Easy Shopping Trip To CVS + Rebate

Hi all. Well… I went ahead and made a quick shopping trip to CVS this morning before getting to work. I did not need to make the trip but since there is a CVS on my way to work… decided why not?

Currently, CVS has select Pantene hair products on sale… Yes, always shampoo! You just can’t get away from these can you? The sale is buy 2 for $8.00 on certaon products.

Checkout51 just released their new rebates today, which includes Pantene products too. I seldom buy shampoo, but I’m still a BIG sucker who gives IN to “great deals” (insert rolling of the eyes here). So, pairing this sale, with some coupons plus the rebates – made it a good deal. It would be super if I actually needed the shampoo but you know, potato-potato.

With coupons in hand; walked into the store, grabbed my four Pantene products then headed to the register.

Here is what my transaction looks like:

  1. Pantene Repair & Protect Shampoo 12.6oz $4.00
  2. Pantene Sheer Volume Shampoo 12.6oz $4.00
  3. Pantene Radiant Color Shine Shampoo 12.6oz $4.00
  4. Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner 6. oz $4.00

This brings my total before coupons to $16.00. After applying two Manufacturers coupons each valued at $4.00 off two Pantene products (Red Plum 7/16/17) and applying a CVS instant coupon for $2.00 off two Pantene products. My total out-of-pocket came to $6.00 (tax excluded), savings of 70%!

The following Pantene rebates were submitted to Checkout51 – as I’ve stated before, if I don’t do it then – I forget:

  • $1.00 Shampoo or Conditioner
  • $1.50 Sheer Volume Shampoo or Conditioner
  • $1.50 Radiant Color Shine Shampoo or Conditioner
  • $0.50 Styling Product

Total claimed in rebates was $4.50: the final gross total after rebates is $1.50 for all four items. So, I could look at it in a few different ways:

  • Paid $1.50 for all four products
  • Paid $1.50 on 1 products and got the other 3 for free
  • Paid $1.50 for items I DO NOT NEED
  • Paid $1.50 for items to donate

You see my point… good and bad. More importantly; was this a necessary purchase for me? No, of course not. Realistically, I could see this trip as a waste of time and money; that is where I need to balance myself: to determine reasonably why this purchase would actually matter and more so if it’s worthwhile.

 

***These Pantene rebates are on Checkout 51 starting today but require scanning on a couple of them. CVS will exhaust their promotion Saturday, so there is still time if you are running low on shampoo.

My Two Cents on Ibotta


If you haven’t tried ibotta, give it a try. This is my favorite rebate app! It’s a great way to earn some extra money while shopping on your grocery items. Ibotta is a rebate app similar to Checkout51 but… better. Ibotta continuously releases rebates often and some last a month or more. They have “hundreds” of available rebates – HUNDREDS! Their store options are incredible – ranging from grocery stores, pharmacy’s, bars and app rebates like Apple or Best Buy.  They just released a new update and it is pretty cool.

Rebates range in categories such as; baby, drinks, medicine, health, personal care, home, meat, pantry, snacks and pet food. You will also find vegan or vegetarian items which is pretty awesome.  Alcohol, mixers and wine are also part of their rebates – I love this! The app is easy to use; although some say it gets a little overwhelming since you have to unlock your rebates to a specific store before you shop! Ibotta’s rebates are mostly redeemable at specific stores unlike Checkout 51. Usually you will be given a rebate for you to earn $0.25 on fruit or veggies and once in a while $0.25 for submitting Any Receipt! I LOVE THIS APP!

Here are my top 10 reasons I love ibotta (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest):

  1. Hundreds Of Rebates
    • Seriously, ibotta has so… many… rebates it’s no wonder they are the #1 rebate app.
  2. Combine With Coupons
    • Submit a rebate even after you used a coupon (some might have exceptions).
  3. Scanner  
    • They have integrated a scanner within the app, this makes it easier to scan an item, see if there is a rebate for it – before you purchase it.
  4. Automatic Purchases
    • You can add your loyalty card or number to ibotta, after checkout –  your rebates will “automatically be verified” so you don’t have to load your receipts – I currently have this with Rite Aid and Raley’s.
  5. Bonuses
    • Ibotta offers several bonuses like; redeem 8 rebates and $10.00 to earn a bonus of $1.00. The more you redeem items the more bonuses you will receive.
  6. Store Rebates
    • Earn between 3-5% cash back by shopping at several online stores through ibotta such as Amazon, Uber, Hotels.com, Itunes, Banana Republic, Best Buy, etc.
  7. Restaurant Rebates
    • Earn cash at some restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings.
  8. Alcohol 
    • The selection in Beer, Wine, Spirits and flavored alcohol is very impressive; many options, brands and flavors to choose from.
  9. Fast Checkout  
    • Checking out is a breeze. Choose between cash deposited to your Paypal or venmo or choose gift cards to Itunes, Target, Starbucks, Best Buy, Amazon, etc. instead of cash. *$20.00 minimum pay out.
  10. Fun 
    • At least for me… I can aim to get more bonuses with the help of my friends.

I would not refer this rebate app without using it myself and loving it. So…My two cents on ibotta: It rocks to get paid to shop!

 

***Notes: Currently and for a limited time when you refer 3 friends you get $30.00!

C&G Day: Canning and Gardening

We had a very productive day yesterday. The kids did not have any games or practice this week so we were able to sleep in; boy was it nice. Generally, even during the weekends, we are up early. With both of our kids playing sports, our weekends become very busy at times.

Lucky for us, today we had the opportunity to just chill… and work in the garden. I love gardening, my kids and husband enjoy it as well. My husband played Wiffle Ball with the kids while I focused on pruning along with staking our continuing growing plants.

The garden is looking amazing; very healthy including free of pests (except for the cats). Our tomato plants are still blooming as well as our zucchini, cucumber and bell peppers. We were able to harvest a few vegetables such as; beef steak tomatoes, golden cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, two zucchini, a bowl full of red potatoes, two strawberries along with about a pound of cucumbers.  The kids said our strawberries were very sweet and juicy, maybe next time we will have more than two to try them – maybe. I enjoy seeing them savor what our earth, hard work and dedication produce. Is such a simple task that rewards us in so many ways such as; appreciation, caring, effort etc. We were fortunate to harvest potatoes since four of our six plants did not make it earlier in the season. Therefore, we will be making an outstanding home-grown potato salad with a bit of fresh dill plus a touch of rosemary.

Mike planted some pumpkin seeds, we are not sure if it’s too late in the season or not – we will find out later. He also added more support to our gigantic beef steak tomato plant that seem to keep wanting to show off by reaching more than 6 feet in height, he uses a stool for tying the plant to a tree branch. He wants to see how tall it actually grows to, we have never had a tomato plant this big – we are in love with it!

After carefully cleaning all of our cucumbers, they were ready to be canned. The canning process is a simple one since we are making refrigerator pickles; they usually only store for about four months. My mother taught me how to can some fruits and veggies in the past, so I feel pretty comfortable with the whole process. Since we only had about a pound of cucumbers, three small jars were filled.

This morning, all three jars were looking good with a tight seal.  Now, the waiting game starts until we get to taste our pickles made from our homegrown cucumbers, I can’t wait! My husband absolutely hates cucumbers but goes crazy over pickles… he is a strange man, sometimes. Since his H-A-T-E for cucumbers is so strong, if I put them in salads, he will not eat it so the easier way for ALL of us is to just make them into pickles.

On a side note; our watermelon plant is now blooming and our Edamame plants are full of pods. So, stay-tuned to find out if they make it through our heat wave.

 

 

 

A Trip To Memory Lane: #1701

Memory Lane: “a sentimental journey through one’s memories of a past time, experiences, etc.”

While contemplating on a beautiful blooming Bougainvillea, I can’t help but take a quick trip down memory lane. A time in my life when I was a child, around 8 years old, when I had no idea or did it even matter what time of day or night it was.

I reverted back to my maternal great grandparent’s house; just a block away from our home. Their house sat on a corner lot, surrounded by a large backyard which housed cows, horses, chickens, plants along with other farm animals. Two wooden logs, at least 5 feet long each, were supported by rocks with extra wood for added stability since they were used for seating purposes. They had a square front door made out of metal with stained clear glass panels. The house was very spacious; a long hallway, a large dining area with a modest kitchen. To this day, I can close my eyes and vividly see the blue’s, green’s, turquoise colors in addition to the shiny, clean floor tile. Their home was always welcoming, just like every other home in town… the door was always open… it’s hard to recall if I ever saw it closed.

Great grandma “Lupe” had beautiful flowers, bushes, herbs plus shrubs along her back side of the house. She had hundreds of potted plants; jasmine, sage, daisies, geraniums, cosmos, dahlias, ferns, mint, begonias, azaleas, etc.  Some where hanging while others just lined the side of the house in rows of rows of rows. While visiting, we always headed for the backyard to play. My favorite part when stepping outside was: feeling I was walking in a magical enchanted garden. The color contrast was incredible; blues, whites, bright reds, hot pink, yellows in addition to green… everywhere. The smell was delightful, almost as perfume – at least I thought of it that way. Usually, it was cool on the back porch, since great grandma always watered her plants. It’s soft smell of wet soil was so invigorating, it relaxed you.  At times, I would softly caress some plants to release their aroma then, I would pretend walking into a perfume shop, carefully selecting the most delicate fragrance of my favorite “eau de toilette”.

Most of the plants were potted… in cans. A tall spearmint grew out of a large metal can which original contained  jalapeno peppers. Coffee cans were also a favorite; usually full of geraniums in numerous colors as well as sizes. Old metal pails exploded with long, dark green leafy ferns. Oregano, oozing out of a can originally containing powdered milk was seen flowing almost stream-like. There were no unattractive flowers, each and every single one of them was beautiful, patiently waiting to be admired.

My favorites were the Bougainvillea vines that grew around the posts or poles; I envied how tall they got as well as how long they lasted in full bloom. I tried to be as cautious as possible around them since their spiky long thorns are thick yet extremely sharp – lot’s of blood was shed! The actual flowers are generally white, minuscule, as a consequence: very delicate. Each contains three flowers surrounded by three to six thin, almost paper like bracts. Interestingly weird enough, they are mostly odorless. Nonetheless, the purple and pink were my favorite – they looked amazing on my braided long hair. I felt the most beautiful with flowers in my head. Their beauty someway seeped through me: it made me smile until my heart was content.

I would spend hours contemplating, smelling, picking and admiring the garden. Such simple action brought extreme pleasure and happiness to me that it would sadden me when it was time to go home. Luckily, I would be back soon enough to do it again, then again and again… for all I knew: life is so simple!

Lately, reverting to “old memory lane”, has been very rewarding for me, as reflected on this piece. As I have grown older, the more nostalgic I become while yearning for maintain vivid pieces of my past. 


                              

Agua De Jamaica (Hibiscus Drink)


Hola!

A while back, as stated on my Hibiscus Love rambling. I mentioned about a recipe to make your own Agua de Jamaica. Today, I give it to you.

This traditional Mexican drink which is made from the sepals of the trumpet-shaped Hibiscus flower is very popular in the Mexican culture. It’s ruby-red color is beautiful and festive, therefore another common use is called “Ponche” during Christmas (similar to compote) and adults like it with a bit of spice; rum or tequila. Also mentioned on a prior post, I explained how this flower contains medicinal properties such as Vitamin C and aids with weight loss. This gorgeous flower is AMAZING!

Here is the recipe for you to make this delicious “Agua Fresca de Jamaica”.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of dried edible hibiscus flower (flor de jamaica)
  • 8 cups of water (reserve 2 cups for later)
  • 1 cup of sugar (or as desire)
  • Sprig of mint or lemon wedge – for garnish

Directions:

  • Add the flowers and water into a pot. Heat on low for approximately 15 minutes – or until it boils. Turn off the heat. Cover pot with a lid and let it steep for twenty minutes (preferably a couple of hours).
  • Drain the water into a pitcher, you will have a very strong fusion. Add the sugar while stirring until dissolved (add more depending on desired sweetness). Reduce this tea concentrate with the reserved cups of water for desired tartness.  Dispose of flowers or add them to your green waste or mulch.
  • Refrigerate or add ice when you serve it. Add a sprig of mint or a lemon wedge for garnish.

This drink is perfect for any BBQ or summer gathering. One of the many reasons why this drink drives me crazy – is for anyone, including vegans! Just make sure you use organic sugar. I hope that you enjoy making this traditional tart Mexican drink and add it to your party’s or gatherings jut like we do!

 

Other variations / tips: Drink cold or warm. Add sweeteners or none. Add chopped fruit like pineapple, melon, orange etc.  Mix with lemonade or apple juice. Add ground spices: cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg (dissolve well). Spike with rum or tequila for adult drinks. Garnish with mint, basil, rosemary etc.

***Look for dried, edible hibiscus flowers (hibiscus sabdariffa) often called “flor de jamaica” in specialty shops or Mexican food markets.

My Two Cents On Checkout 51

If you haven’t tried Checkout 51, give it a try. This is my second favorite rebate app! It’s also a great way to earn some extra money while shopping on your grocery items. Checkout 51 is a rebate app similar to ibotta but a bit different. New offers are released every Thursday but last until the following Wednesday with about 250 available rebates.

Rebates range in categories such as; baby, drinks, medicine, health, personal care, home, pantry and snacks. Often, vegan or vegetarian items are available – this is awesome!  The app is easy to use; no unlocking rebates before you shop (yay)! Perform your normal shopping at ANY store, then redeem! Yes, ANY store! Some rebates are to specific stores but most are redeemable everywhere and anywhere including dollar stores! I LOVE THIS APP!

Here are my top 10 reasons I love Checkout 51 (1 being the highest, 10 being the lowest):

  1. Language: English, French and Spanish
    • I am fascinated with this feature, they seriously outdid themselves with this simple unbiased app – feature.
  2. No “Unlocking”
    • No unlocking of rebates. This is the most annoying task where you must first unlock a rebate to claim it later or you are not able to redeem for cash. This is an amazing perk!
  3. Unassigned Stores 
    • Redeem at ANY store without the need to shop a specific store – giving you the liberty to shop closer to home!
  4. High Rebates
    • I am amazed with their high rebates, seriously, $5.00 on Tiki fluid and $2.00 on Starbucks Coffee… Score!
  5. Redeem 1 or 2
    • Some rebates allow you to redeem more than once, usually twice and some, up to 5 times! This is insanity!
  6. Combine With Coupons
    • Submit a rebate even after you used a coupon (some have exceptions but are very minimal).
  7. Fast Approval
    • The app states most payments are approved within 1-48 hours. (I usually get approved in less than 24 hours).
  8. Simple 
    • The app is super easy to use; uncomplicated with minimal navigation.
  9. Bonuses 
    • Are low and very few but are easily attainable.
  10. Checkout
    • Cash out after reaching $20.00. Checkout 51 will mail you a check – this is one downfall for me. Checks are mailed within 5-15 days which may take up to 6 weeks for arrival.

I would not refer this rebate app without using it myself and loving it. So…My two cents on Checkout 51: Why turn down extra cash?

 

***Notes: At times, I have redeemed the same rebate with Checkout 51 and ibotta – I call this Double Dipping! ***Redeem $2.00 in rebates to unlock a $0.25 fruit or veggie rebate the following week.  ***Offers may vary by user with limited quantities.

Shopping Trip At CVS – Coffee

Well… I had to make a quick shopping trip to CVS last night… Currently, they are running a promotion on several grocery items: receive $5.00 ExtraBucks when you spend $20.00.

My husband and I are avid morning coffee drinkers, with that said… I will stock up when a good deal shows up – we were down to one box left! We usually purchase our coffee at Sam’s Club, unless I can find it cheaper than $0.58 cents per K-Cup ($41.98 for 72 k-cups of Starbucks at my local Sam’s). I knew the purchase at CVS along with some rebates would get to pay under $0.50 per cup, so I forced myself to make the trip (okay, not really).

There is a CVS close to home, therefore it’s an easy stop to make on my way after work. Checkout 51 had rebates on Starbucks Coffee that were expiring yesterday, so I wanted to pair these rebates with the store promotion to get a better sale. I also had a $1.00 Starbucks coupon which was included with a sample I received earlier in the month.

With coupon in hand, I walked into the store, grabbed my four boxes of Starbucks K-Cups and headed to the register. At checkout, since a $1.00 coupon was used, it brought my total to $30.96. As you think about the math, this transaction puts me at a much higher price per cup ($0.77 each) than at Sam’s. Realistically, I would not pay for this… unless… I can cash in on rebates: they better be good ones too.

There were great cash back offers to claim on: $2.00 on Veranda Blend, $2.00 on Bright Sky Blend, $2.00 on Breakfast Blend and $2.00 on House Blend. Plus, a bonus of $1.00 was added to my account for purchasing two boxes of blonde roast and another $1.00 was added for purchasing two boxes of medium roast. Also, I received $5.00 in ExtraBucks for reaching my threshold of $20.00 on grocery items at CVS.

My total in claimed rebates and rewards amounted to $15.00. That is much better to my eyes… that is almost a 50% difference. This brings my “cup o’ Joe” down to about $0.40 a piece… a much better ring to my ears. I can definitely state drinking my coffee brings me more satisfactions and enjoyment knowing I cashed in on some great rebates! If only I could find the same great deals on creamers…

 

***These coffee rebates are back today on Checkout 51 and CVS will exhaust their promotion Saturday, so there is still time if you are running low on coffee. This deal works on both the K-Cups or bagged Starbucks coffee.

 

  

Shopping Trip To Sprouts

Yesterday  I headed to Sprouts during my lunch to score a few awesome deals. So, I just started shopping at Sprouts about a month ago – I am in love with this grocery store! Generous amounts of organic produce may be found in the store as well as local fruits or vegetables. Prices are fair – yet cheaper than other stores at times. This store is just 4 minutes away from my office which allows me to take my time while I shop.

Thinking of dinner for today, some of my purchase consisted of the items pictured above… Tonight, I will be making chicken and what better way to pair them with asparagus. Luckily, rebates were available for me to redeem on these items and cash in on some well deserved veggies and fruits.

The items I bought at this trip were:

  1. Strawberries 2/$4.00 (1 lb each)
  2. Asparagus $1.84 (1 lb)
  3. Pineapple $1.98
  4. Basil in a can $4.99
  5. Hass Avocado $0.88
  6. Zucchini $0.48
  7. Shishito Peppers $24.99
  8. Potato $0.36
  9. Big Slice Cooked Apple $1.99

Total out-of-pocket paid was $41.51 (tax excluded). After leaving the store I quickly submitted the following rebates – as I’ve stated before, if I don’t do it then – I forget:

  • Checkout51 – $0.25 on strawberries
  • Checkout51 – $0.25 on asparagus
  • Checkout51 – $0.25 on pineapple
  • Checkout51 – $0.25 on avocado
  • Checkout51 – $0.25 on potato
  • Ibotta – $0.25 any receipt
  • Ibotta – $1.50 Basil in a can
  • Ibotta – $10.00 Shishito peppers
  • Ibotta – $1.00 Big Slice Apple
  • Mobisave – $0.10 on zucchini
  • Mobisave – $0.10 on potato

Total claimed in rebates was $14.20, not too bad. Every single item I purchased on this trip was claimed in a rebate – some rebates were not much but still added some cents into my well deserved Paypal account.  

Our dinner will be delicious – grilled chicken, oven roasted asparagus with potatoes and grilled pineapple for dessert. We will be having a simple, easy to make but mostly – healthy dinner. I hope your dinner will be as enjoyable as ours!

 

 

 

***The main reason Back To The Roots Basil In A Can was purchased – a cash rebate and this herb is used in my household. As a bonus – its organic! ***Why Back To The Roots Shishito Peppers – for every one purchased, Back To The Roots will donate a product to a classroom of my choice! As a bonus – it’s organic plus a $10.00 rebate! ***The strawberries and Big Slice Apple are not pictured since they did not make it out of the store… I gave them to a family who were next in line.

Teeny Freebie #172

Hi all.

I am very excited to present this month’s Teeny Freebie. I am giving away this set of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish and Top Coat.

The rules are very easy, please read below:

  1. Visit me on twitter at  @ModestCouponer
  2. Reply or comment on my post
  3. One entry per person only (U.S.A. only)

You will have 24 hours to submit your entry. After that, I will contact the person who guessed the correct number first. If no response is received within 24 hours, the next person will be contacted and so forth…

You have until 9:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) today to submit your entry. After that, a winner will be selected and will be posted via twitter.

 

 

*** These are the two items: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Miss Wanderlust 740 and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat.

My Mother Is Full Of … Eggs!

This time, I will be sharing a bit about my mother (Maria) and the love towards her pet chickens. Although, she claims them to be pets, they are more of companions to her. She cares, protects and feeds them with such love that could be envied by some.

I admit it… I am to blame a bit. When my daughter was little we bought her a few day old chicks. We kept them as pets, well, we ate the eggs but we did not eat them. It was educational for our daughter and for us as well. We kept them for years, until we put our house up for sale. We needed to get rid of them but did not want to.  It was a hard choice to make, so then I came up with the brilliant idea to have mother “care for them” while we searched for a home.

That was two years ago… guess she’s still caring for them. She loves them so much last year she got two more, then three then four more! It seems every-time we talk… she has added more.

The chickens live a happy life. They’re fed regularly…  hourly I think. Dad built them a nicer two-story coop last year. More so for mother which  helps ease her arthritis pain. The backyard is big enough for the pets to roam free if they wish,usually they stay within the chicken hotel, I mean coop. She tends to them as if they are kids. For instance, when one became injured from a raccoon attack… She took her inside the house until the chicken’s leg healed and was able to walk again. She catered to her, cleaned her and made sure “Fluffy” felt safe. Mom had an indoor chicken for months!

She gets an average of 9 eggs a day! Yes, a day! My mother does not work so gardening, cooking and feeding the chickens are her daily activities while dad is still working full-time. Mom and dad are very generous, mother loves giving her bounty away. The neighbor’s love her. They get free eggs, veggies and fruits, she spoils them, they like it. We too  appreciate the fresh eggs we get from her regularly, the kids enjoy gathering them from the coop, admiring the different shapes, colors and sizes. We have saved at least $1.99 every two weeks on fresh eggs in the last three months, thanks to mother and her companions.