Sunday, November 30, 2008

Super Savings Saturday-VONS

I got some really great deals this morning! First I stopped at CVS where I found huge canisters of pretzels on clearance for .57 cents a piece! But wait, there's more... On black Friday I scanned my CVS card and recieved a $1.00 off coupon on any Gold Emblem snack. I scanned my card again today, and got the same coupon. Final cost....07 cents a piece! I bought 4, but my mom snagged one.

What will I do with all these pretzels you ask? Well, chocolate covered pretzels, of course!

Next, I went to Vons to grab a sales circular...they were out. I was hoping to find some turkey on clearance. I walked back to the meat section to see what I could find. Instead I found 1 lb packages of ground chicken for .99 each. I looked a little further and found sage sausage for .59 cents each! To top it off, 3 of the sausage rolls had a peelie for FREE Jimmy Dean sausage links or patties! Sadly, my store doesn't sell these, but you better believe that I will be cashing in on these as soon as I find a store that does! The coupon expires on 3/31/09, so I have some time.

So, all in all, here is what I spent...

(4) tubs of pretzels-.07 each=.28 cents
(13)1 lb rolls of sage sausage-.59 each=$7.67
(9) 1 lb packages of Ground Chicken .99 cents each= $8.91
(3) coupons for FREE Jimmy Dean links or patties

TOTAL = $16.86 for 22 lbs of meat!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankgiving for under $15.00

Thanksgiving is always special to me. It is a time for friends and family to get together, and enjoy great conversation. But what if your budget is really, really tight? Can you still have a great supper, on a tiny budget?

Though this is not the menu that I have prepared this year, I did use the prices that I paid to come up with this ultra thrifty, tasty, and very filling meal.

Turkey, brined in a basic salt solution- $3.90 (yes, I really did get my 16 lb bird for 3.90!)

Stuffing (stove top)-.99

mashed potatoes (2lbs), butter, sour cream-.98

gravy made from drippings- pennies

green bean casserole, cream of mushroom, french fried onions-1.05

pillsbury bread rolls-.99

corn chowder- 1.75

No Bake cheese cake-2.25



Considering that you would have leftovers for a week at least, this is probably less than you spend on your weekly grocery budget!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Week 21

Well, this week our little angel decided to make her presents known. It seem like overnight I started to show a little more obviously. Here I am at week 21. Only 19 weeks to go until we see this precious little girl!

Monday, November 24, 2008

CVS 11/23-11/29 PROFIT $11.23

Here are the deals I cashed in on this week at CVS. The AmEx deal took a little creative financing, but I was a great money maker!
I used this weeks gas and grocery budget to purchase the cards, since I didn't have 75.00 laying around. Then I will use the cards in place of cash. Here is how the deal works.
Buy 3 AmEx card ( buy the $25.00 ones to make a profit) and get $10.00 ECB + a $15.00 gas card! There is a $3.95 activation fee for each card, but even still, you make a profit of $13.15!
I also bought some more batteries. My CVS still has the $5/2 tear pads on the display, so I bought 8 packs ( in 4 transactions) Each pack cost .53 each!
Last, the contact solution was free after ECB. I had a 2.00 coupon, so this is a moneymaker.
Here is the breakdown of today's trip, in 4 transactions ( 2 different stores)
(3) 25.00 giftcards
(3) 3.95 activation fee
(8) 2 pks sz C & D batteries
(1) Complete contact solution & case
TOTAL -119.76
used-8.49 in ECB's
used (4) $5/2 coupons
used (1) $2 off contact solution coupon (just click the link on the bottom of the page)
AmEx cards-75.00
Gas Card-15.00
Total Earned-19.72 less 8.49 rolled ECBS=
PROFIT $11.23!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

11/22/08 shopping trip $46.02

I am so excited about this weeks shopping trip! I have been putting aside any extra money left in my weekly budget for Thanksgiving, and had 12.56 to add to my regular 20.00 budget for this week. I did all of my shopping at Walmart, and price matched several good deals from some local stores.

The highlight of my trip was the 16 lb turkey. Walmart's sale price was $17.07 ( if you would consider that a sale!) I price matched it to Von's ad, and got it down to 4.90. But wait, there's more! I found a $1.00 off coupon at last week which made it 3.90!!!

  • Canola Oil-2.98
  • Salad Dressing-2.84
  • Chopped dried onion-.50
  • (2) canned corn-1.00
  • cheeze whiz-2.28
  • turkey baster-1.97
  • (5) goody hairties-10.60
  • goody head band-2.56
  • 1.97 lb apples-1.97
  • 3 lbs yellow onion-1.50
  • (2) Green Valley Steamers-2.16
  • Tortillas-1.73
  • Graham Cracker Crust-1.00
  • walnuts-1.06
  • (2) lemon lime soda-1.54 w/ CRV


  • (2) 2 lb bag carrots-5.00 albertsons
  • (2) chicken broth-.88 albertsons
  • (2) 10 lb bag potatoes-2.98 vallarta
  • celery-.50 ralphs
  • (2) bread rolls-3.98 ralphs
  • Claim Jumper Dutch Apple Pie-3.99 ralphs
  • Claim Jumper Pumpkin Pie-3.99 ralphs
  • 16 lb Honeysuckle White turkey-4.90 vons


  • (6) 2.00 ouchless hairties
  • .25 off crust
  • (2)1.00 off pillsbury rolls ( a peelie from a Progresso Soup can)
  • (2)1.00 off Green Valley Steamer from 11/15 insert ( Smart Source I think)
  • 1.00 off Honeysuckle White turkey (from smartsource e-mail)


  • Total-$88.93 w/ tax
  • less Price matching-25.66
  • less coupons-17.25
  • TOTAL OOP $46.02

So all in all, I did go over budget by $13.46, but I expect leftovers to take us well into next week, so we will likely save some money on next weeks budget. Also, with 20 lbs of potatoes, we will be busy for quite a while!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving on a shoestring

I have been putting any extra money in our grocery budget aside for Turkey Day. I have 12.56 to add to my weekly 20.00 32.56 for this week. Leftover Turkey and sides will last us at least a week, so I assuming that I will be able to borrow some from next week if I need to.

Turkey- 4.88/16 lbs ( I make the same brine every year, so I still have some of the more rare ingredients from last year) , .50 onion, .25 apple, 1.99 vegetable broth, 1.50 fresh rosemary, 1.50 fresh sage. 10.62
Watch this video for cooking tips
Or this video for brining tips

Stuffing- 1.50 Mrs. Cubison's, .20 celery, 2.00 sausage, .25 apple-3.95

Mashed Potatoes- .30 2 lbs potatoes, .36 butter, .25 sour cream, .25 cream cheese-1.16

Green Bean Casserole- 1.00 beans, .60 cream of mushroom soup, 1.50 Secret ingredient (sorry)-3.10

Candied sweet potatoes- .76 2 lbs sweet potatoes, .15 brown sugar, .18 butter, .12 marshmallows- 1.21

Corn Chowder-See link for cost breakdown, for thanksgiving I half the recipe- 1.92

Rolls- store bought Pillsbury -.99

Salad- 2.50 salad greens, .50 mandarin oranges, .25 dried cranberries, .50 walnuts, .42 1/4 bottle of Kraft creamy poppyseed dressing. -4.17

Sara Lee Dutch Apple Pie 2.50

The total comes out to 29.62, however, I have most of these ingredients on hand from stock piles and such. Using my stock pile, I can make this dinner for $19.28, with lots of leftover turkey! I am so excited to start cooking! There is only 5 of us eating a 16 lb turkey! We will have Turkey coming out of our eyeballs by the end of the week!

Free 20-oz Dr. Pepper Sunday

Quoted from Rolling Stones

Finally, after over a decade of false starts, we will finally get what we’ve all been waiting for: a free bottle of Dr. Pepper. With yesterday’s official confirmation that Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy is really happening, the makers of Dr. Pepper announced their plan to make good on their promise to provide everyone with free soda. “We never thought this day would come,” said Dr. Pepper vice president of marketing Tony Jacobs, “but now that it’s here all we can say is: The Dr Pepper’s on us.” Starting November 23rd, the day Chinese Democracy hits Best Buy, you can head over to the Dr. Pepper website and register your information to receive a coupon which can be redeemed for a free 20-ounce pop. However, any dreams you fostered about drinking your free Dr. Pepper while headbanging to Democracy will have to wait four-to-six weeks, the estimated delivery time to get your coupon in the mail. Still, what’s four-to-six weeks when we’ve already waited fourteen years?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

CVS...I'm not done with you!

I couldn't resist more free air freshners, so I went back to CVS last night. Here is what I got!
7 glade oil refills w/ free warmer 2.99 ea=20.93
1 glade plugin fan 7.99
1 crest pro health 3.49
3 BOGO FREE oil refill coupons (2 from website, 1 from recent insert)
1 BO refill GO FREE Plugin Fan coupon( from recent insert)
15.00 ECB from battery deal this week
TOTAL AFTER COUPONS= .45 cents plus tax
Recieved 13.49 in ECB's
note: the ECB deal for the glade is $5 for every $10 you spend. In this transaction I spent 28.92 on glade before coupons. I must have messed up the math a little while I was shopping. I will be going back today to reach 30.00 so that I can earn my last 5.00 ECB which will bring my total ECB earned to $18.49.

Monday, November 17, 2008

CVS Deals 11/16

Trans #1
4 glade glass scents-10.00
2 crest pro health-6.98

2 B1G1 Glade
1.00 Crest Pro Health

Total OOP 10.98
Earned 11.98 in ECB's

Trans #2
Loreal Moisturizer-15.99

1.00 off

Used 11.98 from above
Earned 15.99 in ECB's

Trans #3
4 duracell batteries-23.96

(4) .75 off

Total 20.96
Used 15.99 ECB from above
OOP 4.97
Earned 15.00 in ECB's


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Menu Plan 11/16/08-11/22/08

S: Leftovers
M:Pizza, Crazy Bread
T:Salibury Steak, Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans
W:Spaghetti w/ meatballs, Homemade French bread
Th: Stuffed cabbage rolls, Garlic bread
F: Leftovers
S:Beef Fajitas, spanish rice, tortilla chips

Grocery List:

Tomato Paste-.38


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Walgreens Diaper Deal!

During last weeks diaper deal, many of my local store were out of stock. I asked for a rain check, and prayed that a 5/20 would show up. I was estatic when one showed up in my mail box!!! Our little is going to be well set on diapers...I just hope that she is not allergic! So here is what I did.

(8)Diapers-4.50 each

(8) 2.00 pharmacy Q

(1) $5/$20 Coupon

TOTAL OOP $15.00 or 1.87 each! ( Great Deal on its own)

W Card reward-3.60

Gift Card 10% Reward-2.00


Friday, November 14, 2008

Free Earthquake Kit

The California Earthquake Authority is offering a free earthquake kit HERE. Thanks Mom for the tip!

The Earthquake Preparedness Starter Kits, available in both English and Spanish, contain QuakeHold! putty to secure your valuables, a furniture strap, a gas valve shut-off wrench and preparedness information that will help you and your family plan for an earthquake. Limit is one per household.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


WooHoo! Walgreens has released a new $5/20 coupon good for 11/14-11/15! If any of you recieved rainchecks last week, now is a great time to cash them in!

Monday, November 10, 2008

$20.00 Menu Plan 11/9-11/15

S: Breakfast for dinner- eggs, pancakes, cereal, OJ etc.
M:Burgers, Fries,
T:Meatball Subs, onion rings
W:Lasagna, bread, salad
Th: Pizza, bread, salad
S: Chicken Rolls N Rice , bread, salad

Grocery List:

3 roma tomatoes-1.00 actual-.95 for 4
1 salad tomato-1.00 actual-.67
4 lbs bananas-1.79 actual-1.00 for 1 lb (price matched at Walmart)
Fruit on sale-3.00 actual-1.08 6 apples (price matched at Walmart)
actual-2.70 10 oranges (price matched at Walmart)
4 slices provolone-2.00 actual-.60 at Walmart Deli counter
28 oz can crushed tomato-1.00 actual-.94
Mozz Cheese-3.00 actual-4.42
cottage cheese-1.50 actual-1.57
spaghetti sauce seasoning packet-1.00 actual-.68
french fried onion-1.00 actual-.98

Addl Purchases-
2 Nestle Cocoa-1.00 w/ coupon FOR 2
2 Idahoan Potatoes FREE w/coupon
2 cans evaporated Milk .96 w/coupon FOR 2
2 cans Progresso Soup-.80 w/ coupon FOR 2
4 16 pcs. ouchless hairties-.48 w/ coupon FOR 4
3.26 lbs cabbage head-.33 (price matched at Walmart)



Saturday, November 8, 2008

Huggies Size 1-2 .05 per diaper! *EXPIRED*

I found this today at baby cheapskate. This is a great deal if you are unsure about store brand or missed out on the diaper deal that ends today.

At you can purchase a box of 264 size 1-2 diapers for 17.65. To get the most out of this deal, you should buy 2 boxes. Cookie Magazine is offering a $15.00 rebate on a $25.00 purchase. Looks to me like their is a Limit of one rebate per person. This would make each box $10.15. Shipping cost 6.95 total, so...

2 boxes=35.30

S&H =6.95


TOTAL $27.25

$27.25/528 diapers= .05 cents per diaper!!! SHIPPED TO YOUR DOOR!!!
If you have already used this rebate, or you want to stock up on more than 2 boxes, the additional boxes would come out to .08 cents a diaper. This is still a fantastic price. I would clear out a store shelf if I found Huggies at that price. Regular price for this size is about .20 cents per diaper, and even Costco Brand is about .16 per diaper. So even without the rebate, this is unbeatable!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Walgreens Diaper Deals!!!

I caught onto this deal a little late, but luckily, my Walgreens was still fully stocked! We have been collecting diapers since we discovered we were expecting. We have quite the stockpile so far.

Here's the deal...
Store sale is BOGO-8.99 ( this alone is a great deal) , but see that brochure in the middle of my picture? You can pick this up at the Phamacy counter. In it is a coupon for $2.00 off Walgreens brand diapers. The register at check out automatically takes 2.00 off of each package. This bring the total to 4.99 for 2 PACKAGES! If you have the W Card (see below) you could save an additional .45 cents for each package. Which brings your total to $2.05 each.

I have one other discount up my sleeve, for all of you die hards. The W card also gives 10% back on Walgreens Gift cards. I will use the gift card to buy the diapers. I got a few rainchecks, which will yield $ 19.96 in diapers (8 packages) less 3.60 (.45 per pack with the W card) and 2.00(from purchasing a gift card), plus a $5/20 coupon. (throw in a pencil or something for a filler) This makes a potential price per package....1.17!!!

I didn't try to purchase these all in one transaction. Instead I bought 2 at a time ( for a total of 4 transactions) I just stop into the store when I am in the neighborhood. Also, Walgreens lets you keep the coupon, so be sure to ask the cashier for it back after your transaction. The store just throws these store coupons away anyways. And keep it doesn't expire for a while. Maybe another good deal will come up.

For any of you veterans out you recognize this sticker? It was on some of the packages. I was hoping to bring the price down to 6.99 before the coupon, but the cashier said no. Was she right?

Edit: I went back last night and bought 4 packages in one transaction, and the deal worked just fine. So...Stock up!!! Also, I learned more about the W card here. It was a 20.00 investment, but I have already doubled that with just the diaper deals and the pruchase of a gift card ( I went back to the store...I also have several rain checks that I will combine with a $5/$20 if one comes out.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Southwestern Corn Chowder

OK, so I wouldn't count this as a shoestring recipe( total cost is about $6.00 for a large pot), but it is OH SO GOOD! It has rained here for days, and it was so comforting to sit down in my jammies eating a bread bowl filled with this yummy chowder.

The recipe is from the Food Network. I have also added it to my Thanksgiving menu. It is perfect to keep in a crock pot. I have made it for the last 2 years, and it is a major hit! It is the kind of dish that just gets better as it sits, so it is perfect to nosh on all day long. Dip some sourdough bread into it, and it is culinary heaven!

This time around, I took a shortcut, and used canned fire roasted tomatoes, instead of roasting the Roma's. It is an OK substitute, but admittedly, the fresh tomatoes do taste a little better.

It was killing me that I couldn't make this a shoestring recipe, so I went on the hunt! Here is what I came up with...
2 pounds frozen corn kernels, thawed, and drizzled with olive oil -1.00
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
10 Roma tomatoes, rubbed with olive oil -2 cans fire-roasted instead from Walmart-.92 (use this $1/2 printable coupon)
1 medium red pepper, rubbed with olive oil -skip is just a garnish
2 tablespoons butter -.18
1/4 small yellow onion, diced -.15
3 garlic cloves, sliced -pennies
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour pennies
3 cups chicken stock -powdered bouillon -.10
2 cups half-and-half -1.50
1 1/2 cups corn tortilla
chips, chopped -pennies
Cumin -pennies
Chili powder pennies
1 medium avocado, small diced, for garnish-skip this, I don't like avocado

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pastor John MacArthur downloads FREE!

This is hands down the second most valuable freebie you will ever get! (second to Jesus on the cross)

Grace to You has announced that as of tomorrow, Nov. 5, 2008, all of Pastor John MacArthur's sermon archives will now be avaliable FREE OF CHARGE for download!!! This is not a one day deal, but instead, from now on! What a blessing this beloved pastors over 40 years of teaching of God's truth will be to us! I love to listen to this sermons while working around the house. I can't wait to sift through all of these archives.

If you have never heard of John MacArthur, I would highly reccommend him. His sermons are truly life changing. He doesn't beat aroung the bush when it comes to God's work, but instead preaches God's truth with boldness.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

11/2/08-11/8/08 menu plan

S: Cream of Mushroom Pork Chops, skillet potatoes, rice I bought enough pork to feed us for 3 dinners, so I froze the leftover pork in cream sauce for another 2 dinners.
M: Tacos, rice, chips
T: Goulash, homemade french bread, salad
W: Sweet n sour chicken, rice , potstickers
Th: Pizza, bread sticks, salad
S: Somen salad, potstickers

Grocery List:
pork chops (1.67/lb on sale)-4.86 lbs for $8.12
chicken ( 1.97/lb on sale)-3.20 lbs for $6.32
2 large potatoes- 2.06
Green Leaf Lettuce-1.99
red pepper-.79
tomato paste-.50 -.69

this is a little over budget, but I have some surplus that will cover it. Also, the pork actually made 3 meals, so this is actually a stockpile! Also, the chicken should last at least 2 weeks.
Actual to date-21.68