Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What to do with Raisins/Craisins? Oatmeal Craisin Cookies.

Ok, so these are the best oatmeal raisin cookies I have ever made. They turned out beautifully- soft and chewy and so good. I had to give them away to keep from eating them all.

Oh, why didn't I save a few more?

I only had about 1/2 cup of craisins and so subbed the rest with raisins and it was super tasty. I wonder what it would be like to make a recipe with every ingredient exactly as written. Huh, weird to think about.

Anyways here is the recipe. The original was from here.

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup craisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl for 5 minutes. In another bowl mix oats, flour, baking soda and powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry mixture in with the wet until combined. Add in craisins/raisins.
  3. Quickly form into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheets.
  4. Cook for 12-14 minutes, or until slightly browned. Let cool slightly on cookie sheets and then transfer to cooling rack.
Makes 24-36 cookies

I am such a lazy person that I never thought the following cookie making instructions were important and had to learn the hard way that they are.

Things I've messed up on:
  • Not mixing the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry in another and then mix them all together
  • Pulling out a cookie sheet from the oven and not wanting to take the time to let it cool before putting another batch on (just run under cool water!)
  • Completely melting butter in the microwave instead of just softening it (hello Pancake Cookies!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

August Budget 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 green beans 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 just to get us by every month. Want to learn how I do it? Check this out.

Total Spent: $188.87

Besides perishables like eggs, milk, and produce, this month I was able to stock up on steak, bacon, sausage, chips, snacks, cheese, cereal, drinks, baggies, vitamins, canned beans, ground beef, coconut milk, feta, popsicles, meds, dog treats, chicken, oil, dog food, fish sauce, honey, seasonings, diapers and wipes, spread, butter, soap, canned pinapple, paper towels, dish soap, marshmallows, shortening, and toothpaste.

Smiths: FREE Toothpaste

Smiths is rounding up their coupons to $1 this week, ending tomorrow night. There were some new coupons yesterday so of course I NEEDED to go back. I couldn't get there before this afternoon so most of what I was looking for was gone.

Retails: $38.11
Total Spent: $16.06
Percent Off: 58%

I am the most excited about these bad boys down below. I have been wanting curry paste for a while but haven't been able to get it, mainly because 1. I'm cheap and 2. a lot of places don't carry it.

Happily, Smiths solved both of those for me! Hooray!

They are regularly $3.39, on sale for $2.99 and with the $.50 coupon from yesterday's paper rounded up to $1, they were $1.99 each. The trip to Smiths was worth it just for these friends.

For more info on what is on sale see here. For details on more rounding up see here.

Money Left for the Month: $28.13

Walmart; FREE Dish Soap, Green Beans

I had to get to Walmart today to get a few basics I was out of: vanilla, shortening (I have the BEST tortilla recipe using this), powdered dish soap, and Pam. Unfortunately, Wamart has the best prices on these things. I hate Walmart. Just thinking about my trip annoys me.

Total Spent: $11.85

I went to the Orem Walmart and their marshmallows are $.88, a pretty good price. That's what Winco has had the off brand for the last month or so.

The green beans were free. I price matched the veggies from Maceys at $1/3 and used the $1/3 coupon from the paper yesterday. I get 3 papers and the coupon was in the RP and the Parade magazine, which is another insert. The sale at Macey's ends Tuesday night, FYI, so if you want this deal, do it now. Any ideas of what to do with green beans besides microwaving them plain or using them in Green Bean Casserole?

The Gain dish soap was free. It's $.97 and there's a $1 coupon in the PG from yesterday's newspaper.

Money Left for the Month (today): $44.19

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cheap Gummy Vitamins and Free Butterfingers

Just wanted to point out a few deals at Smiths that I haven't seen posted anywhere.

First off, I found this $1/2 coupon on a cardboard display by the checkout. Butterfingers are on sale for $.50, so this makes them FREE!

I made these delicious cookies with my leftover Butterfingers after Halloween. If you are looking for something else to do with them besides just devouring them plain, give that recipe a whirl.

Speaking of delicious, have you ever had Gummy Vitamins? Oh boy. Take a fruit snack and cover it with a sugar coating and you've got Gummy Vitamins. I have no idea how these are good for our bodies, but the pediatrician told me to get them. Love it.

They are regularly $7.99 for a month supply for 1 person. They are on sale for $3.99 at Smiths and there is a $1 coupon in the 8/1 RP newspaper insert, making them $2.99. This is by far the best deal I have seen on them anywhere. Oh, and when you buy one a $2/2 coupon prints that you can use to buy 2 more. FYI.

I don't know if it's coincidence or what but my 2 year old had a perma-cold for like a year. He's only gotten sick a few times since we started these.

FREE Yogurt, Spread, and Soap at Smiths

So this week is a good one at Smiths. They are rounding up any coupon under a $1 to be worth a $1. That makes for some free stuff, like yogurt, spread, and soap. It also makes for some super cheap stuff like paper towels, canned fruit, pudding, and pretty cheap butter.

Retails: $76.56
Total Spent: $22.46
Percent Off: 71%

For details on this and more deals see pinchingyourpennies.

This sale ends Tuesday night.

Money Left for the Month: $56.04

Huggies $3.27/pack!

Rite Aid rocks. I could not believe how many diapers they still had at 2:30, the last day of the sale. There were hardly any on the shelf, but there were more on an endcap and TONS on the very tip top shelf on the side of the store. That is definitely one thing I have learned from couponing: if the shelf is empty look around and/or ask an employee. Lots of times they have more other places.

Retails: $70
Total Spent: $24.64
Percent Off: 65%
plus I have a $5 Rite Aid Rebate coming. Factoring that in,
Total Spent: $19.64
Percent Off: 72%

Plus I have $5 in UpRewards (Rite Aid's catalinas) to spent in the next 2 weeks.

I got my ideas from AThrifyMom. Check out her deal scenarios.

This sale ends tonight.

Money Left for the Month: $78.50

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beef Stroganoff: This is Good.

I've tried a few stroganoff recipes in my day and they've all been fine, but this recipe I made tonight was Good. Real Good.

I have got to start menu planning lighter foods because when they turn out good I cannot stop eating them. I'm afraid I am going the wrong direction in my weight loss. No surprise.

Anyways, I tweaked this recipe from allrecipe.

This is so not my picture. I didn't think to take one until everything was in baggies and the natural light was gone. Let's just say my picture did not turn out very attractive.

Beef Stroganoff: My El Guapo

  • 1 pound beef top sirloin steak (original calls for chuck roast)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup beef broth or 1 cup water and 1 tsp beef granules
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • couple Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth or 1 1/2 cup water and 1 1/2 tsp beef granules
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 6 ounces canned sliced mushrooms, drained or fresh ones, if that's what you have (Matt is not a mushroom fan so we left this out. Too bad. I am on Team Mushrooms)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Marinade beef in Worcestershire, garlic, and 1 c beef broth for a few hours in the fridge. I like to marinade in a gallon baggy on top of a plate.
  2. Pull the meat out of the baggy (don't throw away the marinade!), remove any fat from the meat and cut into real thin strips about 2 inches long. Season with 1/2 tsp on salt and pepper.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and brown the beef strips quickly then pull them out and put them on a plate or large bowl. Don't be nervous with all the liquid in the pan- this is good. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add them to the beef.
  4. Stir the flour into the juices. Pour in beef broth and marinade left in the baggy and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and stir in mustard.
  5. Cover and simmer for an hour or so or until tender. If you want to really be wowed, at this point throw it all in a crock pot on low for a few hours to get super tender meat.
  6. 5 minutes before serving, stir in the mushrooms, sour cream, and cream cheese. Heat then salt and pepper to taste. I also added a dash or two of garlic powder because we like our garlic around here.
Serve over egg noodles.

Serves 6-8, depending on how gluttonous you are. Want to guess how many servings it made for us?

Ease of Preparation: B+
  • This was not hard, but it took some time.
  • I guess I've got to burn off those calories some how.

Taste: A-
  • The flavor was really yummy but I wished the meat was a bit more tender which is why I suggested throwing it all in the crock pot to simmer for a few hours. If the meat had been a bit softer this would be an A for sure.

Overall: A- (but a high A-, almost an A!)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

$1.19/pack of Huggies!

Ok, so that was KIND of a lie, that $1.19/pack title up there, but not really. Let me explain.

Right now Rite Aid has Huggies jumbo packs on for $8.99
- use a $2 coupon from here
- AND use a $2 coupon from Rite Aid's Ad Perks site. You do have to watch a 30 second commercial to get to the coupon and you can only print one.
- So we're down to $4.99

- When you buy a Huggies jumbo pack a $2 UpRewards (Rite Aid's catalina) prints that you can use on any non prescription item in the store in the next 2 weeks.
- If you factor that in, we're down to $2.99. (You are shelling out that $2 from the UpReward up front though. That's where the "lying" thing kind of comes in to play.)
- Plus I went in with my sister to get $25 worth of stuff so we could use the $5 coupon, meaning $1.80 off the $8.99 sale price.
- Which brings us to $1.19!

This ends up being 3.8 cents/diaper for size 3. Wow.

FYI: Costco's Huggies are 18.3 cents a diaper and the Kirkland are 18.7 for a size 3.

My sister got 3 things of John Frieda shampoo/conditioner and 8 things of Royal Gelatin plus my diapers and we paid $12 between us with $4 in UpRewards and a $5 rebate. Factoring that in, we paid $3! Sweet.

Oh, and this is all perfectly within their rules, not shady at all.

I love the Rite Aid game. Check out Hip2Save for all the things on sale this week with coupon matchups and UtahDealDiva for some sweet deal scenarios.

This sale ends Saturday night, but you might want to call your Rite Aid and see what they have in stock before you drive all the way over there. As always, if they're out you can find out when they restock and go then or get a raincheck. The UpReward may not print for you if you get the raincheck though.

Total Spent: $3.19
Money Left for the Month: $98.14

UPDATE: AThriftyMom has some killer Huggies scenarios. Check it out if you're in Baby Mode.

WInco = Bulk Food Heaven

I might have had the funnest time in the bulk foods section at Winco yesterday. It is like a dream, all of those bins filled with super cheap wonderfulness.

Total Spent: $24.19

5 things I would like to point out in regards to the bulk section:
  1. All of those bay leaves cost me $.04. Nice.
  2. That 5 lb bag of dog food cost me $1.56.
  3. I bought Quinoa. What is quinoa? I have no idea. My little sister said it was good for me and I could use it like rice and I got a bit swept up in the moment. I'll give it a shot. Any of you know how to say "quinoa?" She told me but I cannot remember. How about eaten some? Any ideas?
  4. Have you ever tried dried mangos? They are Good, mostly because they are covered in sugar so it's a total health food.
  5. The honey was cheaper on the shelf than it was from the bee hives in bulk (No, I'm not kidding. They have bee hives. They have EVERYTHING back there, except curry paste apparently, darn it all.)

Money Left for the Month: $101.33

Rebates. I'm in the Money!

I got a couple of rebates this last week. I got a $5 one from Precious string cheese and a $12 Rite Aid rebate. Since I take the money out of my budget when I purchase stuff, it gets added back in when I get the money back.

Money Left for the Month: $125.52

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What to do with Tomatillos? Enchilada Sauce.

These are tomatillos. They kind of look like small green tomatoes with a husk.
I had no idea of their wonder before last year when Buy Low had them on some crazy sale and I determined to find a use for them. I stumbled on this recipe below and my life will never be the same.

I harvested my 1st batch of tomatillos yesterday and was super excited to make Enchiladas.
This is such a yummy recipe and I just feel like a Fancy Jane making the sauce.

I use this recipe here from allrecipes and LOVE it. It's not too complicated and tastes way better than the canned stuff. Their recipe also has directions for cooking the chicken and making the whole enchilada if you're interested. It turns out really flavorful.

Enchilada Verde Sauce

  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2-5 serrano peppers (depends on how spicy you like life. I've also used jalapenos in a pinch but the serrano is pretty fabulous.)
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pinch salt
  • chicken broth, about 1 1/2 cups

  1. Place tomatillos and peppers in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the tomatillos have changed to an army green color.
  2. Strain. Put in a blender and add the onion, garlic, and salt. Add enough broth to cover the veggies plus an inch. Blend until pureed.
  3. Heat sauce in pot.
I heated corn tortillas in oil, softened them in the enchilada sauce, filled them with chicken and mozzarella, and topped them with more sauce and cheese, avocado, cilantro and fresh salsa.

We had these Egg Deliciousness this morning with the leftovers.

You could also cook chicken in this sauce in a wok and serve it over rice.


Ease of Preparation: A-
  • Pretty easy
Taste: A-
  • Pretty good.
Overall: A-

Friday, August 20, 2010

Maceys: Real Cheap Chicken

Total Spent: $5.81

I used a couple of coupons from the Maceys coupon book I got in the mail a few weeks ago: the $3 super saver pack of meat and the $1 off hard rolls. With the super saver meat coupon, try and go for the smallest pack possible- it gives you the best price/pound.

I totally intended to make my own bread today but the doctor appointment for my baby threw me off. Apparently he has an ear infection. Poor little guy. I was next door picking up his meds and ran here really quick.

compiled my list from pinchingyourpennies.

This sale ends Tuesday night.

Money Left for the Month: $108.52

I'm Making Some Changes...

Ok, I am pathetic. I spend SO MUCH TIME typing out prices for this blog so that I can accurately gauge my percent off. WHO CARES?!! Really, what am I trying to prove? Way to go Joy. Wow. You are a great shopper. Now brag all about it and use up all of your precious baby-free time. Good job. Get nothing else done. Way to go.

After much thought I have decided to stop keeping track of all that. I will link you to the place on the web that I got the prices for my deals and let you know if I've found a deal that's not listed anywhere.

I will still shop the same, take pictures and keep track of my budget here, just not break down every single item's price. What is so amazing is that shopping this way is no big deal. It's just posting about it. Crazy, huh? If I'm shopping at a store that says the percentage on the receipt like Smiths I'll still post that.

I'm sorry if this is annoying to you. I really wish I could do everything but alas, I cannot. Darn.

As a side note, I've got some new ideas in the works for this blog that I hope will be more beneficial for everyone. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Menu, baby.

Brazilian Lemonade Recipe

Between the super cheap produce at Buy Low and the stuff that's managed to grow between all the weeds that is my garden, I am loving life! I'm growing tomatillos this year for the first time. Kind of fun. And I can I just say that bell pepper plants are amazing? These tiny plants have huge peppers- it's crazy!

Main Course:


Need to Buy for the Menu:
  • Besides the fresh fruits and veggies I got today, nothing! I menu plan on purpose around what I already have stockpiled in my house. That way, I can afford to eat well.

Buy Low: 2 Day Produce and Meat Deals

Wow, Buy Low has made me a happier woman. They have extended their extra sales for produce from just Wednesday to Wednesday and Thursday and their extra meat deals now go Friday and Saturday. So nice. There was hardly anyone there when I went this morning. Pretty easy shopping.

Total Spent: $15.24

Would you be mad if I lazily just attached the link to the ad for you to see the prices? I just am too tired to type it all out. I am certain that I got well over 50% off today, but what can I say? I am lazy.

The only stuff on extra sale today are the avocados (5/$1), plums (3lb/$1) and onion (4lb/$1). The rest of the stuff ends Tuesday night.

I love Buy Low!

Money Left for the Month: $114.33

Smiths 88% Off: FREE Pringles, $.38 Popsicles, $.49 Dog Treats!

My baby has been so sick with a temperature of over 103, poor little guy. I ran out last night to pick up some more meds for him and snagged a few deals.

I think he's doing better today, thank goodness. It's been a long couple of days.


Retails: $43.60
Total Spent: $5.31
Percent Off: 88%

How did I do it?

I paid with $8 in catalinas I got the last time I shopped at Smiths.

Smiths has an Add Up the Savings Promo continuing this week: Save $4 when you buy any combination of 8 participating items, basically $.50 off each items. Everything I bought is in this promo except the meds, the pringles, the raisinets, and the popsicles.

Great Deals:
Pringles, reg. $1.65
- used FREE coupon I won from Smiths Spin the Wheel game
- FREE!!!

Popsicles, reg. $1.79
- on sale $.78
- $.38!!

Ceasar Dog Treats, reg. $3.99
- on sale $2.99/$2.49 when you buy 8 participating items
- used $2 coupon from newspaper
- $.49!!

Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream, reg. $2.08
- on sale $2.08/$1.58 wyb 8
- $1.08!!

Good Deals:
Raisinets, reg. $3.39
- on sale $2.79
- used $1.50 coupon I got from the catalina machine a few weeks back
- $1.29!

Ok Deals:
Meds, reg. $4
(they were out of the infant stuff so the nurse told me the dosage to give him from the childrens. Did you know they are the same thing, just the infant stuff is more concentrated? Good to know.)

For details on the cheese (the catalina has ended on this. sad.) and the sobes look here.

This sale ends Tuesday night.

Money Left for the Month: $129.57

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Am I in Shrimp Heaven?

Oh. My. Goodness.

This shrimp was delicious. Delicious. Did I mention it was Delicious?

Because it was Delicious.

If you have this stuff to make this, do it now. You will wonder why any other recipe involving shrimp exists (except maybe Coconut Shrimp- come on, it's like fried candy!)

I basically made this recipe here from allrecipes but tweaked it a little- shocker, I know- for what I had on hand.

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 c chopped fresh parsley or a couple Tbsp dried
  • 1 lemon, juiced or 2-3 Tbsp bottled
  • 2 Tbsp tabasco sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • skewers (I grilled 1/2 of this last night and the rest today for lunch and used 3 very full skewers both times)
  1. In a gallon baggy, mix everything besides the shrimp together. Reserve a small amount, a few Tbsps, for basting later. Add shrimp, seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat grill for medium-low heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.
  3. Grill those yummy little guys for about 5 minutes per side or until opaque (wow. that's a fancy word), basting frequently with the reserved marinade. Or twice if you're me.
I served it over white rice and it was perfect. The original recipe says pasta, so whatever floats your boat will work. We had it with Alton Brown's Oven Roasted Broccoli, a loaf of bread that's new to me that will add another 5 pounds to my hips that I will post about later, and another limeade drink. I really did not want to stop eating. Matt even did the dishes last night! Who needs restaurants?

Recipe Review:

Ease of Preparation: B+
  • Anything involving shrimp just takes longer. My shrimp were deveined, but I still had to remove the shell and tails on each one and that just plum takes time. Maybe if I were to actually get the large shrimp instead of these little things? Huh.
  • After that though it goes really fast.

Taste: A+
  • Matt has dubbed these "The Best Shrimp I Have Ever Had." This is big. I tend to agree, excluding the afore-mentioned Coconut Shrimp with which I have an unnaturally strong affection.
Overall: A
  • The only thing I would warn you about is the tabasco sauce. I'm a medium salsa lover and I could definitely taste that tabasco. It wasn't hot for me but if you're a ketchup-salsa kind of person (Mom) then you might want to think about decreasing the tabasco by a bit.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Feta Cheese Coupon

Feta Cheese is something we rarely have here- it's just expensive and there aren't too many good sales/coupons for it.

Athenos has a Buy One Get One Free coupon here; just 'like' them on facebook. Don't forget to push your back button a few times to be able to print it twice.

I'm seeing a delicious salad in my near future...

thanks hip2save!

Maceys 66% Off: $.99/lb Ground Beef, $.15 Canned Veggies, $.39 Sour Cream

Too bad I completely forgot to post this. Matt was out of town all of last week and by Saturday I was, let's just say, less than perfect. From out of state he got me a babysitter, sweet man, and so what did I do? Went grocery shopping of course!

It was bliss. I wandered around aimlessly, taking my own sweet time and looking at whatever I wanted to for as long as I wanted. I leisurely flipped through coupons and chatted happily on the phone. It was exactly what I needed. I didn't buy a whole lot, but that wasn't why I was there.

Should I be concerned that when I have alone time I go to the grocery store? Kind of seems like a topic for a few therapy sessions to me.

Anyways, here's my trip to Maceys. Sorry it's being posted so late.

Retails: $36.85
Total Spent: $12.65
Percent Off: 66%

How did I do it?

Great Deals:
Ground beef, reg. $3.78/lb
- on sale $1.78/lb
- used $3 off super saver's pack of meat coupon from mailed coupon book
- $.99/lb!!! (Hint: get the smallest pack possible for the best price/lb)

Libby's canned veggies, reg. $1
- on sale $.48
- used $1/3 printable I printed a long time ago, sorry!
- $.15!!!

LaFlor tortillas, reg. $1
- on sale $.59
- used $.20 coupon from mailed coupon book
- $.39!!!

Sour Cream, reg. $1.32
- on sale $.78!!

Good Deals:
Kraft Parmesan, reg. $4.89
- on sale $2.50 (i think, I lost my receipt!)
- used $1/2 coupon from a blinkie in the chip aisle in Smiths
- $2!!

Coconut Milk, reg. $.99
cheapest price I have seen ANYWHERE. I bought a couple to test out the brand.

this sale ends tonight.

Money Left for the Month: $134.88

Friday, August 13, 2010

Smiths 82% Off: FREE Nut Clusters, $1.39/lb Cheese, $.48 Cereal, $.24 SoBe!

First off, I want you all to know 3 things:
  1. I KNOW that I have bought a TON of junk the last 2 trips
  2. I'm giving a lot of it away. Ok, maybe not A LOT, but a good amount. This snacky stuff makes great pick-me-up gifts.
  3. It's called "food storage" for a reason. I'm not eating it all tonight. (although one of those Warm Delights might be calling my name for dessert after dinner...)
Alright, I feel a little bit better. Not a lot, but a bit.

On to the junk food purchases

Retails: $110.14
Total Spent: $20.05
Percent Off: 82%
plus I have $8 in catalinas (like gift cards) to spend on anything in the store in the next 2 weeks.

How did I do it?

Smiths has an Add Up the Savings Promo: Save $4 when you buy any combination of 8 participating items, basically $.50 off each items. Everything I bought is in this promo except the vitamins.

I paid using the $6 in Rewards check I got from using my Smiths card this quarter. I also split up my purchases into 2 transactions and used the $3.50 catalina I earned from the Nut Clusters to help pay for that.

Great Deals:
Nut Clusters, reg. $3.99
- on sale $1.99/$1.49 when you buy 8 participating items
- bought 5
- used 5 $1 coupon from target.com (manufacturers coupon) and 8/8 GM newspaper
- prints a catalina: buy 3 get $1.50, buy 4 get $2.50, buy 5 get $3.50
- factoring in the catalina,
- FREE + $.21 Money Maker each wyb 5!!!!

Kraft Cheese, 16 oz, reg. $6.49
- on sale $3.29/$2.79
- bought 5
- used 2 $1/2 coupon from blinkie dispenser in store (in Provo it's in the chip aisle)
- prints a catalina: buy 5 get $5
- factoring in the catalina,
- $1.39 for a lb wyb 5!!!

Betty Crocker Fruit Roll Ups, Fruit by the Foot, Gushers, reg. $2.99
- on sale $1.99
- bought 5
- used 2 $.50/2 coupon from 8/8 GM newspaper
- prints a catalina: buy 3 get $1.50, buy 4 get $2, buy 5 get $3
- factoring in the catalina,
- $.69 wyb 5!!!

Golden Grahams, reg. $2.88
- on sale $1.99/$1.49
- used $1 coupon got with free samples in the newspaper a few months ago
- $.48!!!

SoBe, reg. $1.49 (wow!)
- on sale $.98/$.48
- used Buy One Get One Free coupon (have to play the game to win it)
- $.24!!!

Powerade Zero, reg. $1.19
- on sale $.98/$.48
- used $.60/3 coupon I got from my Smiths rewards mailer
- $.28!!!

Disney Spiderman Vitamins, 60 count, reg. $7.99
- on sale $3.99
- used $1 coupon from 8/1 RP newspaper
- $2.99!!

Hefty Baggies, reg. $3.19
- on sale $1
- used $.15 peelie coupon from box
- $.85!!

This sale ends Tuesday night.

compiled list from pinchingyourpennies GrocerySmarts list and thread.

Money Left for the Month: $147.53

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cheap-o White Sauce aka: Using Up Some Cream Cheese

I have a few blocks of cream cheese that I got for free from Smiths a few weeks back. I love that cream cheese has a poll date like 4 months away. Yikes. What's in that stuff?

Anyways, I'm on the look out for recipes to use it. My brilliant sis-in-law Casey made a great white sauce (translation: fake alfredo) at our family reunion. Guess what it calls for: cream cheese! Hooray! You could totally use this as a pizza sauce, a dip for breadsticks, or serve it over pasta like I did last night. I have made a few changes, sorry Casey!, adding more calories. Mmm.

I just can't figure out why I can't loose that baby weight...

Caseys White Sauce that Joy Tweaked
(official name)

clove or two minced garlic (or some garlic powder)
4 T butter
1 c chicken broth (or 1 cube bouillon with 1 c water)
2 T flour
1/3 c cream cheese
3-4 T parmesan
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: (watch out- this is super hard)
1. In a saucepan, saute the garlic in the melted butter over medium high heat.
2. Mix in flour then broth.
3. Add in cream cheese. Stir until combined.
4. Throw in the parmesan. Live a little.
5. Season to taste.
6. Eat, eat, eat.

I grilled chicken the other day and had some left over so I threw that on top. By the way, I have recently discovered the beauty of marinade packets. Love them. And I tend to get them free, so it's a good situation.

But that's totally off topic. Sorry.

I served it with breadtwists and strawberry limeade, both of which were delicious. Sam (my 2 year old) took one sip of the limeade and said, "Sour. Nasty." Can't win them all, I guess.

I meant to make the garlic spinach too but ran out of time. Plus both boys were NOT having a good day. That would be an understatement. We were lucky to not be eating Mac & Cheese.

Buy Low 82% Off: CHEAP Snacks ($.05 Warm Delights), Produce!!!

Ok, so is all of the junk food cancelled out by the produce?

This is definitely the place to be this week around Provo. If you've wanted to check out Buy Low but haven't, GO THIS WEEK. And buy tons of junk like me. It will make me feel better.

Special Attention to the Warm Delights: There were a bunch today with peelies (coupons stuck on the box) that made them $.30. All you have to do is walk down the aisle, put them in your cart, peel off the coupon, and hand it to the cashier. Couldn't be easier.

Happy Hunting.

Retails: $103.71
Total Spent: $19.13
Percent Off: 82%

How did I do it?

Great Deals
Warm Delights, reg. $2.95
- on sale $.80
- used $.75 coupon from 8/8 General Mills newspaper. They also had $1/2 peelies on a lot of them.
- $.05 or $.30!!!, depending on your coupon

Chex Mix, reg. $2.89
- on sale $.80
- used $.50 coupon for Sweet and Salty Chex Mix from 8/8 GM newspaper
- $.30!!!

Gardettos, reg. $2.99
- on sale $.80
- used $.50 printables here and here
- $.30!!!

Bugles, reg. $2.99
- on sale $.80
- used $.50 coupon for Carmel or Chocolate PB Bugles from 8/8 GM newspaper
- $.30!!!

Bartlett Pear, reg. $1.59/lb
- on sale 3lb/$.99!!!

* Limes, reg. $.50 each
- on sale $.10!!!

* Spinach, reg. $1.50 each
- on sale 3/$1!!!

Peaches, reg. $2.49/lb
- on sale 3 lb/$.98!!!

Broccoli, reg. $1.29/lb
- on sale 2 lb/$.99!!!

Blueberries, 6 oz. reg. $3.49
- on sale $.98!!

Good Deals
Pringles, reg. $2.99?
- on sale $.99
- used $1/4 coupon from 8/1 P&G newspaper
- $.74!! wyb 4

Egg Noodles, reg. $1.99
- on sale $.80!

* Strawberries, 1 lb, reg. $2.99
- on sale $1!!

Oranges, reg. $1/lb
- on sale $.69/lb!!

Grapes, green, reg. $1.99/lb
- on sale $.99/lb!

Cilantro, reg. $.69
- on sale $.50

* = Produce deals that end tonight.

this sale ends Tuesday night. See Buy Low ad for more on sale.

Money Left for the Month: $167.58

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

delicious menu

Sorry for my absence last week. Our family reunion was really fun! How could it not be with a million people under one roof?

We ended up with WAY too much food, darn it all, and I was able to bring some back with me. I made Pizza Joes (like sloppy joes but with pizza stuff) the other night with some of it, using this recipe at Recipe Shoebox as a base. I added italian sausage, garlic, chopped olives, and parmesan to it as well.


Need for the Menu:
  • 1/4 c orange juice (or a few oranges)
  • cilantro
  • fresh fruits and veggies- Buy Low, here I come!
  • Nothing else! I menu plan around what I already have in my cupboards, fridge, and freezer as much as I can so that I can afford to stock up on what is on sale for the week. This way my money goes WAY further.

Sides/Extras: After looking at Buy Low's killer produce prices for the week, I thought I'd find some recipes to use these great deals.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maceys 61% Off: CHEAP Eggs, Steak, Sausage!

Retails: $34.41
Total Spent: $13.29
Percent Off: 61%

How did I do it?

Great Deals:
Eggs, medium dozen, reg. $.79
- used $.50 coupon from local calendar that came in the mail months ago.
- $.29!!!

Sirloin Tip Steaks, super savers pack, reg. $2.28/lb
- used $3 store coupon from Maceys coupon book that came in the mail last week.
- $.64/lb or $1.17 for 1.83 lbs!!!

Good Deals:
Farmland Bacon, reg. $5.89
- on sale $3.98
- used $1.50 store coupon from Maceys coupon book that came in the mail last week.
- used $.55 coupon from 8/8 SS newspaper
- $1.93!!

Johnsonville Italian Sausage, reg. $4.19
- on sale $2.99
- used $1.50 store coupon from Maceys coupon book that came in the mail last week.
- $1.49!!

Johnsonville Sausage, reg. $4.29
- on sale $2.89
- used $1 store coupon from Maceys coupon book that came in the mail last week.
- $1.89!!

Land O Frost 16 oz Premium Lunch Meat, reg. $5.49
- on sale $2.99
- used $.50 store coupon from Maceys coupon book that came in the mail last week.
- used $.55 coupon from 8/8 RP newspaper
- $1.94!!

Don Julio tortillas, reg. $1.99
- on sale $.98!!

Lettuce, reg. $1.49
- on sale $.89!!

Goldfish Grahams, reg. $2.19
- on sale $1.79
- used $1 printable from a while back, no longer available
- $.79!

Milk, reg. $1.98
- on sale $1.67!

This sale ends Tuesday night.

The coupons in the coupon book ends the 17th of August.

Money Left for the Month: $186.71

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

July Budget Review

If you need help learning how to stick to your budget, review our slideshow of personal finance books for money management tips.

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 fruit roll ups 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 just to get us by every month. Want to learn how I do it? Check this out.

Retails: $575.46
Total Spent: $184.90
Percent Off: 68%

This month in addition to perishables like milk, produce, and yogurt, I was able to stock up on diapers, marinades, body wash, toilet paper, toothpaste, cheese slices, frozen chicken, gum, glue sticks, bleach, dog food, juice, soy sauce, spices, mac and cheese, paper towels, pasta, mustard, pineapple, tissues, cheese, pasta roni, qtips, cream cheese, margarine, popsicles, chips, rolaids, miracle whip, frozen pizza, breaded chicken, razor, paper plates, ribs, pretzels, sugar, koolaid, artichoke hearts, tuna, canning lids, salt.