Friday, January 29, 2010

Sunday coupon preview - there are two inserts this week.

Be looking for a Smart Source and a Valassis both.

There are actually a LOT of coupons I'm looking forward to in this weekends inserts! Be sure to check out
The Coupons Clippers for more details!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book It 2010

I finally finished Amy Dacyzcyn's "The Complete Tightwad Gazette".  All 900+ pages of it!  And just as my mid-book review said...I still wasn't very impressed.  I just can't see myself doing many of her suggestions.  I mean, don't get me wrong - they were great and I could see the sense and sensibility in doing them, I just don't see ME doing them.  I did glean a few ideas from her book though and if the time comes that I ever become a stay-at-home mom then maybe even more of her ideas will come in handy.  For now though, I'm sticking with what I know.

I picked up Jeffrey Marx's "The Long Snapper" on Monday night.  I could NOT put it down.  I found it on Dave Ramsey's list of recommended books.  Ohmygosh.  I am so glad I chose to read it!  I finished it today at lunch and it makes me want to go back and watch the 2003 Super Bowl all over again. 

Now, I'm a huge football fan as it is.  I grew up watching football, basketball and going to track meets (my dad was the coach).  I'm one of the few wives around that asks Brian to invite the guys over on Sunday so we can hang out and watch the game.  LeeAnn knows that on Sundays, during football season - there are no cartoons because we have football on

I first read about "The Long Snapper" on Dave Ramsey's website and it sounded like a really great read.  Written by Jeffrey Marx, who won a Pulitzer for investigative reporting, the book is a quick and easy read that really hit home with me. 

From Dave's website (and the inside flap of the book):
"The Long Snapper is the story of a man who finally achieves the success he has always wanted. Brian Kinchen's championship ring is a powerful status symbol for all to see. But his journey forces him to re-examine what really matters, and he realizes the true measure of a man has nothing to do with status: life is not about prestige, it is about passion and purpose. It is about impacting the lives of others."

And more than once through the book Brian Kinchen talks about doing what he does (in everything he does) to glorify God.  On page 128 he is working on developing a life statement of his own (based on what he'd read in "The Man in the Mirror" by Patrick Morley).  Kinchen wrote in the back of his Bible, "Life Purpose Statement, 1-14-04.  To continually seek God's heart, and share Him with the world through the love and respect I give to everyone around me.  Love and raising my children to have hearts for God and to be my living legacy in this world and the next." 

Wow...  Kinchen's thoughts and Marx's delivery of those thoughts touched me in so many ways.  This book is an excellent read and I recommend it to everyone - even if you're not a football fan.

Next on my list:  finish "The Starter Wife" and start working on "Fearless" by Max Lucado and a digital photography how-to type of book that I found at the library on Monday night. 

Marsh ad highlights - 1/28 to 2/3

I can't believe we're into February already!  Time goes by so quickly...

Here is what I'll be checking out at Marsh this weekend:

Kellogg's cereals $1.88 (save $1.07)

Marsh milk $2.18
Pork steaks, Western style ribs, Whole Boston Butt roast $.98/lb (save $1.21/lb)
Sargento cheese 3/$5 (save $6.99 or more on three - have to buy three to get this price)
Marsh bread $.99
Tornados 2/$4
Bob Evans roll sausage 2/$5 (save $2.98 on two)
Sara Lee ham, turkey or chicken $5.99/lb
Pillsbury Grands 4/$4 (when you buy four)
Kellogg's or Keebler - select crackers/cookies $1.99
Creamette pasta 5/$5
Betty Crocker boxed potatoes 5/$5
Manwich or Tabasco 5/$5
Powerade 10/$10, get 5 free (so 15/$10)
Cottonelle $5.99

Please keep in mind...I only post what looks good to me!  There are so many other things on sale that might fit you and your familys needs (and wants!).  Marsh - they are a great place to shop!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A blog to scare the pants off of ya!

So back when I started doing the coupon clipping, "playing" CVS and other money saving actions I found Hot Coupon World.  It scared the beejeebies outta me!  There are so many people and so much information to be read! 

At first I just read through the store forums...for ideas on deals at Kroger, Meijer, Marsh, CVS, etc.  Then I ventured into other forums.  My current favorite is the stockpile forum that has pictues and pictures of the stockpiles that people have built with couponing and freebies and rebates and the other ways people gather lots of things.  Some of the pictures are A-MAZING.

So - go check it out.  Don't be scared though!  It is really a great place to get information.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The free-for-all grocery shopping weekend...

I woke up Sunday with a raging headache.  I went ahead and got up to shower for church but went straight back to bed.  I couldn't even keep my eyes open, my head hurt so bad.  Needless to say I slept until after noon and was useless the rest of the day.

So when it came time to do the grocery shopping, I was totally out of commission.  So Brian and LeeAnn went in listless and couponless.  I guess it could have been worse...

At Marsh they came home with poptarts (5/$5), fresh fruit, milk, yogurt, bread...the basics really and the total before card was $45.51 and after the card was $37.63, saving $7.88 and 17%.  Brian wasn't too happy with himself but for flying by the seat of his pants, he did really well.  He bought 22 items for a $1.71 per item price.  He was in way under budget though so I'm cutting him a bunch of slack.  And besides...him going meant I didn't have to!

And on Saturday while I was hitting up CVS for our excellent Pepsi deal, he was at Schulz (IGA, a local store) stocking up on Top Sirloin.  We only buy Top Sirloin from Schulz and we only but it when it is $2.99/lb.  And guess what?  It happened!  It's been probably six to eight months since we've bought steak and the wait was so worth it!  He bought 12 Top Sirloins ranging between one and two pounds each - these are nice sized steaks!  One steak will feed all three of us easy (and usually with leftovers).  Total spent at Schulz was $60.33 and it's worth every penny.  I'm hoping these last us through the rest of the winter and the spring until these steaks go on sale again so we can stock up.  He even grilled out for us Saturday night - steak, fried taters and corn.  Yum!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My first trip to CVS for a "deal" in over 10 months!

So, last March when Brian learned he was going to be laid off for a couple weeks (up to six weeks - we didn't know for sure how long) I put an immediate kiebash on the ECBs and deals at CVS.  We've got enough shampoo and toothpaste to last us for another few years (or so it seems) so staying away from CVS while he was laid off sounded like a good idea.  And it was - I just never went back. 
Well, I don't mean I NEVER went back to CVS.  That's where I fill our scripts (which I think helped in today's deal) and I think I might have stopped in once for a thermometer.  But really...I haven't done a deal at CVS for a long, long time.

Brian needed wanted some Diet Dew and Diet Code Red and CVS has a 6 12pk for $10 (after ECBs) thing going on.  So I took a $4 off $20 (that I just got in the mail today - talk about good luck!) and $5.50 in ECBs (printed on my receipt the last time I stopped in for a refill...I'm thinking because of all the scripts we've had filled lately) and a gift card for $25 (which we didn't pay for...we had a coupon for a free $25 card with a new or transferred script) and bought six 12pks of Diet Dew (no Diet Code Red in sight). 

Before my ExtraCare card my total was $34.87 and after the card, the $4 off $20 and the $5.50 in ECBs my total was down to $11.23 - saving between 67% and 68%.  I paid with the free $25 gift card and really spent nothing out of pocket.  I also got $10 back in ECBs.  So I guess in a roundabout way I only paid $1.12 for six 12pks of Diet Dew.  That's cheap! 

But I think Brian is going to take the $10ECBs and go back and get six more Diet Dews...  I don't have the $4 off $20 or the $5.50 in ECBs but the $10ECB I got is actually $.50 more than the other two and we'll still get another $10ECB for buying another six 12pks.

Kinda makes me remember why I love CVS so much...  ♥ ♥ ♥

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book It 2010

So I am STILL working on The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzcyn.  It is well over 900 pages and since I only read a little at night and some at lunch it is taking me longer than I thought. 

When I first read about her book (I can't remember if it was on Money Saving Mom or Life as Mom) I thought - this book sounds great!  I can't wait to get ahold of it and learn some new tricks.  Sadly, as I read through this - I shake my head at most of the tips and tricks.  I just don't see myself darning socks or placing patches on jeans. 

I guess I'm among those that feel that since I work I "deserve" to buy new things.  But I don't even always buy new things...a lot of LeeAnn's clothes come from Once Upon a Child or the extreme clearance racks at Kohls or JC Penney. 

And maybe because I do work out of the house I just can't wrap my brain around a lot of her (and reader's) suggestions.  And if I told her I worked out of the house would she break it all down and tell me I'm wasting my money?  Maybe, maybe not.  She said it wasn't feasible for her to work out of the house because of the drive and day care and the cost of clothes and on and on...  But we're blessed with parents who keep LeeAnn for us (only about two hours per day), my job is only six blocks from my house and I feel I do very well in shopping the clearance racks for my own clothes.  I truly think that me working out of the house is better for where we are right now.  Now, I would much rather be a stay-at-home mom but it just doesn't work out that way.  If I was a stay-at-home mom would I be more willing (and have more time) to work the tips and tricks?  Probably so...

I'm about halfway through her book and I do plan to finish it.  I hope to get a few good ideas out of her.  I have used one idea use the return envelopes that come in the mail with bills, etc.  Since I pay a lot of bills online now I always have lots of extra envelopes.  And I use envelopes when I make my weekly grocery list (put my list on one side and then the coupons in the envelope).  I thought that was a genius idea (reusing the envelopes - I got the grocery list/coupon holder idea off of another blog).

And I've also manage to pick up a fiction book called "The Starter Wife" by Gigi Lavangie Grazer.  I read the first chapter probably two months ago on lunch break (borrowed from a co-worker since I hadn't brought a book to read at lunch) and since she finished it, she's let me borrow it. 

I also still have Marx's "The Long Snapper" waiting for me as well. Needless to say, I've been doing quite a bit more reading lately and I love it! 

Sunday coupon preview - there are two inserts this Sunday 1/25

You'll be able to find both a Valassis and a Smart Source in Sunday's coupon inserts.

Sadly, I'm not sure what's wrong with me when it comes to coupons but I'm just not feelin' them right now.  I see a few coupons here and there that I'm interested in but not enough to really go out and buy one (or five) newspapers for.  I really think it is time for me to consider buying coupons.  I know I've mentioned it before but I really think it is the step I need to take.

So - if you'd like to see what is out there this week, check out The Coupon Clippers for what is in both inserts.  Just click on that link and find this Sunday's date (the 25th) and then click on each individual insert name to see what is included.

Happy clipping!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 1/21 to 1/27

There's a four day sale at Marsh this week...Thursday through Sunday.  The ad reads that it is a tailgate sale but none of the prices are even worth it to me. 

The rest of the ad has some good B1G1 deals - makes for an instant 50% savings.  Check out the Marsh ad online - see for yourself the B1G1 deals!  Be sure to read through the whole ad as there are B1G1 deals listed on several pages (including the last page).

As for the other sale items, I'll be looking at:
Pork spareribs $.98/lb (save $1.51/lb) Limit 3
Quaker instant oatmeal $1.99 (save $1.60)
Grapes $1.28/lb (save $2.71/lb)
Edy's ice cream 2/$5 (when you buy 2)
Micelli's ricotta cheese $1.99
Uncle Ben's ready rice $1.89

Looks like we'll be doing pork, manicotti and tacos for dinner this next week!

If anyone saw us shopping tonight, they'd think we're on a liquid diet!

I *had* to hit Marsh up tonight after work as this is the end of their sale ad and I wanted to take advantage of the $1.99 water and the 4/$10 Coke products.  Yeah...add in the milk I bought and nine of the 11 items I bought were liquid.  Once again - I'm glad for my pantry!

Tonight's purchases (in two orders since the water was limit two):
2 24pk Marsh water bottles was $7.98 for $3.98
2 12pk Sprite and 2 12pk Coke Zero was $19.96 for $10.00
1 pk Perdue split breasts (last one in the case!) was $4.75 for $1.40
1/2lb sliced deli turkey was $3.70 for $3.17
1 Bluebunny fudge bar was $4.49 for $2.24

Before card (no coupons) my total should have been $41.58 but I paid only $21.49, saving 49%.  Total items purchased was nine, making it $2.39 per item.

The second purchase:
2 24 pk Marsh water bottles was $7.98 for $3.98
1 gallon Marsh milk was $2.69 for $2.39

Before card (again no coupons) my total should have been $10.67 but I paid only $6.37, saving 40%.  Total items purchased was three, making it $3.56 per item.

AND at the bottom of my receipt - in 2010 I have saved $183.35...woohoo!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yet one more reason to love Bargain Briana!

On Tuesdays I try to post a link to another blog I follow and I'm going to do that tonight but I've already linked up to Bargain Briana once.

Not only is Briana a home-state girl, she's started another blog called The Frugal Map.  I *love* this map!  According to the blog, "The Frugal Map was created to help readers find their perfect blog match. Whether the perfect blog match is by category, store, location, there is a blog out there for your particular style."  And who doesn't want help finding a blogger who fits their style and might even be close to you!?  I love the fact that I might be able to possibly meet some other "local" bloggers through this map.

So if you're looking for a blogger close to you (who might blog your local stores and help you out with some inside ideas) or for someone who has a family of four with working spouses and both kids in day care (just like your family might be) to glean some ideas - then this map is a great place to start.  So check it out!  Bargain Briana and The Frugal Map - two great places to visit!


I still haven't grocery shopped for the week...

I did hit up Meijer on Sunday night for Lays potato chips on sale.

4 Wavy Lays was $15.96 for $7.96 (saved 50%)

And that was it!  My total was $7.96.  I bought four items making my cost per item $1.99 - which is really high!  Ha!  These are chips we love though and when I can get them for B1G1 or $1.99 then I buy a few bags to last us.

So this plus the few dollars I spent at the meat sale on Friday night is all I've spent.  It's a good thing too - I've still got to hit up Marsh for a few goods things and Schulz for some $2.99 Top Sirloin (our purchase price for these steaks - if they aren't this price, we don't buy).  Yay for steak!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Laundry detergent - prices?

Brian and I bought laundry detergent yesterday...  I was trying to remember the last time I bought detergent.  A year ago?  More?  Less?  I dunno.  We normally buy the big huge round containers from Sears and I think last time I bought two so it's been a long while.

Anyways, we went to Sears yesterday and the big round tubs are gone and we had to buy a box.  245 loads for $22.99 (saved $4.00).  And you know what?  I have no clue if that is a good price...  That breaks down to less than $.10 a load but I honestly have no clue if that's even a good price to pay or not.  So - I'm on a quest to find out if I made a good purchase or not and if I didn't - what the best price is (with or without coupons).  I hope I find that what I purchased is a good deal because I really do like the stuff!

What happens when you don't plan ahead...

So I knew we had a birthday party this weekend.  I actually just learned about it last week but that should have given me plenty of time to be prepared.  But you know what?  I didn't prepare and it cost me!!!

I have this big ol' box in the basement...  I think it is the box my freezer came in.  Anyways, it's big and that's where I hide toys.  Christmas presents, birthday presents, presents just because I found an awesome deal and stuck 'em in there for some special reason (the last time being when she had the pins pulled from her arm - ouch!).  So I ran downstairs this morning to see if there was anything I could use for today...nah, not so much. 

K is Brian's best friend's daughter.  She's five now and we knew she'd want something fun!  So we stopped by the Kmart and pretty much told LeeAnn to pick something out...  (You know...since I didn't have anything in the basement and definately didn't plan ahead.)  And what she picked was a really good present and not too expensive but the fact that we also had to buy a card and tissue paper and a bag (which I have all at home) just about threw me over the edge!

All said and done - I spent $30.83 and could have saved myself several dollars at least if I had just planned ahead (and brought the wrapping stuff).  I could have saved even more if I'd been able to take advantage of the toys in the basement. 

Lesson learned!  No more fly by the seat of my pants birthday shopping!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Also, check out Money Saving Mom to see the amazing coming together of literally hundreds of bloggers to give to Haiti. What an amazing outpouring of love and support!


My heart is aching...  And it has been since the first images of the earthquake damage in Haiti hit the TV.

It is so hard to comprehend.  I mean - the pictures SHOW the devestation but I can't put my mind around.  Buildings collapsed...with people in them.  There are people buried under tons and tons and tons of building materials and even other people.  How do you grasp that?  How is it in Central Indiana...where I've never been affected by an act of nature in such a severe way...I can really truly begin to understand and acknowledge what has happen? 

I can't. 

I look at the pictures on MSNBC.  I see the broken bodies and the broken buildings and the broken everything.  I hear the news reports that say 50,000 100,000 200,000 peoples lives are gone.  I read the online reports of the families waiting for their adopted children to get their Visas so they can come home...they are already adopted...paperwork is done...they were just waiting for the Visas and now?  All that information is buried...  Lost.  Gone. 

I see this stuff.  I hear it.  I read it.  I can not comprehend it.  I don't know how to make it all make sense.  I'll never understand.

But not understanding doesn't mean I can't help.  I CAN help.  Will I be able to save the world?  The country?  Definately not.  Will I be able to help the lives of those who have been hurt both physically and emotionally?  Probably not as much as they need but any amount has to be of benefit.

And as I sit here and work on this post, MSNBC is on in the background.  Rachel Maddow just reported that Americans have already given 11 MILLION dollars through text messaging...  $11 million!  What an amazing number.

So is the $50 I'm going to put in the Salvation Army bucket tomorrow going to make a difference?  I don't know...  I sure hope it does.  It is such a small amount in the face of the other amounts being given but I don't have hundreds of thousands to spare...  I hardly have $50 to spare.  But I am lucky enough to have a house still standing, a family who is safe and healthy and a state that is currently unharmed by natural disaster.  I'm thankful for that and I hope that my $50 makes someone else thankful as well.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Marsh's meat sale shopping trip

It is times like these when I wish I was a stay-at-home mom who could hit the stores first thing in the morning to take advantage of their awesome sales!  But because I'm a working momma who likes to sleep as much as possible (which means no getting up early and going before work - which is a very good idea that never works for me!), I wasn't able to get to Marsh until tonight at 8pm.  BUT waiting was worth it - I got to help a friend with her meat sale purchases as well.  She hears me talk about my grocery savings but she wanted to see it in action.

So I purchased:

1 Pillsbury holiday frosting (yes, yes - Christmas is over but it'll keep!) was $2.22 for $.11 ...  But wait!  Closer inspection at my receipt shows the icing at $.75 and I had a $.50 coupon that doubled to $1 so Marsh paid me to buy that icing.  Woohoo!  I didn't even notice at the register!  The tag read $2.22 and 50% off (so 1.11) and I had that coupon (taking off $1.00) so I thought $.11 - but I was wrong!

1 Marsh milk was $2.69 for $2.39
4 Eckrich smoked sausage was $15.96 for $7.12
1 Tiger Bay pollock filets was $3.99 for $1.99

And that's it!  I only went for the meat sale tonight.  I'll be going back Sunday to take advantage of the rest of their sale.  For tonight though, before card and coupon my total was $23.39 and after card and coupon my total was $11.25 - saving $12.89 which is 53%.

My total items purchased was seven for $1.61 price per item total.  And I just realized that the bottom of my receipt is not tracking my savings for the year...what a bummer!

The thrill of the chase - debt snowball!

In other budget updates - we have paid off another loan (a small loan that was hanging around from my days at FC). Since starting TMMO/FPU back in July we've paid off three outstanding debts (Kohls, Clarian Arnett and TFB) plus covered other expenses including LeeAnn's full year's tuition at dance, small medical bills here and there that weren't covered by insurance (some blood work for me, etc) and there was no money in the FSA left, along with paying a loan payment that my parents usually pay (as part of my agreement from when I went to FC back in '96).

That loan is the next in our debt snowball! The balance is just under $1400 and while my parents are making their regular monthly payments on it, we are also putting the payment amount on it which means it should be gone in as little as three months... Hooray! Then we're down to just two credit cards, a school loan (from IUK) and our vehicle loans. Slowly... Very slowly!  But that's how it works...that and a lot of dedication to making this work.

Week of 12/18 through Week of 1/8 grocery budget

So, the last time I did this, I screwed it up royally but I think I've got it right this time. 

12/19 Marsh - spent $65.44, saved $101.06 (61%)

12/23 Marsh - spent $10.81, saved $4.75 (31%)
12/26 Walmart - spent $61.68, saved $63.68 (just over 50%) - stockpiling - pulled from savings
12/28 Marsh - spent $113.14, saved $70.16 (39%)
12/29 Marsh - spent $3.24, saved $6.14 (67%)
12/29 Walmart - spent $8.90, saved $12.99 + some with price match (over 50%)
1/2 Marsh - spent $28.30, saved $28.64 (50%)
1/9 Marsh - spent $26.32, saved $18.36 (43%)
1/10 Marsh - spent 58.29, saved $106.88 (65%)

Budget = $300.00

$376.12 spent
$412.66 saved
$788.78 should have been

appx. 52% savings

And of course, I've gota  stockpile trip in there...  Although it really wasn't a stockpile trip really - more of a get ready for Christmas next year trip and I spent $63.68, saving just over 50%.  I purchased items that will be used for presents as well as items to store the candies I make to give away.  Plus I splurged and got LeeAnn a pink stocking - just like she had asked for. 

So I still went over budget $12.44 (after taking the stockpile trip out) which isn't so bad in my opinion.  The crazy thing is - there was money leftover in the envelope.  We ONLY pull $75 a week to put into the envelope so I'm not quite sure how there was extra money in there when we went over budget slightly.  I'm guessing I'm either missing a receipt or I miscalculated something somewhere but I believe this is fairly accurate.

We also did really well on not having an extra trips to the store mid-week (which can add up quickly) and there was only the one "stockpile" trip too.  So only nine trips to the store in that four week period...pretty good if you ask me!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sunday coupon preview - 1/17 has two inserts (SS and P&G)

You'll find two inserts in Sunday's paper - one from Smart Source and one from Proctor and Gamble.  Go to The Coupon Clippers for all coupons listed.

And wouldn't you know it - there isn't a single coupon that I'm DYING to have.  Oh wait, I take that back - there is a Blistex coupon for $.35 which matched with a 10/$10 sale at Marsh could get me some $.30 Blistex ($1.00 - $.35 - $.35 (doubled) = $.30).  But I've probably got between six and 10 tubes right now so if I miss out on a few, no sweat for me!  Although the coupon doesn't expire until 3/31/10 which means I'm more likely to hit a sale with it...  Hmmmm - maybe this will be the time I decide to try The Coupon Clippers clipping service and just buy a few Blistex coupons.

Heck - I can get those for $.05 each and to save the $.70 would be worth it in my opinion...I'd normally pay $1.75 for the paper anyways so I could get 35 coupons for that price!  That would get me 35 tubes of Blistex for only $10.50 - now THAT sounds like a good idea to me!  Hmmmm...  I just might do it!  It'd give me another blog post too.  I'll have to sleep on this one - keep an eye out for a potential post about The Coupon Clippers and what coupons I bought!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 1/14 to 1/20

MEAT SALE!  There's a 1-day only meat sale at Marsh this week - what a great way to stock the freezer with meats for the next few weeks.

Meat sale - while quantities last!  Friday only!
Fresh ground beef - $1.18/lb (save $1.11, limit 10lbs)
Perdue boneless, skinless breasts - $1.57/lb (save $2.42/lb, limit 3packs)
Indiana Kitchen spiral sliced ham - $1.48/lb (save $1.51/lb)
USDA Choice beef tenderloin - $8.88/lb (save $3.11/lb)
Eckrich smoked sausage - $1.78 (save $2.21)
Purnell's roll sausge - $1.98 (save $1.91)
Marsh sliced bacon - $1.96 (save $1.03)
Bar S lunch meats - 2/$6 (save $2.98 on two)
Tyson chicken breast tenderloins (frozen) $4.99 (save $4.00)
Gorton's fish sticks - $3.99 (save $3.30)
Tiger Bay pollock filets (16oz) - $1.99 (save $2.00, limit 5)

And I just turned to the front page of the regular ad (the above is the one page "coat" that goes over the whole ad) and I want to blog the whole front page!  There is ANOTHER $5 off $50 coupon on the ad!  I think every single item on the front page is something I will buy.  Wow...  I hope I've got a bit of extra money to squeeze out somewhere for this stuff!
Brooks or Red Gold (beans/tomatoes) - 5/$5
24pk Food Club water - $1.99 (save $2.00 - CHEAP BOTTLED WATER!  Tap is better but if you need bottles - this is a great price!)
Boneless chuck roast - $1.98/lb (save $2.21/lb)
Perdue split breasts - $.88/lb (save $2.11/lb - makes for some yummy Buffalo Chicken!)
Frozen novelties (ice cream!) - 50% off
12pk Coke products - 4/$10 (save $8.76 on four or more)
Aunt Millie's bread or buns - B1G1 free
Betty Crocker potatoes - 5/$5 (combine with recent $.35 coupons - doubles to $.70 - for $.30 potatoes)
Wishbone dressing - $1.79
Del Monte Gold whole pineapple - $2.99 (save $1.00)

And one confusing thing...  On the back page there is a "4-day only Tailgate Specials" and it has 12pk Coke products 3/$9.  If you take $9.00 and divide it by three - that makes each 12pk $3.00, right?  So why not buy the 4/$10 and spend only $2.50 per 12pk?  Wouldn't that make more sense?  Maybe I'm misreading the ad somehow.

So, take it or leave it - this is the highlights for me this week!  Make sure to check the ad out yourself for your own bargains and to get that $5 off $50 coupon on the front page.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Do you "CVS"?

You know...take complete advantage of their Extra Care Buck (ECBs) system to get lots of free stuff and never have to pay for items like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, shaving cream, etc?  Did you know that you could use ECBs to get free stuff like that? 

I like to follow i heart cvs to keep on top of the upcoming sales ads (you can usually find them a week or two out so you know what coupons to keep for upcoming sales) and to make sure I'm maximizing my ECBs the best I can.

There are a few websites out there that blog about CVS as well - a few I've mentioned (Money Saving Mom and Bargain Briana) as well as some others like Keeping the Kingdom First who offers $5 CVS Challenges weekly to help you get great deals and maximize the ECBs you earn.

So - if you're interested in learning CVS and need a few places to go, make sure you check out i heart cvs and Keeping the Kingdom First.  The link below will take you to Alyssa's CVS Challenge for this week. 

Need a tutorial on CVS?  Check out MSM's CVS 101 tutorial on how to "CVS".

Monday, January 11, 2010

BOOK IT 2010

Ahhhh...there is nothing quite like the smell of a book to make a girl happy.  I went to the public library on Sunday (which might just become routine for us - it was so nice!) to get a few books and to let LeeAnn get some books and movies too. 

We've  I've recently decided to revamp the way LeeAnn goes to bed at night - partly because of Book It 2010 and partly because I felt like we were missing some much needed one-on-one time before bed.  Her normal bed time is 10:00 and while it is still lights out at 10:00 we head upstairs at 9:30 to get ready, read a book (or two or three) and sing a song (or two).  It's been so nice since we started (mid-last week) and we've read probably six or seven different books (all multiple times).  She always picks what I'd call "name brand" books - Caillou (yuck!), Barney, Blue's Clues, Princess, etc.  I always go behind her and pick some other books too - this time was a book about snow and the bunnies playing in it.  A very cute book!

LeeAnn also fell in love with Annie over Christmas vacation.  We watched it together one day and she's asked for it every day since then.  So I found it to borrow and since it was in the youth section - we can keep it for two weeks (instead of overnight).  We've watched it once already...  I'm guessing we'll see it a few more times in the next 13 days.  We also rented Annie Jr!  The children's theater did Annie Jr a few years ago and the theater department always films the plays so we'll be checking that out Friday night probably.

Once she was all done I decided to head downstairs to find some book love for me.  After Brian and I finished FPU I found a list of recommended reads from Dave Ramsey and chose a couple books off that list to find.  I was looking for Marx's "The Long Snapper" and Max Lucado's "Fearless".  I found "The Long Snapper" and it looks like an EXCELLENT read.  I also picked up Amy Dacyzcyn's "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" - money saving at it's best!  I don't think I'll ever be able to give up my paper towel and I don't think I'll wash and reuse aluminum foil, but I'm hoping to learn a few things at least. 

To round out my reading list for the next few weeks is James Patterson's books that include the character Alex Cross.  I received a new Alex Cross book for Christmas and want to start at the beginning before I start this new one...

Book It 2010 is well under way for me!

A random Marsh trip for some essentials...

We were so close to being out of toilet paper on Saturday night it wasn't even funny.  And to top it all off - we were completely out of milk (and had been since Thursday!).  So I ran to Marsh real quick (alone - ahhhhh) and bought enough to get me over $25 so I could use the second $5 off $25 coupon I had received last weekend on my receipt.

I bought:

2 gallons Marsh milk was $5.38 for $4.58 (not great savings at all but you gotta have milk!)
2 12pk Charmin was $18.56 for $12.98
2 6pk Bounty select-a-size paper towel (because I'm a paper towel fiend) was $18.96 for $11.98

And of course that awesome $5 off $25 was thrown in there.  So before card and coupons (for the paper towel) my total should have been $45.53 but I paid $26.32 out of pocket, saving $18.36 and a whopping 43% (which is pretty darn good - thank you Marsh computer for that coupon!). 

I bought 6 items which means $4.39 was my price per item.  OUCH!

My Marsh Mega Event shopping trip

Was awesome!  I love Marsh.  Have I ever put that on this blog anywhere?  I'm not sure if I have...  Well, here is why I love Marsh this week.

1 Pillsbury crescent roll was $1.96 for $.89 (not my best price but still good!)
3 Kraft Philly cream cheese was $5.97 for $1.97 (only $.66 each)
3 3ct Orville Redenbacher's Sweet & Buttery popcorn (YUM!) was $11.04 for $2.07 (only $.69 each)
2 Honey Nut Cheerios was $6.38 for $1.98 (my goal price of less than $1.00 per box!)
1 Fiber One muffin mix was $3.55 for $1.49
1 Quaker quick oats was $2.88 for $.99
4 Ritz crackers was $13.12 for $3.96 (only $.99 each)
4 Nature Valley nut clusters was $15.56 for $3.96 (only $.99 each)
4 Velveeta shells and cheese was $7.00 for $3.96
6 Zesta saltines was $19.08 for $3.90 (only $.65 each)
1 Oscar Mayer lunchable was $2.19 for $.79

Along with:
1 Daisy cottage cheese was $3.99 for $2.34
2 Soft Soft Ensembles bases was $6.58 for $1.89
3 Tyson Hickory bacon was $14.97 for $5.97 (only $1.99/lb bacon)

And of course the staples like milk, bread, fresh fruits and veggies, ice cream ('cause that's a staple that just happened to be 50% off!) and yogurt added into that bill.

So all said and done I would have spent $161.92 before card and coupons.  Then I swiped my card which saved me $58.63 plus $15.00 for the three sets of Mega Event 10-item things I purchased.  Then I handed over my coupons which included the $5.00 off $50 in the ad AND $5 off $25 that I received on my receipt last Saturday.  And then I gave my manufacturer coupons and saved another $29.95 for a total of $58.29 spent and a grand total savings of $106.88 which is 65% savings.

I purchased 53 items for a $1.09 per item price.

And THAT is why I *love* Marsh.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sunday coupon preview - 1/11 has two inserts

You'll find a Smart Source and a Red Plum insert in this weekend's papers!  Go to Hot Coupon World or The Coupon Clippers for full insert information.

From the Smart Source insert I'm looking at:
Mission Tortillas, $0.75 
PediaSure 6-pack product, $2.00 (for a friend - if you have extras, please pass them this way so I can get them to her!)
Peter Pan (on two), $0.50 (which will match up nicely with the current Marsh sale)
Post-It Brand NOTES, $1.00 on any
Post-It Brand Product, $1.00 on any

From the Red Plum insert I'm looking at:
Aunt Millie’s Fiber for Life Bread, $.55 on any 1

Aunt Millie’s Healthy Goodness Bread, $.50 on any 1
Quaker Rice and Multigrain Snack, $.75 on any 1 (could make for $.25 snacks at Kroger!)

And that's it for me.  Sometimes the coupons don't rock my world very much.  I might even buy a paper this week!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 1/7 to 1/13

*LALALALALALALA*  I love Marsh!  Marsh seriously rocks my grocery geek self!!!  I opened the ad today and was thisclose to jumping up and down.

So what am I excited about?  The Mega Sale they have going on PLUS the $5 off of $50 coupon on the front page of the ad.  HELLO lots of cheap items for my pantry.  I can't wait to sit down, comb through my coupons and make up my shopping list.  My Friday evening is planned!

Never seen a Mega Sale?  It is a lot like Kroger's Mega Events...  If you buy 10 items (from a certain pre-determined list of products) you automatically get $5 off at the register.  So - the price in the ad shows their price (sometimes the regular price, sometimes a sale price) plus the $.50 off (the $5/10 items = $.50 off each item) for a final price.  I'll be posting both the price and the final price - the price might not be so good but the final price (the extra $.50 off) might make it all worthwhile.

Mega Sale items (I've listed all of these sale items)
Lunchables - $1.29, final price $.79 (great for quick snacks in the afternoon) - save $.90
Kraft Mac and Cheese dinners - $1.49, final price $.99
Kraft Cheese (check ad for specifics) - $1.99, final price $1.49
Tombstone 12" pizzas - $2.99, final price $2.49
Kraft 14oz to 16oz dressings - $2.49, final price $1.99
Keebler or Nabisco (check ad for specifics - includes Triscuits, Wheat Thins, etc) - $2.49, final price $1.99
Zesta Saltines - $1.49, final price $.99
Chips Deluxe cookies - $1.99, final price $1.49
6-pack Jello - $2.49, final price $1.99
24oz Kraft Miracle Whip - $2.49, final price $1.99
Healthy Choice dinners - $1.99, final price $1.49
Healthy Choice or Progresso soups - $1.49, final price $.99
Quaker Life cereals - $2.49, final price $1.99
General Mills cereal - $2.49, final price $1.99
Tropicana orange juice - $2.99, final price $2.49
Peter Pan - $1.99, final price $1.49
Nature Valley bars - $2.49, final price $1.99
Kraft cheese (7oz to 8oz sliced deli) - $2.49, final price $1.99
Green Giant veggies - $1.49, final price $.99
Kraft Cream Cheese - $1.49, final price $.99
Orville Redenbacher's - $1.99, final price $1.49
Pillsbury Crescent rolls - $1.89, final price $1.39
Healthy Choice or Marie Callender's - $2.49, final price $1.99
Jet-Puffed Marshmellows - $1.49, final price $.99
Dole Juice blends - $2.99, final price $2.49
Bull's-Eye BBQ - $1.49, final price $.99
Bisquick baking mix, GM Fiber One Muffins - $2.99, final price $2.49
Quaker Oats - $1.49, final price $.99
Swiss Miss Cocoa - $1.49, final price $.99
Quaker Oat Squares - $1.99, final price $1.49
Egg Beaters or Yoplait Smoothies - $2.49, final price $1.99
Breakstone's Sour Cream or Yoplait Yogurt - $1.49, final price $.99
Crystal Light - $1.99, final price $1.49
Fleishcmann's - $1.49, final price $.99
Nabisco cookies or Planters peanuts - $2.49, final price $1.99
Yoplait Yogurt - $1.99, final price $1.49

What else looks good? Everything! No but really - here is what I'll be checking out for sure:

Boneless Rump or Round roast - $1.98/lb (save $2.21/lb - more than 50%)
Boneless Top Round London Broil or Round Steak - $2.48/lb (save $2.51/lb - more than 50%)
Combo Pork Chops, Ribs and Roast - $.98/lb (save $1.51/lb - more than 50%)
jumbo bunch broccoli - $.97 (save $1.02 - more than 50%)
Vine Ripe or Red Roma tomatoes - $.99/lb (save $1/lb - 50% off)
Perdue whole chicken - $.68/lb (save $1.01/lb - more than 50%)
Hostess Multi-Pack snacks - $1.99 (save $2.00 - 50% off)
10lb Idaho Russet potatoes - $1.77 (save $2.22 - more than 50%)
Marsh bread - $.78 (save $.71 - almost 50% off)
Tyson sliced Hickory Smoked Bacon - $1.99 (save $3.00 - more than 50% off) LIMIT 3
Tiger Bay Shrimp - B1G1 free (save $11.98 on two - 50% off)
Marsh or Breyers ice cream - B1G1 free (50% off)
Mayer Bros apple cider - $2.99 (not a great price but better than the normal $4.99)

And I know there are coupon match-ups out there that will increase my savings on these deals.  PLUS there is that $5 off $50 coupon on the front of the ad.  Don't forget to grab an ad as you walk in the door!

Book It 2010

So, long before I read on Life as Mom or Organizing Your Way about resolutions (or goals) for the new year I had decided that I needed to get back to reading more. I am a reader. I am. I love to read. I'll read anything that sits still long enough for me to read it. Cereal box while eating breakfast? Check. Shampoo bottles while enjoying a warm lazy shower? Check. The little cards in the back pocket of airplane seats? Check. A good (and even a not so good) book? Check. I read it all...

Just before Christmas I realized that I hadn't set foot in the library in probably two months and it had been just as long since I'd read a book. Now, I'd done some reading here and there (you know - the backs of those cereal boxes and all) but nothing to truly quench my thirst for reading. So I had decided that I NEEDED to get back to reading.

When we kept LeeAnn in Story Hour monthly, we'd hit the library every week (for her to attend class) but with preschool two days a week and dance one day a week - we thought throwing Story Hour in there weekly might be much for the poor girl...she is only four! And so while she has done some Story Hour since the new school year started, she's done the early morning class (so Daddy gets to take her) and Mommy gets jipped on the book scene.

And then I read Organizing Your Way's post about reading more in 2010 and thought, yeah...I really need to get on it! And THEN Life as Mom had to post about BOOK IT 2010 and I knew then that my thoughts on reading more were going to become a reality.

So here are my reasonings and goals for BOOK IT 2010:

I want to read for a variety of reasons...
  • I want to read for pleasure. I LOVE TO READ. LOVE IT. Seriously. When I was younger and would disobey my parents...instead of being grounded or having the phone taken away from me - my mom would take away my books. It was pure torture to my little heart and it didn't take but two or three times of that for me to get my butt in gear and not let it happen again.
  • I want to read for personal growth. Brian and I have recently gone through Financial Peace University and after reading FPU Revisted and Total Money Makeover (the book that got us all started), I've decided that I'd like to continue reading (and rereading) Ramsey's teachings to keep me on the right path.
  • I want to read for my family. I try to keep the house clean (well, I do try!) and watch our purse strings but I know there are books out there that can help me on this subject. I have heard of one - The Complete Tightwad Gazette - that sounds like it has some very good info in it. And I guess there are actually three separate books but the Complete one has all three books bound together. 
  • I want to read more with LeeAnn. We used to read a book every night before bed (and I'd sing her a song too) but somehow (sometime - not even sure when) we got away from it and I miss it. I'm not sure if she misses it as much as I do but she's asked recently if we can read before bed. It means starting the bedtime routine a bit earlier but I think it'll be good for her (and me too).
  • And if I can squeeze in some books on photography (what I love) and God (where I want to grow) then I think I'll have a nice, rounded-out reading list.
How to I plan on completing this? My first thought was a book a week. But here it is...almost a full week into the new year and I haven't even hit the library yet. So - I've considered making my goal to read 52 books this year (just not one a week). There are times (on vacation, when I'm sick) that I can put away two or three books in a week so maybe 52 per year is a better way to go. But what if I can't do it? What happens if I hit a reading slump again and don't touch a book for months? All of these thoughts and ideas have led me to say I'm going to read what I can, when I can and I'm going to keep track of them too. Whether I blog them here or just keep a paper and pen list at home, I'm going to track every book I read (well, minus LeeAnn's books because we do a lot of rereading the same books).

So, here I go. BOOK IT 2010!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I found a new blog that I think I'm gonna love...

I can't remember now where I first found the link to Organizing Your Way but in just the last few days (maybe just the last three days) I have loved every post she has had...  I even went back to some of her older posts and enjoyed them too.  She has motivated me to make 2010 a better year for me and in family too.

This month she is posting 31 days of ways better your self...  If you need a little push to maybe get your head going in the right direction, then check her out.

31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010

I can't wait to continue reading her blog and seeing what else she can push me to better myself on.

I'm going to BOOK IT in 2010!

Come back tomorrow to see how I plan on BOOKing IT in 2010.

Want to join in the fun?  Go visit Life as Mom for more details.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Weekly shopping - first trip of 2010

I hit Marsh up this weekend with a friend who wanted to see how I did my grocery shopping.  She really does a lot of what I do already so her trip turned out pretty good.  My trip was really good too - I didn't have too much to buy though. 

2 Cascade dishwasher detergents was $11.18 for $5.59 (50% off)
5 Lipton sides was $6.50 for $5.00
Perdue boneless skinless chicken breasts was $28.26 for $12.54

Plus the normal weekly stuff like bread (for $1) and buns (for $.30) along with milk and yogurt and that ended my list.

All said before card and coupon (only one!) the total was $56.94 and afterwards I only paid $28.30, saved 51%.

I bought 16 items for a price of $1.78 per item.  And since this is the first trip of the year - my savings to date is a whopping $28.64!

The BEST part of it all!?!?  I got TWO (yes two!) $5 off $25 coupons on my receipt.  I seriously jumped up and down when Karen told me I got two of them.  That's some awesome savings.  And the best way to work it?  Make two trips - just over $25 each use both coupons to maximize my savings.  Yay!