Monday, December 29, 2008

Blog on Hold

We are going through some very tough and trying times right now, so I will not be updating or posting. Our son is in the hospital and very sick so my time will devoted to caring for him. Thanks to everyone who has been kind enough to follow my efforts. Hopefully things will improve soon and I will get a chance to blog again.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Favorites 12/26

For this week's favorites, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite blogs!

The Bargainist lists deals and sales from all over the internet. I have managed to find some great sales and free samples by having this blog in my reader.

The Consumerist has many articles about issues customers have had with various companies and services. It is a great place to get ideas on which stores/companies have good customer service and others that do not. I know it made me feel better last year to know that I wasn't the only person having issues with our cable tv provider and gave me the courage to switch to Dish Network.

parent hacks has parenting tips from real parents! It lets you search by age, so you can read only those tips that pertain to you if you are short on time.

If you love recipe blogs that include step-by-step pictures, check out Creating Post it Notes! Just looking at all the pictures makes me hungry!

Amazon Deals 12.26

Have some gift money that you need to spend now that Christmas is over? Check out these deals on Amazon!

Rubik's Cube $4.99, regularly 12.99. I would love to have one of these! It was a favorite toy of mine during my childhood and I have fond memories of peeling off the stickers when I became very frustrated with it. :)

Monopoly Here and Now World a new twist on a classic game that uses a digital banking device and credit cards! Normally $39.99, it is on sale for $14.99. Trivial Pursuit Digital Choice is also an updated version of a classic game. The questions are all digital and you can download extra questions onto the device; normally $49.99, it is currently $14.99.

Buy 2 Wii games, get 1 free! (select titles) If your kids got a Wii for Christmas, you might want to take advantage of this deal to add to their game collection!

Cuisinart DCC-1200 12-Cup Brew Central Coffeemaker is on sale for $62.79! It is normally $150, so what a steal! I love that it has a timer on it so you can set it and have hot coffee waiting on you when you get up in the morning!

Band of Brothers [Blu-ray] is on a great sale right now for $37.49 for the 6 disk set.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday's Recipe

My favorite thing lately is a Starbucks peppermint mocha. I LOVE 'em, but at almost $4, it is getting rough on my budget. I was looking over one of my favorite blogs, A Year of Crockpotting, and found a crock pot recipe to make these at home! I am excited to try them and I sure wish I had the ingredients on hand to do it tonight. I will try it out this weekend and let you know how it goes! If you have a favorite drink/meal but get tired of spending so much money on it, search the internet for copycat recipes and try to make your own version at home and save your money for something else!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday Freebies 12/23

Here are a few random freebies for you to enjoy.
Free sample of Astroglide. (I know, I know, but hey, it's free!) On that same note, you can also request a free condom from Trojan. I found one more along these lines... Vaginal Contraceptive Film, which is advertised as an alternative to birth control pills.

After the holidays, this sample of Metamucil Berry Burst just might come in handy!

If you are a fan of Dove products, you can get some coupons here, or request a free sample of their hair care products here. I love their bodywash and am going to try my shampoo sample today!

Get a FREE Guide to Controlling Diabetes Click Here If you have a family member affected by this disease, consider requesting this for them, or if you are suffering, get it for yourself. It is so important to get diabetes under control as soon as possible to minimize its effect on your health!

Downy is offering a coupon for their new Total Care line. You can also get $120 in coupons from P&G if you buy $50 worth of their products, so save those receipts!

Walgreens has been kind enough to offer a free sample pack of Kotex products. I just got mine in the mail this week and it some with samples and a coupon!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Meal Plan, Christmas Week

Monday: Spaghetti with homemade sauce, garlic bread
Tuesday: Hot dogs, tater tots
Wednesday: assorted appetizers: ham rollups, crockpot lil smokies, pigs in a blanket, cheeseball, small sandwiches, cheese dip/chips
Thursday: ham, turkey breast, mashed potatoes, assorted rolls, hashbrown casserole, broccoli cheese casserole, green bean bundles, homemade baked beans, deviled eggs, pumpkin bread, hello dollies
Friday: maybe out for Mexican food, if not, leftovers
Saturday: homemade pizza
Go check out many other meal plans at

Sunday, December 21, 2008

CVS 12/21

I'll be back later to list out all the details, but here's what I got today for less than $4. I messed up my first transaction because they were out of one of the items in my plan and I didn't do a very good job replanning at the store. I hate when that happens, but oh well. There was another lady in there shopping and she grabbed the last 3 of the Thermacare wraps, which totally messed up my whole plan for the day! I still did okay though and have plenty of ECBs to spend for the next few weeks.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Savings Tip 12/20

Today's tip is LISTS! Before I really got serious about saving money, I would go to the store and randomly pick up things up and down all the aisles in the grocery store, never really having a plan of what to do with them. Some of that stuff has probably been thrown out because it expired or went bad, which is a big waste of time and money. Now I always plan out my menus (VERY IMPORTANT), and make a plan of what I want to get at the store. I only deviate from my plan if I find a deal that I did not know about or find some clearance items that I know we can use. I don't always have all my coupons with me, so sometimes I make a note of the unadvertised sale and come back later with my coupons in hand. I do not spend nearly as much money now and am actually using most of the items I buy. Some go into my stockpile and will be used later.

So, start making your Monday Meal Plan using items you have on hand, as well as what is on sale for the week. Make a shopping list, and stick to the list!

I even make out my Walgreens and CVS lists before I go there, just do I remember what I need and have coupons for! Tomorrow is an awesome day at CVS so I will spend time tonight planning and clipping coupons. If you haven't looked over the sale yet and made up your plan, go check out the deals at Deal Seeking Mom!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Favorites 12/19

Coupons.comI really can't say enough about I have printed out so many coupons and saved so much. If you don't want to go through the trouble of buying a Sunday paper but still want to get started saving money, go check them out. The coupons change frequently, so be sure to check back often.
Trade Publication MagazineIf you are looking for some free magazines that are related to your job, go and see what trade pub has to offer. There are magazines related to almost every type of job and they are FREE! I have ordered a few science related ones in the past and never received a bill!
Swagbucks has become my new favorite thing on the 'Net. In less than 3 weeks I have earned enough to get a $5 GC from I just use it as my search engine now and earn bucks as I search! I love it! (I love free stuff!)

Amazon Deals!

Amazon has more great deals today if you are trying to finish up your holiday shopping!

The Fisher-Price Puppy Grows and Knows Your Name White is on sale for $17.99, normally $59.99!

If you have a Hannah Montana fan on your list, check out this Hannah Montana G2 Deluxe TV Game that is on sale for $9.99, normally $49.99!

If you have a budding artist on your hands, they would really love this Melissa and Doug Deluxe Standing Easel that is currently $24.99, normally $59.99. I love all the Melissa and Doug products and this seems to be a well-loved item at the store where I work. It is definitely a steal at this price, so be sure to get it before the price goes up!

There are currently 2 games on sale that would make great gifts for any Seuss fan on your list: one features Horton Hears a Who! - You to the Rescue! , the other Cat in the Hat - I Can Do That! .

For those smaller ones on your list, check out this Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube. It is on my son's wish list and has awesome reviews! It is currently $19.99, normally $29.99.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Thrifty Christmas

Here are a few articles of how to be thrifty at Christmas time... If you aren't finished shopping and need a few ideas for those hard-to-buy for people, you may get some ideas from the articles that are inexpensive, yet nice. They also include some ideas for enjoying the season without spending money, as well as tips for after Christmas.
Thrifty Tips for Buying Christmas Gifts
A Thrifty Christmas
7 Thrifty Tips for After Christmas
Christmas on a Budget
Making the Most of After-Christmas Sales

Pumpkin Bread

I have found that baking and doing a lot of cooking is very difficult with a 4 month old, but I still wanted to do something nice for my husband's birthday today. I'm up at 3am doing it, but that's about the only time he and the baby are sleeping good and I can sneak and make something. I hope he will enjoy it for breakfast... It is a layered pumpkin loaf from the Kraft foods website. We first tried it a few years ago when it was featured in an edition of the Kraft Food & Family magazine and it quickly became a favorite. It's not birthday cake, but it is hard for a family of 2 to eat a whole cake anyway! Frugal, right? :)

If you haven't checked out Kraft's recipe website, I would really suggest you go visit and see all the recipes there. It is NOT gourmet cooking, but for a busy family, it is VERY helpful. Many of the recipes do use their products for shortcuts, so if you are looking to cook everything from scratch, it is not the website for you; if you are looking to save time, go there!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Recipes

Today I would like to share a few appetizer options for you. My family recently started a new tradition on Christmas Eve where we make up a bunch of different appetizers and snack on them all evening before opening gifts. It works great if you have family popping in and out and is much easier than trying to get everyone together for dinner at the same time.

A favorite in my family that is now LOVED by my former coworkers and in-laws is my Aunt Mary's Hidden Valley Ranch Cheese Ball:
1 pkg HVR Original Ranch Salad Dressing mix
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
6 oz cream cheese, softened at room temp for 1 hour
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese, softened at room temp for 1 hour
bacon bits
Mix first 3 ingredients together; add cream cheese and beat well with mixer. Add in shredded cheese and blend; cover and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Shape into a ball and roll in bacon bits. Serve with Ritz or Club crackers.

I'm not a big fan of ranch, so I actually prefer this dried beef cheese ball.

A few other favorites:
Ham Roll-ups
Grape Jelly meatballs
RO*TEL cheese dip

Kroger 12/16

I had not been by Kroger this week, so I decided to run by there yesterday to see if they had any deals that I didn't want to miss out on. I still find it strange that the new sales start on Wednesdays down here, but I'm used to after 8 years! I'm glad I did go since I was able to get more cereal for $1 a box. :)

Here's what I bought:
4 boxes General Mills Cereals 3.00 each
1 box Hamburger Helper 1.50
1 pkg Lipton family size tea bags 2.39
3 boxes Betty Crocker boxed potatoes 1.67 each
2 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls 1.50 each
5 strips Fleischmann's Dry Yeast bonus packs 1.00 each
1 container baking powder 1.89
1 Cottonelle toliet paper
1 Coffeemate creamer 1.04 (closeout price)
1 Borden's Organic milk 96oz 4.99

Buy 3 BC potatoes, get free Hamburger Helper peelie 1.50
Save $4 instantly with 4 boxes GM cereals
2 - .40 off and 3 - .45 off Fleischmann's Yeast MC
1.00 Borden Organic milk MC
3 - .35 BC boxed potatoes MC
2 - .25 Pillsbury Crescent roll MC
.50 Cottonelle 4 pk MC
.50 Coffeemate liquid creamer MC
.50 Lipton tea MC
.55 GM Trix printable coupon (see teal sidebar)
3.00 off 3 GM cereals peelie
.55 Trix coupon
.40 BC potatoes coupon
.50 Pillsbury crescent roll coupon

Total OOP 14.46, plus got back 5 - .50 off next order coupons for buying the yeast
Savings: 31.90, or 68%

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Freebies

I just got my sample of Christina Aguilera's perfume in the mail today; it is still available, so if you like to try out new scents, go get it!

Get your FREE sample of Crystal Light, Purell, Blistex, plus many more samples from REMEDY Magazine just for joining REMEDYLife. In addition to FREE healthy samples you'll get coupons and special offers absolutely FREE. Click here to Join Today! Click Here

Get a free sample of Stayfree or Carefree; I love the samples available from Wal-Mart because they always show up!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

Monday: lasagna w/ garlic bread
Tuesday: grilled chicken, scalloped potatoes w/ ham, broccoli
Wednesday: tater tot casserole, corn, crescent rolls
Thursday: leftover lasagna
Friday: chicken sandwich, homemade fries
Saturday: pizza or Chick-fil-a

Be sure to check out the other meal plans this week at!

Sunday Shopping: Walgreens 12/14

CVS didn't have any deals that really appealed to me this week, so I decided to do another trip to Walgreens to spend the $5 RR that I got last week. I didn't think my savings was THAT impressive, but it did get a WOW from my younger cashier. That made me feel pretty good!

Maxwell House Coffee 1.99

Turtles candy .99

2 Blue Diamond Almonds 3.49 B1G1

2 Cookie Cutters 2/1

2 Coffeemate creamers 2.49 B1G1 w/ ad coupon

2 movie theater candy 1.00 each

2 Splenda 100 ct packets 2.99 each

2 Progresso Soups .99 each w/ ad coupon

2 .50 Coffeemate liquid creamer MC from 11/2 RP

1.50 Turtles MC from 11/16 SS

1.50/2 Splenda MC from 11/2 RP

2 1.10 Progresso IP coupon

.75/2 Blue Diamond Almonds MC from 10/19 SS

1.00 Maxwell House MC from mailed sample

$5 Walgreens RR from last week

Total OOP: 6.89; receipt shows savings of 24.41

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Money Saving Articles

Today I wanted to share a few articles that will get you on the right path to start saving money!

US News and World Report: Smart Money Saving Tips You Need Now

Frugal Times

A great resource is; here are a few articles from there:
Guide to Living It Up on a Budget
How To Trick Yourself into Saving Money

I admit that I am horrible about trying to make a budget and follow it. I know I need to, but I just can't seem to do it. I plan on making that one of my resolutions for the new year, so be sure to comment and ask me how its going! If you want to get started, I recommend using Quicken Online to see where you are currently spending your money, then to double check that you are staying within your budget. It is free to use the program online, so take advantage of this awesome software program!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Favorites

Some of you who pass by my blog may not know much about me and my family, but to keep things short, we live in Texas and have a new little guy who is 4 months old now. I'm originally from Kentucky and all of my family is still up there, 18 hours away from us. Our son is the first grandchild for my parents, so the distance is hard for all of us now. One great program we have found to help out is Skype. We have downloaded the program and are able to make free video calls to my parents to let them see the baby on the webcam. It also allows you to make free Skype to Skype phone calls, so if you have someone you love to talk to, but hate using up your cell phone minutes or running up a long distance bill, you can avoid that with this program. I am very thankful for it when I hear the joy in my parents' voices when they see the baby smiling and cooing.

Another favorite blog of mine is Southern Savers. Jenny manages to find some great deals and help out with CVS and WGs scenarios, so be sure to go visit her blog!

Thrifty Thursday: Freecycling

I'm still running a day behind, but I'll try to catch up today. We had some bad news at our little boy's 4 month appt this week, so I've been worrying over that and not blogging as much.

We have all heard the old saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure", right? Well, one great way to see this illustrated is the FreeCycle program. It is a free program with groups all around the country that attempts to keep as much out of our landfills as possible. People give and receive all types of different items by posting what they want to get rid of or need to find. I know a few people who have been able to get some much needed items this way. We have some furniture out in the garage that I plan on listing pretty soon. I'd much rather it go to someone who needs it rather than stuck in the ever growing landfill.

Here are some groups to check out:
Freecycle Network

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I received my order from the sale and I must say, I was very pleased. I got $50 worth of products for $28 bucks, shipped! It was all stuff we actually use on a regular basis, but never find coupons or sales for. They threw in some bonus items too. I got a Schick Intuition razor sample (with coupon for refills), Halls cough drop samples (with coupons), and a Carmex sample. I thought that was a nice touch, so I thought I would blog about it to let everyone know how pleased I was with the website and my order!

Wednesday Recipes

I just realized I totally forgot to post recipes yesterday! I usually do a dinner recipe, but because it is the holiday season, I'm going to post a few dessert recipes that are easy and yummy! Two of them are bars that can be cut up and packaged as gifts!

If you love S'mores, you have to try this recipes from Hershey's. We have made these for the past two years and I'm pretty sure I could eat the whole pan by myself! They are S'mores Sandwich bar cookies and would make a great holiday gift; just package them up in a tin and you have a very nice present!

My awesome SIL made Hello Dollies for Thanksgiving and they were so yummy! They are another bar type cookie that you can divide up and give as gifts. I think bar cookies make much better gifts than a traditional sugar cookie and would be very happy to receive some myself!

My family always makes a recipe similar to this known as Seven Layer Cookie Bars. They are very good too and also make good gifts for those people you really don't know what to buy for.


1 stick of butter
1 cup crushed graham crackers
1 cup coconut
1 pkg. butterscotch chips
1 pkg. chocolate chips
1 pkg. peanut butter chips
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped nuts
Melt butter in a 9 x 13 pan. Add the next five ingredients in layers. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over all. DO NO STIR. Sprinkle the nuts on top. Bake in a 350° oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Cut when cool.

Finally, if you are looking for a different kind of dessert for your holiday dinner, maybe try out these Black Forest Mini Cheesecakes. My husband and I have made these several times and they are delicious!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kroger 12/10

I got a few free items at Kroger today, so I thought I'd pass those along...

Sure deodorant $1
$1 IP Sure coupon
*look for specially marked ones that have a TRY IT FREE sticker on them. You can fill out a rebate and get your $1 back, which makes it more than free!

Lifesavers mints, candy, and gummies $1
$1 MC from 10/19 SS

Other possible deals are free Daisy Sour Cream (11-16 SS) and Fleishmann's Yeast (12-7 SS)

Check out other deals over at The Thrifty Mama.

Walgreens 12/10

I ran by Walgreens today while I was waiting on my prescription to be filled at CVS. I really do not enjoy shopping at WGs. I have two near is old, a little dirty, and NEVER has what I want in stock. The second one is new, very nice, but has cashiers who take personal offense if you get a good deal. That's the one I ended up going to and I thought I would have a better experience since there was a guy working the register but he ended up sending me to the cosmetics counter to check out and I got the grumpiest of cashiers. She didn't say anything during my transaction, but she sure did look at my receipt when I was finished. Oh well... I didn't do anything wrong so what can she say really?
Here's what I got:
2 Maybelline lip glosses 8.49 each B1G1
4 Kelloggs cereals 1.99 each
2 A&H laundry detergents 1.99 w/ in-store coupon
2 - $4 off Maybelline lip product MC
2 - $1 Kelloggs MC from 11/9 SS
Total OOP: 6.61 My receipt is showing $42.49 total savings! Got back $5 RR to spend later!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New: P&G eSaver Coupons now available for Safeway!

For those of you who do not have Kroger stores in your area, here is some good news! P&G has now made the eSaver coupons available for loading up on your Safeway Club card! Visit the website and set up an account and get those coupons loaded! Remember these can be used with regular manufacturer's coupons, so you get even more savings! (Note: I have had a few issues using some of these, but have still managed to get free shampoo/conditioner as well as body wash by combining coupons).

For the Grandparents out there....

Fisher Price knows how much grandparents love and spoil their grandkids, so they have made sure they don't leave you out of things! I know I am still learning what toys kids of different ages like, so I know how helpful it is to have some guidance. When you sign up for the newsletter you will also get a gift guide AND have a chance to win $500!

More Sales and Specials

If you have a gamer on your Christmas list, Toys R Us has some great deals on video games this week. Nintendo DS and PSP games that are 29.99 are buy 1 get 1 $10 off and Wii, XBox 360, PS2, and PS3 games 29.99 are buy 1 get 1 $20 off. Not too bad considering many of these rarely go on sale.

If your kids are crazy about Nickelodeon, the Nick Store is having a sale you might want to check out. I know many kids are nuts over Blues Clues, so be sure to check out this plush Blue that is 50% off!

Amazon has a beautiful set of Holiday dishes by Pfaltzgraff on sale for $41.04, regularly $120. I wish I had more room to store dishes because I love these! has a great holiday sale going on right now, with savings from 15-50% on select items. I have some bags I got from there and they are great. These would make great gifts for that "green" person on your list! has 20% off if you spend $100, plus free shipping! I don't think a day goes by that I don't have something from that brand on, so of course I have to mention their sale!

Walgreens 12/8

I will preface this by saying that I am NOT a regular Walgreens shopper. I have finally gotten comfortable rolling my ECBs at CVS, so I tend to stay there. However, I like to think I am now part of the "I don't pay more than $1 for a box of cereal" club, so I had to venture out of my comfort zone this week to get a few deals at WGs. Here is the breakdown of what I did:
Reynold's Wrap 20sq ft .99 with in-ad coupon
Schick Titanium Razor 3.99 with December Easy Saver coupon
2 Scotch 3-pk gift wrap tape 2.00
2 Bic Soleil 4-pk refills 6.99 B1G1
2 boxes Kelloggs cereals 1.99 each (limit 4, but store only had 2 in stock)
$1 Reynold's Aluminum Foil MC from 11-16 SS
$2 Schick Titanium razor or trimmer MC from 12-7 SS
$1 Scotch Tape MC from 11-23 SS
2 - $3 Bic Soleil refill MC from 11-2 SS
2 - $1 Kellogg's cereal MC from 11-9 RP
Total OOP: 6.24 My receipt says I had a total savings of 37.07 between the sales prices and coupons. I will also get $2 back for buying the tape when I submit my rebates at the end of the month.
I did purchase 4 more boxes of cereal on Sunday and plan on having my DH stop by and use the last of the coupons we have today. We have a nice stockpile of cereal in the pantry and I'm pretty sure it was all $1/box or less! I LOVE coupons!

A Few Freebies!

Dove is offering a sample of their hair care products. I recently started using their body wash and I think it is one of the best I have ever tried. I haven't received my shampoo sample yet, but I have high expectations for it. Go request a sample and see how you like it!

I received an awesome Mary Kay make-up set from a dear friend several years ago and I have to say I love it. The company is currently offering a sample of their Ultimate Mascara, so be sure to request yours before they are gone!

If you are expecting a new addition to your family, or just added one, be sure to request your breastfeeding support kit from Enfamil. It is packed with useful information and tips to help you with feeding your prescious little one.

Home Made Simple

If you haven't requested your coupon book from Home Made Simple, be sure to go and get yours! You never know when the stores will have a great sale that you can use these coupons on to get some awesome deals!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wii in stock! has the Wii in stock right now if you are still looking for one. I know they won't last long, so hurry over and get it before its gone!

Monday Meal Plan 12-8

I firmly believe that meal planning is saving me *SO* much money on groceries. I am managing to not buy a lot of useless groceries that will go to waste. I am able to stock up my pantry using coupons and sales and plan meals based on my stockpile! I highly recommend that you give it a try for at least a month and see how you do. If you need more ideas, head over to orgjunkie to see many other meal plans!

Monday: pork chops, scalloped potatoes, green beans, crescent rolls

Tuesday: steak, baked potato, salad

Wednesday: pulled pork sandwiches, oven baked fries, fruit

Thursday: spaghetti with homemade sauce, garlic bread

Friday: chicken salad sandwich, chips, fruit

Saturday: pizza calzones

Sunday Freebies and Deals

I did a little shopping yesterday in addition to our Christmas shopping, so I wanted to share a few good deals I was able to get!

*Blue Bell Ice Cream 3.99 use $1 IP from Blue Bell website $2.99

*Cottonelle 4 pk bath tissue 1.19
use .25 MC from 11-16 SS plus .50 coupon from or
+.06 Money Maker (tripled coupon)

*Pillsbury Dinner Rolls 1.99
use .50 IP available on my sidebar in the teal box
.99 (doubled coupon)

*Kellogs Cereals 1.99
use $1 MC from 11/9 RP
.99 each (Limit 4)

*Meow Mix cat treats .97
use $1 or .75 MC from 11-16 RP
+.03 MM or .22 each

Saturday, December 6, 2008

CVS 12/7

I did my CVS run early this time because my husband and I are going out tomorrow while my SIL watches the baby. (After 4 months, we NEED this). I was thrown off a little by the Hershey's singles not counting in the total for the $20, but I did a 2nd transaction and got my 10 ECB.

Transaction #1
6 Hershey's Bliss candy @ 2/$6
4 Hershey's Special Dark singles @ .89 each
2 Revlon Lipsticks @ $7.99, 50% off, B1G1
$3/15 CVS coupon
3 $2.50/2 Hershey's Bliss MC from 9-14 SS
2 B1G1 Hershey's Dark MC 11-9 SS
$2 off Revlon Cosmetic MC 9-14 SS
$1 off Revlon Cosmetic MC 10-12 SS
Paid with ECB 1, 1.49, 8.99 adjusted down 1 cent
Nothing paid OOP

Transaction #2
1 Hershey's Dark Chocolate Kisses 2/$4
$1 Hershey's Dark Kisses MC 11-9 SS
Total: 1.06, manager just had me pay $1 OOP

$39.54 worth of products for $1 OOP, earned 10 ECB

Fisher Price Crawl and Cruise Musical Jungle

I know several people have this awesome gift on the list for their little ones and it is currently $44.99 at Amazon! That's a $35 savings, so hurry over and get yours before the price goes up!!!

Coupon Sites


If you like saving money like I do, you are probably on the lookout for free coupons and free sample offers. I have two websites I like to use to find these, so I wanted to share those so you can save more too!

Be sure to print out any coupons you think you might can use. Sometimes they are no longer there when you go back to get them and you'll miss out on some savings!

More Amazon Deals!

It appears that Amazon is at it again with some deep discounts this morning. Remember these prices can change in a matter of seconds, so if you are interested, buy it quickly before it goes up!

If you have a child crazy about Hannah Montana, the singing doll is only $9.99 right now, regularly 34.99!

Holiday Barbie is currently at $27.99, regularly 49.99. She is very beautiful and I'm sure any girl would love to have her.

If you are trying to get your little ones to be more active, the Fisher Price Smart Cycle is currently $75.99, regularly 108.99!

I'll try to keep an eye out for more deals before Christmas, so be sure to check back often!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Can you believe NO CVS for me this week?

After all the Black Friday deals, this week seemed a little dead for me. I stopped in but didn't see anything that I really wanted to use my ECBs on. Next week I will definitely be going because they are doing the Hershey's spend $20 get 10 ECBs again and I have the Hershey's Bliss coupons this time around. I figure those along with some cookies will make some good Christmas gifts. There will also be a Huggies deal, spend $25, get 5 ECB, so that might be another deal I might use. I am getting pretty stocked up on diapers though, so I may just skip it after all. If you are looking for other CVS deals, be sure to check out The "Cent"sible Sawyer's blog that lists all the CVS superstars for the week!

I did do the online CVS deal though! Spend $50, get $25 off. :) I wish I would have waited until Monday to do it because they had another $10 off on Cyber Monday (I think anyway), but oh well. I'm happy with what I got. Jason loves a certain face wash and I never find it on sale, so it was a good way to buy it and save some money!

Friday Favorites

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I have been a member of several survey sites for a few years now and one of my favorites is MySurvey. I like the fact that I can request my rewards in money form, rather than gift cards or items I don't really need. If you like to take surveys and earn money, I encourage you to click on the logo and go sign up! You won't get rich doing it, but every little bit of extra money counts!

If you are pressed for time (I know we all are this time of year) please take advantge of the dinner made easy newsletter from Betty Crocker. The meals are simple and fast, but are still yummy. I know I am always needing new recipes, so I'm thankful to get this newsletter in my inbox!

Finally, if you need to save even more money than just regular coupons, try the Entertainment Book! It is $10 off right now with free shipping, so it is a great time to buy! It offers a variety of coupons, from local attractions, to restaurants, and many different stores. Click on the link and it will let you find the one for your area!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Toy Deals!

Note: Most of these deals are no longer those prices. Keep checking back and maybe the prices will go down again. They seem to change frequently so you just never know what kind of deal you might stumble upon.

If you are looking for some great deals on toys, check out Amazon today!

The LeapFrog Fridge Phonics is on sale for $9.99, regularly 21.99. I just bought this for Eli to put up for next Christmas. I love learning toys, so I'm always on the lookout for LeapFrog deals!

If you have older children and love family game nights, the Diamond Edition of Scrabble is on sale for $14.99, regularly 34.99. I love Scrabble and can't wait for my little guy to be old enough to play with us!

If you have girls on your Christmas list, there are a couple of good deals: Baby Alive Learns to Potty is $18.99, regularly 59.99 and the Vtech Pink Digital Camera is $39.99, regularly 69.99.

If you see something you like be sure to get it as prices change in the matter of hours. The Rose Petal Cottage was at an amazing price earlier today but not anymore.... Good deals go fast so jump in there and snag any items that you might want! Check out the bestseller list for many more deals!

Don't be afraid to ask!

One of my shopping trips yesterday reminded me to share a very important time for saving some money! ASK! I went to Walgreens yesterday to get some razors that were on sale, B1G1, but they only had 1 in stock. I really wanted these because they were 6.99 for 2 packages and I had $6 in coupons to use. When the beauty counter lady asked if I needed help, I asked if they had more in stock. They did not, but offered to sell me the one package at half price, 3.49. I used my $3 coupon and got them for .49 cents!

Several years ago when Jason and I were looking for a big cat tree/scratcher we found one we really liked at the pet store, but it had a stain on one side of it. We asked an associate about a possible discount and were given 20% off! It took me less than a minute to get the stain off when we got home, so it was such a good bargain.

If you find something at a clothing store that has a small stain, a missing button, etc, always ask if they can give you a discount, but only if you think it's something you can easily fix.

Many stores are also price matching other stores sales right now, so be sure to ask if you know it is cheaper at another store! Wal-Mart will always price match, so be sure to take all your sales ads with you if you shop there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What's for Dinner Wednesday

While Jason was working and going to school, I was always on the lookout for easy recipes that he could take for lunches. One that he really liked and was super easy to make was Cheesy Sausage and Potatoes. With the lower fat ingredients and correct portion sizes, it made for a good Weight Watchers meal too! The ingredients are pretty simple, so even picky eaters might go for this one! I would sometimes leave the onions out because I didn't have them on hand.

Crockpot Sausage and Potatoes
1 lb of turkey kielbasa or Polish sausage, sliced
1 bag frozen hash brown potatoes
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup evaporated milk or fat-free half-and-half
1 bunch green onions, diced
Pepper, garlic powder

Combine sausage, potatoes, onions and seasonings in crock pot. Mix together soup and milk; pour over ingredients in crock pot. Stir together. Cook on low 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


One awesome program I have recently learned about is swagbucks. It is basically a search engine, but along with results, you can also earn swagbucks. These can be redeemed for gift cards, which I love! If I'm going to be searching the Internet, why not earn stuff while I do it? I have had the program on my computer for about a week or so and have already earned 19 bucks. It only takes 45 to get a $5 gift card to Amazon, 50 for a $5 gc to Starbucks! That's not a lot, but hey, it's free stuff for doing something you were going to do anyway! If you are interested, click on the banner, or you can just use this link to get started! The program will put a toolbar that allows you to easily put in your query and start earning those bucks!

Macy's Friends and Family Coupon

As a bonus to all of you who are kind enough to follow my money saving efforts, I'd like to share a special offer with you. During the holidays we can always use extra discounts to help with the cost of buying gifts, so please use this coupon to get an extra 20% off at Macys! I love their children's clothing, so I will be checking this out to get something nice for Eli or his cousin Lana. Download the Macy's Friends and Family Coupon! If you use it and get a great bargin, be sure to come back and leave me a comment! It's fun to see everyone's savings; I'll come back and share mine after I go shopping this weekend!

Tuesday Freebies 12/2

With cold and flu season upon us, here are a few samples to help:

Emergen-C is a vitamin C and vitamin supplement to help get in those essential cold fighting minerals.

Airborne is a vitamin and mineral supplement designed to boost your immune system, which we will all need this time of year!

Finally, if you need something to warm up, request this free sample of Dunkin' Donuts Coffee to brew up and sip to warm up those toes!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving, Black Friday shopping

I didn't get out on Black Friday because it was just me and Eli and I didn't think I needed to drag a carseat around all that crowd. I did get up on Thanksgiving and hit the CVS sale though. I got so much free stuff and have more ECBs than I started with! I also went to Walgreens on Thursday and Sunday for a few deals too.

One WGs sale is still going on, so you can do this one if you have the right coupons on hand:

Reach toothbrushes are 2/$6, get back $6 in register rewards
Buy 2, use B1G1 coupon from 10/12 RP insert
Spend 3.44, get back $6RR

Right Guard Profesional deodorant is 5.99, with a $5 rebate
buy with the $6 you got back from first transaction and get $5.50 back on a WG gift card when you submit your rebate! (I had to buy a candy bar to get my total over $6)
So for me it was:
OOP: 4.04 Get back 5.50 Profit of $1.46

Monday Meal Planning

Monday: chicken sandwiches, fruit, oven fries
Tuesday: Three cheese chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans
Wednesday: Open-faced roast beef sandwiches, broccoli
Thursday: breakfast for dinner; eggs, sausage, toast
Friday: soup, sandwich
Saturday: homemade pizza

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Freebies 11/25

Here are a few free samples for this week!

If you have a pet, you can request a free sample of Greenies, a yummy treat for dogs and cats.

Don't forget to get a treat for yourself too! You can request a sample of Bear Naked Granola, a healthy snack with nuts and fruit!

Costco is offering a free sample of their Kirkland diapers. I've read some good reviews of these, so I can't wait for this one to arrive! Maybe it will be the incentive that finally gets me to spend the money to join!

Dove(R) Cleansing Cloths are refreshing for your skin while Neutrogena(R) Cleansing Cloths are known for repairing and healing your skin. Complete the program requirements for a FREE sample. Click Here

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday 11/24

It will be a shorter week for cooking with Thanksgiving coming up, but here's my plan... I found ground beef on sale this week, so we have meals focusing around that. I made a big pot of chili and spaghetti last night, so most meals and lunches will come from that.

Monday: Chili and cornbread
Tuesday: Spaghetti, salad, homemade bread
Wednesday: hamburgers, homemade fries
Thursday: TURKEY! We are doing potluck, so we will be making turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rolls
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: turkey casserole, rolls

I'll try to freeze any leftovers in single servings for Jason to use for lunches next month!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Savings Tip: Coupon Clipping Services

I have recently started buying two newspapers to get an extra set of coupons; our local .99 Store has the paper for $1, so it's not that much of an expense considering the savings it yields. There are a few of those products that I could definitely use more than 2 coupons for, so today I tried using a coupon clipping service. For this first attempt, I used The Coupon Clippers. I'll let you know how that goes... If it works, it will be a great way to get extra coupons that you know for sure you'll put to good use. They have a .50 administration fee and you also pay for shipping, but I think you if place a big enough order for some good coupons, it will be more than worth those fees!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Baby and Child Favorites

It's time for a few Friday favorites!!!

I recently bought a few new toys for Eli and he is very fascinated with one of them. I really like it and may end up buying a couple more to link together. I like the Melissa and Doug line of toys and suggest you check them out!

One of the worries of parents is saving money for their child's college fund. One easy way to do this is by signing up at UPromise. You can earn money for your child for college just by doing your every day shopping. Many online stores contribute a percentage of your spending, so be sure you always go through the UPromise website when you shop online. There are also eCoupons you can link to your shopping cards...when you purchase that product, the value of the coupon gets deposited in the college fund. You can have friends and family members save too!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thrifty Thursday: Make Your Own Cleaners

When I found out I was going to have a little one in the house, I started researching how to make my own cleaning products. I wanted to know exactly what was in the spray bottles I was using to clean my house. I found some good "recipes" online and I wanted to share one of my favorites. This is also better for the environment because you are reusing the bottles, not throwing away bottles and buying new ones.

All-Purpose Cleaner
1 cup distilled water ( I just used tap water)
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid soap (Dr Bronner's is what I use)
1/4 tsp lemon or orange essential oil
Mix in spray bottles. Shake well before each use!

I found the soap and the essential oils in the organic/natural section of my grocery store, so check around there. I initially ordered mine online, but I know where to find them locally now so I will save money on shipping once I run out. The liquid soap can also be used to bathe your little one!

Whole Life Essentials has many other great "recipes" and many natural products for every part of your life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jackpot! Wal-Mart & more CVS 11/19 deals!

When I got to work today I found a gallon bag FULL of coupons sitting on the counter. A lady had dropped them off for the workers at the store. WOW. Nobody else seemed interested, so I dug in. I found all the coupons I needed to do more CVS shopping this week, so I went there after I got off. Here's what I did with my ECBs:
1 Glade Scented Oil Refill 3.99
1 Glade Scented Oil Holder 7.99
1 Crest Pro Health Toothpaste 3.49
2 Kleenex, 1.49 B1G1
3/15 coupon
Free Scented Oil Holder w/ refill purchase coupon 7.99
.75 Crest coupon
.55 Kleenex Coupon
.22 OOP, earned 5 ECB + 3.49 ECB

I took that and bought:
1 8 pk C Duracell Batteries 9.99
1 8 pk AA batteries 5.99
1 8 pk AAA batteries 5.99
3/15 coupon
3 - .75 Duracell Coupons
8 ECB + 3.49 ECB + 5 ECB
.22 OOP, earned 15 ECB
The second pictute is my Wal-Mart run for today. My total before coupons was 37.16....after coupons was 13.98! Awesome! Here's what I got:
2 Cascadian Farms granola bars 2.44 used 2 $1MC
2 Yo-Plus yogurts 2.21 used 2 $1MC
1 Durex bonus pack 4.74 used $2MC
6 Johnson Buddies soaps .97 used 2 $3/3 MC (I will donate these)
2 Whiskers cat treats .97 used 2 $1MC
1 Meow Mix treats .97 used .75MC
2 3M lint rollers 2.88 used 2 $1MC
2 Kotex panty liners 1.00 used 2 .75MC
3 Starkist Tuna Creations pouches 1.43 used 3 $1MC
3 Green Giant green beans .84 used 3 $1MC
Since the last cashier gave me some trouble with printed coupons, I only used coupons cut from the newpaper inserts this time, but still saved a lot! I've found that the higher value coupons do better at WM for me because they can't be doubled or tripled at Kroger. I went through my coupons tonight, pulled those that were .75 or more and were products I might would use, and headed out to the store. Many of the expired at the end of this month, so I needed to put them to use before I ran out of time.
I am very thankful to the nice lady that dropped off those coupons! She got me lots of free stuff!


Since I became a mom I have learned how difficult managing a baby, a house, and myself can be. One way to save time is by making dinner in a crockpot. I found this awesome website called A Year of Crockpotting, where a new recipe is tried and reviewed every day. It is soup weather for most of the country, so lets try this recipe out and see how it is! It looks yummy and was given a positive review! I love the soups at Olive Garden, so hopefully this is a good copycat of the pasta fagioli.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Free Samples and Coupons

A few freebies for Tuesday!

Betty Crocker is offering a free sample of Turtle Chex Mix Bars when you sign up for their newsletter. There is also a coupon booklet you can sign up for on there, just check out their promotions page.

Pillsbury is also offering a coupon book when you sign up for their e-newsletter.

Try a sample of new Gain laundry detergent, or Benefiber singles that you can just add to your bottle of water!

If you love the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, they are giving away a free mini one! It is amazing what they can get off my tile floor!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meal Plan Monday 11/17

I want to use up some stuff we have in the freezer and pantry, so here's my plan for the week:

Monday: baked chicken with rice and broccoli
Tuesday: pulled pork sandwiches with homemade french fries
Wednesday: chicken, dumplings, and yellow squash (from the garden!)
Thursday: soup and sandwich
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: steak, baked potatoes, homemade rolls
Sunday: Panera Bread! YUM

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Shopping CVS 11/16 & Kroger 11/16

CVS: (plus 4 boxes of Kleenex, not pictured)
Well, I ended up with a weird deal at CVS. I wanted to do the Glade Buy $10, get $5 ECB back and the Soft & Dri/Right Guard $2.99 get 2 ECB deals. In the ad, CVS had listed Glade candles, scented oil refills, and glass scents. I had coupons for a free scented oil holder when you buy a refill, so I decided to use those... When I looked at my receipt, those also counted in the deal... I could have gotten off much, much cheaper, but I had no idea until AFTER the transaction. SO, here's what I did....
Transaction #1:
2 Glade Glass Scents 2.50 each
1 Right Guard Extreme 2.99
2 Glade twin scented oil refills 3.99 each
2 Kleenex, 1.49 B1G1
2 Glade Scented Oil Holders 7.99 each
used 3/15 coupon
.40 MC Kleenex
1.59 ECB + 2 ECB from last week
B1G1 glass scents MC ($2.50)
2- Free scented oil holder with refill MC (7.99 x 2)
Total: 7.84OOP, earned 12 ECB
Transaction #2:
2 Right Guard Extreme 2.99 each
2 Soft & Dri 2.99 each
1 Dove Day Moisturizer, clearance 3.50
2 Kleenex 1.49 B1G1
used 3/15 coupon
2 - .55 peelies from Soft & Dri
12 ECB from previous transaction
Total: .85 OOP, earned 9 ECB
On my first receipt I noticed my Glade total was $27.96, so I stopped and bought a candle for 2.50 and got another 5 ECB. (this was because of the holders counting)
They also have another great deal going on with batteries. If you buy $20 of Duracell batteries, you get 15 ECB. The batteries are three prices, 5.29, 5.99, and 9.99. I didn't really have any good coupons for those, but I went ahead and did the deal twice. With a little one in the house, we use tons of batteries! I ended up spending about $21 OPP for an assortment of C, D, AA, and AAA batteries and have 15 ECB left. I need about $13 more dollars to earn another 15, so I'm going to go ahead and use my 15 ECB to buy those and get another 15 ECB back. We can always use batteries!
I didn't take a picture of my Kroger trip, but here's what I got for $26.53 (I saved 33.80, or 55%) They are still doing the Mega Sale here, so I got 10 participating items* and saved $5.
2 Crisco vegetable oils
2 PAM sprays
1 Cottonelle 4 pk toliet paper
1 Colgate Total toothpaste
1 Scotch Brite sponge
1lb Boar's Head ham
1 pk Hormel turkey pepperoni
4 boxes of Quaker granola bars
1 Colgate Advantage toothpaste
1 Active Instant Oatmeal
1 Kroger tomato paste
2 cans Progresso soup
1 gallon skim milk
1 Nature's Own wheat bread
1 Nature's Own White Wheat buns

Saturday Savings Tips

(again, a day late because of our fussy little guy)
I'm really excited about this toy! If you check at, it is listed as $17.99. I went to our local Target (on sale there for 14.24) and walked out with it for $6.75! How? Well, the tip for the week is coupon stacking! You can do this at Target, Kroger, and CVS. If you have a Target coupon, which I did, you can also use a manufacturer coupon. On this deal, I used a $5 Target toy coupon, along with a $3 coupon I got for signing up at If you get a coupon printed on your CVS receipt, you can use that plus MCs. For Kroger, use MCs paired with coupons from or to increase your savings! I got free toliet paper, toothpaste, soup, and oatmeal tonight at Kroger by combining coupons! Nothing better than free stuff!!!
**note, the Target coupon says it's for Fridge Phonics, but I don't remember the one I printed out being so specific*** It may have been and they took it anyway?

Friday Favorites

It has been a rough few days in the world of motherhood, so I'm a little behind in posting. I did want to share some of my favorite things on Fridays, so better late than never, right? is a great website for those who like playing the grocery game or need information on coupons. There is a searchable coupon database, so if you need a product and aren't sure if you might have a coupon in your saved inserts, you can go there and search and quickly find out. That is so much easier than looking through all those papers! It was a bit of a pain to register, but all the information available was well worth it.

I find so many of my bargins on There are also links to other sites that you can follow to find even more!

Finally, if you need a good laugh, CakeWrecks is a super funny blog about cake decorating gone wrong. I like to look on there when I need a good laugh. :)

Oh, one favorite product! I recently bought a Crest SpinBrush on one of my CVS deals and oh my do I love it! It makes my teeth feel so much cleaner! I would highly recommend one! There is even a $2 coupon to help you out!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

One easy want to save money and go green is to make your own cleaners and laundry detergent. You are saving on the amount you spend, plus decreasing the number of boxes or bottles you are throwing out (or recycling). We have been using this detergent for months now and I think it works great!

Grate up some bars of soap...
I have been using Ivory, but you can also use Fels Naphta if you can find it.
Buy a box of Borax and a box of Arm & Hammer washing soda. I found both of those in the laundry detergent aisle of my grocery store.

The recipe is 1 cup grated soap, 1/2 cup borax, 1/2 cup washing soda. Simple and easy. Use 1 tablespoon on light loads, 2 for heavier loads. White vinegar can be used as a fabric softener too. Just put in the Downy ball and throw it in the washer. It doesn't leave your clothes smelling like vinegar, so don't worry about that!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Can I Make for Dinner Wednesdays

On Wednesday I'd love to share some of our favorite recipes! Tonight we had pizza, so I'll share that one!

First, Jason makes whole-wheat pizza crust in the bread machine. The recipe we use is this one and it has turned out great every time. (I'll go ahead and post it here too, just in case you don't want to navigate away from the blog).

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
1 cup plus 2 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2.5 tsp yeast
Place ingredients in bread machine in order listed. Run dough cycle. When finished, form into a circle (or put on a pizza pan). Top with desired toppings and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

He tops it with pizza sauce, turkey pepperoni, Canadian bacon, pineapple, and 2% Mozzarella cheese! YUM! I actually prefer his version to any we used to order from the pizza places. Pair it up with a salad and you have a pretty easy dinner that isn't too bad for you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Few Deals from Wal-Mart

I don't usually shop at Wal-Mart, but I found some good deals listed online so I decided to put some coupons together and run by there today. My cashier was not too happy and tried to tell me she *thought* their policy had changed and they were only accepting printed coupons that were in color. She went ahead and took the ones I had; if she had refused, I planned on getting all my coupons back and walking out. There is no signs posted saying color coupons only, so I'm not sure what the real policy is. I do plan on asking my brother though. He should be able to find out since he works for them. I think they are worried about people using the coupons to get free stuff, like it really matters since they get reimbursed anyway!
Anyway, here's what I got:
2 Green Giant Fresh Valley Steamers green beans; $1 each
-2 $1 coupons from (you'll see a link for this site on my sidebar) FREE
1 Cascadian Farms Organic Granola Bars 2.44
-$1 MC 10-5 Smart Source 1.44
1 YoPlus Yogurt $2.12
-$1 MC (not sure of origin) 1.12
1 Sea Pack Shrimp Poppers $1.32
1 Green Giant Fresh Valley Steamers, potatoes w/ sauce $1.50
-$1 MC 10-5 Smart Source .50
1 Ronzoni Smart Taste penne pasta $1.50
-$1 MC 10-5 Smart Source .50
1 3M Lint Roller $2.88 (if you can find the trial size, it will be a better deal)
-$1 MC 10-5 Valassis 1.88
1 Kotex Lightdays panty liners $1.00
1 Great Value pineapple tidbits (not a deal, just needed for pizza tomorrow) .52
1 Starkist Tuna Creations $1.43
-$1 MC 10-12 Valassis .43
Total before coupons: $17.03 OOP: $6.87
Thanks to Deal Seeking Mom for listing these deals and more on her website!

Tuesday Freebies!

Here are some great sales that when paired up with the right coupons, yield free or really cheap items!

(remember you have to buy 10 participating items to get the extra $5 off that makes these the prices listed)
Carnation Evaporated Milk: .50 each $1/2MC from the 11/2 Red Plum insert FREE
Quaker Oats, 18 oz: $1 .50MC from 9/7 Red Plum insert, doubled to $1 FREE
Dial Soap, 3 pk bars: $1 .30MC from 10/5 Smart Source insert, tripled to .90 cost .10
Betty Crocker Potatoes: $1 .40 coupon from BC website, doubled to .80 cost .20

Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Conditioner, or Stylers 2.99 earn 2 ECB use $1MC from 10/5 or 11/9 Red Plum insert FREE
Glaceau Water 1.49 earn 1.49 ECB FREE

Monday, November 10, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

One of the easiest ways to save money is to look over what you have already in your pantry and freezer, plus make note of what is on sale for the week, and make out a meal plan. You will be less likely to make impulse trips to the grocery store or restaurants that way. I know it works, so I plan on starting it again this week. Here's my plan:

Monday: Pinto beans (in crockpot), corn bread, fried potatoes, and pork chops (I have all this already!)

Tuesday: We have some left-over spaghetti noodles, so I want to make a batch of red sauce, cook up some ground beef, and have spaghetti. Pair that with a loaf of homemade Italian bread.

Wednesday: We have all the ingredients for pizza; the crust will be made in the bread machine.

Thursday: I'm on my own today; I will have leftovers from Monday.

Friday: I'm on my own again today; I have tomato soup in the 'fridge that needs to be used, so I'll have that with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Saturday: Treat Night; will have Jason pick up ChickFilA on his way home! :)

Free Samples!

I love requesting free samples online. They are usually small versions that are great to leave in the guest bathroom for visitors to use!

Most of the time they come with coupons, so if you like the products, you can save on them too! Here are a few to get you started!

If you have a young one in the house, Wal-Mart is offering a free sample of Huggies diapers! In addition, Playtex is offering a free drop-in BPA free bottle!

How about trying out the new Always Infinity feminine care products? or prefer Stayfree, Kotex, or Playtex? They have those too!

Have a dog that LOVES treats? Request a sample of Pedigree dog treats.

Like to add a lemon flavor to your drinks? Try a sample of True Lemon.

If you like coffee, here is a free sample of Folgers coffee.

Register at P & G Everyday Solutions to get coupons and samples from Proctor and Gamble.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

more Kroger 11/5 deals!

I made another Kroger run today while the awesome sale was still going on. I saved 72% today; I paid 18.95 and saved 49.56! (coupons up to .39 tripled, .40 - .50 doubled)
Here's what I got:
1 Lucky Charms
1 Cocoa Puffs $1/2 MC
2 Cinnamon Toast Crunch 2 - .55 MC
1 Betty Crocker Muffin Mix .75 MC
1 Betty Crocker Cookie Mix .75 MC
1 Pillsbury Crescent rolls .35 MC
2 Swiss Miss Cocoas .50 coupon
1 BC Roasted Garlic potatoes .40 MC
1 Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop popcorn 1.00 MC
1 Active Oatmeal 1.89 coupon (free!)
2 Pledge 2 - 1.50 MC
1 Pledge floor cleaner 1.50 MC
2 Coffeemate liquid creamers 1.50/2 MC
2 Hunts tomato products .40/2 MC
1 Land o Lakes butter .55 MC
1 Activia yogurt .50 MC
1 Johnson and Johnson baby wash
2 J&J baby lotion $3/3 MC

A few Kroger hints: got to the Kroger website before you go shopping and check out the links to the P&G eSaver coupons and the coupons. You can load these onto your Kroger card and then use MCs on top of them! also has coupons you can load onto your card, which is how I got a free box of oatmeal on this shopping trip! I also noticed that one of our Kroger stores has higher prices than the other that is 5 minutes away! It didn't matter on these deals, but produce and other products were different prices! I noticed that diapers were on sale for $1 cheaper one week and have since been careful about which one I go to!

CVS 11/9

CVS Card #1: Starting with 10ECB from last week
Transaction 1:
L'Oreal Advanced RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle Serum 11.99
$1 MC
10 ECB
Total: 1.11 OOP
Earned 11.99 ECB

Transaction #2:
3 St Ives Body Washes 3.99 each
1 Garnier Fructis hairspray 2.99
$1 MC
11.99 ECB
Total 2.03 OOP
Earned 9 ECB

Transaction #3:
2 19.6oz bags Hershey's candy $4 each
4 8oz bags Hershey's candy $2 each
4 Hershey's Special Dark singles .50 each
used 2 MC for $1/3 bags of candy, plus 2 B1G1 for the Special Dark
Total: 6.53 OOP, earned 10 ECB

Card #2: Starting with 5 ECB from last week
Transaction 1:
2 Raisin Bran cereals 2/$4
1 Garnier Fructis shampoo 2.99
2 Colgate Total Toothpastes 2.69 B1G1
1 Glaceau Smart water 1L 1.49
2 $1 MC for cereal
$1 MC for shampoo
2 $1.50 coupons for Colgate
Total: .27 cents OOP
Earned 3.59 ECB

The cashiers at CVS were super nice today and I found out that the sales start on Saturday, expect for any that are 1 or 2 day only deals. I was wondering how they were already out of stuff by the time I got there! I was there about 20 minutes after they opened and there were only a few other people in there the whole time I was going around figuring out what to buy!

Friday, November 7, 2008

How to Save!

One website I found that explains the CVS game is Money Saving Mom's CVS 101.
I like to follow a few other websites, Deal Seeking Mom, and Southern Savers. They both list some ideas for various stores, free samples you can request online, and have coupons you can print out and use at the stores! Another new one I found today was "Cent"sible Sawyer, which has more even more info. Google is your friend too. If I want to see what websites have CVS deals for this week, I just search for CVS 11/9 and it will show me who has already blogged about this coming weekends deals! Same thing for Kroger. Hope that helps!

This website, which I became a part of, has a whole list of blogs written by people who are trying to save money! Just look for the Frugal Blogroll on the sidebar and start checking out some of the blogs for ideas!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Kroger 11/5

Can you believe all of this was only $28.55?? I saved $71.53, or 71%! I'll try to list all I bought and the coupons, but I will probably miss some of 'em. They were running the Mega Deal special, so if you bought 10 participating items, you got another $5 off. You could do up to 3 of these per transaction. My Kroger triples coupons up to .39, and doubles up to .50.

2 Betty Crocker Potatoes 2 .40 coupons
1 Betty Crocker Muffin Mix .45 coupon
1 Quaker Chewy granola bars
1 Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop .40 coupon
2 Cinnamon Toast Crunch 2 .55 coupons
1 2-liter of 7-UP
1 Welch's Grape juice $1 coupon
2 Nestle Morsels 2 .50 coupons
1 Domino 4lb sugar .35 coupon
2 Better Crocker Sugar Cookie mixes 2 .75 coupons
1 Carefree pantyliner .50 coupon
1 Dial 3 pk soap .30 coupon
1 Palmolive dish washing liquid .25 coupon
1 Shout stain remover .75 coupon
1 Pillsbury Toaster Strudel 1.00 coupon
1 Breyers Ice Cream .50 coupon
1 Cottonelle 4 pk toliet paper .25 coupon
2 Tostinos Pizza Rolls 2 .35 coupons
6 Carnation Evaporated milk 3 .50/2 coupons (FREE)
1 Activia yogurt .50 coupon
1 Land O Lakes butter .50 coupon
1 Better Crocker frosting .55 coupon
1 Borden Gallon milk
1.09lbs broccoli
4 navel oranges
2.5lbs grapes

Not bad, eh? :)

CVS 11/2

*plus a Sunday paper (not pictured)
Not much going on with CVS for me this week. I spent 7.01 OOP and got back 7.49 back in ECB.
Here's my transaction:
1 Pert Plus Shampoo 2/5 used $2 MC
1 Crest Pro Health Toothpaste 3.49 used .75 MC got back 3.49 ECB
2 Sure Deodorants 2.89, 2.99 used 2 $1 printable coupons, got 3 ECB
1 Kotex Pantyliners 3.89 used $2 CVS coupon, .75 MC, got 1 ECB
1 Sunday paper 1.75
used $3/15 coupon
I took the 7.49 ECB, plus $1 MC, .25 MC, plus $3/15 and bought 2 packs of Pampers and a bottle of Dawn. Spent 9.64, got back 5 ECB.
Right now I have 10 ECB from last week on one card, and 5 ECB on the other.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NKOTB...almost free!

I got an email a few weeks ago that we had some Best Buy Reward Zone Gift Certificates that were expiring soon, so I printed them out and went there today. I had been wanting to get the new CD from NKOTB ever since I went to the concert, so what better way to get it than almost free?? It was 14.99, so we had to add in a Coke to get to $15... So it cost me a whole $1.71 for the CD and a 20oz Coke! Be sure you sign up for the Rewards if you are a regular shopper there! It's free!

Kohls Deal

We were able to get this cute outfit for Eli's 3 month pictures today for free! I had a $10 Kohls cash from last week when I purchased his FP Rainforest Cradle swing for half price. I also registered our email address to get a $5 coupon. You can use both, so the outfit was completely FREE!