Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hearty, Healthy & Cheap: Barley and Lentil Soup


Here is a recipe with all the qualities I love. It's super healthy, super easy, it sticks-to-your-ribs, and it's inexpensive. Oh, and it's very, very tasty, too! In the photo, I served it with a big slice of bread machine whole wheat bread. Yumm-a-ramma!

Barley and Lentil Soup

1 c. onion, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped
2 c. carrots, sliced thin
1/8 t. garlic powder
1 x 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 c. lentils
3/4 c. pearl or hulled barley
7 c. water
3 vegetarian or chicken bouillon cubes, or 3 t. granules
1/2 t. dried rosemary, crushed
3/4 t. dried oregano, crushed
1/4 or more pepper

Add all ingredients to heavy soup pot. Cook 40 minutes or more until vegetables and barley are tender.

Enjoy



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Great Publix Shopping. 89% Savings


Well, I've been shopping at Publix, but it's been a while since I have posted. Here are my finds this week.

10 x Fiber One yogurt, $1.25 - $1.35 MQs = FREE plus $1.00 total overage
(I received these from a coupon trade. They are not from a newspaper insert.)

Cover Girl Powder, $3.19 - $2 Publix Q from green flyer - $1 MQ = 19c

Publix Chocolate Milk, $2.65 - FREE coupon WYB 2 gallons white milk, any brand.
(This coupon rang up at $3.75, but the cashier manually adjusted it, so I did not receive overage.)

3 x Alexia Waffle Fries, $1.45 each - $1 Q = 45c each. These should have rung up at $1 each per the ad, making them free, but I did not catch it. I will take my receipt back next time, and should receive the Publix Promise. They should refund my money on one, and adjust the price to the advertised level on the other two.

2 x Kotex, $1.60 each - $1 MQ - $1 Target competitor Q = Free plus 80c overage total

4 x Fisher Fusion trail mixes, $0.90 each - $1 Qs = Free plus 40c overage total

Publix Frozen Pizza, penny item, 1c

With my overage I bought 2 gallons of milk, bread, and a big carton of Stoneyfield yogurt (for my beloved husband!)

Total before Taxes $9.77
Should receive $2.35 for Publix Promise price adjustment
Adjusted total: $7.42
Total Saved: $62.84 or 89%


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Free Doll Clothes Sewing Patterns

If you have a little time and a little bit of sewing skill, here are some fabulous and free sewing patterns for American Girl Dolls and other dolls. Some are simple, and some more involved.

YouCanMakeThis.com lists a few simple patterns, including some which are suggested for giving to Toys for Tots. What a fabulous idea! They even provide a free downloadable certificate to accompany your creation when dropping off the doll clothes that you make.

Click HERE for "Twirls for Girls" skirt and top patterns.
Click HERE for a "pettiskirt" for doll and child

AG Playthings offers free downloadable original American Girl patterns for six of American Girl's historical dolls. Click HERE to see the doll patterns.

The Prudent Homemaker also lists many great sewing for less ideas. Click HERE for inspiration.

I'm not sure if I have enough time this December to make the Toys for Tots doll clothes, but I'm thinking that it will be a great activity to make up some of these next summer with my daughters, when I will have more free time. Maybe I can squeeze a few in this month!

Do you have any sewing for less ideas?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lighter Fare for a Holiday Potluck


This time of year, the yummy, heavy, starchy food seems to come at us from all sides. Not that I don't enjoy it. I do, but we all just don't need to eat too much of it. I'm usually invited to a few pot-luck meals during this season, so I usually try to bring a lighter dish. Here's a colorful spinach and spring mix salad, easy on the hips. I'm pairing it up with some of my free salad dressings that I snagged earlier in the year.

Helathy blessings this season to you!

For more Thanksgiving recipes, go to the Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Publix Savings/ Spent $47 Saved $114 (71%)

Free and Super-Cheap at Publix

6 x Yoplait Fiber One yogurt, $1.25 (raincheck) - $1 MQs = 25c/4-pack

Blue Bell Ice Cream, $3.99 - $1.50 MQ = $2.49

Nature Valley Nut Clusters, $2.50 - $1.60 = 90c each
(I had a Food Lion Q for $1/2, but my Publix apparently stopped taking Food Lion, otherwise these would have been 40c each.)

Pears, 69c/lb

Eggland's Best Eggs, $2 - 50c Q, doubled = $1

Snuggle, $3-$3 MQ = FREE

Bird's eye Lightly Sauced Veggies, $1.19 - 50cQ, doubled = 19c each

Bird's eye Mixed Veggies, 89c - 50c Q, doubled = FREE plus 11c overage

2 x Bandaids, 79c each - $3/2 = Free plus overage

4 x Sundown Vitamin D, $2.99 - 2 x $6/2 Publix Q - 4 x $1/1 Sundown Q = Free plus $4
overage, total

4 x Children's Tylenol Meltaways, $4.09 each - 4 x $2 Publix Q - 2 x $3/2 MQ = 59c each

Arm & Hammer Toothpaste, 2/$2.99 - 2 x $1.50 Q = FREE
(I am still on a quest for free toothpaste that doesn't bother my husband's gums!)

2 x Lactaid, $3.49 each - $4/2 MQ = $1.49 each

3 x Glade Fragrance Collection Mini Candles, $3.19 each - $3 Qs = 19c each, Plus this qualifies for a $5 rebate from S.C. Johnson. Spend 57c, get back $5 rebate!

2 x Scott wipes, $1.10 in-store special - 50c Qs, doubled = 10c each!

Publix Candy Corn, Penny item, 1c

Skintimate Shave Gel, $2.17 - $1.50 MQ - $1.50 Target competitor Q = Free plus 83c overage!

Yakisoba Noodle Bowl, 79c - 50c Q, doubled = Free plus overage

The Rest of the Haul
Other Deals of Note
2 x Fresh Express Spring Mix, BOGO $3.99/2 - 55c/2 Q = $1.72 each
Progresso Broth, $2 each - 50c Qs, doubled = $1 each
Sun Chips, $3 - $1 Q = $2
Aunt Jemima Syrup, 2/$3.79 (raincheck) - $1/2 MQ = 2/$2.79

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Great Read: Coupon Burnout

OK, I admit it. I get coupon burnout sometimes. In fact, I burned out last week with coupons. That is one reason I decided to shop at Aldi this week. If you feel burned out, this article at Southern Savers will help you to put it all into perspective. Read and enjoy.

The Great Aldi Experiment

All this for $37.18 plus tax

I've been reading on some of my favorite Frugal blogs about how much Frugals love to shop at Aldi. Up until recently, I wasn't willing to drive the half-hour to my closest store to take advantage of the savings. Just in the last few weeks, a new Aldi has opened up about 10 minutes from my house. I was determined only to buy the very basics this week (milk, produce, cheese) and I didn't want to stock up on any major coupon deals at the regular grocery stores.

Here are my observations from my fun Aldi trip:

(1) Bring your own bags and a quarter. Aldi strives hard to minimize their overhead costs. A few of the amenities we are accustomed to at traditional grocery stores do not exist at Aldi. They do not employ baggers or courtesy clerks. If you want to use a grocery cart, pop a quarter into the receptacle to check out a cart. The quarter is returned when you return your cart. Also, bring your own bags, and plan on spending a few minutes at the "bagging area" after you check out.

(2) Aldi is a small grocery store. They mostly carry house brands to minimize costs, and they do not accept coupons. They have a fairly good selection of groceries, but did not carry everything I wanted. For example, they had only white rice, and not brown rice. The dried bean selection consisted only of pinto beans. They were also out of spring mix salad blend, but did carry other bagged salad selections.

(3) Some of the produce prices were amazing! The produce section was small, but the quality of the produce looked good. Here are some of the amazing prices I found:

3 lbs. large gala apples, $1.19/bag (I bought 2 bags!)
whole Dole pineapple, 99c ($2.99-$3.99 elsewhere)
48 oz. zucchini, 99c
large pumpkin, $2.49 (These are $5.99 at other stores!)
bananas, 39c/lb (69c at other stores!)
broccoli crowns, $1.49

(4) Aldi is a good place to buy basic baking supplies. I bought a bag of all-purpose flour for $1.49. I'd have paid at least a dollar more at Publix or Kroger. I also bought a 2 c. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips for $1.69. Basic baking supplies rarely go on sale, except for a little bit around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I usually do not stock up at the holidays enough to last all year, so it's nice to have a lower cost source.

(5) Aldi has great prices on dairy products. Dairy is another thing we go through quickly. I bought skim milk for $1.49/gallon. Whole milk was an incredible 99c/gallon. I also bought blocks of mozzarella and cheddar cheese for $1.49/8 oz., a good price.

(6) Aldi has a double guarantee on their house brands. If you don't like something, they will refund your money and replace the product.

Have you shopped at Aldi? Do you have any good tips to share?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

100% Free at Publix


We all had a wonderful time on vacation, and I'm still working to get back into the swing of things.

An unexpected trip to the pediatrician, a minor infection, and a trip to fill an antibiotic prescription brought me to Publix, even though I had not planned to go there this week. To my delight, the Rx was on the list of Free antibiotics! My daughter has so many drug allergies, I didn't thing any of the free ones were safe for her, but there was one! Hurray!

I also snagged three of the free Snuggle fabric softeners while I was there. I had stashed these coupons in my wallet just in case!

Snuggle fabric softener, $3 each - $3/1 coupons = FREE

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blogging Break

Hello Readers,
I'm taking a short blogging break for a family vacation. I will see you all next week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Homemade "Magic" Sore Throat Elixir


No that the weather is changing for the lower temperatures, invariably there are allergies, sore throats and sniffles just around the corner, or maybe already here. I wanted to share with you a little recipe to ease the inflamed throats and stuffy sinuses.

My husband and I really think this sore throat tea is magic. It is incredibly soothing. The combination of the mint, lemon, honey, and tea really works a comforting wonder on an ailing upper respiratory system.

"Magic" Sore Throat Tea

One mug of boiling water
One green or black tea bag
One mint tea bag (peppermint or spearmint, or blend)
1-2 tsp honey, or to taste
1 T. lemon juice, or to taste

Have a healthy happy fall!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Black Beans Part 2: Five-Veggie Chili

I wanted to take a picture of this beautiful chili, but it was consumed all too quickly! When I make an extra big pot of black beans, half of it gets saved and goes into this chili. What we really like about it is the assortment of veggies that goes into it.

Margery's Five-Veggie Chili

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
diced small onion
diced bell pepper
1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped small (portobello taste great!)
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
black beans (about 1/2 lb dry, cooked into about 3-4 cups)
1 T. Chili powder
1 t. paprika
1 t. oregano
1 T. parsley
1 t. cumin
3/8 t. cayenne pepper, or to taste
1-2 cups water to thin, according to preference.

Saute first four ingredients in large skillet until meat is cooked through. Add all ingredients to large pot, and simmer 30 minutes or longer.

Top with cheese if desired. I hope you like this as much as we do!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Healthy Eating: Black Beans & Rice


Here's another meal that makes its way into our once-per-week vegetarian dinner: Classic Black Beans and Brown Rice. We like to serve it with lots of cheese and something green. This is one of my son's favorite dinners. He never fails to compliment me on it and asks for seconds, too, an amazing thing for a 10-year-old meat-loving boy!!

I double the recipe and use the extra beans for chili con carne later in the week.

Classic Black Beans & Rice
(from Better Homes & Gardens "New" Cookbook, c. 1989 - lol)
1-1/8 c. black beans (1/2 pound)
1/2 c. shopped onion (I use onion powder usually.)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I use 1/2 t. garlic powder.)
1 bay leaf
3/4 t. salt, or to taste
1/2 t. fennel seed, crushed (I use my coffee bean grinder.)
1/4 to 1/2 t. ground red pepper
2 c. hot, cooked rice (We prefer brown rice.)

Rinse beans. In a large saucepan combine beans and 3 c. water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse. Return beans to the saucepan. Stir in onion and spices and 3 cups of fresh water. Bring to boiling;reduce heat. Cober and simmer about 2 hours, or until beans are tender, adding more water if necessary. Serves 4.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Publix Wrap-up, 82% or $234 Savings

In addition to my windfall of free cat food, I did scrape together some other deals at Publix this week. Sorry, no detailed photos. It was a crazy-busy day, and I just didn't take the time.

Publix Wrap Up
4 x Yo-Plus Yogurt, $1.25 - $1 MQs = 25c each

3 x Bird-Eye Steam Fresh Veggies, $1.24 - 3 x 50c MQs, doubled = 24c each

3 x Birds-Eye Lightly Seasoned Veggies, $1.19 - 3 x 50c MQs, doubled = 19c each

2 x Smart Balance 50/50 Butter Blend Sticks, $1.74 - 2 x $1.50

4 x Nutrigrain Eggo Waffles, 99c each
Used 2 x $2 off Fresh Fruit WYB 2 Eggo Waffles (MQs from package insert). Since I was buying fruit anyway, this makes the Eggos FREE

Sorrento Cheese Sticks, $3.99 - $1 Publix Q - $1 MQ peelie = $1.99

3 x Hamburger Helper (for a school food drive), $1.59 each - 75c/3 MQs
I used 3 x $1 off Ground Beef WYB Hamburger Helper. I needed this anyway for chili later this week, so it sort of made the Hamburger Helper 29c each

8 x Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce, 89c - $1/1 MQs = FREE plus overage

3 Suave Shampoo, $1.19 each - $2/3 MQ from Kroger home mailer = 52c each

4 Kashi Granola Bars, $2.50 each - 2 x $1.50/2 MQs - 2 x $1.50/2 Whole Foods Competitor Qs = $1/box

4 x Quaker Oatmeal, $1.33 each - 2 x $1.25/2 MQs = 70c each

Yakisoba Noodle Bowl, 79c - 50c/1 MQ, doubled = FREE plus overage

Mt Olive Pickles, $1.10 - 50c MQ, doubled = 10c

St. Ives Facial Cleanser, $2.50 - $1.00 MQ = $1.50 (Boy, I just ran out, so I was glad to find this deal!)

3 x Sun Maid Raisin 6-packs, $1.50 - 3 x 75c/1 Publix coupons from the yellow flyer = 75c each

3 Bandaid travel size, 79c each + 1 J&J First Aid kit travel size, $1.47 - 2 x $3/2 any J&J = Free plus overage

Publix Spring Water 6-pack, 1c Penny Item

This was overall an incredible trip. I am not posting all of my items for the whole trip; it's just too time-consuming. I used a $6/$60 Kroger competitor coupon and a $5/$25 Rite Aid competitor coupon. I also used $30 in Publix gift cards which I earned from a rebate. Here are the stats:

Value of Groceries, $284.91
Store coupon: $50.40
Vendor Coupons: $79.75
Ad Special Savings: $70.63
Advantage Buy savings: $3.39
Total Savings: $204.17
Gift Card Savings: $30
Out of Pocket Cost: $50.74


but overall I

A Great Read: Are Coupons Only for Junk Food?

Crystal has posted a fantastic article HERE about couponing and healthy eating. Since Coupons and Healthy Eating are two of my favorite subjects, I found her post very compelling. Hop on over and have a great read!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Holy Cat Food, Batman!


My kitties are *soooo* happy!

Publix
11 bags Purina One cat food, $4.99 each - 11 x $3/1 Manufacturer's Coupons - 11 x $2/1 Target Coupons (competitor coupons) = FREE

I will post the rest of my Publix deals tomorrow.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Generous Living

One of the wonderful effects of frugal shopping is being able to be generous with our stockpiles towards others. I'm so grateful for all that we have, and when an opportunity comes along to share with others, I jump for joy at the chance to do so.

A dear extended family member is without a job and has had a terrible run of bad luck lately. I'm happy to be able to put this nice basket together to help out a little. Everything in the basket was free after sales and coupons. The basket was from Michael's at a 50% off sale. The cello wrap is from the dollar store.



My good friend is collecting gifts and toiletries for a home for teen girls. The girls have been abandoned by their families and are victims of child sex trafficking in Atlanta. I made a quick pass through my stockpille and pulled out some things to donate. I will probably make another pas again to collect more things for this donation.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Great Deal on Raisins


I found a great deal on raisins, so I bought a great deal of raisins. (I hope to buy some more, too.)

Six pack of Sunmaid Raisins, $1.50 Advantage Buy at Publix. Use the 75c/1 store coupon from the Yellow Advantage Buy Flyer. This makes it 75c per pack!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Griddle Toasted Tortilla Chips


It's so true that necessity is the mother of invention. I had made a batch of our family's favorite Homemade Salsa but we ran out of store-bought corn tortilla chips before we ran out of salsa. I had made flour tortillas on a previous day for fajitas, and we had some left over. My husband was salivating over the salsa and despaired that there were no more chips left! What to do???

Whip out your griddle, slice up the tortillas, and toast them on medium high-heat until nicely browned! I flipped them a couple of times per side. They were surprisingly crisp and didn't get soggy in the salsa. Delicious!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Publix in the Flood! 9/22

After raining for 7 days straight, and flooding all over the Atlanta area, I finally made it back to Publix today for some goodies, but I missed the Monday penny item! The weather was just too bad yesterday!

Here are some fun freebies and cheapies after the flooding was over.

Lender's Bagel, $1.79/2 (raincheck) - 2 x 75c/1 Publix Qs from "Toss for Cash" = 15c each

5 YoPlus Yogurt, $1.25 each (not pictured & with a raincheck)- $1 Qs = 25c each.

Breyer's Ice Cream (not pictured), $2.50 - $1.50 Food Lion Q = $1!

2 Marathon Bars, clearanced for 50c - 50c/2, doubled = FREE

Kashi Honey Sunshine, FREE with Q from Vocalpoint.

Sorrento Cheese Sticks, $3.99 - $1 Peelie MQ - $1 Publix Q = $1.99

4 x Pringles, $1.25 each - 2x$1/2 = 75c each

6 Muir Glen tomato sauce, 89c - $1 MQs from "Better at Home" booklet from Publix = FREE plus overage

Green Works Toilet Cleaner = $2.99 - $2 MQ - $2 Food Lion Q = FREE plus $1 overage

4 Band-Aid travel sizes, 79c - 2x $3/2 any J&J product = FREE plus overage

Log Cabin Syrup, $3.49 - $.75 Publix Q - 50cMQ, doubled = $1.74

Yakisoba, 79c - 50c MQ, doubled = FREE plus overage

J&J Baby Wash, $3.19 - $1 MQ - $1 Target competitor Q = $1.19

Sargento Salad Finishers, $2.50 - $1.50 Publix Q from "Family Style Magazine" - 75c MQ = 25c

2 Quaker Chewy Bars, $1.50 each - 75c/2 = $1.12 each

Honey Nut Cheerios Cup, $1 - $1/1 any size = FREE


Blessings!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shave Gel Giveaway Winners

Thank you for all your green and frugal and cooking tips. I enjoyed reading your responses. I am happy to announce the results of the Edge and Skintimate Target coupon giveaway.

Results were generated from random.org

#2 - Ursula Page (left a comment on your blog.)
#6 - Jessica C (emailed ya.)
#12 - me, oops that doesn't work. Gotta random.org again
#1 - Sherryl, Georgia Coupon Fan. (emailed ya.)


Please contact me with your snail mail addresses, and I will send your coupons our right away (or at least as soon as I buy some more stamps!)

May your lives be less hairy ;-).

This really is a week of "so many coupons, so little time" for me! I never have time to pick up all the amazing deals that are at the stores each week.

I did hit Walgreens for free Triaminic and True North snacks. Should I get free Cover Girl at Rite-Aid? Should I go to Target for free Kashi cereal? Should I go to Kroger for free bacon and Reeses? When all these options are swirling in my head, and I have limited time because of other responsibilities, I try to go for what our family most needs, and work it into my other errands.

We already have tons of cereal, so I am letting Kashi at Target pass.
I am running low on kids' cold medicine, so I did work that in at Walgreens.
Publix is always a must!
I don't need makeup as much as I need food, to Kroger wins!!

I printed some $3/1 Smithfield Bacon coupons last month from the company website. (I wish they were still available.) I've been waiting for it to go on sale!

Bold
2 x Smithfield bacon, $2.50 each - $3 Qs = FREE plus $1 overage

4 Reeses cups, 50c each - 2 x 55c Qs and 2 x BOGO Qs = FREE plus 10c overage

2 x Arnold bread, $1.09 each (great price!)

Oodles of apples, $1/lb.

It's nice to have the overage to go toward my oodles of apples!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saving Money on Groceries: Using Rainchecks to Your Advantage

When you are shopping for groceries or household supplies, are you disappointed when you find the shelf bare? Well, I maybe do a little, if I were planning to use the item right away, but often times, I do a little happy dance (at least on the inside.)

Ask your cashier or customer service person for a raincheck! Here's why.

If I am buying Yoplait Yo-Plus for example, on sale for $1.25 each. I have a small stash of awesome $1 off coupons, making the yogurt 25c each. They are in-stock of some flavors, but our favorite vanilla is out of stock. I choose the in-stock flavors that I like (using my coupons), and ask for a raincheck on the vanilla. Half the time, the raincheck will not specify the flavor, but if it does, that's okay, too.

Now I go home, wait, and look for more coupons. Guess what! There are new printables out the next week. I receive some more through trades. My mom or MIL sends me some more! I can trade for more on my trading forums. Now I have cheap yogurt in the short-term from the yogurt I did buy, and I can come back in a couple of weeks and buy more yogurt for 25c per pack!

Another tip: If you have to specify a quantity on your raincheck, ask for way more than you think you think you will need. You are never obligated to buy that many. Asking for a larger quantity gives you the flexibility to buy more if you find a big quantity of coupons.

Happy dance indeed!

(BTW, I'm buying yogurt this week with my Publix raincheck. They were out of vanilla.)

Too Many Peppers?


My vegetable garden consists of two pepper plants living in big pots, plus a nice little herb patch planted along with my landscaping plants. Despite their humble appearance, the pepper plants have produced abundant vegetables for me to add to our cooking! This time of year, as the summer heat is winding down, the plants are loaded with fruits, of all stages of ripeness.

Solution to my overabundance? Make fajitas!

A little homemade tortilla action
Onion
Peppers, all colors of the rainbow
Two chicken breasts
Fajita seasoning
Homemade salsa on the side

Yum.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bloggy Giveaway: 10 Free Shave Gels Anyone?


(A small portion of my shave gel stockpile.)

I've been able to stockpile quite a nice cache of both Edge and Skintimate Shaving Gel for my husband and myself. Who knows? It might even last until my 10-year old starts shaving!

I was able to obtain all this nice shave gel thanks to a treasure trove of Target coupons for $1.50 off one Edge or Skitimate. Stack these with the many manufacturer coupons. (They've been out for $1/1 and 75c/1) and you have $2.25 or $2.50 off one canister of shave gel.

I'm happy to be able to offer these Target $1.50/1 coupons to some of my wonderful readers. (Thank you for all your encouragement.) Best part is that these coupons do not expire until March 2010! You have plenty of time to redeem them. For those of you who shop at Publix, some Publix stores will accept Target coupons as competitor coupons, and you can use them there, too!!

I'd like to give away envelopes of 10 coupons each to three of my readers. Please leave a comment and a tip on going green, cooking, or frugal living. Also, don't forget to include your email. I'll pick the winners on Saturday morning at 8:00 am Eastern Time.

I'd love to hear from you!!

Blessings.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Publix Fun and Freebies


Yes, a weekly trip to my favorite grocery.

6 boxes Green Giant vegetables: $1 each - 3 x $50c/2 MQs, doubled = 50c each (from coupons.com)

5 Philadelphia Cream Cheese tubs, $1 - $1 MQ from Publix Grape Magazine = FREE

3 bags Lender's bagels, 90c - 75c Publix Q from "Toss for Cash" booklet at Publix = 15c each

Newman's Own pasta sauce, $1.35 - 50c Q, doubled = 35c

Purina Cat Chow, $3.99 - $5 MQ (mailed to my home with a Purina rebate) = Free plus $1.01 overage

Skintimate Shave Gel, $1.67 - $1.50 Target competitor Q - 75c MQ = FREE plus overage

6 Yakisoba noodle bowls, 79c each - 50c MQ, doubled = FREE plus $1.26 overage

Downy Ball, $1.39 - $1 Publix Q - $1 MQ = FREE plus 61c overage

2 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest pasta, 90c each - $1/2 Q from coupons.com = 40c each
(This pasta is the best!! We love the whole wheat.)

No Yolks Egg Noodles, $1.50 - 50c Q, doubled = 50c

Free coupon booklets, too!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Publix: A few great deals this week


OK, this is not my whole trip. I was picking up stuff for a guys-only camping trip, but if you go to Publix, why not pick up the deals, too?

Ronzoni Healthy Harvest pasta, $90c each - $1/2 Qs (here) = 40c/box
(This is one of our favorite pastas!)

Green Giant Boxed Vegetables, $1 - 50c/1 any GG, doubled (here) = FREE
There are also 50c/2 coupons here, which make them 50c/box

Yakisoba noodle bowls, 79c each - 50c MQ doubled = FREE plus 21c overage on each

Healthy Choice frozen dinners, $1.99 - $2 Printable Q HERE = FREE

Philadelphia Cream Cheese, $1 - $1 Q from Grape magazine at Publix = FREE

Planter's Sunflower Seeds, $1.69 - $2 Food Lion competitor Q = FREE plus overage

Planter's Trail Mix, $1 each - $2 Food Lion competitor Q = FREE plus overage

Nutrition Policewoman

My son is learning how to prepare his own school lunches. It's so easy to see how he operates. Think quick, minimal effort, and maximum tastiness. Well! It'd be nice if that's all that was needed to motivate our food choices.

After choosing two starchy foods, I emphasized that his lunch should include (1) a protein, (2) a dairy for calcium, and (3) a fruit or a vegetable. (I'd settle for two of those three, actually!) Pursuant to this, there is a brief discussion about the body's needs for nutrition.

Son says: "IS THAT ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT: NUTRITION?!?!?!?"

Yep. I'm a mom. That's my job.


Healthy Eating: Quick Homemade Granola

Here is a nice granola recipe that can be adapted easily to whatever you have on hand. These make a nice snack addition to bagged lunches. It's also delish in a bowl with milk.

Basic Granola

1 stick butter
1/2 c. honey
4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
2 t. cinnamon

Melt together butter and honey. Pour over oats and stir well to coat. Bate at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Stir and bake 5 more minutes if desired.

Great add-ins before baking:

raw sunflower seeds
unsweetened coconut
pumpkin seeds
chopped walnuts
ground flax seeds

great add-ins after baking:
dark or golden raisins
chopped dates
dried cranberries
any other dried fruit

Would you like to see some great ideas for packable lunches? Head on over to Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Publix Deals

Well, after my Publix shopping trip, I had all my groceries neatly arranged ready for a photo shoot, but my husband and son had taken our camera and camera phone on their fishing trip. So, no photos today. LOL! (I always feel silly taking photos of my groceries, but I think it's nice for the blogs.)

My favorite deals this week are the Mrs. Paul's frozen fish and the Hillshire Farms lunchmeat!

Publix Frees and cheaps

6 Hillshire Farms Deli Selest ham little boxes, $1.50 each - 6 x $1 Target IP - 2 x $1/3 MQ from the package = 17 c each

2 Boxes Frosted Cheerios, $2 each - $1 Target IP - 75c MQ IP = 25c each

1 Publix Shopping Bag, Free WYB 2 General Mills products (peelie)

6 x Mrs. Paul's Frozen Fish, $2.25 each
Used 3 x $3/1 MQs + 3 x $1/1 Publix Q = Free Plus $1.75 overage on 3
Used 3 x $1.50 MQs + 3 x $1/1 Publix q = Free plus 25c overage on 3
(The Publix Qs were from the Toss for Cash Booklet. The MQs were printables from smartsource.com, but they are no longer avaiable.)

Popsicles, $2 - $1 MQ - 75c Target Q = 25c

Dannon Yogurt, $1.25 - $1 MQ = 25c

2 x Kraft American Cheese Singles, $1.30 - $1/2 MQ = 80c each

Bananas, 69c/lb - 50c/lb Target Q = 19c/lb (approx.)

Emerald Cashews, $2.90 - $1 MQ = $1.90

Planter's Dry Roasted Sunflower Kernels, $1.69 - $2 FLIP = Free plus overage

10 x Yakisoba noodle bowls, 79c - 50c Q, doubled - FREE plus 21c overage, each

Mt. Olive pickles, $1.40 - 50cQ, doubled = 40c

2 x Betty Crocker Frosting tubs, $1.50 - 50c Qs, doubled = 50c each
( I was going to buy powdered sugar to make my DD5's birthday cake, but the frosting went on sale and was cheaper than making it from scratch!)

Betty Crocker Cookie Mix, $1.34 - 40c Q, doubled = 54c

Lysol Toilet Cleaner, $2 - 50c Q, doubled = $1

Skintimate Shave Gel, $1.89 - $1 MQ - $1.50 Target Q (not printable - from my gym) = Free plus overage

Other interesting buys

Whole Grain Cheezits, $1.65 - 75c MQ = 90 c

2 x Kraft Chunk Cheese, 8 oz., $1.67 ea. - $1/2 MQ from Kroger home mailer = $1.17 each
(Did I mention that I can hardly buy enough cheese?)

Snyder's mini pretzels, 1lb + 20% more bonus, $2.99 - $1 Publix Q from Family Style Mag. (husband's request)

Cottonelle TP 12-pack, $5.99 - $1 MQ = $4.99

Northland Cranberry Grape dark juice, $1.99 in-store special, no Q (my husband is crazy about the dark juices!)

I bought *lots* of fresh meat, fruits, milk, and vegetables, so my total was higher than usual. I was able to use a $5 off $20 meat department purchase Food Lion competitor coupon, a $5 off $50 Kroger competitor coupon, and a $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon. These all helped to bring my total down.

Total value of groceries: $189.23
Total spent before tax: $55.99
Total savings: $133.23 or 70%





Thursday, September 3, 2009

Saving Money on Groceries: How to Get Free Eggs

A Little Lesson About Overage


One of the great things about shopping with sales and coupons is that sometimes you can "buy" your grocery necessities for free! I'm talking about things like milk, eggs, fruits & veggies. These are the types of staples for which you rarely can find coupons, and almost never get for free.

The key to this success is looking for "overage." Overage, in frugal shopping lingo, occurs when you have more money taken off your bill from your coupon savings than the item actually costs. Accumulate enough overage, and you apply the credit toward your non-coupon staples. Overage can be a great tool to bring down the net cost of your groceries, even on bigger trips. I usually have enough grocery purchases to absorb my overage credit, although I did actually walk out of a store with a gift card credit one time because of overage!

My example today is that I needed eggs. These are on sale at Publix this week for 99 cents. I also have a big stash of Yakisoba 50c/1 coupons. The cost of the Yakisoba noodle bowl is 89 cents. My 50 c coupon doubles to $1. So, the overage given to me on the purchase of every one of my noodle bowls is $1.00 - 89 c or 11 cents. A little grade school math tells me that 9 x 11c = 99c, so I picked up 9 noodle bowls along with my 99 c eggs. My total cost to the cashier was 14c, which was the tax due (which is calculated before coupon discounts in Georgia.) In retrospect, I might could have bought one more noodle bowl to cover some of the tax!

Here are some ways to find overage.

* The cost of the item is less than the value of the coupon
* The cost of the item is less than the value of a coupon doubled.
* The cost of the item is less than the combined value of a manufacturer coupon stacked with a store coupon.
* You qualify for a rebate that is greater than the cost of the items. You might reduce the cost of your rebate items by using coupons.

Overage can be tricky to find sometimes. Some stores will not allow it, but I can usually get overage at Publix these days.

Blessings, and happy shopping

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Free Chick-Fil-A Sandwich on Labor Day

If you wear your favorite team logo to Chick-Fil-A on Labor Day (10:30 - close) you can get a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich. Go HERE to find out the details. This is our fave fast food restaurant, so I hope we can swing by decked out in GEORGIA TECH paraphanalia!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Saving Money on Groceries: How to Increase Your Coupon Stash

When I first stared coupon shopping I was befuddled at the number of coupons that people had for a single item that they could find deals on. Sure, I found the deals, but I only had one of the coupon, so I couldn't really stockpile my finds, and they were soon eaten or used up. The big question was: how do I increase my stash of coupons without spending a fortune on Sunday newspapers. (Those newspapers are $2 a pop in these parts!)

* I do subscribe to the Sunday paper, so I always have that as a standby. I receive one copy in my driveway, and I don't have to stop somewhere after church to pick one up. I subscribed for a year, and received a somewhat discounted price, so it's not quite the $2 each.

* If it's a really good week in coupons, I will buy some extra papers. If I buy the double pack in the Atlanta area, I can get two for $2.50, instead of $2 each.

* Ask your friends and relatives to give you their unwanted circulars. My mother-in-law saves two sets for me each week, but I only can pick them up from her every three or four weeks. My mom (out of state) mails some to me, too.

* Look for great coupon savings in the stores where you shop. Publix is always putting out numerous great coupon books, so I pick up a few each time I visit. Keep your eyes open for blinkie machines which spit out coupons at you. There are frequently tearpad coupons on the bread aisle, cracker aisle, and other places too. These are always free coupons. Free is good.

* Print coupons from the internet. The big three coupon sites are coupons.com, smartsource.com, and redplum.com, but there are so many others, too. Manufacturer's also post printable coupons on their websites, too. For a great list of available printable coupons, you can check the alphabetical listing at Slick Deals.net. These are free except for the cost of paper and printer ink. You can usually print two of each coupon per computer.

* Join an internet coupon trading group. I belong to one here. Each week I receive an envelope full of coupons from the person in my trading group before me, and send an envelope to the person after me. I find this an effective use of money, as I spend less on postage than I would buying more papers.

* Start a coupon trading group with your friends. I organized a coupon trading group with many of the ladies from my church. We share our unwanted coupons with each other in a round-robin fashion, and this greatly increases my stash of desired coupons. It also allows my unwanted coupons to circulate to other group members who might be able to use them. This has been a huge blessing. This also is free!

* Buy extra coupons on the internet from eBay or The Coupon Clippers. I have only done this occasionally when there have been some especially good coupons that I really, really wanted. The cost is a little higher, but you can save some big dollars in the long run. Okay, technically you cannot legally sell or buy coupons, but you pay the person for their clipping and mailing service.

* Visit a great coupon forum. Another one of my favorite ways to find more coupons is to trade for them at A Full Cup Forum. I found lots and lots of Yakisoba 50c/1 coupons by trading with people there, all for the cost of one stamp. It's also fun!

I hope these tips help you increase your coupon stash and multiply your savings. Have fun!




Publix Fun Run - 90% savings

I had a quick fun run to Publix. Sorry, I don't have a photo, but here is what you can get for three bucks at Publix. I could have done better, but they were out of the flavors of Yakisoba that I wanted, so I didn't get the overage from that purchase.

8 Breyer's Yo-Crunch yogurt, 50c each Advantage Buy - 4 x $1/2 Any Breyer's product = FREE (This is a Q I printed out a long time ago that is good on any Breyer's product. I saved them until I could get the yogurt cups for free. It had a nice long expiration date, but I don't know if it's available any more.)

6 Aunt Jemima frozen pancakes and french toast boxes, $1.35 each - $1/1 Publix Q = 35c each. (If you have any of the $1/2 manufacturer's coupons, you could get them for free plus overage. We liked these and I didn't have any more MQs, but I thought 35c/box was a good price, so I picked up more.)

2 boxes Glad Sandwich Bags, 50 ct., $1.79 - $1 Food Lion Q (expires today) - 25c peelie Q, doubled = 29c/box.

Colgate Toothpaste, Luminous, $2 - $1 Target Q any Colgate (not printable) - $1 MQ any Colgate = FREE

Mentos gum (for son), 99c - 55c Q = 44c



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Publix Roundup 8/30 - 86% Savings


I haven't quite got my groove with grocery shopping since school started. Many things in my weekly routine have been switched around with many new commitments. However, I did manage a Publix run today, and it was quite fun to shop without kids for a change. Here's my big, big list of free and ultra-cheap this week.

Publix Free and Ultra - Cheap

Rotisserie Chicken, $7.39 - Free rotisserie chicken Whole Foods coupon. (My Publix accepts
Whole Foods coupons as competitor coupons.) = FREE

10 x Yakisoba noodle bowls, 89c - 50c Q, doubled = Free plus overage

Coke Zero, $1.39 - FREE with coupon from My Coke Rewards

2 x Aunt Jemima Pancakes, $1.35 - 1 x $1/2 MQ - 2 x $1/1 Publix Q = Free plus overage

Dole Pineapple Mango Juice, 90c - 50c MQ, doubled = FREE

6 x Easy Mac Cups, 99c ea - 3 x BOGO coupons = 50c each, average * Qualifies for $20 Kraft rebate

Ritz Crackers, $1.75 - $1 MQ tearpad = 75c

Ritz Crackerfuls, $3.25 - FREE wyb Ritz crackers = FREE

3 x Nabisco Toasted Chips, $1.70 - $1 MQ = 70c each

2 x Hillshire Lunchmeats, $3 - $1 Target Q - 55c MQ = $1.45 each

Scotch Bubble Mailer, 69c - 50c Q, doubled = FREE plus overage

2 x Glad Sandwich bags = $1.79 - $1 Food Lion Q - 25c MQ, peelie, doubled = 24c each

Barilla pasta, 79c - 50c MQ, doubled = FREE plus overage

Glade mini candle, $3.19 - FREE product MQ = FREE

Lipton Family Size Decaf Tea, $3.99 - FREE product coupon from home mailer = FREE

8 x Lipton 16-ct black tea, $1.09 - $1/1 MQs from "Raise Your Hand for Savings" Unilever booklet at Publix = 9c each

2 x South Beach granola bars, $1.75 - $1 MQs = 75c each

2 lbs bananas @ 69c lb - 50c/lb Target Qs = 19c/ lb

Greenwise TP, $2.39 - Penny item coupon = 1c

McCormick Peppercorn Medley Grinder, $1 - $1 MQ = FREE (These are soooo good!)


Other Stuff:

Mahatma brown rice, $1.79 - 75c MQ = $1.09
2 x Sargento Cheese, $3.99 each - $1/2 MQ from Kroger home mailer
5 x Capri Sun, $1.99 each *Qualifies for $20 Kraft Rebate
apples, parmesan cheese, milk

I used a Publix $5/$30 and a Kroger $6/$60 Purchase

I will send my receipt in together with the receipt from this purchase
for the $20 Kraft rebate, so let's say the percentage of the rebate from this purchase is half or $10.


Total Value of Groceries = $127.98
Total Spent Before Tax = $28.34
Amount Saved from Sales and Coupons = $99.64
Amount earned on Rebate = $10
Total Savings = $109.64 or 86%

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Free Yakisoba Noodle Bowls at Publix

Did you receive a 50c/1 Yakisoba coupon in last Sunday's insert (8/23)? If your Publix store doubles, you can get these for free with possible overage. The regular price of these babies is 89c at Publix. You can probably get them for free at Kroger, too, but I haven't checked the price lately. (Kroger registers do not allow for overage and will adjust down the "doubled" value of the coupon.)

My son likes to take these to school for lunch. They make a nice change from sandwiches.

Blessings.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another Publix Trip & More Target Finds

My girls and I were out doing errands. I stopped at a different Publix than my usual. They were in stock on the items I've been having trouble finding!

5 x Tidy Cats 14 lb, $6.99 BOGO ($3.50 each) - $2 peelies = $1.50 each

5 x Chinet Lunch Plates, $2.50 Advantage Buy - $2 MQ = 50c each
(We don't use many paper plates, but these are great for camping, birthday parties, and other parties! It's nice to have them in stock!)

6 x Glade 2-oz. Fragrance Collection candles, $3.19 - FREE item coupon = FREE

4 x I Can't Believe It's Not Butter sticks, BOGO $2.49 ($1.25 each) - $1 blinkie coupon (right there on the shelf by the sticks!) = 25c each

Kashi Reusable Bag - FREE
There was a lady giving out samples and coupons. When I told her how much we like Kashi products, she gave us this reusable bag. How nice.

I've misplaced my receipt, but here's how I work out the savings, excluding the Advantage Buy savings.
Total value of groceries: $76.55
Total spent: $11 before tax
Total saved: $65.55 pr 86%

Here are some more Target fun finds. Seems like I frequently need to go to Target for something. Today it was desk lamps. I try to pick up the great deals while I am there.

2 x Tide travel packs, 97c - $1 MQ (no size limit) = FREE

6 x General Mills cereal cups, $1 - $1 Target Q (no size limit) = FREE

10 x Skippy Natural Peanut Butter (Yes, we are crazy for this brand and for PB!), $1.79 - 9 x 55c Q and 1 x 60c Q = $1.24 each x 9 and $1.19 each x 1

3.3 lbs Gala apples, in three 1.1 lb. bags, $1.49 lb - 3 x $1/1 lb. Target Qs = $2
(I can hardly keep apples in the house!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Plentiful Publix (73% savings)

Super Publix Finds

2 x Starbucks Ice Cream, $1.79 - $2 MQ (regional) = FREE plus overage

Scotch Bubble mailing envelope = 69c - 50c MQ, doubled = FREE plus overage

2 x Cheerios Big Box, $2.50 - $1/2 MQ - 2 x $1 Target Q = $1/box

1 x Multigrain Cheerios Big Box, $2.50 - 75c MQ - $1 Target Q = 75c

3 x Back to Nature Granola, $1.80 - $1 MQs = 80c each

2 x Cascadian Farm Granola, $2.50 - $1 MQ = $1.50 each

2 x Kashi Honey Sunshine, $2.50 - $1.50 MQs = $1 each
(Our family really enjoys natural and organic breakfast cereals. My target price for regular cereal is $1/box. For natural or organic cereal, my target price is $1.50/box. Note to self: We do not need any more cereal for a few months!)

Luzianne Decaf Tea, $1.85 - 60c MQ = $1.25 (I'm so happy the decaf was included in the BOGO sale!)

Back To Nature Cookies, $1.44 - $1 MQs = 44c each. (These are soooo delicious.)

Glad Sandwich Bags, $1.79 - $1 Target Q - 25c MQ peelie, doubled = 29c

Skippy Natural Peanut Butter, $2 in-store special - 60c Q = $1.40 each

Bananas, 1.28 lb, 88c - 50c Target Q = 38c

Cameo apples, $1.48 - $1 Target Q = 48 c

Jazz apples, $1.79 - $1 Target Q = 79c (I think this rang up at the wrong price per lb. I will take back my receipt to check next time, just in case.)

More Super Publix Finds


11 YoPlus Yogurts, $1.25 each - $1 Qs, - $2/$10 Dairy Purchase (excluding cheese and milk) Kroger competitor coupon = 75c for 11 or 7 c each! - We love this brand!

2 Fiber One Yogurts, $1.15 each - $1.25 MQ = FREE

Reddi Whip, $1.50 - 50c Q, doubled = 50c

Tidy Cats Litter, BOGO $3.50 each - $2 MQ peelies = $1.50 each
(I'm so thankful when I can find inexpensive pet care products. I had $1 MQs from the newspaper, but when I got to the store, there were the $2 peelies! WHOO HOO!)

Publix Shopping Bag, 99c - Peelie Q FREE WYB 2 General Mills products

2 x Sargento Shredded Cheese, $2 each - $1/2 MQ = $1.50 each

3 x Sargento Sunbursts, $2 each - 40c MQ, doubled = $1.20 each

Hillshire Farm Turkey (not pictured), $3.99 - $1 Target Q = $2.99
(There are MQs out for this, but I didn't have them with me.)

Not pictured: Bread, eggs, wet ones, salad mix, milk, carrots, OJ

My store has been out of the $2.50 Chinet lunch plates ($2 Qs) and finally took down the shelf tags. I also haven't been able to get any of the free Glade Fragrance Collection soy candles. Maybe I will look at another store.

I used a $5/$25 Rite Aid competitor coupon.

Total value of groceries: $168.61
Total spent before tax: $44.69
Total Savings: $123.92 or 73%

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Whew! It's the Start of a New School Year

I've been quite frazzled with the start of the new school year. In my house that means two kids off to private school and one child homeschooled: two different release times, carpools, five meetings in the past few days, and no school lunches!

Packing lunches five days per week can be a daunting task. How do yo make it healthy for a growing body, packable, and interesting enough for a kid to eat? Add to that each person's eating likes and dislikes. How do you avoid the endless string of sandwiches.

Here are some ideas that I throw into the mix (along with the ever-present sandwiches.)

* Crackers with PB, cheese, or hummus. See this wonderful post on "snacky lunch"
* Something microwavable, like Easy Mac cups or Yakisoba noodles
* Tortilla wraps (w/ homemade tortillas)

(Spicy mustard, honey ham, cheese, lettuce)
(All rolled up, and ready to go.)

My husband will also pack a simple tossed salad with a tiny container of dressing. This way, he can add it to the salad just before eating so that it doesn't get soggy. My kids will eat salad at home, but we haven't been adventuresome enough to try it at school.

I'd love to hear your creative school lunch ideas, too!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Produce Coupons

I just wanted to mention that there are some nice fresh produce Target printable coupons. Be sure to print some if you are heading to a Super Target or a Publix that accepts Target coupons.

$1/1 lb. or more bulk apples

$1/1 whole pineapple

$1/5-lb bag of Green Giant Potatoes

50c / 1-lb or more bananas.

I'm so happy to see these, as I'm always looking for ways to save money on produce.

Here's a tip to maximize your savings. If the coupon is for 1-lb or more, break your purchase up into 1-lb bags and make multiple transactions if necessary. Fortunatley, my Publix and my Target do not require me to do this.

See my post about printing Target coupons for more tips!

Blessings and good health to you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cake Mix Cookies


When I make cookies for home, I do like to make them from scratch. When I need to bring a dessert to a school or church function, I am not always so motivated. Here's a little recipe that is sure to please. It makes it even nicer if you have a few boxes of cake mix in your stockpile that you purchased for pennies! These make a nice soft sugar cookie.

Cake Mix Cookies

1 boxed yellow cake mix
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Roll into balls and drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes. Cool on pan briefly before transferring to a baking rack. Allow cookies to cool completely.

Cookie Frosting: Mix about 1/2 c. or so of powdered sugar with a tiny bit of water until the sugar reaches spreadable consistency. Add a drop or two of food coloring and mix well. Spread onto cooled cookies.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fun in the Mail & Kroger Mega Sale


Sometimes going to the mailbox is a little bit like Christmas. You never know what goodies you are going to receive. In yesterday's mail I received

(1) A mailer from Vocalpoint for a free box of Rice Krispies (and several other coupons for Rice Krispies.) If you haven't signed up for Vocalpoint yet, I recommend that you do so. They send out fantastic coupons and free samples. This year I have received free Kashi Waffles, a free Bounce Dryer Bar, some great high-value coupons, and the free box of Kellogg's Rice Krispies.

(2) I also received a free sample of Mighty Leaf Tea from Kroger's webstite. It hit the spot while I sorted and filed my coupons. I don't think this sample is still available, but there are other free samples available HERE shipped right to your door!

(3) Lastly, I received a mailer from Kroger (with coupons) for the upcoming Mega Sale Event. I've seen some buzz about this in the blog-o-sphere, and I'm looking forward to a great two weeks shopping. (Publix's ad doesn't excite me very much this week, so Kroger will be getting my business most likely.) The Mega Event lasts August 16 - August 29.

The Mega Sale gives you the opportunity to earn $5 off your grocery bill for each set of 10 participating items that you purchase. That works out to 50c per item, plus you can also use coupons. This is one of the few times at Kroger that you can actually get overage on your purchases. The $5 credit is separate from your sale pricing and coupons.

Here are the rumored products that the Mega Event will mostly be General Mills products and affiliated brands including:

AMP Energy, Aquafina, Betty Crocker Baking Mixes, Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks, Cascadian Farms Cereals and Bars, Cap’n Crunch, Cheerios, Cheetos, Chex Mix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Dole Juices and Juice Drinks, Fiber One, Fritos, Gatorade, Golden Grahams, Green Giant, Hamburger Helper, Life , Lipton Tea, Nature Valley, Old El Paso, Pepsi family of 2 Liters, Pillsbury, Progresso, Propel, Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Quaker Chewy Bars, Starbucks, Sobe Life Water, Totino’s, Trix, Tropicana, Yoplait and MORE!

Fortunately for us, there are tons of these coupons floating around from the Sunday inserts. There are also many, many more coupons for these guys at coupons.com and smartsource.com.

Here are some other hints for shopping the Mega Event:
(1) You must have groups of 10 products to earn the $5 discount. Double, triple, and quadruple check you item count before you check out. It would be a shame to go to the register with 19 items, and only earn one $5 discount, instead of hitting the 20-item mark and getting two $5 discounts.

(2) You can have more than one group of 10 Mega Sale Items, just make sure you have groups of 10. Some of Kroger's Mega Sales limit you to three discounts. It is rumored that there won't be a limit this time.

(3) Bring extra ideas and coupons to the store in case some of your planned purchases are sold out. This can easily happen. You plan to buy certain things, but the shelf has already been cleaned out. Build in some flexibility to your shopping plan, and don't worry. The sale lasts two weeks.

(4) In the event that you have overage on some of your purchases, make sure you have enough items in your order to absorb the credit. For example, if you buy five things that earn you 50 cents overage, that gives you $2.50 overage total. Do not expect to get cash out of the till. Use the overage to buy something that you can't usually get a good deal on. For me, it's usually produce, milk, and eggs!

Kroger usually puts the new sale up on their website on Saturday morning. Have fun, and happy shopping.