Sunday, August 30, 2009

Coupon deals!

This picture's title is "FREE"!!! Everything in this picture I got for free, and actually the pens I got a 30c "overage" on each package. Every item was acquired for free using target website coupons (and maybe stacked with a manufacturer coupon). Mostly a scenario like this...cereal cup $1, use a $1 off general mills coupon = FREE!

This picture is of my first couponing expedition of this new week (week 8/30-9/5). I needed diapers by early next week and had been debating when to buy them. I was sitting on several manufacturer's coupons for $1.50/1 package, plus several target website coupons for $1.50/1, plus a $5 off $25 baby purchase snail mail target coupon...all stackable with each other. $25 is around 3 single packages of diapers, so I'd been planning to get 3, and stack 3 of each type of coupon. BUT the issue I was debating was WHEN to buy them. The diapers are regularly priced $9.97 but often go on sale for $8.99. Last week they were regular price so I decided to hang on for Sunday's ad, praying they'd go on sale...AND THEY DID!!! I was so stinking excited this morning when I opened the paper to read my ads real quickly before getting out the door at 8am for church. So here's the deal I was able to get...

3 packages of diapers... 8.99x3
minus $5/$25
minus (3)1.50 MQs
minus (3)1.50 target web Qs
equaled $4.32 per package or 5.3c per diaper (I usually end up paying about 20c per diaper so this was a HUGE deal!)

The bananas, cereal and bread were free (more target web coupons) and the dishwasher tabs were 4.29 and I had a 1.00 target web coupon and a 50c manufacturer 2.79 or 14c each (which beats Sams by 2c each)!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

FREE photo collage

Walgreens has had TONS of free picture stuff the last couple of weeks, and one of them was a free 8x10 photo collage. This is what mine turned out like and I'm sooooo pleased! I knew I wanted match-y pictures so I took the kids out in the backyard to give a try at getting some good shots. Carter has been impossible to photograph lately and Em and Trev can be hit and miss if they aren't in the mood...but all three of them did AWESOME! (Click on the picture to pop up a new window so you can see the enlarged version.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sushi, sod stripes and shelves

I've shared shushi pics before, but I had to share again. Josh made us sushi last weekend and I just wanted to toot his horn at how good he's getting! He's even branched out from regular rolls to nigiri. Since all of us love it (well, except Carter of course) it's great that we can make it at home as it's soooo much cheaper than going out. Josh even bought us special little dipping plates so we can dip our sushi in appropriate containers. And the big monkeys love to use the "kid chopsticks" you can see in the picture that came with the PF Changs takeout we got when Mason and Ethan were born (thanks Gabby and Charlie and grandparents!!).

So this picture is a tribute to my-husband-the-awesome-lawn-guy! Josh has been working really hard on our lawn this year. We've finally figured out the right type and schedule of fertilizer to use and it's totally paid off...our lawn is beautiful and soft and GREEN! We've never had a lawn this happy before! And Josh has also started taking the time to make pretty lines in the lawn as he mows it...yanno what I'm talking about right?...the pretty lines that you see in "those yards" as you drive by a freshly professionally manicured lawn. Well, I have one of "those yards" now...and my husband did it all himself! Thank you, honey!!!

When Josh was on vacation a couple of weeks ago he decided to tackle some garage organization. As you can see, it was a bit of a mess and taking up alot of floor space...

So he framed together a base (don't ask me what Carter's expression is about lol)...

This is Josh cutting the chain we used to hang it from the rafters. Carter loved this part and called it "fireworks"!

And here's the after shots. We put up one large shelf on each side of the garage.

First Day of School!

School started last Tuesday! Emilee is now in 6th grade which meant the big move to MIDDLE SCHOOL! Trevor is in 4th grade and he got to start a "new" school as well because they built a new elementary school right next to our subdivision! We had a nice summer but time started to really drag early in August, so ALL of us were ready for school to start. Both monkeys are reporting "thumbs up" for their new teachers and schools. Only 175 days until summer vacation :-D !

Friday, August 14, 2009

Coupon deals!!

It was an incredible coupon week this week!! And so much of it was awesome lunchbox stuff...perfect as school starts next week! I don't have time to give all the math this week, but I'll tell you each item's final price after coupons and/or ECBs.

Frosted Flakes $1/box
Special K blueberry cereal 50c
Eggos $1.66/box
Cookies $1 each
Nutrigrain bars $1/box
Pretzel bars 50c
(subtotal $10.32)
Cinnabon bars: one box FREE, one box 50c
Ken's dressing FREE
Yogurt FREE
Yogurt 57c
Batteries 50c
Strawberries 50c
Milk 49c

Total for this pic $12.88 plus tax *BUT* here's the cool part. The first ten items on the list (subtotal $10.32) qualify for a mail in rebate of $10!!! So at the end of the day, I got everything in the above picture for $2.88!!!

This is my Target run. The bananas, apples, air freshener, small All, Tide, Head and Shoulders and pens were all free after coupons. I paid $1 each for the yogurt packs, $1.25 for the lotion and $3.99 each on the big Alls.

This last picture is my Homeland and CVS deals, plus the free tortellini I got from the $10 of free food Schwans promotion.

Book covers FREE
Pencil erasers FREE
Batteries FREE
Candy bars FREE
Cinnabon bars FREE
Cheese slices $1 each
Rolls 69c
Yogurt packs 79c each
Milk 85c
Starbucks 19c
Cereal $1.50-$2 each
Huggies $5.50each

So all in all, the total for these three pictures was just under $40!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday

~I am thankful that Josh is on his way home today. We had him home for nine days last week so that has made me miss him more this week.
~I am thankful that school is starting next week. The kids and I are all getting stir crazy, I think we are ready to shift from summer routine to school routine.
~I am thankful for couponing and Super Suppers gift certificates. I had a huge empty box taking up room in my chest freezer to save energy, and I had to take it out to make room for food this freezer is full to the top!!
~I am thankful for new friends. In the last year or so I've made several new friends and I really appreciate them all!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

Oooooooh what to do when you end up with an abundance of mac n cheese because the coupon deals have been too good to pass up? This was the question posed to me by a friend the other day. I have a suggestion or two, but for some variety, I asked one of my online chat groups for their suggestions. So here's some mac n cheese mixups...

~cook one box mac n cheese and prepare as directed
~dice up and sautee one can of spam with diced onion to taste
~mix mac n cheese, spam/onion and frozen peas into a greased casserole
~bake or microwave until warmed through
~top with extra cheddar cheese to melt (if using oven, you can also top with crushed ritz crackers and broil until browned)
~variation...substitute spam for sliced and browned polska kielbasa (cuz I know there are a few people out there who don't fully understand the amazing attributes of spam *wink*)
mac n cheese (prepared)
can of tuna (drained of course)
can of cream of mushroom

Basically it's like tuna helper. I grew up eating this and made it not too long ago for the first time for DH. He thought it was yummy. Brought back some childhood memories for sure!
The mac-n-cheese
cooked seasoned hamburger meat
diced garlic, onions, red and green bell peppers, mix and serve.
1 box mac n chees
1 can chili

Or just add extra sharp cheese and some mustard. Oh la la!
We fry up 1 small can of mushrooms, 3 cloves of garlic chopped in a little butter, and add it to the kraft dinner.

We add a can of stewed tomatoes.

I add it to hamburger helper and toss the small package of noodles out of it, we like it with the chili or 3 cheese and we add the cheese sauce to both.
2 boxes mac-n-cheese, 1lb hamburger, add salsa as desired.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


So the five of us were out running errands this morning and stopped off at Sam's Club. While heading toward the front door we walked past some carts piled up on a curb that people hadn't put back into the shopping cart thingy. I glanced at them and kept walking and then glanced back. There was a zippered bank deposit bag sitting in the child seat of one of the carts. I stopped and grabbed it and unzipped it to see what was was FULL of cash...I'm talking absolutely FULL of cash, probably several thousand dollars. Immediately my mind thought that is probably just enough cash to pay off our last credit card (we've been focused on getting out of debt and we are sooooo close!). But as fast as that knee jerk selfish reaction came thru my mind, I thought of the poor person who'd lost this deposit bag and knew we had to turn it in to it's rightful owner. I get a knot in my stomach when I lose a $20, I couldn't even imagine how important this was to the person who was missing it. I knew there was someone out there who was absolutely physically ill at the moment from losing that kind of cash. The big monkeys didn't understand the reason why Josh and I were full of WOWs and OHMYGOSHs until I showed them the bag and then they got all crazy and hyper asking if we were going to keep it. I said "nope, we are heading straight for the store manager and turning it into him. Hopefully the owner will come looking for it and he'll get it back." I told them to imagine how upset the person who lost it was, and then how happy that person would be once they got it back because we'd done the right thing and turned it in. So Emilee and Trevor and I headed over to the customer service desk while Josh got Carter buckled into a shopping cart. While I was waiting to talk to someone (all the clerks were on the phone) a man RAN up to the counter, pushing ahead of everyone else who was waiting, and started blurting out something about losing something and had anyone turned in something. He looked soooo frazzled and sooooo upset. I couldn't hear very well as he was a few feet away from me, but I immediately guessed he could likely be the money bag's owner. I said "excuse me, sir??" and held up the bag. He turned and looked at me and almost collapsed to the floor in relief. He was definitely the owner of the bag. The poor guy stammered a bit, thanking us and saying something about how relieved he was that he wouldn't be losing his job (as a result of losing the deposit bag). He went on and on about how happy he was, and I couldn't do anything but smile as he chattered. The big monkeys were watching, soaking it all in, and I took the moment to say out loud, "see guys, remember how I said the owner of this bag would be soooo happy that we went to turn it in?...isn't this cool?!" and they nodded wide eyed. The man asked who had found the bag and I told him that all of us basically did, so he unzipped it and pulled out two ten dollar bills and handed one each to the big monkeys. I told him it really wasn't necessary but he argued with a big smile on his face, saying it absolutely was and that I had no idea how grateful he was. As we parted ways, I was happy to have done something that affected someone else in a wonderful way. But more importantly, I was REALLY happy that I was able to share that lesson in full living color with our kids. The lesson they learned today was priceless.

We also got a second opportunity today to serve others. We have a retired couple next door and they are absolutely wonderful people. They've helped us with our kids on occasion and just been a joy to become friends with. The husband had to have surgery today, so we offered to make them dinner so the wife didn't have to tend to anything but her husband. Many people may think this is a very normal thing to do, but it's the first time our family has done this. Where we are from (and the previous circles of people we were acquainted with) just didn't do this type of thing. But recently we've had people extend this kindness to us, so we were excited when this opportunity came for us to pay it forward. Josh of course had alot of hands on fun as he is the culinary genius around here, so he planned the menu and cooked up a yummy meal and dessert. It was great to take the kids and deliver this meal for them this afternoon, and have it be another example of how to think of others before ourselves.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Freebies and Cheapies!!

What a wonderful Monday!! I got to run errands today with the two big monkeys while Carter slept and Josh enjoyed some of his time off via playing a favorite old computer game. It was nice to spend the time with them and nice to hop in and out of the car quickly (not having to get Carter in and out of his carseat and into strollers and shopping cart buckles etc).

So I started off by hitting Redbox with my Monday free movie rental code and picked up "Knowing" (Josh's request, I have no idea what it's about but I'm happy to enjoy watching any movie with him). Then I hopped into McDonalds (since I was in their parking lot getting the movie) and grabbed my free iced mocha in honor of Mocha Mondays.

Then we hit two CVSs and Homeland for the "thru Monday only" freebies and deals. I have a STACK of rain checks for all the free school supplies that CVS is offering again this week (YAY!) but I was able to get a couple of freebies that were in stock, especially a cereal rain check I've been carrying around for weeks.

So here's what's pictured...

Frozen chicken on sale for $3.99, double $1/1 coupon...$1.99
Frozen rolls $2.69, double $1/1 coupon...69c
Velveeta on sale for $3.99, double $1/1 coupon...$1.99

Cereal $3/10, (3) $2/1 coupons, $5ECB wyb 3...$1 profit
Stayfree $5 each, BOGO free coupon, $1/1 coupon, $5ECB wyb 2...$1 profit
Bookcovers 99c each, 99c ECB

So out of pocket today I got a free fancy coffee, free movie rental, spent about $5 and came home with more ECBs than I walked in with.