Monday, September 15, 2008

Free stuff! Get your free stuff!

Several friends have asked about the items I get for free. So read on if you are interested:

This is a list of the items I got for FREE (or tax-only) in the past MONTH:

Two boxes of Corn Pops
Two boxes of Frosted Mini Wheats
Two boxes of Cereal Straws
Two boxes of Eggo Nutri-Grain Waffles
Two packages of Keebler Cookies
One bottle of $7 shampoo but it turned out it was not for white people hair but hey it was free and it smelled good and I can give it to a friend
Two large boxes of Walgreens brand kitchen trash bags with drawstring
One package of Walgreens light bulbs
One bottle of $7 hair shine serum which does nothing for me but looks fantastic on Katie
One bottle of Revlon nail polish, my choice of color
One large bottle of Nivea for Men body wash which smells GREAT! ;-)
One stick of really cool LypSil chapstick
One bottle of Jane Be Pure liquid foundation which I really, really like
One medium-sized bottle of Crest Pro Health mouth wash
(Almost forgot those last two...)

That's just the free stuff. There were other very awesome buys, as well. For instance, I got two boxes of chocolates - Russel Stover Private Reserve and Whitman's Soho - for a buck each. They retailed at $10 each.

My friend Nancy says that I'm basically working for these items so I'm not really getting them for free. This is a great point, and I agree. But here is how I think about it. Normally I suppliment our income by teaching voice lessons. This involves driving, getting Grandma to babysit, figuring out how to work the lessons around homeschooling, etc. And let's not forget the fact that I've never fully recovered from those two pink lines I saw almost two years ago which resulted in someone who is currently throwing my manicure set all over the living room floor. So it IS work, but flexible work. I set my hours. If I can't get my work done, no one is out anything except for my grocery bill.

One other thing about the free stuff...most items I get free from Walgreens are free after rebate, which means I have to buy them in the first place. But Walgreens' rebate program is super-easy. Once a month, you check the items you bought off of their little rebate form, write your Walgreens gift card number on the form, stick the form and your receipts in an envelope, and mail it. When Walgreens receives your rebate form, they add the amount to your gift card...PLUS TEN PERCENT. So you end up not even paying tax. Then, you take your loaded gift card in and use it to "buy" the next round of free stuff. They have a new list of rebate items every month in their EasySaver catalog, found at the front of their store.


Kara said...

I have decided, in my own recent attempts at super-frugality, that Walgreens' sales are not always all they're cracked up to be.

The sale prices tend to only make up the difference between their [often ridiculously high] prices and the prices of other stores, such as Target and even the dreaded Wal-Mart. Case in point, this weekend, I was at Walgreens and I was buying Dove shampoo and conditioner (an extravagance I can't live without!)and replacement blades for my razor. The cost of those three things came to about $20.00, so I decided to wait and see how much they were at Target, and I'm glad I did... on those three items alone I saved about five dollars! And that was with the items regularly priced at both stores. I doubt I would have saved more than that even if they had all been on sale at Walgreens.

(Although I did get a killer deal on Arm & Hammer toothpaste at Walgreens once... so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about... :P)

Jenny said...

Kara, you are RIGHT. I've experienced this same disappointment with Walgreens. So now there are only TWO things I get at Walgreens:

1. Free after rebate stuff. The first time you do this, you have to pay for the items with your own money. Then they put the rebate on your Walgreens gift card. And then you use that card to buy the next round of rebate items. There are new items every month. (I even forgot to list some Jane Be Pure foundation, retail $4.99, which I ended up loving!)

2. Things with bright orange tags that I also have a coupon for. I just quickly scan the aisles when I'm in their for the free stuff. Bright orange tags are for their closeouts. You have to be on your toes for these, though, because they aren't advertised, and because Coupon Mom doesn't keep track of them. Meaning you have to actually remember you have a coupon for the item in the first place. Normally I'd never remember. But those boxes of chocolates? I was like, "HEY! I have COUPONS for those!" LOL!

rthling said...

I bow in humility at your dollar-wise superiority.
I did print off your post about saving money at the grocery store. I'm reading it over and over in the hopes to retrain my brain. If I sleep with it under my pillow, will I learn by osmosis?
(but I printed it before I wrote my post, so I had all your stuff in mind when I wrote it)

Mary said...

Jenny - I wish I had your energy, determination and brain. Oh my goodness you wear me out, but in a really good way :)

Anonymous said...

Since becoming engaged I have discovered a new interest in frugality. Since, you know, we won't have any money for a while, and my preferred method of saving on groceries is certainly not good for ME, and won't keep a husband happy :)
This Walgreen rebate system intrigueth me. There is a Walgreens in Union City... would I have to get a shopping card in order to take advantage of the rebates?
Enlighten me, O Queen of Frugality.
Emily Kendall
PS also, I love you a lot :)

Jenny said...


Mary - Um, I'm not the one who has four kids, is building a house, and still has time to do Pilates on a regular basis. You would have to actually SEE me, lethargically clipping my coupons. But I'll take the brain comment. ;-)

EMILY!!! I have this email from you in my inbox that has been in there for ages because I want to have time to write a whole novel in answer to it! Okay, for now, I'll just answer the Walgreens question...

Go in Walgreens and look for a rack at the front with the weekly sales ad and the EasySaver catalog. (The sales ad has coupons, too, and Coupon Mom DOES keep track of them. But back to the free stuff...) Decide what you want to get for free this month from the items listed. Purchase the items and save the receipt.

When you get home, check out the form in the middle of the EasySaver catalog. It is very self-explainatory, even for a homeschooled child such as yourself. LOL! Check the option of receiving a gift card instead of a check, and they will mail the gift card to you with your rebate amount PLUS ten percent.

Next month, when you go to get your free stuff, just use your gift card. And when you are ready to mail in receipts, write your gift card number on the form and they'll just reload your card.

Let me know if you have any questions! And go get an EasySaver NOW because there are some great free items this month.