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Friday, May 28, 2010

Time Management

There's a concept I haven't tried lately...
School is almost out.
Let's try it:



baby playdate/Trenton to activities

Target as needed


CVS as needed

Homeland as needed

Ha!  I have no clue...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CVS Grand Opening near me!

Based on the past grand openings, they will put out a $10/$20 coupon, along with several other great coupons! Here are some scenarios to try if you can get your hands on several sets of those coupons, good for mamas this week:
2 Charmin big roll 16pk 9.99 each
1 Coke 2liter 1.25
use $10/$20 from flier
use 2 charmin 0.25 from 5/2 SS
use free 2liter from flier
pay 9.48+tax
5 Puffs 0.99 each
3 Pampers wipes 2.99 each
cvs dipes or trainpants 5.99
2ltr coke 1.25
use $10/$20
use free 2ltr
pay 9.91+tax, receive 10ecb from charmin/puffs & 2ecb from cvs dipes
Pampers 21.99
2ltr, use free Q
use 10/20
use $2 mq from P&G 5/2
use 10 ecb
pay tax only, receive 5ecb from pampers
pampers 21.99
2ltr, use free Q
use 10/20
use $2 from P&G 5/2
use 5ecb &2ecb, pay 2.99+tax, receive 5ecb
pampers 21.99
2ltr, use free Q
use 10/20
use $2 from P&G 5/2
use 5ecb, pay 4.99+tax, receive 5ecb

So, if you can obtain 5 fliers, do 5 trans, buy 32 rolls Charmin, 5 bx Puffs, 5 2ltrs Coke, 1 pk cvs dipes, 3 wipes, 3 bxs pampers, for $27.50+tax, plus have 5ecb for next week.

3 Hefty trash bags 6.49 each
coke 2ltr 1.25
use 10/20,use free 2ltr
use 5ecb, pay 4.47, receive 3ecb for Hefty I do this deal or not?  I'll have to see how many ecb I have right now...I really don't think I need any of this, and Pampers jumbo pks are 8.98 the week of 6/6...decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Target 5/25

Target was good to me today.  My cashier was off work in an hour, a 20-something boy, who hit the K1 button like a pro!  Talk about a nice total was $0.34 plus tax.  If I can get my hands on another Kraft rebate form, I'd be even happier!  Here's what I got:

7 Airwick oil imotion 5.99 each, used 7 $4 mqs & 7 $2 TQs=overage of 0.07
Kraft olive oil mayo 1.59, used free product Q=0
Kraft mac&chz cheesy explosion 1.19, used free product Q=0
28 Arm & Hammer toothpaste 0.97 each, used 14 $2.50/2 MQs=overage of 7.84
8 Olay soap 0.97 each, used 8 $1MQs=overage of 0.24
4 Ritz crackerfuls 2.69 each, used 4 $1mqs & 1 free TQ=4.07
4 Oreo fudge covered cookies 2.99 each, used 4 $1mqs & free TQ=4.97
6 Kraft homestyle mac & chz 2.69 each, used 1 free product Q, 5 $1.50mqs & 2 free TQs=0.57
My cashier mistakenly missed one of my toothpaste, because my total should have been $1.31(after credit for 3 shopping bags!)
I now have a full box of bodywash, deodorant, and toothpaste to send to the Veterans Hospital!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Target trip 5/24

I'm laying out my transaction, so I can try to understand what looks like they missed 7 coupons...they just got kicked out for some reason, but I got the cash back on them after getting the CS rep to goes:

8 Nabisco 100 cal packs, 4 @ 2.41 & 4 @ 2.54, used 4 bogo Qs, 3 $1 Qs, and 1 free TQ(it wouldn't take my 2nd TQ)=4.23
Sunsweet juice 4.39, used free Q=0
Uncle Bens rice 1.69, used free Q=0
Cheerios 2.54, used free Q=0
watermelon 2.99
9 Kraft Homestyle mac & cheese 2.69 each, used 9 $1.50Qs & 3 free TQs=2.64
8 Oscar Mayer lunchmeat 2.79 each, used 3 freeQs, 5 $1.50Qs & 2 free TQs=0.87
then I used 3 bags so another 15 cents off...that is 10.58...oops, it was correct, but 7 of my $1.50 Qs do not show on the receipt.  I knew I would have about $7 total, but I guess the other Nabisco TQ not going through, coupled with the receipt not showing all my Qs...I am really confused now!  I guess I'll take the $10.50 the gave me back to embarassed!

This receipt will go toward my Kraft Summer rebate!

ps, I had my trans all planned out differently, but when I got there, they were out of the cheese I planned to purchase, so I'll be changing my other scenarios a bit!

Spinach Burgers

Here's a great way to get some more veggies into your diet!  Love burgers?  Sure, the hubby and kids love grilled burgers!  I stumbled across a recipe which added spinach and feta to a turkey burger, and thought it would probably work in beef as well.  Simply, I took 1 lb of ground beef in a large bowl, added some sage and thyme, some olive oil, some spinach from our garden(I steamed it for a few in the microwave, but you could use drained frozen or canned), a little worcestershire, and mixed everything together.  I placed the mixture in the fridge for about an hour to allow the flavors to come together, then formed patties as usual, and fired up the grill.  We used our normal burger really can't tell the difference in taste.  Yes, you see the spinach, but you can't taste it.  The burgers were very juicy and filling, and we all got extra veggies without the fuss!  Try it in your house!

Peanut Butter Granola, #2

I got up way too early today, so I messed around and started trying this recipe.  It's super easy & fast...and fantastic tasting!  Wow!  I had to put it away quickly so that I would stop eating it!

Peanut Butter Granola #2
The granola may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or it can be refrigerated or frozen for up to 1 month.

Makes about 6 cups (12 servings)

4 tablespoons olive oil(or whatever you have, or use butter)
1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups rolled oats (do not use quick-cooking)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Combine the oil, peanut butter and honey in a microwave-safe medium bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, then stir. Heat another 30-60 seconds and stir again.
Add the brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt, stirring until smooth, then add the oats and mix until they are evenly coated. Spread the mixture evenly on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or just until browned and crisp.  Stir and put back in the over for a couple minutes if you need to brown a bit longer.
Let cool on the baking sheet, then break up into bite-size pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

AllYou Grocery Challenge 2010

Woohoo! I love this Event! Last year I participated when I was just beginning to use coupons, and it was pivotal in changing my shopping and cooking habits!  Sign up!  It's fun and helpful.  You can chat with other participants, share recipes and ideas, and challenge yourself to making a change!  I aim to do better this year, but my totals for last year were:
week 1 $69.71
week 2 $37.12
week 3 $39.47
week 4 $13.83
We had two meals in restaurants during the month, plus my husband had just had back surgery so I had a couple hospital cafeteria meals, but overall, we did great!

This year's contest begins June must sign up by June 16.  Judging is based on these criteria:
Staying within contest spending guidelines (50%); creativity and ingenuity (25%); and healthy choices (25%). Spending guidelines are: spend no more than $25 per family member per week on groceries for four weeks. Children under 12 months need not be included.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Upcoming Kraft rebate

I have my transactions planned for the Kraft rebate that starts May 23rd.  Thanks to a Kraft House Party I was chosen to host, along with some great new Target coupons, it's looking like a great stock-up opportunity.  I'm going to split my transactions up in case the rebate form becomes available online, and then I could gift some relatives with a receipt to help them out a bit!  Here's the plan:

Trans 1=13.03
8 OM hotdogs 2.89 each, use 4 $1/2 mqs & 2 free TQs=13.34
Digiorno pizza & stx 5.97, use free mq=0
Olive oil mayo 12 oz Kraft 1.59, use free mq=0
3 Kraft mac homestyle 2.69 each, use 1 free mq & 2 $1.50 mqs & 1 free TQ=-0.31

Trans 2=1.95
8 Nabisco 100 cal snack pks 2.54 each, use 4 bogo mqs & 3 $1mqs & 2 free TQs=2.08
8 OM deli shaved meat 2.79 each, use 3 free mqs & 5 $1.50 mqs & 2 free TQs & 1 mobile TQ=-0.13

Trans 3=9.00
4 Kraft Deli Deluxe 2.89 each, use 4 $1 mqs & 2 $1.50/2 TQs=4.56
3 Kraft mac homestyle 2.69 each, use 3 $1.50 mqs & 1 free TQ=0.88
Kraft cheesy explosion mac 1.19, use free Q=0
2 Kraft chz 100 cal bites 2.49 each, use 2 $1.50 mqs & $1.50/2 TQ=0.48
4 OM Turkey Bacon 2.54 each, use free mq & 2 $1 mqs & 1 free TQ=3.08

Trans 4=4.08
6 Kraft chz 100 cal bites 2.49 each, use 6 $1.50 mqs & 3 $1.50/2 TQs=1.44
9 Kraft mac homestyle 2.69 each, use 9 $1.50 mqs & 3 free TQs=2.64

Trans 5=2.89
4 Fudge Oreos 2.79 each, use 4 $1 mqs & 1 free TQ=4.37
4 Ritz Crackerful 2.69 each, use 4 $1 mqs & 1 free TQ=4.07
8 Kraft chz 100 cal bites 2.49 each, use 5 $1.50mqs & 3 free mqs & 4 $1.50/2 TQs=-5.55

30.95 oop, get back $10 rebate!

CVS this week

Had a nice couple of transactions:

trans 1(found Nestle choc chips on clearance, and I had a ton of crt Qs to use up):
2 Puffs tissues 0.84 each, used $1/2 cvs paper crt
4 hand sanitizer clearance 0.29 each, used 2 $1/2 first aid crts
4 Nestle morsels clearance 0.99 each
5 v05 shampoo 0.77 each, used 5 $1/1 cvs hair crts
2 Nivea lip 2.99 each, used 1 bogo mq & $1/1 mq
1 cotton squares 0.99, used $1/1 cosmetic accessory crt
2 TicTacs 1.49 each, used bogo mq
used a $5/20 email Q and 1ecb, pd 0.67 oop

trans 2:
Huggies Lil Swimmers 6.99, used 1.50 mq
2 Nivea womens bw 4.99 each, used bogo mq
nivea lip 2.99, used $1mq
caramel 0.33
used $5/20 email Q and 8.50 in ecb, pd 1.03 oop and received 5ecb for nivea

trans 3:
Huggies Lil Swimmers 6.99, used 1.50mq & $2 crt
2 gillette bw 4.00 each, used bogo mq & 1.50 cat Q received at Target
4 tictacs 1.49 each, used 2 bogo mqs
used 5/20 cvs email Q and 3.50 ecb, pd 2.26 oop and received 8ecb for gillette

total oop 3.96, received 13 in new ecb!

Peanut Butter Granola

I love PB, and ran across this recipe some time ago...yummy!
Peanut Butter Granola
12 cups rolled oats (1 large container)
1 1/2 cups honey
1 can apple juice concentrate
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)

Mix the wet ingredients with a mixer in a large bowl. Add the oats and stir until combined.
Preheat oven to 300* F. Place the granola on two cookie sheets or glass 9x13 pans.
Place in the oven (300*F) and stir every 20 minutes until lightly browned, usually about an hour but it's important to check it every 5-10 minutes towards the end so you don't burn it.
Once completely cool, store in an airtight container.

Variation: Omit honey and add 1 cup brown sugar. Stir the wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Place the oats in a large bowl and stir in the brown sugar before adding the wet ingredients to the oats.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What can you do with a $100 Target Gift Card?

Back in mid-March, I won a $100 gift card to Target from a local blog contest involving freezer stockpiles.  I had an internal struggle about it, but I decided to splurge!  I rarely treat myself to anything, so I went a little crazy with this gift card!  Here's what I scored with that awesome prize:

10 GE  cfl light bulbs
2 St Patricks Day tshirts(for next year)
Hanes socks 6pr for Garrett
Brita water pitcher & filters
3 Easter baskets
3 Easter novelty items
5 Johnsons buddies soap bars
15 pkgs Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes
15 C9 athletic shirts/capris
4 DVDs(New Moon, Twilight, AstroBoy, Bandslam)
cake decorating kit
2 beachtowels
4pk kids bowls

Ok, so I didn't completely splurge...I did use lots of coupons!  And...the Seventh Gen. products qualify for rebates:  $5 back when you buy 3 products...bonus!  We'll still consider that a splurge, since I wouldn't have purchased several of the items if not for the free gift card.

CVS 101

Have you started shopping at CVS?  If not, now is the time to start.  They are awesome!  Around here, the customer service is stellar, in my opinion.  I'll share a few basics to get you started.  Feel free to ask questions if I omit something!

Much like Walgreens, CVS has a rewards program.  Buy an item or items specified in the ad, and receive a reward back in the form of ecb, extra care bucks.  You need a ExtraCare card to get in on these deals.  They are free and available in the store, or you can request one online.  You aren't required to register your card, but I suggest doing so because I often receive bonus coupons via email because my card is registered.

When you go into your CVS, go to the CRT machine near the front and scan your card.  You will receive generic coupons to use that day, or save them and see what might be on sale the next week.  Keep scanning your card until the machine tells you there are no more coupons available.  Sometimes you get bonus coupons!
Smart shopping at CVS involves buying items that yield ecbs that you will actually use.  I can count on CVS to give great deals on diapers, toothpaste & mouthwash, shampoo, makeup, coffee, razors, etc.  I will never 'pay' for these items again..these are all obtainable through sales, coupons, and ecbs.  If you are buying these items, stop!
Another great thing about CVS is their bogo and bogo50% sales.  You can use 2 coupons per pair of items, or you can use a bogo coupon.  Potentially, a bogo coupon with a bogo sale means you'll pay tax only for 2 items!
CVS allows you to use 1 manufacturer's coupon and 1 store coupon per item.  Check for extra savings.  Ask your store manager if they will accept competitor's store coupons...a couple of the stores in my area allows you to use Walgreens & Target coupons, which they enter as CVS coupons, to add to your savings.
So, when planning a trip to CVS, take a look at their ad and see what items are yielding ecb, plus any other items you might want to buy, and check out items that are bogo or bogo50...they might have potential!
I make a list of the items I am interested in, along with the prices, coupons I have for the item, and ecb info, including the limit.  No sense in buying more than the ecb or deal limit unless it's a really great price!  Then, I check my email and see if I received any new CVS coupons.  I work out scenarios on paper that give me the lowest out of pocket expense, and give me ecbs back, that I turn around and use toward my next purchase.  Once you get several ecb built up, you can do transactions in different order, which is helpful if the store is out of stock on something you intend to buy.
Speaking of being out if stock, CVS will give you rainchecks on items. The raincheck never expires, and will guarantee your ecb, even after the promotion has ended.  Don't forget to ask for a raincheck whenever you need it!
A little about ecbs:  If your item is limit 1, you can only receive the reward once for that item.  Your receipt will include the ecb(which you tear off and keep with your coupons until you need to use it--they expire in 30 days), and will tell you whether or not you have met your limit on the item(s).
If your item is more than 1, there are several ways you can purchase. 
I'll use a limit 3 as an example:
Say your item is $4 with a 4ecb, limit 3.  You could buy 1 item for $4, and receive 4ecb back.  Then, buy the item again for $4, pay with your 4ecb, get a new 4ecb.  Then, do that one more time.
Or, buy the item for $4, get a 4ecb.  Then buy 2 items for $8, use the 4ecb & pay $4oop, get 8ecb back(not 4ecb & 4ecb..they will be together).
Or, buy 3 of the item for $12, then receive 12ecb back.
That is where things can get confusing, but you can learn to use the ecb system to your advantage.  Again, you don't need to pay for personal care items...just shop CVS!

Well, hope it wasn't too confusing to learn the CVS basics.  Let me know how your first CVS trip goes!

Friday, May 14, 2010


I have alot to keep me moving the next week or so...a little Homeland shopping this weekend;  Taking Trenton to visit his Granny;  supposed to attend a baby shower, but they had the baby today, so that looks iffy;  Bday party for Trenton, Vince, and Vince's Gma, for which I am making 3 cakes.  Then Harps dbls starts Wednesday...
Need to get in the garden if the rain ever stays away!

CVS 5/114/10

Little Garrett and I dropped Trenton off at school, then braved the rain for a little fun at Target and CVS.  Target was out of stock on the Hydro razors, but I got a few Airwicks for free, so the trip wasn't a total bust!  Onto CVS...
At one store I bought:
2 Aussie haircare
2 Hersheys dark XL bars
1 Huggies
2 Nivea bodywash
1 Coke 2ltr
2 vit-D
4 Maxwell House
At another store I bought:
4 12pks MtDew
2 vit zinc
4 vit-B
4 Maxwell House
1 Hydro Razor
2 Dial soap 3pk

I spent a total of $7.49, and earned $14 in new ecb.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

CVS trip 5/12/10

Oh, My!  I did 6 transactions, 90 minutes of shopping and struggling with a fidgety baby...I paid $3.01 + tax.  The tax was substantial, my total with tax was $14.64, with a savings of $236.91.  I earned 1 ecb for future shopping. 
The photo isn't great, so here's a list of what I bought:
4 12pks Coke
2 12 pks Sprite
3 gallons Borden milk
6 pkg Fig Newtons
3 pkg cotton swabs
2 pkg bandaging tape
1 Hydrogen peroxide
2 Kotex liners
1 Carefree liners
2 B12 drops
6 Magnesium vitamins
2 bgs sour gummy worms(1 lg, 1 sm)
2 bgs Werthers candies
2 NYC nailpolish
2 Covergirl lipgloss
6 tic tacs
4 Cutter pest repellant wipes
8 bx Raisin Bran
1 3pk Listerine strips

Monday, May 10, 2010

Homeland Mom's Day weekend

I went out to SandSprings' Homeland Saturday and Sunday...score!
It's not a very good pic, mostly because there is SO MUCH STUFF!
I did 2 transactions, and Trenton(good kid!) did 1 transaction.
My totals on Saturday were 0.18, 2.44, 2.47.  I got 3 1.5# pkg of Smart Chicken breasts, 3 1# pkg of RRR cube steak, 3 pkg Land o Frost lunchmeat, 2 pkg SaraLee HeartHealthy buns, 3 pkg Borden singles sensations, 3 Edwards singles pies, 3 Ideal 50ct sweetener, 3 Sure deo, 6 Nesquik syrup, 4 Yakisoba noodles, 3 Crest kids, 3 Crest.  The pic above cost $5.09, including tax, saved $102.

No pic for Sunday's trip.  I bought 1 Wacky Mac, 4 Healthy Harvest pasta, 2 Nesquik, 2 Crest, 3 RRR cube steak, 3 Smart Chicken breasts, 3 Hormel cube steak.  Total was $6.69, saved $30. 

So, besides the other stuff, chicken, beef, & pork for 15+ meals for less than $12...nice!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

cvs 5/4

I couldn't resist the free and almost free stuff at CVS...spent $1.03+tax, woohoo!

The OFF clip on is 7.99 this week.  I used the bogo Q here and $2/1 Q here, plus my store will take Target coupons as CVS Qs so I used 2 $2 TQs, pd 0.99 for each OFF.

I used 5 bogo Qs for the coffeemate sticks here plus 5 of the 0.50/1 Qs from the 5/2/10 inserts.
The Edy's fruit bars are free wyb $10 worth of Nestle brand items.

I had various 0.25-0.50 Qs from inserts for the Dawn, which is on sale for 97 cents this week. 

I had a couple emailed Qs from CVS, plus some expiring ecb, to make up the rest.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Homeland trip 5/2/10

We went to visit my sick Grandma...couldn't stay long, baby was fussy.   That's just an excuse, though;  it was difficult to be Gma isn't mking sense, slurring words, and eyes are wandering.  I think she had another stroke since last week.  We were there last Saturday for Garrett's bday party, and Gma stayed in bed all but 5 minutes.  She's eating now, and out of bed, but you can't understand her.  Heartbreaking.
Besides this Gma being sick, my other Grandma(out of state) is hospitalized with both hips dislocated..they don't know if she is stable enough for surgery.  If not, she will be bedridden.

I feel so helpless.

So, I turned to shopping for a little comfort.
Stopped at Homeland in Prattville on the way home.  Trenton and I each did two transactions to maximize our double coupons:  8 Yakisoba noodles, 6pk brawny, 3 Pscar Mayer bologna, 4 Borden cheese, 2 Hormel pork cube steak, 4 Suddenly Salad.

Spent $12.23, but I will get $11.65 back on a satisfaction guarantee offer for the Brawny, so that makes it $0.58 for all this!!!