Friday, February 27, 2009

Kroger February 28th

Total: $17.64

2 packs of size 3 diapers - $5.99-$3 coupon= 2.99 each
3 pks of Huggies wipes - $1 - $1 coupon = FREE
8 Hunts tomatoes - $1 each - .40/2 doubled- $1 cellfire on 5 = $3.80 or .48 each
4 crescent rolls - $1- .35/1 doubled = .30 each
(these have got to be the cutest thing I have ever seen: they have 4 crescent rolls in each, perfect for our family)
1 Cinnamon Roll - $1- .50/1 doubled = FREE
grapes - $2.20
1 gallon 1% milk - $2.77

Walgreens Feb 28th

Total: $3.21 (got back $2 RR to use on next purchase)
First Transaction
Crayola Valentine Kit $.99
(I needed a filler to use 2 coupons on the reynolds wrap)
Reynolds Wrap $.89- $1 coupon = FREE
Excedrine 20 ct $1.99-$1 coupon = $.99 and received $1 RR
2nd Transaction
Excedrin $1.99-$1 coupon = $.99

Food Waste Friday

I am happy with our food waste for the week. I should have taken some pictures of inside the yogurt and dip, there was very little in the bottoms. The veggies in the yellow bowl were from a new frozen kind that had a weird cheese sauce- I thought I would save them and repurpose them but I just didn't get to it. The peas and beans just got shoved to the back and are actually more like food waste from 2 weeks ago!

I HEART Swagbucks!

I got another FREE giftcard in the mail today from Swagbucks!
For more info on how you can get free stuff too, check out this post.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Saving money on your grocery and household bills

When I started this journey last August our grocery and house stuff ran us between $400-$600 a month. Whittling the number down to $200-$250 a month (yes I go over sometimes :) ) has been a very gradual process as I have learned what works for my family needs.

Here are some of the things we do to save money on groceries.
  1. buy meat on sale/cook/divide into meal portions/freeze
  2. make our own breads/rolls/buns from scratch
  3. use lots of coupons
  4. eat more frozen veggies during the winter when fresh is SO EXPENSIVE
  5. have meatless meals
  6. use up our leftovers
  7. stockpile when I can get something free or almost free
  8. spices from whole foods bulk bins

Some things I would like to be doing

  1. make more from scratch (healthier and cheaper)
  2. start a garden
  3. do once a month cooking
  4. cook more beans

What we do to save on household stuff

  1. Walgreens- learn the system and use it
  2. Use washable rags/towels rather than paper towels
  3. clean with vinegar, bleach or free stuff
  4. use about 1/2 of the recommended amount of laundry detergent (Tide or All Free&Clear)
  5. not be brand loyal (most of the time) - at least be open to trying something different, specially when you can get it for free.
  6. Do what works for us- we tried using All free&clear for us like we do for the kid and hated it and went back to Tide for us
  7. stock up when I can get stuff for free (some of the stuff you should never have to pay for: toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, hair products) or really cheap
  8. newspaper instead of paper towels to clean mirrors and windows

Above all I think the best way to save money is to:

  1. stick to the basics
  2. look for ways to use something in multiple ways
  3. do not autopilot to buy instead borrow/trade/make do without/make it yourself

Kroger Deals through March 3rd

Best Deal of the Week
Kroger Comfort Diapers- $5.99
Use $3 printable coupon here (remember to hit back, usually you can print 2 coupons per computer) or a peelie $3/1 on the package to make for a SUPER DEAL
BTW I tried these diapers this week and was impressed. They remind me of Huggies in quality and we have had no leaks or rash issues... at .07 a diaper for size 3!!

Dollar Deals
Dole Cole Slaw
Kroger Carrots
Fresh Express Garden Salad
Kroger Sour Cream
Kroger Cottage Cheese
Starkist Pouches- use the buy 2 get 1 free coupon from a recent insert
Red Gold Tomatoes- .75/2 printable
Dole Pinapple-.55/2 from 2/1 ss
Hunts tomatoes, paste, sauce- $1 off 5 on shortcuts.com- also an insert coupon- you can use both
Pillsbury biscuits- lots of coupons
Right guard Deodorant
Aquafresh toothpaste- coupons here- .75/1
FREE Colgate toothbrushes- printable $1/1 here, also Q's in 2/22 ss
Gerber Main Meals- $2/6 in 1/4 ss

Other good stuff
Red Barron Pizza- $3.33 - $1/2 from 1/11 ss
Sanderson Farms Whole Chickens- .67 lb
Boneless Half Pork Loin- 1.97 lb
boneless english roast- 1.97 lb

Friday, February 20, 2009

Food Waste Friday

I organized & cleaned out my cabinets this week. This was what got thrown away. I should have given some of it away before it expired... the cattleman's, green beans, and drink mixes we did not like...I have no idea what the grains were in the plastic containers, I bought them a long time ago at Wild Oats to experiment with and now I have no idea what they are... the jellos, I opened and used part for smoothies and they got clumpy ~ yuck ... the condiments were expired. I look at this picture and cringe and think "how wasteful and definitely not frugal!"

My goal from now on is to cut back on my food waste ~ my consciouses about food waste came from this blog.
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Food Budget Review for January & February

I have been naughty.
This frugal girl has not been keeping track of her household spending AT ALL!
Since we do all of our spending through a credit card that we pay off each month it was easy enough to go back through and add up all of our purchases. I was happy with our grocery bills but very unhappy with how much we spent on eating out!

We budget $200 a month on groceries and household supplies and $120 a month on eating out.

Groceries and all household supplies including medicines but not including baby stuff.
Total: $238.91
I went over by $38.91 but I am really not surprised considering the great sales that Kroger was having and how much I got stocked up.

Eating Out- includes any food/drink item purchased not at a grocery store.
Total: $244.79

Ouch this was way higher than I thought it would be. I have got to start making Kirt's lunches again and having a better plan for our meals so I don't hit the easy button and get Kirt to pick up Subway on his way home.

Yes I know there is one more week in February but I have bought all my groceries through that time frame so the only that is going to be added is eating out.

February Groceries
Total: $123.82

February Eating Out
Total: $131.32

Already over and there is a week to go, bleh.

Maybe March should be NO eating out March...I like a challeng but how am I going to convince hubs this is a good idea?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Free Photo Prints from Walgreens- Friday, Feb. 20th!

Walgreens.com is offering 20 free 4x6 photo prints tomorrow (Friday, February 20, 2009) only when you enter coupon code ONEDAY at checkout. Be sure to request to pick these up in-store so that you will also receive free shipping.

Free Girl Products

Sign up now to get a free beinggirl Sample Kit. Included in the kit are:2 Regular Tampax Pearl Tampons, 1 Lite Tampax Pearl Tampon, 1 Always Infinity Feminine Pad, 2 Always Pantiliners, and 1 Always Feminine Wipe.

I think this will be perfect to leave in my car for emergencies!

Free Pancakes!

Hop on over to IHOP next Tuesday

Tuesday, February 24th is National Pancake Day. Come celebrate it at IHOP from 7am-10pm. You will get a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. All they ask is that you consider making a donation to the Children's Miracle Network.

***I plan to call IHOP before I go, to double check that the Benton IHOP is participating in the promotion*****

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good deals come to those that wait!

I am very excited because with in a few days time I will be the proud owner of two oversized, rocker recliner chairs that swivel! Since I got pregnant with Jackson I have wanted an oversized rocker recliner and my hubs wanted one that swiveled. We looked and looked and sat and sat and never fell in love with one that we could afford. We looked at many furniture stores and on craiglist for MONTHS and NOTHING worked for us. Then a couple of days ago I found these on craigslist and went to check them out. We got both of the chairs for half the price of one! This is definitely one of those times when a good deal came to those that waited!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Multiple Uses for WD-40

  1. Stove top cleaner
  2. lubricates and cleans guitar strings
  3. removes lipstick stains
  4. loosens stubborn zippers
  5. untangles jewelry chains
  6. removes stains from stainless steel sinks
  7. removes tomato stains from clothing
  8. keeps shower doors free of water spots
  9. keeps flies off of cows
  10. restores and cleans chalkboards
  11. keeps scissors working smoothly
  12. lubricates noisy door hinges
  13. makes children's slides super fast
  14. lubricate tracks of windows and sliding doors
  15. restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles and vinyl bumpers
  16. keeps rust from forming on saw and saw blades and other tools
  17. keeps bathroom mirror from fogging
  18. keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell)
  19. removes all traces of duct tape
  20. cleans and removes bugs from grills and bumpers
  21. removes scuff marks from floors
  22. removes crayon marks from walls

***I came across this list in an email. According to the offical WD-40 website there are over 2000 uses for WD-40. As with anything, use at your own risk and try to test a small area first****

Monday, February 16, 2009

Meal Plan Monday - 2 weeks

Breakfast: cereal, homemade bread and English muffins, kashi bars

Lunch: leftovers, soups from the pantry

Pizza (homemade pizza crust!)
Spaghetti & meatballs, broccoli
fajitas & black beans (homemade tortilla shells!)
BBQ chicken, twice baked potatoes, green beans, crescent rolls (from a can!)

Then this weekend, the in-laws are coming so I am going to roast a turkey that I got on sale before Christmas and make the "fixins", mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce is a possibility.... really just depends on how motivated I feel as to what sides I will end up making.

Week 2
Chicken Poulet... but I am going to make it with leftover turkey - the recipe comes from here and green beans
Turkey pot pie
chili hot dogs, corn chips, apples (homemade rolls!)
Chicken and Dumplings, peas

Looks like I will need a baking day tomorrow!

Grocery List for the next two weeks
AP flour
corn chips
chicken legs
hot dogs
sour cream

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Walgreens Steals for this week and next!

I decided to post all of the Walgreens STEALS for the next couple of weeks so I can stay organized and so if you need/want to order/beg/borrow more coupons you can!!

(thanks to hotcouponworld for the great matchups!)


Bic Soleil or Comfort 3 disposable razor 4pk TOTAL:$1.99
SALE:$4.99 Page 7
MQ: Bic Soleil Shaver, Any 4 Pack - 01-18-09 SS$2.00
AD Q: ES Q: Page 17 Feb. $1 off Bic Soleil or comfort 3 disposable razor 4 pk Limit 1
MATH: $4.99 - $2 MFRQ = $2.99 - $1 ESQ = $1.99

Colgate 4.6 oz, TOTAL: -$.01
SALE: $.99 page 11
MQ: $1 off 2-1-09 SS (expires 2/21)
MATH: $.99- $1 = -$.01

Revlon Creme Lip Gloss, TOTAL: -$2.00 for 2
MQ: $1.00 all over
MIR: Rebate #4 up to $10
MATH: 20.00 - BOGO = 10.00 - $2 (2 coupons YMMV) = 8.00 - 10.00 (MIR) =-$2.00

Good Deal Alert
Coca cola 12 pack products TOTAL: 3/$6
Sale Price 3/$11 - Buy 3 Earn $2RR
Use $1 off Coupon from Kraft Game day booklet

Also All Valentine JUNK is half off! You can use your coupons to make even better deals on the candy!

Week of 2/22-2/28

Reynolds Wrap,TOTAL: -$.11
SALE: $.89 w/ in-ad qMQ: $1/1 (2/8 insert)

Gillette Fusion Gamer razor,TOTAL: -$1.01
SALE: $8.99MQ: $4/1 (2/8 P&G) RR: $6 RR wyb 1, pg. 8
MATH: $8.99 - $4 - $6 = -$1.01

Oust TOTAL: 2/$.99
SALE: 2.99 each MQ: B1G1 Free - 2.8 SS, 1.4 SS ESMIR: 1.00 off 1 max of 4.00
MATH: buy 2 2.99 + 2.99 b1g1 -2.99 less ESMIR -2.00 ($1.0 x 2) offer #31 = .99 for 2

Fabric & Air Deodorizer, TOTAL: -.01 or .50
SALE: $2.99 MQ: $2/1, home mailer or found inside package of scented oil refill or $1.50 from insert ESMIR: FEB $1 MIR
MATH: $2.99 - $1 MIR - $2 coupon = -.01

Glade Scented Oil Candle Refills, TOTAL: 2/$1
SALE: 2/$5MQ: $1/1 2/1SS ESMIR: FEB $2 MIR on 2
MATH: 2/$5 -$2MIR - 2 ($1) coupons = 2/$1

Excedrin 20 or 24ct, TOTAL: -.01
SALE: $1.99MQ: $1/1 1/4SS RR: $1 RR
MATH: $1.99 - $1RR - $1 coupon = -.01

Dove Deodorant, TOTAL: $.49/1 - or - $2.48/2
SALE: $1.99 sale price MQ: $1.50/1 Dove Deodorants Any - 01-18-09 RP- or -MQ: $1.50
adQ: $1.99, page 8ES
MATH: $1.99 - $1.50/1 mq = $.49- or -MATH: $1.99x2 - $1.50/2 mq = $2.48/2

hersheys single bars, TOTAL: FREE
bogo 7 day + bogo manf 11/9S

Friday, February 13, 2009

FYI Couponing Buddies

No coupons this week!

(I am about 90% positive on this one based on what I have read on several sites and the fact that I can find NO previews & there are ALWAYS previews by Friday of the coupons coming out on Sunday.)

Yes, you read that correctly.

Why would there be NO coupons... on most holiday weekends there are no coupons and Monday is Presidents day.

Don't shoot the messenger, I don't make the rules.

Guess this means I should cut out all the inserts I have been shoving in my coupon box and get "reorganized" for that next big sale!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Confession time

I can't make soup.

Soup just doesn't love me even though I HEART SOUP.

I can make yeast breads, muffins, cakes and all other matters of goodness from scratch, but my soup ALWAYS taste like poo.

Tonight's failure was some nice, hot, not so yummy bean and ham soup (even the kid turned up his little button nose to the beans and that boy LOVES beans).

I am putting up my white flag to the soup pot.

Don't worry we did not starve...remember I am crazy good at baking bread, I made buttermilk bread based on this recipe.

It was divine.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesday- freezing lemon & lime juice

I bought some lemon and limes that were on manger's special 5/$1 with the intention of using them in some baked goods like pies or muffins.

I did not. Mostly because I think my booty does not need a pie or a muffin... this week.

Instead I researched online to see another way to store them and found out that "lemon and lime juice freeze beautifully"

To freeze:
Juice the lemons and limes, separately and put the juice in ice cube trays. Then if you are feeling adventurous zest the fruits and sprinkled the zest into the juice. After freezing, put the cubes into a freezer bag and squeezed out all of the air.

Two cubes is equivalent to about the juice of one small fruit.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My story of how I saved money today

I am in my final year of school for my masters in counseling.
I have to take a BIG test to get my license.
The test is very hard.
The test costs $200.
If I fail twice I have to wait 2 YEARS to take the test again.
In that time I CAN NOT be a therapist.


So I asked everyone who came before how they got ready for said big test and they named books and cds that they used to study. In case you didnt know... the study guide business is BIG business. $50 for a book! More for the cds.

I have a child, I have been in college for 7 years, I am poor. Enough said.

I kept trying to figure out how to get ahold of something to study.

I looked on ebay and half.com and amazon.... I looked at my credit card and looked away.

Then I started calling people... and found 2 people willing to let me borrow the CD's!!!

Then tonight I went to my colleges library and on a whim looked and they had not one but two books on studying for the NCE (national counselor exam).

Today was a good day.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Frugal Recipe Resources

I have a secret addiction to recipes... well really probably not so secret to anyone who knows me.

I am also one of those people who does not really follow a recipe exactly, I just like to get new ideas when I browse. Not sticking exactly to a recipe also allows me to be truly frugal because I mix and substitute for what I have instead of running to the store for more ingredients.

Here are two of my favorite frugal recipe websites:

Miserly Moms - this one has large database of recipes that are submitted by people from all over the country... this is one that is entertaining because of the "interesting" submissions but there are also some good ones.

Hillbilly Housewife - this is my go to site for "from scratch" recipes

and while not a "frugal" website per say, my other favorite recipe site is Allrecipes.com
Great because people give the recipes ratings and because they have lots of "food porn".

Some pretty Valentine's food porn from allrecipes for your drooling pleasure.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Loadable Coupon Sites

If you have never tried a loadable coupon site before and you shop at Kroger then you are definitely missing out.

Couple of things about loadable coupons
  1. They do not double.
  2. They can be combined with a paper coupon (and preferably a sale for the best savings).
  3. They come off automatically when you buy the product indicated.
  4. If for some reason they do not come off you can contact each individual sites customer service and they will take care of the problem- Kroger can not help you and the cashier will have NO idea what you are talking about.
  5. The coupon/discount does not come off in the normal place all the time, check the whole receipt.
  6. The coupons usually take 1 hour to load on your card- I have always waited longer for the just in case factor, I do not like returning items or dealing with customer service.

Cellfire- good site, gives fewer coupons than the other sites and mostly has Kroger brand coupons.

****It says to use a cell phone number and it will send a text to verify. I DO NOT give out my cell phone number because I hate getting ad calls. I gave my old home phone number that is disconnected and then I just tried signing in and it worked.****

Some current coupons:

Save $.50 when you buy ONE BOX any flavor Fiber One® Chewy Bars

Save $.50 when you buy any Pillsbury® Italian Meal Bread

Save $.75 when you buy any Kroger 16 ounce Cottage Cheese

Save $.75 when you buy any Kroger Canned Tuna

Shortcuts: great site, lots of variety.

Some current coupons:

SAVE $1.50 Good on any package of HUGGIES® Diapers

SAVE $.50 when you buy TWO any flavor Progresso® Soups

Save $1 When you buy any FIVE cans of Hunt's® Tomatoes

Proctor & Gamble: these coupons are all home and body care items, they also will periodically put pampers coupons on for wipes and diapers, which make an awesome deal when combined with a paper coupon.

Some current coupons:

Save $2.00 on ALWAYS PADS


Save $1.25 on PAMPERS

Save $1.50 on CREST

Sunday, February 1, 2009

FREE Starbucks!

Did I get your attention? Starbucks is soo YUMMY but sooo expensive. I get FREE $5 Starbucks gift cards through Swagbucks.

Swagbucks is a search engine service that you can earn points through a couple of different ways and then turn in your points for prizes- my favorite is the $5 Starbucks gift card for 50 points. The points rack up quickly : I have gotten 3 Starbucks cards in about 6 weeks.

The best part - I did not have to do anything out of the ordinary!

I earned all of those points by doing internet searches just like I normally would do through MSN except I did them through Swagbucks.

When I heard about this through moneysavingmom I was like ummm sure.... this has got to be a scam. But its not. I signed up for a free account, downloaded their search bar and used it like I regularly would to win points. Then when I had accumulated some points, I went to the Swagbucks store. They had LOTS of things to choose from: amazon gift cards, Barns & Noble gift cards, tee shirts, Xboxes, music... oh yeah and Starbucks :)
I hit order and got my gift card in about a week. I went to Starbucks and got a yummy carmel frap and paid with my giftcard!!

I am sharing this info with you so that you can sign up and get some FREE stuff too! Also if you sign up through my banner at the top of this page, Swagbucks will give me extra points!

Thank you in advance.

Then after you make your account you can send an email to your friends and family and get them to sign up and then you will get extra points too!

Awesome right! So go sign up now- just click on the banner at the top of the page and lets all earn some Starbucks gift cards and meet for coffee!

Babies R Us UPDATE!

I said I would check and see if you could double up the diaper deal at BRU- YES!!

Heres how it works.

Buy 3 Value Boxes of Pampers- $40.69 for 202 in the size 3 Baby Dry, 176 in size 4
$5 off coupon for each box (see my post from a couple days ago for the printable BRU coupon), combined with 3- $1 off coupons from the Sunday paper, and then they will give you a $15 BRU gift card for future purchases.

I got 2 size 3's and 1 size 4: total number of diapers=578
total: $89.07 for 3 boxes
= .15 a diaper

Ok just for comparisons sake:

the usual sale for Pampers is $10 for a 40 pk of size 3's
= .25 a diaper
- $1 Sunday coupon = $9/40
= .23 a diaper

We go through roughly 6 diapers a day (except for yesterday when the kid decided he needed to poop 4 times!!!) Total number of diapers 578/6 = 96 days worth of diapers

regular price = $1.50 a day
$1 coupon = $1.38 a day
BRU sale = $.90 a day

Total money saved over buying the diapers with no sale and no coupons:
$.60 a day * 96 days = $57.60

***also at BRU if you sign up for their free club- after you buy 9 boxes of Pampers your 10th is FREE***