Thursday, December 31, 2009

12-31 menu

We are going on a forced Eat From the Pantry, darn it all. It's times like this where I am SO grateful for a good food storage. I'm also pretty glad we're on WIC as we'll have fresh fruits/veggies, milk, and eggs. We'll see how we do with this and how long we have to do it. My goal is to spend no cash at all so that will probably make a very uninteresting shopping blog. Sorry!

Menu for the Week
Sides: fresh/frozen/canned fruits and veggies, homemade bread, beans

To buy for menu: NOTHING

Saturday, December 26, 2009

RIte Aid diapers

Sorry! I hit Rite Aid on Christmas Eve and just haven’t had a chance to post until now.


Retails: $83.09

Total Spent: $21.06

Percent Off: 75%

plus I will be getting $10 back to use on anything at Rite Aid through their Gift of Savings program and a coupon for a free pack of diapers.

How did I do it?

Huggies Diapers, regularly $11.99 each
- on sale $8.99
- used $3 coupons from newspaper
- when you buy 5 packs you can submit for an online rebate (SUPER easy, just have your receipt) at for a 6th pack for free
- $4.99 per pack (including the 6th pack) PLUS extra savings below

Wet Ones wipes, reg. $3.29
- on sale $1.99
- used $1.50 coupon here
- $.50 PLUS extra savings below

Air Wick Ultra Freshmatic, reg. $12.99
- on sale $6.49
- used $5 coupon from newspaper
- $1.49 PLUS extra savings below

So I did this in 2 transactions to get a better deal

Transaction #1
- 3 packs of diapers= $26.97

- used $5/$25 purchase coupon (I have NO idea where I got this one. The old one is expired and I found this new one off someone’s blog but I can’t find it again. I looked FOREVER to find it for my sister-in-law. Sorry.)= $21.97
- used $5 gift card from previous gift of savings rewards= $16.97
- used 3 $3 coupons= $7.97, plus tax

Transaction #2
- 2 packs of diapers
- wet ones
- air freshener= $26.46

- used $5/$25 coupon= $21.46
- used 2 $2 diaper coupons= $17.46
- used $5 air freshener coupon= $12.46
- used $1.50 wet ones coupon= $10.94, plus tax

I know there is a $5/$20 coupon here if you watch a bunch of short videos. There is a $5/$25 coupon here when you sign up for the rebate program. You do have to print a bunch of other coupons too to get to this though.

Utah Deal Diva has her deal scenario here

This diaper deal ends tonight so go quick if you’re needing diapers!

Money Left for the Month: $53.10

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

target stocking stuffer candy

I needed to get some treats for Matt's stocking since he reads my blog and has seen every single thing I have ever bought. He is on strict restriction from the blog until after Christmas so we should be ok. By the way, the laundry soap is a funny joke. We'll see if he gets it.

Retails: $22.78
Total Spent: $9.84
Percent Off: 56%

Plus I paid with a gift card (thank you Santa?) so I paid nothing out of pocket!

How did I do it?

Twixels, regularly $3.04
- $1 coupon, store coupon from
- $2.04

Ghirardelli, reg. $3.29
- $1 manufacturer coupon from
- $1/2 store coupon from
- $1.79 each

Premium M&Ms, reg. $3.49
- $1 coupon from newspaper
- $1 store coupon from
- $1.49

True North Nuts, reg. $2.54
- $1 coupon from newspaper
- $1.54

Pepperidge Farms cookies, on sale $2.50
- $1 man. coupon from
- $.75 store coupon from
- $.75

Swiss Miss cocoa, on sale $.97
- $.50/2 man. coupon from newspaper
- $1 store coupon from
- FREE + $.25 overage (only took off $.97 with store coupon)
These aren't for Matt, but are a killer deal

All Small and Mighty laundry soap (travel size), reg. $1.02
- $1 coupon from here
- $.02

Money Left for the Month: $74.16

Thursday, December 17, 2009

last minute christmas idea

My sister in law Mandi showed me this. Isn't it so cute?

I actually pumped out 2 of these last night and while it was a bit time consuming, it makes a great present. Plus they are pretty cheap to make.

If you're interested in this at all, check out this post here by the thrift chick, a blog I'm going to have to spend some more time investigating.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

peeling potatoes

So my wise big sister had compassion on me and my pathetic 5 lbs of potatoes that I complained about having to peel last week and sent me this little video about how to get the skin off a potato without peeling. This youtube is under 2 minutes and is a great little trick to know. Super easy!

Thanks Sandy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Buy Low

I was quite the impulsive shopper tonight. I just had this in my mind

and HAD to buy cool whip for it, no matter the cost.

AND I was going to get $.78 tortillas from Fresh Market today and was just tasting cheese quesadillas but they were all out! $1 isn't that much more than $.78, right?

Can I blame all of my cravings on being pregnant and not on no self control?

Retails: about $20
Total Spent: $8.23
Percent Off: 59%

How did I do it?

(and I do have to say that Buy Low bugs me! They do not have any signs anywhere telling the regular price on most things. I just have to guess.)

80% ground beef: reg. about $2.75/lb
- on sale $1.19/lb

fake cool whip: reg. $1.29
- on sale $1.09

Don Julio tortillas: reg. about $2.50
- on sale $1

Money Left for the Month: $84.00

wic produce

I used my last WIC check for December tonight. Good job WIC! I'm telling you all if you qualify you should totally do this program, that is if you like milk. Lots and lots of milk.

Retails: just under $8
Total Spent: FREE
thanks WIC!

I got 2 1/2 lbs bananas, 5 kiwi, a thing of blackberries, 1 lb strawberries, 3 lbs fuji apples, 4 1/2 lbs tomatillos, 1/4 lb serrano peppers

crockpot potato soup

Am I really reviewing recipes? Really? What have I come to? PLEASE feel free to mock me and skip every one of these dorky entries. I would.

But yet I continue to write another one.

What a sad, sad life I lead.

Also, ignore the ring of soup around the bowl. Matt snagged a shot of his 2nds and tried to make the bowl look more presentable but, alas, failed.

This Crockpot Potato Soup was pretty darn good.

Ease of Preparation: A-
- had to peel 5 lbs of potatoes. I don't peel potatoes. I wonder what would happen if you didn't peel them? Interesting.
- the rest was REALLY easy.

Taste: B+ (matt) A- (joy)
- it called for 1 diced small onion. I used 1/2 a bigger onion and it was too much. Matt says if it had less onion it would have been an A- for him.
- The bacon, cheese, and sour cream totally made the meal. I wouldn't make this if I didn't have bacon. The soup itself had a good flavor, but mmmm. What isn't better with bacon, cheese, and sour cream?

Overall: A-

I will make this again. It would make a great meal to bring to a neighbor. Next time I want to use chicken bouillon and water instead of the 3 cans of chicken broth and see if is any different.

Fresh Market

Retails: $15.72
Total Spent: $5.28
Percent Off: 66%

FYI: I forgot to write down the regular prices on these items when I was shopping today (all that wic stuff...) These are the regular prices for the same items at Maceys, another associated foods store, as listed by savvyshopperdeals.

How did I do it?

Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta: reg. $2.19?
- on sale $1.43
- used 3 $.75 coupons from 12/6 SS (newspaper)
- $.68 each (these are $.20 cheaper at Maceys this week)

Brawny Paper Towels, 3 pack: reg. $4.77?
- on sale $2.88
- used $.50 coupon from 11/15 RP (newspaper)
- $2.38 for 3 pack

Softsoap: reg. $3.39?
- on sale $.88
- used $.40 coupon from here
- $.48

Also, I was going to buy the Terry's chocolate orange for $.98 after coupon as listed on pinchingyourpennies, but it didn't ring up on sale. Strange.

compiled list from pinchingyourpennies

Money Left for the Month: $92.23


Well, I decided to pick up all of the rest of the WIC stuff today for the month, except the 2nd produce check which I will hopefully use at Buy Low today. Do you think I have enough milk? Holy cow. Moo. I could barely fit them all in my fridge.

Retails: about $45
Total Spent: FREE
thanks WIC!

Monday, December 7, 2009

$40 in gift certificates for $3!!

duct tape wallet
yes, this IS a duct tape wallet. thanks for noticing! it can be yours through redenvelope.

UPDATE: It looks like this deal is only good through today (Tuesday) so if you're thinking about it, do it soon!

I finally had time to look into this deal that hip2save listed a few days ago. You get a $25 gift certificate with for $3. Plus, after check out you get a $15 gift code for! I just did this deal and got my dad a great birthday present for super cheap. (he only wishes it were that awesome duct tape wallet!)

If you've never used, then check this out here. I'd never been on redenvelope and had fun looking at their stuff. They do have stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. There are fun gift ideas there, that's for sure.

Plus, I decided to finally join ebates to do this deal and just for signing up I got $5! Plus, I will get 15% back from and 12% from redenvelope. Sweet! UPDATE: it looks like RedEnvelope is now only giving 6% back through ebates. Darn.

If you're interested at all, check out hip2saves description of what to do here. She explains ebates and all the rest. Happy shopping!

free calendar

Wall Calendars

This is a fun one too. Right now you can get a free $16 calendar from VistaPrint, you just have to pay shipping which is under $6. There's no code or anything, just click here and then click on "get started" on the lower center under "wall calendars."

Just so you know, after I completely finished my order and was given my conformation number I was given the option to buy a 2nd for $11 something with free shipping which is cheaper than the option while you're ordering.

Today Only- free mug!

Today only (Monday) there is a deal with PhotoWorks to make a $15 mug for only $5 with free shipping! Nice. Hip2save has the details and link here.

I just did it and it was easy, once I finally decided on the pictures to use.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Retails: $17.93
Total Spent: $6.69
Percent Off: 63%

How did I do it?

Sunshine Cheez its: reg. $2.68
- on sale $1.34 today only (sat) until 10pm
- used 2 $.75/1 coupons
- $.59 each, plus FREE tabasco sauce

Tabasco: reg. $1.99
- used Buy 2 Cheez Its, get $2 off Tabasco sauce coupon found at the Keebler display in the back of the store in a brownish coupon book. They still had a bunch there tonight at the Provo Smiths.

So I got 2 boxes of Cheez Its and a bottle of Tabasco sauce for $1.18 total!

Powdered sugar/Brown sugar: reg. $1.69
- on sale $.99 (limit 6)

Chili powder: reg $2.69
- on sale $1.80
- used $.55 coupon. This didn't actually ever go through on my card. The cashier was really nice and manually did it. I don't know what happened...
- $1.25

This sale will go through Tuesday night, EXCEPT for the cheez it/tabasco deal. That ends tonight at 10pm.

compiled list from pinchingyourpennies

Money Left for the Month: $97.51

Oops! What's for Dinner?!!

I have been thinking for a long time about compiling a list of fast, easy meals that I can just throw together really quickly on those nights where I have no time and haven't thawed anything. I just get that feeling of dread about 5ish when Sam is starting to get Where's-Dad-Eyetis? and I've realized that I am out of ideas. This triggers a very bad attitude quicker then anything else, where I'm quite frankly sick and tired of having to come up with new meals every single day. At this point I start praying that I have some restaurant gift card that I've somehow forgotten all about.

I can't imagine that I'm the only one. I also can't imagine this getting any better when our next baby comes in February, hence this list.

I think I will do a post an idea every so often and if you have a great idea too then leave a comment and we'll slap that on too. Maybe after a while we'll have decent list going of last minute dinner ideas, enough to rotate indefinitely? Wouldn't that be nice!

This first one isn't creative at all, but is what we had a few nights ago so is a great start to my list.

See full size image

Baked Potato

1. wash a potato per person, poke a few holes in each to let the steam out during cooking, put on a plate and throw it in the microwave. Check out my cooking skills: use the "potato" button.
2. assemble whatever toppings you have: butter, salt, grated cheese, sour cream, chili, onions, chopped bacon (I have some chopped and cooked in the freezer for just such times), french's fried onions, etc.
3. Zippo! Pronto! Dinner.

I know that baked potatoes are more delicious (and WAY less healthy) rolled in melted butter or oil, sprinkled with salt, wrapped in foil and then put in the oven at 350 for an hour like this recipe from Good Eats, but that takes much too much time on these types of nights.

meat and cheese wrap ups

I didn't get a picture of mine yesterday! Sorry! I swore I took one...
this is the one from the recipe.

We had the stromboli last night and I think this recipe was pretty darn good. I ended up using the "complicated" one (by moneysavingmom standards) that wasn't hard at all. In the past, I have let the wrap ups do a 2nd rise, which is kind of gross since there is lunch meat inside, but whatever. I like having the bread thinner, so I'll be doing it this way from now on.
I doubled this and brought most of it with me to a party where it was completely eaten and a few people asked for the recipe, so I think they pretty well liked it.

I did tweak the recipe a bit by putting mayo and mustard on top of the dough before adding the meat, like a cooked sandwich. I used ham, turkey, salami, pepperoni, and an italian blend of cheese.

Ease of Preparation: B+
- for a bread meal, this wasn't bad at all. One rise is awesome. Like anything involving bread, it took planning ahead and did take some work rolling it out and assembling it, but it really wasn't hard. I like that I can put what ever meats, or heaven forbid, veggies I want in it, just like pizza.

Taste: B- (Matt) A- (Joy)
- Matt has never really liked stromboli but found this recipe better than past attempts because of the thinness of the bread, although he loves bread. He has a hard time putting his finger on what he doesn't really care for and finally settled on the mayo/mustard thing. He likes pizza, he like cold sandwiches, he likes all the meats. Next time I make this he suggested putting marinara sauce on it, or maybe nothing at all like the recipe says.
- I think this was pretty good and think Matt is a picky, picky eater (which he really, truly is- ask his mom!) I like the mayo/mustard combo because it makes this seem less like pizza or calzones which we seem to have quite regularly, but Matt has much better taste than me so I'm willing to give it a try.
- Sam (almost 2) really liked it.

- this sure looks pretty with its really light egg wash and sesame seeds!
- it's a nice meal because you can serve it hot or cold.

Overall: B+
I will make this again. Maybe Matt will learn to love it?


Retails: $31.47
Total Spent: $15.44
Percent Off: 51%

How did I do it?

frozen chicken breast: reg. $1.89/lb
- on sale $.99/lb

don julio chips: reg. $1.89
- on sale $78 each

western family cheese: reg. $5.99/2 lb
- on sale $4.79
- used $1/2 lb coupon (available for UT and ID only)
- $3.79/2 lbs

kingsford corn starch: reg. $1.99
- on sale $1.20
- used $.50 coupon from newspaper 11/8 SS
- $.70

davinci pasta, 16 oz: reg. $1.99
- on sale $.68

compiled list from pinchingyourpennies

Money Left for the Month: $104.20

Thursday, December 3, 2009

menu 12/03

Hooray for menus! (a rarity here, it seems)

Main Dish:


fresh/frozen/canned fruits and veggies, green salad, rice, black beans, whatever sounds delicious...

Need to buy for the week's meals:

Nothing! On purpose I plan meals around what we already have on hand. Occasionally I'll need something here or there, but for the most part we live off what I was able to snag at a great deal in advance.


Retails: $8.93
Total Spent: $5.72
Percent Off: 36%
And I paid with a gift card, so I spent nothing out of pocket!

How did I do it?

Flour, 5 lb: $1.45
- on sale $1.25

Brown sugar: $1.69
- on sale $.99

Baggies: $1.89
- on sale $1

Sometimes it's all about the bottom line price you pay, not the percent off.
(spoken by someone who just got a lousy percentage!)

I'll be hitting Smiths again on Saturday for some of their Saturday only specials. I'm also planning on picking up some more brown sugar and some powdered sugar because they were all out tonight.

They've also got their Kroger spices on sale for 40% off and I found an online coupon for $.55 off their Private Selections spice brand that hooks onto your Smiths card. When I went to check out my card hadn't uploaded it yet. I guess sometimes it can take up to a day. Bummer. I'll snag my super cheap chili powder on Saturday too.

compiled list from pinchingyourpennies
Money Left for the Month: $119.64

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

louisiana chicken

Ok, this picture is sideways. Sorry. I cannot fix it because I have no technology skills.

We had the Louisiana Chicken tonight that my sister and I assembled and froze on our last baking day. My husband and I thought it might be fun to rate some of these dinners I freeze. He actually has been doing this for years but now instead of ticking me off, he's going to be helping! We should have started this long ago.

Ease of Preparation: A
- defrosted in the fridge overnight and dumped in the crock pot this morning
- served over egg noodles that took like 5 minutes to cook.

Taste: B (my rating), B- (Matt's rating)
- had to add salt
- had a good flavor, we just wanted more of it. There was just something missing... (we are pretty snobby though)
- Matt put some Creole seasoning on his and liked it better
- the chicken had a great texture. I made this recipe once before and did the oven option listed on the recipe and it was gross- the crockpot gives the chicken time to absorb the flavor. Plus the chicken was super tough in the oven.

- It didn't make very much. We are good, sturdy eaters in this house and expect to be able to eat a meal for dinner and then eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. This made enough for dinner but barely had any leftovers. If I made this again I would add a 3rd chicken breast to the bag.

Overall Rating: B

I'd make this again. It was so nice and easy today. Plus, Sam loves anything with noodles. Yeah for freezer meals!


I had a great trip tonight!

Retails: $35.48
Total Spent: $6.35
Percent Off: 82%

Plus I have $6 in RR to use in the next 2 weeks.

How did I do it?

Vicks NyQuil/DayQuil: 2/$10= prints $5 RR
- used 2 $1.50 coupon from the 11/29 PG
- $1 each

M&Ms, holiday: 2/$5
- use the $1/2 coupon here
- stack with the $1/2 coupon from the December Walgreens coupon book
- $1.50 each

Glade 2oz fragrance collection candles: 2/$5= $1 RR
- used 2 $2 coupons from 11/15 Parade magazine

Toblerone chocolate: 2/$3
- used 2 $1 coupon from 11/22 SS
- used the $1/2 coupon from the December Walgreens coupon book

Holiday puzzle/coloring books: 2/$1
- bought as filler items to allow all of my coupons (see post below on RR) that will make great Christmas presents for my little one.

My total after coupons and before tax was $12.50. I paid with $7.50 in RR I got from some Black Friday shopping. I paid $6.35 out of pocket and got back $6 in RR.

Thanks hip2save and athriftymom for the info

Money Left for the Month: $125.36

Walgreens Coupon Book

This is a Walgreen's coupon book that changes monthly. You can find them right by the ad right by the front door and also in different spots throughout the store. They have great coupons inside.

Walgreens Register Rewards

These are Walgreen's Register Rewards (RR). They are like gift cards that print from the register when you buy certain items that are listed in their ad and are from the manufacturer. They look like worthless slips of paper. They, however, are not. They are like cold hard cash. Cold hard cash that have a lot of rules.

RR rules
  • have to be used 2 weeks from print date (see top for expiration date)
  • This is the confusing one: can be used on anything in the store, except for products made by the same manufacturer as the item that printed the RR. If you use a RR that printed when you bought, say, Johnson & Johnson baby wash to pay for a Johnson & Johnson other product like lotion it WILL go through. However, if the lotion was supposed to print a RR, it will not print another RR. So the rule is: use RR to pay for products made by other companies if they are supposed to print another RR. You can use RR to pay for other items that print a RR if you follow that rule. You can tell who gave you which RR by looking at the bottom of the RR. It says "Thank You from Glade" or whoever.
  • One thing about Walgreens in general is that you have to have more items than manufacturer coupons and RR count as coupons since they are from manufacturers. That means if you have 5 items and 5 coupons and want to pay with a RR then you have to get a cheap filler item, like a clearance item or piece of candy. I usually grab a couple of things to use just in case because I'm not smart enough to have that part figured out before I get to the register. The in store coupons don't count in this number- they ring up like a sale.
  • You can only get one RR per item per transaction. If you wanted to get 3 things of floss you'd have to do 3 transactions to get the RR to print on each.
  • You can't use RR to pay for sales tax.
This is super confusing at first but it's totally worth figuring out. I have gotten so much free toothpaste, body wash, razors, etc from here by using RR to pay for items that print RR.


Guess what came in the mail today? I got this bad boy for free! I don't even remember entering this, but I guess I did. Just call me Mrs. Lucky Pants.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

To anyone who cares...

I was wondering if either of the 2 people who read this blog have any preference to how I post what deals I get, meaning do you care to see all the details of how I got the items for the price I did, like the last post? Or do you just care what the bottom line was for each item? Or do you not care about the individual prices and just the grand total? Or do you just check this blog to give yourself a good laugh about the hobbies some people have and it really doesn't matter at all?

I want this to be helpful. Ok, we really know that this blog is all about saving Matt from having to listen to the intimate details of each and every shopping trip. Twice. But it would be nice if it was able to be beneficial to someone else too. Let me know.


I hit Walmart today to FINALLY REPLACE THE BROKEN CURTAIN ROD in our office!!!!! (could I express to you how excited I am? I think not.) It has been a source of constant frustration. Ok, not constant, but close. Anyways, since I was in the store...

I've been waiting for the broth to go cheaper; I got it 3/$1 without coupons last year before Thanksgiving, but I've given up hope of it going much cheaper this year.

It's funny- I put one of the coconut milks in my pantry and the cream cheese and steaks in the fridge but put everything else in my storage. I'm such a dork because I love working on food storage! Well, that's one reason.

Retails: $42.95
Total Spent: $18.29
Percent Off: 57%

How did I do it?

tomato sauce
-$.42 each
-used $1/4 coupon,, try zip 44256 if you don't see it.
- $.17 each

campbells cream of mushroom
-reg. $1
-on sale $.49
-used $.35/4 coupon from newspaper, $1/4 coupon here
-$.40 each

Swanson's chicken broth
- reg. $.86
- on sale $.45
- used $.25/4 coupon from paper
- $.39 each

Thai Kitchen coconut milk
- $1.42
- used $1 coupon available previously online
- $.42 each

Del Monte canned fruit
- reg. $3.50
- on sale $2.98
- used a Buy One, Get One Free (BOGO) coupon and $1 off coupon on the 2nd from mail
- $.99 each

Nestle chocolate chips
- reg. $2.50ish
- on sale $1.78
- used $1 coupon here
- $.78 each

Beef Filets
- $3.98
- used $3 coupon here
- $.98

Little Debbie cupcakes
- $2.47
- used a FREE coupon from mail

Kraft cheese
- reg. $1.96
- SUPPOSED to be on sale (was marked) at $1.40 (didn't ring up and I didn't notice it until just now. boo)
- used $1/2 coupon here
- should have been $.90 each, was $1.46 each

Sour cream
- reg. $1
- on sale $.78
Money Left for the Month: $131.71


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