Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Finals

CVS 08/23/11

(1) Kraft Miracle Whip Salad Dressing $2.00
(1) Hydro 5 blade 4 pack $8.49 – Printed $5.00 ECB
(4) Skippy Peanut butter $1.66 Raincheck

$5.00 ECB
$1/1 Kraft Mayo RP or SS in August
$2/1 Hydro Blade multipack
2 $1/2 Skippy peanut butter RP 07/31/11

I paid $7.13 and saved $23.51 on $30.64 retail from CVS.

Wal-Mart 08/24/11

I wanted to stock up on a few items at Walmart that normally don’t have coupons for like beans. We make a lot of beans for the winter, and I am thinking of starting a fall garden. I would have purchased more wipes, but that is all they had.

(1) Strawberries - $1.68
(1) Navy beans 1lb. - $1.00
(1) Black beans 1lb. - $1.00
(1) Pinto beans 1 lb. - $0.78
(1) Red Kidney beans 1lbs - $1.36
(1) Lentils 1lb. - $0.92
(1) Pull ups $9.47 – I forgot my coupon for these
(4) Pull ups wipes $1.64 – 4 $1/1 Q SS 08/14/11
            -Final $0.64 each
(1) All You Magazine $2.49 – $0.25/1 10% off RP 06/19/11
            -Final $2.24
(2) Eight ‘O Clock Coffee - $4.88 – I didn’t give him my Q for $2/2 for the coffee

I paid $30.77 and saved $4.25 for $35.02 retail. Obviously I was not on my ‘A’ game when checking out at Wal-Mart this time. I could have used the extra $3.50 I would have saved had I use my coupons. Darn. Oh well I have them for next time.

Kroger Mega Event 08/25/11

Ok due to my coupon mess up at Wal-mart I curtailed my spending at Kroger. I did some research while I was at the store to plan for another shopping trip next Tuesday before the Mega event ends. MEI = Mega Event Item $0.50 off

(1) Gallon Milk $2.39
(2) Sunny D $0.99 – MEI, 2 $0.25 Tripled SS 08/07/11
            -Final $0.24 each
(8) Del Monte Tomatoes $0.50 – MEI
            -Final $0.50 each
(2) Nesquik Chocolate Drink Mix $1.09 – 2 $0.50/1 doubled RP 06/05/11
            -Final $0.09 each
(2) Aunt Annies Mac and Cheese $1.00 – 1 $1/2 Q Catalina Printed
            -Final $0.50 each
(4) Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade $1.00 – 4 $0.50/1 doubled RP 07/24/11
            -Final FREE

I spent $8.09 and saved $24.32 on $32.41 retail worth of groceries 75% savings. I even bought real food this time. I am stocking up on tomatoes for this winter. I make lots of soups, stews and chilis. We will need the tomatoes for those items.

All together this week I spent $45.99 on groceries and diapers and saved $52.08. How did you do this week? Any great savings? What Freebies did you find. Share your trips here so we can all learn together. LINK UP below

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Are you getting in the back to school mode yet? I am there and trying to figure out fun lunch ideas for my daughter. Sandwiches everyday is not going to cut it. I just thought of something today and tested it in my kitchen. I call it Cheesy Bread.

I normally buy the 9 grain or whole wheat fresh baked bread that is discounted in the back of the store. I freeze this and we take it out as we need it and warm it up in the toaster. This bread is smaller than the average size loaf I use a couple of more slices than I would the average loaf.

First place the bread in the toaster. You want it to be nice and dry and crunchy. Then I placed some shredded cheese and sprinkled some parmesan on top. I put it in the microwave for 1 minute or until the cheese is nice and bubbly. Then I take it out and let it cool. You can cut it up into bite size pieces or leave as is. Then I put some pasta sauce in a small dish to dunk the slices. This was delicious. It was just like pizza, but the bread doesn’t get soggy with the sauce. I am definitely doing this again.

A small variation could be adding some Italian spices to the top of the cheese or adding different cheeses.

I hope you enjoy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Money saving Monday

I have been extremely busy last week getting ready for school and planning a 2 year old birthday party. Everything went really well. I can now get back into my blog and keep all of you updated with everything that is going on. My toe/foot is still broken. This has slowed me down tremendously this past week. That is why I have been away from blogging. I just didn’t have time.

I am trying to find structure and organization in my life. Slowly but surely we are getting there. We finally purchased some shelves from Ikea for the play room upstairs and everything is off the floor and put away. My husband is now kicking himself wondering why didn’t we do this sooner. I have been asking for the past three years for these shelves. Everything has a place and the kids know where everything goes and can pick it up very quickly. This has brought some much needed peace and serenity back to the home.

 My daughter has the same teacher she had in first grade for her fourth grade teacher this year. She is very excited. My son is in preschool and loves going on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The 2 year old is sleeping and the big one is at her first day of school. This is the quietest my house has been in a while. I really miss her today. Within the past two weeks she has been an angel and I have really enjoyed being with her.

I am going to be more diligent in writing and keeping up with my blog. I haven’t even been that great with my budget lately. So we are going to be giving this a shot and I will keep you informed where to find good deals, how to save money, freebies and much more.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Finals

To start things off this week had been pretty good until yesterday. I seem to have broken my pinky toe on my left foot. It hurts so badly. I am sitting typing to you with an ice pack on my blue and purple toe. Thank goodness it is summer and I can get away with wearing flip flops everywhere; however, it is a challenge with a very active two year old. With all of his toys lying around the floor has made for an exciting time trying to navigate through the house without hitting my toe on anything.

Kroger Shopping 08/10/11

(4) Domino Brown Sugar $0.62 on clearance
(2) Domino Confectioner Sugar $0.62 on clearance
(3) Loaves Bread Discount Bin
(1) Pine Sol $1.89
(1) Coke 20 oz. $1.59 – 1 Q for Free Coke for using Recycle machine outside Kroger
(5) Yoplait Yogurt 4 Pack $1.88 – 5 $0.50/1 Q doubled 4 Pack Yoplait Yogurt
            -$0.88 each or $0.22 each cup
(1) Kroger Multigrain Chips $2.50 - $0.40/1 Kroger eQ
            -Final $2.10
(4) Welch’s Jelly $1.99 – 4 $0.35 tripled Welch’s Jelly
            -Final $0.94 each
(2) David Sunflower seeds $1.00 - $1/2 All You Magazine
            -Final $0.50 each
(1) Energizer 4 pack AA batteries $9.03 - $1/1 Energizer batteries
            -Final $8.03

I spent $28.00 and saved $20.71 on $48.71 retail. We have been buying Rechargeable batteries to replace all of our batteries. These are just a few dollars more and you can get many more uses out of them instead of throwing them away after one use. We feel this is better for the environment.

CVS Shopping

CVS did not go as planned at all. I didn’t have enough items to qualify for my $5/$25 so I went back to get a couple of things and I still didn’t have enough after check out. Since I was in pain from my toe, I just checked out and left. This has left me a little over budget this week.

(2) Herbal Essence Shampoo and conditioner $2.49
(1) Maybelline Mascara $4.99
(2) Edge Shave Gel $1.99
(1) Pampers EZ ups $8.99
(1) Candy $0.33

Coupons used:
2 $1/1 Herbal Essence Shampoo or conditioner
2 $.55/1 Edge Shave cream
1 $1/1 Maybelline mascara
$1/1 CVS Maybelline

ECBs Used:
$5.00 ECBs

ECB received:

I spent $14.25 and saved $8.68 on $22.93 retail. I thought I had a $2.00 off pampers diapers however it was for 60 count or larger that didn’t work. I didn’t get to my $25.00 mark and I received rain checks on several items they were out of. I am not very happy about this trip today.

Tom Thumb Shopping

(10) Pepperidge Farm Goldfish 2 for $4 – $1.00 each Tom Thumb Coupon
            -Final $1.00 each – for birthday
(1) Odwalla drink $1.99 - $0.35/1 tripled  All You
            -Final $0.94
(2) International Delight Creamer $3.29 - $2.48 Tom Thumb Q
            -Final $2.48 each
(4) Nature Valley Granola Bars $2.99 - $1.78 Tom Thumb Q, $0.75/2 Q
            -Final $1.41 each

I paid $23.76 and saved $27.13 on $50.89 retail. The Goldfish is not counting against my weekly totals. These are for my sons Elmo Birthday party with a crayon and goldfish theme. These will be favors and snacks at the party. I am so excited. I can’t wait.

How did you do with your shopping trips this week? LINK UP below

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tips for Tuesday

I am reposting this article, since it was so popular a couple of months ago.

With many of us couponing or trying to save money we need to stretch those box meals a little further. For me a simple box meal just doesn’t feed all five of us.  I like to have leftovers for little face and me for lunch the next day. It is easier to decide what we will eat and I don’t have to make a big meal just for two people.

I would like to share with you a few ideas I have for adding flavor to boxed meals without adding sodium. The sodium content of these is amazingly high. I try not to feed these to my family very often, but they are better than buying fast food for five of us. I will do it in a pinch.

The best thing to add to any meal is an onion. I can purchase these for $0.49 lbs. So I am only adding $0.49 extra cost to my meal. I usually use ½ or 1 onion chopped and sautéed . This adds not only lots of flavor but around a ½ to 1 pound of food to the meal. The kids don’t even know it is in there, since most boxed meals have onion powder. Adding onion ramps up the flavor and increases the vegetables for the meal.

I also like to add carrots, especially to higher sodium meals. This will help decrease the salty taste in a meal. I will add around 1 or 2 peeled and either shredded, pureed or chopped finely. This is around ¼ to a ½ cup of carrots. What a sneaky way to enter extra veggies into the kids meals and they don’t even know. I like to add carrots to Sloppy Joes too. We just need a little more to make it stretch to feed all of us.

Corn is the next best thing to add to a meal. I find it goes well especially with Mexican dishes. I try to buy frozen when I can. Otherwise just open a can and pour it in. I like the cream style corn with the Asian Rice a Roni. Use the water from the can for the water to add to the dish. This will add just a little more flavor than just regular water. I will also save the water from the corn and use this for soups later.

Try adding peas to a meal. If you or your kids don’t like the taste of peas try pureeing them and add that to the meal. You won’t see them or taste them either. I like to add peas to fried rice and canned soups.

Beans can be added for extra protein to any dish. I like black beans for Mexican dishes. Sometimes I will add both corn and black beans to stretch a meal.

Try adding a little of two or three of the above mentioned vegetables to each meal to see what you can come up with and not change the taste too much. This is a fun experiment to try with your family. Try other vegetables you like to see what other combinations you can come up with. Look at the box and see what dehydrated veggies are already in there and add the real thing. This is a great way to stretch a meal for just a few pennies per meal.

Do you normally add anything to a box meal? What are your favorite recipes to add veggies to? What Veggies do you add?

*Photos provided courtesy of Wikipedia

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Finals

I had a fantastic shopping week. I found many deals I am going to share with you today. I hope you will LINK up any shopping trips you had this week. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

It is still hot here. Although I love shopping, I am not enjoying getting out in this heat. Here are the stores I went to this week and here is how I did.

Walmart would not let me combine 2 V8 Fruit juice coupons and the V8 tea FREE twice. I had enough coupons to have 4 juices and 2 teas for free, but they would not honor it. So that is why it came out the way it did below.

Walmart 07/29/11

(1) Diapers $13.47
(3) V8 Fruit Fusion Juices $2.98 - 3 $1.50/1 V8 Juice Not sure when this came out
            -Final $1.48 each
(1) V8 Fruit Tea $2.98 – B2 V8 Juice G1 Tea Free
            -Final FREE
(4) Speed Stick Deodorant $0.98 – 4 $0.50/1 Speed Stick SS 07/24/11
            -Final $0.48 each

I spent $19.83 and saved $9.48 at Walmart on $29.31 retail. The diapers will last me for two weeks or longer.

Instead of going to CVS on Sunday like everyone else, I am waiting to go on Thursday or Friday. I normally get a coupon emailed to me for $4 off $20.00 or more or $5 off $25.00. Also my CVS doesn’t stock all the items on Sunday they hold back. If I go after Wed. that is when the truck comes they will usually replenish their stock. This is also easier to shop with not as many people in there.

CVS Saturday 07/30/11

(1) Kotex 18 ct Pads $3.49 - $2.00 ECBs printed
(4) Playtex Sport 18ct $5.29 - $10.00 ECBs printed, Spend $20.00 get $10.00 ECB
(1) Carmel $0.33 – to get me $25.00. It was close and they took the $5.00 off

1 $1/1 Kotex SS 07/24/11
2 $2.50/2 SS 06/19/11
1 $5/$25 CVS emailed coupon
2 $4.00 ECBs

Total spent in one transaction $5.98 received $12.00 in ECBs for next time. Total saved $20.40.

Tom Thumb shopping 08/01/11

I mainly went to Tom Thumb to get French bread for us to have Red Beans and Rice, my husband’s favorite dish from New Orleans. Since I was there, I decided to take advantage of a few deals.

(1) Loaf of Fresh Baked French Bread $1.59
(2) Nature Valley Granola Bars 12 ct $1.88 - $0.75/2 SS 07/17/11
            -Final $1.50 each
(4) Classico Pasta Sauce $1.49 – 2 $1/2 Classico Sauce SS 05/15/11
            -Final $0.99 each
(2) Honey Graham Crackers $1.99 - $1/2 Nabisco Honeymaid Crackers
            -Final $1.49 each

I spent $11.54 and saved $16.00 on $27.54 retail worth of groceries. I love Classico Pasta sauce. I have a lot of pasta right now and need some sauce to go with it.

Sprouts is where I get my produce and buy things found in bulk bins that do not have any packaging. This is a great way to save not only money, but also on packaging. I shop what is one sale in the bulk bins. I am still waiting for the multigrain pancake mix to go on sale. Yum.

Sprouts Shopping 08/03/11

(0.94) lbs Whole Wheat Flour @ $0.89 lb
            -Final $0.84
(0.89) lbs Quinoa @ $2.49 lb
            -Final $2.22
(3.82) lbs Grapes @ $0.99 lb
            -Final $3.78
(6) Pints of Blueberries @ $1.88
            -Final $11.28
(1) Stalk Celery $0.88
            -Final $0.88

I spent $19.00 for produce this week.  I use the Quinoa for a vegetarian dish during the week. I can get two meals out of one pound. I will take and wash the blueberries and dry them real well and freeze them. I will use them in muffins, pancakes and smoothies throughout the year.

Kroger 08/04/11

(2) Yoplait Yogurt 4 packs $1.88 each
(4) Dawn Dishwashing Liquid $1.39 – 4 $0.50/1 Doubled Any Dawn P&G 07/31/11
            -Final $0.39 each
(2) Disney Vitamins $6.99 – B1G1 in store, $1/1 Printable
            -Final $2.50 each
(3) Softsoap $1.00 - $0.35/1 tripled Softsoap SS 07/24/11
            -Final FREE
(4) Crest Toothpaste $1.00 - $0.50/1 doubled P&G 07/31/11
            -Final FREE
(2) Bounce Dryer Bar $4.99 - $2.00 off for buying two, 2 $0.50/1 doubled P&G 07/31/11
            -Final $2.99 each
(4) Dole Tropical Fruit $1.00 – 2 $0.50/2 doubled SS 07/24/11
            -Final $0.50 each – Plus $0.50 off next order for purchasing 3 cans

I used $2.00 OYNO coupon from purchasing 4 Crest.
And 2 $0.50 OYNO for purchasing 6 Dole Tropical Fruit.

I spent $14.01 and saved $48.47 on $62.48 retail. I saved 78%. This is one of my best shopping trips at Kroger so far. Should have received $2.00 off next check out for purchasing 4 Crest toothpastes, but two rang as toothbrushes. I didn’t realize this until I got home. Little face was not being the best baby at the store. I was pretty bummed.

CVS 08/04/11
Here is my awesome CVS trip!

(2) Gallons Milk $2.99 - $2.00 ECB printed
(1) Gillette Fusion Pro Razor $9.99 - Used at $4.00 coupon, $5.00 ECB printed
(2) Revlon Lip Sticks $5.79 each- Used 2 $1.00/1 Revlon Coupon, $3/$10 cosmetic purchase, $6.00 ECB printed
(1) Tums 72 count $4.99 - Used CVS coupon for FREE stomach aid

I used $13.00 in ECBs in one transaction and I had $4/$20 or more I loaded to my card.

I spent $3.55 and saved $28.99 on $32.54 worth of items retail. I had a lot of coupons print at the machine and they are sending me a coupon almost every week for some dollars off of $20.00 or more. This was the best trip for me combined with the Kroger trip above. I had a really good feeling about couponing after this week.

LINK UP below to share your shopping trips this week.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tips for Tuesday

Wow! It is hot here. It is supposed to be 108 today. This past winter I thought I moved to Minnesota. Now I feel like I have moved to Las Vegas. It is hot. I said I would not complain one day about summer during our week being below 30. That was cold and I am really thinking about those days now. Kinda wishing they were back. It is hot. I think I am going to try to lead a campaign where everyone will exhale at the exact same time and blow this high pressure right outta Dallas. I am not sure that would work, but anything is worth a shot at this point.

I have a few tips on keeping cool in this heat and things to do with the kids. First make all sorts of popsicles. I have been making some yogurt and berry ones. Next I am going to try an orange dreamsicle. Yummy. I just love those. Also we have a snow cone lady here. She makes the best snow cones in the world. We are going to see her again this weekend.

Next try taking the kids to a splash park. These are a lot of fun. The water is usually cool and will cool the kids down too. I tend to stay on the outside edge and might walk through a couple of times to cool down myself.

Today I went to the play area inside the mall and let Little Face play there. He wants to go outside, but it is just too hot. We went outside at 9:00am yesterday morning and he was dripping with sweat within 15 min. There is no humidity here either. It is just hot, hot, hot.

Does anyone have any tips for keeping cool this summer? I need some. Please link up any tips about home, life, work, kids, family or crafting you would like to share.
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