Saturday, February 27, 2010

A New Toy in My Kitchen

New Toys. Oh what fun. I could spend a lot of money buying gadgets and fun stuff for my kitchen. I try to control myself. :)
My family loves quesadillas. Chicken quesadillas. Salmon quesadillas. Breakfast/brunch quesadillas. The options are endless.
The last time I made quesadillas Joe and I got to talking about how much better they would be if I had a quesadilla maker or a toaster oven. I guess I was looking to get more of a restaurant style quesadilla.
Last week I spotted a deal at Kohls online that was a must have. A quesadilla maker. Woo-hoo. I just got it and haven't had the chance to use it yet but I'll be sure to share the results when I do.
Here's the link. The regular price is $39.99 (and we all know how inflated regular retail prices are) but I was able to get it with shipping for a total of $8.59. Not sure why they had them priced so low that week because it looks like they still have them in stock and they are now priced at $35.99.
I'm quite excited to try my new quesadilla maker. Help me from having to learn from trial and error.
What do you put in your quesadillas?
What killer recipe have you come up with?
What are the secrets to making top notch quesadillas?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Waste Not

I love 'lightbulb' moments. Especially if they have dollar signs on the inside. Who wouldn't?

"Thou Shalt Waste Not" was one of those light bulb moments for me. Anything I throw out comes at a cost to me. At one point and time I paid for this item and now I'm throwing out 1/4 of it. What $ amount am I tossing?

I hate cleaning out my refrigerator to begin with but one day last fall I analyzed the dollar amount of what I was getting rid of. That was the turning point.

No more money going into the trash. The items in your pantry and freezer obviously have a longer shelf life BUT when you clean out the pantry or the deep freeze are there items that get tossed? You can also figure into this vegetables like potatoes and onions that the last 2lbs sometimes get tossed or the apples and oranges that came in a big bag and last 1/4 of the bag gets tossed.

Maybe I'm the only one who has had to deal with this. I will say we have come a long way. I think I can safely say it has been months since I've tossed anything. I can assure you though, that isn't the way it used to be.

Have you ever analyzed the cost of what you toss? Maybe I'm the only one crazy enough to pull things out of the frig, analyze the cost and keep a running tally in my head. :)

How do you eliminate waste? How do you manage your refrigerator? What are good ways to keep the pantry and deep freeze organized to eliminate waste?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Do NOT do what I did!

I have found that one of the biggest keys to saving money on my grocery budget is planning ahead and being organized. I attempt to make this a common practice but this is proof that I failed at my attempt and ended up with expensive cheese dip.
This past weekend we were invited to a Super Bowl party and I decided I would like to take Taco Cheese Dip and chips. I needed Velveeta Cheese. Earlier in the week I was at Target and picked up a box of Velveeta. $4.99 for a box of cheese seemed a little steep. I did have a coupon for $1.00 off which brings it down to $3.99.
I almost bought it but then I remembered that we were going to Wooster for my husbands hockey game and I could stop at Walmart and get my much needed cheese. :) Surely it would be priced less at Walmart and I could still use my coupon. Yeah!
Here's the problem: We went to Wooster and we were almost home when I remember I still needed cheese. :( Bummer. Our little town just doesn't have much to offer in the form of grocery stores. I had to go to the little gas station and ended up paying a whopping $6.99 for my cheese.
Yes, I should have bought my cheese at Target AND
Yes, I should have been willing to change plans and make something different instead of forking out that much for a bit of cheese.
No, this isn't a feel good story of getting things for free but it is reality. It happens from time to time but I have found I can eliminate a lot of these type of issues by being organized and planning ahead.
Keep a few things on hand that you can make or serve for unexpected company. I have found it to come in handy SO many times.

Scoring 'FREE' Vegetables

I attempted something new this week. I bought coupons off of Ebay in an effort to get free vegetables and rice.
Follow this: The Steamfresh vegetables and rice are on sale at Giant Eagle through Thursday for 10/$10. Steamfresh has also released coupons for $.50 off per bag. And Giant Eagle is nice enough to double those coupons making the vegetables and rice absolutely FREE.
How does one come up with lots of coupons? Ebay to the rescue! I got 40 coupons for $5.50 including shipping. That means 40 bags of peas, broccoli, corn, green beans, brown rice and white rice for our family.
So I guess in the end I paid the $5.50 for my coupons so my vegetables aren't entirely FREE but $.14 cents per bag of vegetable is a steal of a deal.
And that's my stockpile story of the week.
Anyone want to come for dinner? Serving veggies and rice ALL week long. :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rite Aid - Going for the Gold

‘Going for the Gold’ is the program that Rite Aid has right now in partnership with Proctor & Gamble. If you spend $100.00 in P&G products they send you a $35.00 VISA Card. The best part is the $100.00 total is calculated pre-coupon and rebate. This is the biggest couponing challenging I’ve taken on and wanted to see how I actually did. Here are the figures. I was thrilled to realize what my total was OOP (out of pocket.)

Items Purchased
1-Duracell AA Batteries (20 count) 11.99
1-Duracell C Batteries (8 count) 11.99
3-Tide (26 Load) 17.98
1-Crest Toothpaste (6oz) 2.99
2-Olay Quench Lotion 14.98
2-Cascade Dishwasher Soap (Powder) 5.98
1-Swiffer Starter Kit 9.99
1-Swiffer Refills (12 count) 4.99
1-Tide (100 oz) 10.99
1-Pampers (Jumbo Pack) 8.99
1-Pampers Wipes 2.49
Total “Spent” 103.36

Coupons & Rebates
2-Duracell Battery In-Ad Coupon 6.00
2-Duracell Coupons (P&G) 2.00
1-Crest (Single Check Rebate) 2.99
2-Tide Coupons (P&G) 2.00
2-Olay Rebates 14.98
2-Olay Coupons (P&G) 4.00
1-Swiffer Refill Coupon 4.99
1-Pampers Coupon 2.00
1-Pampers (Single Check Rebate) 2.00
1-Pampers Wipes Coupon 0.50
1-Tide Coupon 0.35
5-Video Value Coupons 25.00
Total “Saved” 66.81

Total “Spent” 103.36
Total “Saved” - 66.81
VISA Card -35.00
GRAND TOTAL (OOP) $1.55 !!!

I'm speechless.
This has been way too much fun.
Did you participate in the 'Going for the Gold?'
Have you been playing their 'Life' game?