Sep 30 2008

K-mart super double coupon days are back!

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Oooh, it was so fun to check the mail today! I saw a Kmart ad that announced their super double manufacturer coupons are back!

In my area (and maybe yours, too!) from Wednesday, Oct. 1 – Sunday Oct. 5 Kmart is doubling manufacturer’s coupons up to and including $2!

This does not include printable coupons or manufacturer instant coupons.

You may use up to four like coupons. Be careful, though. Last time this happened, I had five coupons for Garnier Fructis shampoo. Some were good on conditioner or styler only so I thought these were different than the shampoo-only coupons, and I bought five different bottles. I don’t think one of the coupons doubled.

There is a maximum of 75 coupons per person per day. Limit one coupon for each item purchased.

There will be no coupon overage. For example, if you have a $2 coupon for something and it’s on sale for $3, you won’t get $4 off. It will be adjusted to $3, so the item is still free. You will have to pay sales tax where applicable.

Check this list on Slick Deals to see if your store is included. Be sure to call ahead or ask the service desk if this promo is going on before you start loading up your cart! You don’t want any bad surprises.

I’m not sure which freebies or bargains will be available. I’ll head over to Kmart tomorrow morning and I’ll let you know what I find.


Sep 30 2008

A ‘debit card diet’ and paying off our car

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I’m going on a debit card diet. I  truly prefer using my debit card for just about everything. I like the convenience and it’s nice that all of my purchases are tracked online. Plus, my debit card has a rewards program where I earn points that I can use to get gift cards for various retailers. It’s nice.

But. I think I probably spend too much money. I probably spend more at the grocery, since why not? There’s money in the account. I stop for a quick snack while I’m out running errands. I’m sure I do this a lot more than I realize, even though the evidence is right there in my online bank statement.

I’ll miss out on about 800 points (maybe more, if I would have earned some bonus points). That’s the equivalent of oh, $1.50 on a $10 gift card. No biggie.

In an attempt to rein in my spending for October, I decided to go cash-only for all of my purchases except for gasoline. Why not gas? I dunno. I like paying at the pump way too much, I guess.

I calculated how much I’ll likely need to spend on groceries, laundry, clothes for myself, trips to the drugstores, and other odds and ends. Shane’s parents are visiting in mid-October, and my parents and sister will come over toward the end of the month. I’m adding extra to my grocery budget so I can make sure we’ll have plenty of food on hand.

In all, I’m allotting myself $400 to cover all of these things. It sounds a bit high, but I don’t want to run out of money at the end of the month. I need to stock up on groceries and toiletries, and I think this amount will allow me to do that. If I come under budget, I’ll put that money toward our car loan.

Our next step: Paying off our car

Speaking of which, our “baby savings” fund is now complete! We have money in a savings account that we’ll use to buy a crib, mattress, car seat, and whatever else we want to buy before our baby is born. I imagine we’ll put money in that fund each month after he’s born so we can stay on top of diapers and other expenses.

Now that we have our six-month emergency fund and our baby savings pulled together, all of our extra money will go in a savings account. Each month, I’ll take that money and send a check to our bank. That’s the only way I can make sure the money is being applied to the principle of the loan. It stinks that I can’t just do it online, but whaddya do?

I’ll keep track of our loan progress in my sidebar. It’ll include our regular monthly payment of $277 plus our snowflaked amount. We took out $11,500 back in November 2007, and it’s now at $9,299.

I hope we’ll own the car outright in one year’s time. It’s an ambitious goal, but when I remember how quickly we were able to get out of credit card debt and set up our emergency fund, I think we can reach it. Let’s see how this’ll go!

Photo: I took this of my $400 minus $39.xx I spent at the grocery today.



Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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