Saturday, October 18, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Target, Save a Lot, Meijer, Aldi, Giant Eagle

3 transactions. I used the in-ad coupon for $5 off a $25 frozen food purchase. I also used the $10/40 brands purchase. Got: 2 freschetta frozen pizza, 1 12 pack of nestle drumsticks, 2 seapack popcorn shrimp, 1 market pantry 2.5 # frozen chicken breast, 1 jennie o turkey burgers, 1 market pantry bagels, 1 market pantry bread, 2 CPK frozen pizza, 4 market pantry frozen fruit, 1 evol sandwich, 4 m&ms pumpkin spice, 2 Eggo waffles, 2 archer farms pizzas, 2 red baron frozen pizzas, 2 market pantry ice cream, 2 ponds cold cream, 4 palmers lotion, 2 caress, 6 axe, 4 skintimate, 3 tressemme, 2 suave, 2 snack size packs m&ms, 1 people magazine, 1 simple eye makeup remover, 1 car shade for DH. Started with a $10 GC. Rolled resulting gift cards, paid a total of 39.69 out of pocket.

5 kraft shredded cheese $1.99 each after discount
2 jennie-o turkey 2.49
chi chi's tortillas free when you buy 1 jennie o
hormel side dish free when you buy 1 jennie o
5 crystal light .99 each after discount
2 boxes lipton tea @1.42 -2 x $1/1 printable coupons
cheese sticks 6.48 for pack of 24
Jello pudding packs $2, -$1/1 peelies 

eggs free when you spend $10+
bacon free when you spend $10+
pickles 1.69
8 tomato sauce @4/$1
2 packs English muffins @.50
2 cans mushrooms @.59
2 cns sausage gravy @$1
saltines .99
4 tomato paste @.43
Spent $10.68.

Milk $1.99/gallon

Giant Eagle:
bread- free e-offer
carrots free e-offer
eggs 1.07 after e-offer
GM cereal 2.50 -$1/1 e-offer -.75/1 coupon, doubled = free
apples 1.37 -$1/1 e-offer
12 jell-o @3/$5 -12 peelies for $1/1
dial soap $1 -.50/1 hangtag, doubled
4 twizzlers @$1 -2 x $1.60/2 coupons

Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Review: One Pot

One Pot by Martha Stewart offers over 120 recipes that require a minimum of dishes to prepare and cook.

The recipes make use of the skillet, stockpot and crock pot to create a hearty meal. Many of the recipes are ethnic foods while some are comfort food favorites. There are even dessert ideas in this cook book.

What I liked the most is that you do not have to be an experienced chef to create most of these meals. There are not any laborious techniques in these recipes. There are, however, some unusual ingredients that I would have no idea of where to find.  Because I live with a bunch of picky eaters, there weren't any recipes that I would make that my whole family would enjoy. There are some that I would enjoy or that two of us would like, but it's not worth the expense to cook a meal that only 1 or 2 of 5 people will eat.

My only other issue with the book is the binding. I just do not understand why publishers create cookbooks that won't stay open by themselves. Cookbooks should be required to have spiral binding!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Kroger, Meijer, Target, Aldi

2 Seattle's Best Coffee @4.99 -2 x $2/1 printable coupons
2 Turkey Hill ice cream @2.50 -2 x $1/1 printable coupons
Italian bread crumbs $1
Potatoes $1
Paid $10.98.

4 2-liters of 10 soda @1.49 -50% cartwheel
4 snickers fun size @2.69- 2 buy 1 get 1 free -2 x $1/2 Target coupon -2 x $2 off when you buy 2 2-liters and 1 snickers
4 celestial seasonings tea @2.33 -2 x $1/2 printable coupons and -20% cartwheel
nature's bounty vitamin D 4.89  -$3/1 printable coupon -$1/1 Target coupon -15% cartwheel
4 boxes quaker granola bars @$2 - buy 2 get 1 free coupon that auto deducted 3.69
4 Tazo tea @$3 -2 x $1/2 Target coupon -4 x $1.50/1 coupons
2 pull-ups @7.99 -2 x 2.25/1 printable coupons and -2 x $2/1 Target coupons
2 market pantry lunch meat @$3 -5% cartwheel -2 x $.50/1 Target coupons
4 gallons milk @3.49 -4 x $1/1 coupons (save $1 on milk wyb 1 quaker granola bars), -2 x .75/2 Target coupons, -5% cartwheel
nesquick ready to drink milk 1.07 -$1/1 peelie
2 cascade @.82 -2 x .55/1 coupons
I had some gift card credit and paid $17.50.

Milk $1.99/gallon
pie crust $1.69/2 pk
caramel apples $.99/3 pk

bananas $.53/#
apples $.54/#
nature made vitamin D 4.29 -$3/1 mPerk
4 playtex tampons @3.99 -4 x $3/1 coupons
Schick razor 6.99 -$5/1 printable coupon
Stayfree pads 2.89 -$1/1 printable coupon
-$10 instant savings on Playtex/Schick/Stayfree
11 cans old el paso refried beans @$1, buy 10 get 11th free, -3 x $1/3 printable coupons, -2 x $.30/1 printable coupons
2 Marzetti croutons @$1 -2 x .75/1 hang tag coupons
3 frozen veggies @$1
3 animal crackers @$1
3 boxes pasta @$1 -$1/3 mPerk
2 packs little swimmers @$3.99 -2 x $1.25/1 peelies
sour cream $1 -free when you buy 10 items
major league baseball shirt $5 -$5/1 mPerk = free
Paid $12.82.

Second Meijer visit:
My son had a fit because we ran out of cheddar cheese. So we got:
3 Kraft cheddar cheese blocks buy 2 get 1 free
1 package organic mushrooms
Paid 7.48.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

40 Bags in 40 Days

An online group I'm in is doing two decluttering challenges for September. One is 40 bags in 40 days, the other is the "minimalist game" where on day 1 you get rid of 1 thing, day 2 is 2 things, day 3 is 3 things, and so forth, which amounts to around 400 items in a month. I decided to do 40 bags in 40 days.

Day 1: Sending in a bag of supplies requested by my 2nd grader's teacher. This included tape, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes we had on hand.
Day 2: Filled a bag with personal care items to send into the resource room at my child's school. Anyone in the school can pick up items.
Day 3: Filled a bag with outgrown kid's clothes from my son and younger daughter. It was 15 items.
Day 4: Filled a bag with items of mine- facial care products I didn't like and some clothes to donate.
Day 5: Cleaned out my chest freezer and freezer above the fridge. Got rid of 3 bags of freezer burned foods and stuff we didn't like.
Day 6: Tossed two pairs of insoles, one stained shirt, one pair of underwear and one pair of worn out shoes.
Day 7: Filled another bag of personal care items to donate.
Day 8: tossed one stained shirt, put 4 shirts into donate bag, filled 2 yard waste cans with yard waste from the front yard.
Day 9: 3 women's shirts into donate bag, plus assorted bits and odds and ends thrown out.
Day 10: Filled a grocery bag with personal care items to donate to resource room.
Day 11: I sent in one kneeling pad and a packet of seeds with my daughter to contribute to their class garden. I disposed of 4 individual servings and one multiserving back of stale snacks. I tossed one badly stained kids' shirt.
Day 12: filled a grocery bag of items for donation.
Day 13: Filled 2 bags of personal care items to donate.
Day 14: Filled two bags of supplies to donate to the art room at the community center.
Day 15: Sold one bag of books.
Day 16: Dropped off one bag of supplies at the no-kill cat shelter.
Day 17: Sent in two bags of personal care items and one bag of classroom supplies to my daughter's school.
Day 18: Disposed of a grocery sack of broken/stained/torn items.
Day 19: Tossed 2 pairs of worn out sandals. Tossed a few leftovers that looked gross.
Day 20: Put 2 grocery bags worth of stuff into the donate pile.
Day 21: Took 2 extra large bags of items to the craft supply exchange room at a local artisan shop. I came out with one small bag of items for me and the kids.
Day 22: I donated a full-size afghan to the local homeless shelter for men.
Day 23: I gave my daughter's friend a birthday gift of art supplies we had on hand- fancy markers, specialty crayons, water colors, colored pencils.
Day 24: I filled a bag with donations of personal care items for a girl scouts project.
Day 25: I filled a bag with school supplies for a girl scouts project.
Day 26: I filled a bag of unwanted clothes of mine.
Day 27: I filled a bag with art supplies and small toys for a girl scouts project.
Day 28: I filled a bag with food donations for a girl scouts project.
Day 29: I filled a bag with outgrown clothes of my younger daughter.
Day 30: I filled a bag with outgrown clothes of my son.
Day 31: I dropped off a bag of handmade items at the knitting store for the homeless shelter.
Day 32: I tossed a bag of stale snack foods.
Day 33: I filled 2 bags with cat supplies and took them to the cat shelter.
Day 34: I filled a grocery sack with outrgrown pajamas from my youngest child.
Day 35: I filled a grocery sack with craft supplies to trade.
Day 36: Filled a sack with items for my oldest child to take to school- books to trade and supplies for her classroom.
Day 37: 4 clothing items of mine into donation bag. Sorted through a pile of papers- recycled half a bag's worth. They were recipes.
Day 38: Assorted snack bars we didn't like into a bag to donate/share, assorted cheeses we didn't like into the trash, stale cereal into the trash.
Day 39: 4 shirts of my son's into donation bag, box of sight word cards into donation bag, tossed some expired foods.
Day 40: Filled a bag with personal care items to donate. Tossed a bottle of half used facial scrub that started to smell weird.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Book Review: The Legend of the Candy Cane

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg and illustrated by James Bernardin is a children's story about Christmas that focuses on Jesus.

In this story, the main character is a girl who lives in a small town and encounters a stranger who explains the legend of the candy cane. The question is whether she will share the legend with others or if she will keep it to herself.

Each component of the candy cane is symbolic of Jesus, from the shape (shepherd's staff) to the colors (red = blood), to the upside down "J" for "Jesus". This is a story of trust and friendship as well as faith.

I liked the illustrations in this book and I also appreciated the thickness of the pages. This hardcover book would be excellent for grabby youngsters like my toddler.

I did think some of the story might be a little scary to younger children though- blood and such. I suppose that would depend on the temperament of the child.

This would make a nice addition to advent reading, a good stocking stuffer or an addition to a Sunday school library. This book would be ideal for kids ages 3 to 6.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I was did not receive any other compensation.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Farmer's Market, Meijer, Target, Kroger, Giant Eagle

Farmer's Market:
Last weekend we stopped at a local farmer's market. I saw a box with a variety of vegetables and asked. The gentleman asked what he could do to get me to buy it. I asked if 3 mini pumpkins would fit and he said certainly, so he let my daughter choose 3. I was happy because my kids kept bugging me for these and he was happy because he got in one last sale before the close of the market! The tomatoes in my box were delicious. I also got a variety of peppers and onions. I paid $8 for everything.

2 sundown calcium gummy vitamins @7.99 - BOGO -$3/1 catalina coupon
2 nature made vitamin d @2.89 -BOGO -$2.50/1 coupon
12 rimmel nail polish @1.59 - BOGO 50% -12 x $1/1 coupon
4 nature made vitamin d @2.89 - $2/2 printable coupon -$4/4 mPerk
head of lettuce .99 -free item catalina coupon
a ton of apples
bananas -1.50/$15 produce purchase catalina coupon
2 sunscreen 90% off - $1/1 hangtags on each = free
2 bounce sheets @5.99 -2 x .50/1 printable coupons
2 tide boost @5.99 -2 x 1.50/1 printable coupons
2 tide free & clear @4.49 -2 x $1/1 printable coupons
olay lotion 3.19 -$3/1 catalina
crest toothpaste .90 clearance
old spice clearance deodorant $1
2 herbal essences body wash @2.50 -2 x $1/1 catalina coupons
2 tampax @4.09 -$2/2 printable coupon
I got back $5 oyno from the personal care Proctor & Gamble products and a $5 oyno from the laundry care Proctor & Gamble products, I sent in a $10 rebate from Proctor & Gamble also. Those purchases also qualified me for some mPerks rewards.

I got milk for 2.77 per gallon and feta cheese for .99 per container after mega discount.

bag of spinach 1.99
caramel dip 3.79 -$1/1 tearpad coupon
2 packs pampers easy ups @8.99 -2 x $2/1 printable coupons
6 packs pull-ups @17.99 -2 x 2.25/1 and -2 x $4/2 printable coupons
3 packs Crayola washable markers @1.18 -3 x $.50/1 coupons
-$20/$125 baby items purchase
Got back 3 x $5 gift cards for the pull-ups.

I rolled the gift cards on my next trip and got:
2 schick razors @6.99 -2 x $5/1 printable coupons
2 2-packs hanes girls bras @2.68 -2 x $4/1 peelies on product!
2 kelloggs right bites @2.78 -50% cartwheel -$1.50/2 tearpad coupon
suave 2.69 -$1.50/1 coupon
2 suave @2.84 -2 x $2/1 coupons
2 tresemme @2.74 -$5/2 coupon
suave body wash 2.89 - free when you buy 2 suave stylers
-$5/15 suave/tresemme/axe/dove hair purchase
3 dr. scholl's @3.49 - 2 x $4/1 coupons
4 betty crocker potatoes @1.02 -2 x .50/2 coupons
6 green giant vegetables @1.02 -2 x .60/3 coupons
-.10 I brought my own bags
Total was $15.55 and I used $15 in gift cards, paid .55 and got back another $15 in gift cards.

Giant Eagle:
2 boxes lucky charms 2.50 each, used 2 x .50/1 printable coupons
2 boxes honey nut cheerios 2.50 each, used 2 x .50/1 printable coupons and $1/1 store mailer coupon and got $4 instant savings for buying 4 participating cereals
2 boxes pop-tarts 2.19 each, used 2 x .75/1 printable coupons from kellogg's family rewards
2 soft pretzels @2.98 buy one get one free, used 2 x .75/1 coupons
carrots 1.50 -free item mailer coupon
bread .99 -free item mailer coupon
apples 1.35 -$1 off fruit mailer coupon
caramel dip .99 -$1 off tearpad coupon
Campbell's healthy request soup $1 -.50/1 catalina coupon
24 yoplait yogurt @.50 each -4 x .40/6 printable coupons
4 twizzlers @1.25 -2 x 1.60/2 printable coupons
2 Sargento cheese tastings @2 each, used 2 x .75/1 printable coupons
Smucker's jelly 2.19 -.75/1 printable coupon
-$5/35 purchase coupon
I paid $4.89.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review of Wendy's Asian Cashew Chicken Salad

Since my son is not in a formal preschool program, we enjoy going to educational programming offered by the local parks and recreation departments. We went to one such program about crickets this week. We were running late and the kids were getting cranky because it was lunch time. Instead of filling them up with unhealthy treats, we opted for something better.

Wendy's is one of my favorite restaurants for quick meals on the go because they offer a variety of healthier options that are also affordable. Not to mention, the food tastes good!

I was contacted by a representative of Wendy's and given the opportunity to review their new Asian Cashew Chicken Salad. I was provided with a gift card to cover the purchase of the salad.

I stopped into a local Wendy's on Wednesday, October 1st during the prime rush hour and ordered the salad.

I selected the full size salad because I was quite hungry. The salad consisted of a generous portion of mixed greens along with roasted edamame, sliced fresh cucumbers, red peppers and roasted boneless skinless chicken breast. The salad came with two Marzetti® Simply Dressed® Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette dressing packets and two packets of spicy roasted cashews.

The salad was filling and satisfying. I added both packets of cashews and both dressing packets for a "fully dressed" salad. The salad was a bit spicy, so I did drink one full medium lemonade along with it. 

What I liked most about the salad was the freshness, followed closely by the texture. This is a satisfying meal that is healthy in containing two sources of protein (chicken and cashews) that are low in fat. The salad also includes healthy green leafy vegetables that are important for a balanced diet. 

I had my two young children with me and they both asked for samples of the salad and they both loved it! Here is an image of this tasty salad that you can get at your local Wendy's restaurant.

Wendy’s is helping moms make good food choices by offering coupons for $2 off the full-size Asian Cashew Chicken Salad through October 26 after any purchase at a local Wendy’s restaurant. 

Disclaimer: I received a gift card to fund the purchase of this salad.