Sunday, July 27, 2008

CVS 7/27 - 8/2

Sadly, my CVS was out of stock of the Garnier products for this weeks deal, so my CVS fun was cut short today.

Transaction #1 and only:

Revlon Limited Edition Product - $9.99
Tums Quik Pack - $3.69
Duracell 9V battery - $2.99
(2) Dove Chocolate bars - $1.00 (This wasn't planned but I couldn't resist. It's part of the candy deal though, so I will probably finish that up tomorrow when I go searching for Garnier.)

Coupons Used:
$2.00 Revlon
$2.00 Tums CRT
$2.25 Tums
10 ECB

Received 9.99 ECB for Revlon

Paid $1.59 OOP

Does anyone have a spare Tums rebate form?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

where do we go from here?

We decided against buying the co-op, and now are in a mad rush to find an apartment to rent. Basically, even though we really liked the apartment itself, the financials of the co-op weren't that strong. There was a 10 million dollar balloon loan out on the building that would need to be paid or refinanced in 3 years. We had no way of knowing what the co-op would do if it needed to raise the money to pay it. Maintenance for the apartment was already pretty expensive (about $875 on top of the mortgage payment) and it could just keep going up. Also, even though the flip tax now on the apartment wasn't that high ($3000 would have to be paid to the co-op when we sold) it could theoretically go as high as 20% like many other apartment buildings in the area. Even though we wouldn't have to pay that theoretical 20%, it would definitely hinder our ability to sell. (That's at least 50-60k right back to the co-op!)

Another reason we decided to not purchase the apartment is that NYC is not where we want to be living in the grand scheme of things. We were being pushed into making a decision (it's a long, dramatic story), and buying the apartment would have tied us to this area for much longer than we were comfortable with. We would have to hold out on what we really want for even longer just to be able to recoup our expenses and make the purchase "worth it." What I had the hardest time truly dealing with is that even though I would be spending 255k on a "home" it really wasn't on a home at all. It was 255k in co-op stock or shares that allow us to live in the designated apartment. Even though I'm sure I am being overly paranoid, this just didn't sit well with me. I would never take out a 195k loan to pay for shares in the stock market, so why would I do this? I obsess and I worry far too much to put my entire future in the hands of strangers.

Another issue that I had was that the apartment was really nice. Why is this an issue? Because even though it was "really nice" it was not what I "wanted." I feared that it would make us complacent, and that we would just "settle." We would stay there because it was fine, and I would never get the kind of house that I really wanted. As silly as this sounds, I often look at houses in other areas and as wonderful as I think it would be to live there, I still feel like I will never be able to leave New York. But now, since my husband and I came to this decision to not buy the apartment, I finally feel like maybe we actually will be able to leave. We are making a plan and making a budget. For the first time in my life, I want something more than I just want "stuff." I look around our overly crowded apartment now at all our "stuff" and I just don't want it anymore. What I want more than anything is to be free of it all.

So this brings us back to renting an apartment. Yeah, it is ridiculously expensive to rent in New York, but we were about to spend 2100 a month on a mortgage and maintenance anyway. At least now I feel like we will be in control.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Waldbaum's - 7/21

Recently I joined "The Grocery Game" to see if I could start getting better deals at Waldbaum's.  I was able to score a pretty sweet deal today, that wouldn't have been possible without the help of "The Grocery Game."  18-22 Ct Kotex Panty liners are on sale for $1 this week, but I didn't see it advertised anywhere else except that site.  Well, there were $.75 coupons in the circular this week and my Waldbaum's doubles them.  So the panty liners were free and gave me a 50 cent overage. (I get waaaay too excited about things like this.)  
I did two transactions at Waldbaum's today, but this one made me really happy:

Kotex - $1
(3) Honey Nut Cheerios - $6.72 (2.24 each)

Total: $7.72

Coupons Used:
Cheerios - $.50 x 2 ($1.00)
Cheerios - $.50 x 2 ($1.00)
Cheerios - $.50 x 2 ($1.00)
Kotex - $.75 x 2 ($1.50)
Waldbaum's coupon - $1.50 off 3 cereals

Grand Total: $1.74!

CVS 7/20 - 7/26


This week's sales at CVS weren't really too exciting, and I was much too lazy to take full advantage of them.  Hence, the transactions I did could have been done a lot better.

Transaction #1

CVS baby wipes - $2.00
Clean and Clear Scrub - $6.39
(2) Clean and Clear Oil absorbing sheets - $9.98
L'oreal Shampoo and Conditioner - $4.99 BOGO

Coupons Used:

L'oreal BOGO - $4.99
$3/$15 CVS
$2 CVS skincare
(3) $2 Clean and Clear
ECBs: 2, 1.98, 1

OOP: $1.67
Earned: 5 ECB

Transaction #2

(2) CVS baby wipes - $4
L'oreal Shampoo and Conditioner - $4.99 BOGO
Essence of Beauty hand soap - $4.99
CVS hand sanitizer spray - $1.79

Coupons Used:
L'oreal BOGO - $4.99
$3/$15 CVS
$2 CVS skincare
CVS hand sanitizer - $1.79
2 ECB

OOP: $2.57
Earned: Nothing :(

Transaction #3

CVS baby wipes - $2.00
CVS cotton swabs - $1.50
L'oreal Shampoo and Conditioner - $4.99 BOGO
Essence of Beauty hand soap - $4.99

Coupons Used:
L'oreal BOGO - $4.99
$3/$15 CVS
$2 CVS skincare
2 ECB

OOP: $2.03
Earned: Nothing :(

Transaction #4:

(2) CVS baby wipes - $4
CVS cotton swabs - $1.50
L'oreal Shampoo and Conditioner - $4.99 BOGO
Trident gum - $1.49 BOGO
Essence of Beauty hand soap - $4.99
Coke Zero - $1.59 (not pictured - I was thirsty after all my trips to CVS!)

Coupons Used:
L'oreal BOGO - $4.99
$3/$15 CVS
$2/$10 CVS CRT
$2 CVS skincare
$1.35 Coke - (it was supposed to be free, but the max value of the coupon was less than the high price at CVS)
4 ECB

OOP: $1.90

Earned 5, 5, and 1 ECBs for the baby products, EOB soaps, and trident

GRAND TOTALS:
$12.98 ECBs spent
$8.17 cash spent

$16 ECBs Earned - $5.15 loss

I could have done better if I broke the baby products into more transactions to use the $2 CVS skincare coupon more.  But since there wasn't a lot of other stuff that I needed, it really wouldn't have been worth it to me.




Monday, July 14, 2008

CVS deals 7/13 - 7/19



I did pretty well this week at CVS. In the past I found myself buying tons of things that I didn't need so that I would be able to rack up ECBs. Now that I have a pretty good pile of ECBs to work with, I'm able to buy more things that I actually need. I've also been trying to buy more and more groceries at CVS to help lower my grocery bills.

Transaction #1

Airwick Mini - 4.99
Bayer Heart Advantage - 4.99
Maybelline Mascara - 5.99
3 Sally Hanson Nail Polish - 2.97
2 Skippy Peanut Butter - 2.89 (BOGO)

Coupons Used:
$1 Maybelline
$2 Bayer
$2.97 Sally Hanson
$3/$15 CVS coupon
$4 Airwick
$8 ECB

OOP $1.11
Earned 2 ECBs for Bayer and 2 ECBs for the Maybelline.
Saved $38.56

Transaction #2

3 Sally Hanson Nail Polish - $2.97
2 Honey Nut Cheerios - $4.29 (BOGO)
2 Bic Soleil Refills - $6.99 each

Coupons Used:
(2) $1 Cheerios
$2.97 Sally Hanson
$3/$15 CVS coupon
(2) $4 Bic Soleil
$5 ECB

OOP $1.02
Earned $5 ECB for the Bic Soleil
Saved $31.06

Transaction #3

Neutrogena Mascara - 5.99
CVS Makeup Removing Wipes - 2.99
Excedrin 50 ct - 8.29

Coupons Used:
$2 Excedrin
$3 Excedrin CRT
$3/$15 CVS coupon
(cashier didn't scan my $2 CVS skincare coupon. oh well.)
$10 ECB

OOP Paid $.26
Earned $4 ECB for the Neutrogena and $1 ECB for the wipes
Saved $20.00

Transaction #4

Airwick Mini - $4.99
(2) Maalox - $6.49
(2) Gold Emblem Cashews - $.99

Coupons Used:
$1 CRT Cashews
$3/$15 CVS coupon
$4 Airwick
$5 CRT Maalox
$5 ECB

OOP $1.75
Earned $10 ECB for the Maalox (and Excedrin)
Saved $23.50

See more great deals at The Centsible Sawyer!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What this blog is all about...

Starting this blog is my attempt to keep myself accountable on my journey towards financial freedom.  I have become obsessed with reading blogs about personal finances and saving money, but I've noticed that many of them are located in areas where living frugally is a much more viable option. 
 
My husband and I live in Queens, New York.  We are just starting the process of buying a co-op apartment.  While doing research about buying homes, it was basically reducing me to tears that our apartment costs so much more than houses in other areas.  Unfortunately, we were basically backed into a corner with the decision to go forward with purchasing the apartment.  We have to leave the apartment we are currently in - a one bedroom for $1275 a month.  We definitely needed something bigger, so finding a two bedroom in an area that would have been good for both of us would have brought us to at least $1500 a month.  Keep in mind that rent would increase by at least $100 every year that we decided to stay there.  Additionally, I would most likely also have to pay for a parking spot for my car, adding another $75 a month.  After weighing all of the options, we realized that buying an apartment would make the most sense for us in the long run.

Thus, I bring you this blog.  Welcome to our journey.