Monday, February 23, 2009

Stealing from Shoppers Food Warehouse

Holy cow. Through Wednesday SFW is doubling $1 coupons and tripling coupons up to $.50. I honestly couldn't fit my purchases into one picture, so here are three shots in no particular order or grouping:

Price before coupons and tax: 304.13
Price after coupons and tax: $15.33

I could have done better but I messed up the order of one of the transactions. Boo. On the other hand, $304 worth of food for 15 bucks? Including 16 bags of frozen organic veggies and tater tots? Fantastic.

As part of figuring out how to manage everything in my life, including some new real estate work, I'm not going to log out all of the details of my transactions. If anyone wants any details, though, just leave me a comment and I'll be happy to help!

CVS last week (helpful, huh?)

Love CVS.

I made $17 to walk out of the store with these.

  • Mylanta x 10: They were discounted to $3.75 and each generating $3.50 (or something close to that). I used four coupons for $4 off 2, and two coupons for $1 off one. Made about $17 on this deal! Kept 2 and sent the rest to donation.
  • BodiHeats were priced at $4.30 and each had a coupon for $1 off. They're each generating $3 ecbs this month, so I spent about 30 cents on each of them. Totally worth it. Half for us, half for donation.
  • Gillette Fusion Gamers were on sale for $7.99 and generating $3 ecbs. I had very old coupons for $4 off which went through with no problem. Free. Kept these for fun presents for people.
  • Neutrogena facial soaps cost $3.30 each and were part of a "Buy 2 Neutrogena products, get $10 ecbs" promotion. I made $6.60 buying the darn things and I'm keeping them. So there.
  • Colgate Toothpastes were free after ecbs and I paired them with coupons for $1 off. Made $4 buying them. They'll all be donated.
Check back later to see a really super fantastic extra double fun trip to Shoppers Food Warehouse.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm SOLD on online offers

All credit goes to Carrie at

I read her posts. I analyzed the factors. I bombed the first offer because I didn't read Carrie's easy instructions carefully enough. I rocked the next one, and the one after that.

Last week I got this lovely Home Depot card worth $500:

Today I picked up these Mobil / Exxon gas cards worth $500:

I can't count it towards income for this month since it won't be applied against debt. But they'll save us tons on gas, and even let me splurge a little on garden gear for this summer (items I would likely have had to buy anyway, but now they'll be free! Free! Free!)

My plan for next week is to start a third card, and I'll lay it out step by step so you can see which card I picked and which deals I'm using. I convinced the FedEx lady to give it a try. Are you next?

Hello again!

So sorry for the long silence. First I was prepping for a trip, then I was on a trip, then I was recovering from a trip. Phew. A "vacation" with two small kids just isn't a vacation anymore. A great trip, yes, but not a vacation. I'm bushed.

But coming home the Saturday of Presidents Day weekend made life a lot easier. Stewart's home from work today and I got a ton of planning done for the garden (schedule of seed starting, when to transplant, etc.)

I also got a little breathing room to finally make this:

I'd seen a few recipes on the internet (this one is pretty) and when I came across a Valentines version in Parents Magazine I knew I had to make it. It turned out much prettier than the photo shows - it's one layer of dark red, one of pink, and one of clear. I repeated each one twice and it set beautifully. I'm going to surprise Nate after dinner tonight (I meant to make it for Valentines day but it just didn't happen).

It was actually a lot easier than I was expecting from the description of the rainbow one. I heated a saucepan with two cups of water and when it boiled I took it off the heat and added 3 packages of sugar-free jello (two raspberry and a strawberry, if you want the gory details) and one .25 ounce packet of Knox gelatin. I dipped out 2/3 cup into a separate bowl and whisked in 1/2 cup (plus 2 tbsp) plain yogurt to make the pink layer. In a third bowl I measured 1 1/3 cups white grape juice and sprinkled 2 more packets of gelatin on top. After letting that rest for 5 minutes, I heated it in the microwave for 1 minute and stirred to dissolve the gelatin.

Take an 8x8 square pan (really, it should work with any small pan in any shape) and pour in half of the red mixture. Put it flat in the fridge and let it set for 15 minutes. Then pour in half the pink mix, and so on. Let the final design sit in the fridge for a few hours and it's done!

To remove it from the pan I sat it in hot water for a few minutes and turned it out onto a cutting board. When that didn't work I dug around one of the sides with a knife until it started peeling out. I just used my hands to ease it out the rest of the way onto the cutting board and cut into 1-inch pieces. Very pretty!

It's very easy to make. Halfway through I got engrossed in the gardening planning and the mixes I hadn't poured in yet congealed. I freaked, then realized that if I just heated them up for a few seconds they melted right back into pourable form. Whew. You can just do a layer, let it sit for however long, and come back when you get another chance. That's my kind of recipe.

Come on back for fun financial news tomorrow!