Saturday, February 26, 2011


Me Vanna'ing in our garage.

There will be many pictures in this post. Just a heads' up!

As previously mentioned, the awesome annual freezer coupon event at Jewel is happening tomorrow. I've been waiting for this ever since I started couponing some months back and was really excited that they decided to do it again. (The link above explains the deal itself if you missed it earlier.)

When I was calling my local Jewel-Osco's to find out what time they'll be selling the freezers tomorrow (and already dreading getting up at the crack of dawn to get one; I am NOT a morning person), I discovered that the Jewel in South Holland IL is already selling their freezers AT the sale price AND giving out the coupon books today! (I have heard that some of the Jewels will sell the freezers early but won't give the sale price and/or won't give the coupon books out until tomorrow.) It sounded too good to be true but I headed out anyway, figuring at the very least I could take a look at the freezers and make sure they'd fit in our car if the information proved false.

SCORE! They are indeed selling the freezers today; we just went to customer service and they called two people to come up and get the freezer and load it into our car. They have the coupon books locked up at the customer service center so we just paid there and picked up our booklet (pictures below so you can see what was included).

We paid $164.39 in total. It rang up at $159.99 for the freezer, .01 for the coupon booklet, $14.40 in tax. I had a "$10 off your next order" manufacturer's coupon from an earlier Jewel / ConAgra deal that I was able to use on the freezer.
The freezer in box fit just fine in our station wagon, and it is now happily resting in our garage. I AM SO EXCITED!

... now I just need to figure out where it is going to live. LOL.

Here are my crappy camera-phone pics of what was included in the coupon booklet. I took them in the car while my husband ran into Target for a couple things, lol. If you are interested in a list of what is included in the coupon books, a couponer / Jewel employee has posted it here. Note from the pictures that some of the coupons are STORE coupons (meaning you can ONLY use them at Jewel), but many are MANUFACTURERS' coupons (meaning you can use them at any store that will accept manufacturers' coupons; they say 'redeem at Jewel-Osco' but that's not the ONLY place you can redeem them!).

Get the Chicago Tribune for .50 A Week

Are you in the Chicago area? Here's a great price on the Trib - available here on Groupon, so you have to do it TODAY if you're interested.

You'll get the paper four times a week, which means that not only will you get the Sunday coupon inserts (and if you have read our intro post, you'll know that we highly recommend you get at least one copy of your Sunday coupons, if not two!), you'll also get the Wednesday paper, which includes some of the sales fliers for the week.

.50 per week is a pretty good price, so grab this one today if you need a subscription!


Ever since I started couponing last year, I've heard tales of the fabled JEWEL FREEZER DEAL DAY SALE. Get an upright freezer for 'free'! Or, more accurately, buy an upright freezer for $160 and get $160 worth of free food to put inside it. Either way you look at it, it's an awesome deal, and guess what? It's here! This is the day! (Can you tell I'm excited? LOL)

Jill Cataldo's Super Couponing (a GREAT free class you can take if you are in Chicagoland, and I HIGHLY recommend it if you have the time; Jill is fantastic) has all the details in her blog post here. Here are the highlights if you're interested in pursuing this deal:

*The freezer deal starts TOMORROW, Sunday February 27th, 2011
*Freezers are on sale for $159 and shoppers will receive a coupon booklet for $160 worth of frozen food with the purchase of the freezer (MUST HAVE PREFERRED CARD)
*It is a 5.3 cubic foot Igloo brand freezer

*Each Jewel store only gets a certain number, and when they're gone, they're GONE (I hear they tend to disappear within a couple hours at most stores)
*Stores start selling them at different times. CALL YOUR STORE FOR DETAILS. Our Munster, IN Jewel starts selling them when the store opens tomorrow at 6AM. Our South Holland, IL store is already selling them TODAY, Saturday, at the sale price with the coupon book!! It pays to make a few phone calls!

This is already a GREAT deal if you're in the market for an upright freezer, because you're essentially getting it for free. BUT you can make the deal even BETTER! Better than free? YES YOU CAN! Here's how:

1)Do you happen to have a Jewel coupon in hand for $X off your next purchase? (Sometimes these print out as catalinas, which are the little coupon machines at the register.) YOU CAN USE ONE ON THE FREEZER PURCHASE.
2) Do you happen to have a manufacturer's coupon from ANY store (it will say "manufacturer's coupon" somewhere on it) for $X off your next purchase? YOU CAN USE ONE ON THE FREEZER PURCHASE! You can even use it along WITH a store coupon if you have both! (Jewel will accept one store coupon and one manufacturer's coupon per item). If you ever get Register Rewards coupons at Walgreens, for example, THOSE ARE MANUFACTURER'S COUPONS. Jewel WILL accept them.

How do you make the deal even better if you're brand new to this and don't have ANY coupons in hand yet? Here's what you do:

Buy your freezer but DO NOT go crazy using the coupons from your coupon booklet for all that free food today. GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT. This is especially true in the couponing world! Save those coupons in a special place and watch our blog. The coupons you will receive when you purchase your freezer do not expire until the end of May. Over the course of the next several months, many of those products will go on a BUY ONE GET ONE FREE sale. That's the time to use the coupon! Go to the store, buy your two items, use the coupon, get BOTH free. One is free because of the sale, the other is free because of the coupon.

Now you are getting a freezer for $159 and potentially getting $320 worth of FREE food with it!

We will tell you every time we see one of these fantastic sales happening so if you get the freezer tomorrow (or today, if you're lucky enough to have a store that's already selling them), you'll know exactly when to use your coupons!

Be sure to check out Jill Cataldo's post above for more details; she's done this for several years now and has even more details in her post. One of her readers, a Jewel employee, even posted a list of all the coupons you'll get this year in the comments on her post.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Are You Too Busy To Coupon?

Are you fascinated by news stories featuring Extreme Couponing? Do you read newspaper articles with headlines like "Suburban Mom Saves $500 On Groceries Each Month Using Coupons!" and think things like 'I wish *I* could do that too, but I don't have the time! That must be ALL she does is clip coupons and shop!' Maybe you've even spent some time trying to get on board with the Extreme Couponing trend, gotten frustrated by the insider lingo and complicated deals and time-consuming learning process, and given up.

Image From:

"I have a full time job outside the home; I don't have time to coupon."

"I'd rather spend time with my family than spend hours trying to figure out how to save a few bucks."

"I don't think it's worth it to spend extra hours and extra gas driving to a bunch of stores to cut a couple dollars off my grocery bill."

"It can't really be possible to save THAT MUCH money using coupons!"

"I'll just shop at Aldi or Wal-Mart; their prices are better anyway."

If you're here, chances are you've said or thought these things. I'll let you in on a little secret: WE USED TO FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY. So what changed for us?

At the end of 2009, Leslie was stricken with a mysterious, debilitating and as-yet STILL undiagnosed illness. She has been unable to work since then and her family of three has been struggling to get by on one modest income, all while dealing with repeated hospital trips and mounting medical bills.

In September of 2009, Kristi's job was eliminated. Finding another job that would do more than just cover the costs of daycare for her two children in these economic times seemed an impossible task, and staying home to care for her family has always been a dream of hers. Unfortunately that dream is often hard to manage on one modest income these days, and with two kids, five pets, and the usual credit card bills and car/house payments, her family struggles to get by as well.

Leslie is unable to go back to work, and Kristi desperately wants to be able to stay home and take care of her family while pursuing her dreams of become a published author (and of maybe having another baby one day!). They would also like to get out of debt and occasionally be able to do fun things with their families. Both were fascinated by the above-mentioned news stories that pop up every now and again, and in the summer of 2010 were finally ready to try and tackle the world of Extreme Couponing. It took several months (and MANY hours of reading, researching, practicing, clipping, and even taking classes) of dipping in and out of the pool, trying to learn the rules and tricks, before they finally felt like they had a good handle on the world of couponing. Along the way they ran into MANY people who were fascinated by their journey but didn't feel they could do the 'couponing thing' themselves.

There are a lot of great coupon blogs out there, but not many of them truly cater to beginning couponers, or to busy folks who would like to save a few bucks but truly don't have a lot of time. Our goal is to be THE blog for the busy mom (or dad!) who would love to score some great cheap and free deals but simply can't devote the time to figuring out the deals or learning the lingo and tricks. We will do our best to make every post as easy as possible, with full instructions, giving you step-by-step instructions and even shopping lists so that you can just print and go!

We only need three things from you, and they're easy, trust me:

1) Follow our blog and read our posts! You won't get the deals if you don't read us!

2) Subscribe to the TWO COPIES of your local big-city Sunday paper and begin saving the coupon circulars from them. You can subscribe to more if you'd like, and/or you can beg your family and friends for THEIR copies of the coupon inserts. The more you have, the more deals you'll be able to take advantage of! If you want to make it as easy as possible though, we strongly recommend getting two copies delivered to your house. Get a box or filing cabinet and just start saving the coupon circulars in date order. Don't clip anything out, just save them. We'll tell you what to do with them later. You can't save money if you don't have the coupons!!

3) Please provide us feedback as we build up this blog! Tell us what works for you and what doesn't. Tell us if our instructions aren't clear enough. Tell us what other features you'd like to see from us. We have a lot of ideas already and we will slowly be building it, but getting feedback from you is invaluable to us.

That's it! Three simple things, and only one of them costs you a TEENSY bit of money. Follow us, start collecting weekly coupon inserts, and give us feedback. In return, we'll teach you everything you need to know to score some great deals with very little time investment.

You may never have the time to be the "Mom Who Saved $500 A Month Couponing!", but I promise you that you will easily see things like:

*free toothpaste
*free deodorant
*$0.04 a box Stove Top stuffing
*free beauty products
*free hot chocolate
*free candy
and so much more!

Our goals are to make your life a little easier and your wallet a little heavier. Thank you for joining us. May we all have a prosperous 2011 (and beyond)!

Kristi is a 30-something mother of two children, ages 6 and 4. She and her husband live in the south Chicago suburbs along with the children, two dogs, and three cats. Her family loves to travel and believes in living a life rich with experiences. As a result, they have way too much credit card debt. Her goals in being a "super shopper" are to pay off all their debt and begin living a financially prosperous life that still allows them to do many of the things they enjoy. She writes about her life at the blog Million Dream Mom.

Leslie is a 30-something mother of one child, age 4. She and her husband and daughter live in the south Chicago suburbs. Aside from wishing her doctors would figure out just what the heck is wrong with her so they could start fixing her problem instead of treating her symptoms, her goals include saving enough money to not only pay the bills but also to take her family on a very special trip to Disney World (because if you keep putting things off for "some day", "some day" may never come). She writes about her life and her savings adventures at the blog One Year To Disney.

OJ and Rob are the hard-working husbands to Kristi and Leslie, respectively. They both work full-time jobs to help their families as well as running a business providing tech support services on the side. If you are in the Chicago area and in need of technical help in ANY area, please visit Tech Husband for assistance.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Too Busy To Coupon - Coming SOON!