Friday, March 27, 2009

Misc Thrifty Ideas and Favorites

There are a few new freebies on the Wal-Mart sample page, so be sure to check it out and see if there's anything of interest for you.

If you are looking to save money by making your coffee drinks at home, get started with the recipes from Folgers! You can download this recipe booklet from Eagle Brand Milk to find a tasty treat to go along with it! (and be sure to invite me over)

Be sure to check for local restaurants in your area. The Certificates are 70% off right now, so you can buy a $25 dinner certificate for $3. Just be sure to read the rules/restrictions for each restaurant. These do work; we have used them ourselves!

One final thing: I love products that are kind to our environment and I found a great one yesterday. I purchased an Evolve showerhead and not only does it work, but it feels great too. I had looked at them before and got lucky and found one at our Tuesday Morning. I purchased the "tulip" for 24.99; it is listed for 79.95 on the website, so I feel great about the deal I got! It senses when the water is hot (95 degrees) and will slow down to a trickle to alert you that it is ready. This will save many gallons of water at our house because I turn the shower on and then work around a bit in the bathroom until I think it is ready. Now I know that it is and if I can't get in right away, the water is only trickling, not at the normal flow. The massage spray pattern feels great on my sore back, so I'm really appreciating my new purchase!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Freebies 3/24

Here are a few freebies I found today:

Softsheen-Carson, a leading maker of ethnic hair products has introduced Roots of Nature, a new brand of hair care products that include some organic ingredients designed to strengthen and repair damaged hair.

If you are looking for a new, less expensive toilet paper for your household, try this free sample of Cottonelle. There are usually coupons out there that make it almost free at Kroger (and maybe other stores that double/triple coupons).

Free sample of Kotex feminine care products
Free sample of Greenies, an awesome pet treat
Free sample of True Lemon

Monday, March 23, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

We have been eating out too much again lately, so this week I vow to follow my plan!

Monday: Green Chile Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
10 medium tortilla, flour, fat-free
4 oz chopped green chilies
3 oz fat-free or reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup onion(s), diced
1.5 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can green enchilada sauce
1/4 cup Reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 cup salsa or picante sauce
Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9x 13 pan with cooking spray. Add a little enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan. Cook onion in a medium pan until soft. Add chicken, green chilies, salda, and cream cheese. Mix well. Spread mixture down the middle of tortilla and roll up. Place seam side down in pan. Continue until all tortillas are used. Spread any remaining mixture over the top of tortillas. Pour remaining green enchilada sauce over all and bake 30 minutes, covered. Sprinkle with cheese last 10 minutes. Serve with spanish rice and/or black beans.

Tuesday: baked pork chops, steamed broccoli, roasted potatoes
Wednesday: homemade burgers, sweet potato fries
Thursday: slow cooker beef stew*, homemade bread
*be sure to request your coupon for a free bottle of Country Bob's Sauce when you visit the website
Friday: pita pizza, salad
Saturday: beans cooked on ham bone, cornbread, "fried" potatoes

Be sure to go over to org.junkie to get more meal plan ideas.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Favorites

When I started couponing, I lost a lot of my love for Target. I would go walk around and shake my head at the prices. Now I have found that I can get some great deals there too!

This week they have a Quaker products sale going on; most of the cereals, bars, and oatmeal are 2.50 each. If you buy 5 of those products, you get a $5 Target gift card. If you are like me and have a binder full of coupons, you could use 5 - 1.00 MCs and only pay 2.50 OOP for 5 boxes of granola bars! I think that's a pretty good deal!

In addition, they always have clearance items scattered all around the store. I found Ken's Italian dressing marked down to $1.14; I had a 1.00 MC, so it cost me 14 cents. I LOVE clearance. I found some cute "thank you" cards marked down to $1. There are sometimes good deals to be found in the toiletries section too. It all depends on how much your Target is shopped; the less people shopping the more deals you'll find!

Other great buys:
Mott's Applesauce .64 after using a 1.00 Target printable coupon
Brita Water Pitcher $13 after $5 printable coupon (We needed this and it was on sale, plus the coupon)

Prilosec OTC

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday Recipe/Thrifty Thursday

One of the big expenses in making dinner is the cost of meat! One great way to save is to have one night of a meatless dinner (or more nights if you can). There are also many great vegetarian recipes out there now; it should be easy to find something your family will love.

Here are some recipes to try:

7-layer Meatless Tortilla Pie: I think that looks pretty kid-friendly/picky eater friendly.

Sweet Potato Burritos: interesting, seems to get good reviews!

Roasted Vegetables: would be a great side dish any night of the week.

Spicy Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup: not vegetarian, but can be just be using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth

Italian Vegetable Soup: sounds YUMMY (not vegetarian); I'm putting this on my to-make list for sure. I love soup!

and finally, my favorite soup, Minestrone Soup! I think this paired with a salad would make an amazing dinner.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday Freebies

Want to try out a new toothpaste? Aquafresh is offering a sample of their Extreme Clean toothpaste for you to try. (this is a printable coupon, so be sure to have a printer hooked up to your computer before requesting!)

Gooseberry Patch is offering a free cookbook that features recipes using raisins and dried fruits.

Jiffy Mix is offering a cookbook that will give you ideas on using their product in different recipes.

How about a free sample of Stetson Cologne? :o)

Monday, March 16, 2009

CVS & WGs 3/15

3 Reach toothbrush pkgs 3/$9, earn 6 RR (3 1.00 MC) FREE after coupons and RR
Colgate Advance toothpaste 3.49 (2.50 IVC coupon, 1.50 MC) .51 money-maker
Maalox chewable, clearance 2.79 (2.00 IVC coupon, 1.00 MC) .21 money-maker
Paid with 10.00 in coupons, 2 RR from yesterday, and $3.11 OOP, earned 6 RR to spend later, so I actually MADE 2.89 on this deal.

I am really bad at Walgreens shopping. I find it so much harder to do than CVS because you have the IVCs (instant value coupon) that are in the rebate book, coupons in the sales ad, monthly rebates, AND register rewards. It makes my head hurt. Here is an article explaining all of those from Wags to Riches, and a little more on it at Money-Saving Mom.

Irish Spring Body Wash 4.99, get 4.99 ECBs (.50 MC from yesterday's paper) .50 money-maker
Aveeno Shave Gel 4.99, get 2 ECBs (2.00 printable coupon)
2 Rolaids at 2.19 each (4.00/2 MC)
Theraful 5.99, get 2.00 ECBs (2.00 CVS coupon, 2.00 MC) .01 money-maker
Planner, clearance, .19
Total: .04 OOP (10.50 in coupons, 10 ECBs), got 9 ECBs back for next week
If you are new to CVS shopping, you can read up on the how-to at Deal Seeking Mom. or "Cent"sible Sawyer. It takes a few months doing it to learn all the tricks, but I keep getting better as time goes on!

Menu Plan 3/16/09

Monday: Hopefully my anniversary dinner at Taste of Texas, if not, one of the meals below and anniversary dinner will be Tues or Wed
Tuesday: pulled pork sandwiches, sweet potato fries
Wednesday: grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes, green beans, crescent rolls
Thursday: BBQ grilled chicken salad
Friday: breakfast for dinner (YUM)
Saturday: homemade pizza

This week, Meal Plan Monday is being hosted at another great blog you might want to check out, $5 dinners!

Gorilla Glue - Register for newlsetter and receive free samples, savings offers and valuable tips.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Savings: CVS & Walgreens

This was my CVS trip for today. I paid .33 OOP for all of this and got 12 ECBs back to spend next week!

I have not yet figured out how to get a low OOP at Walgreens. This trip cost me 4.77 and I got 2 RR to spend later. Not bad considering I needed coffee creamer and would have spent $4 on it at the store anyway.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Freebies.... YAY!

Here are some freebies again this week!

If you are a fan of Diet Dr. Pepper, be sure you request your coupon for a free 2-Liter or 20oz bottle!

Metamucil is offering samples of their pink lemonade and berry burst flavors. I am not a fan of fiber products, but I think I'll give this one a try!

If you have a laundry care tip to share, Surf will send you a sample of their detergent if you share it and they pick it for their website.

If you know someone who wears a hearing aid, Energizer is giving away batteries to show off their new packaging.

And finally, Total is giving away a sample of their cereal. I love most of their products, so give them a try!

Diabetes Guide

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Being frugal AND healthy!

I have heard people using the excuse "It's too expensive to eat healthy" and I wanted to do a post on how UNtrue that can be.

On my Target trip today I purchased Mott's Natural Applesauce for .22 a six-pack, Kashi bars for .29 a box, and broccoli and cauliflower for .50 each. I think that's pretty cheap AND healthy!

You will need to have a printer to print out some online coupons in order to do it. has grocery coupons listed on their website every week for different products. I had printed out coupons for 1.00 off each of the items I had listed. In addition to the Target coupon, you can also use a manufacturers coupon.

Motts: 1.76 each, used 1.oo Target printable, .55 Mott's printable
**note: I did not have any clipped coupons for Motts, but I always like to check company websites for printable coupons before I go shopping. I have found several coupons that way!

Kashi: 3.29 each, used 1.00 Target printable, 2.00 Kashi printable (those are no longer available, but you can get a free Kashi entree coupon mailed to you!)

Broccoli, Cauliflower: 1.50 each, used 1.00 Target printable

A great website that lists all the hot deals at stores all around the country is If you register there, they do have all the current Target coupons on there and you can print as many of them as you want!

Thursday Thrifty Tip

This morning I have been searching for a generator. We definitely want to purchase one before the next hurricane season starts because life without one after Ike was not good. I have spent too much time stocking up for freezers to lose it all again! I love coupons and discounts, so of course I don't want to pay full price for one! My solution to that is searching sites like Craigslist, and if you are a "local", Kingwood Yard Sales. I have already found several that are still in the box, but are being sold for a few hundred dollars cheaper than buying new! I have used Ebay to get a few things at a discount, but it is so easy to get caught up in the fun of outbidding someone and end up paying more than you planned. :o) Always be on the lookout for ways to get around paying full price! I think the bartering system is quickly making its way back so start making a list of your skills and look for ways to trade them for things you need!

Handyman Club of America

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


If you use Huggies and have a printer, be sure to click on the blue bar over on the right side of my blog. They currently have one coupon for 3.00 off and another for 5.00 off! Walgreens is having a great sale on them this week, so use those coupons there and save even more!

Wednesday Recipe: Baked Ziti

We had a great dinner tonight! I love pasta and baked ziti is one of my very favorite dishes. Here's the recipe I used:

1/2 box Barilla Plus penne pasta, cooked (I know, but I didn't see ziti)
1 jar Ragu spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb lean ground beef, cooked and crumbled
8 oz ricotta cheese
6 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
Italian seasoning

Mix first 5 ingredients together. Top with 2oz shredded mozzarella cheese and Italian seasoning. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with salad and garlic bread!

It is a very easy recipe to change; you can double it, substitute different pastas or sauces, or add more cheese or meat (Italian sausage would be great in it)! has so many recipes you can search for and adapt; I use it all the time! Here is a baked ziti recipe from there that sounds YUM!

I just found another Betty Crocker newsletter that is giving away a freebie when you sign up! Click below to join and get your sample of the very delicious warm delights!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday Freebies!

It's Tuesday! Time for some freebies!

If you are looking for a formula that is cheaper than the big brands, maybe request this sample of the Wal-Mart store brand and try it out and see if it works for you!

Nature's Bounty is offering a sample and coupon for their Fish Oil Supplements. They are supposed to have some positive effects on the the body, so why not try it!

The Dove shampoo offer is still up and running, so if you haven't requested it yet, go! I love Dove's products and I use these samples for trips or to put out for guests!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: 3/9

Jason is working OT this week, so with him only being home tonight and Wednesday night, I am not planning out a menu. I do want to make something easy that he can take for lunch, but I haven't decided what that is yet. We had spaghetti tonight, and I'm going to try to make baked ziti on Wednesday for our family dinner night. I got a recipe from the Kroger coupon printer and I am going to make it too! I'll share that instead of a menu!

Polynesian Sunshine Pie
1 can (15oz) Dole Mandarin Oranges
1 graham cracker crust
1 banana, sliced
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tub (8oz) Cool Whip, thawed
2/3 cup flake coconut, toasted, divided
1 can Dole Tropical Mixed Fruit, drained
1/3 cup apricot jam, melted
Drain oranges; reserve 2 tbsp syrup. Place half of oranges in bottom of crust. Top with half of banana slices; set aside.
Beat cream cheese, reserved syrup, and vanilla until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Stir in 1/3 cup coconut. Spread mixture over fruit in crust. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Arrange tropical fruit, banana slices, and remaining mandarin oranges over filling. Drizzle jam over fruit. Sprinkle remaining coconut over pie.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wednesday Recipe meets Thrifty Thursday!

I am behind a day, as usual. I did want to share a recipe that I love and is actually pretty cheap to make if you shop the right way. At one of our local stores, HEB, they have bulk bins where you can purchase spices, grains, granola, and tons of other things. I LOVE buying my spices there. A bottle of spices in the the spice aisle will probably cost you $5 and up and you might just need a teaspoon for one recipe. If you find a store with the bulk option, you can buy as little or as much as you want! I buy 10 cents worth of some spices because that's all I need. It is a great way to make those higher end recipes with lots of ingredients without all the cost!

This BBQ sauce has a quite a few spices and salts, but buying the spices from the bulk bins and using other ingredients that you probably already have make for a cheap and GOOD! sauce.

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
Thick, tomato-rich Kansas City sauces are sweeter than those from other barbecue regions. While commercial renditions can overdo the sugar, this version (inspired by the scrumptious Gates Original) balances sweet with spice.
This recipe goes with KC-Style Potato Salad, Kansas City Barbecued Chicken
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup water
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
3/4 teaspoon ground celery seed
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt (such as McCormick)

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer 25 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Yield: 2 1/2 cups (serving size: about 2 tablespoons)
CALORIES 31 (3% from fat); FAT 0.1g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.0g); IRON 0.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 12mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7.8g; SODIUM 198mg; PROTEIN 0.3g; FIBER 0.2g Cooking Light, JULY 2007

I have to say that I hate potato salad, but the one that uses this recipe is very different and I love it!

Home Depot

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday Freebies!

My favorite day of the week!
Here are some freebies and coupons for you today:

Start Making Choices has a little starter kit to help us all get started eating a little healthier. It comes with a sample of popcorn, as well as some coupons to use on other products!

I can't remember if I posted this one already, but it is so good that it needs to be posted again anyway. Quaker has some amazing new granola bars that are SO yummy. I got mine in the mail yesterday and it came with a $1 MC too! They also have an offer to sample their rice snacks; not quite as good, but still not a bad snack.

Kashi is offering a coupon for a free frozen entree! That's close to a $4 value, so be sure to request that one.

For your little ones, Earth's Best has coupon offers if you sign up for their newsletter.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Similac Savings

If you have a little one, you know how important it is to save on formula and get feeding ideas! Sign up for Similac Strong Moms program to get some great savings!

Meal Plan Monday 3/2

Monday: Pita Pizza (I love them on the nights when its just me)
Tuesday: Dijon Mustard Chicken Fricassee (from last week's menu), roasted potatoes, corn
Wednesday: Chili, cornbread
Thursday: Tostadas, Mexican rice
Friday: biscuits, sausage, eggs, hashbrowns
Saturday: homemade pizza, cheese sticks

Be sure to check out orgjunkie for more meal plan ideas!

Pedi Visits and Lysol

If you are in need of cleaning products and your little one has a doctor visit scheduled this month, consider buying Lysol products (with coupons of course) and submitting them for this $5 rebate!

I have been doing a lot more rebates lately and I love them! I have managed to find several products to try free as well as rebates on our cat food! I love this website, which as tons of rebates listed! Look over them and see if any of them apply to products you use on a regular basis!

I was printing out my coupons this morning and decided that I really should share how wonderful my printer is. This was my birthday present last year and I have to say, I LOVE it. It is wireless, so I can print from both the laptop and desktop. It does a great job printing out our photos. The ink is relatively cheap. I have yet to find any reason to not like it. I haven't used the scanner yet, but that's next on my list. If you are in the market for a new printer, definitely consider it! Epson Artisan 700 Photo All-in-One Printer (Black) (C11CA30201)

Helpful sites and coupons

If you have clicked on the bar over on my sidebar, but sure to do it soon. There are some awesome coupons on there, including $5 and $3 off Huggies! Most coupons that good don't stay up very long so print them while you can.

Be sure to visit,, and to load coupons to your Kroger card! You can also load "coupons" via the UPromise website; when you purchase those products at registerd retailer (usually CVS, Randalls, or Kroger), they will deposit the coupon amount into your UPromise account!

For those of you who like to read... I found a cool website,, that will email you daily installments of books! I know it is sometimes hard to find time to read, but this breaks down the books into smaller, more manageable sections, and it will be in your email when you find some extra time. Some of the books are free, while others do require payment. I signed Jason and I up to read the Big Read of the month, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button! Check it out and let me know if you like it!

I'm working on my meal plan, so I'll post that later.