Spend Smarter!

It is all about spending smarter - Why spend money you do not have to??
The Deal Diva appears in the Charlotte Observer on Sunday in the Business/Moneywise section! Thanks to all of you for reading!!
Check out MOM Charlotte - this is a great website and offers lots of great information. http://mom.charlotte.com/
Send me tips by leaving comments on this blog! Or email me at thedealdiva@bellsouth.net I would love to share your great ideas!!
How to Best Use The List :
* The lists are current store specials with recent coupons from Sunday coupon inserts found in the newspaper.
For additional coupons use RedPlum.com, Coupons.com, and SmartSource.com
BOGO deals are generally the best deals out there especially if you have a coupon. Remember you do not have to buy two to get the special price. If you want to buy two make sure you have two coupons to save the most!!
Part of being a savvy shopper is staying organized. Try going through your coupon organizer every few weeks to discard old coupons.
If a coupon says "ANY" and does not specify " does not include trail size" then you can get the smallest size possible and it is perfectly legit to do so. Some of the best coupons say "ANY" and I have gotten tons of trail size products, great items to donate!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chick -Fil A and Coldwater Creek Savings

Jan. 1 Chick-fil-A FreebiEvent Visit Chick-fil-A on January 1 between 10:30 am and 6 pm and get a coupon for a free chicken biscuit with any purchase. Please check the list of participating states for this offer on the Chick-fil-A website and of course it's while supplies last. ...

70% off Everything at Coldwater Creek Find out how to get 70% off any and every item at Coldwater Creek (including Outlet) by visiting WantNot.net. This is a really good sale for this store, and unbelievable that it really does include every item they carry (even clearance and sale items ...

Check out HT

What a way to start a year TRIPLE coupons at HT this week Thursday Jan. 1st - Sunday Jan. 4th. That means that HT will triple the value up to $.99 for up to 20 coupons per transaction. HT is also doing what they can do to help you qualify for that PG coupon book I told you about on Sunday! They will DOUBLE PG coupons valued between $1.00 and $2.00. They are also offering theor Fresh Perdue chicken breast Buy ONE get TWO free! Enjoy the great deals and Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tara's Tips for Sunday Dec 28th 2008

Hard to imagine that on Thursday we will usher in a new year. I am wondering if this year instead of making a list of what I will do in 2009 if it would be better to make a list of what I won’t do in 2009. I am working on mine now – anyway on to saving money!

Here are a few things I found online that I would like to share
Do It Herself – did you know that Home Depot has developed a great free service called "Do it Herself" workshops? They are conducted across the country throughout the year. The workshops are about 90 minutes long, teach a practical skill, and even provide a generous coupon to attendees who attend the workshop. There is no cost to the workshop, you can register online at the Home Depot site and if you encourage some of your friends to join you it could even be a fun social get-together.
Think outside the box or bottle - There are many items that that commonly go on sale and have coupons available throughout the year, making them free or practically free. Items such as shampoo, cake mixes and rice mixes are common freebies. If the items aren’t your brand or are not what your family eats, finding an alternative use for them could still help your household budget.
Ideas include:
Shampoo: If you find that the freebie shampoo is not the brand you prefer for your hair. You can use shampoo to get oily rings out of shirt collars as a pretreatment and use it as dishwashing liquid on a camping trip because it is biodegradable. Because it is safe for the environment, two tablespoons in a bucket of water works well for washing cars. It makes great bubble bath, works well as a hand washing liquid, and you can also use it in a sink full of water to soak hairbrushes and combs.
Cake mix: If your family only eats cakes on birthdays but you can’t pass up the 19 cent cake mix, try making cookies with them. The simplest cake mix cookie recipe calls for 2 eggs and one quarter of a cup of vegetable oil. Bake at 350 until firm to the touch (being careful not to over bake). You can find many more creative recipes by entering “cake mix cookies” in an Internet search engine. You can also bake muffins by combining one box of cake mix and one 15-ounce can solid pack pumpkin, baking at 350 until done.
Soup mixes: Even if you prefer making homemade soups instead of using mixes, they are ideal for seasoning recipes creatively. Read the side of the soup mix box to find good recipes using the soup mix as seasoning in casseroles, chicken dishes, and pasta dishes.
Rice mixes: Many people find that prepared rice mixes are too high in sodium to use on a regular basis. However, rice mixes can be a good starter for main dish one-pot meals like chicken and rice, casseroles or even frittatas using cooked rice as a base. Read the side of the rice mix box for good recipe ideas. When using the rice as a side dish, I like to add plain rice and more water to feed more people and reduce the sodium content.
What type of shopper are you?
An industry study conducted by News America Marketing (the people who bring you the Smart Source coupon circular) showed that 68% of people don’t like to go to the grocery store. Grocery shopping either takes too much time, costs too much money, or generally causes stress. If you are part of that 68% and think that saving money at the grocery store is too difficult or time-consuming, keep reading. This study found that shoppers fall into five personality types. Fortunately, some of the best savings strategies are also the easiest. Find yourself and start saving!

Research found that roughly one third of shoppers are what I call “Super Shoppers.” When it comes to shopping, they pride themselves on being pros and have detailed shopping lists and organized coupon systems. They shop the best deals at more than one store every week, scan the aisles for unadvertised bargains, and spend a total of two and a half hours a week in the grocery store. They may be saving a lot of money, but you definitely do not want to get stuck behind them in the checkout lane! If you are a “Super Shopper”, you have your savings strategies set, you know how to save, and you enjoy shopping. You know all about saving money, but you may be able to save time if you take advantage of online coupons, automatic rebate programs, and online advertising circulars to help plan your trips efficiently.

The second one-third of shoppers are “Strivers” and “Stressors.” These shoppers have hectic schedules and limited time. Their shopping trips tend to be disorganized, stressful, and are filled with impulse purchases. Unplanned trips end up resulting in more frequent trips to the store to buy forgotten items. They want to save money, of course, but they aren’t organized enough to even know where to begin. Most shoppers would say they go to the store about once a week. But in reality, Strivers and Stressors go to the store for one big trip each week, then stop in the next day for a forgotten ingredient, swing by the store on the way home from work the next day to get a quick dinner, and finally go to the store at the end of the week to get snacks for the baseball team as that week’s snack parent. That’s four trips per week, with only one being a “planned” trip. If you see yourself as a Striver or a Stressor, the good news is that you can save big money with one simple change. You do not have to organize hundreds of coupons or develop complicated shopping systems. It’s easy—all you have to do is make one good shopping list once a week. It may take a little more time before that one big weekly trip, but it will pay off. Think through every day of the week, what you plan to have each night for dinner, what the family will need for breakfast, lunches and snacks. Check the calendar for school events and activities that might require providing refreshments. By anticipating every possible grocery need over the week and getting as much as possible in one trip, you will end up saving a lot of time and money by cutting unplanned trips to the store. Once you have mastered that Really Good List and see the difference it makes, you can work your way up to planning your week’s meals around the advertising circular’s sale items, then throw in a few coupons and you are on your way to being a Super Shopper without much effort at all.

The final third of shoppers are called “Anti-Shoppers” and “Casual Spenders.” These shoppers are not interested in changing how they shop and they do not care how much they spend. Shopping is definitely a chore they could live without. Their motto is “I don’t mind paying more if it means zero effort.” If you are an Anti Shopper or a Casual Spender, getting the store discount card is as close as you can get to zero effort, so make sure you have that in your wallet or purse to help you save without taking any time.

Ok on to the Savings!!
Due to the holidays the typical sales weeks have been a little weird. This week HT released a very “condensed” list of specials and they are good only until12/30. Bi – Lo weekly specials were also very limited and started on 12/26 and will continue until 1/1. Food Lion started 12/26 and continues until 12/30. So the lists for HT, Food Lion and Bi-Lo are short with only the BOGO specials. Next week it is back to normal.

There was only one coupon section and it was from Proctor and Gamble. Currently PG is offering a special deal. If you buy $50 worth of PG products from now until Valentine’s Day you will receive a coupon book with over $120 of coupons. It takes a little work. HT is keeping up with your PG purchase at the bottom of your receipt. I have not seen any other stores with the feature. If you look at the Rite Aid list below – it may be pretty easy to make the $50.
The link for the offer - http://www.pgeverydaysolutions.com/pgeds/en_US/jsp/EDS_Page.jsp?pageID=Year-of-Savings

If you buy the $50 of PG products at Sam’s Club you get a extra $10 gift card to Sam’s Club

Harris Teeter - This week’s BOGOs
Lay's Potato Chips - 10.5-11 oz
Nabisco Snack Crackers - 6.75-9.5 oz
Fresh Step Cat Litter - 21 lb.
Purina Dog Chow - 17.6-20 lb
Freschetta Pizza
Pepsi Products - 12 Pack Cans- Fridge Mate
Best deal of the week – Dunkin Doughnuts coffee is on sale for $5.99 usually $7.29 and the there is a coupon in today’s paper for $.75 double that and the final cost for the coffee is $4.49

Bi- Lo - This week’s BOGOs
Assorted Pork Loin Chops
Lay's Potato Chips
Allens Frozen Vegetables
Celia's Soft Taco 10 Count or Corn Tortillas 36 Count
Equal Sweetener Packets
Chex Mix or Bugles
Coco Real Cream of Coconut
Southern Home Heat n' Serve Chicken
Blue Ribbon Extra Long Grain White Rice
Great Fish Tilapia Fillets
Heinz Gravy

Food Lion - This week’s BOGOs
Home-style Glazed Donuts Or Cinnamon Pull-A-Part Rolls
Edy's Ice Cream
Food Lion Chicken Snack Wings
Food Lion Jumbo Cooked Shrimp
Hillshire Farm Cocktail Smokies
Hormel Cooked Ham
White Potatoes

Franks Redhot Sauce 5 oz 87%
Suave Lotion 10 oz 56%
Infusium 23 Hair Care 16 oz 51%
Oral B Refill Brush Heads 3 ct 50%
Arm & Hammer Essentials Starter Kit 50%
Gillette 2 In 1 Body Wash 12 oz 47%
Goodlife Recipe Cat Treats 44%
Kellogg’s Eggo Waffles 10 ct 42%
Gillette Fusion Razor 1 ct 40%
Max Factor Eyeshadow 40%
Pantene Shampoo 12.6 oz 38%
Benefiber Stick Supplements 16 ct 37%
Chloraseptic Medicine 6 oz 37%
Clairol Nice N Easy Hair Color 1 ct 36%
Kellogg’s Rice Krispies 10.5 oz 35%
Clairol Herbal Essences Shampoo 34%
Pedigree Dog Treats 34%
Aussie Hair Care 6-13.5 oz $34%
Pantene Hair Care 24.5 oz 34%
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes 17 oz 34%

Gillette Body Wash 12 oz 64%
Dove 16 oz Body Wash 50%
Aussie Hair Spray 10.2 oz 49%
Clairol Herabal Essences Shampoo 47%
Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion 42%
Old Spice Deodorant 2.6-4 oz 42%
Dove Lotion 13.5 oz 41%
Hot Pockets or Lean Pockets 39%
Hershey’s Kisses 11 oz 39%
M&Ms Valentine 12.6 oz 39%

Orajel Antiseptic Mouth Sore Rinse 16 oz, Free after $5.99 mail in rebate, earn $1 by using newspaper coupon
Sundown Vitamins or Herbal Supplements 80%
AXE Shampoo or Conditioner 12 oz, final price is after $4 mail in rebate 80%
Osteo Bi Flex buy one get one free (est price) assumes two coupons 78%
Pert Shampoo 13.5 oz75%
Flexamin 75%
Schiff Move Free Dietary Supplement , 75%
General Mills Chex Mix 72%
Oral B Advantage, Stages or Artica Toothbrush, final price is after $1 mail in rebate and newspaper coupon---coupon shown is for Advantage only 70%
Simply Saline 1.5-4.25 oz or Sinus Kit, 67%
Revlon Colorstay Makeup, 64%
Cover Girl Cosmetics 63%
Nature Made Vitamins or Herbal Supplement 63%
Campbell’s Soup Chicken Noodle, Tomato, Vegetable or Chicken Rice 62%
Natures Bounty Vitamins and Herbal Supplements 62%
Gold Bond Skin and Bath Care products or Foot powder 60%
Crest Toothpaste Pro Health 4.2 oz or Plus Scope 6.2 oz , 60%
Pantene Shampoo, Conditioner or Stylers 60%
Air Wick Lumin Air Candles 60%
Vicks DayQuil or NyQuil Childrens 6 oz, Adult 10 oz Liqui Caps 20 ct, 57%
OB Tampons 18 ct 57%
Crest Pro Health Rinse 1 liter or Whitening Rinse 16 oz 56%
Refresh Tears 0.5 oz, Eye Itch Relief 5ml or PM ointment 56%
Clairol Herbal Essences Shampoo, Conditioner or Sytlers55%
Infusium 23 Shampoo or Conditioner 54%
Kleenex White Tissue 54%
Stayfree Maxi Pads 14-24 ct 54%
Olay Regenerist Facial Moisturizer , 53%
Clairol Nice N Easy or Gray Solutions Hair Color 53%
Dawn Dish Detergent 10.3 oz 53%

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Top Ten Tips to save $ NOW!

  1. Combine your cable, internet and telephone service. Companies now offer combined services that not only cost less, but offer the convenience of a single bill.
  2. Slow down your internet service. I went to the slower internet service option with my cable company and saved $15 per month. And I haven’t noticed a difference when surfing the Net.
  3. Send away for and follow up on rebates. After you buy a product with a rebate, send in the form that day. Then mark your calendar to remind yourself to follow up with the rebate company if the check hasn’t show up.
  4. Request a reduction in the interest rate for your home equity line of credit. And if you are looking for a home equity loan, LendingTree Home Equity Loans is a great place to check out available options.
  5. Request a reduction in the interest rate on your credit cards. As with home equity loans, credit card companies sometimes are willing to reduce the interest rate. It can’t hurt to ask.
  6. Get your books from the library. Simply put, it’s hard to beat free.
  7. Get DVDs from the library. Many libraries now have movies on DVD that can be checked out. If your library offers this service, it sure beats paying Blockbuster or Netflix.
    Get DVDs from Red Box. If your library doesn’t offer DVDs, get your moves from Red Box. It costs just one dollar per night. Some Red Box locations offer free movies on Mondays – search the Internet for more information!! .
  8. Read magazines at the library or online. Too many magazines can cost a fortune. And how many times have you bought a magazine based on the cover and been disappointed by the lack of substance. At the library you can read magazines for free. And many magazines now offer their content for free online.
  9. Subscribe to magazines that are must reads. If you must have a certain magazine each month, subscribe. Subscriptions offer substantial savings over the cost at the newsstand. Update: Amazon offers some great deals on personal finance magazines.
  10. Get a rewards card. There are many reward cards that pay out in cash or points that can be redeemed for travel or products. Many of these cards don’t have an annual fee.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Car Repair that will Save you Money

How to clean your car’s air filterIn general, most cars should have their air filter replaced every 15,000 miles. What most people don’t realize, though, is that their car’s air filter begins to get clogged with dust after just a few thousand miles - and when it begins to get clogged with dust, the air flow under your hood slows down and your automobile quickly becomes less fuel efficient. How much less efficient? A dirty air filter, even after just 5,000 miles after a change, can cost you up to 7% of your gas mileage. If you are driving a car that normally gets 20 miles per gallon, your car is now getting 18.6 MPG. Over the next 10,000 miles, that’s an extra 37.6 gallons of gas, which with gas at $2.10 per gallon, costs you $79.03!
Cleaning off your air filter is easy (can you turn a wing nut with your hand? If you can, you can handle this) and it only takes about five minutes. All you need is your car, your owner’s manual, and a vacuum cleaner. I usually do it when vacuuming out my car normally, so I usually don’t even have to worry about pulling out my vacuum, making it a two minute task.
Here’s what you do:
1. Open your car’s hood.
2. Take a peek in your car’s owner’s manual to see exactly where the air filter is. It’s usually right on top under the hood and easy to reach. On my truck, it happens to be in a round metal container that’s right in front of my face; on other cars, it can be square or rectangular, but still right in front of you. Locate it under the hood.
3. Take off the top of the metal container that the filter is in. It’s either held in place by some clamps that you can flip up with your finger or a wing-nut that you can unscrew with your hand.
4. Pull out the filter. It’s just sitting in there, so you should be able to pick it right up.
5. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean off the filter. I usually tap it a few times on my car’s bumper, and then vacuum it for a minute or so.
6. Vacuum out the inside of the chamber where the air filter sits. There’s usually a bit of dust in there. Vacuum it for fifteen seconds or so to get any dust you see.
7. Wipe off the inside of the chamber with a rag or a paper towel. You should be able to get a bit more grime with this. Don’t scrub it or anything, just get any grime that’s easily accessible.
8. Put the air filter back in place, put the cover back on the air filter chamber (don’t forget to put the clamp or screw back in place!), and close your hood. You’re done!
I recommend doing this every 5,000 miles or so. If you ordinarily have a mechanic do this, you can do it yourself 5,000 miles after an air filter change. Once you do it a couple of times, you’ll probably be fine with just changing your air filter yourself, which will save some additional money if you have your mechanic do it.
Time spent: Five minutes Money saved: At least $79

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More about Coupons!!

The Fine Print – Is it really a good deal?
Buying items in bulk used to be cheaper and sometimes it still is but takes time to look at the fine print located on the price tag on the grocery shelf. Many store will now provide the per unit price (per ounce or per pound) for bulk items there are a few items that will almost always be a better deal when bought in bulk. Consider the unit price on the shelf tag and buy what goes on sale. Often, a smaller size costs pennies or is free with a coupon. Cheese by the block is typically much cheaper than if you buy the already shredded cheese. I also like to buy chicken and hamburger in bulk and then divide it up myself. One of the greatest shortcuts I have ever learned was shared with me a few years ago by a former neighbor. Buy chicken in bulk, for example the value size package of chicken thighs. When you get home divide the large pack into smaller freezer bags and then add a marinade to the chicken. Mark the contents on the outside and freeze. When you are ready to use it – just pull out of the freezer and allow it to defrost as it marinades – the world’s most delicious multi tasker!!
Members Only - and I don’t mean those cool jackets from middle school
Don't think that you can buy everything cheaper at a warehouse club. Very often the members’ only clubs carry the higher price brand of certain items. Know what the typical price is for the brand you buy and then when you are at the club use your calculator to see is being a member is really cheaper on those types of items. Often the clubs do not accept coupons as well. So before your buy ten years worth of applesauce – do your math! However one of the most attractive benefits of the members’ only clubs are often never used. At Costco, they also offer discounts on car loans, vacation planning and even insurance. If you invest in a membership don’t forget to use all the benefits offered!

BOGO -The Real Deal
When items are on a buy-2 for one-price sale, such as 2 boxes of cereal for $4.00, it is usually not necessary to buy two to get the sale price. If you use the item regularly and will need to buy more before they go on sale again (possibly in just a few weeks) go ahead and buy as many as you need. And save even more by matching the sale with a coupon! But if you only need one box of cereal, or whatever the item is, then just buy one. The money you save by not purchasing that second item (just because it’s on sale) may be needed for something else that you might need more, such as milk, bread, produce, chicken, fish or meat.

Another Great web site
Hot Coupon World has a Target coupon generator. Another little-known fact: Target regularly puts-out coupons for products in their store, and often they’re a great deal. The coupon generator lets you print-out as many coupons as you want, and this allows you to really stock-up. A couple of months ago they had a coupon on the Target generator that made Huggies wipes SO cheap, under a dollar each tub. So I printed-out 20 coupons and bought 20 of them! It’s something I KNOW I’m going to use and I usually pay about twice that amount for the cheapest Target wipes. If it’s truly a good deal, this is a great way to stock-up on savings

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How to - Couponing

Clipping Coupons- Part 2
Timing - Try to choose the same day and time to clip your grocery coupons each week. This will help you establish a routine. I like to do mine at the beginning of the week, either on Sundays or Mondays.
Method - Now when it comes to clipping your free grocery coupons (which you can find in many forms, including the Sunday newspaper, magazines, weekly mailers, etc.), you have several methods to choose from... Clip out only the coupons you know you will use: This might take a little more time as you will need to look at (and think about) each individual coupon as you cut them out, but will save time later when filing them away and when going through them for use each week.
Share- sort out which coupons you need to keep and which coupons you can share with a friend.

Storing Coupons
Inexpensive Containers - There are plenty of coupon organizers on the market today but all you really need is a simple basket or box with some index cards for dividers. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for inexpensive containers to store your coupons in…
* Recycled envelopes: FREE! Instead of tossing out all those crisp clean reply envelopes (others may think of as junk mail), tuck the flap inside and use to store your coupons. This is great if you don’t have many coupons to store.
* 4x6 file boxes: This is my latest storage container of choice and after looking for file boxes at several stores around town I finally came across just what I was looking for, at our grocery store!
* Recycled shoeboxes, diaper wipe containers or empty food boxes: FREE! These are great because they won’t cost you a penny and have plenty of room to store hundreds of coupons.
*Index Dividers – You can either purchase index dividers from an office supply or discount store, or make your own, as I did.
* Store bought dividers: Alphabetical and numerical index card dividers can be purchased and either used as is or adapted for coupon categories.
* Making your own dividers: FREE! Just about any type of large index cards or heavy cardstock paper will do. You can even cut out cereal boxes and make your own sturdy dividers completely for free.
* Labeling your dividers: FREE! Make a list of the coupon categories you’d like to have in your coupon file, such as Breakfast Items, Coffee & Tea, Frozen Foods, etc… in alphabetical order. Then either label or print your dividers with these categories.
Initially, organizing your coupons may take a few hours, but it will help you save precious time (and money) each week. And by getting your coupons organized and ready to use, you’ll be on your way to Coupon Queen Savings in no time!!!
Plan some of your meals around what's on sale. Make your shopping list with each week's circular nearby, and stick to your plan.
Consider investing in a couple of copies of the paper if you've got a big family. You'll want more copies of the Sunday coupon supplements, which is where 82% of all coupons are located.

Pay it Forward- Have coupon for Free item such as cat treats or dog food but do not own a pet? Use your coupon and give the item to a friend you know has a pet

Friday, December 19, 2008

How can I really save money using coupons?

Part 1 -
What is Stockpiling?
In simple terms stock piling is when you are able to buy several of one item at severe discounts. To stockpile follow this simple process to be assured you will make the most of your time, space and of course money!
Prepare a space in your house for products. Linen closets are great for toiletries or garages.
Organize- I suggest using plastic bins to organize your items. If you use your garage I suggest buying large Rubbermaid or other durable plastic containers to hold your items so you will not invite unwanted guests.
Collect multiple coupons of the same item that would be an excellent item to stockpile.
Identify items that are good stockpiling items for your family.
Buy as many items as you can when you save at least 80%
Great Items To Stockpile Include:
Body wash
Shaving items
Cleaning products
Paper towels
Toilet paper
Canned goods
Storage bags
Trash bags
Dog food
Peanut Butter
Baking items – cake mixes, frosting