Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Finals - Kroger, Tom Thumb, CVS and Sprouts

I have been super busy this week. I am planning my stepson’s birthday party. We are hosting a Wii party this year at our house. I can’t wait to share the pictures of all the things I have made to make this a great birthday for him. There was not a lot of stuff out there for Wii party ideas, so I had to come up with a few of my own. I will take lots of pictures and share on Wednesday.

I am also a team coach for my daughters DI team. DI is a great organization where the kids put on a skit based on criteria provided and also have an instant challenge. It teaches leadership and developing new skills. Any and all schools can participate, even homeschooled children. You just need to get a team together. We are in our build phase for our set and I have been having girls over at my house painting, sawing, drilling. Whatever it takes to get the job done. Needless to say I am exhausted.

With these two events going on this week, my life has been a little chaotic to say the least. I did manage to get some shopping in. My grocery bill is a little over budget, but some of these items are for the party. As you may also see, it is mainly snacks. We had run out of just about everything except crackers. So I made sure we stocked up. We will see how long this holds us over.

Tom Thumb 01/23/12

3 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers $1.00 each
            -Final $1.00 each
1 Pepperidge Farm Naturals crackers $2.50 - $0.50/1 Pepperidge Farms Natural doubled
            -Final $1.50
4 Boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars $1.77 – 2 $0.75/2 Nature Valley Granola Bars
            -Final $1.40 each average – WE LOVE THESE
4 Betty Crocker Simply Fruit roll ups $0.99 must by 4 – 2 $0.50/1 Betty Crocker Fruit Roll ups, one doubled, one did not
            -Final $0.62 each average
1 Package Black Beans $0.99
2 Pace Picante sauce $1.99 - $0.50/2 doubled Pace Picante Sauce
            -Final $1.49 each
2 V8 Fruit Fusion $1.99 - $1/2 V8 Fruit Fusion Printable
            -Final $1.49 each
1 V8 Fruit Smoothie $1.99 - $1/1 V8 Fruit Smoothie
            -Final $0.99
1 Pillsbury Frosting $1.99 - $0.35/1 Pillsbury Brownie or frosting
            -Final $0.94 – This is for the party
2 7 Ups $0.88 each – This is for the party
1 Starkist Tuna $1.19 - $0.50/1 Starkist Tuna pouch
            -Final $0.19 – Great Deal! STOCK UP!
2 Bear Creek Soup B1G1 $4.49 - $1/1 Bear Creek Soup
            -Final $1.75 each – Unadvertised deal
3 Kleenex Tissues $0.85 each - $0.50/3 doubled Kleenex tissues
            -Final $0.52 each
1 Loaf French Bread $1.99

I spent $32.68 and saved $51.06 on $83.74 worth of groceries and products for my family. I found several unadvertised deals at Tom Thumb this week. Some are good until the end of February.

Kroger 1/24/12

5 Boxes Barilla pasta $1 each – 5 $0.55/1 Barilla Whole Grain Pasta
            -Final $0.45 each
2 lbs. Kroger Cheese $2.99 each
2 Bags Tortilla Chips $1.00 each – One for the party
4 Progresso Soups $1.00 - $1/4 Progresso Soups
            -Final $0.75 each
4 Brawny Paper Towels $1 each – 2 $1/1 Brawny Printable, 2 $0.55/1 Brawny Printable
            -Final $0.23 each
4 Angel Soft Bath tissue $1 each – 4 $0.45/1 Angel Soft Bath Tissue
            -Final $0.55 each

I spent $16.59 and saved $18.71 on $35.30 worth of groceries and products at Kroger.

Tom Thumb 01/24/12

1 Pepperidge Farm Naturals crackers $2.50 - $0.50/1 Pepperidge Farms Natural doubled
            -Final $1.50
1 Starkist Tuna $1.19 - $0.50/1 Starkist Tuna pouch
            -Final $0.19
1 Whonu cookies $2.50 - $1/1 Whonu cookies
            -Final $1.50
4 Mrs. Bairds Natural Bread B1G1 $3.19 - $0.55/1 Mrs. Bairds Bread
            -Final $1.32 each

I paid $8.47 and saved $13.07 on $21.54 worth on retail groceries. I am able to make two Tom Thumb trips each week, since this is on the way home from my taking my son to his Mommy’s day out program at my church.


4 Voskos Green Yogurt $2.00 each
I spent $8.00 on my favorite yogurt this week at Sprouts.


2 Gallons Milk $3.29 – 2 $1/1 Oak Farms Milk, $1 ECB
            -Final $1.79 each, Received $2 ECBs

I spent $3.58 on really good milk at CVS this week and saved $3.00.

This is everything for the week. I spent $69.32 and saved $85.84 on $155.16 worth of groceries and necessary items my family needed this week. I am over budget, but I did buy several things for the party this week. It doesn’t look like there is much I want for next week.

Want to find more great deals? Join Pounds4Pennies BlogFrog community or stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook  for MUCH MORE great savings and deals and steals.

How did your shopping trips go this week? Leave a linkup below and share a comment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tips for Tuesday - Quick and Easy Breakfast

Most of us are looking for a quick and easy way to start the day. Let’s face it if the morning starts off bad, the rest of the day goes with it. Breakfast can be one of those moments where you can save a little bit of time and money. Cereal coupons are not always easy to find or always a good buy. Most of the time cereal is packed full of sugar and carbohydrates and not the most nutritious way to send the kids off to school. They will be on a sugar high and it will be difficult for them to focus during the morning. They will be hyper at first and then hit that crash after about an hour or more.

How can you reduce your morning stress, save money,
and provide good nutritious food for your kids in the morning?

One thing you can do is prepare a nutritious breakfast for the kids ahead of time. On the weekend try cooking a double batch of what you are eating on the weekends. Then you can take the leftovers and have those during the week. This provides the kids with options for breakfast.

Instead of making one pound of breakfast sausage, make two. One for eating on the weekend and put the leftovers in a container to heat up during the week. If you like bacon, make the entire package of bacon. Drain and let cool, then freeze it. Take it out as needed and pop it into the microwave for 30-60 seconds. This is also great for instant bacon bits. Bacon freezes great and comes out crispy in the microwave. This will save time and provide a great protein for the morning. 

There aren’t many people I know who like dirty dishes or like to cook a big breakfast on school mornings. A quick idea for making scrambled eggs is to spray a coffee cup with cooking spray. Then crack the egg and scramble it up in the cup and cook for 1 minute in the microwave. As soon as you get it out. Cut it up some more. This is quick and easy. You could also mix it with some of the sausage, a little cheese, put it in a tortilla and have a quick breakfast taco.

Make a double batch of muffins on the weekends and place the leftovers in the freezer. As soon as they come out of the oven put them on a cooling rack. Once they are cooled place them in a freezer bag and then in the freezer. To thaw and eat, take two out and place in the microwave for 1 min. They usually come out perfect. I use whole grain wheat and a fruit to make this a heartier muffin. I normally make them from scratch for pennies a piece. 

Pancakes are so easy to freeze and to have ready for the kids on school mornings . To add more protein to your pancakes add a half cup or whole cup Greek yogurt to your batter and decrease your liquid. Another bit of nutrition, add some frozen berries or pureed fruit to the mix. If you do both you are providing a protein and a fruit along with the carbs to make the pancake a complete meal. This will keep your kids full longer and avoid the carb crash later. I also use a multigrain pancake mix. Make a double batch. Once the pancakes are done, place them on a cooling rack to cool. Then place them in the freezer. I find they don’t stick together nearly as much after they are frozen. Then you can pop them in the toaster or microwave to thaw. Instead of syrup to top them off with some powdered sugar. It gives them the sweet taste, but they will not eat as much sugar.

If you start doing these things for your morning routine, you will find that you will not only save time, but you may also find you save money too. I have a pantry full of cereal that has not been eaten in while. The kids love the muffins and pancakes and little do they know it is good for them too! Do you any great time saving tips for the morning?

Want to find more great deals? Join Pounds4Pennies BlogFrog community. I will be posting more deals on BlogFrog than on my blog site. If you want to find Blogfrog and check out the latest deals, it is a little further down on the left hand side. Feel free to check back often to find some awesome deals.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Finals - 01-20-12

I am still recovering this week from my nasty cold and trying to get caught up on the loads of housework that needs to be done. But I feel so much better. Did more shopping this week and more savings. I scored FREE theraflu this week at CVS see below. I could have used this last week. 

Here are the links that were the clickiest from last week. Stop by to see their awesome savings and say Hi:


10 Bush Beans $0.57 each average (they were $0.54 & $0.59 each)
1Gallon Milk $2.38
4 Libby’s Veggies $0.62 each - $1/4 Libby canned Vegetables RP 11/13/11
            -Final $0.37 each
1 Package 12 K cup coffee $7.69 - $2/1 Millstone K-Cup RP 10/23/11
            -Final $5.69

Total spent $15.25 and saved $12.23 on $27.48 worth of groceries this week. I bought more beans for pantry stock up items. This was mainly a pantry stock up trip.

Tom Thumb 1st trip 01/15/12

1 Fritos Scoops $1.99 sale – We had Fritos pies for dinner. YUM
2 18 Count Eggs $1.99 each
1 Sweet Potato fries $2.19
1 Potatoes O’Brian $2.19
1 Milk $2.38
2 Hormel Lunch Meat $2.49 – 2 $0.50/1 (One doubled) Hormel Lunchmeat SS 01/08/12
            -Final $1.74 each average
3 Hunts Snack Packs $0.99 sale – $0.45/3 doubled Hunts Snack Pack SS 01/01/12
            -Final $0.69 each
2 Quaker Oatmeal instant $3.39 B1G1
            -Final $1.70 each
1 Pillsbury Brownie Mix $0.99 sale - $0.35/1 tripled Pillsbury Brownie or Frosting RP 11/06/11
            -Final FREE – I LOVE FREE
4 Chef Boyardee $0.89 sale - $0.50/4 doubled Chef Boyardee SS 01/01/12
            -Final $0.64 each

I used $2.00 off my next purchase and a $1.00 off my next purchase catalinas that printed last time. So I basically got my milk for free this week.

I spent $20.92 and saved $22.88 on $43.80 worth of groceries this trip. I have been going to Tom Thumb more, since I can use double and triple coupons. I have been finding better deals at Tom Thumb vs. Kroger.

Tom Thumb 2nd Trip 01/17/12

3 Sliced cheese $2.00 each
1 Imperial Margarine $0.69
1 Hormel Lunch meat $2.49 - $0.50/1 doubled Hormel Lunchmeat SS 01/08/12
            -Final $1.49
1 Pillsbury Brownie mix $0.99 sale - $0.35/1 tripled Pillsbury Brownie Mix or Frosting RP 11/06/11
            -Final FREE – I LOVE FREE and I got two boxes

I paid $8.19 and saved $7.19 on $15.38 worth of food retail this trip. I went back mainly for the lunch meat and brownie mix.


2 Bell Peppers @ $0.49 each
5.23 lbs Onions @ $0.49 lb.
            -Final $2.56

I spent $3.54 on produce this week.


5 Theraflu 8count $1.99 each
1 Pediacare Fever reducer $4.99
1 CVS Double Pack Womens Multi-Vitamin -$8.99

5 $2/1 Any Theraflu product SS 12/04/11
1 $1/1 Pediacare Product Printable
1 $2 ECB
1 $1 ECB
20% off my order $1.91

Received $2 ECB

I spent $8.02 and saved $15.91 on drug store products this week. I got 5 packages of Theraflu for FREE this week. A total of 40 pills for free!

Altogether I spent $55.92 for the week and saved $58.21 for the week on $114.31 worth of food and health care needs. I am little over budget, but I didn’t get out much last week due to being sick. So it will all work out in the end. I still had more saving than half this week.

I feel my pantry is pretty stocked right now. In February it will be a year since I have started extreme couponing and my pantry is stocked more now than it ever has been. I like that I have food to cook at any time. I can also make just about any meal or snack, since I already have most of the ingredients for anything I may want to cook. Even if the kids suggest something I usually have the ingredients to make whatever they want. This has allowed me to stay at home and still cook nutritious meals and snacks for the kids.

Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join me at Pounds4Pennies on BlogFrog community for more great savings.  

How did you do this week? The best way to learn is to visit others sites to see how they save. Please leave a comment if you don’t have a blog to share or just leave a comment. I love to hear from you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Product Review - MISTO olive oil sprayer

I found this great little gadget when I was shopping for Christmas gifts this year. It is the MISTO Olive Oil Sprayer. This serves two purposes for me. One I can put whatever oil I want to inside and two it is a GREEN product. I love the fact I can purchase oil on sale and I can put this into the can and use it for all my cooking. Also, I am not filling up some land fill with emptied spray oil bottles. I use mine more than I used the spray can oil and I am using far less oil on my food. I am not only saving money, but calories too!

This is so easy to use. You fill the MISTO container about half way full of oil. The extra space is needed to provide air pressure for the fine mist spray. Then you just pump the top about 10 times or so and spray oil on the surface you want to use. This is great for spraying muffin pans, cake pans, frying pans or whatever else you don’t want to stick. You can even mix up a salad dressing and spray on your salad. I use mine all the time.

MISTO is around $10 for the bottle. After four uses it pays for itself. Since normal aerosol spray oil cans cost over $3 a piece. I used mine for a while before I wrote an article on this fabulous product, since I wanted to make sure it would last. I have used it and refilled it once. Once you see how little oil is in the product you purchased before, you will so thankful for how much money you will save.

MISTO is not paying me to write this article. All opinions are my own. This contains affiliate links and I may be compensated from this article.

Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join me at Pounds4Pennies on BlogFrog community for more great savings.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Finals 01-13-12

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I still have this nasty cold, I think maybe it has turned into a sinus infection. I am very stuffy at times and other times I can breathe fine. Everyone had been really good, since I have been sick. I have had to let quite a few mommy duties go this week. The clothes are washed, but they are in a big pile in my room. So if anyone needs anything they can rummage through the pile to get it. I hope to get that done today. I went to pick something up for dinner on Wednesday night. I didn’t even feel like making a freezer meal and the hubby was out of town. We made it cheap and ate at a Taco place. The kids loved it. I got my favorite thing, but I could not taste it. With me being sick I am way under budget this week. I went shopping twice and that’s it.

Top Three Clickest last week. Stop by and say hi to these fabulous shoppers:

Walmart 01/07/12

1 White Frosting Mix $1.28
1 Cilantro $0.44
2 Great Value Chick Peas $0.68 each
1 Lime Juice $0.88
1 Golden Butter Cake Mix $1.25
2 Hillshire Farms Cocktail Sausage $2.50 each - $1/2 Hillshire Farms Cocktails Sag. Printable NLA
            -Final $2.00 each

I spent $9.21 and saved $1.00 for $10.21 worth of groceries here. Doesn’t sound like much, but I forgot to get a few things I wanted. I was trying to make it a quick trip.

Tom Thumb 01/10/12

3 Boxes Rice a Roni $0.89 each
1 Fiber One Granola Bars $1.99 - $0.40/1 doubled Fiber One Granola Bars Printable
            -Final $1.19
1Fiber One 90 Cal Bars $1.99 - $0.40/1 doubled Fiber One Chewy Bars Printable
            -Final $1.19
4 Nature Valley Granola Bars $1.79 each – 1 $0.75/2 GM 01/08/12
1 Frosted Toast Crunch $1.99 - $0.50/1 doubled Cinnamon Toast Crunch Printable
            -Final $0.99
3 Kikkoman Soy Sauce $1.89 each - $1/1 Kikkoman Soy Sauce Found under Product
            -Final $0.89 each
4 Cans Chef Boyardee $1 each - $0.50/4 doubled Chef Boyardee
            -Final $0.75 each (ON SALE $0.89 Fri, Sat, Sun, at TOM THUMB)
1 Pie crust $2.99
2 International Delight Creamers marked 50% off $3.28 - $0.55/1 Int’l Delight Creamer 12/11/11
            -Final $0.27 each (The receipt took off an additional $0.82, I don’t know why)
6 Yoplait Yogurts $0.60 each - $0.40/6 doubled Yoplait Yogurt Printable
            -Final $0.47 each

I spent $24.85 and saved 25.02 on $49.87 worth of groceries at Tom Thumb. The receipt printed differently than it normally does and some coupons were hard to find on the receipt. It seems every time I go to that Tom Thumb I get a different type of receipt and it is difficult to decipher.

Well I spent $34.06 and saved $26.02 on $60.08 worth of groceries this week. I am way under budget due to my cold.

Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join me at Pounds4Pennies on BlogFrog community for more great savings.  

How did you do this week? Share your savings trips below. It is great to see how others save, so you can learn how to save too. Stop by and leave a comment if you visit someone shopping trip.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Whatever Wednesday - Meatball Soup

I have been sick since Sunday. Thank goodness I picked up the Theraflu from CVS last week. I have been drinking it to relieve my stuffy head. I can’t taste or smell a thing. So last night when I was cooking dinner, I added a few spices here and there, but I didn’t know if it had the right flavor or even if it smelled good. I made meatball soup.  My husband and kids thought it tasted good, but it was fail in my book.

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I will post the recipe how it is supposed to be done and not the way I did it last night. This is a great meal to pull from your stockpile.  I didn’t take a picture because, it looked awful. I put the noodles in the slow cooker and cooked them in there instead of cooking them separately and throwing them in at the last minute. They fell apart and were very mushy. It looked like a meat ball mess, instead of meatball soup. It still tasted ok, from what I am told, but it didn’t look so good. We all ate it and little face even had some today for lunch and he ate it all. So he must have liked it. I ate for lunch too, but I couldn’t taste it today either

1 Cup pasta 
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1 28oz Can Whole Tomatoes & Juice
2 Small Carrots
3 Cups Chicken Broth or (1 chicken cube with 3 cups water) 
2 Table spoons Italian herb seasoning

Or you could use frozen meatballs, print $1/2 Armour Meatballs coupon now!
1 lb Ground Meat
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
1 Egg
½ Cup Bread Crumbs (I used Italian for more flavor)
½ teaspoon Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add bread crumbs, egg, and parmesan cheese, paprika and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and let set for a couple of minutes. Then add the ground meat. Roll into small ½ inch meatballs. Cook the meatballs in the oven at 350 for 30 min and then throw them in your pot. I like to bake mine before. They come out much firmer.

Cook your pasta in water in a separate pot. VERY Important step!

Cook onions and garlic in oil over medium heat until translucent. You can puree the tomatoes and carrots in a blender or pour them in the pot with onions and garlic and use an emulsion blender to puree the mixture. I like doing it all in one pot. Less clean up. Now pour in the chicken broth. Let simmer covered for 10-15 Minutes.  Then add the pasta and the meat and let simmer for a few more minutes.

I hope you will try this soup. It really is delicious, just don’t try to cut the steps like did. I also tried to make this in the slow cooker, instead of on the stove. I wanted something to be ready when we got home. On the stove it turns out great. Tuesdays are our long days and we don’t get home until 5:00. Dinner pretty much needs to be ready when I walk in the door. I got a slow cooker cook book for Christmas, I should have gotten a recipe from there instead.

Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join me at Pounds4Pennies on BlogFrog community for more great savings.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Money Saving Monday - Realistic Budget

How did you do working getting all your money divided out into buckets? Were you able to capture every dollar you spend? Probably not, but you should be able to see where the majority of your money is going. I not a financial expert, but I would like to share some ways I have found to save money and still be able to get have a great lifestyle. Now let’s take a look at some areas where you can shave some money off your budget.

1. Impulse buying

One important thing is to stop spending money on the little impulse buys you make, such as a drink at the convenience store or fast food restaurant for a soda. How about that extra coffee you get on your way to work? If you can cut $10 out of your budget on these items a week, you will save $40 a month or $520 a year. If you really enjoy a good cup of hot coffee from that great coffee chain based in Seattle, ask for gift cards for items like this. This makes your coffee FREE and you still get to enjoy a great cup of coffee.

2.  Entertainment Expenses

This depends on your family size and how often you go to some type of entertainment. Look to see if there is an alternative that is less expensive. Like going to the movies, see if there is a $1 movie or matinee in your area. You can still enjoy a movie for a much reduced cost. Evaluate all your options to see if there are also some FREE things you can do as a family. Parks are great and very inexpensive.

3. Going Out to Eat

This one is one that many people don’t realize how much they spend on eating out. This should be considered a treat. Spend your money on something worth eating, not always fast food. One way to stop getting fast food all the time is to have ready made food in your freezer or use a slow cooker. Try to make and have a few freezer meals cooked and ready in your freezer one weekend. These are great for when you are sick or just don’t feel like cooking that night, you will have something ready to go and not stop by to get some fast food before you get home. Also start something in the morning before you leave for work and let it cook all day in the slow cooker, you will have a nice warm meal when you get home. These are usually healthier options as well. You may just find being frugal will help you lose weight too!


Now start trying to implement a few of these changes this week. See if you can start cutting back on a few areas. Examine your priorities and find out where you really want your money to go. If you are in a place where a flat tire would put you into debt, stop by next week where I will discuss how to start savings and what is a good amount to have in your savings account next week. You may be surprised.

Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join me at Pounds4Pennies on BlogFrog community for more great savings.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Finals 01-06-12

Friday Finals are here again! I am looking forward to all of your savings this week. Be sure to visit other site so you can learn of other great deals out there. If you are new to Extreme Couponing, one of the best ways to learn how to save money on your grocery bill every week is to look at how others do it.

I went to Tom Thumb right when we got back home New Years Eve to get some milk and a couple of other items. I spent around $11. But I can’t find the receipt. I know I got Martha White Muffin Mix FREE using $0.35/1 tripled RP 11/13/11.

Walmart 01/02/12

1 10 lbs bag of Potatoes $3.77
1 1lb Great Value Mozzarella Cheese - $3.22 – WOW! Great deal with no coupons
1 Baking Soda $0.58
2 Minute Maid Berry Juice Box $2.98 – 2 $1/1 Minute Maid Juice Boxes Printable, NLA
            -Final $1.98 each
2 Carmex Lip Balm $0.98 – 2 $1/2 Carmex, RP 10/30/11
            -Final $0.48 Each
2 Eight O’Clock Coffee $4.88 – 2 $1/1 Eight O’Clock Coffee Campbells Booklet
            -Final $3.88
1 Ovaltine Malt $3.48 - $1/1 Ovaltine printable- Little face loves this
            -Final $2.48
12 Cans Allen’s Trappey’s Beans $0.78 each – 4 $0.50/3 Allen’s products SS 12/11/11
            -Final $0.61 each – Cheaper than GV brand
4 Cans Libby’s Corn $0.75 each - $1/4 Libby’s vegetables RP 11/13/11
            -Final $0.50 each

I spent $35.54 and saved $9.00 on $44.54 worth of groceries this trip. Little face loves warm Ovaltine in the morning. He drinks the Ovaltine Malt with no chocolate. Poor guy is allergic to chocolate just like I was when I was little. I grew out of it, thank goodness. Walmart is the only one who carries it around here.

Tom Thumb 01/03/12

2 Clorox Wipes 35 count $3.79 – B1G1, and $1/2 Clorox Wipes
            -Final $1.40 each
1 Oscar Mayer lunch meat $4.99 – Store Coupon $2.49
            -Final $2.49

I spent $5.51 and saved $7.30 using coupons and store discount on $12.81 worth of products. Just found out you can print the Scotch Bright B1G1 coupons for Walmart. They are $1.60 at Walmart. That makes them $0.80 each. Great deal Print to stock up now!

CVS 01/03/12

1st Transaction

2 Oral B Powered Toothbrushes $5.99 each
2 Oral B Satin Floss $2.99 each
1 Theraflu Warming $6.49
1 Ribbon ½ price $1.49

2 $3/1 Oral B Toothbrush
1 $3/1 Theraflu Warming Liquid
1 $5/$20 purchase
2 $3 ECBs
1 $2 ECB
1 $2.50 ECB
1 $1 ECB


$4.00 – For Oral B Toothbrushes
$2.00 – For Oral B Floss
$1.00 – Bag Tag

2nd Transaction:

4 Nivea Lip balm $2.50 each


2 $3/2 Nivea Lip care
$4 ECB from previous transaction

$5 ECB for $10 Nivea Purchase

$0.00 + $1.00 Money Maker

I went to my regular CVS and they did not have any Nivea lip balm anywhere. They had several displays completely picked clean. I had to take my son to the dr. later in the week and stopped by a different CVS on our way home to pick up his medicine (not listed since it was a prescription.) I noticed they had the Nivea luckily I brought my coupons with me and my CVS bucks from the previous transaction.  So altogether I spent $0.63 for all the items pictured above. This could have been all free if the first CVS had the Nivea to begin with. The two older kids were excited I gave them the Nivea to put in their backpacks to take to school.

Altogether this week I spent $52.68 for food and necessary items and saved $48.80 on $101.48 worth of groceries and necessary items for my family. Please note I chronicle all food purchases, toiletries and cleaning products I purchase for my family. This goes to show you how to still buy great food and household items on a small budget and save a ton of money.

Stay connected with Pounds4Pennies on Facebook or join me at Pounds4Pennies on BlogFrog community for more great savings. 

How did you do this week? Did you have any fabulous shopping trips you would like to share? LINK UP your savings here. The best way to learn how to save is to see how others do it. I get a lot of tips by visiting my followers who link up here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Purex Ultrapacks Laundry Detergent

While I was away on vacation, I received Purex UltraPacks laundry detergent in the mail. I was so excited. Mainly because I tried to sign up for this offer and they told me I was too late. So I was completely surprised when I opened the package to find out this was inside. I know it was just Christmas, but to get a surprise package, even if it is laundry detergent, still excites me.  

Can you even believe I was excited to do the laundry when we got back from vacation? This is normally one of the things I hate, but I couldn’t wait to try the new Purex UltraPacks. I opened the package and they looked like little blue gems of laundry detergent inside. Aren’t they cute?

I gather my laundry from the five of us and start a load. I toss one of those little, shiny, blue packs in the wash and throw the clothes in. I read one of warnings said not to touch them with wet hands. I didn't use the regular laundry detergent, so my hands were not wet. I thought to myself, “Wow! That was easy.” I didn't have to measure and worry I put too much detergent in my cup. I didn’t have a cup to rinse out the soap. This saved me time while doing the laundry. I have a new reason to get excited about doing laundry again.  These pretty, blue packs cleaned all my clothes wonderfully and had a great mountain fresh scent.

I was also thinking Purex UltraPacks would be great for when we are on vacation. They come in a convenient resealable pouch and this would pack well too. I wouldn't have to worry about bringing an entire bottle of laundry detergent with me. We normally have a place where there is a washer and dryer to wash clothes, so I don’t have to do them all when I get back.

Check back by in a few weeks, I will be giving some free samples away as soon as I get them.

This article was written as a review for Purex Ultrapacks laundry detergent. Purex provided me with a free sample to test and review. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Money Saving Monday - Realistic Budget

I took a little time off for the holidays to spend some time with my family. I am glad I got to spend some time with them, since my brother is in the hospital having gall bladder surgery. I just heard from my mom he is out and doing well.

I also got a wonderful gift from little face this Christmas. He is now potty trained. Right before Christmas he was dry for two days, so after that I said no more diapers and put him in underwear. He now only wears diapers for sleeping, but most of the time he wakes up dry. Since this has occurred, I will be reducing my budget down to $50 a week for the new year. New year = New challenges.

Since it is a new year I want to talk about budgeting and how this can help your marriage or any relationship you are in.  This will help everyone keep realistic expectations when it comes to money. I am not an expert in this field, but this is what works for me. I think it is better if you can see your actual budget on paper and see the picture of how this works. I will also be happy to help answer any questions about your budget to see where you may be able to cut some expenses. I love helping people.

How do you create a realistic budget?

One of the first things you need to do is see where is your money is going right now. Do you purchase most of your items with your debit or credit card or do you use cash? If using debit or credit pull out one or two of your statements. If you use cash this is a little more difficult, since you will need to collect all of your receipts and add them up at the end of the month. Go into excel and create a spreadsheet with row for each category. I will explain this in greater detail below. This way you can see all the buckets your money falls into.

Next look at your house or rent payment. This should not be more than 30% of your take home income. If it is more, you should consider moving or refinancing your home. This is the standard housing allowance for budgets. I worked in the mortgage industry for five years and when analyzing budgets this was our cutoff. If your interest rate is 6% or higher, you should consider refinancing now. Mortgage rates are very low right now. If you don't own, you may consider purchasing a home. By refinancing when the market is low, you may be able to save quite a bit on your mortgage payment. We have refinanced twice and saved $500 off our current payment.

Now take a look at your bills such as electric, water, gas, car payment, insurance and any other bills you may have to pay on a regular basis. Make sure you do an average for things like electric, water and gas, since you are more likely to use more electricity in the summer to cool your home than you use in the winter.

Now review your spreadsheet with all your other statements to see if you have captured every dollar you spend. Do you have any annual expenses you pay? Be sure to include that in your monthly budget and set that money aside every month.

Ok let’s review your spreadsheet. In the first box, put your total household income you actually bring home. Then subtract all of your expenses for the month. How much do you have at the end of the month? If this is nothing or a negative number, you have a problem and need to cut unnecessary items from your budget or reduce one of your boxes. Did you make a payment to your savings account? If you are not saving any money, where are some of the areas you can cut? You should always try to make payment to savings no matter how small. This way if something comes up that you didn't expect, you can pay cash instead of using credit and paying interest which is like throwing your money in the trash.

Next Monday I will talk about areas you can cut or ways you can save. Have you ever actually sat down and created a budget like this before? Now is the best time to start, since it is at the beginning of the year. Wouldn’t be a great habit to save money? Let me know if you have any questions. I would love to help you save some money this year.

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