Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 2010 Savings

January Monthly Totals

  • Merchandise Total (before coupons): $1,984.16
  • Value of Coupons & Store Sales: $1,270.61
  • Rewards/Gift Cards/EB's Used: $601.57
  • Rewards/Gift Cards/EB's Earned: $639.48
  • Rebates: $284.97
  • Total Profit: $395.34
  • Total Cost to Me: negative $556.30
  • # of Items: 416, # of Free Items: 280

Rebates Received - this has been a crazy rebate month! This month alone, I have sent away for $284.97 worth of rebates! Wowzers. If you've never tried rebates, what are you waiting for? I went back through my records, and in 2009, I sent away for around 100 different rebates. In all that time, only three rebates were denied. One was for an oil change and the shop didn't list the type of oil on the receipt (no biggie since I needed that anyway), one was a Staples rebate that was rejected because I used my boyfriend's rewards card instead of mine (just returned the item and got my money back) and one was a Goody headband (bought the wrong one). Three duds out of 100 ain't bad.

  • $13.48 Olay Quench lotion rebate - parent's address
  • $14.98 Olay Quench lotion rebate - DBF's address
  • $19.98 Olay Quench lotion rebate - my address
  • $20 RiteAid Gift of Savings certificate - my address and DBF's address
  • $26.49 RiteAid rebates - my address and DBF's address

Got back $61.91 as a reimbursement check for some supplies I had to buy for work. I procrastinated like crazy submitting for reimbursement, and paid off the charges to my credit card last month (earning some reward points along the way). So this is almost like found money, and its going right into savings.

Speaking of savings, I hit a milestone this month. I have over $5,000 in liquid savings right now. I have NEVER had this much saved up before in my life and its an amazing feeling. I can't even tell you how good it feels to be out of credit card debt and have my car paid in full. For so many years, I was drowning in debt and felt like I'd never get out. When I first started shopping like I do, I literally couldn't afford groceries because my CC and car payments consumed so much of my income. After I paid my bills, I had about $25 - $30 to get me through until the next payday. So many people say "oh I've saved this much or that much off my grocery budget now that I use coupons" but for me, using coupons allowed me to finally have a grocery budget. It did take quite a while to get to this point, so if you're new to all this, don't give up hope. Stick with it. Before you know it, you'll be depositing rebate checks left and right and using the profit you earn on deals to buy your staples or things that don't go on sale. Thank heaven for coupons!

Between getting some great deals at the supermarket lately, converting Walgreens RR's into gift cards and a couple I got for Christmas, I'm in gift card heaven! Here's what I have:

  • $25 Borders - from Walgreens RR's
  • $25 Barnes & Noble - from Walgreens RR's - used to buy two Sookie Stackhouse books and only paid $6 cash. It was fun to splurge on these.
  • $30 Wendy's - from Walgreens RR's
  • $20 TGIF - from Walgreens RR's - used to pay for portion of DBF's birthday dinner
  • $50 Kohl's - Christmas gift from my mom - used along with the $5 Kohl's coupons I bought on ebay to get some really cheap clothes.
  • $50 Kohl's - DBF cashed in some credit card points for this one. We're going to combine these and do some clothes shopping.
  • $50 CVS - cashed in my Discover cashback bonus for a $45 gift card and got back a $5 bonus. I've had this in my drawer for at least a month or two and haven't even needed to bring it to the store yet. I'm still using up a e-gift card I bought from cvs.com (and got a $5 bonus for!) and some gift cards I got previously from Discover. I love these rewards. Basically whatever my balance at CVS is, whether that be $0.12 or $5, I'm not using my own money to pay it. I try to keep my totals low to use the gift cards as long as possible, but I don't have to sweat it either. I use my Discover card for most things I buy, so the points build up really quickly.
  • Three $25 AMC Theatres - bought these at supermarket and CVS. Whenever DBF and I feel like seeing a movie, we're set.
  • $11.24 Applebees - bought at supermarket a while ago. DBF and I treated ourselves to dinner one night and didn't quite use it up.
  • I also have $150 in iTunes gift cards that I'm selling on ebay. You can only list one gift card auction at a time, so I'm slowly selling these. I didn't pay $150 because of some deals I got on them, so I can sell them for slightly less than they're worth and still make some money.

7 comments:

Thrifty T said...

That's awesome!!! So excited for you about your savings!!!! I love your blog!!!

Queenbuv3 said...

Are your totals just for pharmacy shopping or do they also include grocery?

Congrats on being debt free and having a nice savings! We are trying to do the same thing. It will probably take a couple of years but it's not as bad as carrying it to the grave!

Thanks for sharing all your tips! You have helped me save lots of money since I started following your blog : )

frugalsuz said...

Thrify,
Thanks!!

Queen,
My totals include all grocery items, household stuff and health and beauty stuff.

Amanda said...

Congrats on the savings! I'm so happy for you--what an incredible feeling! :)

Jean said...

Does Walgreens ever give you trouble when you use RR's to buy gift cards? I loved Walgreens for awhile and then I started to run into all the horrible cashiers and managers that they have there. So I eventually used up my last RR's and stopped shopping there.

Sarah said...

Congrats on the savings!! I am hoping to get there soon. I wish I could get the hang of selling this stuff on eBay, but I just dont have a good feel for what items sell well, and which ones dont. Oh well, its almost garage sale season, and things go really well there usually.

frugalsuz said...

Amanda,
Thanks!

Jean,
I haven't had an issue yet, but the cashiers have every right to say no since the RR's say no gift cards.

Sarah,
I've found that out pretty much just through trial and error. You can always look on ebay for the item and see how much things are going for.