Monday, March 31, 2008

Funny Post...

I had to share a post that a friend of mine wrote Here. I went back to read it today and it cracked me up again... If you cut coupons etc you'll probably find it humorous!

It costs...WHAT???

I ran to Bi-Lo yesterday to grab some muffins, as those are typically cheaper than Publix. So, as I'm cruising quickly through the store, I walk by the coffee aisle. The Starbuck's coffee that I typically buy is $9.96. WHAT??? You have got to be kidding me! Seriously, that makes me want to give up coffee completely. I drink a lot of coffee every week.... But that is ridiculous!

So, I'm on a mission to try to find the cheapest best tasting coffee that I can. I tried Seattle's Best this week, which I have had before. It was $5.99 and it was very good. I'm going to try to one that costs even less.... Sorry, but Starbuck's just lost my business, with prices like that! (I know it's partly Bi-Lo's deal too, because Publix has it for $8.99. But that price is to high too...... imo).

What grocery items have you noticed that have really shown an increase in price? Leave a comment....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Publix Trip....Finally

No photos to show, but I did go to Publix this evening (Saturday) and shopped for those things that had a coupon. It felt good to get in there and get back to some kind of routine. Weird? Probably. ;-)

It wasn't the best deal. I spent $76 and saved $35. I used a ton of coupons, but they weren't on items that were on any great sale. This was mainly my fault, as I just wasn't motivated to price compare at all the other grocery stores. I felt good just getting to one store this week! So, I guess $34 is better than nothing.

The funny thing is that I still don't have anything for us to in... planned! I have to get my menu together for the coming week. I'll be using what we have at home in the pantry and the freezer! Baseball season is upon us, and we will be running a LOT! Meaning my crockpot will be getting a lot of use over the next several weeks.

Weekend Warriors!

Have I mentioned how hard it is to get back into the swing of things? Really tough! I pulled all my coupons that are about to expire at the end of the month, so I can try to use some of them. They are not the best deals, as the don't really match up to BOGO items anywhere... but a few of them I really need to use and we need the products. For instance Paul Newmans Spaghetti sauce. We need spaghettit sauce badly, and it's our favorite, so I want to make sure we use up the 7 coupons I have. $1.00 off each jar. Not great..but I need to remember I save $7.00 which would not happen, except for my coupons.

I'm also listening to Dave Ramsey still and getting motivated to clean up this last bit of debt so that we can begin our 3-6 months of living expenses. I know we can do it!

We also filed our taxes... Hooray! We will be getting a refund and it will go straight into our adoption savings account. I am thrilled! I'm so relieved to have that done. So, today will be a cleaning,organizing, planning and light shopping day. (At least until the new flyer for Publix comes out). It should be a Tackle it Tuesday... HGTV used to have a show called Weekend Warriors all about remodeling your house. I think Weekend Warrior applies to us today! (just not in the remodeling sense. lol)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

MIA & Random Thoughts

Sorry I have been MIA lately. Coming off of a vacation I'm finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things in the blogosphere, and just life in general. I have so many more thoughts... I think I just need to catch up around here, so I have some time to post them.

I need to make a menu for the rest of the week, or a short grocery list...or something! I'm lost without my pre-planning! Boy, what a good reminder of how badly I need it. Planning=Saving Money

We are winding down on the month of March, so I'll see how well we did. I hope we will be able to finally get rid of all the credit card debt. I'll update our financial health check up in a few days!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Coupon Binder - Take Three -Photos

Goodness! It is hard to believe that I haven't posted anything in 5 days! I do apologize, I really wanted to post the binder pictures.... but I was unable to log on from my own laptop to upload my photos. My new camera never did arrive in time thanks to DHL. So, it will be arriving tomorrow. The pictures I'm going to post are okay. Not great, but they are the best I could do. It will be interesting to compare them with the new camera when it arrives

Now, onto the coupon binder, and the photos. I used the baseball card inserts that my friends suggested as well as the 4x6 photo sheets. (These were also suggested). My friend Jennifer used the Post It tabs and so I also implemented that idea to be able to really categorize each section. To get the internet printed coupons into the baseball inserts, I just folded them. Some people might not like to do this, but I don't mind. I suppose for those that like them straight and unfolded, you could use the photo sheets

I also want to add that dh had this binder just laying around the house from a job interview he had two years ago. (For the job he is at now). He never uses it, so I asked to have it! It is way cool, with handles to carry it and a zipper to keep everything intact. So here it is.... binder, categories and inserts!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Coupon Binder- Take Two

Okay, that was a little longer break than I anticipated.... lol! My old camera is so not cooperating with me! The photos I took came out very poor. My new camera is supposed to be coming in the mail here any day. I had it sent to Florida because I didn't want to have it arrive while we were away. But they emailed me shortly after saying that the shipping was delayed. I'll be really disappointed if it arrives the day after we leave. So say a prayer it arrives today or tomorrow!

Let me start by listing how I have the binder categorized. This is my favorite part and really works well for me. I'm the type of person that needs things in categories! Sorry for the crazy formatting.... I am a stickler for that kind of stuff, but I have fiddled with it enough and that's all the time I have! The bullet points are the subcategories that I have those sections broken down into.

I used the post it file tabs that my friend Jennifer at All Things Frugal used. It's a fantastic idea and combined with my label maker looks really good! So here they are: (I will try to take some better photos and post them next....)


  • Air Freshener
  • All Purpose
  • Bathroom
  • Dishes
  • Disinfectant
  • Floor
  • Furniture/Glass
  • Laundry

  • Beverage
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Yogurt

  • Deodorant
  • Feminine
  • Hair
  • Lotion
  • Makeup
  • Medicine
  • Soap
  • Vitamins
Oral Care
PBJ Bread
  • Tissues
  • Towels
  • TP
  • Wraps
Rice Etc.
  • Mexican
  • Pasta etc

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    My Coupon Binder....Take One

    Jenny sent me the following email right before I left for vacation:

    Hi. I am wondering if you would post pictures of your coupon binder? I remember you blogging about making it, but it would be neat to see the finished product. I have been "couponing" for about a month and would love to get more organized...those coupons are taking over my house :) Also, I'm wondering how you get the large Internet printed coupons to fit in the baseball card holders?

    Absolutely! I'd love to display my coupon binder. But with one caveat: I totally got the idea from many others. The gals at the following websites are friends of mine, so I had the opportunity to not only read their sites, but check out their coupon binders in person. :-) What's a Girl To Do? Living Sensibly, All Things Frugal and Growing-in-Grace. I also checked out Laura Williams Musings. I gathered ideas from all these folks and included some ideas from Money Saving Mom, who inspired my first coupon organizer.

    Let me quickly give some history. My first binder idea I got straight from Crystal at Money Saving Mom. I had every item I needed already in my house, and so I just worked at labeling the sections and getting them in an old Rubbermaid shoe box. I was being over run with coupons and needed a system fast! I was happy to be so organized, but quickly learned it was a pain to carry them around in that shoe box at the stores, and even if I left them in the car, who wants to run out to the car to get extra coupons when you see something unadvertised on sale. Plus anticipating adding two small children to our household, there would be no place to put the box when a child needs to sit in the shopping cart (or buggy as they say in the south). I didn't even want to think about that box of coupons flipping over! Yikes! So, I began to think about the coupon binders that my friends had made. To view the old organizer click HERE.

    I'll be back in a bit to post photos of the new binder and show what products I used, and how I organized each section.

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    Hearing Aid Batteries....

    For those of you folks that have hearing aids or parents who have hearing aids....or maybe grandparents who have them. Here is a deal I found today:

    My dad was going to purchase hearing aid batteries at CVS today as they were on sale. I quickly showed him two websites where he could print coupons and save even more money. Click HERE and HERE for those get $2 off Energizer hearing aid battery coupons.

    Anyway, we went to CVS and the batteries they advertised were not the correct size he needed. But Walgreens had 8 EZ change batteries on sale for $5.99 (The same batteries were $8.99 at CVS). So with the two coupons they ended up being $3.99 each. He was so pleased...and we'll be going back again tomorrow to get 2 more sets.

    I plan on helping him out whenever I can by sending him hearing aid battery coupons. Those things are expensive and they don't last very long either. Too bad I never see ECB's for those! lol!

    Catching, Cleaning and Cooking Fish

    Well, we went out on a boat on Sunday all day and fished the inlet. I was so proud of myself... I caught the first fish of the day and baited my first live shrimp to boot. By the end of the day I was a pro at baiting not only shrimp, but live fiddler crabs as well. We caught about 8 fish, packed them in ice, and dh will be cooking them up this evening. We'll see how we like it. lol! Free fish dinner...I know Ilike that!

    We went to one Publix and asked about the mystery coupon....the lady had no idea what I was talking about. Late that same evening dh ran to another Publix, but forgot to ask. We also ended up only getting one paper on Sunday, so once I look through it, I see an order to Coupon Clippers coming!

    We'll be visiting a Publix soon to shop for the week, and I need to hit a CVS to use up some ECB's. Thanks to Sisterly Savings for posting the CVS deals for the week. I haven't had time at all to look, so it was a real time saver for me!

    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    Saving money on our road trip.

    Well, we headed to Florida very early this morning. I prepared ahead by baking muffins for breakfast in the car. Dh packed a cooler with drinks, so we would only need to stop for coffee (of course!) and lunch. That went well....

    For lunch I had coupons for Arby's and we had our own drinks. Well Arby's was running a deal on roast beef sandwiches and when we added our is what we got and what it totaled.

    4 Regular Roast Beef Sandwiches
    4 curly fries
    Drinks that we brought with us...

    Total: $4.99 for all of us!!

    That was a great surprise, and hopefully will help since the gas prices are so high! We passed a Publix distribution center and I wondered about taking a tour... lol! Another time perhaps...
    I'll check in on the next leg of our journey.... sure wish I had some Dave Ramsey CD's to listen to in the car. I'm thinking that would be great for the return trip.

    Thursday, March 13, 2008


    So, today my youngest son was practicing for baseball and telling me how proud he was of himself. He said, "I hit the ball like 3 times and they were all line drives"....

    "Great job!" I said, and then I asked him, "Hey are you going to encourage anyone else today?" (Thinking of the teammates he would see that evening at practice ).

    He said at his most precious:

    "Yeah, I'm really proud of you Mom....... and your frugaling....." LOL!

    Goodness, ladies I didn't even know I was frugaling.... Did you?

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Stockpiling with Publix!

    This week all I needed to buy were the best deals for stocking the pantry! Well, all except for the gallon of Publix hormone free milk, which we seem to buy every two days.... I know I've mentioned getting a dairy cow before, but who would take care of it while we are in Florida? lol! Anyway.....Here are the dollar figures and the photo that follows:

    Grocery Bill before Savings: $154.54

    Advertised Specials: $62.74
    Coupons used: $28.08
    Total Savings: $90.82

    Grocery Bill after Savings: $63.72

    For a list of Publix Deals thru March 22nd Click HERE and HERE.

    More Publix Deals and Info....

    Well, I went to Publix today to buy some stockpile items. This was a great week to stockpile, as I really didn't need any groceries at all (perishable wise, except milk). Publix must have been busy during the day, as many items where gone. Not completely gone, but almost. My friend Alisha took the last 3 bottles of ketchup. Hmpf! (Just kidding.... I told her take them, I live close enough to come back any time!) lol!

    Anyway, I asked a friendly employee if she knew why the ad was running through next Saturday March 22nd. She actually didn't even notice the date change, but when she grabbed a flyer sure enough that's what it said. She went to find out, and came back to inform me that it was because of Easter. (I thought that might be the case). Our Publix is closed Easter Sunday, so I am assuming that a new flyer will come out after midnight on the 22nd (for our store) for when the store opens back up on the 24th.

    Another helpful lady at my register pointed out the store flyers (with coupons) at the front carousel.... She was so sweet, telling me to look in those and see what deals I could get. She loves it when people save money! I told her I do too, especially when it's me! lol!

    Some more good deals at Publix:

    Birds eye Frozen Vegetables are 50% off - If you buy the steam fresh varieties, there are coupons from the paper or blinkies on the freezer door for $1/2. making some varieties as low as .39 each.

    Land O Lakes Butter is 2/$4.00 - add a coupon found online for .55 off 1 pkg. Makes them $1.45 each. Online Coupon Click Here.

    Gogurt- My friend Susan told me about this one. 2/$4.00 use a 35 cent off coupon found in the paper recently. Ours doubles to $0.70 making these $1.30 each.

    Reynolds Easy Foil Roaster Pan - Need a large roaster pan to cook for Easter? 99 cents.

    Finally, Dove chocolates are a BOGO item. Add this BOGO free online coupon HERE to make both bags free.

    For more BOGO deals click HERE.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Publix BOGO Deals - March 12th-22nd

    There are a ton of Publix BOGOs this week.... the deals run Wednesday March 12th through next Saturday the 22nd for our store. I'm not sure why it is published with these dates, but I'll try to find out tomorrow.

    Anyway, Here is a quick rundown of the Publix BOGO items for the week: Items in Bold you can add a recent coupon from the paper or from recent online coupons. There may be more coupons that you have stockpiled, or that you have found online to add to these BOGO deals. If there is one you found add it to the comment field. Here is the link to the Publix flyer for some other deals: Publix Flyer

    A-1 Steak Sauce -10 oz bottle (Save up to $3.99)
    Bantry Bay Mussels- tomato & garlic and garlic butter 16 oz. pkg. (Save up to $4.99)
    Betty Crocker Potatoes-assorted varieties (Save up to $1.69)
    Cool Whip Whipped Topping-assorted varieties (Save up to $1.89)
    Crystal Light Drink Mix- assorted varieties including iced tea mix (Save up to $4.69)
    Del Monte Fresh Cut Canned Vegetables-assorted varieties (Save up to $1.09)
    Diner’s Choice Mashed Potatoes- 32oz pkg. (save up to $3.69)
    Dove Chocolate-assorted varieties (Save up to $3.79) Online Coupon Click Here
    Duncan Hines Brownie Mix-assorted varieties (Save up to $2.49)
    Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix –assorted varieties (Save up to $1.55)
    Florida Grape Tomatoes
    General Mills Chex Mix-assorted varieties (Save up to $2.33)
    Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips – 11-12oz bag (Save up to $2.79)

    I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter- assorted varieties (Save up to $2.29)
    Keebler Townhouse or Club Crackers-assorted varieties (Save up to $3.79)
    Kellogg’s Cereal –special K, smart start, raisin bran, all bran (Save up to $3.99)
    Klondike Bar or Ice Cream Sandwich-assorted varieties (Save up to $4.29)
    Kozy Shack Pudding – 22oz tub (Save up to $2.99)
    Kraft Mayo or Miracle Whip- assorted varieties 32oz jar (Save up to $3.55)
    Kraft or Seven Seas Dressing- assorted varieties 16 oz. (Save up to $2.49)
    Lay’s Potato Chips – assorted varieties (Save up to 43.49)
    Lipton Family Size Iced Tea Bags- 24 ct box (Save up to $2.11)
    McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract 2oz bottle (Save up to $8.49)
    Milford Valley Breaded Chicken –strips or nuggets 30 oz pkg. (Save up to $5.99)
    Motts Applesauce- 46-48oz jar (Save up to $2.39)
    Mt. Olive Pickles-selected varieties (Save up to $2.69) Online Coupon Click HERE
    Nabisco Chips Ahoy Cookies-assorted varieties (Save up to $3.39)
    Ocean Spray Juice-assorted varieties (Save up to $5.19)
    Pledge Furniture Polisher Clean & Dust –assorted varieties (Save up to $3.99)
    Publix Deli Iced Tea – 1 gallon (Save up to $2.29)
    Pure Wesson Oil- 48oz bottle (Save up to $2.91)
    Quaker Chewy Granola Bars-assorted varieties (Save up to $2.45)
    Right Guard Extreme-assorted varieties 2-4oz pkg (Save up to $3.99)
    Rondele Cheese Spread – 8oz cup (Save up to $3.29)
    Sara Lee Coffee Cake – assorted varieties (Save up to $4.49)
    Select Canada Dry, 7up A&W, Diet Rite- 2 liter (Save up to $1.49) 7up coupon HERE
    Simply Potatoes- 20 oz bag (Save up to $2.49)
    Thomas’s English Muffins-original plain 12 oz pkg (Save up to $2.99)
    Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice-assorted varieties (Save up to $1.79)
    Wrigley’s Eclipse Sugar Free Gum-assorted varieties 3pk 12ct pkg (Save up to $2.19)

    Tackle It Tuesday.... Revisited

    My two goals that I absolutely wanted to accomplish today were:

    1. To get the adoption paperwork county certified, copied and in the mail Fed Ex.
    2. To get cleats for my boys for baseball.

    Accomplished but not easily!

    I dropped the kids off at co-op and headed back home to grab everything I needed to run my errands. My oldest ds was testing for his red belt in karate today and was really excited. I saw I had left on my desk his parent slip and check to get that red belt, so I ran back to co-op and dropped that off. As I was walking back to my car, my absolute favorite pair of shoes that I have had for years and years......broke. They are made by Bass, and are kind of like comfy mules with a buckle and a strap. Well, the metal on the buckle just broke right off. (Ya think maybe I've been wearing them too much?)

    That was a sign of things to come. I punched in the address to our county courthouse on my GPS and headed downtown. I don't know where "she" (my GPS) was taking me...but it wasn't right and it wasn't speedy. I finally made it downtown and parked in the garage. At the courthouse I had to go through the electronic security device (like what they have at airports.) I don't know why I was thinking this, but I was thinking, "maybe I'll beep because of the buckle on the shoe". As I walked through sure enough I beeped...but not from the buckle on my shoe....nope it was from the button fly on my jeans. A nice older gentleman waved the wand all around me, and then kindly asked if my jeans had a button right in the middle. Yes, they did and wouldn't you know it that was the culprit? lol! He had asked at first if I had had knee replacement surgery as it was indicating at the knee... I responded "No, I'll be happy to pull up my pant leg to show you." lol! (Good grief, don't shock the poor man Jackie!)

    So, I thanked the nice older gentleman for letting me through and headed to the county clerks offices. A sign said "all services line forms to the left" ....but when I went to the left the signs indicated it was for vehicle renewal and tags/title. That's not what I needed. So after waiting in line for like 10 minutes I got to the front and I found out that I indeed need a different room. Sigh. I walked over to that room, waited while they certified my 14 documents, and headed out of the building, again thanking the older gentleman. (He really was nice with a kind smile).

    I got out to the parking garage and pulled up to the gate. As I handed the attendant my ticket and my credit card, this is what he said..... "We don't take credit". And me: "Ack! ....What??.... Oh no!!.... I don't have a stitch of cash on me." I'm a bit panicked now as I need to get back to get my kids! He then asks me if I have a check as they take those as well as cash. So, here I was holding up the line again to write a check for the parking garage. Good grief! I can only imagine the people in the cars behind me as they see me hand the attendant my check. lol!

    I picked up the kiddos and we went to FedEx to make copies and get these documents in the mail (FedEx Overnight). Finally it is D-O-N-E! We then drove to the sporting goods store to get cleats for the boys. And it wasn't until 7pm that we were sitting down to a meal dh cooked of chicken stir fry.

    So that was my Tackle it Tuesday! I'm wiped out just thinking about it...

    Tackle It Tuesday.

    Tackle It Tuesday Meme

    I have a long list of things to Tackle today! The first and foremost is to get the adoption documents county certified and Fed Ex'd to our agency. The second thing is to get cleats for the boys for baseball! DS2 has his first practice on Thursday and his old cleats are too small....

    If nothing else gets accomplished this whole day, but those two things... I will consider it a big success. I could write my list in bullet point format, but I don't have time! I'll post what I tackled later today, and maybe.... just maybe it will be more than the first two items.

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Update on the frugal initiative.....

    Okay, just thought I'd update you on my last frugal initiative.... If you haven't read it yet Click HERE.

    I bought the fabric softener with CVS ECB's. (Smart move on my part!)

    Pulled out an old washcloth that would serve very well a s new "towel" dryer sheet.

    And........... that's it!

    Yes, the washcloth is still on the counter, the fabric softener is in the cabinet..... and I must have some deep-seeded aversion to this project.... lol!

    Goodness gracious...... Just Do it!

    Some More Dave Ramsey.....

    I like this guy! I don't necessarily agree with everything he has to say, but I like him. He is smart and has a lot of wise, sound advice out there about money and debt. I have taken to listening to him when I am organizing my schoolroom, or clipping coupons. I just go to his website and click on Listen Live. To get to that link click HERE. It takes me to his recent radio program, and I can choose what I wish to hear from the archives. It's a great way to pass the time while I do a menial task, and I glean a lot of great information in the process!

    One of the things I am developing is our game plan for once we are completely out of debt. Seriously...except the house, though that is coming. This is a great web page that lists and explains the baby steps that Dave Ramsey talks about in his books, on his website and on the radio. Click Here to view it

    Menu Plan Monday

    I'm doing this post today, as my week will be shortened and I don't need to grocery shop at all this week.... we head to Florida on Friday evening... so for all you Florida bloggers or lurkers out there, I plan to visit the Publix groceries in your neck of the woods, to see how they differ from my own. Should be interesting, for me at least. lol! So here is our menu plan using up what we have in the fridge....

    Breakfast- Cereal/Fruit /Toaster Strudel
    Lunch- Soup/Ham
    Dinner- Eggs/turkey sausage/toast

    Breakfast- Waffles/Fruit
    Lunch- Deli Wraps/Fruit/Granola
    Dinner- Chicken Stir Fry

    Breakfast- Cereal/Fruit
    Lunch- Baked Potato/Broccoli
    Dinner- Taco Salad

    Breakfast- Eggs/English Muffins
    Lunch- Pizza/Salad
    Dinner- Chicken Piccata (switched this because of MNO.)

    Breakfast- Cereal/Muffins
    Lunch- Out
    Dinner- Pasta!

    Just a few thoughts....

    I talked to the manager of my Publix as I was curious as to why our region offered the Publix TP as the mystery coupon and we received the 2 liter bottle of soda again. He didn't really comment that they "ran out"... and asked "why did you want the TP?" I chuckled and mentioned, that I was a little disappointed in their originlaity since we just had the soda two weeks ago, and how some online friends had gotten the TP.

    He sort of laughed and said that's funny. And I asked what was funny? He said he couldn't believe that people where talking about the Publix penny coupon online. I thought about that afterward, (of course I never have the right words to say at the time)! I wanted to say, "Dude, there is a whole sub culture of frugal customers online that you aren't even aware of!" Get thee aware! LOL!

    Anyway, I "think" they never got enough product to do the 1 penny TP last week.

    Publix Mystery Coupon???

    Sorry this is a bit late... we had company all day yesterday, so I didn't get to the computer at all!

    The mystery coupon item for 1 penny is....

    Publix brand bleach.

    So, don't forget if you are shopping at Publix today to pick up your bottle of Publix bleach!

    Saturday, March 8, 2008

    Saving with my husband...

    I just want to say that my husband is awesome! He gets so "gigged" (is that a word? Maybe it's a word from somewhere deep in my 80's past).... anyway he gets so "gigged up" about saving money and the deals we are finding. He even goes to stores on the way to work to help me. lol! Ya gotta love that!

    This week Walgreens had so many register rewards deals. There was the Olay Bar Soap, and then there was the Zest, Ivory and Safeguard soap... and then Herbal Essence, Pantene, aussie shampoo and then Secret and Old Spice deoderent. (to name a few) So as not to wipe out any store, dh went to 4 different stores in our area, and I went to the two we normally shop at. Then dh and I put our brains together and decided to purchase a gas card with the RR's at Walgreens. They said we couldn't use them to purchase gift cards. Bummer. But his next stop netted us a new outlet.... So, we have been using our RR's to save money on groceries this week.

    I have forgotten how much my dh appreciates saving a dollar.... He is so "into it", and I just smile and give him a big hug. God really has blessed me with my mate.

    Friday, March 7, 2008

    Find for the week.....

    I read Crystal at Money Saving Mom every day. I love to hear about her shopping trips and how much she is able to purchase with only $35 (well now $40) dollars a week. One of the things that her grocery store allows her to do, is to use a catalina (sometimes known as register rewards) on her groceries. For instance she can use a Walgreens RR on her grocery bill.

    Having just taken advantage of several of the Walgreens Regsiter Rewards deals this week, I thought I would check at my favorite grocery store to see if we could use our $4.00 off Register Rewards there. Answer...yes I sure can! One per transaction. So I will be making several smaller trips over the next few weeks to use up some of my catalinas before they expire!

    Thursday, March 6, 2008

    My Menu Plan....

    Finally getting around to posting my menu plan... the first two days are over...but it was easier to include them. I have to say that I am soo proud of myself, because I am trying TWO new recipes this week! (My sister would be proud too). Penne Pasta w/ Ricotta and Turkey. This is a recipe that I got from a cooking class that I just took. I didn't actually cook the meal, but I watched the instructor and sampled afterward and it was good! However, it did have sausage in place of turkey and that may alter the taste in my own...but I want to use up my ground turkey. I still think it will work. I am making the sauce from scratch. Scary! I hope I'm up for this!

    Then two days later, I am preparing another wonderful meal...Chicken Piccata. It's a lemony chicken, with breading, and I think I will serve it alongside pasta. (As pasta is a frugal ingredient right?) I'll let you know how they go.... So here is the rest of the menu plan! (Oh and almost everything on the menu I have in my freezer or pantry. I only had to buy hot dogs and buns!)

    Lunch- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with veggies/Fresh Bread
    Dinner-Chicken Pot Pie

    Breakfast- Cereal/Fruit/English Muffins
    Lunch- Pizza Salad
    Dinner- Leftover Chili/Rolls

    Breakfast- French Toast/Bacon Fruit
    Lunch- Chicken Noodle Soup with veggies/Breadsticks
    Dinner- Hotdogs/Tater tots/Beans/Salad/Fruit

    Breakfast- Muffins/Banana Bread/Fruit
    Lunch- Steak Sandwiches and sautéed peppers
    Dinner- Penne Pasta with Ricotta and Turkey (NEW Recipe!)

    Breakfast- Sweet Rolls
    Lunch- Ham/Potatoes/Green beans (company over)
    Dinner- Leftovers (on your own)

    Breakfast- Cereal/Toasted pastries/Fruit
    Lunch- Ravioli
    Dinner- Chicken Piccata (NEW Recipe!)

    Breakfast – Eggs/English Muffins/Fruit
    Lunch – Deli Wraps/Fruit/Granola
    Dinner- Leftovers

    Wednesday, March 5, 2008

    Coupons and the Food Network....

    Can you believe it's almost Thursday and I haven't tackled my coupons yet? I bought 3 papers and was given the inserts to two more. Until a few hours ago I hadn't cut one coupon! Dh helped me cut a few, and I have many more to go.... I'm swimming in them! lol! Sifting through them to put them in my binder should be fun. (Not!) Thank goodness for the Food I can sort of watch TV while I clip...Anyone else try to multi task while you clip?

    Or for that matter anyone watch the Food Network? What's your favorite show? I have many... Iron Chef is awesome, and Mission Impossible (or something like that) is good too. Any cake competitions I love, and I'm not sure if it's on this network, but the Ace of Cakes is great too!

    Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    More Publix Deals....

    Here are a few more Publix Deals in addition to the BOGO's I already posted.

    Publix Premium Boneless Chicken Breast $1.99/lb

    Florida Sweet Corn 10 for $2.00

    Boston Market Home Style Meals 50% off

    Eat Smart Broccoli Florets and others Eat Smart varieties 3/$5.00

    Publix BOGO Deals -March 5th-11th

    Here is a quick rundown of the Publix BOGO items for the week: Items in Bold you can add a recent coupon from the paper or from recent online coupons. There may be more coupons that you have stockpiled, or that you have found online to add to these BOGO deals. If there is one you found add it to the comment field. Here is the link to the Publix flyer for some other deals: Publix Flyer

    Bacardi Fruit Mixers –assorted varieties (Save up to $2.39)
    Betty Crocker Premium Muffin Mix-assorted varieties (Save up to $2.59)
    Breyers Ice Cream – assorted varieties (Save up to $3.89)
    Cheez-it Baked Snack Crackers –assorted varieties (Save up to $3.99)
    Dove Ice Cream Bars or Miniatures –assorted varieties (Save up to $4.49)
    Entenmann’s Little Bites –assorted varieties (Save up to $3.99)
    Excederin Pain Medicine – assorted varieties (Save up to $6.59)
    Fantastik Cleaner –assorted varieties (Save up to $2.93)
    Florida Grape Tomatoes
    Hamburger Helper (Chicken or Tuna also) (Save up to $1.99)
    Hershey’s Kisses 11 or 12oz bag –assorted varieties (Save up to $3.19)
    Keebler Dunkin Delights Cookies or Fudge Shoppe or EL Fudge (Save up to $3.09)
    Lawry’s 30 Minute Marinade-assorted varieties (Save up to $2.77)
    Life or Cap’n Crunch Cereal (Save up to $4.29)
    Lipton Sides –assorted varieties (Save up $1.25)
    Margaritaville Shrimp – assorted varieties (Save up to $8.99)
    Nabisco Ritz Crackers –assorted varieties (Save up to $3.29)
    Nature Valley Granola Bars or Trail Mix Bars –assorted varieties (Save up to $4.99)
    New England Freshly Ground Coffee –assorted varieties (Save up to $5.79)
    Old El Paso Dinner Kit –assorted varieties (Save up to $2.89)
    Pepperidge Farm Three Layer Cake –assorted varieties (Save up to $3.79)
    Pop Secret Premium Popcorn –assorted varieties (Save up to $4.59)
    Ragu Pasta Sauce –assorted varieties (Save up to $1.99)
    Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza –assorted varieties (Save up to $2.89)
    Sweet baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce –assorted varieties (Save up to $2.19)
    Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink 10 pk. (Save up to $3.89)

    Monday, March 3, 2008

    My Latest Frugal Initiative....

    Many years ago I read about a frugal idea of re-using dryer sheets. What was required was that you soak them in fabric softener and then hang them from clothes pins to dry... you can keep re-using the sheets over and over until they wear out. So I told Dh my plan and went out and bought the dryer sheets, the additional fabric softener and yes, even the clothes pins! Dh hung the clothesline across our laundry room floor, because I just "knew"I was going to be saving money in this new way!! I never soaked or hung one single dryer sheet.....Ever. And dh has never let me live that one down. Every once in awhile he will jokingly bring up my dryer sheet idea..that never came to fruition..... So guess what happened yesterday?

    We ran out of dryer sheets.

    Yes, Dh tells me that we ran out of dryer sheets. These are not inexpensive....I know because I have shopped around. I also know I have one measly 25 cent off coupon to use. That's not going to save a lot of money off those dryer sheets. Plus in talking to our pediatrician, dryer sheets are one of the biggest culprits for many kinds of contact dermatitis. So, with all those things in mind...let me tell you my latest plan....

    I found a site on the net that gave me the idea to get a towel or washcloth and soak it in diluted fabric softener. Then let it dry and when it is dry, throw it in the dryer with your wet clothes. It softens and gives a fresh smell to all your clothes...AND you can reuse it like 20 times (or something like that!) Then you just soak it again and repeat!

    So, I'm talking to dh after work today and I tell him my latest frugal initiative. And I watch as the grin slowly starts to spread across his face, (no matter how hard he tries to hide it.) I know what he's thinking and he knows that I know, as my own grin appears.

    Hmmm.... I see me soaking a washcloth in the very near future! LOL!

    Edit to add: Here is the link where I found the idea. There are many other frugal laundry ideas as well there.... Counting The Cost

    Financial Health Check Up- February

    Well last night I went through all the groceries and household items that I bought in February. I have to say, that budget wise I'm still not where I want to be. It needs to come down some more, and I think limiting my number of shopping trips will help this month! I did that the last week of February and it made a difference. So this month I really hope to be right on target!

    Having said that here are my totals for February savings... I have already added them to the side bar for 2008 total savings.

    CVS ECB's earned $28.00

    Coupons Clipped (Savings) $125.64

    Bi-Lo Savings $58.24

    Publix Savings $ 192.84

    In other financial news: We have paid off two of our credit cards and have one left to go. Then we can begin working on the car payment. And speaking of cars.... we have both resisted buying that (new to us) used truck, as of yet. It has been quite difficult as we know we could easily take out a small loan for it. But we are really trying to save for it. Next goal: $1000 Emergency Fund

    If you would like to learn more about developing a budget and Emergency Funds and such go to Dave Ramsey's Website. He provides a lot of great information if you are just starting out.

    How did you do this past month? Have you set any goals for March? Leave a comment!

    Sunday, March 2, 2008

    Publix Mystery Coupon???

    Okay, I'm sort of bummed out by the lack of originality by our Publix. The mystery coupon for 1 penny is once again.....

    A 2 liter bottle of Publix brand soda.

    On one of the boards I visit, they were anticipating it being a gallon of Publix brand milk... which would have been nice. Maybe someone in some other area got that deal....In our area it was the soda again. Oh well....1 penny is 1 penny, right?

    Edit to add: Katyshops and Mandy both posted that their mystery coupon was a 4 pack of Publix TP. That is very interesting and I'll tell you why..... My dh went to pick up the Sunday paper this morning and stopped into Publix to ask what the mystery coupon deal was.... they told him the soda, and he questioned them saying.."No that was two weeks ago". So they called a manager up and he said the TP. Dh didn't get any, as he was in a hurry and knew we would be stopping on the way home from church. Well, when I stopped in on the way home from church about 4 hours later, the mystery deal was the 2 liter bottle of Publix brand soda (marked as such and in a bin). I wonder if they didn't have enough TP or if they ran out of what. Now I'm curious so I'm going to have to ask tomorrow. LOL! Glad you ladies got some TP..... that is always a good deal for a penny!

    Saturday, March 1, 2008

    National Noodle Month- A Budget Friendly Choice?

    The following is a recent article I found by Reuters on the affordability of Pasta. Very interesting for those that are watching the price of wheat and for those of us tightening our belts and budgets:

    Pasta Remains Among Most Affordable Meals Despite Rising Food Costs
    Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:15am EST

    NEW YORK, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- American consumers are experiencing the biggest jump in food prices in 17 years. As the cost of milk, eggs, meat and produce rise, consumers are starting to feel the pinch, but there is a silver lining.

    Skyrocketing wheat prices caused by a global supply shortage have forced manufacturers to raise prices for the first time in several years, yet pasta remains among the most economical and versatile foods available, according to the National Pasta Association (NPA), the trade association of the United States pasta industry.

    The average price of a one pound box of pasta -- enough to provide two meals to a family of four -- is $1.20. More so, when taking additional ingredients, such as pasta sauce into consideration, the cost of a pasta meal is still about $3.05 or just $0.76 per serving. To read the full article please click HERE.

    National *---Fill in the Blank---* Month

    Oh I just have to say, I am finding March to be a very intriguing month indeed. Not only is it national Frozen Food Month.... (which has many sweepstakes in which one can enter)...but there are plenty of other observances going on in March. Here are a few:

    • National Social Work Month
    • National Rosacea Awareness Month
    • National Poison Prevention Month
    • National Furniture Refinishing Month
    • National Foot Health Month
    • Just to name a few......

    Then there are the food related observances:

    • National Frozen Food Month
    • National Nutrition Month (one which I desperately need!)
    • National Flour Month
    • National Peanut Month
    • National Hamburger and Pickle Month
    • and National Noodle Month

    There were plenty more to choose from, I just thought I'd throw a few out there.....I'm so wondering about National Hamburger and Pickle Month and National Noodle Month.... I have got to find out more about those! :-)

    National Frozen Food Month

    Did you know that March is National Freezer Food Month? I was alerted to this by Money Common Sense (one of the blogs I read). She will be using up the food in her freezer this month in honor of the occassion.

    I was quite interested in this, as maybe there will be some good sales and coupons on freezer foods this coming month. You know maybe I can stock up? Oh yeah, I need a bigger freezer. Bummer.

    Anyway, you can click on this link Bring Us To Your Table and it will bring you to a website sponsered by the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association. On it you can check out websites, and enter the Easy Home Meals $10,000 Sweepstakes. Now if you really like to enter contests....then click on the Our sponsers link on that page, and it will bring you to many of the frozen food sponsers...(IE: Dole, Birds Eye, Red Baron, Welch's, Totino's etc). Many of those have separate contests for trips to win etc. So you have a plethera of sweepstakes to enter if you choose!

    Me, I'll just take the used refrigerator/freezer drawing...if you find one I can enter, let me know.