Happy 2011


Happy New Year!

Today is a rainy day and we are all recovering from a severe stomach bug around here so I decided to postpone my goal setting post until later.

Instead I cleaned out my coupon binder and organized all my coupons. This is a picture of our office floor when I was almost done. It feels good to be prepared for shopping in 2011. I considered changing my coupon organization this year but am sticking to my trusty binder.

How about you? Do you like your current coupon organization system? Are you considering changing?

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How I Got 96 Pampers for $4.34 (Free after Cash Back Credit)


I know diapers are a big expense if you have a few little ones at your house so I thought I would share the deal I just got on a big box of pampers.

First I redeemed points I earned with Pampers Gifts to Grow program for a $10 gift card and a $3 off purchase of any Pampers code.

I had an $8.65 credit from a previous purchase.

I ordered Pampers Baby Dry Big Pack Diapers (96 ct.) for $21.99 from
Then I ordered a Maybelline Full N Soft Mascara for $5.59 from, this gave me free shipping. (Right now if you order one from two of these sites:, or you get free shipping on a $25 order.)

Pampers Big Pack (96ct)=$21.99
Maybelline Full N Soft Mascara=$5.59

-$1 coupon (these are listed by the products, you just click on it)
-$3.50 promotioal code from Gift to Grow points
-$8.65 cash back credit from previous purchase
-$10 gift card from Gifts to Grow points

Out of Pocket=$4.43 for 96 diapers and mascara shipped to my door!
Got Back=$5.25 cash back credit
Final cost=Free

I will use the codes on the pampers I got to earn more gift cards and order more diapers! This (and the amazon deals) is mainly how I save on diapers.
How do you save? Do you have any good tips?

By the way if you have not you can sign up for Pampers Gifts to Grow here. There are several free codes here to get you started! Also, if you are new to you can use code CoupKat at checkout to get 30% cashback on diapers and 15% off everything else.

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TLC New Show: Extreme Couponing Tonight 8pm

Congrats all my fellow couponers you are now officially cool. You know coupons have become trendy when TLC makes a show about it.

TLC has a new show, Extreme Couponing, that airs premieres tonight at 8pm ET.  It will follow four people on completely extreme coupon shopping trips. Talk about stockpiling, one man leaves with 1,000 boxes of cereal.

You know I am watching. My ultimate goal: to have THE HUSBAND get all the boys to bed and I get to watch while exercising on the elliptical machine. A girl can always dream.

If you have time tonight watch it. It should be fun and I hope to learn a new trick or two. Also, I really want someone to discuss it with so if everyone watches it tonight we can discuss on Facebook tomorrow.

Do make sure when watching it you are entertained and encouraged-not discouraged. Keep in mind this is a television show, it is planned and produced. The stores were warned, if not in on the planning. How else would they have 1,100 boxes of cereal, and hundreds of toothbrushes, toothpaste and pasta? One lady in the show spends 70 hours a week couponing. So, remember to consider your return on investment and keep couponing the way that is best for your family.

Are you watching tonight?

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My Big Plans for the Week (and Walgreens and CVS match ups)


Hope you all had a great Holiday. We had a wonderful time full of family, friends and traveling.

Now that we are home I plan to get back into my regular blogging, but I also have some other big plans for this week.

1.Play in the snow with the boys.
2.Getting my house under control. Now that we are home I have more unpacking and laundry to do than I even want to think about!
3.At least making a list of all my organizing goals for 2011. That is right I have declared 2011 the Year of Organization at the Van Dyke house. Stayed tuned for some posts and updates on how that will happen.
4.Detoxing my kids from all the treats they had this weekend.

That being said I am not planning on doing any shopping this week. (other than a quick run for some bread and fresh produce.) So, with limited time I did not put together a list of Walgreens and CVS coupon match ups this week. I wanted to link you to a couple sites that do have the match ups. Keep in mind not all the deals/coupons that are mentioned will work locally but it will give you a good place to start.

To find Walgreens deals here or here.

You will find CVS deals here or here.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Hope you all have a blessed time with family and friends as you celebrate the birth of Christ.

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CVS Store Guide

Here is the updated CVS Store Guide. If you are new to “CVSing” start slow and make a plan before you go in. I still write mine out then stick all my coupons and the list in my CVS envelope.

Get at CVS Extra Care Card.
This is easy to do. You can get one at the cash register or you can sign up  for a CVS Extra Card card  online. Keep in mind it will take about two weeks to get your card if you register online. If you already have a card register it online to get a $4 off $20 purchase coupon emailed to you.
You will scan your Extra Care card before making any purchases. All deals are tied to your card.

Extra Care Bucks (ECB)

When you buy certain items at CVS coupons will print on the bottom of your receipt, these are Extra Care bucks. They can only be used at CVS and depending on the promotion going on they will vary in value. Extra Care Bucks can be used like cash on your next purchase.

Often CVS will advertise “Free after ECB” items. These are the best way to get started at CVS. You will have to pay out of pocket for you first deal but then you can start using ECBs to pay.

After your first deal you can also start combining manufacturer coupons with ECB deals to get items for free and grow you ECB stash. Soon you will be spending little to no money out of pocket and rolling your ECBs.

It is important to note that most deals have a limit on them. You can buy as many of the items as you like but you will only earn ECBs on a limited number of them.

Need some examples to get your thinking? Check out some of my first CVS trips here or here.

Still have questions? Ask here or on Coupon Katie Facebook page. I would love to help and I am sure other readers would to.

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Walgreens Store Guide-Start Saving Money

Here is an updated Walgreens store guide. If you are new to couponing and wondering how people keep getting all this free stuff?  This post is for you.

Walgreens is a great place to save on toiletry and cleaning items. Learning this system can help you make a lot of room in your overall grocery budget.

Read all of these tips but also get familiar with the Walgreens Coupon Policy. It is sometimes even good to print it and have it on hand in case you run into an issue at checkout.

Register Rewards

Register Rewards (RR) are manufacturer coupons that print from the Catalina machine next to the cash registers at Walgreens. 

Example: You buy a package of Pampers and get a $2 RR. When you use this on your next purchase Walgreens will submit it to Procter & Gamble (the manufacturer of Pampers) and get reimbursed $2.

Register Rewards will print when you buy participating sale items that are advertised in Walgreens’ weekly ad. Depending on the promotion going on they will vary in value and can be used on your next purchase.

Catalina machines are generally programmed to print one RR coupon for one qualifying item. If you purchase more than one of the same qualifying items per transaction, you will only receive one RR coupon.

If the store is not busy and you really want to buy more than one of a qualifying item you can request to do separate transactions and RR will print each time.

You can purchase different qualifying items in the same transaction and receive one Register Reward for each item.

You cannot “roll over” Register Rewards to do the same deal again.

Example:Diapers are on sale for $9.99 and you get $3 RR. You will not earn another $3 RR on diapers if you use the RR earned on the previous diaper purchase to pay, they must be used on a different item.

If there are two RR deals going on that work for you alternate between deals. This way, you can keep rolling the RRs over and over and paying very little out of pocket.

Example: Use the $3 RR from  diapers  in the example above to buy toothpaste that will give you a $1 RR.

You must have as many items as you have manufacturer coupons. I often refer to this as the coupon to item ratio. Only one manufacturer coupon can be used per item purchased.  Register Rewards count as manufacturer coupons -this is important to remember when making your Walgreens plan.

Walgreens store coupons do not count in your item to coupon ratio. Walgreens store coupons can be found in their weekly ad and in various free coupon booklets Walgreens will release and display in their store through out the year.

Tip: Buy one get one deals, 2 for $1 deals or clearance are great ways to add “filler items” and get the correct coupon:item ratio.

**If a Register Reward does not print you can speak to a manager, if that does not get you anywhere you can call the Catalina company at 1-888-8COUPON. In my experience they have been very helpful and will mail you the RR or a check for the correct amount.

Coupon  Use at Walgreens

You can stack (or use both) manufacturers coupons and store coupons on the same items. This can lead to some great deals(just remember your time to manufacturer coupon ratio.)

Combine Register Reward Deals and Coupon Stacking-By stacking a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon when buying a Register Reward item, you can often get items free or even make money on items you purchase.
Example:Colgate Toothpaste on sale for $2.49 and you get a $1.50 RR for buying it
-$1 manufacturers coupon from newspaper
-$1 coupon from Walgreens Store Coupon Booklet
Out of pocket=$.49 (+ tax)
Get Back=$1.50 RR for your next purchase
Final cost=Free + $1 overage after coupon and RR

The order in which you use your coupons is  important. Don’t ask me why it matters, but I find this order usually causes less problems and keeps me paying the least out of pocket.

$ off a $ purchase coupons (example $5 off $15 purchase)
Register Rewards
Buy One Get One Free Manufacturer Coupons
Any other Manufacturer Coupons
Walgreens Store Coupons

Don’t be overwhelmed by all this information. Start slowly and if you have questions- ask here or on Coupon Katie Facebook page. I would love to help and I am sure other readers would to.

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