Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why I Strategically Shop...

I was paying bills yesterday and discovered a trend that began in June of last year. That was the point that I became a serious couponer and started this blog. I had previously used coupons and saved 20-30% when I shopped. When I was shredding old documents at the end of the year I came across a bunch of 2007 receipts from grocery stores which were frequently around the $150 mark. I thought I was doing well at the time. I would choke if I had to do that now.

Here's the trend: We have been able to pay off $5,000 in credit card bills in eight months. Until that point our debt had remained stagnate or slowly increased. We have not gotten a raise (thanks to the economy) and our bills are still the same or more. The only thing that has changed is the way I shop. In that time I have filled our freezer and pantry until it will not hold any more. I've learned to stockpile, stack coupons and how to use the rules of the stores to my best advantage. We eat better than before. It will be years before I need to get toothpaste, hairspray, shampoo, razors, or soap. Even then I will know how to get it for free. I now donate to charity.

My advice to anyone starting this journey, pick one store to start (like CVS). Learn their rebate/coupon system, follow the bloggers who show you their purchases and learn the rules. Once you get the hang of it, move on to the next store. Get a good collection of coupons from multiple Sunday papers and from online. If you shop at Kroger, load all the coupons on your Kroger card that you can (Cellfire, eShortcuts & P&G). Study the circulars, shop the sales with coupons and stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons. It gets easier with practice.

My sister recently said to me, once you learn how to do this, it's like being in a club of people who know and the other shoppers are clueless to their detriment. Another person online said that if you don't get strange looks when you shop, then you are doing it wrong. For 5k, I am happy to suffer the strange looks and be a member of the club! Oh, and it's really fun to do!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Shopping 1/30/09

I decided to take advantage of some of the good deals going on before I picked up the kids. These were small quick trips but with some great savings.


10 Reese's Whips, .89
-5 MF Qs $1/2
Final Price: -.055 overage each

2 Sobe Lifewater Drinks, 1.59
-Walgreens Q hangtag $1/2
Final Price: 1.09 each

Total before coupons/sales: $12.29
Coupons: 10.00
OOP: $2.29 (Saving 81%)

Harris Teeter

3 Frank's Red Hot Sauce, 5 oz- regularly 1.15, on sale .33 each
-MF Q .50/1 coupon, doubled
Final price: FREE

4 Tabasco Hot Sauce, 5 oz- regularly 1.79, on sale 1.00 each
-2 IP Qs .50/1 coupon here, doubled
-2 MF Qs .50/1, doubled
Final price: FREE

4 Swanson Chicken, regularly 1.99, on sale 1.79
-2 MF Qs .50/2, doubled
Final Price : 1.29 each

2 Smuckers Strawberry, 3.19 BOGO
-2 MF Qs .35/1, doubled
Final Price: .90 each

3 Worcester Sauce, regularly 1.69, on sale 3/$3
-3 MF Qs .50/1, doubled
Final Price: FREE

Total before sales/coupons: $31.08
Coupons: 23.07
OOP: $8.01 (saving 74%)

Food Lion

Hunts Ketchup, $1.73 BOGO
- 1 IP Q $1 off Food Lion printable coupon
Final Price: .37 each

2 Hebrew National Beef Franks, $4.69 BOGO
- 2 IP Qs $1/1 printable coupons
Final Price: $1.30 each

4 Carolina Pride Cocktail Smokies, $3.89 BOGO
-2 MF Q $1.50/2 coupon from the 10/12 or 1/25 SS
Final Price: $1.20 each

Food Lion Choc Milk, 2.99
-Food Lion Q $1/1
Final Price: 1.99

Total before sales/coupons: 31.98
Coupons: 20.96
OOP: $11.02 (saving 66%)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

For the Locals: Free Children's Ballet on Saturday

This Saturday (1/31) the Nashville Ballet will present Ferdinand the Bull at the Nashville Downtown Public Library. There will be two shows, one at 10:30 AM and one at 11:30 AM. The public is invited to attend and it is a free event. To learn more, check it out HERE.


Ms. Cheap has a great article about decluttering. I have to say, while it is painful to accomplish, when I can walk into a room free of clutter, the world is a brighter place. We donated six garbage bags of toys to Goodwill this weekend, half of which I think was McDonald's happy meal toys (so bad), and our house is breathing a big sigh of relief.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Harris Teeter Triple Coupons Feb. 5th - Feb. 8th

Harris Teeter will have a triple coupon weekend Thursday Feb. 5th - Sunday Feb. 8th so get your coupons ready! They triple coupons up to .99 cents. You can only use up to twenty coupons per day and three like coupons at a time. Most Harris Teeters will not triple internet printable coupons, however the middle Tennessee HTs have in the past, YMMV.

The Deals Look Good to Me

Here is what I see as great deals this week:

Publix (1/28 through 2/3)

Birds Eye Voila! Meal (21 to 23-oz bag): $5.15 BOGO
- 2 IP Qs $1/1: HERE
Final Price : $1.57 each

Kraft Velveeta Cheese Product (Made With 2% Milk, or Plain or Mild Mexican Spread, or Pepper Jack Loaf, 16-oz box): $3.69 BOGO
- 2 IP Qs $1/1: HERE
Final Price: .84 each

Breakstone's Sour Cream (Regular, Reduced Fat, or Fat Free, 16-oz cup): $.99
- MF Q $.55/1 - 1/25 Redplum
Final Price: .44 each

Thanks to Fiddledeedee for this information!

Food Lion (1/28 through 2/3)

Hunts Ketchup, $1.73 BOGO
- 1 IP Q $1 off Food Lion printable coupon
Final Price: .37 each

Ball Park Meat or Beef Franks, $3.51 BOGO
-MF Q $1/2 from the 1/25 RP
Final price: $1.25 each

Hebrew National Beef Franks, $4.69 BOGO
- 2 IP Qs $1/1 printable coupons
Final Price: $1.30 each

Carolina Pride Cocktail Smokies, $3.89 BOGO
-MF Q $1.50/2 coupon from the 10/12 or 1/25 SS
Final Price: $1.20 each

Red Grapes .99¢ per lb

Thanks to It's Hip to Save for the information!

Harris Teeter
(1/28 through 2/3)

Chex Mix- $1.44
-MF Q .50/1 coupon from 1/25 insert, doubled
Final price: .44 each

Frank's Red Hot Sauce, 5 oz- 33 cents
-IP Q .50/1 coupon here or from 1/18 insert.
Final price: FREE plus possible overage

Tabasco Hot Sauce, 5 oz- $1
-IP Q .50/1 coupon here, doubled
Final price: FREE

Valley Fresh Canned Chicken, BOGO, no price listed

Thanks to Frugal in Virginia and circular email for this information!

Rotel Recipe: Mexican Chicken Spaghetti

If you have recently gotten a lot of free Rotel at Publix you may be wondering what to do with it. Here is a great recipe submitted on Hot Coupon World by member Reflect23.

Mexican Chicken Spaghetti

1lb cooked, cubed or shredded boneless skinless chicken
1 package spaghetti
1 can Rotel, drained
1/2 cup onion chopped
2 cans cream of mushroom or chicken soup (whichever you prefer)
1-2 cups shredded cheese (depending on how much you like)
3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook spaghetti according to directions on package. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add soups, Rotel, chopped onion and cheese until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Mix in the chicken. Take spaghetti noodles and spread them out in a 9x13 pan. Pour chicken mixture over the noodles and then sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips. Bake for 20 minutes. Serves 6-8

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Martha Stewart Living Free for One Year

Check out Deal Seeking Mom's recent post about how to get Martha Stewart Living free for one year. It's a great magazine with a lot of household tips and wonderful recipes!

Cheap Pudding at Walgreens

Walgreens currently has Royal pudding 4 for $1 with in-ad coupon and there has been a ton of Royal blinkies at Publix $1 off of 5. These used together makes them .05 each. I recently paid $1 for 20 boxes.

My Favorite Things: Frankenmuth Chicken Seasoning

Fiddledeedee has brought back her Favorite Things post which is a lot of fun, so I wanted to participate. I am a southerner who married a northerner from Michigan. We met in Florida and I carted him back home to Tennessee where I grew up. Much of his family originated from Germany and helped to settle the Saginaw area of Michigan. One of the best things to do (and a family favorite) when visiting Michigan is to head over to the Bavarian Inn at Frankenmuth. This little town is totally cool and has the biggest Christmas store I have ever seen. One of their specialties is fried chicken and they use their own mix of seasonings. Whenever my husband's parents come to visit us, they bring along some of this seasoning because we love it so much. It goes great on everything. I am not sure what the secret ingredient is, but even my kids will not eat noodles unless it is on them. It's called Frankenmuth Chicken Seasoning and is not expensive and totally worth buying.

For other favorite things by great bloggers, check out Fiddledeedee!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Life was a little easier last week knowing what I was going to make for dinner each night. So I think I will keep up the menu planning.

Monday: Lasagna
Tuesday: Boyfriend Bait Beef Stroganoff
Wednesday: Sausage and Rice with Steamed Vegetables
Thursday: Chicken Tamale Casserole
Friday: Ho-Bos
Saturday: Crockpot Five Flavored Chicken and Rice
Sunday: Old Plantation Rolls and Crustless Spinach Quiche

Visit Laura at Organized Junkie for lots of menu & recipe ideas. Laura also has a great giveaway this week.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Buying Newspapers 1/25/09

I hate to spend money buying newspapers for the coupons. Unfortunately, Walgreens has raised its newspaper prices to 1.75 and I have yet to find a cheaper place to purchase them. Even Walmart is expensive. Here is the Walgreens' plan.

Degree Deodorant, $1.99 (w/ in-ad coupon)
Get $10 RRs wyb 8 (monthly deal ending 1/31)

-4 MF Qs $1.50/2 Degree Deodorant (RR 1/11/09)
FREE after coupons and RRs!

Then take the $10 RRs and 5 buy newspapers and a filler.

You may also want to pick this up while you are there:

Reynolds Foil Wrap, $0.89 (w/ in-ad coupon)
- $1/1 MF Q Reynolds Foil Wrap (SS 12/14/08)
FREE after coupons!

and if you are dragging kids along with you,

Reese’s Whipps, BOGO (w/ in-ad coupon)
-MF Q $1/2 Reese’s Whipps, (SS 1/4/08)
FREE after coupons!


Hershey’s Chocolate, BOGO (w/ in-ad coupon)
-MF Q BOGO Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, Almonds or Special Dark, exp. 3-31-09 (SS 1/25/09) or,
-MF Q BOGO Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, Almonds, or Special Dark, exp. 2-28-09 (SS 11/9/08)
FREE after coupons!

Thanks to Deal Seeking Mom for the bargain info! If you haven't checked out her site, you should!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Recipe Swap: Spinach and Artichoke Casserole

The Grocery Cart Challenge is a great site that shows how she feeds her family of six for $60 a week. Every Friday she does this great thing called recipe swap. Here is my recipe.

Spinach and Artichoke Casserole

This is really good and has been a family favorite during the holidays for many years! My mom originally got it from a church social.

3 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach
2 small jars artichoke hears, marinated & drained
6 Tbsp, butter (soft)
9 Tbsp. milk
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

Drain hearts and spinach well. Place artichoke hearts over bottom of shallow casserole. Arrange spinach over hearts. Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy, gradually adding milk. Spread over spinach; sprinkle with Parmesan. Cover and chill overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 40 minutes or until lightly browned.

Friday, January 23, 2009

20% Off at Big Lots 1/24 - 2/1

Big Lots is offering 20% off any purchase with coupon between Saturday, January 24th and Sunday, February 1st. Here is an example of one of my last trips for this deal. We have also used this discount as an opportunity to buy some furniture (Ashley at rock bottom prices).

For the Locals: Great Place to Buy Spices

One of the best places in Nashville to buy fresh vegetables is at the Farmer's Market downtown, just below the Capital. I remember going there as a child before the nicer buildings were built and walking from lean-to to lean-to on gravel and mud to collect your vegetables. It's a lot nicer now though it is always under construction. While the vegetables are great, particularly in the fall, there is more to the Farmer's Market. Within the main building is an international food store, you can't miss it. It is truly an interesting place to visit with food and spices from around the world. It is not the prettiest store, though I think that adds to the charm and authenticity. One of the best things to buy there is spices. They have a huge collection at super cheap prices. If you bought the same quantities at a grocery store, even with a coupon, you would be paying an outrageous amount of money. Here is what I purchased yesterday:

7 oz Premium Whole Cloves, 2.99
3.5 oz Clove Powder, 2.99
7 oz Mustard Seeds, 1.19
14 oz Tumeric Powder, 1.99
.57 lb Large Ginger Root, .56 (very fresh)

Total OOP: $9.66

The phone number is 615 254-1697
Open 365 Days/Year
Location: 900 8th Avenue North

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Free Rotel at Publix!

Publix has a great deal going on right now. In their Yellow Healthy Savings Flyer at the entrance of the store there is a Publix coupon for $1 off of two cans of Rotel tomatoes. Currently they have a deal going for Rotel at .99 buy one get one free. Thus, if you just used the Publix coupon, the store would pay you .01 to leave with two cans of Rotel. If you also have a Manufacturer coupon of .30/1 which you can stack with the store coupon, you will make overage that you can apply to other purchases (if your store allows). Here is what I purchased:

12 Rotel Tomatoes, .99 BOGO
-6 Publix Q's $1/2
Final Price: -.005 overage each

2 Egg Beaters, on sale 2.00 each
-1 Publix Q $1/2 (Yellow Healthy Savings Flyer)
-2 IP Qs $1/1
Final Price: .50 each

2 Pam Sprays, 2.99
-2 IP Qs $1/1
-2 Publix Qs $1/1 (Yellow Healthy Savings Flyer)
Final Price: .99 each

Publix Flour, 2.49

Eggland Best Eggs, 2.49
-MF Q .35/1, doubled
Final Price: 1.79

Total before Sales/Coupons: 31.78
Sales: 9.26
Coupons: 13.70
OOP: 8.82 (saving 72%)

Blog Love Paid Forward!

The fabulous Brenda from Queen of Good Intentions has tickled me pink by
honoring Frugal Dr. Mom with a lovely Blog LUV award and
asking me to pay it forward.
I am most definitely sharing the LUV
with the following blogs (listed in no specific order),
and wish I could share with more as
there are so many great bloggers out there!

Please follow the guidelines, if you can!

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this
award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person
from whom you received the award.

And now to announce my own list of LUV....

1. Thrifty in Cincy
2. Planet Perspectives
3. Common Sense with Money
4. Stretching a Buck
5. Thrifty & Chic Mom
6. Mommin' it Up
7. Leaving Excess
8. Shoplifting with Permission
9. I Robbed that Store Legally!
10. Justine's Grocery Brags

Thanks so much Brenda!

Free Three Year Subscription to Today's Diet and Nutrition Mag

Today's Diet and Nutrition Magazine is offering a free three year subscription with the promotion code INAUG09. It expires on 1/24.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WFMW: The Flea Pill!

We love pets. So when family comes to visit, as they did at Christmas, they will occasionally bring their small pets as well. We had three pet visitors over Christmas. Unfortunately our canine visitors brought guests of their own. I don't know who did it, but we got fleas. I HATE FLEAS. They don't bite me and really, I never actually saw a flea (didn't actually look that closely) on my pets, but I knew they were there. My cat gets a wild look in her eyes and starts to remove all of her own fur (she's allergic), and my dogs stop sleeping through the night, waking me up to let them out at 3:30 am every night. We had fleas.

A few years ago when we first moved to our house and before we put up a fence in the back yard, we had a rabbit problem. These rabbits had fleas and they gave our pets fleas. I took them to the vet and they gave them this magic pill called Capstar that killed all of the fleas in ten minutes. I literally watched them fall off. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I grew up with a mom who would always put Advantage on our pets and on the neighbor's pets when they visited to prevent our neighborhood from having flea problems. It stank and it never worked 100%. This does. And it costs less, around $5 per pill at my vet. I told my mom about it and she went to her vet for her new cat and her vet did not know what it was. She made him find out and sell it to her.

So I sent my husband off to the vet for the magic pills which I gave to my pets on Sunday. Sunday night was the first night that I got to sleep through the entire night since the new year, and I have since then. Capstar totally works for me!

To see what works for hundreds of other bloggers, check out Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spent $3.49 to Buy Lunch for the Next Four Weeks

I went to Krogers today for lunch and they have an amazing Mega event deal going on (I love it when they do that). Basically, they give you a list of products that you have to buy ten of and then you get $5 taken off at the register. You can do it up to three times per transaction (total of $15 off). Currently Green Giant Vegetable Steamers are part of the deal. Now, I looked in the local circular and online, and I do not see anywhere where these are listed as part of this deal but they are. The only way I knew about it is that other people mentioned it online and I went to check it out myself. These are bags (not the boxes) of vegetables often with potatoes or rice and some kind of sauce on them. They have about 2.5 servings in each bag but even if you ate the whole thing they only have about 200 total caleries in them. Great for those who are dieting. And the cool thing is that there have been just a ton of coupons for them recently. I have heard that you can get them really cheaply at Walmart, but my Walmart is always more expensive, super crowded and they do not double coupons.

Here is how it went:

20 Grean Giant Vegetable Steamers, regularly 2.29, on sale 1.59
-20 MF Qs .50/1, doubled
-$10 for Mega Event deal
Final Price: .09 each

OOP: 3.49 (Saving 96%)

Printable Coupon Round-up

Johnson & Johnson $3/3
Arm & Hammer $1/2
Egg Beaters $1/1
Healthy Choice Frozen Meals $1/1
Pam Cooking Spray $1/1
Hunts Tomatoes $1/3
Orvill Redenbacher Pop Corn $1/1

Dole Parfaits $2/1
Cottonelle .50/1
Crab Classic $1/1
Texas Toast $1/1
Wacky Mac Pasta .50/1
No Yolks Pasta .50/1
Gogurt $1/2
Friendship Sour Cream .50/1
A1 Steak Sauce $1/1
Barber Foods Chicken Product $1/1
Theraflu $1/1
Near East Rice $1/1

Jello .60/1
Muir Glen $1/1
Juicy Juice $1/2
Honey Bunches of Oats $2/1
Numerous Betty Crocker Coupons
Progresso Soup $1.10/1
Pompeian Olive Oil $1/1
Del Monte Canned Vegetables .75/1
Butterball Turkey Bacon $1/1
Butterball Ground Turkey .55/1

Do you have problems printing coupons?

Just FYI, I usually use Firefox. Sometimes when I am sent to a link to print a coupon, I get the dreaded "please wait" which basically stalls the process. I usually just open up Internet Explorer and copy the link to the IE and am able to print with no problem. I found an answer to what is happening that may help my readers with the same problem. This is from Hodges on Hot Coupon World:
Here is the answer to most printer errors...especially the dreaded "please wait".

Look here in the address bar:

If you see the "wi" as I have in prints out to IE.

If you see the "wg" as I have in red prints to FireFox.

So, if you are using need to switch browsers. Just go up in the address and change the " i " to a " g " and press go. The page will reload and print.

Hope this helps you!

Free Doughnut at Krispy Kreme!

In honor of Inauguration Day, Krispy Kreme is giving away a free doughnut to each customer! So when you are out today, stop by and get one! To find out all the details, click here!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

I recently read this post that has inspired me to try and be more organized for 2009. I am going to start with planning my menu better. My usual dinner goes something like this: Arrive home with three hungry kids to meet four hungry pets at the door, rush around to feed pets so they will stop pestering me, find a snack that the kids would eat, and then stare blankly at the stove having no idea what I will cook, perhaps then moving to stare blankly at the open freezer wondering what will defrost the fastest. I could do better. So here goes:

Monday: Calzones
Tuesday: Meatballs and Steamed Vegetables
Wednesday: Baked Chicken, Cucumber Salsa with Lime (recipe below), Corn Pudding
Thursday: Black Bean Chili
Friday: Eat Out - (Pinewood Derby Races)
Saturday: Homemade Pizza
Sunday: Quiche & Amish Bread

Cucumber Salsa with Lime

This is one of my grandmother's recipes.

1 seedless cucumber, cut into small dice (about 2 cups)
1/2 small red onion, cut into small dice
1/3 medium red bell pepper, cut into small dice
1/2 medium jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 tablespoon each minced fresh parsley and cilantro or 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Let stand for at least 5 to 10 minutes so flavors blend. (Salsa can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours before serving.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Free Hunts Tomato Sauce at Publix!

I was at my Publix today to pick up some cheap creamer (we love coffee), and they had Hunts Tomato Sauce for .99 BOGO. Just below the stacks of cans was a blinkie spitting out coupons for $1 off of 2 Hunts Tomato cans. I thought, "this is too easy, there must be a catch." Nope. It worked fine on the tomato sauce so I got them for free. You may want to check your stores.

8 Hunts Tomato Sauces, .99 BOGO
-4 Blinkie Qs $1/2
Final Price: -.005 overage each!

4 Johnson & Johnson Buddies Soaps, 1.09
-4 IP Qs $2/1
Final Price: -.81 overage each!

6 Chef Boyardee, 1.25
-2 MF Qs .35/3 doubled
Final Price: 1.02 each

9 Coffee Mate Creamers, 32 oz., on sale 2 for $5
9 MF Qs .50/1, doubled
Final Price: 1.50 each

4 Del Monte Cream Corn, 1.29 BOGO
-1 MF Q $1/4
Final Price: .40 each

2 Betty Crocker Muffin Mix, 2.69 BOGO
-2 MF Qs .45/1, doubled
Final Price: .45 each

Publix Grape Juice, 2.39
Penny Item
Final Price .01

3 Pedigree, on sale 3 for $2
Final Price: .67 each

-Kroger Catalina $2 off next purchase

Total before sales/coupons: 68.06
Sales: 17.11
Coupons: 29.58
OOP: 21.37 (saving 69%)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Recipe Swap: Cheese Streusel Coffee Cake

The Grocery Cart Challenge is a great site that shows how she feeds her family of six for $60 a week. Every Friday she does this great thing called recipe swap. Here is my recipe.

Cheese Streusel Coffee Cake


Step 1:

1 1/2 cups of yellow cake mix (save rest for topping)
1 pkg dry yeast
1 c flour
2 eggs
1 c. water

Step 2:

2 (8 oz.) cream cheese
2 eggs
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Step 3:

Remainder of cake mix
6 Tbsp butter or margarine

Glaze (optional):

1 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 Tbsp. water

  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups cake mix and other ingredients in Step 1. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Spread in a greased 9 X 13 inch pan.
  2. To make cheese filling, blend ingredients in Step 2. Drop by spoonfuls to cover top of batter.
  3. To make topping, cut 6 tablespoons butter or margarine into remaining cake mix (Step 3). Spread over cheese filling.
  4. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes. If desired, drizzle with glaze when cool.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hickory Farms Up to 90% Off

Earlier this month I posted about Hickory Farms being 75% off. Thanks to Lizzy's Language and Thriftymama for the recent update to their current sale which is now up to 90% off. If you use the coupon code clipper you get an additional 15% off. If you begin your purchase at you will get 4% back on your purchase. Really, how much cheaper can they get? We ordered their cheese (which is great), and you can't really buy quality cheese for that in the grocery store for any less.

Frugal Dinner: Sausage Corn Muffins

I tried something new last night. I have a bunch of free corn muffin mixes from this deal, and a lot of sausage in the freezer. So I searched online and put a few recipes together to accommodate what I had in the fridge. I think it was a success because my husband could not stop eating them! He thought they were great.

Here is the recipe:

Sausage Corn Muffins

2 boxes corn muffin mix
1 cup buttermilk (you could probably use regular as well)
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 cup half & half
1/2 large onion chopped
1 package of little smokies sausage chopped
shredded cheese

Mix first five ingredients together, then add the chopped sausage and mix. Using a 12 cup muffin pan, spray with oil and fill each cup until full. Add shredded cheese on top. Cook in a preheated oven at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Making Money at CVS 1/15/09

Took a quick trip to CVS for lunch today; I was starting to feel guilty for my focus on Walgreens lately! LOL. BTW, I used all Internet Printable (IPs) coupons today. Here is what I purchased:

2 Gold Emblem Cheese Crackers $1.97
-$3 off any cvs brand purchase

Children's Throat Cooler Ice Pops 6ct, 4.99
-2 buy one throat coolers, get one free

NasoGel Drip Free gel spray 1.52 oz, 7.99
-2 $2 off nasogel

Similasin Sinus Spray, 9.99
-$1 similasan, any
(Did not have coupon with me so purchased full price, but wanted to give the link to you)

-$30 ECBs

Total before sales/coupons: $51.42
Subtotal: 2.89
OOP: 4.40

ECBs earned: $42.94 (Nasogel: 15.98, Children's Throat Cooler: 19.96, Crackers: 2.00, Similasan: 5.00) and a $10/$50 coupon. Thus, I made a profit of $8.54 (ECBs earned-ECBs Spent-OOP).

Sears Air-Powered Hockey Table for $49.88

Okay, I know that Christmas was like last week but this is such a sweet deal on a highly rated product that it is hard not to buy it while it is soooo cheap. It is a Harvard Mercury 6 Ft. Hockey Table that regularly costs $249.99 and is currently on sale for $49.88. If you have it delivered to your local Sears, and you pick it up, there is no shipping. If you add some extra pucks ($2.99), you can use the code SDEALS817 to get $5 off of $50. Also, if you start out at, you get 2% of your purchase back. If you like this deal, don't hesitate too long because these offers don't last that long at Sears.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free Bottle of Suave Today Only!

Go HERE to register for you coupon for a free bottle of Suave today only!

For the Locals: Fantastic Place to Buy Wine

Before we had children, we lived in East Nashville and were restoring a 100 year old house. If you have spent a lot of time on your knees laying tile, you'll know that alcohol makes it much easier! There was back then and still is today, a little hole in the wall liquor store that sells wine three bottles for $10.99. You might be saying right now, 'you get what you pay for.' Not the case here. This liquor store is like the Big Lots of alcohol. They have a huge selection of wine that they purchase in closeout sales. I have found wine there that is $15-$20 each or more on the other side of town. If you are nice to the cashiers, they will tell you which ones are really good. If you find one that you like, buy a case of it because it will be gone tomorrow. They are also really nice and will carry it to your car. Here is the address:

Main Street Liquor
944 Main Street
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 226-0247

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Frugal People vs. Tightwads

I thought this article about a recent study was interesting. It is entitled "Are You a Tightwad or a Spendthrift." It was the final paragraphs that I enjoyed most. It discussed the difference between being a tightwad and being frugal:

Frugal People vs. Tightwads

The existing research in this area includes a number of scales, although none that distinguish tightwads from spendthrifts, Rick says. "The concept our scale is most closely related to is frugality, but it is also distinct from it: If you are a tightwad, you don't spend because you find the prospect of spending painful. But if you are frugal, you don't spend because you enjoy saving. Frugal people really love to save."

The researchers also found that happiness is positively related to frugality, although this observation is not included in the paper. "The more frugal you are, the happier you are. With the tightwad scale, tightwads and spendthrifts are equally happy. But the ones in the middle -- who are neither tightwads nor spendthrifts -- are the happiest. Why? Tightwads are frustrated because they aren't spending enough on things that would make them happy. Spendthrifts are spending too much, more than they want to, so that makes them unhappy. If you are in the middle, you don't have this strong inner conflict."

I guess that explains why I love getting that trophy receipt!

Tasty Tuesday: A Versatile Dough (Pizza, Kolaches, Piggies...)

As you may know, I enjoy making bread in my bread machine. However, the bread machine can be used for making other things. The following recipe can be used for making pigs in the blanket, kolaches, pizza dough or even a loaf of bread. I use it for practically every birthday party for my kids and recently made pizza with it when my husband exclaimed "This is as good or better than any pizza we have ever ordered." Glad I could compete with Papa John's! Enjoy.

A Versatile Dough:

1 cup warm milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk, beaten (save egg white to glaze before cooking if desired)
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast


In the order suggested by the manufacturer, place milk, egg, egg yolk,
butter, bread flour, salt, sugar and yeast in bread machine. Do not let yeast touch salt. Select Dough cycle, and press Start.

When complete, shape dough as desired. For pigs in the blanket, roll out and cut into triangles. Roll up hot dog and bake in 375 degree oven until golden, usually about 15 minutes. For pizza, roll out into circle, place on pizza pan, pile on the ingredients, bake until done.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lunchtime Trip to Walgreens 1/12/09

I felt like getting out of the office today so I went to Walgreen's for lunch. They did not have the Revlon Matte Collection so I could not get the make-up that corresponds with the rebate so I will have to try again. However, it appears that this week is BOGO for all Revlon make-up. I found a great deal on lipstick that was marked down to $2.19 each. I also had a number of $2/1 Revlon coupons that are expiring on the 14th.

Here is what I bought:

6 Revlon Shiny Sheers Lipstick, on sale $2.19, BOGO
-5 MF Qs $2/1
Final Price: -.57 each overage

4 Oust Air Sanitizers, 3.79, BOGO
Final Price: Free

4 Aquafresh Toothpaste, on sale 2.99
-WAGS Easysaver Q $2/1
-4 IP Qs $1/1
Final Price: -.01 each overage

4 Campbell's Select Harvest Soup, 3.19
-In Ad Q 4 for $5
-2 MF Qs .50/2
Final Price: $1 each

AutoExpressions Vent Fresh Elite Auto Air Freshener, 4.99
(Can request WAGS rebate of 4.99 and MF Rebate of 4.99)

Subtotal: $5.52

Total Before Sales/Coupons: $98.32
Advertised Savings: $52.95
Coupons: $36.58

OOP: $8.79 (saving 91%)
Rebates expected: $9.98

Walgreens Scenario 1/12/09

There are a number of free things at Walgreens this week that I want to take advantage. Here is my scenario. Click to enlarge.

Here is the mail in rebate for the air freshener from the manufacturer (with WAGs rebate this means that you will be paid back twice for the same product):
Sopus Products MIR for Vent Fresh Elite

If you are interested in taking advantage of WAG's Pepsi deal, this printable may help you:

Pepsi One, 12pk of 12oz cans $1.00/1 Rolling Printable

Here is the printable for Aquafresh:

$1/1 Aquafresh White & Shine

WAGs Ad coupons are from their paper advertisement

WAGs Easysaver coupons are from the booklet at the front of the store. You only need one coupon to apply it to mulitple purchases of the same product.

Not considering tax, but if I submit for the rebates (which I will), I will actually make $3.04 profit on this transaction.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stocking up on Meat at Publix

This week I got a $5/$30 purchase at Publix coupon in the mail. Since fresh meat rarely has any coupons, I decided to use it toward the current sales at Publix. These prices are good through Tuesday if you wish to take advantage of them.

Here is what I purchased:

Nabisco Saltines, 2.79

Publix Egg Noodles, 1.49

4 Heath Bits O Brick, regularly 2.49, on sale 2.09

Hershey Cocoa, 3.19
-MF Q Buy 4 Heath Get Hershey Cocoa Free
Final Price: Free

Purity Buttermilk, 2.39
- MF Q .35/1, doubled
Final Price: 1.69

Parsley, .79

Publix Flour, regularly 2.49, on sale, 1.99

2 Publix Cream Corn, .79 each

Campbell Mushroom Gravy, 1.19

6 (total 30 lbs) Large Packages of Chicken Leg Quarters, regularly 1.19 per lb, on sale .59 per lb
Final Cost: Averaging $2.97 per package

16 Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks, 2.79, BOGO
8 MF Qs .50/2, doubled
Final Price: .90 each

5 Packages Ground Chuck, on sale 2.69 per lb
Final Price: Averaging 3.33 per package

-Publix Q $5/$30

Total before sales/coupons: 129.57
Sales: 40.08
Coupons: 16.89
OOP: $72.60 (saving 44%, not the best percentage but considering that I was stocking up on meat, still pretty good)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fantastic Cake Recipe!

Every year I make the same resolution and generally keep improving it. I want to fill my list of favorite recipes with recipes that are healthy AND taste good. Things our family will fall in love with and pass on to future generations. I believe that diets generally don't last but lifestyle changes that you are happy to make do last. I figure that in the history of our world, there has got to be things that people make to eat that I will like and will promote good health. I just have to find them. And I have found quite a few, including this recipe. My goals are lots of vegetables, fewer carbs, fiber, and disease fighting ingredients.

With that in mind, I made a cake this morning that was awesome, and even my picky five year old ate an entire piece and was happy to do it. My husband's comment was that it was a keeper. And what do you think was a primary ingredient? Drumroll, please.....PRUNES! The recipe is from Pioneer Woman and is one of her favorites. It is even one of her husband's favorites (though he did not know about the prunes). She wrote about it so glowingly that I had to try it. Go HERE to see it. Don't get me wrong, I don't particularly like prunes. As a matter of fact, they made me lose my lunch once in second grade when the teacher made me eat them. However, this cake does not taste like prunes. The recipe belonged to Pioneer Woman's great-grandma Iny. It is moist and spicy. It certainly fits into my make healthier food goal. The ingredients are not expensive. Getting my kids to eat prunes, however, priceless.

By the way, if you have never cooked any of Pioneer Woman's recipes, you are in for a treat. Her food is fantastic. Her recipe for lasagna is the best I have ever made or had. Check her out. Photo above from Pioneer Woman's website.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I Love Walgreens!

I made a quick trip to Walgreens after work to do this deal in order to get money for newspapers on Sunday. Then I realized that I still had a ton of Garnier Fructis coupons and they have quite a few products that are FREE when you use the manufacturer coupon and the Walgreens coupon from the Easysaver booklet at the front of the store (stacking them). That is truly a sweet deal right now so if you have any $1/1 Garnier Fructis coupons in your stash, rush out tomorrow and get your free products as tomorrow is the last day to use them in this sale. Keep in mind you only need one coupon from the Easysaver booklet because the discount will apply to all your purchases of that product (so don't waste your time cutting out multiple copies of Walgreen's coupons). We will not need hairspray for years!

Here is what I bought at Walgreens:

This was done in two transactions. I wasn't 100% confident that it would work so I started with a smallish purchase to try it out. It went fine so I made a bigger purchase next. Here is the combined totals:

24 Garnier Fructis Products (Hairspray, Shampoo, Conditioner), on sale $2.99
-$2.00 EasySaver coupon
-24 $1.00/1 from 10/5RP, 11/9RP or 1/4RP
Final Price: FREE

2 St. Ives Scrubs, on sale $3.00
-2 IP Qs $2/1
Final Price: $1.00 each

1 St. Ives Moisterizer, on sale $4.00
-1 IP Q $2/1
Final Price: $2.00

1 Electrasol 20 Tabs, on sale 3.49
-1 MF Q $2.50/1
Final Price: .99

Total Before Sales/Coupons: $120.64
Coupons: $79.50
Sales: 27.51
OOP: $13.63 (mostly tax, TN has high sales tax)

Earned: $5 in Register Rewards and will request rebate of $1.50 for Electrasol. Thus, true OOP was $7.13, a savings of 94%.

New Use for a Bread Machine...

Space ship for Woody and Buzz!!

Money (RRs) for Sunday's Newspapers!

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know that I hate to pay money outright for my coupons (Sunday papers). Jenny at Southern Savers has posted a way to actually make money on one of the current deals at Walgreens and the register rewards produced can be used to purchase newspapers on Sunday.

This deal is only good through tomorrow.

Here is the deal:

Using two computers, print this coupon three times: $2 off any St. Ives product coupon (one computer will only let you print it twice).

(2) St Ives Scrubs $3 ea
(1) St. Ives Lotion $4 ea
(3) -$2 off coupons
Total Due: $4
Get back: $5 Register Rewards

You'll make $1 profit and have money to buy your newspapers on Sunday!

Office Exercise

For those of us who are too lazy to get up and walk to the Y for lunch...ummm, is a great site that tells you how you can exercise with out leaving your desk!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Great Trip to CVS 1/8/09

It's finally stopped raining in Nashville, so for lunch I made a quick trip to my favorite CVS. A new cashier was there so it didn't go as well as I would have liked, but I still managed to make a gain on my ECBs.

1 Febreze Candle, regularly 7.99, rang up 1.99
- MF Q $2/1 (cashier rang it up as 1.19)
Final Price: .80

5 Soy Joy 6 packs, 6.00
- 2 MF Qs $3/10 bars
Final Price: 4.80 per pack

1 Garnier Fructis Hair Spray, on sale 2.99
-1 MF Q $1/1
Final Price: 1.99

6 Johnson & Johnson Buddies Soap, 1.19
-6 MF Qs $1/1
Final Price: .19 each

-CVS $3/$15

-23.98 ECBs

OOP: $3.27

ECBs Earned: 30 for Soy Joy, $2 for Garnier Fructis, $2 for Fall Spending, and a $10/$50 coupon.

Thus, there was a profit of $6.75 (ECBs Earned - OOP - ECBs Spent). I probably could have done better if I had broken up the transaction, but I did not have the time and I could tell the cashier would have had difficulties.

Village of 100

My friend sent this to me. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It's very cool.

Village of 100

Cleaning Up at Target 1/7/09

As you may know, Electrasol recently came out with one of my favorite coupons. It is $2.50 off of one. The last time they did this I bought eleven boxes and thought I would never use them up. Not the case! I used the last one up two days ago. We do a full load of dishes once a day and frequently more than that on the weekends. Actually, I have it pretty good on the weekdays. I cook dinner as my husband usually works late. The dishes sit in the sink over night and when he gets up to get coffee, he unloads the clean dishes and reloads the dishwasher. Before I leave which is after him, I'll finish loading it and start it. And it starts all over the next day. Of course, I do all the dishes on the weekends. It balances out. Anyway...I was so excited to see this coupon and Target has the best deal out right now. I fully expected to get there yesterday and see an empty shelf. Not only was it full, but it had the boxes with five extra tablets in them! Woohoo! So here is what I bought:

15 Boxes of Electrasol, on sale for $3.25
-15 MF Qs $2.50/1
Final price: .75 each

3 Hats and 2 2-packs of Gloves, on sale $1.49 each

2 State Fair Corn Dogs, on sale $1.99 each

5 Snapples, regularly $1.39, on sale .97
-5 MF Qs .75/1
Final price: .22 each

Iams Dry Dog Food, 6.96
-MF Q Free Product
Final Price: Free

Archer Farms Sparkling Water, 1.49

Milk, Gallon, 3.19

5 Boxes Christmas Cards, 4.99, 90% off
Final Price: .49 each

Total before sales/coupons: $127.27
Savings: $89.28
OOP: $37.99 (tax 7.12)
Saving 70%

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Up to 75% off at Hickory Farms!

Thanks to Slickdeals for this great deal! Don't forget to go through ebates to get 4% back. I was able to purchase 9 lbs of Queen Comice Pears for $8.50 plus tax and shipping with an additional 4% back from ebates.

"Hickory Farms - up to 75% off everything + 15% coupon code It's "up to" 75% off - but there are some pretty good deals. Shipping is expensive but use coupon code VISA15 (in the "source code" area) and it takes an extra 15% off - it will help offset the shipping costs a little bit."

Wordless Wednesday: After the Fun is Over...

For more wordless Wednesday.....
Wordless Wednesday

Coupon Preview for Sunday's (1/11) Inserts

Thanks to Jenny at Southern Savers for this link that shows what will be coming out this Sunday. If you are in need of pet food (we always are), this will be a good weekend (Fancy Feast & Pedigree) to get additional newspapers. There will be two inserts, a Smart Source and a Red Plum.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Neiman Marcus Holiday Food Sale: up to 65% off + Free Shipping

Thanks to Dealigg and Yana for this information.

Free shipping using Neiman Marcus coupon code WINTER

Selected items:

Monday, January 5, 2009

"It looks nasty but it tastes yummy!"

This was uttered by my eight year old son at dinner tonight. I might add that the next thing he said was that when he is older, he wants the recipe. It is a monumental moment for me. It is the first time any of my children showed enough interest in what I cook to actually be interested in a recipe. And to top it off, I totally made it up tonight. A few days ago I thought how fun it would be to come up with a week of recipes made only from the free food that I had accumulated over the past few months. This was the Slow Cooker Sausage, Vegetable and Rice Soup. It actually turned out more like the consistency of chili. Before I forget what I did, here is the recipe:

Slow Cooker Sausage, Vegetable and Rice Soup


Sausage, chopped
2 boxes Garlic and Olive Oil Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice
5 cups Water
3 Cans Muir Glen Tomato Sauce (8 ounces)
1 package Veg-All Summer Blend
Hot Sauce to taste
Sour Cream to top after cooking


Add all ingredients in to crock pot except sour cream. Sausage does not have to be precooked. Cook on high for three to four hours or until rice is tender.

Yoplait Printable Coupon

HERE and HERE are $1 and $1.50 Yoplait printable coupons. This makes it really cheap at Walmart or nearly free if you can find a BOGO sale which Publix occasionally has. My kids love Yoplait.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Flintstone Vitamins Printable Coupon

Currently at Walgreens, if you buy $20 worth of Flintstone Vitamins, you get $10 in register rewards. Go here to print $1/1 coupons for Flintstones. So if you want to buy newspapers today at Walgreens, go pick up four bottles of Flintstones ($5 each), use 4 $1/1 coupons (you will need to print from 2 computers), pay $16 plus tax and get $10 back in Register Rewards. Then use the RRs to buy 10 papers. There are 5 inserts today!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Amazing Harry & David Deal: Tower of Fruit for $13.89 Shipped

It is rare that you find a good deal on quality fruit. I found this deal on Slickdeals posted by Jonny-Pooh. It works. Here is the information. Follow the instructions and you can get free shipping and an additional 15% off. Don't bother looking on ebates - Harry & David is not listed.

"Harry & David Tower of Treats Collection ~ $13.89 shipped (reg $39.95, save 65%) and many others! Send America's original gift Tower – tops since 1947 because it's five gifts in one! The concept is as simple today as it was 60 years ago, when Harry and David came up with the very first Tower of Treats gift. These days our gift towers are still as popular as ever because all those boxes are so much fun to open up and enjoy. Inside: Our luscious Royal Riviera Pears, a pair of Apples, Deluxe Nuts, Chocolate Truffles and Bing Cherry Chocolates – each in its own bright holiday gift box.

Available to ship through March 31.


Enter coupon SHIPFREE during checkout.

Utilizing 15% off on top of getting free shipping: (thanks slickwilla and warrior44)

1. Add item to cart, enter free shipping code, and go through checkout process to final checkout page but DO NOT PLACE ORDER YET.
2. Go to and hit "Go Shopping" (no need to close and reopen browser window first.
3. Go through the checkout process again and both discounts should apply!

NOTE: If you clicked on the 15% off link before entering the free shipping code, you will need to clear cookies, close and reopen browser window, and repeat steps 1-3 above to get both discounts to work!

There are also lots more holiday favorites deeply discounted with free shipping! Examples:

Christmas Classic Tower of Treats Gift for $19.95 shipped (reg $49.95, save 60%)

Tower of Temptations for $29.95 shipped (reg $69.95, save 57%)

Smorgasbox Gift for $29.95 shipped (reg $69.95, save 57%)

Here are some other good deals, also with free shipping:

Large All-Occasion Gift Basket for $24.95 shipped (reg $59.95, save 58%)

Celebration Basket for $19.95 shipped (reg $69.95, save 71%) (thanks tylixxa)"

Heinz Ketchup Printable Coupon

$1 off when you buy one 64oz Heinz Ketchup AND 1 Ore-Ida Frozen French Fries here. You can print it twice.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Week of Free Dinners!

Funny what amuses a couponer...

I was looking back over my posts and noticed the free food that I had acquired over time. I wondered if it were possible to eat a week of dinners just with the free ingredients that I have on hand. So just for fun and as a personal challenge I came up with a menu using only my free items. I have listed the items and posts from which the items came at the bottom. The only rule is that I still had to have the ingredients on hand and that since I often get milk and eggs from CVS as fillers and pay with ECBs, I can include those basics.

I realize that I buy the coupons to make the deals, however, when I purchase the papers I try to only use register rewards earned at Walgreens to pay for them - so low or no cost.


Slow Cooker Sausage, Vegetable and Rice Soup
Decadent Sweet Milk Bread

Shepherd's Pie
2 Ingredient Chocolate Fudge

Southwestern Vegetarian Pot Pie

Sweet and Spicy Sausage Stir-fry (using salad dressing)

Breakfast for Dinner: Pancakes with Chocolate Glaze

Vegetable Frittata
Cake Mix Cookies

Corn Sausage Muffins
Steamed Vegetables

Free Food:
Veg All Frozen Vegetables
Frank's Hot Sauce
Blue Bonnet Margarine
Kroger All-Purpose Flour
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Nestle Baking Chocolate Chips
Fleischmann's Yeast
Betty Crocker Whipped Frosting
Lipton Tea Bags

Cheerios Cereal
Jimmy Dean Sausage Links
Daisy Sour Creams
Dunkin Hines Cake Mix
Betty Crocker Cookie Mix
Cattleman's Barbecue Sauce
Aidell Cajun Sausages
Betty Crocker Warm Delights

Deer Park Water
Idahoan Mashed Potatoes
Martha White Corn Muffin Mix
Martha White Lemon Muffin Mix
Pet Evaporated Milk

Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice
Muir Glen Tomato Sauce
French Worcester
Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers

Kraft Salad Dressings
Crystal Light Drink Mixes

Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamer Peas
Sarah Lee Breads
Milk (used as filler for CVS Deal, paid with ECBs)
Eggs (used as filler for CVS Deal, paid with ECBs)


Do you have hamburger patties in your freezer? Do you forget to buy the buns so you can use the hamburger patties? Great, I'm glad I'm not the only one! LOL. Here is a cool recipe (and fun for kids) from that you can use from mostly stockpile ingredients.


4 hamburger patties
1 pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
1 can mushroom soup or cream of celery soup
1 sliced onion
1 potato (partially precooked)

Place each hamburger on a square of aluminum foil. On each hamburger place a slice of potato, a slice of onion, 3 tablespoons of frozen vegetables and 3 tablespoons of soup. Bring ends of aluminum foil together and twist in ho-bo style. Bake in 350 oven for 45 minutes. Place Ho-Bo's on cookie sheet when baking.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

$3 Off Any CVS Brand Product Coupon

Check out Deal Seeking Mom for instructions on how to print your $3 off of any CVS product coupon. There are a number of items that you can get for free at CVS with this coupon. You can only use one per transaction, but you can use it to up your total in order to use a $$/$$$ coupon.