Last weekend we had a garage sale. It was super overdue (I plan to continue my garage sale series next week) and we got rid of a TON of stuff, even with it
raining pouring off and on. Our goal was not only to clean out our house – but to earn enough cash from the sale to pay for the construction of a chicken coop. We did it!
As things currently stand we are building a chicken coop similar to the one on NW Edible’s Website – it’s pretty sweet. I priced out buying a chicken coop on Craigslist, but frankly they are in high demand, don’t quite fit our needs and range from $300-$800. We calculate that we can build a better, custom coop for about $600 (hopefully less!) – and we earned enough from our garage sale to do just this!
We had planned to buy our chicken coop supplies at Lowe’s in the next few weeks. Knowing this, I took full advantage of Albertson’s gift card promotion this week – spend $100 on gift cards, get $20 to spend on groceries! Included in the promotion are: iTunes, Lowe’s, Sears, Applebees, Kohl’s, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shops and JCPenney. It’s one $20 voucher per transaction. This is the PERFECT promotion if you plan on spending money at one of these stores to begin with. If you don’t need anything from these places, it’s obviously not a good idea to buy a $100 gift card just for $20 worth of groceries.
I brought my garage sale earnings to Albertsons and did five transactions and purchased five $100 gift cards. Thus, ending up with five (5) $20 catalinas to spend on groceries at Albertsons. BONUS! Plus, I received TWO $5 Albertsons rewards for a total of $110 worth of groceries.
Then I went shopping. I’ve only spent two of my $20 catalinas so far because I want to hold off and see what sales they have going next week. The $20 catalinas are good until June 21, 2012 – so my plan is to scope out the ad on Tuesday and decide if I want to go shopping again with the current ad or if I want to use my catalinas on the ad that starts next Wednesday.
I was able to get all the groceries pictured above for $4.79 out of pocket using two of the $20 catalinas! Some of the highlights include:
Everyday Essentials Pasta – $1
$1/1 Essential Everyday item from the Sizzlin Summer Giveaway Game Guide coupon booklet (in stores, 1 per transaction) EXPIRES 06/16/2012
Final price = FREE
Ken’s dressing – $1.25
$1/1 Ken’s Marinade, any 05/06/2012 SS Insert (exp 06/30/2012)
Final price = $0.25 cents each
Red peppers – $0.50 cents
Tillamook yogurt – $0.50 cents
Green peppers – $0.79 cents
Thomas Whole Grain english muffins – $1.99
Shrimp – $5.99 a pound
$110 worth of “free” groceries – earned on something we would have been doing anyway. I feel like I’ve found the golden egg promotion helping us re-coop (haha) some of crazy costs to get a chicken coop set up.
I’ll keep you posted on the coop construction. We are still in the beginning stages.
p.s. For those of you who are tempted to scoff at my lack of frugalness in building a $600 chicken coop, I’ll just say – I’m not doing this the cheapest way. I don’t want a traveling tractor on my lawn, I want a permanent, predator-proof, sturdy coop, 6 x 12 feet, that will hold 5-7 chickens and stand up to the constant rain. I realize my eggs are going to cost more than if I bought them at the store. But I’m honestly not doing this for the “cheep” factor. I’m doing it so we can “homestead” of sorts, have home fresh eggs for my kid’s breakfasts in the morning and teach my kids about raising chickens. Can’t put a price tag on that. Besides, it was paid for by crap sitting in our garage – so I’m a happy hen.
If you’re looking to get chickens, these are the books I’ve used as resources – check your local library for copies!
- The Joy of Keeping Chickens: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Poultry for Fun or Profit (The Joy of Series) – Amazon, $10.17
- Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, 3rd Edition – Amazon, $12.12
- Chickens In Your Backyard: A Beginner’s Guide – Amazon, $9.89
Follow my gardening journey, I’m learning as I
- First I built the raised beds
- Then I added dirt
- Then I added plants
- and for fun, we created a DIY Worm Compost Bin
- and then Mavis came and gave me some advice – um, give your plants some room
- Our first harvest. “Lettuce” rejoice and be glad.
What do you think of this promotion? Are you going to purchase a gift card for a FREE $20 Albertsons voucher? Have you build a chicken coop before? I’d love to hear if you have!
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an update on catalinas for the gillette razors- i got catalinas for them last night! i picked up my order from bonney lake albertsons and they printed up ! i got 44 packages in 4 transactions and made $20
Siobhan @moneydearest says
Great idea, really great! If someone needed a new fridge or washer this would have also worked out great. Making your earnings grow even more!
Tina U. says
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for posting about the lowes giftcard/Albertson 20.00 catalina. We were buying a lawnmower today and your post gave us an extra 40.00 for groceries. We’re so grateful!!
Tina – so glad to hear this! Way to make the most of your lawnmower purchase. 🙂 Maybe get some lemonade (Minute Maid lemonade only $2) to cool you off after your down mowing the lawn. 🙂
Celia Husmann says
Oh and Heather, use the 20% off Harbor Freight coupons!!!!
What the? I had no idea you could use Harbor Freight coupons at Lowes. Are you certain? Are they 20% off your entire purchase or one item. Where can I find them – just in the coupon inserts? Please tell me more!
Was going to tell you the same thing. I’ve been doing it for sometime now here in Oregon. You do have to check out at customer service, but it works. It is for just 20% off one item per day, but one time the guy gave me 20% of two items. Sorry you didn’t know about this, I learned about it on a different coupon site months ago. Was so happy about learning about it!
Celia Husmann says
Just saw this! 100% certain, been doing it for ages! There is always a 20% Harbor Freight coupon, and there is a $5/$25 ACE in the Entertainment book too… 🙂
Angi @ schneiderpeeps says
How very fun and creative! We’ve been keeping hens for about a year and a half. We have 32 hens and 1 rooster. We moved last fall and built a new house and run for them. We live in S. Texas so our winters are very mild so our concern is keeping them cool during the summer. 2 of my children raise the hens to sell the eggs but we all enjoy hanging out with them. The experience of taking care of livestock is worth the extra cost involved in raising them. Not everything can be measured in dollars.
My mother raises quite a few chickens and sells her extra eggs! Always has friends wanting farm fresh eggs!!! Plus her friends bring over thier table scraps to feed the chickens so she spends very little on feed!
Celia Husmann says
I am so excited for you! AND when the chickens stop laying, you can slaughter and use for stew meat etc. It is 100% sustainable. Tom and I need to build some type of coop. Ours range and our dogs protect from predators but the dogs decided they love eggs! SO we have a few that sneak out and lay in our front yard, but we have to “egg hunt” to find the nests. On our property in Adna it’s another story.. Also I believe the experience for your children is priceless!! I can’t wait to barter with you! 🙂 I’m so excited I get to be a part of your chicken experience!
How many years do chickens lay eggs for? On the chickens we are bartering for – how many years left do they have of laying eggs?
I’m excited too! It’s coming together, finally – after more than a year of thinking about it.
Celia Husmann says
Typically they slow down at about 5-7 years of age. They don’t really stop laying eggs but they slow down a bit. And they don’t lay much, if any during the winter, unless you keep it warm and use good feed. No worries, we wont give you bad chickens. And if there ends up being a problem you can always let us know!
The Prudent Homemaker says
This would also be a great way to get new appliances. There are usually 4th of July sales on appliances.
I appreciate the information in the comments about the chicken coops. We want very much to have chickens, and one day we hope to move to the NW. The ground here in the desert is so hard that you have to jackhammer it to dig holes for planting trees; there are not too many (i.e, ZERO) underground predators in dirt like this in the middle of a housing tract. I had not even thought about UNDERGROUND predators, so that was very interesting! It also doesn’t get cold enough here that the chicken owners need to heat their coops.
You can get coupons for Lowes or Home Depot on ebay. They often have 10-20% off coupons. I bought a three pack of 10% off coupons for a few dollars when we were adding a bathroom. Just another idea to make those gift cards stretch a little farther.
We also did this last year with WaltDisney g/c! We booked our vacation then bought enough gift cards to pay for trip. Used our 20.00 rewards to fill our freezer with meat!
I was thinking about taking advantage of the kohls and JC penny gift cards this time around for school clothes shopping… Or even Christmas!
Beth-Would you be willing to explain how you did this with the Walt Disney Vacation? We are hoping to do Disney within a year or two and I’d love to know specifically which store had a promotion and how you made it work for you.
Thanks so much 🙂
Jenni Dill says
We did something similar last year (2011) with our income tax return money – we had a huge list of remodeling things we needed to do in our house, including a new stove and fridge (both were on the fritz, only one burner worked on the stove, and all the shelves were busted out of the fridge, and the freezer wouldn’t stay frozen!), new carpet in two rooms, a lawnmower purchase (okay, so that wasn’t “in” the house, but I got new carpet, Mr. Dill got a lawnmower), etc. Lowe’s (the only home improvement store in our area) was doing a promotional deal where you could buy a gift card for anything over $200 and they would give you either 10 or 20 (it’s been a while I can’t remember) % of that total in another gift card, no strings attached (other than having to use it in the store)! This was a great deal for us! We were going to end up spending over $2,500 at Lowe’s anyway, so we went a week ahead of time and picked out all the things we were going to buy, did our math and got a gift card for the amount that would give us the extra we needed to get everything on our list! We basically got all our carpet and padding for free, which we would’ve purchased whether or not this deal was going on! Yay us!
That is awesome! Way to make the most of the store promotion! Love it when you get those added bonuses for something you’d be doing anyway. 🙂
I think you really scored! I like to buy gift cards at my grocery store to reap the rewards, too (in our case, gas perks). I am not sure the age of your children, but you should look into getting them into 4-H when they are old enough. They will be able to learn new skills and be recognized for their hard work… and the parents learn a lot, too!!
Thank you Patti! My kids are going to 5 and 2 this summer – they are going to love the chickens. We have a very active 4-H community here in Washington, so I’ll have to keep that in mind as they get a tad older. 🙂 Thank you, again.
Good for you for getting chickens!! Yes, you can get eggs and chicken from the store for a long time for that amount of money, but having the chicken experience is a lot more fun. I have had chickens for 7 years now and love it. My coop, too, is a permanent site and well covered in chicken wire and hardware cloth due the staggering number of predators with chicken on their menu. You might think about some kind of insulation for the coop area itself. It can get very cold here in the NW if only for a short amount of time, but chickens can suffer from frozen combs/wattles if exposed too long. My girls have a very well insulated coop area and in the cold Winter storms I have gone out to check on them only to find them all inside the coop clucking away safe and sound. Something to think about.
Send in photos of your chicken coop for the Queen Bee Chicken Coop tour! http://queenbeetoday.com/tacoma-urban-coop-tour-2012-send-in-your-coop-photos-for-a-queen-bee-virtual-coop-tour-win-a-25-amazon-gift-card/
Thank you for the tip on insulation. So I’m torn – there are two places I can put it. One is open completely. The other is shaded pretty heavily by trees. I have been told that you want the sun to get in and dry it out – but I don’t want them to get too hot either. It would be a bit trickier to build under the trees but I feel like they might be a bit more protected. What do you think?
I’ll try and get some photos sent so you can get another design idea. If I were placing my coop I would put it in the sun. Mine is in partial shade, but I would really like to have more sun. If you place it in the sunnier spot you can always throw a small tarp over it if it looks like the girls are getting to warm. I bet they’ll be just fine. It takes a lot of sun to be “too much” for chickens. We just don’t get that warm here in the NW.
We just finished ours using the Safeway father’s day gift card promo (buy $50 get $10). It can sometimes take longer than you think to build that coop. Just remember to be very patient with each other! wink wink. Chickens are so sweet and are so much fun!!! You’re going to have a blast.
Good thinking! Send in photos of your chicken coop for the Queen Bee Chicken Coop tour! http://queenbeetoday.com/tacoma-urban-coop-tour-2012-send-in-your-coop-photos-for-a-queen-bee-virtual-coop-tour-win-a-25-amazon-gift-card/
way cool you are getting chickens! we have four chickens right now for the last couple years. my two little boys (2 and 3) LOVE them. sometimes alittle too much. =) once you eat fresh eggs, its really hard to go back to store bought eggs. good luck in your chicken journey! =)
So glad to hear your kids love them. I think my kids will, too. Love fresh eggs!
Hmmm, have you talked to other chicken owners about that coop design? A couple of things I’d have questions about:
–the human-sized door opens out I gather; how is it secured closed? a rat or raccoon could easily pull the bottom of the door out far enough to get in
–what prevents a predator from digging under the side wall to get in? you can dig a trench under each wall and sink the mesh into it; my coop has mesh that bends at 90 degrees from the wall and extends out into the yard a foot or so
–I think the box portion of the coop is too tall; unless you’ll be heating that area, all the hens have is their body heat to warm themselves; especially with the uncovered door and window, I think there’s too much space in that box;
–the sides of the pen are completely open to the elements; in the rainy season, you’ll want to tack some clear construction plastic on the sides to keep out the wind and rain; I’m not saying make it airtight, but the hens won’t ever come out of the box if they can’t stay mostly dry and be protected from the weather.
–can you situate your coop so it will be shaded during the hot parts of the day?
Chickens are awesome litte creatures and such hard workers. We had them for 4 years; our last died a couple months ago. You’ll love having them.
We just built this coop design, and the outside walls are about 1 1/2-2 ft under ground, and then we placed gravel in the trench to help prevent anything from digging under. My hubby says that was the hardest part of the building of it! The hen house is high, but that allows us to hang the feeder and waterer from the base of the hen house. Our windows are plexiglass, and are not open. Our door opens into the coop. It is secured with a barrel and bolt latch. In the winter when it starts raining a lot we will put a tarp around part of the base where the hen house to keep the food dry.
We have’nt gone thru an Oregon winter with it yet, so we will see if we will need to heat it!, but so far it has worked out nicely.
I can imagine that sinking the walls 2 ft into the ground was QUITE a job! Your husband will be the hens’ hero.
My thought on the hen house isn’t that it’s too high off the ground. I think it’s too spacious and the roof should be lowered to make it more snug. I had an Eglu coop and even with the door shut at night and with as insulated as it was, my 4 ladies slept in a pile during the winter and hung out in there quite a bit on winter days.
Just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Everyone has their own experience and preferences.
Have’nt gone thru a winter with them yet. right now, they are sleeping piled high! We will have to see how it goes in the winter. Crossing my fingers that all will be well!
That’s so cool! I wouldn’t build a chicken coop, but we drink so much milk i’d love to invest in a cow 🙂
Anna @ Feminine Adventures says
When I was younger we drank 2% milk. A lot of it. So much that my entrepreneurial brother (then about five) suggested we buy a 2% cow.
Anna – that’s hilarious. 🙂
My husband just finished building this exact coop a few weeks ago!!! We have 10 chickens happily roosting in it. It took about 3-4 weekends to build. My kids did all of the painting and staining, and had a fabulous time. I would gladly send you some pictures of it finished it you would like to see one that is slightly different than NW edibles ( same design, but different color schemes.) I am about to go buy the Home Depot cards at Rite Aid so he can finish the outside nesting boxes. We don’t have a Lowes currently in Lebanon, OR or I would have done the ALbertson’s deal too!!
Oh Theresa – I would be SOOOO grateful if you’d send me some photos of your coop. That would be really sweet of you. We are still figuring out the logistics. My email is thehive (at) queenbeecoupons (dot) com.
Thank you, thank you!
I sent you several pictures of the hen house, coop, and ladder. Hopefully, you got them o.k. I am excited for you. It has been a lot of fun for my family.
Thank you so much Theresa! I really appreciate them. Can I include them in the coop tour? http://queenbeetoday.com/tacoma-urban-coop-tour-2012-send-in-your-coop-photos-for-a-queen-bee-virtual-coop-tour-win-a-25-amazon-gift-card/
Yes! Of course you can include them in the coop tour!