Saving Cents with CVS 8/1 - 8/7  

Posted by: Common Cents Diva in

The Best Deals I See This Week

If you would like to see the full ad with matchups, click HERE.

Don't forget to read the CVS BASICS if you're new to shopping at CVS.

The items listed listed here are a great way to get started playing the "CVS ECB Game". You can find other items on the full ad matchup that are good sale prices if you need the item or just want to buy 1 or 2 until a good stock up sale comes around.

Red: Manufacturer Coupons
Blue: Store Coupons


$5 ECB wyb Gillette ProGlide, Venus Embrace, or Breeze Razor, $9.79 (limit 1)

  • $4/1 Gillette Fusion Proglide Manual or Power Razor, 8/1/10 PG

$5 ECB wyb Any Conair Hair or Shaving Appliances, starting at $4.99 (limit 1)

$5 ECB wyb $10 Crest/Oral-B/Scope products

Best Deal I see Here is:

Crest Pro-Health Mouth Rinse 1 liter, $3.99
  • $2/1 Crest Mouthwash 946 ml+, 8/1/10 PG

And, here is one way to work the transactions:

Transaction 1:

3 Crest Pro-Health Rinses at $3.99 each
Use 3 $2/1 Crest Mouthwash coupons from above
Total Due: $5.96 + tax

Transaction 2:

1 Conair Product at $4.99
Use $5 ECB from previous transaction
Total Due: Nothing + Tax (if applicable)

Transaction 3:

1 Gillette ProGlide Razor @ $9.79
Use $4/1 coupon from above
Use $5 ECB from previous transaction
Total Due: $.79+tax

Total OOP today: $6.75 + tax
You will still have $5 ECB for next weeks sales
Bottom line after ECB earned: $1.75 + tax for 3 bottles of mouthwash, 1 razor, and a Conair product

If you already have ECB's, you can tweek this to what will work best for you.

Please e-mail me if you'd like me to look at a scenario, I'd be happy to help!

Penny Pinching at Publix 7/29 - 8/4 (7/28 - 8/3 in some areas)  

Posted by: Common Cents Diva in

The Best Deals I See This Week

If you would like to see the full ad with matchups, click HERE.

Don't forget to read the Publix Basics if you aren't familiar with the policies at Publix.

The items listed listed here are what I consider to be great stock up prices.  You can find other items on the full ad matchup that are good sale prices if you need the item or just want to buy 1 or 2 until a good stock up sale comes around.

Blue - Publix or Store Coupon
Red - Manufacturer Coupon


Kellogg's Pop Tarts, Assorted Varieties, 13.5-15.2 oz. box, BOGO $2.39

Buy 2, and use the $1/2 coupon to get each box for $.70!

Hunt's Tomato Ketchup, 24 oz. bottle, BOGO $1.75
  • $.20/1 Hunt's Ketchup, 6/20/10 SS (exp. 7/31/10)
  • $1/2 Hunt's Ketchup, Any - All You Magazine, August 2010
  • $1/2 Food Lion Printable (manufacturer coupon) exp. 7/31/10
  • $5/10 ConAgra Foods Products, Pool Party Booklet (Publix Coupon)
Buy 10 and use 5 $1/2 coupons and 1 $5/10 Publix coupon to get all 10 bottles for free plus overage if your store allows!  NOTE: The $.20/1 and the Food Lion printable expire TODAY, 7/31.  The All You coupon is still valid if you can get 5 of them to use for this deal.

Sprout Organic Baby Food, Assorted Varieties, 3.5 oz., BOGO $.99
  • BOGO Sprout Baby Food (manufactuer coupon) from the Publix Smart Savings Booklet (exp. 8/31/10)
If your store doubles, buy 2 and use coupon (it will double at checkout) and both pouches are FREE!
If your store has true BOGO, buy 2 and use coupon and both pouches are FREE!

Yoplait Go-Gurt Yogurt, Assorted Varieties, 8 pack, 2.25 oz. tube, BOGO $2.79
Use the $1/1 to get each box for just $.40!

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt or Starbucks Ice Cream, Assorted Varieties, BOGO $3.79
Use the $1/1 to get each pint of Starbucks for $.90!

Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons, or Playtex Sport, 18 ct box, BOGO $4.25
Use the $1.50/1 to pay $.63 for each box or use the $2.50/2 to pay $1.75 for 2 boxes!


Sabra Hummus 2/$5
  • $1/1 Sabra Variety, 6/27/10 SS (exp. 8/15/10)
Use the $1/1 and get each container for $1.50!


Publix Grade A Large Eggs, 12 ct., $.99/each


Tony's Party Time Crispy Crust Pizza, 9.73-10.42 oz. box, 10/$10
Buy 2 and get each pizza for $.50!


Softsoap Liquid Land Soap, 7.5 oz. bottle, 10/$10
If your store doubles, you will get each one for FREE!


Baking Potatoes, 5 lb. bag, $2.99

Backyard Grilling Vegetables (green beans, eggplant, okra, yellow squash, or zucchini squash), $.99/lb

Tomatoes on the Vine, $1.69/lb.

White Mushrooms (whole or sliced), 8 oz. pkg., 2/$3

Cucumbers, 2/$1


Bottom Round Roast, $2.69/lb.

Perdue Whole Chicken, $1.19/lb.


Posted by: Common Cents Diva in

You see this word EVERYWHERE on sites about couponing.  Stockpiling is very important when it comes to saving money because it eventually reduces your shopping budget... you won't need to run to the store for things you run out of... just grab them from your stockpile. 

There is no hard and fast rule to the best way to do this because it will vary depending on your needs and the deals you find.  You can create a stockpile of almost anything.  Believe it or not, even eggs (if taken out of the shell) and milk can be frozen if done properly.  Click HERE to see some guidelines.  Dry foods and household items can be stored in your house.  Of course, this all depends on how much room you have in your house, but get creative on where you store things.  You would be surprised how much "hidden" space you have in drawers, closets, under beds, etc.   

How do I start?

Everyone will have a different stock up price for items, but eventually you will find that your stock up price will go down because you have enough of an item to last you until you can get more very cheaply or free.  For example, when I first started couponing I would pay $.50-.1 for body wash and I thought that was a great price because we were spending around $4-5 in the past.  Now that I have at about 25 bottles, I will not buy any unless it is FREE.  I have a lot of items that I know I have gotten for free and will not pay for again.  Here are some of those items:


  • Razors
  • Toothbrushes/Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Stylers
  • Shaving Cream
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine Products
  • Baby Wipes


  • Glass Cleaner
  • Furniture Polish
  • Toilet Cleaners
  • Sponges
  • Dish Soap


  • Rice
  • Noodles/Pasta
  • Tuna
  • Tomato Sauce/Paste
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, A1, etc)

There are so many other items that I've gotten for free and even MADE money on some of them that I could use toward the rest of my purchase.  It still amazes me that I don't have to pay for these things anymore!  I usually won't pay more than $1 for any item unless I really need it or it's something that rarely goes on sale.  My one exception is diapers, but I still get them really cheap... I have not paid more than $3 for a pack of Huggies or Pampers in the last 4 months.

Stockpiling is so important because if you have 10 bottles of ketchup and the one in your refrigerator is empty, you go grab another bottle from your pantry.  If you don't have a stockpile, you have to go to the grocery store and pay full price.  My last grocery trip to Publix included 10 bottles of ketchup and I actually had $1.75 in overage toward my other groceries... I got paid to buy ketchup that we need eventually anyway!

Creating your stockpile will take a few months and everyone will have different needs.  If you have enough coupon inserts and stock up when items are very cheap or free, you will be saving money on shopping trips in the future.  While creating my stockpile, I still NEVER went over my grocery budget and most of the time actually saved money each week because of all the coupons I was using.  Once you have a good stockpile, you can wait until the next sale to stock up again.

Getting and Organizing Coupons  

Posted by: Common Cents Diva in


Here are some ways to obtain coupons:

  • Inserts in your local paper
  • Purchase inserts or coupons online
  • Coupon booklets located at stores
  • Tearpads and Blinkies located at stores
  • Peelies on products
  • Printable coupons at Redplum, SmartSource, and NOTE: Typically the limit for printing is 2 per COMPUTER... you can print from various computers to getmore coupons or have your friends pint them for you.
  • Printable coupons from manufacturer websites
  • Electronic coupons from Cellfire, Kroger, and PGEsaver
  • Rebate offers that allow you to mail in a receipt for a coupon book for a manufacturer
  • Signing up for various manufacturer sites allows you to get coupons via e-mail.

There are many other ways, so always be on the lookout for coupons!


Here are the most efficient ways I have found to organize my coupons and get the most savings:


I don't necessarily mean that you need to go out and buy 10 newspapers each week (unless you can get them very cheaply). When I first started, I would buy 2 double papers each week; which was costing me $6/week and I ended up with 4 sets of inserts. My current method is to purchase inserts in bulk from Mad Coupons. You will receive an e-mail on Saturday's with the preview of exactly which coupons they will have in their inserts... if you want to order them, respond to the e-mail and pay via paypal. You will receive ten SETS of inserts for $10.50 shipped. I currently split this cost with a friend and we each end up with 5 inserts for $5.25. If you are interested in getting on her mailing list, send her an e-mail madcoupons @ (remove spaces). If there are no inserts or there is absolutely nothing you have any interest in, skip that week. I will almost always buy the inserts if there are any because at some point in the next couple months, something in those inserts will be a great deal and I will wish I had them. I don't honestly have a single insert that I haven't clipped coupons out of. There are other ways of getting inserts as well, such as e-bay (search for uncut inserts), friends and family, coupon trading sites, etc. I have had times where the regional inserts Mad Coupons received didn't have the coupons I wanted, so I purchased them on e-bay instead... I can still typically get 5 sets of inserts for around $6 shipped on e-bay.  By having multiple inserts, you have a better opportunity to add to your stockpile for future savings.


NOTE: There are many different methods out there if you search online, this is what I have found works best for me.  I have also used the just the little coupon file (I have so many coupons now that I could never fit them all in there!)  I have also tried the binder method and found it difficult to find what I needed and it was such a pain to sort all the coupons into those little baseball card slots and make sure the expiration date and value were visible. 

So here's what I do... I have 3 separate coupon files. I have found this to be the most effective format for me. I do NOT take all my coupons to the store everytime I go. I plan my shopping trips very carefully and only take the coupons I need. I will occasionally miss out on a clearance deal, but I'm okay with that because I know there is always another deal to come. And, remember, if you see something on clearance that you KNOW you have a coupon for at home... buy it at the clearance price and the next time you're in the store, bring your receipt and the coupon to get the value of the coupon reimbursed to you. Here are the 3 ways I organize my coupons:

  1. I do not cut the coupons out of my inserts. I go through the 5 inserts and put all of the like pages together.  I then staple all the like pages together (in a place that won't attach the staple to any of the coupons).  Then, I write the date and which insert it was from on the front of each stapled set.  For example, write 7/25/10 SS.  It's important to date each set, so if one gets separated, you know where it needs to go.  Also, be sure to write the date somewhere that there are no coupons on either side.  Once you do that, put a binder clip at the top of each set from each insert and file it by the date.  You can purchase the same filing box that I have pictured (large, accordian file... holds 5-6 months of inserts at a time) at Walmart for $12.44.  For a long time, I was just keeping the inserts whole and writing the date on the first one and then clipping them together... this works just as well, but my new method allows me to be able to clip 5 coupons at once without having to flip through 5 inserts and clip 5 times.  Below is an example of my numbered inserts and my file.  This makes it so much easier to find those inserts from all the ad matchup sites.
  2. I have 2 smaller accordian files for internet printables, blinkies, tearpad coupons, etc.  I have them filed pretty specifically; which is why I have 2 of them.  You could probably get away with just 1 if your filing system contains broader categories.
  3. I have a clear plastic file envelope that holds all of the booklets I find, All You magazines (lots of coupons in those... only available at Walmart or by suscription), rebates, etc.  When I have multiple coupon books, I clip those together so I always know how many I have when I'm looking for coupons.  I bought this at Dollar Tree for $1 and, as you can tell, could probably use another one since mine won't even snap shut!

Using this method has really streamlined creating my shopping list because I know exactly where all my coupons are.


When I go shopping, my lists are always very detailed.  I want to make sure I have all the information I need on one shopping list without having to dig through the coupons to get information.  I also make sure I know what my total before tax should be, so I can tell if something is wrong (i.e. they forgot to scan a coupon, a coupon didn't scan properly, something rang up wrong, etc).  Since I am usually shopping with a 3 year old and a 10 month old, I don't typically have the ability to watch the screen as they scan everything (I'm too busy trying to re-direct my son from the candy!), so having all this on my list really helps me.  It also allows me to make sure I'm buying the correct item that is on sale by having the price it should be right on my list and double checking it with the tag on the shelf.
Here's an example of how my list might look:

4 Kraft Mayo     BOGO $3.99     2 $1/2 mq's (manufacturer coupons)     Total: $1.99
4 Cheerios         BOGO $4.69      2 $1/2 mq's                                                 Total: $2.69
Total: $4.67 + tax

Not only does this help me, but it also makes me focus on what I'm doing and not make impulse buys.  You can also use the shopping list tool on Southern Savers or the spreadsheet list tool on I Heart Publix.  While I think these are both great tools, it's easier for me to write out my own list with all my own details.

I hope this helps you in organizing your coupons to make things easier to find when you need them!

First Things First - Learn the Lingo  

Posted by: Common Cents Diva in

On any site about couponing, you will find some abbreviations you may find confusing. Here is the a list of common lingo you will see and the definitions.

SS: SmartSource coupon insert (EX: 7/25/10 SS, the coupon was in the July 25th insert)
RP: RedPlum coupon insert
PG: P&G coupon insert
Peelie: A sticker attached to a product that contains a coupon to peel off
Blinkie: A coupon found in a small coupon dispenser attached to the shelves by the item
Tearpad: A tearpad located in a store with a coupon
WYB: When You Buy (EX: $2 off bacon WYB eggs)
OYNO: On Your Next Order (EX: $5 off on your next order)
ECB: CVS Extra Care Bucks (money off your next purchase)
RR: Walgreens Register Rewards (money off your next purchase)
+UP: Rite Aid's +UP Rewards (money off your next purchase)
BOGO or B1G1: Buy One, Get One Free
B2G1: Buy 2, Get One Free
$1/1 (or similar): $1 off 1 item... the first number is the coupon value and the second number is the quanity you need to purchase
Catalina (Cat): A coupon that prints from a machine directly next to the cash register
Winetag: Coupon on a hangtag on a bottle of wine
MIR: Mail in Rebate
Q: Coupon
MQ or MFR: Manufacturer coupon
PQ: Publix Store Coupon
TQ: Target Store Coupon
KEQ: Kroger e-coupon
CVSQ: CVS Store Coupon
WQ: Walgreens Store Coupon
RAQ: Rite Aid Store Coupon
RAVVQ: Rite Aid Video Values Coupon (earn coupons from watching videos on their site)
RC: Rain Check (Most stores will give you a rain check if they are out of an item that is on sale. Make sure you let them know how many you intended to purchase. All stores will vary on the limits and the expiration date, so be sure to read it carefully.
OOP: Out of Pocket (money you had to spend)
FLIP: Food Lion Internet Printable (these are often store coupons and can be used at Publix if your store considers them a competitor)

Welcome to Common Cents Diva!  

Posted by: Common Cents Diva in

My name is Virginia and I am a stay at home mom to 2 small children. I began using coupons in March 2010 just to help us cut down on some household expenses. I was truly amazed at all the money I was saving. After building a stockpile of items (which took a lot less time then I thought it would!), my out of pocket spending for our family of 4 is typically less than $50/week! That number is still shocking to me because I used to spend closer to $200/week.

I have begun this site in order to share with all of you how you can save lots of money by couponing and deal seeking. I will share with you all of the great deals I come across and the best ways for you to stretch your budget. There are many sites out there that provide full ad matchups and I will always link to those, but my goal is to show you the BEST deals each week and help you to build your stockpile, so you can drastically reduce out of pocket spending.

Anyone can do this and I will share with you all of the tips and tricks I have learned in the past 5 months. I hope everyone that reads this can cut their spending down as much as I did!