Best and Worst of 2009

It’s the last day of the year and I thought it would be fun to look back and highlight some of the best deals we enjoyed this past year. I also thought it would be fun to check out some of the duds from this year.

The Best of 2009

Without a doubt my favorite deal this year was every time Kmart did Super Doubles. It’s been a few months since the last and I am really crossing my fingers they bring it back. Other favorites include: Huggies coupons for $5 off and $3 off, Free Dog Toy and Dog Tag from Mighty Dog, $2 off A-1 Steak Sauce.

Some of my favorite freebies were: Earthbound tote bag, free foodsaver bags, Free Chocolate every Friday, FREE after Rebate Ice Cream Novelty from Blue Bunny, Free Luna Cookie Bar, Free EOS Lip Balm Sample

Some of the most popular deals, besides the Kmart Super Doubles, were: FREE Bushnell Weather Forecaster at Walmart, Free Gerber Baby Bottles at Target, Free LipFusion XL Mini Deluxe Gloss, Liftfusion and Glowfusion Samples, Free Toblerone Chocolate, Burt’s Bees Grab Bags, Lee Jeans Giveaway, Victoria’s Secret: Free $10 Pink Certificate and Recycle Bank: Two Free $5 Huggies Diaper Coupons.

There were also lots of high value coupons and coupons for free items available. Here’s a recap: $5 Luvs Diaper Coupon, Buy One Get One Dozen Eggs Coupon,Free Bottle of Suave, Free Kashi Entree, Free Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce, Free Right Guard deodorant, FREE DiGiorno Flatbread Melts Coupon, FREE Oscar Mayer Beef Franks, , FREE Tropicana Juice, Free Starbucks Ice Cream Coupon, Free Honey Bunches of Oats Coupon, Free Cesar Bistro Entree Coupon, Free Quaker Fiber & Omega-3 Granola Bars, Free Herbal Essence, Free International Delight Creamer, Free Bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips, More Free International Delight Creamer.

That’s a lot of free stuff isn’t? and this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the HUNDREDS of items that were free after coupon and sale. I hope that makes you want to keep reading this blog. I am sure tons of more freebies await us.

The Worst of 2009

I would be remiss though if I failed to mention some of the duds we had this past year. I have to say that the worst deals this past year involved free food. It seems some companies don’t understand how the idea of free food can go viral and get out of hand quickly. This is what helped the following three deals go bust this past year: Free grilled Chicken at KFC, Free Rotisserie Chicken at Whole Foods, Free Sub at Quiznos. There are also the companies who promise one thing and deliver something completely different like Texas Pete Hot Sauce and their “free hot sauce.”

There were also deals that didn’t work out quite the way we thought they would and caused some of you some frustration: Leapfrog’s Alphabet Pal $0.49 After Coupon at Target, Huggies and Playskool Toy Deal at Kmart, Fannie May: $25 of $25 or More Purchase Coupon Code and most recently Free Tide Detergent Scenario at Walgreens.

I also thought it would be fun to mention some of the freebies that I at least never received. I do want to mention that I think a big reason this often happens is because companies get more demand than what they expected and they fail to update their sample offer as soon as they hit their limit. Here are some freebies I never got: EVOL burrito, Free Coffee Mug from Tom’s Friend, Free Reusable Water Bottle from Juicy Juice, Free Gardein Veggie Entree, and Free Sample Abuelita Hot Chocolate Mix. I could use that hot chocolate too!

It’s been a fun year for sure. I feel so very lucky to have been able to share all of these deals and freebies with you. I hope they helped you keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket. I know that 2010 has even better things for us, so you need to stick around. Even better, share some of these freebies with friends and family. When you see an offer or deal you think someone you know may enjoy, send it over so they can also take advantage of it.

Share with us: what was YOUR favorite deal or freebie for 2009? I know it will be hard to narrow it down. Leave me a comment.

Share This Post


  • WORST DEAL… Macy’s lie about the Razor Ripstik!!!

    Best deals for me are always the Jewel Catalina deals!

    • Amee

      I actually got the Razor Ripstik!! I called Macy’s and complained.

      • I called and complained too and they ordered it again for me right away. After 2 weeks when I didn’t get it, I called back and they had cancelled my order AGAIN! Then they claimed that they didn’t carry them any more!

  • Kathy Homa

    My best was definately the weather forecaster from Walmart. I got three free ones worth 150 dollars. I also enjoyed all of the free magazine subscriptions. I also agree the Kmart double coupons were the most fun!

  • Christy

    I really liked the Hallmark $5 coupons – I was able to print 4 from my 2 computers and had 2 from various free magazines = $30 in free Hallmark merchandise!!

  • mary

    my favorite deal this year was mail in rebate for the pink cookware set from P&G. Got the products for very little OOP at Publix after stacking store & manu coupons. Love the pink frying pan! Thanks for all the deals you have posted this past year! Happy New Year!!

    • krissyg89

      This deal rocked! I can’t wait to get my set! I got a postcard saying it will arrive by April

  • Kay

    Keep the faith . . . I just opened my free sample Albuelita Hot Cocoa Sample not 10 minutes ago! I loved the Bushnell deal, but I must admit, I feel most satisfied looking at my small mountain of free kleenex and paper towels! LOL Happy New Year!

  • Rhonda Devine

    Worst deal: Purchased the natural dentist products that were supposed to come with a $10.00 rebate–never received and company never responded to my emails.

    • Andrea

      Heh, totally forgot about those! (Its been that long!LOL!) What a rip off considering how nasty it tasted, too. 🙁

    • Rhonda & Andrea – Don’t give up! I emailed and emailed and finally received my rebate out of no where just this month (I submitted the rebate in March). Good luck! -Jessica

  • Stevie

    I agree the hallmark coupons were awesome.
    The fannie may was horrible. blah

    What a neat idea putting this post together!

  • amy in sc

    The AOL/Target 50% off toys. I got a Zippity system, plus 2 games for $60. I had finished my Christmas shopping, but when I saw that, I went ahead and bought it. It has been my dtr’s favorite gift so far! 🙂

    Thank you so much for all you do!!! You have helped my family so much! I look forward to continuing to save in 2010!

  • Whoah there were so many good deals this year.
    Well I love all the freebies 😉

    Looking forward to see what you find in 2010.

  • Bonnie

    Kmart doubles are very fun and exciting, probably my favorite too. I was grateful to get in on the Alphapals, I got 3 for $.49each. Target was a favorite store though, free wipes, baby powder, bottles, cheese, cheerios, skittles, batteries, pet food and treats, air fresheners, candles, rolaids. . . and I’m sure there were many more. One of the worst things to happen was Target changing there coupon format to limit 2, how sad, but a great thing like that is sure not to last. The meter deal from last week was probably my favorite deal of the year because it took me from $0RR’s, spent them all for Christmas, to over $80 in RR’s again, so my stash is up again, ready to start a new year off with lots of RR’s to roll. I know that one is controversial to some people, but my local nursing home was happy to see me coming with so many new monitors for them. Thanks for all of your hard work this year, I look forward to lots of deals in the coming year!

  • Kara

    I have to say the best deal I got was the $2.50 Leap Frog Tag Readers at Target!

    • Mariah Washington

      I bought 9 of them and used them as party favors at my daughters B-day! They were a huge hit! I was thinking Kroger doubling one dollar coupons was my highlight but I had forgotten about the TAG pens!

  • That was a GREAT list! I think for me:

    The worst- Leapfrog’s Alphabet Pal $0.49 After Coupon at Target. I ran around town like a mad woman trying to get my hands on one!

    The best- the Hallmark $5 coupons…I was able to do quite a bit with those!

  • Lara

    Mercedes – I LOVE this post! What fun to look back over the year! I’ve only been couponing for about 5 months, but was surprised at how many of the deals – both good and bad I knew about. All of the LeapFrog deals were my favorites – Tag Readers (Target) – along with extra books and carry cases (KMart) and Alphabet Pals (Target)! Aside from that, I’m just happy to have a full pantry that has been stocked by great deals!

  • Best deals: chipolte FREE coupon bags in the Sunday paper(I got around 10 of these!) and free Freshlike veggies (I got 40 bags in one transaction!)

    Worst deal: for me it was being accused of coupon fraud at a local retailer…very embarrassing. I told the cashier I was a Christian and that the Lord wouldn’t be blessing if I did anything unethical!

    • Faith

      hey julie, why did they accuse you of this? is it because you printed off a coupon that ended up being already used by someone? this has happened to me alot. did you call the company and complain? i wish i could understand why half of the people working in retail stores act like you are bothering them by coming in their store. That is what the are GETTING PAID for. ok. sorry was just wondering the circumstances 🙂

  • Kristins L.

    I loved the 40.00 gift certificate from 800-Flowers deal. Got a few and used them for Christmas and my sister’s birthday. I also loved the Mermaid bath towels from pottery barn and I too got lots of stockpile items from this site including the Kleenex. I didn’t get the EOS lip balm 🙁 I’m look forward to getting lots more from your site in the year to come!

    • I agree- the $40 gift certificate from 1-800-FLOWERS was one of my favorites too!

      • Faith

        oh man, i wish i would have gotten the mermaid towels! i collect mermaids

      • Andrea

        Ugh! 1-800 Flowers has been such a thorn in my side! LOL! The site constantly tells me they have no record of me there (and alllll the stupid dates I entered) yet they keep emailing me reminders! :O And when I’ve emailed them, they try to hook me to someone else’s account!!! Ay yi yi!!!

    • krissyg89

      Ahh, yes, the 1800flowers codes are awesome! And I love that you can use them at other sites. ^_^

  • Holly

    I’m so impressed with how many links that was! I remember from my blogging days how much time links took, and good grief you used tons! The best for me: the two 49 cent caterpillars I got at Target and the 2.48 Leapfrog Readers also at Target. The worst was when I drove thirty minutes to Whole Foods to get Santa Clara organic juice and being accused of coupon fraud. I’ll NEVER shop at WF ever again.

  • Sonya

    A couple of bests – Trio castle from Target (reg $75 down to $15), Oral B electric toothbrush ($66 down to $5 once I get all my rebates back) and $5 coupon off 4 Kellogs cereal. Used them at Safeway to get $1 back when the cereal was 99c each.

  • Rhonda

    I liked the plethora of Kraft coupons last Spring — fed my pantry for many months as well as accumulating lots to donate. I also liked the quantum dishwasher tab coupons ($2.50) (and a lot of the deals you mentioned).

    Least favorite experience: Rite Aid, in general.

  • Beth

    My best was the $100 Bushnell Weather Station for FREE! ($50 sale with $50 rebate). The rebate came quickley and we use that 5-day forecaster every day. Thanks to the blogger who emailed that freebie!

  • Melanie

    My favorites—the Sonicare toothbrush from Wags. After all was said and done and I used a bunch of RR’s (threw in pudding for fillers), I paid $7.00!! Also loved the K-Mart doubles as well.

    Absolute favorite overall? The MASS quantities of food I dontated to the food pantry. It’s just awesome.

    Hmmmm, worst? I have to agree with a previous post—probably Target changing their coupons. But that just forced me to look to Jewel and you know what? I think I’m doing waaaaay better there overall. Still will pop in Target to scope the clearance and of course to get the freebies.

  • Kim

    My post must have got lost..

    My very most favorite deal for 2009 was finding YOU and the other Coupon blogs.. Hands down that was the BEST DEAL I got all year long.

    I have lots of favorites, but some of mine are the Olay deals & rebates.. the Johnson & Johnson deal at Rite Aid in the summer, free bread and veggies at Giant Eagle, and the John Frieda deals at Wags. My other favorites are finding Home Made Simple, Vocal Points & Nestles Communique. YAY!

    The worst deals for me was the learning curve at Walgreens and having to tolerate irate managers when they had to come “fix” a transaction for the cashier.. and having them act like Im stealing from them.. that was painful..

    Thank you so much for being here & doing what you do.. You’ve led me back to a path I’d veered from several years ago. You have no idea how much that means to me & Im sure many others!

    Many blessings & much Godspeed!

    • Patricia

      I have to agree with the Walgreens people. They are such a pain to get along with here too. We only have the one store so I cant just go to another one.

    • krissyg89

      Mmm, I’ve been in love with the free Birdseye veggies at Giant Eagle lately!

  • Michelle

    My favorite deal by far was all the freebies from Photoworks! I managed to score a free photo book and calendar for my mom. I combined those with some inexpensive items from Snapfish (also based on posted deals) to give her a great collection of Christmas presents for only $12. The photo book almost brought tears to her eyes (it was a collection of pictures from her grandson’s first year). Thank you so much for the work you do to post all these great deals!



    • Nancy B

      I never got my free cake knife either. I forgot about it, it must be forever ago I ordered that!

  • heidih

    I am thankful for all my good deals I got, and when I visited with my family over Christmas holidays I was thankful for all the thank yous I got from my single nieces who are just learning about coupons and bargains and the thanks they gave me for passing on good deals I read about on this blog.

  • Ericka

    What about the Free Snuggie by mail??? I signed up and it said it would take 6-8 weeks for delivery, but I’ve not gotten one. Anyone else??

  • AOL/Target 50% off deal
    $5 off Huggies coupons stacks with Walgreens RR & Activity book coupon
    Garnier at Walgreens
    Hands down.

  • Patricia

    I never got the free bath gift kit from Johnson and Johnson

  • Nancy B

    My favorite was the 10 double coupons last weed at Pick and Save. Also the K-mart superdoubles. Couponing has done so much for me and my family. With all of the cut backs and job losses my family was very much affected. Couponing has allowed us to get by and even try nice new products we never could afford before. Several of my friends and family have also lost their jobs, and I love being able to stop by with a bag or box full of necessities to help out. Merry Christmas!

  • melissah

    my favorite deal was definitely the free customizable photo book from Photoworks. I was able to get the $39.95 value one and the 4×4 one. I made the big one all about my daughter’s birth. It is so beautiful and it was totally worth the frustration. I haven’t had any bad deals really except I wish I could gotten the free ornament from seehere.

  • Mili

    Thank you for teaching me the ropes and leading the way in saving money for my family. Best – the multiple $5.00 Huggies coupons. Worst – J&J Free Offer – never received the gift after making the purchase.

  • Yeah, I’m still waiting on my free Abeulita hot cocao. And you know what? I actually bought some on sale and we hated it anyway!

    I loved the free egg shaped lip balm (althought I would never buy it having used it–it is an odd shaped and you can’t put it in your pocket). We loved the Dove shampoo and Gillette shaving cream and off course the All detergeant (29 free bottles)–all courtesy of Jewel!

    • I LOVE LOVE LOVE the free ALL!!!

  • Jamell

    My 2 favorite deals were the $2.69 TAG readers at Target (I was able to get 3… donated one and 2 were used as gifts) and the Glade candle deal at Target— I used them as thank you gifts just before Christmas. Oh, and the free makeup at Rite Aid after BOGO sale and BOGO coupon (women’s mission was super excited!).

    My 2 least favorite copoun moments were when Target changed it’s coupon policy and when I didn’t recieve a J&J gift after fullfilling the purchase requirements.

    I try to check your site every day. Thank you for all your hard work. You enrich my life and allow me to give more abundantly to others. Happy New Year!

  • pennyscents

    I am most thankful for the fact that I saw several people that run coupon blogs on tv shows. I started looking into really couponing a few mos ago, and I love it. I only wish that I would’ve found your site sooner. I just found your site a couple of months ago. I love it! Thank you very much!

    I clicked on the Mighty Dog offer, and it is still available. Did anybody else do this? I have a new dog that I just got from a friend. I could really use a tag for his collar. It sounds like the kit comes with a dog tag. Does anybody else have more info on this?

    Happy New Year!!!

  • Melanie

    What a fun post! Several deals came to mind in reading this post and the comments. I got a few Scrubbing Bubbles gadgets, free photo books at CVS, a free Dustbuster (P & G), and my all time fave– the weather forecaster. I bought one, and told folks about it, and they said I should have gotten more–I was out of town, so I sent my hubby and he bought a couple. Then when I was set to send in my rebate form, I saw that there was a limit, so I had 2 rebates sent to my sister. Something had gone awry, and I found myself back at Walmart to try to make the receipts match the rebates–I don’t remember the exact situation. Anyway, I ended up with one for my husband, one for my son, and one or two put away for gifts. My sis gave one to her husband. Even though I bought several, there were lots more on the shelves for other folks.
    On a negative note, for some reason I really wanted to do the CVS sunglasses ECB deal by buying some cheap .99 item made by the sunglasses manufacturer, and I could never find it though I surely tried.

    • My CVS didn’t carry the sunglasses either, but I made money on their glasses wipes instead and ended up liking them!

  • Heather R

    my favorite was the glade candle rebate. I got 3 of them and used the candles in gift baskets.

    my least favorite are the rewards at walgreens. Our sotre will only let you redeem one per trans no matter how many items you buy.

  • Chris from St. Mary’s

    I loved the free Gillette Fusion razors. I gift them to charity. A few months after my Mother died earlier this year, I was burned out and didn’t coupon as intensively for awhile. They ran out and now encourage me to get as many of those was I can 🙂

  • Vickie

    My favorite deals was the Pace Salsa $4.00 coupon , the Crest whitestrips at Target, and the great clearance hunt at CVS. Thanks to all of you for posting your deals.

  • Megan

    I really appreciated the Kodak free $15 code – I used it to make some cute photo note cards for Christmas presents. I also loved the ECB money-maker on eyeglass wipes at CVS and the Olay rebates. Thanks for posting the “best and worst,” Mercedes – this is a really fun frugal tradition!

  • Christina

    So many good things to list. Super Doubles at Kmart (even though my store hasn’t had them in a long time), Triples at HT, Electrosol $2.50 q’s, Kraft q’s and so much more. Worst I never received the $35 in DelMonte q’s I signed up for they had posted in the Parade magazine (was I the only one?), KFC free chicken nightmare and homemailers I signed up for that I never received. But all in all 2009 was a great year for us. We are stocked up on everything. Hoping for a great 2010.

  • Best deal was today at Safeway. I bought 25 boxes of Nabisco crackers and paid 12 dollars. I also bought 2 jars of Del Monte Favorites Fruits and paid around $2.50 for the 2 jars!

  • Marcy

    I think the Super Doubles at K-mart was my favorite. I had just started couponing & this was the first time I brought home several bags full of goodies for a little over $3.00! My husband was amazed & I was hooked from that point on! I am thankful for all the freebies & deals I got this year, I was able to donate alot & use some for Christmas gifts.

    Thank you very much Mercedes for all your hard work, Happy New Year to you & your family!

  • Jackie W

    I’m so basic, I loved the free batteries at Target. The Rayovac in the dollar section. I bought about 30 packages of batteries, of which we used about 1/2 of them on Christmas day for all the toys Santa brought the kids. Talk about saving major money on a necessity! Also, printable coupons for Betty Crocker products…nothing better than free au gratin and mashed potatoes! Oh, and CROCS! My daughter, who will be 3 in Feb., LOVES Crocs! She loves the independence of them. The great deals they’ve had in the month of December, I’ve paid less for 3 pairs of Crocs shipped than my cousin who works for Crocs could get for just one pair! Amazing deals and FREE SHIPPING! I don’t think it gets any better than that! Thanks for all the amazing deals you’ve helped me find.

  • Kathy Homa

    I have another favorite. On New Years Eve I received 6 bottles of martini gold drink mix. Very nice and good timing too!!

  • myranda

    um, that $5 Huggies deal was by far the best! I was 3 months pregnant and I stocked up majorly, I just recently bought diapers for my 3 month old!

  • shelly

    My fave was surely Kmart doubles, hope they bring them back soon!
    Also loved Copps doubling 10 $1 q’s on 12-23-09, wish they did this every Wednesday!

    The worst for me was Target changing their coupon policy & limiting printable coupons, I still am not happy with Target after this change.

    Also was wondering if anyone knows of a site that puts togather deal senarioes for stores in the central wisconsin area, like Mills Fleet Farm, Menards, Piggly Wiggly, Copps, County Market, Shopko & if there’s not I would be interested in starting a site, I wonder if anyone else out there would be interested in deal senarioes for theses stores?

    • Cindy

      I would be interested in the deal scenarios for Piggly Wiggly, Menards, Fleet Farm, Shopko and Festival Foods. I live in NE Wisconsin.

  • Dani

    I loved the Always Infinity deal at CVS. Of course I got enough boxes to last a year or two and found out shortly after that I was pregnant!! Will be breastfeeding again too! Currently have them stacked in my guest bathroom closet for any unprepared guests 🙂

  • Heather R

    Loved the kodak 15$ code. Did a mug for grandpa and then found out that he could take it to his new job. Double blessing. Cheap christmas from the grandkids and a new job for grandpa.

  • I did get my gardein coupon but could never find a store that carried them in my area!

  • Regina

    Just curious to see if anyone received the FREE Baby Bath Toy Frog Gift Set after purchasing the Johnson’s Baby Bath or Lotion?

    • Renee S.

      I haven’t received mine either. I just sent an email to Parents Magazine (sponsor). Hopefully, I’ll find out something next week and will report back.


    • Andrea

      I am so glad you posted this… I never received mine either. I still hope it shows up one day. 🙂

  • mary catherine

    The fannie may was a real bummer as well as the macy’s But I am so happy for all of the kmart doubles!

  • Cindy

    Mercedes- Thanks for ALL the great posts throughout the year! My favorite deal was an Olay refund after I bought the products on sale with high value coupons. I also liked the Sears/Dockers deal for Father’s Day. I LOVE the Ralph Lauren towels (they go on sale regularly throughout the year). I appreciate the Copp’s posts -I’ve found them very helpful.

    I took a break from heavy couponing – too much going on to stay on top of it. However, just knowing the “deals” through your blog has been a big help in saving money.

    Many blessing to you in 2010!

  • Best & Worst, worst first… Can’t think of one!

    The best for our family was hooking up with Common Sense with Money and couponing! I didn’t start until late August of this year, but my calculated savings on groceries alone totaled: $ 1,655.96!! Everyone in the house now participates and/or contributes to money saving ideas. (The teenager’s boyfriend even brings me coupons!) =]

    Thank you!