Friday, May 28, 2010

Meijer 5/27-6/2

Here are some of the best deals I see at Meijer this week:

Breakstone Sour Cream 16oz $1.29
Use $0.55/1 here or here = $0.74

Kraft Singles $1.67
*Buy 2 or More, get $1 off your next Fresh Ground Beef purchase
Use $1/2 Meijer mealbox coupon = $2.34 for 2

Nestle Drumstick 4ct $2.00
Use $1/1 5/2 SS insert = $1.00

Bertoli Pasta Sauce $2.00
Use $1.50/2 here and $1/2 Meijer mealbox coupon here = $1.50 for 2

Ortega Black Beans $0.67
Buy 4, use 2 $1/2 here and $1/4 Meijer mealbox here = $0.32 moneymaker! (The cashier may just adjust the price of the coupon to make it equal zero.)

Ground Beef from Chuck $1.49/lb. Limit 3 packages.

Tony's Crispy Crust Pizza $1.00
Use $1/2 here = $1.00 for 2
*If you want to buy 10, there is a coupon for $1/10 here.

Free Food Friday 5/28

Auntie Anne's Pretzels - Sign up for "pretzel perks" and receive a coupon for a free pretzel every month!

Baker's Square - FREE pie on Wednesdays with any purchase!

Carrabbas - Become a fan on Facebook to receive a coupon for a FREE mini dessert with the purchase of an entree!

Ikea - FREE breakfast and coffee 5/29-5/31. Details and locations here.

Ruby Tuesday - B1G1 entree when you sign up for their "So Connected" club

Steak n Shake - Kids eat free all weekend!

Sweet Tomatoes - Sign up for Club Veg to receive monthly coupons.

Taco Bell - FREE Limeade Sparkler coupon here. Be sure to check out my growing list of Kid Freebies as well!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ikea - Free Breakfast 5/29-5/31

Head to Ikea this Memorial Day weekend for a FREE small breakfast and one cup of coffee. Valid 5/29-5/31. The ad states that it is limit one per customer, however, when my family and I went there a few months ago, I was able to get 3 for free. (L was with me paying, but Adam was at the table with Z). Not valid at Ikea Hicksville, Houston and IKEA direct. To find the location nearest you, look here.

Celebrate National Donut Day at Dunkin' Donuts!

Save the date...June 4 is National Donut Day! On that date, you can get a FREE donut when you buy a coffee, tea, latte or Coolatta. You can find all the details here.
Right now, you can get a small iced mocha for $1...hoping this is still the case on 6/4! A donut and a drink for $1 isn't a bad snack!

I'm back!

Yes, we did make it home! We enjoyed 4 wonderful days in Colorado, although it seems like it took more time to prepare to go and clean up afterwards than the time we actually spent there! Oh well. Feels good to be home and back into our routine. Z is thrilled to back sleeping in his own bed. L would live on vacation if she could. She loved all of the attention given to her by her aunt and uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents!

I'm still trying to get organized, but hopefully I will resume regular posting soon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Free Food Friday - 5/21

Auntie Anne's Pretzels - Sign up for "pretzel perks" and receive a coupon for a free pretzel every month!

Baker's Square - FREE pie on Wednesdays with any purchase!

Carrabbas - Become a fan on Facebook to receive a coupon for a FREE mini dessert with the purchase of an entree!

Dunkin' Donuts - On Friday, May 21st from 5a.m.-9p.m., donate to the Special Olympics and receive a FREE Donut. Valid in IL only. Participating locations here.

Ruby Tuesday - B1G1 entree when you sign up for their "So Connected" club

Steak n Shake - Kids eat free all weekend!

Sweet Tomatoes - Sign up for Club Veg to receive monthly coupons.

Taco Bell - FREE Limeade Sparkler coupon here.

Be sure to check out my growing list of Kid Freebies as well!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kraft First Taste

If you haven't yet, you really should consider signing up for Kraft First Taste. Every few weeks, you can log into their site to receive coupons for FREE items or very high value coupons. Today I was able to print:

$1.50/1 DiGiorno Deep Dish Pizza

$1.00/1 Kool-Aid Fun Fizz Drink Drops

$1.50/1 Kraft Homestyle Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

$1.50/1 Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Shaved Meats

$1.50/1 Ritz Crackerfuls

$1.50/1 Kraft 100 Calorie Packs

Some of these will match up well with Target coupons available here.

Taco Bell - FREE Limeade Sparkler!

Go here to print a coupon for a FREE Limeade Sparkler at Taco Bell! I was able to print twice.

The expiration date is confusing on this one. At the top of the coupon, it says 5/25, but in the body it says 7/11 or when 500,000 coupons have been redeemed. Hopefully we'll be able to find a Taco Bell somewhere when we're on a vacation to atleast use one of the coupons before 5/25!

Thanks Totally Target for the heads up!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

I'm excited to not have to think of a full week of meals this week! We are heading to Denver on Friday to visit family and enjoy some time in the mountains! No cooking for 4 whole days. :)

Here's what we're eating before we go:

Monday - Spaghetti & Meatballs, Green Beans (made enough meatballs today for two meals, used some and froze the rest)

Tuesday - Cuban Black Bean Soup, Biscuits

Wednesday - Chicken Tetrazzini (from freezer; didn't get around to eating it last week)

Thursday - Possibly Pancakes & Bacon or whatever needs to be eaten before we head out of town!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dominick's Trip 5/14

I'm starting to feel like the grocery store is my 2nd home. Planning a quick trip to Jewel and Target today and then I'm taking next week off! Heading to Colorado on Friday, and my pantry, cupboard and fridge are bursting!

Keep in mind when shopping at Dominick's that you will get the best price when you use your Club Card. You can apply for one in store or online.

*Buy 4, Save $4 Mix & Match Sale*
Bought (2) Cheerios @ $1.50
Used 2 $0.55/1 here = $0.95 each
Bought (2) Honey Bunches of Oats @ $2.00
Used $1.25/1 & $1/1 Catalina coupons = $0.75 and $1.00 each

(2) Classico Pasta Sauce, on sale $2.00
Used Buy 1 White Sauce, get 1 FREE coupon (no longer available) = $2.00 for both
*Bonus* Buy any 2 Classico pasta sauce, get 2 boxes of Safeway Dry Pasta FREE

(1) Lucerne Cheese, on sale $1.49

Used $3 off Catalina from last trip to Meijer

Total spent: $9.82, Saved $18.80

May Total: $128.35, $46.65 remaining

Meijer Trip 5/13

Trans #1:

(3) Breakstone Cottage Cheese, $1.00 each
Total: $3.00
Received at $3 off next purchase Catalina

Trans #2:

(2) Nabisco Oreos, on sale $2.50
Used B1G1 Facebook coupon (no longer available) = $2.50 for 2
(1) Meijer Milk $2.29
Used $1.50 wyb (1) Nabisco cookies and (1) Milk coupon (handed to me at Meijer) = $0.79
(1) Lance Sandwich Crackers, on sale $1.50
SHOULD HAVE USED $1/1 here = $0.50
(1) Aunt Millie's Italian Bread, on sale $1.00 (Love this bread because it has NO High Fructose Corn Syrup!)
(1) Hunt's Ketchup, on sale $1.00
(1) Strawberries 1lb, on sale $1.50

Also picked up a few other essentials...nothing worth writing home about. Used $3 off Catalina from Trans #1.

Total: $18.20, Saved $15.27

Trans #3:

(4) Stove Top Stuffing, on sale $1.29
Used 2 $1/2 here = $3.16

Total: $3.16, Received at Catalina for $3 off next purchase, $0.04 each after Catalina! Saved $4.80.

May Total: $109.55, $65.45 remaining

Diaper Savings

Huggies has put up a bunch of new links for diaper coupons!

$3/1 here (Little Movers & Little Snugglers) AND
$3/1 here (Snug & Dry) AND
$3/1 here (Little Movers & Little Snugglers) AND
$4/2 here (Little Movers & Little Snugglers)

Of course if you have a little one in diapers, you need wipes too!

$2/2 here (Huggies 64 count wipes) AND
$2 off here (When you buy 64 count wipes & 184 count refill)

Thanks to Totally Target for the heads up!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Free Food Friday 5/14/10

Auntie Anne's Pretzels - Sign up for "pretzel perks" and receive a coupon for a free pretzel every month!

Baker's Square - FREE pie on Wednesdays with any purchase!

Carrabbas - Become a fan on Facebook to receive a coupon for a FREE mini dessert with the purchase of an entree!

Dunkin' Donuts - On Friday, May 21st from 5a.m.-9p.m., donate to the Special Olympics and receive a FREE Donut. Valid in IL only. Participating locations here.

Einstein Bros. - FREE bagel on Fridays until 11 a.m. through 5/19.

Ikea - Kids eat FREE 5/14-16 at participating USA stores only.

Ruby Tuesday - B1G1 entree when you sign up for their "So Connected" club

Steak n Shake - Kids eat free all weekend!

Sweet Tomatoes - Sign up for Club Veg to receive monthly coupons.

Be sure to check out my growing list of Kid Freebies as well!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Questions, questions...

I have had a lot of people asking me a lot of questions lately, most having to do with "how" and "why" I use coupons. I thought I'd write a quick post to hopefully answer some of those questions.

Question #1: "Why do you use coupons?"

This is by far the question I get asked the most. The answer is simple: I use coupons to help us save enough money that I don't have to go back to work. I worked part-time from around the time L was one to right before Z was born (about 2 years). I really enjoyed my job, but felt that it was time for me to spend my time at home, especially since L was going to be in preschool this year. I don't remember exactly how, but back in September I stumbled across a website that showed me people that had taken couponing to a whole new level...I was completely unaware of how easy it was to get everyday items for cheap, nevermind absolutely FREE! I was hooked immediately.

Question #2: "How much do you save?"

This is a harder question, as I haven't been good at keeping track of my actual savings. I'm trying to do that this month and can't wait to get to the end of the month to see what the percentage saved is. However, I do have my Quicken numbers to prove that I'm saving...BIG TIME. In March of 2009, we spent $516 on Groceries. In March of this year, we spent $256. I have been able to cut it in half by being so much more aware of sales and planning meals around what I have in my house and what I can get for cheap in a particular week.

Question #3: "Where do you find the time?"

As time has gone by, I have become a lot faster at finding my deals. Preperation is key for me. I ALWAYS make a list before I go to the store, and rarely stray from it. This is what a typical list looks like:

I always write down how many of a product I'm wanting to buy, the name, and the price if I know it. Then I write down my coupon value and what the total will be after the coupon is applied. I also write down if I should be getting a gift card or Catalina back for purchasing certain items. I put my coupons in the same order they appear on my list and attach them with a paperclip. I probably spend about 30 minutes per day compiling my lists and printing coupons. I ALWAYS buy the Sunday paper and cut the coupons, usually while hubby and I are watching t.v. or a movie. I try to do most of my prep time when my kids are sleeping or at school.

Question #4: "Where do you find your information?"

I love to visit and read all sorts of blogs, but I have a list of "go-to" websites for if I'm preparing for shopping at a particular store. Here they are:

Meijer - Bargains to Bounty

Target - Totally Target

Jewel & Dominicks - Mashup Mom

I'm also a big fan of Money Saving Mom and Couponing to Disney.

I look forward to Tuesdays when the weekly grocery ads come in the mail. If for some reason they don't show up in my mailbox, I read them online. that didn't end up being a "quick post", but I hope it provided you with some answers. Please comment if you have any other questions and I'll be more than happy to answer!!

Mother's Day 2010

It was my first Mother's Day with Z, and I spent all day being SO thankful that he was here and that I wasn't pregnant and uncomfortable like last year!!

We drove an hour to eat lunch at my favorite restaurant.

Poor L woke up Sunday with a runny nose.

I was feeling under the weather as well, so after lunch, we went home and cuddled on the couch. We fed the kids and put them to bed, and then my husband made us tasty nachos for dinner.

I'm excited to get my gift in a few weeks...I'm getting the Peter Walsh "Inspired Message Boards" to match my Peter Walsh desk from OfficeMax. Our office is going to be niiiiice. :)

Target Trip 5/10/10

Made a less than exciting trip to Target last night. I felt like I was in a fog because of my never-ending cold, and I made the mistake of going to Target instead of SuperTarget. Spent an hour wandering around trying to find stuff that they don't even carry. *sigh* Oh well.

If you happen to be at Target this week, you might want to pick up:

Ortega Taco Shells, on sale $1.79
Buy 2, use $1/2 here = $1.29/each

That's really all I bought that was interesting. Hopefully I'll get a chance to run to SuperTarget this week to pick up the rest of the stuff on my list!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dunkin' Donuts - FREE Medium Coffee

Enroll in Dunkin' Perks to get a free medium beverage (coupon by mail), plus another free medium beverage for your birthday!

The only thing I love more than coffee is FREE coffee. :)

*HOT* $1/1 Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon

Target has Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon on sale for $1.99 this week, and you can print a coupon for $1/1 here, making your total after coupon $0.99! Remember to hit the back button on your browser to print twice. Great deal for bacon!

Thanks Money Saving Mom for the heads up!

Meal Plan Monday 5/10/10

Hope you all had a nice weekend and a wonderful Mother's Day! I've been battling a cold since Thursday, and L woke up yesterday with one as we tried to keep the weekend fairly uneventful. Here's my meal plan for this week:

Monday - Spaghetti & Meatsauce, Green Beans, Chocolate Butterhorns

Tuesday - Corn Dog Mini-Muffins (never made these before, but L LOVES corn dogs, so I'm hoping for a winner!), Chips, Grapes

Wednesday - Peanut Noodles (didn't get made last week!)

Thursday - Mini Meatloaves, Green Bean Casserole

Friday - Chicken Tetrazzini (from the freezer), Corn

Saturday - Out (church)

Sunday - I've been trying to have a "Sabbath" on Sundays, so haven't been cooking. I'll either make something on Saturday and have leftovers or we'll throw something together last minute.

Weekend Grocery Shopping

Just updating my May deals and savings so far! :)

Meijer Trip 5/7

Trans #1:

(4) Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs $2
Used 2 B1G1 Facebook coupons = $4
*Received TWO Catalinas for $3 off next purchase = $2 MONEYMAKER!

Trans #2:

(2) Pace Salsa, on sale $1.89
Used $0.60/2 coupon (believe this was from 5/2 insert) = $3.18

(1) McCormick Grinders, on sale $1
Used $1/1 coupon from 4/25 RedPlum = FREE

(1) Meijer Pizza Sauce, on sale $0.85

(1) Meijer Tortilla Chips $1.69

Also bought a TON of Gerber baby food (my little guy is becoming a BIG eater!) Used a $1.50/10 Catalina that printed a few weeks ago.

Used both $3 off Catalinas from Trans #1

Total: $12.44, Saved $11.85 Received a Catalina for $0.75 off next purchase because I bought 10 Gerber 2nd foods

Actual Grocery purchase = -$0.42! (I budget all baby items seperately)

Dominicks Trip 5/8

(2) Oscar Mayer Lunch Meat, $2.49 with in ad coupon
Used 2 $2/1 Facebook coupons (no longer available) = $0.49 each

(2) Lays Kettle Chips, $1.88 with in ad coupon
Used B1G1 Facebook coupon (no longer available) = 2 for $0.47 (Looks like it took the regular price off for the one I got free, which was $3.29!)

(1) Cinnamon Toast Crunch, on sale $1.49
Used $0.55/1 coupon here = $0.99 (I won't ever pay more than $1 for a box of cereal!)

(2) Pampers Jumbo Diapers, $6.99 with in ad coupon
Used 2 $3/1 Catalina coupons that printed at Meijer weeks ago = $7.98 for BOTH!

(1) "Party Straws" $1.99

Total spent: $13.86, but only $4.58 was actual Groceries, saved $29.66!

Meijer trip 5/9

2.28lb Ground Chuck @ $1.29/lb = $3.40

(1) Milk = $1.98

Red Grapes = $3.40

(1) Sara Lee Pie, on sale $2.19

(1) Chicago Tribune = $1.99

Total: $13.07, saved $1.31. Blah. Less than impressive. Can't win them all!!

Total spent in May so far: $85.11, $89.90 remaining

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Book Review - I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby

I just finished reading my first book from "I Am Hutterite". It was an extremely interesting book and I had a hard time putting it down!

Hutterites are a religious group that has been around since the 16th century. Their founder, Jacob Hutter, believed that God wanted a society where everyone shared property, and lived and worked together for the common good of all community members. Hence, "Hutterite colonies" were formed. "I Am Hutterite" is a true story told by Mary-Ann Kirkby about her life growing up on a Hutterite colony in Manitoba, Canada. At the age of 10, her parents chose to leave the colony, and she was then forced to learn to live in a culture that was foreign to her.

The main reason I chose to read this book is because I grew up in Alberta, Canada in an area with a number of Hutterite colonies. Hutterites had always intrigued me, but I didn't know a lot about them or their culture. I had hoped that reading this book would help me to understand them better, and it definitely did! I appreciated the details the author gave about day-to-day life on a colony. She did a great job expressing how much life changed for her and her family when her parents made the tough decision to leave the colony to live in the "English" world. It was great to see that even though her life changed dramatically at a very young age, she has come to the point in her life where she can see that her childhood life on the colony helped to make her the person she is today, and that she can't hide from her past and has chosen to embrace it.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It was a very interesting, easy read, and I feel like I learned a lot from it!

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their program. All opinions expressed were my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nabisco 100 Calorie Pack Money Maker

This one is awesome! "Like" Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs on Facebook and click "Coupon Offer" to print a coupon for B1G1 100 Calorie Pack. You should be able to print twice.

Meijer has these on sale through 5/8 for $2.00 AND it is printing TWO Catalinas!

Here's your scenario:

Buy (4) Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs
Use 2 B1G1 coupons from Facebook
= $4.00 out of pocket, but you will receive TWO Catalinas for $3 off next purchase, making this a $2 money maker!

Bargains to Bounty has all the details on the Catalinas here. Tempted to drag the kids out after dinner to pick these up!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Meijer Trip 5/4

So, I apparently spend a lot of time at Meijer. I can't help it...the catalina machine is so good to me!!!

Trans 1:

(3) Breakstone Cottage Cheese $1 = $3
Received a catalina for $3 off next purchase

Trans 2:

(2) Nabisco Cookies $2.50 ea
(1) Meijer Milk $2.29
Used $1.50 off purchase of (1) Nabisco Cookies and (1) Milk (given to me by a Meijer employee a few weeks ago) AND Buy (1) Nabisco Cookies and (1) Milk and get a 2nd Cookies FREE (Facebook printable, no longer available)
Total $3.29, Used Catalina from Trans 1 = $0.29

Spent $3.29, Saved $9.46. May total $61.02, $113.98 remaining.

Meijer Trip 5/1

Just updating my grocery purchases so far this month. Most people probably don't care about every single item I'm buying, so I'm just going to highlight the deals and give you a running total on how much I've saved/spent for the month.

Trans #1:

(3) Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs (On sale $2.00) =$6.00
Received (1) Catalina for $3 off next purchase AND (1) Catalina for $2 off next purchase

Trans #2:

(2) Yoplait Greek Yogurt Cups $0.99 - Used 2 $0.45/1 printables (no longer available) = $1.08/2
(2) Capri Sun Roarin' Waters $1.99 - Used 2 FREE coupons from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese 5pks = FREE
(2) Nesquik (on sale $2.24 ea) = $4.48, Use 2 $1.25/1 here and $1/2 Meijer Mealbox = $0.98/2
(4) Nestle Juicy Juice $2 - Use 2 $1/2 here and 1 $2/4 here = $4 for 4

I spent $45.30, saved $31.69. Total spent so far in May = $57.73, $117.27 remaining.

FREE Libby's Vegetables

When you "like" Libby's Table on Facebook, you can fill out a form to receive a coupon for a FREE can of vegetables. You will receive the coupon either by mail or e-mail. It says to expect it in 4-6 weeks.

Thanks Money Saving Mom for the heads up!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

As we head into summer, it seems like my weeks are getting busier and busier! Thanks to the freezer cooking I did this weekend, I won't be spending as much time as usual in the kitchen this week.

Monday - Chicken Tetrazzini (This was really good!)
Tuesday - Out (b-day party in the afternoon)
Wednesday - Hot Dogs on the grill, Broccoli & Carrots
Thursday - Peanut Noodle Stirfry (Chicken already cooked, just have to assemble)
Friday - Pita Pizzas
Saturday - Lunch - Tuna Melts Dinner - Out (church)
Sunday - Mother's Day....mommy's not cooking. :)

Freezer Cooking Success!

I'm VERY pleased with how much I've accomplished in the last few days when it comes to my freezer cooking project. This was my original plan:

Chicken/Bean Burritos
Seasoned Ground Beef
Chocolate Butterhorns
Chicken Tetrazzini

I'm happy to report that I got everything done except for the seasoned ground beef. I didn't have any ground beef in my house, and I saw that it is going on sale next week, so decided to hold off and deal with it next weekend! I also substituted chocolate chip pancakes (double batch)for the waffles. I even got brave and used half whole wheat/half white flour in the pancakes and my family LOVES them.

The Chocolate Butterhorns were also a success! They are very good, but next time I won't be so skimpy with the chocolate chips!

Made two chicken tetrazzini casseroles; one for today (with leftovers for hubby's lunch tomorrow), and another one to be enjoyed later in the month. Substituted fresh mushrooms for canned and added broccoli.

My kids were AMAZING today. Long naps are a wonderful thing!! I'm so happy with what I've accomplished and can't wait to do it again next month!

*Hot* $2/1 Oscar Mayer Lunchmeat

Enter to win a ride in the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, and you'll be able to print a coupon for $2/1 Oscar Mayer lunchmeat. This is a high value coupon, and one that you need to print TODAY, as the offer ends 5/3.

I was able to print this twice. Don't forget to print the FREE Nabisco Cookies coupon as well!!

FREE Nabisco Cookies

Today is the first Monday in May, so don't forget to print your coupon for Buy 1 Nabisco Cookies & 1 Gallon of Milk and get a 2nd Nabisco Cookies FREE!

This coupon is only available today, but doesn't expire until 5/21. I was able to print it twice!