Saturday, July 4, 2015

Super Savings Saturday: Target, Meijer, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Sams Club and a Rummage Sale

Target: Last Saturday, I got a bottle of mosquito repellant and used the 50% Cartwheel and a $.75 coupon. I paid $1.93 (regular price was $4.99). This is for the July 4th fireworks festivities! I am one of those people who will get 39 mosquito bites while my husband gets none. I went back this week and two packs of Hawaiian rolls, 2 boxes of crackers and 1 box of garbage bags. My mom sent my kids money for treats, so they got Icee drinks and cookies. Of course I had cartwheels for those and a $2/8 cafe purchase coupon, so there was enough treat money for everyone to have 1 cookie and 1 drink.

Rummage Sale: I took two of my kids to a rummage sale and we found 2 pairs of boy's shorts, 3 boy's shirts, 1 capri and 1 top for me, 2 new coloring books for grownups, 2 tote bags, 1 small bag of yarn, 1 pencil bag and 1 coin purse. We spent $7.

Meijer: I got some fruit and vegetables plus band-aids, milk, string cheese and buns.

Giant Eagle: I got 2 open pit bbq sauce (free after coupon), 1 sun detergent (free evantage offer), 4 jars of vlassic pickles and 10 boxes of bandages. After coupons, I paid $4.30.

Kroger: I got some marked down produce, pull-ups, deodorant, crackers, cereal and lunch meat.

Sam's Club: I got AA and AAA batteries, allergy medicine, vitamin B, walnuts, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese,  baked beans, minced garlic, popcorn shrimp, chocolate milk, frozen strawberries, broccoli, sausage and a bag of bell peppers.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Frugal June

  • I continued to be more intentional about grocery shopping, focusing more on fresh items and frozen fruits and vegetables, as we still have some stockpiled stuff to use up.
  • We signed the kids up for the library's summer reading program.
  • My kids' school sent home the supplies list for the upcoming school year, so I went through what we already had and noted what items I'll need to buy. Luckily, the only items I didn't have were just pencils, glue and glue sticks. Those usually go on sale in July.
  • The kids and I did free stuff like going to the playground, going outside and using sidewalk chalk and bubbles. 
  • I bought supplies to make my son's birthday cake rather than buying a cake.
  • I finally got my Starbucks e-gift card from many months ago. I used it to get a free frappucino and a free blended tea as a treat. 
  • My daughter developed a skin problem and needed a prescription skin ointment. I used a $20 off your next purchase when you fill a new prescription pharmacy coupon. 
  • I ordered 4 pairs of pants from Schoola for my son. I used free credits I got for a new account. Shipping was free and I paid $0.

June Decluttering

  • I donated four bags of hygiene items to a local refugee organization.
  • I got rid of winter clothes that I didn't wear or that were uncomfortable.
  • I continued to make meals based on what's left in our stockpile and supplemented with fresh foods.
  • I filled 5 huge black trash bags and 5 grocery bags of hygiene, cleaning and food items for a food pantry.
  • I donated a pair of garden clogs that were uncomfortable. I kept my pair that are comfortable.
  • A friend of ours who lives in another state came up to work/volunteer at an annual festival that my husband and oldest child enjoy attending. This friend has had a difficult time financially- she and her husband work hard to provide for their family, but have had some unexpected troubles. I asked if I could make a care package for them out of things we have extras of. She accepted my offer. I was happy both to help a friend and to share the wealth! 
  • I used up some brown yarn that didn't fit in with other projects I was working on. I made cat blankets for the cat shelter and donated the blankets along with a few other supplies on their wish list. 
  • I filled two large black trash bags with assorted items to donate to a charity that operates thrift stores. 
  • I tossed out a few stained clothing items.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Super Savings Saturday: Target, Meijer, Kroger, Aldi

Target: I got 4 Suave shampoo, 3 Dial kids body wash, 3 L'oreal conditioner, 1 toothbrush, 4 Gevalia iced coffee with almond milk, 4 boxes of Horizon cheese sandwich crackers, 1 pack of lunch meat, 3 packs of coconut flakes and 1 bottle of canola oil. After coupons and Cartwheel discounts, I paid $11.51 (used a $5 gift card from last trip) and got back a $5 gift card.

Meijer: I got yoplait yogurt, kids' vitamins, bananas, cheese slices, bagels and English muffins. I paid $16.78.

Aldi: The place was a disaster. There was a milk spill in front of the refrigerator cases but all the milk was gone. Picked over produce. VERY long lines. Blueberries all over the floor at the checkout lane. Terrible! I should have just left, but I was trying to get the graham crackers for smores and a seedless watermelon for dinner with family. I also got a cantaloupe, a pack of sausage and a bag of hard candy. Later in the week, I sent my husband to a better one on his way home from work for milk and more fruit.

Kroger: I got 2 Kroger cake mixes, 2 boxes of Barbara's cereal, 3 packs of maxi pads, 1 pack of mints and 2 shampoo. I paid $5.97. When the new mega sale started, I returned and got 2 bags of diapers, 1 pack of wipes, Hefty food storage and freezer bags, 2 Pop secret popcorn, 1 Cheez-it crackers, 1 box poptarts, 5 packs of lunch meat, 2 cans of biscuit dough, 1 pack of Dove ice cream bars and 1 tub of margarine.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Review: Big Gay Ice Cream

Well, this title got my attention!

This book is filled with award-winning recipes for homemade ice cream and treats. I like that the ingredients are fairly simple and would pretty easily be found at most supermarkets, without having to go all over the place to find one lone specialty ingredient that would forever sit on the shelf after trying the recipe.

This book also includes information about the "Big Gay Ice Cream" business and food truck as well as fun pictures and information about ice cream and milk in general. Each recipe has a picture of the finished product.

The instructions are clear and they even give storage ideas in case you don't manage to eat all the ice cream right away. Some of the ideas that sounded good to me were dirty banana ice cream and concord grape sorbet. There are also recipes for shakes and sundaes as well as sauces and toppings. This would be a fun book to use during the summertime while kids are on a break from school to try out a new idea each week of vacation.

The only changes I would make would be to use spiral binding and to include nutritional information and the serving size for each recipe.

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

Book Review: Your Sacred Yes

Your Sacred Yes by Susie Larson is a Christian living and women's issue book that gets at the guilt and shame that women have in saying "yes" to all sorts of obligations and needs that cause tiredness, fatigue, and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

While I like the idea and topic of the book, I don't like how the author went about it. I felt like this book was way too preachy. There is not one paragraph that doesn't mention God or the bible in some form or another. Sure, I get that this is a "Christian living" book, but I think that part of it was overdone to the point where actually helpful advice was left out.

The only useful part of the book I thought that deserved applause was the self-directed question section at the end of each chapter. I think women who are giving out too many "yes" responses need to look within themselves and speak with a counselor to figure out what the problem is. That could be a Christian counselor or not, but I think that would be more useful than the preaching that went on in this book.

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.

Book Review: Princess Charity Sticker & Activity Book

The Princess Charity Sticker & Activity Book by Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson with Pictures by Omar Aranda is a small book for kids ages 4 to 8.

This book is like the others in the series in that it contains a very short story and then several pages of games, mazes, puzzles and coloring that can be enhanced by the included stickers.

Again, this would be another fun item to stick in an Easter basket or Christmas stocking or to give to a kid who isn't feeling so well and needs to rest in bed. I also thought that the coloring pages were a bit too detailed for younger kids and the activities too easy for the older kids in the recommended age group, but it would make for a nice quiet activity.

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