Mondays With Mavis…

This was a crazy coupon week for me…

Because of my unconventional coupon collecting skills… And last weeks leftover catalina’s… I had a couple of unique shopping trips…  Not only was I able to procure a boatload of groceries for ultra cheap… But I was also able to donate a whole lot of baby formula to the food bank as well…

So here we go… Here’s this weeks edition of Monday’s With Mavis…

As I was pulling out my shopping cart I noticed someone had crumpled up their receipt along with this ball of catalina goodness on the ground… Now… I’m no rocket scientist or anything… but I know a good thing when I see it…

Would you look at that??? $2 PLUS a free loaf of bread…  My name is Mavis… And I pick up trash off the ground… and I’m not embarrassed to say it 🙂

Last Monday…after reading about the money making yogurt, free chips, shampoo and .59 cent orange juice I made a quick double coupon trip to Albertson’s… and picked up all of the above for only .84 cents!

Now that’s a bargain!

I used a few of my catalina’s to splurge on some fancy feta cheese (b1g1) and mozzarella…

And I only paid .60 cents for all of the above after I used coupons and catalina’s…

After all was said and done… On Monday afternoon… I was left with coupons for 2 gallons of free milk, 2 bags of shredded cheese, 1 loaf of bread, $8 in Albertson’s catalina coupons and a $1.25 catalina for Fred Meyer…


(I used $4 in Catalina’s to pay for it plus I scored 2 more milk catalinas)


(I used my $1.25 Fred Meyer Catalina… I had brought my reusable bag in with me and with the .05 cents credit my total was only $1.20 for the cantaloupe… so I asked the cashier to remove the bag credit… When she saw my Catalina she just smiled.


(My neighbor who doesn’t coupon GAVE ME her coupons… she was planning on throwing them in the trash!)

$1.99 3 lbs Albertson’s Chicken Tenders… I used the In ad coupon and bought them for $5.99 and used my last $4 in Albertsons Catalinas which brought my total to $1.99… not a bad price for 3lbs of chicken.



(I used my 2 free cheese, 1 free bakery bread and 2 milk catalina’s)

FREE Peanut Butter

(I used my Swagbucks!)

Walmart $9.01

Now… I want to make a few things very clear…

#1 I went to 2 different Walmart’s to pick up the above products…

#2 I do not clear shelves… clearing a shelf is a rotten thing to do…

#3 I donated ALL THE BABY FORMULA to the food bank…

#4 The Similac coupon clearly states 1 per transaction… and YES… I followed the rules.

Luckily both of the Walmart’s I went to were large stores with tons of inventory… I was able to pick up everything I wanted plus score a bunch of free formula for the food bank.  FYI:  The bottled Similac was $3.84 at the local Walmart… brown sugar was $1.16 for the 1lb box…  $3.84+$1.16= $5.00… It’s the perfect combo to use with the $5.00 off Similac coupon 🙂  The Canned Soy formula was $4.18… and the ravioli’s were .97 cents each… making them only .15 cents a can when combined with the $5 off Similac coupon.

And… the final items in my grocery cart…

120 Bottles of Fuze $5.04 (tax)

I knew the $1/2 Fuze Products coupon was going to be in my Sunday paper (Seattle) so I placed an order with the grocery manager at my local Albertson’s… Albertsons is running a sweet deal (if you have the coupons) Buy 10 Fuze drinks and they’re .50 cents each.  But you must buy in sets of 10. I plan on saving these drinks for our annual End of the School Year party this summer…

Total spent this week $20.47

Total Spent on Food, Toiletries and Dining Out Year To Date $334.93

Who said being FruGAL wasn’t fun?


Looking for some cute bags to carry out all those groceries in?

Waste-Less Bags Variety Pack (Pack of 6)


  • Becky

    Where are the places you get your coupons? How did you get so many of the fuze coupons? Great job shopping and donating!

  • We are now in the Seattle area and I was wondering if there were any blogs to follow with tips on shopping our local stores…I didn’t realize I was already following a blog to help me do that! What amazing deals!

  • Gail

    WOW!!! So impressed. I am going to Wal-mart to get the formula and had also planned to give it to our local food bank here in Maple Valley. Thanks for the note on 1 coupon per transaction – I would have goofed on that. And I also want to know how you got all those coupons for the FUZE?

  • Becky FabFruGal

    Fantastic Mavis!!!! Way to go!!!

  • Stacy

    You are inspiring and amazing. Please keep doing this post. I love it seeing your shopping trips and learning more and more.

  • Tomina

    you missed the free Albertsons water with the purchase of 2 bags of Kettle chips. At least my store was doing that. I didn’t realize that they were doing that promotion again until I saw the sign next to the Kettle chips.

  • jennifer

    I”m completely in awe of your mad couponing skills! Someday I’m going to be like you when I grow up. WTG Mavis!!!

    • Crystel

      I agree. I want your skills at this. I am raising a family of 5 hungry boys, lol… I need your mad skills. I have gone to coupon classes, got the binders, tried to get the best deals and I am just not good at it.. HOW DO YOU DO IT??

  • Robin Steigmann

    When it’s a “one coupon per transaction” situation do you just separate transactions one right after the other? If so, do the cashiers mind that?

    • mavis

      I always make a point before unloading my cart to tell the cashier I have a lot of coupons… and then ask if it’s okay to stay in their line. In the case of the formula… I had 15 cans of raviolis and wanted to pair them up with 15 cans on soy formula… so the cashier just set all but one aside and rang up the deal 15 separate times. Another transaction was the bottled formula plus 1 box of brown sugar… she did the same thing. When there is fruit that needs to be weighed I simply use those lane divider sticks to separate my orders. It might seem like a pain at first… but you’ll get the hang of it. The key to shopping with a lot of coupons is to always be in a good mood and as helpful to your cashier as possible… know your coupons and be nice. 🙂

  • Natasha

    Where did the formula coupons come from?

  • Patti

    Awesome again Mavis!! I look forward to your posts. Funny, inspirational and very informative. Will I do it all?……………….probably not, but at if I need to at some point I know where to look for the “how to”.

  • Becca

    I am missing something somewhere. Where did she find these 5 dollar off formula coupons please? I know she dumbster dives but where do they originate? Thanks a million….Smiles

  • Deb Nelson

    Do you find that there are better times of the day to shop, when the cashiers will be more friendly… e.g. less busy and more apt to help you out with ringing everything up separately?

    • Mavis

      Some people shop late at night or early in the morning… I think as long as your not shopping at the busiest time of day (late afternoon/dinner rush) and can find a happy cashier… you’d be fine. 🙂

  • Karma

    Question on the Albertson’s double coupon receipts…what about tax? How did you manage a $0.00 total?

  • Ann

    I thought the formula coupon was for 5 dollars off of powder only…that is the only formula ones I can find 🙂
    How did they work on the liquid

  • Angela

    That is a great deal on the formula, that is the kinda my baby uses too! Darn wish I had gotten ahold of some of those coupons.

  • Tony

    Mavis, you’re awesome! Love the posts. How often do you make your purchases with rain checks? I tend not to ask for them and drive to a different store, but I’m thinking it’s a waste of gas and time when I can just get a rain check. Do you have any tips when asking for these? How do you still get the catalinas or special pricing (ie – $ off of 10) when you go back after the sale is over? Thanks for all the great info…

    • mavis

      I think I’ve maybe asked for 2 or 3 rain check in 10 years… The last time (I think) was when Walgreens had pencils for .09cents last August. I simply look through the ads and check online for deals and then place an order with the store if I have a lot of coupons.

  • shaz

    Ok I am amazed and have no idea how you are doing this.Is the a way to learn better?I have been working at this for over 6 months and am at a complete loss.please help me.also how do you cordnate your meals so good?

  • Krista

    I’m new to swagbucks & trying to figue it all out, but wondering how you got all the free Peanut Butter’s with your swagbucks. Please share! Thanks!

    • mavis

      When you reach 450 Swagbucks you can score a $5 gift card. You can redeem 5 $5 gift cards each month… or 5 of any particular gift card amount for that matter… When you use your 450 Swagbucks to “buy” an gift card you will be given a code. Simply copy and paste the code to your amazon account and it will be there when you’re ready to use it. Does that help? I plan on going into more detail about this subject on Friday… so be on the lookout for the post 🙂

      • Krista

        Thank you Mavis, that was helpful. I will be looking for your post because I would like to know how you get to the 450 & if it is easy? Takes a long time? And what the best way to get swagbucks! Thanks! You’re awesome!

      • Heather

        I am having trouble with earning swagbucks. It takes forever to accumulate them and it seems like I don’t qualify for most surveys, which are very time consuming anyway. My time is worth more than the surveys are, so I am wondering how you earn the most possible without spending too much time at it…. Any tips? I’ve tried searches, and a couple other things. I’ve only received 12sb for one of my searches in the last two weeks I’ve been using it. I work at my computer all day, and constantly going on the internet, so I don’t see how people get rewarded frequently for searches and I don’t….

  • myssssss

    Great you give the formula to the food bank, how about all that peanut butter and some of those other food items they could use????????????????????????? You spend a lot of time at Walmart, down here I am told (never do shop Walmart) they take forever to get the transaction thru the line, Albys is a long ways away for most people limited amounts of food to boot, cashiers won’t let you go thru the line like you did…keep up getting food for little money and donate a ton of those cans to the food bank all the time not just once in a blue moon, mankind will appreciate it a lot!!!!!!!!!!! Walmart treats women here horribly and fires them on a whim, many lawsuits, I would never shop there company at all, yet you go into those stores several times in a day, you must not work any job because most people have to spend at least 8 hours working for low wages here and have no time and gasoline money to shop like you do…okay…just keep giving to the food banks, many depend upon food at them to live a somewhat normal life!!!!!!!!!!hmmmm..gas is almost $4.00 a gallon and many could never shop like you do! Remember the poor and abused in our society!thanks!!!!!!!!

    • couponer

      Mavis is sleeping at 4 in the morning knowing she has blessed many lives. GO MAVIS

    • Constance Hymas

      Every Monday you make some pretty big (negative) assumptions about what Mavis does or does not do. How do you know she doesn’t donate other things. Some people (you don’t seem to be one of them) do their service quietly, without the need for recognition from others. If you had taken the time to read about Mavis you would know she is a SAHM. Also, where do you get the idea that she goes into Walmart several times a day? And how do you know that she is using a lot of gas to get there? Maybe she lives in an area where the stores are close. Not all Walmarts treat women horribly. I have female family members who have enjoyed working for Walmart, and been treated well.

    • Heather

      Myssssss- you must get over yourself…
      Constance – You are right. When you give, you should give in silence whenever possible. It doesn’t make it better if one is obnoxious about their giving. I give when I can, in silence. I do not need a pat on the back. Unfortunately, people like Myssssss make others feel obligated to explain their giving. In the case of this blog, it would be irresponsible not to explain it, because some people would actually think it’s okay to keep it all and hoard it. Encouragement to give is bountiful in this blog and I love that.
      Mavis- I would not have thought to use the similac coupons that way. Thank you for the tip! I will see if I can get it done also. I don’t think formula is something that food banks probably see very often. I love your posts and I admire your shopping skills 🙂

      • Kelly

        I wouldn’t have thought of using the coupons that way either and now I can’t wait!
        I have cut my budget to $50 a week, so far so good. Thanks Mavis for all the great tips!

    • Krista

      Were you not taught as a child that if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say it? She could keep all the items she buys and just distribute to her friends for fun, but she donates it to those in need… Thank God for her and others who do the same. With the time you use to write negative comments, you could be using that time to help others. Thanks Mavis for helping the world be a better place!

    • Lena

      Mysssss- Jesus called, He wants his job back.

      • I don't agree

        OR… Jesus called… Remember when He said LOVE thy neighbor? Mavis is your neighbor!!! So are the rest of the contributors on this blog!!! Just because they don’t live next to you doesn’t make them any less your neighbors!!! Judge NOT LEAST YOU BE JUDGED!!!

    • K

      When my 2 year old throws temper tantrums I find it most helpful to simply ignore him until he gets over himself.

  • Lee Poehler

    You are my newest hero! Loved that you save soooo much. Your blog is easy to read and fun to follow., but would adore it if you leave links or references to your coupons. It would be helpful to newbies and me.

  • helen in Meridian

    Myssss, Mavis is teaching us how to survive on $100 a month. Don’t just give free food; teach them to coupon and they can survive on much less. I am in line behind WIC people all the time and they never take the beans. They could be cooking great meals with that pound of dry beans; but they think it is too much work. For what the government is paying for these WIC checks, one could buy lots more milk, cereal, bulk beans, and real fruit and juice. Teach people to take care of themselves with coupons and reading the ads available free at all grocery stores. This education is invaluable. Why are you so bitter. Portland area has great stores and everywhere people are learning to live on less. Why are you so bitter.

  • Daycare Mom

    Why was it necessary to do all those separate orders? I don’t understand. Does Albertsons give rain checks on catalinas? I am trying to coupon and am saving some, but I am tired of our stores shelves being empty. I have no stockpile except for toothpaste and cereal. I am trying to buy enough to get through the next sale, it just doesn’t last feeding 8 little children and my family of 5. Can you explain more detail about your purchases- price, coupon match, etc.? Thanks.

  • living in the real world

    It would help if this was a little more realistic……Good for you Mavis, but too bad the rest of us are not lucky enough to find extra Catalina coupons on the ground, or get the free coupons from our neighbor. I’ve been to at least three Walmart’s now hoping to make just 2 transactions to get some formula for my infant son, guess i can just stop by the food bank now.

    • Kelly

      If you keep those eyes peeled open you never know what you will find in shopping carts. The coupons don’t expire until 5/31 plenty of time for Walmart to restock.

    • Becky FabFruGal

      And, Walmart is not the only one with the formula priced where you can get it for free… Target, Albertsons (a different kind though), etc… 🙂 It’s all over the place!

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