Sunday, November 29, 2009
Here are the best deals I see at Walgreens this week:
In-ad coupon deals
150 ct fold & close sandwich bags, $.99
Black or Color Printer cartridge refill, $9.99
Old Spice or Secret deodorant, $2.29
stack with $1/2 Old Spice Deodorants or Body Washes, exp. 12-31-09 (P&G 11/29/09)
or B2G1 Secret Product, exp. 12-31-09 (P&G 11/1/09)
or $0.50/1 Secret Product, exp. 12-31-09 (P&G 11/1/09)
Yardley bar soap, $.69
Just in time - I am all out!
Ecotrin 24 ct., $1.99
stack with $2/1 Ecotrin Aspirin Therapy Product, exp. 12-31-09 (RP 10/11/09)
OR $7/2 Advantage Brands, exp. 12-31-09 (RP 10/11/09)
OR $10/3 Advantage Brands, exp. 12-31-09 (RP 10/11/09)
check out this post on how to turn this into a freebie with overage!
Register Reward deals
Glade Fragrance Collection products, 2/$5, get $1 RR when you buy 2
use $3/2 Glade Fragrance Collection Product, (ALL YOU December '09)
OR $3/2 Glade Fragrance Collection Product, (SS 11/22/09)
OR $3/2 printable from Right at Home
Gillette Fusion Razor, $8.99, get $4 RR when you buy 1
use $4/1 Gillette Fusion Razor, (P&G 11/29/09)
Complete Multi-Purpose Contact Solution, $7.99, get $7.99 RR when you buy 1
use $1/1 Complete Multipurpose Solution, (RP 10/25/09)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Here is how the rewards are structured:
Spend between $25 and $49 and receive a $5 certificate
Spend between $50 and $99 and receive a $10 certificate
Spend over $100 and receive a $20 certificate
The program works this way:
While programs like this one can be great, it is also important to not get caught up in the mentality of "spend more so I can save more". Weighing the actual cost and whether or not you need what you are buying is more important that getting money back later on.
Because of the sales during the Fall Gift of Savings Program, I was able to make money! My total expenses (after getting back my rebate checks) was $11.71 and I have a $20 gift certificate to use still. I am excited that I was able to hold onto it, so now I can roll it into the new gift of savings program!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Ruth Yaron, the author of Super Baby Food, has very detailed instructions about making yogurt, including what all of the steps of the process do to the milk.
Here is how I make my yogurt:
Put milk (I use 2%, but whole milk will make your yogurt thicker) into a mason jar and heat in a large pot of water. I put a washcloth under the mason jar because when the water starts to boil the glass jar rattles. You can scald the milk in a pot without using the glass jar, but I think this works best.
Using a thermometer, heat the milk to between 180-185 degrees. Small bubbles will form on the top of the milk as it begins to get close.
While the milk is cooling, set your starter out on the counter so that it can warm up to room temperature. The starter is just yogurt with active cultures. I had not made yogurt in a while, so I needed to use store bought yogurt as my starter, but you can use your homemade yogurt as a starter too. Use 2 tablespoons of yogurt for every quart of milk.
We prefer vanilla yogurt instead of plain, I get a large bottle of pure vanilla at Costco for about $7, but I also have a smaller bottle of imitation vanilla from the Dollar Tree ($1). I use about half and half, and it tastes the same!
Gently mix the ingredients into the milk with a metal spoon. Put the lid on the container and let it rest in a very warm place for about 4 hours. This is the incubation phase. You want the temperature to be between 90-120 degrees, but closer to 112 degrees is best.
Homemade yogurt is way cheaper than store bought yogurt, even then large 32 oz containers. It goes great with homemade granola....which is a sneak peak into the next recipe I will post!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The description of the contents of the magazine is as follows:
**Fashion for real women's bodies (read: no supermodels saying "be like me!")
**Diet and fitness advice that fits your busy lifestyle (read: for people who have other things to do than just diet and exercise!)
**Products available in stores near you, by phone or online (read: you don't have to be a world traveler to find the featured products!)
**Hair and beauty idea you don't need three hands or a makeup artist to achieve (read: yes! this is totally me!)
**Simple recipes made with ingredients that are easy to find (read: I've heard of all the ingredients and many recipes have 15 minutes of prep or less!)
**Tips you can really use (read: again, for people who have other things to do than decorate the house and make crafts!)
**Real-life advice from real women just like you (read: most of the people quoted you have never seen in a movie, on tv, or the internet, and they have a family and a job)
**Great value on every single page, in every single issue (read: yay!)
Also, the December issue has $64 in coupons in it, and many of the coupons are better than you usually see in the Sunday paper. Some of my favorites from this issue are
$3/2 Glade Fragrance Collection
$.75/1 Bertolli Pasta Sauce (so I can buy some Alfredo!)
$1 off Corn Flakes
$2 off any Neutrogena product
$3 off Neutrogena cosmetics
and many, many more!
Amazon is currently selling a 2 year subscription for $34 plus $5 back instantly. $29 for 2 years is just over $1 per issue. Read more about it here.
Women's magazines are not usually my thing, but for all the reasons I pointed out, this magazine is way different!
Do you already subscribe to All You? What are your favorite features?
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
The I lost about a tablespoon of salsa and some sour cream earlier in the week. I was going to eat them with a quesadilla, but the salsa was too far gone and even though the sour cream was probably ok, my stomach was not interested in trying!
In the picture is a little bit of homemade 1000Island dressing. It didn't smell bad, but had been in there for a while and I knew I wouldn't be brave enough to finish it. A little bit of veggie dip that didn't get finished, and then some spaghetti noodles from earlier last week.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I found directions for making fruit leather in Super Baby Food, the book I've used to make food for my daughter. It is so simple!
Spread plastic wrap over a baking tray. The book says to tape down the plastic wrap, but I managed fine without using tape. You can also just use cooking spray on the baking sheet.
I thawed some mixed frozen berries that I get at Costco. I put them in my blender with a banana and a little bit of applesauce. It gave me a think fruit puree. Spread the puree on the plastic wrap, leaving about 1-2 inches from the edge so that the plastic wrap does not curl up over the sides, preventing it from drying.
There are several different drying methods; I chose to use the quickest one. I put the fruit in the over at 175 degrees for 3 hours. The leather was nearly dry all the way, but I decided to leave it in the over (which was off) over night just to be sure. In the morning I had this:
I cut it into pieces with my pizza cutter:
Monday, November 9, 2009
With how much you can save, its tempting to spend.
The biggest way to save money is to just not spend it. Obviously that cannot work with everything, especially now as we are entering the gift hunting season. I thought I would share a few thoughts about what, in my opinion, makes a deal "good".
1. You can afford it.
Affording the 5 cent candy after sale and coupon isn't what I'm driving at here. That falls more into the second point. Maybe a better way to think about it is the question, "Is this the best use of my resources right now?" If I am at the grocery and I see a deal where I can get cereal on sale AND I have a coupon -- I'm there! But say my budget for the shopping trip is $30 and my current groceries cost $30. Chances are that I have the money to spend on cereal (although if I'm shopping with cash, maybe not). Do we eat cereal? Sure, but because of careful shopping, we have several boxes of cereal at home. In this situation, it is probably better for me to wait and buy the cereal when I had planned to buy it. Or, if I really think I can't pass up the cereal sale, I could put something else back to stay within my budgeted amount.
Only you know how your budget works. I try to keep mine flexible enough that I can go over in one area, providing that I make up for it in another area.
When it comes to Christmas gifts, the best way I know to shop is to have a budgeted amount to spend for a certain person and then to stick within that amount. For many of us that is a no brainer, but it really is important.
2. You need it.
Now there is something to be said for getting a product just because it is free, and then giving it to someone who can use it. I requested a free sample of dog food once. We don't have a dog, but I gave it to friends who do. I probably will not do that again, however, because it took me upwards of a month from when I received the sample to actually get it to them! Likewise, a couple weeks ago I could have gotten Super Polygrip for free at Rite Aid and I had a coupon...woohoo! Except I don't use it (thankfully) and I would have had to ask around to give it away. I probably could have found someone who would benefit, but the time involved to shop for the product and then donate it was a commodity that I did not have to spare then.
This point is not as helpful in relation to Christmas shopping, because many times a gift is something that a person wants and may not need. But the basic idea applies. I'm not going to buy my husband a 1354 4-By Rack Tackle System just because it is on super clearance because he hasn't fished in years and it is not something that we have time or effort for right now.
A few other thoughts about "deal" shopping.
It takes time to learn what is a good deal for you and your household. I stocked up on $.99 toothpaste at Rite Aid a while back. I've since learned that I can get the same toothpaste for $1 at the Dollar Tree or I can get better toothpaste for free periodically from Rite Aid.
Just because something is 70% off does not mean it is cheap! Sometimes I'll see online that a SuperExpensiveBrandNameCompany is having a clearance sale. Well 50% off of $300 shoes is still$150! Would I normally pay $150 for shoes? So just because they were $300 does not make it a good deal for me.
The deceptive "you saved $48.72!" at the grocery. The more important number is how much you spent. If you are able to save $48.72 and only spend $5, that is probably a good thing! But if you bought 6 bottles of Mop and Glow for your 10 by 10 kitchen because each bottle was a $4 savings....not so much.
I try to evaluate the cost of what I'm buying by comparing it to homemade. There are tons of coupons for laundry detergent, and tons of sales. I recently bought those new Purex 3 in 1 sheets (because they were free), but normally I write laundry detergent sales off as one less thing that I need to think about, because I am able to make my own for so cheap. Plus, I prefer what I can make to most anything out there!
Lastly, it has been really helpful for me to remember that there is always another deal. Maybe not for the exactly same thing or exactly the same price, although most products do go on sale more than once! Many things rotate when they are a good deal -- the way fruits and veggies go in and out of season.
Do you have any additional input about how you make your budget work for your family?
Sunday, November 8, 2009
There are many different coupons out there for Rite Aid, so remember to print and take with you $5/$20 Video Values, Coupons.com (mine is $3/$15!), or $5/$25. The purchase price is before any coupons!
Herbal Essences Shampoo, Conditioner, or Stylers, BOGO
use buy shampoo, conditioner, or styler, get styler free (10/11 P&G) to get 2 free!
Assorted Christmas Candies or Boxed Christmas Cards, B1G2 free
ChapStick True Shimmer, $1.99
get it for $.99
Oral B CrossAction toothbrush, $2.99
-$1 coupon from 11/1 P&G
They pay you $1 to take it out of the store!
Neutrogena Face Make-up
use in-ad coupon for $3 off (excludes eye and lip, trial size, clearance)
stack with $3 off coupon from November All You
Air Wick I-motion kit or Mini Freshmatic kit, 50% off
use $4 coupon from 10/11 SS to get it for $.99!
Hershey's Kisses bags, 2 for $5
use (2) $1/1 coupon from 10/11 SS to get 2 for $3
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Green Giant vegetables, corn, peas, and green beans, $.69
Betty Crocker super moist cake mix, $.99
Kleenex facial tissues or Scott mega single roll paper towels, $.99
use $.75/3 from November All You mag.
use $.50/3 from 10/25 SS
Progresso broth, rich and hearty soup, or traditional soup, $1.69
use $1/3 cans and $.50/1 broth from here and here and here
also coupons insert from 9/13 (expire 11/7), 10/4, and 11/1
Chex mix, Cheerios mix, Gardettos Bugles, $1.69
use $.50/1 from here and here
also coupon inserts from 9/13 (expire 11/7), 10/4, and 11/1
Betty Crocker Specialty potatoes, Hamburger, Chicken, and Tuna Helpers, $1.69
use $.75/3 from here and here
also coupon inserts from 9/13 (expire 11/7), 10/4, and 11/1
Betty Crocker Cookie Pouches, or frosting, $1.69
use $.40/1 for cookies and $.50/1 for frosting from here and here
also 10/25 insert for frosting
Gold Medal Flour, $1.79
use $.50/1 from here
General Mills: Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Golden Graham, Cocoa Puffs, Trix, or Fiber One Toaster Pastries, $1.88
use $.55/Cheerios from here and here and here
Fiber One Bars, Chex Mix Bars, or Lipton Tea, $2.49
use coupons from 10/4 and 11/1
There are also coupons for many of these General Mills products on Coupons.com. With these internet printables, you can usually print each coupon twice by hitting the back button on your browser a few times.
I did this deal already this week, mostly to get the flour! I got 9 bags plus a few other things for $20 out of pocket, plus the $15 catalina for later!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
And then spray painted it black. When the paint dried I peeled off the stickers to make polka-dots:
I am happy with how it turned out, though it doesn't look as nice as the example I worked from! I was planning on getting a smaller pumpkin, but then I salvaged this one. I think it would have worked better with smaller stickers, but I felt like I needed to use larger ones because of the size of the pumpkin. All in all, I am pleased...and I can't wait to do it again next year!
I was good for a few months, then I felt like it was too hard to store and wouldn't it just be more simple to use the stuff that comes in a jar? So I bought a few jars of sauce and was totally unhappy.
I needed to have homemade sauce.
The issue in the past had been storing the sauce until we used it. I usually put it in a large container and froze half, but it was still too much to use before it went bad a lot of the time. My foray into store bought sauce solved that problem because I ended up with several glass jars!
Now when I make my sauce I use a funnel and fill up spaghetti sauce jars with my homemade sauce! I fill them most of the way, cover with a piece of plastic wrap and seal with a rubber band, and then freeze the extra jars. When I need a new jar, it gets put in the fridge to thaw, and voila! homemade sauce in easy to use sizes!
Here's how I do it:
I buy a 105 oz can of tomato sauce from Costco for $2.50 and add it to some sauteed onion:
I add basil and oregano (from Costco, for cheap but I don't remember the prices)
salt and pepper
The size that I buy from Costco makes about 4 - 1/2 to 5 jars of sauce. We usually have it with dinner the day I make the sauce, so I'm not sure exactly how much it is. I use this sauce for all our spaghetti, lasagna, and even homemade pizza dinners. You can add ground beef or turkey, which is the way I used to make it, but now that I use the sauce for pizza on a regular basis, I choose not to put the meat in.
It does take more time than buying a jar at the store, but at this point it is such second nature to make it myself, and with my jar method, it's nearly as convenient because I always have some in my freezer!
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb ground turkey or beef
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 29 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 t. salt
2 t. oregano
2 t. basil
1/2 t. black pepper
1/4 c. sugar
105 oz can tomato sauce
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 t. salt
3 1/2 T. oregano
3 1/2 T. basil
3/4 t. black pepper
1/2 c. sugar
Of course all proportions can be changed based on what you like. I measure at this point to save time because I make so much...I would have a hard time pouring that much of a single spice into something without tasting it along the way. I still do check for taste, but the measurements help me get it pretty close!
Monday, November 2, 2009
I started with chicken stock for the pot pie. I got this jar of chicken base at Costco for about $3; I just add a few scoops to some hot water and instant chicken stock!
Normally I would saute some onion before adding the stock, but alas, we were out of onions. So I used some onion juice instead. I added cut up cooked chicken to the broth, along with some potatoes.
The dumplings in this pot pie are most definitely my favorite part. In a bowl mix 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of shortening. Use a fork to work the shortening in until it is in fine pieces.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead just a enough to hold together
Roll the dough out with a rolling pin and cut into about 1 inch squares. A pizza cutter works great for this.
Drop the dough into the boiling broth. As it cooks it puffs up.
To makes things really simply, I just used a bag of frozen mixed veggies, which I added at the end, along with salt and pepper.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
The new Walgreens on 301 next to Kohls is open, and there is a coupon for $3 of $10 purchase at that location only in the ad. The coupon is good through 11/14. Remember that at Walgreens your $10 is after all coupons (this is different than at Rite Aid). There are also 3 photo coupons on the back of the ad including Free 5x7 or 8x10 enlargement.
Glade Sense & Spray, $4.99
-$4 coupon (10/18 SS)
$.99 after coupon
Glade 4.5 oz soy candle, $3.99
-$1 coupon (10/4 SS)
get $1 RR back, good on next purchase
Both Glade deals count towards the $5 SC Johnson rebate
There are also 2 RR deals on P&G products. Check out Deal Seeking Mom for coupon match-ups.
I'm not all that impressed with the sales at Rite Aid this week, but in the center fold of the ad are several items for managing your diabetes that are noteworthy, including several different blood glucose monitors that are free after Single Check Rebate.
Toys R Us
Check out the large toy book for a bunch of different sales that you can pair with the coupons I wrote about here. Prices listed in the book are good through 11/26 (Thanksgiving). There is also a coupon on the back for a $10 gift card when you purchase $75 of qualifying merchandise.
There is a 15% off your entire purchase in store or online in the P&G insert this week
There are 4 different Bissell vacuums on sale at Target this week, with a $25 GC back when you purchase any of them. Look in this week's SmartSource for a $20 rebate on any Bissell vacuum over $100 (all of the Target ones qualify!)