Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why I love buying in Smaller packages vs. bulk buying

I took advantage of the free one day membership to Sam’s Club on Sunday and I was hoping to find some great deals and I feel I walked away with some decent buys, but I was a bit disappointed at what I didn’t see. Generally it was good to finally see what can be purchased in bulk, however as I walked through the isles I noticed a trend. The majority of the products you could buy were pre-packaged, preservative filled foods. For health reason I try to limit these products in our home and I really only buy them for my hubby’s lunches (he loves them). I only buy them if I have coupons and can get a really good price on them. I also did not notice any health food that you could buy in bulk. I was looking for brown rice, whole wheat flour & whole wheat pastas but there were none to be found. I had also hoped to find vinegar but they didn’t carry that either. Now don’t get me wrong I did find some fabulous deals, but I also did not have to pay $40 for a membership. Since I cook most of my meals from scratch and use mostly whole grains, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, I just didn’t see enough products at Sam’s that would make a membership worth the $40.

When I started couponing I quickly learned that buying a product in a larger package didn’t necessarily make it cheaper. If I have two coupons that double, it would be worth it to buy two smaller packages rather than one larger package. I always try to check and see what the price per unit, cup, etc turns out to be, but most of the time it is cheaper to buy the smaller size granted you have multiple coupons for that item.

As I walked through the store I saw many things I buy but after doing the math, it was cheaper to buy them the way I have been, using coupons at the grocery store. I can see it could be advantageous for friends or family to split items, or for you to beg a friend to pick up a large container of (fill in the blank). I know Sam’s can be a great way to save your family money. There are plenty of people who make it work for them, but as for me and my house, we’ll stick with Dillons & Aldi. What do you think? How does Sam’s Club/Costco work for your family? I’d love to hear some positive things.

Here’s what I walked away with:
12 lb. Baking Soda (that will get a lot of cleaning done around here!) $5.76
1.5 gallons Hand Soap $7.22
64 fluid oz Vanilla $4.18
3.75 lb. Baking Powder $5.76
1.43 lb. Taco Seasoning $3.88
177 Chicken Bouillon Cubes $4.87
5 lb. Honey $9.58
3 liters Olive Oil $14.00
2 lb. Yeast $4.16
36 Rolls Toliet Paper $15.53
5 lb. Mixed Veggies $3.88
25 lb. Flour $7.58
36 Double Rolls Toliet Paper $15.53
I was thankful for the free membership, but it doesn't look like I'll be investing in one myself. Unfortunately this didn't work for me this week. Check out other tips and ideas this Wednesday at We are That Family.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Monday Meal Plan

Well we will be digging deep into our pantry & freezer this week. As you can tell we don't have too much to dig from, but remember that oil jar that kept giving in 2 Kings 4. I'm asking that God stretches things for us this week. I'm hoping to spend around $30 this week at my regular stores, Dillons & Aldi. Check back later this week to see how I came out at Sam's club.

For breakfast we'll be eating up we have in our freezer, so waffles, muffins & bagels.

For lunches we'll enjoy our leftovers and possibly have some scrambled eggs and mini pizzas. (I never got those made last week, oops.) I'll also make up some no bake cookies for my hubby's lunch and he'll also take some chex mix with his sandwich and banana.
Snacks will look much the same as they have the last few weeks, fruit, cheese, raisins, bread and my toddler's current obsession, crackers.

Monday-Avacado, Beans & Rice, Asparagus & fruit

Tuesday-Jamacian Chicken, side of black beans & cubed sweet potatoes

Wednesday-Pizza Pasta Bake, Spinach Salad & fruit maybe homemade french bread

Thursday-Leftover Night

Friday-Calzones on the road & carrot sticks (cooked for my toddler)

Saturday-Out of town visiting family

Sunday-heading home (might grab a $5 sub from subway, one tends to feed our entire family)

Check back on Thursday to find the recipe for Avocado, Beans & Rice & Caribbean Chicken. I may even post one for an easy chocolate cake recipe that is great without frosting.

I'm also bringing a meal to a family in our church who recently had a baby. I'm bringing them:

BBQ meatballs, homemade mac & cheese, cooked carrots, chocolate cake and probably homemade french bread.

For more great ideas check out Menu plan Monday headquarters over at orgjunkie.

Walgreens 3/29-4/3

Well I’ve heard rumors and it looks like they are confirmed by several bloggers that have heard directly from the Walgreens company that April is the last month for the Easy Saver Catalog and Rebate program. I’m a bit sad by this news, but I hope in the end they work out an easier system. I am excited to see what is to come from Walgreens, let’s be optimistic!

Don’t forget to submit your March rebates.

Dawn $0.99 w/ in ad Q
Use .50/1
Total= .49/1 Limit 2

Bounce, Downy or Cascade 3.99
Use $1/1 MF for Bounce, Downy or Cascade Action Packs (ex. 3-31!)

Febreeze Air Effects 2/$5
Use $1/1 MF

Comet 14 oz. 2/$1 w/ in ad Q
Clorox Bleach 2/$3
Use buy 2 clorox products get wipes for Free IP
Total=$3 for 2 bottles bleach and Clorox wipes

Reynold’s Aluminum Foil 20 sq ft. .89 w/ in ad Q
Use $1/1 excludes 25 sq. ft.
Total= $0.11 overage!

Multipurpose paper 2/$7

Bic Disposable Razors 4.99
Use $2/1 MF
$1 ES coupon
Total= 1.99/1

Dove, Degree, Men’s and Lady’s Speedstick 2/$5
Use $1.50/2 MF

Aquafresh Toothpaste 1.99
Use .75/1

Wal-phed pe or Wal-dryl Allergy 4/$4

Hot Wheels Cars BIGI 1.29 w/ in ad Q

Bounty 6 pack Big Rolls 6.99
Use $1/1 MF
Total=$ 5.99

2/$6 South Beach Living bars
Use two $2/1 MF

Pringles 2/$3 w/ in ad Q
Use $1/2 MF

FreeStyle Lite or Freedom Lite Blood Glucose Monitor 9.99
ES Rebate 9.99
Total=FREE after rebate

Print Cartridge Refill 7.99
ES Rebate 7.99
Total=FREE after rebate

One a Day Multivitamin Drink Pack Mix 2 pack1.99
ES Rebate 1.99
Total=FREE after rebate

Wal-itin Allergy Relief 6.99
ES Rebate 6.99
Total=FREE after rebate

Pepsi 12 packs 4/$12
Use Buy 2 Diet Pepsi Products Get 1 Free
$3 RR
Total= 3 diet 12 packs 4/$6 or 4/$9 after RR

Glad Trash Bags 6.99
Use $1/1 IP
1 RR

Softsoap Body Wash 3.99
Use $1/1 MF or IP Spa Radiant Body Wash
Get 3.99 on your NEXT in store visit (you can’t use this on a separate transaction, you must leave and come back.)
Total=2.99/2 in two separate visits

Chapstick 100% Naturals or True Shimmer lip balm or butter 1.99
1.99 RR
Total=FREE after RR

Spend $30 get $10 RR Spend $20 get $5 RR
Benefiber $10
Fibersure $10 use $1/1 MF
Metamusil $10 use $1/1 MF
Gas X thin strips or soft gels $5
Maalox $5
ExLax $5
Pepto Bismal $5 use $1/1 MF
Prilosec $20 use $1/1 MF or $2/1 MF
Zantac $20
MiraLax $10 use $2/1 MF
Zantac $17
Tums $4 use $3/1 IP

Kotex 2/$6
$1 RR
Total=2/$5 after RR

Tide or Gain 2X $11.99
Use $1/1 MF
$3 RR
Total=7.99 after RR

Quaker Granola Bars, Life Cereal or Capt’n Crunch cereal 2/$5
Use $1/2 IP Quaker Granola Bars or $1/2 IP Life Cereal
$2 RR

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Aldi Deals 3/29-4/05

There are a few deals worth highlighting this week at Aldi:

Yukon Gold 5 lb. Potatoes .99

Bag of Spinach .99

Package of Asparagus .99

Cream Cheese .79

1 lb. Butter 1.49

8 oz. blocks of cheese 1.29

Happy Savings!

Weekly $ Report

WOW, apparently the calculator in my head was not working this week, because I've gone over again. I don't know why but I felt very ill prepared when I went to the grocery store this week. I forgot to put back some of my envelopes in my coupon pouch and I had pulled out an expired coupon for diapers so we had to stop by Dillons on the way home from small group, which is why you'll see two Dillons trips this week. So this next week calls for some major frugal action, I'm digging into our pantry and seeing what we can come up with. I'm hoping only to buy the necessities this coming week. Wish me luck!

Totals for the week:
Food $55.19 I was aiming to spend around $47 this week
Housing $9.21
Diapers $13.98 we keep a separate category for diapers

Dillons Round 1
$26.70 food & $2.67 housing products
$25.45 food & $1.99 housing products

MEGA SALE ITEMS 2 boxes Fruit Roll Ups 2.83
MEGA SALE ITEMS 2 Land-O-Lakes Spreadable Butter .19 each
MEGA SALE ITEMS 2 pints Ice cream .50 each
MEGA SALE ITEMS Ken's Salad Dressing .79
MEGA SALE ITEMSBaby Shampoo 1.50

2 boxes Huggies Gentle Care Wipes FREE
3 Johnson's Buddies Soap FREE
2 Soy Milk 5.38
Sweet Potatoes 2.23
Red Tape Bananas 1.05
Cantaloupe 1.58
Strawberries 1.88
Whipping Cream 1.39

Quick Oats 1.79
Skim Milk 2.37
Ketchup 1.15
Flour 1.46
1 lb. lunch meat 2.99
2 bars 8 oz cheese 1.29
14 oz. mustard .69
Lettuce .99
Roma Tomatoes 1.19
Onions .69
American Cheese Slices 1.49
Carrots .49!
Cabbage .69!
Avocados .89
Flour Tortillas .99
Brown Sugar 1.19
Bread 1.29
Eggs .89
Sandwich bags 1.99

Dillons round 2 $2.36 food & $13.98 diapers
2 boxes Huggies Gentle Care Wipes FREE
3 Johnson's Buddies Bath Soap FREE
2 Jumbo pks Huggies 13.98 (turned in for 1.25 rebate)
Whole Wheat Flour 2.36

done in two transactions $9.21 OOP I used 2 $10 RR and sadly no MF Qs!
(I will get $18.98 back in rebates)

Rubber Gloves 3/$1
Headache Relief 2.99
Axe Shampoo 5.99
Hunts Tomato Sauce .39/each
Right Guard Deodorant 5.99
Peanut Butter 3.49 each
Pudding 2.19

Wal-Mart $0.68
3 lb. Bananas (price matches these on Thursday) .68

Friday, March 27, 2009


Here are a few free samples you might want to check out. I love getting mail and this is a fun way to have surprises awaiting me in the mailbox. Often there are coupons included with these free products. You'll be getting more email so if you don't want it to go to your primary address us an alternate one.

Flushy Doggy Flushable Doggy Waste Bags
Cream of Wheat
Volpi Italian Meats
Attune Probiotic Bar
Eucerin Calming Cream
Caress Evenly Gorgeous
OB Tampons
Jergen's Natural Glow
Crest Advance Seal
Parent's Choice Formula
Eucerin Plus Smoothing Essentials
Old Spice Bodywash
Cottonelle Flushable wipes & paper

Dillons 4 Day Sale

This Sale started Thursday and ends on Sunday. I hope everyone is warm today. I can't believe this weather, snow/ice! Oh the joys of Kansas weather.

Coca-Cola or Pepsi Products 2 liters $0.99
Lays Chips 1.98
if Baked Lays are a part of this deal use the .55/1 MF

Avocados 2/$1! AWESOME PRICE.

Sara Lee Whole Grain Buns & Coneys $1.48 (I found whole wheat buns at the Wonder Outlet for $1.09, but this is a good price for Dillons)

Tostitos Chips & Salsa 7 Queso 2/$5

Happy Savings!

Frugal Family Friday Fun

Our family loves art, we love being creative and appreciate the work it takes to create something. When we planned a vacation to France we found out that all museums were free the first Sunday of the month. We loved the concept that the country wanted to support the arts and make it available to all people. We as tourists enjoyed saving a few Euros, even if it meant standing in longer lines. We were able to see some amazing works of art for free thanks to France's commitment to the arts.

I was very excited to hear that the Wichita Art Museum also offers free admission on Saturdays. If that isn't great enough the 4th Saturday of each month they offer a Family Adventure geared for children. I spoke to the director of Education for the Wichita Art Museum and she informed me that this event is geared for children ages 3-12. Children will take a peek into a specific gallery during this event and they provide probing questions that help your family discuss the artwork. What I love is that they don't stop here, they also allow the kids to participate in an art project based on the featured gallery. This Saturday's gallery are pieces from Patrick Deugaw. After talking with the director I really want to see his gallery, it sounds like he has developed some interesting pieces. There also is a story time at 11:30 and 12:30 in the art gallery. This event begins at 11:00 and the gallery closes at 3:00.

I really hope the snow we are expecting doesn't get in the way, I really am excited about this event. I really would like my son to enjoy the creativity that art brings, even if he is only a toddler. I hope to see you there.

Don't know where the Wichita Art Museum is located? click here for directions

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Leeker's/Checkers Double Dollar Coupon Days

I just found out that Leekers, (Cheekers) is having a double dollar coupon sale now through next Wednesday. This means that they will double coupons up to and including a $1. It's a great way to use those $1 coupons for better savings.

If you don't live near a Leekers you can still get a great deal on Bananas today through price matching at Wal-Mart. Just print this ad and take it to Wal-Mart, or bring in their paper ad and ask your cashier to price match your bananas.

The following are Leeker's Wichita area locations:

801 S. Meridian
Valley Center, KS

6223 N. Broadway St.
Wichita, KS 67219

1915 E. Pawnee
Wichita, KS 67211
Happy Savings!

Some Good Eats for the Week

I am posting my recipes for Chili Kolaches, our family's favorite rolls and Chicken Piccata with Rice. All are healthy easy options that are kind on your wallet. Chicken Piccata makes a great meal for company. It tastes impressive but is budget friendly and a very fast meal to make.

Chicken Piccata with Rice $4.42
Adapted from Prevention Magazine's The Healthy Cook
4 servings 449 calories, 9.8 g. fat, 4.9 g. fiber
2 t. olive oil .054 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.) 1.67 1 ½ c. brown rice (soaked for 15 minutes prior to adding) .30
2 3/4 c. defatted chicken broth .10 from bouillon cubes or FREE if you boil your own chicken
1/2 t. salt .01½ t. dried oregano .02¼ c. minced fresh parsley or 1 T. dried parsley .02
¼ c. lemon juice .05
2 T. capers, rinsed and chopped 1.00
2 T. chopped roasted pine nuts or almonds .75
First soak your brown rice in water, allow to soak while you are preparing the other ingredients, at least 15 minutes. Coat large non-stick skillet with spray. Add the oil and warm over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned on both sides. Add the rice, broth, oregano, parsley, lemon juice and capers. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for the following:

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Cook until rice is soft and chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before lifting lid. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts or almonds and serve.

To toast nuts place them in a dry non-stick skillet over a medium heat. Shake the skillet often for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant and golden.

Chili Kolaches $1.89

16 frozen yeast dinner rolls or homemade rolls (see recipe below) .64
10 oz. canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained or 1 1/2 c. cooked .20 if using beans you've cooked yourself
1 c. chunky salsa .75
1 t. chili seasoning mix .05
½ c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese .25

Preheat oven to 400, spray cookie sheet evenly. If using frozen yeast rolls place rolls on sheet. Cover with cloth and let thaw and rise about 4 hours.

If using homemade rolls use a dough ball about the size of a lime. Make 16 balls and place on greased cookie sheet.

Mix together beans, salsa & chili seasoning.

Make an indention in the center of each roll and spoon some of your bean mixture into the dip.

Add a bit of cheese to the top and bake 12-15 minutes. Remove and if desired brush a bit of butter to the outside of the bread. (I omit this step and they always turn out great.)

I use my favorite roll recipe instead of buying prepared rolls.

Family Favorite Rolls $1.28

1 T. yeast .20
1 T. sugar .01
½ c. Warm water free

Dissolve then add to mix:
½ c. oil .20
2 c. buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk use regular milk and add a tablespoon or two of vinegar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then it’s ready to be mixed together.) .20½ c. sugar .10½ t. baking soda .015 t. baking powder .051 t. salt .01
5 c. flour (approx. 2 ½ c. whole wheat flour 2 ½ c. all purpose flour ) .50

Knead well about 7 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Pull off what you need and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Make sure you go on over to Grocery Cart Challenge on Friday to find other great recipes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

FREE Sam's Club Membership for a day

Thanks to Amy for sharing that Allstate is currently offering a free one day Sam's Club membership. Simply go to Allstate's website and sign up, your one day membership will be emailed to you so you'll have to print it out. This offer expires on March 31st, so hurry up and get your one day membership and head on over to Sam's. I can't wait to see what they have to offer, don't worry I'll make sure I give you the full report.

Happy Savings!

Dillons Deals 3/25-3/31

There are a few good deals to be had this week at Dillons. If you see something I didn't let me know. (Recently updated, apparently I missed a few things last night.)

Sterling Silver Fresh Ground Chuck 1.99 lb (I like to stock up at this price)
Fresh Pork Picnic 1.19 lb
Kroger Cooked 71/90 ct, Raw White 51/60 ct or Shrimp 16 oz 4.99
Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh Lunch Meat 4/$10
Use $1/2 MF coupon found in a dispenser near lunch meat

Ripe Sweet Cantaloupe 1.58
Kroger Value California Navel Oranges 4 lb or Kroger Value Apples 3 lb or Texas Grapefruit 5 lb 2.99
(good price for Dillons, but Aldi has had bags of fruit much cheaper recently)
Green Seedless Grapes .88/lb
Kroger Value Russet Potatoes 2.99 (Cheaper this week at Aldi 1.49)
Fresh Monterey Whole White Mushrooms 2/$4

Other Deals
Kroger Value Salad Dressing .99 (great price!)
Dillons Milk 2/$5 (Aldi has been cheaper recently)
Coca-Cola 3/$11 if you buy 3 you get 2 FREE boxes of Rtiz Crackers
Use any Coke rewards you have to sweeten this deal
Kroger Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream or Dips 1.00

Nature's Pride Bread 2/$4
Use $0.55/1 MF

Quaker Cereal, Quaker Chewy or True Delights Granola Bars, Bites or Cookies or Oatmeal To Go 1.50 wyb4
$1/2 IP Quaker Granola Bars here
$1/2 IP Quaker instant oatmeal here
$1/2 IP Quarker Life Cereal here
$1/1 Quaker True Delights MF
$1/1 Quaker Simple Harvest MF
Total=$4/4 using two $1/2 Qs or $3/4 using two $1/1 Q and one $1/2 Qs

*this is an okay deal, but you can often get a better deal at Walgreens on PB
Peter Pan Peanut Butter, or Kroger Fruit Preserves 1.99
Use $1/2 for Peter Pan PB or .50/2 for Fruit Preserves (Q will not double)
Total=$2.98/2 PB or $3.48/2 Fruit Preserves

Hunt's Manwich or Dillons Bun/Coneys 1.00 (Okay Deal)
Use $1/2 Manwich & Buns
Total=$3/2 cans of Manwich & 1 pkg buns

Hunt's Pasta Sauce or Kroger Pasta 1.00
Use $1/2 hunts pasta sauce & Pasta
Total=$2/2 hunts pasta sauce & pasta (Aldi sauce is .99/1)

Kroger Tortilla Chips (same as Aldi) or Rosarita Refried Beans 1.00
Use $1/3 Rosarita Refried Beans
Total=$2/3 cans of refried beans

Hunt's Snack Pack Pudding or Kroger Fruit Snacks 1.00
Use .50/2 Hunts Pudding or $1/3 Kroger Fruit Snacks
Total= $1.50/2 Hunts Pudding or $2/3

Pillsbury Biscuits, Rolls or Pizza Crust 4/$4 Must buy 4!
Use 4 $0.40/1 Pizza Crust or .40/2
There is still a Catalina deal going on where if you buy 4 you get $1 taken off your order
Total=overage of $0.20/4 rolls of pizza crust using four .40/1 Q or 1.40/4 using two .40/2

Household items
Kroger Value Jumbo Diapers 5.99
(good price for diapers, but I can often get Huggies for this price)

Crest Premium Toothpaste, Crest Pro-Health or Toothbrush Crest Pro-Health Tooth paste 2/$5
Use 2 $1/1
Total=$3/2 *you don't have to purchase 2 to receive this price.
(You can usually get a toothpaste for free or next to free, so unless you need toothpaste save those coupons!)

Rubbermaid Storage Containers 1.99
Use $1/1 here

(It’s best to print coupons from this site to using Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer.)

Happy Savings

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Married a Cheese Guzzler...and birthed one too

My guys love cheese. Earlier this week I was preparing dinner and I finished grating some cheese so I removed the top of my cheese grater and my toddler snatched it. The next thing I knew I looked over and my son is licking the cheese off the back (thank goodness he wasn’t licking on the grating part). So I took it away from him and he immediately started picking up all the little shreds that had fallen on the floor, now that' a cheese lover. My husband likes to joke around and call me the cheese police because I often leave notes on the packages of cheese I buy that say 'do not eat' or 'saving until a certain date'. Since we are trying to stay on budget cheese is something that could easily blow our budget, and our waistlines. I try to stretch it as far as it will go.

One of the ways I do this is I try to find meals that do not need cheese, and if I am making a dish that requires it I don’t use all that the recipe calls for. But the easiest way I stretch the cheese I buy is through grating it myself on the finer side of the grater. By doing this you can cover a larger area with less cheese. I also measured how many cups I can grate from one 8 oz bar of cheese, it’s 3. That’s 1 cup more than buying it in the bags and often it is the same price. What a steal, not to mention it melts beautifully.

I simply grate an entire bar at a time and put it in a baggie in the fridge. I haven't been happy about the texture of freezing bars of cheese, but I've had success freezing my grated cheese. Now at Aldi you can buy an 8 oz block for $1.29.

This makes all of our family happy, the cheese lovers and the budget keepers. I don’t know about you but that Works for Me! For more great ideas check out We’re That Family.

Why I love DILLONS

I choose to shop at Dillons and Aldi for my primary grocery needs. This system has helped me save hundreds of dollars this year alone. But why Dillons? Why do I love it so much?

Friendly. I have never been to a Dillons where the staff wasn’t helpful and courteous. I’d rather shop where I feel people want my business.

Produce. I can usually find everything I need and everything is very excellent quality. It's the next best thing from the farmer's market. I love that they have red tape bananas for .39/lb and if you shop in the mornings you can usually find these great buys.

Manager’s Specials! Oh how I love finding these beautiful orange tags, they just scream savings. Things that often are on MS are milk (which can be frozen), meat (freeze once you buy and it’ll stay fresh), eggs, bags of salad lettuce & bread. These are great buys if you can snatch them before they are all gone.

Coupons! Dillons in Wichita doubles coupons, which means if I have a coupon for .50 the store will double it and make that coupon worth a $1.00. They double the amount up to a $1. So if you have a .75 coupon it won’t double in price, it will just “double” to a $1. Dillons also sends out coupons in the mail based on what you have purchased and what they think you need to purchase. I love getting coupons for meat and cheese, something that usually doesn’t happen too often.

eCoupons! Cellfire, Shortcuts, and Procter & Gamble all have coupons you can load to your Dillons card that will automatically deduct from your total when you scan your card at the checkout.

Gas Discount! When you spend $100 in groceries you will receive $0.10 off per gallon at Dillons gas stations and Kwik Shop Gas Stations in the Wichita area. What is great about this is that you can fill up more than one car using this discount, so make sure you follow your honey to the gas station and fill both cars up in one transaction. To make this even better if you use MF coupons you get credit for the amount you never paid for. So if you used $10 in MF coupons, $10 will go towards your fuel saver rewards.

Sales! Dillons often runs amazing sales that will allow me to stock up on meat and staples for a significantly reduced price. I love their Mega Sales because often times many coupons match up with their sale leaving you with some sweet savings and many times FREE items.

Bag Discount! When you bring in a reusable bag or even old plastic bags Dillons will give you .05 off per bag you use. It may not seem like a lot, but say you use 5 bags every week that will save you $1/month and $12 a year. Leave those bags in your car so you can grab one if you need to run in to buy something, you’ll still get the .05 discount even if you only have one or two items.

Extra Perks! Car Shopping carts that help distract my toddler, free samples throughout the store, clerks who take your groceries out to your car and a post office are all extra perks that I love about shopping at Dillons.

So that’s why I love Dillons. Visit their website to find a store near you. Why do you love Dillons?

Happy Savings!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Best of Aldi This Week

You don't want to miss some of these prices at Aldi this week. Here's my best buys this week.

10 lb. Russet Potatoes $1.49!
Bag of Whole Carrots $0.49!
Cabbage $0.69
3 lb. Bag Yellow onions $0.69!
8 oz. Cheese blocks $1.29
1 lb. Butter $1.49
Eggs $0.89!

Happy Savings!

Menu Plan Monday

I'm excited for several meals this week. Check back on Thursday for the recipe for Chili Kolaches (meatless) & Chicken Picata w/Rice.


Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies x2
Banana Muffins
Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Toast & Fruit


Strawberries & Crackers
Raisins & Cheese
Cantaloupe & Crackers
Basketball Sugar cookies (minus the frosting)


Nothing fancy this week for lunches, I'm hoping to eat up leftovers several lunches and I plan to make up some mini pizzas this week. We'll see how far we can stretch our leftovers, I might have to make up some stir fry or something easy if we are out of options. I'll add some veggies and fruit to complete these meals. Right now my toddler is going through a "I hate veggies phase", so I'm trying to be clever and sneak some into anything I can.


Monday-Chili Kolaches, salad w/salad finishers from Mega Sale, Sweet Potato Cubes

Tuesday-Pulled Pork in Crock Pot on Buns, Cole Slaw & Cooked Carrots

Wednesday-Leftovers & New Steamed Veggie & Orange Slices

Thursday-Chicken Picata w/ Rice, Tomato Wedges & Fruit

Friday-Soft Turkey Tacos w/ all the fixings (lettuce, tomato, avocado), rice & Cantaloupe

Saturday-Dinner with Friends

Sunday-Tuna Gravy over Biscuits & Fruit

For more menu plans check out Meal Plan Monday headquarters over at Organizational Junkie.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Walgreens Deals 3/22-3/28-updated

I hope you can find some good deals this week. I know I'm taking advantage of a few of them.
Make sure you have more items than coupons or else you'll hear the unpleasant beep at the cash register. **apparently the ad I looked at online is different from our area. I've updated the changes.

Arm & Hammer Detergent BIGI Free $6.99
Use two $1/1 IP

Curel Lotion 6.99
Use $2/1 ES coupon & $1/1 MF

Shick Quattro for Women Razor 8.99
Use $4/1 ES coupon & $4/1 MF

Playtex Gentle Guide 6.99
Use $2/1 ES coupon & $1/1 MF

Zaditor Eye Drops $10.99
Use $3/1 ES coupon & $3/1 MF

Baby Oil & Powder .99 w/in ad coupon

Reynold Wrap 2.79 w/in ad coupon
Use $1/1 MF

Pepsi 12 packs 3/10.92 **Buy 3 Get 1 Diet Pepsi Product FREE

Glade Plugins Scentil Oil Fan or Refill 2/$5 w/in ad coupon

Tuf Trash Bags 2/$7
Use 2 $1/1 coupon found in pharmacy book & $3 in ES rebate

Easy Saver Rebate Deals this week
Plege Wipes or liquid spray, or fabric sweeper & Draino & scribbomg Bubbles Toliet Cleaning Gel 2/$7
$2 ES Rebate on 2
Use 2 $1/1 MF any Pledge or Fabric Sweeper
Total=2/$3 after rebate

5.99 Theraflu or Triaminic
Use $1.50/1 Triaminic IP (Thin Strips) or use 2 $2/1 Theraflu IP
$3 ES Rebate
Total=$1.49 for Triaminic or $0.99 for Theraflu after rebate

Free Style or Freedom Blood Glucose Monitor $19.99
$19.99 ES Rebate
Total=FREE after Rebate!

3/$10 Reece Select Clusters, Hershey’s Bless 7 Cadbury Minuatures
Use 3 $1/1 Reece Cluster MF or 1.50/3 Hershey’s Cadbury Reece MF or $1/2 Hershey Bliss
$5 Easy Saver Rebate
Total=best deal $2/3 Reece Clusters

ConAgra Rebate buy $10 get $5 in rebates
Hunts Tomato Sauce .39 w/ in ad Q (limit 3)


Gillette Fusion Gamer Razor
Use $4/1 Gillete Fusion
Get $6 RR
Total=$1.01 overage after RR

Tums $7.99
Use $3/1 IP
$3 RR
Total=1.99 After RR

Weekly $ Report

I went to 5 different stores this week, it was an unusual week, and I went to 4 of them Sunday afternoon while my husband stayed home with our son. I know I'm crazy! But I didn't go to Walgreens this week, I'll use up my RR tomorrow, I'm hoping for some good deals. Check back Sunday for this week's Walgreens deals.

This week's total was $48.24, so I was over budget by about $1.00

Aldi $22.34

Carrots .99
Frozen Peas .95
Tortillas .99
2-Butter 1.49!
Egg Noodles .99
Cooking Spray 1.29
Orange Juice Concentrate 1.25
Mixed Juice Concentrate .95
Skim Milk 2.30
Cream of Mushroom Soup .49
8 oz. Cheddar Cheese (2) 1.29!
Navel Oranges 1.29!
Bananas 1.19
Cheese Slices 1.49
Bread 1.29

Target $7.98
3 half gallons of Soy Milk 2.50 ea.

Dillons $9.90 (after 2.50 rebate)
This week I saved 73% off my total bill
Strawberries 1.99
Red Tape Bananas .83
Cantaloupe 2.00
Sweet Potatoes 1.43
Cottonelle FREE

Mega Sale Deals
Chex Mix .19
(2)Quaker Quakes FREE
Activia Yogurt Drinks 1.00
Nature's Valley Trail Mix Granola Bars 1.00
Ken's Salad Dressing .79
Tylenol 1.50
Salad Finishers FREE after 2.50 rebate plus 1.50 overage thanks to the mega deal and a coupon
Land O Lakes Spread .19
Country Crock Spread .19

Wal-mart $4.55
Fettuccine Noodles .97
Lentils .94
Animal Crackers 1.94

Wonder Hostess Bread Outlet $3.47 (sorry no picture)

Whole Wheat Buns 1.05
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels 2.19

Friday, March 20, 2009

Frugal Family Friday Fun

We love, love, love the Wichita Public Library. We have been very impressed by the programs offered and the selection the library has to offer. Not only can you check out books you can also check out DVDs and they have a great selection to choose from. You can even search from home for the movie you are looking for on their website, if it isn’t at your branch request the item be sent to your library for .25! That it worth driving half way across town just to pick up a DVD. Watching movies together as a family can be a fun way to enjoy each other and it can give you plenty to talk about about after it is over.

Redbox is also a clever way to save money on DVD rentals. Did you know every Monday you can receive a code for a one night rental of a Redbox DVD? Make you check out Common Sense with Money on Mondays for your code, this allows you to rent a DVD of your choice on Mondays, if you keep the DVD longer than 24 hours you will be billed for the extra day. You can also check out Inside Redbox to help you find a free Redbox code everyday, again when using a code you can only rent it for 24 hours free.

Why not add a little pizza to your movie night? Only make it yourself. You’ll be surprised at how easy it can be and how much you’ll save in the process. When we order pizza we usually spend around $8-10 per pizza and that’s using a coupon. You can get two large pizzas for half the price of one by making your own! For more family fun let your kiddos create their own personalized pizzas, encourage your kids to create faces in their pizzas. If you have older kids suggest a theme and start creating. My toddler love to help me knead the dough, so don't let age stop you from doing this together. Not only is this a fun way to be creative together, it’s an easy way to help your family pile extra veggies on their pizzas.

If you love thick crust pizza, here’s our family’s favorite pizza recipe. Enjoy!

Thick Crust Pizza Dough

Makes two pizzas:
2 packages (5t.) Active dry yeast (.25 if using the jar type of yeast)
2 c. warm water (free)
2 t. salt (.01)
4 t. olive oil (.10)
2- 2 ½ c. whole wheat flour (.20)
2 – 2 ½ c. all purpose flour (.10)

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a mixing bowl. Add salt, olive oil, and 1 ½ c. whole wheat flour and 1 ½ c. all purpose flour. Mix until well blended. Continue to add flour ½ c. at a time alternating between whole wheat and all purpose flour until dough cleans the side of the bowl, and is soft but not too sticky. Knead dough for 8-10 minutes adding flour when necessary. (Remember I knead right in my bowl to eliminate a messy counter top.)

Place dough in a greased bowl, spray top with cooking spray and cover. Let rise in a warm place, free from drafts about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough. Brush 2-14 inch pizza pans with olive oil.

Press dough onto pizza pans, forming a collar at the edges. Top with desired sauce, cheese and toppings. We like to brush the collar of our pizzas with olive oil and add a little garlic salt. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes.

8 oz. Block Mozzarella Cheese at Aldi=1.29 (finely shred it and it will cover more area for less cheese)
Pizza Sauce=.99 (I use spaghetti sauce)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Filling Breakfast

Wow, this really fills you up, and I didn't even have very much. I love it when I find breakfasts that really tid me over till lunchtime. I'm really trying to watch my calories and have been trying not to snack in the morning, this breakfast does the trick. ENJOY!

Baked Berry OatmealSERVES 6

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup or less brown sugar
2 egs
1 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups quick oats or regular oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup berries of your choice, I used strawberries
brown sugar or honey

Melt butter in 9x9 baking dish, then add brown sugar, eggs, applesauce and milk. Wisk together until everything is well blended. (I used a deep dish casserole dish since I broke my 9x9 recently, sniffle.)

In separate bowl mix oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Combine with wet mixture and add your berries. This may be placed in refrigerator overnight.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. (Bake 5-8 minutes longer if refrigerated overnight.)
Cut into squares. Top with brown sugar or honey, add a bit of warmed milk and enjoy.

I'm wondering if this could be done in the crockpot overnight? I might have to try this because I'm all for easy breakfasts.

For other great recipes check out the Recipe Swap at Grocery Cart Challenge on Friday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dillons 3/18-3/24

It looks like the Mega Sale is hanging around another week, it seems to follow the trend of 2-3 weeks. There were a few things I wanted to pick up but didn't have it in my budget, so I am thankful for the extra week. Without further ado, here are the sales:

12 Dillons Eggs .99
(Aldi had eggs for .89 this week, but this is a great price I tend to buy several at this price.)

Kroger Value Tomato Sauce 8 oz .19
(this is a great price and perfect if you need to stock those pantries.)

Kroger Value Bread White or Wheat 16 oz or Buns 8 ct .89 (same price as Aldi)

Kroger Butter Quarters 1.99 (Great price, but Aldi has butter on sale this week for 1.49)

Kroger IQF Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast or Tenderloin 1.66 lb
(this is the price I like to buy frozen chicken breasts.)

Tyson Fresh Split Chicken Breast, Drumsticks or Thighs $1/lb
(great price for fresh chicken breasts)

Boneless Pork Sirloin Chops BIGI Free *will ring up 50% off 1.75lb
(I like these because I don't have to pay for the bone.)

Kroger Spaghetti Sauce .99 (same price as Aldi)

Hershey's King Size Bars BIGI Free
use BIGI free MF

Huggies Snug & Dry or Supreme Diapers
use $3.00/1 combined with 3.00/2 or $1/1 cellfire and 1.50/1 shortcuts
and .75 rebate from Caregiver's Marketplace
I suggest buy 2 pkgs, use 2/$3 MF and 3.00/2 cellfire and 1.50/1 shortcuts
Total=$8/2 pkg after rebates 9.50 OOP before rebates

Rubbermaid Storage Containers 1.99

Kroger Value Biscuits .39

Fresh Express Salads 2/$5
use $1/2 coupons located by bagged salad
Total=2/$4 (not bad considering selection but Aldi has cheaper Iceburg lettuce mix .99)

12 oz. Nature Sweet Cherry Tomatoes BIGI Free will ring 50% off $1.85

Fresh Tender Green Asparagus 1.99lb

Ripe Sweet Cantaloupe 1.58 each

1 lb Driscoll's Strawberries or 6 oz. Blackberries 1.88

Mega Sale!
Mix-N-Match 10 items and receive $5 off your purchase or .50 off each item
All prices shown here are after the .50 deduction. You are limited to 3 $5 rewards per transaction. So if you wish to do more than 3 Mega Deals you'll have to do it in a separate transaction.

A&W or Sunkist 2 liters .75

Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Bars 2.00

Nature Valley 2.00
Use .60/I IP on side bar doubled or .50/1 MF

Fiber One Bars 2.00Buy 2
Using .60/1 IP doubled & use
$1/2 Shortcuts eQTotal=$1.00/2

Powerade Sports Drink, 32 oz, .49

Chex Mix 2.00
Use .55/1 & .60/1 Shortcuts eQ

Quaker Quakes 3-3.6 oz .49
Use .50/1 MF (I recieved mine from a free sample I got in the mail)
Total=.49 overage!

Slim-Fast Optima Meal Replacement Bars Single Bar Select Varieties .49

Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream Pints , .49

Haagen Dazs Cups .49

Nestle Frozen Lemonade.49

Cheetos 8-9 oz 1.69

Fritos 9.25-9.75 oz 1.69

Kroger Chipmates Cookies 15-18 oz 1.69

Stouffer's or Lean Cuisine Entrees 6-20 oz 1.79

Hungry-Man Dinners 14-19 oz 1.79

Doritos 11.75-12.75 oz 2.19

Lay's Kettle Chips 8.5-9 oz 2.19

Keebler Fudge Shoppe Cookies 8.5-12 oz 2.19

Cheez-It Crackers 7.5-10 oz 2.19

Breyer's Ice Cream 48-56 oz 2.99

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint 2.99

Freschetta Pizza 4.99
Use $1/1 MF

Pepperidge Farm Baked Goods 2.39

Pillsbury Breakfasts Frozen Toaster Strudels 2.39
Use .35/1 MF
Total= 1.69

Country Crock Margarine Spread, 10-15 oz 1.19
Calcium Plus Vitamin D .50/1 doubled
Total= .69 or .19!

Land O Lakes Margarine 8-16 oz 1.19
Use .55/1 IP here

Daisy Sour Cream 16 oz. 1.49

Welch's Cocktail Juice 64 oz 2.00
Buy 2 Using $1/2 or if light juice is include $1/1
Total=$3/2 or $1/1

Dannon Yogurt 2.00Activia Yogurt Drink 4 pk 2.00
Use $1/4pack

Sargento Salad Finishers 4.66-7.44 oz 2.00
Use $1/1 MF & Turn in for rebate included in Sunday's insert
Total=FREE with an overage of .50

Betty Crocker Specialty Potatoes .99
.50/1 Shortcuts eQ (does not double)

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks 4.5-9 oz, 1.79
Use .50/2 & .75/2 shortcuts eQ or use 2 Fruit Stickers use .50/1
Total=1.83/2 or .83 for the Fruit Stickers

Ken's Salad Dressing 16 oz or
Use $1/1 MF

Dole Fruit Bowls 4 ct 1.79
Buy 2 using .75/1 MF
Total= 2.58/2

Classico Pasta Sauce 1.99

Red Bull Energy Drink 4 pk 5.49

Starbucks Frappuccino 4 pk 9.5 oz 5.49

Irish Spring Bath Soap 3 Bars, 1.00

Soft Soap Elements Hand Soap 7.5 oz Pump 1.00

Suave Deodorant or Antiperspirant 1.00

Carefree Liners 38-60 ct 2.00

Stayfree Pads 2.00
Use $1/1 IP when you sign up here *Thanks Rebecca!

Colgate Toothpaste Select Varieties 6.4 oz 1.00
Use .75/1 doubled

Colgate Wave or Total Pro Toothbrushes 1.00
Use .75/1 doubled

Advil Pain Reliever 24 ct 2.50

Tylenol or Motrin Pain Relievers 20-24 ct 2.50
Use 1.00/1
Total=1.50 (Walgreens has a better price this week 4/$4 on the Walgreen's brand)

Edge Shave Gel 7 oz Skintimate Shave Gel 7 oz 1.50

Kotex Pads, liner or Tampons 2.50
Use $1/1 cellfire eQ

Johnson & Johnson Baby Care 2-15 oz 2.50

Cottonelle Bath Tissue Select Varieties 12 double roll 6.49
Use .50/1 IP & .25/1 cellfire eQ
Total=5.24 or save Qs for free TP

Viva Paper Towels Select-a-Size 6 roll 6.49
Use .50/1 doubled

Purex Laundry Detergent Liquid 24-32 Loads 2.99
Go here to request a coupon for a friend and send it to your husband and you'll get a .50/1 IP

Suavitel Fabric Softener Liquid 2.99

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Homemade Floor Cleaners put to the Test

If you have kids you know how often you must mop your kitchen floor. You also know how impossible it is to keep that floor clean, my toddler loves to spill his milk or snack right after I just mopped. As frustrating as it can be mopping is a necessary part of housework. My floors usually need a good mopping every other day, if not daily. Since I mop a lot I go through cleaners in a hurry, even by using coupons this has been getting expensive.

After doing some research I decided that we would no longer buy any more floor cleaners. I will now make my own, it will save us money and I don’t have to worry about the chemicals I am using. My curious toddler likes to help mop from time to time and now I am comfortable allowing him to help. (Before I was always worried he would get into the mop water when I wasn't looking.)

I looked up several recipes for floor cleaners but I wanted to know which one really worked. So I tried 4 different solutions this past week and here’s what I thought. (FYI, I have a wood laminate kitchen floor.)

My favorite!
Vinegar Floor Cleaner

1 c. white vinegar (1/2 c. if cleaning wood floors)
2 gallon hot water
Couple drops of essential oils (optional)

Mix and Mop!

What I thought: I loved how simple this one is. I’ll be keeping my essential oil by the sink so I can quickly throw this together. It looks like this one is the winner in my book!

** Need essential oil? I found it at Hobby Lobby in the candle making section. Cut out the coupon from Sunday’s ad (it’s the tiny one on the bottom) and save 40% on this item.

Linoleum Floor Cleaner

¼ c. baking soda
2 gallons hot water
1T. dish soap
¼ c. vinegar

Dissolve baking soda in water and once almost full add 1 T. dish soap.
(If you add it too early it is makes this very sudsy and left streaks on my floor.)
Once you have 2 gallons of hot water with baking soda & dish soap, add ¼ c. vinegar and you’re ready to mop.

What I thought: I loved that this solution had vinegar, a natural disinfectant and baking soda which helps cut the grime. I used a scented dish soap which helped eliminate the smell of vinegar. I was very impressed at how this did a great job cutting through some tough spots (I think we spilled something sticky.). I will probably use this on days when I need a little extra umph.

Baby Shampoo Floor Cleaner
1-2 t. Baby Shampoo
1 gallon hot water

Add baby shampoo after filling bucket half way to avoid a lot of suds & mop.

What I thought: This did a great job, but since my toddler spends a lot of time playing on the floor and occasionally eating a lost cheerio off the floor, I want a floor cleaner that also disinfectants.

Floor Disinfectant

½ c. borax
2 gallons hot water

Mix and Mop.

What I thought: I liked how simple this was but I didn’t think it cleaned effectively. It left streaks and left the floor feeling a bit sticky.

There's no going back now, these floor cleaners Work for Me. Check out other great tips this week at We're THAT Family.

Why I love COUPONS

About a year ago I didn’t understand coupons. I shopped at Aldi and bought store brands at Dillon’s and thought we were doing pretty well in terms of our grocery budget. Then my eyes were opened the how much I could be savings if I started to clip coupons. At first it might be deceiving because aren’t store brands cheaper than name brands?

Initially they are and I still buy many store brands but I have never gotten a FREE product from buying store brand without a coupon. Most weeks I walk away with at least one free item thanks to coupons.

Sure it takes time to clip, sort, and organize but it’s worth it, particularly if you have a grocery store that doubles coupons. A grocery store will often double coupons up a specified amount. If you shop at Dillon’s it is $1.00, so if you have a coupon for .50 the store will double it making it a $1.00 coupon instead of a $.50 coupon. I was always confused by some coupons that stated DO NOT DOUBLE and I recently became aware of how to tell if your coupon will double. Simply look at the number code, if the first number is a 5 the store will double it.

The best way to use coupons is in conjunction with a sale. I hardly ever use coupons without a sale, I tend to buy store brand for those purchases. By matching up coupons with loss leaders, products that a stores are losing money on, you can find some fabulous deals.

Since I tend to cook from scratch and typically do not buy the prepared foods that many coupons are for I mostly use them to purchase household products such as shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, toilet paper and razors. If these coupons are used in conjunction with sales at Walgreens or CVS you’ll never have to spend a dime again on toothpaste and shampoo again. Several blogs, including this one can help you find the best deals at Walgreens each week.

The bulk of my coupons are from the Sunday paper, we get the Wichita Eagle and for best coupons you’ll want to purchase a copy of a larger newspaper. Give it a couple of months of coupon clipping and you’re stash will allow you to be saving like a frugal sista.

You can also find coupons online at places like coupons.com, redplum.com, and from my side bar. The way these coupons work is that the company allows a certain number of them to be printed. Once that number has been reached they’ll be gone. You can print two of each coupon per computer, so if you want more than two beg your friends and family to start printing some for you. Knowing when to print a coupon is up to you, I tend to print only the coupons I know I’ll be using. I used to print several that I thought were good ones but after draining a few ink cartridges and throwing the bulk of them away I changed my strategy. A few favorites that I always print are for Cottonelle, Honey Nut Cheerios, and bagged salad. I take my chances on other items that might go on sale later. These coupons can be printed in black and white, but I tend to think they look more official if they are in color so I just change my print quality to save ink. Please remember this is a luxury and it is illegal to copy them, I know none of you do this but I would hate to see these go away because of a few who choose not to follow the rules.

On top of IP (internet printable) coupons I load coupons to my Dillon’s Plus card from places like Shortcuts, Cellfire & Proctor & Gamble. These can produce some pretty sweet deals combined with a store sale.

So go ahead, start clipping or if your already a couponer I encourage you to keep track of how much you are saving by using coupons. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Happy Savings!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Meal Plan

We are finally saying goodbye to a nasty little bug that has been hanging around our house and it looks like the weather is going to warm up. So it should be a great week at our house. I've got 7 new recipes planned for the week to top it off, I love trying new things. If your kiddos are enjoying spring break this week hopefully the weather will bring sunny skies and warm temperatures your way.
Here's what we'll be eating this week:
Apple Cinnamon Muffins (from freezer)
Toast & Fruit
NEW! Giant Breakfast Cookies & Fruit (Can't wait to try these!)
Cereal, Fruit and Yogurt
NEW! Strawberry Baked Oatmeal (check back later in the week for recipe)
Cinnamon Rolls
Kashi Frozen meal
Sandwiches & veggies
Bean Burritos (didn't make last week)
Grilled Cheese
Cheese & Crackers
Graham Crackers
Rice Cakes
NEW! Oatmeal Apple Sauce Cake 2xs
Cereal Mix
Yogurt w/fruit
Monday- NEW! Orange Ginger Chicken & Noodles & a side of Cubed Sweet Potatoes
Tuesday-NEW! Tuna Noodle Casserole Delight, Cooked carrots & salad
Thursday-NEW! Marinated Skirt Steak, Baked Potatoes, Salad & Fruit
Friday-NEW! Lentil Chili, Fruit, & Cinnamon Rolls
Saturday-Chili Burritos (using up the leftover chili) & Fruit
Sunday-Loaded Baked Potatoes: BBQ Chicken, Cheese Sauce & Broccoli
This week's Meal Plan Monday is being hosted by Erin at $5 Dinners. Check out her site to see what families all over the states are eating this week.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Walgreens 3/15-3/21

It doesn’t look like there are too many great buys this week, but there are a few worth mentioning. I think I’m going to hold on to my RR (from the Huggies deals) for another week.

You could possibly try to get more RR from the Dove deal by paying with your RR from last week. Let me know how it goes, as long as your RR are from a different deal you should be able to get new ones.

Register Reward Deals

Men’s & Lady Speed Stick 1.99 get $1 RR

Vidal Sasson Eco Style Hairdryer or Straightener 19.99 get $10 RR

Dove Products are 25% off this includes all hair products, body products including lotion and body washes and deodorant
Buy 8 Products get $8 in RR
Buy 6 Products get $6 in RR
Buy 4 Products get $2 in RR

Use any combo of these coupons:
1.50/1 Hair Product MF
1.00/6 pk Beauty Bars
1.50/1 Cream Oil Lotion
3.50/1 Sin Vitalizer
1.50/2 deodorant & Body mists
1.00/1 Body Wash
1.50/1 Cream Oil Body Wash http://www.dove.us/#/us_landing.aspx/

7-Up, Dr.Pepper, Sunkist & Canada Dry purchase 4/$5 & get $2 RR

Listerine or Reach purchase 3/$9 & get $6 RR
Reach ultraclean toothbrushes or floss or 2 pk Advanced design toothbrushes
Listerine: Original, Fresh Burst, Cool or Vanilla Mint Mouthwash
Probably Coupons out there for this deal but I don’t have any.

Other deals worth mentioning
Duncan Hines Brownies $1
Use .35/1

Rimmel Cosmetics BIGI free
Use 2 $1/any product &/or use $1/any Mascara
Total=$2 off of price of one product your second product will be free

Hefty BIGI Free 3.29 (17-22 pk Storage or 13-18pk Freezer)

Walgreens Diapers 2/$9

4/$4 Walgreens Pain Relief (alot of times you must buy 4 in order to get these at this price.)
24 ct. Ibuprofen
20-24 ct. Extra Strength
36 ct. Low Strength Aspirin
100 count Aspirin

Wal-Tussin or Wal-Tap 4 oz. 3.99 BIGI free

Musinex $10 in add coupon
$1/1 MF
Total=$11 in savings

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Weekly $ Report

Well this week went better than last week and I managed to cut a little deeper this week to help balance out the amount I went over last week, but I still need to cut a few dollars from each week's budget in order to come in on target this month.

This week I spent $39.27 on food, I was under my $44 readjusted budget, so I was pleased. Since I gained a bit this week I can spend $47.19 this coming week.

Dillons $21.22

Sun Chips 2/4.75 used coupon from Dillons Mailer

Cheerios FREE used coupon from Dillons Mailer

2 -half gallons soy milk 4.38 used coupon

Kashi Frozen Dinner FREE w/ coupon

Spaghetti Sauce .99

Mozzarella Cheese $1.23 used coupon from Dillons Mailer

2 lb. Grapes 1.66

Whole Wheat Noodles 1.50

Dannon Plain Yogurt .63

Sour Cream .99

Cantaloupe 2.00

Bananas .71

Toothbrush FREE

MS Skim Milk 1.00 (not pictured)

Aldi $18.05

Onions 1.19

Bananas .99

Green Peppers 1.99

Pickles 1.49

Cream of Mushroom Soup .49

1 lb. lunch meat 2.99

Unsalted Butter 1.99

8 oz. Cheddar Cheese 1.29

Flour Tortillas .99

Bag of Spinach 1.49 (not pictured)

Marshmallows .79

Bread 1.29

Walgreens Trip #1

I spent about $16 for all this stuff off of my gift card and got back 10 RR!

Smart Balance BIGI Free 2.99 minus $1/2

2 pkgs Diapers 10 each used 2 $5/1 MF =10.00 will turn in for $1.50 rebate at Caregiver's marketplace

Huggies Wipes $6 used .50/1 MF=5.50

Lasting Impressions 7.99 used $4/1 MF & $4/1 ES=FREE

2 Sense & Spray 7.99 used BIGI FREE & 2 $4/1 ES=3.99 (should have been free but cashier rang up Walgreens coupons first, bummer!)

Edge Shave Gel 1.99 (should have received $1 RR but didn't print and I didn't notice it.)

Walgreens Trip #2

used about $11 from my gift card and paid 11.35 OOP then received 10 RR

3 pkgs Huggies Natural Fit used 3-$3/1 MF

Will turn in for Caregiver's Marketplace rebate $2.25!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Great Make-A-Head Meal

We all have busy days, where our schedules are packed full and little time is left for preparing a nutritious meal. It's easy to be tempted to stop somewhere to pick up dinner on our way home, but this is adds up easily. I try to build quick and easy quick meals into our meal plans that can be popped into the oven, stove top or crockpot in a matter of minutes. This meal is frugal, easy and a crowd pleaser.

There have been a lot of tuna coupons recently, so why not make up some Tuna Burgers & Oven Fries, store them in the fridge and throw them in the oven when you get home. You're meal will be ready in 30 minutes.

Here's what you do.

Tuna Burgers $2.89 or $1.89 if you use FREE tuna
Serves 6

2 cans or pouches of Tuna-drained 1.00 or FREE
Mayo, Miracle Whip or plain yogurt to your liking .15
2 boiled eggs chopped .20
1/4 onion chopped finely .05
2 T. pickle relish .10
1/2 c. shredded cheese .50
Package hamburger buns .89

Mix tuna together and place in hamburger buns. Wrap each burger in foil, and place in the fridge until ready. Warm in the Oven for about 10 minutes. I threw them with my oven fries for the last 10 minutes of their baking.

Oven Fries $0.36! Much cheaper than any fast food option.
Based on a recipe I found on VegWeb.com

5 small potatoes, cut into wedges (I like to use the smaller potatoes for things I don't peel) .25
2 tablespoon olive oil .05
1 t. chili powder .02
1/2 tablespoon salt .01
1/2 tablespoon pepper .01
1 teaspoon oregano .01
1 teaspoon dry mustard .01

*The original recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper but I choose to omit it to tone it down, you can increase the chili powder to 1/2 T. if you like a lot of heat.

Slice up 4 small potatoes into desired size, the larger the wedge the longer they need to bake. Add all spices and oil in a Ziploc or Tupperware. Shake well until they are all evenly coated. Store in fridge until ready to bake.

Heat oven to 450 and give your bag/container a good shake again to make sure your fries are coated evenly. Carefully place fries on baking sheet, there will be extra moisture so don't dump them on the baking sheet (learned the hard way). Spread evenly and bake for about 20 minutes for thin fries and 30 minutes for larger wedges. Toss about every 10 minutes. Enjoy!

I served this meal with some steamed broccoli (.50) & a cottage cheese salad (.60) making our meal $4.35! For other great recipes check out the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Happy Savings!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kneading Less Mess

To help cut the cost of our grocery budget I tend to make a lot of things from scratch. One of these is homemade bread and rolls. Not only do they taste amazing but I know I'm feeding my family preservative free foods.

The one thing I don't like about making homemade breads is the mess. Since we don't have a bread machine I must knead by hand. I've tried using a plastic sheet to knead the dough on but it's a pain to wash and dry.

So I started kneading right in my bowl. I just keep adding flour as necessary. It cuts down on the mess and dishes. Now that Works for Me!

For other great ideas head on over to We Are That Family this week.

Dillons Deals this Week

Strawberries 1 lb. 1.99

Asparagus 1.99 lb.

Dillons Milk or Kroger Active Lifestyle ½ gallons 1.25 each (milk is cheaper at Aldi this week)

Fresh Express Salads 2/$5
use $1/2 MF found in dispenser near salad

Ripe Sweet Cantaloupe $2 each

Kroger Cooked Shrimp BIGI scans ½ off approx. $5/bag

Nature Made Vitamins Scanning 50% off
Use $1/1 MF for a better deal on vitamins

Quaker Instant or Simple Harvest Oatmeal 2/$3 when you buy 2
Use 2 $1/2 MF

Items a part of this week’s MEGA SALE
Mix-N-Match 10 items and receive $5 off your purchase or .50 off each item
All prices shown here are after the .50 deduction
Limited to 3 $5 rewards per transaction

A&W or Sunkist 2 liters .75

Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Bars 2.00

Nature Valley 2.00
Use .60/I IP on side bar doubled or .50/1 MF

Fiber One Bars 2.00
Buy 2 Using .60/1 IP doubled & use $1/2 Shortcuts eQ

Powerade Sports Drink, 32 oz, .49

Quaker Quakes 3-3.6 oz .49
Use .50/1 MF
Total=.49 overage!

Slim-Fast Optima Meal Replacement Bars Single Bar Select Varieties .49

Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream Pints , .49
Haagen Dazs Cups .49
Nestle Frozen Lemonade.49

Cheetos 8-9 oz 1.69
Fritos 9.25-9.75 oz 1.69
Kroger Chipmates Cookies 15-18 oz 1.69

Stouffer's or Lean Cuisine Entrees 6-20 oz 1.79
Hungry-Man Dinners 14-19 oz 1.79

Doritos 11.75-12.75 oz 2.19

Lay's Kettle Chips 8.5-9 oz 2.19

Keebler Fudge Shoppe Cookies 8.5-12 oz 2.19

Cheez-It Crackers 7.5-10 oz 2.19

Breyer's Ice Cream 48-56 oz 2.99

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Pint 2.99

Freschetta Pizza 4.99
Use $1/1

Pepperidge Farm Baked Goods 2.39

Pillsbury Breakfasts Frozen Toaster Strudels 2.39
Use .35/1 MF
Total= 1.69

Country Crock Margarine Spread, 10-15 oz 1.19
Use .25/1 or if sale includes Calcium Plus Vitamin D .50/1 doubled
Total= .69 or .19

Land O Lakes Margarine 8-16 oz 1.19
Use .55/1 IP here

Daisy Sour Cream 16 oz. 1.49

Welch's Cocktail Juice 64 oz 2.00
Buy 2 Using $1/2 or if light juice is include $1/1
Total=$3/2 or $1/1

Dannon Yogurt 2.00

Activia Yogurt 4 pk 2.00
Use $1/4pack

Sargento Salad Finishers 4.66-7.44 oz 2.00

Betty Crocker Specialty Potatoes .99
I've been told there are Shortcuts and Cellfire coupons for these but I must not have saved them in time.

Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks 4.5-9 oz, 1.79
Use .50/2 & .75/1 shortcuts eQ (if Fruit Stickers are part of the deal use .50/1)
Total=1.83/2 or .04 for the Fruit Stickers

Ken's Salad Dressing 16 oz or
Use $1/1 MF

Dole Fruit Bowls 4 ct 1.79
Buy 2 using .75/1 MF
Total= 2.58/2

Classico Pasta Sauce 1.99

Red Bull Energy Drink 4 pk 5.49

Starbucks Frappuccino 4 pk 9.5 oz 5.49

Irish Spring Bath Soap 3 Bars, 1.00
Soft Soap Elements Hand Soap 7.5 oz Pump 1.00
Suave Deodorant or Antiperspirant 1.00

Carefree Liners 38-60 ct 2.00
Stayfree Pads 2.00
Use $1/1 IP when you sign up here *Thanks Rebecca!

Colgate Toothpaste Select Varieties 6.4 oz 1.00
Use .75/1 doubled

Colgate Wave or Total Pro Toothbrushes 1.00
Use .75/1 doubled

Advil Pain Reliever 24 ct 2.50

Tylenol or Motrin 2.50

Pain Relievers 20-24 ct 2.50

Edge Shave Gel 7 oz Skintimate Shave Gel 7 oz 1.50

Kotex Pads, liner or Tampons
Use $1/1 cellfire eQ

Johnson & Johnson Baby Care 2-15 oz 2.50

Cottonelle Bath Tissue Select Varieties 12 double roll 6.49
Use .50/1 IP & .25/1 cellfire eQ
Total=5.24 or save Qs for free TP

Viva Paper Towels Select-a-Size 6 roll 6.49
Use .50/1 doubled

Purex Laundry Detergent Liquid 24-32 Loads 2.99

Suavitel Fabric Softener Liquid 2.99
Happy Savings!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Free Arby's Sandwich

Head over to Arby's now until March 14th and get a free Roastburger with the purchase a drink at regular menu price. Go here to print your coupon. The coupon states that you can have only one coupon per person per order, try hitting the back button to print more than one. So it looks like you'll have to do order seperatedly if you want this deal for more than one.

Monday, March 9, 2009

FREE Samples

I love getting free samples. It's a fun treat when you go to your mail box. What I also like about free samples is that they usually give you a coupon to go with that sample. Usually these are new products and I've found I can usually find a good sale to use these with. You'll want to set up a junk e-mail account where you can have all these newsletters sent, that is the only downside, but I think the perks far out weigh the negatives.

Sunkist Almond Accents
Free Dunkin Donuts Coffee simply click on the Free Sample tab
Quaker True Delights
Total Cranberry Crunch
Betty Crocker Warm Delights
Carmex Chap Stick
Degree Men Absolute Perfection

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Regular Ole Oatmeal...it turns out my toddler love it!
Amish Baked Oatmeal
Crockpot Yogurt
& Cereal
Eggs & Toast
Apple Cinnamon Muffins w/Apple Butter

Crackers & Fruit
Cottage Cheese & Fruit
Homemade Bread with Butter
Fruit & Cheese
Tortilla & Cream Cheese Wraps

Leftovers 2xs
Spinach Feta Eggs w/ toast
Bean Burritos, fruit
Grilled Cheese, Veggies
Rice Stuff with lunch meat and veggies

Monday-Spinach Tomato Pasta w/Homemade Bread & Grapes
Tuesday-Chicken Salad, pickles, chips, & Steamed Carrots and Peas
Wednesday-Rodeo Chicken Sandwiches, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
Friday-Pizza, Glazed Carrots, and maybe a salad
Saturday-Beef Stroganoff, Green beans, fruit

For more great menu ideas stop on over at Organizational Junkie

Get on Over to Walgreens!

These are the Best Deals that I see this week at Walgreens.

Xcel Laundry Detergent 41-50 loads 1.99

Xcel Laundry 80 Dryer Sheets or 64 loads Liquid Softener 1.99

Garnier Fructis Hair Care 2-13 oz 2.99
Use $2 Walgreen’s ES coupon
Total = .99

Hershey’s Candy 2/$5
Use $1 ES coupon & $2/2 MF coupon
Total= 2/$3

Smart Balance Butter Spread BIGI Free 2.99
Use $1/2 MF

Butter Ball Chicken Broth .69 w/in ad coupon
Part of Rebate #29, spend $10 get $5 back in rebates
I’m unsure if you have to buy all these items in the same transaction or not.

Wrigley’s Gum 3/$1.98
Use .99/3 ES Catalog Coupon
=$0.99/ for 3

Glade Plugins Scented Oil Lasting Impressions 7.99
Use $4/1 MF & $4/1 ES Catalog Coupon
Total= Overage .01!

Glade Sense & Spray Kit 7.99
Use BIGI Free Internet Printable MF & $4/1 ES Catalog Coupon
Total= $3.99/2, not bad
In Theory these should have been free but I’ve had a problem with using BIGI coupons when there is an ES coupon as well. I always hand the cashier my MF coupons before any Walgreens coupons, but this doesn’t always go as planned, today she grabbed a few she had by the register and scanned the Walgreens coupons before she scanned my BIGI free coupon. I’ve found that the cashiers at my Walgreens always rings up the ES coupon first, taking away the amount of the ES coupon first. Today that was $4.00 from the total of 7.99 which would give me 3.99 as the FREE amount. So not a bad deal, but it would have been better if it was FREE.

Electrasol Gelpacs or Powerball Tablets $3.99
Use $1.50/1
Rebate of $1
Total after Rebates and Coupons= $1.49

Ziploc Bags 15-25 count freezer or storage
Use $1/2 MF

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes 2/$4
Use $1/2

Register Rewards Deals
12 Packs of Coke, or Dr. Pepper Products 4/$13 receive $3 in RR (use any Coke Rewards coupons to make this a better deal.)

Buy $25 of participating products and receive $10 in RR

  • $10 Jumbo packs Huggies or Training Pants
  • $6 Huggies Baby Wipes
  • $12 Poise 36-72 packs
  • 2/$6 Kotex
  • $7 Scott or Cottonelle 12 Rolls
  • 3/$4 Kleenex Facial Tissue

Best Deals 3 pkgs Huggies Gentle Care Diapers (size 1 or 2)
Use 3 $5/1 MF =$15.00
.75 rebate at Caregiver’s Marketplace
-$10 in RR
Total after all rebates and coupons= $2.75 OOP after 10 RR!

3 pkgs Huggies Supreme Natural Fit size 3 and up
Use 3 $3/1 coupons
$2.25 rebate at Caregiver’s Marketplace
-$10 in RR
Total after all rebates and coupons= $8.75 OOP

2 pkgs Huggies Supreme Natural Fit & 1 pkg wipes=$26
Use 2 $3/1
Use .50/1 Wipes
-$10 in RR
.75 rebate at Caregiver’s Marketplace
Total after all rebates and coupons= $8.00
???Where did I get these coupons visit coupons.com

Right Guard or Dry Idea $2.99
$2 RR

Skintimate or Edge Shave Gel $1.99
$1 RR

Gillette Fusion Gamer Manual or Power Razor $8.99
Use $4/1 Gillette Razor
$4 in RR

Advil PM $4.29
Use $2/1
$2 RR
Total= $0.49

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Weekly $ Report

So this past week didn't go so well according to our $50/week budget which means this coming week I'll have to be extra frugal. Yikes. I always seems to start the month off going crazy and then I have to make up for it, why is that? hmmmmm......

Well I did get stocked up on some meat and milk, which is one of the reasons I am very much over budget this week. I spent $66.35. I did the math and this leaves me about $44 to spend for the next three weeks, or I can come amazingly under budget this week to take care of the 16.35 I went over. We'll see what happens.

Dillons Trip #1

2 pkgs Pork Tenderloin 13.79!

MS Organic Eggs .99!

Star Kist Tuna Pouch Free (use coupon)

10 lb. Potatoes 2.99

Pretzels 1.00

Spaghetti Sauce .99

Cottage Cheese 1.00

Enchilada Sauce .79

2 Cans Dole Pineapple Tidbits 1.00 (used a coupon)

4 cans Tomato Soup .40/each (used 2 coupons)

MS Lactose Free Milk 2.09

Soy Milk 2.69


Lettuce 1.09

Hamburger Buns .89

2 lb. Grapes 1.78

Tomatoes 1.29

Gallon Skim Milk 2.44

Eggs 1.19

2 bars 8 oz. Cheese 1.29 each!

Pkg American Cheese Slices 1.49

Canola Oil 2.79

Flour 1.46

Rice 1.79

Broccoli 1.49

BBQ sauce 1.19

Dillons Trip #2 $7.37 Lemon Lime Soda-For a Sick Hubby .80

MS Soy Milk 1.39

2 MS Skim Milk .99 each

MS 1/2 % Milk 1.00

4 pack cottage cheese .25!

2 Cans Progresso Soup-For a Sick Hubby .75 each

Walgreens 3.49 OOP

I did two transactions this week.
First I bought the Colgate and used a .75/1 coupons I paid 2.75 OOP
I received a RR for 3.29 for buying the Colgate
Then I bought the Wal-Zyr which was on sale for 3.99. I used my 3.29 RR and paid .74 OOP. But I can turn the Wal-Zyr in for a 3.99 Rebate for the March's Easy Saver Rebate. So I should get back more than I spent, plus I'll get a 10% Bonus for having this added to my Walgreen's gift card at the end of the month. SWEET!
Be inspired to stay on budget along with several others at Grocery Cart Challenge this week.