Monday, May 31, 2010

And our regular weekly Marsh trip built the stockpile some too...

1 8roll Bounty was $10.28 for $5.99
1 Bounty napkin was $3.69 for $2.49
1 12roll Charmin Ultra was $9.18 for $5.99
6 1lb+ packs ground chuck was $24.31 for $13.89
4 12pk Mountain Dew was $20.36 for $10.00
2 Kraft 100cal cheese snacks was $5.98 for $2.00
4 Sweet Baby Rays dipping sauces was $15.32 for $6.67
1 Lawry's marinade was $3.29 for $.98
1 Aunt Millie's bread was $2.99 for $1.45
1 Aunt Millie's buns was $2.69 for $.44
3 Keebler Wheatable nut crackers was $11.37 for $3.47
1 Mach3 8ct razor blade was $19.98 for $9.99 (50% off - closeout)
1 Azteca (?) flour tortilla was $3.19 for $1.00

Along with milk, pasta, sour cream, eggs, lunch meat and some fresh fruit and veggies we spent a total of $93.37 - almost $20.00 over budget!  But we knew going into this weekend that we were going to do some big time stockpiling and that's what we did.  We saved $73.54 or 45% - so not too shabby.  Yes, we went over budget but we got several items that we use regularly that we shouldn't need for some time now. 

I went to the basement last night for a couple things and was like WHOA - look at our shelves!  It was nice to be able to go to the basement and get everything we needed for the dinner we had planned from the freezer/shelves and not have to scramble to go to the store for food.  THAT and the fact that we save so much money is why we stockpile!

So, uh...we did some stockpiling this weekend!

In four different trips to Walmart we came home with:

4 solar salt for the water softener
12 40oz Heinz ketchup was $29.04 for $12.00
6 Kraft mayo was $14.94 for $11.82
1 24pk Sprite was $6.42 ("normal" Walmart price) for $3.96 (priced matched to Meijer)
7 24pk Coke Zero was $44.94 for $27.72
2 24pk Mountain Dew was $12.84 for $7.92

Along with some new plastic cups ($.25 per cup), pancake mix and syrup, paper plates, Malt-O-Meal cereal and Kraft dressing (on sale and had coupons).

In those four trips we spent $103.39 and used money from savings to do so...  I'm guessing we saved around $50.00 or so - so about 33% we saved.  It was nothing spectacular but we thought the deal on Coke/Pepsi products was pretty darn good so we decided to stock up on it now.  Brian's thinking that should last us six months or so. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kroger ad highlights - 5/27 to 6/2

Just looking at the front page of the Kroger ad is making me very happy!

Ground chuck - $1.67/lb (3lb or larger)
Tyson boneless, skinless breasts or tenderloins - $1.89/lb
Kroger cheese - 4/$5
Tostitos or Lays - $1.88 (woohoo!)
Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ - 10/$10
Betty Crocker Cake mix or Martha White muffin mix - 10/$10
Betty Crocker brownie mix or Cool Whip topping - 10/$10
Kraft salad dressing - 2/$3
Miracle Whip - $2.19

Okay, so really - it was just the front page that excited me but I'll be hitting them up for a few things at least!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 5/27 through 6/2

Check it out!  Marsh has got the Memorial Day sale goin' on!

Fresh ground beef - $1.68/lb (save $.81/lb) - buy 3 Kraft Singles (3/$4.98) and save $1.00 on ground beef
Fresh ground chuck - $1.99/lb (save $1.41/lb)
In-husk, bi-color, white or yellow corn - 10(ears)/$2 (save $4.70 on 10 ears)
12-pack Pepsi, Coke, 7-Up products - 4/$10 (save $8.76 or more)
  • Western style - $1.68/lb (save $.71/lb)
  • Spareribs - $1.98/lb (save $1.01/lb)
  • St Louis style spareribs - $2.98/lb (save $.51/lb)
  • Pork baby backribs - $3.98/lb (save $1.01/lb)
  • Country style pork ribs - $1.98/lb (save $1.01/lb)
  • Lloyd's baby backribs - $13.99 (save $3.00)
Aunt Millie's buns or bread - $.99 (save $1.70 or more)
Kraft cheese (shredded, cubes, 100 cal. pack, chunk) - 2/$4 (save $1.98 or more on two)
8-Piece deli fried chicken - $4.99 (save $2.00)
Lay's potato chips - 2/$4 (save $3.98 on two)
Oscar Mayer bologna - B1G1 FREE
Sweet Baby Ray's sauces - B1G1 FREE (sweet - the honey mustard and sweet & sour dipping sauces are great!!!)
Margaritaville seafood entrees - B1G1 FREE (save $6.99 on two)
Tiger Bay tilapia - B1G1 FREE (save $5.99 on two)
Sara Lee deli meats - $5.99/lb (save $1.70/lb)
Kraft mayo or Miracle Whip - $2.49
StarKist tuna (pouches) - 10/$10
Country Time lemonade mix - B1G1 FREE
Gatorade - 10/$10
Heluva Good! dip - 2/$3 (match with recent $.75 coupons for $.75 dip)
Pop Secret - B1G1 FREE
Nabisco, Keebler, Kellogg's crackers and cookies (select) - $1.99
Charmin - $6.49
Bounty paper towels - $6.49

And there are several coupon match-ups out there...Aunt Millie's, Lloyds, Sweet Baby Rays, StarKist tuna, Pop Secret, select Keeber/Nabisco/Kellogg's, Charmin, Bounty - just be on the lookout for them!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our customary weekly shopping trip at Marsh...

3 Food Club shredded cheese was $8.07 for $5.04
1 Green Giant steamers was $1.99 for $.20
1 Marsh egg was $1.59 for -$.12 (yep, got paid for the eggs!)
2 Kraft Nut Crisp crackers was $7.58 for $2.98
9 Hamburger Helper was $14.67 for $2.16
4 Cocoa Pebbles was $11.96 for $4.64
2 Mission tortilla shells was $6.38 for $2.00
1 Aunt Millie's slim sandwiches was $2.99 for $1.84
1 Snuggle fabric softener was $4.69 for $.49
1 Fritos scoops was $2.99 for $1.48
1 Fritos jalepeno cheese dip was $2.79 for $1.48

Total spent: 68.64
Total saved: 57.20
Percentage: 46%


Sunday, May 23, 2010

I made a quick trip to Kroger for my momma the other day...

This summer she is watching all three kids (my one and my brother's two) and so she's been stocking up on ice cream pops, snacky treats and other little things. 

10 Kroger ice cream sandwiches was $22.90 for $10.00

I spent $10.00 and saved $12.90 - which is 56%.  Not too bad and she pays me back - even better!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

And my CVS prescription cards have come in very handy again!

I've mentioned before that thanks to the "fill a new prescription and get a $25 gift card", I've been able to get some good deals at CVS.  There was the Almay make-up deal, make-up and body wash deal, the Tostitos deal and the Diet Dew deal.  These four trips have netted me lots of Diet Dew, Tostitos, make-up and body wash.  Today's trip?  More body wash!  And it only took me two transactions...

Transaction #1
3 Dawn dish soap (Hand Renewal) was $5.97 for $1.00 ($1.99 each - $1.15 (12/$10 sale item) - $.50 P&G coupon for each)
3 Nivea "Touch of Shimmer" body wash (for women) was $17.97 for $2.97 ($5.99 each - $1.00 (sale price) - $4.00 coupon for each)

Total out of pocket (well, off the prescription gift card):  $5.19
Total saved:  $19.97
Received $5 ECB for purchasing $15 in Nivea products

Transaction #2
3 Nivea body wash (for men) was $14.97 for $2.97 ($4.99 each - $1.00 (sale price) - $3.00 coupon for each)
1 Nivea lip gloss (I wasn't sure the total above was going to make it for the "spend $15 get $5 ECB deal") was $2.99 (no sale, no coupon)

Used $5 ECB from Transaction #1
Total out of pocket (again used prescription gift card):  $2.01
Total saved:  $17.00
Received $5 ECB for purchasing $15 in Nivea products

So all said, I spent $7.20 on my gift card, left with $5 ECBs and purchased six body wash, three dish soap and a lip gloss.  I didn't make any money but really, I saved a lot - like just over 81% savings.  I love it.

Balance on this gift card:  $10.01 (this is the second of four $25 gift cards)

Today was a GOOD day for some deals...

I knew on Thursday that I was going to hit up Marsh today before work because they were having a one-day only meat sale...  The last time I went after work (around 1:00pm) they were OUT of almost everything.  So I got myself up early today and was at Marsh by 8:15am.  I bought:

6 2.5lb+ Perdue boneless skinless breasts was $71.40 for $26.75
6 Purnell roll sausage was $23.34 for $11.88
6 Eckrich smoked sausage was $23.94 for $11.88
2 Hormel pork loin filets was $19.98 for $9.96

My total before my card scanned was $138.66 - that's almost two weeks worth of groceries!  After my card (no coupons) my total was $60.47 - I saved $78.19 or 56%.  And we've got a LOT of meat to last us for several weeks at least!  As always, I love Marsh.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ooo! Ooo! Marsh is having a one day meat sale!

Saturday morning - if you're needing to stock the meat freezer, you better get yourself to Marsh!  They are having a one day meat sale and it is THIS Saturday!  When I did my preview last night this wasn't with the online ads, I didn't know about it until I got to work this morning and saw the actual ad!  Here's the whole sale!

Perdue bonless skinless chicken breasts - $1.58/lb (save $2.62/lb, limit six)
Whole boneless ribeye - $4.88/lb (save $3.11/lb) - these are 14lb to 15lb cry-vac packages - can be sliced for free
Boneless ribeye steak - $6.98/lb (save $5.01/lb)
Hormel Always Tender pork loin filet - $4.98 (save $5.01)
Sugardale Prestige ham steak - $2.49/lb (save $1.00/lb)
Food Club bratwurst or italian sausage - $2.99 (save $1.00)
Marsh sliced bacon - 2/$5 (save $.98 on two)
Bar S franks - $.79 (save $.90)
Bar S thin slicked lunch meats - 2/$6 (save $2.98 on two)
Eckrich smoked sausage or Purnell's roll sausage - $1.98 (save $2.01 on Eckrich and $1.91 on Purnell's)

This is all while quantities last (which means no rain checks) so get there early!

PS - I just realized every punctuation in this post is an exclamation point!  :)

A quick book review...

So, not this last Booking It 2010 update on Life as Mom but the one prior to that, someone linked up and reviewed The Reserve: A Novel by Russell Banks.  It sounded like a good book so I picked it up.  And then spent the last three weeks struggling to get through it.  It was a fiction novel set in the 1930's but for some reason, I couldn't keep that thought in my head.  I kept thinking it was a more current setting until I'd get to a section about the Hindenburg or something like that.  And four or five times through the book there were short sections (maybe two pages) that were in an italicized font and I have no clue how those sections related to the rest of the book.  I know, strange. 

So - I finished the book.  I'm not normally one to sit a book down without finishing it.  I know for sure that this is a book that I'll never pick up again.  It just wasn't that good to me.  I did note that Russell Banks wrote other books (listed in the front of the novel) and wondered if they were any better (or worse) but didn't take the time at the library tonight to even check one out.

On my list next is a book by Eileen Goudge called Stranger in Paradise.  I read her book Woman in Red last year (maybe the year before?) and another by her (but the title is failing me now) and LOVED Woman in Red.  The second one was good but not as good as the first.  So I'm holding out high hopes for this one!
I've also got two Karen Kingsbury novels - Waiting for Morning and Moment of Weakness.  I think I've read the first one - at least, reading the flap sounded familiar but I don't remember how it ended so I picked it up again.  The other one is the second one in her Forever Faithful series.

I also put a request in for James Patterson's Pop Goes the Weasel, the next book in the Alex Cross series.  I had grabbed one of his books last week when I was there (Where the Wind Blows) but it wasn't an Alex Cross book so I took it back (I read it a long time ago - just like I have all his other books).

And I'm still on the waiting list for The Help by Kathryn Stockett (another recommendation from a LifeasMom link).  I can't wait to get my hands on it.  So for now - I'm off to read Eileen's Stranger in Paradise.

Oh yeah - anyone ever read Robert Parker?  The librarian suggested him but when I read about a character in multiple books, I want to start at the beginning and I wasn't sure which to pick up first so I decided to do some research first.  But - if anyone has read him...good, bad, indifferent?

Be on the look-out for two inserts this weekend!

Thanks to The Coupon Clippers I know there are two inserts this weekend - one from Smart Source and one from Valassis (Red Plum).  I'm actually pretty excited about several coupons in this weeks inserts - there are quite a few that match up with the sales at Marsh and Kroger.  That's my kinda insert!

Here are links to previews at The Coupon Clippers:

Smart Source

Valassis (Red Plum)

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Free samples in the mail

Recently Crystal over at Money Saving Mom asked if signing up for free samples is worth the time and effort? 

I've only recently begun to sign up for free samples myself and have decided I agree with Crystal...  YES!  It is very worth signing up for free samples in the mail.

Just today I received a P&G Brand Sampler in the mail that included two Cascade ActionPacs and a 1.7 fl oz Pantene shampoo and conditioner.

Who doesn't love free stuff in the mail?  And make it free stuff that I use (which is all I sign up for)!?  As a bargain shopper - I LOVE it.  The Cascade is going under the sink for when I need it and the sample bottles of Pantene go into a box upstairs that I use to pack in our overnight bags and camping gear for when we are headed away from home - they are small, lightweight and can even be refilled after they are empty!

And that was just what I got today.  In the last few weeks I've gotten free samples from Axe and Dove for Men (body wash) and Caress body wash.  All for ten seconds of filling out some lines on a website.  And sometimes I've heard that samples even come with coupons - hello!?  That's my kinda sample!
So - what about you?  Do you sign up for free samples?  What kind of things have you received?

Random book review...

Who Moved my Cheese? by Spencer Johnson MD was a book required by my employer to be read. If there is one thing I hate about reading (yeah, me - who LOVES reading) it is being told that I have to read a certain book. We were actually requested to do this the last Tuesday in April - so like the 27th or so and I just today picked up this book and read it.

It was a VERY quick read (I read it in less than an hour in between helping customers and some chit-chat with co-workers) and I can see why the President asked us to read it.

The inside flap reads, "Who Moved my Cheese? is a simple parable that reveals profound truths about change. It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a "Maze" and look for "Cheese" to nourish them and make them happy. ... "Cheese" is a metaphor for what you want to have in life - whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, health or spiritual peace of mind. And "The Maze" is where you look for what you want - the organization you work in or the family or community you live in."

Four characters - Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw are in the maze looking for cheese. While Hem and Haw become complacent with the cheese in one section, Sniff and Scurry make sure to constantly be ready for change. Once the cheese is gone, so are Sniff and Scurry looking for new cheese...Hem and Haw, not so much though. Eventually though Haw realizes he's gonna have to look for more cheese and does. Hem - well, he doesn't ever do anything but what he's always done. Needless to say - he's not so well at the end of the story.

And the writing on the wall? It says -
* Having cheese makes you happy.
* The more important your cheese is to you the more you want to hold on to it.
* If you do not change, you can become extinct.
* What would you do if you weren't afraid?
* Smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old.
* Movement in a new direction helps you find new cheese.
* When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.
* Imagining myself enjoying new cheese even before I find it, leads me to it.
* The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you find new cheese.
* It is safer to search in the maze than remain in a cheeseless situation.
* Old beliefs do not lead you to new cheese.
* When you see that you can find and enjoy new cheese, you change course.
* Noticing small changes early helps you to adapt to the bigger changes that are to come.
* Change happens - they keep moving the cheese; Anticipate change - get ready for the cheese to move; Monitor change - smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old; Adapt to change quickly - the quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese; Change - move with the cheese; Enjoy change! - savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese!; Be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again and again - they keep moving the cheese.
* Move with the cheese and enjoy it!

So - what's your cheese? Is it time to change it or look for new? If you're struggling at work or at home with your cheese, I would recommend this easy, quick read!

Marsh ad highlights - 5/20 to 5/26

What a good week at Marsh!  I'm really looking forward to sitting down with the ad, my coupon binder and our wants/needs/menu list to get it all figured out! 

Perdue split chicken breasts - $.98/lb (save $2.01/lb, limit three)
Marsh cheese - $1.68
Vine ripe or Red Roma tomatoes - $.99/lb (save up to $2.00/lb)
Van Camp's Pork and Beans - $.48 (save $.41 or more, limit eight)
Marsh dozen large eggs - $.88 (save $.61 or more)
Marsh milk - 2/$4 (save $.98 on two)
Hamburger Helper (Buy 10, save $5) - final price $.49
Boneless English roast - $2.48/lb (save $2.01/lb)
Land O'Frost lunch meats - B1G1 FREE
Tiger Bay cocktail shrimp - B1G1 FREE
Kraft parmesan cheese - $2.99
Post cereals - 3/$4.98
Wonder bread - B1G1 FREE
Red Gold salsa - B1G1 FREE
Betty Crocker fruit snacks, Brownie mix or Yoplait Yogurt (Buy 10, save $5) - final price $1.49
Betty Crocker specialty potatoes or Suddenly Salad (Buy 10, save $5) - final price $.49
Pillsbury bread or Yoplait yogurt (Buy 10, save $5) - final price $.49
Yoplait Smoothies, Bugles, Chex Mix or Gardetto's (Buy 10, save $5) - final price $1.99
Green Giant Valley Fresh steamers (YES!!!) (Buy 10, save $5) - final price $.99
Totino's pizza rolls (Buy 10, save $5) - final price $6.49
Powerade Sports drinks - 10/$10
Rice a Roni or Pasta Roni - 10/$10
Good Seasons salad dressings - 10/$10
Jet-Puffed marshmellows - 10/$10
Kool-Aid Bursts or Burstin' Waters - 10/$10
Kraft Easy Mac or Velveeta Shells - 10/$10
Jell-O pudding or gelatin - 10/$10
Glaceau Vitamin water - 10/$10
McCormick Grill Mates - 10/$10
Tropicana drinks - 10/$10
Montagne Jeunesse - 10/$10 (face masks)
Aunt Millie's bread/buns - $1.19
Orville Redenbacher's - B1G1 FREE (match with recent $.40 coupon to get some cheap microwave popcorn)
Wish-Bone dressing - $1.79 (the Western flavor is great for cold taco salad!)
All laudnry detergent or Snuggle fabric softener - $3.49 (still - if you've got $2.00 All or $3.00 Snuggle better get to Marsh!)
Wet Ones - B1G1 FREE
St Ives - B1G1 FREE
1lb strawberries - 2/$5 (save $2.98 on two)
Del Monte gold pineapples - $2.99 (save $1.00)

I'm looking forward to some cheap Hamburger Helper, Steamers and Orville Redenbacher popcorn - and by cheap I mean mere cents!  I'll share my deals on Monday evening - you should share yours too!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weekly grocery trip to Marsh

We hit Marsh in the midst of our shopping spree on Sunday...  Here's what I got:

1 Tyson boneless, skinless frozen breast tenderloins was $8.99 for $4.98
2 gallons Marsh milk was $5.38 for $4.00
2 Wavy Lays was $7.98 for $4.00
4 4pk DelMonte diced peaches was $11.56 for $5.00 (I think - due to having rain checks I don't have the actual price on these - I'm thinking $2.89 is about normal...which will throw off my final savings)
6 Stokely's canned carrots was $6.30 for $3.00 (also had rain checks for these - which will throw off my final savings)
4 Creamette pastas (spaghetti and elbow) was $6.76 for $4.00
4 Armour meatballs was $15.16 for $7.80

Total spent was 56.84, total saved (receipt says) $25.62 or 31%. My actual savings was more like $35.48 or 38% savings.

Two quick trips over the weekend

resulted in some okay deals for me. 

Marsh on Saturday
1 Aunt Millie's buns was $2.69 for 1.39

Total spent was $1.39, saved $1.30 or 48%.

Walmart on Sunday
1 Pepsi 2lt (per my dad's request) was $1.38
3 24pk Coke Zero was $20.94 for $15.00

Total spent was $17.53 and we saved $6.94 which is about 28% savings.

Monday, May 17, 2010

So I had all of my posts for today prepped

and then left them at work.  So, my weekend deal posts won't go up until tomorrow when I get home from work.  For now though, I have to share about my fabulous deal from Graveyard Mall.

I first found this website a couple months ago - I can't remember which of my regular websites first mentioned the sight but it had to be Money Saving Mom or Bargain Briana

I've been watching daily (sometimes multiple times a day as the deals change!) for a mens 10ct sunglasses deal to go up again, which was the deal that took me to the website in the first place (which it hasn't). 

In the meantime though, I ordered a 10ct of girls sunglasses for $9.99 plus S&H (total ended up being $15.98).  It was just a random pull - you got whatever they put in the box.  We got Barbie, Bratz (UGH!  I'm scratching the name off the sides of those!), Dora, and a few brandless pair.

And since then there has been a 10ct womens sunglasses deal.  Again, the price was $9.99 plus the cost of shipping and handling (for another total of $15.98) and the ship date was like two weeks out from when I placed the order.  We got an email on the ship date though saying they were shipping and I finally got them just the end of this past week!

The ten pairs I got include:
Revlon ($17.99 CVS tag)
Revlon ($17.99 CVS tag)
Velvet ($24.99 CVS tag)
Gloria Vanderbilt ($29.99 CVS tag)
Velvet ($24.99 CVS tag)
Solargenics ($24.00 generic tag)
Revlon ($16.99 CVS tag)
Gloria Vanderbilt ($29.99 CVS tag)
Panama Jack ($12.00 Walmart tag)
super generic blue metal frame, blue lense cheapies - no tag, no price

So, the total could have been $198.93 (plus the generic blue cheapies) plus whatever tax I would have had to pay...even if I had purchased them all at CVS and used ECBs to get them for 50% off (my usual average for savings at CVS) I would have paid close to $100 but I only paid $15.98.  And for the two pair I won't ever wear (the blue generic cheapies and one of the pairs of the Velvet brand - they are HUGE) I'm still paying only $15.98 for eight pairs of glasses - that's $2.00 per pair!  I'm LOVING this deal! 

If you are interested...make sure you check Graveyard Mall often - at least daily because the deals do change!  Good luck!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Be on the look out for two inserts this Sunday, 4/16

There will be a Valassis (Red Plum) and a Smart Source (be sure to check the second page of listings with the SS insert).  Thanks to The Coupon Clippers for their listings!

I was hoping for some Heinz ketchup coupons and some Mentos coupons - we're about out!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 5/13 through 5/19‏

Looks like another Eckrich Truckload Sale this next week at Marsh!

Smoked Sausage - 2/$5 (save $2.98 on two)
Smok-Y-Links - 2/$4 (save $2.58 on two)
Variety pack - 2/$6 (save $2.98 on two)
Olive, Honey, Pickle & Pimento or Old Fashion Loaf, Franks or Bologna - B1G1 FREE (must be same kind as purchased - save $2.99 to $3.29 on two)

As for the rest of the ad:
Armour Meatballs - 2/$5 (save $2.58 on two) - match with recent $.55 coupons to get a bag for $1.95
Boneless Rump or Round roast - $1.98/lb (save $2.21/lb)
Western Style pork ribs - $1.18/lb (save $1.01/lb)
Food Club cheese - $1.68
2lb strawberries - $3.98 (save $2.01)
Marsh bread or buns - 10/$10 (save $3.90 or more on ten)
various ice cream and novelties - 2/$5 (save $2.98 or more on two)
Lay's potato chips - 2/$4 (save $3.98 on two)
Post Honey Bunches of Oats - $1.88 (save $1.60)
Marsh gallon milk - 2/$4 (save $.98 on two)
Tyson frozen chicken breasts 2.5lb bag - $4.98 (save $4.01)
Velveeta - $4.49 > get dozen Marsh large eggs FREE
Shamrock Farms or Dean's milk - 5/$5
Kellogg's cereals - 3/$4.98
Montgomery Inn barbecue sauce - B1G1 FREE
Thomas' Original English muffins - B1G1 FREE
Creamette pasta - 4/$5
StarKist tuna - 10/$10
Cousin Willie's popcorn - 10/$10
Red Gold ketchup - 10/$10
Aunt Millie's buns - $1.39 (match with recent $.55 coupons for $.84 buns)
Prego pasta sauce - $1.89
Crystal Light On the Go - B1G1 FREE
Betty Crocker items - buy 10 and get $2.00 off instantly (corn muffin mix, pizza crust mix, brownie mix, cake mix, cookie mix)
select Keebler, Nabisco, Kellogg's cookies and crackers - $1.99
Kraft singles - 2/$3
Snuggle fabric softener - $3.49 (match with recent $3.00 for $.49 softener)
All laundry detergent - $3.49
Aquafresh - $.99

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I still haven't thought of something I can post on Tuesdays...

and I feel like I need to post regularly!  I share my deals I've picked up on Monday, the Marsh ad highlights on Wednesday, the coupon previews on Thursday (and sometimes the Kroger ad highlights too) and then have nothing scheduled for Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  I leave those days open so I can spend time with my family - especially since I only see Brian on the weekends.

There's got to be something I can blog about on Tuesdays!  I thought about sharing what I was reading, but since my last Book It 2010 post, I haven't read a single page of any book!  So...  I'm stuck.  For now, this is what you're going to get on rambling until something strikes me as a great idea.  Until then...ramble, ramble, ramble!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weekly Marsh shopping trip...

We hit Marsh up on Saturday instead of Sunday this past weekend because we knew with Sunday being Mother's Day our day would go a little differently than normal.  We went in needing only milk and bread and lunch meat, of course we came out with more than that because there were a few items I just couldn't pass up!
9 Snuggle fabric softener was $42.21 for $4.41 (yes, yes - only $.49 per bottle thanks to the recent $3.00 Snuggle coupon!)
2 Perdue boneless, skinless chicken breasts was $25.43 for $12.02
2 Kraft singles was $4.98 for $3.00
4 Stokely's canned veggies was $4.20 for $2.00
1.5lb Sara Lee deli lunch meat was $11.84 for $9.22
1 Sara Lee bread was $1.79 for $0.00 (FREE coupon in deli when purchasing 1lb Sara Lee deli meat)

And along with yogurt, milk, wheat bread and fresh fruits and veggies we spent $51.19, saving $68.84 or 58%.  I am loving these $3.00 Snuggle coupons!  The savings with those coupons is ridiculous (in a totally good way!). 

When it was all said and done - of the $75.00 in grocery money this week I spent $75.98.  It's a good thing I keep loose change in my purse in case of a cash crunch!

Not planning ahead can sometimes be expensive.

Luckily for me on Saturday that wasn't the case.  I called Brian on my way home from work on Saturday and he was cranky - tired and sore and not the least bit helpful when I asked him about lunch (he's the cook at our house...I figured he'd have something going already!).  Well...he didn't.  So I had to stop by Marsh for my granny anyways and took advantage of their boneless, skinless chicken being on sale.

1 2lb (appx) pack Perdue boneless, skinless chicken breasts was $9.85 for $4.658
1 32load Snuggle fabric softener was $4.69 for $.49 (YAY for the $3.00 Snuggle coupon!!!)

I spent $5.38 and saved $9.40 or 65%!  Ahhhhhhh...  So even though I didn't plan ahead, I didn't get burnt in my wallet either. 

And my other purchase at Kroger was my lunch.

I was running way late Friday and didn't grab anything for lunch.  I had popcorn in the basement at work but that just wasn't singing to me, so I grab a few chicken strips from the deli for lunch.

Chicken strips was $4.00 for $3.16

With tax I paid $3.41, saving $.84 or 21%.  Not the cheapest lunch ever but certainly not the most expensive either.  I dipped 'em into some barbecue I had just purchased and had a really nice lunch. 

Two trips to Kroger...

saved me a LOT of money!

The one thing that really caught my eye at Kroger this week was the Sweet Baby's Rays barbecue sauce that was priced 10/$10 - this is our stock-up price point for this product and we only had one bottle left from the last time we bought a full case worth.  So on my lunch break on Friday I ran next door to Kroger and picked up 16 bottles of SBR's BBQ.

16 Sweet Baby Rays was $44.00 for $16.00

I spent only $16.00 and saved $28.00 or a very nice 63%. 

Did we NEED 16 bottles of SBR's right this second?  Nope!  But when I can get the smaller bottles at $1/bottle (which is just a smidge less than going to Walmart and buying the "restaurant size") and had the money in the grocery budget and it will keep...why not?  Now, I can wait until it goes on sale again and buy it at $1 a bottle instead of running out in just a couple weeks and going to pay $2.75/bottle (the shelf price for this product at Kroger).  Yeah - that just makes sense to me!  Some people might shake their heads but for works.  And now I have plenty of barbecue sauce to get us through grilling season!

Every once in a while I have to share a great blog post or something

I've found and this is one of those times!  I have two blogs I check daily - Life as Mom and Money Saving Mom.  They both are inspiring and have great deals, tips and encouragement for this momma who is trying very hard to get my hand around my finances, my house and my family!

So tonight I stopped in at Life as Mom and she's having a GIVEAWAY!  And I was stoked when I saw what she was giving away...

EatSmart Products sent FishMom a Precision Pro Kitchen Scale to review. She said, "It is a small, lightweight scale that easily fits inside a kitchen drawer for quick access."  Hello!  Who doesn't love a kitchen appliance that can fit into a drawer out of the way?  She said it is on sale at Amazon for only $25 but she's also got TWO of these to give away!  Sweet!

I'd love to have a kitchen scale to help in our cooking, especially as I have a hard time guessing how much something weighs and when we buy meat in bulk and try to break it down (from a 3lb pack of ground chuck to individual 1lb packs) it'd be a great tool to have on hand!  Right now - Brian just eye balls the meat and hopes for the best.

So - if you're interested in winning a scale, head over to Life as Mom right now!  And if you're just looking for a great blog to read - head that way anyways, she's got some GREAT stuff.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I just found an amazing post on Hot Coupon World!

I'm spending part of my Mother's Day alone at the computer and it's actually kinda nice...  Brian is dozing and Shorty is playing with Grandma Judie.  I decided to go check out Hot Coupon World and look for some stockpiling info.  In the stockpile section I found a post about sales cycles - you know...what to buy when.  This is an AMAZING post that includes sales and deals, holidays for that month, clearance items, other promotions and produce in season. 

This is an extensive post and I am adding it to my favorite's list for future reference!  I just had to share it - I'm sure you'll find some use out of it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Week of 4/9 through 4/30‏ grocery budget update

HOLY COW!  Unless I've missed a receipt (which I highly doubt) or I've miscalculated (which is highly possible) we came in UNDER budget this month on groceries!  Yay, yay, yay!  What an awesome feeling!  For the last four weeks, here are our receipts:

4/11 Marsh - 31.85, saved 10.31 (24%)
4/17 Marsh - 2.09, saved 0.00
4/18 Marsh - 50.82, saved 19.62 (28%)
4/19 Kroger - 27.54, saved 15.40 (35%)
4/25 Walmart - 34.30, saved 38.88
4/25 Marsh - 51.25, saved 37.43 (42%)
4/26 Kroger - 17.72, saved 22.50 (56%)
4/29 Kroger - 28.93, saved 20.36 (41%)
5/2 Marsh - 43.26, saved 29.63 (41%)
5/5 Marsh - 4.94, saved 2.18 (31%)

So the total spent was $292.69.
The total saved was $196.31.
We would have spent $489.00 (no coupons, no sales). 
Which makes for approximately 40% in savings.

So, it's not the highest savings ever.  I don't spend mere pennies on my groceries.  I have neither the time nor the patience for that.  But what I can do is great for our budget and our lives.  It allows us to get what we want (maybe not exactly when we want it but I've learned the grocery cycles so well I know whatever it is I want will be on sale again - soon!).  I'm so thankful Brian is on board with me couponing (which began way before Dave Ramsey) and that the DR "diet" has tweaked our grocery spending even more.

Here's hoping for another good month!

Kroger ad highlight - 5/6 to 5/12‏

Thinking maybe Kroger has better deals for you this week?  Here's what peaked my interest!

Driscoll's 1lb strawberries - 3/$5
Kroger eggs - $.88
Doritos or Lay's Kettle Cooked chips - $1.88
Kroger milk - $1.98
Jack's pizzas - 5/$10
Kraft cheese - 3/$5
Eckrich Smok-y links or Smoked sausage - $1.99
Honeysuckle turkey breast - $.99/lb
Betty Crocker cake or brownie mix - 10/$10
Betty Crocker potatoes or Hamburger Helper - 10/$10
Kellogg's cereals - $1.97
Dole fruit cups - $1.99 (match with $.75 off No Sugar added coupons)
Dole fruit 10/$10
Mix and Match any four participating P&G items, get $4 off
Hunt's Snack Packs - 10/$10
Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ - 10/$10
Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad - 10/$10

Marsh ad highlights - 5/6 through 5/12‏

It's almost Mother's Day and the ad at Marsh can prove it! The single front page is covered with treats and sweets to please any mom. I'm not sure how these prices are compared to other places, but always keep Marsh in mind when comparing!

If you're going to Marsh for groceries, be sure to check out:
Oscar Mayer wieners, bologna or salami - B1G1 free
Perdue boneless, skinless breasts - $1.98/lb (save $2.21/lb)
Stokely's or Libby's canned veggies - 2/$1.00 (save $.98 on two)
In-husk bi-color, white or yellow corn - 8/$2.00 (save $3.36 on eight)
Breyers ice cream - B1G1 free
40lb Morton System Saver pellets yellow bag - $3.99 (save $1.60 or more)
Hostess snacks - $1.99 (save $2.00)
Marsh milk - 2/$4
Boneless chuck roast - $2.48/lb (save $1.71/lb)
Buy 1lb Sara Lee deli meat and get a free loaf of Sara Lee Classic White Bread (see deli for details)
Sara Lee deli meat - $5.99/lb (save $1.70/lb)
Pillsbury Grands! biscuits - 3/$4.98 and get a dozen FREE Marsh large eggs
General Mills cereals - $1.99
Hamburger Helper - 10/$10
Koepplinger's bread - B1G1 free
select Keebler cookies or various snack crackers - $1.99
Kraft singles - 2/$3
Betty Crocker potatoes or Suddenly Salad - 10/$10
Libby's fruit - 10/$10
Hunt's Snack Pack - 5/$5
Famous Dave's BBQ - 2/$4 (I've heard GOOD things about this sauce, at this price...we might try it)
All laundry detergent - $3.49 (there had been $2.00 coupons out there...)
Suggle fabric softener - $3.49 (matched with recent $3.00 coupons will make it only $.49!)
Premium Red Cluster or Hydroponic Beefsteak tomatoes - $1.99/lb (save $1.00/lb)
Del Monte Gold pineapples - $2.99 (save $1.00)

The post I was going to post on Tuesday...

but didn't is now here!  I just didn't feel like blogging the last two days.  I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one who reads this!  And while it's a great tracking device for me, I sometimes just don't want to sit down and do it.  But I got all caught up today so here goes!

Well, I know when to admit defeat and I've been defeated by a book. I mentioned last time I needed to finish Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. Well...I took it back to the library on Tuesday, having never finished it. I renewed it once and it was over due when I took it in and in that time period I never picked it back up again. I had less than 100 pages to go but for some reason I just couldn't do it anymore. I think the book was good. I'm not sure I agreed with it 100% but trying to read non-fiction when I can get my hands on a fiction (and in my opinion, usually a much better (easier) read) then I'll pick the fiction every time. So - while I put it on my list as having read it...I did not finish it.

And the book that pulled me away from Wild at Heart? The Color Purple by Alice Walker. This is another one of those books that I've read over and over and over again. I think the first time I read it was in middle school - I was probably 13 or so and totally didn't get it. Now, I get it and I love it (well, I've always loved it). The story covers a woman who as a young girl has two children by her father (who gives them away) and is then given "for marriage" to a man who abuses her because she isn't the woman he really loves. The book quickly covers decades of time as Celie's life changes little by little - some truths come out and she learns more about her and her family.

An excellent read, this was turned into a movie in the mid-80s starring Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey and Willard Pugh. I'm not one to watch movies after reading books so I've never seen this movie and probably never will. I'd recommended this book to anyone though and if you can only catch it in movie version, please do - it's an excellent story.

After I finished The Color Purple I actually picked up another non-fiction book. Based on the blog posts of many others who are Booking It, I decided to pick up The Sharper the Knife, the Less you Cry by Kathleen Flinn. As a closet foodie who loves spending time in the kitchen and who is married to a man who wants to some day own his own restaurant - this was an awesome book to read!

I'm 32 and still don't know "what I want to be when I grow up" and reading about Kathleen taking the plunge to attend Le Cordon Bleu in her mid-30's made me feel better about it all. And the fact that she was able to follow her dreams gives me great hope for myself (and for my husband and his future kitchen). A personal look into the challenges of attending a world renown cooking school and living in Paris made this book easy to read and I often times forgot that it was real...this had really happened to Kathleen and wasn't just fiction put onto a character. I loved how the book covered the school side of things as well as Paris and her personal life and friends.

As I've shared before, one of my favorite parts of a book is where you find out why the book is named what it is. In this book, I found my answer on page 47. Kathleen is in an early basic cuisine class and Chef Savard is dicing onions in a way that they've been told to not cut onions. Another student points this out...that they were told to not cut that way and so the chef tells the class (through a translator), "...with a dull knife, it's true, you end up pressing too hard on the onion. This crushes the cells, causing volatile oils from the onion to be released, and it's the oil that makes you cry." As Chef Savard continues to explain the issue, Anne continues to translate, "But with a very sharp knife... You do not have to push so hard with your knife, and that way less oil releases." The chef finishes the mini lesson by saying, in English, "So the sharper your knife, the less you cry."

One other part that really hit home for me happened towards the end of the book, when Kathleen, Jenny and Margo (the class perfectionist who pushes herself entirely too hard) are sharing a bottle of champagne and a plate of frites and talk about their final exam for graduation. Margo has spent the whole semester pushing herself (and in turn pushing away others and causing them to be short ingredients because she hoards them in case of a mistake) and realized she'd been taking everything too seriously. She had practiced her wine-reduction sauce three times the day before final and burnt it twice and she was so upset with herself... Finally though something clicked, "When I came in today, I decided to forget the burned sauces. I would just do my best because really, that's all I can do. ... Everyone learns something different at Le Cordon Bleu, and maybe this is my lesson."

Huh... Everyone learns a different lesson. These people had all gone through the same class, the same recipes, the same chefs and had all learned something different. As goes life - we all go through life and learn something different.

If you enjoy an easy read and have any interest in food or cooking, this would be a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to another book from a Booking It blogger's list to start! On the recommendation of another blogger I have The Reserve by Russell Banks in my hands and am starting it as soon as I finish this post! Hope it's a good one!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The rest of my weekly budget was spent this past Thursday at Kroger.

There were a few things that really caught my eye at Kroger this week too so I had to split my budget and get some things there as well. 

2 Driscolls blackberries was $5.98 for $2.00
1 Mentos gum was $1.59 for $.45
2 Simply Orange juice (smaller bottles) was $3.38 for $2.00 (at Brian's request)
2 Kroger gallon milks was $4.98 for $3.96
3 Kroger dressings was $3.72 for $3.00
3 packages 3+lbs ground chuck was $29.57 for $17.45

So, all in all I spent 28.93 and saved $20.36 or 41%.

Our weekly Marsh shopping trip...

Thankfully I didn't need a lot...  There were some things on my list that I wasn't able to get (No Sugar Added Del Monte fruit) but I've got a raincheck for next time!

4 Texas Toast was $11.84 for $4.00 (raincheck from a week ago for 2/$4 and (4) $.50 coupons)
2 Keebler nut crackers (almond and pecan) was $7.58 for $1.98
4 Ortega taco seasonings was $4.52 for $1.89
2 Mission tortillas was $6.38 for $2.00
1 Texas Toast crouton was $1.99 for $.45
1 Del Monte No Sugar Added peach cup was $3.06 for $1.25
1 Yoplait Greek yogurt was $1.19 for $.59
1 Aunt Millie's bread was $2.99 for $1.89
2 Thomas bagels was $7.98 for $3.99 (B1G1 free)
1 Perdue boneless skinless thighs was $5.95 for $3.56 (40% off)

Along with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, napkins, some other yogurt, V-8 Splash, sour cream and some Shoup's seasoning - we spent $43.26, saving 29.63 or 41%.

We purchased 27 items.  That's $1.49/item.  Not the best, but not too shabby.