Thursday, December 31, 2009

Make time for Alice!

Hi readers, Happy New Year. I have been scanning my brain trying to think of all the ways I know of to help you make money this year. I would love to pay for Christmas next year exclusively with gift cards earned online....wouldn't you? That is why I have decided to review a couple things I do to earn them!

1. Swagbucks: This is a search engine online that rewards you with "bucks" for doing searches for websites. I do tons of searches everyday and regularly earn at least 2-3 bucks a day. The easiest way to do this is to download their toolbar like I did. You can then redeem your bucks for gift cards. I have already redeemed one and it really works...not a scam. Truthfully, I had heard of swagbucks at least a year ago and did not sign up right away thinking it was a scam, but it isn't. If you haven't already signed up, click here to sign up for free and start earning your bucks. Save them up and you could pay for next Christmas.

2. Mypoints: Mypoints is another site where you can earn giftcards. It is different from swagbucks. At mypoints you sign up and they send you emails where you click them open to view an ad or website. Each ad you view will earn you at least 5 points. You redeem your points for giftcards. You can earn more points by participating in surveys and making purchases through their 'partner' sites. I never do the surveys (because I don't make time for it), but anytime I buy from ebay I go through mypoints and I get at least 2 points per dollar I spend. I have been using mypoints for at least 2 years and make about $40-$50 in giftcards each year.

To join mypoints, email me at kendralacrosse@verizon.net. They have a referral program where I can get a few points for referring more people. That would be awesome thanks.

3. Alice.com: Have you heard about this yet? Alice.com is this awesome website where you can buy a bunch of food and toiletry items for your home and have it shipped to your house for FREE. Yes, shipping is always free. Even better, they also have a clipless coupon system where you get the amount of the coupon for that item taken off your total. All items that have a coupon available for it will show in the description. They also have an automatic ordering system you could use if you are uber-organized and want them to ship certain items automatically each month. I am not that organized :) Their prices are pretty comparable to the stores, but it is the free shipping that sold me! I have ordered from the site and the box was here in 1-2 days, very prompt. If you want to sign up for Alice.com, go here. By signing up through my link, you will automatically get a $10 credit on your account once you have spent $50. Super cool!

Those are a few of the sites I use to try and save money for my family. Another trick I have....if you are worried about your email being spammed by doing surveys, etc., set up a gmail for google email and use that account for that purpose. That is what I do and it keeps my regular email clear!

The Year in Review...Financially Speaking

Boy, 2009 has been a busy year for our family. We started a 'crazy new' budgeting plan in order to pay off bills and get our financial house in order. (You can go back and read about our goals here. )

Again, in order to stay accountable to myself I plan to review our goals and update our status. This is pretty easy to do since we started this program January 1 2009! It has been nearly 1 year exactly on our new plan.

Paramount to our new plan was the creation of using the envelope system for budgeting money. We have never been cash people prior to this, always using debit cards and paying them off. Using cash only has made us very accountable about where our money is going. When the envelope money is gone, it is gone! We are much better about what we spend our money on, keeping in mind that it will 4 weeks until the money is replenished. Here are the categories I currently use for our envelopes:
  • grocery
  • out to eat
  • Walgreen's
  • van gas
  • car gas
  • prescriptions
  • clothes/garage sales

Hubby and I also get a biweekly "mad money" allowance to spend as we wish and I take out money for the kids' allowance (when they actually do their chores...still a work in progress). I still use the checkbook to pay our monthly bills; mortgage, van, student loan, water, electricity and phone.

So where do we stand? Let's take a look.

1. Family Loan: PAID

2. Visa Bill: PAID

3. Car: PAID

4. Van: in progress, we owe less than 1/2 of the original amount. Goal: pay by March 2010

5. Studen Loan: in progress. Goal: pay by March 2011

During this time of paying off these bills, we also bought a new snowblower and a laptop. I include these items in our total since we were able to pay these off as well and they are what I consider a major dollar amount purchase.

I will not use the exact dollar amounts paid, but if you pay attention to my blog regularly you will be able to ballpark it. Considering all of the above debt, during 2009 we were able to pay off an astounding 40% of our debt. That is not a typo.

40%

This makes me think only one thing....why didn't I do this years ago? Seriously, we did more in one year than in all the million years of our marriage. And we did it with 3 kids in tow. Plus, I don't feel like we "did without" this year. Yes, we didn't take any far away vacations. But people that know us also know that Dave and I didn't take many vacations before we had kids. We still did a ton of fun stuff. We had 3 overnight stays at waterpark hotels, visited family often, went out to eat semi-frequently, swam nearly daily over the summer, still had the kids in swimming lessons, and played outside a ton!

This year I realized how many fun and FREE things there are to do with your family in our area. I clipped coupons, cut our monthly grocery budget by at least 1/2 to 1/3 AND brought home at least 3X as much food. We have a huge stockpile of food and non-food items in the house. We were able to collect and donate to the food pantry, and bless many in-need moms in my mom's group. Again, with less money.

My husband and I were reflecting on this past year and all the progress we have made. He made a good point. This year we restricted our budget more but felt like we had more money than ever before. I truly believe that the reason is using cash. Since we are physically touching cash more often by paying with it, it feels like we have a lot of it. Not once have we felt deprived this year with this budget.

Another benefit of this past year was figuring out what we NEED versus what we WANT. In June we gave up cable tv. We have a converter box that in theory should pull in the local channels. On a good day we can maybe get two channels. But we have found that we have little time for tv. In fact, I prefer to not have it on. I'm not going to lie, I do watch several shows online- but around my schedule. But overall, I do not miss the 'noise' of the tv. The kids don't even ask for it, they only missed it for the first week or two. Happily, they spend a lot more time playing in the toy room and reading.

But I am human, there are things I wish I had too.

For example, there are times when I wish I had a bigger house. But then I realize that our budget would be drastically different with a larger mortgage. It would be more expensive to maintain, more to clean etc. I love our little house, can barely keep it clean even! If my hubby or I lost our job, I find comfort that we could easily keep up our house without a blip on the radar. Plus I feel like it keeps us closer as well. My kids must learn to share and play together because there aren't many places to hide. They each have their own room to escape to as well. That being said, our house is perfect.

I wish my hubby didn't have to commute so far to work. But to change that would involve moving to a new house and increasing my commute as well. It would be nice if the hubby was home earlier to play with the kids too.

I would also feel more comfortable with more money in our savings account. This is incorporated into our new goals for 2010....more on that soon.

Most of all, I would like to encourage everyone out there to take stock of your money and figure out where you stand. Even on a small budget, everyone can save money for the things you really want. If I can accomplish 40% of debt payoff in one year, think of what you can do!!

Email me at kendralacrosse@verizon.net if you have any questions or would like more info. I am always more than happy to meet with you, shop with you, or give you the information you need. Remember I am not a professional, I only know what worked for me.

Just like the blog says "I'm keeping my Cash". That money is mine, and I will decide how to spend it. Here's to keeping more of your cash.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pierce's Highlights

Here are the deals I see for this week.

Make note: this ad is good from Saturday 1/2 through Wednesday 1/6 which is a little different than usual

Page one

  • Ground Chuck $1.88/lb in family packs (good stock up price)
  • Red Delicious apples 5# $2.98
  • Farmland sausage $1, use $1/2 MQ
  • Kemps milk 1/2 gallon $1
  • Old Orchard frozen juice $1
  • Surefine Vegie blends $1
  • TJ Farms frozen berries $1 (great for smoothies)
  • Creamette pasta $1

Page two

  • Hormel Quarter Loin pork chops $1.68/lb
  • Jennio Ground Turkey $1.25 in 1lb pack
  • Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls $2, use $1 IP from last week
  • Surefresh biscuits 2/$0.88

Page three

  • Peter Pan peanut butter $1.58, use $1 from All You Magazine
  • Hungry Jack pancake/waffle mix $1.50

Page four

  • Roma tomatoes $0.98/lb
  • Cantaloupe $1.98
  • Dole salad $2.28 select varieties, use $1/2 IP

That is all I see for this week. Have a safe and happy New Year!

Kmart Rewards update

I stopped by Kmart the other day and was able to get an answer to the whole 'are they going to double coupons with the reward card' issue.

According to the manager of the store, the information that was available on the web when their reward program started was in error on the part of one of the major coupon websites. Kmart corporate did not state they would be doubling any coupons in their program.

Someone reported the program would do it, and that thread was picked up by other blogs/sites and spread virally from there.

So, Kmart will not double coupons as a part of their reward program per the store manager. I only hope they have a store wide doubling soon....I miss them!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Deal on Snuggle

Ok, not so sure why this picture is so big, but here goes.

I was in Walmart to check out the after Christmas sales (dud, only wrapping paper was a deal), and found a deal on Snuggle to share with everyone.

A manufacture coupon was out recently (from the Red Plum ad I believe) for $2 off any Snuggle product. I found a small box of snuggle dryer sheets for $1.87 in the laundry aisle. Plus they gave me the overage on the coupon.

I think the coupon expires in early January so hurry to get your FREE dryer sheets:)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas


Wishing all of my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years.

If you are traveling, be safe. Enjoy your family and friends and have fun!!

Postings will be light for the next week as I celebrate with family.

Pierce's highlights


The deals are sort of ho-ho-hum this week, nothing to write home about. Be sure to check it out for yourself here.

Page one
--------
Look at the prices for the shrimp, lobster and steaks. I don't think any of these prices are very spectacular, but they sure sound good.

Pepsi 2 Liters $1 each, use $1/4 MQ
Kraft sauces $1
Broccoli $0.78/lb
Surefresh cream cheese blocks $0.68

Page two
--------
Buddig thin lunch meat 10/$2, use $1/5 MQ (buy five for only $1 after coupon)
Surefresh string cheese $2.38 each

Page three
----------
Surefine pancake/waffle mix $1.50
Surefine syrup $2
Pace salsa or picante sauce $2
Rotel canned tomatoes $1, use buy 2 get 1 free MQ
7up 2 liter $0.88
Totino's party pizza 8/$10, also use in-ad coupon for $2 off a 12 or 24 pack of soda when you buy 8 of these pizzas.

Page four
---------
Avocados $0.98

That is all folks.

Looking for.....

Hey all. Reader Kristin sent me the following..

I am looking for a $1 off Chinet Paper Plates coupon and the $2 off Viva Paper Towel coupons if you know of anyone who has extras!
Thank you!


Let me know if you can help Kristin out. Kristin, shoot me your email so I can forward any responses to you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Buy TV deal

Here is a deal sent in by a reader (and friend)....

A one tip for those looking to get rid of an old tv…
You will have to pay the dump $20 to dispose of it.

Best buy will charge you only $10 then give you a $10 gift card.

Yes, it works, we just did it this weekend!


Plus, I have a Bath & Body works coupon: Free item of your choice with any purchase of $10 or more up to $13 value good thru Dec. 24 if you know anyone interested. (abednego9@verizon.net)


Thank you to Gayle for giving us the info! Getting rid of an old TV is the pits, but at least this way you break even!

If you are getting to the mall in the next two days, that Bath & Body works coupon is a good one!

Walgreen's order


First of all, sorry my posts have been a little late. My connection has been a little spotty the last couple days. Maybe the weather?

Now on to the fun stuff. I got all four boxes of Kleenex seen above for $0.33 after coupons and tax! Yes, I only had to dig in the bottom of my purse to pay for them!

Kleenex on sale for $0.79 with ad coupon, used $0.75 IP from Kmart website. So each box cost me 4 cents and the tax.

You can print the coupon 2 times on each computer. Makes it good for stocking up on tissue!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Target goodies


I made a quick run to Target when I was in Sun Prairie last week and found a couple good deals I thought I would share with you. I got the following items for $4.73!

2 Method natural all purpose cleaner $2.99, used $2 IP
1 Pepperidge farm cookies $2.54, used $1 IP
1 Poptart $1.99, used $1 IP off any keebler or kellogg product
4 Swiss Miss hot cocoa $0.97, used (2) $1 target Q and (2) $0.50/2 MQ
6 Ocean Spray craisins $0.99, used $1 MQ on each

The total for all after coupons was $4.73. I also got $0.05 discount for each of my reusable bags as well. Be sure to remember your bags whenever you shop at Target and you can get it too. You may have to remind them!

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Frugal Overnight


Way back in March or April, I won an essay contest at work. Part of the prize was a gift card to the Kalahari spa up in the Dells. I haven't had (or made) the time to go up there for a day of pampering.

Fast forward a few months. Gift card is still in my purse, burning a hole in my pocket.

The hospital where I work has their holiday party this weekend...At the Kalahari hotel! Need I mention the huge waterpark at the hotel?

Normally, my husband and I attend the party and go right back home. But this time I called the hotel to see if my gift card is good anywhere in the hotel vs just the spa. And guess what? I can use it for a hotel stay. Plus we got a special rate because of the party!

So, we are packing up the kids and spending a night at the hotel and plan on utilizing the waterpark until the kids are exhausted and ready to bed. What a great activity to do right before Christmas. We told the kids only today and they are so excited!

I am so glad I entered that essay contest!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pierce's highlights


It's another week and another extra large ad as well. As always, be sure to check their ad directly. It is also posted here on Thursday morning.

Page one
--------
It's the "12 Roasts of Christmas" here. They are all well above my target range for meat, so none are a great deal to me. They might be nice as a treat though.

Cook's shank portion ham $0.98/lb
Surefresh butter $1.68/lb
Pictsweet frozen veggies $0.98

Page two
--------
More roast.....the Pork sirloin roast is $1.88/lb
Surefine young turkey $0.78/lb

Page three
----------
DelMonte canned veggies 2/$1 with ad coupon- also use $1/4 IP to make them $0.25 each
Kraft stuffing mix $0.98
Betty Crocker potatoes $0.98, used $0.35 MQ
Kraft salad dressing 2/$3
Swiss Miss hot cocoa $1, use $0.50/2 MQ
Kraft marshmallows $1, use $1/2 MQ
Surefine sugar $1.78
Surefine flour $0.88
Surefine pwd sugar or brown sugar $0.98
Nestle choc chips $2, use $1 IP

Page four
---------
Kraft block cheese 2/$3, use ad coupn for $1 and stack with $1/2 MQ (buy 4, use ad coupon and (2) MQ to equal $3 for 4 blocks!)

Kraft cream cheese $0.88, use $1.25/3 MQ from tearpad in store
Daisy sour cream $1.50, use $0.50 MQ
Dole frozen fruit $2.50, use $0.75 MQ (great for smoothies in the winter)

Page five
---------
Dole pineapple $0.88, use $0.50 IP
Wheat thins or Triscuts $2, use $1/2 MQ
Chinet napkins $1.50, use $1 MQ

Page six
--------
Pineapple $2.98
T Marzetti dip $2.98, use $1 MQ

I guess that is it folks. Have a great weekend everyone!

My Walgreen's stash


First of all, a word of warning: Do Not Let Your Register Rewards EXPIRE like I did. Such a total downer. Hate it when that happens. At least it was only $1 but it is like throwing away money.

I got a couple deals today, nothing spectacular but good enough for me.

2 box Lucky Charms $1.99 each, used $1 IP
2 cans Black Olives $0.99 with ad coupon, used $1/2 IP
2 Raisins 2/$4, used $1/2 MQ
6 Hunts tomato sauce 3/$1 after ad coupon, used $1/3 IP (free)
1 Pantene conditioner $5.99, used $1 MQ and got $2 in RR back (net $2.99)
3 Progresso soups $0.99 each, used $1.10/3 IP
1 Child water bottle $2.99 (needed for a child at school)

My total after out of pocket was $16.30 with a coupon and ad savings of $25.82! Don't forget I also got $2 back in Register Rewards towards my next purchase. Overall, it was a little higher than I like for the bottom line, but I did get a bunch of good stuff!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Join Swagbucks to earn prizes!



Does everyone out there know about Swagbucks? I discovered Swagbucks awhile back and have been furiously earning my bucks to purchase gift cards and other items.

It is very easy to use. Swagbucks is a search engine (think Google) that you use and it awards 'bucks' periodically when you use it. Sometimes you earn 1, 2 or 3 swagbucks ~ sometimes even more!

To make it even easier to use, you can download the swagbucks toolbar so you remember to use it more often. That is what I have done, without any problems on my laptop.

So far I have redeemed my swagbucks only once, for a $5 gift card to Alice.com. The gift card code came the next day via email and I ordered merchandise without difficulty. It is super easy to use.

Join today if you are interested in an easy, no brainer way to earn free gift cards! You could save them for Christmas shopping for next year! You can click here for a direct link to the site. (it may also give me a swagbuck for referring you, although I'm not sure how this works!)

Happy Swagging!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A frugal Christmas



I come from a family of 4 girls. We are all grown up now, three are married, we all have kids. It's hard to get all of us together in one spot, but we have a Christmas tradition that spans a weekend.

We pick a weekend in December , but not on Christmas. We all stay together in a hotel or condo rental that is big enough for us all and has a full kitchen layout. Keep in mind there are about 17 of us. The only money we spend is our portion of the rental. When it comes to food, we do something different.

Each family is assigned a meal. You are responsible for bringing the food, cooking, and clean up for one meal. After that you can sit back, relax and not worry about food! This is such a great idea and a way to make a whole weekend very frugal for the family. Everyone signs up for the meal of their choice and can cook whatever they want.

This year we are 'frugalizing' the tradition even more. We are holding the get together at my sister's house! It will be a very relaxing affair for the adults involved. We have activities planned to keep the kiddos busy like cookie decorating and sledding.

My meal is breakfast the first morning. I have french toast, bacon and sausage planned. Since my kids are usually the first ones awake, I will get it all done early and will bask in the meal prep relaxation during all the other meals.

Soooo looking forward to the holiday this year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Magazine subscription deal

Hi, thought I'd let you and everyone know about a very good magazine deal.

1 Year Magazine Subscriptions for $4.69 at BestDealMagazines.com and then use a coupon code to get an additional 15% off to make the subscriptions just $3.99.

even better deal for ESPN magazine:
coupon code "ESPN" for extra $1.41 off makes it just $3.28 for 26 issues per year with up to 4 years total.
deals on guy gifts can be tough to find....they just aren't very thrilled with lotions and candles :)

15% off codes:
CPNCABIN15 until Dec 31
PXCJ1213 until Dec 13

Vicki

Thanks Vicki!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pierce's highlights of the week


As always, be sure to check out the Pierce's website or ad directly to be sure I didn't miss anything you might need. I post only the items I feel are a good deal. It looks like there will be another 3 day sale as well. Check it out here on Thursday.

Page one
--------
Cook's ham portion $0.98/lb, gonna get me a big one!
Broccoli $0.78/lb
Pillsbury rolls $1.48, $0.25 MQ on crescent rolls, $0.30/2 MQ on Grands
Old Dutch tortilla chips or salsa $2.88
Minute Maid orange juice $1.88

Page two
--------
Kraft chunk or shredded cheese 2/$3, use $1/2 MQ
Bagels Forever $1

Page three
----------
Surefine frozen veggies $0.88
Surefine frozen potatoes $1.88
Surefine canned vegetables 2/$1
Valutime aluminum foil $0.58

Page four
---------
Betty Crocker brownies $0.88
Surefine flour 5lb $0.88

Page five
---------
Hidden Valley Ranch 2/$5
Minute Rice $1.88, $0.50 MQ
Arnold soft bread 2/$3, $0.55 MQ

Page six
--------
Pears $0.88/lb
Baby cut carrots 2lb $1.98

Overall, it doesn't feel like a great week for deals or stocking up. Oh well, those weeks will come another time. Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First Walgreen's run of the week


This is only the first run of the week for two reasons...

1. I forgot my register rewards at home (gasp) and I need to use them.

2. They were running low on cereal, I need to get more!

Other than that, it was a good trip. Here's the lowdown...

2 Helmann's mayo $2.99 with ad coupon, used $0.60 MQ
2 Skippy pb 2/$3 with ad coupon, used $0.75/2 MQ
4 Kellogg's cereal $1.99 each, used $5/4 IP from Target website (it is a manufacture coupon that can be used anywhere) (this made cereal $0.75- below my price point!)

My total was $9.99 after all the coupons. My total savings was $21.37. I will be going back for cereal, save me some.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Triaminic coupon and Redbox codes

The suggestions are rolling in from everyone today. Thanks:)

I am looking for the $2 Triaminic coupon out of the Walgreens Healthy Living Coupon Book. If anyone has this, please email me at przybyl@verizon.net.

- this is Kendra...I believe these are actually in the kids activity book. They are located in the kids toy aisle by the coloring books. Usually cost $0.99 but has a whole bunch of coupons.


Vicki told me about if you google free Monday redbox you can and go to their site(was about 3rd down) and sign up by either e-mail or cell phone to get free rentals. Theres all kinds of different codes when you google redbox.
Thanks Rachal

Thank you everyone!

Hallmark Link

Here is the link for the Hallmark coupon.

Be sure to arrow back in order to print it out twice!

Hallmark deal- go get it!!


Remember seeing Hallmark coupons in magazines this month? Well, now Hallmark has a $5/$5 purchase coupon you can print online. Press the "back" button and you can print two per computer. Luckily, I have 2 computers, so I went off to Hallmark today to get a ton of free stuff. They let me do 4 separate transactions and were sooo nice about it. (you go Portage Hallmark store!)

Transaction one---------------
2 Christmas wrapping paper buy one at $4.99, get one for $0.99.

I used the $5 IP and my total was then $1.31!

Transaction two---------------
2 Christmas wrapping paper, buy one at $4.99, get one for $0.99.
1 1/2 price wrapping paper solid color $1.49.

I used the $5 IP and my total was $2.88!

Transaction three
-----------------
1 Scooby Doo for gift $6.99

I used the $5 IP and my total was $2.37!

Transaction four
----------------
1 Body Butter jar $5.50 on clearance
1 roll of solid wrapping paper on clearance

I used the $5 IP and my total was $2.36!

Let's run down the totals: I used $20 in coupons and my ending out of pocket was $8.92. I've now got tons of wrapping paper and two Christmas gifts out of the way. My ending bonus was on my final receipt, I can call a number and complete a survey to get an addition $2 off a future purchase.

Definitely a winning trip. It is worth your while. If you only do the wrapping paper deal it will be cheaper than going out the day after Christmas to get paper at 1/2 price at the other stores.

Extra coupon inserts

Thanks to Rachel......

Hi I have about 45 extra coupons from this Sundays paper anyone interested?? e-mail me at babyjacob34@yahoo.com
I also have some from previous weeks. Or if there is any particular coupons your looking for just let me know.
Thanks
Rachal


Thanks for helping us all out! Be sure to email her if interested!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December Monthly Menu

Yes folks, I finally finished my menu for the month. It feels so great to have it done and down on paper. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Give it a try sometime. We tend to eat pretty similar from week to week so it went smooth!

DECEMBER
--------
1. out to eat
2. pork in the crockpot, fries, veggie
3. Pizza
4. Chili
5. Sandwiches, fruit
6. cheeseburgers, baked beans, cooked carrots
7. Chicken legs, rice, raw veggies and dip
8. Steak, green beans, fries
9. Taco Salads
10. Pizza Papa Murphy's
11. Christmas celebration
12. French toast, bacon, juice
13. sandwiches and fruit, chips
14. Steamfresh bagged meals in freezer
15. Pork tenderloins, fries, veggie
16. Fish, rice, peas
17. Pizza
18. Christmas party
19. out to eat
20. leftover chili from freezer
21. chicken, rice, veggies
22. steak, fries, veggies
23. out to eat
24. pizza
25. Ham, corn casserole, rolls, tators
26. taco salad
27. Christmas leftovers
28. Chicken, rice, veggie
29. Pork chops, baked beans, veggies
30. Spaghetti
31. Pizza

There you go, my whole month at a glance. I am busily trying to clean out the freezer for the beef we are getting. I think we may make it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Frugal Friday


It's been a little while since I looked around at what I've been doing to be frugal around the house. Let me make a little list for you.

1. I'm running the dishwasher only 4-5 times a week. Sometimes we just don't have a lot of dishes except for cups. For example, on pizza night we use paper plates so I rarely have enough to run the washer.

2.When I use paper plates, we tend to reuse them if it's just crumbs on them. Of course if it is soiled at all I toss them. Rest assured I only buy paper plates that are almost free.

3. I continue to use cloth bags when shopping. I *mostly* remember to keep them in the van which helps. It burns me when I forget them. I really don't like using the plastic bags at all, what a nuisance. Although I do recycle the bags to sort my recyclables for pick up on garbage day.

4.I am currently wearing two pairs of socks and a sweatshirt on my day off. Yep, the days are getting colder, but I just don't want to turn up the heat. I think our bills will be better this Christmas as no one is home 3 days during the week. Last year we had a sitter that came to the house so I kept it programmed warmer. I also keep blankets on the couch for snuggling up which we have all been using the last couple days.

5. I have also been focused on eating out of the freezer for the next two weeks. We're buying a 1/2 grass fed beef which will be awesome. Of course the problem is my freezer is packed from deal shopping! As hard as it has been, I have forgone several deals and can finally see part of a shelf in the freezer, but I have a long way to go. Another side benefit from this is that I went shopping today and I have $48 left in my grocery budget for the month! Pretty impressive considering it is only $280 for the month. Now I can take that money and use it to buy some goodies for my family Christmas next weekend, and I won't have to take it from the budget for the next 4 weeks. I'm excited! That's a significant amount to me!

Now let me list a couple frugal goals that I have.

1. I need to post an update on my financial progress for October and November.

2. I need to finalize my December monthly meal plan. Regular readers have heard me talk about doing this and I finally started it. It honestly felt very overwhelming, but I find it is kinds fun to plan, especially as I am doing most of it from the freezer and pantry. I will finish it this weekend and post in time for Monday's edition.

I think that is enough for now. What are your frugal ideas? What are your frugal goals? Let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me. I'd like to compile them and share with everyone.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pierce's Highlights


I don't see a ton of good deals this week. As always, check them out for yourself in the ad or online.

Page one
--------
Farmland sausage rolls or links $1
Surefresh cheese $1
Old Orchard juice concentrate $1, use $1/10 MQ out there
Surefine canned tomato $1
Betty Crocker boxed potatoes $1, use $0.35 or $0.40 MQ out there

Page two
--------
Nestle coffee mate $2.98, use $1 IP
Country Crock $1.98, $0.50 MQ
Surefine frozen veggies $0.88
Healthy choice entrees $2, use $2 IP from their website

Page three
----------
Betty Crocker mixes 3/$0.99
Surefine mandarin oranges 2/$1

Page four
---------
Cauliflower $0.98/lb
Mann's precut veggies $1.98, use $0.55 IP from coupons.com

That is all I see for now, it will be a good week to eat from your stockpile!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday Traders and UPDATES

Reminder to everyone, the end of November has passed so be sure to go through your coupons and pulled the expired ones! I apologize for not reminding you sooner.

On to the trading. Shoot me an email at kendralacrosse@verizon.net or leave a comment on this post about what coupons you have to trade, or to let everyone know what you are looking for.

I have the following coupons available for anyone, no trade required.

(8) 50 cents off any HandiWipes product, expires 6-30-2010

(7) Save $5 off any Brita pitcher or Faucet filtration system

Happy Trading!

from Laci at bandljamison@hotmail.com: Coupon to give: $5 off of the Pictureka! Flipper ... expires 12-31-09)

Would like coupons for: GoodNites brand underpants

Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday is here once more, and my goal continues to be to plan for the entire month. Good goal, just haven't done it yet. Time is fleeting as always.

Monday: one last turkey meal of some kind. Then it's into the freezer. Also french fries and veggies. corn cake

Tuesday: planned dinner out

Wednesday: baked pork, veggies, maybe bread or rice

Thursday: pizza (notice any pattern on thursdays?)

Friday: Meal in a bag, I have a couple steamfresh meals for two to use.

Saturday: taco salads

Sunday: cheeseburgers with cooked carrots and baked beans

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holy Cow Walgreen's....I love ya!


I paid so little for all of this stuff that I'm almost embarrassed. This is the time of year where Walgreen's has so many great deals that you can't avoid saving tons of money.

Transaction #1
--------------
2 Spongebob Bandaids $1.50 on sale, used $1.50 Walgreen Q from activity book (was a $2 Q but couldn't give me overage) and received a $1 RR- so yes I ended up getting it free plus $1 RR

4 Child toothbrush Zooth or Oral B, used $1 MQ on each plus $1 Walgreen Q from activity book and received a $5 RR. This was a $3 moneymaker after all Q and RR

2 Aunt Jemima syrup 2/$5, used $1/2 MQ and received a $2 RR

1 mini highlighter as filler $0.15

My total after coupons and using a $4 RR from last week was $3.49. My coupon and ad savings was $23.48. Plus I also had $8 in RR after this transaction.

Transaction #2
--------------
2 Spongebob Bandaids $1.50 on sale, used $1.50 Walgreen Q from activity book (was a $2 Q but wouldn't give me overage) and received a $1 RR- so yes I ended up getting it free plus $1 RR

2 Granola bars 2/$5, used $1/2 IP and received a $2 RR

1 Pantene conditioner $2.99 with ad coupon, used $2 MQ from Vocalpoint

1 mini highlighter as filler $0.15

I used the $5 Register Reward from my first transaction and my total after coupons and ad sales was $0.31! The coupon and ad savings was $19.52! Plus I also received $3in Register Rewards.

To recap: I got $43 worth of items for only $3.80 out of pocket and I still have $6 in Rewards to use on my next visit. Love it!! The savings was 88%!!

Staples Battery deal


Thanks to Tami for reminding me to post this!

Starting 11/27/09 through 12/26/09 you can buy a 20 pack of Duracell batteries at $12.99 and receive $12.99 in Staples Rewards. The even better part is that you can do this 2 times each week.

Keep in mind this is not issued as a rebate check. You will earn a reward good on a future purchase to be used at Staples. According to the Staples website, rewards for the batteries purchased will be issued in January.

If you want free batteries, then you will definitely be interested in this deal!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Reader Success Story



Today for my Frugal Friday submission, I'd like to feature one of my readers (and friend) Gina. Gina heard my talk at the MOPS meeting in September and decided to try out this couponing thing. Here's what her email said....

I am attaching a picture of my first real attempt at "couponing" (is that even a word?).

In case you can't tell from the picture, here is what I got:

6 boxes of Kellogg's cereal
2 boxes of Townhouse crackers
2 Glade room sprays
3 Glade Scented Oil candle holders
7 Glade Scented Oil candle refills
4 boxes whole wheat pasta
4 boxes whole wheat spaghetti
6 bottles of Oceanspray cranberry juice (assorted flavors)
2 cans Betty Crocker frosting
1 glucose monitor with a free A1C self-check test attached
7 flushable toddler wipes
3 baby wipes
2 bags of marshmallows
2 tubes of Cover Girl lipstick
5 baked goods (scones, brownies, garlic bread)

All of this came to a whopping total of $18.66!!!!!!!!!!

It was a little bit of work, but it was totally worth it! Thanks, Kendra for introducing me to this :)

Gina


She did such an amazing job. Yes, it does take a little time in the beginning in order to get started. But once you get everything up and running, it doesn't take much time at all to save lots of money.

My point is always this: It's your money. It's up to you how you spend it. You can save money on groceries with coupons and spend your money on other things that are important to you. Or you can spend more of your money each month on food. Your choice...but I choose to save. It works for me!

Do you have questions? Want to do what I do? Leave a comment on the blog or email me at kendralacrosse@verizon.net!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pierce's ad highlights


I see a few stockpile items on sale this week.

HOWEVER, I do not think the Chili Meal Deal is a deal. You have to buy 3 lbs of overpriced ground chuck in order to get one each of canned tomato and beans, oyster crackers and season packet. Once I factor in the freebies, it doesn't seem too good to me.

But as always, check out the ad for yourself and the 3 day sale by going on the website here.

Page one
--------
Kemps sour cream $0.98, use $0.35 MQ
Swiss Miss hot cocoa $0.88, use $0.50/2 MQ
Ragu pasta sauce $1.88, use $0.75/2 MQ
Knorr pasta or rice sides $1, use $0.50/2 MQ

Page two
--------
Hormel Pork Sirloin roast or chops $1.68/lb
Farmland Bacon wrapped port filet $1, use $1/4 MQ (these are awesome)
Philly cream cheese 4/$5, use $1/3 MQ or $1.25/3 MQ from tearpad
Surefresh string cheese 2/$5
Kemps ice cream $2.98, use $1/2 MQ
Green Giant steamers $1, use $0.40 MQ

Page three
----------
Jiffy corn muffin mix 2/$1
Old Orchard juice cocktail $1.50, use $1 IP
Nabisco crackers $2, use $1 mQ
Pepsi products 2 Liter $1 each, use $1/4 MQ found on bottles

Page four
---------
Cucumbers 2/$0.98
Organic mini peeled carrots $1.48, use $1/2 MQ

That looks like the end. Have fun shopping!

Happy Turkey Day


I just wanted to take a moment and wish all my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Take some time and tell your loved ones why you are so thankful for them. We are all here for such a very short time, so take advantage of your proximity with your loved ones and let them know how you feel.

I am thankful for each of you as well. I am closing in on one year of couponing, and in Jamuary I will celebrate my one year anniversary of blogging as well. Thank you to everyone for finding this blog worthy of reading and for helping me in my lifes' journey.

Have a splendid day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Walgreen's goodies


I made a quick run to Walgreen's today to make some money on Nabisco crackers. Check it out.

5 box Ritz crackers $2 on sale, had $1 MQ on each, plus got $3 RR when you buy five.
(that means they were $0.40 each after figuring in the RR)

2 Folger's coffee $4.99, used $1 MQ on each

2 Kleenex $0.89 after in ad coupon, also used $0.75 IP on each making them $0.14 each

My total was $13.36, I received $3 RR to use on my next purchase and my coupon/ad savings was $23.80! Best of all there is a Kraft crackers rebate available here for $10 back when you buy 10 boxes of crackers (I know I have already bought 5+ boxes in the last month!)I love rebates, and there are usually a lot of them this time of year....keep your eyes peeled.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Turkey Day Week! I hope everyone has a wonderful and restful day and has plenty of time to spend with family and friends!

Here's my week at a glance....

Monday: Chicken, broccoli and rice

Tuesday: Fish, rice and peas that we didn't eat over the weekend

Wednesday: Pizza

Thursday: Turkey and all the fixin's

Friday: eating with family

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: turkey tetrazinni

I can't wait, I love turkey and all the leftovers that it brings!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kmart Rewards Card Update

Someone is really on the ball. I was just ready to publish this update when they commented about it!

The update is that there is no update at this time. I spent some time on the phone with the Portage Kmart store manager today about this. Basically since this was started at the corporate level, the individual stores have not been notified about how to handle the rewards program. Questions about the double coupons have been referred to the District Manager. We hope to have an answer in a week or two, so hang tight.

I will be calling the Portage store back in a week or two to find out what they know. Hopefully we get some good news on this. It would be nice to double coupons more frequently wouldn't it?

Scholastic Book Fair


The Warehouse sale is coming! You can click here to go to the website.

Our local warehouse is at 6115 Pepsi Way in Windsor.

The sale is Friday 12/4/09- Tues 12/15/09.

Hours are Mon-Fri 11:00-7:00 pm.
Sat 8:00-4:00 pm.

Thanks Jessica for the info!

Frugal Friday...Piggly Wiggly edition


Hello and happy Friday everyone!

I was going to show you some Target deals today, but I got an email from a friend and decided to focus on a local deal.

You have got to get yourself to Piggly Wiggly this week to clean up big time! Check out the email below from my friend:

Piggly Wiggly

Ritz crackers are on sale 2/$5. (all varieties)- They will let you use two coupons . The "buy one ritz, get one ritz sandwich crackersfull free), plus $1.00 off coupon for one ritz.( I don't remember exactly what flyer the coupons were in, hopefully, I can be more informative in the future. Anyway, purchase one Ritz cracker at $2.50, get one free crackerfulls (priced at $3.49), use your 2nd coupon (1.00 off)
total - a $5.95 purchase for $1.50.

Also - Chex cereal - advertised as .99 apiece/ for three (with a card, you must purchase three). With the coupon - $1.00 off on two, your total is $1.97 - .66 cents a box.
Keep in mind, when I went to the store, they had a huge display of Chex as an endcap, It was all stacked with original Chex, Wheat Chex, Rice Chex. When I checked out the cereal isle, there was, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cinnamon, and Honey Nut. The prices were listed at $2.49 each. The flyer states "assorted" flavors. I asked if these were also .99 a piece, "yes , if you buy three.". Cool......

So after two short trips, 6 boxes for $3.96!! Not bad, eh?
I was worried about the "limit 3 boxes", thinking because I used my card, it would only let me do it once, but it was per transaction.

We all know, Chex cereal not only can be eaten as cereal, but it makes a good kid mix, party mix, etc. And there is recipes on the back of the boxes.
Have a great weekend!!


It's me again. These sound great! The Ritz is part of a store deal featuring many Kraft products that will give you $5 off instantly when you buy $20 worth of products. Keep in mind this is BEFORE your coupons. There are lots of coupons out there for these too!

The Chex must be an unadvertised deal because I can't find it in the flyer. But I know Thairn did this deal last night so it is definately taking place this week. Be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pierce's HIghlights


Before I forget, be sure to get a copy of Pierce's "Occasion Magazine" from the checkout. It has a couple manufacture coupons and a whole page of in-store coupons to use. The coupons all have a specific date for use so keep an eye on that.

Now back to the deals. Turkey is (predictably) cheap again. I got one for around $4 from last weeks ad and coupon. Looks like I'll be getting another!

Be sure to check out the deals for yourself here as I only include items I feel are a good deal.

Page one
--------
Norbest Turkeys $0.58/lb, be sure to use ad coupon for $1 off!
Broccoli $0.68/lb
Ground chuck $1.88/lb
Phily cream cheese $0.88, use $1.25/3 MQ
Stove Top stuffing $0.78

Page two
--------
Gold 'nPlump thighs or drumsticks, use $0.75 IP from coupons.com
Flour tortillas $1
Kraft shredded cheese 3/$4.98, use $1/2 MQ

Special Insert front side
-------------------------
Campbell's cream soup 4/$3, use $1/4 IP
Wheat thins or Triscuit crackers $2 each, use $1 MQ
Country Crock spread $1.98, use $0.50 IP
Ad coupon: Free Ritz when you buy 3 Kraft cheese ($1/2 MQ)
Ad coupon: Free Cool Whip when you buy 4 Jello pudding/jello ($1.25/3 MQ)

Special Insert back side
------------------------
Betty Crocker Brownies $0.88
Surefine Sugar $1.68
Peter Pan peanut butter $1.78, use $1 MQ from All you Magazine
Ad coupon
for $3 off Trop 50 when you buy 3 Quaker products
Quaker granola bars $2, use $0.75/2 MQ

Page three
----------
Ocean Spray Juice $2.50, use $1 Peelie found on bottles
Kraft dressing $1.50
Aunt Jemima syrup 2/$5, use $1/2 MQ

Page four
---------
Yams $0.58/lb
Russet Potatoes $1.78 for 10 pounds.

That is all I see my friends. I don't normally review Piggly Wiggly, but I did notice that most of their prices are about the same this week for the traditional Thanksgiving items.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Walgreen's run 11-17-09


It's a good week for Fried Onions, that is for sure! Check this out...

7 Fried Onions $0.99 with ad coupon, I used (2) $0.75 MQ, (2) $0.50 IP, and (3) $0.50 MQ to get all seven for $3!

2 Splenda on sale for $2.99, used (2) $1 IP

2 paper plates $0.89 with ad coupon.

All told I paid $8.79 and saved $18.02 with coupons and sales. Not to mention a years worth of French's onions!

Kmart Rewards Program


I finally got a chance to run to Kmart today to check out the Reward Program they have started.

First off, it is NOT a credit card. It is a loyalty card much like you have at Pierce's. You earn 1% on all purchases using the card that you can use at any time to buy items in store.

Best of all, the card allows you to double up to 5 coupons per day!! I have heard that the register will not allow you to go over the 5 coupons.

It is super easy to sign up. The forms are available at the courtesy desk and the registers. You fill out name, address, phone and email. You get a card to use immediately.

I tried to double a coupon coupons today but the program isn't working correctly yet and the manager wasn't in to work yet when I was there. If you go and it still isn't working be sure to insist that the manager credit you the correct amount. I plan to call the store later today to see if the glitch has been fixed.

All in all, it sounds like a good program to me. Of course it also sounds like I will be visiting Kmart a lot!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

The new week is starting and I've got a plan in place.

Monday: baked chicken with green beans and rice

Tuesday: Pork steaks, french fries and salad

Wednesday: Breakfast for supper. Pancakes, sausage

Thursday: Pizza

Friday: Baked Cod with rice and peas

Saturday: taco salads

Sunday: Manwich with chips or other sandwiches

I'm even thinking ahead to Thanksgiving for the following week as well. One of my goals is to increase menu planning to two weeks of menus at a time, or even plan the entire month ahead.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Finally, the Pierce's Highlights


I'm finally back home, and ready to get 'plugged' back in with the deals. It was strange to basically be free of computers for the week. I had very limited time and access.

Looks like a few decent prices this week. If you are thinking ahead to Thanksgiving you have quite a bit to choose from.

Page on
--------
Bananas $0.38/lb

Norbest Young Turkey $0.58/lb, combine with ad coupon for $1 off turkey to get a decent deal. (side note, the ad also says it will honor or beat any advertised retail on Turkeys. I plan to take the Piggly Wiggly ad which has Jennio turkey for $0.48/lb and will try to get that turkey as well)

Crescent rolls/sweet rolls 2/$3, use $0.50/2 MQ
Surefresh butter $1.38
Pillsbury Pie Crusts 2/$4

Page two
--------
Hormel Pork Butt roast or steaks $1.38/lb
Frozen Cod Fillets $4.88/lb
Surefine frozen Veggies $0.88

Extra insert first side
-----------------------
IGA/Surefine canned veggies $0.50
Mccormick Gravy Mix 2/$1, use $0.50 MQ
Surefine Stuffing Mix $0.88
Surefine Olives 4/$5
Country Crock spread $1.98, use $0.50 MQ
Daisy sour cream $1.50, use $0.50 MQ

Extra Insert back side
----------------------
Fruit canned 4/$5
Pillsbury cake mix 10/$10, use $1/2 MQ

Page three
----------
Caprisun or Koolaid pouches $1.88

Page four
---------
Dole bagged salad $1.58
2lb bag Baby carrots $1.98
Roma tomatoes $1.28/lb

That should do it. Be sure to check out the Pierce's 3 day sale online here. I see some cheap chicken!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Late Postings

Just a reminder for everyone that I am out of town this week. The Pierce's posting will be late, I can not guarantee it until the weekend.

I am at a certification class for my job that is very intensive. Thursday and Friday I am in class from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. I also have homework every night. So that is why my posts are sporadic at best. At least I got the laptop figured out yesterday!

I hope everyone is having a good week.

At the top of my blog agenda when I return home is the Pierce's post and then I will follow up on the Kmart Rewards Program that I am hearing buzz about.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's another week already. I am actually out of town right now, but here is the plan I put in place for hubby in order to keep things status quo for the kids all week.

Monday: Chicken on the grill (we grilled up a ton of stuff on Sunday while the weather was so nice), rice, veggies

Tuesday: grilled pork chops, veggies

Wednesday: Manwhich and chips

Thursday: Pizza

Friday: Cheeseburgers and fries

Saturday: cook's choice lunch, then I'm home!!

Sunday: who knows? I can't think that far ahead this week!

Please note: I am out of town until Saturday afternoon. I do plan to continue my posts sporatically as I am able to secure network connections which are spotty right now. You can still reach me by email if needed so I can pass along the deals!

Have a great week!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Today only- 1 day Meat Sale


You have GOT to head to Pierce's today and check out their 1-day meat sale. I scored some awesome deals. Can you believe I got everything above for only $54.88? This includes several things I normally wouldn't buy. Here is the breakdown on the deals:

Country Style pork spareribs $1.58/lb. I got two packs for less than $2.50 each!

Ground Chuck is $1.78/lb---stock up at this price!!!!

Pork spare ribs $0.98/lb, got two packs of these too!

Pork chops (bone in) $1.38/lb, got a family pack for %5.22 that I split into 2 packs to go into the freezer.

Pork spare ribs boneless $1.58/lb, I split this into two packs in the freezer as well.

Boneless skinless chicken breast $1.48/lb (right at my target price). I bought approx 3# and split into 2 freezer bags.

As for my other items.... I will be out of town all of next week for a work training. As hubby will be home all week with the kids, he had a couple requests. I don't normally buy juice pouches for the lunches, I use a water bottle that I fill with juice. He doesn't want to worry about filling them all week when making lunches so I got enough pouches to last until I'm home. The chips and lunch meat are for hubby as well.

The item I am angry about is that I paid full price for that salad dressing! I had soooo many this past summer, but we just emptied the last one two nights ago. I hope so new coupons for this come out soon!

For the month I ended up only $0.88 over my budget of $280. Luckily, I had that in spare change in the bottom of my purse today. Envelope gets filled next weekend, freezer and pantry are bursting, so I am good to go! Life is good.

Frugal Friday...cheap napkins


Howdy all. Thought I'd highlight another way I try to be frugal around here.

Whenever there is a double coupon event at Kmart, I try to stock up on napkins and paper plates to use occasionally at home. But lately, we have run out of napkins and I just can't pay full price.

I looked around and realized that I have a ton of paper towels that I picked up for $0.25 or less. I decided to take the roll and cut it with a long knife and presto....napkins!!

A paper towel is too large by itself in my experience, so cutting them in half works for us!

For more frugal tips, check out fishmama!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pierce's Highlights of the Week


It looks like a good week to pick up some pork! Keep in mind that I list only what I feel are decent deals, so you will want to check out the full ad here. They are also advertising a one day meat event on Friday only. The sneak peak should be online Thursday as well.

Page one
--------
Quarter Pork Loin Chops $1.38/lb
Farmland sausage rolls or links $1, use MQ for 50 cents to $1 off
Betty Crocker potatoes $1, $0.40 and $0.50 MQ available
Gold Medal Flour $1.50, $0.50 IP from last week
Cheerios $2, there is a $1 MQ out there to score for $1 (my target price)

Page two
--------
Hormel Lean Pork or Boneless spareribs $1.58/lb
Farmland Bacon $2.18, use MQ from last weekend
Surefresh cream cheese 5/$4
Surefine fries 3/$4.98
Welch's juice concentrate $1

Page three
----------
Betty Crocker cake mix $0.88, check for coupons
Old Dutch tortilla chips 2/$4
Surefine Mandarin oranges 2/$1
Suave shampoo or conditioner 10/$10
Surefine aluminum foil $0.88

Page four
---------
Dole Classic Iceberg bag salad $1.28
Cauliflower $0.98/lb
Red Onions $0.68/lb

That is all I see for now. Happy shopping.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bagel Bites coupon


Thank you to Rachal for sending me this link!

Go here to print a coupon for $1 off any Bagel Bites snack. Be sure to press your back browser to print it a second time.

New Tylenol Deal


Go here, and sign yourself up for the Tylenol Calendar. Once you are signed up, you will have access to print out a whole bunch of coupons on Tylenol products for the entire family!

Thanks Mercedes...... and thanks to Jessica for reminding me of this deal.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Using all my Register Rewards!


Geez, the lighting on this picture is horrible. Try to bear with me.

I didn't think there were any stellar deals in the WAGS flyer this week. However, I did want to use my register rewards and pick up some things we needed- which is the whole point of using the register rewards.

4 boxes of Kashi GoLean cereal $2.50 sale, used $1.50 MQ...got for $1 a box!
2 Ginormous Walgreen's Benadryl $7.49, sale is BIGI plus I used a $0.50 WAGS Q
2 Folger's coffee $3.99 sale in ad

My total after coupons and remaining register rewards was $5.90. My coupon and ad savings was $42.95!

So I have no more register rewards for next week, but my Walgreen's shopping $ is replenished this weekend. My monthly budget for Walgreen's is $40. Considering that, I have saved the following:

Week one (here): Spent $7.89, Saved $62.88
Week two (here):Spent $15.50, Saved $109.57
Week three (here): Spent $6.43, Saved $56.20
Week four (this post): Spent $5.90, Saved $42.95

To recap, for the month of October I spent $35.72 and I saved (via coupons and sales) $271.60. I'm not even figuring in the register rewards because they spend like cash driving down my total out of pocket. I'd say this is a pretty impressive use of my money!

Have questions? Want to get started and save the big bucks like I do? It's super easy, email me!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Wow, last week was killer. Lots of sickness in the house, and we followed the meal plan only once or twice. But that's why it's a plan and not a rule. We got some fast food this past week that wasn't in the budget, some that was, and mostly ate bits and scraps from around the house. Many days there was barely anything eaten. But we are ready to get back on track this week, and back on budget as well!

Monday: turkey/wild rice stew with french bread (homemade- yes I made bread!), and/or cheese quesidillas or pigs in a blanket

Tuesday: Whole chicken in the crockpot, rice and veggie

Wednesday: Spaghetti with spaghetti squash

Thursday: Pizza

Friday: Cheeseburgers and fries

Saturday: Steamfresh shrimp meal bought on special, then ??

Sunday: Steak and baked potato, and anything else I dream up

I will be going out of town for a week, so I need to start thinking about those meals as well. I may need to bake/cook them ahead to save hubby some time as well. Or he may just make sandwiches all week (not the worst thing in the world)!!

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Madison Grocery Store


In case you haven't heard, a Hy-Vee Grocery Store has opened on the east side of Madison. I had a chance to check it out, although only briefly.

A couple of their "grand opening sale" items that I picked up include

Bagged salad mix for $0.67
Butter for $0.98/lb
Potatoes $0.99/5lb

I would like to go again when I have more time to browse.

They are a full service store including floral, bakery, meat dept, and even an in store restaurant! It was crazy busy when I was there and I was in a time crunch without kids.

If anyone out there has had time to check it out, please shoot me an email with your "review" of the store. I'd like to share it with everyone.

Walgreen's from this past week


I'm playing catch up this week. We had at least 2 kids sick every day this past week. Between my husband and I taking sick days at work and trying to keep up at home, the blog took a backseat. Now we are on the mend and I want to show you what I got done this week.

I had register rewards to burn and not too many coupon deals to be had. So this is what I came home with....

2 huge bags of Butterfingers 2/$8.98, used 2 $2 IP on them
2 Selsun blue shampoo (coupons are rare for this) $6.99 each
1 Applesauce $1.67
3 Quaker granola bars 2/$7, generated a $5 RR
2 Ibuprofen $2.99 each (ugh they are cheaper this week!)
2 Halls refresh $1 each, used BOGO MQ, generated $1 RR
1 Fiberchoice tabs $2.49, generated a $2.50 RR

After coupons and using register rewards to pay, my total was $6.43 and I received $8.50 in rewards to use next week. My coupon and ad savings was $56.20.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Piggly Wiggly deal


A couple things that I found in the Pig ad that I'd like to mention.

Apples 3# bag assorted varieties $0.99 each

Old Orchard juice 64 oz bottle $0.99

Don't miss out, these are great prices!

Pierce's highlights of the week


Here are the deals from the new Pierce's ad starting Thursday October 29. Be sure to check the ad yourself here, and log onto the site starting Thursday to see the sneak peek for the 3 day sale over the weekend.

Page one
--------
Kemps mild 1/2 gallon $1
Eggs $1
IGA flour $1 (think holiday baking and stock up)
Valuetime sugar 4lb $1.50
Tombstone pizza 4/$9.99 with in ad coupon (otherwise 3/$9.99)- and don't forget about the Tombstone rebate going on until 12/31/09 here.

Page two
--------
Philly cream cheese 4/$5, use $1.25/3 MQ that was a on a tearpad awhile back
Steamfresh frozen veggies 10/$10, $0.35 MQ
Old Orchard frozen juice concentrate 10/$10

Page three
----------
Toast 'em Pop-ups 10/$10
Kraft BBQ sauce $0.98
Ritz or Wheat thins $2.50
Jello 10/$10, use $1.25/3 MQ from tearpad awhile back

Page four
---------
Pears $0.88/lb
Baby cut carrots $0.98 16oz
Mann's gourmet peas 2/$5

I didn't think the meat prices were all that great this week. Keep in mind that I only list the things that I think are a good deal, so you'll want to see the ad for yourself. You may decided there are other things you need.

I'd also like to ad that you should always look for coupon tearpads in the store. A couple deals that I listed included coupons that were from previously available tearpads so you may or may not have those coupons. Keep that in mind while you browse the store.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another Tuesday Trader Update

from Tami....
I have 10 coupons for $1.25 off of a Wanchai Ferry meal or a Romano’s Macaroni Grill Dinner Kit. They expire 3/16/2010. I would like to part with them as my family cannot use them. They can email me at 4dreamers@verizon.net and I’ll mail them out.

Don't forget to check out the other updates on the original post here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tuesday Traders *with updates*

It's been a couple weeks since I did this feature so it's about time to do it again!

The deal here is that we use this post as a forum to let others know if you are looking for a specific coupon, or if you have extra coupons you are willing to trade.

Be sure to leave contact information, and be sure to check back often. I will try to keep the site updated.

Me first: Thanks to everyone that printed me soy milk coupons. I soooo appreciate it!

I have the following coupons up for grabs:
5 $2 off any one Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant
1 $2 off any product from the makers of Theraflu (this is an internet Q)
1 $1.50 off on any product from the makers of Triaminic (internet Q)
You can email me at kendralacrosse@verizon.net

Tanya emailed me the following: I am looking for coupons for Airborne. Several weeks ago there was a coupon for $1 off one. Anyone can contact me at przybyl@verizon.net.

Come on everyone...Let's help each other out!

Heres a start to some that I have. All of these expire by the end of the month.
2-.40 off any yoplait products for kids(IP)
2-.30 off 2 pillsbury grands biscuits(IP)
2-.75 off hills bros coffee 26oz or larger
1.00 off one herbal essences product
2.00 off any 2 aussie product
1.00 off any olay facial moisturizer or facial cleanser
4-2.00 off any benefiber stick pack
6-2.00 off any benefiber product
.65 off 2 domino sugar product 2lbs or larger
.50 off any one bag of lays light potato chips
.50 off any 2 snickers marathon bars
all different kinds of dannon yogurt 1.00 off
1.00 off any brut fragrance product
.55 off any brut anti-perspirant or deodorant product
Theres a start for now. E-mail me at babyjacob34@yahoo.com if you would like any of those.


If anyone has a few Quaker Oatmeal Q's, I think there were some in the 8/30 Red Plum insert; I'd happily trade you whatever you might be looking for, I've got tons that will likely go unused.
thanks...vboos@hotmail.com

Menu Plan Monday

Well, Monday is nearly over and I am finally posting the plans. Here's what is on deck for us this week, It's a weird one since the kids are going overnight to their cousins house.

Monday: Breakfast for supper: eggs, toast, bacon, and sausage

Tuesday: Planned dinner out due to hubby working late

Wednesday: Kids at cousin's house for dinner, me and hubby??

Thursday: Pizza

Friday: Spaghetti (didn't eat it last week), squash

Saturday: chicken legs, rice, veggie. Also sandwiches

Sunday: Turkey/wild rice soup,

I guess that will do it. I'm not sure about Sunday's dinner, depends what is on sale this week that inspires me!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cheap movie rentals


For you people local to Portage (and anywhere else you find a Family Video store) I want to remind you of what a fabulous service Family Video provides.

They off free children's video every day on specially marked shelves. There is no maximum amount and you do NOT need to rent a movie to get these for free. You get to keep the movies for 5 days as well.

Family Video also has tons of shelves that offer 2/$1 older movies. If you are like our family and rarely go to the theater, you can find a ton that you haven't seen yet.

If you are a new member, you also receive 50% off rentals for the first 30 days. That is how I walked out of the store with 8 movies for $1 the other day. Four free child movies, and four from the 2/$1 shelf with 1/2 off rentals.

Check out their website here.

My kids love picking out movies, espcially since they don't get to watch the tv!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Butterball Turkey goodies


The good people at Butterball turkey have coupons available on their website that you can access here.

You can choose $0.75 off a package of ground turkey or
Free quarter-pound of deli cheese (up to $1.00 value) with the purchase of 1 lb. of Butterball® Deli Meats.

Be sure to use the back butter to try and print two coupons per computer.

Good luck!

A few Walmart deals


I read a blog yesterday listing a lot of items that you could get for free or super cheap at Walmart right now. Check out that article here from Couponing to Disney.

I decided I would make a trip to Walmart to see what our local store has to offer. Many of our store prices were higher so I did not get everything on her list. I did however, find a few items to buy.

I did buy a few more items than pictured, but I only wanted to highlight the deals I found. Check it out.

OreIda single size Microwave fries $0.82 each, use the $1.50/2 from here to get for 7 cents each!

Birds Eye Steamfresh meal for two $4.98 each, use a $1.50 MQ (expires end of Oct) and also use a BOGO free. Total is $1.74 each!

Malt O Meal cereal $1, use $0.50 MQ (found on tearpad at Kwik Trip) to get for $0.50!

Healthy Choice frozen meal $1.68, use $2 IP here to get for better than free! (and thank you to Tami as well for giving us that head's up)

Danimal Yogurt smoothie $2.50, use $1 MQ

Schick disposable razors $1.97, use $2 MQ to get better than free! (and yes, I have a razor 'problem', I can't say no to free razors and I now have enough to last for 10 years I think)

Kotex pantyliners $1, use $2/2 or $1/1 to get for free

Del Monte fruit bowl $1.33 or $1.41, use $1 IP (expiring end of Oct) to get super cheap.

Uncle Ben's rice pack $1.74, use $1 MQ from Parade magazine 2 weeks ago.

Reese's pb cups $0.50, use $0.55 MQ and BOGO MQ, I got 6 packs for 90 cents total.

That's just an example of some of the deals you can get right now. I provided the links that I know of, but many were clipped from the weekend inserts.

My total at Walmart was $60.28 before coupons and $22.57 after coupons!! Massive savings.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pierce's highlights


Gosh darn, I almost forgot to get this post done. Maybe because there aren't many great deals this week.

As always, be sure to check out the ad for yourself, and take a look at the 3 day sale here as well.

Page one
--------
Chuck shoulder roast or steaks $2.18/lb
Apples (braeburn, gala, fuji) $0.88/lb
Bagels forever 10/$10
Banquet frozen meals 10/$9, use $1/6 MQ
Cheetos or fritos $1.88
Kemps ice cream $2.88, use $1/2 MQ
Kellogg's cereal 2/$4 after instore coupon, also $1/2 MQ out there

Page two
--------
Gold 'n Plump whole chicken 2/$7, there are $1 or $0.75 IP available on coupons.com
Roma pizza 5/$9
Surefresh chunk cheese 16oz, $1.98

Page three
----------
Swiss Miss hot cocoa 10/$10
Pop tarts $1.88, use $0.55 MQ
Nabisco saltines 2/$4
Hunt's ketchup $0.88, still coupons out there for this $1/2 or $0.20 off

Page four
---------
Large vine ripened tomatoes $1.28/lb

That is all I see this week. I managed to only spend $31 this week at Pierce's, leaving me $ for my Walmart run which will be posted tomorrow. And I still have $$ left. I think I will save it for next week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kmart coupon

Thanks to Stephanie for the reminder on this deal. I haven't mentioned this in awhile.

If you go to the Kmart website here, you can sign up with your email and they will send you 2 $5 coupons for purchases in the store.

I believe the coupons will be emailed to you. One will be for an in store purchase and the other is for an online purchase. Be sure to take advantage of this offer to get products for free!!

A coupon favor....

Hi all. Many of you know that my youngest son is allergic to milk and daily. His diet is limited and it can present a challenge when couponing. He can only drink Soy milk.

I just learned that a previous link for $2 off Soy Milk (hugely valuable coupon) is still available. I am not able to print it anymore, but you may be able to.

I'm place the link for printing in Internet Explorer here. I am wondering if anyone that won't be using this coupon themselves--- could you print it for me?

I am willing to coupon trade, send you stamps or any other trade you can think of. I will even pick it up if you are fairly local. Soy coupons are very rare, and this one has an expiration date of June 2010! If you have printed this previously (like my family) you won't be able to print it again.

Be sure to press the back button so you can print it a second time.

Email me at kendralacrosse@verizon.net and I will arrange pick up, etc.

Thank you in advance if you can help with this!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's almost the end of month....

Here is a friendly reminder for you.

Take some time this week to sort through your coupon organizer. Pull out the coupons that are expired or going to expire at the end of this month.

When I do this I put the coupons into a baggie that I carry in my bag until the end of the month. That way if I see something on sale before 10/31 I still have those coupons with me to use. At the end of the month I can toss the coupons.

Plus, when you do this you may find a coupon for something you need to buy; regardless of whether or not it is on sale. Now you still have time to use the coupon, instead of finding it in a couple weeks and being mad about it.

Win Win!!

I call this "Making money at Walgreen's"


Man, I had a fantastic day a3t Walgreen's today. We are talking big money making deals. If you have the coupons and can get out there, there is money for the taking. Check it out.

Transaction #1
--------------
3 Theraflu bottles sale $4.99, used $2 IP on each and walgreen $2 on each coupon (from the healthy living flyer), net $2.97 out of pocket and received $8 register reward when you buy three ($5.03 profit)

1 Zantac 150mg $8.99, used $5 IP. Net $3.99 out of pocket and received $9 register reward ($5.01 profit)

1 Halloween button $0.30 (used as filler so I could redeem a register reward)

I used a $6 register reward from last week and the coupons outlined above. My total out of pocket for this transaction was $2.59. I received $17 in register rewards. My coupon and ad savings was $27.79!

Transaction #2
--------------
4 Rice Krispie treats $1.75 each, used $1/2 IP

3 Triaminic night cold formula $4.99 each, used $1.50 IP on each and $2 on each Walgreen coupon (from healthy living flyer). Net $4.47 and received an $8 register reward when you buy 3. ($3.53 profit)

1 Zantac 150mg $8.99, used $5 IP. Net $3.99 out of pocket and received $9 register reward ($5.01 profit)

1 Gillette razor $8.99, used $4 MQ, net $4.99 and got a $6 register reward ($1.01 profit)

2 Glade candles 2/$5, used $3 and $1 MQ and got a $1 register reward (FREE)

3 Halloween buttons $0.30 used as filler in order to use register rewards

2 Quilted Northern TP $3.99, used $2/2 MQ

I used 3 different register rewards from last week when I paid. My out of pocket for this transaction was then $12.91 and I got $24 in register rewards. My ad/coupon savings was $57.78!

To recap this amazing deal: I saved $109.57 by using coupons and buying sale items. I paid $15.50 out of pocket total. And best of all I have $41 in register rewards to spend next week on anything I want!!

How did you do?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here it is, another week. I plan to cook the turkey this weekend. But here is what is on track for the week

Monday: Pork steaks, brocolli, carrots

Tuesday: Chicken, rice, corn

Wednesday: Manwich with cheese, veggie

Thursday: Pizza

Friday: Spaghetti with meatballs

Saturday: Turkey! with mashed potatoes

Sunday: ?? I just can't think right now. Maybe turkey tetrazinni

Have such a great week!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Grocery shopping wrap-up

I have combined my grocery shopping stops into one post for today. I will outline the deals and coupons.

First up is Walmart. You all know that I rarely shop at Walmart, but I had a couple coupons for products I knew I couldn't get at Pierce's. I've been saving those coupons up and finally had enough to justify a trip there this week.

3 Tic tacs $1.04 each, not typically a part of the budget but I had a well behaved child to rewards (and 2 brothers who would find out about the treat so they each got one)
2 Healthy Choice frozen meals $1.68 each, had a $2 IP on each and got the overage!
2 Success Rice $1.84 each, had a $1 IP on each so $0.84 each
2 Bumble Bee tuna kits $1.16 each, $1 IP on each so $0.16 each
8 Taco seasoning mix $0.58 each, $0.75/2 MQ so $0.21 each
2 V8 Fusion Juice $2.98 each, $1 IP on each so $1.98 each
2 Starkist pouches $0.93 each, $0.50 IP so $0.43 each
1 Hormel Chicken chili $2.50, $2 MQ so $0.50
2 box Snuggle fabric softener $3.48, $3 MQ so $0.48 each
2 Neosporin lip care $3.56, used $3 IP, so $0.56 each
2 Juicy Juice boxes $2.38, $1/2 IP
2 Danimals yogurts $2.50, $1 MQ on each

My total here was $21.23 after using all my coupons. Not bad for the amount of stuff I got. I don't normally spend very much for juice, but my youngest is not eating enough veggies and fruit that I try to use the V8 fusion for him when I have coupons. I also wanted to get some juice boxes for school and had a coupon I could use that was about to expire.


The above is my trip to Pierce's. Here's a recap of this trip.
Coupon deals:
2 Pillsbury cinnamon rolls $2.50, used $1 IP on each
1 Pace Salsa $2.50, used coupon for free up to $4- and got the overage!
4 Kraft Cheese $2 each, used $1/2 IP

You can see the rest of the stuff in the photo. My total after coupons and ad savings was $31.51. My coupon and club savings was $22.83.

Last up is the trip to Sentry Foods in Sun Prairie that my mom made for me. Sentry currently will double coupons on Tuesday, but only 10 coupons. Here is what I got based on their current ad.
4 Old Orchard juices $1 each on sale, $1/2 IP so free after doubled
4 Granola nut clusters $2.50, $1 MQ doubled so $0.50 each after coupon
2 Uncle Bens rice $2.14, $1 MQ on each, $0.14 each after doubled.

My total here was $2.28 after doubled coupons!

I also made a quick trip to Goodwill and picked up a Halloween costume and a book and spent $5.68.

All trips combined for a total of $60.70 spent for this week. As you may know, my budget is $70 per week for the family so I am well under budget for this week. I have a full freezer and we are trying to buy a 1/4 beef so I need to clean out the freezer. I'm trying not to buy much meat for awhile as a result. I'm going to use the money to stock up the cupboard when I can find deals!

Check out some more deals with Crystal at money saving mom.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We don't do leftovers for dinner.....gasp!


Did you get your attention? Doesn't sound very frugal does it?

Well, that title isn't entirely true. I don't have any special powers to cook only exactly what we will eat at every meal. However, we do have a system to deal with the leftovers.

Immediately following our meals, we pack up the leftovers in small to medium sized plastic dishes. Then we throw them into the freezer on the bottom shelf.

Hubby always takes a packed lunch to work (I do most of the time as well). The night before, I simply take a dish out of the freezer and pack it in his lunch bag. By the time he has lunch the next day, it is almost thawed and easily reheated in the microwave.

We use all the leftover food, hubby has a good lunch and we save money by not paying for lunch. Winner all the way around.

Plus, we never have to plan a leftover night!!!

For more frugal tips, visit lifeasmom.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pierce's highlights for the week


Here is list of the deals this week. As always, I list the items that I consider a good deal. Be sure to check the ad for your self here, to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Page one
--------
Pork Chops $1.68/lb (I think this is pretty good for chops, I know the pork steaks are usually cheaper)

Bananas $0.38/lb
Farmland sausage links or rolls, $0.98
Quartered butter $1.58 for 1lb
Pepsi products 2 liter $1 each
Pillsbury cake mix $0.88, $1 mQ from tearpad

Page two
--------
Kraft chunk or shredded cheese 2/$4, $1/2 IP
Grands sweet rolls 2/$5, $1/2 IP
Pillsbury Pie Crusts 2/$5

Page three
----------
Dole fruit cups $1.88
Stove Top stuffing 4/$5
Jello no bake dessert 2/$4, $1/2 MQ

Page four
---------
Broccoli $0.78/lb
Surefine spaghetti or elbow macaroni 32 oz, 2/$4

Keep in mind folks that when something is prices 2/$4 you do not need to buy 2 to get that price UNLESS the sticker specifically says you must. You will still get the good price.

Not a ton of deals this week. Looks like it will be a low spending week for groceries for me, but that is ok. We still have carrots, tons of apples and plenty of frozen and canned fruit and veggies. Not to mention a freezer full of meat.

The ad also makes reference to the "fall harvest" 3 day sale starting this Saturday. Be sure to check their website for details which will be up online on Thursday.