Archive for August, 2008


New Feature: The Cheap Critique

In couponing, we here (at Chez Coupon) end up trying a lot of new things, new brands, and even new gadgets that I got for very cheap or free. Some products end up being better than others, so I have decided to start a new feature here at Saving in Cincinnati – The Cheap Critique.

Here I will be reviewing new products that I try. Cleaning supplies, makeup, hair – you name it, I’ll review it. I will give honest, blunt, and hopefully informative reviews that helps you decide it you want to take the plunge and try the product for yourself.  Now, not every product will be low in price (or cheap) – the price range will definitely.. er.. range. But everything I review I will have gotten through sales, coupons, or for free.

And to add to the plethora of excitement that this brings, I will also be having guest bloggers – so if you have tried a new project, feel free to contact me to write a review!

For my first review, I will cover Rimmel’s Extra Super Lash Mascara. This week Walgreen’s had it B1G1, and I also had 2 $1 MFG coupons. It was originallty $3.49 a tube, and since I had 2 $1 MFG coupon, I paid $1.49 for both, making them 75 cents each. Not a bad deal.

I had been using Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara, which has honestly been the worst mascara I have ever used. It clumps, it doesn’t go on evenly – and to top off, I had bought two tubes on a B1G1 deal, so I had a lot of it to use up.  Each time I would apply it I would have to unclump my lashes and hope that it didn’t smear. This tube that I am using now is well over 6 months old, so it’s gonna go in the trash – and good riddence, I hated using that stuff!

The Rimmel line of makeup seems to be lower end drug store stuff. Not exactly Wet ‘n Wild, but the prices aren’t too high. The mascara they had ranged up to $8. Since I am jobhunting and finances are tight (and I wasn’t sure how Rimmel would perform) I decided to go with the cheapest they had – the $3.49, or the Extra Super Lash.

Honestly, for $3.49, I’m impressed. It’s not the best mascara that I have ever used, but it is by far not the worst. It is definitely worth the price that I paid – 75 cents – and I had the chance to buy it again (with coupons, etc) I wouldn’t hesistate. In fact, if I needed mascara, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay full price, since this was only $3.49. It goes on smooth, doesn’t clump. It took a couple of coats to get my lashes the way that I liked them, but compared to the Maybelline? Good stuff. If you are looking for a low cost mascara, this is it.


Good scores

So today I headed out – I bought 4 papers this past Sunday, so I wanted to see what was out there.

Nothing too great – if they had eyeshadow in my color in the Revlon Colorstay I would have scored pretty well, but I didn’t want to spend money on something that I wasn’t sure I was gonna use.

First, I headed out to Walgreens.

2 Rimmel Mascara @ $3.49 each – $6.98

Dawn Dishwashing Liquid @ $1.99

Total = $8.97

Mascara was B1G1 – $5.48

Minus 2 Rimmel Mascara Coupons for $1 each – $3.48

Minus $1 store coupon for Dawn – $2.48

Minus 50c MFG coupon for dawn – $1.98

Total OOP was $1.98 for 2 mascaras and 1 bottle of Dawn.

Total Savings = $6.99

Then I headed over to CVS.

2 Edge Shaving Creams @ $2.99 each – $5.98

2 Boxes of Kotex Lightdays @ $6.89 – $13.78

2 Colgate Total Toothpaste @ $3.29 – $6.58

4 Colgate Toothbrushes @ .99 cents – $3.96

Total = $30.30

Edge was 2/$4 – $28.32

Minus 2 .75cent MFG coupons – $26.82

Kotex was 2/$9 – $22.04 (not the best price for these, but I use ’em!)

Minus 1 .75cent MFG coupon (ugh, only one!) – $21.29

Colgate Total was B1G1 – $18.00

Minus 2 $2 MFG coupon – $16.00

Minus 4 .75cent MFG coupons for the Toothbrushes – $13.00

Total OOP was $13.00

Total Savings was $17.30

Total OOP  8/28/08 – $14.98

Total w/o coupons – $39.27

Total savings – $24.29

Add four Sunday papers and:

Total OOP so far = $36.35

Total Savings so far = $80.36


Great Post

Over at Frugal In Virginia, there is a great post about living with someone who is a “couponaholic.” Very entertaining – check it out!


Getting the hang of things

Sunday I went out and bought 2 more coupons, and then got another insert from the BF-in-laws. It should have dawned on me to start buying 3 papers – because when B1G1 offers come around, I use 2 coupons on one transaction and then always have 1 left over. I am also figuring out that I cannot just take my coupons in with me – I need to sit down and make a list of what I am going to purchase, and make a list. If not, I get so flustered that I forget half the things I went in for!

I’m also starting to get the hang of WordPress – apologizes if your comment doesn’t show up right away, I need to figure out a way so I don’t have to approve every comment! It also caught a couple legit comments as spam.

Anyways, the sales weren’t too great this week, but I did stop by Walgreens.

1 bottle Dove shampoo and 1 bottle Dove conditioner @ $4.99 each – $9.98

3 Sharpies @ .99cents each – $2.97

Total = $12.95

Dove was B1G1 – $7.96

Minus 2 $2 MFG coupon for Dove – $3.96 (making the Dove .50 cents a bottle!)

Minus Walgreens Coupon for Sharpies (making them .39 cents each) = $2.16

Total OOP was $2.16

Total savings – $10.79


Total spent of out pocket so far: $17.37

Total savings so far: $56.07


Quick Grocery Stop

So tonight the SO and I had to make a quick stop for some groceries. I took my binder with me – we got what we needed, staying mindful to what coupons I had. We spent $67.90, and had $14.49 in coupons, and $11.07 in in store savings. So our bill, in the end, was $42.34! It was nice being able to shave $25.56 off the bill. That’s almost 40%, only after one week of collecting coupons!


Printable coupons

Not all stores take printable coupons, so I would double check with your store before using them. But if they do, I have found this great site that has links to dozens of printables!


Getting Good Coupons

A lot of people ask me where I get my coupons – and I also hear a common complaint that they can’t find coupons for the items they typically buy.

Once about every 3 to 4 months I go through the cabinets and write down the brand names of food that we buy. I google the companies name, and then I find the “Contact Us” button.  I then write a short email, saying that I enjoy their product and use it regularly, and I would appreciate any coupons they could send my way. 99% of the time the company has an address form, but if not, I just automatically include it in my note. Then, a few days later, the coupons start coming in! I find that “smaller” companies and manufacturers send better coupons than the larger ones, but either way, the coupons are better than what you get in your Sunday papers. I wrote Silk Soymilk, and they sent me a $1 off coupon, and Kashi sent great ones – even one for a free box of a Kashi product! Bigger places like ConAgra send out decent coupons, like 50c off one Healthy Choice item. Not a great coupon, but they send multiples, and it’s better than the “$1 off of 6” that you get in the paper inserts.

It does take some time, but I probably only spent an hour every few months sending these emails. If you constantly ask for coupons from the same company, they won’t send them – there is a limit, but the companies seem to clear their records every few months, allowing you to re-request them.

About Me

An always interesting but sometimes random blog of a 20-something just trying to save money in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am also a wanna-be foodie on a budget.

Likes: cats, pink alcoholic drinks, my KitchenAid mixer, knitting.
Dislikes: Our health care system, celery.

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About Me

An always interesting but sometimes foul-mouthed blog of a 20-something just trying to save money in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Likes: cats, pink alcoholic drinks, my KitchenAid mixer, knitting.
Dislikes: Our health care system, celery.

Social Networking Thingies