Monday, August 16, 2010

Seriously Sweet Staples Deals

I have been too busy to post here recently but I thought I had to take a minute and make sure all my friends know about the great Staples deals this week.

A few of these are Easy Rebate Deals. If you've never tried them before they're exactly what they are called - EASY!

Extreme Deals valid August 15th-18th Only

* Staples 1 subject notebook 10.5″×8″ 70 sheets 1¢ ($5 minimum purchase; limit 6)
* Hammermill CopyPlus Paper $6.79 – $1.80 Instant savings – $4.99 Easy Rebate = 1¢ (limit 2)

Weekly Deals valid August 15th-21st

* Staples Slim Line pencil sharpener $15.99 – $15.99 Easy Rebate = FREE (limit 1)

50¢ Deals (limit 2 each)

* Staples Steel 1-hole punch

$1 Deals (limit 2 each)

* Wescott 5″ Scissors 2 pk
* Sharpie Permanent Markers, fine 5-pack

These are the items I was interested in. Hip2Save has the full list.

There's also a coupon on their online ad that saves you an additional 20% ( I think it says on office and school supplies) if you print it and take it along in.

Here's my order:

2) Hammermill Paper @4.99 each
1) Scissors @ 1.00
1) Sharpie 5 pk @ 1.00
1) Pencil Sharpener @ 15.99
6) 1 subject Notebooks @ .01 each
1) Journal @ 4.49 (I've looked EVERYWHERE for the perfect kindergarten journal for Hannah :)
1) 1 hole punch @ .50

My 20% saved 4.61.
I paid 30.19
I will get 25.95 back in Easy Rebates

So my total paid (in the end) is $4.24 and most of that is for the 'perfect' journal. :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Why I Love Chocolate Easter Candy......

After the craze of Easter bunnies, chocolate candy and eggs subsides I hit the store and stock up with chocolates. Oftentimes the week after Easter they clearance candy by 50% and then the week after that is normally 75-90% off.

Yeah!! I stock up on all the solid milk chocolate Easter bunnies no one wanted and chunk them for cookies. Last year I got LOTS of milk chocolate kisses. The kids took the wrappers off, I cut them up and I froze them in 2 cup portions ready for our favorite Chocolate CHUNK Cookies.


2-1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 large box (or 3/4 cup) instant vanilla pudding
1 teaspoon soda
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups milk chocolate chunks

Mix flour with soda. Combine butter, sugars, vanilla and pudding mix in large mixer bowl. Beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks and nuts. Batter will be stiff. Drop on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Do NOT overbake.

My note: I take these cookies out just before they are actually done. I leave them on the pan for about 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling racks. Makes for soft and chewy cookies.


Since these cookies are not good-for-you cookies in any way shape or form they never get made for just us. The kids love when we have company or need a finger food for an event. Gives us an excuse to make a batch of these. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In a Pamper Craze (2 Weeks Spending)

Since I haven't posted last weeks spending yet and I'm done shopping for this week I thought I would post both weeks at the same time. They aren't necessarily in the order that I bought them.

And let's just say that our baby will have a very dry and clean behind. With all the great deals on Pampers and Huggies this week I stocked up. I also have a couple of baby gifts that I wanted to give and thought I would add a pack of pampers to what I already purchased.

CVS - (Baby - $13.59)
After the ECB these pampers were $4.00 a bag. With tax it came to $13.59. The mouthwash and toothpaste were FREE. One of them was actually a $1.00 moneymaker

Walmart - (Groceries $5.23)
(Home Care $4.04)
It's a noodle bonanza!!!! :) 23 bags of noodles are WAY more then we need. I gave 15 bags to my mom. In exchange, she gave me 1 quart of french dressing, 5 lbs of sweet potatoes and 1 fresh pineapple. Guess it's called bartering. The total of what I paid for the noodles are included in the Giant Eagle total below.

Giant Eagle - (Groceries 39.28)
Most of my expense was in the hamburger and the butter. I had $7.12 worth of butter and $24.35 in hamburger.
Rite Aid - (Baby $1.65)
The Organix shampoo & conditioner is B1G1 this week. They also have a tag on them that states you can try it for free so after I get my rebate money back they will both be free. Can't wait to try this shampoo and conditioner. Looks awesome!
Giant Eagle - (Groceries $25.24)
The ham was $18.42 so that was the bulk of the cost. My favorite purchases this week:
10lbs of flour for $1.00
Semi-boneless ham for $.99 a lb
Cream Cheese for less then $.60 a box
(Joe and I are going on a little get away this weekend. Some people call it a baby moon. :) My parents are watching the kids. I am planning on sending a bunch of food along down. With the many mouths my mom has to feed she always welcomes food. The cinnamon rolls and biscuits are a few of the things that are headed that way.)
Walmart - (Groceries $10.50)
ALWAYS double check your grocery receipts. At any store. I have made it a habit and it is amazing how many times I am overcharged for an item. I have found customer service reps to be AWESOME 95% of the time. I try to be very polite. Today I had a B1G1 coupon for soy sauce. I saw her mark it but when I looked at my receipt I was charged for both of them. I collected my $1.42 from customer service and then the kids and I took the money and put it in one of those fun round things that goes to a Children's Hospital. $1.42 really isn't a big deal but just in today's shopping I saved $6.42 by checking my receipts and visiting customer service. It all adds up.)
Rite Aid - (Baby $1.65)
This transaction was the same as the earlier one except I got some FREE candy to go along with the shampoo and conditioner. The rebate on the shampoo and conditioner is one per household. I gave this one to a friend who I thought could benefit from it and she is applying for the rebate. I wanted the Huggies.
With the coupon these were actually a $1.50 moneymaker
Target -(Home Care $3.59)
Rite Aid - (Groceries $2.29)
(Baby $5.52)
Like I said earlier, our baby should have a nice and clean behind. :)

Other expenses not pictured:

Aunt Wilma's fresh brown eggs - (Groceries $4.00)
Rite Aid - (Groceries $2.29) (Home Care $ 1.05)
Marathon - Sunday Papers (Groceries $3.25) (Home Care $3.25)

Totals for 2 weeks

Baby - $22.41
(6 bags of pampers, 2 wipes and Desitin.... Yeah!)
Groceries - $92.08
(I am finding myself stocked to the gills. I am thinking next month may be a low key shopping month while I use up some of the stuff I've stocked up on.)
Home Care - $11.93

March totals (4 weeks)

Baby - $22.41
Groceries - $182.00
Home Care - $41.16

Although posting my spending has been a bit time consuming I have found it to be really good for me. To sit down, analyze what I'm buying, how much I'm spending and what I'm spending it on.

What does your grocery budget look like?
How much do you spend?
What items do you buy? Etc......

Friday, March 19, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Joe asked what I wanted for Christmas. I said an ice cream freezer. He thought I was out of my mind. He thought if I want an ice cream freezer, I should buy an ice cream freezer. That's just not the way I work. In my mind, it's something I can do without so I'm not apt to go get one. So I finally convinced him that I was telling the truth.

So part of my '09 Christmas gift was my latest toy. You can find it HERE. I love it! It is SO easy to use! Thanks to all of my friends who gave input on ice cream freezers.

I've been trying different recipes and wanted to share my favorite. It's Strawberry Cheesecake. Yum! Wish I could have some for breakfast.......

If you look at the recipe you'll notice it says 15 minutes preparation time + cooling + freezing. I would like to say the preparation time took about 45 minutes, not 15. By the time the milk gets hot, then you follow the next step and the next step it takes longer then the time they mention. is well worth the time! Not an overpowering ice cream. Just a light flavor of strawberries and cream cheese.

And maybe my lengthy preparation time had something to do with my 'help'. Seems like I'm blessed with an abundance of kitchen helpers. The counter top has more space filled with my kidders then with the food I'm working on.

Sometimes my 'help' gets bored as you can see.

I give the CuisinArt Ice Cream Freezer 5 stars. It was exactly what I wanted. It does exactly what I need it to do. And it doesn't take a lot of work.

Do you have a favorite ice cream recipe???? I'd love to have some new ones to try. Feel free to share your favorite recipe or leave a link to your favorite one.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Last Weeks Free Stuff

Yes, this is actually last weeks free stuff. Not this week. Better late then never, eh?

The weather has been perfect. I've migrated out doors and have started tackling the seemingly endless amount of flowerbeds. If you've never been to our place here's a small glimpse of what our back yard looks like in a month or two.
(I can't seem to locate the pictures I was looking for so these will have to do...)

But on to the point of this post........ Free Stuff!

From the mailbox : I think I now have 30 Pampers and Huggies diapers from samples. The best part is the coupons that come with the samples. Makes for great diaper deals.

Other then that, nothing too exciting. More shampoo, pad and tampon samples. And my first issue of Focus on the Family Thriving Family magazine.

From the Store:
Giant Eagle - Coffee Mate Creamer $1.50 Used $.75 coupon which got doubled = FREE!

Rite Aid - John Frieda Shampoo & Conditioner on sale for 3/$15 Got 3. Used $3/$12 Rite Aid Survey coupon. Used 3-$3/1 Coupons. Balance is $3. Submit for $5.00 Single Check Rebate.

Target - Used FREE Kashi Cereal or Crackers coupon from Vocal Point.

Used 2-$1/1 Johnson Baby coupons for Johnson Soap Buddies. Soap Buddies are regular price of $.97 so FREE after coupon.

Stacked Manufacturer and Target Coupons to score FREE light bulbs.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Honest Frugality

As much as I enjoy saving a dollar here and there I have found there are times that I need to say "no". There are certain sites and certain people that seem to promote trying to get away with as MUCH as possible. Like using coupons on products that they were not at all intended to be used for. Or if a coupon is very specific in it's listing and people try to use it for a different item then what is listed. My intent is to be frugal AND honest.

Now here's a bit of a different twist. I would love to have feedback from my friends to get as many opinions as possible.

I have received a few offers. One from Target and one from Babies R Us. Both of them are offering a $20 or $25 gift card when signing up for a baby registry. They do not have specific requirements listed. I could easily sign up for a baby registry, enter a few things and get a gift card. Here's the thing: I really would not be planning on using the registry at all.

In your mind, is this
ok since it doesn't list specifics OR do you feel like this is taking advantage of the system???

Friday, March 12, 2010

This Weeks Spending

Paypal - (10.41 Groceries)
Do you think it looks like our thirst may be quenched? :) I was able to use my raincheck this week and finish my annual stock up project on Gatorade. The Gatorade was free after coupon plus I got a $4.00 Catalina to use towards next weeks groceries. As you can see I did spend 10.41 on the coupons. If you figure in the coupon price as well as the Catalinas I paid $.32 each.

Giant Eagle - ($2.97 Home Care)
($16.66 Groceries)

CVS - ($.81 Home Care)
Big spender, eh? There were a few other items that I wanted but had to settle for rainchecks. Joe is always happy when I can get another razor to add to his collection. Cheap disposable razors are NOT for this family.....

Aldi - ($8.94 Groceries)
What a fun picture. :) I'm sure you've always wanted to see a bunch of lettuce, some broccoli and some cheese. This was the third store that I checked and couldn't get romaine lettuce. Must be a shortage out there..... Guess all my friends at church carry in will get to eat iceberg lettuce this time.

Rite Aid - (10.92 Home Care)
I was quite excited to get this shampoo. I've heard it's really good and it was a money maker. After my single check rebate I made a dollar on it. It pained me to pay $10.00 for the White Strips but they never end up being free. Guess I should be happy. The original price on them was $44.99. Who really pays the actual sticker price at drug stores?????????
Target - (FREE!)
I didn't actually walk out of the store with a balance of $0.00. I helped Hannah pick out a birthday gift for one of her friends and we paid for the gift along with getting these free items.

Buehlers - ($10.05 Groceries)
Purchased last week after I had posted my spending so it gets added into this weeks. Let's just say I should have purchased 5 bags of those tomatoes. They were AWESOME! They were almost as good as eating candy. I know- I sound like I've lost a few marbles but they really were THAT good. Pregnant women and their taste buds.....

Marathon - ($4.75 Home Care)
I bought 3 Sunday papers this week because there were a lot of coupons that I thought I could use down the road. I'm still trying to figure out a way to get more coupon inserts without having to pay for them. If anyone out there is tossing their inserts, please send them my way!

Weekly Total
Groceries - $46.06
Home Care - $19.45