Thursday, December 31, 2009

A couple quick trips... Walmart (for a price match) and Marsh 'cause I love it.

I loaded the dishwasher the other day and gasped when I realized we were o.u.t. of dishwasher detergent.  I broke out in a cold sweat thinking I was going to have to pay full price for dishwasher soap.  But I didn't and that is why I love Marsh.  I remembered that I saw some boxed powdered detergent (Cascade none-the-less!) marked down 50% at Marsh the other day.  I went in hoping and praying that it was still there and it was!  And then the eggrolls I bought were on sale 5/$5 and the boxes had a $.75 coupon in them.  When Brian and I bought some the other day, we cut the coupon out of it and since I was going back, I went ahead and took that coupon with me to buy one more box while they were still on sale.

Cascade was $5.59 for $2.79
Asian Sensation eggrolls (4ct box) was $3.59 for $.25 (yes, only a quarter!)

My total before card and coupon (for the eggrolls) was $9.38.  After my card (which saved me the 50% on the Cascade) and my $.75 coupon for the eggrolls the total was $3.24, saving me 67%.

I bought two items and the price per item was $1.62.

And so I lied the other day - this was my last trip to Marsh for the year.  2009 savings was 2760.83.  That's a LOT of money saved (and a lot of money spent as Brian would say).

After Marsh I went to Walmart for a price matching deal on Gillette deodorant (that Brian doesn't use) and Gillette shower wash (that Brian does use).

3 Gillette deodorants should have been $13.41 (4.47 each) and I price matched to $3.49 @ Meijer and had three $1.00 coupons which made the three deodorants $7.47.  THEN I had a buy a deodorant get a shower wash for free coupon (actually I had three).

So the three deodorants and washes should have cost me $23.40 and I paid $8.90 for all six items - making them only $1.48 each.  Not bad for shower wash that is normally $3.50 or more.  I saved about 60% on that trip to Walmart. 

Sunday coupon preview - for January 3, 2010

There are some HIGH DOLLAR coupons rollin' out in this coming weekends inserts!  I've read that there should be five inserts - two Smart Source (SS), two Red Plum (RP) and one General Mills (GM).  And there was a Proctor and Gamble (P&G) in this past weekend's paper.

Anyways, the high dollor coupons this weekend include:
Red Plum
Centrum $3.00/1
Nivea Body Lotion 13.5 fl oz $2.00/1

Nivea Body Lotions 13.5 oz $5.00/1
Nivea Body Wash for Women 16.9 oz $2.00/1
Nivea Lip Care 0.17 oz BOGO
Nivea My Silhouette 7oz $3.00/1

Smart Source
Crystal light drink mix product and Nabisco 100 calorie packs $2/2
Softsoap liquid soap 8.5 oz $0.35/1 (not high dollar but can make for $.30 soap!)
Oust surface disinfectant & air sanitizer B1G1 free up to $3.99
Aleve product 40 ct or larger $2/1

And if you'd like to see what else is included, just follow to the links below to Hot Coupon World (I think they work for non-members).  If you find they don't, let me know and I can get you whole lists.

RP Inserts at Hot Coupon World

SS Inserts at Hot Coupon World

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Marsh ad highlights - 12/31/09 to 1/6/10

It's a New Year!  It looks like Marsh is trying to bring the New Year in right with a 10 for $10 sale and a 4-day (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday) New Years sale too.  The highlights for me include:

4-day Sale
Fresh ground chuck - $1.48/lb (still) (save $1.71/lb - more than 50% off)
Western style ribs - $.98/lb (save $1.41/lb - more than 50% off)

10 for $10 Sale (runs all week)
Aunt Millie's bread or buns
Knorr or Lipton side dishes
2-liter Coke, Pepsi, 7-up
Chef Boyardee
Barilla pasta sauce

The rest of the ad (runs all week):
Perdue boneless, skinless chicken breasts - $1.77/lb (save $2.22/lb - more than 50% off)
Edy's ice cream - 2/$5 (save $5.76 - must buy two to get this price...more than 50% off)
Doritos - 2/$4 (save $3.98 on two, almost 50% off)
Sara Lee deli meats - $5.99/lb (save $1.40/lb)

And that's it on the list for me.  I'm so thankful I have shelves in the basement with other food on it that should get us through the week until another sale comes along. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A blog to follow that has nothing to do with saving money...

This girl is HILARIOUS though.  I'm not even sure where I found this blog (I think from a mommy board I used to chat on) but I love her.  Most of her posts have me in stitches from laughing so hard.

She can use some not so nice language, so be forewarned.  But Barefoot Foodie is really, really good!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Weekly shopping - we went over budget!

We did awesome great okay not so hot on our grocery trip this week.  Both Brian and I are home all week (yay vacation!) and sat down together today to make a menu of items for lunches and dinners for the full week.  And we bought that much food too.  Needless to say, we went over budget.  We had $27 left from recent weeks and still didn't have enough.  Brian pulled $9 in cash from his pocket and we STILL didn't have enough.  So the $75 (for the week) and $27 (leftover) and the $9 (from Brian's pocket) will be deposited to the account tomorrow because we had to use our debit card.  *gasp*

So what did we get?

2 Kraft shredded cheese was $6.58 for $2.38
2 Kraft Velveeta was $8.98 for $5.98
2 Breyers ice cream was $11.38 for $3.50
2 Creamette spaghetti was $3.38 for $1.69 (B1G1 free)
Western BBQ ribs was $8.53 for $3.50
appx. 10 lbs ground chuck was $29.92 for $13.88

Along with cottage cheese, yogurt, sliced cheese, lunch meat, bread, milk, pasta sauce, taco shells and many other small'ish things.

The two items that totally threw us over budget?  A delicious bottle of Reggae White from Easley Winery ($6.59) and a 12pk of Blue Moon ($12.99).

So the total before coupons and card was $183.30.  And after coupons and card our total was $113.14, saving a small 39%.  If we had paid for the alcohol seperately, our savings would have been closer to 45%. 

Our total items purchased was 63, making the price per item $1.79.  Ouch!  Once again...the alcohol creamed us!  Oh well - we are preparing for the New Year's celebration and since all food is already purchased, we figured we might as well get the alcohol now. 

So for the year at Marsh we have saved $2754.69 and I'd guess we averaged between 40% - 50% on most trips.  Meaning what could have cost us closer to $5000 didn't.  No more shopping trips in the year 2009 - there's no money left to do it with!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sunday coupon preview - one insert for 12/27

If you've read any coupon preview posts prior to this you'll know that I said there weren't going to be any inserts in the papers until 1/3/10.  Well...  I just found a preview of the P&G (that'd be Proctor and Gamble) insert that will be in tomorrow's paper.  I don't think I'm going to buy a paper just for coupons tomorrow (not enough in it) but you might want to check it out and see what might be good for you.

Taylortown Preview has the coupons for tomorrow's insert all listed out with the amount of the coupon and when they expire.  The one coupon I'll be looking for in the inserts my granny gives me from her paper?  The $3 off two Pantene products.  My stockpile is getting slim! 

Happy couponing!

Marsh ad highlights - 12/26 to 12/30 (shorter week this week!)

Because of the Christmas holiday, the shopping week at Marsh got shortened but the deals were not!  There are still lots of deals to be had this week...

Fresh ground chuck - $1.48/lb (save $1.71/lb - more than 50% off)
Breyers Ice cream - 2/$5 (save $6.38 on two - more than 50% off)
Jack's or Tony's Pizzas - 5/$10 (only $2 per pizza)
Fresh Grade 'A' Perdue chicken - 40% off (not the best prices...but better than full price!)
Lay's Potato Chips - $1.98 (save $2.01 - more than 50% off)
Marsh milk - $1.98
6-pack 7-up - Buy 2 get 3 free (save $11.97 on five)
Kraft Velveeta - $3.99 (only saving $.50 but this rarely goes on sale - good with coupons that were out recently)
Creamette pasta - B1G1 free (50% off)
18ct Marsh large eggs - $.179
Cheez-Its - $1.89 (for the big box!)

So...see all those items that are at least 50% off, those will be the ones I purchase and depending on the space I have (on the shelves and in the freezer) I'll be buying multiples...enough to hopefully last me until the next time the item goes on sale.  Will I NEED four blocks of Kraft Velveeta?  No way but it keeps for a while and we use it quite a bit, so why not buy it when it is on sale and I have a $1 coupon for it?  Same with the ground chuck - we'll buy 10lbs (the limit).  We won't use it all right away but why wait?  No reason to pay $3.19/lb for it when I can get it for only $1.48, right?

If you think Marsh is too expensive you're probably right - if you're just going in there and buying whatever floats your boat.  If you go in with a list and a plan and buy the things on sale then you're going to find you'll get better deals than other places (without coupons even).  If you're a couponer on top of a bargain hunter then your savings at Marsh will be even better. 

Day-after-Christmas 50% off sale...

This is the one and only time you will EVER hear me say this...but I love Walmart.  I know other stores probably do this as well but I always head to Walmart the day after Christmas and they never disappoint me.  There is no other time of the year that I even like Walmart so consider this miraculous.

Anyways, here's what I got today:

4 100ct Christmas lights (multi color) - $1.19 each
22 small tin buckets w/ lids (used for my ball treats) - $.50 each
1 18ct Princess gift tags (for a certain little girl) - $1.00
2 70sq ft wrapping paper (also Princess) - $1.50 each
2 boxes Christmas cards - $2.50 each
4 Christmas throws (I don't know how to explain them but they are delicious...even though Brian says you can't apply to word delicious to things you can't eat...) - $2.50 each
4 HUGE bags of red and green M&Ms - $4.00 each (priced $4.50 but had coupons)
1 Princess stocking (also for a certain girl who thinks she needs a pink stocking) - $6.25 (my most expensive purchase!)

All said and done - before the discounts my price (pre-tax) should have been $119.02 and I paid $61.68 (including tax).  Because everything was half off and I had two $1 coupons (for the M&Ms) I saved just over 50%.  Not too bad on items that I might have paid full price for just the day before yesterday. 

It pays to plan ahead and buy for next year...  Do you know that you need more lights for the tree (or a new tree!?) next year?  Go buy it'll save until next year!

Don't forget to check out the plates, towels, cups, tableclothes, etc that are Christmas-y too - those were all on sale as well.  My aunt bought a 4pc plate set for only $6.  And there were some Rubbermaid 4ct bowls (kinda sparkly with red or green lids) that were "Christmas" and only $1. 

And if you really want to save (but this leads to very slim pickin's) - Walmart will soon (a couple weeks maybe?) have their Christmas items marked down 75%. I can't wait that long though - I might not get what I want!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Week of 11/20 through Week of 12/11 grocery budget

Remember this post? it is fixed.

11/22 Marsh - 55.49, saved 62.90 (54%)
11/24 Marsh - 6.94, saved 11.19 (62%)
11/25 Walgreens - 2.91, saved 11.72
11/27 Marsh - 30.19, saved .50 (2%) - bought for veggie tray for Thanksgiving gathering
11/28 Marsh - 43.59, saved 67.42 (67%) - triples! And I had some mispriced items.
11/29 Walmart - 12.74, saved 0.00
11/30 Marsh - 14.57, saved 16.47 (53%)
12/3 Marsh - 1.98, saved .61 (24%)
12/5 Marsh - 55.92, saved 56.26 (50%)
12/5 Burger King - 8.97, saved 0.00 (no eating out money but it was food so we opted to eat at BK)
12/9 Marsh - 9.99, saved 10.56 (52%)
12/12 Marsh - 4.99, saved .93 (16%)
12/14 Marsh - 53.07, saved 41.91 (44%)
12/15 Marsh - 11.97, saved 9.00 (43%)

Budget = 300.00

313.38 spent
289.47 saved
602.85 total

appx. 48% savings

I spent $43.59 during triples at Marsh and that was JUST stockpiling...  I'm not trying to make excuses here...just reporting what I spent because I also spent that $30.19 on the veggie tray for Turkey Day and that would have dropped us under the $300 level. Also, compared to last month I had 14 trips to the store (and only 12 last month).

Thankfully Brian and I can afford to put a bit from savings to build the stockpile and cover those small trips that I don't plan so well. Here's to next month and sticking STRAIGHT to the budget!

Mid-week shopping - trips I haven't shared

So sometimes in the middle of the week I run to the store because I need something or something is on sale and I decided to go ahead and get it...  Here's three trips that are just that.

Trip #1 - butter for baking (will go to the freezer!):
6 Borden salted butter quarters was $20.94 for $11.94 (no coupons)
     saved 43%

Trip #2 (taco night!):
I bought tomatoes, black beans, sour cream and cilantro - was $5.92 for $4.99
     saved a whopping 16%

Trip #3:
2 10lb Russet potatoes was $7.98 for $3.99 (B1G1 free)
heavy cream
     Total was $15.56 before card and $10.81 after card (no coupons), saved 31%

So not my best trips (obviously) but when you forget something on your weekly trip or stop in after work to pick up "just one thing" it adds up and the savings aren't nearly as good because it isn't all planend out.  But I just say oh well and go on knowing that it will probably happen again because I'm forgetful and no where near perfect!

Weekly shopping - the middle of baking...oops I ran out of something...edition

Last Saturday I was in the middle of working on baking some cakes (for cake balls) and mixing the ingredients for peanut butter balls (aka buckeyes) when I realized I was out of eggs to make more cakes.  Since chocolate, carrot and red velvet are part of my standart ball-making repetoire, I knew I needed to hit the store.  I also remembered that Marsh had a great ad for other non-baking items and sat down to make my list and gather my coupons before I left.  Here's what I got:

6 Oscar Mayer sliced bacon was $32.94 for $11.97 (B1G1 free plus 6 $.75 off coupons)
Perdue split chicken breatsts was $10.67 for $3.50
18 ct Marsh eggs (the only thing I really NEEDED) for $1.79
6 Kraft 8oz block cheese was $19.74 for $6.87 (just over $1 a block!)
6 Kraft Philly cream cheese was $11.94 for $4.50 (less than $1 per block!)
4 Reynolds foil was $19.56 for $5.96
9 Betty Crocker cheesy potatoes (boxed) was $17.01 for $2.70 (that's $.30 per box)
4 Chex cereal (yes more to match what I bought a few weeks ago) was $12.16 for $4.96 (not quite as cheap as last time...$1.24 this time per box and only $1.00 per box last time)

Along with some other odds and total before card and coupons was $166.50.  After cards and coupons my total was $65.44, saving 61%.

Total items purchased was 55 making the price per item only $1.18.

Savings to date at Marsh is 2679.78 and I've got ONE MORE TRIP (tomorrow!) before the end of the year. 

And take a few days off, I did!

It's been a week!  A week since I last posted!  But the deals are still happening...  I just haven't posted about them.  This past weekend was crazy hours spent in the kitchen making sweets and treats to share with family and friends.  Monday I shopped, Tuesday I celebrated with friends, Wednesday I rang bell for Salvation Army and Thursday we celebrated Christ's birthday at church and opened some presents (and that was all after working full days at work too). 

So I've got some deals to post and some previews of Marsh's ad too.  Today will be spent with family and friends and while Brian is cooking breakfast, I'm working on my posts.

Merry Christmas everyone...  May the New Year bring you many spectacular savings!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The coupon gods must be out to get inserts in Sunday's paper!

I always knew that the Sunday after a holiday was usually a couponless paper.  I didn't realize the last two Sundays of the year are couponless as well.  Bummer.  I guess I better go through the 15 or so inserts I haven't gotten through in the last few weeks. 

So - no coupon preview from me next Thursday either.  It's the holidays - I might just have to take a few days off. 

The next inserts will be in the January 3, 2010 papers!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunday coupon preview...nothing posted yet!

So, I'm not sure if there are no inserts or if just no one has posted it yet.  I've checked both The Coupon Clippers and Taylortown Preview and nada.  I know that the weekend after the holiday there are no inserts but there should be something in this weekends.  I'll keep checking and post what I find...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Marsh ad highlights - 12/17 to 12/24. That's eight days of savings!

Need some ham? Any type of ham? Well then you better head to Marsh. Again this week they have hams on sale:

Indiana Kitchen Spiral Sliced Ham - $1.68/lb (save $1.31/lb - almost half price)
Cumberland Gap or Cook's Half Semi-Boneless Ham - $1.49/lb (save $1/lb)
Cumberland Gap or Cook's Whole Semi-Boneless Ham - $1.17/lb (save $1.22/lb - more than half)
Sugardale Prestige Whole Ham - $.97/lb (save $1.02/lb - more than half)
Sugardale Prestige Fully Cooked Ham - $.67/lb (save $1.12/lb - more than half)

And if turkey is what you prefer - there are coupons in the ad for fresh or frozen Norbest or Butterball Turkeys or Marsh Honey Gold Spiral Sliced Ham ($14 or $8 off depending on the size).

Already got your meat for the holiday? Stick around - there are more awesome deals this week at Marsh!

Perdue Split Chicken Breasts - $.98/lb (save $2.01/lb - approximately 66% savings)
Tennessee Pride roll sausge - 2/$4 (save $3.38 on two - almost half)
Center Cut Whole Boneless Pork Loin - $1.68/lb (save $2.31/lb - more than half)
Kraft cheese - 1/2 price
Lay's potato chips - B1G1 free (half price)
10lb bag Idaho Russet potatoes - B1G1 free (half price)
Marsh bread - 5/$5 (save $2.50 on five or $.50 each)
Marsh milk - $1.98/gallon
12-pack 7-Up, Pepsi or Coke - 4/$10 (save $7.56 or more on four) Limit 1 offer
Oscar Mayer sliced bacon - B1G1 free
Buddig thin sliced meats (great for cheeseballs and pickle wraps!) - 2/$1 (save $.98 on two - almost half)
Post Cereals - $1.49/box (when you buy two) - save $1 instantly
Dole canned fruit - 5/$5
Domino sugar - B1G1 free (half price)
Betty Crocker boxed potatoes - 10/$10 (paired with current coupons you can get a box for as little as $.30)
Chex cereals - $1.49/box (when you buy three) - save $3 instantly
Thomas' english muffins - B1G1 free (half price)
Pop Secret popcorn - B1G1 free (half price)
Sara Lee pies - 50% off
Marsh large eggs - $1.79
Keebler Cheez-Its or Chips Deluxe - $1.89 (saves $2 on Cheez-Its, not sure on cookies)
Scotch Magic Tape - $.99 (save $.70 - almost half) - get it now for next year's Christmas!

So for those of you out there who don't coupon...this is a GREAT way to stock up on some items at 50% off. There are several items in the ad that are at least half off (or pretty darn close) and some that are more than half off. If you've got the space for one, do you have space for the other (all the B1G1 free things)? Think creatively if them under your bed or in some unused space in a closet. Dry goods will keep for a long time...the expiration date is just guideline. And the Kraft cheese? FREEZE IT!  If you don't have the space?  Get the B1G1 free items and give the extra to someone who needs it (Salvation Army?  church pantry?) or go in with a friend and split the price in half and you both get one whole item. 

And for your other items? If they are priced too high at Marsh - go back to your normal shopping spot. If you think you don't have time to shop two stores...make a list for Marsh, know exactly what you are buying and get only those items - you'll be out in no time. Good luck!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Need a blog to follow?

How about Bargain Briana?  She's an Indiana girl (central Indiana even!) who blogs about great deals and bargains including stores like Kroger, Meijer and Kmart.  She updates frequently and always has good stuff.  So go check her out...she's worth it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekly shopping - the husband edition

If I've never said it here before - I love my husband.  Love.him.  Seriously.  Not only is he my best friend and my favoritist hubby, he's a wonderful dad and he takes really, really, really good care of us.  So this weekend was super busy for us...I didn't make it to the grocery store.  We usually make it a family outing and it just didn't happen.

So Brian and I glanced through the ads last night, I told him what coupons I thought I had for what we wanted and he said he'd go today.  And he did.  And he did AWESOME!
He got:

Center cut pork chops was $6.06 for $2.36
frozen food - not sure what but it was a rain check and whatever it was was at least 1/2 off the normal price!
two Sargento cheese was $8.38 for $4.19 (B1G1 free)
10 Hidden Valley Ranch dry ranch packets was $16.90 for $10.00
butter quarters was $3.49 for $1.99 (yes!)

Plus some canned goods, fresh fruit and the basics - milk and bread. 

The total for all groceries before card and coupons was $94.98.  After card and coupons and the SECOND AWESOME $7 off $50 coupon in the ad (woot again!) the total was $53.07, saving 44%.

Considering he only used five coupons (including the $7 off $50) - I am WAY impressed with his shopping!  EVERYTHING he bought (minus some of the fresh fruit) was either on sale or he had a coupon or both.  I love my husband!

Total items purchased was 37, making it $1.43 per item.

Savings to date at Marsh is $2569.72 and there are only TWO shopping weekends left in 2009! 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Week of 11/20 through Week of 12/11 grocery budget

11/15  Speedway - 4.99, saved .99
11/16  Marsh - 70.40, saved 62.55 (47%) - had some rainchecks, savings not quite right
11/18  Marsh - 26.53, saved 44.54 (63%)
11/18  Marsh - 8.61, saved 15.41 (64%)
11/18  Walmart - 14.60, saved 6.40 - plus whatever the price difference was for price-matching
11/22  Marsh - 55.49, saved 62.90 (54%)
11/24  Marsh - 6.94, saved 11.19 (62%)
11/25  Walgreens - 2.91, saved 11.72
11/27  Marsh - 30.19, saved .50 (2%) - bought for veggie tray for Thanksgiving gathering
11/28  Marsh - 43.59, saved 67.42 (67%) - triples!  And I had some mispriced items.
11/29  Walmart - 12.74, saved 0.00
11/30  Marsh - 14.57, saved 16.47 (53%)
12/3  Marsh - 1.98, saved .61 (24%)
12/5  Marsh - 55.92, saved 56.26 (50%)
12/5  Burger King - 8.97, saved 0.00 (no eating out money but it was food so we opted to eat at BK)
12/9  Marsh - 9.99, saved 10.56 (52%)

Budget = 300.00

368.42 spent
367.52 saved
735.94 total

appx. 50% savings

I did the three trips in one day (Marsh, Walmart, Marsh) to stock up on cereal (this was in the budget though).  And the $43.59 I spent during triples at Marsh was JUST that takes my total closer to $325 which is STILL over budget.  And I'm not trying to make excuses here...just reporting what I spent because I also spent that $30.19 on the veggie tray for Turkey Day and that would have dropped us under the $300 level.  Also, compared to last month I had 16 trips to the store (and only 12 last month).

Thankfully Brian and I can afford to put a bit from savings to build the stockpile and cover those small trips that I don't plan so well.  Here's to next month and sticking STRAIGHT to the budget!

AND I just realized this is all wrong.  Darn it!  Those top few lines that are highlighted should have been with the last months grocery budget (which means I blew it out of the water) and that I've still got a week to go on this one.  I'm leaving it now and will add to it next week.  Ugh!

Dave Ramsey $10 book special...

Do you know Dave Ramsey?  If you don't...I wish you did!  He and his teaching have totally changed the way Brian and I look at our money and how we talk about it.  Brian and I have never been fighters/arguers but talking about money just made me ill.  There was never enough, he wanted to know where it was and I had no answers.  We both got tired of our money running out before the end of the month.  We now tell our money (every stinkin' single red cent of it!) where to go every month.

Anyways...  Right now at Dave Ramsey's website he has a special going on where if you buy any 10 of his $10 items (which is most of his books) you get five copies of Total Money Makeover for FREE (yeah - did you see the lights in my eyes at that one!?).

So one of the girls that did FPU with me (that I also work with) and I decided to go together and get 10 books (plus the five free) and split them.

What should have cost us $311.82 (plus shipping) was only $100 (including shipping!  If you spend over $65 then shipping is free right now too.).  Ohmygosh!  That is MASSIVE savings!  We saved like 66% on these books.  What a great deal.  And the best thing?  I'm going to soon be blessing four friends (and/or family members) with a copy of TMMO and the workbook that goes with it.  I hope it changes them like it changed us.

Toys R Us shopping trip

So...tonight at almost 9:00 my mom and I decided we needed to go to Toys R Us...  NOW.  So we did.  And I'm glad we did!  We went for the B1G1 card game and B1G2 Crayola markers/crayons/pencils deals.  Here's what I got:

Crayola markers/crayons/ one, get two free (!!!)
6 - 8pk Crayola crayons (was $2.99 each) for $5.98 ($.99 each)
3 - 8pk Crayola classic colormarkers (was $2.99 each) for $2.99 (.99 each)
3 - 24ct Crayola colored pencils (was $4.69 each) for $4.69 ($1.56 each)

Decks of one, get one free
3 - Phase 10 (was $5.99 each)

1 - Pictureka (was $4.19)

1 - Scrabble Slam (was $5.99)
1 - Monopoly Deal (was $5.99)
2 - Uno (was $6.99 each)
     all for $24.06 ($3.00 each)

5 "educational" books - alphabet, numbers, erase/reuse, hidden picture, etc for $18.05 (50% off)

3 - Melissa and Doug two, get the third free
     2 - magnetic dress up (was $12.99 each)
     1 - pattern blocks and boards (was $17.99)
     all for $30.98 ($10.33 each)

1 - Whac-a-Mole (was $24.98) for $9.98

All of these items are gifts (for my niece and nephew for Christmas, LeeAnn's best friend for her birthday coming up in a couple weeks, for LeeAnn (maybe saving for another holiday) and for the little girls our Girl Scout troop is supporting this Christmas). 

All said - I spent $103.61 (and I about fell over because I was like HOLY CRAP I spent a ton of money!) but I saved $74.07 (and actually, I saved about $10 more than that because the Whac-A-Mole was marked down to $14.98 so it only shows a $5 savings on it on my receipt).  So I saved about 60% on my purchases...  Not too shabby in my opinion.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sunday coupon preview...two inserts! A Valassis and Smart Source...

Check it out at The Coupon Clippers

I'm not even going to buy a paper Sunday...  I have enough friends and family who love me to get me what I want and after saying I was going to buy one last week (and NOT!) I decided why even say I am...I'm just not. 

Happy shopping to those of you who do!

Ultimate Recipe Swap - Buffalo Chicken

So I've just recently started linking from my blog to others (actually, as of right now - I've done it once) but I want to get out there more and share more so I'm linking in to Life As Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap.  This is a Thursday standard for her and I thought today is as good a day as any to get in on the fun.

Her recipes for today are quick, easy, meals that fill you and warm you in winter.  One of my favorite go to recipes (that I just had tonight!) is Buffalo Chicken.  Neither my husband or I measure anything in the kitchen...we just throw it in until it looks good.  So here's what I use for this recipe:

  • some cooked chicken breasts (either boneless/skinless or split breasts with the meat pulled from the bone) diced and/or shredded (if it is warm, I shred it...if it is cold I dice it)
  • Frank's Hot Sauce
  • cream cheese - one block (8oz maybe?)
  • ranch or bleu cheese dressing (sometimes a ranch dressing dry packet)
    • Sometimes I cook the chicken ahead (like I did tonight) and will have it in the fridge for a couple days or will put it in a baggie and freeze it (already diced/shredded)
    • I put the cream cheese into a pan (this can also be done in a crockpot - the longer it cooks, the hotter it gets!) along with some Frank's (enough to look good) and the ranch (liquid or powder - I prefer the powder so it isn't as runny) and let it get melty and hot.
    • I add the chicken into it, let it all heat through and serve with tortilla chips.  We've also tried it with a flour tortilla shell, a big green leaf lettuce and some veggies (onion and jalapeno).  We like it hot!
And this recipe is never the same.  Tonight I didn't have a regular ranch dry packet - all I had was Fiesta Ranch so that is what I put in.  Sometimes it is hotter than others...more Franks versus not so much Franks.  In any way - it is quick, easy and warms you right up!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Marsh ad highlights - 12/10 to 12/16

Marsh is lookin' good for this next week! As I'm putting together my list this week and next, I'm looking ahead to the party we are hosting on New Years Eve this year... Planning ahead makes for a budget friendly party.

On to the sale items for the week:
Sugardale Prestige Fully Cooked Ham - $.67/lb (save $.97/lb) ... There are a lot of different types of ham on sale this week - this one is just the cheapest!
Tiger Bay Cooked Cocktail Shrimp - B1G1 free (save $19.98 on two) - possibly making an appearance at our party
Sargento bag cheese - B1G1 free (save $3.19 or more on two) - match with recent coupons ($.55 off two) and you'll be getting two bags of cheese for $2.64 ($1.32/bag) which is a great price!
Kellogg's cereals (select brands) - $1.69
Marsh milk - $1.98/gallon
Tyson bacon - 2/$5 (save $4.98 on two - basically half price)
Hillshire Farms Lil' Cocktail Franks - $2.99 (save $1.00 - not the best price but wrap these in cheap bacon from above and throw into the crock pot for a nice little appetizer...I'm adding these to our list for NYE too!)
Barilla pasta sauce - $1.98
Hidden Valley dressing packets - 5/$5 (adding these to the party list too!)
Snuggle fabric softener - 2/$7 (and with the $2 off one in the last insert that'll make for $1.50 fabric softener...not at good as the $3 off but better than nothing)
Cheez-its - $1.89
Del Monte Gold whole pineapples - $2.99 (save $1)

AND to top it all off - another $7 off $50 coupon in the ad! BONUS!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Do you use batteries like crazy?

Check out LifeAsMom and her Energizer battery give-away! Leave a comment on the post and have a chance to win some rechargeable batteries and charger. Good luck!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekly Shopping

I almost completely forgot about the excellent freezer deals at Marsh on much so that it was almost 10pm before I even step foot into the store. Needless to say - the items I wanted to get were out and we had to get rain checks.

What we did get includes:

2 Jack's Pizzas was $8.38 for $3.54
4 Cheezits was $15.96 for $4.56
2 Purdue boneless/skinless breasts was $21.06 for $8.93

We also got 2-liters of Coke products for New Years, Banquet meals for Brian for work, some fresh fruit, Red Baron french bread pizzas, Velveeta, Spaghettios, bread, milk, pickles (yum!), pork chops...

My total for all groceries was $112.36 before card and coupons. After card, coupons and the AWESOME $7 off of $50 in the ad (woot!) my total was $55.92, saving 50%.

39 items purchased, $1.43 per item.

Savings at Marsh for the year - $2516.32 and only three weeks to go!

So, this is it. Our last FPU class tonight.

I sat down last night to compare the balances on our outstanding loans as of yesterday versus what they were mid-July (when we started this, our class didn't start until mid-September though)...

In 4 1/2 months we have paid $6198.05 in bills! There are two payments completely gone! Those are the Kohls card (which started appx. $250) and a bill from Clarian Arnett from when LeeAnn broke her arm (which started appx. $500). AND we've got another one that only has $240 to go...and it'll be paid off too!

If I've calculated correctly - that one will be gone at the end of this month (since Brian is going back to work and we'll have that money in savings to use for paying things off instead of bringing his short term disability check up to his "normal" pay amount).

According to the debt snowball - it'll be a few months before the next item is paid off but we are slowly getting there!

AND to top it all off...we've paid for all of LeeAnn's dance for the full year (up front!). We've pulled from savings three times for some grocery stockpiling. We've continued to both put 5% into our 401Ks and still have our BS1 ($1000 in savings) and many of our cash envelopes with money in them to use as needed (car repairs, clothes, medical/dental).

Not only all of that - at the beginning of August (maybe September) Chase decided to raise the minimum payment amounts on credit cards from 2 1/2% to 5% and that SERIOUSLY raised the amount of the minimum payments on both cards and we've been able to pay that too. And I just remembered...there was at least one month, maybe two where we paid the payments for my school loan that my parents pay (as part of our agreement from me going to college). So that was another $440 that we wouldn't have normally paid out.

It was REALLY hard in the sit down and face the mess we'd gotten ourselves into. I think we both really wished that we had done this sooner - I wish I'd gone to college with the mindset I have now because I wouldn't have ever even been where I'm at today. But I didn't and we haven't so now we are trying to get to a better place and I think we are doing very well at it.

Talking about money with Brian used to be so hard... I'd cry. I was the bill payer and while he knew we struggled...I don't think he realized sometimes how bad it was. And sadly, even when I knew we were struggling, I'd agree to new toys or eating out or whatever it was that he and I wanted because I felt we deserved it because we both work so hard (him especially!). But I realize now that that isn't the best way to work it and that you have to wait to get what you want.

So here's to our last class of FPU tonight. We did it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Almost thought about NOT buying Sunday's paper

until I saw the coupon for Kraft singles! I was scrolling through and thought - great, another week of not buying any papers and then I found some coupons that got me excited... So here's what I think are great coupons that will be in this Sunday's paper (12/6):

Kraft Singles on ONE pkg, 10.7 or larger $.50
Post Cereals on any TWO, 10 oz or larger, $1.00
Red Baron Fire Baked SINGLES PIZZA on any ONE, $1.00
Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta on ONE, $.75
Tornadoes on any 8.4 oz box, $1.00
Snuggle Liquid Fabric Softener or dryer sheets on ONE, $2.00 (can make for some fairly cheap softener...has been on sale recently as low as $2.99 - can't beat $.99 softener!)

And so it looks like I AM buying some papers on Sunday. Maybe even three or four!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

PartyLite items for sale!

2005 price - $6.95/dozen
2009 price - $9.50
Casie's price - $2.40 for 12 (or $.20 each)

These are all individual tealights - I only have the one full box of Mojito tealights.

1 Powdered Sugar
10 Tiramisu
2 Mojito
12 Mojito (boxed)
6 Lively
8 Rosewater
13 Moondance
2 Sheer Luxury
1 Calla Lily

2005 price - $10.90/dozen
2009 price - $6.75/6 pack
Casie's price - $3.40/dozen (or $.30 each)

2 Ocean Mist
2 Blueberry
6 Homespun Memories
3 Hydrangea (square)

Aroma Melts
2005 price - $7.95/4pack
2009 price - $9.95/4pack
Casie's price - $2.50/4pack (or $.60 each)
3 1/2 Ocean Mist (one has been partially used during a show - if you take any of them, it's included)

Other Candles

1 Lively (3" ball)
2005 price $15.95/pair, 2009 price $17.95/pair, Casie's price $2.25 (only have the one)
6 White 10" Tapers
2005 price $9.95, 2009 price $12.95, Casie's price $3.25
1 Lively Pillar 3x5
1 Zen Pillar 3x6
2005 price $9.95, 2009 price $11.95, Casie's price $3.00
1 Petite 3-wick (6" x 5")
2005 price $34.95, 2009 price $37.95, Casie's price $9.50
3 Votive sampler sets (in plastic container - passed around during shows and has samples of all scents)
2005 price - no price, part of hostess kit, Casie's price $10.00 each (includes case - can be reused for something else after candles are out of it!)

Holders *used during shows*

1 Antique Brass Aroma Melts Warmer
2005 price $27.95, 2009 price $29.95, Casie's price $7.50

The following items are no longer price is based on 2005 prices.
1 Chatham Snuffer
2005 price $16.95, Casie's price $4.25
1 Crystal Castle
2005 price $49.95, Casie's price $12.50
1 Quad Prism Small Pedestal
2005 price $34.95, Casie's price $8.75
1 Garden Lites Taper/Ball Holder
2005 price $19.95, Casie's price $5.00
1 Garden Lites Hanging Candle Holder
2005 price $29.95, Casie's price $7.50
1 Mirrored Coaster Set (7" and 8 1/2" square)
2005 price $17.95/set of 2, Casie's price $4.50
1 Spring Water Pillar Holder
2005 price $39.95, Casie's price $10.00
1 Modern Silver Double Tealight Holder
2005 price $39.95, Casie's price $10.00
1 Clean Lines Votive Holder
2005 price $19.95, Casie's price $5.00
1 Stratus Pillar Holder
2005 price $49.95, Casie's price $12.50
1 Retro Style votive cups
2005 price $14.95/pair, Casie's price $3.75
1 Penguin candle holder
2005 price $39.95, Casie's price $10.00
1 Zen Ikebana/Tealight tray
2005 price $24.95, Casie's price $6.25

1 True Passion lotion
2005 price $11.95, price $3.00

Please keep in mind - these are mostly items I used for display in shows so they might not be perfect (smudges, finger prints) but these prices are rock bottom and none of the pieces are broken/cracked/etc. I am just ready to get these items out of my basement!

If you're interested, leave me a comment here or get ahold of me on Facebook. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Marsh ad highlights - 12/3 to 12/9

Marsh is having another huge Saturday only sale! It looks like all four items advertised on the front page of the ad are more than 50% off the normal price - make sure you check it out!

What I might buy includes:

Saturday Only Items
Jack's Pizza - $1.67 (limit 10)
New York Texas Toast - $1.77 (limit 10)
Marsh large eggs - $1.79

Edy's ice cream - $2.88
Green Giant Steamers - 5/$5
Cheez-Its - $1.89
Blistex Fruit Smoothies lip stuff - 10/$10 (save $19.90!)...if you feel you need to give something this year but don't have a lot to spend - these are four count lip balms in fruity flavors that some little girl would probably LOVE to find in her stocking - you can spend $10 and make 10 little girls happy and save yourself a nice chunk of money too.

And to help make it even easier to save money - there is a $7 off your grocery purchase of $50 or more. Can't beat that with a stick!

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Need a blog to follow?

Need some bargain inspirations? Check out Mom to Monkeys - she ALWAYS inspires to me to find the deals and bargains. She posts what she saved (which is always like 90%+). It amazes me what she saves! So - go check her out!