Saturday, February 28, 2009

Diapers AGAIN!

Well, I think it is official. I am getting out of diapers at my house. I think I have purchased my LAST pack. Hallelujah! BUT I know there are some of you still in this stage and I have a deal for YOU!

There are two coupons for Huggies at
1. $5 off 1 Huggies Gentle Care
2. $3 off 1 Huggies Natural Fit

These are the highest value coupons I have seen for Huggies.

I was able to print two of each. You can use them now and get a good deal OR You can hold them until the week of 3/8. There will be a Register rewards promotion at Walgreens: buy $25 in Huggies products and get $10 in Register Rewards back. The jumbo packs will be on sale for $10 each. With three of these coupons you can get three jumbo packs for $5 after coupons and register rewards!!

I promise to list this deal when it comes out. I personally do not do Register Rewards right now because I had one for $10 that expired and cannot be used. They are only good for 2 weeks. So if you use them right away on something else you need, it would be worth it.

PRINT THE COUPONS NOW!!! Even if you want to use them later. They can only be printed a limited number of times before they disappear.

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Coupon/Savings Class **Coming Soon**

I am planning to have a coupon savings class in my home sometime in March. I haven't decided on a date yet and need to do some more planning before I can give any details. But the main idea is to share all I have learned with others who are interested in "Stewarding God's Gifts". I am NO expert, and still learn new things every time I shop. But I have been literally "bombarded" with questions, phone calls, and e-mails from friends and neighbors wanting to know more about how I do what I do and how they can do it too. So PLEASE let me know if you are interested in attending this (assuming you have no prior commitments once the date is set). AND please pass the word along to anyone you know who may be interested. I want to serve as many people as I can with this class.

Breakfast and Lunch menu

Here is the 4 week plan I have for Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks. It is actually a 2-week plan because I just basically do weeks 1 and 2 over for 3 and 4. We have almost the same breakfast every week, but lunch changes a bit. Also, my kids are ONLY allowed a snack IF they eat their lunch. I actually have this in a nice Excel spreadsheet but could not figure out how to post that :) So hopefully this is not too confusing...

Weeks 1 and 3

B-bagels/cereal bars
L-toasted ham & cheese or pbj

L-mini muffin pizzas/cooked carrots
S-granola bar

L-pbj/h and apples
S-yogurt raisins

L-ham,cheese,veggie pasta
S-dried fruit

L-Noah's ark (banana boats, yogurt, animal crackers)
S-string cheese

B-baked oatmeal
L-grilled cheese/quesadillas
S-trail mix

L-sandwich choice, chips/pretzels
S-free choice

Weeks 2 and 4

B-bagels/cereal bars
L-bologna and cheese/pretzel sticks
S-grapes or raisins

L-ham/cheese wraps and oranges

L-pigs-in-blankets and carrots w/dip
S-crackers and cheese

L-super stuffed spuds

L-monkey sandwiches and yogurt/peach "eggs"
S-veggies w/dip

L-grilled cheese/quesadillas
S-trail mix

L-sandwich choice, chips/pretzels
S-free choice

Monday, February 23, 2009

FREE Quizno's Subs

Go here and register for a FREE sub from Quiznos. They are giving away 1,000,000 free subs coupons. They were at 119,987 when I signed up. HURRY!

Thanks -

Target: Pop-tarts for $0.40/box, Special K for $0.54/box

See all the details HERE!

Menu Plan Monday - February 23

My meal plan this week includes at least one day of leftovers because I have been cooking more days than usual with my menu planning :) I am planning, however, to try to "spice" up the leftovers we have in the fridge.

Monday - Enjoy-overs (my version of leftovers :)
Tuesday - Creamy Italian Chicken
Wednesday - Cowboy Beans and Rice
Thursday - Chicken Dijon with Spinach
Friday - Stromboli
Saturday - Enjoy-overs
Sunday - Chicken Soft Tacos

I will try to post the recipes as I make them.

If you are wondering why I only list dinners on my menu plan, it is because I already have a standard 4 week plan for breakfast and lunch. I will post that plan later this week.

Harris Teeter this week

Well, I spent more this week at HT than I usually do. I had to stock up on chicken breasts and juice. So that was the bulk of my cost. But I did get some great deals...

6 bags frozen chicken breasts
9 bottles Old Orchard juice
9 bottles Ocean Spray juice
5 cans Progresso bread crumbs
3 boxes 100 calorie snack packs
3 boxes Celestial tea
5 boxes Fiber One bars
10 cans veggies
1 pack Dentyne Ice gum
3 boxes whole wheat pasta
1 can Rotel tomatoes
3 tubs flavored cream cheese
6 packs Ball Park bun length hot dogs

Total retail: $217.75
I paid: $62.95
I saved: $154.80

How did you do?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Recipe Rave - Spinach and Chicken Sausage Pizza

Here it is...
My first "recipe rave" post. I had this on my Menu Plan Monday post for Saturday. I actually didn't eat this on Saturday as I went our for a neighborhood committee dinner with others in this group. But I had it today and it was GREAT. I was a little skeptical at first because even though it looked good in the magazine, it didn't have the normal "tomato sauce" base and I wasn't sure how it would taste. But I loved it. Not only is it great tasting, it is healthy and easy to make as well. So if you want something a little different for dinner this week, try this:

As I mentioned in my menu post, this came from a new magazine I bought called Clean Eating. I have a couple other recipes from here on my menu plans for upcoming weeks, so stay tuned to hear how those turn out as well.

I even added my cost for this meal, so you can see how my grocery savings help my meals to be frugal. You can also visit $5 dinners from my left sidebar for other frugal menus. I LOVE this site.

9 oz. spinach leaves ($1.99)
2 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes (Free)
1 whole wheat pizza crust (I made my own- see below) ($.61)
(used half recipe for regular pizza for the kids - in case they didn't like this one :)
2 1/2 fully cooked, all-natural, deli chicken sausages, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces (I used Trader Joe's Green Pepper and Onion Chicken Sausage - they have tons of flavors that would be great) ($1.99)
3 oz. mozzerella cheese (about 3/4 cup) ($.62)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Coat a skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium low. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place 1 can tomatoes in a fine mesh strainer and press out as much liquid as possible. Spread all tomatoes onto pizza crust. Top with spinach, sausage and mozzerella. Bake 10 minutes, or until sausage is lightly browned and cheese is melted. Rest pizza on a cutting board for 5 minutes, slice into 6 equal pieces and serve.

1/6 pizza: Calories:230, Total fat: 8g, Sat Fat: 4g, Carbs: 25g

Total cost: $5.21

Here is my favorite bread dough recipe. We use this dough for EVERYTHING, from pizza and stromboli to dinner rolls and slicing bread. It is healthier with half wheat but still a bit sweet with the honey. You can use all wheat if you wish, but it is more dense.

Honey Wheat Bread

1 3/4 cups boiling water (I just use hot tap water)
1/3 cup brown sugar ($.05)
3 Tbls. honey ($.36)
2 Tbls. butter ($.05)
1 tsp salt ($.01)
3/4 cup oats (Free)
2 cups whole wheat($.45)
2 cups unbleached (bread flour) ($.30)
2 ¼ tsp. yeast (Free)

Combine all ingredients in order listed in a bread machine. I always run the dough cycle on this and take it out to use however I want. I don't like the way my bread machine bakes.
This will make 2 loaves or 2 pizza crusts.

Or you can cook on long cycle in 2 lb bread maker with delay start of about 20 minutes so boiling water doesn’t kill the yeast. I have not done this. I don't like the way my bread machine bakes. This also makes so much dough that it raises my machine lid, so I am not sure what would happen if you baked in the machine. You may want to cut it in half.

Total cost: $1.22

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

coupon gathering and organizing

** My first order of business on this post is to let you know I will be using "Q" for the word "coupon". It is easier to type :)

Several people have asked where I get my Qs as I use many duplicate Qs to get the best deals.

First of all, I subscribe to the Sunday paper. This is where I get 98% of the Qs I use. I also get additional copies of inserts from neighbors and friends. Ask around. There are so many people who don't even look at their inserts. There are some people I know who buy multiple papers from the store each week to have extra Qs. That is another option. But to me, FREE is better :)

I also use several websites to get online Qs. Each store has their own policy about accepting internet Qs. You also have to evaluate the cost of paper and ink for printing these Qs. I usually only print a Q when I KNOW I am going to use it and already have a plan. I don't even file it anywhere. I paper clip it directly to my shopping list.
My two main internet Q sites are and But you can also subscribe to sites like Kraft and Nestle and they will send you e-mails with links to their Qs. Also the drug stores usually have store Qs online when you sign up on their sites.

How do you organize ALL these Qs you now have?

There are really two ways you can organize your Qs (ok, maybe more than that, but only two I really know about :) Sort into categories or sort into dates.

One way is to cut out all the Qs you may use. I would suggest that you cut out any Q that you would even consider using if the item were FREE or almost FREE. Because you never know how low a sale price may go during the course of the Q. I started with this method when I was only getting one set of Qs. I know some other moms who still use this method. I had a 3-ring binder that I recycled to use for Qs. I bought some plastic "trading card" holders (found near the checkout lines with the trading cards) for only about $5. I then used card stock that I already had on hand to use as dividers. It seemed more economical to me to use those than to buy tabbed pages. I could also add more as needed and not have to buy more pages. I bought a pack of adhesive tabs to put on the card stock. I actually never got as far as putting tabs on before I switched to the next method. I would also suggest using post-it notes for your categories until you have them exactly the way you want them. It is easier than switching tabs around every time you switch categories. As I added more pages in each category I also added notebook paper for sub-categories and so I couldn't see the Qs on the pages below.As you can see, I still have post-its for my categories.

I think this method works great for small amounts of Qs because you can see them all at once instead of having to flip through an index file or envelope. I know some people love that method and it is certainly GREAT to use what ever works for YOU!!!

But what if you collect TONS of inserts, like me? I have an alternate method that I use that works for ME.
I have this hanging file box that I put all my inserts in. Can you see how fat 1/4 is?You can just take all the inserts from one Sunday and put them in a folder with the date on them. Then you can easily find the Q that is in the SmartSource insert from 1/25. However, because I usually cut 6-8 Qs of an item, I go one step further to make things simpler for me when I am clipping Qs for my shopping trip.
I take all my inserts and open them up on my DR table. I sort (collate) them out into like pages, then staple each stack of same pages together.
(be sure to staple in a spot that doesn't have a Q) Then I put them back in a pile in the insert cover and into the dated folder. Now when I need a Q, I find it and can clip as many as I need all together. I love this method.
I hope this makes sense. I just do it, it is hard to write out without sounding confusing.

Some people have asked if I need a Q and they are all in files, how do I find them?

Simple... There is this AWESOME site called (I mentioned this in the previous post as well) You can type in any part of the name of a brand or item and it will list all the current locations of that Q. You do have to register to use this site, but it is FREE.

Finding Coupons

Gisele had the unfortunate experience of purchasing a newspaper with the intent to start using coupons only to discover this was one of only 2-3 weeks in the year that there were NO inserts. UUUGGHH!

So here are a couple tips...

Gisele actually found this site on her own for all the Coupon inserts here. Here you can see which sections will be in which paper even before you purchase one.

You can also go here to find all the sale papers for all the stores in your area here. They even have store flyers for Aldi. AND it is not just grocery, drug stores (Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid) and discount stores (Wal-Mart, Target), even department stores (Sears, Penny's and Dillard's), Old Navy and Kohls. There is nothing special about this site except that you can find all the sale papers you need to browse all in one place AND you don't have to wait for the Sunday paper inserts. The individual flyers are updated at different times depending on when the store lists them.

The Grocery Game which I have referred to on my private blog also lists all the coupon inserts for that week including a random few coupons in "Parade Magazine" every couple of weeks. This list is updated on Sunday only and you have to pay for a subscription. I will talk more about this in an upcoming post.

I have also mentioned before that there are MANY different blogs and websites that "match-up" coupons with sale items. I get at least 5 new messages a day from these sites. Different people will comment or write in with even MORE deal match-ups. The key is to know the CODE.

Coupon codes:
Most times they are written like this - (1/25 S) or (RP 12/14)
This just means you will find the coupon in the insert from Sunday's paper that came out on the date mentioned. So January 25th and December 14th for my examples.
The letters in the code are for WHICH insert the coupon is in. There are THREE MAIN inserts that appear in a Sunday paper on any given week. They are "Smart Source" (coded with "S" or sometimes "SS"), "Red Plum" (coded "RP" or sometimes "V" for Valassis which is another name for it), and "P&G" for "Procter and Gamble" (this is coded "PG") and only comes out once a month usually at the beginning.

Sometimes there are multiples of either SS or RP. January 4th had the most inserts I have seen since starting coupons last March. There were three SS and two RP. Now, I don't mean I got 2-3 copies of each of these in my paper. There were two and three different sets of each. This is where it gets confusing. Some places will say (1/4 SS) and some will say (1/4 SS1) in which you would search insert #1. However, I can find NOWHERE on the insert that actually has a number 1 or 2. So you just have to search both.

Why is this important?

See my post on organizing coupons for the answer :)

One other site I use almost daily is You can use the "coupon database" to look up ANY coupon from ANY insert that has not expired. Because I use the filing system, I use this site all the time to find a certain coupon that I don't know where to find.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK ME ANY questions you may have. Just post it in the comments. I read every comment and I will try to answer your questions to the best of my limited knowledge :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - February 16

My meal plan for this week...

Monday - Mushroom Burgers
Tuesday - Chicken Milano
Wednesday - BBQ Smokeys
Thursday - Manic Meatloaf
Friday - Taco Salad (Tyler's favorite birthday meal)
Saturday - Spinach and Chicken SausagePizza (from a new cooking mag I am trying - more reviews to come :)
Sunday - Mexican Rice Casserole (to take to the Seaver's)

Don't forget to check out $5 dinners on the left for great $$$ saving meals!

$25 Wal-Mart gift card giveaway

Visit $5 dinners here for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Wal-Mart. I love these giveaways. I will love it even more if I ever actually win one :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

DIAPERS anyone? Rite-Aid has 'em

Rite Aid Jumbo Pack Diapers 2 for $15
Get a $3 SCR (single check rebate) when you buy two
Use 2 of the $1 Rite Aid Diaper coupons
Pay $5 each after coupons and SCR

Baby Food deals

If any of you out there need baby food, Harris Teeter has a deal this week.

Beech-nut Stage Two - 4 oz.
Buy 10/$4
Use $1/10 coupon (1/4 SS)
Get 10 jars for $3 or ($.30 each)


Beech-nut Stage Three - 6 oz.
Buy 5 at 4/$3
Use $1/5 coupon (1/4 SS)
Get 5 jars for $2.75 or ($.55 each)

ENDS 2/17

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Free Chicken Biscuit at Chick-Fil-A **ALL MONTH

I just found out today that the Chick-Fil-A in the University area, near Wal-Mart is offering free chicken biscuits to any person who brings in ONE cereal BOX TOP for education. This is going on all month from Feb 2-28. It is only good during breakfast and only at this location. But hey, it might be worth the drive, who doesn't LOVE Chick-Fil-A biscuits? :)

Also, it is one per person, per box top.

This is legit because I picked up the flyer IN the CFA at University AND asked a manager about it.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - February 9

Here is my plan for this week...
Monday - Homemade pizza
Tuesday - BBQ smokeys with rice and veggies
Wednesday - Homemade spaghetti sauce with meatballs and salad (I tried to find the link where I got this recipe, but can't find it-so I will post it here on Wednesday)
Thursday - Chicken Pot Pie
Friday - Classic Quesadillas
Saturday - (Valentine's Day) - Family fun FONDUE
Sunday - My SWEET hubby is making his special traditional Valentine's Day dinner for ME!

If you would like some menu plan inspiration, be sure to check out tons of menu plans at I'm an Organizing Junkie! And if you haven't already, be sure to check out $5 Dinners for lots of budget friendly recipes and ideas. Click on either of these links to the left.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How'd you REALLY do?

Ok, so all those deals look great on paper, but how do you really do at the store? Well, some of the items I wanted were out of stock so I didn't get everything. They do restock on Saturdays so I plan to try for the rest of the deals on Sunday evening.

I did three transactions because you can only triple up to 20 coupons per card per transaction. They say it is per day, but I used the same card for all three transactions and had no problem with all my Qs tripling. I also split up some of my like items so I wouldn't use too many identical coupons per order. They sometimes balk at that. Their official policy is 3 identical coupons double or triple per transaction. All others are face value. I haven't had any problems, but that IS their policy.

Transaction #1:
5 Smithfield bacon
2 Colgate kids toothpaste
2 Hungry Jack pancake mix
5 Mueller's whole wheat pasta
2 Honey Nut cheerios cereal
4 Powerade Zero
Retail: $74.14
Paid: $8.54
Saved: $65.60

Transaction 2:
6 Hunt's tomato sauce
6 Hunt's diced tomatoes
6 Hunt's tomato paste
5 Polaner All Fruit spread
3 Hillshire Farms Deli Slice meat
2 Colgate kids toothpaste
1 Softsoap handsoap
Retail: $65.38
Paid: $13.81

Transaction 3:
6 Hunt's tomato sauce
3 Quaker quick Oats (Raincheck)
7 Smucker's grape jelly (Raincheck)
2 Polaner All Fruit spread
2 Hillshire Farms Deli Slice meat
Retail: $34.85
Paid: $5.33
Saved: $29.52

Also, you can't see it in the picture, but there is a "Try Me FREE" sticker on the front of the deli meat package. An unexpected bonus. I will send in my receipt and the UPC from this package and get reimbursed my purchase price (which doesn't include coupons :) All the pkgs had this sticker, but you can only do this once per household.

So I paid $27.68 for $174.37 worth of groceries.
I LOVE triples!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Harris Teeter Triples

Hey all you savvy shoppers. Harris Teeter is tripling coupons from yesterday through Sunday. I scoured all the blogs and websites that I frequently use and came up with a shopping list for myself. Here are the deals I am going to try to snag tonight...

(BTW - SS means Smartsource insert; RP means Red Plum)

Hillshire Farm Ultra Thin Sliced lunch meat 8-9 oz - $3.50
-.55/1 (1/04 RP1) = $1.85 each

Hungry Jack Pancake mix 28-32 oz - $1.97
-.55/1 (1/11 RP) = $.30 each

Hunts Tomato Sauce 8 oz - $.33
-.40/2 (1/18 SS) = FREE

Hunts Spaghetti Sauce 26 oz - $1.25
-.40/2 (1/18 S) = $.65 each

Hunts tomatoes 14.5 oz - $1.25
-.40/2 (1/18 SS) = $.65 each

Colgate Toothpaste 6.4 oz - $1.75
-.75/1 (2/1 SS) = FREE

Smithfield bacon 12-16 oz - $2.49
-.55/1 (1/18 SS) = $.84 each

Powerade Zero 32 oz - $1.11
-.40/1 (1/4 SS) = FREE

French's Yellow mustard 8 oz squeeze or 9 oz jar- $1.50
-.50/1 (1/18 SS) = FREE

Muellers Whole Grain Pasta $1.69
-.55/1 (1/4 SS) = $.04 each

Wholly Guacamole 7 oz - $1.99
-.50/1 (1/18 SS) = $.49

Polaner All Fruit spread - $2.19
-.50/1 (1/25 SS) = $.69

Softsoap - $.94
-.35/1 (2/1 SS) = FREE

The following use internet coupons, you have to be sure your HT will accept them.

HoneyNut Cheerios - $2.50
-.55/1 (here) = .85 each

Chocolate Chex - $1.94
-.75/1 (here) = FREE

Wacky Mac veggie spirals 12 oz - $1.39
-.50/1 (here) = $.09 each

Also don't forget to use any old rain checks with .99 or less coupons!

Let me know how you do :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - February 2

Here is my menu for the week...

Monday - Mexican Rice Casserole
Tuesday - Pizza (date night is always simple)
Wednesday - Crockpot Lasagna
Thursday - Stovetop Chicken Casserole (didn't get to this last week)
Friday - Baked Ziti
Saturday - Chicken Tetrazzini
Sunday - Enjoy-overs

Anyone need a good deal???

Here is my shopping list for this week. I have TONS of extra coupons for anyone who wants them. Granted, these prices are only good until tomorrow. But you can have as many coupons as you want if you come get them.

If any of these deals sound like something you want to purchase for your family, come get some extra coupons...

Nabisco Wheat Thins or Triscuits (8-10 oz) - $.75 each with coupons (must buy 2 for coupon) (10 coupons available)
Totino's Frozen Pizza Rolls (7.5 oz) - $.36 each with coupon (30 coupons available :)
Breakstone's Sour Cream (16 oz) - $.19 each with coupon (8 coupons available)
Smart Balance Popcorn (3 ct.) - $.65 each (must buy 2 for coupon) (6 coupons available)

Harris Teeter
Stacy's Pita Chips or Bagel Chips (6 oz) - $.50 each with coupon (10 coupons available)