Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. It has been a tough week for us.

CVS 4/29

I had a great surprise at CVS yesterday. We went to pick up Jason's medicine and I found some Adidas deodorant on clearance for $1.25. I had a 1.00 MC, so I decided to purchse one. I guess it must be a monthly ECB deal because it gave me 2 ECBs back! I found two more coupons and bought 2 more to max out on the deal! So 3 deodorants at $1.25 each, minus 3.00 in MC is .75 OOP, earned 6 ECBs! Awesome! I used the first 2 ECBs to buy the 2 additional ones, plus a bottle of Fructis mousse. The 2 deodorants plus the mousse was .50 OOP and I have 6 ECBs left for next week!

What a great trip! I was very unhappy about the lack of $1 Bandaids, but this made up for it!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Kroger Trip

We have decided to start eating better, so I have been trying to use my coupons and knowledge to buy healthier options! While organic milk is in no way cheap, we love it so much better that we have decided to go back to buying it. Here was my Kroger trip yesterday:

1 Kroger reusable bag (free)
2 Barilla Pastas 1.39 each (2 - .50 MC doubled to 1.00)
4 Center-cut all natural bacon 2.69 each
2.75 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts 8.28*
1.25 lbs lean pork for stir fry 2.65
Centrum Vitamins 130 count 4.19
2 Lawrys Marinades .99 (1.00/2 MC)
1 Welch's Reduced Sugar grape jelly 2.29 (.55 MC)
1 McCormick Garlic/Onion Grill Mates .99 (.25 MC tripled to .75)
3 Green Giant Corn .99 each (1.00/3 MC) + 2 - .50 coupons
3 Hormel Natural Honey Ham pkgs 2.49 each
1 Dole Mixed Greens salad mix 1.79
1 Borden Organic Milk 4.99 (1.00 MC)
1 Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread 2.00
Total OOP: 45.76
*the pkg was supposed to be 5.51, so I will be going back to get my money back!

I know it doesn't look like I can make meals from this trip, but that's what my stockpile is used for; I can add this and pull from things I already have and put together a lot of meals!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Freebies, Coupons, etc

Sorry I didn't post the freebies yesterday. It was a bit of a rough day here.

Here are some good deals, freebies, and coupons for today!

Rachel at Surviving the Stores has a great way for you to get some Free Soy Candles from Glade. I'm excited about picking up these! I LOVE candles!

Free sample of John Freida Root Awakenings: I requested this one in hopes that it will come with a coupon! I used all of my JF coupons this week and got free shampoo, conditioner, and mousse at CVS!

If you have a four-legged friend (well, dog), he/she might appreciate this free sample of dog treats!

In honor of Earth Day, go request this sample of Huggies Pure and Natural diapers. Of course cloth is a better choice, but less chemicals are always better if you are going the route of disposables!

Aveeno is offering a sample of their newest products, hair care!

If you love free samples, I would highly suggest you go sign up as a member of Vocalpoint! You will find surprises in your mailbox and be able to print coupons on certain campaigns! I was able to get a lot of free Starkist Tuna because of coupons I received through this program!

Finally, go here to get some very high dollar Aveeno coupons! You can print them off and then head to CVS to get some pretty cheap sun care products!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 4/20/09

I am trying to get back to doing Weight Watchers now, so I hope my menu plans begin to reflect that. Be sure to click the picture to go to Org Junkie for more meal ideas!

Monday: baked chicken, sweet potato, salad
Tuesday: chili, cornbread
Wednesday: hamburgers, oven baked fries
Thursday: pita pizza, spinach salad
Friday: beef tacos, black beans, rice
Saturday: pork roast, steamed veggies, potatoes or rice
Sunday: whole roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls

Chili: My Version!
1/2 lb lean (90/10) ground beef
1 can Campbell's Tomato Juice (low sodium if available)
1 can low sodium V-8 Vegetable Juice
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 can chili beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg McCormick reduced-sodium chili seasoning
1 onion, diced
Brown and drain ground beef; set aside. Saute onion in dutch oven until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes. (fast and easy!) You can add more veggies if you have some on hand that you like.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

CVS 4/19: Wow!

I think this might have been one of my best trips EVER! I am still excited about it. :o) It did take me 3 transactions, so here they go:

Transaction 1:
John Freida Shampoo, Conditioner, Mousse $5 each
coupons used:
3-2.00 off any John Freida MC
3/15 CVS coupon
2/10 any beauty CVS coupon (Fitness magazine)
got back 5.00 ECB

Transaction 2:
Maalox Mint 5.49
Gas-X gels 5.79 each
Benefiber Chewable 6.49
Coupons used:
2-$1 off any Gas-X MC
1.50 off any Maalox MC
2.00 off Benefiber MC
3.00 off any Benefiber CVS coupon
5.00 off any 2 Maalox, Gas-X CVS coupon
3/15 CVS coupon
5.00 ECB, 2 ECB
Total OOP: .06
got back 10 ECBs

Transaction 3:
2 Revlon lipsticks 7.99 B1G1
2 L'Oreal HIP products 8.49 B1G1
NYC eyeliner 1.99
1 Sally Hansen Nail Polish 2.79
coupons used:
10/20 CVS cosmetics coupon
2-$2 off Revlon MC
2-$2 off L'Oreal HIP product MC
.50 Sally Hansen MC
2.89 ECB
Total OOP: came to -.13, so my cashier just fixed it so I didn't owe or get back anything.
no ECB earned

I don't usually do that, but I was tired and didn't feel like looking for a cheap filler item. I had planned on paying cash for this purchase and saving my ECB, but decided to go ahead and use it. I have the 10 ECB from transaction 2 to work with next week. I haven't been doing as much shopping as I have in the past, so that will be plenty for me. I think today was a great day for me. Now I have to get myself to actually WEAR the makeup!

I LOVE CVS! Be sure to check out The "Cent"sible Sawyer for more CVS savings ideas!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

CVS & Walgreens 4-18

Pantene Shampoo, Conditioner, Mousse 3.50 each
Edge shave gel 2.89
Crest Pro-Health 2.88
coupons used:
CVS 3/15
3.00 off Pantene shampoo and conditioner
3.50 (free style product wyb shampoo & conditioner)
.75 off Crest Pro-Health
5.00 ECB
total OOP $1.02
got back 2.00 ECB for Pantene, 2.89 ECB for Edge, and 2.00 ECB for Crest
Bic Soleil 4pk refills 1.79 (clearance)
Scunci Hair bands 2.00
Colgate Max White Toothbrush 3.29
Russel Stover creme egg .12
Schick Quattro Razor 9.49
coupons used:
.75 Colgate toothbrush
4.00 MC Schick Quattro
4.00 WG coupon Schick Quattro
3.50 RR
2.50 RR
Total OOP: 2.08
I should have gotten back 3.29 RR for the toothbrush and 2.00 RR for the hair bands. I'm not sure why they didn't print, but I will call the company tomorrow and see what's going on. I hate when that happens. :(
UPDATE: I called the CATALINA company today and they are sending me the 2 RR for the hair bands. I learned something new today. I had used a RR from a previous Colgate purchase, so I was not eligible for the RR on the toothbrush because of that. I didn't know that, but I will not make that mistake again! I will chalk this up as a learning trip and be happy that my actual OOP will end up being 8 cents. CVS is so much easier to shop; I don't know why I still attempt to go to WGs.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thrifty Meals

The USDA has an online brochure with healthy, thrifty meal ideas. As our economy continues to tighten most of our budgets, getting the cost of food down is a priority for many of us. Be sure to go check it out: Recipes and Tips for Healthy, Thrifty Meals

Another idea is to try Once a Month or Once A Week Cooking. I like that idea, but I would hate to do all those dishes!

and finally, you might want to bookmark this website that shows you how to make dinner for you family for only $5!


Great Red Sauce Recipe!

Best Basic Red Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups water
1 teaspoon sugar
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. †Add the onions, garlic, salt, basil, oregano, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. †Place the tomatoes in a large mixing bowl and squeeze with spoon or hands to break them into small pieces. †Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, and sugar to the pot with the onion and stir well. †Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. †Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon.†Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the pot from the heat and use the sauce as needed. You can store this sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.†Yield: 10 cups (2 1/2 quarts)†

I love this recipe! I divide it up and freeze it, thawing it out as I need it! I highly recommend it! It is a great way to save money on pasta sauce!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Freebies and Coupons

Here are a few freebies for the week:
Glad Force Flex Bag: I haven't tried these yet, so I'm excited to get one and check it out!

If you have a little one, sign up to get American Baby magazine for free! (thanks to the free sample blog for this one)

Earthbound Farms has a free recipe brochure you can request. You can also take their organic farming quiz for a chance to win a $1 coupon.

Organic Valley has several printable coupons you can print and use on their products! I rarely find coupons for organic dairy products, so this is a great find for me! Here is another website with some printable organic coupons too. If you use Brown Cow brand, here is a website with printable coupons for them too.

Other coupons: $1 off Dreamfields pasta when you sign up for their newsletter.

Sign up for Laura's Lean Beef newsletter and get an instant coupon. I love this brand and they carry it at both Target and Kroger!

If you use Nature Made vitamins and supplements, go sign up and get coupons from them. They also had a program where you can enter codes from your bottles and earn more valuable coupons!

and finally... Stonyfield Farms has e-coupons that you can print too. Just sign up and be ready to hit print!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Deals and Steals

I had some great shopping trips last week! My best finds were Gillette Fusion Power Razor and shave gel for $2 OOP at Target, free Stride gum at Kroger, 2 Schick Intuition refill packages for 2.89 OOP at CVS, and free Colgate toothpaste at Walgreen's! If you managed to find some good deals or free stuff, be sure to post and let me know!

Today we had a great Easter dinner that was so inexpensive to make! I have a great stockpile of items that make it easy to do a great dinner for a very good price! We had ham, (bought on sale after Christmas for less than half price), mashed potatoes ($1 a bag on sale w/ coupon), green beans (free after coupon), baked beans, deviled eggs, and rolls (on sale w/ coupon). It was great and we have lots of ham leftover for other meals! I plan on cooking beans with the ham bone tomorrow!

I really love shopping this way. It saves us so much money! It is great to be stocked up on almost everything so that I never have to pay regular price for anything. I can't imagine going back to actually paying for toothpaste again. They seem to give it away at least every other week!

Prilosec OTC

Be sure you pick up your Softsoap bodywash and Colgate toothpaste or toothbrush that are free after ECBs this week at CVS!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday Recipe

Crockpot Sausage and Potatoes

1 1/2 pound sausage; smoked, sliced thickly
2 pounds hash brown potatoes ,not thawed
5 green onions, sliced
black pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 cup milk

Combine sausage, hash browns, green onions, pepper and garlic powder in well-buttered crockpot. Stir gently to mix. Whisk together soup and milk. Pour over ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours.

I love to make this and put it in individual containers so Jason can take just grab it and put it in his lunch kit! It is yummy and super easy to make!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday Samples and Coupons

Coupons, Samples, etc

If you like Aveeno products like I do, go print off this coupon to save $2 off your next purchase!

Sign up for the Jergens newsletter to get samples and coupons. I did this at some point and was chosen to be a Jergens Ambassador. I received a full size bottle of lotion to try, along with samples and coupons to pass out to friends. I LOVE the lotion they sent me; it works but is not greasy like some products I have tried!

If you like to try new snacks, check out the Quaker Rice Snacks offer! While they are not my favorite snack, I do end up getting a few bags free every now and then on sale.

One last sample... If you have a dog, request this free sample of Rachel Ray's dog food! I love the free pet food samples; we use the cat food samples as treats for our kitties!

Meal Plan Monday 4/6

Monday: Ballpark food! We will be at the Astros Opening Day!
Tuesday: Pulled pork sandwiches, sweet potato fries
Wednesday: Grilled chicken, baked potato, green beans
Thursday: Pita pizza, oven-fried potatoes
Friday: spaghetti, salad, garlic bread
Saturday: Pizza night! (homemade)
Sunday: Easter dinner: Ham, mashed potatoes, baked beans, corn, rolls

Be sure to visit orgjunkie for more ideas!