Open Mic 1/26/12

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Open Mic is a post every Thursday that is a mini-version of a discussion board. You can leave a comment with whatever coupon, money-saving or debt reduction tips or questions you have and other readers chime in and answer.

When you leave a comment on this post, you’ll be able to choose whether you’d like to be emailed follow-up comments or not. Getting comments via email is a great way to stay connected without having to visit the site a bazillion times (although I don’t mind if you come a bazillion times).

As always, I look forward to hearing the voice of the Pocket Your Dollars community. Read through the Open Mic archives here.

Your turn: Leave a comment with your money-saving, coupon or debt reduction question, thought or suggestion.

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Comments

  1. halvensh says

    I was wondering how people get to the 25 dollar mark with only the 5 doubles at Copps or PNS or Rainbow? Can you just buy say a $20 gift card then buy the 5 items with a coupon and do that for the next 6 transactions and just roll over the gift cards? To me i need to the coupon to double for it to be a great deal for me, otherwise it just is a waste it seems…thoughts….suggestions….thank you

    • Julie W says

      The registers ring up the original shelf price of the item in counting towards the 25 dollar minimum….so let's say you have a 5 dollar item, on sale for 3.00, with a 1 dollar off coupon. The register counts 5 dollars towards the 25, then the sale price is 3.50, then the final price with a doubled coupon is 1.50. So if you bough 5 of these items you would hit 25$, but your total OOP would be 7.50 (5 items at the 1.50 price with coupons).

      The key is to get as close to 25$ with the original shelf price….. Sometimes you can get 5 items with 5 coupons and hit 25, but other times you can't, you need fillers.

      I know sometimes they allow you to buy a gift card, but I doubt they would let you do it over and over. that's just my thought, I don't actually know the answer to that questions.

      Julie

  2. Christine says

    I'm new to couponing… So, question. How on earth, do those people on the show get all that stuff for free? The only thing i can conclude, is that they have grocery stores that double unlimited amount of coupons. Am i right? Or no?

  3. Katherine B says

    We are heading up to Duluth this weekend to stay at the water park there for a couple of nights. We know the area fairly well, but wondering if people have any suggestions on good deals for eating out and recreation? Everything is so pricey up there, hoping not to overspend! Thanks :)

  4. Julie W says

    Oops I did the math above as if the sale price was 3.50 not 3.00 like I originally mentioned……sorry. Pretend the sale price was 3.50!! Same principle!

  5. Julie W says

    There are a bunch of Osteo Bioflex sales this week (BOGO)……does anyone know where the cheapest price is? There is rainbow, CUB, walgreens and CVS…..

    I have 4 of the 7$ off coupons and I want to get 4 this week.

    Thanks!

    • Julie W says

      Does anyone know if we are due for some good playtex and Tide (HE laundry detergent) sales soon? I have been out of the loop lately, and don't know where we are on the "rotation" of sales. I am hoping to use the high value tide and playex coupons that were out there recently.

      thanks!

      Julie

    • says

      I have compared prices at Walgreens and Cub when they have the same supplements on BOGO and there is no comparison at least for what I buy. Cub is always the better deal.

        • Julie W says

          Yeah, I fine Walgreens prices to be very high if the item isn't on sale……just like Rainbow. I priced CUB and it was the same as Walgreens on this Bioflex deal.

    • Kathy says

      Depends on what formula you are looking for… Check each of their sites for the prices.

      Rainbow shows 2/27.99 or 2/28.99 (May vary by store, I just picked Apple Valley)

      Walgreens shows lots of varieties of that supplement, but I think the same variety is 2/29.99

      • scat says

        I used Osteo Bi Flex for years for knee and hip pain. Then there was some study that concluded that it made no difference. So I stopped taking it and within weeks I was suffering all kinds of joint pain. So I started up again, and after a few weeks I again felt a definite decrease in pain. It could be a very individual thing. With the coupons and sales going on now, it would be a good time to try it. It does take a few weeks to kick in and sometimes when we feel better we forget how bad it was before.

        Rainbow has a size that it $15.99 and bogo this week. Along witht the $7 coupon, it's a good deal.

        • Julie W says

          Sally, I think it depends on the cause of the knee pain. I believe the Osteo Bioflex helps with worn down cartilage, so if that's your problem it should help. If now, it probably won't. it's probably a matter of trying it. This is for my boyfriend, and it really helps him. It does take a few weeks though.

          Julie

  6. Michele says

    halvensh,

    This is what I have done, ring up the items that I want to use coupons with…see the total on the screen, let's say it is $15.67…I then buy a gift card for $10.00 to bring my total up to $25.67…my coupons double…I pay for that purchase…I then use the gift card I bought to do the same thing on my next transaction whether it be the same day or another day. I have started to do that based on the register total because there is at least one cashier where I shop that will manually override the coupons to not double if the total on the register does not say $25.00. I feel that by buying the gift cards I am not spending money on filler items that are usually higher priced than other stores and still keep the staff working happy. I am a no conflict kind of person.

    • says

      I'm not so sure the cashier who is overriding the register is following store protocol. I would ask to speak to a manager if that happens again.

  7. Beth says

    I will sometimes buy a gift card for places I will be making purchases soon, such as gas, Home Depot, Lowe's or Kohls.

  8. wtfci says

    One tip is to just purchase proteins like chicken, pork, seafood or beef. These products will help you get to $25.

    Another product I often use as filler is coffee beans.

  9. says

    When possible, I like to have deals ready for sales items with coupons with a value too high to double. These deals will bring up the total before coupons, but will help the final total stay low. For instance, I have a rain check for ground chicken that was on sale last week or the week before for $2 per lb. I have 4 coupons for $1.50 each. The coupons won't double so I will add them to an order that doesn't quite reach the $25 mark and my final total will remain very low. Another thing I like to do is add produce and other items that I rarely have coupons for to my orders. I need the items and no matter where I buy them I am going to have to pay full price, so if the Rainbow price is comparable to other stores I just purchase the item there to get to the $25 mark. I have only had to purchase a gift card once. I also get coupons for free items from time to time and I use those to bring up my before coupon totals.

  10. says

    Hello all!

    I am in need of suggestions for caterers in the Twin Cities for my parents' 50th anniversary party this summer. There are so many caterers out there but the prices are insane – I love my parents, but I'm not spending $25 a person plus what amounts to 30% more in charges and taxes.

    We've considered doing the food ourselves, but honestly I'm not sure my siblings and I are up to the task.

    Can anyone help?

  11. says

    Did anyone watch the season finale of Extreme Couponing All Stars? I find it interesting, but not believable. How much of that is real and how much is staged for rating purposes. One of the contestants picked up what looked to me like 12 packs of toilet tissue and she boasted that the they were $12.99 each and she had coupons for $14.00 off each. Really? Do companies really give out coupons with that high a value? Those people shopped at a store in Las Vegas that did not double coupons or allow for overages and yet the contestants didn't pay for one blessed thing. 100% savings. And a lot of their items were things like beef jerky at $7.99 retail and frozen pizzas which retail here for $3.99 and up. So they had manufacturer coupons for every item that was worth at least the retail or sales cost of each item. I don't believe it.

    • Sandy says

      It was really not couponing at all. It was like they wrote a bunch of companies and said "I am going to be on Extreme Couponing and would you please send me as many free product coupons as you can? It will be free advertising for you and also I could win the golden shopping cart award." Who has ever cut a $14.99 coupon for toilet paper? I was glad that it all went to charity. But it gives people who want to start couponing a false sense of what to shoot for. I am happy that I save 50 to 65% on my groceries on average and occasionally get items for free or "better than free" when there is money off your next order.

      • scat says

        I agree that it is probably rigged to some extent. And they are not showing an average weekly shopping trip but something that has been planned for some time. In some parts of the country, the grocery prices are so high that most of the stores double coupons and the coupons available are very high. Nothing in the grocery industry happens by accident. The stores work with the producers in planning their buying and promotions. It's best to become familiar with the stores and promotions in your own area in order to plan your best shopping. For instance, we all know about the cereal promotions and the frequency so we are ready with our coupons at the right time. This does not happen everywhere.

        Even when people are buying for "charity" I think it is very selfish to clear the shelves on a good deal because it deprives others who also need those products and should be able to purchase for thier own needs. And these folks who build special shelving and have rooms devoted to warehousing thier goodies are hoarders. This is not normal. It has little to do with saving money. And a lot of these things eventually end up in a garage sale.

        My goal also is to save at least 50% and this is a doable and reasonable target.

      • steve says

        I believe the whole show is rigged. I believe that manufactures are giving these people coupons so they can get these good deals. Who gets 5-10 huge dollar coupons off of these items.

    • wtfci says

      The show makes me think couponing is just an excuse to get Supermarket Sweep back on TV. The Extreme Couponing show is now basically a reality version of Supermarket Sweep.

  12. MK says

    Looking for a good price on chair cushions for my dining room chairs. Anyone have any experience with Tuesday Mornings or someplace similar. Best price I'm finding is on sale on occasion at Kohl's but that still seems high to me. Would need 6 or 7 of them. Thanks.

  13. Jen says

    We are adopting a 9 month boy so are starting all over again on the "baby stuff". What's a good price for diapers and wipes? I have some coupons for Huggies wipes and diapers at Costco that expire this week. The diapers would be 15 cents a piece and the wipes ~ 1 cent. Is that a good deal?

    I'm also looking for advice on baby monitors since we gave ours away. Thanks for your help!

    • Sarah says

      Oops didn't reply to you…

      I would say that’s a pretty good deal for both. Others will probably disagree. That was always my target price (or less), but I never could get to the $.10/diaper consistently.

      BTW – Costco wipes are really nice. I loved them. You will probably only need one case since there are 900. I’ve seen coupons for them, but not sure which months they are included in the cpn books.

    • Michele says

      CONGRATULATIONS!!! We adopted 2 little girls 12 years ago,our youngest child at the time was 16, so we too had to start all over!! It has been one of the best things we have ever done!! Diapers…Without coupons I have found subscribe and save on Amazon, to be the best consistent deal. Luvs are the least expensive and I find (I run a small in home childcare) to be a very good value. Anytime you can get wipes for a penny each, I would buy them. Equipment look a Once Upon a Child, Craigslist, and Goodwill. Only buy or borrow a crib if it follows all of the current industry standards. Car seat, I would purchase new, they have some good ones that will last for a long time with out having to replace at each stage. NEVER borrow or buy a car seat used, they have expiration dates on them and you can never be sure as to whether or not they have truly been in an accident. Better to be safe than sorry. No matter the price of a car seat, it is all about the bells and whistles…EVERY car seat out there has pasted the same tests in order to go to market. HTH

  14. V says

    Has anyone bought and read the Suzy Orman book "The Money Class"? I am a fan of her and I just watched a spot she did and then of course promoting her book, DVDs etc….but I was wondering if anyone thought it was worth it or not.

    • MK says

      I believe she makes profits off the the items she directs you to. I prefer to work with a planner who is fee based only and doesn't make money on what they sell you for financial products. This way it's all up front and no incentive to sell you products rather than what's really best for your situation.

    • Tami W says

      Haha….my friend and I were in the audience for the Money Class and we laugh every time it is on because we get recognized! That being said, I love Suze-and did buy the book, however, it wasn't really easy to follow. :) BTW…not that anyone cares, but Suze is SO nice! Not at all the itchbay she appears to be on TV at times.

      • V says

        Tami W-

        Cool you were at the taping…so then from what they show on TV is there A LOT MORE info in the book to learn?

        I love her too! She is down to earth and so basic how can you not like her! ;)

        Also do you know if it is possible to ask her a question (via email I mean) and get a response? I have a situation that is different than what is ever addressed on her shows or books and I would LOVE to have her opinion on it. Thanks for your help!

        Oh I have to ask…what does BTW stand for and is itchbay short for the B word?

        • Tami W says

          V-

          BTW is "by the way", and Itchbay is pig latin. :) I think she is so darn smart and has a good head on her shoulders, yet others think she is, well, an itchbay. After seeing her live and in between "takes" I can tell you that she has a heart of gold and truly does seem to care. She was funny and approachable–not sure if you saw it, but she was SO kind to that poor guy who was in $100k of student loan debt.

          The book was a lot more detailed than what she went into on her show. It was a really good book, just not written in a way that was easy for me to follow. Yes…I think you can e-mail her with questions on her website and even ask on facebook! Good luck!

  15. Sarah says

    I would say that's a pretty good deal for both. Others will probably disagree. That was always my target price (or less), but I never could get to the $.10/diaper consistently.

    BTW – Costco wipes are really nice. I loved them. You will probably only need one case since there are 900. I've seen coupons for them, but not sure which months they are included in the cpn books.

  16. shannon b says

    To get my orders to $25 I use anchor items. The best anchor items are usually the ones that come on the front page with a Rainbow store coupon or in the coupon book (Doorbusters), which allow you to use a store coupon and a manufacturers coupon. Add the coupon sale price to the money they say you are saving and that gives you an estimation of the shelf price. Examples of which are: Coffee (close to $12 shelf price), Large packs of toilet paper, soda, dairy products, and frozen foods. These are frequently highly discounted. When there is no good anchor items available I focus on coupons, that require me to buy multiple items e.g. $1/5 pizzas, 60/8 yogurt, etc. Last but not least, I get pet food. Good luck!

  17. Lissa says

    I need to get my whole house vacuum hose fixed, the nozzle that is inserted to the hose broke. Any ideas on where I can take it? I live west of the metro. Thanks

  18. Carol says

    I believe what I do is what Carrie does – purchase a $25 gas card (since I'll use it anyway), then pick up the 5 double Q deals. If any (or all) the deals are free or better than free, I'll just be paying for the gas (once or twice I've even paid less). I pick up the BP gas card, which couples w/the fuel perks, & I've usually shopped at a store where a BP station Q is also on the back of the receipt, which I can then use in conjunction w/the perks & card. I used to waste time trying to figure out what adds up to $25, but stopped that a long time ago!

    • says

      Thanks for the idea! I'll have to keep that in mind the next time I am struggling to make a deal work. I usually just skip Rainbow the weeks I can't get a really good deal going, but now I will try your suggestion.

  19. SW says

    Has anyone else seen signs at the register at CVS that they no longer take expired coupons? I asked the cashier when that started and she said the first of the year. I thought I had been at CVS since then and hadn't seen it. I am sure they took expired coupons until yesterday……

    • JoAnna says

      I shop at two CVS locations that take CVS store coupons and ECBs expired but neither location has ever accepted expired manufacturer coupons.

        • Brittany says

          Yes. The one in Eagan (I think?? Off Johhny Cake) has that sign at the register and has for at least a year. I know the ones closer to my house stil take expired store coupons and ECB as well though so it may just be specific ones.

  20. ella says

    We are trying to save $ on auto and home insurance premiums. We thought we would start by calling our present company (have auto and home with same company) and see what they could offer to bring our rates down, then get some price quotes from other companies for same coverage. Besides raising our deductibles and reducing some coverage, what other strategies have you found to save on insurance costs yet maintain reasonable coverage?

    • JKT says

      We just bought new house and auto insurance in December. We called several companies to check for rates and were very surprised by the AAA's rates. They were considerable less then other companies we checked into for the same amount of coverage. After checking with family and friends we discovered several people had switched to AAA insurance and have been very happy, so we made the switch too. Here is a link to the website of the insurance person we went through (http://www.mnchoiceinsurance.com/jamerson.html) though I am sure there are several others in the metro area.

    • mandy says

      I'm with JKI on the AAA insurance. We had to get the Road Assist package with the auto insurance to get 10 percent off our homeowner's and auto, but with 10 and 11 year old cars we were fine with that.

    • scat says

      To save on car and HO insurance you need to shop around at other companies every couple of years. The rates can vary widely. You are better off going to another company first for rates. If you have an independent agent (one that is not tied to one company) they will try to find you the best rate, but even then you should still look around. If you are a member of a group, like AARP, you can sometimes save a lot by going with a company they sponsor. The internet has made it pretty easy to get comparison rates. As in all other things you are likely to get better rates with companies that do not spend a lot on expensive advertising.

      I was with Harford for several years and the rates kept creeping up. So a friend who is an agent searced for a better rate with a comparable company and saved me over $1000. After a year ( and a little fender bender) my rates went up with that company. I checked back with Hartford and got a much lower rate than what I had been paying them a year earlier! And they knew about my accident.

    • sheepy says

      I shop auto and renters every six months. I have yet to find anyone to beat Ameriprise, but probably because I've been with them so long I get a discount.

      Also, 8 years ago when I filed a claim for $40,000 (that is not a typo) for a fire, they paid it NO QUESTIONS ASKED. They also paid my huge hotel bill, although when I told them how much the room was per day, they did remind me that I only had $7,000 for daily living expenses, lol.

  21. tag says

    FYI: SuperAmerica will STACK a competitor's gas coupon with a my Rewards gas coupon AND, on Tuesdays, DOUBLE them both.

    I could have saved 70 cents per gallon last Tuesday instead of 50! :( Ugh!

  22. Joy says

    There is Coke deal this week at CVS. Buy 4 12-packs in 3 separate transactions and get $10 CVS cash card back. Making them $1.66 a 12 -pack. My clerk clued me in that the ad limits you to 4 12-packs PER transaction…. Kinda alot of soda, but at this price I stocked up.

    Also found Mega packs (40 count) of Huggies Pull Up on clearance at 50% off. So, clearance priced at $9.56 minus $2 coupon equals VERY cheap pull ups…

  23. lindseyjo says

    I need some advice for flying with children. My husband works out of state and I am planning on taking our two boys (ages 6 & 3) to visit him. I have never flown with kids before so any bit of advice or tips would be wonderful! I am renting a car when I get there so do I bring a carseat with or can I get one from the rental company? My understanding is that they don't have to actually sit in the car seat on the actual flight, correct? So many little questions!

      • lindseyjo says

        We are going to Texas, flying into San Antonio and then driving from there to Corpus Christi. I haven't booked yet so not exactly sure if we will have a direct flight or a layover yet.

    • Jenell says

      You should be able to check the car seats for free and this way you don't have to haul them through the airport. Also, saves you money not paying to rent one and you know they are your safety seats. Good luck. I am traveling with my 4 yr old and 21 month old alone in march. Should be interesting.

    • Jen A. says

      Have travelled a lot with kids, starting with my twins when they were 1 year old and on up….. if the airline you're using has curbside check in – use it! Totally worth the $15 tip (or whatever you pay) to pull up and basically drop your stuff off to get tagged and ticketed for you. Bring your own car seats and check them at the curb with your luggae too. There shouldn't be a charge for carseats, but who knows nowadays – check with your airline. The goal is for you to have a minimum amount of stuff you have to carry and worry about as you make your way through the airport.

      Allow plenty of time to get thru security. Everyone has to take off shoes, all bags, stroller, etc has to be put thru the scanner and this can take some time when you're by yourself with kids. Read all the guidelines on liquids – juice etc, they're really strict and security will take it if it's the wrong size.

      I used to use an umbrella stroller when my kids were younger – you can push your younger child, strap stuff onto the handles while your walking to your gate and when you walk down the jetway, leave it at the end and they'll put it w/luggage for you and get it back out for you when you land. It's a pain to take it all apart for security but worth it to me to have your hands free while you're walking. You can have your 6 year old hold on to the stroller too so you're close together.

      Bring little toys, snacks, lolipops, etc. Try to have them chewing on something during take off and landing so it helps with their ears. The swallowing helps their ears not get too stuffed up.

      Pre-board or not? It's up to you. I don't like it because that's just more time to sit and wait in a confined area with the kids. I'd rather board near the end and have less time to sit and wait, but my husband always disagrees with me on that. He'd rather board first and make sure we have rooms for our bags, etc. You'll have 3 seats which means 3 places to put bags, so I wouldn't preboard, but that's just me.

      Good luck and have fun! :)

      • lindseyjo says

        Thanks for the info! Can you explain the preboard a little bit? Is that something you choose when purchasing tickets?

        • Jen A. says

          Right before the main boarding time they usually announce that families with small children or people who need extra time can board first. Not all airlines do that now, so just depends on what you get. If you are in the Twin Cities, fly on Southwest if you can – they are located in the smaller terminal and it is NICE to have a much smaller building to deal with, shorter lines, less people, etc.And no, you don't need car seats on the plane. Love the sticker & tape idea posted here too.

    • says

      I usually hit up the dollar section at Michaels & Target for projects to do. I also bring headphones for the kids to watch tv or movies in the plane. But I also bring portable dvd players with headphones. Also bring gum to chew for the take off and landings.

    • Linda says

      I've traveled with my kids (ages 4 & 6 now) ever since they were little. I second bringing gum and snacks. I'd also suggest bringing either a roll of masking tape or those little circular garage sale stickers. These can be used by the kids to make designs on the tray in front of them, but clean up easily. Stay away from Playdoh for the plane because it can roll around and get smooshed. The Crayola color wonder paper with the markers that only write on that paper is a good choice if they like to draw. Sticker books are also a good idea. Also, Bendaroos are a good, versatile activity. We like to bring EMPTY water bottles (or sippy cups) and fill them up with water after you've gone through security.

    • Linda says

      Here's my other advice: Be SURE to keep in your carryon anything you need for an overnight stay in case your flight gets cancelled or delayed. So take plenty of diapers & wipes (If you still use them). I take a change of clothes and a couple of changes of underwear for the kids. Any medicines they may need. Take a few ziplock bags and/or plastic bags – you never know when you will need to wrap up some wet clothes or other things. I also like to take some paper towels (usually in my ziplock) for unexpected spills. And take some Wet Ones – individually wrapped or a cannister – for sticky fingers.

      -

  24. kris says

    Please tell me again (and I promise I'll write this down) about the different Target printable coupons regarding the wording.

    Because you can't view the final coupon until you print, I'm trying to save ink by printing only the Target ones and I seem to remember there was a keyword like "save" which meant a Target coupon and "buy" meant a manu coupon.

    Hope this question makes sense. :)

    Love, love the site Carrie..thanks for doing what used to take me a long time each Sunday. :)

  25. Sara says

    House is up for sale, we have a showing tonight. Any suggestions on helping the house get an offer soon? Anyone recommend air fresheners? Cookies? Wine? Just kidding.

    • Sue says

      I would bake something like bread, or cookies. When our home was up for sale I kept a supply of frozen bread dough or cookie dough on hand.

  26. Sarah says

    Do you have kids? There is a cute children's museum if you do. The water park hotel has tons of coupons for local places to grab a bite to eat. I've stayed at that hotel before and it was fun! Just make sure you are in the main Tiki building where the water park is located. If you're in a standard room, you could be in one of the otter buildings which is far from the waterpark (and an outside walk!) and far from the food area for breakfast and cocktail hour. It's worth upgrading to the main building IMO.

  27. Diane says

    I saw someone was asking about a Happenings book. I bought some before Christmas and went through Ebates. I only paid $15.00 each plus money back thru Ebates. I just checked and they were $22.25, with 17 perfect back through Ebates.

  28. Shannon S says

    They still took expired ECB's at my store in st. Michael, and have not indicated they would stop. They have never taken expired coupons (manuf) though.

  29. Mary says

    My only comment about the Color wonder markers is that they really smell bad. I threw all of ours away because the smell makes me sick. I just wouldn't want other passengers complaining about the smell.

      • Mary says

        Maybe they have changed the formula since I threw them out a few years ago. Or maybe I am just really sensitive to smells. Of course, I am also the same person who had an allergic reaction to Moon Sand a few years ago!

  30. Caryn says

    Last night I watched an interesting episode of extreme couponing on TLC. The three candidates were competing against each other and the contest was taking place in Las Vegas. It was noted that the store they were shopping in did double their coupons and no overage was allowed. My question is how did two of the finalists get their total down to zero when some items were taxable? I'm confused on that one…..

    • says

      When the man checked out they showed his sales tax at right around $250 in one shot, and then at $0 in the next shot that showed his 100% savings. Since they don't count sales tax against their savings percent, it was not necessary to show it, so I'm guessing it was deleted for the sake of the show. But his end total would have included that sales tax if it were a real scenario. Just keep in mind that nothing about that show is real.

  31. Sue says

    Anyone know of any stores that are offering free gift cards for a new prescription? I haven't seen any lately, but would like to use one if there are any out there. Thanks!

    • says

      I just got a catalina today at Target for a $10 gift card with a new or transferred prescription. I have no idea what I bought that prompted the catalina printing out though.

  32. Michele says

    Put cut up apples, sprinkled with cinnamon in a foil pan in the oven set at about 250. Smells like you are baking apple pie, yummy!

  33. Michele says

    Forgot to add that you do not have to worry about the bread or cookies burning because you are not there to take them out of the oven.

  34. Melissa W. says

    The show is a sham. Stores will temporarily suspend their coupon policies, and companies will send high value coupons just so they can get free advertising. Don't believe anything you see. Just know that with a site like PYD you can expect to be able to get at least 50% savings. Sometimes I manage up to 80% if the sales are really good and so are the coupons, but that doesn't happen very often. I am happy to save 50-65% most of the time.

  35. cynthia says

    oh that is awesome to know! I may have to go get some more!!!

    Also..for those of you that shopped at the CVS in Eden Prairie and knew they took competitors coupons (ie: walgreens, target,etc)…rumor is that they are going to stop doing that. :-( I was in there yesterday and the cashier who was super sweet said that she heard they weren't going to being taking them anymore. I asked her how soon was the change. She said quietly..that she thought it was pretty much effective but would take my order yesterday (it was pretty big). Bummer to see that end. Saved tons of money with that deal! Still love EP CVS

    • Lisa says

      I don't go to the EP CVS anymore now that the Blmgtn and Edina ones are open, but the staff at the EP CVS were always so wonderful and friendly and helpful everytime I was there in the past. It's not often you get to say something like that about customer service…

  36. Kari says

    Can someone please tell me what a Happenings book is? I live in Northfield and am wondering if it is something for the cities. Thanks!

    • Mary says

      Also known as The Entertainment book. It's a coupon book with coupons for restaurants, entertainment, sporting events, retailers etc. There is a different one for each major metro area in the U.S. There is a Happenings book for the Twin Cities, but it will also include coupons for national retailers and places all over Minnesota.

  37. Sarah says

    Just had a virus removed on my computer and I got a stern lecture about using the coupon printer from coupons.com. Apparently there are some privacy issues associated with them. Will that stop me from using it again-doubtful.

    • Beth says

      I started having MAJOR problems with my computer when I started to print coupons. I have recently purchased a new laptop and will not do any coupon printing from it…. I head to the dungeon where the old desktop sits and wait the 20 minutes for it to get running so I can print of all my coups!! Good thing I can bring my laptop with so I have something to do while I am waiting….. like I'm doing right now!! Kills me though that I could get an extra set of coupons if I were to just break down print from this one…. sigh!

    • says

      Hmmm, I have been printing coupons from both my laptop and my desktop and have not ever had any issues that I could link to printing coupons. Actually, I've not had any issues with my laptop and I've been printing coupons from it since October. My internet security lets me know if places I want to down load from are "safe" and all the sites I have downloaded the "coupon printer" from have been "safe" Have other people had issues with coupon printing sites?

    • tag says

      We had problems printing coupons, too. Then, about a year ago, we finally had enough underperforming from our computers and canned the mcaffe/norton. We use the free Microsoft Security Essentials and haven't had a problem with our computers since then. Plus, the computers perform better.

  38. Mary says

    Maritime Museum in Canal Park is free. If you have one of the expanded memberships to the Minnesota Children's museum you can get into The Depot/Children's Museum for free. They also offer a AAA discount.

  39. Jennifer says

    Book a direct flight! It's worth the extra money. We also bring a portable DVD player when we fly. Normally we try to limit screen time, but not when flying.

  40. Sarah says

    Hi! When they first start loading the plane, the airline will allow people with children or others needing more time to get on the plane first. I've done both ways – loaded first and last. It usually depends on how much stuff I'm lugging with me and if I think I need more time. It's really up to you in the end. Since you've never done this before, you might feel more comfortable just being on the plane and ready to go. The longer the kids can run around though, the less time they have to be board on the plane.

    Take an empty water bottle or two with you. You can fill it when you are past security and you wont hav eto pay $4 for a full one once you are through. Take sukers, dollar store toys, markers, a portable dvd player or other movie playing device if you have one, and a sence of humor. The barf bag is tons of fun. It can be a puppet, it can hide treats, it can be a balloon, etc.

    Be sure to have an extra shirt for all of you. I've only had it happen once, but I have been thrown up on and it's terrible to not have a new shirt to wear. I had one for my daughter, but not myself. Lesson learned!

  41. Beth says

    You are on brave mama!! Snack, quiet toys, DVD Player w/head phones and lots of prayers for a nap time in there! You can check the carseats for free on I think every airline. For your sanity I would really try to find a nonstop flight because you are looking at a 2-3 flight plus a 2+ hour drive to your final destination longer if you have to add layovers. Sun Country does direct flights to Harlingen, TX which is also about 2 hours away from Corpu Christi. I know that my grandma has gotten some really good deals depending on when you travel. When I was planning a trip to San Antonio this past December all of the affordably priced flights had layovers… the nonstop flights were like $600+ per person! Best of luck with your trip!

  42. Sarah says

    Carry some advil or tylenol. Never know when that air pressure will bother them, especially the younger. Nothing worse than having a kid all teary because of a ear ache. Traveled all around the world with two kids and always carried it with me!

  43. Korene says

    Congrats! I agree that I can't get diapers for $0.10 consistently enough either… I'm happy with anything $0.16 and under. Amazon Subscribe and Save was a really good deal… but they keep changing it and it just changed again this week to basically only be a good deal if you also have the Prime membership. I'm not sure where I'm going to buy diapers now. Wipes at a penny a piece is a good price! I usually make my own wipes for at home (really easy to do! http://www.betterbudgeting.com/articles/parenting… and then buy wipes for daycare/traveling. I've had good luck with double coupons at Rainbow when they are on sale for wipes. Here is another website that compares diapers and wipes at different stores (usually weekly): http://www.babygoodbuys.com/category/diaper-deals

  44. Melissa says

    I am looking for a good place to get my car Detailed interior and exterior… Anyone know of anything good and cheap???

  45. Barb says

    Regarding auto/home insurance, we saved mega bucks switching to AAA also. But then last fall I checked an online quote with Progressive and saved even more on the cars. My agent also writes progressive and his quoted price was far higher than the online quote. So we switched the cars to progressive. I believe we now pay a rock bottom price for the cars. And when I shopped the house, we stayed with AAA because that was way cheaper. I do agree that you really have to shop your insurance every couple of years at least. It seems the prices go way up when you have been with a company for a long time. At least that has been our experience.

  46. says

    Yeah, I heard about that study, but I have some arthritis in my knees and when I started running again I noticed that my knees were getting the brunt of it, so I started taking joint supplements and was able to live free from knee pain. After skipping a few days worth at one point to test this new news, I started to feel stiff and painful. I don't care what the study says, I swear by it. With the awesome osteo coupons and BOGO deals, I have built up quite a nice stock pile and have gotten it all for as little as free on up to about $2 per bottle.

  47. MKH says

    If you put a little vanilla extract in a custard cup in your oven at 250, warmed and then shut it off your house will smell like you've been baking. Very homey. We've done this since the early 70's and its always worked. Impressed the realtors!

  48. Deb says

    My son the geek has warned me about the coupon printer software as well. He told me it probably contains some "spyware". I don't like to miss out on deals, though so I have the coupon printer installed on a computer that is not used for email or sensitive data.

  49. Jodi says

    If you like the outdoors, check out the state parks up 61. $5 for a day pass, gorgeous scenery, it's well worth going the extra miles!

  50. ThreadyorKnot says

    I know it's not exactly the answer to your question but I always recommend cloth diapers. They are way better now than they used to be and we saved a ton of money by not buying disposables.

    Congrats on the adoption! My husband and I just started the adoption process ourselves.

  51. Michele says

    The zoo is fun too! I'll second Canal Park, even in the winter it is fun to explore the park and the museum. Just be sure to bring warm clothes :) Also Enger Tower is a great place to look over the city.

    You will find lots of brochures in the hotel lobby which contain coupons for area attractions – they also usually have them in the Maritime Museum.

    Just to add my personal opinion, we prefer to stay in the building that is not connected to the waterpark. The rooms are larger, you don't pay more for a lake view, and it is much, much quieter. At first we thought going outside in the winter would be a drag, but the opportunity to cool off and breathe some fresh air after hours in the waterpark turned out to be something we really like. We usually stock up on food that the kids can prepare in the room so that we don't have to spend so much eating out. No matter what type of room you stay in you will have fun – it's a fun waterpark!

  52. V says

    Oh my gosh…I googled the Pig Latin…who knew! Okay now I got that.

    Yes I did see the part about the guy who was in so much student loan debt…I could tell she was very sincere.

    Thanks again for the ideas on how to contact her.

  53. Vickie says

    Data Privacy Day promotes awareness about the many ways personal information is collected, stored, used, and shared, and education about privacy practices that will enable individuals to protect their personal information.

    Check out their website: http://www.staysafeonline.org/dpd/2012-events/ini

    ** Free Download of "lol…OMG!"

    In honor of Data Privacy Day, the full ebook of lol…OMG! What every student needs to know about online reputation management, digital citizenship and cyberbullying (regularly $9.99) is being made available for FREE from January 27 through January 30! This educational offer is sponsored by Intel and the Associated Students of Stanford University. Parents, students, educators and libraries should take advantage of this opportunity. Read more about the author and book here: Students, Avoid an ‘lol . . . OMG’ moment with these privacy and online reputation management tips by Emily Eckland.

    A lot of other great information on this site too!

  54. Angel says

    Hi! There is a shelter (for people experiencing homelessness) in Minneapolis that serves breakfast cereal to those who come there. They are always looking for groups to do a cereal drive and I thought the PYD community would be a great place to do one since we know how to get it at great prices and many of us likely have extra boxes we can spare in our pantries! We are doing one at our church but for logistical reasons can't do it until March/April. If you are interested in participating, please reply to this post. We'll figure out a way to make it come together. Maybe some churches around the metro would act as drop off sites? I know of a couple I could ask in the Forest Lake/Ham Lake area.

    Blessings!

  55. Sarah says

    Was wondering if folks saw the new Gold n Plump coupon from their email for 2$ of any package of chicken-doesn't specify size or type!

  56. SW says

    Has someone at some point mentioned a second use for diaper wipe tubs? The hard plastic re-fillable kind that have the little flip toppy thing…..does it work to put plastic bags (aka Target bags) in there as a dispenser? I have a couple that will either be used for something like that, or tossed.

    Thanks in advance!

  57. Sheila says

    We have school-age kids so we use them for storage of markers, crayons, legos, DS games, flashcards and more! They are great for the kids stuff since they stack so nicely and they hold up well.

  58. wtfci says

    A stern lecture? Is this installed on a computer at work?

    The coupon printers are not spyware, malware, or a virus. They just get blamed that they are because they often fall under the purview of "software I have installed recently".

    • says

      Well, they do get caught as "spyware" by many virus programs because they track how many times you print the coupon, which is an innocuous type of spying. They aren't doing anything more than that.

    • JoAnna says

      Deb–check with the school to see if any teachers offer free after school help and/or paid after school help. Also, check with your library. Carver County libraries have a free online homework rescue resource.

  59. says

    Hi all, I just wanted everyone to know that I started a group on meetup.com called Dakota County Thrifty Spenders where people can set up times to get together and swap coupons, teach each other tricks they’ve learned to save money and partake in other money-saving activities. Although most get-togethers will be held in the south metro, anyone is welcome to join.

    If you have never checked out Meetup.com it’s a great site to find groups of people with similar interests. Its free to join meetup.com, so even if you aren’t interested in being part of Thrifty Spenders, you should check out all the other ways you can be involved in your community.

    Email me if you have any questions!

  60. Vickie says

    My son does detailing on the side. People are pleased with the results. On top of that, he is reasonably priced. Feel free to contact me at my AOL address, I will try and go out to check my email sometime over the weekend (I have dial-up at home and it takes way too long.) vrod4@aol.com

    V

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