Free dog food, free groceries, and free books. It was a good day.


Today was a sick day at home. Sort of. Okay, not technically. Yes, George and I stayed home sick from church (a setting where you are in close proximity to people)…then I saw a deal at Publix of which I wanted to take advantage in order to increase the stockpile in our pantry.

Then I figured I may as well take advantage of a deal for free dog food at Petco which ends today for me.

THEN I saw REI was having a BOGO (buy one get one) deal on Nalgene bottles and my husband said he needed a new one. He also reminded me there was a store close to us negating the need to order them online.

Finally, I decided if we are going to be out to 3 other stores I may as well stop by the local book store and look in the free bin. We would be going past it after all.

So much for the “at home” part.

For better or worse, out we went. Our “sick” part is a cold – sore throat, coughing, etc. Most of the interactions we had with people today was not really in close proximity or was outside. I figured the likelihood of germs being passed along was much lower in this setting than if we had gone to church.

In the end I was able to save a fair percent on our spending, pick up a few holiday gifts which are not pictured for obvious reasons, and add to our pantry. Here is what I was able to find after all 4 stops.

Publix is not my main grocery store. The prices there are higher than the other two options I prefer. However, there are times where the deals are good enough for me to drop in. My husband likes to shop there on his own, which is “off-list” shopping but he enjoys it. Note: at my store Buy One Get One free items ring up as half price each, which means I could also buy just one if I so desired or use two coupons. This is how I ended up with 5 packages of paper goods during a BOGO sale.

  • The Betty Crocker icing was a Buy One Get One (BOGO) deal making them $0.89-$0.99 each.
  • Le sueur peas are my husband’s preferred brand. They tend to be the most expensive brand as well. 🙂 So, as the good homemaker I try to catch the one/twice yearly sale. Even though they are still expensive it is a savings and he can have a brand he likes. (He does eat other brands, but this is an easy Love Language gift I can give him.) These were $0.50 off each, or 25% off.
  • Del Monte vegetables and fruit, and Dixie plates and bowls were part of the BOGO deals, as well as having printable coupons to go along with them. The paper products came out to $1.10 per package and the veggies were under $.50 each.
  • Canned pumpkin was half price, at $0.50 each.
  • The plant based chocolate dip was free after Ibotta rebate. We had it for dessert tonight. Not bad though the agave sweetener in it is a flavor we are not used to.
  • The strawberries were bought to go with the chocolate dip. They too were on sale. 🙂
  • The King Arthur flour was on sale and had a rebate on Ibotta. This package ended up costing me $1 after rebate.
  • Spice Island spices were on sale and had a coupon.
  • Not shown, because I put them in the freezer and forgot to bring them back out, was a bag of Brazi Bites. I had a coupon to try these for FREE. Unfortunately that coupon is no longer available.
  • Saved: $40.01
  • Earned back: $6.29 from Ibotta, 25 points from Fetch, and 10 coins on the Receipt Hog app.
  • Spent: $36.89 before tax

The stop in to Petco was instigated by a Pals Reward email I received which stated customers would get a free bag of dog food or wet cat food if they held a consultation in-store concerning the appropriate nutrition to feed your pet. It seems the dates vary depending on some factor I do not necessarily know.

I had a good talk with one of the employees and came away with a new food to try. We will be adding it to Prince’s food a bit at a time so as to not shock his system and cause diarrhea. No one wants that from a 100+ lb dog.

I also made a stop by the marked down items section and found three boxes of Dentastix. These particular ones were labeled for medium dogs, which Prince has NOT qualified as for quite some time. However, he has had bad breath recently and will chew these as well as the larger version. Actually, he really really loves these and is like a kid in the candy store when he gets one. I also save about half in cost compared to the regular price at the local grocery store where we normally pick up our pet products.

  • Saved: $25.59
  • Spent: $16.47 before tax
  • Received 25 points as a receipt scan bonus from Fetch and 10 coins from the Receipt Hog app.

REI is running various deals right now. Through 11/25/19 they are offering a buy one get one free deal on Nalgene bottles. While looking at options we struck up a conversation with another shopper who offered a few tips from his experience – wide mouth bottles are easier to clean and you are able to find replacement lids if the one on your bottle ever breaks. If you get the narrower topped bottles you can not find replacement lids. Secondly he pointed out the splash guards which can be added to the top of wide mouth bottles, making them a lot easier from which to drink.

One of the bottle in the picture we received for free in connection with a local promotion for our store. (I also had a $10 promotional credit from the same local deal, but did not include that in the numbers below as it would be hard for you to replicate.) The other four were part of the BOGO deal. After becoming a life-time member for $20, I used a 20% off code found on their website to save another $0.60-ish cents on one of the tops.

If you are not able to go into the store right now, do not want to pay shipping, your local store does not have what you need, or you do not have a store near you but will be in the vicinity of one soon, you can have items purchased online shipped to store for free.

  • Saved: $23.38 and received a free $10.89 bottle
  • Earned: one spin on the Receipt Hog app
  • Spent: $57.79 before tax

*It would have been $37.79 before with tax if I had not purchased the membership at this time or about $22.78 before tax if I had only bought bottles but not splash guards and a membership.

Not too bad for a sick day, if I do say so myself.

In all I figure I saved around 46% between coupons, deals, and rebates. The percent saved will vary depending on how you classify various things, so you may get a different percent than I did if you were to figure up the numbers above. For example, I did not count the REI promotional card in the savings, nor the price of the free water bottle. Adding those two items into the mix would raise the savings to around 56%.

For many years my goal was to spend as little as possible. Now we are at a point where I can spend more yet still I am always looking to save money while doing so. Both are frugal ways to manage what you are given. Being in a larger town also gives me more options and variations of places to go. This can be both good and bad as it is tempting to try and do it all. Spoiler Alter, you can not do it all. I have tried. It was not fun.

No worries. I did not forget the cheapest stop of all – the free bin at the book store resulted in these treasures. Some of the books will be passed along to other bibliophiles, some kept, and some resold. The stack of records in the back? Well, I am not really sure. Some are broken, some do not have the jackets for them, and some records are missing. I need to go through them soon and really see what is there. Anyone know of crafts which make use of broken records?

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