Sunday, August 31, 2008

Watermelon Rind Pickles

This is one of my grandmother's recipes that I photocopied the last time that I was in Florida visiting. It is from a typed card (from a typewriter) that was dog-eared and obviously well-used. I remember eating this when I was a child, and it was yummy. I have never canned, but when I do eventually do it, this is one of the first things I will make. I love heirloom recipes!

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 qts cubed watermelon rind
  • 8 c granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsps whole all-spice
  • 3 tbsps salt
  • 3 qts water
  • 1 pt vinegar
  • 2 tbsps whole cloves
  • 6 - 3" sticks cinnamon

Directions:

Use rind from a firm, not overripe melon. Before measuring, trim off green skin and pink flesh; cut rind in 1" cubes. Soak overnight in combined salt and 1 qt water; drain.

Cover with fresh water; cook until tender; drain. Boil together remaining 2 qts water, sugar and vinegar for 5 minutes. Tie spice in cheesecloth bag; add. Add rind; cook uncovered until transparent - about 45 minutes.

Remove bag. Turn at once into clean, hot, sterilized preserve jars; seal.

Makes about 2 pints.

Note: Store any leftover syrup in refrigerator. Use for a second lot of watermelon pickles the next day, or store and use before it spoils.




Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fantastic Fashion Bug Sale

Currently Fashion Bug has 50% off of all their clearance items. They also have a sale on their bras buy two get two free and some great deals on sandals. Additionally, use this code, 776218000, to get another $10 off of at least a $30 purchase.

Breakfast (and Dinner) Casserole

Chances are that if you are reading this, you recently got some free bread, probably a lot of free bread (recent free bread coupon) and very cheap sausage (another recent coupon). I was looking for a recipe to use my recent purchases and found this. It turned out great and my husband loved it. It is generally considered a breakfast casserole but I made it for dinner. I have seen recipes like this in the past but always hesitated to make it because it requires refrigerating over night. My time is just too limited and basically I am not that organized to do it unless it is for a special occasion. So I decided to give it a try without the overnight wait. Happily, it turned out just fine. You could also add whatever vegetables, like onions or peppers, you have on hand for variety.

Breakfast (and Dinner) Casserole

7 eggs
2 cups milk
8-12 slices of bread (whatever you have on hand)
8 oz shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 lb of Sausage
Seasoning of your choice (Italian, Sage, etc.)
Salt to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 X 11 or 9 X 13 pan with oil.

Slice crusts off of bread and cube. Place in pan.

Beat eggs and milk. Pour over bread. Using fork lightly mix bread until all cubes are soaked.

Brown sausage while bread cubes are soaking. Drain grease. Layer sausage on top of bread mixture. Layer cheese on top of sausage. Sprinkle seasoning on cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes. Serves 6 - 8.

Another great bread using recipe can be found at A Busy Mom of Two.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

WAGS Double Dipping Plan

I feel like I have mastered the CVS Drugstore Game and I am ready to tackle something new. Yesterday I got my first rebate back from Walgreens on a refillable gift card. Apparently, if you have all your rebates put back on this card, you will receive the rebate plus 10%. Walgreens has Easysaver Catalogs that you can pick up when you walk in the store. In them are coupons and rebate information for that month. For the last couple of days of each month, the ending month and the beginning month catalogs are both valid (currently August 29th & 30th). Thus, you can use coupons from the August Catalog toward September's rebates, aka double dipping. Who knows why Walgreens does this but they do. So if Walgreens has a rebate that is the price of an item (making it ultimately free), you can use either (or both) a manufacturer's coupon or a Walgreen's coupon to reduce the paid price. However, the rebate will be for the full price, thus you make money. See Deal Seeking Mom for a complete list of rebates. I have noticed that these items run out quickly so if you plan to do any of these, you may want to get up bright and early and go to Walgreens in the morning. So here is my scenario (including a small money maker product to offset rebate items). If all goes as planned (and it never does), I will have spent $28.61 plus tax (and $5 in previous rebate $) and will get back $46.33 (42.12 plus 10%) to spend on next month's rebate products. Not as fun as the instant gratification that you get at CVS, but once you get the Walgreens gift card rolling, it could be fun. Click to enlarge.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Great Deals at Harris Teeter

For all the best deals currently at Harris Teeter with coupon match-ups, head over to Centsible Savings. There are a number of free and nearly free items!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Free TP at Kroger!

Thanks to Thrifty in the Cincy for this great deal! If you haven't bought a few extra papers, rush out to Walgreens and see if they have any left (cheapest I have found so far). There is a coupon inside for .50 off any 4-pack Cottonelle toilet paper. Kroger has 4-packs for .99 on sale so when the coupon doubles, they are free! I tried it out last night and now have free TP! Time to stock up!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Big THANK YOU!

Over the weekend I cleaned out my bathroom cabinets and replaced all the old crap with the many bags of CVS products that I had accumulated in the last few weeks. I say crap because the stuff was so old that on the rare days that I wanted to pamper myself with a facial, I would pour the cleanser into my hands and wonder if the less than pleasant smell was do to the degradation of the chemicals in the product and if my face would melt if I used it. I tossed make-up that I have had since before my children were born. All these things I previously valued too much to get rid of. Spending money on some of these luxuries was just not something I did very often. There were always more important things like school, kids, and house repairs. I have been shopping at CVS now for about ten weeks and am utterly amazed at the difference it has made. I get to try new things that previously I would not have even thought about buying due to the cost. I have filled my cabinets with fantastic, expensive cleansers, make-up and tons of toothpaste and shampoo for practically nothing.

As August comes to an end, I realize that I am close to spending my target of $400 for groceries and toiletries for our family of five with three dogs and one cat. Three months ago, I thought I was saving money with coupons, but when I added up our purchases it was twice that amount. I knew something had to change in this ever tightening economy. I spent far less in August, but I feel like we have so much more. So thank you to all those bloggers who by dishing out their advice helped me get to this point and to CVS, Kroger and Publix for having such great programs!

Plant Tip

If you steam your vegetables, pour the cooled leftover water into your plants. It is full of vitamins and the plants will thrive.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Frugal Art Collecting

I LOVE art! My mom is a sculptor and art teacher so I grew up with a passion for art. However, as many artists know, it rarely pays the bills and so, I majored in business (the other family legacy), but I have always kept my love of art alive. While I may dabble in it once in a while, I really enjoy having original pieces of artwork in my house. This hobby is generally not considered a low cost one. However, there are ways to find great artwork at frugal prices. This post is about how I do it, but I would be happy to hear from anyone with other ideas!

The first step in collecting is to know what you love. Go to galleries and museums and get to know the style you like. I enjoy Folk and Outsider Art with lots of color. I also like Scandinavian landscapes (my Danish grandfather painted these) and ethnic pagan masks. Don't be concerned about names of the artist or value. While it is nice (and very exciting) if something you buy is eventually worth something, it really isn't truly valuable to you unless you enjoy it.

Once you know what you are looking for, one of the best places to find cheap artwork is at thrift or consignment stores. Most of the stuff you find will be awful but occasionally you will find that diamond in the rough. A few years ago, I found ShopGoodwill.com. In its earlier versions, you had to click on each entry to see the picture. In the last year or so, they changed it to appear more like ebay so you can easily just glance through each photo. You can select the categories for the type of artwork you are looking, or under the search tab, you can put a keyword and it will pull everything with that word in it. Here is a little tip. Go to the search tab and choose a location near enough for you to drive. Choose the Art category. If you see something you like, it will be cheaper for you since you would not have to pay the shipping like other bidders and you can bid higher. Also there are often pick-up pieces only that would be to your advantage. I have never paid more than $30, usually under $20. There were many I had to pass up because the bidding became too high. Sometimes they have a masterpiece donated unbeknown by the donor such as a Frank Weston Benson watercolor that sold for $165,002 or Edouard Leon Cortes' painting "Flower Market" that sold for $40,600. So all you frugal shoppers, before you take dead aunt Eunice's ugly vase to Goodwill, google the signature to see what it is worth!

Here are a few of my favorite pieces bought online:


This is a ceramic mask by Sammie Nicely a Georgia artist who likes to use found objects in his artwork - really cool. After I bought it, I found out that his masks sell for far more ($200 - $700) than what I paid (about $17).




The above was bought also through Shopgoodwill.com, however I found it in the Home Decor section not the Art section. It just looked like a really cool folk decorated cabinet which I purchased for about $20. When I went to collect it, the lady helping me to carry it to my car noticed the metal tag on the inside of the door. It says T & J Touchstone. This turned out to be Tom and Judy Touchstone, primarily folk pottery artist from Georgia. So I was thrilled. The lady was disgusted because she could have sold for more if she had noticed the tag sooner.


This came from a thrift store in Florida. I just loved the colors.


I bought this online. It has no signature but I thought it was interesting. I love the colors. See a theme, here?


I don't normally go for still life but I thought this was cool because of the mouse. It was bought online and is by someone named Benfield.


This a ceramic and was bought online and picked up locally. I liked the realistic look to it. My mom called it a death mask, which of course made it more interesting!



I bought this painting from a Kansas Goodwill online. Other than the cool picture, it is interesting because it used to be part of a collection called The O'Bryant Collection as noted on the metal tag. It is obviously an older piece and the only information I found on a possible O'Bryant collection is the Joan O'Bryant Kansas Folklore Collection at Wichata State University. Joan was a serious Folklore collector but died tragically in an automobile accident in 1964. I don't know for sure that this was one of her pieces but it is very interesting.

Another great way to collect art frugally is to make your friends give it to you. We may rarely go on vacation but we know people who do. When they ask you what souvenir you would like for them to bring back, ask for a piece of artwork. We like masks so now we have some from Hawaii, Mexico, Philippines, China and a few others.



Another great way is to take advantage of your friends' and family's talent. Can cousin Tommy draw? Make him draw you something. My mom is a sculptor, my grandfather a painter and my husband's brother is a painter. Here is what I have gotten from them.

This is a sculpture of my middle son that my mom did not long after he was born. He was born in June while she was off from school and had time over the summer. She came to my house every day and sculpted him while I held him in my lap.

This is a print from an engraved plate my mom created in college. This is a self-portrait. She was reorganizing her house and she offered it to me and of course I snapped it up in a heartbeat.

This was done by my grandfather and I would give anything to get more of his paintings. They were moving to Florida and wanted to lighten their possessions. I was l-u-c-k-y to get this.

This is a cool painting from my brother-in-law. The frame around it I found behind a house we were restoring (that was hit by a tornado which is another story). An old man was dumping stuff from his basement behind our house and we had to clean it up. I salvaged this really, really old frame and painted it.

Finally, and this post has gone on way too long, you can always make it yourself. I have seen some really great posts on art projects recently that I would be proud to have on my walls. Here is one of my pictures I did sitting on the porch of the tornado hit house while waiting on our insurance guys...Oh those were the days!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ideas on How to Spend Your $5/$20 at Walgreens

Here are a few scenarios for today and tomorrow. Just a reminder, your total has to be $20 before tax and after coupons. Thus, your out of pocket will be at least $15 plus tax. So using coupons and their sales, I came up with three possibilities. Chances are they will be out of stock on some things in the first two so you would have to switch things around. The last idea is one if you want to get ready for Christmas gift giving. Click to see larger.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

$5 off $20 Coupon at Walgreens!

Thanks to Mercedes at Common Sense with Money for the heads up on this great deal which is good for August 22 & 23rd! Go to the Walgreens Website to print your coupon for $5 off of a $20 purchase. Check out Money Saving Mom's posts for ideas on what to buy.

Borders 20% Off One Item until 8/24

This may be a good time to think about Christmas...You can use this online or in the stores. Go HERE for your coupon.

Walgreens Deals 8/21/08

Inspired by Money Saving Mom's money making scenario and the fact that I had $5 in register rewards expiring in the next two days, I took a walk to Walgreens at lunchtime today. My Walgreens is about seven blocks away so it was good exercise as well. I would have done better with the coupons but I got Attila the cashier who refused my internet coupon for the cereal. I didn't want to argue - one dollar is not worth the trouble.

Here is what I bought:

  • 12 Jellos, regularly $1.19, on sale with WAGS Advertisement coupon for .39 each
  • 4 Nabisco Wheat Thins, on sale for $2.50 each - 4 Buy 3 Kraft products (Jello) get free coupons making them free
  • Cheerios, on sale 1.99 each (I would have used IP Q $1/1)
  • Prep H Wipes, $4.49 - IP Q $3/1 and WAGS Coupon $2/1 making it an overage of -.51

Also used $5 in Register Rewards

Total OOP: $2.87
And I got $3 in Register Rewards to use toward my next purchase for the $10 of Nabisco products.
Total saved today: $34.28 (92%)

One of the BEST Tailgating Sweet Recipes EVER!

A couple of years ago I went to a Titans football game with a friend. Before the game, we sat in the parking lot with other friends and hung out. One of the women brought this to the tailgating gathering. Everyone went crazy over it, and we all took the recipe home. It is super simple. Even though you will need to keep it cold, it is perfect for game day pre activities. I have also made it over holidays at family gatherings and it is a hit then as well. I like to keep it really cold in the freezer. It is not for dieters, to be sure. Seriously, is there anything better than chocolate and toffee together?

Homemade Chocolate Toffee Candy

Ingredients:
1 sleeve of Saltine Crackers
1 Bag of Milk Chocolate Chips
1 Bag Heath English Toffee Bits
1 ½ to 2 Sticks of melted butter

Directions:
Heat Oven to 350.

Layer cookie sheet with crackers – depending upon the size of the cookie sheet you may need more than 1 sleeve. You need to completely cover the cookie sheet, breaking crackers in half as needed to fill up space.

Pour melted butter over crackers – completely cover with butter. Heat in over for 7 minutes.

Pour chocolate chips over cracker crust as soon as it comes out of the oven – put back into the oven for approximately 30 seconds. Spread smooth over crust and sprinkle with Heath Bar pieces. Put in the fridge until hardened and break into small pieces.

Publix Cleaning Supplies

You can check out all the deals at Publix this week at Fiddledeedee. However, I have pretty much exhausted those deals and was really only interested in the cheap Lysol products they have this week. In their weekly advertisement, there is a Publix coupon for $3 off of 3 Lysol cleaners. If you stack that with several of the numerous Lysol Manufacturer Coupons from recent inserts, you can purchase Lysol pretty cheaply. Having three messy kids means we go through the cleaning products quickly.

Here is what I bought:

Lysol Cleaner, 3.49 - MF Q .50/1 doubled
Lysol Cleaner, 2.69 - MF Q .50/1 doubled
Lysol Cleaner, 2.89 - MF Q .50/1 doubled, also used the $3/3 Publix Q
Bananas, 1.42 (after school snack, picking up kids next)

Total before coupons: $11.33
Coupons: $6.00
OOP: $5.33 (saved 53%)

Average cost per Lysol Cleaner after coupons was $1.02 each.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Redbox


For those of you who like to watch movies, here is your free movie rental code for today only, enjoy!
JK4HM5

CVS Trip 8/19/08

There really is not much going on at CVS this week. For me, the only thing of interest was the Maybelline Mascara which is on sale from 6.99 to 4.99 with your CVS card and you get 2 ECB back. Some have a coupon for this, unfortunately I didn't but still got quite a deal anyway.

Here is what I bought:
  • 3 Crest 6.4 oz Toothpaste, regularly $2.79, on sale $1.99
  • 1 Maybelline Mascara, $4.99
  • 1 CVS Moisturizing Beauty Bar Soap, .79

I Used:
  • 3 MF Qs Crest .75/1
  • CVS Q $2/$10
  • CVS Q $2/1 CVS Skin Care Item
  • 5 ECBs

Total OOP with tax was .75
I got 5 ECBs in return (3 for Crest Toothpaste and 2 for Maybelline Mascara)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Couponaholic...

Carlie at Why Ask Why brought this post to my attention and it is truly a funny must read about a husband describing his couponing wife. I am sure my husband would have much in common with him! Head over HERE and check it out!

Link Love - 10 Things I've Learned From My Children

I really enjoy reading Mommy's Martini but particularly liked this entry...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Do you like games?

If you do, I have a great website for you! It has such a wonderful Sudoku that even my husband has become addicted. Go HERE.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Love Kroger! 105% Saved

I had to leave work early on Friday to take my DD to the pediatrician. She still has a lingering cough from the miserable cold that attacked our family over the last month. Otherwise, she feels fine but the cough is keeping her awake at night. We are typically quite healthy but this one really bit us in the ...even getting my husband who never gets sick. Anyway, I had her prescription called into Kroger and since I had to wait for it to be filled, we went to Harris Teeter for their sales. Lately I have been successful at sides and kid food but finding sales on meat is much harder.

Here is what I got at Harris Teeter. The sales continue through next Tuesday if you are interested in getting the same.

  • 6 Large Smucker's Grape Jelly, regularly $2.29, BOGO - 3 MF Qs $1.25/2 making them .52 each
  • HT Large Eggs - $1.50
  • HT Milk - $3.69
  • 2 16 oz Strawberries, regularly 3.99, BOGO
  • 6 2 lb Ground Chuck, regularly 6.98, BOGO
  • 2 2-pack Ribeye Steak, regularly 15.38, BOGO
  • 2 2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, regularly 9.99, BOGO
  • Deviled Eggs, $2.49
  • Vault Drink (DD picked this out), $1.49

Total before sales/coupons: $128.55
Coupons/Sales: $57.12
OOP: $67.68 (47%)


Afterwards, we returned to Kroger and the fun began. I had actually not planned on shopping again at Kroger after my successful trip this week, but on the way there I remembered I had some papers in the back that I was taking to the recycling and wondered if it had a Rite Aid advertisement in it with a prescription coupon and if it was still valid. I did! I also carry my Entertainment book in the car and it had another $5 off of $50 coupon in it for Piggly Wiggly (competitor). When I printed the Nestle coupons for my first trip, I stuck them in an envelope just in case I could use them in Kroger's current sale during my last trip. And of course, I carry my other coupons with me in the car. Thus, after confirming they would take the Rite Aid coupon for the prescription and while they were filling it (the Dr.'s office had yet to fax it and I had to call them), we went shopping. Apparently, Nestle makes many things including pet products which we always need. My goal was to find enough Nestle products to equal $60 worth that I had coupons to match. This is what I got:

  • Kroger All-Purpose Flour, $1.99
  • 3 Nestle Sweetened Condensed Milk, regularly $1.99, on sale $1.79 (fantastic for making bread)
  • 2 Nestle Cookie Dough, regularly $2.61, on sale $2.50 - 2 IP Qs $1/1
  • Yoplait Kids Drink 6 pack, $2.85 - 1 IP Q $1.50/1 making it $1.35 (DD picked this out and I luckily had a coupon)
  • Trident Gum, .99 - 1 MF Q .50/1 which doubled making it -.01 (DD picked this out also and I luckily had a coupon)
  • 2 (Nestle) Party Cat Treats, 1.49 - 2 MF Qs for Free Cat Treats making them free
  • 18 cans Fancy Feast Cat food, regularly .85, on sale .75 - 3 MF Qs $1/6 cans, making each .58
  • 15 cans Beneful Dog food, regularly $2.15, on sale $1.95 - 5 MF Qs Buy 2 get 1 free making them $1.30 each (actually still more than I would spend on a can of dog food but since it is part of the Nestle deal, I splurged and my dogs will be very happy)
  • 2 Nestle Baking Chocolate Chips, regularly $3.39 each, on sale $2.50 - 2 IP Qs .55/1 making them $1.95 each

Also used:
$5/50 Competitor coupon
$15 Nestle Deal (purchase $20 of Nestle products, get $5 at register)
$30 prescription coupon

Tax: $5.93
My total before coupons sales: $80.86
Coupons: $41.67
Kroger Plus Savings: $37.40
OOP: $1.79 (105%)

While I really hate it when my kids are not feeling 100%, if I have to take them to the doctor, it is nice to have some benefits when I would have spent the money for the visit and medication anyway. So this visit to Kroger's was a pleasant surprise and one of those rare unplanned shopping trips where everything went really well. And we still made it early to pick up the boys!

Friday, August 15, 2008

New CVS Sales Dates?

Perhaps I am a newbie at this, but I am looking at a CVS advertisement that says there are new sale dates of Friday through Thursday, August 15 through the 21st. Are they changing their sales practices or is this something that occurs occasionally? Is it just my area (middle Tennessee) or all over?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Saved 96% at Kroger!


Thanks to Stretching a Buck I discovered the great deal on Nestle products going on right now at Kroger. I had to get a prescription filled anyway yesterday, and I had some great Coffeemate coupons that were expiring yesterday as well. We drink a lot of coffee at our house. We go through a bottle of creamer every week. Even our children love the smell of coffee. When our oldest son was a crawler, he would crawl over the laps of family sitting on the sofa to get to the side table that someone had placed a cup of coffee (he didn't do it for coke or juice). We would never give it to him, but he wanted it really bad. Anyway, the great thing about Coffeemate is that the freshness date is sometime in November so the stuff is good for a long time. The cookie dough can be just tossed in the freezer and pulled out when the kids beg to make cookies. Lately I have been making them from scratch, which is nice but so messy. The kids love to do it either way.

Here are the steals deals:

As I mentioned, I had to get a prescription filled which I transferred from another pharmacy. If you take in the coupon from Rite Aid that says when you transfer a prescription they will give you a gift card for $30 (commonly found in Rite Aid newspaper inserts) Kroger will honor it and put the money on your Kroger card. Do this first as it takes time for them to fill the prescription and time for the computer system to recognize that you have $30 on your card (the key chain customer card).
  • 8 Nestle Cookie Dough, regularly 2.61, on sale 2 for $5 - 8 IP Qs $1/1 making them $1.50 each (see link on right of page for Nestle coupon site)
  • 1 Oscar Meyer Lunch Meat, $3.99 - Kroger mailed home coupon for free OM Lunch Meat making it free
  • 14 Coffeemates (32 oz), regularly $3.35, on sale 2 for $6 - 7 pull-tab coupons .55/2 making them $2.72 each (this is why when you pass those little boxes with the coupons on an item you use, that you get quite a few because they eventually go on sale and then you can use them)
  • 1 Sally Hansen Lipstick, regularly $6.25, on sale 75% off at $1.56 - 1 IP Q $1/1 making it .56
  • 2 Covergirl Lipstick, regularly $9.19, on sale 75% off at $2.30 - 2 MF Qs $1/1 making each $1.30
  • 4 Covergirl Eyeliner, regularly $6.00, on sale 75% off at $1.50 - 4 MF Qs $1/1 making each .50 (I had also a $2 off any Kroger beauty purchase of $10 from a mailing, thus all makeup had an average of .45 each)

Additionally I used:
$5 off of $50 Piggly Wiggly competitor coupon (from the Entertainment Book - request this in the beginning when the total is high and your cashier is generous)
$15 off for the Nestle Deal going on right now (buy $20 of Nestle products, get $5 at the register, limit 3)
$30 for prescription transfer (if I had not had this, the savings would have been at 69%, still good)

Total before coupons/discounts: $123.26
Kroger Plus Savings: $75.39
Coupons: $40.25
Tax: $3.60
OOP: $7.62 (96% Savings) and I did all this in the 30 minutes between getting off work and the first of two children pickups. You should always know exactly what (with coupons ready) you are going to buy when you go in - it cuts the time dramatically.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CVS 8/13/08

I really needed some shopping therapy today. Over the weekend a colleague that I have worked with for the last three years was killed in a motorcycle accident. The funeral was yesterday. I haven't felt like doing much and really had to force myself to get out of the office today (which of course has been pretty miserable). So I went to CVS to think about something other than the meaning of life. So now that I have totally bummed you out (sorry), here is the better part of my day. Overall (subtracting ECBs and cash used and adding ECBs earned) my purchases only cost me .42 cents:

Transaction 1:

  • 4 bags of Dove Chocolate – regularly 4.49 each, on sale 2 for 6 – 2 IP Qs BOGO making them $1.50 each
  • 1 Alavert D – 10.99 – MF Q $4/1 making it 6.99 (thought it was the $5.99 version but didn’t look close enough, my bad)
  • 2 Arizona Blueberry Drinks, .99 BOGO
  • 1 Skin Effects Foaming Wash, 6.99 – CVS Skin Effects Coupon $2/1 making it $4.99
  • 1 CVS Moisturizing Beauty Bar, .79 – CVS Skin Care Coupon $2/1 making it -$1.21

Also used:

  • CVS $2/10 Coupon
  • ECBs - 14.00


Total before coupons/discounts: $39.79

Total after coupons (including tax): $2.84

Got 13 ECBs (Alavert – 3, Candy – 5, Skin Effects – 5) and numerous other product coupons to use for the next visits.

Transaction 2:

  • 2 Sweet Tarts, regularly .79, on sale 2 for $1.00
  • 2 Lamisil, 7.99 – 2 MF Qs $4/1 making them $3.99 each
  • 1 CVS Moisturizing Beauty Bar, .79 – CVS Skin Care Coupon $2/1 making it -$1.21

Also used:

  • CVS $2/10 Coupon
  • ECBs – 5.00

Total before coupons/discounts: $19.16

Total after coupons (including tax): $1.58

Got 10 ECBs (Lamisil)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Walmart Superstars

If you are a big Walmart shopper, you need to check out these posts. They got some amazing deals! They make me want to go brave the masses and fight over parking!

Shake the Salt
Justine's Grocery Brags

Monday, August 11, 2008

Too Much Cereal? Got a Recipe for You!


Okay, so you have started using coupons and love it...You've accumulated just a ton of nearly free cereal and suddenly realize that you have like twenty boxes of it and even your children could not eat it all in a year. Well, if you have any Special K, this recipe is for you. My grandmother used to make this when I was growing up and she gave me the recipe. It is surprisingly good and healthy. Makes GREAT sandwiches, too.

Millie's Special K Loaf

Description:
The 'meatless' meatloaf!

Ingredients:
4 beaten eggs
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet basil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 10-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
4 cups Special K cereal


Directions:
Mix ingredients one by one in order listed. Place in a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Publix Trip 8/7/08


I post this because these deals are good through tomorrow if you want to take advantage of them.

  • 6 Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal, regularly 3.89, currently BOGO - 6 MF Qs $1/1 making them .95 each. Update: There is a great coupon for $2/1 but you can only print it once per computer (thanks, Justine). This would make the cereal free.
  • 2 Mentos Gum, 1.59 each - 2 Publix Qs .55/1 and 2 MF Qs .55/1 making them .49 each
  • 2 Silk Chocolate Soy Milk, regularly 3.39, on sale 2 for $5 - 2 IP Qs $2/1 making them .50 each
  • 5 Kraft Singles, 3.19 each, buy three other kraft products (Kool Aid) get them free (All You Mag August Issue)
  • 15 Kool Aid Packets, .20 each
  • 6 Lunchables, 2.50 each - 3 Publix Qs .75/2 (Back to School Booklet at front of store)
  • 5 Muir Glen Tomato Sauce, .79 each - 5 IP Qs $1/1 making them -.21 each
  • 5 Peter Pan Peanut Butters, regularly 2.39 each, currently BOGO - 5 MF Qs $1/1 making them .19 each (these coupons are in the All You magazine August Issue sold at Walmart for $1.77 - great coupons!). FYI - they ring at half price, you do not have to buy an even number.

Total: 88.08
Coupons: 41.40
Advertised Savings: 19.37
Final OOP: $27.31
Saving: 69%

Check out Fiddledeedee for other great Publix Savings!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

CVS & WAGS Trip 8/10/08

CVS:


My husband has acquired my miserable cold from last week so he requested some Sudafed from behind the counter (really, the only thing that works) and a new lock for visits to the Y. So off I went to work the best possible deal with these requests.

Here is what I got:

Large Sudafed Box, $9.29 - 1 MF Q $1/1
2 Lamisil, $7.59 each - 2 MF Qs $4/1
Combination Lock - 5.99
2 Arizona Blueberry Teas, .99 BOGO

Used
CVS $2/10
CVS $5/30 from an email that expires today
CVS Skincare coupon (Actually, I had a product for it and the cashier said the coupon had not rung up because the product was below $2. I did not feel like arguing so I told him to just take the product off, which he did. However the coupon actually did ring up which I discovered after I got home.)
$4.99 ECBs

My total with tax was $11.06 and I got $10 ECBs in return for the Lamisil. Not too bad since I had to get things that I had not worked into my scenarios.


Walgreens (aka WAGS)



I needed some Sunday papers for the coupons, so I was there anyway and wanted to get the Kellogs products for their rebate and for the Register Rewards. I looked for the products that would produce double the register rewards as noted in numerous other blogs, but I guess everyone must know about it because they were all gone. Oh, well. I got some other great stuff as well.

5 Newspapers, .99 each
22 Packs of 10 Bic Pens, on sale 2 for $1 - 11 MF Qs $1/2 making them free
4 3M Magic Tape, 1.39 each on sale 2 for $1 - 2 MF Qs $1/2 making them free (this coupon came from the Publix Back to School Booklet)
6 Yogo Fruit Snacks, $1.99 each - 3 MF Qs $1/2
4 Pop Tarts, $1.99 each - 2 MF Qs $1/2

Total Savings was $23.18
Final Cost was $22.77
Got $5 in Register Rewards to use toward my next purchase
Will get $10 Rebate for purchasing 10 Kellogs products on one receipt
Thus, my true cost was $7.77 about what I would have paid for the newspapers alone.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cranberry Orange Muffins


Recently I bought a number of Oceanspray Cranberry Orange Sauces from Big Lots for next to nothing. These are great to use in the crock pot with your choice of meat as well as in baked goods. Here is a wonderful recipe for muffins. This is also great for the morning after Thanksgiving or Christmas to use up that leftover cranberry sauce.


Cranberry Orange Muffins


Ingredients:

2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. cranberry-orange relish


Directions:
Mix all ingredients except fruit until dampened. Add fruit. Pour into greased muffin tins or muffin cups. Sprinkle with dry sugar on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until tops are slightly browned.

Number Of Servings: Makes 12-16 large muffins.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Crazed Coupon Addict

Comical Coupon Cents has a great blog today about how her friend became a crazed coupon addict. It is very amusing and so true...This is what it's all about!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Freecycle!


If you have not connected with a local freecycle network you may be missing out! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,564 groups with 5,575,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, go HERE. Our cute dog, Ruby, above, was saved by a member who put her on an email out to our local freecycle network. We adopted her several months ago. She's a full blooded Red Bone Coonhound, very sweet, adored by the kids, chews everything and has probably cost us a ton of money so far. At least she was free...

Publix Does Not Discount Meat

I learned something interesting at Publix last night. There have been quite a number of blogs recently that suggested that to get the best meat prices you should ask your butcher when they discount meat. I thought it was a great idea so in passing I asked the butcher who was removing meat from the shelf when they would discount it. He said "never." Apparently a homeless man in Florida bought some discounted meat and got sick from it. He sued and won a large settlement, thus, Publix will no longer discount any meat. It stays on the shelf as is until it is tossed. What a shame.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Shane's Rib Shack

My sons' school has a night that they encourage parents to take their kids to Shane's Rob Rib Shack (since they get a percentage of the profits). There will be much whining and screaming when I pick them up if we do not go. On a good note, I found their website and if you play their game, you get a coupon for something in the restaurant. I believe they are a chain so if you have one close to you, you may want to get the coupon. Or if you are local and your arm is being twisted to go, you may want to visit the site. The food is pretty good, if you don't mind the loud, energetic kids in the background!

Pert Internet Coupon


For those wanting to do the CVS Pert/Sure Back to School Rebate Deal, you can get a coupon online for $1 off Pert HERE.

Free Film Development on Wednesday!

Walgreens will develop one roll of film for free on Wednesday! Go HERE to print your coupon!

CVS Scenarios for Week of 8/3

I like to create mine on a spreadsheet which then becomes my shopping list. Click to enlarge or print, should you wish to do the same. There are some great deals out there! Here is the link to the Chex Mix internet coupon. Go to the Wyeth website listed in my favorite sites for the Advil coupon. For both transactions you get back more ECBs than you put in. Yeah!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chocolate Pecan Braid


I recently purchased a Better Homes and Gardens Chocolate (1984) cookbook at Goodwill and found this yeast bread recipe, which turned out beautifully. I had to alter it slightly to be used in a bread machine. It smelled great while it was cooking! Here is the recipe:

2 3/4 cups of flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 t salt
1 egg
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 t vanilla
milk

Maraschino cherries and pecan halves for topping (optional)


Directions:

  1. In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order as recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Select the dough setting.
  3. When complete, remove and braid. Allow to rise another 30 minutes (I put mine in a slightly warm oven turned off).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
  5. For icing, in a small bowl stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to make icing of drizzling consistency (1 1/2 T).

Still Baking Sunday...PB & J Muffins

So I am making up for being so miserably sick last weekend...or I was just in the cooking mood which I sometimes get into. I have been wanting to cook this for a while. In my quest to find easy kid lunches, I came across this recipe. It is peanut butter and jelly muffins. You can make a bunch on the weekend and pop them individually wrapped in the freezer. When you put them in your kid's lunch box, they will thaw out by lunch. It sure beats making PB & J in the mornings!

Before going in the oven:



After cooking:



Eating, yummm!

Baking Saturday!


I have some great bread recipes, but often I am missing one or two ingredients because they are not something I usually have on hand. The recipe I tried this Saturday is one that requires only the most basic of ingredients that I, like most cooks, usually have on hand. It has a great rating on Allrecipes.com. I had to cut it down to easily fit into a bread machine. It turned out surprisingly awesome! It is slightly sweet and soft. The best part, it requires no milk or eggs - things I am always running out of!

Amish White Bread

Ingredients:
* 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 1/3 cup white sugar
* 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 3 cups bread flour


Directions:
  1. In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order as recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Select the dough setting.
  3. Check dough after 5 minutes of mixing, if needed add 1-2T of water or flour.
  4. Remove and shape as desired. Allow to rise another 30 minutes (I put mine in a slightly warm oven turned off).
  5. Brush with either butter or egg white.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

CVS Sale!


I was at my CVS yesterday and they had their Glade Scented Oil Candles Trio marked down from $9.99 to $2.50. There is a recent coupon from an insert for $2 off this product making it .50. Bought two and they smell really nice...