Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Racking up at RiteAid!

This is my first week to shop at RiteAid, so I was a little disappointed when I found out the store most convenient to my house was closing. I perked up when I realized there was a location close to my workplace that I could visit! I really racked up some great deals at RiteAid today. Here's what I got:

  • M&M's Fun Size Candy = $3.39, on sale for $1.88
  • Snickers Fun Size Candy = $3.39, on sale for $1.88 - coupon for $1.00 off two bags of candy = $0.88
  • GE 6' extension cord = $4.69, on sale for $2.00 - less $2.00 SCR = FREE
  • Power Strip = $8.99, on sale for $5.00 - less $5.00 SCR = FREE
  • L'oreal Age Perfect Moisturizer = $19.99, on sale for $15.99 - less $15.99 SCR = FREE
  • Axe Shower Scrubber for Men = $5.99, on sale for $3.99 - less $3.99 SCR = FREE
  • Oral B Artica Toothbrush = $3.49, on sale for $2.49 - less $2.49 SCR and MC for $1 = FREE + earn $1.00
  • Kotex Tampons = $3.99, on sale for $3.00 - less $3.00 SCR - $1.00 coupon on box = FREE + earn $1.00
Regular Price: $53.92
Subtotal after sales / coupons: $34.23, $5 of $25 purchase by signing up at RiteAid = $29.23
Earned SCR: $32.47
Total: FREE!!! And I made $3.24!!! I love shopping!

$5 Shoes?

Look what I got for $1.00, plus $4.00 shipping.

Brand new in the box!

Average price of tennis shoes at Walmart: $14.97
Average price I pay for name brand tennis shoes: $6.50.

My CVS and Walgreens Deals

Last night, my friend, Tiffany, and I headed out to find some deals. Our first stop was Rite-Aid. Much to our disappointment, the location nearest to my house is going out of business and was already closed when we arrived. So, we cheered up and headed to CVS. Here's what I got:
  • 4 Soy Joy Bars: $5.16 on sale for $1 = $4.00 + earned $4.00 ECBs = FREE
  • 2 Maybelline Colossa Mascara: $13.98 on sale for 11.98 + earned $5 ECBs = $6.98
  • 2 Palmolive Dish Detergent: $1.59 on sale for $1.39 + BOGO - $0.25 MC = $1.14
  • 2 Bags Hershey's Candy Corn Kisses: definitely not on sale, but these were the last two bags, so I had to get them: $6.98

Regular Price: $29.30
Subtotal after sales / coupons: $24.10
Paid Using ECBs: $9.68
Earned ECBs: $9.00
Total: $5.42 (82 % savings)

We made one last stop at Walgreens. Here's what I got at Walgreens:
  • L'oreal Age Perfect Moisturizer: $19.99 - $19.99 ESR = FREE
  • Campbell's Tomato Soup: $1.39 - $0.80 store coupon = $0.59
  • Almay One Coat Mascara: $6.99 - $6.99 ESR = FREE

Regular Price: $28.37
Subtotal after sales: $27.57
Earned ESR: $26.98 + 10% = $29.68
Total: FREE + earned $1.31 (105%)

Cheesy Chicken Pot Biscuit Cups

Here's my version of this recipe. I made it Monday night, and it was delicious.

Cheesy Chicken Pot Biscuit Cups
  • 1 can of refrigerated biscuits (I used Merico's Butter-Me-Nots)
  • 1 can of chicken (9 oz.)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 tbsp of Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 400. Flatten each biscuit and place in the cup of an ungreased muffin pan, making sure to press the biscuit up the sides of the cup. Combine other ingredients in a bowl and spoon into the biscuits. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Instead of steamed carrots, I made carrots au gratin. It was a new recipe also, and delicious!

Carrots Au Gratin
  • 2 cups fresh carrots, diced
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tsp. onion salt
  • 8 round butter crackers
  • 1/2 cups of shredded cheese
  • dash of black pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Boil carrots in 1/2" of water for about 10 minutes. Pour into baking dish. Combine butter, onion salt, crackers, and pepper. Pour over carrots. Cover with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.

Cost of Chicken Cups: $3.72, made 10 cups (5 servings) = $0.74 per serving
Cost of Carrots: $0.68, made 4 servings = $0.17 per serving.

That comes out to $0.91 per serving total. Not a bad dinner for under a buck!

*** Note: This is my plate. DH had double this amount, so his actually cost $1.82! He eats two servings...

Monday, October 27, 2008


I promised pictures of Jaxson's costume, so here ya go!
I thought it looked pretty cute, but then again, I'm his mommy!

Menu Plan Monday

Each week Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie hosts Menu Plan Monday. Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday: Fall Festival at our Church
Monday: Cheesy Chicken Pot Biscuit Cups with baked carrots
Tuesday: Pizza casserole with garlic bread
Wednesday: Salmon patties with buffalo fries
Thursday: Chicken Casserole
Friday: Neighborhood Halloween Party
Saturday: ??? Surprise Night

I've had the ingredients for the pizza casserole for several weeks now but haven't made it. I'm anxious to see how it turns out!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The problem with addictions is...

The problem with addictions is you always have to get your fix!

Medically speaking, addiction is a state of the body which causes a person to rely on a substance in order to function normally. Every addictive substance induces pleasant feelings or relieves distress. Addiction was originally a term used to for alcohol and drug abuse. In recent years, the term has spread to cover non-substance related dependencies. The term is then referring to recurring compulsive behavior by an individual to engage in a specific activity.

Does this describe me? Yes...
I am addicted to bargains. And I suppose if you're going to have an addiction, it's a pretty good one to have. And no, I'm not some miser who wants to hoard it all for myself. I love saving, so I can give more to others, and save for Jaxson's college of course.

Anyway, as I was headed back from my trip for costume stuff, I realized I had my CVS coupons and list in my car. So I had to stop. I didn't need anything, but when something is free, I can't pass it up. Besides, I had to pass right by CVS on my way home.

Here's what I got:
  • 2 pack of GUM brand toothbrushes: $3.99 - $3.99 earned ECBs = FREE
  • 1-32oz. Powerade: $1.69 - $1.69 earned ECBs = FREE
  • 3-20 count Excedrin: $5.49, on sale for $1.99 - 3 coupons for $2.00 off each, + MIR to try this for free = FREE + earned $2.02
Subtotal: $6.43
Less $ 3 ECBs
Total OOP: $3.43

I earned $5.68 ECBs, so I actually made $2.25 + MIR for $2.02 = $4.27 just for shopping at CVS!

I felt like I had my "fix" for the night! I was on cloud nine!

Costume Designers!

So, DH sent me out to look for the remaining things we needed for Jaxson's costume. Here's what I've spent thus far on the homemade Spongebob costume:
  • Foam Squares 2 @ $2.99 = $5.98
  • Chenille Pipe Cleaner = $0.62
  • Pack of Styrofoam balls = $3.48
  • White opaque paint = $1.67
  • Black paint = $.97
  • Blue paint = $.97
  • 6 sheets of felt @ $.32 = 1.92
  • black shoes = $2.48
grand total = $18.09

Things we already had at home: yellow spray paint, elastic, green craft paint, craft glue, Sharpie marker, black ribbon, brown pants, a white shirt, and socks

Also, Jaxson will now have a pair of black dress shoes, so that was $2.48 well spent. We also have a bag of Styrofoam balls and a pack of black pipe cleaner left since we only needed one of each. If anyone has any good ideas for their use, please let me know! I didn't get a chance to take any pictures yet, but I promise I'll post some soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bacon-Cheese Swirled Potatoes

On Tuesday nights, DH and I are both at church until around 8:00. I don't usually get home in time to cook something before we leave, so when we get home I have to make something quick. Last night, I threw some pork chops on the George Foreman and whipped up some bacon-cheese swirled potatoes as a side dish. They were quick and delicious.

Just as a side note, I had never bought, or even thought about buying, boxed (aka instant) potatoes until a few weeks ago. DH loves mashed potatoes, but I would rather cook potatoes in a different manner (Italian style, baked, etc). Well, I got a pretty good deal on some Betty Crocker potatoes a few weeks ago, so I figured I would try out a new recipe. Mmm... These were delicious. Our dinner was $1.60 per person. Oh yeah, plus electricity :)

The cost breakdown is:
1-1/2 cups of water = $0.08
1 cup of milk = $0.15
1 pack of Betty Crocker potatoes = $0.22
1/4 cup of ranch dressing = $0.12
2 tbsp of bacon pieces = $0.16
2 tbsp of margarine = $0.04
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese = $0.25
Total cost = $1.38 for 4 servings or $0.35 per serving

Bacon-Cheese Swirled Potatoes
Combine 1-1/2 cups water, 1 cup milk, and 2 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Then, remove from heat and stir in potato flakes. Next, add 1/4 cup of ranch dressing, 2 tbsp of bacon pieces, and 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Each week Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie hosts Menu Plan Monday. I'm new to this, but hopefully, you can get some great ideas to use when planning your weekly menu!

Here is our menu plan for the dinner this week:

Sunday: ate with family
Monday: Grilled Pork Chops with Bacon-Cheese Swirled Potatoes and Steamed Veggies
Tuesday: Reuben Casserole
Wednesday: Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry with fried rice
Thursday: BBQ Taco Bake (recipe courtesy of my friend Rhonda)
Friday: Pizza and Buffalo Fries
Saturday: Parties galore!

I also made a batch of Chex Muddy Buddies Mix for a baby shower we're throwing for a girl at work. YUM!

Saving, saving, saving!

I mapped out my shopping trip and really racked up on some great deals this weekend!
I went to four stores, but luckily for me, they're all close together. I did go over our budget by about $17, but I saved $20 on my last trip, plus most of this is stuff we won't need to buy again for a long time!
Here's what I got this week (taxes not included):

First stop: CVS
I applied for a CVS Extra Care card, and this is a very important factor in saving money at CVS!

1. CVS moisturizing beauty bar: $0.99, earned $1 ECB = FREE
2. Colgate Total toothpaste: $3.29, earned $2 ECB = $1.29
3. Hershey's Candy Corn Kisses: I had to buy these because I've looked at 8 stores now, and they have all been sold out for a couple of weeks! = $3.49

Total OOP = $4.78
Total Saved = $3.00 (39%)

Next stop: Walgreens
1. Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner: $24.99 - $10 MC - $10 EasySaver Rebate = $4.99!!!
2. Starch: $1.41
3. Fantastik Multi-Surface Cleaner: $3.79 - $1.50 MC - $1 EasySaver Rebate = $1.29
4. Rimmel Lasting Finish Mineral Foundation: $7.49 - $7.49 EasySaver Rebate - $1.00 MC = FREE + earn $1!

Total OOP = $6.69
Total Saved = $30.99 (82%) WOW!

Next stop: Aldi
1. Pizzas: 2 @ $0.99
2. Cookies and cream ice cream: $2.69
3. Smoked sausage: $2.29
4. Sauerkraut: $0.99
5. Buffalo fries: $1.99
6. Ground Beef (5 lbs): $10.09
7. Chicken nuggets: $3.99
8. Boneless skinless chicken: $6.49
9. Fresh garlic: $0.79
10. Cinnamon Toast Crunch: $1.89
11. Rice squares cereal: $2.19
12. Nestle Crunch candy bars: $1.89
13. Candy Sticks: $1.69
14. 3 Muskateer candy bars: $1.89
15. Baking Mix: $1.69
16. Milk: 2 @ $2.49
17. Taco seasoning: $0.33
18. Lunch meat: $1.49
19. Sliced bacon: $1.99
20. Tums: $1.99
21. Cream of chicken: 2 at $0.49
22. Canned sweet potatoes: $0.69
23. Corned beef: $1.99
24. 1000 Island Dressing: $1.19
25. BBQ Sauce: $1.19
26. Macaroni and cheese: $0.35
27. Animal crackers: $1.29
28. Swiss cheese: $1.99
29. Sour cream: $0.99
30. Tortilla chips: 2 @ $0.99
31. Sugar: $1.99
32. Chocolate chips: $1.15

Total OOP: $69.89

And my final stop was Target
1. Johnson's Bath Buddies Soap: 3 @ $0.97 each = $2.91 - $3 MC = FREE and I earned $0.09!
2. Indian Jones movie (birthday gift): $19.99 - $4.00 SALE = $15.99
3. Quaker granola bars: 3 @ $2.88 = $8.64 - $2.64 SALE - $1 MC = $5.00
4. Kellogg's Yogo snacks: $2.00 - $0.12 SALE - $1.00 MC = $0.88
5. Green Giant fresh carrots: $1.69 - $0.40 SALE - $1 Target coupon = $0.29
6. Luzianne teabags: $1.37
7. Nesquik powder: $3.89 - $0.60 SALE - $0.50 MC = $2.79
8. Little Debbie cakes: $1.43
9. Gillette disposable razors for men: $6.29
10. Windex: $2.84 - $0.51 SALE - $2.00 = $0.33
11. Racerback bra: $10.99

Total OOP: $45.27
Total saved: $16.75 (27%)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lunch trip to the Hob Lob

I'm trying to get Jaxson's Halloween costume together, so I needed to go to Hobby Lobby on lunch. Since I drove today, I invited some friends from work to come along for the fun-filled adventure. Hobby Lobby is definitely in my top 3 favorite stores of all time.

I walked in and was immediately distracted by a huge section of clearance scrapbook paper. There were so many beautiful pages to choose from and priced at only $0.10 each! I found 17 sheets that I couldn't live without. Hopefully, they will be put to great use at next month's scrapbook party.

Then, back to the pillow/foam/sewing section. I found foam squares for Jaxson's Spongebob costume and got two extra for Ivy's Patrick costume. I'm so excited to make these costumes. Hopefully, they will be as cute as I'm imagining. The squares were only $2.99.

Then it was back to the pattern section. Jaxson is 18 months, but he wears 3-6 months shorts. Since it has been cooler, we've had so much trouble finding pants for him. He needs the 3-6 months for his waist size, but 18 months for the length. So, it looks like I will be sewing a lot this winter! I picked up a pattern from Hobby Lobby and some cute material. Did I mention the prices at Hobby Lobby are amazing? The pattern was only $1.99 (this same one at Walmart was $10.87) and the fabric was only $1.57! Hopefully, I'll have some time to devote to sewing in the next few weeks!

I can't wait to post pictures of Jaxson's costume and my new creations!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Making lunch for friends!

My friend, Tracey, brought lunch for our office yesterday. She made a delicious Southern meal of pinto beans, corn bread, and cole slaw, so I thought I would reciprocate and make something today. I decided on baked potato soup, since I had the ingredients on hand, and it's a pretty likable meal.

Here's my version:


1 can chicken broth
2 cups milk
3 cloves of fresh garlic
real bacon pieces
cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes until very soft. Let the cool and peel. Mash them up using a potato masher. In a medium bowl mix chicken broth, milk, garlic, and about 1/4 cup of the bacon pieces. Combine with potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add sour cream, salt, and pepper. Allow to cook about 5 more minutes. Serve with sour cream, cheese, and bacon toppings.
*Green onions are also a delicious topping, but I rarely have these on hand.

An "extra" savings trip

Let me just start by saying that, for me, saving money is an addiction. I'll even admit that sometimes it consumes too many of my thoughts. For instance, when Eric's driving, I have this constant urge to tell him to slow down, put it in neutral when you driving downhill, blah, blah, blah. I guess sometimes it's an unhealthy addiction, like any other.

Nonetheless, I like to save wherever possible. So, after picking Jaxson up from daycare yesterday, we headed out for a couple of extra shopping trips. I needed something to make for our scrapbook party, and a couple other things. I had downloaded coupons from various websites and clipped a few from the paper.

My first stop was Walmart:
Arm & Hammer Essentials Cleaner: $2.74 - $1.00 MC - rebate = FREE
Betty Crocker Brownie Mix: $0.92
Betty Crocker Cookie Mix: $1.50 - $0.75 MC = $0.75
Hershey Giant Bar: $1.64
Chex Snack Mix Bars: $2.28 - $1.25 MC = $1.03
Betty Crocker Mashed Potatoes: $1.24 - $0.40 MC doubled = $0.44
Purina Puppy Chow Dog Food: $4.48 - $4.00 MC = $0.48
Pillsbury Toaster Strudel: $1.98 - $1.00 MC = $0.98
Pillsbury Refrigerated Pizza Crust: $2.08 - $1.10 MC = $0.98

Total: $7.22
Saved: $11.64 (62%)

I also made a quick Aldi stop:
Pillsbury Funfetti Halloween Cake Mix: $0.89
Pillsbury Funfetti Halloween Icing: $1.29
Shampoo: $1.69
Milk: $2.49
Halloween Slice and Bake Cookie Dough: $1.99

So, to celebrate our savings, Jaxson and I had Chik-Fil-A for dinner. Of course I used a coupon for a free kid's meal.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cheese Lover's Tuna Casserole -- My Version

This recipe was so quick and easy. From start to table, it took about 30 minutes.

1 cup elbow macaroni
2 cans of tuna (6 oz.)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (10.5 oz.)
Shredded cheese (I used about 8 oz. total)
Croutons (I used ceasar flavored)

Preheat oven to 350. Boil the macaroni about 10 minutes or until al dente. Combine cooked macaroni, drained tuna, mushroom soup, and about 4 oz. of shredded cheese in a 9" x 13" dish. Cover with shredded cheese and top with croutons. Bake for 15 minutes.

This was so easy! DH and I loved it! I will definitely be making this again.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Challenge: Two weeks and $100!

I challenged myself to see if I could get two weeks worth of groceries with only $100. I succeeded and had $2.72 left!

Each week, I take inventory of what we have on hand and start my meal planning from there. There are some things I keep on hand, like ground beef. I stock up when it's on sale and freeze it for later use. That being said, here is a list of meals for the next couple of weeks.

1. Pizza (we have pizza night at least once every two weeks)
2. Cheese Lover's Tuna Casserole
3. Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice
4. Salmon Patties with baked french fries
5. Pizza Casserole
6. Baked Potato Soup with Sweet Corn Muffins
7. Grilled Pork Chops with Crispy Topped Creamy Spinach
8. Chicken & Sweet Pea Noodle Dish
9. Buffalo Fried Shrimp and corn on the cob
10. Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry
11. Taco Bake

We also took breakfast to Sunday school yesterday. I tried a delicious new rocky road bread recipe, and since I was going for the whole marshmallow/chocolate theme, I made a s'mores dessert too!

Here's what I bought with my $100.00:

First stop: Target
Cheez It crackers: $2.54 - $1.00 store coupon = $1.54
MP 100 calorie packs: $1.77 clearance
Swiffer duster starter kit: $3.99 sale
Little Debbie cakes: $1.43
Pillsbury brownie mix: $1.29
MP mustard: $0.77
L'oreal makeup: 8.99 - $1.00 MC = 7.99
Hamburger Helper: 3 @ 1.25 each = $3.75 - $0.80 MC = $2.95 for 3!
Heath bars: $2.00
1.88 pounds red grapes: $1.00 per pound - $1.00 store coupon = $0.88
Luvs Jumbo diapers: $7.00 - $1.00 store coupon = $6.00

Total OOP at Target: $33.53
Saved: $8.18

Second stop: Aldi

Cinnamon crunch cereal: $1.89
Paper towels: 2 @ $0.59
Bread: 2 loaves @ $0.79
Frozen Spinach: $0.99
Stir Fry Veggies: $2.89
Fudge/Caramel ice cream cones: $1.99
Pizza: 2 @ $0.99
Pork Loin Chops: $3.77
Turkey (lunchmeat): 2 @ $1.49
Large eggs: $1.29
Apple juice: $1.65
Corn on the cob: $1.29
Shredded cheese: 2 @ $2.99
Mac and cheese: $0.35
seasoned curly fries: $1.49
Taco seasoning: $0.33
Pepperoni: $1.99
Sandwich bags: $1.99
Soap: $1.39
Chocolate chips: $1.15
Mini marshmallows: $0.79
sour cream: 2 @ $0.99
cream of chicken soup: 2 @ $0.49
corn muffin mix: $0.35
sweet peas: $0.45
canned tuna in water: $0.57
tomato sauce: $0.23
canned chicken: 2 @ $1.79
sugar: $1.99
nacho chips: $0.99
milk: 2 @ $2.49
salsa: $1.49
margarine: $0.67
bacon pieces: $1.29
Total OOP at Aldi: $63.75

If I have time, I'll post some pictures and my version of the recipes this week.