Monday, November 30, 2009

November Monthly Review

I'm not a regular grocery shopper. I buy stuff before I even need it, matching manufacturer coupons with store sales. This way I'm able to "shop" from my own pantry and pay a fraction of retail with items I use. No, we will not use all those bags of cough drops this month, but we will use them this year. When I make meals for us, I menu plan around what we already have on our shelves and in the freezer. There are occasional items I have to pay full price for, but they are the exception as I build up my food storage with stuff we actually use, all for less then I used to spend to get us by every month.
not including wic:
Retails: $565.80
Total Spent: $158.64
Percent Off: 72%

This month I was able to stock up on chocolate (a necessity!), razors, cheese, batteries, frozen and canned vegetables, crackers, cream soup, chicken broth, tomato sauce, butter, brownie mix, pasta sauce, oil, ice cream, pies, cookie mix, cough drops, evaporated milk, tylenol, yogurt, marshmallows, saltines, toilet paper, pepperoni, tuna, kleenex, chili, and cookies. The brownies and cookies became my neighbor Christmas gifts for all but free! Sweet!

WIC items
Retails: about $65
Total Spent: FREE
thanks WIC!

Rite Aid

I hit Rite Aid this morning. I also went into Walgreens, but I really had a bad experience and didn't even end up buying anything. We're just going to pretend that waste of an hour didn't happen.

Retails: $43.11
Total Spent: $15.72
applied for $10 Rebate
Adjusted Total Spent: $5.72
Percent Off: 87%

How did I do it?

  • compiled list from hip2save
  • coupons: $12, sales: $13.89
  • Gillette razor: regularly $9.99, on sale for $9, used $4 coupon from yesterday's newspaper insert, applied for $5 Rite Aid rebate, FREE
  • Pampers wipes: regularly $3.49, on sale $2.49 (needed wipes and did NOT feel up to getting to Walmart today. Darn that Baby R Us and their great wipes sale that sold out after like 10 minutes on Black Friday.)
  • Lindt chocolate bars: regularly $2.69, on sale for $1.50, used 3 $1/2 coupons, applied for $5 Rite Aid rebate, $.70 each (great stocking stuffers and christmas gifts!)
  • used $5/$25 Rite Aid coupon before I used any of the other coupons, making everything else even cheaper!

Or in other words...


  • Razor: $9
  • Pampers: $2.49
  • Lindt: $15

Total: $26.49


Total After Coupons: $14.49 plus tax

Applied for Rebates from Rite Aid:

  • $5 Gillette Fusion
  • $5 Lindt chocolate (when you spend $15 on Lindt chocolate)

Minus Rebates: $4.49 plus tax. Nice.

Money Left for the Month: $-8.74. Oops.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Matt went to Smiths

Yes, you read that correctly. I sent Matt off to Smiths tonight to pick up some ice for the turkey that we ended up not even brining because it is apparently already injected with a solution. Good to know.

But that is besides the point.

Matt did so good! I gave him a list of what to get with a couple coupons and gift card and expected to get a series of irritated phone calls followed by him just buying the ice in the end because he couldn't get the deals to work, but no! Amazing success! And what's more, I also had him exchange 3 packs of the batteries I bought earlier. Way to go Matt!

My favorite part about the whole thing was him saying, "Why doesn't everyone shop this way?" He was so excited! It's just so darn fun to get a great deal.

Retails: $14.32
Total Spent: $.38
Percent Off: 99%

How did Matt do it?
  • ice: $1.19
  • cheese: $.75 (on sale for $1, used $1 coupon on the 4 packages)
  • veggies: $.50
  • Paid with $5 catalina from the batteries I bought earlier this week

Money Left for the Month: $6.98

Finishing Baking Day

Sorry, no pictures, but Ashley and I did finish our baking day(s) today with
shrimp jambalaya
meatballs and
pita pockets

I have to say that the pita pockets are so cool to watch cook. They totally balloon up all of a sudden. I would make this recipe again: they are so fun to watch and they are delicious too! They say to cook them 4-5 minutes, but I think 3 1/2 mins is about right.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

baking day results

Wow. What a day! Ashley and I got quite a bit done today and are feeling pretty proud of ourselves. Things weren't always pretty, (yikes!)

but we triumphed!

We started last night by both putting black beans in crockpots. Today we ground wheat (and cleaned that darn grinder), chopped onion, made pizza dough, bread, waffles, spaghetti sauce, chicken enchiladas, beef and broccoli stir fry, teriyaki chicken, lemon lime chicken, lemon garlic tilapia, and louisiana chicken. Oh yeah, and we did a lot of dishes.

That is stuff for 9 meals and I am so happy! I wish I could do this type of work every 2 weeks or so. Wouldn't that be so nice to have so many meals all ready to go in the freezer?

The only thing on our list we didn't get to were the pita pockets, but don't you worry about that. We are planning to get together tomorrow during Sam's nap to do those, shrimp jambalaya, and meatballs.

A big thanks to Morgan for coming this afternoon to entertain Sam, one noisy job.

Oh, and this bread we made today is DELICIOUS! I would definitely recommend it. It's 2/3 wheat and moist and yummy. It even slices easily and thin- I think it would make very good sandwiches but I have a feeling we may not find out with this loaf as it is almost gone already. mmmm

Monday, November 23, 2009

Baking Day

My little sister is out of school for the week and we are combining forces to make The Best Baking Day Ever, which turns out to be not so hard for me since my past attempts have been pretty pathetic.

Here's our goals for tomorrow:
Ambitious, yes. But we are also planning on getting together on Wed too to get ready for Thanksgiving, so anything we don't have done that we really want we can do then. I'm hoping that I have room in my freezer for all this stuff!


Retails: $37.23
Total Spent: $14.63
Percent Off: 61%

Plus, I got a $5 catalina (like a gift card) that I can use on anything in the store in the next 2 weeks. (no, that is NOT factored into my Percent Off, Matt-the-Percent-Off-Police)

And I paid with a gift card that my wonderful brother and sister in law gave me, so I actually paid nothing out of pocket. Thanks guys!

How did I do it?
  • compiled my list from pinchingyourpennies
  • UPDATE: This sale actually goes through Thanksgiving night.
  • Duracell batteries: on sale for $1.88, used $.75 off coupon. That is a good price, but even better is the catalina that prints. When you buy 3, a $2 catalina prints. When you buy 6, a $5 catalina prints. So factoring the $5 catalina, I paid $1.78 for all 6 packs of batteries or $.30 a piece! Sweet! By the way, they have tons of batteries still. If you didn't have the coupons, you would pay $11.30 for the 6 packs and get back a $5 catalina, making them each $1.05. Or if you bought 3 you would pay $1.21 a pack.
  • Cheese: $1 for an 8 oz package. There is a coupon on for $1/2 lbs of cheese. Just buy 4 packages and it will make them $.75 a package. (I forgot my coupon today. Boo.)
  • Thyme: $1.49. Not on sale, no coupon. I just needed more time. Thyme. (that never gets old)
Money Left for the Month: $7.36


Apparently you cannot buy potatoes with WIC. Strange, but true. While at Buy Low I picked up this 10 lb bad boy.

Retails: about $3
Total Spent: $1.03
Percent Off: 66%

Money Left for the Month: $21.99

wic produce

Retails: $14
(with Buy Low's amazing sales- would be WAY more at any other store)
Total Spent: FREE
thanks WIC!

I got:
2 red bell peppers, a stalk of celery, 1 lb broccoli, 2 lb carrots, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 packages of cranberries, 9 lbs onions, 1 3/4 lb tangelo, 2 3/4 gala apples

(don't mind the little hand on the right about to snatch whatever's closest. Sam has "grabbing" issues when I'm taking these pictures.)

Fresh Market

Retails: about $40
Total Spent: $8.72
Percent Off: 78%

How did I do it?
  • compiled list from pinchingyourpennies
  • I combined store sales with manufacturer's coupons ($11.50 in coupons!)
  • Nabisco crackers: $.67 (on sale for $1.67, used $1 coupon)
  • Litehouse dip: $.50 (on sale for $1.50, used $1 coupon)
  • Libby's veggies: $.34 (on sale for $.59, used $1/4 coupon)
  • Steamfresh meals: $.75 (clearanced to $3, used a Buy One Get One Free coupon for the 1st one and $1.50 coupon for the 2nd)

Money Left for the Month: $23.12


Retails: about $20
Total Spent: FREE
thanks WIC!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Retails: $42.36
Total Spent: $23.08
Percent Off: 46%

I paid with a gift card so I really paid nothing out of pocket! Nice. Plus I bought a corn dog for a buck that is included in my total to fend off Sam's frustrations.

How did I do it?
  • compiled list from hip2save
  • coupons: $8.65
  • sales: $9.32
  • With sales and coupons- sunkist pop: $.28, cheese: $.90, cream of mushroom: $.39, cream of chicken: $.34, chicken broth: $.39, tomato sauce: $.17, diapers: $5.97, sugars: $1.03, sour cream: $.78, dish soap: $2.27, cranberries: $1.48 (I needed the sugars and cranberries for Thanksgiving and was all out of dish soap)

Money Left for the Month: $31.84

Monday, November 16, 2009


Retails: about $11.50
Total Spent: FREE
thanks WIC

Buy Low raincheck

My sister picked up my rainchecked butter Saturday night for me and also got me a pound of tomatillos and a couple peppers so I could make those green enchiladas again that were so delicious. I have been craving those. mmmm.

Retails: about $17
Total Spent: $6.73
Percent Off: 60%

the butter was $.98, tomatillos were $.50, peppers were $.10.

Money Left for the Month: $54.92

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Albertsons. Yes. Albertsons

I am kicking myself that I let last week's sale go by at Albertsons. There are still a few left here in Utah and the 2 up in Orem aren't that far away. I went up this morning to the 1600 N store and they had tons of everything. It was a great trip.

Retails: $ 80.19
Total Spent: $15.81
Percent Off: 80%

How did I do it?
  • compiled list from pinchingyourpennies
  • store sales: $45.21
  • manufacturer coupons: $15
  • There's a killer deal on the Sara Lee pies. Buy 1 at $6.39 and get another pie AND 2 Breyers ice cream for free. There's also a $1 on-line coupon you can print to make it be $5.39 for 2 pies and 2 things of ice cream. Check out the pinching your pennies link above for the coupon and details.
  • ragu: $.38, vegetable oil: $1.25, olive oil: $2.75, brownie mix: $.25
Money Left for the Month: $61.65

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Albertsons. No, Fresh Market

I am so sad to be loosing my super close Albertsons and am almost as sad that I have apparently missed out on much of their clearancing out for the switch over to Fresh Market. Bummer on both. I was able to get a few deals today though.

Retails: about $30
Total Spent: $7.75
Percent Off: 74%

How did I do it?
  • diapers were on sale for $6, the tomato paste was $1.19 and used $1 coupon ($.19), the yogurt was on clearance for $1.50 and used $.75 coupon ($.75), the cookies were $1 and used $1 coupon= FREE!
  • I love that everything besides the diapers came to $1.75, including tax. Nice.
  • I'm excited to use the cookies for neighbor gifts. For free. So all you neighbors reading this, just know you're loved. What can I say? We're poor and I'm cheap.
Money Left for the Month: $77.46

Tuesday, November 10, 2009



Retails: $66.42
Total Spent: $10.80
Percent Off: 84%

How did I do it?
  • compiled list from pinchingyourpennies
  • sales: $ 37.94
  • coupons: $14.40
  • This is the 2nd and final week of Smith's Mega Event, where there are tons of items on a promotion that when you buy 10, you get $5 off instantly. This sale ends tonight.
  • Combining sales and coupons, I was able to snag each item for cheap! evaporated milk: $.24, 1 lb of Kraft cheese: $2, spread: $.60, Hall drops: FREE, Tylenol 24 count: $.50, Danimal yogurt: $.49, cocoa: $.50
  • The sour cream isn't part of the Event but is on sale for $.88
Money Left for the Month: $85.21


Retails: about $20
Total Spent: FREE
thanks WIC!

Buy Low

Buy Low

Retails: about $30
Total Spent: $15.60
Percent Off: 48%

How did I do it?
  • only bought what was on sale
  • There is 40 lbs of chicken breast inside that box that I am splitting with a few people. I'm only keeping 10 lbs.
  • I didn't use any coupons. These were all sale prices.
  • Chicken: $1.19/lb, bacon: .$98/lb, popsicles: $.88 for 24, chips: $.68, fries: $.48
  • I also got a raincheck for the butter that is on sale for $.98! There is a limit of 6, darn it all.
  • These deals are good through today.
Money Left for the Month: $96.01

Saturday, November 7, 2009


While at Target to pick out a birthday present for me (new laundry baskets! Hooray!!!!) I picked up a few things.

Retails: $17.10
Total Spent: $4.81
Percent Off: 72%

How did I do it?
  • compiled list from hip2save
  • used $11 in coupons, the rest in sales
  • marshmallows: $.50, bread: free, Potato Head: $.99, wipes: $1, dog food: $1.49
  • oh, and the Potato Head is $.99 with coupon and is in the front of the store across from the registers with the Christmas toys. That took me 3 employees and about 20 minutes to figure out. I got the last one on the shelf in Orem tonight, but I'm sure they're getting in another shipment soon.
Money Left for the Month: $111.61

Monday, November 2, 2009

cheap Dominos

My cute little sister told me about a great deal with Dominos pizza. I did it tonight so I know it works, where I live at least. mmmmm. Dominos is totally on my diet, the eat-whatever-you-see diet. It works real well for me during pregnancy, keeps me safely above the "how much weight you should gain" chart at the OB.

Go to and up at the top, click on "Coupons"

Scan down to the $5.99 for a 1 topping Large pizza and click on it.

Order your pizza

At check out, enter this code: cinnastix

You will get a large pizza and a box of cinnastix for $5.99 (it ended up being $6.24 with tax). You do have to pick it up, but hey, for $6? Sounds good to me.

Smiths. Oh boy!

This was a fun trip to Smiths this morning. I love sales like this. I have been waiting for the new month to come so I could get to this sale. Matt thinks I'm ridiculous with my budget, how I use it all up right at the beginning of the month. Every month. I just get so excited about the great deals out there. And THAT is why I have a budget.

Retails: $145.07
Total Spent: $33.58
plus I am sending in a $5 rebate for the toilet paper
Percent Off: 80%

How did I do it?
  • compiled list from pinchingyourpennies list and thread (all the comments that people make based on the list)
  • Smiths has a buy 10 items, receive $5 instantly off promotion right now. This deal is going through this next week too, until the 10th. I'm pretty sure I'll be making another stop at Smiths before a week from Tuesday... (everything I got was part of this except the pepperoni that was $.65 each) If you're interested in the sale I would definitely check out the pinchingyourpennies list and thread. This one's big.
  • sales: $76.48
  • coupons: $28.20
  • I combined store sales with manufacturers' coupons. Highlights are: evaporated milk- $.24, chili- $.12, keebler cookies- $.25, ricola cough drops- $.25, pillsbury cookies- $.17, tuna pouches- free, dole fruit- free
Money Left for the Month: $116.42

October Budget Review

I have a confession to make: I bought toilet paper at Sam's Club at the beginning of the month for about $15. I was too embarrassed to list it when I bought it because I had already spent SO much that 1st week (story of my life), but there it is. So I actually went over-budget by $2.75.

For the Month of October, the stuff I bought
(not including WIC)
Retails: $638.40
Total Spent: $202.75
Percent Off: 68%

I was able to stock up on toilet paper, produce, razors, floss, batteries, hydrocortisone, lunch meat, air fresheners, candles, spices, soap, butter, soda, mac and cheese, cream cheese, cheese, diapers, peanut butter, pasta sauce, wrapping paper, yogurt, pasta, granola bars, granola, sugar, cling wrap, syrup, peanuts, juice, dog food, frozen corn, chicken, and tortilla chips. Plus I got Halloween candy.

Stuff I got from WIC
Retails: about $47.50

With WIC I was able to get lots of produce, bread, milk, eggs, cereal, juice, beans, and tortillas all for free.