Showing posts from May 23, 2010

The Drugstore Game...

I'm just passing a post from Money Saving Mom on to's exactly what I do with Walgreens (posted a month or so back) and their Register Reward Program. figures all the weekly specials and deals out for you , with a 2-3 week preview of the specials that are coming up! Once you have your coupons all organized and you’re starting to feel comfortable using them at your grocery stores, it’s time to step it up a notch and learn how to play what I call the “Drugstore Game.” What is the Drugstore Game? In a nutshell, the Drugstore Game is taking advantage of the rebate programs at CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens to get household and beauty products for pennies on the dollar — or even more than free! How I Got Started Playing the Drugstore Game A few years ago, my husband was in law school, we had one child, and we were living in a little basement apartment on a beans-and-rice budget. I had some extra time one day and I was online researching ways to save mon

Quick Accounting

I thought I would quickly crunch a few numbers for you (and me)! This month after my big garage sale, getting paid by Tupperware, sales from my day at the mall cart, NOT having to pay for preschool and paying for the team picnic stuff (bounce house, etc), then giving some cash to Andy and a team challenge payout: I had another $3,021 to add to my fund. Add that to my total and I have $7,121 in the bank! Not too shabby -- almost 1/5th the way to my goal and I started on March 1st -- so we are talking only three months. My summer fair/event stuff is all paid off and I am starting to collect shift fees back from participating team members...not as fast as I was hoping, it looks like I will be working half of the fairs by myself...ugh! Lookout fall datebook! Now that I am done paying for school and summer entertaining, more of my monthly bonus checks will be added to the account as the year progresses. (yeah!)

Today's Grocery Run...

I hit Copps today for a few things -- but am REALLY looking forward to the sales that start tomorrow! SOOOOO many things to get FREE with double coupons -- I will get some Saturday right after the Puppy Birthday Party. OK - here is what I got today Strawberry Pack @ $.99 ($2 off!) 1 pack of those spongy shells for strawberry shortcake! $1.00 (from $1.79) Skim Milk @$1.98 ($.11 off) 2 chocolate milk "chugs" @$1 (.50 off each) Skippy PB $2.19 (on sale for $.98) Johnsonville Brats for $2.99 ($1.01 store coupon brings it to $1.98) 5 packages for deli creations sandwiches @ $2.50 each 1 Crystal Farms american cheese package (from $1.99 to .98) Take off the five $1 coupons for the deli creations (doubled) and the grand total out of pocket was $12.40, with a savings of $17.08 (50%). We now have a strawberry shortcake treat before the weekend, plenty of milk, more than enough brats for our picnic and plenty of things for dear hubby's lunches over the next two weeks. Not very

Puppy Party

Birthday parties are a part of childhood and just plain fun to host! We have picked a theme every year and this is the year of the puppy. Simple food like hot dogs (free from coupons), puppy chow (with free ingredients) and lemonade ($.10)...puppy cupcakes (from one $.50 cake mix)and then there are the goody bags! She LOVES to have goody bags and this year is no exception. We got the mini beanie dogs from Oriental Trading Company along with puppy collar bracelets. If you wrap it twice, the bracelet will work as a dog collar for the little pups...set him on a mini PlayDo (after Christmas 75% off clearance) and pop it all in a little bag. Viola! You have a goody bag and it ran us about $1.40 a kid. This does two things - leaves everyone going home with something in their hands and no one cries because they didn't win a game. Speaking of games, this year is a bonus! Instead of creating games or a project for the little ones, I bumper her party up a few weeks to be the day before my T

Tuna Pasta Salad

I had mentioned a few weeks back that I was stocking up on a bit of seafood because I feared that big gulf oil spill would slowly drive prices up. Using some of my free Albacore tuna I made a pasta salad this week - it is SUPER easy and great for those beastly hot days. I use Miracle Whip because I like the slight "zing" that it adds - you will see it on sale this week and next for $1.99 or less as grill out season approaches. If you choose to use regular mayonaise, add a little garlic powder and maybe Parmesean cheese. Dannelle's Tuna Pasta Salad In a large bowl combine: 1 box bow tie pasta cooked off, rinsed and drained. 4 ounces Albacore tuna mixed with 1 cup of Miracle Whip 4 ounces cheddar cheese, diced 1/2 small onion, finely diced 1 stick celery, finely diced 1/4 pound frozen peas, rinsed until thawed 2 tablespoons of dill weed Stir it all together and chill overnight for the flavors to blend. You *may* have to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup Miracle Whip when ready to ser

Meatless Meals - Sloppy Joes!

My husband is a real "meat and potatoes" man, who would eat red meat every day if I didn't cook. When I remind him that he needs to switch to chicken, pork or fish a bit more often, he doesn't believe me! It doesn't matter that I have the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association or American Heart Association on my side - he eats like he was still a teenager and those days have lonnnnng passed! THAT is why we have a meatless meal once a week and I get a bit sneaky with things like smuggling ground golden flax or wheat germ into his favorite dishes. White foods are the evil culprit of a bad diet, things like: white potatoes, white rice, white sugar, white flour and white bread. This is a simple gem of wisdom that I picked up when sitting in on my Mom's Diabetic nutrition classes. This Sloppy Joe recipe comes from a friend who made it for one of our weekend scrapbooking crops. I was intrigued to try it and was pleasantly surprised! It was VERY sav

Cleaning with Vinegar

You have probably seen the list in an email from a friend or on another website - it's hard to track down where it started, but it certainly is a great item to work with! It's amazing what this can do -- use the white, distilled vinegar for cleaning -- other flavors in a pinch. Keep in mind that you can usually get 1 gallon for under $1 if you simply watch the sales and since it does so much, just think about what toxic, expensive cleaner you can replace with it! Hate the smell? Keep in mind that the distinctive smell is usually gone once the vinegar drys. :) 1. Deodorize the sink: Pour 1 cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup hot vinegar, down the drain. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water. 2. Deodorize the garbage disposal: Make ice cubes out of vinegar. Run the disposal with a few vinegar ice cubes and cold water. 3. Clean counter tops: Wipe down surfaces with a rag dipped in vinegar. 4. Clean the fridge: Use a mixture of half water, half vinegar to wi

Cleaning Supplies

It's a multi billion dollar industry...people spend hundreds of dollars a year on disposable cleaning products and harmful chemicals and they aren't needed! Just think of this quick health tip: YOU know things are harmful to you: bleach, ammonia, etc. Now think of the little people in your life. They are 10 times more sensitive that adults -- those same chemicals do a lot more damage to those little systems that aren't fully developed enough to cope! What if I told you that all you needed was a set of good microfiber towels, water, lemon juice, and vinegar? No need to have cupboard locks to protect a toddler if that is the only stuff you clean with! Let's start with the Microfiber -- A lot of people really don't know what it is! Microfiber is an incredibly thin fiber made from blending polyester and polymide. This combination is woven into an incredible soft, absorbent and durable product which is perfect for cleaning and polishing. Unlike the rounded fibers of

Monday Meal Planning

Here is the plan for the week...after looking at what I have in the freezer, and what I did NOT make during the heat wave that hit Breakfast is usually the same: cold cereal* or oatmeal* with a piece of fresh fruit (apple, strawberries, grapes or banana). Lunch is either leftovers, peanut butter* & jelly sandwiches, quesidillas, or cold plate with sausage or diced chicken - cheese* - crackers* & fresh fruit or yogurt. Dinner: Monday - left overs/fridge clean out Tuesday - cold tuna* pasta* with peas* and cubed cheese* Wednesday - Meatless dinner: spaghetti* bake Thursday - Beef Tostadas* Friday - Scallop* Alfredo! Saturday - Grilled Food* - Sarah's Puppy Party! Sunday - Grilled Food* - Tupperware Team Party! * Denotes items that were free or almost free from my coupon clipping. I kind of go by the motto that "failing to plan is planning to fail". It is SO easy to be a little organized at the beginning of the week and have stuff ready instead of getting to t