Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kroger Trip: Saved 61% on Chicken, Cheese, Sunscreen & Purex

I made a little Kroger trip today.

I wanted to buy some Tyson $1.99/lb boneless, skinless chicken and use a $1/1 fresh Tyson printable (no longer available - sorry.) It made the chicken work out to $1.28/lb after coupons. Hint: If you have a $ off for any size package, buy the smaller packages to maximize your savings!

Also bought 3 Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen on sale for half price, all of which had $1 off peelies on them! It made the 50 SPF lotion $3.50 each, and the 15 SPF lotion only $3.15!

Part of the current Kroger sale is a special where, if you buy 10 participating items, you get $3 off you order (30c each per item.) I bought 7 packs of Kroger cheese (8 oz.) and 3 bottles of Purex. These are the price after the 30c discount:

Purex Laundry Detergent $2.49 - 35c Q, doubled = $1.79 each
These bottles plus my stockpile will give me enough detergent to last at least 6 months.

Kroger 8 oz. cheese, $1.03 (A great price for cheese, and I find the quality to be equal to that of Kraft. Additionally, Kraft has reduced their package size to 7 oz., from 8 oz., so you are getting 12.5% less!)

Menu Plan: Week of July 4th (& Nice Chicken Recipe)

This week's menu plan is short. We will be visiting friends and relatives twice, so less cooking and planning for me, WHOO-HOO!

Whole-grain Kamut Waffles
Banana-Blueberry-Vanilla Smoothies
(Kamut is a grain. It makes really smooth whole grain waffles, pancakes, and muffins.
We didn't end up having waffles last week, so I rolled it over.)

Rosemary Chicken*
Broccoli & Carrots
Fresh Mixed Fruit

Lentils & Rice w/ shredded cheese
Green Salad
Mango & Strawberry salad

BBQ pork chops
Field peas & snaps

Friday & Saturday
Eat with others

Pasta, quick & easy!

*Here is one of my favorite quick, easy, & healthy chicken recipes. Don't you just love it when the words "quick, easy, and healthy" are all in the same sentence?

Rosemary Chicken

Pound boneless chicken breasts to a thin, uniform thickness with the side of a meat mallet.

Sprinkle each with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and fresh chopped rosemary (or dried). Adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Heat some butter or cooking oil to medium-high heat.

Add chicken and cook on both sides until done throughout, about 10-15 minutes.

Add a little water if the pan gets too hot or the chicken is sticking or browning too much.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Publix Trip 6/29 - Saved 71% (Lots of Frees)

I ran completely out of contact supplies today, and needed milk, so I went to Publix. There were lots more free or cheap items to pick up. I bought $50 worth of groceries for $14.68 plus tax.

FREES & Cheaps

Publix Apple Juice, Penny item, 1c

Raid Spray, $3.89 - $2 Publix Q from "Smart Summertime Savings" booklet at Publix - $2 MQ from the last Advantage Buy Flyer = FREE plus overage

2 Ziplock Bags (snack size and XL sandwich), $1.99 each -$1 Target Q - $1 MQ from "Smart Summertime Savings" =FREE (I will repeat this deal several times this month!)

2 Edge Shave Gels, $2.13 regular price each - $1.50/1 Target Q - $1/1 MQ Printable = FREE + overage. I found these Target Qs on a display at my gym.

2 Reach Floss, $1.49 - $1 Publix Q from "SSS Booklet" - $1 Reach Q from Sunday inserts = FREE plus overage

2 jars Mt. Olive Pickles, $1.40 each - 50c Qs from yesterday's paper = 40 c each

Motrin, $3.89 regular price - $2 Publix Q from SSS booklet - $1 MQ from Sunday inserts = 89c

I also used a $5/$25 purchase from Rite-Aid (which expires on 6/30!)

Mostly I needed to pick up some essentials, so I probably will not be back to Publix this week. I hope you can use some of these ideas!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What do you do with FREE Chocolate?

I hope you've been getting your free chocolate from M&M Mars on Fridays after 9 am. Each household is eligible to receive up to four coupons for a free chocolate item. We've received and redeemed all our coupons.

When I received these coupons, of course I was excited to get free chocolate. Then I thought, "Well, we could just eat it, or we could turn it into something bigger." This is what we made.

Flax Oatmeal Cookies with M&Ms
(makes about 5 dozen)

1 c. butter
2 c. Honey Crystals, Sucanat, or sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour (I used freshly milled.)
1 c. oats
1/2 c. ground flax seed (Grind 1/3 c. whole seed in a coffee mill.)
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt, optional
1 1/2 - 2 c. chocolate chips or M&Ms.

(I used some chopped up leftover Easter candy to make up a little of the needed chocolate.)

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Mix dry ingredients and stir into creamed mixture. Add chocolate pieces. Scoop into 1" balls and place on cookie sheet 2" apart. Bake 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes.

Huge Publix Trip 6/26, Saved $134 or 65%

Here's my big trip this week. Did you find the deal on ziplock bags? Publix sales run through Wednesday in Georgia. I hope my trip gives you some ideas. See my Publix Top Picks post for links so some of these great printable coupons.

Super Deals

2 Ziplock sandwich bags @ $1.99 each, reg. price - $1 Target IP - $1 MQ from "Smart Summertime Savings" booklet at Publix = FREE

2 Ziplock gallon storage bag @ $1.99. Used 1 BOGO coupon, 1 x $1 Target IP, and 1 x $1 MQ from "Smart Summertime Savings" booklet at Publix = FREE

Dove Bar, 89c - FREE coupon (up to 85c) from FREE Chocolate Fridays = 4c

2 Velveeta Shells & Cheese cups, $1.19, used FREE item coupon from Kraft First Taste = FREE
(Join to get free product coupons!)

6 x French's Mustard, 85c each - 50c Qs, doubled = FREE plus 15c overage on each!

Kraft BBQ sauce, 70c - $1 MQ = FREE plus 30c overage!

2 Crystal Light Skin Essentials, $2 each, used 2 FREE Skin Essentials WYB 2 Crystal Light canisters = FREE

4 Crystal Light Canisters, $2 each,
Used 1 x $2 MQ from July issue of All*You = FREE
Used 1 x $1/1 and 1 x $2/2 printable coupon = $1 each for 3

Ragu pasta sauce, $1.10 - $60c MQ (only good on Tomato & Basil or Margherita flavors) = 50c

2 x Kotex tampons, $1.60 each - $1 Qs from home mailers = 60c each
(These combined with the rest of the stockpile gives me enough feminine supplies to last a year, and I donate these items regularly, too.)

6 x Ritz crackers, $1.75 - 6 x $1 MQs = 75c each
(We use these frequently for kids' breakfasts & lunches: pb crackers, hummus & crackers, cheese & crackers, etc.)

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, $2 - $1 MQ = $1

Newman's Own Salsa, $2 - 50c Q doubled = $1

Old Orchard Pom-Blueberry Frozen Juice, $2 - $1 Q from home mailer = $1

Sargento Mozzarella Cheese, $2 - $1 MQ from Kroger home mailer = $1

Kraft 2$ Mozarella Cheese, $2.79 - 50c MQ, doubled - $1 Food Lion Q = 79c

Lysol Plus Bleach Spray Cleaner (not pictured) $1.35 - 50c Q doubled = 35c

2 x Strawberries, $2 - $1 Target Q = $1 each

Rest of the Haul

Mahatma Brown Rice = $1.89 - 50c MQ doubled = 89c
(I have a big stockpile of free white rice, but we so do love the brown rice for the increased nutrition and hearty, nutty taste!)

4 x Bounty Big Roll, $1.25 each - 2 x $1/2 MQs = 75c each
(I do not use very many paper towels, but since I haven't restocked in almost a year I am running low. Plus, both my kiddos in school will need a roll for school supplies when school starts. I decided it was a good time to buy.)

Kleenex wipes, $2.39 - $1 Target CRT coupon = $1.39
(I dislike buying these, but they are REALLY important to some people in my family. ;D)

3 Tropicana Pure Premium, $3 each
Used 1 x $1 MQ and 1 x $1/2 MQ = $2 and $2.50 each

Soft Soap Body Wash (not pictured) $3.50 - $1 Target Q - $1 MQ = $1.50

2 x Athena Cantelope @ 99c each

2 x Pepperidge Farm bread $1.990 - 75c Target Q = $1.24 each

Fresh Express Spring Mix, $2.99 - $1 Publix Q from "Smart Summertime Savings" booklet at Publix

2 x Smart Taste Spaghetti, $1.50 each - $1/2 = $1 each

I had some other expensive items, too, for which I did not have a coupon (like sunscreen and NY strip steaks!) so my finals were not in the 70-percentage range, which is what I am usually able to do, but I am still very happy!

I also used a $5 off $25 purchase from Rite Aid from HERE.

Total Value of groceries: $204.92
Vendor Coupons: $40.82
Store Coupons: $22.50
Ad Special Savings $65.29
Advantage Buy Savings: $2.37
In-Store Special Savings: $3.02
Total Spent: $70.92 plus tax

Total Savings at Publix: $134.00 or 65%

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Top Publix Picks for Sale Week Starting 6/25

There are a few good deals at Publix this week, with some freebies. Here are my top picks for the week.

Kotex tampons or pantyliners, BOGO $3.19 ($1.60 each)
Use $1/1 from HERE, makes it 60c each. There have also been $1/1 in the newspaper inserts and from several home mailers.

Kraft BBQ sauce, BOGO $1.39 (70c each) Use the $1/1 printable coupon from HERE to make it FREE plus possible overage.

Crystal Light, BOGO $3.99 ($2 each). Use the $2/1 coupon from the July issue of All*You Magazine to make it FREE,
Use the $1/1 or $2/2 printable from HERE to make it $1 each.
Combine that with the Free Crystal Light Skin Essentials WYB any 2 Crystal Light to get that FREE, too. Print it HERE.

French's Yellow Mustard, BOGO $1.69 (85c each)
Use the 50c/1 coupon HERE or HERE, doubled = FREE plus possible overage.
Some regions also received a 50c/1 coupon in the Sunday papers.

Ritz Crackers, BOGO $3.49 ($1.75 each)
Use the $1/1 printable from HERE to make it 75 cents each.

Lysol Trigger Spray Cleaner, BOGO $2.69 ($1.35 each)
Use the 50c/1 coupon HERE or from the Sunday papers, doubled, makes it 35 cents each.

If you want to see a complete list of coupon match-ups, you can go to one of these fabulous sites.

Healthy Eating: Veggie (!) Lasagna

In my quest for frugal, healthy eating, this lasagna has risen to the top of the ranks. You won't even know it has tofu in it, I promise. My kid's don't even know it's tofu; they think it's cheese! My veggie-resistant 4-year-old scarfs this up! This feeds our family of 5 for one big meal, and then we have leftovers for 2 or 3 servings (hubby's lunch!) I find that adding one meatless meal per week adds a nice variety to our meal rotation, and it's so good for you, too.

Veggie Lasagna

1 lb. lite firm tofu, drained
1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
12 lasagna noodles*
1 T. Italian seasoning
5 oz. (or more) fresh spinach, chopped
8 - 12 oz. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Crumble tofu into bowl, and mix in the Italian seasoning.

Layer 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of your baking dish. (Add some sauce first if using no-boil noodles.) Add 1/3 of the tofu crumbles. Add 1/3 of the spinach, and top with 1/3 of the cheese.

Repeat layers. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top if desired.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, and broil briefly until top cheese is lightly browned.

* I use regular noodles and pre-cook them. I have great results with this method. You could try oven-ready noodles, too. This recipe also tastes great with whole wheat noodles!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Healthy Eating: Delicious Homemade Salsa

With summer produce coming in, I thought I would share my family's favorite homemade salsa recipe. This recipe is modified from one given to me by my dear health-nut friend Sarah F., who lives in Florida now. (We miss you.)

Delicious Homemade Salsa

1 can whole kernel corn, drained
4 - 6 green onions, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro
5-6 small tomatoes
2 cans chopped green chilies (use fresh chilies or jalapenos if you have them!)

Blend all together. Add a little salt or lime juice if you like. This recipe is easily adjusted to suit your family's preferences. Like it hotter? Add more peppers. Like it zingier? Add more onion.

Sorry I don't have an "after" photo. It quickly was devoured!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Frugal Cooking: Veggies on the Grill

Here's a great idea for cooking during the summer months. If you are planning to use your grill for your meat or mail entree, add your veggie side dish to the grill, too. It keeps the house so much cooler for the hot summer (especially here in Atlanta), and they taste fabulous. Our grilled zucchini tastes almost better than anything you can get in a restaurant!

Grilled Zucchini

Slice zucchini lengthwise into 3/4" planks. I just make three planks out of a medium-size zucchini. (One zucchini is about the right serving size per person.)

Drizzle lightly with canola oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You could add a little garlic powder if you are a garlic fan. Toss to coat.

Grill 2 - 3 minutes on each side. Don't let it overcook!

Enjoy your healthy grilled veggies with your summertime feast!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: What to do with a huge pork roast

I bought a huge (8.8 lbs.) pork loin last week for about $6. I separated it into one loin roast (in the oven now) bunches of boneless chops (in the freezer) and one big end (in the freezer) which will most likely go into the crock pot at some point in the future. My loin roast will make 2 delicious meals for us this week, not counting all the chops and the end.

Herbed Pork Roast
Baked Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli & Carrots

Chicken Wraps in Homemade Tortillas

Veggie Lasagna
Fresh Fruit & Green Salad

Chopped BBQ Sandwiches
(Make this from Monday's Roast)
Green Salad


Popcorn Shrimp
Homemade Bread
Mixed Vegetables

Blueberry-Cherry-Vanilla Smoothies

What are you having for dinner this week?

Monday Shopping: 90% Savings at Publix!

I had a huge windfall of coupons yesterday from my local coupon trading group, my MIL, and my Sunday paper! I wanted to pick up the penny item at Publix, and ended up saving 90%! (Isn't always easier to get those big % savings on the smaller orders?)

That's quite a bit of food for $3.66 plus tax!

4 x Yoplait Yo Plus @ $1.25 each - $1 Qs = 25 c each

1 x Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt @ $1.25 each - $1 Q = 25 c each

1 roll Bounty Paper Towels $1.25 - 25c Q doubled - 50c Target Q = 25 c

2 x Newman's Own Salsa @ $2 - 50c Q doubled = $1 each

2 x Starbucks ice cream @ $1.80 each - $2 Q = FREE plus overage!

1 Margaret Holmes field peas $1 - 35c Q doubled = 30c

Kelloggs Frosted Mini Wheats $1.95 - $1 Q = 95 c

Fisher Snack Mix 90c - $1 Q = FREE Plus overage

Publix Vanilla Wafers 1c (penny item for this week.)

Bananas 41c

Total spent: $3.66 plus tax
Total saved: $32.45 (store & vendor coupons, store sales, and Advantage Buy)
Total Savings: 90%

Hmmm.... how about a "banana pudding" dessert with vanilla yogurt, bananas, and vanilla wafers?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Big 'Ole Publix Shopping 6/20 - Saved $145 (69%)

I had a big 'ole shopping trip to Publix today and purchased a lot of meat. (Just a side note here: I am posting these shopping trips as part of the frugal shopping community not to brag on myself, but I want to pass along my savings ideas to others.) Each week it's amazing that more deals reveal themselves! This sale cycle runs through Wednesday in Atlanta area.

FREE and Super Deals

2 Starbucks Ice Cream pints BOGO, $1.79 each - $1.50 coupon = 29c each!

4 Yoplus Yogurt + 1 Fiber One Yogurt, BOGO, $1.25 each - $1 coupon = 25 cents each.
(My store ran out of vanilla yogurt, so I received a raincheck to buy more when they have more in stock, and when I have more room in the fridge. LOL)

2 KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce, $1.69 - Used coupon for FREE KC Masterpiece WYB Kingsford Match Light charcoal = FREE

2 Morningstar Farms Griller Veggie Burgers, BOGO, $1.90 each - $2/2 Target IP - 2 x $2/1 manufacturer coupon = FREE + overage

Fisher Fusions Trail Mix, BOGO, 90c - $1 Q = FREE + overage

5 Hebrew National hot dogs, @ 2/$4.99 = $12.48
Used 2 x $1 Q, 3 x 75c Q for a net cost of $8.23
I will send in my receipt and earn a $10 Publix gift card.
So, the net cost after coupons and gift card is FREE pus $1.77 overage!

2 Sundown Vitamin D, $2.99 each - $6/2 Q from the Green Advantage Buy flyer = FREE

Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese = $1.49 - $1 Q = 49c

6 bags of M&Ms, 89c each - FREE to 85c coupon = 4c each.
(Come back later to see what these turn into!)

2 x Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats, BOGO $1.95 - $1 Qs = 95c each

Other Great Deals

Here is the rest of my trip, including some other really great deals.

Here's a really interesting scenario that I did when I purchased 2 bags of Kingsford Match Light charcoal ( not pictured). It translated into some really cheap pork and free BBQ sauce!

2 Bags of Kingsford Charcoal, $7.99 each - $3 Qs, = $4.99 each
2 KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce, free WYB Kingsford Charcoal
Huge Pork Loin, $17.51 - 2 x $6 off pork WYB Kingsford & one other participating item (KC masterpiece included) = $5.51

2 x Old El Paso Taco Dinner Kit, BOGO, $1.48 each
Bought ground beef and used 2 x $1 off ground beef WYB Old El Paso

3 x Tropicana Pure Premium OJ, not on sale, $3.79 - $1 Food Lion Q - $1 Tropicana Q = $1.79 each. This is a staple in our house!

2 x Cracker Barrel sliced Cheese @ 2/$5 - $1/2 Q = $2 each

Crisco Canola Oil, sale $2.99 - .55 q = $2.44
(Isn't it hard to find good sales on cooking essentials?)

I also used a $5 off $25 purchase Rite Aid coupon as a competitor coupon.
I used a $2 off $5 produce purchase from Food Lion as a competitor coupon.

Total value of groceries purchased = $208.98
Vendor Q = $51.38
Store Coupon = $20.35
Sale price savings = $63.49
Total savings (before gift card) = $132.22
Will receive a $10 Publix gift card from Con Agra

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Saving Money on Fresh Produce

My family is crazy for fresh fruits and veggies.  They taste so good, and they are so very, very good for you.  Creative home keepers can find ways to save money on fresh produce.  Gardening is a great frugal choice, and we have a few plants for that end.  Some people visit local farmers markets.  I have found a good local resource in my area is Super H Mart, a largely Asian grocery store.  They have an amazing selection of produce, and generally have some excellent prices on some of their offerings.

Here are the fruits and veggies I bought today at Super H Mart, for a total of $16.21 including tax.  Almost half of that was for the HUGE watermelon, which I have been totally craving lately!

**Super Buys**
2 x 12 oz. bags of Eat Smart broccoli florettes $0.79/2.  (These are something like $2 each at Kroger or Publix!)

5 juice oranges for $1 (20c each!)

2 bags of carrots @ 69 c each.  This is another thing we eat almost everyday.

3 lb. apples $1.99, my daughter's special request.

3 limes, 10c each (Great to add to ice water or tea!)

Head of red leaf lettuce, 99c

** Other Buys **
Watermelon  $6.99
Cucumber 69c
Georgia Peaches 99c / lb

Top Publix Picks for Sale Week Starting 6/18

Hello Everyone.

If you would like an exhaustive list of Publix sale and coupon matchups, you can visit these wonderful sites.  

I like to list just a few of my top picks here for those who are just getting into couponing.  Those long lists can be really overwhelming, so here are my favorites, most with printables!

Hebrew National hot dogs, BOGO $4.99 ($2.49-$2.50 each)
Print a $1/1 Here, final cost $1.50 each.
There have also been 75c/1 coupons in the Sunday Papers and in the Conagra booklet in Publix.
These qualify for the Con Agra $10 Publix gift card offer.  Buy 5 packs for $12.48 ($10 minimum Con Agra purchase), along with a $50 purchase, and submit your receipt for the gift card.  (Note that if you buy 4, your total Con Agra purchase would only be $9.98, close, but not enough unless you buy another qualifying purchase.)  In the final scheme of things, the hot dogs will be free after coupons and gift card!

Yo-Plus Yogurt, BOGO  $2.50 ($1.25 each)
Use $1/1 from Sunday Inserts or printables from HERE or HERE, makes it 25 cents each!
(Print 2 from each site.)

Starbucks Ice cream pints, BOGO $3.79 ($1.90 each)
Use $1.50/1 coupons from HERE or HERE to make it 40 cents each!

Morningstar Farms Burgers, BOGO $3.79 ($1.80 each)
Use the $1/1 Q from HERE or HERE and combine it with the $1/1 Target printable from HERE if you store accepts Target coupons.  Final price is  FREE with possible overage

Those are my top choices.  What's on your list?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Frugal Cooking: Homemade Tortillas

One way that our family likes to save money and eat healthier is by making a fair amount of our own baked goods.  I am learning to make homemade tortillas.  Now that I am getting the hang of it, it's becoming easy and fun!  I love the simplicity of the ingredients:  Flour, salt, oil, water!  Have you read the back of a package of tortillas from the grocery store?  Wow, the ingredient list is a half-mile long, and includes many things that I don't know what they are!

Here is my recipe, which came with my tortilla maker, but you could almost just as easily make these by rolling them out, and baking them on a griddle or skillet.

Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt  (I used 3/8 t.)
1/3 c. canola or vegetable oil
1 c. warm water

Combine dry ingredients and add oil.  Gradually add water until a soft dough ball forms.  Divide into individual balls, cover with plastic wrap sprayed in cooking spray.  Let dough rest 30 minutes or longer.  Dough should be fairly soft.  Add more water if needed.  I also kept the dough balls covered with plastic wrap so that they would not dry out while the tortillas were cooking.

Press or roll and cook about 30 to 45 seconds on each side.

Don't these look yummy?  I made 22 fajita-sized tortillas with this recipe, enough for my family of 5, plus leftovers for my husband's lunch the next day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Eating from the pantry & freezer

This week I am picking up a few items to round out our meals, but largely I will be using food that I have already in my freezer and in my pantry!

Chicken Fajitas w/ homemade tortillas

Big Salads, Muffins

Black Beans & Rice
Leftover Muffins

Popcorn Shrimp
Mixed Vegetables


Grilled Hamburgers
Baked Beans

Grilled Salmon or Chicken
(Side items based on whatever is left in the fridge!)

I frequently serve fresh fruit alongside dinner.  I think this gives such a nice, light, healthy sweet finish to the meal without serving a dessert.  Ido not always list this in my meal plan.  

Friday, June 12, 2009

Super Publix Savings 6/12 - Saved another $100 (70%)

Here is another fabulous trip to Publix.   Just when I think the next week can't be as good as the last one, Publix continues to amaze me.  I've divided my trip into (1) Super Deals, (2) Health & Beauty Aid Deals, and (3) Rest of the trip.  I hope this gives you some ideas for your trip!  

Super Deals     

10 bags of Chex Mix $1.27 each.  Used 10 x 50c MQ doubled + 5 x $1/2 Target IP Q = FREE + overage

1 lb. Driscoll's Strawberries, $2 each - $1 Target IP Q = $1

16 Stonyfield yogurt, 60c each.  Used 4 x $1/4 Qs = 35 c each.  (Can you tell my family loves yogurt?)

Pompeian Olive Oil, BOGO ($3.00 each) - $1 Q = $2

Skippy PB, $1.89 each ( I thought these were BOGO, but they were just 60c off as part of the "Essentials" sale) - 40c Q doubled = $1.09 each.

Health & Beauty Aid Deals

I had an interesting scenario where I had a $4 off $20 Health & Beauty Aid purchase coupon from Kroger, which my Publix store accepts as a competitor.  My two girls need multi-vitamins because they don't eat a lot of red meat and usually run a little low on iron.  I needed some more vitamins for them, but there haven't been any good sales lately.  Here's what I came up with:

Colgate Total toothpaste $2.29
Revlon Emery Boards   1.69
3 x Publix Children's Vitamins   8.99
Sundown Calcium   3.99
Sundown Calcium/D/Mag.   3.89
Sub Total (before coupons) $20.85

Colgate MQ   -1.00
Colgate Rite Aid Q   -1.00
Sundown Publix Q (on 2)   -6.00
Sundown MQ   -2.00
Sundown MQ   -1.00
Revlon Publix Q   -2.00
Kroger $4/20 Q   -4.00
Final Total after Coupons $3.85
for all the Health and Beauty Aid Items in the photo!

The rest of the deals!

I like to buy some of my spices like onion powder and paprika in the area near the produce.  These spices are $1 each, instead of $3 or $4 in the regular spice section, and the quality has been just as good in my opinion.

The Green Giant Steamers were 89c each - $1/2 Q from Kroger = 39c each final price

Lender's Bagels were BOGO, 90c each - $1/3 coupon = 57c each

Northland Juice is BOGO, which is my husband's favorite!  We make a big glass of ice water and add about 1/4 cup of this dark juice to make a wonderfully refreshing drink!

I also used a $5 off $50 Publix coupon which was given to me by my dear friend Julie!
I used a $5 off $25 Rite Aid coupon.

My final savings stats:

Total Value of Groceries  $143.37
Store Coupons $34.80
Vendor Coupons $18.30
Ad Special Savings $46.57
Total Savings $99.67 
Total Spent before tax $43.70
Total Savings 70%

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Favorite Frugal Meals: Homemade Pizza

Homemade pizza is hands-down one of our favorite family dinners.  It's also extremely frugal and healthy, too!  I just need to remember to start the dough in the afternoon, so it has time to rise before baking.

Here is my basic dough recipe.  This is adapted from the cookbook that came with my food processor, but you don't even need to own a food processor to make it.  

In a 2-cup measure, add 2 cups lukewarm water, 1 Tablespoon yeast,  1-2 teaspoons honey or sugar, and 1-2 teaspoons olive oil or other vegetable oil.  Mix vigorously with a whisk or fork. 

Add 6 cups all purpose flour (or 3 cups white flour and 3 cups whole-wheat flour) to work bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.   If you like more salt, use 1 - 2 teaspoons, but we prefer less salt in our food than you usually get in restaurant pizza.  I will also add a little more if I am using unsalted tomato sauce (later).

With food processor running, add liquids slowly, as quickly as the flour will absorb it.  Once it is all combined, a nice ball of dough should form.  You can add a little more flour or water if needed to adjust the consistency.  Let the machine run 30 seconds more to knead.  

This whole process takes about 5 minutes max.   Now, just pop the top of the food processor off, and I let it rise in the work bowl.  This is what it looks like after about 45 minutes.  It will rise more slowly in cold weather.

I made a really simple pizza sauce using one 8-oz. can of tomato sauce (free with a coupon.)  To it, I added a couple of handfuls of basil and oregano from our garden.  The fresh herbs taste so wonderful.   If you don't have fresh herbs, just use 1 T. of oregano or Italian seasoning.

Once dough has risen, divide your dough and flatten it on the pans.  You do not need a special pan to cook pizza.  We were given a pizza pan for a wedding gift (over 16 years ago!) so I use that, plus a glass pie pan, plus two pizzas on a baking sheet!  Use whatever you have.  I just flatten it out with my fingers.  I don't roll it (or toss it - ha ha ha.)

Add your sauce, cheese, and toppings.  This time, we just had the fresh herbs, pepperoni, and ham.  Other times, we use bell pepper, olives, mushrooms, green onions, pineapple, or broccoli.  I usually use whatever I have on hand.

This much dough and sauce makes enough pizza for our family of five, and normally we have some left over for 1-2 people for lunch another day.  


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Top Publix Picks for Sale Week Starting 6/11

Well, I can't say I'm overwhelmed this week with Publix's sale, except I might be overwhelmed with tons of FREE CHEX MIX!  Here are my top picks for this week.  These are preview prices, and can vary across the country.

Chex Mix BOGO $2.79 ($1.40 each except Florida)
Use 50c/1 printables from several places.  You can print two from each site, and I could print many from smartsource.  Combine this manufacturer Q with a $1/2 Target Q if your store accepts Target as a competitor.  FREE or possible overage.

Pompeian Olive Oil, 16 oz., BOGO $5.99 ($2.99 each except Florida)
Use the $1/1 printable HERE.
Makes it $1.99 each.

Stoneyfield Yogurt cups, 60c each
Use the $1/4 Q from the Organic Earth Day booklet
Makes it 35c each.

Staples: Great Deal on Printer Paper

Staples is having a rebate deal this week on Hammermill "Copy Plus" ream paper.  Buy a ream for $4.99, and get a $3.99 Easy Rebate.  Final Price $1 each.  You can do two of these rebates per household.  To make this deal even sweeter, Staples has a Rewards Program.  I recently recycled three Cannon printer cartridges and earned a $3 rewards credit for each one!  Here is what my deal looked like:

2 Copy Paper x $4.99 each = $9.98
Paid with $9 Staples reward discount
Tax $0.07  (I guess it calculated the tax after discount!)
Final cost out-of-pocket  $1.05

I will get $7.98 back in my rebate check.

The Staples Easy Rebate is VERY EASY to do.  Just go to www.StaplesEasyRebate.com, input two numbers from your receipt along with your mailing information, and receive your rebate in 4-6 weeks.

I'm so glad this deal came out.  I've been using so much paper with all the awesome printable coupons lately!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday Menu Plan

We had a nice family camping trip this past weekend.  I'm trying to catch up and get back into the groove!

Here is our menu plan for the week.  Just a side note:  I do not always follow my menu plan strictly.  I frequently substitute a side item if something else seems more appealing when cooking time comes around, or we might change things completely.  I must say that since I started making menu plans about two years ago, that I never have that panicky feeling when it's 4:00 or 5:00, and I'm not sure what we are going to eat for dinner.  I also am able to make better use of store sales, and less food goes to waste.  If you are not making weekly dinner menus before you do your weekly  shopping, it is the fastest and easiest way to save on your grocery budget, no coupon required!

Chicken picata, corn, salad, pineapple

Omelets, homemade bread, sausage, fruit

Taco Salads, Fruit

Pork Chops, broccoli, rice

Homemade Pizza

Grilled Chicken, Rice, Broccoli

Grilled Steaks, Potatoes,
 (& some kind of vegetable)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Little Target Run 6/5

I needed to go to Target to pick up a couple of things for my family's camping trip this weekend.  Rarely will I make a special trip just to get a couple of free items, but if I have to go anyway, I'll pick up what's free or a great deal.

4 boxes Kashi Go-Lean waffles:  $1.99 - $1.50 Q from Kashiconnect.com = 49c each

1 bottle of Kraft 16 oz. dressing $2.36 - $1.50 MQ from the newspaper - $1 Target Q = FREE

3 Packs of Crystal Light (3 in each pack) 99c each - $1/1 q and $2/2 Q from coupons.com = FREE  (Look for these by the registers!)  

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Publix Shopping 6/4 - Saved $100

My family is camping this weekend with two other great families, so I had to go pick up some things for the trip.  One of the things we do is split up the cooking, so that each family cooks two big meals for all 14 people, instead of six little meals for our own families!  I love this method, but it does mean I had to buy a few things that were NOT on sale and NOT in my stockpile!!!  

(Hence, higher than normal cost, especially for 6 packs of sausage @ $3.49 - 3 x $1/2 Qs = $17.94 just for breakfast meat!!  But hey, it's a very economical vacation all things added together!)

Here are my SUPER deals:

5 South Beach Bars:  $1.49 each (Used 4x$1 printalble Q and 1 x $2Q from a home mailer) = $1.45 for all 5 boxes!

Planter's Cocktail Peanuts:  $2.95 regular price - $1 Q from coupons.com - $2 Food Lion Q = FREE

1 Box Ritz Crackers:  $1.75 - $1 Q tearpad = 75c
1 Box Wheat Thins:  3.25  Used FREE Wheat Thins WYB Ritz = FREE  

6 Bottles Hunts Ketchup:  70c each - 3 x $1/2 Qs from the "Get Ready for Summer At Publix" booklet = 20c each!  I'm so glad I found the booklet at the store today.  I was planning to use my 20c/1 coupons, but the booklet coupons were so much better.  Now I think I REALLY AM stocked up on all my condiments.

Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs:  $3.99 - Used Free item coupon from home mailer = FREE

Morning Star Farms Products  **Not on Sale**
2 x Sausage links @ $3.79 each - 2 x $1 MQ - $2/2 Target Printable=$1.79 each  (This is a real treat for hubby!)
2 x Veggie Burgers @ $3 each  2 x $1 MQ - $2/2 =$1 each  (This is a real treat for son & me!)

Aquafresh Toothpaste:  $1 - $1 Target Printable = FREE (It's hiding behind the ketchup!)

Starbucks Decaf Coffee:  $6.99 - $1.50 printables from coupons.com = $5.49 each  (It's hubby's favorite coffee, so I buy it for him!)

Other deals of note:

Breyer's Ice Cream:  2 x $2.50 - $1 Q = $1.50 each  (yummmmm!)

4 bags Publix Greenwise Tortilla Chips $2.69 - $1 Target Archer Farms Q = $1.69 each  (Since Archer Farms is a house brand, I can use it at Publix on a Publix house brand.  Surprisingly,  The organic Greenwise chips were only 10c more than the regular Publix brand chips, for the same size!) 

Del Monte Gold Pineapple:  $2.69 - 75c printable = $1.94

2 x Pepperidge Farm buns:  $1.99 - 55c MQ - 75c Target Q = 69 c each

2 x Fresh Express Salad: $2.50 each - 1 x $1.50 Publix Q from Family Style Magazine (I think) = one for $1.00 and one for $2.50

3 x Bertolli Pasta Sauce:  $1.34  ( Used 2 x 75c Qs and one 60c Q) = 2 x 59c and 1 x 74c each

I also used a $5/25 Kroger coupon and a $5/25 Rite Aid Coupon

Order Total:  $70.92
Vendor Q:  $32.19
Store Q: $23.50
Advertised Special Savings:  40.02
Advantage Buy Savings:  $4.76

Total Savings:  $100.47 or 59%

Free Aquafresh at Publix through Saturday June 6

Publix has Aquafresh toothpaste on sale this week for $1 per tube.  Go HERE to print out a Target coupon for $1 off Aquafresh.  If your Publix accepts Target coupons, be sure to pick up your free toothpaste this week!  (No rebate or CVS Extra Bucks required!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kroger Trip: Saved 37%

I have a hard time matching my Publix savings when I shop at Kroger.  I did want to pick up $1.99 chicken and $1.99 milk at Kroger, and found a couple of good deals, too.

$1 Carefree - $1 Q = FREE (I found the Q in Redbook magazine, a free subscription)
Sargento shredded cheese $1.79 - 40c Q doubled = 99c
Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner (50% off this week) $1.29 - 50c Q doubled = 29c
(I wish I had more of those Qs, but the one I found came in my coupon train from out of state!)
2 x 88c eggs
Yoplait Yogurts 6 x 50c - 40c Q doubled.  There is a eQ on Cellfire, too, but I have a new card and haven't bothered to register the new card yet!
Gala Apples - 3.3 lb x $1.73/lb = $5.76  -- Hubby really believes in "an apple a day!"
Sunmaid Raisins $3.99 - not such a good price, but we needed them.

Total Savings:  37%

Menu Plan Monday: (Tuesday Edition)

Can you tell it's summer?  I'm actually trying to get so much accomplished that I'm not keeping up with my regular tasks, like menus!  I probably need to slow down and enjoy the break from school and work!

This week we are using up a lot of things from our stockpile.  I will be buying some more meats at Kroger this week to replenish the freezer.

BBQ pork sandwiches (We didn't eat this last week since hubby and I went on a date.)
Corn, Steamed Broccoli, Cantaloupe

Lentils & Rice
Mixed berries & vanilla yogurt

Homemade Pizzas

Rosemary Chicken
Roasted Potatoes
Green Beans

Friday & Saturday
(We are camping!!)


Publix: Top Picks for Sale Dates 6/4 - 6/10

Here are my top picks for Publix this week.  I'm especially liking the South Beach granola bar deal.  My kids love to have some kind of "bar" for breakfast (granola bar, cereal bar, etc.)
Again, these are preview prices, and actual store prices vary among regions.

Revlon Implements
The new Green Advantage Buy Flyer (located near the store entrance) has the $2 off any Revlon Cosmetic or Beauty Tool Store Coupon. This coupon alone will make the small nail clippers, emery boards, and tweezers Free with possible overage.
You can combine this store coupon with the $1 Revlon Cosmetic coupon to get $3 off any cosmetic item.   This deal will last all month.

Planter's Products
These are not part of the sale.  However, there is a $2 Planter's Food Lion Coupon HERE.  Pair this with a $1 printable Q HERE, and get $3 off any Planter's product.  Last week, I bought Planter's Lightly Salted Dry Roasted Peanuts for $3.19 - $2 FL Q - $1 MQ = 19c.  If you use the Food Lion Coupon alone, you might be able to get a bag of trail mix for FREE.

Kraft South Beach Living Granola Bars: BOGO $2.99  ($1.49 each)
Use this $1/1 printable to get them for 49c per box!

Breyer's Ice Cream, 48 oz. Carton:  BOGO $4.99 ($2.50 each)
There have been various coupons in the Sunday papers, 75c/1, $1/1, or $1/2, depending on your region.  This is probably our favorite ice cream, so if it is BOGO and I have a coupon, I am a happy camper!

Nabisco Ritz Crackers:  BOGO $3.49 ($1.75 each)
$1/1 printables from Kraftfoods.com or coupons.com from May OR
$1/1 tearpads from Publix
Also, use Free Wheat Thins WYB Ritz
I have a big supply of crackers, but I just cannot resist getting a box of Ritz and a box of Wheat Thins for 75 cents!  (Peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers, cream cheese crackers, hummus crackers.....)

Wise Cheese Doodles:  BOGO $2.99 ($1.50 each)
Use 55c/1 coupon from Sunday insert to get each bag for 95 cents.

Sea Pack Shrimp, Tilapia, or Crab Cakes:  BOGO $7.59  ($3.80 each)
$1/1 Coupons from women's magazines (makes it $2.80 each)
$1/2 from package inserts
$1/2 printable HERE

Glad Wrap
Through June 5th, the 100 square ft. roll of Glad Wrap is on Adantage Buy for $1.  Use the $1/1 any Glad food Storage product Q from the "Top Chef" Coupon book at Publix.  Final Price:  FREE

Johnson & Johnson First Aid Kits
Look in the pharmacy area for a blinkie machine giving $3/2 Johnson & Johnson First Aid Products.  Pick up 2 travel size first aid kits (antiseptic wipes, bandaids, and gauze) for $1.47 each.  Final Price: FREE

Monday, June 1, 2009

Free Photos at Publix

You can get free photo prints when you sign up for digital photo printing at Publix.

Visit publix.com/freeprints to find out more.  It looks like they use Snapfish, which is a great photo printing site.  

I haven't tried this, but probably will soon.  One of my "summer goals" is to catch up on my scrap booking.   (OK, how many weeks of summer do we have??)