Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cheapskate's Milkshake!

In our little hidey hole we use our magic bullet kitchen appliance daily. One of Woodchuck's favorite drinks is Mama Woody's Cheapskate Milkshake. I started making these for him when he was much younger and money was more than tight. I didn't have the money to keep ice cream well stocked in the fridge and frankly I wasn't excited about giving my little Woodchuck all that sugar! So the cheapskate milkshake was born!

It was inspired by the snow ice cream that my father used to make for me when I was a little girl. I love making these because we always have all the ingredients on hand and we don't even have to wait for it to snow! There are many variations that you can make but they all stem off of this basic recipe.


1 cup milk
5 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in magic bullet or blender and blend until your heart's content!

Some variations that have become a hit include adding chocolate syrup (of course!) or Nesquik, a banana or frozen strawberries!

And I don't even feel guilty giving these to our kiddos for breakfast before school! My little Woodchuck looks more than happy to have it!

What variations can you come up with?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Couponing Week of 4/28/14!

I saved an average of 74% between shopping at Walgreens, Target and Dillons this week! Some deals were so good that I might have to make another trip to double up! The Mega event sale at Dillons continues on through next Tuesday so get out there and get the deals while they are there for the gettin'!


6 - Pantene Hair Products $20.00 - 2[$5/3 coupons] = $10.00 or $1.67 each!
***EARN 5,000 POINTS!***
1 - Scope 1 Liter Mouthwash $2.99 - [$1 coupon] = $1.99!
***EARN $1.25 RR!***
2 - Revlon Eyeshadow BOGO50 $4.48 - 2[$1 MF coupon] 2[$1 store coupon] = $.48 or $.24 each!!
3 - Pop Tarts $6.00 - [$1 coupon][$1 checkout 51 rebate] = $4.00 or $1.33 each!
1 - Puffs Plus Lotion 3pk $2.99 - [$.50 coupon] = $2.49 or $.83 each!

Total Retail Price $58.67 plus tax.
Total Price Paid $12.71 plus tax!!
Savings of 78%!!!


2 - St. Ives Spray Lotion $11.98 - 2[$2 coupons] = $9.98 or $4.99 each!
1 - Vaseline Spray & Go $5.99 - [$1 coupon][$1 target coupon= = $3.99!
***Received $5 Gift Card!***
3 - Speedstick Gear Deodorant $11.97 - 3[$2 coupons] = $5.97 or $1.99 each!
***Received $5 Gift Card!***
1 - Soft Scrub Cleaner $2.79 - [$1 target coupon][$1 coupon] = $.79!
3 - M&M's (EASTER CLEARANCE) $2.85 - [$1.50 target coupon][$2 coupon] = FREE!!!
1 - Skim Milk Gallon $3.39 - [5% cartwheel][$.50 ibotta rebate] = $2.72!
2 - International Delight Creamer $3.78 - 2[$.55 coupons][$1 target coupon] = $1.68 or $.84 each!
2 - Coffee-mate Creamer $3.98 - 2[$1 coupons][$1 target coupon][5% cartwheel] = $.83 or $.41 each!
2 - California Pizzas $10 - 2[$1.50 coupons][$2 target coupon] = $5.00 or $2.50 each!
1 - Edy's Outshine Bars $3.50 FREE w/2 PIZZAS! - [$1 coupon] = +$1.00 overage!

Total Retail Price $71.99 plus tax.
Total Price Paid $19.96 plus tax!
That's about 73% savings!!


4 - Roarin' Waters $5.96 - 2[$1 coupons] = $3.96 or $.99 each!
2 - Crystal Light $3.78 - 2[$1 coupons] = $1.78 or $.89 each!
4 - Speedstick Deodorant $5.16 - 4[$1 coupons] = $1.16 or $.29 each!
2 - Speedstick Gear Deodorant $4.98 - 2[$2 coupons] = $.98 or $.49 each!
2 - Blue Diamond Almonds $3.98 - [$1 coupon] = $2.98 or $1.49 each!
8 - Classico Pasta Sauce $7.92 - 2[$1.50 coupons] = $4.92 or $.62 each!
4 - Kraft Cheese Blocks $7.96 - 2[$1 coupons] = $5.96 or $1.49 each!
1 - Birdseye Voila! $2.50 - [$1 coupon] = $1.50!
1 - Orange $.75 - [$.25 checkout 51 rebate] = $.50!
1 - Chock Full O'Nuts Coffee $2.99!
1 - Heinz Ketchup $1.99 - [$1 Shopmium rebate] = $.99!

Total Retail Price $94.48 plus tax.
Total Price Paid $27.72 plus tax!
That's 71% savings!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Oh, just cannin' some mandarins...

Have you ever had a bag of fruit that starts to go bad faster than you had anticipated? As irritating as it is, there is a way to preserve many fruits to taste just as good as when it was fresh. My favorite, not to mention easy, fruit to can is mandarin oranges. Prices for canned fruit made my jaw drop the last time I went shopping for them. So I started buying fruit strictly fresh because it was cheaper! This morning I looked and we had about 2 lbs of mandarins that were on the brink of going bad. How did that happen so fast! Usually we finish a 3 lb bag before even one orange starts to look a little sick but this week... maybe the bag was a lot more ripe than I knew when I bought it. So rather than force feed Woodchuck and Woodchick citrus fruits through tomorrow I decided to just break out the water bath canner and cook up a few pints of mandarins. It literally took 30 minutes start to finish. Too easy.

First, fill your water bath canner with water and get it on the stove and bring to a boil. I also put my (already clean) jars in the water to get really hot while the water starts to a boil. Then get peeling! One of the reasons why I love mandarin oranges so much is because they are remarkably easy to peel AND there are no seeds. I peeled and sectioned those 2 lbs in like 5 minutes...
Rinse them off and get ready to add them to the sterilized jars!

It takes at least 8 ounces by weight to fill a pint jar but you can squeeze 10 ounces of orange slices easy. Just make sure that you leave 1/2 inch room from the top.

You'll need about 1 cup of fluid per pint jar. I made 3 pints this morning, I had planned on 4 but we got hungry during the process! I like a lighter syrup but you could always add more sweetener or sugar. Heck, you could even just do plain water! Or orange juice...

I did 4 cups of water and 2/3 cup splenda (trying to keep the calories down!). Bring the syrup to a boil before adding to the jars.

Once your sterilized jars are filled with the mandarins, carefully ladle the hot syrup over the top leaving 1/2 inch from the top clear. Be careful not to spill all over the rim! Place your new lids and tighten the rings to secure. Process in the hot water bath for 10-15 minutes. When the processing is completed, pull the jars from the boiling water with jar tongs and put in a place to cool undisturbed for at least 24 hours.

What you need:

2 lbs mandarin oranges (approx. $2.25)
4 cups boiling water
2/3 cup sugar or sweetener (approx. $.25)

Water Bath Canner
Jar Tongs
Jar Funnel
4 pint jars
4 canning lids
4 canning rings

Total approximate cost per pint of mandarin oranges is $.63! Beats the store prices and better for you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Couponing at Dillons 4/23/14!

There are so many phenomenal deals at Dillons/Kroger over the next couple weeks. I love it when they do their Mega Sales! This time it is "Buy 4, Save $4" and there are numerous awesome deals to be had! Unfortunately (or fortunately... I can't tell which!) the stockpile in our Hidey Hole is packed full so I don't have room to grab all the deals that I'd like to have! There were a few deals that I couldn't resist so I will find room somewhere! For a full list of the best deals out there right now check out the lists on The Krazy Coupon Lady or Deal Detecting Diva. I use their blogs to help when I'm making my list for Dillons/Kroger!

So here are the deals that I grabbed up this week!

3 - Pampers Sensitive Wipes $5.97 - 3[$1 mega sale coupons] = $2.97 or $.99 each!
3 - Fusion Razors $17.97 (CLOSEOUT! normally $11.99) - 3[$4 coupons] = $5.97 or $1.99 each!
4 - Reach Access Flosser $9.96 - 4[$1 coupons] = $5.96 or $1.49 each (**Received $6.00 Catalina coupon making them FREE!!)
2 - Hefty Foam Plates 50 pk $4.98 - 2[$1 mega sale coupon][$1 MF coupon] = $1.98 or $.99 each!
2 - Special K Chocolate Almond Cereal $5.98 - 2[$1 mega sale coupon][$.50 MF Coupon][$.75 iBotta rebate][$1 Checkout 51 rebate] = $1.73 or $.86 each!
8 - Classico Pasta Sauce $15.92 - 8[$1 mega sale] 2[$1.50 coupon] = $4.92 or $.61 each!
3 - Irish Spring Gear Body Wash $10.50 - 3[$1 mega sale] 3[$1.50 MF coupon] = $3 or $1.00 each!
3 - Speedstick Gear Deodorant $10.47 - 3[$1 mega sale] 3[$2 MF coupon] = $1.47 or $.49 each!

Total Retail Price $118.62 plus tax.
Total Price Paid $22.00 plus tax!
That's about 82% savings!

Let's see if I can not make another trip to Dillons over the next 2 weeks... resisting this Mega Sale is gonna be tough!

**Don't mind the little Woodchuck that snuck into the picture! :-D

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to cook dried beans...

It's not news that beans in dried forms cost significantly less than buying them in canned form. Although cooking dried beans can turn into an epic fail if rushed - taking your time and doing it right can result in a large batch of soft, delicious beans ready to be added to your favorite family dishes.

The main ingredient is: TIME. This also means that planning ahead is imperative.

Package directions recommend soaking dried beans overnight or for at least 8 hours. I prefer to soak mine for a full 24 hours and I've heard of many people soaking them for as long as 48 hours! Make sure to use 8 cups of cold water for every pound of beans.

After you have soaked your beans for the desired amount of time - rinse thoroughly.

Add beans to a pot and fill with enough water to cover beans plus 2 more inches up the pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer the beans with the lid on scanted. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours adding more water as needed (if any). Feel free to add a rough chopped onion and a few broken garlic cloves to infuse a little flavor!

Taste test a bean and if the bite gives how you like it then the beans are done!

At this point, once the beans are prepared you can add them to any dish of your liking (but remove any onions or garlic!) or you can cool and store them either in the fridge (3-5 days) or freezer (up to 3 months) for future use!

Friday, April 11, 2014

End of week groceries and coupons! 4/11/14


There was an awesome deal with the Suave products. Buy three and receive a $5 gift card instantly! After my coupons and deducting the gift card promotion, I ended up paying $.14 FOR ALL SIX BOTTLES!! That's only about 2 cents each!! By far my favorite deal of the day! Overall I saved a whopping 70% which is phenomenal considering more than 30% of the out of pocket paid was for 2 board games!

3 - Suave Natural Conditioner $8.97 - [$4.50 coupons] = $4.47 or $1.49 each!
3 - Suave Kids 2-1  $5.67 or $1.89 each!
2 - Coppertone Sunscreen Sticks $9.78 - [$2 coupons] = $7.78 or $3.89 each!
1 - Palmolive 25 oz $2.24 - [$.50 coupon][$1 mobile coupon] = $.74!
1 - Trident 3 pk $1.99 - [$1 target coupon] = $.99 or $.33 per pack!
1 - 5 Gum pack $1.29 - [$.50 target coupon][$.50 coupon] = $.29!
2 - Wheat Thins Popped $4.00 - [$.75 mobile][$1 mobile][$1 coupon] = $1.25 or $.62 each!
4 - Yoplait Blended Greek yogurt $4.00 - [20% cartwheel][$2 coupons] = $1.20 or $.30 each!
1 - Nivea lotion $5.84 - [$1 target coupon][$2 coupon] = $2.84!
1 - Sensodyne travel size $1.04 - [$1 shopmium rebate] = $.04!
2 - Nexcare kiddie bandages $2.98 - [$1.10 coupons] = $1.88 or $.94 each!
1 - Play-doh 4 pk $2.79 - [10% cartwheel][$1 coupon] = $1.51!
3 - Market Pantry Pasta Sauce $3.42 - [5% cartwheel][$1.50 target coupon] = $1.80 or $.60 each!
2 - Market Pantry Pasta $1.56 - [5% cartwheel][$1 mobile] = $.52 or $.26 each!
2 - Hasbro Games $14.98 - [$4 coupons] = $10.98 or $5.49 each!
5 - Hot Pockets 2pk $8.00 - [10% cartwheel][$1 target coupon][$2 coupons] = $4.40 or $.88 each!

$15.00 in gift cards earned and used!

Total Retail Price $105.89 plus tax.
Total Price Paid after all sales, coupons and rebates: $31.36 plus tax!
Totals Savings of 70%!!


More than half the money spent out of pocket was for candy items that I wouldn't normally purchase but Easter is getting closer and I want to make sure that I have plenty of variety for those baskets!!


4 - Mars Bites Candies 7oz  $11.12 - [$6 coupons] = $5.12 or $1.28 each!
4 - Haribo Gummy Bears  $3.96 - [$1.20 coupons] = $2.76 or $.69 each!
3 - Rice Dream Non-Dairy  $5.88 - [$6 coupons] = FREE +$.12 overage!
4 - Birdseye Recipe Ready Veg  $4 - [$3 coupons] = $1.00 or $.25 each!
1 - Zest 3pk bar soap $1.98 - [$1 coupon] = $.98 or $.32 per bar!
1 - Pull-Ups Flushable Wipes $1.64 - [$1 coupon] = $.64!
4 - Oscar Mayer P3 Protein Packs $4 - [$4 coupons] = FREE!

Total Retail Price $32.58 plus tax.
Total Price Paid $10.38 plus tax!
That's 68% savings!


4 - Garnier Shampoo/Conditioners $11.84 - [$8 coupons] = $3.84 or $.96 each!
3 - Bagel Bites 9pk $5.94 - [$1.50/3 coupon][$1 Checkout 51 rebate] = $3.44 or $1.15 each!
1 - Fiber One Fruit Snacks $2.00 - [$.50 coupon][$.75 iBotta rebate][$.75 Checkout 51 rebate] = FREE!!
1 - Rave Hairspray $1.97
1 - Rave Hairspray Travel Size $.97 - [Buy full size get travel size FREE coupon] = FREE!
4 - Hefty Storage Bags $7.88 (Price Matched to Dollar Tree $1 = $4) - [$2 coupons] = $2.00 or $.50 each!
2 - Werther's Originals Sugar Free $3.96 (Price Mated to Dollar Tree $1 = $2) - [$2 coupons] = FREE!!

Total Retail Price $34.56 plus tax
Total Price Paid after price matching and coupons: $12.25 plus tax!
Savings of 66%!!

Not bad considering Wal-Mart doesn't do weekly sale specials! Go Coupons!!


Confession... After a good decade of using coupons in some form, this is probably my second time ever shopping in Walgreens. I know that there are couponers that rock the coupons at this drugstore by saving upwards of 80-90% but I haven't even tried. Mainly because their reward system seems so daunting and confusing. I'm pretty good with puzzles/number games but the Walgreens system puts me through the ringer. I decided that I was going to put the fear aside and start trying because if there are good deals to be had I don't want to miss out because I wasn't paying enough attention. Well, today I was reminded why I stopped paying attention to begin with.

You see, I had my list all prepared - spent a good hour gathering my coupons and pairing with the current sale. I made it super simple. I made a plan to make one transaction with 5,000 worth of reward points and one register reward item. Then I was going to do a second transaction and cash in on the 5,000 points and roll the RR but my plan was an EPIC FAIL. Not only was ALL of the RR items that I was interested in (there was only 1 because they are few and far between) out of stock but every points deal that I went in for was either out of stock or didn't match up with the coupons that I brought. For instance, there was a deal on General Mills cereals. I had brought every GM coupon that I could find not knowing what would be included in the sale. The ONLY boxes that they had at my Walgreens that were valid to earn points was Cheerios. And what were the ONLY GM coupons that I didn't have?!? Then I figured that I would just double up on the easter candy that I had intended to get to earn more points to make up for the lack of points for cereal. But then the easter candy that I had intended to get wasn't anywhere to be found!! WTF?! So I ended up just getting the the items that I wanted that did not earn me points. I was disappointed to say the least. I didn't even save 50% which is very uncommon when I make a dedicated couponing trip. My original plan had me saving upwards of 75% but what can you do? Ah well... savings is savings! Maybe I'll try again next week?

1 - Quilted Northern 9pk $3.49 - [$.50 store coupon][$.45 coupon] = $2.54 or $.28 per roll!
1 - Scotts Naturals 6pk $4.99 - [$1 store coupon][$.55 coupon] = $3.44 or $.57 per roll!
1 - Lifesavers Jellybeans $2.00 - [$1/2 store coupon][$1/2 coupon] = $1.00!
1 - Starburst Jellybeans $2.00 - [$1/2 store coupon][$1/2 coupon] = $1.00!
1 - Chocolate Marshmallow Chick $.59 - [$.15 closeout] = $.44!
1 - Candy Necklace $.59 - [$.10 closeout] = $.49!

Total Retail Price $16.54 plus tax.
Total Price Paid after sales and coupons $8.91 plus tax!
Total savings of about 45%!

Dollar General

I chose to stock up on some canned veggies at Dollar General this week even though I didn't have coupons for them. They were on sale this week from $.85 each to $.50 each. THEN I waited until Friday 4/11 so that I could use the $5/$25 coupon so ultimately I got them for about $.43 each which is the cheapest price I can get anywhere. Not bad for having no coupons!

13 - Libby's Canned Veggies $6.50 on sale ($11.05 retail!)
4 - Palmolive Dish Soap $4.00 - [$2 coupons] = $2 or $.50 each!
1 - Zest for Men 2pk $1.00 - [$1 coupon] = FREE!
1 - Spot Shot Carpet Cleaner $2.75 - [$2 coupon] = $.75!
3 - Suave 2-1 Kids Shampoo $6.00
1 - Suave Body Wash FREE with $6 suave purchase!
2 - Hefty Foam Plates $3.00 - [$1 coupon] = $2.00 or $1.00 each!
1 - BIC Simply Soleil Razors $4.25 - [$3 coupon] = $1.25!
1 - Turtles Box Chocolates $2 - [$1 coupon] = $1.00!

Spend $25 get $5 off discount!!

Total Retail Price $37.05 plus tax.
Total Price Paid after sales and coupons: $14.50 plus tax!
Savings of 61%!!


My trip to Dillons this week primarily focused on receiving digital rebates for items purchase (Today I earned about $2 in rebates rather than coupons). I also cashed in on a couple free items that were loaded on my store card including yogurt and a 12pk of tea!

1 - Skim Milk Gallon $2.88 - [$.50 iBotta Rebate] = $2.33!
1 - Nestea 12 pk $3.99 - [$3.99 digital coupon!] = FREE!!
2 - P$$t... Sugar 4 lb bags $1.98 sale price!
1 - Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce $1.49 - [$.50 digital coupon][$.50 checkout 51 rebate] = $.49!
1 - Lilberte Yogurt $1.00 - [$1.00 digital coupon][$.50 checkout 51 rebate] = FREE! +$.50 overage!!
1 - Broccoli Head $.72 - [$.25 checkout 51 rebate] = $.48!
1 - Milkyway Bites $1.00 - [$.50 digital coupon] = $.50!
1 - Lettuce Head $.99 - [20% savings star rebate] = $.79!

Total Retail Price $20.55 plus tax.
Total Price Paid after sales, coupons and rebates: $6.07 plus tax!
Savings of 71%!!

Regular Non-Coupon Shopping Needs:

I have done a LOT of coupon trips this week and I have spent a little more money on the stockpile and Easter than I expected so we have been eating a lot more out of the current pantry stock than eating around the weekly sale ad. So I have only picked up a few items for our household's regular grocery needs and I shopped at Aldi for the majority of items.

1 - Boulder Freezer Bags $1.69
1 lb Strawberries $1.29
2 - Whipped Topping $1.78
2.9 lbs bananas $1.29
1 bag dried fruit $1.49
3 lb bag of oranges $1.99
Wheat Bread $.99

Total $10.52 plus tax.

*Not Pictured:

Ground Beef 2.25 lb reduced to $5.94
Sunsweet Dates $3.08

Total $9.02

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cheap laundry soap and last minute freebies?! Oh my!!

So... a typical bottle of All Laundry Detergent is around $4.97 on any given day at Wal-Mart for a 28 load bottle or a 24 count package of the All Mighty Packs. CVS had put these size packages on sale 2/$7.00 this week and when you spend $20 on select items (including this laundry detergent) you get $5 in ECB's back! Pretty good deal right?! I thought so... I also got super excited when I saw a coupon for a FREE 120 count pack of the new All Dryer Sheets WYB 2 All Detergents in last Sunday's RedPlum insert. So I figured that makes this deal even better!

Unfortunately for me... not only does my CVS not carry this new All brand dryer sheets but they have been out of stock on the All Detergent for about 2 weeks and they have no idea when it will be in stock again. Apparently the warehouse is completely out of stock and all cases are on back order. These ladies were super nice offering to give me a rain check and discounting for the coupons even if they expire before the shipment comes in. I told them a big "Thank you!" but decided to ponder this situation further because I wanted to submit for the Checkout 51 rebate but that would expire before their next shipment comes in. So this morning I figured that I'd stop in at Wal-Mart (early when it's less painful!) and check out their laundry department to see if I could get a comparable deal... and I found one!

Not only did they carry the 120 count boxes of the new All Dryer Sheets but all of their 24 ct Mighty Packs were upgraded to 25% more packs and the 28 load bottles were upgraded to the 35 load bottles! Thankfully I had remembered the CVS ad and I went to checkout by price matching. Now I knew this was likely going to need approval since the bottle/pack quantities were larger than the ad reflected but I figured that I had a shot since these packs had the ad quantity "slashed" through promoting the 25% bonus in the bag. The next challenge would be if the manager would approve letting me use the FREE All Dryer Sheets coupon in conjunction with the $2/2 All Detergent coupon. This is a gray area for sure... at least in my experience. Because I am still paying for the detergent I should be able to use the coupon to get the dryer sheets for free but really it is up to the cashier to question or manager's approval to discount. AND THEY DID! I had no line behind me... I was all smiles... and not only did the cashier except the price match without question but the manager went ahead and allowed me to use all the coupons as I intended! AWESOME!

So let me break down the deal so we can see which scenario is more beneficial:

At CVS (detergent only):

Buy 6 of All 28 load bottle $21.00
Get $5.00 ECB at checkout!
Get $1.00 Checkout 51 rebate if purchased before 4/9/14 11:59pm
Use (3) $2.00/2 coupons
Price per bottle after ECB, coupons and rebate: $1.50
Price per LOAD: $.05

At Wal-Mart (price matched w/dryer sheet deal):

Buy 6 of All 28 load bonus bottles (makes it 35 load bottles!) $21.00 price matched
Buy 3 of All 120 count dryer sheets $11.91 (FREE with coupons)
Use (3) $2.00/2 coupons
Use (3) FREE All Dryer Sheets coupons {-$11.91}
Get $1.00 Checkout 51 rebate if purchased before 4/9/14 11:59pm
Price per bottle after price match, coupons and rebate: $2.33
Price per LOAD: $.06

Don't get me wrong... I absolutely LOVE CVS and I shop there religiously! But sometimes just because you get an ECB doesn't mean it's the best deal in town with current coupons available. For me it's worth it to pay a penny more per load to get an 18 month supply of dryer sheets for free!! I'm constantly running deal scenarios through my brain and though it can get annoying from time to time I wouldn't change it for anything because it makes me more hesitant to jump on the first deal I see. I also know that this might not be the most amazing laundry detergent deal out there or there has ever been BUT in my neck of the woods - we don't see deals like this often so this is an amazing deal in Kansas!!

Combining these coupons is definitely a gray area but it is definitely worth asking to use them together! There is no restriction other than size on the coupons so it doesn't hurt to ask!!

I know that I already posted my CVS shopping trip for the week but I just had to stop in and swipe my extracare card at the coupon center and of course what happens? A flood of coupons came spewing out! Fortunately for me, none of these coupons would have benefited me more yesterday BUT there were a couple coupons that I could use to grab a couple more things in another mini couponing trip! Coupons are my drug... I can't get enough!

Here's my mini CVS trip for today!

2 - Crest ProHealth 250ml $5.98 - [$1 CVS coupon] = $4.98 or $2.49 each!
2 - BIC Soleil Savvy 4  $12.43 - [$6 coupons][$3 CVS coupon] = $3.43 or $1.71 each!

ECB's used at checkout: $4.00

Total Retail Price: $24.96 plus tax.
Total Price Paid: $4.41 plus tax!!
That's about 83% savings!!

... and I still have $4 ECB's to use next week!! (or if I get the urge to stop in for another mini trip this week!)

If you can't tell... there's ALWAYS more deals to find!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

CVS Trip 4/6/14!

I was so excited to see the new CVS ad this week because there was not only an amazing deal for diapers at $3.33 per pack but I was going to have the opportunity to restock some intense moisture lotions which my family uses a lot of! And we can't forget about FREE raisins!

6 - CVS Diapers Jumbo packs $30.00 or $5.00 each!
2 - Right Guard Total Defense 5 Body Wash  $6 - [$2 coupon] = $4 or $2.00 each!
2 - Scope 1 Liter Original $9.98 - [$2 coupons] = $7.98 or $3.99 each!
4 - Easter M&M's bags $12 - [$2 coupons] = $10 or $2.50 each!
8 - V05 Shampoo/Conditioner $6.56 - [$2 coupons] = $4.56 or $.57 each!
2 - Eucerin Intense Repair Lotion $11 - [$2 coupons] = $9 or $4.50 each!
2 - Aquaphor Lip Repair Ointment 2 pk $11.78 - [$3 coupons] = $8.78 or $2.19 per tube!
1 - Nivea Soft Moisture Creme $7.39 - [$2 coupon] = $5.39!
1 - Nivea Extended Moisture Lotion $8.28 - [$2 coupon] = $6.28!
2 - Dove Men+Care Face & Body Bars 6pk  $15 - [$4.50 coupons] = $10.50 or $.87 per bar!
1 - Sunmaid Raisins 13 oz canister $1.99 - [$1 coupon][$1 checkout 51 rebate] = FREE!!
2 - BIC Men's Comfort 3 razors 4 pk $7.48 - [$6 coupons] = $1.48 or $.18 per razor!

Total ECB's earned and used during shopping trip $45.00!!

Total Retail Price $173.07 plus tax.
Total Price Paid after all sales, coupons and ECB's: $52.97 plus tax!!
That's about 69% savings!!

... and I still have $4.00 in ECB's to roll into next week!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nothing says Spring Time like FREE soil!

It's an old fashioned concept... but sometimes listening to the radio can be beneficial in your frugal ways. For instance, had my bluetooth audio been functioning properly in my car last Wednesday afternoon I might not have learned about an awesome freebie in town! While sitting in my vehicle and waiting for my little Woodchuck to be dismissed from school there was commercial on the radio for a special giveway from True Value Hardware in town for a free bag of potting soil with ANY purchase on April 5, 2014! Then... that commercial had somehow reminded me that I had received a $5 gift card in the mail for a spring time promotion for Scotts & MiracleGro products through the end of April. I had been saving the gift card until the right moment and this was it!

So this morning I went and picked up a bag of 16 qt MiracleGro Potting Soil and received an additional bag of the promoted brand FREE!

MiracleGro Potting Soil $7.99 - $5 Gift Card = $2.99!
Ferti-lome Potting Soil FREE!!

$2.99 for two bags of potting soil or $1.49 each! I'll take it!!

I don't ever shop at this store and I wouldn't have known this promotion existed had it not been for the commercial on the radio. Never underestimate the power of knowing what's going on locally... even for those shops that you don't spend much time at!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Couponing Trips 04/04/14!

Today my lists were fairly small but I made stops at FIVE stores... I'd like to think that it's worth it!
I'm also thankful to have all of my Easter shopping done after these trips too!

So here's how I did today:


4 - Tampax Pearl $15.16 - [$5 coupons] = $10.16 or $2.54 each!
1 - Bounty 6pk  $5.99 - [$.25 coupon] = $5.74
1 - Easter Reese's mini $2.50 - [$.67 coupon] = $1.83
1 - Cadbury Mini Eggs  $2.50 - [$.67 coupon] = $1.83
2 - Peeps  $3.00 or $1.50 each!
3 - Whopper Eggs $6 - [$2 coupon] = $4.00 or $1.33 each!
1 - Hershey's Eggs $5 - [$.67 coupon] = $4.33
1 - M&M's  $.99 - [$.74 coupon] = $.25!
4 - Movie Theater box candies $3.52 or $.88 each!
2 - Jelly Bean Bags $1.76 or $.88 each!
3 - Hershey's 6 pk bars $2.97 or $.99 each!
2 - Russell Stover Marshmallow eggs BOGO $.99 or $.49 each!
1 - Plastic Eggs $2.99

Used $18.50 in total ECB's towards purchase!

Total Retail Cost $80.56 plus tax
Total paid after all sales, coupons and ECB's $23.88 plus tax!
That's about 70% savings!

... and I still have $5.00 in ECB's to rollover to next week's deals!


1 - Apple $.33 - [$.25 Checkout 51 rebate] = $.08!
4 - El Monterey Breakfast Burritos $3.96 - [$4 coupons] = FREE +$.04 overage!
4 - Kool-aid Jammers 10 pk  $7.96 - [$4 mobile coupons] = $3.96 or $.99 each!
2 - Barbara's Organic Cereals $4.78 - [$2.75 coupons][$2 iBotta rebates][$1 iBotta BONUS!] = FREE +$.97 overage!

Total Retail Price $21.81 plus tax.
Total Price Paid after all sale, coupons and rebates $3.03 plus tax!
That's about 85% savings!


1 - Seventh Generation Dish Soap $3.19 - [$1 store coupon][$1 MF coupon] = $1.19!
1 - Bear Naked Granola $3.69 - [50% off cartwheel][$1 checkout 51 rebate] = $.77!
1 - Noosa Yogurt $2.39 - [$1 store coupon][$.55 MF coupon][$.50 iBotta rebate] = $.34!
2 - Froot Loops $2.89 - [$1 coupons] = $1.89 or $.95 each!

Total Retail Price $15.65 plus tax.
Total Price Paid after all sale, coupons and rebates $5.76 plus tax!
That's about 65% savings!


2 - Nivea Lotions $5.44 - [$5 coupon] = $.44 or $.22 each!!
2 - White Cloud 6 pk  $7.96 - [$4 coupons] = $3.96 or $1.98 each or $.33 per roll!
1 - So Delicious Coconut Milk $1.98 - [$1 coupon][$1 iBotta rebate] = FREE +$.02 overage!
1 - Fiber One Fruit Snacks $2.00 - [$.50 coupon][$.75 checkout 51 rebate][$.75 iBotta rebate] = FREE!!

Total Retail Price $17.38 plus tax.
Total price paid after all coupons and rebates $4.38 plus tax!
That's about 75% savings!

Dollar General

6 - Prego Italian Sauces $12.00 or $2.00 each!
2 - Prego Alfredo $4.00 - [$1.50 coupons] = $2.50 or $1.25 each!
8 - Barilla Pastas $0.00 (free with purchase of prego) - [$4 coupons] = FREE +$4 overage!!!
2 - Planters Mixed Nuts $8.00 - [$1 coupon] = $7 or $3.50 each!
1 - Herbal Essences Body Wash $2.50 - [$1 coupon] = $1.50!
**Also used a $5 off $25 purchase coupon from the ad for today's purchase!

Total Retail Price $41.45 plus tax.
Total Price Paid after all sales and coupons $14.00 plus tax!
That's about 66% savings!

**I also bought a loaf of wheat bread at Aldi (not pictured) for $.99 and received an exclusive KCL Checkout 51 rebate for $.75 making the loaf only $.24!

Yippee Skippy for coupons!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Banish Boring Water!

When I started to realize how much money was being wasted buying soda every week (and we bought A LOT) I knew that I needed to do something! Papa Woody doesn't drink much soda at all. Woodchuck and Woodchick only drink what the parental units give them... so allow me to introduce you to the head soda chugger in the house: ME! >.<

The first step to admitting you have a problem is realizing there's a problem! So I started buying less soda and began purchasing water flavoring products (such as Crystal Light) instead. But you know what? The budget was still breaking! You see... I/we drink a lot! The taste of tap water is BOR-RING. After doing a little research on the internet on my quest to lose some weight, I came across a concept that is so simple I don't know why I didn't think of it all by myself. Fruit infused water.

I'm hooked. There are so many flavor combinations and there is something extra rewarding about making something yourself - developing something that you like. There are many health benefits to drinking infused water. First, it's all natural. There are no preservatives so all the beneficial vitamins go straight into your body. Second, it's calorie free. You see, you don't juice the fruits... you simply let the fruits infuse the nutrients into the water and you just drink the water. Third, it's cheap! Whether you buy the fruits fresh or frozen you can get a few uses out of them and tap water only costs pennies per quart. Fourth, the kiddos actually LOVE IT!

There are many combinations and lots of people use special pairings to do certain things. For instance, the combination of green tea, mint leaves and limes are said to assist in burning fat. Combining mint leaves, honeydew melon and limes are said to boost metabolism. Apples and cinnamon stick infused water is also a metabolism booster. Then there are just combinations that taste amazing! My personal favorite is oranges and pineapple. YUM!!

These drinks are super easy to make. You can use pitchers or quart jars. I use a combination of both. I like to have a gallon pitcher of fruit infused green tea and a couple quart jars with different flavor combinations just to change it up throughout the day. If you use a pitcher you'll want to use about a cup worth of fruit. You can add more or less depending on how strong you like it. It's all about personal preference!
If you are using quart jars then you only need about half of a citrus fruit sliced very thinly. If you are using something like frozen berries then you might only need about a 1/3 cup worth of fruit. You need to let the fruit sit in the water (in the fridge) for at least 2 hours - the bigger the vessel the longer it will take. I let my gallon pitcher go overnight before I drink it.

Once the water is ready, poor into a separate glass and refill the pitcher/jar with more water and put back into the fridge. I usually refill my jars 3-4 times before replacing the fruit but never let the fruit sit in the fridge longer than three days... it gets yucky! The only fruits that I use fresh are citruses such as lemons, limes and oranges. Everything else I prefer to buy frozen so it can keep longer. A couple items that are not fruits that add a nice flavor to the water (in addition to the fruits) are cinnamon sticks (ground cinnamon will NOT work) and mint leaves.

Make sure that you slice the citrus fruits with the rind still on! That's where most of the nutrients are and these fruits are full of vitamin C which is wonderful for boosting your metabolism and helping you lose weight!

Now there is a disclosure! *GASP*
It does need to be said that if you are expecting these infused waters to be sweet... you will be very disappointed. Unfortunately because you are not juicing the fruits none of the sweetness infuses into the water but you can sweeten the drink yourself and it tastes wonderful! I'll just add a stevia blend to my glass after the fruit has infused the water to keep the calories down or Splenda, honey and agave works too!

I've listed some combinations below that I find delicious to get you started! What can you come up with??

Orange and Pineapple
Lemon and Lime
Mixed Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) *Frozen
Green tea with mint leaves and lime
Honeydew melon with mint leaves and limes
Lemon and mixed berries
Green tea with raspberries
Oranges and Strawberries
Mixed Berries* with mint leaves
Green tea with Peaches

Mix it up and get FUNKY!!