Sunday, January 16, 2011

Financial Peace University - Take the First Class FREE

As you may recall, hubby and I took the Financial Peace University series during the last quarter of last year. While we were already pretty gung-ho before taking the class, we learned A LOT. With the new year beginning, many new classes are also starting up and Dave now offers to let you take the first class for free, so you can decide if you think it will be for you (before you pay).

We were pretty well committed to taking the class before going to the first class. However, had we not been so committed we might have ended up waiting after taking the first class. For us, it was simply that we didn't feel the leader of our class was the best she could have been. While the class itself is taught by Dave Ramsey himself, there are local "coordinators" or leaders for each local class. IMO, they should do more than just push "play" on the DVD. They should be there to coach you and encourage you and make sure you are on track.

That said, another good reason to wait until your first class to actually pay is that many of the locations can offer you a discount on the class price from what the online price is. I think the class is about $130 if you pay online and we paid $100 after our first class. The one downside of this is that you most likely won't get your class materials until your second class.

The good news is that once you pay for FPU once, you can take it as many times as you like. So if you pay before you start the class and decide you aren't "feeling" the local coordinator you can look for a different local class. IMO, unless you have a spouse that is super gung-ho about changing your spending/saving ways and getting on a budget (and you are just as gung-ho) you really need to have a good local class and coordinator to ensure that you get the most out of the class. Otherwise, it's too easy to hear the info and say "yeah that's great, we should do that" but not really do anything about it.

Now that we've paid and gone through the class once, I'd actually like to do it again in about a year or so. I know it is the type of class that you will get something more out of each time you take it.

Click Here to Find a Class Near You. (I just checked and there were 17 classes starting up within 25 miles of us in the next couple of weeks).

Is it Spring Yet?

I don't know about you but I am very ready for Spring. As far as I'm concerned, we had enough winter last week to last us several winters (and luckily, we live in AL so I'm hoping it will be the last of Winter that we see).  Snow was fun when it first arrived, it was pretty and something different.  But, after a week of looking at it I'm just glad to see it's going away.  What about you are you ready for Spring? 


Be sure to click the button above to check out some other great blogs and see their thoughts on Spring.

Oh and just 8 more weeks till we Spring Ahead (I'm so looking forward to those longer days!)

1/2 way through the month and 3/4 of the way through the money (Weekly Totals Week 2)

So it's the 16th and we have $50 left in our grocery envelope, which means I've already spent more than $150 this month on grocery and drugstore items.  Our current budget is $200/month and I had some cash left from last month.  I also have a $12 check that I received from Steak Umms as a response to my request for coupons (hey, I'll take that!).

Out of $50, at least $20 of that will spent on milk and peanut butter in the next two weeks.  Paul is down to his last jar of peanut butter (which means I'm looking at least 3 more before the month is over @about $4/jar, and another $10 for milk for both of us.  Then I need to get by Walgreens and get him at least 10 more Gatorade's while I can get them 5/$4.

After this month, we definitely won't be getting the full monthly allowance out at once. We usually get it out of the bank in 2 week increments, but we accidentally got out a full months worth at the start of this month and I think that's thrown off spending to some degree.  The thing is while I've done some deal shopping, I've not done much of it in comparison to what I'd done in previous months. 

If we have to, we can adjust the budget and increase our grocery fund, but I'm hoping to not do that.  Most of our spending was still in that first week of the month (granted we were snowed in for half of this week, which helps).

So here are the purchases for this week (see week 1 here)
  • CVS - $2.90  (for $55 worth of purchases)
  • Rite Aid - $6.07 (for $30 worth of purchases)
  • Rite Aid - $10.40 (for $45 worth of purchases)
  • Publix - $46.44 (for $122 worth of purchases)
Sad thing is that on that Publix trip they were completely out of several of the items I wanted to get (granted with the exception of a meat cut that was on sale they were items that would result in very little OOP and great savings).  

So far this month I've spent just under $175, with a savings of just under $335 (or 69%).

Free Samples

You may never need to buy shampoo again with all these great samples....

40% Off 1 Item at Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby has their 40% off any ONE Item coupon out again this week.  Be sure to print it off and take it with you when you head out shopping.

Why FREE Samples are awesome!

Often when we think of free samples we think "is it really worth giving them my info just for a small sample of something?".  At least I know I've thought that.  But, I'd like to share my thoughts on why it is worth while.

1. There are some products you don't use a lot of and often a FREE sample can be all you need to last a very long time.
2. Sometimes free samples are more than just a sample.  In the last few months I've gotten some really awesome "samples", where I thought they were just going to send me a "sample" and what I got was a full size product or several.
  • Right @ Home samples - I received a box of full size cleaning products (4 different kinds of cleaning wipes, probably $20 at full price in the store).
  • Coffee - I've gotten "samples" of coffees from 3 different companies that were definitely more than just a taste.  Green Mountain coffee sent me 4 Keurig K-cups and a travel coffee mug and all I had to do was ask.
  • Scotch Blue Painters tape - a full roll, just waiting for us to need to paint another room.
3. They almost always come with really good coupons!  I don't hesitate to ask for a sample on a product I know I will use (especially if it's something I already use) because I know it will come with a coupon so that I can later buy that product at a much reduced price.  Usually, the coupons that come with samples are of a higher dollar value than coupons you may find elsewhere.

All that said, I know a big worry about asking for free samples is wondering where else your address may end up.  So far I've not seen a major increase in junk mail since we started getting free samples, but I have saved a good bit of money.  There are some sites that I will hesitate to ask for a free sample from. I'm not a fan of sites that have obviously been translated from another language, or of going through hoops to get a free sample.  I'll give you my name & address (and even an email address) but don't ask me pages and pages of survey questions.  If I won't sign myself up for it, you won't see me sharing it here.

Sunday 1/16 Newspaper Coupons

There were two inserts in my paper today, here in North ALabama, and here's what they contained....

Proctor & Gamble
  • $1/1 Covergirl product
  • .35/1 Zest bar or bodywash (or Safeguard multi-pack)
  • .25/1 Ivory bar/ bodywash or liquid handsoap
  • $3/1 Olay Regenerist Facial Moisturizer or Cleanser
  • $1/1 Olay Facial Moisturizer or Cleanser
  • $1.50/1 Dayquil
  • $1.50/1 Nyquil
  • $1/1 Vicks product
  • $1/1 Prilosec
  • $10/1 Crest 3D White 2 Hour Expressions or Professional Effects Whitestrips
  • .75/1 Crest toothpaste (4oz or larger)
  • .75/1 Oral B pulse CrossAction or TWO Indicator or Cavity Defense Manual toothbrushes
  • $4/1 PUR or PUR flavor options system
  • $2/1 PUR pitcher or Faucet mount multi-pack replacement filters or PUR refrigerator filter
  • $1/1 Cheer detergent
  • .25/1 Gain dishwashing liquid
  • B1 Febreeze Fabric refresher, G1 Air effects or Fabric Refresher
  • B1 Febreeze NOTICEables Refill, G1 Febreeze NOTICEables warmer
  • $1/1 Febreeze candle
  • $5/1 Febreeze Flameless Luminary starter kit
  • $2/1 Febreeze Home Collection diffuser
  • $2/1 Febreeze Home Collection candle
  • $1/2 Pringles Super Stack cans
  • .50/1 Pringles Snack stack or stix
  • $1/2 cans Fat Free Pringles
Smart Source
  • Red Lobster $4/2 dinner entrees
  • Red Lobster $3/2 lunch entrees
  • .55/1 butterball breakfast/lunch meat
  • $3/1 AcneFree kit
  • $1/1 Acne Free non-kit treatment
  • $1/4 cans Progresso soup
  • .50/1 Yoplait FiberOne multipack
  • .50/1 Yoplait YoPlus 4 pack
  • $3/1 Viactiv
  • $1/1 Silk almondmilk
  • $1/6 cans Purina Friskies Selects or (1) 12ct variety pack Purina Friskies canned cat food
  • $1/15 5.5oz cans or (2) 12ct or (1) 24ct or larger pack of Purina Friskies canned cat food
  • $1/1 3.15lb or larger bag of Purina Friskies dry cat food
  • $1/1 4.4lb or larger bag of Purina Dog Chow or Puppy Chow
  • $1.50/1 17.6lb or larger bag of Purina Dog Chow or Puppy Chow
  • .50/1 6ct package of White Castle microwavable hamburgers or cheeseburgers
  • $1/1 Dulcalax product
  • $3/2 Dulcalax products
  • $1/1 Children's or adult Mucinex product
  • $1.50/3 Snyder's or Hanover pretzels
  • $1/1 Jergens (7.5oz or larger) moisturizer
  • $2/ any 24ct or higher Zantac
  • $1/1 Colgate Total
  • .35/1 Blistex
  • $1/any DenTek Floss Pick $2 or more
  • .50/2 Dole Fruit bowls
  • .25/1 SunnyD product
  • $2/1 ICaps vitamin formula
  • $4/1 OPTI-FREE ReplenISH twin pack
  • $2/1 Systane product
  • $3/1 SCOTT bath tissue (6ct or larger) AND 1 package SCOTT Naturals Flushable moist wipes (Publix store coupon)
  • $1.50/1 SCOTT Towels, Long Lasting Roll (Publix store coupon)
  • $3/1 box Huggies diapers (Publix store coupon)
  • $7/2 ENFAMIL large powders (Publix store coupon)
  • $2/1 Kotex or U BY Kotex product (Publix store coupon)
  • $1/1 ALL laundry detergent
  • $1.50/1 ALL laundry detergent (84 load or larger)
  • $2/2 Snuggle fabric softener liquid or dryer sheets
  • $1/1 CustomEyes Mascara or any REVLON eye product
  • $2/1 ColorStay Aqua mineral makeup or any REVLON face product
  • $1/1 Colorburst Lipgloss or any REVLON lip or nail product
  • $2/1 5.25lb or larger package of Purina Beneful brand dog food
  • $1/1 Skintimate Cream shave
  • $1/2 Skintimate Moisturizing Shave gels (2.75oz or larger)
  • $2/1 Schick Quattro for Women razor or refill
  • $1/1 Surf laundry detergent
  • $1/1 Duncan Hines Amazing Glazes desert topping
  • $1/1 Duncan Hines 100% Whole Grain muffin mix
  • $1/2 Bob Evans refrigerated side dishes
  • .50/1 Gortons item
  • $1/1 Welch's Healthy Start 100% juice
  • $1/1 Welche's Refrigerated Juice cocktail (any flavor)
  • $1/1 bottle LOUISIANA wing sauce
  • $1/2 12oz bottles of LOUISIANA hot sauce
  • $2/2 KOTEX pads
  • $1.50/2 KOTEX liners (33ct or higher)
  • $1.50/2 KOTEX Security tampons
  • $1/1 box Celestial Seasonings tea (not valid on K-cups)

$2 Zicam coupon in Parade Magazine

Before you toss your paper today be sure to check the Parade Magazine for a $2 Zicam coupon!

Rite Aid Deals Week of 1/16 (Money Makers)

There were so many great deals at Rite Aid this week that I felt I should put them in a separate post.

Rite Aid

Halls Cough Drops & Halls Defense 2/$3 (get $1+UP)
- use .50/1 Video Value Coupon (Jan)
-use $1/1 printable from Halls website (no longer available)
-use .50/1 from February ALL You magazine
= $1.50 OOP, get back $1+UP
Final Price = as low as FREE!

Hormel Chili 4/$5 (get $1+UP wyb 4)
use $1.50/3 coupon from February All You
use .50/1 coupon from Video Values
pay $3
get $1 +UP
I've heard that you will also get (4) $1+UPs (as part of an unadvertised +UP deal)
= Final Price $2/4 (or $2 Money Maker)

Rite Aid Facial Tissue, Bath Tissue, or Simplify Bath Tissue – $1.00
Get $1 +UPR
= FREE after +UPR
(I've heard that if you buy 10 of these products you will get an additional $3+UP)

There are also some great deals to be had with a
Buy $30 worth of various products and get a $10+UP
this includes
Bounty 8 Pack Paper Towels $6.97
Gillette antiperspirant & deodorant or body wash $3.97
Old Spice Fresh Collection or Red Zone antiperspirant or body wash $3.97
Prilosec 42ct $24.97
Vicks Dayquil/Nyquil/ Sinex $4.97
Oral B Cross Action toothbrush $2.97
Crest Toothpaste $2.97
Tide laundry detergent (50oz liquid or 70oz powder) $5.97

DrugStore Deals Week of 1/16 (Walgreens & CVS)

There are always many more deals than I will report here.  The ones I report are ones that are of interest to me (just so ya know).

Listerine .5L $3.99 (get $1ECB) Limit 2
$7.98 - (2)$1 coupons = $5.98
get $2 ECB - 2/$3.98

Colgate Total $2.77 (get $1ECB) Limit 2
$5.54 - $1 coupon - .75 coupon = $3.79
get $2 ECB = 2/$$1.79

Blink Tears $7.99 (get $4ECB)
- $1 Q = $6.99 - possibly a $4Q on box = $3.99
get $4ECB = $2.99

$16.76 - $4/20Q = $12.95 - $10ECB = $2.76+tax OOP
(if the $4Q for Blink is on the box) = $12.76 - $4/20 - $10ECB = pay just tax OOP (will probably need a small filler).

I've found that on some occasions if I make sure to give them the $4/20 and my ECBs first, before giving them the other manufacturer Qs that they will allow the overage from the other Qs to eat into the tax. (This worked for me last week).  If that's the case I could walk away from this transaction with less than the tax OOP.

Thermacare heat wraps (singles) $2.50
(receive $2.50 RR) = FREE

Gatorade or G2 - 5/$5 - $1/5IVQ = 5/$4

IVC's are Instant Value Coupons located in the coupon books you will find at the front of the store (usually next to the current weekly ads).  These coupon books are monthly and you can stack regular manufacturer Q's with the coupons in this book for extra savings.