FTC Disclosure:

I am not paid or compensated in any way to write product reviews posted to this blog. There are affiliate links posted throughout this blog. So, when you click through on links and buy something, I may receive a commission. I pay for the products with my own funds. Product reviews always reflect my own experience with and honest opinion of the product as a consumer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

CVS Haul, 08/30/12, Colgate Toothpaste, Gillette ProGlide Fusion Razor, Stayfree Maxi pads, L'Oreal Cosmetics


CVS Haul, Colgate Toothpaste, Gillette ProGlide Fusion razor
Stayfree Maxi pads, L'Oreal cosmetics

Here is another one of my CVS shopping hauls. These are the sales/deals that I was interested in for this haul:
  • Buy 1 Colgate Total toothpaste, get $1.00 in Extrabucks rewards
  • Spend $15 or more on any L’Oreal cosmetics and get $5.00 in Extrabucks rewards
  • Buy 1 Gillette ProGlide razor or disposable razor for men and get $5 in Extrabucks rewards
  • Select Stayfree maxi pads on sale for $2.00 each.*
These sales ran from Sunday, August 26, 2012 thru Saturday, September 1, 2012. So, they are no longer in effect.

I used 7 manufacturer coupons and 1 CVS Extrabucks rewards in this transaction.

The breakdown of the transaction follows:

1 Colgate Total Toothpaste, 6 oz. $3.74

1 Colgate Total Toothpaste, 6 oz. $3.74

1 Stayfree maxipads, regular, 24 count $2.00

1 Stayfree maxipads, regular, 24 count $2.00

1 L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara $9.29

1 L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail eyeliner $9.79

1 Gillette Fusion Pro manual razor $10.99

Sales tax $2.50
Subtotal (before coupons, etc.) $44.05
I applied the following coupons and discounts to the balance:

1- manufacturer coupon for Gillette Razor* * -$4.00

1- manufacturer coupon for Stayfree product -$2.00

1- manufacturer coupon for Stayfree product -$2.00

1- manufacturer coupon for L’Oreal product -$1.00

1- manufacturer coupon for L’Oreal product -$1.00

1- manufacturer coupon for Colgate toothpaste -$.75

1- manufacturer coupon for Colgate toothpaste -$.75

1- CVS Extrabucks reward                                      -$1.00
Total and price paid (after coupons, etc.)          $31.55
I also earned $11.00 in Extrabucks. In a way, it’s like I paid only $20.55. I saved a good amount of money here, although it was not extraordinary. I consider myself to be a bargain shopper, rather than an extreme couponer.

* One of the things that I love about the CVS sales circular is the way that it sometimes gives you a “heads up” on coupons available in the Sunday paper. CVS actually alerts customers to the fact that this product is “free” if you use the $2.00 off Stayfree product manufacturer coupon from the Sunday newspaper insert.


* *I wanted to use the $5.00 off Gillette manufacturer coupon from the Sunday newspaper, but I didn’t have one. So I used what I had instead ( a $4.00 off coupon).

© Copyright 2012 Susan Broadbelt

www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

 

 

 



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

CVS Haul, Right Guard products

CVS haul, Right Guard products

This is a summary of a recent CVS shopping trip that I made. There were a few deals that caught my eye in this haul. One was purchase “Right Guard or Dry Idea antiperspirant & deodorant at 2/$6, with an Extrabucks reward of $1.00 on 2”. The other was purchase “Right Guard Total Defense 5 body wash 13.5 oz. or bar soap , 6 pack at 2/$6, with and Extrabucks reward of $2.00 on 2.” By the way, these deals are not currently in effect. The sales ran from Sunday, September 9, 2012 thru Saturday, September 15, 2012.

I used 5 manufacturer coupons and 1 CVS Extrabucks reward during this shopping trip.

The breakdown of the transaction follows:

1 Right Guard Total Defense 5 soap, 6- 4 oz. glycerin bars                   $3.00


1 Right Guard Total Defense 5 soap, 6- 4 oz. glycerin bars                   $3.00 

1 Right Guard Sport, 3-D odor defense deodorant, 2.6 oz.                    $3.00

1 Right Guard Sport, 3-D odor defense deodorant, 2.6 oz.                 $3.00

1 Right Guard Total Defense 5, Power Stripe deodorant, 2.6 oz.           $3.00
1 Right Guard Total Defense 5, Power Stripe deodorant, 2.6 oz.           $3.00

Sales tax                                                              $1.08
Subtotal (before coupons, etc.)                                         $19.08
I applied the following coupons and discounts to the subtotal:

1- manufacturer coupon for Right Guard product                -$1.00

1- manufacturer coupon for Right Guard product                -$1.00

1- manufacturer coupon for Right Guard product                -$1.00

1- manufacturer coupon for Right Guard product                -$1.00

1- manufacturer coupon for Right Guard product                -$1.00

1- $4.00 Extrabucks reward                                                 -$4.00
Total and price paid (after coupons, etc.)                         $10.08
I also earned $4.00 in Extrabucks after the transaction. $2.00 in Extrabucks were earned for purchasing the deodorant and $2.00 in Extrabucks were earned for purchasing the bar soap. So, it’s like I paid only $6.08. Pretty good, don’t you think?



© Copyright 2012 Susan Broadbelt


www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

 

 

 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Walgreens Haul 9/15/12, Starbucks coffee


Walgreens Haul
Starbucks coffee

As you have probably noticed, I prefer to do small hauls. It is much easier for me to keep track of coupons and sales when I make small shopping trips. It is easier for me to keep an eye on the cashier, making certain that all of my coupons are scanned. Anyhow, I am a chronic coffee addict, and if I don’t get my daily caffeine fix, things go awry. So when I saw the sale on Starbucks coffee in the Walgreens sales circular, I jumped on it.*

Walgreens advertised Starbucks ground coffee, 12 oz. on sale for $8. This is a good deal because this coffee costs usually in the range of $10- $11. In addition, if customers spent $13 or more of participating products, then the customers would receive $3 in Walgreens Register Rewards. It is basically a Catalina coupon that prints after the transaction. Certain limitations and exclusion apply, but most of the time, a Walgreens Register Reward is valid for use on a future transaction.

Aside from the fact that the cashier was a little grumpy, this is how the transaction broke down. Sweet and simple.

1- 12 oz. bag of Starbucks ground coffee, Medium House Blend $8.00

1- 12 oz. bag of Starbucks ground coffee, Dark French Roast      $8.00
Subtotal (before coupons)                                                                  $16.00
1- manufacturer coupon for Starbucks coffee                                 -$1.50

1- manufacturer coupon for Starbucks coffee                                 -$1.50
Final total (after coupons were applied)                                         $13.00
The result is that I paid $6.50 out of pocket for each bag of Starbucks coffee. Plus, I got back $3.00 in Walgreens Register Rewards, since I bought $16 worth of Starbucks coffee. Yay!!!

* This sale ran from Sept. 9, 2012 thru Sept. 15, 2012. Therefore, the sale is no longer in effect.



© Copyright 2012  Susan Broadbelt

www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

 
 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

$76 saved on auto maintenance

I have been driving my car for nine years. Aside from some minor issues, my car is still running strong. The keys to my car’s longevity are three things: Regular maintenance, never allowing anyone else to drive my car, and never allowing anyone other than a certified Honda dealership to service my engine (especially not Pep Boys). As long as the engine oil is changed regularly, and you make sure that fluids (transmission oil, radiator coolant, etc.) are clean and their levels are always acceptable, the powertrain in a brand new Honda will last at least 100,000 miles.

I took my car to a Honda dealership for some routine maintenance and the techs did an inspection as well. The service manager gave me a rundown of all the things that needed to be done to my car. Two of the things that the manager suggested were an engine air filter replacement and cabin filter replacement. The cost for a cabin filter replacement at the dealership would be $70 and the cost for an engine air filter replacement would be $37. This does not even include any additional fees and taxes that the dealer may charge. I knew that the cabin filter needed to be replaced for sure, because I could smell the dust and mold whenever I run the A/C in my car. Replacing an old engine air filter may help to improve your car’s fuel efficiency as well.

Dealerships usually charge a premium for most services that are performed on the cars that they service, versus what a regular ASE certified mechanic’s shop would charge. I decided to have my boyfriend take care of this for me, since the procedures for these are not complicated. A person that is pretty handy can do these two things without causing any damage to their Honda.

So we let the  automotive techs at the Honda dealership do the oil change, and then we went to some auto parts stores to price the parts. The first store that we checked out was Advanced Auto Parts. They didn’t have either of the parts that we needed in stock. Also, the parts were a little more expensive than other places.

Next, we went to Autozone, which is my favorite place to shop for things related to automotive. I was able to get an STP cabin filter, which comes as a two pack, for $16.99. The STP brand engine air filter cost $13.99. Now I know that I probably could have gotten these parts more cheap online, but I feel more comfortable purchasing auto parts in a brick-and-mortar retail store. On top of this, I really wanted to get this aspect of my auto’s maintenance done and over with instead of waiting for a package to arrive in the mail. I guess you could say that I was too impatient (and lazy) to do online research for cheaper auto parts.

STP Engine Air Filter Package

STP Cabin Air Filter Package


The Honda Engine Air Filter that was removed.
As you can see it is dirty.
 I can't even remember the last time that it was replaced
The process of changing both the cabin filter and engine filter in a 2003 Honda Civic is so simple. If you dare to do it yourself, there are some You Tube videos that can show you how. Or, you could look it up in a Chilton manual or other auto repair guide/resource. One of the employees at the Autozone store actually showed us how to replace the cabin filter. I would have given him a tip for all his help, but Autozone employees aren’t allowed to accept tips from customers. 

In order to get to the cabin filter, it is necessary to remove the door to the glove compartment. No big deal, though. If you decide to change the cabin filter yourself, make certain that you don’t throw out the plastic case that houses the cabin filter. We almost did, but the Autozone employee stopped us from doing so. My boyfriend changed the engine air filter in a matter of minutes. I am really happy that we got these things done without spending an arm and a leg- thanks to Autozone.

 

Copyright 2012 www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review of La Quinta Inn & Suites, Fort Lauderdale



La Quinta Inn &Suites Cyprees Creek Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL
front and side view
La Quinta Inn & Suites
Inside view of hotel room
King sized bed, pillowtop mattress

 
La Quinta Inn & Suites,
 inside view of room
HDTV, Refrigerator, coffee maker, etc.
 
 
 

La Quinta Inns & Suites- Inside view of room
Desk and HDTV
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
La Quinta Inns & Suites- Bathroom view 1 
 
 

 
La Quinta Inns & Suites-Bathroom view 2 
 

 
La Quinta Inns & Suites-Bathroom view 3 
 
 

La Quinta Inns & Suites - Kitchen Area


La Quinta Inns & Suites- Kitchen Area 2



La Quinta Inns & Suites- Guest Dining Area

 
This review is for La Quinta Inn & Suites at a specific location: Cypress Creek road, Fort Lauderdale, FL. It is basically in the NW quadrant of the intersection at Powerline road and Cypress Creek road. I have visited several La Quinta locations in Florida over the years and have also stayed at this particular location many times. Although my experience is not usually perfect, this location is the best one that I have stayed at thus far. I go there whenever I want to feel like I’m on a mini vacation or for peace and quiet (I live with relatives and it can get very noisy at home, sometimes).

This La Quinta Inn looks like as if it has had some fairly recent renovations, including new carpeting and paint on the exterior. From what I can see, the hotel is currently under further renovation due to storm damage. The outside of the property looks decent and clean, but the parking close to the building is sort of scant.

As far as location goes, I think that this La Quinta Inn & Suites is situated in a pretty good place. I don’t have any crime statistics, but it is probably much safer than some other locations in South Florida that I have visited. Of all the times that I visited this property, I have never experienced any major issues. Now, with that said, I am of the opinion that people should always be vigilant and aware of their surroundings, even in Beverly Hills. Opportunists are present everywhere, and we should never let them catch us slipping.

The hotel is very close to I-95 for travel to Miami, Boca Raton and other locations. Also, there is a McDonald’s right next door to the hotel, on the same side of the road. There is an Arby’s restaurant and a Wendy’s restaurant, within walking distance, across the street from the hotel. There is also a Suntrust bank and a Bank of America branch nearby. In a plaza across the street, there are plenty of shopping accommodations and casual dining places, such as Chilli’s. If you want to try your luck at gambling, the Isle of Capri Casino is a few miles north of the hotel on Powerline road. If you are a spiritually minded, Christian, you should check out Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale, which is located west of the hotel on Cypress Creek road.

As far as the actual suite goes, the best way to describe it is “nice and simple.” It is not five star quality, and you shouldn’t expect it to be. La Quinta Inn & Suites is probably a few steps above places like Motel 6 and Days Inn, though. Pricing varies from location to location, but a room with a single bed will probably run in the neighborhood of $100 per night. I am able to stay there for much less, because of company discounts. By the way, La Quinta has a rewards program, that allows you to earn points towards free stay at their hotels. So, at this level of pricing you won’t get luxury resort style quality and perks.

You will get a clean room with simple d├ęcor and accoutrements. The furniture looks inexpensive, yet nice. The beds are double or king sized and come with pillow top mattresses. This hotel has upgraded flat screen, HDTV’s and satellite TV. These rooms don’t have central A/C, but rather a combination A/C and heater unit installed. La Quinta Inn & Suites also provides free Wi-Fi internet access, which is sometimes very slow or nonfunctional. As mentioned, before it also provides satellite TV, but sometimes channels are “unavailable”. The rooms have electronic entry with card readers instead of traditional keys.

The suite also has a microwave, small refrigerator, desk and lamps. In the closet there is an ironing board, iron, and clothes hangers. In the bathroom, there is a hair dryer, shower with an adjustable showerhead, wooden flooring, complementary bar soap and a small bottle of shampoo. Of course, clean bath towels and rags are provided, as well. So the room, is a clean and comfortable place to rest at -nothing more, nothing less.

The hotel has a large lobby area near the front desk, a gym (which is not state of the art by any means), two swimming pools, conference rooms, and a dining area. There are vending machines and ice machines on most floors and a small laundry room. La Quinta gives guests a free “Morningside Breakfast” in the dining area. It’s all self-serve and not anything fancy. The breakfast is mainly, apple juice, orange juice, regular and decaffeinated coffee, hot chocolate packets, bread slices, bagels, muffins, boiled eggs, cereal with some milk, Belgian waffle (you prepare it yourself on a waffle iron). It’s just a little something, courtesy of La Quinta Inn & Suites to help you start your day. 


Something to bear in mind is that, La Quinta Inn & Suites is a pet friendly hotel.  I like animals, but sometimes they can be noisy and bothersome.  At another location I heard dogs barking in a room nearby for several minutes.  Also, I almost stepped in a heap of dog shit in the grass at the another La Quinta location because some A-hole didn't clean up after his or her dog. 

Most of the staff at the hotel is cordial. If you want a hotel stay that is inexpensive, convenient and comfortable, then it’s great. My main objective in choosing to stay at a La Quinta Inn & Suites is to stay somewhere clean, nice, and relatively safe, without breaking the bank. If you’re a knit-picky type person or if luxury, pomp, and sophistication is important to you, then this La Quinta Inn & Suites location (or any other LQ location for that matter) might not be for you. 


For more information about La Quinta Inn & Suites visit www.lq.com

© Copyright 2012 www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

Saturday, September 8, 2012

CVS Haul 09/07/12, Glade scented candles sale

Glade 2 in 1 candles, CVS haul 09/07/12


This CVS shopping trip consists of only one deal. It is “Spend $12 on select Glade products and get $4 in Extrabucks” . I decided to buy Glade candles, 4 oz., which are on sale at 2/$6.00. This particular CVS deal is good until Saturday 09/08/12. I love air freshners, candles, and such. This is a deal that I couldn’t resist. I used 2- buy two, get one free manufacturer coupons and one CVS Extrabucks reward during the transaction. Here’s the breakdown of the transaction:

2 Glade candles -Hawaiian Breeze @ $3.00 each                     $6.00

2 Glade candles -Jubilant Rose @ $3.00 each                           $6.00

2 Glade candles -Vanilla Passion Fruit @ $3.00 each               $6.00

Sales tax                                                                                               $1.08

Subtotal (before coupons and Extrabucks)                                $19.08

1 -buy any two Glade 4 oz. Jar candles, get one free coupon   -$3.49

1- buy any two Glade 4 oz. Jar candles, get one free coupon   -$3.49

1- CVS Extrabucks reward                                                               -$5.00

Total (after coupons and Extrabucks )                                        $7.10

 
I paid $7.10 out of pocket and I received $4.00 in CVS Extrabucks rewards. So, it is like I got the stuff for $3.10.

Everything went well with the transaction. I even managed to save a little more than I had expected to. I received $3.49 off with each manufacturer coupon, instead of the $3.00 sale price for each free Glade candle. The cashier simply scanned the coupons and the total was reduced by $3.49 each time. I have noticed that some of the cashiers prefer to scan the coupon instead of manually entering a price into the register, if he or she can’t be bothered. Or, maybe the cashier wants to help me to save more money. This works to the customer’s benefit so, I am not complaining about it. All I know is that I got some nice smelling candles at a reasonable cost. 



© Copyright 2012 Susan Broadbelt

www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

Friday, September 7, 2012

CVS Haul 08/29/12, Dawn Dishwashing Liquid, Biore Pore Strips, Biore Cleansers, Organix, etc.





CVS haul 08/29/12, Dawn dishwashing liquid,
Biore pore strips, Biore cleansers, etc.

This is a summary of a recent CVS shopping trip. This haul didn’t go exactly as I had planned. There were a few sales that I took advantage of in this haul. One was “Spend $30 or more on specially marked items, and get a free $10 gas card”. * * Another was purchase “Nature Made Fish Oil, 200-300 count for $19.99, and earn $10 in Extrabucks.” By the way, these deals are not currently in effect. The sales ran from August 26, 2012- September 1, 2012.

I used 6 manufacturer coupons, including 2- buy 1 get one free manufacturer coupons, 1 CVS store coupon, and 2 CVS Extrabucks rewards.

The breakdown of the transaction follows:

1 Mars Milkyway Caramel candy bar $.99

1 Biore Combo Cleanser $6.99

3 Biore Nose pore strip 8 count $20.97 ($6.99 each)

1-
Biore Pore unclogging scrub 5 oz. $6.99

3 Dawn dishwashing liquid 9 oz. $2.97 ($.99 each)

1 Organix Argan oil body wash ,13 oz. $4.99

1 Nature Made Fish Oil 1200mg 60 count * $10.99

Sales tax $2.22
Subtotal (before coupons, etc.) $39.12
I applied the following coupons and discounts to the balance:

1- buy one Biore pore strip product, get 1 Biore cleanser free -$6.99

1- buy one Biore pore strip product, get 1 Biore cleanser free -$6.99

1- manufacturer coupon for cents off 1 Dawn dishwashing liquid -$.50

1- manufacturer coupon for cents off 1 Dawn dishwashing liquid -$.50

1- manufacturer coupon for cents off 1 Dawn dishwashing liquid -$.50

1- manufacturer coupons for Nature made product -$2.00

1- store coupon for Organix body wash* * * -$2.00

1- $2.00 Extrabucks reward -$2.00

1- $5.00 Extrabucks reward -$5.00
Total and price paid (after coupons, etc.) $23.64
I also earned $1.00 in Extrabucks and 1 $10 gas card. So, it’s like I paid only $12.64. That is fine with me.


*I returned the Nature Made fish oil a few days later, because I picked up the wrong product. I really wanted the Nature Made Fish oil that was on sale, with $10 Extrabucks Reward. The product that I bought was placed in the wrong spot on the shelf. I was in a hurry I didn’t properly read and check the sales tag. This underscores the importance of double checking and reading the fine print. So, oops! My bad.

* * I earned the $10 gas card for having purchased over $30 in Biore and Dawn products. The CVS location where the transaction took place, didn’t have any gas cards on hand. Coupons for free gas cards print at the bottom of the receipt after a gas card reward is earned. The cashier told me that I could come back to that CVS store at a later date to get my gas card or try and redeem it at another CVS store.

* * * I previously wrote that I would not buy Organix Body washes unless they were available at a much cheaper price. Well, I got the opportunity to do so in this shopping trip. I always scan my CVS rewards card at the kiosk. Out popped a CVS store coupon for $2.00 off Organix body wash, plus there was a sale on Organix body wash for $4.99, with an Extrabucks reward of $1.00. Therefore, I paid $2.99 out of pocket for the Organix body wash and received $1.00 back in Extrabucks.
 

 

Copyright 2012 Susan Broadbelt

www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Review of Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry Deodorant, Powder Fresh Scent

Disclosure: I was not paid or compensated in any way to write this review. I am not affiliated with the company that manufactures and distributes this product. I paid for this product with my own funds. This review reflects my own experience with and opinion of the product as a consumer.



Lady Speedstick Invisible Dry
Powder Fresh

I started using Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry antiperspirant/deodorant several months ago. My usual brand choices of deodorants are Degree and Dove, which are both manufactured by Unilever, Inc. The 2.3 oz. size of Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry costs about $3, depending on where it’s purchased. I can get this product free or dirt cheap when it is on sale and I use coupons judiciously, though.

Anyhow, I think that Lady Speed is a nice, effective product. I like the way that it glides on very smooth under the armpits. Other deodorants that I have used will dry up and form flakes. The flakes tend to get caught in the hair in my armpits. Some of the flakes drop all down my clothing and wherever I may be sitting. I really can’t stand that. Of course, this problem does not occur with Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry antiperspirant/deodorant.

The active ingredient in Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry is aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly 15.4%. The manufacturer claims that the product provides 24 hour protection. I wouldn’t know if this is true, since I shower at least twice a day. What I do know is that it is strong enough to keep me protected at least 12 hours. I normally apply deodorant only once per day, after my morning shower. Lady Speed Stick prevents me from getting musky and sweaty in the armpits while I’m working on the job or exercising.

I really like the scent of this deodorant, too. There are other varieties available, such as Shower Fresh and Shower Fresh Gel. Powder Fresh seems to go well with my body chemistry, thus it is my favorite Lady Speed Stick scent. I have found that when I use a deodorant like Secret brand, I smell like musk and fragrance. So, the fact that the pleasant scent of Lady Speed Stick Powder Fresh holds up, is a strong point of the product.

One thing that I find a little bit curious is that “Dare to Wear Black-Clear Protection” slogan. This statement implies that no residue will be left on dark or black clothing. The manufacturer states that this product is “formulated to leave no white residue on the skin.” However, if you use too much of the product, you will definitely see that some residue may be left on your clothing.  I see and feel a little residue on my shirts even when I apply the deodorant very lightly to my armpits.

This deodorant is not truly “invisible dry” as it is claimed to be. If you rub a small amount of the deodorant onto a swatch of dark colored fabric, you would observe that a white streak is left on the fabric. I realize that deodorants are not designed to be applied directly to clothing, but rather applied to the armpits. I say all of this to illustrate a point that the product does indeed leave a residue. And unless you have very pale colored skin and shave your armpits bald, the deodorant is still visible when you go sleeveless.

Overall, Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry, Powder Fresh is a good product.

Lady Speed Stick is distributed by Colgate-Palmolive company,

For questions and comments about Lady Speedstick call 1-800-228-7408 or visit
www.ladyspeedstick.com.

 

Copyright 2012
www.thewhimsicalmusingsofsusan.com

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