Friday, July 31, 2009

Free Multigrain Cheerios at Giant or Stop and Shop

Multigrain Cheerios are on sale 4 for $6 when you buy 4 boxes this week at Giant and Stop and Shop. Print out 4 $.75/1 coupons from here, here or here and they double to make 4 boxes of Multigrain Cheerios for free.

(Make sure you hit "back" after the coupon prints once so you can print it a second time.)

Free Chocolate Friday!

Don't forget! It's free chocolate Friday again!

Get your free chocolate each Friday (while supplies last) from M&M/Mars as part of their "Real Chocolate Relief Act".

Click here every Friday morning through September for a chance to get a coupon for your favorite Mars product: M&M’s, Snickers, Dove, 3 Muskateers, Twix, or Milky Way. Limit 250,000 coupons per Friday!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Free $15 Toys R Us gift card w/ pampers purchase

2 day super sale at Toys R Us and Babies R Us
July 31 and August 1 only
Purchase 2 boxes of Pampers Diapers and get a $15 Toys R Us gift Card
Details here

The Thursday Edition of Whittle Down Wednesday--the junk drawer!

The junk drawer. It's been on "my list" forever. My husband's been asking me to clear it out--and yet--I've kept putting it off. I finally tackled the job today, and you know what. Actually clearing it out wasn't bad at all! I could have saved myself all the dread it and the mental weight of it on me if I had just done it weeks ago!

I think every household has at least one junk drawer--where everything ends up that you're just not quite sure what to do with it. My challenge for y'all today is to take 15 minutes to work on it today!

Here's my before (scary!):
and after:

Betty Crocker Free Gluten Free Baking Mix

Lots of people seem to have gluten free diets now and it seems Betty Crocker has gotten on the bandwagon! If you have someone in your home with a gluten free diet you can call and get a coupon for a free gluten free mix. ($4 value).

Here's how to get it:

1) Call 1-800-446-1898 (General Mills Customer service) and select option #4 on the main menu.

2) Tell the representative you are interested in the gluten free baking products coupons.

3) He/she will ask you questions about your family--if anyone is gluten free, how many family members, where you normally shop and your address.

If you want to see if the Gluten Free Products are available to you, click here for a product locator.

Thank you to Tomorrow's Plight for the head's up.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Time Saving Tuesday - Make a Menu Binder

The Make a Menu Binder

I've only been menu planning for a few months, but when I follow a plan my time spent thinking about, shopping for, and preparing meals is significantly reduced!

Leslie at Menu Maker Mom has a step by step plan for creating a make-a-menu binder. (Scroll to the bottom of the link to see step one). Leslie's outline begins with you collecting a list of family favorites by asking each member for their list of favorites. Next you compile the favorites into categories, beef, chicken, meatless, etc. Then you compare your list of meal ideas with what you have in the freezer, if you don't have anything in the freezer Leslie has you go to your grocery store ad. This is a tremendous help to the meal budget as you are making use of what you already have on hand or you are purchasing the loss leader meats from the sale flyer.

Leslie plan has you print out a blank calendar where you will fill in family activities and your meal plan. If you will be out at the soccer field for 3 practices on a given night you will probably be packing a picnic dinner (and avoiding the drive thru). Leslie's plan was a tremendous help to me. With eight children and many different activites in the evenings I was able to step back and see who was going to be at the table on a given night and what time dinner should be prepared so as many of us as possible could dine together. Before her plan I can remember putting dinner on the table right after 3 people had left and realizing that if I'd only scheduled dinner 30 minutes earlier we could have had a "family" meal.

I am still making my binder. I have so many recipes to go through and categorize. I am looking forward to having a completed Make a Menu Binder (by Christmas at least!). Check out Leslie's blog and make your 4 o'clock hour an easy one!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Sunday: Popcorn chicken, mac-n-cheese, corn/peas and cantaloupe.

Monday: Caribbean Jerk Chicken, black bean corn salsa, mashed potatoes
Recipe from Good Seasonings Casual Entertaining cook book:
1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing Mix
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground thyme 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper 2 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
Mix all ingredients except chicken in small bowl until well blended. 
Pour dressing over chicken; cover. Refrigerate 1 hour to marinate. Drain; discard dressing mixture.
Place on greased grill over hot coals or on rack of broiler pan 5-7 inches
from heat. Cook till cooked thru. (I top mine with a spritz of lime juice.)

1 can drained black beans
1 cup rinsed frozen corn
1/4 chopped red pepper
1 tsp Good Seasonings Italian dressing mix
1 T lime juice
Mix together and chill

Tuesday: Burrito Pie, carrots, peaches
BURRITO PIE aka Mexican lasagna 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 1 onion, chopped 2 teaspoons minced garlic 6-7 (6 inch) flour tortillas 1 (16 ounce) jar taco sauce 1 (16 ounce) can black beans 2 cups shredded Colby cheese 1 (10 ounce) can diced tom. w/ green chiles 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the ground beef for 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 more minutes. Drain any excess fat. Mix in the tomatoes with green chile peppers, taco sauce and beans. Stir mixture thoroughly, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. 3. Spread a thin layer of the meat mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Cover with a layer of tortillas followed by more meat mixture, then a layer (2 cups) of cheese. Repeat tortilla, meat, cheese pattern until all the tortillas are used, topping off with a layer of meat mixture and cheese (another bag=2 cups). 4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is slightly brown and bubbly.

Wednesday: Cold Tuna Casserole served on a lettuce leaf with wedges of tomato and cucumber and potato chips on the side. Cooked macaroni noodles, drained tuna, mayo celery seed, minced onion, parsley flakes, shredded carrots, pickle juice (If I have any). Chill for a few hours before serving.

Thursday: Burgers and nachos

Friday: Cheese pizzas on the grill, salads

Saturday: Ham and cheese stromboli, carrots, fruit (supposed to have last week, but we were invited to a friend's house for dinner instead!)

As always, visit Org Junkie for more meal ideas!

Menu Plan Monday - 8isGreat

Sunday - Leftovers, lots of them!
Monday - Chicken Cacciatore, salad, bread
Tuesday - Golden Pork Chops, rice, corn (pork - season boneless pork chops with salt & pepper, dip in 1 beaten egg, coat with cracker crumbs, brown in olive oil. When golden add 2 cups milk (almost enough to cover meat, place in oven preheated to 350. Bake 45-60 min. until milk is almost cooked away, spoon juices over meat.)
Wednesday - Mexican Stuffed Shells, black beans, refried beans
Thursday- Ranch chicken fingers, egg noodles, beans
Friday - homemade mac n cheese, stewed tomatoes, peas
Saturday - cheese burgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, chips

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Food Lion $200 sweepstakes

Food Lion is giving away $200 worth of FL brand pantry products each week. There are two weeks left in this promotion. Register here for a chance to win.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Need help finding the sippy cups at Target?

I posted earlier this week about the Playtex sippy cups that are $1.68 a Target right now.

Want to know if a store in your area has any in stock?

Go here:
Enter the DCPI in the space provided (030052357) and hit enter.
Click on Infant and Toddler.
Click Find it at a Target Store.
Type in your zip code.

If it says "available" and when you get to the store you can't find any, ask the team member to type in the DCPI number (030052357) for you to see if they might be in the stock room instead.

Good mail week!

Today I received my $25 free gas card I won from the Huggies "Enjoy the Ride" program site and 4 $3 mail in rebates from purchases of fresh produce. This week I've received $68.40 in rebates and the $25 gas card for a total of $93.40!

The following codes are all worth 5 points on the Huggies site. I've heard the best time to play the instant win games are very late at night or early in the morning.


More school lunch ideas

I just got an email from Ziplock that included a free downloadable lunch box idea guide. It also included a link to a printable coupon for $1.50 off 2 ziplock items.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Free Burrito at Baja Fresh today!

Today only (until 9 pm) you can get a free Baja Fresh Burrito with the purchase of any regular drink. This is a promotion they have put up on their Facebook page. To view and print the coupon click here. I called my local store and they told me they were accepting this coupon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Meal Plan Monday - 8isGreat (the Tuesday edition)

Sunday - Ziti Lasagna casserole, broccoli
Monday - Grilled Steak and baked potatoes, corn
Tuesday - Chicken Casserole (pasta, chix, cream soup, sour cream, mixed veggies, seasoned salt, shredded cheese topped with cracker crumbs)
Wednesday - Taco casserole
Thursday - Leftovers: any leftover casseroles and steak in salads or fajitas
Friday - Cold tuna casserole, tomoatoes & cucumbers
Saturday - Grilled steak(again, I defrosted too much), rosemary roasted potatoes, beans

CVS upcoming deal-- Free Electrasol tabs and money maker

The week of 8/2 CVS will have the Electrasol/Finish tabs on sale for $4.50 each. They will also be a part of an ECB deal, buy $20 worth of select Electrasol, Lysol, Resolve and Air Wick products and receive a $10 ECB.

There were $2.50/1 Electrasol coupons in the 7/12 SS. (or you can find them on ebay or

5 boxes of Electrasol tabs at $4.50 each = $22.50
- 5 $2.50 coupons
=$10 oop, earn $10 ECB

Thanks to deal seeking mom for the heads up!

Also that week Blink tears are $7.99 and earn $7.99 in ECBs. You can print out $1.50 coupon for the eye drops here making it a $1.50 money maker.

Time Saving Tuesday--school lunches

It's getting to be that time of year again--when I start making all of my "Back to School lists." Baby #5 is due the first day of school so I'm really feeling the need to have everything ready.

My oldest will be in second grade and the second will be in Kindergarten this year. My oldest will eat any dinner you place in front of her happily, but is not really a fan of sandwiches, which makes packing school lunches a little trickier. And at $3 a lunch, buying all the time is not an option. (Each kid is allowed to pick 2 days each month that they want to buy lunch.)

To make lunch prep easier, I've created a list of lunch ideas so I know what I need to have on hand. Last year when I was feeling really ambitious I wrote out a lunch menu for each week just to take the mental energy out of the planning and prep in the morning. I'm hoping to be as ambitious this year.

My oldest also has "Oral Allergy Syndrome" and is allergic to apples, carrots, pears, kiwi, walnuts, and almonds. Knocking out apples, baby carrots and diced pear cups knocked out the core of our healthier lunch snacks. Add in the almonds and walnuts and it took out granola bars for her--which was our fall back healthier than chips or cookies snack. So I'm still looking for good substitutes for healthy snacks she'll eat if anyone has any ideas.

Here's my list of lunch and snack ideas. I'm always open to more ideas!

Chicken salad
PB&J with sprinkle crusts
Cream cheese on bagel
Turkey spinach wraps
Cut up meat, cheese and crackers (homemade lunchables)
Cold chicken pasta salad
Pita pocket sandwich—send filling in separate bag
Banana bread sandwich (PB or cream cheese) cut into long fingers
Sandwich on a stick—cheese, meat, veggie, cracker on Popsicle stick
Mexican Wrap- grilled chicken, black beans and grated cheese
Cookie cutter sandwiches
Pin Wheel Sandwiches—tortillas filled with cream cheese, pb&j, cheese sliced into spirals
PB spiral—remove crusts and flatten bread, spread with PB&J, roll up and slice like sushi rolls
Ramen noodles with chicken and veggies
salmon crackers
canned soup
ham and cheese roll up

Orange slices
Banana bread
Muffins—banana, pumpkin, strawberry, blueberry
Mini bagel w/ cream cheese
Fruit kabob
Cheese sticks
Trail mix
Cottage cheese
Baby carrots
Fruit cups
Pirate’s booty
Fruit leather
Write notes/draw pictures on banana peels
Fruit smoothie
Cheese and crackers
Vegetable sticks and dip
Graham crackers
Granola bar
Nutrigrain bar
Snack mix—pretzels, raisins, craisins, dried fruit, cereal, m&ms
Fruit snacks
Chex mix

For more ideas on packing school lunches, check out:
Laptop lunches
Family Fun
School Lunch Ideas
Amazing Moms

Monday, July 20, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Two meals from last week's menu got pushed back to this week as my husband was out of town for 2 days. I think the best part about our menu this week is that in addition to being simple--I don't need to go to the grocery store for anything this week!

Sunday: Grilled turkey burgers with roasted red pepper mayo, fries, corn on the cob, fruit salad.

Monday: KFC (our free meal coupons we got from the Oprah giveaway expire today!)

Tuesday: Taco salad (add black beans and corn)

Wednesday: Grilled chicken and strawberry topped salads

Thursday: Club sandwiches, carrots, chips, fruit

Friday: Pasta and sauce, green beans

Saturday: Hamand cheese stromboli, salads

Check out Org Junkie for more meal ideas!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Target: Playtex Straw Sippy cups $1.68

There's an unadvertised, unmarked mark down at Target on the Playtex brand insulated, twist and click straw sippy cups. The shelf price is $6.99, but they are ringing up $1.68, which is a fantastic price for two sippy cups. The cups are BPA free. They come in several different styles. Make sure you scan the cups first to make sure they are the ones marked down to $1.68. At this price, they won't last long. I picked up 3 packs at my local store today, but people are reporting having success at Targets all across the country.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Free ears of corn from Giant!

Get 3 free ears of corn loaded to your Giant Bonus Card!

Family Fun Friday

We are going Peach Picking today!

Free Chocolate Friday!

Don't forget! It's free chocolate Friday again!

Get your free chocolate each Friday (while supplies last) from M&M/Mars as part of their "Real Chocolate Relief Act".

Click here every Friday morning through September for a chance to get a coupon for your favorite Mars product: M&M’s, Snickers, Dove, 3 Muskateers, Twix, or Milky Way. Limit 250,000 coupons per Friday!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Free Hefty One Zip storage bags at Walmart

Hefty OneZip 17 ct gallon size and the 22 ct quart size are a $1 at Walmart. You can find them right in the regular baggie/foil/plastic wrap section. The tag in front of them says 2 for $2. Currently there are $1/1 blinkie coupons found at various supermarkets. Some blinkies expire 7/24 and some don't expire until September. Some blinkies start with a number 5 in the bar code and some with the number 9. I've read that the ones that start with a 5 don't beep at all when scanned and those with a number 9 do beep and need the cashier's input (although otherwise they look like the exact same thing.)

If you can't find the blinkies in a store by you, you can check out ebay or a coupon clipping service to see if you can find any deals.

THRIFTY THURSDAY - How to Save $ on Produce

Another new favorite blog of mine is MileHiMama's Mama Says: Disorganized, Discombobulated, Devoted. She has a teriffic post linked above outlining 8 ways to save on produce from the obvious to the novel.

Here they are in a nutshell (see her blog for the details)
1. Buy the loss leaders
2. Buy in season
3. Organic?
4. Markdown rack
5. Grow your own
6. Frozen vs. fresh
7. off the beaten path
8. unadvertised specials

MileHiMama alos has an inspiring Food Stamp Challenge. The purpose of this portion of her blog is to prove that it is posible to feed her family of ten on $140/week. According to government data MileHiMama's family should be spending $1200 per week - at least that is what the amount they would be given to spend if they received Food Stamps. She has special diets to contend with and buys organic when she can. Check out this inspiring series of posts where she updates weekly what she buys her family and how much it costs her.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Our Whittle Down Wednesday posts are based on and inspired by Peter Walsh's It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living A Richer Life With Less Stuff. If you have cable you may be familiar with his TLC series Clean Sweep. I've never seen the show but the book is a great tool to motivate you to trasnsform your home & your life.

His tag line sums up the book: An Easy Plan for A Richer Life With Less Stuff. His book is a plan. He takes you through the processes of seeing your space ( home, room, drawer, etc.) as it is now and helping you to see what you really need/desire the space to be.

First, Walsh tells you to imagine the life you want to live. He leads you to think about the answers to the following questions:
What is the life you want?
How do you spend your time?
How do you feel at home?
How do you interact with your family?
What do you accomplish in your home?

Next, he asks you to imagine your ideal living space. What does your home look like?
Here are some questions he lists to help you envision your ideal space:
Does this house look the way I want it to?
Does this house feel like a home to me?
How do I feel when I come home to this place?
How do I want to feel when I come home to this place?
How do family members feel when they come home to this place?
How do they want to feel?
How do I feel when I enter this room?
What is this room's function now?
What is the function I want it to have?
In order to serve its function, what should the room contain in terms of furniture, contents, and open space?

These are the things I contemplate as I conquer one small space at a time. I'd love to have him come in and help me do a "Clean Sweep," but I don't have that luxury. Thankfully I have the accountability of this blog to see to it that I at least work on one space each week.

Here is this week's project. I tried to finish up the kitchen drawers. You must be so bored with my kitchen. I'm still not done, but I actually did more than one drawer this week.

I have a column of four drawers next to my oven. The first is my knife drawer I posted the transformation here last week.
I've labeled the rest of these drawers #2, #3 and #4.
Here is #2 before...

and after...I tossed sippy cup plugs, corn holders, broken measuring spoons. It looks much less cluttered.

Here is drawer #3 before...
Drawer #3 after...

This still looks pretty cluttered. I tossed out a few broken items, moved some items to other drawers and just tidied up. I just couldn't bring myself to toss any duplicate measuring cups. Sometimes I need 3 one-cup measuring cups!

Drawer #4 before... I keep potholders and towels here. You can see some of my rags have slipped into this drawer. I have a spot for rags under my kitchen sink. I also used to store bibs here, but pulled them out to donate. My 21 month old just pulls them off if I try to velcro one on him. I took this picture much later, you can see the evidence that we are out of paper towels, because now the drawer is nearly empty. :o)

The next two drawers are large and deep. They are below my silverware drawer. I don't load these drawers because, although they are deep, I'm afraid they may not be able to bear much weight. This is my foil, baggie and brown bag drawer before...
I also store phone books here, I tossed all the out of date phone books in the recycel bin, combined duplicate boxes andjust tidied up.

Here it is after...And this is my plastic bowl and plate drawer before...

and after... I store kid friendly bowls and plates that are within easy reach of my little ones. I also had my plain white wash cloths in here to clean up my son's face after meals. I am moving them to the pot holder drawer. I bagged the paper plate holders (they are green in the photo) to donate. I've had these for over 10 years and I know I haven't used them in more than five! Tucked in the far left corner is a collection of stainless I pull from when we have company and some plastic cuttlery.

This is the last drawer I'm blogging (I have a larege silverware drawer with two trays of stainless, but I can't toss anything here. We need all this stainless. I also have a small drawer that only holds appliance manuals). This is my baking drawer (named only because it is under my baking cabinet and I roll out dough on the counter above it).

before... after...

Stored here are: wooden skewers, the cord and drip cup to my griddle, a rolling pin, a dough mat, a small cutting board, a pie edge cover and some accessories to a food processor.

Although my de-cluttered areas are not exactly perfect all the time it is VERY easy to quickly tidy them up. As I have said before I have a 3 yo, a 5 yo and a 7 yo helping me unload the dishwasher 3 times a day, they have noticed the change and are making an effort to help me keep things tidied up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Meal Plan Monday--The Tuesday edition--again

After a nice 12 day trip to visit family we are back home! It was a wonderful break to not have to think about what was for dinner or cooking anything! We were thoroughly spoiled by my in-laws for almost 2 weeks. Unfortunately, all good things seem to come to an end and we're back to reality now!

Tuesday: Grilled marinated sirloin steaks, grilled potato packets (sliced regular and sweet potatoes and sliced onions tossed in olive oil with rosemary, salt and pepper wrapped in foil and grilled), green beans, blueberries.

Wednesday: Chicken fajitas, refried beans

Thursday: Quiche and salads (baby greens, walnuts, chopped apples and Newman's Own Light balsamic vinaigrette.)

Friday: Pasta with spaghetti sauce, broccoli, bread

Saturday: Grilled turkey burgers with roasted red pepper mayo, fries, salad

For more ideas as always check out Org Junkie!

Time Saving Tuesday

Set aside a few hours one day a week to deal with bills and correspondence. This stops them from piling up...and piling on the stress. The Side Tracked Home Executives called this "Desk Day." I use this day for filing new Qs/tossing expireds, Mailing MIR offers, reviewing flyers or deal blogs, planning shopping trips, planning Dr. appointments, etc.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A $400 monthy budget for a family of ten

My finance goals for May, June and for July has been a $400 budget to cover all groceries, cleaning supplies, and all H&B items for a family of ten and all baby items for my 21 month old. In May I spent$491.65 for these categories and in June I spent $425.88 (not including the cost of a graduation party). And now here comes July...

It’s July 13th. We spent as much of last week as possible with my DH’s family from Iowa and Northern Virginia. We had a wonderful time!

Without any regrets, I spent more than half the month’s budget in the first week. I used a lot of stockpiled foods to help, but I wanted to celebrate, not skimp! We wanted to see our family whenever we could, so we hosted as much as possible. DH & I both bought extras for the week and some of my trips were unplanned (read no sales and no coupons).

So, $240.82 of the $400 July budget is gone. I am not deterred. I am still going to try to keep my budget at $400 for the month. Maybe all of these months not being able to hit $400 will convince me to raise my budget to $450. We’ll see. For the remainder of the month my weekly menus will be made up of only what I already have on hand. I expect to need a stray ingredient here and there, produce, bread and milk. We are completely out of paper towels and are only using towels for wiping hands and rags for clean-ups.
I am concerned about our milk consumption pushing us over the budget. If I only budget $50 each of the last three weeks of July I expect to spend at least $20 of this each week on milk. This leaves $30/week for anything else. I do have a $25 gift check for Walgreens that I may use to purchase milk if I need to.
I lost my CVS coupon folder three weeks ago. This might also affect my July budget because I will have to use real money for H&B items. My folder was filled with coupons, a CVS gift card with a balance of about $15, my CVS card, my DH’s CVS card, my DD’s CVS card (she is headed off to college in the fall & I was helping her to “CVS”) and there were also $30-$40 in ECBs in there. I have avoided CVS since my folder went missing with the exception of popping in to the three CVS’s that I frequent to see if it might have been found and turned in. I plan on getting some ECBs this week on the free school supply items – this expense will come out of my Education budget, but I can use the ECB’s they generate on H&B items.

One thing that will help me for the rest of July is that I am officially on the cash system. It should be easier not to spend extra when I can see exactly how much (little) is left in the envelope.

Meal Plan Monday - 8isGreat

Sunday - Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, salad, corn
Monday - California veggie & Chicken Pasta Salad, homemade bread
Tuesday - Taco Salad and refried beans
Wednesday - (Swim Meet in the PM) Mandarin Chicken wraps, carrot sticks
Thursday - Hot Dogs, beans, french fries, cucumber and tomato salad
Friday - Macaroni and Cheese, stewed tomatoes, peas
Saturday - Scrambled eggs, Ham steak, biscuits or english muffins

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator, and it will keep for weeks.

When it does begin to wilt dice it up and freeze it for later use in soups.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Southern Savers

I just posted the information on the Food Lion deals found at Southern Savers, but decided I needed a separate post to plug her blog. I use Jenny's blog every week sometimes several times each week. I highly recommend taking a look around. It is a blog worth your visit. Ad information is clean and easy to understand. Links to pritables are right there on the Ad match ups.

The stores covered by her blog, SouthernSavers are:
Amazon, Target, Kmart, CVS, RiteAid, WAGs, Bi-Lo, Bloom, Food Lion, Harvey's, Harris Teeter, Ingles, Kroger, Publix, and Office Supply stores.

She also has Weekly Top Deals. This includes all the freebies or cheap items from ALL of the above stores!!

She has information on the weekly coupon inserts, coupon organization and more. The blog is very easy to navigate.

Food Lion 7/8 - 7/15

Jenny at SouthernSavers has all the sales information, the coupon match ups and the the latest FLIP's for Food Lion this week (and every week).

This week she also has a list of items that are free after the $1/Healthy Accents or $1/Home 360 product.

Whittle Down Wednesday

Just a re-cap. The purpose of our Wednesday posts are to help us not just straighten things up but to remove unnecessary clutter and live simply with less. Frugal Momma and I were both inspired by Peter Walsh's book It's All Too Much. It's a great resource to give you a realistic picture of how our things rule us.

I cleaned up this drawer just a few minutes ago.

I've been enjoying out of town family this week and hadn't planned on posting anything. Looks great and it took me less than 10 minutes including photography.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Time Saving Tuesday

Poking a metal skewer through a potato will speed up the cooking time in a conventional oven -- do not try this in a microwave oven.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nabisco coupons all school year long!

Register here to receive coupons in your mailbox all school year long from Nabisco foods' Back-to-School coupon promotion!

Free $30 Coupon Booklet

Register here at HomeMadeSimple for your free P&G Coupon booklet by mail!

Cereal under $1 or free!

Check out this great post by Gina at's parenting community on How to Save Big on Cereal.

Once you've figured out the "how to" go to Gina's blog MoneyWiseMoms for the details on putting your new knowledge into action at your local Kmart!

Pharmacy Deals 7/5 - 7/11

Jenny at Southern Savers has these deals worked out for us!


Rite Aid


Kroger 7/5 - 7/11

Jenny at SouthernSavers has the deals and the Q match ups here.

Meal Plan Monday - 8isGreat

Sunday - Letovers from the 4th (Cheeseburgers, chips, potato salad)
Monday - Grilled Chicken Ceasar Salads and homemade bread
Tuesday- Steak Fajitas with peppers and onions
Wednesday - (Swim Meet) Tacos, bean burritos
Thursday - Grilled Pork Tenderloin, rice, veggie
Friday - Spaghetti (meatless), bread and a veggie
Saturday - Sloppy joes and french fries

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Harris Teeter and Food Lion weekly deals 7/1-7/7

Check out Jenny's posts at SouthernSavers for the deals and coupon matchups for HT & FL.
She also has the new Food Lion Internet Printables (FLIPs).

Thrifty Thursday

If couponing is new to you and you find all the information about coupning overwhelming but want to reap the rewards, then just start small. You have read this blog and others and know that people are spending much less than you are on the same groceries. You know that it is working for others. Don't give up and give yourself the excuse that you could never do it. You can!
Begin to coupon slowly.
If you shop online check and see if there is a coupon for the retailer you are shopping with.
When you run into the store to pick something up grab a flyer. Flip through it while you nurse a baby or sit outside a toddler's room to train them to stay in bed at night. Notice the items your family uses. If the price is lower than you normally pay for that item plan to pick up a few extras.
Buy a Sunday paper. Let your kids enjoy the comics. Make sure you pull out the coupon flyers before they end up in the recycle bin. If you don't have time to even open them, just find a pen or marker and write the date on the cover of each coupon flyer and det it aside until you have time. Why do you want to save a previous month's coupons? Read this Couponing 101 post.
For more information on storing and filing coupon inserts read this.
Pick a coupon site that you like. There are many sites out there. My favorites are Hot Coupon World (HCW), Slick Deals (SD) and A Full Cup (AFC). These sites have separate forums for many grocery retailers nationwide. Find the forum for a grocery store near you and read what deals people are finding, read about coupon matchups in the current weeks sale flyer. Each week I try to post a link to a resource for the current weeks sales for the stores I regularly shop in. These resources are someone else's blog. I don't have the time or energy to type up ads and locate coupons for match ups. I am so very glad these ladies do! I benefit every week from their hard work.

I didn't start out couponing at grocery stores. I began at CVS. I couldn't believe I could buy my family's H&B items for next to nothing, or get paid to buy it! I learned how to use coupons and CVS's Extra Care Bucks program to buy only the items on promotion and earn store credit each time I made a purchase. Once I had this store credit, I used it to buy the following weeks deal (whether it was shampoo or toothpaste) to pay for that item. But the new purchase also credited me store credit. Here is an example. I need toothpaste. It is on promotion at CVS for $1.99. They are also offering the customer $1.99 back in store credit when you purchase it. Two weeks ago there was a $1 off coupon in the Sunday coupon insert. You clip the coupon (Q) go to CVS scan your CVS card ring the toothpaste give them your Q, pay 99c plus tax for your toothpaste and they hand you your receipt. At the bottom of your receipt is a cash register tape (CRT) Extra Care Buck (ECB) for $1.99. Now you keep this $1.99 ECB to buy next week's "free" deodorant, etc. For more information on CVSing go to HCW, SD, or AFC (linked above) and go to the CVS forum. Each site has a CVSing 101 (yes CVSing is a verb in the coupon lingo) 101 or CVSing for beginners.
Post a question or a comment if you need further direction or information.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Whittle Down Wednesday

It's Wednesday again and I'm still in the kitchen! :0)

The purpose of our "Whittle Down Wednesday" is to inspire you (and us) to look at your (our)posessions from a new perspective.
When I re-read Peter Walsh'sbook It's All Too Much, I thought about what my first home looked like when I had 2 little girls and VERY few posessions. I remember wishing I had more (a couch, a bookcase, a newer table, etc.). Back then, my girls had only a few toys: a doll house, a play dish set, blocks, realistic looking rubber/plastic aniumal figures and their dolls. It was really wonderful. When there are fewer options there is less clutter and easier clean up. And they were not burdened by their things.

Next I thought about the last time I walked through a model home, it was attractive in more ways than one. It was neat and uncluttered.

Finally I thought if I were going to put my house on the market right now would my prospective buyers be attracted to the neat and uncluttered feeling my home gives? If your home does, just ignore this post!

This is the mindset I keep as I approach a space that I intend to de-clutter and make a more efficient space. It is not easy to keep this mindset, I get distracted by habit.

Here is my canned goods cabinet BEFORE

I stored canned goods, oils, cooking wines,vinegars and olive oil here. I also stored some serving dishes, peanuts, mints and other seldom used items.

Canned goods cabinet AFTER

Now I have canned meat, soups and fruits on the bottom shelf. I also moved my stationary/pen basket off the counter into this cabinet. Shelf #2 holds canned tomatoes and vegetables, pasta sauces, beans and jarred items. Shelf #3 holds my oils, cooking wines, vinegars, and peanuts. Shelf #4 holds small dessert cups, glass oil & vinegar bottles and some homemade pottery I use on special occasions.

Now that I am viewing the picture I see that my glass bowls on shelf #3 should be moved to the cabinet with my table setting dishes. I'm so used to storing them here I didn't even think about moving them until I saw how my photo might be scrutinized by others.

It may be a good idea to team up with a friend or neighbor and inspire each other to organize and de-clutter your spaces. This gives both of you accountability, motivation and a fresh perspective.