Saturday, October 23, 2010

Guess What, I'm Moving!

After over a decade, I am leaving Provo. It is a happy move- Matt got a job! Hooray! It's hard for me to think of life away from Utah but we're looking forward to this next stage in our lives.

I will still be blogging, although probably not so much in the next few weeks as he starts his job VERY soon and we aren't exactly "packed."

We are moving back home to Washington where I'm excited to find new resources for grocery shopping. Anyone from Western Washington have some great match-up sites? I've spent some time looking and haven't been too impressed with any sites for QFC, Fred Meyer, Safeway and others.

Anyways, thanks for being patient with me as my life gets completely out of balance for a while. Must be because I'm always so on top of things and am super prepared. Yikes.

Incidentally, how many bottles of hairspray am I allowed to pack before it becomes ridiculous? What about toothpaste? Shampoo? Soap? Just wondering.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chicken Breast $1.29/lb, 5 cent/lb Pumpkins- Buy Low

I looked through Buy Low's ad today and in addition to their great produce prices, I was impressed with a few things:
  • Pumpkins are 5 cents/pound yesterday and today only (Wed and Thurs). The cheapest price I've seen is 8 cents/pound at Winco.
  • Fresh Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast is $1.29/lb Friday and Saturday only. Their chicken breast are HUGE and do require some trimming of fat, but it's not bad. One breast is about a pound. Crazy big. We usually use 1 pound for a meal so I put each breast in a sandwich baggy and put them all in a gallon freezer baggy. It's the easiest way I've found of freezing chicken breast. This is a great price by the way. I haven't seen boneless chicken breast under $1.50 in a LONG time.
  • Chex Mix, Bugles, or Gardetto's are on sale for $.98. With these $.50 coupons below they are only $.48. These are always nice to have on hand for all the end of year parties coming up. Oh and FYI: Those chocolate covered Bugles are deadly- SO good. Coupons: Pillsbury,, and
  • Campbells Chunky Soups are $.99. Campbell's website has a bunch of $.50 coupons, making them $.49 each.
check out here to see their ad.

Getting Rain Checks

A few weeks ago Rite Aid had a killer price on diapers and my Rite Aid was out. Of course. Instead of calling all over the valley and driving to Timbuktu to get them I got a rain check.

My diapers finally came in yesterday and I picked them up this morning.

Why am I telling you this? Two reasons:
  1. to brag about my great deal
  2. to tell you to ask about rain checks whenever what you want isn't on the shelves. You can't always get one, depending on the way the sale's set up, but it is so much nicer if you can.

These 6 packs of diapers would have
retailed for about $75 and I spent about $18. That's about 75% off!

They couldn't have come in at a better time as I had like 5 diapers left.

Money Left for the Month: $133.30

Monday, October 18, 2010

What to do with Cream Cheese?

So what am I going to do with all of that Cream Cheese I got for free at Smiths? Really good question. Here are some ideas:
Any other suggestions?

Some Produce

I hit Buy Low this morning for some fresh produce. Isaac has decided that he LOVES to eat solids. He is deeply offended every time I eat anything that he can't have a taste of, poor little man. He can destroy 1/2 a banana in a matter of minutes.

Buy Low always have some great deals on produce. I am a fan.

Total Spent: $5.85
Money Left for the Month: $151.30

For a copy of their ad, go here.
This sale ends Tuesday night.

Smiths Freebies- Cream Cheese and Creamer

We took a last minute 2 week trip and just got back this weekend. Sorry for the lack of posting, but I was having a great time not doing anything and hanging out with family.

This week at Smiths is AWESOME. If you haven't gone, I would definitely check it out tomorrow as the sale ends tomorrow night. I hit Provo Smiths around 4:30 today and was surprised to see them so well stocked.

UPDATE: While I was in Washington, I discovered that QFC is a Kroger store like Smiths and had a lot of the same prices they did. If you're in WA, go and get some free cream cheese!


Philadelphia Cream Cheese, reg. $2.18 each
I got these all for FREE!

10, you may ask? Yes. 10. I'll give a few bricks to my sister and have plenty to make all sorts of delicious treats and meals through the end of the year. These don't expire until the end of December. I stock up when the price is right so I don't have to pay full price later on when I need it.

CoffeeMate Creamer, reg. $2.49
I not only got these for FREE but made $.21 on each! No, I don't drink coffee, but my cocoa will never taste so delicious. Any other ideas for it?

Also, there was a Jell-o coupon in the SS insert of Sunday's paper, making each large package of pudding or gelatin only $.35. They're regularly $1.09.

Oh, and if you have that Nabisco BOGO coupon from facebook a few weeks back, this would be the time to use it on Oreos. Not counting the milk you had to buy to use the coupon ($1.89) each package ended up being $.35! Nice.

I am feeling fatter just talking about all of this food.

Before I typed in my Smiths number, my total was $98ish.
After promotions and coupons I spent $20.07,
78% Off!

Check out the PinchingYourPennies grocery list for details.

This sale ends *Tuesday* night!

Money Left for the Month: $157.15

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What to do with Tomatoes?

Is it just me or do you get overwhelmed with tomatoes too? It seems that they do VERY well in my weed-infested joke of a garden, so well that I have struggled with what to do with them all.

Things I've done that I have NOT liked:
  • This should read "Thing" not "ThingS." Matt does not like big chunks of canned tomatoes. He hates them in fact, something about being slimy. Therefore I have had to dice the tomatoes pretty small so that he'll eat them in whatever I cook with them. They were great to use and used up quite a few of the tomatoes, but it would take me like 20 minutes to fill a pint with all the seeding and dicing. I can buy a can of tomatoes for $.44 on sale, basically the same size as a pint. Forty four cents was not worth 20 minutes of my time.
Things I've done with Tomatoes that I have liked:
  • I have made mass quantities of pasta sauce and then frozen it flat and thin in gallon sized baggies, braking off a hunk and microwaving what I need.
  • I have made homemade salsa. Mmmm. I love fresh salsa. Mix diced and seeded tomatoes with diced onion, jalapeno, garlic, bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper and it is Delicious.
  • I have frozen them whole, just washed them, thrown them in gallon freezer bags and put them in the deep freeze. Then when I need tomatoes in a recipe I can deal with them then. I pretty much do this when I have a bunch that I don't have time to do anything with. FYI: when you thaw tomatoes the skin just rubs right off of them so don't try to get the skin off first.
  • Right before the first frost of the fall I pick all of the tomatoes. The frost will ruin them, turning them into mush. I put the green ones in my basement in boxes or paper bags and put newspaper between each layer. They will slowly turn red, giving me more tomatoes for a few more weeks. Don't stack them too deeply because you'll need to be able to check their reddening. Also, as you're stacking them, put the super green ones on the bottom and the ones less green at the top. They need to be in a cool place, not a freezing place like a shed or they will just freeze.
  • This year I've tried something new: I've dehydrated tomatoes! These are also known as sun-dried tomatoes. Fancy me! This is my new very favorite thing. All you do is half them then use your thumb and middle finger to seed them really quickly. I then cut each half into thirds. Lay them on your dehydrator trays cut side up, leaving room for air to circulate, and sprinkle them with salt. Watch them and take them off when they are dry but flexible. You don't want them brittle. My dehydrator took FOREVER, like a day and a half but my mom's was done in 12 hours or so. Just like anything you dry, they will be done at different times so check on them periodically and pull out the dried ones. I just put them in a quart jar in the fridge. Even if you don't have a dehydrator, you can do this in the oven. These are yummy cut up in bite sized pieces in pasta and pizza or a salad.
I never have done Fried Green Tomatoes, but I think that my current love affair with fried foods will force me to make a batch this year.

Any other great ideas you've had to use your tomatoes?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Homemade Powdered and Brown Sugars

Ok, I am super dense. I LOVE my new Vitamix and have made all sorts of fun things with it: ice cream, fruit and green smoothies, tortilla soup, broccoli potato soup.

It has made me realize however how truly dumb I am. Guess what Cream of Wheat is? Wheat, creamed or chopped up. Duh. (delicious, by the way)

In looking through the cookbooks that came with the mixer I found a highly complicated one for Powdered Sugar. Guess how you make this- you powder sugar, or blend it. Crazy! Just 30 seconds in the Vitamix and wow, powdered sugar. I Googled it and it looks like you could make it in a regular blender as well. Some people say to add a bit of cornstarch to keep it from clumping.

It got me wondering about cost. A pound of powdered sugar is 3 3/4 cups, and 2 1/4 cups of granulated sugar makes a pound of powdered.

You're doing pretty good to get 2 pounds of powdered sugar for $1.25, or $.63/lb. A 5 lb bag of granulated sugar runs about $2.50 on sale, or $.50/lb.

So 1 pound (2 1/4 cups) of granulated sugar makes 1 pound (3 3/4) of powdered sugar. Again, duh. 1 pound = 1 pound. I won't tell you how long it took me to arrive at that genius statement. Wow. Impressive math skills, eh?

This is all very good for me to realize. It is cheaper to make my own powdered sugar, especially if I can get sugar for cheaper than $.50/lb.

It also made me wonder if you could make brown sugar. Well, yes you can! Cool! Matt, the resourceful man he is, googled that and we discovered you use 1 cup granulated sugar and mix in by hand 1-2 Tbsp of molasses. That's it! Homemade brown sugar!

Have you ever made either of these? We did the powdered sugar today and it was super fun.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rite Aid 99% Off- Humidifier, Diapers, & More for Pennies

I had an awesome trip to Rite Aid today!

I got a pack of Huggies, a humidifier, 3 trial sized TRESemme, 2 ice packs, and some candy. Guess how much it cost?


Retails: about $35
Total Spent: $.64
Percent Off: 99%

64 cents. Crazy.

I did use a $4 gift card but I also got a $2 UpReward (like gift card).

Want details? Check out Hip2Save here and here. She also tells about how to get free Halloween candy from Rite Aid here. Would have been helpful to see before I went, but whatever.

When I shop at Rite Aid I make sure to buy in $25 increments so that I can use a $5/$25 purchase Rite Aid coupon. Then I use store and manufacturer coupons.

Money Left for the Month: $177.22

Friday, October 1, 2010


Main Dish:
We are loving our Vitamix and have been having Green Smoothies for breakfast. I feel so fancy and healthy.

When I make my menu I look at what I have stockpiled in the house or ready to use in my garden and then find recipes to use them. We're adventurous around here so it's no biggie for us to try a bunch of new recipes. By using what I've gotten really cheap in the past for our meals I'm able to free up money to stockpile what's on sale this week.