief rant about coupons, after the jump.

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CVS Logo

Even though today is the last day of the “CVS week”, I’m posting our plan for CVS shopping based on this week’s flyer.  I’m also posting my thoughts on how to evaluate ExtraBucks offers to decide how good a deal they are.

I flipped through this week’s flyer and noted the ExtraBucks offers that caught my eye.  The table below doesn’t list all of them, but I didn’t leave many out.

CVS Deals:  Week of April 19, 2009

I wanted a way to think about ExtraBucks deals that compared them on an apples-to-apples basis and identified which ones are the most attractive.  Of course the #1 factor should be “do I need this item”, but beyond that, here’s how I think about it.  ExtraBucks Density is a fancy term I came up with that simply measures the ratio of earned ExtraBucks to my initial cash outlay.  My thought here is that if every item earned you 100% of your initial cash outlay in ExtraBucks, you could buy an endless string of items with only one initial cash outlay because you keep earning an endless stream of ExtraBucks.

Of course, you don’t see that many 100% density deals in a given week, and sometimes they are for weird stuff (see Bayer aspirin crystals above…) but I thought it was a decent way to rank each deal against each other.  That’s how they’re sorted in the table above.

My other simple value indicator is the Household Limit that CVS puts on each ExtraBucks deal.  I figure if CVS doesn’t want you to take advantage of the deal more than once, it must be a good deal for the customer.  So I’m listing that as an evaluation factor above, too.

The basic logic is that if a deal has 100% density and a low household limit, it’s a great deal.  So that’s my plan for evaluating ExtraBucks deals for now.  What do you think?  How do you do it?

More on our actual CVS purchases this week (lots!) after the jump.

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