Friday, December 31, 2010

Here Comes 2011!

I can't believe all the changes that have overtaken my life this year! I have learned so much from my venture into couponing. I know that I will never go back to my old way of shopping: paying full price for everything all the time and thinking I was doing the best I could by shopping almost exclusively at Wal-Mart. Who would have thought that, as I did a random google search while researching Disney World for a vacation, I would have stumbled upon the website that started my shopping revolution, www.couponingtodisney.com. I clearly remember spending most of last Christmas vacation scouring the net for more info. I came across www.hip2save.com. These two blogs were my original inspiration and I owe Kristin and Collin a ton of thanks, and probably a couple thousand dollars! I am so looking forward to a new year of being a wannabe cheapskate.

I have been putting off posting a budget goal for 2011. I posted a goal for the school year toward the end of the summer. And that's been a total failure. I hesitate to make my failure so public again! Then, I read this post by the Passionate Penny Pincher and realized that I needed to just buck up and go for it.

So, here it is. I plan to keep our family to a grocery and household needs budget of $60 per week. I think $60 is just the right amount to get what we need and what's on sale. Hopefully, I'll be able to come in under budget most weeks so that I have a little room to groove if I come across a great deal that would put me over on another week.

I am working on a way for me to (easily and quickly) track my spending at each store I frequent (Publix, CVS, Walgreens, Target, and Walmart). I don't know how I'll do on that, though. I want to be able to post here about my success/failure without it taking an age. Time will tell.

I will start posting and tracking tomorrow, January 1, 2011!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tonight's Special (and Frugal) Dinner, 12/29


After watching 30 Minute Meals, Talani and I decided we wanted to try making this meal. Of course, I can never manage to make a "30-Minute-Meal" in less than an hour, although this time I came close. Probably because I made only 2 of the 4 recipes she showcased on the episode. We tweeked the recipes quite a bit to fit our tastes. For example, Rachael used watercress in the Beef Wellington pouches, and we skipped it altogether. She used bleu cheese, and we used brie. She used tenderloin, we used the $4.29/lb. cut. I still found the beef wellington to be delightfully tasty, even if the cheese mostly ran right out of the pouches in a liquid. The dill and butter potatoes were yummy.
Here's the basic rundown on the cost of this very special meal for us:
steak -- $4.29/lb -- $4.70
puff pastry -- $4.39 per box -- $2.20
brie -- BOGO for $5.99 -- $3.00^^
potatoes -- $2.49 for 5 lb -- $1.25^^
butter -- $2/lb. -- $.25
dill -- $1.99 for a small pkg -- $.20
^^On sale until 12/31.
Total: $11.60 -- Quite a high total for a homemade meal, at least for us!
And for dessert? Chocolate covered macadamia nuts from Hawaii! (Thanks, Auntie Annie!)
It was delicious, and Talani ate the leftovers for breakfast! :)

Last Publix trip of 2010 -- 50% saved

I'm glad I read somebody else's year-end shopping trip show and tell, or I would never have remembered to use up those coupons for free items that all expire tomorrow. My percent of savings isn't very good, but we got some items for dinner and a few things that were impulse buys or needs that we didn't have a coupon for.

Here's how we did:

1 Butterfinger bar -- $.90
Used FREE coupon received in the mail.
Paid: FREE!
1 Natural Instincts hair color -- $5.99
Used FREE coupon received in the mail.
Paid: FREE!
1 Excedrin Migraine -- $3.99
Used FREE coupon received in the mail.
Paid: FREE!
This came with a small bottle of Excedrin PM attached, an extra bonus!
1 Sundown vitamins -- $5.99
2 Welch's sparkling grape juice -- $5
no coupon
Paid: $5 for both, or just $2.50 each!
2 Wise Cheez Doodlez -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.99
Used 2 $.50 printable coupons
Paid: $1.99 for both, or just $1 each!
Hooray for cheesy-puffy-goodness!
1 Pepperidge Farm puff pastry -- $4.39
1 dozen Publix brand eggs -- $1.90
Mock tender steak -- $4.70
2 Creme de Brie -- BOGO -- 2 for $5.99
Paid: $5.99 for both, or just $3 each!
2 TGIF frozen quesadillas -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.63
Used 2 $2 Target coupons
Paid: FREE for both, plus $.37 overage!
Yellow onions -- $2.99
Gold potatoes -- $2.49
Fresh dill -- $1.99
2 Pace salsa -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.79
Used 2 $.50 printable coupons
Paid: $1.79 for both, or just $.90 each!
1 can Hormel corned beef hash -- $3.69
Bakery cinnamon buns -- $4.39
Total spent: $42.eighty4
Total saved: $42.40
Percent saved: 50%

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Doing Disney the Cheapskate Way

We just returned from a wonderful week at Disney World. We had to be careful with our spending, though, which can sometimes put a damper on enjoying the magic. Here are a few things we did to help us get the most out of our trip while spending as little as possible:

1. We bought a cooler ($30) on wheels so we could keep food in our standard room. It has a drain spout near the bottom, and the wheels made transporting to the ice machine easy.
2. We bought groceries to last the week. ($60) We bought lunch meat from the deli, chips, bread, snacks, drinks, you name it. We also delved into our stock pile for lots of needed items. We had a limited menu: bagels and instant oatmeal for breakfast; sandwiches, chips, cookies for lunch and dinner; granola bars and muffins for snacks.
3. We "splurged" occasionally. If we had never been able to buy a treat, I think the magic would have been sapped right out of our vacation. We tried to splurge smart, though. One day at Epcot, we bought ONE chicken meal at Sunshine Seasons. It came with potatoes and barbeque beans. We each ate a little of it, plus our sandwiches and chips. We had a feast! It was delicious! We got to try something we'd never had before and didn't break the bank to do it. Cost: $10 for a meal and a drink. (Thanks to a 30% off coupon Disney was offering at many places.) Another time, we bought 3 snacks at the Germany pavilion in Epcot (not the same day as the lunch at Sunshine Seasons). We spent about $12, but enjoyed the snack immensely. Again, something new. We revisited a favorite at Animal Kingdom: Yak and Yeti local cafes. One lunch of sandwiches was supplemented with a couple orders of fried rice and a side of egg rolls. We spent around $12 or $13 there. (We LOVE the chicken fried rice there!) While our splurges were more than we would normally spend around town for a snack, it was so worth it! We felt like we feasted all week long, without spending like we were feasting at Disney! We spent, I'm guessing, less than 25% of what we would normally have spent at Disney for meals and snacks.
4. We took advantage of a special deal at a favorite restaurant -- We went for dinner at Panda Express, a favorite Chinese fast-food joint that we don't have here in Pensacola. They were offering a free meal with a purchase of a $25 gift card. I bought the gift card and got my meal for free. Talani, then, used the card -- and the free-entree-for-taking-a-survey thing that printed out on my reciept -- to purchase his dinner and dinner for the kids. We still have about $10 left on that gift card for later use. Without the gift card promotion and free entree, we figure we would have spent $27 to get the same amount of food.
5. We planned ahead for spending money and gas money. When Publix does their gas card or gift card promotions near Christmas, we try to snatch some up to offset our vacation costs. We got $150 in American Express gift cards and $100 in BP gas cards for around $200 -- that's a savings of 20%! (That made it a little easier to pull up to the BP station to pay $3.03 per gallon. We knew that we paid only $40 for the $50 in gas, making our actual cost for the gas just $2.42 per gallon.)

Our trip was amazing. We can't wait to go back, although it will be a while before vacation plans allow us to go. There are so many ways to do Disney cheap . . . it's almost always possible to work a trip into your budget!

Monday, November 29, 2010

My FlyLady Experiment, Monday, 11/29

UPDATED: 7:45 pm.
So, I know I've only worked for a few more minutes and have not come even close to getting a home blessing HOUR, but it's time to start getting the kiddos ready for bed, and I do have my other responsibilities to think of. So, I did a little dusting and got rid of the trash in the trash cans and that's all. But I have to say, it's about 30 minutes more of work than I put into the state of my house just a week ago. I updated this list of home blessing tasks below with what I accomplished since last update. The newest items/comments are in green.

Looking forward to tomorrow and the difference I can make in the home then! Tomorrow's tasks: Water and fertilize plants (All our plants are outdoors, and we've had a good rain today. I consider this task done!) . . . spend 15 minutes in the current zone. I know I could use 15 minutes at the desk in the living room!

UPDATED: 7:30 pm.
I just finished 10 minutes of vacuuming. I know I can't stop in between every task in the home blessing hour, but I just had to express my amazement at how much can get vacuumed in just 10 minutes! I did just the middles of the rooms, but I got the kids' room, the master bedroom and bathroom, the hallway, the hall bathroom, the entry way, the dining room, the kitchen and pantry area, and the living room (or most of it). That's almost the whole house! On a side note, I've begun to notice how much dust and clutter live on the edges of the rooms in my house. Gotta get out the rubba scrubba and clean those baseboards and edges before I vacuum next. Maybe I can get my kiddos to jump in there. They love to be helpers!

As for the rest of the home blessing hour:
Cull/toss magazines -- nah. I did this over the weekend, and am still pleased with the collection I have. Check back next week.
Empty all trash -- done!
Change sheets. Now I wish I'd done laundry today. I could have washed the sheets and could have been ready for this task. Instead, I have to wait until Wednesday or Thursday. Note to self: wash and change sheets on Wednesday or Thursday.
Mop kitchen and bath: Do I have to? Skipping it this week.
Clean mirrors and doors: I cleaned the mirrors this morning with my swish and swipe. Yes, the only mirrors we have are in the bathrooms. Clean the doors? I'm not sure how to go about this, but I'll give it a go. Skipped doors.
Feather dust furniture: I don't have a feather duster, but I'll see what I can do. I know this job desperately needs to be done, but I HATE dusting. I'll save it for last and hope I run out of time. :) I used a dryer sheet and dusted the pictures hanging in the dining room and living room and the furniture in the living room. I didn't move things around to dust; I just dusted the visible parts. I know this is less than desirable, but it's all I'm willing to give time to today.

Well, I've four tabs open on my laptop -- facebook, blogger, iheartpublix, and mycouponhunter. Facebook, so I can find the list of things to do for the weekly home blessing, since all I remember is vacuum for 10 minutes; blogger, so I can fill you in on how my experiment is coming along today; iheartpublix, because the new sneak peek is out and I want to make my weeekend shopping list tonight; mycouponhunter, because I need to get coupons for the weekend shopping trip.

I am most intrigued by the cookie mix this week. Only $.19 for 2 boxes of cookie mix!

Here's how I'm doing with housework today:

1. Did swish and swipe this morning before school.
2. Did NOT do laundry today because we just didn't need to! I'll do a load tomorrow, Lord willing, early in the morning so it comes out of the dryer before 7:00 a.m.!
3. Made dinner -- taco rice -- cheap and yummy!
4. Broom swept the kitchen and entry while dinner cooked. My wonderful husband took over when I wasn't even half done and finished it off for me. He's such a blessing.
5. Cleaned up after dinner. Kitchen work took about 10 minutes, and that includes scrubbing, drying, and treating my beloved cast-iron skillet.
6. About to do weekly home blessing (if I can find the list)
7. Then, school work for a while.

I'm determined to get to bed at a decent time tonight. For whatever reason, I was WIRED last night and had a hard time going to bed. I paid for it this morning by not wanting to get up, then having to rush around. Don't like that one bit, no I don't.

Meanwhile, my husband who is such a hard working is working on the packages to ship out. He has plans to work on our home-made Christmas cards this evening, too. He's amazing, I'm telling you. I don't know how I got so lucky.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Fly Lady Experiment, 11/2eight

Re: title: Yes, my eight button is still broken. And yes, I'm too lazy to plug in the other keyboard. Don't judge. :)

This weekend and Fly Lady have made a HUGE difference in my house! I still have hot spots: computer desk, dining room table, hutch, craft corner, armoir in the bedroom, kids' closet, etc. But so much has improved that I would not be embarrassed if you knocked on my door right now. I'd be concerned because it IS after 10:00 pm, after all, but not embarrassed.

As I prepare to head to bed, here's the status of my house:

1. Floors -- starting to look like they need to be vacuumed, especially in the entry way, but still an overall improvement from what the previous normal was.

2. Kitchen -- CLEAN!!

3. Laundry -- DONE!!

4. Since the laundry is done, I have no concerns about this week's wardrobe. I know what I'm wearing through Thursday. Haven't decided on Friday, yet, but I have plenty of choices neatly hanging in the closet. I haven't planned outfits for the kiddos, but they have plenty of options since their clothes are all clean, too.

5. Bathrooms -- CLEAN!! The floors need some attention (in the kitchen, too), but I am thrilled with their current condition.

6. Dusting -- needs to be done. Badly.

7. Menu plan -- All set! I need to print out or cut out coupons that match my list and check www.iheartpublix.com tomorrow regarding the coming week's sale. But if I had to go ASAP, I could be ready to shop within 20 minutes.

My husband has done a wonderful job of cutting cardstock for our Christmas cards. He has spent some time today working on the Christmas packages for North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, and American Samoa. Plus, he found my long-lost car keys and watch! He is such a great husband!

I feel such a burden lifted with the house in good order. I feel like, in this one area of my life, I am improving and beginning to be successful. That uplifting is so important to me. I thrive on approval, even if it's only my own. ha!

Good night, clean house! I can't wait to see you tomorrow!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Great Publix Blog I Just Found!


I'm so excited about this blog! While written in metro-Atlanta (and we all know how Publix coupon policies differ here in Florida to those in Georgia), many of these deals are still attainable to us! And I love the idea of keeping the total at or near $10, you know for those weeks where you JUST want to get what's at rock bottom. Or you don't feel like searching all over for a bajillion deals. Or you've reached the end of your paycheck and just need to pick up some things to tide you over 'til the next one. I love the idea of this week's scenario! I have put my own spin on it -- in other words, I've already used up my share of some of the coupons she mentions -- and will report my findings. :) Check it out! www.couponinglite.wordpress.com

My FlyLady Experiment, 11/26

Updated at 10:40 p.m.

This post may take me all day, literally, to write. Or at least, all morning. I decided to give a play-by-play of my to-do list today. As I finish a task, I will update the post. I know that means I have to take lots of little breaks throughout the day (oh, that's rough!) just to do the writing. I'm okay with that. :)

Here's how the morning has gone so far:

I had to take the husband to work this morning. He had to be there by 7:15. Since I was up a little before 6:00, I was able to get the following things done before we left to take him to work:
1. Got dressed to shoes (see http://www.flylady.net/ for more info. regarding this)
2. Made bed.
3. Hair and makeup (such as it is. I don't wear a whole lotta make up, and I definitely have a casual day hair style.)
4. Took the dog out.
5. Put away the clean dishes.
6. Did some dishes. (This is a difficulty in my house, right now, due to problems with our kitchen plumbing. Suffice to say, I'm still working on Thanksgiving Dinner dishes.)
7. Did a swish and swipe of the hall bathroom. (http://www.flylady.net/ explains what this is.)
8. Made a quick breakfast for the husband. (little ham sandwiches using leftover Thanksgiving ham and dinner rolls.)
9. Put a gallon of water in the distiller. (This is a very little task, but I am always procrastinating on it and thus never have enough to drink.)

Not bad, right? Granted, each task took just a few minutes. (I'm really quick with the hair and makeup. Not more than 10 minutes after blow-drying on a regular day. Probably 5 minutes today. And, yes, I'm aware that I probably LOOK like I spent 5 minutes on it today.)

Since we got home, I've wasted time by sitting in the recliner, almost falling asleep watching Backyardigans with the kiddos and browsing my favorite blogs on my iPod.

As of 9:30:
1. I've had my prayer time (specially praying today for young friend Hunter who is having an emergency appendectomy today after just having tonsils and adenoids out last week and friend, also a sort-of relation, Wendy, who recently miscarried a third time.)
2. I completed a swish and swipe of the master bathroom. It took me 5 minutes, 57 seconds (5:57). That's a little much, I know, for a swish and swipe, but I also emptied the trash, sprayed down the shower, and wiped up the floor a little.

As of 10:30:
1. I put the laundry in the washer.
2. I took the dog out for a potty.

As of 11:10:
1. I put the laundry in the dryer.
2. I put the newly-distilled water into icecube trays and into the freezer.
3. I did some dishes, a whole sink full! (I'm using some creative methods to keep as little water in the sink as possible, and I think it's helping. Two more rounds and I'll be done!)
4. Put rice on to cook for lunch.

As of 12:15:
1. Made lunch -- ham left over from Thanksgiving dinner, rice, and applesauce
2. Picked up the husband from work so that he could enjoy lunch with us.
3. Put the daughter in the bathtub for a quick pre-nap clean up.
4. Put dry beans on to soak for our dinner of ham and bean soup.

As of 4:15:
1. Helped the daughter finish her bath.
2. Bathed the son.
3. Babysat the ham and bean soup on the stove.
4. Vacuumed the living room, dining room, entry way, and kitchen.
5. Folded and put away two loads of laundry.
6. Did another load of dishes.
I finished this around 2:00 and stopped. I rested for a while; that's what days off are for, aren't they? Then I cuddled for a while with the kiddos when they got up from their naps.

Now, the husband is home! It's the weekend!
I feel so good about what was accomplished! I know that my house, as a whole, has a long way to go. I would be embarrassed to bring a stranger into my house still. But I know that I and my family can see the changes made, and we will enjoy it.

As of 9:15 pm:
1. Finished the ham and bean soup for dinner.
2. Served and ate dinner.
3. Went with the family on a walk with the dog. BRRR! It's cold out there!
4. Folded and put away the load of laundry I did today.
5. Finished the dishes!!!!
Meanwhile, my husband has put the kiddos to bed and is busy with his traditional day-after-Thanksgiving task -- putting up the Christmas tree!

Next up:
Shine the sink
Put away hanging clothes (I have a bad habit of hanging them over my footboard and never getting them in the closet. I will definitely have to set the timer for that, because I can do anything and endure anything for 15 minutes! Even the chore I despise the most!)
Finish my Publix shopping list for tomorrow.

As of 10:40 pm:
1. Kitchen FINISHED!!!
2. Clothes hung!
3. Coupons and list ready!
And the Christmas tree is nearly finished, thanks to the hard-working husband! I know most families put up the tree together, but we like the fascination the kiddos have when they wake up to find the tree all done. A friend recently told me of a tradition her family had when she was young; next year or the year after, I'd like to try it out for our family and see if it's something the kids would like to keep doing. We'd get another, smaller tree which the kids would decorate completely on their own with the ornaments they make at school and church or anywhere else.

Oh, what a productive day! I am ready to sleep!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My FlyLady Experiment, Fri., 11/12

Here's the status of my house as of Friday, 11/12:

My bathrooms are clean.
My car is clean -- well, it needs to be vacuumed, but it's clutter-free.
My living room is acceptable -- needs to be vacuumed.
My need-to-be-hung pile of clothes in my bedroom is taking over.
My kitchen sink is gross, and I have dishes to do.
I'm thinking about getting rid of my coupon organization corner, since I have had such success buying coupons online. I would spend more money buying coupons each week, but I would have the benefit of only buying what I can use. Taking the pressure off in the area of coupon organization might be worth the extra expense.
My craft table is a disaster. I guess I need to sell a bunch of my stamp sets, since I just don't make cards like I used to/want to. I'm afraid I'll regret getting rid of stuff, though.
The kids' room is horrendous. They have too much stuff. They have a lot of toys that are missing parts, or broken, or just too baby-ish for my 5 year old and 3 year old.
The pantry is a mess. Surely there's a better way.

Here's what I did today to help my house:
I did NOT do a swish-n-swipe, although my bathrooms look wonderful.
I did a good load of dishes before the sinks backed up too much to do any good.
I shined the sink before washing dishes, although that is completely ruined now that the sinks have finally drained. (It took about 3 hours for the sink to drain, maybe more.)
That's about it. Yep, I'm a Flylady failure right now.

So, at this point, all my FLYing has done is to show me how bad my house is. I LOVE my clean bathrooms, but can't seem to get any part of the rest of my house to reach that level.
Now, I've gotta go. I need to clean something.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Waging the War on Household Clutter

My mom got me hooked on www.flylady.net. I love the philosophy of 15 minute missions to get and keep the house in shape. I know it's going to take a whole lotta time to get my house in ship-shape -- I do, after all, have a couple years worth of built-up clutter in some places of my house.

I've been working on it a little at a time for a couple of weeks now, and I can see the results in a few areas of my home. Both my bathrooms look better than they ever have, I think, since we moved in. I need new shower curtains, but I didn't even notice that until the clutter and built-up goo was cleared out and scrubbed away.

I just did a "swish and swipe", and it took only a few moments. Each time I clean the bathroom, I scrub a new area that I haven't touched yet. Even the floor behind the toilet has had some much-needed attention. The trash cans will be my next project. Bathroom trash cans, eww.

I love the shiny sink idea. My kitchen plumbing is driving me insane; we need about $500 worth of work done on it. Something about the grease trap needing to be replaced. I don't know all the terminology or details, but I do know that I can only run the water for a few minutes before the sinks start backing up. And don't even try the dishwasher. The backed-up yuck in my sink keeps my sink from looking its best all the time. That's a real challenge at this point. Little by little, even the kitchen is getting into shape. I don't spend a lot of time there. I can't; I don't have the time in this season of my life. But I know my faithfulness in this area will eventually pay off. And someday we'll get that grease trap thing fixed.

Another area of concern for me is the car. I can't seem to keep up with the constant stream of school papers and other miscellaneous items. I spent maybe 10 minutes out at the car just after lunch. After that quick session, I decided that it's amazing that we found anywhere to sit among all that junk. I pulled out 2 bags of trash, 3 backpacks, one satchel, 2 hair brushes, 5 (yes, 5!) cups, 2 jackets, and a toy. Sheesh! Aside from needing a good vacuuming, the car looks great!

I also spent just 5 minutes cleaning out my purse -- yikes! the receipts! I was procrastinating on cleaning out that purse because I had so much trash in there. I just didn't want to face it. Such an improvement!

It's time for me to get back to it. In addition to fixing dinner, I have the following 10-15 minute sessions left:
1. Hang up clothes (I hate hanging clothes. For whatever reason. I end up with 4 days worth of clothing hanging over my footboard.)
2. Vacuum the living room
3. Clean off the dining room table so we can actually use it to eat at it as a family.
4. Cut cardstock for Christmas cards
5. Change bed linens and wash current linens
6. Make cookies

I'm hopeful to also complete the following:

1. Organize the pantry (not sure how much I can get done here in 10-15 min.)
2. Clean out the kids' closet (I ought to do that when they are out of the house so they don't see me throw away a bag full -- or 2 -- of their junk.)
3. Store outgrown kids' clothes

Publix 11/11 -- 80% savings!

All the deals I got today are available through next Tuesday, 11/16. All the coupons I used are store coupons or internet printables.

Transaction #1 -- Bayou Blvd.

14.2 lb. turkey -- $.59/lb.
Paid: $8.38

8 Sundown Naturals vitamin D -- $2.99 each
Used 3 $1 peelies (That's all I had with me, and I did this stop kind of spur-of-the-moment)
Used 4 $6/2 coupons from the Green Advantage flyer
Paid: FREE for all 8, plus $3.08 overage!

2 Dannon yogurt cups -- $.50 each
Paid: $1

1 Silk soy milk -- $2.50
Paid: $2.50

Total paid this transaction: $8.80
Total saved in this transaction: $38.08
Percent savings in this transaction: 81.2%

Transaction #2 -- Mobile Hwy store

4 assorted Campbell's Select Harvest soups -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.45
Used 2 $1/2 coupon from here
Paid: $2.90 for all 4, or just $.73 each!

2 Nestle morsels -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.93
Used $1/2 coupon from here
Paid: $1.93 for both, or just $.97 each!

2 Ronzoni quick cook pasta -- BOGO -- 2 for $1.39
Used 2 $.50 coupons from here
Paid: $.39 for both, or just $.20 each!

4 V-8 V-Fusion juices -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.89
Used 2 $1/2 coupons from here
Paid: $5.78 for all 4, or just $1.45 each!

3 Sundown Naturals folic acid -- $3.79 each
3 Sundown Naturals vitamin A -- $3.29 each
4 other Sundown Naturals vitamins -- $3.99
Used 5 $3/2 coupons from here
Used 5 $6/2 coupons from the Green Advantage flyer
Paid: FREE for all 10, plus $7.80 overage!

Total paid for this transaction: $3.20
Total saved in this transaction: $68.00
Percent saved in this transaction: 95.5%

Transaction #3 -- University Pkway

1 Publix reusable shopping bag -- $.99

2 Nestle morsels -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.93
Used $1/2 printable coupon from here
Paid: $1.93 for both, or just $.97 each!

2 Sundown Naturals folic acid -- $3.79 each
3 Sundown Naturals vitamin D -- $2.99 each
3 Sundown Naturals vitamin A -- $3.29 each
Used 1 $3/2 coupon from here
Used 6 $1/1 coupons from here
Used 4 $6/2 coupons from the Green Advantage flyer
Paid: FREE for all 8, plus $6.58 overage!

1 $25 BP gas card -- $25

1 Dannon yogurt cup -- $.50

Total paid in this transaction: $21.92
Total saved in this transaction: $37.08
Percent saved in this transaction: 62.8%

Grand total paid: $33.92
Grand total saved: $143.11
Total percent saved: 80.8%

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More Publix, 11/7 -- 92% savings!


I've been to 5 Publix stores in the past couple of days, and I am amazed that I've been able to complete the deal I was looking for each time. We headed out of town for a bit today, and visited two Publix stores we came across.

Here's how we did:


Transaction #1:


1 Newspaper -- $1.50


2 Quakes rice cakes -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.99


2 Publix brand quart size storage bags, 50 ct. -- $2.99 each


8 Sundown Naturals vitamin D -- $2.99 each

Used 8 $1 peelies

Used 4 $6/2 Green Advantage flyer coupons

Paid: FREE for all 8, plus $8.08 overage!


Total paid: $2.88

Total saved: $34.99

Percent saved: 92.4%


Transaction #2:


6 Sundown Naturals vitamin D -- $2.99 each

Used 5 $1 peelie (I lost one in the bag I was carrying everything in, so I only had 5 to give the cashier, rather than 6.)

Used 3 $6/2 Green Advantage flyer coupons

Paid: FREE for all 6, plus $5.06 overage!


1 Publix breast cancer awareness reusable shopping bag -- $.50


6 Chef Boyardee whole grain pasta meals -- $1 each

Used 2 $1/3 blinkies found right in front of the product

Paid: $4 for all 6, or just $.67 each!


2 Publix brand paper towels -- $1.34 each


Total paid: $2.35

Total saved: $28.96

Percent saved: 92.5%


Grand Total paid today: $5.23

Grand Total saved today: $63.95

Grand Total percent saved today: 92.4%

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Publix, 11/6 -- 87% savings!

I had to try to take ADVANTAGE of the new Green Advantage flyer before all the good stuff was gone! I visited two Publix stores (aside from the one I went to this morning) and got some great deals.

Transaction #1 -- Gulf Breeze, FL
5 Sundown Vitamin D -- $2.99 each
1 Sundown tea tree oil -- $7.69
2 Sundown Vitamin A -- $3.29 each
2 Sundown Folic Acid -- $3.79 each
Used 9 $1 peelies (I gave 10, but the cashier only rang 9.)
Used 5 $6/2 Green Advantage flyer coupons
Paid: FREE for all 10, plus $2.20 overage!
1 Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate -- $2.50
1 Publix brand Oreo cookies -- $2.50
Pork country style ribs -- $3.36
1 Jet Puffed marshmallow fluff -- $1.99
1 mini Chips Ahoy single serving -- $.50
Total paid: $8.65
Total saved: $39.49
Percent saved: 82%
Transaction #2 -- Bayou Blvd., Pensacola, FL
8 Sundown vitamin D -- $2.99 each
Used 8 $1 peelies
Used 4 $6/2 Green Advantage flyer coupons
Paid: FREE for all 8, plus $8.08 overage!
3 Maruchan ramen noodles -- $.22 each or $.66 total
1 Heath mini bars -- $3.61
1 pt. Publix heavy cream -- $5.19
(Okay, why in the WORLD is this so expensive?)
Total paid: $1.66
Total saved: $32.00
Percent savings: 95% savings!
Grand Total: $10.31
Grand Total savings: $71.49
Grand Total percent saved: 87.4%

Publix, 11/6 -- 90% savings!

I just can't seem to stop! We were headed to Target this morning in the same shopping center as a Publix, so I asked if I could stop in and check for Sundown Naturals vitamins. I knew that, with the new Green Advantage flyer that starts today, some items would be free plus overage.
Sure enough, I got 8 bottles of Vitamin D (I've got 15 bottles for you now, Dad and Mom!) for free plus about $8 overage.

Here's how it went:

1 Publix reusable bags (their Christmas ones are cute!) -- $.99
1 Mini Chips Ahoy single serving bag -- $.50
Beef for stew -- $4.79
Lamb shoulder chops -- $4.36
8 Sundown Naturals vitamin D -- $2.99 each
Used 8 $1 peelies
Used 4 $6/2 from the new Green Advantage flyer
Paid: FREE! plus $8.08 overage!
Total paid: $2.64
Total saved: $33.08
Percent savings: 92.6%

Friday, November 5, 2010

Publix, 11/5 -- 68% savings

Two transactions today:

Transaction #1:
4 Welch's grape juice -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.25
Used 4 $1 coupons purchased online
Paid: $2.50 for all 4, or just $.63 each!
2 single dose Dayquil -- $1.29 each
Used 2 $1.50 coupons from a recent P&G
Paid: FREE! plus $.42 overage!
Total paid: $2.57
Total saved: $13.50
Percent saved: 84%
Transaction #2:
2 Vivarin -- $3.19 each
Used 2 $2 printable coupons from here
Used $5/2 Green Advantage flyer coupon (ends today)
Paid: FREE! plus $2.62 overage!
3 + lb. roast -- $12.40 (at $3.69 per pound)
no coupon
Paid: $12.40
2 New York brand frozen bread items -- 50% off -- $1.07 each
Used 2 $.55 blinkies found in front of item
Paid: $1.04 for both, or $.52 each!
Total paid: $10.82
Total saved: $14.92
Percent savings: 57.9%

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Publix, 11/4 -- 73% savings!

What a fun trip! I purchased coupons from both \and thecouponclippers to make this deal work.

2 Welch's Essentials juice -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.25
Used 2 $1 coupons purchased online
Paid: $1.25 for 2, or just $.63 each!
4 Rubbermaid 2 c. containers -- 40% off -- $1.67 each
Used 4 $1 coupons purchased online
Used 4 $1 coupons from the Green Advantage flyer (ends 11/5)
Paid: FREE for all 4, plus $1.32 overage!
Almond Breeze milk -- $2.99
Used $.55 blinkie coupon
Paid: $2.44!
12 assorted Pillsbury Toaster Strudel -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.47
Used 4 $1/3 coupons purchased online
Paid: $10.82 for all 12, or just $.91 each!
6 Bush's Grillin' Beans -- 3 for $5
Used 6 $1 coupons purchased online
Paid: $4 for all 6, or just $.67 each!
2 Os-Cal -- 50% off -- $4 each
Used 2 $2 printable coupons from here
Used $5/2 coupon from the Green Advantage flyer (ends 11/5)
Paid: FREE! plus $1 overage!
4 Sominex -- $3.19 each
Used 4 $2 printable coupons from here
Used 2 $5/2 coupon from the Green Advantage flyer (ends 11/5)
Paid: FREE! plus $5.24 overage!
2 Phazyme -- $3.49 each
Used 2 $2 printable coupons from here
Used $5/2 coupon from the Green Advantage flyer (ends 11/5)
Paid: FREE! plus $2.02 overage!
5 Purex 3-in-1 sheets -- $4.99 each
Used 5 $3 coupons
Paid: $1.99 each, or $9.95 for all 5!
6 College Inn broth -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.49
Used 6 $.75 coupons purchased onlien
Paid: $2.97 for all 6, or just $.50 each!
12 Krusteaz cookie mix -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.19
Used 12 $1 coupons purchased online
Paid: $1.14 for all 12, or just $.10 each!
1 mini Oreo single serving (needed a filler) -- $.50
4 Finish Gelpac, 32 ct. -- BOGO -- 2 for $6.99
Used 4 $1.50 coupons purchased online
Paid: $7.98 for all 4, or just $2 each!
At this point, my total was $32.14 with a savings of $176 and change. And then . . .
Pet crate for Cisco -- $37.99
Used $5/$50 Apple Market coupon
Total Paid: $67.60
Total saved: $181.37
Percent savings: 72.8%

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Publix -- Tues., 11/2 -- Eighty-three% savings!

So it's taken me a while to get this posted because I was so lazy about getting out my external keyboard. It'd be really great if somebody decided to give me a new laptop. Christmas is coming. :)



I had a blast at Publix tonight. This was a trip that I threw together with only about 30 minutes of planning. I did purchase some coupons from mycouponhunter, that cost me $1.95, and was the only real advance planning I did.



Here's how we did:



3 baguettes from the bakery -- 2 for $1.79 and 1 for $1.89

Used 3 $1 coupons from target.com

Paid: $2.47 for all 3, or just $.83 each!



1 Pedigree dog snacks -- $2.99

Used $1 blinkie

Paid: $1.99



2 Perdue chicken nuggets -- BOGO -- 2 for $4.39

Used 2 $1 printables

Paid: $2.39 for both, or just $1.20 each!



5 lb. bag Idaho potatoes -- $3.79

Used $1 produce coupon from target.com

Paid: $2.79



2 Healthy Harvest pasta -- BOGO -- 2 for $1.79

Used 2 $1 printables

Paid: FREE! plus $.21 overage!



2 Cascadian Farms granola bars -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.99

Used 2 $1 printables

Used 2 $1 from the Harvest of Savings booklet

Paid: FREE for all 4!



6 Vivarin, 3 Sominex, 1 Phazyme -- $3.19 each (except $3.49 for Phazyme)

Used 10 $2 coupons purchased from mycouponhunter

Used 5 $5/2 from the Green Advantage flyer

Paid: FREE for all 10, plus $12.80 overage!



4 Ramen noodles -- $.87 total



1.56 lb. bananas @ $.69 per pound -- $1.08

Used $1 produce coupon from target.com

Paid: $.08



3 lb. apples -- $2.69

Used $1 produce coupon from target.com

Paid: $1.69!



2 small Muir Glen tomato sauce -- $.89 each

Used 2 $.75 printable coupons

Used $1/2 from Harvest of Savings booklet

Paid: FREE for both, plus $.72 overage!



2 Rotel tomatoes -- $1 each

no coupon

Paid: $2



2 Hunts tomato sauce -- BOGO -- $1.89

no coupon

Paid: $1.89



1 can Publix brand kidney beans -- $.75



4 12-pks Diet Mt. Dew -- $12

Used 2 $1/2 printables from target.com



Total paid: $15.81

Total saved: $80.84

Total percent savings: 83.6%

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Publix -- 10/29 and 10/30 -- 90% savings!


I am so thankful for blogs like iheartpublix, mysweetsavings, and addictedtosaving. I used all three of these, as well as mycouponhunter, for putting together the scenarios of the past couple of days. I haven't had this good of a trip for a while, and it felt great to get up to 90% savings.

Check it out!


Transaction #1, 10/29:


2 Vivarin -- $3.19 each

Used $5/2 from Green Advantage Flyer

Used 2 $2/1 purchased from mycouponhunter

Paid: FREE! plus $2.62 overage!

*****

2 2-liters (Diet Rite, Diet A&W) -- BOGO -- 2 for $1.85

no coupon

Paid: $1.85

*****

1 2-liter Diet Mt. Dew -- $1.50

no coupon

Paid: $1.50

*****

Total paid: $.99

Total saved: $10.98

Percent savings: 91.7%

*****

Transaction #2, 10/30

*****

2 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest pasta -- BOGO -- 2 for $1.79

Used 2 $1 printable coupons from here

Paid: FREE! plus $.21 overage!

*****

1 box Special K protein meal bars -- $5

Used $1 printable coupon from here

Paid: $4!

*****

2 Idaho Gold mashed potato mixes -- $1 each

Used 2 $1 printable coupons from here

Paid: FREE! for both!

*****

8 Sominex -- $3.19 each

Used 4 $5/2 from the Green Advantage Flyer

Used 8 $2/1 purchased from mycouponhunter

Paid: FREE! plus $10.48 overage!

*****

2 EZ Foil pans -- $.99 each

Used $1/2 printable coupon from here

Paid: $.98 for both, or $.49 each!

*****

1 small onion @ $1.29/lb.

Paid: $.32

*****

2 bananas @.$69/lb.

Paid: $.52

*****

1 lime -- $.25

Paid: $.25

*****

2 2-liters (Vernor's ginger ale and Diet A&W) -- BOGO -- 2 for $1.85

no coupon

Paid: $1.85 for both, or $.93 each!

*****

1 Egg Beaters -- $1.67

no coupon

Paid: $1.67

*****

2 Oscar Meyer Lunchables -- $1 each

no coupon

Paid: $2.00 for both, or $1 each!

*****

4 V-8 juice -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.35

Used 2 $1/2 printable coupons from here

Paid: $4.70 for all 4, or just $1.18 each!

*****

2 Cascadian Farms granola bars -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.99

Used 2 $1 from the Publix coupon booklet Harvest of Savings

Used 2 $1 printable coupons from here (have to register)

Paid: FREE! for both

*****

1 Just for Men Touch of Gray -- $6.85

Used a free coupon received in the mail

Paid: FREE!

*****

2 Perdue fully cooked chicken breast nuggets -- BOGO -- 2 for $4.39

Used 2 $1 printable coupons from here

Paid: $2.39 for both or just $1.20 each!

*****

Total paid: $8.79

Total saved: $83.08

Percent savings: 90.4%

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What $10 Will Get You at Walgreens -- Week of 10/17

After last week's scenario, we had $13.50 Register Rewards. Let's see how far we can stretch these this week.

2 Ricola cough drops (19-24 ct) -- $1 each
Use $1/2 from 10/17 SS (if our region gets it. Otherwise, we're out of luck here.)
Use $.50/1 from the Walgreens October coupon book found at the entrance to the store. (Will deduct $.50 each, or $1.)
You'll pay: FREE! for both!

Blistex medicated lip ointment (.21 oz) -- $2.59
You'll pay: $2.59
You'll receive: $2.59 in RR


Mucinex Nasal Spray (.75 oz.) -- $7.99
You'll pay: $7.99
You'll receive: $7.99 in RR


2 Nivea for Men body wash (up to 16.9 oz) -- 2 for $5
Use 2 $3/1 from 10/17 RP
You'll pay: FREE! for both! (Your cashier may have to adjust the value of the coupon down to avoid having overage. Many cashiers don't know that they can do this, but Walgreens' corporate coupon policy allows for it.)

2 Nivea for Women body wash (up to 16.9 oz) -- 2 for $5
Use $3/2 from 10/17 RP.
You'll pay: $2 for 2


2 Coffee-Mate (16 oz.) -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.69
Use 2 $1.50/1 printable coupons
You'll pay: FREE for both! (Again, your cashier may have to adjust the value of the coupon down to avoid overage. Wouldn't it be lucky if the register didn't beep, and you could keep all that overage?)

Dawn Hand Renewal -- $.99 w/ in-ad coupon
Use in-ad coupon to get the $.99 price
Use $.25/1 from eight/29 PG
You'll pay: $.74

Colgate Pro Clinical Toothpaste (4 oz) -- $3.99
Use $1/1 printable coupon
You'll pay: $2.99
You'll receive: $2 in RR

You'll need to buy some type of filler item because your item to coupon ratio is too high. I suggest the seasonal plastic tumblers that are eight for $1 with the in-ad coupon. You'll need at least 4, I think, to balance out the ratio. I don't know if these cups are Halloween-related, or fall-related, or what. I know that if they are Halloween, I would not buy them, and I'm not suggesting that you do. Even if I ended up spending more out of pocket, I'd spring for something less supportive of the occult!

Your total before taxes: $17.31 I assumed that you bought eight of the plastic tumblers.
Use your $13.50 in RR
You'll pay around $4!
You'll receive $12.5eight in RR!

I guess this low out of pocket makes up for last week's over-spending. :) I didn't look on any coupon website to verify if you could purchase the coupons needed, but I'm sure you would have fairly good luck at either mycouponhunter.com. This would add a couple bucks to your scenario and delay your shopping by a few days which may endanger the inventory availability. Even if you're shopping later in the week, I suggest that you print the coupons that you can right away so you don't risk them becoming unavailable by your shopping day.

I used couponingtodisney and couponkatarina to come up with my scenario today.

Happy shopping!

Publix 10/16 -- 97% savings!

An AMAZING Publix trip for me today! I picked up the Green Advantage Flyer when we went in, but I noticed that it expired yesterday. I asked at the Service Desk, and the gentleman (Ty) told me they would still accept it. I don't know if all stores will still accept those coupons, but the one on University did for me this morning. The success of this entire scenario is based on that coupon, so if you can't get a store to accept it, you'll have to find another method to make this magic! One other note: we walked into Publix today with NO COUPONS IN HAND! We were just out and stopped for the fun of it.

Here's how we did:

3 pears @ $.eighty-9/lb. -- $1.09
no coupon
Total: $1.09
2 Hebrew National hotdogs-- BOGO -- $5.19 for 2
no coupon
Total: $5.19
2 EAS diet meal bars -- $1.69 each
no coupon
Total: $3.3eight
(PS -- We are doing well on our diet. Finishing week 2 now, and I've lost 9 pounds. Talani has lost an amazing 22 pounds!)
3 pkgs. Lance cookies (from the checkout aisle) -- $.69 each
no coupon
Total: $2.17
5 Vitamin D ($2 each) and 1 Vitamin B ($3.29)
Used 6 $1 peelies found on same brand products
Used 3 $6/2 from the Green Advantage Flyer
Total: FREE for all 6, plus $10.71 overage!
Total paid: $1.02
Total saved: $34.63
Percent savings: 97%

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spa for Cheapskates -- Honey Shine Treatment

It's been a while since we had a Spa for Cheapskates moment. And it's not because it wasn't available! This has been sitting in my in-box for AGES! Sorry, Kilika, but I don't think I'll stay caught up on anything during this crazy school year! Keep the ideas coming, and I'll get them posted, all in good time.
I'm super excited about this idea. So easy, and SOOOO cheap! I recently bought a jar of local honey for the benefit of my husband and his seasonal allergies. It was expensive -- $7 or $8 for the jar. But the teaspoon needed for this recipe? I don't think I spent more than $.03 per teaspoon. A $.03 spa treatment? Oh, yeah, that is right up my cheapskate alley. :)
I hope you try it, and I hope you have beautiful results.


Hello, fellow spa lovers! Here's this week's Spa for Cheapskates recipe that will only set you back a few cents and make your hair look brand new!

Honey Shine Treatment
1 tsp honey
4 cups warm water

Mix ingredients well.
After washing and rinsing hair in your normal method, pour honey mixture all over hair.
Do not rinse.
Dry and style as usual. You may want to leave it down though to show off your shining, healthy looking hair.
No one needs to know you didn't just walk out of a salon.

Don't forget to take time for yourself this week. Even something as small as finding a few minutes to read, or listen to some music can rejuvenate our frazzled, hard working minds. Wishing you all a beautiful week!



Love and prayers, Kilika

Hi, Barbie again. Just wanted to remind you, if you love this treatment as much I'm thinking you will, and if you want more Spa ideas before I get one back on here, visit Kilika's wonderful blog. The link above should get you there just fine. She has TONS of great ideas for spa nights, as well as recipes and other around-the-house goodies.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A $10 Walgreens Scenario for 10/10

We're starting with $7 in RR from last week. Here's how to make your $10 cash stretch this week. (I gathered information for this scenario from couponingtodisney and addictedtosaving.)

Hall's Refresh Lemon Raspberry Drops -- $1.00
Use $.75 coupon from October All You (or September All You)
OOP: $.25
RR Generated: $1.00

Crest Pro-Health toothpaste (4.2 oz.) -- $2.49
Use $1 coupon from 9/26 P&G
OOP: $1.49
RR Generated: $1.50

Noxema Disposable Razor (4-pk Triple or 4-blade) -- $3.99
Use $1 coupon from the 9/19 SS
OOP: $2.99
RR Generated: $3.00

Bayer Contour or Breeze 2 Blood Glucose System -- $14.99
Use $10 coupon from August eighth RP (Yep, my eight button still doesn't work.)
OOP: $4.99
RR Generated: $5.00

4 Mars candy -- $.49 w/in-ad coupon
Use in-ad coupon to make the candy bars $.49 each
Use 2 B1G1 coupons from the 9/26 RP
OOP: $.9eight! for all 4

3 Gillette body washes -- $9.99
Use 3 $2 coupons from the 9/26 P&G
OOP: $3.99
RR Generated: $3.00

2 Carefree pantyliners (22 pk) -- $.99 w/in-ad coupon
Use in-ad coupon to make each pkg $.99
Use $1/2 coupon from the 9/26 RP
OOP: $1.00

I confirmed on mycouponhunter.com that the coupons listed above are available. It will cost $1.94 to have these shipped to you. You'd have them in time to complete this scenario this week. Waiting those few days, though, do put you in jeopardy of not finding inventory you need. But, if you don't have the coupons listed, this may be your only shot! :)

Total: $15.69 plus tax
Use $7 RR from last week.
Add $1.94 for cost of coupons from mycouponhunter.com
Total OOP for this entire scenario: $17.63 plus tax.
Okay, so it's a little over the budget of $10, but I just couldn't leave any item out!


Total RR generated: $13.50!
Imagine all we can get next week with this amount!

PS -- If you can spend just a little more, you can get 2 Right Guard Total 5 Defense deoderants, using this $3/2 printable coupon, for just $.99!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A $10 Walgreens Scenario for 10/3

So, what if you wanted to spend just $10 or less at Walgreens? How could you maximize your spending? Check out my scenario for the coming week (beginning 10/3):

EOS Lip Balm Summer Fruit or Honeysuckle Honeydew -- $3

Schick Hydro 3 or 5 Blade Razor System or Cartridges $7.99
Use $4/1 from the 10/3 SS

2 Nivea Lip Care $1 each
Use $2/2 printable coupon from here

2 Quakes Rice Snacks 3.03 oz., $.99
Use $1/2 printable coupon from here

Pay $7.97 plus tax on applicable items

RR Received:
$3 for the EOS lip balm
$4 for the Schick Hydro

So, basically, you could spend less than the shelf price of the razor, get those other goodies, and walk away with $7 to spend next week (or at Publix!)!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Savings, Publix -- 75%


Pretty good trip, I suppose.
Here's the run down:

4 Kraft Homestyle Mac and Cheese -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.99
Used 2 BOGO coupons from here
Paid: FREE for all 4!
(These will make great donations to our Thanksgiving baskets at school!)
4 Juicy Juice multi-pack -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.99
Used $2/4 coupon from here
Paid: $3.9eight for all 4, or just $1 each!
2 Campbell's Select Harvest soup -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.45
Used 2 $1 coupons from here
Paid: $.45 for both, or just $.23 each!
2 V-Eight V-Fusion -- BOGO -- $3.eighty9
Used 2 $1 coupons from here
Paid: $1.eighty9 for both, or just $.95 each!
2 Ghirardelli brownie mix -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.79
no coupon
Paid: $2.79 for both, or just $1.40 each!
1 Al Fresco chicken sausage -- $3.99
Used $1 from the June/July edition of Every Day with Rachael Ray
Paid: $2.99
1 Thermacare back pain patches -- $6.99
Used $5 from the current Green Advantage Flyer
Paid: $1.99
2 Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta -- BOGO -- 2 for $1.39
Used $1 coupon from the June/July edition of Every Day with Rachael Ray
Paid: $.39 for both, or just $.20 each!
Total paid: $14.4eight
Total saved: $43.16
Percent Savings: 75%

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Today's Frugal Meal, Sunday 9/12

The after-church Sunday night meal is always a bit of a challenge. We always want something quick, but it needs to be cheap. And it has to be easy; the kids need to get in bed shortly after church, so I can't procrastinate getting dinner. And if it isn't easy, I procrastinate. (Story of my life, really.)
So, here's what's in the plan for tonight:

Chips and cheese dip:
Publix brand tortilla chips -- $3.19
Velveeta cheese -- $1.15
dash of milk
1/2 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies - $.45
Total for chips and cheese: $4.79
Chicken nuggets -- $1.25
Publix brand microwave steam vegetables -- $.99
Total for tonight's quick and easy supper: $7.03
This will feed at least 4, possibly 6, and I anticipate having both chips and cheese left over for a snack another day.
By the way, all of the components for this meal have been purchased within the last 2 weeks. With the exception of the milk (which my sister bought, probably at Wal-Mart) and the Rotel (Target), it all came from Publix.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Savings, 9/10 -- Publix

Not a great total today, but I did buy $8 worth of items that I originally did not plan to buy.
Here's how it went down:

4 12-oz pkgs. Perdue chicken nuggets -- 2 for $5
Used 4 $1 coupons purchased from mycouponhunter.com or from the 8/29 RP
Paid: $6 for all 4, or just $1.25 each!
1 large bag Publix tortilla chips -- $3.19
no coupon
Paid: $3.19
4 Pam cooking sprays -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.39
Used 4 $.35 coupons purchased from mycouponhunter.com or from 8/29 SS
Paid: $5.38 for all 4, or just $1.35 each!
4 Barilla pasta sauces -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.69
Used 4 $.75 coupons purchased from mycouponhunter.com or from 8/29 SS
Paid: $2.38 for all 4, or just $.60 each!
4 Pillsury Toaster Strudel -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.49
Paid: $2.98 for all 4, or just $.75 per box!
2 LouAna cooking oil -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.39
Used 2 $.75 coupons purchased from mycouponhunter.com or from 6/6 SS
Paid: $1.89 for both, or just $.95 each!
1 large container of Publix whipped topping -- $2.09
no coupon
Paid: $2.09
4 Betty Crocker dry cookie mix -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.19
Paid: $2.38 for all 4, or just $.60 each!
1 box frozen Publix brand chopped broccoli -- $1.09
no coupon
Paid: $1.09
2 pkgs. Publix brand steam bag vegetables -- $.99 each
no coupon
Paid: $.99 each, or $1.98 for both
Used $5/$30 mailer coupon.
Total Paid: $25.36
Total Saved: $51.29
Percent Savings: 67%
PS - I paid $1.73 for the coupons I bought from mycouponhunter.com. Since I paid with my PayPal account that had $5 in it that I got for free from Swagbucks, I don't consider this part of my out of pocket expense.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Publix Savings as of 9/6

I don't have all my Publix receipts available. I am reporting on those I do have available, and will try to do a better job of keeping track!

Here are my new totals, including the Saturday Savings trip I had, as well as another trip to buy meat in which I didn't save anything!

Amount spent: $633.42
Amount ssaved: $1883.19
Percent savings: 74.8%
I have dropped off a little from my percent of savings. I had reached an average savings of 75% or more. I have to make it my goal now to get back to 75%. I really want to get to an average savings of 80% or more.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Savings, 9/4 -- Publix

So thankful for a wonderful shopping trip today! I put it together fairly quickly -- I had planned to put more time and thought into it, but ended up needing to just GO. I didn't get everything I originally planned to get, but I think I'm done for this week. I came in under my weekly budget of $40 for Publix, so I'm pleased. And I have enough pasta for the next FOREVER, so it's all good.
I used iheartpublix.com, mysweetsavings.com, and hotcouponworld.com in making my list and compiling my coupons.
Here's the rundown:

2 loaves of Publix brand white bread -- $1.03 each
no coupon
Paid: $2.06
6 Velveeta -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.97
Paid: $6.91 for all 6, or just $1.15 each!
5 Kraft cheese chunks -- $2 each
Paid: $5 for all 5, or just $1 each!
2 Dixie plates -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.03
Paid: $2.03 for both, or just $1.52 each!
4 12-pks Pepsi products -- B2G2 -- $10.26 for 2
Used 2 $1 Target coupons
Paid: $8.26 for all 4, or just $2.07 each!
10 Mueller pastas -- BOGO -- 2 for $1.29
Used 2 $2/5 printable coupons
Paid: $2.45 for all 10, or just $.25 each!
4 Aunt Jemima pancake mix -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.49
Used 2 $1/2 manufacturer's coupon from the 5/2 RP
Paid: $2.98 for all 4, or just $.75 each!
2 French's mustard -- BOGO -- 2 for $1.89
Paid: $1.39 for both, or just $.69 each!
2 Hellmann's mayo -- BOGO -- 2 for $5.07
Used 2 $.75/1 printable coupons
Used 2 $.50/1 Target coupons
Paid: $2.57 for both, or just $1.30 each!
Used $5/$30 coupon received in the mail.
Total paid: $28.65
Total saved: $78.18
Percent of savings: 73%

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Spa for Cheapskates -- Frozen Honey Mayonnaise Mask

This post was actually meant to be posted before the other Spa for Cheapskates post, but it got lost in the email somehow. So, you've been introduced to my wonderful SIL, Kilika, who does an amazing job of taking care of her home and family while still looking for opportunities to relax and pamper a bit. Being on a budget means looking for frugal ways to make it all happen. I hope you enjoy some of her ideas that I have convinced her to share exclusively here on Wannabe Cheapskate. Of course, I know you'll want to check out her own blog, beautyandinspiration, to get all her fabulous ideas!

Welcome to the Spa for Cheapskates! My name is Kilika (Driftwood Girl) and I am so excited about Barbie's suggestion for this series of posts on her money saving blog! I hope you'll enjoy our journey to discover beauty treatments from your kitchen cabinets.


Once a week, a new recipe will be posted for your very own homemade spa experience. Living on a budget doesn't mean you have to give up pampering yourself. So put on a chick flick or some soothing music, grab your favorite relaxing drink and get ready to check into the Spa for Cheapskates!


I found this recipe in a natural beauty book a while back but never tried it. No time like the present.


Today we're trying a Frozen Honey Mayonnaise Mask. You will need:

1 Tbs honey

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut oil or olive oil

Empty toilet paper tube



-In a small bowl, beat egg well, until frothy.

-Add honey and oil a little at a time and beat mixture until well combined. You should end up with a liquid the consistency of mayonnaise.

Um... my mix turned out way thinner than mayo, but seemed to slowly thicken up the longer I let it set.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_QfAN6kgYgh0/TEX5az-2pfI/AAAAAAAAHIQ/wEQ3D2Npud8/s1600/352.JPG



-Set empty toilet paper tube standing upright in the center of a separate small bowl.


-Carefully spoon the mixture into the toilet paper tube and plac

e bowl and tube in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

There has got to be a better way! I filled one tube only to have the mixture leak out the bottom, leaving my TP tube not quite full, sitting in a puddle of honey mayo.

I grabbed a new tube and kept pressure on it with one hand as I poured with the other.

After placing a heavy saucer on top to hold the tube in place it was time to place it in the freezer for several hours.



-When set, peel 1/4 inch of toilet paper tube from the top and smooth the frozen mask over clean face and neck.

Yeah. Peel off only a quarter inch of the oil soaked, frozen paper? So not happening.


-Remove the bowl, cover your newly frozen mask tightly with plastic wrap and store in the freezer. It should keep until you run out!

.

A zip top freezer bag works.




-Relax for 10 minutes and then remove facial mask with a warm dampened washcloth.



Don't forget to apply toner and moisturizer to finish off your pampering session!


This mask worked wonders on the dry patches in my combination skin. Lovelies with dry skin, this is definitely for you! I think it would be ideal for my skin in the winter, but I'm not sure how much I'd love the freezing cold mask then.


Don't forget, no matter how busy you are doing for others, it's definitely worth it, to take time for a bit of relaxation. Your improved mood will make everyone around you happier, and remind you what a beautiful person you are, inside and out. Happy pampering!


Visit Driftwood Girl's blog Beauty and Inspiration for more homemade spa treatments.


Barbie again. I just thought I'd let you know that the cost of this recipe is roughly $.60! It looks like this recipe will provide several uses, so maybe $.15 per treatment! Or you could have a girl's night out (or in) and have a mask for the whole group for around $.60. What fun this would be to make and use for a teenager girl's slumber party. Look for olive oil on sale at Publix. Often the 16 oz or 32 oz size of one brand or another will be on BOGO. I bought some pretty large bottles for around $3.50 or less when they were on sale. I didn't use a sale price in my calculations of the approximate cost of this recipe, so you could potentially make it for less than $.40!

Remember, the ideas that Kilika shares here on Wannabe Cheapskate are just for us! You'll want to check back sometime next week for another post and check out her blog for more amazing ideas for home and health!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Publix Savings as of 8/28

I don't have all my Publix receipts available. I am reporting on those I have available, and will try to do a better job of keeping track!

Here's my new total, including all the trips I reported here on the blog since the last update:

Amount spent: $575.77
Amount saved: $1,805.01
Percent savings: 75.7%

My goal is an average savings of 80%. I'm slowly improving and will get there eventually!

Saturday Savings, 8/28 -- Publix -- Saved 83%!

We started this weekend with $40 spendable cash -- boy, will we be glad to get to payday! In addition to the Publix shopping trip that will be the focus of this post, we were also able to do the following and still have a couple of dollars and some change left:

1. Breakfast at McDonald's on Friday before heading to work/school. (under $10)
2. An emergency run to Wal-Mart at 2:00 a.m. this morning to get Orajel for my poor tooth pain that was keeping me awake. (around $3)
3. Breakfast at McDonald's this morning. A much more relaxing breakfast today than yesterday. (under $10)
4. An $8 trip to Wal-Mart. We got 2 loaves of bakery bread from the reduced rack, a pair of pantyhose, a spare key for the front door, and toilet paper. Not a single coupon, so the checkout went smoothly. (sarcasm. :) )

Here's the rundown of our very successful Publix trip:

2 Cole's frozen garlic bread -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.79
Used 2 $.50 printable coupons from the Cole's website
Paid: $1.79 for both, or $.90 each!

2 Morningstar Farms entrees -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.99
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Paid: $1.99 for both, or $1 each!

4 Totino's frozen pizza -- 4 for $5
Used 2 $1/2 printable coupons
Paid: $3 for all 4, or $.75 each!

2 Starbucks ice cream pints -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.91
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Paid: $1.91 for both, or $.96 each!

2 Campbell's Select soups -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.45
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Paid: $.45 for both, or $.23 each!

2 Yoplait Fiber One yogurt 4-pks -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.50
Used 2 $.50 coupons from the 8/8 RP
Paid: $1.50 for both, or $.75 each!

1 3-lb. bag Rico rice -- $.99
no coupon
Paid: $.99

6 assorted ramen -- 6 for $1
no coupon
Paid: $1.00 for all 6, or $.17 each!

2 Combat ant bait -- $3.69 each
Used 2 $2 printable coupons
Used 2 $3 coupons from the Yellow Advantage Flier
Paid: FREE! plus $2.62 overage!

2 Right Guard deoderant -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.99
Used $3/2 printable coupon
Paid: $.99 for both, or $.50 each!

Used $2 Walgreens Register Rewards

Total spent: $10.15
Total saved: $50.37
Total percent savings: 83.2%