Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bento gear

We've been doing Bento lunches and snacks a lot, and I finally found some silicone cupcake molds on sale at Target. I shouldn't have waited for a sale - they're so helpful for making the Bentos!

Here's just a snack Bento Nate ate at home. You can see why the silicone cups really help - we eat a lot of "finger food" so it helps keep everything in it's place (a nod to Mama's anal side!) Raw almonds, dried cranberries, and hummus for dipping.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Entertainment Book rocks!

I got my two free Entertainment Books today and I'm thrilled. They paid for themselves on the front cover - $20 off at Safeway! The savings comes in the form of four $5 off $50 coupons, which I'll absolutely use (several times over).

Even if I end up having to pay $5 for each book when I opt out of automatic renewal next year, they'll still have MORE than paid for themselves. I got a chance to skim through them today and there are at least 4 restaurants that we like in there, including $5 off of a $15 at Baja Fresh. There are also coupons for rental cars and movie tickets. Since we're very good at limiting ourselves to places we already would have gone, and not letting the coupon persuade us to spend more than we'd planned, we'll really take advantage of these deals this year.

I'm so happy with how things went that I'm going back to Cashbaq tonight to buy another 2 books!

My best helper

I spent some time last week making up a batch of homemade cleaners from the Clean House, Clean Planet book. My favorite is the daily cleaner; can't remember which one. It uses Borax, liquid soap, water, and distilled white vinegar.

It really works! Scrubbed out the fridge yesterday and it's almost as effective as the caustic stuff. The best part is that since it's in a nondescript bottle, I was able to fill an identical bottle with water and have my favorite helper "help" me clean.

Nate would help me with every task, every day, all day if he could. I'm getting better about swallowing my need to cross things off of my list and slowing down and letting Nate help with as much as I can manage. Today he helped me by putting the laundry in the washing machine

Anyway, he doesn't know cleaner from water and I don't worry about what he sprays water on. So he helped me clean the spots off of the floor, clean the front of the dishwasher and the stove, and mostly he felt good about helping and I actually got some cleaning done. And honestly in 6 months or so, he's actually going to be quite helpful around here!

Could he be any cuter?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Super-cute snack

Saw this in a magazine at the doctor's office; I have no idea which magazine or when it came out. It's got both of my son's favorite foods and was easy to pull off. Nate asks me to make him a flower every day now!

Outer layer is grape tomatoes cut in half, inner layer is whole grapes, and I used hard-boiled egg for the center (the magazine used fresh mozzarella). The magazine used a cute sprig of fresh basil on the stem for the flower stem, but I don't usually have that laying around - I just used green gel food coloring.

I love getting to make something pretty during the day, I love feeding the boys healthy snacks, and I love making my Natey smile.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Free Entertainment Book?

Want a free Entertainment Book?

There's a lot of buzz going around about a free Entertainment Guide book, so I took a swing at it. I think it'll work. At worst case, I'll pay $5 for each book ordered.

Wanna give it a shot? Do this:

1) Sign up for Cashbaq. It's free, so no problem there. You'll earn $5 for sighing up.

2) Click through their site to the Entertainment book in the upper right-hand corner. You'll get $10 off of each book by ordering through Cashbaq. You'll also get a $5 discount when you order a second book. When you're checking out, sign up for the auto-renew program which will give you another $5 discount on each book. They'll give you a warning next year before they ship out the next one, giving you a chance to cancel. They may charge you a $5 fee at that point, but the word on the street is that they won't.

3) In a few weeks, Cashbaq will credit you $10 for each book you order. The money's yours to use however you like - you can transfer it out to a Paypal account or ask them to send you a check.

Seems pretty simple to me. The prices vary depending on where you live, but here's how it worked for me:

Cost of first book: $30
Cost of second book: $25 (net cost of $55)

Less discount for signing up for Cashbaq: $5 (net cost of $50)
Less $10 off of each book through Cashbaq: $20 (net cost of $30)
Less $5 off of each book for auto-renew: $10 (net cost of $20)
Less $10 off of each book from Cashbaq): $20 (net cost: Free!)

I ordered 2, and may well go back for more.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CVS week of December 7th

So very rarely does a trip to CVS go perfectly. No hitches at all, everything worked exactly the way it was supposed to. Happy sigh.

As always, I used two accounts: one for me and one for DH.

The big score:

Net cost before coupons and ECBS: $126.87
Cost to me after sales, coupons and ECBS: $1.22 (savings of 99% off sales price!)

The breakdown:

Maybelline lip colors are on sale BOGO. I had 6 coupons for $4 off any lip product from the December 7th inserts. Each lip gloss was $5.79, so I knew I needed some filler items. The Pepsi was on a sale equal to our grocery store and I was completely out. A match made in heaven.

Each transaction was 2 Maybelline lip glosses and 2 Pepsis.

2 Pepsis = $2.50
2 Maybellines = $11.58. After BOGO = $5.79 for a total of $8.29 with the Pepsis.
Used 2 $4/Maybellines = $.29 plus sales tax for a total of $.62!

So the total for 6 lip glosses and 6 Pepsi 2-liters was $1.86.

The Duracell was on sale again with an added ECB offer of 5 on a purchase of $15. I had 6 CVS coupons left for $5 off any 2 Duracell purchases. PLUS I had manufacturer coupons for $1.50 off each pack of Duracells. Sweet deal! Definitely needed some filler, and since we're gearing up for our holiday Oreo Truffles I went with Oreos.

I did 3 transactions on each account.

1 package Oreos = $3
2 package Duracells = $6
Total = $9

Minus $5 CVS coupon on Duracells = $4
Minus 2 $1.50/manufacturer Duracell coupons = $1 ($1.06 after sales tax!)
After doing that 3 times, I got 5 ECBS!

So the total for 6 packages of Oreos and 12 packages of Duracells was MAKING $3.64!

Hershey's Bliss was on sale for $3/bag, and part of a buy $20 get 10 ECBs offer. I had a lot of coupons for $2.50 off 2 bags. These will be great filler with the Oreo Truffles, and I'll melt down a bunch for the truffle coatings.

8 bags Hershey's Bliss = $24
Used 5 coupons (not sure why the register took 5 instead of 4) = $11.50
Got 10 ECBs

So my net cost for 16 bags of Hershey's Bliss was $3.00!

Have I mentioned that I love CVS?

Walgreens week of December 7th

Just two fun things for me at Walgreens this week:

Retail cost before sales and coupons: $20.90
Cost to me after sales and coupons: FREE! (paid about $1.20 in sales tax)
  • Reynolds Wrap 20 feet was on sale from $1.79 to $.99 with the insert coupon. I had 10 coupons for $1 off Reynolds wrap, making each of them free.
  • The Scotch Tape was on sale 2/$2 with a rebate this month of $2, making them both free.
Thanks to the helpful cashier today who was friendly for a change! :)

Harris Teeter last week

I just did not have the energy to post this in time for folks to take advantage and I'm sorry about that. But it was also too good to not post about, so here it is!

For a few days last week, HT was doing some fun Buy X Get Y Free sales. Combined with coupons, they were great deals! Heck, even with no coupons they were great deals.

Retail cost before sales and coupons: $161.98
My cost after sales and coupons: $47.79 (savings of 70%)
  • The Fresh Express lettuce was on sale Buy 1 Get 2 Free, and I had 6 coupons for $.75 off each bag, which double. In this case, they only doubled to the amount of each bag, which was about $1.10 after the sale. I actually bought 6 bags but we've already eaten three. Retail value - $3.75 per bag, $22.50 for 6 bags. Total cost - FREE!
  • The Smart Start was on sale Buy One Get One Free. I had 10 coupons for $1.00 off each box. The boxes sold for $4.29, so the sale price was $4.29 for 2, making the cost for each box $1.15! I bought 10 boxes.
  • The Betty Crocker cookie mix was on sale Buy One Get One Free. I had 2 internet coupons for $.75 off each bag, which double. The bags sold for $3.29, so the sale price was $3.29 for two. The coupons took off $3, making the cost for each bag fifteen cents!
  • I hadn't originally paid any attention to the Buy 2 Get 3 Free sale on the Palermo pizza, but when I was there I saw the great vegetarian varieties they had and did some math in my head. The pizzas retail for $6 each, so the cost to buy five pizzas on sale was only $2.40 per pizza! Fantastic deal for those nights where I just don't want to cook, so I bought 15 pizzas. We've already eaten 2 and they're wonderful.
This was the first HT deal I did without referring to anyone elses blog for guidance, and it felt great. I feel like I've finally got the hang of this, and I've figured out which deals are worth the time to go after and which aren't worth it even if I'm saving a few bucks. In this case, the savings were well worth it, especially since I picked up their great HT-brand gallons of organic milk and their reasonably priced organic bananas.

I still don't plan to be there every week, but for sales like this I'm definitely driving the 10 minutes to get there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fabulous CVS week

I didn't keep my receipts so I can't tell you to the penny, but here's how this week went at CVS. Remember that I use one account for me and one account for the husband. Also note that because the Right Guard wasn't printing out the ECBs until today, I got a gift card for the first 2 I bought ($14) and was still able to go ahead and get 10 today. I also spent $4.50 on Chanukah supplies that caught my eye - no coupons! Ack!

Price on everything before ECBs and coupons: $330.54 + aprox $5 in sales tax.

Net cost after ECBs and coupons: EARNED $30.77

  • Right Guard - pay $7.99, get 7 ecbs. I bought 12 and used 10 $1/manus and 2 $2/manus. Earned $2.12 on this portion.
  • Complete contact lens solution - pay $8.99, get $8.99 ecbs. I bought 10 and used 9 $2/manus. Earned $18 on this portion.
  • Maybelline makeup - pay $8.99, get $8.99 ecbs. I bought 4 and used 4 $3/manus. Earned $12 on this portion.
  • American Express gift cards - buy 3, get $10 ecbs. I bought 3 at a cost of $86.85 (including a service fee). I earned $10 ecbs and will send away for a $15 gas card. Counting the gas card, I earned $13.15 on this portion.
  • Crest - pay $3.49, get $3.49 ecbs. I bought the last 5 I was eligible for and used 5 $1/manus. Earned $5 on this portion.
  • Chanukah supplies - paid $4.50.
Have I said before how much I love CVS?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pillaging CVS

I had to post about today's CVS trip. Remember that I use two accounts (approved by CVS managers) - one for me and one for Stewart. I don't remember which inserts I pulled the coupons from, so just post a comment if you need any help.

Net cost including tax: 50 cents. FIFTY CENTS.

In two big transactions (one on each account), I got a total of:

Glaceau Smart water x 2 (pay $1.59, get $1.59 in ECBs) = FREE

Listerine Agent Cool Blue mouthwash x 6 (pay $3.99, get 3 ECBS. Used two $1/internet coupons and four $.50/manufacturer coupons) = $1.98

St. Ives Bodywash x 8 (pay $3.99, get 3 ECBs. Used six $1/manufacturer coupons) = FREE

L'Oreal Advanced RevitaLift x 2 (pay $11.99, get $11.99 in ECBs. Used two $1/manufacturer coupons) = earn $2

Palmolive dish soap x 8 (pay $1.49, get $1 ECB. Used four $1/2 manufacturer coupons) = FREE

Garnier Fructis x 2 (pay $2.99, get $2 ECBs. Used two $1/manufacturer coupons) = FREE

Colgate Total x 14 (BOGO at $2.29. Used fourteen $1/manufacturer coupons) = $2.03

I'm still eligible to get four more mouthwashes and unlimited Colgates if more coupons appear. I'll keep a few of each for our stockpile and drop the rest at Bread for the City on Tuesday. The anti-wrinkle stuff is mine. Goodness knows I need it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My first bento!

I've been totally inspired by Lunch in a Box. Preparing meals in Bento boxes appeals to my anal side, my artsy-food-prep-side, and my desire to feed my kids healthy, fun meals. And since I'm trying to make our house more vegan, there's a lot of pre-prepped healthy food around (since I can't just grab a hot dog for lunch!)

I ordered a bunch of Bento boxes from Ichiban Kan, but they haven't come yet. Today I had my first good opportunity to use a Bento - we have a dentist appointment for Nate at 11:45. He'll definitely be hungry, so I needed to pack a lunch to take with us (especially since we're walking the 30 minutes each way).

Thus, my first Bento. I just used a lunch-sized Gladware and some ceramic dishes inside. To keep the almonds from moving around, I wadded up a small piece of tin foil and put it on top - the lid of the Gladware keeps it pressed in place and no almonds escape. Grapes, red pepper slices, celery, raw almonds, and hummus/cucumber "sandwiches." Fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fake it, Don't Make it!

I love the "fake it, don't make it" cooking philosophy. Semi-homemade cooking. Whatever you want to call it.

Friend Dave and I tried this Samosa recipe from Real Simple magazine, and it turned out wonderfully. (This is Real Simple's photo - ours actually looked better!)

Easy, fun to make, pretty to look at, delicious, and vegetarian to boot. Nice way to use up whatever veggies are in the fridge. When Nate's a little older, I think he'll have a lot of fun making these with me.

You can find all of their Fake it recipes here. I've tried the lasagne before and it was fun and easy.

Got any other good ones to share?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A [hopefully] short hiatus

I'm going to take a break from blogging for a while; Jack still isn't sleeping through the night and I'm just stretched too thin right now. I've got to concentrate on the necessities, with a little CVS shopping thrown in for mental health. I'll post sporadically, and when I've got the boy trained and sleeping, and I've caught up and gotten sane again, I'll be back. Promise.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

CVS plan for August 3

Here's what I'm eyeing for August 3:
  • Revlon BOGO - find items for $4 and under and use the $2/coupons from the 7/20 SS to make this a freebie. Last time I could only find eye-pencil sharpeners under $4, but maybe another CVS will have something fun. This is a sale item, so no limits apply!
  • Colgate Total is $2.99 and generating $2 ECBs. I'm using a $1/coupon from the 7/27 SS to make this a freebie (limit 1).
  • Orajel toddler toothpaste is BOGO, and that's a great deal without any coupons. However, there is a fun catch: The August monthly deals include a Orajel Healthy Kid Kit when you purchase the toddler toothpaste. I haven't seen the August book in person so I can't give any more details; I'll update as soon as I know exactly how this works!
  • Crest toothpaste is $2.49 and generating $1.50 ECBs. I'm using a $1/coupon from the 7/6 P&G to make this a freebie (limit 5).
  • Extreme Energy Drink is a freebie after ECBs.
  • Powerade is on sale for $1, and I'm using a $1/coupon from the 6/8 SS to make this a `. No limit on sales items!
Anything I missed?

I may have some ECBs to burn up before they expire, so I'll get some 12-packs of Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi (buy 4 at $2.40, get a 12-pack of Mountain Dew free)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

CVS Plan for July 27

Not sure how this week will go, but here are the things I'm checking out:
  • Schick Intuition Plus is on sale for $3.99. I have several coupons for BOGO, and several for $2/off Schick disposable razors. I'll have to visit my favorite cashier and see if she can make anything out of them! (No limit on
  • There's a freebie Revlon Limited Edition item this week, and I plan to use the $2/Revlon coupon from the 7/20 SS to make it a moneymaker (limit 1)
  • Band-aids are on sale for $2.99 and generating $2 ECBs (limit 1). I'll use a $1/off from the 6/15 SS to make it a freebie.
  • One-Touch Ultra Mini diabetes meters are on sale for $19.99 and there was a $20/off coupon in the 7/27 SS, making this another freebie. I have four coupons, and there are no limits on sales items, so this will make a great donation item this week!
I'm not getting the freebie Kodak DVD - I just don't have the time to work on it this week, and can't really see how we'd use it.

Did I miss anything good? Let me know!

What do you want to know?

I've had a bunch of requests for a "CVS how-to" guide so I'm putting one together. I'm trying to cover a lot of territory; you can help me by leaving a comment letting me know what questions you'd like answered. Thanks!

Monday, July 28, 2008

CVS recap - week of July 20 + Walgreens recap

I don't have my receipts anymore, and I didn't have the energy to compile everything for a super-fab photo, so this will have to suffice:

Total haul from CVS:

  • 7 Vive Pro conditioners (BOGO CVS deal + BOGO manufacturer coupon = sales tax only)
  • 5 Vive Pro shampoos (BOGO CVS deal + BOGO manufacturer coupon = sales tax only)
  • 2 packages Bic Soleil replacement blades ("Buy 2, get 5 ecbs back" + 2 4/off manu coupons = $1 net cost)
  • 1 CVS hand sanitizer (free with CRT)
  • 16 tubs baby wipes (on sale for $2, used $2/skincare coupon, all were free plus 10 ECBS (5 on each account)) - not all are in the photo since they're already in use!
Net cost for CVS: just under $2 (sales tax on the Vive Pro + $1 for the razor blades)


Walgreen haul:

I used the super-coupon method to get 27 packages of diapers, paying just $1.71 TOTAL in salex tax. I donated 10 of those packages to Bread for the City, along with 4 Vive Pro shampoos and 4 Vive Pro conditioners.

I don't have a photo of all the diapers together, but here's my stockpile in Nate's closet. Note the lack of clothes hanging in the closet - if a little girl ever lives here you bet they'll be filled up!

Last week's meal plan

Yummy stuff last week.

I made a simple dinner of the yellow and red tomatoes, and basil, from the garden paired with fresh mozzarella, some diced onions, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of olive oil. We ate it with homemade bread. This was truly why I planted tomatoes and basil. Mmmmm.

Big Salad night is a favorite in our house and it's usually vegan. It always involves romaine lettuce, canned beans, diced onions, and mandarin oranges; the rest depends on what we have on hand. This week we had green peppers, canned corn, and walnuts. Nate prefers his without dressing:

Lastly, I re-made Curried Couscous with Broccoli and Feta. I skip the feta in this recipe - I think the flavor is just too overwhelming, which makes it another vegan meal. It's truly fabulous and easy; I double the portion for lunches and dinner the next day, too.

This week will be a short one due to our upcoming vacation. We'll probably do a lot of eating out of the fridge, getting rid of the perishables. Maybe I can come up with something creative...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Target sweep

Two fun deals at Target today (sorry for the lousy photo!)

I'd read that the Pond's clean sweep towelettes have a sticker for a free movie ticket to Mamma Mia (or another Universal Pictures release). The towelettes cost $6.50, and obviously a movie ticket's more than that - they're $9 or $10 around here. Plus I had four $1.50/coupons.


4 packages of Ponds towelettes - $26
minus 4 $1.50/coupons - $20
minus value of 4 movie tickets (at $9 each) - earned about $16 on this deal, plus I have the towelettes!

I used the Target store coupons from A Full Cup for the Pamper's deal. Neither item was on sale, so this is a deal anyone can take advantage of at any time (except for the $1 and $.20 manufacturer coupons).

Four Jumbo packages of Pampers (10.99 each) - $43.96
Four packages of Pampers wipes (6.59 each) - $26.36
Total - $70.32

Minus 4 $5/both Target coupons - $50.32
Minus 4 $3/both Target coupons - $38.32
Minus 4 "Get a $5 Target giftcard with the purchase of both" coupons - $18.32
Minus 4 $.20/wipes manufacturer coupons - $17.52
Minus 4 $1/Pampers manufacturer coupons - $13.52

Net cost with sales tax: $14.75

I expect to be able to sell the Pampers wipes on eBay for at least $15, which makes this a moneymaker. I already have all the wipes I can use from the freebies at CVS, and it was really only the diapers I was after. So, another free diaper day! I'm going back tomorrow. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Truly free baby stuff this week

Between CVS & Walgreens, Moms are rejoicing this week.

Looks like the $2/CVS skincare coupon has been pulled offline. I'm not sure what happened, but if you already have some printed out you can use them. I luckily printed out a bunch, and I'm using the heck out of them this week.

CVS is doing a "spend $15 on CVS baby supplies, get 5 ECBs back" deal. The baby wipes are on sale 2/$4, and at my CVS the skincare coupon works just fine on it. So last night I got eight and checked out one-by-one, using the skincare coupon on each. They were entirely free (no sales tax) and after I bought the last one 5 ECBs printed out. Luckily I like the wipes, too! They're the cottony texture of the Huggies ones (I've never liked the thin Pampers ones). I'll be doing that deal on both of our cards this week, giving us 16 tubs of wipes.

I'm sure most of you have read about the Walgreens free diaper deal. Last time around, I couldn't find the prescription coupon book anywhere (and by anywhere I mean at the TWO Walgreens within 30 miles of my house.) I happened to check by the pharmacy last week at the one DC Walgreens and they DID have the booklet. I figured there wouldn't be a chance to use it, but got lucky and the diapers went on sale again this week (through Thursday).

I was in Rockville yesterday visiting my parents and hit their Walgreens for a test run. Got three packs that rang up right around $19. Used the pharmacy coupon first and it took $6 off the order, just like it was supposed to. Used the coupon from the Easysaver catalog and it took $7.50 off just like it was supposed to. I paid $5.20 with tax, and the coupon for $5 off my next order printed out just like it was supposed to. It was almost more confusing that it worked perfectly than it would have been if something had gone awry!

Needless to say, I hit the deal hard. I got 12 packages in Rockville and another 12 back here in DC. I'll probably go back once more and get a few more. I'm donating 6 to the shelter around the corner, and have enough for my boys for 3 months or so. Very happy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

No-Knead Bread

I've been intrigued by this recipe for no-knead bread for a while and finally dove in several days ago. I'm using a variation from Cook's Illustrated which adds a little beer and vinegar to give it more flavor.

My first two tries were off. The first came out very, very flat. The second came out flat. Both versions had very thick crusts instead of the thin crispy one that the recipe works to achieve. After some though, I diagnosed the problem thusly: I had added additional flour after the long first rise because of how very wet the dough was, and I think by adding in the flour I had defeated the purpose of the long rise. Plus the new flour didn't have any time to take on the magic yeasty qualities. That's the technical term, by the way. Yeasty qualities.

This time, things went a lot better.

Instead of the 3 cups of flour, I started off with 3 1/4 so that I wouldn't have to add any additional after the first long rise. It was still a bit wetter than I think it should be, and I'm currently letting a 3 1/2 cup version rise tonight. But not having to add any additional flour meant that it got very little handling and it rose much higher than the previous versions. The crust was much thinner and crispier, and the interior had more bubbles and lightness. Stewart declared it "delicious." I was very proud of it and it's such an easy recipe to add to the repertoire. Definitely try it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Check out this morning's harvest!

Nate got to eat the first cucumber with his lunch yesterday and I forgot to take a photo. Alas! A moment of our life undocumented!

Tonight's dinner will be those beautiful tomatoes combined with fresh mozzarella, basil from the garden, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. We'll also dine on the delicious bread I made this morning (which warrants a whole separate post. Stay tuned.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How to get ANYTHING free at CVS

Here's how to get anything ($3 or under, this week only) free at CVS:

Get 12 Sally Hansen nail polishes (or 15, or 30, as long as you have enough coupons to cover it doesn't matter)
Get any item around $3 (I needed hair ties) - make sure the total is $15 or over

Use $3/15 CVS coupon
Use 4 $3/2 Sally Hansen nail polishes

Pay sales tax on everything!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Sorry I forgot to post earlier. I was distracted by the two gorgeous sons.



E-mail me your addresses and I'll send the coupons along. Leah at Qstreet . org

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Boy it's fun when it works!

I love it when a deal comes together just the way you want it to.

I hit CVS early this morning to make sure the cashiers weren't stressed with a lot of people in line behind me. I wanted to see how it would all work out. The cashier and I talked about whether to use 2 or 3 per coupon, and decided to try it with 3 (at $.99 each). He rang 3 through and then scanned the coupon. He seemed apologetic that the coupon would have to be adjusted down to $2.97. I was thrilled. I'm printing out some more $3/2 coupons tonight and clearing them out tomorrow.

I also got a free hand-sanitizer from a coupon that printed out on a previous receipt.

Merchandise total, including sales tax, before coupons: $16.64
Net cost after coupons: 85 cents. Wahoo!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My first giveaway!

And it's a really, really small one.

I've got four extra $3/Kodak photo books that can be used on this week's 6 x 8 freebies at CVS.

Leave me a comment telling me how amazing I am, how prolific my garden is, and/or how gorgeous my sons are and I'll send you two. Two winners will be announced on Monday, around 6 pm.

CVS recap - week of July 5th

I bought some of this stuff before the new $3/15 coupon came out, and bought some items that didn't end up free because, gasp, I actually needed them! If I'd known to wait until the $3/15 was coming out, I'd have waited for this morning and gotten closer to free, but this is still pretty great. Oh, and I forgot to use one BOGO Sure coupon and paid full price for both. Drat.

Merchandise cost, including sales tax, before coupons: $131.93
Net merchandise cost: $11.22!!

I got:
  • 8 Pert Plus @ $2.50 each (weekly sale: used 4 $3/off coupons and 4 $2/coupons from the 6/29 SS)
  • 2 Playtex tampons 18 ct. (weekly deal: cost $4.99, gave $3 ECBs. Used $1/coupon from the 6/22 RP)
  • 4 CVS 5-ct tampons (July freebie)
  • 4 CVS pantiliners (July freebie)
  • 2 Dawn detergents (weekly deal: $2/2, gave $1 ECBs. Used 2 $.20/coupons from the 6/1 P&G)
  • 8 CVS facial wipes (monthly deal: $2.99, give $1 ECB. Used $2/skincare coupon)
  • 4 Powerades (not shown. weekly sale: BOGO @ $1.49, used 4 $.75/coupons from the 6/8 SS)
  • 2 packs Duracell batteries (weekly sale @ $2.99. Used 2 $1/coupon from the 6/29 SS)
  • 4 Sure deoderants (monthly deal: buy 2 @ $2.79, get 3 ECBs. Used 2 BOGO (to get both for free after ECBs) from the 6/29 SS)
  • 6 Olay Regenerist wipes, 1 Olay Definitity Mousse cleanser.
    • First transaction: 4 Regerist wipes @ $5.99 each. Used the new $3/15 and 4 $3/coupons from the 6/22 SS. Got 10 ECBs to earn one buck on this transaction.
    • Second transaction: 2 Regerist wipes @ $5.99 each, one Definity Mousse cleaners @ $8.99. Used the new $3/15, 2 $3/Regenerist wipes, and 1 $3/Definitey cleanser from the 7/6 P&G. Got 10 ECBs to earn one buck on this transaction.
This was a fun week. Looking forward to the free nail polish starting tomorrow!

CVS weekly deals - July 13th

Two great deals this week, and both are money-makers when you combine them with the new $3/$15 coupon.

First is that the Kodak Picture Books are totally free after ECBS - you can get two large ones (6 x 8, 10 page hardcover) - pay $7.99, get $7.99 back. Combine them with the $3/off coupon from the 6/8 SS, and use some filler to get yourself to $15 (or buy both in the same transaction), and these are true money makers.

For example:

Buy TWO 6 x 8 photo books: $15.98
First use the $3/15 coupon
Then use TWO $3/Kodak coupons
Get back $15.98 ECBs.

Net cost (without sales tax): EARN $9!!

The small Kodak book (4 x 6, 10 page hardcover) is also free after ECBs: Pay $3.99, get $3.99 back. The coupon doesn't work for this size, so you'll have to settle for free. Tough life, huh?

The other great deal is the Sally Hansen nail poish. It's on sale for $.99 each, and you can combine them with this $3 off any 2 nail polish coupon to get them for free. The "internet" seems to be mixed on whether you should get 3 nail polishes ($2.97) and then present a coupon to get all 3 for free (that's my inclination), or just get 2 nail polishes ($1.98) and they'll adjust the coupon down so they're still free. I'll try the deal out soon and report back on which one works better.

Have fun this week!

Finally, a new CVS coupon!

At last, a new $3/$15 CVS coupon, expiring July 20th. Came around just in time to help me with this week's CVS. I'll post details soon!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Hang up and call back

Interesting development.

My parents were incredibly generous and surprised us with a big new HDTV, which meant I had to upgrade my Dish Network service from regular to HD. I was already unhappy with Dish Network's "nickel and dime" mentality, and felt like I was paying too much monthly. I had called a few months ago to ask them to waive a few of the monthly charges but had only been successful in getting one knocked off.

Before calling, I checked their competitor's website (Direct TV) and found that they were offering similar service for a whole lot less (for 12 months). I called Direct TV but found out that although the monthly deal was good I wouldn't be able to get the same kind of DVR recorder that I have now, and we really like the features we have now.

Armed with that knowledge, I called Dish Network to find out my options. The first person I talked to told me that it's an additional $10/month for the HD service and it's $125 to get the new DVR installed. I asked about a charge on my bill that I thought shouldn't be there (a recurring $5/charge) and the person was entirely unhelpful. I thanked them, hung up, and called back again. The second person was more helpful and seemed genuinely puzzled about the charge, but wasn't able to get in touch with a supervisor to have them check it out.

After the boys went down for naps, I tried a third time. The woman I got seemed very rote at first, but warmed up as we went along. When she was puzzled about that same charge, I explained how frustrated I was getting with dealing with the little charges. She said she understood. After putting me on hold for a while, she came back and said she'd canceled that charge and refunded me for the last few months of it. I explained the sale that Direct TV was having, and asked if she coudl give me any consideration for being a long-time customer.

She put me on hold again, and then came back with this offer: waiving the $125 installation charge, and a 6-month hold on the $10/monthly fee for the HD service. We were very chatty at this point (she has 3 daughters: 9, 2, and 1), so I thanked her and asked if there was any way we could get a trial period on HBO; she laughed and threw in 3 months. Not bad for an extra 20 minutes of my time!

So here's my lesson learned: if you don't like the answers you get, politely hang up and try again. You'll "click" better with some people and those people have a whole lot of discretion. Being nice to her made her want to be nice to me. And if these are the biggest problems I have, I'm very very lucky.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Giant Food, week of July 11th

Giant goes Friday to Thursday, so here's what I see. Obviously it doesn't include any matches for coupons that come out this weekend; I'll try to add those in on Sunday.


Cherries are FINALLY on sale! $1.99 / pound, limit 4 pounds. We love these and will be clearing them out, 4 pounds at a time.

Meat & Cheese:

Oscar Mayer hotdogs and bologna is on sale BOGO.


General Mills cereals are $2.99/each. Plenty of coupons from the Sunday papers apply!


7-Up, Canada Dry, A&W, and Sunkist 2-liters are $10/10. Regular or diet.
Coke 2-liters are 3/$4. I don't know if other Coke varieties are included.


Edy's ice cream is on sale $1.99 each, limit 4.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Garden update

Yesterday we got to eat our very first ripe tomatoes.

Worth every minute of work. I can't wait to eat 4,294 more.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Meal plan recap

So last week was "shop from your pantry" week. We had lots of leftovers from two of the dinners, so I only ended up cooking 3 big meals (plus we were all out on the 4th of July).

Monday and Wednesday we had bean enchiladas. I used up: Morningstar Farms Veggie Crumbles, refried beans, shredded cheese, cilantro from a recipe last week, and a half-open jar of enchilada sauce. The only thing I had to buy was the tortillas ($2.50)

Tuesday we had salmon (no photo). Used up the salmon (obviously) and a half empty jar of lemon dill sauce. I paired it with jasmine rice and a bagged spinach salad from Trader Joes.

Thursday and today we're eating crockpot veggie chili. Used up the other pack of veggie crumbles, cans of beans, cans of crushed tomatoes, and a can of corn. The only thing I bought was the zucchini and squash.

I plan on using up a few more orphaned items in next week's meals! Stay tuned for the fascinating update.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Giant Food, week of July 4th

Giant's sales run Friday to Thursday, so these sales are for July 4th through July 10th.

Best thing this week: A $5/$40 coupon right there in the circular! That's 12.5% off your order right off the bat. I suspect things will work fine if you use it before any manufacturer coupons - their coupon scanning system is a little loose and likely won't catch it if your total then falls below $40.


Porterhouse or T-Bone steak
is on sale for $4.99/lb - save at least $5/lb! Must buy at least 3 pounds to get the deal.

Center cut pork loin chops (bone in) are on sale for $1.99/lb - save at least $2/lb! Must buy at least 3 pounds to get the deal.


Blueberries are on sale again - a summertime favorite for our family. Two pints for $3! That's almost as great as the $1 pints from last week. No limit listed this time!

Frozen items:

Lean Cuisines are on sale 4/$10, all varieties.


Kellogg's cereal (selected varities) are on sale 2/$5: Corn Pops, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, Frosted Mini-Wheat Bite Size, and Raisin Bran.

General Mills cereal (selected varieties) are on sale 2/$5: Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Fruity Cheerios, and Berry Berry Kix.

Coke 12-packs are on sale 5/$10. You must buy 5 to get the deal, and the limit is 5.

Nature Made vitamins are BOGO. Use two $1.50/1 coupons from the 6/1 P&G insert.

CVS weekly deals - July 6th

Here are the deals that look promising this week:

Playtex tampons (16-18 ct.): Pay $4.99, get 3 ECBs. Use the Playtex coupon for $1/1 from the 6/22 Red Plum insert (good on 18 ct. only). Net cost: $.99!

Pert Plus 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner is on sale - 2 for $5 (no limit). Use the $2/1 coupon from the 6/29 Smart Source insert. Net cost: $.50 each!

Gillette Satin Care Shave Gel is 2 for $4. Use the (expired) coupon for $1/1 from the 6/1 P&G insert or the NOT expired coupon for $1/1 from the 7/6 P&G. Net cost: $1 each!

Honey Bunches of Oats are on sale BOG at $4.29. Use two coupons from here (lower left corner) to get $2/box. I was only able to print one before the offer expired.

Dawn dish liquid is on sale $2/2, plus they generate 1 ECB (limit 5). Use two (expired) $.20/1 coupons from the 6/1 P&G insert. Net cost: $.30 each!

Duracell batteries are on sale for $2.99 (small packs). Use $1/1 coupons from the 6/29 Smart Source insert. Net cost: $1.99 each! If you purchase $20 worth, you'll get a free 24-pack of Gold Emblem water.

PowerAde 32 oz. is BOGO free at $1.49. Use two $.75/1 coupons from the 6/8 Smart Source insert. Net cost: FREE!

Coupons to use on the "Buy $20 on Olay skin care, get 10 ECBs" deal (if they qualify):

Olay facial moisturizer or cleanser - $1/1 from the 6/22 Smart Source or the 7/6 P&G
Olay Regerist facial moisturizer or cleanser - $3/1 from the 6/22 Smart Source
Olay Definity Moisturizer - $3/1 from the 7/6 P&G
Olay Quench Hand and Body Lotion - $1/1 from the 7/6 P&G

Thursday, July 3, 2008

CVS recap - week of June 29th

Here's what I've gotten this week (I still have a few more things to pick up, but this is most of it):

Merchandise total: $194.90
Net cost after sales tax: EARNED $.69

Sorry - I found two more receipts.

Merchandise total: $239.01
Net cost after sales tax: $1.74

Drat! If I hadn't made the mistake and bought the Band-Aid brand instead of the CVS brand, I'd have made a profit on all of this (including some full-price items we just needed in the house).

Anyway, I've decided to stop breaking it out by transaction because it's just too boring. I'll just list the deals I took advantage of and the coupons I used to make it work. Then you can make it work however you want. I did two trips (one in June, one in July) and used both my account and Stewart's account.

  • 2 CVS pantiliners (July freebie): Pay $.99, get .99 ECB
  • 2 CVS makeup removers (July deal): Pay $2.99, get 1 ECB. Used $2/CVS skincare coupon
  • 9 Brut deoderants (June deal): Pay $3.59, get 3 ECBs. Used $.55/Brut from the 6/8 SS
  • 2 Clairol Natural Instincts (weekly deal): Pay $5.99, get 1 ECB. Used $4/Clairol from the 6/1 P&G
  • 7 CVS aftershaves (weekly deal): Pay $2.59, get 1 ECB. Used $2/CVS skincare coupon
  • 1 Johnson & Johnson trial-sized lotion. Pay $1. Used $1/coupon (no longer found online)
  • 4 CVS 40-count bandages (June freebie): Pay $1.99, get 1.99 ECBs
  • 4 Bic Soleil Razors, 4 packs cartridges (July deal): Pay $13.98 for two, get 5 ECBs. Used TWO $4/coupons from the 6/22 SS
  • 2 Crest toothpastes (weekly deal). Pay $1.99, get 1 ECB. Used $1/Crest from the 6/1 P&G
  • 4 Sure deodorants (July deal). Buy 2, get 3 ECBs. Priced at $2.79. Used BOGO coupons from 6/29 SS
  • 2 Physicians Formula mascaras (weekly freebie). Pay $7.99, get 7.99 ECBs.
  • 2 Coppertone sunscreen sticks (weekly deal). Buy any 2, get 10 ECBs. Sticks were priced at $5.60 each.
  • 7 Listerine Smart Rinses (June freebie). Pay $3.59, get 3.59 ECBs.
  • 1 pack Oral B toothbrushes (June freebie). Pay $6.99, get 6.99 ECBs.
  • Bandaids: MISTAKE. Meant to get the CVS brand freebies.
  • Ivory soap: needed them for the house.
  • 2 Accu-Check diabetes meters (weekly freebie). Pay $9.99, get 9.99 ECBs.
I was able to use the expired $3/15 coupon 7 times before it started beeping which certainly didn't hurt.

And that's how you get almost $200 worth of stuff for free! I love the freebies, I love the hunt, I love the brain workout this gives me.

I plan to start tracking my own deals instead of relying on the other blogs out there; I sometimes find out about deals too late to take advantage of them (like the Huggies June deal, I could have cleaned up on that one!) Stay tuned for better coverage of upcoming deals!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Garden update

Gracious, this garden is on the edge of being out-of-control. I'm proud it's growing so well, but I feel like the sorcerer in the Disney movie where everything keeps multiplying. When the tomates start to ripen, we're going to have more to eat than we'll know what to do with. What a great problem to have!

Our budding gardener:



JalapeƱos on the left, Cherry Bomb peppers on the right:

Big tomatoes:

Grape tomatoes (Super Sweet 100s on the right, yellow pear on the left):

Notice anything missing? Yup, all of the carrots and the beautiful cilantro are completely gone. The culprit? The bane of every DC resident: rats. An abandoned house about 5 down has a huge rat problem in the basement. They roam around at night looking for food, and evidentially have gourmet tastes. Needless to say, traps have been dispatched and I've replanted. Yuck.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A great offer from Blockbuster

Right now, Blockbuster is offering their standard two-week trial, but with a bonus: if you go on to sign up for their service, they'll put $10 in your Paypal account.

If you were already planning on using them, it's a nice little freebie!

Details here. If you are going to sign up, you need to it here and choose Paypal as your method of payment to make sure you get the extras.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Yeah, this frugal blogger doesn't have a budget. We live pretty reasonably, and can pay our bills. We invest a decent amount, though not as much as I'd like. Until a few years ago, we were always in the black. Then I quit working, we had a kid, we finished our basement, we tore out all of our upstairs walls, we had another kid, Stewart lost his job, our first kid started at a pricey preschool, and now we've got some debt on our equity line.

I'm not sure how much detail I'm going to feel comfortable sharing on-line yet. Maybe all of it, maybe very little. I'll hash it out in my head in the days to come. Suffice to say the debt's pretty big, though neither of us are worried. Stewart has his main job back, plus side-work. I've got my eBay. Plus July is Nate's last month of pricey preschool, and cheapie preschool starts up in September. That'll help tremendously.

So we've decided to be more careful about our daily purchases and to spend a full month tracking everything we spend. I'm starting June 30th and we'll go through July. I'm going to use the Dave Ramsey Monthly Accounting chart to track everything, but we are not going to be using the envelope system. We put every single thing possible on our credit card which puts 2% into Nate's college fund. It really adds up.

If we look back at what we spend in this month and we're overspending, we'll use a modified envelope system to get us back in check: keep a notebook with us and when we make a purchase, subtract the amount spent from the appropriate category. When the allotted balance reaches zero we stop spending in that category. This will allow us to keep buying on the credit card and getting the benefits and still keep us in check.

Any good budget tips out there? What's worked best for you?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

CVS weekly deals - June 29th

Here's what's to come this week (monthly deals not included):

  • Weekly items:

    • CVS aftershaves (limit 5). Pay $2.59, get $1 ECB back. Use the $2/CVS skincare coupon to make this a money-maker. You can print the coupon as many times as you like. I believe this deal is only good through Monday 6/30.

    • Crest toothpaste (limit 1). Pay $1.99, get $1 ECB. Use the $1/Crest coupon from the 6/2 P&G insert to make this a freebie. This deal is only good through Monday 6/30.

    • Clairol Natural Instincts (limit 1). Pay $5.99, get $1 ECB back. Use the $4/coupon from the 6/1 P&G insert to make the net cost $.99! This deal is only good through Monday 6/30.

    • Bic Soleil deal (limit 4 items (two razors and two cartridge packs)) - Buy the razor and a 4-pack of cartridges at $6.99 each, earn 5 ECBs. Use TWO $4/coupons from the 6/22 Smart Source. Net cost of $1 for both items together. This sale is also a July ECB sale, so you can do it all through July.

    • Huggies Lotion or Wash 15 oz (limit 5) - buy each for $3.49, get $2 ECBs. Use the $1/coupon from the 6/22 Smart Source insert. Net cost of $.49 each!

    • Accu-Check Compact Plus Diabetes Kit (limit 1) - buy for $9.99, get $9.99 ECBs. Freebie!

    • Physicians Formula mascara (limit 1) - buy each for $7.99, get $7.99 ECBs. Freebie!

Last week's meal plan

Tried out a few new ones last week:

Monday was a Spanish Tortilla.

I was a little wary of how simple it was, seasoning-wise, but it was very subtle and very good. I think it would be a great way to use up leftovers, and a kind-of fancy "breakfast for dinner." I didn't skin the potatoes (more work, less nutrition). Leftovers were even good cold (with a little ketchup, I admit.)

Tuesday was another new one: Bulgur with Apricots and Almonds. This was the first recipe that I thought was pretty disappointing - it was bland and boring. But I'm still very glad I made it because I really liked the texture and taste of the bulgur wheat, and I plan on using it again, albeit with another recipe.

Wednesday is "friend day" and Dave was over as usual. He brought along a kale salad and re-did the bulgur salad by sauteeing my block of tofu with some asian sauce and adding the bulger to it. Totally saved the recipe.

Thursday I re-made the Roasted Corn, Black Bean, and Mango Salad. Somehow it wasn't as good as the first time; maybe because I used canned corn. Still very good and very nutritious.

Friday and weekend were "catch as catch can" with leftovers and Trader Joes meals.

This next week will be a little odd - I'm throwing down a "use what's in your pantry" challenge. Wackiness ensues.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

CVS weekly deals - June 22nd

Not a whole lot of deals for me this week, but free is always good.

Soyjoy bars are on sale for a buck, and when you buy 4 you get 4 ECBs. I bought 20 on my account and 20 on Stewart's. I've heard they're pretty terrible, but Nate liked it just fine. Yay for healthy free snacks!

The vitamins are B0G0, and I had two coupons for $2/off. Found Vitamin C for $5.39, so I paid $.70 for each bottle (only one is shown because I gave one to a friend).

The Colgate is on sale for $2.99 and each is generating 2 ECBs. I had 5 coupons for $1/off from a recent Sunday insert.

I had a few $3/15 coupons leftover and decided to try one at the self-checkout. It went through just fine!

Merchandise cost: $60.34

ECBs generated: $50
Coupons used: $12

Net cost: Earned $1.66!

A challenge: shop in your pantry!

This week's meal plan is set, but here's what I plan to do for next week: shop out of my pantry and let it guide the meal plan. I hope to use up every odd can, strange jar of sauce, and frozen thing that's been there for long enough that I know I'm not going to use it otherwise.

I've pared down those items in the past few months, and donated anything I know for sure we won't be using. Here's what's left to work with:

Two jars of BBQ sauce
2/3 box of lasagne noodles
A jar of alfredo sauce
Two cans of refried beans
Block of tofu
Two packages of cream cheese
Beef broth & chicken broth
Tomato juice
Frozen salmon
Chicken burgers
Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles (meat substitute)

Got any good ideas for this mess? Send 'em along!

Monday, June 23, 2008

CVS weekly deals - June 15th

This was a fun deal.

Oral-B CrossAction Power Toothbrushes were on sale from $8.99 to $5.99 (replacement heads, too). Each toothbrush generates 3 ECBs. One of the recent newspaper inserts had coupons for buy one, get one free.


Four toothbrushes @ $5.99 each ($23.96)
Four replacement packs @ $5.99 each ($23.96)
Subtotal cost: $47.92

Used four BOGO (buy one, get one) coupons
Subtotal cost: $23.96
ECBs generated: $24

I did have to pay sales tax on these, so my net cost on all 8 was $1.52.

Icing on the cake: at the bottom of my receipt from buying the toothbrushes was a coupon for $2/Almay products. The Almay one-coat mascara this week was on-sale for $6.99 and is generating $5 ECBs, so with the coupon it was free. My favorite word!

Dabbling in Walgreens again

Had a not-so-great experience when I first tried to "do the deals" at Walgreens (the $20 in Register Rewards didn't print out; had to send in a form to have them mailed to me). I just received my gift card from the Free After Rebate items from a few months ago, and my $20 in Register Rewards actually showed up, so I thought I'd give it one more try.

See here for Money Saving Mom's explanation of how to work Walgreens.

The cereal was on sale 3/$7, with $2 RRs printing out (they didn't actually print out, but a manger intervened and put the two bucks on my gift card). I had a manufacturer coupon for $1/2 boxes, so the total cost for the cereal was $1.33 per box.

The rest of the items were free after rebate, so my net cost for everything shown is just the $4!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Meal plan from last week

We were out of town all weekend, so I only made three meals this week. All three were new ones, but I don't have any photos to share. The burritos were too boring to photograph and we skedaddled out of town too soon to take pictures of the salad.

Monday & Tuesday we had Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos. The recipe makes 12 very big burritos and they were absolutely delicious. We all loved them, and will certainly make them again. The best part is that they can be frozen and then reheated individually.

Mashing the beans into the sweet potatoes cuts the overwhelming sweetness of that much potato, and adds tons of fiber and protein. I used four medium-large sweet potatoes, poked holes, wrapped them in tin foil, and threw them in the oven for about an hour at 350. They were nice and mushy when they came out, and I just mashed the beans directly into them with the rest of the ingredients. Nate loved helping to squish them all together; it kept him busy for quite a while. I'm giving this recipe 13 stars.

Wednesday I made up a new recipe: pizza burritos. I took the leftover tortillas, spread them with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Then I sauteed all of the leftover random vegetables in the fridge (mushrooms, spinach, a green pepper, and onions) and threw them on top. Sprinkled with oregano and salt, and folded them up. Stewart had them for lunch and Nate had them for two dinners. They were very good, though obviously nothing special.

What they were was a GREAT, somewhat nutritious, way to use up all of the orphaned vegetables and random shredded cheese and the pasta sauce left in the bottom of the jars. 7 stars.

Thursday I made Curried Couscous With Broccoli and Feta. After I made it, I realized it was a whole lot similar to the rice salad I love to make but with couscous as the grain. Next time I will leave out the feta - I think the flavor is too strong and it just wasn't a coherent part of the flavor of the dish. Anyway, it was great. 16 stars. Definitely going to show up again.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My first hunting trip at Target

Figured as long as I was going to Target today, I'd cash in one some of the great deals Money Saving Mom posted about for this week. We are seriously never going to need toothpaste again.

Net cost before coupons: $27.26
Net cost after coupons: $.26

Had to pay sales tax on it all, so my grand total was the $.26 plus $1.16 for a total of $1.42.

Totally worth it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Garden update

I swear the garden grows every night. It's amazing. I love coming out in the morning and seeing how it looks, and if there are any new little tomatoes, and how everything is thriving. It's such a joy.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Last week's meal plan

We were away for 3 nights last week, so just a few items to review for last week:

Monday: Wheatberry Salad again. This is a good standard for us. I think I undercooked the wheatberries this time, but I kinda like the chewy texture. Nate and Stewart both liked it, but didn't love it. I love that it gets whole grains and fruit (apples and raisins) into their bodies.

Tuesday: Spinach Calzones with Blue Cheese again. We love it.

Wednesday: Soba Noodles with Tofu and Vegetables. This was the only new recipe I tried and it was pretty good. Not great, but good. I used a peeler to slide the carrots lengthwise and liked the way it looked. Nate liked it a lot, so I'm happy about that.

Definitely planning on trying some new recipe this week! Anyone have any good new ones?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

CVS weekly deals - June 9th

I know I haven't posted last week's deals yet. I'll get around to it, I promise.

Fresh from the kill at CVS this morning:

Transaction 1:

Two boxes of Cheerios - $3.34 each
Two boxes of Fiber One - $3.34 each
Two boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios - $3.34 each

Used $3/15 CVS coupon
Used (2) $1.50 off Cheerios coupons (from last week's Pamper's deal)
Used (2) $1.00 off Fiber One coupons
Used (2) $1.00 off Honey Nut Cheerios coupons

Earned 10 ECBs for buying $20 in General Mills cereal

Net cost on this transaction: Totally free.


Transaction 2:

Two Garnier Nutrisse Micro-Bead Cream Scrubs - $6.59 each
One package CVS bandaids - $1.99

Used $3/15 CVS coupon

Earned 10 ECBs on Garnier items
Earned 1.99 ECBs on bandaids

Net cost on this transaction: $.30


Transaction 3:

Three Powerades - $1.00 each
One Dove shampoo - $4.99
One Dove conditioner - Free (buy 1, get one free)
Package of two Crossaction toothbrushes - $6.99

Used $3/15 CVS coupon
Used (2) $2/Dove coupons - from the Sunday inserts
Used (3) $.75/Powerade coupons - from the Sunday inserts

Earned 6.99 ECBS on

Net cost for this transaction: Earned $1.01!


Transaction 4:

Two Nivea for Men shaving gels - $3.99 each
One Gillette Fusion razor - $9.99

Used $3/15 CVS coupon
Used $4/Gilette coupon - from the Sunday inserts
Used $4/Nivea coupon - from the Sunday inserts

Earned 5 ECBs for half of Nivea deal
Earned 4 ECBs for Gilette purchase

Net cost for this transaction: earned $1.46!


Transaction 5:

One Schick Quattro razor - $9.49
One Dove shampoo - $4.99
One Dove conditioner - Free (Buy one, get one free)

Used $3/15 CVS coupon
Used (2) $2/Dove coupons - from the Sunday inserts
Used $3/Schick coupon - from the Sunday inserts

Net cost for this transaction: $1.91


Transaction 6:

Four Nivea shave gels - $3.99 each

Used $3/15 CVS coupon
Used (2) $4/Nivea coupons - from the Sunday inserts

Earned 5 ECBs on Nivea products

Net cost for this transaction: $.59


So I got all of this:

Sales price on the merchandise: $100.54 (with sales tax included)

Net cost on the merchandise: $.33. THIRTY-THREE CENTS. AFTER SALES TAX.

CVS rocks.