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Friday, July 1, 2011

Los Angeles - Lower Sales Tax & Banned Plastic Bags?

Plastic Bag Ban L.A.

As of today, July 1, 2011, us Los Angeles residents have two important things to keep in mind while shopping. What exactly are they? Lower sale tax rate (finally!) and banned plastic bags.

Lower taxes, well  just a little lower. Residents in the Greater Los Angeles county will see their sales tax lowered by 1%. Sales tax differs greatly in Los Angeles, but in my area its at a whopping 9.75%, so now when I go shopping I'll only be paying 8.75%. Its still relatively high compared to the rest of the country, but any break is a good one. I should note, all of California will have a 1% drop in sales tax, so some areas are dropping as low as 7.25%!

Another important update for us Angelinos is the ban on plastic bags. While I feel rather neutral about Los Angeles unincorporated cities banning plastic bags, I'm well prepared. I recommend you guys buy some nice long-lasting reusable bags, because if you don't, you'll be paying an extra $0.10 for a paper bag at the stores when you go shopping. Now, since I live in the Greater Los Angeles area, this law doesn't affect me but lets be realistic;  I have a family of 6 so we could easily be paying an extra $1.50 - $2.00 worth of paper bags per visit if we don't use our own reusable bags. That adds up. Remember that many stores DO give credit when you use your own reusable bags, Target gives you $0.05 per reusable bag!

Just some things we should be aware of, I am glad I found out beforehand because as someone who like to SAVE, I would've been upset having to pay for paper bags!

GIVEAWAY - HTC Inspire 4G Smart Phone!


I've had the pleasure of playing around with the HTC Inspire 4G Smart Phone from AT&T's lineup. I currently own an iPhone 4 but have and forever will be an HTC groupie. The first one I had was about 5 years ago when I would roam the halls at my High School with the HTC 8125 in hand and had everyone completely jealous! Who wouldn't be? Smart Phones, even touchscreen phones, were not at all common back them, I just liked to flaunt my beautiful phone, which by today's standards looks huge. The HTC Inspire 4G comes with an 8GB microSD memory card, battery data cable, a/c charger and all necessary manuals.

Before I get on with my review, all my comparisons below will be with my iPhone 4, as it is the phone I own at the moment. The HTC Inspire 4G at first glance is huge, it has a 4.3" display with WVGA (480 x 800) resolution, which I didn't find to be the best. Compared with my phone, the Inspire's resolution is sub-par and not as sharp when watching videos or movies, however, I do like that the screen is vibrant and doesn't get washed out in the sun. What I absolutely love about the Inspire is it's back-lit capacitive touch buttons located behind the touchscreen (home, menu, back and search). The Inspire 4G smart phone runs on Android 2.2 OS and this was my first experience with it. I am a Windows Mobile-type girl but found many similarities with both. Nonetheless, the interface is very easy to use. You have a great array of choices while personalizing you phone, which is not the case with my iPhone 4. I must say, I am a huge fan of these widgets on HTC Sense platform.

Included in this little package of goodness is an 8-megapixel camera with the ability to record video in 720p HD. I took plenty of pictures and was pleasantly surprised at the quality. The camera is great, but the video recording was quite laggy for 720 HD. The Inspire 4G boasts a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 4GB internal memory, which isn't too bad. Everything loads quite well, youtube videos tend to be a little slower on the device though. The Dolby Surround and SRS WOW sound playback on this smart phone is great! The phone itself feels very sturdy in your hand. The encasing on the Inspire 4G is quite frustrating though. To slide off the cover to expose the microSD and SIM card slots is easy, the problem is removing the battery cover. I had to look up how to do it and it was still quite a challenge to pop it open, luckily I have no need to constantly open it.

The top things that I adore about the Inspire 4G is the social media integration. The Twitter for HTC is beauty to my eyes. Its so flawless, as is its FriendStream which you can also include Facebook. Now, as a blogger, this is a great thing to have. The addition of being able to integrate Gmail was great, but the interface and layout makes me enjoy checking my email via the Inspire 4G as opposed to my desktop computer. All this and the fact that the Inspire 4G acts as a mobile hotspot via tethering. I connected my laptop to the internet with the Inspire 4G acting as a mobile hotspot and was amazed at the speed it loaded websites. This phone would be on my definite to buy list just for that simple reason.

Wait! This is a phone though, correct? Sound quality is surprisingly great. On my side, no echos, weird static or any other interruptions like dropped calls. Same on the other end, no loud background noise just crystal clean voices. Overall the HTC Inspire 4G is a great inexpensive phone (available on AT&T for $99 w/ a new 2/yr contract). As a smart phone, this phone is certainly competition and had so many great features that I'd be here all day blogging about them. The social media integration is just amazing, makes it great for us college students to stay in the loop when we have our heads buried under tons of papers and textbooks. I want to thank HTC for the opportunity to review this great device.

Want to win this HTC Inspire 4G Smart Phone? Click "read more" to enter the giveaway!

Target Weekly Ad for 7/3 - 7/9

Here is a partial list of deals for the Target Weekly Ad of July 3, 2011 I don't list the whole ad, just Grocery, Pets, Beauty and Household. Mainly, only sections that contains items that can be matched with coupons. Remember, Ads may vary, I'm in the Los Angeles Area in Southern California.

New to couponing at Target? Check out the Target 101 starter post for info and policies. 
If you ever need extra coupons or didn't get regional coupons, try CouponClippers.com.

Fresh Green Seedless Grapes, Package (2lb.) $3.99
Taylor Farms Organic Baby Spinach (5oz.) 2 for $7
Foster Farms Fresh Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts $3.49/lb.
Healthy Choice or Marie Callender's Frozen Meals $2.39
-$2/4 Healthy Choice or Marie Callender’s Frozen Meals or Fresh Mixers Target Q
Market Pantry Frozen Family Meals (32oz.) 2 for $9
Market Pantry Frozen Lasagna w/ Meat Sauce (80oz.) $8.99

Hebrew National Beef Franks (12oz.) $2.79
Cinnamon Toast Crunch (12.8oz.) or Honey Nut Cheerios (12.25oz.) 2 for $5
-$1/2 General Mills Cereals 6/19 SS 
Kraft Mayo or Miracle Whip (30oz.) $2.50
-$1/1; $1/2 Kraft Miracle Whip or Mayo 6/19 SS 
Kraft Original Macaroni & Cheese (7.25oz.) $0.77
Yoplait Yogurt Cups (4 or 8oz.) 10 for $6
-$0.50/10 Yoplait Yogurt Cups 4- or 6-oz. Target Q x7/23
-$1/10; $0.40/6 Yoplait Yogurt Cups (includes original, light, thick & creamy or whips) 6/12 SS x8/6
-$1/10; $0.40/6; .50/8 Yoplait Yogurt Cups 5/8 SS x7/2
-$0.40/6 Yoplait Yogurt (printable)
DQ Blizzard Oreo Cookies (10.5oz.) $2.79
-$1/2 Oreo Snack Items 8.5-oz. or larger Target Q x7/23
-$1/2 Nasbisco cookies or crackers 6/19 SS x7/30
Lay's Chips (10.5oz.) 2 for $4
Nabisco Munch Packs (12pk.) $3.99

FREE Powerade (8pk., 20oz.) wyb Any (2) Dasani Water Listed Below:
Dasani Water (24pk., 16.9oz.) $3.99

FREE Smartwater (6pk., 20oz.) wyb (10) Vitaminwater or Smartwaters Listed:
Vitaminwater (20oz.) or Smartwater (700mL) 10 for $10

Coca-Cola Products; Bottles (2-liter) 5 for $5
Coca-Cola Products; Cans (12pk., 12oz.) 3 for $13
7UP, Sun Drop Cans (12pk.) 3 for $10
Capri-Sun (20pk., 6oz.) $3.99
Kool-Aid Jammers $1.70
Malbec Wine Cube (1.5-liter) $9.99

FREE $5 Gift Card wyb Any (3) Starbucks Coffees Listed Below:
Starbucks Coffee (11 or 12oz.) $8.49
-$1.50/1 Starbucks Natural Fusions (printable)

Beauty / Health:
FREE $5 Gift Card wyb Any (2) Schick Items Listed:
Schick Hydro 5 or Quattro For Women $6.49
-$4/1 Schick Hydro Razors 6/12 SS
-$1/1 Schick Quattro for Women Product All You Apr 2011

Click "Read Me" Below To See The Rest Of The Target Ad:

Thursday, June 30, 2011

We've Moved To www.Student-Saving-Bucks.com

Hi Everyone! I'm so exited to announce some new changes going on around here. First off, we are no longer located at StudentSavingBucks.blogspot.com and have FINALLY moved to a .com It has taken a little over a year to make the decision to move, but we think its was about time.

Now, some important things to take into note, I did NOT change the URL much, I have just added the addition of dashes (-) to it. So now, when you enter our old .blogspot adress you will be automatically be re-directed to www.Student-Saving-Bucks.com

What to update?
There is not much YOU really have to do, but if you'd like:
-Bookmarks: If you have us bookmarked, be sure to update the URL :)
-Buttons: If you have my button on your blog, simply change the URL to the new website.

There is no need to re-friend us on Facebook, Twitter or Google Friend Connect. I'm looking into FEED and EMAIL subscribers, not sure yet if you will have to re-subscribe (Update: No need to resubscribe via RSS or Email). No worries about our look either, we might make a couple changes here and there, but not much.

To kick off a new beginning, I've decided to have the HTC Inspire 4G Smart Phone giveaway later this week to inaugurate the new website! Anyone else exited? :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WUC - Coupon Preview Wednesday For 7/3

Every Wednesday  I will be posting EARLY PREVIEWS available through (WUC) WeUseCoupons.com. I will be highlighting the best deals from (2) particular stores; CVS and Walgreens. Don't worry though, you guys will still have your Target Ad + Coupon Match-Ups too! So make sure to drop by Wednesdays and check the early previews here at StudentSavingBucks. I will have an individual post for each store. This main post will be used to direct you to early coupon insert previews.

This upcoming week you will have (1) Coupon Inserts. The preview(s) are already available below, so click to get a very early preview of the great coupons for this upcoming Sunday. Due to the Holiday weekend, there will be no Smart Source or Red Plum coupon insert.

Coupon Previews from WUC:
Proctor & Gamble (P&G) 7/3

Target coupons in 7/3 Newspaper:*
Will now be be posted on Thursdays, however, due to this holiday weekend.
*Target Coupons may be regional

WUC has a pay-per-click Affiliates Program. If you're interested click here to join. New sign ups get a $3 bonus! If you do, please list "SSBucks" as your referrer and let me know you did. Thanks

WUC - CVS Early Preview + Deals

CVS Deals on WUC Early preview of the CVS Ad for 7/3 w/ coupon match-ups. The full Ad scan is available. Here are a few highlighted deals from the CVS Ad  7/3 - 7/9: 

Oral-B Pulsar Toothbrush (1ct.) (get $3 ECB) - $5.99 
-$3/1 Oral-B Adult or Kids Battery Toothbrush 6/5 P&G
Total: FREE after ECB and coupon (Limit 2)

Tampax Pearl Tampons (18-20ct.), Always Infinity Pads (14-18ct.) (get $2 ECB) - $3.99
-$1/1 Tampax Pearl, 18 Ct or larger 7/3 P&G
-$3/2 Tampax Pearl or Compak Pearl, 18 ct or higher (6/5 P&G)
-$1/1 Always Infinity 14ct+ P&G 7/3
-$1/1 Always 6/5 P&G

Total: $0.99 after ECB and coupon (Limit 1)
Coke Products selected varieties (2-liter) - $0.69

WUC - Walgreens Early Preview + Deals

Walgreens Deals at WUC - Early preview of Walgreens Ad for 7/3 w/ coupon match-ups. The full Ad scan is available. Here are a few highlighted deals from the Walgreens Ad for the week of 7/3 - 7/9: 

Extenze Male Enhancement Formula (2oz. 2pk.)  (get $4.99 RR) - $4.99
-$0.75/1 Twizzlers 10oz or more 6/26 SS
Total: FREE after RR

Coppertone Sun Care (get $4 RR) - $9.99
-$1/1 Coppertone Products 6/26 RP  
Total: $4.99 after RR and coupon 

Select Dental Care Crest or Oral B (get $1 RR) $2.99:
Crest Whitening Expressions or Whitening Plus Scope Toothpaste (6 or 6.2oz.)
Glide Floss (32.8 to 55 yds.) or Oral B Advantage Toothbrush or Floss Picks (4pk.)
-$0.75/1 Oral B Floss or Floss Picks 7/3 P&G
-$2/1 Oral B Toothbrushes 7/3 P&G
Total: FREE - $1.24 after RR and coupon

Monday, June 27, 2011

Target Coupons On ShopKick App!

As I can see a lot of you are enjoying the ShopKick App I posted about a while back. How do I know this? Every time you use my referral code to sign up YOU and I get an extra 50 kicks (shop kick points). I also let you guys know that there are target mobile coupons via the ShopKick App. The Target coupons on ShopKick are different from the mobile coupons, insert and website Target coupons. ShopKick Target coupons show how much you are saving on the particular item and its expiration date. How to redeem? Simply click "Use This" then you will see the barcode which the cashier should scan. You will have 12 hours to use it after tapping "Use This" or else it expires, so I suggest you click "Use This" only when you're already at the store!

I'm not sure how often they update their Target coupons on ShopKick but its a nice surprise when you find them on there! :) As of yesterday, they posted 6 NEW Target Coupons: $5/2 Toss Pillows Target Q - $1/1 Mio Water Enhancer Liquid Target Q - $1/1 Shout Color Catcher Target Q - $1/1 Windex Electronics Cleaner Target Q - $2/1 Curel Moisturizer Item Target Q - BOGO OFF! Insect Repellent Spray Target Q. They all expire 7/8/2011

Use code "RABBIT7476" to earn an extra 50 kick bucks! To redeem this code and your kick bucks, download the ShopKick app and go to the "Me" tab on the app to enter the code under "Got A Promo Code?" :)

My 6/26 Target Shopping Round-Up (Saved 90%)

So, the SoBe deal is back! Buy 10 and get a $5 Target Gift Card back. I bought 50 SoBe (Pure, Teas, and Lifewater varieties) and a whole bunch of FREE Revlon tools. Catalinas are still printing for $5/2 and $2/1 Revlon Tool(s). I had a problem with the cashier forgetting to scan one of my Gift Cards in my first transaction so I spent about 20min. at the Guest Services. Oh well, still had a great trip. I got overage from the $5/2 Revlon tools catalinas, none on the $5/2 Revlon Insert Qs (they got rounded up and for some reason no tax came up). Don't forget to VOTE for us in the SoBe contest! In (6) transactions, my trip:

Bought (50) SoBe Lifewaters, Teas and Pure - $1 each 

Bought (2) Revlon Nail Buffers - $3.49 each
-Used (1) $5/2 Target Insert Qs
Bought (1) Revlon Nail CozyShine - $2.89 
Bought (1) Revlon Nail Clippers - $1.59
-Used (1) $5/2 Target Insert Qs
Bought (2) Revlon Lash Curlers - $2.89 each
-Used (1) $5/2 Target Insert Qs
Bought (4) Revlon Nail File - $1.47 each 
 -Used (2) $5/2 Target Insert Qs
Bought (6) Revlon Nail File - $1.47 each
 -Used (3) $5/2 Target Catalina Qs

Total - before coupons & sales: $81.94 | after coupons: $8.82* (before tax) 
Saved: $73.12 -or- 90%

*Got (5) $5 Target Gift Cards (total of $25) by buying 50 SoBe bottles. (Promotion was Buy 10 SoBe, get (1) $5 Target Gift Card).  Used an old $5 Gift Card and my $5 Target Gift Card I earned on my ShopKick app.

Click Here to see my other Shopping Round-Up Trips and how much money I've saved on other trips.

FREE $20 Trader Joe's Gift Card When You Refer 3 Friends!

Plum District is having a HOT promotion! Get a FREE $20 Gift Card to Trader Joe's when you refer 3 friends (no purchase required)! I love Trader Joe's, and their super friendly employees! Red Plum just recently had this promotion, but for a $20 Target Gift Card which was hot! And it went fast too so hurry to get this one! 

Step 1: Click here and sign up via "Facebook Connect" by clicking "subscribe with Facebook" and sign into Facebook then "allow" the app (see picture below)
Optional: To refer your 3 friends and get the gift card click "Get It" and share via facebook and twitter! :)

When you click here to sign up, you will see the following pop up (see picture below). Click "subscribe" to sign up via Facebook Connect, the next window will be where you sign in to Facebook, then you click "allow". This eliminates the need to enter your personal information making it easier to sign up!
Be sure to read the fine print. If you want to earn the gift card, when you sign up click "Get It" then fill out your mailing address where you want the gift card sent and share the deal via Facebook or Twitter. You will receive your Gift Card within 10 mailing days after the deal closes and is limit to 1 per household.

Sign Up For Red Plum via Facebook, Refer 3 Friends and Get You FREE Gift Card Here! :)

My Nutrisystem Weekly Weigh-In (Week #9)

This is my 9th week on the Nutrisystem program. Two weeks ago I hit the 20-lbs. mark, but haven't been able to keep my good numbers. This heat (up to 103 degrees here in Los Angeles) has been making me feel worn out as soon as I wake up. Because of that, I haven't been able to exercise not 1 day this past week. Not to mention my week has been very off and I've fallen off here and there. This truly shows in my weight loss for the week, but like I always say, anything lost is a gain :)

I was so exited last week to hitting 20lbs that I forgot to show you guys my new Nutribear. Its name is commitment, and hopefully he will keep me motivated this new week. He sure is a cutie, and comes in one of my favorite colors, purple. I want to lose 30lbs. by the end of July, I am so exited! I know I can make it happen! I'm looking forward to filling my computer desk with cute little Nutribears!
This weeks weight-loss was low, lower than I expected. I can't wait to keep pushing myself and lose more weight. I have now made a personal goal to lose a minimum of 10lbs. a month over the next 2 months I have left. :) Don't forget to Check out my entire Nutrisystem Journey, my photos on Flickr or my videos on YouTube! Now its time, my weight loss for the 7th week on Nutrisystem:

Weight Loss:
-6.2 lbs. [5/1/11] 
-3.1 lbs. [5/8/11]
-2.6 lbs. [5/15/11]
-1.8 lbs. [5/22/11] 
-2.5 lbs. [5/29/11]
-2.6 lbs. [6/5/11]
-2.3 lbs. [6/12/11]
-1.1 lbs. [6/19/11]
-0.8 lbs. [6/26/11] 
Total: 23.1 lbs.
Nutrisystem Nation Bloggers:
I want to say HELLO to my fellow Nutrisystem Nation Bloggers! I read their blogs and their ups & downs with the system! Don't forget to check them out! Trisha @ Makeup Files, Heather @ Living On Love & Cents, Di @ Free Sample Mama, Lisa @ Mommy & Me Giveaways, Carmen @ Closer To Lucy, Sara @ Dealicious Mom, Brett @ This Mama Loves Her Bargains
Want to join me on the Nutrisystem Program? Sign up online or call 1-888-853-4689!

Disclaimer: As a part of the "Nutrisystem Nation Blogger" Program, Nutrisystem is providing their food, services and program to me free of charge in exchange for blogging about my experience. Opinions are my own and I will provide only fair and honest reviews.

Blog Hops For The Week Of June 27, 2011

Another week of Blog Hops nicely organized into a NEW convenient post :) lol. Join us, make new friends, and find new blogs! This is my 51st week! Wow! Super long time!

Make sure you guys check out the "Quick Links" on the left sidebar for the Target Weekly Ad with coupon match-ups and coupon previews (updated every Wednesday).

Click on "Read More" below:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My 6/25 Target Shopping Round-Up (Saved 93%)

Finally found the BBQ Sauce for $0.99 at my store, too bad I didn't have enough coupons, I'd love to stock up on it! Bagel Bites were higher at my store for some reason, my trip:

Bought (4) KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce - $0.99 each 

-Used (4) $1/1 Manufacturer Qs 
Bought (1) Bagel Bites - $2.74 each 
-Used (1) $1/1 Manufacturer Q -&- (1) $1/1 Target Q 
Bought (2) Revlon Nail File - $1.27
 -Used (1) $5/1 Target Q (adjusted to $2.54)

Total - before coupons & sales: $9.24 | after coupons: $0.70 (before tax) 
Saved: $8.54 -or- 93%

Click Here to see my other Shopping Round-Up Trips and how much money I've saved on other trips.

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