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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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I’m so not in the “grocery reporting” state of mind tonight.  I’ve spent the last two days undoing all of my weight watcher success for the past 6 months, and honestly enjoyed it all.  I guess a good workout is in order come tomorrow morning!

We did go grocery shopping this week at Bi-Lo.  My first big Bi-Lo trip in a number of months and while we saved 50% it was not a great experience.  Let’s just say that the assistant store manager “Ralph” needs to learn how to smile.  I’ll stop there…

Bi-Lo:
Total Before Sales and Coupons: $126.90
Total Spent: $62.14
Total Saved: $64.76

Due to unforeseen events I had to skip all drugstore Thanksgiving deals.  It was probably God telling me that I have enough toothpaste and deodorant for the next 3 years, so I’m good with it.  I might stop in a store on our way home tomorrow, but have no doubt that the shelves will be bare.

We did make it out for some Black Friday shopping though!

My store of choice…

The Black Friday event at the Goodwill Bookstore!

This wasn’t really planned but who can turn down 59¢ puzzles, 99¢ board games, and 45¢ books???

One parenting tip: A great lesson to teach your children is that presents do not need to be new.  My girls will love everything and probably won’t even notice that the game boxes aren’t new or the books have been read before.

How did you do this week?  Leave a link to Grocery savings post or an awesome Black Friday savings post.  Or leave a comment to share all the fun you had this week.  (I confess I’m in the mood for fun Black Friday stories.)

    • p.g.

      Love your 'parenting tip' today. I own a consignment store so I've been giving “used” gifts for years……….Glad to see others are doing the same. Love all your articles/tips.

    • Denise

      Which Goodwill is the picture from?? Mine is SO not this nice! Happy Holidays!

      • It's from a stand alone Goodwill Bookstore in Tallhassee Florida

    • I agree 100% about the used books. Only once has my 8 year old commented (and not even negatively) and I told her: You can have 1 new book or 25 already read ones. Since it only takes her about 2 days to read an entire Harry Potter, she chose the 25 and has never regretted it!

    • At my store they have LOTS of things still left at CVS and Walgreens !

    • Ivy

      I had a great night of BF shopping. We started at midnight and were home about 6AM. I met some very interesting people while waiting in lines. My “favorite” was the pregnant lady in front of us outside waiting for Kohls to open. She was smoking cigs and drinking mountain dew!

      Anyway, we got some great deals but more importantly had a great experience spending time with the women in my family!

    • Katie

      after my experience today at walmart and target, i am a tried and true target buyer. they had better deals on toys (insert 3 kids, 5 and younger) and the store and staff are so much nicer. the cashier even pulled out a coupon for $5 leapster games for me and tried to use it as many times as she could :) i did a bunch of shopping earlier in the week and got great deals, but a few good ones today as well. plan on hitting publix tomorrow for a few things (b1g1 peanut butter) and hit cvs earlier in the week for a few items. first time couponing at cvs and it was very pleasant. thanks Jenny for all your time and energy to help me save money!

    • Pdtskyprincess

      I wanted to Thank You, for all of the great deals that you post! I did not have any shopping to do today because of being able to get it done a little at a time. I have a few more gifts to order from Amazon, but I am using some Swagbucks for that. I did pop in to Walgreens (for some free stocking goodies) and was surprised to find the shelves still stocked. Maybe you'll have some luck tomorrow. Again thanks for all you do and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    • I am so glad that you are teaching your girls that lesson! We used to get all of the kids Christmas toys used. It's a little more difficult now that they are teenagers, but they still love a good deal!

    • Ferncourtney

      I did it! I saved a ton of money! Thank you Jenny!

      I went to CVS and Walgreens. Total merchandise price – $105.11. OOP – well, I made $.20! I've never had this great of savings before tonight!!! It was (and still is) so exciting. Thank you for helping!

    • Kerenjs

      Went shopping last night for my very first Black Friday experience at Walmart. Wow. The people were swimming around the shrink wrapped items (that weren't supposed to be opened til midnight per the signs on them) like sharks! All it took was one person to impatiently manuever one of the items out of the packaging to start a sudden feeding frenzy of shoppers swarming the items. I was glad to have my possee of siblings with me, we were timid at first but by line-up-for-lining-up-in-the-checkout time we were ready to very politely,but very firmly re-direct anyone who tried to butt in front of us while in line. Fights were breaking out everywhere, we were lucky to escape with our lives,better yet our loot.

      • Stapen7

        Were you in Baltimore? LOL That is exactly what it was like here.. People were crazy. There was a fight over the $4 PJ's. I got everything I went for and got out of there before the riots began. LOL

    • Pinkandblackcrazy

      I had a great time shopping today. I left my house at 2 and did not get back till almost 10. I had tons of coupons. I went to most of the stores giving out free giftcards and then took that and shopped the sale rack to get free earnings, a 32 dollar purse free, 2 expensive water bottles free, and a free basketball. my favorite item was the 349 dollar GPs I got for 99 dollars. I also went to CVS I walked in with 15 ECB, I spent 3.16 saved 70 dollars and left with 40 dollars in ECB. plus sending in for the 4.99 rebate

    • Tedashuman

      I am a die hard Good will shopper and garage saler!! My husband and his family think everything has to be new and turn up their noses! Drives me insane!! I try so hard with my kids and they are okay with things not being new they could care less. But I have a huge battle because my in-law family thinks Christmas is a time for all 'wants' to be fulfilled. My hubby and mom in law will give my kids those big toy books from different stores and a marker and tell them to go thru and pick what they want, like most any kid with this option they just circle all kinds of crap they don't really need or truly want.. And dad and nana try to buy alot of the junk! I hate their Christmas! I'm left with a bunch of garbage to try to return and/or find room for!

      • mary10114

        I went to Salvation Army about three months ago, and I was just looking around and I struck up a conversation with the lady up front and I was telling her that I needed to get my son a medium weight jacket. Low and behold she told me to wait a minute. She walked into the back, came back bringing 3 jackets, I looked at the one on top it was a nice leather jacket, but I didnt think it would fit him, she told me to look at the one on the bottom. It was a brand new leather jacket from JC Penny with the tag still attached! The orginal price was $94.99 from JC penny, I got it for $3.80 !!

      • Cat

        Sounds like they think money/gifts = love.
        Tell those inlaws that everything they get for the kids will be staying at THEIR house for when the kids visit. :) And be fair, tell your kids they don't need all that stuff and that anything the grandparents get from now on will live at that house – I think you'll find everyone will start listening to your point of view.

    • Shayelyn

      Well, didn't do any Black Friday shopping except for on the computer but after more than 2 months, I do finally have a grocery store experience to share. I still have a lot to learn and still make mistakes from time to time but love what happened this week the day before Thanksgiving. Went shopping at Publix. Total before sales and coupons was $232.82. Total OOP $50.50 and most of that was stuff for Thanksgiving without sales or coupons. I am saving this receipt until it fades. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a totally awesome teacher!

    • 1stTimeSAHM

      Hey everyone! This is my first year using Jenny's website and I LOVE it and I am SO thankful for it! Just curious if she posts the Cyber Monday sales? I've never attempted to do the internet sales for Christmas, but this year with a 9month old, I feel it may be our best bet! Any suggestions on how to find the best deals on Monday? Thanks so much!

    • Megak

      I will tell you that at least around me the drugstores were not that bad. I actually got everything I wanted from CVS and everything but the Vaseline from rite aid (for some reason there was a crazy run on that deal but not the rest). I don't know how anyone can have “too much toothpaste”. 22 tubes of free/moneymaking toothpaste and counting!

    • WynetteC

      Thanks Jenny! Nicely said and please know you do a great job at what you do! :)

    • Kristy

      I went and shopped at CVS and Walgreens today. I did great. I got 200$ worth of stuff for 17.90 BUT I qualified for the new P&G rebate so I actually made $2! I was very proud of that one!

    • Brenda

      Thanks for this Jenny! I have know great Black Friday story to share though… I picked up more than I needed online (including a new printer :-) ). I wore a lovely Talbots skirt purchased for $1 from Goodwill to our Family Thanksgiving dinner, which was a blast, then after also ignoring my WW points, I reviewed your secrets for “never paying for toothpaste” with my Aunt, finally when everyone was asleep I prepared for my trips to Rite Aid and Walgreen's today. RA was almost perfect, only missed on one item I didn't need. Walgreens went well also. Picked us free toothpaste's # 13 and #14 today since taking your class in October… I'm hooked, that's for sure!!

      Thanks so much for all you do!!

    • This was the first time I tried anything… and I must say, I think you have made me an ADDICT!!!!! I not only got enough shampoo, toothpaste, razors, and deoderant to last me a year… but I was also able to get some Christmas presents, a $15 bag of dogfood, and some eggs (for my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie). I was so very excited about how much I got and how much I saved that I ended up taking my step mother and two of my best friends to shop too! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!

    • My little one is getting a yard sale find as one of her gifts. I bought a Loving family Fisher Price doll house with dolls and furniture for $8! EXCELLENT condition! Retails for about $100! She gets one gift each year from Santa and that gift is open and set up and ready to go. So, this will be perfect. (she also gets 3 others from Mommy & Daddy that are wrapped. 3 were good enough for the Christ child, so we decided that 3 was good for her too).

    • Beth

      The only Black Friday shopping I did was at Border's where I got a birthday gift 40% off and a free latte because I've gotten almost everything for Christmas online when I see a deal. Thanks Jenny! I went to Publix today and spent $7.18 OOP + $25 left on a gift card. So, actually my total was $32.18 and I saved $40.50. I went to CVS Thanksgiving evening after dinner and found everything I wanted to get!! This CVS was not even near my house! I did two transactions and spent $2.95 + tax total!! The best part was tearing off my $6.99 & .79 ECB's to pay for my second transaction & owing .52 for tax! The cashier gave me my reciept and said,”Wow, you're getting your ECB's back.” I now have $17.79 in ECB's.

      Christmas gifts not having to be knew is very true. My neighbors and I trade/pass on toys and clothes all the time. Our kids have no idea that everyone doesn't do that! Giving to people in need is a hard thing to get people to do as well. Every year for the past 4 years I've had a birthday party for Jesus with the kids at my church. They have to bring canned/boxed food as Jesus' gift which go to a needy family or our food pantry. It's sad that people will spend $10 to $15 on a gift for their child's friends birthday gift but I can't seem to get them to buy canned goods! Last year I started telling them I would trade canned goods for a goodie bag in order to get the kids to remind their parents to buy something. I'm hoping that will work even better this year!

    • amber

      I went to Walgreens today and they had all their freebies well stocked on the shelves…I WAS SHOCKED!!! Spent around $21 in my first transaction, and $13 in the second and received $44 in Jingle Cash (or whatever they are calling them!). At this moment, I can't really remember what I got and what coupons I used, but I was super pleased! I am going to use my Jingle cash on papers this weekend and probably a few stocking stuffers and toys from their toy aisle. I might also do some photo gifts that I pick up in the store! :)

    • kelli

      kroger
      before sales/coupons: $13.47
      oop: $1.53
      saved: $11.94 or 88%

      food lion
      before sales/coupons: $5.45
      oop: $.06
      saved: $5.39 or 99%

      rite aid
      before sales/coupons: $236.74
      oop: $9.23
      saved: $227.51 or 92%
      got back $1 less in +ups then I spent but will be getting ~$52 from SCR. my oop is so high because I forgot my ups for 1 trip…

      cvs
      before sales/coupons: $171.68
      oop: $3.95 (all tax)
      saved: $167.73 or 97%
      gained $12.57 in extra bucks

      spent $2 on papers

      weekly totals
      before sales/coupons: $429.34
      oop: $16.77
      saved: $412.57 or 96%

    • Raynesmw

      I love shopping at Goodwill. I have 3 within 30 min of my house. I stocked up on the Walgreens toys that were 4.99 on Thursday. Today, I had a 30% off coupon for AC Moore's and they had all their Kluttz activity books were 40% off, making my books 70% off which was an awesome deal. For those of you w/ and AC Moores near you, be sure to sign up for emails. I get weekly emails w/ deals.

    • Swpw123

      Real quick ? all…I went on Thanksgiving Day to Walgreens with Jenny's suggested transactions in hand….I had to make one substitution because of the $3 Fiber coupon, but other than that went straight down the list….I still came out of pocket a lot more than the suggested amount due and can't figure out why unless it's something to do with taxes here in NC? But sometimes it was $3 to $4 due…trying to figure out how you get it down to nothing due or like 6 cents due scenarios? Oh and I now understand why folks complain about the WAGS and such….the 7ups weren't printing out like they were supposed to and get this…scenario 3 – NONE of my jingle cash printed out….and they couldn't tell me why….had to end up doing a store credit for them so messed up some other things….they did have some great deals though….

      • katie mac

        The OOP that she gives does not include sales tax. It is almost impossible to come out completely free. Because of how the tax works (at least here in NC), certain coupons take money off of the taxable total, while others do not. I've gotten my total down to $.02 before tax, but still owed close to $2 after taxes. The only time I've gotten anything completely free w/o the tax is when it's a store giveaway (like the CVS shampoo/toothbrush thing). I just kind of shrug it off because you can't get out of paying sales tax and I'd rather pay $2.02 out of pocket for $40 worth of stuff than $43.10. :)

    • Guest

      SO tell me why would you go wait outside at Best BUY for Black Friday? Beside CVS and Wags I don't see a need to leave home. By the way Amazon has hammered everyone prices on E-reader, PS3 games and of course system.

    • Guest

      I did all my shopping online beside for CVS. I even got a shop vac on Lowe's for 20 bucks after coupons and free shipping. Kohls got 4 item for like 20 after rebates and coupons. Got cheap games on Amazon without fighting people for them. The best part of all I did not leave my nice warm house and wait in cold.

      TheNice thing is all my orders have shipped for free already. Don't forget Ebates!!!

    • Greetings Deal Seekers,

      A friend of mine told me about this cool app called MyShoppingGenie the other day. As it turned out, it was a FREE DOWNLOAD, which is safe to use. It’s on a Microsoft Platform and works on top of all the major search engines like; Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This software has been featured on most major news networks including CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX, furthermore, it was a feature news story on CNN click below to see the YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xiof9KBKSlo

      I’ve used it five times in total, for things we needed since I downloaded it. Twice I’ve bought ink for my computer printer, and with those two purchases I saved $80!! I used it once to buy two DVD sets saving me $30. My wife used the MyShoppingGenie to buy an exercise bike and saved almost $90. And just last night (11/26/2010) my wife purchase a Norton Antivirus program for three computers which she bought for around $33 which was a savings of over $35, from a website she never heard of, because the MyShoppingGenie scours the entire internet finding the deals for you, which saves you time and money.

      The software works VERY fast. I was showing to a friend of mine in the next town over, and I asked him, “What’s something you have recently purchased?” He told me that he recently purchased a 22” LCD monitor for his PC, when I asked him how much he paid for it he told me, “I bought it at Wal-Mart for $169, which was a GREAT DEAL!” In about thirty seconds or less I was showing him prices for the exact same monitor he bought. Several sites had it for $139, and one for $129, therefore, $30 and $40 dollar savings in about 30 seconds or less.

      Here’s the link for the FREE download: http://www.MyShopingGenie.com/40077

      If you have any questions feel free to contact me on the “Contact Us” link on the MyShoppingGenie page, I will happy to answer any and all question you have.

      Merry Christmas, and best wishes shopping, using the MyShopingGenie free app.

      Andy Sharp

    • JRFrugalMom

      Our local thrift store sells children's books for $0.42 a piece, and I always make sure to pick out some books for birthdays and Christmas. In the summer, my boys earn 10 cents per book that they read and put on their reading list, by the end of the summer they receive their money to be used toward “new” books at the thrift store…it's a win win for everyone.

    • Keldansmom

      Soooo with you on this one!! I have always bought my kids things @ Goodwill, Salvation Army, and consignments shops. I look at it as recycling!!! My children are appreciative of every gift they get….it does not have to be the latest techno gadget! Heck, half my furniture is from the Salvation Army. Sanding it down and re-painting or finishing it is a great hobby for me. Plus, saving money by shopping @ those stores and using Jenny's tips for couponing means I don't have to work all the time and can be home with my children more. And that my friends, is PRICELESS!!

    • CarolinaNightingale

      Totally with you as well…. Every year we do something called “yard Sale SAnta.” This emans, you may or may not (depending on what is found, of course) get something really cool, in good condition, and used from a yard sale, if someone finds something there. No stress… anything not found at a yardsale is bought new, and either is fine, but most years everyone seems to have at least one gently used gift.

    • adrienne

      That is soooo funny to see other people thinking the same way (and reassuring). i was looking at the scholastic sales and thinking I can't pay even the sale price b/c I can get books by the lb at the goodwill outlet down the street and they look brand new. Last month I got about 10 books for $.80.

    • Deedee

      Jenny, you are so right! We call it the “Goodwill Mall!”

    • Uriko

      I love that Goodwill. I live in Georgia now and we try to find a way to have to go on our way back from Florida. I got a bunch of stuff from there and got a ton of compliments.

    • Iluv2teachkindergarten

      I love Goodwill!!! As a teacher I filled my classroom library over a 5 year period and we have TONS of books at a fraction of the cost. I still go there for videos (yes the old video cassettes). I really can't pass up a movie for 20 cents :)

    • The one big Black Friday sale I went to was at a local kids resale shop. They were offering 50% off your total purchase from 8-9. I went & stocked up on winter clothes & pjs for my 2 kids. I ended up getting 44 items, lots of name brands like Gap, Limited 2, Justice, OshKosh, etc all for just $119! A super steal!

    • Brenda

      Jenny, you inspired me to head to our Goodwill today. A couple of great finds… a box of Lego's for $3.50!!! My son was wanting Lego's for Christmas. I also picked up a barber's chair, you know the kind that pumps up, for $5… It's worth $5 for the fun we will have! I love Goodwill.

    • Kbriggs

      Photo gift ideas cheap! I just found out about http://www.artscow.com 25% off (coupon code 25OFFALL) and free shipping to custom make gorgeous photo items (I ordered a leather purse with photos on both sides $13.49 shipped!!!) Lowest prices and good quality! Expires 12/1/10–hurry. Register on their site for freebies (pay ship only). Get 12 prints free also. 8×8 custom(20 page) hardcover photobook $6.99 shipped.
      **Also 18×24 posters $2 each http://www.shortrunposters.com (flat ship $10 no matter how many you order) just upload your photo!

    • CouponsNme

      “It was probably God telling me that I have enough toothpaste and deodorant for the next 3 years, so I’m good with it.”

      LOL!

    • Jennifer

      I always hear all these bad stories of walmart. Around AL I go in at about 7am and they always have the hottest sale items still left. As long as you stay away from the toy isles, your fine (and this just take forever because there are so many people).

      I hit up rite aid and cvs thanksgiving morning. Got everything on my list, all the freebies, rocking horse, hair cut kit, 2 my little pony, and a whole lot of shampoo and conditioner (yes, I will gift!), spa set, robe, plenty of candy and more. $30 oop (including all taxes) get $10 in scr back, and have $4ecb and $4+up left.

    • Jennifer

      Oh, and I saved 99.6% at publix, bought 6 theraflu, 3 triminic, and 1 buffein and a 4pack of pork steaks for .31 (although 3.70 in tax). We are stocked for cold season!

    • Palmettogrove

      My favorite deal of black Friday was that Home Depot had a 30 pack of Duracell AA batteries for $5. I had a manufactorer's coupon for $1.50 off any 4 pack or more. I spent $3.68 for 30 AA batteries. I know that they are just batteries but I was pretty excited. Thank you so much for all of the savings info!