Tuesday, August 3, 2010

CVS'ing Late This Week

For something to do and to get some exercise, JJ and I went for a walk to CVS today. I did pretty good, here is what I got:

(2) Jumbo Pampers Diapers $8.88 ea - (2) $1.75 mfg coupons
(1) Tide Laundry Detergent 50oz - $5.97
(2) Dawn Dish Detergent $.97 ea - (1) $1.00 mfg coupon and (1) $.25 mfg coupon
(4) Single size Pretzel M&M's $.50 ea - (2) B1G1 coupons
(2) Ring Pops $.89 ea (for the boys)
(1) Bottle of water $1.29 (for the walk home)

Subtotal: $30.74 plus tax

In addition to the mfg coupons I used $10.00 in CVS bucks and a $4/20 CVS coupon

Total out of pocket: $12.08

No bucks back but I did get a rain check for a free 8 pack of Bounty Paper Towels for buying $25.00 worth of Procter and Gamble products.

Oh and to be good for the environment, I used my Penn State reusable grocery bag :)

All in all not a bad trip.


If you like cooking (which I am starting to more) you know that spices can be expensive right? Did you know that all spice, taco seasoning, seasoned salts, etc. are just common spices mixed together and sold under a different name? Why spend the extra money when you can make them up as you need them or even make them ahead of time with spices you probably already have?

Yesterday I was making a recipe that I found in a magazine and it called for seasoned salt. I checked my spice cabinet and found out that I didn't have any so I went online and found out what was in it and made up some of my own. It saved me a trip to the store and some money because not only did I not have to buy it but I also did not purchase any impulse items while I was there. It saved me about $20.00 or so that I probably would have spent.

Here is the recipe for the seasoned salt that I made yesterday. This makes a big batch so you can save some for later, just store it in an air tight container. If you need less you can always cut the recipe in half. It was REALLY good on the chicken that I made in the crock pot.

Seasoned Salt

What you need:

8 tbsp salt
3 tbsp pepper
2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp garlic powder

An airtight container

What to do:

Mix everything up. You might want to try using a food processor or a grinder for a fine grind.

Recipe credit goes to Life Spy.com

And if your curious, this is the recipe I made and it was REALLY good. I made one slight change, I put the chicken in the crock pot for 4 hours instead of grilling so it could cook while I did other things.

Carolina Shredded Chicken from Family Circle Magazine


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Grocery Shopping

So now that I am no longer working, I have to plan out my grocery shopping a little better because it has to last us 2 weeks. This week I shopped at Pathmark and made out like a bandit. They have a bunch of promotions going on where if you buy blah, blah, blah you get $$ off coupons that print at the register that are good on your next order. So I matched coupons and planned and plotted and came up with 2 orders.

The first order consisted of 2 different promotions:

1) If you buy 10 items listed you get a $10 coupon on your next order
2) If you buy $20 worth of the listed items you get a $5 coupon on your next order

So here is what I got:

10 boxes of Kelloggs cereals
4 jars of Ragu Pasta Sauce
3 jars of Skippy Peanut Butter
and 10 pouches of Lipton/Knorr Pasta and Rice Side Dishes

Total: $44.38 - $7.50 in coupons = $36.88 and got back $15.00 in coupons on my next order, saved $47.17

Order #2 was LONG, (50 items) the total was $126.36 - $44.53 in coupons = $81.83, saved $132.12

Some highlights were:

14 boxes of cereal (got 4 more in the 2nd order)
2 boxes of Nuvella sweetener clearance priced at $2.50 - $2 coupons = $.50ea
4 boxes of Pillsbury Brownie mix clearance priced at $1.35 ea - $1/2 coupons = $.85ea
1 Betty Crocker Warm Delights Minis clearance priced at $1.35 - $1 coupons = $.35
2 kids plates with animals on them $.99 clearance 50% off = $.50ea
4 Sobe Life Waters $.99 each (2) B1G1 coupons = $.49ea
1/2 price chicken thighs and drumsticks $3.xx ea family pack

So the moral of the story is that I spent $118.71 and saved $179.29
Can't beat that :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Home Made Bread

One thing I like to do is to make my own foods rather then buy them. It's cheaper and it is better for you. If you read the ingredient list for a loaf of bread and don't understand half of what is in there then why would you want to eat it?

So today I made a loaf of white bread (that is half gone already) and right now I am waiting on the dough for rolls. I do have a bread machine but I only use it to kneed the dough, If I had to make it from scratch it would never get done. Here is my recipe, it's one I found online and adapted via trial and error.

Bread Maker White Bread


1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons honey
1 (.25 ounce) package bread machine yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of softened butter


Place the water, honey and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour, salt and butter to the yeast. Select the Dough setting, and press Start.

Take out the dough and put it in a bread pan, split the top length wise with a knife and stuff the bread with pieces of butter (1 tablespoon total). Brush the top of the bread with melted butter and bake in a 375 degree preheated oven with a pan with water on the bottom of the oven for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy and let me know if you try it and how you made out :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

CVS'ing :)

CVS and Target are hands down my favorite places to shop. I made my weekly trip to CVS today and made out pretty good. Here is what I got, the - are the coupons used. I had it rung up in 3 orders and used 2 different CVS cards (mine and hubby's).

(1) Pampers Big Box Baby Dry with 70 in it $21.99 - $4.50 cvs - $1.50 mfg
(1) Pampers Big Box Cruisers with 56 in it $21.99 - $4.50 cvs - $2.00 mfg
(6) single size bags of M&M's $3.00 - $1/3 bags mfg - $1/3 bags mfg
(1) Speed Stick Mens Deodorant $2.50 - $1.50 cvs - $.50 mfg
(1) Speed Stick Women's Deodorant $2.50
(1) Irish Spring Body Wash $3.00 - $1.00 cvs - $.50 mfg
(1) Softsoap Body Wash $3.00 - $1.00 cvs - $1.00 mfg
(1) Irish Spring 3 bar pack soap $2.00
(1) Softsoap hand soap (larger size) $2.00 - $.35 mfg
(1) Nice and Easy Root Touch Up Hair Dye $6.99
(1) U by Kotex $4.99 - $1.00 mfg
(1) Vive Pro Shampoo $2.50 - $1.00 mfg
(1) Palmolive Dish Detergent $.98 - $.25 mfg
(1) Bounty Basics Paper Towels $5.88 - $1.00 mfg
(2) Sobe Lifewaters $.88 ea (for Jimmy who came with)
(1) Optifree Twin Pack Contact Lense Solution $14.99 - $4.00 mfg
(2) CVS Brand Children's Allergy Medicine (Claridin) Clearance $2.32 ea
(1) Reese Big Cup (for Jimmy) $.89
(1) CVS Cashews (for Jimmy, I should just leave him home, it's cheaper lol) $.99

Total Before Coupons and ecb's: $106.59 plus tax
Used a $4/20 CVS coupon
Paid out of Pocket: $44.21
Got back: $35.00 in ecb's

Not too shabby huh? I don't usually spend quite this much because I shop there pretty much weekly but I got such good deals on the diapers that I couldn't resist.

Don't forget to scan your card every time you go to see what coupons pop out, sometimes you get some really good ones :)

Update (finally!)

As of last week, I am blissfully unemployed :) I never in a million years thought that I would quit my job because I really did like it. I was trying to juggle working 45 plus hours a week and being on call 24/7 with family, running a household, going to the gym, going grocery shopping, etc. After years of doing this non-stop, I burnt out and crashed HARD. I started out taking a few "mental" days off and that led into me not going back. I just can't imagine myself back there no matter how much I love it.

Being at home full time worked in my favor this week when Noah got sick. For those of you who don't know, Noah is my 6 year old son who is autistic. He has Asperger's Syndrome. He is high functioning and physically "normal". He can walk and talk and run and jump and play like everyone else. Mentally, he is a little behind. He is not fully potty trained and sometimes has problems verbally conveying his feelings. This week he has been randomly screaming and has on several occasions mentioned his ear hurting. What made me worry was when he said that he "didn't want anymore ice cream in his ear", it was an odd statement even for him. I made an appointment and took him to the doctor. It turned out that he had a double ear infection. Had I not been here to catch the subtle signs, I would not have known he was that sick and it could have been a lot worse. He is now on an antibiotic and doing great.

So, now that I am home full time, what can I do with the kids to help keep them busy? Any suggestions are appreciated, please comment below and let me know what you like to do with your kids to keep them busy. Thanks and I will post again soon! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Garbage Truck Therapy - Swiped from Melissa

Reposted from an email I received.. ENJOY!

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.

We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, "Why did you just do that? That guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!" This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you.

Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so...

Love the people who treat you right. Hope the ones who don't figure it out one day.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

~ Author Anonymous