Shopping Makeover
Blogs » Shopping Makeover
By Karen Burchill staff blogger
I am a mother of two young boys, working full-time and commuting 72 miles round-trip to work. Food and gas expenses continue to rise. Join me on my shopping makeover as I journey to save my budget one coupon at a time. Learn from my ups and downs and offer me insight into the world of couponing from the eyes of a time-crunched, bargain-loving mom.
 Phone: 814-878-1915


Posts categorized "Uncategorized"
Posted: December 8th, 2011

Save over 90% on the following items!

PG = Proctor & Gamble   SS = Smart Source   RP=Red Plum

Revlon Beauty Tools – $.19 after $6 Extra Bucks when you buy 2
Candy Canes, 10ct – FREE after $1.27 Extra Bucks

Rite Aid
Ester C Supplements – $.50 after $2 UP rewards, coupon from 12/4 RP and Nov Video Values coupon

Curel Ultra Healing Lotion – FREE after 2 newspaper coupons from 12/4 SS and $5 Target gift card with purchase of 2

Accu Chek Aviva Monitor – FREE after $14.99 Mail In Rebate
Revlon Top Speed Nail Polish – FREE after $3 Register Rewards and Make This Season Stunning Coupon Book
Finesse Hair Care – FREE after $2 Mail In Rebate
Triaminic 14 ct – $.50 after $3 Register Rewards on purchase of 2 and 2 coupons from 12/4 SS

Muir Glen tomato paste – $.07 after $.75 printable coupon
Reach Floss – FREE after coupon from 4/17 SS
Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Brand Travel First Aid Kit – FREE after coupon in 11/6 SS
Schick Disposable Razor women’s – FREE after coupon in 12/4 SS or 11/6 SS

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 27th, 2011

If you’re into couponing, or just saving money in general, you’ve probably caught an episode or two of TLC’s hit show ‘Extreme Couponing.’ To be honest, the first episode I saw kinda made me angry. Yeah, these people are paying pennies for their groceries, but they’re buying 100 bottles of mustard! And who needs 100 bottles of mustard…unless of course, you’re donating them to charity.

Donating grocery items is exactly what local extreme couponer April Blum does. She appeared on ‘Today’ this morning to discuss how much she pays per month to feed her 7 teenagers, 1 infant and about 200 people in her parish each weekend. You’ll be amazed. Watch the clip here. You can also catch April on the season premier of ‘Extreme Couponing’  Wednesday at 10 p.m. on TLC featuring her shopping trip to Bello’s Market at 2650 W. Eighth St.

Tune in, I know I will!

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 28th, 2011

I added up my grocery spending over the weekend and I’m right at $350…my budget for the month. Freebie items and milk will be the only things I’ll be picking up at the store this week!

Free at Rite Aid:

Got2b Fattastic dry shampoo 4.3 oz, Fattastic Mousse 8.5 oz, Fattastic Root Booster 6 oz, or Rockin’ It Hair Spray 9.2 oz – FREE after $4.99. Hurry, rebate offer ends today!
Oral B 3D Manual Toothbrush – FREE after $2.69 +Up Rewards, limit 2/household
Excedrin 20-24ct – FREE after $1 +UP Reward , $1 Video Values cpn and $.75 off coupon in 6/5 Smart Source


Free at CVS:

RepHresh Brilliant pH Tampons 18 ct – Free after $6.79 in Extra Bucks. BONUS: Earn $1 with printable coupon.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 20th, 2011

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Here are a few freebies I’ll be picking up this week:

Kelloggs Smart Start Cereal – Specially marked boxes  have a try me free rebate that expires on 12/31/11. Print the $1 off coupon from Kellogg’s web site and you’ll make $1 buying cereal!

St Joseph Enteric Aspirin 36ct – FREE after $1.50 +UP rewards at Rite Aid (through 6/25)

Colgate Toothpaste 2in1  or MaxWhite 6oz – FREE after $2.99 +UP rewards at Rite Aid. Use $1 off coupon from 6/5 Smart Source and you’ll make $1 buying toothpaste! (through 6/25)

Happy deal hunting!


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 14th, 2011

Save your KRAFT American Cheese packaging and get Buy One Get One Free tickets to any Tuesday night SeaWolves’ game at Jerry Uht.

I have yet to find coupons for KRAFT singles but a few weeks ago Giant Eagle had them on sale for $2.28/package. That’s the cheapest I’ve paid so far, and almost 1/3 of the cost of one SeaWolves ticket.

Tuesday nights are also Family Buck Nights at Jerry Uht. Enjoy $1 Smith’s Hot Dogs, Pepsi soft drinks, cotton candy and popcorn.

So tonight, enjoy dinner, entertainment and countless memories. For my family of four, that’s a cheap night out!

Remaining Family Buck Nights:
June 14
June 28
July 26
August 2
August 16
August 30

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 8th, 2011

According to, the following items are FREE this week…or just darn cheap!

Blink Tears eye drops – On sale for $7.99 and $7.99 rebate offered. Use the $2 off coupon from 5/22 Red Plum and you EARN $2 buying this item!
Seattles Best Coffee
, 9.5 oz can – Free with coupon in 6/5 Smart Source
Dial Bar Soap, 3 pack – On sale for BOGO free and earn $2 in +UP rewards on purchase of two. Final cost is $.15/each
Crest Toothpaste, 4-6.2 oz – Earn $1.60 in +UP rewards and use $.75 off coupon from June Proctor Gamble insert. Final price is $.22/each

Sale ends Saturday!

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 2nd, 2011

How much do you pay for organic shampoo?

This week Rite Aid has Renpure Organics Shampoo or Conditioner, 13.5 oz., on sale for $4.99. Purchase one and get $4.99 back in +UP rewards which makes this item FREE! Limit is 2/household. Sale ends Saturday.

While you’re there, pick up 3 boxes of Kelloggs cereal on sale for $1.88/each. Add the $1.00 off 3 coupon from the 5/15 Red Plum and you’ll pay only $1.55/box.

My register receipt lists two $4.99 +UP rewards as well as $3 off my next purchase of $15 if I complete a 5 min online survey. If I complete the survey the final cost for my 2 bottles of shampoo and 3 boxes of cereal will be $1.65. And the cost of my soon-to-be fresh washed hair full of certified organic body & shine….priceless!


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 25th, 2011

It’s time (again) to brag about my savings. I’ve just returned from a lunch walk to the downtown Rite Aid where I purchased Vaseline lotion, Caress body wash, 2 Degree deodorants and a pack of Carefree pantiliners.

The lotion, body wash and deodorant were on sale 4/$10 plus buying all 4 earned me $3 back in +UP rewards. I had a $1 off coupon for each the lotion and body wash and a BOGO free coupon for the deodorant. The pantiliners were on sale for $1 and I had a $1 off coupon.

Retail value of highest priced item: Caress body wash, $4.99
Cheapest item: pantiliners and one deodorant, FREE!
Avg. cost/item: $.50

Sale ends Saturday!

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 20th, 2011

Taking some time to brag about my savings this week…

I saved 78% on my shopping trip to Rite Aid Wednesday. I purchased 2 full-size bags of M&Ms, a bag of Dove chocolates, 2 boxes of Ziploc freezer bags, Sure deodorant, Crest toothpaste, Oral B floss and 2 boxes of Finish Powerball dishwasher tabs.

Retail Cost: $43.40.

My cost: $9.37

Average cost/item: $0.94 (The dishwasher tabs alone retail for $6.49!)

How I did it
All items were on sale and I used 7 manufacturers coupons + $9 in Wellness Plus coupons (earned with my +UP rewards). I spent $9.37 out-of-pocket and earned $7 in Wellness Plus coupons for my next trip plus will receive $1 back as a rebate from M&Ms. Sweet savings!


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 9th, 2011

This week is a good example of one very important lesson I walked away with from my couponing class: “You should never pay for toothpaste because you can always get it for free.”

This week Giant Eagle has Colgate toothpaste on sale for 10 for $10.  The May 1st Super Saver had a coupon for $1 off any Colgate toothpaste making this item FREE this week. Hurry, sale ends Wednesday!

Remember, if you use a grocery list matchup site like if finds these freebie items each week for you.

Other free items this week:

San Giorgio Pasta: On sale at GE for $1 this week. Use $.55 off coupon in 4/10 Smart Source and item is FREE! (GE doubles coupons up to $.99).  Sale ends 5/11.

Tylenol Precise Heat Patch or Cream. One sale for $5 at Rite Aid this week. Use $5 off coupon in 5/8 Smart Source and item is FREE! (Regular prices is $7.99) Sale ends 5/14.



Posted in: Uncategorized

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